Copyright
Panama Canal Company.

The Student and schoolmate; an illustrated monthly for our boys and girls (Volume v.25-26(1870)) online

. (page 8 of 55)
Online LibraryPanama Canal CompanyThe Student and schoolmate; an illustrated monthly for our boys and girls (Volume v.25-26(1870)) → online text (page 8 of 55)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


held him tight and never stopped her prayer ; then he changed him to
a fagot of burning wood, but the fire did not scorch her, and she never
loosed her hold, but prayed on fast and hard ; then he changed him to a
naked sword, its edge towards her breast, but the edge did not wound,
and still she held fast and never ceased the holy words ; then he
changed him to a great grinning ape, who thrust his face close to her's
and snapped his teeth against her cheek, but still she held fast, and
prayed as fast and as loud as her voice would come ; and then there was
an awful shout of rage and despair, and a flashing before her eyes as of
ten thousand flames mingling with each other, and' still she held fast,
and when it had parsed by, the brave girl stood alone beside the Fairy
Well, with the baby in her arms, fair, and well, and beautiful as she had
dreamed night after night of sometime seeing him.

" ' Now the Lord be praised, Judy alanna, but it was an awful sight,
and we are well through it, and now let us put the road betwixt us and,
this place as soon as may be,' said old Ivatv, appearing pale and fright-
ened, from behind the clump of hazel, and Judy, too exhausted to speak,
but still clutching the baby to her heart, nodded reply, and hastened
after the wise woman down the dewy road- and through the dark wood
towards her home.

" Morning was breaking over the eastern hills, when softly raising
the latch of her lady's chamber, Judy crept in, and stole softly up to the
cradle beside the bed. It was empty, and as she stood staring at it, Lady
Honor moaned uneasily in her sleep, and turned, and opened her blue
eyes. Then Judy fell upon her knees, and told the whole story, with
the tears streaming down her cheeks, and laid the baby down beside its
mother, who was crying too, but her's were tears of joy that she had
once more her own little baby, and need not try to love that horrible
changeling who had taken his lace so long.

" What became of the chaageling nobody ever knew. Lady Honor
could only say that when she laid down for the night, he was in his
cradle staring at her with his evil eyes, and grinning as if making sport
of her in his own mind, and she turned her back and left him so, and
went to sleep.

" But the wise woman said that the moment Judy rescued the little



Greedy Grodjkins. 81

heir from the Good People, the changeling shrivelled up to his original
size, and flew away through the keyhole."

" Do you believe so too, Banshee ? " asked Rhoda, hut there was no
reply, and the fire had died out, and the room was dark so that she
could see nothing, and rising very softly the little girl ran on tiptoe to
the door of the parlor, and opening it rather suddenly found Susy and
Jonas Talbot both sitting in one chair, and looking very happy. So
Susy went up-stairs and helped her undress, and Rhoda fell asleep, and
dreamed of the Chimney-Elf and his Friends.

Mrs. Jane G. Austin.



GREEDY GRODJKINS;

A

pRelancholu $totju of the ^atjdiff (plant.




OW I don't pretend to know where the giant country is. It is
not down in my geography, and I don't believe it is in yours.
All I know about it is, that this is the way I heard it, and I
don't pretend to be responsible for any of it at all, no, not I. If this
giant country is anywhere that you can get to, / think it ought to be
down on the map, but I can't find anybody that knows much about it,
anyway. It 's a queer country, I know, and pretty large too, for it
must take such a deal of room for a giant's house, you know ; and then
the barns, and the wood-sheds, and, — just think of it — the gardens
and the farms ! What a field of potatoes it must take to keep a family
of giants over winter.

I don't think giants go to church — they're not generally that sort
of people — but I don't know sure, for I suppose there are some good
giants. If there are, it must take a pretty large sized contribution box,
to hold all the money they give.

But the most I know about giants, is in connection with a very large
one named Grodjkins — Grod, for short. He was the largest one of a
large family, and indeed, the largest in the whole country. He was
ever so many feet high, and a common man could walk between his
knees, without rubbing his own head. A great brawny-fisted, hard-
knuckled, shaggy-faced fellow he was, with bushy hair, as thick as the
mane of a horse, and teeth as long as your finger.

You and I would not call him very good looking, but he was quite a
dandy among other giants, and when he had on his swallow-tailed coat,
and was dressed for a party, he was thought by fashionable giants, to be



82 The Student and Schoolmate.

very distinguished looking indeed. His eye-glasses were made from
large plates of glass, and set in gold rims, and his gloves were made
of the tanned skin of a kind of fish, found only in the giant country.

" Ho, ho ! " said he one day, to his servants, who were all giants,
but not so big as he was, " bring me my dinner."

You and I could have heard his voice a mile away — yes, two miles,
I dare say.

And his servants brought him his dinner. First they gave him soup,
ox-tail soup — just think of the oxen whose appendages had to be sacri-
ficed for that soup. They gave him a gallon to begin on. He was n't
very hungry, so he did n't eat any more soup.

Then they brought him some meat. A stuffed deer, with all the
vegetables ; and he ate first a leg, and then a breast piece, as if he
didn't know which was best, and then he tried the stuffing. All at
once he exclaimed, " Ho, ho ! cook ! where is the cook? " and stamped
his feet, and swore blasphemously.

The cook, a little man only ten feet high, came running in, in great
fright.

" Here," said the giant, " you 've left a skewer in the meat. Take it
out ! Don't you dare to be so careless again ! Go ! Go ! Go ! Take
care ! " and the way he roared was perfectly shocking, and the little cook
pulled out the skewer, which, between you and me, was as big as a cord-
wood stick, and bowed himself very politely out of the room, trembling
in his boots all the time, and very glad to get off so easily, I can asiure
you ; for Grod had a fearful temper. But he congratulated himself too
soon, for before he bad got out of the next room, he heard Grod brawl-
ing again at the top of his voice, " Ho, ho ! bring back the cook. Bring
back Smiffinjack, I say. Ho, ho, you scoundrels, run quick ! "

Poor Smiffinjack (Smiff, for short,) hid behind the door, full of terror,
but he was caught and carried before Greedy Grod, who, instead of
being angry with him, proved to be pleased with the flavor of the meat,
and said to poor Smiff, " May I ask of you a kindness ? "

Smiff said very softly — I mean softly for a giant, you and I would
call it bellowing, even then — " Certainly sir."

" Will you take a plate of this meat, up to your mistress, the fair Arba-
gabug, and ask her how she likes the flavor ? "

So saying, he cut off a leg of the deer, and a large piece of the rib,
and put it on a platter, and with it Smiff left the room.

Now Arbagabug was the giant's new wife, that he had stolen from
another country. They called her Arbie, for short, and she was as beau-
tiful as a giantess could well be.



Greedy Grodjkins. 83

After Grod ate all he wanted of the deer, he had a padding, made
in a big boiler, and a half bushel of grapes, and ever so many nuts, and
many other nice things.

Now Grod did n't care for anybody else but himself, and so he found
fault with everything, and scolded everybody, and kept up a terrible
hurly-burly all dinner time, till all the giants were heartily glad when
he got through, and rolled out of his chair, fast asleep. As he fell on
the floor, he waked a bit, and shouted, " Ho, ho ! who pushed me ! who
pashed me ? "

But there did n't anybody answer, and before he had time to get very
angry, he was fast asleep again.

Then they bundled him off to bed, and if he had n't snored so loudly,
they would have been quite comfortable till he waked up ; but even in
his sleep he was selfish and pig-headed, and bound to Have his own way,
and to disturb everybody if he could.

One giant said under his breath — to us it would have sounded like
thunder — "I wish he was dead ! "

Another said, " And I too. I hate him ! " all just like common folks,
you see, and they all shook their heads, and muttered under their breath,
and it was plain to see, nobody loved Grodjkins very much.

" He 's so greedy," says one.

" Wants everything he sees," says another.

" Never satisfied," said a third.

" Jealous of everybody," whispered a fourth, in a tone like a bass drum.

" And so selfish," brought in the last one.

" He hates us all ! " exclaimed two.

" And we all hate him ! " echoed the rest.

" No good will ever come to him ! " shouted they all.

Here they heard a terrific snore, and they all scampered away, as fast
as their legs could carry them, and that was pretty fast, for they took
nearly a rod at every step.

When the giant woke up he ordered some supper, and then went to
sleep again.

When he woke up again, he shouted, " Where 's Arbagabug ?
Where 's my wife ? " But when she did n't come, he bellowed the
louder, and said, " My head aches ! I want the doctor."

