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Title: Harper's Young People, January 20, 1880 - 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, January 20, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly" ***

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[Illustration: HARPER'S



       *       *       *       *       *


Tuesday, January 20, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50
per Year, in Advance.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Poor pussy comes at break of day,
  And wakes me up to make me play;
  But I am such a sleepy head,
  That I'd much rather stay in bed!


"As we have already," began the Professor, "had a talk about the stars
in general, let us this morning give a little attention to our own
particular star."

"Is there a star that we can call our own?" asked May, with unusual
animation. "How nice! I wonder if it can be the one I saw from our front
window last evening, that looked so bright and beautiful?"

"I am sure it was not," said the Professor, "if you saw it in the

"Is it hard to see our star, then?" she said.

"By no means," replied the Professor; "rather it is hard not to see it.
But you must be careful about looking directly at it, or your eyes will
be badly dazzled, it is so very bright. Our star is no other than the
sun. And we are right in calling it a star, because all the stars are
suns, and very likely give light and heat to worlds as large as our
earth, though they are all so far off that we can not see them. Our star
seems so much brighter and hotter than the others, only because it is so
much nearer to us than they are, though still it is some ninety-two
millions of miles away."

"How big is the sun?" asked Joe.

"You can get the clearest idea of its size by a comparison. The earth is
7920 miles in diameter, that is, as measured right through the centre.
Now suppose it to be only one inch, or about as large as a plum or a
half-grown peach; then we would have to regard the sun as three yards in
diameter, so that if it were in this room it would reach from the floor
to the ceiling."

"How do they find out the distance of the sun?" asked Joe.

"Until lately," replied the Professor, "the same method was pursued as
in surveying, that is, by measuring lines and angles. An angle, you
know, is the corner made by two lines coming together, as in the letter
V. But that method did not answer very well, as it did not make the
distance certain within several millions of miles. Quite recently
Professor Newcomb has found out a way of measuring the sun's distance by
the velocity of its light. He has invented a means of learning exactly
how fast light moves; and then, by comparing this with the time light
takes to come from the sun to us, he is able to tell how far off the sun
is. Thus, if a man knows how many miles he walks in an hour, and how
many hours it takes him to walk to a certain place, he can very easily
figure up the number of miles it is away."

"Why," said Gus, "that sounds just like what Bob Stebbins said the other
day in school. He has a big silver watch that he is mighty fond of
hauling out of his pocket before everybody. A caterpillar came crawling
through the door, and went right toward the teacher's desk at the other
end of the room. 'Now,' said Bob, 'if that fellow will only keep
straight ahead, I can tell how long the room is.' So out came the watch,
and Bob wrote down the time and how many inches the caterpillar
travelled in a minute. But just then Sally Smith came across his track
with her long dress, and swept him to Jericho. We boys all laughed out;
Sally blushed and got angry; and the teacher kept us in after school."

"Astronomers have the same kind of troubles," said the Professor. "They
incur great labor and expense to take some particular observation that
is possible only once in a number of years, and then for only a few
minutes. And after their instruments are all carefully set up, and their
calculations made, the clouds spread over the sky, and hide everything
they wish to see. People, too, are very apt to laugh at their

"There would, however, be no science of astronomy if those who pursued
it were discouraged by common difficulties. To explain the heavenly
bodies they sometimes try to make little systems or images of the sun
and the planets; but they are never able to show the sizes and distances
correctly. If they were to begin by making the sun one inch in diameter,
then the earth would have to be three yards off, and as small as a grain
of dust; some of the planets would have to be across the street, and
others away beyond the opposite houses. So when you look at these little
solar systems, as they are called, you must remember that the sizes and
distances are all wrong.

"Still, you can get from them some idea how the sun stands in the
middle, and the earth and other planets go round, and how the earth,
while going round the sun, keeps also turning itself around. You have
seen how a top, while spinning, sometimes runs round in a circle. That
is just the way our earth does. And if you imagine a candle in the
centre of the circle that the top makes, you will see why it is
sometimes day and sometimes night. When the side of the earth we are on
is turned toward the sun, we have day; and when we have spun past the
sun, night comes.

"The sun seems to go past us, and people used to think it really did.
But we know now that it is as if we were in a rail-car, and the trees
and houses seemed to be rushing along, when we ourselves are the ones
that are moving. The sun and all the stars seem to move through the sky
from east to west; but it is only our earth that is turning itself the
other way, and carrying us with it."

"What makes summer and winter?" asked Joe.

"I think that the top will help you to understand that too. You have
noticed that when it spins it does not always stand straight up, but
often leans over to one side. So sometimes the upper part of it would be
over toward the candle, and sometimes over away from it. The earth leans
over too in this same manner; and that is the reason why we have summer
and winter. When by this leaning our part of the earth is toward the
sun, we get more heat, and have a warm season; when we are leaning away
from the sun, and are more in the shadow, the cold weather comes, and
continues until we get into a good position to be warmed up again.

"A kind Providence brings this all around very regularly, and there is
no danger of our being kept so long in the cold that we would freeze to
death. Everything works like a clock that is never allowed to run down
or get out of order. In spinning, the earth carries us round twelve or
fifteen times as fast as the fastest railway train has ever yet been
made to run; and in making its circle round the sun, it moves as fast as
a shot from a gun."

"Oh! oh!" exclaimed the children; and Joe asked, "Why are we not all
dashed to pieces?"

"Because," said the Professor, "we do not run against anything large
enough to do any harm; and we do not realize how fast we are moving, or
that we are moving at all, because we do not pass near anything that is
standing still. You know that in riding we look at the trees and fences
by the road-side to see how rapidly we are going. The hills in the
distance do not show our speed, but seem to be following us. Unless we
look outside we can not know anything about it, excepting, perhaps, we
may guess from the noise and jostling of the vehicle. But as the earth
moves smoothly and without the least noise, we would think it stood
entirely still did not astronomers assure us of its wonderfully rapid
motion. It took them a great while to find it out. When they began to
suspect it there was a great dispute over it. Some said it moved; others
said it did not. The two parties were for a time very bitter against
each other; but now all agree in the belief of its rapid motion."

"A queer thing to quarrel about, I must say," remarked Gus. "I wouldn't
have cared a straw whether it moved or not, if I could only have been
allowed to move about on it as I pleased."

"I hope you are not getting uneasy, Gus," said Joe.

"There is evident reason," observed Jack, "to suspect that his
appreciation of the marvels of science is insufficient to preserve--"

"Oh, bother! Jack, don't give us your college stuff now, after the
Professor has told us so much. We like to hear him, of course. I do, for
one, a great deal better than I thought I should. But then a fellow
can't help getting tired."


  When the baby's eyes are blue,
    Think we of a summer day,
  Violets, and dancing rills.
    When the baby's eyes are gray,
  Doves and dawn are brought to mind.
    Brown--of gentle fawns we dream,
  And ripe nuts in shady woods.
    Black--of midnight skies that gleam
  With bright stars. But blue or gray,
    Black or brown, like flower or star,
  Sweeter eyes can never be
    To mamma than baby's are.

[Begun in No. 11 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, January 13.]




  "Infinite riches in a little room."

The words of the wise old woman of Hollowbush were true, then. Here was
a place where gems were more abundant than flowers; and as the child
stood on the threshold gazing into the diminutive but wondrously
beautiful apartment that had opened so suddenly before her, she saw that
she was indeed in the presence-chamber of a king.

The walls were of pure white marble, studded with diamonds, and from the
ceiling, which she could almost touch with her hand, hung slender
chandeliers of the same material. In each of these, instead of lamps,
were innumerable sapphires, throwing a soft blue light over all the
place. In every stone a star seemed to be burning steady and clear and
wonderfully brilliant. It was the asteria, or star sapphire, which was
alone considered worthy to light even the outer courts of the king over
a country so rich in gems as this.

The child clapped her hands, and would no doubt have shouted with
delight if she had not found herself encircled by tiny men, all looking
exactly alike, and all winking and blinking at her just as the
gate-keeper had done.

Before she could speak, or even clap her hands a second time, they had
entirely surrounded her, joining hands, and wheeling round and round,
singing as they went:

  "Workers are we--one, two, three--
  And merry men all, as you see, as you see;
  Deep under the ground,
  Where jewels are found,
  We work, and we sing
  While we dance in a ring.
  But a mortal has come to the caves below,
  So, merry men all, bow low, bow low,
  For our sister she'll be--one, two, three."

Three times did these strange and merry little people sing their song,
and three times did they whirl around the new-comer, thus introducing
themselves and welcoming her to their dominions.


Then one of them, but whether the gate-keeper or another she could not
tell, stepped forward, and making a low bow, said. "I am the king of the
mineral-workers and the workers in stone. These are my people; but
because you are a mortal, we one and all bow before you."

At these words all the little people bowed and waved their hands. Then
the king continued:

"Henceforth you are to be known as the Princess Bébè;" and he mounted a
marble footstool that stood close by, standing on tiptoe, and placing on
the head of the new-made princess a tiny coronet of pearls. Dumb with
astonishment, the Princess Bébè listened quietly to all that was said to
her, and allowed herself to be led away by one of the little men, who
had been appointed her chamberlain.

It was now getting late, and she was glad enough to be shown to her own
room, that she might think over the many wonderful things which she had

But here were new wonder and new riches.

Instead of being covered with a carpet, the floor was laid in squares of
jasper, the windows were of pure white crystal instead of glass, and the
curtains were made of a fine net-work of gold, caught back with a double
row of amethysts.

