Hamilton Wright Mabie.

Famous stories every child should know: a selection of the best stories of ... online

. (page 1 of 22)
Online LibraryHamilton Wright MabieFamous stories every child should know: a selection of the best stories of ... → online text (page 1 of 22)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project
to make the world's books discoverable online.

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the
publisher to a library and finally to you.

Usage guidelines

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for
personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About Google Book Search

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web

at http : //books . google . com/|



Digitized



by Google



Digitized



by Google



I " - ",:'



*• /



v - **i^ ^"♦V.^rts-*



^•^-.s^jM^ ^i^:^f





^:4 ^:



^\ Property o.f
Mi^e^t-dfV of t











Digitized byCjOOQlC




Digitized



by Google



Digitized byCjOOQlC



Property of

Directors of tho

Lawrence Plan



Digitized



by Google



Digitized byCjOOQlC



Famous Stories Every Child Should Know



Digitized



by Google



Digitized byCjOOQlC



Famous Stories Every Child Should Know



Digitized



by Google



Digitized byCjOOQlC



Digitized



by Google



Digitized byCjOOQlC



Digitized



by Google



Digitized



by Google



FAMOUS STORIES EVERY
CHILD SHOULD KNOW

A SELECTION OF THE BEST STORIES
OF ALL TIMES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIB




NEW YORK

GROSSET & DUNLAP

PUBLISHERS-



Digitized



by Google






MOT . ( C



COPYIIGBT, 1907, BY DOUBLSOAY, PaGE & COMPANY



All Rights Rssbsvxo

Including that ov TkANsiAxioN into Foixign Lanovagbs

Including the Scandinavian




^' i** -.-^ /. J



Digitized byCjOOQlC



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The stories of " The Great Stone Face " and ** Th«
Snow Image " by Nathaniel Hawthorne, are used in this
volume by permission of Messrs. Houghton, MifiQin &
Company. Messrs. Little, Brown & Company have
granted permission for the republication of ** The MaQ
Without a Country " by Edward Everett Hale.



Digitized



by Google



Digitized byCjOOQlC



INTRODUCTION

The group of stories brought together in this volume
differ from legends because they have, with one exception,
no core of fact at the centre, from myths because they make
no attempt to personify or explain the forces or processes
of nature, from fairy stories because they do not often
bring on tc the stage actors of a different nature from ours.
They give full play to the fancy as in "A Child's Dream
of a Star,*' ' The King of the Golden River," " Undine," and
"The Snoyr Image"; but they are not poetic records of the
facts of life, attempts to shape those facts " to meet the needs
of the imagination, the cravings of the heart." In the
Introduction to the book of Fairy Tales in this series, those
familiar and much loved stories which have been repeated
to children for imnumbered generations and will be repeated
to the end of time, are described as "records of the free
and ]03rful play of the imagination, opening doors through
hard conditions to the spirit, which craves power, freedom,
happiness; righting wrongs, and redressing injuries; defeat-
ing base designs; rewarding patience and virtue; crowning
true love with happiness; placing the powers of darkness
under the control of man and making their ministers his
servants." The stories which make up this volume are
closer to experience and come, for the most part, nearer
to the every-day happenings of life.

A generation ago, when the noble activities of science
and its inspiring discoveries were taking possession of the
minds of men and revealing possibilities of power of which
they had not dreamed, the prediction was freely made that



Digitized



by Google



stories Every Child Should Know

poetry and fiction had had theur day, and that henceforth
men would be educated upon facts and get their inspurations
from what are caUed r^ thing?. So engrossing and so
marvellous were the results of investigation, the achieve-
ments of experiment, that it seemed to many as if the older
literature of imagination and fancy had served its purpose
as completely as alchemy, astrology, or chain armour.

The prophecies of those fruitful years of research did not
tell half the stoiy of the wonderful things that were to be;
the uses of electricity which are within easy reach for the
most homely and practical purposes are as mysterious and
magical as the dreams of the magicians. We are served
by invisible ministers who are more powerful than the
genii and more nimble than Puck. There has been a
girdle aroimd the world for many years; but there is good
reason to believe that the time wiD come when news will go
round the globe on waves of air. K we were not
accustomed toordering breakfast miles awayfrom the grocer
and the poulterer, we should be overcome with amazement
every time we took up the telephone transmitter. Absolutely
pure tones are now being made by the use of dynamos
and will soon be sent into homes lying miles distant from
the power house, so to speak, so that very sweet music is
being played by arc lights.

The anticipations of scientific men, so far as the uses of
force are concerned, have been surpassed by the wonder-
ful discoveries and applications of the past few years; but
poetry and romance are not dead; on the contrary, they
are more alive in the sense of awakening a wider interest
than ever before in the history of writing. During the
years which have been more fruitful in works of mechanical
genius or d)mamic energy, novels have been more widely
distributed and more eagerly read than at any previous



Digitized byCjOOQlC



perioA The poetry of the time, in the degree in which it
has been fresh and vital, has been treated by newspapers
as matter of universal interest.

Men are bom story-readers; if their interest subsides
for the moment, or is absorbed by other forms of expression,
it reasserts itself in due time and demands the old enchant-
ment that has woven its spell over every generation since
men and women reached an early stage of development.
Barbarians and even savages share with the most highly
civilised peoples this passion for fiction.

Men cannot live on the bare, literal fact any more than
they can live on bread alone; there is something in every
man to feed besides his body. He has been told many times
by men of great disinterestedness and ability that he
must believe only that which he clearly knows and under-
stands, and that he must concern himself with those matters
only which he can thoroughly comprehend. He must
live, in other words, by the rule of common sense; meaning
by that oft-used phrase, clear sight and practical dealing
with actual things and conditions. It would greatly simplify
life if this coiurse could be followed, but it would simplify
it by rejecting those things which the finest spirits among
men and women have loved most and believed in wiin.
joyful and fruitful devotion. If we could all become literal,
matter of fact and entirely practical, we should take the
best possible care of our bodies and let our soids starve.
This, however, the soul absolutely refuses to do; when it
is ignored it rebels and shivers the apparently solid order
of common-sense living into fragments. It must have aii
to breathe, room to move in, a language to speak, work to do,
and an open window through which it can look on the land-
scape and the sky. It is as idle to tell a man to live entirely
in and by facts that can be known by the senses as to tdf



Digitized



by Google



Stories Every Child Should Know

him to work in a field and not see the landscape of
which the field is a part.

The love of the story is one of the expressions of the
passion of the soul for a glimpse of an ord^ of life amid
the chaos of happenings; for a setting of life which sym-
bolises the dignity of the actors in the play; for room in
which to let men work out their instincts and risk their
hearts in the great adventures of affection or action or
exploration. Men and women find in stories the oppor-
tunities and experiences which circumstances have denied
them; they insist on the dramatisation of life because they
know that certain results inevitably foUow certain actions,
and certain deeply interesting conflicts and tragedies are
bound up with certain temperaments and types of character.

The fact that many stories are unwholesome, untrue,
vulgar or immoral impeaches the value and dignity of fiction
as little as the abuse of power impeaches the necessity and
nobility of government, or the excess of the glutton the
healthfulness and necessity of food. The imagination must
not only be counted as an entirely normal faculty, but the
higher intelligence of the future will recognise its primacy
among the faculties with which men are endowed. Fiction
is not only here to stay, as the phrase nms, but it is one of
the great and enduring forms of literature.

The question is not, therefore, whether or not children
shall read stories; that question was answered when they
were sent into the world in the human form and with the
human constitution: the only open question is ''what
stories shall they read?" That many chOdren read too
many stories is beyond question; their excessive devotion
to fiction wastes time and seriously impairs vigour of mind.
In these respects they follow the current which carries a
multitude of their elders to mental inefficiency and wastf



•Digitized byCjOOQlC



IniroducHon

oi power. That they read too many weak, untruthful,
characterless stories is also beyond question; and in this
respect also they are like their elders. They need food,
but in no intelligent household do they select and provide
it; they are given what they like if it is wholesome; if not,
they are given something different and better. No sane
mother allows her child to live on the food it likes if that
food is unwholesome; but this is precisely what many
mothers and fathers do in the matter of feeding the imagin-
ation. The body is scrupulously cared for and the mind
is left to care for itselfl

Oiildren ought to have stories at hand precisely as they
ought to have food, toys, games, playgrounds, because
stories meet one of the normal needs of their natures. But
these stories, like the food given to the body, ought to be
intelligently selected, not only for their quality but for their
adaptation. There are many good books which ou{^t
not to be in the hands of children because children have
not had the experience which interprets them; they will
either fafl to understand, or if they understand, they
will suffer a sudden forcing of growth in the knowledge
of life which b always unwholesome.

Only stories which are sound in the views of life they
present ought to be within the reach of children; these
stories ought to be well constructed and well written; they
ought to be largely objective stories; they ought not to be
introspective, morbid or abnormal in any way. Goody-
good and professionally ''pious'' stories, sentimental or
unreal stories, ought to be rigorously excluded. A great
deal of fiction specially written for children ought to be left
severely alone; it is cheap, shallow and stamped with
tmreality from cover to cover. It is as unwise to feed the
minds of children exclusively on books specially prepared



Digitized



by Google



Stories Every Child Should Know

for their particular age as to shape the talk at breakfast or
dinner specially for their stage of development; few oppor-
tunities for education are more valuable for a child than
hearing the talk of its elders about the topics of the time.
There are many wholesome and entertaining stories in the
vast mass of fiction addressed to younger readers; but this
literature of a period ought never to exclude the literature
of all periods.

