FUN AND FROLIC
EDITED BY E. T. ROE
Grandmother sits in her easy chair Softly humming some old-time air; And as she sings, her needles keep pace With the smiles that flit o'er her wrinkled face; While the fire-light flickers, and fades away, And comes again like the breaking day.
From morning till evening she knits and sings, While ever the pendulum tireless swings The moments around, with its tick and stroke, Nor hastes for the festal, nor lags for the yoke. And grandmother never repines at her fate Of being the last at the "Crystal Gate."
Husband, and daughters, and sons all there, Wearing the "crown and the garments fair" Singing the songs that will never tire, And swelling the chorus of heaven's choir; But patiently, hopefully, bides the time That shall bring her at last to a fairer clime.
Grandmother's chair will be vacant soon, For the rays of life slant far past noon; But yonder in heaven she'll sing again, Joining the evermore glad refrain, Wearing the "crown" and the "garments fair," While we mournfully stand by her vacant chair.
HOW GRANDMA SURPRISED ELSIE.
Elsie Dean was four years old when she was invited to her first party. It was Dollie Blossom's fifth birthday, and Dollie's mamma had arranged for a little party in honor of the event. Of course Elsie's mamma was perfectly willing she should go to the party, for the Blossoms were very nice people, and Mrs. Dean was always glad for an occasion of enjoyment for her little daughter. But alas, on the day before the party was to occur, Elsie went to a picnic, and was so unfortunate as to tear her dress—the only one she had which her mamma thought was suitable for her to wear to the party. "I am afraid you cannot go to the party, my dear, for now you have nothing fit to wear," said Mrs. Dean to Elsie. The little girl's eyes filled with tears, and her Grandmamma seemed to feel almost as bad about it as Elsie. But she did not wish to make the little girl feel any worse over her disappointment, so she made light of it and told her that there would probably be another birthday party soon, and by that time she would surely have a suitable dress to wear. Elsie was finally comforted, and went to bed in good spirits after kissing mamma and grandmamma good night.
What was Elsie's surprise next morning, to find that her picnic dress had been mended "good as new." She did not need to ask who did it, for she felt certain that it was grandmamma's work, and so it proved. Grandmamma remembered that she herself was a little girl once, and that blessed memory brought her into close sympathy with the grief and joy of her little granddaughter. And so Elsie, thanks to her grandmamma's tact and tenderness, went to Dolly Blossom's birthday party.
GOING TO BED.
The evening is coming, The Sun sinks to rest; The rooks are all flying Straight home to their nest. "Caw!" says the rook, as he flies overhead: It's time little people were going to bed!
The flowers are closing, The daisy's asleep; The primrose is buried In slumber so deep. Shut up for the night is the pimpernel red: It's time little people were going to bed!
The butterfly, drowsy, Has folded its wing; The bees are returning, No more the birds sing. Their labor is over, their nestlings are fed: It's time little people were going to bed!
Here comes the pony, His work is all done; Down through the meadow He takes a good run; Up goes his heels, and down goes his head: It's time little people were going to bed!
Good-night, little people, Good-night and good-night; Sweet dreams to your eyelids, Till dawning of light; The evening has come, there's no more to be said: It's time little people were going to bed!
THE CAT AND THE PARROT.
A lady who lived in New York City owned a pet parrot and a large house cat. The parrot was just as full of mischief as could be. One day the cat and parrot had a quarrel. I think the cat had upset Polly's food, or something of that kind. However, they seemed all right again. An hour or so after Polly was on her stand, she called out in a tone of extreme affection, "Pussy! Pussy! come here, Pussy." Pussy went and looked up innocently enough; Polly with her beak seized her tin of food and tipped its contents all over the cat, and then chuckled as poor Puss ran away half frightened to death.
Who is it coos just like a dove? Who is it that we dearly love— The brightest blessing from above? Our baby.
While silent watch the angels keep, Who smiles so sweetly in his sleep, And oft displays his dimples deep. Our baby.
THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER.
We were crowded in the cabin, Not a soul would dare to sleep,— It was midnight on the waters, And a storm was on the deep.
'Tis a fearful thing in winter To be shattered by the blast, And to hear the rattling trumpet Thunder, "Cut away the mast!"
So we shuddered there in silence,— For the stoutest held his breath, While the hungry sea was roaring, And the breakers talked with Death.
And as thus we sat in darkness, Each one busy with his prayers, "We are lost!" the Captain shouted, As he staggered down the stairs.
But his little daughter whispered, As she took his icy hand, "Isn't God upon the ocean, Just the same as on the land?"
Then we kissed the little maiden, And we spoke in better cheer, And we anchored safe in harbor When the morn was smiling clear.
J. T. FIELDS
FUN FOR THE KITTENS.
Our cat she had five little ones, As every person knew; Their names were "Flossie," "Snowball," "Smut," With "Kit," and little "Mew."
One day on foraging intent, She leaped upon a cage, But after sniffing round a while Vexed thoughts her mind engage.
"How very sad it is," thought she, "That every single linnet Has been removed before we came! The cage has nothing in it!
"However, I have dined to-day, So now for quiet rest; My children, you may go and play, For frolic suits you best."
With folded paws she laid her down, And meditative look, While every wicked little cat Its own diversion took.
Said Snowball to his brother Kit, "Get out of this—now do; For Smut and I, we live in here, And there's no room for you!
"And Smut feels rather sick to-day, He told me so just now; So off you go, again I say, Or there will be a row.
"And Kit, just leave that stick alone; Come, drop it now at once; Of all the cats I ever knew You are the greatest dunce."
Cried little Smut, "Quick, Snowball, quick! Or you will be too late; Here's sister Flossie pushing in; Come quick, and shut the gate."
"How strange it seems, when you and I, Dear Snowball, are so good, That other cats should be so pert, Inquisitive and rude!"
Said mother Puss, "This summer day I thought to lie at rest, While my dear children romp and play, Which seems to suit them best.
"But really, how they snarl and fight, And kick, and growl, and riot! Ah, well! when they are old like me They'll like a little quiet."
TOMMY GREEN AND TOMMY RED.
Tommy Green was a little boy only eight years old when his parents sent him to "boarding school," where he was thrown into the company of boys older than himself. It is strange how most all boys enjoy teasing those who are younger than themselves.
At Tommy's boarding school all the boys slept in one large room, on cots conveniently arranged. Tommy was a heavy sleeper. One morning he awoke with a strange feeling of stiffness about his face, and no sooner did he sit up in bed than a laugh rang around the whole room.
"What are you laughing at?", he asked, but the boys only laughed the harder at his confusion. At last one little boy named Frankie Jones cried out "Tommy, it's your face."
Tommy rushed to a looking-glass, and found on his forehead and on each cheek an enormous dab of red paint.
"Halloo, Green?" shouted one of the boys, "You're red now, ain't you?"
Tommy was greatly teased for a while, but kept his temper, and it was not very long before he was joining with his school-mates to tease some other small boy in a similar manner.
Such things are provoking, but it is best to treat them good-naturedly, as Tommy did, and not lose one's temper.
FOND OF CATS.
Pussy has always been a favorite in the East, but the country where she was held in the highest estimation, and treated with the greatest respect, was Egypt.
The fondness of the Egyptians for their cats is shown in some of their ancient paintings where the cat is frequently seen by the side of its master whilst he entertains company. When a cat died the whole household shaved off their eyebrows in token of mourning; and its body was sent to the embalmers, and there made into a mummy, and afterwards buried, with great lamentations, in the cat-sepulchre adjoining the town.
Heredotus, the Greek historian, who had himself spent some time in Egypt, and witnessed the customs of the natives, tells us that when a house caught fire the only care of the Egyptians was to save the lives of the cats, utterly regardless of the destruction of their property.
Bubastis was the sacred city of cats, and there was the temple of the goddess Pasht, whose statue appeared with the head of a cat. There the cats reveled in luxury, for they were looked upon as living representatives of the divinity. The punishment for killing any sacred animal was death; but woe to the luckless person who even accidentally killed a cat? for he was set upon by the infuriated people, and torn to pieces without trial.
THE CAT'S QUESTIONS.
Dozing, and dozing, and dozing! Pleasant enough, Dreaming of sweet cream and mouse-meat. Delicate stuff!
Of raids on the pantry and hen-coop, Or light, stealthy tread Of cat gossips, meeting by moonlight On ridge-pole or shed.
Waked by a somersault, whirling, Whirling from cushion to floor; Waked from a wild rush of safety From window to door.
Waking two hands that first smooth us, And then pull our tails; Punished with slaps when we show them The length of our nails! These big mortal tyrants even grudge us A place on the mat. Do they think we enjoy for our music Staccatos of "scat?" What in the world were we made for? Man, do you know? By you to be petted, tormented? Are you friend or foe? To be treated now, just as you treat us, The question is pat, To take just our chances in living, Would you be a cat?
Doctor Schroeder was a quaint old German physician, who lived in a fine old-fashioned house near a public play-ground. Connected with the doctor's premises was an extensive peach orchard, and, sad to say, naughty boys would sometimes climb over the orchard wall and pilfer his peaches. To guard against this practice the doctor had the top of his wall adorned with a row of very ugly iron spikes. Not far from Doctor Schroeder's place lived a family known as "the Jones's". One member of the family was a small boy nicknamed "Scramble;" so named, I presume, from the fact that he was all the time scrambling over other people's fences and into other people's fruit trees.
One day "Scramble" got caught on the spikes on top of Doctor Schroeder's wall, and in spite of all his efforts to get loose, the spikes held him fast until he was discovered and taken down by the quaint old doctor, almost frightened out of his wits. That is, "Scramble" was frightened, not the doctor, But to "Scramble's" great surprise and greater relief, the old German did not punish him with the terrible cane he held in his hand, but took him into the orchard and told him to take his pick of the finest fruit on the place.
"Scramble" felt greatly abashed over this unexpected kind treatment, and never again had the heart to pilfer peaches from old Doctor Schroeder.
Goats sometimes do very clever tricks, which almost prove them to be capable of reasoning.
A goat and her kids frequented a square in which I once lived, and were often fed by the servants and myself. Now and again I heard a thumping at the hall door, which arose from the buttings of the goat when the food was not forthcoming, and the mother's example was followed by her two little kids. After a while this grew monotonous, and no attention was paid to their knocking! but one day the area bell—used by the delivery men and callers generally, the wire of which passed by the side of one of the railings—was sounded. The cook answered the bell, but no one was there save the goat and kids, with their heads bent down towards the kitchen window. It was at first thought that some mischievous boy had rung the bell for them, but they were watched, and the old goat was seen to hook one of her horns into the wire and pull it. This is too much like reason to be ascribed to mere instinct.
Poor old King Lear, who in ancient times reigned in Britain, having in his old age turned over all his possessions to his two older daughters, Goneril and Regan, who professed to love him more than did their younger sister Cordelia, was by them cruelly deprived of his crown and turned out of his palace. None dared to give him shelter for fear of the anger of the two wicked queens. And though he had become blind, he was forced to wander over the land he once ruled, his only guide being an old and faithful servant. At last, in his misery and despair, he thought he would go to his youngest daughter, who had become queen of France, and see if she would take pity on him. So he crossed over to France. When Cordelia heard of her father's woeful plight, and of her sisters' cruelty to him, she wept for sorrow, and at once sent him everything needful for his comfort. She and her husband then set out to meet him, surrounded by their soldiers and followers, and brought him in great state to the palace, and honored him as a king in their land.
The King of France soon gathered an army and invaded Britain. The two ungrateful daughters and their husbands were killed, King Lear was restored to his throne, and when he died Cordelia succeeded him in the kingdom.
THE BRITISH MASTIFFS.
