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Title: Harper's Young People, May 9, 1882 - An Illustrated Weekly
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's Young People, May 9, 1882 - An Illustrated Weekly" ***

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


       *       *       *       *       *


Tuesday, May 9, 1882. Copyright, 1882, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per
Year, in Advance.

       *       *       *       *       *



[1] Begun in No. 127, HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.





Toby watched anxiously as each wagon came up, but he failed to recognize
any of the drivers. For the first time it occurred to him that perhaps
those whom he knew were no longer with this particular company, and his
delight gave way to sadness.

Fully twenty wagons had come, and he had just begun to think his fears
had good foundation, when in the distance he saw the well-remembered
monkey wagon, with the burly form of old Ben on the box.

Toby could not wait for that particular team to come up, even though it
was driven at a reasonably rapid speed; but he started toward it as fast
as he could run. After him, something like the tail of a comet, followed
all his friends, who, having come so far, were determined not to lose
sight of him for a single instant, if it could be prevented by any
exertion on their part. Old Ben was driving in a sleepy sort of way, and
paid no attention to the little fellow who was running toward him, until
Toby shouted. Then the horses were stopped with a jerk that nearly threw
them back on their haunches.

"Well, Toby my son, I declare I am glad to see you;" and old Ben reached
down for the double purpose of shaking hands and helping the boy up to
the seat beside him. "Well, well, well, it's been some time since you've
been on this 'ere box, ain't it? I'd kinder forgotten what town it was
we took you from; I knew it was somewhere hereabouts, though, an' I've
kept my eye peeled for you ever since we've been in this part of the
country. So you found your uncle Dan'l all right, did you?"

"Yes, Ben, an' he was awful good to me when I got home; but Mr. Stubbs
got shot."

"No? you don't tell me! How did that happen?"

Then Toby told the story of his pet's death, and although it had
occurred a year before, he could not keep the tears from his eyes as he
spoke of it.

"You mustn't feel bad 'bout it, Toby," said Ben, consolingly, "for, you
see, monkeys has got to die jest like folks, an' your Stubbs was sich a
old feller that I reckon he'd have died anyhow before long. But I've got
one in the wagon here that looks a good deal like yours, an' I'll show
him to you."

As Ben spoke, he drew his wagon, now completely surrounded by boys, up
by the side of the road near the others, and opened the panel in the top
so that Toby could have a view of his passengers.

Curled up in the corner nearest the roof, where Mr. Stubbs had been in
the habit of sitting, Toby saw, as Ben had said, a monkey that looked
remarkably like Mr. Stubbs, save that he was younger and not so sedate.

Toby uttered an exclamation of surprise and joy as he pushed his hand
through the bars of the cage, and the monkey shook hands with him as Mr.
Stubbs used to do when greeted in the morning.

"Why, I never knew before that Mr. Stubbs had any relations!" said Toby,
looking around with joy imprinted on every feature. "Do you know where
the rest of the family is, Ben?"

There was no reply from the driver for some time; but instead, Toby
heard certain familiar sounds as if the old man were choking, while his
face took on the purplish tinge which had so alarmed the boy when he saw
it for the first time.

"No, I don't know where his family is," said Ben, after he had recovered
from his spasm of silent laughter, "an' I reckon he don't know nor care.
Say, Toby, you don't really think this one is any relation to your
monkey, do you?"

"Why, it must be his brother," said Toby, earnestly, "'cause they look
so much alike; but perhaps Mr. Stubbs was only his cousin."

Old Ben relapsed into another spasm, and Toby talked to the monkey, who
chattered back at him, until the boys on the ground were in a perfect
ferment of anxiety to know what was going on.

It was some time before Toby could be persuaded to pay attention to
anything else, so engrossed was he with Mr. Stubbs's brother, as he
persisted in calling the monkey, and the only way Ben could engage him
in conversation was by saying:

"You don't seem to be very much afraid of Job Lord now."

"You won't let him take me away if he should try, will you?" Toby asked,
quickly, alarmed at the very mention of his former employer's name, even
though he had thought he would not be afraid of him, protected as he now
was by Uncle Daniel.

"No, Toby, I wouldn't let him if he was to try it on, for you are just
where every boy ought to be, an' that's at home; but Job's where he
can't whip any more boys for some time to come."

"Where's that?"

"He's in jail. About a month after you left he licked his new boy so bad
that they arrested him, an' he got two years for it, 'cause it pretty
nigh made a cripple out of the youngster."

Toby was about to make some reply; but Ben continued unfolding his
budget of news.

"Castle staid with us till the season was over, an' then he went out
West. I don't know whether he got his hair cut trying to show the Injuns
how to ride, or not; but he never come back, an' nobody I ever saw has
heard anything about him."

"Are Mr. and Mrs. Treat with the show?"

"Yes, they're still here; he's a leetle thinner, I believe, an' she's
twenty pound heavier. She says she weighs fifty pounds more'n she did;
but I don't believe that, even if she did strike for five dollars more a
week this season on the strength of it, an' get it. They keep right on
cookin' up dinners, an' invitin' of folks in, an' the skeleton gets
choked about the same as when you was with the show. I don't know how it
is that a feller so thin as Treat is can eat so much."

"Uncle Dan'l says it's 'cause he works so hard to get full," said Toby,
quietly; "an' I shouldn't wonder if I grew as thin as the skeleton one
of these days, for I eat jest as awful much as I used to."

"Well, you look as if you got about all you needed, at any rate," said
Ben, as he mentally compared the plump boy at his side with the thin,
frightened-looking one who had run away from the circus with his monkey
on his shoulder and his bundle under his arm.

"Is Ella here?" asked Toby, after a pause, during which it seemed as if
he were thinking of much the same thing that Ben was.

"Yes, an' she 'keeps talkin' about what big cards you an' her would have
been if you had only staid with the show. But I'm glad you had pluck
enough to run away, Toby, for a life like this ain't no fit one for

"And I was glad to get back to Uncle Dan'l," said Toby, with a great
deal of emphasis. "I wouldn't go away, without he wanted me to, if I
could go with a circus seven times as large as this. Do you suppose
young Stubbs would act bad if I was to take him for a walk?"

"Who?" asked Ben, looking down at the crowd of boys with no slight show
of perplexity.

"Mr. Stubbs's brother," and Toby motioned to the door of the cage. "I'd
like to take him up in my arms, cause it would seem so much like it used
to before his brother died."

Ben was seized with one of the very worst laughing spasms Toby had ever
seen, and there was every danger that he would roll off the seat before
he could control himself; but he did recover after a time, and as the
purple hue slowly receded from his face, he said:

"I'll tell you what we'll do, Toby. You come to the tent when the
afternoon performance is over, an' I'll fix it so's you shall see Mr.
Stubbs's brother as much as you want to."

Just then Toby remembered that Ben was to be his guest for a while that
day, and after explaining all Aunt Olive had done in the way of
preparing dainties, invited him to dinner.

"I'll come, Toby, because it's to see you an' them that has been good to
you," said Ben, slowly, and after quite a long pause: "but there ain't
anybody else I know of who could coax me out to dinner, for, you see,
rough fellows like me ain't fit to go around much, except among our own
kind. But say, Toby, your uncle Dan'l ain't right on his speech, is he?"

Toby looked so puzzled that Ben saw he had not been understood, and he

"I mean, he don't get up a dinner for the sake of havin' a chance to
make a speech, like the skeleton, does he, eh?"

"Oh no, Uncle Dan'l don't do that. I know you'll like him when you see

"And I believe I shall, Toby," said Ben, speaking very seriously. "I'd
be sure to, because he's such a good uncle to you."

Just then the conversation was interrupted by the orders to prepare for
the parade; and as the manager drove up to see that everything was done
properly, he stopped to speak with and congratulate Toby on being at
home again, a condescension on his part that caused a lively feeling of
envy in the breasts of the other boys because they had not been so




  What do the pansies think, mamma,
    When they first come in the spring?
  Do they remember the robins,
    And the songs they used to sing?
  When the butterflies come again,
    I wonder if they will say,
  "We are ever so glad to see you,
    And won't you sit down and stay?"

  Will the pansies tell the butterflies
    How the snow lay white and deep,
  And how beneath it, safe and warm,
    They had such a pleasant sleep?
  Will the butterflies tell the pansies
    How they hid in their cradle bed,
  And dreamed away the winter-time,
    When people thought they were dead?

  And will they talk of the weather,
    Just as grown-up people do?
  And wish the sun would always shine,
    And the skies be always blue?
  Speak of the lilies dressed in white,
    And the daffodils dressed in gold,
  And say that they think the tulips
    Are exceedingly gay and bold?

  I fancy the purple pansies are proud;
    I fancy the yellow are gay.
  Oh! I wish I could know just what they think;
    I wish I could hear them say,
  "Here comes our dear little Lucy,
    The kind little girl in pink,
  Who used to visit us every day--
    _And that's what we pansies think_."



When jelly-fish are seen lying in shapeless masses upon the beach, where
they have been washed by the tide, their appearance is not attractive.
If, however, we can watch them from the side of a boat, or from a long
pier, as they dart through the water with their tentacles trailing after
them, we shall soon learn to admire their graceful movements and their
elegant colors. There is something very interesting too in these little
inhabitants of the great deep. They are such soft and helpless little
things, and yet they live and have their own good times if only the
boisterous waves do not catch them and fling them too harshly against
the rough shore.


Jelly-fish consist of a single bell-shaped mass of jelly, from the inner
surface of which hangs the body of the animal, with the mouth in the
centre. The mouth opens directly into the stomach, from which several
hollow tubes (usually four) extend to a circular tube around the edge of
the bell. In the jelly-fish, Fig. 1, _a_, the side next to us has been
removed that we may see the tubes and the mouth hanging in the centre;
_b_ shows us the same viewed from below.

The eggs of jelly-fish are formed in large quantities in the tubes
leading from the centre. In Fig. 1 you will see the enlarged cavities
containing eggs. At certain seasons of the year great clusters of
bright-colored eggs may be seen through the transparent flesh. A few
jelly-fish are thought to produce young ones resembling themselves,
without passing through the strange forms we noticed in studying

Hydroids, about which I told you in YOUNG PEOPLE March 14, No. 124, you
will remember, are abundant in all oceans. So are jelly-fish, and they
are often found floating in large companies. Jelly-fish are propelled by
alternately taking in and throwing out water under the bell. This gives
them a jerking movement, which looks as if it were caused by breathing.
They come to the surface chiefly when the water is quiet, and, as they
like the warm sun, you will not see many of them at an early hour in the
day. They are easily alarmed. If they meet with an obstacle in their
course, or if they are touched by an enemy, the bell contracts, the
tentacles are instantly drawn up, and the creature sinks in the water.

Upon the outer edge of the bell there are bright-colored specks and
solid spots, which are thought to be the beginnings of eyes and ears.
Although they never grow to be perfect eyes and ears in the jelly-fish,
they promise that Nature has in store for her children the precious
gifts of sight and hearing. Such imperfect organs are called by the wise
men rudimentary organs. This is the lowest animal in which anything
corresponding to our nerves is found.

Delicate fringes and tentacles hang from the lower edge of the bell,
adding greatly to its beauty. The tentacles are often many feet long,
yet the animal has the power of drawing them up so that they are not
visible. This curious power of contracting and expanding the tentacles
belongs to many humble sea creatures, and you will be greatly interested
in watching their movements. Sometimes, while we are still wondering at
their disappearance, they lengthen again as if by magic.

The tentacles of jelly-fish are covered with a great many lasso cells.
These lasso cells are too small to be seen without a microscope; still,
they are powerful weapons in their way, and are quite sufficient to
enable the jelly-fish to catch its food. Many of you know how the
skillful hunter uses a lasso for catching wild cattle. The jelly-fish
uses its lasso in quite a different manner, but it may be equally

When examined, each lasso cell, or little sac, is found to contain a
long slender thread, coiled within it, somewhat like a lasso, and
floating in a fluid. The cell is filled so full of the fluid that it
bursts with the slightest touch, and as the fluid squirts out, it
carries with it the slender lasso armed with sharp stings. In this way
lassoes are darted out to capture many little crabs or fish that brush
too near in passing.


The sting of the lasso seems to paralyze the unfortunate creatures, and
they make no effort to escape as the tentacles coil round them and carry
them to the mouth of the greedy jelly-fish. In Fig. 2 you will see a
group of lasso cells highly magnified. The cell at _a_ has not yet
burst, and through its thin walls we see the barbed dart at the end of
the lasso. At _b_ the lasso has been thrown out only a short distance,
while at _c_ the long slender lasso still carries the dart at the end,
and the curious little bladder is much larger than it was inside the
cell. The lasso cells of this specimen are exceedingly delicate and
simple, but in some animals the lasso may be seen coiled within the
cell; and when thrust out it bristles with sharp stings. Is it not a
dainty weapon to be used in the continual warfare carried on by these
innocent-looking creatures? Small as the lasso cells are, they serve to
protect the soft-bodied animals from their numerous enemies.

Jelly-fish would hot hesitate in the least to use these tiny weapons
upon us if we should touch their soft, pretty tentacles with too much
familiarity. The irritation produced in the flesh by the numerous sharp
points on the lassoes is similar to the stinging of nettles. For this
reason jelly-fish are often called sea-nettles. The correct name,
however, which you will find in scientific books, is "Medusæ."


Jelly-fish vary greatly in size. Some are mere dots, so extremely small
that we should not notice them in the water, while one species is said
to be seven feet in diameter, with tentacles measuring fifty feet (Fig.
3). The parent of this huge jelly-fish was a hydroid only half an inch
high. Its children will be the same. What do you think its grandchildren
will be?

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--MUSHROOMS OF THE SEA.]

The size of jelly-fish is greatly enlarged by the water they absorb;
indeed, the substance of which they are composed consists largely of
water. A specimen weighing several pounds when alive will shrink away to
almost nothing if exposed to the sun and the wind. As the body contains
no bones or other solid matter, it all perishes together, and no trace
is left of its former beautiful shape. You will see that jelly-fish are
in no way like real fish. One writer found them so much like a familiar
vegetable that he called them "Mushrooms of the Sea."

It would be impossible to describe to you the varied colors of
jelly-fish, as they include almost every hue, the beautiful tints being
probably due to their transparency. Some are purely white and as clear
as glass, while all shades are to be found, from pale blue and pink, to
bright red and yellow. Those found in tropical seas are of a deeper
color than ours.

In striking contrast with these brilliant jelly-fish is one species
which is so delicate and transparent that as it floats upon the water we
can scarcely see the substance of which it is composed. The only parts
that strike the eye are the circular tube around the edge and the four
radiating tubes with their large clusters of eggs. The tubes look as if
they were held together by some slight web. The movements of this
jelly-fish are languid, and it sometimes remains perfectly quiet in the
bright sunshine for hours, not even moving its tentacles.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--FIXED JELLY-FISH.]

You have probably noticed a great difference in the movements of people.
So with jelly-fish: some are much more active and energetic than others.
While some kinds appear to delight in darting through the water, until
one might suppose from their frisky motions that they are having a great
deal of fun and frolic, others prefer to make no exertion, and to drift
idly with the waves. There have even been found "fixed jelly-fish" (Fig.
5)--those so fond of a settled resting-place that they have put out
suckers by which they attach themselves permanently to some rock or

Although jelly-fish are so brilliant in the daytime, they have a
different beauty at night, when they throw out a golden light slightly
tinged with green, resembling the light of a glow-worm. Vast numbers of
small animals in the sea have this power of throwing out light from
their bodies. The light is called phosphorescence. As it may be seen at
anytime of the year illuminating air oceans, it is an unfailing source
of delight to voyagers. It is most conspicuous on a dark night, when the
water is agitated by the motion of a boat, or by the breaking-waves,
because the disturbance of the water excites the little animals.

A pail of sea-water carried into a dark room often affords a good
opportunity for studying this interesting phenomenon. Although we may
not have detected the presence of any animals before, as soon as the
water is stirred or jostled we will see the beautiful sparkles of light.
The phosphorescence of some animals is of a bluish tint; in others it is
red, like flame.

A person will rarely tire of watching a boat as its prow turns up a
furrow of liquid fire, and each dip of the oar sends a miniature flash
of lightning through the otherwise dark water. It fills us with wonder
to think of the countless millions of little creatures required to
produce these marvellous effects all over the ocean, and wherever the
restless waves break in lines of light, either upon tropical shores or
ice-bound rocks.

Crabbe, the English poet, has given us the description of a
phosphorescent sea:

  "And now your view upon the ocean turn,
  And there the splendor of the waves discern;
  Cast but a stone, or strike them with an oar,
  And you shall flames within the deep explore;
  Or scoop the stream phosphoric as you stand,
  And the cold flumes shall flash along your hand;
  When, lost in wonder, you shall walk and gaze
  On weeds that sparkle, and on waves that blaze."



"It's to be what I call _fun_."

This from Mattie Blake, the eldest of the party, sitting on the bed, and
dangling her feet idly.

"Rather risky," said little Joan in her shy voice.

"Risky! how absurd!" Bella Jones exclaimed. And finally I broke in with:

"What will Philip Sydney think of us?"

Mattie, with the superiority of her years, looked very scornfully upon
my small figure.

"Philip Sydney will be there, himself, and you may be sure he will be
delighted. Now come, Cecilia, don't make any new objections. Remember
you promised me last night;" and Mattie's black eyes flashed angrily.

We all remained silent for two or three moments, while the dusk of the
spring afternoon gathered in the room. It was a big bare-looking room,
with our four beds and four dressing-tables and four chairs, but to my
mind the scene of much that was fascinating in our school life at
Hillbrow, for there Mattie Blake entertained us on every occasion with
thrilling experiences, in which she was usually the successful and
admired heroine. Nothing could have been more monotonous than our daily
school life, and these hours and Mattie's recitals were looked forward
to with romantic interest.

Looking back, I remember Mattie as a tall, thin, black-eyed girl of
about fourteen, with saucy, independent ways, and a touch of what I now
know was a vulgar love of show about her. In her dress, her profuse
jewelry, her crimped hair, and her voice and laugh, she was not really
the fine young person we girls thought her. From her own accounts, she
led the most bewitching life at home. Her father was a rich railroad
man--a widower, who left Mattie to her own devices; and when she
descended one winter's morning into our midst she seemed to bring
splendor and riches and excitement with her.

How she had happened to select me as a desirable acquaintance I can not
say, but the fact was soon known to the school. Mattie's favor was
bestowed upon my insignificant self, and I was delighted to be her
humble servitor. My own little past seemed very tame in comparison with
Mattie's: she had "fun" of the most daring, brilliant kind whenever she
was at home; I had led a thoroughly childish life, yet there had been
much pleasure in it too; but who could compare it with Mattie's?

My father was a country clergyman, and on my mother's death, dear, dear
Aunt Anna had come to live with us, and to make our home very sweet and
happy. But for Mattie's influence not a shadow would have fallen on my
enjoyment of home pleasures and home duties; but during this one season
she had sowed seeds of discontent. Already I was beginning to dread a
return to Bridgeley, even though I knew the pleasures that were waiting
for me: the rides on my pony, with Philip and Laura Sydney, the Squire's
son and daughter; the long days out fishing and sailing; the picnics and
the girls' sewing circle; the evenings at home, with papa to read aloud
to us; and the quiet sunny Sunday mornings, when I liked to stand beside
Miss Sydney at the organ, and hear my voice mingling with the rest in
sweet, simple songs of praise to God.

No, Mattie Blake had cast her spell: I wanted to go home with her to
North Erie to see "Bob" and "Jim," of whom she talked so much and so
foolishly; to ride out to the "Lake"; to dance at the "Bell House," and
to stay up until daybreak whenever I chose. And what would papa and Aunt
Anna and Philip and Laura think of my latest ambition--the scheme which
had brought us together on this afternoon, a thrilled little circle
about Mattie, who had been the originator of it?

It was as follows:

The boys--or should I say "young gentlemen"?--of Barnabas Academy, some
six miles distant, had sent us invitations to their "Prize Day":
invitations promptly declined by our principal, Miss Harding; for
although the day was to be a holiday with us, Miss Harding did not
approve of its being spent in the Academy among a party of boys unknown
to our friends, and who were always trying to make us break some of our
rules. Two or three girls were going with their parents, but our party
in "No. 6" had no such opportunity. Vainly had Mattie rebelled. Miss
Harding was firm. Then there had entered into the girl's wild head a
plan, which she unfolded to us with all her usual eloquence and dramatic
energy. We were to get off early in the day on some pretext, and, once
out of sight, make our own way to the Academy. Then, as we were invited
guests, no one would be the wiser, and as our school was to break up the
next day, the chances were that no one would ever betray us to Miss

"By the time we are back next fall," said Mattie, "it will all be
forgotten; and I'll tell you what, girls, Bob and Jim will give us a
splendid time. Just you leave it to me."

We trembled, half with fear, half with admiration of Mattie's daring.
What were we three mites against her? And then to see the Bob and Jim of
her fascinating romances! Bob was described as "perfectly elegant," and
Jim was always depicted as "simply superb--one of the most splendid
fellows you ever saw." While we talked it over for the last time, I
happened to see my own figure and little brown face in the glass, while
near it was reflected Mattie's fine brown silk gown, her frizzles and
bracelets and rings.

"But, Mattie," I said, suddenly, "how can I go? I've nothing to wear."

"Humph! Let me think," she said, slowly, and added, with her usual
impressive air, "Just wait until to-night."

When that decisive period came, it appeared that Mattie had decided to
lend me one of her own costumes. It was a last year's white muslin,
trimmed with Valenciennes lace, and so much finer than anything I had
ever owned that I was completely carried away by the prospect of wearing
it. It is true that for a few minutes my sense of refinement was
disturbed. In our simple home we would never have dreamed of borrowing
any finery.

"Oh, Mattie!" I said, timidly, "I never wore any one else's things. What
would papa say?"

Mattie laughed shrilly. "Don't be a goose!" she exclaimed. "Think of
_my_ wondering what my father would say to anything _I_ did!"

And so the matter was settled, and by the time I had tried on the muslin
dress and a Roman sash, and tied some of Mattie's beads around my neck,
I felt no misgivings, and went to bed in high spirits.

       *       *       *       *       *

And so the 18th of June dawned, and found Mattie waking me up to see
what a fine day it was.

"Bella and Joan have backed out," she said, disdainfully. "But I've made
them promise not to tell of us. Now, Cecy, you leave the getting away to
me. When eleven o'clock strikes, you leave the school-room, slip up here
and dress, and put your duster over your dress, while I'm with Miss
Harding. Then just march down coolly to the front hall, and _you'll


How perfectly I can recall that morning! I see myself now hurrying into
Mattie's dress, tying on the sash and beads, and then slipping guiltily
down to the front hall, which was quite deserted, and where I stood for
a moment trembling, yet excited and happy. And then Mattie appeared from
a side door, caught my hand, and putting her finger on her lips, hurried
me out, down the garden, and into the road.

Just below the school garden we came upon a rockaway, in which a young
girl, very like Mattie in general style, and a tall boy of sixteen were

"Hello!" the boy called out, and Mattie, looking very delighted, said:

"Here's Cecilia Martin, I told you I'd bring. This is Mr. Bob Rivers,
Cecilia, and Miss Rivers."

Then this was Bob! I looked, trying to admire; but Bob was not like
Philip Sydney in any way. He was stout and red-faced, and decorated like
a young man of fashion; and Kate Rivers was a pert miss of fourteen,
quite unlike my dear Laura.

These two, it appeared, had arranged with Mattie, and we were to drive
with them to the Academy.

After all it seemed like "fun." Anyway, it was one of Mattie's dazzling
experiences; so we got in, I feeling quite finely, and prepared to enter
into the spirit of everything. Bob drove, and we girls sat inside.




Mr. Thompson was sitting in the barn belonging to the farm where he had
been spending the summer. He looked very disconsolate, and from time to
time heaved such deep sighs as to greatly disturb the family of swallows
who had their nest against the beam just above his head.

Poor Mr. Thompson had had a hard time all summer. First of all, he had
met Miss Angelina, who had captured his heart; and everybody knows that
the most miserable object on earth is an old bachelor in love.

"Oh, had I wings of a bird, I would fly--" murmured Mr. Thompson to

"Course you would," interrupted a saucy voice.

Mr. Thompson looked up. On the edge of the mud nest just above his head
sat a bright-looking barn-swallow, eying him curiously.

"Where would you fly to?" inquired the swallow.

"Away from this world of care," murmured Mr. Thompson.

The swallow laughed heartily.

"Well, I guess not; but you can try, if you want to."

Mr. Thompson felt himself begin to shrink, and saw his clothes slowly
disappear and become changed into feathers. But he was getting so used
to these metamorphoses that he didn't mind it, and really gazed upon
himself with satisfaction as finally he felt that he was a perfect

"Come up here," said the swallow.

Mr. Thompson stretched his wings, and fluttered up to the nest beside
his friend.

"How do you like it?" inquired the swallow.

"It is glorious," replied Mr. Thompson. "Oh, that I could always be a

"Humph!" replied the bird. "How would you like to have to build your
house every spring, going and coming a hundred times a day with your
mouth full of mud?"

"But the glorious feeling of freedom!" said Mr. Thompson.

"Oh yes," answered the swallow, sarcastically. "Come with me; I'll show

The two flew out of the barn, and after wheeling around for a few
minutes, flew up to a large vane on top of the carriage-house. Mr.
Thompson had often seen the swallows perched on this vane, twittering
and fighting among themselves. This morning he had a feeling of elation
at being there himself, and shook his wings proudly. Bang! whiz! the
shot flew around him, and two of his companions fell fluttering to the
ground. Just then he heard two boyish voices exclaim,

"It's awful hard to hit a swaller on the wing, but you can shoot 'em
sittin' like pie."

Mr. Thompson and his friend were uninjured; and as they flew away in
alarm, the bird said, in an ironical tone, "Such a feeling of freedom!"

Mr. Thompson said nothing, but flew back to the barn. After resting for
a moment, the swallow said, "Let's go up to the Sound and visit my
cousins, the bank-swallows."

Mr. Thompson followed the bird, and skimmed over the fields, snapping up
a fly or two by the way, until they reached the high sand-cliffs which
border Long Island Sound. Here, high up on the cliffs, were a number of
small round holes; flying about them, and darting out and in were a
number of small gray birds; sitting on a fence rail not far off were
nearly a hundred more solemnly sunning themselves.

"I'll introduce you to one of them, and he will show you around," said
Mr. Thompson's friend.

After the introduction had been effected, the bank-swallow said, in an
inquiring tone, "You are interested in birds?"

"Yes," said Mr. Thompson; "theirs is so glorious and free a life."

The swallow smiled pityingly; then, as if to change the subject, invited
Mr. Thompson to visit his house. It was high up under the overhanging
edge of the cliff.

The swallow led the way, and Mr. Thompson followed through a corridor
about a foot long, and slanting slightly upward in order that the rain
would not drive into the nest. At the end of the corridor was a circular
apartment, lined with feathers and sea-weed, and here sat Mrs.
Bank-Swallow upon four speckled eggs. Mr. Thompson did not wish to
disturb her, so he retreated soon after having been introduced. His
companion led the way back to the rail upon which the barn-swallow was
seated, waiting. After a slight pause, Mr. Thompson inquired, "May I ask
what you find to eat up here?"

"Certainly," replied the bank-swallow, good-naturedly. "During the
summer we eat grubs, flies, mosquitoes, and the like; in the fall, when
the bayberries are ripe, we eat them. You know each berry is covered
with a coating of vegetable wax, and we get very fat; then people shoot
us, for they say the berries give us a delicious flavor," added he,

Mr. Thompson sighed, and was lost for a moment in reverie, when he was
suddenly aroused by his companions suddenly screaming, "A hawk!"

Mr. Thompson followed the barn-swallow, too frightened to know where,
for as he turned back he saw the hawk pounce upon an unfortunate bird,
and bear it off in his claws.

When they reached the house again, the swallow said, "Well, do you think
that the life of a bird is unalloyed pleasure?" Mr. Thompson paused for
a moment, and the swallow continued: "First, there are the boys who
steal the eggs, then they shoot at you; then there are the hawks, and
the snakes, and the cats."

"Cats?" inquired Mr. Thompson.

"Yes, cats!" screamed the swallow in alarm, fluttering away. Mr.
Thompson was too late. He felt the sharp claws in his leg, and with a
jump and a scream he awoke, to find himself sitting in the barn, with
the big house cat standing beside him, and looking somewhat surprised at
his sudden movement. Slowly Tabby lifted her paw, and putting it on Mr.
Thompson's knee, stretched herself lazily. 'Lisha, who was feeding the
horses, remarked: "Reckon it's goin' to rain; the swallers fly low, and
it's a great sign of rain when a cat stretches like that."

Mr. Thompson walked slowly to the house, thinking that, after all, the
bird's life was not all happiness.



It is not much more than a hundred years since gentlemen gave up wearing
rapiers at their sides--a practice which was once as common as is that
of carrying a cane among us. And with a weapon so handy, it can easily
be believed that it was drawn on very slight provocation. Hence every
gentleman who valued a whole skin was diligent to make himself a master
of the small-sword, as it was generally called. Small it was originally,
however, only by comparison with more formidable weapons. Richard
Coeur de Lion's sword, you will remember, was so large and heavy that
none other than himself could wield it.

In the reign of the haughty Queen Elizabeth, the rapier, only lately
introduced into England, was so much in fashion that he was the greatest
dandy who wore the longest rapier and the widest "ruff." Queen Bess
herself set the fashion in ruffs, but the flattery of imitation was not
dear to her. She loved flattery; but to have every one copying her large
ruffs--and who ever saw a picture of Elizabeth without one?--was more
than her quick temper could put up with. And so she issued one of those
orders which seem so strange to us now: she stationed "grave persons" at
the gate of every town to break the points of all rapiers exceeding one
yard in length, and to cut all ruffs measuring more than the "nayle of a

Skill with the small-sword was a necessary part of the education of a
gentleman. At the age when the boy of our day is just about opening his
Latin grammar for the first time, the young prince or noble of two
hundred years ago was being taught the art of _longe_ and _parry_, of
_tierce_ and _carte_. And besides the usefulness of being skillful with
a weapon which every gentleman carried and was ready to use at short
notice, the practice of fencing gave an easy carriage to the body,
making the joints supple, and strengthening every muscle.

The art of fencing, says an old French comedy, consists of two simple
things--to hit, and not to be hit; but like a great many other simple
things, its simplicity takes a vast deal of finding out. Each position,
whether for thrust or parry, is easy by itself, but when your thrust is
quickly parried, and the point of your opponent's foil is reaching for
your breast quick as thought, then the cool head, the quick eye, the
ready hand, are brought into play. The first thing for the beginner to
do after equipping himself for the contest--and about this we shall have
a few words to say later on--is to master the proper position. In no
exercise is position of greater importance. Let the right side of your
body be half turned toward your adversary; feet at right angles, with
the left foot pointing to the left, and placed behind the right. The
foil is held in the left hand, down by your side. Grasping it by the
hilt with the right hand, you draw it through the left hand, at the same
time raising both hands so that by the time the point of your foil comes
into your left hand both hands are above your head, the one holding the
hilt and the other the point of the foil.

From this position you will easily and gracefully fall into the third
position, "on guard," by bringing your sword-hand down in front of you,
and bending your elbow until the fore-arm and the sword make one
straight line. The left arm will remain where it was. While you are
doing this, bend the knees, and advance the right foot about twelve
inches, sinking down only just so far as that the shin-bone of the right
leg shall be perpendicular to the floor. This position is the position
of defense, and is always returned to after a thrust.

Thus far you have maintained an attitude of defense only, and if you
have mastered that, you have laid the foundation of your future skill.
Watch your adversary's eye, and decide instantly when you will thrust,
or longe, as it is called. Straightening the right arm, you advance the
right foot about eighteen inches, taking care not to lean forward so far
that the shin-bone makes anything less than a right angle with the
floor. If you get up from the seat where you are sitting to read this,
and try the movement, you will see why this right angle formed by leg
and floor is important. Lean too far forward, and you can not spring
back instantly and without effort to the position of defense, and thus
you are at the mercy of your opponent, who will quickly parry your blow,
and be able to reach you almost without advancing his right foot.
Instantly after longeing you must spring back, in order to be able to
parry the longe of your adversary.

In longeing, as in the "on-guard" position, the nails of the sword-hand
must be turned up. This may seem a trifle, but in reality it is of the
greatest importance, since the force and directness of the blow depend
upon it. Try it with a cane, and you will at once feel how much firmer
your wrist is than when you thrust with your nails turned down. To prove
it another way: do the stroke with a long poker, and see how much easier
it is to extend the poker and hold it extended with your nails turned up
than when they are turned down.

There are four thrusts in fencing, and twice as many parries; that is,
there are two parries for each thrust. The object of this is that having
parried a thrust, you may at once return the blow; and were you always
to parry the same kind of thrust in the same manner, you would always be
obliged to attack in the same manner. The difference between the two
kinds of parries for each thrust is that one is done with the nails
turned up, the other with them turned down. Thus, having parried a
thrust, the hand is in one of two positions for making a return thrust.

The various thrusts and parries are too large a subject to be gone into
here. The thrust, however, it may be remarked, is always some kind of a
longe, and in parrying the one sword does not beat the other aside, but
simply turns it by a turn of the wrist. The idea of the parry may be
gathered from the fact that the point of the foil always describes a
circle of not more than three feet in diameter in the air. Thus the
adversary's point is turned aside from its object.

The art of fencing is so difficult to learn without a master that it is
useless for any one to attempt by himself to do more than acquire skill
in the simpler movements; and it is so graceful an accomplishment that
if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.


Without attempting, therefore, to go into all the mysteries of _tierce_
and _carte_, of _ripost_ and _reprise_, we will add a few words which an
instructor might omit. In the first place, never cross your blade with
any one who is not dressed for the exercise. He may say he will take his
chances of getting hurt, but you can not afford to take the chance of
putting out his eye. The proper armor to wear is a padded leather
jacket, a gauntlet on the right hand, a piece of padded leather on the
right thigh, and a wire mask over the head. Secondly, never use any but
a good and sound foil, and see that the button is firm: many accidents
have been caused by a broken foil or an unsafe button. Lastly--and
though this applies to all games, it is perhaps more necessary in
small-sword exercise than in anything else--remember that the coolest
head always goes with the quickest eye and the surest hand.





On Sunday, the 1st of January, 1786, the _Halsewell_, a vessel of 758
tons burden, bound for the East Indies, sailed through the Downs with a
fair wind and under exceptionally favorable circumstances. She had a
well-tried commander, Captain Pierce, good officers, and a numerous
crew. To these were added a considerable number of soldiers of "John
Company," as the East India Company was called, so that security seemed
assured both by sea and land.

There were, moreover, several lady passengers aboard, most of whom were
known to one another, including the daughters of the Captain, two of his
cousins, and one still younger lady, Miss Mansell, returning from a
school in England to her parents in Madras. The chief mate too was
related to Captain Pierce, so that the company in the chief cabin was
almost a family party.

On Monday very thick weather came on, so that the ship was compelled to
anchor, and on Tuesday a gale arose that obliged her to cut her cables
and run out to sea. The gale grew to a tempest, which continued for
three days, and on Friday night the ship ended her voyage.

At two in the morning of that day she was driving to her doom on the
sharp rocks between Peverel Point and St. Alban's Head, in Dorsetshire.
These rocks run sheer down to the sea, so that to approach them even in
fine weather is fraught with danger.

There is a story told by the great humorist Thomas Hood of a terrible
scene on board ship, when every one was running about distracted with
fear, save one cheerful old lady. "There is nothing whatever to be
alarmed at," she said, when some one asked her how it was she showed
such courage, "for the Captain has just told me we are 'running on
shore.'" To her the land seemed like safety. And so it doubtless was
with some of the poor ladies on board the _Halsewell_.

The Captain, as they drove nearer the rocky shore on that awful night,
consulted with his second mate, Mr. Meriton, as to their chances of
escape, and especially with reference to his daughters.

"We can do nothing, sir, but wait for the morning," was the sad reply;
and even while he spoke the ship struck with a violence that dashed the
heads of those standing in the cuddy, as the saloon in an Indiaman was
called, against the deck above them.

A frightful scene followed. The sailors had acted ill throughout the
storm, and, skulking in their hammocks, had compelled their officers and
the soldiers, who behaved admirably, to man the pumps; but now that the
catastrophe, which they might have helped to avert, was upon them, they
exhibited a frantic fear.

The ship lay beating against the rocks, with her broadside toward them,
and the Captain's advice was that each man should take what opportunity
should offer itself to reach the land. The ensign staff was accordingly
unshipped, and laid between the ship's side and a rock; but it snapped
asunder with the weight of the first man who attempted to cross, so that
there was nothing for the rest to do but to drop into the raging sea,
and trust to the waves to carry them to the unknown shore.

This desperate attempt, made by a number of the men, was of course
impossible for the ladies, who with the passengers, three black women,
and two soldiers' wives, had collected in the roundhouse upon deck to
the number of no less than fifty. The Captain, whose use was gone in
these dreadful straits, sat on a cot with a daughter upon each side,
whom he alternately pressed to his breast. The scene was indescribably
mournful. Mr. Meriton procured a quantity of wax candles, and stuck them
about the place in which it was their hope to wait for dawn; then
perceiving that the poor women were parched with thirst, he brought a
basket of oranges, with which they refreshed themselves. This was the
last meal they were ever to take on earth.

At this time they were all tolerably composed, except Miss Mansell, who
lay sobbing upon the floor. Mr. Meriton thought he perceived that the
sides of the ship were visibly giving way; that her deck was lifting,
and that consequently she could not much longer hold together.

On leaving the roundhouse to see whether his suspicions were correct,
they received a terrible confirmation. The ship had separated in the
middle, and not a moment was to be lost in seizing the slender chance of
saving his life. As a great sea struck the ship the poor ladies cried
out: "Oh, poor Meriton, he is drowned! Had he staid with us he would
have been safe." Whereupon Mr. Rogers, another officer, offered to go
and look for him. This they opposed, lest he should share the same fate.

Rogers and the Captain, however, went out with a lantern, but being able
to see nothing but the black face of the perpendicular rock, the Captain
returned to his daughters, and was no more seen. A very heavy sea struck
the ship, and burst into the roundhouse, and Mr. Rogers heard the ladies
shriek at intervals until the water drowned their voices.