The furniture was of gold and silver, exquisitely carved, and the quilt,
which lay in stiff folds over the bed, was a marvel of beautiful colors
that seemed to be now one thing and now another.

The Princess Bébè held her breath. "It will be like going to sleep on a
rainbow," she said to herself, for the opal bed was full of changing
colors, now red, now green, and then purple and soft rose-pink, and
then, perhaps, green again. "There was never anything so beautiful as
this!" exclaimed the princess, throwing herself down; but the next
moment she was ready to cry with vexation, for there was neither warmth
nor softness in the opal bed, and she lay awake all night, alternately
shivering and crying.

"I won't stay in this place another moment," she said, the next morning,
when the chamberlain knocked at her door.

The chamberlain bowed, and held before her a silver cup filled with
jewels. "These are a present from the king to the Princess Bébè," he
said, holding it up for her inspection.

There was first of all a diamond necklace, just what she had been
wishing for; then there were ear-rings and bracelets of lapis lazuli of
a beautiful azure color; string after string of pearls; emeralds set in
buckles for her shoes; amethysts; sapphires as blue as the sea; and last
of all a large topaz, which shone with a brilliant yellow light, as if
it had been sunshine which some one had caught and imprisoned for her.

The Princess Bébè forgot for a moment her hard bed and sleepless night,
and ran to the king to thank him for his presents.

"I am glad to find that you are pleased with your new home," said the
king, graciously. "Did the princess sleep well during the night?"

"Oh, not at all well," she answered, forgetting her errand. "And I was
very cold, besides."

"Cold? cold?" said the king, sharply. "We must see to that."

Turning to one of his attendants, who held a crystal cup on which were
engraved the arms of the royal family, he took from it a stone of a dark
orange color, and said,

"This is a jacinth, my dear princess. Whenever you are cold, you have
only to rub your hands against it, and you will feel a delicious sense
of warmth stealing through your limbs."

The princess rubbed her hands against the smooth stone as the king
suggested; but she almost immediately threw it away again, crying out
with pain.

"Oh, I don't like it at all," she exclaimed. "It pricks and hurts."

"It is nothing but the electricity," answered the king. "You will soon
get accustomed to it, and I have no doubt will be quite fond of your
electrical stove."

"I don't want to get accustomed to it," answered the princess. "I want
to go home."

Then the king's face grew dark, and his pale blue eyes winked and
blinked until they shone like two blazing lights.

"No one comes into our country to go away again," he said at length.
"You are the Princess Bébè, adopted daughter of the king of the
mineral-workers and the workers in stone, and with him you must stay for
the rest of your life."

In spite of her diamond necklace, the princess was actually crying,
although it is almost past belief that any one with a diamond necklace
could cry; but the merry little mineral-workers, seeing the tears in her
eyes, crowded around her, and tried their best to comfort her.

"Come into the garden," said one; and "Come to the gold chests," said
another, "and see the diamonds."

"Diamonds!" exclaimed the princess, angrily and ungratefully: "I hate
the very sight of them. But I would like to see the garden," she added,
more gently.

Aleck, the gate-keeper, offered to act as escort, and the princess dried
her eyes. He at least was her friend, she thought; and on the way to the
garden, being very hungry, she ventured to ask him when they were to
have breakfast.

"Breakfast!" he said. "Why, we don't have breakfasts here."

"Well, then, dinner," suggested the princess, meekly.

"Nor dinners either," replied the little man. "Why should we have

"But at least you have suppers," said the princess, desperately, and
feeling ready to cry again.

"What are you thinking of?" asked the gate-keeper, with an air of

Then the princess grew angry.

"What am I thinking of?" she cried, at the top of her voice. "I am
thinking of something to eat--that's what I'm thinking of, and I'm
almost starved."

The little gate-keeper looked up, with a curious smile on his face, and

"Well, then, my dear princess, if that is what makes you unhappy, pray
don't think of it any more. No one ever eats anything here. Indeed, I
can not imagine anything more absurd."

Then, being at heart a very kind and obliging little person, he came
close to the princess, and said:

"I am sorry for you--indeed I am, but don't give way to tears. They
won't turn stones into bread. I beseech you, my dear Princess Bébè, to
look at our fruit trees and flowers. They are considered very beautiful.
I have no doubt but the sight of them will help you to bear this strange
feeling which you call hunger." Then, kissing the princess's hand, he
added: "I must leave you now and go to the gate. Amuse yourself in the
garden, my dear princess, till I return."

It was a wondrously beautiful garden, as any one could see, but somehow
the Princess Bébè did not get much comfort from it.

"Oh, if those were only real apples!" she sighed, for there were what
seemed to be apple-trees in great abundance. But the apples were of
malachite--a hard opaque stone of two shades of green--and when she
tried to taste the grapes, she found they were only purple amethysts
arranged in graceful clusters. The cherries were all of stone, instead
of having a stone in the middle; and the plums were just as bad and just
as beautiful--the cherries were deep red rubies, and the plums were made
of chrysoprase. Nothing but hard glittering gems wherever she turned her

The poor princess seemed likely to die of starvation in spite of her
riches, but she thought she would be almost willing to endure hunger if
she could only have a rose that would smell like the sweet-brier roses
which grew in Hollowbush in her own little garden. For what she had at
first taken to be roses were, after all, nothing but pink coral
cunningly carved, the daffodils were of amber, and the forget-me-nots
were one and all made of the pale blue turquoise.

"It is very certain that I must die," said the princess, sadly, and she
covered her face with her hands, crying bitterly, and praying that if
death must come to her, it might come quickly.



Blinky was a poor dirty little puppy whom somebody had lost, and
somebody else had stolen, and whose miserable little life was a burden
to himself until Joe found him. It happened one warm day in July that
Joe, whose bright eyes were always pretty wide open, saw a group of
youngsters eagerly clustering about an object which appeared to interest
them very much. This object squirmed, gasped, and occasionally kicked,
to the great amusement of the little crowd, who liked excitement of any
sort. Joe put his head over the shoulders of the children, and saw a
wretched little dog in the agonies of a convulsion. Now, instead of
giving him pleasure, this sight pained him grievously, as did any
suffering, and Joe pushed his way through the crowd, asking whose dog it
was. No one claimed it; and Joe was watched with great interest, and
warned most zealously, as he took the poor little creature by the nape
of its neck to the nearest pump.

"You'd better look out. He's mad. See if he isn't."

"What yer goin' to do?--kill him? My father's got a pistol; I'll run and
get it."

"No, you needn't," said Joe.

There was no pound in the town, and so the dog was worthless, and after
a while the crowd of children found something else to interest them.

Joe bathed the little dog, and rubbed it, and soothed its violent
struggles, and carried it away to a quiet corner on the steps of a house
where a great elm-tree made a refreshing shade. Here he sat a long time,
watching his little patient, and glad to find it getting quieter and
quieter, until it fell fast asleep in his arms. Joe did not move, so
pleased was he to relieve the poor little creature, whose thin flanks
revealed a long course of suffering. There were few passers in the
street, and Joe had no school duties, thanks to its being vacation, so
he was free to do as he chose. After more than an hour the poor little
dog opened its eyes, which were so dazzled by the light that Joe at once
named him Blinky, and presently a hot red little tongue was licking
Joe's big brown hand. That was enough for Joe; it was as plain a "thank
you" as he wanted, and he carried his stray charge home to share his

From that day Joe was seldom seen without Blinky; and after many good
dinners, and plenty of sleep without terrible dreams of tins tied to his
tail, Blinky began to grow handsome, and Joe to be very proud of him.
Blinky slept under Joe's bed, woke him every morning with a sharp little
bark, as much as saying, "Wake up, lazy fellow, and have a frolic with
me," and then bounced up beside him for a game. And how he frisked when
Joe took him out! The only thing he did not enjoy was his weekly
scrubbing, and the combing with an old coarse toilet comb which
followed. But he bore it patiently for Joe's sake. Vacation came to an
end, and school began. This was as sore a trial to Blinky as to Joe, for
of course he could not be allowed in school, though he left Joe at the
door with most regretful and downcast looks, which said plainly, "This
is injustice; you and I should never be parted," and he was always
waiting when school was out.

Joe hated school; he would much rather have been chestnutting in the
woods, gay with their crimson and yellow leaves, or chasing the
squirrels with Blinky; but he knew he had to study, if ever he was to be
of any use in the world, and so he tried to forget the delights of
roaming, or the charms of Blinky's company. But when the first snow
came, how hard it was to stick at the old books! How delicious was the
frosty air, and how pure and fresh the new-fallen snow, waiting to be
made use of as Joe so well knew how!

"Duty first," said Joe to himself, as with shovel and broom he cleared
the path in the court-yard, and shovelled the kitchen steps clean. He
did it so well that his father tossed him some pennies--for he was
saving up to buy Blinky a collar--and he turned off with a light heart
for school, with Blinky at his heels.

The school-mistress had a hard time that day; all the boys were wild
with fun, one only of them not sharing the glee. This one was a little
chap whose parents had sent him up North from Georgia to his relatives,
the parents being too poor after the war to maintain their family. He
was a skinny little fellow, always shivering and snuffling, and his name
was Bob.

Now Bob wasn't a favorite. The boys liked to tease him, called him
"Little Reb," and he in turn disliked them, and was ever ready to report
their mischievous pranks to the teacher. If there was anything pleasant
about the boy, no one knew it, because no one took the trouble to find
out. Bob did not relish the snow; he was pinched and blue, and whenever
he had the chance was huddling up against the stove; besides, he liked
to read, and would rather have staid in all day with a book of fairy
tales than shared the gayest romp they could have suggested. This
afternoon Joe had made so many mistakes in his arithmetic examples that
he was obliged to stay late, and do them over; but he was sorely
annoyed and tempted at hearing the shouts and cries of joy with which
the boys saluted each other as they escaped from the school-room, and he
spoke very crossly when a little voice at his elbow said,

"Please may I go home with you?"

"No," said Joe.

"Ah, please!"

Joe turned, and saw that it was Bob. This provoked him still more. "I
said _no_, 'tell-tale.' What do I want to be bothered with you?"

Bob turned away, disappointed. Joe kept on at his lesson; it was very
perplexing, and he was out of humor. Besides, the fun outside was
increasing; he could hear the roars of laughter, the whiz of the flying
snow-balls, and the gleeful crows of the conquering heroes. He was the
only one in the school-room. Presently there was a hush, a sort of
premonitory symptom of more mischief brewing outside, which provoked his
curiosity to the utmost.

"Five times ten, divided by three, and-- Oh, I can't stand this," said
Joe, as he gave a push to his slate, and ran to the window.

The boys had gone off to the farthest corner of the vacant lot on which
the school-house stood, and by the appearance of things were preparing
to have an animated game of foot-ball; but by the gestures and general
drift of motions Joe saw, to his horror, that poor little Bob was
evidently to be the victim. Already they were rolling him in the snow,
and cuffing him about as if he were made of India rubber, and deserved
no better treatment.

Joe's conscience woke up in a minute, for he knew that if he had allowed
Bob to wait for him as he had wanted to do, the boys would not have
dared to touch him, and he felt ashamed of his unkindness and ill humor
as he saw the results.

The child was getting fearfully maltreated, as Joe saw, not merely on
account of their dislike for him, but because in their gambols the boys
were lost to all sense of the cruelty they were practicing, and they
tossed him about regardless of the fact that his bones could be broken
or his sinews snapped.

Cramming his books in his bag, and snatching up his cap, Joe dashed out
of the door. Blinky was ready for him, and did not know what all this
haste meant, but dashed after his master, as in duty bound.

"I say, fellers, stop that!" he shouted, repeating the "stop that!" as
loud as his lungs could make the exertion. The din was so great that it
was some moments before they heard him, but Blinky barked at their
heels, and helped to arrest their attention.

"Stop! what shall we stop for?" asked one of the bigger and rougher

"You are doing a mean, hateful thing--that's why."

"Oho! that's because you haven't a share in it," was the sneering reply.

"If you'll stop, I'll run the gauntlet for you," said Joe. There was a
pause. Perhaps that would be better than foot-ball; besides, Joe never
got mad, and little Bob was crying hard. "Let Bob go home, fair and
square, and I'll run," repeated Joe.

"All right," they shouted. "Come on, then."

[Illustration: "FIRE AWAY!"]

Joe helped to uncover Bob, shook the snow off his clothes, wiped his
eyes with the cuff of his coat, and sent him on his way. Then the boys
formed two lines, each with as many snow-balls as he could hurriedly
make, and Joe prepared for the run. Blinky was furious, and as Joe
shouted, "Fire away!" and started down the line, he barked himself
hoarse. Hot and heavy came the balls, or rather cold and fast they fell
on Joe's back and head and school bag. But he was a good runner, and
tore like mad from his pursuers, screaming, as he ran, "Fire away! fire
away!" until he reached a cellar door, where he knew he could take
refuge. Here he halted; but Blinky was in a rage at having his master
thus used. Joe did not mind it in the least, and was as full of fun as
he could be. When he got home he found his mother making apple pies; she
had baked one in a saucer for him. It looked delicious, but as he was
about to bite it, he said, "Mother, may I just run over to Mrs. Allen's
for a minute?"

"Oh yes," was the reply.

Wrapping up the pie in a napkin, he carried it with him. By the side of
the stove, with his head aching and bound up in a handkerchief, he found
poor little Bob. Without a word, he stuffed the nice little pie in Bob's
hands, and then rushed out again.

It is hardly necessary to say that in the future Blinky had a rival, and
that rival was Bob.



Did you ever go sailing on the Nile? Come, then, and imagine yourselves,
on a clear warm January day, afloat on the river of which you have so
often heard. What a sensation we should create if we could go sailing up
the Hudson some sunny morning, our broad lateen-sail swelling in the
breeze, and the Egyptian flag flying behind!

Let us take a walk over the boat which for two months will be to us a
floating home, and to which we shall become really attached before we
leave its deck, and the shores of the Nile. It is a queerly shaped
vessel, entirely different from any other which has ever carried you
over the waters. The length is about seventy-two feet, and the width
between fourteen and fifteen feet at the broadest part; it has a sharp
prow, and stands deep in the water forward; it is flat-bottomed, like
all Nile boats, on account of the shallow water in the spring.

Here, a little way from the bow, is the kitchen--a small square place,
where the cook holds undisputed sway, and gratifies your palate with
novel and delicious dishes. This little spot is a very important part of
the boat, I assure you, for sailing on the Nile gives you a keen relish
for good dinners.

Somewhat back of here is the mast, rising thirty feet or more, and the
long yard, suspended by ropes, large at the lower part, but tapering
toward the extreme point, where floats the pennant which you have
secured for the occasion.

This long yard bears the large triangular lateen-sail, its huge
dimensions necessary to catch the wind when the river is low and the
banks high. The sides of the boat are protected by a low railing not
more than six inches in height, over which the sailors can easily step,
as they will have occasion to do many times during the voyage. The
main-deck is usually occupied by the crew, and from here are stairs
leading to the quarter-deck, over the cabin and saloon, where we will
take seats under the awning by-and-by, and watch the scenery on the
banks of the river.

Let us go down these few steps leading to the saloon. We find ourselves
in a room occupying the breadth of the boat; there are windows on each
side, with long divans, below them, a round table in the centre, chairs,
cupboards, and book-cases completing the furniture. Now let us open
these glass doors, walk along this narrow passage, and take a look at
the sleeping-cabins. They measure six feet by four, half of which is
filled by the bed, which gives you girls little room in which to arrange
your toilet; but you will not care to devote many hours to that while

Such is our floating home, and though limited in space, you can be most
comfortable if you have a contented disposition, and a heart and mind to
appreciate the wonders around and above you.

And now let us ascend to the quarter-deck. It looks very cheerful, with
its centre table loaded with books and papers, its bright-colored divan
and easy-chairs; so we will be seated while I introduce you to the crew.

There is the reis, or captain--Hassaneen by name--a grave, quiet little
old man, standing there at the bow of the boat, with a long pole in
hand, sounding the water now and then, and reporting the depth. You will
always find him there, reserved, thoughtful, his whole attention
apparently fixed on his employment.

Do you see that old gray-bearded man with his hand on the rudder? That
is Abdullah, always there, even when we are at anchor. Then a heap of
blue and a gray burnoose in the same place tell us Abdullah is asleep.
We need never fear while that old man is at the helm, for he will guide
us safely by sand-banks and bowlders to the destined port.

Of the remainder of the crew I can not give so good a report. They are a
curious assemblage of one-eyed, forefingerless, toothless men,
bare-legged, in robes of dark blue, and gay turbans, it being a common
custom to render themselves thus maimed in order to escape military
conscription. There is Mohammed, a good-natured fellow, ready to do just
as his companions do, whether it be good or bad. There is Said, a
cunning, deceitful-looking man, but a good sailor. Just to the right is
Hassan, black as coal, with glittering eyes, a tall form, and tremendous
muscle; he is a faithful fellow, willing to obey to the letter, but
without any judgment. There are Sulieman and Ali, the laziest ones on
board, strong as any, but the first to cry out, "Halt," and the
sleepiest couple on the Nile. There is Yusuf, always at his prayers, and
more willing to pray than work. There is Achmet, watching his chance to
run away. Then comes Mustapha, whose duty it is to clean the decks,
scour the knives, and wait on the travellers generally. And last but not
least is little Benessie, called "el wallad" (the boy), who does more
work and takes more steps than all the rest of the crew together. Ah,
these boys!--they're worth a dozen men sometimes. He makes the fires,
waits on the crew, and is at everybody's beck and call, from the howadji
to the sailor. He is a dark-eyed, shy little fellow, not particularly
neat in his appearance, and always sucking sugar-cane, which probably is
one of the attractions to the flies that gather continually on his face
and eyes.

So there they are--a lazy set of fellows, take them all together; lazy
in general when there is no present labor on hand. I think they work
well, though, when a necessity arises. It is not an Arab's nature to
look ahead; he sees only the present.

And now our sail is shaken out--we are off, the American flag floating
aloft at the point of our tapering yard, and we seated in our
easy-chairs or reclining on the divan of our decks, watching the scenery
as we glide along. There before us are endless groups of masts and
sails. The western shore is like a rich painting, with its palms and
Pyramids, while opposite, half hidden in shining dark acacias, are
palaces of the pashas, with their silent-looking harems and latticed
windows. Cangias (small row-boats) are fastened to the banks, and the
moan and creak of the sakias (water-wheels) tell us we are indeed upon
the enchanted Nile.

Behind us rise the shining minarets of the city, and the Pyramids follow
us as we go, photographing their outlines on our memory forever; the
soft green plain slopes gently to the river; and as if stirred to life
by the witchery of the surroundings, our bird-like boat flings her great
wings to the breeze, and skims the waters, bounding along, as if with
conscious joy, between the green plains of the Nile Valley.