The stories collected in this voliune have been selected
from many sources, because in the judgment of the editor,
they are soimd pieces of writing, wholesome in tone, varied in
interest and style, and interesting. It is his hope that they
will not only furnish good reading, but that they will suggest
the kind of reading in this field that should be within the
reach of children.

Hamilton Wkight Mabie.



Digitized byCjOOQlC



CONTENTS

I. A Child's Dream of a Star • • • 3
By Charles Dickens

II. The King of the Golden River . . 8

By John Ruskin

III. The Snow Image 37

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

rV. Undine 57

By Friedrich, Baron db la Mottb Fouqub

V. The Story of Ruth .... 14c

From the Book of Rxtih

VI. The Great Stone Face .... 148
By Nathaniel Hawthorne

VII. The Diverting History of John Gilpin . 17a
By William Cowper

VIII. The Man Without a Country . . 183

By Edward Everett Hale

IX. The Niimberg Stove . . . tij

By Louise de la Ramee ("Ouida")

X. Rab and His Friends . . . . 371
By John Brown, M. D.

XI. Peter Rugg, the Missing Man . 288

By William Austin



Digitized



by Google



Digitized byCjOOQlC



Famous Stories Every Child Should Know



Digitized



by Google



Digitized byCjOOQlC



STORIES EVERY CHILD SHOULD
KNOW



A CHILD'S DREAM OF A STAR

THERE was once a child, and he strolled about a good
deal, and thought of a number of things. He had
a sister, who was a child too, and his constant companion.
These two used to wonder all day long. They wondered
at the beauty of the flowers; they wondered at the height
and blueness of the sky; they wondered at the depth of the
bright water; they wondered at the goodness and the power
of God who made the lovely world.

They used to say to one another, sometimes, supposing
all the children upon earth were to die, would the flowers,
and the water, and the sky be sorry? They believed they
would be sorry. For, said they, the buds are the children
of the flowers, and the little playful streams that gambol
down the hill-sides are the children of the water; and the
smallest bright specks playing at hide and seek in the sky
all night, must surely be the children of the stars; and they
would all be grieved to see their playmates, the children of
men, no more.

There was one clear shining star that used to come out
in the sky before the rest, near the church spire, above the
graves. It was larger and more beautiful, they thought^
than all the others, and every night they watched for it,

3



Digitized



by Google



^ stories Every Child Should Knoiv

standing hand in hand at a window. Whoever saw it first
cried out, "I see the star!" And often they cried out both
together, knowing so well when it would rise, ^nd where.
So they grew to be such friends with it, that, before lying
down in their beds, they always looked out once again, to
bid it good-night; and when they were turning round to
sleep, they used to say, "God bless the star I"

But while she was still very young, oh very, very young,
the sister drooped, and came to be so weak that she coidd na
longer stand in the window at night; and then the child
looked sadly out by himself, and when he saw the star, turned
roimd and said to the patient pale face on the bed, "I sec
the star!" and then a smile would come upon the face, and
a little weak voice used to say, "God bless my brother and
the star!"

And so the time came all too soon! when the child looked
out alone, and when there was no face on the bed; and when
there was a little grave among the graves, not there before;
and when the star made long rays down toward him, as he
saw it through his tears.

Now, these rays were so bright, and they seemed to make
such a shining way from earth to Heaven, that when the
child went to his solitary bed, he dreamed about the star;
and dreamed that, lying where he was, he saw a train of
people taken up that sparkling road by angels. And the
star, opening, showed him a great world of light, where many
more such angels waited to receive them.

All these angels, who were waiting, turned their beaming
eyes upon the people who were carried up into the star; and
some came out from the long rows in which they stood, and
fell upon the people's necks, and kissed them tenderly, and
went away with them down avenues of light, and were so
happy in their company, that lying in his bed he wept for joy.



Digitized byCjOOQlC



A Child's Dream of a Star 5

But, there were many angels who did not go with them,
and among them one he knew. The patient face that once
had lain upon the bed was glorified and radiant, but his heart
found out his sister among all the host

His sister's angel lingered near the entrance of the star, and
said to the leader among those who had brought the people
thither:

"Is my brother come?'*

And he said "No."

She was turning hopefully away, when the child stretched
out his arms, and cried^ "O, sister, I am here! Take me!"
and then she turned her beaming eyes upon him, and it was
night; and the star was shining into the room, making long
rays down towards him as he saw it through his tears.

From that hour forth, the child looked out upon the star
as on the home he was to go to, when his time should come;
and he thought that he did not belong to the earth alone,
but to the star too, because of his sister's angel gone before.

