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AIDS TO STUDY
Henry van Dyke, the author of The Saints, was born in Germantown, Pa., in 1852. He was educated in this country and in Europe. In 1900, he became professor of English literature in Princeton University. Thirteen years later, he was appointed United States minister to the Netherlands and Luxemburg.
1. To what does the poet compare the saints? 2. Where do these flowers grow, and by whom are they planted ? 3. Do these flowers differ? 4. What do all these flowers do? 5. On what special day of the year are all these flowers commemorated by the Church? 6. How may any one of us become a saint? 7. Tell about your patron saint.
1. Why are the second and the fourth, and the sixth and the seventh lines indented ? · 2. When words are used with a sense varying from their literal meaning, to secure clearness, force, or beauty of expression, we call the language figurative language. What figurative expressions can you find in the poem? 3. Suppose that you are asked what you mean by the “Communion of Saints"; make a clear written statement for your teacher of what you think the expression means.
LOVE OF COUNTRY
Many free countries have lost their liberty, and ours may lose hers; but, if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her.
MRS. SOPHIE DORA MAUDE
Boys and girls have much reason to be grateful to Mrs. Sophie Dora Maude, a convert to the Catholic Church, for the many charming stories which she has written. The entertainment and the instruction of children seem to be the principal object of her writings.
As a child, Mrs. Maude took especial delight in listening to fairy tales and other fanciful stories. During her first year in school, she made rapid progress in her studies, especially in reading. She was gifted with a splendid memory and an active and fertile imagination. She grasped the thought of all she read so vividly that she often asked her teacher to allow her and the other children to act the different lessons.
As she grew older, she could not only tell stories in an interesting manner, but she could make them up. She memorized hundreds of verses, and learned to recite them with expression.
In vacation time, this English girl might be seen reclining under the wide-spreading branches of some favorite tree reading a story book. She loved to take long strolls through the country in search of wild flowers and the other beauties of nature. It is hard to say which she loved best books or nature. Both of them had a wonderful charm for her.
At the age of twelve, she wrote and published a story in aid of a children's hospital. Since then Mrs. Maude has devoted considerable time to writing entertaining stories for boys and girls. Her books, however, are not so well known in this country as they are in England.
A CHILD COUNTESS
The following selection carries us back to England in the time of King James I. During the reign of this hard-hearted monarch, laws most unjust to both Catholics and Puritans were enacted and enforced. As a consequence, many of the Puritans left England and went to Holland so as to be free to practice their religion. The purpose of the story, A Child Countess, is to show what the Catholics of England had to suffer for their faith during this period. The heroine of this story is a little Catholic girl, Ann Egremont, who at a tender age suddenly becomes a countess.
I, Beneath the shadow of a Castle, within sight of the waving flag, stood a small house with gables, in the year of grace 1610. It was narrow enough to stand between a great old buttress and the outer wall, as though it had squeezed itself in there for protection. The sparrows chirped under the house-eaves, and swallows flew in and out the thick thatched roof, and the sweet scent of wallflowers and stocks came up from the green lawn, which was only divided by a tall yew hedge from the Castle grounds. A little girl walked with her nurse, or played with her doll, about the Gable House.
Over the wall, above the roof and the great stack of twisted chimneys, she could see the Castle flag wave; and when the breeze unfurled its golden eagles above the trees, she would clasp her little hands and whisper in a kind of awe, “The Earl has come!” And it seemed to her the eagles shone so fiercely to keep away all the great man's enemies.
But more often the bare flagstaff stood up against the sky, until perhaps some day, after long, long months, the eagles were unfurled once more, and she would stop in the midst of her play to run and tell her nurse, “The flag has come again, Nurse Patty!" And the Lord of the Castle was a kind of bogey man to the child. She remembered to have seen him only once in all her little life.
Gable House, as it was called, had been part of the Castle long ago, and she was often taken to walk beyond the yew hedge that formed its boundary, to the beautiful gardens with their straight walks that had been trim, but were moss-grown now, and bordered by tangled shrubs.
One day, the child and her nurse were in the pleasure-ground, when the Lord of the Castle came and asked in angry tones what right they had to be there. The nurse explained, faltering: “It is Mistress Ann Egremont, if you please, Mr. Egremont's little daughter.” And his Lordship’s harsh voice had softened then, and he bade the child quite gently stay and play where she was.