Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

are jealous of me! I made it, and when it was done, they stole it from me. But I have found it! For years I have been wandering in search of my great engine, and they swore it was not made. But I have found it! I knew it this morning when I saw it at Dantzic, and I was determined to have it. And I've got it! Ho! ho! ho! we're on the way to the moon, I say! By the Virgin Mother, we'll be in the moon in fourand-twenty hours. Down, down, villain! If you move, I'll shoot you."

15. This was spoken to the poor fireman, who at that moment attempted to rise, and the frightened man sank back again.

"Here's Little Oscue just before us!" cried out one of the guard. But even as he spoke the buildings were at hand. A sickening sensation settled upon my heart, for I supposed that we were now gone. The houses flew by like lightning. I knew if the officers here had turned the switch as usual, we should be hurled into eternity in one fearful crash. I saw a flash,—it was another engine,-I closed my eyes; but still we thundered on.

16. The officers had seen our speed, and, knowing that we would not head up in that distance, they had changed the switch, so that we went forward. But there was sure death ahead, if we did not stop. Only fifteen miles from us was the town of Schwartz, on the Vistula; and at the rate we were going we should be there in a few minutes, for each minute carried us over a mile. The shrieks of the passengers now rose above the crash of the rails, and more terrific than all else arose the demoniac yells of the mad engineer.

17. "Merciful heavens!" gasped the guardsman, "there's not a moment to lose; Schwartz is close. But hold," he added, "let's shoot him." At that moment a tall, stout German student came over the platform where we stood, and he saw that the madman had his heavy pistol aimed at us. He grasped a huge stick of wood, and, with a steadiness of nerve which I could not have commanded, he hurled it with such

force and precision that he knocked the pistol from the maniac's hand.

18. I saw the movement, and on the instant that the pistol fell I sprang forward, and the German followed me. I grasped the man by the arm; but I should have been nothing in his mad power, had I been alone. He would have hurled me from the platform, had not the student at that moment struck him upon the head with a stick of wood which he caught as he came over the tender.

19. Kroller settled down like a dead man, and on the next instant I shut off the steam and opened the valve. As the freed steam shrieked and howled in its escape, the speed began to decrease, and in a few minutes more the danger was past. As I settled back, entirely overcome by the wild emotions that had raged within me, we began to turn the river; and before I was fairly recovered, the fireman had stopped the train in the station-house at Schwartz.

LESSON XXXIII.

DICKENS IN CAMP.

BY F. BRET HARTE.

Francis Bret Harte was born in Albany, N. Y., in the year 1837. While a mere boy he went to California, where he taught school, worked in the mines, and afterwards became a printer, and at length an editor. In 1868 the Overland Monthly was established in San Francisco, and Mr. Harte became its first editor. His contributions to this magazine at once made him very widely known. His literary reviews are sparkling, discriminating and just; his sketches are wonderfully vivid and truthful; his tales are full of humor, pathos, and strength. His characters and incidents are mainly drawn from the rough phases of mining-life in the early days of California; and, as his language and treatment are "true to the life," his writings have been sometimes criticised as lacking in refinement. His poems have been almost as extensively read as his prose works. Among the most widely known are Plain Language from Truthful James (better known as "The Heathen Chinee"), To the Pliocene Skull, Her Letter, and Dow's Flat. The first named at once achieved immense popularity, and was reproduced in the papers and in illustrated pamphlets all over the country. His stories and sketches were published in a volume in 1869 under the title, The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales. Poems appeared in 1871; Condensed Novels in 1871; East and West Poems in 1872; Mrs. Skaggs's Husband, etc., in 1872.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed]

3. Till one arose, and from his pack's scant treasure
A hoarded volume drew,

And cards were dropped from hands of listless leisure
To hear the tale anew;

4. And then, while round them shadows gathered faster,
And as the firelight fell,

He read aloud the book wherein the Master
Had writ of "Little Nell.'

5. Perhaps 't was boyish fancy,-for the reader
Was youngest of them all,-

But, as he read, from clustering pine and cedar
A silence seemed to fall:

6. The fir trees, gathering closer in the shadows,
Listened in every spray,

While the whole camp, with "Nell" on English meadows,
Wandered and lost their way.

7. And so in mountain solitudes-o'ertaken

As by some spell divine

Their cares dropped from them like the needles shaken
From out the gusty pine.

8. Lost is that camp, and wasted all its fire;
And he who wrought that spell ?—

Ah, towering pine and stately Kentish spire,
Ye have one tale to tell!

9. Lost is that camp! but let its fragrant story
Blend with the breath that thrills

With hop-vines' incense all the pensive glory
That fills the Kentish hills.

10. And on that grave where English oak and holly
And laurel wreaths entwine,

Deem it not all a too presumptuous folly,-
This spray of Western pine!

LESSON XXXIV.

THE PURITANS.

BY T. B. MACAULAY.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, the most illustrious of modern English essayists and historians, was born in 1800, and was educated at Cambridge University, where his reputation for classical scholarship stood very high. He was called to the bar in 1825, but before that time he had written his ringing poem The Battle of Ivry, the Essay on Milton, and other brilliant papers. The Lays of Ancient Rome appeared in 1842, and added much to his reputation. In 1830, he became a member of Parliament. Four years after he went to India as a member of the Council, and there framed a Civil Code, intended to secure to the natives their rights in the courts. The fame of Macaulay rests principally, however, on his History of England. Two volumes appeared in 1848, and were received with universal acclamation. Very large editions were sold in America as well as in England. Dramatic art of arrangement, splendid learning, brilliancy of style, and pictorial presentations of society and inanners, rendered them more fascinating to all classes than the finest fiction. Two more volumes of the work were published in 1855, and auother after his death in 1859. He was elected to Parliament again in 1852, and in 1857 was raised to the peerage, under the title of Baron Macaulay.

THE

HE Puritans were men whose minds had derived a peculiar character from the daily contemplation of superior beings and eternal interests. Not content with acknowledging, in general terms, an overruling Providence, they habitually ascribed every event to the will of the Great Being, for whose power nothing was too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too minute. To know him, to serve him, to enjoy him, was with them the great end of existence. They rejected with contempt the ceremonious homage which other sects substituted for the pure worship of the soul.

2. Instead of catching occasional glimpses of the Deity through an obscuring veil, they aspired to gaze full on the intolerable brightness, and to commune with him face to face. Hence originated their contempt for terrestrial distinctions. The difference between the greatest and meanest of mankind seemed to vanish, when compared with the boundless interval which separated the whole race from Him on whom their own eyes were constantly fixed. They recognized no title to

« EdellinenJatka »