He seized a hen-coop, and was carried by a wave on to a rock, where it
left him, miserably bruised, in the company of no less than one hundred
and twenty-four persons, among whom he found Mr. Meriton. The meeting
between these two was very touching, for they were old friends, and had
just survived a calamity, little less terrible, in another Indiaman,
between which event and their present peril an interval of only
twenty-five days had elapsed. They were prevented, however, from the
interchange of mutual congratulations by at least twenty men between
them, none of whom could move without imperilling his life.

They were, in fact, on the ledge of a cavern overhung by the precipice,
as closely packed and with as little room to move in as those sea-birds
which we often see clustered on some ridge of rock. The full horror of
their situation was, however, hid from them. They could not even see the
ship they had just quitted, though in a few minutes a universal shriek,
which long vibrated in their ears, and in which the voice of female
agony was plainly distinguishable, informed them that she had gone to
pieces. Not one atom of the wreck of the _Halsewell_ was ever afterward

This terrible incident gave such a shock to the poor trembling wretches
on the ledge that many of them, being already unnerved and weak from
bruises, lost their feeble hold, and fell upon the rocks below. Their
groans and cries for succor increased the misery of the survivors. After
three hours, which seemed as many ages, the daylight broke, and revealed
the fact that unless aid was given from the cliff above them, escape was
impossible, while the total disappearance of the ship left no evidence
of their position, their guns and signals of distress through the night
having been unheard by reason of the roaring of the gale.

The only hope of escape was to creep along the ledge to its extremity,
and then, on a ridge nearly as broad as a man's hand, to turn a corner,
and then scale a precipice almost perpendicular and two hundred feet in
height! Such was the courage of their despair that even this was
essayed. What with fear and fatigue, many lost their footing, and
perished in the attempt. The cook and quarter-master alone succeeded in
reaching the cliff top, and at once hastened to the nearest house.

This chanced to be the residence of the steward of the Purbeck stone
quarries, who instantly collected his workmen, and furnished them with
ropes. Next to the two men who had escaped, and after an interval in
which many must have failed, a soldier and Mr. Meriton were trying to
make their way to the summit, as the quarrymen arrived. They perceived
the soldier, and dropped him a rope, of which he laid hold, but in the
effort loosened the stone on which he stood, which also supported Mr.
Meriton. The latter, however, seized another rope as he was in the very
act of falling. He had probably the narrowest escape of all.

The perils of the rest were by no means at an end. The most fortunate
crawled to the edge of the ledge and waited for the rope held by two
strong men at the very brink of the cliff. Other ropes were tied about
them and fastened to an iron bar fixed in the ground. Four other men,
standing behind these, also held the rope which was let down, and we may
be sure that they pulled with a will when the word was given.

Many of the poor shipwrecked souls, however, were too benumbed and weak
to help themselves even thus far; and for these the rope, with a strong
loop at the end of it, had to be let down. The force of the wind blew
the rope into the cavern, when whoever was so fortunate as to catch it
put the noose round his body and was drawn up. Many even of these
perished from nervousness or loss of presence of mind. One especially,
who lost his hold, fell into the sea, and being a strong swimmer, added
to the general distress by dying, as it were, by inches before the eyes
of the survivors.

It was evening before they found themselves in safety; indeed, one poor
fellow, a soldier, remained in this perilous position until the next
morning. On being mustered at the steward's house, they were found to
number seventy-four out of a crew of two hundred and fifty.

They were treated with the utmost hospitality, and word of their coming
was sent to the towns through which they would have to pass on their way
to London, that they might be helped along. "It is worthy of
commemoration," says the biographer, in which all my readers will agree,
"that the landlord of the Brown Inn at Blandford not only refreshed all
these distressed seamen at his house, but presented each with half a

As one lies on the cliff-top above Peverel Point in the summer sun, with
the blue sea below smiling so smoothly, it is difficult to imagine what
took place in that unseen cavern beneath, or even the tears of joy which
were shed by those who, after such a night of horror, set foot for the
first time upon that grassy slope.



"I'm glad spring's come," remarked Grandmother Gates, as she looked out
through the kitchen window, "if it's only so that boy can spend his time
out-of-doors. There isn't any house can hold him."

"What, Bun?" said Aunt Dorcas, while the skimmer in her hand was
dripping over the soap-kettle. "He's all spring and India rubber. What's
he doing now?"

"Doing?" said grandmother. "I'd say so! If he hasn't rigged some
leathers and strings, and he's trying to harness that little speckled
pig into his wagon. Can't you hear the pig squeal?"

"He's always a-squealing," said Mrs. Gates, from the milk-room. She was
a large, motherly looking woman; but now she hurried to the door, and
shouted, "Audubon, my son, what are you doing to that poor critter?"

"Why, mother, spring's come, and it's time he did something. I can drive
him if I can once get him harnessed. He's half in now; but he does just
plunge around!"

The speckled pig was a small one, truly, and he was well acquainted with
Bun Gates; but his present occupation was new to him. The wagon matched
him fairly well as to size, and it was only a little too plain that he
had strength enough to haul it anywhere the moment he should have a fair
chance. The best he could do at that moment was to make music, and his
voice was uncommonly clear and shrill.

"Dorcas! mother!" exclaimed Mrs. Gates, "do come here and look at that

"I see him," said grandma, but Aunt Dorcas put down her skimmer, and
came to the door just as another boy, a head shorter than Bun, trotted
up the garden walk to see what was the matter with the pig.

"Harnessed! harnessed! Oh, what a horse! I'll get in for a ride."

"Jump in, Jeff," said Bun. "You take the reins that belong to his head,
and I'll hold on to the rein that goes to his hind-leg. We'll break him

Jeff was hardly more than eight years old, while his stoutly built and
chubby elder brother was at least thirteen. There was "boy" enough in
either of them, but the "spring" was tremendously developed in Bun. He
was so full of it that he could hardly stand still. Neither could the
pig stand still, and while the women at the kitchen door and window were
laughing until the tears came into their eyes, the speckled unfortunate
was dodging in every direction in a desperate effort to regain his
freedom. Bun had deceived him when he enticed him from the barn-yard.
The gate through which he had consented to be driven was well known to
Speckle as leading into the garden, and all the free rooting to be
desired of any pig could be had there. He had marched through the gate
meekly enough, and he had looked over the "promised land," with its
neatly kept walks and beds, and with all its green things just coming
up, and yet here he was with a rope still restraining his hind-leg and a
queer net-work of pig harness all over him. No part of that harness
worked as a muzzle, and Speckle did what he could with his voice to
express his opinion of the matter.

"Don't you let him get away from you," said Aunt Dorcas. "There's no
telling what he'd do."

Jeff was in the wagon now, and grandmother was on the point of
remarking, "Do?--why, he might run away with that there child, and break
his precious neck," when the precise help Bun Gates was wishing for came
hurrying through the front gate.

"What you got there, Bun? I'm a-coming. Hold him."

"You hold the shaft on that side, Rube, till we get him aimed right. I
want to point him for the front gate, and drive him into the street.
We'll have more room there to train him."

"Biggest kind of an idea ever was," said Rube. "I saw a learned pig
once. He could play checkers, and count twenty. Smoke a pipe too. He was
bigger'n this one."

"This one knows more'n most people now."

"Can't he squeal, though!"

"Audubon," said Mrs. Gates, "I want you to go to the store for me pretty
soon. You'll have to take your wagon."

"All right," said Bun.

"Stand back, Rube. Hold on tight, Jeff. He'll make things rattle. Look,

She looked, and so did Grandmother Gates and Aunt Dorcas, but it was
half a minute before there was anything to see, and Bun punched his
queer "horse" with a long stick to set him going. A short sharp grunt
replied to the punch, and suddenly the speckled pig made a plunging dart
forward, and the wagon went with him.

"See!" shouted Bun. "That harness is just beautiful. It pulls
first-rate. He'll go anywhere."

The pig felt about it in that way exactly, and the only drawback, so far
as he was concerned, was the strong cord that was so well knotted around
his left hind-leg. It had been a very strong cord in its day, and it was
so now in many places, but there was about an inch of it, not a foot
away from the pig's leg, that had seen its best and cordiest days. It
was frayed and worn out and weak, and it had been severely tested all
that morning. Fibre after fibre and strand after strand had given way,
until now it needed but one more long, strong, willful tug with a boy
pulling one way and an angry pig another, and the cord parted at its
weak spot.

His first rush was straight forward for several yards; but the wagon did
not seem to hinder him at all, even with Jeff pulling his best upon the
"reins." He would have had to pull that pig's head nearly off before he
could have stopped him in that manner, and it was fastened on too

"Stop him!" shouted Jeff. "He's running away; he's dodging."

That meant that he was making a sudden wheel across the grass-plot,
under the big cherry-tree, and that brought him in full view of the

The pig knew where he wanted to go now, and he sprang away in that
direction with all his might and main. The boys were after him; but
Rube's first attempt at heading him off only made him give so sudden a
side rush that poor Jeff was pitched out, as the wagon keeled over,
right into the middle of the raspberry bushes. The kick he gave as he
landed set the wagon back on its wheels again, and it was easier running
for the pig after that.

[Illustration: "OH, THAT PIG!"]

"Oh, my son!" was all Mrs. Gates could say, and nobody could guess
whether she meant Bun or Jeff; but Jeff himself was remarking at that
very moment, "Oh, that pig!" and it was plain enough of whom he was
speaking. Aunt Dorcas and Grandmother Gates were at the same instant, as
with one united voice, saying the same words, and Aunt Dorcas added:

"The garden'll just be ruined. There he goes, right through the tomato
plants, and they ain't but just been sot out."

