Imágenes de páginas

It really chafes me, and will cause unnecessary inconvenience in so many centuries as I am to stand here."

“That's no more than fair, and I'll do it !” quoth the giant; for he had no unkind feelings towards Hercules. “For just five minutes, then, I'll take back the sky. 5 Only for five minutes, recollect! I have no idea of spending another thousand years as I spent the last. Variety is the spice of life, say I.”

Ah, the thick-witted old rogue of a giant! He threw down the golden apples, and received back the sky, from 10 the head and shoulders of Hercules, upon his own,

where it rightly belonged. And Hercules picked up the three golden apples, and straightway set out on his journey homeward, without paying the slightest heed to the thundering tones of the giant, who bellowed after him 15 to come back. Another forest sprang up around his feet, and grew ancient there; and again might be seen oak trees, six or seven centuries old, that had grown betwixt his enormous toes.

And there stands the giant, to this day; or, at any 20 rate, there stands a mountain as tall as he, which bears his name; and when the thunder rumbles about its summit, we may imagine it to be the voice of Giant Atlas, bellowing after Hercules !



Among the most famous of Greek stories are those about the mighty hero Hercules. He was supposed to be the son of Zeus (Jupiter) and after accomplishing twelve labors or tasks, was made immortal and came to be worshiped as the god of strength and courage. He is usually represented as broad-shouldered and muscular, clad only in the skin of the Nemean lion and armed with a huge club. Among his twelve labors were the killing of the Nemean lion, the bringing to the upper world of the dog Cerberus who guarded the lower world of Hades, and obtaining the golden apples of Hesperides. This last feat is retold by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the Wonder Book.

An account of the life of Hawthorne is given in the FIFTH READER (p. 75). His Grandfather's Chair, Wonder Book, and Tanglewood Tales are written especially for boys and girls. Of his novels the House of the Seven Gables is perhaps the one to read first.

I. 1. What were the golden apples? 2. How were they guarded? 3. Describe the appearance of Hercules. 4. Whom did he meet? 5. What advice did they first give him? 6. What story did Hercules tell the maidens ? 7. How did they treat Hercules ? 8. What did they tell him about the « Old One"? 9. What do you know about Hercules ? 10. What do you remember of him in another famous expedition ? (See “Jason and the Golden Fleece," FIFTH READER, p. 301.) 11. Of what other famous dragon have you read?

II. 1. Where did Hercules find the “ Old Man of the Sea ” ? 2. What different shapes did he take? 3. Have you ever heard other stories of the Old Man of the Sea ? (Arabian Nights. See FOURTH READER.) 4. What did the Old Man tell Hercules about the Gardens of the Hesperides? about a giant ? 5. Trace the journey of Hercules. 6. Describe the vessel in which he set sail. 7. Whom did he see on the island ? 8. Describe the giant. 9. Tell of any other giants that you have read about.

III. 1. What was the name of the giant ? 2. What was his work? Find the Atlas Mountains on the map. 3. What connection do you see between the mountains and the giant ? 4. How do you suppose that the story of the giant holding up the sky got started ? 5. Tell how Hercules came to take up the burden of Atlas. 6. What explanation does the story offer for shooting stars? 7. What proverb did the giant quote? 8. Who had the most “spice of life,” Hercules or Atlas ?

For Study with the Glossary. I. Hesperides, inquiry, pastime, remonstrances, stripling, quest, ponderous, chanting, illustrious. II. inspection, assuming, transformation, crest, lustrous, burnished, visage, disconsolate. III. quoth, exploit, prodigious, subsided, posterity. Zeus (zūs) Nemean (ne-mē'an) Cerberus (sēr' be-rus) Hercules (hēr'cū-lēs)

Hades (hā' dēz)

At the end of this Reader is a GLOSSARY, or small dictionary of all the difficult words used in the book, with their definition and pronunciation. After each selection there is a list of the more difficult words and phrases.

For Study with the Glossary. You should look up all words which you do not understand in the GLOSSARY, or in a Dictionary. A table of the marks used to show the pronunciation of words is given with the GLOSSARY.



What do we mean by civilization? It is the progress made by men from savagery. If you could name all the differences between a man like James Russell Lowell or Thomas Bailey Aldrich and a savage in 5 Africa or Australia you would have a list of many things which go to make civilization. Another measure may be had by looking back over the many years which our race has taken to attain all that we now

enjoy. It is at least three thousand years since man 10 began to be civilized.

One of the first places in the world to become highly civilized was Greece. In this little country men early excelled in the use of tools and weapons, and built

cities and sailed ships and established themselves in 15 comfort and freedom with just laws. There civiliza

tion flourished; men grew wise and skillful and humane, and learned to do many things as well or better than they have ever been done since. The Greeks did not

know the uses of steam and electricity, and their 20 science was in most respects less than ours.

But they built buildings, carved statues, and wrote poems and plays that the world has ever since admired.

The results of Greek civilization in art, philosophy, oratory, government, and literature served, indeed, as


a guide and model for other peoples. For many centuries men have been going to their writings and their buildings in order to learn how to become more civilized. In literature there is no better way to-day to get high standards than by studying what was written 5 by these men thousands of years ago.

In reading about the Greeks, however, we must remember that their civilization was different from ours. They called all other peoples than themselves barbarians, and the rest of the world was in fact much 10 less civilized than they. But the Greeks themselves had many ideas and did many things which seem strange and even childish to us. . They believed the world was full of spirits, some good, some evil, some of lesser powers and some able to control the actions 15 of men.

So the forces of earth, ocean, sun and moon became for them powerful gods to whom men offered prayer and sacrifice. Man was alone in the little world of his knowledge, and he was surrounded by all these imagined and unknown persons.

The religion of all primitive peoples abounds in stories about these mysterious gods of the unknown world. But the myths about the Greek gods and the legends about their heroes are more imaginative and better told and therefore more interesting than those 25 of any other people. And these myths and legends have also a moral for those of us of this later day who


« AnteriorContinuar »