Изображения страниц

servant, and well deserve all the favours he had already conferred upon me, or might do for the future.

The reader may please to observe that in the last article fa the recovery of my liberty the emperor stipulates to allow me a quantity of meat and drink sufficient for the support of 1,728 Lilliputians. Some time after, asking a friend at court how they came to fix upon that number, he told me that his majesty's mathematicians, having taken the height of my body by the help of a quadrant, and finding it to exceed theirs in the proportion of twelve to one, they concluded from the similarity of their bodies that mine would contain at least 1,728 of theirs, and consequently would require as much food as was necessary to support that number of Lilliputians. By which the reader may conceive an idea of the ingenuity of that people, as well as the prudent and exact economy of so great a prince.

Popular Stories.




HE nuts are quite ripe now,” said Chanticleer to his

wife Partlet; "suppose we go together to the mountains, and eat as many as we can before the squirrel takes them all away.”

“ With all my heart,” said Partlet; “let us go and make a holiday of it together."

So they went to the mountains; and as it was a lovely day, they stayed there till the evening. Now, whether it was that they had eaten so many nuts that they could not walk, or whether they were lazy and would not, I do not know. However, they took it into their heads that it did not become them to go home on foot. So Chanticleer began to build a little carriage of nut-shells; and when it was finished Partlet jumped into it and sat down, and bid Chanticleer harness himself to it and draw her home.



" That's a good joke,” said Chanticleer; “no, that will never do. I had rather by half walk home. I'll sit on the box, and be coachman, if you like; but I'll not draw.”

While this was passing a duck camé quacking up, and cried out, “ You thieving vagabonds, what business have you in my grounds. I'll give it you well for your insolence.” And upon that she fell upon Chanticleer most lustily. But Chanticleer was no coward, and returned the duck's blows with his sharp spurs so fiercely that she soon began to cry out for mercy, which was only granted her upon condition that she would draw the carriage home for them. This she agreed to do; and Chanticleer got upon the box and drove, crying, “Now, duck, get on as fast as you can.” And away they went at a pretty good pace.

After they had travelled along a little way, they met a needle and a pin walking together along the road, and the needle cried, “Stop, stop!” and said it was so dark they could hardly find their way, and such dirty walking they could not get on at all. He told Chanticleer that he and his friend the pin had been staying at a friend's house a few miles off, and had sat talking till they had forgotten how late it was. He begged, therefore, that the travellers would give them a lift in their carriage. Chanticleer, noticing that they were but thin fellows, and not likely to take up much room, told them they might ride, but made them promise not to dirty the wheels of the carriage in getting up, nor to tread on Partlet's toes.

Late at night they arrived at an inn; and as it was bad travelling in the dark, and the duck seemed much tired, and waddled about a good deal from one side to the other, they made up their minds to fix their quarters there. But the landlord was at first unwilling, and said his house was full, thinking they might not be very respectable company. However, they spoke civilly to him, and gave him the egg which Partlet had laid by the

way, and said they would give him the duck, that was in the habit of laying one every day. So at last he let them come in, and they ordered a jolly supper, and spent the evening very pleasantly.

Early in the morning, before it was quite light, and when nobody was stirring in the inn, Chanticleer awakened his wife, and told her it was time for them to be off. The duck, who

[ocr errors]

slept in the open air in the yard, heard them coming, and jumping into the brook which ran close by the inn, soon swam out of their reach.



Another day, Chanticleer and Partlet determined to make war on Mr. Korbes, the fox, for robbing them of their offspring on several occasions. So Chanticleer built a handsome carriage, with four red wheels, and harnessed six mice to it; and then he and Partlet got into the carriage and away they drove. Soon afterwards a cat met them and said, “Where are you going?" And Chanticleer replied

" All on our way,
A visit to pay

To Mr. Korbes, the fox, to-day.” Then the cat said, “Take me with you.” Chanticleer replied, “ With all my heart; get up behind, and be sure you do not fall off.”

“ Take care of this handsome coach of mine,
Nor dirty my pretty red wheels, so fine!

Now mice, be ready,

And, wheels, run steady,
For we are going a visit to pay

To Mr. Korbes, the fox, to-day." Soon after came up a millstone, an egg, a duck, and a pin, and Chanticleer gave them all leave to get into the carriage and go with them.

When they arrived at Mr. Korbes's house, he was not at home; so the mice drew the carriage into the coach-house, Chanticleer and Partlet flew upon a beam, the cat sat down in the fire-place, the duck got into the washing cistern, the pin stuck himself into the bed pillow, the millstone laid himself over the house door, and the egg rolled herself up in the towel.

Now they thought that in this way they should be able to destroy the fox, though singly he would be the best man; 80 thoy sat patiently waiting till he came home.

When Mr. Korbes came home, he went to the fire-place to make a fire; but the cat threw all the ashes into his eyes.

So he ran to the kitchen to wash himself; but there the duck splashed all the water in his face; and when he tried to wipe


himself, the egg broke to pieces in the towel all over his face and eyes. Then he was very angry, and went without his supper to bed; but when he laid his head on his pillow the pin ran into his cheek. At this he became quite furious, and, jumping up, would have run out of the house; but when he came to the door, the millstone fell down on his head and killed him on the spot.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Another day Chanticleer and Partlet agreed to go again to the mountains to eat nuts; and it was settled that all the nuts which they found should be shared equally between them.' Now Partlet found a very large nut, but she said nothing about it to Chanticleer, and kept it all to herself. However, it was so big that she could not swallow it, and it stuck in her throat. Then she was in a great fright, and said to Chanticleer, · Pray, run as fast as you can, and fetch me some water, or I shall be choked.”

Chanticleer ran as fast as he could to the river, and said, “River, give me some water, for Partlet lies on the mountain, and will be choked by a great nut.” The river said, “Run first to the bride, and ask her for a silken cord to draw up the water.” Chanticleer ran to the bride and said, “Bride, you must give me a silken cord, for then the river will give me water, and the water I will carry to Partlet, who lies on the mountain, and will be choked by a great nut.” But the bride said, “Run first and bring me my garland that is hanging on a willow in the garden." Then Chanticleer ran to the garden, and took the garland from the bough where it hung, and brought it to the bride, and then the bride gave him the silken cord, and he took the silken cord to the river, and the river gave him water, and he carried the water to Partlet; but in the meantime she was choked by the great nut, and lay quite dead, and never moved any more.

Then Chanticleer was very sorry, and cried bitterly; and all the beasts came and wept with him over poor Partlet. And six mice built a little hearse to carry her to her grave.

And when it was ready, they harnessed themselves to it, and Chanticleer drove them. On the way they met the fox. “Where are you going, Chanticleer?” said be. “ To bury my Partlet,” said the other. May I go with you?” said the fox. “Yes, but you must get up behind, or my horses will not be able to draw you.” Then the fox got up behind; and presently the wolf, the bear, the goat, and all the beasts of the wood came, and climbed upon the hearse.

So on they went till they came to a rapid stream. “How shall we get over?” said Chanticleer.

Then said a straw, “I will lay myself across, and you may pass over upon me.” But as the mice were going over the straw slipped away and fell into the water, and the six mice all fell in and were drowned. What was to be done ? Then a large log of wood came and said, “I am big enough ; I will lay myself across the stream, and you shall pass over upon me.” So he laid himself down ; but they managed so clumsily, that the log of wood fell in and was carried away by the stream. Then a stone, who saw what had happened, came up, and kindly offered to help poor Chanticleer, by laying himself across the stream ; and this time he got safely to the other side with the hearse, and managed to get Partlet out of it; but the fox, and the other mourners who were sitting behind, were too heavy, and fell back into the water, and were carried away by the stream and drowned.

Then Chanticleer was left alone with his dead Partlet, and having dug a grave for her he laid her in it, and made a little hillock over her. Then he sat down by the grave, and wept and mourned, till at last he died too. And so all were dead.

Yutroduction of Coffee into England.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

HILE the honour of introducing tea may be

disputed by the Dutch, that of coffee remains between the English and the French. Yet an Italian intended to have occupied that place of honour. That admirable traveller, Pietro della Valle, writing from Constantinople in 1615 to a

Roman, his fellow-countryman, informed him that he should teach Europe in what manner the Turks took what he calls “cahúe;" or, as the word is written in an Arabic and English pamphlet printed at Oxford in 1659, on “The Nature

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »