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too long about it." And, elated by the thought that a hint
from her could now effect what had once been denied to her
entreaties, she watched the progress of the work in the
moonlit court below.

The men began straining themselves to lift the huge
stone; occasionally a sigh was heard, as someone recoUected
that they were now reversing their dear lady's commands.
But the task proved lighter than they had expected. Some
power from beneath seemed to second their efforts, and help
the stone upward. "Why!" said the astonished workmen
to each other, "it feels as if the spring below had tiuned
into a waterspout." More and more did the stone heave,
till, without any impulse from the men it rolled heavily
along the pavement with a hollow sound. But, from the
mouth of the spring arose, slowly and solemnly, what
looked like a colunm of water; at first they thought so, but
presently saw that it was no waterspout, but the figure of a
pale woman, veiled in white. She was weeping abundantly,
vmnging her hands and clasping them over her head, while
she proceeded with slow and measured step toward the
castle. The crowd of servants fell back from the spot;
while, pale and aghast, the bride and her women looked on
from the window.

When the figure had arrived just under that window, she
raised her tearful face for a moment, and Bertalda thought
she recognised Undine's pale features through the veil.
The shadowy form moved on slowly and reluctantly, like
one sent to execution. Bertalda screamed out that the
Knight must be called; no one durst stir a foot, and the
bride herself kept silence, frightened at the sound of her
own voice.

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136 Stories Every Child Should Know

While these remained at the window, as if rooted to the
spot, the mysterious visitor had entered the castle, and
passed up the well-known stairs, and through the familiar
rooms, still weeping sOently. Alas! how differently had she
trodden those floors in days gone by!

The Knight had now dismissed his train; half-undressed,
and in a dejected mood, he was standing near a large mirror,
by the light of a dim taper. He heard the door tapped by
a soft, soft touch. It was thus Undine had been wont to
knock, when she meant to steal upon him playfully. "It
is all fancy!" thought he. "The bridal bed awaits me."
— ^"Yes, but it is a cold one," said a weeping voice from
without; and the mirror then showed him the door opening
slowly, and the white form coming in, and closing the door
gently behind her. " They have opened the mouth of the
spring," murmured she; "and now I am come, and now
must thou die." His beating heart told him this was indeed
true; but he pressed his hands over his eyes, and said:
" Do not bewilder me with terror in my last moments. If
thy veil conceals the features of a spectre, hide them from
me still, and let me die in peace." — "Alas!" rejoined the
forlorn one, "wilt thou not look upon me once again? I
am fair, as when thou didst woo me on the promontory." —
"Oh, could that be true" sighed! Huldbrand, "and
if I might die in thy embrace!" — "Be it so, my
dearest," said she. And she raised her veil, and the
heavenly radiance of her sweet coimtenance beamed upon

Trembling, at once with love and awe, the Knight
approached her; she received him with a tender embrace;
but instead of relaxing her hold, she pressed him more
closely to her heart, and wq)t as if her soul would pour itself
out. Drowned in her tears and his own, Huldbrand felt


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Undine 137

his heart sink within him, and at last he fell lifeless from the
fond arms of Undine upon his pillow.

" I have wept him to death!" said she to the pages, whom
she passed in the ante-chamber; and she glided slowly
through the crowd, and went back to the foimtain.


Father Heilmann had returned to the castle, as soon as
he heard of the Lord of Ringstetten's death, and he appeared
there just after the monk, who had married the hapless
pair, had fled full of alarm and horror. "It is well,"
answered Heilmann, when told this: "now is the time for
my office; I want no assistant." He addressed spiritual
exhortations to the widowed bride, but little impression
could be made on so worldly and thoughtless a mind. The
old Fisherman, although grieved to the heart, resigned
himself more readily to the awful dispensation; and when
Bertalda kept calling Undine a witch and a murderer, the
old man calmly answered: "The stroke could not be
turned away. For my part, I see only the hand of God
therein; and none grieved more deeply over Huldbrand's
sentence, than she who was doomed to inflict it, the poor
forsaken Undine I" And he helped to arrange the funeral
ceremonies in a manner suitable to the high rank of the
dead. He was to be buried in a neighbouring hamlet,
whose churchyard contained the graves of all his ancestors,
and which he had himself enriched with many noble gifts.
His helmet and coat of arms lay upon the coffin, about to
be lowered into earth with his mortal remains; for Lord
Huldbrand of Ringstetten was the last of his race.

The mourners began their dismal procession, and the
soimd of their solemn dirge rose into the calm blue depths
of heaven. Heilmann walked first, bearing on high a crucifix,


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138 Stories Every Child Should Know

and the bereaved Bertalda followed leaning on her aged
&ther. Suddenly, amid the crowd of mourners who com-
posed the widow's train, appeared a snow-white figure, deeply
veiled, with hands uplifted in an attitude of intense grief.
Those that stood near her felt a shudder creep over them;
they shrank back, and thus increased the alarm of those
whom the stranger next approached, so that confusion
gradually spread itself through the whole train. Here
and there was to be found a soldier bold enough to address
the figure, and attempt to drive her away; but she always
eluded their grasp, and the next moment reappeared among
the rest, moving along with slow and solenm step. At
length, when the attendants had all fallen back, she found
herself close behind Bertalda, and now slackened her pace
to the very slowest measure, so that the widow was not aware
of her presence. No one distiurbed her again, while she
meekly and reverently glided on behind her.

So they advanced till they reached the churchyard, when
the whole procession formed a circle round the open grave.
Bertalda then discovered the unbidden guest, and half-
angry, half-frightened, she forbade her to come near the
Knight's resting-place. But the veiled form gently shook
her head, and extended her hands in humble entreaty; this
gesture reminded Bertalda of poor Undine, when she gave
her the coral necklace on the Danube, and she could not
but weep. Father Heilmann enjoined silence; for they
had begun to heap earth over the grave, and were about
to offer up solemn prayers around it. Bertalda knelt
down in silence, and all her followers did the same. When
they rose, lo, the white form had vanished! and on the spot
where she had knelt, a bright silvery brook now gushed
out of the turf, and flowed round the Knight's tomb, till
5t had almost wholly encircled it; then it ran further on.

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Undine 139

and emptied itself into a shady pool which bounded one
side of the churchyard. From that time forth, the villagers
are said to have shown travellers this clear spring, and they
still believe it to be the pooi forsaken Undine, who con-
tinues thus to twine her arms round her beloved lord.

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IT CAME to pass, in the days when the judges ruled,
that there was a famine in the land. And a certain
man of Bethlehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of
Moab — he and his wife and his two sons. And the name
of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi,
and the names of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephra-
thites of Bethlehem-judah. And they came into the country
of Moab, and continued there.

And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was
left and her two sons. And they took them wives of the
women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the
name of the other was Ruth. And they dwelled there
about ten years.

And Mahlon and Chilion died also, both of them; and
the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. Then
she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return
from the country of Moab; for she had heard in the country
of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving
them bread. Wherefore she went forth out of the place
where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and
they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

And Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law, " Go,
return each to her mother's house. The Lord deal kindly
with you, as ye have dealt with the dead and with me.
The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the
house of her husband." Then she kissed them.



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The Story of Ruth 141

And they lifted up their voice and wept; and they said
unto her, " Surely, we will return with thee unto thy people."

And Naomi said, "Turn again, my daughters; why
will ye go with me? Turn again, my daughters, go your

And they lifted up their voice and wept again. And
Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her.

And she said, "Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back
anto her people and imto her gods! Return thou aftei
thy sister-in-law."

And Ruth said, "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to
retiun from following after thee. For whither thou goest
I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people
shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou
diest will I die, and there will I be buried. The Lord
do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee
and me."

When Naomi saw that Ruth was steadfastly minded
to go with her, then she left speaking imto her. So they
two went until they came to Bethlehem.

And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethle-
hem, that all the city was moved about them, and they
said, "Is this Naomi?"

And she said unto them, "Call me not Naomi [pleas-
ant], call me Mara [bitter] ; for the Almighty hath dealt
very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord
hath brought me home again empty. Why then call ye
me Naomi, seeing that the Lord hath testified against
me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?"

So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her
daughter-in-law, with her, which returned out of the
country of Moab; and they came to Bethlehem in the
beginning of barlev-harvesl.

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142 Stories Every Child Should Know

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty
man of wealth, of the faimily of Elimelech, and his name
was Boaz.

And Ruth said unto Naomi: "Let me now go to the
field and glean ears of com after him in whose sight I
shall find grace."

And Naomi said unto her, " Go, my daughter."

And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field aftei
the reapers; and her hap was to light on a part of the
field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of

And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said
unto the reapers, "The Lord be with you!"

And they answered him, "The Lord bless thee!"

Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the
reapers, "Whose damsel is this?"

