Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans by Edward Eggleston

Part 2 out of 2

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

coun-try by our-selves. We call that paper the Dec-la-ra-tion of

When he was a boy, Jef-fer-son was fond of boyish plays. But when he
was tired of play, he took up a book. It pleased him to learn things.
From the time when he was a boy he never sat down to rest without
a book.

At school he learned what other boys did. But the dif-fer-ence between
him and most other boys was this: he did not stop with knowing just
what the other boys knew. Most boys want to learn what other boys
learn. Most girls would like to know what their school-mates know. But
Jef-fer-son wanted to know a great deal more.

As a young man, Jefferson knew Latin and Greek. He also knew French
and Span-ish and I-tal-ian.

He did not talk to show off what he knew. He tried to learn what other
people knew. When he talked to a wagon maker, he asked him about such
things as a wagon maker knows most about. He would sometimes ask how a
wagon maker would go to work to make a wheel.

When Jefferson talked to a learn-ed man, he asked him about those
things that this man knew most about. When he talked with Indians, he
got them to tell him about their lan-guage. That is the way he came
to know so much about so many things. Whenever anybody told him
anything worth while, he wrote it down as soon as he could.

One day Jefferson was trav-el-ing. He went on horse-back. That was a
common way of trav-el-ing at that time. He stopped at a country
tavern. At this tavern he talked with a stranger who was
staying there.

After a while Jefferson rode away. Then the stranger said to the
land-lord, "Who is that man? He knew so much about law, that I was
sure he was a lawyer. But when we talked about med-i-cine, he knew so
much about that, that I thought he must be a doctor. And after a while
he seemed to know so much about re-li-gion, that I was sure he was a
min-is-ter. Who is he?"

The stranger was very much surprised to hear that the man he had
talked with was Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson was a very polite man. One day his grand-son was riding with
him. They met a negro. The negro lifted his cap and bowed. Jefferson
bowed to the negro. But his grand-son did not think it worth while
to bow.

Then Jefferson said to his grand-son, "Do not let a poor negro be more
of a gen-tle-man than you are." In the Dec-la-ra-tion of
In-de-pend-ence, Jefferson wrote these words: "All men are created
equal." He also said that the poor man had the same right as the rich
man to live, and to be free, and to try to make himself happy.


A long time ago, when Thomas Jefferson was Pres-i-dent, most of the
people in this country lived in the East. Nobody knew anything about
the Far West. The only people that lived there were Indians. Many of
these Indians had never seen a white man.

[Illustration: An Elk]

The Pres-i-dent sent men to travel into this wild part of the country.
He told them to go up to the upper end of the Mis-sou-ri River. Then
they were to go across the Rocky Mountains. They were to keep on till
they got to the Pa-cif-ic O-cean. Then they were to come back again.
They were to find out the best way to get through the mountains. And
they were to find out what kind of people the Indians in that country
were. They were also to tell about the animals.

There were two captains of this company. Their names were Lewis and
Clark. There were forty-five men in the party.

They were gone two years and four months. For most of that time they
did not see any white men but their own party. They did not hear a
word from home for more than two years.

They got their food mostly by hunting. They killed a great many
buf-fa-loes and elks and deer. They also shot wild geese and other
large birds. Sometimes they had nothing but fish to eat. Sometimes
they had to eat wolves. When they had no other meat, they were glad to
buy dogs from the Indians and eat them. Sometimes they ate horses.
They became fond of the meat of dogs and horses.

When they were very hungry, they had to live on roots if they could
get them. Some of the Indians made a kind of bread out of roots. The
white men bought this when they could not get meat. But there were
days when they did not have anything to eat.

They were very friendly with the Indians. One day some of the men went
to make a visit to an Indian village. The Indians gave them
something to eat.

In the Indian wig-wam where they were, there was a head of a dead
buffalo. When dinner was over, the Indians filled a bowl full of meat.
They set this down in front of the head. Then they said to the head,
"Eat that."

[Illustration: Feeding the Spirit of the Buffalo.]

The Indians believed, that, if they treated this buffalo head
politely, the live buffaloes would come to their hunting ground. Then
they would have plenty of meat. They think the spirit of the buffalo
is a kind of a god. They are very careful to please this god.


The Indians among whom Captain Clark and Captain Lewis traveled had
many strange ways of doing things. They had nothing like our matches
for making fire. One tribe of Indians had this way of lighting a fire.
An Indian would lay down a dry stick. He would rub this stick with the
end of another stick. After a while this rubbing would make something
like saw-dust on the stick that was lying down. The Indian would keep
on rubbing till the wood grew hot. Then the fine wood dust would
smoke. Then it would burn. The Indian would put a little kin-dling
wood on it. Soon he would have a large fire.

In that time the white people had not yet found out how to make
matches. They lighted a fire by striking a piece of flint against a
piece of steel. This would make a spark of fire. By letting this spark
fall on something that would burn easily, they started a fire.

White men had another way of lighting a fire when the sun was shining.
They used what was called a burning glass. This was a round piece of
glass. It was thick in the middle, and thin at the edge. When you held
up a burning glass in the sun, it drew the sun's heat so as to make a
little hot spot. If you put paper under this spot of hot sunshine, it
would burn. Men could light the to-bac-co in their pipes with one of
these glasses.

Captain Clark had something funny happen to him on account of his
burning glass. He had walked ahead of the rest of his men. He sat down
on a rock. There were some Indians on the other side of the river.
They did not see the captain. Captain Clark saw a large bird called a
crane flying over his head. He raised his gun and shot it.

[Illustration: Cranes]

The Indians on the other side of the river had never seen a white man
in their lives. They had never heard a gun. They used bows and arrows.

They heard the sound of Clark's gun. They looked up and saw the large
bird falling from the sky. It fell close to where Captain Clark sat.
Just as it fell they caught sight of Captain Clark sitting on the
rocks. They thought they had seen him fall out of the sky. They
thought that the sound of his gun was a sound like thunder that was
made when he came down.

The Indians all ran away as fast as they could. They went into their
wig-warns and closed them.

Captain Clark wished to be friendly with them. So he got a canoe and
paddled to the other side of the river. He came to the Indian houses.
He found the flaps which they use for doors shut. He opened one of
them and went in. The Indians were sitting down, and they were all
crying and trembling.

Among the Indians the sign of peace is to smoke to-geth-er. Captain
Clark held out his pipe to them. That was to say, "I am your friend."
He shook hands with them and gave some of them presents. Then they
were not so much afraid.

[Illustration: Lighting a Pipe with a Burning Glass.]

He wished to light his pipe for them to smoke. So he took out his
burning glass. He held it in the sun. He held his pipe under it. The
sunshine was drawn together into a bright little spot on the tobacco.
Soon the pipe began to smoke.

Then he held out his pipe for the Indians to smoke with him. That is
their way of making friends. But none of the Indians would touch the
pipe. They thought that he had brought fire down from heaven to light
his pipe. They were now sure that he fell down from the sky. They were
more afraid of him than ever.

At last Captain Clark's Indian man came. He told the other Indians
that the white man did not come out of the sky. Then they smoked the
pipe, and were not afraid.


Robert Fulton was the man who set steam-boats to running on the
rivers. Other men had made such boats before. But Fulton made the
first good one.

When he was a boy, he lived in the town of Lan-cas-ter in
Penn-syl-van-ia. Many guns were made in Lancaster. The men who made
these guns put little pictures on them. That was to make them sell to
the hunters who liked a gun with pictures. Little Robert Fulton could
draw very well for a boy. He made some pretty little drawings. These
the gun makers put on their guns.

Fulton went to the gun shops a great deal. He liked to see how things
were made. He tried to make a small air gun for himself.

He was always trying to make things. He got some quick-sil-ver. He was
trying to do something with it. But he would not tell what he wanted
to do. So the gun-smiths called him Quick-sil-ver Bob.

He was so much in-ter-est-ed in such things, that he sometimes
neg-lect-ed his lessons. He said that his head was so full of new
notions, that he had not much room left for school learning.

One morning he came to school late.

"What makes you so late?" asked the teacher.

"I went to one of the shops to make myself a lead pencil," said little
Bob. "Here it is. It is the best one I ever had."

The teacher tried it, and found it very good. Lead pencils in that day
were made of a long piece of lead sharpened at the end.

Quick-sil-ver Bob was a very odd little boy. He said many cu-ri-ous
things. Once the teacher punished him for not getting his lessons. He
rapped Robert on the knuckles with a fer-ule. Robert did not like this
any more than any other boy would.

"Sir," said the boy, "I came here to have something beaten into my
head, not into my knuckles."

In that day people used to light candles and stand them in the window
on the Fourth of July. These candles in every window lighted up the
whole town. But one year candles were scarce and high. The city asked
the people not to light up their windows on the Fourth.

Bob did not like to miss the fun of his Fourth of July. He went to
work to make something like rockets or Roman candles. It was a very
dan-ger-ous business for a boy.

"What are you doing, Bob?" some one asked him.

"The city does not want us to burn our candles on the Fourth," he
said. "I am going to shoot mine into the air."


He used to go fishing with a boy named Chris Gumpf. The father of
Chris went with them. They fished from a flat boat. The two boys had
to push the boat to the fishing place with poles.

"I am tired of poling that boat," said Robert to Chris one day when
they came home.

So he set to work to think out a plan to move the boat in an easier
way than by poles. He whittled out the model of a tiny paddle wheel.
Then he went to work with Chris Gumpf, and they made a larger paddle
wheel. This they set up in the fishing boat. The wheel was turned by
the boys with a crank. They did not use the poles any more.


The first good steam-boat was built in New York. She was built by
Robert Fulton. Her name was "Clermont." When the people saw her, they
laughed. They said that such a boat would never go. For thousands of
years boat-men had made their boats go by using sails and oars. People
had never seen any such boat as this. It seemed foolish to believe
that a boat could be pushed along by steam.

The time came for Fulton to start his boat. A crowd of people were
standing on the shore. The black smoke was coming out of the
smoke-stack. The people were laughing at the boat. They were sure that
it would not go. At last the boat's wheels began to turn round. Then
the boat began to move. There were no oars. There were no sails. But
still the boat kept moving. Faster and faster she went. All the people
now saw that she could go by steam. They did not laugh any more. They
began to cheer.

[Illustration: Seeing the First Steam boat]

The little steam-boat ran up to Al-ba-ny. The people who lived on the
river did not know what to make of it. They had never heard of a
steam-boat. They could not see what made the boat go.

There were many sailing vessels on the river. Fulton's boat passed
some of these in the night. The sailors were afraid when they saw
the fire and smoke. The sound of the steam seemed dreadful to them.
Some of them went down-stairs in their ships for fear. Some of them
went ashore. Perhaps they thought it was a living animal that would
eat them up.

But soon there were steam-boats on all the large rivers.


The Revolution was about over. Americans were very happy. Their
country was to be free.

At this time a little boy was born in New York. His family was named
Ir-ving. What should this little boy be named?

His mother said, "Washington's work is done. Let us name the baby
Washington." So he was called Washington Ir-ving.

When this baby grew to be a little boy, he was one day walking with
his nurse. The nurse was a Scotch girl. She saw General Washington go
into a shop. She led the little boy into the shop also.

The nurse said to General Washington, "Please, your Honor, here is a
bairn that is named for you."

"Bairn" is a Scotch word for child. Washington put his hand on the
little boy's head and gave him his blessing. When Irving became an
author, he wrote a life of Washington.

Little Irving was a merry, playful boy. He was full of mischief.

Sometimes he would climb out of a window to the roof of his father's
house. From this he would go to roofs of other houses. Then the little
rascal would drop a pebble down a neighbor's chimney. Then he would
hurry back and get into the window again. He would wonder what the
people thought when the pebble came rattling down their chimney. Of
course he was punished when his tricks were found out. But he was a
favorite with his teacher. With all his faults, he would not tell a
lie. The teacher called the little fellow "General."

[Illustration: Irving in Mischief.]

In those days naughty school-boys were whipped. Irving could not
bear to see another boy suffer. When a boy was to be whipped, the
girls were sent out. Irving always asked the schoolmaster to let him
go out with the girls.

Like other boys, Irving was fond of stories. He liked to read about
Sind-bad the Sailor, and Rob-in-son Cru-soe. But most of all he liked
to read about other countries. He had twenty small volumes called "The
World Dis-played." They told about the people and countries of the
world. Irving read these little books a great deal.

One day the schoolmaster caught him reading in school. The master
slipped behind him and grabbed the book. Then he told Irving to stay
after school.

Irving expected a pun-ish-ment. But the master told him he was pleased
to find that he liked to read such good books. He told him not to read
them in school.

Reading about other countries made Irving wish to see them. He thought
he would like to travel. Like other wild boys, he thought of running
away. He wanted to go to sea.

But he knew that sailors had to eat salt pork. He did not like salt
pork. He thought he would learn to like it. When he got a chance, he
ate pork. And sometimes he would sleep all night on the floor. He
wanted to get used to a hard bed.

But the more he ate pork, the more he disliked it. And the more he
slept on the floor, the more he liked a good bed. So he gave up his
foolish notion of being a sailor boy.

Some day you will read Irving's "Sketch Book." You will find some
famous stories in it. There is the story of Rip Van Win-kle, who slept
twenty years. And there is the funny story of the Head-less Horse-man.
When you read these a-mus-ing stories, you will remember the playful
boy who became a great author.

[Illustration: Rip Van Winkle wakes up]


Fred was talking to his sister one day. He said,--

"Alice, what makes people say, 'Don't give up the ship'?"

Alice said, "I don't know. That's what the teacher said to me
yes-ter-day when I thought that I could not get my lesson."

"Yes," said Fred, "and that's what father said to me. I told him I
never could learn to write well." He only said, "You must not give up
the ship, my boy."

"I haven't any ship to give up," said Alice.

"And what has a ship to do with my writing?" said Fred.

"There must be some story about a ship," Alice said.

"Maybe grand-father would know," said Fred. "Let's ask him."

They found their grand-father writing in the next room. They did not
wish to disturb him. They turned to leave the room.

But grand-father looked up just then. He smiled, and laid down his

"Did you want something?" he asked. "We wanted to ask you a
question," said Alice. "We want to know why people say, 'Don't give up
the ship.'"

"We thought maybe there is a story to it," said Fred.

"Yes, there is," said their grandfather. "And I know a little rhyme
that tells the story."

"Could you say it to us?" asked Alice.

"Yes, if I can think of it. Let me see. How does it begin?"

Grandfather leaned his head back in the chair. He shut his eyes for a
moment. He was trying to remember.

"Oh, now I remember it!" he said.

Then he said to them these little verses:--


When I was but a boy,
I heard the people tell
How gallant Captain Law-rence
So bravely fought and fell.

The ships lay close together,
I heard the people say,
And many guns were roaring
Upon that battle day.

A grape-shot struck the captain,
He laid him down to die:
They say the smoke of powder
Made dark the sea and sky.

The sailors heard a whisper
Upon the captain's lip:
The last command of Law-rence
Was, "Don't give up the ship."

And ever since that battle
The people like to tell
How gallant Captain Lawrence
So bravely fought and fell.

When disappointment happens,
And fear your heart annoys,
Be brave, like Captain Lawrence--
And don't give up, my boys!


Everybody in the United States has heard the song about the
star-span-gled banner. Nearly everybody has sung it. It was written by
Francis Scott Key.

Key was a young lawyer. In the War of 1812 he fought with the
American army. The British landed soldiers in Mary-land. At
Bla-dens-burg they fought and beat the Americans. Key was in this
battle on the American side.

After the battle the British army took Washington, and burned the
public buildings. Key had a friend who was taken prisoner by the
British. He was on one of the British ships. Key went to the ships
with a flag of truce. A flag of truce is a white flag. It is carried
in war when one side sends a message to the other.

When Key got to the British ships, they were sailing to Bal-ti-more.
They were going to try to take Bal-ti-more. The British com-mand-er
would not let Key go back. He was afraid that he would let the
Americans know where the ships were going.

Key was kept a kind of prisoner while the ships attacked Bal-ti-more.
The ships tried to take the city by firing at it from the water. The
British army tried to take the city on the land side.

The ships did their worst firing at night. They tried to take the
little fort near the city.

Key could see the battle. He watched the little fort. He was afraid
that the men in it would give up. He was afraid that the fort would be
broken down by the cannon balls.

The British fired bomb-shells and rockets at the fort. When these
burst, they made a light. By this light Key could see that the little
fort was still standing. He could see the flag still waving over it.
He tells this in his song in these words:--

"And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."


But after many hours of fighting the British became dis-cour-aged.
They found that they could not take the city. The ships almost
ceased to fire.

Key did not know whether the fort had been knocked down or not. He
could not see whether the flag was still flying or not. He thought
that the Americans might have given up. He felt what he wrote in
the song:--

"Oh! say, does that star-span-gled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?"

When the break of day came, Key looked toward the fort. It was still
standing. There was a flag flying over it. It grew lighter. He could
see that it was the American flag. His feelings are told in two lines
of the song:--

"Tis the star spangled banner, oh, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!"

Key was full of joy. He took an old letter from his pocket. The back
of this letter had no writing on it. Here he wrote the song about the
star-spangled banner.

The British com-mand-er now let Key go ashore. When he got to
Baltimore, he wrote out his song. He gave it to a friend. This friend
took it to a printing office. But the printers had all turned
soldiers. They had all gone to defend the city.


There was one boy left in the office. He knew how to print. He took
the verses and printed them on a broad sheet of paper.

The printed song was soon in the hands of the soldiers around
Baltimore. It was sung in the streets. It was sung in the
the-a-ters. It traveled all over the country. Everybody learned to

"Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just;
And this be our motto--'In God is our trust'--
And the star-span-gled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave."


John James Au-du-bon knew more about the birds of this country than
any man had ever known before. He was born in the State of
Lou-is-i-a-na. His father took him to France when he was a boy. He
went to school in France.

The little John James was fond of stud-y-ing about wild animals. But
most of all he wished to know about birds. Seeing that the boy liked
such things, his father took pains to get birds and flowers for him.

While he was yet a boy at school, he began to gather birds and other
animals for himself. He learned to skin and stuff them. But his
stuffed birds did not please him. Their feathers did not look bright,
like those of live birds. He wanted living birds to study.

His father told him that he could not keep so many birds alive. To
please the boy he got him a book with pictures in it. Looking at these
pictures made John James wish to draw. He thought that he could make
pictures that would look like the live birds.

But when he tried to paint a picture of a bird, it looked worse than
his stuffed birds. The birds he drew were not much like real birds. He
called them a "family of cripples." As often as his birthday came
round, he made a bon-fire of his bad pictures. Then he would begin
over again.

All this time he was learning to draw birds. But he was not willing to
make pictures that were not just like the real birds. So when he grew
to be a man he went to a great French painter whose name was David.
David taught him to draw and paint things as they are.

Then he came back to this country, and lived awhile in Pennsylvania.
Here his chief study was the wild creatures of the woods.

He gathered many eggs of birds. He made pictures of these eggs. He did
not take birds' eggs to break up the nests. He was not cruel. He took
only what he needed to study.

He would make two little holes in each egg. Then he would shake the
egg, or stir it up with a little stick or straw, or a long pin. This
would break up the inside of the egg. Then he would blow into one of
the holes. That would blow the inside of the egg out through the
other hole.

These egg shells he strung together by running strings through the
holes. He hung these strings of egg shells all over the walls of his
room. On the man-tel-piece he put the stuffed skins of squirrels,
raccoons, o-pos-sums, and other small animals. On the shelves his
friends could see frogs, snakes, and other animals.

He married a young lady, and brought her to live in this mu-se-um with
his dead snakes, frogs, and strings of birds' eggs. She liked what he
did, and was sure that he would come to be a great man.

He made up his mind to write a great book about American birds. He
meant to tell all about the birds in one book. Then in another book he
would print pictures of the birds, just as large as the birds
them-selves. He meant to have them look just like the birds.

To do this he must travel many thousands of miles. He must live for
years almost all of the time in the woods. He would have to find and
shoot the birds, in order to make pictures of them. And he must see
how the birds lived, and how they built their nests, so that he could
tell all about them. It would take a great deal of work and trouble.
But he was not afraid of trouble.

That was many years ago. Much of our country was then covered with
great trees. Au-du-bon sometimes went in a boat down a lone-some
river. Sometimes he rode on horse-back. Often he had to travel on foot
through woods where there were no roads. Many a time he had to sleep
out of doors.

He lost his money and became poor. Sometimes he had to paint portraits
to get money to live on. Once he turned dancing master for a while.
But he did not give up his great idea. He still studied birds, and
worked to make his books about American birds. His wife went to
teaching to help make a living.

After years of hard work, he made paintings of nearly a thousand
birds. That was almost enough for his books. But, while he was
traveling, two large rats got into the box in which he kept his
pictures. They cut up all his paintings with their teeth, and made a
nest of the pieces. This almost broke his heart for a while. For many
nights he could not sleep, because he had lost all his work.

But he did not give up. After some days he took his gun, and went into
the woods. He said to himself, "I will begin over again. I can make
better paintings than those that the rats spoiled." But it took him
four long years and a half to find the birds, and make the
pictures again.

He was so careful to have his drawings just like the birds, that he
would measure them in every way. Thus he made his pictures just the
size of the birds themselves.

At last the great books were printed. In this country, in France, and
in England, people praised the won-der-ful books. They knew that
Au-du-bon was indeed a great man.


When Au-du-bon was making his great book about birds, he had to live
much in the woods. Sometimes he lived among the Indians. He once saw
an Indian go into a hollow tree. There was a bear in the tree. The
Indian had a knife in his hand. He fought with the bear in the tree,
and killed it.

Au-du-bon could shoot very well. A friend of his one day threw up his
cap in the air. He told Au-du-bon to shoot at it. When the cap came
down, it had a hole in it.

But the hunters who lived in the woods could shoot better. They would
light a candle. Then one of the hunters would take his gun, and go a
hundred steps away from the candle. He would then shoot at the candle.
He would shoot so as to snuff it. He would not put out the candle. He
would only cut off a bit of the wick with the bullet. But he would
leave the candle burning.

[Illustration: Snuffing the Candle.]

Once Audubon came near being killed by some robbers. He stopped at a
cabin where lived an old white woman. He found a young Indian in the
house. The Indian had hurt himself with an arrow. He had come to the
house to spend the night.

The old woman saw Audubon's fine gold watch. She asked him to let her
look at it. He put it into her hands for a minute. Then the Indian
passed by Audubon, and pinched him two or three times. That was to let
him know that the woman was bad, and that she might rob him.

Audubon went and lay down with his hand on his gun. After a while two
men came in. They were the sons of the old woman. Then the old woman
sharpened a large knife. She told the young men to kill the Indian
first, and then to kill Audubon and take his watch. She thought that
Audubon was asleep. But he drew up his gun ready to fire.

Just then two hunters came to the cabin. Audubon told them what the
robbers were going to do. They took the old woman and her sons, and
tied their hands and feet. The Indian, though he was in pain from his
hurt, danced for joy when he saw that the robbers were caught. The
woman and her sons were afterward punished.


Audubon was traveling in the woods in Mis-sis-sip-pi. He found the
little cabin of a settler. He staid there for the night. The settler
told him that there was a panther in the swamp near his house. A
panther is a very large and fierce animal. It is large enough to kill
a man. This was a very bad panther. It had killed some of the
settler's dogs.

Audubon said, "Let us hunt this panther, and kill it."

So the settler sent out for his neigh-bors to come and help kill the
panther. Five men came. Audubon and the settler made seven. They were
all on horse-back.

When they came to the edge of the swamp, each man went a dif-fer-ent
way. They each took their dogs with them to find the track of the wild
beast. All of the hunters carried horns. Who-ever should find the
track first was to blow his horn to let the others know.

In about two hours after they had started, they heard the sound of a
horn. It told them that the track had been found. Every man now went
toward the sound of the horn. Soon all the yelping dogs were
fol-low-ing the track of the fierce panther. The panther was running
into the swamp farther and farther.

I suppose that the panther thought that there were too many dogs and
men for him to fight. All the hunters came after the dogs. They held
their guns ready to shoot if the panther should make up his mind to
fight them.

After a while the sound of the dogs' voices changed. The hunters knew
from this that the panther had stopped running, and gone up into
a tree.

At last the men came to the place where the dogs were. They were all
barking round a tree. Far up in the tree was the dan-ger-ous beast.
The hunters came up care-ful-ly. One of them fired. The bullet hit the
panther, but did not kill him.


The panther sprang to the ground, and ran off again. The dogs ran
after. The men got on their horses, and rode after.

But the horses were tired, and the men had to get down, and follow the
dogs on foot.

The hunters now had to wade through little ponds of water. Sometimes
they had to climb over fallen trees. Their clothes were badly torn by
the bushes. After two hours more, they came to a place where the
panther had again gone up into a tree.

This time three of the hunters shot at him. The fierce panther came
tumbling to the ground. But he was still able to fight. The men fought
the savage beast on all sides. At last they killed him. Then they gave
his skin to the settler. They wanted him to know that his en-e-my
was dead.


Wil-liam Cul-len Bry-ant was the first great poet in this country. He
was a small man. When he was a baby, his head was too big for his
body. His father used to send the baby to be dipped in a cold spring
every day. The father thought that putting his head into cold water
would keep it from growing.

Bry-ant knew his letters before he was a year and a half old. He began
to write rhymes when he was a very little fellow. He wanted to be a
poet. He used to pray that he might be a poet. His father printed some
verses of his when he was only ten years old.

Bry-ant wrote many fine poems. Here are some lines of his about the
bird we call a bob-o-link:--

Rob-ert of Lin-coln is gayly dressed,
Wearing a bright black wedding coat,
White are his shoulders and white his crest.
Hear him call in his merry note:
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
Spink, spank, spink;
Look, what a nice new coat is mine,
Sure there was never a bird so fine.
Chee, chee, chee.


Haw-thorne was one of our greatest writers of stories. He was a pretty
boy with golden curls. He was fond of all the great poets, and he read
Shake-speare and Mil-ton and many other poets as soon as he was old
enough to un-der-stand them.

Haw-thorne grew up a very hand-some young fellow. One day he was
walking in the woods. He met an old gypsy woman. She had never seen
anybody so fine-looking.

"Are you a man, or an angel?" she asked him.

Some of Haw-thorne's best books are written for girls and boys. One of
these is called "The Won-der Book." Another of his books for young
people is "Tan-gle-wood Tales."

* * * * *

Pres-cott wrote beautiful his-to-ries. When Pres-cott was a boy, a
school-mate threw a crust of bread at him. It hit him in the eye. He
became almost blind.

He had to do his writing with a machine. This machine was made for the
use of the blind. There were no type-writ-ers in those days.

It was hard work to write his-to-ry without good eyes. But Pres-cott
did not give up. He had a man to read to him. It took him ten years to
write his first book.

When Prescott had finished his book, he was afraid to print it. But
his father said, "The man who writes a book, and is afraid to print
it, is a cow-ard."

Then Prescott printed his book. Everybody praised it. When you are
older, you will like to read his his-to-ries.

Doctor Holmes, the poet, was a boy full of fancies. He lived in an old
house. Soldiers had staid in the house at the time of the Revolution.
The floor of one room was all battered by the butts of the
soldiers' muskets.


Little Ol-i-ver Holmes used to think he could hear soldiers in the
house. He thought he could hear their spurs rattling in the dark
passages. Sometimes he thought he could hear their swords clanking.

The little boy was afraid of a sign that hung over the sidewalk. It
was a great, big, wooden hand. It was the sign of a place where gloves
were made. This big hand swung in the air. Little Ol-i-ver Holmes had
to walk under it on his way to school. He thought the great fingers
would grab him some day. Then he thought he would never get home
again. He even thought that his other pair of shoes would be put away
till his little brother grew big enough to wear them.

But the big wooden hand never caught him.

Here are some verses that Doctor Holmes wrote about a very old man:--

"My grand-mam-ma has said--
Poor old lady, she is dead
Long ago--
That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
In the snow.

"But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff;
And a crook is in his back,
And a mel-an-chol-y crack
In his laugh.

"I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here;
But the old three-cor-nered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so queer!

"And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old for-sak-en bough
Where I cling."



Dan-iel Web-ster was a great states-man. As a little boy he was called
"Little Black Dan." When he grew larger, he was thin and
sickly-looking. But he had large, dark eyes. People called him
"All Eyes."

He was very fond of his brother E-ze-ki-el. E-ze-ki-el was a little
older than Dan-iel. Both the boys had fine minds. They wanted to go to
college. But their father was poor.

Dan-iel had not much strength for work on the farm. So little "All
Eyes" was sent to school, and then to college. E-ze-ki-el staid at
home, and worked on the farm.

While Daniel was at school, he was unhappy to think that Ezekiel could
not go to college also. He went home on a visit. He talked to Ezekiel
about going to college. The brothers talked about it all night. The
next day Daniel talked to his father about it. The father said he was
too poor to send both of his sons to college. He said he would lose
all his little property if he tried to send Ezekiel to college. But he
said, that, if their mother and sisters were willing to be poor, he
would send the other son to college.

So the mother and sisters were asked. It seemed hard to risk the loss
of all they had. It seemed hard not to give Ezekiel a chance. They all
shed tears over it.

The boys promised to take care of their mother and sisters if the
property should be lost. Then they all agreed that Ezekiel should go
to college too.

Daniel taught school while he was studying. That helped to pay the
expenses. After Daniel was through his studies in college, he taught a
school in order to help his brother. When his school closed, he went
home. On his way he went round to the college to see his brother.
Finding that Ezekiel needed money, he gave him a hundred dollars. He
kept but three dollars to get home with.

The father's property was not sold. The two boys helped the family.
Daniel soon began to make money as a lawyer. He knew that his father
was in debt. He went home to see him. He said, "Father, I am going
to pay your debts."

The father said, "You cannot do it, Daniel. You have not money

"I can do it," said Daniel; "and I will do it before Monday evening."

When Monday evening came round, the father's debts were all paid.

When Daniel became a famous man, it made Ezekiel very happy. But
Ezekiel died first. When Daniel Web-ster made his greatest speech, all
the people praised him.

But Web-ster said, "I wish that my poor brother had lived to this
time. It would have made him very happy."


When Daniel Webster was a young lawyer, he was going home one night.
There was snow on the ground. It was very cold. It was late, and there
was nobody to be seen.

But after a while he saw a poor woman. She was ahead of him. He
wondered what had brought her out on so cold a night.

Sometimes she stopped and looked around. Then she would stand and
listen. Then she would go on again. [Illustration: Webster and the
Poor Woman]

Webster kept out of her sight. But he watched her. After looking
around, she turned down the street in which Webster lived. She stopped
in front of Webster's house. She looked around and listened.

Webster had put down some loose boards to walk on. They reached from
the gate to the door of his house. After standing still a minute, the
woman took one of the boards, and went off quickly.

Webster followed her. But he kept out of her sight. She went to a
distant part of the town. She went into a poor little house.

Webster went home without saying anything to the woman. He knew that
she had stolen the board for fire-wood.

The next day the poor woman got a present It was a nice load of wood.

Can you guess who sent it to her?


Many years ago a strange-looking man was sometimes seen in the streets
of New York. His cap was made of In-di-a rubber. So was his coat. He
wore a rubber waist-coat. Even his cravat was of In-di-a rubber. He
wore rubber shoes in dry weather. People called this man "The
In-di-a-rubber man."

His name was Charles Good-year. He was very poor. He was trying to
find out how to make India rubber useful.

India-rubber trees grow in South America. The juice of these trees is
something like milk or cream. By drying this juice, India rubber
is made.

The Indians in Bra-zil have no glass to make bottles with. A long time
ago they learned to make bottles out of rubber. More than a hundred
years ago some of these rubber bottles were brought to this country.
The people in this country had never seen India rubber before. They
thought the bottles made out of it by the Indians very cu-ri-ous.

In this country, rubber was used only to rub out pencil marks. That is
why we call it rubber. People in South America learned to make a kind
of heavy shoe out of it. But these shoes were hard to make. They cost
a great deal when they were sold in this country.

Men tried to make rubber shoes in this country. They got the rubber
from Bra-zil. Rubber shoes made in this country were cheaper than
those brought from South America. But they were not good. They would
freeze till they were as hard as stones in winter. That was not the
worst of it. In summer they would melt. Goodyear was trying to find
out a way to make rubber better. He wanted to get it so that it would
not melt in summer. He wanted to get a rubber that would not get hard
in cold weather. The first rubber coats that were made were so hard in
cold weather, that they would stand alone, and look like a man.

Goodyear wanted to try his rubber. That is why he wore a rubber coat
and a rubber waist-coat and a rubber cravat. That is why he wore a
rubber cap and rubber shoes when it was not raining. He made paper out
of rubber, and wrote a book on it. He had a door-plate made of it. He
even carried a cane made of India rubber. It is no wonder people
called him the India-rubber man.

He was very poor. Sometimes he had to borrow money to buy rubber with.
Sometimes his friends gave him money to keep his family from starving.
Sometimes there was no wood and no coal in the house in cold weather.

But Goodyear kept on trying. He thought that he was just going to find
out. Years went by, and still he kept on trying.

One day he was mixing some rubber with sulphur. It slipped out of his
hand. It fell on the hot stove. But it did not melt. Goodyear was
happy at last. That night it was cold. Goodyear took the burned
piece of rubber out of doors, and nailed it to the kitchen door. When
morning came, he went and got it. It had not frozen.

He was now sure that he was on the right track. But he had to find out
how to mix and heat his rubber and sulphur. He was too poor to buy
rubber to try with. Nobody would lend him any more money. His family
had to live by the help of his friends. He had already sold almost
everything that he had. Now he had to sell his children's school-books
to get money to buy rubber with.

At last his rubber goods were made and sold. Poor men who had to stand
in the rain could now keep themselves dry. People could walk in the
wet with dry feet. A great many people are alive who would have died
if they had not been kept dry by India rubber.

You may count up, if you can, how many useful things are made of
rubber. We owe them all to one man. People laughed at Goodyear once.
But at last they praised him. To be "The India-rubber man" was
something to be proud of.



Kane was a doctor in one of the war ships of the United States. He had
sailed about the world a great deal.

When he heard that ships were to be sent into the icy seas of the
north, he asked to be sent along. He went the first time as a doctor.
Then he wanted to find out more about the frozen ocean. So he went
again as captain of a ship. His ship was called the "Advance."

Kane sailed into the icy seas. His ship was driven far into the ice by
a fu-ri-ous storm. She was crowded by ice-bergs. At one time she was
lifted clear out of the water. The ship seemed ready to fall over on
her side. But the ice let her down again. Then she was squeezed till
the men thought that she would be crushed like an egg shell At last
the storm stopped. Then came the awful cold. The ship was frozen into
the ice. The ice never let go of her. She was farther north than any
ship had ever been before. But she was so fast in the ice that she
never could get away.

In that part of the world it is night nearly all winter. For months
there was no sun at all. Daylight came again. It was now summer, but
it did not get warm. Doctor Kane took sleds, and went about on the ice
to see what he could see. The sleds were drawn by large dogs. But
nearly all of the dogs died in the long winter night.

[Illustration: A Dog Sled]

Doctor Kane thought that the ice would melt. He wanted to get the ship
out. But the ice did not melt at all.

At last the summer passed away. Another awful winter came. The sun did
not rise any more. It was dark for months and months. The men were
ill. Some of them died. They were much dis-cour-aged. But Kane kept
up his heart, and did the best he could.

At last the least little streak of light could be seen. It got a
little lighter each day. But the sick men down in the cabin of the
ship could not see the light.

Doctor Kane said to himself, "If my poor men could see this sunlight,
it would cheer them up. It might save their lives." But they were too
ill to get out where they could see the sun. It would be many days
before the sun would shine into the cabin of the ship. The men might
die before that time.

So Doctor Kane took some looking glasses up to the deck or top of the
ship. He fixed one of these so it would catch the light of the sun.
Then he fixed another so that the first one would throw the light on
this one. The last one would throw the sunlight down into the cabin
where the sick men were.

One day the poor fellows were ready to give up. Then the sun fell on
the looking glasses, and flashed down into the cabin. It was the first
daylight the sick men had seen for months. The long winter night was
over. Think how happy they were!


After two winters of cold and darkness, Doctor Kane made up his mind
to leave the ship fast in the ice. He wanted to get to a place in
Green-land where there were people living. Then he might find some way
of getting home again.

The men started out, drawing the boats on sleds. Whenever they came to
open water, they put the boats into the water, and took the sleds in
the boats. When they came to the ice again, they had to draw out their
boats, and carry them on the sleds. At first they could travel only
about a mile a day.

It was a hard journey. Some of the men were ill. These had to be drawn
on the sleds by the rest. They had not enough food. At one time they
rested three days in a kind of cave. Here they found many birds' eggs.
These made very good food for them. At another place they staid a
week. They staid just to eat the eggs of the wild birds.

After they left this place, they were hungry. The men grew thinner and
thinner. It seemed that they must die for want of food. But one day
they saw a large seal. He was floating on a piece of ice. The hungry
men thought, "What a fine din-ner he would make for us!" If they
could get the seal, they would not die of hunger.

Every one of the poor fellows trembled for fear the seal would wake
up. A man named Pe-ter-sen took a gun, and got ready to shoot. The men
rowed the boat toward the seal. They rowed slowly and quietly. But the
seal waked up. He raised his head. The men thought that he would jump
off into the water. Then they might all die for want of food.

Doctor Kane made a motion to Pe-ter-sen. That was to tell him to shoot
quickly. But Peter-sen did not shoot. He was so much afraid that the
seal would get away, that he could not shoot. The seal now raised
himself a little more. He was getting ready to jump into the water.
Just then Petersen fired. The seal fell dead on the ice.

[Illustration: A Seal]

The men were wild with joy. They rowed the boats with all their might.
When they got to the seal, they dragged it farther away from the
water. They were so happy, that they danced on the ice. Some of them
laughed. Some were so glad, that they cried. [Illustration: Shooting
the Seal.]

Then they took their knives and began to cut up the seal. They had no
fire on the ice, and they were too hungry to think of lighting one. So
they ate the meat of the seal without waiting to cook it.


After they got the seal, Doctor Kane and his men traveled on.
Sometimes they were on the ice. Sometimes they were in the boats. The
men were so weak, that they could hardly row the boats. They were so
hungry, that they could not sleep well at night.

One day they were rowing, when they heard a sound. It came to them
across the water. It did not sound like the cry of sea birds. It
sounded like people's voices.

"Listen!" Doctor Kane said to Pe-ter-sen.

Petersen spoke the same language as the people of Greenland. He
listened. The sound came again. Pe-ter-sen was so glad, that he could
hardly speak. He told Kane in a half whisper, that it was the voice of
some one speaking his own language. It was some Greenland men in
a boat.

The next day they got to a Greenland town. Then they got into a little
ship going to England. They knew that they could get home from
England. But the ship stopped at another Green-land town. While they
were there, a steamer was seen. It came nearer. They could see the
stars and stripes flying from her mast. It was an American steamer
sent to find Doctor Kane.

Doctor Kane and his men were full of joy. They pushed their little
boat into the water once more. This little boat was called the
"Faith." It had carried Kane and his men hundreds of miles in
icy seas.

Once more the men took their oars, and rowed. This time they rowed
with all their might. They held up the little flag that they had
carried farther north than anybody had ever been before. They rowed
straight to the steamer.

In the bow of the boat was a little man with a tattered red shirt. He
could see that the captain of the boat was looking at him through a

The captain shouted to the little man, "Is that Doctor Kane?"

The little man in the red shirt shouted back, "Yes!"

Doctor Kane and his men had been gone more than two years. People had
begun to think that they had all died. This steamer had been sent to
find out what had become of them. When the men on the steamer heard
that this little man in the red shirt was Doctor Kane himself, they
sent up cheer after cheer. In a few minutes more, Doctor Kane and
his men were on the steamer. They were now safe among friends. They
were sailing away toward their homes.


[Illustration: Longfellow and the Bird]

Long-fel-low was a noble boy. He always wanted to do right. He could
not bear to see one person do any wrong to another.

He was very tender-hearted. One day he took a gun and went shooting.
He killed a robin. Then he felt sorry for the robin He came home with
tears in his eyes. He was so grieved, that he never went
shooting again.

He liked to read Irving's "Sketch Book." Its strange stories about
Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Win-kle pleased his fancy.

When he was thirteen he wrote a poem. It was about Love-well's fight
with the Indians. He sent his verses to a news-paper. He wondered if
the ed-i-tor would print them. He could not think of anything else. He
walked up and down in front of the printing office. He thought that
his poem might be in the printer's hands.

When the paper came out, there was his poem. It was signed "Henry."
Long-fel-low read it. He thought it a good poem.

But a judge who did not know whose poem it was talked about it that
evening. He said to young Long-fel-low, "Did you see that poem in the
paper? It was stiff. And all taken from other poets, too."

This made Henry Long-fel-low feel bad. But he kept on trying. After
many years, he became a famous poet.

For more than fifty years, young people have liked to read his poem
called "A Psalm of Life." Here are three stanzas of it:--

"Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sub-lime,
And, de-part-ing, leave behind us
Foot-prints on the sands of time,--

"Foot-prints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and ship-wrecked brother,
Seeing, may take heart again.

"Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still a-chiev-ing, still pur-su-ing,
Learn to labor and to wait."


