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St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. V, August, 1878, No 10. Scribner's Illustrated   By:

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Vol. V. AUGUST, 1878. No. 10.

[Copyright, 1878, by Scribner & Co.]


( A Story of the Paris Exhibition of 1867. )


Where many a cloud wreathed mountain blanches Eternally in the blue abyss, And tosses its torrents and avalanches Thundering from cliff and precipice, There is the lovely land of the Swiss, Land of lakes and of icy seas, Of chamois and chalets, And beautiful valleys, Musical boxes, watches, and cheese.

Picturesque, with its landscapes green and cool, Sleek cattle standing in shadow or pool, And dairy maids bearing pail and stool, That is the quaint little town of Nulle.

There, one day, in the old town hall, Gathered the worthy burghers all, Great and small, Short and tall, At the burgomaster's call.

The stout and fat, the lean and lame, From house and shop, and dairy and pasture, In queer old costumes, up they came, Obedient to the burgomaster.

He made a speech "Fellow citizens: There is To be, as you know, A wonderful show, A Universal Fair, at Paris; Where every country its product carries, Whatever most beautiful, useful, or rare is, To please and surprise, And perhaps win a prize. Now here is the question Which craves your counsel and suggestion With you it lies: So, after wise And careful consideration of it, Say, what shall we send for our honor and profit?"

Some said this thing, some said that; Then up rose a burgher, ruddy and fat, Rounder and redder than all the rest, With a nose like a rose, and an asthmatic chest; And says he, with a wheeze, Like the buzzing of bees: "I propose, if you please, That we send 'em a cheese ."

Then a lithe little man Took the floor, and began, In a high, squeaky voice: "I approve of the plan; But I wish to amend What's proposed by my friend: A BIG CHEESE, I think, is the thing we should send."

Then up jumped a third, To put in a word, And amend the amendment they had just heard; "A ROYAL BIG CHEESE" was the phrase he preferred.

The question was moved, Discussed and approved, And the vote was unanimous, that it behooved Their ancient, venerable corporation, To send such a cheese as should honor the nation. So ended the solemn convocation; And, after due deliberation, The burgomaster made proclamation, Inviting people of every station, Each according to his vocation, With patriotic emulation To join in a general jubilation, And get up a cheese for the grand occasion. Then shortly began the preparation.


One morning was heard a mighty clamoring, With sounds of sawing and planing and hammering. The painters, forsaking their easels and pallets, Came to look on, or assist in the labor; The joiners were there with their chisels and mallets; Trades of all grades, every man with his neighbor; The carpenters, coopers, And stout iron hoopers, Erecting a press for the thing to be done in, A tub big enough to put ton after ton in, And gutters for rivers of liquid to run in. March was the month the work was begun in, If that could be work they saw nothing but fun in; 'Twas finished in April, and long before May Everything was prepared for the curd and the whey.

Then the bells were set ringing The milking began; All over the land went the dairy maids singing; Boy and man, Cart, pail, and can, And peasant girls, each in her pretty dress, From highway and by way all round, came bringing, Morning and evening, the milk to the press... Continue reading book >>

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