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How did they impress Ernest?
142: 10 Titan. A member of a race of giants in Greek mythology.
145:18 Midas. In Greek mythology, a king of Phrygia, who was granted the power of turning everything he touched into gold. Read Hawthorne's Wonder Book story, “The Golden Touch.”
The Snow Image
A Rill from the Town Pump †
(* From "A Wonder Book," published in the Educational Publishing Company's Fifteen Cent Classics.)
(† From "Twice Told Tales,” published in the Educational Publishing Company's Fifteen Cent Classics.)
A NOBLE REVENGE
THOMAS DE QUINCEY Thomas De Quincey was born in Greenheys, Manchester, England, August 15, 1785. He was the son of a wealthy merchant. At the age of sixteen he was sent to the Manchester Grammar School, and later went to Oxford. In 1821, his “Confessions of an OpiumEater” was published, and in the next twenty years, he wrote a great number of articles, chiefly on literature and philosophy. He died at Edinburgh, Scotland, December 8, 1859.
A young officer had so far forgotten himself, in a moment of irritation, as to strike a private soldier, full of personal dignity, and distinguished for his courage. The inexorable laws of military discipline forbade to the injured soldier 5 any practical redress - he could look for no retaliation by acts. Words only were at his command, and, in a tumult of indignation, as he turned away, the soldier said to his officer that he would “make him repent it.” This, wearing
the shape of a menace, naturally rekindled the officer's 10 anger, and intercepted any disposition which might be
rising within him toward a sentiment of remorse; and thus the irritation between the two young men grew hotter than before.
Some weeks after this a partial action took place with 15 the enemy. Suppose yourself a spectator, and looking down
into a valley occupied by the two armies. They are facing each other in martial array. But it is no more than a skirmish which is going on; in the course of which, however,
an occasion suddenly arises for a desperate service. A re20 doubt, which has fallen into the enemy's hands, must be re
captured at any price, and under circumstances of all but hopeless difficulty.
A strong party has volunteered for the service. There is a cry for somebody to head them. You see a soldier step out from the ranks to assume this dangerous leadership. The party moves rapidly forward, and in a few minutes it is 5 swallowed up from your eyes in clouds of smoke. For one half hour, from behind these clouds, you receive hieroglyphic reports of bloody strife — fierce repeating signals, flashes from the guns, rolling musketry, and exulting hurras advancing or receding, slackening or redoubling.
At length all is over. The redoubt has been recovered; that which was lost is found again; the jewel which has been made captive is ransomed with blood. Crimsoned with glorious gore, the wreck of the conquering party is re
lieved, and at liberty to return. From the river you see it 15 ascending. The plume-crested officer in command rushes
forward, with his left hand raising his hat in homage to the blackened fragments of what was once a flag, while with his right hand he seizes that of the leader, though not more
than a private from the ranks. That perplexes you not; 20 mystery you see none in that. For distinctions of orders
perish, ranks are confounded; "high and low” are words without a meaning, and to wreck goes every notion or feeling that divides the noble from the noble or the brave man from the brave.
But wherefore is it that now, when suddenly they wheel into mutual recognition, suddenly they pause? This soldier, this officer — who are they? O reader, once before they had stood face to face — the soldier that was struck,
the officer that struck him. Once again they are meeting; 30 and the gaze of armies is upon them. If for a moment a
doubt divides them, in a moment the doubt has perished. One glance exchanged between them publishes the forgiveness that is sealed forever.
As one who recovers a brother whom he had accounted 35 dead, the officer sprang forward, threw his arms around the
neck of the soldier and kissed him, as if he were some martyr glorified by that shadow of death from which he was returning; while, on his part, the soldier, stepping back, and
carrying his hand through the beautiful motions of the 5 military salute to a superior, makes this immortal answer
that answer shut up forever the memory of the indignity offered to him, even for the last time alluding to it: “Sir," he said, "I told you before that I would make you repent it.”
HELPS FOR STUDY
Why could not the soldier return the blow given him by the officer? Explain "inexorable laws,” “practical redress," and "retaliation.” What did the soldier say to the officer? Explain “wearing the shape of a menace.” What is a “redoubt?” Explain "hieroglyphic reports of bloody strife." What was the “jewel” which had been made captive and ransomed with blood?
Tell in your own words of the meeting between the soldier and the officer.
Do you think the soldier made the officer repent having struck him?
Additional selections may be found in the following works of De Quincey:
Revolt of the Tartars *
Joan of Arc
(* Published in the Educational Publishing Company's Fifteen Cent Classics.)
Fitz-Greene Halleck was born in Guilford, Conn., Juiy 8, 1790, On his mother's side he was descended from John Eliot, “the apostle of the Indians." His education was received at a grammar school, and he became a clerk in a bank in New York, in 1813, where he remained for many years. After his retirement from business life, he took up his residence in his native place, where he spent the remainder of his days. From his boyhood Halleck had written verses, some of which he sent to the newspapers. With Joseph Rodman Drake he contributed to a New paper the series of “The Croaker Papers.” He died in Guilford, November 19, 1867.
In the struggle of Greece for freedom from Turkish bondage, Marco Bozzaris, patriot leader of his Suliote band, during a fierce attack on the enemy's camp, fell in the moment of victory. Before he died, he uttered these words: “To die for liberty is a pleasure, and not a pain.” Fitz-Greene Halleck was on a visit to Europe at the time. Being an American by birth and a patriot at heart, he was inspired by the heroic sacrifice of this Greek leader to give to the world“ of the finest martial lyrics in the English language."
At midnight, in his guarded tent,
The Turk lay dreaming of the hour
Should tremble at his power;
In dreams his song of triumph heard;
As Eden's garden bird.
At midnight, in the forest shades,
Bozzaris ranged his Suliote band,