When the Romans invaded Britain they found that the natives had a breed of large fierce dogs, who would fight bravely for their masters; these animals they called pugnaces, or fighting dogs, and from them the modern English mastiff is descended.
Soon after the conquest of the island some of the British mastiffs were sent to Rome, where their sagacity, strength and courage excited so much admiration, that an imperial officer was appointed to reside in Britain for the express purpose of selecting the finest dogs to fight with other animals for the amusement of the vast crowds assembled in the Colosseum. The strongest dogs previously known to the Romans were the Molossian dogs of Epirus, which in their native country were trained by their masters to fight in battle, but when they were matched against the British mastiffs they were thoroughly beaten. The dogs of Britain were then pitted against various wild beasts; and it was said that three of them were a match for a bear and four for a lion. And so famous were they for courage, that the Gauls imported them, and trained them for war, and used them in their battles.
The British mastiff is no longer trained to fight in battle, but his character for sagacity and fidelity as well as courage, is as high as it was in the days of the Romans.
ON THE LAKES IN A STORM.
Some minutes before sunrise we went aboard our boat and took our places for a long pull up the lakes. There were two sets of rowlocks, with oars to match. Fred took one pair and Farr the other. Spot lay down on Farr's coat behind his master. I took the stern seat and steering oar. Scott had the bow seat and a paddle.
"All ready!" cried Fred, cheerily. "Give way! one, two, three, and away we go!"
By the time we were fairly out on the lake there was quite a "sea."
We made for Birch Island. The swells threw us about amazingly. There is much strength and friskiness in these fresh-water surges. Those were wild moments. Fred, Farr and Scott were pulling with might and main. The spray flew over us; the spatters drenched us. I expected every moment that we should be swamped. And as we drew near the island our case seemed not much improved. The waves broke against it fiercely.
"It won't do to let her run on there!" exclaimed Farr. "It will swamp her."
"Yes," said Fred; "but it is not deep water. Sit still and pull till I give the word, then jump out, everybody, and ease her ashore.
"Now for it! Over with you!" he shouted, a moment afterwards.
We leaped out, and carried the boat by main strength high upon the land.
Fritz is a beautiful light-blue grey cat. He is the especial pet of his master's little daughter, and therefore has many privileges about the house not usually accorded to cats. Among these special privileges is that of having his food in the dining-room. Fritz has many peculiarities, the chief being that he thinks that he is covering up the food that remains after he has eaten all he wishes, a habit of wild cats which is well known.
He stands over the plate which contains the remains of his repast and scratches perfectly imaginary dust or mould over it.
This he does all round the plate, and after a curious look at it to see that it is all right, and it is covered up, he walks leisurely away. How strange it is that these traces of a wild state are so often to be seen in animals which have been domesticated for long generations! Fritz had no need to cover up his food, even if the dirt or mould were there for the purpose, for he is sure of getting plenty more when he wants it. It was simply from the force of habit, a habit not his own, but his ancestors, that he went through the motions.
What a forcible illustration of the power of habit!
Willie got punished at school to-day! What did he do? Why, he drew on his slate, in a comical way, Pictures of horses and oxen, and they Seemed to be dancing a real Irish jig! Yes, and he, too, had a little wee pig Down in the corner, as cute as could be; All of us laughed such a picture to see!
That was the morning before recess, When he threw paper balls at sly little Bess; And one hit her plump on her fat little nose, And made us all laugh, as you may well suppose; And he pulled some one's hair as they went out to spell, But who cried out nobody would tell.
And then, let me see; why he stepped on my toes, And balanced his book on the tip of his nose When the teacher wasn't looking, and then, O, dear me, He made some whiskers as black as could be With the cork of the ink-bottle rubbed on his cheek, And we all laughed till we hardly could speak.
The teacher caught him, and punished him well; Not half the words that were his could he spell; And in the arithmetic he had to guess Half of the answers and wished they were less. All he has gained by his actions to-day, Is a black mark and his ill-timed play.
NED BENTLY'S TEMPTATION.
