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was disputed. He was seated, in spite of his youth, among the old men, who were there as judges. Confused at this honour, he could scarcely stir or breathe, in his eagerness to watch the flight of the swift arrows. He applauded with rapture the archer whose aim was the truest, and held out his arms as if to embrace a rival worthy of himself.


if it happened that the quiver was emptied in vain, and no one had struck the dove; if the bird, tired of its useless struggles, was perched upon the top of the mast, and looking down with a fearless eye upon its feeble enemies; then William would rise, and taking his great bow with three of the fallen arrows, with the first he would strike the mast and put the bird to flight, with the second he would cut the string which hindered it from soaring on high, and with the third

seek it in the midst of the clouds, and

bring it palpitating to the astonished judges.

feet of the

But Tell was not vain of his skill: he preferred the remembrance of a good action, though known only to himself, to the most brilliant triumph. He began to be angry with himself for obeying too slowly his father's advice. He resolved to become a husband, and the youthful Edmea attracted his notice.




EDMEA was the loveliest, as well as the most retiring, of the daughters of Uri. Her heart, pure as the first breath of morning, was the seat of peace, reason, and gentleness. She was an orphan, and had no portion. From her infancy she had lived with an old relation, the last of her indigent race. Edmea took care of the sheep that belonged to this good old man. Every morning, before the rising sun had gilded the topmost branches of the dark fir-tree, Edmea was on the mountains, spinning in the midst of the flock, to provide linen for her benefactor.

She returned in the dusk of the evening to put his cottage in order, prepare his supper, and his meals for the next day, and see that he would want nothing in her absence. Then she would give herself up to repose, happy that on that day she had fulfilled the sweet obligation of gratitude, and knowing that the morrow would bring her the same content.

Tell knew her, and loved her. He went during her absence to visit her old relation. With him he talked with frankness and delight on the subject of Edmea; and the old man was never better pleased than in sounding her praises, telling of her most trifling actions, or repeating her very words. The tears came into his eyes as he told of the patience, the gentleness, the neverfailing goodness, which rendered this orphan so dear to him.

These praises, which were echoed by Tell's heart, increased his affection more than the sight of its object; and when Edmea returned in the midst of their conversation, Tell read in her modest looks and manner all that he had lately been told.

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Edmea," said he to her one festival day, as they were leaving the temple,

I love, I honour thee; if thou canst be happy with me, receive my hand and my heart; come and dwell in my cottage; and on the grave of my father I will teach thee those virtues which he taught me."

Edmea, looking on the ground, blushed for the first time; but soon feeling her confidence restored, and certain that her thoughts might be known, "William," she said, "William, I thank thee for having chosen me. Happy as I am at

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