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(Enter a courtier, in haste.) Courtier. Ah! is your Majesty safe ?
We have hunted the forest over to find you.
36. M. How! are you the king ? (kneels.) Your Majesty will pardon the ill usage you have received (the king draws his sword). His Majesty surely will not kill a servant for doing his duty too faithfully.
37. K. No, my good fellow. So far from having any thing to pardon, I am much your debtor. I can not but think so good and honest a man will make a worthy and honorable knight. Rise, Sir John Cockle, and receive this sword as a badge of knighthood and a pledge of my protection; and to support your nobility, and in some measure requite you for the pleasure you have done us, ten thousand crowns a year shall be your
XXXVII.—THE THREE BELLS.
Captain Leighton, of the English ship Three Bells, some years ago rescued the crew of an American vessel sinking in mid-ocean. Unable to take them off in the storm and darkness, he kept by them until morning, running down often during the night, as near to them as he dared, and shouting to them through his trumpet, “ Never fear! Hold on! I'll stand by you.” 1. Beneath the low-hung night cloud
That raked her splintering mast
The cruel leak gained fast.
Her signal guns pealed out.
From the horror round about?
3. A voice came down the wild wind,
“Ho! Ship ahoy!” its cry:
“Our stout Three Bells of Glasgow
Shall stand till daylight by!” 4. Hour after hour crept slowly,
Yet on the heaving swells
The lights of the Three Bells! 5. And ship to ship made signals,
Man answered back to man,
The Three Bells nearer ran :
6. And the captain from her taffrail
Sent down his hopeful cry. “ Take heart! Hold on!” he shouted,
“The Three Bells shall stand by !” 7. All night across the waters
The tossing lights shone clear;
The Three Bells sent her cheer.
8. And when the weary watches
Of storm and darkness passed,
All souls were saved at last!
9. Sail, on Three Bells, forever,
In grateful memory sail !
Above the wave and gale!
I hear the Master's cry;
John G. WHITTIER.
XXXVIII.- DECISIVE INTEGRITY.
1. The man who is so conscious of the rectitude of his intentions as to be willing to open his bosom to the inspection of the world, is in possession of one of the strongest pillars of a decided character.
2. The course of such a man will be firm and steady, because he has nothing to fear from the world. While he who is conscious of secret designs, which, if known, would blast him, is afraid of all around, and much more of all above him.
3. Such a man may, indeed, pursue his iniquitous plans steadily; he may waste himself to a skeleton in the guilty pursuit; but it is impossible that he can pursue them with the same health-inspiring confidence and exulting alacrity that one feels who is in the pursuit of honest ends by honest means.
4. The clear, unclouded brow, the open countenance, the brilliant eye which can look an honest man steadfastly, yet courteously, in the face; the healthfully beating heart and the firm, elastic step, belong to him whose bosom is free from guile, and who knows that all his purposes are pure and right.
5. Why should such a man falter in his course? He may be slandered; he may be deserted by the world; but he has that within which will keep him erect, and enable him to move onward in his course, with his eyes
fixed on heaven, which he knows will not desert him.
6. Let your first step, then, in that discipline which is to give you decision of character, be the heroic determination to be honest men, and to preserve this character through every vicissitude of fortune and in every relation which connects you with society.
7. I do not use this phrase, “honest men,” in the narrow sense merely of meeting your pecuniary engagements, and paying your debts; for this the common pride of gentleinen will constrain you to do.
8. I use it in its larger sense of discharging all your duties, both public and private, both open and secret, with the most scrupulous, heaven-attesting integrity; in that sense, further, which drives from the bosom all little, dark, crooked, sordid, debasing considerations of self, and substitutes in their place a bolder, loftier and nobler spirit; one that will dispose you to consider yourselves as born not so much for yourselves as for your country and your fellow-creatures, and which will lead you to act on every occasion sincerely, justly, generously, magnanimously.
9. There is a morality on a larger scale, perfectly consistent with a just attention to your own affairs, which it would be the height of folly to neglect, - a generous expansion, a proud elevation and conscious greatness of character, which is the best preparation for a decided course, in every situation into which you can be thrown; and it is to this high and noble tone of character that I would have you aspire.
10. I would not have you resemble those weak and meagre streamlets which lose their direction at every petty impediment which presents itself, and stop and turn back, and creep around, and search out every little channel through which they may wind their feeble and sickly course. Nor yet would I have you resemble the headlong torrent that carries havoc in its mad career. 11. But I would have
like the ocean that noblest emblem of majestic decision, which, in the calmest hour, still heaves its resistless might of waters to the shore, filling the heavens, day and night, with the echoes of its sublime declaration of independence, and tossing and sporting on its bed, with an imperial consciousness of strength that laughs at opposition.
12. It is this depth, and weight, and power, and purity
, of character that I would have you resemble; and I would have you, like the waters of the ocean, to become the purer by your own action.
XXXIX.-THE PETRIFIED FOREST OF
1. Among California's most notable wonders may be mentioned the petrified forest, situated in the most romantic scenery of mountain wilds, about half way between two celebrated summer resorts, Mark West Springs, in Sonoma county, and Calistoga Springs, in Napa county. In speaking of these wonderful speciinens of petrified wood we fain would connect them with some mysterious designs of nature — for what purpose is left with man to conjecture.
2. Here in a mountainous region, wild and weird, with rugged bluffs of volcanic formation, separated by deep and gloomy cañons studded with a dense foliage of modern growth, the tourist pursues his uneven way among the ever-varying and romantic scenes of a wind. ing road, cut in the steep and rocky side of high mountains, between which Mark West Creek winds its way, splashing and tumbling over and around the rugged edge of some huge bowlder that has ir. times past occupied a more elevated position on the mountain side.
3. Arriving at the forest, one is surprised at its quiet, or rather spell-bound, appearance. We enter feeling as if we were treading the cemetery of an antediluvian forest, whose stateliest trees were embalmed to last forever, while those of smaller growth were allowed to mix again with mother earth and lose their identity.