The river is alive with boats, all bound southward, fine diahbeehs
sweeping along, and looking proudly down on the lesser craft, and huge
lumbering country boats laden with grain.

The landscape is not monotonous, though there is a sameness in its
character, for the lines in that crystal air are always changing, and
day after day the panorama unrolls, with its fields of waving tobacco
and blossoming cotton, where workers are lazily busy.

We are passing the ruins of ancient cities as we sail onward, or are
dragged along by the crew harnessed together by ropes, which task they
call tracking. They never perform this labor reluctantly, or with any
ill temper, but always accompanying their work with a monotonous
sing-song in a slightly nasal twang, till the air is filled with these
perpetual sounds of "Allah, haylee sah. Eiya Mohammed."

We see in this a relic of by-gone days, for the ancient Egyptians are
painted on the tombs accompanying their work with song and clapping of

As we are borne on through and into the creamy light of this glowing
atmosphere, where the sunshine seems to pour into and blend with
everything, we can hardly wonder that sun worship was an instinct of the
earliest races, or that the little child believes that the East lies
near the rising sun.

On, on we go, past the ruins of ancient cities, never pausing in the
upward journey: it is only on the return that you visit the places of

There lies Karnac, with its myriads of gigantic columns. Yonder sits
Memnon, "beloved of the morning," which was said to give forth a note of
music when the rising sun shone upon it. There is Luxor, Dendereh,
Thebes. Sometimes amid the warm light your thoughts will go away
thousands of miles, where the frosts shiver upon the windows, the snows
lie heavy upon the hills, and warm hearts are praying for the traveller;
but the days will creep swiftly by on the Nile, and too soon will come
the hour when, the journey ended, we must leave the river, the palms,
the Pyramids, and bid a long adieu to our pleasant floating home.


The polar bear, the _nannook_ of the Esquimaux, has its home in the
desolate and icy wastes which border the northern seas. It has many
characteristics in common with its brothers which live in warmer
countries. It is very sagacious and cunning, sometimes playful, but is
not a very savage beast, and will rarely attack a hunter unless in
self-defense, or when driven by hunger to fall upon everything which
comes in its way. Dr. Kane, the great arctic traveller, says he has
himself shot as many as a dozen bears near at hand, and never but once
received a charge in return. The hair of the polar bear is very coarse
and thick, and white like the snow-banks among which it lives. Its
favorite food is the seal, which abounds in the northern regions; it
will also eat walrus, but as that animal is very strong, and possesses a
pair of formidable tusks, bears are sometimes beaten in their attempts
to capture it. Wonderful stories are told of bears mounting to the top
of high cliffs and pushing heavy stones down upon the head of some
unwary walrus sleeping or sunning himself at the foot, and then rushing
down to dispatch the stunned and bruised animal, but arctic travellers
disagree upon this point. A very hungry bear will sometimes attack a
walrus in the water, for the polar bear is a powerful swimmer; but in
his peculiar element--and he is never far from it--the walrus is the
best fighter, and his tough hide serves as an almost impenetrable armor.

As seal hunter the polar bear displays much cunning. It will watch
patiently for hours in the vicinity of a seal hole in the ice, and the
instant its prey comes out to bask in the sun, the sly bear crouches,
with its fore-paws doubled up under its body, while with its hind-legs
it slowly and noiselessly pushes and hitches itself along toward the
desired game. Does the seal raise its head to look around, the bear
remains motionless, its color making it hardly distinguishable, until
the unsuspecting seal takes another nap. When the bear is near enough,
with a sudden movement it seizes the innocent and defenseless victim,
and makes a fat feast. Unless it is very hungry, it eats little besides
the blubber, leaving the rest for the foxes. It is said that arctic
foxes often follow in the path of bears, and gain their entire living
from the refuse of the bear's feast.

The nest of the she-bear is a wonderful illustration of instinct, and a
proof of the fact that a thick wall of snow is an excellent protection
against cold. Toward the month of December the bear selects a spot at
the foot of some cliff, where she burrows in the snow, and, remaining
quiet, allows the heavy snow-storms to cover her with drifts. The warmth
of her body enlarges the hole so that she can move herself, and her
breath always keeps a small passage open in the roof of her den. Before
retiring to these winter-quarters she eats voraciously, and becomes
enormously fat, so that she is able to exist a long time without food.
In this snuggery the bear remains until some time in March, when she
breaks down the walls of her palace, and comes out to renew her
wandering life, with some little white baby bears for her companions,
which have been born during her long seclusion.

Many funny and exciting stories are told by arctic travellers of
encounters with bears. During Dr. Kane's expedition a scouting party who
were away from the ship, and sleeping in a tent on the ice, were
awakened by a scratching in the snow outside. On looking out they saw a
huge bear reconnoitring the circuit of the tent. Their fire-arms were
stacked on the sledge a short distance off, as had they been kept inside
the tent, the frost from the men's breath would have clogged them and
rendered them useless. There was nothing to be done but to keep quiet,
and hope his bearship would go away. But the bear was bent on discovery,
and his big head soon appeared through the fold of the tent. Volleys of
lucifer matches and burning newspapers which were thrown at him did not
disturb him in the least, and he quietly proceeded to make his supper
upon the carcass of a seal. One of the men then cut a hole in the rear
of the tent, and crawling cautiously out, was able to reach the guns,
and soon sent a bullet through the body of the huge beast.


The mother bear's affection for her little ones is so strong that she
will lose her life defending them. Two arctic huntsmen once saw a bear
taking a promenade on an ice island with two little cubs. Chase was
given at once, but the bear did not perceive the hunters until they were
within five hundred yards of her. She then stood up on her hind-legs
like a dancing bear, gave one good look at her pursuers, and started to
run at full speed over the smooth ice, her cubs close at her heels. She
had the advantage of the hunters, as the feet of the polar bear are
thickly covered with long hair--nature's wise provision to keep the
animal from slipping; but the ice soon broke up into a vast expanse of
slush, and here the little cubs stuck fast. The faithful mother seized
first one and then the other, but proceeded with so much difficulty that
the hunters were soon near enough to fire at her. The little ones clung
to their mother's dead body, and it was with great difficulty that the
hunters succeeded in dragging them to the camp, where they stoutly
resisted all friendly advances, and bit and struggled, and roared as
loud as they could.

Bears often annoy arctic travellers by breaking open the caches, or
store-houses, left along the line of march for return supplies. Dr. Kane
relates that he found one of his caches, which had been built with heavy
rocks laid together with extreme care, entirely destroyed, the bears
apparently having had a grand frolic, rolling about the bread barrels,
playing foot-ball with the heavy iron cases of pemmican, and even
gnawing to shreds the American flag which surmounted the cache.

Roast bear meat is very palatable and welcome food to travellers in the
dreary frozen arctic regions, and at the cry of "Nannook! nannook!" ("A
bear! a bear!") from the Esquimaux guides, both men and dogs start in
eager pursuit. The bear being white like the snow, it often escapes
detection, and Dr. Kane mentions approaching what he thought was a heap
of somewhat dingy snow, when he was startled by a "menagerie roar,"
which sent him running toward the ship, throwing back his mittens, one
at a time, to divert the bear's attention.

Polar bears are sometimes found upon floating ice-cakes a hundred miles
from land, having been caught during some sudden break up of the vast
ice-fields of arctic seas, and every year a dozen or more come drifting
down to the northern shores of Iceland, where, ravenous after their long
voyage, they fall furiously upon the herds. Their life on shore,
however, is very brief, as the inhabitants rise in arms and speedily
dispatch them.


On one of the _fjords_, or bays, which so deeply indent the coast of
Norway lived two lads, sons of well-to-do farmers, who, besides their
fields of rye and wheat, their _marks_, or pasture fields, and their
_säters_, or hay-making fields, farther away, had also an interest in
the fisheries for which Norway is so famous. The salmon, the herring,
and the cod are all caught in great numbers; so also is the shark, and
used for its oil, which passes for cod-liver oil.

The fathers of Lars and Klaus were, however, peasants. They worked on
their farms, and above their green pastures rose lofty mountains clad in
fir-trees, dusky pines, mottled beeches, and silver birches. Klaus and
Lars explored together the recesses of these mountains; together they
hunted for bears; together they sailed over the blue waters of the
_fjord_, in and out of the swift currents, and on and up into the
streams fed by the great ice _fjelds_. They were always together. If any
one wanted Klaus, he asked where Lars had gone; and if one had seen
Lars, he knew Klaus would soon follow. It was their delight to see which
could excel the other in the management of their fishing _jagts_, those
square-sailed slow craft, and for days they would cruise about the
haunts of the eider-duck--not to kill it, for that is forbidden, the
bird being too valuable, but to filch from the sides of its nest the
lovely down which the birds pluck from their own breasts.

They went to school, too, in the winter, and both were confirmed by the
village pastor as soon as they had been well prepared for that solemn
rite, which is of so much social as well as religious importance in
their country.

In the short hot summer they helped the fishermen split the cod and
spread them on the rocks to dry, or they made lemming traps and sought
to see how many of the hated vermin they could capture.

In short, their life was active, hardy, and full of keen enjoyment; they
were good-natured, and did not quarrel. Both were tall, finely grown as
to muscle, but they would have been handsomer had they eaten less salt
fish and more beef.

