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[Illustration: Anna Sewell]


EVERY GIRL'S LIBRARY

A Collection of Appropriate and Instructive Reading for Girls of All
Ages from the Best Authors of All Time

In Ten Volumes

Edited by
PERCY KEESE FITZHUGH

_With a General Introduction by the Editor and Critical and Interpretive
Essays by_

ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

MARGARET E. SANGSTER

STELLA GEORGE STERN PERRY

NEW YORK
The Pearson Publishing Co.
MCMX

Copyright, 1910, by

THE PEARSON PUBLISHING CO.

Entered at Stationers' Hall
London, England

_Typography, Plates, Presswork and Binding by
The J. J. Little & Ives Co., New York._




CONTENTS


BERNARDIN DE SAINT PIERRE
Paul and Virginia 1

ANNA SEWELL
Black Beauty's New Home (_Black Beauty_) 49

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Portia and Shylock (_The Merchant of Venice_) 69
Romeo and Juliet 86

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
To a Skylark 95

ROBERT SOUTHEY
The Battle of Blenheim 100

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
Will o' the Mill 104
An Apology for Idlers 141
The Wind 155
Keepsake Mill 155
The Moon 156
Looking-glass River 157
Winter-Time 158
My Shadow 159
Autumn Fires 160

ROBERT STORY
The Whistler 161

AGNES STRICKLAND
Henrietta Maria, Wife of Charles I 163

JOHN SUCKLING
Why So Pale and Wan? 211
I Prithee, Send Me Back My Heart 212

JONATHAN SWIFT
A Voyage to Lilliput (_Gulliver's Travels_) 214

ROBERT TANNAHILL
The Braes o' Balquhither 239
The Flower o' Dumblane 240

ALFRED TENNYSON
Lady Clare 242
Lady Clara Vere de Vere 246
Come Into the Garden, Maud 249
Break, Break, Break 251
The Miller's Daughter 252
St. Agnes 253

WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY
The Princess Angelica (_The Rose and the Ring_) 255
The Cane-bottom'd Chair 300
A Tragic Story 302
To Mary 303
Little Billee 304
Fairy Days 305
Mrs. Katherine's Lantern 307
Lucy's Birthday 309
Piscator and Piscatrix 310
Pocahontas 312




BERNARDIN DE SAINT PIERRE


SAINT PIERRE, BERNARDIN DE, was born in Havre, Jan., 1737, and died
in Eragny-sur-Oise, Jan., 1814. His literary fame rests wholly on
_Paul and Virginia_, one of the most beautiful works in romantic
literature. He wrote much besides this celebrated tale, but his
other works, though all of the first order of merit, are
overshadowed by the little story which made him famous. _Paul and
Virginia_ has been translated into every civilized language and its
popularity has never waned. It has been published in cheap and
costly editions; it has suggested works of art, and, like _Alice in
Wonderland_, it has been imitated scores of times.


PAUL AND VIRGINIA


Rarely, indeed, has such an attachment been seen as that which the two
children already testified for each other. If Paul complained of
anything, his mother pointed to Virginia: at her sight he smiled, and
was appeased. If any accident befell Virginia, the cries of Paul gave
notice of the disaster; but the dear little creature would suppress her
complaints if she found that he was unhappy. When I came hither, I
usually found them quite naked, as is the custom of the country,
tottering in their walk, and holding each other by the hands and under
the arms, as we see represented the constellation of the Twins. At night
these infants often refused to be separated, and were found lying in the
same cradle, their cheeks, their bosoms pressed close together, their
hands thrown round each other's neck, and sleeping, locked in one
another's arms.