Then they went after the doctor, who came in a gig as big as a coach,
and had a gold-headed cane, which he kept continually at his nose, as if
he snuffed some good sense — scents, or cents, — and he bled the great
blubbering giant with a carving knife, and he put his feet to soak in a
hogshead of water, and he gave him a dose of medicine, and he looked



84 The Student and Schoolmate.

wise, and examined his tongue, and shook his head, and walked out
very softly, and charged Grodjkins a good round sum. And Grodjkins
fumed, and fretted, and shouted at him, and then at Arbie, who was
combing his hair, and kicked over the water, and drowned the doctor's
boy, who had come in to bring the doctor's trunk.

Then he went to bed, and snored himself to sleep, and slept all eight
and got up bright as a dollar in the morning.

Now this was the day of a great feast, and so Grodjkins did n't eat
much for breakfast — only a little, indeed, compared with his usual meal
— but he had a luncheon at eleven, and another at two, and went to the
feast at five, with the lovely Arbagabug on his arm.

Now there was a great astrologer in that country, who said that if
Greedy Grodjkins did n't take care, he 'd come to some bad end ; for
he was not only greedy of food, but he wanted everything he saw, and
bellowed till he got it.

Now this astrologer loved Arbagabug, and Arbagabug loved him, and
hated the great lubberly giant. But Grod was too strong to be made
a fool off, and he had too much money, and too many servants to be
scorned, so Arbagabug's father let Grod steal Arbie, and nobody was
the wiser.

But Ting-a-ling, the astrologer, said he 'd have her vet.

But Grod said, " You'll have to wait for me to die, you old star-
gazer."

And when they got to the feast, which was to be eaten in a great
grove, for it was summer, there Ting-a-ling was, and he bowed to Arbie,
and turned up his nose at Grod, who was very cross, and clung to his
wife, for fear she 'd run away.

But Arbie knew how to manage him, for she made him sit right down
at the table, and eat first clams, then roast corn, then beef, and pud-
ding, and pie, and cake, and fruit, and everything good; and Grod
smacked his lips, and when he got through, wanted to know when the
feast would begin, for he was hungry.

And Arbie smiled at Ting-a-ling and Ting-a-ling threw a kiss at
Arbie, and the giant did n't see a thing of it, for they were just sitting
down to table. And such a feast ! I could n't try to tell you, for I
should never get through, but it was a giant feast, I can tell you, and
there was everything good there.

They didn't talk much, for you could n't hear for the clatter of knives
and rattle of dishes.

And they all kept their eyes on their food, so as to eat quick, and
get enough ; so Arbie and Ting a-ling were not noticed when they



Greedy Grodjkins. 85

slipped behind the trees, away from the table, and started to run away
together.

Before they got far, however, they heard Syllabuz, the giant's right-
hand man, shout, " Where 's Grodjkins ? "

This frightened them, for they thought, of course, he was after them,
and then they ran back, for they knew it was no use to run away — but
they saw nothing of Grodjkins. Syllabuz was saying, " I saw him a
minute ago."

" Yes, so did I," said his next neighbor.

" Nobody saw him go away ? " asked one. *

" Nobody," said they all.

" This is strange," said Arbie.

" Very," echoed Ting-a-ling, holding her hand.

" Very," said all.

And so they wondered for a long time, till, all at once, a big wise giant
over in the corner said, "I think I can tell you what has become of him."

" Well, what ? ' shouted all.

" As I was looking over his way after the meal, I saw him eating as fast
as he could, of the roast beef. But his whiskers seemed to trouble him,
for they would keep getting into his mouth, and make him stop eating.
But all at once, he was so much in a hurry, that he swallowed whiskers
aud all, and kept right on eating and swallowing, and — and — and,
I 'm sure, I saw, and he must have eaten himself up ! "

" Did you see him disappear ? "

" Yes, first his head, and then his shoulders, and I was too frightened
to speak."

Sure enough Grodjkins was gone. The victim of his own greediness,
he had eaten himself up, as every greedy, selfish person will — all the
good there is in them, all the real man — eat it all up, and disappear
like Grodjkins. And that's the moral. Do you understand it?

Ting-a-ling married Arbagabug the next day, for who cares for the
loss of a man wholly selfish ? and they live in the giant country now,
and Ting-a ling is the giant of the stars, and Arbagabug of the flowers.

There 's the story just as I heard it, but I don't know where the
giant country is, if it is n't down on the map, but they say that many
years after in the country of the giants, on the spot where they had the
feast, under a great tree, they found a great stone image, very mnch
shrunken of course, which was supposed to be Grod.

They called it the Cardiff Giant, and I guess Barnum will place it in
his museum.

Greedy hearts — selfish hearts — eat themselves up in trying to devour




86 The Student and Schoolmate.

everybody else, and their whole soul turns to stone. Better be a little,
tender hearted boy or girl, than a great stone giant, say I, and so say
you all, I know. Paul North.



THE POTTERY.

BLUE smoke was rising through the trees, as we drove along
a secluded country road, of too large a volume for the chimney
of any private dwelling.

" What is that ? " we inquired.

" Only the smoke from the pottery," replied my companion. " We
will go to it if you wish, but you will not see any Etruscan vases or
Egyptian jars ; only bean pots, flower pots and pudding pans, and such
homely things for the everyday use of country folks."

A little jet of steam was escaping from a waste pipe as we approached
the building.

" Has steam found its way here, too," we asked, "and do they make
earthen ware by machinery ? "

" Not much of it. You will find the potter's wheel and lathe not
much different from those painted on the walls of the old Egyptian
pyramids, but you will see some things of which they knew nothing,"
and he plunged into the basement story, where the great heaps of clay
were lying just as they bad been brought from the fields in Cambridge.

How the sight of it recalled the experiments of our childish days, for
we lived on clayey soil with whose plastic qualities we became early
familiar in other shapes than the universal one of mud pies, which are
the happiness of every urchin who is allowed the privilege to be as dirty
as he chooses. How well we remembered the clay marbles and dishes
which we made and left to dry in the sun, while we wasted, as we thought,
the pleasant summer morning in the schoolroom, and which invariably
fell to pieces when we tried to play with them. Here lay the same
kind of clay, a shade grayer it might be, but still as inviting to handle
and to mould.

" Men no longer tread the clay with their naked feet to mix it well
together, to free it from every foreign substance and make it into a
paste-like mass. Here is the machine that does it for them," and my
companion pointed to a strange looking object — a cylinder turning
round and round by machinery.

A man was feeding this cylinder with rough looking clay, and he was



The Pottery. 87

as dirty as the most reckless child would ever desire to be. His hands
and bare arms were so smeared with the sticky substance, that you
could hardly tell where the clay ended and the flesh began, and his face
had not entirely escaped.

" This is a sort of pug mill which chops up the clay and throws it in
lumps into that hopper. Inside is the axis about which the cylinder
revolves. It has arms from which project sharp knives with the points
turned outwards. They are arranged in a spiral manner, so that when
the machine is in motion, the clay is being continually chopped and cut.
Very good in its way, and it saves human muscle much disagreeable,
rough work, but it is not so thorough as a man's foot or hand, which
easily detected the smallest pebble or stick and removed it."

The ground clay which fell into the hopper was carried to another
machine, which pressed it still more and mixed it with oil, and from
which it came in square blocks about the size ot half a brick.

" These are the pieces which are used where the flower -pots are made
by machinery ; the old potter's wheel takes a good sized lump of clay,
not so oily as this."

Up stairs was the machine for making the flower-pots, which went
by steam. Into a hollow steel mould of the shape of a flower-pot, a
workman put a lump of this oily clay. Suspended over it, was another
steel mould, solid, with the exception of a narrow groove cut spirally
about it. When the machine was in motion, down came the solid mould
into the clay, and in an instant pressed the lump into a flower-pot. The
mould was opened, and the pot, perfect, with the rim round the edge,
and the hole in the bottom, was taken up carefully and placed on a
plank ready to be carried to the furnace.

" What is that spiral line for ? " we inquired.

" To allow some place for the air that is in the clay to be pressed out."

It did not seem a satisfactory answer, but we could get no other, and
were obliged to be contented with that. We stood for some moments
watching the two moulds crowding clay into flower-pots, but it was not
half so entertaining as the old wheel and lathe, and seemed to take all
the artist's skill out of the potter's work. We followed the gray pots
to the room where they were left to dry before being carried to the
furnace. Here were pots of all sizes, from the tiny two cent pots in
which the gardener starts his smallest cuttings, to the large flower-pots
which hold his century plants and orange trees ; and jars, from those
two or three inches high, to great ones reaching to a man's waist, which
would have safely hidden the tallest of the forty theives, unless Mor-
giana's cunning had discovered him.



88 The Student and Schoolmate.

The unglazed ware was ready to be baked when thoroughly dried,
but the other articles, the great pickle jars, jugs, the inside of the pud-
ding pans, and milk pans were covered first with a red glaze. An article
whose glazing is cracked is considered defective by us, whether it be
earthenware or china, but those master workers in porcelain who made
china cups and saucers long before Europe understood the art, the
Chinese think much of their crackle, which looks to us like damaged
glaze, and take much pains to produce it on some of their most expensive
manufactures.

A huge fire was built underneath the furnace, which was full of flower-
pots arranged iu rows. The opening of the furnace was stopped with
wet clay, but the overseer kindly made a hole in it for a minute, and
then quickly shut it again before the cold air had time to produce any
disastrous effect, and allowed us just a glimpse of the rows of flower-
pots, red hot in a glowing light which blinded and dazzled us. Earthern-
ware, like glass, must be heated and cooled gradually or it will crack,
and after the fire is once made it must not be suffered to die out. Eight
hours of constant heat were required to bake the pots, and as the men
threw in great armfuls of wood upon the glowing coals, we saw in imag-
ination, all the trees of the " good green wood," the maples, elms and
oaks about the pottery, disappearing under those iron doors.

Beyond this room was another where the huge jars were made on a
great wheel. These jars required two men to make them, each jar
being made in two parts, and then joined together. Here were little
moulds for making earthenware corks, we should say, if that were not an
Irishism, but earthenware stoppers for carboys, for aquafortis, and other
powerful acids, whose corrosive qualities would quickly destroy any veg-
etable substance. The making of these little stoppers was \ery simple.
The clay was pressed into the mould, and a piece of bent iron removed
all the superfluous material at the top. The mould was opened, the
stopper finished and ready for drying and baking. Indeed, many of the
potter's tools are very simple, and very old. Some of them almost the
same to-day as those painted on the walls of the catacombs at Thebes,
so many hundred years ago, where the painted potter still treads out
the clay with his feet, and shapes his urns upon a wheel.

At last we came to a potter's wheel, where a bright-eyed boy was
making tiny flower-pots. It was such a pleasure to watch him after
the dirty, oily machine which pressed out a flower-pot in a second. To
see the little lumps of clay change beneath the touch of his fingers into
whatever shape he would, for at our companion's request, he stopped
his usual work, and out of the same piece made a cup, a vase, an urn or



The Pottery. 89

jug, or whatever we asked. For we had but to speak, aud like the
wonderful transformations in the old fairy tales, the clay became what-
ever we commanded. With a few different shaped pieces of wood with
which he guided the whirling clay, some bits of bent wire, he turned
out ever some different thing. A pinch here, and a stroke there changed
the flower-pot to a vase, and a thumb in the lip of the vase, turned it
into a jug. The clay seemed to follow the thought of the potter, and it
looked so easy, that my companion asked permission to try his skill.

No doubt he had some fine Etruscan vase in his mind, with which he
thought to surprise us, but notwithstanding he thrust his hand into the
clay, and strove to guide it to his thought, the perverse substance would
not recognize its master, and shaped itsell into an ugly, crooked jug,
while the potter stood looking on with a quiet smile. The jug was de-
molished, and some humbler form attempted ; but not even a good
flower-pot would reward his endeavors, and ac last, with hands as gray
as the clay he was working in, he desisted from his vain attempts.

" It is not as easy as it looks," said he to the potter.

" No sir, but most everybody thinks it is, and likes to try their hand
at it, and you have succeeded about as well as any of them."

" Can you make anything that you wish ? " we asked.

" Any form that I know well, and can see distinctly in my own mind,
I can make ; but sometimes people come to me, and describe something
that I have never seen, and then I wish them to bring me a drawing of
the right dimensions, for I often find that their words and my impres-
sions do not agree, and then they find fault with me, for making exactly
what they ordered. But I like my work. It comes natural to me. I
like to make the shape of anything I see in clay, not always on the
wheel, but in solid forms at home," and as he talked the lump of clay
had been whirling round, his busy hands had been hovering over it, and
an Egyptian jar, without handles (the handles were added afterward)
stood before us.

The man was an artist, and had an artist's eye for outline and forms,
though hs made flower-pots in an obscure country village, and as soon
as we left him, he crushed down his Egyptian jar into a pudding-pan.

" But how much pleasanter his work seems, how much greater oppor-
tunity he has for variety and thought than the man at the flower-pot



Online LibraryPanama Canal CompanyThe Student and schoolmate; an illustrated monthly for our boys and girls (Volume v.25-26(1870)) → online text (page 8 of 55)