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Old King Cole,

vengence on the Turks, and immediately after, reHe sat in his hole,

store the Hebrews to their native land, there to live And he called for his fiddlers three.

under the government of their long-expected However that may have been, old chroniclers tell

Messiah. us that he obtained possession of the spot by assum

Of less royal origin, but quite as veracious, are

some other popular characters in nursery romances. ing independence and attacking and taking a Roman

There, for instance, was pretty Bobby Shaftoe, “fat colony at Camelodunum, which he named after him

and fair,” who played havoc with young ladies' self Cole castrum, or Cole's camp, and from which hearts during the last century and was at one time it was but a short step to Colchester. To regain

a member of Parliament.

Robert Shaftoe, Esq., belonged to an old and rethis post, the Roman general Constantinus Chlorus

spected family in the north of England. He dwelt laid violent siege to it. Warfare was carried on for

at Whitworth, county of Durham, where he was three years, when the general, having chanced to known as "Bonny Bobby," and his portrait reprebehold King Cole's beautiful daughter Helena, made sents him as young, handsome, and with yellow peace with the Britons on the condition that the

hair. fair princess be given him in marriage. This was

I fear the blonde youth was a gay deceiver, for

who knows but it was poor little Miss Bellayse of agreed to, and legendary lore asserts that Constan

the estate of Brancepeth who first sangtine the Great was the fruit of this union.

Bobby Shaftoe's gone to sea, It is pretty well known that “The House that

With silver buckles on his knee ; Jack Built " was an adaption of a Chaldee hymn in

When he comes back he'll marry me

Pretty Bobby Shaftoe ! Sepher Haggadah, symbolical of events in the his

But, alas, he never did, and, if report be true, the tory of the Hebrew nation. The original com

young heiress pined away and died for love of him, mences

while he wedded a Miss Anne Duncombe, and left A kid, a kid my father bought

her a widow less than three years later. For two pieces of money,

There, too, was lank and lean Jack Sprat. It A kid, a kid.

seems he was no less a personage than an archThis has thus been interpreted. The kid-one of the deacon, and the jingle anent him and his wife has pure animals—denotes the Hebrew; the father who been in vogue for two centuries and

It purchased it is Jehovah, who represents himself as originally ranholding this relation to the Jews; while the pieces of

Archdeacon Pratt would eat no fatt, money signify Moses and Aaron, who brought the

His wife would eat no lean; children of Israel out of Egypt.

'Twixt Archdeacon Pratt and Joan his wife, Then came the cat, and ate the kid.

The meat was eat up clean. This means the Assyrians, by whom the ten tribes But none is to me more interesting than “The were carried into captivity.

Pleasant History of Jack Horner, containing his Then came the dog, and bit the cat ;

Witty Tricks and Pleasant Pranks;' for so is entypical of the Babylonians.

titled a very old chap-book, carefully preserved in Then came the staff, and beat the dog.

the Bodleian Library. This is a poem of eleven The staff represents the Persians.

verses, but only one is familiar to us—that which

deals with his Christmas pie; and a tradition of Then came the fire, and burned the staff.

Somersetshire seems best to explain this incident. The fire indicates the Grecian Empire under Alex

It appears—so runs the tale—that an abbot of der the Great.

Glastonbury, hearing that his majesty Henry VIII. Then came the water, and quenched the fire. The water here betokens the Roman Empire, the

had expressed much indignation at the monks dar

ing to build a kitchen which he could not burn fourth of the great monarchies to whose dominion the Jewish nation was subjected.

down, attempted to appease him. For this purpose,

then, he despatched his steward, Jack Horner, to And so it continues, introducing the ox, the butcher, and the angel of death, until the conclud

present the sovereign with a suitable bribe. It took

the form of a big and tempting-looking pie in which ing stanza, which runs—

were hidden the transfer deeds of twelve manors Then came the Holy One, blessed be He !

truly a rich and “ dainty dish to set before a king.” And killed the angel of death, That killed the butcher,

But Master Jack had an eye out for “number That slew the ox,

one,” and en route he lifted the crust and slyly That drank the water,

abstracted the deed of the manor of Wells, which, That quenched the fire,

on his return, he informed the abbot had been given That burned the staff, That beat the dog,

him by King Hal. Hence the rhyme-
That bit the cat,

Little Jack Horner
That ate the kid,

Sat in a corner [of the wagon),
That my father bought

Eying his Christmas pie;
For two pieces of money,

He put in his thumb
A kid, a kid.

