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fire was lighted and it burned up very briskly indeed.
43. Pretty soon it began to scorch Hercules's head. His hair caught fire. The giant
He looked around to see what was the matter. Then the bowmen shot their arrows and the spearmen struck him and the swordsmen cut at him. But it may be doubted whether any of them got through his tough skin.
44. In the meantime, his hair was burning away. He put his hand to his head and put the fire out. For the first time, he saw the little people, who were now swarming around him.
“What is this,” he said, as he lazily rose to his feet. He looked carefully at the country around his feet and saw the great pygmy army. One soldier, with a great plume and a flashing sword as big as a knife blade, seemed to be the captain.
46. Hercules picked him up carefully between his thumb and finger, and set him on the palm of his hand.
“What in the world may you be, my little fellow?” asked Hercules.
“I am your foe,” bravely cried the little hero. “You have slain our friend and brother, Antæus, and we mean to slay you. I dare you to single combat on equal ground.”
48. Hercules nearly burst with laughter, and came near dropping the captain. “Upon my word,” he said, “in a long life and much travel I have seen many wonders, but nothing so strange as this. Your body is no bigger than a small man's finger, my friend. How big is your soul ? ”
49. “As big as yours," said the captain.
Hercules was touched by what he saw and heard. He set the little man upon the ground. He made a short speech.
50. “Not for the world would Hercules injure such brave and true people. I beg for peace. If you will but wait a minute before you slay me, I will take five steps and be far out of your country. Ha, ha, ho, ho,” he roared, “for once Hercules is badly beaten.”
51. He took five steps and the pygmies never saw him nor heard of him again. For aught we know their children's children still live and prosper in the hot far-away country. But life cannot be quite the same to them without Antaus.
BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
1. Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
hands And looked abroad on foreign lands.
2. I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
3. I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky's blue looking-glass :
4. If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
5. To where the roads on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
THE QUEEN OF HEARTS
The Queen of Hearts
She made some tarts,
The Knave of Hearts
He stole those tarts,
The King of Hearts
Called for those tarts,
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back those tarts, And said he'd ne'er steal more.
1. There once lived in New York a young poet who wrote a charming poem about fairies. This was nearly a hundred years ago. Our country was young then and we had very few poets, or, indeed, very few men who gave their lives up to writing books of any
2. It may please you to know that the first long poem of our country that is read and praised in our own day, is a story of fairyland. Its author, Joseph Rodman Drake, lived in New York City, and was a friend of Irving, our first great author.
3. Young Drake wrote for papers with his friend, Halleck—another poet—and Irving. But while he was yet a young man, his health