« 上一页继续 »
poor man was mad, he was quite harmless, and never offered to hurt anybody if they let him alone. Some boys, however, took a delight in teasing him, by calling after him, “Joseph! Joseph ! how do you sell your wigs and your muffs?” Some of them were so wicked as to throw stones at him.
Though Joseph generally bore these insults very meekly, he would sometimes fall into a fury, and take up stones or handfuls of dirt to throw at his tormentors. Such a skirmish as this happened one day before the house of Mr. King. Hearing a great noise, he went to the window to discover its cause, and there he saw the boys throwing at the crazy man, and his own son, Henry, among them.
When Henry returned home, his father asked him who the man was he was throwing and hooting after ?
“ You know him very well, papa," said Henry, “it was the silly man they call Joseph.” “Poor man!” said Mr. King, “I wonder what drove him into this sad state?”
They say it was a lawsuit for a great estate,' replied Henry. “He was so grieved at losing it, that he has lost his senses too.' Supposing you were in the state of this unhappy man,” said Mr. King, “and deprived both of riches and reason, would you like boys to run after you and tease you every time you appeared in the streets ?” « Certainly not, papa," replied Henry, “and I am very sorry I interfered with this
I will not add to his troubles in future.'
Henry remembered what his father had said to him, and he not only ceased to tease Joseph, but did what he could to make the other boys let him alone. In spite of his promise, however, he happened one day to mix with the rabble of boys who were running after the poor man, and he could not help shouting with them, “ Joseph ! Joseph!” Joseph's patience being tired out by this ill treatment on the part of boys whom he had never injured, he at last took up a large stone, threw it at Henry, and hit him in the face with it. Henry returned home covered with blood, crying loudly. “It is a just punishment on you from God," said Mr. King, “and I trust it will induce
in future to leave Joseph alone. You knew better than the other boys how wrong it was to call after this poor man, and therefore you have deserved a greater punishment. Learn to do unto others as you would they should do unto you, for this is the golden rule of life."
AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY.
The day is ending,
The river dead.
That glimmer red.
The snow recommences,
The road o'er the plain;
A funeral train.
To the dismal knell.
H. W. Longfellow.
MAUL THE GIANT. Now they drew towards the end of this way, and just where Christian had seen the cave when he went by, out thence came forth Maul, a giant. This Maul did use to spoil young pilgrims by deceitful words, and he called Greatheart by his name, and said unto him, “How many times have you been forbidden to do these things?”
Then said Mr. Greatheart, “What things ?” “What things ! ” quoth the giant; "you know what things; but I will put an end to your trade.” “But pray,” said Mr. Greatheart,“ before you fall
to, let us understand wherefore we must fight.” Now the women and children stood trembling, and knew not what to do. Quoth the giant, “You rob the country, and rob it with the worst of thefts. You employ the craft of a kidnapper ; you gather up women and children, and carry them into a strange country to the weakening of my master's kingdom.”
But now Greatheart replied, “I am a servant of the God of heaven; my business is to persuade sinners to repentance. I am commanded to do my endeavours to turn men, women, and children from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God;' and if this be indeed the ground of thy quarrel, let us fall to it as soon as thou wilt."
Then the giant came up, and Mr. Greatheart went out to meet him; and as he went he drew his sword, but the giant had a club. So without more ado they fell to it, and at the first blow the giant struck Mr. Greatheart down upon one of his knees. With that the women and children cried out. So Mr. Greatheart rising upon
his feet laid about him in full lusty manner, and
gave the giant a wound in his arm. Thus they fought for the space of an hour to that height of heat, that the breath came out of the giant's nostrils as the heat doth out of a boiling cauldron.
Then they sat down to rest them, but Mr. Greatheart betook himself to prayer; also the women and children did nothing but sigh and cry all the time that the battle did last.
When they had rested them and taken breath, they both fell to it again, and Mr. Greatheart with a full blow fetched the giant down to the ground. “Nay, hold, and let me recover," quoth he; som Mr. Greatheart fairly let him get up. So at it they went again, and the giant missed but little of breaking all to pieces Mr. Greatheart's skull with his club.
Mr. Greatheart seeing that, runs to him in the full heat of his spirit, and pierceth him under the fifth rib; with that the gian: began to faint, and could hold up his club no longer. Then Mr. Greatheart seconded his blow, and smote the head of the giant from his shoulders. Then the women and children rejoiced, and Mr. Greatheart also thanked God for the victory He had given him.
When this was done, they among them built a pillar and fastened the giant's head to it, and wrote underneath in letters that passengers might read
“ He that did wear this head was one
That pilgrims did misuse;
But did them all abuse.
“ Until that I, Greatheart, arose,
The pilgrims' guide to be;
That was their enemy.”