And pulled out a plum (the title-deed],

Saying, "What a brave boy am I !” The ox, then, typifies the Saracens, who subdued Palestine and brought it under Caliphate. The Humpty Dumpty, although remembered by a butcher is a symbol of the Crusaders, by whom the riddle-rhyme the answer to which is an egg,” is Holy Land was wrested from the Saracens. The said to have been a bold, bad baron who lived in angel of death is the Turkish power, which took the days of King John. So, too, the pathetic story the country from the Franks; while the conclusion of the Babes in the Wood is founded on an actual is designed to show that God will yet take signal crime committed in the fifteenth century. The

whole history carved upon a mantel-shelf may still so exciting the royal admiration and curiosity that be seen in an ancient house in Norfolk.

he could not rest until the small-footed owner was Rather more vague is the idea that Jack and Jill discovered and made his queen. But the cruel steppresent the complete amalgamation of the Saxon sisters are comparatively modern improvements, who and Norman races in the British nation.

made their debut about the time the eagle was transTo political pasquinades and sectarian differences, formed into the fairy godmother and Rhodope also, a host of our nonsense jingles are due, time became the German's Aschenputtel, or little cinderand change having obliterated their first pungent wench. The form in which it is best known to-day meaning. One archbishop of Dublin was not far is the graceful French version of Perrault, who has wrong when he made this quotation and comment : likewise given us Blue-Beard, Little Red Riding“Old Father Long-legs wouldn't say his prayers.

Hood, and Puss in Boots (“Le Chat Botté”). Tom Take him by the right leg,

Thumb carries us back to the romantic age of King Take him by the left leg,

Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, when Take him fast by both legs,

very small dwarfs were by no means unknown, but And throw him down-stairs.

were kept as pets and playthings by the wealthy; “There,” remarked his grace, “in that nursery while Jack the Giant-Killer savors of Thor and Odin, verse you may see an epitome of the history of all

and is an outgrowth of Scandinavian mythology religious persecution. Father Long-legs, refusing woven into an old nurse's tale and handed down by to say the prayers that were dictated and ordered by

word of mouth from generation to generation. his little tyrants, is regarded as a heretic and suf True nursery classics these, that could not harm fers martyrdom."

the most susceptible child, for all either stir the In fact, Mr. John Bellenden Ker, who has delved

sympathies or teach the overcoming of evil by good. deep into the subject, evolves most of these rhymes As Sir Walter Scott says, “I would not give one from the squibs of a mob. In this he is often ex tear shed over Little Red Riding-Hood for all the tremely far fetched, but his derivation of the uni

benefit to be derived from a hundred histories of versal favorite Little Bo-Peep is too ingenious to be Jimmy Goodchild. I think the selfish tendencies omitted.

will be soon enough acquired in this arithmetical In days of yore, when Charlemagne was oppress age, and that to make the highest class of character, ing the Saxons on the continent and the Anglo our own wild fictions—like our own simple musicSaxons held possession of the British Isles, it was a will have more effect in awakening the fancy and time of hardship for the small farmers and peasants,

elevating the disposition than the colder and more levied upon and ground down as they were by elaborate compositions of modern authors and comchurch sway, to which they imputed fraud and

posers." vexation.

I cannot conclude a paper of this character withThe begging frair was rarely welcome when he

out at least alluding to the one single contribution came to demand donations for the support of the of note that America has made to this never-dying monasteries, though few ventured to refuse. This,

literature of childhood, and that is the true story of then, is the song which was put into the mouths of

Mary and her Little Lamb. Perhaps it is because the monks as they sat over their cups after a suc of its truth that it has taken such a strong hold cessful excursion made by their messenger :

upon the popular fancy, for some of the verses are Little Boo-peep!

crude enough, written as they were by young John His food is good liquor;

Rollston, a boy student at the same Massachusetts When the cup's drained out,

school attended seventy years ago by Mary and her Why, he begs all the quicker. A fig for their grumbling

devoted pet. But the poem was completed long after Love the jolly old dog

the demise of the sheep, by Mrs. Sarah Hall, a quite Who procures for us all

celebrated author. That its admirers are legion was Good swipes and good prog!

shown at a fair in Boston, as many will remember. Boo-peep---according to Mr. Ker-was a familiar A stocking knitted from the woven fleece of the name for the limitour or frair sent forth to solicit famous lamb was ravelled out and pieces sold with boo or bod being a contraction of bode, a messenger. the autograph of Mary, then an aged lady, attached;

Later, then, in poorer times for the monks, they and so great was the demand that one hundred and are said to have changed the words to

forty dollars was thus won for the Old South Little Boo-peep has lost his sheep,

Church.
And cannot tell where to find 'em ;

We who have passed our nursery days and put
Let them alone, they'll come home,

away the dear infantile classics along with other And bring their tails behind 'em.

childish things often feel a glow about the heart as From which we may presume that the sheep were we rehearse for another generation the doughty the people or spiritual flock, and the tails their con deeds of the old-time heroes and heroines of the tributions for the support of the servants of the hearthstone, or sing the melodies of the cradle-side Church.

songstress. How many of us, too, are constantly Nursery tales are, as a rule, more imaginative proving the sugar-coated wisdom of the ancient than nursery rhymes, and the majority had their rhymes! As the poet says: birth and being in the folk-lore and myths of various

The sports of childhood's roseate da nations during the early dawn of the ages, when Have passed from our hearts like the dew.gems from morn. half the world talked in metaphors and parables. We have parted with marbles, we own not a ball, Who does not know that Cinderella was really the

And are deaf to the hail of a whoop and a call,

But there's an old game that we all keep up, Egyptian maiden Rhodope, who lived six hundred

When we've drunk much deeper from life's mixed cup; and seventy years before Christ, and whose tiny

Youth may have vanished and manhood come round, sandal was borne off by an eagle as she was bathing Yet how busy we are on Tom Tiddler's ground, in the river ? Wise bird, that, to drop the wee shoe

Looking for gold and silver! right into the lap of King Psammetichus, thereby AGNES CARR SAGE in Lippincott's Magazine.

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England's National Library.

matter ; and every year about 400,000 new books, There are few, perhaps, who fully realize the

papers, etc., are added to the library. A represenwonders of the great national collection of books

tative twelve months' addition to the library conwhich lies within the walls of the British Museum,

sists of 36,600 books. In addition to the books the fruits of nearly a century and a half of patient

there are 254,890 newspapers, English, foreign and accumulation. It is more than doubtful whether

Colonial, 5,396 pieces of music, 6,239 sheets of any one knows the exact number of books in this

maps, and 65,500 parts of works. wonderful library, with one exception the largest

The catalogue of this library contains three and in the world. One gains, however, some concep

a half million entries, and although its printing tion of the vastness of the collection when we reflect

was commenced in 1880, it is not yet completed. that, if all the crowded book shelves were placed

But larger even than this colossal library is the end to end, it would be necessary to walk for ten

Bibliotheque National”. of Paris, which dates hours at the rate of four miles an hour to traverse

from the middle of the fourteenth century, and is

In the length of them.

thus, roughly, 400 years older than our own. A very careful estimate places the number of

this national library of France there are 2,500,000 books alone in our national library at 2,000,000.

volumes, 320,000 maps and charts, 100,000 volumes If these countless volumes were placed end to end

of MS., 150,000 medals, coins, etc., and two and a they would make a literary footpath on which we

half million engravings.- Tit Bits. might walk all the way from the Museum doors to Lancaster, a distance which takes an express train five and a half hours to cover. We might simi