"Oh dear!" exclaimed Bun. "He's stopped in the spinach bed, and he's
gone to rooting right away."

"Never mind," said Rube. "The wagon's all right. He might have broken

"We must get him out somehow."

Yes, that was precisely the task they had before them; but the pig was
in the garden, and he knew it, and believed that he too had duties to
perform. He could run, and he could dodge, and he could change work from
one bed to another, but at any moment when he got at all away from those
boys, he found uses for his long, busy, root-hunting nose.

Jeff crept out from among the raspberry bushes right away, and when his
mother and the two other women reached that spot, he was able to answer
them: "No, I ain't hurt a bit, but I'm scratched the worst kind. Oh,
that pig!"

"Run, Jeff," said Aunt Dorcas, "and hold the barn-yard gate open. Don't
let any other pigs get in. There are three more out of the pen. Must be
Bun let 'em out when he went for that one."

The pig was now making a stand among the young beets; but suddenly an
idea came to Bun, and he sprang forward. In an instant he was seated in
the wagon, and was goading his victim with the sharp end of his long

"Got him, Rube! I've got him, mother! He'll have to go now."

"Oh, my son! Yes, Dorcas, he's starting off. Look, mother; if he isn't
pulling wagon and all!"

"He's going for the barn-yard gate, too," said Rube. "Punch him, Bun.
We'll train him in the barn-yard."

Jeff was holding the gate open, but he was also shouting loudly at the
other pigs, and it was an open question--as wide open as the gate
itself--whether or not all three of them would not soon be at work in
the garden. Very likely they would have been but for Bun's presence of
mind in getting into the wagon. That puzzled the speckled pig, and the
sharp stick made it worse for him. He saw the open gate, and he made a
desperate rush for it. There was a deep drain furrow just before he
reached it, and Bun was thinking, "He can't pull me over that," when the
fore-wheels went down into it. The pig uttered the loudest squeal he had
squealed all that morning as he struggled forward. The three women
shouted in one breath, "Oh, Bun!"

Rube Hollenhauser stooped down to pick up a stone, and Bun punched
harder than ever; but the pig had the best of it. That harness had not
been calculated for any such strain. There was a faint snap, then
another, and the pig was free.

He did not pause to look back at the garden he had lost, but he dashed
wildly through the open gate, and Jeff banged it shut after him.

"Mother," said Bun, "I believe I can train him to draw."

"Draw?" exclaimed Aunt Dorcas. "He draws well enough now. The trouble is
to steer him. What'll your father say to that garden?"

"I'll tell him my 'horse' ran away," said Bun.

"Well," said his mother, "don't you bring him into this yard again. Do
your pig-training on the pigs' side of the fence. Come, now; it's time
you went on your errand."

"Come on, Rube," remarked Bun. "We'll see about a better harness."

"May I go too?" asked Jeff. "I'm all scratched up."

"Come on, then. You may haul the wagon if you want to."

In a few minutes more they were all away up the street; but the speckled
pig over in the barn-yard seemed to be in a manner grunting his
morning's experiences for the information of his three relatives. Every
now and then, too, one of them answered him with a grunt that seemed to
have surprise in it, for neither of them had ever before heard of or
from a pig in harness.

[Illustration: "SAIL A BOAT."]

[Illustration: MOVING DAY.]

[Illustration: OUR POST-OFFICE BOX.]

How the Postmistress wishes, on these bright May mornings, that she
could turn herself into a fairy godmother!

"What would she do then," do you ask?

Why, print ever so many more of the dear little letters, bright stories,
and tangled puzzles which every day are dropped for her into Uncle Sam's
great mail-bags by the children's hands.

Her heart almost aches sometimes when she has to put aside so many
clever, amusing, and affectionate letters which can not possibly be
crowded into Our Post-office Box. Still, the dear little folks are too
sensible to be vexed at the Postmistress, when she can not possibly help
herself. You all know she must try to be fair in her treatment of each
of her host of correspondents.

When you have anything interesting to write, do not mind even though you
may have sent two or three letters already and they have not appeared.
Write again.

Now for a word to the Exchangers. I am sorry that several complaints
have come about careless little people who forget, when they send their
exchanges, to inclose plain directions as to where they live; and, worse
still, stories have been told about some who appear to be dishonorable.
I will _not_ believe that a single boy who reads YOUNG PEOPLE ever
willfully cheats another boy. I am sure this can not happen. But I fear
that some lads do not attend as they ought to the standing notice at the
head of our exchange list, and I think some may not be sufficiently
careful to fully prepay the postage on their budgets, and so the pretty
treasures and rare curiosities are sent away to the Dead-letter Office.

Please be very careful about this in future.

       *       *       *       *       *

Charlie's letter has been waiting its turn a long time, but his pleasant
way of telling about what he saw on the other side of the Atlantic has
lost nothing of its freshness, while lying in the Postmistress's drawer:


     I went up to the top of Mount Vesuvius, and it burned my feet, and
     almost suffocated me with smoke. We were about three hours going
     up. First we rode in a carriage for two hours, and then we took a
     car, something like the car at Mount Washington, except that the
     engine did not go along with us, but was left at the station from
     which we started, and we were pulled up by a wire rope. When we got
     out of the car, mamma and papa were carried in chairs on men's
     shoulders, but as I am only nine years old, a man took me on his
     back and carried me up. I had been carried in Switzerland on a
     man's back before this, when we crossed the Mer de Glace (that is
     French for sea of ice). The man said I was a heavy boy, but I think
     I am not so fat now as then.

     I brought home a lot of foreign coin and stamps and curiosities. A
     little girl gave me a bullet at Waterloo that she said she found in
     the field. I drove over the road that Napoleon built across the
     Alps, and saw at the house where the monks live the big dogs that
     go out and find travellers when lost in the snow. I like to read
     about Napoleon. I went to his tomb when we were in Paris; it is all
     built of marble, and the church too.

     We had awful bad weather coming home, and I had a big pitcher of
     water thrown all over me when asleep in my berth.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I would like to tell Wickie J. M., of Ann Arbor, about two little
     brothers who are as fond of playing marbles as he is. Their names
     are Harry and Louis W., of this place. I am Harry. Mamma does not
     think marbles a very nice game, because we wear such big holes in
     the knees of our pants and stockings. We don't intend to play it
     very often any more, but are trying to get a collection of pretty
     ones. I would like to take a peep into that bag of beautiful
     marbles of yours, Wickie. We never play keeps.

     Louis is six and I am eight years of age. We both go to school, and
     take lessons on the piano. The only pets we have now are four
     little kittens, whose eyes are just open. We once had two rabbits,
     but they were killed by dogs. The mother of our little kittens is a
     beautiful tortoise-shell and white cat. She does not like children
     very much, but she catches rats and mice. She always wants mamma to
     notice her when she has a mouse, and when she can will bring it to
     her and purr and rub around her until she speaks to her.

     There are apple-trees in our yard, and every spring a great many
     robins and other birds come and build in them. Louis and I often
     feed them. One day we put some bread in some empty cigar-boxes and
     set them on the ground for the birds; but they did not eat out of
     the boxes, so we emptied the bread off the ground, and very soon we
     saw a number of birds eating it. I think they did not like the
     smell of tobacco which was about the boxes. Last year two robins
     had a nest of young ones in one of the trees. The old cat killed
     the mother, and the father fed and took care of the little robins
     until they were grown. The cat killed so many birds last year that
     we had to keep her shut up in the chicken-coop a great deal of the

     I must tell you that we have a dear little blue-eyed brother nearly
     three years old, named Willis, whom we all think lovelier and
     sweeter than any other pet.

     Mamma wishes me to tell you of a few funny things that Louis has
     said. One day, when he was about five years old, mamma was teaching
     him his Sunday-school lesson, and she asked the question, "How did
     Adam and Eve feel when the angel drove them out of the garden?" He
     answered, "Dus spendid." He had been told a story of a little boy
     who was lost. After the parents and friends had searched the woods
     and town in vain, he was found in the hay-loft fast asleep. Louis
     said, "When a little boy is lost, you must always look in the
     hay-loft, for that is a _specially_ place for boys." One very warm
     and dusty day, while at play, Louis in some way got the top of his
     head quite covered with dirt and ashes. When mamma saw it, she
     said, "Why, Louis, I believe I could plant potatoes on the top of
     your head." He said, "But you mustn't; for if you should, when I go
     up town everybody would say, 'Hello, garden!'"

     I have not learned to write with a pen, and I suppose you will
     think my letter is not written very nicely. If it will do to put in
     the Post-office Box, it will surprise and please my papa very much
     to see it there.


If the four new kittens should resemble their mother, I'm afraid the
robins will have to fly away from your apple-trees, Harry. Thank your
mamma for remembering those nice stories about Louis. Next time she must
tell us some of your droll little speeches.

       *       *       *       *       *


  The minute-hand points to the quarter,
    And Jennie is there at the gate;
  The clock is too fast, I am certain--
    It always is fast when I'm late.
  There! Jennie has gone on without me.
    Mean thing! pray why couldn't she wait?

  Has any one seen my examples?
    Please, mother, help look for my slate.
  I wonder who last had the shoe-hook;
    My pencil has dropped in the grate.
  How everything hinders a person
    So sure as a person is late!

       *       *       *       *       *


     As I have never seen a letter from this place. I thought I would
     write one to Our Post-office Box.

     We are to have our school picnic next month, and we shall have a
     Queen and King. We have not selected them yet, but intend doing so
     in about two weeks. We will have a May-pole dance and a band of
     music. All the scholars are looking forward to the day with great
     pleasure. I will write again after the picnic, and tell you all
     about it.


