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money box to see how much money they had made, they found two hundred and sixty eight pennies. Mary took them all to her mother who changed them into shillings and sixpences. You must try to find out for yourself how many there were of these. There seemed to be a very great number when Mary's mother put them into a box, and told the three children to take them to Hannah Jackson, and tell her how they had all three been trying to help her.
When Mary came home she told her mother that Hannah had kissed them, and blessed them, and thanked them for ever so many minutes, and then had ended by having a good cry, just because she was so happy.
Then,” said Mrs Lester, "you have learnt, Mary, that even little children can do something to help grown-up people if they really try.”
“Yes, mother, but when I asked you to give me some money for Hannah, you talked as if charity ought to cost us something, and said we were not to give help which cost us nothing. I hope this is help, mother, but it has cost me no sacrifice—it has been all pleasure from beginning to end."
"Then, dear, you have learned another thing as well—that helping others in any way, no matter how you do it, always is real pleasure.”
Then,” said the rose, with deepened glow,
Twas but a moment-o'er the rose
From the German.
part-cullis fros-sefs-ion watch-man
strong-hold country-men gal-ti-son
In the reign of Edward the First, when the Scotch people fought so bravely to drive the English out of Scotland, many castles were taken on both sides by ready wit and courage. Linlithgow, a strong castle, with an English governor and a very powerful garrison, was taken in this way. There lived at no great distance from this stronghold a farmer, a bold and stout man, whose name was Binnock.
This man saw with great joy the progress which the Scots were making in recovering their country from the English, and made up his mind to do something to help his countrymen, by getting possession, if it were possible, of the castle of Linlithgow. But the place was very strong, and stood by the side of a lake ; it was defended not only by gates, which were usually kept shut against strangers, but also by a portcullis. A portcullis is a sort of door formed of cross-bars of iron like a grate. It has no hinges like a door, but is drawn up by pulleys, and let down when any danger approaches. It may be let go in a moment, and then falls down into the door-way; and as it has great iron spikes at the bottom, it crushes all that it lights upon ; thus in case of a sudden alarm, a portcullis may be quickly let fall to defend the entrance, when it is not possible to shut the gates. Binnock knew this very well, but he resolved to be provided against this risk also, when he attempted to surprise the castle.
So he spoke with some bold courageous countrymen, and engaged them in his enterprise, which he accomplished thus :
Binnock had been used to supply the soldiers in the castle with hay, and he had been ordered by the English governor to furnish some cart-loads of which they were in want. He promised to bring it accordingly ; but the night before he drove the hay to the castle, he placed a party of his friends, as well armed as possible, near the entrance, where they could not be seen by the garrison, and gave them directions that they should come to his assistance as soon as they should hear his signal, which was to be —"Call all, call all!” then he loaded a great waggon with hay. But in the waggon he placed eight strong men, well armed, lying flat on their breasts, and covered over with hay, so that they could not be seen.
He himself walked carelessly beside the waggon; and he chose the stoutest and bravest of his servants to be the driver, who carried at his belt a strong axe or hatchet. In this way Binnock went up to the castle early in the morning; and the watchman, who saw only two men,
Binnock being one of them, with a cart of hay which they expected, opened the gates, and raised up the portcullis to permit them to enter the castle.
But as soon as the cart had got under the gateway, Binnock made a sign to his servant, who with his axe suddenly cut in two the yoke which fastened the horses to the cart, and the horses finding themselves free, started forward, the cart remaining behind under the arch of the gate. At the same moment, Binnock cried as loud as he could, “Call all, call all! ”and drawing his sword which he had under his cloak, he killed the gate keeper. The armed men then jumped up from under the hay where they lay hid, and rushed upon the English guard. The Englishmen tried to shut the gates, but they could not, because the cart of hay remained in
he gateway, and prevented the folding-doors from being closed. The portcullis was also let fall, but the grating caught on the cart, and so could not drop to the ground. The men who were lying hid near the gate, hearing the signal which Binnock had promised to give them when ready for them, ran to assist those who had leaped out from amongst the hay; the castle was taken, and all the Englishmen killed or made prisoners. King Robert Bruce rewarded Binnock by giving him an estate, on which his children and children's children lived for a very long time after. -Adapted from Sir W. Scott.