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Title: Pieces People Ask For - Serious, Humorous, Pathetic, Patriotic, and Dramatic - Selections in Prose and Poetry for Reading and Recitations
Author: Various
Language: English
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Transcriber’s Notes:

  Underscores “_before and after_” a word or phrase indicate _italics_
    in the original text.
  Equal signs “=” before and after a word or phrase indicate =bold=
    in the original text.
  Small capitals have been converted to SOLID capitals.
  Old or antiquated spellings have been preserved.
  Typographical errors have been silently corrected but other variations
    in spelling and punctuation remain unaltered.
  The advertisement on the first page has been relocated to the end of
    the book to be with the other advertisements.



                         Pieces People Ask For


                SERIOUS, HUMOROUS, PATHETIC, PATRIOTIC,
                       AND DRAMATIC SELECTIONS IN
                            PROSE AND POETRY

                                  FOR

                        READINGS AND RECITATIONS

                              _EDITED BY_
                            GEORGE M. BAKER

                                 BOSTON
                         WALTER H. BAKER & CO.
                                  1909



                         Pieces People Ask For

                  COPYRIGHT, 1885, BY GEORGE M. BAKER
                       (_Reading Club, No. 16._)

                  COPYRIGHT, 1886, BY GEORGE M. BAKER
                       (_Reading Club, No. 17._)

               COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY WALTER H. BAKER & CO.

                             [Illustration]



                                Contents

                                 PART I

    “Bay Billy”                  _Frank H. Gassaway_        98
    Because                      _Boston Transcript_        33
    The Book Canvasser                                      78
    Casabianca (Colored)                                    43
    A Centre-board Yacht-race    _George A. Stockwell_      67
    The Christening              _E. T. Corbett_            37
    The Coming Wave              _Oliver Optic_             82
    Counting Eggs                _Texas Siftings_           64
    Cut, Cut Behind              _Charles Follen Adams_     45
    The Deacon’s Ride            _Mary C. Huntington_       59
    The Death of D’Assas         _Mary E. Vandyne_          24
    Decoration Day               _Mary Bassett Hussey_      54
    The Driver of Ninety-three   _Sarah K. Bolton_           8
    The Engineer’s Story         _Eugene J. Hall_           81
    The Fall                     _Thomas Hood_              66
    Filling His Place            _Maria L. Eve_             40
    The Flag                     _James Jeffrey Roche_      32
    The Heritage                 _James Russell Lowell_     42
    Hiring Help                  _Mrs. S. E. Dawes_        102
    The House in the Meadow      _Louise Chandler Moulton_  15
    How the Ransom was Paid      _W. R. Rose_               10
    Jem’s Last Ride              _Mary A. P. Stansbury_     88
    The Labor Question           _Wendell Phillips_         29
    The Light from Over the
       Range                                                 5
    A Little Peach                                          17
    A Lost Child                 _Anna F. Burnham_          86
    Love and Philosophy          _Geo. Runde Jackson_       30
    Malaria                                                 74
    Mary’s Lamb on a New
       Principle                                            44
    The Man with the Musket      _H. S. Taylor_             27
    Metamora to the Council                                  9
    Missing                                                 53
    The Mississippi Miracle      _Irwin Russell_            70
    Mr. Pickwick’s Romantic
       Adventure with a
       Middle-aged Lady in
       Yellow Curl-Papers        _Dickens_                  18
    Over the Crossin’            _Springfield Republican_   92
    Puzzled                                                 76
    The Rajah’s Clock            _Theron Brown_             57
    Re-enlisted                  _Lucy Larcom_              11
    Scene from “Ion”             _Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd_ 46
    She Stood on the Stair       _Puck_                     13
    The Silver Bell              _Mrs. Julia D. Pratt_      63
    Somehow or Other                                        94
    The Story of Sir Arnulph     _Gerald Massey_            85
    Taters                       _W. O. Eaton_              96
    Together on the Stairs       _Andrew G. Tubbs_          35
    A Tough Customer             _William L. Keese_         28
    “An Unknown Man, Respectably
       Dressed”                  _Helen Jackson_            97
    The Village Choir            _Audre’s Journal_          39
    Wendell Phillips             _John Boyle O’Reilly_      72
    When Greek met Greek                                    56
    When McGue puts the
    Baby to Sleep                                           87

                                PART II

    After “Taps”                 _Horace B. Sargent_        78
    At Arlington                 _James R. Randall_         15
    At the Rising of the Moon    _Leo Casey_                12
    Aunt Parson’s Story          _Presbyterian Journal_     48
    Aunt Sophronia Tabor at
        the Opera                                           36
    Biddy’s Philosophy           _R. H. Stoddard_          102
    The Bravest Boy in Town      _Emma H. Nason, in Wide_
                                     _Awake_                23
    Brer Rabbit and the Butter   _Harris_                   26
    Cicely and the Bears         _Lilliput Levee_           64
    The “Course of Love”
       Too “Smooth”                                         97
    The Drummer’s Betrothed      _M. Cecile Brown, from_
                                    _Victor Hugo_            5
    The Dutchman’s Serenade                                 57
       Dyin’ Vords of Isaac      _Anonymous_                99
    A Fight with a Trout         _Charles D. Warner_        40
    Forcible Entry               _J. M. Bailey_             45
    Grant’s Strategy             _Judge Veazey_             85
    He Never Told a Lie                                     82
    A Howl in Rome               _Bill Nye_                 67
    Indian Names                 _L. H. Sigourney_          80
    Jamie Douglas                                           70
    John Leland’s Examination                                8
    A Laughing Philosopher                                  17
    A Leak in the Dike           _Phœbe Cary_               93
    Lessons in Cookery           _Detroit Free Press_      107
    A Lesson to Lovers                                      83
    A “Love” Game                _T. Malcolm Watson_        86
    The Loves of a Life          _Mazzini_                  29
    “Magdalena”                  _Puck_                     75
    The Menagerie                _J. Honeywell_            100
    Nebulous Philosophy          _J. Edgar Jones_           14
    Never Too Late               _Earnest McGaffey_         39
    No!                          _Hood_                    100
    The Old Canteen                                         34
    An Old Man’s Prayer          _George M. Baker_          88
    On the Shores of Tennessee   _E. L. Beers_             103
    An Order for a Picture       _Alice Cary_               42
    An Original Idea             _George M. Baker_         110
    Over the Left                _W. C. Dornin_             56
    Paddy’s Dream                _Anonymous_               106
    Pat’s Reason                                           109
    The Prisoner                                            31
    Raking the Meadow-Lot        _Ruth Revere_              77
    The Saddest Sight                                       13
    Scene from “Ingomar”         _Maria Lovell, from the_
                                    _German_                59
    The Seminole’s Reply                                    56
    The September Gale           _O. W. Holmes_             11
    The Soldier’s Dream          _C. G. Fall_               53
    The Song of the Drum         _I. E. Diekenga_           20
    Story of a Bedstead          _San Fransisco Wasp_       72
    Wendell Phillips             _Henry W. Beecher_         46



Part I



THE READING-CLUB.



THE LIGHT FROM OVER THE RANGE.


“D’ye see it, pard?”

“See what, Rough?”

“The light from over the Range.”

“Not a bit, Rough. It’s not daybreak yet. Yer sick, an’ yer head
bothers ye.”

“Pard, yer off. I’ve been sick, but I’m well again. It’s not dark like
it was. The light’s a-comin’—comin’ like the boyhood days that crep’
inter the winders of the old home.”

“Ye’ve been dreamin’, Rough. The fever hain’t all outen yer head yet.”

“Dreamin’? ’Twa’n’t all dreams. It’s the light comin’, pard. I see
’em all plain. Thar’s the ole man lookin’ white an’ awful, just as he
looked the mornin’ he drove me from home; and that woman behind him,
stretchin’ out her arms arter me, is the best mother in the world.
Don’t you see ’em, pard?”

“Yer flighty, Rough. It’s all dark, ’cepting a pine-knot flickerin’ in
the ashes.”

“No—the light’s a-comin’ brighter and brighter. Look! It’s beamin’
over the Range bright and gentle, like the smile that used to be over
me when my head lay in my mother’s lap, long ago.”

“Hyar’s a little brandy, Rough. Thar; I seen it though my eyes are
dim—somehow—hyar, Rough.”

“Never, pard. That stuff spiled the best years of my life—it sha’n’t
spile my dreams of ’em. Oh, sich dreams, pard! They take me to the old
home again. I see the white house ’mong the trees. I smell the breath
of the apple-blossoms, and hear the birds singin’ and the bees
hummin’, and the old plough-songs echoin’ over the leetle valley. I
see the river windin’ through the willers an’ sycamores, an’ the dear
ole hills all around, p’intin’ up to heaven like the spires of big
meetin’-houses. Thar’s the ole rock we called the tea-table. I climb up
on it, an’ play a happy boy agin. Oh, if I’d only staid thar, pard!”

“Don’t, Rough; ye thaw me all out, talkin’ that. It makes me womanish.”

“That’s it, pard: we’ve kep’ our hearts froze so long, we want it allus
winter. But the summer comes back with all the light from over the
Range. How bright it is, pard! Look! How it floods the cabin till the
knots an’ cobwebs are plainer than day.”

“Suthin’s wrong, Rough. It’s all dark, ’cept only that pine-knot in the
chimbly.”

“No, it’s all right, pard. The light’s come over the Range. I kin see
better’n I ever could. Kin see the moister in yer eyes, pard, an’ see
the crooked path I’ve come, runnin’ clean back to my mother’s knee. I
wasn’t allus called Rough. Somebody used to kiss me, an’ call me her
boy: nobody’ll ever know I’ve kep’ it till the end.”

“I hev wanted to ax ye, mate, why ye never had any name but jist Rough?”

“Pard—it’s gettin’ dark—my name? I’ve never heard it since I left
home. I buried it thar in the little churchyard, whar mother’s
waitin’ for the boy that never come back. I can’t tell it, pard. In
my kit you’ll find a package done up. Thar’s two picters in it of two
faces that’s been hoverin’ over me since I took down. You’ll find my
name thar, pard—thar with hers—an’ mother’s.”

“Hers? Will I ever see her, Rough?”

“Not till you see her by the light that comes over the Range to us all.
Pard, it’s gettin’ dark—dark and close—darker than it ever seemed to
me afore”—

“Rough, what’s the matter? Speak to me, mate. Can’t I do nuthin’ fer
ye?”

“Yes—pard. Can’t ye—say—suthin’?”

“What d’ye mean, Rough? I’ll say any thing to please ye.”

“Say—a—pra’r, pard.”

“A pra’r! Rough, d’ye mean it?”

“Yes, a pra’r, pard. It’s the—last thing Rough’ll ever—ax of ye.”

“It’s hard to do, Rough. I don’t know a pra’r.”

“Think back, pard. Didn’t yer mother—teach ye—suthin’? One that
begins—‘Our Father’—an’ then—somehow—says—‘forgive us’—”

“Don’t, Rough, ye break me all up.”

“The light’s a-fadin’—on the golden hills—an’ the night is
comin’—out of the canyuns—pard. Be quick—ye’ll try, pard. Say
suthin’—fer Rough”—

“I—Rough—Our Father, forgive us. Don’t be hard on Rough. We’re a
tough lot. We’ve forgot ye, but we hain’t all bad. ’Cause we hain’t
forgot the old home. Forgive us—be easy on Rough. Thy will be done”—

“It’s comin’ agin—pard. The light’s—comin’—over the Range”—

“Have mercy on—us, an’—an’—an’—settle with us ’cordin’ to—to the
surroundin’s of our lives. Thy—Thy kingdom come”—

“Go on, pard. It’s comin’.”

“Now—I lay me down to sleep.”

“That’s—good—mother said that.”

“Hallowed be Thy name—pray—the Lord his soul to keep.”

“That’s good—pard. It’s all glory—comin’ over—the Range—mother’s
face—her—face”—

“Thine is the glory, we ask—for Jesus’ sake—Amen.”

“Pard”—

“What, Rough? I’m all unstrung. I”—

“Fare”—

“Rough! Yer worse! What, dead?”

Yes, the wanderings were over. Ended with a prayer, rough and sincere,
like the heart that had ceased to throb; a prayer and a few real tears,
even in that lone cabin in the cañon; truer than many a death scene
knows, although a nation does honor to the dying; a prayer that pleased
Him better than many a prayer of the schools and creeds. A rough but
gentle hand closed the eyes. The first rays of the morning sun broke
through a crevice in the little cabin, and hung like his mother’s smile
over the couch of the sleeping boy. Only one mourner watched with Rough
as he waited for the new name which will be given to us all, when that
light comes to the world from over the Range.



THE DRIVER OF NINETY-THREE.


      Street-car driver, “Ninety-three!”
      Very weary and worn was he,
    As he dragged himself to his little home;
      Long, long hours from year to year,
      Never a day for rest, no cheer,
    In the woods or meadows in joy to roam.

      All day through in tiresome round,
      Wages scanty, and prospects bound
    In a treadmill life from sun to sun,
      Facing the winter’s cold and sleet,
      Facing the summer’s burning heat,
    With little to hope and little won.

      The clothing was poor of “Ninety-three,”
      And poor as well for the family;
    But the wife was patient with gentle grace.
      “I’ve watched all day by the baby’s bed;
      I think he is going, John,” she said,
    With an anxious look on her pallid face.

      He gazed with pride on his baby boy.
      “He is handsome, wife!” and a look of joy
    Just for a moment dried the tears.
      “How does he look in the glad daylight?
      I have never seen him, except at night;”
    And he sighed as he thought of the weary years.

      Labor the blessing of life should be,
      But it seemed like a curse to “Ninety-three,”
    For twice too long were the toiling hours;
      Never the time to improve the mind,
      Or joy in his little ones to find:
    Grasping and thoughtless are human powers.

      All night long did the driver stay
      By the beautiful child, then stole away,
    Hoping, still hoping that God would save;
      But when the sun in the heavens rose high,
      The time had come for the baby to die,
    And the mother had only an open grave.

      “I must take a day,” said “Ninety-three”
      To the wealthy railroad company;
    “I shall see the face of my child,” he said.
      Oh, bitter the thought to wait till death
      Has whitened the cheek and stopped the breath,
    Before we can see our precious dead!

      With many a tear and half-moaned prayer,
      With apple-blossoms among his hair,
    They buried the child of their fondest love;
      And the man went back to the treadmill life
      With a kindlier thought for his stricken wife.
    Ah, well, there’s a reckoning day above!
                                        _Sarah K. Bolton._



METAMORA TO THE COUNCIL.


You sent for me, and I’ve come: if you have nothing to say, I go back
again. How is it, brothers? The doubt seems on all your faces, and your
young warriors grasp their fire-weapons, as if they waited the onset
of the foe. You were like a small thing upon the great waters; you had
no earth to rest upon; you left the smoke of your father’s wig-wam far
in the distance, when the lord of the soil took you as little children
to his home; our hearths were warm, and the Indian was the white man’s
friend. Your great Book tells you to give good gifts. The Indian needs
no book: the Great Spirit has written with his finger on his heart.
Wisconego here? let me see his eye! Art thou not he whom I snatched
from the war-club of the Mohegan, when the lips of the foe thirsted for
thy blood, and their warriors had sung thy death-song? Say unto these
people that they have bought thy tongue, and that thy coward heart has
uttered a lie. Slave of the whites, go! (_stabs him_) follow Sassawan!
White man, beware! the wrath of the wronged Indian shall fall on you
like a mighty cataract that dashes the uprooted oak down its mighty
chasm; the dread war-cry shall start you from dreams at night, and the
red hatchet gleam in the blaze of your burning dwellings. Tremble, from
the east to the west, from the north to the south, till the lands you
have stolen groan beneath your feet! (_Throws hatchet on stage._) Thus
do I smite your nation, and defy your power!



HOW THE RANSOM WAS PAID.

1598.


    On the helpless Flemish village
      Cruel Alva swooped and fell;
    And the peace of trade and tillage
      Turned to martial clank and yell.
    In the town-house, tall and handsome,
      Stood the great duke looking down
    On the burghers proffering ransom
      For the safety of the town.

    O’er his brow gray locks were twining,
      For his casque was laid aside,
    And his good sword carved and shining
      From the sword-belt was untied.
    Prince he seemed of born commanders;
      Pride and power each gesture told;
    As he cried, “Ye men of Flanders,
      Bring me twenty casks of gold!”

    Then upon them fell a sadness,
      And a shadow like a pall,
    While they murmured, “’Tis rank madness
      Such a sum from us to call!”
    And the spokesman of the village
      Murmured feebly, “Sure you jest.”
    Answered Alva, “Gold or pillage,
      Choose whichever may suit you best!”

    Faint and stunned they turned despairing,
      When arose a laugh of joy,
    And before their startled staring
      In there pranced a little boy;
    On his curls the duke’s helm rested,
      As with noisy glee he roared,
    And his good steed mailed and crested
      Was great Alva’s mighty sword!

    Round about the room he gambolled,
      Peeping through the helmet bars;
    Now he leaped, and now he ambled,
      Like a Cupid mocking Mars.
    Then he stayed his merry prancing,
      And of Alva’s knees caught hold,
    Where a ray of sunlight glancing
      Turned his sunny curls to gold.

    Swift the mother, sorely frightened,
      Strove to take the cherub wild;
    But the duke’s stern features lightened
      As he kept her from the child;
    And he drank the pretty prattle—
      For the baby knew no fear—
    Till his eye, so fierce in battle,
      Softened with a pearly tear.

    For a babe arose before him
      In fair Spain, ere war’s alarms,—
    Thus his father’s sword upbore him.
      Alva caught the boy in arms,
    And, the pretty forehead baring,
      Cried, “A kiss!” The child obeyed;
    Then unto those men despairing
      Alva said, “Your ransom’s paid.”
                      _W. H. Rose, in Texas Siftings._



RE-ENLISTED.


    Oh did you see him in the street, dressed up in army blue,
    When drums and trumpets into town their storm of music threw,—
    A louder tune than all the winds could muster in the air,—
    The Rebel winds, that tried so hard our flag in strips to tear?

    You didn’t mind him? Oh, you looked beyond him, then, perhaps,
    To see the mounted officers rigged out with trooper caps,
    And shiny clothes, and sashes, and epaulets and all.
    It wasn’t for such things as these he heard his country call.

    She asked for men; and up he spoke, my handsome, hearty Sam,—
    “I’ll die for the dear old Union, if she’ll take me as I am.”
    And if a better man than he there’s mother that can show,
    From Maine to Minnesota, then let the nation know.

    You would not pick him from the rest by eagles or by stars,
    By straps upon his coat-sleeve, or gold or silver bars,
    Nor a corporal’s strip of worsted; but there’s something in his
          face,
    And something in his even step, a-marching in his place,—

    That couldn’t be improved by all the badges in the land:
    A patriot, and a good, strong man; are generals much more grand?
    We rest our pride on that big heart, wrapt up in army blue,
    The girl he loves, Mehitabel, and I, who love him too.

    He’s never shirked a battle yet, though frightful risks he’s run,
    Since treason flooded Baltimore, the spring of sixty-one;
    Through blood and storm he’s held out firm, nor fretted once,
          my Sam,
    At swamps of Chickahominy, or fields of Antietam.

    Though many a time he’s told us, when he saw them lying dead,
    The boys that came from Newburyport, and Lynn, and Marblehead,
    Stretched out upon the trampled turf, and wept on by the sky,
    It seemed to him the Commonwealth had drained her life-blood dry.

    “But then,” he said, “the more’s the need the country has of me:
    To live and fight the war all through, what glory it will be!
    The Rebel balls don’t hit me; and, mother, if they should,
    You’ll know I’ve fallen in my place, where I have always stood.”

    He’s taken out his furlough, and short enough it seemed:
    I often tell Mehitabel he’ll think he only dreamed
    Of walking with her nights so bright you couldn’t see a star,
    And hearing the swift tide come in across the harbor bar.

    The stars that shine above the stripes, they light him southward
          now;
    The tide of war has swept him back; he’s made a solemn vow
    To build himself no home-nest till his country’s work is done:
    God bless the vow, and speed the work, my patriot, my son!

    And yet it is a pretty place where his new house might be,—
    An orchard-road that leads your eye straight out upon the sea.
    The boy not work his father’s farm? it seems almost a shame;
    But any selfish plan for him he’d never let me name.

    He’s re-enlisted for the war, for victory or for death;
    A soldier’s grave, perhaps! the thought has half-way stopped my
          breath,
    And driven a cloud across the sun. My boy, it will not be!
    The war will soon be over, home again you’ll come to me.

    He’s re-enlisted; and I smiled to see him going too!
    There’s nothing that becomes him half so well as army blue.
    Only a private in the ranks! but sure I am, indeed,
    If all the privates were like him, they’d scarcely captains need.

    And I and Massachusetts share the honor of his birth,—
    The grand old State! to me the best in all the peopled earth!
    I cannot hold a musket, but I have a son who can;
    And I’m proud, for Freedom’s sake, to be the mother of a man.
                                              _Lucy Larcom._



SHE STOOD ON THE STAIR.


    She stood at the turn of the stair,
        With the rose-tinted light on her face,
    And the gold of her hair gleaming out
        From a mystical billow of lace.

    And I waited and watched her apart,
        And a mist seemed to compass my sight;
    For last year we were nearer than friends,
        And to me she was nothing to-night.

    And the jasmine she wore at her throat
        Was heavy with fragrance, and cast
    The sorrowful present away,
        And carried me back to the past.

    Yes, her face is as proud and as sweet,
        And the flowers are the same as of old.
    Is her voice just as gentle and low?
        Is her heart just as cruel and cold?

    Does she dream of one summer ago,
        As she stands on the rose-tinted stair?
    Does she think of her Newport romance,
        While she buttons her long mosquetaire?

    And some one is singing a song,
        And high o’er the music it rings,
    And she listens and leans from the stair,
        For these are the words that it sings:—

    “Oh, love for a month or a week,
        Oh, love for a year or a day;
    But, oh for the love that will live—
        That will linger forever and aye!”

    There’s a stillness—the music has stopped,
        And she turns with an indolent grace:
    Am I waking, or still do I dream,
        Or is there a tear on her face?

    Then I step from the shadow apart,
        Till I stand by her side on the stair:
    One step to the flowers and light
        From the darkness and gloom of despair.

    And I take both her hands in my own,
        And I look in her eyes once again,—
    And I shiver and tremble and shake
        When I think what a fool I have been.

    And I stamp and I claw at the air,
        And rave at myself for a spell;
    For it isn’t the girl, after all,
        That I met at the Newport hotel.
                                     _Puck._



THE HOUSE IN THE MEADOW.


    It stands in a sunny meadow,
      The house so mossy and brown,
    With its cumbrous old stone chimneys,
      And the gray roof sloping down.

    The trees fold their green arms round it,—
      The trees a century old;
    And the winds go chanting through them,
      And the sunbeams drop their gold.

    The cowslips spring in the marshes,
      The roses bloom on the hill,
    And beside the brook in the pasture
      The herds go feeding at will.

    Within, in the wide old kitchen
      The old folks sit in the sun
    That creeps through the sheltering woodbine
      Till the day is almost done.

    Their children have gone and left them;
      They sit in the sun alone,
    And the old wife’s ears are failing
      As she harks to the well-known tone

    That won her heart in her girlhood,
      That has soothed her in many a care,
    And praises her now for the brightness
      Her old face used to wear.

    She thinks again of her bridal,—
      How, dressed in her robe of white,
    She stood by her gay young lover
      In the morning’s rosy light.

    Oh, the morning is rosy as ever,
      But the rose from her cheek is fled;
    And the sunshine still is golden,
      But it falls on a silvered head.

    And the girlhood dreams, once vanished,
      Come back in her winter-time,
    Till her feeble pulses tremble
      With the thrill of springtime’s prime.

    And, looking forth from the window,
      She thinks how the trees have grown
    Since, clad in her bridal whiteness,
      She crossed the old door-stone.

    Though dimmed her eye’s bright azure,
      And dimmed her hair’s young gold,
    The love in her girlhood plighted
      Has never grown dim or old.

    They sat in peace in the sunshine
      Till the day was almost done.
    And then, at its close, an angel
      Stole over the threshold stone.

    He folded their hands together,
      He touched their eyelids with balm,
    And their last breath floated outward,
      Like the close of a solemn psalm.

    Like a bridal pair they traversed
      The unseen, mystical road
    That leads to the Beautiful City
      Whose Builder and Maker is God.

    Perhaps in that miracle country
      They will give her lost youth back,
    And the flowers of the vanished springtime
      Will bloom in the spirit’s track.

    One draught from the living waters
      Shall call back his manhood’s prime;
    And eternal years shall measure
      The love that outlasted time.

    But the shapes that they left behind them,
      The wrinkles and silver hair,—
    Made holy to us by the kisses
      The angel had printed there,—

    We will hide away ’neath the willows,
      When the day is low in the west,
    Where the sunbeams cannot find them,
      Nor the winds disturb their rest.

    And we’ll suffer no telltale tombstone,
      With its age and date to rise
    O’er the two who are old no longer,
      In the Father’s house in the skies.
                             _Louise Chandler Moulton._



A LITTLE PEACH.


    A little peach in an orchard grew,—
    A little peach of emerald hue;
    Warmed by the sun and wet by the dew,
                  It grew.

    One day, passing the orchard through,
    That little peach dawned on the view
    Of Johnny Jones and his sister Sue.
                  Them two.

    Up at the peach a club they threw:
    Down from the stem on which it grew
    Fell the little peach of emerald hue.
                  Brand New!

    She took a bite, and John a chew;
    And then the trouble began to brew,—
    Trouble the doctor couldn’t subdue.
                  Too true!

    Under the turf where the daisies grew,
    They planted John and his sister Sue,
    And their little souls to the angels flew.
                  Boo-hoo!

    But what of the peach of emerald hue,
    Warmed by the sun and wet by the dew?
    Ah, well, its mission on earth is through.
                      Adieu!



  MR. PICKWICK’S ROMANTIC ADVENTURE WITH A
  MIDDLE-AGED LADY IN YELLOW CURL-PAPERS.


“Dear me, it’s time to go to bed. It will never do, sitting here. I
shall be pale to-morrow, Mr. Pickwick!”

At the bare notion of such a calamity, Mr. Peter Magnus rang the bell
for the chambermaid; and the striped bag, the red bag, the leather
hat-box, and the brown-paper parcel, having been conveyed to his
bedroom, he retired in company with a japanned candlestick to one side
of the house, while Mr. Pickwick, and another japanned candlestick,
were conducted through a multitude of tortuous windings to another.

“This is your room, sir,” said the chambermaid.

“Very well,” replied Mr. Pickwick, looking round him. It was a
tolerably large double-bedded room, with a fire; upon the whole, a more
comfortable-looking apartment than Mr. Pickwick’s short experience of
the accommodations of the Great White Horse had led him to expect.

“Nobody sleeps in the other bed, of course,” said Mr. Pickwick.

“Oh, no, sir.”

“Very good. Tell my servant to bring me up some hot water at half-past
eight in the morning, and that I shall not want him any more to-night.”

“Yes, sir.” And bidding Mr. Pickwick good-night, the chambermaid
retired, and left him alone.

Mr. Pickwick sat himself down in a chair before the fire, and fell
into a train of rambling meditations. First he thought of his friends,
and wondered when they would join him; then his mind reverted to Mrs.
Martha Bardell; and from that lady it wandered, by a natural process,
to the dingy counting-house of Dodson and Fogg. From Dodson and
Fogg’s it flew off at a tangent, to the very centre of the history of
the queer client; and then it came back to the Great White Horse at
Ipswich, with sufficient clearness to convince Mr. Pickwick that he was
falling asleep; so he roused himself, and began to undress, when he
recollected he had left his watch on the table down-stairs.

Now, this watch was a special favorite with Mr. Pickwick, having been
carried about, beneath the shadow of his waistcoat, for a greater
number of years than we feel called upon to state at present. The
possibility of going to sleep unless it were ticking gently beneath his
pillow, or in his watch-pocket over his head, had never entered Mr.
Pickwick’s brain. So as it was pretty late now, and he was unwilling
to ring his bell at that hour of the night, he slipped on his coat,
of which he had just divested himself, and, taking the japanned
candlestick in his hand, walked quietly down-stairs.

The more stairs Mr. Pickwick went down, the more stairs there seemed
to be to descend; and again and again, when Mr. Pickwick got into some
narrow passage, and began to congratulate himself on having gained the
ground-floor, did another flight of stairs appear before his astonished
eyes. At last he reached a stone hall, which he remembered to have seen
when he entered the house. Passage after passage did he explore; room
after room did he peep into; at length, just as he was on the point of
giving up the search in despair, he opened the door of the identical
room in which he had spent the evening, and beheld his missing property
on the table.

Mr. Pickwick seized the watch in triumph, and proceeded to retrace his
steps to his bed-chamber. If his progress downwards had been attended
with difficulties and uncertainty, his journey back was infinitely more
perplexing. Rows of doors garnished with boots of every shape, make,
and size, branched off in every possible direction. A dozen times did
he softly turn the handle of some bedroom door which resembled his own,
when a gruff cry from within, of “Who the devil’s that?” or “What do
you want here?” caused him to steal away, on tiptoe, with a marvellous
celerity. He was reduced to the verge of despair, when an open door
attracted his attention. He peeped in—right at last! There were the
two beds, whose situation he perfectly remembered, and the fire still
burning. His candle, not a long one when he first received it, had
flickered away in the draughts of air through which he had passed, and
sunk into the socket just as he closed the door after him. “No matter,”
said Mr. Pickwick, “I can undress myself just as well, by the light of
the fire.”

The bedsteads stood, one on each side of the door; and on the inner
side of each was a little path, terminating in a rush-bottomed chair,
just wide enough to admit of a person’s getting into or out of bed
on that side, if he or she thought proper. Having carefully drawn
the curtains of his bed on the outside, Mr. Pickwick sat down on the
rush-bottomed chair, and leisurely divested himself of his shoes and
gaiters. He then took off and folded up his coat, waistcoat, and
neck-cloth, and, slowly tying on his tasselled nightcap, secured it
firmly on his head, by tying beneath his chin the strings which he had
always attached to that article of dress. It was at this moment that
the absurdity of his recent bewilderment struck upon his mind; and
throwing himself back in the rush-bottomed chair, Mr. Pickwick laughed
to himself so heartily, that it would have been quite delightful to any
man of well-constituted mind to have watched the smiles which expanded
his amiable features as they shone forth from beneath the nightcap.

“It is the best idea,” said Mr. Pickwick to himself, smiling till he
almost cracked the nightcap strings,—“it is the best idea, my losing
myself in this place, and wandering about those staircases, that I ever
heard of. Droll, droll, very droll.” Here Mr. Pickwick smiled again,
a broader smile than before, and was about to continue the process
of undressing, in the very best possible humor, when he was suddenly
stopped by a most unexpected interruption; to wit, the entrance into
the room of some person with a candle, who, after locking the door,
advanced to the dressing-table, and set down the light upon it.

The smile that played on Mr. Pickwick’s features was instantaneously
lost in a look of the most unbounded and wonder-stricken surprise. The
person, whoever it was, had come in so suddenly and with so little
noise, that Mr. Pickwick had no time to call out, or oppose their
entrance. Who could it be? A robber! Some evil-minded person who had
seen him come up-stairs with a handsome watch in his hand, perhaps.
What was he to do?

The only way in which Mr. Pickwick could catch a glimpse of his
mysterious visitor, with the least danger of being seen himself, was by
creeping on to the bed, and peeping out from between the curtains on
the opposite side. To this manœuvre he accordingly resorted. Keeping
the curtains carefully closed with his hand, so that nothing more
of him could be seen than his face and nightcap, and putting on his
spectacles, he mustered up courage, and looked out.

Mr. Pickwick almost fainted with horror and dismay. Standing before
the dressing-glass was a middle-aged lady in yellow curl-papers,
busily engaged in brushing what ladies call their “back hair.” However
the unconscious middle-aged lady came into that room, it was quite
clear that she contemplated remaining there for the night; for she
had brought a rushlight and shade with her, which, with praiseworthy
precaution against fire, she had stationed in a basin on the floor,
where it was glimmering away like a gigantic light-house in a
particularly small piece of water.

“Bless my soul,” thought Mr. Pickwick, “what a dreadful thing!”

“Hem!” said the lady; and in went Mr. Pickwick’s head with
automaton-like rapidity.

“I never met any thing so awful as this,” thought poor Mr. Pickwick,
the cold perspiration starting in drops upon his nightcap. “Never. This
is fearful.”

It was quite impossible to resist the urgent desire to see what was
going forward. So out went Mr. Pickwick’s head again. The prospect was
worse than before. The middle-aged lady had finished arranging her
hair, and carefully enveloped it in a muslin nightcap with a small
plaited border, and was gazing pensively on the fire.

“This matter is growing alarming,” reasoned Mr. Pickwick with himself.
“I can’t allow things to go in this way. By the self-possession of that
lady, it’s clear to me that I must have come into the wrong room. If I
call out, she’ll alarm the house; but if I remain here, the consequence
will be still more frightful!”

Mr. Pickwick, it is quite necessary to say, was one of the most modest
and delicate-minded of mortals. The very idea of exhibiting his
nightcap to a lady overpowered him; but he had tied those confounded
strings in a knot, and, do what he would, he couldn’t get it off. The
disclosure must be made. There was only one other way of doing it. He
shrunk behind the curtains, and called out very loudly,—

“Ha—hum.”

That the lady started at this unexpected sound, was evident by her
falling up against the rushlight shade; that she persuaded herself it
must have been the effect of imagination, was equally clear, for when
Mr. Pickwick, under the impression that she had fainted away, stone
dead from fright, ventured to peep out again, she was gazing pensively
on the fire as before.

“Most extraordinary female this,” thought Mr. Pickwick, popping in
again. “Ha—hum.”

These last sounds, so like those in which, as legends inform us, the
ferocious giant Blunderbore was in the habit of expressing his opinion
that it was time to lay the cloth, were too distinctly audible to be
again mistaken for the workings of fancy.

“Gracious Heaven!” said the middle-aged lady, “what’s that?”

“It’s—it’s—only a gentleman, ma’am,” said Mr. Pickwick from behind
the curtains.

“A gentleman!” said the lady with a terrific scream.

“It’s all over,” thought Mr. Pickwick.

“A strange man!” shrieked the lady. Another instant, and the house
would be alarmed. Her garments rustled as she rushed towards the door.

“Ma’am”—said Mr. Pickwick, thrusting out his head, in the extremity of
his desperation, “ma’am.”

Now, although Mr. Pickwick was not actuated by any definite object
in putting out his head, it was instantaneously productive of a good
effect. The lady, as we have already stated, was near the door. She
must pass it to reach the staircase; and she would most undoubtedly
have done so, by this time, had not the sudden apparition of Mr.
Pickwick’s nightcap driven her back, into the remotest corner of the
apartment, where she stood staring wildly at Mr. Pickwick, while Mr.
Pickwick in his turn stared wildly at her.

“Wretch,” said the lady, covering her eyes with her hands, “what do you
want here?”

“Nothing, ma’am,—nothing whatever, ma’am,” said Mr. Pickwick earnestly.

“Nothing!” said the lady looking up.

“Nothing, ma’am, upon my honor,” said Mr. Pickwick, nodding his head
so energetically, that the tassel of his nightcap danced again. “I am
almost ready to sink, ma’am, beneath the confusion of addressing a lady
in my nightcap (here the lady hastily snatched off hers), but I can’t
get it off, ma’am (here Mr. Pickwick gave it a tremendous tug in
proof of the statement). It is evident to me, ma’am, now, that I have
mistaken this bedroom for my own. I had not been here five minutes,
ma’am, when you suddenly entered it.”

“If this improbable story be really true, sir,” said the lady, sobbing
violently, “you will leave it instantly.”

“I will, ma’am, with the greatest pleasure,” replied Mr. Pickwick.

“Instantly, sir,” said the lady.

“Certainly, ma’am,” interposed Mr. Pickwick, very quickly. “Certainly,
ma’am. I—I—am very sorry, ma’am,” said Mr. Pickwick, making his
appearance at the bottom of the bed, “to have been the innocent
occasion of this alarm and emotion; deeply sorry, ma’am.”

The lady pointed to the door. One excellent quality of Mr. Pickwick’s
character was beautifully displayed at this moment, under the most
trying circumstances. Although he had hastily put on his hat over his
nightcap, after the manner of the old patrol; although he carried his
shoes and gaiters in his hand, and his coat and waistcoat over his arm,
nothing could subdue his native politeness.

“I am exceedingly sorry, ma’am,” said Mr. Pickwick, bowing very low.

“If you are, sir, you will at once leave the room,” said the lady.

“Immediately, ma’am; this instant, ma’am,” said Mr. Pickwick, opening
the door, and dropping both his shoes with a loud crash in so doing.

“I trust, ma’am,” resumed Mr. Pickwick, gathering up his shoes, and
turning round to bow again, “I trust, ma’am, that my unblemished
character, and the devoted respect I entertain for your sex, will plead
as some slight excuse for this”—But before Mr. Pickwick could conclude
the sentence, the lady had thrust him into the passage, and locked and
bolted the door behind him.

                                                        _Dickens._



THE DEATH OF D’ASSAS.

       [In the autumn of 1760, Louis XV. sent an army
     into Germany. They took up a strong position at
     Klostercamp, intending to advance on Rheinberg. The
     young Chevalier D’Assas was sent out by Auvergne to
     reconnoitre. He met a party advancing to surprise the
     French camp. Their bayonets pricked his breast, and
     the leader whispered, “Make the least noise, and you
     are a dead man.” D’Assas paused a moment, then cried
     out as loud as he could, “Here, Auvergne! here are the
     enemy!” He was immediately cut down, but his death had
     saved the French army.—_History of France._]


    There’s revelry at Louis’ court. With, joust and tournament,
    With feasting and with laughter, the merry days are spent;
    And midst them all, those gallant knights, of Louis’ court the
          boast,
    Who can compare with D’Assas among the brilliant host?
    The flush of youth is on his cheek; the fire that lights his eye
    Tells of the noble heart within, the spirit pure and high.
    No braver knight holds charger’s reign, or wields the glittering
          lance.
    Than proud and lordly D’Assas, bold chevalier of France.

    The sound of war strikes on the air from far beyond the Rhine,
    Its clarions ring across the fields, rich with the purple vine.
    France calls her best and bravest: “Up, men, and take the sword!
    Of German vales and hillsides, Louis would fain be lord;
    Go forth, and for your sovereign win honor and renown;
    Plant the white flag of Ivry on valley and on town.
    The green soil of the Fatherland shall see your arms advance,
    The dull and stolid Teuton shall bend the knee to France.”

    On Klostercamp the morning sun is glancing brightly down.
    Auvergne has ranged his forces within the ancient town.
    From thence on Rheinberg shall they move: that citadel so grim
    Shall yield her towers to Auvergne, shall ope her gates to him.
    His warriors stand about him, a bold and gallant band,
    No general e’er had truer men to follow his command.
    He seeks the best and bravest; on D’Assas falls his glance,—
    On brave and lordly D’Assas, bold chevalier of France.

    “Advance, my lord,” cried Auvergne; D’Assas is at his side.
    “Of all the knights who form my train, who ’neath my banner ride,
    None hold the place of trust the king our sovereign gives to thee,—
    Wilt thou accept a fearful charge that death or fame shall be?
    Wilt thou, O D’Assas! ride to-night close to the foemen’s line,
    And see what strength he may oppose to these proud hosts of mine?”
    Then D’Assas bows his stately head. “Thy will shall soon be done.
    Back will I come with tidings full e’er dawns the morning sun.”

    ’Tis midnight. D’Assas rideth forth upon his well-tried steed.
    Auvergne hath made a worthy choice for this adventurous deed.
    But stop! what means this silent host? How stealthily they come!
    No martial music cleaves the air, no sound of beaten drum.
    Like spectre forms they seem to glide before his wondering eyes;
    Well hath he done, the wary foe, to plan this wild surprise.
    Back D’Assas turns; but ah! too late,—a lance is laid in rest:
    The knight can feel its glittering point against his corselet prest.

    “A Frenchman! Hist!” A heavy hand has seized his bridle-rein.
    “Hold close thy lips, my gallant spy; one word, and thou art slain.
    What brought thee here? Dost thou not know this is the Fatherland?
    How dar’st thou stain our righteous earth with thy foul Popish band?
    Wouldst guard thy life, then utter not one sound above thy breath;
    A whisper, and thy dainty limbs shall make a meal for Death.
    Within thy heart these blades shall find the black blood of thy
          race,
    And none shall ever know or dream of thy last resting-place.”

    Calm as a statue D’Assas stands. His heart he lifts on high.
    “The God of battles! help me now, and teach me how to die.
    A weeping maid will mourn my fate, a sovereign holds me dear;
    Be to them ever more than I who perish sadly here.”
    No word has passed his pallid lips, no sound his voice has made.
    ’Twas but the utterance of his heart, this prayer the soldier
          prayed.
    But then? ah, then! No voice on earth e’er rang more loud and clear:
    “Auvergne!” he cried, “Auvergne, Auvergne! Behold! the foe is here!”

    The forest echoes with the shout. Appalled his captors stand.
    The courage of that dauntless heart has stayed each murderous hand.
    A moment’s pause,—then who can tell how quick their bayonets’
          thrust
    Reached D’Assas’ heart, and laid him there, a helpless heap of dust!
    The bravest chevalier of France, the pride of Louis’ train,—
    His blood bedews that alien earth, a flood of crimson rain.
    But Auvergne—Auvergne hears the cry; his troops come dashing on:
    Ere D’Assas’ spirit leaves its clay, the victory has been won.
                                _Mary E. Vandyne, in Good Cheer._



THE MAN WITH THE MUSKET.


    Soldiers, pass on from this rage of renown,
      This ant-hill commotion and strife,
    Pass by where the marbles and bronzes look down
      With their fast-frozen gestures of life,
    On, out to the nameless who lie ’neath the gloom
      Of the pitying cypress and pine;
    Your man is the man of the sword and the plume,
      But the man of the musket is mine.

    I knew him! by all that is noble, I knew
      This commonplace hero I name!
    I’ve camped with him, marched with him, fought with him too,
      In the swirl of the fierce battle-flame!
    Laughed with him, cried with him, taken a part
      Of his canteen and blanket, and known
    That the throb of this chivalrous prairie boy’s heart,
      Was an answering stroke of my own.

    I knew him, I tell you! And, also, I knew
      When he fell on the battle-swept ridge,
    That the poor battered body that lay there in blue
      Was only a plank in the bridge
    Over which some should pass to fame
      That shall shine while the high stars shall shine.
    Your hero is known by an echoing name,
      But the man of the musket is mine.

    I knew him! All through him the good and the bad
      Ran together and equally free;
    But I judge as I trust Christ will judge the brave lad,
      For death made him noble to me.
    In the cyclone of war, in the battle’s eclipse,
      Life shook out its lingering sands,
    And he died with the names that he loved on his lips,
      His musket still grasped in his hands.
    Up close to the flag my soldier went down,
      In the salient front of the line:
    You may take for your hero the men of renown,
      But the man of the musket is mine.
                             _H. S. Taylor, in The Century._



A TOUGH CUSTOMER.


    Let me tell you a tale that was once told to me;
      And although it was told me in prose at the time,
    I will give it a metrical dressing, and see
      If the story will lose any reason by rhyme.

    There came to the store in a village, one day,
      A long and lank stranger in homespun arrayed;
    And “Good-mornin’,” said he in a diffident way,
      “I’ve jes’ come up to town for a bit of a trade.”

    The proprietor nodded, and cheerily spoke,—
      “Well, what can I do for you, neighbor, and how?”
    “Wal, one of wife’s knittin’-needles ez broke,
      An’ she wants me to git one—how much be they, now?”

    “They’re two cents apiece.”—“Wal, say, mister, look here:
      I’ve got a fresh egg, an’ my wife sez to me,
    ‘Swap the egg for the needle;’ it seems a bit queer.
      But the thing’s about even—it’s a big un, yer see.”

    Said the storekeeper presently, “Well, I don’t mind.”
      He laid down the needle, and put the egg by—
    When the countryman blurted out, “Ain’t yer inclined
      To treat a new customer? Fact is, I’m dry.”

    Though staggered a little, it must be confessed,
      By the “customer” coming it rather too free,
    Yet, smilingly granting the modest request,
      The dealer responded, “Well, what shall it be?”

    “Wal, a drop of Madairy I reckon ’ul pass:
      I’ve been used ter thet, see, ever since I was born.”
    The storekeeper handed a bottle and glass,
      And his customer poured out a generous horn.

    For a moment he eyed the gratuitous dram
      With the air of a man who must something resign;
    Then blandly remarked, “Do you know that I am
      Very partial to mixing an egg in my wine?”

    “Oh, well, let us finish this matter, I beg:
      You’re very particular, though, I must say,”
    The storekeeper muttered, and handed an egg—
      The identical one he had taken in pay.

    On the rim of the tumbler the man broke the shell—
      “It’s cert’inly handsome, the way yer treat folk:”
    He opened it deftly, and plumply it fell
      With a splash, and no wonder—it held double yolk!

    The customer saw, and a long breath he drew:
      “Look, mister, that egg has two yolks, I declare!
    Instead of one needle, I’ve paid yer for two,
      So hand me another, an’ then we’ll be square!”
                           _William L. Keese, in Our Continent._



THE LABOR QUESTION.


Let me tell you why I am interested in the labor question. Not simply
because of the long hours of labor; not simply because of a specific
oppression of a class. I sympathize with the sufferers there: I am
ready to fight on their side. But I look out upon Christendom, with its
three hundred millions of people; and I see, that, out of this number
of people, one hundred millions never had enough to eat. Physiologists
tell us that this body of ours, unless it is properly fed, properly
developed, fed with rich blood and carefully nourished, does no justice
to the brain. You cannot make a bright or a good man in a starved body;
and so this one-third of the inhabitants of Christendom, who have never
had food enough, can never be what they should be. Now, I say that the
social civilization which condemns every third man in it to be below
the average in the nourishment God prepared for him, did not come from
above: it came from below; and, the sooner it goes down, the better.
Come on this side of the ocean. You will find forty millions of people,
and I suppose they are in the highest state of civilization; and yet it
is not too much to say, that, out of that forty millions, ten millions
at least, who get up in the morning and go to bed at night, spend all
the day in the mere effort to get bread enough to live. They have not
elasticity enough, mind or body, left, to do any thing in the way of
intellectual or moral progress.

I believe in the temperance movement. I am a temperance man of nearly
forty years’ standing; and I think it one of the grandest things in the
world, because it holds the basis of self-control. Intemperance is the
cause of poverty, I know; but there is another side to that: poverty is
the cause of intemperance. Crowd a man with fourteen hours’ work a day,
and you crowd him down to a mere animal life. You have eclipsed his
aspirations, dulled his tastes, stunted his intellect, and made him a
mere tool, to work fourteen hours, and catch a thought in the interval;
and, while a man in a hundred will rise to be a genius, ninety-nine
will cower down under the circumstances.

That is why I say, lift a man, give him life, let him work eight hours
a day, give him the school, develop his taste for music, give him a
garden, give him beautiful things to see, and good books to read, and
you will starve out those lower appetites. Give a man a chance to earn
a good living, and you may save his life.

If you want power in this country; if you want to make yourselves felt;
if you do not want your children to wait long years before they have
the bread on the table they ought to have, the leisure in their lives
they ought to have, the opportunities in life they ought to have; if
you don’t want to wait yourselves,—write on your banner, so that every
political trimmer can read it, so that every politician, no matter how
short-sighted he may be, can read it, “We never forget! If you launch
the arrow of sarcasm at labor, we never forget; if there is a division
in Congress, and you throw your vote in the wrong scale, we never
forget. You may go down on your knees, and say, ‘I am sorry I did the
act;’ and we will say, ‘It will avail you in heaven, but on this side
of the grave never.’” So that a man, in taking up the labor question,
will know he is dealing with a hair-trigger pistol, and will say, “I am
to be true to justice and to man: otherwise I am a dead duck.”

                                            _Wendell Phillips._



LOVE AND PHILOSOPHY.


    ’Twas a maiden full of knowledge,
      Though she’d scarcely passed eighteen;
    She was lovely as an angel,
      Though of grave and sober mien;

    A sweet encyclopædia
      Of every kind of lore;
    And love looked coyly from behind
      The glasses that she wore.

    She sat beside her lover,
      With her elbow on his knee,
    And dreamily she gazed upon
      The slumbering summer sea.

    Until he broke the silence,
      Saying, “Pray inform me, dear,
    What people mean when speaking
      Of the Thingness of the Here.

    “I know you’re just from Concord,
      Where the lights of wisdom be;
    Your head crammed full to bursting, love,
      With their philosophy,—

    “Those grave and reverend sages,
      And maids of hosiery blue.
    Then solve me the conundrum, dear,
      That I have put to you.”

    The maid replied with gravity,—
      “The Thingness of the Here
    Is that which lies between the past
      And future time, my dear.”

    “Indeed,” the maid continued, with
      A calm, unruffled brow,
    “The Thingness of the Here is just
      The Thisness of the Now.”

    The lover smiled a loving smile,
      And then he fondly placed
    A manly and protecting arm
      Around the maiden’s waist;

    And on her rosebud lips impressed
      A warm and loving kiss,
    And said, “That’s what I call, my dear,
      The Nowness of the This.”
                           _Geo. Runde Jackson._



THE FLAG.

AN INCIDENT OF STRAIN’S EXPEDITION.


    I never have got the bearings quite,
      Though I’ve followed the course for many a year,
    If he was crazy, clean outright,
      Or only what you might say was “queer.”

    He was just a simple sailor man.
      I mind it as well as yisterday,
    When we messed aboard of the old “Cyane.”
      Lord! how the time does slip away!
    That was five and thirty year ago,
      When ships was ships, and men was men,
    And sailors wasn’t afraid to go
      To sea in a Yankee vessel then.
    He was only a sort of bosun’s mate,
      But every inch of him taut and trim;
    Stars and anchors and togs of state
      Tailors don’t build for the likes of him.
    He flew a no-account sort of name,
      A reg’lar fo’castle “Jim” or “Jack,”
    With a plain “McGinnis” abaft the same,
      Giner’ly reefed to simple “Mack.”
    Mack, we allowed, was sorter queer—
      Ballast or compass wasn’t right;
    Till he licked four juicers, one day, a fear
      Prevailed that he hadn’t larned to fight.
    But I reckoned the captain knowed his man,
      When he put the flag in his hand the day
    That we went ashore from the old “Cyane,”
      On a madman’s cruise for Darien Bay.

    Forty days in the wilderness
      We toiled and suffered and starved with Strain.
    Losing the number of many a mess
      In the Devil’s swamps of the Spanish Main.
    All of us starved, and many died.
      One lay down, in his dull despair;
    His stronger messmate went to his side,—
      We left them both in the jungle there.

    It was hard to part with shipmates so;
      But standing by would have done no good.
    We heard them moaning all day, so slow
      We dragged along through the weary wood.
    McGinnis, he suffered the worst of all;
      Not that he ever piped his eye,
    Or wouldn’t have answered to the call
      If they’d sounded it for “All hands to die.”
    I guess ’twould have sounded for him before,
      But the grit inside of him kept him strong,
    Till we met relief on the river shore;
      And we all broke down when it came along.

    All but McGinnis. Gaunt and tall,
      Touching his hat, and standing square:
    “Captain, the flag” ... And that was all.
      He just keeled over and foundered there.
    The flag? We thought he had lost his head,—
      It mightn’t be much to lose at best,—
    Till we came, by and by, to dig his bed,
      And we found it folded around his breast.
    He lay so calm and smiling there,
      With the flag wrapped tight around his heart—
    Maybe he saw his course all fair,
      Only we couldn’t read the chart.
                                  _James Jeffrey Roche._



BECAUSE.


    “Now, John,” the district teacher says,
      With frown that scarce can hide
    The dimpling smiles around her mouth
      Where Cupid’s hosts abide;
    “What have you done to Mary Ann,
      That she is crying so?
    Don’t say ’twas nothing,—don’t, I say,
      For, John, that can’t be so.

    “For Mary Ann would never cry
      At nothing, I am sure;
    And if you’ve wounded justice, John,
      You know the only cure

    Is punishment. So come, stand up;
      Transgressions must abide
    The pain attendant on the scheme
      That makes it justified.”

    So John steps forth, with sunburnt face
      And hair all in a tumble,
    His laughing eyes a contrast to
      His drooping mouth so humble.
    “Now, Mary, you must tell me all,—
      I see that John will not,—
    And if he’s been unkind or rude
      I’ll whip him on the spot.”

    “We—we were playin’ p-prisoners’ base,
      An’ h-he is s-such a t-tease,
    An’ w-when I w-wasn’t l-lookin’, ma’am,
      H-he kissed me—if you please!”
    Upon the teacher’s face the smiles
      Have triumphed o’er the frown,
    A pleasant thought runs through her mind,
      The stick comes harmless down.

    But outraged law must be avenged:
      Begone, ye smiles, begone!
    Away, ye little dreams of love!
      Come on, ye frowns, come on!
    “I think I’ll have to whip you, John:
      Such conduct breaks the rule;
    No boy, except a naughty one,
      Would kiss a girl—at school.”

    Again the teacher’s rod is raised,
      A Nemesis she stands:
    A premium were put on sin,
      If punished by such hands!
    As when the bee explores the rose
      We see the petals tremble,
    So trembled Mary’s rosebud lips;
      Her heart would not dissemble.

    “I wouldn’t whip him very hard,”—
      The stick stops in its fall,
    “It wasn’t right to do it, but
      It didn’t hurt at all.”
    “What made you cry, then, Mary Ann?”
      The school noise makes a pause,
    And out upon the listening air
      From Mary comes, “Because.”
                              _Boston Transcript._



TOGETHER ON THE STAIRS.


    They sat together on the stairs,
      Far up where there was shade:
    ’Twas not because there were no chairs
      To sit on, I’m afraid.

    Some time they had been sitting there
      Alone, while others danced,
    And people, coming out for air
      ’Tween dances, often glanced

    Up at them, while they seemed to be
      Oblivious of remark,
    And sat like two birds in a tree,
      Within a shady park.

    To eyes that saw them from below,
      They looked a loving pair:
    The many signs which lovers show
      They seemed to show up there.

    At least, that is the way, to chaps
      Who sauntered in the hall,
    Things looked; but then, of course, perhaps,
      ’Twas nothing after all.

    For, though on spooning they seemed bent,
      Regardless how time flew,
    ’Twas possible that “distance lent
      Enchantment to the view.”

    His face bent down until her brow
      Seemed touched by his mustache,
    While she smiled on him—well, just how
      A girl smiles on her mash.

    He whispered something low and sweet,
      And pointed down to where
    Two little blue-silk-slippered feet
      Were making people stare.

    She blushed, and thrust one farther out,
      As if for him to see;
    A look of pain o’er came her pout:
      What ever could it be?

    “Sure, never did a girl with man
      So brazenly coquette
    In public,” said, behind her fan,
      Each other girl you met.

    I’ll own appearances, indeed,
      Were much against the maid;
    But, as in many things we heed,
      Of harm there was no shade.

    How this I know, I’ll tell to you:
      I chanced to stand quite near
    Upon the stairs, behind the two,
      And then to overhear.

    A long time passed, while neither spoke,
      And then at last said he,—
    “I’m sick of this: I’m sure you joke;
      Your foot’s quite well, I see.

    “You could, if you but cared to try,
      With me come down and dance.”
    Now, notice how her quick reply
      Destroys the scene’s romance.

    “Perhaps you think my foot’s all right;
      But, sure as you are born,
    I wish you wore my slippers tight,
      And had—just there—that corn.”
                                  _Andrew G. Tubbs._



THE CHRISTENING.


    No, I won’t forgive our parson—not down to my dyin’ day.
    He’d orter waited a minnit; that’s what I’ll allers say;
    But to christen my boy, my baby, with such an orful name!
    Why, where’s the use o’ talkin’? I tell you he was to blame.

    You see, it happened in this way: There was father, an’ Uncle Si,
    An’ mother, an’ each one wantin’ a finger in the pie,—
    Each with a name for baby, as ef I hadn’t no voice;
    But the more they talked an’ argied, the more I stuck to my choice.

    “Semanthy”—this was father—“you’d best take pattern by mother,
    For she named thirteen children, ’thout any such fuss or bother:
    As soon as she diskivered that family names was too few,
    Why, she just fell back on the Bible, as perfessers air bound to
          do.”

    “Semanthy”—this was Reuben—“most any one else could see,
    That, bein’ as I’m his father, he orter be named for me.
    You say my name’s old-fashioned; well, I’m old-fashioned too:
    Yet ’twarn’t so long ago, nuther, that both of us suited you.”

    Then there was Uncle Silas: “Semanthy, I tell ye what:
    Just name him Silas. I’ll give him that hundred-acre lot.
    I’ll make out the deed to-morrer; an’ then, when I’ve gone to my
          rest,
    There’ll be a trifle o’ money to help him feather his nest.”

    But the worst of all was mother. She says, so meek an’ mild,—
    “I’d love to call him Jotham, after my oldest child;
    He died on his second birthday. The others are grown-up men,
    But Jotham is still my baby: he has never grown since then.
    His hair was soft and curlin’, eyes blue as blue could be,
    An’ this boy of yours, Semanthy, jest brings him back to me.”

    Well, it warn’t no easy matter to keep on saying _No_,
    An’ disapp’intin’ every one. Poor Rube he fretted so,
    When I told him the name I’d chosen, that he fairly made me cry.
    For I’d planned to name the darlin’ Augustus Percival Guy.
    Ah! that was a name worth hearin’, so ’ristocratic an’ grand!
    He might ’a’ held up his head then with the proudest in the land.
    But _now_—Well, ’tisn’t no wonder, when I look at that blessed
          child,
    An’ think of the name he’s come to, that I can’t be reconciled.

    At last I coaxed up Reuben, an’ a Sabbath mornin’ came
    When I took my boy to meetin’ to git his Christian name.
    Jest as proud as a peacock I stood a-waitin’ there;
    I couldn’t hardly listen to the readin’ nor the prayer,
    For of half a dozen babies, mine was the finest of all;
    An’ they had sech common names too! But pride must have a fall.

    “What will ye call him?” says Parson Brown, bendin’ his head to
          hear.
    Then I handed a bit of paper up, with the names writ full an’ clear.
    But Uncle Si, ’stead of passin’ it, jest reads it over slow,
    With sech a wond’rin’, puzzled face, as ef he didn’t know.
    The child was beginnin’ to fidget, an’ Rube was gittin’ red,
    So I kinder scowled at Uncle Si, and then I shook my head.
    “The name?” says Parson Brown agin; “I’m ’feared I haven’t caught
          it.”
    “_Jee—hoshaphat!_” says Uncle Si, out loud, before he thought
          it.

    The parson—he’s near-sighted—he couldn’t understand,
    Though I p’inted to the paper in Uncle Silas’ hand.
    But _that_ word did the business; an’ before I got my breath
    That boy was named JEHOSHAPHAT. I felt a’ most like death.
    I couldn’t keep from cryin’ as I hurried down the aisle,
    An’ I fairly hated Widder Green when I see her kinder smile.
    I’ve never, _never_ called him by that name, an’ never will,
    An’ I _can’t_ forgive old Parson Brown, though I bear him no
           ill-will.
                                       _E. T. Corbett, in Harper’s._



THE VILLAGE CHOIR.


    Half a bar, half a bar,
      Half a bar onward!
        Into an awful ditch,
        Choir and precentor hitch,
        Into a mess of pitch,
      They led the Old Hundred.
    Trebles to right of them,
    Tenors to left of them,
    Basses in front of them,
      Bellowed and thundered.
    Oh, that precentor’s look,
    When the sopranos took
    Their own time and hook,
      From the Old Hundred!

    Screeched all the trebles here,
    Boggled the tenors there,
    Raising the parson’s hair,
      While his mind wandered;
    Theirs not to reason why
    This psalm was pitched too high:
    Theirs but to gasp and cry
      Out the Old Hundred.
    Trebles to right of them,
    Tenors to left of them,
    Basses in front of them,
      Bellowed and thundered.
    Stormed they with shout and yell,
    Not wise they sang, nor well,
    Drowning the sexton’s bell,
      While all the church wondered.

    Dire the precentor’s glare,
    Flashed his pitchfork in air,
    Sounding the fresh keys to bear
      Out the Old Hundred.
    Swiftly he turned his back,
    Reached he his hat from rack,
    Then from the screaming pack
      Himself he sundered.
    Tenors to right of him,
    Trebles to left of him,
    Discords behind him
      Bellowed and thundered.
    Oh the wild howls they wrought!
    Right to the end they fought!
    Some tune they sang, but not,
      Not the Old Hundred.
                       —_Audre’s Journal._



FILLING HIS PLACE.


    Young Rip Van Winkle took into his head
    To go on a cruise round the world, he said;

    And in three years’ time he would come once more,
    And all would go on as it had before.

    What a blank he left, alack and alack!
    But the years went round till they brought him back.

    And one lazy day in the last of June
    Stood a sunburnt sailor, humming a tune,

    And watching them play on the cricket-ground.
    He was champion once of the country round;

    But that brawny lad with the laughing face,
    It was plain to see, was filling his place;

    And with half a sigh he turned him away,
    Saying, “It matters not, it is naught but play.”

    And he took the road to the old grist-mill,
    Where his place, he knew, they could never fill;

    For he’d miss him sore, the miller declared,
    And his own right hand could be better spared.

    The miller had found, on the day he sailed,
    A good honest lad, who had never failed.

    “Well, all men can work, but all cannot sing.
    I’ll sit in the choir; and they’ll know the ring

    “Of my voice again, for the girls did say
    ’Twould break up the choir when I went away.”

    Has it lost the ring that it had of old?
    For they look askance, and with glances cold;

    And the girls declare, with a pretty pout,
    That the stranger there, he has put them out.

    What matters it, though, when trifles befall?
    One sweet hope is left, that is better than all:

    His neighbors and friends may all have forgot,
    But sweet Mary Ann, he is sure, has not.

    She gave him a rose when he sailed away:
    He’ll show her that rose when he goes to-day.

    How glad she will be, after waiting so long,
    To see him again so hearty and strong!

    Alas for the sailor! alas for the rose!
    They’ve gone round the world, and this is the close:

    “You have stayed too long, you have stayed too long,
    Had you come before,”—this was all her song,—

    “You had found my heart but an empty nest,
    And ready to welcome its truant guest.

    “Go, bring the dead rose to life if you can,
    But your place is filled by a better man.”

    And sadder and wiser he went his way,
    But he kept that rose to his dying day.
                                         _Maria L. Eve._



THE HERITAGE.


    The rich man’s son inherits lands,
      And piles of brick and stone and gold;
    And he inherits soft, white hands,
      And tender flesh that feels the cold,
      Nor dares to wear a garment old,—
    A heritage, it seems to me,
    One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

    The rich man’s son inherits cares:
      The bank may break, the factory burn;
    A breath may burst his bubble shares;
      And soft white hands could hardly earn
      A living that would serve his turn,—
    A heritage, it seems to me,
    One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

    The rich man’s son inherits wants:
      His stomach craves for dainty fare;
    With sated heart, he hears the pants
      Of toiling hinds with brown arms bare,
      And wearies in his easy chair,—
    A heritage, it seems to me,
    One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

    What doth the poor man’s son inherit?
      Stout muscles and a sinewy heart,
    A hardy frame, a hardier spirit;
      King of two hands, he does his part
      In every useful toil and art,—
    A heritage, it seems to me,
    A king might wish to hold in fee.

    What doth the poor man’s son inherit?
      Wishes o’erjoyed with humble things,
    A rank adjudged by toil-worn merit,
      Content that from employment springs,
      A heart that in his labor sings,—
    A heritage, it seems to me,
    A king might wish to hold in fee.

    What doth the poor man’s son inherit?
      A patience learned by being poor;
    Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it;
      A fellow-feeling that is sure
      To make the outcast bless his door,—
    A heritage, it seems to me,
    A king might wish to hold in fee.

    O rich man’s son! there is a toil,
      That with all others level stands:
    Large charity doth never soil,
      But only whiten, soft white hands;
      This is the best crop from thy lands,—
    A heritage, it seems to me,
    Worth being rich to hold in fee.

    O poor man’s son! scorn not thy state:
      There is worse weariness than thine,
    In merely being rich and great;
      Toil only gives the soul to shine,
      And makes rest fragrant and benign,—
    A heritage, it seems to me,
    Worth being poor to hold in fee.

    Both, heirs to some six feet of sod,
      Are equal in the earth at last;
    Both, children of the same dear God,
      Prove title to your heirship vast
    By record to a well-filled past,—
      A heritage, it seems to me,
    Well worth a life to hold in fee.
                               _James Russell Lowell._



CASABIANCA (Colored).


    One darky stood in the ’backer patch,
      Whence all the rest had fled;
    While the mule-heels, clods, and green worms flew
      A-whizzing round his head.

    Savory, stout, and black he stood,
      As born to work a farm,
    While gaping mouth and bulging eyes
      Betokened his alarm.

    That mule kicked hard: he wouldn’t leave
      “Unless de boss said so.”
    “De boss,” unconscious of his plight,
      Had gone off to the show.

    The darky yelled, “See here, boss, say!
      Mus’ I lef dis mule go?”
    Just then the boss was miles away,
      And Cuffee called out “Whoa!”

    Quite thick and fast a cloud of dust
      Arose towards the sky,
    And filled the darky’s eyes and nose
      Like flour off hotel pie.

    “Say, boss!” again poor Cuffee cried,
      “Ef ’tain’t mos’ time I’se gone?”
    Naught but the clattering hoofs replied,
      As the agile mule kicked on.

    At last there came a thunderous crash
      That made the earth resound;
    And when the dust and débris passed,
      The mule could not be found.

    That fateful last terrific kick
      Had struck on Cuffee’s head;
    And now the mule, a shattered wreck,
      Lay far off, limp and dead.



MARY’S LAMB ON A NEW PRINCIPLE.


    Mollie had a little ram as black as rubber shoe, and everywhere
  that Mollie went he emigrated too.
    He went with her to church one day; the folks hilarious grew,
  to see him walk demurely into Deacon Allen’s pew.
    The worthy deacon quickly let his angry passions rise,
  and gave it an unchristian kick between the sad brown eyes.
    This landed rammy in the aisle; the deacon followed fast,
  and raised his foot again: alas! that first kick was his last.
    For Mr. Sheep walked slowly back, about a rod ’tis said,
  and ere the deacon could retreat he stood him on his head.
    The congregation then arose, and went for that ’ere sheep:
  several well-directed butts just piled them in a heap.
    Then rushed they straightway for the door, with curses long and
          loud;
  while rammy struck the hindmost man, and shoved him through the
          crowd.
    The minister had often heard that kindness would subdue
  the fiercest beast. “Aha!” he said, “I’ll try that game on you.”
    And so he kindly, gently, called, “Come, rammy, rammy, ram;
  to see the folks abuse you so, I grieved and sorry am.”
    With kind and gentle words he came from that tall pulpit down,
  saying, “Rammy, rammy, ram—best sheepy in the town.”
    The ram quite dropped its humble air, and rose from off his feet;
  and when the parson landed, he was behind the hindmost seat.
    As he shot out the door, and closed it with a slam,
  he named a California town—I think ’twas “Yuba Dam.”



CUT, CUT BEHIND.


    Vhen shnow und ice vas on der ground,
      Und merry shleigh-bells shingle;
    Vhen Shack Frost he vas peen around,
      Und make mine oldt ears tingle—
    I hear dhose roguish gamins say,
      “Let shoy pe unconfined!”
    Und dhen dhey go for efry shleigh,
      Und yell, “Cut, cut pehind!”

    It makes me shust feel young some more,
      To hear dhose youngsters yell,
    Und eef I don’d vas shtiff und sore,
      Py shings! I shust vould—Vell,
    Vhen some oldt pung was coomin’ py,
      I dink I’d feel inclined
    To shump right in upon der shly,
      Und shout, “Cut, cut pehind!”

    I mind me vot mine fader said
      Vonce vhen I vas a poy,
    Mit meeschief alvays in mine head,
      Und fool of life und shoy.
    “Now, Hans, keep off der shleighs,” says he,
      “Or else shust bear in mind,
    I dake you righdt across my knee,
      Und cut, cut, cut pehind!”

    Yell, dot vas years und years ago,
      Und mine young Yawcob too,
    Vas now shkydoodling droo der shnow,
      Shust like I used to do;
    Und ven der pungs coom py mine house,
      I shust peeks droo der plind,
    Und sings oudt, “Go id, Yawcob Strauss,
      Cut, cut, cut, cut, pehind!”
                  _Charles Follen Adams, in Harper’s._



                   SCENE FROM ION.

                     CHARACTERS.
               ADRASTUS.      CRYTHES.


ADRASTUS _discovered_.—CRYTHES _introducing_ ION.

    _Cry._ The king!

    _Ad._ Stranger, I bid thee welcome:
    We are about to tread the same dark passage,
    Thou almost on the instant.—Is the sword
                                            [TO _Crythes._
    Of justice sharpened, and the headsman ready?

    _Cry._ Thou mayst behold them plainly in the court;
    Even now the solemn soldiers line the ground,
    The steel gleams on the altar, and the slave
    Disrobes himself for duty.

    _Ad._ (_to_ ION)           Dost thou see them?

    _Ion._ I do.

    _Ad._        By Heaven! he does not change.
    If, even now, thou wilt depart, and leave
    Thy traitorous thoughts unspoken, thou art free.

    _Ion._ I thank thee for thy offer; but I stand

    Before thee for the lives of thousands, rich
    In all that makes life precious to the brave;
    Who perish not alone, but in their fall
    Break the far-spreading tendrils that they feed,
    And leave them nurtureless. If thou wilt hear me
    For them, I am content to speak no more.

    _Ad._ Thou hast thy wish, then.—Crythes! till yon dial
    Casts its thin shadow on the approaching hour,
    I hear this gallant traitor. On the instant,
    Come without word, and lead him to his doom.
    Now leave us.

    _Cry._        What, alone?

    _Ad._                           Yes, slave, alone:
    He is no assassin!                    [_Exit_ CRYTHES.
                       Tell me who thou art.
    What generous source owns that heroic blood,
    Which holds its course thus bravely? What great wars
    Have nursed the courage that can look on death—
    Certain and speedy death—with placid eye?

    _Ion._ I am a simple youth who never bore
    The weight of armor; one who may not boast
    Of noble birth, or valor of his own.
    Deem not the powers which nerve me thus to speak
    In thy great presence, and have made my heart,
    Upon the verge of bloody death, as calm,
    As equal in its beatings, as when sleep
    Approached me nestling from the sportive toils
    Of thoughtless childhood, and celestial forms
    Began to glimmer through the deepening shadows
    Of soft oblivion,—to belong to me!
    These are the strengths of Heaven; to thee they speak,
    Bid thee to hearken to thy people’s cry,
    Or warn thee that thy hour must shortly come!

    _Ad._ I know it must; so mayst thou spare thy warnings.
    The envious gods in me have doomed a race,
    Whose glories stream from the same cloud-girt founts
    Whence their own dawn upon the infant world;
    And I shall sit on my ancestral throne
    To meet their vengeance; but till then I rule
    As I have ever ruled, and thou wilt feel.

    _Ion._ I will not further urge thy safety to thee;
    It may be, as thou sayest, too late; nor seek
    To make thee tremble at the gathering curse
    Which shall burst forth in mockery at thy fall;
    But thou art gifted with a nobler sense,—
    I know thou art my sovereign!—sense of pain
    Endured by myriad Argives, in whose souls,
    And in whose fathers’ souls, thou and thy fathers
    Have kept their cherished state; whose heart-strings, still
    The living fibres of thy rooted power,
    Quiver with agonies thy crimes have drawn
    From heavenly justice on them.

    _Ad._                          How! my crimes?

    _Ion._ Yes; ’tis the eternal law, that where guilt is,
    Sorrow shall answer it; and thou hast not
    A poor man’s privilege to bear alone,
    Or in the narrow circle of his kinsmen,
    The penalties of evil; for in thine,
    A nation’s fate lies circled. King Adrastus!
    Steeled as thy heart is with the usages
    Of pomp and power, a few short summers since
    Thou wert a child, and canst not be relentless.
    Oh, if maternal love embraced thee then,
    Think of the mothers who with eyes unwet
    Glare o’er their perishing children; hast thou shared
    The glow of a first friendship which is born
    ’Midst the rude sports of boyhood, think of youth
    Smitten amidst its playthings; let the spirit
    Of thy own innocent childhood whisper pity!

    _Ad._ In every word thou dost but steel my soul.
    My youth was blasted: parents, brother, kin—
    All that should people infancy with joy—
    Conspired to poison mine; despoiled my life
    Of innocence and hope,—all but the sword
    And sceptre. Dost thou wonder at me now?

    _Ion._ I know that we should pity—

    _Ad._                              Pity! Dare
    To speak that word again, and torture waits thee!
    I am yet king of Argos. Well, go on;
    The time is short, and I am pledged to hear.

    _Ion._ If thou hast ever loved—

    _Ad._                           Beware! beware!

    _Ion._ Thou hast! I see thou hast! Thou art not marble,
    And thou shalt hear me! Think upon the time
    When the clear depths of thy yet lucid soul
    Were ruffled with the troublings of strange joy,
    As if some unseen visitant from heaven
    Touched the calm lake, and wreathed its images
    In sparkling waves; recall the dallying hope
    That on the margin of assurance trembled,
    As loath to lose in certainty too blest
    Its happy being; taste in thought again
    Of the stolen sweetness of those evening walks,
    When pansied turf was air to wingèd feet,
    And circling forests, by ethereal touch
    Enchanted, wore the livery of the sky,
    As if about to melt in golden light,
    Shapes of one heavenly vision; and thy heart,
    Enlarged by its new sympathy with one,
    Grew bountiful to all!

    _Ad._                  That tone! that tone!
    Whence came it? from thy lips? It cannot be
    The long-hushed music of the only voice
    That ever spake unbought affection to me,
    And waked my soul to blessing. O sweet hours
    Of golden joy, ye come! your glories break
    Through my pavilion’d spirit’s sable folds.
    Roll on! roll on!—Stranger, thou dost enforce me
    To speak of things unbreathed by lip of mine
    To human ear: wilt listen?

    _Ion._                     As a child.

    _Ad._ Again! that voice again! Thou hast seen me moved
    As never mortal saw me, by a tone
    Which some light breeze, enamoured of the sound,
    Hath wafted through the woods, till thy young voice
    Caught it to rive and melt me. At my birth
    This city, which, expectant of its prince,
    Lay hushed, broke out in clamorous ecstasies;
    Yet, in that moment, while the uplifted cups
    Foamed with the choicest product of the sun,
    And welcome thundered from a thousand throats,
    My doom was sealed. From the hearth’s vacant space,
    In the dark chamber where my mother lay,
    Faint with the sense of pain-bought happiness,
    Came forth in heart-appalling tone, these words
    Of me, the nursling: “Woe unto the babe!
    Against the life which now begins shall life,
    Lighted from thence, be armed, and, both soon quenched,
    End this great line in sorrow!” Ere I grew
    Of years to know myself a thing accursed,
    A second son was born, to steal the love
    Which fate had else scarce rifled: he became
    My parents’ hope, the darling of the crew
    Who lived upon their smiles, and thought it flattery
    To trace in every foible of my youth—
    A prince’s youth—the workings of the curse.
    My very mother—Jove! I cannot bear
    To speak it now—looked freezingly upon me.

    _Ion._ But thy brother—

    _Ad._             Died. Thou hast heard the lie,
    The common lie that every peasant tells
    Of me, his master,—that I slew the boy.
    ’Tis false! One summer’s eve, below a crag
    Which, in his wilful mood, he strove to climb,
    He lay a mangled corpse: the very slaves,
    Whose cruelty had shut him from my heart,
    Now coined their own injustice into proofs
    To brand me as his murderer.

    _Ion._                       Did they dare
    Accuse thee?

    _Ad._        Not in open speech: they felt
    I should have seized the miscreant by the throat,
    And crushed the lie half-spoken with the life
    Of the base speaker: but the tale looked out
    From the stolen gaze of coward eyes, which shrank
    When mine have met them; murmured through the crowd
    That at the sacrifice, or feast, or game,
    Stood distant from me; burnt into my soul,
    When I beheld it in my father’s shudder!

    _Ion._ Didst not declare thy innocence?

    _Ad._                                   To whom?
    To parents who could doubt me? To the ring
    Of grave impostors, or their shallow sons,
    Who should have studied to prevent my wish
    Before it grew to language; hailed my choice
    To service as a prize to wrestle for;
    And whose reluctant courtesy I bore,
    Pale with proud anger, till from lips compressed
    The blood has started? To the common herd,
    The vassals of our ancient house, the mass
    Of bones and muscles framed to till the soil
    A few brief years, then rot unnamed beneath it;
    Or, decked for slaughter at their master’s call,
    To smite, and to be smitten, and lie crushed
    In heaps to swell his glory or his shame?
    Answer to them? No! though my heart had burst,
    As it was nigh to bursting! To the mountains
    I fled, and on their pinnacles of snow
    Breasted the icy wind, in hope to cool
    My spirit’s fever; struggled with the oak
    In search of weariness, and learned to rive
    Its stubborn boughs, till limbs once lightly strung
    Might mate in cordage with its infant stems;
    Or on the sea-beat rock tore off the vest
    Which burnt upon my bosom, and to air
    Headlong committed, clove the water’s depth
    Which plummet never sounded,—but in vain.

    _Ion._ Yet succor came to thee?

    _Ad._                           A blessed one!
    Which the strange magic of thy voice revives,
    And thus unlocks my soul. My rapid steps
    Were in a wood-encircled valley stayed
    By the bright vision of a maid, whose face
    Most lovely, more than loveliness revealed
    In touch of patient grief, which dearer seemed
    Than happiness to spirit seared like mine.
    With feeble hands she strove to lay in earth
    The body of her aged sire, whose death
    Left her alone. I aided her sad work;
    And soon two lonely ones by holy rites
    Became one happy being. Days, weeks, months,
    In streamlike unity flowed silent by us
    In our delightful nest. My father’s spies—
    Slaves, whom my nod should have consigned to stripes
    Or the swift falchion—tracked our sylvan home,
    Just as my bosom knew its second joy,
    And, spite of fortune, I embraced a son.

    _Ion._ Urged by thy trembling parents to avert
    That dreadful prophecy.

    _Ad._                   Fools! did they deem
    Its worst accomplishment could match the ill
    Which they wrought on me? It had left unharmed
    A thousand ecstasies of passioned years,
    Which, tasted once, live ever, and disdain
    Fate’s iron grapple! Could I now behold
    That son with knife uplifted at my heart,
    A moment ere my life-blood followed it,
    I would embrace him with my dying eyes,
    And pardon destiny! While jocund smiles
    Wreathed on the infant’s face, as if sweet spirits
    Suggested pleasant fancies to its soul,
    The ruffians broke upon us—seized the child—
    Dashed through the thicket to the beetling rock
    ’Neath which the deep sea eddies; I stood still,
    As stricken into stone: I heard him cry,
    Pressed by the rudeness of the murderer’s grip,
    Severer ill unfearing—then the splash
    Of waters that shall cover him forever;
    And could not stir to save him!

    _Ion._                          And the mother?

    _Ad._ She spake no word; but clasped me in her arms,
    And laid her down to die! A lingering gaze
    Of love she fixed on me,—none other loved,—
    And so passed from hence. By Jupiter! her look,
    Her dying patience glimmers in thy face!
    She lives again! She looks upon me now!
    There’s magic in’t. Bear with me—I am childish.

           _Enter_ CRYTHES _and_ GUARDS.

    Why art thou here?

    _Cry._             The dial points the hour.

    _Ad._ Dost thou not see that horrid purpose passed?
    Hast thou no heart—no sense?

    _Cry._                        Scarce half an hour
    Hath flown since the command on which I wait.

    _Ad._ Scarce half an hour! Years, years have rolled since then.
    Begone! Remove that pageantry of death;
    It blasts my sight. And hearken! Touch a hair
    Of this brave youth, or look on him as now,
    With thy cold headsman’s eye, and yonder band
    Shall not expect a fearful show in vain.
    Hence! without a word.               [_Exit_ CRYTHES.
                           What wouldst thou have me do?

    _Ion._ Let thy awakened heart speak its own language:
    Convene thy sages; frankly, nobly meet them;
    Explore with them the pleasure of the gods,
    And whatsoe’er the sacrifice, perform it.

    _Ad._ Well, I will seek their presence in an hour:
    Go summon them, young hero! Hold! no word
    Of the strange passion thou hast witnessed here.

    _Ion._ Distrust me not.—Benignant powers! I thank ye!
                                                        [_Exit._
    _Ad._ Yet stay!—He’s gone—his spell is on me yet;
    What have I promised him? To meet the men
    Who from my living head would strip the crown,
    And sit in judgment on me? I must do it.
    Yet shall my band be ready to o’erawe
    The cause of liberal speech, and if it rise
    So as too loudly to offend my ear,
    Strike the rash brawler dead! What idle dream
    Of long-past days had melted me? It fades—
    It vanishes—I am again a king.
                                _Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd._



MISSING.


    In the cool, sweet hush of a wooded nook,
      Where the May-buds sprinkle the green old sward,
    And the winds and the birds and the limpid brook
      Murmur their dreams with a drowsy sound,
    Who lies so still in the plushy moss,
      With his pale cheek pressed on a breezy pillow,
    Couched where the light and shadows cross,
      Through the flickering fringe of the willow,—
          Who lies, alas!
    So still, so chill, in the whispering grass?

    A soldier, clad in a Zouave dress,
      A bright-haired man, with his lips apart;
    One hand thrown over his frank, dead face,
      And the other clutching his pulseless heart,
    Lies here in the shadows cool and dim,
      His musket swept by a trailing bough;
    With a careless grace in his quiet limbs,
      And a wound on his manly brow,—
          A wound, alas!
    Whence the warm blood drips on the quiet grass.

    The violets peer from their dusky beds,
      With a tearful dew in their great, pure eyes;
    The lilies quiver their shining heads,
      Their pale lips full of sad surprise;
    And the lizard glides through the glistening fern,
      And the squirrel rustles the branches hoary;
    Strange birds fly out with a cry, to bathe
      Their wings in the sunset glory,
          While the shadows pass
    O’er the quiet face and the dewy grass.

    God pity the bride who waits at home,
      With her lily cheeks and her violet eyes,
    Dreaming the sweet old dream of love,
      While her lover is walking in paradise!
    God strengthen her heart as the days go by,
      And the long, drear nights of her vigil follow,
    Nor bird, nor moon, nor whispering wind,
      May breathe the tale of the hollow;
          Alas! alas!
    The secret’s safe with the woodland grass.



DECORATION DAY.


    Down by the clear river’s side they wandered,
      Hand in hand, on that perfect day;
    He was young, handsome, brave, and tender,
      She more sweet than the flowers of May.

    He looked on her with brown eyes adoring,
      Watching her blushes grow soft and deep;
    “Darling,” he said, with tones imploring,
      “Shall we not ever the memory keep

    “Of this bright day, so happy, so holy;
      This sweetest hour my life has e’er known,
    When you, dear, speaking gently and slowly,
      Answered me ‘Yes,’ when I called you my own?”

    Fair was the sky, the sunset, the river,
      Wind in the trees, the water’s low psalm,
    Bird-song, scent of wild roses. Oh, never
      Was there an hour more blissful and calm!

    Close in his arms he held her: the morrow
      Would bring to their fond hearts parting and pain,—
    After love’s rapture, bitterest sorrow;
      After May sunshine, gloom and the rain.

    The country her sons to save her was calling:
      He answered her summons, fearless and brave;
    On to the front, where heroes were falling,
      Love and all of life’s promise he gave.

    She by the hearth, through long hours slow measure,
      Watched and yearned, and suffered and prayed;
    Read o’er his letters, lovingly treasured,
      Hoped his return,—to hope, half afraid.

    “God is good,” she said. “His love will infold him,
      Protect him, and bring him safe to me again;
    I shall hear him once more, in rapture behold him,—
      Oh, blessed reward, for my waiting and pain!”

    In camp, on the field, on marches long, weary,
      Her face and her voice in his heart’s inner shrine
    He kept; they brightened his way when most dreary,
      Lifted his life to the Life all divine.

    He fell in the ranks, at awful Stone River,
      Blood of our heroes made sacred that sod;
    On battle’s red tide his soul went out ever
      Forward and upward, to meet with his God.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Worn, grown old, yet tenderly keeping,
      Every May month, sad tryst with her dead,
    She knows not where her darling is sleeping,
      She lays no garlands on his low bed.

    All soldiers’ graves claim her love and her blessing:
      She decks them with flowers made sacred by tears;
    Love of her heart for her soldier expressing,
      “Love that is stronger than death,” through the years.

    Soon in the land of unfading beauty,
      He, faithful knight of valor and truth,
    She, living martyr to country and duty,
      Shall find the sweetness and love of their youth.

    Honor the dead with the richest oblation,—
      Cover their graves with laurel and palm!
    Honor the living for life’s consecration,—
      Give to their pierced hearts love’s healing balm.
                                  _Mary Bassett Hussey._



WHEN GREEK MET GREEK.


    Stranger here? Yes, come from Varmount,
      Rutland County. You’ve hearn tell,
    Mebbe, of the town of Granville?
      You born there? No! Sho! Well, well!
    You was born at Granville, was you?
      Then you know Elisha Brown,
    Him as runs the old meat-market
      At the lower end of town?
    Well, well, well! Born down in Granville,
      And out here, so far away!
    Stranger, I’m homesick already,
      Though it’s but a week to-day
    Since I left my good wife standin’
      Out there at the kitchen-door,
    Sayin’ she’d ask God to keep me,
      And her eyes were runnin’ o’er.
    You must know old Albert Withers,
      Henry Bull, and Ambrose Cole?
    Know them all! And born in Granville?
      Well, well, well! God bless my soul!
    Sho! You’re not old Isaac’s nephew,
      Isaac Green, down on the flat,
    Isaac’s oldest nephew,—Henry?
      Well, I’d never thought of that!
    Have I got a hundred dollars
      I could loan you for a minute,
    Till you buy a horse at Marcy’s?
      There’s my wallet,—just that in it.
    Hold on, though! You have ten, mebbe,
      You could let me keep; you see,
    I might chance to need a little
      Betwixt now and half-past three.
    Ten. That’s it; you’ll owe me ninety;
      Bring it round to the hotel.
    So you’re old friend Isaac’s nephew?
      Born in Granville! Sho! Well, well!
    —What! Policeman! Did you call me?
      That a rascal going there?
    Well, sir, do you know, I thought so,
      And I played him pretty fair;
    Hundred-dollar bill I gave him,—
      Counterfeit,—and got his ten!
    Ten ahead! No! You don’t tell me!
      This bad too? Sho! Sold again!



THE RAJAH’S CLOCK.


    Rajah Balpoora, Prince of Jullinder,
      Reigned in the land where the Five Rivers ran;
    A lordly tyrant, with none to hinder
      His wildest pleasure or maddest plan.
    His hall was beauty, his throne was splendor,
      His meat was dainties of every zone;
    Nor ever a joy that wealth can render,
      His whimsical fancy left unknown.
    For afar, in sight of his palace windows,
      His realm was gardens on every hand;
    And the feet of a hundred thousand Hindoos
      Came and went at his least command.
    But one thing, worthy his pride to show it,
      Among his treasures, eclipsed them all;
    ’Twas the marvel of sage and the praise of poet,—
      The wonderful clock in his palace hall.
    Brain and fingers of matchless cunning
      Patiently planned the strange machine,—
    Framed, and balanced, and set it running,
      With a living heart in its wheels unseen.
    Behind the dial, the iron pallet
      Counted the seconds; and just below
    Hung a silver gong, and a brazen mallet
      For every hour had a brazen blow;
    And near, like windrowed leaves in the weather,
      Or battle-wrecks at a charnel door,
    Lay mock men’s limbs all huddled together
      In a shapeless heap on a marble floor.

    And when the dial-hands, creeping, pointed
      The smallest hour on the disk of day,
    Click! from the piecemeal pile, rejointed,
      A new-made manikin jumped away.
    Nimble-handed, a small, trim figure,
      Briskly he stooped where his work begun,
    Seized a mallet with nervous vigor,
      And loud on the echoing gong struck _one_.
    Clang! and the hammer that made the clamor
      Dropped, and lay where it lay before,
    And the arms of the holder fell off at the shoulder,
      And his head went rolling down to the floor,
    And the little man tumbled, and cracked, and crumbled,
      Till the human shape that he lately bore,
    With a shiver and start all rattled apart,
      And vanished—as if to rise no more.

    Dead! ere the great bell’s musical thunder
      In the listening chambers throbbed away,—
    No eye discovered the hidden wonder
      (That dreaming under the ruins lay),—
    Dead as the bones in the prophet’s valley,
      Waiting with never a stir or sound,
    While the pendulum’s tick, tick, tick, kept tally,
      And the busy wheels of the clock went round,—
    Till another hour, to its limit creeping,
      Its sign those bodiless limbs shot through,
    And a pair of manikins, swift up-leaping,
      Loud on the echoing gong struck _two_.
    Clang! clang! and the brazen hammers
      Dropped, and lay where they lay before,
    And the arms of the holders fell off their shoulders,
      And their heads went rolling down to the floor,
    And the little men tumbled, and cracked, and crumbled,
      And vanished—as if to rise no more.

    Still as the shells of the sea-floor, sleeping
      Countless fathoms the waves below;
    Still as the stones of a city heaping
      The path of an earthquake ages ago,
    Lay the sundered forms; but steadily swinging,
      Beat the slow pendulum,—tick, tick, tick,—
    Till lo! at the third hour, suddenly springing,
      Rose three men’s limbs with a click, click, click.
    And, joined together, by magic gifted,
      In stature perfect and motion free,
    The trio, each with his mallet lifted,
      Loud on the echoing gong struck _three_.
    Clang! clang! clang! and the brazen hammers
      Dropped, and lay where they lay before,
    And the arms of the holders fell off their shoulders,
      And their heads went rolling down to the floor,
    And the little men tumbled, and cracked, and crumbled,
      And vanished—as if to rise no more.

    And as many as each hour’s figure numbered,
      So many men of that small brigade,
    Whose members the marble floor encumbered,
      Made themselves, and as soon unmade;
    Till at noon rose all, and, each one swinging
      His brazen sledge by its brazen helve,
    Set all the rooms of the palace ringing
      As their strokes on the silver gong told _twelve_.

    Rajah Balpoora, Prince of Jullinder,
      Died. But the great clock’s tireless heart
    Beat on; and still, in that hall of splendor,
      The twelve little sextons played their part.
    And the wise who entered the palace portal
      Read in the wonder the lesson plain:—
    Every human hour is a thing immortal,
      And days but perish to rise again.
    From the grave of every life we saddened,
      Comes back the clamor of olden wrongs;
    And our deeds that other souls have gladdened,
      Ring from the past like angel songs.
                                       _Theron Brown._



THE DEACON’S RIDE.


    On his cool back porch sat Deacon Brown, the richest and fattest man
          in town.
    Before, behind, to left and right, showed meadows dotted with gold
          and white,
    And grazing there in the pastures green, fifteen fine Jerseys as
          ever seen;
    The regular herd-book stock were they, and how much butter they made
          each day,
        I hardly would dare attempt to say.

    No greater joy had Deacon Brown, than to sit on the porch, as the
          sun went down,
    And view his acres so broad and fine, and feast his eyes on his
          Jersey kine;
    But now his face wore a look much vexed, and he drummed his knees in
          a way perplexed,
    As, sitting snug in his tilted chair, he gazed at the goodly show
          and fair,
        Of bovine beauties grazing there.

    Well might the Deacon muse and frown, and vaguely scratch his
          smooth, bald crown;
    For a Jersey heifer, his pride and boast, the one of all that he
          valued most,
    Had taken it into her head that she not like her meeker sisters
          would be,
    And so, at sight of the milking-pail, would lower her horns and
          thrash her tail,
        And kick till her kicking power would fail.

    All sorts of cures had the Deacon tried; but, alas for a good old
          churchman’s pride!
    “The finest heifer in this ’ere town” would never a drop of milk
          give down
    For one whole day, though coaxed and fed with the “cream of the
          place,” so the Deacon said;
    And when thrice she’d knocked the good man over, as if barnyard mud
          were a field of clover,
    He vowed in his wrath, as a deacon may, that he’d sell the creetur
          the very next day,
        To the village butcher, and risk his pay.

    Yet now, as he sat and thought it o’er, it seemed that his cross was
          indeed most sore;
    He could not do it: ’twould break his heart, from his goodly heifer
          this way to part!
    Just then strolled toward him his elder son, who never a bit of work
          had done,
    But fished in the brook through the livelong day, instead of helping
          get in the hay,
        Or “lift” at the work in any way.

    So the Deacon frowned a frown most stern: “’Twas time that a lazy
          youth should learn
    To earn his salt; ’twas different when he was his age,—the men
         _was_ men,
    Not idle care-naughts; and going to school made something besides a
          college fool.”
    Then, growing milder, “Wal, ’bout Peachblow—I reckoned a cure you’d
          hap to know,
        In that heathen gabble you chatter so.”

    Quoth the idle scapegrace, with twinkling eye, “I’ve heard of a cure
          which you might try.”
    Then some Latin words he gravely said. “If on to her back a weight
          is laid,
    She’ll give milk straightway, and quiet be.” Said the doubting
          Deacon, “I’ll try and see.”

    Out in the stable Peachblow stood, calm chewing her cud as a heifer
          should.
    Spoke the Deacon: “William, you’re young and spry; you can climb on
          her back, now, quicker’n I.
    You’ll do for the weight. I’ll fetch the stool, and milk the
          critter: you just keep cool.”
    But scarce had the hopeful gained his seat, when out flew the placid
          Peachblow’s feet.
    And milker and milking-stool upset, in a way too hurried for
          etiquette.

    And the Deacon roared in his wrath, “Get down! I’ll try
          myself,—that’ll bring her roun’.”
    And, puffing and grumbling, with Will to boost, he found himself on
          his novel roost.
    But, alas! with what little certainty can we plume our minds on
          things to be!
    For, just as the Deacon, with voice elate, cried, “Go to milkin’; you
          needn’t wait!”
        The stanchion was loosed by some luckless Fate,—

    And wildly out through the open door dashed—as she never had dashed
          before—
    The frightened heifer, with snorts and bounds, and her load of a
          hundred and ninety pounds.
    The roaring scapegrace behind was left; while, like a creature of
          sense bereft,
    Young Peachblow flew with her frantic feet, a-bellowing down the
          village street,—
        To the district school-boys what a treat!

    The Deacon’s neckerchief flapped in the wind; his hat blew off, and
          was left behind;
    His eyes bulged out, his face grew white, his fringe of hair stood
          up with fright;
    The children scampered with laugh and hoot, the dogs all started in
          mad pursuit;
    The geese they squawked, and the chickens flew; the wives ran,
          startled by such ado;
        Out ran the husbands, to cry, “Halloo!”

    And the good old parson, with face aghast, flew to the gate as the
          deacon passed.
    What a dreadful scandal throughout the town might rise from this
          frolic of Deacon Brown!
    Was he drunk, or crazy, that thus he’d ride? And, loud as he could,
          the parson cried,
    “Stop, stop, Brother Brown! Oh! where will you go?” and back from
          the dust came these words of woe:
        “The Lord and this cow, sir, only know!”

    But she stopped at last, this steed so gay; she stopped quite short
          in a sudden way,
    Struck out her heels with a graceful poise, and the hundred and
          ninety avoirdupois
    Shot over her head and into the dirt, with buttonless breeches and
          tattered shirt.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Sadder and wiser, Deacon Brown led Peachblow home as the sun went
          down;
    And all the questioners got him to say was, that he might tell them
          some other day.
    But Peachblow was lamb-like enough that night,—was milked very
          meekly, and seemed all right.
    And the Deacon mused: “Wal, the heathen may have fust-rate cow
          cures, but I must say,
        They are _tryin’_ to old folks, anyway.”
                                                _Mary C. Huntington._



THE SILVER BELL.


Once upon a time, an old legend says, in a splendid palace a king lay
dying. By his couch knelt his only son, with tears streaming down his
face; but only a few quiet words were now and then spoken.

“Father, you remember the beautiful silver bell hanging above the
palace,—the one you had made years ago, of such pure tone that the
maker stood entranced at its first note, but which has ever since been
still? Why did you hang it there, if it was never to be rung?”

“My son, when I was young, and full of life and hope, I commanded the
best workmen in my kingdom to make a perfect silver bell, and hang
it above my palace, that its sweet tones might tell my people that
their king was perfectly happy. But alas! though I expected so much
happiness, the moment has never come when I could say, ‘Ring the bell!’
and now I am dying, and it is still silent. My son, if your happiness
is ever complete,—if you are without an anxious thought or wish,—then
let the silver bell proclaim the fact to all your people.”

“But, father, if you were not lying here I should be happy now, and the
bell should ring every day of my life.”

The old king smiled sadly, and, turning his face away, soon slept to
wake no more. With much mourning he was laid away in the royal tomb,
and his son became king in his stead. He could not ring the bell then,
for he grieved for his father; but he thought that after a time he
should be happy again.

And the days went by, and the young king married a beautiful girl; and
he said, “Now, for the first time, the bell shall ring.”

But as he and his bride came from the church, a woman, young in years,
but haggard with grief, carrying a little child in her arms, threw
herself at his feet, begging him to spare the life of her husband, who
was condemned to die for plotting against the king. “He saw so much
splendor and wealth, and we were starving. Oh, on this day, pardon him!”

The king raised the wretched woman, and gave her her husband’s freedom;
but a swift shadow had come over his happiness.

And the months went by, and a beautiful babe was born to be king after
him. And he said, “Now at length the bell shall ring.” But just then
came word that a terrible sickness raged among the children of the
kingdom, that many mothers were mourners, and their hearts could not be
comforted.

And the years rolled by, and the king was a great and good man, kind
to his people, sharing their sorrows, and, so far as he could, lifting
their burdens. The days were so full of thought and work, that he did
not think of the bell, or of his own happiness.

At last he too lay dying; and when he knew that the end was drawing
near, he asked to be carried to the room of state, and to be placed
once more upon his throne, that his people might come to see him.
And they crowded in, rich and poor, high and low, kissing his hands,
his feet, and even the hem of his garment. And when he saw them so
grief-stricken and tearful, a great light came into his dim eyes; and,
lifting his trembling arms, in a clear voice he cried, “Ring the silver
bell! ring the bell! My people love me; at last I am happy!” And as,
for the first time, the bell pealed forth its ringing notes, his spirit
took its flight to the unseen land.

                             —_Mrs. Julia D. Pratt, in The Dayspring._



COUNTING EGGS.


Old Moses, who sells eggs and chickens on the streets of Austin for a
living, is as honest an old negro as ever lived; but he has got the
habit of chatting familiarly with his customers, hence he frequently
makes mistakes in counting out the eggs they buy. He carries his wares
around in a small cart drawn by a diminutive donkey. He stopped in
front of the residence of Mrs. Samuel Burton. The old lady herself came
out to the gate to make the purchases.

“Have you got any eggs this morning, Uncle Moses?” she asked.

“Yes, indeed I has. Jess got in ten dozen from de kentry.”

“Are they fresh?”

“Fresh? yas, indeed! I guantees ’em, an’—an’—de hen guantees ’em.”

“I’ll take nine dozen. You can just count them into this basket.”

“All right, mum;” he counts, “one, two, free, foah, five, six, seben,
eight, nine, ten.—You can rely on dem bein’ fresh. How’s your son
comin’ on de school? He must be mos’ grown.”

“Yes, Uncle Moses: he is a clerk in a bank in Galveston.”

“Why, how ole am de boy?”

“He is eighteen.”

“You don’t tole me so! Eighteen, and getting a salary already.—Eighteen
(counting), nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three,
twenty-foah, twenty-five.—And how’s your gal comin’ on? She was most
growed up de last time I seed her.”

“She is married, and living in Dallas.”

“Wall, I declar’, how de time scoots away! And you say she has
childruns? Why, how ole am de gal? She must be jest about”—


“Thirty-three.”

“Am dat so?” (counting) “firty-free, firty-foah, firty-five, firty-six,
firty-seven, firty-eight, firty-nine, forty, forty-one, forty-two,
forty-free.—Hit am singular dat you has sich ole childruns. You don’t
look more den forty years old yerseff.”

“Nonsense, old man; I see you want to flatter me. When a person gets to
be fifty-three years old”—

“Fifty-free! I jess dun gwinter bleeve hit; fifty-free, fifty-foah,
fifty-five, fifty-six,—I want you to pay ’tenshun when I count
de eggs, so dar’ll be no mistake,—fifty-nine, sixty, sixty-one,
sixty-two, sixty-free, sixty-foah.—Whew! Dat am a warm day. Dis am de
time ob year when I feels I’se gettin’ ole myself. I ain’t long for
dis world. You comes from an ole family. When yore fodder died he was
sebenty years ole.”

“Seventy-two.”

“Dat’s old, suah.—Sebenty-two, sebenty-free, sebenty-foah,
sebenty-five, sebenty-six, sebenty-seben, sebenty-eight, sebenty-eight,
sebenty-nine.—And your mudder? She was one ob de noblest lookin’
ladies I ebber see. You remind me ob her so much! She libed to mos’ a
hundred. I bleeves she was done past a centurion when she died.”

“No, Uncle Moses: she was only ninety-six when she died.”

“Den she wan’t no chicken when she died, I know dat.—Ninety-six,
ninety-seben, ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred, one, two, free,
foah, five, five, six, seben, eight,—dar one hundred and eight nice
fresh eggs,—jess nine dozen, and here am one moah egg in case I have
discounted myse’f.”

Old Mose went on his way rejoicing. A few days afterward Mrs. Barton
said to her husband,

“I am afraid we will have to discharge Matilda. I am satisfied that she
steals the milk and eggs. I am positive about the eggs, for I bought
them day before yesterday, and now about half of them are gone. I stood
right there, and heard old Moses count them myself, and there were nine
dozen.”—_Texas Siftings._



THE FALL.


“Down, down, down, ten thousand fathoms deep.”—_Count Fathom._

    Who does not know that dreadful gulf, where Niagara falls,
    Where eagle unto eagle screams, to vulture vulture calls;
    Where down beneath, despair and death in liquid darkness grope,
    And upward on the foam there shines a rainbow without hope?
    While, hung with clouds of fear and doubt, the unreturning wave
    Suddenly gives an awful plunge, like life into the grave;
    And many a hapless mortal there hath dived to vale or bliss;
    One—only one—hath ever lived to rise from that abyss!

    O heaven! it turns me now to ice with chill of fear extreme,
    To think of my frail bark adrift on that tumultuous stream!
    In vain, with desperate sinews, strung by love of life and light,
    I urged that coffin, my canoe, against the current’s might;
    On—on—still on—direct for doom, the river rushed in force,
    And fearfully the stream of time raced with it in its course.
    My eyes I closed: I dared not look the way towards the goal;
    But still I viewed the horrid close, and dreamt it in my soul.
    Plainly, as through transparent lids, I saw the fleeting shore,
    And lofty trees, like wingèd things, flit by forevermore!

    Plainly—but with no prophet sense—I heard the sullen sound,
    The torrent’s voice—and felt the mist, like death-sweat, gathering
          round.
    O agony! O life! My home, and those that made it sweet!
    Ere I could pray, the torrent lay beneath my very feet.
    With frightful whirl, more swift than thought, I passed the dizzy
          edge;
    Bound after bound, with hideous bruise, I dashed from ledge to
          ledge,
    From crag to crag—in speechless pain—from midnight deep to deep;
    I did not die, but anguish stunned my senses into sleep.

    How long entranced, or whither dived, no clew I have to find.
    At last the gradual light of life came dawning o’er my mind;
    And through my brain there thrilled a cry,—a cry as shrill as birds
    Of vulture or of eagle kind, but this was set to words:—
    “It’s Edgar Huntley in his cap and nightgown, I declares!
    He’s been a-walking in his sleep, and pitched all down the stairs!”
                                                    _Thomas Hood._



A CENTRE-BOARD YACHT-RACE.


“Mr. Bingham,” said the “city editor” of the “Royal Bugle” one morning,
“the ‘sporting editor’ is away, and it will be necessary for you to go
down to Swampscott to report a race between centre-board yachts.”

“But I don’t know any thing about yachts or yacht-racing.”

“It’s not necessary to know. See the head man, and get the time. That’s
about all we want.”

About nine o’clock that night, a forlorn, tramp-like looking object
entered the office of the “Royal Bugle,” with the crown of his white
Derby knocked in, the rim bent, and his clothing generally hanging
limp,—the suit, once light in color, now spotted and stained. As he
advanced into a better light, he was recognized as the “fire reporter;”
and a chorus of exclamations followed: “Where’s the fire?” or, “Did
they put the hose on you?” as the unfortunate man sank, apparently
exhausted, into a chair.

“It’s not a fire,” he growled. “It’s a yacht-race.”

“What did they do to you?”

“Do to me? They did every thing except drown me, and almost did that.
This morning,” continued the dejected man, “our local editor sent me
down to Swampscott to report a centre-board yacht race. He said if
I could get aboard one of the racing yachts I’d have a delightful
time,—a regular marine picnic. Well, I had it,—yes, indeedy; enough
picnic of the kind to last the rest of life. I knew the yachtsmen
were spruce sort of fellows, dressed well; and therefore I put on
my best suit,—new rig just from the tailor’s,—and hurried away to
the Swampscott sands. I found the fleet of centre-boards tied up to
a wharf. In making inquiries of a captain, I hinted that it would be
agreeable to me to be a passenger on his yacht.

“He smiled serenely, the villain! and said he’d be delighted to have
me come aboard. Oh, the baseness of the man! Very soon the race began;
and when fairly under way, and I had settled into a comfortable seat to
enjoy it, the captain shouted, ‘All down, down below the’—the—what do
you call the rail that runs around the top of the boat?—the gun—the
gun”—

“Whale!”

“Yes, the gunwhale. Well, he said we must keep our heads below that, in
order to offer less resistance to the wind. Therefore three of us were
obliged to lie on our stomachs on the bottom of the boat. If we wanted
to see the race, we looked through the skipper’s windows”—

“The what?”

“Why, the skipper’s holes, as they call them,—a nautical term for
windows, I sup”—

“Scupper-holes!”

“Well, yes, that sounds more like. The man who lay next to me kept
himself busy and contented by eating peanuts. But that was nothing,
comparatively. Soon we ran into a big wave. If the skipper’d had any
sense of honor or regard for his passengers, he would have turned one
side to let the wave pass; but he didn’t. He ran slap into it, and the
crest of it came on board, caromed on the skipper himself, who stood at
the helm, and then circulated among the shifting ballast. Owing to the
peanut-eater, the skipper-win—no, the scupper-holes—were clogged; and
the remnant of the wave, unable to escape from the boat, was absorbed
by our clothing, and my new suit began to take additional shades and
wrinkles.

“Suddenly that graceless captain shouted something about ‘hard lee,’
and then the boat lurched and tipped the other way; and we, lying
prostrate, were ordered to creep carefully around the centre-board,
and lie on the other side. That was the most fiendish! If my memory be
good, we crawled back and forth around that centre-board a dozen times.
If we were going to win the race, why didn’t we keep straight on, and
not turn to the right or left every twenty minutes?

“But the climax came. The skipper decided to turn the boat around
when she was going at full speed, and to drive her in the opposite
direction. Well, when she turned around”—

“Jibed, you mean.”

“Yes, that sounds like it. When she jibed she turned over on her side,
and a part of the shifting ballast, another man, and myself, went
overboard; but we caught on the gunwhale, and, the boat coming down
flat again, we crawled in. When I, forlorn and dripping, asked if they
turned around usually in that way, they laughed.

“Well, about an hour afterward, after mopping the bottom of the boat
some more with our clothing, we reached the landing from which we had
departed.”

“_We did not win._

“In response to an inquiry in regard to our defeat, the captain,
ungrateful, said that he had too much ballast. Wasn’t that the
refinement of cruelty? Wasn’t it a dastardly insult? After I’d spoiled
a suit of clothes by exerting myself in his behalf in climbing around
that centre-board, and nearly lost my life,—of course, if I had not
caught the side of the boat when I went overboard, they would not stop
to take me in, because the race was very important, and the prize was
a three-cornered blue flag,—after all that, I say, ’twas rascally to
hint that I’d lost the race for him.

“When the boat was a safe distance from the shore, after leaving me on
the wharf, the captain cried, ‘Had a good time?’ Gentlemen, to reply
would have been an indignity to myself; but I indulged in a little
pantomime to show the pirate skipper that, if I’d had him there, I’d
injure the wharf with him. ‘Why didn’t I come home sooner?’ Because I
waited the coming of night to shield me from the gaze of the village
constable, who has a personal enmity against tramps,—makes them saw
wood. I knew that my tattered and begrimed appearance would bring me
under the ban of the law. I walked home by way of the beach.”

                                         _George A. Stockwell._



THE MISSISSIPPI MIRACLE.


    I’s let up on preachin’. I’s truly
      De Rev’rind Dick Wilkins, D. D.;
    I know I heerd Gabr’el a-callin’,
      An’ thought he was callin’ on me:
    “You Wilkins, go preach me de gospel!”
      Dat, sah, was de way dat he went;
    But now, sah, I’s mightily jubous
      ’Twas some oder Wilkins he meant.

    Yes, sah, dat ar matter you knows of
      Has cleaned me plumb out of my grace.
    What! ain’t nebber heard of it? Nebbah?
      Seed nobody in from de place?
    Den set down an’ listen; and when, sah,
      I’s tol’ you de mizable tale,
    You’ll ’low dat religion, out ou’ way,
      Is mighty low down in de scale.

    I started to work wid good prospects:
      My field, you mought call it, was good;
    I tried fur to keep up de fences,
      An’ worked it de best ’at I could;
    De site wuzn’t much fur to brag on;
      ’Twas mos’ly clay gullies an’ sand;
    But de craps, in de way ob collections,
      Wuz good fur dat ’scription ob land.

    Well, sah, we got up a revival,
      To last a consid’able while,
    An’ ’greed, as we’s gwine fur to hab it,
      ’Twas best fur to hab it in style.
    We started her goin’ at sun-up,
      An’ kep’ her a-bilin’ till night,
    When forty-odd mo’nahs wuz shoutin’,
      An’ forty more comin’ in sight.

    Des den it come into my min’, sah,
      To gib dem ar niggahs a trile;
    An’ so I riz up, an’ I says, sah,—
      I says, with a beautiful smile:
    “My frien’s, I’m a-gwine to propose you
      A small, onsignificant test,
    To proobe—out ob all ob de virtues—
      Which ob you has charity best.”

    “Now, hush up a minnit! I’ll tell you,
      An’ den you kin go on an’ shout.
    De short ob de mattah is: Friday
      My barrel ob whiskey gub out;
    It happens, too, des at dis moment,
      I hasn’t de money to buy:
    An’ so I proposes to _you_ all,
      Dat you shill make up de supply.”

    “To-morrow I’ll hab me a barrel
      A-settin’ out dar on the bluff,
    An’ eb’ry good Christian’s expected
      To fotch ’long a pint o’ good stuff.
    So I’ll git my barrel ob whiskey,
      An you’ll git the feeling dat you
    Is got charity down till you’re ekal
      To gibbin’ de debbil his due.”

    Nex’ mohnin’, sah, dar wuz de barrel;
      An’ eb’ry man fotched up a flask,
    An’ put de neck down in de bunghole,
      An’ emptied it into de cask.
    I thought ‘at I’d try how it swallowed,
      An’ held a gourd under the spout,
    An’ den gib a turn on de fossit—
      When nuffin but WATER come out!

    “A miracle!” shouted de sistahs.
      “A miracle nuffin!” says I;
    “I see froo de mattah.—it’s easy
      To tell you des how it come by:
    Each man fotched a bottle ob water,
      An’ thought, when de cask wuz complete,
    By _eb’ry one else bringin’ whiskey_,
      Nobody would notice de cheat.”

    Dat sort o’ broke up the revival—
      An’ raly I think it wuz time,
    Wid all de head brudders convicted
      Ob such a contemptible crime.
    Dey isn’t no good in purfeshins;
      Dat’s one thing I hope ’at you sees—
    But, sah, it’s so late I mus’ leab you
      To pick out what moral you please.

                                     _Irwin Russell._



WENDELL PHILLIPS.


    What shall we mourn? For the prostrate tree that sheltered the young
          green wood?
    For the fallen cliff that fronted the sea, and guarded the fields
          from the flood?
    For the eagle that died in the tempest, afar from its eyry’s brood?

    Nay, not for these shall we weep; for the silver cord must be worn,
    And the golden fillet shrink back at last, and the dust to its earth
          return;
    And tears are never for those who die with their face to the duty
          done:
    But we mourn for the fledglings left on the waste, and the fields
          where the wild waves run.

    From the midst of the flock he defended, the brave one has gone to
          his rest;
    And the tears of the poor he befriended their wealth of affection
          attest.

    From the midst of the people is stricken a symbol they daily saw,
    Set over against the law-book, of a higher than human law;
    For his life was a ceaseless protest, and his voice was a prophet’s
          cry
    To be true to the truth, and faithful, though the world were arrayed
          for the lie.

    From the hearing of those who hated, a threatening voice has passed;
    But the lives of those who believe and die are not blown like a leaf
          on the blast.
    A sower of infinite seed was he, a woodman that hewed to the light,
    Who dared to be traitor to Union when Union was traitor to right.

    “Fanatic!” the insects hissed, till he taught them to understand
    That the highest crime may be written in the highest law of the
          land.
    “Disturber,” and “dreamer,” the Philistines cried, when he preached
          an ideal creed,
    Till they learned that the men who have changed the world with the
          world have disagreed;
    That the remnant is right, when the masses are led like sheep to the
          pen;
    For the instinct of equity slumbers till roused by instinctive men.

    It is not enough to win rights from a king, and write them down in a
          book:
    New men, new lights; and the fathers’ code the sons may never brook.
    What is liberty now were license then; their freedom our yoke would
          be;
    And each new decade must have new men to determine its liberty.
    Mankind is a marching army, with a broadening front the while.
    Shall it crowd its bulk on the farm-paths, or clear to the outward
          file?
    Its pioneers are the dreamers who heed neither tongue nor pen
    Of the human spiders whose silk is wove from the lives of toiling
          men.

    Come, brothers, here to the burial! But weep not, rather rejoice
    For his fearless life and his fearless death; for his true,
          unequalled voice,
    Like a silver trumpet sounding the note of human right;
    For his brave heart always ready to enter the weak ones’ fight,
    For his soul unmoved by the mob’s wild shout or the social sneer’s
          disgrace,
    For his freeborn spirit, that drew no line between class or creed or
          race.

    Come, workers! here was a teacher, and the lesson he taught was
          good:
    There are no classes or races, but one human brotherhood;
    There are no creeds to be outlawed, no colors of skin debarred;
    Mankind is one in its rights and wrongs,—one right, one hope, one
          guard.
    By his life he taught, by his death we learn the great reformer’s
          creed:
    The right to be free, and the hope to be just, and the guard against
          selfish greed.
    And richest of all are the unseen wreaths on his coffin-lid laid
          down
    By the toil-stained hands of workmen,—their sobs, their kiss, and
          their crown.
                                             _John Boyle O’Reilly._



MALARIA.


    Our baby lay in its mother’s arms,
    All sweet with its tiny dimpled charms;
    But little mouth and tongue were sore,
    And of its food ’twould take no more.
    The doctor hemmed, and shook his head.
    And looking wise, he gravely said,
    “Malaria—’tis plainly seen—
    Three times a day give him quinine.”
    Said grandmamma, “Dear me! that’s new;
    When I was young we called it ‘sprue.’”

    Our urchin Tom, ne’er off his feet,
    One day his dinner could not eat;
    His head ached so, he was so ill,
    Poor mother’s heart with fear did fill.
    The doctor felt his hands and head,
    And looking wise, he gravely said,
    “Malaria—’tis plainly seen—
    Three times a day give him quinine.”
    Said grandmamma, “That can’t be so!
    He has been smoking, sir, I know.”

    Our lady Maud, at seventeen—
    As bright a girl as e’er was seen—
    One day turned languid, white, and frail,
    And roses red did strangely pale.
    The doctor felt her pulse, and said,
    While wisely he did shake his head,
    “Malaria—it’s plainly seen—
    Three times a day give her quinine.”
    Said grandmamma, “That can’t be right!
    Why, my good sir, she danced all night.”

    Our pride, our eldest, Harry dear,
    One night did act so strange and queer,
    That mother, frightened, panting, said,
    “Run for the doctor! he’ll be dead!”
    The doctor came, and shook his head,
    And, looking at him, grandly said,
    “Malaria—’tis plainly seen—
    Three times a day give him quinine.”
    “What stuff!” said grandmamma, “I’m thinking
    That good-for-nothing boy’s been drinking!”

    The head of the house, forever well,
    One day fell ill, and, sad to tell,
    Could not arise, but loud did cry,
    “If this keeps on, I’d rather die!”
    The doctor came, stood by the bed,
    And, looking solemn, gravely said,
    “Malaria—’tis plainly seen—
    Three times a day give him quinine.”
    Growled grandmamma, “Oh! fiddle-dee-dee!
    He’s only bilious—seems to me.”

    One day our grandpa—eighty-four—
    Complained that he could see no more;
    That, at his age, it worried him
    That his good eyesight should grow dim.
    “I’ve often seen it act that way,”
    The doctor solemnly did say:
    “Malaria—’tis plainly seen—
    Three times a day give him quinine.”
    But grandma said, “I never see!
    Old man, you’re growing old, like me!”



PUZZLED.


    You ask me whether I’m High Church,
      You ask me whether I’m Low:
    I wish you’d tell the difference,
      For I’m sure that _I_ don’t know.
    I’m just a plain old body,
      And my brain works pretty slow;
    So I don’t know whether I’m High Church,
      And I don’t know whether I’m Low.

    I’m trying to be a Christian,
      In the plain, old-fashioned way,
    Laid down in my mother’s Bible,
      And I read it every day,—
    Our blessed Lord’s life in the Gospels,
      Or a comforting Psalm of old,
    Or a bit from the Revelation
      Of the city whose streets are gold.

    Then I pray,—why, I’m generally praying,
      Though I don’t always kneel or speak out,
    But I ask the dear Lord, and keep asking,
      Till I fear he is all tired out;
    A piece of the Litany sometimes,
      The Collect, perhaps, for the day,
    Or a scrap of a prayer that my mother
      So long ago learned me to say.

    But now my poor memory’s failing,
      And often and often I find
    That never a prayer from the Prayer-book
      Will seem to come into my mind.
    But I know what I want, and I ask it,
      And I make up the words as I go:
    Do you think that shows I ain’t High Church?
      Do you think that it means I am Low?

    My blessed old husband has left me,
      ’Tis years since God took him away:
    I know he is safe, well, and happy,
      And yet, when I kneel down to pray,
    Perhaps it is wrong, but I never
      Leave the old man’s name out of my prayer,
    But I ask the dear Lord to do for him
      What _I_ would do if I was there.

    Of course he can do it much better;
      But he knows, and he surely won’t mind
    The worry about her old husband,
      Of the old woman left here behind.
    So I pray and I pray for the old man,
      And I’m sure that I shall till I die;
    So maybe that proves I ain’t Low Church,
      And maybe it shows I am High.

    My old father was never a Churchman,
      But a Scotch Presbyterian saint:
    Still his white head is shining in heaven,
      I don’t care who says that it ain’t;
    To one of our blessed Lord’s mansions
      That old man was certain to go:
    And _now_ do you think I am High Church?
      Are you sure that I ain’t pretty Low?

    I tell you, it’s all just a muddle,
      Too much for a body like me;
    I’ll wait till I join my old husband,
      And then we shall see what we’ll see.
    Don’t ask me again, if you please, sir,
      For really it worries me so;
    And I don’t know whether I’m High Church,
      And I don’t know whether I’m Low.



THE BOOK CANVASSER.


He came into my office with a portfolio under his arm. Placing it
upon the table, removing a ruined hat, and wiping his nose upon a
ragged handkerchief that had been so long out of the wash that it was
positively gloomy, he said,—

“Mr.———, I’m canvassing for the National Portrait Gallery; very
valuable work; comes in numbers, fifty cents apiece; contains pictures
of all the great American heroes from the earliest times down to the
present day. Everybody subscribing for it, and I want to see if I can’t
take your name.

“Now, just cast your eyes over that,” he said, opening his book and
pointing to an engraving. “That’s—lemme see—yes, that’s Columbus,
perhaps you’ve heard sumfin’ about him. The publisher was telling me
to-day, before I started out, that he discovered—No; was it Columbus
that dis—Oh, yes, Columbus, he discovered America—was the first man
here. He came over in a ship, the publisher said, and it took fire,
and he staid on deck because his father told him to, if I remember
right, and when the old thing busted to pieces he was killed. Handsome
picture, ain’t it? Taken from a photograph, all of ’em are; done
especially for this work. His clothes are kinder odd, but they say
that’s the way they dressed in them days.

“Look at this one. Now, isn’t that splendid? That’s William Penn, one
of the early settlers. I was reading t’other day about him. When he
first arrived, he got a lot of Indians up a tree, and, when they shook
some apples down, he set one on top of his son’s head, and shot an
arrow plump through it and never grazed him. They say it struck them
Indians cold; he was such a terrific shooter. Fine countenance, hasn’t
he? Face shaved clean; he didn’t wear a mustache, I believe, but he
seems to have let himself out on hair. Now, my view is, that every man
ought to have a picture of that patriarch so’s to see how the fust
settlers looked, and what kind of weskets they used to wear. See his
legs too. Trousers a little short, maybe, as if he was going to wade in
a creek, but he’s all there. Got some kind of a paper in his hand, I
see. Subscription-list, I reckon. Now, how does that strike you?

“There’s something nice. That, I think, is—is—that—a—a—yes, to
be sure, Washington,—you recollect him, of course. Some people call
him Father of his Country; George—Washington. Had no middle name, I
believe. He lived about two hundred years ago, and he was a fighter. I
heard the publisher telling a man about him crossing the Delaware River
up yer at Trenton; and seems to me, if I recollect right, I’ve read
about it myself. He was courting some girl on the Jersey side, and he
used to swim over at nights to see her, when the old man was asleep.
The girl’s family were down on him, I reckon. He looks like a man to do
that, don’t he? He’s got it in his eye. If it’d been me, I’d gone over
on a bridge; but he probably wanted to show off afore her,—some men
are so reckless, you know. Now, if you’ll conclude to take this, I’ll
get the publisher to write out some more stories, and bring ’em round
to you, so’s you can study up on him. I know he did ever so many other
things; but I’ve forgot ’em, my memory’s so awful poor.

“Less see! Who have we next? Ah, Franklin! Benjamin Franklin! He was
one of the old original pioneers, I think. I disremember exactly what
he is celebrated for, but I think it was a—flying a—oh! yes, flying a
kite, that’s it. The publisher mentioned it. He was out one day flying
a kite, you know, like boys do nowadays, and while she was a-flickering
up in the sky, and he was giving her more string, an apple fell off a
tree, and hit him on the head; then he discovered the attraction of
gravitation, I think they call it. Smart, wasn’t it? Now, if you or
me’d ’a’ been hit, it’d just ’a’ made us mad, like as not, and set us
a-ravin’. But men are so different! One man’s meat’s another man’s
pison. See what a double chin he’s got. No beard on him, either, though
a goatee would have been becoming to such a round face. He hasn’t got
on a sword, and I reckon he was no soldier; fit some when he was a boy,
maybe, or went out with the home-guard, but not a regular warrior. I
ain’t one myself, and I think all the better of him for it.

“Ah, here we are! Look at that. Smith and Pocahontas! John Smith!
Isn’t that gorgeous? See how she kneels over him, and sticks out her
hands while he lays on the ground, and that big fellow with a club
tries to hammer him up! Talk about woman’s love! There it is for you!
Modocs, I believe. Anyway, some Indians out West there, somewheres;
and the publisher tells me that Captain Shackanasty, or whatever his
name is there, was going to bang old Smith over the head with a log
of wood, and this here girl she was sweet on Smith, it appears, and
she broke loose, and jumped forward, and says to the man with a stick,
‘Why don’t you let John alone? Me and him are going to marry, and if
you kill him I’ll never speak to you as long as I live,’ or words
like them; and so the man he give it up, and both of them hunted up a
preacher, and were married, and lived happy ever afterward. Beautiful
story, isn’t it? A good wife she made him, too, I’ll bet, if she was a
little copper-colored. And don’t she look just lovely in that picture?
But Smith appears kinder sick, evidently thinks his goose is cooked;
and I don’t wonder, with that Modoc swooping down on him with such a
discouraging club.

“And now we come to—to—ah—to—Putnam—General Putnam: he fought in
the war, too; and one day a lot of ’em caught him when he was off his
guard, and they tied him flat on his back on a horse, and then licked
the horse like the very mischief. And what does that horse do but go
pitching down about four hundred stone steps in front of the house,
with General Putnam lying there nearly skeered to death! Leastways the
publisher said somehow that way, and I once read about it myself. But
he came out safe, and I reckon sold the horse, and made a pretty good
thing of it. What surprises me is, he didn’t break his neck; but maybe
it was a mule, for they’re pretty sure-footed, you know. Surprising
what some of these men have gone through, ain’t it?

“Turn over a couple of leaves. That’s General Jackson. My father shook
hands with him once. He was a fighter, I know. He fit down in New
Orleans. Broke up the rebel legislature, and then, when the Ku Kluxes
got after him, he fought ’em behind cotton breastworks, and licked ’em
till they couldn’t stand. They say he was terrific when he got real
mad,—hit straight from the shoulder, and fetched his man every time.
Andrew, his fust name was; and look how his hair stands up.

“And then, here’s John Adams, and Daniel Boone, and two or three
pirates, and a whole lot more pictures, so you see it’s cheap as dirt.
Lemme have your name, won’t you?”



THE ENGINEER’S STORY.


    Han’som, stranger? Yes, she’s purty, an’ ez peart ez she kin be.
    Clever? W’y, she ain’t no chicken, but she’s good enough fur me.
    What’s her name? ’Tis kind o’ common, yit I ain’t ashamed to tell,
    She’s ole “Fiddler” Filkin’s daughter, and her dad he calls her
          “Nell.”

    I wuz drivin’ on the Central jist about a year ago,
    On the run from Winnemucca up to Reno in Washoe.
    There’s no end o’ skeery places. ’Tain’t a road fur one who dreams,
    With its curves an’ awful tres’les over rocks an’ mountain streams.

    ’Twuz an afternoon in August; we hed got behind an hour,
    An’ wuz tearin’ up the mountain like a summer thunder-shower,
    Round the bends an’ by the ledges ’bout ez fast ez we could go,
    With the mountain-peaks above us an’ the river down below.

    Ez we come nigh to a tres’le cros’t a holler, deep an’ wild,
    Suddenly I saw a baby,—’twuz the station-keeper’s child,—
    Toddlin’ right along the timbers with a bold an’ fearless tread,
    Right afore the locomotive, not a hundred rods ahead.

    I jist jumped, an’ grabbed the throttle, an’ I fa’rly held my
          breath,
    Fur I felt I couldn’t stop her till the child was crushed to death,
    When a woman sprang afore me like a sudden streak o’ light,
    Caught the boy, an’ twixt the timbers in a second sank from sight.

    I jist whis’l’d all the brakes on. An’ we worked with might an’
          main,
    Till the fire flew from the drivers, but we couldn’t stop the train,
    An’ it rumbled on above her. How she screamed ez we rolled by!
    An’ the river roared below us,—I shell hear her till I die.

    Then we stopped; the sun wuz shinin’; I ran back along the ridge,
    An’ I found her—dead? No, livin’! She wuz hangin’ to the bridge,
    Where she dropped down through the cross-ties with one arm about a
          sill,
    An’ the other round the baby, who wuz yellin’ fur to kill.

    So we saved ’em. She wuz gritty. She’s ez peart ez she kin be;
    Now we’re married; she’s no chicken, but she’s good enough for me.
    An’ ef eny ask who owns her, w’y! I ain’t ashamed to tell—
    She’s my wife. Ther’ ain’t none better than ole Filkin’s daughter
          Nell.
                                                _Eugene J. Hall._



THE COMING WAVE.


Dipper Bay was a little inlet, almost land-locked, in which the water
was deep enough to float his sloop at this time of tide, and its high
rocky shores would afford him a perfect protection from the fury of
any squall, or even hurricane. But Leopold felt that his chances of
reaching this secure haven were but small, for the breeze was very
light.

The sloop “Rosabel” was but a short distance from the shore when the
wind entirely subsided, and the long rollers were as smooth as glass.
The lightning glared with fearful intensity, and the thunder boomed
like the convulsions of an earthquake. By this time Rosabel [for whom
the sloop had been named], who had before enjoyed the sublimity of
the coming storm, now began to realize its terrors, and to watch the
handsome boatman with the deepest anxiety. The sails flapped idly in
the motionless air, and Dipper Bay was still half a mile distant.

“Don’t be alarmed, Miss Hamilton,” said Leopold. “If the squall will
keep off only a few moments, we shall be in a safe place.”

The skipper evidently “meant business;” and, shipping the long oars, he
worked with a zeal which seemed to promise happy results, and Rosabel
began to feel a little re-assured. But the sloop was too large, and too
broad on the beam, to be easily rowed, and her progress was necessarily
very slow.

“Can’t I help you, Leopold?” asked the maiden, when she saw what a
tremendous effort the boatman was making.

“You may take the tiller, and steer for Dip Point, if you please,”
replied Leopold, knowing that his beautiful passenger would be better
satisfied if she could feel that she was doing something.

Leopold plied his oars with all the vigor of a manly frame, intent upon
reaching the little bay, where the high rocks would shelter his craft
from the fury of the storm. Then a breeze of wind came, and he resumed
his place at the tiller. He had almost reached the haven when he saw
coming down over the waters a most terrific squall. Before he could
haul down his mainsail, the tempest struck the “Rosabel.” He placed
his fair charge in the bottom of the boat, which the savage wind was
driving towards the dangerous rocks. Before he could do any thing to
secure the sail, the main-sheet parted at the boom. He cast off the
halliards, but the sail was jammed and would not come down.

The “Rosabel” was almost upon the rocks. Seizing an oar, Leopold,
satisfied that he could do nothing to save the boat, worked her away
from the rocks, so that she would strike upon the narrow beach he had
just left. The fierce squall was hurling her with mad speed upon the
shore. By the most tremendous exertion, and at the imminent peril of
his life, he succeeded in guiding her to the beach, upon which she
struck with prodigious force, crushing in her keel and timbers beneath
the shock. Without a word of explanation, he grasped the fair Rosabel
in his arms, and leaped into the angry surges, which were driven high
upon the rocks above him. The tide had risen so that there was hardly
room under the cliff for him to stand; but he bore her to this only
partial refuge from the fury of the storm.

The tempest increased in violence, and the huge billows rolled in with
impetuous fury upon him. Grasping his fair burden in his arms, with
Rosabel clinging to him in mortal terror, he paused a moment to look at
the angry sea. There was a narrow shelf of rock near him, against which
the waves beat with terrible violence. If he could only get beyond this
shelf, which projected out from the cliffs, he could easily reach the
Hole in the Wall, where Harvey Barth had saved himself in just such a
storm. He had born Rosabel some distance along the beach, both drenched
by the lashing spray, and his strength was nearly exhausted. The
projecting shelf was before him, forbidding for the moment his further
progress.

Placing his left foot on a rock, his fair but heavy burden on his knee,
clasping her waist with his left hand, while his right was fastened
for support in a crevice of the cliff, he paused for an instant to
recover his breath and watch for a favorable chance to escape from his
perilous position. Rosabel, in her terror, had thrown her arms around
his neck, clinging to him with all her might. When he paused, she felt,
reposing on his powerful muscles, that she was safe—she confessed it
afterwards; though, in that terrible sea and near those cruel rocks,
the strength of the strongest man was but weakness. Leopold waited.
If the sea would only recede for an instant, it would give him the
opportunity to reach the broader beach beyond the shelf, over which he
could pass to the Hole in the Wall. It was a moment of hope, mingled
with a mighty fear.

A huge billow, larger than any he had yet seen, was rolling in upon
him, crested and reeking with foam, and might dash him and his feeble
charge, mangled and torn, upon the jagged rocks. Still panting from the
violence of his exertion, he braced his nerves and his stout frame to
meet the terrible shock.

With every muscle strained to the utmost tension, he waited the coming
wave. In this attitude, with the helpless maiden clinging to him for
life, with the wreck of his fine yacht near, he was a noble subject for
an inspired artist.

The coming wave, buried him and the fair maiden in its cold embrace.
It broke, and shattered itself in torrents of milky foam upon the hard
rocks. But the larger and higher the wave, the farther it recedes.
Leopold stood firm, though he was shaken in every fibre of his frame by
the shock. The retiring water—retiring only for an instant, to come
again with even greater fury-gave him his opportunity, and he improved
it. Swooping, like a strong eagle, beneath the narrow shelf of rock, he
gained the broader sands beyond the reach of the mad billows. It blew
a hurricane for some time. The stranded yacht was ground into little
pieces by the sharp rocks, but her skipper and his fair passenger were
safe.

                                                _Oliver Optic._



THE STORY OF SIR ARNULPH.

       [Matt. xxii. 37-39.—“Thou shalt love the
     Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
     soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and
     great commandment. And the second is like unto it,
     Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”]

    An earnest man, in long-forgotten years,
    Relieved the maladies and stanched the tears
    Of pining multitudes, who sought his aid
    When death their homesteads threatened to invade.

    Blest with one only son (a gentle youth,
    Trained in the fear of God, and love of truth),
    He fondly hoped that Arnulph might aspire
    Disease and death to baffle, like his sire.

    But the boy, musing gloomily apart,
    Avowed at length the impulse of his heart:
    “To some calm cloister, father, I would go,
    And there serve God.” His father answered, “No.

    “Thou doest well to wish to serve the Lord,
    By thine whole life imperfectly adored;
    But choose thy work amid the world, and then
    Thou canst serve God, and bless thy fellow-men.”

    The boy, still yearning to achieve his plan,
    Spake: “It were better to serve God than man.”
    “Pray God for help,” the father said, “and he
    Will solve the riddle of thy doubt to thee.”

    So Arnulph to his chamber went, and prayed
    That in his doubts the Lord would send him aid.
    And, in a vision of the silent night,
    A phantom stood before him, clothed in white,—
    A form for earth too beautiful and grand,
    With crimson roses blooming in each hand.

    And Arnulph asked the angel, “Are these flowers
    Fresh culled from Eden’s amaranthine bowers?”
    He answered, “Nay: these offerings are from all
    Whom God the doers of his will doth call.”
    “And can I offer nothing?” sighed the boy.
    “May I not also serve the Lord with joy?”
    “Surely thou mayest,” replied that seraph fair,—
    “In my left hand, behold, thy gift I bear.”

    Then Arnulph said, “I pray thee, tell me why,
    In thy left hand the flowers all scentless lie,
    But in the right they breathe a gracious smell,
    Which long within the haunted sense doth dwell?”

    The angel answered with pathetic tone,—
    “In my left hand I bear the gifts alone
    Of those who worship God the Sire above,
    But for his children testify no love;
    While _these_ sweet roses, which ne’er grow wan,
    Come from the lovers of both God and man.”

    The vision faded. Arnulph cried, “Alas!
    My soul was blind!” And so it came to pass,
    That the changed boy a cloister entered not,
    But with God’s working-men took part and lot.
                                      _Gerald Massey._



A LOST CHILD.


    “I’m losted! Could you find me, please?”
      Poor little frightened baby!
    The wind had tossed her golden fleece,
    The stones had scratched her dimpled knees;
    I stooped, and lifted her with ease,
      And softly whispered, “Maybe.”

    “Tell me your name, my little maid:
      I can’t find you without it.”
    “My name is Shiny-eyes,” she said.
    “Yes; but your last name?” She shook her head:
    “Up to my house ’ey never said
      A single word about it.”

    “But, dear,” I said, “what is your name?”
      “Why, didn’t you hear me told you?
    Dust Shiny-eyes.” A bright thought came:
    “Yes, when you’re good. But when they blame
    You, little one,—is it just the same
      When mamma has to scold you?”

    “My mamma never scolds,” she moans,
      A little blush ensuing,
    “’Cept when I’ve been a-frowing stones;
    And then she says [the culprit owns],—
    ‘Mehitabel Sapphira Jones,
      What has you been a-doing?’”
                                _Anna F. Burnham._



WHEN McGUE PUTS THE BABY TO SLEEP.


    We have a foine tinement, close be the bridge,
      Wid three pairs of stairs and a farm.
    The farm’s on the roof, but it’s ilegant just
      For to kape the small childer from harm.
    The railin’ is high. Shure it’s tired they get
      From playin’ “puss corner” an’ “peep,”
    An’ ’twould do your heart good in the twilight to see
      Ould McGue put the baby to sleep.

    McGue is my man, an’ a daisy he is,
      For after the gas-house shuts down
    He comes wid his pail (faith, the coal on his face
      Gives the shake to the boys of the town).
    Then he sits down wid me, an’ his poipe, an’ his chair,
      Comfortable, cosey, an’ deep,
    Wid the kid in his arms; it would break you to see
      Ould McGue put the baby to sleep.

    He sings him the chune of “The Old Phwiskey Jug,”
      An’ juggles him up on his knee
    As light as the mist from ould Erin’s green turf
      That floats from the bog to the sea.
    Then the gossoon lies back like a king on his couch,
      An’ the shadows across his eyes creep;
    I’ll lay you a bet, it’s a beautiful sight,
      When McGue puts the baby to sleep.

    Then the ould man says “Phwist!” as the first darling snore
      He hears from the swate, sleeping child;
    An’ he steps to the cradle, as aisy as mud,
      An’ the drop of a pin makes him wild.
    “The Virgin take care of that baby!” his prayer
      Comes out of the heart low and deep;
    It would kill the ould man if the kid should refuse
      John McGue for to put him to sleep.



JEM’S LAST RIDE.


    High o’er the snow-capped peaks of blue the stars are out to-night,
    And the silver crescent moon hangs low. I watched it on my right,
    Moving above the pine-tops tall, a bright and gentle shape,
    While I listened to the tales you told of peril and escape.

    Then, mingled with your voices low, I heard the rumbling sound
    Of wheels adown the farther slope, that sought the level ground;
    And suddenly, from memories that never can grow dim,
    Flashed out once more the day when last I rode with English Jem.

    ’Twas here, in wild Montana, I took my hero’s gauge.
    From Butte to Deer Lodge, four-in-hand, he drove the mountain stage;
    And many a time, in sun or storm, safe mounted at his side,
    I whiled away with pleasant talk the long day’s weary ride.

    Jem’s faithful steeds had served him long, of mettle true and tried:
    One sought in vain for trace of blows upon their glossy hide;
    And to each low command he spoke, the leader’s nervous ear
    Bent eager, as a lover waits his mistress’ voice to hear.

    With ringing crack the leathern whip, that else had idly hung,
    Kept time for many a rapid mile to English songs he sung;
    And yet, despite his smile, he seemed a lonely man to be,
    With not one soul to claim him kin on this side of the sea.

    But after I had known him long, one mellow evening-time
    He told me of his English Rose, who withered in her prime;
    And how, within the churchyard green, he laid her down to rest
    With her sweet babe, a blighted bud, upon her frozen breast.

    “I could not stay,” he said, “where she had left me all alone!
    The very hedge-rose that she loved, I could not look upon.
    I could not hear the mavis sing, or see the long grass wave,
    And every little daisy-bank seemed but my darling’s grave.

    “Yet somehow—why, I cannot tell—but when I wandered here,
    I seemed to bring her with me too, that once had been so dear.
    I love these mountain summits, where the world is in the sky,
    For she is in it too,—my love!—and so I bring her nigh.”

    Next week I rode with Jem again. The coach was full, that day,
    And there were little children there, that pleased us with their
          play.
    A sweet-faced mother brought her pair of rosy, bright-eyed girls,
    And boy like one I left at home, with silken yellow curls.

    We took fresh horses at Girard’s, and as he led them out—
    A vicious pair they seemed to me—I heard the hostler shout,
    “You always want good horses, Jem! Now you shall have your way.
    Try these new beauties, for we sold your old team yesterday.”

    O’er clean-cut limb and sloping flank, arched neck and tossing head,
    I marked Jem run his practised eye, though not a word he said;
    Yet, as he clambered to his seat, and took the reins once more,
    I saw a look upon his face it had not worn before.

    The hostler open flung the gates. “Now, Tempest, show your pace,”
    He cried, and with a careless hand he struck the leader’s face.
    The horse, beneath the sportive blow, reared as if poison-stung;
    And, with his panic-stricken mates, to a mad gallop sprung.

    We thundered through the gate, and out upon the stony road;
    From side to side the great coach lurched, with all its priceless
          load:
    Some cried aloud for help, and some, with terror-frozen tongue,
    Clung, bruised and faint in every limb, the weaker to the strong.

    And men who oft had looked on death, unblanched, by flood or field,
    When every nerve to do and dare by agony was steeled,
    Now moaned aloud, or gnashed their teeth in helpless rage,
    To die, at whim of maddened brutes, like vermin in a cage!

    Too well, alas! too well I knew the awful way we went,—
    The little stretch of level road, and then the steep descent;
    The boiling stream that seethed and roared far down the rocky ridge,
    With death, like old Horatius, grim waiting at the bridge!

    But, suddenly, above the din, a voice rang loud and clear;
    We knew it well, the driver’s voice,—without one note of fear;
    Some strong, swift angel’s lips might thrill with such a clarion
          cry,—
    The voice of one who put for aye all earthly passion by:—

    “Still! for your lives, and listen! See yon farmhouse by the way,
    And piled along the field in front the shocks of new-mown hay.
    God help me turn my horses there! And when I give the word,
    Leap on the hay! Pray, every soul, to Him who Israel heard!”

    Within, the coach was still. ’Tis strange, but never till I die
    Shall I forget the fields that day, the color of the sky,
    The summer breeze that brought the first sweet perfume of the hay,
    The bobolink that in the grass would sing his life away.

    One breathless moment bridged the space that lay between, and then
    Jem drew upon the straining reins, with all the strength of ten.
    “Hold fast the babes!” More close I clasped the fair boy at my side.
    “Let every nerve be steady now!” and “Jump for life!” he cried.

    Saved, every soul! Oh! dizzy—sweet life rushed in every vein,
    To us who from that fragrant bed rose up to hope again!
    But, ’mid the smiles and grateful tears that mingled on each cheek,
    A sudden questioning horror grew, that none would dare to speak.

    Too soon the answer struck our ears! One moment’s hollow roar
    Of flying hoofs upon the bridge—an awful crash that tore
    The very air in twain—and then, through all the world grown still,
    I only heard the bobolink go singing at his will.

    I was the first man down the cliff. There’s little left to tell.
    We found him lying, breathing yet and conscious, where he fell.
    The question in his eager eyes, I answered with a word,—
    “Safe!” Then he smiled, and whispered low some words I scarcely
          heard.

    We would have raised him, but his lips grew white with agony.
    “Not yet; it will be over soon,” he whispered. “Wait with me;”
    Then, lower, smiling still, “It is my last ride, friends; but I
    Have done my duty, and God knows I do not fear to die.”

    He closed his eyes. We watched his life slip, like an ebbing tide,
    Far out upon the infinite, where all our hopes abide.
    He spoke but once again, a name not meant for mortal ears,
    “My Rose!” She must have heard that call, amid the singing spheres!
                                            _Mary A. P. Stansbury._



OVER THE CROSSIN’.


    “Shine? shine, sor? Ye see, I’m just a-dien’
    Ter turn yer two boots inter glass
    Where ye’ll see all the sights in the winders
    ’Ithout lookin’ up as yer pass.
    Seen me before? I’ve no doubt, sor;
    I’m punctooal haar, yer know,
    Waitin’ along the crossin’
    Fur a little un’, name o’ Joe;
    My brother, sor, an’ a cute un’,
    Ba’ly turned seven, an’ small,
    But gettin’ his livin’ grad’ely
    Tendin’ a bit uv a stall
    Fur Millerkins down the av’nue;
    Yer kin bet that young un’s smart,—
    Worked right in like a vet’run
    Since th’ old un’ gin ’im a start.

    Folks say he’s a picter o’ father,
    Once mate o’ the ‘Lucy Lee’—
    Lost when Joe wor a baby,
    Way off in some furrin sea.
    Then mother kep’ us together,
    Though nobody thought she would,
    An’ worked an’ slaved an’ froze an’ starved
    Uz long uz ever she could.
    An’ since she died an’ left us,
    A couple o’ year ago,
    We’ve kep’ right on in Cragg Alley,
    A-housekeepin’—I an’ Joe.
    I’d just got my kit when she went, sor,
    An’ people helped us a bit,
    So we managed to get on somehow;
    Joe wus alius a brave little chit;
    An’ since he’s got inter bisness,
    Though we don’t ape princes an’ sich,
    Tain’t of’n we git right hungry,
    An’ we feel pretty tol’able rich.

    I used to wait at the corner,
    Jest over th’ other side;
    But the notion o’ bein’ tended
    Sort o’ ruffled the youngster’s pride,
    So now I only watches
    To see that he’s safe across;
    Sometimes it’s a bit o’ waitin’,
    But, bless yer, ’tain’t no loss!
    Look! there he is now, the rascal!
    Dodgin’ across the street
    Ter s’prise me—an’—look! I’m goin’—
    He’s down by the horses’ feet!

    Suddenly all had happened,—
    The look, the cry, the spring,
    The shielding Joe as a bird shields
    Its young with sheltering wing;
    Then up the full street of the city
    A pause of the coming rush,
    And through all the din and the tumult
    A painful minute of hush;
    A tumble of scattered brushes,
    As they lifted him up to the walk,
    A gathering of curious faces,
    And snatches of whispered talk;
    Little Joe all trembling beside him
    On the flagging, with gentle grace
    Pushing the tangled, soft brown hair
    Away from the still white face.
    At his touch the shut lids lifted,
    And swift over lip and eye
    Came a glow as when the morning
    Flushes the eastern sky;
    And a hand reached out to his brother,
    As the words came low but clear,—
    “Joe, I reckon ye mind our mother:
    A minute back she wor here,
    Smilin’ an’ callin’ me to her!
    I tell ye, I’m powerful glad
    Yer such a brave, smart youngster:
    The leavin’ yer ain’t so bad.
    Hold hard to the right things she learnt us,
    An’ allus keep honest an’ true;
    Good-by, Joe—but mind, I’ll be watchin’
    Just—over—the crossin’—fur you!”
                            _Springfield Republican._



SOMEHOW OR OTHER.


    The good wife bustled about the house,
      Her face still bright with a pleasant smile,
    As broken snatches of happy song
      Strengthened her heart and hand the while.
    The good man sat in the chimney-nook,
      His little clay pipe within his lips,
    And all he’d made, and all he’d lost,
      Ready and clear on his finger-tips.

    “Good wife, I’ve just been thinking a bit:
      Nothing has done very well this year;
    Money is bound to be hard to get;
      Every thing’s bound to be very dear;
    How the cattle are going to be fed,
      How we’re to keep the boys at school,
    Is kind of a debit and credit sum
      I can’t make balance by any rule.”

    She turned her round from the baking bread,
      And she faced him with a cheerful laugh;
    “Why, husband, dear, one would think
      That the good rich wheat was only chaff.
    And what if the wheat was only chaff,
      As long as we both are well and strong?
    I’m not a woman to worry a bit,—
      Somehow or other we get along.

    Into some lives some rain must fall,
      Over all lands the storm must beat;
    But when the rain and storm are o’er,
      The after sunshine is twice as sweet.
    Through every strait we have found a road,
      In every grief we’ve found a song;
    We’ve had to bear, and had to wait,—
      But somehow or other we get along.

    For thirty years we have loved each other,
      Stood by each other whatever befell;
    Six boys have called us father and mother,
      And all of them living and doing well.
    We owe no man a penny, my dear,
      We’re both of us loving, well, and strong:
    Good man, I wish you would smoke again,
      And think how well we’ve got along.”

    He filled his pipe with a pleasant laugh;
      He kissed his wife with a tender pride;
    He said, “I’ll do as you tell me, love;
      I’ll just count up on the other side.”
    She left him then with his better thought,
      And lifted her work with a low, sweet song,—
    A song that followed me many a year:
      “Somehow or other we get along.”



TATERS.

(WITH A CHORUS.)


    Of all the wonderful works of Nater,
    What surprises me most, she can _make a tater_!
    She gathers the stuff to produce a skin,
    And then gradually stuffs the tater in.

                 _Chorus._
    Tater! tater! Best bread made by Nater!
    No baker alive could make a tater.

    In Ireland, where earth is so fertile and turfy,
    They mispronounce tater by calling it _Murphy_.
    In France, where all language to ribbons they tear,
    They nominate tater a _pomme de terre_!

    Tater! tater! The brown bread of Nater!
    Old Nick couldn’t give a worse nickname for tater.

    Of words that sound proud I was always a hater—
    _Per_-contra—_per_-centum—_per_-digious—_per_-tater!
    All creatures that _purr_, from a fool to a cat,
    Should be made to eat taters without any fat.

    Tater! tater! Good Nater creator!
    If an angel said _per_, I belave I should bate her.

    O how shall I praise you? I don’t want to hurt you
    By making you vain and destroying your virtue;
    But—baked, fried, boiled, roasted, you’re equally good,
    And in pigpen or palace alike understood.

    Tater! tater! First and best boon of Nater!
    When I stop being poet, I’d turn to a tater.

    What makes all men kin? It is “one touch of Nater!”
    And what _is_ that touch, but the touch of a tater?
    Of all flowers of the field, tater flour I most prize,
    Best bread for the body and meet for the eyes.

    Tater! tater! Did I wish to beat Nater,
    I’d take you when new, and produce a _baked_ tater!

    Some scoff at a tater, and don’t wish to see un;
    They say you are _vulgar_ and very plebeian,
    And call you a root! But their minds are unsound:
    It’s your _modesty_ tells you to hide in the ground.

    Tater! tater! Many-eyed, potent tater!
    (King Richard with III. was only Dick-tater.)

    But alas! you are deaf to my harp’s fond endeavor,
    Or I’d sing in this beautiful fashion forever!
    You have eyes, but you see not; you’re deaf as a drum;
    And as none else will listen, like you I’ll be dumb.

    Tater! tater! When I leave mortal Nater,
    Let the world calmly think what I thought of a tater!
                                          _W. O. Eaton._



“AN UNKNOWN MAN, RESPECTABLY DRESSED.”


    “An unknown man, respectably dressed,”
      That was all that the record said:
    Wondering pity might guess the rest;
      One thing was sure,—the man was dead.

    And dead, because he’d no heart to live;
      His courage had faltered, and failed the test:
    How little the all we now can give,—
      A nameless sod to cover his breast!

    “Respectably dressed!” The thoughtless read
      The sentence over, and idly say,—
    “What was it, then, since it was not need,
      Which made him thus fling his life away?”

    “Respectably dressed!” How little they know,
      Who never have been for money pressed,
    What it costs respectable poor to go,
      Day after day, “respectably dressed!”

    The beggars on sidewalks suffer less;
      They herd all together, clan and clan;
    Alike and equal in wretchedness,
      No room for pride between man and man.

    Nothing to lose by rags or by dirt,
      More often something is gained instead;
    Nothing to fear but bodily hurt,
      Nothing to hope for save daily bread.

    But respectable poor have all to lose;
      For the world to know, means loss and shame;
    They’d rather die, if they had to choose;
      They cling as for life to place and name,—

    Cling, and pretend, and conceal and hide;
      Never an hour but its terror bears;
    Terror which slinks like guilt to one side,
      And often a guiltier countenance wears.

    “Respectably dressed” to the last; ay, last!
      Last dollar, last crust, last proud pulse-beat;
    Starved body, starved soul, hope dead and past:
      What wonder that any death looks sweet?

    “An unknown man, respectably dressed,”
      That was all that the record said.
    When will the question let us rest,—
      Is it fault of ours that the man was dead?
                                   _Helen Jackson._



“BAY BILLY.”


    You may talk of horses of renown,
      What Goldsmith Maid has done,
    How Dexter cut the seconds down,
      And Fellowcraft’s great run:
    Would you hear about a horse that once
      A mighty battle won?

    ’Twas the last fight at Fredericksburg,—
      Perhaps the day you reck,—
    Our boys, the Twenty-second Maine,
      Kept Early’s men in check.
    Just where Wade Hampton boomed away,
      The fight went neck and neck.

    All day we held the weaker wing,
      And held it with a will;
    Five several stubborn times we charged
      The battery on the hill,
    And five times beaten back, re-formed,
      And kept our columns still.

    At last from out the centre fight
      Spurred up a general’s aide;
    “That battery _must_ silenced be!”
      He cried as past he sped.
    Our colonel simply touched his cap,
      And then, with measured tread,—

    To lead the crouching line once more
      The grand old fellow came;
    No wounded man but raised his head,
      And strove to gasp his name,
    And those who could not speak or stir
      “God blessed him” just the same.

    For he was all the world to us,—
      That hero gray and grim;
    Right well he knew that fearful slope
      We’d climb with none but him,
    Though while his white head led the way
      We’d charge hell’s portals in.

    This time we were not half way up,
      When, midst the storm of shell,
    Our leader, with his sword upraised,
      Beneath our bayonets fell;
    And as we bore him back, the foe
      Set up a joyous yell.

    Our hearts went with him. Back we swept,
      And when the bugle said,
    “Up, charge again!” no man was there
      But hung his dogged head.
    “We’ve no one left to lead us now,”
      The sullen soldiers said.

    Just then, before the laggard line
      The colonel’s horse we spied,—
    Bay Billy, with his trappings on,
      His nostril swelling wide,
    As though still on his gallant back
      The master sat astride.

    Right royally he took the place
      That was of old his wont,
    And with a neigh that seemed to say
      Above the battle’s brunt,
    “How can the Twenty-second charge
      If I am not in front?”

    Like statues we stood rooted there,
      And gazed a little space:
    Above that floating mane we missed
      The dear familiar face;
    But we saw Bay Billy’s eye of fire,
      And it gave us heart of grace.

    No bugle-call could rouse us all
      As that brave sight had done.
    Down all the battered
    line we felt
      A lightning impulse run:
    Up, up the hill we followed Bill,
      And captured every gun!

    And when upon the conquered height
      Died out the battle’s hum,
    Vainly ’mid living and the dead
      We sought our leader dumb;
    It seemed as if a spectre steed
      To win that day had come.

    And then the dusk and dew of night
      Fell softly o’er the plain,
    As though o’er man’s dread work of death
      The angels wept again,
    And drew night’s curtain gently round
      A thousand beds of pain.

    All night the surgeons’ torches went
      The ghastly rows between;
    All night with solemn step I paced
      The torn and bloody green:
    But who that fought in the big war
      Such dread sights has not seen?

    At last the morning broke. The lark
      Sang in the merry skies
    As if to e’en the sleepers there
      It bade, Wake, and arise!
    Though naught but that last trump of all
      Could ope their heavy eyes.

    And then once more, with banners gay,
      Stretched out the long brigade;
    Trimly upon the furrowed field
      The troops stood on parade,
    And bravely ’mid the ranks were closed
      The gaps the fight had made.

    Not half the Twenty-second’s men
      Were in that place that morn,
    And Corporal Dick, who yester-noon
      Stood six brave fellows on,
    Now touched my elbow in the ranks,
      For all between were gone.

    Ah! who forgets that dreary hour
      When, as with misty eyes,
    To call the old familiar roll
      The solemn sergeant tries,
    One feels that thumping of the heart
      As no prompt voice replies?

    And as in faltering tone and slow
      The last few names were said,
    Across the field some missing horse
      Toiled up with weary tread.
    It caught the sergeant’s eye, and quick
      Bay Billy’s name was read.

    Yes! there the old bay hero stood,
      All safe from battle’s harms;
    And ere an order could be heard,
      Or the bugle’s quick alarms,
    Down all the front, from end to end,
      The troops presented arms!

    Not all the shoulder-straps on earth
      Could still our mighty cheer;
    And ever from that famous day,
      When rang the roll-call clear,
    Bay Billy’s name was read, and then
      The whole line answered “Here!”
                             _Frank H. Gassaway._



HIRING HELP.


    CHARACTERS.—MRS. MERVIN;
                EMMA, _her daughter_;
                BRIDGET ROONEY;
                NORAH MCCARTY;
                ELLEN FLYNN;
                JOANNA O’NEIL;
                ANGELINA SIMPER;
                MARY AMES.

     SCENE.—MRS. MERVIN’S _Sitting-room_.

_Emma._ Well, mother, as our advertisement appeared in the paper last
evening, I suppose we may expect any amount of answers in the shape of
Irish girls.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Quite likely; and I must confess I dread the ordeal. It
is better, however, to advertise, and have the girls call at the house,
than to seek them at the intelligence office.

_Emma._ Oh, yes, indeed! I made a vow the last time you sent me there
for a girl, that if I could possibly help it I would never enter such a
place again.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Well, I hope our present plan will be successful, and
we shall be fortunate enough to secure a good girl. If we had less
company, and our family were not so large, we would try to do the work
together, and get along without help.

_Emma._ I wish we might, mother. I have often felt, after the
disorderly reign of some tyrannical Bridget, that I would like to
banish them all from whence they came, and wield the kitchen sceptre
alone. (_Bell rings._) There comes number one, I’ll warrant.

               _Enter_ BRIDGET ROONEY.

_Bridget._ The top of the mornin’ to ye, ma’am; and sure is yer name
Mervin?

_Mrs. Mervin._ It is; and I suppose you have come to answer my
advertisement for a girl.

_Bridget._ Indade I have, ma’am. Is it a cook ye would be afther
wantin’?

_Mrs. Mervin._ I wish a girl to do general housework, and of course
that includes a knowledge of plain cooking. Would you like such a place?

_Bridget._ And sure I can’t tell, ma’am, till I ax ye a few questions,
and finds out the characther of the place intirely. What wages do ye
give?

_Mrs. Mervin._ Three dollars.

_Bridget._ And how many have ye in the family, ma’am?

_Mrs. Mervin._ Seven persons.

_Bridget._ Well, indade, and if ever I heard the like! Sivin persons,
and only three dollars wages! Shure me cousin, Kate Murphy, gits four
dollars, and there’s only three in the house. I’ll come for no three
dollars, unless yer house has all the modern convainyences. Do ye have
gas in the kitchen and girl’s room?

_Mrs. Mervin._ We have gas in the kitchen, but we do not think it
necessary in the girl’s sleeping-room.

_Bridget._ And, faith, it’s as much wanted there as anywhere. A poor
girl doesn’t want to be groping about with a nasty kerosene-lamp. How
much time in a week do you give a girl to herself, ma’am?

_Mrs. Mervin._ One afternoon and evening a week. I believe that is a
general rule.

_Bridget._ It’s not a rule I goes by, ma’am. I wants two afternoons a
week, and every evenin’ besides, and I’m used to have my friends come
whenever I like.

_Mrs. Mervin._ I see you wouldn’t suit me at all, so you had better not
remain here any longer. I don’t intend to pay a girl wages, and give
her half her time besides.

_Bridget._ And shure yer no lady, ma’am; and I wouldn’t set fut in yer
house if ye’d give me five dollars a week, bad luck to ye.

                                          [_Exit_ BRIDGET.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Not a very promising specimen to begin with, surely.

_Emma._ I should think not, indeed. The idea of her asking four dollars
a week, and wanting, as you said, nearly half her time! (_Bell rings._)
There’s another. I shall find full employment in tending the door-bell,
at this rate.

               _Enter_ NORAH MCCARTY.


_Norah._ Are you the lady, ma’am, the paper said wanted a girl?

_Mrs. Mervin._ Yes, I advertised for one yesterday. Can you do general
housework?

_Norah._ Faith I can, ma’am; it’s a gineral’s housework I’ve been
doing, and I might have staid in the place foriver, only that herself
was that fussy that niver a soul could plaze her.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Can you make good bread?

_Norah._ Good bread is it ye say? And indade I can make that same. I
makes it with imtens, ma’am; and if it sours a bit, I puts a handful of
salerathus into it, and it comes out of the oven as swate as a nut, and
a fine color on it besides.

_Emma._ Dear me! I should think it might have a fine color with a
handful of saleratus in it!

_Mrs. Mervin._ At what other place have you lived besides the one you
mentioned?

_Norah._ Nowheres at all, ma’am; that’s the first place I wint when I
came from the ould counthry.

_Mrs. Mervin._ How long did you live there, and what part of the work
did you do?

_Norah._ Well, ma’am, I lived there three weeks, ’liven days, and
a fortnight—barrin’ the two days that I staid out to take care of
me cousin Mike; and I did the fine work, mostly, ma’am,—scrubbing,
sifting ashes, and ’the likes of that. Do ye think ye would like to
hire me, ma’am?

_Mrs. Mervin._ I guess not. I am afraid you haven’t had experience
enough to do my work properly.

_Norah._ Well, ma’am, if that’s any thing I could buy at the store, I
would be willing to spend a thrifle to get some, for the sake of livin’
wid ye.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Experience in housework cannot be bought at the stores;
so you had better look somewhere else for a place.

                                              [_Exit_ NORAH.

_Emma._ Well, mother, did you ever hear of such stupidity before?

_Mrs. Mervin._ She’s the greenest specimen I’ve seen yet. I wonder who
will come next? (_Bell rings._)

_Emma._ We shall soon see.

               _Enter_ ELLEN FLYNN.

_Ellen._ A fine day, ma’am. Is it yerself that wants a girl?

_Mrs. Mervin._ Yes, if I can find a good one; but I am sorry to say
they seem to be growing very scarce.

_Ellen._ You are mistaken there, ma’am; it’s good places that’s gittin’
scarce. How big a family do ye have?

_Mrs. Mervin._ There are seven of us, and we of course have company
occasionally.

_Ellen._ That’s too many intirely; but I s’pose with all thim ye keep
two girls and a man besides.

_Mrs. Mervin._ No, we keep but one servant.

_Ellen._ Servint is it! Well, ma’am, that’s what I niver allows meself
to be called. What sort of convainyences is there in the house? Is
there a rocking-chair in the kitchen, where I can rest meself while the
pot’s a-bilin’?

_Mrs. Mervin._ No, I don’t consider that a necessary article of kitchen
furniture.

_Ellen._ We differs there, ma’am; I can’t do without a rocking-chair. I
see you have a pianny. I s’pose ye wouldn’t mind if I learned to play
on it afther me work is done—would ye?

_Mrs. Mervin._ I should object very strongly to giving a girl such a
privilege.

_Ellen._ Well, ma’am, it’s gittin’ quite the fashion for the ladies
that live out to play. Me cousin Kate Donnelly plays “St. Pathrick’s
Day in the Mornin’,” and “Rory O’More,” illigant; and I’ve made up me
mind I’ll live in no place agin where I can’t have the chance to play
the pianny.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Then the quicker you look for such a place, the better.
It isn’t worth while for me to spend any more time talking with you.

_Ellen._ Indade, it’s a very uncivil tongue ye have, ma’am; and it’s
meself that ought to grumble for spendin’ me precious time talkin’ to
the likes of you.

                                           [_Exit_ ELLEN.

_Emma._ It grows worse and worse, mother! What are we coming to?

_Mrs. Mervin._ Dear me! I don’t know! I am fairly discouraged! (_Bell
rings._)

               _Enter_ JOANNA.

_Joanna._ Are ye afther wantin’ a girl, ma’am?

_Mrs. Mervin._ Yes; I want a good one.

_Joanna._ Faith, thin, it’s glad I am that my brother Pathrick read me
the scrap in the paper last night, for I’m wantin’ a place.

_Mrs. Mervin._ What can you do?

_Joanna._ Well, thin, I can do any thing at all that ye likes. I washes
beautiful; and me clothes has such a fine blue color on thim, when I
takes thim in, it would do yer sowl good to see thim.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Oh, dear! I don’t like so much bluing in my clothes.

_Joanna._ Faith, thin, I’ll jist lave out the blue a few times, and
they’ll be as fine a yaller as ye wish; any thing to suit ye, ma’am.

_Emma._ Can you do common cooking?

_Joanna._ I niver does any thing common, miss; all I cooks is in the
fust style. I can make Meringo pies that would melt in your mouth,
Charlotte Russians, and Blue Munge, too.

_Emma._ Indeed! you seem quite like an adept in cooking.

_Joanna._ I don’t know what an adipt is; but if you mean I’m a good
cook, I am that. Ye ought to see the fine roast pig I cooked the other
day; sich a handsome baste was niver set before on a gintleman’s table,
I’ll warrant.

_Mrs. Mervin._ You seem to despise common cooking. I have very little
else done in my family. We live quite plainly, and I hardly think you
would suit me.

_Joanna._ Well, now, ma’am, we won’t let the cooking come betwixt us. I
can cook plain, if I like; so, if ye plaze, I’d like to come and try.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Can you bring me a certificate of good character from
the lady who last employed you?

_Joanna._ A stifkit! What’s that, shure?

_Mrs. Mervin._ A paper, stating what character you bear.

_Joanna._ Indade, ma’am, I niver carries my charactercher round in a
dirty piece of paper, that’s liable to be torn up any day. I thinks
more of meself than that.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Very well; I cannot take you, unless you can bring me
such a paper.

_Joanna._ Faith, ye won’t have the chance; and I’m thinkin’ it’ll be a
long time before ye gets suited. Ye’ll find no dacent girl will carry
her charactercher loose in her hand.

                                           [_Exit_ JOANNA.

_Emma._ Another verdant specimen. These interviews grow interesting.
I’m beginning to enjoy them. I wonder who will come next? (_Bell
rings._)

_Mrs. Mervin._ We shall soon see who has given the bell such a gentle
pull.

               _Enter_ ANGELINA SIMPER.

_Angelina._ Are you the lady who manifested her desire to secure an
assistant in her family, by inserting an advertisement in “The Gazette”
of last evening?

_Mrs. Mervin._ Yes; I advertised for a servant-girl. Do you wish such a
situation?

_Angelina._ I might be induced, madam, to accept a position in your
family for a sufficient consideration.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Are you familiar with housework?

_Angelina._ Yes, in a certain way. I am in the habit of idealizing and
etherealizing every thing which I undertake. I think I have discovered
the method of extracting the poetry from housework; and instead of
regarding it as a wearisome drudgery, I make it a grand poem.

_Emma._ I think you must be an inventive genius if you can find any
poetry in washing greasy dishes, or scrubbing kitchen floors.

_Angelina._ Ah, miss, there is poetry in every thing. I revel in it,
morning, noon, and night. Its glorious beams brighten my pathway at
every step of my earthly progress. I have written a volume of sweet
verses; and if they can only be properly brought before the public,
my name will be immortalized, and the poet’s laurels forever crown my
brow. It is to gain a sufficient sum to publish this gem among poetical
works, that I have decided, for a short time, to put in practice my
ideal method of housekeeping.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Can you make bread, and do up shirts?

_Angelina._ Yes: I can insert the rising element in a liquid form into
the snowy flour; or I can use those subtile powders that permeate the
mass of doughy particles, and make them rise in comely proportions.

_Emma._ Indeed! but how about the shirts?

_Angelina._ Well, after bringing them in from their bath in the
sunlight, I immerse them in starch of pearly whiteness, and after
sufficient time has elapsed I press to their bosoms a hot iron. I am
reminded by this that only through fiery trials we can be made to shine
with becoming lustre ourselves.

_Mrs. Mervin._ I think you will have to find some other place in which
to practise your fine ideas of housework. You soar quite too high for
us.

_Angelina._ Adieu; this weary birdling seeks another nest.

                                [_Exit_ ANGELINA.

_Emma._ O, mother! I thought I should burst out laughing in her face.
She is an escaped lunatic, I do believe.

_Mrs. Mervin._ I should think she was. (_Bell rings._) There’s another;
this time an artist, perhaps. I’ll go straight to the office, and have
that advertisement taken out.

               _Enter_ MARY.

_Mary._ Is this Mrs. Mervin who advertised for a girl?

_Mrs. Mervin._ Yes, I am the lady. Do you know of any good girl?

_Mary._ I would like to get a place myself. I have worked in a shop
since I left my home in the country, three years ago; but I find the
confinement doesn’t agree with me, and I had rather do housework.

_Mrs. Mervin._ You understand it, then, I suppose.

_Mary._ Oh, yes! I am next to the oldest in a family of nine children,
and my mother commenced teaching me to do housework almost as soon as
I could go alone. As soon as the sister next me could take my place, I
left home to see if I could earn something to help along. A man like
my father, with a small farm and a large family of children, finds it
rather hard to get along sometimes.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Yes, he must find it hard to feed and clothe so many,
with so little ready money as farmers generally have. You are a dutiful
daughter to endeavor to assist him what you can; but would your parents
approve of your living out in the city?

_Mary._ Yes: ever since my side has ached with such constant sewing,
mother has been urging me to live out; and I should have tried to
get a place long before this, only I dreaded so much to go to an
intelligence-office. When I saw your advertisement, I decided to apply
here immediately.

_Mrs. Mervin._ I am very glad you did, for I should like to engage you
without further delay. How soon can you come?

_Mary._ To-night, if you wish; my week is out at my boarding-place, and
I shouldn’t care to commence another.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Very well, you can come, then, and I will give you three
dollars a week. Will that be satisfactory?

_Mary._ Quite so: that is more than I clear some weeks now; and it will
be such a relief to have done with so much sewing. Good-morning, ma’am.
I’ll be here about five o’clock.

                                                  [_Exit_ MARY.

_Emma._ There, mother, see what has come by advertising in a
respectable paper. I think you have secured a jewel,—so tidy and
civil,—and I know by her looks she knows how to do every thing.

_Mrs. Mervin._ Yes, I am greatly pleased with her appearance; and how
much more sensible in her to do housework than kill herself sewing in
a shop! I hope the time will soon come when a great many more in her
circumstances will go and do likewise.

                                                 _Mrs. S. E. Dawes._



Part II



THE READING-CLUB.



THE DRUMMER’S BETROTHED.


“Douce est la morte qui vient en bien aimant.”

    Our liege lord, the Duc de Bretagne,
      To deadly battle for the king
    Summons sent from Nantes to Mortagne,
    In the plain and on the mountain,
      To warriors of his following.

    Barons they are, whose gleaming arms
      Adorn the moated castle’s crest,
    Proud knights, grown old midst war’s alarms
    Esquires, and footmen with their arms;
      And my betrothed went with the rest.

    He went to Aquitaine, and, though
      Among the drummers he’s enrolled,
    He seemed a captain, marching slow,
    With haughty head, and eyes aglow,
      And doublet glittering with gold.

    Since then nor peace nor rest I know.
      Joining his lot with mine, I’ve cried
    To my St. Brigitte, bending low,
    Watch well his guardian angel, so
      That he shall never leave his side!

    I said to our abbé one night,
      Pray for our soldiers, messire, pray!
    And since he loves to see their light,
    I left three candles burning bright
      Before St. Gildas’ shrine next day.

    And to Our Lady of Lorette
      I promised in my cruel fright
    To wear—and see, I wear it yet—
    A ruff with pilgrim’s cockles set,
      Close hid from curious sight.

    No loving letters has he penned
      While far away where battles rage:
    Though life and love be near their end.
    The vassal has no squire to send,
      The vassal’s sweetheart has no page.

    To-day the duke returns in state,
      With him my love, a soldier tried,
    No longer lowly in estate.
    I lift my head, bowed down of late,
      And my bliss blossoms into pride.

    The duke brings home triumphantly,
      Worn and soiled, the flag that’s floated
    O’er his camp. Come all with me
    To the old gate, the troops to see,
      And the prince and my betrothèd.

    To see the horse, with trappings gay
      Caparisoned, his lord to bear,
    Advance, retreat, with conscious neigh,
    Tossing his head till its array
      Of plumes like flaming torches flare.

    To see—O sisters, why so slow?—
      The drums that lead my hero on,
    The drums that in the sunlight glow,
    That throb beneath his tireless blow
      Till the heart throbs in unison.

    And, best of all, to see his face!
      I worked his cloak with broidery fair:
    He’ll look like one of princely race,
    And with a more than princely grace
      His plumèd helm he’ll wear.

    The impious Egyptian bent
      Close above me last night, hissing,
    (God help us!) “You are confident!
    Drums will sound till the air is rent,
      But one drummer will be missing.”

    But I hope still, so much I’ve prayed!
      Though, with her hand outstretched to where
    Among the tombs her home she made,
    Her snake’s eyes gleaming through the shade,
      She said: “We’ll meet to-morrow there.”

    No more dark fancies! Hear how loud
      The drums beat! Sisters, let us go.
    See how the ladies fair and proud
    The purple-hung pavilions crowd,
      Where banners float and flowers glow.

    The escort comes, by pikemen led,
      Then, not to-day in armor tried,
    In gleaming silken robes instead,
    And velvet-capped each haughty head,
      The barons, under flags flung wide.

    And robèd priests pass, chanting low,
      And heralds, riding milk-white steeds,
    Escutcheons on their corslets show
    Their masters’ rank, won long ago
      By some ancestor’s mighty deeds.

    In Persian mail magnificent,
      Feared of all hell, the Templars ride;
    Then, all in buff, with bows unbent,
    The long array of archers, sent
      From far Lausanne, march side by side.

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

       *       *       *       *       *

    Silent, smiling, she turned her head,
      Scanned the close ranks with eager eye.
    The crowd pressed close; no word she said,
    But fell among them cold and dead—
      The drummers had passed by.
          _By M. Cecile Brown, from the French of Victor Hugo._



JOHN LELAND’S EXAMINATION.


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

“Mr. Moderator, I’ll tell you all I know. It won’t take long,” and down
his head went into his hands again. A smile went around the assembly.

_Moderator._ Mr. Leland, do you believe that God had a people, chosen
and elect before the foundations of the world?

_Leland._ I don’t know what God was doin’ before he made the world.
Don’t know any thin’ about it. I a’n’t a educated man.

_Moderator._ Yes, but you must understand me. You certainly believe
that God had a people chosen and elect from all eternity?

_Leland._ No. I don’t believe that. They couldn’t a’ been our kind o’
folks, anyway; because ours are made out of the dust of the earth, you
know.

_Moderator._ Mr. Leland, we have heard of your Christian life, of
your efficiency and your success, and we are met to ordain you to the
ministry of the gospel. This is a solemn occasion, and you must not
make light of the questions. Now, I want to know if you believe in the
total depravity of mankind?

_Leland._ No, I don’t, if you mean by that that men are as bad as they
can be; for the Devil a’n’t any worse’n that, you know.

_Moderator._ Do you believe in imputed righteousness, and that it is
sufficient to save all who have faith?

_Leland._ I don’t know any righteousness that will save a man who won’t
do right himself.

_Moderator._ Do you believe in the final perseverance of the saints?

_Leland._ I don’t know what that means.

_Moderator._ Well, you believe that all who are converted will be kept,
and not fall away?

_Leland._ Oh, I don’t know how it is down in the settlements, among the
educated; but I tell you up where we live, we have the awfulest cases
of backsliding.

_Moderator._ But, Mr. Leland, you certainly believe that when a man is
converted he will be kept in some way, and finally saved?

_Leland._ I cannot tell much about that, till I am saved myself. Don’t
know any thing about it now.

_Moderator._ You feel that you are called to preach the gospel?

_Leland._ No, I never heard any one call me.

_Moderator._ We do not mean that you heard a voice—any thing said—but
that you are called.

_Leland._ Well, Mr. Moderator, if there wasn’t any voice, or any thing
said, don’t know how there could be any call. Never heard any.

_Moderator._ You believe it is your duty to preach the gospel to all
creatures?

_Leland._ No. I don’t believe it my duty to preach to the Dutch, for
instance. I can’t talk Dutch. If the Lord wanted me to preach to them,
in some way I could talk Dutch; but I can’t, I never tried.

_Moderator._ Mr. Leland, you certainly desire to see all men come to
repentance, and turn to righteousness. Your acts show that. We have
heard of your self-sacrificing spirit, your love for mankind, and all
your good works to win sinners to the gospel and repentance.

_Leland._ Mr. Moderator, I’ll tell you the honest truth. I am a little
ashamed of it; but it is God’s truth just as I tell you. Some days I do
feel that way; and then again, some of them act so bad, I don’t care if
the Devil gets half of them.

After the presbytery had retired to take counsel over the matter, they
returned and announced that while his answers had not been entirely
satisfactory in every respect, nevertheless, in view of his efficiency
in preaching, they had voted to ordain him, which they proceeded to
do in the usual manner. After it was over, Mr. Leland lifted his head
out of his hands, straightened himself up, and stood his full height.
Looking first at the moderator, and then all round him, he said,—

“Brethren, I’ve put you to a heap o’ trouble. I don’t know any thin’
about your doctrines, ’n’ I told you I didn’t. I’ve been doin’ the best
I could, preachin’ the gospel as I found it in the Bible. Now, you
see, I don’t know any thing else. Another thing: when the apostles put
their hands on a man’s head, I read that the man had some power, or
some sense, or some knowledge, that he hadn’t afore. But now, brethren,
honest and true, right out, you’ve all had your hands on me, and I am
just as big a fool as ever I was. But I thank you, nevertheless: I’m
very much obleeged to you.”

And so they let him go.



THE SEPTEMBER GALE.


    I’m not a chicken: I have seen
      Full many a chill September;
    And though I was a youngster then,
      That gale I well remember.
    The day before my kite-string snapped,
      And, I my kite pursuing,
    The wind whisked off my palm-leaf hat;
      For me two storms were brewing!

    It came as quarrels sometimes do,
      When married folks get clashing:
    There was a heavy sigh or two
      Before the fire was flashing;
    A little stir among the clouds
      Before they rent asunder;
    A little rocking of the trees,
      And then came on the thunder.

    Lord! how the ponds and rivers boiled!
      They seemed like bursting craters!
    And oaks lay scattered on the ground
      As if they were p’taters;
    And all above was in a howl,
      And all below a clatter,—
    The earth was like a frying-pan,
      Or some such hissing matter.

    It chanced to be our washing-day,
      And all our things were drying:
    The storm came roaring through the lines,
      And sent them all a-flying;
    I saw the shirts and petticoats
      Go riding off like witches;
    I lost, ah! bitterly I wept,—
      I lost my Sunday breeches!

    I saw them straddling through the air,
      Alas! too late to win them;
    I saw them chase the clouds as if
      The Devil had been in them.
    They were my darlings and my pride,
      My boyhood’s only riches,—
    “Farewell, farewell,” I faintly cried,
      “My breeches! Oh my breeches!”

    That night I saw them in my dreams;
      How changed from what I knew them!
    The dews had steeped their faded threads,
      The wind had whistled through them;
    I saw the wide and ghastly rents
      Where demon claws had torn them;
    A hole was in their amplest part,
      As if an imp had worn them.

    I have had many happy years,
      And tailors kind and clever;
    But those young pantaloons have gone
      Forever, and forever!
    And not till time has cut the last
      Of all my earthly stitches,
    This aching heart shall cease to mourn
      My loved, my long-lost breeches.
                                   _O. W. Holmes_



AT THE RISING OF THE MOON.


    “Oh, then! tell me, Shawn O’Ferrall,
      Tell me why you hurry so?”
    “Hush, ma bouchal, hush and listen;”
      And his cheeks were all aglow.
    “I bear ordhers from the captain:
      Get you ready, quick and soon;
    For the pikes must be together
      At the risin’ of the moon.”

    “Oh, then! tell me, Shawn O’Ferrall,
      Where the gatherin’ is to be?”
    “In the ould spot by the river,
      Right well known to you and me.
    One word more—for signal token,
      Whistle up the marchin’ tune,
    With your pike upon your shoulder
      By the risin’ of the moon.”

    Out from many a mud-wall cabin,
      Eyes were watching through that night:
    Many a manly chest was throbbing
      For the blessed warning light.
    Murmurs passed along the valley,
      Like the banshee’s lonely croon,
    And a thousand blades were flashing,
      At the risin’ of the moon.

    There beside the singing river
      That dark mass of men was seen,
    Far above the shining weapons
      Hung their own beloved green.
    “Death to every foe and traitor!
      Forward, strike the marchin’ tune,
    And hurrah, my boys, for freedom!
      ’Tis the risin’ of the moon.”

    Well, they fought for poor old Ireland,
      And full bitter was their fate.
    (Oh! what glorious pride and sorrow
      Fill the name of Ninety-eight!)
    Yet, thank God, e’en still are beating
      Hearts in manhood’s burning noon,
    Who would follow in their footsteps
      At the risin’ of the moon!
    _Leo Casey._



THE SADDEST SIGHT.


    When a woman her home would decorate,
    She stops not at obstacles small or great;
    But the funniest sight her trials afford
    Is when madam essays to saw a board.

    With her knee on a plank, and the plank on a chair,
    She poises her saw with a knowing air,
    Makes several wild rasps at the pencilled line,
    And is off with a whizz the reverse of fine.

    With lips compressed she gets down to work,
    And crosses the timber jerkity-jerk;
    She can’t keep to the line, her knee slips askew;
    But she keeps to the work till the board splits in two.

    She has damaged the chair, she has ruined the saw,
    Her back is aching, her hands are raw,
    And she finds, when she tries to fit her prize,
    It’s an inch too short of the requisite size.



NEBULOUS PHILOSOPHY.


    She came from Concord’s classic shades, on Reason’s throne she sat,
    And wove intricate arguments to prove, in language pat,
    The Whichness of the Wherefore, and the Thusness of the That.

    She scorned ignoble subjects, each grovelling household care,
    But tuned her lofty soul to prove the Airness of the Air,
    And twisted skeins of logic round the Whatness of the Where.

    To lower natures leaving the dollars, and the sense,
    She soared above the level of commonplace pretence,
    And moulded treatises which prove the Thatness of the Thence.

    Her glorious purpose to reveal the Thinkfulness of the Thought,
    To trace each line by Somewhat on the Somehow’s surface wrought,
    To picture forms of Whynot’s from the Whatnot’s meaning caught;

    To cultivate our spirits with the Whyfore’s classic flow,
    To benefit the Thereness with the Highness of the How,
    To flood the dark with radiance from the Thisness of the Now.

    “What good has she accomplished?” Oh, never doubt her thus!
    It must be useful to reveal the Plusness of the Plus,
    To illustrate with corkscrew words the Whichness of the Us.

    Mock not, poor common mortal, when thoughts like these appear,
    Illumining our labor with the Howness of the Here,
    And blazing like a comet through the Nowness of the Near.

    Some day in Realms Eternal such grand mist-haunted souls,
    Inscribe their words of Whichness on Whereforeantic scrolls,
    In that great world of Muchness which through the Maybe rolls.

    Then shall we each acknowledge the Whyness of the Whence;
    Each understand completely with Sensefulness of Sense,
    The Thusness of the Therefore, the Thatness of the Thence.
                                            _J. Edgar Jones._



AT ARLINGTON.


    The broken column, reared in air,
      To him who made our country great,
    Can almost cast its shadow where
    The victims of a grand despair
      In long, long ranks of death await
    The last loud trump, the judgment sun,
      Which comes for all, and soon or late
    Will come for those at Arlington.

    In that vast sepulchre repose
      The thousands reaped from every fray;
    The men in blue who once uprose
    In battle front to smite their foes—
      The Spartan bands who wore the gray.
    The combat o’er, the death-hug done,
    In summer blaze or winter’s snows,
      They keep the truce at Arlington.

    And, almost lost in myriad graves
      Of those who gained the unequal fight,
    Are mounds that hide Confederate braves,
    Who reck not how the north wind raves,
      In dazzling day or dimmest night.
    O’er those who lost and those who won
      Death holds no parley which was right—
    Jehovah judges Arlington.

    The dead had rest; the dove of peace,
      Brooded o’er both with equal wings;
    To both had come that great surcease,
    The last omnipotent release
      From all the world’s delirious stings,
    To bugle deaf and signal gun
      They slept, like heroes of old Greece,
    Beneath the glebe at Arlington.

    And in the Spring’s benignant reign,
      The sweet May woke her harp of pines,
    Teaching her choir a thrilling strain
    Of jubilee to land and main.
      She danced in emerald down the lines,
    Denying largess bright to none.
      She saw no difference in the signs
    That told who slept at Arlington.

    She gave her grasses and her showers
     To all alike who dreamed in dust;
    Her song-birds wove their dainty bowers
    Amid the jasmine buds and flowers,
     And piped with an impartial trust.
    Waifs of the air and liberal sun!
     Their guileless glees were kind and just
    To friend and foe at Arlington.

    And ’mid the generous spring there came
     Some women of the land who strove
    To make this funeral field of fame
    Glad as the May God’s altar flame
      With rosy wreaths of mutual love.
    Unmindful who had lost or won,
      They scorned the jargon of a name—
    No North, no South, at Arlington.
                                  _James R. Randall._



A LAUGHING PHILOSOPHER.


Admiring my flowers, sir? P’raps you’d step inside the gate, and
walk round my little place? It ain’t big, but there’s plenty of
variety,—violets and cabbages, roses and artichokes. Any one that
didn’t care for flowers ’ud be sure to find beauty in them young spring
onions. People’s ideas differ very much, there ain’t a doubt of it. One
man’s very happy over a glass of whiskey and water, and another thinks
every thing ’ud go straight in this ’ere world if we all drank tea and
lemonade. And it’s right enough: it keeps things even. We should have
the world a very one-sided affair if everybody pulled the same way.
Philosopher, am I? Well, I dunno. I’ve got a theory to be sure—every
one has nowadays; and mine is, that there is a joke to be found in
every mortal thing if only we look in the right place for it. But some
people don’t know how to look for it. Why, sir, if you’ll believe it, I
was talking to a man yesterday that couldn’t see any thing to laugh at
in the naval demonstration.

Am I independent? Well, I makes money by my fruit and vegetables, if
that’s what you mean. But there’s so many ways of being independent.
One man marries a woman with £20,000 a year, and calls that
independence. Another votes on the strongest side, and calls that being
independent. One takes up every new-fangled idea that comes out, and
says he’s independent. Some calls impudence independence. There’s not
a name as fits so many different articles. No! I’ve never bin married.
Somehow, I don’t think married men see the fun in every thing same as
single ones. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to the ladies, but I do
think they enjoy a good cry more than a good laugh. Was I ever in love?
and did I laugh then? Why, yes, never laughed heartier in my life. It’s
a good many years ago now. I was living in lodgings down Clerkenwell
way, and the landlady’s daughter was as pretty a creature as ever
you see, bright and cheery, like a robin, when first I knew her.
But, by and by, she grew pale and peaky,—used to go about the house
without singing, and had such big, sad-looking eyes. Her home wasn’t
a particularly happy one, for her mother was a nagger. Perhaps you’ve
never come across a woman of that pertikler character. Well, then, you
should say double the prayers of ordinary people; for you’ve much to be
thankful for. I never looked at her without feeling that her husband
must have been very happy indeed when he got to heaven. I sometimes
think, sir, that women of this sort might be made use of, and prisons,
and all other kind of punishment, done away with: perhaps, though, the
lunatic asylums ’ud get too full.

Well, I grew to be quite intimate with Bessie; and one evening, I don’t
know how it was, she told me all her troubles. She was engaged to a
young man; and her mother wouldn’t consent to them marrying, and was
always worrying her to break it off. I asked her if there were any
thing against him. Nothing, except that her mother had taken a dislike
to him: he wasn’t very strong, but he was the best, cleverest, dearest
fellow that ever lived. All the time she was talking I felt a gnawing
sort of pain somewhere in my inside. First, I thought I must be hungry;
but, when I came to eat, all my food seemed to get in my throat, and
stick there. This won’t do, old fellow, thinks I: there must be a joke
to be got out of it somewhere. So I set to consider; and there, clear
enough, it was. Why, the joke ’ud be to let Bessie marry her young man,
and see the pretty cheeks grow round and pink again. But how to do it,
there was the rub. I began to cultivate the old lady’s society with a
view to finding out her weak point: for, being a woman, of course she
had a weak point; and, being a very ugly woman, what do you think it
was? Why, vanity, to be sure. I soon noticed a change in her. She took
her hair out of paper every day, instead of only on Sundays, as she
had been used to do; and she put on a clean cap sometimes, and smirked
whenever I passed her. Why, here’s a bigger joke than I bargained for,
thinks I! While I’ve been studying the woman to find out her weak
point, she thinks I’ve been admiring her. But I soon saw what use
I could make of this. I went down into the kitchen when she wasn’t
busy,—I knew it would be rather too hot other times,—and I got
talking about Bessie. “It’s strange,” I says, “that a fine-looking girl
like that shouldn’t have a sweetheart. Things was different when you
was younger, I’ll be bound.”

“As for that,” says she, “Bessie has a sweetheart; but I don’t approve
of him. He’s not exactly the sort of man I expected for her.”

“But, lor’,” I says, “you wouldn’t go and keep that girl single! Think
what harm you may do yourself. You can’t be so cruel as to give up
all idea of marrying agin! Why, you don’t look forty.” That wasn’t
an untruth, for she looked fifty. She tossed her head, and told me
to go along. I didn’t go along. I says, “There’s no doubt lots of
young fellows ’ud be glad enough of a good-looking wife like you, but
mightn’t care for a daughter as old as Miss Bessie.” This seemed to
strike her very much. I followed it up, got talking to her day after
day, and always led the conversation to the same point. At last one day
when I came home from work, she says, “It’s all settled. Bessie’s going
to be married, and her Tom’s coming here this evening.” Then I went up
to my own room, and laughed till I cried. Presently I heard the little
girl run up-stairs as she hadn’t run for many a long day, and I knew
she’d gone to put on a smart ribbon for Tom’s sake. She tapped at my
door as she passed. Would I come down? somebody was there, and wanted
to know me. I called out that I was busy, and couldn’t come; and she
went away. But after about an hour she came again. I was sitting in the
dark, thinking of a good many things; and before I had time to speak
she was down on her knees beside me, and hiding her face.

“You told me you were busy,” she said; “and here you are all in the
dark and cold, and I can’t bear any one to be dull or lonely to-night,
because I’m so very, very happy. And I know it’s all through you.
Mother would never have given in of her own accord. You’ve always been
my friend when I wanted one very badly; and now you must be angry with
me, or you wouldn’t stay away to-night. And you won’t even speak to me.
Oh, whatever I’ve done to vex you, don’t think of it any more!”

She nestled up to me so close that her hair touched my coat-sleeve, and
her pretty eyes looked up all swimming with tears. I ground my teeth,
and clinched my hands, or—or I don’t know what I mightn’t ha’ done.
You see the joke of this, sir, don’t you? Here was the girl crying, and
asking me to forgive her, and like her a little; and there was I—not
disliking her a bit all the time. Ha, ha, ha! I had a hearty laugh at
her, and hurried with her down-stairs, and was introduced to Tom, and
I talked to the old lady, and drank the young people’s health, and was
as happy as possible. And on the wedding-day I gave her away as if I
had been her father; and I sang a song and danced: and, when the time
came for Bessie to go away with her husband, I dried her eyes; for at
the last moment the tender-hearted little thing broke down, and cried,
and kissed us all, and asked her mother not to feel angry with her for
leaving her all alone; and then the mother cried, and what with having
so many eyes to wipe, I found myself wiping my own just as if it all
weren’t a tremendous joke.

How have they got on since? ’Bout as well as most people, I suppose;
she loves him, and takes care of him. And the mother’s softened down
a bit since she’s bin a grandmother. And as to my godson, there
never was such a boy. I have him with me as much as possible, and he’s
beginning to see the joke of every thing almost as much as I do myself.
And when I die, all this little place’ll belong to him, and he’ll be a
rich man: so my death’ll be the biggest joke of all, you see, sir.



THE SONG OF THE DRUM.


                  Dr-r-rum! Dr-r-rum!
                  Dr-r-rum! Drum! Drum!
  With a rap, and a tap, and a rolling beat,
  And a sound on the ground of the tramp of feet,
              Keeping step they come,
              With the sound of the drum,
              With the rolling and the beating of the drum.

  And away fly the people as if driven for their lives!
  Scudding out as if possessed from their daily human hives,
      With a flurry,
                    And a scurry,
                                In a most outrageous hurry,
      Out of counting house and office,
                      Out of store and room and shop,
      Don’t ask them any questions,
                        For they haven’t time to stop,
                        Till they meet in the street,
                        Touching shoulders, crushing feet,
      Millionnaire and humble tradesman, and the man who toils for
          bread,
      And up in one direction turned is every eager head.

                                Hear the crowd
                                Cry aloud!
                        What a mixed and motley set!
                                And anon
                                Running on
                        While the drum is distant yet,
                        Making every one forget
    Any business on which the mind is set.

                Oh, the drum is full of life!
                And its stirring sound is rife
    With an inspiration wonderful to break the listless mood
                Of the indolent, and all,
                When its martial echoes fall,
    Like the touch of sudden fire to excite the sluggish blood.
                And this is the song,
                As the soldiers march along,
                Head erect—keeping time
                To the rolling and the rhyme
    Of the quick reiteration of the drummers hollow chime.

                        “Fame is eternal—glories supernal,
                        Heroes the wreaths shall share,
                        Victors the crowns shall wear.
                                  March on!
                                Brave and true,
                                  Steady, on!
                                Dare and do;
                On to the contest whose struggle elates you!
                On for the conflict where duty awaits you!
                      There is the foe—advance and attack!
                      Drive every enemy—back—back—BACK!
                Who cares for pain or for danger or woe?
                Here are our colors—and there is the foe!”

    And so begins the fight,
                            (God knows how it may end!)
    But we strive for the right,
                            (May God the right defend!)
                For country and for home,
                For freedom and for truth,
    And freely to that cause we give the sturdy strength of youth,
    And freely in that cause we shed the blood that makes it strong,
    While we march to death and glory to the drum’s inspiring song.

       *       *       *       *       *

                      Again, all is still.
                      On the side of the hill
          Lies silent the camp in the shadow of night,
                    The soldiers are sleeping;
          The sentinel walks in the moon’s silver light,
                    His silent watch keeping.
          Hark! What is that? ’tis a step. “Who goes there?”
          No answer—black forms swiftly darken the air!
          The enemy comes! awake! AWAKE!
          How terrible are the alarms that break
          On the ear of the sleeper, and call him for war!

        Hear the roll—hear the call—hear the hurried command,
        Not a breath—still as death—the regiments stand.
            Forward! Advance and attack! Where? There!
            See the dark forms through the dew-laden air!
            Cannons roar—bullets pour—squadrons march,
            Battalions—companies—regiments, charge!
      And all the red front of the terrible fight
      Glows like the conflict of demons at night.

              Still, hearts are but human,
                        Man, born of woman,
        Seeing his brother fall, all his flesh creeps,
        Seeing unheeded fresh wounds all bleeding,
        Sick of the sight of war, shudders and weeps.

                And the soldier sheds tears
                        On the face of his foe.
                And the drummer is dumb
                        In the sight of that woe.

              Now when the hero lies silent in death,
                  The end having come,
              Shorn of its echoing glory, what saith
                  The dull muffled drum?

                         “Soldier sleep—
                         Drum—drum!
                         Soldier, rest—
                         Drum—drum!
    In the breast of the earth whence we come,
                           We come!
                         All your toil
                           Is done,
                         And the fight
                           Is won.
              Soldier, sleep—Soldier, rest!” says the drum,
                          “Drum—drum!”

    And this is the song, as we march along,
    That the hollow drum sings to the gathering throng;
    With the rap, and the tap, and the rolling beat,
    With the sound on the ground of the tramp of feet,
              Keeping step they come,
              With the sounding drum,
    With the rolling and the beating of the drum.
                                              _I. E. Diekenga_



THE BRAVEST BOY IN TOWN.


    He lived in the Cumberland Valley,
      And his name was Jamie Brown;
    But it changed one day, so the neighbors say,
      To the “Bravest Boy in Town.”

    ’Twas the time when the Southern soldiers,
      Under Early’s mad command,
    O’er the border made their dashing raid
      From the north of Maryland;

    And Chambersburg, unransomed,
      In smouldering ruins slept;
    While up the vale, like a fiery gale,
      The rebel raiders swept.

    And a squad of gray-clad horsemen
      Came thundering o’er the bridge,
    Where peaceful cows in the meadows browse
      At the foot of the great Blue Ridge;

    And on till they reached the village
      That fair in the valley lay,
    Defenceless then—for its loyal men
      At the front were far away.

    “Pillage and spoil and plunder!”
      This was the fearful word
    That the Widow Brown, in gazing down
      From her latticed window, heard.

    ’Neath the boughs of the sheltering oak-tree
      The leader bared his head,
    As left and right, until out of sight,
      His dusty gray-coats sped.

    Then he called “Halloo, within there!”
      A gentle, fair-haired dame
    Across the floor to the open door
      In gracious answer came.

    “Here, stable my horse, you woman!”
      The soldier’s tones were rude;
    “Then bestir yourself, and from yonder shelf
      Set out your store of food!”

    For her guest she spread the table;
      She motioned him to his place
    With a gesture proud; then the widow bowed,
      And gently asked a grace.

    “‘If thine enemy hunger, feed him!’
      I obey, dear Christ,” she said.
    A creeping blush, with its scarlet flush,
      O’er the face of the soldier spread.

    He rose. “You have said it, madame!
      Standing within your doors
    Is the rebel foe; but as forth they go
      They shall trouble not you nor yours!”

    Alas for the word of the leader!
      Alas for the soldier’s vow!
    When the captain’s men rode down the glen,
      They drove the widow’s cow.

    It was then the fearless Jamie
      Sprang up with flashing eyes,
    And in spite of tears and his mother’s fears,
      On the gray mare off he flies.

    Like a wild young Tam O’Shanter
      He plunged with piercing whoop,
    O’er field and brook, till he overtook
      The straggling rebel troop,—

    Laden with spoil and plunder,
      And laughing and shouting still.
    As with cattle and sheep they lazily creep
      Through the dust o’er the winding hill.

    “Oh the coward crowd!” cried Jamie.
      “There’s Brindle! I’ll teach them now!”
    And with headlong stride, at the captain’s side,
      He called for his mother’s cow.

    “Who are _you_, and who is your mother?
      I promised she should not miss?
    Well! upon my word, have I never heard
      Of assurance like to this!”

    “Is your word the word of a soldier?”
      And the young lad faced his foes,
    As a jeering laugh, in anger half
      And half in sport, arose.

    But the captain drew his sabre,
      And spoke with lowering brow,—
    “Fall back into line! The joke is mine!
      Surrender the widow’s cow!”

    And a capital joke they thought it,
      That a barefoot lad of ten
    Should demand his due—and get it too—
      In the face of forty men.

    And the rollicking rebel raiders
      Forgot themselves somehow,
    And three cheers gave for the hero brave,
      And three for the brindle cow.

    He lived in the Cumberland Valley,
      And his name _was_ Jamie Brown;
    But it changed that day, so the neighbors say,
      To the “Bravest Boy in Town.”
            _Emma Huntington Nason, in “Wide Awake.”_



BRER RABBIT AND THE BUTTER.


“De anemules an’ de beastesses,” said Uncle Remus, shaking his coffee
around in the bottom of his tin cup, in order to gather up all the
sugar, “dey kep’ on gettin’ mo’ and mo’ familious wid wunner nudder,
twel bimeby, ’twant long ’fo’ Brer Rabbit, en Brer Fox, en Brer Possum
got ter sorter bunchin’ der perwishions tergedder in de same house.
Arter while de roof sorter ’gun ter leak, en one day Brer Rabbit, en
Brer Fox, en Brer Possum ’semble fer ter see ef dey couldn’t kinder
patch her up. Dey had a big day’s wuk in front un um, en den dey fotch
der dinner wid um. Dey lumped de vittles up in one pile, en de butter
w’at Brer Fox brung dey goes en puts in de spring-house fer ter keep
cool, en den dey wen’ ter wuk, en ’twan’t long ’fo’ Brer Rabbit’s
stummuck ’gun ter sorter growl en pester ’im. Dat butter of Brer Fox’s
sot heavy on his mine, en his mouf water eve’y time he ’member ’bout
it. Presen’ly he say ter hisself dat he bleedzd ter have a nip at dat
butter, en den he lay his plans, he did. Fus news you know, w’ile dey
was all wukkin’ ’long, Brer Rabbit raise his head quick en fling his
years forred en holler out,—

“‘Here I is. W’at you want wid me?’ en off he went like sump’n wuz
arter ’im.

“He sailed ’roun’, old Brer Rabbit did, en arter he make sho dat nobody
ain’t foller’n ’im, inter de spring-’ouse he bounces, en dar he stays
twel he git a bait er butter. Den he santer on back en go to wuk.

“‘Whar you bin?’ sez Brer Fox, sezee.

“‘I hear my chilluns callin’ me,’ says Brer Rabbit, sezee, ’en I hatter
go see w’at dey want. My ole ’oman done gone en tuck mighty sick,’
sezee.

“Dey wuk on twel bimeby de butter tas’e so good dat ole Brer Rabbit
want some mo’. Den he raise up his head, he did, en holler out,—

“‘Heyo! Wait! I’m a comin’!’ en off he put.

“Dis time he stay right smart while, en w’en he git back Brer Fox ax
him whar he bin.

“‘I bin ter see my ole ’oman, en she’s a sinkin’,’ sezee.

“Dreckly Brer Rabbit hear um callin’ ’im ag’in, en off he goes, en
dis time, bless yo’ soul, he gets de butter out so clear dat he kin
see hisse’f in de bottom er de bucket. He scrape it clean en lick it
dry, en den he go back ter wuk lookin’ mo’ samer den a nigger w’at de
patter-rollers bin had holt up.

“‘How’s yo’ ole ’oman dis time?’ sez Brer Fox, sezee.

“‘I’m oblije ter you, Brer Fox,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘but I’m
fear’d she’s done gone by, now,’ en dat sorter make Brer Fox en Brer
Possum feel in moanin’ wid Brer Rabbit.

“Bimeby, w’en dinner-time come, dey all got out der vittles, but Brer
Rabbit keep on lookin’ lonesome, en Brer Fox and Brer Possum, dey
sorter rustle ’roun’ for ter see ef dey can’t make Brer Rabbit feel
sorter splimmy.”

“What is that, Uncle Remus?” asked the little boy.

“Sorter splannny, honey—sorter like he’s in a crowd—sorter like his
ole ’oman ain’t dead ez she mout be. You know how fokes duz w’en dey
gits whar people’s a moanin’.”

The little boy didn’t know, fortunately for him, and Uncle Remus went
on,—

“Brer Fox and Brer Possum rustle roun’, dey did, gittin’ out de
vittles, en bimeby Brer Fox say, sezee,—

“‘Brer Possum, you run down to de spring en fetch de butter, en I’ll
sail ’roun’ yer en set de table,’ sezee.

“Brer Possum he lope off arter de butter, en dreckly here he comes
lopin’ back, wid his years a trimblin’, en his tongue a hangin’ out.
Brer Fox, he holler out,—

“‘W’at de matter now, Brer Possum?’ sezee.

“‘You all better run yer, fokes,’ sez Brer Possum, sezee. ‘De las’ drap
er dat butter done gone.’

“‘Whar she gone?’ sez Brer Fox, sezee.

“‘Look like she dried up,’ sez Brer Possum, sezee.

“Den Brer Rabbit he look sorter wise, he did, en he up’n say, sezee,—


“‘I speck dat butter melt in somebody’s mouf,’ sezee.

“Den dey went down ter de spring wid Brer Possum, en sho ’nuff de
butter wuz gone. W’ile dey was sputin’ over der wunderment, Brer Rabbit
say he see tracks all ’roun’ dar, en he p’int out dat ef dey’ll all
go ter sleep, he kin ketch de chap w’at stole de butter. Den dey all
lie down, en Brer Fox en Brer Possum dey soon drapt off ter sleep; but
Brer Rabbit he stay ’wake, en w’en de time come, he raise up easy en
smear Brer Possum’s mouf wid de butter on his paws, en den he run off
en nibble up de bes’ er de dinner w’at dey lef’ layin’ out, en den he
come back en wake up Brer Fox, en show ’im de butter on Brer Possum’s
mouf. Den dey wake Brer Possum up, en tell ’im about it; but c’ose Brer
Possum ’ny it to de las’. Brer Fox, dough, he’s a kinder lawyer, en he
argafy dis way,—dat Brer Possum wuz de fus one at de butter, en de fus
one fer ter miss it, en, mo’n dat, dar hung de signs on his mouf. Brer
Possum see dat dey got ’im jammed up in a cornder, en den he up en say
dat de way fer ter ketch de man w’at stole de butter is ter bil’ a big
bresh-heap en set her afier, en all hands try ter jump over, en de one
w’at fall in, den he de chap w’at stole de butter. Brer Rabbit and Brer
Fox dey bofe ’gree, dey did; en dey whirl in en b’il’ de bresh-heap, en
dey b’il’ her high, en dey b’il’ her wide, en den dey totch her off.
W’en she got ter blazin’ up good, Brer Rabbit he tuck de fus turn. He
sorter step back, look ’roun’ en giggle, en over he went mo’ samer
den a bird fly in’. Den come Brer Fox. He got back little fudder,
en spit on his han’s, en den lit out en made de jump, en he come so
nigh gettin’ in dat de een’ er his tail kotch afier. Ain’t you never
see no fox, honey?” inquired Uncle Remus in a tone that implied both
conciliation and information.

The little boy thought probably he had, but he wouldn’t commit himself.

“Well, den,” continued the old man, “nex’ time you see one un um, you
look right close en see ef de een’ er his tail ain’t white. Hit’s des
like I tell you. Dey b’ars de skyar er dat bresh-heap down ter dis day.
Dey er marked—dat’s w’at dey is—dey er marked.”

“And what about Brother Possum?” asked the boy.

“Old Brer Possum, he tuck a runnin’ start, he did, en he come lumberin’
’long, en he hit—ker blam!—right in de middle er de fier, en dat waz
de las’ er old Brer Possum.”

“But, Uncle Remus, Brother Possum didn’t steal the butter after all,”
said the little boy, who was not at all satisfied with such summary
injustice.

“Dat w’at make I say w’at I duz, honey. In dis worrul, lots er folks is
gotter souffer fer udder folkes’ sins. Look like hit’s mighty on wrong;
but hit’s des dat a way. Tribbalashun seem like she’s a waitin’ roun’
de cornder fer ter ketch one en all un us, honey.”

                                                        _Harris._



THE LOVES OF A LIFE.


Love! Love is the flight of the soul towards God, towards the great,
the sublime, and the beautiful, which are the shadow of God upon earth.
Love your family, the partner of your life, those around you ready to
share your joys and sorrows, the dead who were dear to you, and to
whom you were dear. But let your love be the love taught you by Dante
and by us,—the love of souls that aspire together, and do not grovel
on the earth in search of a felicity which is not the destiny of the
creature here to reach; do not yield to a delusion which inevitably
would degrade you into egotism. To love, is to promise, and to receive
a promise for the future. God has given us love, that the weary soul
may give and receive support upon the way of life. It is a flower which
springs up on the path of duty, but which cannot change its course.
Purify, strengthen, and improve yourselves by loving. Ever act—even
at the price of increasing her earthly trials—so that the sister soul
united to your own may never need, here or elsewhere, to blush through
you or for you. The time will come when from the height of a new life,
embracing the whole past and comprehending its secret, you will smile
together at the sorrows you have endured, the trials you have overcome.

Love your country. Your country is the land where your parents sleep,
where is spoken that language in which the chosen of your heart,
blushing, whispered the first word of love; it is the house that God
has given you, that, by striving to perfect yourselves therein, you
may prepare to ascend to him. It is your name, your glory, your sign
among the peoples. Give to it your thought, your counsel, your blood.
Raise it up, great and beautiful, as foretold by our great men. And
see that you leave it uncontaminated by any trace of falsehood, or of
servitude, unprofaned by dismemberment. Let it be one, as the thought
of God. You are twenty-four millions of men, endowed with active,
splendid faculties, with a tradition of glory the envy of the nations
of Europe; an immense future is before you, your eyes are raised to the
loveliest heaven, and around you smiles the loveliest land in Europe;
you are encircled by the Alps and the sea, boundaries marked out by
the finger of God for a people of giants. And you must be such, or
nothing. Let not a man of that twenty-four millions remain excluded
from the fraternal bond which shall join you together; let not a look
be raised to that heaven, which is not that of a free man. Let Rome
be the ark of your redemption, the temple of your nation. Has she not
twice been the temple of the destinies of Europe? In Rome two extinct
worlds, the Pagan and the Papal, meet each other like the double jewels
of a diadem; and you must draw from thence a third world, greater than
the other two. From Rome, the Holy City, the City of Love (_Amor_),
the purest and wisest among you, elected by the vote, and strengthened
by the inspiration, of a whole people, shall give forth the pact that
shall unite us in one, and represent us in the future alliance of the
peoples. Until then you have no country, or you have it contaminated.

Love humanity. You can only ascertain your own mission from the aim
placed by God before humanity at large. God has given you your country
as cradle, humanity as mother, and you can only love your brethren of
the cradle in loving your common mother. Beyond the Alps, beyond the
sea, are other peoples, now fighting, or preparing to fight, the holy
fight of independence, of nationality, of liberty: other peoples
striving by different routes to reach the same goal,—improvement,
association, and the foundation of an authority which shall put an end
to moral anarchy, and link again earth to heaven, and which mankind
may love and obey without remorse or shame. Unite with them, they will
unite with you. Do not invoke their aid where your single arm can
suffice to conquer; but say to them, that the hour will shortly sound
for a terrible struggle between right and blind force, and that in that
hour you will ever be found with those who have raised the same banner
as yourselves.

And love, young men, love and reverence above every thing the ideal.
The ideal is the word of God, superior to every country, superior to
humanity; it is the country of the spirit, the city of the soul, in
which all are brethren who believe in the inviolability of thought,
and in the dignity of our immortal soul; and the baptism of this
fraternity is martyrdom. From that high sphere spring the _principles_
which alone can redeem the peoples. Arise for them! and not from
impatience of suffering, or dread of evil. Anger, pride, ambition, and
the desire of material prosperity are arms common to the peoples and
their oppressors; and, even should you conquer with them to-day, you
will fall again to-morrow: but principles belong to the peoples alone,
and their oppressors can find no arms to oppose them. Adore enthusiasm.
Worship the dreams of the virgin soul, and the visions of early youth,
for they are the perfume of paradise, which the soul preserves in
issuing from the hands of its Creator. Respect above all things your
conscience; have upon your lips the truth that God has placed in your
hearts, and, while working together in harmony in all that tends to the
emancipation of our soil, even with those who differ from you, yet ever
bear erect your own banner, and boldly promulgate your faith.

                                                        _Mazzini_



THE PRISONER.


    Closed in by four gray walls,
      Grim, and grimy, and hard!
    One only break in the slimy dark,
      A window, iron-barred!

    Quivering on tiptoe there,
      I spy at the world without,
    And wearily scan that blue sea-bay,
      Where the white sails glide about.
    I gaze, till my hot eyes ache
      With the changeful, flashing light:
    That billowy blue, so _terribly_ blue;
      That white, so _intensely_ white!
    And I step from my trembling hold
      Down on the loathsome floor;
    Then bruised, half-blinded, and sick,
      I climb, and gaze once more.

    Out of this fearful dun-light,—
      Darkness “made visible,”—
    I gaze on the summer sunlight
      Which never visits my cell,—
    Out on yon summer-glory
      Flooding the golden sand;
    And I sigh for the distant freedom:
      I weep for my far-off land!

    So I cling to the bars, and wonder
      If my lot will ever be
    To float in that skifflet yonder,
      Home o’er that tempting sea.

    Oh! I loathe the foreign banner,
      With its fluttering, flaunting brag;
    And my soul is sad and weary,
      Heart-sick for the dear old flag!
    Oh! could I loose from her moorings,
      Could I reach yon tiny boat,
    With what glad, wild heart-boundings.
      Away, away I’d float!

    But the sunbeams lie still and burning,
      On ocean and on land,
    While scarce by one breezy flutter
      Is my burning forehead fanned.

    ’Tis maddening!—this awful still,
      Round me in my hollow stone!
    Though yonder the glad notes thrill,
      I hear not, I hear not one!
    But out of my terrible silence,
      I can _see_ these voices yonder,
    While over my tugging heart-strings
      Creep echoes, dearer, fonder.

        I ache for liberty,
        Over the far blue sea,
    O’er the blue sea so wide!
    And I hear the angels singing,
        “Keeping time,
        In silver rhyme”
    With that boat so slowly swinging,
    On the restless, heaving tide.
        Ripple, dipple,
        Plashing, dashing,
    The wavelets sleepily lap the shore;
        Lazily, hazily;
        Drearily, wearily,
    I cling here, listening o’er and o’er—

    To the sobbing oozing gurgle
        Slushing underneath the keel,
    And the restless, dipping murmur
    Which I cannot know by the outward ear,
    The tide is too far for me to hear,
    But deep in my soul I _feel_.

    And I see yon boat so slowly swinging:
    I hear the far-off home-bells ringing,
          Ringing through my heart!
    Sweet bells of home, I _must_ be free:
    Yon skiff shall bear me o’er the sea,
          If but these stanchions part!

    Then will I dare the tempest’s wrath,
    While seeking out the homeward path,
        For liberty’s dear sake;
    And my frail bark shall boldly drift,
    Where mightier ships have passed, and left
        Lines of snow-foam in their wake.

    Ha! the iron bars are loosening!
        So! gently on the floor!
    I am mad for yon shifting sea,
    Frantic I’ll spring to liberty!
        Now! there goes one bar more!

    Another! And now I’m free! I’m free!
    Wide is my path to liberty;
        For a sailor’s foot and hand
    Make light of castle-wall,
    In its rugged fall
        To the golden strand.

    Down! down! down!
    Beneath the castle’s frown!
        Surely, I fell!
    For blood is flowing, and wounds are wide:
    I know it, I know it, ’tis life’s full tide,
        In crimson swell!
    The boat is empty, I lie on the sand,
    Far from those bells of my own dear land!
    I am dying, alone, but free!
    Out in God’s glorious sun and light,
    Loyal in heart, and true in hand,
    To the royal flag of my native land!
        Dying, BUT FREE,
        By the solemn sea!
    Mother, good-night!



THE OLD CANTEEN.


    Send it up to the garret? Well, no, what’s the harm,
    If it hangs like a horseshoe to serve as a charm?
    Had its day? to be sure. Matches ill with things here!
    Shall I sack the old friend just because it is queer?
    Thing of beauty ’tis not; but a joy none the less,
    As my hot lips remember its old-time caress,
    And I think on the solace once gurgling between
    My lips from that old battered tin canteen.

    It has hung by my side in the long, weary tramp;
    Been my friend in the bivouac, barracks, and camp,
    In the triumph, the capture, advance, and retreat,
    More than light to my path, more than guide to my feet.
    Sweeter nectar ne’er flowed, howe’er sparkling and cold,
    From out chalice of silver or goblet of gold,
    For a king or emperor, princess or queen,
    Than to me, from the mouth of that old canteen.

    It has cheered the desponding on many a night,
    Till their laughing eyes gleamed in the camp’s fire-light;
    Whether guns stood at silence, or boomed at short range,
    It was always on duty, though ’twould not be strange
    If in somnolent periods, just after “taps,”
    Some colonel or captain disturbed at his naps
    May have felt a suspicion—that spirits unseen
    Had somehow bedeviled that old canteen.

    But I think on the time when in lulls of the strife
    It has called the far look in dim eyes back to life,
    Helped to stanch the quick blood beginning to pour,
    Softened broad, gaping wounds that were stiffened and sore,
    Moistened thin, livid lips, so despairing of breath,
    They could only speak thanks in the quiver of death.
    If an angel of mercy ever hovered between
    This world and the next, ’twas that old canteen.

    Then banish it not, as a profitless thing;
    Were it hung in a palace, it well might swing,
    To tell in its mute, allegorical way
    How the citizen volunteer won the day.
    How he bravely, unflinchingly, grandly won,
    And how, when the death-dealing work was done,
    ’Twas as easy his passion from war to wean
    As his mouth from the lips of the old canteen.

    By and by, when all hate for the rage with the Bars,
    Is forgotten in love for the “Stripes and the Stars,”
    When Columbia rules every thing solid and sole
    From her one ship-canal to the ice at the pole,
    When the Grand-Army men have obeyed the last call,
    And the Mayflowers and violets bloom for us all,
    Then, away in some garret, the cobwebs may screen
    My battered, old, cloth-covered tin canteen.



AUNT SOPHRONIA TABOR AT THE OPERA.


“So this is the uproar? Well, isn’t this a monster big building?
And that chantieleer! It’s got a thousand candles if it has one. It
must have taken a sight of tallow to have run them all!”—“They are
make-believe candles, aunt, with little jets of gas inside to give the
effect of real ones.”—“I want to know! Well, I only wish that your
uncle Peleg was here. You’re sure, Louisa, that this is a perfectly
proper place?”—“Why, aunt, you don’t suppose that papa would consent
to our attending the opera if it were other than a perfectly proper
place, do you?”—“No, no, dear; I suppose not. But somehow you city
folks look upon such things differently from what we do who live in the
country. Dear suz! Louisa, do look way up there in the tiptop of the
house! Did you ever see such a sight of people? Why, excursion-trains
must have run from all over the State. Massy, child! There’s a woman
forgot her bonnet! Do just nudge her, Louisa, and tell her of it. My
Eliza Ann cut just such a caper as that one Sunday last summer,—got
clean into the meeting-house, and half way down the middle aisle,
before she discovered it, and the whole congregation a-giggling and
a-tittering. Your cousin Woodman Harrison shook the whole pew; and
I don’t know but what he’d ’a’ hawhawed right out in meeting if his
father hadn’t ’a’ given him one of his looks. As ’twas, I was afeard
he’d bust a blood-vessel. Just speak to that poor creature, Louisa.
She’ll feel awfully cut up when she finds it out, and ’tis a Christian
duty to tell her.”—“Why, aunt, don’t you know that she is in full
dress, and left her bonnet at home intentionally? See how beautifully
her hair is arranged. You don’t suppose she wanted to cover up all that
elegance, do you?”—“Come bareheaded a-purpose! Well, I do declare!
But, Louisa, where’s the horse-chestnut?”—“The horse-chestnut,
aunt?”—“Yes, child; you said something or other about a horse-chestnut
playing a voluntary or something of that sort.”—“Oh, the orchestra!
Yes, I remember. Don’t you see those gentlemen in front of the
stage?”—“Them men with the fiddles and the bass-viols?”—“Yes. Well,
they compose the orchestra, and the orchestral part of this opera is
particularly fine.”—“I want to know! Belong to the first families, I
suppose. They are an uncommon good-looking set of men. Is Mrs. Patte a
furrener?”—“Yes; she’s a mixture of Spanish and Italian. She was born
in Madrid, but came to the United States when only five years of age,
and remained here until she was nearly seventeen. There, aunt; there’s
the bell, and the curtain will rise in a minute. Yes; see, there it
goes.”—“Louisa!”—“Sh—! listen. I want you to hear Signor Monti. He
is considered a very fine bass.”—“But, Louisa, oughtn’t we to stand
up during prayer-time?”—“You forget, aunt, that this is only a play,
and not a temple.”—“Dear suz! I only wish your uncle Peleg was here.
Somehow it seems kinder unchristian to be play-acting worship.”—“Why,
aunt, there’s no need of your feeling so conscience-stricken. Lots
of church-people come to the opera. It isn’t like the theatre, you
know. It’s more—more—er—well, I can’t just express it, aunt. But,
anyway, people who discountenance the theatre, especially during Lent,
approve of the opera.”—“But, Louisa, what is the matter? La sakes,
child! let’s get out as spry as ever we can! The theatre is all on
fire. Hurry, Louisa! Wish that your uncle Peleg”—“Sh—aunt; do sit
down. It isn’t a fire. It’s only the people applauding because Patti
is on the stage. Don’t you see her?”—“Sakes alive! Is that it? I
thought we was all afire, or Wiggin’s flood had come. So that is Mrs.
Patte. Well, I declare for it! she’s as spry as a cricket, and no
mistake. Why, Louisa, how old is she? She looks scarcely out of her
teens.”—“Oh, aunt, you must not be so practical, and ask such personal
questions. Ladies don’t always want their ages known; but, between
ourselves, she’s over forty.”—“Is it possible? There, they’re at it
again. What is the matter now?”—“Why, Scalchi has appeared. Don’t you
see?”—“What, that dapper little fellow a-bowing and a-scraping and
a-smirking! Is that Mr. Scalchi?”—“That’s Madame Scalchi, aunt; and
she’s taking the part of Arsaces, the commander of the Assyrian army,
you know.”—“Louisa, are you sure that this is a perfectly proper
place? I only wish Peleg was here, for then I shouldn’t feel so sort
a-skerry like and guilty.”—“Now, aunt, we mustn’t speak another word
till the opera is through, because we disturb the people.”—“I suppose
we do; but, whenever any thing happens, you nudge me, and I’ll nudge
you; or we can squeeze hands,—that’s the way Peleg and I do when we go
to the lyceum. It’s sorter social, and everybody can hear just as
well.” Soon outrang the glorious voice. “Bravo! bravo! bravo!”
echoed from all parts of the house “Hooray!”—“Why, Aunt Tabor! sit
down.”—“If Peleg were only here! Hip, hip”—“Aunt, in pity’s name
keep still! Don’t get so excited.”—“Well, I never! The sweat’s just
a-rolling off me, and I am as weak as a rag-baby. I wish I had my
turkey-tail. This mite of a fan of yours don’t give wind enough to cool
a mouse.”—“Now, aunt, do keep quiet. You’ll hear better, and won’t
get so warm.”—“Well, dear, I suppose you are right. But didn’t that
sound like an angel-choir?”—“’Twas certainly very fine. One thing is
sure: you’ve heard Patti at her best.”—“I’m so glad I came; and if
Peleg was only along! But, there, I hain’t going to speak again till
the uproar is over.” And so the opera went on, when, suddenly: “Louisa
Allen, what are them half-nude statutes a-standing up in the back
there? Don’t they realize that the whole congregation can see them?
and haven’t they any modesty?”—“Why, aunt, that’s the ballet.”—“The
what?”—“The ballet, aunt. Look, look! there they come. Isn’t that the
very poetry of”—“Louisa Sophronia Tabor Allen, just you pick up your
regimentals, and follow me; and that quick, too.”—“But, auntie”—“You
needn’t auntie me. Just get your duds together, and we’ll travel. Thank
goodness your uncle Peleg Josiah Tabor is not here! Don’t let me see
you give as much as a glance to where those graceless nudities are,
or, big as you are, I’ll box your ears.”—“Why, aunt”—“Louisa, I only
wish I had my thickest veil, for I am positively ashamed to be caught
in this unchristian scrape. Come, and don’t raise your eyes. There,
thank goodness, we’re in pure air at last!”—“Why, aunt, I thought
you were enjoying the opera!”—“The uproar, Louisa? I have nothing to
say agin the uproar. Them voices would grace a celestial choir. This
I say with all reverence. But that side show! I wouldn’t have had my
Eliza Ann, nor my Woodman Harrison, ’a’ witnessed what we’ve come near
a-witnessing for a thousand-dollar bill. No, not for a ten-thousand
bill. And I am so thankful that your uncle Peleg was not here! Somehow,
Louisa, I feel as if I’d fallen like the blessed Lucifer out of the
moon.”



NEVER TOO LATE.


    There is a good and a bad in the wayside inns
      On the highways of our lives,
    And man can never be free from sins,
      No matter how hard he strives;
    Yet even when down destruction’s grade
      Our thorny pathways trend,
    In spite of a thousand errors made,
      “It is never too late to mend.”

    There are crosses heavy for men to bear,
      And passions to conquer too;
    There are joys and woes that each must share
      Before the journey is through;
    But men may be poor for honor’s sake,
      And truth and right defend,
    And hope will never this promise break,—
      “It is never too late to mend.”

    ’Tis never too late for a noble deed;
      For, blessed by the angels’ tears,
    It plants in the breasts of men a seed
      That will grow in after years;
    And words of kindness, of hope, and cheer,
      Will always comfort lend:
    We must live for love, and banish fear,—
      “It is never too late to mend.”

    It is never too late to mend, my lad,
      No matter what people say:
    And no man’s nature is wholly bad,
      Even if old and gray:
    And in our journey toward the grave,
      Until we reach the end,
    There is time to change, and time to save,—
      “It is never too late to mend.”
                                     _Ernest McGaffey._



A FIGHT WITH A TROUT.


We had been hearing for weeks of a small lake in the heart of
the forest, some ten miles from our camp, which was alive with
trout,—unsophisticated, hungry trout: the inlet to it was described
as stiff with them. In my imagination I saw them lying there in ranks
and rows, each a foot long, three tiers deep, a solid mass. The lake
had never been visited, except by stray sable hunters in the winter,
and was known as Unknown Pond. I determined to explore it fully,
expecting that it would prove to be a delusion, as such haunts of the
trout usually are. Confiding my purpose to Luke, we secretly made our
preparations, and stole away from the shanty one morning at daybreak.
Each of us carried a boat, a pair of blankets, a sack of bread, pork,
and maple sugar; while I had my case of rods, reel, and book of flies,
and Luke had an axe and the kitchen utensils. We think nothing of loads
of this kind in the woods.

       *       *       *       *       *

A couple of hours before sundown we reached the lake. If I live, to
my dying day I shall never forget its appearance.... But what chiefly
attracted my attention, and amused me, was the boiling of the water,
the bubbling and breaking, as if the lake were a vast kettle with
fire underneath. A tyro would have been astonished at this common
phenomenon; but sportsmen will at once understand me, when I say that
the water _boiled_ with the breaking trout. I began casting, and had
got out perhaps fifty feet of line, and gradually increased it to a
hundred. It is not difficult to learn to cast, but it is difficult to
learn not to jerk off the flies at every throw. Finally, in making a
shorter cast, I saw a splash where the leader fell, and gave an excited
jerk. The next instant I perceived the game, and did not need the
unfeigned “dam” of Luke to convince me that I had snatched his felt hat
from his head, and deposited it among the lilies. Discouraged by this,
we whirled about, and paddled over to the inlet, where a little ripple
was visible in the tinted light. Instantly, upon casting, there was a
rush, a swirl. I struck, and “Got him, by—” Never mind what Luke said
I got him by. “Out on a fly,” continued that irreverent guide; but I
told him to back water, and make for the centre of the lake. The trout,
as soon as he felt the prick of the hook, was off like a shot, and took
out the whole of the line with a rapidity that made it smoke. “Give him
the butt,” shouted Luke. It is the usual remark in such an emergency.
I gave him the butt; and, recognizing the fact and my spirit, the
trout sank to the bottom, and sulked. It is the most dangerous mood
of the trout, for you cannot tell what he will do next. We reeled up
a little, and waited five minutes for him to reflect. A tightening of
the line enraged him, and he soon developed his tactics. Coming to the
surface, he made straight for the boat faster than I could reel in, and
evidently with hostile intentions.

“Look out for him!” cried Luke, as he came flying in the air. I evaded
him by dropping flat in the bottom of the boat; and when I picked my
traps up he was spinning across the lake as if he had a new idea,
but the line was still fast. He did not run far. I gave him the butt
again, a thing he seemed to hate, even as a gift. In a moment the
evil-minded fish, lashing the water in his rage, was coming back
again, making straight for the boat as before. Luke, who was used to
these encounters, having read them in the writings of travellers he
had accompanied, raised his paddle in self-defence. The trout left the
water about ten feet from the boat, and came directly at me with fiery
eyes, his speckled sides flashing like a meteor. I dodged as he whisked
by with a vicious slap of his bifurcated tail, and nearly upset the
boat. The line was, of course, slack: and the danger was, that he would
entangle it about me, and carry away one leg. This was evidently his
game: but I untangled it, and only lost a breast-button or two by the
swift-moving string. The trout plunged into the water with a hissing
sound, and went away again with all the line on the reel. More butt,
more indignation on the part of the captive. The contest had now been
going on for half an hour, and I was getting exhausted. We had been
back and forth across the lake, and around and around the lake. What
I feared was, that the trout would start up the inlet, and wreck us
in the bushes. But he had a new fancy, and began the execution of a
manœuvre which I had never read of. Instead of coming straight toward
us, he took a large circle, swimming rapidly, and gradually contracting
his orbit. I reeled in, and kept my eye on him. Round and round he
went, narrowing the circle. I began to suspect the game, which was to
twist my head off. When he had reduced the radius of his circle to
about twenty-five feet, he struck a tremendous pace through the water.
It would be false modesty in a sportsman to say that I was not equal
to the occasion. Instead of turning around with him, as he expected, I
stepped to the bow, braced myself, and let the boat swing. Round went
the fish, and round we went like a top. I saw a line of Mount Marcys
all around the horizon; the rosy tint of the west made a broad bank of
pink along the sky above the tree-tops; the evening star was a perfect
circle of light, a hoop of gold in the heavens. We whirled and reeled,
and reeled and whirled. I was willing to give the malicious beast butt
and line and all, if he would only go the other way for a change.

When I came to myself, Luke was gaffing the trout at the boat-side.
After we had got him in and dressed him, he weighed three-quarters of
a pound! Fish always lose by being “got in and dressed.” It is best
to weigh them while they are in the water. The only really large one
I ever caught, got away with my leader when I first struck him. He
weighed ten pounds.

                                        _Charles Dudley Warner._



AN ORDER FOR A PICTURE.


    O good painter! tell me true,
      Has your hand the cunning to draw
      Shapes of things that you never saw?
    Ay? Well, here is an order for you.

    Woods and cornfields, a little brown,—
      The picture must not be over-bright,—
      Yet all in the golden and gracious light
    Of a cloud, when the summer sun is down.

      Alway and alway, night and morn,
      Woods upon woods, with fields of corn
        Lying between them, not quite sere,
    And not in the full, thick, leafy bloom,
    When the wind can hardly find breathing room
        Under their tassels; cattle near,
    Biting shorter the short green grass,
    And a hedge of sumach and sassafras,
    With bluebirds twittering all around,—
    (Ah, good painter, you can’t paint sound!)—
      These, and the house where I was born,
    Low and little, and black and old,
    With children, many as it can hold,
    All at the windows, open wide,—
    Heads and shoulders clear outside,
    And fair young faces all a-blush:
      Perhaps you may have seen, some day,
      Roses crowding the selfsame way,
    Out of a wilding wayside bush.

      Listen closer. When you have done
        With woods and cornfields and grazing herds,
      A lady the loveliest ever the sun
    Looked down upon, you must paint for me.
    Oh, if I only could make you see
      The clear blue eyes, the tender smile,
    The sovereign sweetness, the gentle grace,
    The woman’s soul, and the angel’s face
      That are beaming on me all the while!—
      I need not speak these foolish words:
      Yet one word tells you all I would say,—
    She is my mother: you will agree
      That all the rest may be thrown away.

      Two little urchins at her knee
      You must paint, sir: one like me,—
        The other with a clearer brow,
        And the light of his adventurous eyes
        Flashing with boldest enterprise:
    At ten years old he went to sea,—
          God knoweth if he be living now,—
        He sailed in the good ship Commodore:
    Nobody ever crossed her track
    To bring us news, and she never came back.
        Ah, ’tis twenty long years and more
    Since that old ship went out of the bay
        With my great-hearted brother on her deck;
        I watched him till he shrank to a speck,
    And his face was toward me all the way.
    Bright his hair was, a golden brown,
      The time we stood at our mother’s knee:
    That beauteous head, if it did go down,
      Carried sunshine into the sea!

    Out in the fields one summer night
      We were together, half afraid
      Of the corn-leaves’ rustling, and of the shade
        Of the high hills stretching so still and far,—
    Loitering till after the low little light
      Of the candle shone through the open door,
    And over the haystack’s pointed top,
    All of a tremble, and ready to drop,
        The first half-hour, the great yellow star,
      That we, with staring, ignorant eyes,
    Had often and often watched to see
      Propped and held in its place in the skies
    By the fork of a tall red mulberry-tree,
      Which close in the edge of our flax-field grew,—
    Dead at the top,—just one branch full
    Of leaves, notched round, and lined with wool,
      From which it tenderly shook the dew
    Over our heads, when we came to play
    In its handbreadth of shadow, day after day:—
      Afraid to go home, sir; for one of us bore
    A nest full of speckled and thin-shelled eggs,—
    The other, a bird, held fast by the legs,
    Not so big as a straw of wheat:
    The berries we gave her she wouldn’t eat,
    But cried and cried, till we held her bill,
    So slim and shining, to keep her still.

    At last we stood at our mother’s knee.
      Do you think, sir, if you try,
      You can paint the look of a lie?
      If you can, pray have the grace
      To put it solely in the face
    Of the urchin that is likest me:
        I think ’twas solely mine, indeed:
      But that’s no matter,—paint it so;
        The eyes of our mother (take good heed)
    Looking not on the nestful of eggs,
    Nor the fluttering bird, held so fast by the legs,
    But straight through our faces down to our lies,
    And oh, with such injured, reproachful surprise!
      I felt my heart bleed where that glance went, as though
      A sharp blade struck through it.
                                      You, sir, know,
    That you on the canvas are to repeat
    Things that are fairest, things most sweet,—
    Woods and cornfields and mulberry-tree,—
    The mother,—the lads, with their bird, at her knee:
      But oh that look of reproachful woe!
    High as the heavens your name I’ll shout,
    If you paint me the picture, and leave that out.
                                                 _Alice Cary._



FORCIBLE ENTRY.


It happened out on South Hill, nine thousand miles from Maple Street.
The man’s wife had taken up the carpet in the bath-room the day before,
and put all the crooked tacks in a saucer, and put it on a chair.
It is a marvellous thing why women will always save tacks that come
out of the carpet; although it is a matter of record, that, out of
the countless millions of tacks thus laid by, not one was ever used
again, save in the soles of the bare masculine feet. They—the tacks,
not the feet—are stowed away in saucers up on high shelves, in dark
closets, and in all sorts of out-of-the-way places. And on these dusty
perches they remain until the corroding hand of time, and dust, and
spider-webs, and dead flies, and flakes of whitewash, and old bits
of resin, and chunks of sealing-wax, and old steel pens, and similar
accumulations, have filled the saucer to overflowing, when it is taken
down and thrown away by the woman, who petulantly wonders who under
the sun put all that trash in the saucer, and stuck it up there. And
nine times out of ten she charges the crime on her husband. The tenth
time she declares it was the hired girl. And always, before the saucer
of crooked tacks is stowed away on the shelf, it is stuck around for
three or four days on chairs and in corners of the room, spilling out
occasional tacks on the carpet of every bedroom in the house, which
fill the masculine soles with agony, and darken the air of the bedroom
with inartistic but forcible profanity. Nothing is so painful as a
crooked tack in the middle of one’s foot. A broken heart doesn’t hold
half so much anguish, and a boil is a blessing in comparison.

This man who lives so far from Maple Street had a splendid bath; and
when he had rubbed his skin into a glow with a crash-towel as rough as
a pig’s back, he gathered his socks, and, backing up to the only chair
in the room, sat down to put them on.

Every tack in that saucer saw him coming down.

Every last tack smiled in anticipation of the _dénoûment_, and stood on
its head, and reached for him.

Every last solitary individual and collective tack fetched him, got
him, and held to him.

He dropped his socks, and rose from that chair with an abruptness that
knocked his head against the ceiling. He came down, and waltzed wildly
round and round the room, shrieking and yelling, gyrating madly with
his arms, while his eyes stuck out so far they hung down. He howled
until the neighbors besieged the house, yet he wouldn’t let any of
them in. At last his yells died away; but they could hear his breath
hiss between his set teeth, while at short intervals would come a
yell, supplemented by the remark, “There’s another out!” In about
three-quarters of an hour the yells ceased entirely, the window was
opened, and a shower of tacks fell over the assembled and wondering
multitude; while a large saucer skimmed across the street, and smashed
against the side of a house opposite.

Nobody knows what ails the man, for he will not tell any one a thing
about it: but he takes his meals off the mantel-piece all the same;
and, when he sits, he sits down on his hip, for all the world as though
he wore a “tied-back.” But he doesn’t. It’s a tacked-back that ails him.

                                                   _J. M. Bailey._



WENDELL PHILLIPS.


The power to discern right amid all the wrappings of interest, and all
the seductions of ambition, was singularly his. To choose the lowly;
for their sake to abandon all favor, all power, all comfort, all
ambition, all greatness,—that was his genius and glory. He confronted
the spirit of the nation and of the age. I had almost said, he set
himself against nature, as if he had been a decree of God overriding
all these other insuperable obstacles. That was his function. Mr.
Phillips was not called to be a universal orator, any more than he was
a universal thinker. In literature and in history he was widely read;
in person most elegant; in manners most accomplished; gentle as a babe;
sweet as a new-blown rose; in voice, clear and silvery. He was not a
man of tempests; he was not an orchestra of a hundred instruments;
he was not an organ, mighty and complex. The nation slept, and God
wanted a trumpet, sharp, far-sounding, narrow, and intense; and that
was Mr. Phillips. The long roll is not particularly agreeable in music
or in times of peace; but it is better than flutes or harps when men
are in a great battle, or are on the point of it. His eloquence was
penetrating and alarming. He did not flow as a mighty gulf-stream: he
did not dash upon the continent as the ocean does; he was not a mighty
rushing river. His eloquence was a flight of arrows, sentence after
sentence, polished, and most of them burning. He shot them one after
the other, and where they struck they slew; always elegant, always
awful. I think scorn in him was as fine as I ever knew it in any human
being. He had that sublime sanctuary in his pride that made him almost
insensitive to what would by other men be considered obloquy. It was as
if he said every day, in himself, “I am not what they are firing at. I
am not there, and I am not that. It is not against me. I am infinitely
superior to what they think me to be. They do not know me.” It was
quiet and unpretentious, but it was there. Conscience and pride were
the two concurrent elements of his nature.

He lived to see the slave emancipated, but not by moral means. He lived
to see the sword cut the fetter. After this had taken place, he was
too young to retire, though too old to gather laurels of literature,
or to seek professional honors. The impulse of humanity was not at all
abated. His soul still flowed on for the great under-masses of mankind;
though, like the Nile, it split up into diverse mouths, and not all of
them were navigable.

After a long and stormy life, his sun went down in glory. All the
English-speaking people on the globe have written among the names that
shall never die, the name of that scoffed, detested, mob-beaten Wendell
Phillips. Boston, that persecuted and would have slain him, is now
exceedingly busy in building his tomb, and rearing his statue. The men
that would not defile their lips with his name are to-day thanking God
that he lived.

He has taught a lesson that the young will do well to take heed
to,—the lesson that the most splendid gifts and opportunities and
ambitions may be best used for the dumb and the lowly. His whole life
is a rebuke to the idea that we are to climb to greatness by climbing
up on the backs of great men; that we are to gain strength by running
with the currents of life; that we can from without add any thing to
the great within that constitutes man. He poured out the precious
ointment of his soul upon the feet of that diffusive Jesus who suffers
here in his poor and despised ones. He has taught the young ambitions,
too, that the way to glory is the way, oftentimes, of adhesion simply
to principle: and that popularity and unpopularity are not things to be
known or considered. Do right and rejoice. If to do right will bring
you into trouble, rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer with
God and the providences of God in this world.

He belongs to the race of giants, not simply because he was in and of
himself a great soul, but because he bathed in the providence of God,
and came forth scarcely less than a god; because he gave himself to the
work of God upon earth, and inherited thereby, or had reflected upon
him, some of the majesty of his Master. When pygmies are all dead, the
noble countenance of Wendell Phillips will still look forth, radiant
as a rising sun,—a sun that will never set. He has become to us a
lesson, his death an example, his whole history an encouragement to
manhood,—to heroic manhood.

                                          _Henry Ward Beecher._



AUNT PARSONS’S STORY.


I told Hezekiah—that’s my man. People mostly call him Deacon Parsons,
but he never gets any deaconing from me. We were married—“Hezekiah and
Amariah”—that’s going on forty years ago, and he’s jest Hezekiah to
me, and nothin’ more.

Well, as I was saying, says I, “Hezekiah, we aren’t right. I am sure of
it.” And he said, “Of course not. We are poor sinners, Amy; all poor
sinners.” And I said, “Hezekiah, this ‘poor-sinner’ talk has gone on
long enough. I suppose we are poor sinners, but I don’t see any use of
being _mean_ sinners; and there’s one thing I think is real mean.”

It was jest after breakfast: and, as he felt poorly, he hedn’t gone to
the shop yet; and so I had this little talk with him to sort o’ chirk
him up. He knew what I was comin’ to, for we hed had the subject up
before. It was our little church. He always said, “The poor people, and
what should we ever do?” And I always said, “We never shall do nothin’
unless we try.” And so, when I brought the matter up in this way,
he just began bitin’ his toothpick, and said, “What’s up now? Who’s
mean? Amariah, we oughtn’t to speak evil one of another.” Hezekiah
always says “poor sinners,” and doesn’t seem to mind it; but when I
occasionally say “mean sinners,” he somehow gits oneasy. But I was
started, and I meant to free my mind.

So I said, says I, “I was goin’ to confess our sins. Dan’l confessed
for all his people, and I was confessin’ for all our little church.

“Truth is,” says I, “ours is allus called one of the ‘feeble churches,’
and I am tried about it. I’ve raised seven children, and at fourteen
months old every boy and girl of ’em could run alone. And our church
is fourteen years old,” says I; “and it can’t take a step yet without
somebody to hold on by. The Board helps us; and General Jones, good
man, he helps us,—helps too much, I think,—and so we live along; but
we don’t seem to get strong. Our people draw their rations every year
as the Indians do up at the agency, and it doesn’t seem sometimes as if
they ever thought of doing any thing else.

“They take it so easy!” I said. “That’s what worries me. I don’t
suppose we could pay all expenses; but we might act as if we wanted to,
and as if we meant to do all we can.

“I read,” says I, “last week about the debt of the Board; and this
week, as I understand,” says I, “our application is going in for
another year, and no particular effort to do any better; and it frets
me. I can’t sleep nights, and I can’t take comfort Sundays. I’ve got to
feelin’ as if we were a kind of perpetual paupers. And that was what I
meant when I said, ‘It is real mean!’ I suppose I said it a little
sharp,” says I, “but I’d rather be sharp than flat any day; and if we
don’t begin to stir ourselves, we shall be flat enough before long, and
shall deserve to be. It grows on me. It has jest been ‘Board, Board,
Board,’ for fourteen years, and I’m tired of it. I never did like
boardin’,” says I; “and even if we were poor, I believe we might do
something toward settin’ up housekeepin’ for ourselves.

“Well, there’s not many of us—about a hundred, I believe; and some of
these is women-folks, and some is jest girls and boys. And we all have
to work hard, and live close; but,” says I, “let us show a disposition,
if nothing more. Hezekiah, if there’s any spirit left in us, let us
show some sort of a disposition.”

And Hezekiah had his toothpick in his teeth, and looked down at his
boots, and rubbed his chin, as he always does when he’s goin’ to say
somethin’. “I think there’s some of us that shows a disposition.”

Of course I understood that hit, but I kep’ still. I kep’ right on with
my argument; and I said, “Yes, and a pretty bad disposition it is. It’s
a disposition to let ourselves be helped when we ought to be helping
ourselves. It’s a disposition to lie still and let somebody carry us.
And we are growing up cripples—only we don’t grow.

“’Kiah,” says I, “do you hear me?” Sometimes when I want to talk a
little he jest shets his eyes, and begins to rock himself back and
forth in the old arm-chair; and he was doin’ that now. So I said,
“’Kiah, do you hear?” And he said, “Some!” and I went on. “I’ve got a
proposition,” says I. And he sort o’ looked up, and said, “Hev you?
Well, between a disposition and a proposition, I guess the proposition
might be better.”

He’s awful sarcrostic, sometimes. But I wasn’t goin’ to get riled,
nor thrown off the track; so I jest said, “Yes; do you and I git two
shillin’s’ worth apiece, a week, out o’ that blessed little church
of ourn, do you think?” says I. “Cos, if we do, I want to give two
shillin’s a week to keep it goin’; and I thought maybe you could do as
much.” So he said he guessed we could stand that; and I said, “That’s
my proposition, and I mean to see if we can’t find somebody else
that’ll do the same. It’ll show disposition, anyway.”

“Well, I suppose you’ll hev your own way,” says he: “you most always
do.” And I said, “Isn’t it most allers a good way?” Then I brought out
my subscription paper. I had it all ready. I didn’t jest know how to
shape it, but I knew it was something about “the sums set opposite our
names;” and so I drawed it up, and took my chances. “You must head
it,” says I, “because you’re the oldest deacon; and I must go on next,
because I am the deacon’s wife; and then I’ll see some of the rest of
the folks.”

So ’Kiah sot down, and put on his specs, and took his pen, but did not
write. “What’s the matter?” says I. And he said, “I’m sort o’ ’shamed
to subscribe two shillin’s. I never signed so little as that for any
thing. I used to give that to the circus when I was nothin’ but a boy,
and I ought to do more than that to support the gospel. Two shillin’ a
week! Why, it’s only a shillin’ a sermon, and all the prayer-meetin’s
throwed in. I can’t go less than fifty cents, I am sure.” So down he
went for fifty cents; and then I signed for a quarter, and then my
sunbonnet went onto my head pretty lively; and says I, “Hezekiah,
there’s some cold potato in the pantry, and you know where to find
the salt; so, if I am not back by dinner-time, don’t be bashful, help
yourself.” And I started.

I called on the Smith family first. I felt sure of them. And they were
just happy. Mr. Smith signed, and so did Mrs. Smith; and Long John,
he came in while we were talkin’, and put his name down; and then
old Grandma Smith, she didn’t want to be left out; so there was four
of ’em. I’ve allers found it a great thing in any good enterprise to
enlist the Smith family. There’s a good many of ’em. Next, I called on
the Joslyns, and next on the Chapins, and then on the Widdy Chadwick,
and so I kept on.

I met a little trouble once or twice, but not much. There was Fussy
Furber; and bein’ trustee, he thought I was out of my spear, he said;
and he wanted it understood that such work belonged to the trustees.
“To be sure,” says I: “I’m glad I’ve found it out. I wish the trustees
had discovered that a leetle sooner.” Then there was sister Puffy
that’s got the asthma. She thought we ought to be lookin’ after “the
sperritooalities.” She said we must get down before the Lord. She
didn’t think churches could be run on money. But I told her I guessed
we should be jest as spiritual to look into our pocketbooks a little,
and I said it was a shame to be ’tarnally beggin’ so of the Board.

She looked dredful solemn when I said that, and I almost felt as I’d
been committin’ profane language. But I hope the Lord will forgive me
if I took any thing in vain. I did not take my call in vain, I tell
you. Mrs. Puffy is good, only she allus wanted to talk so pious; and
she put down her two shillin’s, and then hove a sigh. Then I found the
boys at the cooper-shop, and got seven names there at one lick; and
when the list began to grow, people seemed ashamed to say no; and I
kept gainin’ till I had jest an even hundred, and then I went home.

Well, it was pretty well towards candle-light when I got back, and I
was that tired I didn’t know much of any thing. I’ve washed, and I’ve
scrubbed, and I’ve baked, and I’ve cleaned house, and I’ve biled soap,
and I’ve moved; and I ’low that a’most any one of that sort of thing
is a little exhaustin’. But put your bakin’ and movin’ and bilin’ soap
all together, and it won’t work out as much genuine tired soul and
body as one day with a subscription paper to support the gospel. So
when I sort o’ dropped into a chair, and Hezekiah said, “Well?” I was
past speakin’; and I put my check apron up to my face as I hadn’t done
since I was a young, foolish girl, and cried. I don’t know what I felt
so bad about: I don’t know as I did feel bad. But I felt cry, and I
cried. And ’Kiah, seein’ how it was, felt kind o’ sorry for me, and set
some tea a-steepin’; and when I had had my drink with weepin’, I felt
better. I handed him the subscription paper, and he looked it over as
if he didn’t expect any thing; but soon he began saying, “I never! I
never!” And I said, “Of course you didn’t: you never tried. How much is
it?”—“Why, don’t you know?” says he. “No,” I said: “I ain’t quick in
figures, and I hadn’t time to foot it up. I hope it will make us out
this year three hundred dollars or so.”

“Amy,” says he, “you’re a prodigy—a prodigal, I may say—and you don’t
know it. A hundred names at two shillin’ each gives us twenty-five
dollars a Sunday. Some of ’em may fail, but most of ’em is good; and
there is ten, eleven, thirteen, that sign fifty cents. That’ll make up
what fails. That paper of yourn’ll give us thirteen hundred dollars a
year!” I jumped up like I was shot. “Yes,” he says, “we sha’n’t need
any thing this year from the Board. _This church_, for this year at any
rate, is _self-supporting_.”

We both sot down and kep’ still a minute, when I said kind o’ softly,
“Hezekiah,” says I, “isn’t it about time for prayers?” I was just
chokin’; but, as he took down the Bible, he said, “I guess we’d had
better sing somethin’.” I nodded like, and he just struck in. We often
sing at prayers in the morning; but now it seemed like the Scripter
that says, “He giveth songs in the night.” ’Kiah generally likes the
solemn tunes, too; and we sing “Show pity, Lord,” a great deal; and
this mornin’ we had sung “Hark! from the tombs a doleful sound,” ’cause
’Kiah was not feelin’ very well, and we wanted to chirk up a little.

So I just waited to see what metre he’d strike to-night; and would
you believe it? I didn’t know that he knew any sech tune. But off he
started on “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” I tried to catch on;
but he went off lickerty-switch, like a steam-engine, and I couldn’t
keep up. I was partly laughin’ to see ’Kiah go it, and partly crying
again, my heart was so full; so I doubled up some of the notes, and
jumped over the others; and so we safely reached the end.

But, I tell you, Hezekiah prayed. He allers prays well; but this was
a bran’ new prayer, exactly suited to the occasion. And when Sunday
come, and the minister got up and told what had been done, and said,
“It is all the work of one good woman, and done in one day,” I just got
scared, and wanted to run. And when some of the folks shook hands with
me after meetin’, and said, with tears in their eyes, how I’d saved the
church; and all that, I came awful nigh gettin’ proud. But, as Hezekiah
says, “we’re all poor sinners;” and so I choked it back. But I am glad
I did it; and I don’t believe our church will ever go boarding any more.

                                          _Presbyterian Journal._



THE SOLDIER’S DREAM.


    It was the ninth of April—historic month and day!
    The day of Lee’s surrender—a score of years away.
    The sick-room veiled in midnight; no sound disturbed the air,
    Except the sufferer’s breathing, reclining in his chair.

    The savior of his country lay face to face with Death,
    Whose lean and hungry fingers confined his choking breath:
    A panoramic vision illumed his dreamy sight,—
    The vision of a lifetime, from dawn to waning light.

    A child of sunny summers, beside his mother’s knee,
    A youth of earnest purpose, his half-shut eyelids see;
    A grave and silent soldier, the pride of the parade,
    He rides, as if a Cossack, ’gainst Montezuma’s blade;

    A sturdy, sunburnt farmer, within his rustic home,
    Beside his blazing hearthstone, who never cares to roam
    Except where boon companions, with pipes and foaming beer,
    Tell tales of wild adventure, sing songs of hearty cheer.

    But hark! the bugle calleth! Its clarions wake the farms,—
    “Your country is in danger! To arms, my sons, to arms!”
    The streets are black with soldiers; their bristling bayonets gleam,
    A hundred thousand marching, as flows a mountain stream.

    The dreamer in his vision descries a battle-field;
    He hears the cannon echo, he sees battalions yield;
    He sees the blue-coats rally, he sees the gray-coats fall,
    The ghastly dead and dying, the “stars and bars” their pall

    Along the queen of rivers, against her trembling shore,
    Volcanic flames are belching, and volleying thunders roar:
    Hot shot and shell are crashing, while lurid smoke and flame
    Are from a fortress leaping,—a fortress known to fame.

    Again the picture changes! The Capitol is seen,
    Where rolls the broad Potomac through the banks of ever green:
    Not now fraternal kindness disports in festive garb,
    But brother, armed ’gainst brother, spurs on his fiery barb.

    Brigades and solid squadrons are marching out of camp;
    He hears their stirring music, he hears their steady tramp:
    The Wilderness the arena, a nation’s life the prize,
    Their watchword, “On to Richmond!” He hears their battle-cries.

    For days, for weeks together, repulsed, defeated, slain,
    As sands restrain old ocean, their ranks roll back again,
    Till rising higher, higher, with loud, exultant roar,
    The foaming, raging billows sweep o’er the crumbling shore.

    Now he sees a planter’s dwelling in Appomattox vale:
    The earth is piled in breastworks, ’tis rent with iron hail;
    What villages of canvas for men in blue or gray,
    What lines of halting columns, in grave or grim array!

    Within appear two chieftains, of heroes full a score,
    The victors and the vanquished: thank God, the war is o’er!
    “The olive-branch shall shield you, the sun of peace shall shine!
    This flag,” so says the leader, “this ægis still is thine!”

    No lion mien and bearing, no eagle’s eye of pride;
    As modest as a schoolboy, the conqueror seeks to hide—,
    Hide his speechless joy of triumph by generous act and word,—
    He feeds the conquered army! The beggar seems the lord.

    The reveille has sounded; ’twill never sound again!
    For days, in martial splendor, three hundred thousand men.
    From Vicksburg and from Shiloh, Antietam and the sea.
    From Shenandoah’s Valley and Gettysburg’s green lea.—

    Those cannoneers of Ruin, that hurricane of horse,
    With Pestilence behind them, and Carnage in their course;
    Those, those—when Pickett’s cohorts were charging wave on wave,—
    That stood like granite ledges, the bravest of the brave;

    With drums, with banners flying, with triumph in each eye,
    The grand review are marching. He sees them passing by
    As saw in dream. Napoleon, from that triumphal arch,
    That night in phantom phalanx his splendid heroes march.

    ’Twas like a shield all gory, that sun of Austerlitz!
    No bloody, ghostly phantom before our hero flits!
    Ye idols of the people, who lead an army well,
    Shall wield a nation’s sceptre, in capitols shall dwell!

    Past ages grim and hoary their victors loved to crown:
    The flaming sword of conquest still wins sublime renown.
    All echo and re-echo the glories of the brave;
    All, all, a grateful country! bedew the soldier’s grave.
                                                   _C. G. Fall._



OVER THE LEFT.


    Their deposits were _left over night_ in the bank,—
    In a bank without whisper of fault:
    The amounts to their credit were placed on the books,
    And were left over night in the vault.

    _To their credit_, I say it, the bank was locked tight,
    Guarding thus against fire and theft;
    A patrol on the walk, and a new ’lectric light,
    Throwing beams to the _right_ and the _left_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Just here the cashier he _left over night_,
    Taking all but the house and the soil;
    And the _long_ and the _short_ of the story is this,—
    He was _too long_ of stocks—_short_ of oil.

    A receiver was called, and he looked o’er the wreck,
    And _received_ those who called—thus bereft.
    “_Have you nothing left over?_” they timidly ask:
    He answers, “_Yes, over the left_.”
                                             _W. C. Dornin._



THE SEMINOLE’S REPLY.


    Blaze, with your serried columns!
      I will not bend the knee!
    The shackles ne’er again shall bind
      The arm which now is free.
    I’ve mailed it with the thunder,
      When the tempest muttered low;
    And where it falls, ye well may dread
      The lightning of its blow!

    I’ve scared ye in the city,
      I’ve scalped ye on the plain;
    Go, count your chosen, where they fell
      Beneath my leaden rain!
    I scorn your proffered treaty!
      The pale-face I defy!
    Revenge is stamped upon my spear,
      And blood my battle-cry!

    Some strike for hope of booty,
      Some to defend their all—
    I battle for the joy I have
      To see the white man fall:
    I love, among the wounded,
      To hear his dying moan,
    And catch, while chanting at his side,
      The music of his groan.

    Ye’ve trailed me through the forest,
      Ye’ve tracked me o’er the stream;
    And struggling through the everglade,
      Your bristling bayonets gleam:
    But I stand as should the warrior,
      With his rifle and his spear;
    The scalp of vengeance still is red,
      And warns ye, “Come not here!”

    I loathe ye in my bosom,
      I scorn ye with mine eye;
    And I’ll taunt ye with my latest breath,
      And fight ye till I die!
    I ne’er will ask ye quarter,
      And I ne’er will be your slave;
    But I’ll swim the sea of slaughter,
      Till I sink beneath its wave.



THE DUTCHMAN’S SERENADE.


    Vake up, my schveet! Vake up, my lofe!
    Der moon dot can’t been seen abofe.
    Vake oud your eyes, und dough it’s late,
    I’ll make you oud a serenate.

    Der shtreet dot’s kinder dampy vet,
    Und dhere vas no goot blace to set;
    My fiddle’s getting oud of dune,
    So blease get vakey wery soon.

    O my lofe! my lofely lofe!
    Am you avake ub dhere abofe,
    Feeling sad und nice to hear
    Schneider’s fiddle schrabin near?

    Vell, anyvay, obe loose your ear,
    Und try to saw if you kin hear
    From dem bedclose vat you’m among,
    Der little song I’m going to sung:

       *       *       *       *       *

    O lady, vake! Get vake!
      Und hear der tale I’ll tell;
    Oh, you vot’s schleebin’ sound ub dhere,
      I like you pooty vell!

    Your plack eyes dhem don’t shine
      Ven you’m ashleep—so vake!
    (Yes, hurry up, und voke up quick,
      For gootness cracious sake!)

    My schveet imbatience, lofe,
      I hobe you vill oxcuse:
    I’m singing schveetly (dhere, py Jinks!
      Dhere goes a shtring proke loose!)

    O putiful, schveet maid!
      Oh, vill she efer voke?
    Der moon is mooning—(Jimminy! dhere
      Anoder shtring vent proke!)

    Oh, say, old schleeby head!
      (Now I vas getting mad—
    I’ll holler now, und I don’t care
      Uf I vake up her dad!)

    I say, you schleeby, vake!
      Vake oud! Vake loose! Vake ub!
    Fire! Murder! Police! Vatch!
      Oh, cracious! do vake ub!

       *       *       *       *       *

    Dot girl she schleebed—dot rain it rained,
      Und I looked shtoopid like a fool,
    Vhen mit my fiddle I shneaked off
      So vet und shlobby like a mool!



SCENE FROM “INGOMAR”


                              CHARACTERS.

            INGOMAR. Leader of a band of Alemanni.
            PARTHENIA. A Greek girl.

            (_Parthenia clasps her hands before her face,
                  and stands sobbing in the foreground._)

    _Ingomar._ (_Who has been standing on a rock looking at the
                       proceedings of his followers._)

   No violence! Ho! how he runs! and now
   He stops and cries again! Poor fearful fool!
   It must be strange to fear: now, by my troth,
   I should like to feel, for once, what ’tis to fear!
   But the girl—(_Leaning forward._) Ha! do I see right? you weep.
                                                   [_To Parthenia._
   Is that the happy temper that you boast?

    _Par._ Oh, I shall never see him more!

    _Ing._ What! have we
    For a silly old man, got now a foolish
    And timid weeping girl? I have had enough
    Of tears.

   _Par._ Enough, indeed, since you but mock them!
    I will not—no, I’ll weep no more.

   [_She quickly dries her eyes, and retires to the background._[1]

    _Ing._ That’s good! come, that looks well;
    She is a brave girl! she rules herself, and if
    She keep her word, we have made a good exchange—
    “I’ll weep no more!” Aha! I like the girl.
    And if—Ho! whither goest thou?

          [_To Parthenia, who is going off with two goblets._

    _Par._ Where should I go? to yonder brook, to cleanse the cups.

    _Ing._ No! stay and talk with me.

    _Par._ I have duties to perform.                 [_Going._

    _Ing._ Stay—I command you, slave!

    _Par._ I am no slave! your hostage, but no slave.
    I go to cleanse the cups.                   [_Exit_ L.

    _Ing._ Ho! here’s a self-willed thing—here is a spirit!
                                                  [_Mimicking her._
    “I will not, I am no slave! I have duties to perform!
    Take me for hostage!” and she flung back her head
    As though she brought with her a ton of gold!
    “I’ll weep no more,”—Aha! an impudent thing.
    She pleases me! I love to be opposed;
    I love my horse when he rears, my dogs when they snarl,
    The mountain torrent, and the sea, when it flings
    Its foam up to the stars; such things as these
    Fill me with life and joy. Tame indolence
    Is living death! the battle of the strong
    Alone is life!

     [_During this speech Parthenia has returned with the cups
         and a bundle of field flowers. She seats herself on a
         piece of rock in front._

    _Ing._ Ah! she is here again. (_He approaches her, and leans
    over her on the rock._) What art thou making there?

    _Par._ I? garlands.

    _Ing._                     Garlands?
    (_Musing._) It seems to me as I before had seen her
    In a dream! How! Ah, my brother!—he who died
    A child—yes, that is it. My little Folko—She
    has his dark-brown hair, his sparkling eye:
    Even the voice seems known again to me;
    I’ll not to sleep—I’ll talk to her.        [_Returns to her._
    These you call garlands,
    And wherefore do you weave them?

    _Par._ For these cups.

    _Ing._ How?

    _Par._ Is it not with you a custom? With us
    At home, we love to intertwine with flowers
    Our cups and goblets.

    _Ing._ What use is such a plaything?

    _Par._ Use? They are beautiful; that is their use.
    The sight of them makes glad the eye; their scent
    Refreshes, cheers. There!
               (_Fastens the half-finished garland round a cup and
                   presents it to him._)
    Is not that, now, beautiful?

    _Ing._ Ay—by the bright sun! That dark-green mixed
    Up with the gay flowers! Thou must teach our women
    To weave such garlands.

    _Par._ That is soon done: thy wife
    Herself shall soon weave wreaths as well as I.

    _Ing._ (_Laughing heartily._) My wife! my wife! a woman
    Dost thou say?
    I thank the gods, not I. This is my wife—
                                 [_Pointing to his accoutrements._
    My spear, my shield, my sword; let him who will
    Waste cattle, slaves, or gold, to buy a woman;
    Not I—not I!

    _Par._ To buy a woman?—how?

    _Ing._ What is the matter? why dost look so strangely?

    _Par._ How! did I hear aright? bargain for brides
    As you would slaves—buy them like cattle?

    _Ing._ Well, I think a woman fit only for a slave.
    We follow our own customs, as you yours.
    How do you in your city there?

    _Par._                       Consult our hearts.
    Massilia’s freeborn daughters are not sold,
    But bound by choice with bands as light and sweet
    As these I hold. Love only buys us there.

    _Ing._ Marry for love—what! do you love your husbands?

    _Par._ Why marry else?

    _Ing._ Marry for love; that’s strange!
    I cannot comprehend. I love my horse,
    My dogs, my brave companions—but no woman!
    What dost thou mean by love—what is it, girl?

    _Par._ What is it? ’Tis of all things the most sweet—
    The heaven of life—or, so my mother says,
    I never felt it.

    _Ing._           Never?

    _Par._           No, indeed.      [_Looking at garland._
    Now look how beautiful! Here would I weave
    Red flowers if I had them.

    _Ing._           Yonder there,
    In that thick wood they grow.

    _Par._                        How sayest thou?
    (_Looking off._) Oh, what a lovely red! Go, pluck me some.

    _Ing._ (_Starting at the suggestion._)
    I go for thee? the master serve the slave!
                        [_Gazing on her with increasing interest._
    And yet, why not? I’ll go—the poor child’s tired.

    _Par._ Dost thou hesitate?

    _Ing._ No, thou shalt have the flowers
    As fresh and dewy as the bush affords.
                                   _[He goes off_, R.
    _Par._ (_Holding out the wreath._)
    I never yet succeeded half so well.
    It will be charming! Charming? and for whom?
    Here among savages! no mother here
    Looks smiling on it—I am alone, forsaken!
    But no, I’ll weep no more! No, none shall say I fear.

    _Re-enter Ingomar, with a bunch of flowers, and slowly advancing
       towards Parthenia._

    _Ing._ (_Aside._)
    The little Folko, when in his play he wanted
    Flowers or fruit, would so cry “Bring them to me;
    Quick! I will have them—these I will have or none;”
    Till somehow he compelled me to obey him,
    And she, with the same spirit, the same fire—Yes,
    there is much of the bright child in her.
    Well, she shall be a little brother to me!
    There are the flowers.           [_He hands her the flowers._

    _Par._ Thanks, thanks! Oh, thou hast broken them
    Too short off in the stem!
                         [_She throws some of them on the ground._
    _Ing._ Shall I go and get thee more?

    _Par._ No: these will do.

    _Ing._ Tell me now about your home—I will sit here,
    Near thee.

    _Par._ Not there: thou art crushing all the flowers.

    _Ing._ (_Seating himself at her feet._)
    Well, well; I will sit here, then. And now tell me,
    What is your name?

    _Par._             Parthenia.

    _Ing._                     Parthenia!
    A pretty name! and now, Parthenia, tell me
    How that which you call love grows in the soul;
    And what love is: ’tis strange, but in that word
    There’s something seems like yonder ocean—fathomless.

    _Par._ How shall I say? Love comes, my mother says,
    Like flowers in the night—reach me those violets—It
    is a flame a single look will kindle,
    But not an ocean quench.
    Fostered by dreams, excited by each thought,
    Love is a star from heaven, that points the way
    And leads us to its home—a little spot
    In earth’s dry desert, where the soul may rest—
    A grain of gold in the dull sand of life—
    A foretaste of Elysium; but when
    Weary of this world’s woes, the immortal gods
    Flew to the skies, with all their richest gifts,
    Love staid behind, self-exiled for man’s sake!

    _Ing._ I never yet heard aught so beautiful!
    But still I comprehend it not.

    _Par._                   Nor I.
    For I have never felt it; yet I know
    A song my mother sang, an ancient song,
    That plainly speaks of love, at least to me.
    How goes it? Stay—         [_Slowly, as trying to recollect._

         “What love is, if thou wouldst be taught,
           Thy heart must teach alone,—
         Two souls with but a single thought,
           Two hearts that beat as one.

         And whence comes love? like morning’s light,
           It comes without thy call;
         And how dies love?—A spirit bright,
           Love never dies at all!”

         And when—and when—
                          [_Hesitating as if unable to continue._

    _Ing._ Go on.

    _Par._ I know no more.

    _Ing._ (_Impatiently._) Try—try!

    _Par._ I cannot now; but at some other time
    I may remember.

    _Ing._ (_Somewhat authoritatively._) Now, go on, I say.

    _Par._ (_Springing up in alarm._) Not now, I want more
                    roses for my wreath!
    Yonder they grow, I will fetch them for myself.
    Take care of all my flowers and the wreath!
             [_Throws the flowers into Ingomar’s lap and runs off._

    _Ing._ (_After a pause, without changing his position,
                    speaking to himself in deep abstraction._)

         “Two souls with but a single thought,
          Two hearts that beat as one.”

                      _Maria Lovell’s translation from the German._

[1] Parthenia’s father having been taken prisoner by Ingomar’s
followers, Parthenia voluntarily offers herself as hostage, while her
father returns to Massilia to raise his ransom. Her offer has been
accepted, and her father released.



CICELY AND THE BEARS.

I.


    “Oh, yes! Oh, yes! Oh, yes! ding-dong!”
    The bellman’s voice is loud and strong;
    So is his bell: “Oh, yes! ding-dong!”
    He wears a coat with golden lace;
    See how the people of the place
    Come running to hear what the bellman says!
    “Oh, yes! Sir Nicholas Hildebrand
    Has just returned from the Holy Land,
    And freely offers his heart and hand—
    Oh, yes! Oh, yes! Oh, yes! ding-dong!”
    All the women hurry along,
    Maids and widows, a clattering throng.
    “Oh, sir, you are hard to understand!
    To whom does he offer his heart and hand?
    Explain your meaning, we do command!”
    “Oh, yes! ding-dong! you shall understand!
    Oh, yes! Sir Nicholas Hildebrand
    Invites the ladies of this land
    To feast with him, in his castle strong,
    This very day at three. Ding-dong!
    Oh, yes! Oh, yes! Oh, yes! ding-dong!”
    Then all the women went off to dress,
    Mary, Margaret, Bridget, Bess,
    Patty, and more than I can guess.
    They powdered their hair with golden dust,
    And bought new ribbons—they said they must—
    But none of them painted, we will trust.
    Long before the time arrives,
    All the women that could be wives
    Are dressed within an inch of their lives.
    Meanwhile Sir Nicholas Hildebrand
    Had brought with him from the Holy Land
    A couple of bears—Oh, that was grand!
    He tamed the bears, and they loved him true:
    Whatever he told them they would do—
    Hark! ’tis the town-clock striking two!


II.

    Among the maidens of low degree
    The poorest of all was Cicely—
    A shabbier girl could hardly be.
    “Oh, I should like to see the feast,
    But my frock is old, my shoes are pieced,
    My hair is rough!”—(It never was greased.)
    The clock struck three! She durst not go!
    But she heard the band, and, to see the show,
    Crept after the people that went in a row.
    When Cicely came to the castle gate,
    The porter exclaimed, “Miss Shaggypate,
    The hall is full, and you come too late!”
    Just then the music made a din,
    Flute, and cymbal, and culverin,
    And Cicely, with a squeeze, got in.
    Oh, what a sight! Full fifty score
    Of dames that Cicely knew, and more,
    Filling the hall from dais to door!
    The dresses were like a garden bed,
    Green and gold, and blue and red—
    Poor Cicely thought of her tossy head!
    She heard the singing—she heard the clatter—
    Clang of flagon and clink of platter—
    But, oh, the feast was no such matter!
    For she saw Sir Nicholas himself,
    Raised on a dais just like a shelf,
    And fell in love with him—shabby elf!
    Her heart beat quick; aside she stepped:
    Under the tapestry she crept,
    Tousling her tossy hair, and wept!
    Her cheeks were wet, her eyes were red.
    “Who makes that noise?” the ladies said;
    “Turn out that girl with the shaggy head!”


III.

    Just then there was heard a double roar,
    That shook the place, both wall and floor:
    Everybody looked to the door.
    It was a roar, it was a growl;
    The ladies set up a little howl,
    And flapped and clucked like frightened fowl.
    Sir Hildebrand for silence begs—
    In walked the bears on their hinder legs,
    Wise as owls, and merry as grigs!
    The dark girls tore their hair of sable;
    The fair girls hid underneath the table;
    Some fainted; to move they were not able.
    But most of them could scream and screech—
    Sir Nicholas Hildebrand made a speech—
    “Order, ladies, I do beseech!”
    The bears looked hard at Cicely,
    Because her hair hung wild and free—
    “Related to us, miss, you must be!”
    Then Cicely, filling two plates of gold
    As full of cherries as they could hold,
    Walked up to the bears, and spoke out bold:
    “Welcome to you! and to _you_ Mr. Bear!
    Will you take a chair? will _you_ take a chair?
    This is an honor, we do declare!”
    Sir Hildebrand strode up to see,
    Saying, “Who may this maiden be?
    Ladies, this is the wife for me!”
    Almost before they could understand,
    He took up Cicely by the hand,
    And danced with her a saraband.
    Her hair was rough as a parlor broom;
    It swung, it swirled all round the room—
    Those ladies were vexed, we may presume.
    Sir Nicholas kissed her on the face,
    And set her beside him on the dais,
    And made her the lady of the place.
    The nuptials soon they did prepare,
    With a silver comb for Cicely’s hair:
    There were bands of music everywhere.
    And in that beautiful bridal show
    Both the bears were seen to go
    Upon their hind legs to and fro!
    Now every year on the wedding-day
    The boys and girls come out to play,
    And scramble for cherries as they may.
    With a cheer for this and the other bear,
    And a cheer for Sir Nicholas, free and fair,
    And a cheer for Cis, of the tossy hair—
    With one cheer more (if you will wait)
    For every girl with a curly pate,
    Who keeps her hair in a proper state.
    Sing bear’s grease! curling-irons to sell!
    Sing combs and brushes! sing tortoise-shell!
    Oh, yes! ding-dong! the crier, the bell!
    Isn’t this a pretty tale to tell?
                                        _Lilliput Levee._



A HOWL IN ROME.


It had been a day of triumph in Capua. Lentulus, returning with
victorious eagles, had amused the populace with the sports of the
amphitheatre to an extent hitherto unknown, even in that luxurious
city. A large number of people from the rural districts had taken
advantage of half-rates on the railroad, and had been in town watching
the conflict in the arena, listening to the infirm, decrepit ring-joke,
and viewing the bogus sacred elephant.

The shouts of revelry had died away. The last loiterer had retired from
the free-lunch counter, and the lights in the palace of the victor were
extinguished. The restless hyena in the Roman menagerie had sunk to
rest, and the Numidian lion at the stock-yards had taken out his false
teeth for the night. The moon, piercing the tissue of fleecy clouds,
tipped the dark waters of the Tiber with a wavy, tremulous light. The
dark-browed Roman soldier moved on his homeward way, the sidewalk
flipping up occasionally, and hitting him in the small of the back. No
sound was heard, save the low sob of some retiring wave as it told its
story to the smooth pebbles on the beach, or the unrelenting boot-jack
as it struck the high board fence in the back yard, just missing the
Roman tomcat in its mad flight; and then all was still as the breast
when the spirit has departed. Anon the half-stifled Roman snore would
steal in upon its deathly stillness, and then die away like a hot
biscuit in the hands of the hired man.

In the green room of the amphitheatre a little band of gladiators were
assembled. The foam of conflict yet lingered on their lips, the scowl
of battle yet hung upon their brows, and the large knobs on their
profiles indicated that it had been a busy day with them in the arena.

There was an embarrassing silence of about five minutes, when
Spartacus, gently laying his chew of tobacco on the banister, stepped
forth and addressed them:—

“Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,—Ye call me chief, and ye do well
to call him chief who for twelve long years has met in the arena every
shape of man or beast that the broad empire of Rome could furnish, and
yet has never squealed. I do not say this egotistically, but simply to
show that I am the star thumper of the entire outfit.

“If there be one among you who can say that ever in public fight, or
private brawl, my actions did belie my words, let him stand forth and
say it, and I will spread him around over the arena till the coroner
will have to soak him out of the ground with benzine. If there be three
in all your company dare face me on the bloody sands, let them come,
and I will construct upon their physiognomy such cupolas and cornices
and dormer-windows and Corinthian capitals and entablatures, that
their own masters would pass them by in the broad light of high noon
unrecognized.

“And yet I was not always thus,—a hired butcher,—the savage chief of
still more savage men. My ancestors came from Sparta, Wisconsin, and
settled among the vine-clad hills and citron-groves of Syracuse. My
early life ran as quiet as the clear brook by which I sported. Aside
from the gentle patter of my angel mother’s slipper on the bustle of my
overalls, every thing moved along with the still and rhythmic flow of
goose-grease. My boyhood was one long, happy summer day. We stole the
Roman muskmelon, and put split sticks on the tail of the Roman dog, and
life was a picnic and a hallelujah.

“When, at noon, I led the sheep beneath the shade, and played ‘Little
Sallie Waters’ on my shepherd’s flute, there was another Spartan youth,
the son of a neighbor, to join me in the pastime; we led our flocks to
the same pasture, and together picked the large red ants out of our
doughnuts.

“One evening, after the sheep had been driven into the corral, and we
were all seated beneath the ‘Bammygilead’-tree that shaded our cottage,
my grandsire, an old man, was telling of Marathon and Leuctra, and Dr.
Mary Walker, and other great men; and how a little band of Spartans at
Milwaukee had stood off the police, and how they fled away into the
mountains, and there successfully held an annual pass over the C. M. &
St. P. Railway. Held it for a year! I did not know then what war was;
but my cheeks burned, I knew not why, and I thought what a glorious
thing it would be to leave the reservation, and go upon the war-path.
But my mother kissed my throbbing temples, and bade me go and soak
my head, and think no more of those old tales and savage wars. That
very night the Romans landed on our coasts. They pillaged the whole
country, burned the agency buildings, demolished the ranche, rode off
the stock, tore down the smoke-house, and ran their war horses over the
cucumber-vines.

“To-day I killed a man in the arena; and when I broke his helmet
clasps, and looked upon him, behold! he was my friend. The same sweet
smile was on his face that I had known when in adventurous boyhood we
bathed in the glassy lake by our Spartan home, and he had tied my shirt
into 1,752 dangerous and difficult knots. He knew me, smiled faintly,
told me always to tell the truth, and to travel by the Milwaukee & St.
Paul road, and then ascended the golden stair. I begged of the Praetor
that I might be allowed to bear away the body, and have it packed in
ice, and shipped to his relatives in Sparta, Wisconsin; but he couldn’t
see it. As upon my bended knees, amid the dust and blood of the arena,
I begged this poor boon, and the Praetor answered, ‘Let the carrion
rot. There are no noblemen but Romans and Ohio men. Let the show go on.
Bring forth the bobtail lion from Abbyssinia.’ And the assembled maids
and matrons and the rabble shouted in derision, and told me to ‘brace
up;’ and they threw peanut-shells at me, and told me to ‘cheese it,’
with other Roman flings which I do not now recall.

“And so must you, fellow gladiators, and so must I, die like dogs.
To-morrow we are billed to appear at the Coliseum at Rome; and
reserved seats are even now being sold for our moral and instructive
performance, while I am speaking to you.

“Ye stand here like giants as ye are; but to-morrow some Roman dude
will pat your red brawn, and bet his shekels upon your blood.

“O Rome! Rome! Thou hast been a tender nurse to me. Thou hast given to
that gentle, timid, shepherd lad, who never knew a harsher tone than a
flute note, muscles of iron, and a heart of steel. Thou hast taught him
to drive his sword through plaited mail and links of rugged brass, and
warm it in the stomach of his foe; to gaze into the glaring eyeballs
of a fierce Numidian lion, even as the smooth-cheeked senator looks
into the laughing eyes of the chambermaid. And he shall pay thee back
till the rushing Tiber is red as frothing wine, and in its deepest ooze
thy life-blood lies curdled. Ye doubtless hear the gentle murmur of my
bazoo.

“Hark! Hear ye yon lion roaring in his den? ’Tis three days since he
tasted flesh, but to-morrow he will have gladiator on toast, and don’t
you forget it; and he will fling your vertebræ around his cage, and
wipe his nose on your clustering hair.

“If ye are brutes, then stand here like fat oxen waiting the butcher’s
knife. If ye are men, arise and follow me! Strike down the warden
and the turnkey, slide our baggage out the third story window of the
amphitheatre, overpower the public, and cut for the tall timber!

“O comrades! Warriors! Gladiators! If we be men, let us die like men,
beneath the blue sky, and by the still waters, and be buried according
to Hoyle, instead of having our shin-bones polished off by Numidian
lions, amid the groans and hisses of the populace here in Rome, New
York. Let us break loose, chaw the ear of the night watchman, buy our
tickets via the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railway, and go to
farming in Dakota! _Then_ if the fierce Roman don’t like our style, he
knows our post-office address.”

                                                       _Bill Nye._



JAMIE DOUGLAS.


    It was in the days when Claverhouse
      Was scouring moor and glen,
    To change, with fire and bloody sword,
      The faith of Scottish men.

    They had made a covenant with the Lord
      Firm in their faith to bide,
    Nor break to him their plighted word,
      Whatever might betide.

    The sun was well-nigh setting,
      When o’er the heather wild,
    And up the narrow mountain path,
      Alone there walked a child.

    He was a bonny, blithesome lad,
      Sturdy and strong of limb:
    A father’s pride, a mother’s love,
      Were fast bound up in him.

    His bright blue eyes glanced fearless round,
      His step was firm and light:
    What was it underneath his plaid
      His little hands grasped tight?

    It was bannocks which, that very morn,
      His mother made with care,
    From out her scanty store of meal,
      And now, with many a prayer,

    Had sent by Jamie, her ane boy,
      A trusty lad and brave,
    To good old Pastor Tammus Roy,
      Now hid in yonder cave,

    And for whom the bloody Claverhouse
      Had hunted long in vain,
    And swore they would not leave that glen
      Till old Tam Roy was slain.

    So Jamie Douglas went his way
      With heart that knew no fear:
    He turned the great curve in the rock,
      Nor dreamed that death was near.

    And there were bloody Claverhouse men
      Who laughed aloud with glee,
    When, trembling now within their power,
      The frightened child they see.

    He turns to flee, but all in vain:
      They drag him back apace
    To where their cruel leader stands,
      And set them face to face.

    The cakes concealed beneath his plaid
      Soon tell the story plain—
    “It is old Tam Roy the cakes are for!”
      Exclaimed the angry man.

    “Now guide me to his hiding-place,
      And I will let you go.”
    But Jamie shook his yellow curls,
      And stoutly answered, “No!”

    “I’ll drop you down the mountain side,
      And there upon the stones
    The old gaunt wolf and carrion crow
      Shall battle for your bones.”

    And in his brawny, strong right hand
      He lifted up the child,
    And held him where the clefted rocks
      Formed a chasm deep and wild.

    So deep it was, the trees below
      Like stunted bushes seemed.
    Poor Jamie looked in frightened maze:
      It seemed some horrid dream.

    He looked at the blue sky above,
      Then at the men near by:
    Had _they_ no little boys at home,
      That they could let him die?

    But no one spoke, and no one stirred,
      Or lifted hand to save
    From such a fearful, frightful death,
      The little lad so brave.

    “It is woful deep!” he shuddering cried;
      “But, oh! I canna tell!
    So drop me down, then, if you will—
      It is nae so deep as hell!”

    A childish scream, a faint, dull sound—
      O Jamie Douglas true!
    Long, long within that lonely cave
      Shall Tam Roy wait for you.

    Long for your welcome coming
      Waits the mother on the moor,
    And watches and calls, “Come, Jamie, lad,”
      Through the half-open door.

    No more adown the rocky path
      You come with fearless tread,
    Or, on moor or mountain, take
      The good man’s daily bread.

    But up in heaven the shining ones
      A wond’rous story tell,
    Of a child snatched up from a rocky gulf
      That is nae so deep as hell.

    And there before the great white throne,
      Forever blessed and glad,
    His mother dear and old Tam Roy
      Shall meet their bonny lad.



STORY OF A BEDSTEAD.


It was night.

The boarding-house was wrapt in tenebrous gloom, faintly tinted with an
odor of kerosene.

Suddenly there arose on the air a yell, followed by wild objurgations
and furious anathemas.

Then there was a clanking and rattling, as of an over-turned
picket-fence, and another yell with more anathemas. The fatted boarders
listened, and, ghostly clad, tip-toed along to Buffum’s room,—he of
Buffum & Bird, second-hand furniture dealers. As they stood there,
there was a whiz, a grinding, a rattling and a bang, and more yells.
They consulted, and knocked on the door.

“Come in.”

“Open it.”

“I can’t.”

Convinced that Buffum was in his last agony, they knocked in the door
with a bedpost.

The sight was ghastly. Clasped between two sturdy, though slender,
frames of walnut, Buffum, pale as a ghost, was six feet up in the air.
He couldn’t move. He was caught like a bear in a log-trap.

“What on earth is it?” they said.

“Bedstead—combination. New patent I was tellin’ you about,” gasped
Buffum.

His story was simple, though tearful. He had brought it home that day;
and, after using it for a writing-desk, had opened it out and made
his bed. He was going peacefully to dream-land, when he rolled over
and accidentally touched a spring. The faithful invention immediately
became a double crib, and turned Buffum into a squalling wafer. Then
he struggled, and was reaching around for the spring, when the patent
bedstead thought it would show off some more, and straightened out,
and shot up in the air, and was a clothes-horse. Buffum said he
didn’t like to be clothes, and he would give the thing to anybody
that would get him out. They said they would try. They didn’t want
any such fire-extinguisher as that for their trouble, but they would
try. They inspected it cautiously. They walked all around it. Then the
commission-merchant laid his little finger on the top end of it. The
thing snorted and reared as if it had been shot, slapped over with a
bang, and became an extension-table for ten people. When they recovered
from the panic, they came back. They found the commission-merchant in
the corner trying to get breath enough to swear, while he rubbed his
shins. Buffum had disappeared, but they knew he had not gone far. The
invention appeared to have taken a fancy to him, and incorporated him
into the firm, so to speak. He was down underneath, straddling one of
the legs, with his head jammed into the mattress. Nobody dared to touch
it. The landlady got a club and reached for its vital parts, but could
not find them. She hammered her breath away; and when she got through,
and dropped the club in despair, the thing spread out its arms with a
gasp and a rattle, turned over twice, and slapped itself into a bed
again, with Buffum peacefully among the sheets. He held his breath for
a minute; and then, watching his opportunity, made a flying-leap to the
floor, just in time to save himself from being a folding-screen.

A man with a black eye and cut lip told the “Wasp” editor about it
yesterday. He said he owned the patent, that Buffum had been explaining
to him how it worked.

                                  _From the San Francisco “Wasp.”_



“MAGDALENA.”


    Sat we ’neath the dark veranda,
      Years and years ago;
    And I softly pressed a hand a
      Deal more white than snow;
    And I cast aside my reina,
      As I gazed upon her face,
    And I read her “Magdalena,”
      While she smoothed her Spanish lace—
    Read her Waller’s “Magdalena”—
    She had Magdalena’s grace,
    Read her of the Spanish duel,
    Of the brother, courtly, cruel,
    Who between the British wooer
      And the Seville lady came:
    How her lover promptly slew her
      Brother, and then fled in shame—
    How he dreamed, in long years after,
    Of the river’s rippling laughter—
      Of the love he used to know,
    In the myrtle-curtained villa,
    Near the city of Sevilla,
      Years and years ago.

    Ah, how warmly was I reading,
      As I gazed upon her face!
    And my voice took tones of pleading,
      For I sought to win her grace.
    Surely, thought I, in her veins
    Runs some drop of foreign strains—
    There is something half Castilian
    In that lip that shames vermilion;
    In that mass of raven tresses,
    Tossing like a falcon’s jesses;
    In that eye with trailing lashes—
    And its witching upward flashes—
      Such, indeed, I know,
    Shone where Guadalquivir plashes
      Years and years ago.

    Looking in her face I read it—
      How the metre trips!—
    And the god of lovers
      On my happy lips—
    All those words of mystic sweetness
    Spoke I with an airy neatness,
    As I never had before—
    As I cannot speak them more—
    Reja, plaza and mantilla.
      “No palabras” and Sevilla,
    Caballero and sombrero,
    And duenna and Duero,
    Spada, senor, sabe Dios—
    Smooth as pipe of Melibœus—
    Ah, how very well I read it,
      Looking in her lovely eyes!
    When ’twas o’er, I looked for credit,
      As she softly moved to rise.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Doting dream, ah, dream fallacious—
      Years and years ago!
    For she only said, “My gracious—
      What a lot of French you know!”
                                    _Puck._



RAKING THE MEADOW-LOT.

A HAY-TIME IDYL.


    “We’ll mow,” quoth old farmer Jacobs, “the new corner medder
          to-day—
    Nell, you come an’ help with the rakin’—its right ketchin’ weather
          for hay;
    Neighbor Smith’s Jim, he’s bin to the city, an’ a new-fangled patent
          he’s bought;
    An’ he’s bound to come over this mornin’, an’ streak through that
          air medder-lot.

    He sez—an’ I tell him the kaounty ain’t able to beat him for
          cheek—
    The thing’ll do more execution than me an’ my boys in a week;
    But he offered so kinder perlite-like (I’ve no faith in the
          gimcrack—not I),
    I couldn’t do other than ’low him to fetch the queer critter an’
          try.”

    Pretty Nell, skimming cream in the dairy, peeped out through the
          vine-shaded pane,
    As Jim, with “Old Roan” and “Black Billy” went clattering down
          through the lane;
    And was it the “new-fangled mower” her shy blue eyes followed? I
          ween
    From the blushes that deepened and flitted, it could not have been
          the machine.

    Prone under the lengthening shadows the feathery meadow-grass lay;
    The daises uncrowned in their glory, sun-smitten, slow fading away;
    The cardinal flower in the ditches, rose proudly, right royally
          dressed,
    And restlessly hither and hither moaned the bobolinks spoiled of
          their nest.

    Fair Nellie outrivalled the daises; and so, it was plain, thought
          young Jim,
    Or else that such dainty hay-making required much assistance from
          him;
    And if ever the lost joy of Eden came back to this earth long
          forgot,
    It came to these blissful young lovers, a raking the new meadow-lot.

    “What’s this that you ax for—_my_ Nellie?—Wal, if I ain’t
          beat—can it be
    It wasn’t my _hay_ but my _darter_ made you mighty
          obleegin’ to me?
    You don’t desarve her, you rascal, but”—the shrewd gray eyes
          twinkled—“I guess—
    Considerin’ the help you’ll be hayin’—I s’pose—shall hev to
          say—yes.”
                                                  _Ruth Revere._



AFTER “TAPS.”


    Tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp!
    As I lay with my blanket on,
    By the dim firelight, in the moonlit night,
    When the skirmishing fight was done.

    The measured beat of the sentry’s feet,
    With the jingling scabbard’s ring!
    Tramp! tramp! in my meadow-camp
    By the Shenandoah’s spring!

    The moonlight seems to shed cold beams
    On a row of pale grave-stones:
    Give the bugle breath, and that image of Death
    Will fly from the reveille’s tones.

    By each tented roof, a charger’s hoof
    Makes the frosty hillside ring:
    Give the bugle breath, and a spirit of Death
    To each horse’s girth will spring.

    Tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp!
    The sentry before my tent,
    Guards in gloom his chief, for whom
    Its shelter to-night is lent.

    I am not there. On the hillside bare
    I think of the ghost within;
    Of the brave who died at my sword-hand side,
    To-day, ’mid the horrible din

    Of shot and shell, and the infantry yell,
    As we charged with the sabre drawn.
    To my heart I said, “Who shall be the dead
    In _my_ tent at another dawn?”

    I thought of a blossoming almond-tree,
    The stateliest tree that I know;
    Of a golden bowl; of a parted soul;
    And a lamp that is burning low.

    Oh, thoughts that kill! I thought of the hill
    In the far-off Jura chain;
    Of the two, the three, o’er the wide salt sea,
    Whose hearts would break with pain;

    Of my pride and joy—my eldest boy;
    Of my darling, the second—in years;
    Of _Willie_, whose face with its pure, mild grace,
    Melts memory into tears;

    Of their mother, my bride, by the Alpine lake’s side,
    And the angels asleep in her arms;
    Love, Beauty, and Truth, which she brought to my youth,
    In that sweet April day of her charms.

    “HALT! _Who comes there?_” The cold midnight air,
    And the challenging word, chills me through:
    The ghost of a fear whispers, close to my ear,
    “Is peril, love, coming to you?”

    The hoarse answer, “RELIEF,” makes the shade of a grief
    Die away, with the step on the sod.
    A kiss melts in air, while a tear and a prayer
    Confide my beloved to God.

    Tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp!
    With a solemn pendulum-swing!
    Though _I_ slumber all night, the fire burns bright,
    And my sentinels’ scabbards ring.

       *       *       *       *       *

    “Boot and saddle!” is sounding. Our pulses are bounding.
    “To horse!” and I touch with my heel
    Black Gray in the flanks, and ride down the ranks,
    With my heart, like my sabre, of steel.
                                       _Horace Binney Sargent._



INDIAN NAMES.


    Ye say they all have passed away—
      That noble race and brave;
    That their light canoes have vanished
      From off the crested wave;
    That, ’mid the forests where they roamed,
      There rings no hunter’s shout;
    But their name is on your waters—
      Ye may not wash it out.

    ’Tis where Ontario’s billow,
      Like ocean’s surge is curled;
    Where strong Niagara’s thunders wake
      The echo of the world;
    Where red Missouri bringeth
      Rich tribute from the west,
    And Rappahannock sweetly sleeps
      On green Virginia’s breast.

    Ye say their cone-like cabins,
      That clustered o’er the vale,
    Have fled away like withered leaves
      Before the Autumn’s gale;
    But their memory liveth on your hills.
      Their baptism on your shore:
    Your everlasting rivers speak
      Their dialect of yore.

    Old Massachusetts wears it
      Upon her lordly crown,
    And broad Ohio bears it
      Amid his young renown;
    Connecticut hath wreathed it
      Where her quiet foliage waves,
    And bold Kentucky breathes it hoarse
      Through all her ancient caves.

    Wachusett hides its lingering voice
      Within his rocky heart,
    And Alleghany graves its tone
      Throughout his lofty chart;
    Monadnock on his forehead hoar
      Doth seal the sacred trust;
    Your mountains build their monument,
      Though ye destroy their dust.

    Ye call these red-browed brethren
      The insects of an hour:
    Crushed like the noteless worm amid
      The regions of their power,
    Ye drive them from their fathers’ lands,
      Ye break of faith the seal;
    But can ye from the Court of Heaven
      Exclude their last appeal?

    Ye see their unresisting tribes,
      With toilsome steps and slow,
    On through the trackless desert pass,
      A caravan of woe:
    Think ye the Eternal Ear is deaf?
      His sleepless vision dim?
    Think ye the soul’s blood may not cry
      From that far land to him?
                              _L. H. Sigourney._



HE NEVER TOLD A LIE.


    I saw him standing in the crowd—
      A comely youth and fair!
    There was a brightness in his eye,
      A glory in his hair!
    I saw his comrades gaze on him—
      His comrades standing by.
    I heard them whisper each to each,
      “He never told a lie!”

    I looked in wonder on that boy,
      As he stood there so young:
    To think that never an untruth
      Was uttered by his tongue.
    I thought of all the boys I’d known,—
      Myself among the fry,—
    And knew of none that one could say,
      “He never told a lie!”

    I gazed upon that youth with awe
      That did enchain me long:
    I had not seen a boy before
      So perfect and so strong.
    And with something of regret
      I wished that he was I,
    So they might look at me and say,
      “He never told a lie!”

    I thought of questions very hard
      For boys to answer right:
    “How did you tear those pantaloons?”
      “My son! what caused the fight?”
    “Who left the gate ajar last night?”
      “Who bit the pumpkin-pie?”
    What boy could answer all of these,
      And never tell a lie?

    I proudly took him by the hand—
      My words with praise were rife;
    I blessed that boy who never told
      A falsehood in his life;
    I told him I was proud of him—
      A fellow standing by,
    Informed me that _that_ boy was dumb
      Who never told a lie!



A LESSON TO LOVERS.


    She, with a milk-pail on her arm,
      Turns aside with her young cheeks glowing,
    And sees down the lane, the slow, dull tread
      Of the drove of cows that are homeward going.
    “Bessie,” he said: at the sound she turned,
      Her blue eyes full of childish wonder:
    “My mother is feeble and lame and old—
      I need a wife at my farmhouse yonder.

    “My heart is lonely, my home is drear:
      I need your presence ever near me.
    Will you be my guardian angel, dear,
      Queen of my household, to guide and cheer me?”

    “It has a pleasant sound,” she said,—
      “A household queen, a guiding spirit,
    To warm your heart, and cheer your home,
      And keep the sunshine ever near it:
    But I am only a simple child,
      So my mother says in her daily chiding;
    And what must a guardian angel do
      When she first begins her work of guiding?”

    “Well, first, dear Bessie, a smiling face
      Is dearer far than the rarest beauty;
    And my mother, fretful, lame, and old,
      Will require a daughter’s loving duty.
    You will see to her flannels, drops, and tea,
      And talk with her of lungs and liver:
    Give her your cheerful service, dear—
      The Lord he loveth a cheerful giver.

    “You will see that my breakfast is piping hot,
      And rub the clothes to a snowy whiteness;
    Make golden butter and snowy rolls,
      And polish things to a shining brightness;
    Will darn my stockings, and mend my coats,
      And see that the buttons are sewed on tightly:
    You will keep things cheerful and neat and sweet,
      That home’s altar-fires may still burn brightly.

    “You will read me at evening the daily news,
      The tedious winter nights beguiling,
    And never forget that the sweetest face
      Is a cheerful face that’s always smiling.
    In short, you’ll arrange in a general way
      For a sort of sublunary heaven;
    For home, dear Bessie, say what we may,
      Is the highest sphere to a woman given.”

    The lark sang out to the bending sky,
      The bobolink piped in the nodding rushes,
    And out of the tossing clover-blooms
      Came the sweet, clear song of the meadow-thrushes.
    And Bessie, listening, paused a while,
      Then said, with a sly glance at her neighbor,
    “But John—do you mean—that is to say,
      What shall I get for all this labor?

    “To be nurse, companion, and servant girl,
      To make home’s altar-fires burn brightly;
    To wash and iron and scrub and cook,
      And always be cheerful, neat, and sprightly;
    To give up liberty, home, and friends,
      Nay, even the name of a mother’s giving,—
    To do all this for one’s board and clothes,
      Why, the life of an angel isn’t worth living!”

    And Bessie gayly went her way
      Down through the fields of scented clover,
    But never again since that summer day
      Has she won a glance from her rustic lover.
    The lark sings out to the bending sky,
      The clouds sail on as white as ever;
    The clovers toss in the summer wind,
      But Bessie has lost that chance forever.



GRANT’S STRATEGY.


Who had thought, until Grant said it, that the crisis comes in battle
when both armies are nearly exhausted, and that usually the one wins
which attacks first? When did he ever fail to attack first? Who had
thought, until he suggested it, that the trouble with the Potomac
army, the pride of the nation, was, that it had not fought its battles
through? Who then living has forgotten the utter downfall of hope, the
absolute despair throughout the North, as the moan from the Wilderness
came rolling up on the southern breeze? Is the task hopeless? Is this
last mighty effort only more disastrous than that of McClellan, of
Pope, of Burnside, of Hooker? No! listen to the assurance, “I’ll fight
it out on this line if it takes all summer.” Every loyal heart in the
land is inspired. That telegram to the President was the death-knell of
rebellion.

But the test-hour of Grant had not yet come. Meade was glorious,
Sherman magnificent; but Sigel is routed, Butler has not succeeded,
Banks utterly failed. Shall Grant unloose his grip? Never! Was it,
then, less than the inspiration of genius? Sheridan, take the Sixth
Corps, and clean out the valley so a “crow must take his rations when
he flies over it.” Meade, absorb the army of the James, and never let
Lee escape. Sherman, march to the sea as a cyclone of devastation.
Thomas, play with Hood until you draw him to destruction. Stoneman,
take your bold riders across the mountains, into Virginia and the
Carolinas, right across every line of supply to the enemy. Wilson, push
your twelve thousand mounted men into the heart of Alabama. Canby,
capture Mobile.

Such was the new combination, audacious in strategy beyond precedent;
but, if faulty in any respect, military critics have not discovered
it. Its perfection, and the result of the execution, stamp it forever
with the insignia of genius. Masterly tactics, brilliant manœuvring,
bold fighting, though essential to success after the combinations have
produced the strategical situation, yet rarely cure material defect in
the latter. If cured at all, it is generally by blunders of the enemy.
Lee and Johnston, as defensive generals, were not blunderers. I pity
the man who, in the face of the record, attacks General Grant as a
master of grand strategy. I need not speak of his tactics. I believe
mankind are agreed, that the history of war discloses no display of
tactical skill and vigor superior to Grant’s about Vicksburg, and from
the 3d to the 9th of April, 1865, being directed to prevent General
Lee’s attempted escape from Petersburg and junction with Johnston in
North Carolina. The annals of other wars seem tame when read by the
side of the story of that week’s work. It resulted in the despatch
to Secretary Stanton, so simple and modest in language, yet the most
momentous of all history: “General Lee surrendered the army of Northern
Virginia this afternoon on terms proposed by myself.” The work was
done, and how completely done,—done precisely as planned; not an
element, not a vestige, of luck in it. Every army was at the precise
place designed, with the exact work accomplished that was marked out
for it. Method, plan, design, exclude the idea of luck. Let us in
humble reverence say, as the truth was, the God of nations blessed
General Grant in his awful undertaking.

                                            _Judge Veazey._



A “LOVE” GAME.


    Shall we take a stroll together,
        You and I,
    And discuss the charming weather,
        This July,
    Or the picnics and the dances,
    And those sweet but short romances,
    Which, like other idle fancies,
        Pass and die?

    Yes, ’tis true that things have happened
        Since we met,—
    Since I saw you first with cap and
        Gay rosette,
    Standing like some well-drilled soldier,
    Only calmer and—well—bolder,
    With a racket on your shoulder,
        At the net;

    And your face lit up with laughter
        Through it all,
    Little feet went tripping after
        Every ball,
    While the look of bright reliance
    Which bespoke a pert defiance
    Of all manly wiles and science,
        I recall.

    ’Twas a glance that struck dire terror
        To my heart,
    And proved source of many an error
        In my art;
    Yet in truth I felt not humbled,
    Though my partner growled and grumbled,
    As I slid and slipped and stumbled
        Through my part.

    You still remember, though so trifling.
        What I said
    As we left the lawn, too stifling,
        For the shade;
    And as, moved by glance magnetic
    Of your eyes, I waxed prophetic,
    While you smiled back sympathetic,
        Calm and staid?

    Is it wise, then, to remember
        Golden hours,—
    Recall June in December
        Such as ours?
    All the hopes that have miscarried—
    What! too long, you say, you’ve tarried,
    And your husband—_Then you’re married!_
        Gracious powers!
                            _T. Malcolm Watson_



AN OLD MAN’S PRAYER.


    In the loftiest room, of princely state,
    Of a modern palace grand and great,
    Whose marble front is a symbol true
    Of the inner splendors hid from view,
    On an autumn night, when wild without
    The bold winds held their revel rout,
    Rudely assailing the passing throng,
    Through churchyards creeping with mournful song,
    A group was gathered around a board
    Heaped with all that wealth could afford,
    Or taste could suggest: dishes costly and rare,
    Fruits of all climes and all seasons, were there.
    The pendent lights in brilliance danced
    On the gleaming plate their rays enhanced;
    The massive mirrors thrice displayed
    The stately banquet there arrayed.
    Furniture carved by an artist hand,
    Carpets which only great wealth could command,
    Curtains of damask, of lace, and of gold,
    Spoke of the splendors wealth could unfold,
    And filled with a joy and a pleasure rare
    The youthful hearts that were gathered there.
    Slender each form, and fair each face,
    Of the twelve gay lads which that table grace,
    As with genial talk and pleasant jest
    They banter each other, and cheer their guest.
    For one guest is there, as youthful as they,
    With a heart as light, and a voice as gay,
    Who laughs at their jests with ready glee,
    And whose quick returns speak a spirit free,—
    An honored guest; for, on the morrow,
    They must part with him in pain and sorrow.
    The glittering emblems his shoulders bear
    Bid him for strife and for peril prepare;
    Bid him go forth at his Country’s call,
    With her banner to triumph, or on it to fall.
    A moment’s pause, as with ready hand
    The waiter hurries, at command,
    To clear the table, and, instead
    Of the rich, choice viands thickly spread,
    Ranges dark bottles and cruses, which show
    Marks of long years in damp vaults below.
    The richest juices age can display
    Are quickly spread in tempting array.
    Wines of Bordeaux and Seville are there,
    With liquors and cordials sparkling and rare;
    And bottles are opened, and glasses are filled.
    When all in a moment the tumult is stilled,
    As he who presides with dignified grace
    High raises his goblet, and stands in his place:—
    “I give you, friends, no warrior’s name
    Your hearts to thrill, your blood to flame;
    No toast to beauty shall my lips repeat,
    Where we to-night in sacred friendship meet
    To part with one, who, in our boyhood’s days,
    Earnest and true, won all our love and praise;
    Who, on the morrow, plays the hero’s part,
    And seeks the battle with a loyal heart.
    His health I give with an earnest prayer,
    That, while on his mission of peril and care,
    Success may be his, and, by deeds renowned,
    He may meet us again with laurels crowned.”
    All glasses are raised, when a gentle hand
    Is heard at the door—all silent stand
    As it slowly opens, and into the light
    An old man steps, his features bright:
    The long white hairs o’er his shoulders stream,
    Like silver threads in the warm rays beam.
    Wrinkled his brow, and pale his face,
    Wasted his form, and tottering his pace,
    Shrunken his cheek; but the eye above
    Tells of gentleness, kindliness, love.
    And silent stand all as he slowly seeks
    A place near the table, and gently speaks:—

    “Young men, but a moment I check your mirth,
    And bring you back to the common earth.
    Unbidden I come with an old man’s prayer:
    May it seek your hearts, and gain entrance there!
    Look on my face, seamed, not with crime,
    But with marks of age before their time:
    These long white hairs should not have shown
    Till ten more years had by me flown.
    Age is upon me; not age by years,
    But age by sorrow and care and tears;
    Not age that cheers as it draweth near
    Yon heaven which seemeth more bright and clear,
    But age which causes the heart to lag
    In its onward course, and the spirit to flag;
    That prays for death as but a release
    From earthly care, and finds no peace
    In that sweet belief that at last I hail,—
    ‘There is rest for the weary beyond the vale.’
    For to me has come a spirit of light,
    Bringing the morning, and chasing the night;
    Causing my heart with joy to swell
    To my Maker, ‘who doeth all things well.’
    You shall hear my story: ’twill not be long,
    And may guard you all from sin and from wrong.
    I had wealth and plenty in goodly lands,
    In houses and cattle; and from my hands
    Many were fed; and many were they
    Who partook of my charity day by day.
    My house was open to stranger and friend;
    And my gold did I lavishly, freely spend.
    But one bitter curse did my wealth uprear
    To poison my life,—the tempter here,
    The sparkling demon, which now I see
    From all your glasses glaring on me,—
    A monster who steals on its prey so slow,
    That it has your life before you know
    Or dream of its power: this was the curse
    That sat at my fireside, robbed my purse,
    Poisoned my life, and left me to be
    A drifting log on the world’s wide sea,
    Ruined and bankrupt, lost and bereft;
    No kindred, no fortune, no treasure, left.
    Treasure!—yes; for I had three sons,
    The hope of my life,—three noble ones.
    You shall hear their fate, and then I’ll away,
    Nor longer your hour of pleasure delay.

    “One sought as a merchant hopeful to clear
    Our tarnished name, to again uprear
    Our shattered house; but, sad to say,
    The curse of the wine-cup was in his way.
    He seized on it madly, drank deep and fast,
    And sank to the drunkard’s grave at last.
    I stood by his side as with frenzy wild
    He cursed himself and his wife and child;
    He cursed me too, as the one who had led
    His feet in the path that drunkards tread;
    And then—it was worse than all beside—
    He cursed his Maker; and then—he died!

    “Another, with spirit that loved to brave,
    Sought a bold, free life on the ocean-wave.
    He left my side full of life and health,
    In a good stanch ship, in search of wealth.
    A twelvemonth passed, and day by day
    I scanned for his sail the distant bay.
    At last I saw it, and eagerly flew
    To welcome my boy so manly and true.
    But, alas! he was gone: no son to greet
    My waiting heart came with eager feet.
    But they told me there,—one stormy night,
    When the heavens were filled with angry light,
    The waves rolled high, and the winds beat wild,
    That out on a frail yard went my child;
    He had drunk deep, and ’twas fearful to sweep
    On that slender spar o’er the seething deep;
    That one heavy sea tossed the ship like a toy,
    And hurled from his hold my darling boy.
    Then I sank me down in agony wild,
    And glared on the waves that rolled over my child:
    I gazed until in the waters blue
    I saw reflected the brilliant hue
    Of one lone star, which, high above,
    Seemed to speak to my heart of faith and love;
    And I thought, as I turned my eyes to its light,
    It beckoned me on to the heavens so bright,
    Where I know, whenever this life shall cease,
    I shall meet my boy in eternal peace.

    “I had but one left; and him I taught
    To shun each sinful word and thought;
    To beware of the wine-cup’s demon lure,
    That would steel his heart, and his soul obscure.
    He took the way of life that leads
    To the sacred desk where the preacher pleads,
    And placed his foot on the pulpit stair,
    The gospel—banner of life—to bear.
    When the cannon’s boom o’er Sumter broke,
    And the air was filled with traitorous smoke;
    When brave men sprang with willing hearts
    To their Country’s flag to repel the darts
    Which treason had hurled with malice wild
    At the life of the mother, so good and mild,—
    My boy stepped down from the preacher’s stand,
    And started forth, with life in hand,
    To sell it dear, but to battle strong
    With the loyal North against fearful wrong.
    I know that he carries a magic spell
    ’Gainst the curse of our race to guard him well;
    And I know, should he fall, his death will be
    In the foremost ranks of loyalty.
    And now, young men, an old man’s prayer:—
    Leave the bright wine in your glasses there;
    Shun its allurements; for in its deep red
    Is the blood of its victims dying and dead.
    Fill up your glasses, and pledge your friend
    In the crystal stream that Heaven doth send.”

    With a lowly bow, and the same meek air,
    He has passed the door, and adown the stair;
    While those he has left to their leader turn
    With downcast eyes, and cheeks that burn.
    Silent he stands as his glass he takes,
    When the guest of the evening the silence breaks.
    “Friends of my boyhood, the old man’s prayer
    Shall meet a response in the heart I wear.
    I come to-night from a mother’s side:
    She watches my life with a parent’s pride;
    And I know ’tis the dearest wish of her heart,
    In camp and in battle to keep me apart
    From sin and temptation; unceasing will pray
    Heaven’s blessing to guard on my perilous way.
    And this pledge will I leave her,—never again
    The wine-cup’s deadly poison to drain.
    So, friends, let’s drink to our meeting again:
    My drink is the water, free from all stain.”
    He stood with his upraised glass, and the light
    Full on his fair young brow beamed bright,—
    That brow which an anxious mother would kiss
    With a pure, deep feeling of heartfelt bliss;
    And along the line of his comrades young,
    To honor his toast, each hand upsprung:
    In not one glass did the red wine gleam;
    But all were filled from the crystal stream.

    On the morrow, adown the street,
    With trumpet’s blast and war-drum’s beat,
    Firm and erect, with martial tread,
    The flag of their Country overhead,
    With brave, stout hearts, and patriot-song,
    The Nation’s heroes go marching along.
    And our soldier is there, marching forth
    To join the bands of the loyal North;
    To strike a blow for his Country dear,
    And her trailing flag to again uprear.
    Light is his heart; his faith is strong;
    Bright gleams his sword as he moves along:
    But the armor he wears that shall serve him best
    Is the pledge to his mother guarding his breast.
                                      _George M. Baker._



THE LEAK IN THE DIKE.

A STORY OF HOLLAND.


    The good dame looked from her cottage
      At the close of the pleasant day,
    And cheerily called to her little son
      Outside the door at play,—
    “Come, Peter, come! I want you to go,
      While there is light to see,
    To the hut of the blind old man who lives
      Across the dike, for me;
    And take these cakes I made for him—
      They are hot and smoking yet:
    You have time enough to go and come
      Before the sun is set.”

    Then the good-wife turned to her labor,
      Humming a simple song,
    And thought of her husband, working hard
      At the sluices all day long;
    And set the turf a-blazing,
      And brought the coarse black bread,
    That he might find a fire at night,
      And find the table spread.

    And Peter left the brother,
      With whom all day he had played,
    And the sister who had watched their sports
      In the willow’s tender shade,
    And told them they’d see him back before
      They saw a star in sight,
    Though he wouldn’t be afraid to go
      In the very darkest night!

    For he was a brave, bright fellow,
      With eye and conscience clear;
    He could do whatever a boy might do,
      And he had not learned to fear.
    Why, he wouldn’t have robbed a bird’s nest,
      Nor brought a stork to harm,
    Though never a law in Holland
      Had stood to stay his arm!

    And now, with his face all glowing,
      And eyes as bright as the day
    With the thoughts of his pleasant errand,
      He trudged along the way;
    And soon his joyous prattle
      Made glad a lonesome place—
    Alas! if only the blind old man
      Could have seen that happy face!
    Yet he somehow caught the brightness
      Which his voice and presence lent,
    And he felt the sunshine come and go
      As Peter came and went.

    And now, as the day was sinking,
      And the winds began to rise,
    The mother looked from her door again.
      Shading her anxious eyes,
    And saw the shadows deepen,
      And birds to their homes come back,
    But never a sign of Peter
      Along the level track.
    But she said, “He will come at morning,
      So I need not fret or grieve;
    Though it isn’t like my boy at all
      To stay without my leave.”

    But where was the child delaying?
      On the homeward way was he,
    And across the dike, while the sun was up
      An hour above the sea.
    He was stopping, now to gather flowers,
      Now listening to the sound,
    As the angry waters dashed themselves
      Against their narrow bound.
    “Ah! well for us,” said Peter;
      “That the gates are good and strong,
    And my father tends them carefully,
      Or they would not hold you long!
    You’re a wicked sea,” said Peter:
      “I know why you fret and chafe;
    You would like to spoil our lands and homes
      But our sluices keep you safe!”

    But hark! Through the noise of waters
      Comes a low, clear, trickling sound;
    And the child’s face pales with terror,
      And his blossoms drop to the ground.
    He is up the bank in a moment,
      And, stealing through the sand,
    He sees a stream not yet so large
      As his slender, childish hand.
    ’Tis a leak in the dike! He is but a boy,
      Unused to fearful scenes;
    But, young as he is, he has learned to know
      The dreadful thing that means.
    A leak in the dike! The stoutest heart
      Grows faint that cry to hear,
    And the bravest man in all the land
      Turns white with mortal fear.
    For he knows the smallest leak may grow
      To a flood in a single night,
    And he knows the strength of the cruel sea
      When loosed in its angry might.

    And the boy! He has seen the danger,
      And, shouting a wild alarm,
    He forces back the weight of the sea
      With the strength of his single arm.
    He listens for the joyful sound
      Of a footstep passing nigh,
    And lays his ear to the ground, to catch
      The answer to his cry.
    And he hears the rough winds blowing,
      And the waters rise and fall,
    But never an answer comes to him,
      Save the echo of his call.
    He sees no hope, no succor;
      His feeble voice is lost;
    Yet what shall he do but watch and wait,
      Though he perish at his post!

    So, faintly calling and crying
      Till the sun is under the sea,
    Crying and moaning till the stars
      Come out for company,
    He thinks of his brother and sister,
      Asleep in their safe warm bed;
    He thinks of his father and mother,
      Of himself as dying—and dead;
    And of how, when the night is over,
      They must come and find him at last:
    But he never thinks he can leave the place
      Where duty holds him fast.

    The good dame in the cottage
      Is up and astir with the light,
    For the thought of her little Peter
      Has been with her all night.
    And now she watches the pathway,
      As yestereve she had done;
    But what does she see so strange and black
      Against the rising sun?
    Her neighbors are bearing between them
      Something straight to her door:
    Her child is coming home, but not
      As he ever came before!

    “He is dead!” she cries; “my darling!”
      And the startled father hears,
    And comes and looks the way she looks,
      And fears the thing she fears:
    Till a glad shout from the bearers
      Thrills the stricken man and wife—
    “Give thanks, for your son has saved our land,
      And God has saved his life!”
    So, there in the morning sunshine
      They knelt about the boy;
    And every head was bared and bent
      In tearful, reverent joy.

    ’Tis many a year since then; but still,
      When the sea roars like a flood,
    Their boys are taught what a boy can do
      Who is brave and true and good.
    For every man in that country
      Takes his son by the hand,
    And tells him of little Peter,
      Whose courage saved the land.
    They have many a valiant hero
      Remembered through the years,
    But never one whose name so oft
      Is named with loving tears.
    And his deed shall be sung by the cradle,
      And told the child on the knee,
    So long as the dikes of Holland
      Divide the land from the sea!
                                 _Phœbe Cary._



THE “COURSE OF LOVE” TOO “SMOOTH.”


She came tripping from the church-door, her face flushed by emotions
awakened by the just uttered discourse, and eyes bright with loving
expectation. He shivered on the curbstone, where for an hour he had
waited impatiently, with a burning heart fairly palpitating in his
throat, and frozen fingers in his pockets. They linked arms, and
started for the residence of her parents. After a few moments’
hesitating, silence, he said, “Jane, we have known each other long. You
must know just how I feel. You must have seen that clear down at the
bottom—O Moses!”

He had slipped down on the ice with so much force that his spine was
driven up into his hat, and his hat was tipped over his nose; but she
was a tender-hearted girl; she did not laugh, but she carefully helped
him to his feet, and said,—

“You were saying, John, when you slipped, that the foundation—Oh,
goodness!”

She slipped herself that time, and saw little stars come down to dance
before her eyes; but he pulled her up in haste, and went on,—

“Yes; just as I said, clean down at the bottom of my heart is a fervent
love, on which I build my hopes. That love has helped me stand and
face—Thunder!”

He was down again, but scrambled up before she could stoop to help him;
and she said, breathlessly,—

“Yes, yes, John. You remember you just said a love which helped you
stand and face thunder. And that you founded your hopes on—This pesky
ice!”

There she sat. John grasped the loose part of her sack, between the
shoulders, with one hand, and raised her to her feet, as one would lift
a kitten from a pail of water by the back of the neck. Then he said,
with increased earnestness,—

“Of course, darling; and I have longed for a opportunity to tell my
love, and to hear those sweet lips whisper—Whoop!”

Somehow John’s feet had slipped from under him, and he had come down
like a capital V with his head and feet pointing skyward. She twined
her taper fingers in his curling locks, and raised him to the stature
of a man, set his hat firmly over his eyes with both hands, and cried,
in breathless haste,—

“I understand! and let me assure you John, that if it is in my power
to lighten your cares, and make lighter your journey through life
to—Jerusalem!”

John stood alone, and said with breathless vehemence,—“O my precious!
and thus shall it be my lifelong pleasure to lift you from the rude
assaults of earth, and surround you with the loving atmosphere
of—Texas!”

And there they both sat together. They had nearly reached the gate,
and, hand in hand, and with hearts overflowing with the bliss of young
love’s first confession, they crept along on their knees up to the
front steps, and were soon forgetful of their bumps on the softest
cushion of the parlor sofa.



DYIN’ VORDS OF ISAAC.


Vhen Shicago vas a leedle villages, dher lifed dherein py dot Clark
Sdhreet out, a shentlemans who got some names like Isaacs; he geeb a
cloting store, mit goots dot vit you yoost der same like dhey vas made.
Isaacs vas a goot fellers, und makes goot pishness on his hause. Vell,
thrade got besser as der time he vas come, und dose leetle shtore vas
not so pig enuff like anudder shtore, und pooty gwick he locks out und
leaves der pblace.

Now Yacob Schloffenheimer vas a shmard feller; und he dinks of he dook
der olt shtore, he got good pishness, und dose olt coostomers von
Isaac out. Von tay dhere comes a shentlemans on his store, und Yacob
quick say of der mans, “How you vas, mein freund? you like to look of
mine goots, aind it?”—“Nein,” der mans say. “Vell, mein freund, it
makes me notting troubles to show dot goots.”—“Nein; I don’d vood buy
sometings to-tay”—“Yoost come mit me vonce, mein freund, und I show
you sometings, und so hellup me gracious, I don’d ask you to buy dot
goods.”—“Vell, I told you vat it vas. I don’d vood look at some tings
yoost now; I keebs a livery shtable; und I likes to see mein old freund
Mister Isaacs, und I came von Kaintucky out to see him once.”—“Mister
Isaacs? Vell, dot ish pad; I vas sorry von dot. I dells you, mein
freund, Mister Isaacs he vas died. He vas mein brudder, und he vas not
mit us eny more. Yoost vhen he vas on his deat-ped, und vas dyin’, he
says of me, ‘Yacob,’ (dot ish mine names), und I goes me ofer mit his
petside, und he poods his hands of mine, und he says of me, ‘Yacob’
ofer a man he shall come von Kaintucky out, mit ret hair, und mit plue
eyes, Yacob, sell him dings cheab;’ und he lay ofer und died his last.”

                                                    _Anonymous._



NO!


              No sun—no moon—
              No morn—no noon—
    No dawn—no dusk—no proper time of day—
              No sky—no earthly view—
              No distance looking blue—
    No road—no street—no “t’other side the way”—
              No end to any Row—
              No indications where the crescents go—
              No top to any steeple—
              No recognition of familiar people—
                No courtesies for showing ’em—
                No knowing ’em—
    No travelling at all—no locomotion—
    No inkling of the way—no notion—
    No go, by land or ocean!
                No mail—no post—
                No news from any foreign coast—
    No park—no ring—no afternoon gentility—
    No company—no nobility—
    No warmth—no cheerfulness, no healthful ease—
      No comfortable feel in any member—
    No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
    No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
                November!
                                             _Hood._



THE MENAGERIE.


    Did you ever? No, I never!
      Mercy on us, what a smell!
    Don’t be frightened, Johnny dear!
      Gracious! how the jackalls yell.
    Mother, tell me what’s the man
      Doing with that pole of his?
    Bless your little precious heart,
      He’s stirring up the beastesses!

    Children, don’t you go so near!
      Heving’s! there’s the Afric cowses
    What’s the matter with the child?
      Why, the monkey’s, tore his trousers!
    Here’s the monstrous elephant—
      I’m all a-tremble at the sight;
    See his monstrous toothpick, boys!
      Wonder if he’s fastened tight?

    There’s the lion! see his tail!
      How he drags it on the floor!
    Sakes alive! I’m awful scared
      To hear the horrid creatures roar!
    Here’s the monkeys in their cage,
      Wide awake you are to see ’em;
    Funny, ain’t it? How would you
      Like to have a tail and be ’em?

    Johnny, darling, that’s the bear
      That tore the naughty boys to pieces!
    Horned cattle! only hear
      How the dreadful camel wheezes!
    That’s the tall giraffe, my boy,
      Who stoops to hear the morning lark;
    ’Twas him who waded Noah’s flood,
      And scorned the refuge of the ark.

    Here’s the crane—the awkward bird!
      Strong his neck is as a whaler’s;
    And his bill is full as long
      As ever met one from the tailor’s.
    Look! just see the zebra there,
      Standing safe behind the bars;
    Goodness me! how like a flag,
      All except the corner stars!

