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12. Thousands of tapers were burning upon the green branches of the tree, and colored pictures, like those she had seen in the show-windows, looked down upon it all. The little one stretched out her hand towards them and the match went out.
13. The Christmas lights rose higher and higher, till they looked to her like the stars in the sky. Then she saw a star fall, leaving behind a bright streak of fire.
Some one is dying,” thought the little girl; for her old grandmother, the only one who had ever loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star falls a soul is going up to God.
14. She again rubbed a match on the wall, and the light shone around her. In the brightness stood her old grandmother, clear and shining, yet mild and loving in her appearance. “Grandmother," cried the little one, “O, take me with you; I know you will go away when the match burns out; you will vanish like the warm stove, the roast goose, and the large, glorious Christmastree.
15. And she made haste to light the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother there. And the matches glowed with a light that was brighter than the noonday, and her grandmother had never appeared so large or so beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and they both flew upwards in brightness and joy far above the earth, where there was neither cold nor hunger nor pain, for they were with God.
16. In the dawn of morning there lay the poor little one, with pale cheeks and smiling mouth, leaning against the wall. She had been frozen to death on the last evening of the old year; and the new year's sun rose and shone upon a little corpse.
17. The child still sat, in the stiffness of death, hold
ing the matches in her hand, one bundle of which was burnt. “She tried to warm herself,” said some. No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, nor into what glory she had entered with her grandmother on New Year's day.
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.
LVIII.-FULTON'S FIRST STEAM-BOAT.
1. One of the most remarkable discoveries of modern times is the art of propelling vessels by steam. For the first successful application of this discovery the world is indebted to Robert Fulton, an American. His account of the construction of his first steam-boat (in 1807) is well worthy the perusal of my young readers. It is taken from Judge Story's discourse before the Boston Mechanics' Institution.
2. When (said Fulton) I was building my first steamboat at New York, the project was viewed by the public either with indifference or with contempt, as a visionary scheme. My friends indeed were civil, but they were shy. They listened with patience to my explanations, but with a settled cast of incredulity on their counte
3. As I had occasion to pass daily to and from the building yard, while my boat was in progress, I have often loitered unknown near the idle groups of strangers gathering in little circles, and heard various inquiries as to the object of this new vehicle. The language was uniformly that of scorn or sneer or ridicule.
4. I heard the wise calculation of losses and expenditures, the dry jest, the dull but endless repetition of the “Fulton folly," and the loud laugh often rose at my expense. Never did a single encouraging remark, a bright hope, or a warm wish, cross my path. Silence itself was but politeness, veiling its doubts or hiding its reproaches.
5. At length the day arrived when the experiment was to be put in operation. To me it was a most trying and interesting occasion. I invited my friends to go on board to witness the first successful trip. Many of them did me the favor to attend, as a matter of personal respect; but it was manifest that they did it with reluctance, fearing to be the partners of my mortification, and not of my triumph.
6. I was well aware that in my case there were many reasons to doubt of my own success. The machinery was new and ill made; many parts of it were constructed by mechanics unaccustomed to such work; and unexpected difficulties might reasonably be presumed to present themselves from other causes.
7. The moment arrived in which the word was to be given for the vessel to move. My friends were in groups on the deck. There was anxiety mixed with fear among then. They were silent and sad. I read in their looks nothing but disaster, and almost repented of my efforts.
8. The signal was given, and the boat moved on a short distance, and then stopped. To the silence of the preceding moment now succeeded murmurs of discontent, and agitations and whispers and shrugs. I could hear distinctly repeated, “I told you it would be so — it is a foolish scheme — I wish we were well out of it."
9. I elevated myself upon a platform and addressed the assembly. I stated that I knew not what was the matter; but if they would be quiet, and indulge me for a half hour, I would either go on or abandon the voyage for that time.
10. This short respite was conceded without objection. I went below, examined the machinery, and discovered that the cause was a slight maladjustment of some of the work in a short period it was obviated. The boat was again put in motion. She continued to move on. All were still incredulous. None seemed willing to trust the evidence of their own senses.
11. We left the fair city of New York; we passed through the romantic and ever-varying scenery of the highlands; we descried the clustering houses of Albany; we reached its shore; and then, even then, when all seemed achieved, I was the victim of disappointment. Imagination superseded the influence of fact. It was then doubted if it could be done again, or if done, it was doubted if it could be made of any great value.
1. Two travelers, in time of yore,
Passed near the sea one day,
A stranded oyster lay.
And all his muscles strained,
And so the prize obtained.
“I saw it first, I'd swear."
“I smelt it lying there."
And yield the taste to me.”
Whose should the oyster be.
5. But ’mid their strife at length they spied
A stranger drawing near,
As of a judge severe.
And stated each his claim,
And then the judgment came.
And opened it with care,
To read his purpose there.
Ere they had seen it well
And handed each a shell.
9. “This judgment doth the court award,"
He said with accent gay,
Then wished the pair good day.
By litigation a dispute
Grows oft from bad to worse:
You gain an empty purse.
1. In the town of Ulster, in the State of Pennsylvania, once lived a man by the name of Le Fever. He owned a farm near the Blue Mountains, a place at that time much infested with wild animals.