* * * * *
VOL. I.—NO. 17. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, February 24, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
* * * * *
TRACKING A BURIED RIVER.
THE ADVENTURE OF TWO SAILOR BOYS.
"The sum of 3000 francs [$600] will be paid by the Scientific Association of Morlaix to any one who shall succeed in tracing the course of the Larve, and ascertaining whether it has any under-ground communication with the sea.
"FELIX DELAROCHE, President."
Such was the announcement which, posted in the quaint three-cornered market-place of the old French town of Longchamp, attracted a good many readers, and among the rest two lads in sailor costume, one of whom remarked to the other:
"What a holiday we'd have if we could earn it! eh, Pierre, my boy?"
"I should think so! But nobody will earn that reward very soon. Don't you remember how, a year ago, they widened the cleft into which the stream falls, and let down a man with a lantern, and how, before he'd gone thirty feet, he got bumped against a rock, and broke his lantern, and hurt himself so badly that he had to be hauled up again?"
"True; it's not a very likely job. Well, come along, and let's get the boat out."
Pierre Lebon, the younger of the two, was a lithe, olive-cheeked, merry little fellow, whose slim figure and jaunty black curls contrasted markedly with the burly frame and thick sandy hair of his chum, Jacques Vaudry. The latter ought rightly to have been called Jack Fordrey, for he was an English boy, born in Guernsey; but having been adopted by a Breton fisherman after his father's death, both he and his name had got considerably "Frenchified."
The two boys had to manage by themselves the boat of which they were joint owners, for old Simon Lebon, Pierre's real and Jack's adopted father, was now too aged and rheumatic to help them in their work, except by advising them when to start and where to go. But his advice was always good, for in his time he had been one of the best fishermen on the coast, and the lads were usually very successful.
On this particular day, however, their good luck seemed to have forsaken them, for, try as they might, they could catch nothing worth mentioning. Possibly they were thinking too little of their work, and too much of the reward offered by the Scientific Association; for three thousand francs would have been quite a fortune to them both. Moreover, the idea of tracking an under-ground river had a spice of romance and adventure about it which was the very thing to tempt them.
The little stream of the Larve had long been the acknowledged puzzle of the whole neighborhood. After skirting the town for some distance, it vanished into the earth through a narrow cleft, and was seen no more. Where it went to after that, no one could tell; and, as we have seen, the first attempt to find out had succeeded so badly that nobody felt much inclined for a second.
Tired out at length, the unsuccessful fishers went home, inwardly resolving to try whether they might not have better fortune by night than by day. Pierre, indeed, when the night came, began to have some doubts about the wisdom of the idea, having heard his father say once and again that it was a very dangerous thing to attempt at that season. But the hardest thing in the world for a boy to do is to draw back from anything simply because it is dangerous. Rather than let Jack think him afraid, Pierre would have gone to sea on a hen-coop; so they stole out of the cottage as noiselessly as possible, and away they went over the dim gray waste of sea, half lighted by the rising moon.
The "take" of fish was a very good one this time, and the boys began to think their night voyage a lucky idea; but they were rejoicing too soon. A little after midnight the sky began to cloud over and the sea to rise in a way which showed that there was a storm brewing. They put about at once, and made for the shore, but long before they reached it the storm burst upon them in all its fury.
In an instant the boat was half full of water, and it was all they could do to keep her from foundering outright, as they flew through the great white roaring waves, thumped and banged about from side to side, and drenched to the skin at every plunge by the flying gusts of spray. Pierre grasped the tiller in his half-numbed hands, while Jack held on with all his might to the "sheet" that steadied their little three-cornered sail, at which the wind tugged as if meaning to tear it away altogether.
The little craft held her own gallantly, and the young sailors began to hope that, after all, they might make the entrance of the bay without accident. But just then an unlucky shift of the wind tore the sail clean away, and the boat, falling off at once, was swept helplessly toward the formidable cliffs beyond.
"Not much chance for us now," said Jack, shaking his head. "Pierre, my boy, I'm sorry I've brought you into this mess; it's all my fault."
"Not a bit, old fellow. I ought to have warned you of what I'd heard my father say. However, if the worst comes to the worst, we can swim for it."
However, there seemed to be little hope, for not a foot of standing-room was to be seen on the rocky sides of the vast black precipice upon which they were driving headlong. All at once Jack shouted:
"Port your helm, Pierre—port! We'll do it yet."
His keen eye had detected a cleft in the rock, just wide enough for the boat to enter.
