« 前へ次へ »
AN IDLE MYTH.
N the dim religious past, when man
But she gratefully thanked still heard in Nature the voices of an the bee, when she saw it; inquired after outer life, there lived a little sprite in the squirrel's children, when he called; the land nearest the sun. Down beneath and sang to the mole because he was the yellow, juicy roots of a tree was hid- blind and could not see her smile. She den the rounded hollow rock that made loved all things, not excepting the ghther home; its ceiling glittering bravely eyed lizard that often came up after his with many a pendulous crystal; a restless noonday bath in the stream below. Nor goblin, bent on improving the state of did she fear the gliding serpent, whose nature, had rubbed the floor till its glassy lifted crest and shining scales often surface was smooth enough for foot of paused before her door. With gentle tenderest baby sprite. Industrious ants humility and loving trust she received had labored up the channel which ran from each his gift. She did not even down to the surface of the stream, with a turn away from the attempt of the gruff grooved and pink-tinged shell, that made gnome to make her useful; "For," said the couch of fairy Fin. A humming-bird that enterprising spirit as he was starthad filled the shell with moss, and a frol; ing one morning for his regular toil, icksome breeze had carelessly dropped “she must be doing something; doing! some thistle-down for its pillow. Nor was doing! What's living without doing?" her table unsupplied. Near by a busy bee So, pushing aside the silken webs which hid from the outer world its store of hon- a thoughtful spider had woven for her ey; a frisky squirrel dropped at her door door, and, coming in, he lectured her his richest nut kernels, while, a morose severely upon her idleness, and ended mole burrowed outlets for her to the by suggesting that his own great coat had high world above, and brought her, need of repairs. Gentle Fin, though besides, many delicious fruits. The rain somewhat dismayed at the task, gladly slid down to fill her tiny reservoir; and consented. But, when it was brought to the vine, clinging about the tree, dis- her, the needle was far too large to be tilled its sweet, refreshing life into her grasped by her slender fingers, and the wine cup-a cup carved by an elf from coat she could not possibly lift. She sat a burning carbuncle And all for what? | down really wretched for the first time For naught, that I can say, except for in her life, and waited the gnome's reher own sweet self, for her loveliness' turn in fear. sake, that all things to her did minister.
The humming-bird buzzed busily For this small, happy being had never above, the squirrel brought his ripest even heard of duties or of burdens. nuts, the mole opened a new window up Responsibility was far too great a word to the sunlight, the tree roots filled the for her to grasp. She did not even study air with aromatic odor, and the vine exto do good. But in the fullness of her pressed her most delightful juice. She pure and simple life, she sang her merry thanked them each; but still uncomsongs by day, and slept her smiling sleep forted and in pain sat little Fin; nor at night. She fed on the dainties of the was her grief lightened when the gnome lay, with no thought of hunger for the came home. In his impatience he said :
“Of what use are you, any how? I tempt her appetite. But she hid her work hard all day, and have nothing but face on her downy pillow, and cried "I what my toil brings, while even the am of no use." Still she said such lovserpent there serves you for nothing." ing words to all her willing servants, she
Patient little Fin made answer that was so brave and cheerful, that for the "Surely she did not know. Indeed she joy they found in her presence they linhad never thought that fairies were gered by her side. They saw plainly made for any thing in particular, unless that she was going from them. They to be glad. She was very, very sorry;
tried to tell her about the upper world; indeed she feared she would never be but they knew so little of it themselves happy again."
that she grew confused and only said: The gnome relentéd at her piteous “There is sunshine there, I know, for complaint, and, by way of peace-making, some of it has come down here. Pergave her the exquisite diamond which haps I may be of use there," she added he had found in a mine, and intended slowly. as a reward for her work. But through Neither they nor she knew of the the night that followed Fairy Fin could nest of birds in the tree above, one of not sleep, and the next morning was whom was longing to receive his song really ill; but she arose, meaning to learn spirit; but in the gladness of the new to be useful. She would learn to sew, morning, while they mourned for her she thought; but no needles could be below, the gnome the loudest and longfound small enough for her delicate est of all, the waiting bird received her grasp, and trying to push in and out the gift of song. And singing Fin was wiser unwieldy things but made her grow sick | in the new life than in the old; for a and pale, as hour after hour passed. | little child, whose heart was so like the Besides, her attendants missed their birds that she knew its language, said smile and song, and ceaselessly begged the first words she sang were these: her to give up the attempt. And this
To be, is better than to do; she had to do, as she grew fainter. A few days of such pain wasted her slight To noble be, is better than to do nobly;
To lowly be, is higher than to do humbly; frame. The gnome visited her, and spent To lovely be, is higher than to do bravely. all his time seeking some new dainty to
And isn't always hard at work like me.
