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comb."

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had heard the words of the keeper, they slapped their faces, and seized her with their hands, saying to her, We gave thee not permission save to give the

She replied, “He did not mention to me a comb." And they seized her and took her up to the judge, and when they had presented themselves before him, they stated to him the case; whereupon he bound the keeper to restore the purse, and bound a number of her debtors to be answerable for her.

So she went forth perplexed, not knowing her way; and there met her a boy, whose age was five years ; and when the boy saw her so perplexed, he said to her, “ What is the matter, O my mother?” But she returned him not an answer, despising him on account of the smallness of his age. And he repeated his question to her a first, a second, and a third time. So at length she told him what had happened to her. And the boy said to her, “Give me a piece of silver that I may buy some sweetmeats with it, and I will tell thee something by which thy discharge may be got." The keeper therefore gave him a piece of silver, asking him, “What hast thou to say

And the boy answered her, “ Return to the judge, and say to him, it was agreed between me and them that I should not give them the purse save in the presence of all the four.” So the keeper returned to the judge, and said to him as the boy had told her; upon which the judge said to the three men,

“Was it thus agreed between you and her ?” They answered, “Yes."

. And the judge said to them, “Bring to me your companion and take the purse.' Thus the keeper went forth free, no injury befalling her, and she went her way.

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6

THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN.

hundred guilder impatient commentary drowning scratehed bewilders consternation shrieking strangest exclamation wondrous squeaking guessing astonished psaltery corporation creatures wrinkled drysaltery racking straying manuscript luncheon

When begins my ditty,

Almost five hundred years ago,

To see the townsfolk suffer so
From vermin, was a pity.

Rats !
They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,

And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,

And licked the soup from the cook’s own ladles; Split open the kegs of salted sprats, Made nests inside men's Sunday hats And even spoiled the women's chats, By drowning their speaking With shrieking and squeaking In fifty different sharps and flats. At last the people in a body

To the town hall came flocking.
es 'Tis clear,” cried they, “our mayor's a noddy;
6. ”

And as for our corporation-shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can't or won't determine
What's best to rid us of our vermin!
You hope, because you'r old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease!

Rouse up,

my ermine

gown sell;

sirs ! Give

your

brains a racking
To find the remedy we're lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing."
At this the mayor and corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.
An hour they sat in council.

At length the mayor broke silence : “For a guilder I'd

I wish I were a mile hence! It's easy

to bid one rack one's brainI'm sure my poor head aches again I've scratched it so, and all in vain. Oh, for a trap, a trap, a trap!”, Just as he said this, what should hap At the chamber door but a gentle tap. “ Come in !” the mayor cried, looking bigger; And in did come the strangest figure. His queer long coat from heel to head Was half of yellow and half of red; And he himself was tall and thin, With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin, And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin; No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin, But lips where smiles went out and in. There was no guessing his kith and kin; And nobody could enough admire The tall man and his quaint attire. He advanced to the council table : And, “ Please your honours,” said he, “ I'm able,

By means of a secret charm, to draw All creatures living beneath the sunThat creep, or swim, or fly, or run,

After me as you never saw ! And I chiefly use my charm

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On creatures that do people harm-
The mole, and toad, and newt, and viper;
And people call me the pied piper.”
And here they noticed round his neck

A scarf of red and yellow stripe
To match his coat of the self-same check,

And at the scarf's end hang a pipe;
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
As if impatient to be playing
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled
Over his vesture so old-fangled.
“Yet,” said he, “poor piper as I am,
In Tartary I freed the Cham,

I
Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats ;
I eased in Asia the Nizam
Of a monstrous brood of vampyre

bats : And, as for what your brain bewilders, If I can rid your town of rats Will you give me a thousand guilders ? " “One ? fifty thousand !” was the exclamation Of the astonished mayor and corporation.

Into the street the piper stept, Smiling first a little smile,

As if he knew what magic slept In his quiet pipe the while;

Then, like a musical adept, To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled, And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled Like a candle flame where salt is sprinkled ; And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered, You heard as if an army muttered ; And the muttering grew to a mighty rumbling, And out of the houses the rats came tumbling : Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats, Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,

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Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,

Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,

Families by tens and dozens-
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives,
Followed the piper for their lives.
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step for step they followed dancing,
Until they came to the river Weser,

Wherein they plunged and perished,
Save one, who, stout as Julius Cæsar,
Swam across and lived to carry

(As he the manuscript he cherished) To rat-land home his commentary, Which was- At the first shrill notes of the pipe I heard a sound as of scraping tripe, And putting apples, wondrous ripe, Into a cider-press's gripe; And a moving away of pickle-tub boards, And a leaving ajar of conserve cupboards, And a drawing the corks of train oil flasks, And a breaking the hoops of butter casks; And it seemed as if a voice

(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery Is breathed) called out, oh rats, rejoice!

The world is grown to one vast drysaltery ! To munch on, crunch on,

take

your nuncheon,
Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon !
And just as a bulky sugar puncheon,
All ready staved, like a great sun shone
Glorious scarce an inch before me,
Just as methought it said, come, bore me!
I found the Weser rolling o'er me.”

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You should have heard the Hamelin people

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