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There dwelt a miller, hale and bold,
Beside the river Dee;
No lark more blithe than he;
Forever used to be: “I envy nobody-no, not I
And nobody envies me!"
“Thou 'rt wrong, my friend,” said good King Hal,
“As wrong as wrong can be; For could my heart be light as thine,
I'd gladly change with thee.
And tell me now, what makes thee sing,
With voice so loud and free,
Beside the river Dee?"
The miller smiled and doffed his cap,
“I earn my bread,” quoth he;
I love my children three;
I thank the river Dee
That feeds my babes and me."
“Good friend,” said Hal, and sighed the while,
“Farewell, and happy be;
That no one envies thee;
Thy mill my kingdom's fee;
0 miller of the Dee!”
Hāle, hearty; Dēe, a river in England; bur'den (bûr'd'n), chorus; King Hål, nickname for King Henry; doffed (doft), took off; mēal'y, overspread with meal or flour; bõast, pride; fēe, price. STUDY HELPS
What do you learn of the miller from the first three lines?
What do the words, “though I'm a king," tell you about the source of happiness?
What explanation does the miller give to account for his cheerfulness?
Thy mealy cap is worth my crown,
Thy mill my kingdom's fee."
ON USING ONE'S POWERS
CHARLES CALEB COTTON
The ignorant have often given credit to the wise for powers that are permitted to none, merely because the wise have made a proper use of those powers that are permitted to all. The little Arabian tale of the dervish shall be the comment of this proposition.
A dervish was journeying alone in a desert, when two merchants suddenly met him.
“You have lost a camel,” said he to the merchants. “Indeed we have,” they replied.
"Was he not blind in his right eye, and lame in his left leg?” said the dervish.
"He was,” replied the merchants.
"And was he not loaded with honey on one side, and wheat on the other?”
“Most certainly he was,” they replied; "and, as you have seen him so lately, and marked him so particularly, you can in all probability conduct us to him.”
“My friends,” said the dervish, “I have never seen your camel, nor ever heard of him, but from you!”
They seized his person, and forthwith hurried him before the cadi
“A pretty story, truly,” said the merchants: "but where are the jewels which formed a part of his burden?”
“I have seen neither your camel nor your jewels,” repeated the dervish.
On this, they seized his person, and forthwith hurried him before the cadi; where, on the strictest search, nothing could be found upon him, nor could any evidence whatever be adduced, to convict him either of falsehood or of theft.
They were about to proceed against him as a sorcerer, when the dervish with great calmness thus addressed the court: “I have been much amused with your surprise, and own that there has been some ground for your suspicions; but I have lived long and alone, and I can find ample scope for observation even in a desert. I knew that I had crossed the track of a camel that had strayed from its owner, because I saw no mark of any human footstep on the same route. I knew that the animal was blind in one eye, because it had cropped the herbage only on one side of its path; and I perceived that it was lame in one leg, from the faint impression which that particular foot had produced upon the sand. I concluded that the animal had lost one tooth, because, wherever it had grazed, a small tuft of herbage had been left uninjured in the center of its bite. As to that which formed the burden of the beast, the busy ants informed me that it was corn on the one side; and the clustering flies, that it was honey on the other." From “Lacon.”
A rā'bi an, of Arabia, a country in Asia; der'vish (dûr'vish), a Mohammedan monk; com'ment (kom'ént), explanation; ca'di (kä'di), a village judge; ad duced' (dūst'), brought forth; sor'cer er (sôr'sēr ēr), magician, one in league with evil spirits; herb'age (ûr'baj), vegetation. STUDY HELPS
What made the merchants think the dervish had stolen their camel?
Since he was neither a liar nor a thief, how only could the merchants account for his certain knowledge about the camel?
What explanation did he give? Was it really a mystery?
Now go back to the first sentence and explain its meaning in the light of what you have learned.
In what does wisdom really consist?