When they began to speak, the first name they learned to give each other
were those of brother and sister, and childhood knows no softer
appellation. Their education, by directing them ever to consider each
other's wants, tended greatly to increase their affection. In a short
time, all the household economy, the care of preparing their rural
repasts, became the task of Virginia, whose labours were always crowned
with the praises and kisses of her brother. As for Paul, always in
motion, he dug the garden with Domingo, or followed him with a little
hatchet into the woods; and if in his rambles he espied a beautiful
flower, any delicious fruit, or a nest of birds, even at the top of the
tree, he would climb up and bring the spoil to his sister. When you met
one of these children, you might be sure the other was not far off.

One day as I was coming down that mountain, I saw Virginia at the end of
the garden running towards the house with her petticoat thrown over her
head, in order to screen herself from a shower of rain. At a distance, I
thought she was alone; but as I hastened towards her in order to help
her on, I perceived she held Paul by the arm, almost entirely enveloped
in the same canopy, and both were laughing heartily at their being
sheltered together under an umbrella of their own invention. Those two
charming faces in the middle of a swelling petticoat, recalled to my
mind the children of Leda, enclosed in the same shell.

Their sole study was how they could please and assist one another; for
of all other things they were ignorant, and indeed could neither read
nor write. They were never disturbed by inquiries about past times, nor
did their curiosity extend beyond the bounds of their mountain. They
believed the world ended at the shores of their own island, and all
their ideas and all their affections were confined within its limits.
Their mutual tenderness, and that of their mothers, employed all the
energies of their minds. Their tears had never been called forth by
tedious application to useless sciences. Their minds had never been
wearied by lessons of morality, superfluous to bosoms unconscious of
ill. They had never been taught not to steal, because everything with
them was in common: or not to be intemperate, because their simple food
was left to their own discretion; or not to lie, because they had
nothing to conceal. Their young imaginations had never been terrified by
the idea that God has punishment in store for ungrateful children, since
with them, filial affection arose naturally from maternal tenderness.
All they had been taught of religion was to love it, and if they did not
offer up long prayers in the church, wherever they were, in the house,
in the fields, in the woods, they raised toward heaven their innocent
hands, and hearts purified by virtuous affections.

All their early childhood passed thus, like a beautiful dawn, the
prelude of a bright day. Already they assisted their mothers in the
duties of the household. As soon as the crowing of the wakeful cock
announced the first beam of the morning, Virginia arose, and hastened to
draw water from a neighbouring spring: then returning to the house she
prepared the breakfast. When the rising sun gilded the points of the
rocks which overhang the inclosure in which they lived, Margaret and her
child repaired to the dwelling of Madame de la Tour, where they offered
up their morning prayer together. This sacrifice of thanksgiving always
preceded their first repast, which they often took before the door of
the cottage, seated upon the grass, under a canopy of plantain: and
while the branches of that delicious tree afforded a grateful shade, its
fruit furnished a substantial food ready prepared for them by nature,
and its long glossy leaves, spread upon the table, supplied the place of
linen. Plentiful and wholesome nourishment gave early growth and vigour
to the persons of these children, and their countenances expressed the
purity and peace of their souls. At twelve years of age the figure of
Virginia was in some degree formed; a profusion of light hair shaded her
face, to which her blue eyes and coral lips gave the most charming
brilliancy. Her eyes sparkled with vivacity when she spoke; but when she
was silent they were habitually turned upwards with an expression of
extreme sensibility, or rather of tender melancholy. The figure of Paul
began already to display the graces of youthful beauty. He was taller
than Virginia: his skin was a darker tint; his nose more aquiline; and
his black eyes would have been too piercing, if the long eyelashes by
which they were shaded had not imparted to them an expression of
softness. He was constantly in motion, except when his sister appeared,
and then, seated by her side, he became still. Their meals often passed
without a word being spoken; and from their silence, the simple elegance
of their attitudes, and the beauty of their naked feet, you might have
fancied you beheld an antique group of white marble, representing some
of the children of Niobe, but for the glances of their eyes, which were
constantly seeking to meet, and their mutual soft and tender smiles,
which suggested rather the idea of happy celestial spirits, whose nature
is love, and who are not obliged to have recourse to words for the
expression of their feelings.

In the mean time Madame de la Tour, perceiving every day some unfolding
grace, some new beauty, in her daughter, felt her maternal anxiety
increase with her tenderness. She often said to me, "If I were to die,
what will become of Virginia without fortune?"

Madame de la Tour had an aunt in France, who was a woman of quality,
rich, old, and a complete devotee. She had behaved with so much cruelty
towards her niece upon her marriage, that Madame de la Tour had
determined no extremity of distress should ever compel her to have
recourse to her hard-hearted relation. But when she became a mother, the
pride of resentment was overcome by the stronger feelings of maternal
tenderness. She wrote to her aunt, informing her of the sudden death of
her husband, and the birth of her daughter, and the difficulties in
which she was involved, burdened as she was with an infant, and without
means of support. She received no answer; but notwithstanding the high
spirit natural to her character, she no longer feared exposing herself
to mortification; and, although she knew her aunt would never pardon her
for having married a man who was not of noble birth, however estimable,
she continued to write to her, with the hope of awakening her compassion
for Virginia. Many years, however, passed without receiving any token of
her remembrance.

At length, in 1738, three years after the arrival of Monsieur de la
Bourdonnais in this island, Madame de la Tour was informed that the
Governor had a letter to give her from her aunt. She flew to Port Louis;
maternal joy raised her mind above all trifling considerations, and she
was careless on this occasion of appearing in her homely attire.
Monsieur de la Bourdonnais gave her a letter from her aunt, in which she
informed her, that she deserved her fate for marrying an adventurer and
a libertine: that the passions brought with them their own punishment;
that the premature death of her husband was a just visitation from
Heaven; that she had done well in going to a distant island, rather than
dishonour her family by remaining in France; and that, after all, in the
colony where she had taken refuge, none but the idle failed to grow
rich. Having thus censured her niece, she concluded by eulogizing
herself. To avoid, she said, the almost inevitable evils of marriage,
she had determined to remain single. In fact, as she was of a very
ambitious disposition, she had resolved to marry none but a man of high
rank; but although she was very rich, her fortune was not found a
sufficient bribe, even at court, to counterbalance the malignant
dispositions of her mind, and the disagreeable qualities of her person.

After mature deliberations, she added, in a post-script, that she had
strongly recommended her niece to Monsieur de la Bourdonnais. This she
had indeed done, but in a manner of late too common, which renders a
patron perhaps even more to be feared than a declared enemy; for, in
order to justify herself for her harshness, she had cruelly slandered
her niece, while she affected to pity her misfortunes.

Madame de la Tour, whom no unprejudiced person could have seen without
feelings of sympathy and respect, was received with the utmost coolness
by Monsieur de la Bourdonnais, biased as he was against her. When she
painted to him her own situation and that of her child, he replied in
abrupt sentences, - "We will see what can be done - there are so many to
relieve - all in good time - why did you displease your aunt? - you have
been much to blame."

Madame de la Tour returned to her cottage, her heart torn with grief,
and filled with all the bitterness of disappointment. When she arrived
she threw her aunt's letter on the table, and exclaimed to her friend,
"There is the fruit of eleven years of patient expectation!" Madame de
la Tour being the only person in the little circle who could read, she
again took up the letter, and read it aloud. Scarcely had she finished,
when Margaret exclaimed, "What have we to do with your relations?
Has God then forsaken us? He only is our father! Have we not hitherto
been happy? Why then this regret? You have no courage." Seeing Madame de
la Tour in tears, she threw herself upon her neck, and pressing her in
her arms, - "My dear friend!" cried she, "my dear friend!" - but her
emotion choked her utterance. At this sight Virginia burst into tears,
and pressed her mother's and Margaret's hand alternately to her lips and
heart; while Paul, his eyes inflamed with anger, cried, clasping his
hands together, and stamping with his foot, not knowing whom to blame
for this scene of misery. The noise soon brought Domingo and Mary to the
spot, and the little habitation resounded with cries of distress, - "Ah,
madam! - My good mistress! - My dear mother! - Do not weep!" These tender
proofs of affection at length dispelled the grief of Madame de la Tour.
She took Paul and Virginia in her arms, and, embracing them, said, "You
are the cause of my affliction, my children, but you are also my only
source of delight! Yes, my dear children, misfortune has reached me, but
only from a distance: here I am surrounded with happiness." Paul and
Virginia did not understand this reflection; but when they saw that she
was calm, they smiled, and continued to caress her. Tranquillity was
thus restored in this happy family, and all that had passed was but as a
storm in the midst of fine weather, which disturbs the serenity of the
atmosphere but for a short time, and then passes away.

The amiable disposition of these children unfolded itself daily. One
Sunday, at daybreak, their mothers having gone to mass at the church of
the Shaddock Grove, the children perceived a negro woman beneath the
plantains which surrounded their habitation. She appeared almost wasted
to a skeleton, and had no other garment than a piece of coarse cloth
thrown around her. She threw herself at the feet of Virginia, who was
preparing the family breakfast, and said, "My good young lady, have pity
on a poor runaway slave. For a whole month I have wandered among these
mountains, half dead with hunger, and often pursued by the hunters and
their dogs. I fled from my master, a rich planter of the Black River,
who has used me as you see;" and she showed her body marked with scars
from the lashes she had received. She added, "I was going to drown
myself, but hearing you lived here, I said to myself, Since there are
still some good white people in this country, I need not die yet."
Virginia answered with emotion, - "Take courage, unfortunate creature!
here is something to eat;" and she gave her the breakfast she had been
preparing, which the slave in a few minutes devoured. When her hunger
was appeased, Virginia said to her, - "Poor woman! I should like to go
and ask forgiveness for you of your master. Surely the sight of you will
touch him with pity. Will you show me the way?" - "Angel of heaven!"
answered the poor negro woman. "I will follow you where you please!"
Virginia called her brother and begged him to accompany her. The slave
led the way, by winding and difficult paths, through the woods, over
mountains, which they climbed with difficulty, and across rivers,
through which they were obliged to wade. At length, about the middle of
the day, they reached the foot of a steep descent upon the borders of
the Black River. There they perceived a well-built house, surrounded by
extensive plantations, and a number of slaves employed in their various
labours. Their master was walking among them with a pipe in his mouth,
and a switch in his hand. He was a tall thin man, of a brown complexion;
his eyes were sunk in his head, and his dark eyebrows were joined in
one. Virginia, holding Paul by the hand, drew near, and with much
emotion begged him, for the love of God, to pardon his poor slave, who
stood trembling a few paces behind. The planter at first paid little
attention to the children, who he saw, were meanly dressed. But when he
observed the elegance of Virginia's form, and the profusion of her
beautiful light tresses which had escaped from beneath her blue cap;
when he heard the soft tone of her voice, which trembled, as well as her
whole frame, while she implored his compassion; he took his pipe from
his mouth, and lifting up his stick, swore with a terrible oath, that he
pardoned his slave, not for the love of Heaven, but of her who asked his
forgiveness. Virginia made a sign to the slave to approach her master;
and instantly sprang away followed by Paul.