When Ned Bently was a boy of about fifteen years of age he lost both of his parents by yellow fever, in New Orleans. The only remaining relative he had was a bachelor uncle, living in the mining regions of California. Ned worked his way on board a ship, as a sailor boy, to San Francisco, and finally arrived at the diggings where his uncle was engaged in mining. In those early days of California mine digging the miners were generally a very rough class of men. So it happened that soon after Ned's arrival a great gruff "digger" offered to treat Ned to a drink of liquor, and became very angry because he refused to touch it.
Ned scarcely shut his eyes all that night, for he was dreadfully afraid that the miners might yet force him to drink of that which he had been taught was certain ruin to body and soul. But to Ned's great surprise and joy, next morning the very man who the night before had offered to treat him took a bold stand in his defense against the other miners' attempts to force him to drink.
"The lad's about right," said the gruff old digger. "If he can live out here without drinkin' liquor, he'll be able to buy and sell the whole of ye by'n'by." And so it proved, for Ned held fast to his resolution not to drink, and became one of the wealthiest mine owners in California.
Many have a dislike to cats; but when boys say they hate cats, it is to be feared that they mostly do so that they may have an excuse for hunting and ill-treating them. In some cases, however, there is a natural antipathy which those who possess it cannot help, though it seems very foolish and unreasonable.
James Boswell tells us that he was "unluckily one of those who have an antipathy to a cat," so that he was uneasy when in a room with one. It certainly was rather unlucky, for he was writing the life of Dr. Johnson, and wishing to be as much in his company as possible was frequently at his house. Now the Doctor had a favorite tomcat whom he called "Hodge," and Boswell relates how he "suffered from the presence of this same Hodge."
He says, "I recollect him one day scrambling up Dr. Johnson's breast, apparently with much satisfaction, while my friend, smiling and half whistling, rubbed down his back and pulled him by the tail, and when I observed that he was a fine cat, saying, 'Why, yes, Sir, but I have had cats whom I liked better than this,' and then, as if perceiving Hodge to be out of countenance, he added! 'But he's a very fine cat; a very fine cat, indeed.'"
Hodge was well taken care of, and did not have to catch rats for a living, for the Doctor was in the habit of treating him to oysters.
Most small boys are fond of April-fooling people. How often on the first day of April have we seen the small boy wrapping up a piece of wood or brick in the shape of a parcel bought at the store, carelessly place it on the sidewalk as if dropped by a passer-by, and then hide himself near by and wait for some one to be "fooled" by it.
Dick and Frank Slemmons, one April-fool's day, concluded to get up an April-fool on a grander scale than usual. They procured an old pair of pants, a shirt, pair of boots, gloves, a dunce's cap, and a "false-face" or mask. They took these articles to their father's barn, and by stuffing them with straw and putting a few extra touches of paint on the mask, they made a hideous looking Guy. To the back of this figure, near the shoulders, the boys fastened a string, and when it began to grow dark they carried it out into the yard and placed it in a sitting posture on the front fence, to fool people who were passing by. Holding to the string they hid themselves behind the fence intending when any one passed to let the figure fall forward as if it were about to drop from the fence. But they failed to fool anybody, for the first one to come along was Mike, their father's hostler, who at once discovered the boys, and, saying "Ah! see the little laddie-bucks over the fince!" he grabbed the guy and took it along with him.
So the boys themselves were the only ones April fooled.
IN A STORM ON THE SEA.
Little David Loomis, only eight years old, was permitted by his father, Captain Loomis, to accompany him on a whaling expedition. While out at sea the body of a dead whale was discovered at some distance from the boat, floating in the water. Several of the crew manned one of the smaller boats and rowed away over the glassy sea to secure the carcase. David was allowed to go with them. Before the boat reached the floating whale, however, a fearful squall suddenly arose; the wind screamed and whistled round their little boat; the waves, lashed to sudden fury, hissed and foamed, breaking over them like a deluge, whilst a terrible peel of thunder broke right overhead. David was scared almost out of his senses. He had never before seen such a storm. But he sat still, as one of the crew had told him to do, looking out, oh! how eagerly, for some signs of his father's vessel. Nothing was to be seen, however, but a wild waste of heaving, tumbling billows, over which the boat seemed actually to fly. Suddenly the clouds lifted, the wind ceased, and all was as calm as before the storm. Nothing was to be seen of the dead whale, and the crew was content to let it float where it would, while they rowed in search of their vessel. Ere long they were safe and sound on board with Captain Loomis. David could not help repeating from a poem he had recited at school, the words: "Isn't God upon the ocean, just the same as on the land?"