Are the King and Queen chosen to their positions for their beauty, their
scholarship, or their winning ways? I suppose the other pupils vote for
them. Do you remember the story of "Susie Kingman's Decision," and has
anything like it ever happened in your school? When I was a little girl
I used to look forward to our May party just as you do. We elected our
Queen and her Maids of Honor, but had no King, as our only boy
school-mates were little fellows just tall enough to make the sweetest
small pages you ever saw. The Queen's crown was a wreath of roses, and
two of the girls carried it between them to the woods on a board.

       *       *       *       *       *


     I am a little boy eight years old. I have taken your paper almost
     two years. I like every story in it, and think they are all good. I
     like to read the letters. I go to school every day, and am in the
     Third Reader, and like my teacher. Every time it rains very hard
     here White River overflows. This is the capital of the State, and
     they are building a new State-house of stone. They have been
     working on it for the last three years, and it will take them three
     more at least to finish it. I have but one pet, a bird, which we
     call Trouble, because he was so hard to raise. He is a very pretty
     singer. I would like to see this published, as it is the second
     letter I have written to you. My ma is writing this for me, as I am

  H. R. C.

It is a new idea to call a bird Trouble, after the trouble he gave,
isn't it? It would be fair to change his name to Pleasure, now that he
sings so well. I hope, dear, that you have by this time quite recovered
from your illness.

       *       *       *       *       *

BIRDIE M.--Please pardon me for not having sooner thanked you for the
pretty daffodil which you sent in your letter all the way from Cherokee,
Kansas. Now, to pay you for it, let me give you a pretty poem from the
poet Wordsworth, to copy into your little book of extracts. In fact, I
would be glad to hear that a great many of my little friends had done
the same. It is a good plan to copy gems of thought from great authors
into little books of our own. Even though you may not quite understand
the poet's meaning in these verses, you will like their musical sound,
and, believe me, that when you are older the meaning will be plain to

  I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
  When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host of golden daffodils,
  Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
  Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

  Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the Milky Way,
  They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of the bay;
  Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
  Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

  The waves beside them danced, but they
    Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
  A poet could not but be gay
    In such a jocund company.
  I gazed and gazed, but little thought
  What wealth the show to me had brought.

  For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
  They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude,
  And then my heart with pleasure fills,
  And dances with the daffodils.

       *       *       *       *       *

A LITTLE BOY'S COMPOSITION.--The subject assigned by mamma was
"Quadrupeds." Ernest retired to the attic, and wrote very patiently
until he had finished this, which is not so bad for a first attempt:

     "Quadrupeds are animals. Animals live on grass, hay, oats, bran,
     and water. A quadruped is anything that has four legs."

That was all Ernest could possibly think of. But mamma, who sends it,
wants the children to say whether everything with four legs is, of
course, a quadruped.

Here is another little composition, by a wee girlie, who writes about

     "I have a little kitty, jet-black, full of frisking and fun, and I
     hope she will _never_ get to be a dreadful old cat, and run away.
     She plays with my apron strings, and likes a red ball best of any.
     My sister Lucy, when she went to the store, asked the shoe man for
     a pair of shoes for a baby without any heels on. This is all I can
     write about kittens.

  "LOTTIE (aged 8)."

       *       *       *       *       *


     My aunt sends me YOUNG PEOPLE, and I read it as soon as it comes
     from the Post-office. We live on the bank of the most beautiful
     lake in the world. The lake is twelve miles long, and is full of
     fish. Boat-riding and fishing are our chief amusements. I am the
     only girl in the family, and my papa says that I am the prettiest
     girl in the Northwest.


Don't let papa make you vain, dear. That would be a great misfortune,
wouldn't it? Do you tell him that he is the best and handsomest papa in
the whole United States? I am sure you think so.

       *       *       *       *       *


     We thought we would like to tell about our pets. We each have a
     rabbit. One is black with a white breast, and the other two are
     white and gray. We give them apple-wood, and they peel the bark off
     so clean! We have two cats, both gray. One of them is very old; we
     call her Kitty Gray. The other is a kitten, and is named
     Christopher. He will run up my dress to fetch a piece of bread
     which I hold as high as I can. We have eight bantams; one of them
     is blind. We ourselves write a paper called "The Monthly Budget";
     we compose it all. We like YOUNG PEOPLE very much. I am ten. Robert
     is eight, and Pauline is five. We can all read.


Send me a copy of your "Budget," please. I would like to have a peep at

       *       *       *       *       *


     The boiler in a flour mill here blew up the other day. It lifted
     the large chimney away up in the air, and that came down with an
     awful crash. When the boiler blew up it shook all the houses near
     it. It blew the large water tank that was on the roof clear up into
     the air. Pieces of the boiler and engine were blown across the
     street. Some bricks and large pieces of timber were blown over the
     street, and burst in the side of a house. There was a real large
     barrel factory that caught fire here, and the fire-engine worked
     from seven until eleven o'clock, but could not stop it, it had got
     under headway so much. It rained almost every day in the next week,
     but the fire kept on smoking. We have good teachers at our day
     school. I am ten years old, and study spelling, reading,
     arithmetic, grammar, and geography.


What an exciting time you have had between the explosion and the fire! I
am afraid you boys enjoyed the fun more than you thought about the

Not long ago I saw an explosion of a different kind. Some boys were
playing marbles near my house, and a quarrel had arisen. One little man
jumped up, shook his fist at another, and with blazing eyes said, "You
just get me mad, now, and see what I'll do!" He looked as though he
might turn into a torpedo on the spot. It made me think of a Bible verse
which I like very much: "Better is he that ruleth his spirit than he
that taketh a city." I fear the angry boy had not learned that verse by
heart, if, indeed, he had ever heard of it.

       *       *       *       *       *


     Although I am thirteen years old, I am not too old to write to a
     young people's paper. I went to school in the winter, but just a
     week before school closed the school-house burned. My papa owns a
     hop yard, and in the fall we have a number of girls to pick hops. I
     like to pick quite well, but when the sun is hot the hops settle,
     and you don't get your box full so quickly. I have only two pets.
     One is a large, playful yellow-dog, and the other is a ferret. Her
     name is Jennie, and she is very nice. She looks very much like a
     weasel, only her fur is yellow and black. She likes bread and milk
     very much, and if we give her a cracker she will run and hide it.
     We can take a saucer of milk and hold it up a foot and a half from
     the floor, and she will jump and catch hold of the edge of the
     saucer and eat. I have taken YOUNG PEOPLE for about four months,
     and like it real well. This is the first letter I have ever written
     to a paper.


So even a ferret appreciates kindness! It must be a pretty sight when
the girls go out to pick the hops. I am sure they have a happy time over
their work. Are they paid according to the number of boxes they fill in
a day?

       *       *       *       *       *

JOSIE E. L.--For a little girl still in the Primary Department your
letter is very well written indeed. I hope the new Maltese kitten will
be as cunning and as great a pet as the one that died.

       *       *       *       *       *

MARGARET S. S.--Your account of your travels almost took away my breath.
Twice across the continent; twice from New York, by Panama, and thence
by steamer, to San Francisco; and then, last summer in the Yosemite! You
are a fortunate girl to have seen so many places. Well, dear, when you
grow up you will have many pleasant and some droll things to remember,
and you will not be a timid or fussy traveller, making every one around
you uncomfortable. Your room must be very beautiful, decorated as you
describe it. I presume your sister and you are both fond of natural

       *       *       *       *       *

C. Y. P. R. U.

EFFIE D.--Pot-pourri is a French word which means a mixture. In music it
is used to describe a piece or a series of pieces in which fragments of
various melodies are oddly contrasted. But its prettier meaning, and the
one which you will probably like to carry out for yourself, is that by
which it was known to our grandmothers when they were young. The
pot-pourri was a vase or jar into which rose petals, sprigs of lavender,
bits of fern, and other delicate flowers were thrown, often with
perfumes and essences, and all the year round it shed a faint sweetness
through the parlor where it stood.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Postmistress was much interested, not long ago, in the description
given by an English lady residing in Pekin of the funeral of a Chinese
Empress. The manners and customs of China are not at all like our own.
Their way of showing their love and respect for the dead is quite
different from ours, as you will see by reading about the procession
which followed the lady Tung-tai-how to her resting-place in the
Imperial Tombs. Her body was inclosed in a splendid coffin, and the
tablet telling her name and the story of her life was hung in a niche in
the Temple of Ancestors. The road to the Tombs was spread with yellow
earth, and banners were hung across it at intervals, while blue cloth
was festooned at crossings, and wherever there was danger that the
curious eyes of the common people should peep at the tablet. In complete
silence came the imperial umbrella, flag, and Sedan-chair, all of
beautiful yellow satin. The chair containing the tablet was carried by
eight bearers in crimson dresses with yellow spots. It was followed by a
train of Mandarins in court dress, their garments glittering with
embroidery. After them came a troop of spearmen, wearing yellow jackets
with black sleeves, and bearing long slender lances.

On arriving at the Temple of Ancestors, which is within the palace, the
procession was met by some of the ministers of state and the princes.
The tablet was lifted to its place of honor, and then the ceremonies
were over for the time, though offerings will be placed before it, as
before the tablets of other ancestors, whenever any event of importance
takes place in the royal family.

Perhaps some of you do not know that the Chinese worship their
ancestors. They fancy that the souls of the dead linger around these
tablets, and so they place food, clothing, and money near them. Even the
poorest consider this a sacred duty. Every home has its tablets, if not
its ancestral hall. It is their idea that the spiritual part only of the
food is eaten by the dead, and so, after a while, most families use the
rice and fruit themselves. Money and clothing are represented by paper,
which, at stated periods, is very devoutly burned before the shrines.