They climbed up the steep they had descended; and having gained the
summit, seated themselves at the foot of a tree, overcome with fatigue,
hunger, and thirst. They had left their home fasting, and walked five
leagues since sunrise. Paul said to Virginia, - "My dear sister, it is
past noon, and I am sure you are thirsty and hungry: we shall find no
dinner here; let us go down the mountain again, and ask the master of
the poor slave for some food." - "Oh, no," answered Virginia, "he
frightens me too much. Remember what mamma sometimes says, 'The bread of
the wicked is like stones in the mouth.'" - "What shall we do then?" said
Paul; "these trees produce no fruit fit to eat; and I shall not be able
to find even a tamarind or a lemon to refresh you." - "God will take care
of us," replied Virginia; "he listens to the cry even of the little
birds when they ask him for food." Scarcely had she pronounced these
words when they heard the noise of water falling from a neighbouring
rock. They ran thither, and having quenched their thirst at this crystal
spring, they gathered and ate a few cresses which grew on the border of
the stream. Soon afterwards, while they were wandering backwards and
forwards, in search of more solid nourishment, Virginia perceived in the
thickest part of the forest, a young palm-tree. The kind of cabbage
which is found at the top of the palm, enfolded within its leaves, is
well adapted for food; but, although the stock of the tree is not
thicker than a man's leg, it grows to above sixty feet in height. The
wood of the tree, indeed, is composed only of very fine filaments; but
the bark is so hard that it turns the edge of the hatchet, and Paul was
not furnished even with a knife. At length he thought of setting fire to
the palm-tree; but a new difficulty occurred: he had no steel with which
to strike fire; and although the whole island is covered with rocks, I
do not believe it is possible to find a single flint. Necessity,
however, is fertile in expedients, and the most useful inventions have
arisen from men placed in the most destitute situations. Paul determined
to kindle a fire after the manner of the negroes. With the sharp end of
a stone he made a small hole in the branch of a tree that was quite dry,
and which he held between his feet: he then, with the edge of the same
stone, brought to a point another dry branch of a different sort of
wood, and, afterwards, placing the piece of pointed wood in the small
hole of the branch which he held with his feet and turning it rapidly
between his hands, in a few minutes smoke and sparks of fire issued from
the point of contact. Paul then heaped together dried grass and
branches, and set fire to the foot of the palm-tree, which soon fell to
the ground with a tremendous crash. The fire was further useful to him
in stripping off the long, thick, and pointed leaves, within which the
cabbage was inclosed. Having thus succeeded in obtaining this fruit,
they ate part of it raw, and part dressed upon the ashes, which they
found equally palatable. They made this frugal repast with delight, from
the remembrance of the benevolent action they had performed in the
morning: yet their joy was embittered by the thoughts of the uneasiness
which their long absence from home would occasion their mothers.
Virginia often recurred to this subject; but Paul, who felt his strength
renewed by their meal, assured her that it would not be long before they
reached home, and, by the assurance of their safety, tranquillized the
minds of their parents.

After dinner they were much embarrassed by the recollection that they
had now no guide, and that they were ignorant of the way. Paul, whose
spirit was not subdued by difficulties, said to Virginia, - "The sun
shines full upon our huts at noon: we must pass, as we did this morning,
over that mountain with its three points, which you see yonder. Come,
let us be moving." This mountain was that of the Three Breasts, so
called from the form of its three peaks. They then descended the steep
bank of the Black River, on the northern side; and arrived, after an
hour's walk, on the banks of a large river, which stopped their further
progress. This large portion of the island, covered as it is with
forests, is even now so little known that many of its rivers and
mountains have not yet received a name. The stream, on the banks of
which Paul and Virginia were now standing, rolls foaming over a bed of
rocks. The noise of the water frightened Virginia, and she was afraid to
wade through the current: Paul therefore took her up in his arms, and
went thus loaded over the slippery rocks, which formed the bed of the
river, careless of the tumultuous noise of its waters. "Do not be
afraid," cried he to Virginia; "I feel very strong with you. If that
planter at the Black River had refused you the pardon of his slave, I
would have fought with him." - "What!" answered Virginia, "with that
great wicked man? To what have I exposed you! Gracious heaven! how
difficult it is to do good! and yet it is so easy to do wrong."

When Paul had crossed the river, he wished to continue the journey
carrying his sister: and he flattered himself that he could ascend in
that way the mountain of the Three Breasts, which was still at the
distance of half a league; but his strength soon failed, and he was
obliged to set down his burden, and to rest himself by her side.
Virginia then said to him, "My dear brother the sun is going down; you


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