St. George and St. Michael Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 175 pages of information about St. George and St. Michael Volume II.
sorrow.’  And the man is one of those over whom death has no power; whom time nor space can part from those he loves; who lives in the future more than in the past!  Has not his being ever been for the sake of that which was yet to come?  Is not his being now for the sake of that which it shall be?  Has he not infinitely more to do with the great future than the little past?  The Past has descended into hell, is even now ascending glorified, and will, in returning cycle, ever and again greet our faith as the more and yet more radiant Future.

But even lord Herbert had his moments of sad longing after his dainty Molly.  Such moments, however, came to him, not when he was at home with his wife, but when he rode alone by his troops on a night march, or when, upon the eve of an expected battle, he sought sleep that he might fight the better on the morrow.

CHAPTER XXIV.

The great Mogul.

One evening, Tom Fool, and a groom, his particular friend, were taking their pastime after a somewhat selfish fashion, by no means newly discovered in the castle—­that of teasing the wild beasts.  There was one in particular, a panther, which, in a special dislike to grimaces, had discovered a special capacity for being teased.  Betwixt two of the bars of his cage, therefore, Tom was busy presenting him with one hideous puritanical face after another, in full expectation of a satisfactory outburst of feline rancour.  But to their disappointment, the panther on this occasion seemed to have resolved upon a dignified resistance to temptation, and had withdrawn in sultry displeasure to the back of his cage, where he lay sideways, deigning to turn neither his back nor his face towards the inferior animal, at whom to cast but one glance, he knew, would be to ruin his grand Oriental sulks, and fly at the hideous ape-visage insulting him in his prison.  It was tiresome of the brute.  Tom Fool grew more daring and threw little stones at him, but the panther seemed only to grow the more imperturbable, and to heed his missiles as little as his grimaces.

At length, proceeding from bad to worse, as is always the way with fools, born or made, Tom betook himself to stronger measures.

The cages of the wild beasts were in the basement of the kitchen tower, with a little semicircular yard of their own before them.  They were solid stone vaults, with open fronts grated with huge iron bars—­our ancestors, whatever were their faults, did not err in the direction of flimsiness.  Between two of these bars, then, Tom, having procured a long pole, proceeded to poke at the beast; but he soon found that the pole thickened too rapidly towards the end he held, to pass through the bars far enough to reach him.  Thereupon, in utter fool-hardiness, backed by the groom, he undid the door a little way, and, his companion undertaking to prevent it from opening too far, pushed in the pole till it went right in the

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St. George and St. Michael Volume II from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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