    There’s the bell! the birds and beasts
      Now are going to be fed;
    So, my little darlings, come,
      It’s time for you to be abed.
    “Mother, ’tisn’t nine o’clock!
      You said we needn’t go before;
    Let us stay a little while—
      Want to see the monkeys more!”

    Cries the showman, “Turn ’em out!
      Dim the lights! there, that will do;
    Come again to-morrow, boys;
      Bring your little sister, too.”
    Exit mother, half distraught,
      Exit father, muttering “Bore!”
    Exit children blubbering still,
      “Want to see the monkeys more!”
                                  _J. Honeywell._



BIDDY’S PHILOSOPHY.


    What would I do if you was dead?
      And when do you think of dying?
    I’d stand by your bed, and hold your head,
      And cry, or pretind to be crying!
    There’s many a worser man nor you—
      If one knew where to find him—
    And mebbe many a better, too,
      With money to leave behind him!
    But you, if I was dying to-day,
      (I saw you now when you kissed her!)
    I tell you, Pat, what you’d be at—
      You’d marry your widdy’s sister!

    You’d make an illigant corpse, indade,
      Sleeping so sound and stiddy;
    If you could see yourself as you laid,
      You’d want to come back to Biddy!
    You would be dressed in your Sunday best,
      As tidy as I could make you,
    With a sprig of something on your breast,
      And the boys would come to wake you.
    But you, if I was dead in your stead,
      (Do you think I never missed her?)
    I tell you, Pat, what you’d be at—
      You’d marry your widdy’s sister!

    The undertaker would drive the hearse
      That has the big black feather;
    If there was no money left in your purse,
      Your friends would club together.
    They’d look at your cold remains before
      They followed you down to the ferry,
    And the coaches standing at the door
      Would go to the cemetery.
    But you, if I was once in the box,
      (I wonder her lips don’t blister!)
    I tell you, Pat, what you’d be at—
      You’d marry your widdy’s sister!

    When you was under the sod I’d sigh,
      And—if I could do without you—
    Mebbe I’ve a strapping lad in my eye
      Would come here and talk about you.
    A little courtin’ would be divertin’,
      A kind voice whispering “_Biddy_!”
    And a kiss on the sly—for what’s the hurt in
      A man consoling a widdy?
    But you, before I was dead at all,
      (Now don’t deny that you kissed her!)
    I tell you, Pat, what you’d be at—
      You’d marry your widdy’s sister!
                                   _R. H. Stoddard._



ON THE SHORES OF TENNESSEE.


    “Move my arm-chair, faithful Pompey,
      In the sunshine bright and strong,
    For this world is fading, Pompey—
      Massa won’t be with you long;
    And I fain would hear the south wind
      Bring once more the sound to me,
    Of the wavelets softly breaking
      On the shores of Tennessee.

    “Mournful though the ripples murmur,
      As they still the story tell,
    How no vessels float the banner
      That I’ve loved so long and well,
    I shall listen to their music,
      Dreaming that again I see
    Stars and strips on sloop and shallop
      Sailing up the Tennessee;

    “And, Pompey, while old Massa’s waiting
      For Death’s last despatch to come,
    If that exiled starry banner
      Should come proudly sailing home,
    You shall greet it, slave no longer—
      Voice and hand shall both be free
    That shout and point to Union colors
      On the waves of Tennessee.”

    “Massa’s berry kind to Pompey;
      But old darkey’s happy here,
    Where he’s tended corn and cotton
      For dese many a long gone year.
    Over yonder Missis’ sleeping—
      No one tends her grave like me:
    Mebbe she would miss the flowers
      She used to love in Tennessee.”

    “’Pears like, she was watching Massa—
      If Pompey should beside him stay,
    Mebbe she’d remember better
      How for him she used to pray;
    Telling him that way up yonder
      White as snow his soul would be,
    If he served the Lord of heaven
      While he lived in Tennessee.”

    Silently the tears were rolling
      Down the poor old dusky face,
    As he stepped behind his master,
      In his long accustomed place.
    Then a silence fell around them,
      As they gazed on rock and tree
    Pictured in the placid waters
      Of the rolling Tennessee,—

    Master, dreaming of the battle
      Where he fought by Marion’s side,
    When he bid the haughty Tarleton
      Stoop his lordly crest of pride,—
    Man, remembering how yon sleeper
      Once he held upon his knee,
    Ere she loved the gallant soldier,
      Ralph Vervair of Tennessee.

    Still the south wind fondly lingers
      ’Mid the veteran’s silver hair;
    Still the bondman close beside him
      Stands behind the old arm-chair,
    With his dark-hued hand uplifted,
      Shading eyes, he bends to see
    Where the woodland, boldly jutting,
      Turns aside the Tennessee.

    Thus he watches cloud-born shadows
      Glide from tree to mountain crest,
    Softly creeping, aye and ever
      To the river’s yielding breast.
    Ha! above the foliage yonder
      Something flutters wild and free!
    “Massa! Massa! Hallelujah!
      The flag’s come back to Tennessee!”

    “Pompey, hold me on your shoulder;
      Help me stand on foot once more,
    That I may salute the colors
      As they pass my cabin door.
    Here’s the paper signed that frees you;
      Give a freeman’s shout with me—
    ‘God and Union’ be our watchword
      Evermore in Tennessee!”

    Then the trembling voice grew fainter,
      And the limbs refused to stand;
    One prayer to Jesus—and the soldier
      Glided to the better land.
    When the flag went down the river,
      Man and master both were free;
    While the ring-dove’s note was mingled
      With the rippling Tennessee.
                                   _E. L. Beers._



PADDY’S DREAM.


I have often laughed at the way an Irish help we had at Barnstable once
fished me for a glass of whiskey. One morning he says to me, “Oh, yer
honor,” says he, “I had a great drame last night intirely! I dramed I
was in Rome, tho’ how I got there is more than I can tell: but there
I was, sure enough; and as in duty bound, what does I do but go and
see the Pope. Well, it was a long journey, and it was late when I got
there—too late for the likes of me; and when I got to the palace I
saw priests and bishops and cardinals, and all the great dignitaries
of the Church, a-coming out; and sais one of them to me, ‘How are ye,
Pat Moloney?’ sais he; ‘and that spalpeen yer father, bad luck to him!
how is he?’ It startled me to hear me own name so suddent, that it
came mighty nigh waking me up, it did. Sais I, ‘Your riverence, how in
the world did ye know that Pat Moloney was me name, let alone that of
me father?’—‘Why, ye blackguard!’ sais he, ‘I knew ye since ye was
knee-high to a goose, and I knew yer mother afore ye was born.’—‘It’s
good right yer honor has then to know me,’ sais I.—‘Bad manners
to ye!’ sais he; ‘what is it ye are afther doing here at this time
o’night?’—‘To see his Holiness, the Pope,’ sais I. ‘That’s right,’
sais he; ‘pass on, but leave yer impudence with yer hat and shoes at
the door.’ Well, I was shown into a mighty fine room where his Holiness
was, and down I went on me knees. ‘Rise up, Pat Moloney,’ sais his
Holiness; ‘ye’re a broth of a boy to come all the way from Ireland to
do yer duty to me; and it’s dutiful children ye are, every mother’s son
of ye. What will ye have to drink, Pat?’ (The greater a man is, the
more of a rael gintleman he is, yer honor, and the more condescending.)
‘What will ye have to drink, Pat?’ sais he. ‘A glass of whiskey, yer
Holiness,’ sais I, ‘if it’s all the same to ye.’—‘Shall it be hot, or
cold?’ sais he. ‘Hot,’ sais I, ‘if it’s all the same, and gives ye no
trouble.’—‘Hot it shall be,’ sais he; ‘but as I have dismissed all me
servants for the night, I’ll just step down below for the tay-kettle;’
and wid that he left the room, and was gone for a long time; and jist
as he came to the door again he knocked so loud the noise woke me up,
and, be jabers! I missed me whiskey entirely! Bedad, if I had only
had the sense to say ‘Nate, yer Holiness,’ I’d a had me whiskey sure
enough, and never known it warn’t all true, instead of a drame.” I knew
what he wanted, so I poured him out a glass. “Won’t it do as well now,
Pat?” said I. “Indeed it will, yer honor,” says he, “and me drame will
come true, after all. I thought it would; for it was mighty nateral at
the time, all but the whiskey.”

                                                    _Anonymous._



LESSONS IN COOKERY.


Miss Cicely Jones is just home from boarding-school, and engaged to be
married; and, as she knows nothing about cooking or housework, is going
to take a few lessons in culinary art to fit her for the new station
in life which she is expected to adorn with housewifely grace. She
certainly makes a charming picture as she stands in the kitchen-door,
draped in a chintz apron prettily trimmed with bows of ribbon, her
bangs hidden under a Dolly-Varden cap, old kid gloves, while she
sways to and fro on her dainty French-kid heels, like some graceful
wind-blown flower.

“Mamma,” she lisped prettily, “please introduce me to your assistant.”

Whereupon, mamma says, “Bridget, this is your young lady, Miss Cicely,
who wants to learn the name and use of every thing in the kitchen,
and how to make cocoanut rusks and angels’ food, before she goes to
housekeeping for herself.”

Bridget gives a snort of disfavor; but, as she looks at the young lady,
relents, and says, “I’ll throy.”

“And now, Bridget dear,” says Miss Cicely, when they were alone, “tell
me every thing. You see, I don’t know any thing, except what they did
at school; and isn’t this old kitchen lovely? What makes this ceiling
such a beautiful bronze color, Bridget?”

“Shmoke,” answers Bridget shortly; “and me ould eyes are put out with
that same.”

“Shmoke—I must remember that; and, Bridget, what are those shiny
things on the wall?”

“Kivers?—tin kivers for pots and kittles.”

“Kivers?—oh, yes; I must look for the derivation of that word.
Bridget, what are those round things in the basket?”

“Praties! (For the Lord’s sake where hez ye lived niver to hear of
praties?) Why, them’s the principal mate of Ireland, where I kim from.”

“Oh! but we have corrupted the name into potatoes; such a shame not
to keep the idiom of a language! Bridget—do you mind if I call
you Biddie? It is more euphonious, and modernizes the old classic
appellation. What is this liquid in the pan here?”

“Och, murder! Where wuz ye raised? That’s millick, fresh from the cow.”

“Millick? That is the vernacular, I suppose, of milk; and that thick,
yellow coating?”

“Is crame. (Lord, such ignorance!)”

“Crame! Now, Biddie, dear, I must get to work. I’m going to make a cake
all out of my own head for Henry—he’s my lover, Biddie—to eat when he
comes to-night.”

Bridget [_aside_]: “It’s dead he is, sure, if he ates it!”

“I’ve got it all down here, Biddie, on my tablet: A pound of butter,
twenty eggs, two pounds of sugar, salt to your taste. No, that’s a
mistake. Oh, here it is! Now, Biddie, the eggs first. It says to beat
them well; but won’t that break the shells?”

“Well, I’d break thim this time if I were you, Miss Cicely; they might
not set well on Mister Henry’s stummack if ye didn’t,” said Bridget
pleasantly.

“Oh! I suppose the shells are used separately. There! I’ve broken all
the eggs into the flour. I don’t think I’ll use the shells, Biddie;
give them to some poor people. Now, what next? Oh, I’m so tired! Isn’t
housework dreadful hard? But I’m glad I’ve learned to make cake. Now,
what shall I do next, Biddie?”

“Excuse me, Miss Cicely, but you might give it to the pigs. It’s meself
can’t see any other use for it,” said Bridget, very crustily.

“Pigs! O Biddie! you don’t mean to say that you have some dear, cunning
little white pigs! Oh, do bring the little darlings in and let me feed
them! I’m just dying to have one for a pet! I saw some canton-flannel
ones once at a fair, and they were too awfully sweet for any thing.”

Just then the bell rang, and Bridget returned to announce Mr. Henry;
and Cicely told Bridget she would take another lesson the next day: and
then she went up-stairs in her chintz apron and mob-cap, with a little
dab of flour on her tip-lifted nose, and told Henry she was learning to
cook; and he told her she must not be overheated, or worried out, for
he didn’t care whether she could cook or not: he should never want to
eat when he could talk to her, and it was only sordid souls that cared
for cooking.

And, meanwhile, poor Bridget was just slamming things in the kitchen,
and talking to herself in her own sweet idiom about “idgits turning
things upside down for her inconvaniencing.”

                                         _Detroit Free Press._



PAT’S REASON.


    One day, in a crowded Market-street car,
    A lady was standing. She had ridden quite far,
    And seemed much disposed to indulge in a frown,
    As nobody offered to let her sit down.
    And many there sat, who, to judge by their dress,
    Might a gentleman’s natural instincts possess;
    But who, judged by their acts, make as firmly believe
    That appearances often will sadly deceive.
    There were some most intently devouring the news,
    And some, through the windows, enjoying the views;
    And others indulged in a make-believe nap,
    While the lady stood holding on by the strap.
    At last a young Irishman, fresh from the “sod,”
    Arose with a smile and most comical nod,
    Which said quite as plain as in words could be stated,
    That the lady should sit in the place he’d vacated.
    “Excuse me,” said Pat, “that I caused you to wait
    So long before offerin’ to give you a sate;
    But in truth I was only just waitin’ to see
    If there wasn’t more gintlemin here beside me.”



AN ORIGINAL IDEA.

A DUOLOGUE FOR A LADY AND GENTLEMAN IN TWO PARTS.


                              CHARACTERS.

                  FESTUS, a rejected suitor.
                  STELLA, the cruel rejecter.


    SCENE.—_A handsomely furnished apartment in the house of_ STELLA.
           _Table,_ C., _with rich cover, books, flowers, etc.
           Tête-à-tête,_ R. C., _arm-chairs_, R. _and_ L. _of
           table,_ C. _Entrances,_ R., L., _and_ C.

           _Enter_ FESTUS, L., _in evening costume._

_Festus._ “Thus far into the bowels of the land have we marched on
without impediment.” Here am I once more in the place from which, but
one short week ago, I made an unceremonious exit as the rejected suitor
of a young, lovely, and talented lady. Rejected suitor!—those words
slip very smoothly from the lips, as pleasantly as though they were
associated with some high-sounding title of nobility. There is nothing
in the sound of them to conjure up the miserable, mean, contemptible,
kicked-out feeling which a man experiences who has received at the
hands of lovely woman that specimen of feminine handicraft—the mitten.
All my own fault, too! I’m a bashful man. Modesty, the virtue which
is said to have been “the ruination of Ireland,” is the rock against
which my soaring ambition has dashed itself. I have sat in this room,
evening after evening, upon the edge of a chair, twirling my thumbs,
and saying—nothing. I couldn’t help it. I have brought scores of
compliments to the door, and left them in the hall with my hat. I
wanted to speak; I kept up “a deuce of a thinking;” but somehow, when I
had an agreeable speech ready to pop out of my mouth, it seemed to be
frightened at the sight of the fair object against whom it was to be
launched, and tumbled back again. It’s no use: when a man is in love,
the more he loves, the more silent he becomes; at least it was so in
my case. And when I did manage, after much stammering and blushing, to
“pop the question,” the first word from the lady set me shivering; and
the conclusion of her remarks set me running from the house utterly
demoralized,—“I shall always be happy to see you as a _friend_, your
conversation is so agreeable.” Here was a damper, after six weeks of
unremitting though _silent_ attention. But she likes me, I’m sure of
that. It is my silence which has frightened her. I only need a little
more variety in my style of conversation to make myself agreeable to
her. I have an original idea; and I advise all bashful men to take
warning from my past experience, and profit by my future. I will
_borrow_ language in which to speak my passion. There’s nothing very
original in borrowing, financially speaking; but to borrow another
man’s ideas by which to make love, I call original. And, as luck would
have it, I have an excellent opportunity to test my new idea. Lounging
in the sanctum of my friend Quill, the editor of “The Postscript,” a
few days ago, he called my attention to an advertisement which had
just been presented for insertion. It ran thus: “Wanted, a reader,—a
gentleman who has studied poetic and dramatic compositions with a
view to delivery, who has a good voice, and who would be willing to
give one evening a week to the entertaining of an invalid. Address,
with references, ‘Stella,’ Postscript Office.” I recognized the
handwriting as that of the lady to whom I had been paying attentions,
the signature as the _nom de plume_ under which she had written several
poetic contributions for the press; and I had no trouble in guessing
the meaning of the advertisement, knowing she has an invalid uncle.
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood,
leads on to fortune.” I felt that it was high tide with me, and boldly
launched my canoe; answered the advertisement under the assumed name
of “Festus,” and waited for a reply. It came: “Stella is satisfied
with the references of Festus, and will give him an opportunity to
test his ability as a reader Tuesday evening next,”[2] etc. You will
naturally conclude that my heart bounded with rapture on receiving this
favorable answer. It did nothing of the sort: on the contrary, the
rebound almost took away my breath. I began to shiver and shake, and
felt inclined to retreat. But “love conquers all things.” I determined
to persevere; and here I am, by appointment, to test the practicability
of my original idea. The lady is a fine reader. I am well acquainted
with her favorite authors; and, if I can but interest her in this novel
suit, may at least pass a pleasant evening if I am _not_ unspeakably
happy. I was told to wait for Stella. (_Takes a book from table, and
sits_ L. _of table, with his back to_ R.) Shakspeare, ah! Let me draw
a little courage from the perusal of this. (_Enter_ STELLA, R., _in
evening costume, with flowers in her hair._)

_Stella._ My maid said Festus was in this room. Ah! there he is, deep
in a book: that’s so like these literary gentry! No sooner are their
roving eyes fastened on a book than it is seized with the avidity with
which a starving man grasps a loaf of bread. He seems happy: I will
not disturb him. (_Sits on tête-à-tête._) What a strange idea! Here
am I to pass the evening listening to the voice of one whom I never
saw before. This is one of my uncle’s whims: he fears I am working too
hard to entertain him with readings from his favorite authors, and so
determines to employ a reader to relieve me. Dear uncle, with all his
pain and suffering he has a sharp eye: he notices my want of spirit,
and thinks it is caused by weariness. He little knows that the true
cause is that stupid lover of mine, who sat here evening after evening
as dumb as an oyster, until, out of spite, I started him off. What
could have ailed the man? Nothing could he say but “Yes, ma’am,” “No,
ma’am,” “Fine evening,” “Good-night.” I never was so plagued in all my
life, for I should have liked the fellow if he had only tried to make
himself agreeable; but he was as silent and stupid as—Festus here.
(FESTUS _rises, gesticulating with his hand, his eyes fastened
on the book_.) What can the man be about?

_Festus._ (_Reading._) “Is this a dagger which I see before me? the
handle towards my hand? Come, let me clutch thee! I have thee not, and
yet I see”—(_Turns and sees_ STELLA. _Drops book, and runs behind chair
very confused._)

_Stella._ Good gracious! you here again?

_Festus._ I beg your pardon. You are—I am—

Stella. I thought, sir, I was to have no more of your _agreeable_
society.

_Festus._ I beg your pardon, madam: you seem to be in error. I am
Festus,—Festus.

_Stella._ You Festus?

_Festus._ Oh, yes: I’m Festus! I came here by appointment.

_Stella._ What do you mean, sir? I expected a gentleman here to read.

_Festus._ Exactly! Pray, are you the invalid?

_Stella._ Sir, you are insulting! You will be kind enough to leave this
room at once. I thought the last time you were here—

_Festus._ Excuse me for interrupting; but you evidently mistake me for
some other person. I never was in this house before.

_Stella._ Is the man crazy? Do you mean to say you did not make a
proposal of marriage to me in this very room a week ago?

_Festus._ Madam, you surprise me. To the best of my knowledge and
belief, I never saw you before.

_Stella._ Was there ever such assurance? Is not your name—

_Festus._ Festus; and yours Stella. Am I not right?

_Stella._ Sir, this is very provoking; but, if you are Festus, what is
your object in calling here?

_Festus._ To entertain you.

_Stella._ To entertain me! With what, pray? Sitting on the edge of a
chair, and twirling your thumbs?

_Festus._ (_Aside._) That’s a hard hit. (_Aloud._) With readings, if
you please.

_Stella._ Readings! Pray, what do you read? Ovid’s “Art of Love”?

_Festus._ Madam, I answered your advertisement, being desirous of
securing the situation of reader to an invalid.

_Stella._ You won’t suit.

_Festus._ You haven’t heard me.

_Stella._ No, but I’ve seen you; and your silence cannot be excelled by
your reading.

_Festus._ Will you hear me read?

_Stella._ No: you will not suit.

_Festus._ Very well: then I _claim_ the trial. Remember your
promise,—“Stella is satisfied with the references of ‘Festus,’ and will
give him an opportunity to test his ability as a reader Tuesday
evening,” etc.

_Stella._ Oh, very well! If you insist upon making yourself ridiculous,
proceed. (_Sits in chair,_ R. _of table, and turns her back on_ FESTUS.)

_Festus._ But will you not listen to me? I cannot read to you while you
sit in that position.

_Stella._ I told you I did not wish to hear you read: you insist.
Proceed: I am not interested.

_Festus._ Oh, very well! My first selection shall be from the writings
of one well known to fame,—a lady whose compositions have electrified
the world; whose poetic effusions have lulled to sleep the cross and
peevish infant, stilled the noisy nursery, and exerted an influence
upon mankind of great and lasting power; one whose works are memorable
for their antiquity,—the gift of genius to the budding greatness of the
nineteenth century. (_Producing a book from his pocket._) I will read
from Mother Goose.

_Stella._ (_Starting up._) Mother Goose!

_Festus._ Yes: are you acquainted with the lady?

_Stella._ (_Sarcastically._) I have heard of her.

_Festus._ (_Reads in very melodramatic style._)

   “‘We are three brethren out of Spain,
    Come to court your daughter Jane.’
    ‘My daughter Jane she is too young:
    She is not skilled in flattering tongue.’
    ‘Be she young, or be she old,
    ’Tis for her gold she must be sold.
    So fare you well, my lady gay;
    We will return another day.’”

How do you like that?

_Stella._ (_Fiercely._) I don’t like it.

_Festus._ No? Perhaps you prefer some other style of delivery.

                                 (_Reads with a drawl._)

    “‘We awe thwe bwethwen-aw out of Spain,
    Come to court-aw your dawtaw Jane-aw.’”

_Stella._ Oh, do read something else!

_Festus._ Certainly.

   “Hi diddle diddle! the cat and the fiddle!
    The cow jumped over the moon”—

_Stella._ (_Jumps up._) Pray, sir, do you intend to read that nonsense
the whole evening?

_Festus._ Oh, no! I think I can get through the book in about an hour.

_Stella._ Sir, you have forced yourself here, an unwelcome visitor: you
insist upon my hearing such nonsense as Mother-Goose melodies for an
hour. Do you call that gentlemanly?

_Festus._ Madam, you advertised for a reader. I have applied, with your
permission, for the situation. Under the circumstances, I naturally
expected to have your attention during the reading of such selections
as I should offer; instead of which, you turn your back upon me, and
very coolly bid me proceed. Do _you_ call that ladylike?

_Stella._ Frankly, no. You have asked the trial: you shall have it. For
an hour I will hear you; and, though I strongly suspect the situation
of reader is not the object of your visit, you shall have no reason to
complain of my inattention. Is that satisfactory?

_Festus._ Pray go a step farther. You are said to have fine
elocutionary powers. May I not hope to have the pleasure of hearing
your voice? Grant me your assistance, and my hour’s trial may perhaps
be made agreeable to both.

_Stella._ Oh! not quite certain of your ability, Mr. Festus?

_Festus._ Not in the presence of so fine a reader.

_Stella._ A compliment! Well, I agree.

_Festus._ Let me hear you read: that will give me courage to make the
attempt myself.

_Stella._ Oh, very well! Remembering your partiality for juvenile
literature, you will pardon me if I read a very short but sweet poem.
(_Produces a printed handkerchief from her pocket._)

_Festus._ Ah, a pocket edition!

_Stella._ (_Reads from the handkerchief._)

   “Who sat and watched my infant head
    When sleeping on my cradle-bed,
    And tears of sweet affection shed?
                        My mother.

    When sleep forsook my open eye,
    Who was it sang sweet lullaby,
    And rocked me that I should not cry?
                        My mother.

    When pain and sickness made me cry,
    Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
    And wept for fear that I should die?
                        My mother.”

There, sir! what do you say to that?

_Festus._ It’s very sweet. But that child had too many mothers. Now, I
prefer Tom Hood’s parody. (_Reads “A Lay of Real Life” by Thomas Hood._)

         A LAY OF REAL LIFE.

    Who ruined me ere I was born,
    Sold every acre, grass or corn,
    And left the next heir all forlorn?
                                       My Grandfather.

    Who said my mother was no nurse,
    And physicked me, and made me worse,
    Till infancy became a curse?
                                       My Grandmother.

    Who left me in my seventh year,
    A comfort to my mother dear,
    And Mr. Pope the overseer?
                                       My Father.

    Who let me starve to buy her gin,
    Till all my bones came through my skin,
    Then called me “ugly little sin”?
                                       My Mother.

    Who said my mother was a Turk,
    And took me home, and made me work,
    But managed half my meals to shirk?
                                       My Aunt.

    Who “of all earthly things” would boast,
    “He hated others’ brats the most,”
    And therefore made me feel my post?
                                       My Uncle.

    Who got in scrapes, an endless score,
    And always laid them at my door,
    Till many a bitter bang I bore?
                                       My Cousin.

    Who took me home when mother died,
    Again with father to reside,
    Black shoes, clean knives, run far and wide?
                                       My Stepmother.

    Who marred my stealthy urchin joys,
    And, when I played, cried “What a noise!”—
    Girls always hector over boys?—
                                       My Sister.

    Who used to share in what was mine,
    Or took it all, did he incline,
    ’Cause I was eight, and he was nine?
                                       My Brother.

    Who stroked my head, and said, “Good lad,”
    And gave me sixpence, “all he had;”
    But at the stall the coin was bad?
                                       My Godfather.

    Who, gratis, shared my social glass,
    But, when misfortune came to pass,
    Referred me to the pump? Alas!
                                       My Friend.

    Through all this weary world, in brief,
    Who ever sympathized with grief,
    Or shared my joy, my sole relief?
                                       Myself.

_Stella._ That is very amusing; but, Mr. Festus, if this is the extent
of your elocutionary acquirements—

_Festus._ Oh, I beg your pardon! By no means! With your permission, I
will read something a little more sombre,—Edgar Poe’s “Raven.”

_Stella._ That is certainly more sombre. Proceed.


_Reading. “The Raven,” by Edgar A. Poe._ FESTUS.

_Stella._ Excellent! Mr. Festus, you are certainly a good reader. But
this seems to affect you.

_Festus._ It does, it does; for I, too, have lost one—

_Stella._ A raven?

_Festus._ Pshaw! Come, madam, I believe you are to read now, and I to
listen.

_Stella._ Certainly. I will read, with your permission, Whittier’s
“Maud Muller.”

_Festus._ I should be delighted to hear it.

_Reading. “Maud Muller.”_ STELLA.

_Festus._ Beautiful, beautiful! Madam, this, too, affects me.

_Stella._ How?

_Festus._ When I think “it might have been.”

_Stella._ Then I wouldn’t think of it, if I were you. What shall we
have now?

_Festus._ Suppose we read together.

_Stella._ Together?

_Festus._ Yes, a scene from some play. There’s “The Marble Heart.”

_Stella._ Oh, there’s nothing in that but love-scenes!

_Festus._ It’s a favorite play with me; and I have been thinking, while
you were reading, that the character of “Marco” is one in which you
might excel.

_Stella._ Indeed! I have studied the character.

_Festus._ (_Aside._) I should think so. (_Aloud._) Let us attempt a
scene. Come, you shall have your choice.

_Stella._ Thank you. Then I will choose “the rejection scene.”

_Festus._ (_Aside._) Of course you would! (_Aloud._) Very well.

_Stella._ Do you know, Mr. Festus, I think there is something very odd
in your attempting a love-scene?

_Festus._ Do you? I have attempted them, and with success too.

_Stella._ Ah! I remember there was one attempted here.

_Festus._ Indeed!

_Stella._ Yes; but the gentleman’s name was not Festus.

_Festus._ Shall we try the scene?

_Stella._ You must prompt me if I fail.

_Festus._ Fail! “In the bright lexicon of youth, there’s no such word as
fail.”

_Stella._ Ah! but, in attempts at acting, there are many failures.

_Festus._ True; but yours will not be one of them.

_Stella._ (_Aside._) Another compliment! I begin to like the fellow.

_Festus._ Now, then, the scene! (STELLA _takes a bouquet from the table,
sits on tête-à-tête_, R.)

_Scene from “The Marble Heart.” Arranged for this piece. Published in
No. 15 Reading-Club._


PART II.

SCENE.—_Same as before. Enter_ FESTUS, C.

_Festus._ It _is_ astonishing how much a little borrowed plumage
becomes a bashful man. The ice once broken by the inspiring thoughts
and words of the love-sick “Raphael,” I feel now almost equal to the
composition and delivery of an energetic and passionate appeal that
shall carry the heart of the lady by storm; but then, having once been
refused, I dread a second attempt. “A burnt child fears the fire;” and
a singed lover trembles before the blazing eyes of the object of his
adoration. I have yet a short time before the expiration of my hour of
trial, and the character of “Sir Thomas Clifford” from which to borrow
courage. (_Enter_ STELLA, C.)

_Stella._ Well, mysterious “Festus,” what new fancy is agitating your
fertile brain?

_Festus._ Madam, to tell you the truth, I was—thinking—of you.

_Stella._ Of me, or of your future salary?

_Festus._ Both.

_Stella._ What of me?

_Festus._ (_Very awkward and confused._) That I think—I think—that
you—you—are—are—

_Stella._ Well, what am I?

_Festus._ (_Abruptly._) A very fine reader.

_Stella._ Oh! is that all?

_Festus._ All worth mentioning.

_Stella._ Sir!

_Festus._ That is all I am at liberty to mention.

_Stella._ What if I should grant you liberty to say more?

_Festus._ Oh! then—then I should say—I should say—

_Stella._ Well, what would you say?

_Festus._ It’s your turn to read.

_Stella._ (_Aside._) Stupid! (_Aloud._) Well, sir, what shall I read?

_Festus._ Oh! oblige me by making your own selection.

_Stella._ There’s “The Bells,” by Poe. Do you like that?

_Festus._ Oh, exceedingly!

_Stella._ But I don’t know how to read it: it’s very difficult.

_Festus._ Perhaps I can assist you. (_Aside._) I’ll provoke her a bit;
see if she has a temper.

_Stella._ Well, you are very kind. (_Aside._) I’ll see if I can make him
talk.

_Festus._ Well, then, you take the book, and read. (_Hands her copy of
Poe._) When I think you need correcting, I will speak.

_Stella._ Very well. (_They sit,_ C. STELLA _reads in a very tragic
tone, emphasizing the words in Italics._)

    “Hear the sledges with the _bells_,
          Silver _bells_!”

_Festus._ Oh, stop, stop, stop! Dear me! that’s not the way to read.
There’s no silver in _your_ bells. Listen:—

    “Hear the sledges with the bells,
          _Sil_-ver bells!”

Very silvery, don’t you see?

_Stella._ Oh, yes! excuse me. (_Reads in a very silly tone._)

    “Hear the sledges with the bells,
          Sil———verbells!”

_Festus._ Oh, no, no! that’s too _sil_ly.

_Stella._ Sir!

_Festus._ I mean, there’s too much of the _sil_ in _silver_. (_Repeats
his reading. She imitates it._)

_Festus._ Ah! that’s better. Thank you: you are charming. (_She looks at
him._) That is, a charming reader. Go on.

_Stella._ (_Reads._)

    “What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
          How they tinkle”—

_Festus._ (_Interrupting._) I beg your pardon: “twinkle.”

_Stella._ No, sir: “tinkle.”

_Festus._ But I am sure it is “twinkle.”

_Stella._ Can’t I believe my own eyes?

_Festus._ Not unless they “twinkle.”

_Stella._ Look for yourself. (_Shows him the book._)

_Festus._ My stars! it is “tinkle.” I beg your pardon. Go on.

_Stella._

    “How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
    In the icy air”—

_Festus._ No, no: frosty,—frosty air.

_Stella._ No, sir: it’s icy air.

_Festus._ You are mistaken: “frosty.”

_Stella._ Am I? Look for yourself.

_Festus._ Well, I declare! It is, _I see, icy_. I beg your pardon. Go
on.

_Stella._ I see, I see. You are bent on interrupting me. What do you
mean, sir?

_Festus._ What can you expect, if you don’t know how to read?

_Stella._ Sir, this is provoking. I don’t know how to read?

_Festus._ Not “The Bells,” I know.

_Stella._ Oh! do you? Well, sir, I know you are no gentleman; and I
know, if you want “The Bells” read (_starts up, and throws book at
him_), read it yourself.

_Festus._ Madam, what am I to understand by this?

_Stella._ That your presence is no longer agreeable to me.

_Festus._ Oh, very well, very well! I understand you wish me to go.

           (STELLA _stands_, R., _with her back to him_.)

You wish me to go. I will intrude no longer. (_Very loud._) Since
you—wish—me—to—go—(_Aside._) Confound it, I believe she does!
(_Aloud._) Very well, madam, very well. Good-evening. (_Exit_, L.)

_Stella._ He’ll be back in three minutes. (_Enter_ FESTUS, L.)

_Festus._ I forgot my hat. You’ll excuse me if I take my—(_Aside._)
Confound it, she won’t speak! (_Stands irresolute a moment, and then
approaches her._) Madam,—Stella,—I was wrong. You can read “The Bells”
divinely. I hear them ringing in my ears now. I beg your pardon. Read
“The Bells” in any manner you please: I shall be delighted to listen.

_Stella._ Oh, very well! Since you have returned, I will read.

           _Reading. “The Bells,” Poe._ STELLA.

_Festus._ Splendid, splendid!

_Stella._ Now, sir, I shall be happy to listen to you once more.

_Festus._ Your “Bells” have stirred the fires of patriotism within my
heart; and I will give you, as my selection, “Sheridan’s Ride.”


_Reading. “Sheridan’s Ride,” Reid._ FESTUS.

_Stella._ Excellent! Mr. Festus, you are a very spirited rider,—I mean
reader. Now, suppose, for variety, we have another scene.

_Festus._ With all my heart. What shall it be?

_Stella._ Oh! you select. Pray. Mr. Festus, did you have any design in
selecting the scene from “The Marble Heart”?

_Festus._ Well, I like that. You selected it yourself.

_Stella._ But the play was your selection; and you were very perfect in
the part of “Raphael.”

_Festus._ Well, I selected what I thought I should most excel in.

_Stella._ You excel in love-making! That’s good. But I must say, you act
it well.

_Festus._ Yes—that is—I think that circumstances—occurring—which would
make—circumstances—perfectly—that is, I mean to say
that—circumstances—indeed—what were you saying?

_Stella._ Ha, ha, ha! O mighty Festus! you’ve lost your place; but, as
you have a partiality for love-scenes, what is your next?

_Festus._ What say you to a scene from “The Hunchback”? “The secretary
of my lord”? You know the scene,—“Julia” and “Sir Thomas Clifford.”

_Stella._ Oh, yes! I am familiar with it; but I think, as an applicant
for a situation, you are making me perform more than my share of work.

_Festus._ Oh! if you object—

_Stella._ Oh! but I don’t object. Proceed. (_Sits_, L. _of table_.
FESTUS _exits_, L.)


                      SCENE FROM “THE HUNCHBACK.”

                   (_Arranged for this piece._)


              _Julia_,               STELLA.
              _Sir Thomas Clifford_, FESTUS.

    _Jul._ (_Alone._) A wedded bride?
    Is it a dream?
    Oh, would it were a dream!
    How would I bless the sun that waked me from it!
    I am wrecked
    By mine own act! What! no escape? no hope?
    None! I must e’en abide these hated nuptials!
    Hated!—ay, own it, and then curse thyself
    That mad’st the bane thou loathest for the love
    Thou bear’st to one who never can be thine!
    Yes, love! Deceive thyself no longer. False
    To say ’tis pity for his fall,—respect
    Engendered by a hollow world’s disdain,
    Which hoots whom fickle fortune cheers no more!
    ’Tis none of these: ’tis love, and, if not love,
    Why, then, idolatry! Ay, that’s the name
    To speak the broadest, deepest, strongest passion
    That ever woman’s heart was borne away by!
    He comes! Thoud’st play the lady,—play it now!
                         (_Enter_ CLIFFORD, L.)
    Speaks he not?
    Or does he wait for orders to unfold
    His business? Stopped his business till I spoke,
    I’d hold my peace forever!
               (CLIFFORD _kneels, presenting a letter_.)
    Does he kneel?
    A lady am I to my heart’s content!
    Could he unmake me that which claims his knee,
    I’d kneel to him,—I would, I would! Your will?

    _Clif._ This letter from my lord.

    _Jul._ Oh, fate! who speaks?

    _Clif._ The secretary of my lord.    (_Rises._)

    _Jul._ I breathe!
    I could have sworn ’twas he!
               (_Makes an effort to look at him, but is unable._)
    So like the voice!—
    I dare not look lest there the form should stand.
    How came he by that voice? ’Tis Clifford’s voice
    If ever Clifford spoke! My fears come back.
    Clifford, the secretary of my lord!
    Fortune hath freaks, but none so mad as that.
    It cannot be!—it should not be! A look,
    And all were set at rest.
                      (_Tries to look at him again, but cannot._)
    So strong my fears,
    Dread to confirm them takes away the power
    To try and end them. Come the worst, I’ll look.
           (_She tries again, and is again unequal to the task._)
    I’d sink before him if I met his eye!

    _Clif._ Wilt please your ladyship to take the letter?

    _Jul._ There, Clifford speaks again! Not Clifford’s breath
    Could more make Clifford’s voice: not Clifford’s tongue
    And lips more frame it into Clifford’s speech.
    A question, and ’tis over! Know I you?

    _Clif._ Reverse of fortune, lady, changes friends:
    It turns them into strangers. What I am
    I have not always been.

    _Jul._ Could I not name you?

    _Clif._ If your disdain for one, perhaps too bold
    When hollow fortune called him favorite,
    Now by her fickleness perforce reduced
    To take an humble tone, would suffer you—

    _Jul._ I might?

    _Clif._ You might.

    _Jul._ O Clifford! is it you?

    _Clif._ Your answer to my lord. (_Gives the letter._)

    _Jul._ Your lord!

    _Clif._ Wilt write it?
    Or, will it please you send a verbal one?
    I’ll bear it faithfully.

    _Jul._ You’ll bear it?

    _Clif._ Madam,
    Your pardon: but my haste is somewhat urgent.
    My lord’s impatient, and to use despatch
    Were his repeated orders.

    _Jul._ Orders? Well (_takes letter_),
    I’ll read the letter, sir. ’Tis right you mind
    His lordship’s orders. They are paramount.
    Nothing should supersede them. Stand beside them!
    They merit all your care, and have it! Fit,
    Most fit, they should. Give me the letter, sir.

    _Clif._ You have it, madam.

    _Jul._ So! How poor a thing
    I look! so lost while he is all himself!
    Have I no pride?
    If he can freeze, ’tis time that I grow cold.
    I’ll read the letter.
                 (_Opens it, and holds it as about to read it._)
    Mind his orders! So!
    Quickly he fits his habits to his fortunes!
    He serves my lord with all his will! His heart’s
    In his vocation. So! Is this the letter?
    ’Tis upside down, and here I’m poring on’t!
    Most fit I let him see me play the fool!
    Shame! Let me be myself!
                 (_She sits a while at table, vacantly gazing on the
                     letter, then looks at_ CLIFFORD.)
    How plainly shows his humble suit!
    It fits not him that wears it. I have wronged him!
    He can’t he happy—does not look it—is not!
    That eye which reads the ground is argument
    Enough. He loves me. There I let him stand,
    And I am sitting! (_Rises, and points to a chair._)
    Pray you, take a chair.
                 (_He bows as acknowledging and declining the honor.
                     She looks at him a while._)
    Clifford, why don’t you speak to me? (_Weeps._)

    _Clif._ I trust
    You’re happy.

    _Jul._ Happy? Very, very happy!
    You see I weep I am so happy. Tears
    Are signs, you know, of naught but happiness.
    When first I saw you, little did I look
    To be so happy. Clifford!

    _Clif._ Madam?

    _Jul._ Madam!
    I call thee Clifford, and thou call’st me madam!

    _Clif._ Such the address my duty stints me to.
    Thou art the wife elect of a proud earl
    Whose humble secretary sole am I.

    _Jul._ Most right! I had forgot! I thank you, sir,
    For so reminding me, and give you joy
    That what, I see, had been a burthen to you
    Is fairly off your hands.

    _Clif._ A burthen to me?
    Mean you yourself? Are you that burthen, Julia?
    Say that the sun’s a burthen to the earth!
    Say that the blood’s a burthen to the heart!
    Say health’s a burthen, peace, contentment, joy,
    Fame, riches, honors, everything that man
    Desires, and gives the name of blessing to!—
    E’en such a burthen Julia were to me
    Had fortune let me wear her.

    _Jul._ (_Aside._) On the brink
    Of what a precipice I’m standing! Back,
    Back! while the faculty remains to do’t!
    A minute longer, not the whirlpool’s self
    More sure to suck thee down! One effort! (_Sits._) There!

                   (_Recovers her self-possession, takes up the letter,
                       and reads._)

    To wed to-morrow night! Wed whom? A man
    Whom I can never love! I should before
    Have thought of that. To-morrow night. This hour
    To-morrow,—how I tremble!
    At what means
    Will not the desperate snatch! What’s honor’s price?
    Nor friends, nor lovers,—no, nor life itself!
    Clifford, this moment leave me!
      (CLIFFORD _retires up the stage out of her sight_.)
    Is he gone?
    Oh, docile lover! Do his mistress’ wish
    That went against his own! Do it so soon,
    Ere well ’twas uttered! No good-by to her!
    No word, no look! ’Twas best that so he went.
    Alas the strait of her who owns that best
    Which last she’d wish were done! What’s left me now?
    To weep, to weep!

     (_Leans her head upon her arm, which rests upon the table, her
         other arm hanging listless at her side._ CLIFFORD _comes down
         the stage, looks a moment at her, approaches her, and,
         kneeling, takes her hand._)

    _Clif._ My Julia!

    _Jul._ Here again?
    Up, up! By all thy hopes of heaven go hence!
    To stay’s perdition to me! Look you, Clifford!
    Were there a grave where thou art kneeling now,
    I’d walk into’t and be inearthed alive
    Ere taint should touch my name! Should some one come
    And see thee kneeling thus! Let go my hand!—
    Remember, Clifford, I’m a promised bride—
    And take thy arm away! It has no right
    To clasp my waist! Judge you so poorly of me
    As think I’ll suffer this? My honor, sir!
                 (_She breaks from him, quitting her seat._)

    I’m glad you’ve forced me to respect myself:
    You’ll find that I can do so.

    _Clif._ There was a time I held your hand unchid;
    There was a time I might have clasped your waist:
    I had forgot that time was past and gone.
    I pray you, pardon me.

    _Jul._ (_Softened._) I do so, Clifford.

    _Clif._ I shall no more offend.

    _Jul._ Make sure of that.
    No longer is it fit thou keep’st thy post
    In’s lordship’s household. Give it up! A day,
    An hour, remain not in it.

    _Clif._ Wherefore?

    _Jul._ Live
    In the same house with me, and I another’s?
    Put miles, put leagues, between us! The same land
    Should not contain us.
    O Clifford, Clifford!
    Rash was the act, so light that gave me up,
    That stung a woman’s pride, and drove her mad,
    Till in her frenzy she destroyed her peace!
    Oh, it was rashly done! Had you reproved,
    Expostulated, had you reasoned with me,
    Tried to find out what was indeed my heart,
    I would have shown it, you’d have seen it, all
    Had been as naught can ever be again.

    _Clif._ Lov’st thou me, Julia?

    _Jul._ Dost thou ask me, Clifford?

    _Clif._ These nuptials may be shunned—

    _Jul._ With honor?

    _Clif._ Yes.

    _Jul._ Then take me! Hold!—hear me, and take me, then!
    Let not thy passion be my counsellor;
    Deal with me, Clifford, as my brother. Be
    The jealous guardian of my spotless name.
    Scan thou my cause as ’twere thy sister’s. Let
    Thy scrutiny o’erlook no point of it,
    And turn it o’er not once, but many a time,
    That flaw, speck, yea, the shade of one,—a soil
    So slight not one out of a thousand eyes
    Could find it out,—may not escape thee; then
    Say if these nuptials can be shunned with honor!

    _Clif._ They can.

    _Jul._ Then take me, Clifford—

       *       *       *       *       *

_Festus._ Stop one moment. (_Looks at watch._) Time’s up.

_Stella._ So soon?

_Festus._ The tone of your voice expresses regret. What is your
decision?

_Stella._ My decision?

_Festus._ Upon my application for the situation of reader. Shall I have
it?

_Stella._ Perhaps the terms will not suit.

_Festus._ Madam, I am willing to serve you on any terms. Allow me to
throw off the mask of “Festus,” which of course you have seen through,
and offer myself for a situation under the name of—

_Stella._ Stop: you are not going to pronounce that name before all
these good people?

_Festus._ Of course not. But what shall I do? Stella, I feel that
“Raphael” and “Sir Thomas Clifford” have inspired me to attempt
love-making on my own account. Grant me the opportunity to make
application for the situation made vacant by my unceremonious exit the
other night. Let “Festus” apply once more.

_Stella._ What shall I say? (_To audience._) Would you? He seems to have
found his tongue; and who knows but what he may make an agreeable beau?
I think he had better call again; for to have a lover who can make love
by borrowing, is, at least,—under the circumstances—under the
circumstances—what is it, Festus?

_Festus._ Circumstances? Why, under the circumstances, I should say it
was “_An Original Idea_.”

                                                    _George M. Baker._

  NOTE. The “Readings” and “Scenes” maybe varied to suit the taste of
the performers. “The Garden Scene” in “Romeo and Juliet,” scenes from
“Ingomar,” “The School for Scandal,” etc., have been used with good
effect.

[2] Or the evening of the performance.



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          Sent prepaid on receipt of price by
            =Walter H. Baker & Company=
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          Sent prepaid on receipt of price by
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