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Thereby to see the minutes how they run,
How many make the hour full complete,
How many hours bring about the day,
How many days will finish up the year,
How many years a mortal man may live."
When this is known, then to divide the times :
So many hours must I tend my flock :
So many hours must I take my rest,
So many hours must I 5 contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself ;
So many days my ewes have been with young ;
So many weeks ere the poor things will øyean;
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece

e ;
So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the 'end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this ! how sweet! how lovely!
Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
Than doth a rich embroider'd 8 canopy
To kings that fear their subjects' treachery !
O yes, it doth; a thousand 'fold it doth.
And to conclude,-the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
His wonted sleep under a 10 fresh tree's shade,
All which "secure and sweetly he enjoys,
Is far beyond a prince's delicacies,
His " viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a

13 curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.

15 Shakespeare. These lines are supposed to be spoken by Henry VI., who, tired of the cares of royalty, wishes that he had been born to the homely, but peacful, lot of a shepherd. ? swain, peasant; countryman. 3 dials, sun-dials. * quaintly, nicely ; neatly ; exactly. 5 contemplate, meditate ; think about something. ® yean, bring forth their

young. ? The end for which they were created. raised covering of a throne, pulpit, etc. 'fold, times. "o fresh






canopy, the

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tree's shade, fresh shade of a tree. 11 secure, safe ; free from fear. 12 viands, delicious drinks. 13 curious, curiously wrought, richly carved. wait on, surround. 15 Shakespeare, the greatest poet who ever lived ; born and died at Stratford-on-Avon, in Warwick. shire; lived from 1564 to 1616.


de-ter-mi-na'-tion en-ter-tain'-ment pe-ri-od-i-cal-ly dis-tin'-guished


ma-te'-ri-als Na-mur-ois' ex-empt'-ed priv'-i-lege

al-low'-a-ble gro-tesque' fac'-ul-ties Gas'-con-y

The best stilts are made to fasten firmly to the leg, leaving the hands and arms free. The footpiece should be four or five feet from the ground,—or even higher, according to the aspirations of the walker,—and the upright piece should extend far enough above that to reach the knee, just below which it is to be lashed. Skill is required, however, to walk safely on such a pair, and a fall with them is dangerous.

A very good pair to practise upon can be made in half an hour by any school-boy who has the necessary tools and materials at hand. Choose for your standards, or upright pieces, two plain, straight strips of wood strong enough to bear your weight, and long enough to reach to the tops of your shoulders after you are mounted. For stilts to learn on, the foot-piece should not be more than fourteen inches from the ground, or even less for a small boy,-for you will find it necessary to step on and off a good many times before you have learned to walk securely. The footpiece is nailed or screwed to the standard, from which it projects at right-angles, on the inner side, just far enough to form a comfortable rest for the foot. It should also be supported by a brace on the under side.

Your stilts completed, the next thing is to mount them. Rest the ends on the ground, grasping the handles in a manner to bring them behind the shoulders ; set your left foot in its place and spring

; up, bringing the right foot to its place while you are in the air ; at the same time hold the standards

; close to your shoulders, under your arms and partly encircled by them, with the hands near the hips, pressing forwards. It will take you some time to learn to perform this little feat and remain mounted until you are prepared to take a step. Once well poised on your stilts, you will find it easy to keep your balance as you walk, but not so easy to stand still.

Of course you will choose hard, smooth ground for your first exercise. Afterwards you may lengthen your stilts, cross brooks, and step over fences.

To become a good“ stiltist” you must havecourage. It brings into play much the same faculties that skating does. If you wear stilts made fast to your legs, you will be a skilful walker if you can trust yourself upon them without carrying a pole. Your arms set at liberty, you will find a long light pole wonderfully convenient in fording streams, passing rough places, or resting, when you wish to stand still.

The nature of the soil and the character of the

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streams have brought stilts very much into use in some countries. On the "Landes” of Gascony, in France, they are about as common as shoes. Over those broad, marshy, and sandy plains the shepherd goes stalking on high stilts, which not only enable him to pass the deep pools and wet places in his way, but also to overlook his flocks feeding among the low, thorny shrubs and brushwood with which the region is partly covered. He mounts his stilts, from the roof of his house or his stable roof, early in the morning, and does not remove them until night. They are made fast, not at the knee, but at the thigh, in such a way as to allow the legs to move freely. He carries a long pole, which serves several purposes. It is his shepherd's crook, and with it he steadies his steps when necessary, supports himself when he wishes to rest, eases his descent to the ground when he wishes to lie down or sit, and gets up again at pleasure. Thus lifted above the earth, he goes striding like an immensely tall, thin-legged giant, over hedges and ditches and bushes, with perfect ease and security, and sometimes running with remarkable speed, like some grotesque, half human crane.

Races on stilts are a favourite pastime in Gascony, and other countries of the South of France.

The people of ? Namur, in Belgium, became early famous for their use of stilts, in consequence of the overflow of the rivers Sambre and Meuse, which periodically flooded the city streets. In the seasons of high water, men and women stepped out of their


windows, going about their business and making calls, on stilts. These, introduced at first as a matter of necessity, at length became a source of amusement, and made Namur famous for one of the most remarkable games on record.

This was the battle on stilts.

The Namurois were fond of games; and a hundred and fifty years ago the stilt-fight, introduced nobody knows when, was at the height of its popularity. The combatants, five or six hundred in number, divided into two bands, regularly officered, and, distinguished by the colours of their costumes, advanced upon each other in the public square, mounted on stilts four feet high. They were unarmed ; but wrestling and kicking and thrusting with the stilt-leg-sometimes a dangerous weapon-were allowable. The battle began with the sound of martial music, and the armies were led with gay banners. Women followed their lovers, brothers, and husbands to the fight, their mission being to encourage and cheer them on by their presence, to support the falling, and to assist the wounded from the field.

These battles lasted an hour or two, the combatants often fighting with great spirit and 3 determination.

Once when the Archduke Albert of Austria passed through Belgium, the Governor of Namur promised that he should see a battle in which “ the warriors would fight neither on foot nor on horse

ck," and arranged a stilt-combat for his entertain

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