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But vainly they mounted each other's backs,

And poked through knot-holes and pried through cracks;
With wood from the pile and straw from the stacks

He plugg'd the knot-holes and calk'd the cracks;
And a dipper of water, which one would think
He had brought up into the loft to drink

When he chanced to be dry,

Stood always nigh, for Darius was sly!

And, whenever at work he happen'd to spy

At chink or crevice a blinking eye,

He let the dipper of water fly:

"Take that! an', ef ever ye git a peep, Guess ye'll ketch a weasel asleep!"

And he sings as he locks his big strong box:

5. "The weasel's head is small an' trim,


An' he is little an' long an' slim,

An' quick of motion an' nimble of limb,
An' ef you'll be advised by me,

Keep wide-awake when ye're ketchin' him!"

So day after day

He stitch'd and tinker'd and hammer'd away,
Till at last 'twas done,-

The greatest invention under the sun!

"An' now," says Darius, "hooray for some fun!"

7. "Twas the Fourth of July, and the weather was dry, And not a cloud was on all the sky,

Save a few light fleeces, which here and there,

Half-mist, half-air,

Like foam on the ocean went floating by,-
Just as lovely a morning as ever was seen
For a nice little trip in a flying-machine.
Thought cunning Darius, "Now I sha'n't go
Along 'ith the fellers to see the show:
I'll say I've got sich a terrible cough!
An' then when the folks 'ave all gone off,
I'll hev full swing fur to try the thing,
An' practice a little on the wing."

8. "Aint goin' to see the celebration?"
Says Brother Nate. "No; botheration!
I've got sich a cold—a toothache—I—
My gracious! feel's though I should fly!"
Said Jotham, "Sho! guess ye better go."
But Darius said, "No!

Shouldn't wonder 'f you might see me, though,
'Long 'bout noon, ef I git red

O' this jumpin', thumpin' pain in my head."

9. For all the while to himself he said,"I tell ye what!


I'll fly a few times around the lot,

To see how it seems, then soon's I've got
The hang o' the thing, ez likely's not,
"I'll astonish the nation, an' all creation,
By flyin' over the celebration!

Over their heads I'll sail like an eagle;

I'll balance myself on my wings like a sea-gull;

I'll dance on the chimbleys; I'll stand on the steeple;
I'll flop up to winders an' scare the people!

I'll light on the liberty-pole, an' crow;

An' I'll say to the gawpin' fools below,

'What world's this 'ere that I've come near?'

Fur I'll make 'em b'lieve I'm a chap f'm the Moon;
An' I'll try a race 'ith their ol' balloon!"

He crept from his bed;

And, seeing the others were gone, he said,
"I'm gittin' over the cold 'n my head."
And away he sped,

To open the wonderful box in the shed.

11. His brothers had walk'd but a little way,
When Jotham to Nathan chanced to say,
"What is the feller up to, hey?"
"Don'o',-the's suthin' ur other to pay,
Ur he wouldn't 'a' stay'd to hum to-day."
Says Burke, "His toothache's all 'n his eye!
He never'd miss a Fo'th-o'-July,

Ef he hadn't got some machine to try."

Then Sol, the little one, spoke: “By darn
Le's hurry back, an' hide 'n the barn,

An' pay him fur tellin' us that yarn!"

"Agreed!" Through the orchard they creep back,
Along by the fences, behind the stack,
And one by one, through a hole in the wall,
In under the dusty barn they crawl,
Dress'd in their Sunday garments all;
And a very astonishing sight was that,
When each in his cobwebb'd coat and hat
Came up through the floor like an ancient rat.
And there they hid; and Reuben slid
The fastenings back, and the door undid.
"Keep dark!" said he,

"While I squint an' see what the' is to see.”

12. As knights of old put on their mail,

From head to foot an iron suit,

Iron jacket and iron boot,
Iron breeches, and on the head
No hat, but an iron pot instead,

And under the chin the bail

(I believe they call'd the thing a helm),—

Then sallied forth to overwhelm

The dragons and pagans that plagued the realm;
So this modern knight prepared for flight,

Put on his wings and strapp'd them tight,-
Jointed and jaunty, strong and light,—
Buckled them fast to shoulder and hip,—
Ten feet they measured from tip to tip!
And a helm had he, but that he wore,
Not on his head, like those of yore,
But more like the helm of a ship.

13. "Hush!" Reuben said, "he's up in the shed!
He's open'd the winder,-I see his head!
He stretches it out, an' pokes it about,
Lookin' to see 'f the coast is clear,

An' nobody near;—

Guess he don'o' who's hid in here!

He's riggin' a spring-board over the sill!
Stop laffin', Solomon! Burke, keep still!
He's a clim'in' out now-Of all the things!
What's he got on? I van, it's wings!
An' that t'other thing? I vum, it's a tail!
"An' there he sets like a hawk on a rail!
Steppin' careful, he travels the length

Of his spring-board, an' teeters to try its strength,
Now he stretches his wings, like a monstrous bat:
Peeks over his shoulder, this way an' that,

Fur to see 'f the' 's any one passin' by,
But the''s on'y ca'f an' a goslin' nigh.
They turn up at him wonderin' eye,
To see- -The dragon! he's goin' to fly!
Away he goes! Jimminy! what a jump!
Flop-flop-an' plump to the ground with a thump!
Flutt'rin' an flound'rin', all'n a lump!"

14. As a demon is hurl'd by an angel's spear,
Heels over head, to his proper sphere,--
Heels over head, and head over heels,
Dizzily down the abyss he wheels,
So fell Darius. Upon his crown,

In the midst of the barn-yard, he came down,
In a wonderful whirl of tangled strings,
Broken braces and broken springs,

Broken tail and broken wings,
Shooting-stars and various things,-
Barn-yard litter of straw and chaff.
Away with a bellow fled the calf,

And what was that? Did the gosling laugh?

'Tis a merry roar from the old barn-door,

And he hears the voice of Jotham crying:


Say, D'rius! how do you like flyin'?"

Slowly, ruefully, where he lay,

Darius just turn'd and look'd that way,

As he stanch'd his sorrowful nose with his cuff.

"Wal, I like flyin' well enough,"

He said; "but the' aint sich a thunderin' sight
O' fun in't when ye come to light."

I just have room for the moral here:
And this is the moral,-Stick to your sphere;
Or, if you insist, as you have the right,

On spreading your wings for a loftier flight,
The moral is,-Take care how you light.


1. Define Nasal Quality.

2. Why is it presented only in one form?

3. What Form and Quality do the other parts require ?
4. Why does the impersonation require Nasal Quality?


In this and the following lessons "Exercises in Position, Breathing, and Gesture" will be omitted, but they should be practiced, if not daily, at least three times a week.

[blocks in formation]

1. Wreathe flowers for the valiant dead.

2. Breathes there a man with soul so dead?

3. This is the place, the center of the grove. 4. Thou breathest, silent the submissive waves. 5. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade.

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