Memories of John Ruskin. larly connect with our "linked books long drawn The passing away from us of a great literary out" Charing Cross and Bodmin, in far Cornwall; force is usually the occasion of more elaborate estithus carrying the benefits of our library beyond mates and of more copious eulogies than were ever the Tamar. We might make with our books a offered to the living man. It is so with John permanent railway track, over which we could Ruskin, who has been as silent as if he were in the travel from London to Gravesend or Maidenhead, grave for some fourteen years, during all which and still have a few scores of thousands of books time the busy world has, for the most part, been as to form the nucleus of another library.

silent about his life and work as he bas been himIf we pile our 2,000,000 books one on the top of self. I have no thought of adding to the essays in another our column will rise forty miles into the which he is now being judged. But as one who air ; or we inight form thirteen separate piles, each has known him now for forty years, I will jot down as high as Mount Blanc, with a fourteenth whose some personal reminiscences of him in his London top will be level with the summit of Scafell.

and Coniston homes. I have said elsewhere all If we are content with a pile of volumes as high that I could say of his genius. I will try to give as the cross on St. Paul's, we shall be able to some rough sketch of what he was in the flesh. erect an imposing monument with sides 15 ft. long It was in 1860 that I first came to know Ruskin. and to ft. wide ; so bulky, in fact, that nine of He was teaching a class in drawing at the Workingthe tallest men in our Lifeguards could not clasp men's College, where I then took a class in his hands around its base.

tory. He invited me to spend the Sunday at his If we spread our volumes out on the ground we house in Denmark-hill. It was in the lifetime of shall be able to carpet an area of over twelve acres, his father and mother. And on several other Sunor more than one-sixth as large as the Green Park; days I was graciously welcomed in that typical and while, if we would pack them all away in a single most interesting home. The biographers have not box, our box would be 202 ft. long, 1873 ft. wide, said enough of John James Ruskin, the father. He aud 15 ft. deep; and if reared on end it would rise certainly seemed to me a man of rare force of characexactly as high as the London Monument.

ter ; shrewd, practical, generous, with pure ideals To remove our box of books would be a task of both in art and in life. With unbounded trust in the appalling proportions, for its weight would be no genius of his son, he felt deeply how much the son less than 1,340 tons. Two powerful locomotives

to learn. I heard the father ask au could certainly move it, and 1,000 horses could cope Oxford tutor if he could not “put John in the way with it successfully.

of some scientific study of Political Economy.” It should be remembered, too, that our box “John ! John !" I have heard him cry out, “what contains nothing but books, and has no room for nonsense you're talking !”—when John was off on the hundreds of tons of newspapers, maps, pieces one of his magnificent paradoxes, unintelligible as of music, and parts or numbers of works which Pindar to the sober Scotch merchant. John Ruskin fili many miles of the Museum library shelves. certainly inherited from his father some of his

Every week the library shelves groan under a noblest qualities and much of his delicate sense of new burden of a ton and a quarter of additional But intellectually the father was the very anti

yet had

thesis of the son. He seemed to be strongest where he once asked me to tell him what Plato had his brilliant son was weakest. There were moments written about the order of society, and in which of when the father seemed the stronger in sense,

his works. breadth and hold on realities. And when John was Not only was he in social intercourse one of the turned of forty, the father still seemed something most courteous and sweetest of friends, but he was of his tutor, his guide, his support.

in manner one of the most fascinating and impresThe relations between John Ruskin and his sive beings whom I ever met. I have talked with parents were among the most beautiful things that Carlyle and Tennyson, with Victor Hugo and Mazdwell in my memory. Towering as he did by zini, with Garibaldi and with Gambetta, but no one of genius above his parents, who neither understood these ever impresssd me more vividly with a sense nor sympathized with so much in his second career of intense personality, with the inexplicable light of (dating from “Unto this Last''), he invariably genius which seemed to well up spontaneously behaved towards them with the most affectionate from heart and brain.

