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and Volumnia carried with her the two sons of Coriolanus.

These having come, it was told the man that a great company of women was arrived. At the first, indeed, he was not minded to yield to their tears what he had steadily refused to the ambassadors. But afterward, a certain one of his friends, seeing Veturia stand together with her daughter-inlaw and grandsons, said, “ Unless my eyes deceive me, thy mother and wife and children are here."

Coriolanus, being greatly troubled, leapt from his seat and would have embraced his mother. But she, turning from supplication to anger, cried : “I fain would know, before I receive thy embrace, whether I see a son or an enemy before me; whether I am thy mother or a prisoner. Has long life been given me for this, that I should see thee first an exile and afterward an enemy? Couldst thou bear to lay waste the land which gave thee birth and nurture ?

“Didst thou not think to thyself, seeing Rome, • Within those walls are my home, my mother, my wife, my children?' As for me, I cannot suffer more than I have already endured; nor doth there yet remain to me a long space of life or of misery. But consider these thy children. If thou art steadfast to work thy will, they must either die before their time or grow old in bondage.”

When she had ended these words, his wife and his children embraced him; and at the same time the whole company of women set up a great wailing. Thus was the purpose of Coriolanus changed, and, breaking up his camp, he led his army away.

[Version by Alfred J. Church.] Titus Livius (Live).

CHRISTMAS.

Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and color with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow.

Snow lay on the croft and river bank in undulations softer than the limbs of infancy; it lay with the neatliest finished border on every sloping roof, making the dark red gables stand out with a new depth of color; it weighed heavily on the laurels and fir trees, till it fell from them with a shuddering sound; it clothed the rough turnip field with whiteness, and made the sheep look like dårk blotches ; the gates were all blocked up with the sloping drifts, and here and there a disregarded four-footed beast stood as if petrified “in . unrecumbent sadness ; there was no gleam, no shadow, for the heavens, too, were one still, pale cloud ; no sound or motion in anything but the dark river that flowed and moaned like an unresting sorrow.

But old Christmas smiled as he laid this cruelseeming spell on the outdoor world, for he meant to

light up home with a new brightness, to deepen all the richness of indoor color, and give a keener delight to the warm fragrance of food; he meant to prepare a sweet imprisonment that would strengthen the primitive fellowship of kindred, and make the sunshine of familiar human faces as welcome as the hidden day-star.

His kindness fell but hardly on the homeless fell but hardly on the homes where the hearth was not very warm, and where the food had little fragrance; where the human faces had no sunshine in them, but rather the leaden, blank-eyed gaze of unexpectant want.

But the fine old season meant well; and if he has not learned the secret how to bless men impartially, it is because his father Time, with ever unrelenting purpose, still hides that secret in his own mighty, slow-beating heart.

“GEORGE ELIOT."

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow :

The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

TENNYSON.

TO A SKYLARK.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY was born at Field Place, near Horsham, England, Aug. 4, 1792. He was slight of figure, of fair and ruddy complexion, with bright blue eyes and rich brown, curling hair. At school he was sensitive and shy, but “noble, high-spirited, and generous." He studied at Eton Academy, and before leaving that school he had published a romance. He graduated at Oxford University in April, 1810. While at that institution he published many poems. The chief of his longer poetical writings are “ Queen Mab," “ The Revolt of Is

lam,” “ Prometheus Unbound," and “ The Cenci.” Many of his shorter poems are exceedingly beautiful.

He was drowned by the capsizing of his boat in the Mediterranean Sea, near Italy, in July, 1822.

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Hail to thee, blithe spirit !

Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,

Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher

From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire ;

The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,

O’er which clouds are brightening,

Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even

Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven

In the broad daylight,
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence rains a shower of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

.

Like a glowworm golden

In a dell of dew, Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the

view.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain?
What fields, or waves, or mountains ?

What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain ?

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