There was a baby bom to be a brother to the child; and
while he was so little that he never yet had spoken word
he stretched his tiny form out on his bed, and died.

Again the child dreamed of the open star, and of the com-
pany of angeb, and the train of people, and the rows of
angels with their beaming eyes all turned upon those people's
faces.

Said his sister's angel to the leader:

"Is my brother come?"

And he said "Not that one, but another."

As the child beheld his brother's angel in her arms, he
cried, "O, sister, I am here! Take me!" And she turned and
smiled upon him, and the star was shining.

He grew to be a yoimg man, and was busy at his books
when an old servant came to him and said:



Digitized



by Google



6 SUfries Every Child Should Know

''Thy mother is no more. I bring her bles^g on her
darling son!''

Again at night he saw the star, and all that former com«>
pany. Said his sister's angel to the leader:

"Is my brother come ?"

And he said, "Thy mother!"

A mighty cry of joy went forth through all the star, be-
cause the mother was reunited to her two children. And he
stretched out his arms and cried, "O, mother, sister, and
brother, I am here! Take me!" And they answered him,
"Not yet," and the star was shining.

He grew to be a man, whose hau: was turning gray, and he
was sitting in his chair by the fireside, heavy with grief, and
with his face bedewed with tears, when the star opened once
again.

Said his sister's angel to the leader: "Is my brother come?*

And he said, "Nay, but his maiden daughter."

And the man who had been the child saw his daughter,
newly lost to him, a celestial creature among those three, and
he said, "My daughter's head is on my sister's bosom, and
her arm is aroimd my mother's neck, and at her feet there is
the baby of old time, and I can bear the parting from her,
God be praised!"

And the star was shining.

Thus the child came to be an old man, and his once smooth
face was wrinkled, and his steps were slow and feeble, and
his back was bent. And one night as he lay upon his bed,
his children standing round, he cried^ as he had cried so
long ago:

"I see the star!"

They whispered one to another, " He is djring."

And he said, "I am. My age is falling from me
like a garment, and I move towifdn the star as a



Digitized byCjOOQlC



A Chad's Dream of a Star 7

child. And O, my Father, now I thank Thee that it
has so often opened, to receive those dear ones who
await meP'

And the star was shining, and it shines iq;xm his
grave. ^



Digitized



by Google



TT



THE KING OF THE GOLDEN RIVER; OR,
THE BLACK BROTHERS

I. — ^HOW THE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM OF THE BLACK
BROTHERS WAS INTERFERED WITH BY SOUTHWEST
WIND, ESQUIRE

IN a secluded and moimtainous part of Stiria there was,
in old time, a valley of the most surprising and lux-
uriant fertility. It was surroimded, on all sides, by steep
and rocky mountains, rising into peaks, which were always
covered with snow, and from which a nimiber of torrents
descended in constant cataracts. One of these fell west-
ward, over the face of a crag so high, that, when the sun had
set to ever)rthing else, and all below was darkness, his beams
still shone full upon this waterfall, so that it looked like a
shower of gold. It was, therefore, called by the people of
the neighbourhood, the Golden River. It was strange that
none of these streams fell into the valley itself. They all
descended on the other side of the moimtains, and
wound away through broad plains and by populous
cities. But the clouds were drawn so constantly to
the snowy hills, and rested so softly in the circular
hollow, that in time of drought and heat, when all the
country roimd was biunt up, there was still rain in
the little valley; and its crops were so heavy, and its
hay so high, and its apples so red, and its grapes
so blue, and its wine so rich, and its honey so sweet,

8;



Digitized byCjOOQlC



The King of the Golden River 9

that it was a marvel to everyone who beheld it, and
was commonly called the Treasiu-e Valley.

The whole of this little valley belonged to three brothers
called Schwartz, Hans, and Gluck. Schwartz and Hans,
the two elder brothers, were very ugly men, with overhang-
ing eyebrows and small, dull eyes, which were alwa)rs half
shut, so that you couldn't see into them, and always fancied
they saw very far into you. They lived by farming the
Treasure Valley, and very good farmers they were. They
killed ever)rthing that did not pay for its eating. They shbt
the blackbirds, because they pecked the fruit; and killed
the hedgehogs, lest they shoidd suck the cows; they poisoned
the crickets for eating the crumbs in the kitchen; and
smothered the cicadas, which used to sing all summer in the
lime-trees. Tliey worked their servants without any wa^ies,
till they would not work any more, and then quarrelled with
them, and turned them out of doors without paying them.
It would have been very odd, if with such a farm, and such
a system of farming, they hadn't got very rich; and very


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Online LibraryHamilton Wright MabieFamous stories every child should know: a selection of the best stories of ... → online text (page 1 of 22)