from heart and brain. It remains a psychological deference. He submitted without a murmur to the puzzle how one who could write with passion and rule of the house, which, on the Sabbath day, scorn such as Carlyle or Byron never reached, who covered his beloved Turners with dark screens. in print was so often Athanasius contra mundum, This man, well past middle life, in all the renown and opened every assertion with “I know,” was in of his principal works, who, for a score of years, private life one of the gentlest, gayest, humblest had been one of the chief forces in the literature of of men. our century, continued to show an almost child-like I incline to think that the violence and arrogance docility towards his father and mother, respecting which were imputed to him came of a kind of their complaints and remonstrances, and gracefully literary estrus, which he never attempted to control. submitting to be corrected by their worldly wisdom He let himself go, as perhaps no writer since Raband larger experience. The consciousness of his elais ever has done. And this vehemence, as of own public mission and the boundless love and some Delphic priestess on the tripod, seemed to duty that he owed to his parents could not be sting him into strong words even in his private expressed in a way more beautiful. One could letters to friends in the midst of the most affectionate almost imagine it was in the spirit of the youthful terms. I have before me twenty or thirty of his Christ when he said to his mother, “Wist ye not letters full of—“ You don't understand that a bitthat I must be about my Father's business ?” ever affectionately yours,"'-and so forth.

In personal manner Ruskin was always, in my letter he described an eminent English philosopher, experience, the very mirror of courtesy, with an for whom I had a deep regard and high admiration, indescribable charm of spontaneous lovingness. It a mere loathsome cretin.” This, I think, was neither the old-world graciousness of Mr. was at a time of much brain excitement, and was Gladstone, nor the stately simplicity of Tourgenieff followed on my remonstrances by a hearty apology.

- to name some eminent masters of courteous Vehement language with Ruskin was a literary demeanor-it was simply the irrepressible bubbling weakness, rather than a moral fault. He has paid up of a bright nature full to the brim with enthu a bitter penalty for failing to overcome the tensiasm, chivalry and affection. No boy could blurt dency. There was an absurd epigram about Goldout all that he enjoyed and wanted with more smith that begins, he wrote like an angel and artless freedom ; no girl could be more humble, talkedlike poor Poll.” Of Ruskin it might be modest and unassuming. His ideas, bis admira said that he talked like an angel, and wrote as if tion, or his fears seemed to flash out of his spirit he were one of the Major Prophets. and escape his control. But it was always what he His private letters were wonderfully characterloved, not what he hated, that roused his interest. istic, full of the passion, the banter, the incoherNow all this was extraordinary in one who, in ence, and the affection which pours forth in Fors. writing, treated what he hated and scorned with Nothing can be imagined more spontaneous, more really savage violence, who had such bitter words sympathetic, more fanciful, more tender, along with even in letters to his best friends, who is usually spasms of rage and indignation. He goaded me charged with inordinate arrogance and conceit. into the reply I have published in the “Choice of The world must judge his writings as they stand. Books,” and in his letters flung about his epithets I can only say that, in personal intercourse, I have and similes like a man in a passion. He once never known him, in full health, betrayed into a asked me to tell him what I meant by a passage in harsh word, or an ungracious phrase, or an unkind a published piece of mine. I fell into the trap, and judgment, or a trace of egotism. Face to face, he stated my meaning in a private letter. " What!” was the humblest, most willing and patient of he wrote back,“ do you suppose I care what you listeners, always deferring to the judgment of mean, or don't mean ! But I love you.—John others, and anxious only to learn. No doubt, in all Ruskin.” He was then, I fear, nearing a bad illthis, there was no little of Socratic ironeia, as when

No one can imagine how sad this was to his

In oile

as

ness.

*

personal friends. He was never the same man tenary. Read here a fragment from a letter Heine again. The present generation, who have known wrote to his sister under the date of July 16, 1853 : him only in the latter days of his Coniston hermit “On the subject of my birth I would remark age, or even in the period of his second Oxford that, according to my certificate of baptism, I lectures, cannot easily figure to themselves the was born at Dusseldorf-on-the-Rhine, December 13, irrepressible vitality and passionate force of the man 1799, as you know. As all our family papers were who wrote “Unto this' Last" in 1860, whose bold destroyed in the Hamburg fire, and as, in the defiance of all the conventions of Plutonomy closed archives of Dusseldorf, the date of my birth was, to him first the Cornhill Magazine and then Fraser's for reasons I do not care to mention, given inexMagazine. “Unto this Last” will probably sur actly, the date I give above is the sole authentic vive them both.

one ; certainly more authentic than the recollection I saw him last in the October of 1898, and stayed of my mother, whose memory is enfeebled by age some days in his house at Coniston. He was and cannot replace the evidence of the lost docuindeed changed from the man I knew in 1860 at ments." Denmark-hill, but it was the calm sunset of a long Now modern research has shown that Heine was life, all trace of eagerness, combat, or denunciation really born-as his poor old mother declared-in at rest forever

1797.

Heine all his life wished to escape the Nothing but well and fair,

reproach of having made himself two years younger And what may quiet us in a death so noble.

in order to escape the conscription. Of course it With his long snow-white beard, peaceful air, and makes no difference-save to those who celebrate soft manner, he might have been the model for a centenaries. He is always the author of the “InterSistine prophet. All his surroundings were of mezzo." beauty, rest and contentment-exquisite nature,

* rare art, the love of his family-roses, the Coniston It was a strange gathering there at his tomb. Old Man across the lake, the drawings of his There were Germans, many Hebrews, a few French friends, illuminated manuscripts and precious books. "intellectuals,” passing Englishmen like Rowland I read there some of Walter Scott's romances in the Strong-one and all we dropped our memorial original manuscript, surveyed the choicest gems cards into the little pocket hung on the grill of the that he spared for himself out of his lavish gifts to tomb. We talked to each other in queerly-accented the public. And then we talked of those things German-we said that Heine was half-Greek and wheron we were always heartily at one-Dante, half-Jew and wholly Parisian—and lifted our hats Walter Scott, the Alps and the English Lakes. and went away. FREDERIC HARRISON in Literature.

* The significance is going out of a great deal of

Heine's work. He represented a period of transiAt Heine's Tomb.

tión, and was essentially a man of compromise. It was a grey day-a cold wind blowing over He had ideals—but always his ideal stood to be Paris--and it was Heine's birthday.

buffeted by his wish. He wrote and dreamed of Heine's tomb is in the Cemetery of Montmartre. liberty, as always the poet has written and dreamed. Mathilde Mirat, this little grisette whom he mar He foresaw a future that did not come to pass. He ried, sleeps beside him. The monument is simple, foretold the triumph of democracy, and the modern a mere stone ; that day it was buried under flowers world, magnificently Roman and imperial, has and wreaths.

given him the lie. If you are a sentimentalist, December 13th ; it was understood that a bust of there is something very sad in looking back upon Heine was to be set up this day ; but something brave dreams of Heine and his contemporaries. had happened-the bust failed to arrive in time. How Byron clamored for liberty! How Shelley The Empress of Austria, before that impatient wrecked his heart on schemes for freedom! Read madman killed her in Switzerland, had erected "The Revolt of Islam” again. It is pathetic today. among the olives of Corfu a marble temple to the France had spoken the word democracy, “the memory of the poet. Scarcely a month before she word en masse,

as Whitman says. The spirit of died she ordered Hasselriis, the Danish sculptor brotherhood had got abroad in the world. The who dwells in Rome, to make a bust of Heine that poets sang it. They had visions of a world in should stand above his grave. In a few weeks it which war should be an anachronism-in which will be in place.

right should not always be might. They hailed But it missed Heine's birthday.

the victory of the little New England colonies as a He was born December 13th, and the legend step in advance. says, and Heine says, and all his family says, it Time turns the old days to derision. was on December 13, 1799. Then that grey day The songs remain ; the ideals are old and faded when the cold wind blew over Paris was his cen and a trifle ridiculous. Few of us can understand

*

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