Imágenes de páginas

we do not succeed, we will try farther on where the water has run down during the rainy season.” William was very glad to go, and away they went, followed by the dogs, Ready having taken up the spade, which he carried on his shoulder. They soon came to the dell, and the dogs put their noses to the ground, and snuffed about. Ready watched them; at last they lay down, panting.

“Let us go on, sir,” said Ready thoughtfully. They went on to where the run of water appeared to have been. The dogs snuffed about more eagerly than before.

You see, Master William, these poor dogs are now so eager for water, that if there is any, they will find it out where we never could. I don't expect water above ground, but there may be some below it. This beach is hardly far enough from the water's edge, or I should try in the sand for it.'

“In the sand! — but would it not be salt?” replied William.

“No, not if at a good distance from the sea-beach, for you see, William, the sand by degrees filters the sea-water fresh, and very often when the sand runs in a long way from the high-water mark, if you dig down, you will find good fresh water. At other times it is a little brackish, but still fit for use.

I wish that this fact was better known among seamen than it is; it would have saved many a poor fellow from a great deal of agony. There's nothing so dreadful as being without water, Master William. I know what it is to be on an allowance of half a pint a day, and I assure you it is cruel work."

“Look, Ready, at Romulus and Remus- how hard they are digging with their paws there in the hollow.”

“Thanks to Heaven that they are, Master William; you don't know how happy you have made me feel; for, to tell you the truth, I was beginning to be alarmed.”

“But why do they dig?”.

“Because there is water there, poor animals. Now you see the advantage of having kept them in pain for a few hours; it is in all probability the saving of all of us, for we must either have found water or quitted this island. Now let us help the poor dogs with the spade, and they shall soon be rewarded for their sufferings."

Ready walked quickly down to where the dogs continued digging. They had already got down to the moist earth, and were so eagerly at work, that it was with difficulty he could get them out of his way to use his spade. He had not dug two feet before the water trickled down, and in four or five minutes the dogs had sufficient to plunge their noses in, and to drink copiously.

“Look at them, sir, how they enjoy it, so did the Israelites fainting in the desert, when Moses struck the rock, and the water poured out in torrents for their relief. Do you recollect that part of the Scriptures, Master William?”

To be sure I do. I have a picture of it at home.”

"Well, I don't think any Israelite among them felt more grateful than I do now, William. This was the one thing wanting, but it was the one thing indispensable. Now we have everything we can wish for on this island, and if we are only content, we may be happy,-ay, much happier than are those who are worrying themselves to heap up riches, not knowing who shall gather them. See, the poor animals have had enough at last; and how they have swelled

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

themselves out!

out! Now, shall we go back to breakfast?" “Yes,” replied William: “I shall enjoy it

now, and have a good drink of water myself.” “This is a plenteous spring, depend upon it, sir," said Ready, as they walked back to where they had slept and left their knapsacks; “but we must clear it out farther up among the trees, where the sun cannot reach it, and then it will be cool, and not be dried up. We shall have plenty of work for the next year at least, if we remain here. Where we are now will be a capital spot to build our house."

Passages from Masterman Ready." Co'pi ous ly (ko'pi us li), plentifully; Mõs'ěs, ' for the story see Exodus xvii; in dis pěn'sa ble, not to be done without.


What explanation does Ready now give for wishing the dogs to be very thirsty?

What condition were the dogs in next morning? How did William feel toward them?

When sea-water runs some distance through sand why does it become fresh?

Tell the story of the morning walk and of the finding of water in the hollow.

With what Bible story does Masterman Ready compare this experience?

[merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

I cannot tell what you say, green leaves,

I cannot tell what you say:
But I know that there is a spirit in you,

And a word in you this day.

I cannot tell what you say, rosy rocks,

I cannot tell what you say:
But I know that there is a spirit in you,

And a word in you this day.

I cannot tell what you say, brown streams,

I cannot tell what you say:
But I know that in you, too, a spirit doth live,

And a word doth speak this day.
“Oh, green is the color of faith and truth,
And rose the color of love and youth,

And brown of the fruitful clay.
Sweet earth is faithful, and fruitful, and young,

And her bridal day shall come ere long,
And you shall know what the rocks and streams

And the whispering woodlands say.

Spår'it, an inner meaning or soul.. STUDY HELPS

What does the poet say to the green leaves? to the rosy rocks? to the brown streams?

What does he say he knows in each case?

The last stanza is the reply of the spirit or word to the poet: what does it say the green stands for? the rose color? the brown?

What qualities are said to belong to the "sweet earth"?

What promise does the word make to the poet in the closing lines?

Does this poem suggest that the earth is a good place even if you cannot understand it all?

(Dartside is the beautiful valley through which the Dart River flows, in southwestern England.)



"Traveler, what lies over the hill?

Traveler, tell to me:
I am only a child - from the window sill

Over I cannot see.”

“Child, there 's a valley over there,

Pretty and wooded and shy;
And a little brook that says, “Take care,

Or I'll drown you by and by.'

“And what comes next?” “A little town,

And a towering hill again:

« AnteriorContinuar »