Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

hundred feet high, and the vines planted on their slopes are rooted in baskets forced into their clefts.

The mention of the vines reminds me that I have not said anything of the vineyards from which are obtained the famous Rhine wines. When one hears of the "vine-clad hills," the idea is given of hills quite green with the growth of trailing vines, heavy with rich clusters of grapes. But the picture of the imagination is very different from the reality. Each plant is trained by means of some sticks, about four or five feet high, and is kept carefully pruned. The vines are planted in rows a few feet apart, and these rows give the vineyard from the river the appearance of a large potato

garden. Where the vine looks best, is where it is allowed to grow freely in all its native luxuriance over the small summer-houses which are sometimes attached to the gardens of the different hotels.

We are now passing on our right the ruins of the old castle of Rheineck. This castle, which was formerly one of the largest on the Rhine, is built on the top of some high rocks overlooking the river. This place has had many changes of fortune. It was destroyed by the French in 1689, and was rebuilt only to be again destroyed in 1692,-this time by the soldiers of the Electorate of Cologne. It was finally burned down in 1785, and a four-sided watch-tower alone remains. On the opposite bank

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

To minister delight to man, To beautify the earth;

To comfort man, to whisper hope Whene'er his faith is dim;

For Who so careth for the flowers Will much more care for him!

[ocr errors]


HAT! on a dandelion!" exclaimed a young bee to an old one, in surprise and contempt. "Why not?" said the old bee; "do you suppose honey is to be found only in roses? If you do, learn this: honey is honey wherever it comes from, and there's no flower so humble but a little painstaking may get some out of it. I am not ashamed to confess that I have made a more profitable visit to this homely dandelion than I have done to many a splendid plant in a greenhouse. Besides, more depends on the way we use our opportunities than on the opportunities themselves."


YOUNG man from the provinces, who was sent to Paris to finish his education, had the misfortune

to get into bad company. He went so far as to wish, and finally to say, "There is no God; God is only a word." After staying several years at the capital, the young man returned to his family.

One day he was invited to a respectable house where there was a numerous company.. While all were entertaining themselves with news, pleasure, and business, two girls, aged respectively twelve and thirteen, were seated in a bay-window, reading together. The young man approached them and asked,

"What beautiful romance are you reading so attentively, young ladies ?"

"We are reading no romance, Sir; we are reading the history of God's chosen people."

"You believe, then, that there is a God?" Astonished at such a question, the girls looked at each other, the blood mounting to their cheeks.

“And you, Sir, do you not believe it?"

"Once I believed, but after living in Paris, and studying philosophy, mathematics, and politics, I am convinced that God is an empty word."

"I, Sir, was never in Paris; I have never studied philosophy,

nor mathematics, nor any of those beautiful things which you know. I only know my catechism; but since you are so learned, and say there is no God, you can easily tell me whence the egg comes ?"

"A funny question, truly; the egg comes from the hen." "Which of them existed first, the egg or the hen?'

"I really do not know what you intend with this question and your hen; but yet that which existed first was the hen."

"There is a hen, then, which did not come from the egg ?" "Beg your pardon, miss, I did not take notice that the egg existed first."

"There is then an egg that did not come from a hen."

"O, if you-I beg pardonthat is you see—”

"I see, Sir, that you do not know whether the egg existed before the hen, or hen before the egg."

"Well, then, I say the hen." "Very well, there is then a hen which did not come from an egg. Tell me now who made this first hen, from which all other hens and eggs come."

"With your hens and your eggs, it seems to me you take me for a poultry-dealer."

[ocr errors]

'By no means, Sir. I only ask you to tell me whence the mother of all hens and eggs came ?"

"But for what object?"

"Well, since you do not know, you will permit me to tell you. He who created the first hen, or, as you would rather have it, the first egg, is the same who created the world, and this Being we call God. You, who cannot explain the existence of a hen or an egg without God, still wish to maintain and to be able to explain the existence of this world without God."

The young philosopher was silent; he quietly took his hat, and, full of shame, departed, if not convinced of his folly, at least confounded by the simple questions put to him.


N the smoky manufacturing districts near the mills, there are lodges, or ponds of water, required for the production of the steam which works the engines, and sets and keeps all the machinery in motion.

When one of these lodges was slightly frozen over, some mis

chievous boys,-knowing that a little Scotch terrier named "Charlie" was fond of water, and would fearlessly plunge into it to bring out sticks or pieces of wood thrown in,-for the sake of seeing the brave little fellow swim, enticed him, by throwing stones and bits of wood, to go further and further on the slender ice, which at length broke, when down went the little dog into the cold water. This of course was great fun for the boys. But they were astonished to find that "Charlie" was unable to get upon the ice again; it was so weak that it broke whenever he attempted to do so. When he got his fore-paws upon the edge and tried to rear himself up, his hold gave way, to the disappointment of the poor dog. This happened over and over again. At length he gave up the attempt to get out, and simply rested his head upon the edge of the ice.

Two men who had been attracted to the spot fetched a long rope; and, one going on one side of the pond and the other on the opposite side, tried to draw the rope near to the dog. They found this difficult. "What's the good of that sort of work?" said some; "if they

could even get the rope to the dog, it wouldn't have sense to lay hold of it. A dog has no sense. The poor little thing will be drowned." The two men at last succeeded in jerking the rope close to the dog's head, when he instantly snapped at it, caught it, and held it till he was dragged to land, though so exhausted when rescued that he could not stand. He was taken into a cottage, where, through kind and suitable treatment, he soon regaind his strength, and is now as active a little Scotch terrier as ever.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »