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Paraphrase: A man may affect the utmost candor and good nature even while plotting the deepest iniquity.

Original: Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens."-Psalm 148.

Paraphrase: Praise ye the Lord! on every height
Songs to His glory raise!

Ye angel-hosts, ye stars of night,
Join in immortal praise!

O heaven of heavens! let praise far-swelling
From all thine orbs be sent!

Join in the strain, ye waters, dwelling
Above the firmament!—Mrs. Hemans.



Alice.-ONE of your old-world stories, Uncle John,
Such as you tell us by the winter fire,

Till we all wonder it is grown so late.

Uncle John.-The story of the witch that ground to death
Two children in her mill, or will you have
The tale of Goody Cutpurse?


Nay now, nay;
Those stories are too childish, Uncle John,
Too childish even for little Willy here,
And I am older, two good years, than he;

No, let us have a tale of elves that ride,

By night, with jingling reins, or gnomes of the mine,
Or water-fairies, such as you know how

To spin, till Willy's eyes forget to wink,

Uncle John.

And good Aunt Mary, busy as she is,
Lays down her knitting.

Listen to me, then.
'Twas in the olden time, long, long ago,
And long before the great oak at our door
Was yet an acorn, on a mountain's side
Lived, with his wife, a cottager. They dwelt
Beside a glen and near a dashing brook,
A pleasant spot in spring, where first the wren
Was heard to chatter, and, among the grass,
Flowers opened earliest; but when winter came,
That little brook was fringed with other flowers,—
White flowers, with crystal leaf and stem, that grew
In clear November nights. And, later still,
That mountain-glen was filled with drifted snows
From side to side, that one might walk across;
While, many a fathom deep, below, the brook
Sang to itself, and leaped and trotted on
Unfrozen, o'er its pebbles, toward the vale.
Alice. A mountain-side, you said; the Alps, perhaps,
Or our own Alleghanies.

Uncle John.

Not so fast,
My young geographer, for then the Alps,
With their broad pastures, haply were untrod
Of herdsman's foot, and never human voice
Had sounded in the woods that overhang
Our Alleghany's streams. I think it was
Upon the slopes of the great Caucasus,

Or where the rivulets of Ararat

Seek the Armenian vales. That mountain rose
So high, that, on its top, the winter-snow
Was never melted, and the cottagers
Among the summer-blossoms, far below,
Saw its white peaks in August from their door.
One little maiden, in that cottage-home,

Dwelt with her parents, light of heart and limb,
Bright, restless, thoughtless, flitting here and there,
Like sunshine on the uneasy ocean waves,
And sometimes she forgot what she was bid,
As Alice does.

Or Willy, quite as oft.
Uncle John.-But you are older, Alice, two good years,
And should be wiser. Eva was the name
Of this young maiden, now twelve summers old.
Now you must know that, in those early times,
When autumn days grew pale, there came a troop
Of childlike forms from that cold mountain-top;
With trailing garments through the air they came,
Or walked the ground with girded loins, and threw
Spangles of silvery frost upon the grass,
And edged the brook with glistening parapets,
And built it crystal bridges, touched the pool,
And turned its face to glass; or, rising thence,
They shook from their full laps the soft, light snow,
And buried the great earth, as autumn winds
Bury the forest-floor in heaps of leaves.

A beautiful race were they, with baby brows,
And fair, bright locks, and voices like the sound
Of steps on the crisp snow, in which they talked
With man, as friend with friend. A merry sight
It was, when, crowding round the traveler,

They smote him with their heaviest snow-flakes, flung
Needles of frost in handfuls at his cheeks,

And, of the light wreaths of his smoking breath,

Wove a white fringe for his brown beard, and laughed
Their slender laugh to see him wink and grin,

And make grim faces as he floundered on.

But, when spring came on, what terror reigned
Among these Little People of the Snow!

To them the sun's warm beams were shafts of fire,
And the soft south-wind was the wind of death.
Away they flew, all with a pretty scowl
Upon their childish faces, to the north,
Or scampered upward to the mountain's top,
And there defied their enemy, the Spring;
Skipping and dancing on the frozen peaks,
And molding little snow-balls in their palms,
And rolling them, to crush her flowers below,
Down the steep snow-fields.



A CHEERFUL little family had gathered round that winter fire. The kind, motherly aunt sat at one corner of the hearth, busy with her knitting. Near her was Willy, her nephew, more asleep than awake; and, just opposite, her husband had settled himself comfortably, with Alice at his side.

"Now, Uncle John,” said the little girl, “we wish to hear one of your best stories,—such as you tell us beside the fire, in the long evenings, and we all forget that our bed-hour has come and passed."

“What shall it be, little one? There is the story of Goody Cutpurse; or perhaps the old witch who ground two children in her mill would please you better?"

"Now, Uncle John, you know I am too old for such stories. Why, even Willy is above them, and he is two whole years younger than I am. No, no; they will not do; tell us something about those wonderful gnomes of the mine, or those elves that ride with jingling reins, or water-fairies, and before you have done Aunt Mary's knitting will be dropped, and Willy's eyes will shine in wondering surprise."

After bidding them give close attention, the kind uncle began: "Many, many years ago, and long before there was any appearance of the grand old oak that for many decades has shaded our home, there lived, on a mountain's side, a cottager with his wife and daughter. Near their cottage was a glen and the boldest of clear brooks. What a pleasant place in spring! then the lovely flowers bloomed, and the pleasant chatting of little wren made lively melody about; but autumn came,—all was changed: gay flowers no longer decked the banks of the dashing brook; for on the clear November nights, the wizard Frost supplanted them with others of rare whiteness, whose stems and leaves were beaded with purest pearls. Winter came silently on. Soon the little glen was filled with snow, which drifted from the high mountains on each side, forming a safe foot-path across the narrow valley; but far beneath all this snow and ice, the brook merrily wended its way over its pebbly bed, towards the vale."

Did you not say a mountain's side, Uncle John? Was it in our own Alleghanies, or in the celebrated Alps of Central Europe?"

"It was in neither, Alice; the great pastures of the Alps were then unknown to the herdsman, and human voice had never waked an echo in the forests that shadow the Alleghany's streams. I think this happened on the slopes of the Caucasus, or where the slender rivulets flow down Mount Ararat's side in search of the fair Armenian valleys. The mountain rose far above the snow line; its top was covered with snow and ice, even while the lower slopes and base were rich in summer fruits and flowers.

"Little Eva, now twelve years old, dwelt in that cottage with her parents. She was a bright, merry, restless child, flitting about from place to place, like sunshine on the ever-moving waves of ocean. I must say, however, that she was very thoughtless, and sometimes forgot what her mother had bid her, just as you do, Alice." “Willy, too, is sometimes thoughtless, Uncle John.”

"Yes, Alice: but you have yourself declared that Willy is two whole years younger than you, and, therefore, is not expected to be so thoughtful. Once every year, when the beautiful autumn days had faded into the cold gray of winter, a troop of childish forms came down from that bleak mountain-top. They came through the air with trailing garments; or, with loins girt round, they walked the bare earth, and cast abroad over the withered grass glistening spangles of silvery frost. At their touch the pool became a polished mirror. On the edges of the brook they built shining ramparts; across it, swung crystal bridges; or rising, they shook, from laps heaped high, the feathery snow-flakes, and buried, as do the leaves of autumn the ground below them, the old earth under a soft, white mantle of snow.

"These little people were of loveliest form and feature; abundant fair hair shaded their young brows, and their slender, childish voices could be heard talking in friendly tones with man. The sight of some lonely traveler was a signal for their merriest pranks. They would gather around him in great numbers, pelt him with their largest snow-flakes, prick his cheeks with frost-needles, and of his warm breath make a white fringe for his dark beard,—a curious combination of light and shade. Their delight grew wild to see the poor victim give signs of painful annoyance, and as they saw him stumble on, their baby voices rang out upon the icy air in happiest laughter, like the tinkling of silver bells.”

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