Pierre had barely time to obey, when there came a tremendous crash, and the boys found themselves floundering amid a welter of foam, nets, sand, dead fish, and broken timbers, in a deep dark hollow that looked like the mouth of a cave.
"There goes father's boat," sputtered Pierre, as soon as he could clear his mouth of the salt-water.
"And there go our fish," added Jack. "Here's that loaf that we put in the locker, though; and even wet bread's better than none, in a place like this. Now, then, let's be getting higher up, for the tide will be upon us here in no time."
But to get higher up was no easy matter. They were in utter darkness, and (as they had already found by groping about) on the brink of a chasm of unknown depth. The ledge upon which they had been cast was evidently very narrow, and almost as slippery as ice; and Jack, being encumbered with the loaf, and Pierre badly bruised against the rocks, they were not in the best condition for climbing.
But the roar of the next wave as it came bursting in, splashing them from head to foot where they sat, was a wonderful quickener to their movements, and away they scrambled through the pitchy blackness, clinging like limpets to the rough side of the cavern as they felt their feet slide upon the treacherous rocks, and thought of the unseen gulf below.
Onward, onward still, deeper and deeper into the heart of the cold, silent rock, fearing at every moment to feel their way barred by a solid wall, and find themselves cut off from escape, and doomed to be drowned by inches. But, no; the strange tunnel went on and on as if it would never end, their only consolation being that they were unmistakably tending upward, and already (as they calculated) beyond the reach of the flood-tide.
Suddenly Jack uttered a shout of joy:
"Hurrah, Pierre! here's one of the lantern candles in my inner pocket, and I know I've got my matches somewhere. We'll be able to see where we are at last, my boy!"
The matches (luckily still dry) were produced, the candle was lighted, and our heroes took a survey of their surroundings.
They were in a long narrow passage, rising to a considerable height overhead, and with another ledge on its opposite side, steeper and more broken than the one on which they were. In the centre lay the chasm already mentioned; but instead of the frightful depth which they had imagined, it was only six or seven feet deep at the most, and more than half full of water.
"There's our terrible precipice," laughed Jack, stooping over it. "I don't think that would hurt us much. But—holloa! I say, Pierre, this isn't sea-brine; it's fresh-water, running water! It's a stream that's tunnelled its way through the rock; and if we follow it far enough, we'll get out. Hurrah!"
"Hurrah!" echoed Pierre, brightening up. "We sha'n't run short of water, anyhow; and as for food, we may as well have a bite of that loaf before starting again."
The under-ground breakfast was soon finished, and the adventurous lads started once more.
But the pain of Pierre's bruises, which he had manfully concealed hitherto, began to master him at last. His tired limbs began to drag more and more heavily; his feet slipped again and again, and only the strong hand of his comrade saved him from more than one serious fall.
"Better sit down and rest a bit, old fellow," said Jack, kindly; "there's no hurry, for this candle will burn a long while yet. I know you won't own it, but you did get a nasty bump against that rock yonder."
"I fancy you're right there," answered Pierre, sinking wearily upon the ledge. "But we don't need the candle while we're sitting still, you know. Blow it out, and light it again when we start."
Jack did so, and they sat silent in the darkness. All at once Pierre heard his comrade call out,
"I say, don't you hear water falling somewhere?"
"To be sure I do," replied Pierre, after listening a moment. "We must be close to the place where this stream falls down into the tunnel, and now we'll have a chance of getting out at last. Bravo!"
Jack slapped his hands together, with a shout that made the cavern echo.
"I've got an idea, Pierre, my boy! What a fool I was not to think of it before! This stream that we've been following is the Larve, and we've got to the very place where it falls through the cleft. Now if we can only get out with whole bones, it's fifteen hundred francs apiece to us. Come along, quick!"
All Pierre's weariness was gone in a minute. Already, in his mind's eye, he saw his ailing father comfortably provided for, and Jack and himself standing out to sea in a brand-new boat. The instant the candle was lighted they were off again at a pace which would have seemed impossible a few minutes before.
Guided by the increasing din of the water-fall, they were not long in reaching a huge perpendicular funnel or chimney in the rock, down one side of which poured a stream of water, while through a cleft above, dazzlingly radiant after the darkness of the buried passage, came a bright gleam of sunshine. Just then a big stone, flung from above, came thundering down into the chasm, falling close to the feet of the two explorers.
"That's the boys at their fun," said Jack, laughing. "I've done it many a time myself. Above there—hoy!"
The only answer was a howl of terror and the sound of flying feet. Pierre, alarmed at the thought of being deserted, shouted in his turn,
"Help, comrades! help!"
"Who's that calling?" asked a gruff voice from above, while the light was obscured by a broad visage peering down into the hole.
"Holloa, Gaspard! is that you?" cried Pierre, recognizing the voice of one of his father's fisher cronies.
"What, Pierre Lebon! you down there? Well, who ever saw the like? Just wait a minute, while I run for a rope."
But before he could return there were already more than a hundred people gathered around the hole, for the news of a human voice having been heard out of the "Larve Chimney," as the chasm was called, had spread far and wide.
The water-fall on one side and the sharp rocks on the other made it no easy matter to draw the boys up safely. But at length they were dragged forth into the daylight, to be embraced and shouted over by the whole town, and to receive, a few days later, the praises of the entire Scientific Association, together with the three thousand francs which they had so bravely earned.
BY MRS. ZADEL B. GUSTAFSON.
Do you remember Biddy O'Dolan, the little rag-picker and ash girl who found Lily De Koven's broken doll in the ash-can that cold winter's morning? I have not forgotten my promise to tell you the rest about her.
Biddy had a boy-friend, a little Irish boy, who called himself "Chairlier-Shauzy." I suspect his name was Charley O'Shaughnessy. He was just as poor and alone in the world as Biddy, and almost always staid in the same cellar at night.
When Biddy ran off with her doll that cold morning, she not only thought of the hospital and the little girl who had there brought her the flowers, but she thought how she would tell Charley that night about her doll.
The first thing to be done was to get Dolly a dress, and this was the way Biddy managed it. She took an old knife and hacked out a piece of her skirt, then she pulled out of her dingy pocket a little wad. A wad of what? Pins. Pins that she had picked up on the street in the summer, when she swept the street crossings, and had stuck thick and "criss-cross" in a bit of woollen rag. With some of these pins Biddy fastened together the two sides of the cut in her skirt. Next she took the piece of cloth she had cut out, and punched her tough little forefinger through it in two places, and through one of these holes pushed the whole arm and through the other the broken arm of her doll, and pinned the cloth together in the back.
Thus Dolly was dressed, and nearly as well as Biddy, too. Biddy had been very quick about this, and had often looked over her shoulders to see who came in and out of the cellar.
You who do not live in a cellar, and do not get shoved about and slapped as Biddy did, can hardly imagine how glad she was that no one happened to take notice of her.
She hid Dolly under the straw where she was to sleep at night, and then hurried out to pick over as many more ash cans and barrels as she could, in hopes of finding something this time which would please Mrs. Brown, so that she could dare to show her doll, and perhaps be allowed to sit up and play with it a little.
Mrs. Brown was the cross old woman who kept the cellar, and the children on the street called her "Grumpy."
Biddy did not find anything in particular, and got fewer pennies than usual for errands and for showing people the way to places, so that old Mrs. Brown was very cross indeed, and Biddy went to bed without daring to pull Dolly out where she could see her. She lay awake, with her hand on it, waiting for Charley.
Charley was a newsboy, but he was not a lucky little boy. He had the large and beautiful deep blue eyes you may often see in the children of Irish immigrants. But he was weak in body, and very shy. He lived as Biddy did, among rough people, who were all the more rough because they were so poor and miserable. So he got knocked about a great deal, and stood no chance at all among other newsboys, who shoved him aside, and called their papers so loud that Charley's thin voice could not be heard. Some newsboys make money selling papers—make so much that they can start in other kinds of business for themselves, and get on very well in the world among other successful men. I have seen this kind of newsboy. They have bright, sharp, old-looking faces. They have wiry, strong bodies, good health, and seem to be afraid of nothing.
Charley wasn't this sort of boy at all. He got poked, and pushed, and cuffed, and tripped up, and laughed at. The girls called him "fraid-cat," because they thought he was a coward. The boys said he was just like a girl, and shouted, "Hallo, Polly!" when they saw him. Charley did not say much to all this. He went with his papers every day, and managed to sell a few; and, besides, he did errands quickly and well. In these ways he earned enough to pay for his straw in Mrs. Brown's cellar, and to buy enough to eat to keep life in him.
Charley's straw was next to Biddy's straw, and when he came in that night Biddy whispered to him all about her doll, telling him especially how one of its arms was broken off at the elbow. Charley put out his hand in the dark, and asked her to let him take the doll a moment. He felt it over carefully, and gave it back without saying anything. Biddy whispered a little more, and then they went to sleep.
One day Biddy happened to come in a little after noon. She was going right out again; but first she stooped, and felt under her straw—the doll was gone! Biddy sat down, quite faint for a moment; then she sprang to her feet, darted up the cellar steps, and around the corner where old Mrs. Brown sat behind her apple and candy stand. Biddy reached over and put both hands in the knot of gray hair in the old woman's neck, pulling as if she would carry her off, stand and all.
Biddy's face was pale, and her eyes were like white-hot coals, as she gasped out:
"Give it me! Give it me! I'll never leave go till ye give it me!"
"Howld an, an' lave go av me!" cried the old woman. She grasped Biddy's wrists, and drew them toward her to ease the strain on her hair; but Biddy's little fingers were strong. She tugged hard, and kept on gasping,
"I'll never, never leave go till ye give it me. Oh!"
Never had such an "Oh!" come from Biddy's lips before, and with the very sound of it she had torn herself away from Mrs. Brown, and had seized and almost knocked over little Charley, who had vainly been making signs at her as he came up behind Mrs. Brown.
Mrs. Brown rubbed her neck, smoothed down her apron, and jabbering fiercely, came panting up to the children. Biddy had let go of Charley, and was sitting right down on the cold pavement holding her doll, and looking with wild delight and wonder at its wooden arm, new from the elbow. Charley knew an old man who used to whittle out all sorts of things with his jackknife, and who seemed as ready to give away as to sell his work. Charley had taken Biddy's doll to this man, who had willingly and quite skillfully mended it. He was on his way back to get it hid under Biddy's straw for a surprise for her, when he found Biddy struggling with Mrs. Brown. Charley's plan was perfect. The trouble was that he couldn't plan for Biddy too, and she had spoiled everything without knowing it.
"How ever could ye git a new arm?" said Biddy. "It's a miracle."
"Be whisht wid yer mary-cles!" exclaimed old Mrs. Brown, snatching the doll, holding it high out of reach, and spreading out her other hand to keep Biddy off.
But Biddy did not spring at her this time. She stood up, and put her hands together, and twisted them till the knuckles were white, and she spoke as if there were cotton in her throat when she begged the old woman to give her the doll. She promised never to be a bad girl any more; to give every cent she could get to Mrs. Brown—every one; to do everything Mrs. Brown asked her to do; and she called her over and over again "good lady," and "dear lady."
Mrs. Brown kept on talking too fast to be understood. She was very angry, and slapped Biddy's cheeks, and pushed her toward the cellar. Biddy stumbled along as she was pushed, and kept on praying for her doll, and making every promise she could think of to the old woman. When they reached the cellar steps, Charley pulled Mrs. Brown's dress, showed her a bright new quarter dollar, and said she might have it if she would give up the doll to Biddy.
Mrs. Brown took the quarter, looked at it, rang it on the step, and then handed the doll to Biddy, telling her that she might have it that night, but that she must pay extra every day for what she called the "craythur's boord an' lodgin'."
This idea seemed to please Mrs. Brown very much, for she called it a great joke, and put her hands on her hips and laughed. Then she looked savage again, and said, she would keep the doll herself on nights when Biddy could not pay extra. She went off to her fruit stand, with her hands on her hips, laughing and muttering by turns. Biddy sat down with her doll. Now and then she looked at Charley and smiled, and seemed to be thinking very hard about something.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
NEW YORK PRISONS IN 1776-77.
Those who tread the floor of what was recently the Post-office, once the great Middle Dutch Church, and now a Brokers' Exchange, at the corner of Nassau Street and Cedar, can scarcely believe that it was once a military prison, that its walls re-echoed the groans and cries of sick and dying patriots, that a large part of Washington's army was once confined on the very spot where now the broker is calling his stocks and the photographer fitting his lenses. The fine church in 1776 was converted at once into a royal prison. Its pews were torn out, its interior defaced, but the walls are the same that shut in the unfortunate Americans, and their only shelter was the lofty roof that still rises among the haunts of trade. The ancient building is one of the most touching of the historical remains of the early city. The number of persons shut up at once within its precincts is variously estimated; one account gives 800, another 3000, as the probable limit. It is certain that they were crowded in with no care for comfort, no regard for health or ease; that one aim of the royal captors was to "break their spirit" by ill usage, and win them back to their loyalty by no gentle means.
As the motley train of prisoners came down to the city after the capture of Fort Washington, they were met by the royal officers with every mark of contempt and hate. They were stripped of their arms and uniforms, robbed of their money, insulted with rude taunts and even blows. War had not yet been robbed of some of its brutality by the slow rise of knowledge, and the British officers had not yet learned the politeness of freemen. A savage Hessian made his way up to Graydon, the young American officer, and threatened to kill him. "Young man," said to him a Scotch officer of more humanity, "you should never rebel against your king." The prisoners were taken before the British provost-marshal to be examined. "What is your rank?" said the officer to a sturdy little fellow from Connecticut, ragged and dirty, who seemed scarcely twenty. "I am a keppen," said he, in a resolute tone; and the British officers, clad in scarlet and gold, broke into shouts of laughter. It was not long before they were flying before the "keppens" of New Jersey and New York, glad to escape from the rabble they despised.
When they had been examined, plundered, ridiculed, the unlucky prisoners were divided into companies, and marched away to the different prisons of New York, that were for so many weary months to be their homes or their graves. Those who were confined in the Middle Dutch Church were probably the most fortunate of all; they had air and light; but two of the prisons are covered with some of the saddest memories of the war for freedom. One of them was a common jail in the Park, now the Hall of Records, and the other was the old Sugar-House in Liberty Street, next to the Middle Dutch Church. The jail was so crowded with the captured Americans that they had scarcely room to lie on the bare floor. The air was stifling, the rooms pestilential, full of filth and fever.
But the most painful circumstance of their lot was the character of the keeper. His name was Cunningham; he seems to have been a monster. Many years afterward he was executed in England for some hideous crime, and boasted that he had put arsenic in the flour he served to the prisoners. It was under this man—one of those horrible natures war often brings into use—that the young men of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey were to pass their miserable captivity. Soon even the English officials were forced to take notice of the horrors of the jail in the Park. The neighbors complained that they could get no sleep for the outcries and groans of the prisoners. Cunningham ruled over them with lash and sword. They were starved, reviled, beaten, "to win them," he said, "to their duty." The chill winter and the hot summer found them crowded in their pestilential prisons. The old Sugar-House in Liberty Street was also under Cunningham's care. It was a tall building, several stories high, with small windows, low ceilings, and bare walls. Every story was filled thickly with the captured Americans. They starved, pined away, died by hundreds. Cunningham withheld their food, and cheated even the miserable sick and dying. They froze to death in the chill winter of 1776-77. Sometimes the famished prisoners would come to the narrow windows of the old Sugar-House, crying for charity to those who passed, but the sentries drove them back. They pined away in the dark corners of the crowded rooms, dreaming of the old homestead in Connecticut, Thanksgiving cheer, and smiling friends. When they were brought out for exchange, Washington wrote indignantly to Sir Henry Clinton, "You give us only the sick and dying for our healthy, well-fed prisoners." Such were the sorrows our ancestors bore for us. They were the authors of our freedom. And he who treads the floors of the old Dutch Church, or seeks out the spot where stood the Sugar-House in Liberty Street, may well pause to think how much we owe to those who once pined within their walls. Such, too, is war. Modern intelligence has shorn it of some of its horrors. It may be hoped that education will at last banish it altogether, and the people of Europe and America join to force upon their governments a policy of peace.
ZACHUR WITH THE SACK.
A stately-looking man, wearing suspended on his left side by a strong strap a simple gray sack, while a well-filled leather purse hung on his right, was one day slowly wandering through the crowded bazar of Bagdad. He remained standing before one of the stalls, and then, after a little reflection, proceeded to purchase the largest and softest carpet there—one of those in which the foot seems gently to sink down, and the sound of each step is completely hushed.
The merchant was greatly surprised to see the richly dressed stranger without retinue, and said, politely, "Sir, as your slaves are not at hand, I will send one of my young men with you to carry the carpet."
"It is not necessary," said the purchaser, as he paid the price in shining gold pieces; "I can manage it myself."
He quickly took up the immense roll of carpet, and pushed it slowly but surely into his sack. Then, without heeding the amazement and shaking of the head of the dealer, he passed on.
His desire of purchasing seemed now to be thoroughly roused. Twelve flasks of otto of roses, from Schiraz, found their way into his sack; ten pounds of the finest Turkish tobacco followed them; then came, quite appropriately, a magnificent nargileh, with a long tube and a yellow amber mouth-piece, on the top of which he carelessly threw a heavy ebony box, inlaid with copper.
