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Title: Harper's Young People, December 23, 1879 - An Illustrated Weekly
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's Young People, December 23, 1879 - An Illustrated Weekly" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Illustration: HARPER'S



       *       *       *       *       *


Tuesday, December 23, 1879. Copyright, 1879, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50
per Year, in Advance.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Begun in No. 1 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, November 4.]



The bright rays of the morning sun filled the room when Walter awoke
from his long and refreshing sleep, to gaze in astonishment at the rich
and beautiful furniture that adorned the apartment. Silk curtains,
mirrors that reached to the ceiling, beautiful carpets, attractive
pictures in gilt frames--all was new and dazzling to the unsophisticated
mountain youth. He was still gazing in wonder at all these glories, when
Mr. Seymour, who had slept in the next room, suddenly opened the door.

"Jump up, Walter," said he. "Breakfast is ready, and my friend wants to
speak to you; so be as quick as you can."

"I shall be ready in a few minutes, sir," he replied, as, springing out
of bed, he washed and dressed himself, and respectfully greeted the two
gentlemen, who sat enjoying their coffee in an adjoining room.

At Mr. Seymour's invitation Walter helped himself to breakfast; and when
he had finished his meal, looked up inquiringly at the stranger.

"Well, then, Walter," said he, in a kindly tone, "tell me in the first
place what you intend to do, now that you have got your money back?"

"Oh, that is very easily answered, sir," replied Walter. "I shall buckle
the belt round my waist again, and return home to-day."

"I thought that was your intention, Watty," said Mr. Seymour; "but it
would be much safer and far easier to send the money through the post.
You will then have no further risk of being robbed, and Mr. Frieshardt
will be sure to get it in a day or two. As regards yourself--"

Mr. Seymour hesitated, and his friend took up the conversation. "Yes,
Walter, you must stay here for the present," said he, "and not dream of
leaving me--at least for a long time."

Walter was taken aback. What could the stranger mean? Unable to
comprehend the motive of such a remark, he looked in confusion first at
one, then at the other, and was greeted only with a hearty laugh.

"I am very much obliged to you for suggesting how I should send the
money home," said the lad; "and it was certainly very strange that Mr.
Frieshardt did not think of that, for it would have saved all this
trouble with Seppi. But what, sir, am I to do here? What is there to
prevent my returning home?"

"A proposal that my friend Mr. Lafond has to make to you," replied Mr.
Seymour. "My friend is in want of an active and trustworthy servant, and
thinks that you would suit him well. I think you should take the
situation, Walter, for you will be looked upon rather as a confidential
attendant than as a servant, and you will be well paid into the bargain.
In a few years you will have earned money enough to provide comfortably
for your father in his old age."

The last words decided Walter. If he could only relieve his father's
declining years from care and anxiety, he was content to give up his
home for a time, and therefore agreed to accept the proposal. The
contract was soon arranged, and Walter entered upon his new duties the
same day. He wrote a long letter to his father, explaining the reason of
his remaining in Paris, and comforting him with the assurance that when
he returned home he would bring plenty of money with him. By the same
post he sent a bank draft to Farmer Frieshardt equivalent to the value
of the cattle money; and a few days after removed into Mr. Lafond's
splendidly furnished mansion. Mr. Seymour did not accompany his friend,
having to leave Paris to continue his travels.

Thus Walter, who had suddenly risen from the position of a poor drover
to that of the principal servant and favorite of a rich young Parisian,
found no reason to regret the change that he had made. Mr. Lafond
treated him in the kindest and most friendly way, so that he soon became
thoroughly attached to him. But in the course of a few weeks he observed
certain traits in the character of his new employer that occasioned him
both sorrow and anxiety, and almost made him regret that he had not
returned to his quiet but innocent home. Although a kind-hearted man,
Mr. Lafond was weak-minded and changeable; and like many other wealthy
young men without any occupation, he was addicted to pleasure and
dissipation, and spent whole nights at the gaming table, to the ruin of
both his health and morals. As he was of a delicate constitution, these
excesses soon produced a very marked effect upon him, and did much to
shatter his health.

Early one morning Mr. Lafond came home, after a night of gambling,
looking paler and more exhausted than usual. Walter, who had been
sitting up for him, was terribly alarmed at the appearance which he
presented. "Oh, my dear sir," said he, with a deep sigh, as he gave him
his hand out of the carriage, "how grieved I am for you!"

Mr. Lafond stared at Walter with his glassy eyes, and tried to speak,
but could only utter a few disconnected words that were quite
incomprehensible. Besides this, he was so unsteady on his feet that he
was obliged to lean on Walter to prevent himself from falling. The
faithful servant was terribly shocked to find his master so intoxicated
as to be almost deprived of his senses, and lost no time in getting him
to his room that his distressing and disgraceful condition might not
become known to the rest of the household. After undressing him, which
cost a great deal of trouble, Walter got his master to bed, and then sat
down, and became lost in thought.

It was not until late in the day that Mr. Lafond woke from his troubled
sleep, and was surprised to find Walter sitting by his bedside. "Poor
fellow!" he said, in a good-natured tone, "I'm afraid I kept you waiting
long for me last night. You are a faithful servant, and shall have your
wages raised immediately."

"I am very much obliged to you, sir," said he; "but I can not take more
of your money. I have only waited here to request my discharge from your

Mr. Lafond stared at the young man with surprise. "What!" he exclaimed;
"you want to leave me! What has put that in your head? Has any one here
done anything to make you uncomfortable?"

"No, sir, no one," was the quiet but firm reply. "I have met with
nothing but kindness since I have been in your house, and you have been
more than generous to me; but I can't bear to stay here and see you
digging your own grave. It breaks my heart, sir; and I would rather
wander barefoot back to my own mountains than witness it longer."

"Why, Walter, I'm afraid you're turning crazy," exclaimed his master,
angrily. "Don't let me hear any more of this nonsense! What can it
matter to you whether I die soon or not? At any rate you must stay with
me, and give up such foolish notions."

Walter shook his head. "No, sir; I must go," he replied. "I can be of no
use here. It makes me quite miserable to see how you waste your money in
the gaming houses, and ruin your health by overindulgence in wine. If my
caring for you were not sincere, it would be a matter of no consequence
to me whether you went to destruction or not; but," he added, while
tears started to his eyes, "I trust, sir, you will pardon me for saying
that I can not look on carelessly while you are ruining yourself; and so
I hope you will let me go."

The reckless gamester was quite moved at the devotion and faithfulness
of his servant. Springing from bed, he wrapped himself in his
dressing-gown, and walked hastily to and fro in the apartment for a few
minutes in silence. At last he paused before Walter and grasped his
hand. "You are a straightforward, warm-hearted fellow," he exclaimed.
"But the more I am convinced of that, the less disposed am I to part
with you. Will you not stay with me?"

"No, my good master, I can not," answered Walter, firmly.

"Not even if I promise to turn over a new leaf, and neither to drink nor
gamble any more from this day?"

Walter was in a measure reassured by these words, and his eyes were lit
up with a new hope. "Ah! if you really will do that, sir!" he exclaimed.
"That alters everything; and I shall be as overjoyed to stay with you as
I should have been sorry to leave you."

"Then that is settled," said his master, in a serious tone. "I am
obliged to you for speaking so faithfully to me. I know that I have been
living in a foolish way; but I will be different for the future. That
you may rely upon."

Walter's joy was so great at hearing this unexpected resolution that he
nearly burst into tears. Unhappily, however, he was soon to experience
the disappointment of all his hopes.

For a fortnight Mr. Lafond kept his promise faithfully; but at the end
of that time he again yielded to the old temptation, and after a night
of revelry returned home in broad daylight in a state of complete
helplessness. The servant renewed his entreaties and warnings; reminded
his master that the physician had declared that his existence depended
on his leading a sober life, and obtained from him a renewal of the
broken promise. But alas! it proved as vain as before. In a few days all
his hopes were again crushed, and his prayers and entreaties were only
answered by his master with a shrug of the shoulders.

"You know nothing about it, Walter," said he. "The temptation is so
strong, that one can't be always resisting it."

"But it is your duty to resist it, sir; and you can succeed if you will
only make up your mind to do so."

"It's too late now," replied the other, with a faint smile. "I have
fought and fought, and been beaten at last. I shall give up fighting

"Are you really in earnest?" cried Walter, seriously.

"I am really in earnest," replied Mr. Lafond.

"Then I must indeed quit your service, sir. I will not stay here if I
can not save you from rushing headlong to destruction."

"Silly fellow!" replied his master, testily. "What more would you have?
It will be for your direct advantage to stay with me. Look at my
condition. The doctor was quite right in saying that I couldn't live
another year. Remain here for that short time, and you shall be well
paid for your services. I will take care not to forget you in my will."

The young Switzer could not restrain his emotion at hearing his
weak-minded but good-natured master talk in such a careless way about
death. Unable to speak, he turned to leave the room, when Mr. Lafond
called him back.

"Have you no reply to make to me?" he demanded, in an offended tone.

"Nothing more than this, sir--that your doctor assured me that you might
live for ten, twenty, or even thirty years longer, if you could only be
persuaded to live in a sober and reasonable way. Oh, my dear sir," he
exclaimed, "do give up these habits that are ruining body and soul, and
I will devote my whole life to you!"

"No use," was the gloomy reply. "If I were to make new resolutions, they
would only be broken, as the others have been. The doctor is quite
mistaken in his opinion. I suppose I must fulfill my destiny. So let the
matter drop, Walter."

"Anything can be done if one is only determined," persisted the young
man, with entreaty in his tone.

His master turned away and shook his head. "Too late, too late. I
haven't the moral courage or determination."

"Then may God have mercy upon you!" replied the servant, solemnly. "This
is no longer a place for me."

Swayed on the one hand by a sense of duty to himself, and on the other
by pity for his terribly misled master, Walter sorrowfully quitted the
apartment, and after packing a few things, returned to take his final
leave. Mr. Lafond, however, would not bring himself to believe in the
reality of such a sudden and determined resolution, and used every
argument to induce the lad to change his mind. He even begged him as a
personal favor to remain, but Walter persisted in his determination; nor
could the most lavish offers of emolument induce him to stay and be a
helpless spectator of the ruin of one whom he was unable to save.

"If I were only as determined as you are," sighed Mr. Lafond, "how much
better it would be for me! But now it is too late. Farewell, then,
Walter, if you have made up your mind to quit my service. But though you
leave me, it is not necessary that you return to your mountain home. I
received this letter from my uncle, General De Bougy, who lives in
Rouen. The old gentleman is in want of a steady and trustworthy servant,
and asks me to send him one, so I think the best thing you can do will
be to go there for a twelvemonth. You will find him a better master than
I have been; and if you are really determined to leave me, you might do
worse than enter his service. I feel sure you will be comfortable."

Walter shook his head. "I shouldn't like to go into another house, sir,
after the experience I have had in your service."

"But you will be serving me, Walter, if you go and assist my uncle in
his old age. Recollect, I only ask you to go for a year. It is the last
request I have to make. Surely you won't refuse?"

"Well, sir, I will go for a year, since you urge it so strongly,"
assented Walter, who could no longer resist his master's appeal. "When
shall I start?"

"When you please. You will be welcome there at any time."

"Then I will set out at once, sir; the sooner our parting is over, the

"But if it is so painful to you, why go away at all? You know how glad I
should be for you to stay."

"And you know, sir, why I am obliged to go," replied Walter, firmly.
"Pardon me, dear sir, for speaking any more on the subject; but if you
only had had the resolution to--"

"I'll make another trial, Walter," said Mr. Lafond, with a smile that
contrasted strongly with his sunken and wasted features. "You shall hear
from me in three months," he continued; "and perhaps-- Well, we shall
see. Good-by, and my best wishes go with you!"

Walter grasped the hand which his master extended, and kissed it
fervently. "God bless and preserve you!" said he, with tears in his
eyes. "If prayers, earnest prayers for you, can be of any help, you will
be saved."

"Farewell, Walter. You have been a faithful servant," exclaimed Mr.
Lafond, with painful emotion. "God be with you!--perhaps we shall never
meet each other again."

So they parted. Walter went by the first conveyance to Rouen to the
house of General De Bougy; and his former master sunk into profound
grief as he dwelt upon the affection and solicitude which the young
Switzer had shown toward him. "Only a year sooner," he mused, with
torturing anguish, "and I might have been a saved man! Now, alas! thou
hast come too late, noble and generous heart!"



One of the pleasantest pastimes of the whole year for country children
is gathering Christmas green. This is done before the very cold weather
begins, otherwise the beautiful club-mosses and ground-pines would be
frozen solid in the damp soil of the swamps and woods, or the whole
would be covered with a snow carpet, broken only by rabbit and squirrel
tracks. The freshest green for Christmas trimming is found in damp
meadows or on springy hillsides, where it nestles in the moist earth,
overshadowed by thickets of alders and birches. It grows in the forests
too; not so much among pine-trees, as the dry carpet of fallen needles
is less nutritious than the loam produced by the accumulations of dead
leaves of oak, maple, and beech trees.

There are many kinds of ground evergreens, most of them members of the
_Lycopodiaceæ_, or club-moss family. There is the creeping club-moss,
the cord-like stem of which, sometimes yards long, hides among the dead
leaves, and sends up at intervals graceful whorls of bright green. Tiny
bunches of short white roots run down in the damp mould, where they find
nutriment for the plant. If you work your finger under the stem, and
pull gently, it is wonderful to see the long and beautiful wreath slowly
disentangle itself from the forest floor, disturbing hundreds of little
wood-beetles, which scurry away to hide again among the woodland
rubbish. There are two kinds of creeping green very common in all moist
wooded lands at the North--the kind with leaves rising in whorls, and
that with a stem covered with bristle-like spikes. This last variety has
leaves, not very abundant,--which resemble a sprig of young fir, and is
sometimes called "ground-fir." It is of a deep rich green color, but not
so graceful for trimming as the other kind. Besides the creeping green,
there are many varieties of what children call "tree-green," independent
little plants rooted deep in the mould, which send up a single stalk
about eight inches high. Some of these are such perfect little trees as
to appear diminutive copies of the firs and pines towering far above
them, and are called "fir club-moss." A pretty evergreen to mix with the
more feathery varieties is the _Chimaphila umbellata_, or prince's-pine.
It has bright shining dark green leaves, which have a very bitter taste,
and is sometimes called bitter wintergreen.


As all these ground varieties need to be gathered before ice and snow
begin, often weeks before Christmas, care must be taken to keep them
from drying. They should be heaped up in some cool, damp place, where
they will not freeze, and should be sprinkled plenteously every day. The
boys make frames in the form of crosses, stars, wreaths, or letters, and
the girls find a pretty pastime in tying on the greens. As fast as the
designs are finished they must also be laid away and kept damp until
Christmas. Woodland mosses, holly leaves and scarlet berries, and dried
everlasting flowers are pretty to mix with the green. Branches of
hemlock and young firs for Christmas trees are cut as near
Christmas-time as possible. If a room is to be made into a bower of
hemlock boughs, they should not be fastened up until the morning of
Christmas-eve, as the heated air of the house loosens the flat,
tooth-shaped leaves from the branch, and the least movement sends them
in clouds to the floor. Any one who has tried to sweep them from the
carpet after Christmas, will prefer some other variety of green for
trimming another year.