Great men of one kind are known only in new countries like ours. These
men dis-cov-er new regions. They know how to manage the Indians. They
show other people how to live in a wild country.

One of the most famous of such men was Kit Car-son. He knew all about
the wild animals. He was a great hunter. He learned the languages of
the Indians. The Indians liked him. He was a great guide. He showed
soldiers and settlers how to travel where they wished to go.

Once he was marching through the wild country with other men. Evening
came. He left the others, and went to shoot something to eat. It was
the only way to get meat for supper. When he had gone about a mile,
he saw the tracks of some elks. He followed these tracks. He came in
sight of the elks. They were eating grass on a hill, as cows do.

Kit Car-son crept up behind some bushes. But elks are very timid
animals. Before the hunter got very near, they began to run away. So
Carson fired at one of them as it was running. The elk fell dead.

But just at that moment he heard a roar. He turned to see what made
this ugly noise. Two huge bears were running toward him. They wanted
some meat for supper, too.

Kit Carson's gun was empty. He threw it down. Then he ran as fast as
he could. He wanted to find a tree.

Just as the bears were about to seize him, he got to a tree. He caught
hold of a limb. He swung himself up into the tree. The bears just
missed getting him.

But bears know how to climb trees. Carson knew that they would soon be
after him. He pulled out his knife, and began to cut off a limb. He
wanted to make a club.

A bear is much larger and stronger than a man. He cannot be killed
with a club. But every bear has one tender spot. It is his nose. He
does not like to be hit on the nose. A sharp blow on the nose hurts
him a great deal.

Kit Carson got his club cut just in time. The bears were coming after
him. Kit got up into the very top of the tree. He drew up his feet,
and made himself as small as he could.

When the bears came near, one of them reached for Kit. Whack! went the
stick on the end of his nose. The bear drew back, and whined
with pain.

First one bear tried to get him, and then the other. But which-ever
one tried, Kit was ready. The bear was sure to get his nose hurt.


The bears grew tired, and rested awhile. But they kept up their
screeching and roaring. When their noses felt better, they tried
again. And then they tried again. But every time they came away with
sore noses. At last they both tried at once. But Carson pounded
faster than ever. One of the bears cried like a baby. The tears ran
out of his eyes. It hurt his feelings to have his nose treated in
this rude way.

After a long time one of the bears got tired. He went away. After
awhile the other went away too. Kit Carson staid in the tree a long
time. Then he came down. The first thing he did was to get his gun. He
loaded it. But the bears did not come back. They were too busy
rubbing noses.


Hor-ace Gree-ley was the son of a poor farmer. He was always fond of
books. He learned to read almost as soon as he could talk. He could
read easy books when he was three years old. When he was four, he
could read any book that he could get.

He went to an old-fashioned school. Twice a day all the children stood
up to spell. They were in two classes. Little Hor-ace was in the class
with the grown-up young people. He was the best speller in the class.
It was funny to see the little midget at the head of this class of
older people. But he was only a little boy in his feelings. If he
missed a word, he would cry. The one that spelled a word that he
missed would have a right to take the head of the class. Sometimes
when he missed, the big boys would not take the head. They did not
like to make the little fellow cry. He was the pet of all the school.

People in that day were fond of spelling. They used to hold meetings
at night to spell. They called these "spelling schools."

At a spelling school two captains were picked out. These chose their
spellers. Then they tried to see which side could beat the other
at spelling.

Little Hor-ace was always chosen first. The side that got him got the
best speller in the school. Sometimes the little fellow would go to
sleep. When it came his turn to spell, some-body would wake him up. He
would rub his eyes, and spell the word. He would spell it right, too.

When he was four or five years old, he would lie under a tree, and
read. He would lie there, and forget all about his dinner or his
supper. He would not move until some-body stumbled over him or
called him.

People had not found out how to burn ker-o-sene oil in lamps then.
They used candles. But poor people like the Gree-leys could not afford
to burn many candles. Hor-ace gathered pine knots to read by
at night.

[Illustration: Greeley Reading]

He would light a pine knot Then he would throw it on top of the large
log at the back of the fire. This would make a bright flick-er-ing

Horace would lay all the books he wanted on the hearth. Then he would
lie down by them. His head was toward the fire. His feet were drawn up
out of the way.

The first thing that he did was to study all his lessons for the next
day. Then he would read other books. He never seemed to know when
anybody came or went. He kept on with his reading. His father did
not want him to read too late. He was afraid that he would hurt his
eyes. And he wanted to have him get up early in the morning to help
with the work. So when nine o'clock came, he would call, "Horace,
Horace, Horace!" But it took many callings to rouse him.

When he got to bed, he would say his lessons over to his brother. He
would tell his brother what he had been reading. But his brother would
fall asleep while Horace was talking.

Horace liked to read better than he liked to work. But when he had a
task to do, he did it faith-ful-ly. His brother would say, "Let us go
fishing." But Horace would answer, "Let us get our work done first."

Horace Gree-ley's father grew poorer and poorer. When Horace was ten
years old, his land was sold. The family were now very poor. They
moved from New Hamp-shire. They settled in Ver-mont. They lived in a
poor little cabin.

Horace had to work hard like all the rest of the family. But he
borrowed all the books he could get. Sometimes he walked seven miles
to borrow a book.

A rich man who lived near the Greeleys used to lend books to Horace.
Horace had grown tall. His hair was white. He was poorly dressed. He
was a strange-looking boy. One day he went to the house of the rich
man to borrow books. Some one said to the owner of the house, "Do you
lend books to such a fellow as that?"

But the gen-tle-man said, "That boy will be a great man some day."

This made all the com-pa-ny laugh. It seemed funny that anybody should
think of this poor boy becoming a great man. But it came true. The
poor white-headed boy came to be a great man.

Horace Greeley learned all that he could learn in the country schools.
When he was thirteen, one teacher said to his father,--

"Mr. Greeley, Horace knows more than I do. It is not of any use to
send him to school any more."


Horace Greeley had always wanted to be a printer. He liked books and
papers. He thought it would be a fine thing to learn to make them.

One day he heard that the news-paper at East Poult-ney wanted a boy to
learn the printer's trade. He walked many long miles to see about it.
He went to see Mr. Bliss. Mr. Bliss was one of the owners of the
paper. Horace found him working in his garden. Mr. Bliss looked up.
He saw a big boy coming toward him. The boy had on a white felt hat
with a narrow brim. It looked like a half-peck measure. His hair was
white. His trousers were too short for him. All his clothes were
coarse and poor. He was such a strange-looking boy, that Mr. Bliss
wanted to laugh.

"I heard that you wanted a boy," Horace said.

"Do you want to learn to print?" Mr. Bliss said.

"Yes," said Horace.

"But a printer ought to know a good many things," said Mr. Bliss.
"Have you been to school much?"

"No," said Horace. "I have not had much chance at school. But I have
read some."

"What have you read?" asked Mr. Bliss.

"Well, I have read some his-to-ry, and some travels, and a little of

Mr. Bliss had ex-am-ined a great many schoolteachers. He liked to
puzzle teachers with hard questions. He thought he would try Horace
with these. But the gawky boy answered them all. This tow-headed boy
seemed to know everything.

