By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Stories and ballads for young folks
Author: Alden, Ellen Tracy
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 "Stories and ballads for young folks" ***

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


[Illustration: Moonshine.—PAGE 132.]

                           STORIES AND BALLADS
                             FOR YOUNG FOLKS.

                          By ELLEN TRACY ALDEN.

                            (Copyright, 1879.)

                                NEW YORK:
                         AMERICAN BOOK EXCHANGE,
                            TRIBUNE BUILDING.



    Neighbor Edith                                              4

    Castle Marvel                                              13

    A May Morning                                              18

    Patches and Perseverance                                   26

    Kate’s Great-great-Grandmother                             34

    In the Woods                                               47

    The Old Monsieur’s Story                                   61

    Butternut and Blue                                         73

    A Secret                                                   77

    Consolation                                                87

    Julie, Julien and Oncle le Capitaine                       94

    The Voices                                                129

    Moonshine                                                 132

    Sunshine                                                  136

    Czar and Carpenter                                        144

    Queen Mabel                                               166

    Princess Gerda                                            174

    Jungenthor, the Giant                                     188

    Little Florence                                           208

    A Centennial Tea-pot                                      214

    In Lilac Time                                             218

    Blue Eyes                                                 221

    The Apple-Gathering                                       222

    Good-by, Little Bird                                      223

    He Will Come Back                                         224

    Katy                                                      226

    Marie                                                     228

    The Banjo                                                 231

    Winsome Maggie                                            233

    A Happy Pair                                              235

    Sigs Veegs Ofer                                           238

    The Child on the Battle-Field                             239

    Pinkety-Winkety-Wee                                       242

    Puss in a Quandary                                        243

    Lena Laughed                                              244

    ’Tis the Apples                                           245

    Fooled                                                    246

    A New Toy                                                 247

    Charley on Horseback                                      248

    Cruel!                                                    249

    Cluck, Cluck!                                             250

    Bobbie and the Bee                                        250


The north-west wind, driving feathery flakes of snow before it, heaps
up gray masses of cloud over the sunny afternoon, and then, as if bent
on subduing what cheeriness remains among the shadows it has brought,
howls dismally down the chimneys, moans at the casements dismally. The
Lieutenant throws himself down on the lounge, and draws a long sigh. Kate
slips quietly out of the room, catches up her shawl and hat from the rack
in the hall, and her brother, hearing her go down the steps into the
street, wonders where she is bound for, and why she didn’t say something
about it, and then falls back into his gloomy reverie.

“It may be ‘sweet for one’s country to die’; but to live on, a shattered,
helpless wreck”—and, at the thought, he gripes the curving frame of the
lounge with his one hand, and his firm-set lips quiver; when, suddenly,
without the faintest footfall to indicate the approach of any one, two
little arms creep about his neck, and between silvery peals of laughter
a shower of kisses falls over forehead and sightless eyes, on either
cheek, on nose, mouth and chin. “There!” cries a childish, laughing
voice, “I surpized you, didn’t I? Ha, ha, ha!”

“Ha, ha!” echoes the Lieutenant, coming directly from a horizontal to a
sitting posture, his arm around the wee mite, “so you did ‘surpize’ me,
midget. And where did you come from? Did you drop out of the sky?”

“Out of the sky!” repeats the little maiden, with a great deal of scorn
and emphasis. “Why, I comed right from our house! Katy comed after me,
and we went round to the back door, so you wouldn’t hear, and then Katy
took off my shoes, and I comed up on tiptoe in my stocking-feet. Ha, ha!
I surpized you, didn’t I? I’m go’n to ’gin!” and away she rushes across
the room and back against him, pell-mell, arms about his neck, and kisses
raining all over his face. “There! how do you like it?” and the room
rings with her musical laughter—in which the Lieutenant once more joins,

“My dear young lady, I must confess that I haven’t the least objection to
the proceeding.”

“Young—_la_-day!” is the slow and scornful rejoinder; “young _la_-dy!
Why, I’m a little girl!”

“Why, so she is, just a mere baby.”

“A _ba_-by! (the italics are to mark the emphasis) I’m four-years-old
big! _I_’m no _ba_-by! Willie’s the baby. He’s got a new tooth! That
makes three—six—five! He’s got five teeth!”

“You don’t say! And what is this Edith has in her hands—a doll?”

“Yes, it’s my dolly.”

“What curly hair she has. And this ruffled affair—is it an apron?”

“An _a_-pron! It’s an over-skirt!”

“Oh, I beg pardon! an ‘over-skirt,’ is it? So she’s a fashionable doll.
What might be her name?”






“Mary Ann, Sacharissa, Sophia, Clarissa, Joan, Melissa, Eloise,
Elizabeth, Jane—”


“Victoria, Eugenia, Augusta, Paulina, Virginia, Aurelia, Geraldine,

“Yes! Mollie! that’s what it is; but none of your other old—elephants.
There, you’re laughing! You knowed what it was all the time; you was only
pertendin’. You’ve seen my dolly before.”

“Where’s Katy?”

“She stayed down-stairs to pop some corn for me and you.”

“Shall we go down and see her do it?”


“Very well.” And the Lieutenant, rising, manages to shift little dot up
to his shoulder. “There, now, you’re a feather on top of a barn-door.”

“You’re _not_ a barn-door!”

“What am I, then?”

“You’re my brave captain boy.” (That was in a whisper.)

“Shall I tell you what _you_ are? You’re my little angel.” And, holding
her carefully, he goes down the stairs, feeling his way, now and then,
with the remnant of an arm in his dangling right sleeve.

“I’m almost through,” cries Kate, from the kitchen, her face all
aglow with the heat. And Edith, from her lofty perch, watches the few
yellow kernels that are nearly lost sight of in the bottom of the wire
corn-popper, after a shake or two over the hot coals, suddenly—“Snap,
snap, snap!” and look! it is full to the brim with something white and
savory, which, seasoned with salt and the least bit of butter, she deals
out (with great fairness and impartiality) to herself and her “captain
boy,” after they have gone up-stairs again. By and by a thought strikes

“Katy, my doll hasn’t got any apron.”

“Why, so she hasn’t. We’ll have to make her one, won’t we?” And a box of
ribbons and laces and pieces of silk is produced from somewhere, and the
two sit down on the floor near the Lieutenant’s chair, talking all the
time and planning out this wonderful apron.

“Now which of all these colors does Edie like best?” asks Kate.

“Well, I think the red’s the nicest.”

So an apron (with pockets, observe!) is soon manufactured out of a bit
of a broad scarlet sash, and braided, too, with white silk braid; and
straightway on it goes, in feverish haste (one is anxious to study the
effect, you know), over the stylish (but serene) Mademoiselle’s black
satin gown. (The effect isn’t bad.)

After due admiration from Edith, some other diversion is in order, and a
book of engravings is brought for inspection. As the leaves are turned
for her she glances for an instant at one picture after another, giving
the word to proceed; but they finally come to something over which she
pores a long while—so long that Kate is passing to the next without
waiting for the “Go on” from little Miss, when the latter immediately
takes the book into her own hands, returns to this picture, and continues
to gaze at it. “What does it mean?” at length she asks.

“Had I better tell her?” Kate, in an under-tone, questions of her
brother. “It’s Gustave Doré’s ‘The Deluge’—people and wild beasts
huddled together upon a rock rising out of the waste of water, and the
great, lashing waves reaching up for them greedily, like wide-mouthed
monsters. Odd, isn’t it, that she should notice it so, among so many more
attractive prints? She wouldn’t be likely to comprehend if I were to
explain, would she? Good, there goes the tea-bell!” And Kate closes the
book, glad of an excuse to escape telling the story of the flood to this
blithesome little being, whom, she has a dim notion, it might give bad

Seated at the supper-table, and elevated to the common level by aid
of three sofa-cushions, Edith for a few moments bestows particular
attentions upon a sauce-plate of canned peaches, to the utter disregard
of more substantial food. After which she sits back in her chair, and,
inclining her head toward her hostess, whispers—

“Some of the cake, if you please.”

“But you haven’t eaten your bread and butter yet; eat that first, and
then you shall have some cake.”

“I want it now,” responds the small person, with much firmness, and is
directly supplied with the desired article—a measure which might meet
with protest if Edith’s mamma were present. No, it wouldn’t, either,
come to think of it, for Edith’s mamma knows what are Kate’s ideas
concerning sweetmeats. Has she not, on a similar occasion, heard her
express herself after this manner?—

“If unfeeling people _will persist_ in denying dainties to the wee folks,
they may just keep the stuff out of sight. Set it right where the poor
little things can watch it with wistful eyes, and then pass it around
to the favored few, but for them—‘No, _you_ can’t have any. It isn’t
healthy for you!’ If grown-up people can’t deny themselves such things,
they haven’t any right to expect the children to. To require children to
show more strength of character than they have themselves!—oh, it’s a
downright shame! And then, leaving open the places where the forbidden
fruit is kept, and when the midgets climb up the closet-shelves and take
a bite, on the sly, finding fault with them! Leading them into temptation
(and isn’t that what responsible people even _pray_ to be delivered
from?) and then, when the poor little things fall into the very trap
they have set, finding fault with them, and lecturing them, and all that
nonsense! Oh, it’s a cruel shame!”

The speaker, you see, is the children’s zealous advocate; and, little
people, if ever there is anything you especially covet, or if ever you
get into trouble, just go to her. She will plead your cause with burning
cheeks, and flashing eyes, and such withering eloquence that the stern
household judges will not fail to relent.

But it is after dark, and the snow is falling heavily, and mamma will
want her little Edith home. So Kate sets forth with her small charge,
well wrapped and protected from the cold—although they have but a few
steps to go, as Edith lives in the next house.

When Kate returns, her brother’s voice greets her from the parlor with—

“Sukie, heard of the last new poem?”

“No. What is it?”

“Oh, it’s an epic!—a grand affair—second only to the Iliad!”

“Strange I haven’t heard of it, isn’t it?”

“No, not so very; it hasn’t come out yet.”

“How did you hear of it? Some one been in while I was gone?”


“Do tell me, what is it about, and who is it by?”

“It’s about a child, I believe—but modesty forbids my mentioning the name
of the author.”

“Ah, you old rogue, I see what you’re driving at!—you’ve been having a
call from the Muse.”

“Rather from some poor vagabond tricked out in her cast-off mantle, you

Kate goes and stands behind the high-backed arm-chair, and toys with her
brother’s jetty locks. (Are they not her pride and consolation—those
clustering curls? Not all the flying bullets, and slashing sabres, and
ruthless cannon-balls could rob him of those—no, nor the weary, wasting
sickness that followed the privations and exposure, and left him—blind.)
“Come, now, Wallie, stop joking, and let me have the verses, won’t you?”

And so this is what “Wallie” says about

                “NEIGHBOR EDITH.”

    Alas! I cannot see what hue her eyes are,
      Nor yet the color of her silken hair;
    Tho’—thought consoling!—if I could, I fear me
      She’d be less lavish with her kisses rare.

    I know her lips are dewy as the rose-bud
      When first it wakes, the flush of dawn to greet;
    Her breath it fans my face like early zephyr
      Up from the Southland roving, warm and sweet.

    Her bird-like voice in simple, childish chatter,
      No better music need you care to hear—
    Unless it be the music of her laughter,
      Like rillet, gurgling now, now tinkling clear.

    And when, in short-lived moods of thoughtful silence,
      You feel her tiny form against you lean,
    Or when anon her dainty, dimpled fingers
      Come creeping trustfully your own between,

    Somehow there’s soothing in the touch, you fancy,
      A secret charm for sending grief astray:
    I half believe she is a born magician—
      This wee, wee elf the wind could blow away.

    And that is Edith, that is neighbor Edith,
      Our winsome friend the other side the stile.
    When we’re sad-hearted and the days are dreary,
      We go and borrow her a little while.


“Heigho-ho!” yawned Harry, who had dropped in one evening, and curled
himself up in his favorite nook, the chimney-corner. “I wish books had
never been invented, or schools either, for that matter. I’ve been
digging away at one of Æsop’s fables for the last two hours, and I can’t
make any sense out of it at all. It’s a lot of stuff about some doves
and hawks that got to fighting; but whether the doves eat up the hawks
or not, how’s a fellow going to find out? And I got stuck in my algebra,
too, and I sha’n’t have a single decent lesson to-morrow, and then
old Williams’ll give me a lecture and a zero, and—well, a fellow gets
disgusted with that sort of thing for a steady diet. Oh, I tell you I’ll
be glad when once I’m out of school, and the pesky business is done with!
What’s the use of it, anyhow? I wish I didn’t have to go another day.”

“But the time would be apt to hang pretty heavily on your hands, wouldn’t

“Oh, I’d find plenty to do to fill up the time, never you fear! Now all
these splendid days, along back, when I ought to have been down at the
rink, skating, and there I had to sit in that stupid old schoolroom,
moping over a desk! It makes me mad to think of it. But I came over—I
got so tired studying. I thought maybe you’d have some story or other to
tell, Lieutenant.”

“A story; what is there you haven’t heard, I wonder? I’m afraid my stock
of stories has about run out. Let me see, though,—have you ever heard
about Castle Marvel?”

“A castle! that’s the kind I like—about castles! no, I never heard it.”

“Well, this was a famous castle that stood upon a high mountain, and that
people sometimes went to see. Among the rest, there went from a certain
city a company of youths. Now, their route lay across a sunny plain that
was like a very fairy-land; flowers covered it with every hue of the
rainbow, and over these hovered clouds of golden-winged butterflies; and
in the shady groves zephyrs sang and birds caroled as never sang zephyrs
or caroled birds anywhere else.

“And, so, many of the youths tarried, saying, ‘It is pleasant here; let
us gather roses;’ or, ‘Let us chase butterflies;’ or, ‘Let us lie down
under the wide-spreading branches, and listen to the music overhead.’
The others, hastening onward, reached, at length, the foot of the
mountain, and began to ascend. But to climb this mountain was by no means
an easy task; for, while in some places it was very steep, in others a
perpendicular and seemingly impassable wall would confront the weary
traveler; and there were chasms, too, which must be crossed; but over
most of these bridges had been built; and where the way was steep and
slippery steps had been hewn among the rocks; and up the granite walls
places had been cut for hands and feet; and all this had been done by
travelers who had previously ascended—aye, with untold hardships, and
often at the risk of their lives. But now, in climbing, so had the way
been opened before them, these youths met with no peril, only with labor
and weariness, here and there. And yet, ever, as they toiled upward,
would one and another turn back, discouraged, to rejoin the comrades
below, declaring that the sight of the castle was not worth so much pains.

“Now to these pleasure-seekers in the flowery meadows after a time
returned the venturesome few who had succeeded in gaining the summit, and
they were greeted with loud cries of astonishment—for behold, their faces
shone wondrously, flooded as if with light, and they seemed like beings
from another world.

“‘Tell us, what have you seen, or what have you heard, that your
countenances should be thus altered?’ demanded the curious throng.

[Illustration: At last, as he emerges from the shadows of a dark defile
between high mountains.—PAGE 156.]

“‘Ah, friends,’ replied the others, ‘would that we might tell you
the half of what we have seen, the half of what we have heard. Truly
marvelous is this castle which we have visited, and beyond the power of
words to describe. We may, indeed, relate to you how, from its windows,
we beheld the fair earth, from pole to pole, spread out before us in
new and undreamed-of beauty; how we found secret stairways which led
us to the burning heart of this same earth; how, through mysterious
passage-ways, we were guided to the silent and strangely-peopled valleys
of the sea; how, by tower and turret, we mounted to dizzy heights, from
whence we could peer in among the stars, and catch a glimpse of the glory
lying beyond; how all the way, from lowest foundation-stone to loftiest
pinnacle, they who went up before us had carved inscriptions, revealing
in what manner the world has fared—even from its creation; how, passing
to and fro, our questions were answered, our doubts were quieted, and
we were filled with such delight as is only known to them who go up
thither—this much, and more we may relate, and yet but a faint idea
will you have of that mighty structure. Oh, friends, so vast it is, so
wide, so high,—so deep down extend its massive walls, that, though one
should wander a lifetime within its gates, still many portions would be
unknown to him; so free and open to all it is, that whoever will may
abide there, continually feasted and royally entertained; so magnificent
it is, that whether you go up or down, whether you follow corridors that
lead on, and ever on, or loiter in spacious treasure-halls, golden is the
ceiling, crystal is the pavement, riches and splendor meet you at every
turn, and you tread upon diamonds which are yours but for the picking up;
and what is most marvelous about the castle is this—the more of these
rare jewels that are gathered and carried away, the more remain.’

“Then the idlers, seeing their companions laden with precious gems,
sparkling in the sunlight, could not doubt the truthfulness of this
report; and they said: ‘Let us go up also, to be enriched, and to see
those wonderful sights.’ But when they began to climb they discovered
that their strength had departed, and that their eyes were dimmed so that
they could not find the path; and they now first became aware of how the
years had flown while they had been lingering among the pleasant fields,
and that in the feebleness of age they were no longer able to mount
upward. And they sat down and wept with regret, and nevermore ceased
sighing, because of the years they had wasted below.”

“There’s a _Hæc fabula docet_ to that story, I suspect,” said Harry,
good-naturedly, after staring awhile at the fire. “But I’ll forgive you,
as it’s the only one of that sort I ever heard you tell.”


It is one of those first bright, pleasant days, so welcome after the
rains and clouds that follow the long siege of winter. With the sunbeams
so warm, and the air so soft and balmy, who can choose to stay indoors?
The Lieutenant draws his chair out to the porch, and is presently joined
by Harry, who mounts the railing and proceeds to relate an adventure he
had the other night.

“You see we were out on the lake, fishing—a lot of us, and we’d caught
about a dozen trout, when up come a storm—a regular gale. Boat capsized;
out we went into the water. Rain pouring down in torrents, and so dark
you couldn’t see your hand before you. Tell you we had to swim for it.
But we got ashore at last, and they took us in at a house close by, and
dried our clothes for us, and gave us some supper, and we had a regular
jolly time of it, after all.”

“Yes, I heard about that excursion of yours from another source, and
about a boy by the name of Harry who saved another boy from drowning.”

“No! did you, though? Well, you see he didn’t know much about swimming,
and it was my doings, his going with us, and if anything had happened to
him I’d have been to blame. But, I tell you, I thought one time there we
were both goners, sure. Hallo, Edith!”

“See my new hat!” she cries, climbing up the steps. “I and mamma bought
it down street this very morning. See, it’s all trimmed with blue

“Yes, it’s really pooty. There comes Marie Maross with her instruction
book; she’s been taking a music lesson. Say, Marie, come in and sit down,
won’t you? You look tired. Professor cross this morning?”

“Yes,” responds Marie, readily accepting the invitation. “He says I don’t
half practice my lessons, and it’s no such thing! I practiced a whole
half an hour yesterday, and on those wretched scales, too! they’re enough
to drive one distracted.”

Harry glares at the gate-post as if it were the professor himself, and he
is about to express, in strong terms, his poor opinion of professors of
music generally, when—

“Che! cheree! cheree! te-hee, hee, ha, ha, ha!” laughs Robin Redbreast
among the budding branches overhead. What is he cocking his shrewd black
eye at the two on the steps below for?—looking for all the world as
though he had seen them before now—passing notes to each other in that
“horrid old school-room,” when “Old Williams” wasn’t watching.

But hush, you, Sir Robin, and hush, every one. Marie lifts her hand to
impose silence; for, see, there is a wee gray sparrow prospecting about a
moss basket hanging in the porch, evidently in search of a good building

But here comes the mail-carrier, who cannot stop for such trifles. As he
rapidly approaches Mrs. Sparrow flies away.

Kate, who has been setting out tulip-bulbs in her flower-beds in the
back-yard, comes to look over the letters. This one, from a small boy,
she reads aloud:


    an Walter i can’t find ennything but this led pencil to rite
    with fur they’re housecleening an the inks all spillt on the
    carpit an the pens lost an the paper lockt up in the riting
    desk an nobody can find the kee and Briget shes cross she sez
    ive got to stop running all over the flore whare she scrubd it
    and so i tore this page out of my gografy whare it isnt printid
    i most made a bote to sale on our pond fur its chuckfull ov
    water an somebody swept it up an thru it into the fire when
    I get to be a Man an have a house ov my own I wont have enny
    housecleening going on never.


“Them’s my sentiments exactly,” says Harry. “It’s been just so at our
house now for a week. Everything’s topsy-turvy, and you can’t find a
place to rest the sole of your foot. And cross? my! I thought Ann would
take my head off, this morning, when I tumbled against her mop-pail and
tipped it over.”

“Will you please give these to Mr. Walter?”

It is bashful little Bessie, on her way home from a ramble in the distant
wood, who whispers in Kate’s ear, as she offers a bunch of spring
beauties gathered there, and blossoms plucked from a wayside apple-tree.
Mr. Walter receives them with a smile of recognition, for who does not
love the odor of apple-blossoms?

The blushing Bessie is straightway reassured and gratified by the
following fable improvised for the occasion:

    Once on a time, in early dawn of summer,
      Among the trees the question chanced to rise—
    “Which of us is the fairest, the most comely?”
      A towering pine tree boasted in this wise:

    “Behold me, all ye puny ones, behold me!
      Look at my shoulders reaching to the sky!
    Look at my tasseled mantle—green forever!
      How can ye doubt or question?—here am I!”

    A stately elm tree upward gazed a moment,
      In acquiescence bent her regal head:
    “Aye, thou art tall and gayly decked, my brother,
      But I have more of symmetry,” she said.

    A languid willow, musing, softly murmured:
      “Yes, shapely is the elm, and tall the pine;
    But see, oh, friends (she made a sweeping courtesy),
      You must admit that gracefulness is mine.”

    “Ah, well, that’s not the point,” replied a maple;
      “’Tis not of grace we’re talking, not at all;
    And as for form, why, I am well proportioned:
      And as for height, why, one may be _too_ tall.”

    “Hold!” cried a tulip tree; “am I not shapely?
      And illy would the pine tree’s tassels green
    Compare with these broad leaves, so smooth and shining,
      Or with the bells of bloom that swing between!”

    “Conceited fools!” a gnarly old oak grumbled;
      “Bragging of your fine clothes and shape and length!
    Bah, with your silly prate and idle prattle!
      There is most beauty where there is most strength!”

    At that a plain, ill-favored tree took courage,—
      “And I, too—I am rugged! I am stout!”
    The little saplings sidelong glanced and giggled,
      The grown-up trees did toss their heads and shout;

    And, one and all, they laughed and laughed together,
      And, one and all, together did they say:
    “Oh, listen! ugly scrub lays claim to beauty!
      Who ever heard the like before to-day!”

    But Mother Nature frowned at their derision,
      Seeing the humble tree with grief downcast;
    Her wand she lifted—lo! the slighted claimant
      In comeliness all other trees surpassed!

    A downy robe the knotted limbs enveloped,
      In folds whose fragrance thrilled the wond’ring air—
    A robe of pale, rose-tinted blossoms woven!
      Amazed and breathless did the scoffers stare.

    And, one and all, they turned from jest and laughter,
      And, one and all, together whispered they:
    “Behold, behold the garment of our brother!
      Who ever saw the like before to-day!”

    Since then, alway, in early dawn of summer,
      Dame Nature lifts her wand the trees to shame
    Who envy him that wears the apple blossoms
      And wish they had not mocked his modest claim.

But listen—will you?—to this score of lads and lasses, Bessie’s
companions (freed from school, for it is Saturday), who, laden with wild
flowers and mosses and ferns, have meanwhile established themselves on
the steps, and are chattering like a flock of blackbirds:

“Oh, we’ve had lots of fun, and I’m awfully tired. Will you believe it? I
ran over a snake! Dear me, how scared I was!” (A girl, of course.)

“Sho! you needn’t have been afraid of such a harmless little snake as
that; I’d just as soon take it up in my hand as not!” (A boy, of course.)

“Why didn’t you, then? Ha, ha! I’d like to have seen you.”

“See, Marie, what a pretty toad-stool I found, all scarlet inside; and
Fred, he’s got a lot of snail-shells in his pocket.”

“If I’d only had a gun along I could have popped over two or three red

“Oh—h—h! it would be cruel to kill the dear, sweet, cunning little

“Don’t be alarmed, puss; he couldn’t fire off a gun to save his life.”

“Oh, the quantities of Bobolinks we saw in the meadows! If you could only
have heard them sing—”

    _Ting-a-ling, ling._

Everybody stares at the apparition. He has stolen a march upon them—that
little tawny Italian, down there in the street, gazing up at the merry
group, with a weary sort of smile, as his slender fingers toy with the
strings of his instrument, bringing forth many a plaintive air. Soon
the music ceases, and the tattered hat is passed around. But he may not
go yet; his audience is clamoring for a song. “An Italian song,” cries
Marie. And so, to the accompaniment of his guitar, he sings in his native
tongue a little ballad which runs something after this fashion:

    Wandering, wandering all the world over,
      Hither and thither, and to and fro,
    Free as the wind—the rollicking rover,
      Lightly humming and thrumming I go.

    Free as the wind to linger and tarry,
      Free as the wind to hasten afar,
    All my wealth in my hands I carry—
      Look, behold it—my gay guitar!

    Gold and houses and lands encumber,
      Never king, in his palace high,
    Slumber’d as sweetly as I slumber,
      Under the clear, unclouded sky.

    Free as the wind, the rollicking rover,
      Little of trouble or care I know,
    Wandering, wandering all the world over,
      Hither and thither, and to and fro.

And off he goes with his merry song, and his weary smile, and his pockets
jingling with pennies; and is succeeded by a fair-haired Norwegian, with
a basket on his head, crying, “Oranges, oranges!”

Harry rushes down, and buys him out of the stock in hand, and before any
one has time to protest, begins to treat the assembled company. So it was
for this feast that the round, golden fruit has been, all these months,
basking and ripening and gathering fragrance and sweetness from the rays
that gladden a land of perpetual summer.

“What’s this—a picnic?” asks a gentleman in uniform, who has come to
call upon the Lieutenant. The youngsters follow with their eyes the blue
coat and bright buttons disappearing through the open doorway, then they
slowly disperse; and Ponto, the great shaggy Newfoundlander, is left
alone, dozing upon the mat. And the wee, gray sparrow returns with a wisp
of horse-hair, and commences to build her nest.


“There goes Patches!”

“Hallo, Patches!”

Sitting in the porch, in the twilight of a June afternoon, Kate overhears
those cruel taunts. “Oh-h-h!” she exclaims in smothered indignation, the
hot flush mounting up her forehead.

“What is it, sister?” asks the Lieutenant.

“Oh, Walter, there are some boys down there in the street, calling names
at a little newsboy, and making sport of his poor, patched clothes. And
he looks so downhearted and discouraged—poor little fellow! Oh, it’s
_too_ bad! I wish you could say something to him to comfort him. Mrs.
McAllister was telling me about them the other day. His mother is a
widow and does washings, and there are other children—he the eldest; and
he is so kind and thoughtful, and does everything he can to help her;
goes around town, out of school-hours, running on errands and carrying
newspapers. I know what I’ll do”—but her plan for a new suit of clothes
is suddenly broken in upon by the boy approaching, and handing her the
evening paper, damp, just from the press.

“How many more of those have you to deliver?” Walter inquires.

“Only about a dozen.”

“Well, when you get through, and if you are not otherwise engaged, I’d
like to have your company for a walk. You see,” he adds, with a smile,
“I haven’t any eyes, myself, to find the way with; and it’s such a fine
evening I believe I’d like to go—yes, as far as the Park.”

The boy looks up into the blind man’s face, Kate thinks, as if he would
be willing to go to the ends of the earth with him.

“Yes, sir, I’ll be back in a few minutes,” he says, hurrying away.

In one corner of the Park there is a shady, secluded nook—a clump of
trees all overgrown with vines, with rustic seats underneath. As Walter
and his companion rest there after their long walk, the moonbeams
shining softly down between the leaves, all at once a sob breaks the
stillness, followed by another and another, and then they come thick and
fast. Now the Lieutenant does not ask, “What’s the matter, little boy?”
as a great many thoughtless people would; for he remembers very well
that one doesn’t like to be asked such questions when one is crying.
Besides, doesn’t he know what the matter is? He can picture to himself
the wearisome life the poor child leads—ill-fed, ill-sheltered, ill-clad,
half the year pinched with hunger and cold, half the year breathing the
close, pent-up air of some wretched tenement—in his brave struggle to
help his widowed mother, not always able to find work; knocked about by
ruffian newsboys, sneered at by thoughtless schoolmates, little heeded
or noticed by anybody; till he looks downhearted, as Kate says, and the
very tones of his voice are grown dreary and sorrowful. Thinking of all
this, the Lieutenant cannot sit there like a block of stone, and listen
to those stifled sobs. So, as there is nothing to be said, he leans over,
and with that one arm of his about the slight figure, draws it close to
his side.

“Oh, you’re so good!” murmurs the tearful voice, as the lad rests his
head against the friendly shoulder. “It’s that that makes such a baby
of me. I can’t help it. Other folks ain’t like that. Other folks don’t
talk to me pleasant about this and that as you did all the way. Other
folks—oh!” and with that the slender form is shaken again with sobs.

“Ah, but those other folks who treat you so, you are going to make them
sorry for it, some day.”

“How?” The dreary young voice is full of wonder.

“How? Let me tell you a little story. Years ago a young printer went to
New York City to find work. He hadn’t any fine clothes, and scarcely any
money, and I doubt if in all that great city there was a single person
that he knew. After much searching he found something to do; and in the
office where he was employed the other printers delighted in annoying
him, playing jokes upon him, and daubing his light-colored hair with
ink. I wouldn’t wonder if this sort of treatment made him feel sad and
homesick, sometimes, and wish he was back again among the mountains
where he came from. However, he paid little attention to it; he worked
all day, faithfully, and at night he read and studied a good deal; and
when he couldn’t afford to pay for a light to study by, he would take
his book out by the street-lamp and study there—sometimes when it was
cold, too. Wasn’t he persevering? Well, he worked, and read, and studied,
and persevered, till he got to be an editor; yes, in time he became the
most famous editor—or journalist, some would call it—the most famous one
that ever lived. Last fall he died—this man who was once a penniless,
friendless boy—and at the news of his death there was sadness all over
the country; and, at his burial, thousands and thousands of people
crowded those same streets where he used to read, shivering, by the
lamp-light; thousands and thousands went to get a glimpse of his dead
face, and wept over it, because he had helped them and they loved him and
were sorry he was gone.

“Oh, was it Horace Greeley?” the lad whispers. (He has stopped crying

“You have guessed.”

“I’ve thought, sometimes,” says the boy, presently, in a hesitating
way—“I never told it to anybody before—but I’ve thought I’d like to be
great, too, some time, to be a lawyer—and—and go to Congress—and—oh,
I never told it to anybody before, because it’s foolish, I know, and
they’d laugh at me. I can’t help thinking about it, though. But of course
there’s no hope for _me_.”

“Ah, but there _is_, though! I doubt if our Vice-President thought there
was much hope of his ever going to Congress when, in his youth, he was
earning his livelihood in a shoemaker’s shop. But, you see, he kept
pegging away; when it wasn’t at boots and shoes it was at books, at
gaining knowledge, and making the most of the talents that were given
him, working his way up, inch by inch, till he became congressman,
surely, till now he presides over the Senate. And our President, at
your age, little dreamed that he would ever be called upon to control a
great army, to plan campaigns and sieges, to ‘fight it out all summer on
this line,’ as you have heard about—persevering, you see—and so to put
an end to the bloody war, and be chosen once and again to the highest
office in the land—like Washington, long ago. Yes, it’s perseverance that
does it. Did you ever hear of Cyrus Field, the man who brought the Old
World and the New nearer together by his Atlantic cable? When he first
proposed to do it, to send dispatches through two thousand miles of
water, that seemed to every one a very absurd idea. But when his cable
was finished and ready to be laid, then people began to be interested;
indeed, they were really excited over it, and it was quite the fashion
to wear attached to one’s watch-chain a bit of that gutta-percha cable,
set in gold. But the cable, or telegraph, was a failure, after all; it
didn’t ‘work.’ So people disbelieved once more, and lost interest in the
enterprise, and took the bits of gutta-percha from their watch-chains,
and put them away out of sight and of mind. And it fared with the
experimenter just as it fared with those trinkets. But years passed by,
and lo! one day, to everybody’s surprise, the President received from
Queen Victoria a polite message that had taken but a few moments to cross
the wide Atlantic. And now, you know, Europe and America can talk with
each other almost as easily as you and I here, sitting side by side.
For what had Cyrus Field been doing all that time that nobody took any
notice of him? He had been making trial after trial, and failure after
failure, and losing fortune, and, very likely, friends, but never losing
hope. So he persevered—and succeeded, at last. And who does your history
say discovered America?”

“Christopher Columbus.”

“Well, this Christopher Columbus of whom all the histories tell and
everybody knows, he was only a sailor boy, once, roving about in the
Mediterranean, with small chance of ever becoming noted. As little chance
would it seem there was when, years later, he went from court to court,
vainly asking aid to carry out his project. People had hardly begun, yet,
to credit the notion that the world was round; and this tall, sad-eyed,
white-haired, shabbily dressed stranger, with his maps and his charts,
and his plans for sailing straight West to India, who was going to
listen to him? Kings and queens were unwilling to see him or give him an
opportunity to explain, courtiers ridiculed him, children in the street
would point to their foreheads, as he passed by, and call out to each
other, ‘Look at the crazy Italian!’ But often disappointed, always hoping
and persevering, he stuck to his project, and finally, after eighteen
long years of waiting and fruitless effort, he got the help he wanted and
started on his voyage, and so found—not India, but America.”

And as the Lieutenant and his young guide walk slowly homeward through
the silent, moonlit avenues, he speaks of Lincoln, of Herder, of
Ferguson, of Beethoven, of Sir William Herschel, and of others who have
risen from poverty and obscurity to honor and renown; many of them
“self-made,” as it is called, toiling patiently and unaided up that steep
hill where the laurels grow.

Kate hears the hopeful ring in the lad’s voice as he says “Good night” to
his friend, and through the open window she sees the hopeful expression
upon his face as he turns away, glancing down rather proudly at the
jacket that is mended with pieces of many shades, and the boots that have
been patched and patched again. “What can you have been saying to him,
Walter?” she wonders. “Oh, if you could only have seen his face just now!
He doesn’t look like the same boy.” And Walter musingly repeats those
lines with which every “wide-awake” American boy and girl is familiar.
For was it not Longfellow who wrote them?

    “Lives of great men all remind us
      We may make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
      Footprints on the sands of time;

    “Footprints that perchance another,
      Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
    Some forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
      Seeing, shall take heart again.”

When, just before breakfast, Kate opens the door to look for the morning
paper, what does she find lying there on the threshold beside it? Fresh
water-lilies—the like of which are not to be found nearer than the
lake—miles away. “He has been all that way and back, this morning! bless
his little heart!” she exclaims, in astonishment, as she carries them
to her brother, breathing a thousand sweetest “Thank-you’s,” from among
their snowy petals. And you may be sure that those patched garments will
soon be replaced by others nice and new.


“I’d like to know,” exclaims Marie, “if there weren’t any heroines as
well as heroes in the time of the Revolution. Now down there in the Park
to-day, while they were having their orations, and Mr. Higby got to
talking about the Revolution—”

“Come now,” breaks in Harry, “you don’t mean to pretend you heard a word
he said!”

“Indeed I do! I listened first-rate—along at first. Katy, mustn’t he
stop interrupting? Well, all I was going to say was, that when he got to
talking about the Revolution it was all about the forefathers that he got
so eloquent, and never a word about the mothers! As if _they_ weren’t
patriotic, too, and of some account! Don’t you suppose they were?”

“Kate,” slyly observes her brother, “here’s another fine opportunity for
you to hold forth on the subject of your great-great-grandmother.”

“Ah! just as though you weren’t every whit as proud of her as I am!”

“Oh, my! _did_ you have a great-great-grandmother?” cries the
enthusiastic Marie. “Do tell us about her.”

“Yes, do, Miss Katy,” says Harry, seconding the motion as he watches a
sky-rocket shooting upward, leaving a gleaming train as it curves through
the air. For this is the evening of the “Glorious Fourth,” and the
speakers are all out in the porch, where a good view can be had of the
display of fireworks down at the corner of the street.

“Well, then, Harry, you know about the battle of Cowpens, in South

“Yes, where the British thought they had won the day, sure, and Morgan
brought up his dragoons, and they cut and slashed right and left, and put
the Redcoats to flight, and took a lot of prisoners.”

“What are dragoons?” inquires Marie.

“Mounted troops—cavalry. Oh, but didn’t they pitch into ’em good with
their swords! Wish _I’d_ been there.”

“And then you know, Harry, how Cornwallis pursued Morgan, in hopes of
recovering the prisoners; and how General Greene had to come to Morgan’s
rescue. By the way, Walter, I don’t know exactly why, but somehow all I
hear of Sherman in the last war reminds me of that General Greene.”

“And did your great-great-grandmother live around there anywheres?”

“Yes, Marie. But you mustn’t think of her as a grandmother at all, with
gray hair and cap and spectacles; for she was only a young girl then.
There’s a portrait of her painted a few years after. They have it at
Uncle Robert’s—little Rob’s father, you know. There she sits, with her
arms folded; and she wears a brocade silk, with much lace about the low
neck and flowing sleeves; and her hair is combed straight up from the
forehead over a roll, and coiled high at the back of the head, very much
as the style is now—only I suppose it was all her own, for switches
hadn’t yet been thought of.”

“And did she do something brave?”

“So the story goes. She was an orphan, you see, and lived with her uncle,
who was a hot-tempered old Tory, and all his sons and daughters the same.
But, perhaps because they weren’t as good to her as they might have been,
she took it into her head to believe some other way—sympathized with the
rebels, you know. But she took care not to let any one find that out,
which no one was likely to, for she was so young, only sixteen—just two
years older than you, Marie—people wouldn’t be questioning her about
politics. Well, it was just at this time, when Cornwallis was chasing
up Morgan, that there came one rainy evening to her uncle’s a small
detachment of British troops, with some Americans belonging to Morgan’s
force whom they had captured the day previous, and asked for lodgings for
the night. Her uncle welcomed them heartily, and gave them a room where
they could lock up their prisoners, and ordered Chloe, the black cook, to
get up a grand supper for them. Grand? I don’t suppose it was what would
be called a grand supper nowadays. I presume it consisted largely of game
from the forest, venison, and the like—not much in the way of dessert and
nick-nacks, you know. While the British were feasting in the dining-room,
Kate—we may as well call her Kate, for I forgot to tell you that I was
named after her—slipped into the kitchen, and managed, unseen, to fill a
basket with some of that plentiful supper, and creep with it up a back
stairway to the store-room or garret at the top of the house. Now the
room where the prisoners were locked in was in the second story, and had
no window; but in the ceiling there was a trap-door that opened into the
garret. Kate raised this door—or rather, it was a mere piece of plank—and
let down the basket by a rope. And the prisoners, looking up and catching
sight of her friendly face by the light of the candle she held, were
gladdened, you may be sure. Ah, poor fellows, and they were hungry, too;
hadn’t had a mouthful for two days. (Indeed, they had been out in search
of game. That was the way they happened to be caught.) ‘Was there any
way under the sun for them to get out of there?’ they asked her. Yes;
she told them of a way she had thought of, but they would have to be
very still about it, and wait till everybody in the house had gone to
sleep. Then she closed the door again, but she was careful to take the
basket with her, lest the Red-coats might look in before retiring, and
find it there and suspect something was wrong. They did look in, too.
There were the prisoners, all secure. Then they locked and bolted the
door again, and for further security stationed a guard outside. When
Kate found out about the guard she trembled for her plans. But toward
midnight she peeped into the hall and saw him nodding sleepily, for he
and his comrades, as well as their officers, had been making free with
her uncle’s wine. In those days it was the custom to keep quantities of
wine even in private houses, and to use it freely at the table.”

[Illustration: But in the ceiling there was a trap-door that opened into
the garret.—PAGE 38.]

“Nothing of that sort going on nowadays!”

“I am sorry to say so, Harry, but I suppose there is; though not so
generally the practice, I am sure—at least, not in this country. Well,
Kate crept up to the garret again, by the same way as before, and she
lowered a ladder—oh, so still!—to those six prisoners, and one by one
they climbed up softly through the little trap-door in the ceiling—oh,
it was just the least mite of an opening, hardly large enough for a
person to crawl through; but then I suppose that one could manage to
squeeze through a pretty small space for the sake of regaining one’s

“That’s so!” says Harry, speaking, doubtless, from experience.

“Now, you mustn’t interrupt again!” says Marie; “just when they’re all
climbing up, too; and I’m so afraid that sentinel there in the hall
outside will hear! But, oh, Katy, when they’re all up in the garret how
ever is she going to get them away from there? Won’t somebody wake up and
hear while she’s getting them all down that back stairway?”

“No, they didn’t go down that way. You see this garret was used for a
store-room for flour and groceries, and the like; for the place was so
far from any mill or market, that when they sent to the nearest town
they used to purchase all those things in large quantities. So, for
convenience in storing away articles, a stairway had been built up
against the outside of the house.”

“Oh, and there was an outside door to the garret! What a dear, delicious
old house, with stairways and trap-doors, and everything all fixed just
right to help those poor prisoners off!”

“Now, you mustn’t interrupt again!” says a mocking voice.

“Down they went, under the dripping eaves; but when they reached the
ground and held a whispered consultation, it came out that they hadn’t
the slightest idea in which direction to go to join their commander;
for they were all from the north, and perfectly unacquainted with the
country. ‘Could the kind young lady give them some directions?’ ‘I will
go as guide,’ she said. So they helped themselves to the six chargers
of the six British officers sleeping snugly under her uncle’s roof, and
she mounted her little sorrel pony, and away they went, through the rain
and the darkness—slowly at first, lest the trampling of the horses’ feet
should be heard, which likely would have been the case but for the ground
being softened by the rain; after that they dashed along swiftly over
hills and through forests, for it was a wild, uncultivated region through
which their route lay. After riding a few miles they reached a rapid
stream, so swollen by the freshets which prevailed just then—it was in
January—so deep and rapid that it was almost impossible for the soldiers,
even on their stout war-horses, to ford it, for there was no bridge. Kate
and her little pony would surely have been swept away. So, as she could
go no farther, she told them as clearly as she could how they were to
turn to the right at such a cross-road, and to the left at another, and
to the right again when they came to a certain old church; and if they
kept straight ahead when they came to a certain tall pine tree, standing
all alone by itself, they would reach the place where they expected to
find Morgan. (As he was on the move all the time they couldn’t be so sure
about that.) So, with a ‘God bless you!’ from the leader, which all his
companions echoed, they plunged into the roaring torrent, and she turned
back through the forest—where there were fierce bears and panthers, mind
you; but fortunately the rain kept them in their dens that night.

“When she reached home, all was as dark and silent as when she left; and
when she peeped out again from her room, there was the guard nodding as
before; but not really asleep. He hadn’t heard a sound. Poor fellow, the
British Colonel and the rest were going to have him shot for sleeping
at his post, when, next morning, they found the prisoners had gone and
the horses too. How furiously angry they were! But, oh, the uncle! his
eyes flashed lightnings, and his voice was like the thunder. Kate was
wakened by his raging and storming, with all the black people up before
him to be cross-questioned, and they declaring that ‘O massa, dey wouldn’
a-helped dem rebel trash away fur nuffin in de hull worl’!’ If they had,
their lives wouldn’t have been worth much. Kate knew that, or she might
have asked some of them to assist her. She meant to bear all the blame

“Wasn’t she a trump, though!”

“Yes, Harry; but she trembled like a leaf all the time, dressing herself
in a hurry, and rushing out to confess before them all, and plead for
the sentinel’s life. ‘Oh, he wasn’t a bit to blame! he didn’t go to
sleep at all, for she looked to see! We were so still about it that, oh,
he couldn’t hear! and oh, don’t kill him, don’t!’ And then she almost
fainted away. But the angry old uncle was angrier than ever. He ordered
her to her room, and never to show her face again. But just at this
point, when all is clamor and confusion, and the poor, pale, frightened
girl is being dragged off in disgrace to her chamber, the house is
suddenly surrounded by the combined forces of Greene and Morgan (for they
met yesterday, and have been nearer by all the time than was supposed),
and led by the American Captain whom she released last night, in walks
General Greene himself, to thank her for her brave deed; and when she is
led to the window, all those soldiers—ragged, weak with hunger, as they
are, footsore and weary with continual marching—at the sight of her, just
toss up their hats (those of them who have any) and cheer, and cheer, and
cheer. And the British Colonel and his men are prisoners themselves in
about two seconds—”

“Oh, jolly!”

“And the mad old Tory uncle’s wine-casks have to be tapped again, while
the rebel army there before his eyes drinks to his niece’s health.”

“Jolly, jollier, jolliest!”

“You might suppose there wasn’t enough to go around; but you must
remember that it was not such a very big army. How large should you say,

“Probably not a larger number than would be included in two what in our
last war were considered good-sized regiments. Hardly that, for I believe
Greene left quite a force behind at his post on the Pedee river, when
he pushed across country to join Morgan; and his whole command united
couldn’t have amounted to more than two thousand.”

“Just think of it! And that wee little army, half-starved and poorly
clothed, held in check the thousands of Cornwallis! No wonder the orators
grow eloquent over our forefathers, is it, Marie?”

“But about Kate? Did that horrid old Tory of an uncle shut her up in her
room after that?”

“Take care, Miss Marie, that ‘horrid old Tory of an uncle’ was a distant
relative of ours.”

“Oh, I didn’t mean to say anything against your relations, Mr. Walter;
but then everybody knows you aren’t a bit like him, if you _are_ a tease!”

“No,” Kate goes on, “they didn’t shut her up in her room, but she was
treated very coolly all around the board, and as for her uncle, I believe
he never spoke to her again. What made him particularly indignant was,
that the British prisoners would insist that he was at the bottom of
it all, and had set the trap for them himself. They had reason to be
suspicious, for in that section one never could be certain who were
Tories and who were not, so many of the people wavered in their opinions,
favoring the royal cause one day and the rebels the next. Well, to wind
up my story, Kate was so unhappy there, that she went to live with an
aunt in Charleston till some two or three years after, when the war was
all over, and she married—”

“Oh, wait, let me guess who!—the American Captain, now, didn’t she? How
romantic! Then he was your great-great-grandfather!”

“Yes, and they came North, and lived and died right where Uncle Robert
lives now—in the same house, only it has been altered several times

The mention of “Uncle Robert” reminds Harry to ask if Kate has had any
more letters lately from her little correspondent. Whereupon she produces
this one, which she received to-day!

    “DEAR COZEN KATE AND WALTER:—to-moros the forth but my
    Firecrackers are all used up alreddy but I don’t care I don’t
    feal much like sellibrating ennyway you see Dick Deen and
    Jimmy Jeffers an me we thot wed have sum fun so we toock a
    hunting horn with sum powder in it an emptyd it onto a stone an
    set a match to it but it didnt go off so i run up to see what
    was the matter and pop off it went rite into my face tel yoo it
    made me hop an everryboddy screemd an run for the Docter an he
    cum an sed it wood get well after a while and then he an papa
    both giggld but i coodnt see whare the fun was nor mama eether
    she sed i must rite an tel you about it it wood divurt my mind
    but to be careful about my Speling an the rest so I was.



“Plucky little chap, ain’t he!” and Harry giggles too. “Divert his mind!
ha, ha! But you don’t know anything about how it burns. I got my hand
peppered that way once, and went into the cellar where it was cool, and
walked the floor for three hours. I didn’t want any one to find out about
it, for fear of a scolding, for I expect I was old enough to know better.”

But Marie, who has been quietly meditating meanwhile, suddenly breaks
forth with, “I wish _I_ had lived in the time of the Revolution! Then I
would have had a chance to do something brave.”

“You!” laughs Harry. “I’ll warrant it would scare you half to death
to hear a mouse nibble in the wall at night.” Which Marie, blushing
guiltily, cannot deny.

“Well, anyhow, I’m going over home to find out if _I_ haven’t got a
great-great-grandmother, or something.”


“Do you think there are any places in heaven like this?”

It is little Bessie who whispers the question, as she lies in the
grass at Kate’s feet, looking up at the glimpses of sky among the
branches—glimpses as blue as her eyes.

Kate looks up, too. Feathery-fine are those branches, swaying lazily in
the sunlight; lower down they grow darker and heavy with green, till,
here where she sits beneath, everything is in shadow. She glances around.
Long, leafy avenues lead down the glens into blackness, and up the slopes
into blackness, and away, away into blackness—the blackness of massed
foliage that shuts out the world beyond. Can the grand old cathedrals
they tell of compare with this—nature’s temple? Here are the lofty
columns—not hewn by hands, indeed; here are the airy arches, rich with
leaf-work tracery—not carved by hands, ’tis true. This velvety turf—can
any mosaic pavement surpass it in beauty? Hardly can windows of stained
glass let in a light more mellow than this which enters from above. She
listens. Here and there a tiny rill tinkles along the ledges; thousands
of little birds are flitting to and fro, caroling and calling one
another; and, like the sound, when heard far off, of billows surging on
the beach, she hears the never-ceasing sough of the wind among the trees.
Ah, this wind, how cool it is, how fragrant! stooping to finger her hair.
And there is the sultry, breathless August down in the city below.

Are there any places like this in heaven? “Yes,” she answers at last, “I
like to think so. Indeed,” she adds, “it seems to me sometimes as though
this world might almost be heaven itself, if it weren’t for some of the
people in it.”

Just now, as if to give force to the remark, one of those jarring voices
that make discord in the music of life, is overheard, saying:

“Look at Bessie Barton, off there with Kate. I _do_ wish that child would
learn to hold her head up! If _I_ had the management of her I’d cure her
of her bashfulness in short order!”

Kate glances down. Has Bessie heard? No; her thoughts are ever so far

“Oh, Bessie,” says the other, quickly, lest there is more to come, “I
see some cardinal-flowers down there by the brook. Won’t you go bring me
some, please?”

And as the child flies away on the errand, Kate joins the companions from
whom they have strayed, and confronts the owner of the voice with—

“Now you shall not say anything against Bessie. She’s a little angel.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t have dared to say a word, Kate, if I had thought you were
within earshot. She’s a particular pet of yours, I believe. But how you
can find anything interesting in her, I can’t see. She’s plain, and so
shy and lackadaisical! I don’t see how she’s ever going to get through
the world without a little more _vim_.”

“Ah, you’ll see. But as to her being plain, now I don’t think so. What
rosy cheeks she has! and her eyes—why, they’re lovely. And she’s not
what I should call lackadaisical, in the least. Why, she’s the busiest
little body alive! always doing something for somebody. And then she has
talent—a wonderful eye for figure. I think she’s going to make an artist.”

“Oh, Kate!” laughs Aunt Sophia, “what remarkable people all your friends
are, the younger ones especially. There’s that scapegrace of a boy, my
nephew Harry; what do you think of _him_? No doubt you’ll say he’s the
pink of propriety. Harry, Harry! come down out of that tree, this minute,
and stop tearing about so, or you’ll be all in rags by night!”

“What do I think of him? I think he’s just magnificent!”

“As black as the ace of spades.”

“Yes, he’s tanned up beautifully this summer, and so full of health and
spirits, with a heart as big as all out-of-doors.”

“If he would only take to books more.”

“Oh, books are well enough (I wouldn’t, for the world, speak slightingly
of them); but books are not everything. Of what good is all the learning
if one hasn’t the life—the strength to put it to use? Ah, those
sinewy fists! they remind me of the old Greeks. Bless him!—the young
Hercules!—when the work comes for him to do he is going to be strong and
able to do it.”

“Oh, he has a mission to fulfill, then! What may it be, I wonder?
Lassoing wild horses on the pampas?”

“Oh, he’s going to do something splendid, by and by, that will make you
all proud of him.”

“Well, you _are_ encouraging. And there’s that little popinjay, Marie
Maross, with her saucy eyes (by the way, I never could make out which
they are, gray or black), and her _stringlets_—I can’t conscientiously
call them ringlets (I suppose they would have been _wavelets_ if she had
only known over night she was coming)—and her white dress as limp as if
it hadn’t come fresh from the laundry this very morning. Do look at the
grass-stains and mud on it, and half the ruffles on one side torn off!
(I don’t see how her mother has any kind of patience with her; but then
she’s an easy old shoe.) And her sash awry, and her ribbons flying, and
her bracelets rattling, and those half-dozen strings of beads around her

“Oh, not half-a-dozen!”

“At any rate, enough to be always jingling wherever she goes, like the
old woman in the nursery rhyme:

    ‘With a ring on her finger and a bell on her toe.’

Well, how are you going to dispose of _her_? Is she to be a second—a sort
of feminine Rubenstein, or a Pauline Lucca—or are you going to send her
as missionary to the Feejee Islands?”

“I’m sure the cannibals would not have the heart to eat her up,” Kate
answers, laughingly. “The gay little thing! I like to watch her, over
there in the garden, fluttering about among the flowers, prattling
to her grandfather, keeping him company. I always think of the
butterflies—harmless, pretty little creatures, meant, it would seem,
only to rollick in the sunbeams and enjoy themselves, and brighten the

“But her everlasting chatter! If, instead of living opposite, you were
right next door to them, as we are, I’m sure _you_ would tire of it
sometimes,—especially in summer, when the doors and windows are all
open. Oh, I assure you, her tongue is going from morning till night. It
fairly drives me wild, sometimes.”

“But with all her prattle one hardly ever hears her say anything really

“And it’s just as uncommon to hear her say anything with any sense to it!”

“Well, _somebody_ must do the chattering. If none of us ever spoke but
to say something sensible, what a fearfully hushed, melancholy sort of
world this would be. That little brook purling among the stones, there
seems to be no meaning in what it says, yet Mother Nature doesn’t bid it
keep quiet; and if all these little birds should stop singing, though
we can detect but little sense in their merry songs, how we should miss
the music!—There!” Kate pauses, alarmed at her own boldness, for it is
like treading on matches to argue with Aunt Sophia! “I didn’t mean to
speechify; I beg your pardon.”

“Ah, well, you and I never will agree. And here comes your angelic
protégée.” Namely, Bessie, just now approaching with Monsieur Maross, who
has been helping her gather the cardinal-flowers.

Did you over see any of those, lads and lasses? There is no color richer
or more beautiful than the deep, glowing scarlet of their corollas. It is
this which gives them the name.

“Figure to yourselves,” says M. Maross, who is a naturalist and a
foreigner, as you perceive, “figure to yourselves some missionary priest
of the early days, as he journeys through the wilderness from one Indian
village to another. Passing some moist and shady nook he first spies
this superb blossom. He admires it. Instantly he is reminded of _les
chapeaux rouges_.[1] Behold, _lobelia cardinalis_ is no longer at loss
for a title.” Monsieur also goes on to state that the flower alluded
to—“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow”—was of this rich,
vivid color. Whereupon the listeners exclaim in surprise. They had
supposed it was white.

“Yes, that is the general impression, but erroneous. I have myself seen
the flower growing in that country. Had it been of white the concluding
words would not have been so peculiarly applicable: ‘Even Solomon in all
his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’ _Comprenez?_”

“Ah, yes; I see. If we only knew more about the East how many of those
passages would gain in force and clearness that now one somehow cannot
get at the pith of.”

“You speak truly, Mees.”

Presently, under some spreading beeches, the friends and neighbors who
have come to these woods, as is their wont in sultry weather, for a
few hours of recreation, gather together for luncheon—without ceremony
of table or table-cloth, for this is “no stiff affair,” as some one
complacently remarks, but quite “all in the familee,” as Harry says,
bringing forth from its hiding-place an unexpected treat. And now
everybody understands why so little has been seen of him to-day. Doesn’t
he know these miles of woodland by heart? Is there any tree so tall he
hasn’t climbed it, or any stream so small he hasn’t traced it to its
source? He can show you all the crows’ nests and all the rabbit burrows,
and even hint to you mysteriously that a fox dwells hereabout. He knows
the banks where the strawberries reddened in June, and the hill-sides
where the chestnuts will burst their burs in October, and it is only he
who could surprise the company with this heaping basket of blackberries,
so fresh and ripe and luscious, still wet with last night’s dew.

“Hal, you’re a brick!” exclaims a youth of his own age, piling his plate
with the proffered fruit.

“Oo is weal dood, Hawy, I lite oo!” lisps the infantile voice of Maggie
McAllister, two wee, dimpled fists making a successful dive into the

“You ah the light of me eyes and the joy of me haaht!” murmurs a recent
graduate from a boarding-school, languidly inserting a dessert-spoon the
while she regards this young man—not yet far advanced in his teens, to be
sure—as benignly as if he were about the size of Maggie, there.

“Let ’em help themselves,” he mutters in disgust, setting down the basket
directly, and joining Marie where she is seated at the foot of a tree. “I
can stand half a day in a swamp and poke amongst blackberry briers till
my hands resemble the map of Germany done in red chalk, but I can’t go
that sort of thing. Let’s wish.”

Master Harry has not been many seconds in divesting of its edible
surroundings that part of the fowl which is known to all as the
“wish-bone,” and which the slender fingers of the “popinjay” always
manage to break in her favor.

“Say, now, what did you wish? (You have to tell, you know.) That there
would be another war or revolution right off, so you could have a chance
to show your courage?”

“Now you needn’t make any more fun of my courage. But I don’t care if you
do think I’m a coward. I belong to somebody that was brave as a lion. He
was a duke, or marquis, or something. For, you see, we didn’t live in
this country in the time of the Revolution.”


“No, we lived in France, and belonged to the nobility. I’ve been asking
grandpa all about it, and he told me such a _splen_did story.

“Grandpa” (she has approached the old gentleman in a pause of the debate
he is having with the Lieutenant and some others, on the subject of
French politics), “Grandpa, won’t you tell us that story you told me
one evening, about your great-uncle, who was a duke, or marquis, or

Just now a sunbeam, resting on the little head, turns the long raven
“mane” to purple. Purple hair! Strange Aunt Sophia never noticed it
before, all these years! She leans forward with a sudden look of
interest. Must Marie owe it to the dukes and marquises that she is to
grow in favor with that lady?

“Let us not speak of dukes and marquises, my Marie,” her grandfather
has answered, “lest our good friends shall conclude that we are of that
class of people who, not being of perceptible merit themselves, endeavor
to make up for the deficiency by boasting of their ancestors. Whereas,”
with a twinkle of the eye, “if we only trace back far enough, we shall
find that we all have the honor of descending from the same illustrious
tribe—the monkeys.”

“Oh, you wicked grandpa, to tell such fibs!”

“But, no, Mademoiselle, it is even true what I say. At least so we are
informed by the celebrated Mr. Darwin.”

“Well, then, I don’t think much of that Mr. Darwin!”

