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STANDARD CATHOLIC READERS ***




Produced by Juliet Sutherland and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net







[Illustration: THE MADONNA OF THE CHAIR

_Painting by Raphael_]




_EIGHT BOOK SERIES_

STANDARD
CATHOLIC READERS
BY GRADES

FIFTH YEAR

BY
MARY E. DOYLE

FORMERLY PRINCIPAL OF HOLY NAMES NORMAL SCHOOL,
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, AND SUPERVISOR OF TEACHING,
STATE NORMAL SCHOOL, SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN

[Illustration]

NEW YORK ⁘ CINCINNATI ⁘ CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1909, 1913, BY
MARY E. DOYLE.

STAND. CATH. READERS BY GRADES.
5TH YEAR.

E. P. 6




PREFACE


The selections in this reader for the Fifth Year were chosen with
reference both to their intrinsic literary quality and to the varying
capabilities of the pupils who will read them. It is confidently hoped
that they will reach some interest of each child, and, at the same time,
help to form a correct literary standard and encourage a taste for the
best reading.

In the preparation of this series of readers, valuable counsel and
assistance have been given me by many friendly educators and those in
authority. I am especially grateful to the Rt. Rev. John Lancaster
Spalding of Peoria for helpful advice and encouragement in the planning
and inception of the work; also, to the Rt. Rev. James McGolrick of
Duluth, Minnesota, to the Rt. Rev. A. F. Schinner of Superior, Wisconsin,
and to other prelates and clergy who have graciously given me assistance
in various ways. Many thanks, too, for kindly suggestions and criticisms
are hereby proffered to numerous friends among those patient and inspiring
educators - the Sisters.

MARY E. DOYLE.




ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The selections from Whittier, Longfellow. Lowell, Miriam Coles Harris, and
John Burroughs are used by special permission of, and arrangement with,
Houghton Mifflin Company, the publishers of the works of these authors.
The selections from Helen Hunt Jackson are used by special arrangement
with Little, Brown, & Company. Acknowledgments for the use of copyright
material are also made: to Small, Maynard & Company for the poems by
Father Tabb; to the editor and publisher of _The Ave Maria_ for “Lucy’s
Rosary,” by J. R. Marre, and other poems from that magazine; to Mary F.
Nixon-Roulet for the selections of which she is the author; to Longmans,
Green, & Company, for “The Reindeer,” by Andrew Lang; to Henry Coyle
for the poems of which he is the author; and to the Congregation of the
Mission of St Vincent de Paul, Springfield, Mass., for the extract from
Mother Mary Loyola’s “Jesus of Nazareth,” of which book they are the
publishers.




CONTENTS


PAGE

Little Wolff and his Wooden Shoe _François Coppée_ 7

The Eagle and the Swan _J. J. Audubon_ 14

Lucy’s Rosary _J. R. Marre_ 16

The Taxgatherer _Rev. John B. Tabb_ 17

The Wisdom of Alexander _Horace Binney Wallace_ 18

Thanksgiving _Henry Coyle_ 23

The Enchanted Bark _Cervantes_ 24

A Legend of St. Nicholas _Author Unknown_ 30

Raphael of Urbino 36

Lead, Kindly Light _Cardinal Newman_ 43

Parable of the Good Samaritan _The Bible_ 44

Connor Mac-Nessa - An Irish Legend _M. F. Nixon-Roulet_ 46

The Martyrdom of Blessed John Fisher _Rev. T. E. Bridgett_ 50

The Nightingale and the Glowworm _William Cowper_ 56

If thou couldst be a Bird _Rev. F. W. Faber_ 58

The First Crusade 60

How the Robin Came _John G. Whittier_ 75

How St. Francis preached to the Birds _From “Little Flowers of
St. Francis”_ 78

The Petrified Fern _Mary L. Bolles Branch_ 82

Bird Enemies _John Burroughs_ 84

St. Joseph’s Month _H. W._ 95

A Song of Spring _Aubrey de Vere_ 96

Robert Bruce _Sir Walter Scott_ 97

“When Evening Shades are Falling” _Thomas Moore_ 106

The Reindeer _A. Lang_ 107

A Story of Ancient Ireland _Lady Gregory_ 114

San Gabriel _Helen Hunt Jackson_ 118

Imitation of Mary _St. Ambrose_ 120

Scene from “William Tell” _Sheridan Knowles_ 121

The Schoolmaster of Sleepy Hollow _Washington Irving_ 132

The Bluebird _Rev. John B. Tabb_ 151

The Brook _Alfred Tennyson_ 152

The Story of a Happy Child 154

May Carol _Sister Mary Antonia_ 158

The Precious Blood of Jesus _Henry Coyle_ 160

The Spanish Cook _Miriam Coles Harris_ 161

The Planting of the Apple Tree _William Cullen Bryant_ 166

The Conversion of King Ratbodo _Conrad von Bolanden_ 170

The Blessed Virgin Mary _H. W. Longfellow_ 174

Come to Jesus _Rev. F. W. Faber_ 175

Father Marquette _John G. Shea_ 178

The Shepherd of King Admetus _J. R. Lowell_ 186

The Sermon on the Mount _Mother Mary Loyola_ 188

The Star-spangled Banner _Francis Scott Key_ 196

How America was Discovered 198

The Power of God _Thomas Moore_ 213

Our Country and our Home _James Montgomery_ 214

Notes 215




FIFTH YEAR




LITTLE WOLFF AND HIS WOODEN SHOE


I

Once upon a time, so long ago that everybody has forgotten the date, there
was a little boy whose name was Wolff. He lived with his aunt in a tall
old house in a city whose name is so hard to pronounce that nobody can
speak it. He was seven years old, and he could not remember that he had
ever seen his father or his mother.

The old aunt who had the care of little Wolff was very selfish and cross.
She gave him dry bread to eat, of which there was never enough; and not
more than once in the year did she speak kindly to him.

But the poor boy loved this woman, because he had no one else to love; and
there was never a day so dark that he did not think of the sunlight.

Everybody knew that Wolff’s aunt owned a house and had a stocking full of
gold under her bed, and so she did not dare to send the little boy to the
school for the poor as she would have liked to do. But a schoolmaster on
the next street agreed to teach him for almost nothing; and whenever there
was work he could do, he was kept at home.

The schoolmaster had an unkind feeling for Wolff because he brought him so
little money and was dressed so poorly. And so the boy was punished very
often, and had to bear the blame for all the wrong that was done in the
school.

The little fellow was often very sad; and more than once he hid himself
where he could not be seen and cried as though his heart would break. But
at last Christmas came.

The night before Christmas there was to be singing in the church, and the
schoolmaster was to be there with all his boys; and everybody was to have
a very happy time looking at the Christmas candles and listening to the
sweet music.

The winter had set in very cold and rough, and there was much snow on the
ground; and so the boys came to the schoolhouse with fur caps drawn down
over their ears, and heavy coats, and warm gloves, and thick high-topped
boots. But little Wolff had no warm clothes. He came shivering in the thin
coat which he wore on Sundays in summer; and there was nothing on his feet
but coarse stockings very full of holes, and a pair of heavy wooden shoes.

The other boys made many jokes about his sad looks and his worn-out
clothes. But the poor child was so busy blowing his fingers and thumping
his toes to keep them warm that he did not hear what was said. And when
the hour came, the whole company of boys, with the schoolmaster at the
front, started to the church.


II

It was very fine in the church. Hundreds of wax candles were burning in
their places, and the air was so warm that Wolff soon forgot his aching
fingers. The boys sat still for a little while; and then while the singing
was going on and the organ was making loud music, they began in low voices
to talk to one another; and each told about the fine things that were
going to be done at his home on the morrow.

The mayor’s son told of a monstrous goose that he had seen in the kitchen
before he came away; it was stuffed, and stuck all over with cloves till
it was as spotted as a leopard. Another boy whispered of a little fir tree
in a wooden box in his mother’s parlor; its branches were full of fruits
and nuts and candy and beautiful toys. And he said that he was sure of a
fine dinner, for the cook had pinned the two strings of her cap behind her
back, us she always did when something wonderfully good was coming.

Then the children talked of what the Christ Child would bring them, and of
what He would put in their shoes, which, of course, they would leave by
the fireplace when they went to bed. And the eyes of the little fellows
danced with joy as they thought of the bags of candy and the lead soldiers
and the grand jumping jacks which they would draw out in the morning.

But little Wolff said nothing. He knew that his selfish old aunt would
send him to bed without any supper, as she always did. But he felt in his
heart that he had been all the year as good and kind as he could be; and
so he hoped that the blessed Christ Child would not forget him nor fail to
see his wooden shoes which he would put in the ashes in the corner of the
fireplace.


III

At last the singing stopped, the organ was silent, and the Christmas music
was ended. The boys arose in order and left the church, two by two, as
they had entered it; and the teacher walked in front.

Now, as he passed through the door of the church, little Wolff saw a child
sitting on one of the stone steps and fast asleep in the midst of the
snow. The child was thinly clad, and his feet, cold as it was, were bare.

In the pale light of the moon, the face of the child, with its closed
eyes, was full of a sweetness which is not of this earth, and his long
locks of yellow hair seemed like a golden crown upon his head. But his
poor bare feet, blue in the cold of that winter night, were sad to look
upon.

The scholars, so warmly clad, passed before the strange child, and did not
so much as glance that way. But little Wolff, who was the last to come out
of the church, stopped, full of pity, before him.

“Ah, the poor child!” he said to himself. “How sad it is that he must go
barefoot in such weather as this! And what is still worse, he has not a
stocking nor even a wooden shoe to lay before him while he sleeps, so that
the Christ Child can put something in it to make him glad when he wakens.”

Little Wolff did not stand long to think about it; but in the goodness of
his heart he took off the wooden shoe from his right foot and laid it by
the side of the sleeping child. Then, limping along through the snow, and
shivering with cold, he went down the street till he came to his cheerless
home.

“You worthless fellow!” cried his aunt. “Where have you been? What have
you done with your other shoe?”

Little Wolff trembled now with fear as well as with the cold; but he had
no thought of deceiving his angry aunt. He told her how he had given the
shoe to a child that was poorer than himself. The woman laughed an ugly,
wicked laugh.

“And so,” she said, “our fine young gentleman takes off his shoes for
beggars! He gives his wooden shoe to a barefoot! Well, we shall see.
You may put the shoe that is left in the chimney, and, mind what I say!
If anything is left in it, it will be a switch to whip you with in the
morning. To-morrow, for your Christmas dinner, you shall have nothing but
a hard crust of bread to eat and cold water to drink. I will show you how
to give away your shoes to the first beggar that comes along!”

The wicked woman struck the boy upon the cheek with her hand, and then
made him climb up to his bed in the loft. Sobbing with grief and pain,
little Wolff lay on his hard, cold bed, and did not go to sleep till the
moon had gone down and the Christmas bells had rung in the glad day of
peace and good will.

In the morning when the old woman arose grumbling and went downstairs, a
wonderful sight met her eyes. The great chimney was full of beautiful toys
and bags of candy and all kinds of pretty things; and right in the midst
of these was the wooden shoe which Wolff had given to the child, and near
it was its mate in which the wicked aunt had meant to put a strong switch.

The woman was so amazed that she cried out and stood still as if in a
fright. Little Wolff heard the cry and ran downstairs as quickly as he
could to see what was the matter. He, too, stopped short when he saw all
the beautiful things that were in the chimney. But as he stood and looked,
he heard people laughing in the street. What did it all mean?

By the side of the town pump many of the neighbors were standing. Each
was telling what had happened at his home that morning. The boys who had
rich parents and had been looking for beautiful gifts had found only long
switches in their shoes.

But, in the meanwhile, Wolff and his aunt stood still and looked at the
wonderful gifts around the two wooden shoes. Who had placed them there?
And where now was the kind, good giver?

Then, as they still wondered, they heard the voice of some one reading
in the little chapel over the way: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the
least of these - ” And then, in some strange way, they understood how it
had all come about; and even the heart of the wicked aunt was softened.
And their eyes were filled with tears and their faces with smiles, as
they knelt down together and thanked the good God for what He had done to
reward the kindness and love of a little child.

- _Adapted from the French of François Coppée._




THE EAGLE AND THE SWAN


Imagine yourself, on a day early in November, floating slowly down
the Mississippi River. The near approach of winter brings millions of
waterfowl on whistling wings from the countries of the North to seek a
milder climate in which to sojourn for a season.

The eagle is seen perched on the highest branch of the tallest tree by the
margin of the broad stream. His glistening but pitiless eye looks over
water and land and sees objects afar off. He listens to every sound that
comes to his quick ear, glancing now and then to the earth beneath, lest
the light tread of the rabbit may pass unheard.

His mate is perched on the other side of the river, and now and then warns
him by a cry to continue patient. At this well-known call he partly opens
his broad wings and answers to her voice in tones not unlike the laugh
of a madman. Ducks and many smaller waterfowl are seen passing rapidly
towards the South; but the eagle heeds them not - they are for the time
beneath his attention.

The next moment, however, the wild, trumpet-like sound of a distant swan
is heard. The eagle suddenly shakes his body, raises his wings, and makes
ready for flight. A shriek from his mate comes across the stream, for she
is fully as watchful as he.

The snow-white bird is now in sight; her long neck is stretched forward;
her eyes are as watchful as those of her enemy; her large wings seem with
difficulty to support the weight of her body. Nearer and nearer she comes.
The eagle has marked her for his prey.

As the swan is about to pass the dreaded pair, the eagle starts from his
perch with an awful scream. He glides through the air like a falling star,
and, like a flash of lightning, comes upon the timid bird, which now, in
agony and despair, seeks to escape the grasp of his cruel talons. She
would plunge into the stream, did not the eagle force her to remain in the
air by striking at her from beneath.

The hope of escape is soon given up by the swan. She has already become
much weakened. She is about to gasp her last breath, when the eagle
strikes with his talons the under side of her wing and forces the dying
bird to fall in a slanting direction upon the nearest shore.

The eagle’s mate has watched every movement that he has made, and if she
did not assist him in capturing the swan, it was because she felt sure
that his power and courage were quite enough for the deed. She now sails
to the spot where he is waiting for her, and both together turn the breast
of the luckless swan upward and gorge themselves with gore.

- J. J. AUDUBON.




LUCY’S ROSARY


I love to see her well-worn beads
Slip through her tender hand;
They fall like rich enchanted seeds
Cast in a fruitful land.

From each small bead full silently
A floweret fair doth grow -
A winsome thing with soft bright eye,
Yet strong in grace, I know.

Wild winds may rave and storms may shout,
Her blossoms will not fall;
The angels gird them round about
With hedgerows thick and tall.

The Blessed Mary smiles on them,
Just as, in days of yore,
She smiled when in old Bethlehem
Her little Babe she bore.

And saints adown the golden stair
With noiseless steps oft creep,
To tend these shining flowers of prayer,
When Lucy is asleep.

When autumn dies, these radiant flowers
Shall safe transplanted be,
To bloom in Eden’s greenest bowers
For all eternity.

Before the Godhead they shall raise
Their perfumes pure and sweet,
And bloom in silent hymns of praise
At Lady Mary’s feet.

- J. R. MARRE.

From _The Ave Maria_.




THE TAXGATHERER


“And pray, who are you?”
Said the violet blue
To the Bee, with surprise
At his wonderful size,
In her eyeglass of dew.

“I, madam,” quoth he,
“Am a publican Bee,
Collecting the tax
Of honey and wax.
Have you nothing for me?”