Mr. Bliss took a piece of paper from his pocket. He wrote on it,
"Guess we'd better try him."

He gave this paper to Horace, and told him to take it to the printing
office. Horace, with his little white hat and strange ways, went into
the printing office. The boys in the office laughed at him. But the
foreman said he would try him.

That night the boys in the office said to Mr. Bliss, "You are not
going to take that tow head, are you?"

Mr. Bliss said, "There is something in that tow-head. You boys will
find it out soon."

[Illustration: Greeley setting Type]

A few days after this, Horace came to East Poult-ney to begin his
work. He carried a little bundle of clothes tied up in a

The fore-man showed him how to begin. From that time he did not once
look around. All day he worked at his type. He learned more in a day
than some boys do in a month.

Day after day he worked, and said nothing. The other boys joked him.
But he did not seem to hear them. He only kept on at his work. They
threw type at him. But he did not look up.

The largest boy in the office thought he could find a way to tease
him. One day he said that Horace's hair was too white. He went and got
the ink ball. He stained Horace's hair black in four places. This ink
stain would not wash out. But Horace did not once look up.

After that, the boys did not try to tease him any more. They all liked
the good-hearted Horace. And everybody in the town wondered that the
boy knew so much.

Horace's father had moved away to Penn-syl-va-ni-a. Horace sent him
all the money he could spare. He soon became a good printer. He
started a paper of his own. He became a famous news-paper man.


Little Dor-o-thy Dix was poor. Her father did not know how to make a
living. Her mother did not know how to bring up her children.

The father moved from place to place. Sometimes he printed little
tracts to do good. But he let his own children grow up poor
and wretched.

Dor-o-thy wanted to learn. She wanted to become a teacher. She wanted
to get money to send her little brothers to school.

Dor-o-thy was a girl of strong will and temper. When she was twelve
years old, she left her wretched home. She went to her grand-mother.
Her grand-mother Dix lived in a large house in Boston. She sent
Dorothy to school.

Dorothy learned fast. But she wanted to make money. She wanted to help
her brothers. When she was fourteen, she taught a school. She tried to
make herself look like a woman. She made her dresses longer.

She soon went back to her grand-mother. She went to school again. Then
she taught school. She soon had a school in her grandmother's house.
It was a very good school. Many girls were sent to her school. Miss
Dix was often ill. But when she was well enough, she worked away. She
was able to send her brothers to school until they grew up.

Besides helping her brothers, she wanted to help other poor children.
She started a school for poor children in her grandmother's barn.

After a while she left off teaching. She was not well. She had made
all the money she needed.

But she was not idle. She went one day to teach some poor women in an
alms-house. Then she went to see the place where the crazy people were
kept. These insane people had no fire in the coldest weather.

Miss Dix tried to get the man-a-gers to put up a stove in the room.
But they would not do it. Then she went to the court. She told the
judge about it. The judge said that the insane people ought to have a
fire. He made the man-a-gers put up a stove in the place where they
were kept.

Then Miss Dix went to other towns. She wanted to see how the insane
people were treated. Some of them were shut up in dark, damp cells.
One young man was chained up with an iron collar about his neck.

Miss Dix got new laws made about the insane. She per-suad-ed the
States to build large houses for keeping the insane. She spent most of
her life at this work. The Civil War broke out. There were many sick
and wounded soldiers to be taken care of.

All of the nurses in the hos-pi-tals were put under Miss Dix. She
worked at this as long as the war lasted. Then she spent the rest of
her life doing all that she could for insane people.


Lou-i-sa Al-cott was a wild little girl. When she was very little, she
would run away from home. She liked to play with beggar children.

One day she wandered so far away from her home, she could not find the
way back again. It was growing dark. The little girl's feet were
tired. She sat down on a door-step. A big dog was lying on the step.
He wagged his tail. That was his way of saying, "I am glad to
see you."

Little Lou-i-sa grew sleepy. She laid her head on the curly head of
the big dog. Then she fell asleep.

Lou-i-sa's father and mother could not find her. They sent out the
town crier to look for her.

The town crier went along the street. As he went, he rang his bell.
Every now and then he would tell that a little girl was lost. At
last the man with the bell came to the place where Louisa was asleep.
He rang his bell. That waked her up. She heard him call out in a
loud voice,--

"Lost, lost! a little girl six years old. She wore a pink frock, a
white hat, and new green shoes."

When the crier had said that, he heard a small voice coming out of the
darkness. It said, "Why, dat's me." The crier went to the voice, and
found Louisa sitting by the big dog on the door-step. The next day she
was tied to the sofa to punish her for running away.

She and her sisters learned to sew well. Louisa set up as a doll's
dress-maker. She was then twelve years old. She hung out a little
sign. She put some pretty dresses in the window to show how well
she could do.

Other girls liked the little dresses that she made. They came to her
to get dresses made for their dolls. They liked the little doll's hats
she made better than all. Louisa chased the chickens to get soft
feathers for these hats.

She turned the old fairy tales into little plays. The children played
these plays in the barn.

One of these plays was Jack and the Bean-stalk. A squash vine was put
up in the barn. This was the bean-stalk. When it was cut down, the
boy who played giant would come tumbling out of the hay-loft.

Louisa found it hard to be good and o-be-di-ent. She wrote some verses
about being good. She was fourteen years old when she wrote them. Here
they are:--


A little kingdom I possess
Where thoughts and feelings dwell,
And very hard I find the task
Of gov-ern-ing it well.

For passion tempts and troubles me,
A wayward will misleads,
And sel-fish-ness its shadow casts
On all my words and deeds.

I do not ask for any crown
But that which all may win,
Nor seek to conquer any world
Except the one within.

The Al-cott family were very poor. Louisa
made up her mind to do something to make money
when she got big. She did not like
being so very poor.


One day she was sitting on a cart-wheel thinking. She was thinking how
poor her father was. There was a crow up in the air over her head. The
crow was cawing. There was nobody to tell her thoughts to but the
crow. She shook her fist at the big bird, and said,--

"I will do something by and by. Don't care what. I'll teach, sew, act,
write, do anything to help the family. And I'll be rich and famous
before I die. See if I don't."

The crow did not make any answer. But Louisa kept thinking about the
work she was going to do. The other children got work to do that made
money. But Louisa was left at home to do housework. She had to do the
washing. She made a little song about it. Here are some of the verses
of this song:--



Queen of my tub, I merrily sing,
While the white foam rises high,
And stur-di-ly wash and rinse and wring,
And fasten the clothes to dry;
Then out in the free fresh air they swing,
Under the sunny sky.

I am glad a task to me is given,
To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health and strength and hope,
And I cheer-ful-ly learn to say,
"Head you may think, Heart you may feel,
But Hand you shall work alway."

Louisa grew to be a woman at last. She went to nurse soldiers in the
war. She wrote books. When she wrote the book called "Little Women,"
all the young people were de-light-ed. What she had said to the crow
came true at last. She became famous. She had money enough to make the
family com-fort-a-ble.

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest