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Hippomenes ran like a deer, and at first he was a few paces ahead; but Atalanta ran like the wind, and soon she passed him. Then, still straining every nerve to overtake her, Hippomenes drew out one of the glittering golden apples, and tossed it ahead of him. Right in front of Atalanta's eyes it fell, and then it rolled to one side and lay there on the sand. What it was, Atalanta knew not—she only knew that it was beautiful and that she must have it. She turned aside, snatched it, and sped on. But while she stooped, Hippomenes had passed her, and she could see his fluttering robe far down the course. This did not frighten Atalanta—it just made her run faster, so that in a very few minutes she was again ahead. Then Hippomenes threw the second apple, and it came to a standstill so directly in front of Atalanta's feet that she almost fell when she stooped to pick it up. Again Hippomenes heard her breathing as she came close to him; again he saw her pass him.
The goal was in sight now, but the poor youth was so tired and so out of breath that he could scarcely run another step. You see, he had not been having as much practice in running as had Atalanta. But with all his strength he threw the last apple off to one side of the course. It was almost hidden in the tall grass, but Atalanta had seen as it passed her that this was the brightest and most beautiful of all, and she could not—no, she could not!—bear to think of any one else having it. As she raised herself after stooping to pick it up, behold! all the people were rising and were shouting "Hippomenes! Hippomenes!" And there at the end of the course, with his hands resting on the goal post, was the young man who had beaten her, panting a little from his running, but looking, O, so happy!
Do you suppose the princess said that it was not a fair race—that he had not really run as fast as she had? By no means. She was almost as happy as he was as she went up to him with her hand held out to lead him to her father. And the people forgot all about the poor young men who had had to die, and were happy again as they shouted. "Hippomenes and Atalanta! Hippomenes and Atalanta!"
By Robert Loris Stevenson
IN the other gardens
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
And the grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Fires in the fall!
By Hans Christian Andersen
WILL be Something," declared the eldest of five brothers; "I will be of use in the world; be it ever so humble a position that I may hold, let me be but useful, and that will be Something. I will make bricks; folk cannot do without them, so I shall at least do Something."
"Something very little, though," replied the second brother. "Why, it is as good as nothing! it is work that might be done by a machine. Better be a mason, as I intend to be. Then one belongs to a guild, becomes a citizen, has a banner of one's own. Nay, if all things go well, I may become a master, and have apprentices and workmen under me. That will be Something!"
"It will be nothing at all then, I can tell you that!" rejoined the third. "Think how many different ranks there are in a town far above that of a master mason. You may be an honest sort of a man, but you will never be a gentleman; gentle and simple—those are the two grand divisions, and you will always be one of the 'simple.' Well, I know better than that. I will be an architect; I will be one of the thinkers, the artists; I will raise myself to the aristocracy of intellect. I may have to begin from the very lowest grade; I may begin as a carpenter's boy, and run about with a paper cap on my head, to fetch ale for the workmen; I may not enjoy that, but I shall try to imagine it is only a masquerade. 'To-morrow,' I shall say, 'I will go my own way, and others shall not come near me.' Yes, I shall go to the Academy, learn to draw, and be called an architect. That will be Something! I may get a title, perhaps; and I shall build and build, as others before me have done. Yes, that will be Something!"
"But it is Something that I care nothing about," said the fourth. "I should not care to go on, on, in the beaten track—to be a mere copyist. I will be a genius, cleverer than all of you put together; I will create a new style, provide ideas for buildings suited to the climate and materials of our country, suited to our national character, and the requirements of the age."
"But supposing the climate and the materials don't agree," suggested the fifth, "how will you get on then, if they won't help you? As for our national character, you do not know what it is now or ever will be, nor do you know what the people think nor what will please them now or in the future. I see you will none of you ever be anything, though of course you won't believe me. But do as you please, I shall not be like you. I shall reason over what you execute; there is something ridiculous in everything; I shall find it out, show you your faults —that will be Something!"
And he kept his word; and folk said of this fifth brother, "There is something in him, certainly; he has plenty of brains! but he does nothing." But he was content, for he was Something.
But what became of the five brothers? We shall hear the whole.
The eldest brother, the brickmaker, found that every brick he turned out whole yielded him a tiny copper coin; only copper—but a great many of these small coins, added together, could be converted into a bright silver dollar, and through the power of this, wheresoever he knocked, whether at baker's, butcher's or tailor's, the door flew open, and he received what he wanted. Such was the virtue of his bricks. Some, of course, were broken before they were finished, but a use was found even for these. For up by the trench poor Mother Margaret would fain build herself a little house, if she might; she took all the broken bricks— ay, and she got a few whole ones besides, for a good heart had the eldest brother, though only a brickmaker. The poor thing built her house with her own hands; it was very narrow, its one window was all on one side, the door was too low, and the thatch on the roof might have been laid on better. But it gave her shelter and a home, and could be seen far over the sea, which sometimes burst over the trench in its might, and sprinkled a salt shower over the little house, which kept its place there years after he who made the bricks was dead and gone.
As for the second brother, he learned to build after another fashion, as he had resolved. When he was out of his apprenticeship, he buckled on his knapsack and started on his travels, singing as he went. He came home again, and became a master in his native town. He built house after house, a whole street of houses; there they stood, looked well, and were a credit to the town; and these houses soon built him a little house for himself. How? Ask the houses, and they will give you no answer; but the