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VOL. I.—NO. 26. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, April 27, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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[Begun in No. 19 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, March 9.]
ACROSS THE OCEAN; OR, A BOY'S FIRST VOYAGE.
A True Story.
BY J. O. DAVIDSON.
A "WHITE SQUALL."
Hurrah for the Mediterranean! Hurrah for the tideless sea! with its sunny skies and sparkling waters, blue and bright as ever, while English moors and German forests are being buried in snow by a bitter January storm! Well might one think that these handsome, olive-cheeked, barefooted fellows in red caps and blue shirts, who cruise about this "summer sea" in their trim little lateen-rigged fruit boats, must be the happiest men alive. Yet there was once an English sailor who, plunging into a raw Channel fog on his return from a twelvemonth's cruise in the Mediterranean, rubbed his hands, and cried, gleefully, "Ah, this is what I calls weather! None o' yer lubberly blue skies here!"
Frank, having seen for himself that the Straits of Gibraltar are thirteen miles wide, instead of being (as he had always thought) no broader than the East River, was prepared for surprises; but he could not help staring a little when Herrick told him that this bright, beautiful, glassy sea is at times one of the stormiest in the world, and that many a good ship has gone down there like a bullet, "as you'll see afore long, mayhap," added the old sailor, warningly.
The sunset that evening, however, seemed to contradict him point-blank. It was so magnificent that even the careless sailors, used as most of them were to the glories of the Southern sky, stood still to admire it, and pronounced it "the finest show they'd ever seen, by a long way." Not a cloud above, not a ripple below; the steamer's track lay across the glassy water like a broad belt of light. All was so calm, so clear, so bright, that it was hard to tell where the sea ended and the sky began. The ship seemed to be floating in the centre of a vast bubble.
Suddenly the sun plunged below the horizon like a red-hot ball, and a deep voice muttered in Frank's ear,
"We're a-goin' to catch it!"
At that moment, as if to bear out this gloomy prophecy, the boatswain's hoarse call was heard:
"Stand by topsail sheets and halyards! Man the down-hauls! Clear away, and make all snug!"
Instantly all was bustle and activity. While some stripped the yards and clewed up the sails, others battened down the hatches, looked to the lashings of the boats, and made everything fast. Still, though he strained his eyes to the utmost, not the least sign of a storm could Frank see, and at last he whispered to Herrick,
"How can they tell that it's going to be rough?"
"The glass is falling, lad, and that's always enough for a sailor; but there'll be more'n that afore long. Ay, sure enough—see yonder!"
A streak of pale phosphorescent mist had just appeared on the port bow, which spread and spread till it blotted out sea and sky, and all was one dim, impenetrable pall. From the far distance came a strange, ghostly whisper, while the sea-birds, which had hitherto kept close to the vessel, flew away with dismal shrieks.
"Below there!" roared the boatswain. "Tumble up there, smart!"
Up flew the men, each darting at once to his own post—and not an instant too soon. A huge white cloud seemed to leap upward through the inky sky like smoke from a cannon, a long line of foam glanced like a lightning flash across the dark sea, and then came a rush and a roar, and over went the ship on her beam ends, and every man on board was blinded, deafened, and strangled, all in one moment, while crash followed crash, as doors, sky-lights, and port-shutters were torn away or dashed to atoms.
Frank, who was just stepping out of one of the deck-houses when the storm burst, was spun across the forecastle like a top, and would have gone overboard had not a sailor clutched his arm, and pressed him down on the deck by main force till the ship righted.
"Lie snug, young 'un," said his rescuer, "for them 'white squalls' ain't to be sneezed at, that's a fact. Look at my shirt."
This was easier said than done, for honest Bill had no shirt left to look at, except the collar and wristbands, all the rest having been torn clean away.
But as Austin glanced round him he saw other proofs of the wind's force even more convincing than this. Two of the boats had been literally smashed to pieces, the strong-iron davits that held them being twisted like pin-wire. Down in the engine-room the flying open of the furnace doors had flooded the whole room with blazing coal, and four of the tubes had burst at once, scalding several firemen so severely that they had to be carried to the surgeon forthwith.
Suddenly a cry for help was heard from the wheel-house. Three or four brave fellows rushed across the reeling deck at the risk of their lives, and tearing open the door, found one quartermaster lying senseless and bleeding in a corner, while the other, with a broken arm, was actually keeping the wheel steady with the remaining hand and his knee, which he had thrust between the spokes!
But the stout-hearted crew, not a whit daunted, coolly set about repairing damages. The injured men were carried below, the decks cleared of the fragments of wreck, and the coals drawn from the furnaces, into which the firemen, swathed in wet blankets, crept by turns along a plank (relieving one another as the stifling heat overpowered them) to close the flues again by hammering strong wooden plugs into the leaks.
By twelve o'clock the gale was at its height. Even with four men at the wheel, the Arizona could barely hold her own against the tremendous seas that came thundering upon her like falling rocks, and old Herrick himself began to look grave.
"Get out a drag!" shouted the officer of the watch.
The boatswain repeated the order, to the no small amazement of our hero, who, having always associated a drag with the wheel of a coach, was puzzled to imagine how it could be applied to a ship.
But he was not long in finding out. Pieces of timber from the broken boats, worn out sails, old iron, and various odds and ends were hastily gathered into a heap, lashed together with chains, and launched overboard, with two strong hawsers attached. The chains and pieces of iron made the buoyant mass sink just deep enough, to steady the vessel, and keep her head up to the wind, which toward night-fall began to show signs of abating.
Just before darkness set in, a Spanish bark crossed their bows. The storm had left its mark on her upper spars, which were terribly shattered; but the crew, instead of clearing away the wreck, were groaning and praying around a little doll-like image of the Virgin, while their officers vainly urged them to return to their duty.
"Skulkin' lubbers!" growled old Herrick; "they should git what that feller in the song got. D'ye mind it, Frank, my boy?
"'The boatswain he rope's-ended him, and "Now," says he, "just work! I read my Bible often, but it don't tell men to shirk; The pumps they are not choked as yet, so let us not despair: When all is up, or when we're saved, we'll join with you in prayer."'"
The next morning they sighted the craggy islet of Zembra, which Jack Dewey, the wit of the forecastle, said should be called "Zebra," for its cliffs were curiously veined with stripes of blue, red, and black, as regular as if painted with a brush. A few hours later appeared the larger island of Partellaria, standing boldly up from the sea in one great mass of cloud-capped mountain, with the trim white houses of the little toy town scattered along its base like a game of dominoes.
By sunset that evening the gale seemed to have fairly blown itself out. But now came another enemy almost as dangerous. A little after midnight the ship was hemmed in by a perfect wall of fog, through which neither moon nor star was to be seen; and all that could be done was to set the bells and fog-horns to work, making an uproar worthy of a Chinese concert.
About three in the morning came a faint answering chime of church bells; and the Arizona, "porting" her helm, kept circling about the same spot for two hours more ("playin' circus," as Jack Dewey said), till the morning breeze suddenly parted the fog, displaying to Frank's eager eyes the rocky shores of Malta, and the entrance of Valetta Harbor.
"There's one thing here as you're bound to see, lad," said Herrick, "and that's a sort o' under-ground tunnel, like ever so many streets buried alive, and pitch-dark every one of 'em. They calls it the Cat-and-Combs [Catacombs]. I never could tell why, for it ain't got nothin' to do with combs, nor yet with cats neither. But you've got to take guides and lights with yer, and stick mighty close to 'em, or ye're a gone 'coon. Guess I ought to know that!"
"Why, did you ever get lost there?"
"That's jist what I did, sonny, though I can't think how; but, anyway, there I was, all to once, right away from the rest, and all alone in the dark. I tried to holler, but my throat was so dry with the dust and what not that I made no more noise nor a frog with a sore throat. 'Twarn't pleasant neither, I can tell ye, to feel my feet kickin' agin skulls and bones in the dark, and to think how my bones 'ud be added to the collection 'fore long, when the rats had picked 'em clean. At last I concluded that I'd jist make matters worse by steerin' at hap-hazard, and that my best way was to anchor, and wait for the rest o' the convoy.
"Jist then I spied two eyes a-shinin' in the darkness, and 'fore I could say 'Knife,' slap came somethin' right in my face, givin' me sich a start that I jumped five ways at once. But by the soft, furry feel, I guessed what 'twas; so I sang out, 'Puss! puss!' and the thing came rubbin' agin my feet, and what should it be but a stray cat! Thinks I, 'Here's somethin' to keep off the rats, anyhow!' and I sat down in a corner, and took the cat in my lap, and, if you'll b'lieve me, off I went sound asleep! Fust thing I knew after that, all my mates was around me agin, laughin' like anythin' to find me nussin' a cat that way. But I wouldn't go that job over agin, not to be made a Cap'n!"
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
SOMETHING ABOUT FANS.
Kan Si was the first lady who carried a fan. She lived in ages which are past, and for the most part forgotten, and she was the daughter of a Chinese Mandarin. Who ever saw a Mandarin, even on a tea-chest, without his fan? In China and Japan to this day every one has a fan; and there are fans of all sorts for everybody. The Japanese waves his fan at you when he meets you, by way of greeting, and the beggar who solicits for alms has the exceedingly small coin "made on purpose" for charity presented to him on the tip of the fan.
In ancient times, amongst the Greeks and Romans, fans seem to have been enormous; they were generally made of feathers, and carried by slaves over the heads of their masters and mistresses, to protect them from the sun, or waved about before them to stir the air.