“Nor I!” cries Kate. “Nor I!” “Nor I!” “Nor I!” echo several voices. And
here, in the midst of an American forest, Darwin and his theories, after
a heated discussion, are, by vote of the majority, consigned to oblivion.

But during this discussion, Harry, happening to glance that way,
discovers Kate, who has just left the group, kneeling on the brink of
a deep ravine a few yards distant, and looking down with a very pale
face. Catching his eye, she beckons. He is beside her in an instant.
“What is it, Katy?” he questions, wonderingly. She motions to be silent,
and to look down. On this side, for a space, the wall of the ravine is
almost perpendicular. At its base, fifty feet below, a stream gurgles
along over broken ledges of rock. Peering over, he sees bashful Bessie
Barton working her way up this wall by aid of the shrubbery rooted in the
crevices, which latter serve for foothold; and as she climbs she shifts
from one arm to the other the little bundle of innocence which answers
to the name of Maggie, the dimpled hands clasped about her neck. In the
flash of an eye he comprehends it all. While the grown-up people were
disputing, the child must have slipped away, and only Bessie noticing her
absence, has come to search. How little three-year-old ever crept down
there, cannot be explained. These tiny creatures will worm themselves
into the most astonishing places! Harry’s coat is off directly. He is
going to the rescue. But “No,” Kate whispers, “she doesn’t see there’s
any one looking on. The least sound or motion may startle her, and she
will lose her hold, and—and there are the rocks below!”

What agony, to watch some one in peril when you may not lift a finger to
save! Harry never knew such torture as at this moment.

Slowly the little heroine works her way up. Will her strength give out?

Oh, you Aunt Sophias, take care how you deride the bashful people! And
did you ever hear what the wag said to the philosopher? “Why don’t you
hold your head up, as I do?” And this is what the philosopher said to the
wag: “If you will examine the heads of wheat in yonder field you will
find that only those which are erect are empty.”

To those watching, the moments seem like hours. Ah, Bessie sees them at
last. Wait!—now—quick! Four hands are reached to her, grasp her, lift her
with her burden up over the brink. And now that there is no further need
of exertion, she sinks back, weak and helpless, in Kate’s arms.

“Take the child to her mother, Harry, and bring me water—water!”

“Why, where have you been, darling?” asks Mrs. McAllister, suddenly
remembering her, now that Darwin is disposed of.

“Me did do to find mo’ bewies.”

What with laving her forehead, and the fanning, and the cool drink,
Bessie soon revives. “She had got down a good ways when I saw her first.
I had to follow so still, for fear of frightening her.” So she explains.
“It was her hat that lay here made me think to look down.”

“What does it mean?” “What has happened?” “Did she faint away?” ask
one and another, hurrying up; for all but the two witnesses are still
ignorant of that fearful scene.

“You tell them, Harry,” says Kate; “tell it to them all! tell it to them
all! We’ll have it put in the morning papers. We’ll trumpet it from the
house-tops and the corners of the streets.” And hugging the little girl,
“Ah, my sweet, you needn’t blush so! I mean they shall appreciate you.”

And noting the cries of wonder and admiration which follow the boy’s
announcements, and the crowd that presses around her shy little friend,
and cannot make enough of her, Mademoiselle is overheard saying softly to
herself: “Why one can be brave, even in these days.”

[1] The red hats worn by cardinals.


“Lieutenant, they want I should ask you for a story.”

“They” are the dozen or more of lads and lasses who, in the pleasant
summer twilights, have frequently been seen, as now, gathered before the
house where the blind soldier lives. The sparrows soon learn to know that
door or window where they are welcome, and where crumbs are scattered
for them. They flock about it, fearless, chirping cheerily, and make
themselves at home there. Thus these stone steps leading up to the porch
have become a favorite resort of the youngsters of the neighborhood; for
here they may meet unmolested, and chatter and laugh to their hearts’
content; here crumbs, in the shape of stories, are now and then thrown
out for bait; and partly they may be drawn hither by the presence of
the amused listener to their random talk; tacitly understanding that to
him, who is denied the sight of their bright young faces, the sound of
their clear young voices is doubly sweet. But he is not the only one who
is entertained. Sometimes one of his older friends will join the merry
group—often the venerable Frenchman who resides across the street. It so
happens that he approaches just now, as Harry is making that time-worn
request—“a story”; and the other says, “I think that is Monsieur, coming?
Perhaps _he_ will tell us one.”

“Yes, now, grandpapa,” coaxes Marie, “tell us about Gabrielle.”

“_Bien_,” and he accepts the proffered arm-chair; “I will tell, then, the
story of Gabrielle.

“Without doubt, my dear children, some of you have heard of that event in
the history of France which is termed the Revolution? I do not speak of
those more recent troubles which have distracted my native land, but of
that memorable Revolution which blackened the closing years of the last
century—a period at which you gaze as upon a sky filled with the darkness
of clouds, and the threatening thunder, and the fierce lightning-flashes.

“Ah, my children, you are happy to be of a nation which has not that wild
and horrible dream to remember. And here I will say to you, I, that you
are truly fortunate to live in a land most free, where there is less of
oppression than in any other; where one can say what he will, do what he
will. If but he keep the laws he is secure. He may be of whatever party
he chooses. Nobody is going to harm him. He may, if so ill-disposed, say
whatever _désagréables_ he please of those who believe not as he. He will
not be obliged to fly and to take refuge among strangers, as I myself,
long time ago, for that, in company with others, I preferred a king to an
emperor, and was not sufficiently secret about it. Deserving, indeed, of
gratitude are they who, defending this beautiful country, have preserved
to it peace and freedom.

“Alas! if poor France had not been for so long burdened with oppressions,
this Revolution could not have occurred. That was the reaction, the
recoil. Let me illustrate. I will remove from my pocket-book this band
elastic which confines it. I stretch it with my two hands to its full
length. With one hand I release it. It flies back. Ugh! it makes me
wince. (That is a very homely illustration, is it not?) Now for a long
time the nations of Europe had been engaged in wars in which France
took a leading part. It requires money to conduct wars. To procure it
the people are taxed. Also, there was no court so gay and luxurious as
that of France. To support this luxury and splendor required money.
Still again taxes. When taxes are great the cost of living is increased.
Thus while there was feasting and revelry in palaces, in hovels there
was famine and misery. The little ones moaned and sobbed for bread,
and there was no bread to give them. The people were full of wrath at
this state of affairs. Force was required to keep them in subjection.
Now there came to the throne a good and merciful king, who in peaceful
times would have been much revered. But, in this situation, great wisdom
as well as justice was needful. From his unsteady grasp the reins of
government slipped, as you have seen the elastic slip from mine. Behold
the recoil—most terrible!—which destroyed the king, the queen, and all
who believed in the royalist cause. The people who had so long suffered
might now take revenge. They who had yearned for liberty were filled with
hope. Their land was to be free, like that one beyond the ocean.

“Alas! the despotism which had been called a monarchy was succeeded by
a despotism far worse, which was called a republic. This was truly the
Reign of Terror. The guillotine was never idle. ‘Madame Guillotine,’
it was entitled—that deadly machine invented for those days, when
victims were so numerous it was necessary that they be dispatched in
the swiftest manner possible. This cruel slaughter was chiefly confined
to the metropolis, to Paris, until here a province and there a city,
disapproving of their deeds, refused submission to the party in power—the
Jacobins. Armies were sent to subdue them. The city of Lyons made the
resistance most notable. Thousands of royalists, fleeing for their lives,
had taken shelter there, and were zealous in the defense. They hoped by
this resistance to inspire other towns, and perhaps all France, to arise
and check the course of this Revolution—this monster, ever thirsting
for blood. Alas! it was impossible. Besieged by the republican troops,
all supplies prevented, for lack of food and ammunition the city was at
length obliged to surrender, after a brave and desperate struggle. For
any who had taken up arms against the republic there was now no safety
but in flight. Flight was nearly useless. They were pursued, captured.
The country was searched for leagues around. Within the city, paid
informers were everywhere seeking whom they might report as guilty. For
the head of a priest or noble the price was doubled. The prisons were
filled, crowded. Madame Guillotine could not work sufficiently fast. The
Reign of Terror had now begun in Lyons also.

“I must not pain you, dear children, with a recital of the horrors of
those days.

“Among the unfortunate royalists who had taken shelter in Lyons was the
Marquis de Rochemont. In one of the fierce conflicts during the siege
he had been seriously wounded, and at the time of the surrender was
unable to attempt an escape. Nevertheless, he had taken the precaution
to remove from his former quarters, and had established himself in a
garret of a lofty but dilapidated tenement facing upon an unfrequented
court-yard. There concealed, in a manner which would least betoken his
rank, his sole companions his motherless little daughter and a faithful
servant, he thought to avoid the vigilance of the spies. Often, from his
hiding-place, he would hear the explosions of gunpowder, followed by the
crash of falling buildings.

“What were those buildings?

“The residences or the property of Lyonnese, who had engaged in the
defense. The Jacobins, in their fury, were reducing the city to ruins.

“One evening, as the attendant was dressing his wounds, the Marquis
asked, ‘What is the matter, Antoine? you are pale. Your hands tremble.’

“The other responded; ‘Just now, as I came up the stairs, I saw some
person listening and peering at the key-hole. As I approached he glided
away. It is enough. I fear we are discovered.’

“After discussing this matter it was decided that Antoine go out, and
obtain, if possible, a uniform like that worn by the soldiers of the
republic. Disguised in this, the Marquis would depart in the night, and
await in a forest not far from the city, there to be joined by the
servant with the child, and to proceed thence toward the mountains and
the country of the Swiss, where there were relatives and friends who had
quitted France upon the fall of the king.

“Scarcely had Antoine set forth upon that errand when two _gens d’armes_
appeared. They had come to arrest the Marquis. To be arrested, that was
the cell, the mock trial. After these—the scaffold. Had they come in the
name of law and order he would have resigned himself to that fate. They
came in the name of disorder and opposition to law. _Bien!_ Disabled as
he was, rising, he drew his sword. They supposed to overpower him. Sword
met sword. The hunted stag brought to bay is dangerous. One of those
intruders was slain. The other, wounded, fled. Soon he would return with
assistance; accompanied, perhaps, by the mob. No time was to be lost.

“Seizing his little daughter, who had been a terrified witness of that
scene, the Marquis hastened away, along a low passage leading to the
stairs. A ray of the moon lighted an apartment as he passed. He saw
through the open door heaps of rags. The ragman lay sleeping in their
midst. Near by were his tattered coat, his wooden shoes, his greasy cap,
his basket. The basket was furnished with a lid. One thinks rapidly on
such occasions. The Marquis entered, arrayed himself in the coat, the
cap, the shoes, forgetting not to leave some gold coins in their place,
as compensation. The basket would contain the child.

“‘Fear not, my little Gabrielle,’ he said, as he concealed her in it,
‘but remain quiet while I carry thee away where those terrible men cannot
find us.’

“With this basket upon his head, thus shadowing his face, he descended
through the building to an entrance in the rear, which opened upon an
alley. There he hurried along. Already he could hear the shouts and
cries of people gathering in the court-yard. He quickened his steps.
Not far distant was the bridge which spans the Rhone. He arrived there
without interruption. To proceed, to attempt to traverse the extensive
plains beyond? Already, doubtless, pursuers were upon his track. In no
disguise was there security. At the same time the earth seemed to be
whirling about. There was a ringing in his ears. He saw some boats upon
the bank below. He approached and shoved one of them into the water. He
lifted Gabrielle from her concealment and placed her in it. He then rowed
out into the midst of the river. There, no need of oars. The current
is swift, strong. It rushed with them away from danger and the doomed
city. He laid himself down in the bottom of the boat. In the moonbeams
Gabrielle saw his face very white. She saw his lips move. His hands
reached out to her. She crept to him. Then all was silent. ‘He sleeps,’
she said. Soon she slept also.

[Illustration: “Remain quiet while I carry thee away where those
terrible men can not find us.”—PAGE 68.]

“When Gabrielle opened again her eyes the sun was shining; the boat was
no longer afloat, but lodged on the sands under willow trees. A rough
voice was saying, ‘What’s this?’ and Gabrielle saw a man in rough clothes
bending over.

“‘It is my father,’ she said. ‘He is very weary. That is why he sleeps so
long. You must not wake him.’

“‘That would be difficult,’ muttered the voice.

“True. The Marquis had received a sword-thrust in that encounter with the
_gens d’armes_, and had expired from loss of blood.

“The rough man went away to a cluster of cottages near by. Soon he
returned with several people, men and women. One of the latter offered
sweet-cakes to Gabrielle. She had a pleasant face, too, but there were
tears in her eyes. Gabrielle was hungry. When the sweet-cakes were gone
she asked for more.

“‘If you will come with me to my house,’ said the good woman, ‘I will
give you all you wish.’

“Gabrielle went home with her. After the dame had amused her some hours
she desired to return to the boat. Her father was not there.

“‘Where is he?’ she demanded, weeping.

“The good dame pointed to a mound with the soil fresh upon it. ‘When
people sleep a very long time,’ she said, ‘they always are laid to rest
in such places. They sleep better there. No one can disturb them. Once
I had a little girl who is sleeping thus. I miss her. Will _you_ be my
little girl?’

“‘Yes,’ answered Gabrielle, ‘until she wakens and my father wakens. Then
I will have mine, I, and you will have your own.’

“After, she learned better to understand those matters. Also, as she grew
older, she learned to be very useful. She could drive the cow from the
pasture and assist in tending the garden. She could make the soup, the
bread. She learned to sew, to knit, and to spin. Sometimes she heard them
talk of a wonderful person upon the throne, who was conquering all the
world. They called him Napoleon. The Revolution was finished. France was
no longer a republic.

“One day, as Gabrielle stood at her spinning-wheel before the door, two
travelers rode by. One of them gazed at her attentively. He addressed
a few words to the other. They halted and accosted a villager who was

“‘Who is that young girl?’ they asked.

“The villager—it was he with the rough voice—related how the waves
had brought her to them, how that he had found her—a sleeping child in
the arms of the dead. ‘The man was clad in rags,’ said he, ‘but he was
provided with a purse containing much gold, and with a sword.’

“‘It is true,’ said the stranger who had first observed Gabrielle, and
who seemed to be the attendant. ‘There was a collector of rags who lodged
near us, and who in the crowd, after the escape of my master, complained
of the loss of his coat.’

“They requested to see the sword. When it was shown to them, the
attendant said, ‘It is the sword of the Marquis. I recognize it by the
carving of the hilt.’ Then gazing once more at Gabrielle, he exclaimed,
‘How she is like her mother!’ (She had grown very beautiful.)

“He approached, and seizing her hands, covered them with kisses and with
tears. ‘Dost thou not remember me?’ he asked, ‘me, old Antoine?’

“She had not forgotten entirely of that Antoine.

“‘And I,’ said the other, embracing her, ‘I am thy father’s brother. It
is a long time that we have searched and made inquiry for thee.’

“It was my grandfather. He took her far away to his home. But the good
dame was presented with the purse, filled with gold, which she had been
keeping for Gabrielle’s dowry.

“And the sword? My dear children, if any of you have intention to some
time visit France, I can indicate where you will find an ancient chateau,
in which is a gallery—a place of armor—where, among shields, and helmets,
and coats of mail, and spears, and tattered banners, and other relics of
past centuries, still is to be seen this sword. It was Gabrielle herself
who pointed it out to me, many years ago, when I was a young boy like
Master Harry, and she was a marchioness, and presided over the same
chateau. And she it was who at the same time told me this story.”


“Mr. Walter, where did you find this great, nice, beautiful dog?” asks
Marie, who has been having a romp around the room with Ponto.

“I didn’t find him; he came to me.”

“Came to you! Oh, now there’s some story about him! And you are going to
tell it to me?”

“No, Marie, it’s all about a battle. Girls don’t like to hear about

“Oh, yes, they do, sometimes. And you know you never will tell us
anything about the war;—does he, Katy?”

But Katy has quietly left the room.

“Well, Marie, once I woke up after a battle, and something, I couldn’t
see what, was tugging at my coat. There was a sun in the sky the last I
could remember. Now it was night, and a very dark night. I reached out
to feel what sort of creature this was. Then I first discovered that
my right hand was gone. But with the other I could feel the head and
long silken ears of a dog. He seemed pleased to have me notice him,
licked my face, and gamboled about, then commenced to tug at my clothes
again. He seemed to want something of me. I finally got up and tried to
follow him—tried, I say, because it is no easy matter to walk about the
field of battle the night after it has taken place. One is apt to find
obstacles in his way. As I groped along, and my eyes became accustomed to
the darkness, I could just distinguish from the surrounding shadows the
figure of this strange guide of mine. It was a monster of a dog—a black,
moving mass. I had known of one other like him. An idea occurred to me.
Perhaps this and that dog were the same. That dog’s name was Ponto. So
I called—‘Ponto?’ to try him. Back he came bounding, directly, leaping
upon me, and seemed quite delighted. I was pretty certain this was the
dog I knew. As I went along talking to him, some one spoke from among the
shadows—‘Is that you, Walt?’ There was only one person who had been wont
to address me after that fashion. He had recognized _my_ voice. Now I
recognized _his_. And it would have been strange, surely, if we had not
known each other’s voice. We were together at college for four years,
and great friends—‘most intimate,’ that is the expression, I believe. I
sometimes went home and spent vacation with him. (He lived in Virginia,
among the mountains.) And sometimes he came home with me. You would
hardly remember him; yet, when a very small carriage, containing a very
small child, used to stop at our door, he was always on hand to lift
out that little Mademoiselle and bring her in—only a dainty bundle of
embroideries, apparently, till two bright eyes peeped forth, and pretty
soon two little pink fists that would get at his hair and pull it, and
_that_ used to tickle him immensely. Yes, as I said, we were the best of
friends. Then suddenly there was a great gulf between us; and we saw, and
heard, and knew no more of each other. It appears that, though we were
not aware of it, we had been fighting against each other that very day.
But now Ponto had brought us together again, and we were glad enough to
meet. So glad we could forget, at last, that he belonged to the army of
the South, and I to the army of the Union. We had a great many matters to
talk over, not having seen each other in some time. Ah, but we _couldn’t_
see, as you know. So we had to be content with saying our farewells in
the dark. For that was the way our talk ended, Marie. He passed away,
there in the night, I supporting him as best I could. Ponto was his dying
gift. Come here, old fellow.” And the Lieutenant hides his face against
the dog’s shaggy shoulder.

Marie steals softly from the house and toward home. And when, a moment
after, Kate comes down the hall stairs and into the room, Ponto lifts
to her great, gentle, human, sympathizing eyes. Perhaps he guesses she,
too, has a share in those remembrances. For who shall deny that he has


“Why, _you_, Harry? I didn’t know you had come home!” Kate, glancing up
from the book from which she had been reading aloud, has only at this
moment noticed the boy’s entrance.

“I haven’t been home yet. I wanted to consult you first. You see I’m
expelled.” (Harry, you must know, has been away at school since early
in September.) “Thought I’d tell you on the start, so you wouldn’t feel
imposed upon. Why, you take it all as a matter of course! You don’t look
a bit surprised!’

“To tell the truth, we’re _not_ very. And how do you do, you blessed boy?
You don’t know how we’ve missed you!” And Kate seizes his two hands with
a heartiness that proves her faith in him is still unshaken.

“Miss Katy! if you’ve got a particle of respect left for me, won’t you
give me some supper? I’m hungry as a bear. Just got in on the train.
Haven’t had a mouthful to eat since noon!”

“The poor child! So he _should_ have some supper. I’ll go directly and
see about it.”

“This was the way it happened,” Harry explains, over the waffles and
coffee. “You see, when I first went there the boys were a solemncholy
lot, oh, I tell you! studious as owls, got to improve each shining
hour, and all that. Well, I thought if that sort of thing was going to
last I shouldn’t survive long. So I went to work and got ’em stirred
up after awhile, and things got to be kind of lively. But Tabby—that’s
the Principal—the way he hangs his eye out’s a caution. Oh, no, Miss
Katy; that’s only a nickname we gave him; he’s got such a cattish way of
prowling around nights to see if there’s any doings going on. Anything
but a sneak! Well, I thought I’d be even with ’im; so last night I laid
torpedoes all along the hall; oh, Miss Katy, nothing but those little
paper wads that never hurt anybody in the world. Well, the last bell
rung and we put out the lights, and lay still and listened. By’n by—pop!
pop! pop! Tabby was coming to see if everything was all right. Ha, ha!
guess his moccasins must ’ave run against every identical one. You’d
’ave thought he was having a Fourth of July celebration out there all by
himself. But wasn’t he hoppin’ mad, though! Called me into the study this
morning right after breakfast.”

[Illustration: “Ha, ha! guess his moccasins must ’ave run against every
identical one.”—PAGE 78.]

“‘Did you place those torpedoes in the hall last night?’ says he.

“‘Yes, sir,’ says I.

“‘What was your object?’

“‘Fun,’ says I.

“Well, he gave me a long lecture, said he didn’t like my influence in the
school, that he’d had more trouble during the few weeks I’d been there
than in any five years before. Well, the long an’ short of it was I’d
got to leave. That was just what I wanted. So off I come, and here I am,
with a letter for father in my pocket that gives me an awful setting out,
I expect.” (Harry’s countenance grows suddenly grave.) “I wouldn’t care
if it was only father I’d got to chalk up to; but Aunt Sophi’!” (No use
trying to describe the tone in which that name is uttered.) “I thought,
Katy—I thought, maybe you’d be willing to go over there, and—well, kind
of talk her around, you know—why, kind of smooth matters, that is, so she
won’t be quite so hard on a fellow. Won’t you, now? If you will I’ll go
back there to old Williams, and I’ll study like anything! I will, now,
and behave myself; oh, you shall see! if you’ll only go this once.”

Kate doesn’t like to get up a reputation for being meddlesome; but she
recalls how kind and attentive this boy has been to her brother, and it
is not in her heart to refuse. So she leaves the two chatting by the
fireside and crosses the street to spend an evening with Aunt Sophia.

“I don’t know what possesses me, sometimes,” says Harry, at length,
waxing confidential as usually when alone with the Lieutenant. “I believe
it’s the Old Nick! I was always getting into scrapes ever since I was
knee-high to a grasshopper. Now, some fellows find it smooth sailing all
along, never get into trouble. I wonder why?”

“Perhaps they are not so blessed with animal spirits.”

“Well, I don’t see how it’s to be called a blessing.”

“The river flowing through our town is a mischievous river, sometimes,
especially in spring, when the snow is melting, and, overfed by the
streams from the hills, it comes rushing along, sweeping away dams and
bridges, and tearing about generally, in a very unreasonable fashion.
Yet farther on, at Factoryville, where it plunges over the rocks, it
keeps the mills going all the year round. In fact, there would be no
mills there if it were not for our brave little river ‘putting its
shoulder to the wheel.’ Besides, we must admit, it is quite an important
feature in the landscape, winding among the woods and fields, flashing
and shimmering in the sunlight. And how often you and I have stopped
to listen to the plash and ripple of its waters as we walked along the
banks. I remember what company that music was to me, one dark night, a
good while ago, when I was returning from a long tramp up the valley.
Just so, since the loss of my eyesight has made for me continual night,
you scarcely would believe, Harry, how many times I have been cheered by
your merry flow of spirits. As sister says, we have missed you. It is no
small thing to be missed by one’s friends when he is away from them. Nor
is such a good-for-nothing, stove-up piece of humanity as myself the only
one you can find to cheer, if you will look about you. Life is full of
shadows. It is a sorrowful sort of night to multitudes of people. Such
natures as yours were meant to make the darkness less dreary, and when
you come to the mill-wheels to turn them.”

“But the mill-wheels? I don’t exactly understand about that.”

“Well, for instance, the weather is growing cold; winter is not far
off. We sit here by a fire and find it very comfortable. There are a
good many to-night who haven’t any fire. We have had our supper. There
are a good many who must go without. If you will notice in the streets
to-morrow, you will see little feet shoeless, stockingless. People who go
without food, and fire, and sufficient clothing, get sick, have fevers,
diphtheria, what not? But, unfortunately, the fevers, and so forth, won’t
stay shut up in alleys and tumble-down tenements; they creep out, out
into the broad streets, into the fine mansions of brick and stone, and
all over the city, hunting for the cunning little Ediths, the pretty

“Oh, I never thought of that!”

“People who haven’t food, and fire, and warm clothing, often attempt to
steal them, or the wherewithal to pay for them. People who steal, if they
are caught at it, go to prison. When they come out again nobody will
trust them or employ them. Since they cannot find work, and have got to
live somehow, what must they do? Steal. So it comes about that a great
many people steal for a living. And where did all this crime commence?
Like the fevers, with the lack of food, and fire, and clothing. As
Tennyson’s ‘Northern Farmer’ says:—

    “‘’Tisn’ them as ’as munny as breäks into ’ouses an’ steäls,
    Them as ’as coäts to their backs and taäks their regular meäls.
    Noä, but it’s them as niver knaws wheer a meäl’s to be ’ad.’”

“That puts me in mind of the fellow that broke into our house.”

“This is the first I have heard of it.”

“Why, you see, one night last winter I thought I heard somebody in the
dining-room. So down I went. There ’e was at the sideboard. He’d got it
open, and was taking the silver out. Well, I pitched at ’im—you know I’m
some on the muscle—and got hold of his revolver, and there I had ’im.
But my! he looked so starved, and kind of forlorn, and hollow-eyed, I
opened the front door for ’im and let ’im go. Expect I ought to ’ave
handed ’im over to the police. Guess I never told of it before. It might
scare the women-folks, you know. But wouldn’t it give Aunt Sophi the
fidgets? After that I used to sleep with one ear open. She didn’t know
she was sending away her watch-dog when she hustled me off to school in
such a hurry.”

The Lieutenant reflects. Here is a boy who does not hesitate to cope with
a burglar, who has been known to risk his own life to rescue a drowning
companion, and yet is loth to enter his home from dread of an Aunt
Sophia’s tongue.

“Then turning the mill-wheels,” Harry resumes, “that means helping the

“Partly, yes. Though, as one thinks about it, it seems to imply much

“But where’s a body to begin? There’s poverty enough, I suppose; but some
are so proud you can’t get at ’em, and some, but they’ve got the cheek!
dogging you and sticking their paws out for a penny every turn you take.
I always think they’re sham.”

“It might be a good way to exercise one’s ingenuity finding out. As for
the pride, you’ve read in the story-books of the needfuls that found
their way mysteriously to empty cupboards. It sounds rather fanciful;
yet there are people who take great delight in putting romance into real
life, and a generous deed is none the worse for being delicately done.”

“But that _would_ be jolly, now! Jinks! I’d go at it to-morrow if I only
knew where to begin.”

“Sister could give you more information on that subject than I can. You
two will have to put your heads together and talk it over. Ah, yes! and
I have in mind a little newsboy to whom you can be of service. I really
believe our rollicking Harry would be better satisfied with himself for
using some of his extra energy and pocket-money in these ways. Come,
let him give the Tabbies, and Old Williamses, as he calls them, a rest.
There’s something better for him to do than worrying them. As I heard
said once: ‘There is so much to be done in this world! There are so few
to do it.’ You are going to be one of those few, surely. A rich man’s
son has it in his power to set a great many wheels in motion. You see
the Lieutenant is quite a sermonizer when he gets fairly started. But I
have taken this opportunity to be earnest, for once, and before it is too

Before it is too late! Harry, who has been wondering, the while, at this
serious language, so uncommon from his genial friend, wonders still more
at that expression. What does he mean? He asks, finally.

“I’m half sorry I let the words escape me; but now that I have aroused
your curiosity, and since you trust me with your secrets, well, yes, I
will tell you. You know one mustn’t expect to engage in battles and come
out whole and sound. One day a small, round piece of lead discharged from
a rifle took lodgings in my shoulder, and has since been slowly working
its way down towards my heart. So it seems that a bullet is to be the
death of me after all.”

Harry stares at the Lieutenant in mute amazement. Death! He suddenly
becomes aware how strong are the cords of love which bind him to the
blind man. To lose him, his best friend! No more confidential talks, him
no more to come to in trouble, and doubt, and perplexity, and lay open
all one’s thoughts! he who first discovered good in the wayward nature—a
little, tender plant, so covered by the dust that others could not see,
and helped it to grow and thrive in spite of the trampling that else
would have destroyed it.

“Oh, Lieutenant! it isn’t true! Something can be done!”

No, it appears from the reply, nothing can be done.

“Nobody knows? Katy doesn’t know?” the boy asks, at length, in a husky,
tremulous voice.

“The surgeon and Lem have known of it only. It was on sister’s account
that I wished the matter to be kept quiet. I wanted to spare her the
sadness as long as possible. But I must tell her very soon. It will not
do for it to come upon her too suddenly. Ah, my Katy!” and another voice
is low and tremulous.

“Is it painful ever?”


“And you’ve kept it to yourself all these years! We didn’t know!”

From the chimney corner where he has been lounging Harry gazes once more
at the patient face, pallid from silent, secret suffering, at the empty
sleeve, at the eyes which cannot see; then he throws himself flat upon
the carpet in a fit of weeping—he who so rarely sheds a tear—and his
surprise, and grief, and anger, take expression in one passionate outcry
against the war which caused all this—that brothers’ war!

But as he lies there sobbing, listening to some calm and soothing words,
there comes to him—even to Harry—a remembrance of a face he has somewhere
seen pictured. That, too, was a pallid face and patient. It drooped from
a cross; and the brow was encircled by thorns; and underneath was written:

                             IT IS FINISHED.


“It’s lonesome without _him_!”

You may have noticed those high walls which some build about their houses
and grounds, so high you can get but a glimpse of the tree-tops above
them; the shady walks, and gushing fountains, and green grass-plats, and
bright flowers are entirely hidden from view.

A certain great man died, and the tidings was carried swiftly and far,
for his name was known to many nations. All over the land there were
public demonstrations of mourning, and numberless and eloquent were the
eulogies pronounced. Thus he who, living, had been laden with honors and
distinctions, went in pomp and honor to his burial. Yet somehow we do not
hear that any one was really very sorry because of his death, much less
that any little children wept because of it. Had his greatness been like
a high wall, concealing whatever was sunny and winsome in his nature?
On the same hillside where that great man was laid to rest there is a
new-made grave beneath the cedars, and not very many people know anything
about it; but among those who do there is a void, as when the fire goes
out upon the hearth-stone, and all is cold and desolate. “It is no small
thing to be missed by one’s friends when he is away from them.” Little
did he consider, who spoke thus, how truly those words would soon apply
to himself. And here one might pause to ponder. Which is preferable—to be
so great and renowned that when one dies the news will be told abroad in
the world, or to be so genial and lovable that even a little child will
weep at the sight of his vacant chair?

    When we are sleeping in our graves so still,
    When we are sleeping in our graves so low,
    Ah, who will care to know?
    Ah, who will?

A wee bird made its nest out in the porch last May, and lived there the
summer long. But the summer is gone, and the winter is come again, and
the bird has flown away, and the nest is empty, and the snow is on it
and on the ground, and the clouds are gray and threatening, and again
the wind wails at the casements, moans down the chimney. Lem, coming in
to replenish the fire, sees the form shivering over it in spite of the
warmth, sees the wide, tearless eyes, with the new, strange look in them,
sees the carpet strewn with remnants of a rare and fragrant bouquet,
Harry’s gift, torn to bits by nervous fingers.

“Miss Katy,” and he lays his hand gently on her head, “try to think
of something else; jess try. Think of all the poor folks you an’ Mr.
Harry’s got on the dockit, an’ what’ll become of ’em if you don’t pick up
sperrits an’ help ’im look after ’em a little. Come, they’s no time to
be settin’ here idle!” You would hardly guess his voice was choking, and
that tears were streaming down his black face.

“Oh, Lem,” she answers drearily, “I’m tired; I’m tired of living. I can’t
care for anything any more.”

“But you _must_ care, honey. What’ll become of poor old ’Liza an’ me if
Katy goes off an’ leaves us too?”

But she only hovers more closely over the fire, staring at it vacantly.
And the wind moans and wails down the chimney.

Lem returns to the kitchen to consult with his wife, Eliza, as to what
shall be done for her in whose welfare they have felt such a tender
interest since, years ago, she and her brother were left orphans. Not all
the heartfelt sympathy of young and old, and the loving little attentions
of the children, seem to be of any avail. Eliza advises to go for Edith.
“She used to ’muse Master Wallie.”

But once in the room, her toys about her, Edith soon ceases to play.
There is a change. Somebody is gone who used to be here. She may somewhat
have forgotten all that has been passing of late, scarcely can have
understood what has been told her; but whether she thinks about it or
not, or remembers, even, she feels a want. “It’s lonesome without _him_!”
Ah, that is it; and she begins to sob, creeping close to Kate. But what
new thing is this? Katy doesn’t notice her! Those queer, staring eyes,
that do not turn and smile upon her, they are not Katy’s eyes. That
white, stony face, that is not like Katy, either. And all the while the
wind is moaning and wailing, and the gloomy clouds grow gloomier, making
the day dreary and the room dreary. Everything is dreary and lonesome,
and not as it used to be. She flies into the hall, crying and calling to
Lem, below.

“Take me home! I’m afraid! Katy isn’t Katy any more!”

“Oh, come back, Edie!” calls Kate, arousing at that pitiful little cry
and holding out her hands to the child. “Don’t go away and leave Katy all
alone! She’ll be good now. She’s sorry she scared Edie; she didn’t mean

“_Are_ you all alone?” Edith has stopped crying suddenly. There is a
peculiar earnestness in her look as she questions.

“Yes, Edie, all alone! all alone!” and the answer ends almost in a wail.

“Then it’s there—there, behind the book—the paper that he did write on. I
must give it to you when you was all alone, he said—my captain. He said,
would I ’member? Ha, ha! I _did_ ’member, didn’t I?”

Kate opens the book-case, and finds, as the child said, a folded paper
behind one of the encyclopædias. It contains some lines written with
pencil, so running together, lines and words, as to be almost unreadable.
As she recognizes that handwriting and slowly deciphers it, the tears
come at last like rain. Edith, no longer afraid, wipes them away with her
little white apron, murmuring, the while, all sorts of baby talk.

About two hundred years ago there lived a blind man who was the author of
what many think to be the greatest of poems. But wherever that wonderful
work is read and admired, there, too, it is told how his daughters, with
one exception, were unkind to him and undutiful, refusing even the task
of committing to paper those immortal verses. However, it may be he was a
trifle to blame, himself. (For we have seen, as in that other case, how
greatness does sometimes build for itself a barrier, a high, impassable
wall.) Suppose day after day little eyes looked up wistfully, and he
did not see—gazing far off into other worlds and other ages; little
voices whispered timidly, and he did not hear—listening to the converse
of angels; little hands clung caressingly, but unheeded. Ah, that was
asking for bread and getting a stone. Suppose it made some little hearts
ache, some little people were “afraid,” finally, like Edith, awhile
since. So when they grew up and he grew old and sightless, what came
of it all? _Paradise Lost_, to be marveled at as long as the English
language is known and studied, and there in shadowy background, the
mighty genius, poor and blind, with his unloving daughters.

And now, girl readers, here is that writing which to her, so sorrowful,
is like a consoling message from the Beyond.

                     FOR MY SWEET SAINT CATHERINE.

    _There was once a blind, crippled, helpless hulk of humanity
    who had a sister. And such a sister! All the women who ever
    wrote books, or painted pictures, or spoke or sang to gaping
    crowds, weren’t worth her little finger. At least, so he
    thought—this selfish fellow—and with good reason. For he owed
    it to her that life was not a burden; rather, he owed it to her
    that life was a pleasure. Ah, what could she have done that
    she did not do for him? Like a good fairy she hovered about
    him, studying and scheming for his comfort and diversion from
    morning till night. Would he be read to? She would read to him
    by the hour. Did some rhyme or foolish fancy escape him? She
    was only too eager to preserve it. She was eyes for him, she
    was his good right hand, she was everything! Ah, how unmindful
    of self, how thoughtful of him always! even striving to forget
    some sorrows of her own, lest her sadness might make him sad!
    And now that he is gone, and she has nothing to regret—not
    one impatient word or act—and to remember only unwearied,
    loving care, ceaseless devotion, let her be comforted. Surely
    “she hath done what she could.” Oh, my sister, my sister, be
    comforted! and let us dare hope that of those who watch over
    thee, unseen, he who writes this may be one._

Daylight slowly fades from the wintry sky, the firelight flickers up and
down the wall, and, as night descends, little Edith falls to sleep in
Kate’s arms. But are these two alone? For though there is seen no shape
among the shadows, nor is heard the sound of any voice, what is that
something that like a radiance suddenly overspreads the bowed face? “The
peace which passeth all understanding.”



Who could she be—the little stranger asleep in the cabin?

Nobody could tell.

She must have come aboard unnoticed, hours ago, at the French port where
the vessel had been lying for repairs. Had she wandered away from her
home, and innocently lain down here to rest? In that home there would
be grief, and anxiety, and long waiting, or ever she would return; for
the ship was now many leagues out at sea, and the child had just been

The sound of voices talking the matter over wakened the little girl, and
she shrank timidly from all the eyes fixed inquiringly upon her. So the
captain sent every one away, and sat down by her, and in her own language

“How came you here, little one?”

“Is not this, then, the ship which goes to America? There was a man in
the street who told me it should go to America. Is it, then, a mistake?”

“No, not a mistake. And you wish to go to America?”

“Oui, monsieur. I go to Julien.”

“And who is Julien?”

“He is my brother.”

“But how does it happen that you go alone?”

“I have none to accompany me.”

“Have you neither father nor mother?”

“Non, monsieur.”

“Does your brother know you are coming?”

“Non, monsieur, he does not know it. It will be a surprise.”

“But what put it into your head, little—what shall I call you? What is
your name?”

“Julie Leblanc.”

“Well, then, my little Julie, how is it that you happen to be going to
America? America is a long way off, do you know it?”

“But no! is it, then? It cannot be far away where Julien is. Is it
farther than Paris?”

“A good deal farther, Julie.”

“But what to do! No home, no friend. Only Julien.”

“No home, no friend!” repeated the captain, stroking the dark hair,
pityingly. “Did the father fall in battle?”

“Yes, monsieur, many years ago, before I can remember.”

“And how long is it that little Julie has been without home or friends?”

“Since they took my dear mamma away to the burial,” answered the child,
her eyes brimming with tears.

After awhile the captain asked:

“Julie, do you know just where your brother is, in what part of America?”

“In what part, monsieur? Is it then so great a city? But, without doubt,
there will be one who can tell me where he lives. In our village one knew

“Whew!” exclaimed the captain, twirling his thumbs.

“Or I will stand at the corner of the street until he passes by. I shall
know him, without doubt, he is so handsome. Oh, monsieur, I would know
him anywhere. I knew him instantly the last time I saw him, although he
wore the clothes of Jacques, the mason.”

As the captain seemed interested, Julie explained:

“I awoke in the night. It was the dear mamma who stood by my bed with
a candle in the hand, and one with her like Jacques until I meet his
beautiful eyes. Then I laugh gaily and cry, ‘Ah, behold thee, my brother,
covered with plaster! and thy coat too large for thee! Didst thou think
to fool me?’ But our mother lays the finger upon her lip, and her face
is very pale; and Julien kisses and embraces me without ceasing, and with
tears, and I know not what to make of it. Soon they go out and I fall
again to sleep. Oh, monsieur, he came that same night to America! It was
not an hour after, while I slept—mamma has told me it—that the wicked
gendarmes came and searched the house for him!”

“Ah! the gendarmes! and why?”

“Because—mamma said—he had written something in the journals which meant
that the Emperor was not a good Emperor; and for _that_ the wicked
gendarmes would have put my poor brother in prison.”

“Go on, my pretty one,” said the captain, smiling, “thou knowest how to
talk. Thou art more entertaining than a book. How old art thou?”

“Ten years.”

“You are small for that age. Have you ever been to school?”

“Never, monsieur. It was the governess who taught me.”

“The governess—bah! Did she ever see a geography?”

“Geography, monsieur? What is that? Is it an animal?”

“Bah! What did she teach you?”

“The dance, and the drawing, and the embroidery, and the music—”

“The music?—can you sing?”

“A little, monsieur.”

“Sing me, then, a little song.”

So Julie sang a little song. It was the “Farewell.”

    Adieu! ne m’oublie pas, etc.

“Bravo!” applauded the captain when she had finished. Then he went up on

Julie recollected something as he passed out. She carefully drew a small
package from the folds of her dress and ran after him. The rolling of the
ship made her dizzy. She reeled and would have fallen, had not a sailor
caught her hand.

“Merci” (thank you), she said.

That brought another to the rescue.

“Merci, merci!” she repeated.

Half a dozen of the crew came to learn the cause of alarm.

“Merci, merci, merci!” she screamed. Would they never understand?

The captain did, and laughed heartily.

“And what can I do for mademoiselle?” he asked as she approached, smiling
at sight of his bronzed and furrowed face—already that of an old friend
among this crowd of seamen—strangers, from a country where “mercy!” is a
frequent exclamation.

[Illustration: “Because this, mamma said, must pay for my voyage.”—PAGE

“Good monsieur, are you the man who takes the moneys? Because this, mamma
said, must pay for my voyage.” She gave to him the little parcel.

The captain opened it, and found therein a beautiful cross of solid gold,
curiously wrought and thickly studded with precious stones.

“Will it not do, monsieur? There was nothing else. No money. The woman
demanded so much for the room and all! Poor mamma was so long sick! Oh,
monsieur, monsieur, but for that—if she had not been sick, she also would
have come to America—to Julien! ‘Take it,’ she said—all so slow—she
whispered it all so slow—‘Take it and go to Julien. It will pay the
passage.’ And she whispered still a little more. I could not hear. But
I thought she went to sleep. When the morning came, and I could see her
face—so pale! so cold! so still—”

“Here, my little Julie,” interrupted the captain, pressing his hand an
instant over his eyes, “take thy cross. Keep it. Thou shalt have it to
remember her by. And I—I am very well pleased to have a little passenger.”

“Oh, mon oncle! how good you are!” and the child covered his great brown
hand with kisses.

The captain stooped to rub her soft cheek with his grizzled beard.

He had no reason to be surprised; for wherever he went, the wide world
over, did not all children call him “Uncle?”


“When was it your brother went away, Julie?—how long ago? can you
remember?” the captain asked one day as the little girl paced the deck at
his side, her slender hand in his.

“It is a very long time, monsieur mon oncle,” she answered; and after
thinking, “it is a year.”

“Now try to remember, if you can, something about the place where he
lives. Did he never tell you about it?—did he write no letters?”

“Oh, yes, mon oncle; often to our mother, and for me, one time, a little
letter—all in an envelope by itself. Always I carry it with me. Behold
it!” she said, drawing it from her pocket.

“Ah! a letter!” cried the captain, greatly relieved, “that will help us.”

It was dated six months before, and postmarked “Philadelphia.” Within,
too, was given the name of the street, and even the number of the

“Ah!” gasped the captain, more relieved than ever.

As soon as the vessel arrived in port, he addressed some lines to
Julie’s brother. But as the days passed and he received no answer, he
went himself to Philadelphia, and to the street and number given in
the letter. No. 210 proved to be a boarding-house, where, indeed, the
person inquired for had stopped a short time. He had, however, gone away
long ago, whither, no one could tell. The captain then inserted in the
newspapers a card asking information concerning his whereabouts. While
waiting a reply, there came orders to sail with a cargo for the West
Indies. (The captain’s was a trading vessel, carrying merchandise from
one country to another.)

What was to be done with little Julie? that was the question. The captain
went finally to a lawyer, told him her story, charged him to make
inquiries for her brother. Then they talked awhile together, and the
lawyer did some writing.

After that the captain took Julie in the cars to a town where lived a
friend of his. Now, his friend, his wife, and their five children were
delighted to see the captain. They always were when he came home from
his voyages. Perhaps it was because he never failed to bring such costly
presents; this time a beautiful gilt harness for the father—or rather for
a pair of fine bays—elegant French silks for the mother, and no end of
toys for the small folks. And when he asked Mrs. Lane if she would, as a
favor, take Julie into her home and care for her until his return (he did
not expect to be gone long, he said), she appeared to be very willing to
do so.

But when it came to bidding “good-bye,” and the child clung to him,
trembling and sobbing, “Oh, mon oncle! mon oncle!” he looked troubled. He
just held her close for a moment, gave her three great sailor kisses that
echoed from cellar to garret, and ran out of the house without a word.

No sooner had the captain’s ship set sail than Mrs. Lane took Julie to an
orphan asylum.

“Send her off somewhere,” she said to the matron. “A home in the West!
that would be the very place for her. Ah, the West! what a glorious place
for little homeless wanderers!”

Riding away alone in her easy carriage, she muttered:

“The _i_dea of his bringing that little vagabond for _me_ to look after!
I don’t care if he _did_ offer to pay her board (of course it wouldn’t
have done to accept). I don’t intend to make my house a harbor for every
little straggler that happens along! and right there with the children,
too! What do I know about her? What does he? Maybe her story is true, and
maybe it isn’t. Those French, they can lie! And then she’d be forever
harassing me about that brother of hers. Ha! she’ll never see _him_
again! those French!... And then he’s taken such a fancy to her!—why,
she calls him ‘Uncle’ already! Just like him to go and spend upon her
the half he owns—educate her, and all that! I won’t have it!... There may
be some trouble over my sending her off?... Well, well, I’ll have some
pretty excuse ready. Time enough to invent it before he gets back.”

(It was thought that the captain would make the little Lanes his heirs,
for they were great favorites with “Uncle Jack.”)


At the asylum, little orphans had a roof to shelter them from the storms,
a place to lay their tired selves at night, food to eat when they were
hungry, clothes to protect them from the cold. But there was no mamma
there, no Julien, no oncle le capitaine. The great clean rooms, with
their whitewashed walls, were so bare. No pretty mats on the floors,
no carved tables, no silken chairs and sofas, no crimson curtains, no
beautiful paintings and statuettes, as in that pleasant village home from
which Julie and her mother fled when the terrible armies came marching
on, with beat of drum and thundering of cannon. It was dreary and
lonesome here. Julie could not understand a word that was spoken, neither
could any one understand her. So she could not play with the other
children, but sat alone by herself watching them all day—watching in a
dream, the roar of the briny billows still ringing in her ears. Now and
then she cried a little for very homesickness; and always she wondered
why she was in this place and why Julien did not come.

One day a lady was shown into the school-room, where the children sang
for her. Looking about upon their faces she asked:

“Who is that delicate little creature in the corner, with the dark hair
and eyes?”

The matron told the story she had heard from Mrs. Lane. It was, she said,
a little orphan girl who had recently come over in an emigrant ship from
France. Her father was killed in the battle of Sedan. Did the lady know
of any one who would like to adopt the child?

“Why, I’ve a great mind to take her myself. She could play with Charlie
and Lizzie, you know,” turning to her companion, “and in that way they
could learn to speak French, couldn’t they?”

So, when this person—she was visiting some cousins in town—when she
returned home Julie went with her; why, she did not know, but she
supposed it must be the way to find her brother. To be sure, madame let
her hold Lizzie a good deal, and holding Lizzie made one’s arms ache.
What matter? Julien would be there, where they were going!

But when the long journey was ended, and they left the noisy train, and
monsieur met them, all smiles at the sight of wife and baby, and they
drove through the streets to monsieur’s house, Julien was not there! The
child was ready to cry from disappointment. She sat down by the window
and watched the passers-by. Perhaps one would be Julien. Now, a little
boy of five or six years, after being fondled and caressed by mamma, and
having given baby a dutiful but hasty kiss, came and planted himself in
front of her. When he had stared at her to his satisfaction, he demanded:

“Who be _you_?”

Julie could not understand, and so how could she answer?

“Who be _you_, I say?”

No reply.

“Why don’t you speak, you ninny, you?”

“Bonjour, mon ami,”[2] said Julie, scared at his rough tones.

“Bonny Jew!—what’s the rest of it? Bonny Jew! Bonny Jew! Ha, ha! What a
funny name!”

Charley caught up his cap and ran into the street to tell Willie Wade:

“There’s a girl in there. Her name’s Bonny Jew. She’s deef, I guess, fur
I couldn’t make ’er hear till I hollered loud enough to take ’er head

At night, madame led Julie down to the kitchen, saying, “Katrine, you may
let her sleep with you,” and left her there.

Katrine’s face flushed scarlet, and her mild eyes flashed as they never
flashed before. Was not France at that very hour making war upon her
countrymen? Were not all French, then, her enemies? She took up the lamp
and strode toward her chamber. Julie, afraid to be left in the dark,
followed after. The door was locked in her face.

Madame coming into the basement for a glass of water, late in the
evening, stumbled over the child lying asleep on the hall floor, just
outside of Katrine’s room. She tried the door, and finding it fastened,
called through the keyhole: “Katrine! Katrine!”

Katrine either did not hear or pretended not to. She was snoring right
loyally between two immense feather beds which had kept her company all
the way from Vaterland. The lounge in the back parlor, with some shawls
and cushions, would serve for Julie’s couch this time.

“Katrine,” asked madame, “what did you mean by locking Julie out of your
room last night?”

“I vill not haf der Franchen mit me in my ped!”

“Why, Katrine, I think you are very unreasonable.”

“I care not vat you tinks! I vill go find me anodder blace!”

But madame couldn’t afford to lose Katrine. Katrine was a treasure.
Katrine could cook, and wash, and iron, and do all kinds of work
to perfection. She was tidy, and she was industrious, and always
good-tempered till now. So, instead of her finding “anodder blace,” a
bed was made for Julie in the attic—the low, wide, windowless attic,
where not a breath of air moved in summer, where the winds whistled
and moaned in winter, where the rats and mice held revels all the year
round—the great, gloomy attic, with its mysterious chests and closets,
where curious shadows dwelt; strewn with mysterious hats, and boots and
shoes, that took strange shapes after the sun went down; hung about with
mysterious outcasts—old gowns, and crinolines, and coats, that weirdly
swayed and swung on boisterous autumn nights; the dreadful attic, where,
hour after hour, when she ought to have been enjoying sweet, blessed
sleep, little tired Julie lay wide-eyed, staring at—she knew not what,
listening to—she knew not what, trembling, shivering, the sweat upon her

“Oh, madame, _j’ai peur_!”[3] she said once, lingering when bedtime came.

But madame didn’t understand.

The weeks passed by. Julien did not come. Would he ever come? The
question was often put to madame. But she didn’t understand. Julie began
to grow discouraged. Baby was so heavy! and she was cutting teeth, too,
and worried and fretted. Some new plaything must be invented every five
minutes to amuse and keep her quiet. She must be sung to, rocked, carried
backward and forward, to and fro, drawn in her carriage up and down the
sidewalk, wearily, wearily, up and down. As for Charley, he learned
to speak less good French of Julie than he hurled bad English at her.
During his mother’s visit East, he had improved the chance for making
acquaintance with all the boys on the street, and thus had considerably
increased the list of words at his command. One day, Lizzie’s dimpled
fingers found the ribbon about Julie’s neck. Out in full sight flew the
precious cross. Julie hastened to hide it, but a pair of keen eyes had
caught the glitter.

“What’s that? What’s that shiny thing you’ve got there, Julie? I want to
see it!” cried the tormentor, darting toward her.

She thrust out her hand to keep him off. He flung it aside and clutched
at the ribbon.

“Non! non!” she screamed, pushing him away.

At that he became furious, kicking and biting, and pulling her hair.
Julie, dropping the baby, shrieked with pain. Baby began to cry lustily.
The uproar reached the drawing-room, where there were callers. Madame
came rushing in to still the noise. Charley, who had succeeded in tearing
it away, now, triumphant, held up the cross.

“See, ma, see! She had it hid in ’er neck! She stole it, you bet!”

“Oh, donnez-la moi! donnez-la moi!”[4] sobbed Julie.

Madame hadn’t time to inquire into the matter. She took the cross away
from Charley, though he stoutly resisted, locked it in a drawer of her
writing-desk, put the key in her pocket and then went back to her guests.

The young gentleman picked at the lock with his pencil.

“You plagued old thing!” he muttered, shaking his fist and scowling at
Julie, “if you hadn’t a’ raised such a rumpus she’d never a’ knowed, and
I’d a’ traded it off fur Tommy Tough’s pearl-handled penknife—plague take

After the visitors had gone, Julie, pointing to the writing-desk,

“Oh, madame, la give, la give! à present, s’il vous please!”

“Yes, yes, yes, by and by.”

But “by and by,” madame had forgotten. She did not remember, indeed,
until she opened the drawer to get her portemonnaie before going out

“Some cheap gew-gaw, possibly,” she thought, taking up the cross. “I
don’t know, though! Can this be glass? Wonder how she came by it? Can
it possibly be of any value?... I’ve a great mind to take it down to
Forsyth’s and see what he says. _He_’ll know the moment he lays eyes on

Down to Forsyth’s she took it.

“Mr. Forsyth,” she said, handing it across the counter, “here is a little
trinket that has accidentally come into my possession lately. I’d like
your opinion as to its worth.”

The jeweler’s eyes sparkled like the precious gems, as he held them to
the light.

“Why, Mrs. ——, you have here a treasure! Those stones!—genuine article!”
and examining more closely: “It’s very old. Just observe the chasing. You
know nothing of its history?”

“No. You consider it of value, then?”

“Of value? I would give five hundred dollars any day, Mrs. ——, to become
possessor of that cross.” He added eagerly, “Could you not be induced to
part with it?”

Five hundred dollars! Madame’s glance fell upon a silver tea-service
which she had long coveted.

“Possibly. I’ll think about it,” she said, and went her way.

Such a lovely blue moire in one of the shop windows—five dollars a yard.
It made one’s mouth water to look at it. Such a lovely Brussels in
another!—the parlors needed carpeting anew. Such lovely, lovely things in
all the windows! that one really _ought_ to have. As for the child, of
what earthly use could that costly trinket ever be to _her_? Like as not
she stole it, as Charley said.

When madame reached home her purse was even better filled than when she
started out, and the silver tea-set would be sent up from Forsyth’s
to-morrow. Meantime a curious piece of workmanship in the jeweler’s
show-case was attracting much attention.

       *       *       *       *       *

What a queer way to find the brother is this—tending Lizzie and being
knocked about by Charley, and robbed of mamma’s last gift! Julie fears
she will never get it, for when she asked madame for it again, madame
blushed and did not reply. What strange people these Americans are! They
make little children take care of little children! And she is afraid
of Charley. She trembles now to think of him. And who is that creature
peering out of the closet over there?

It is like the woman who let the room where mamma was taken sick.

Why, this is that room! and here is the mother beside her.

Julie leans over and asks:

“Why dost thou not waken, my mother? Behold, the sun is high. Why dost
thou sleep so long? Why art thou so cold and pale? Mamma! Mamma!”

The silken lashes are not lifted from the marble cheek; the white lips
make no answer.

“She is so weary, I will not disturb her. I will watch until she wakens.”

The morning creeps away, the noon, and the afternoon, and now the evening

“Mamma! my dear mamma!”

Still the eyelids are not lifted, and the white lips are dumb.

The night goes by, and a day, and another night, and the morning dawns
once more. And again the woman comes peering through the door.

“She is dead,” Julie hears her say.

Men enter and carry the mother away.

“Where are you going with my poor mamma?”

“We are going to bury her.”

“You shall not bury her! You shall not take her away,” cries Julie.

They thrust her back with rough hands. They will not let her follow. The
woman locks her in. She is left alone, alone.

The day goes by, the noon, and the afternoon. The shadows reach out after
her like claws. She crouches in the chimney-corner, staring at them
through the long, dark hours.

At midnight the woman glides stealthily in, glides stealthily about,
peering, peering with wicked eyes. She fumbles among the bedding, opens
the trunk, takes out its contents carefully.

“Nothing, nothing!” she hisses between clenched teeth.

She glides stealthily towards the child. Julie holds the cross in her

“What have you there, little wretch?” demands the woman, trying to wrest
it from her.

Julie will not give it up. With a sudden bound she escapes, runs out
of the room, out of the house, down the path, away, away, through the
fields. On, and on, she hurries, not daring to look back. Daylight comes,
and still she walks on. After awhile she grows faint. She sits down by
the roadside to rest. A peasant girl passes by with a basket on her arm.

“Does this road go to the place where one finds the ships?” asked Julie.

“Oui, mademoiselle.”

When Julie is rested, she rises and walks on. Still on and on. The way
is long. At last the houses are thick together. Beyond is the blue sea.
There are the ships, many, with white sails.

“Which one goes to America?” asks Julie of a man lounging about the wharf.

He points to one from which floats a beautiful flag.

While she looks, the great flag comes fluttering, fluttering
down—fluttering, floating before her, floating about her, wrapping her
in its folds; then back it flies, whizzing through the air, up, up, up,
among the tall masts, so high above the water! Julie is dizzy, and tries
to catch at the ropes. Lo! her hands are pinioned. She cannot move them.
A huge serpent is coiled about her—a huge serpent striped its whole
length with red and white. The coils are tightening, tightening. She
cannot breathe. She struggles to be free. A flaming head swoops suddenly
down. Two terrible eyes glare at her—two eyes—two glittering stars.

[2] Good-morning (or good-day), my friend.

[3] I am afraid.

[4] Oh, give it to me! give it to me.


“Katrine,” said madame, “go and call Julie. Why, here it’s seven o’clock,
and she not up yet! I never knew her to lie abed like this before. Tell
her she must come down right away and dress the baby.”

Katrine came back in a few minutes, looking frightened.

“I calls von, dwo, dree dimes. She vill not hear. Den I goes oop der
shtep und calls von more dime. She vill not ondershtand. She shtare mit
de eyes vide—und see notting! Den she schream like murter.”

“Why, mercy on us, Dolf!” exclaimed madame, glancing across the
breakfast-table at her husband, “what if the child’s sick! some fever
or other!—something catching!—and these children!—she ought to be got
out of the house immediately!... St. Mary’s Hospital! Yes, that’s the
place. She’s Catholic, I believe. Katrine!—no, wait! perhaps it isn’t
anything serious, after all. We must find out first. Dolf, what if you
leave word for Dr. Smith to call round as you go down street? No, stay!”
in an undertone, “don’t send _him_. Get some one that doesn’t go in our
set—some stranger. Being up in the attic so, it might get out that we
didn’t treat her well. You know how absurdly people will talk, sometimes.
Can’t you think of some one else we can call in?”

“Well, I d-o-n’-t know. Let me see. Why, yes, there’s that young fellow
who has stuck up his shingle a few doors off from the office. Foreigner,
I believe. Hasn’t any too much custom, should judge. Might get him.”

“A foreigner. Oh, yes; that will do very well.”

In half an hour the young physician rang the door-bell. He was shown up
to the attic by Katrine. As he mounted the stairs, a pitiful little wail
came floating down:

“Oh, Julien, Julien, tu es bien longtemps à venir. Helas! ne te
reverrai-je plus?”[5]

Madame, waiting below, wondered if the stranger wasn’t “some exiled
nobleman, he looks so distinguished. Rather seedy, though.”

Soon she grew impatient.

“What is he keeping me so long in suspense for, I should like to know?”

When he came down at last, his eyes burned like hot coals, and he had
for her questions never a word of answer. He walked swiftly away, and
returned with a carriage before she had recovered from her amazement.
Still speechless, he again made his way to the attic, and when he
descended this time he bore something in his arms very tenderly.

It was little Julie, wrapped in his cloak.

“You are behaving very strangely, sir! What are you doing? Where are you
taking her?”

“Where she will be cared for, rest assured!”

“What do you mean, sir?” cried madame, following down the steps. “Do you
dare insinuate that she wouldn’t be cared for here? I want to know what
right you have to be meddling with that child?”

“The best right in the world, madame—a brother’s right.” To the coachman:
“Drive on!” and the carriage rolled away.

A passing glimpse of a tiny, fever-flushed face, wild, unconscious,
restless eyes, and lips that moved continually, was the last madame saw
of the “delicate little creature” she had “adopted” for a nurse-girl.

When she had recovered breath and collected her scattered wits, she put
on her shawl and bonnet, and went down town to the office.

“Dolf, what’s that young doctor’s name, do you know?”

“Name? Never noticed, ’pon my word. Why?”

“It’s out there on his door, or somewhere, isn’t it? Just step out and
see, please.”

“Leblanc,” said “Dolf,” returning.

“Leblanc—Leblanc ... yes, and that’s the child’s name, now I recall it.
Do you know, he’s her brother!”

The next place madame visited was the jeweler’s. She was very glad she
had not purchased the watered silk or the Brussels carpet, and that the
silver service had not yet been sent up to the house.

“Mr. Forsyth,” she said, laying a roll of bank-notes on the counter,
“I regret our little transaction yesterday. I prefer to keep the cross

“Well—a—hem!—a bargain’s a bargain, you know.”

“Oh, don’t talk to me about ‘bargains’! we’re old acquaintances. I want
that cross. I _must_ have it.”

The jeweler colored, and coughed, and objected. But madame was obstinate.
Finally, as they were “old acquaintances,” and as madame’s husband
was a lawyer, and as he hadn’t told her anywhere near the full value
of the cross, he yielded—on one condition—that it should remain a few
days longer in his show-case. It added greatly to the display there,
especially since a card had been attached to it, reading thus:

                              ANTIQUE CROSS,

                          Formerly owned by the
                             EMPRESS EUGENIE,

      _Sold by her in her flight from Paris, to defray the expenses
                            of the journey._

Madame agreed to the condition, thinking:

“If Doctor Leblanc cares anything for his sister he won’t be gaping at
jewelers’ windows for some time to come. (Doubtful if she recovers. It’s
some fever or other she must have caught on board that emigrant ship. And
the children! bless me, I must go the very next thing to Doctor Smith and
see if he thinks there’s any danger.) And then if he shouldn’t happen
to ask for it, or make any fuss about it, why, I can wear it myself, and
everybody in town will suppose it has once been worn by Eugenie!”

       *       *       *       *       *

A week from that morning little Julie came back from her wanderings,
looked up into the face bending over her, and knew it for the first time.

“C’est lui!”[6] she whispered, smiling faintly, closed her weary eyes and
fell into a sweet slumber.

“Thank God! she is going to live.”

[5] Thou art very long in coming. Alas! shall I never see thee more?

[6] It is he!


“What art thou writing, my brother?” asked Julie from among her pillows
one day; “something for the journals?”

“Oui, cherie.”

“Oh, dear Julien, take care! do not say that the Emperor of America is
not a good Emperor!”

“Fear not, mon enfant: we are in a free country where one says what one

Julien brought a basin which had been heating on the stove.

“Here is something for thee, little one.”

“Wilt thou not have of it also, brother? Let us dine together. I never
see thee eat.”

“The beef tea is not for strong men: it is for the little invalids.”

“Ah, but thou art not strong! I remember when thy cheeks were like the
rose. Now thou art so pale and thin! and I saw thy hand tremble while
thou wast writing. Oh, my brother, if thou shouldst be sick, I fear I
could not be to thee the good angel thou art to me. Come, take of this a
little: it is excellent.”

“I have already dined, cherie.”


“While thou wast sleeping.”

“I bet thy dinner was not so good as mine! n’est ce pas?”

No, truly it was not. It was of stale bread, as wee a morsel as ever kept
body and soul together. But the little one must never know.

“Tell me, Julie, who is oncle le capitaine?”

“Oh, that is the monsieur charming who gave me a ride in his ship. He
promised to find thee for me. But who hast thou heard to speak of him?”

“A little fairy. And so he gave thee the ride?”

“Yes, Julien, was he not good? He would not take the cross—thou
rememberest?—our poor mamma’s beautiful cross. It was yesterday, was it
not, that I was telling thee how she gave it to me? Madame locked it in
the drawer. I wonder if she would not let thee have it if thou wert to
ask her? for thou art a man, and thou canst speak English, and she will
comprehend. Oh, dear Julien, what is the matter? what have I said? art
thou angry with me?”

“No, not with thee, my poor dear little angel! but with those people
there—the brutes!”

“Comment! who has told thee of them, my brother?”

“A little fairy.”

“Who is that little fairy that tells thee so much? what is she called?”

“She is called Julie.”

“Comment! what dost thou say? I am she! But how could I tell thee, since
thou wilt scarcely allow me to speak a single word, dear monsieur le

“My poor little Julie has had bad dreams and talked in her sleep. There,
now, thou art weary. Close thy pretty eyes and rest thee. Already, I
fear, I have let thee talk too long.”

“But it is so good to be with one who comprehends, and can speak with me
our own beautiful language!”

“Poor little sister! when thou art stronger, we will do nothing but talk
for a whole day.”

While the child lay sleeping, there came a rap at the outer door. Julien
hoped he was going to have a patient. But no, a tall, stout gentleman
strode into the office. His face was ruddy, his eyes twinkled merrily. He
didn’t look as if he were in any need of medicine.

“I came to ask after the little Julie,” he said. “She came over in my
ship,” he explained. “Possibly she has made mention of—”

“Ah! is it ‘oncle le capitaine’?”

“The same,” answered the gentleman, smiling.

“Then let me thank you for your kindness to my little sister!” cried the
young man, grasping his hand. “I know not how to express my gratitude.”

“Bah! where is she?”

“In the next room. She sleeps. She is just recovering from a fever—of the

“Indeed! Strange that woman should not have spoken of it! Has she been
very sick?”

“It has been a struggle for life.”

“Ah-h-h, those Lanes! the rascals! Why, sir, I left the child in charge
of people I thought I could trust—people I had befriended. Why, that man,
Lane, was head and ears in debt! but for me, he and his would be in want
and misery to-day! What do they do, the moment I am out of sight, but
send her to an orphan asylum! Sent her off! off West! that was all they
could tell me at the asylum. Gone West! Nothing definite. No record, no
trace. I’ve had a search, I can tell you. Hunted, advertised, from place
to place. Yesterday I came here. It was by this cross I found her. I saw
it in a shop window and identified it at once with one little Julie had
shown me on shipboard. You recognize it?”

“I do, indeed. It is an heir-loom. It has been handed down through I know
not how many generations.”

“I made inquiries in the shop, and was directed to a lady who they said
was its owner. She proved to be the person who took the child from the
asylum. She seemed strangely embarrassed and disinclined to speak about
the matter.”

“With good reason! mon Dieu! my blood boils as I think of it. It was the
cruelty and overtask that caused my little one’s illness.”

“I suspected something of the kind. Listen to the condition upon which
that person acquainted me with your whereabouts—that I ‘shouldn’t mention
the matter to any one in town!’ And there’s something wrong about this
cross. She said she was afraid the child might lose it, and so had put it
under lock and key for safe keeping, and had afterwards lent it to the
jeweler as a curiosity. But he was wonderfully inquisitive, and undertook
to pump me when I went back after it. What do you think he had labeled
it? As one of the jewels of your ex-Empress!”

“C’en est trop![7] these Yankees!” exclaimed Julien; then coloring to the
roots of his hair he stammered:

“Pardon, monsieur!”

“No offense,” said the captain, smiling. “I am, then, so genuine a

“I do not say it,” the other slowly answered.

The captain laughed aloud.

Julien opened the inner door.

“Didst thou call, sister?”

“Oui, mon frere. Tell me who is with thee? But I know it—I! It is oncle
le capitaine! I heard him laugh!”

“Bonjour, bonjour, mademoiselle l’Empress! how is your Majesty’s health
to-day?” cried a voice over Julien’s shoulder. “See, little pale one, I
come to bring thee thy cross.”

“Oh, the cross of mamma! the cross of mamma!” exclaimed Julie, seizing it
and covering it with kisses, while silent tears crept down her wan cheeks.

Julien turned away to the window, and the captain sat down by the couch
and shaded his eyes with his hand.

“But, mon oncle,” said Julie after awhile, “tell me, did you have a good
voyage? Did the great waves come and tip the ship right over on its
side and almost spill you out? You were gone so long I feared you were
drowned. Oh, mon oncle, do not go away again upon the terrible sea; but
stay with us, my brother and me.”

“Ah, my little Julie, thy poor old uncle is, upon land, like a fish out
of water.”

Julie must not yet hear, the captain thought, the story of that great
gale off the coast of the Carolinas, in which his good ship had nearly
been wrecked. It would better suit the little convalescent to be told of
those islands where he had been; those sunny islands where it is always
summer, where oranges and bananas and the rarest and most beautiful
flowers grow wild.

While the two were talking, Julien once more took up his pen.

“With monsieur’s permission. An article for the _Morning Post_. It must
be ready within the next two hours.”

“Ah!—a treatise on health, doubtless.”

“A treatise on Louis Napoleon—ce scelerat!”

“My friend, take the advice of your sister’s venerable uncle; let that
poor wretch alone. He’s about played out. At all events, you are out of
his reach. Stick to your profession. Writing is fool’s business. ‘A jack
at all trades is good at none.’”

“But monsieur knows one must find some way to kill time.”

“Ah? Pill-peddling is not a lively business nowadays, I take it.”

“Monsieur, I have set up shop in three cities, and in each have waited
three months for a patient.”

“Whew! is _that_ so? Why didn’t you tell me before?”

“Why be in haste to tell of it, monsieur? It is nothing to boast of,

“Why? Because I can help you. I am going to help you. I intended to when
I came here, if I found you were in need of it.”

“I have not said I was in need. I ask no one for help. What I ask for

“Young man, you are altogether too proud! You should take lessons of
Young America! Young America isn’t afraid of the jingling of coin. Young
America doesn’t spurn a good offer. Young America would jump at the
chance. But as for work, why, work will come to you if you only wait for
it long enough. ‘Patient waiters are no losers.’”

“Wait, wait, wait! mon Dieu! and the child there!”

“Yes, we must think of her! Come, my dear fellow, you’ve had a hard row
to hoe. No use denying!”

Julien was silent for a few moments; then he said:

“I will confess, monsieur, that I have seen times when I have wished
myself well back in France. There, at least, one could fight for one’s

“Is it worth fighting for? Poor France!—a republic, a kingdom, an empire,
a bedlam, by fits! ruled yesterday by an idiot, to-day by a lynx,
to-morrow by a pack of bloodhounds! Better off where you are, young man;
better off where you are.”

Julien had arisen, and stood glaring at the captain.

“Monsieur forgets he is speaking of the land of my birth!”

“And of the land of his birth, as well,” was the quiet reply.

“Quoi! what do I understand monsieur to say?”

“Have you never heard your mother speak of her brother Jean?”


“I am he.”

“But no! He entered a monastery. He was a monk.”

“Still again, I am he. At your age I grew weary of the cloister.
Disguised as a sailor I escaped to the United States; and disguised as a
sailor I have knocked about the world ever since. My own country is the
one I avoid most of all. I suppose I never should have known aught of
Marguerite’s children if the little Julie had not come to me just as she
did. Indeed, although she told me her name, I never suspected who she
might be until she showed me her poor mother’s cross. In the cloister one
is buried from the world. I did not know whom my sister married. He,
too, is dead, the child told me. I mean your father.”

“General Leblanc, of the Italian campaign—you have never heard of him? It
was there that he lost his life.”

“Poor Marguerite! She was coming to you, it seems, and fell ill upon the

“I first learned it from Julie. I had received no tidings for months. Our
home was in the region which has fallen into the enemy’s clutches. Mails,
of course, were stopped. What other reason for the silence? Mon Dieu! the
agony of suspense! I should have returned immediately when the republic
was declared, if I could have seen my way—”

“And you two might have sought each other till your locks were gray—and
probably would never have met.”

“Mon oncle, please tell to me also those strange, sad things you have
been telling my brother now for a long time in that dreadful English,
till suddenly, at this moment, he looks frightened.”

Julien went over to the little questioner and kissed her wondering eyes.

“Thy uncle, sister—dear angel!—has been telling me that he is also _my_

[7] That’s too much!


“Come now, my children,” said Dame Nature once, in the morning of the
world, “let me hear your voices, that I may judge which of all is the
most musical.”

Up from the dewy grass sprang a meadow-lark with a burst of melody that
thrilled the listening air; then loud, and sweet, and clear, was heard
the warbling of a nightingale; the mountain brook, swinging its censer
among the rocks, began to chant—in lower, deeper tones; meanwhile, that
wanderer, the wind, passing, with nimble fingers touched the keys of the
forest-organ, and the towering pines and sturdy oaks and yews quivered
and throbbed as he played accompaniment; then caroled in chorus countless
millions of birds—even the tiny insects took to humming as they rioted
among the golden rays, and the wild beasts and every living creature,
encouraged, lifted their voices in trial; from the cloud-mass, above the
far-off horizon, came the thunder’s rumble; the river, leaping the cliff,
roared in rivalry; quick followed the heavy voices of the great billows
as they came surging upon the beach. Oh, grand and mighty music did they
all make together in that glad morning of the world. The sunlit heavens
leaned over, breathless, to hear it, the purple valleys, lifting, fondled
it as they climbed, the speechless hills caught it up, and in envy hurled
it back again, note by note, till the whole earth was wild with sound and
deafening reverberation, and “Cease, cease, my children!” Dame Nature
cried aloud, “lest I render you voiceless, every one, and there be no
more music forever.”

But failing to make herself heard, she unrolled the great cloud that
lay coiled above the horizon, and drew it like a veil across the sky.
Immediately there was silence—silence unbroken for a moment’s space, when
“Ha, ha, ha!” giggled the mountain brook, unable to restrain its mirth;
“Ha, ha, ha!” repeated a bright-winged forest bird; “Ha, ha, ha!” flew
swiftly back from the hills.

“Hush, irreverent ones!” spake Dame Nature in anger; “listen, while I
pass sentence upon you! Thou, mountain brook, who hast dared to break
silence by thine ill-timed laughter, laugh on, forever and forever: thy
song is taken from thee, and thou shalt have thy fill of merriment! From
thee, too, bird of the brilliant plumage, is taken the power of song:
henceforth thou shalt find voice only to mimic the folly of others. And
you, ye hills, will I fetter and bind, that ye no more astonish the world
with your envious wrath.

“As for you, my obedient children, ye are all musical, each in his own
way; and now will I assign to you places in my choir. Thou, wandering
wind, shalt be my organist; and ye larks and nightingales, who are my
pride and joy, and all ye merry little birds, the melody is yours; and ye
surging billows, and muttering clouds, and roaring cataracts, to you the
base belongs.

“Sing on, now, my children; sing on, and practice well, that ye may know
your parts when, by and by, I call upon you for a grand and glorious
anthem that shall fill the world with wonder.”

And alway since then they have been diligently practicing, till now,
when Dame Nature calls for _Te Deum_ at the day-dawn, or for a vesper
hymn at eventide, marvelous is the melody of gleesome and gay-hearted
little birds; marvelous is the skill of the musician wind, as he sweeps
the forest-organ’s answering keys; marvelous are the voices of cloud and
cataract, and marvelous the voices of the sea.

But there are birds of rainbow-tinted plumage, wonderful to behold, whose
harsh, discordant tones serve only to mock and mimic; the mountain brook
wearies ofttimes of laughter, querulous, complains to the rocks, grieving
for its lost song; and faint and rare are the echoes heard among the
speechless hills.


Moonshine crept down, one clear, unclouded night, to look about the world
and see what was going on. In her hand she carried a silver lamp, by
whose white rays all objects could be seen as plainly as at noontide;
and wherever she went, the shadows, ashamed of their blackness, stole
guiltily away and tried to hide themselves. Her path led through a forest
and down a mountain side, where wild beasts roamed for prey; but now the
timid deer browsed securely among the underbrush, and the hungry bear
trudged supperless off to his den, the stealthy panther kept useless
watch from the branches overhead, the rattlesnake slid back into its hole
and left the tree-toads chirping cheerily, the sly fox found the rabbits
too wide awake for him; for was not Moonshine abroad with her silver
lamp, proclaiming to all harmless creatures: Here is your enemy, and
there is your enemy?

On she passed till she came to a pioneer’s log cabin, standing alone in
the wide wilderness. Listening, she heard the sound of a voice singing:

    “Lullaby, lullaby, baby,
      Lullaby, by, by,
    While all the little stars twinkle,
      Twinkle up in the sky.

    “Lullaby, lullaby, baby,
      Lullaby, by, by;
    Thy father has gone a journey,
      And there’s only thou and I,
    To rock, rock, to and fro,
    And to watch, watch for the savage foe,
        To sleep, sleep,
        And to keep, keep
      Watch for the savage foe,
    While all the little stars twinkle,
      Twinkle up in the sky.”

“Ah,” said Moonshine, “the mother and her babe are alone and unguarded
in that rude dwelling. Even as she sings her voice trembles with fear. I
will set my lamp in the window and pause awhile to keep her company.”

Instantly a soft radiance flooded the room within, and the mother,
looking up, beheld the gentle face peeping through the window. “Oh,
Moonshine,” she cried, with tears of joy, “how glad am I that you have
come! Stay with me a little, for I am lonesome; and tell me, pray, if
there be any savages lurking about.”

Not far off a band of red men, their faces bedaubed with paint, and their
hair decked out with plumes, were gliding noiselessly through the dense
woods, thinking to steal upon the cabin unawares and destroy it and its
inmates. But as soon as they saw the silver lamp upon the window-sill,
they turned away, saying: “Moonshine is there! She would give warning of
our approach.”

Moonshine, seeing that the dreaded enemy had turned aside, passed on
and left the mother and her child sleeping peacefully. As swift she
glided through valley and over hill, and across river and lake and
village-dotted plain, the rays of her glittering lamp reached far and
wide through the darkness, making the trees and gardens and rippling
corn-fields glad, pointing the shortest route to a weary boatman,
revealing to a belated traveler the robbers who stealthily pursued,
looking in upon three rosy children who slumbered cosily in one couch
together—stooping to kiss their shining curls and happy faces, and to
whisper something pleasant in their ears. Nor did she pause when she came
to the great sea, but glided on over the foaming billows. A white-sailed
ship the winds were driving towards an unknown reef. Quickly she set her
silver lamp upon the perilous rock. Far over the angry waters shone the
beacon light, and the mariners, seeing danger ahead, shifted their sails
and changed the vessel’s course.

The wanderer reached, at length, a distant coast, and, holding her
lamp aloft, passed on from town to town. A student sat at midnight,
wakeful among his books. Moonshine glanced over his shoulder at the
closely-printed page, and the light of her silver lamp so put to shame
his miserable taper that he extinguished it, and began to write some
verses in her praise.

At last, Moonshine peered down into a deep, dark dungeon, and saw a
hapless human creature bound with chains. Pale and wan he was, from long
years of imprisonment. For hours she remained to speak to him comforting

In the morning the pioneer came to his home on the mountain side, and
told how he had been rescued by Moonshine from highwaymen who pursued him
as he journeyed. “Ah, bless her,” said the wife; “for she also watched
over us, and guarded us while we slept.” The three rosy children awakened
smiling, and told one another their dreams; they had all dreamed of
fairy-land. The storm-tossed ship sailed into port, and the grateful
mariners declared that, but for Moonshine, they would have gone to the
bottom of the sea. The student went about with such a beaming countenance
that people questioned, Was he moonstruck? A jailer, descending into a
deep, dark dungeon, found the fettered captive lying silent, with closed
eyes; and the sad soul that had gazed out of those eyes—who had set it
free? Moonshine?


“_Voila, Jeannette! voila!_”

The little old woman lifts her wrinkled face from the lace-work over
which she is bending, and looks where the slender hand just pointed. How
did it come there, that sunbeam? So the two question; for never, in all
the time they have occupied the low, dim room, with its one window, has a
sunbeam shone into it, warm and cheery, like that. Possibly some recent
alteration in the high buildings without has made way for the welcome
visitor, now that the sun has moved farther around to the north. However
it came there, there it is, the mellow ray, deepening in color as the sun
sinks lower down, changing from yellow to orange, from orange to rose.
The couch must be moved nearer, so that the thin hand may press the wall
and feel the warm light as it rests there; then a smile wreathes the wan,
weary young face, and its owner goes off dreaming—dreaming with eyes wide

Somebody knocks at the door. “Coom,” calls Jeannette. A lad of twelve
lifts the latch and enters.

“Is this the place where they mend lace, ma’am?”

“Yes. _C’est moi._”

“Well, they sent a lot in this bundle. They said they wanted it done
right away, if you could. It’s a curtain. The kitten tore it, I guess.
He’s always scampering up the curtains.”

“Yes.” (Yes is one of the few English words Jeannette is quite sure
about, so she seldom adds to it in her replies, when she can avoid doing

“When shall I come after it?”

“Maunday—next—week,” Jeannette slowly answers, and takes the package the
lad has brought.

His errand is done; why does he linger? Have the brown eyes, in a rapid
glance or two, taken in more than they would if they were not so big and
generous? The low ceiling with the laths bared of plaster here and there,
the scant furniture, the tumble-down stove, the uneven, uncarpeted floor,
the plants in the window—sickly for lack of light—the withered little
lace-mender shivering in her shawl for lack of fire, the boy on the couch
yonder, clutching at a sunbeam, gazing dreamily into space; he has seen
all; he has heard the hollow cough, he winks hard to keep from taking the
decided shape of tears something that for an instant dims his bonny eyes.

“Has he been sick a good while?” he whispers.

“Yes,” says Jeannette, and calls, “Ernest!”

Ernest comes out of his dream. The great dark, sorrowful eyes meet the
great bright, generous ones. In a twinkling young America, with lusty
health and blooming cheeks, is at the bedside of—young France, shall we

An hour after Ned hastens home to his sister with the story he has just

“Belle,” he cries, as he bursts into the parlor, “you know where you sent
me this afternoon—to that French woman’s? Well, they’re poor as can be.
And he’s sick, too. And no doctor, no medicine, no nothing! Wish I was as
rich as Crœsus!”

“He? Who’s he?”

“Why, Ernest. His father was an artist, you see; and they came to this
country, and his pictures wouldn’t sell, and he couldn’t get work, and he
got discouraged and drowned himself. Then, after awhile, his mother died,
and Jeannette—she’s a servant who came with them—she stays with him and
takes care of him. He’s got the consumption and coughs awfully. _I_ know
what’s done it! Starving! and freezing! Guess what he was doing! Warming
his hands in the sunshine!”

“Well, did she say when she would have the window curtain finished?”

Where shall one go for sympathy and help? There is no mother. The
father is a hundred miles away, engaged as counsel in the settlement of
a disputed estate (if anybody knows what all that means). The live-long
night Ned lies awake, thinking the matter over something after this

“There’s that house—corner of South and High Street. Rooms to let—noticed
the advertisement to-day. Nice rooms. Plenty of light. Just _the_
place!... Wish I was rich as Crœsus!... What did I want to go and throw
away my last allowance that way for? Haven’t got a red cent left! Don’t
know where it’s all gone to, now! Got a lot of trinkets that aren’t of
much use to me, anyhow. Cut my thumb half off with my jack-knife first
time I used it; broke all the strings to my violin before I’d had it a
week; and made myself about sick trying to smoke cigars.... Wish I was
rich as Crœsus!”

When, next morning, Ned meets on the street his elderly friend, the
physician, who helped him comfortably through with the measles, mumps and
whooping cough, and is greeted with, “Why, young man, there’s a cloud on
your face—what’s the trouble?” he answers, “Come and see,” and leads to
a dismal quarter of the town, and from one story to another of a dismal
tenement, till they reach the chamber where Ernest lies. When they are
down in the street again, Ned takes up the old refrain—

“Wish I was rich as Crœsus. We’d get him out of there and cure him up,
wouldn’t we?”

“Ah, my boy, if we had the wealth of twenty Crœsuses it’s too late
to help him now. The best we can do is to make him as comfortable as
possible where he is. Come round to the office with me, and I’ll give you
something to ease the cough a little.”

When the medicine is ready Ned rises to go, but hesitates.

“There wasn’t any fire there, Doctor. I’ve used up all my last allowance,
and father’s away from home. What’s to be done?”

The Doctor writes down some names and addresses on a slip of paper.

“There. You go to these gentlemen, state the case, and we’ll see what
they’ll do for you.... I might give you a recommend.... But no. We’ll
try without, first. I fancy that honest face of yours will open the
pocket-books quicker than any note from me.”

And Ned sets out on his first begging expedition, which proves
so successful that in a few hours the tumble-down stove retires
ignominiously to make place for a shining new one, in which the fire need
not go out while cold weather lasts; and the evening shadows, creeping
back to their favorite haunt, the attic, are amazed and panic-stricken to
find it occupied by a rosy troop of hilarious elfs, dancing up and down
the wall, with whom they must battle for possession.

Moreover, Ned has enlisted the sympathies of another of his particular
friends, Bridget, the cook, who fails not to prepare, daily, delicacies
for him to carry to the sick boy—glad of an errand thither, for this
new acquaintance is extremely interesting, not in the least like any
one Ned has ever met before, so young and yet so accomplished. Why, he
can give a hundred hints about playing on that precious violin, he can
show sheets of music of his own composing, a portfolio full of sketches,
his own work, in pencil and crayon and oil; and, oh! to hear him talk
of wonderful Paris, and of famous people whom he has seen and whom his
father has known.

Perhaps a month has passed, when, upon an afternoon, Ned, bounding in all
aglow from the frosty air without, stops short, seeing the pallid face is
not lifted in eager greeting from among the cushions.

“Is he asleep?” he whispers.

“Yes,” sobs Jeanette.

       *       *       *       *       *

By and by as the lad turns slowly away, she places in his hands the
portfolio, saying;

“He tells me eet ees for you.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Belle, noticing her brother as he enters the house and hurries through
the hall on his way to his room, exclaims:

“Why, Ned, you’ve been crying! What’s the matter?”

“Ernest is dead!”

“Who is Ernest?” inquires the father, lately returned, glancing up from
his newspaper.

When he has heard Ned’s story he asks to see the sketches. While he is
examining them, Belle comes and looks over his shoulder. Suddenly she
utters a little scream.

“Why, Ned, you darling! look here!”

They have found, among the rest, a picture which Ned has not seen before.
It brings tears to his eyes again, to Belle’s, too; the grim old lawyer’s
lips twitch for a moment, and he goes off and has the painting framed in
most costly style, and hangs it above the mantel in his study. Perhaps
it may serve as reminder of a bit of a sentence, spoken centuries ago,
which fortune-favored people, snuggling about the ingleside on boisterous
winter nights, are very apt to forget: “The poor ye have always with you.”

You may imagine the faithful Jeannette is not neglected. The sunniest
spot in the cemetery is where a marble cross tells you that Ernest is
sleeping below. And the picture, what is it? It is a glimpse, in brown
and amber tints, of a wretched attic chamber with dilapidated ceiling,
and scant, worn-out furniture, and bare, uneven floor. And the only light
there comes from the face peeping in through a door which stands ajar—a
boyish face, round and merry, with ruddy cheeks, and big, heartful eyes,
and brown bits of curls clustering about the broad forehead—a frank,
open, cheery, winsome face. Now, away from the light which streams from
this face and into the sombre shadows, frightened demons are turning to
flee. And one of the demons whose gloomy features are partly visible, and
whose hand grasps a dagger, you may guess was meant for Despair. This
picture has a name. Ernest painted it underneath, in large letters of
scarlet and gold. This is the name—SUNSHINE.


“Dear Rudolph, art thou not well?” asks his mother, in that native
language which she loves. “For some time past thou hast been so very
quiet, and—” there she pauses, not wanting to remind him of how fretful
and ill-natured he has been of late.

“Feel well enough!” he answers gruffly, and then is sorry, and wishes he
had gone to rest ten minutes ago, as he thought of doing.

A tiny cloud of displeasure flits across the sweet, gentle face, and
little Karl, leaning against his mother’s chair, twines an arm about her
neck, and smooths her sunny hair, as if to make amends. As for Rudolph’s
father, stern words spring to his lips; but suspecting what is the
trouble, he withholds them, only glancing up from his book with eyes so
full of unutterable sadness that the boy creeps guiltily out of the room,
and off to his chamber above.

This is the trouble with Rudolph—he is haunted; haunted by a demon whose
name is Discontent. It first appeared to him one evening in a certain
elegant mansion on a certain fashionable avenue, whither he had been
sent with a message; for his father was to do some repairing there. In
the spacious, high-ceiled, oak-paneled library, where he waited to see
the master of the house, this little demon stole up to him and whispered:

“Look at it—at all this splendor! these tall mirrors, and huge
chandeliers, and rich paintings, and carved cases of books! You never saw
the like, did you?”

It followed him through the great hall with its marble floor and high,
arched entrance, followed him down the wide steps and out into the
street, whispering all the while, pointing back at the smooth front of
stone and the plate-glass windows; then, when they reached Rudolph’s
home, pointing scornfully at the humble cottage, and the entrance that
is neither high nor arched. It followed him in, this demon, into the
single apartment that is hall and library and kitchen combined. It sat
down beside him in the corner. “Bah!” it muttered in disdain, “this
lounge can’t compare with that sofa where you rested just now. But wasn’t
it soft, though!” It called his attention to all the objects around,
sneering at the curtains because they are not of damask, at the floor
because it is uncarpeted, at the wall-paper because it is cheap. It
noticed Rudolph’s mother laying the table, and asked, “Do you imagine
that ladies who live in fine houses ever get supper themselves? Bah!
don’t you believe it!” It noticed Rudolph’s father leaning back in his
arm-chair with closed eyes, weary after the day’s labor, and queried, “Do
you suppose that gentleman you saw to-night ever gets tired, ever works?
No, of course he doesn’t. _He_ never wears work-clothes, shabby and worn
like that! He always goes dressed in broadcloth, and his purse is always
full, and he carries himself like a prince, and asks no odds of anybody.
And did you mind how he looked down at you, as if you were nothing but a
worm?—because your father’s only a carpenter! Wonder if he’ll treat _him_
so? Bah! isn’t it wretched to be poor and to have to work!” And when
Rudolph took his place at the table, it was—“Bah! do you think gentlemen
ever eat anything so common as this?” and he pushed from him the simple
food, untasted, and went back to his corner; and there he sat the whole
evening, and there he has spent every evening since, his face buried in
his hands, the demon whispering in his ear. For it has never left him;
no, not for a moment. It has followed him everywhere. In school, day
after day it kept up a continual buzzing, hindering him from getting
his lessons—he, the one who had always known them so well. It would
compare his own garments with those of one and another better clad than
he. “And there’s Jesse James—see, he carries a gold watch!” “And isn’t
it mean for ’em to call you a ‘Dutchman!’ just because your father and
mother came from Germany—though _you_ never lived there in your life—and
because you’re poor and only a carpenter’s son. Pity your father couldn’t
have been a count, or a baron, or something like that! How everybody
would have stared when he rode along in his glittering carriage, and how
everybody would have wanted to be friends, and would have asked him to
dinner, and all that! And how polite everybody would have been to _you_!
You wouldn’t have been a ‘Dutchman’ then; oh, not at all! And if he had
been a grand-duke, oh, think of it! How everybody would have gone down to
the depot to meet him, and how people would have crowded around to shake
hands with him, and what a fuss they would have made over him—as they did
one winter when Alexis was here, you know, and you climbed up a lamp-post
to get a glimpse of him. Wasn’t he splendid, though! How grand it must be
to be the son of a Czar!”

But during the Christmas holidays, now almost over, there has been no
school, and Rudolph has had nothing to do but the marketing, and keeping
the walk before the house clear of snow, and running here and there about
the city on errands for his father—who never has any vacation, the year
round. And all these days, oh, how that demon has tantalized him! It
would lead him through the market to where lay great heaps of turkeys
and geese and ducks, so plump and tempting, ready for the oven. “But
_you_ can’t buy any, they cost too much!” It would draw him close up to
the bakery windows. “Wouldn’t Karl like one of those delicious cakes,
though! But you can’t buy it, it costs too much. Isn’t it too bad to
have to count the pennies so?” All the way down the street, of pleasant
afternoons, it would keep tormenting, pointing now at the richly-dressed
ladies out shopping: “Pity your mother can’t have velvets, and feathers,
and furs, like that, and be fashionable!” now exclaiming: “Look! there
goes Jesse James. He’s taking his sister out for a sleigh-ride. Aren’t
those horses just splendid! and that robe, look at it! it’s a real
tiger’s skin! and the bells, oh, how they jingle! By the way, did you
hear him telling one of the schoolboys, last week, about the Christmas
present he was going to give his cousin Florence?—a set of diamonds!
think of it! Here are some, right here in this shop-window. Look at
them! see how they shine!... Pity _you_ can’t make somebody a Christmas
present!—your cousin Mina, for instance. Pity _you_ can’t take somebody
out sleigh-riding. Never had a sleigh-ride yourself, for that matter.
Never had a ride any way, except in a street-car. Never had a single
chance to drive a horse, even.... What’s the reason some can have
everything they want, and others—oh! don’t it make you mad the way things
go on in this world?”

Yes, it does make him “mad.” He goes about glum and scowling. (He used
to be pleasant enough.) The ripple of his laughter is no longer heard,
and he frolics no more with little Karl, who hardly dares approach him,
he is so cross. And thus it is that his mother is led to question if he
is not well, and thus it is that his father comes to suspect what is the
trouble, and to guess the name of the demon that has crept in to disturb
their peaceful home, and to vex the bright, ambitious boy he is so proud
of. The book he is reading has lost its interest, for hours he scarcely
turns a page; and it is a great relief to lay it aside when the consoling
little Karl, feeling that something is amiss, climbs sleepily into his
arms and lays a velvety cheek against his own.

Meanwhile, there is that wicked demon up-stairs upon the pillow, never
ceasing its poisonous whispering, till Rudolph, unable to shake off the
tormentor, at last gives way to sobs and tears, thankful that he is alone
and in the dark, for he wouldn’t have so much as a ray of daylight catch
him crying.

Oh, Rudolph, is there no one to come to you here and drive away that
demon, by telling you of all the mighty ones who have risen from humbler
stations than yours—aye, climbed, round by round, up the ladder of
fortune till they reached the top, admired and applauded by the crowds
below—will no one comfort you by telling you of these?

Wait; here comes some one into the room, comes close to the bedside—a
stranger. Perhaps he has come for that.... But no; listen to what he says:

“Arise, Rudolph, and accompany me to the palace of the Czar.”

The lad stares in amazement at the speaker—a tall, gaunt personage,
wrapped in a black mantle that almost touches the floor, and so conceals
the head and face with its ample folds that only the eyes are visible.
What black, piercing eyes!—blacker than the mantle. Rudolph stares, and
then arises, obedient.

The two travelers are not long in reaching their destination, and
Rudolph soon finds himself in the imperial palace, in a great saloon,
magnificent beyond comparison with that oak-paneled library he saw some
time ago. There is dancing here, and the glittering dresses of the
dancers dazzle him, and the music is so delightful it drives him nearly
wild. When finally he lifts his dizzy eyes from the whirling throng, he
sees, sitting in state at the farther end of the apartment, one who he
concludes is the Czar; for all who approach him bow low and speak to him

“Would Rudolph like to be Czar?” asks the personage in black.

“A-a-ah!” exclaims the other, smiling and clasping his hands.

“Then bide your time.”

They wait behind a heavy curtain till the music ceases, and the dancers
are gone, and the lights are extinguished, and the long saloon is dark
and empty. Then the muffled stranger leads through a maze of galleries
and corridors, unlocks, at length, a door, bids Rudolph enter, and
Rudolph obeys. This apartment, also, is magnificent, but not so large as
the other. At one side is a downy couch with golden-fringed drapery, and
there the great Czar reposes. Upon the wall, near, hangs a sword.

“Take it down,” commands the personage in black; and Rudolph takes it

“Raise it,” is the second command, as they stand over the sleeping Czar;
and Rudolph raises on high the gleaming sword.

“Strike!” And Rudolph strikes.

“Now return it to its place and follow me.” And Rudolph returns the
weapon, dripping, to its place upon the wall, and follows back through
the long galleries and corridors, and down the marble stairs, and out and
away from the palace, and out and away from the city—away to a cave in
the mountains. And the personage in black again commands, “Stay here and
bide your time.”

Day after day there come to them, in their hiding-place, rumors, now of
the murder of the Czar, now of strife and difference among his subjects
over who shall be successor, and, finally, of an invasion by the
neighboring monarchs, who, seeing the people at war among themselves,
would profit by this opportunity to gain possession of the Empire.

“Now is your time!” says the personage in black to Rudolph, and he leads
him into the midst of the battles, and teaches him so well the art of
warfare, that from the ranks he soon rises to be Field-Marshal. Then,
the personage in black always secretly counseling, Rudolph (always
blindly obedient, he knows not why), following closely his instructions,
defeats the invading armies in every battle, drives them out of the
Empire, pursues them into their own provinces, and returns triumphant;
and the people greet him with loud rejoicing, and lead him to the great
throne-room, and robe him in the ermine-lined robe, and crown him with
the jeweled crown, and shout till the echoes ring—“Hail, Rudolph, the
Czar!” and, “Long live Rudolph, the Czar!”

And again there are music and dancing; and it is Rudolph, now, who is
seated in state above the glittering throng, and all who approach him bow
low and address him reverently—excepting one—a tall, gaunt personage,
with muffled face, and piercing eyes, and long, black mantle, who steals
up behind him and whispers, “Does Rudolph enjoy being Czar?” And Rudolph,
remembering all, neither clasps his hands nor smiles.

At midnight, as Rudolph lies upon the downy couch with its silken folds
and golden-fringed drapery, suddenly waking from slumber, he sees one
standing over him with lifted sword; and he springs upon the assassin,
and seizes his sword, and calls to the attendants, and has him put in
irons; and this man makes confession, and reveals to the Czar a plot
among the nobles against his life; then Rudolph causes some of those
conspirators to be thrown into prison, and some to be beheaded; and,
for further safety, the guard in the palace is increased. But not long
after, again suddenly waking in the middle of the night, he sees another
standing over him with lifted sword; and he springs upon this one also,
and seizes his sword, and calls to the attendants, and has him bound with
irons; and behold, when the lights are brought, this man is found to
be one of the palace guard; and he, too, makes confession, and reveals
to the Czar that all in the army are his foes and ready to take his
life; then Rudolph sends out and causes some of the Generals and chief
conspirators of the army to be imprisoned, and others to be beheaded;
and, for further safety, he places his most faithful and trusty servant
to watch in his chamber while he sleeps. But a third time, suddenly
waking at midnight, he sees this servant standing over him with lifted
sword; and him, too, he overpowers, and seizes the murderous weapon; and
this man, also, confesses; and from him the Czar learns that all in the
palace hate him and have plotted to take his life.

So it comes to pass that Rudolph, the Czar, dares not close his eyes day
or night, for there is no one whom he can trust to protect him while he
slumbers. And as the weeks and months wear away, he grows so haggard
with watching, so weary for lack of sleep, that one morning, ere the
sun has risen, and while all is hushed and silent, he casts aside the
robe of ermine, and the golden crown and sceptre, and steals away from
the palace, and out through the palace garden, and off to the fields
beyond; and there, feeling secure, he lies down and closes his eyes, and
is just falling into a delicious slumber, when the sound of stealthy
footsteps arouses him, and looking up, behold one standing over him with
lifted sword; and he springs up to defend himself, but the other turns
and flees. Then he goes on till he reaches a wide forest, and thinking,
“Surely no one will molest me here,” he lies down with a sigh of relief,
and is just losing himself in sleep, when the howling of wolves disturbs
him, and he is obliged to hurry onward, to escape being torn in pieces by
those ferocious beasts.

When he reaches the plain at the other side of the forest, he perceives,
at some distance, a group of huts, and saying, “Surely no one will know
me there,” he approaches them and asks for lodging, and is shown to a
rude chamber, where, just as he is about to lie down, he spies some
object crouching among the shadows, and moving toward it, behold, a
peasant armed with a glittering sword. And the wretched Czar departs
in haste, saying, “My enemies are my own subjects;” and he pauses not
till he is far beyond the boundaries of his own realm. Now at last in a
country ruled by another, thinking, “I am surely safe,” he throws himself
down by the wayside, faint and footsore; but just as sweet sleep is
stealing over him, listen—a rustling, and look—a highwayman standing near
with lifted sword; and he wearily moans, and, rising, hastens away.

At length he comes to a great city, and saying, “Surely none will know
me or wish to harm me here,” he finds lodgings for the night, and lays
himself down to rest, when lo! one approaches softly with lifted sword,
and Rudolph, the Czar, recognizes the face of him he saw in the field
beyond the palace garden. “Alas, he has followed me hither!” he cries,
and hurriedly leaves the city.

And so, wherever he goes, he dares not sleep, either from fear of
assassins, or of highwaymen, or of wild beasts. And so he wanders, and
ever wanders on. And one day as he drags himself along, seeking a place
to rest, he stops to drink from a fountain beside the path, and as he
kneels over the smooth, mirror-like waters, he discovers that his locks
are very white, and that his garments are thread-bare and torn. Still
onward and onward he journeys, sleep the one thing that he longs for.

At last, as he emerges from the shadows of a dark defile between high
mountains, he lifts his heavy, drooping eyelids, and beholds, spread
out beyond, a valley far lovelier than any he has seen in all his
journeyings. Slowly and gently it climbs up and into the purpling
distance, with other valleys stepping down between the hills to meet it,
and little hamlets nestling at the feet of those hills. And he says,
“Surely in so peaceful a valley nothing can disturb me. I will get me to
one of those villages and inquire for an inn, and there I will rest—there
I will sleep, sleep, sleep.”

But just where the defile opens into the valley he encounters an armed
sentinel, who steps forward and asks for his pass.

“I have no pass,” he answers.

“Then thou canst not enter.”

“But I am no common man. I am great, and famous, and much feared.”

“That matters not. Thou hast no pass. I may not let thee enter.”

“But hark you! I am Czar of all the Russias.”

“Whatever or whoever thou art, thou hast no pass; therefore our King
knows thee not; I may not let thee enter. Answer me no more.”

And Rudolph, the Czar, complaining bitterly, crawls a little way off
and casts himself down among the rocks. While he lies there, peering
wistfully into the beautiful valley, wondering at the blueness of the
heavens and the softness of the light, listening to the gurgling of
waters, and catching glimpses of cataracts flashing down the distant
hills, under overhanging branches—while he lies there, one, haughty, and
bearing himself like a prince, draws near, and Rudolph remembers to have
met him in a spacious, oak-paneled library, long ago, when he, the Czar,
was a boy.

No sooner does this one reach the entrance to the valley, than the
sentinel appears as before, and demands his pass. The other hands him a
paper, which he examines, and pronounces to be worthless. “It bears not
our King’s signature, but that of his worst enemy. Begone, impostor!”

“But I am a millionaire! I own ships upon the sea, laden with
merchandise, and mines in the earth rich with ore, and acres of land more
than I can count!”

“Away! Answer me no more.”

And the rich man turns away in wrath and confusion.

Presently appears another, in workman’s garb, which proves to be only a
disguise, for, as he nears the entrance to the valley, on a sudden behold
him a warrior clad in armor! And this armor is like nothing that Rudolph,
the Czar, has seen. The various pieces of which it is composed are of
different hues; the helmet white as snow, and so dazzling that he turns
his eyes from it as he would turn them from the burning sun of noonday;
the breastplate like gold, only brighter; the sword red like flame;
the shield is as if it were of adamant, and the device upon it is an
anchor. As the warrior gives his pass to the sentinel, the Czar, unseen,
recognizes his own father!

But the sentinel does not look at the pass. “I know thee by thine armor!”
he cries, with a smile of welcome, and immediately blows a bugle which
he carries, and the sound rings through the valley—sweetly, sweetly!
winding among the hills, sending back a thousand echoes on its way. Then
the people pour out of the hamlets, and come down in myriads to meet the
warrior, strewing the way with flowers and greeting him with music—oh,
so marvelous! oh, so thrilling! that the very light moves to and fro in
little waves, as if keeping time, and the flashing, gurgling waters join
the chorus, and the overhanging branches swing a slow accompaniment.

Among the people who surround the warrior, just one glimpse has Rudolph,
the Czar, of her who was once his mother, arrayed in garments the beauty
of which is only surpassed by the beauty of her face, and her face
surpasses in loveliness all that he ever imagined could be; just one
glimpse, too, of another face he has known; then the people close about
them and they are lost sight of; and while he reaches out his hands,
crying, “Oh, my mother! Oh, my brother! Oh, my father!” the radiant
throng moves backward up the valley and into one of those other valleys,
and disappears, and the music grows fainter and fainter. As he lies
weeping and listening to that faint, far melody, one from the valley,
mantled in white and mounted upon a snowy steed, rides into the dark
defile, and as he passes by where Rudolph, the Czar, lies, the latter

“Where have they taken the warrior who entered just now?”

“They are leading him to the royal city, to receive from our King’s own
hands the unfading crown of laurels which is given to the victors.”

“But I was once well acquainted with this one, and I never knew that he
was a warrior, nor did I guess that he wore armor.”

“There are many who wear armor unsuspected, and fight their battles

“But how did he procure his pass?”

“Hast thou not heard how our King sends forth spies into all lands to
search for those who will make good, loyal subjects, ever willing to
obey and carry out his commands? To all such are given passes, signed
by the King himself, that when they come hither they may be allowed to
enter. All others are excluded, lest, entering, they annoy the peaceful
citizens, and stir up strife and discord.”

“But this warrior’s armor was unlike anything I have ever seen. Of what
metal is it composed?”

“It is made of several different metals; the helmet of a mixture of two
metals, called Truth and Honesty; the breastplate is also of two metals,
Patience and Constancy; the sword, of the Hatred of all that is base and
evil; and the shield, of the Hope of admission to our land; for this—to
gain entrance here—is considered the highest privilege that can be
granted to any mortal. But I ride on an errand for the King, and must not

“One moment more, O bright one! Is there no secret path by which I can
gain entrance to this peaceful kingdom? Is this the only way?”

“This is the only way.”

“O bright one, return, I pray thee, to the King, and entreat him in my
behalf that he will permit me to enter! for I am weary, oh! I am _so_
weary, and I can find no place where I may rest; and there, too, are all
who love or care for me, and all I love or care for.”

But the messenger answers sorrowfully, “Thou hast no pass!” and rides
away, and the snow-white mantle and the snow-white steed flit along
through the brooding shadows till, in the distance, they are lost from
view. And Rudolph, the Czar, straining his eyes to follow them, is
suddenly startled by a loud, mocking laugh that rings weirdly up and down
the dark defile; and, turning, he sees standing behind him the tall,
gaunt personage in black; and the sight of that muffled figure so fills
him with terror, that he rises and hastens away as fast as his feeble
limbs can carry him.

And now there comes to him remembrance of a place where, when he was a
boy, he rested well and slept undisturbed; and onward he journeys by land
and sea, pausing not till he reaches his native town and has found the
humble cottage where he used to dwell. He creeps softly to the window and
peers in. It is all there, just as it used to be—the cupboard in this
corner; the chintz-covered lounge in that; the simple brown paper on the
wall; the window-curtains of muslin; the clock on the mantel; the clean,
white floor; the polished stove; the vapor curling from the spout of the
shining tea-kettle—all there, so comfortable, so cosy, so homelike! But
the people are strangers. That is not little Karl playing on the floor;
that is not the mother knitting in the rocking-chair. And Rudolph, the
Czar, weeps again, remembering how the last words he had for them were
harsh words, and that he is never to see them more.

At length he knocks at the door and explains to the master of the house—

“I am a feeble old man, in agony of weariness for lack of sleep; for I
have traveled far and searched long, but have found no place where I
might rest in peace. And I finally bethought me of a low room under a
sloping roof, where, in my childhood, I rested well and undisturbed. The
roof above is that same sloping roof, and beneath it is that chamber. And
I will give to thee, good sir, all the gold in my purse—and there is much
gold in it—if I may lodge there for one night only, and sleep once more
as I slept when I was a lad.”

And the good man of the house bids him enter and welcome, but refuses the
proffered gold. And Rudolph, the Czar, climbs up the narrow stairs to the
low room under the sloping roof, and he lies down there, forgetting to
look for the lifted sword, and he closes his weary eyes, and a delicious
drowsiness steals over him, and there is no fear in his heart, and
nothing molests him, and at last he sleeps, sleeps, sleeps.

       *       *       *       *       *

What sound is that? A ringing of bells. It wakens Rudolph. He gazes
about the room. On a stand in the corner a lamp is dimly burning. Some
one is sitting here beside the bed. “Oh, go away, good sir, and leave me
in peace!” he moans piteously. “Did I not offer thee all the gold in my
purse? Why, then, dost thou trouble me? Do no murder, I beseech thee, for
I am old and feeble, and I have not slept before in a hundred years.”

“Thou art dreaming, Rudolph. There is nothing to fear.”

“Thou, my father!” and he seizes the two toil-hardened hands, covering
them with kisses and with tears. “How camest thou here? I feared I should
never behold thy face again! And where are my mother and my brother?”

“The dear mother and our little Karl will see thee in the morning to wish
thee a ‘Happy New Year.’”

A Happy New Year! Rudolph puts his hand to his forehead, as if to smooth
out some knot there underneath. “Truly, I do not know,” he murmurs, “it
all seemed so real. Have I been dreaming, dear father?”

And then the father explains how he heard wailing and shrieking in the
night, and came to learn the cause, but, fearing a fever, staid to watch

“It is hard, dear father, that after thou hast been working all the day
thou must needs watch all the night.”

“I would do much more than that for Rudolph, although he is ‘only the son
of a carpenter.’”

“Alas, that I talked in my sleep!”

Hark, the bells! once more they clang together—all the bells in the town.
So it is, so it is the New Year! They are ringing in the New Year. And
these New-Year days—standing like mile-stones all along the highway of
Time—who gave them to the world for holidays? Was it not “the carpenter’s
son”? Rudolph, trying to smooth out the kink in his brain, finds that
thought entangled with it, somehow. After awhile he exclaims, with face

“It is good that this is the first day of the year! That is the grand
time to turn over a new leaf—no, to put on a new suit of armor! For I
have learned something from my dream, father; it is this—thou art a Hero.
And I mean to be another, just like thee!”

And the father looks down into Rudolph’s eyes, and sees that the demon
has departed.


    “Green, green are the meadows,
      And blue, blue is the sky,
    And glad, glad is the morning,
      And happy and gay am I.
    Tirra-la-la, la, la, la!
      And happy and gay am I.

    “White, white are the daisies
      Blossoming everywhere,
    And red, red are the roses,
      And sweet, sweet is the air!

    “And sweet is the burnie’s music,
      And the music of bee and bird—
    Ha, ha! the sweetest music
      That ever and ever you heard!

    “Gold, golden the sunbeams,
      And bright, bright is the day,
    And the bees, and the birds, and Mabel,
      Little of care have they!

    “Oh! and over the meadows,
      Oh! and under the sky,
    And all in the dewy morning,
      Happy and gay am I!
    Tirra-la-la, la, la, la!
      Happy and gay am I!”

    The queen passed by in her carriage,
      And little Mabel’s song,
    By a roving zephyr wafted,
      She heard as she rode along.
    “Ah, child!” she sighed as she listened,
      A shadow upon her brow—
    “With the birds, and the bees, and the blossoms
      How happy and gay art thou!”

    Standing knee-deep in clover,
      Mabel looked up and saw
    The glitter and royal splendor,
      And her voice was hushed with awe;
    And the light from her sweet eyes faded,
      And the song died out of her heart;
    “O queen!” she sighed in her envy,
      “How happy and grand thou art!”

    And the glee was gone from the morning,
      The gladness gone from the day,
    As through the tangle of clover
      She wearily took her way.
    “What a wretched place to live in!”
      She paused at a cottage door.
    “How lowly and plain and humble!
      I never noticed before!”
    And over her work she muttered,
      “Little the queen of the land

    With the soot and grime of the kitchen
      Needs ever to soil her hand!”
    And over her simple sewing,
      As the afternoon went by,
    Often she fell to musing,
      Often she breathed a sigh;
    And often she thus would murmur—
      “I doubt if ever the queen
    Would deign, with her jeweled fingers,
      To sew an inch of a seam.”
    And wearily on her pillow
      At even she laid her head;
    “I never shall be a queen,” she sobbed,
      “And I wish that I were dead!”

    But presently came a message,
      Reading—oh, was it true?—
    “Arise and come to me, Mabel;
      I, the queen, have sent for you.”
    Then quick to the royal palace
      She rode in the carriage grand,
    And they led her through halls of marble
      To the queen of all the land;
    And the queen arose, and laying
      Her crown at Mabel’s feet,
    “I go to be free and happy,
      And play in the meadows sweet,”
    She said, and to all her people—
      “Farewell!” and “farewell!” she said;
    And the people took up the golden crown
      And put it on Mabel’s head.
    And oh! it was heavy, heavy!
      Heavy, heavy as lead!

    To a gilded throne they brought her,
      In purple and ermine clad.
    “Hail to thee, fair queen Mabel!”
      They shouted with voices glad;
    And “Hail to thee, fair queen Mabel!”
      Rang in her ears all day,
    Till, weary, herself she questioned,
      “Is it right, is it right to stay?
    To drive the cows from the pasture
      Is Mabel’s task alone;
    And my father at work since morning,
      He will soon be coming home.

    “He will miss his little Mabel,
      For there is no one but me
    To toast the bread for his supper
      And make him a cup of tea.
    But no! am I not a lady?
      It is no care of mine
    To worry about the supper
      And the milking of the kine!”

    So she dwelt in the marble palace,
      And dined from a golden plate,
    And slept in a silken chamber,
      And sat in the chair of state.
    And whenever she went riding
      The people with cheers would greet,
    And maidens and little children
      With blossoms would strew the street.

    And royally thus lived Mabel,
      Her only task—to command;
    Servants, unnumbered, ready
      To move at the wave of her hand;
    And alway about her lingered
      Gay courtiers, a dazzling throng;
    And the blithe hours swiftly flitted
      With story, and dance, and song.
    But often herself she questioned,
      As she sat on the gilded throne,
    “How is it with them, I wonder—
      How is it with them at home?”

    As the palace with mirth and music
      Echoed and rang, one night,
    The people peered through the windows,
      Watching the festive sight:
    And a beggar in rags and tatters,
      Listening, shook his fist;
    “What right have they to be merry
      When my little ones starve?” he hissed.
    And the people his words repeated:
      “What right, to be sure?” they said,
    “Flaunting in silks and diamonds
      While our little ones cry for bread.”

    And ever, as thus they murmured,
      Louder their voices grew,
    Till, all in a red-hot anger,
      To the palace doors they flew.
    And the sentinels, at each entrance,
      Quickly they put to flight,
    And hurried with cries and clamor
      Into the halls so bright—
    Into the halls of marble,
      With clubs and with axes armed,
    Till the sound of their shouts and curses
      The courtiers hearing, alarmed,
    Fled in their silks and diamonds,
      Leaving the queen alone.
    On rushed the riotous rabble,
      Making its way to the throne,
    And they who had “Hail Queen Mabel!”
      Shouted with loyal will,
    Now aloft their cruel weapons
      Brandished, intent to kill.

    Then she shrieked for help in her terror,
      Never a friend came nigh.
    So, as the crowd drew nearer,
      Sudden she turned to fly;
    And casting aside the purple robe
      And the heavy golden crown,
    Away and away she hastened,
      To the meadows she wandered down;
    Down to the meadows wandered,
      Hastened away and away,
    Till the birds and the dewy blossoms
      Were roused by the dawning day.

    But the world it was sad and silent,
      Clouded and gray the morn,
    As wearily on she wandered,
      Wearily and forlorn.
    The burnie it went complaining,
      Fretting its way along,
    Making no pleasant music,
      Singing no pleasant song;
    And ever as in the hedges
      She came to a sweet wild rose,
    At the touch of her queenly fingers
      The petals would sadly close.
    Once did she call, “Sing, birdies!”
      But the little birds were dumb:
    “Come to me as you used to!”
      But they, fearing, would not come.

    “What a cosy place to live in!”
      She paused at a cottage door.
    “Not a palace half so lovely
      Is there the country o’er!”
    Within sat a woman knitting—
      A woman aged and blind;
    And ever she dropped the stitches,
      Trying in vain to find.
    “Grandmother, let me help thee,”
      Mabel held out her hand.
    “Nay,” said the gray-haired woman,
      “Thou art the queen of the land!”

    Just at that moment entered
      A workingman—quick she cried
    “Father, oh, dost thou know me?”
      Sorrowfully he sighed,
    “Oh, queen and gracious lady,
      Tell me if thou dost know
    Aught of our little Mabel,
      Who was lost long years ago?
    On a sunny summer morning
      She strayed from the meadows green.
    Tell me if thou hast seen her—
      Tell me, oh, gracious queen!”

    “Alas, they, too, have forgotten!”
      Bowing her head, she wept—
    And the weeping queen awakened,
      And found she had only slept.
    Safe in her low-ceiled chamber,
      Flooded with rosy light,
    Only the little Mabel,
      The Mabel of yesternight!
    Then aloud rejoicing sang she
      The song of the day gone by
    “Glad, glad is the morning,
      And happy and gay am I!”

[Illustration: The queen passed by in her carriage.—PAGE 167.]



    The King came home from battle,
      He came in triumph proud;
    Before, the heralds flying,
      With trumpets pealing loud,
    Ten thousand warriors followed,
      With gleaming spear and shield,
    A goodly store of trophies
      Brought from the bloody field,
    A forest bright of banners
      Unfurled like tongues of flame,
    And clanking ranks of captives
      To swell the mighty train.

    Beneath the arching gateway
      And up the stony street,
    To time of martial music,
      Passed on the trampling feet;
    But ever chief and foremost
      The King in triumph rode;
    His armor flashed in sunlight,
      Gay-plumed his helmet glowed,
    High stepped his coal-black charger,
      Impatient of the rein,
    And curved the sleek neck proudly
      And shook the rippling mane.

    More proud than he the rider—
      In look and mien more proud;
    Before, the heralds speeding
      And trumpeting aloud
    How Eric, the invader—
      Long time a dreaded foe—
    Lay with the gory corses
      Upon the plain below;
    And how of his great army
      A paltry little band
        In hopeless rout
        Had turned about
      And fled to their own land.

    Quick, at the cry of herald
      And clattering of hoof,
    From door and wall and window,
      From balcony and roof,
    Black hung the crowd; with praises
      Did all the city ring—
    With praises for the warriors,
      With praises for the King:—
    So loud, the infant Gerda
      Was wakened from her sleep,
    And, writhing in her cradle,
      Forsooth began to weep,
    The while they praised her father
      Till all the air did ring,
    The while the people shouted,
      “Forever live the King!”


      There in the masonry,
    Black space and then a stairway.—PAGE 177.]


    All day it rained. The white doves
      Came not at Gerda’s call,
    To flock about the casement
      High up the palace wall,
    To coo ’neath her caresses,
      And plume their wings of snow,
    And pick the crumbs she scattered
      Upon the ledge below.

    It rained all day. The sunbeams
      Were weak and wan and rare—
    The beams that seven summers
      Had played with Gerda’s hair.
    All day it rained unceasing.
      The quaint old lofty room,
    For lack of bird and sunbeam,
      Was drear and full of gloom;
    And left among the shadows,
      The while the raindrops beat,
    With restless little fingers,
      With restless little feet,
    Went Princess Gerda roaming
      The quaint old room around,
    And thus behind the tapestry,
      It chanced, a picture found—
    A painting blurred and faded:
      Two men had fought, and one
    Lay vanquished, while the other,
      With foot his neck upon,
    A murd’rous weapon brandished
      Above the prostrate head.
    “Thou hateful, hateful fellow!”
      In anger Gerda said,
    And clenched her small fist straightway
      And smote the lifted hand.
    Lo! backward swung the picture,
      As tho’ a fairy’s wand
    Obeying; and before her,
      There in the masonry,
    Black space and then a stairway—
      So much did Gerda see.
    “Where does it go?” she wondered,
      And, no one being nigh,
    Into the darkness ventured,
      Nor waited for reply.

    Down, down, and ever downward,
      The granite steps led on;
    With now and then a winding,
      With ever and anon
    A pause, a narrow landing,
      But never ray of light.
    On, on, went little Gerda,
      And downward thro’ the night,
    Recalling wondrous stories
      The good nurse Hedvig told
    Of a strange realm and dreamlike,
      All paved and ceiled with gold,
    Where ruled the merry elf-king—
      A realm far underground,
    That a few favored mortals
      By patient search had found.

    So, on and on went Gerda,
      And downward through the night.
    At length in maze of passages
      That led to left and right,
    The stony staircase ended;
      And, searching in the dark,
    She wandered hither, thither:
      The elf-land, where? But hark!
    What sound was that? She listened.
      A moaning somewhere near!
    Again, again, a moaning!
      She fled away in fear.
    From right to left she hurried;
      She hurried to and fro;
    She called: “O good nurse Hedvig,
      Come to me here below!”

    Came never word of answer.
      She could not find the way.
    In terror trembling, sobbing,
      Still onward did she stray.
    “Who weeps?” Again she listened.
      The voice was low and kind.
    “’Tis I—’tis Princess Gerda;
      The way I cannot find.”

    “Fear not, O Princess Gerda!
      If thou wilt turn the key,
    How gladly will I offer
      To be a guide for thee.”

    Her little fingers feeling
      The slimy stones along,
    Found out the door of iron—
      The iron door so strong:
    And standing there on tip-toe,
      With all her might and main,
    She, reaching, tried the rusty key,
      But tried and tried in vain.

    “Once more, once more, O Princess!”
      At that she tried once more;
    The hinges grated harshly,
      And open flew the door;
    And one came forth whose features
      And form she could not see
    For the deep darkness round her;
      But never aught cared she,
    Because the voice was pleasant
      And drove away all fear—
    The voice that softly questioned,
      “How happened Gerda here?”
    “Down, down the longest stairway
      That ever yet was found,
    I came to hunt for fairies
      That dwell beneath the ground.”

    “Now tell me, sweetest Gerda,
      If I will show the way,
    And lead thee from the darkness
      Far up into the day,
    Wilt never of thy venture,
      Nor ever of thy guide,
    To any speak? Wilt promise?”
      She eagerly replied,
    “Oh, yes, yes, yes! I promise!”
      And, hand in hand, the two
    The dank and dismal corridors
      Went searching through and through.

    A narrow length of passage,
      Low-ceiled, at last they gained,
    And midway in this passage
      A narrow doorway framed;
    And winding from this doorway
      Stone steps, a narrow flight,
    They found and followed—followed
      Far up out of the night.

    But when the little Gerda,
      Safe in the dim old room,
    That now seemed full of sunlight
      After the greater gloom—
    When quick she turned to see him
      Who led—the pictured wall,
    The overhanging tapestry
      She saw—and that was all.

    And many days she marveled,
      And many nights did dream
    Of that good guide and gentle,
      Who came and went unseen.
    But never more the stairway,
      So long and dark, she tried.
    She told not of her venture,
      She told not of her guide.

    The dungeon-keeper, bringing
      The daily drink and bread,
    The iron doors found open!
      The prisoners had fled!
    In doubt and wonder gazing,
      He paled with sudden fear:
    “Alack! the King will hear it!
      Alack! the King will hear!”

    Down fell the bread and water—
      With flaming torch he sought
    A narrow length of passage
      Deep through the rough rock wrought;
    And there for miles he wandered,
      Lit by the torch’s ray,
    Nor guessed how lately other feet
      Had traveled the same way.
    At last he reached a country
      Beside the western sea—
    A fair and goodly country.
      There now in peace dwelt he.


    The years have passed, and Gerda,
      Now grown a maiden tall,
    Looks from the latticed casement
      High up the palace wall;
    But not for flash and flutter
      Of snowy wings looks she—
        Thro’ rain or sun
        No longer come
      The white doves merrily;
    For peace and they have flown afar,
    And all the land is red with war.

    Great Ivar, dreaded Ivar,
      Who rules the northern coast,
    Across his rocky borders
      Has led a conquering host;
    And smiling field and hamlet
      Despoiling as they came,
    Five months before the city walls
      The savage hordes have lain.
    The glimmer of their camp-fires
      The Princess Gerda sees,
    Their tents, their hostile ensigns
      A-floating in the breeze.
    She looks forth from her window
      With eyes grown used to tears;
    And as she looks she listens—
      What sound is that she hears?

    A crash, a shriek, a shouting—
      A battlement gives way;
    Swift thro’ the breach come rushing
      The foe in dire array,
    And sudden as a thunder-storm
      Sweeps o’er the smiling day,
    The air is dark and clamorous
      And wild with deadly fray.

        But calm and clear
        Does Gerda hear
        His orders ring,
        As the brave King,
      Keeps the fierce foe at bay.

        But see! he falls!
        “The King is down!”
        Who’ll guard the walls?
        Who’ll save the town?
      “The King is slain! we fight in vain!
      Alack, alack, the King is slain!”

    The panic-stricken soldiers,
      Pale-faced, from street to street
    Flee wildly, as the enemy
      Pursue their flying feet:
    “The King is slain, the town is lost!
    Who can withstand great Ivar’s host!”

    But look! what stranger legions
      Against the hostile tide
    Leap forth in shining armor
      And bold advancing ride,
    Ride on and ever onward,
      Beat back the hostile tide?

    “The gods! the gods! Valhalla
      Has sent its warriors down
    To fight against our Ivar!
      To battle for the town!”
    And in dismay and terror
      Is hushed the conquering cry.
        From street to street,
        In swift retreat,
    And over fallen battlement,
      The pale besiegers fly—
    Fly fast and far; nor pause they
      Till, on the northern shore,
    They see the birchen forests,
      And hear the breakers roar.

    Meanwhile, with peals of gladness
      The rescued city rang,
    And loud their great deliverance
      The joyous people sang,
    And loud they sang the praises
      Of him, the unknown knight,
    Who led his valiant legions
      To battle for the right.

    So loud and long their praises,
      Awaking from his swoon,
    The King o’erheard, and seeing
      Who wore the chieftain’s plume,
    Aghast, stood up and questioned,
      Hand on his horse’s rein,
    “What art thou—man or spirit?
      And what may be thy name?”

    “I am, O King, no spirit;
      And Eric is my name;—
    Prince Eric, son of Eric,
      Who sleeps on yonder plain.”

    “What! Eric? son of Eric?
      Ah, I have heard of thee,
    How wise and well thou rulest
      Beside the western sea.
    But why dost thou come hither
      To drive away the foe,
    And earn my people’s praises,
      Since well thou seem’st to know
        That it was I,
        In years gone by,
      Who laid thy father low?”

    “Not for thy people’s praises
      I hither led my band,
    But with, O king, thy favor,
      To win thy daughter’s hand.”

    “Great soul and gallant suitor!
      Well doth he play his part,
    Who, seeking hand of daughter,
      Doth steal the father’s heart.”

    But Princess Gerda saw not:
      She heeded naught of all,
    Nor gazed she from the window
      High up the palace wall.
    “Wherefore the loud rejoicing,
      Wherefore the triumph vain,
    Since he is dead—my father,—
      Since he, the King, is slain?”

    With streaming eyes she greeted
      Two ent’ring at the door,
    Aye, even him who bowed so low
      His white plumes swept the floor;
    The other—lo! her father!
      Behold his spirit come!
    She stood in trembling wonder;
      Her pallid lips were dumb.

    “Fear not, O Princess Gerda!
      If thou wilt turn the key,
    How gladly will I offer
      To be a guide for thee!”

    So spake the Prince; and Gerda
      In listening paler grew;
    Recalling guide and venture,
      The words, the voice she knew.
    “They come to me from spirit-land!
    Two heroes are they, tall and grand,
      And clad in armor bright!”
        And in her fear,
        As they drew near,
    The quaint old room reeled round her,
      And all was black as night.

    But when again the Princess
      Her blue eyes opened wide,
    And saw the good King kneeling
      And smiling at her side,
    And heard him softly whisper,
      “Behold, my little one,
    I bring to thee a suitor
      Will please me for a son”—
    She bowed in sweet submission,
      And meekly answered she:
    “Whatever please my father,
      That also pleaseth me.”

    And in the royal city,
      And all the country thro’,
    Were festal cheer and gladness
      Where late were war and woe;
    For the good King’s dominions
      And those the sea beside,
    Were wed when Princess Gerda
      Became brave Eric’s bride.


        O Giant Jungenthor,
      What a mighty one was he!
    He was so big, he was so strong,
    Whenever he walked the world along
        The people would turn in terror,
      The people would turn and flee—
        Oh, oh, Jungenthor,
      Such a mighty one was he!

        Oh, Giant Jungenthor,
      What a terrible one was he!
    Whenever he went to take a ride,
    The bald old oaks would step aside,
      The pines would bend the knee:
    And at the sound of his heavy tread
    The hills would tremble and quake with dread,
      The islands would rise to see—
        Oh, oh, Jungenthor,
      Such a terrible one was he!

        Oh, Giant Jungenthor,
      What a dreadful one was he!
    Whenever he happened to say a word,
    For miles and for miles his voice was heard,
      Like the thunder’s roar and rumble;
    The stones would rock and the timbers shake,
    The glass in the windows all would break,
      The chairs and tables tumble;
    The kettles and pans would play and prance,
    About the shelves would the dishes dance,
    The clock would stop and the doors swing wide,
    The cats would scamper, the dogs would hide,
      The pigs would squeal and grumble;
    The cocks would crow and the geese would fly,
    The women would scream, the children cry,
      The men look pale and humble;
        And that is the way it would be—
          Oh, oh, Jungenthor,
        Such a dreadful one was he!

        Where dwelt Jungenthor,
      Where in the world dwelt he?
    Not on the mountains clad with snow,
    Not in the valleys deep below,
      Not by the surging sea;
    Not in the desert white with sand,
    Not in the icy Northern land,
      Not in the South Countrie.
        Oh, oh, Jungenthor,
      Where in the world dwelt he?

    Under the mountains clad with snow,
    Under the valleys deep below,
      Under the surging sea;
    Under the desert white with sand,
    Under the icy Northern land,
      Under the South Countrie;
    Down, down, under them all—
    They but the floor, and roof, and wall—
    There in a cavern high and wide
    (For the round earth was but a shell;
    Who and whoever knew so well
    As Jungenthor what was inside?)
    There, there, there did he dwell,
      There, and oh there dwelt he.

    What do you guess was there inside
    That earth-bound cavern, high and wide?
    Oh, there were millions of chambers roomy,
    Oh, there were galleries long and gloomy,
      Oh, there were wondrous sights!
    Here the ceilings were golden-beamed,
    There the pavement with jewels gleamed,
      With marbles and malachites;
    Diamonds were set in the roof for stars,
    The rafters were made of silver bars,
      The columns of crystal clear.
    Oh, in that cavern, high and wide,
    Had ever a daring mortal tried
    To travel alone and without a guide,
            He had lost his way
            And gone astray
        And wandered many a year;
      And if he had met the giant,
        He surely had died of fear.

    But there was a fairy who knew the way:
    Often by night and often by day
    To a dense forest she would go,
    And there, in a cave all dark and low,
      A rock as heavy as iron,
        And as bright and as black as coal,
      Swift, when her wand she lifted,
        Away and away would roll;
      And down would she clamber, clamber,
        Through hundreds of miles of gloom,
      On the rounds of a golden ladder
        That led to a wonderful room—
      Oh, a wonderful, wonderful chamber,
        Flooded with amber light;
    For there, at the centre of the earth,
    A mighty fire on a mighty hearth
        Burned ruddy, and warm, and bright;
      Burned ruddy and bright forever,
        With billows of orange flame,
      And the giant’s occupation
        Was—never to let it wane.
      And there would the fairy find him
        Stirring the coals red hot:
    “Good-morrow to you, Jungenthor!”
        So would the fairy say;
    “And what and what does Winnikin want,
        And what does she want to-day?”
      So would the giant grumble;
        But Winnikin feared him not.

    And, now, “O Giant Jungenthor!”
      Did her tale of wrong begin,
    “There are two wicked cities—
      A trouble to Winnikin,
    The rich they are proud and cruel,
      The poor they will lie and steal,
    And trouble is always brewing
      That Winnikin cannot heal;
    And the friendly care and watching
      Of the fairies they are not worth;
    O Jungenthor, those cities
      Are blots on the face of the earth!”

    As soon as he guessed her errand,
      The giant poked the fire
    Till it roared, and hissed, and crackled,
      Till the flames curled high and higher,
    And billows of smoke and cinders
      From the chimney-top rolled out,
    And darkened the sky at noonday,
      And shadowed the land about.
    Then he filled ten billion barrels
      With the soot that trickled down,
    And up through the chimney hurled them,
      Up through the chimney brown;
    And lo! when the morning’s sunlight
      Shone through the clouds of smoke,
    In those two wicked cities
      Neither prince nor beggar woke;
    For the soot from the giant’s chimney
      Had deluged the country wide;
    And over those wicked cities
      It rolled in a turbid tide.
        All in the night
        They were buried from sight.
    “Ha, ha!” laughed Giant Jungenthor,
      “Is Winnikin satisfied?”

    And this was the fairy’s errand
      When she came another time:
    “O Jungenthor, a monarch
      Has builded a palace fine;
    Aided by dwarf and elfin
      He has builded it tall and grand.
    With marble white from the quarry,
      Not hewn by mortal hand;
        For night by night
        In the pale moonlight
      Did we hammer and delve away,
    To get the great stones ready
      For the workmen of the day.
    O Jungenthor, we labored,
      Behold, for a thankless King!
    For he has cut down the forest
      Where oft, in a merry ring,
    Did the fairies dance and frolic,
      Or among the branches swing.
    After all our toil and trouble
      He has destroyed our trees,
    And the sight of his gorgeous palace
      Winnikin does not please.”

    As soon as her story ended
      Did the angry giant frown;
    He lifted his voice of thunder,
      And the palace toppled down.
        Oh! he roared so loud
        That the frightened crowd
      Fled from the tumbling town,
    And the thankless monarch stumbled,
      And fell, and broke his crown.
    And forth from his firelit cavern
      Did the giant peep and grin,
    Then growled at the fay beside him—
      “Does _that_ please Winnikin?”

    And such were the fairy’s errands,
      As from time to time she came
    To Jungenthor the giant,
      Feeding the flood of flame;
    And such were the tales she told him
      Of trouble, and wrong, and grief,
        And thus and so
        Would the giant go
      To Winnikin’s relief.

    Once came the fairy, weeping,
    “O Jungenthor!” said she,
    “O mighty giant, listen
      To the news I bring to thee.

    “All up among the mountains,
      Amid the forests dim,
    There stands a ruined castle,
      A castle old and grim:
    And in its shade at evening
      The elves are wont to meet,
    To dance upon the mosses
      And sway with lilies sweet.
    Well, yestere’en, it happened,
      Just at the midnight hour,
    While we were making merry,
      Forth from the vine-wreathed tower
    There came a plaintive moaning,
      And I alone who heard
    Flew up the twining ivy,
      As lightly as a bird,
    And found on high a dungeon
      Beneath the shattered roof,
    And there a pale young captive
      From mortal aid aloof,
    By heavy, clanking irons
      Chained to the wall of stone.
    O Jungenthor, good reason
      Has he to weep and moan!
    And this is what he told me,
      And this is what he told;
    Now hear, O mighty giant,
      What fiends the earth doth hold:

    “‘All up a mountain pathway,
      That winds through forests green,
    There rode three gallant horsemen
      And nevermore were seen.
    Three other gallant horsemen
      Rode up in search of them,
    Rode up the narrow pathway—
      And came not back again.
    And after went three others
      The mountain searching o’er—
    It fared with those three others
      As with them that went before.
    And all the people marveled,
      And all were filled with fear,
    And no one dared to venture
      The mountain pathway near.

    “‘Now, one of those nine horsemen
      Was a knight of our good King;
    And so a prize he offered
      To any who should bring
    A true report and trusty
      Of all those hapless men
    Who ventured up the mountain
      And ne’er came down again.
    Whoso should dare the pathway
      And bring a true report,
    Thus he should be rewarded—
      Oh, he should dwell at court,
    And all should do him honor,
      And the King should make him knight,
    And give to him a war-horse
      And a suit of armor bright!

    “‘Now, we are seven brothers,
      So hale, and strong, and tall,
    Save me, who am the seventh,
      The youngest of them all;
    And for my lowly stature,
      Fair face, and yellow curls,
    The rest they loved to taunt me
      And tease the livelong day,
    The while we watched the cattle
      Or turned the new-mown hay.
    “Go hence, go hence, fair lily,
      And haste thee,” they would say;
    “Lest thou shouldst tan or freckle
      Beneath the burning sun,
    Go get thyself a bonnet
      To shield thee, gentle one!
    Go gossip with old women!
      Go spin and sew with girls!”

    “‘Aweary of their mocking
      And jests at last I grew,
    And much I thought and pondered
      What brave deed I might do,
    Their cruel scorn to silence;
      And when I heard the news,
    A chance such prize of winning
      How could I well refuse?
    So, thro’ the brooding midnight,
      The while the others slept,
    Across the fields and pastures
      All silently I crept;
    And when mine eyes I lifted
      At breaking of the day,
    I saw afar the mountain,
      Toward which I took my way.
    And on, and on I journeyed,
      Till, just as night came down,
    I passed into the forest
      Among the shadows brown.
    Then up the winding pathway
      I hurried on, in fear,
    ’Till, through the darkness shining
      Forth from a ruin near,
    A light I spied, and thither
      I turned, in hope I might
    Find food—for I was hungry—
      And shelter for the night.
    I reached the door, and ent’ring
      (I thought the place an inn,
    For there were sounds of feasting
      And merriment within),
    Fierce men, with cruel weapons,
      A table gathered ’round,
    Sprang up and seized me, helpless,
      And with these fetters bound.
    “What brings thee here, thou stripling?”
      In anger questioned they.
    “O sirs,” I answered, trembling,
      “I’ve journeyed all the day;
    For food, and rest, and shelter
      I chanced to turn this way,
    But since I am not welcome,
      Let me pass on, I pray.”

    “Ha, not so fast, young villain!
      We know that is a lie.
    What errand brings thee hither?
      Confess thou art a spy!”
    “It is a peaceful errand,
      O sirs,” I answered then;
    “I seek nine gallant horsemen.
      And have ye heard of them?
    They rode this way, nor ever
      Returned, and I would bring
    Some tidings of the missing
      To our good lord, the King.”
    At that, with peals of laughter
      The dreary place did ring.
    “Thou’lt see thy gallant horsemen
      Ere thou shalt see the King!”
    They said, and roughly dragged me
      Along the banquet-hall,
    And up into this lonesome tower,
      And chained me to the wall.
    “Lie there, lie there and rest thee!”
      They cried in mocking tones;
    “Thou’rt welcome to thy lodging—
      And the lichens on the stones!”

    “‘O fairy, now for many days
      Have I thus helpless lain;
    No food but these gray mosses,
      No drink but pearls of rain
    That through the sunken ceiling
      Drop to me where I lie,
    When the blessed clouds in pity
      Creep downward from the sky.
    O fairy, I beseech thee,
      Release me ere I die!
    For they who keep this castle
      Are robbers fierce and bold,
    I’ve learned from bloody stories
      By one and other told,
    As night by night, grown merry
      With wine, their voices rise,
    And come to me with secrets
      Through the long galleries.
    They gather here at midnight
      From all the country o’er,
    To hide their plundered treasure
      Beneath the stone-paved floor,
    To talk of their adventures
      And feast till break of day,
    When quick they mount their horses,
      And swiftly ride away
    To seek the mountain-passes
      And lie in wait for prey.
    The very steeds that bear them
      Were stolen, and they tell
    Of three who once rode hither,
      On whom they, waiting, fell
    And slew, and of three others
      Who up the mountain came,
    And yet again three others;
      And all did fare the same.
    And now—for who could doubt it?—
      Those were the missing nine!
    Oh! I would bear the tidings,
      The prize it should be mine,
    But that thus bound with irons
      And helpless here I lie.
    Good fairy, I beseech thee,
      Release me ere I die!’

    “Such was the tale he told me.
      O Jungenthor, I plead
    That thou wilt lift thy mighty arm
      And help him in his need.”

    When the fairy had finished speaking,
      The giant stood up and knocked
    Again and again on the ceiling,
      Till the ruined castle rocked,
        And the roof fell in
        With a deafening din,
        And the stones fell out
        And tumbled about;
    And the thieves who merrily feasted,
      Or ever they could take flight,
    The earth gaped wide and swallowed,
      Then closed and covered from sight.
    “Ha, ha!” laughed Giant Jungenthor,
      “Haven’t I served them right?”

    But there was one part of the castle—
      The tow’r where the young lad lay—
    Left standing (and who denieth
      That it stands there to this day?)
    The door it had flown wide open
      At the knocking of Jungenthor,
            The iron chain
            It had snapped in twain,
      And the captive was free once more.

    And still in his clanking fetters,
      Wasted, and weak, and wan,
    He crawled away to the forest,
      He wandered and wandered on.
    Bewildered and faint, all slowly
      Here and there did he stray,
    Till he saw a snow-white charger,
      With saddle and trappings gay,
    Feeding among the herbage,
      And him did he mount straightway,
            Saying, “Good steed,
            O speed, O speed!
    And carry me, carry me, carry me
      Safe to the King this day!”

    Then the beautiful snow-white charger,
      As tho’ he had understood,
    Galloped adown the mountain,
      Down and on through the wood;
    And, eager, as one long absent
      Seeking his home again,
    The road to the royal city
      He took when he reached the plain;
    And the folk in the fields at labor,
      And the passers to and fro,
    Lifted their eyes in wonder,
      Seeing him speeding so—
    For ever the farther he traveled
      The faster he seemed to go.

    The King from the palace window
      Looked forth at set of sun,
    And along the dusty highway
      Saw a horse and rider come;
    And he watched till the snow-white charger
      Paused at the palace gate,
    Then he turned to the courtiers round him,
      Saying in wonder great,
    “Look, ye! it is the war horse
      Of my brave knight, Harald, he
    Who rode on the fated mission.
      Bring the rider to me!”

    And into the royal presence,
      Trembling, the young lad came,
    Wasted, and wan, and pallid,
      Feebly dragging his chain.
    “Who art thou?” the King demanded,
      Marveling at the sight;
    “Whence dost thou come, and wherefore,
      And why in this woeful plight?”

    Then the youth made timid answer—
      “O my gracious lord the King,
    I am a humble peasant,
      And tidings I come to bring
    Of the fate of the missing horsemen.”
      Bidding the lad come near,
    Eager the King did question,
        And the courtiers all,
        Both great and small,
      Crowded about to hear.

    When the boy had told his story
      The King laid hand on his head;—
    “If thou wert but ten years older
      I would make thee a knight,” he said.
    “Alas!” sighed the boy, recalling
      The scorn and the cruel jeers
    Of his brothers, “I am not worthy,
      Because of my youthful years!”
    And wasted, and weak, and pallid,
      He sank with a weary moan,
    His fetters clanking around him,
      There at the foot of the throne.
    Then the King’s fair little daughter,
      Who had listened with tearful eyes,
    Spake softly, “Have pity, my father!
      Hath he not won the prize?”

    “Arise!” said the good King, smiling,
      “Forsooth I will keep my word,”
    (And, saying, the young lad’s shoulder
      Lightly he touched with his sword);
    “Forsooth I will keep my promise,
      Since the little one pleads thy claim!
    Henceforth shall they know thee only
      As the Knight of the Golden Mane.
    The steed that hath borne thee hither
      Henceforward thine own shall be,
    And when thou art grown to fit it
      Mine armor I’ll give to thee.”
    Then to the servitors turning—
      “Unbind him without delay,
    Tho’ these chains were a badge of honor
      And clanked in his praise to-day.”

    And the youthful knight thereafter
      At the court of the King abode,
    Like a prince did he go appareled,
      And the snow-white steed he rode.
    And the King’s own suit of armor
      He wore when a man he grew—
    Helmet, and shield, and coat of mail,
      And the good King’s broad-sword, too.
    And so valiant was he in warfare,
      And so wise alway, that his fame
          Afar did ring,
          And the foes of the King
      Trembled to hear his name.

    Now, once to the royal city
      The people by thousands came
    (For that day did he wed the princess,
      She who pleaded his claim);
    And there were six stalwart brothers
      In the gay and festive throng,
    And low did they make obeisance
      As grandly he rode along;
    But sudden, amazed and awe-struck
      Were they when the warrior bold—
    In his bright and dazzling armor,
      With his flowing locks of gold—
    Halted to give them greeting;
      Sudden they blanched with shame,
    For, behold, their long-lost brother
      Was the Knight of the Golden Mane!

    And none of all this had happened,
      And the castle, so grim and gray,
    Might have been the home of robbers
      Unto this very day;
    And the poor young lad imprisoned,
      Bound by the iron chain,
    Had clambered the lonely mountain
      And tried for the prize in vain,
    But for the giant’s knocking.
      And from this and from that you see,
    When the fairy asked help of Jungenthor,
      Just the way it would be—
          Oh, oh, Jungenthor,
      Such a mighty one was he!


    When the fairy had finished speaking,
      The giant stood up and knocked.—PAGE 201.]


    O Florence, little Florence,
      With your face so bonny-bright,
    With your hair so full of sunshine,
      With your eyes so full of light,

    With your head so full of frolic,
      With your heart so full of love,
    If you could only tell me,
      Could tell me, pretty dove!

    Do the little laughing cherubs
      Slide down the moonbeams white,
    And whisper funny stories,
      And talk to you all night?—

    The funny bits of ballads
      You babble now and then,
    In a sweeter, softer language
      Than other mortals ken.

    Do they joke and jest so gleeful,
      From set of sun till dawn,
    That you lie and crow and giggle
      Long after they are gone?

    Do they always bring two dewy,
      Fresh pieces of the sky,
    And lift your lashes softly
      And slip them under sly?

    Do they pinch your cheeks a trifle,
      To make the roses blow?
    Do they punch your chubby fingers,
      To make the dimples grow?

    Do they show you sights of mischief,
      All sorts of things to do
    (Just to keep a body busy,
      And the world from getting “blue”)?

    Do they tickle you at table,
      And tempt you to a spree
    (Just to shake the mental cobwebs)
      When the Parson’s in to tea?

    Do they pity the canary,
      And come to you and say,
    ’Tis weary of its prison
      And wants to get away?

    Do they hint the budding calla
      Is bold enough to bloom,
    If some one isn’t careful
      To pluck it pretty soon?

    Do they tell you on which bushes
      Grows “de bestest zinzerbread”?
    That how to get new dollies
      Is to smash the old one’s head?

    Do they teach you model methods
      For enslaving humankind—
    The way to rule the father
      And to make the mother mind?

    And to keep all of us people,
      Who live across the street,
    Forever on the listen
      For the tinkling of your feet?

    Alas! ere you can answer,
      I’m very much in fear
    The cherubs will have finished
      A-whispering in your ear.