In a quaint little house at the foot of the mountains, near where
tumbled in snowy foam a beautiful _foss_, lived an old woman and her
grandchild Ilda. They were really tenants of Klaus's father; and in
their wanderings the boys often stopped for a glass of milk or a slice
of _fladbröd_ (oat-cake), which the old woman was glad to give them.
Ilda, too, in her red bodice and white chemisette, and her pretty, shy
ways, was almost as attractive as the birds or beasts they were seeking.
Neither the old woman nor Ilda often left their cottage, and so the boys
were the more welcome for the news they carried.

They were able to give them the latest bit of gossip--how many men were
off on the herring catch; if any strangers had come through the town in
their _carrioles_ on their way to the noted and beautiful Voring Foss
and Skjaeggedal Foss (two water-falls of great renown); or who had the
American fever, and were going to emigrate. Or they talked about the
ducks and geese of which Ilda was so proud, and of the pigeons which
Klaus had given her when they were wild, but which had grown tame and
lovable under her gentle care. Then the old woman related in turn many a
legend and fable, tales of the saintly King Olaf, or the doings of Odin
and Thor.

Thus the days glided by, and the boys became men, and still they were
together in their work as they had been in their play. In the rye fields
and the potato patches they toiled side by side, and in the last nights
of summer--the three August nights which they call iron nights, because
of the frosts which sometimes come and blight all the wheat crop--they
watched and waited, hoping for the good luck which did not always come
to them; for the soil is a hard one to cultivate, and many are the
trials which farmers have to meet in that bleak land. Soon after they
became of age they were called upon to share the grief of their friend
Ilda, whose grandmother died. After this they did not go so often to the
cottage. One bright evening, however, as Lars was on his way up the
mountain, he saw Klaus emerging from the little door beneath the shed of
which they had so often sat. As they met, Klaus turned his face away,
remarking, however, upon the beauty of the evening. Lars thought his
friend's manner somewhat strange, and asked him if Ilda was well. Klaus
said she was quite well--was he going to see her?

"Yes," said Lars. "I have some fresh currants from our garden, the only
fruit which will grow in it, and I thought perhaps she might care for
them, poor little thing. She is so lonely now!"

Klaus turned off down the road, whistling, while Lars went into the
cottage. To his surprise he found Ilda crying, but supposing that the
sight of Klaus had revived recollections which were painful, some sad
thoughts of her grandmother, he tried to soothe her. She shook her head
mournfully at his kind words, and told him that she had just done a
cruel thing, that Klaus had asked her to be his wife, and she had said
no to him. This came upon Lars very much like a thunder-bolt, for he had
no idea that Klaus had any such wish; and much as he pitied his friend,
he was not entirely sorry that Ilda had said no. So he asked her why she
had refused to be Klaus's wife, when, with much embarrassment, she told
him that she cared more for some one else.

Lars did not urge her to say any more, but leaving his currants, he
followed Klaus down the mountain.

A few days after this, to the surprise of every one, Klaus bade his
friends good-by, and took passage on the little steamer to
Christiansand, from whence he would cross the Skagerrack, and sailing
down the coast of Denmark, past Holland and Belgium, through the English
Channel, he would be on the broad Atlantic, which was to bear him to a
new home in the far western land.

Lars was not merely surprised, he was stunned, and thought his friend
almost an enemy to go in that manner without consulting him, without
even asking his advice or company. They had never before been separated.
He could not understand it; and when Klaus bade him good-by he looked
into his face as if to seek the reason for this strange conduct, but
Klaus gave him no chance to ask it. He simply grasped his hand in
silence, giving it a close clasp, and then he was off.

Days, weeks, months, went by, and no one heard from Klaus; at last his
mother had a letter from him. He wrote cheerfully; said he liked
America, but that he could not make up his mind to go far away to the
prairies, where he could never see the blue ocean or the white gulls, or
hear the splash of oars.

Meanwhile Lars was very unhappy. Everything seemed to go wrong with
him--the crops failed, his share in the fisheries was small, and his
father was hard and close with him. He missed his friend sadly; he cared
no longer to do the daring things they had attempted together. He had
never been to see Ilda since the day she had told him that she did not
love his friend Klaus. As the spring advanced into summer, he met her
one day in the pine woods near her cottage, and she looked so pleased to
see him that he was tempted to tell her of all his troubles, especially
of how disappointed and hurt he was by the departure of Klaus; and this
reminded him of what she had told him about caring for some one else;
but when he asked her who it was, to, his great happiness she told him
that he, Lars, was the one, and that was the reason why Klaus had gone
away. Then, for the first time, he saw how generously his friend had
acted; he had gone away that he might not interfere with his friend, for
Klaus had found out that Ilda loved Lars. So in due time they were
married in the simple fashion of the Norwegian people. But the crops
were not more nourishing; and work as hard as he would, Lars could not
do as well for himself as he would have liked. So he took all his money
and bought a bigger jagt, and carried klip (or split) fish to the south,
from whence they would be sent to Spain.

This separated him from Ilda and the little yellow-haired Hanne, his
child; and his voyages were not very prosperous, so at last they
determined to do as did the Norsemen and Vikings of old, set sail for
the land of the setting sun.

It was hard to give up Norway, but Ilda was willing to do that which was
for the best, and quietly filled the big boxes and chests with the linen
she had spun herself, and made stout flannel clothes for little Hanne,
and said "good-by" to every one she knew, and then they got off as fast
as the slow jagt would carry them: off, out of the beautiful fjord with
its green banks and snowy-topped mountains, away from the rocks and
fjelds so dear to them, on to the broad, the mighty ocean.

They sailed and sailed for many a day, and Ilda knit while the little
lassie, Hanne, played at her feet, and Lars smoked his pipe, and talked
of the glorious land of liberty and fertile fields which they were

They had pleasant weather for a long while, and it did seem as if the
kind words, the _lycksame resa_, or lucky journey, which their friends
had wished them, was really to be experienced. Little Hannchen was a
merry, bright little companion, and made all the rough sailors love her.
Her evening meal was milk and fladbröd, and she always threw some over
the ship's side for the "poor hungry fishes," while she prattled in
Norsk to the sailors, who were mostly Swedes and Finns. But whether they
understood her or not, they liked to watch her blue eyes sparkle, and
her yellow hair fly out like freshly spun flax, as she merrily danced
about the slow old jagt; and they called her "Heldig Hanne," or "happy
Hanne." But they were now approaching land, and fogs set in which were
more to be dreaded than high winds, and the helmsman looked anxious, and
Lars could not sleep. The atmosphere seemed to get thicker and thicker,
and where they could for a while see the faint yellow twinkle of the
stars all was now an opaque film.

One night as Ilda was singing a little song to Hanne a great crash came,
a terrible thump, and then a queer grating sound. All had been still on
deck, but now came hoarse shouts and cries, and Lars rushed down to the
cabin, saying, "We are on the rocks! we are lost, Ilda!"

Ilda clasped little Hanne still closer as she said, tremulously, "Is it
true, Lars? is there no way of escape? are we so near land?"

"Yes; come up on deck. The ship is already settling. We must try to get
you and the child off in one of the boats."

"Not without you, Lars; we will not move an inch without you."

"See," he replied, as he helped her up the steps, "the gulls are flying
over our heads: land must be near."

It was horribly true that the vessel was thumping and bumping on the
rocks; the surf was roaring, and it seemed impossible for a boat to be
launched. The sailors were making ready to cast themselves into the sea.
Some were cursing, others praying, and others tying and lashing
themselves to spars which they had taken from their fastenings. Two of
them came up to Lars.

"Sir, for the sake of the child there, we will swim, if we can, to the
shore, and get help."

"It would be useless," said Lars.

"Oh no," said Ilda; "let them try. They are brave. Perhaps they will

They nodded, and went off, Lars looking after them hopelessly as he
muttered: "I might have known this; it is just my luck. Oh, Ilda! Ilda!
why did I bring you with me?--and poor little Hanne!"

The child clung to her mother, her blue eyes dilated with fear, and her
little hands about her mother's neck.

"Hush, Lars," said Ilda; "where thou art, there I would be, and so would
Hannchen. God is yet able to save us."

The moments seemed like days; presently the vessel gave a great lurch to
one side, and Lars had just time to tie Ilda to him as the waves broke
over the jagt.

[Illustration: "SAVED AT LAST!"]

"Farväl!" was all he said to her, as they were plunged into the water;
but as he saw the waves closing about them, he heard a cry from the
sailors--a cry of joy, of welcome--and he felt a strong hand reached out
to him, and a coil of rope flung about them. He had his arm under the
fainting Ilda, but surely he had seen the face of the brave fellow who
took Hanne in his arms from Ilda's clasp. He could not think; he only
knew that they were saved at last--that a dozen strong men, some on
land, some in the water, were dragging them to shore.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ah! what rest and peace and thankfulness after a night like that! and
with what strange and solemn emotions did Lars and Ilda look about them
when they discovered that the house they were in belonged to the one who
had carried their little Hanne in his arms from the ocean, and was none
other than their old friend Klaus. Klaus the fisherman, Klaus the
sailor, as he was known on that shore. The same Klaus, merry and brave,
with a house of his own and a wife of his own, ready to share all he
possessed with Lars, if Lars would only stay and settle near him. The
jagt had gone down with all Lars's worldly goods; but Ilda was safe and
Hanne was safe, and with so good a friend as Klaus, surely Lars could
begin the world anew. And so he staid; and the tide turned, and fair
weather prevailed.


The great hall clock was not asked to the party, but it was there, all
the same. It was Milly Holland's birthday party. Milly was just fourteen
years old, and most of the boys and girls near her own age whom she knew
had been invited, and among them little Caddy Podkins, too little and
young to care for at all, Milly thought; but kind Mrs. Holland had asked
Caddy, because she was the only child of her nearest neighbor, and used
to sit for hours in the bay-window across the way as if she did not have
anything to amuse her.

The Hollands lived in a large, handsome house, and to-day it was
pleasanter than usual, there were so many flowers about the rooms, and
pretty moss baskets, and vines twisted around the chandeliers.

At half past five, the hour set for the party to begin, Milly's guests
began to come; and Milly herself, in a soft white merino dress, came
down the wide stairs to the polished oaken landing, and received them as
they came up the lower steps from the big hall doors. There were nearly
fifty boys and girls--more girls than boys--and as the party would be
over at ten o'clock, they wisely lost no time, and came almost all at
once. It made a pretty sight as they shook back their wrappings from
their gay dresses, and crowded around Milly. It was as if a good-natured
giant had spilled a huge basket of red and white rose-buds over the
oaken landing and stairs, up which the children followed Milly to the
dressing-room and the parlors, where the fires glowed in the cheerful
grates, and the lamps in beautiful tinted globes made a brightness that
seemed to the children more wonderful than day.

Now it is not so much about Milly's party as about one little girl who
was in it that I am going to tell you; because parties are very
commonplace things, and little girls, at least some little girls, are

When the party had been going on for a long time, and the children were
being taken in to supper--and a very nice supper, too, with plenty of
milk, white bread, and sparkling jellies--one of the largest girls
stopped with Milly Holland for a moment where the staircase turned and
looked down upon the oaken landing. There stood the tall, old-fashioned
clock, looking very old and rather proud in its rich dark case, and
against it leaned a very little girl, not more than eight years old,
with a good deal of brown hair, and big gray eyes. Her folded hands and
her little cheek were pressed against the edge of the clock case. The
hall lamp from the bracket overhead shone on her hair and her crumpled
dress, and left her face in the shadow.

"Who's that?" asked the other girl of Milly.

"What! don't you know Caddy Podkins?" said Milly. "The idea of mother
asking such a baby as _that_ to _my_ party!"

Then the two girls went to supper. The supper-room was farther from the
landing than the parlors, and when the door had closed, the hall became
quite still. All at once Caddy thought the clock ticked louder than she
had ever heard a clock tick in all her life before. And she was quite
right, for the clock was trying to speak to Caddy, and except just to
state, without a single needless-word, the hour, this clock had never
tried to speak before. But the clock liked Caddy very much. It had seen
that Caddy was very bashful, and that the other children took hardly any
notice of her, or any care for her pleasure, and it liked the feeling of
Caddy's little cheek and warm hands upon its side.

Now Caddy had a little invisible key. It was finer than refined gold,
and stronger than adamant (which is the very hardest kind of stone
there is, you know), and there was not a lock--no, not even the lock
of the tongue of a clock--which could help opening to Caddy's little
key. Caddy herself knew nothing about this key, not even its long
name--_Im-ag-i-na-tion_. But the key did not need to have Caddy
know; it staid in a little pearl of a room full of the brightest
thoughts of Caddy's mind, and whenever these thoughts began to stir
about and say, "I wonder," away the little key would fly, and open some
new delightful secret to Caddy. There are thousands and thousands of
children who have keys of this sort; but, oh! there's such a difference
in the keys and in the secrets that they find! Caddy's key was one of
the very best, and even while she was noticing that the clock ticked so
loud, her little key had turned itself in the very centre of the wheels,
and the clock whispered, close in her ear, "Caddy, little Caddy, shall
I--tick-a-tock--talk to you?"

Caddy was not at all surprised or bashful with the clock, but asked,
quickly, "Were you ever at a party?"

"Hundreds of them," said the clock. "Tiresome things, parties are."

"Guess you don't get any supper, perhaps," said Caddy, with a queer
little smile.

"Guess _you_ are hungry, perhaps," laughed the clock, with a dozen
little sharp ticks all together. "Now, you dear little Caddy, I'm a
clock of a very good family. As far back as I can remember--and that's a
very long time--there has never been a clock in my family which did not
keep perfect time, and tell the truth exactly to a second every time it
spoke, and I know how a little girl who is invited to a party ought to
be treated, so I invite you now, Caddy Podkins, to _my_ party."

"What! a really, truly clock party?" exclaimed Caddy, and in the same
moment the big clock had swung its long pendulum wire around her waist,
and lifted Caddy as if she were a feather, whirled her so fast that
Caddy saw nothing at all, and then set her down very gently in a room
whose floor was shaped like the flat side of a wheel, and the edges of
the floor were notched just like the edges of the wheels in a clock. The
walls of the room were like brass that has been rubbed very bright, and
were covered with net-work of fine curling wire. In the middle of the
room was a long table, set with wheel-shaped plates, which were heaped
with large sweet raisins and nut meats, fresh flaky biscuits, and there
were the most delicious fruits, so ripe you could see through to the
seeds and stones in their cores. Over the table hung a chandelier,
shaped like a pendulum, which gave a soft yellow light. The big clock
stood at the head of the table, tapping her forehead with her long
minute-finger. She smiled at Caddy's wonder, and ticked out, merrily,

  "Well, Caddy, Caddy, Caddy,
  How's this for a clock?
  Ha! ha! It's not so bad--eh?"


Caddy leaned against her tall friend, and asked, very comfortably, "Are
your little clocks coming?"

At this question the old clock ticked slowly off on her minute-finger,

  Ap-ple seeds and ap-ple thorn,
  Wire bri-er, lim-ber lock,
  Three wheels in a clock!"

At that last word suddenly the curling wires all over the walls gave out
a curious tinkling, and letting themselves swiftly down in long slender
spirals, like the dandelion curls you make in the spring, each set a
tiny little clock on the floor. Then all the wires snapped back to their
places on the wall. There were as many as fifty of these little clocks,
beautifully made, and no two of them alike, though they all had little
brass hands reaching out of the sides of their cases, and they all had
little brass feet, on which they hopped about nimbly, and they all
ticked together in the funniest way.

  It's Caddy's party,"

said the old clock, and the little clocks instantly made a circle around
Caddy, and each bent one knee and slid back one little brass foot in the
most polite courtesy to Caddy. One of the oldest of the little clocks
then hopped off to a tiny wire harp that stood in a corner, and began to
play a sweet lively waltz with her queer brass fingers. The rest of the
clocks came one after another and led Caddy out and waltzed with her.
Caddy had never danced so much in all her life, and had never liked it
half so well.

  "Tick-a-tock, stop feet,
  Little Caddy must eat,"

said the old clock. And, oh! what a supper that was to hungry, happy
little Caddy! and how happy the little clocks were to have such a good
little girl as Caddy with them! They gave her the best of everything
upon the table, and waited to see that she had all she wished before
they even thought of eating for themselves. They told her all sorts of
droll stories, and one little clock astonished Caddy very much by
opening her little silver tunic and showing Caddy--who had not quite
believed it before--that the little wheels actually did eat up the juicy
fruits. "I wonder if _I_ am full of little wheels," said Caddy. Then
Caddy's little key sighed, for it was just the least bit tired, and
Caddy's "I wonder" meant work for the key. But the old clock suddenly

  "Tick-a-tock, 'most ten,
  Little Caddy, come again."

"Caddy! Caddy Podkins!" said Mrs. Holland, in great surprise. The
children were putting on their things in the dressing-room up stairs,
and Mrs. Holland had just noticed that Caddy was not with them, and
coming hastily down stairs, saw Caddy, just as we did, leaning against
the tall old clock. "My poor little dear, why, how cold you are! Have
you been asleep? Milly ought to have taken care of you. I'm afraid you
have not had a good time."

"I've had a clock party," said Caddy, rubbing her eyes, while Mrs.
Holland tied on her hood, "and I'm to come again."



  Dear little May sat grieving alone,
    With a pout on her lip and a tear in her eye,
  Till kind old grandmamma chanced to pass,
    And soon discovered the reason why.
  "The children are planning a fair," sobbed she,
  "And 'cause I'm so little, they won't--have--me!"

  So grandmamma thought of a beautiful plan,
    And whispered a secret in little May's ear--
  Something which brought out the dimples and smiles,
    And scattered with sunshine the pitiful tear.
  Then off to grandmamma's room they went,
  On something important very intent.

  Well, the fair came off on a certain day,
    And what do you think was the first thing sold?
  A beautiful pair of worsted reins,
    All knit in scarlet and green and gold.
  The "big girls" wondered how came they there--
  "The prettiest thing in the children's fair!"

  Then out stepped May, with her cheeks so red:
    "You said there was nothing that _I_ could do,
  'Cause I was little; but _I_ made those,
    And now, I guess, I'm as big as you!"
  So little May at the fair that day
  Was the reigning queen, it is fair to say.

       *       *       *       *       *

=The White Pebble Pit.=--It has frequently happened that miners have
discovered curious traces of former workings, hundreds of years ago, and
tools have been found which belonged to the ancient miners, and many
other relics.

A singular discovery was made, a few years since, by some workmen
engaged in the Spanish silver mine known as the White Pebble Pit. Whilst
digging their subterranean passages they suddenly found a series of
apartments, in which were a quantity of mining tools, left there from a
very remote period, but still in such good preservation that there were
hatchets, and sieves for sifting the ore, a smelting furnace, and two
anvils, which proved that the earliest miners had great experience in
their operations.

In one of the caverns there was a round building, with niches, in which
were three statues, one sitting down, and half the size of life; the
other two were in a standing position, and about three feet in height.
This building is supposed to have been the temple of the god who was
believed, in pagan times, to preside over mines. Several objects of art,
and some remarkable instruments, were also found, which have led
scientific persons to think that the workings might have been made by
the Phoenicians, the people who, as is well known, were, in the time
of Solomon, famous for their manufacturing and commercial genius.

In 1854 a discovery was also made by some miners excavating on the other
side of the mountain on which the White Pebble Pit is situated; this was
a fine figure of the heathen god Hercules, which was found in an old

In digging for copper on the shores of Lake Superior, in this country,
the miners have made many similar discoveries, showing that the mines
were worked ages ago.



The curious fishes with the tremendous name, the last part of which
means snipe-billed, are very long and defenseless, and are invariably
found among the leaves of a long sea-grass, which very nearly resembles
them in form and color. Their head is quite long, and they always seem
to stand on it, and when a hungry fish comes along, he would have to
look long and well to tell which was the grass and which the fish. These
grass-fish well earn their right to be called "mimics." These strange
features in such low animals teach an interesting lesson: they show more
strongly the wise governing of the great Maker, and correct the
mistake, often thoughtlessly made, that the lower animals have no
feelings, thoughts, or pleasures. If they do not show them as we do, it
is none the less true that they possess them, but in different degrees.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Little Jack Horner.=--The origin of the nursery rhyme has been said to
be as follows: When monasteries and their property were seized, orders
were given that the title-deeds of the abbey estates of Mells, which
were very valuable, should be given up to the commissioners. The mode
chosen of sending them was in the form of a pasty to be sent as a
present from the abbot to one of the commissioners in London. Jack
Horner, a poor lad, was chosen as the messenger. Tired, he rested in as
comfortable a corner as he could on his way. Hungry, he determined to
taste the pasty he was carrying. Inserting his thumb into the pie, he
found nothing but parchment deeds. One of these he pulled out and
pocketed, as likely to be valuable. The Abbot Whiting of Mells was
executed for having withheld the missing parchment. In the Horner family
was discovered years afterward the plum that Jack had picked out, one of
the chief title-deeds of Mells abbey and lands.

[Illustration: OUR POST-OFFICE BOX.]

Our heartiest thanks are due to our youthful readers who have sent us
pretty and gracefully written New-Year's wishes from all parts of the
United States. We would like to print every one of these welcome
letters, but they are so numerous it would be impossible. Our young
friends, however, may be sure that whether we print them or simply
acknowledge them, they are alike pleasing and gratifying to us.

       *       *       *       *       *

Robie Lozier (eleven years) writes that he punches a hole in his _Young
People_, and ties the numbers together with a ribbon, adding the new
numbers as fast as they come. This is an excellent suggestion, as it
preserves the numbers from getting scattered and lost.

       *       *       *       *       *


     I have a little canary-bird. He is quite young, but is a beautiful
     singer, and almost always when he sings he says, "Pretty, pretty,"
     so plain you could not mistake it. He is also very tame, and when I
     let him out of his cage he comes and stands on my shoulder, and
     hops around me. If I put my finger in his cage, he gets very cross,
     and waves his wings and pecks at me, and makes a queer noise as if
     he were scolding.

  EFFIE T. (twelve years).

       *       *       *       *       *

     I am a little girl nine years old, and I live in Southbridge,
     Massachusetts. I see that one little girl has written about her pet
     pigeon. I have a pet squirrel. He is so tame he will run all over
     me. Last summer we let him run out in the front yard, and papa put
     him in a tree, but he would not climb it. Papa has subscribed for
     _Young People_ for me. I like it very much, and look forward with
     pleasure to the time for it to come. Thank you for making it
     larger; it is just nice.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I received _Young People_ for Christmas, and like the stories very
     much. I like "Photogen and Nycteris" so much that I can hardly wait
     till the next number comes. The engravings are very nice. I think
     that there was never a paper so interesting. I thank you for the
     "Wiggles" and other games. Happy New-Year.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I am ten years old. I like _Young People_ the best of any paper I
     ever saw. It is the first paper my papa has ever taken for me. He
     takes the _Weekly_. I think the _Young People_ is just the right
     size for binding, and I am going to have it bound at the end of the


       *       *       *       *       *

     I am very much interested in your paper. I am going to save up my
     money to take it. I am nine years old. I have a pony named Coby. I
     enjoy him very much. He is a Texas pony. I live in Richmond,
     Kentucky, where the grass is so blue.


       *       *       *       *       *

Letters are acknowledged from Maude J. W., Dayton, Washington Territory;
Dannie Bullard, Schuylerville, New York; Lurean C., Mazomanie,
Wisconsin; Fred E. B., Cambridge, Massachusetts; Harry R., Winona,
Minnesota; H. W. Singer, Cincinnati, Ohio; Minnie W. Jacobs, Indiana,
Pennsylvania; Percy W. Shedd, Attlebury, New York; Lizzie C., Utica, New
York; Willie Hamilton, Alleghany City, Pennsylvania; Zella Thompson,
Boston, Massachusetts; O. R. Heinze, Allentown, Pennsylvania; Frederick
L. B., Brooklyn, Long Island; and Lyman C., M. C. S., and William F. B.,
New York city.

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEL," Zanesville, Ohio.--Flat cribbage-boards can be bought at a very
low price, and folding ones which hold the cards are not expensive. You
might make one from a piece of thick pasteboard, but as there must be
sixty-one peg-holes for each player, it would not be easy to cut them
neatly.--It is more customary to leave a card for each person called
upon, especially where the visit is formal.

       *       *       *       *       *

GEORGE H. H.--Harper's new School Geography gives Wheeling as the
capital of West Virginia.

       *       *       *       *       *

FREDIE G.--Even if you are only seven years, you are old enough to read
a boys' book about wild animals. Lions will catch and eat nearly all
beasts that come in their way. They will even overpower a giraffe or a
buffalo. The elephant and rhinoceros are almost the only quadrupeds a
lion dare not meddle with.

       *       *       *       *       *



     I think I have correctly worked the Christmas Puzzle in _Young
     People_. I had to study some time over "ray," never having heard of
     such a fish. It was only by finding what letters I needed in the
     columns 11, 9, 9 that I saw they were r a y. On looking in the
     dictionary I found there was a fish called by that name. "Yard"
     also puzzled me a great deal. The other words were easily found.

  M. T. C.

       *       *       *       *       *


     My brother Bertie and I have had a nice time finding the answer to
     your Christmas Puzzle in No. 8 of _Young People_. We thank you very
     much for your kind wish, and wish you the same in return. Can your
     young readers tell what it is we wish you?


       *       *       *       *       *

All these boys and girls have also told our Christmas Puzzle wish
correctly: Maynard A. M., M. A. S., and F. V. B., Alexina K. D., F. E.
Coombs, Willie J. M., Virgil C. M., Amy L. H., Etta Douglass, Annie G.
Long, Willie H. S., Lilian Forbes, Jamie D. H., Huntington W., A. A. B.,
Mamie M., Nellie P., Essie B., Fred D. H., Zadie H. D., Edna Heinen,
Seabury G. P., E. A. De Lima, Claudie M. Tice, Louie A., J. M. Wolfe,
Carroll O. B., George F. D., S. K. S., Effie K. T., G. M. B., Ada and
Clara, Florence D., Alice P., E. C. Repper, and George Henry.

       *       *       *       *       *

The answer to Christmas Puzzle in _Young People_ No. 8 is, "I wish you a
merry Christmas and a happy New-Year."



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

  SINGLE COPIES                     $0.04
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Subscriptions may begin with any Number. When no time is specified, it
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Remittances should be made by POST-OFFICE MONEY ORDER or DRAFT, to avoid
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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_.



Is a composition of the purest and choicest ingredients of the vegetable
kingdom. It cleanses, beautifies, and preserves the =TEETH=, hardens and
invigorates the gums, and cools and refreshes the mouth. Every
ingredient of this =Balsamic= dentifrice has a beneficial effect on the
=Teeth and Gums=. =Impure Breath=, caused by neglected teeth, catarrh,
tobacco, or spirits, is not only neutralized, but rendered fragrant, by
the daily use of =SOZODONT=. It is as harmless as water, and has been
indorsed by the most scientific men of the day. Sold by druggists.


Latest style now all the Rage. One dozen, Finest Gilt Edged, Round
Cornered, with Name and Photograph, only 60 cents; 2 doz. $1. Sample and
MAMMOTH 148-Page Book =FREE=. H. B. MATHEWS' SONS, 220 Lake Street,

=PLAYS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE=, with Songs and Choruses, adapted for Private
Theatricals. With the Music and necessary directions for getting them
up. Sent on receipt of 30 cents, by HAPPY HOURS COMPANY, No. 5 Beekman
Street, New York. Send your address for a Catalogue of Tableaux,
Charades, Pantomimes, Plays, Reciters, Masks, Colored Fire, &c., &c.

"_Learning made pleasant._"


       *       *       *       *       *




4 volumes, 12mo, Cloth, $1.50 each.

    I. HEAT.

If a mass-meeting of parents and children were to be held for the
purpose of erecting a monument to the author who has done most to
entertain and instruct the young folks, there would certainly be a
unanimous vote in favor of Mr. Jacob Abbott. Two or three generations of
American youth owe some of their most pleasant hours of recreation to
his story-books; and his latest productions are as fresh and youthful as
those which the papas and mammas of to-day once looked forward to as the
most precious gifts from the Christmas bag of old Santa Claus. The
series published under the general title of "Science for the Young"
might be called "Learning made Pleasant." An interesting story runs
through each, and beguiles the reader into the acquisition of a vast
amount of useful knowledge under the genial pretence of furnishing
amusement. No intelligent child can read these volumes without obtaining
a better knowledge of physical science than many students have when they
leave college.--_N. Y. Evening Post._

Jacob Abbott is almost the only writer in the English language who knows
how to combine real amusement with real instruction in such a manner
that the eager young readers are quite as much interested in the useful
knowledge he imparts as in the story which he makes so pleasant a medium
of instruction.--_Buffalo Commercial Advertiser._

Mr. Abbott has avoided the error of slurring over the difficulties of
the subject through the desire of making it intelligible and attractive
to unlearned readers. The numerous illustrations which accompany every
chapter are of unquestionable value in the comprehension of the text,
and come next to actual experiment as an aid to the reader.--_N. Y.

       *       *       *       *       *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

_Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on
receipt of the price._

"_A book beyond the pale of criticism._"


       *       *       *       *       *


Boy Travellers in the Far East.

       *       *       *       *       *


Illustrated, 8vo, Cloth, $3.00.

       *       *       *       *       *

A more attractive book for boys and girls can scarcely be
imagined.--_N. Y. Times._

The best thing for a boy who cannot go to China and Japan is to get this
book and read it.--_Philadelphia Ledger._

Juvenile literature seems to have come to a climax in this book. In
literary quality and in material form it is a decided improvement on
anything of the kind ever before produced in America.--_N. Y. Journal of

One of the richest and most entertaining books for young people, both in
text, illustrations, and binding, which has ever come to our
table.--_Providence Press._

       *       *       *       *       *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, N. Y.

_Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on
receipt of the price._

Old Books for Young Readers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Arabian Nights' Entertainments.

     The Thousand and One Nights; or, The Arabian Nights'
     Entertainments. Translated and Arranged for Family Reading, with
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     vols., 12mo, Cloth, $3.50.

Robinson Crusoe.

     The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York,
     Mariner. By DANIEL DEFOE. With a Biographical Account of Defoe.
     Illustrated by Adams. Complete Edition. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.

The Swiss Family Robinson.

     The Swiss Family Robinson; or, Adventures of a Father and Mother
     and Four Sons on a Desert Island. Illustrated. 2 vols., 18mo,
     Cloth, $1.50.

     The Swiss Family Robinson--Continued: being a Sequel to the
     Foregoing. 2 vols., 18mo, Cloth, $1.50.

Sandford and Merton.

     The History of Sandford and Merton. By THOMAS DAY. 18mo, Half
     Bound, 75 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

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_.

_The Fairy Books._

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE PRINCESS IDLEWAYS.= By Mrs. W. J. HAYS. Illustrated. 16mo, Cloth,
75 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

Gilt Edges, $3.00.

       *       *       *       *       *

=FAIRY BOOK ILLUSTRATED.= l6mo, Cloth, $1.50.

       *       *       *       *       *

=PUSS-CAT MEW=, and other New Fairy Stories for my Children. By E. H.
KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN, M.P. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.25.

       *       *       *       *       *

=FAIRY BOOK.= The Best Popular Fairy Stories selected and rendered anew.
By the Author of "John Halifax." Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.25.

       *       *       *       *       *

=FAIRY TALES.= By JEAN MACÉ. Translated by MARY L. BOOTH. Illustrated.
12mo, Bevelled Edges, $1.75; Gilt Edges, $2.25.

       *       *       *       *       *

BOOTH. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, Bevelled Edges, $2.00; Gilt Edges,

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=THE LITTLE LAME PRINCE.= By the Author of "John Halifax, Gentleman."
Illustrated. Square 16mo, Cloth, $1.00.

       *       *       *       *       *

=FOLKS AND FAIRIES.= Stories for Little Children. By LUCY CRANDALL
COMFORT. Illustrated. Square 4to, Cloth, $1.00.

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE ADVENTURE OF A BROWNIE=, as Told to my Child. By the Author of
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       *       *       *       *       *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

_Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on
receipt of the price._

"_A most enchanting story for boys._"


       *       *       *       *       *


Author of "Adventures of a Young Naturalist."


12mo, Cloth, $1.25.

       *       *       *       *       *

A very charming book, brimming full of adventures, and has not an
uninteresting page between its covers.--_Baltimore Gazette._

A book that is at once novel and entertaining. * * * All the book is
lively, and the voyagers have some adventures, the telling of which is
as entertaining as any book of Jules Verne's, besides having nothing in
them that is improbable or extravagant.--_Philadelphia Bulletin._

A most enchanting story for boys. * * * It is a story of adventure, and
also contains much interesting and useful information.--_Pittsburgh

A narrative crowded with adventure, told in the lively and graphic style
for which the French writers of books for boys are so noted.--_Cleveland

One of the most attractive books of the season. * * * Spirited sketches
of travel and adventure on the ocean wave, among the islands and on
southern coasts, fill these chapters. But the main point which gives
them their highest flavor is the experience of naval warfare during our
late civil conflict.--_Observer_, N. Y.

       *       *       *       *       *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, N. Y.

_Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on
receipt of the price._


       *       *       *       *       *

Ninth Edition now Ready.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustrations. 16mo, Cloth, $1.00.

       *       *       *       *       *

Your book is timely. Its large circulation cannot fail to be of great
public benefit.--Rev. HENRY WARD BEECHER.

It is a book of extraordinary merit in matter and style, and does you
great credit as a thinker and writer.--Hon. CALVIN E. PRATT, _of the New
York Supreme Bench_.

A capital little treatise. It is the very book for ministers to
study.--Rev. THEODORE L. CUYLER, D.D., _in New York Evangelist_.

It is unquestionably one of the most practical and useful books on this
topic which have ever been published in this country.--_N. Y. Evening

We know of no man in America more capable of writing such a book, or who
has a better right to do so.--_Rutland Daily Herald and Globe._

It will pay any person--whether a farmer or lawyer, laborer or idler,
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teachings.--_Springfield Union._

A veritable treasury of muscular common-sense.--_Charleston News and

       *       *       *       *       *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

_Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on
receipt of the price._



A great many things can be made out of other things. A very fair turkey
can be made out of a horse-chestnut, or even a common chestnut.

Look at Fig. 1 in the above picture: there you have the turkey complete.
I will tell you how I made him. I first took a nice round chestnut, and
stuck into it a bent pin to represent the neck; then I stuck in two
other pins to represent the legs; then I took a piece of putty (dough,
or bread worked up to the consistence of dough, will do), and made a
stand into which I stuck the legs. He then looked as he is represented
in Fig. 2. I then took a small piece of putty, and modelled on to the
bent pin the head and neck of the turkey. After this I drew with pen and
ink on thick paper, and cut with a pair of scissors, a thing like Fig.
3, and two things like Fig. 4; these were the tail and wings. I fastened
them in their proper places with thick gum (short pins will do). Then
with some red paint I painted the head and feet of the bird, and I had a
very excellent turkey, but I felt thankful that I need not eat it for my

Figs. 5 and 6 show how a walnut shell may be changed into a turtle
shell. Fig. 5 is the walnut shell, and Fig. 6 is the turtle; and I would
not give a fig for the boy who, with a pen and ink and a little putty
(dough will do), is not smart enough to make it.


  Johnny and Mary drive out in the Park,
  And doubtless are having no end of a lark;
  She holds Baby Rose with a motherly air,
  And he handles his spirited horse with great care.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Spiders that Kill Birds.=--Everybody knows that spiders catch flies and
other insects; but that some of them kill little birds may not be so
generally known. A traveller in Brazil tells us that he caught one of
them in the very act, while going through a forest in the Amazons. The
spider was a hairy fellow, with a body two inches long, and eight legs
measuring seven inches each, from end to end. The writer describing the
incident says: "I was attracted by a movement of the monster on a tree
trunk; it was close beneath a deep crevice in the tree, across which was
stretched a dense white web. The lower part of the web was broken, and
two small birds, finches, were entangled in the pieces. One of them was
quite dead, and the other nearly so. I drove away the monster, and took
the birds, but the second one soon died. The fact of species of Mygale,
to which genus this spider belongs, sallying forth at night, mounting
trees, and sucking the eggs and young of hummingbirds, has been recorded
long ago by Madame Merian and Palisot de Beauvois; but, in the absence
of any confirmation, it has come to be discredited. From the way the
fact has been related it would appear that it had been merely derived
from the report of natives, and had not been witnessed by the narrators.
The Mygales are quite common insects: some species make their cells
under stones, others form artistical tunnels in the earth, and some
build their dens in the thatch of houses. The natives call them Aranhas
carangueijeiras, or crab-spiders. The hairs with which they are clothed
come off when touched, and cause a peculiar and almost maddening
irritation. The first specimen that I killed and prepared was handled
incautiously, and I suffered terribly for three days afterward. I think
this is not owing to any poisonous quality residing in the hairs, but to
their being short and hard, and thus getting into the fine creases of
the skin. Some Mygales are of immense size. One day I saw the children
belonging to an Indian family with one of these monsters secured by a
cord round its waist, by which they were leading it about the house as
they would a dog."



Cut, cut behind! The faster old Dobbin goes, the lighter grows his load.



"Strike out, Nuncky; Sis and I will hold you up."

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