Dink raised his head in surprise, scarcely crediting what he had heard. The Woodhull team were furiously disputing the decision, encouraged by audible comments from the spectators. Slugger Jones, surrounded by a contesting, vociferous mass, suddenly swept them aside and began to take the vote of the officials.

“Kiefer, what do you say?”
Cap Kiefer, referee, shook his head.

“I'm sorry, Slugger, it was close, very close, but it did seem a goal to me."

"Tug, what do you say?"

Goal, sure," said Tug Wilson, linesman for the Woodhull. At this, jeers and hoots broke out from the Kennedy.

“Of course he'll say that!”
“He's from the Woodhull.”
“What do you think?”

“Hold up, hold up, now,' ” said Slugger Jones, more excited than any one else. “Don't get excited; it's up to your own man. Dink, was it a goal or no goal ?”

Stover suddenly found himself in a whirling, angry mass-the decision of the game in his own hands. He saw the faces of Tough McCarty and the Coffee-Colored Angel in the blank crowd about him and he saw the sneer on their faces as they waited for his answer. Then he saw the faces of his own team-mates and knew what they, in their frenzy, expected from him. He hesitated.

Goal or no goal?” cried the umpire, for the second time.

Then suddenly, face to face with the hostile mass, the fighting blood came to Dink. Something cold went up his back. He looked once more above the riot, to the shadowy posts, trying to forget Tough McCarty, and then, with a snap to his jaws, he answered: Goal."

-From "The Varmint."


Questions for Study

1. What do you especially like about Stover? What do you think of his reasons for wanting to beat the Woodhull? Why was his temptation so unusually hard? What do you think the Kennedy boys said and did afterward?

2. Judging merely from this sketch, what do you expect Stover to do in the Andover game? After expressing your own guess, you will enjoy reading the next chapters of “The Var


3. What differences do you see between the American school life and that of the English school of a hundred years ago, as shown in “Tom Brown at Rubgy?



The quality of mercy is not strain'd.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.;
But mercy is above the sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

-From "The Merchant of Venice."

Questions for Study

1. In what sense has the one who gives mercy the greater blessing? Why is mercy greater than kingly power? Is it equally beautiful in the lowly and in the mighty!

2. What sentence in the Lord's Prayer is suggested by the last lines? Is it wise that we should demand only justice for ourselves but temper our own justice with mercy ?

3. Why do you think this is one of the most widely known and quoted passages in literature ?



A stranger came one night to Yussouf's tent,
Saying, “Behold one outcast and in dread,
Against whose life the bow of power is bent,
Who flies, and hath not where to lay his head;
I come to thee for shelter and for food,
To Yussouf, called through all our tribes “The Good.'"

“This tent is mine," said Yussouf, “but no more
Than it is God's; come in, and be at peace;
Freely shalt thou partake of all my store
As I of His who buildeth over these
Our tents His glorious roof of night and day,
And at whose door none ever yet heard ‘Nay.'

So Yussouf entertained his guest that night,
And, waking him ere day, said: “Here is gold;
My swiftest horse is saddled for thy flight;
Depart before the prying day grow bold.”
As one lamp lights another, nor grows less,
So nobleness enkindleth nobleness.

That inward light the stranger's face made grand,
Which shines from all self-conquest; kneeling low,
He bowed his forehead upon Yussouf's hand,
Sobbing: “O Sheik, I cannot leave thee so;
I will repay thee; all this thou hast done
Unto that Ibrahim who slew thy son!

“Take thrice the gold,” said Yussouf, “for with thee
Into the desert, never to return,
My one black thought shall ride away from me;
First-born, for whom by day and night I yearn,
Balanced and just are all of God's decrees;
Thou art avenged, my first-born, sleep in peace!”


Sheik (shēk): a title of respect among the Arabs.

Questions for Study

1. Why is it that most people have an impulse to shelter and protect the fugitive? Is the impulse praiseworthy?

2. What about Yussouf's hospitality makes you especially think he deserves to be called “The Good”? Could you have refrained, as he did, from inquiry?

3. Give instances to show that "nobleness enkindleth nobleness” and that “self-conquest” glorifies.

4. Explain why Yussouf's “one black thought” was lost and how the son was avenged.

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