The jaguar, or American tiger, as he is sometimes called, is a native of South America. He is beautifully spotted with rings containing smaller spots on a deeper ground tint. He is a ferocious and destructive beast, inhabits the forests, and seeks his prey by watching, or by openly seizing cattle or horses in the enclosures. His depredations among the herds of horses which graze on the prairies of Paraguay are vast and terrible. Swift as lightning he darts upon his prey, overthrows it by weight, or breaks its neck by a blow of his paw. His strength is so great, he can easily drag off a full-sized horse. He is an expert climber, and the prints of his claws have been seen on the bark at the top of trees fifty feet in height and without branches. He sometimes feeds on monkeys, but they are generally too active for him; having the power to swing themselves from branch to branch with wonderful swiftness, they are soon beyond his reach. After horses, oxen and sheep are his favorite prey, and his devastations among them are often very extensive. On account of this, efforts are constantly made to destroy him. He is hunted with dogs, which run him to bay, or force him to seek safety in a tree, where he is kept till the approach of the hunters, who shoot him, or disable him with their long spears.
Big dogs, little dogs; black dogs, white dogs—all sizes and sorts of dogs are now carefully trained for use in the military service of France and Germany as messengers, scouts, and sentinels.
These "dog-children of the regiment" are not chosen from any special breed of dogs, because that would at once cause then to be recognized, and so become a target for the foe whenever seen.
These military dogs are chosen on account of the promise they give of "individual merit," and their education is begun as early as possible. All are trained to silence—a most difficult lesson, and only learnt by long and patient teaching. In fact, it is at all times difficult to insure obedience when music strickes up, for the training poodles, fox-terriers, and collies are sorely tempted to give vocal accompaniment. Dogs selected for this service are thoroughly children of the regiment. They are never allowed to associate with civilians, or to let any man wearing an unknown uniform approach them. They must not attack strangers, but are to keep at a respectful distance from all such. Thus their fidelity as letter-carriers is secured.
When on sentry duty they are taught to warn their human companions of the approach of any strangers within three hundred yards. Each dog has his regimental number on his collar.
TRUE TO HIS WORD.
At the conquest of Susa, Harmozan, a Persian prince, the satrap of Ahwaz, was taken prisoner by the Arabs. When about to be taken before Omar, the Commander of the Faithful, he arranged himself in his most gorgeous apparel, wearing a crown on his head, and his embroidered silk robe being confined by a splendid jeweled girdle. When his conductors brought him to the mosque he saw Omar stretched on the ground, taking a mid-day sleep. When he awoke he asked their business, and they replied, "We bring you here the king of Ahwaz."
"Take hence the infidel," said Omar, averting his gaze. "Strip him of his robes, and array him in the garb of El Islam."
This was done, and when Harmozan was again brought into the presence of Omar he wore the striped garments of the Arabs. After conversing a while he complained of being thirsty; but when a cup of water was brought he expressed a fear that he might be killed while drinking it.
"Be of good courage," said Omar! "your life shall be safe till you have drunk this water."
Harmozan instantly dashed the cup on the ground, claiming fulfillment of the Caliphs word. Omar declared that this conduct deserved punishment as deceitful, but out of regard for his word he pardoned the Persian, who became a convert to the faith of El Islam.
HUNTING A LION.
Some hunters near the Cape of Good Hope went in search of a lion which had carried off a number of cattle from the neighborhood.