The immense amount of green brought into New York city the week
preceding Christmas can scarcely be estimated. Viewing the hundreds of
young firs in the markets, and the enormous numbers of wreaths and other
designs, it would seem as if the forests and swamps had been stripped to
such an extent that nothing would be left for another year; but so
prodigal is Nature of her beautiful club-mosses and her aromatic pines,
that what is gathered for holiday trimming amounts to little more than a
weeding out of superfluous growth. Many of the greens sold in the New
York market come from New Jersey. Schooners bring them from all along
the coast, freight-cars come loaded with the beauty of the inland hills,
and huge market carts trundle their precious burden from the near-lying
forests and damp meadows. Although it is prohibited by law to cut young
trees from the barrens along the coast, as the growth of pines keeps the
sand from drifting, many small coasting vessels drop into the bays and
inlets around Sandy Hook and other parts of the Jersey shore a little
before Christmas-time, and send their crews ashore by night to secure a
cargo to bring to New York.

It would be interesting to follow this woodland treasure after its
arrival in the great city; but one thing is certain--wherever it is,
even if it be only a sprig in the hand of a sick child, faces are
brighter, hearts are happier, and the sweet words, "Merry Christmas,"
have a deeper significance.



The answer to this puzzle will form an appropriate motto for the card in
the centre. This is the way to work it out: First find the names of the
articles around the card, and write them all down in a row with the
numbers below them. For example, one of the words is "EYE." Put it down

   E  Y  E
  10  3  11

and all the rest in the same way. Each name will have just as many
letters as there are figures, else you may know your guess is wrong, and
you will have to try again. After you have made out all the pictures and
written down the names, you will have thirty-nine letters. Out of these
thirty-nine letters you are to make the eleven words that form the
inscription. To do this, write on another sheet the numbers

  1  2  3   4   5  6

  7  8  9  10  11

widely apart, so as to leave room for all the words to be written under
them. Then place each letter where it belongs under these numbers. Take
the word "EYE." E is numbered 10, then put E under the figure 10; Y is
numbered 3, put Y under 3; E is numbered 11, put E under 11. When you
have placed all the letters, arrange those under each figure so as to
make a word. The whole will be the inscription for the card.




"Now, Teddie, be a good boy, there's a darling, and, little Clover,
don't tease Daisy. Please let mamma go away to church and know that you
are all sweet and lovely and clean as new little pennies to-night."

Splash went one little body into the bath-tub, and splash went another,
and again a third; and then, like so many roses after a shower, out they
came, dripping, and laughing and screaming with glee. The little mother
was kept busy enough, for it was Christmas-eve, and the carols and
anthems were to be rehearsed for the last time, and Mrs. Morton's clear
soprano voice could not be spared. Indeed, her voice was all that kept
Teddie and Clover and Daisy in their neat little box of a house, for
their father, a brave fireman, had been killed more than two years
before at a fearful fire, and since then their mother had striven hard
to maintain her little family by sewing, and singing, and doing whatever
work her slender hands could accomplish which would bring in food and
clothing for her children.

"Be dood, Teddie," repeated Daisy, after her mother, as she shook out
her little wet curls at him, and Clover solemnly raised his finger at
his bigger brother, with the warning,

"Remember, Santa Claus comes to-night."

"Yes, and the stockings must be hung up," said Ted, who forthwith
proceeded to attend to that important duty.

"There! how do they look?--one brown, that's mine; one blue, that's
Clover's; and one red, that's Daisy's." They were pinned fast to the
fender with many pins and much care.

"But, mamma," said Clover, "the stove's in the way. Santa Claus can't
get down with that big black thing stopping the chimney."

"Oh, the fire will go out by-and-by, and then he may creep through the
stove-pipe and out of the door."

"He'll be awful dirty, then," said Daisy.

"Well, 'he was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot, and his
clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot,' so that is to be
expected. But really, dear children, you must jump into your beds, and
let me tuck you up; it is time for me to go."

Very quickly the rosy little faces were nestling in the pillows, and
Mrs. Morton, after kissing them, put out the lamp and left them to their
slumbers. Hastily putting on her cloak and bonnet, she paused at the
door of her sitting-room to see if the fire was safe. The room was dark
but for the gleaming stove, the chairs and table were all in order, and
in one corner, under a covering of paper, was the little tree she had
decked in odd moments to delight the eyes of her children. She could not
afford wax candles, so the morning was to bring the tree as well as the
other gifts. Sure that all was in readiness, she tripped down the
stairs, locked her door, and sped over the snow to the church, the two
tall towers of which stood out against the starry sky.

As she entered the church, her mind full of her duties and her heart
tender with thoughts of her children, she thought she saw a dusky little
object crouching in the angle made by the towers; but she was already
late, and had no time to linger. Up she went to the choir, which was
full of light, but the body of the church was dark. Without any words,
she took up her sheet of music and began to sing. Never had the carols
and anthems seemed so sweet to her, and her voice rose clear and pure as
a bird's. The organist paused to listen, and her companions turned
satisfied glances upon her; but she went on unconsciously, as a bird
does until the burden of its theme is finished, and its exultant strains
are lost in silence. They went over the whole Church service, the
glorious _Te Deum_, the _Benedictus_, and the anthem for the day, "Unto
us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given," and every delicate chord
and fugue had to be repeated until the desired perfection of harmony was
attained. It was really a very long and arduous study; but of all days
Christmas demands good music, and they were willing to do their best. At
last all were satisfied, and somewhat tired; but the organist turned to
Mrs. Morton, and asked her if she would sing one hymn for him alone, as
he especially desired to hear her voice in this one tune. Of course she
could not refuse, and to an exquisitely harmonious air she began,

  "Calm on the listening ear of night
    Come heaven's melodious strains,
  Where wild Judæa stretches far
    Her silver-mantled plains.

  "Light on thy hills, Jerusalem!
    The Saviour now is born!
  And bright on Bethlehem's joyous plains
    Breaks the first Christmas morn."

Only the first and last verses of that exquisite hymn; but like "angels
with their sparkling lyres," her voice seemed to have lost its
earthliness, and soared, as if it were winged, up to the very gate of
heaven. When she ceased singing, there was a hush upon all, as if they
had been carried near to the celestial portals.

One by one they pressed her hand in quiet congratulation, and with a
"Merry Christmas" bade her good-night. Mrs. Morton was a little excited
with her unusual efforts, and while the old organist was locking up,
thought she would run down and warm herself in the church. As she
hastened toward the great heater, she tripped over something, which, to
her great surprise and alarm, she perceived what appeared to be a great
bundle was in reality a sleeping child.

Yes, a child, and a little one--a boy of not more than seven years, with
elfish brown locks, and eyelashes which swept the olive tint of his
cheek. All curled up in a heap, in clothes which a man might have worn,
so big and shapeless were they, with one arm under his head for a
pillow, and the other tightly grasping a violin. Far had he wandered in
the cold wintry air, until, attracted by the light and warmth of the
great church, he had stolen in for shelter, and then as his little ears
drank in the melody of the rehearsing choir, and the warmth comforted
him, he fell fast asleep. He was dreaming now of the warm sunny land of
his birth: olive-trees and orchards, purple clusters of the vineyards,
donkeys laden with oranges, and the blue sky of Naples shining over the
blue bay. Then, in his dream, an angel came floating down out of the
pure ether, wafting sweet perfumes on its white wings, and singing--oh!
what heavenly strains!--till his little soul was filled with joy; for
the angel seemed to be his mother who had died, and her kind voice again
saluted him, and he answered, softly, "Madre mia!"

"Poor child!" said Mrs. Morton, softly, "it seems a pity to waken him,
but we must do it; he can not stay here all night." The old organist
touched him; but his sleep was too sound for a touch to arouse him, and
Mrs. Morton had to again and again lift his head and stroke his little
brown hand, before, with amazed and widely fearful looks, he answered

"Who are you, child, and what are you doing here?" asked the organist.

"I'm Toni, Toni," was the answer, and he began to cry. "Oh, please let
me go: the Padrone will kill me."

"Why will he kill you, and why are you here?"

"He will kill me because I have no money. I have lost, also, my way."

"Have you no home, no mother?" asked Mrs. Morton, gently.

"No, signora, no, madame, no mother. We all live, Baptiste and Vincenzo
and I, with the Padrone. We play the harp and the violin; but I was
tired, and I could not keep with the others, and they scolded me, oh, so
sharply! and I was weary and cold, and crept in here where the angels
sing, and it was so beautiful I could not go away."

The organist muttered, "Police," at which the child again sobbed
violently. "Yes, to the station-house, of course, he must go."

But Mrs. Morton remembered the three faces asleep on their pillows at
home, and as she looked at this tear-stained, dirty little gypsy, she
said to the organist, "I will take care of him to-night." So, under the
stars, the Christmas stars, gleaming so brightly, she led the little
wanderer home.

All was still and safe in the little house. "Not a creature was
stirring, not even a mouse." The fire still gleamed in the kitchen and
the sitting-room, and it was the work of only a few moments to divest
the little musician of his uncouth garments, to pop him into the tub of
hot suds, to scrub him well, until his lean little body shone like
bronze, to slip him into a night-gown, to give him a slice of bread and
butter, and then to tuck him up on the cozy lounge.

The children slept like tops, and the tired little mother was glad to
say her prayers, and lie down beside them.

The stars were still shining when she awoke; for Christmas-day would be
a busy one, and there were no moments to lose. Already the milkman was
at the door, and the hands of the kitchen clock pointed to six.

Hark! what was that?

A long, low, sweet sound, like a voice calling her. She listened, and
again it came. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
good-will toward men," so it seemed to breathe. Then it rose in a gay
carol, a sweet gushing thanksgiving, and the children came tumbling down
in their night-gowns; they rushed to the door of the sitting-room, and
there beside his improvised bed stood the young musician, playing on his
violin as if all the world were his audience. His brown eyes flashed now
with light, and then grew dark and tender, as he drew the sweet sounds
out. The children gazed in wonderment: where had this child come from?
had he dropped from the stars? had an angel come among them? He played
on and on, until, from sheer fatigue, he put his instrument down. Then
Teddie and Clover and Daisy came about him; they touched his hands, his
curly locks, his violin, to see if all were real. Then they whirled
round the room in a mad dance of delight, for the mother had uncovered
the tree, and it was really Christmas morning.

Ah, what a happy day for poor little Toni! How nice he looked in
Teddie's clothes! how gentle he was with Daisy! how he frolicked with
Clover! and when Mrs. Morton came from church, how softly he played all
his pretty melodies for her! It was a day of feast and gladness; and
when, to her surprise and pleasure, a committee of church people waited
upon Mrs. Morton to give her a purse, through the meshes of which
glittered gold pieces, she said then and there that Toni should never go
to the harsh and cruel Padrone again.

Perhaps some time as you listen to a sweet voice singing to the
accompaniment of a violin you may think of Mrs. Morton and Toni, and be
glad that the world bestows its applause and its gifts upon them, and
that the vision of his mother and her love which came to Toni on that
Christmas-eve has been made to him a reality.

[Begun in No. 5 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, December 2.]


A Day and Night Mährchen.



There Nycteris sat, and there the youth lay, all night long, in the
heart of the great cone-shadow of the earth, like two Pharaohs in one
pyramid. Photogen slept, and slept; and Nycteris sat motionless lest she
should waken him, and so betray him to his fear.

The moon rode high in the blue eternity; it was a very triumph of
glorious Night; the river ran babble-murmuring in deep soft syllables;
the fountain kept rushing moonward, and blossoming momently to a great
silvery flower, whose petals were forever falling like snow, but with a
continuous musical clash, into the bed of its exhaustion beneath; the
wind woke, took a run among the trees, went to sleep, and woke again;
the daisies slept on their feet at hers, but she did not know they
slept; the roses might well seem awake, for their scent filled the air,
but in truth they slept also, and the odor was that of their dreams; the
oranges hung like gold lamps in the trees, and their silvery flowers
were the souls of their yet unembodied children; the scent of the acacia
blooms filled the air like the very odor of the moon herself.

At last, unused to the living air, and weary with sitting so still and
so long, Nycteris grew drowsy. The air began to grow cool. It was
getting near the time when she too was accustomed to sleep. She closed
her eyes just a moment, and nodded--opened them suddenly wide, for she
had promised to watch.

In that moment a change had come. The moon had got round, and was
fronting her from the west, and she saw that her face was altered, that
she had grown pale, as if she too were wan with fear, and from her lofty
place espied a coming terror. The light seemed to be dissolving out of
her; she was dying--she was going out! And yet everything around looked
strangely clear--clearer than ever she had seen anything before: how
could the lamp be shedding more light when she herself had less? Ah,
that was just it! See how faint she looked! It was because the light was
forsaking her, and spreading itself over the room, that she grew so thin
and pale. She was melting away from the roof like a bit of sugar in

Nycteris was fast growing afraid, and sought refuge with the face upon
her lap. How beautiful the creature was!--what to call it she could not
think, for it had been angry when she called it what Watho called her.
And, wonder upon wonder! now, even in the cold change that was passing
upon the great room, the color as of a red rose was rising in the wan
cheek. What beautiful yellow hair it was that spread over her lap! What
great huge breaths the creature took! And what were those curious things
it carried? She had seen them on her walls, she was sure.

Thus she talked to herself while the lamp grew paler and paler, and
everything kept growing yet clearer. What could it mean? The lamp was
dying--going out into the other place of which the creature in her lap
had spoken, to be a sun! But why were the things growing clearer before
it was yet a sun? That was the point. Was it her growing into a sun that
did it? Yes! yes! it was coming death! She knew it, for it was coming
upon her also! She felt it coming! What was she about to grow into?
Something beautiful, like the creature in her lap? It might be! Anyhow,
it must be death; for all her strength was going out of her, while all
around her was growing so light she could not bear it!

Photogen woke, lifted his head from her lap, and sprang to his feet. His
face was one radiant smile. His heart was full of daring. Nycteris gave
a cry, covered her face with her hands, and pressed her eyelids close.
Then blindly she stretched out her arms to Photogen, crying, "Oh, I am
so frightened! What is this? It must be death! I don't wish to die yet.
I love this room and the old lamp. I do not want the other place! This
is terrible!"

"What is the matter with you, girl?" said Photogen. "There is no fear of
anything now, child. It is day. The sun is all but up. Good-by. Thank
you for my night's lodging. I'm off. Don't be a goose. If ever I can do
anything for you--and all that, you know--"

"Don't leave me; oh, don't leave me!" cried Nycteris. "I am dying! I can
not move. The light sucks all the strength out of me. And oh, I am _so_

But already Photogen had splashed through the river, holding high his
bow that it might not get wet. He rushed across the level, and strained
up the opposing hill. Hearing no answer, Nycteris removed her hands.
Photogen had reached the top, and the same moment the sun-rays alighted
upon him: the glory of the king of day crowded blazing upon the
golden-haired youth. Radiant as Apollo, he stood in mighty strength, a
flashing shape in the midst of flame. He fitted a glowing arrow to a
gleaming bow. The arrow parted with a keen musical twang of the
bowstring, and Photogen darting after it, vanished with a shout. Up shot
Apollo himself, and from his quiver scattered astonishment and
exultation. But the brain of poor Nycteris was pierced through and
through. She fell down in utter darkness. All around her was a flaming
furnace. In despair and feebleness and agony she crept back, feeling her
way with doubt and difficulty and enforced persistence to her cell. When
at last the friendly darkness of her chamber folded her about with its
cooling and consoling arms, she threw herself on her bed and fell fast
asleep. And there she slept on, one alive in a tomb, while Photogen,
above in the sun-glory, pursued the buffaloes on the lofty plain,
thinking not once of her where she lay dark and forsaken, whose
presence had been his refuge, her eyes and her hands his guardians
through the night. He was in his glory and his pride; and the darkness
and its disgrace had vanished for a time.


But no sooner had the sun reached the noonstead than Photogen began to
remember the past night in the shadow of that which was at hand, and to
remember it with shame. He had proved himself--and not to himself only,
but to a girl as well--a coward!--one bold in the daylight, while there
was nothing to fear, but trembling like any slave when the night
arrived. There was, there must be, something unfair in it! A spell had
been cast upon him! He had eaten, he had drunk, something that did not
agree with courage. In any case he had been taken unprepared. How was he
to know what the going down of the sun would be like? It was no wonder
he should have been surprised into terror, seeing it was what it was--in
its very nature so terrible! Also, one could not see where danger might
be coming from! You might be torn in pieces, carried off, or swallowed
up, without even seeing where to strike a blow! Every possible excuse he
caught at, eager as a self-lover to lighten his self-contempt. That day
he astonished the huntsmen--terrified them with his reckless daring--all
to prove to himself he was no coward.

But nothing eased his shame. One thing only had hope in it--the resolve
to encounter the dark in solemn earnest, now that he knew something of
what it was. It was nobler to meet and recognize danger than to rush
contemptuously into what seemed nothing--nobler still, to encounter a
nameless horror. He could conquer fear and wipe out disgrace together.
For a marksman and swordsman like him, he said, one with his strength
and courage, there was but danger. Defeat there was not. He knew the
darkness now, and when it came he would meet it as fearless and cool as
now he felt himself. And again he said, "We shall see!"

He stood under the boughs of a great beech as the sun was going down,
far away over the jagged hills: before it was half down, he was
trembling like one of the leaves behind him in the first sigh of the
night wind. The moment the last of the glowing disk vanished, he bounded
away in terror to gain the valley, and his fear grew as he ran. Down the
side of the hill, an abject creature, he went bounding and rolling and
running; fell rather than plunged into the river, and came to himself,
as before, lying on the grassy bank in the garden.

But when he opened his eyes, there were no girl-eyes looking down into
his; there were only the stars in the waste of the sunless Night--the
awful all-enemy he had again dared, but could not encounter. Perhaps the
girl was not yet come out of the water! He would try to sleep, for he
dared not move, and perhaps when he woke he would find his head on her
lap, and the beautiful dark face, with its deep blue eyes, bending over
him. But when he woke he found his head on the grass, and although he
sprang up with all his courage, such as it was, restored, he did not set
out for the chase with such an _élan_ as the day before; and despite the
sun-glory in his heart and veins, his hunting was this day less eager;
he ate little, and from the first was thoughtful even to sadness. A
second time he was defeated and disgraced! Was his courage nothing more
than the play of the sunlight on his brain? Was he a mere ball tossed
between the light and the dark? Then what a poor contemptible creature
he was! But a third chance lay before him. If he failed the third time,
he dared not foreshadow what he must then think of himself! It was bad
enough now--but then!

Alas! it went no better. The moment the sun was down, he fled as if from
a legion of devils.

Seven times in all he tried to face the coming night in the strength of
the past day, and seven times he failed--failed with such increase of
failure, with such a growing sense of ignominy, overwhelming at length
all the sunny hours and joining night to night, that, what with misery,
self-accusation, and loss of confidence, his daylight courage too began
to fade, and at length, from exhaustion, from getting wet, and then
lying out-of-doors all night, and night after night--worst of all, from
the consuming of the deathly fear, and the shame of shame, his sleep
forsook him, and on the seventh morning, instead of going to the hunt,
he crawled into the castle, and went to bed. The grand health, over
which the witch had taken such pains, had yielded, and in an hour or two
he was moaning and crying out in delirium.





  No sweeter child could ever be
  Than fair-haired, blue-eyed Cecily.
  She loved all things on earth that grew;
  The grass, the flowers, the weeds, she knew;
  The butterflies around her flew,
  That she might see their rainbowed wings.
    The very bees and wasps would come
    To greet her with a gentle hum,
  And ne'er betray that they had stings.
  But, most of all, the birds in throngs,
  Where'er she went, with chirps and songs
  Gave her glad welcome. Her first words
  Had been, "I love the pretty birds;"
  And ever since her baby hand
    Could scatter seed and crumbs of bread,
  Each day a waiting feathered band
    The darling little maid had fed.

  The loving, winsome Cecily--
  No dearer child e'er lived than she--
  One Christmas-eve (in crimson hood
  And cloak she'd in her garden stood
  That morn and fed a hungry brood)
  In her white bed lay fast asleep,
    The moonlight on her golden hair,
    Her hands still clasped as in the prayer,
  "I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep."
  She slept, and dreamed of Christmas times,
  Of Christmas gifts, and Christmas rhymes;
  But in no vision did she see
  The host that filled the cedar-tree--
  The cedar-tree that, tall and straight,
  Rose high above the garden gate,
  And though the winds were cold and keen,
  Wore berries blue and branches green.

  A hundred birds or more were there;
  Some--from the sunny Southland, where
  The fragrant rose was blooming still,
  And green grass covered field and hill,
  And, free as ever, flowed the rill--
  Had come in answer to the call
    Of friends who at the North had staid,
    By stern old Winter undismayed,
  To see the dainty snow-flakes fall.
  These kindly greeted, with small head
  Held on one side, a sparrow said,
  "To choose a gift for Cecily
  We've met to-night. What shall it be?"
  A flute-like trill, in graceful pride,
  A thrush sang sweetly, then replied,
  "What better than the gift of song?"
  "None better," answered all the throng.

  And when next dawn sweet Cecily--
  No sweeter child could ever be--
  Into the sunlight smiling sprang,
  In wondrous notes a hymn she sang.
  Exultant on the air it rang,
  And waked the echoes all about.
    Straightway the morning brighter grew,
    The pale sky turned a deeper blue,
  The merry Christmas bells pealed out.
  And, from that day, whoever hears
  The wee maid sing, sheds happy tears
  (So potent is her power of song),
  Forgetting pain and care and wrong,
  Rememb'ring only heaven is nigh,
  Where dwells the Christ who came to die
  On earth, that we might live alway,
  And who was born on Christmas-day.



To those young ladies and gentlemen who are acquainted with the _Arabian
Nights_, I foresee that the title of my tale will at once cause to
spring up in their recollection the adventure of Nourhadeen and _his_
fair Persian; that a vision will instantly present itself to their gaze
of singing trees and dancing fountains, of hanging gardens, and groves
of palm, and purses of sequins; and I am sure they will thank me for
having recalled to their minds (though I didn't mean to do it)
remembrances so charming. To other little folks, on the other hand, who
have _not_ read the _Arabian Nights_, my story will have none the less
attraction, since it has no more to do with Nourhadeen than with their
excellent grandmother (if they happen to have one), and the fair Persian
is not a "young person" at all.

How it all happened was thus: It was papa's birthday, you see, and the
children knowing--clever creatures--exactly when it was coming, had
prepared a surprise for him. They knew his tastes to a nicety, and had
put their money together and bought the present that he would be sure to
welcome most. Only he was not to know what it was to be; and yet it
being "such fun" to hear him guess, he was allowed three chances, and if
he guessed right he was to be told. Only you mightn't say, "You're
burning" (which is the same as "you're near it," you know), or anything
more to help him than this, namely, that the present was "half alive and
half not," and that "one part of it was within the other."

Papa said that he would rather not have been helped in this way, as it
did him more harm than good, by putting all probable things--the guesses
he would naturally have made--out of the question. The children gave him
one minute to guess in, and not till fifty-nine seconds had gone by did
he utter a syllable, and _then_ he only said, "I give it up."

They thought it rather stupid of dear papa, but then, you see, they
_knew_, and he didn't, which makes an immense difference in guessing.

Then he asked them to give him "a light"--not a light for his cigar, of
course, for all this took place in the drawing-room--but a hint as to
what the present was. Then they said, which was a pretty broad one, that
it was "a fair Persian;" but even then he couldn't guess. "I have never
heard," he said, twiddling his watch chain, "of any fair Persian, except
in connection with Nourhadeen, and _she_ was not half alive and half
not." "Very good," said Polly, who had given the biggest subscription,
and had therefore the best right to speak; "it is plain to us, dear
papa, that you want more prompting. When I tell you that Nourhadeen, in
this case, is a little basket house, with a lovely red rug in it, that
will let the cat out of the bag;" whereupon dear, clever papa guessed it
was a Persian cat.

But it wasn't, for it was only a kitten.

It didn't look like a kitten, however, being, when rolled up and asleep,
a mere round fluffy black ball, and, when awake, a little black bear,
looked at through the wrong end of a telescope. It would have taken
about ten thousand of it to have made a real bear, and even then it
would have been a small bear, only its tail was by no means small, but a
splendid article. Otherwise it was so very tiny that it lay upon its red
rug like an ink spot on a piece of blotting-paper. It had a fine house
of basket-work, just like what Robinson Crusoe built for himself for a
summer residence, with a sloping roof, and a little door that fastened
with a pin outside, when he wished to be private; and as every house
which has not a number must have a name (so that the postman may know
where to leave the letters), it was called Nourhadeen (because of the
fair Persian), and the tenant of it was called Fluffy.

Of course, since a gift is a gift, it was papa's own Fluffy, but that
did not prevent its being the pet of the whole house, baby included; and
to see these two little creatures together was (almost) as good as a
play. One was so black, and the other so pink and white, and yet both so
soft and warm, and about equal as to talking. For though baby could
babble, he couldn't purr, and though Fluffy could purr, she couldn't
babble, while neither could stand up on their hind-legs for more than
two seconds together.

But when it came to climbing, baby was nowhere. Fluffy was but three
months old, but she was oftener on the roof of her house--where baby
could _never_ have got--than in it, while if dear mamma came near her,
with her long flounces, Fluffy was on them at once, and stuck there like
a hairy burr. That was the sad thing about Fluffy, she was such a
gad-about, being everywhere where you didn't expect her to be; and so
tiny that even when you did expect her, nobody knew she was there.

She was lost about ten times a day, and found in the most astonishing
places. Once in mamma's work-box, where she was looked for, but not
seen, being taken for a ball of worsted; and once in papa's
shooting-jacket pocket, who took her to his office with him, under the
impression that she was his seal-skin tobacco pouch.

Moreover, a very fashionable lady called one day, and took Fluffy right
away with her, the poor little dear having clung to her mantle, and been
amalgamated with its fur trimmings.

To say that dear papa was "weak" about the fair Persian is to take a
very favorable view of his devotion to her; but dear mamma said it was
"quite ridiculous to make such a fuss about a kitten"--and never herself
lost a chance of picking it up and fondling it in her arms. The rest of
the family were described by their cousin Charley, who lived over the
way, as "sunk in the Persian superstition," and even as "addicted to
nigger worship"--an allusion to Fluff's sable hue.

And now comes the best part of the story, which is, of course, the
"creepy-crawly" and horrible part.

Cousin Charley had a mastiff dog called Jumbo, ever so high and ever so
huge, with great hanging chaps (which are pronounced chops, you know) on
both sides of his jaws. If you never saw him open his mouth, I can
scarcely give you any idea of it; but if you have seen pictures of
Vesuvius during an eruption, think of the crater. It was said by his
master that Jumbo would never hurt a fly, but that was not the point
with those who were not flies, and all these stood in great fear of him.
It is very little satisfaction to one who meets an elephant in his
morning's walk, in a narrow way, to have read that that creature is the
most gentle of mammals (or mammoths); and similarly there was no knowing
what catastrophe might not take place from the presence of Jumbo, though
he might not mean to bring it about. He was positively too tremendous
for society; while, out-of-doors, I never knew a dog so respected--and
avoided--by other dogs.

To see Jumbo and Fluff together was to behold the meeting of two
extremes of the animal creation; the introduction of the King of
Brobdingnag to the Princess of Lilliput, or of Chang, the Chinese giant,
to Mrs. General Tom Thumb. Yet, if you will believe me, on Jumbo's first
appearance on our drawing-room rug, Fluff scampered up to him (all on
one side, as usual) and hung on to his tail! The moment was one of
terrible suspense, not only to her, but to the spectators generally,
except Charley, who said, "Oh, Jumbo won't mind," which might or might
not have been the case; for it is my fixed conviction that that noble
animal was totally unaware of what was taking place, so to speak, behind
his back, and to this hour is ignorant of the indignity that was put
upon him.

One Sunday morning, in midwinter, Jumbo called without his master, and
walked into the back parlor without being announced; there was no living
creature there except himself and Fluff, and when the family entered the
room _there was only Jumbo_. They looked everywhere for his late (yes,
his _late_) companion; but she had vanished. Whither? To this vital
question it seemed to their horrified minds that there was but one
reply; it was in vain for Jumbo to assume an indifferent air, as though
he would say, "How should _I_ know?" The accusation that trembled on
every lip was, "The dog has swallowed her." He looked about the same
size as usual, but that was nothing; fifty Fluffs would not have made
any external difference. One of his chaps, indeed, seemed to hang a
little lower than usual, but she was not there. He yawned--nobody
believed in _that_; it was just what a dog would do, conscious of crime
and assuming unconcern--and everybody shuddered. What might not that
enormous throat have swallowed, and thought nothing of it? Messengers
were dispatched at once for Charley, who came and cross-examined the
animal; but he only shook his head and wagged his tail. These actions
might have been proofs of his innocence if Fluff had still been with us,
but as it was, it only showed his callousness--the callousness of

All sat round Jumbo in a circle, and listened in solemn silence. Even
the tiniest mew of farewell would have been welcome, but it was not
vouchsafed. Nothing was heard but the thumping of that wicked tail (to
which they had once seen Fluffy cling) upon the bear-skin rug on which
they had so often lost her. She was not there now, for they took it up
and shook it. She was not in the envelope case upon the writing-table;
nor in the coal-scuttle, for they took the coals out one by one, to be
quite sure; nor in the work-box, for it was Sunday, and it was not
there; nor up the curtains, for they examined them with "the steps"; nor
up the chimney, for the fire was alight; nor in either of papa's boots,
which were set on the fender to get warm. She was gone from their sight
like a beautiful dream, though still, alas! in a manner, _present_.

