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brought before him. When he saw them, he laughed till the tears ran down his cheeks.
“My good friend,” he said to Peter, “do you know what I promised the person who could make the princess laugh ?”
“No, I do not,” said Peter. “Then I will tell you,” answered the king; "a thousand gold crowns or a piece of land. Which will you choose ?”.
Peter said that he would have the land. Then he touched the youth, the girl, the sweep, the clown, the mayor, and the mayoress with his little stick, and they were all free again, and ran away home as if a fire were burning behind them; and their flight gave rise to more laughing
The princess felt moved to stroke the swan. The bird screamed. “Swan, hold fast!” called out Peter, and so he won the princess for his bride. Then the swan flew up into the air, and vanished in the blue sky.
Peter now became a very great man indeed; but he did not forget the little old woman who had been the cause of all his good fortune, and he made her head housekeeper to him and his royal bride in their grand castle.
As shadows cast by cloud and sun
Flit o'er the summer grass,
Earth's generations pass,
Pegasus was a beautiful winged horse that sprang from the body of Medusa when she was slain by the hero, Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danaë. Spreading out his wings, he at once flew to the top of Mount Olympus. Zeus gave him a place in his palace and employed him to carry the thunder and lightning. Pegasus permitted none but the gods to mount him, except in the case of Bellerophon, whom, at the command of Athene, he carried aloft, in order that he might slay the Chimæra with his arrows.
Later poets represent Pegasus as being at the service of the Muses. He appears to stand for poetical inspiration which tends to develop man's higher nature, and causes the mind to soar heavenward. The only mention of the ancient writers of Pegasus in connection with the Muses is the story of his having, by a stamp of his foot, when reprimanding Mount Helicon for moving without the permission of Poseidon, caused the waters to gush forth, and thus made the sacred fountain of Hippocrene from which the Muses quaffed their richest draughts of inspiration.
Read Longfellow's story of the origin of the fountain.
Athene ( à théʼnė). Chimæra (kī mē’rä). Helicon (hěl'ē kon). Hippocrene (lip pô cre ne). Olympus (0 lympus). Põ seidon. Zeus (zūs).
“Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever.”
PAID IN HIS OWN COIN
JAMES MORIER (1780–1849), an English writer, who lived in Persia several years. He wrote two books on travel in Persia.
In the reign of Caliph Haroun al Rashid, of happy memory, there lived in the city of Bagdad a celebrated barber of the name of Ali Sakal. He was so famous for a steady hand and dexterity in his profession, that he could shave a head, and trim beard and whiskers with his eyes blindfolded, without once drawing blood. There was not a man of any fashion at Bagdad who did not employ him; and such a run of business had he, that at last he became proud and insolent, and would scarcely ever touch a head whose master was not a Beg or an Aga.
Wood or fuel was always scarce and dear at Bagdad, and as his shop consumed a great deal, the woodcutters brought their loads to him in preference, as they were almost sure of meeting with a ready sale.
It happened one day that a poor woodcutter, new in his profession, and ignorant of the character of Ali Sakal, went to his shop and offered him for sale a load of wood, which he had just brought from a considerable distance in the country, on his ass. Ali immediately offered him a price, making use of these words: “For all the wood that was upon the ass.”
The woodcutter agreed, unloaded his beast, and asked for the money.
“You have not given me all the wood yet,” said the barber. “I must have the pack-saddle (which is chiefly made of wood) into the bargain; that was our agreement."
“How!” said the other, in great amazement. “Who ever heard of such a bargain? It is impossible.”
In short, after many words and much altercation, the overbearing barber seized the pack-saddle, wood and all, and sent away the poor peasant in great distress. He immediately ran to the Cadi, and stated his griefs. The Cadi was one of the barber's customers, and refused to hear the case. The woodcutter went to a higher judge; but he, also, patronized Ali Sakal, and made light of the complaint. The poor man then appealed to the Mufti himself, who, having pondered over the question, at length settled that it was too difficult a case for him to decide, no provision being made for it in the Koran, and therefore he must put up with his loss.
The woodcutter was not disheartened; but forthwith got a scribe to write a petition to the Caliph himself, which he duly presented on Friday, the day when the Caliph went in state to the mosque. The Caliph's promptness in reading petitions was well known, and it was not long before the woodcutter was called to his presence. When he approached the Caliph he knelt and kissed the ground; and then placing his arms straight before him, his hands covering the sleeve of his cloak and his feet close together, he waited the decision of his case.
“Friend,” said the Caliph, “the barber has words on his side; you have equity on yours. The law must be