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I. A CHRISTMAS DREAM, AND HOW IT CAME TRUE. "I'm so tired of Christmas I wish there never would be another one!" exclaimed a discontented-looking little girl, as she sat idly watching her mother arrange a pile of gifts two days before they were to be given. "Why, Effie, what a dreadful thing to say! You are as bad as old Scrooge; and I'm afraid something will happen to you, as it did to him, if you don't care for dear Christmas," answered... more...

RIP VAN WINKLE I Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Catskill Mountains. They are a branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all... more...

I THE GARDEN CLUB The door opened. A gust of wind and rain literally swept five boys, wet and breathless, into the room. The man at the big oak table in front of a huge open fire looked up, smiled, and said, "Off with your duds, boys! Bar the door securely, Jay, for it's a wild night. Throw a fresh log on the fire, Albert. And all line up." For a few moments the big cheerful room seemed full of wriggling, twisting boys as great coats were... more...

LADIES' VASE. POLITENESS. Politeness, like every thing else in one's character and conduct, should be based on Christian principle. "Honor all men," says the apostle. This is the spring of good manners; it strikes at the very root of selfishness: it is the principle by which we render to all ranks and ages their due. A respect for your fellow-beings—a reverence for them as God's creatures and our brethren—will inspire that delicate... more...

'RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI'           At the hole where he went in          Red-Eye called to Wrinkle-Skin.          Hear what little Red-Eye saith:          'Nag, come up and dance with death!'... more...


Little Cyclone is a grizzly cub from Alaska, who earned his name by the vigor of his resistance to ill treatment. When his mother was fired at, on a timbered hillside facing Chilkat River, he and his brother ran away as fast as their stumpy little legs could carry them. When they crept where they had last seen her, they thought her asleep; and cuddling up close against her yet warm body they slept peacefully until morning. Before the early... more...

During the time when Pericles was at the head of the state at Athens he spared no pains and no money to make the city beautiful. He himself was a lover and patron of the arts, and he was determined that Athens should become the very centre of art and refinement, and that she should have splendid public buildings and splendid sculptures and paintings. So he gathered round him all the great sculptors and painters, and set them to work to carry out... more...

Consciously or unconsciously we are influenced by the characters we admire. A book that exerts a deep as well as a wide influence must produce changes in the reader's way of thinking, and excite him to activity; the world for him can never be quite the same that it was before. Such books have an important part in moulding the character of a people. It is because the books represented in this volume have been doing just that for many years that... more...

The word chivalry is taken from the French cheval, a horse. A knight was a young man, the son of a good family, who was allowed to wear arms. In the story "How the Child of the Sea was made Knight," we are told how a boy of twelve became a page to the queen, and in the opening pages of the story "The Adventures of Sir Gareth," we get a glimpse of a young man growing up at the court of King Arthur. It was not an easy life, that of a boy who wished... more...

INTRODUCTORY On April 26, 1819, Thomas Wildey, the English carriage-spring maker, together with John Welch, John Duncan, John Cheatham and Richard Rushworth, instituted the first lodge of Odd-Fellows at the Seven Stars Tavern in Baltimore, and it was given the name of Washington Lodge No. 1. From this feeble beginning has grown the immense organization of today. The Odd-Fellows claim a venerable antiquity for their order, the most common account... more...