And the servant that was set over the reapers answered
and said, " It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with
Naomi out of the coimtry of Moab. And she said, 'I pray
you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the
sheaves/ So she came, and hath continued even from the
morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house."

Then said Boaz unto Ruth, "Hearest thou not, my
daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go
from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens; let thine
eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after
them. Have I not charged the young men that they shall
not touch thee? And when thou art athirst, go unto the
vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn."

Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the
ground, and said unto him, "Why have I found grace
in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me,
seeing I am a stranger?"


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The Story of Ruth 143

And Boaz answered and said unto her, ''It hath fully
been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother-
in-law, since the death of thine husband; and how thou
hast left thy father and thy mother and the land of thy
nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest
not heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and a
full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under
whose wings thou art come to trust."

Then she said, "Let me find favour in thy sight, m}
lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou
hast spoken friendly imto thine handmaid, though I be
not like unto one of thine handmaidens."

And Boaz said unto her at meal-time, ''Come thou
hither, and eat of the bread and dip thy morsel in the

And she sat beside the reapers, and he reached her
parched com; and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.

And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded
his young men, saying, "Let her glean even among the
sheaves, and reproach her not ; and let fall also some of
the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them that she
may glean them, and rebuke her not."

So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that
she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.
And she took it up and went into the city; and her mother-
in-law saw what she had gleaned, and she brought forth
and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.

And her mother-in-law said unto her, "Where hast
thou gleaned to-day, and where wroughtest thou?
Blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee ! "

And she showed her mother-in-law with whom she
had wrought, and said, "The man's name with whom I
•wrought to-day is Boaz."


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144 Stories Every Child Should Know

And Naomi said unto her daughter-in-law, "Blessed
be he of Jhe Lord, who hath not left oflF his kindness to
the living and to the dead. The man is near of kin unto
us; one of our next kinsmen."

And Ruth the Moabitess said, "He said unto me also,
•Thou shalt keep fast by my young men until they have
ended all my harvest.' "

And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It
is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens,
that they meet thee not in any other field."

So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto
the end of barley-harvest and of wheat-harvest, and dwelt
with her mother-in-law.

Then Naomi her mother-in-law said unto her, "My
daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well
with thee? And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with
whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley
to-night in the threshing-floor. Wash thyself, therefore,
and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get
thee down to the floor; but make not thyself known imto
the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
And it shall be, when he Heth down, that thou shalt mark
the place where he shall lie; and thou shalt go in and
uncover his feet and lay thee down; and he will tell thee
what thou shalt do."

And Ruth said imto her, "All that thou sayest imto
me I will do." And she went down unto the floor, and
did according to all that her mother-in-law bade her.

And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart
was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of
com. And she came softly and uncovered his feet, and
laid her down.

And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was


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The Story of Ruih 145

afraid, and turned himself; and behold! a woman lay at
his feet. And he said, " Who art thou ? "

And she answered, *' I am Ruth, thine handmaid. Spread
therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a
near kinsman."

And he said, "Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter;
for thou hast showed more kindness in the latter end than
in the beginning; inasmuch as thou followedst not young
men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear
not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest; for all the city
of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman; howbei*^,
there is a kinsman nearer than I. Tarry this m'ght, and
it shall be, in the morning, that if he will perform imto
thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman*s
part; but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee,
then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the Lord
liveth. Lie down until the morning."

And she lay at his feet until the morning. And she
rose up before one could know another.

And he said, "Let it not be known that a woman came
into the floor." Also he said, "Bring the veil that thou
hast upon thee and hold it."

And when she held it he measured six measures of barley
and laid it on her.

And she went into the city, and when she came to her
mother-in-law she said, "Who art thou, my daughter?"

And she told her all that the man had done to her; and
she said, "These six measures of barley gave he me; for
he said to me, 'Go not empty imto thy mother-in-law.' "

Then Naomi said, "Sit still, my daughter, until thou
know how the matter will fall; for the man will not bo
in rest imtil he have finished the thing this day."


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146 Stories Every Child Should Know

Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down thei^.
And, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by,
unto whom he said, ''Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down

And he turned aside, and sat down.

And Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and
said, " Sit ye down here."

And they sat down.

And he said imto the kinsman, ''Naomi, that is come
again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land
which was our brother Elimelech*^; and I thought to
advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and
before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it,
redeem it; but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me,
that I may know; for there is none to redeem it beside
thee, and I am after thee."

And he said, " I will redeem it."