Add three more, carry two and set down three.)
O what a cunning treasure of a baby!
It looks like that new crying-doll of mine;
It must be very rich to dress so fine.
Make nineteen; two more fives make twenty-nine.)
Mamma is going out with sister Rachel;
Oh dear, if I could only go! but then
And Rachel's big and flirts with gentlemen.
Make ten; and add a pair of nines to ten.)
There are so many stupid years to meet.
Isn't the monkey's jacket just too sweet!
And when it's finished-run across the street.)
RUTH DEANE'S BIRTHDAY.
BY OLIVE THORNE.
UTH DEANE sat by the window, “At a factory where they do such
one bright day in June, drawing things." lovingly through her fingers a tiny gold "Did you see them do it?" asked chain. It was her tenth birthday, and Frank eagerly, looking up from the when she came down to breakfast she boat he was shaping. found on her plate this exquisite gold "I saw it begun," answered Mrs. chain, with a dainty little heart attached Deane; but it took too long to make the to it. It was just long enough to clasp whole chain. I could not stay so long." round her neck. But she could not “Do tell me all about it!" exclaimed yet spare it out of her sight long Ruth. I want to know every. enough to wear it. It was a gift from thing about my dear little chain from Uncle Will, her especial favorite, and of the time it was tiny specs of gold, away course more valuable on that account. down in the dark ground.”
“Ruth," said Mrs. Deane, who was sew- “Well, I needn't tell you how it came ing by the other window, "dor you re- into Uncle Will's bottle, need I ?'' asked member the bottle of gold dust that Mrs. Deane, smiling. your Uncle Will showed us when he “Oh! no; I remember all that. Take it first came home?''
up when you gave it to the factory-man.” “Yes, indeed," answered Ruth. "I “The first thing done to it in the fac. used to like so much to shake it tory was to weigh it, and the next about."
thing was to put it into a small crucible-" "Well, your chain and heart are “ What's that?' asked Ruth. made of part of that very gold.”
"I know," said Frank. "Fred Town's Oh! are they, mamma ?"
got some. They're just cups to melt "Yes, and you must always remember things in.” that Uncle Will himself got that gold “ Yes," said Mrs. Deane, “they are out of the dirt."
shaped something like a thimble, and "Did he have it made, mamma ?'' are made of very tough materials, so asked Ruth.
they will stand an intense heat." “He gave me the gold and I had it "Well,” said Frank, “they melted made," said mamma.
the gold up, did they?' “Oh! did you, mamma ? Where ?'' • They put the gold dust into a cruci
ble, as I said, and with it a little silver The workman takes a small strip of the and a little copper."
gold, sharpens the end, and puts it “Oh! what for, mamma ?"
through one of the larger holes a little " Because pure gold is too soft. It smaller than it is itself. He then takes would wear off very fast, and bend with hold of the end that is through the hole the least pressure."
with pinchers, and just draws the strip "Well, then, I'm glad it's in," said of gold through by main strength. Of Ruth, though it would be nicer if it course, that makes it into a wire. So had nothing but Uncle Will's gold." he goes on, drawing it through smaller "The crucible was put into a very
holes every time, till it is the size he hot coal fire, and in a few minutes gold, wants to make.” silver, and copper were all melted to- “Does it take long, mamma ?” gether. The man then took a pair of
"It took only a few minutes to draw tongs, lifted it out, and poured the mass
the little that your chain needed. The into a mould."
next thing was to cut out the links of “What shape was the mould ? asked
the chain, which was done by the neatFrank, who felt an interest in moulds,
est little machine I ever saw. The thin because he was very much given to
ribbon of gold was put in at one end, and melting lead and running it into various snapped off into links faster than I can shapes that he dug out of wood with a
tell it." jack-knife.
