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OTHING is more distressing than to see the childish
fears that haunt even big boys and girls. Many of them dare not go upstairs in the dark without a candle ; and as for going through the churchyard alone after dark, they cannot think of such a thing without horror. What danger it is they expect to
meet, either in the dark room or the churchyard, they are unable to tell you. If 'reasoned with, they must acknowledge that there is no danger at all. But this is one of the things that reason is unable to cure ; it must be cured, if it is cured at all, by the fear of God.
Those who live in the fear of God can shake off these wretched weaknesses if they like. As a rule, women are far more subject to them than men. By making one successful attempt, and repeating it at frequent intervals, by-and-bye the weakness will be overcome. Many people suffer all their lives from the way in which idle fears are implanted in their minds by their nurses at their childhood.
No. 16.-MARCH, 1873.
Idleness is a great friend to this kind of fear. The active, industrious boy does not fear the dark, and is possibly brave enough to walk by himself through the churchyard ; but the lazy boy is always timid. He often excuses himself from doing something or other on the ground of his being afraid.
Crime is another great cause of fear. When a man does wrong he knows he deserves punishment; and he is continually afraid lest that punishment may be coming. The first thing the devils asked Christ was if He were come to destroy them. Let us remember, then, that it is only by acquiring the one great fear of God that we shall be able to conquer all these little fears ; that it is only by continuing in the path of duty that we can keep a conscience that will not perpetually frighten us by reminding us of our wicked deeds.
Gulliver in Browdingnag.
child of towardly parts for her age, very dexterous
the drawer placed upon a hanging shelf for fear of the rats. This was my bed all the time I stayed with those people. This young girl made me seven shirts, and some other linen, of as fine cloth as could be got, which, indeed, was coarser than sackcloth. She was my schoolmistress, to teach me the language. When I pointed to anything, she told me the name of it in her own tongue, so that, in a few days, I was able to call for whatever I had a mind to. She was very good-natured, and not above forty feet high, being little of her age. She gave me the name of “Gildrig,” which the family took up, and afterwards the whole kingdom. The word in English means “ Manikin.” To her I chiefly owe my preservation in that
country. We never parted while I was there. I called her my “ Glumdalclich,” or little nurse ; and should be guilty of great ingratitude if I omitted this honourable mention of her care and affection towards me, which I heartily wish it lay in my power to requite as she deserves.
It now began to be known and talked of in the neighbourhood that my master had found a strange animal in the field, about the bigness of a splacnuck, but exactly shaped like a human creature, which it likewise imitated in all its actions, seemed to speak in a little language of its own, had already learned several words of theirs, went erect upon two legs, was tame and gentle, would come when it was called, do whatever it was bid, had the finest limbs in the world, and had a complexion fairer than a nobleman's daughter of three years old. Another farmer, who lived hard by, and was a particular friend of my master, came on a visit on purpose to inquire into the truth of this story. I was immediately produced, and placed upon a table, where I walked as I was commanded, drew my sword, put it up again, made my reverence to my master's guest, asked him in his own language how he did, and told him he was welcome, just as my little nurse had instructed me. This man, who was old and dim-sighted, put on his spectacles to behold me better, at which I could not forbear laughing very heartily, for his eyes appeared like the full moon shining into a chamber at two windows. Our people, who discovered the cause of my mirth, bore me company in laughing, at which the old fellow was silly enough to be angry and out of countenance. He had the character of a great miser, and, to my misfortune, he well deserved it, by the wretched advice he gave my master, to show me as a sight upon a market-day in the next town, which was half-an-hour's riding, about two-and-twenty "miles from our house. I guessed there was some mischief abroad contriving when I observed my master and his friend whispering long together, sometimes pointing at me; and my fears made me fancy that I overheard and understood some of their words. But the next morning Glumdalclich, my little nurse, told me the whole matter, which she had learned from her mother. The poor girl fell weeping with grief. She apprehended some mischief would happen to me from rude, vulgar folks, who might
squeeze me to death, or break one of my limbs by taking me in their hands. She had also observed how modest I was in my nature, and what an indignity I should conceive it to be exposed for money as a public spectacle to the meanest of the people. She said her papa and mamma had promised that Gildrig should be hers; but now she found they meant to serve her as they did last year, when they pretended to give her a lamb, and yet, as soon as it was fat, sold it to a butcher. For my own part, I may truly affirm that I was less concerned than my
I had a strong hope, which never left me, that I should one day recover my liberty; and as to the ignominy of being carried about for a monster, I considered myself to be a perfect stranger in the country, and that such a misfortune could never be charged upon me as a reproach, if ever I should return to England, since the king of Great Britain himself, in my condition, must have undergone the same distress.
My master, following the advice of his friend, carried me in a box the next market day to the neighbouring town, and took along with him his little daughter upon a pillion behind him. The box was close on every side, with a little door for me to go in and out, and a few gimlet holes to let in air. The girl had been as careful as to put a quilt for me to lie down upon. However, I was terribly shaken and discomposed in this journey, though it was but of half-an-hour; for the horse went about forty feet at every step, and trotted so high that tbe agitation was equal to the rising and falling of a ship in a great storm, but much more frequent. Our journey was somewhat farther than from London to St. Albans. My master alighted at an inn which he used to frequent; and, after consulting awhile with the innkeeper, and making some necessary preparations, he hired the crier to give notice through the town of a strange creature to be seen at the sign of the Green Eagle, not so big as a splacnuck (an animal in that country very finely shaped, about six feet long, and closely resembling a human creature), could speak several words, and perform a hundred amusing tricks.
I was placed upon a table in the largest room of the inn, which might be near three hundred feet square. My little nurse stood on a low stool close to the table, to take care of me, and direct what I should do. My master, to avoid a crowd, would
suffer only thirty people at a time to see me. I walked about on the table as the girl commanded. She asked me questions as far as she knew my understanding of the language reached, and I answered them as loud as I could. I turned about several times to the company, paid my humble respects, said they were welcome, and used some other speeches which I had been taught. I took up a thimble filled with liquor, which Glumdalclich had given me for a cup, and drank their health. I drew out my sword, and flourished with it after the manner of fencers in England. My nurse gave me a part of a straw, which I exercised as a pike, having learnt the art in my youth. I was that day shown to twelve sets of company, and as often forced to act over again the same fopperies, till I was half dead with weariness and vexation; for those who had seen me made such wonderful reports, that the people were ready to break down the doors to come in. My master, for his own interest, would not suffer anyone to touch me except my nurse ; and, to prevent danger, benches were set round the table at such a distance as to put me out of everybody's reach. However, an unlucky schoolboy aimed an hazel nut with so much violence, that it would have surely knocked out my brains, for it was almost as large as a small pumpkin; but I had the satisfaction to see the young rogue well beaten and turned out of the room.
My master gave public notice that he would show me again the next market-day; and, in the meantime, he prepared a more convenient vehicle for me, which he had reason enough to do, for I was so tired with my first journey, and with entertaining company for eight hours together, that I could hardly stand upon my legs, or speak a word. It was at least three days before I recovered my strength ; and, that I might have no rest at home, all the neighbouring gentlemen from a hundred miles round, hearing of my fame, came to see me at my master's own house. There could not be fewer than thirty persons, with their wives and children (for the country is very populous); and my master demanded the rate of a full room whenever he showed me at home, although it were only to a single family; so that for some time I had but little ease every day of the week (except Wednesday, which is their Sabbath), although I was not carried to the town.