Then said Boaz, "What day thou buyest the field of
the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the
Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of
the dead upon his inheritance."

And the kinsman said, "I cannot redeem it for myself,
lest I mar mine own inheritance. Redeem thou my right
to thyself; for I cannot redeem it."

Now this was the manner in former time in Israel, con-
cerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm
all things: a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to hia
neighbour; and this was a testimony in Israel. There-
fore the kinsman said unto Boaz:

" Buy it for thee." So he drew off his shoe.

And Boaz said unto the elders and unto all the people,
''Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that
was Elimelech's. and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's

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The Story of RtUh 147

at the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess,
the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to
raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that
the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren,
and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day."

And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders,
said: "We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman
that is come into thine house like Rachd and like Leah,
which two did build the house of Israel; and do thou
worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem; and
let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar
bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee
of this young woman."

So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife.

And Ruth bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi,
"Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day
without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nour-
isher of thine old age; for thy daughter-in-law, which
loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath
borne him."

And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom,
and became nurse unto it. And the women, her neighbours,
gave it a name, saying, "There is a son bom to Naomi*';
and they called his name Obed.


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ONE afternoon^ when the sun was going down, a mother
and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage,
talking about the Great Stone Face. They had but to lift
their eyes, and there it was plainly to be seen, though miles
away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.

And what was the Great Stone Face ?

Embosomed amongst a family of lofty mountains, there
was a valley so spacious that it contained many thousand
inhabitants. Some of these good people dwelt in log-huts,
with the black forest all around them, on the steep and
difficult hillsides. Others had their homes in comfortable
farmhouses, and cultivated the rich soil on the gentle slopes
or level surfaces of the valley. Others, again, were congre-
gated into populous villages, where some wild, highland
rivulet, tumbling down from its birthplace in the upper
mountain region, had been caught and tamed by human
cimning, and compelled to turn the machinery of cotton-
factories. The inhabitants of this valley, in short, were
numerous, and of many modes of life. But all of them,
grown people and children, had a kind of familiarity with
the Great Stone Face, although some possessed the gift of
distinguishing this grand natural phenomenon more per-
fectly than many of their neighbours. The Great Stone
Face, then, was a work of Nature in her mood of majestic
playfulness, formed on the perpendicular side of a mountain
by some immense rocks, which had been thrown together



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The Great Stone Face 149

in such a position as, when viewed at a proper distance^
precisely to resemble the features of the human countenance.
It seemed as if an enormous giant, or a Titan, had sculptiu^
his own likeness on the precipice. There was the broad
arch of the forehead, a hundred feet in height ; the nose, with
its long bridge; and the vast lips, which, if they could have
spoken, would have rolled their thunder accents from one
end of the valley to the other. True it is, that if the spec-
tator approached too near, he lost the outline of the gigantic
visage, and could discern only a heap of ponderous and
gigantic rocks, piled in chaotic ruin one upon another. Re-
tracing his step)s, however, the wondrous featiu-es would
again be seen; and the farther he withdrew from them, the
more like a hmnan face, with all its original divinity intact,
did they appear; imtil, as it grew dim in the distance, with
the clouds and glorified vapour of the mountains clustering
about it, the Great Stone Face seemed positively to
be alive.

It was a happy lot for children to grow up to manhood
or womanhood with the Great Stone Face before their eyes,
for all the features were noble, and the expression was at
once grand and sweet, as if it were the glow of a vast, warm
heart, that embraced all mankind in its affections, and had
room for more. It was an education only to look at it.
According to the belief of many people, the valley owed
much of its fertility to this benign aspect that was continually
beaming over it, illvuninating the clouds, and infusing its
tenderness into the sunshine.

As we be^n with saying, a mother and her little boy sat
at their cottage-door, gazing at the Great Stone Face, and
talking about it. The child's name was Ernest.

"Mother,** said he, while the Titanic visage smiled on
him, "I wish that it could speak, for it looks so very kindly


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ISO Stories Every Child Should Know

that its voice must needs be pleasant. If I were to see a man
with such a face, I should love him dearly."

''If an old prophecy should come to pass," answered his
mother, ''we may see a man, some time or other, with exactly
such a face as that."

"What prophecy do you mean, dear mother?" eagerly
inquired Ernest. " Pray tell me all about it ! "

So his mother told him a story that her own mother had
told to her, when she herself was yoimger than little Ernest;
a story, not of things that were past, but of what was yet to
come; a story, nevertheless, so very old, that even the

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