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little hillock, where they were soon surrounded by their enemies and overwhelmed with showers of javelins, , arrows, and stones, till the last of them lay dead.
Meanwhile Eurytus and Aristodemus, lying ill at Alpenus, had heard that the Persians were about to enter the pass, and that Leonidas and his brave band would be surrounded by their foes. Calling for his arms, and grasping his shield and spear, Eurytus told his servant to lead him into the battle. The man obeyed, and the halfblind hero, rushing upon the Persians, fell beneath their javelins.
Aristodemus, thinking it useless to go into the pass where he was sure to be killed, returned to Sparta with tidings of the battle. But his countrymen said that he had been false to his duty, and had forsaken his leader. No one would speak to him, and he lived in miserable solitude until the next year, when there was another battle with the Persians at Platæa. Then, wishing to regain the esteem of his countrymen, the unhappy man fought in the most daring manner, and was killed after having performed some of the bravest deeds. After the battle the Spartans declared that Aristodemus had excelled all others in daring; but believing that he had been moved by desperation rather than by true courage, they would award him no honors, although they no longer called him “The Coward.”
EXERCISE. - Where is Persia? Where is Greece ? India? What waters are connected by the Hellespont? On the map of Greece find the places that are mentioned.
PRONUNCIATION OF PROPER NAMES. Persia (pēr'shia). Xerxes (zērk'sēz). Medes (meeils). Hěl'lěs pont. Thermopyla (thér mõp'i lē). Děm a rå'tus. Hỳ där'nēş. Thē'banş. Eū'ry tus. A ris'to dē'mŭs. Al pe'nŭs. Lē õn'i das. Thěs'pi anş. Pla ta'a.
THE DARKER SIDE OF A PICTURE.
It was a sergeant old and gray,
Well singed and bronzed from siege and pillage, Went tramping in an army's wake,
Along the turnpike of the village. For days and nights the winding host
Had through the little place been marching, And ever aloud the rustics cheered,
Till every throat was hoarse and parching.
All took the sight's electric stirring,
And kerchiefs white were countless whirring.
The sergeant heard the shrill hurrahs,
Where he behind in step was keeping ; But glancing down beside the road,
He saw a little maid sit weeping. “ And how is this?” he gruffly said,
A moment pausing to regard her; “Why weepest thou, my little chit ?"
And then she only cried the harder. “ And how is this, my little chit ? ”
The sturdy trooper straight repeated, “ When all the village cheers us on,
That thou, in tears, apart art seated ?
“ We march two hundred thousand strong,
And that's a sight, my baby beauty,
“ It's very, very grand, I know,"
The little maid gave soft replying ; “ And father, mother, brother too,
All say · Hurrah !' while I am crying.
“But think, oh Mr. Soldier, think,
How many little sisters' brothers
And may be killed, as well as others ! ”
Why, bless thee, child !” the sergeant said,
His brawny hands her curls caressing, 6 'Tis left for little ones like thee
To find that war's not all a blessing."
And “ Bless thee !” once again he cried ;
He cleared his throat and looked indignant,
To stop the struggling tear benignant.
And still the ringing shouts went up
From doorway, thatch, and fields of tillage ;
By one alone of all the village.
The oak and cedar bend and writhe
When roars the wind through gap and braken;
That trembles first when earth is shaken.
DEFINITIONS. Pil'laġe, robbery. Tûrn'pike, a highroad. Rús'tics, country people. Squire, a country gentleman. Stāves, snatches of songs. Chỉt, little child. Re gard', look at. In dig'nant, angry. Be nignant, kind, loving. Till'age, cultivated land. Brā'ken, a brake, a thicket of underwoods.
A WHALING ADVENTURE.
BY FRANK T. BULLEN.
Through all the vicissitudes of this strange voyage, I had hitherto felt pretty safe, and as the last thing a man anticipates is the possibility of coming to grief himself, while fully prepared to see everybody else go under, so I had come to think that, whoever got killed, I was safe from harm. This kind of feeling is a very pleasant one, and enables a man to face dangers with a light heart, which otherwise would make a nerveless animal of him.
In this optimistic mood, then, I gayly flung myself into my place in the mate's boat one morning, as we were departing in chase of a magnificent cachalot, or sperm whale, that had been discovered just after breakfast. There were no other vessels in sight, - much to our satisfaction, — the wind was light, with a cloudless sky, and the whale was dead to leeward of us. We sped along at a good rate toward our prospective victim, who was, in his leisurely enjoyment of life, calmly lolling on the surface, occasionally lifting his enormous tail out of water and letting it fall flat upon the surface with a boom audible for miles.
We were, as usual, first boat; but, much to our mate's annoyance, when we were a short half mile from the whale, our mainsheet parted. It became immediately necessary to roll the sail up, lest its flapping should alarm the watchful monster, and this delayed us sufficiently to allow the other boats to shoot ahead of us. Thus, the second mate got fast some seconds before we arrived on the scene, and seeing this we furled sail, unshipped the mast, and went in on him with oars only.
At first the proceedings were quite of the usual character, our chief wielding his lance in most brilliant fashion, while not being fast to the animal allowed us much greater freedom in our evolutions ; but that fatal habit of the mate's — of allowing his boat to take care of herself so long as he was getting in some good home thrusts — once more asserted itself. Although the whale was exceedingly vigorous, churning the sea into yeasty foam over an enormous area, there we wallowed close to him, right in the middle of the turmoil, actually courting disaster.
He had just settled down for a moment when, glancing over the gunwale, I saw his tail, like a vast shadow, sweeping away from us toward the second mate, who was lying off the other side of him. Before I had time to think, the mighty mass of gristle leaped into the sunshine, curved back from us like a huge bow. Then with a roar it came at us, released from its tension. Full on the broadside it struck us, sending every soul but me flying out of the wreckage as if fired from catapults. I did not go because my foot was jammed somehow in the well of the boat, but the wrench nearly pulled my thigh bone out of its socket.
I had hardly released my foot, when, towering above me, came the colossal head of the great creature, as he plowed through the bundle of débris that had just been a boat. There was an appalling roar of water in my ears, and darkness that might be felt all around. Yet, in the midst of it all, one thought predominated as clearly as if I had been turning it over in my mind in the quiet of my bunk aboard. “What if he should swallow me?" Nor to this day can I understand how I escaped the portals of his gullet, which of course gaped wide as a church door. But