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4. This causeway was a pathway over the rocks and sands, which could only be passed when the tide was low. He had told Mary not to be afraid, for he would return before it was dark, and before the tide flowed over the path to the shore.
5. But there were some rough-looking men behind a rock, who were watching Mary's father and seemed glad as they saw him go to the mainland. These men were wreckers. They waited about the coast, and if a ship was driven by a storm on the rocks, they rushed down—not to help the poor sailors—but to rob them, and plunder their vessel.
6. These wicked men knew that there was only a little girl left in the lighthouse, and they formed a plan for detaining her father all night. Some ships, filled with rich goods, were expected to pass before the morning, and they thought that, should the lamps in the lighthouse not be lit, these vessels would run upon the rocks and be wrecked; and then the goods would be their spoil.
7. Mary's father had filled his basket with bread and other things, and had prepared to return, for it would soon be time to light the lamps. As he drew nigh to the road leading to the causeway the wreckers rushed from their hiding-place and threw him on the ground.
8. They quickly bound his hands and feet with ropes and carried him into a shed, there to lie till morning. It was in vain that he cried to them to be set free; they only mocked his distress. They then left him in charge of two men while they ran back to the shore.
9. Mary looked from a narrow window in the lighthouse, thinking it was time for her father to come back. The clock in the room had just struck six, and she knew that the waters would soon rise up to the causeway. She waited and waited for him to return. It began to grow dark and a storm was coming on, but she could not see him. She then thought of how the lamps were to be lit. She was but a little girl, and the lamps were far above her reach. She resolved, however, to try to light them.
10. First she got a few matches and made a light. The next thing was to carry a set of steps to the spot, and attempt to reach the lamps. But after much labour, she found they were still above her head. A small table was next brought, and Mary put the steps upon it, and mounted to the top with hope and joy, for now she was almost sure she could reach the lamps.
11. But no; though she stood on tiptoe they were even yet a little higher than she could reach. Poor Mary was about to sit down and weep, when she thought of a large book out of which her father used to read. In a minute it was brought and placed under the steps, which raised them just high enough for her to light the wicks, and the rays of the lamp shone brightly far over the dark waters all that stormy night.
12. When the morning came the wreckers had let the father loose from the shed. The water was again down from the causeway. He soon had the pleasure of meeting his brave little Mary, and hearing her relate the trials and difficulties she had to pass through while alone during that stormy night in the lighthouse. pathway, narrow road. resolved, determined. coast, sea shore.
attempt, make an effort. mocked, made fun of.
relate, tell. distress, sorrow.
trials, troubles. light-house dis-tress wreck-er wait-ed lan-tern daugh-ter ex-pect-ed pleas-ure build-ing cause-way
quick-ly dif-fi-cul-ties What is a lighthouse? What is the upper part of a lighthouse called? Where was the lighthouse mentioned in this story? What is a "causeway?" How was it that Mary was left alone in the lighthouse? What kind of men were looking out for her father? What did they do with the father? Why did they treat him in that manner? What did Mary resolve to do? Describe her first attempt. How did she at last succeed? Describe the meeting of Mary and her father.
STORY OF A VIOLET.
A FABLE. - PART I.
1. The grassy dingle near the old ivy-grown farmhouse was a pretty spot. The trees spread their branches wide overhead, the wild rose and woodbine climbed amongst the hazel bushes, and threw
their long sweeping garlands across the silver tinkling brook that flowed beneath over the smooth pebbles.
2. There, during the spring and summer, grew the sweetest and loveliest wild flowers;—primroses, bluebells, wood-anemones, pink-campion, and the gleaming starwort in spring; meadow-sweet, foxgloves, and many others in summer. But down in a mossy hollow, sheltered from the cutting wind, grew and flowered earlier than anywhere else, the sweetest and most beautiful purple and white violets. Large clusters lifted up their modest heads to greet the cheering rays of the still wintry sun as they shone through the branches overhead.
3. But while the flowers strove to meet the friendly warmth, one among them shrunk under the shelter of her green leaves, fearing to be seen. She was smaller than the rest of her sisters, and her petals, instead of being dazzling white like theirs, were tinged with purple at the tips.
4. “Alas!” she said to herself, sighing under the green shelter, “what a poor ugly thing I am; of what use am I in the world? What pleasure can I ever give? Nobody will ever care to look at me.
Just then a robin flew down to drink at the brook close to the nook where the flowers grew. “Ah!” said he, putting his head on one side and giving it a shake, “what a sweet scent there is here! I wonder what it is!”
5. He gave two hops, then, seeing the flowers, he cried, fluttering his wings, “Oh! it is my old friends the violets. Welcome back again! You quite revive one's heart, for one is always sure when you appear, that spring is come again.”
So saying, he gave several little nods, futtered his wings, and flew away.
6. “Ah! well,” said the little violet, “perhaps all people do not care for beauty. The robin likes us for our perfume, and he did not seem to care for our looks; now I can give out as sweet a scent as any