“How funny it must be to see that!” “The mould was in the shape of a
said Ruth. bar. It came out in a minute a tiny
“ Yes. It is very curious and wonderbar of gold."
ful to see." "I should have liked it best in that "Did you see them put the links toshape,” said Frank.
gether ? asked Frank. "It didn't stay very long in that
"I saw them polished next, by holding shape," mamma went on. “ It went at against a wheel, and then I followed once to the rolling machine."
them to the making-up room." is the rolling machine,
“Mamma, I should think they'd have mamma?" asked Ruth.
to have very honest workmen, or they "Is it like the rolling mills ?" asked might steal a lot of gold.” Frank, eagerly, “where papa took me
“They are very careful to weigh every to see them make railway tracks ?" grain they give to a workman, and he
“It is the same idea. The gold bar is obliged to give back the same weight. goes between several heavy rollers, and Those who make up the chains are comes out a long, thin ribbon.”
mostly girls, and I saw yours made for “ It must be hard work to do that,” about an inch before I went to see the said Ruth.
heart made.” " It is hard, but it is done by steam
** Did you see that made, mamma ?" power, and looks as easy as rolling out
A man took a piece of the dough. To make the rivet to hold the gold ribbon left from cutting the links, links together, a little of the ribbon was
and put it into a sort of a stamping madrawn into wire.”
chine. Down came the stamp and cut “Oh! how, mamma, ?"
out one-half of the heart; then, in a "The man who makes the wire has a moment, the other half. The two halves steel plate with holes in it of all sizes,
were then taken to another machine, from the size of quite a large wire down
and shaped at one blow.” to the size of a fine needle. This plate
“Shaped ? Didn't the first machine is fastened to a bench, so as to be steady. I shape it?"
"No The first machine only cut them over them, so they look as if they work. out. They were flat as possible, and the ed in a coal bin.” second machine rounded them up.” “They are done when they are pol“Oh, yes!"
ished, ain't they ?”. " Then, after they were fastened to- "Yes, they're done; but they have a gether, and the little ring put in at the bath of hot soapsuds before they leave top, which I didn't see, as I was exam- the factory, and a drying in a box of sawining various ways of making gold dust. Then they are packed and sent chains, they took it to the chasers." off; but this one was put in a little box
“Oh, mamma! what a funny name! and given to me when I went for it.” What do they do?''
“Mamma, what was it grandma used " They make all the engraved work, to wear on her neck ?" asked Ruth. "I called chasing You see your name is can just remember a big chain-or someon one side."
thing like gold." “Yes, and the date."
“I know!" said Frank. " It was big "Well, the chasers do this. The one gold beads! Didn't they look jolly !" I looked at had a small box of cement, They were solid gold," said mamma. which was soft. He pressed the heart "You see,
in old times, it wasn't safe to down into it till you could only see one put much money in banks—they had a side. When it got hard-the cement, I trick of failing once in a while So the mean—it held the heart perfectly steady, girls used to put their spare money into and he cut all the little figures in it, as solid gold beads, and always wear them. well as your name, which I wrote for | They were as good as money when one him."
wanted the money, and perfectly safe "How did he get it out of the ce- if one didn't want it." meni ?'
6. No one else wore them--that I ever “He softened it by heat, and then put saw—when grandma did," said Frank. the other side down so he could engrave "She did wear them long after they the back."
were out of fashion. She was attached to “ Was that all, mamma ?”
them, and couldn't bear to give them up." 'No; they had yet to be polished. “Did they make chains as big as yours, The polishers' room was a funny place, at that factory, mamma ?" asked Ruth. the walls all hung with loose papers.” “Yes, and larger; but I read the other “What for ?'' asked Frank.
day of a gold chain that I guess was the “ To catch the fine particles of gold largest ever made." which the polishing wheels Aling all over How large was it?" asked Frank. the room.”
“It was as large as a man's wrist, and “I don't see how they get it off, such
three hundred yards long" tiny atoms of gold !" said Frank.
“Oh, mamma! who made it ??? “ They do it easily enough. They “One of the Incas of ancient Peru burn the paper, and get the gold out of had it made to celebrate the birth of a the ashes. They also make the work
A bigger birthday chain than men,
or workwomen-for the polishers yours, Ruth,” said mamma, smiling. were all wonen-wash faces, hands, and “But I'd rather have mine," said aprons before they go home, and thus Ruth, " for I'm sure I don't see what he get a great deal of gold from the settlings could do with his; and I can wear mine." of the water. They need washing too, “ I'm sure I don't know what they did for the oil and stuff' put on to the chains, do with it," said mamma. to polish them, is all brushed off by the "They must have had lots of gold,” wheels-made of bristles and settles all said Frank.