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trive some way to do it, and thus turn them into fruitful showers and make them blessings. I should like to try it.”
“Stay here a moment, brother," said the one, “and I will return to you.”
With that, quick as thought, on his wings of strength, he was entering the third heaven. In another instant, he was back again. “ Brother,” said he, “ thou hast thy desire. The Eternal Father commits these icebergs all to thee. Thou art to contrive and execute a plan of melting each one as fast as it is born, till all are gone, and the great open sea washes green shores, and beauty spreads her mantle over all, and fertility touches every nook and corner of the land with her wand and makes it fruitful.
“Thou mayest have centuries—such as they measure herein which to do it; only the Eternal Father directs thee to begin with that iceberg, which has just been plunged into the sea, and when every particle of that one is melted to begin with another. Fare thee well, dear brother. Bright will be thy wings, and radiant thy face, when thou shalt return and say, it is all done. I must hasten away to do my bidding."
They then embraced each other as only angels can embrace ; and the angel, who now took the name of Ice-melter, stood alone. And now, how elastic his step! How buoyant his hope! He had an angel's wisdom and strength, and ages in which to work ! The storms, and the cold and sunless heavens, and the long nights would not trouble him, for he was a spirit. And how glorious the mission, to turn all that dreary awful region into the garden of the Lord ! At once he flew, and alighted on the great iceberg, like a bird, and began to sing in his joy :
“Old Winter's king
His mantle of cold ;
Shall turn into gold.
Fleets shall sail ;
Nets shall trail.
“ Where the north light streams,
And the strong winds roar,
As she plies her oar.
Shall gardens bloom :
Over Winter's tomb.
“No longer begirt
And in fetters bound;
The world around.
“ With music and song
And my time beguile,
And my Father shall smile."
Then Ice-melter sprang to his feet, and began to examine his floating home. He found it composed of many huge blocks of ice, as they were broken and crushed in the moving river ; but now all frozen, solid, and firm. It was a mighty mass. He mounted it, and followed its peaks shooting far up towards heaven. He dived under it, and found it seven times as deep down in the water as it was above it. The bottom was by far the largest part, far down out of sight. He felt it, and it was hard, and cold, and smooth. He shouted to it, but there was no echo or response. “Ah !”
“I will make my first trial, and see if I cannot melt you !”
So he flew away to the south-far south-till he came to land where there was a little wood. Carefully he gathered every little dry stick, and tied them up in a tight bundle, which he carried to his iceberg. Day and night, for years, he carried sticks and lay them down in piles on his iceberg. In these years, his iceberg
had drifted off a few miles, and was again wedged in fast. At length, after unmeasured patience and toil, he hoped he had collected enough wood to melt the ice. For ten years he had done nothing but gather sticks.
So he brought moss and leaves and set them on fire, and stood anxiously waiting to see the result. At first, the fire snapped, and sparkled, and blazed up high, so that the tops of the icebergs for a hundred miles round were tipped with light, and gleamed like silver. The winds blew, and up went the crackling flames ; but soon all the wood was burned out, except the sticks which touched the ice, and which were at once hissing and smoking, till they went entirely out !
When all was over, poor Ice-melter went to examine the results. He found that his wood-enough to load a dozen navies—had all burnt out, and the air was no warmer; and the fire had only melted a small place on the ice, where the waters had run a little way, when they froze up again, like tears turned into ice before they have fairly left the eye. Where his fire had been, he saw only a black, unsightly scar upon the ice.
Well, well,” said he, “I am disappointed! I thought that so much dry wood, and such a great blaze would warm the air so as to melt half the icebergs in sight, and I thought that this would melt, and the waters almost boil where it lay! Instead of that it is already frozen up again, and the dark, cold night again settles down upon it all, and my ten years of labour are all lost. I had no idea that air and water were so hard to warm, or the ice to melt. Never mind; I have learned something, and I trust I shall be quite successful next time.”
And as day by day rejoicing
To my school I pass along,
Of the skylark's early song,
Hang like diamonds on the thorn,
To the healthy country child,
She can cull the daisies wild,
Full many a blessing too,
Make me thankful, good, and true.
Where the power of commerce brings
Stores of rare and lovely things ;
Comforts they could ne'er obtain,
Did not sail across the main.
Though I cannot there behold
Which the wo ds and fields unfold ;
For the blessings He has given,
E. B. M.
QUIETING A PIG.-Charles V., King of Spain and Emperor of Germany, was once going to visit a convent at Vienna, when he met a peasant who was carrying a pig, The noise being disagreeable to the emperor, he asked the man if he did not know the way to make a pig be quiet? The countryman said he did not, and added that he should be very glad to hear it.
“ Take the pig by the tail,” said the emperor, “and you will see that it will soon be silent.” The peasant, finding that the emperor was right, said: “You must have learned the trade much longer than I, sir, for you understand it a great deal better.”
Willie Morden; or, a Young Scholar's Difficulties
in School. CHAPTER I.
ILLIE MORDEN entered the village school of
Norton, for the first time, on Monday morning, the 1st of May, 1854. He was a little boy of six years old, and had already learned the alphabet at home. He could also read simple sentences, such as “The dog bit the cat,” “The hen lays
her eggs in the barn," so that his mother thought it was quite time he was at school. So on this Monday morning, Willie and his mother set off for the school, where they were kindly received by Mr. Sparks, the schoolmaster, who heard Willie read in a simple book, and entered his name on the school register.
Willie was placed in the lowest class, which was taught by a pupil teacher, named James Turner. He was a neat boy of fourteen years of age, and did his very best to keep the scholars in his class in good order, and get them on in their lessons. This was a difficult task, for some boys would talk, no matter how he spoke to them, and what he set them to do. John Adams was a boy of this kind, and though when he had the cane he would come back to his place crying as if his heart would break; yet, in exactly ten minutes after he would be laughing and talking quite as bad as before. When Willie Morden saw John Adams crying he began crying too, because he thought he was going to be punished; but his teacher kindly patted him on the head, and told him it was only bad boys that had the cane. Soon after he had entered the class, the teacher took the boys into the class-room, where they all read together from a card for half an hour. Willie liked this exercise, for he could read quite loud without being noticed by the other boys. And by and by he became less shy, so that he was not afraid to read by himself, when it became his turn.
When the half-hour was over, the card was put on one side, and the boys were told to get their slates and pencils, and copy some letters from the black board. Willie could not do this so well, and when he had made a B, John Adams, the rude boy who sat : next to him, snatched away his slate, and showed it to the other