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Italywill trouble themselves to go and look
at the fountain just opened in the Market
House, at Birmingham? And, if they go,
what will they say? How will they bring
in the word "Brummagem?" Will they
venture to apply it to the four bronze boys
who represent Birmingham? There they
are: the one shouldering his musket; and
another blowing his bubble of glassboy-
fashion; and the thirdthoughtful one
with his sextant in his hand, and a cog-wheel
by his side; and the fourth, proud and careful
of his charge of an elegant vase! Will no
charm be found here, because these symbols
are of native conception? Will the bronzes
below be slighted, while sure of admiration
if fancied to be ancient? the four groups
and garlandsthe fish, the poultry, the
vegetables, and the flowers and fruit? These
things will not, at least, be despised by those
who see most of them. The Birmingham
people seem to enjoy their vocation, more
than any townful of people we ever remember
to have seen. Their taste, and their scientific
faculties, find a constant gratification in the
pursuit of their ordinary business. It is on
behalf of persons who know little of the
place, that one forms the wish that we could
all relish beauty, wherever it is to be found,
and honour Art, whatever may be the name
of its dwelling-place. Tubal-cain has always
been an interesting person, from his having
begun his hard work so extremely early in
human life. It is absurd to despise his later
and prettier doings, because the roar of his
furnace and the whiz of his tools are among
not only the imagery of books, but the
common sounds of every day.

A TALE OF MID-AIR.

IN a cottage in the valley of Sallanches,
near the foot of Mont Blanc, lived old Bernard
and his three sons. One morning he lay in
bed sick, and, burning with fever, watched
anxiously for the return of his son, Jehan,
who had gone to fetch a physician. At
length a horse's tread was heard, and soon
afterwards the doctor entered. He examined
the patient closely, felt his pulse, looked at his
tongue, and then said, patting the old man's
cheek, "It will be nothing, my friend
nothing!" but he made a sign to the three
lads, who, open-mouthed and anxious, stood
grouped around the bed. All four withdrew
to a distant corner, the doctor shook his head,
thrust out his lower lip, and said, "'Tis a
serious attackvery seriousof fever. He
is now in the height of the fit, and as soon as
it abates, he must have sulphate of quinine."

"What is that, doctor?"

"Quinine, my friend, is a very expensive
medicine, but which you may procure at
Sallanches. Between the two fits your father
must take at least three francs worth. I will
write the prescription. You can read,
Guillaume?"

"Yes, doctor."

"And you will see that he takes it?"

"Certainly."

When the physician was gone, Guillaume,
Pierre, and Jehan looked at each other in
silent perplexity. Their whole stock of money
consisted of a franc and a half, and yet the
medicine must be procured immediately.

"Listen," said Pierre, "I know a method
of getting from the mountain before night
three or four five-franc pieces."

"From the mountain?"

"I have discovered an eagle's nest in a
cleft of a frightful precipice. There is a
gentleman at Sallanches, who would gladly
purchase the eaglets; and nothing made me
hesitate but the terrible risk of taking them;
but that's nothing when our father's life is
concerned. We may have them now in two
hours."

"I will rob the nest," said Guillaume.

"No, no, let me," said Jehan, "I am the
youngest and lightest."

"I have the best right to venture," said
Pierre, "as it was I who discovered it."

"Come," said Pierre, "let us decide by
drawing lots. Write three numbers,
Guillaume, put them into my hat, and whoever
draws number one will try the venture."

Guillaume blackened the end of a wooden
splinter in the fire; tore an old card into three
pieces; wrote on them one, two, three, and
threw them into the hat.

How the three hearts beat! Old Bernard
lay shivering in the cold fit, and each of his
sons longed to risk his own life, to save that
of his father.

The lot fell on Pierre, who had discovered
the nest; he embraced the sick man.

"We shall not be long absent, father," he
said, "and it is needful for us to go together."

"What are you going to do?"

"We will tell you as soon as we come back."

Guillaume took down from the wall an old
sabre, which had belonged to Bernard when
he served as a soldier; Jehan sought a thick
cord which the mountaineers use when cutting
down trees; and Pierre went towards an old
wooden cross, reared near the cottage, and knelt
before it for some minutes in fervent prayer.

They set out together, and soon reached the
brink of the precipice. The danger consisted
not only in the possibility of falling several
hundred feet, but still more in the probable
aggression of the birds of prey, inhabiting the
wild abyss.

Pierre, who was to brave these perils, was
a fine athletic young man of twenty-two.
Having measured with his eye the distance he
would have to descend, his brothers fastened
the cord around his waist, and began to let
him down. Holding the sabre in his hand, he
safely reached the nook that contained the
nest. In it were four eaglets of a light yellowish-
brown colour, and his heart beat with joy
at the sight of them. He grasped the nest
firmly in his left hand, and shouted joyfully

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