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clothing. After several years, perhaps when he was twenty or twenty-one, he would be made a journeyman. Then he would be paid some money for his work, though he still must live in the house of his master, and it would be years before he could earn much money or become a master mason himself, and have apprentices and workmen under him. However, no matter how hard he worked, he could never become one of the aristocracy, the people who were born to high positions. That is what troubled the third brother.
A story so beautiful as this is worth thinking about and remembering.
I. Here are the five brothers and what each wished to do:
1. The eldest, the brickmaker, would be useful and humble.
2. The second, the mason, sought influence and power.
3. The third, the architect, would become a gentleman, an aristocrat.
4. The fourth, the inventor, would be famed for his genius and originality.
5. The fifth, the critic, would reason, and with self-confidence give advice to others.
II. All succeeded in their wishes, and all died— only the first brother thought of others.
III. The critic and Margaret meet at the gates of heaven and she tells her story:
1. She builds her house from the fragments of the first brother's bricks.
2. She suffers from cold weather, but her shelter keeps her alive.
3. She stays at home while every one else in the village plays far out on the ice.
4. She sees a storm approaching.
5. She burns her cottage to alarm the people and bring them into safety.
6. She dies from exposure, but she has saved all the villagers.
IV. The Angel admits Margaret to heaven.
V. She drops a straw that turns to gold and shows how great and good a deed it was to burn her house.
VI. The critic is denied admission because he has done nothing.
VII. Margaret begs for him.
VIII. His brother's bricks save him from punishment, but he may be admitted only when he has done something.
IX. He feels critical about the Angel's remark, but as he says nothing—that is at least something!
If the eldest brother had not given bricks to Margaret, she would have died of exposure long before she did; if Margaret had died earlier she could not have saved the villagers, nor could she have met the fifth brother at the gates of heaven; if she had not met the fifth brother, he would have been lost forever. So the generous eldest brother saved them all.
Does the story not seem better now that we have thought about it? Is it not worth reading again?
By William Allingham
Down the dusky glen,
Trooping all together;
Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home— They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam; Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake With frogs for their watchdogs,
All night awake.
High on the hilltop
The old king sits;
He's nigh lost his wits.
Columbkill he crosses, On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses; Or going up with musie
On cold, stormy nights, To sup with the queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.
They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
Her friends were all gone.
Between the night and morrow;
But she was dead with sorrow.
Deep within the lake,
Watching till she wake.
By the craggy hillside,
Thro' the mosses bare,
For pleasure here and there.
As dig them up in spite,
In his bed at night.
Up the airy mountain,
Down the dusky glen,
Trooping all together;
A long time ago even the grown people believed in fairies, and told wonderful tales of what the little beings could do. Gradually, as people became better educated, they grew to know that there really were no fairies, but still they made stories about them for their children, for they had found out that there were few things in the world that children like better to hear about. Some of the stories in this book, such as Cinderella, were written far back in the days when all people still believed in fairies. To-day, there are in most countries many of the uneducated peasant classes who still have a strong belief in the "little people," and who see signs of their activity all about.
When people of different nations think about fairies they have somewhat different pictures before their eyes. Thus in Russia, where it is cold so much of the time, fairies are supposed to be dressed always in furs—beautiful white furs which only an emperor could afford. The Chinese fairy has a queue, and the fairies of India, where the learned Brahmins are the class most looked up to, are thought of as little old men, wise beyond words, but not bright and friendly like the fairies that we hear most about.
Of course these fairies that we have heard most about are the English fairies, and very beautiful and charming creatures these are. Usually they look like very small and particularly graceful human beings, with gorgeous clothing and shimmering wings, though of course, being fairies, they may change their forms and look like anything they choose. These little creatures live in a place called Fairyland, where all things are done by magic; but they do not always stay there. In fine weather, especially during the nights of summer, the fairies prefer the earth to their own country, and they gather in great numbers in some flowery field or