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Mr. Dickens himself, who laughed, and said quickly, "That is for you!" and my father looked up, surprised, pleased, touched, settled his spectacles, and nodded gravely to the little boys.

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ANNE THACKERAY RITCHIE. [From "Unwritten Memoirs," by A. T. Ritchie. Copyright, 1894, by Harper & Brothers.]


What flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land:
O tell us what its name may be,
Is this the flower of Liberty?

It is the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

In savage Nature's far abode

Its tender seed our fathers sowed;
The storm-winds rocked its swelling bud,

Its opening leaves were streaked with blood,
Till lo! earth's tyrants shook to see
The full-blown Flower of Liberty!
Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

Behold its streaming rays unite,
One mingling flood of braided light,
The red that fires the Southern rose,
With spotless white from Northern snows,

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And, spangled o'er its azure, see
The sister stars of Liberty!

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

The blades of heroes fence it round;
Where'er it springs is holy ground;
From tower and dome its glories spread;
It waves where lonely sentries tread;
It makes the land as ocean free,
And plants an empire on the sea!

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!

Thy sacred leaves, fair Freedom's flower,
Shall ever float on dome and tower,
To all their heavenly colors true,
In blackening frost or crimson dew, —
And God love us as we love thee,
Thrice holy Flower of Liberty!

Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty!















The Great Golden Eagle, the pride and the pest of the parish, stooped down, and flew away with something in his talons. One sudden female shriek — and then shouts and outcries, as if a church spire had tumbled down on a congregation, at a sacrament.

"Hannah Lamond's bairn! Hannah Lamond's bairn!" was the loud, fast-spreading cry. "The eagle's carried off Hannah Lamond's bairn!" and many hundred feet were in another instant hurrying toward the mountain. Two miles, of hill, and dale, and copse, and shingle, and many intersecting brooks, lay between; but, in an incredibly short time, the foot of the mountain was alive with people.

The eyrie was well known, and both old birds were visible on the rock-ledge. But who shall scale that dizzy cliff, which Mark Steuart, the sailor, who had been at the storming of many a fort, attempted in vain?

All kept gazing, weeping, wringing of hands in vain, rooted to the ground, or running back and forwards, like so many ants essaying their new wings in discomfiture.

"What's the use-what's the use- of any poor human means? We have no power but in prayer!" and many knelt down-fathers and mothers thinking of their own babies- as if they would force the deaf heavens to hear!

Hannah Lamond had all this while been sitting on a rock, with a face perfectly white, and eyes like those of a mad person, fixed on the eyrie. Nobody had noticed her, for, strong as all sympathies with her had been at the swoop of the eagle, they were now swallowed up in the agony of eyesight.

Only last Sabbath was my sweet wee bairn baptized!" and on uttering these words, she flew off through the brakes, and over the huge stones, up — up faster than ever huntsman ran in to the death · up · -fearless as a goat playing among the precipices.


No one doubted, no one could doubt, that she would soon be dashed to pieces. No stop, no stay,—she knew not that she drew her breath. Beneath her feet Providence fastened every loose stone, and to her hands strengthened every root. How was she ever to descend? That fear, then, but once crossed her heart, as up, up, up to the little of her own flesh and blood.

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"The God who holds me now from perishing will not the same God save me, when my child is on my bosom?"

Down came the fierce rushing of the eagle's wings,


each savage bird dashing close to her head, so that she saw the yellow of their wrathful eyes. All at once they quailed, and were cowed. Yelling, they flew off to the stump of an ash jutting out of the cliff, a thousand feet above the cataract; and the Christian mother, falling across the eyrie, in the midst of bones and blood, clasping her child, dead — dead — dead — no doubt, but unmangled and untorn, and swaddled up just as it was when she laid it down asleep among the fresh hay in a nook of the harvest field.

Oh, what a pang of perfect blessedness transfixed her heart from that faint, feeble cry: "It lives — it lives it lives!" and baring her bosom, with loud laughter, and eyes as dry as stones, she felt the lips of the unconscious innocent once more murmuring at the fount of life and love!

Cliffs, chasms, blocks of stone, and the skeletons of old trees, far, far down; and, dwindled into specks, a thousand creatures of her own kind, stationary, or running to and fro! Was that the sound of the waterfall, or the faint roar of voices? Is that her native strath? and that tuft of trees, does it contain the hut in which stands the cradle of her child? Nevermore shall it be rocked by her foot! Here she must die! And those horrid beaks and eyes and talons and wings will return; and her child will be devoured at last, even within the dead bosom that can protect it no longer.

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