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We'll remember at Aix" for one heard the quick

wheeze

Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering knees,

And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,

As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

So we were left galloping, Joris and I,

Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,

'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff, Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white, And "Gallop," gasped Joris, " for Aix is in sight!"

"How they'll greet us!"—and all in a moment his roan
Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And with circles of red for his eye sockets' rim.

Then I cast loose my buff coat, each holster let fall,
Shook off both my jack boots, let go belt and all,
Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
Called my Roland his pet name, my horse without peer;
Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or

good,

Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

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And all I remember is, friends flocking round As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground; And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine, As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine, 5 Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)

Was no more than his due who brought good news from

Ghent.

ROBERT BROWNING.

pos'tern, gate; pique, point of the saddle; as kance', sideways; spume flakes, foam-flakes; bur'ges ses, citizens.

1. Find Ghent and Aix-la-Chapelle on your maps. 2. Who is supposed to be speaking in the poem? 3. Who is the real hero of this poem? Why do you think so? How can you tell that Roland's master loved him? 4. Which stanza draws the clearest picture? 5. Look at the first stanza, and notice the time of starting. Follow through the poem, and find how long it took to reach Aix. 6. Read the first stanza aloud two or three times. Of what sound does the swing of the lines remind you?

Oral Composition. - Tell a story illustrating the intelligence of some horse that you have known, or about which you have heard. After the stories have all been told, write out the one that you most enjoyed hearing. See if you can make your story as interesting as the oral account.

Written Composition.

Word Study: Synonyms.

[blocks in formation]

1. Arrange the synonyms in pairs.

2. Write a third word, meaning about the same, in as many cases as you can.

3. Substitute one of your synonyms in the poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, for each word of the first column. See whether it expresses the poet's meaning as well as the word he has used.

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THE STORY OF THE FISHERMAN

[SUCH stories as those you have been reading grew up only when a nation was young and saw wonders in all the world about it. The Arabs too had their marvelous tales, but these had less to do with heroes than with magicians and enchantments and powerful spirits over which man might gain power. The famous book of Arabian stories is The Thousand and One Nights, which we sometimes call The Arabian Nights. The tale ran that a king, being afraid of the power a wife might gain over him, was accustomed each day to marry a wife, and on the morrow to put her to death. But one woman, Shahrazad, was clever enough to outwit him. At night she fell to weeping, and the king said, "Why dost thou weep?" "0 great king," answered she, "I have a young sister and I desire to see her, that I may take leave of her before I die." So the king sent for the sister, and when she came to the room of the king and his wife, the maiden said, "O my sister, if thou be not asleep, tell us one of thy pleasant stories, to pass the weary hours of the night, and I will take leave of thee in the morning."

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"With all my heart," answered Shahrazad, "if the good king gives his permission." And the king, being wakeful, was pleased to hear a story, and said, "Tell on." And Shahrazad said: "Hear, then, O great king,]

"The Story of the Fisherman

"THERE was a certain fisherman, advanced in age, who had a wife and three children; and though he was poor,

it was his custom to cast his net, every day, no more than four times. One day he went forth at the hour of noon to the shore of the sea, and put down his basket, and cast his net, and waited until it was motionless in the 5 water, when he drew together its strings, and found it to be heavy. He pulled, but could not draw it up, so he took the end of the cord, and drove a stake into the shore, and tied the cord to it. He then stripped himself and dived round the net, and continued to pull until he 10 drew it out. Thereupon he rejoiced, and put on his clothes; but when he came to examine the net, he found in it the carcass of an ass. At the sight of this he mourned, and exclaimed, 'This is a strange piece of fortune!'

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"He then freed his net of the dead ass, and wrung it out; after which he spread it, and descended into the sea, and cast it again, and waited till it had sunk and was still, when he pulled it, and found it more heavy and difficult to raise than on the former occasion. He there20 fore concluded that it was full of fish; so he tied it, and stripped, and plunged, and dived, and pulled until he raised it, and drew it up upon the shore; when he found in it only a large jar, full of sand and mud. On seeing this, he was troubled in his heart. But he threw aside 25 the jar, and wrung out and cleansed his net; and, begging the forgiveness of Allah for his impatience, returned to the sea for the third time, and threw the net, and

waited till it had sunk and was motionless. He then drew it out, and found in it a quantity of broken jars and pots.

"Upon this, he raised his head towards heaven, and said, 'O Allah, thou knowest that I cast not my net 5 more than four times; and I have now cast it three times!' Then he cast the net again into the sea, and waited until it was still, when he attempted to draw it up, but could not, for it clung to the bottom. And he stripped himself again, and dived round the net, and 10 pulled it until he raised it upon the shore. Then he opened it, and found in it a bottle of brass, filled with something, and having its mouth closed with a stopper of lead, bearing the impression of the seal of Solomon.

"At the sight of this the fisherman was rejoiced, and 15 said, 'This I will sell in the copper market; for it is worth ten pieces of gold.' He then shook it, and found it to be heavy, and said, 'I must open it, and see what is in it, and store it in my bag; and then I will sell the bottle in the copper market.' So he took out a knife, 20 and picked at the lead until he had extracted it from the bottle. He then laid the bottle on the ground, and shook it, that its contents might pour out; but there came forth from it nothing but smoke, which ascended towards the sky, and spread over the face of the earth; at which he 25 wondered exceedingly. And after a little while, the smoke collected together, and became an Afreet, whose

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