Catherine de Medicis carried the first folding fan ever seen in France; and in the time of Louis the Fourteenth the fan was a gorgeous thing, often covered with jewels, and worth a small fortune. In England they were the fashion in the time of Henry the Eighth. All his many wives carried them, and doubtless wept behind them. A fan set in diamonds was once given to Queen Elizabeth upon New-Year's Day.
The Mexican feather fans which Cortez had from Montezuma were marvels of beauty; and in Spain a large black fan is the favorite. It is said that the use of the fan is as carefully taught in that country as any other branch of education, and that by a well-known code of signals a Spanish lady can carry on a long conversation with any one, especially an admirer.
The Japanese criminal of rank is politely executed by means of a fan. On being sentenced to death he is presented with a fan, which he must receive with a low bow, and as he bows, presto! the executioner draws his sword, and cuts his head off. In fact, there is a fan for every occasion in Japan.
THE BOYS' SCHOOLS OF ENGLAND.
BY AMELIA E. BARR.
I suppose there are few boys who have not heard of Westminster Abbey, and who do not know that within its ancient and splendid walls the Kings of England are crowned, and the great, the wise, and the brave of every age are buried. But few, perhaps, are aware that the Abbey also contains the oldest and one of the most famous boys' schools in the world. It is true that the statutes of the school, as they now exist, are of a less remote date than those of Eton and Winchester schools—being framed by Henry the Eighth and Elizabeth—but they no more represent the origin of Westminster School than the Reformation represents the origin of the English Church.
Westminster Abbey was built by Edward the Confessor, and the Master of the Novices sitting with his disciples in the western cloister was the beginning of Westminster School. It was, without doubt, this school that Ingulphus—the writer of a famous chronicle (A.D. 1043-1051)—attended; for he tells us that Queen Edith often met him coming from school, and questioned him about his grammar and logic, and always gave him three or four pieces of money, and then sent him to the royal larder to refresh himself—two forms of kindness that a school-boy never forgets. Ingulphus afterward became the secretary of William the Conqueror. In his day there was no glazing to this cloister, and the rain, wind, and snow must have swept pitilessly over the novices turning and spelling out their manuscripts. They had, indeed, a carpet of hay or rushes, and mats were laid on the stone benches, but it must have been a bitterly cold school-room in winter.
At the Reformation, Henry the Eighth drew up new plans for Westminster School, and Elizabeth perfected the statutes by which the school is still governed. It was to consist of forty boys, who were to be chosen for their "good disposition, knowledge, and poverty, and without favor or partiality"; and even at the present day there is no admission as a "Queen's Scholar" at Westminster except by long and arduous competition between the candidates for the honor.
No one who has witnessed the mode of election will ever forget it. The candidates are arranged according to their places in the school, and the lowest two boys first enter the arena. The lower of these two is the challenger. He calls upon his adversary to translate an epigram, to parse it, or to answer any grammatical question connected with the subject. Demand after demand is made, until there is an error. The Master is appealed to, and answers, "It was a mistake." Then the challenger and the challenged change places, and the latter, with fierce eagerness, renews the contest. Whichever of the two is the conqueror, flushed with victory, then turns to the boy above him, and if he be a really clever lad, he will sometimes advance ten, fifteen, or twenty steps before he is stopped by a greater spirit. This struggle—which is peculiar to Westminster, and highly prized by its scholars—frequently extends over six or eight weeks, and the ten who are highest at its close are elected "Queen's Scholars," in place of those advanced that year from Westminster to Oxford or Cambridge.
This mental tournament is a very ancient custom, for Stow says that the Westminster scholars annually stood under a great tree in St. Bartholomew's Church yard, and entering the lists of grammar, chivalrously asserted the intellectual superiority of Westminster against all comers; and Stow, as you very likely know, died about A.D. 1600. There is, therefore, as you may see, a very great honor in being a "Queen's Scholar"; besides which, the prizes to be divided among them are very valuable. These consist of three junior studentships of Christ Church, Oxford, tenable for seven years, and worth about L120 a year; Dr. Carey's Benefaction, which divides L600 a year among the most needy and industrious of the scholars in sums of not less than L50, and not more than L100; and three exhibitions at Trinity College, Cambridge, of yearly value about L87, tenable until the holder has taken his Bachelor of Arts degree. The Queen's Scholars are partially maintained by the school; but all other boys, of which the average number is about one hundred and fifty, pay very handsomely for their education.
The government of this school is an absolute monarchy in the hands of the Head-Master, though the Dean and Chapter of Westminster can exercise a certain control of the Queen's Scholars, and the reigning sovereign of England is by the statutes Visitor of the School. In 1846 the father of one of the Queen's Scholars complained to her Majesty that his boy had been cruelly treated by three of the other scholars, and she ordered an immediate trial, and punishment of the guilty parties.
Westminster, from its earliest records, has been famous for its Masters. Before the great Camden—the Pausanias of England—were Alexander Nowell, Nicholas Udall, and Thomas Browne. Nowell was Master in Queen Mary's reign, and Bonner intending to burn him, he fled for his life. On Elizabeth's accession he again became Master, and was also one of Elizabeth's preachers, and reproved her so plainly that on one occasion she bade him "return to his text." You know, boys, it is so easy and so natural for school-masters to tell people when they are wrong, and the Masters of Westminster have been noted for the habit.
Dr. Busby's name is forever associated with Westminster, and he ruled the school with his terrible birch rod for upward of fifty-seven years. "My rod is my sieve," he said, "and who can not pass through it is no boy for me." So many able boys, however, passed through it, that he could point to the Bench of Bishops, and boast that sixteen of the spiritual lords sitting there at one time had been educated by him. The height to which he carried discipline is exemplified by his accompanying King Charles through the school-room with his hat on, because "he would not have his boys think there was any man in England greater than himself." Dryden was one of Busby's scholars, and received from the great Master many a severe flogging, yet Dryden always spoke of Dr. Busby with the greatest reverence. Flogging is now only administered on very grave occasions, by the Head-Master, and in the presence of a third party, who must be one of the boys.
In Dr. Busby's time the upper and lower schools were divided by a curtain, about which there is a remarkable story. A boy, having torn this curtain, was saved from one of Busby's terrible floggings by his school-mate assuming the fault, and bearing the rod in his place. This brave lad in the civil war took the King's side, became implicated in a futile rising, and was condemned to death at Exeter. But his judge happened to be the very boy whose place he had taken under Busby's rod, and he was not unmindful of the favor, for he hastened to London, and begged from Cromwell his friend's life. If you will get No. 313 of the Spectator, you can read the whole story, and it is a very beautiful as well as truthful one.
The school-room at Westminster is one of the most interesting rooms in the world. It was the dormitory of the old monks; and when I saw it, thirty years ago, its walls were quite covered with the names of boys who had studied there, and who had cut with their penknives these rude autographs. Many of the names have since become famous all over the world, and will never be forgotten. At that time "John Dryden" was deep and plain in the solid bench where he cut it, for not one of all the thousands of Westminster boys who have sat in his place since have been mean or thoughtless enough to deface it.
The dormitory of the Queen's Scholars stands where the granary of the monks stood, and is a chamber one hundred and sixty-one feet long by twenty-five broad. It is interesting because it is the theatre where for centuries the "Westminster Play" has been acted. This "play" was expressly ordered by Queen Elizabeth for "her boys," and those of Terence were chosen by her. In 1847 there was a movement to abolish the "Westminster Play," but a memorial, signed by more than six hundred old Westminsters, pleaded for its continuance, and it is still one of the great features of a London Christmas.
Westminster is pre-eminently a classical school, but no school has a longer or more splendid list of great scholars. Of Church dignitaries it counts nine Archbishops and more than sixty Bishops: among the latter Trelawney, Francis Atterbury (the friend of Pope, Swift, and Gay), Isaac Barrow, and the witty, loyal Dr. South, who, when but an Upper Boy at Westminster, dared to read the prayer for Charles the First an hour before he was beheaded. Still more famous was Prideaux, the great Oriental and Hebrew scholar, and the wise Dr. Goodenough, whose sermons before the House of Lords elicited the lively epigram from some Westminster boy,
"'Twas well enough that Goodenough before the Lords should preach, For sure enough that bad enough were those he had to teach."
Among famous lawyers, Westminster educated Lane, the eloquent defender of Strafford; Glynne, the great Commonwealth lawyer; the Earl of Mansfield, the pride of Westminster School, and the glory of Westminster Hall, Lord Chief Justice of England for more than thirty years; and the late Sir David Dundas. Among statesmen, Westminster counts the younger Vane, whom Milton so nobly eulogizes, as
"young in years, but in sage counsel old, Than whom no better senator e'er held The Roman helm";
Halifax, the accomplished "Trimmer" of the Revolution, about whom you must consult Macaulay; Warren Hastings; Sir Francis Burdett; Sir James Graham; and John, Earl Russell.
Among warriors, five of the seven officers not of royal blood who rose to the rank of Field-Marshal between 1810 and 1856 were Westminster boys, and one of these five was Lord Raglan.
Her list of literary sons is so long that I can only name a few of the best-known names—Rare Ben Jonson, Cowley, George Herbert, John Dryden, Christopher Wren, John Locke, the two Colmans, Richard Cumberland, Cowper, Gibbon, and the all-accomplished Robert Southey.
The chief amusement of Westminster boys is boating; for which the proximity of the Thames affords great advantages; also cricket, racket, quoits, sparring, foot-races, leaping, and single-stick. The school has always been noted, also, for the strong bond of fraternity uniting the boys: to the end of life Westminster boys acknowledge this tie, and in many a national crisis it has been, "All Westminsters together!"
THE LOST CHECK.
BY MRS. W. J. HAYS.
"I have hunted high and low for that check, Sam, and I can not find it."
"I thought it was careless, when I saw you parading it about here."
"Well, you see, I felt rich. Father never sent me such a lot of money before."
"It was your birthday, wasn't it?"
"Yes, and the governor came down handsomely. He knows I am saving up for a trip to the Adirondacks. Well, if it is gone, it is gone."
"It could not go without hands; but I hope it will turn up yet. In future you had better put such documents in a safe place."
Will Benson heard this conversation between two fellow-clerks in the warehouse where he also was employed, and it troubled him much. He was a young fellow about fifteen or thereabouts, but so steady and reliable a youth that already many matters of importance were intrusted to him. He had seen Charlie Graham nourishing a check about, and had heard him talking very largely of his plans, etc. He had also seen the valuable bit of paper lying about, and had asked Charlie to pocket it; but he had also seen some one else do that in a very quiet way, and it had so peculiarly affected him that when Charlie asked him about it, he had colored up violently, and was so confused, that had Charlie been of a suspicious nature, he would have had good reason to suppose that Will knew more about the affair than he cared to tell—which was the truth. But Charlie was neither suspicious nor careful, and, in addition to leaving the paper about, he had also indorsed it.
Will listened to the inquiries and the comments in silence, not knowing what to say. Had he been very impulsive, he would have come out instantly with his suspicions; but he had a habit of reflection, and was inclined to consider before acting or speaking. At this moment, however, his thoughts were confused, and finding that his writing was suffering in consequence, he thrust his pen behind his ear, and sat down on a box at the office door to see if he could not think himself out of his difficulty.
He was quite sure that a theft had been committed, and that he had witnessed it. What should he do?—tell Charlie Graham, have the man arrested and sent to prison, as he deserved, or keep the matter quiet, wait, and see how the thing would turn out?
As he sat there in the soft spring morning a little bird perched itself on a budding bough, and began to chirp. As it turned its head from side to side, and peeped coyly at him, it reminded him, by one of those unconscious flights of association, of another bird, which hung in a gilded cage very near the couch of his invalid mother. He could see the little warbler doing his best to entertain the weary moments of one who seldom heard the wild birds, or set her foot in the woods. He could also see the soft draperies about the window, the climbing ivy and growing ferns, and the much-used books and work-table, and from all these homely but precious belongings came uppermost the sweet smile of affection, the placid face which, in spite of age and sorrow and suffering, had always so tender a beauty for him. Quickly he turned back to his desk, and wrote a long letter to his mother. She would set him aright, she would solve his difficulty. Happy the boy who has such a mother!
Of course he had to wait some time for the answer, and the waiting was tedious. Charlie gave up the check as lost, and said no more about it, and Will took so great an aversion to the porter, who he was sure was the thief, that he hated to come in contact with him. But the mother's letter was worth waiting for, and Will acted on its advice.
Late one afternoon he wended his way to the narrow street where lived Grimes, the porter. It was a noisome locality. Will could not help thinking what a contrast it was to the quiet, clean town where he was born, and where his mother still lived! These dirty, narrow, crowded city slums, what wonder that all sorts of crime are born in them!
He found the house, and through the dark wretched stairway at last came to a door, at which he knocked.
"Come in," was the response.
He entered, stumbling over heaps of unwashed clothing. Two or three forlorn-looking children were eating at a wretchedly uninviting table in the midst of these surroundings. A feeble-looking woman was on a bed.
"Is Grimes at home?" asked Will.
"No, sir, he's not; and I beg pardon for letting you come in. My washing was half done when I was took down with a turn, and Grimes is looking now for some one to do what I am unable to do."
"Will he soon be in, do you think?"
"Yes, sir; have a chair; he'll be in presently."
"I will wait outside," said Will, glad of the excuse to get out. He waited in the dim light of a dirty window outside, and wished he had about a gallon of Cologne water at hand. Soon Grimes came, looking tired and cross. When he saw Will he grew pale, but asked him, in a smothered voice, what he wanted.
"I have come to speak about that check of Charlie Graham's," said Will.
Grimes grew red and angry, swore roundly that he knew nothing of it, and threatened to pitch Will down stairs.
Will very firmly replied that he had seen Grimes take it, and that unless he was willing to make reparation, his employers would have to be told of it.
At this the man wavered a little, but still stoutly denied the theft. At this moment the door, which was ajar, was pushed wider open, and the woman's head came peering out; then the children followed, but they were speedily sent down into the street.
Grimes retreated into the room; Will followed, not without some tremors, but that letter of his mother's was in his pocket.
"Sure and are ye found out?" said the woman, impetuously. "Didn't I tell you so? didn't I say no good could come of stalin', Grimes, my man?"
Grimes tried to hush her, but she would not listen to him. She had drawn a shawl about her, and was the picture of woe, with her pale face, her unkempt hair, and her glittering eyes. She took Will by the hand. "As you are a gintleman, and the son of a lady, have mercy on Grimes. If it's the bit of paper ye want, I have it; here it is;" and she drew it from the folds of her dress. "I knew no good could come of it, and I would not let him use it, miserable as we are. But spare him, and God will bless you."
"I have no wish to injure him," said Will, "and my mother thinks if this is a first offense, and he is at all sorry, I had better not make his dishonesty known."
Grimes was hanging his head in sullen silence, but at this he raised it eagerly. "Never in my life before have I taken anything—but you see our misery. I thought she would be the better for something this money could buy."
"Hush!" said the woman. "I might better die than live by stalin'. You will forgive him, misther; I know you will; I see it in your kind eyes."
Will promised silence, except to Charlie Graham, to whom he should be obliged to reveal the theft, as well as to make restitution; and gladly turned away from this scene of misery.
Charlie and he had a long talk that night. They concluded to abide by Mrs. Benson's advice.
"It was very wrong as well as silly for me to leave that check where it could tempt a poor fellow; and if it wasn't for the Adirondacks I'd send the whole amount to Mrs. Grimes," said Charlie, generously.
"No, that would not be wise," said Will; "but I tell you what, let's club together and send her some decent food and clothing."
Their kindness was not thrown away. Grimes never repeated the wrong-doing. With better times came better health and strength for his wife, and when Will went home for a holiday he took to his mother a bit of Irish lace, which Mrs. Grimes had begged him to carry to her.
A CHEAP CANOE.
BY W. P. S.
The labor and ingenuity expended in one season by a boy who has any taste for the water in building rafts, and converting tubs and packing-boxes into sea-going vessels, would, if well directed, build a good-sized ship; but, from lack of knowledge and system, the results of such attempts are generally failures.
After some experience with rafts that would sink, scows that would leak, and other craft that showed a strong preference for floating with keels in the air, we found in the canvas canoe a boat at once handsome, speedy, and safe, and capable of a great variety of uses, while the small cost and easy construction place it within reach of all young ship-builders.
To produce a good canvas boat care and patience are more necessary than great skill with tools, though it is supposed that the young mechanic can use his rule correctly, saw to a line, and plane an edge reasonably straight.
The first proceeding in any building operation, after the plans are decided on, is to make out a "bill of materials" and an "estimate," and ours will read as follows:
Keel, oak, 1 in. square, by 15 ft. } long. } Sawed from an oak 10 rib-bands, oak, 1 x 1/4 in., by } board 15 ft. X 6 15 ft. long } in. = 7-1/2 ft. @ 5c. 2 gunwales, oak, 1 x 3/4 in., by } 15 ft. long } $0.38 Keelson, 3 x 1 in., 10 ft. long. } 10 in. pine board Bow, stern, coaming, and ridge pieces. } .35 Moulds. } 2 pine boards 12 x 1/2 in., 13 ft. Floor boards, } long = 26 ft.,@ 3c. .78 Paddle, 1-1/4 in. spruce plank, 6-1/2 in. X 13 ft. .25 Canvas, 5 yds., 40 in., @ 45c. 2.25 Canvas deck, 5 yds., 28 in., @ 25c. 1.25 1 package 1 in. No. 7 iron screws. .30 Tacks, nails, and screws. .50 Rubber cloth for apron. .50 Sawing moulds and paddle. .50 Paint. 1.00 ——- $8.06
Having all our material ready, it will be best to mark out the different pieces, and have them all sawed at once by a steam-saw.
Beginning with the bow and stern, we will lay off on one corner of the ten-inch board a line two feet long, representing the dotted line c d in Fig. 1.
A line is drawn half an inch from the edge from the point 11 to 12, making a notch for the end of the keelson; and the two feet are divided into four parts, and perpendiculars drawn at each point.
Now measure off on the line a d nine and a half inches, giving the point a; on the others three and a quarter inches, an inch, and a quarter of an inch; then draw a line from a to c through all these points.
The shape of the inner line is not important, so it may be drawn by eye, making it thick enough for strength.
As the bow and stern are alike, two of these pieces are needed.
The keelson must be cut from the same board, being three inches wide at the centre, tapering to one inch at the ends.
To obtain the shapes of the moulds or sections we must enlarge Fig. 4 four times to its full size.
The horizontal lines in the drawing are one-fourth of an inch apart, so in our large drawing they will be one inch; then taking the line marked 2 (Nos. 1 and 13 require no moulds), we find the distance of the point g to be one and seven-sixteenths inches from the centre line, so we make it four times as much, or five and three-fourths inches, and continue with the other points until we have enough to determine the line pretty closely, after which we join them with the line g h, giving the shape of one-half of our first mould.
The lines on the right represent the half sections in the fore end of the boat, and those on the left the after end.
