“Yes, that’s right; and did you hear the others I was saying, and did you guess them?”
“Possibly, possibly, my son,” replied the good man. “I am much mistaken if the first is not ‘Milky-way,’ and the second, ‘Plato.’”
“Both right!” cried Rolf, highly delighted. “It is the greatest fun to make riddles and have them guessed so quickly. I have another, and another, and one more. May I give you another, Mr. Ehrenreich?”
“Certainly, my dear boy, why not? out with them, all three, and we will try to guess them all.”
Rolf was enchanted, and set about recalling them. “I will take the shortest first,” he said:
“My first implies strength
In all things my second finds place;
My whole was the scourge of the race.”
“Have you guessed that?”
“Very likely, very likely, my son; now the next:”
“Take all that the senses
Add the sign of the beast for the rest,
And my glorious whole stands confessed.”
“And now another,” said Uncle Titus, nodding.
“And now I have a very long one, and rather harder,” said the lad:
through all the nations ran,
When he, my whole, the grand old man,
Spoke words that e’en my second turn
My first, with hopes that glow and burn.
But now are hearts to anger spurred;
Nations are sick with hope deferred,
Alas! small chance for Ireland we know!
My first my second at my whole we throw.”
Rolf stopped, quite excited with the declamation of his favorite charade.
“Now we will begin to guess, my son,” said Uncle Titus, with a pleased expression: “First, Bonaparte. Second, Matterhorn. Third, Gladstone.”
“Every one right!” cried Rolf, exultantly. “This is splendid! I have always wanted to do this with my riddles; that is, find some one who could guess them all. Before this, I’ve always had a heap of unguessed riddles. Now they are all guessed, and I can begin again with a new set!” Rolf was full of satisfaction.
“I will make you a proposal, my son,” said Uncle Titus, as he rose from his seat, and prepared to return to the cottage; “Come to me here every evening, and bring me the fresh set. Who knows but that I may have a few to give you in return?”
By this time it was rather too late for the study of the stars, and that had to be postponed; so Dora and Rolf returned to the rest of the family; Rolf quite overjoyed with the pleasant interview he had had, and with the prospect of its repetition; while on his side Uncle Titus wended his way to the cottage, filled with quiet satisfaction at the thought of his new friend; for he had always wanted a son, a twelve year old son, who should have left behind the noise and follies of childhood, and have become old enough to be an intelligent and agreeable companion. Now Rolf fulfilled these conditions; and moreover displayed a decided predilection for Uncle Titus, who began to feel a most paternal interest spring up in his heart towards the lad. So gladly did he feel it, that as he strode through the garden, in the light of the shining, starry host, he broke out with,