    ’Tis cloudy April weather,
      There’s a chill in all the air,
    And over in the window
      I see the golden hair.

    Somebody must stay indoors
      For fear of catching cold;
    And it’s “defful” tiresome business
      For little Three-years-old.

    But the whole town remembers
      How, not six months agone,
    All round the house the curtains
      Were ever closely drawn,

    And where erewhile the door-bell
      Its frequent summons rang,
    Was pinned a penciled notice,
      To hush the piercing clang.

    For little, little Florence
      Among the shadows lay,
    In fever, moaning, tossing,
      The livelong night and day.

    And oft was asked the question,
      “Is she any better now?”
    With a choking and a tremor
      One couldn’t help, somehow.

    But _she_ does not remember,
      Of course—the blithesome heart.
    See! she has donned her “yiding-hood,”
      All ready for a start.

    And—now! quick, no one watching,
      Down, down the walk she flies—
    And Betsy rushing after,
      With a twinkle in her eyes.

    Ha! let us see you catch her—
      The wee Red Riding-hood!
    A flash of scarlet lightning;
      She’s in a racing mood.

    Quick, o’er the muddy crossing
      (The dainty buttoned shoes!)
    Quick, quick, around the corner—
      Ah, she begins to lose!

    And—now!—the race is over.
      You little midget, you!
    To laugh such bubbling laughter,
      The other must laugh too.

    And now the door closed on her,
      As yesterday, no doubt—
    “Mamma must haf to lock it,
      Or some peoples _vill_ get out.”

    Once, left alone a moment,
      They couldn’t find the child;
    And the father’s face was ghastly,
      And the mother—she went wild.

    Nor here, nor there, the missing;
      The neighbors, looking out,
    Saw all the household flying
      Promiscuously about,

    And joined the search, in terror,
      And hurried to and fro;
    “Oh! where—oh! where is Florence?
      Does anybody know?”

    “O Florence! Florence! Florence!”
      There came a little squeal
    From pony Prince’s manger—
      “I be here in de meal.”

    The darling! may kind Heaven
      Preserve her safe and sound!
    For her ways defy conjecture,
      And her plans—they are profound.

    But bless the little cherubs
      Who ride the moonbeams white,
    And come to her a-cooing,
      A-cooing all the night!

    Who come to her with manna—
      The melting music-mirth
    She scatters in her pathway,
      To gladden all the earth.

    And bless the little Florence,
      With her face so bonny-bright,
    With her hair so full of sunshine,
      With her eyes so full of light!

    Aye, bless you, little sunbeam!
      Shine on a good long while!
    The world will be the better
      For the ripple in your smile!


    Great-great-grandmother, Winifred Lee,
    Brought, when she came across the sea,
    A porcelain tea-pot pictured o’er,
    After a fashion they knew of yore,
    Bright with birds and with summer flowers
    And fairies dancing in shady bowers—
    A pretty treasure to keep in mind
    The pleasant home she had left behind.

    Weeks of battle with storm and gale
    Wore on timber and mast and sail,
    And just a league from its destined goal
    The ship was wrecked on a hidden shoal.
    Rescued, the people sped to shore,
    Saving their lives and nothing more.

    But Winifred, pacing the beach next day,
    Dreaming of England far away—
    A little homesick, and lone, and sad,
    In spite of the morning gay and glad—
    Saw, as she strolled, how the thieving tide
    Had brought its plunder and scattered wide,
    And behold, in seaweed carefully wound,
    The porcelain tea-pot safe and sound!

    When years had passed and the King’s demand
    Roused the people of all the land,
    And a ship’s cargo was put away
    To steep at the bottom of Boston Bay,
    With a rebel heart and a flashing eye
    Winifred laid her tea-pot by;
    “Till we are granted our rights,” said she,
    “I’ll drink not another cup of tea.”

    (Oh, matrons of this luxurious age,
    Who lightly turn from History’s page,
    Just for a year or two forego
    Your redolent draughts of rare Pekoe,
    And say if you deem the self-denial
    Of our great-great-grandmothers not a trial!)

    Murder, and pillage, and cannon’s roar,
    All along the Connecticut shore,
    Frighted from town the worthy dame.
    Next day a barrack her house became,
    And a troop of Redcoats helped themselves
    To all they could find on the pantry shelves.
    They drank and feasted, and sang and swore,
    They tumbled the beds and the curtains tore,
    And the quiet, orderly, well-kept house
    Was the scene of a livelong night’s carouse.

    Homeward stealing when they had passed,
    Winifred gazed at the sight aghast.
    With wrecks of revel the floors were strewn,
    With tables broken and chairs o’erthrown;
    Delicate saucer, and cup, and plate,
    Ruined all—but, strange to relate,
    The porcelain tea-pot standing still,
    Safe and sound, on a window-sill!

    Long and long have the lichens grown,
    Wreathing a slender slab of stone,
    Till scarcely the letters can you see
    That spell the name of Winifred Lee.
    But the pictured porcelain, handed down,
    Far from the old elm-shaded town,
    An heirloom prized, had found retreat
    High over a thronged Chicago street—
    There, in its corner, fresh and gay
    As tho’ it were made but yesterday.

    When in the night a terror came,
    And the great city was red with flame,
    And the people, jostling, gasped for breath
    As they wildly fled from the jaws of death;
    Little leisure or care had they
    Their household treasures to bear away.

    Nevertheless, as one returned
    To where the _débris_ smouldering burned,
    Where heaps of ashes, and brick, and stone,
    Were all that remained of a goodly home—
    Saving a charred and blackened wall,
    Like skeleton rising gaunt and tall—
    Glancing upward, with wondering eye,
    The marvelous tea-pot did he spy,
    Boldly gleaming against the sky.

    Ah, old tea-pot, gleaming still,
    What is the magic that guards from ill,
    From tempest, and war, and time, and fire—
    All for thy ruin that conspire?
    Behold thee, shining so bright and gay!
    Old tea-pot, art thou bewitched, I say?
    If that be true, and in some hour
    Thou shouldst possess thee of speech the power,
    With the vapor that curls from thy graceful spout
    What prisoned secret wilt thou let out?
    Wilt tell how gossips have lisped and chided
    At little suppers where thou hast presided?
    Wilt ever laugh at the fortunes told,
    The willing credence of young and old,
    As the sibylline leaves thou didst unfold?

    Forsooth, as I watch thee blink and shine
    In that remarkable way of thine,
    I’m half afraid of thee!—No, not so,
    Thou precious relic of long ago!
    Breathing fragrance and friendly cheer,
    Live for many and many a year!
    The next Centennial may’st thou see,
    Is the toast I drink in a cup of tea.

    ORANGE, N. J., 1876.


    The bobolink sung to ’is mate,
      The doves wuz softly cooin’,
    I heard the clinkin’ of the gate,
      When Joe first come a-wooin’.

    I stood beside the lilock bush
      (The sun was slowly sinkin’);
    My cheeks wuz all to once a-blush,
      When I heard the gate-latch clinkin’.

    Fer Joe he wuz so good an’ kind
      (Tho’ such a bashful lover),
    No truer friend you’d ever find
      In all the wide world over.

    He sez, “Ez I wuz goin’ by,
      I seed yer hair so shiny,
    Yer eyes ez blue ez summer sky,
      Yer cheeks ez red’s a piny;

    “My heart my throat come thrummin’ in,
      The dusk it struck my fancy;
    I couldn’t help a-comin’ in
      An’ speakin’ to ye, Nancy.”

    An’ then ’e sez—’e sez—O me!
      My feelins gits unruly—
    He’d liked me all along, you see;
      I know he loved me truly.

    An’ I wuz but an orphan, too,
      A-workin’ fer my livin’,
    Without a kith er kin I knew,
      An’ jest myself to give ’im.

    An’ when iz voice sunk soft away—
      A kind o’ tremblin’ in it—
    The words I tried so hard to say
      Kep’ chokin’ fer a minute.

    The lilock blossoms wuz in blow,
      So sweet, with dewdrops beaded;
    I handed ’im a bunch, an’ Joe
      No other answer needed.

    The year it passed, the war wuz come,
      The soldiers fast enrollin’;
    I heard the beatin’ of the drum,
      I thought like church-bell tollin’.

    I stood beside the lilock bush,
      The shadows round me lyin’,
    An’ all the evenin’ in a hush,
      Except the wind a-sighin’;

    An’ down the lane the whip-’oor-will
      So sad an’ mournful callin’—
    Somehow it wuz so dreadful still,
      The tears _would_ keep a-fallin’.

    An’ then _he_ come—so brave an’ strong,
      An’ yet ’is lips a-quiv’rin’;
    I guesst ’is errant all along,
      An’ couldn’t help a-shiv’rin’.

    O friend, the year went round—went round—
      But this’ll tell you better;
    This withered lilock some one found,
      An’ sent me in a letter.

    Ah, well! there’s more than me that know
      How sad is war, an’ fearful,
    An’ since the good God plans it so,
      I must try to be cheerful;

    But when the lilocks air in bloom,
      An’ when the day’s a-dyin’,
    I creep off to my little room
      An’ have a fit of cryin’.


    Violets, violets, blossoming low,
          Shadowy grasses under;
            Blue, blue eyes,
            Up at the skies
          Peering, as if in wonder.

    What tho’ the garden with bloom be sweet,
          Its mantle the wood renewing;
            And the birdlings glad
            Be rollicking mad
          And musical in their wooing;

    What tho’ the streamlet softly flow,
          Murmuring, laughing, grieving,
            And the livelong day
            The zephyr gay
          Story and rhyme be weaving;

    Never the spring-time hath been complete
          Till, the long grasses under,
            I find blue eyes
            Up at the skies
          Peering, as if in wonder.


    Apples, apples, apples,
      Here they come tumbling down,
    Yellow, and white, and rosy,
      Crimson, purple, and brown;
    Seek-no-further and russet,
      Gilliflower, Jersey sweet,
    Strawberry, mellow _Fameuse_
      Fit for a king to eat;
    Pound royals, golden pippins,
      Spitzenbergs hard and red;
    Take care! get out of the way, there,
          Or they’ll plump,
      On somebody’s head!

    Gather them into the baskets,
      Empty them into the bin;
    What a luscious store to go to
      When the winter wild sets in!
    Oh, if the apples Eve saw
      Were as handsome as some of these,
    How ever could she help saying—
      “I’ll take one, if you please”?
    Yellow, and white, and rosy,
      Crimson, purple, and brown,
    Apples, apples, apples,
      Here they come tumbling down.


    Good-by, little bird, the storm-clouds
      Are gathering gray and drear;
    At the chilly touch of the Frost-king
      The sunbeams have paled with fear;
    Wither’d, the leaves, and fallen lie;
    Sadly the winds of autumn sigh;
    Good-by, little bird, good-by, good-by;
      Little bird, stay not here.

    Good-by, little bird, I see thee
      Winging thy southward way
    To a sunny land thou knowest,
    Caroling as thou goest,
      Singing a blithesome lay.
    Alas, and alas, no longer
      Shall thy tuneful voice be heard,
    Till the leafless limbs be clothed again,
    And the blossoms gladden hill and glen.
    Good-by, good-by, little bird, till then;
      Good-by, good-by, little bird.


    Slow the sunset’s glory fades
    In a thousand shifting shades,
    Crimson passing into gray,
    Where the waters of the bay,
    Mirror, serve the sky alway.

    From the dim, far-reaching sea
    Blows the cool wind merrily,
    Fills the snowy sails spread wide,
    And the fishers gaily glide
    Out against a rising tide.

    Children on the sea-beach white
    Watch them speeding out of sight;
    Rose, the eldest of the band,
    Sees but him who waves his hand—
    Boldest sailor in the land.

    “All is well when father goes,”
    Softly murmurs little Rose,
    Listening to the breaker’s moan,
    As she wends her way alone
    Up the cliff-side to her home.

    Thro’ the night the storm-bells toll,
    And she hears the thunder’s roll,
    Sees across the heaven’s black
    The red lightning’s zigzag track;
    Still, “I know he will come back!”

    Broken spar and shattered mast,
    By the reckless billows cast
    On the shore at early day,
    As they, guilty, steal away,
    Find the villagers and say—

    While above them smiles the sun—
    “’Twill go hard with such an one,
    ’Twill be sad for these and those,
    But who shall the news disclose
    To the little orphan Rose?”

    Rose, small housewife, mixing bread,
    When they tell her shakes her head:
    “Do you think I can forget
    All the perils he has met,
    And naught ever harmed him yet?”

    And the neighbors say, “Poor child!”
    Whispering, “Grief has made her wild.”
    But at eve white sails behold!
    Flashing up a path of gold,
    Just as little Rose foretold.


    Katy on the doorstep sat,
    While her dimpled fingers fat
    Moved industrious to and fro
    O’er the gay pink calico;
    For an apron she was making,
    All herself, with much painstaking.

    Pretty picture made she there,
    Humming a quaint Celtic air,
    Blue eyes on the work intent,
    Cheek where tan and roses blent,
    Brown hair smoothly brushed and braided,
    Tied at ends with ribbon faded.

    Such a happy little maid,
    Sitting in the porch’s shade,
    Tempted me to questioning,
    Till she fell a-gossiping,
    All about her country telling
    And the peasant’s mode of dwelling;

    How she came from “ferninst Corrk
    Tin miles,” how she used to walk
    There and back without a rest,
    Only, by the way confessed,
    That the miles “beyant” “air shorrter”
    Than they are this side the water;

    How the houses are of clay,
    And the roofs are green alway—
    Thatched with turf; how very sweet
    The odor of the burning peat,
    Which warms in winter-time the cottage
    And cooks the oatmeal or the pottage;

    How now and then a troop passed by,
    Fox-hunting, riding gallantly—
    Fair ladies and fine gentlemen,
    Who dashed through field, and wood, and glen—
    Nor hedge, nor fence, nor stream could stay
    Their fiery steeds upon the way;

    How on a hill-side near her home
    There stands a ruin, ivy-grown,
    Which long, and long, and long gone by
    Was a grand castle, strong and high;
    And now by night the people passing
    Make haste, for fear a ghost be chasing.

    Thus and so did Katy chat,
    As in the shaded porch she sat.
    The little maiden twelve years old
    With ready tongue her story told,
    Better than all the books relate it
    Or half the travelers can state it.


    Little Marie is lonesome,
      Little Marie is sad,
    Tho’ the summer sun is shining
      And the summer days are glad.

    Ever she stops to listen
      As her weary task she plies,
    Anon at the open window
      Lingers with dreamy eyes.

    Not at the distant woodlands,
      Veiled in a golden haze,
    Or the miles between of meadow
      And wheat and rippling maze,

    Dotted with elms and maples
      That move in the morning breeze,
    And now and then a farm-house
      Shaded by apple trees,

    The shallow, winding streamlet,
      Where cattle lazily wade,
    Here in the sunlight flashing,
      Trembling there in the shade—

    Not at the quiet landscape
      Gazes she; far and dim
    She sees the white clouds fleecy
      That crown the horizon’s rim.

    They are the snow-clad mountains
      She saw from the chalet low,
    Where she dwelt in the dear old Rhineland—
      Ah! it seems so long ago.

    Not to the streamlet’s murmur
      Listens she; far away
    Gurgles a mountain torrent
      Over the rocks all day—

    Gurgles and laughs and plashes,
      Turning the mill-wheel ’round;
    Gurgles and laughs so merry—
      Hush! she can hear the sound.

    She and the village children
      Clamber along its route;
    Ernest is always leading—
      Hark! she can hear him shout:

    “Marie! I’ll help thee, Marie!”
      She reaches her hand to him—
    Sudden the wide eyes vacant
      Fountains of tear-drops brim.

    Suddenly far and mocking
      Sounds the voice of the brook.
    She turns away from her mountains;
      Ah, no, no! she must not look.

    “Courage, my little Marie!”
      Was it an echo, then?
    When he went off to the battles—
      He never came back again—

    Thus did he say, her lover,
      Stroking her golden hair:
    “Courage, my little Marie!”
      Hist! a step on the stair.

    Idling and dreaming, Marie!
      Quick to her work she flies;
    What if the madame find her
      Staring with wistful eyes?

    All in the land of strangers
      Pity is sweet and rare.
    Dreary the life before her,
      Never a soul to care.

    So, tho’ the sun be shining,
      So, tho’ the day be glad,
    Sometimes she loses courage,
      Sometimes Marie is sad.


    _Ting-a-ling-a-ling, ling,_
      _Ting-a-ling, ling._

    Under the window,
      Down in the street,
    Little brown curly head,
      Little bare feet;
    Pleadingly lifted,
      Slumberous eyes,
    Thrumming, fingering,
      Nimble hand flies.

    _Ting-a-ling-a-ling, ling,_
      _Ting-a-ling, ling._

    Song of the Southland
      Over the sea,
    Sing, little Napolese,
      Sing to me.

    “Beautiful Southland
      Over the sea,
    Gayly and gladly
      Sing I of thee!
    So will I sing,
      And so will I sing.

    “Purple the mountains,
      Purple the wines,
    Sunny the hill-slopes
      Clad with vines;
    Sunny the skies are,
      Balmy the air,
    Time floateth dreamily,
      Dreamily there.
          Tirra, la, la, la!
          Tirra, la, la,
          Viva, viva,

    Tattered cap held for
      The pennies dropped down;
    Off he goes wandering
      Over the town,
    Thrumming, fingering—,
    _Ting-a-ling-a-ling, ling,_
      _Ting, ling, ling._


    When winsome little Maggie
      Comes dancing down the street,
    The people smile upon her,
      And pause, and kindly greet.

    The white-haired parson gently
      Lays hand upon her head,
    The roguish doctor pinches
      Her cheek so round and red.

    The grim old judge’s visage,
      Forever in a frown,
    Relaxes for an instant,
      As, passing, he looks down.

    The matrons stoop to kiss her,
      The children, at their play,
    Call out, as little Maggie
      Goes tripping on her way.

    Not e’en the dreaded gossip,
      Who through her half-closed blind
    Peeps forth, with little Maggie
      Has any fault to find.

    When winsome little Maggie,
      With basket on her arm,
    In which her father’s luncheon
      Is wrapped so nice and warm—

    When she enters the long workshop
      And pauses at his side,
    Quick down he lays his hammer
      And turns in love and pride,

    To look into her limpid eyes,
      And stroke her sunny hair,
    And jest and frolic with her—
      Forgetting toil and care—

    For the music of her laughter
      And the mirth of her replies,
    The while there’s not a happier man,
      Or richer, ’neath the skies.

    Ah, well, it is a blessing
      To have a heart so gay
    That it keeps your feet a-dancing,
      Your face alight alway,

    And that, like winsome Maggie,
      It seems, where’er you go,
    As if the clouds had parted
      To let a sunbeam thro’.


    “_Contented wi’ little and cantie wi’ mair._”

    Yes, we live down in the orchard,
      Under an apple tree;
    We’ve got a palace down there,
      Little Padoy and me.

    We built it of sticks and timbers
      The carpenters threw away.
    We worked at it hard, I tell you;
      It took us a whole long day.

    There’s a door (without any hinges),
      And a window (without any blind),
    And a chimney (it’s built of pebbles,
      And it smokes—but never mind).

    And the roof (it’s a little leaky),
      We tried to make it look—
    With straw laid smooth—like the houses
      I found in my picture book.

    There’s a stairway made of corn-cobs,
      And parlor and kitchen and hall,
    And sofas and chairs and tables,
      And a looking-glass on the wall;

    And in the kitchen a cupboard
      With real dishes on the shelves;
    Mother, she gave them to us,
      But the rest we made ourselves.

    Oh, just come along now, won’t you?
      It’s only a little way.
    I want to show you our palace—
      How old am I, did you say?

    I’ll be six years old next summer,
      And my wife she’s going on four;
    There she is, waiting for me—
      There by our palace door.

    Padoy, see, we’ve got company,
      Now you must be polite
    And say “Good morning” pretty,
      And “Won’t you sit down?” That’s right.

    And here’s the dinner ready—
      Biscuit and sauce and tea.
    The tea it’s water and sugar,
      And as sweet as sweet can be;

    And the biscuits—Padoy, she makes ’em:
      She mixes water and flour,
    And sets it to rise in the sunshine
      For almost a half an hour;

    And then she kneads it and kneads it
      Into tiny cakes of dough,
    And it’s fun to play ball with ’em,
      Before they’re baked, you know.

    Say, now, won’t you have some?
      Only one! Why, look here.
    There’s lots more where these come from,
      Ain’t there, Padoy, my dear?

    You’d like to look at my garden?
      Oh, yes, it’s right out there;
    Somehow it doesn’t do well,
      In spite of all my care.

    The wind it blew down my bean-vine,
      My radish it never grew,
    The bugs they eat up my cabbage,
      And my turnip and cucumber too.

    (Padoy, run wash the dishes).
      I wouldn’t have _her_ know,
    But I tore up the tomato
      Trying my bran-new hoe.

    Ever quarrel? Why, no, I guess not.
      Sometimes she won’t play fair,
    And once I got out of patience,
      And bit her and pulled her hair.

    But she cried so hard, I tell you
      I was sorry as could be;
    And, well, I—I—I kissed her,
      And we made up, you see.

    Candy! Oh, my! Padoy,
      Just look here, will you, then?
    Going? Well, to-morrow
      Come and see us again.


    “I’ll be six years old next summer,
    And my wife she’s going on four.”—PAGE 236.]


    Von’d you puy somedings, laty?
      I haf not solt dis tay
    Von shillin’s wort’. I kess maype
      De folks dey no forshteh.

    I haf peen sigs veegs ofer,
      I comes vrom Cherman land,
    De lankuache of dis konetree
      I no yed ondherstand.

    “Pints, neetles, rippones, laces,”
      All de tings vod I sells,
    “Pock’t-hankchies, neckdies, shpenders,”
      I fer mooch careful dells.

    “Vod prize?” So den I dells dem.
      Dey shmiles. Dey no forshteh.
    Dis lankuache ish der drooples;—
      I haf do durn avay.

    So habbens I sells noding;
      De dime koes py und py;
    Und oop und town I trafels—
      Of hunker I shall tie.

    Von’d you puy somedings, laty?
      Oh, tanks! Der subber? Goot!
    It ish not since last efening
      I haf some leetle foot.

    I bays you noding for it?
      Vell den, I sells you—cheap?
    No? Vell, I fer mooch tank you.
      Goot day. Got sent you sheep![8]

[8] God send you a ship; _i. e._, May you prosper.


    Over the flowery meadow
      She wanders with careless feet,
    Chasing butterflies golden,
      Gathering blossoms sweet.

    She talks a-while to the roses,
      She grasps at the sunbeams bright;
    To pieces she plucks the daisies,
      And scatters their rays of white.

    “Tra, la, la, la, la, la, la!”
      She carols so sweet and clear,
    Unheeding the two great armies,
      Gathered in silence near—

    The two great hostile armies
      Gathered in battle array,
    Watching the tiny creature
      Among the blossoms at play.

    And never a sword is lifted,
      And never an order heard,
    As they list to the silvery accents,
      Like the trill of a blithesome bird.

    They listen, the grim old warriors,
      To the voice so full of glee,
    Singing, “Tra, la, la, la, la,
      Tra, la, la, la, la, lee!”

    And over the rippling tresses
      Do they watch the sunbeams glide,
    Till many a lip that quivers,
      The gray mustaches hide.

    And many a heart beats faster,
      As the thoughts of those thousands stray
    To the little ones singing, playing,
      In the homes so far away;

    Little ones singing, playing,
      Happy and gay and free,
    Sunny-haired little children
      They never again may see.

    Thus do they wait in silence,
      Till the child to her cottage-door
    Creeps—as the sunshine, often,
      From skies that are clouded o’er.

    Then—as those clouds in anger
      Meet with deafening din,
    So the two hostile armies
      The battle straightway begin.

    That was hundreds of years since;
      Scarcely the records tell
    To which of those hostile armies
      The glory of winning fell.

    But though ’twas hundreds of years since.
      There you may read, this day,
    How a little child, unwitting,
      Held them an hour at bay.


    Ten pink fingers has she,
    Ten pink toes,
    One pink nose,
    And two eyes that can hardly see;
    And they blink and blink, and they wink and wink,
    So you can’t tell whether they’re blue or pink.

    Not much hair on her head has she;
    She has no teeth, and she cannot talk;
    She isn’t strong enough yet to walk;
    She cannot even so much as creep;
    Most of the time she is fast asleep;
    Whenever you ask her how she feels,
    She only doubles her fist and squeals.
    The queerest bundle you ever did see
    Is little Pinkety-winkety-wee.


    The table is spread, my daughter dear,
    Let us just climb up—there’s no one near—
    And help ourselves to the best that’s here.
    Wouldn’t you like a piece of trout?
    Ow! but the bones should have been picked out.
    Here’s a savory dish of meat.
    Ah, this omelet is a treat!
    Don’t be dainty—a feast so gay
    Isn’t granted us every day.
    (_Enter the master—“Out of that!_
    _Scamper! off with you! s-s-s-scat!”_)
    Oh, the wearisome life of a cat!
    Mew, mew, meou, ow!
    I think it’s curious, anyhow.
    Where people can come and go so free,
    Why, and I wonder, shouldn’t we?
    What’s the reason these two-legged fry
    Are any better than you and I?


    Ah, pretty Lena! why is she weeping?
    What has befallen? What is it creeping
      All the way, all the way down her pink cheeks?
    One little, two little, three little tearies;
      One little, two little, three little streaks!

    One little, two little, three little brothers
    Out on a frolic, chasing each other—
      And ever and ever so many more!
    Quick, let us catch them—poor little dearies!—
      Here in this handkerchief, ere they fall o’er.

    Now let us find them. Why, they have hidden!
    Perhaps they were fairies that came all unbidden,
      And ran away, frightened, when Lena laughed out.
    Ha, ha! how she scared them! but very queer is
      The change that a laugh can alone bring about.


        Little kid,
        Frisking kid,
      Pretty as a fawn,
    Runs to me when I pass
    Where he lies in the grass,
      At the early dawn.

    Little one, pretty pet,
    You have not forgotten yet
    How the other day I fed
    You with apples, rosy-red,
      By the garden wall.
    ’Tis for juicy apples sweet
    You are kneeling at my feet,
    ’Tis the apples you love so—
    Apples, and not me, I know,
      Oh, not me at all!


    After the long and merry day,
    Little cousin, tired of play,
      Has fallen asleep in the rocking-chair.
    Soft, let me whisper in her ear—
    There are better places to rest, my dear;
      Come, let us go up-stair.

    She doesn’t waken. Now, eyes so bright,
    Under a curtain, out of sight,
      Cannot I get a glimpse of you?
    Creep, creep, creep, mouse, creep,
    Cautiously up the dimpled cheek—
      Peek, peek-a-boo, boo!

    Not a glimpse! Now, then, little girl,
    I’ll tickle your ear with this stray curl,
      This curl of your tangled hair.
    Now I’ll count the dimples: One, two, three—
    “Ha! ha!”—you rogue, you were fooling me!
      Fooling me, I declare!


    Sunshine dances on the floor;
      Baby reaches after;
    Golden toy, ne’er touched before,
      Wakens smiles and laughter.

    Mighty orb, so wondrous bright,
      Human gaze defying,
    The round earth with warmth and light
      Lavishly supplying;

    Making green the forest wide,
      Blue the ocean’s billow,
    And the rosy eventide
      Meet to be thy pillow;

    Clothing vale and slope and plain
      With rare blossom-treasure,
    Purpling grape and rip’ning grain
      For the people’s pleasure;

    Driving chill and gloom away,
      Wheresoe’er they may be;—
    Lo, thou bringest, god of day,
      Playthings for a baby.


    “_I had a little hobby-horse._”

    Rock away! rock away!
      Here we go
    All on a journey—
      Kee! ki—oh!

    Over the mountains,
      Over the sea,
    Rock away, rock away,
      Here are we!

    Now we’re in China,
      Now we’re in Spain,
    Now we’re in Texas,
      Now we’re in Maine.

    Now we’re in London,
      Now we’re in Rome—
    Here we are back again,
      Safe at home!

    Look at us, look at us,
      Tim and me!
    No greater travelers
      Will you see.

    Can’t stop for questions,
      Oh, no, no!
    Rock away, rock away,
      Off we go!


    She tried to scratch out both my eyes
        (It is true!)
    Tried to pull off both my ears,
        My nose, too;
    Scolded me—I thought she said
    She would leave upon my head
        Not a solitary hair—
        Meant it, laughing—didn’t care!

    Well, it rather hurt, but I
    Murmured not, nor made outcry;
    Let her pull, and scratch, and scold;
    (She is only six months old).


    Cluck, cluck! come under my wings,
    All you poor little shivering things!
    It’s cloudy above and muddy below;
    The rain pours down and the four winds blow.
    Too bad the weather’s so damp and cold,
    And you, poor chicks, but three days old!
    You haven’t much chance, that I can see;
    But cluck, cluck! come hither to me.
    Yellow, and Brownie, and Tan, and White,
    Blackie and Spot—yes, six—that’s right.
    Cluck, cluck! hide under my wings,
    And I’ll keep you warm, you poor little things.


    “_Hark, the bee winds its small but mellow horn._”

    All roun’ de flowers, you pwitty fly,
      All roun’ de flowers an’ me,
    You sing so loud! Dess reason why—
      You’s happy as tan be.
    Bet I tan tatch you if I try.
      Zere! now I’s dot you, see!
    Boo-hoo! Do ’way, you udly fly!
      What for you bited me?

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories and ballads for young folks" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files. We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's search system for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.