Page images




ment. The Archduke was so much delighted that he at once* exempted the Namurois from the payment of the tax on beer,—a a privilege which they enjoy,

5 I think, to this day.


"brace, support or prop ; that which holds anything firmly or tightly. ? Namur, on the junction of Sambre and Meuse. (See App.) 3 determination, resolution ; decision; settling to a thing with a fixed purpose of doing it. exempted, freed ; released ; granted immunity from. 5 privilege, a right or immunity enjoyed by some and not by all.




[ocr errors]

On the green banks of Shannon, when Sheelah was nigh,
No blithe Irish lad was so happy as I ;
No harp like my own could so cheerily play,
And wherever I went was my poor dog Tray.
When at last I was forced from my Sheelah to part,
She said, while the sorrow was big at her heart-
"O! remember your Sheelah, when far, far away,
And be kind, my dear Pat, to our poor dog Tray.”
Poor dog! he was faithful, and kind, to be sure,
And he constantly loved me, although I was poor ;
When the sour-looking folk sent me heartless away,
I had always a friend in my poor dog Tray.
When the road was so dark, and the night was so cold,
And Pat and his dog were grown weary and old,
How snugly we slept in my old coat of grey !--
And he licked me for kindness—my poor dog Tray.
Though my wallet was scant, I remembered his case,
Nor refused my last crust to his pitiful face ;
But he died at my feet one cold winter's day,
And I played a sad lament for my poor dog Tray.

Where now shall I go, poor, forsaken, and blind ?
Can I find one to guide me, so faithful and kind ?
To my sweet native village, so far, far

I can no more return with my poor dog Tray.





[ocr errors]

un-in-ten'-tion-al re-it'-er-at-ed au-thor'-i-ty im-pa’-tient in-ter-rup'-ted at-tempt'-ing o-be'-di-ence fa-ti'-guing “ HURRY up, Rita ! they are waiting for you to start,” cried an 'impatient voice from the hall.

“I am quite ready,” said Rita ; " but come in : mamma wishes to speak to you.”

“Now, Leonard,” said Mrs. Barclay, when the rather ? reluctant boy had entered the room,“ since I cannot go with you to-day, I wish you to remember that I put you under Rita's care

“You had much better put Rita under mine, mamma,” he interrupted. “I am half a head taller than she is, and will take very great care of her.”

“I am not jesting, Leonard. I wish you to remain near Rita all day, and to regard her authority as you would my own."

Leonard tossed his head in a manner not very promising of obedience, and seizing his hat, darted from the room : while Mrs. Barclay 3 reiterated her charges to Rita, who, a few minutes later, joined the merry party in the hall below, all ready to start on the “long route " through the * cave.

[ocr errors]



They had gone over the shorter one the preceding day, and, in stepping over the stones, Mrs. Barclay had sprained her foot, which prevented her attempting the fatiguing expedition of to-day; and with many misgivings she saw her children depart without her. She was especially anxious on aco int of Leonard, who was exceedingly self-willed and 5 reckless.

There were eighteen or twenty young people, with two or three older ones to keep them in order. But the lion of the party was Alexander Preston, a young naval officer on 'furlough.

“It has been decided, Miss Barclay,” said Preston, " that we are too many for one guide, so we are to divide into two parties. I am to share with Mrs. Talbot the honour of heading one division, Colonel Hunt and Mrs. Scott will have charge of the other ; and I hope you will put yourself under my leadership.”

To this Rita smilingly consented ; but she soon found she could give but a divided attention to the remarks either of the guide or Mr. Preston, for Leonard had made up his mind to be as troublesome as possible. His 8 self-love had been sadly wounded, and, though he did not dare to rebel openly, he kept Rita in perpetual terror by trying all sorts of dangerous feats.

How deep is this hole ?” he asked of the guide, as he peered into the inky blackness of a deep pit.

“Well, sir," said Mac, "if you were to jump down, you would find it just two hundred and sixty feet.”

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

They all laughed at this, and Leonard said he believed he would go down and see ; and though Rita knew it was but idle daring, as he pretended to put his threat into execution, her heart jumped into her throat with fear, lest he should lose his balance and take an unintentional leap.

Leonard kept up a series of such pranks, until it was with a feeling of relief Rita found herself resting for an hour in Washington Hall, where they all met for dinner, and where they were all very merry over their personal adventures.

impatient, not patient: hasty; showing passion or temper. 2 reluctant, unwilling ; loth ; disinclined. 3 reiterated, repeated again and again. * care, the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, United States of America, the largest cave in the world. (See App.), 5 reckless, heedless ; thoughtless ; careless. The lion of the party, a figurative expression, implying that Preston was the most important person of the party, as the lion is the king of beasts. ? fur. lough, leave given to on officer or soldier to be absent from service for a time. 8 self-love had been wounded : he was offended because his mother had hurt his feelings of pride and self-will, dangerous feats, daring deeds, acts, or exploits.


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

The hour's rest only served to show them how tired they were, and no one wanted to start on the return tramp. But the guides were heartless, and declared, if they wished to get home that night, they must take up the line of march.

“Come, Leonard, keep near me, please,” said Rita, as that young gentleman pushed by her.

“I declare, Rita, you talk as if I were a baby ; don't you suppose I can take care of myself ?” said Leonard, angrily.

“I promised mamma,” she said, gently.

Leonard made no reply, but walked on, carelessly chipping off bits of rock with the hammer he held in his hand. “ It would be good fun to give Rita a scare for her pains,” he was thinking, and every moment the idea became more tempting. “I'll hide from them,”—and the giddy boy laughed, as he pictured to himself his sister's terror when he could not be found. “She has not gone a hundred yards

a to-day without looking me up, so I shouldn't have very long to wait,--and here's the very place !” as a narrow opening, from a small passage, shone black against the lights of the party. Leonard allowed them all to pass him, then stepped in, and, placing his candlestick on a ledge of rock, sat down to wait.

He was very weary, for he had walked more than a dozen miles over the rocks, and he thought it rather a good joke to steal a rest in this fashion. As he settled himself comfortably against the 1 boulder behind him, he said to himself, “I only wish I could see Rita when she finds I'm missing ! I wonder-"But Leonard had “wondered” into

-” dreamland. His long walk and hearty dinner had made him very drowsy, and, before he knew it, he was fast asleep. V.-Moffatt's Bc. Reader.


« PreviousContinue »