Dear papa was the first to recover from the catastrophe. "Whatever has
taken place, my dears," said he, "we must go to church; the last bell is
already ringing."

Dear mamma sighed, and took the hands of the two youngest children,
leaving her muff to hang from her neck by its ribbon. She felt that in
that hour of trouble the clasp of her fingers would be a comfort to

The whole family walked together like a funeral procession, and they
could see the neighbors draw long faces, under the impression that there
had been some fatal domestic calamity to account for such looks of woe.
Even Charley was affected, though he could hardly believe even yet in
his favorite's guilt, while Jumbo came behind with his tail between his
legs--either from the stings of conscience, or because he knew he would
be left as usual at the church door.


I am afraid the thoughts of some of the little party wandered a little,
during the first part of the service, in the supposed direction in which
Fluff had gone; but the sermon riveted their attention. They wished
sincerely Jumbo could have been there to hear it, for it was upon
cruelty to animals. It had just begun, and dear mamma had for the first
time got rid of her books and placed her hands in her muff, when she
drew them sharply out again and turned very red. At the same time a
piteous little mew pervaded the sanctuary. At home we could not have
heard it a yard away, but the church, being built for sound, developed
those delicate notes. At the same time all the people on the right hand
of the aisle began to smile. Fluff's little black face had presented
itself at that end of the muff. Dear mamma hastened to close it up with
her hand, and then all the people on the left hand of the aisle began to
smile. Fluff's little black face had peered out at the other end. Then
dear mamma, in desperation, put in both her hands, and then the
imprisoned Fluff began to mew indeed. "How hard must that heart be,"
said the clergyman, going on with his subject, "who would ill use an
innocent, helpless kitten!" "Like _me_, like _me_," said Fluff, or so it
seemed to say, in its piteous way. The people in both aisles fixed their
eyes on dear mamma, who in vain pretended to be rapt in the sermon; they
knew very well by this time what was wrapped in her muff, and in the end
dear mamma had to go. The denunciations of the clergyman against cruel
people followed her down the aisle, and were supposed, no doubt, by
those who didn't know her, to have a personal application, for Fluff
was mewing all the way. It was altogether a most terrible business.
What all the family felt, however, when they got home, was that an
apology was, in the first place, due to Jumbo for the imputation on his
character, and it was offered (on a plate of beef bones) in the amplest
manner, and accepted in a similar spirit.



The shop of Mr. Onosander Golong looked, that 24th of December, like a
bower. Two young cedar-trees stood one on each side of the doorway; long
garlands of evergreen, sprinkled with bright berries, were festooned all
over the walls; and every turkey there, and there were lots of them,
hanging like some new kind of gigantic fruit from the mass of green that
covered the ceiling, had a gay ribbon tied around its neck. And such a
wonderful picture in the way of freshness and color as the big window
presented to the passers-by! Bunches of crisp light green celery leaning
up against heaps of brown, pink-eyed potatoes and honest red onions;
fiery-looking peppers side by side with golden oranges and yellow
lemons; hard, smooth, shining cranberries trying to look as though they
were sweet; great fat pumpkins; piles of green and piles of rosy apples;
bunches of fragrant thyme; and more turkeys, some with and some without
their feathered coats, but all, as I said before, with gay ribbons
around their necks. Dear me! if Santa Claus could have only looked into
that window and peeped into that shop, how pleased he would have been,
and how he would have laughed! And he certainly would have taken Mr.
Onosander Golong for a long-lost brother, for never before did mortal
man so strongly resemble the children's old Christmas friend. Snow-white
hair, long snow-white beard, twinkling blue eyes, round, fat, red,
good-natured face, a fur cap on his head, bunches of holly berries
pinned here and there on his shaggy jacket, and a laugh--good gracious!
such a loud, hearty, mirth-provoking laugh, that the very people on the
street, hearing it, began to smile, and feel that Christmas was here
indeed. And I tell you Mr. Onosander Golong was busy that day, and so
were all the men and boys employed by him. Turkeys and other things that
had been ordered the evening before, turkeys and other things that had
been ordered early that morning, and turkeys and other things being
ordered all the time, were to be packed away in huge baskets, and sent
to their respective destinations. But he wasn't so busy but that he
stopped a moment from his work to give a piece of meat to a poor dog
that had trotted hopefully into the shop (having evidently translated
the name "Golong" over the door into "Come in"), and was asking for it
with his eyes. And as he rose from patting the dog, he saw two children
standing before him, also asking for something with their eyes. They
were poorly dressed children, but the girl had a sweet, bright face, and
the boy was as jolly-looking a little fellow as you could find anywhere.
His cheeks were as round, if not as red, as Mr. Golong's, and his merry
black eyes actually danced in his head. Now if there was one place in
Mr. Onosander Golong's heart softer than the rest, it was the place he
kept for children; and so when he saw these two looking up in his
face--the boy with boyish boldness, and the girl with girlish
shyness--he said, in the cheeriest, kindest manner, "Well, small people,
what can I do for you?"

"We would like to tell you a story," answered the boy, in a frank,
pleasant voice.

"Tell me a story!" repeated Mr. Golong, in a tone of great surprise.

"Yes, sir, please--a Christmas story," was the reply.

"Bless my heart! what a queer idea!" said Mr. Golong, and he laughed a
silent laugh that half closed his eyes and wrinkled his nose in the
funniest way.

"Wouldn't you like to hear one?" asked the girl, coaxingly.

"Of course I would--I'm very fond of stories--but I don't see how I can
spare the time. We're so busy just now, and likely to be until night,"
said Mr. Golong.

"It's only a short one," said the boy.

"A very short one," added the girl.

"Well, go ahead," said the good-natured old fellow. And he sat down on a
barrel of potatoes, and his young visitors placed themselves one on each
side of him.

"One Christmas-time," the boy began, "there was a big tenement-house in
this city, and ten families lived in it, and every one of these families
'cept one knew they were a-going to have turkey for their Christmas
dinner. They knew it sure the day before Christmas, all 'cept this one.
The family that wasn't sure the day before Christmas morning lived on
the top floor, and it was--it was--"

"Mrs. Todd, Neal Todd, Hetty Todd, and Puppy Todd," prompted the girl.

"Yes, it was them," said the boy, and went on with his story again:
"Mrs. Todd was Neal's and Hetty's mother--they hadn't any father; he
died three years ago--and Puppy was their dog. Mrs. Todd is one of the
best mothers ever lived, and she sews button-holes on boys' jackets for
a big store; and Hetty cleans up the house, and gets the supper, and
such things; and I--I mean Neal--runs errands for folks when he can get
a chance after school. His mother wants him to go to school till he's
fourteen anyhow, 'cause a boy that has some education can get along
better than a boy that don't know anything. And this family, though they
were very poor, had always managed to have a turkey dinner till the
Christmas I'm telling about, and Mrs. Todd she loved turkey."

"Didn't Hetty and Neal?" asked Mr. Golong, closing his eyes and
wrinkling his nose again; and he hurried away to wait on a stout lady,
all covered with glittering jet ornaments and bugles, who must have been
a very particular customer, she talked so loud and so much.

"Didn't Hetty and Neal?" he repeated, when he came back.

"Oh, my! I guess they did!" said the girl, her eyes sparkling.

