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A LITTLE BROWN SEED IN THE FURROW.
IDA W. BENHAM. A little brown seed in the furrow
Lay still in its gloomy bed,
Were whispering overhead.
And the seed heard all they said.
Poor little brown seed in the furrow;
So close to the lilies' feet,
Where life seemed all complete!
In that land so wondrous sweet.
The little brown seed in the furrow
Was thrilled with a strange unrest;
In the tiny, heaving breast;
Her folded hands she pressed.
O, little brown seed in the furrow,
At last you have pierced the mold;
Your beautiful leaves unfold
And slowly, slowly, in dew and light
You wear a crown of gold.
I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility doubt of his own power, or hesitation of speaking his opinions; but a right understanding of the relation between what he can do and say and the rest of the world's sayings and doings. All great men not only know their business, but usually know that they know it. They are not only right in their main opinions, but they usually know that they are right in them, only they do not think much of themselves on that account. They do not expect their fellow-men to fall down and worship them. They feel that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them.
- From “Modern Painters” by Ruskin.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath.”
THE FROG PRINCE.
JACOB and WILLIAM GRIMM were noted German historians and writers of folk-lore. They are best known to us by their joint work, “Grimm's Fairy Tales.” William Grimm died in 1859, and Jacob four years later.
There was once a king whose little daughter was so beautiful, that the sun himself almost stood still and looked in wonder upon her every day as he passed over the royal palace.
Near this palace was a rich old forest. In the forest was a deep, dark well. When the day was hot, and the little maiden was wearied, she used to like to sit beside the cool well and play with a pretty golden ball — her favorite toy.
But one day the golden ball rolled into the well. Down, down, splash it went, far out of sight.
“Oh, my beautiful toy! my beautiful toy!” wailed the princess.
“What is the matter, little princess ?” said a voice from the water. “Tell me; indeed, I will help thee.”
The maiden peered down into the water, wondering who could have spoken to her. But she could see no one.
Again the voice spoke: “Don't weep, little princess! Don't weep!” Again she peered down into the water. This time she saw an old frog stretching his ugly head above the water.
“Is it you, you old frog?” said the princess.
“Oh, my beautiful golden toy has fallen down into the water!” cried the princess, bursting into tears again.
“Do not weep, dear princess!” answered the frog. “I will help you. Tell me, what will you give me, if I bring your lost toy back to you?” .
“Oh, I will give you anything!” wailed the princess, "my pearls, my jewels, even my golden crown!”
“Ah, but I do not want those,” said the frog sadly, “If you will take me home with you; if you will love me and keep me with you; if you will let me be your friend, your playfellow; if —”.
“Oh, I will!” answered the princess, thinking only of the golden ball. “I promise you all, all, all!”
The frog did not wait to hear another word. Down he dived and brought up the lost toy.
“Oh, my beautiful toy! my beautiful toy! I am so glad to have you in my hands again!” And off the princess ran toward the palace.
“Stop, stop!” cried the frog. “Take me with you. I cannot hop as fast as you can run!”.
But she would not listen to him; and ran away as fast as ever her flying feet could carry her.
The next day the king and the princess and all the court ladies and gentlemen were sitting down to dinner. A strange little pitter, patter, hop, hop, pitter, patter, hop, hop, was heard on the marble stairs.
“Little princess, little princess! Let me in!” said a voice from outside.
The little princess went to the door. There sat the ugly frog.
“Little princess, little princess!” he began; but the
little princess shut the door in a great hurry, and went back to her dinner.
“What's the matter, my child ?” asked the king, noticing how frightened she looked. “Is there a giant at the door, and has he come to carry you off ?”
“Oh, father, father!” cried the little girl, creeping up close to the king's heart. “It is not a giant, but a horrid frog. Yesterday he dived into the water, and brought up my golden ball for me; and I told him he should come and live here in the palace with me. But father, father, I did not suppose he would come up out of the water. And here he is at the door."..
“But, my child, you promised that he should come. A princess should never tell a lie.”
Just then they heard the frog's voice again. It was a very sweet voice, as frog voices go, and it sang:
Open to me;
What promised you me?
Open to me.”
So the king led his daughter to the door, and told her to open it. In hopped the frog. “Now let me sit at the table with you, little princess," said he. A chair was placed for him beside the princess.
“Now let me get up on the table, where I can eat with you,” said the frog again.