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

The Elson Readers, Book 5 by William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck

Part 5 out of 9

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.9 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.

vessel. Then I tied all the ropes together. While I was doing this,
the enemy discharged several thousand arrows at me from the shore, and
many of the arrows stuck in my face and hands. This hurt me very much,
and prevented my working quickly. My worst fear was for my eyes, which
would certainly have been put out by arrows had I not thought of my
spectacles. These I fastened as strongly as I could upon my nose, and,
thus protected, I went boldly on, while the arrows struck my glasses
without even cracking them.

When I had fastened all my hooks, I took the knot of ropes in my hands
and began to pull. But I could not move a single ship, for they were
all held fast by their anchors. Therefore I let go the cord, and,
taking my knife from my pocket, I cut the cables that held the
anchors, at the same time receiving about two hundred arrows from
the enemy, in my face and hands. After this, I once more grasped the
ropes, and, with the greatest ease, I pulled fifty of their largest
vessels after me. The Blefuscudians were confounded with astonishment.
They had seen me cut the cables, but thought I only meant to let the
ships run adrift; but when they saw me walking off with almost all of
the fleet, they set up a tremendous scream of grief and despair.

When I had got out of danger, I stopped to pick out the arrows that
were stuck in my hands and face, and I rubbed on some of the ointment
the Lilliputians had given me. Then I took off my spectacles and waded
on with my cargo. As the tide was then fallen, I did not need to swim
through the middle, but was able to walk right into the royal port of

The Emperor and all his court stood upon the shore, watching for my
return. They saw the ships coming over the water, in the form of a
great half-moon, and soon I was able to make the Emperor hear my
voice. Holding up my rope, I cried aloud, "Long live the most glorious
Emperor of Lilliput!"

His Majesty received me with great joy and honor, and made me a lord
of the island upon the spot.

The Emperor then wished me to try to bring all the rest of the enemy's
ships to Lilliput. And he talked of taking the whole island of
Blefuscu, and reigning over it himself. I did not think this at all
fair, but very selfish and greedy of his Majesty. I tried to tell him
so as politely as I could, and said I could not help to bring a free
and brave people into slavery. My bold speech made the Emperor very
angry indeed, and he never forgave me. But most of his best nobles
thought the same as I did, although they dared not say so openly.

From this time his Majesty and some of his court began to bear me
ill-will, which nearly ended in my death. I considered this very mean
of the Emperor, after my helping him as I did; but like many other
people, he became ungrateful when he found he could not get all he
wanted. About three weeks after this the Emperor of Blefuscu sent
messengers with humble offers to make peace; to this the Lilliputians
agreed, upon certain terms.

The messengers consisted of six nobles with a train of five hundred
men. They were all very grandly and magnificently dressed. After they
had spoken to our Emperor, they expressed a wish to come to visit me.
It seems they were told I had been their friend when the Emperor asked
me to help him take Blefuscu, and they came to thank me for my justice
and generosity. They invited me to visit their island, where I should
receive every kindness and hospitality. I thanked their lordships very
much, and said I should be pleased to come and pay my respects to the
Emperor of Blefuscu before I returned to my own country.

So the next time I saw our Emperor I begged his permission to go to
Blefuscu, which he was gracious enough to grant me, although in a very
cold manner. I afterwards heard that my request displeased him, and he
did not like my making friends of the Blefuscudians.


I am now going to say a few words about the Lilliputians and their
laws and customs.

These little people are generally about six inches high, their horses
and oxen between four and five inches, their sheep an inch and a half,
and their geese about the size of a sparrow. One day I watched a cook
pulling the feathers off a lark, which was no bigger than a fly.

Some of their laws are very unlike our English ones, but they are very
just all the same. If a man accuses another of any crime, and it
is proved that he has told a lie and the man is innocent, then the
accuser is severely punished, and the innocent man is rewarded for all
the injustice and pain he has suffered. This keeps people from being
so ready to tell tales about others.

Then deceit and cunning are considered greater crimes than stealing in
Lilliput, for the people say that a man can take means to protect his
goods and money, but he cannot prevent another man's deceiving him.
And so, if any man makes a promise of importance to another and
then breaks it, he is severely punished. Also, if he has any money
belonging to another and has promised to take care of it, and then
loses it through carelessness or spends any upon himself, he is
guilty of a crime. Another law is that not only the guilty should be
punished, but that the innocent shall be rewarded. So that whoever
shall behave himself well and keep the laws of his country for a whole
year, shall receive a sum of money and a favor from the Emperor.

When the Emperor has some special favor to confer, or position to
offer, he does not choose the most clever or learned man to give it
to, but picks out the one who has been the best behaved and who is the
bravest and truest among his subjects.

Ingratitude among the Lilliputians is considered a capital crime, and
anyone who returns evil for good is judged not fit to live.

I am sorry to say that the Emperor and his people did not keep these
good laws as they should have done, for if they had, his Majesty would
never have treated me so badly after I had done my best to help him.

In Lilliput there are large public schools to which parents are bound
to send their children. Here they are educated and fitted for some
position in life, for no one is allowed to be idle.

All the children are brought up very well indeed, and taught to be
honorable, courageous, and truthful men and women.

The nurses are forbidden to tell the children foolish or frightening
stories, and if they are found to do so, they are soundly whipped and
sent to a most lonely part of the country.

And now I will give a further account of my own way of living among
these strange little people.

I had made myself a table and chair, as large as I could get out of
the biggest tree in the royal park. Two hundred sewing women were
employed to make my shirts and the linen for my bed and table. They
got the strongest and coarsest linen the island could produce, and
even then they were obliged to sew several folds together to make it
strong enough for my use. The sewing women took my measure as I lay
upon the ground, one standing at my neck and another at my leg, with a
strong cord that each held, one at one end and one at the other.

One clever woman fitted me for a shirt by simply taking the width of
my right thumb, for she said that twice round the thumb is once round
the wrist, and twice round the wrist is once round the neck, and twice
round the neck is once round the waist. By this means she was able to
fit me exactly.

The three hundred tailors who were employed to make my clothes had
another way of measuring me. I knelt down, and they raised a ladder
from the ground to my neck; upon this ladder one man mounted, and let
fall a cord from my collar to the floor, which was the length for my
coat. My waist and arms I measured myself. As the largest piece of
cloth made in the island was only about the size of a yard of wide
ribbon, my clothes looked like a patchwork quilt; only, the cloth was
all of the same color.

I had three hundred cooks to prepare my food, and each one cooked me
two dishes. When I was ready for my meal, I took up twenty waiters in
my hand and placed them upon the table; a hundred more attended on the
ground, carrying the dishes. The waiters upon the table drew these
things up by cords, as we might draw a bucket from a well.

One joint of meat generally made a mouthful for me, but once I
actually had a sirloin of beef so large that I was forced to make
three bites of it. I never had another as big. The geese and turkeys
also only made a mouthful, and of the small fowl I could take up
twenty at a time on my fork.


I must now tell my reader of a great plot that had been formed against
me in the island of Lilliput.

I was preparing to pay my promised visit to the Emperor of Blefuscu,
when one day a Lilliputian noble called at my house privately, and at
night; and without sending in his name, he asked me to allow him to
come in and speak to me.

I went out and picked up his lordship and brought him on to my table.
Then I fastened the door of my house and sat down in front of the
noble. As I saw he looked very anxious and troubled, I asked him if
anything was the matter. At that he begged me to listen to him with
patience, as he had much to tell me that concerned my life and honor.
I replied that I was all eagerness to hear him, and this is what he
told me:

"You must know," said he, "that his Majesty has lately had many
private meetings with his nobles about yourself. And two days ago he
formed a plan that will do you great injury. You know that Skyresh has
always been your mortal enemy; and his hatred grew even more when
you so successfully won the ships of the Blefuscudians. He was very
jealous, and considered you had taken away some of the glory that
ought to have been his, as an admiral of his Majesty. This lord, with
some others who dislike you, has prepared a charge against you of
treason and other crimes. Now, because I consider this to be unjust
treatment, and because you have always shown me kindness and courtesy,
I have risked my life to come here tonight to warn you.

"Skyresh and the other nobles insisted that you should be put to
death, and that in the most cruel way: either by setting fire to your
house while you slept, or by having you shot with poisoned arrows by
twenty thousand men. But his Majesty could not be persuaded to do
this cruelty, and decided to spare your life. Then Reldresal, who has
always been your true friend, was asked by the Emperor to give his
opinion, which he accordingly did.

"He allowed your crimes to be very great, but said that he considered
mercy ought to be shown you in return for the services you had
rendered the Empire. He advised his Majesty to spare your life, but
have both your eyes put out. By this means justice would be satisfied,
and the loss of your eyes would not take from your bodily strength, so
that you could still be useful to us. This proposal of Reldresal was
not at all approved by the other lords. Skyresh flew into a great
passion, and said he wondered Reldresal could dare to wish to save
the life of a traitor. He again accused you of being a traitor, and
insisted that you should be put to death.

"Still his Majesty refused to consent to your death, but said that,
as the court did not consider putting out your eyes was sufficient
punishment for your crimes, some other must be thought of.

"Then Reldresal again spoke, saying that, as it cost so much to feed
you, another way of punishing you would be to give you less and less
to eat, until you were gradually starved to death.

"This proposal was agreed upon, but it was decided to keep the plan of
starving you a great secret. In three days from now Reldresal will be
sent here to read these accusations I have now told to you, and to
tell you that his Majesty condemns you to the loss of your eyes.
Twenty of his Majesty's surgeons will attend in order to perform the
operation, which will be done by shooting very sharp pointed arrows
into the balls of your eyes as you lie upon the ground.

"I have now told you all that will happen to you, and must leave you
to act as you think best. As no one must know I have been here with
you now, I must hasten back to the court as secretly as I can."

This his lordship immediately did, leaving me in much doubt and
trouble. Knowing the good and just laws of the island of Lilliput,
I was much shocked and astonished to find the Emperor could so far
forget them as to condemn an innocent man to so brutal a punishment. I
tried to think what I had better do to save myself. My first idea was
to wait quietly and go through with my trial. Then I could plead my
innocence and try to obtain mercy. But, upon second thoughts, I saw
that this was a dangerous, almost a hopeless, plan, as my enemies at
court were so bitter against me.

Then I almost made up my mind to use my own strength, for while I had
liberty I knew that I could easily overcome all the Lilliputians and
knock the city to pieces with stones. But I put the idea away as
unfair and dishonorable, because I had given my oath not to harm the
island and its inhabitants. And even though the Emperor was so unjust
and cruel to me, I did not consider that his conduct freed me from the
promise I had made.

At last I formed a plan by which I hoped to save my eyesight and my
liberty, and, as things proved, it was a very fortunate plan for me.
As I had obtained the Emperor's permission to visit the island of
Blefuscu, I at once made preparations to go there. I sent a letter to
Reldresal telling him I intended to visit Blefuscu, according to the
permission I had obtained from his Majesty, and that I was starts g
that morning. By wading and swimming I crossed the channel and reached
the port of Blefuscu.

I found the people there had long expected me, and they appeared very
pleased to see me. They lent me two guides to show me the way to the
capital city. These men I held in my hands, while they directed me
which way to take. Having arrived at the city gate, I put them down
and desired them to tell his Majesty, the Emperor of Blefuscu, that I
was awaiting his commands.

I had an answer in about an hour, which was that his Majesty and the
royal family were coming out to receive me.

The Emperor and his train then rode out of the palace, and the Empress
and her ladies also drove up in coaches. They did not seem at all
frightened at seeing me. I lay upon the ground to kiss his Majesty's
and the Empress's hands. I told his Majesty I had come according to my
promise and with the consent of the Emperor of Lilliput, and that
I considered it a great honor to receive the welcome I did. I also
begged to offer his Majesty any service I could render him.

I was treated with much kindness and generosity while at Blefuscu; but
as there was no place large enough for me to get into, I had to be
without house and bed. So I was forced to sleep upon the ground,
wrapped in my cloak.


Three days after my arrival at Blefuscu I was walking along the coast,
when I suddenly caught sight of some object in the sea that looked
like a boat overturned. I pulled off my shoes and stockings, and waded
out into the water. As I drew near the object, I could plainly see
that it was a big boat, which, I suppose, must have been driven there
by some tempest. Having made this discovery, I hastened back to shore
and went to the city to beg his Majesty to lend me twenty of his
tallest ships, and three thousand sailors, under the command of an

The Emperor gave his consent, and the fleet of ships sailed to the
place where I had discovered the boat. I again waded into the water,
and found that the tide had driven the boat still nearer the shore.
The sailors in the ships were all provided with cord, which I had
twisted together and made strong. I walked as near the boat as I
could, then swam up to it. The sailors threw me the end of the
cord, which I fastened to part of the boat and the other end to a
man-of-war. Then, getting behind the boat, I swam and pushed it as
best I could with one hand until I had got it out of the deep water.
Being then able to walk, I rested a few minutes, and then, taking
some other ropes, I fastened all of them to the boat and they to
the vessels the Emperor had lent me. Then the sailors pulled, and I
shoved, and, the wind being favorable, we arrived at the shore of
Blefuscu, dragging the boat with us. With the help of two thousand
men, with ropes and engines, I was able to turn the boat upon the
right side, and found it was in quite good condition.

After this I worked hard for many days making paddles for my boat,
and getting it ready to go to sea in. The people of Blefuscu came and
gazed in wonder and astonishment at so immense a vessel. I told the
Emperor that my good fortune had thrown this boat in my way to carry
me to some place from which I might be able to return to my native
land. And I begged his Majesty to allow me to have materials with
which to fit it up, and also to give me his gracious permission to
depart when it was ready. This his Majesty most kindly granted me.

Five hundred workmen were employed to make two sails for my boat,
under my directions. This had to be done by sewing together thirteen'
folds of their strongest linen. Then I made rope by twisting together
twenty or thirty lengths of the stoutest cord upon the island. After a
long search by the seashore I discovered a large stone, which had
to serve me for an anchor. I used the fat of three hundred cows for
greasing my boat. Then I set to work and cut down some of the largest
trees to make into oars and masts. His Majesty's carpenters helped me
greatly in smoothing them after I had cut them into shape.

In about a month all was ready, and I sent to tell his Majesty I was
going to take my leave.

The Emperor and royal family came out of the palace and allowed me
to kiss their hands. His Majesty presented me with fifty purses
containing two hundred pieces of gold hands. I told his Majesty I had
come according to my promise and with the consent of the Emperor
of Lilliput, and that I considered it a great honor to receive the
welcome I did. I also begged to offer his Majesty any service I could
render him.

I was treated with much kindness and generosity while at Blefuscu; but
as there was no place large enough for me to get into, I had to be
without house and bed. So I was forced to sleep upon the ground,
wrapped in my cloak.


Three days after my arrival at Blefuscu I was walking along the coast,
when I suddenly caught sight of some object in the sea that looked
like a boat overturned. I pulled off my shoes and stockings, and waded
out into the water. As I drew near the object, I could plainly see
that it was a big boat, which, I suppose, must have been driven there
by some tempest. Having made this discovery, I hastened back to shore
and went to the city to beg his Majesty to lend me twenty of his
tallest ships, and three thousand sailors, under the command of an

The Emperor gave his consent, and the fleet of ships sailed to the
place where I had discovered the boat. I again waded into the water,
and found that the tide had driven the boat still nearer the shore.
The sailors in the ships were all provided with cord, which I had
twisted together and made strong. I walked as near the boat as I
could, then swam up to it. The sailors threw me the end of the
cord, which I fastened to part of the boat and the other end to a
man-of-war. Then, getting behind the boat, I swam and pushed it as
best I could with one hand until I had got it out of the deep water.
Being then able to walk, I rested a few minutes, and then, taking
some other ropes, I fastened all of them to the boat and they to
the vessels the Emperor had lent me. Then the sailors pulled, and I
shoved, and, the wind being favorable, we arrived at the shore of
Blefuscu, dragging the boat with us. With the help of two thousand
men, with ropes and engines, I was able to turn the boat upon the
right side, and found it was in quite good condition.

After this I worked hard for many days making paddles for my boat,
and getting it ready to go to sea in. The people of Blefuscu came and
gazed in wonder and astonishment at so immense a vessel. I told the
Emperor that my good fortune had thrown this boat in my way to carry
me to some place from which I might be able to return to my native
land. And I begged his Majesty to allow me to have materials with
which to fit it up, and also to give me his gracious permission to
depart when it was ready. This his Majesty most kindly granted me.

Five hundred workmen were employed to make two sails for my boat,
under my directions. This had to be done by sewing together thirteen'
folds of their strongest linen. Then I made rope by twisting together
twenty or thirty lengths of the stoutest cord upon the island. After a
long search by the seashore I discovered a large stone, which had
to serve me for an anchor. I used the fat of three hundred cows for
greasing my boat. Then I set to work and cut down some of the largest
trees to make into oars and masts. His Majesty's carpenters helped me
greatly in smoothing them after I had cut them into shape.

In about a month all was ready, and I sent to tell his Majesty I was
going to take my leave.

The Emperor and royal family came out of the palace and allowed me
to kiss their hands. His Majesty presented me with fifty purses
containing two hundred pieces of gold did Gulliver capture the fleet
from Blefuscu? 7. What did the Emperor of Lilliput wish to do when
Gulliver had won the victory? 8. What evil thing about war does this
incident show? 9. Can a nation fight a great war without desire to
add to its territory? Was this true of the United States in the war
recently fought?' 10. What was Gulliver's feeling about the proposal
of the Emperor? Was he right? 11. How did the Emperor feel toward him
after his refusal? 12. How did Gulliver learn of the plot against him?
13. Why did he not use his strength against his enemies? 14. What did
he decide to do? 15. What fortunate discovery did Gulliver make at
Blefuscu? 16. How did Gulliver get back to England? 17. Name two or
three things that you think he learned on his travels. 18. What are
we told about the education of children in Lilliput? 19. Why did the
people consider deceit worse than stealing? 20. What did they think of
a person who returns evil for good? 21. Name some of the laws of the
Lilliputians. Which of these laws do you like, and why? 22. Why were
not all the people of Lilliput good when they had such good laws? 23.
Compare Gulliver's adventures with those of Baron Munchausen. 24. How
does this story differ as to its source from the Arabian Nights tales?
25. Show that it has the two values mentioned on page 146. 26. Class
readings: Select passages to be read aloud in class. 27. Outline for
testing silent reading. Tell the story briefly in your own words,
following the topic headings given in the book. 28. Find in the
Glossary the meaning of: keep; human; engines; bandages; turret;
carriages; merchantman. 29. Pronounce: ruined; drowned; waistcoat;
Imperial; courtiers; theater; reigned; learned; Lilliput; graciously;
fortnight; Lilliputians.

Phrases for Study

express consent, capital crime, state and person, mortal enemy,
confounded with astonishment, gave me a good character, fair voyage.



(Ed.--This story, in it's original, uncondensed version, in addition
to many others, can be found at the web site http://www.gutenberg.org,
searching in the index for the title Robinson Crusoe.)


I was born at York, in England, on the first of March, 1632. From the
time that I was quite a young child I had felt a great wish to spend
my life at sea, and as I grew, so did this taste grow more and more
strong; till at last on September first, 1651, I ran away from my
school and home, and found my way on foot to Hull, where I soon got a
place on board a ship.

Never did any young adventurer's misfortunes begin sooner or continue
longer than mine, for when we were far out at sea, some Turks in a
small ship came on our track in full chase. After a long pursuit our
vessel was captured, and all on board were taken as slaves.

The chief of the Turks took me as his prize to a port which was held
by the Moors. There I remained in slavery for several years, and
bitterly did I repent my rash act in leaving my good parents in

At length I found an opportunity to escape to a vessel that was
passing by, and was kindly received by the captain, who proved to be
an English sailor bound on a voyage of trade.

I had not been aboard more than twelve days when a high wind took us
off, we knew not where. All at once there was a cry of "Land!" and the
ship struck on a bank of sand, in which she sank so deep that we could
not get her off. At last we found that we must make up our minds to
leave her and get to shore as well as we could. There had been a boat
at her stern, but we found it had been torn off by the force of the
waves. One small boat was still left on the ship's side, so we got
into it.

There we were, all of us, on the wild sea. The heart of s each now
grew faint, our cheeks were pale, and our eyes were dim, for there was
but one hope, and that was to find some bay, and so get in the lee of
the land.

The sea grew more and more rough, and its white foam would curl and
boil till at last the waves in their wild sport burst on the boat's
side, and we were all thrown out.

I could swim well, but the force of the waves made me lose my breath
too much to do so. At length one large wave took me to the shore and
left me high and dry, though half dead with fear. I got on my feet and
made the best of my way for the land; but just then the curve of a
huge wave rose up as high as a hill, and this I had no strength to
keep from, so it took me back to the sea. I did my best to float on
the top, and held my breath to do so. The next wave was quite as high,
and shut me up in its bulk. I held my hands down tight to my sides,
and then my head shot out at the top of the waves. This gave me
breath, and soon my feet felt the ground.

I stood quite still for a short time, to let the sea run back from me,
and then I set off with all my might to the shore, but yet the waves
caught me, and twice more did they take me back, and twice more land
me on the shore. I thought the last wave would have been the death
of me, for it drove me on a piece of rock, and with such force as to
leave me in a kind of swoon. I soon regained my senses and got up to
the cliffs close to the shore, where I found some grass out of the
reach of the sea. There I sat down, safe on land at last.

I felt so wrapped in joy that all I could do was to walk up and down
the coast, now lift up my hands, now fold them on my breast and thank
God for all that he had done for me, when the rest of the men were
lost. I now cast my eyes round me, to find out what kind of place it
was that I had been thus thrown in, like a bird in a storm. Then all
the glee I felt at first left me; for I was wet and cold, and had no
dry clothes to put on, no food to eat, and not a friend to help me.

I feared that there might be wild beasts here, and I had no gun to
shoot them with, or to keep me from their jaws. I had but a knife and
a pipe.

It now grew dark; and where was I to go for the night? I thought the
top of some high tree would be a good place to keep me out of harm's
way; and that there I might sit and think of death, for, as yet, I had
no hope of life.

Well, I went to my tree and made a kind of nest to sleep in. Then I
cut a stick to keep off beasts of prey, in case any should come, and
-fell asleep just as if the branch I lay on had been a bed of down.

When I woke up, it was broad day; the sky too was clear and the sea
calm. But I saw from the top of the tree that in the night the ship
had left the bank of sand, and lay but a mile from me. I soon threw
off my clothes, took to the sea, and swam up to the wreck. But how was
I to get on deck? I had gone twice around the ship, when a piece of
rope caught my eye, which hung down from her side so low that at first
the waves hid it. By the help of this rope I got on board.


I found that there was a bulge in the ship, and that she had sprung
a leak. You may be sure that my first thought was to look around for
some food, and I soon made my way to the bin where the bread was kept,
and ate some of it as I went to and fro, for there was no time to
lose. What I stood most in need of was a boat to take the goods to
shore. But it was vain to wish for that which could not be had; and as
there were some spare yards in the ship, two or three large planks,
and a mast or two; I fell to work with these to make a raft.

I put four spars side by side, and laid short bits of plank on them,
crossways, to make my raft strong. Though these planks would bear my
own weight, they were too slight to bear much of my freight. So I took
a saw, which was on board, and cut a mast in three lengths, and these
gave great strength to the raft. I found some bread and rice, a Dutch
cheese, and some dry goat's flesh.

My next task was to screen my goods from the spray of the sea; and
this did not take long, for there were three large chests on board
which held all, and these I put on the raft.

"See, here is a prize!" said I, out loud (though there was none to
hear me); "now I shall not starve." For I found four large guns. But
how was my raft to be got to land? I had no sail, no oars; and a gust
of wind would make all my store slide off. Yet there were three things
which I was glad of a calm sea, a tide which set in to the shore, and
a slight breeze to blow me there.

I had the good luck to find some oars in a part of the ship in which I
had made no search till now. With these I put to sea, and for half a
mile my raft went well; but soon I found it driven to one side. At
length I saw a creek, up which, with some toil, I took my raft.

I saw that there were birds on the isle, and I shot one of them. Mine
must have been the first gun that had been heard there since the world
was made; for, at the sound of it, whole flocks of birds flew up, with
loud cries, from all parts of the wood. The shape of the beak of the
one I shot was like that of a hawk, but the claws were not so large.

I now went back to my raft to land my stores, and this took up the
rest of the day: What to do at night I knew not, nor where to find a
safe place to land my stores on. I did not like to lie down on the
ground, for fear of beasts of prey, as well as snakes; but there was
no cause for these fears, as I have since found. I put the chests and
boards round me as well as I could, and made a kind of hut for the

As there was still a great store of things left in the ship which
would be of use to me, I thought that I ought to bring them to land at
once; for I knew that the first storm would break up the ship. So I
went on board, and took good care this time not to load my raft too

The first thing sought for was the tool chest; and in it were some
bags of nails, spikes, saws, knives, and such things; but best of all,
I found a stone to grind my tools on. There were two or three flasks,
some large bags of shot, and a roll of lead; but this last I had not
the strength to hoist up to the ship's side, so as to get it on my
raft. There were some spare sails too, which I brought to shore.

Now that I had two freights of goods on hand, I made a tent with the
ship's sails, to stow them in, and cut the poles for it from the wood.
I now took all the things out of the casks and chests and put the
casks in piles round the tent to give it strength; and when this was
done, I shut up the door with the boards, spread on the ground one of
the beds which I had brought from the ship, laid two guns close to my
head and went to bed for the first time. I slept all night, for I was
much in need of rest.

The next day I was sad and sick at heart, for I felt how dull it was
to be thus cut off from all the rest of the world! I had no great wish
for work; but there was too much to be done for me to dwell long on my
sad lot. Each day, as it came, I went off to the wreck to fetch more
things; and I brought back as much as the raft would hold.

The last time I went to the wreck the wind blew so hard that I made
up my mind to go on board next time at low tide. I found some tea and
some gold coin; but as to the gold, it made me laugh to look at it.
"O drug!" said I, "thou art of no use to me! I care not to save thee.
Stay where thou art till the ship goes down; then go thou with it!"
Still, I thought I might just as well take it; so I put it in a piece
of the sail and threw it on deck, that I might place it on the raft.
By-and-by the wind blew from the shore, so I had to hurry back with
all speed; for I knew that at the turn of the tide I should find it
hard work to get to land at all. But in spite of the high wind I came
to my home all safe. At dawn I put my head out and cast my eyes on the
sea, when lo! no ship was there!. This great change in the face of
things, and the loss of such a friend, quite struck me down. Yet I was
glad to think that I had brought to shore all that could be of use to
me. I had now to look out for some spot where I could make my home.
Halfway up the hill there was a small plain, four or five score feet
long and twice as broad; and as it had a full view of the sea, I
thought that it would be a good place for my house.


I first dug a trench round a space which took in twelve yards; and in
this I drove two rows of stakes, till they stood firm like piles, five
and a half feet from the ground. I made the stakes close and tight
with bits of rope and put small sticks on the top of them in the shape
of spikes. This made so strong a fence that no man or beast could get
in. The door of my house was on top, and I had to climb up to it by
steps, which I took in with me, so that no one else might come up by
the same way. Close to the back of the house stood a sand rock, in
which I made a cave, and laid all the earth that I had dug out of it
round my house, to the height of a foot and a half. I had to go out
once a day in search of food. The first time, I saw some, goats, but
they were too shy to let me get near them. At first I thought that for
the lack of pen and ink I should lose all note of time; so I made a
large post, in the shape of a cross, on which I cut these words: "I
came on shore here on the thirtieth of September, 1659." On the side
of this post I made a notch each day, and this I kept up till the
last. I have not yet said a word of my four pets, which were two cats,
a dog, and a parrot. You may guess how fond I was of them, for they
were all the friends left to me. I brought the dog and two cats from
the ship. The dog would fetch things for me at all times, and by his
bark, his whine, his growl, and his tricks, he would all but talk to
me; yet he could not give me thought for thought. If I could but have
had someone near me to find fault with, or to find fault with me, what
a treat it would have been!

I was a long way out of the course of ships; and oh! how dull it was
to be cast on this lone spot with no one to love, no one to make me
laugh, no one to make me weep, no one to make me think.. It was dull
to roam day by day from the wood to the shore, and from the shore back
to the wood, and feed on my own thoughts all the while.

So much for the sad view of my case; but like most things, it had a
bright side as well as a dark one. For here was I safe on land, while
all the rest of the ship's crew were lost. True, I was cast on a rough
and rude part of the globe, but there were no beasts of prey on it to
kill or hurt me. God had sent the ship so near to me that I had got
from it all things to meet my wants for the rest of my days. Let life
be what it might, there was surely much to thank God for. And I soon
gave up all dull thoughts, and did not so much as look out for a sail.

My goods from the wreck remained in the cave for more than ten months;
I decided then that it was time to put them right, as they took up all
the space and left me no room to turn in; so I made my small cave a
large one, and dug it out a long way back in the sand rock.

Then I brought the mouth of the cave up to my fence, and so made a
back way to my house. This done, I put shelves on each side to hold my
goods, which made the cave look like a shop full of stores. To make
these shelves was a very difficult task and took a long time; for to
make a board I was forced to cut down a whole tree, chop away with my
ax till one side was flat, and then cut at the other side till the
board was thin enough, when I smoothed it with my adz. But, in this
way, out of each tree I would get only one plank. I made for myself
also a table and a chair, and finally got my castle, as I called it,
in good order.

I usually rose early and worked till noon, when I ate my meal; then I
went out with my gun, after which I worked once more till the sun had
set; and then to bed. It took me more than a week to change the shape
and size of my cave. Unfortunately, I made it far too large, for,
later on, the earth fell in from the roof; and had I been in it when
this took place, I should have lost my life. I had now to set up posts
in my cave, with planks on the top of them, so as to make a roof of


I had to go to bed at dusk, till I made a lamp of goat's fat, which I
put in a clay dish; and this, with a piece of hemp for a wick, made
a good light. As I had found a, use for the bag which had held the
fowls' food on board ship, I shook out from it the husks of grain.
This was just at the time when the great rains fell, and in the course
of a month, blades of rice and barley sprang up. As time went by, and
the grain was ripe, I kept it, and took care to sow it each year; but
I could not boast of a crop of grain for three years.

I knew that tools would be my first want and that I should have to
grind mine on the stone, as they were blunt and worn with use. But as
it took both hands to hold the tool, I could not turn the stone; so I
made a wheel by which I could move it with my foot. This was no small
task, but I took great pains with it, and at length it was done.

I had now been in the isle twelve months, and I thought it was time to
go all round it in search of its woods, springs, and creeks. So I set
off, and brought back with me limes and grapes in their prime, large
and ripe. I had hung the grapes in the sun to dry, and in a few days'
time went to fetch them, that I might lay up a store. The vale on the
banks of which they grew was fresh and green, and a clear, bright
stream ran through it, which gave so great a charm to the spot as to
make me wish to live there.

But there was no view of the sea from this vale, while from my house
no ships could come on my side of the isle and not be seen by me; yet
the cool, soft banks were so sweet and new to me that much of my time
was spent there.

In the first of the three years in which I had grown barley, I had
sown it too late; in the next it was spoiled by the drought; but the
third year's crop had sprung up well.

Few of us think of the cost at which a loaf of bread is made. Of
course, there was no plow here to turn up the earth, and no spade to
dig it with, so I made one with wood; but this was soon worn out, and
for want of a rake I made use of the bough of a tree. When I had got
the grain home, I had to thresh it, part the grain from the chaff, and
store it up. Then came the want of sieves to clean it, of a mill to
grind it, and of yeast to make bread of it.

If I could have found a large stone, slightly hollow on top, I might,
by pounding the grain on it with another round stone, have made very
good meal. But all the stones I could find were too soft; and in the
end I had to make a sort of mill of hard wood, in which I burned a
hollow place, and in that pounded the grain into' meal with a heavy

Baking I did by building a big fire, raking away the ashes, and
putting the dough on the hot place, covered with a kind of basin made
of clay, over which 'I had heaped the red ashes.

Thus my bread was made, though I had no tools; and no one could say
that I did not earn it by the sweat of my brow. When the rain kept me
indoors, it was good fun to teach my pet bird Poll to talk; but so
mute were all things round me that the sound of my own voice made me

My chief wants now were jars, pots, cups, and plates, but I knew not
how I could make them. At last I went in search of clay, and found a
bank of it a mile from my house; but it was quite a joke to see the
queer shapes and forms that I made out of it. For some of my pots and
jars were too weak to bear their own weight; and they would fall out
here, and in there, in all sorts of ways; while some, when they were
put in the sun to bake, would crack with the heat of its rays. You may
guess what my joy was when at last a pot was made which would stand
the fire, so that I could boil the meat for broth!

The next thing to turn my thoughts to was the ship's boat, which lay
on the high ridge of sand, where it had been thrust by the storm which
had cast me on these shores. But it lay with the keel to the sky, so
I had to dig the sand from it and turn it up with the help of a pole.
When I had done this, I found it was all in vain, for I had not the
strength to launch it. So all I could do now was to make a boat of
less size out of a tree; and I found one that was just fit for it,
which grew not far from the shore, but I could no more stir this than
I could the ship's boat.

"Well," thought I, "I must give up the boat, and with it all my hopes
of leaving the isle. But I have this to think of: I am lord of the
whole isle; in fact, a king. I have wood with which I might build a
fleet, and grapes, if not grain, to freight it with, though all my
wealth is but a few gold coins." For these I had no sort of use, and
could have found it in my heart to give them all for a peck of peas
and some ink, which last I stood much in need of. But it was best to
dwell more on what I had than on what I had not.

I now must needs try once more to build a boat, but this time it was
to have a mast, for which the ship's sails would be of great use. I
made a deck at each end to keep out the spray of the sea, a bin for my
food, and a rest for my gun, with a flap to screen it from the wet.
More than all, the boat was one of such a size that I could launch it.

My first cruise was up and down the creek, but soon I got bold, and
made the whole round of my isle. I took with me bread, cakes, a pot of
rice, half a goat, and two greatcoats, one of which was to lie on, and
one to put on at night. I set sail in the sixth year of my reign. On
the east side of the isle there was a large ridge of rocks which lay
two miles from the shore, and a shoal of sand lay for half a mile from
the rocks to the beach. To get round this point I had to sail a great
way out to sea; and here I all but lost my life.

But I got back to my home at last. On my way there, quite worn out
with the toils of the boat, I lay down in the shade to rest my limbs,
and slept. But judge, if you can what a start I gave when a voice woke
me out of my sleep, and spoke my name three times! A voice in this
wild place!, To call me by name, too! Then the voice said, "Robin!
Robin Crusoe! Where are you? Where have you been? How came you here?"
But now I saw it all; for at the top of the hedge sat Poll, who did
but say the words she had been taught by me.

I now went in search of some goats, and laid snares for them, with
rice for a bait. I had set the traps in the night, and found they had
stood, though the bait was all gone. So I thought of a new way to take
them, which was to make a pit and lay sticks and grass on it so as to
hide it; and in this way I caught an old goat and some kids. But the
old goat was much too fierce for me, soy I let him go.

I brought all the young ones home, and let them fast a long time, till
at last they fed from my hand and were quite tame. I kept them in a
kind of park, in which there were trees to screen them from the sun.
At first my park was half a mile round; but it struck me that, in so
great a space, the kids would soon get as wild as if they had the
range of the whole vale, and that it would be as well to give them
less room; so I had to make a hedge, which took me three months to
plant. My park held a flock of twelve goats, and in two years time
there were more than two score.

My dog sat at meals with me, and one cat on each side of me, on
stools, and we had Poll to talk to us. Now for a word or two as to the
dress in which I made a tour round the isle. I could but think how
droll it would look in the streets of the town in which I was born.

I usually wore a high cap of goatskin, with a long flap that hung down
to keep the sun and rain from my neck, a coat made from the skin of a
goat, too, the skirts of which came down to my hips, and the same on
my legs, with no shoes, but flaps of the fur round my shins. I had a
broad belt of the same around my waist, which drew on with two thongs;
and from it, on my right side; hung a saw and an ax; and on my left
side a pouch for the shot. My beard had not been cut since I came
here. But no more need be said of my looks, for there were few to see


A strange sight was now in store for me, which was to change the whole
course of my life in the isle.

One day at noon, while on a stroll down to a part of the shore that
was new to me, what should I see on the sand but the print of a man's
foot! I felt as if I were bound by a spell, and could not stir from
the spot.

By-and-by I stole a look around me, but no one was in sight. What
could this mean? I went three or four times to look at it. There it
was-the print of a man's foot: toes, heel, and all the parts of a
foot. How could it have come there?

My head swam with fear; and as I left the spot, I made two or three
steps, and then took a look around me; then two steps more, and did
the same thing. I took fright at the stump of an old tree, and ran to
my house, as if for my life. How could aught in the shape of a man
come to that shore, and I not know it? Where was the ship that brought
him? Then a vague dread took hold of my mind, that some man, or set of
men, had found me out; and it might be that they meant to kill me, or
rob me of all I had.

Fear kept me indoors for three days, till the want of food drove me
out. At last I was so bold as to go down to the coast to look once
more at the print of the foot, to see if it was the same shape as my
own. I found it was not so large by a great deal; so it was clear that
it was not one of my own footprints and that there were men in the

One day as I went from the hill to the coast, a scene lay in front of
me which made me sick at heart. The spot was spread with the bones of
men. There was a round place dug in the earth, where a fire had been
made, and here some men had come to feast. Now that I had seen this
sight, I knew not how to act; I kept close to my home, and would
scarce stir from it save to milk my flock of goats.

A few days later I was struck by the sight of some smoke, which came
from a fire no more than two miles off. From this time I lost all my
peace of mind. Day and night a dread would haunt me that the men who
had made this fire would find me out. I went home and drew up my
steps, but first I made all things round me look wild and rude. To
load my gun was the next thing to do; and I thought it would be best
to stay at home and hide.

But this was not to be borne long. I had no spy to send out, and all I
could do was to get to the top of the hill and keep a good lookout.
At last, through my glass, I could see a group of wild men join in a
dance round their fire. As soon as they stopped, I took two guns and
slung a sword on my side; then with all speed I set off to the top of
the hill, once more to have a good view.

This time I made up my mind to go up to the men, but not with a view
to kill them, for I felt that it would be wrong to do so. With a heavy
load of arms it took me two hours to reach the spot where the fire
was; and by the time I got there the men had all gone; but I saw them
in four boats out at sea.

Down on the shore there was a proof of what the work of these men had
been. The signs of their feast made me sick at heart, and I shut my
eyes. I durst not fire my gun when I went out for food on that side of
the isle, lest there should be some of the men left, who might hear
it, and so find me out.

From this time all went well with me for two years; but it was not to
last. One day, as I stood on the hill, I saw six boats on the shore.
What could this mean? Where were the men who had brought them? And
what had they come for? I saw through my glass that there were a score
and a half at least on the east side of the isle. They had meat on the
fire, round which I could see them dance. They then took a man from
one of the boats, who was bound hand and foot; but when they loosed
his bonds, he set off as fast as his feet would take him, and in a
straight line to my house.

To tell the truth, when I saw all the rest of the men run to catch
him, my hair stood on end with fright. In the creek he swam like a
fish, and the plunge which he took brought him through it in a few
strokes. All the men now gave up the chase but two, and they swam
through the creek, but by no means so fast as the slave had done.

Now, I thought, was the time to help the poor man, and my heart told
me it would be right to do so. I ran down my steps with my two guns,
and went with all speed up the hill, and then down by a short cut to
meet them.

I gave a sign to the poor slave to come to me, and at the same time
went up to meet the two men who were in chase of him. I made a rush at
the first of these, to knock him down with the stock of my gun, and he
fell. I saw the one who was left aim at me with his bow; so, to save
my life, I aimed carefully and shot him dead.

The smoke and noise from my gun gave the poor slave who had been bound
such a shock that he stood still on the spot, as if he had been in a
trance. I gave a loud shout for him to come to me, and I took care to
show him that I was a friend, and made all the signs I could think
of to coax him up to me. At length he came, knelt down to kiss the
ground, and then took hold of my foot and set it on his head. All this
meant that he was my slave; and I bade him rise and made much of him.

I did not like to take my slave to my house, or to my cave; so I threw
down some straw from the rice plant for him to sleep on, and gave him
some bread and a bunch of dry grapes to eat. He was a fine man, with
straight, strong limbs, tall and young. His hair was thick, like wool,
and black. His head was large and high, and he had bright black eyes.
He was of a dark-brown hue; his face was round and his nose small, but
not flat; he had a good mouth with thin lips, with which he could give
a soft smile; and his teeth were as white as snow.

Toward evening I had been out to milk my goats, and when he saw me, he
ran to me and lay down-on the ground to show me his thanks. He then
put his head on the ground and set my foot on his head, as he had done
at first. He took all the means he could think of to let me know
that he would serve me all his life; and I gave a sign to make him
understand that I thought well of him.

The next thing was to think of some name to call him by. I chose that
of the sixth day of the week, Friday, as he came to me on that day. I
took care not to lose sight of him all that night. When the sun rose,
we event up to the top of the hill to look out for the men; but as we
could not see them or their boats, it was clear that they had left the

I now set to work to make my man a cap of hare's skin, and gave him a
goat's skin to wear round his waist. It was a great source of pride to
him to find that his clothes were as good as my own.

At night I kept my guns, swords, and bow close to my side; but there
was no need for this, as my slave was, in sooth, most true to me. He
did all that he was set to do, with his whole heart in the work; and I
knew that he would lay down his life to save mine. What could a man do
more than that? And oh, the joy to have him here to cheer me in this
lone isle!


I did my best to teach him, so like a child he was, to do and feel all
that was right. I found him apt and full of fun; and he took great
pains to understand and learn all that I could tell him.

One day I sent him to beat out and sift some grain. I let him see me
make the bread, and he soon did all the work. I felt quite a love for
his true, warm heart, and he soon learned to talk to me. One day I
said, "Do the men of your tribe win in fight?" He told me, with a
smile, that they did. "Well, then," said I, "how came they to let
their foes take you?"

"They run one, two, three, and make go in the boat that time."

"Well, and what do the men do with those they take?"

"Eat them all up."

This was not good news for me, but I went on, and said, "Where do they
take them?"

"Go to next place where they think."

"Do they come here?"

"Yes, yes, they come here, come else place, too."

"Have you been here with them twice?"

"Yes, come there."

He meant the northwest side of the isle, so to this spot I took him
the next day. He knew the place, and told me he was there once, and
with him twelve men. To let me know this, he placed twelve stones all
in a row, and made me count them.

"Are not the boats lost on your shore now and then?"

He said that there was no fear, and that no boats were lost. He told
me that up a great way by the moon--that is, where the moon then came
up--there dwelt a tribe of white men like me, with beards. I felt sure
that they must have come from Spain, to work the gold mines. I put
this to him: "Could I go from this isle and join those men?"

"Yes, yes, you may go in two boats."

It was hard to see how one man could go in two boats, but what he
meant was a boat twice as large as my own.

To please my poor slave, I gave him a sketch of my whole life; I told
him where I was born and where I spent my days when a child. He was
glad to hear tales of the land of my birth, and of the trade which we
kept up, in ships, with all parts of the known world. I gave him a
knife and a belt, which made him dance with joy.

One day as we stood on the top of the hill at the east side of the
isle, I saw him fix his eyes on the mainland, and stand for a long
time gazing at it; then jump and sing, and call out to me.

"What do you see?" said I.

"O joy!" said he, with a fierce glee in his eyes, "O glad! There see
my land!"

Why did he strain his eyes to stare at this land as if he had a wish
to be there? It put fears in my mind which made me feel far less at my
ease with him. Thought I, if he should go back to his home, he will
think no more of what I have taught him and done for him. He will be
sure to tell the rest of his tribe all my ways, and come back with, it
may be, scores of them, and kill me, and then dance round me, as they
did round the men, the last time they came on my isle.

But these were all false fears, though they found a place in my mind
for a long while; and I was not so kind to him now as I had been. From
this time I made it a rule, day by day, to find out if there were
grounds for my fears or not. I said, "Do you wish to be once more in
your own land?"

"Yes! I be much O glad to be at my own land."

"What would you do there? Would you turn wild, and be as you were?"

"No, no, I would tell them to be good, tell them eat bread, grain,
milk, no eat man more!"

"Why, they would kill you!"

"No, no, they no kill; they love learn."

He then told me that some white men who had come on their shores in a
boat had taught them a great deal.

"Then will you go back to your land with me?"

He said he could not swim so far, so I told him he should help me to
build a boat to go in. Then he said, "If you go, I go."

"I go? Why, they would eat me!"

"No, me make them much love you."

Then he told me, as well as he could, how kind they had been to some
white men. I brought out the large boat to hear what he thought of it,
but he said it was too small. We then went to look at the old ship's
boat, which, as it had been in the sun for years, was not at all in a
sound state. The poor man made sure that it would do. But how were we
to know this? I told him we should build a boat as large as that, and
that he should go home in it. He spoke not a word, but was grave and

"What ails you?" said I.

"Why you grieve mad with your man?"

"What do you mean? I am not cross with you."

"No cross? No cross with me? Why send your man home to his own land,

"Did you not tell me you would like to go back?"

"Yes, yes, we both there; no wish self there, if you not there!"

"And what should I do there?"

"You do great deal much good! You teach wild men be good men."

We soon set to work to make a boat that would take us both. The first
thing was to look out for some large tree that grew near the shore, so
that we could launch our boat when it was made. My slave's plan was to
burn the wood to make it the right shape; but as mine was to hew it, I
set him to work with my tools, and in two months' time we had made a
good, strong boat; but it took a long while to get her down to the
shore and float her.

Friday had the whole charge of her; and, large as she was, he made her
move with ease, and said, "Me think she go there well, though great
blow wind!" He did not know that I meant to make a mast and sail. I
cut down a young fir tree for the mast, and then I set to work at the
sail. It made me laugh to see my man stand and stare, when he came to
watch me sail the boat. But he soon gave a jump, a laugh, and a clap
of the hands when for the first time he saw the sail jib and fall, now
on this side, now on that.

The next thing to do was to stow our boat up in the creek, where we
dug a small dock; and when the tide was low, we made a dam to keep out
the sea. The time of year had now come for us to set sail, so we got
out all our stores to put them into the boat.


I was fast asleep in my hutch one morning, when my man Friday came
running in to me and called aloud, "Master, master, they are come,
they are come!" I jumped up and went out, as soon as I could get my
clothes on, through my little grove, which, by the way, was by this
time grown to be a very thick wood. I went without my arms, which was
not my custom; but I was surprised when, turning my eyes to the sea, I
saw a boat at about a league and a half distance, standing in for the
shore, with a shoulder-of-mutton sail, as they call it, and the wind
blowing pretty fair to bring them in; also I saw that they did not
come from that side which the shore lay on, but from the south end of
the island.

Upon this I hastily called Friday in, and bade him lie close, for we
did not know yet whether they were friends or enemies. In the next
place, I went in to fetch my glass, to see what I could make of them;
and, having climbed up to the top of the hill, I saw a ship lying at
anchor, at about two leagues from me, but not above a league and a
half from the shore. It seemed to be an English ship, and the boat
looked like an English longboat.

They ran their boat on shore upon the beach, at about half a mile from
me; which was very happy for me, else they would have landed just at
my door, as I may say, and would soon have beaten me out of my caste,
and perhaps have plundered me of all I had. When they were on shore,
I saw they were Englishmen; there were, in all, eleven men, whereof
three of them I found were unarmed, and, as I thought, bound; and when
the first four or five of them had jumped on shore, they took those
three out of the boat as prisoners; one of the three I could see using
the gestures of entreaty and despair; the other two, I could see,
lifted up their hands and appeared concerned, but not to such a degree
as the first.

I was shocked and terrified at the sight of all this and knew not what
the meaning of it could be. Friday called out to me in English, as
well as he could, "O master! you see English mans eat prisoner as well
as savage mans." "Why, Friday," said I, "do you think they are going
to eat them, then?" "Yes," said Friday, "they will eat them." "No,
no," said I, "Friday, I am afraid they will murder them indeed; but
you may be sure they will not eat them."

I expected every minute to see the three prisoners killed, so I fitted
myself up for a battle, though with much caution, knowing that I had
to do with another kind of enemy than if I were fighting savages.
I ordered Friday also to load himself with arms. I took myself two
fowling pieces, and I gave him two muskets. My figure was very fierce;
I had my goatskin coat on, with the great cap, a naked sword, two
pistols in my belt, and a gun upon each shoulder.

It was my design not to make any attempt till it was dark; but about
two o'clock, being the heat of the day, I found, in short, they had
all gone straggling into the woods, and, as I thought, had all lain
down to sleep. The three poor, distressed men, too anxious for their
condition to get any sleep, had, however, sat down under the shelter
of a great tree.

I resolved to discover myself to them, and learn something of their
condition; immediately I marched toward them, my man Friday at a good
distance behind me, as formidable for his arms as I, but not making
quite so staring a specter-like figure as I did. I came as near them
undiscovered as I could, and then, before any of them saw me, I called
aloud to them in Spanish, "Who are ye, sirs?"

They gave a start at my voice and at my strange dress, and made a move
as if they would flee from me. I said, ``Do not fear me, for it may be
that you have a friend at hand, though you do not think it." "He must
be sent from the sky, then," said one of them with a grave look; and
he took off his hat to me at the same time. "All help is from thence,
sir," I said. "But what can I do to aid you? You look as if you had
some load of grief on your breast. A moment ago I saw one of the men
lift his sword as if to kill you."

The tears ran down the poor man's face as he said, "Is this a god, or
is it but a man?" "Have no doubt on that score, sir," said I, "for a
god would not have come with a dress like this. No, do not fear-nor
raise your hopes too high; for you see but a man, yet one who will do
all he can to help you. Your speech shows me that you come from the
same land as I do. I will do all I can to serve you. Tell me your

"Our case, sir, is too long to tell you while they who would kill us
are so near. My name is Paul. To be short, sir, my crew have thrust me
out of my ship, which you see out there, and have left me here to die.
It was as much as I could do to make them sheathe their swords, which
you saw were drawn to slay me. They have set me down in this isle with
these two men, my friend here, and the ship's mate."

"Where have they gone?" said I.

"There, in the wood close by. I fear they may have seen and heard us.
If they have, they will be sure to kill us all."

"Have they firearms?"

"They have four guns, one of which is in the boat."

"Well, then, leave all to me!"

"There are two of the men," said he, "who are worse than the rest. All
but these I feel sure would go back to work the ship."

I thought it was best to speak out to Paul at once, and

I said, "Now if I save your life, there are two things which you must

But he read my thoughts, and said, "If you save my life, you shall do
as you like with me and my ship, and take her where you please."

I saw that the two men, in whose charge the boat had been left, had
come on shore; so the first thing I did was to send Friday to fetch
from it the oars, the sail, and the gun. And now the ship might be
said to be in our hands. When the time came for the men to go back to
the ship, they were in a great rage; for, as the boat had now no sail
or oars, they knew not how to get out to their ship.

We heard them say that it was a strange sort of isle, for sprites had
come to the boat, to take off the sails and oars. W e could see them
run to and fro, with great rage; then go and sit in the boat to rest,
and then come on shore once more. When they drew near to us, Paul and
Friday would fain have had me fall on them at once. But my wish was to
spare them, and kill as few as possible. I told two of my men to creep
on their hands and knees close to the ground so that they might not be
seen, and when they got 'up to the men, not to fire till I gave the

They had not stood thus long when three of the crew came up to us.
Till now we had but heard their voices, but when they came so near as
to be seen, Paul and Friday shot at them. Two of the men fell dead,
and they were the worst of the crew, and the third ran off. At the
sound of the guns I came up, but it was so dark that the men could not
tell if there were three of us or three score.

It fell out just as I wished, for I heard the men ask: "To whom must
we yield, and where are they?" Friday told them that Paul was there
with the king of the isle, who had brought with him a crowd of men!
At this, one of the crew said: "If Paul will spare our lives, we will
yield." "Then," said Friday, "you shall know the king's will." Then
Paul said to them: "You know my voice; if you lay down your arms, the
king will spare your lives."

They fell on their knees to beg the same of me. I took good care that
they did not see me, but I gave them my word that they should all
live, that I should take four of them to work the ship, and that the
rest would be bound hand and foot for the good faith of the four. This
was to show them what a stern king I was.

Of course I soon set them free, and I put them in a way to take my
place on the isle. I told them of all my ways, taught them how to mind
the goats, how to work the farm, and how to make the bread. I gave
them a house to live in, firearms, tools and my two tame cats-in fact,
all that I owned but Poll and my gold.

As I sat on the top of the hill, Paul came up to me. He held out his
hand to point to the ship, and with much warmth took me to his arms
and said: "My dear friend, there is your ship! For this vessel is all
yours, and all that is in her, and so are all of us."

I made ready to go on board the ship, but told the captain I would
stay that night to get my things in shape, and asked him to go on
board in the meantime and keep things right on the ship.

I cast my eyes to the ship, which rode half a mile off the shore, at
the mouth of the creek, and near the place where I had brought my raft
to the land. Yes, there she stood, the ship that was to set me free
and to take hie where I might choose to go. She set her sails to the
wind, and her flags threw out their gay stripes in the breeze. Such a
sight was too much for me, and I fell down faint with joy.

Friday and Paul then went on board the ship, and Paul took charge of
her once more. We did not start that night, but at noon the next day I
left the isle-that lone isle, where I had spent so great a part of my

When I took leave of this island, I carried on board a great goatskin
cap I had made, and my parrot; also the money which had lain by me so
long useless that it was grown rusty or tarnished, and could hardly
pass for gold till it had been a little rubbed and handled. And thus I
left the island, the nineteenth of December, as I found by the ship's
account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon it seven-and-twenty
years, two months, and nineteen days. In this vessel, after a long
voyage, I arrived in England the eleventh of June, in the year 1687.


Biography. Daniel Defoe (1659-1731), an English author, was born in
London. He was well educated and devoted himself chiefly to writing.
He was active in political life, and many of his early pamphlets were
attacks upon the government. Robinson Crusoe, his greatest story, is
a world classic. It is founded mainly on the adventures of Alexander
Selkirk, who told Defoe about his own experiences as a castaway on
an island. Defoe tells his story in simple, direct language, with
frequent use of details and illustrations.

Discussion. 1. Why was an ocean voyage so difficult and dangerous at
the time when Robinson Crusoe was written? 2. Find the lines that
describe what you think was the most difficult work undertaken by
Robinson Crusoe. 3. What under king required the most perseverance?
Find lines that show this. 4. At what time did Crusoe show the
greatest courage? Find lines that seem to yore to prove your answer is
correct. 5. What was the greatest disappointment that he had to bear
while on the island? 6. What do you think was the greatest happiness
he had? 7. Find lines that tell how Robinson Crusoe studied to make
something which was very necessary to him. 8. Mention something he
made that you have tried to make. 9. How did your result compare with
his? What reason can you give for this? 10. This story shows how
dependent we are upon the tools, the inventions, and the means of
protection that men have devised for making life happy. Crusoe had to
make for himself under great difficulties things that we think nothing
of. Show from the story how dependent we are upon the cooperation and
assistance of others. Imagine the cooperation that has been necessary
to give you milk, oranges or bananas, sugar for your dessert, meat for
your dinner. What has been done to give you the stove on which your
dinner is cooked, the fuel that it burns, the light that you use at
night, the telephone that you use? Crusoe had to get along without
such assistance. Do you owe anything, any return service, for what
you receive and use? If Crusoe's hut had taken fire, what would have
happened? What would happen if your home should catch fire? Who would
pay for the help given you? If Crusoe had been attacked by robbers,
what would have happened? What keeps you safe at night? If Crusoe had
wished to go on a long journey, what would have been necessary? Who
would help you if you had to take such a journey? 12. Tell a story
about your debt to someone for an invention or discovery that makes
your life pleasanter or safer. Tell a story about your debt for the
sugar you use for your desert. Tell a story to illustrate what the
government does for you. 13. Class readings: Select passages to be
read aloud in class. 14. Outline for testing silent reading. Tell the
story briefly in your own words, using the topic headings given in
the book. 15. You will enjoy seeing the pictures in the edition of
Robinson Crusoe that is illustrated by N. C. Wyeth. 16. Find in the
Glossary the meaning of: stern; bulge; spikes; adz; limes; mute;
league; thong; fowling; piece. 17. Pronounce: pursuit; swoon;
spars; drought;; sieve; launch; cruise; shoal; tour; jib; gesture;
formidable; sheathe; sprites.

Phrases for Study lee of the land, in sooth, spare yards, I found him
apt, O drug, standing in for the shore, give me thought for thought,
appeared concerned, whole round of my isle, discover myself to them,
bound by a spell, specter-like figure.



Now that you have read all of these tales of adventure, perhaps some
evening you will curl up in that big chair in a cozy place and will
close your eyes and dream a dream. And in that dream you will see-who
knows? Ali Baba and Aladdin in their queer dress, and Sindbad, the
rich old sailor, and Captain Lemuel Gulliver, and Robin Hood in his
Lincoln green, and Robinson Crusoe with his man Friday. All of them
will sit down near you, between you and the fire perhaps, and they
will talk to each other about the meaning of all the perils and
successes that life brought them. And you will doubtless get the
idea from them all that every man, rich or poor, ought to feel some
responsibility to others. Ali Baba and Aladdin and Sindbad will tell
the company, there in the firelight before your very eyes, how they
felt that they owed something to' others because of the wealth they
had, gained. Aladdin became a serious and public-spirited man, though
as a boy he had been of little worth. Ali Baba and Sindbad helped
others and did many good deeds.

Then Robin Hood will join in the conversation. He lived in a time, as
you can see from his story, when the poor not only had no chance but
were oppressed. Robin tried to do away with some of this injustice.
He was an outlaw; he did many things that it would not be right to
do today; but he did these things in order to help people who were
wretched and who had no chance.

And next, Robinson Crusoe has a word to say. His experience, he tells
us, showed him how much we depend on each other. If a man is suddenly
cut off from his fellows, has to get his own food or starve, build his
own house with his own rude tools or freeze, he finds out how much he
owes to the cooperation of thousands of other people.

And finally, Captain Gulliver, who has been listening quietly for a
long time, knocks the ashes from his pipe as he gets up to go, and
says: "You know, it all comes down to this: can a man or a nation
stand being rich and strong? You know those Lilliputians, when they
conquered the people of Blefuscu, wanted right away to annex the lands
of their enemies. They had no right to the lands; they had enough of
their own; if I had let them do what they planned, they would have
made many people very miserable, But the moment they saw a chance to
grab something, they wanted to go right after it.. And it makes me
wonder about this America that is so much discussed just now. In my
day we scarcely knew there was such a country, but you know how strong
and prosperous the Americans are, and what a war they can fight, and
how many rich men they have. They seem to me to have found that lamp
and ring that friend Aladdin once had; everything they touch seems to
turn to gold, and they can build a city over night. I just wonder what
they will do with all this power?"

And they all shake their heads, as if to say that they wonder, too.
And the fire has grown lower and lower, so that you can hardly see the
strange forms.--And then father calls to you to wake up and get your
lesson or go to bed, and they all vanish at the sound of that voice.

How would you answer Captain Gulliver's question about America? What
did America do with its power in the World War? What good American
citizens that you know of have used their wealth to found libraries,
hospitals, parks, and other public benefits? Show that boys and girls
join together in teamwork for the good of all by organizing clubs,
Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Junior Red Cross, etc. Mention kinds of
service these organizations give for the good of all. Show that each
of the six stories in Part II has the two values mentioned in the
first paragraph on page 146. Which story did you enjoy most? Which
gave you the most worth-while ideas? What gains have you made in your
ability to read silently with speed and understanding?



A man lives in the last half of life on the memory of things read in
the first half of life.




When Mother used to tell you a story about when she was a little girl,
you were interested only in the story and in the pictures her words
called up in your mind. Suppose some older person had been listening
while she told one of these tales, and had been interested not alone
in the adventure that she was telling about, as you were, but in the
way in which she told it. This person, your uncle, let's say, would
notice how Mother planned her story so as to keep the very most
exciting thing to the last, and how you grew more and more excited
about it, and how your eyes shone, and her eyes too, and how without
knowing it she was letting him see what kind of people they were
in her story, and what kind of little girl she was-very brave,
you know-and when at the end you drew a long breath and had that
delightful little thrill that you always have at the end of a
perfectly wonderful story-after all this, suppose your uncle should
look at Mother in a funny kind of way and should say, "Bless me, Sis,
I had no idea you were an author."

What would you say? Mother an author? Why, an author is a person who
writes big books in words that no one can understand, but Mother,
she-why, she is Mother!

Yet your uncle is right. Mother is an author when she thinks back over
her life and picks out something that is interesting, and then tells
it in her very most interesting way to please you. If she would only
write out that story, and a printer would print it in a book, and in
the front of the book you should read "When I Was a Little Girl." By
Mother"-that would be a Book, and Mother would be a real author.

Now long, long ago, there weren't any books. When Mother told you a
story, if you had lived then, you would remember it and would tell
it to other people, and after you grew up you would tell it to your
children, and when they had grown up, they would tell it to your
grandchildren, and so on and on. Who wrote Cinderella, or Sleeping
Beauty, or the Three Bears? You don't know. Nobody knows. They just
happened. They were told by mothers to their children and so on and
so on, and after centuries, perhaps, when printing had been invented,
some printer man thought, like your uncle, that here was a story that
ought to be printed and so he made a book of it. But he didn't claim
to be the author of it, for he was not.

So, some of the stories you have read in this book do not have any
author's name attached to them. And even if they did, you were not
thinking, while you were reading, about the man who wrote them. You
just thought of the story and whether you liked it or not. Yet no
small part of the advantage that you enjoy because you live now,
instead of in the days when there were no books, lies in the fact that
you can become acquainted with the men and women who have written the
stories and poems that you read.

Let's put it this way. In those old days that we have been speaking
about, you would have had to depend upon your Mother, or some other
mother, or some village weaver of tales, for your stories. But they
were busy, and you couldn't get enough stories to satisfy your
appetite. Then one-time, let's say, a strange, wandering fellow came
to your village. And he had yards and yards of the most wonderful
stories to tell. And he went home with you, let's say, and stayed
there, and did nothing but tell you stories whenever you wanted them,
first thing in the morning, and after school, and bedtime, and all.
And he was never too busy. And you learned to know him, what an
interesting man he was, and what fine eyes he had, and what a smile
that made you smile back before he said a word, and how he loved Truth
and hated lies, and loved Honor and hated shameful things. He was your
author, your book, your book of books. And he was as dear to you, in
himself, as his stories were.

Now you can have just such a friend, no, you can have a whole company
of just such friends, for yourself. How? In books, of course. Only
they won't be merely books; they will be friends. Washington Irving,
teller of wonderful stories, and Robert Louis Stevenson are there,
in those books, and you can learn them as well as their stories. And
Henry W. Longfellow, writer of stories in verse; and John G. Whittier,
writer of poems about barefoot boys and corn huskings; and Benjamin
Franklin, a kindly philosopher-there, that word is too hard for you,
but it just slipped out, and so you will have to be told that a
philosopher is a person who thinks about life and its meaning.

That's what all authors are, in a way. That's what makes them authors.
They don't just eat and sleep and do their work, whatever it is-they
think about life. And what they see and think they set down for you.
To know them is to know delightful friends who will tell you what
everything means and will answer all your questions.

There they are, on your bookshelf. They won't speak to you unless you
speak first. If you want to do something else and don't wish to be
bothered, they won't bother you. But when you want to talk with them,
they are ready. Call upon them often, and you will learn one of the
blessedest things about life, the companionship of boobs.

Some of them, men of our own America, are to be introduced to you in
the following pages. From now on you are to do three things. First,
you are to listen and enjoy when they tell you what they have to say.
Next, you are to begin to do just what your uncle was doing when he
listened to Mother telling you that story-you are to see that there is
a way to tell something that is good, and that if one has learned this
way, like Mother, he is an author. And last, you are to find that
these authors are real persons whom you can learn to know. Then you
will love them, just as you love Mother, not alone for what they say,
but for what they are.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was born in Boston in the early colonial
days. While still a boy, he learned the printer's trade, but,
having difficulty with his brother, for whom he worked, he went
to Philadelphia,-where later he became owner and editor of the
Philadelphia Gazette, the city's leading newspaper. Later he
established another periodical, called Poor Richard's Almanac.

Franklin was greatly interested in the study of science. He "snatched
lightning from the skies" by the use of a key and a kite with a silk
string. This experiment led to his invention of the lightning rod,
which was soon placed on public and private buildings not only in
America but also in England and France. He invented the "Franklin
Stove," which is still in use in some places. This is an open stove
made in such a way as to economize heat and save fuel. Franklin
invented a street lamp which was used for lighting the streets of

Franklin was big-hearted and wished to be of real service to his
fellow-citizens. He organized a debating club, a night watch, a
volunteer fire company, a street-cleaning department, and a public
library-the first of its kind in America.

His-services to the new government that the Americans were just
setting up were equally noteworthy. He went to England to represent
the colonies and did all that he could to patch up the quarrel between
the colonies and the mother country. When all these attempts failed,
he gave himself heart and soul to the business of making a new
government. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of
Independence. Later, as a special minister to France he delighted
Frenchmen by his humor and his common sense, and he even succeeded
in securing the promise of the French government to acknowledge the
independence of the colonies and to send ships and men to their

In a letter to a friend in 1779, Franklin tells the story, "The
Whistle." "An Ax to Grind" is from his autobiography.


When I was a child seven years old, my friends on a holiday filled my
pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys
for children, and, being charmed with the sound of a whistle that I
met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and
gave all my money for one. I then ran home and went whistling all
over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the

My brothers and sisters and cousins, understanding the bargain I had
made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth;
put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of
the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly that I cried with
vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle
gave me pleasure.

This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing
on my mind; so that often when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary
thing, I said to myself, "Don't give too much for the whistle";' and I
saved my money.

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I
thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.

When I saw one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in
attendance on levees-his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps
his friends, to attain it-I have said to myself, "This man gives too
much for his whistle."

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself
in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by
that neglect, "He pays indeed," said I, "too much for his whistle."

If I knew a miser who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all
the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow
citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of
accumulating wealth, "Poor man," said I, "you pay too much for your

When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable
improvement of the mind or of his fortune to mere corporeal
sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, "Mistaken man,"
said I, "you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure; you
give too much for your whistle."

If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine
furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he
contracts debts and ends his career in a prison, "Alas!" say I, "he
has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle."

In short, I conceive that a great part of the miseries of mankind are
brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value
of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.


Discussion. 1. Why did Franklin say that lie paid too much for his
whistle' 2. How was this incident of use to him afterwards? 3. How
does it apply to a man too fond of popularity? To the miser? To the
man of pleasure? To the one who cares too much for appearance? 4. Can
you think of other incidents that illustrate what Franklin had in
mind? 5. Extravagance has been called the great fault of Americans.
During the World war what efforts were made by our people to. Correct
this fault? Why were the efforts successful? 6. Why is it necessary
to continue these efforts now? If all Americans would practice what
Franklin advises, what would be the effect on the cost of living, and
why? 7. In what ways can you save some of the pennies you might spend
foolishly? S. What do you know about Postal Savings deposits? 9. Write
a letter to your teacher, proposing that the children in your class
save as many pennies as possible for savings accounts, pointing out
some ways in which children may save their pennies; bring in a part of
Franklin's story in the most interesting way that you can. 10. Tell
what you can about the author. 11. Find in the Glossary the meaning
of: coppers; voluntarily; vexation; ambitious; esteem; contracts.
12. Pronounce: directly: chagrin; sacrificing; levee; accumulating;
laudable; equipage.

Phrases for Study

impression continuing, corporeal sensations, political bustles, above
his fortune.


When I was a little boy, I remember, one cold winter morning, I was
accosted by a smiling man with an ax on his shoulder. "My pretty boy,"
said he, "has your father a grindstone?"

"Yes, sir," said I.

"You are a fine little fellow!" said he. "Will you, let me grind my ax
on it?"

Pleased with the compliment of "fine little fellow," "Oh, yes, sir," I
answered. "It is down in the shop."

"And will you, my man," said he, patting me on the head, "get me a
little hot water?"

How could I refuse? I ran, and soon brought a kettleful.

"How old are you-and what's your name?" continued he, without waiting
for a reply. "I'm sure you are one of the finest lads that I have ever
seen. Will you just turn a few minutes for me?"

Tickled with the flattery, like a little fool, I went to work, and
bitterly did I rue the day. It was a new ax, and I toiled and tugged
till I was almost tired to death. The school bell rang, and I could
not get away. My hands were blistered, and the ax was not half ground.

At length, however, it was sharpened, and the man turned to me with,
"Now, you little rascal, you've played truant! Scud to school, or
you'll rue it!"

"Alas!" thought I, "it was hard enough to turn a grindstone this cold
day, but now to be called a little rascal is too much." It sank deep
into my mind, and often have I thought of it since.


Discussion. 1. In this story Franklin advises you to be on your guard
against flatterers who wish to make use of you in order to gain their
o"-n ends. What made Franklin do as the man wanted him to? What do you
think of the man? 2. How would you have sought the boy's help? 3. In
what way was this incident of use to Franklin afterwards? 4. What is
meant when we say of a person that he has "an ax to grind"? 5. How do
you think Franklin valued sincerity? 6. How do you value it? 7. Tell
the story as the man would have told it to a friend. 8. Pronounce:


William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) was born in the rugged hill country
of western Massachusetts. From infancy he showed remarkable powers of
mind. He could read by the time he was two years old, wrote verses
at nine, and when scarcely eighteen wrote his most noted poem,
"Thanatopsis," now one of the world's classics. He had a wonderful
memory, and it is said he could repeat "by heart" every poem he had

Bryant removed to New York, where in 1825 he became editor of the
Evening Post. Through the remainder of--his long life he devoted his
energy and great gifts to building up one of the most forceful of
American newspapers, but he found time also to study Nature and to
write so many poems that we now think of him as a poet, not as an
editor. He was also a student, and we are indebted to him for some
excellent translations from old authors. And, finally, he was a
public-spirited American, interested in all matters that have to do
with the honor of our country. Imagine yourself in New York City
during the latter part of the last century. If you were walking up
Broadway almost any morning, your attention would be attracted to a
venerable looking man, with heavy, flowing, snow-white hair and beard,
whom you would be quite likely to meet swinging along at a vigorous
pace. You would not need to be told that this man is our first
American poet, with whose verses you are already familiar; and you
would probably know, too, that he is also the editor of the Evening
Post and that, although now past eighty, he is on his way to his
office, walking from his home some two miles away, as he has done,
rain or shine, for over half a century.

This great man was not too busy with affairs, or too learned, to look
for the joy that comes from companionship with Nature. Like Irving he
chose American subjects taken from his own surroundings: the scenes
of his boyhood, the flowers, birds, and hills of his old New England
home. He found pleasure in the simplest things, and he wrote about
this pleasure in the simplest way. In this simplicity and the variety
of his interests his wealth consisted; a treasure that made rich not
only the poet who possessed it but all Americans, to whom he left his
life and works for an inheritance.


When beechen buds begin to swell,
And woods the bluebird's warble know,
The yellow violet's modest bell
Peeps from the last year's leaves below.

Ere russet fields their green resume,
Sweet flower, I love, in forest bare,
To meet thee, when thy faint perfume;
Alone is in the virgin air.

Of all her train, the hands of Spring
First plant thee in the watery mold;
And I have seen thee blossoming
Beside the snow-bank's edges cold.

Thy parent sun, who bade thee view
dale-skies, and chilling moisture sip,
Has bathed thee in his own bright hue,
And streaked with jet thy glowing lip.

Yet slight thy form, and low thy seat,
And earthward bent thy gentle eye,
Unapt the passing view to meet,
When loftier flowers are flaunting nigh.

Oft, in the sunless April day,
Thy early smile has stayed my walk,
But 'midst the gorgeous blooms of May
I passed thee on thy humble stalk.

So they who climb to wealth forget The friends in darker fortunes
tried. I copied them--but I regret That I should ape the ways of

And when again the genial hour Awakes the painted tribes of light,
I'll not o'erlook the modest flower That made the weds of April


Discussion. 1. When does the poet say the violet makes its appearance?
2. Why is the violet called a "modest" flower? 3. Why does the violet
make glad the heart of the poet? When the woods and fields are full of
flowers, does he notice the violet? 4. What does "alone" add to the
meaning of line 8, page 298? 5. What is meant by "her train," line 9,
page 298? 6. What are "the hands of Spring"? 7. In what sense is the
sun the "parent" of the violet? 8. Why does Bryant say the violet's
seat is low? 9. What does the poet say the violet's "early smile" has
often done for him? 10. Point out the stanzas in which the poet tells
you where he finds the violet; the stanzas in which he tells you about
the appearance and character of the flower; the stanzas in which he
rebukes himself for passing it by, and makes a promise. 11. Why does
Bryant stop to view the violet in April and pass it by in May? 12.
With what does the poet compare this treatment of the violet? 13. What
does the poet say he regrets? 14. What other flowers come very early
in the spring? How do you feel when you see them? 15. Which stanza of
the poem do you like best? 16. What other poem on the violet have you
read? 17. Tell what you can about the author. 18. Find in the Glossary
the meaning of: beechen; russet; train; jet; unapt. 19. Pronounce:
ere; parent; gorgeous; humble; genial.

Phrases for Study

modest bell, stayed my walk, their green resume, in darker fortunes
tried, virgin air, ape the ways of pride, pale skies, genial hour,
flaunting nigh, painted tribes of light.


Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
When our Mother Nature laughs around,
When even the deep blue heavens look glad,
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?

There are notes of joy from the hangbird and wren,
And the gossip of swallows through all the sky;
The ground squirrel gayly chirps by his den,
And the wilding bee hums merrily by.

The clouds are at play in the azure space,
And their shadows at play on the bright green vale,
And here they stretch to the frolic chase,
And there they roll on the easy gale.

There's a dance of leaves in that aspen bower;
There's a titter of winds in that beechen tree;
There's a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower,
And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.

And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles
On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray,
On the leaping waters and gay young isles,
Ay, look, and he'll smile thy gloom away.


Discussion. 1. What season is described here? 2. What are the signs
that Nature is glad? How do all these things affect the poet? How do
you sometimes feel on a cold, rainy day? 3. What signs of gladness are
mentioned in the first two stanzas? 4. Which of these have you seen
in springtime? 5. Have you ever seen clouds that seemed to chase one
another? 6. What is meant by "a laugh from the brook"? 7. What does
the poet say the sun will do for us? 8. Do you think spring is "a time
to be cloudy and sad"? Why? 9. Why do city boys and girls like to
visit the country? 10. Read again "A Forward Look," pages 19-20, and
then point out fancies that Bryant uses in this poem to help us see
the beauty and wonder of Nature. 11. Commit to memory the stanza that
you like best. 12. Pronounce: wilding; azure; isles; ay.

Phrases for Study

gladness breathes, frolic chase, blossoming ground, aspen bower,
gossip of swallows, titter of winds, azure space, broad-faced sun.


John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was born near the town of
Haverhill, Massachusetts, not far from Hawthorne's birthplace. He had
very little opportunity for education beyond what the district school
afforded, for his parents were too poor to send him away to school.
His two years' attendance at Haverhill Academy was paid for by his own
work at making ladies' slippers for twenty-five cents a pair. He began
writing verses almost as soon as he learned to write at all, but his
father discouraged this ambition as frivolous, saying it would never
give him bread. His family were Quakers, sturdy of stature as of
character. He is called "The Quaker Poet."

Whittier led the life of a New England farm boy, used to hard work
and few pleasures. His library consisted of practically one book, the
family Bible. Later, a copy of Burns's poems was loaned to him by
the district schoolmaster. Like Burns he had great sympathy with the
humble and the poor. In his poems. Whittier described the scenes and
told the legends of his own locality. Home Ballads and Songs of Labor,
in which "The Huskers" and "The Corn-Song" appear, are among his most
widely read books. They picture country life and the scenes of the
simple occupations common in his part of the country. Whittier was
intensely patriotic and religious by nature. His happiness lay in his
association with his friends, with children, animals, and the outdoor

In these respects he was like Bryant, a man who found pleasure in
simple things. Like Bryant, also, he was interested in public affairs.
Any injustice to the poor he opposed passionately. He wrote many poems
in protest against slavery. He wrote, also, ballads of early New
England history, and some of our most beautiful religious poetry comes
from his pen. His life was less filled with business cares than that
of Bryant, but it was equally full of interests that made him happy
and source of help and joy to others.


It was late in mild October, and the long autumnal rain Had left the
summer harvest-fields all green with grass again; The first sharp
frosts had fallen, leaving all the woodlands gay With the hues of
summer's rainbow or the meadow flowers of May.

Through a thin, dry mist, that morning, the sun rose broad and red; At
first a rayless disk of fire, he brightened as he sped; Yet even his
noontide glory fell chastened and subdued On the cornfields and the
orchards and softly pictured wood.

And all that quiet afternoon, slow sloping to the night, He wove with
golden shuttle the haze with yellow light; Slanting through the tented
beeches, he glorified the hill; And, beneath it, pond and meadow lay
brighter, greener still.

And shouting boys in woodland haunts caught glimpses of that sky,
Flecked by the many-tinted leaves, and laughed, they knew not why; And
schoolgirls, gay with aster-flowers, beside the meadow brooks, Mingled
the glow of autumn with the sunshine of sweet looks.

From spire and barn looked westerly the patient weathercocks; But even
the birches on the hill stood motionless as rocks. No sound was in the
woodlands save the squirrel's dropping shell, And the yellow leaves
among the boughs, low rustling as they fell.

The summer grains were harvested; the stubble-fields lay dry, Where
June winds rolled, in light and shade, the pale green waves of rye;
But still, on gentle hill-slopes, in valleys fringed with wood,
ungathered, bleaching in the sun, the heavy corn crop stood.

Bent low by autumn's wind and rain, through husks that, dry and sear,
Unfolded from their ripened charge, shone out the yellow ear; Beneath,
the turnip lay concealed in many a verdant fold, And glistened in the
slanting light the pumpkin's sphere of gold.

There wrought the busy harvester, and many a creaking wain Bore slowly
to the long barn-floor its load of husk and grain; Till broad and red,
as when he rose, the sun sank down at last, And like a merry guest's
farewell the day in brightness passed.

And lo! as through the western pines, on meadow, stream, and pond,
Flamed the red radiance of a sky set all afire beyond, Slowly o'er
the eastern sea-bluffs a milder glory shone, And the sunset and the
moonrise were mingled into one!

As thus into the quiet night the twilight lapsed away, And deeper in
the brightening moon the tranquil shadows lay, From many a brown old
farmhouse and hamlet without name, Their milking and their home-tasks
done, the merry huskers came.

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest