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VOL. I.—NO. 42. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, August 17, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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OLD TIMES IN THE COLONIES.
BY CHARLES CARLETON COFFIN.
JOHN KERZAR, HANNAH DUSTIN, AND THE INDIANS.
It was in August, 1692. John Kerzar, who lived on the banks of the Merrimac, a few miles from the sea, went out into his meadow with his scythe to cut grass. He took his gun along with him to shoot a bear if he saw one in his corn, or an Indian if one made his appearance. He leaned his gun against a tree, and went on with his mowing, not knowing that an Indian was crawling through the tall grass toward him. The Indian reached the tree, seized the gun, and cocked it.
"Me kill you now," said the Indian.
John Kerzar was brave. He was quick to think. He could yell louder than any Indian. No use for him to run; that would be certain death. With a yell like the blast of a trumpet, and uplifted scythe, he rushed upon the Indian, who, instead of firing, dropped the gun and took to his heels. Kerzar was upon him in an instant, swinging his scythe, and making such a fearful gash that the Indian fell dead at his feet.
Kerzar lived in Haverhill. It was a frontier settlement, and the Indians either had a spite against it, or else it was more convenient for them to attack than other settlements, for they made many attempts to destroy the place.
Thomas Dustin was at work in his field one day, when he saw a large number of Indians coming toward him from the woods. He had eight children, the youngest a week old. The mother was in bed with the infant, tended by her nurse Mary Neff. "Run for the garrison," he shouted.
The children started, the oldest boys and girls carrying the youngest. Mr. Dustin rushed to the stable and bridled his horse, intending to take Mrs. Dustin; but the Indians were so close upon him that he could not. He leaped upon the horse with his gun, and galloped away, the bullets flying around him, leaving his wife, baby, and Mary Neff.
The Indians entered the house, dragged Mrs. Dustin from the bed, and seized the nurse. One caught up the infant by the legs, and dashed its head against a rock.
Mr. Dustin overtook his children. It would be impossible, he thought, to save them all; which should he leave? All were equally dear. How could he make a selection? He would not; he would die in defending them, and do what he could to save all.
"Run!" he shouted, urging them on; then leaped from his horse, and fired, sprung upon the animal, again loaded his gun while upon the gallop, overtook his children, dismounted, fired again, and so, keeping the Indians at bay, brought all his children in safety to the garrison.
Not so fortunate his neighbors. In a few minutes the Indians massacred twenty-seven men, women, and children, set several houses on fire, and with a number of captives started for Canada.
It was the middle of March. The rivers and streams were swollen. There was snow on the ground. Mrs. Dustin had but one shoe; the other foot was bare; it was torn by the stones, chilled by the cold. Every step was marked with blood. Her fellow-captives fainted and fell one by one, and the tomahawk and scalping-knife finished them. All except Mrs. Dustin and Mary Neff were killed. For four days they travelled through the dark forest toward the northwest. The Indians gave them little to eat. The third day brought them to the rendez-vous of the Indians, on a little island where the Contoocook falls into the Merrimac.
"There the old smoked in silence their pipes, and the young To the pike and the white perch their baited lines flung; There the boy shaped his arrows, and there the shy maid Wove her many-hued baskets and bright wampum braid."
There were fertile intervales along the Merrimac where the deer found pasture. The Indians could spear salmon in abundance.
They had captured a little boy named Samuel Leonardson near Worcester, Massachusetts, and he had learned to talk with them.
Having been successful in their raids, all except twelve of the Indians started out to make another attack somewhere upon the English, expecting to return with captives, which they would sell to the French. Upon their return the whole party would go to Canada.
The woman who had seen her infant dashed upon the rock, and who had endured such hardships, had a brave spirit, and preferred death to captivity.
They who would be free, must themselves strike the blow. There was none but God to lean upon. She determined to make the attempt to be free.
"Ask the Indians where they strike with the tomahawk when they want to kill a person quick?" she said to Samuel.
"Strike 'em here," said the Indian, putting his finger on Samuel's temple.
Mrs. Dustin saw where he placed his finger.
"This is the way to take off a scalp," said the Indian, showing the boy how to run a knife around the head, and separate the scalp from the skull.
The strong-hearted woman turns over her plans. They are on an island. There are twelve Indians in all; some are women, some children. Their canoes are drawn up beneath the alders. They are so far from any danger of surprise that no one keeps watch at night. The thought never comes to them that their captives—two feeble women and a boy—can escape.
Night comes. The fires burn low. All are asleep, lulled by the music of the falling waters. No—all are not asleep. The woman of brave spirit never before was so wide-awake. Hannah Dustin awakes Mary Neff and Samuel Leonardson, informs them of her purpose, gives each a tomahawk. Each selects a victim.
A signal, and the hatchets crush through the skulls of the sleeping Indians, blow after blow in quick succession. It is the work of a minute, but in that brief time ten of the twelve Indians are killed; two only escape in the darkness.
The prisoners—prisoners no longer—gather the provisions, take the guns of the Indians, and place them in a canoe. The thoughtful women, to prevent pursuit, quickly cut holes in all the other canoes and set them adrift. They take their seats in the remaining canoe, and push out into the stream.
A thought comes. If they are spared to reach their home, will their friends believe their story? They will have evidence that can not be disputed. They paddle back to the island. Mrs. Dustin runs a knife around the scalp-locks of the dead Indians, and takes them from the skulls. They start once more in the darkness. They know that the river will bring them to their homes.
The current bears them on. Soon they are amid the rapids at Pennacook, but the thought of home, of liberty, cools their brains and steadies their nerves. The intrepid women handle the paddles dexterously, steering clear of sunken rocks and dangerous whirlpools.
They come to a space of clear water, and then to falls, around which they must carry the canoe. They are in danger of death by drowning, in danger of prowling savages, whose wigwams are still standing along the bank of the winding stream, but no Indian discovers them. With tireless energy they ply their paddles. Days pass. At last they sweep round a bend, and behold familiar scenes: they are once more at home, coming upon their sorrowing friends like apparitions from the dead. It is a marvellous story they have to tell of endurance, heroism, and victory. No one can doubt their words, for there are the scalps, evidence undoubtable.
By every fireside the story of Hannah Dustin, Mary Neff, and Samuel Leonardson is narrated. Presents come to them—fifty pounds from the General Court of Massachusetts, and a rich present from the Governor of New York.
A monument has been reared upon the spot where they obtained their freedom, commemorative of their endurance, resolution, and heroic action.
THE ROVERINGS AT CONEY ISLAND.
BY MATTHEW WHITE, JUN.
The two Eds wanted to go very much.
"I can learn to build forts in the sand, and then grow up to be a soldier," urged Edward.
"And I might watch the men steer the boats, and by-and-by be ready to sail off somewheres on a ship, and bring back an India shawl," suggested Edgar, cunningly, and Mrs. Rovering decided at once that they should go.
"By the boat?" cried Edgar.
"No, by the cars," exclaimed Edward; and thereupon arose a discussion on the point, which lasted until Mr. Rovering came home to dinner, and said they could go by both.
So on the next morning, which happened to be Saturday, the family set out, armed with an immense lunch basket, and shaded by huge straw hats.
"Now, Robert," said Mrs. Rovering, as they hurried down a dirty side street to the river, "are you sure you know where you're going?"
"Why, to Manhattan Beach, to be sure. We decided to begin there, you remember." But they had no sooner reached the end of the long pier than they were set upon by what appeared to be a lot of crazy men, who yelled in such a frightful fashion about bursting boilers and rotten timbers that the Roverings were very glad to find that they were on the wrong dock, and that the Manhattan Beach boats started from a quiet wharf near by, where there were no opposition steamers.
And now a most wonderful thing happened. The crowd on this first pier was a most dreadful one, and yet neither of the Eds got lost in it, nor did Mr. Rovering have his pocket picked; and this fact struck Mrs. Rovering as so extraordinary that she stood still for a full minute in the Battery Park before she could realize it, while an elevated railroad engine overhead dripped grease all over the cherry-colored ribbon on her hat.
After blundering into Castle Garden, and knocking at the door of a free swimming bath, they succeeded in finding the boat they wanted, which, after several very narrow escapes from being run into by ferry-boats, running over tugs, swamping row-boats, and grazing barges, took them safely to the pier where the cars were waiting.
With these latter the two Eds were much delighted, as they were open ones, and consequently offered to them unlimited opportunities for falling out and breaking their necks.
"Here we are!" suddenly announced Edgar, as the train slowed up and then stopped; but after the heavy basket had been carefully lifted out, and Mrs. Rovering had laboriously stepped down, they discovered that there was no station there at all, and they had just time to squeeze back into their places before the engine started again.
The family went through this performance three times, until finally Mr. Rovering found out that these mysterious haltings were only made as a matter of precaution before crossing other railroads.
But at last the cars stopped for good, and after waiting until everybody else had left the train, the Roverings concluded that they had actually arrived at the famous Manhattan Beach.
The two Eds were for at once dashing off to the shore, but Mrs. Rovering declared that they hadn't time for play yet, as they must first walk up as far as the new hotel, so as to be sure they had seen everything. Mr. Rovering, however, had caught sight of the bathing pavilion, and decided that, for fear they should forget it, they had better take a dip in the ocean immediately.
So they all went into the Atlantic—and a good deal of it into them; and on coming out, Mrs. Rovering was lost in more wonder than ever when she found that neither of the Eds was drowned.
"And now we must eat our lunch," said Mr. Rovering, when they were once more wandering along the broad plank-walk in the broiling sun.
"And there's a superb place where we may partake of it," added his wife, indicating the invitingly cool-looking piazza of a large hotel, which was plentifully provided with tables and chairs, seemingly on purpose for just such hungry lunch-laden mortals as themselves.
So they all went up the steps, and choosing a table in the shadiest corner, they sat down, and began to unpack the basket.
Mrs. Rovering had just taken a creamcake and a box of sardines from the centre of a lemon pie when a waiter walked up to them with a card-board sign, which read, "Positively no picnic parties allowed in the parlors or on the piazzas of this hotel."
Now this sudden turn of affairs was very humiliating to the Roverings, the more so as they had all grown very hungry after their bath, and the contents of the basket had a most inviting odor.
But there was no help for it; so the sardines and sandwiches and lemon pie and creamcakes and all the silver-plated ware, were thrust hurriedly back in a dreadful heap of confusion, and the four set out for the beach, feeling sure that they would not be molested there.
However, when they sat down on the dry sand, they found it so hot, and it flew about and into everything so easily, that they determined to move down nearer to the water.
They had just established themselves on a cool spot, and Mrs. Rovering was distributing supplies for the third time, while the two Eds were busily engaged in fort-building, when Mr. Rovering suddenly cried out, "Take care!" but before he could say of what, a big wave had dashed up and salted the whole party, and luckily salted them only, yet enough to convince them that the beach was not a convenient lunch table; so the provisions being tumbled into the basket again, Mr. Rovering declared in favor of Brighton, where the four were set down a few minutes later by the Marine Railway.
Here they tried another hotel piazza, but the same dreadful notice stared them in the face, and they began to fear that they would be compelled to go home to eat their lunch, when Mr. Rovering happened to remember having heard something about West Brighton being a resort of "the people"; so they all bundled into a stage, at five cents a head, to ride to the next grand division of the island.
And now the two Eds saw with delight that they were coming to the region of circuses, side shows, and merry-go-rounds, and soon Mrs. Rovering said, "Robert, I observe that we are approaching the Observatory. Let us ascend by the elevator; it may give us an appetite for—"
"But I want to ride round on the lion," broke in Edward.
"And I want to see the Midgets," added Edgar. But Mr. Rovering having noticed that the admission to the Observatory was fifteen cents, children ten cents, thought it would be too bad if he did not take advantage of the reduction to save a dime; so the four got in one of the elevators, and rode to the top, which was several hundred feet above the level of the sea.
The view from this lofty point was certainly very fine, and for a moment or two the careful mother forgot all about her sons, while she tried to make out through the telescope, under her husband's guidance, the exact spot of ground on Staten Island where they had once held a Fourth-of-July picnic.
At length she gave up the attempt, and turned around to look after the boys. But neither of the Eds was to be seen.
There were but two persons besides themselves in the cage-like compartment, so the children could not be lost in the crowd. With a cry of horror, Mrs. Rovering rushed to the side, and peering down, down, far below her, saw her two darling boys, stretched on the ground apparently in the positions they had fallen, each leaning on an elbow.
"Let me to my sons!" shrieked the poor mother, tragically; and dragging Mr. Rovering after her, she flew down the stairs only to find that both the elevators were at the bottom of the tower. Then, with the music of the merry-go-round organs ringing in her ears, and the beating of the side-show drums trying to drown it, Mrs. Rovering fainted away.
When she came to herself she was reclining on two chairs on a hotel piazza, staring at the notice, painted on the wall, "No baskets allowed."
This fully restored her to her senses, and turning around, she saw the two Eds calmly drinking milk from the great wooden cow near by.
It seemed that the boys had speedily grown tired of the tower, and quietly slipping down stairs, had taken the elevator back to earth again. Here they had thrown themselves on the ground, and were engaged in counting up their pennies, in order to see, if they both took a ride on the wooden lion, how much would remain for the Midgets, when their mother missed them.
By this time it had grown to be the middle of the afternoon, and Mr. Rovering, becoming desperate, went up to a benevolent-looking gentleman and asked him if he knew of a spot where free American citizens might eat a lunch they had brought with them from home.
"Why, certainly," was the reply; "there is a building especially adapted to that purpose at the other end of the island."
"But we have just come from there," said Mr. Rovering.
"Ah, then, it isn't my fault you didn't see it;" and the gentleman sat down at the very next table, and proceeded to order a mutton-chop and some fried potatoes.
"Dolly, let's go home!" exclaimed Mr. Rovering, in despair; and picking up the basket, which now seemed heavier than ever, he led the way to the Iron Pier.
And now they looked forward to enjoying their lunch on the boat; but the sea was so rough, and they all in consequence became so sick, that they were glad to hide the basket out of sight.
Thus it came to pass that the Roverings ate their lunch and supper all in one, and decided that their day at Coney Island had not been a success.
A SALT-WATER AQUARIUM.
BY A. W. ROBERTS.
Hundreds of young people are now spending their vacation on or near the sea-shore, and have a good opportunity to study the wonderful habits of animal and vegetable marine life. Therefore I have undertaken to throw out a few plain hints as to the management of a salt-water aquarium, in which these interesting forms of nature can be observed to greater advantage.
We will start off with one of the small tin frame tanks sold in New York so cheap, or a candy jar, or a small-sized wash-tub—any vessel that will hold water, and is not of iron, tin, or copper, either of which will poison the water.
After washing out the tank carefully, and filling it with clear sea-water, we will place in it twelve silver-shrimps (bait shrimps). At the end of two days they are dead, and you ask why did they die when they had so much water to live in. They died of suffocation, after they had breathed all the air contained in the water. We will take out the dead shrimps, and in the same water place a good handful of ulva (sea-lettuce, sea-salad), one of the most common of all marine plants, and place the aquarium in a strong and direct sunlight, by this means exciting the ulva to work, or, as it is termed, aerify the water. In less than an hour's time a froth will be seen forming on the surface of the water, and adhering to the sides of the aquarium. Now observe the ulva closely, and from its edges and surface very fine threads of silvery bubbles are pouring out and ascending to the surface. In an hour's time the water will be thoroughly charged with air. We will again place twelve more shrimps in the aquarium. This time they will live, and we will have established a true aquarium—an aquarium based on the self-sustaining principles of nature, wherein it will not be necessary to change the water.
Fish as well as human beings breathe air. Air is contained in all water. After the shrimps had breathed or used the air contained in the water several times over, it became unfit to sustain animal life any longer, and so they smothered: just the same as if a number of people were placed in a room, and all the doors and windows and ventilators were sealed up tight, so that no new air could enter. They, too, would suffocate in a short time and die. All plants living in water are constantly manufacturing new and pure air for their friends and companions the fishes, particularly when under the action of sunlight.
The great secret in establishing a self-supporting aquarium is to establish a natural balance of water, fish, plants, and light, so that none of these agents are wanting in quantity. For instance, a strong light is required to cause a healthy development of the plant life, but not direct sunlight, or the plants will be forced too rapidly, and death will soon follow. Again, direct sunlight will increase the temperature of the water to such an extent that many of the fish will die. If the animal life is in excess of the plant life and the water contained in the aquarium, the animals will perish for want of sufficient air. Again, if the aquarium is overstocked with plants, so that they are crowded so closely that the light fails to reach some of them, decomposition will take place, and everything will become a decaying mass. In fact, it is only by beginning on a very modest scale, with a very few and small fish at first, and by gradually increasing the number, that a beginner can expect to succeed. Over-stocking with animal life and overfeeding are the two greatest temptations that beset the path to success for the aquariumist; but patience, perseverance, and critical observation will eventually lead to success.
The greatest care must be taken, and all shells, rock-work, sand, and plants must be washed over several times, so that no injurious substances may be introduced.
Ulva, or sea-lettuce, is to be found in abundance in all our small bays and inlets at low tide. For the aquarium, those specimens which are thick in texture, and of a dark green color, only are fit for manufacturing air. Never be tempted to make use of the light green and thin specimens, as they are not sufficiently matured, and will soon decay if placed in the tank.
Scallops when young have a curious way of changing their location by means of opening their shells and then closing them with great force, which sends them off at an angle, and so they go dancing along the bottom till they reach a spot that suits them. This shell-fish forms a beautiful addition to an aquarium.
The silver-shrimp, with figured back (all other varieties must be avoided), I have always considered as constituting a Board of Health in an aquarium; for no sooner does the water become unhealthy than these transparent and grasshopper-like creatures will make desperate attempts to jump out of the tank. These shrimps, and the little hermit-crab, and the buccinum (a small black sea-snail) are Nature's house-cleaners. They are always on the look-out for decaying animal or vegetable matter, which, if not in too large quantities, they speedily devour.
I have seen these black snails gather on a dead fish from a distance of half a mile; in less than a day's time nothing was left of the fish but his bones and scales, and these were picked so clean that they had a polished look. These snails are provided with ribbon-like tongues, from which project a great number of minute and beautifully constructed teeth. By passing these tongues backward and forward rapidly they cut their food down much as a mowing-machine cuts grass. These snails are the scavengers of all dead fish and vegetable substances found in our bays and rivers, and to them we owe a great deal of the purity of our waters.
The little hermit-crab lives alone in an empty shell, which he carries about with him wherever he goes. His reason for living in a shell is because the hind part of his body is soft, and not protected with a hard shell, like the fore part of his body. The end of the soft body of the hermit-crab is provided with hooks, or claspers, with which he holds on to the inner chamber of his shell so tightly that it is almost impossible to get him out except by breaking the shell. Very often these crabs are to be found with a colony of living polyps growing on their shells. These polyps are very interesting from the fact of their being the parents of one of our most beautiful jelly-fishes.
When a hermit-crab grows too large, or so fat that his shell pinches him, he hunts up a new one. First he pushes his long claws far into it, just to see that no one is inside, and that it is nice and clean; then he rolls it over and over, often lifting it so as to judge of its weight. If it suits, he drags it close to the entrance of his old home, and in an instant he has whisked into his new house. Hermit-crabs are great house-hunters, often moving just for the fun of it. They are always skylarking with one another like monkeys, and, in truth, they are the monkeys of an aquarium. When the water in an aquarium becomes bad, they are sure to indicate it by leaving their shells, and trying to crawl out of the tank. In all respects they are the most valuable and interesting inhabitants of the aquarium.
Pipe-fish are apt to be delicate; still, if your aquarium is in perfect health, and the water is teeming with minute animal life, they will get along nicely. Their favorite food consists of the eggs of all small crustaceans, such as shrimps, sand-hoppers, and lady-crabs. Mrs. Pipe-fish does not take care of the children, but Mr. Pipe-fish places them in a long folding pocket that runs along the under side of his body (which I have tried to show in the engraving). When he lets them out of this pocket into the vast ocean world to shift for themselves, they are only a quarter of an inch long, no thicker than a bristle, and almost transparent.
Think of a crab decorating himself with bright-colored sea-weed, so that he is called the dandy-crab! Still, he is not so vain, after all, as he covers himself with sea-weed that he may escape the sharp eyes and sharp teeth of hungry fishes. I once had a dandy-crab whose back I had scrubbed clean, after which I placed him in an aquarium containing a plain sand bottom. In this tank I also placed a hungry black-fish, who soon took a nip at him, securing only one of his legs. This so frightened the dandy-crab that he began searching over the aquarium for material to cover himself with. In the tank I placed several sea-flowers (anemones), cut into small pieces. These he immediately seized, and soon had them fastened over his back, using both claws, he being both right and left handed, and sticking them on with a kind of glue that he took from his mouth. In a few days the pieces of sea-flowers began to develop into perfect flowers, causing the crab to look very gorgeous.
When a crab loses a claw, he does not mind it; in fact, he rather likes it, as it provides him with an extra meal. All he does is to sit right down and bite it off to the next perfect joint, eating the fragments of flesh with much relish. In a week's time a new claw begins to grow. When a spider-crab grows too large for his clothes, he rips them at the back, and out he slides, a helpless soft mass. He is now a "soft crab," and for thirty-six hours he has to hide away, as all fish are hunting for soft-crab dinners. At the end of thirty-six hours he is hard again, and has increased one-third in size.
Of all laughable fish a baby swell-fish is the funniest. Beautiful in color, odd in shape, with the power of blowing himself up into a round ball covered on the under side with spines, does he not look wise and important? And he has only two teeth, but can't he bite? Why he swells himself up so is not exactly known; but I imagine that when he finds himself inside of a fish, he makes it so uncomfortable for that fish's general health that the fish is glad to get rid of him.
Next to a young swell-fish comes a young sea-robin, a very interesting fish. He can make a musical grunting noise when he feels good, and will spread his beautiful wings, and sail through the water as proud as a peacock. When he is tired, he likes to bury himself up to his eyes in sand, for which he uses his two curious hooked fingers. He also uses these to dig out the sand-shrimps. Some years ago great numbers of very large sea-robins visited our coast, and were sold in the New York markets under the name of Dolly Vardens, on account of their possessing such bright and showy colors.
The shell-fish known as the oyster drill is one of the greatest of all enemies to young oysters, which he destroys by boring minute holes through their shells, and when the oyster opens, after death, eating him up. It is not known how he drills this very minute hole so quickly.
The clinker (serpula) is really a vast marine tenement-house for a social community of beautiful sea-worms, who build up houses of shelly tubes twisted and fastened together. Each worm has a stopper, or cork, to his shell, with which he can close up the entrance to his house.
When this sea-worm is feeding he throws out from the entrance of his tube a beautiful double plume. These worms are the favorite food of the sea-horse, who sucks them out with a sharp snapping noise.
The sea-horse is considered to be one of the greatest prizes that can be obtained for an aquarium. For dignity of carriage, grace of motion, and beauty of form, he excels all other fish. The papa sea-horse takes care of his children the same as the pipe-fish, to which he is closely related; only his pocket is in front of him, and is much larger, and different in shape. This pocket is lined inside with a fatty substance, on which the young sea-horses feed till they are strong enough to be crowded into the world. The sea-horse, when he thinks it time to turn out his children, presses his big pocket (for he has no hands nor claws) against a shell or piece of stone, and out swim the young horses. At first they are apt to form into bundles by locking their tails together, but as they become accustomed to their new surroundings, and are stronger, they separate. The male sea-horse displays much pride over his young, and remains with them several days. Sea-horses can look two ways at once, as each eye moves independently of the other.
The tube-flower is very common along our coast. It lives in a long, thin, light-colored tube, composed of a material resembling horn. It has the power of stinging slightly, but, for all that, is so beautiful that no aquarium should be without it. This animal casts off its flower, or head, every few days, after which a new one makes its appearance.
Sea-flowers (anemones) are always to be found in the same locations with tube-flowers. Just to think of taking an animal that moves and eats and breathes, and cutting him up, and that each piece will become a perfect animal again! Yet such is the case with sea-flowers. When they wish to produce young, they tear off pieces from their bodies (the base parts), which soon develop into young sea-flowers. In the illustration I have shown three kinds of sea-flowers, all of which are common on our coast. The inside part of a sea-flower is divided by many partitions, forming a circle of store-rooms; into these rooms he passes his food, where it remains till all the juices are extracted, after which he passes it out again the same way it entered. The colors and forms of all our sea-flowers are wonderfully beautiful. Their thousands of hands (the fringe-like part), which are constantly moving in all directions in search of food, remind one of an animated aster.
Small groups of acorn-barnacles, when attached to stones or wood, are very desirable objects for the aquarium. For a few hours after being placed in their new home they will remain closed, but as soon as they become accustomed to their surroundings, one after another will cautiously throw out his feathery casting-net in search of food. Then the reaching and grasping become so rapid and general that the eye can hardly follow their motions.
I feed my fish three times a week with soft or hard shell clams cut fine, taking great care that no food remains uneaten to taint the water. For bottoms for aquariums I use coarse bird-gravel, or pebbles thoroughly washed, with small masses of rock-work.
UNCLE EBENEZER'S UMBRELLA.
BY JAMES B. MARSHALL.
"Oh, mamma, we're going to the orchard to play," said Archy. "May we take an umbrella to keep the sun off?"
Mamma Stewardson, being up stairs, called in a low voice over the baluster, "Yes, dears, and take a large one."
So Archy and Gertie took the very largest umbrella in the stand—an enormous one. Its ribs were whalebone, its cover green gingham, and the handle ended in a knob nearly as large as a door-knob. But that umbrella was very highly valued by Uncle Ebenezer Stewardson, its owner, who carried it with him wherever he went, rain or shine. Uncle Ebenezer's grown nieces and nephews thought it very odd in him to carry such a queer-looking umbrella. They often hoped that something would happen to it, so that when they went about with him—he was one of the kindest and happiest of uncles—every one wouldn't be attracted by that great green bundle. How Cousin Adolphus did despise that umbrella!
But Gertie and Archy took the umbrella, only thinking it was a splendid big one; and as Uncle Ebenezer was taking a nap, of course he couldn't know who was carrying off his precious property. As they passed out, Cousin Adolphus was arranging his sketching materials to go down to the pond back of the woods to make a drawing of the mill for a young lady.
Among the daisies in the orchard Gertie started up a rabbit, which ran slowly toward the woods. Gertie and Archy went skimming over the field after it, laughing and flourishing the great green umbrella at such a rate that the rabbit ran into the woods, where it could not be found.
However, they found a cleared space just within the edge of the woods that was covered with soft green moss, and in its midst stood the most inviting smooth-top tree trunk for them to rest on. And while they sat talking about the rabbit, a young man all dressed in green approached them. His face and hands were also green, and he carried a long green bag.
"Children, welcome into my woods," said he, in a queer but pleasant voice.
Archy was about to exclaim, "It's not your woods, but Uncle Eb's," when the man in green went on to say: "I'm the Green Wizard of the Forest, and take great pleasure in exhibiting my tricks to little folks. Would you like to see me perform some of them?"
"Yes, please," said Archy, drawing a long breath, and looking intently at the Wizard.
"My little girl, will you lend me your pocket-handkerchief?" asked the Wizard, in that same queer, pleasant voice. "Now, then," continued he, as he took off his green hat, and placed within it Gertie's handkerchief, "I'll make you some fine candies."
Striking a match, the Wizard seemed to set the handkerchief on fire, as he held the hat in the air. After a few moments he blew out the flame, and then took from the hat four large handfuls of fine bonbons.
"And your handkerchief is just as pretty as ever," said the Wizard, returning it to Gertie. Archy clapped his hands loudly and earnestly, as though he was at a regular show, and Gertie joined in.
"My next trick will be to turn an umbrella into a music-box," said the Wizard, shaking his green bag out to its full length. Even to think of such a trick caused the audience of two to laugh so heartily that it came near rolling off the stump. The Wizard picked up Uncle Ebenezer's umbrella, and holding it in one hand, and the green bag in the other, said "Presto!" three times, and then poked the umbrella inside the bag.
"Now, my little man, what do you see inside?"
Archy peeped, expecting to see the umbrella, but he saw nothing but a neat little music-box.
"Oh, he's done it, Gertie, sure as anything," said Archy, gleefully.
"Let's have some music; it will play three tunes," said the Wizard, lifting the music-box from the bag. It first played "Coming Through the Eye," then "Violets Blue," and next struck up a lively German waltz.
The instant the waltz began, the Green Wizard of the Forest went dancing all over the green moss with the long green bag for a partner, and merrily called for Archy and Gertie to join in. When the music stopped, they did also, but looking around for the Wizard, he was nowhere to be seen. After vainly waiting his return some time, they started home, and as Archy understood how to wind and start the music-box, they had music all the way.
Mamma Stewardson was seated on the veranda as the children came toward the house, and Uncle Ebenezer, in slippers and long linen summer coat, could be seen nervously pacing up and down the wide hall that led to the door.
"My dears," said mamma, as they came near, "you should not have taken Uncle Ebenezer's umbrella; but I hope you have taken good care of it."
Gertie looked at Archy and then at the music-box, and Archy looked at the music-box and then at Gertie.
"Please never take my umbrella again," said Uncle Ebenezer, coming out on the veranda. "I'll buy you as many umbrellas as you want, bless your hearts."
"But what have you done with it, Archy?" asked mamma, turning around as she rose to have a full view of the children, and not seeing the umbrella.
"Why, the Green Wizard turned it into this music-box; but we'll go right off and get him to turn it back. He was a real nice Wizard, and will do anything we ask."
"And he danced, and we danced," said Gertie, her eyes fairly dancing in her head.
Mamma Stewardson was much puzzled to know what all this meant, so she called Gertie and Archy to her, that they might slowly explain.
Uncle Ebenezer stood quiet almost a minute, running his fingers through his hair, until it stood on end like porcupine quills. "Ha! I have it," said he. "Some rascally tramp has taken my umbrella from these innocent children, and given them this trumpery music-box to amuse them while he escaped."
"Why, Uncle Ebenezer, the music plays splendidly," said Gertie.
"Yes, my dear; yet, though I can buy a thousand more boxes precisely like that one, there isn't one more such an umbrella. But where is Adolphus? He must go after that tramp."
"I think he is down at the pond sketching," answered mamma.
"Then I must go," exclaimed Uncle Ebenezer, reaching the hat-rack in exactly five steps. He clapped on the first hat he came to—it was mamma's sun-hat, all trimmed with wild grasses. Then running through the kitchen, as the nearest way, he spied old John's stable boots, into which he jumped, kicking off his slippers; and in a jiffy was on a full run toward the woods, with his long coat flying out behind, mamma's hat bouncing up and down on his head.
In the course of an hour Uncle Ebenezer came back, but without finding the umbrella or catching the Wizard. He told mamma privately that he thought the children must have fallen asleep in the woods and dreamed about the Wizard, and that the umbrella was lost there somewhere. However, you see, that wouldn't account for the music-box; and then Uncle Ebenezer was puzzled. But Cousin Adolphus was the most puzzled of all, and he shook his head and questioned the children as though he had never heard of anything quite so amazing.
The next time Adolphus came from the city he brought Uncle Ebenezer a present of a beautiful silk umbrella with an ivory handle, and it was so much lighter than the old green gingham one that Uncle Ebenezer was pleased with it at once.
* * * * *
One day, late that summer, while a merry party were out on the mill-pond fishing, Uncle Ebenezer caught something tremendous on his line. It proved to be that old great-handled green gingham umbrella; but then all torn, rusty, and muddied. Mamma said that Cousin Adolphus looked startled when he saw that poor umbrella drawn to the surface, and point its slimy ribs at him like long fingers, and that he seemed glad when the rusty frame was thrown back into the water.
About a month after that Uncle Ebenezer went to a masquerade party, and the following day he saw Gertie and Archy.
"Children, I caught the Green Wizard of the Forest last night," said he, exultantly. "He was dressed all in green, as you said, and his other name is Adolphus Stewardson—the rogue! He wanted to get rid of that umbrella, and now I don't blame him a particle because he did."
[Begun in No. 31 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, June 1.]
THE MORAL PIRATES.
BY W. L. ALDEN.
Though no tramps appeared during the night, the sentinels proved to be useful; for as soon as the day began to dawn, Harry, who was on sentry duty, called his comrades, and thus they were enabled to get breakfast early, and to start before six o'clock. They had to wait half an hour for the first lock to be opened, but after that they had no difficulty in passing through the other locks. They rowed steadily, taking turns at the oars, and occasionally fastening the boat to the stern of a canal-boat, which would tow them while they took a short rest. Early in the afternoon they reached Fort Edward, where they disembarked; and Harry and Tom went in search of a team, which they hired to carry them to Warrensburg, on the Schroon branch of the Hudson.
When the teamster drove down to the bank of the canal, Tom and the Sharpe boys began to unload the boat. Harry stopped them. "There isn't any use in taking the things out of the boat," said he. "We can draw her out of the canal and put her on the wagon just as she is."
"Her stern will dip under when we haul her bow out," said Tom.
"No, it won't," replied Harry.
"Let's take the things out of the stern-sheets, anyhow," urged Tom. "All our shoes are there, and we can't afford to lose them."
"Nothing will happen to them," answered Harry, confidently. "It's my boat, and I'm going to haul her out with the things in her."
Tom said no more, but took hold of the bow of the boat with the others, and they began to pull her out of the water. As Tom had prophesied, when she was about half way out her stern dipped under, the water poured in, and nearly everything in the after-part of the boat floated out. The harm was done now; so the boys hastily dragged the boat up the bank, and then began to lament their losses.
There was not a shoe left, except the shoes that Harry and Tom had put on when they went in search of the team. The mast and sail and two oars were floating on the water, and a quantity of small articles, including the tin frying-pans and a tin pail, had shared the fate of the shoes, and were lying at the bottom of the canal.
"It was my fault," said Harry, "and I beg everybody's pardon. I'll strip and dive for the things till I find them." So saying, he threw off his clothes and sprang into the canal. Joe, who was, next to Harry, the best swimmer of the party, followed his example; and a number of the villagers and "canalers" collected on the tow-path to watch the divers.
The canal was not more than eight feet deep, but the bottom was very muddy, and the boys had to feel about in the mud with their feet for the lost articles. They were very fortunate, and before long succeeded in recovering all the shoes, except one of Joe's, and several other things. Meanwhile three women and half a dozen girls, all of whom lived on board the fleet of canal-boats that were lying near by, joined the spectators, and seemed to think that the whole business was a capital joke. Harry and Joe were now anxious to come out of the water; but they could not come ashore while these spectators were there, so they swam some distance up the canal, and crept out behind a barn.
Meanwhile Tom and Jim were busily baling out the boat, and arranging the wet things so that the sun could dry them. They were so busy that they forgot all about Harry and Joe. Presently Tom said, "Hark! I think I hear somebody calling."
They listened, and presently they heard a voice in the distance calling, "Tom! Jim! boys! somebody! bring us our clothes!"
"It's Harry and Joe," exclaimed Tom. "Where on earth are they?"
They looked up the canal, and finally discovered a naked arm waving frantically from behind a barn that stood near the water. "They must be behind that barn," said Tom. "Why, the mosquitoes will eat 'em alive. I'll take their clothes to them right away." So saying, Tom gathered up the shirts, trousers, and hats of the two unhappy divers, and ran with them to their owners. He found Harry and Joe crouched behind the barn, chattering with cold, and surrounded by clouds of eager mosquitoes. "We've been here half an hour," cried Joe, "and the mosquitoes would have finished us in another half hour. I think my right leg is nearly gone already."
"And I know I must have lost a gallon of blood," said Harry.
The boys hurriedly dressed themselves, and returning to the boat, helped to put it on the wagon; and with the wet shoes hanging from the cart-rungs they started on their ride to Warrensburg. It was a hot and tedious ride, and as the wagon had no springs, the boys were bumped so terribly that they ached all over. They tried to sing, but the words were bumped out of them in the most startling way; and after singing one verse of the "Star-spangled Banner" in this fashion,
"The St-t-tar-spangl-led-led ba-a-an-na-na—"
they gave it up.
About four o'clock they reached Warrensburg, and after getting some dry sugar to replace that which had been mixed with canal water, they launched the boat and rowed up the river. They found it a narrow stream, with a rapid current and a good depth of water. After their tiresome ride the smooth motion of the boat seemed delightful, and they were really sorry when they found it was so late that they must camp for the night.
They chose a pleasant sandy spot between the river and the edge of a thick wood. The opposite bank was also thickly wooded, and they felt as if they were in the depths of a wilderness, though in reality there were houses quite near at hand. They pitched their tent, made a good supper—of which they were in need, for they had eaten very little at noon—and then "turned in."
For some reason—perhaps because the mosquitoes had so cruelly maltreated him—Joe was not sleepy, and after having lain awake a long time while the other boys were sleeping soundly, he began to feel lonesome. He heard a great many mysterious noises, as any one who lies awake in a tent always does. The melancholy call of the loon sounded ghostly, and the sighing of the wind in the trees seemed to him like the breathing of huge animals. After a while he found himself getting nervous as well as lonesome, and imagined that he saw shadows of strange objects passing in front of the tent. By-and-by he distinctly heard the twigs and branches crackling, as somebody or something moved through the woods. The noise came nearer, and suddenly it flashed upon Joe that a bear was approaching. He crept carefully to the opening of the tent, and putting his head out, saw indistinctly a large animal moving slowly in the shadow of the bushes only three or four rods from him.
Joe lost no time in waking up the other boys, cautioning them as he did so not to make the least noise. "There's a bear close by the tent," he whispered. "I've been listening to him for a long while, and just now I saw him."
Harry immediately grasped the gun, both barrels of which he had loaded before going to sleep. Tom wished that he had the hatchet, but as it had been left in the boat, he had no weapon but his penknife. Thus armed, the two crept stealthily out of the tent to fight the bear, leaving Joe and Jim in a very unhappy state of mind, with nothing to defend themselves against the bear, in case he should attack the tent, except a tooth-brush and a lantern.
The outline of the animal could be seen, but Tom and Harry could not make out which end of it was its head. "You must shoot him just behind the shoulder," whispered Tom; "that's the only spot where you can kill a bear." Harry said nothing, but watched carefully to see the animal move. Presently it threw up either its head or tail—the boys could not tell which—and started toward them. Harry forgot all about shooting at the shoulder, but in his excitement fired at the animal generally, without picking out any particular spot in which to plant his shot.
The effect of the shot was surprising. The bear set up a tremendous bellow, and by the flash of the gun the boys saw their dreaded enemy galloping away, with its horns and tail in the air. Tom burst into a loud laugh. "Come out, Joe," he cried. "Your bear's gone home to be milked—that is, if Harry hasn't mortally wounded her."
Fortunately Harry had made a miss; and he found his whole charge of shot the next morning in the trunk of a big white birch-tree. The innocent cow that Joe had mistaken for a bear was, however, so thoroughly frightened that she did not come near the camp again.
"I stick to it that it was a bear," said Joe, as the boys were wrapping themselves in their blankets. "Cows go to roost at sunset. Suppose it did bellow: how do you know that bears don't bellow when they are shot?"
"How about the horns, Joe?" asked Tom.
"There's horned owls—why shouldn't there be horned bears? Anyway, I believe it was a bear, and I shall stick to it." And to this day Joe believes—or thinks he does—that he had a very narrow escape from a ferocious bear on the banks of the Schroon.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
THE IDLE HOUR
The robin sings on the topmost bough of the spreading maple-tree, Where the cool green leaves to the whispering breeze are nodding merrily; The sunbeams bright from the azure sky go frolicking here and there, And the breath of the clover blossom lies sweet on the summer air,
And under the trees so restfully, where the shadows softest lie, Like a woodland nymph in her netted couch between fair earth and sky, Behold our dainty darling, safe hidden from friends away, Content with the merry sunshine, the robin, and breeze to stay.
BY MARY D. BRINE.
"Oh dear! such fun! Don't I wish just for once I could be a rich lady's little girl, and wear a white dress and slippers, and a blue sash ever so wide, and curls in my hair! I do wish a fairy could fly right out of the sky this minute, and give me things I want! Oh, dear me!"
Little Madge sat perched on the iron fence surrounding a handsome house, within which a birthday party was going on merrily. It was dark outside, and the street lamps were not bright enough to betray this little watcher to the gaze of the young people who were dancing under the light of brilliant chandeliers, and sending the sweet music of their happy voices out through the open windows into the silent street, where a few moments before little Madge Lee had been trying to sell matches. So she had ceased her cry of "Matches! matches!" which seemed so feeble in comparison to the sounds of merry music that filled the street as she came slowly along, and had clambered like a little monkey to the top of the iron fence, where at last she sat securely, watching the good time going on inside the beautiful rooms.
Madge had never in all the eight years of her life owned such things as a white dress, slippers, or sash. And as for "curls in her hair," her own round head was like a boy's, so closely was the dark hair cut.
Madge, with several others as unfortunate as herself, lived with an old woman who cared for them only according to the pennies they could bring in to her each night. Whether the pennies were begged or stolen or honestly earned made little difference to her. The children were all waifs and strays whom nobody owned or seemed to care for, and, with the exception of little Madge, none of them had ever known a parent's love. Her father died when she was a baby, and after a few years' struggle with poverty, her dear mother had followed him, leaving her child to the tender mercies of Mrs. McLane. For two years Madge had lived with this woman, roaming the streets by day, and sleeping on a handful of straw at night. She was scolded when she failed to bring in her usual amount of pennies, oftener whipped than scolded, and never spoken kindly to except by some kind-hearted stranger in the street.
On this night her little heart had seemed more than ever despondent and weary, for people didn't want her matches, and pushed her aside when she would have offered them. And she was just about ready to cry, when the sound of music fell upon her ear, and drew her toward the house from whence it proceeded.
While she sat upon the railing, intent upon the scene before her, a voice at her side startled her.
"Is it here ye are, Madge Lay? Bad luck to ye, thin, won't ye be afther catchin' the lickin' from Granny McLane for not sellin' yer matches! Sure ye needn't be invyin' the stoyle of yer betthers as kin dance, for lookat!" and seizing what little remained to her of a skirt, Biddy O'Hara commenced a caper on her toes in such a way as made Madge laugh outright. In an instant Biddy dropped flat on the ground under the fence, while Madge, in a vain attempt to follow her example, caught her dress in the railing, and hung helpless, just as a lady, who had been near the window, looked out to see where the laugh came from.
Poor, frightened Madge! She was seen by the lady, who called to her, kindly, "What is the trouble, little girl? can't you get down?"
"Whisht! aisy, Madge; don't spake a wurrid for yer life!" was whispered by Biddy from her hiding-place.
But Madge's fright vanished at the kindly words and tone, and she answered: "Please, lady, I'm caught in the rail; but I wasn't a-doin' any harm, ma'am. I'll go as soon as I can get loose, please, lady."
"Arrah, thin, Madge Lay, if ye bethray me here, I'll have it out wid ye afther—now moind!" came again from the frightened Biddy, who had really nothing to be afraid of, only that her pocket held three stolen handkerchiefs, and her heart a guilty feeling that weighed like lead.
Meanwhile the lady had sent a servant out to release Madge from her predicament, and bade him also bring the child to the door. There she gave Madge a plate of ice-cream, and told her to sit down on the step and eat it. "It is late for so young a child to be out alone. How happens it so with you, little girl?" she asked.
And Madge replied, simply, "Trying to sell matches, ma'am. And I just stopped to see the fun inside here, that's all; and I happened to laugh, ma'am, and was scared, and stuck on the fence when I was tryin' to get down."
At last Madge finished her ice-cream, gave the plate to the servant, and thanking him (for the lady had returned to the children in the parlor), went down the steps with a bright face.
What she and Biddy talked about after that needn't be told here; but what Biddy did is rather important to know, because but for that particular thing I doubt if this story of "Little Madge" would have been told. A few moments more Madge watched the party, climbing the fence again in order to see better, while Biddy, in her rage over Madge's good luck, revenged herself in her own favorite way—a good slap on the little bare foot which hung over the railing.
The front door stood open, and the light from the hall chandelier shone upon something that glittered on the door-mat. The servant was not in sight; the merriment in the parlors was increasing; the way was open to any child who might see and covet the gold locket which lay ready to be picked up either by honest or dishonest hands. And Biddy O'Hara was just the child to creep up the steps as she did, and with just such naughty hands as hers pick up the locket, and, after one instant's examination of it, slip it into the pocket in which were the three stolen handkerchiefs.
But rapid as had been the girl's examination of the locket, she had been noticed by Madge as she sat on her high seat. However, she kept quiet about her discovery as presently she and Biddy went home through the lonely streets; but never had detective sharper eyes to watch than had Madge, who used her blue orbs to the best advantage before she tumbled down upon her share of the straw that night, and prepared to sleep—or rather appeared to prepare for sleep; for not one step toward slumber-land would the little girl go until the locket had been removed from the hole in the wall where Biddy had so slyly put it.
And so it happened that when, by-and-by, Biddy and all the others were sleeping, Madge crept over to the hole, and returned with the locket in her own possession. Then she slept too, and the locket remained safely hidden in the little girl's dress until she arose in the early morning.
"Now, thin, Madge Lay," screamed Mrs. McLane, shaking her finger at the child, "here's thim matches av yourn, an' moind ye don't come home forninst the eyes av me widout ye've sold the blissed lot, ivery wan av 'em, or it's sorra a taste av supper ye'll git the noight." So Madge was pushed out and up the steps into the glad sunshine so grateful to her. And eagerly she began to search for the house in which the party had been given the night before. It had been a strange street to Madge, and she could not quite locate it again, though she walked until her little feet ached, and she finally sat down on the curbstone of a pleasant shady avenue to rest awhile.
Madge grew discouraged. She looked up at the blue far-off sky, and dimly remembered when people had explained to her that her mamma and papa, poor as they had been in this world, had gone to live there and be happy for evermore. She remembered how she had cried, and how her mother had kissed her the very last thing, and then suddenly turned so pale and cold that the little girl grew frightened, and cried harder than ever in her life before. She hadn't had a kiss since that time from anybody; and how the little motherless heart yearned for just one more warm loving caress from the dear mother who "lived in the sky," as the child expressed it! So when presently she saw a lady and child at the basement window of the house opposite, she went over, and, kneeling at the window, offered a box of matches for sale. The lady noticed the traces of Madge's tears, and kindly inquired the cause as she bought and paid for the matches. Little Madge replied:
"I was wanting to be kissed, ma'am, and wishing for my mother in heaven, and I was so—so tired with looking for a lady who had her locket stole, ma'am, and I watched where the girl hid it, and was goin' to take it back, but I can't find the street, nor house, nor anything, ma'am; and I wish I had a mother to hold me in her lap like you hold your little girl. It must be nice to have a mother."
"Poor little girl!" said the lady, and then she suddenly added: "Come inside, please. I'll let you in, and then I want you to go up stairs with me."
Much astonished, Madge obeyed, and followed the lady up to a pleasant room where a gentleman was at work amid easels, and half-finished pictures, and the pretty confusion of an artist's studio.
"Edward, you wanted a model yesterday," said the lady. "Here's a child who might do for your street picture. See, she carries her matches with her—just the thing."
And so little Madge earned a whole silver dollar for half a day's standing in one position before the artist, who was delighted with his model, and made a charming likeness of her, matches, ragged dress, bare feet, and all. The child left the locket with her new friend to be taken care of until she might find the owner, and then went crying matches through the streets, with a happy heart, little dreaming of what would result from her morning's work.
Only a few days after that a visitor to the artist's studio was admiring his latest picture, called "The Model Match Girl."
"What a strange title?" she said.
And he laughed as he replied: "Yes, I gave it that name to please my wife, who brought me the girl. She was really a model in regard to honesty." And then he told the story of the locket, and of the gratitude of the little girl for the ice-cream the kind owner of the locket had given her; and finally the locket was produced, and recognized by the visitor as her own.
"It must have fallen from my chain while I talked to the child, and yet the dishonest girl got hold of it, after all, before my little match girl had seen it. How I wish I could find her!"
Said the artist in reply: "Well, the girl is coming in a day or two to look at the picture, and I will send her to you. I had no idea that it was you from whom the locket had been stolen. It is strange indeed!"
And thus ere very long Madge met her first kind friend, and was led to tell the whole story of her pitiful life and craving for love. And at last, through the lady's continued kindness, little Madge was transferred with many other little children from the crowded, noisy, and unwholesome street which had so long been her home, to the care of those whose business it is to take just such poor orphaned little ones to new and happy homes far off in the country, where warm, kind hearts are willing and anxious to adopt them, and bring them up to useful womanhood.
Madge wrote a letter to the lady not long ago, and after telling about her happy times in her new home, she added, "And, oh! Mrs. ——, this dear lady here kisses me good-night always, and it feels just as if I had a mother after all."
[Begun in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE No. 37, July 13.]
THE STORY OF THE AMERICAN NAVY.
BY BENSON J. LOSSING.
Soon after her exciting chase the Constitution sailed from Boston in search of the British frigate Guerriere, whose Captain (Dacres) had boastfully enjoined the Americans to remember that she was not the Little Belt. On the 19th of August, 1812, the Constitution fell in with her, and Hull skillfully managed to lay his vessel alongside the British frigate, to have a battle at close quarters. The Guerriere opened fire at once; the Constitution kept silent for a while. As the shot from the English frigate began to make havoc on the Constitution, Hull's second in command (Lieutenant Morris) asked permission to open fire. "Not yet," quietly said Hull. The request was soon repeated. "Not yet," was the calm reply. A moment afterward, Hull, filled with intense excitement, shouted, "Now, boys, pour it into them!"
This command was obeyed with terrible effect. The guns of the Constitution were double-shotted and did fearful work. The frigates were only half-pistol-shot distance from each other. The excitement on both sides was intense. "Hull her! hull her!" shouted Lieutenant Morris. "Hull her! hull her!" shouted the crew in response, for they instantly comprehended the pun. Very soon the Guerriere was a shivered, shorn, and helpless wreck, rolling like a log in the trough of the sea. Hull sent an officer on board to inquire of Dacres whether he had struck his flag. Looking up and down, Dacres coolly replied, "Well, I don't know: our mizzenmast is gone, our mainmast is gone, and, upon the whole, you may say we have struck our flag."
This victory greatly inspirited the Americans, and astonished the English. Hull was highly honored by the citizens and Congress, from which he received valuable tokens of regard. The London Times said, "The new enemy, unaccustomed to such triumphs, is likely to be rendered insolent and confident by them."
At mid-autumn, 1812, Captain Jacob Jones, in the fast-sailing sloop of war Wasp, achieved a notable victory over the British war schooner Frolic, convoying six merchantmen, four of which were well armed. They fought at close quarters, under very little sail, and soon became entangled, when the crew of the Wasp made their way to the deck of the Frolic just after it was swept by a raking broadside. They found no one to oppose them. A few surviving officers stood on the quarter-deck, most of them wounded. Lieutenant Biddle, who led the boarding party, hauled down the British flag. When the vessels separated both masts of the Frolic, with the tattered rigging, fell upon the deck, which was covered with the dead. Two hours after the victory the British ship of war Poictiers appeared, and captured the crippled Wasp with the more crippled Frolic. Nevertheless, the news of the victory was received with great joy in the United States, and Jones was the recipient of many honors.
Precisely a month after this victory a more important one was achieved by Decatur with the frigate United States. On October 26, near the island of Madeira, he gave chase to a British vessel of war, and overtook her. An action was immediately begun at long range, but soon afterward they engaged at close quarters. When the battle had lasted half an hour, the shot of the United States carried away her antagonist's mizzenmast. Then her main and foretop masts fell, and she was dreadfully bruised in her hull. The United States was yet unhurt. Perceiving longer resistance to be vain, the British commander struck his colors and surrendered.
"What is the name of your ship?" shouted Decatur.
"His Majesty's frigate Macedonian," replied her commander.
This victory produced a profound sensation in England and the United States. In the former it created astonishment and gloomy forebodings, for it appeared as if the Republic of the West was about to snatch the sceptre from the acknowledged "Mistress of the Seas," and that they might no longer sing, as they had for a century,
"Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves."
Hull generously retired from the Constitution, after his victory, to give some brother officer a chance to win fame on the "lucky" vessel. Bainbridge succeeded him in command, and was put in charge of a small squadron. With the Constitution and Hornet he sailed from Boston late in October, 1812, and at the close of December encountered the British frigate Java off the coast of South America, not far from Bahia. They had a most desperate battle, which lasted about two hours, when the Java, which had lost her three masts and her bowsprit in the fight, and was leaking badly, was surrendered to Bainbridge. She was one of the finest frigates in the Royal Navy, and was conveying the Governor-General of Bombay and his staff, with more than a hundred officers and soldiers, to the East Indies. Like Hull, Jones, and Decatur, Bainbridge received unstinted honors from his countrymen.
The hulk of the Java was not worth saving; and after transferring the passengers and surviving crew to the Constitution, she was fired and blown up. From that time the Constitution was called "Old Ironsides."
This fourth brilliant naval victory in the course of a few months caused much exultation in the United States. Meanwhile there had been minor victories, and some defeats. Privateers were numerous, and very active. During six months the American public and private cruisers had captured about three hundred prizes from the British. These successes dispelled the gloom occasioned by misfortunes to the land forces; the friends of the navy were justified and strengthened, and thenceforward no one ventured to speak in disparagement of it. Congress, perceiving the necessity of an increase in the force of the navy, authorized the President to have four 74-gun ships, six frigates, and six sloops of war built.
Bainbridge had left the Hornet, Captain Lawrence, blockading the harbor of Bahia, in which was sheltered a British treasure ship. A British 74 came up from the Brazilian capital, and drove the Hornet into the harbor. She escaped under cover of darkness, and on the 24th of February, 1813, fell in with, fought, and vanquished the British brig of war Peacock. The brig had borne down upon the Hornet, and as they passed each other each delivered a broadside. Then, by a quick movement, the Hornet closed upon the Peacock, and poured round-shot into her for about fifteen minutes. The Peacock struck her colors, and at the same time raised a signal of distress. Her mainmast soon fell overboard, and she was in a sinking condition. The removal of the wounded to the Hornet was at once begun. At twilight she went down, carrying with her thirteen of her own crew and several of those of the Hornet. Nine of the former and three of the latter were drowned. The Hornet had only one man killed in the engagement; she lost more in trying to save her enemies than in conquering them.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
BY R. K. MUNKITTRICK.
A quagga stood under a palm In evening's violet calm. When a lion passed by, With a hungerful eye, The quagga ran off in alarm.
BY MRS. M. E. SANGSTER.
Adrift upon a silver tide, With banks of green on either side, And, far above, a smiling sky, A tiny craft goes floating by.
Queer little boat, this woven nest, Where birdies three had tranquil rest Until a rough wind shook the tree, And sent them sailing off to sea.
Oh, father-bird and mother-bird, In you what trouble will be stirred When, home returned from weary flight, You learn your babies' hapless plight!
HYGROMETERS, AND HOW TO MAKE THEM
Do not let any one who sees this somewhat out-of-the-way name imagine it is anything very dreadful. It is merely that of an instrument for measuring the moisture in the atmosphere.
Nearly every boy and girl has seen the chalet-like "weather-house," where one might suppose the clerk of the unreliable elements to reside, and which is certainly tenanted by a gay old lady, who comes out when the sun shines, and a military gentleman, who, disregarding catarrh, parades in front of the cottage whenever there is a rain-cloud in the sky. In this case the figures are held on a kind of lever sustained by catgut: this, being very sensitive to moisture, twists and shortens on damp days, and untwists and lengthens as the air becomes dry and light.
A simple hygrometer can be made by a piece of catgut and a straw. The catgut, twisted, is put through a hole in a dial, in which a straw is also placed. In dry weather the catgut curls up; in damp, it relaxes; and so the straw is turned either to the one side or the other. Straws do something more than "show which way the wind blows," you see.
Another simple weather-gauge may be made by stretching whip-cord or catgut over five pulleys. To the lower end of the string a small weight is attached, and this rises and falls by the side of a graduated scale as the moisture or dryness of the air shortens or lengthens the string.
Again, whip-cord, well-dried, may be hung against a wainscot, a small plummet affixed to it, and a line drawn at the precise spot it falls to. The plummet will be found to rise before rain, and fall when the prospect brightens.
Another device is to take a clean, unpainted strip of pine—say, twenty inches long, one wide, and a quarter of an inch thick—cut across the grain; then have a piece of cedar of the same size, but cut along the grain. Let these be glued together and set upright in a stand.
Before a rain-fall the pores of the pine will absorb moisture, and swell until the whole forms a bow; this will gradually straighten on the approach of fine weather.
There are two forms in which a balance is used that are interesting from the natural laws that govern their motions. In one a dry sponge that has been saturated in salt and water is nicely balanced against a small weight at the opposite end. The sponge becomes heavier or lighter according to the presence or absence of moisture, and any variation in this respect may be noted on the gauge above, to which the index finger on a dial points.
The simplest plan of all, and as good as any, is to place in an accurate pair of scales on one side a one-pound weight; on the other, one pound of well-dried salt. This swells and grows heavier on the approach of rain; when brighter skies return, the one-pound weight asserts itself once more.
So many of our correspondents are collecting birds' eggs and nests that we wish to call their attention to some important points. Never take all the eggs in a nest, because if you do you will leave the poor mother bird very desolate. You can always take some from each nest, and still leave enough to make a pretty little brood of young birdlings. In some nests you will find eight or ten eggs, and then you may take three or four. But if there are but three eggs, you must take only one. Always be sure to leave more than half. Be careful to gather them before the mother bird begins to set, because when her brooding-time has begun she is very jealous of her nest, and is easily frightened away; and then if the eggs have begun to harden and form young birds, they are useless to you, for you can not blow them, and they will soon change color and become worthless.
Never take a nest until the mother has flown away with her little ones and left it empty; for to disturb the pretty home the bird has built with so much care for her babies is a wanton cruelty we trust no reader of YOUNG PEOPLE would be guilty of.
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I like YOUNG PEOPLE ever so much. I always read the letters in Our Post-office Box the first thing—they seem so sociable, as if all the children knew each other well. I enjoy "The Moral Pirates" and the Information Cards. My home is in San Francisco, but at present I am visiting in Monterey, a small town on the coast. Monterey is the oldest town in California. It was first settled by the Spanish, and the greater part of the inhabitants now are Spaniards. On a little knoll near the beach, and within a stone's-throw of the water's edge, there is a large wooden cross; it is the spot where the Spanish fathers first landed, and the date on the cross is June 3, 1770.
I think this is the queerest old town imaginable. Almost all the houses are "adobe" houses, that is, made of a kind of black mud, then whitewashed, and they have tiled roofs. And around the gardens are high adobe walls. Nearly all of these adobe houses are fifty years old, and some of them are said to have been built one hundred years ago. I am gathering some abalone and other kinds of shells, and some fine sea-mosses, and when I get home I expect to make lots of pretty things. I love to play on the beach, and pick up pretty little things, and run out after the waves, then turn and let them chase me back; sometimes they catch me, and give my feet a good soaking; but I don't care, for I like it, only I look like a fright by the time I get back to the hotel.
I have been sailing on the Pacific Ocean, and was not a bit seasick, but I was never on the Atlantic. I wish some of the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE that live on the Atlantic coast would tell me if they find pretty shells, and if they get abalone shells and sea-moss on the Atlantic coast as we do here on this coast.
IDA B. D.
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When I read the good stories about little folks which come every week in YOUNG PEOPLE, it makes me want to tell all the little friends about something that happened last summer while we were living in Denver, near the Rocky Mountains. One day mamma put some lunch in a pail, and said brother Lolie and I could go up on the bluffs along the Platte River to gather wild flowers and cactus plants, and have a good day's sport. When the whistles at the workshops in the city blew for noon, we sat down on the bluffs to eat our dinner. We could see over to the big high mountains, which reached almost up to the clouds. They looked as though they were only a mile or two away, though papa told us afterward that they were nearly fourteen miles off; but the air is so clear that it made them look much nearer. It seemed as if we could go over to them and back before night. We put our shoes and stockings under a pile of railroad ties, and started up the track toward Morrison, which is at the foot of the mountains. As often as we got tired we stopped to rest and talk about what we could do when we were men. Brother was almost ten years old, and I was eleven. The sun went down out of sight behind the mountain-tops, which were covered with ice and snow, and as it grew dark we walked faster, and when it got so dark we could hardly see only to follow the track, we were in the middle of a large prairie. We began to think of snakes and wolves and bears, which we had heard were in such places, so we did not stop any more to rest. We finally saw a light away off in a field, and we went toward it as fast as ever we could. When we got to the house, it was after eleven o'clock, and we were very tired and hungry. Grandma says if I tell all about our journey the next day—how we got to the mountains and home again, and how frightened mamma and papa and little sister were about us—your waste basket would not hold it all; so good-by.
From your little reader, ARTIE R. H.
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My home is in Madison, Wisconsin, but I am visiting my grandmother in Vermont, near Lake Champlain. Next week we are going to the mountains for a ride, and to enjoy the grand view.
The Reform School is located here. It is for boys and girls. They are well taken care of, but I'd rather be a good girl than a reform girl.
My mamma and I are going back to Wisconsin in September. I shall be very glad to see my little cousin Harry and my dog Gip.
I like YOUNG PEOPLE very much, and all the boys and girls that write letters for Our Post-office Box. I am seven years old. My name is Helen, but they call me
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NYACK, NEW YORK.
I am a little girl nine years old. I have read all the numbers of YOUNG PEOPLE, and like them very much. I have two pet kittens and a big Newfoundland dog. We call the dog Beppo. I have three brothers, and one sister, whose name is Edna, but she is not the one who sent an answer to Wiggle No. 12.
KATIE M. G.
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SEA GIRT, NEW JERSEY.
This is a splendid place to find land and water turtles. I have several, which I feed on mushrooms, meat, and insects. Soft-shell crabs are liked very much by water turtles, if they are very fresh.
I would be very glad to send some pressed arbutus to Carrie Harding, but it has done blooming for this year. I would like to exchange other kinds of pressed flowers with her.
I tried the recipe for doll's cup-cake sent by Bessie L. S., and liked it very much.
DAISY VIOLET M.
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I noticed Sidney B. P.'s question about feeding and caring for young mocking-birds. Blackberries are good food for them when they are about three weeks old. The yolk of an egg boiled hard and mashed fine with a boiled Irish potato is also good. Feed the birds about every hour, and after they are through eating give them about a tea-spoonful of fresh water, which you will have to pour down their throats.
When the birds are very young they must not be put in a wire cage, as they will injure themselves fluttering against the bars. Put them in a small box, with a piece of mosquito netting fastened over the top. Do not take them from the nest too young—never until they are eight or ten days old—as they will die.
I have already asked to exchange stamps with the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE, and I would like the following stamp, if any one can send it to me: United States War Department, ninety cents, red.
HARRY S. KEALHOFER, 121 Adams Street, Memphis, Tennessee.
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Fannie T. D., of Atlanta, Georgia, sends the following additional directions for the care of full-grown mocking birds:
Fruits and minced raw beef are good food for them. The cage, which should be large, must be thoroughly cleaned every day, and supplied with fresh water and sand. A little bag of sulphur fastened in the top of the cage tends to keep the birds healthy. And they will always sing better if confined in separate cages. Mocking-birds require much attention, especially when they are moulting.
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Frank K., of Norfolk, Virginia, writes that mocking-birds are fond of the yolk of a hard-boiled egg mixed with Indian meal, made fresh every morning. They will like the food still better if it is moistened with a little milk, and minced raw beef mixed with it now and then. The cage should be hung in a dry, airy place.
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MERCED CITY, COLORADO.
When I read in YOUNG PEOPLE what T. H. said of his early morning-glories, I thought I would tell about my vines. I have two play houses covered with them. The first thing in the morning I run to see if I have any new colors blossomed. The flower I like best is white with blue spots. One side of my play house is covered with dwarf vines. Mamma calls them convolvulus. I am seven years old.
ELIZA A. A.
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So many of our young readers are studying French that we do not give a translation of the following letter:
Je suis une petite fille de douze ans. Je demeure a la campagne dans une jolie petite maison sur une cote. En bas de la cote il y a une riviere dans l'aquelle mon gros chien va se baigner. Il s'appelle Moka. Je joue a la cache avec lui. Quand je lui met un morceae du pain sur son nez, je compte un, deux, trois, alors il le jette en l'air et le rattrape quand il redescend. II y a tant de choses qu'il fait que je ne puis pas vous dire tout.
J'ai aussi une chatte que j'appelle Minette. Quand elle attrape une souris, elle vient nous la montrer, et il faut que nous l'applaudissions de ce qu'elle a fait.
J'ai lu beaucoup des journaux du petit monde. Une demoiselle me les a donne, et je vous assure que je les trouve bien interessants.
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One day last week we found a strange-looking insect, which I should like to know the name of. It is about three inches long. It has four long legs near the middle of its body, very bright eyes, and two horns. It is just the color of the branch of the tree where we found it. I have a collection of shells, stones, and insects, and am going to make a tree album.
JESS L. B.
This curious insect probably belongs to the Ambulatoria, or walking-stick family, of which several varieties are found in America.
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SCOTTSVILLE, NEW YORK.
I send a recipe for cake to Puss Hunter's cooking club: One beaten egg, one cup of sugar, one cup of sour cream, two cups of flour, one tea-spoonful of soda, a little grated nutmeg; bake in little tins.
MARY L. MCV.
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I will exchange a little of the soil of Iowa for a little soil from any other State.
If the little correspondent in Denmark would send me a specimen of Danish soil, I would be very much pleased.
CLARA SCOFIELD, P. O. Box 59, Washington, Iowa.
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I would like to exchange postmarks with any boy or girl in the United States or Canada. I have a very large assortment from nearly all the States of the Union.
CHARLES J. LIVINGOOD, Care of Dr. James C. Livingood, Womelsdorf, Pa.
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I am a reader of YOUNG PEOPLE, and like it very much. I am thirteen years old. My father is Register of Deeds for Coos County, and I help him. I can record ten deeds in a day. And I can cook and do all kinds of housework.
I would like to exchange pressed ferns or flowers with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE. I also have about twenty-five plants, and would like to exchange slips. I have a small collection of birds' eggs, containing about twenty varieties, and would gladly increase my collection by exchange.
FRANK B. FLANDERS, P. O. Box 630, Lancaster, New Hampshire.
When our correspondents request an exchange of delicate and perishable things, like slips of plants, it would be well for them to state a safe way of forwarding them.
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I find YOUNG PEOPLE a very useful little paper.
I will exchange six specimens of Nantucket sea-weeds, mounted on paper, for six pressed wild flowers from California or Florida. Or I will exchange sea-weeds for birds' eggs or flower seeds. I am ten years old.
ETHEL M. JOHNSON, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
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I have a nice collection of beetles, and would like to exchange with some correspondent in the Eastern States.
S. B., Office of Journal of Commerce, 414 Clay Street, San Francisco, California.
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ALBERT M.—We have not yet published any such description.
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BESSY.—Yes, you may send the history of your dolls. If it is interesting, and not too long, we will try to print it in the Post-office Box.
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G. W. D.—Any number of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE can be obtained by sending full address, and amount in clean postage stamps, to Harper & Brothers.
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NED B.—By referring to the advertisement of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE you will see that one or more copies of the paper will be sent to any address, on receipt of the price, postage free.
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C. FLAGLER.—Probably the correspondent to whom you wrote for exchange has received so many letters that he has not yet had time to answer you. We know this to be the trouble with some of our correspondents who have asked for exchange. Alice I. Paine, of Georgia, has recently written to us that she has received over fifty letters, and finds it impossible to answer them all separately, or to make an exchange with every correspondent, for as nearly all asked her for the same kind of eggs, she can not procure enough to satisfy the demand. Those who have failed to receive an answer from Miss Alice will please take notice of this explanation, which we make at her request.
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Favors are acknowledged from E. E. Wolford, Bertha T. Thompson, L. C., Frank Graves, Sallie Whitaker, Charles N., George G. Seitz, Bessy M. Flagler, Emily K. Jeffries, Florence V. M., Mamie B. Cozzens, Frank and Ida Reveley, Duff Pancoast, Paul De Moll, Margaret Louise, Adolph C. Hungarland, Jessie E. Turner, Federal E. Whittlesey, Mark Manley, A. J. D., Nettie Hereford, Gussie M., Mary A. P., M. E. B., Porter Stansell, Allie Lawson, Mina S. Chase, Willard R. Drake, Edward L. Todd, Julia B. Smith.