When all are drawn, they should be transferred to the half-inch board, each mould, however, being a whole and not a half section.
The outline of the paddle being drawn also, all may be taken to a saw-mill and sawn out, or else they may be sawn by hand with a compass-saw.
Having all cut out, we will first screw the bow and stern to the keelson, and secure the three pieces on a plank set upright, the upper edge being curved to fit the keelson, which is a little rockered.
Moulds Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are next notched to fit the varying widths of the keelson, the first and last also fitting over the bow and stern; then they are put in place, and the gunwales notched into them, and also into the bow and stern.
The moulds for Nos. 6, 7, and 8 are sawn from three-quarter-inch oak or ash, each being in two pieces. The inner edge of No. 6 is shown by the dotted line K C, Fig. 4, and of Nos. 7 and 8 by m b. They are put in place the same as the others.
Now the rib-bands are planed off and tacked in place, being spaced amidships as shown in Fig. 4; then the points where they cross the bow and stern and all the moulds are marked, and notches one inch by one-fourth of an inch cut to receive them, the edges of the bow and stern being tapered off at the same time to half an inch; then all the parts are placed in position again, and fastened with one-inch screws, except where the keelson joins the bow, stern, and moulds, where one inch and a half screws are used. Each screw is dipped in white lead before inserting, and the head afterward puttied over.
The highest point of the deck is at No. 6, where a deck beam is placed, the shape of it and of the deck at No. 9 being shown in Fig. 4.
The other moulds may be easily shaped by using these as guides; then pieces two inches wide and three-fourths of an inch thick are notched into each mould, down the centre of the deck, from No. 6 to the bow, and from No. 9 to the stern, making a ridge over which the canvas is stretched.
A piece of one-inch pine is next set in between Nos. 9 and 6, and screwed to each, as well as to Nos. 7 and 8 and the gunwales, and forming the sides of the well.
The frame is now carefully smoothed off, and painted with two coats; then a floor of half-inch pine is screwed to moulds Nos. 6, 7, and 8.
The canvas, forty inches wide, is first oiled, and then laid on the frame-work, and tacked along the centre of the keelson from No. 2 to No. 12; then it is tacked lightly to the gunwales; then cut to fit the curved bow and stern, and tacked, the edges overlapping half an inch, after which it is stretched tightly over the gunwales, and tacked on the inside.
The deck is of drilling, twenty-eight inches wide, tacked around the gunwale (a half-round head being screwed over the joint), and turned up and tacked around the coaming, which is of three-eighth inch pine, rising an inch and a half above the deck, and screwed to the side pieces, mould No. 9, and the deck beam at No. 6.
The keel is of straight-grained oak, one inch deep from No. 3 to No. 11, tapering to one-half by three-eighths of an inch at the ends, and may be soaked in hot water before bending. When cold, it is screwed to the keelson and the bow and stern, the canvas under it being painted.
The stretcher for the feet rests against a strip nailed to the floors, and a small block on each gunwale.
A half-inch hole is bored in bow and stern for the painter.
The paddle is seven feet long, six and a half inches wide, and three-sixteenths of an inch thick at the edges; the handle being an inch and a quarter in diameter at the middle, tapering to seven-eighths where it joins the blades. A rubber ring is slipped over each end to prevent the water running down. In using, it is grasped about seven inches on each side of the centre, keeping the hands about the width of the body apart. The stroke should be as long and steady as possible.
It will be found at first that the boat will rock from side to side in paddling, and the paddle will throw some spray; but both these faults disappear with practice, and the boat should be perfectly steady at any speed. A slight twist as the paddle leaves the water, hard to describe, but easily found on trial, shakes off all drip.
For an apron, a strip of pine one-quarter by one and a half inches is fastened to each side of the well by brass straps hooking over the coaming, shown in Fig. 6.
A piece of rubber cloth is gored to fit around the body, and is tacked to each side piece, a rubber cord fastened to each strip, and running around the front of the well, serving to keep it down, and the after ends being tucked in between the backboard and the body, all falling off in an upset.
The backboard, Fig. 5, is seventeen inches long, the strips being two and one-fourth inches wide, and the same distance apart; it swings on the coaming at the back of the well.
Two coats of paint should be put on, and the paddle varnished.
A deck of half-inch pine, laid from No. 9 to No. 10, under the canvas, allows the canoeist to sit on deck sometimes in paddling.
In entering the boat, step in the centre (facing the bow), and, with a hand on each gunwale, drop into the seat.
When not in use the canoe should be sponged out and stored on shore.
MAHMOUD THE SYCE.
BY SARA KEABLES HUNT.
One of the most novel and interesting sights which attracts the traveller's attention when he first arrives in Egypt is the syce running before the horses as they go through the narrow, closely packed streets. How the crowd scatters, and the donkey-boys hustle their meek property out of the way as one of those runners comes bounding along, shouting, in the strange Arabic tongue, "Clear the way!" The sun shines upon his velvet vest, glittering with its spangled trimmings, the breeze fills the large floating sleeves till they wave backward like white wings. Then on dash the spirited horses, dogs bark, children squeal, beggars dodge, men swear, and women, holding their face-veil closer, ejaculate fiercely.
On springs the syce; what cares he for man or beast? while proudly following rolls the rich equipage, or prances the Arab steed with its turbaned rider and Oriental robes.
Mahmoud, the subject of this little sketch, was the syce of a rich Pasha in Cairo; he was a favorite with his master, and everybody loved him—even the horses would neigh joyfully at his approach, and eat from his hand as gently as a dog. His life was an easy one, for, being a favorite, no arduous duties were placed upon him, and his strength was encouraged and sustained by the master for the swift running which commands so much admiration. So agile did he become, that no name among the syce of Egypt was more renowned than that of Mahmoud. Often at the latticed windows bright eyes of hidden beauties followed him through the narrow streets, and watched for his coming as he led the way for his master each morning in his rides. Sometimes they threaded their way through the crowded bazars amid scenes of the Arabian Nights, breathing wonderful Eastern perfumes, gazing on rare gems and exquisite embroideries; and again, down the road to the Pyramids, with the soft air blowing in his face, trees waving overhead, and birds singing merrily; or, in the blood-red sunset, passing down the Choubra Road, the fashionable drive of Cairo, with its shade of gnarled old sycamores, and crowded with conveyances of every description. Sometimes he led the way for the harem carriage, very proud of the honor.
One morning the Pasha sat in his garden under the blossoming orange-tree, smoking his chibouque, and talking with his friend the Bey from Alexandria, whose horse stood in the path champing impatiently at his bit, and held by his syce, Abdullah, in his gay costume. They talked of politics, the condition of the country, its financial troubles; they spoke of their religion and their mosque, of the Suez Canal, the improvements of the city, the Khedive's new palace, their own dwelling-places. By-and-by the conversation ran upon their horses and their favorite syce.
"Abdullah can outrun them all," said the Bey.
"Not so," replied the Pasha; "my Mahmoud is the finest runner in Cairo—ay, in all Egpyt."
"Sayest thou so?" cried the Bey. "Come and let us test their skill."
"Most surely," answered the Pasha, "and I will give a prize to the boy who wins."
The news soon spread over Cairo that Mahmoud and Abdullah were to run a race, the winner to receive a costly girdle of rich embroidery, finished with a clasp set with gems. Great was the interest, and on the day appointed crowds assembled to see the race, gathering long before the competitors appeared.
What a motley group there was! Camels with their riders, stylish carriages with pretty French children, rosy-cheeked English girls, Italian singers, American officers and tourists, English lords, wild desert Arabs, swarthy-faced fellaheen, pistachio and pea-nut dealers, donkey-boys, beggars, and peddlers. A Turkish band played a quick reveille. Here they come! The crowd cheers—the signal is given—they are off! The general sympathy is with Mahmoud, but Abdullah is a strong fellow, of tremendous muscle, more experience, and mighty will, so that little Mahmoud has a rival of no mean powers.
Every eye is fixed upon those two figures, side by side, leaping onward in graceful bounds. Forward they fly, past the cotton field, around the curved path; but look!— Abdullah is ahead; Mahmoud seems far behind. The band plays quicker. Abdullah is flying; he will win; he— But no; Mahmoud is gaining; he nears his rival. Abdullah sees and strains every nerve, but in vain. Mahmoud swings his light wand over his head, and shoots by like an arrow. It is over; the goal is reached. Mahmoud has won, and amid the loud cheers of the crowd the Pasha descends from his carriage, and places the glittering sash around the victor's waist. Abdullah approaches, gives his successful rival a hearty salam, which awakens fresh applause. Somebody scatters a shower of gold coins over them, and the crowd disperses.
[By special arrangement with the author, the cards contributed to this useful series, by W. J. ROLFE, A.M., formerly Head-Master of the Cambridge High School, will, for the present, first appear in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.]
INFORMATION CARDS FOR SCHOOLS.
The English Language.
W. J. ROLFE, A.M.
The inscription on the Soldiers' Monument in Boston, written by the President of Harvard College, has been much admired. It reads thus:
TO THE MEN OF BOSTON WHO DIED FOR THEIR COUNTRY ON LAND AND SEA IN THE WAR WHICH KEPT THE UNION WHOLE DESTROYED SLAVERY AND MAINTAINED THE CONSTITUTION THE GRATEFUL CITY HAS BUILT THIS MONUMENT THAT THEIR EXAMPLE MAY SPEAK TO COMING GENERATIONS
What is to be said is here said in the simplest way. There is no waste of words, no attempt at display. It is a model of good English, brief, clear, and strong. If a school-boy had written it, he would have thought it a fine chance for using big words. He would have said, "The citizens of Boston who sacrificed their lives," not "the men who died"; and "preserved the integrity of the Union," not "kept the Union whole"; and "erected," not "built." And some men who have written much in newspapers and books would have made the same mistake of choosing long words where short ones give the sense as well or better.
A great preacher once said that he made it a rule never to use a word of three or two syllables when a word of two syllables or one syllable would convey the thought as well; and the rule is a good one. In reading we want to get at the sense through the words; and the less power the mind has to spend on the words, the more it has left for the thought that lies behind them. Here the simple words that we have known and used from childhood are the ones that hinder us least. We see through them at once, and the thought is ours with the least possible labor.
Those who urge the use of simple English often lay stress on choosing "Saxon" rather than "Classical" words, and it is well to know what this means.
The English is a mixed language, made up from various sources. Its history is the history of the English race, and the main facts are these:
Britain was first peopled, so far as we know, by men of the Celtic (or Keltic) race, of which the native Irish are types. The names of the rivers, mountains, and other natural features of the land are mostly Celtic, just as in this country they are mostly Indian. About fifty years before the Christian era the Romans conquered Britain, and held it for about 500 years. They brought in the Latin language; but few traces of it now remain except in the names of certain towns and cities. The mass of the people kept their old Celtic tongue. Between the years 450 and 550 A.D. Britain was invaded and conquered by German tribes, chiefly Angles and Saxons. It now became Angleland, or England; and the language became what is called Anglo-Saxon, except in the mountains of Wales and of Scotland, where Celtic is found to this day. In the ninth and tenth centuries the Danes invaded England, and ruled it for a time, but they caused no great change in the language. In the year 1066 the Norman Conquest took place, and William the Conqueror became King of England. Large numbers of the Norman French came with him, and French became the language of the court and of the nobility. By degrees our English language grew out of the blending of the Anglo-Saxon of the common people and the Norman French of their new rulers, the former furnishing most of the grammar, the latter supplying many of the words. Now the French was of Latin origin, and the English thus got an important Latin or "Classical" element, which has since been increased by the adding of many Greek and Latin words, especially scientific and technical terms.
The two great events in the history of the English language, as of the English people, are the Saxon and the Norman conquests. To the former it owes its grammatical frame-work, or skeleton; to the latter much of its vocabulary, or the flesh that fills out the living body.
It must not be inferred that our grammar is just like the Anglo-Saxon because this is the basis of it. The Anglo-Saxon had many more inflections (case-endings of nouns and pronouns, etc.) than the French, and in the forming of English most of these were dropped, prepositions and auxiliaries coming to be used instead. It was not until about A.D. 1550 that the language had become in the main what it now is. Some words have since been lost, and many have been added, but its grammar has changed very little. Our version of the Bible, published in 1611, shows what English then was (and had been for fifty years or more), and has done much to keep it from further change.
As a rule the most common words—those that chiefly make up the language of childhood and of every-day life—are Saxon; and very many of them are words of one syllable. In the inscription above, every monosyllable is Saxon, with Boston, grateful, and coming; the rest are French or Latin. In the case of pairs of words having the same meaning, one is likely to be Saxon, the other Classical. Thus happiness is Saxon, felicity is French; begin is Saxon, commence is French; freedom is Saxon, liberty is French, etc. The Saxon is often to be preferred, though not always; but, as has been implied above, if a short and simple word conveys our meaning, we should never put it aside for a longer and less familiar one. In such cases the chances are that the former is Saxon, and the latter Classical. Thus above, citizens, sacrificed, preserved, integrity, and erected are all Classical.
THE STORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON.
BY EDWARD C. CARY.
Washington spent about nine months with the army around Boston. Several times he was ready to attack the British, and to try and drive them from the city; but his officers were afraid the army was not strong enough. So Washington had to wait and watch—he had a good deal of waiting and watching to do all through the war, for that matter. At last, in March, 1776, the Americans around Boston having gradually pushed closer and closer, the British found that they must either leave or fight. Their General did not feel strong enough to fight, so he put his men on ships and sailed away to Halifax. Of course the Americans were greatly rejoiced. Washington got much praise, and deserved it, for he had shown great good judgment and skill in his management of the army.
Washington knew that the British would soon come back, and thought they would come to New York. So he took nearly all his army, and marched them westward to that city.
Early in July the British came, as Washington had expected, and made their camp on the beautiful hillsides of Staten Island. They brought with them what they called propositions for peace. These were simply offers to pardon the Americans for resisting the British tax laws, if they would now obey them. But this would only have left things exactly as they were in the beginning; it came too late. The Americans had already made up their minds that they would not obey the British laws which taxed them, nor any laws of Great Britain, but that in the future they would make their own laws in such manner as seemed to them most just. This purpose was written out in a long paper called the Declaration of Independence, and was signed on the Fourth of July, 1776, by the members of Congress. General Washington caused the Declaration of Independence to be read to his soldiers. "Now," he said to them, "the peace and safety of our country depend, under God, solely on the success of our arms," and he appealed to "every officer and soldier to act with fidelity and courage."
The year 1776 was a very gloomy one. All efforts to hold New York failed. A hard battle was fought around Brooklyn (August 27), and the Americans were badly beaten. Washington had to give up New York, and content himself with trying to keep the British from going to Philadelphia. Late in the fall he got across the Delaware River, with the British close on his heels. Soon the river filled with ice, as the cold weather came on, and the two armies lay one on one side and the other on the other. The American troops had dwindled away until there were only about three thousand of them.
Washington resolved that something must be done to raise the spirits of the country, or the people would lose all hope of resisting the British with success. At Trenton, on the opposite side from his own army, lay a force of Hessians, who were German soldiers, hired by Great Britain to come to America to fight, and Washington formed the plan of capturing them.
On Christmas-eve, 1776, he crossed the Delaware with 2400 men. The night was bitterly cold; a pelting hail-storm was falling; ice in great blocks was running down the stream, and hindered the boats, so that the army did not get across until four o'clock in the morning. Then the soldiers formed in ranks in the darkness, and being divided into two parties, started for Trenton, nine miles below. Washington led one of the parties, and General Sullivan the other. As they plodded along through the hail and snow, some of the men, exhausted, fell by the road-side, and of these two froze to death before they could be rescued.
As the men under Washington reached Trenton, and began to capture the Hessian soldiers set as sentinels to watch the road, they heard firing on the other side of the town, and knew that Sullivan's men had come up. Then both parties rushed swiftly toward the centre of the town, and with very little bloodshed a thousand prisoners were taken. This was a great success of itself, and had the effect which Washington had hoped for: it gave the whole country new courage.
Washington then started back toward New York, and so rapid was his march that the British commander became frightened lest the Americans should retake the city, and he too went quickly back, and gave up all thought of reaching Philadelphia that year.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
A DISOBEDIENT SOLDIER.
BY DAVID KER.
"Now, lads, there's the battery; remember the Emperor himself is watching you, and carry it in true French style. The moment you get into it, make yourselves fast against attack; and mind that any man who comes out again to pick up the wounded, even though I myself should be among them, shall be tried for disobedience as soon as the battle's over."
So spoke Colonel Lasalle to his French grenadiers just before the final charge that decided the battle of Wagram. Then he waved his sword, and shouted, "En avant!"
Forward swept the grenadiers like a torrent, with the shout which the Austrians opposed to them already knew to their cost. Through blinding smoke and pelting shot they rushed headlong on, with mouths parched, faces burning, and teeth set like a vise. Ever and anon a red flash rent the murky cloud around them, and the cannon-shot came tearing through their ranks, mowing them down like grass. But not a man flinched, for the same thought was in every mind, that they were fighting under the eye of their "Little Corporal," as they affectionately called the terrible Napoleon.
Suddenly the smoke parted, and right in front of them appeared the dark muzzles of cannon, and the white uniforms of Austrian soldiers. One last shout, which rose high above all the roar of the battle, the bayonets went glittering over the breastwork like the spray of a breaking wave, and the battery was won.
"Where's the Colonel?" cried a voice, suddenly.
There was no answer. The handful of men that remained of the doomed band looked meaningly at each other, but no one spoke. Strict disciplinarian as he was, seldom passing a day without punishing some one, the old Colonel had nevertheless won his men's hearts completely by his reckless courage in battle; and every man in the regiment would gladly have risked his life to save that of "the old growler," as they called him.
But if he were not with them, where was he? Outside the battery the whole ground was scourged into flying jets of dust by a storm of bullets from the fight that was still raging on the left. In such a cross-fire it seemed as if nothing living could escape, and if he had fallen there, there was but little hope for him.
"I see him!" cried a tall grenadier. "He's lying out yonder, and alive, too, for I saw him wave his hand just now. I'll have him here in five minutes, boys, or be left there beside him."
"But you mustn't disobey orders, Dubois," said a young Captain (now the oldest surviving officer, so terrible had been the havoc), hoping by this means to stop the reckless man from rushing upon certain death. "Remember what the Colonel told you—that even if he were left among the wounded, no one must go out to pick them up."
"I can't help that," answered the soldier, laying down his musket and tightening the straps of his cross-belts. "Captain, report Private Dubois for insubordination and breach of discipline. I'm going out to bring in the Colonel."
And he stepped forth unflinchingly into the deadly space beyond.
They saw him approach the spot where the Colonel lay; they saw him bend over the fallen man, shielding him from the shot with his own body. Then he was seen to stagger suddenly, as if from a blow; but the next moment he had the Colonel in his arms, and was struggling back over the shot-torn ground, through the dying and the dead. Twice he stopped short, as if unable to go farther; but on he came again, and had just laid his officer gently down inside the battery, when, with his comrades' shout of welcome still ringing in his ears, he fell fainting to the earth, covered with blood.
* * * * *
By the next morning Colonel Lasalle had recovered sufficiently to amaze the whole regiment by putting under arrest the man who had saved his life; but the moment it was done, the Colonel mounted his horse, and rode off to head-quarters at full gallop. In about an hour he was seen coming back again, side by side with a short, square-built man in a gray coat and cocked hat, at sight of whom the soldiers burst into deafening cheers, for he was no other than the Emperor Napoleon.
"Let me see this fellow," said Napoleon, sternly; and two grenadiers led forward Pierre Dubois, so weak from his wounds that he could hardly stand.
"So, fellow, thou hast dared to disobey orders, ha?" cried the Emperor, in his harshest tones.
"I have, sire. And if it were to be done again, I'd do it."
"And what if we were to shoot thee for insubordination?"
"My life is your Majesty's, now as always," answered the grenadier, boldly. "And if I must choose between dying myself and leaving my Colonel to die, the old regiment can better spare a common fellow like me than a brave officer like him."
A sudden spasm shook the old Colonel's iron face as he listened, and even Napoleon's stern gray eyes softened as few men had ever seen them soften yet.
"Thou'rt wrong there," said he, "for I would not give a 'common fellow' of thy sort for twenty Colonels, were every one of them as good as my old Lasalle here. Take this, Sergeant Dubois"—and he fastened his own cross of the Legion of Honor to Pierre's breast. "I warrant me thou'lt be a Colonel thyself one of these days."
And sure enough, five years later, Pierre Dubois was not only a Colonel, but a General.
THE NAUGHTY CUCKOO AND THE BOBOLINKS.
BY AGNES CARR.
Spring had come, with its buds and blossoms, warm bright days and gentle showers, and the old apple-tree at the end of the garden was putting on its new spring dress of green leaves and tiny pink buds, which before long would open into sweet blossoms, and still later turn into ripe golden fruit, when a pair of Bobolinks came flying through the garden one fine morning house-hunting, or rather looking for a nice place to build a nest and go to housekeeping.
"Here is a good spot," said the little husband, whose name was Robert, perching on a limb of the old apple-tree and poking his bill into a crotch formed by a crooked branch.
"So it is," said Linny, his wife, "for the leaves will soon be out and hide the nest from sight:" and they began to chatter so fast about the nice home they would have there, that it sounded like nothing but "Bob-o-link, bob-o-link, spink, spank, spink," so that two little girls who were playing with their dolls under the tree said, "What a noise those Bobolinks make! what are they chattering so about?"
Soon, however, they saw the little birds flying back and forth, back and forth, with bits of hair and straw in their bills, and then they said to one another, "The Bobolinks are building a nest," and they hung pieces of cotton and bunches of thread on the lower limbs of the tree, and watched to see Robert carry them off to weave into the outside of the nest, while Linny made a soft lining of hair inside. And at last the little home was finished, and three pretty eggs laid snugly inside; when one day, while Robert and Linny had gone to stretch their wings by a short flight around the garden, an ugly old Cuckoo, who had seen the Bobolinks flying in and out of the tree, came and laid a big egg in the nest; for Cuckoos are lazy birds, and never build houses for themselves, but steal places to lay their eggs, and let somebody else take care of their children.
Now Robert and Linny had never been to school, and could not count; so when they came back they did not notice that there were four eggs in the nest instead of three, and Linny settled down on them, quite happy, while Robert sang a merry song to her, all about birds and flowers, and brought her nice fat worms and flies to eat, and was just the best little Bobolink husband in the whole garden.
And after a while a faint "peep-peep" was heard, the eggs all cracked, and out came four little blind birdies, without any feathers, and ugly enough, you would have said, but their papa and mamma thought them lovely. One, however, was as large as the other three put together, and took up so much room that Linny said: "Oh dear, we have made the nest too small! When the children grow larger, some will be crowded out."
"That is strange," said Robert, "for it is the same size as the other Bobolinks have built, and they have plenty of room."
"Yes, but just see how big one of the babies is," said Linny.
Just then Robert saw the Cuckoo on a tree near by, winking one eye, and laughing until her sides shook, and exclaimed: "I see how it is: that old thief of a Cuckoo has laid an egg in our nest. I will throw her ugly child out, and she can look after it herself;" and he made a dive for the little Cuckoo, but Linny caught him by his tail-feathers, saying:
"No, no; poor little fellow, he will die if you throw him on the ground. Let him stay until he gets too big for the nest."
So the Cuckoo staid. But he was a very bad bird, for after a while, when he and the little Bobolinks got their eyes open, and had nice coats of feathers, he would peck at his companions, and take away all the best bits of bread and fattest worms that their papa and mamma brought them home for dinner, and was so cross and greedy that Robert would have pitched him out on the grass if Linny had not begged he might stay a little longer, and tried to make him behave better.
The apple-tree was now covered with pink and white blossoms, which grew around the little nest and made it like a bower. And now the birdies were learning to fly, and could go to the outer branches of the tree, where they sat in a row, while their father taught them how to sing.
"Bob-o-link, bob-o-link, spink, spank, spink," sang Robert. And the little ones, who could not speak plain, all repeated, "Bob-o-link, bob-o-link, pink, pank, pink"—all except the biggest bird, who would only say, "Cuckoo, cuckoo," in a harsh voice.
At last, one day, Robert said, "Now, children, you are old enough to leave the tree, and to-day you must begin to go a little way into the garden."
"Yes," said their mother, "but take care, and never sit on the ground, for there is a great yellow cat who will surely eat you up."
"We will be very careful," said all the little Bobolinks.
After Billy, Bobby, and Jenny, as well as Cuckoo, had had their feathers brushed nice and smooth, they were sent out to try their wings; but the Cuckoo was stronger, and could fly farther than the Bobolinks.
Bobby flew over to the fence, to see what was on the other side, and the first thing he spied was the yellow cat creeping slowly along, and she fixed her eyes right on him. He tried to fly back, but just then the Cuckoo came behind, and gave him a push which sent him fluttering to the ground, right in front of Mrs. Pussie. Poor Bobby gave himself up for lost; but as the cat was about to spring on him, a great dog came bounding across the yard, which sent the cat scampering off in a hurry, and saved Bobby, who hastened home as fast as his little wings could carry him.
"Pshaw!" said the Cuckoo; "I thought there would be one out of the nest. But there is the cat under a bush, and Jenny is tilting on a twig just above, without seeing her." So the naughty bird flew to the rose-bush, and said, "Jenny, you look as if you were having a nice time."
"I am," said Jenny; "but don't come on this twig, it won't hold you."
"Oh yes, it will," said Cuckoo, leaning on the slender spray, which broke, and fell with Jenny, who was too frightened to fly; and quick as lightning the cat seized and carried her off in her mouth.
"Ha, ha, ha," laughed Cuckoo; "there will be room in the nest now." But at that moment the two little girls came out of the house, saw the cat with the bird, and made her drop Jenny on the grass. She was not much hurt, and they carried her gently back to the apple-tree, and gave her to her papa and mamma. The Cuckoo then went to look for Billy; but as he was passing the flower garden he saw a juicy white angle-worm lying in a bed of violets, and feeling hungry, stopped to take a little lunch.
The worm was very nice, and Cuckoo enjoyed it very much, when, just as he was swallowing the last morsel, the cat came stealing softly from under a wood-pile, and thinking if birds could lunch on worms, she could lunch on birds, pounced upon Cuckoo, and carried him off; and nothing more was ever seen of him, except a few feathers scattered near the door of the wood-shed. These Billy saw, and went home to tell the sad story.
ORISKANY, NEW YORK.
I am a little boy, and I take YOUNG PEOPLE, which I like very much. I enjoy reading the children's letters, and I want to tell you about my squirrel that I caught the 26th of March, while hunting with one of my playmates. His dog chased it into a hollow stump. He put his hat on top of the slump, and we built a little fire at the bottom, and the smoke drove the squirrel into the hat. I carried it home, and a few days ago I found in the cage five little baby squirrels. One of them died, but I hope the rest will live. I think they will, for their mother takes good care of them. I feed her with all kinds of nuts, and she is getting very tame.
ALFRED H. H.
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I think that YOUNG PEOPLE is a very nice paper. I am making a collection of birds' eggs, shells, stones, and other curiosities. Papa made me a birthday present of some minerals, nicely labelled. I saw some willow "pussies" on March 21. Now we have robins, bluebirds, blackbirds, and many other birds singing. We have a great deal of fun with "Misfits," given in YOUNG PEOPLE No. 22.
JESSIE I. B.
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BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
I have been very sick, and can not go to school, so I will write you about my turtles. I brought them from Kiskatom last summer. There were five, but the smallest one died. The largest was two inches long, and the smallest one only an inch and a quarter. They are in the cellar, in a tub half filled with mud and water, in which they buried themselves last fall. I am anxious to see if they will come out again this spring. I fed them on flies and earth-worms, and they became very tame. I am going to take them back to their native place this summer, and let them go.
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CARDIFF, SOUTH WALES, ENGLAND.
I read HARPER'S WEEKLY and YOUNG PEOPLE in a subscription reading-room opposite my house, and some time ago I saw an invitation to English boys to write, which invitation I beg to accept. You invited correspondents to write about their pets. I have a paroquet. It was brought me by a captain. It was captured in India. It can not quite talk, but I often think it tries to. It imitates my whistle very well. Its usual note is a sort of chirping whistle. It always knows when meal-times are, and cries out until it has a share. About ten o'clock in the morning it becomes very talkative in its own language, and I answer it.