They discovered him in a thicket or jungle, and at once proceeded to pepper him with slugs and bullets. Regardless of the shower of balls the lion bounded forward, and in an instant turned the chase upon them. All took to their horses or their heels. One huge fellow, not nimble enough to mount his horse in time, was left in the rear, and was speedily run down by the rampant lion. He had the prudence to fling himself flat on the ground and lie quiet as a log. The lion sniffed at him, scratched him with his paw, and then quietly sat down upon his body. His routed companions, collecting in a band, took courage at length to face about; and, seeing the lion on the prostrate body of the hunter, they imagined that their comrade was killed, and began to concert measures for avenging him. After a short pause, however, the lion resigned of his own accord his seat of triumph, relieved his panting capture, and retreated towards the mountains. The party, on coming up, found their friend shaking his ears, unharmed, except what he had suffered from a very ungentlemanly piece of conduct on the part of the lion.
PURSUED BY INDIANS.
Two young men who had been attached to an exploring party, out West, but had unwisely strayed away from their companions, were leisurely riding along the prairie, trying to track the footsteps of their friends, when they saw on the brow of a hill in their rear about a dozen Indian warriors, who were rapidly approaching them. There was not a moment to lose. The white men were unarmed, save for their hunting-knives, while the lances of the red men gleamed in the light of the afternoon sun. Putting spurs to their horses the two young men tried to escape by flight, but the derisive cries of the enemy showed that the distance was rapidly lessening between them. Nothing could have saved them had it not been that, just at the most critical moment, they reached a "windrow," a strip of ground upon which a storm had hurled down the trunks of trees in wild confusion. Hastily abandoning their horses to their fate, the two friends got in among the thick fallen timber, where they concealed themselves, and listened breathlessly while the Indians with shouts pursued, and attempted to capture the coveted animals. But they did not succeed. A cloud of dust heralded the approach of a party of men, who with shouts and cries galloped into the midst of them.
It was the exploring party, whose opportune appearance saved their companions' lives.
THE TRUANT'S SOLILOQUY
My schoolmates all are blessed to-day, Their lessons conning o'er; O, how I wish that I were now Within that school-room door!
My teacher sits beside her desk, With a smile upon her face, Until she looks around the room, And sees my vacant place.
My heart is aching while I walk Along the mountain glade; I love the trees, the rippling stream, But sigh that I have strayed.
O, there's no joy in the hours of play, If snatched from the study-time; No music in the wild-bird's song, While I hear the school-bell chime.
O, then, I'll seek my school again, My teacher's rules obey, Nor wander, as a truant boy, And waste another day.
A QUEER FISH.
Little May's father is a fisherman. One day he brought home the funniest fish May ever saw. She was a little bit frightened and didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Her papa took her up in his lap, put an arm around her waist and held her fast with one hand while he kept a tight hold on the fish with the other.
"See, May," he said, "what a queer fish this is. Would you think it followed the same kind of business that papa does for a living?"
"Oh, papa!" said May; "that horrid thing a fisherman?—surely you are joking."
"No, my daughter," said the fisherman, "it is no joke. With that queer looking rod and line fastened to its nose it angles for other fishes. It hides amongst the sea-weed at the bottom of the sea, and the fleshy shreds attached to its nose, floating about in the water, act as natural bait, and attract the unwary little fishes in its neighborhood, but the instant one of them makes a bite at the tempting morsel it is whisked away, and the poor fish is caught in the huge mouth of the fisherman fish, and crushed up by its sharp teeth."
"Oh, papa!" said May, "what horrid big eyes it has; what a huge mouth, and such awfully sharp teeth! Ugh! Put it down, please, papa, for I really believe I am going to be frightened."
The fisherman laughed heartily, and threw the queer fish into the basket.
A PROUD MONARCH.
Theodore, Emperor of Abyssinia, was raised to the throne from a very humble position in life. He was one of the proudest of monarchs, was styled "King of Kings," and boasted a descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba; a fiction devised to flatter the vanity of the royal house of Ethiopia.
