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3. But underneath that dark water there is another world—a very different world. Things are not asleep there; life and death are going on, and all is activity and fiery motion.
4. Yes, there is a monster there, if you could only see him. He is not so very large; ugly enough, as a monster ought to be ; but it is his greediness and his cruelty which give him the name.
5. He has six feet, but he does not use them for walking ; he has another way of moving about; he has a pump inside his tail, so that he keeps drawing in the water and sending it out again, behind him; and thus he speeds along, here, there, and everywhere, with surprising swiftness.
6. So that when he gives chase to his enemies (and all the creatures in the pond are his enemies) they have a very poor chance of getting away from him. He overtakes them, flings himself upon them, tears them to pieces with his six feet, and then is off again at once.
7. Another curious thing about this monster is that he wears a mask. Something fits quite over his face; and when he eats, he has to open it to get his food into his mouth, and then shut it down again. As he is always eating, he has to unfold his mask and fasten it up again very often.
8. For two years the monster with the mas on has been ranging the pond, hunting, killing and eating with great fury. But now, somehow, he is not the same as he was; he has lost his appetite, he does not feel the same eagerness after his prey. A young tadpole has just passed close to him ; his mask does not fit so well as it used to, and his eyes seem starting out of his head.
9. Slowly and feebly the once fiery tyrant crawls up the stem of the water-flag till he reaches the level of the water, as if he would fain take one look at the unknown world above and then die.
10. The rising sun of the bright summer morning sends a few rays over him; he makes a sudden effort, the skin of his neck gives a crack, and the beautiful Dragon-fly, no more a monster of the pond, but a child of air, bursts into life and sunshine.
1. It is now winter, dead winter. Desolation and silence reign in the fields; no singing of birds is heard, no humming of insects. The streams murmur no longer; they are locked up in frost.
2. The trees lift their naked boughs like withered arms into the bleak sky, the green sap no longer rises in their veins; the flowers and the sweet-smelling shrubs are decayed to their roots.
3. The sun himself looks cold and cheerless; he gives light enough only to show the universal desolation.
4. Nature, child of God, mourns for her children. A little while ago, and she rejoiced in her offspring; the rose spread its perfume upon the gale; the vine gave its fruit; her children were springing and blooming around her on every lawn and every green bank.
5. 0 Nature, beautiful Nature, beloved child of God! why dost thou sit mourning and desolate ? Has thy Father forsaken thee? Has he left thee to perish ? Art thou no longer the object of his care?
6. He has not forsaken thee, 0 Nature. Thou art his beloved child, the eternal image of his perfections; his own beauty is spread over thee, the light of his countenance is shed
7. Thy children shall live again, they shall spring up and bloom around thee; the rose shall again breathe its sweetness on the soft air, and from the bosom of the ground verdure shall spring forth.
8. Shall the rose and the myrtle bloom anew, and shall man perish? Shall goodness sleep in the ground, and the light of wisdom be quenched in the dust, and shall tears be shed over them in vain ?
9. They also shall live; their winter shall pass away; they shall bloom again. The tears of thy children shall be dried up when the eternal year proceeds. Oh, come that eternal year!
1. Near the top of one of the highest points of the Alps, which, as many of our readers know, are very lofty mountains which separate France and Switzerland from Italy, stands the famous convent of St. Bernard.
2. It is a large house, of dull gray stone, built in the strongest possible manner, so that it may not be injured by the terrible storms which are so frequent among the mountains.
3. It is so large that it will give shelter to three hundred persons at once.
The people who live in this convent are called monks; they all dress alike, in long, close robes, buttoned from the top to the bottom, with white belts which pass over the shoulder; and upon their heads they wear round black caps,
which run up to a point, and end with a tuft or tassel.