       *       *       *       *       *

TWO AMUSING GAMES.--By the same mail which brought the Postmistress a
letter from the pupils of the Prairie Mound School, Watkins, Iowa,
asking her to tell them of a nice game to play at recess, came another
letter from St. Louis, Missouri, telling of two games. So what can be
better than to let Olga answer the Prairie-Mounders? The Postmistress is
sure they were thinking of games for rainy days. On fine days top, ball,
I-spy, and tag usually enlist active boys and girls, and those are the
best plays for them which give them wholesome exercise in the open air:

     I have two very interesting games that may be played in-doors--one
     is called "Cross-Purposes," and the other is "The Cook who likes no
     Peas." The first is played in the following manner: One player goes
     around among the circle, and whispers in each one's ear an answer
     which he is to make to the next player who shall come after him
     asking questions. For instance, Charles goes around to Nos. 1, 2,
     3, and 4. To No. 1 he whispers, "Hot, sweet, and strong," to No. 2,
     "With pepper and vinegar," to No. 3, "With my best love," and to
     No. 4, "No, indeed." Jane comes after Charles to ask any questions
     her own wit may suggest. She asks No. 1, "What kind of a week have
     you passed?" No. 1 answers, "Hot, sweet, and strong." She asks No.
     2, "Shall you ever marry?" No. 2 answers, "With pepper and
     vinegar." To No. 3, "How will you keep house on these?" No. 3
     answers, "With my best love." To No. 4, "Where do you live?" No. 4
     answers, "No, indeed." Much amusement is sometimes made by the
     total variance of the questions and answers, and sometimes a very
     hard blow is administered to some of the company, but of course no
     offense can be taken.

     Now for "The Cook who likes no Peas." The leader of the game must
     put the following question to his right-hand neighbor, and also to
     all the players in succession: "My cook likes no peas; what shall I
     give her to eat?" If any player replies, "Potatoes, apples, and
     parsnips," the other answers, "She does not like them--pay a
     forfeit." But if another says, "Onions, carrots, veal," she likes
     them, and consequently no forfeit is required of the player. The
     trick of this game is evident: it is the letter "p" that must be
     avoided. Thus, to escape the penalty of a forfeit, it is necessary
     that the player should propose some kind of food in which the
     letter "p" does not occur.

  OLGA C. B.

       *       *       *       *       *

We would call the attention of the C. Y. P. R. U. this week to the
article, by Sarah Cooper, entitled "How Jelly-Fish Live and Move"; to
the story of shipwreck entitled the "Loss of the HALSEWELL," and told
under the head of "Peril and Privation" by Mr. James Payn; and to the
article on fencing, by Sherwood Ryse, entitled "A Princely Art."

       *       *       *       *       *

Correct answers to puzzles have been received from "Fleur-de-lis," Kitty
Hoyt, Jennie Belknap, Jack Hayes, Robbie Keyes, Mary Jane Nichols,
"Lodestar," H. W. B., "Bo-Peep," Mary Stansbery, Emily Atkinson, G. P.
Taggart, Samuel S. Wolfsohn, S. May, Herman Metz, William H. Shine,
B. J. Lautz, L. E. C., Caspar Van Gieson, Lillie D., Willie T. Blew,
Smith Olcott, Lulu Payne, Dudley Long, Henry Clayton, Fanny Grey, John
Hobson, Archie McIntosh, Dick Fanshaw, Thomas B. Irons, Elsie V. Bess,
Mollie Ramsay, "I. Scycle," D. Herman Winter, Jun., Allie E.
Cressingham, "Benny Fishel," Eddie Lawler, and Everett C. F.

       *       *       *       *       *


No. 1.


1. A little pool (so called in England).

2. A little pool (so called in Scotland).

Whole--A city in Ireland.

  J. P. B.

       *       *       *       *       *

No. 2.


(The word defined is contained, without transposition, between the first
and last letters of the second).

  1. An ancient city in an ancient plain.
  2. A passage in a church in a large town in Scotland.
  3. A girl in a town in Switzerland.
  4. An attorney in a town in Italy.
  5. Always in a river of England.
  6. An Austrian river in trouble.
  7. A domestic animal in a lake of Russia.

  J. P. B.

       *       *       *       *       *

No. 3.


  In bed, but not in sleep,
  In boil, but not in steep.
  In can't, but not in could.
  In bark, but not in wood.
  In stay, but not in stood.
  My whole, though a great trouble,
  Is a book that all should keep.


       *       *       *       *       *

No. 4.


  I am the name of a favorite English novelist, and am composed of
      fourteen letters.
  My 2, 6, 5, 12, 13, 3 is a city in Arkansas.
  My 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 is a cape on the Atlantic coast.
  My 4, 6, 8 is a river in Louisiana.
  My 14, 13, 3, 11, 12 is a river in Idaho.
  My 6, 4, 9, 12 is one of the great lakes.
  My 10, 5, 9, 13, 10, 2 is a river in Virginia.


       *       *       *       *       *

No. 5.


1.--1. A letter. 2. A tag. 3. Emaciation. 4. A stout satin-striped silk.
5. The slanting bank opposite the tow-path. 6. To perceive. 7. A letter.

2.--1. A letter. 2. A receptacle. 3. Pipes. 4. Hollow. 5. To beat. 6. A
boy's nickname. 7. A letter.


       *       *       *       *       *

No. 6.


  1. I am a home; behead me, and I am a fluid.
  2. I measure time; behead me, and I am a fastening.
  3. I am burnt; behead me, and I am a conjunction.
  4. I am a factory; behead me, and I am sick.
  5. I am a being; behead me, and I am a part of speech.
  6. I am a pleasant pastime; behead me, and I am a girl's name.
  7. I am used in hunting; behead me, and I indicate the summer.
  8. I am a boy's name; behead me, and I am part of a verb.
  9. I am a mechanical instrument; behead me, and I never end.

  P. F. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


No. 1.

  T opmos T
  I ndian A
  T ormen T
  T aproo T
  L itera L
  E pidot E

No. 2.

Eli Whitney. Victor Hugo. Boy.

No. 3.

  C R E S T
  R E A C H
  E A G E R
  S C E N E
  T H R E E

No. 4

      P           C
    P I G       T H E
  P I A N O   C H I N A
    G N U       E N D
      O           A

    P A D
  P A N I C
    D I N

       *       *       *       *       *

[_For Exchanges, see 2d and 3d pages of cover._]



  How do they grow? Why, little sprites
  Pop up from the ground on starry nights;
  One, with a candle, sits aloft,
  Another rakes till all is soft;
  Then one little elf a bellows wields;
  He scatters the seed o'er dewy fields.
  And now, small people, you surely know
  The way that the dandelions grow.

       *       *       *       *       *


Poodles are, in some respects, the most intelligent of all species of
dogs. This is the reason why the performing dogs who are taught to do
all sorts of curious tricks are almost always poodles. There was a lady
who owned a large poodle which was very fond of walking with her. Every
day at about ten o'clock he would find the articles of dress that he
thought she ought to wear out-of-doors, and would bring them to her, and
bark loudly until she would put them on. He always insisted that she
should wear rubber overshoes, no matter what the weather might be, but
he never brought her an umbrella except when it rained. It was very nice
in him to wait on his mistress; but sometimes, when he would drag her
best bonnet by one string down stairs and through the whole house until
he found her, she would not remember to thank him as heartily as he
imagined that he deserved.

Unlike most dogs, this poodle liked cats. He had intelligence enough to
perceive that cats had their uses, and that it was much better to use
them than to waste them recklessly by killing them. In the family where
he lived there were at one time two large cats. Now the poodle was not
allowed to wear any wool except on his head, fore-quarters, tail, and
legs, and the consequence was that in the winter he suffered from the
cold. He therefore made friends with the cats by giving them scraps of
his dinner, and so induced them to come and lie down by him when he
wanted a nap. With one cat on each side of him he was quite warm and
comfortable, and when the cats showed signs of wakefulness he would put
them to sleep by licking their fur with his rough tongue.

The two cats finally died or ran away, and a small kitten took their
place. The dog did not think it worth while to waste bones on the
kitten, as she was a weak, foolish little beast, who fancied that she
must do whatever the poodle wanted. When he felt sleepy, he would go
into the kitchen and find his kitten. Picking her up in his mouth, he
would walk slowly through the house until he found a nice sunny spot on
a soft carpet, when he would lie down, placing the kitten close to him.
If any one called him while he was walking about with the kitten in his
mouth, he would throw her away with a toss of his head, never caring
where she might land. This rough treatment, together with the fact that
he would sometimes pick the kitten up by the tail or the head, and carry
her for several minutes in a most trying position, proved too much for
the meek little animal's constitution, and one day, to his great
disappointment, the dog found her dead, and so cold that she was no
longer of the slightest use to him.

It is a great pity that other dogs have not discovered that cats can be
put to good use if dogs only take a little pains to win their friendship
and develop their useful qualities. But dogs are too often reckless and
thoughtless, and prefer to waste valuable cats in order to enjoy for a
few moments the pleasures of the chase.

       *       *       *       *       *



From far-away Russia we may learn of a pretty custom which Florence and
Fanny might propose some evening when the cousins and school-mates have
gathered for an hour or two of fun. It forms one of the traditional
amusements of the New-Year festival, but you might try it at any period
of the year.

Pin a large white sheet against the wall. Have ready a basin of cold
water, and over the fire melt a quantity of lead. Let some one drop this
liquid lead by spoonfuls into the water. It of course cools quickly, and
hardens into shape. Hold it up, and observe the shadow it casts on the
sheet. If this is like a boat, or a sleigh, or a horse and phaeton, it
is a sign that somebody in the company will soon start on a journey.
Should it assume the shape of a blossoming bough, it betokens the speedy
convalescence of a friend who is ill; if it resembles a dove, you may be
sure that Albert and Elsie, who have quarrelled, will soon be
reconciled. In short, by the aid of a vivid imagination, you may fancy
that the lead tells you almost anything you wish to hear.

       *       *       *       *       *


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