When this mighty emperor gave an audience he was surrounded by several large and fierce-looking lions, and he made a great display of his command over the savage creatures; but, notwithstanding their ferocious aspect, the animals were said to be in reality as tame as dogs. Anyway, they must have made a timid ambassador feel rather nervous when first introduced to the royal presence.
The Abyssinians are very vain, and King Theodore thought himself greater than all the sovereigns in the world, and this led to his fall. Thinking he was not treated with sufficient respect by the British envoy and other Europeans, he imprisoned them all. In 1867 an expedition was fitted out under the command of General Napier. After encountering great difficulties on the march, the British troops stormed and took possession of Magdala without losing a single man; and the Emperor Theodore, seeing that all was lost, slew himself to avoid falling into the hands of the enemy. The captives were liberated, and for his services in this campaign General Napier received the title of Lord Napier of Magdala.
"Where did you come from, baby dear?" "Out of the every-where into the here." "Where did you get your eyes so blue?" "Out of the sky as I came through."
"What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?" "Some of the starry spikes left in." "Where did you get that little tear?" "I found it waiting when I got here."
"What makes your forehead so smooth and high?" "A soft hand stroked it as I went by." "What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?" "Something better than any one knows."
"Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?" "Three angels gave me at once a kiss." "Where did you get that pearly ear?" "God spoke, and it came out to hear."
"Where did you get those arms and hands?" "Love made itself into hooks and bands." "Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?" "From the same body as the cherubs' wings."
"How did they all just come to be you?" "God thought about me, and so I grew." "But how did you come to us, my dear?" "God thought of you, and so I am here."
DEAR LITTLE BROWN-EYED BESS.
A True Experience of Child-life.
I was working in my garden one day in the end of June, The sun shone high in the clear blue sky, and the clock had just struck noon; I mused o'er my earliest childhood—my earliest friends, and lo, There rose up the picture of a child in the dear dim Long-ago: She holds in her arms a puppy, and smilingly shows it to me, Her cheeks they are rosy and chubby, all dimpled with baby glee; Her hair is dark and wavy, her brown eyes full of fun, And she wears a blue straw bonnet to shelter from the sun.
She gathers daisies and kingcups till her pockets are more than full, And dreams of the far-away city where she soon must go to school; Her home it is rustic and lonely in the land of the river Ness, But she loves her rural dwelling, does dear little brown-eyed Bess. One time—ah! how well I remember, it seems like yesterday, Dear Bessie came to visit me, just nine years past last May: Beneath the hawthorn blossoms, hearts full of childish bliss, We vowed eternal friendship, and sealed it with a kiss; And I plucked a bright pink rosebud to fasten in her dress— She was six years old that summer, was dear little brown-eyed Bess.
I remember very little of all she said to me, But I know we loved each other with childish love and free; I remember romping gaily around some little ricks, And fondly giving Bessie a tiny box of bricks; I remember our long, long parting one autumn afternoon, And Bessie softly whispering, "Come back and see me soon." But alas! some wicked fairy was present with us then, For during the days of childhood we never met again.
Six years went by, and I happened to look at my toys one day. When I came across a wooden horse with which I used to play, A little wooden pony I found in the old toy "press," That I once had got in a present from dear little brown-eyed Bess 'Mongst the flowers I was dreaming and thinking—Was I ever to see her more? When roused by a sound I looked and saw a carriage before the door I ran right out of the garden and up the wooden stair, Till I came to my own pink bedroom where I quickly smoothed my hair; At my heart came a rush of rapture as I hastened to brush my dress For who was down in the parlor? 'Twas dear little brown-eyed Bess.
Once more does our friendship flourish like the flowers in the garden-bed, And a tall young stately maiden is in little Bessie's stead. When I look at this stately maiden I think of the bright pink moss, I think of a foaming brooklet with a bridge of stones across; I think of a waste of heather, a collie pup, and a cat, In the arms of a rosy baby with a blue straw sun shade hat. When I look at this stately maiden I cannot a smile suppress. While I bless in my heart the good old times when I knew her as little Bess.
JEANIE P. H. SIMPSON