LEWIS G. D.
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I am a little girl seven years old. I go to a lovely place on the sea-shore in summer. Crabbing is the best fun you can have there. It is best to go on a rainy day. You take a crab-net, which is a long pole with an iron ring at one end, and a net dropping from it. Another person takes a line with some meat on it, and lets it down into the water. When the crab comes to eat, you catch it with the net. I went crabbing with my nurse one day, and we caught a peach-basketful of crabs.
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I want to tell you about some Punch-and-Judy figures I made myself. I give a Punch-and-Judy show every Saturday, and I make from five to ten cents each time. The boys tease me to play it all the time. I am eleven years old, and I can play Punch and Judy very well.
WILLIE G. H.
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I was very much interested in Gertrude Balch's letter in No. 17, because her name is the same as my own. I have a little brother, who asks every day if that is not the day for YOUNG PEOPLE to come. At grandma's, where I am visiting, there are two cats, named Nancy and John, and my aunt has an Esquimaux dog that is very large and handsome. He sleeps under my bed every night. I wish some little girl would please tell me how I can tame birds.
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I thought, perhaps, you would like a letter from Tallahoma, Tennessee; and I want to tell you that YOUNG PEOPLE is a very welcome visitor at our house. The story "Across the Ocean" is just splendid. Spring is here. Peach-trees were in bloom before the middle of March, and now we have a great many flowers.
ROBERT H. D.
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BROOKSIDE FARM, MISSOURI, March 30, 1880.
I heard a whip-poor-will this morning for the first time this year, and would be very glad if others would inform me if they have heard the bird this spring. I heard a cat-bird trilling its notes about a week ago, and bluebirds, martins, and other birds have made their appearance. Pewits are building their nests. Brother Le Verne gets YOUNG PEOPLE, and we have all the numbers published. We all like it very much. I like the articles on natural history best, and as I have seen some of the animals described, it makes it more interesting to me.
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I am very fond of reading; and when I go to my father's office every Wednesday evening to get YOUNG PEOPLE, the first thing I look at is the Post-office Department. Nearly all of your correspondents have pets. I have a dear little dog named Sport. He is very playful and mischievous, and is exceedingly fond of taffy and pea-nuts.
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ANGELS CAMP, CALIFORNIA.
We like YOUNG PEOPLE ever so much. Mamma reads us the stories. I read the letters, and try to find out the puzzles. I have a pet dog named Rover. He plays hide-and-seek with me; and he will eat corn like a dog I read about in the Post-office of No. 18. My little sister has a pet hen named Tansie, and a boy who lives next door has two guinea-pigs.
WILLIE H. C.
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I was nine years old last October. Papa subscribed for YOUNG PEOPLE for my New-Year's gift for 1880, and I like it so much! The puzzles are very interesting, and make many a pleasant evening for us children. I think the story of "A Boy's First Voyage" is grand. I have had two pets this winter—a beautiful English rabbit and a very handsome kitty. Kitty can open any of the doors in the house that has a latch, and walk in as independent as you please. Bunny was very jealous of her, and would chase her and tease her so that I gave him to Cousin Georgie, for kitty had the oldest right. Now she has three of the fattest little baby kittens you ever saw. When they begin to run around, they will make lots of sport for us. Old kitty has to give them several boxings a day with her paw.
STIMMIE H. C.
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FAIRFIELD, NEW YORK.
I am eight years old. My sister Fannie and I have a pet cat. We were all at tea one evening, when we heard the piano in the other room. We ran in there, and kitty was sitting on the stool playing her best piece.
JESSIE V. W.
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I am a little girl eleven years old. I have a cat named P. T. Barnum. He always knows when the meat-man comes. Even if he is asleep, he will wake up, and begin to cry until he gets a piece of meat. He is a very handsome Maltese. I call him P. T.
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EDGEWOOD PLANTATION, LOUISIANA.
I am a little girl eight years old, and I live on the banks of the Mississippi River. My mamma takes YOUNG PEOPLE for me. I ride a pony to school every day. I wanted to tell you about my pets, and my dolls too, but I must not make my first letter too long.
LIZZIE C. M.
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The two following communications were written in big capitals:
NEW YORK CITY.
There was a little girl who had four dolls. One of them was French; the other three were wax. There was a parrot in the house where the little girl lived. This little girl had a nurse she loved very much. The little girl had a brother whose name was Harry. He had a little boat that went by steam. He sailed it in the bath-tub.
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BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
I have two canary-birds, but one of them will not sing. I had two pretty little guinea-pigs, but a big dog killed one of them, and ate it up. I am glad when the newsman brings YOUNG PEOPLE. Mamma reads all the stories to me.
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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI.
I am eight years old. I am sick now with the measles, and mamma has read all the stories in the last YOUNG PEOPLE to me. I wish the next one would come. I have a little dog named Frolic. He will sit up, and turn over, and speak for something to eat.
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My name is "Wee Tot." My papa writes this letter for me. By-and-by I will write myself. I have shells, and ocean mosses, and stuffed birds that don't sing, and a big owl, and some alligators, and—oh! I don't know—lots of things. I wish some little boy or girl would send me some pressed flowers and grasses, and some pretty stones and leaves. Then I will send them some of my pretty things. I will put them in a tin case, and papa will send them in the Post-office.
"WEE TOT" BRAINARD, 257 Washington Street (Room 20), Boston.
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I see the children telling about their pets. I have a little dog that can turn somersaults. He shuts doors when you tell him to, and gives you his paw if you ask him in French. He is a black and tan. Then I have a pet kitten, and I tie a blue ribbon round its neck. It jumps through my arms; but it is too fond of staying out all night on the fences. I have seventeen dolls. The largest is a Japanese baby, and is as large as a live one. Another doll is nine years old, and is named Shawnee. I have a very large baby-house. I wrote to Mamie Jones, and sent her some flower seeds to exchange. Will some other little girl exchange some with me?
GUSSIE SHARP, 438 Grand Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.
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I live in Springwells, Detroit, Michigan. I have a little dog named Phanor. He is not as big as a rabbit. Je parle Francais aussi bien que l'Anglais.
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If "Genevieve" will wait until summer, I will be very glad to exchange some of our pressed flowers for hers.
BESSIE BARNEY, 142 Lake Street, Cleveland, Ohio.
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If "Genevieve," of Galt, California, will send me her address, I will be pleased to exchange specimens of pressed flowers with her.
LOU PORTER, Corry, Erie Co., Pennsylvania.
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Miss Rosenbaum, of Raleigh, North Carolina, wishes for "Genevieve's" address, for the purpose of exchanging pressed flowers with her.
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If "Genevieve" will send me her address, I will send her a bouquet when our flowers bloom.
MAGGIE E. DEARDORFF, Canal Dover, Ohio.
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April 8, 1880.
I am a little girl eleven years old. I was out in the woods to-day, and I found this little hepatica which I send you. Although I live farther north than many of the children, I have found a spring flower as early as most of them. If that little girl named Genevieve, in California, will send me her address, I will be very glad to exchange pressed flowers with her.
JESSIE KILBORN, Petoskey, Michigan.
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I thought I would tell you about our goat Minnie. She is one year and a half old, and is pure white. In the winter we hitch her to a little sleigh, and she pulls us all around. She runs on the curb-stone very fast, and does not fall off, and what we think very strange is that she will come to no one but me. She plays cross-tag with us, and when she is "it," no one can tag her back. Will you please tell me in what month the crow builds its nest?
JOSEPH E. G.
The crow makes its nest at the beginning of warm weather. In England it is often at work collecting sticks by the first of April, but in this country, especially in the northern portion, it rarely begins its labors before the last of May. Its nest is in the top of very high trees, and when viewed from below resembles a shapeless bundle of sticks, but the inner nest, which is made of hair and wool, is a beautifully smooth and soft resting-place for the five green, spotted eggs. Young crows are very ugly and awkward, and make a singular noise like a cry, but they are very easily tamed, and make very affectionate although mischievous pets.
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W. M. CHAPMAN.—"Zoe mou, sas agapo" the refrain of Byron's poem to the "Maid of Athens," means "My life, I love you."
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ERNEST K.—The letter you inquire about is genuine, as are all the others we print.
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MABEL G. H.—You will find the recipe of a pot-pourri in the BAZAR for February 2, 1878.
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EMMA S. and LYMAN C.—A pretty ornamental cover for YOUNG PEOPLE will be ready on the conclusion of the first volume.
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LILY B.—If your poor canary allows you to handle it, you can hold it for a moment in tepid water, which will refresh it very much.
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I like to draw the "Wiggles" in YOUNG PEOPLE. We have a little black pony, and we call him "Nig." When he is hungry, he paws with his foot. I am twelve years old. Will you please tell me what fid-dle-de-dee is in French?
NELLIE M. C.
There is no French translation of that word. If a Frenchman wished to express the same idea, he would probably shrug his shoulders and say, "Bah!"
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Favors are acknowledged from Charlie Markward, Bessie H. S., Johnnie S., K. V. L., Perley B. T., R. Crary, Charles W. L., James B. E., Marion King, Bessie Longnecker, T. Horton, Lourina C., George Paul, T. H. V. T., Willie, Tom W. S., Miss E. P., Carrie Rauchfuss, Ida King, Willie Orcutt, M. L. Cornell, Mamie H., Elvira D. H., Rita F. Morris, Carrie H. and Olive R., Carrie Pope, E. M. Rosenberg, Louie, Edith W.
