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wood, and it is covered all over with wires! and I dare say they have made it on purpose to screen me from that terrible cat, which ran after me so often; there is an entrance just big enough for me, but puss cannot follow; and they have been so good as to put in some toasted cheese, which smells so deliciously, that I should have run in directly and taken possession of my new house, but I thought I would tell you first, that we might go in together, and both lodge there to-night, for it will hold us both.
My dear child, said the old Mouse, it is most happy that you did not go in, for this house is called a trap, and you would never have come out again, except to have been devoured, or put to death in some way or other. Though man has not so fierce a look as a cat, he is as much our enemy, and has still more cunning.
THE WASP AND BEE.
A WASP met a Bee, and said to him, Pray can you tell me what is the reason that men are so ill-natured to me, while they are so fond of you? We are both very much alike, only that the broad golden rings about my body make me much handsomer than you are: we are both winged insects, we both love honey, and we both sting people when we are angry, yet men always hate me, and try to kill me, though I am much more familiar with them than and pay them visits in their houses, and at their tea table, and at all their meals: while you are very shy and hardly ever come near them: yet they build you curious houses, thatched with straw, and take care of and feed you in the
winter very often :-I wonder what is
The Bee said, because you never do them any good, but, on the contrary, are very troublesome and mischievous; therefore they do not like to see you; but they know that I am busy all day long in making them honey. You had better pay them fewer visits, and try to be useful.
One winter's evening as Captain Compas's was sitting by the fire-side with his children all round him, little Jack said to him, Papa, pray tell us some stories about what you have seen in your voyages. I have been vastly entertained whilst you were abroad, with Gulliver's Travels, and the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor; and I think, as you have gone round and round the world, you
must have met with things as wonderful as they did. No, my dear, said the Captain, I never met with Lilliputians or Brobdingnagians, I assure you, nor ever saw the black loadstone mountain, or the valley of diamonds; but, to be sure, I have seen a great variety of people, and their different manners and ways of living; and if it will be any entertainment to you, I will tell you some curious particulars of what I observed.-Pray do, Papa, cried Jack and all his brothers and sisters: so they drew close round him, and he began as follows.
Well then I was once, about this time of the year, in a country where it was very cold, and the poor inhabitants had much ado to keep themselves from starving. They were clad partly in the skins of beasts, made smooth and soft by a particular art, but chiefly in garments made from the outer covering of
a middle-sized quadruped, which they were so cruel as to strip off his back while he was alive. They dwelt in habitations, part of which was sunk under ground. The materials were either stones, or earth hardened by fire; and so violent in that country were the storms of wind and rain, that many of them covered their roofs all over with stones. The walls of their houses had holes to let in the light: but to prevent the cold air and wet from coming in, they were covered by a sort of transparent stone, made artificially of melted sand or flints. As wood was rather scarce, I know not what they would have done for firing, had they not discovered in the bowels of the earth a very extraordinary kind of stone, which when put among burning wood, caught fire and flamed like a torch.
Dear me, said Jack, what a wonderful stone! I suppose it was somewhat