"They'd 'a been funny fellows if they didn't," added the boy; "but, 'pon
their words and honors, they wanted it more for their mother--she's such
a good mother, and has so few good things to eat--than they did for
themselves. And it made them feel awful bad when she came home and cried
'cause some wicked thief had stolen her pocket-book with half a week's
earnings in it, and the two-dollar bill that the boss had given her to
buy a Christmas dinner with besides. And so the boy Neal--he's kind of a
nice chap, ain't he, Hetty?"

"Awful nice," replied Hetty, with a mischievous little giggle.

"And he says to his sister--she's awful nice, ain't she, Hetty?"

"Kind of nice," said Hetty, with another little giggle.

"He says to his sister," continued the boy, "'Don't say anything to
mother, but put on your hat, and bring a basket, and we'll make a try
for a merry Christmas dinner--turkey and all.' And they went round the
corner to a beautiful market, kept by a gentleman who looked exactly
like Santa Claus--"

Mr. Onosander Golong laughed aloud this time, and flew to wait on
another particular customer.

"So he looked like Santa Claus?" he said, with a chuckle, when he sat
down on the barrel of potatoes again.

"The very image of him!" said the girl, with great emphasis.

"The boy," began the boy once more, "had run errands for him two or
three times, and each time had got two apples or oranges besides the
reg'lar pay; and he was good to cats and dogs. So this chap went to this
gentleman--he took his sister along, 'cause he thought Mr. Golong would
like to see her--and they told him their story. And the boy says, when
it was done, 'If you would only trust us for a turk--I mean, a turkey,
and a few other things, I'll work for you all holiday week, and another
week too, after school. My name's Neal Todd, and my mother is a real
nice woman, and I love her just as you used to love your mother when you
was a little boy.' And the gentleman, says he, 'Being as it's
Christmas-time, and I look so much like Santa Claus, I'll do it.' And he
did. And that's all."

Mr. Onosander Golong burst out a-laughing, and oh! how he laughed! He
laughed until the tears ran down his cheeks. He laughed until he nearly
fell off the barrel. He laughed until everybody far and near who heard
him laughed too, and the very roosters in the poultry shop over the way
joined in, and crowed with all their might and main. And they got the

[Illustration: "AND THEY GOT THE TURKEY!"]


       *       *       *       *       *


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       *       *       *       *       *


HARPER & BROTHERS _will send any of the above works by mail, postage
prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price_.


HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at
the following rates; _payable in advance--postage free_:

  SINGLE COPIES                      4 cts.
  ONE SUBSCRIPTION, _one year_       $1.50
  FIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS, _one year_     $7.00

Subscriptions may begin with any number. When no time is specified, it
will be understood that the subscriber desires to commence with the
number issued after the receipt of order.

Remittances should be made by POST-OFFICE MONEY ORDER, or DRAFT, to
avoid risk of loss.

  HARPER & BROTHERS, Franklin Square, New York.


HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE _and_ HARPER'S WEEKLY _will be sent to any address
for one year, commencing with the first number of_ HARPER'S WEEKLY _for
January, 1880, on receipt of $5.00 for the two Periodicals_.

[Illustration: OUR POST-OFFICE BOX]

We give our correspondents a hearty Christmas greeting, and present them
with an enlarged and handsome _Young People_, which we hope they will
receive with the same kindness and appreciation they have already shown
us. We shall give them weekly a great variety of stories, poems, and
instructive reading, printed in large, clear type, on firm, handsome
paper. The popularity of our Post-office Box is shown by the increasing
weight of our daily mail-bag, which comes to us overflowing with pretty

       *       *       *       *       *


     Papa has brought us several numbers of _Young People_, and as you
     ask us little folks to write to you, I thought I would tell you how
     much we are pleased with the paper. The story of the "Brave Swiss
     Boy" is so interesting I can hardly wait for the next number to
     come. What a good, brave, and honest boy Watty was, and what a
     plucky fight he had with the vultures! The picture of the "Monkey
     on Guard" is very fine. I like stories of brave boys and pictures
     of smart monkeys. Papa is going to take _Young People_ for me next
     year, and I am going to keep every one. The paper is just the right
     size to make into a book for Jamie and Maggie.

  PAUL W. C.

       *       *       *       *       *


     I like your paper very much, and am always glad to get it. I have a
     nice old bachelor uncle in New York, who sends it to me every week.
     I should like very much to see this in print. If it is, I may try
     again. I have been very sick with diphtheria, and I don't like it a
     bit. I made 'most three dollars taking medicine, and I liked that
     very much. As you ask for short letters, I will stop.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I have read _Young People_, and it is very nice indeed. My mother
     told me that you were going to publish a paper for children, and
     said I could take it. I have read all the "Story of a Parrot," and
     it made me laugh very much. I think _Young People_ is better than
     anything that has been published for children, and I will read
     every number that is issued, and thank you kindly for such a nice


       *       *       *       *       *


     As you kindly invited us all to write to you, I would like to tell
     you about a pet pigeon I had. I called it Lily, because it was so
     white. I got it when it was a little bit of a thing, and I did not
     keep it in a cage. I taught it to eat out of my hand, and when I
     came from school and called Lily, it would come flying from the
     barn-yard, where it was with the other pigeons, and light on my
     shoulder, and put its bill up to my mouth. One day I called Lily,
     and it did not come. I went to look for it in the barn-yard myself.
     It was there, but it would not come to me, and always after that it
     was wild. I think HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE is a very nice paper, and
     mamma thinks she will take it for me. My papa has taken HARPER'S
     WEEKLY and MONTHLY ever since they were in existence.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I was very glad when papa came home with a little paper for me, and
     I took it from his hand and looked at it for about ten minutes, and
     then asked him if he would take it for me. When he found out that I
     read it all through, he asked which story I liked the best, and I
     told him, "The Story of a Parrot." Papa takes HARPER'S MAGAZINE,
     but I would rather have YOUNG PEOPLE. I have read all about the
     "Brave Swiss Boy," and I hope he will become rich.


       *       *       *       *       *


     Cousin Orla and I were delighted when Uncle Will (he is Orla's
     papa, and I live at his house) brought us YOUNG PEOPLE, and now we
     eagerly watch its coming every week. I think Watty Hirzel was a
     brave and noble boy to risk so much for his father.

  A. H. A.

       *       *       *       *       *


     Your nice paper comes with mamma's. We have had lots of fun with
     the "Wiggles." Won't you please answer this question: In our
     dining-room there is a big looking-glass. In front of the glass
     there is a table. When a lamp is set on the table, it looks as if
     there were two lamps. Please tell me whether the lamp on the table
     and the one reflected in the looking-glass will give as much light
     as two lamps.


The lamp and its reflection will not give as much light as two lamps,
and the intensity of light thrown from the mirror depends upon the
distance of the lamp from its surface, and also upon the nature and
thickness of the mirror itself.

       *       *       *       *       *

MARK E. E. S.--The first condition for admission to the _St. Mary's_ is
a residence in New York city. The remainder of your question is answered
in the Post-office Box of our sixth number.

       *       *       *       *       *

J. R. B.--We do not know how to prescribe for your poor sick rabbit.

       *       *       *       *       *

MILLIA B.--All stars appear to twinkle except the planets. We can not
tell the reason any plainer than it is already given by the "Professor."

       *       *       *       *       *

Very pleasant letters, and also answers to puzzles, are received from
Henry C. L., Allie D., Frank S. M., Eben P. D., Theodore F. I., Charles
E. L., M. W. D., Lilian, "Subscriber," C. F. C., F. Coggswell, Claude
C., Charles F. and George J. H., Victor K., J. G., M. E. E. S., Charlie
G., and Anna B.

[Illustration: "MINNIE, WAS YOU EVER A CHILD?"]

[Illustration: "CAN YOU SEE HIM?"]

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