Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/126

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The duke is near; his banners fling
Their folds o'er squire and cavalier;
The captured ensigns seem to cling-
About their standards, sorrowing.
Look, the drummers are almost here!

Silent, smiling, she turned her head,
Scanned the close ranks with eager eye.
The crowd pressed close; no word she said,
But fell among them cold and dead—
The drummers had passed by.

By M. Cecile Brown, from the French of Victor Hugo.


Up on the heights in the Old Dominion, where the houses are few, and many of the mountaineers know little of the settlements below, a man of God lived who took to preaching the gospel in his own rude way. He was a man of strong character and clear common sense. He could just read the Bible—that was all; but he got at the heart of things as his ministry showed, and drew near to the heart of his Master. He was a very plain preacher, a most careless and unguarded man. He told the people the truth without any apologies, with all kindness and tenderness of heart. Many were turned from sin unto righteousness; and the presbytery, in whose bounds his work was, determined to ordain him, simply on the ground of his efficiency and clear call to the ministry, though he had no education. He objected. They persisted. Finally the day was appointed, and a large company from the mountains and the valleys below gathered to witness the examination for licensing and ordination of this strange character. All knew that there would be something entertaining in his answers. The presbytery assembled, the congregation looking on. John Leland took his place in front, dropping his head into his hands. The moderator simply stated the object of the meeting, addressing Mr. Leland. The latter looked up and said,—