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VOL. I.—NO. 15. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, February 10, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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OLD FATHER TIME.
"Professor," said May, turning on the sofa where she was lying, "Jack has brought me a calendar that runs for ever so many years. You know the doctor says I'll not be well for two whole years, or perhaps three. I have been wondering what month among them all I shall be able to run about in; and then I began to think who could have made the first calendar, and what led him to do it."
"That's very simple, May. Old Father Time just measured the days off with his hour-glass in the first place, and marked them down with the point of his scythe. The world has known all about it ever since."
"Please don't, Jack. Let the Professor tell."
"It would be hard, May, to tell who made the first calendar," answered the Professor. "All nations seem to have had their methods of counting the years and months long before they began writing histories, so that there is no record of the origin of the custom. The Book of Genesis mentions the lights in the heavens as being 'for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.' And Moses uses the word year so often that we see that it must have been common to count the years among those who lived before him."
"The number 1880 means that it is so many years since the birth of Christ, does it not?" asked Joe.
"Yes," said the Professor, "it has been the custom among Christian nations to reckon the years from that great event. They began to do this about the year of our Lord 532."
"Why did they wait so long?" asked Joe.
"You know," he said, "that at first the Christians were very few and weak; during the first three hundred years they had all they could do to escape with their lives from their enemies. But after that they became very numerous and powerful, and were able to establish their own customs. So in 532 a monk named Dionysius Exiguus proposed that they should abandon the old way of counting the years, and adopt the time of the birth of Christ as a starting-point. He thought this would be a very proper way of honoring the Saviour of the world. So he took great pains to find out the exact time when Christ was born, and satisfied himself that it was on the 25th day of December, in the 753d year from the foundation of the city of Rome. The Roman Empire at one time included most of the known world; and the Roman people, proud of their splendid city, counted the years from the supposed time of its being founded. At first the Christians did the same; but they were naturally pleased with the idea of Dionysius."
"Was he the first man who tried to find out what day Christmas came on?" asked Joe. "I should think everybody would have been anxious to know all about it."
"Doubtless there was much interest on the subject. But you know the early Christians had no newspapers, and very few books. Scarcely any of them could even read. Besides, it was very difficult in those times to travel or gain information; and it was dangerous to ask questions of the heathen, or for a man to let them suspect that he was a Christian. And then when we consider that the calendar was in confusion, because even the wisest men did not know the exact length of the year, and there were various ways of counting time, we need not be surprised that the Christians disagreed and made mistakes as to the time when the Saviour was born. In the fourth century, however, St. Cyril urged Pope Julius I. to give orders for an investigation. The result was that the theologians of the East and West agreed upon the 25th of December, though some of them were not convinced. The chief grounds of the decision were the tables in the public records of Rome.
"But let us return to Dionysius. His idea of making the year begin on the 25th of December was thought to be rather too inconvenient, and so the old commencement on the first day of January was retained, as the Romans had arranged it. But the plan of Dionysius was carried out with regard to the numbers by which the years were to be named and called. Thus the year which had been known as 754 became, under the new system, the year 1. And the succession of years from that year 1 is called the Christian era. To get the numbers of its years you have only to subtract 753 from the years in the Roman numbering."
"If we add 753," said Joe, "to 1880, will we get the number of years since old Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus?"
"Yes," said the Professor; "the rule works both ways. There is, however, some uncertainty as to whether the Romans themselves were correct in regard to the age of their city. Very early dates are hard to settle."
"Where did the months get their names?" asked May, "and how did months come to be thought of at all?"
"The months were suggested by the moon. In most languages the word month is very nearly like moon, as you see it is in ours. From new moon around to new moon again is about twenty-nine days, which is nearly the length of a month. The exact time between two new moons is a very puzzling problem. It always involves a troublesome fraction of a day, and is, in fact, never twice alike. So it was found convenient to divide the year into twelve parts, nearly equal, and to call each one a month."
"Why didn't they make them just equal?" asked Gus.
"To do so would have made it necessary to split up some of the days, which would have been awkward. If you divide the 365 days of the year by twelve, there will be five remaining."
"How was it found out that the year had 365 days in it?" asked Joe.
"It took the astronomers to do that," said the Professor; "and until nations became civilized enough to study astronomy accurately, they did not know the number of days in the year. This, however, did not prevent them from being able to count the years, because they could know that every time summer or winter came, a year had passed since the last summer or winter. But now the length of the year—that is, the time occupied by the earth in going completely round the sun—is known within a fraction of a second."
"Was it worth while to go into it so precisely?" asked May. "Would it not have been enough to know the number of the days?"
"By no means," said the Professor. "For then the calendar could not have been regulated so that the months and festivals would keep pace with the seasons. If 365 days had been constantly taken for a year, Christmas, instead of staying in the winter, would long since have moved back through autumn into summer, and so on. In about 1400 years it would travel through the entire circle of the seasons, as it would come some six hours earlier every year than it did the last. In like manner the Fourth of July would gradually fall back into spring, then into winter; and the fire-works would have to be set off in the midst of a snow-storm. The old Romans saw the difficulty; and, to prevent it, Julius Caesar added an extra day to every fourth year, which you see is the same thing as adding one-fourth of a day to each year, only it is much more convenient. This was done because the earth requires nearly 365-1/4 days to move round the sun. The year that receives the extra day is called, as you know, leap-year. But even this did not keep the calendar exactly right. In the course of time other changes had to be made, the greatest of which was in 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII. decreed that ten entire days should be dropped out of the month of October. This was called the change from Old to New Style."
"It was rather stupid," said Gus, "to shorten the pleasantest month in the whole year. I would have clipped December or March."
"Please don't forget to tell us," said May, "how the months got their names."
"The first six of them were called after the heathen deities, Janus, Februus, Mars, Aphrodite, Maia, and Juno; July was named after Julius Caesar, the inventor of leap-year; August after Augustus the Emperor. The names of the last four months simply mean seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth."
"But," said Joe, "December is not the tenth month, nor is September the seventh."
"That is true," said the Professor; "but those names are supposed to have been given by Romulus, who arranged a year of only ten months, and made it begin with March. His year only had 304 days in it, and was soon found to be much too short. So the months of January and February were added, and instead of being placed at the end, they came in some way to stand at the beginning."
"Now please tell us about the names of the days of the week, and we will not ask any more questions."
"They were called after the sun, moon, and five planets known to the ancients, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. You easily recognize sun, moon, and Saturn, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are from names given by some of the Northern tribes of Europe to Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. Mercury's day seems scarcely at all connected with his name, but comes from Wodin, who was imagined to be chief among the gods of those barbarous tribes."
BY MRS. M. D. BRINE.
He was only a little street sweeper, you know, Barefooted, and ragged as one could be; But blue were his eyes as the far-off skies, And a brave-hearted laddie was Tommy Magee. But it chanced on the morning of Valentine's Day Our little street sweeper felt lonely and sad; "For there's no fun," thought he, "for a fellow like me, And a valentine's something that I never had."
But he flourished his broom, and the crossing made clean For the ladies and gentlemen passing his way; And he gave them a smile, singing gayly the while, In honor, of course, of St. Valentine's Day. Now it happened a party of bright little girls, All dainty and rosy, and brimming with glee, Came over the crossing, a careless glance tossing To poor little barefooted Tommy Magee.
But all of a sudden then one of them turned, And running to Tommy, thrust into his hand, With a smile and a blush, and the whispered word "Hush," A beautiful valentine. You'll understand How Tommy stood gazing, with wondering eyes, After the group of wee ladies so fine, As with joy without measure he held his new treasure; And this is how Tommy got his valentine.
LOST IN THE SNOW.
Among the dangers of the winter in the Pass of St. Gothard is the fearful snow-storm called the "guxeten" by the Germans, and the tourmente or "tormenta" by the Swiss. The mountain snow differs in form, as well as in thickness and specific gravity, from the star-shaped snow-flakes on the lower heights and in the valleys. It is quite floury, dry, and sandy, and therefore very light. When viewed though a microscope it assumes at times the form of little prismatic needles, at other times that of innumerable small six-sided pyramids, from which, as from the morning star, little points jut out on all sides, and which, driven by the wind, cut through the air with great speed. With this fine ice-dust of the mountain snow, the wind drives its wild game through the clefts of the high Alps and over the passes, particularly that of St. Gothard. Suddenly it tears up a few hundred thousand cubic feet of this snow, and whirls it up high into the air, leaving it to the mercy of the upper current, to fall to the ground again in the form of the thickest snow-storm, or to be dispersed at will like glittering ice-crystals. At times the wind sweeps up large tracts of the dry ice-dust, and pours them down upon a deep-lying valley amid the mountains, or on to the summit of the passes, obliterating in a few seconds the laboriously excavated mountain road, at which a whole company of rutners have toiled for days. All these appearances resemble the avalanches of other Alps, but can not be regarded in the same light as the true snow-storm, the tormenta or guxeten. This is incomparably more severe, and hundreds on hundreds of lives have fallen sacrifices to its fury. These have mostly been travelling strangers, who either did not distinguish the signs of the coming storm, or, in proud reliance on their own power, refused to listen to well-meant warnings, and continued their route. Almost every year adds a large number of victims to the list of those who have fallen a prey to the snow-storm.
History and the oral tradition of the mountains record many incidents of accidents which have been occasioned by the fall of avalanches. During the Bellinzona war, in 1478, as the confederates, with a force of 10,000 men, were crossing the St. Gothard, the men of Zuerich were preceding the army as van-guard. They had just refreshed themselves with some wine, and were marching up the wild gorge, shouting and singing, in spite of the warnings of their guides. Then, in the heights above, an avalanche was suddenly loosened, which rushed down upon the road, and in its impetuous torrent buried sixty warriors far below in the Reuss, in full sight of those following.
On the 12th of March, 1848, in the so-called Planggen, above the tent of shelter at the Maetelli, thirteen men who were conveying the post were thrown by a violent avalanche into the bed of the Reuss, with their horses and sledges. Three men, fathers of families, and nine horses were killed; the others were saved by hastily summoned help. But one of their deliverers, Joseph Mueller, of Hospenthal, met a hero's death while engaged in the rescue. He had hastened to help his neighbors, but in the district called the "Harness" he and two others were overwhelmed by a second violent avalanche, and lost their lives. In the same year the post going up the mountain from Airola was overtaken by an avalanche near the house of shelter at Ponte Tremola. A traveller from Bergamo was killed; the rest escaped.
History tells of a most striking rescue from an avalanche on the St. Gothard. In the year 1628, Landamman Kaspar, of Brandenburg, the newly chosen Governor of Bellenz, was riding over the St. Gothard from Zug, accompanied by his servant and a faithful dog. At the top of the pass the party was overtaken by an avalanche which descended from the Lucendro. The dog alone shook himself free. His first care was to extricate his master. But when he saw that he could not succeed in doing this, he hastened back to the hospice, and there, by pitiful howling and whining, announced that an accident had happened. The landlord and his servants set out immediately with shovels and pickaxes, and followed the dog, which ran quickly before them. They soon reached the place where the avalanche had fallen. Here the faithful dog stopped suddenly, plunged his face into the snow, and began to scratch it up, barking and whining. The men set to work at once, and after a long and difficult labor succeeded in rescuing the Landamman, and soon afterward his servant. They were both alive, after spending thirty-six fearful hours beneath the snow, oppressed by the most painful thoughts. They had heard the howling and barking of the dog quite plainly; and had noticed his sudden departure, and the arrival of their deliverers; they had heard them talking and working, without being able to move or utter a sound. The Landamman's will ordained that an image of the faithful dog should be sculptured at his feet on his tomb. This monument was seen till lately in St. Oswald's Church, at Zug.
THE STORY OF GRANDMA, LORENZO, AND THE MONKEY.
BY MRS. A. M. DIAZ.
The children told the Family Story-Teller they did not believe he could make a story about a grandma going to mill. "Especially," said the children's mother, "a grandma troubled with rheumatism."
Family Story-Teller smiled, as much as to say, "You shall see," took a few minutes to think, and began:
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In Grandma Stimpcett's trunk was a very small, leathery, beady bag, and in this bag was a written recipe for the Sudden Remedy—a sure cure for rheumatism, sprains, bruises, and all lamenesses. The bag and the recipe were given her by an Indian woman. To make the Sudden Remedy, grandma got roots, herbs, barks, twigs, leaves, mints, moss, and tree gum. These were scraped, grated, or pounded; sifted, weighed, measured, stewed, and stirred; and the juice simmered down with the oil of juniper, and bumble-bees' wax, and various smarty, peppery, slippery things whose names must be kept private for a particular reason. The Sudden Remedy cured her instantly; and as meal was wanted, and no other person could be spared from the place, she offered to go to mill.
She went in the vehicle—an old chaise which had lost its top—taking with her her bottle of the Sudden Remedy, in case, as Mr. Stimpcett said, the rheumatism should return before she did.
"Shall you be back by sunset?" asked Mr. Stimpcett, as he fastened the bag underneath the vehicle.
"Oh yes," said she; "I shall eat dinner at Debby's, and come away right after dinner. You will see me back long before sunset." Her daughter Debby lived at Mill Village.
Mr. Stimpcett shook his head. "I don't know about that," said he.
"If I am not back before sunset," said she, "I will give you—give you five hundred dollars."
The people laughed at this; for all the money grandma had was only about twenty dollars, put away in case of need.
Now when grandma had driven perhaps two miles on her way to mill, she stopped at a farm-house to water her horse; and here something curious happened. A woman came to the door of the house, and the next moment a large boy, named Lorenzo, hopped out on one foot and two canes, and began stumping about the yard at a furious rate, cackling, crowing, and barking.
"That's the way he does when he can't sit still any longer," said the woman. "He has to sit still a great deal, on account of a lame knee, which is a pity," said she, "for a spry fellow like him; a good, true-spoken fellow he is, too." The woman then told how he lamed his knee.
Lorenzo said he wanted very much the use of his legs that day, because there was to be a circus just beyond Mill Village. He said he wanted to go to the circus so much he did not know what to do. He said he began when he was four years old to go to circuses, and he had been to every circus that had come around since. "Now this circus is only a little more than two miles off," said he, "and here I am cooped up like a hoppled horse."
Grandma smiled, and took out the bottle. "This bottle," said she, "contains the Sudden Remedy—a quick cure for rheumatism, sprains, bruises, and all lamenesses. Rub on with a flannel, and rub in briskly."
Lorenzo rubbed on with a flannel, and rubbed in briskly, and then seated himself upon a stone to hear the stories grandma and the woman were telling of people who had been upset, or thrown from horses, or had fallen over stone walls, into wells, or down from trees, rocks, house-tops, or chamber windows. Lorenzo told some stories, and at last, in acting out one, he thrust forward his lame leg, without thinking of it, and found it was no longer lame. He tried it again; he sprang up; he stepped; he walked; he leaped; he skipped; he ran; he hurrahed; he flung his canes away.
Grandma then invited Lorenzo to ride with her to Mill Village, near which the circus was to be; and he quickly took a seat in the vehicle, and having no time to put on his best clothes, he put on only his best hat, tipping it one side in order to give himself a little of a dressed-up look.
When grandma and Lorenzo reached Mill Village, Lorenzo got out at a pea-nut stand, and grandma drove on to her daughter Debby's. She had just stepped from the vehicle when Lorenzo came running to beg that she would bring her Sudden Remedy to the miller's house, for the miller had been taken that morning with the darting rheumatism, and the mill was not running, and people were waiting with their corn.
Lorenzo drove grandma to the miller's house, and in two hours' time the miller was in the mill, the wheel turning, and the corn grinding—grandma's corn among the rest.
Something which was very important to the circus will now be told. The Chief Jumper—the one who was to do the six wonderful things—lamed his foot the night before, and could not jump. Now when the man who owned the circus was looking at the Chief Jumper's foot, a circus errand-boy in uniform passed by. This errand-boy had been to the mill to get corn for the circus horses, and he told the man who owned the circus that a woman had just cured the miller of the darting rheumatism, and told the name of the medicine.
The circus owner took one of the circus riding wagons and the errand-boy in uniform and set off immediately to find the woman who had the Sudden Remedy, and found grandma at her daughter Debby's, just stepping into the vehicle to go home. Lorenzo was there, fastening the bag of meal securely under the vehicle. The circus owner offered grandma five dollars if she would go and cure his Chief Jumper, and as there was time to do that and reach home before sunset, she went, Lorenzo driving her in the vehicle. The circus owner and the errand-boy in uniform kept just in front of them, and some children who knew no better said that that kind-looking old lady and the great boy belonged to the circus, and had their circus clothes in the bag underneath.
Grandma was taken into a tent which led out of the big tent, where she saw the Chief Jumper in full jumping costume, and the Dwarf, and the Fat Man, and the Clown, and the Flying Cherub; and the Remedy worked so well that the Chief Jumper thought he might jump higher than ever before.
The Clown led grandma to the cage where monkeys were kept, and asked her if she would be willing to cure a poor suffering monkey whose leg had been hurt by a stone thrown by a cruel boy. Grandma said, certainly, for that she pitied even an animal that had to suffer pain. The Clown then took the monkey, and held its paw while grandma patted its head and stroked its back, and poured on the Remedy, the Flying Cherub standing near by to see what was to be done.
The circus owner invited grandma to stay to the circus; but as she had not time, he paid her eight dollars, and led her to the vehicle.
Now we are coming to the most wonderful part of my story. People going home from mill had told the tale of the miller's cure, and on her way back grandma was stopped by various people, who begged her to come into their houses and cure rheumatism, sprains, bruises, and other lamenesses. This took a great deal of time; but the kind-hearted old lady was so anxious to ease pain that she forgot all about her promise to Mr. Stimpcett, and when she reached home it was ten minutes past sunset.
Three buggies stood near Mr. Stimpcett's house. Grandma thought they were doctors' buggies. "Oh dear!" she said to herself, "something dreadful must be the matter!" She counted the children playing at the door-step. They were all there—Moses, Obadiah, Deborah, and little Cordelia.
At this moment Mr. Stimpcett came forward and said to grandma that three gentlemen had come, one after another, and had each asked to have a private talk with her. There was a large fleshy man in the front room, a chubby little man in the kitchen, and a sleek, long-faced man in the spare chamber.
Grandma talked with these, one at a time. They were all medicine sellers. Each one wished to buy the recipe for making the Sudden Remedy, and would pay a good price for it. For they knew that thousands and thousands of barrels of this Remedy could be sold all over the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Central America, and enormous sums of money made by the sale.
The summer boarder, Mr. St. Clair, said that the man who would pay the most money for it ought to have the recipe. Grandma brought from her trunk the small, leathery, beady bag which contained the recipe, and Mr. St. Clair stood in the vehicle, held up the bag, and said: "Bid! gentlemen, bid! How much do I have for it?"
The bidding was interrupted by a Jumper. It was a circus Jumper, but not the Chief Jumper. While the people were all looking at Mr. St. Clair, a monkey sprang from the meal bag underneath the vehicle and jumped upon grandma's shoulder, nearly knocking her over. It was the same one she had cured. On account of his lameness, he had been loosely tied, and from a feeling of thankfulness, no doubt, for being cured, he had run away and followed grandma.
The Stimpcett children—Moses, Obadiah, Deborah, and little Cordelia—shouted and capered so that the selling of the recipe could hardly go on; but at last it was sold, leathery, beady bag and all, to the sleek, long-faced man, for nine hundred dollars, of which grandma gave five hundred to Mr. Stimpcett, according to the promise she made before going to mill.
The circus people were written to, but as they did not send for Jacko, he was kept for the children, to play with. Mrs. Stimpcett dressed him in a pretty suit of clothes, with a cap and feather on his head. He showed much affection for grandma, followed her about daytimes both in-doors and out, and would sleep nowhere at night but at the foot of her bed, where a bandbox was at last placed for him. The children loved him dearly; but poor Jacko did so much mischief in trying to knit, and to cook, and to weed the garden, that it was finally declared that something must be done about that monkey; and grandma gave him to Lorenzo, with money enough to buy a grand harmonica.
Lorenzo came for the monkey toward the close of a calm summer's day, and fed him with frosted cake, which caused him to feel pleased with Lorenzo. There was a string fastened to his collar; Lorenzo took the string in one hand, and some frosted cake in the other, and led Jacko away. The children—Moses, and Obadiah, and Deborah, and little Cordelia—following on for quite a distance, all weeping.
Lorenzo went about for some time with a circus company. Evenings he staid inside the big tent to see the doings, and daytimes he had a two-cent side-show in a small tent of his own, where the monkey played wonderful tricks, and marched to the music of the grand harmonica.
At last he came to grandma, and told her that as for the Clown, he was a kind-hearted, sensible man, but that the others were commonly either drunk, or cross, or both, and that he had to travel nights, wet or dry, and that he was sick of that kind of life. He sold the monkey to a hand-organ man, and went back to live in his old home; and the last that was known of Jacko he was seen in the streets of a town carrying round the hand-organ man's hat for pennies.
It was grandma and Mr. Stimpcett who saw him, as they were riding past in the vehicle; and he saw them, and gave a bound, and broke his string, and leaped into the vehicle, and clasped his paws round grandma's neck; and the hand-organ man was obliged to place six maple-sugar cakes in a row upon the sidewalk before Jacko would return to him.
The sleek, long-faced man made his fortune by selling the Sudden Remedy, but few of those who bought it and took it knew what old lady it was who sold him the recipe for it.
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The Family Story-Teller's next was a story of mistakes, and odd mistakes they were.
THE CHILDREN'S WEDDING.
It very often happens that children of royal families are by their parents or by wise statesmen engaged to marry each other almost as soon as they are born, but the actual weddings do not generally take place until the children are grown up. One of these weddings did, however, actually take place, a great many years ago, between two children, and the story of it is as follows:
January 15, 1478, was the day appointed, when Richard, Duke of York, second son of Edward IV., aged four years, and created already Duke of Norfolk, Earl Warren and Surrey, and Earl Marshal of England, in right of his intended wife, was to lead to the altar the little girl whose tiny hand would bestow upon him the immense estates and riches of the Norfolk inheritance.
The little Lady Anne, who was, as an old book informs us, the richest and most noble match of that time, appears to have been two years older than her intended husband, and must have reached the advanced age of six years! She does not appear to have objected to the match, but to have been quite ready to act her part in the pageant, and no doubt the little Duke was eager to receive the notice and applause of the courtly throng, whilst both children looked with astonishment at the sumptuous preparations, and the costly splendor of their own and the spectators' dresses.
The ceremony began by the high and mighty Princess, as the little bride was called in the formal language of the day, being brought in great state and in solemn procession to the King's great chamber at Westminster Palace. This took place the day before the wedding, on the 14th of January. The bride, splendidly dressed, most probably in the bridal robes of white cloth of gold, a mantle of the same bordered with ermine, and with her hair streaming down her back, and confined to her head by the coronet of a duchess, was led by the Earl of Rivers, the bridegroom's uncle. She was followed, of course, by her mother, and by the noblest of the court ladies of rank, and the gentlewomen of her household, whilst behind came dukes, earls, and barons, all in attendance on the little bride.
As soon as she had arrived in the lofty hall of Westminster Palace she was led to the dais, or place of estate, as it was called, where, under a canopy, and seated on a chair of estate, or kind of throne, she kept her estate, i. e., sat in royal pomp with the King, Queen, and their children seated on either hand, whilst her procession of peers and peeresses stood around and waited upon her. Refreshments were then brought "according to the form and estate of the realm," which must have been a very wearisome and formal ceremony for a little girl of six years old, and which ended that day's ceremony.
On the 15th the Princess came out of the Queen's rooms, where she had slept, and led on one hand by the Earl of Lincoln, nephew to the King, and on the other by the Earl of Rivers, she passed through the King's great chamber in the palace into the White Hall, and from there to St. Stephen's Chapel. She was followed by a long suite of ladies and gentlewomen. Meanwhile the little bridegroom, the Queen, and a noble procession of lords and gentlemen, had already entered the chapel and taken up their places on the seats appointed for them, ready to receive and welcome the bride. There were also present the King and the Prince of Wales, the King's mother, and the three Princesses who acted as bridemaids, Elizabeth, Mary, and Cecily.
As soon as the bride drew near to the door, between her two noble supporters, the Bishop of Norwich came forward and received her at the chapel entrance, intending to lead her and the bridegroom to their proper places and begin the service. Then the bishop asked who would give the Princess away? In answer the King stood up and took her hand, and gave it to the bishop, who placed it in the bridegroom's, and went on to the rest of the service, concluding with high mass. When this part was concluded, the Duke of Gloucester brought into the chapel basins of gold filled with gold and silver pieces, which he threw amongst the crowds of people who had pressed in to see the wedding, and who were highly delighted with this part of it.
Then followed the usual wine and spices, which were actually served out to the royal party in the church itself. The bridal party then left the chapel, the little bride and bridegroom, escorted by the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Buckingham (Richard's two uncles) on either side. They returned to St. Edward's Chamber in the palace, where a splendid banquet was prepared, and their numbers were increased by the bride's mother, who staid at home, strange to say, instead of accompanying her daughter and the Duchess of Buckingham. Another guest who now presided at a table on one side of the room with many ladies, whilst the Earl of Dorset, the Queen's son by her first husband, sat opposite at another side table, was the Earl of Richmond, afterward Henry VII., who, wonderful to say, was present, and whom Edward IV. must have invited to get him into his power. However, as soon as the marriage feasts were over, he managed to escape abroad without being stopped by the King.
The banquet completed the festivities of the wedding day, and, tired and wearied, the baby couple must have been glad to close their eyes in sleep.
No marriage, however, was complete without a tournament, and so on the 18th, when the children had recovered the fatigue of their wedding, a grand tournament took place, when the bride became the "Princess of the Feast," took up her place at the head of the first banqueting table, and there, supported by the Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham, gave her largesse to the heralds, who proclaimed her name and title in due form.
All the royal family were present, and the foreign ambassadors, and one of the most distinguished spectators was "my lord of Richmond." The coursers were running at each other with either spear or sword, and at the close of the jousts, the Princess of the Feast, with all her ladies and gentlewomen, withdrew to the King's great chamber at Westminster to decide upon the prizes. First, however, the high and mighty Princess called in her minstrels, and all the ladies and gentlewomen, lords and knights, fell to dancing right merrily. Then came the king-at-arms to announce to the Princess the names of those whose valor deserved the rewards she was to give away, as the principal lady on whom the duty devolved. But the little lady was both very young and bashful, and so to help her the lovely Princess Elizabeth, then a girl of fourteen, was appointed, and a council of ladies was held to consider the share each should take.
The prizes were golden letters, A, E, and M, the initials of Anne, Elizabeth, and Mowbray, set in gems, and were delivered to Elizabeth by the king-at-arms. The A was to be awarded to the best jouster, the E to the best runner in harness, and the M for the best swordsman. The first prize was then presented by the little bride, aided by Elizabeth, to Thomas Fynes, on which the chief herald cried out, "Oh yes! oh yes! oh yes! Sir William Truswell jousted well; William Say jousted well; Thomas Fynes jousted best; for the which the Princess of the Feast awarded the prize of the jousts royal, that is to say, the A of gold, to him," quoth Clarencieux.
Then the other prizes were given with the same ceremonies, the king-at-arms, Clarencieux, proclaiming in a loud voice before each, "Right high and excellent Princess, here is the prize which you shall award unto the best jouster," which Elizabeth received and then handed to her little sister-in-law, until all had been given, and the tournament was over. And now the infant marriage, with its pretty pageantry and joyous festivities, was concluded, and the children returned to the daily routine of play and lessons, whilst the wonderful wedding must have gradually faded from their memories.
A HUNTING ADVENTURE.
While travelling in India, an English officer once spent a night in a small village, the inhabitants of which were much alarmed by a large panther which lurked in the jungle just beyond their houses. They begged the officer to kill it before he proceeded on his journey. He succeeded in finding and wounding it the next morning, but before killing it, had a terrible struggle, which he describes as follows:
"Having warned the village shikaree to keep close behind me with the heavy spear he had in his hand, I began to follow the wounded panther; but had scarcely gone twenty-five yards, when one of the beaters, who was on high ground, beckoned to me, and pointed a little below him, and in front of me. There was the large panther sitting out unconcealed between two bushes a dozen yards before me. I could not, however, see his head; and whilst I was thus delayed, he came out with a roar, straight at me. I fired at his chest with a ball, and as he sprang upon me, the shot barrel was aimed at his head. In the next moment he seized my left arm, and the gun. Thus, not being able to use the gun as a club, I forced it into his mouth. He bit the stock through in one place, and whilst his upper fangs lacerated my arm and hand, the lower fangs went into the gun. His hind claws pierced my left thigh. He tried very hard to throw me over. In the mean while the shikaree had retreated some paces to the left. He now, instead of spearing the panther, shouted out, and struck him, using the spear as a club. In a moment the animal was upon him, stripping him of my shikar-bag, his turban, my revolving rifle, and the spear. The man passed by me, holding his wounded arm. The panther quietly crouched five paces in front of me, with all my despoiled property, stripped from the shikaree, around and under him. I retreated step by step, my face toward the foe, till I got to my horse, and to the beaters, who were all collected together some forty yards from the fight.
"I immediately loaded the gun with a charge of shot and a bullet, and taking my revolver pistol out of the holster, and sticking it into my belt, determined to carry on the affair to its issue, knowing how rarely men recover from such wounds as mine. I was bleeding profusely from large tooth wounds in the arm; the tendons of my left hand were torn open, and I had five claw wounds in the thigh. The poor shikaree's arm was somewhat clawed up, and if the panther was not killed, the superstition of the natives would go far to kill this man.
"I persuaded my horse-keeper to come with me, and taking the hog-spear he had in his hand, we went to the spot where lay the weapons stripped from the shikaree. A few yards beyond them crouched the huge panther again. I could not see his head very distinctly, but fired deliberately behind his shoulder. In one moment he was again upon me. I gave him the charge of shot, as I supposed, in his face, but had no time to take aim. In the next instant the panther got hold of my left foot in his teeth, and threw me on my back. I struck at him with the empty gun, and he seized the barrels in his mouth. This was his last effort. I sprang up, and seizing the spear from the horse-keeper, drove it through his side, and thus killed him."
EAGLES AND THEIR WAYS.
The great golden eagle is one of the most distinguished members of its mighty family. It is found in many parts of the world, a kingly inhabitant of mountainous regions, where it builds its nest on rocky crags accessible only to the most daring hunter.
This noble bird is of a rich blackish-brown tint on the greater part of its body, its head and neck inclining to a reddish color. Its tail is deep gray crossed with dark brown bars. Some large specimens which have been captured have measured nearly four feet in length, while the magnificent wings expanded from eight to nine feet.
The golden eagle is no longer found in England, but is still plentiful in the Scottish Highlands, where it makes its nest on some lofty ledge of rock among the mountain solitudes. Swiss naturalists state that it sometimes nests in the lofty crotch of some gigantic oak growing on the lower mountain slopes, but Audubon and other eminent ornithologists declare that an eagle's nest built in a tree has never come under their observation.
The nest of this inhabitant of the mountains is not neatly made, like those of smaller birds, but is a huge mass of twigs, dried grasses, brambles, and hair heaped together to form a bed for the little ones. Here the mother bird lays three or four large white eggs speckled with brown. The young birds are almost coal-black, and only assume the golden and brownish tinge as they become full grown, which is not until about the fourth year. Eaglets two or three years old are described in books of natural history as ring-tailed eagles, and are sometimes taken for a distinct species of the royal bird, while in reality they are the children of the golden eagle tribe.
Eagles rarely change their habitation, and, unless disturbed, a pair will inhabit the same nest for years. It is very faithful to its mate, and one pair have been observed living happily together through a long life. Should one die, the bird left alone will fly away in search of another mate, and soon return with it to its former home. Eagles live to a great age; even in captivity in royal gardens specimens have been known to live more than a hundred years.
Eagles are very abundant in Switzerland. Although not so powerful as the great vulture, which also inhabits the lofty mountains, they are bolder and more enduring. For hours the golden eagle will soar in the air high above the mountain-tops, and move in wide-sweeping circles with a scarcely perceptible motion of its mighty wings. When on the hunt for prey, it is very cunning and sharp-sighted. Its shrill scream rings through the air, filling all the smaller birds with terror. When it approaches its victim its scream changes to a quick kik-kak-kak, resembling the barking of a dog, and gradually sinking until sufficiently near, it darts in a straight line with the rapidity of lightning upon its prey. None of the smaller birds and beasts are safe from its clutches. Fawns, rabbits, and hares, young sheep and goats, wild birds of all kinds, fall helpless victims, for neither the swiftest running nor the most rapid flight can avail against this king of the air.
The strength of the eagle is such that it will bear heavy burdens in its talons for miles until it reaches its nest, where the hungry little ones are eagerly waiting the parent's return. Here, standing on the ledge of rock, the eagle tears the food into morsels, which the eaglets eagerly devour. It is a curious fact that near an eagle's nest there is usually a storehouse or larder—some convenient ledge of rock—where the parent birds lay up hoards of provisions. Hunters have found remains of lambs, young pigs, rabbits, partridges, and other game heaped up ready for the morning meal.
Over its hunting ground the eagle is king. It fears neither bird nor beast, its only enemy being man. In Switzerland, during the winter season, when the mountains are snow-bound, the eagle will descend to the plain in search of food. When driven by hunger, it will seize on carrion, and even fight desperately with its own kind for the possession of the desired food. Swiss hunters tell many stories of furious battles between eagles over the dead body of some poor chamois or other mountain game.
Eagles are very affectionate and faithful to their little ones as long as they need care; but once the young eaglets are able to take care of themselves, the parent birds drive them from the nest, and even from the hunting ground. The young birds are often taken from the nest by hunters, who with skill and daring scale the rocky heights during the absence of the parents, which return to find a desolate and empty nest. But it goes hard with the hunter if the keen eyes of the old birds discover him before he has made his safe descent with his booty. Darting at him with terrible fury, they try their utmost to throw him from the cliff; and unless he be well armed, and use his weapons with skill and rapidity, his position is one of the utmost peril.
The young birds are easily tamed; and the experiment has already been tried with some success of using them as the falcon, to assist in hunting game.
The golden eagle is an inhabitant of the Rocky Mountains, but is very seldom seen farther eastward. Audubon reports having noticed single pairs in the Alleghanies, in Maine, and even in the valley of the Hudson; but such examples are very rare, for this royal bird is truly a creature of the mountains. It fears neither cold nor tempestuous winds nor icy solitudes.
The eagle's plume is an old and famous decoration of warriors and chieftains, and is constantly alluded to, especially in Scottish legend and song. The Northwestern Indians ornament their headdresses and their weapons with the tail feathers of the eagle, and institute hunts for the bird with the sole purpose of obtaining them. Indians prize these feathers so highly that they will barter a valuable horse for the tail of a single bird.
Royal and noble in its bearing, the eagle has naturally been chosen as the symbol of majesty and power. It served as one of the imperial emblems of ancient Rome, and is employed at the present time for the regal insignia of different countries. The bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, belongs to the same great family as its golden cousin, and is a sharer of its lordly characteristics.
THE HIDDEN BEAUTIES OF THE SNOW
In the falling of the snow we have snow showers and snow storms. In the snow shower the air is filled with light, fleecy flakes, which descend gently and noiselessly through it, and either melt away and disappear as fast as they alight, or else, when the temperature is below the point of freezing, slowly accumulate upon every surface where they can gain a lodgment, until the fields are everywhere covered with a downy fleece of spotless purity, and every salient point—the tops of the fences and posts, the branches of the trees, and the interminable lines of telegraph wire—are adorned with a white and dazzling trimming. In such a fall of snow as this the delicate process of crystallization is not disturbed by any agitations in the air. The feathery needles from each little nucleus extend themselves in every direction as far as they will, and combining by gentle contacts with others floating near them, form large and fleecy flakes, involving the nicest complications of structure, and filling the air with a kind of beauty in which the expression of softness and gracefulness is combined with that of mathematical symmetry and precision.
In a snow storm the force of the wind and the intensity of the cold usually change all this. The progress of the crystallization, which to be perfect must take place slowly, and under the condition of perfect repose, is at once hastened by the low temperature, and disturbed by the commotion in the air. Across the broad expanse of open plains, along mountain-sides, through groves of trees, and over the smooth surface of frozen lakes and rivers, millions of misshapen and broken crystals are driven by the wind, piled up in heaps, or accumulated in confused masses under the lee of every obstruction, having been subjected on the way to such violence of agitation and collision that the characteristic beauty and symmetry of the material is entirely destroyed.
If we examine attentively the falling flakes, whether of snow showers or of snow storms, at different times, under the varying circumstances in which snow forms and descends, we shall be surprised at the number and variety of the forms which they assume. They may be received and examined upon any black surface—the crown of a hat, or a piece of black cloth, for example—previously cooled below the freezing-point. At any one time the crystallizations are usually alike, but different snow-falls seem to have each its own special conformation. Sometimes, however, a change takes place from one style of flake to another in the course of the same storm or shower, and during the period of transition both varieties fall together from the air. Persons interested in such observations may easily make drawings with a pen of the different forms that present themselves from time to time, and thus in the course of a winter make a very curious and interesting collection.
The number and variety of the forms which the snowy crystallizations assume seem greatest in the polar regions, and the celebrated scientific navigator Scoresby studied them there with great attention during his various arctic voyages. He made drawings of ninety-six different forms, and the number has been increased since, by more recent observers, to several hundred.
It will be observed that all the forms have a hexagonal character. They consist of a star of six rays, or a plate of six angles. There is a reason for this, or rather there is a well-known property of ice in respect to the law of its crystallization which throws some light upon the subject. The law is this: that whereas every crystallizable substance has its own primitive crystalline form, that of ice is a rhomboid with angles of 60 deg. and 120 deg., and consequently all the secondary forms which this substance assumes are controlled by these angles, and derive from them their hexagonal character.
The most striking of the methods adopted for the inspection of ice crystals is one discovered by Professor Tyndall, and consists of melting the ice from within. This is done by means of a lens, by which the sun's rays are brought to a focus within the mass of ice, so as to liquefy a portion of it in the interior without disturbing that at the surface.
BY AGNES CARR.
"They are all so lovely, I hardly know which to choose," said Nettie Almer to herself, as she paused at the entrance of a large stationer's shop to gaze in at the window, where was spread a tempting display of valentines of all kinds and sizes, from the rich, expensive ones in handsome embossed boxes to the cheap penny pictures strung on a line across the entire casement.
"I want them to be the prettiest ones there," continued Nettie to herself, and she gave her little pocket-book a squeeze inside her muff as she thought of the bright two dollar and a half gold piece which Uncle John had given her that morning to spend all for valentines; for Nettie was invited that evening to a large party, given by one of her school-mates, and after supper a post-office was to be opened, through which all her class were to send valentines to each other. Great fun was anticipated, while at the same time there was considerable rivalry as to who should send the handsomest missives, and at school nothing else had been talked of amongst the scholars for a week.
"Please, miss, buy just a little bunch." The words sounded close to Nettie's ear, and she turned to encounter a pair of pleading blue eyes gazing into hers, while the plaintive voice repeated, "Please buy a little bunch of flowers; I haven't sold one to-day, and Minna wants an orange so much."
It was a pitiful little figure that stood there, with an old shawl over her head, and her feet hardly protected from the icy pavement by a pair of miserable ragged shoes, while the tiny hands, purple with cold, held a small pine board on which were fastened small bouquets of rose-buds, violets, and other flowers, which she tried to sell to the passers-by, most of whom, however, pushed her rudely aside or passed indifferently by.
"Who is Minna?" asked Nettie, gently, after a moment's survey of the little girl.
"She is mine sister, and she is so bad, so very bad, with the fever. She cried all last night with thirst, and begged me to bring her an orange to cool her tongue. Please, miss, buy some of my flowers."
Nettie's tender heart was touched, and her eyes filled with tears in sympathy with the poor child, who was now crying bitterly. "Has she been sick very long?" she asked.
"Oh yes; and the Herr Doctor says she will die if she does not have wine to strengthen her. But where could we get wine? The mother can hardly pay the rent, and I sell flowers to buy bread; but I can only make two or three cents on a bunch, and some bad days they fade before I can get rid of them; so I'm afraid Minna must die. But please give me enough to get her an orange."
"An orange! of course I will," exclaimed Nettie; "and more than one. Come with me;" and she caught the child eagerly by the hand, and drew her toward the street. At this moment, however, her eye fell on the valentines in the window, and she stopped, hesitating. Should she give up the pretty gifts for her little friends, and lose half of the evening's anticipated enjoyment, or should she let this poor girl—of whose existence she was ignorant five minutes before—go home empty-handed to her sick sister? There was an instant of sharp conflict as she thought of how mean she should appear in her school-mates' eyes, and then, with a resolute air, Nettie turned her back on the fascinating window, and conducted the little flower girl to a fruit store near at hand.
A basket was supplied by the kind-hearted proprietor of the store, to whom Nettie explained what she wanted, and this she filled with golden Havana oranges and rich clusters of white grapes—a delicious basketful for a feverish invalid. This, Nettie found, took nearly half the money, and the remainder she gave to the grocer, begging him to get her a bottle of the best sherry wine, which was quickly done, and added to the basket.
"Now," she said, turning to her poor companion, who had stood meanwhile, hardly believing the evidence of her eyes, "take me home with you, and we will carry these to Minna right away."
"Oh, miss, thou art too heavenly kind! It will save Minna; she need not die now." And with smiles chasing away the tears, the happy child took hold of one side of the basket, while Nettie carried the other, and together they wended their way to a poor tenement-house in a dark narrow street, and climbed the rickety stairs to a back room on the fourth floor.
As they pushed open the door, a low moan was heard from within, and a weak voice asked, "Gretel, is it thou? Hast thou brought the orange?"
Gretel sprang to the bedside, and in an eager voice exclaimed: "Oh, Minna, yes, yes, I have the oranges, and so much more! See this good little lady, and what she has brought thee. Look! oranges—grapes—wine! Oh, Minna, sweetheart, thou wilt soon be well now!"
The pale child, reclining among the pillows, her golden hair brushed back from a brow on which the blue veins showed painfully distinct, stretched forth a thin little hand for the grapes, and said to Nettie, "Oh, I have dreamed of fruit like this; thou art an angel to bring it to me."
Gently Nettie brushed back the fair hair of the little patient, and pressed the cool grapes to her parched lips, while Gretel poured some of the wine into a cracked tumbler, and administered it to the sick girl, who, being too weak to talk much, soon sank into a quiet, refreshing slumber, with one of Nettie's hands clasped tightly in both her own; and as Nettie sat by the humble pallet she felt fully repaid for the loss of her valentines.
And Minna still slept when the German mother entered, who, after listening to Gretel's whispered story, exclaimed, as Nettie rose to depart, and stole softly from the room: "May Gott in Himmel bless thee, young lady, for what thou hast done this day! It is weeks since my Minna has slept like that." And throwing her apron over her head, the poor woman burst into happy tears.
It was with a light heart that Nettie tripped homeward, and she never even glanced at the great window where the brilliant hearts and Cupids gleamed as gayly as ever in the bright sunlight.
"Well, Pussie, how many valentines have you bought?" asked Uncle John, meeting Nettie in the hall as she entered the house.
"Only one; but it was a very nice one, and you mustn't ask any questions," answered Nettie, with a blush, as she ran up stairs to avoid further questioning.
It was rather trying, though, when evening came, and Nettie, dressed in her white dress and blue ribbons, stood among the other girls in the dressing-room, and they all crowded round inquiring how many valentines she had for the post-office, to be obliged to confess that she had none, and to hear the whispered comments of, "How mean!" "I didn't think that of Nettie Almer."
She kept her spirits up, however, by thinking of Minna, and the joy of her mother and sister, and soon forgot the valentines entirely, while dancing and joining in the merry games with which the first part of the evening was passed.
But after supper the mortification and almost regretful feelings returned, when the other children drew forth mysterious packages, and confided them to Mrs. Hope, the mother of the young hostess; and she was becoming quite unhappy when a servant entered, saying some one wished to see Miss Nettie Almer.
Gladly she hastened from the room; but what was her surprise when a messenger handed her a box addressed to "Nettie, from St. Valentine, in return for the valentine she sent Minna and Gretel."
On removing the lid, the box was found to contain a dozen small bouquets of sweet, fragrant flowers, and a card saying they were intended as valentines for her little friends. Nettie shrewdly suspected them to be the same bouquets Gretel had tried so unavailingly to sell in the morning; but she did not know that Uncle John had been an unobserved spectator of the little episode in front of the stationer's, and that he had made a later call at the humble tenement, and gladdened the poor family a second time that day by buying all Gretel's flowers, and paying a good price for them, too.
It was with very much happier feelings that Nettie re-entered the parlor, and handed in her contribution for the letter-box; and when the office was opened in the back drawing-room, and Mr. Hope, disguised as St. Valentine, distributed the mail, all said none of the valentines could equal Nettie's, for in the centre of each bouquet was hidden a tiny golden heart, inclosing a motto appropriate to the occasion.
Nettie always said that that 14th of February was the happiest day she had ever spent; and it was also a turning-point in the fortunes of the German family, for Mrs. Almer having heard from Uncle John of her little daughter's proteges, interested some of her friends in them, who gave work to the mother, and when summer came, found a pleasant cottage on a farm for them in the country; and with the mother now happy and hopeful, Gretel well clad and rosy, and Minna quite restored to health, they were sent away from the dark, dreary tenement to a happy home among "green fields and pastures fair." And it all came about through Nettie's valentine.
AUNT SUKEY'S FIRST SLEIGH-RIDE.
"Oh, Nan, look how the snow comes down! I thought it would never snow at all this winter. Just look at it! Now that's what I call tip-top," said Tom Chandler, gazing at the fast-whitening landscape, and drumming a cheerful tattoo on the window-panes with his fingers.
For some time the children stood in silence, watching the snow-flakes as they whirled and danced and floated like so many feathers, only to fall and pile up and cover the brown earth and the bare branches as with a lovely mantle of swan's-down.
Suddenly a thought seemed to have entered Tom's curly head, and he broke the silence with an air of profound mystery, saying: "I say, Nan, can you keep a secret? Well, look square in my face and say, 'Upon my word and sacred honor, I'll never, never, never tell anybody what Tom's going to tell me!' There! do you think you could keep it? It's the awfulest jolliest thing you ever heard of."
"Why, Tom," returned Nan, with dignity, "did I ever tell anybody anything that is a secret when you told me not to? Now do tell me this one."
"Let me see, now; haven't you told lots of my secrets, madam? Who went and told pa about my painting the white gobbler's feathers black, hey? Who told about my putting the mouse into Aunt Sukey's soup? Who told about my tying the clothes-line across the grass last summer? Who told about my—"
"That's real mean; you know I couldn't help it, ma was so vexed. You can keep your old secret; I won't listen to it—there!"
Seeing there was danger of one of Nan's showers, as Tom called her sudden tears, that young gentleman lowering his voice said, soothingly, "Never mind, old girl; just say, ''Pon honor' once more, and that you will never tell if you are shot for it, and I'll tell you what it is."
"That's what I call a solemn promise," exclaimed Tom, as Nanny concluded the prescribed speech. "Well, here goes!"
Just what was said in Nan's ear we may never know, but that it was pleasing to both parties may be judged by what followed. The moment the grand secret became the property of two, there was such a clapping of hands, and whooping and laughing, and such a dancing up and down the room as made the boards tremble, and brought old Aunt Susan from her realms in the kitchen to the dining-room door.
"Bress de Lor', chillun, what dose yer mean cuttin' up like dat! yous'll bring de roof down, an' no mistake! Stop dat noise! I guess yese disremember dere's comp'ny in de spare room yonder, gettin' ready fo' tea."
"Now you never mind the company, Aunt Sukey. Nan and I are only practicing a war jig we've got to dance for Miss Almira to-night."
"Drat your war jigs, an' 'have like 'spectable chillun! Ring de tea-bell, and make you'selves useful; you's got younger bones dan dis ole Susan, tank de Lor'!"
"Remember!" said Tom, with a warning gesture to Nan, for he heard footsteps coming.
The next morning after breakfast Tom walked into the kitchen, where Aunt Sukey was putting the finishing touches to a dozen or more pies, for it was baking-day.
"Look here, Aunt Susan," exclaimed the youngster, "I've heard you say how much you would like to see 'Marse Linkum,' haven't I? Well, you've never had a sleigh-ride since you come North, have you? And I was just thinking last night that I'd take you for one when Nan and I go to school this morning. There! it won't take more'n a few minutes. Get your hood and shawl, and come along; it's only beyond Deacon Johnson's. Marse Lincoln would like to see you first-rate."
"Oh, bress de Lor', honey, who tole you dat? Has ole aunty libbed to lay her eyes on de savior ob her people? Yous two dun wait for ole Aunt Susan, and she'll be wid you in a jiffy."
"Hurry up! Jocko's waiting," screamed Tom, as the old lady bustled off to get her "fixin's."
"But, Tom, what'll ma say? and she's got company, too," asked Nan, uneasily.
"Why, it's all the better for our fun. She'll have some one to help her. Miss Almira can turn to and do up the pies and things, and make herself useful as well as ornamental."
The war of the great rebellion was nearly over, and the old woman, like many of her people, had made her way North, and this was her first winter; so Tom and Nan expected great sport over her new experience—a sleigh-ride. With considerable trouble, for aunty was stout and unwieldy, and the little cutter was narrow and high, she was at last bundled in, Nan and Tom following, to the infinite satisfaction of Jocko, the pony, which was pawing the snow and jingling his bells impatiently.
When the robes were all tucked in, Tom gave the word, and away they rushed down the lane into the road. Speeding on, they turned a curve so sharply that Aunt Sukey was wild with alarm; her eyes rolled, and her teeth glistened from ear to ear, as, with mouth distended, she screamed, "Oh, Marse Tommy, fo' de Lor's sake, hole in dat beast! I's done gone an' bin a fool to trust my mutton to a hoss like dat! Oh, Marse Tommy, Massa Tommy, yous'll be de deff of ole Aunt Susan! Oh, fo' de Lor's sake, stop 'im!"
"Hooray, Jocko! go it, old boy!" was Tommy's laughing response.
"Oh, bress us an' save us! Missy Nanny, be a good chile, an' make Marse Tom stop dat yere beast, or we'll be upsot, an' break ebbery bone in our bodies!"
"Don't mind, aunty. Jocko knows every step of the way, and we won't let you get hurt," cried Nan, with a patronizing air.
"O Lor' hab mussy on a poor ole niggur, an' bring her safely to her journey's end, for mussy dese chillun hab none!" ejaculated Aunt Susan, as another sharp curve was so rapidly turned that the very trees and fences seemed rushing madly away in an opposite direction.
In less than twenty minutes, and the minutes seemed ages to affrighted Susan, Jocko, with a snort and an extra jingle of his bells, stood stock-still in front of the school-house.
A score of eyes peeped from the windows as Tom, alighting, with mock ceremony handed out Nan and Aunt Susan, exclaiming, "Ladies, we shall soon be in the presence of 'Marse Linkum.'"
"Oh, tank de Lor', dar's no bones broken! and we's really gwine to see de blessed Marse Linkum, arter all!"
"There, now, Nan, take Aunt Susan up on the stoop, till I blanket Jocko and put him in the shed."
"Now, Missy Nan," whispered Aunt Susan, when they found themselves alone on the piazza, "does I look 'spectable nuff to see de President?"
"You look awful nice, aunty," replied Nanny, turning away her head to conceal her laughter. "Ah! here comes Tom."
"Now, Aunt Susan," exclaimed that youngster, "when I introduce you, say this: 'I hope I find your Excellency well, and all the people of color in the South send you greeting.'"
"Wa'al, now, what a genius dat chile is, to be shuah!" muttered Susan, walking behind Tom and Nanny.
"Mr. Lincoln," exclaimed Tom, advancing toward that gentleman, with a merry twinkle in his roguish eyes, "allow me to present to you a new pupil, Aunt Susan Whittingham; she has come all the way from Louisiana to see you."
"Oh, bress de Lor' dat hab given dis ole woman de privilege ob laying her eyes on de gloriousness ob de man who hab saved all her people, an' has strucken off de chains what held dem fast, an' made dem free forebber and forebber! Hallelujah! hallelujah! amen! Oh, bress me, I's done gone an' make a mistake arter all. Oh, your Presidency—no, your Elegancy, I hopes I find you well. All de people ob color in de Souf send you—send you—greetin'!"
"Aunt Susan, I am very sorry; but that little rascal, Tom, has been deceiving you all the time. I'm not the 'Marse Linkum' you take me for, I'm sorry to tell you, for I am only plain James Lincoln, school-master of the district. Tom, I say, how did you dare to treat Aunt Susan and myself in this way? I have a mind to punish you."
"Oh, de Lor' forgib Marse Tommy dat he fool a 'spectable ole body like me; an' de Lor' save me! all my pies an' tings goin' to construction, an' de missus all alone to hum wid comp'ny! It's too much—it's too much fo' shuah!"
"Come, aunty," cried Tom, soothingly, for he was beginning to be afraid himself, "we'll drive home ever so slow. Come, now, forgive us, and don't get us a whipping."
"I's mos' ready to forgib yous now; but jes you disremember how de chillun in de Bible war eaten up along o' de bars for sayin', 'Go up, ole bal'-head!' an' don't you nebber, nebber agin fool ole Aunt Susan."
Almira had "turned to," as Tom predicted, and was helping his mother with the dinner, when that lady exclaimed: "This is another of that boy's tricks; but boys are boys, and there's no help for it. I hope Aunt Susan's enjoying the ride."
Everything was in "apple-pie order" when the party returned, apparently in fine spirits. Tom thought it mighty queer that nothing was said about his escapade, and dying to tell it, he felt his way cautiously for an opportunity, and it came. In the evening, when the family were discussing nuts and cider around the glowing fire, he related the morning's adventure with such gay good humor that Pa and Ma Chandler and Augustus and Almira made the walls ring again with their laughter, bringing old Aunt Susan to the sitting-room door, where, poking her head in, she had courage to say, "'Pears to me yous folks is havin' great sport over Aunt Susan's fust sleigh-ride."
NEW YORK'S FIRST GREAT FIRE.
The first great fire in New York happened in September, 1776, just after Washington had been driven from the city. New York was then a small but beautiful town; it reached only to the lower end of the Park, but Broadway was lined with shade trees, and its fine houses stretched away on both sides to the Battery. Trinity Church stood, as now, at the head of Wall Street. St. Paul's—a building of great cost and beauty for the times—almost bounded the upper end of Broadway. The British soldiers marched into the pleasant but terrified city, the leading patriots fled with Washington's army, and in the hot days of the autumn of 1776 New York seemed to offer a pleasant home for the officers and men of the invading forces. They took possession of the deserted country-seats of the patriots at Bloomingdale or Murray Hill, and occupied the finest houses on the best streets of the town. Here they hoped to pass a winter of ease, and in the spring complete without difficulty the rout of the disheartened Americans.
But one night in September the cry of fire was heard, and the flames began to spread from some low wooden buildings near Whitehall, where now are the Produce Exchange and Staten Island ferries. In those days there were no steam-engines nor hydrants, no Croton water nor well-organized fire-companies. But as the flames continued to advance, the British soldiers sprang from their beds and began to labor to check the fire with all the means in their power. They used, no doubt, buckets of water brought from the cisterns and the river. They found, it was said, several persons setting houses on fire, and in their rage threw them into the flames. But their labor was all in vain. All night the fire spread over the finest quarter of New York. From Whitehall it passed up Broadway on the eastern side, devouring everything, until it was stopped by a large new brick house near Wall Street. It crossed to the western side, and laid nearly the whole street in ruins. It fastened on the roof and tower of Trinity Church, and soon, of all its graceful proportions, only a few shattered fragments remained. Then the flames passed rapidly up to the west of Broadway from Trinity as far as St. Paul's; houses and shops crumbled before them; a long array of buildings seem to have fed the raging fires, until at last they reached the walls of the great church itself, and were about to envelop it in ruins. But here, it is said, the zeal of the people checked their progress. They mounted the roof of the church, covered it with streams of water, put out the sparks that fell on it, until at last the building was saved, the flames died out, and St. Paul's stands to-day almost as it stood in 1776, the monument of the close of the great fire.
It is not difficult to imagine the melancholy change wrought in the appearance of the city. Broadway, once so beautiful, remained until the end of the war in great part a street of ruins. From Wall Street to the Battery, from St. Paul's Church to the Bowling Green, the miserable waste was never repaired. Up its desolate track paraded each morning the British officers and their followers, shining in red and gold, to the sound of martial music; but they had no leisure nor wish to repair the ravages of war. On the wasted district arose a collection of tents and hovels, called "Canvas Town." Here lived the miserable poor, the wretched, the vile; robbers who at night made the ruins unsafe, and incendiaries who never ceased to terrify the unlucky city. The British garrison was never suffered to remain long at ease.
It was said that the great fire of 1776 was the work of the patriots, who had resolved to burn New York, and drive the invaders from their safe resting-place. The question of its origin has never been decided. It may have been altogether accidental, or possibly the work of design. But it was followed by a singular succession of other fires, during the period of the British ascendency, that seem to show some settled plan to annoy and discourage the invaders. The newspapers of the time are filled with accounts of the misfortunes of the garrison and the royalists.
TO MY VALENTINE.
BY M. M.
In love and hope These blossoms fair I lay at your dear feet!
Deep-folded In the rose's heart You'll find my secret, sweet!
OUR POST-OFFICE BOX.
I would like to know how old is the festival of St. Valentine's Day. I have painted some little cards myself, and am going to send them to my school-mates. I think that is better than buying them, even if I can not make them quite so pretty. I am going to copy a little verse on the back of each one. Mamma has chosen the verses for me.
S. F. W.
There is no clear record of the origin of St. Valentine's Day. St. Valentine himself was a priest of Rome who was martyred some time during the third century, but he had nothing to do with the peculiar observance of his day. In ancient Rome a great part of the month of February was devoted to feasts in honor of Pan and Juno, during which the young men drew by lot the name of their companion for the festivities. It is supposed that this ancient custom changed gradually into the present observance of the day. Many allusions to St. Valentine's Day are found in English poetry of the earliest date, as the festival was much more generally observed four centuries ago than now.
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PEEKSKILL, NEW YORK.
I am a little boy eight years old. I want to tell you that papa heard a bluebird sing in a chestnut-tree on January 11. I have six cats and three ducks. One of my cats died last week, and I buried her. Poor Susie!
S. B. H.
The little bluebird must have left its winter-quarters in the Southern States, and travelled with the warm wave which swept northward in January. It is to be hoped it will escape being frozen to death, and live to sing its sweet spring song at a more seasonable time.
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SHELBYVILLE, TENNESSEE, January 20.
I send you some flowers which grew in the front yard. The buttercups and purple magnolias are blooming also, but I could not press them to send them to you. I have seen some bluebirds and redbirds. Many of our flowers are blooming. It is just like summer out-doors.
E. B. COOPER.
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I have a little rabbit I like very much. It lives with the hens in winter. Papa bought two in Chicago. They travelled to Washington in a peach basket. When papa brought them home he gave one to me. The other was drowned last summer in a hard storm. My rabbit likes apples, potato skins, clover, grass, hay, and corn, and I must not give it oats nor anything greasy.
CARRIE E. SILLMAN.
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I have a little dog named Fanny, who shakes rats, and cats too when she gets a chance. She talks, and she shows her teeth when she laughs, and sneezes when she is pleased.
LAURA B. W. (eight years).
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WELLSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA.
As you have asked us to write about household pets, I thought I would tell you about a pet fish we kept in a stone basin about three feet square and two feet deep. We caught the fish in Cross Creek, and brought it home in a bucket, and placed it in the basin. It was a yellow bass about ten inches long and very pretty. It soon got very tame, and would take a fishing-worm out of my fingers. It committed suicide one night by jumping out on the floor and killing itself. I have a sunfish in the basin now, but I don't expect it will ever get so tame. There are four or five pretty redbirds staying in our yard, and lots of snowbirds.
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NEW YORK CITY.
In YOUNG PEOPLE No. 11 there is an article on the Dead-letter Office at Washington which mentions some curious things to go through the mail. There are three more very queer things I would like to mention. The first is two centipedes, which are on the shelf with the snake; the second is an iron hitching post; and the third is a live alligator about a foot and a half long. There is an old record in the office of 1778, which lasted at that time eleven years, but which, a clerk said, would last now about fifteen minutes.
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GEORGE B. WEBSTER.—Coons are very fond of fish, and you might bait your trap with salt cod-fish roasted to give it a strong smell. The sense of smell of a coon is very acute, and it will rarely pass a trap baited with any provender it can scent.
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LOUIE E.—The song you require is not yet published, but will probably be issued before long.
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I. H. MIRKIL, JUN.—Any letters sent to the care of Harper & Brothers will be forwarded.
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M. AND E. N.—Early numbers of YOUNG PEOPLE can be obtained on application to the publishers.
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F. A. RIGGS AND ERNEST A. F.—You must inquire at your post-office for missing numbers. They have all been mailed to your address.
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CHARLES W. L.—The best way to understand the construction of certain kinds of puzzles is to study the answers and puzzles together. You will find some answers given in this number which will help you.
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"GOLDEN," M. E. B., AND OTHERS.—We can not print puzzles unless accompanied with full name and address, as guarantee that they are original. Correspondents will please pay attention to this, as we have been compelled to reject some very pretty puzzles because they came without address. Never send old puzzles, as some have done, for they are worthless. Be very careful to give a clear and correct definition of words used in word squares, diamond puzzles, beheadings, acrostics, and charades. One poor definition will spoil an otherwise excellent puzzle. Do not take a name little known, like that of some Western town, to form an enigma, for children in some other part of the country will find it difficult to solve.
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Favors are acknowledged from "Bessie," Canada; Mary A. Tucker, Nebraska; H. Russell P., Homburg, Germany; Mary De Motte, Wisconsin; Hallie A. J., Minnesota; A. S. K., Missouri; Florence May, Michigan; Ollie M., Washington Territory. From Indiana—W. A. Burr, Allie W. F., H. I. Y. From Illinois—Harry Atkins, Helen and Hattie. From Ohio—Hazie H. P., Vincent J. Nolan, James W. R. From Pennsylvania—Fannie K., Amy F. From New York—George J. B., U. Weiler, Hattie Wagner, Anna L. A., May Thornton, Irvie Easton, Grace P., Charlie L.; M. A. T. and F. V. B., Kentucky; Percy B. M., Massachusetts; Bertie, Washington, D. C.; Harry Lovell, New Jersey.
Correct answers to puzzles received from N. L. Collamer, Washington, D. C.; Samuel J., West Virginia; Florence Dickson, Delaware; Sallie Teal, Oregon; Ernest B. Cooper, Tennessee; Arthur P. S., Wisconsin; Dorsey Coate, Indiana; Albert W. J., Illinois; E. S. C., Michigan. From Ohio—Belle M., Nellie B., Fannie Barnett, B. M. E. From Pennsylvania—"Little Marie," Laura B. W., Eddie H. K., "Spot," Charles H. C., Minnie and Florence M., Charles W. Lisk, Clarissa H. H. From New York—Frank H. Dodd, F. W. P., O. G. Boyle, V. O., Allie D. D., George K. MacN., W. E. Baker, Pauline G., Gus A. S., Bertie Reid, J. E. Hardenbergh, Nena Crommelin, Rosie Macdonald; Alonzo Stagg, New Jersey; Daisy B. H., Maine. From Rhode Island—Ella W., F. H. Vaughn, M. W. Dam, Annie Baker. From Connecticut—William H. H., "Golden." From Massachusetts—Ida G. Rust, E. A. Abbot, Frank M. Richards, E. Allen Cushing.
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PUZZLES FROM YOUNG CONTRIBUTORS.
My first is in good, but not in bad. My second is in funny, but not in sad. My third is in sit, but not in stand. My fourth is in tune, but not in band. My fifth is in pan, but not in pot. My sixth is in clear, but not in blot. My whole is a musical instrument.
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A consonant. A vegetable. A South African animal. Cunning. A vowel.
SPOT (twelve years).
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My first is in feel, but not in see. My second is in run, but not in flee. My third is in wasp, but not in bee. My fourth is in friend, but not in foe. My fifth is in seek, but not in go. My sixth is in flour, but not in dough. My seventh is in tin, but not in can. My eighth is in grain, and also in bran. My whole was the name of an eminent man.
E. S. C. (twelve years).
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I am composed of 19 letters. My 4, 9, 6 is a school-boy's game. My 14, 9, 8, 11, 13 is something most children like. My 17, 9, 18, 12 comes from the clouds. My 19, 15, 3, 1 is part of a church organ. My 2, 5, 4 is not cold. My 10, 16, 11 is a boy's name. My 13, 7, 9, 19, 15 is used in making bread. My whole is the name of an interesting story for children.
NELLIE B. (seven years).
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To seize. To regret. A tune. Close to. To endeavor. Answer—two great military commanders.
N. L. COLLAMER.
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First, a crack. Second, a rope. Third, soon. Fourth, departed.
N. L. COLLAMER.
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Answers to Puzzles in No. 11.
W A R. A D A. R A W.
N or A. E l L. W e B. A nn A. R u N. K e Y.
No, I thank you.
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.
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