- REV. JOHN B. TABB.




THE WISDOM OF ALEXANDER


Macedon melancholy philosopher countenance
cypress messenger perplexity recognize
vigor humiliation solitude poverty
oracles alleviation company behest

The bannered hosts of Macedon stood arrayed in splendid might. Crowning
the hills and filling the valleys, far and wide extended the millions in
arms who waited on the word of the young Alexander - the most superb array
of human power which sceptered ambition ever evoked to do its bidding.

That army was to sweep nations off the earth and make a continent its
camp, following the voice of one whose sword was the index to glory, whose
command was the synonym of triumph. It now stood expectant, for the king
yet lingered.

While his war horse fretted at the gate, and myriads thus in silence
waited his appearance, Alexander took his way to the apartment of his
mother. The sole ligament which bound him to virtue and to feeling was the
love of that mother, and the tie was as strong as it was tender.

In mute dejection they embraced; and Alexander, as he gazed upon that
affectionate face, which had never been turned to him but in tenderness
and yearning love, seemed to ask, “Shall I ever again behold that sweet
smile?” The anxiety of his mother’s countenance denoted the same sad
curiosity; and without a word, but with the selfsame feeling in their
hearts, they went out together to seek the oracles in the temple of
Philip, to learn their fate.

Alone, in unuttered sympathy, the two ascended the steps of the sacred
temple and approached the shrine. A priest stood behind the altar. The
blue smoke of the incense curled upward in front, and the book of oracles
was before him.

“Where shall my grave be digged?” said the king; and the priest opened
the book and read, “Where the soil is of iron, and the sky of gold, there
shall the grave of the monarch of men be digged.”

To the utmost limit Asia had become the possession of the Macedonian.
Fatigued with conquest, and anxious to seek a country where the difficulty
of victory should enhance its value, the hero was returning to Europe. A
few days would have brought him to the capital of his kingdom, when he
fell suddenly ill. He was lifted from his horse, and one of his generals,
unlacing his armor, spread it out for him to lie upon, and held his golden
shield to screen him from the mid-day sun.

When the king raised his eyes and beheld the glittering canopy, he was
conscious of the omen. “The oracle has said that where the ground should
be of iron, and the sky of gold, there should my grave be made! Behold the
fulfillment! It is a mournful thing! The young cypress is cut down in the
vigor of its strength, in the first fullness of its beauty. The thread
of life is snapped suddenly, and with it a thousand prospects vanish, a
thousand hopes are crushed! But let the will of fate be done! She has long
obeyed my behest! I yield myself now to hers! Yet, my mother!”

And the monarch mused in melancholy silence. At length he turned to his
attendants and ordered his tablets to be brought; and he took them, and
wrote, “Let the customary alms, which my mother shall distribute at my
death, be given to those who have never felt the miseries of the world,
and have never lost those who were dear to them;” and sinking back upon
his iron couch, he yielded up his breath. They buried him where he died,
and an army wept over his grave!

When the intelligence of the death of Alexander was brought to his mother,
as she sat among her ladies, she was overwhelmed by anguish.

“Ah! why,” she exclaimed, “was I exalted so high, only to be plunged into
such depth of misery? Why was I not made of lower condition, so, haply, I
had escaped such grief? The joy of my youth is plucked up, the comfort of
my age is withered! Who is more wretched than I?” And she refused to be
comforted.

The last wish of her son was read to her, and she resolved to perform that
one remaining duty and then retire to solitude, to indulge her grief for
the remainder of her life. She ordered her servants to go into the city
and bring to the palace such as the will of Alexander directed - selecting
those who were the poorest. But the messengers, ere long, returned, and
said that there were none of that description to be found among the poor.
“Go then,” said the queen, “and apply to all classes, and return not
without bringing some who have never lost any who were dear to them.” And
the order was proclaimed through all the city, and all heard it and passed
on.

The neighboring villages gave no better success; and the search was


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