* * * * *
Correct answers to puzzles are received from Frank MacDavitt, Louisa Gates, William S., T. K. Durham, H. F. Phillips, Emma L. C., W. G. Warner, Willie H. Lane, "Tout ou rien," John Inghram, Jun., Mary Kingsbury, Jennie, George Fisher, Reginald F., "Hope," Lloyd Clark, Marion Norcross, Rosie Macdonald, Marie M., Jennie Yatman, Mary Randol, Emma Schaffer, Katie Gould, Emily Theberath, L. Mahler, Cora Frost, W. Kenney, Lizzie Chapman, Nellie W. and Birdie S., J. B. Whitlock, William and Mary Tiddy, W. S. Naldrett, J. R. Glen, E. A. Cushing, Gertrude R.
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PUZZLES FROM YOUNG CONTRIBUTORS.
My first is in run, but not in walk. My second is in shout, but not in talk. My third is in barn, but not in house. My fourth is in pheasant, and also in grouse. My fifth is in April, but not in May. My sixth is in night, but not in day. My seventh is in bud, but not in flower. My eighth is in rain, and also in shower. My ninth is in flute, but not in fife. My tenth is in cousin, but not in wife. My eleventh is in circle, but not in ring. My whole was the name of a Scottish king.
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What familiar motto is composed of four E's, three M's, two R's, and one B?
C. L. S.
* * * * *
I am composed of 14 letters. My 13, 14, 12, 10 is seen at night. My 9, 11, 8 is a resting-place. My 10, 12, 14 is a troublesome animal. My 3, 12, 1, 2, 5 is a title. My 3, 6, 4, 5, 7 is a word often applied to the sea. My whole is a sweet name for a bird.
* * * * *
Across—A tree; adjacent; a peculiar pace; a boy's name. Down—In pint; a preposition; a snare; a title; a species of deer; a preposition; in pint.
RIP VAN WINKLE.
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[The letters contained in each of these sentences, if correctly arranged, spell one word.]
1. Pin a poor bat. 2. There we sat. 3. Trust in coin. 4. Pear root. 5. Rome's gate. 6. Go, let a cat run.
C. P. T.
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My first is in fame, but not in glory. My second is in lie, but not in story. My third is in aged, but not in old. My fourth is in heat, but not in cold. My fifth is in boy, but not in child. My sixth is in rampant, but not in wild. My seventh is in sane, but not in fool. My whole is much studied in college and school.
N. L. C.
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ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN NO. 23.
N O N E O V E N N E E D E N D S
H Y O U H O U S E U S E E
A r T T a R L y E A n N N u T T w O A mazo N
N A I L S A N N I E I N M A N L I A R S S E N S E
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at the following rates—payable in advance, postage free:
SINGLE COPIES $0.04 ONE SUBSCRIPTION, one year 1.50 FIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS, one year 7.00
Subscriptions may begin with any Number. When no time is specified, it will be understood that the subscriber desires to commence with the Number issued after the receipt of order.
Remittances should be made by POST-OFFICE MONEY ORDER or DRAFT, to avoid risk of loss.
The extent and character of the circulation of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will render it a first-class medium for advertising. A limited number of approved advertisements will be inserted on two inside pages at 75 cents per line.
Address HARPER & BROTHERS, Franklin Square, N. Y.
FINE TROUT TACKLE.
We offer a fine 3 Joint Fly Rod, 15 yard Brass Reel, 100 ft. Linen Line, 3 Flies, 3 Hooks to gut, & Leader, complete, by express for $5.00; by mail, postpaid, $5.50; sample Flies by mail, postpaid, 10c. each; per doz., $1.00; complete Catalogue Free.
PECK & SNYDER, Manufacturers, 124 and 126 Nassau St., N. Y.
FREE BY MAIL.
12 Roses, all of the best named sorts, including Duchess of Edinburgh, Nephetos or Cornelia Cook, $1.00 13 Geraniums, including New Life and Happy Thought, 1.00 16 Tube Roses, 1.00 16 Gladiolas, all flowering bulbs, 1.00 8 Of each of the above two, 1.00 4 Palms, nice plants, all different, 1.00 12 Begonias, all different, 1.00 10 Ferns, all different, 1.00 6 Crotons, the best sorts for high colors, 1.00 12 New Fancy Coleus, all different, 1.00 6 Fancy Caladiums, in sorts, 1.00 8 Dahlias, in sorts, 1.00 24 Sorts of Annual Flower Seeds, 1.00 12 Sorts of Perennials and Greenhouse Seeds, 1.00
Our $5.00 Collection of Fancy Plants for the Conservatory is unsurpassed.
To clubs we make special rates. 6 of the above collections for $5.00; all sent by mail. Send for Catalogue.
B. P. CRITCHELL, 197 West Fourth St., Cincinnati, Ohio.
R. SIMPSON, 132 Nassau Street, N. Y.
The Child's Book of Nature.
* * * * *
The Child's Book of Nature, for the Use of Families and Schools: intended to aid Mothers and Teachers in Training Children in the Observation of Nature. In Three Parts. Part I. Plants. Part II. Animals. Part III. Air, Water, Heat, Light, &c. By WORTHINGTON HOOKER, M.D. Illustrated. The Three Parts complete in One Volume, Small 4to, Half Leather, $1.31; or, separately, in Cloth, Part I., 53 cents; Part II., 56 cents; Part III., 56 cents.
* * * * *
A beautiful and useful work. It presents a general survey of the kingdom of nature in a manner adapted to attract the attention of the child, and at the same time to furnish him with accurate and important scientific information. While the work is well suited as a class-book for schools, its fresh and simple style cannot fail to render it a great favorite for family reading.
The Three Parts of this book can be had in separate volumes by those who desire it. This will be advisable when the book is to be used in teaching quite young children, especially in schools.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
Old Books for Young Readers.
* * * * *
Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
The Thousand and One Nights; or, The Arabian Nights' Entertainments. Translated and Arranged for Family Reading, with Explanatory Notes, by E. W. LANE. 600 Illustrations by Harvey. 2 vols., 12mo, Cloth, $3.50.
The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner. By DANIEL DEFOE. With a Biographical Account of Defoe. Illustrated by Adams. Complete Edition. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.
The Swiss Family Robinson.
The Swiss Family Robinson; or, Adventures of a Father and Mother and Four Sons on a Desert Island. Illustrated. 2 vols., 18mo, Cloth, $1.50.
The Swiss Family Robinson—Continued: being a Sequel to the Foregoing. 2 vols., 18mo, Cloth, $1.50.
Sandford and Merton.
The History of Sandford and Merton. By THOMAS DAY. 18mo, Half Bound, 75 cents.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
Square 4to, about 300 pages each, beautifully printed on Tinted Paper, embellished with many Illustrations, bound in Cloth, $1.50 per volume.
The Children's Picture-Book of Sagacity of Animals.
With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Bible Picture-Book.
With Eighty Illustrations, from Designs by STEINLE, OVERBECK, VEIT, SCHNORR, &c.
The Children's Picture Fable-Book.
Containing One Hundred and Sixty Fables. With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Picture-Book of Birds.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
The Children's Picture-Book of Quadrupeds and other Mammalia.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
SOLUTION OF THE BOSSY PUZZLE.
The Bossy Puzzle given in No. 23 of YOUNG PEOPLE is solved by relieving the Bossy of her disfiguring black patches, and arranging them as in Fig. 1. Fig. 2 shows the rustic group that the artist had in his mind when he invented the puzzle. The only correct solution to this puzzle that we have received was sent in by Eddie S. Hequembourg.
The eye is an organ which is very easily deceived, and needs constant training to enable it to judge correctly of the relative proportions of objects of different forms. Most of our readers are probably familiar with the optical test of guessing the height of an ordinary stove-pipe hat by measuring off the supposed height on the wall of a room. Those who have not heard of it will find it interesting to try the experiment. Take a stick, or walking-cane, and measure off on the wall of a room a height to which you suppose a stove-pipe hat would reach if placed on the floor immediately underneath, as represented in Fig. 1. Nine times out of ten the point selected will be a great deal too high.
Another point in which the proportions of a hat are very deceptive is this: The diameter, or distance across the crown, of a silk hat is greater than the height of the crown of the hat from the brim. Most people will be very positive that just the reverse is the case. We have all heard that a horse's head is as long as a flour barrel, and felt very much inclined not to believe it, though such is the fact.
There is also an optical test which is little known, and far more surprising: Take three tumblers of the same size, and place them in a row on the table, as represented in Fig. 2; then withdraw the middle tumbler, and request any one present to place it at such a distance on the table from the other two tumblers—as represented in Fig. 3—that the measurements from C to D and from E to F shall be the same as from A to B. This test will prove very amusing at any small gathering. Each person in turn tries his hand; the distance he guesses is marked off on the table. Then the real distance is measured off, and the tumbler put in its right place, when it will probably be found that every one has fallen far short of the right measurement. In Fig. 3 we have only represented the relative positions of the tumblers; the correct distance is not given. Try it before you measure.
A BROKEN RHYME.
Aunt Flora was a precious _ Her sympathies were ever _ Her cranberry pies were always _ Aunt Flora.
Her homespun dress was neat and _ Her favorite conversation _ Kept her employed like Solomon's _ Aunt Flora.
I do not think she had a _ But everything she did was _ How much I've felt her blessed _ Aunt Flora.
Her heart was sweet and warm as _ And you would know from any _ Among the wise she was not _ Aunt Flora.
SCHOOL-MASTER. "Are you quite sure you have got nothing more in your Pockets?"
BOY. "I've got a Hole in my Vest Pocket, Sir."
SCHOOL-MASTER (sternly). "Take your seat, Sir."