Notwithstanding the crowd, he attracted continual notice, and a dignified-looking man had long been following him attentively, without, however, addressing him. But when he had reached the middle of the bazar, where the best and most costly wares are exposed for sale, and when, as though intoxicated by the sight, he seized the most incongruous things, and untiringly pushed them into his sack—pearls from Ormuz and blades from Damascus, tons of Mocha coffee, and bales of silk, fishes and rings, bracelets and dates, watches, saddles, and diamonds—then the Caliph, for it was no less a personage who was following him, could contain himself no longer, and said:
"I have seen many wonders, O stranger, and by the beard of the Prophet, thou art not the least. Have, then, thy purse and thy sack no end? Why does thy sack not burst? How canst thou carry it? How canst thou find but one of the thousand things which thou art unceasingly cramming into it? And tell me, how will those poor tender pearls, which were too dear for me to buy for Zuleika, fare among tons and crates?"
Zachur—such was the name of the stranger—crossed his arms on his breast, and bowed low.
"Ruler of the Faithful," he said—"for it is in vain that thou hidest thy noble figure under a homely dress; thy portrait, painted by a Giaour, and offered to me in Frankestan, is also in my sack, and I recognize thee at once—Allah is great, and His gifts are wonderful. Thou carest for the lovely daughters of the shell? Look here!"
He quickly put his right hand into the sack, and brought forth unhurt, from the very midst of sabres and boxes, the double row of large milk-white pearls, which he respectfully presented to the Caliph.
The Caliph was astonished at Zachur's riches and dexterity, rejoiced at his present, and was curious to learn more concerning him.
"Then we will sit down there, on the broad stone steps at the foot of the murmuring fountain," said Zachur; and in a minute he had spread out his soft carpet, and lighted two nargilehs filled with the costly aromatic herb.
They sat down, with their legs crossed under them, peacefully sent little blue clouds into the air, and the stranger began his tale:
"I am the son of a poor man, O sire, and seemed doomed to poverty. But there stood a good fairy by my cradle, and laid on it this bag and this purse, saying:
"'Grow up, Zachur, and look around thee, in the world. Buy what pleases thee. Pay for it out of this purse, which will not become empty, and preserve it in this sack, which will not become full; but especially pack in all that is valuable—the weight of it will not weary thee.'
"It has held more than she promised. All that I have ever possessed or loved is contained, imperishable, safe forever, and always at hand, in this sack."
"Wonderful, highly singular, and wonderful!" said the Caliph. "But tell me more, friend."
"Details would take too long to relate, but the whole is soon said," answered Zachur. "Thou wast surprised to-day at my rapidity in purchasing—thou shouldst have seen me in my young days! When the world still looked sunny and bright to my childish gaze, when thousands of objects attracted me, my hand was rarely out of my purse and my sack. I took long journeys over sea and desert, through lonely villages and large cities, and whatever pleased me I bought, and joyfully put into my capacious sack. Indeed, it filled itself, without aid from me; shining green birds and brilliant snow-white blossoms flew into it.
"The first impetuous joy was, however, soon stilled. Sometimes a feeling of indifference came over me, and I passed unmoved by the most beautiful things, because I already possessed so much that was lovely. 'Another opportunity will occur,' I thought, 'if I should ever wish for it.' But it never came, just as no moment of time ever returns; and now I mourn over many a neglected chance.
"Then, again, I comfort myself with the thought of how many things I possess, and take old and new out of my sack, according to my inclination—a quilted silk counterpane from Japan in which to envelop myself, or the Egyptian phoenix to lull me to sleep.
"Besides, the world is still large, and Zachur is not old yet. I have still time to buy; and sometimes the old longing is very strong within me. Thus to-day, O sire, when I entered thy city, I gave praise to Allah that He had enabled man to form, out of the dirty wool of the sheep, the brilliant carpet on which we are sitting, and caused the fragile amber now between our lips to rise up from the sand of the sea—that He brought the gold from the bowels of the earth, and the pearls from the depths of the sea! And eagerly I seized the things, O sire, until the eye of thy favor rested on me, and the blessed breath of thy mouth reached me, and gave me what can not be purchased with gold and silver—the honor and delight of thy presence!"
"Well spoken!" said the Caliph, delighted, as he blew a thick cloud before him; "it is easy to see that thou hast travelled, and been in courts too, friend Zachur. But one thing, before I again forget it in my amazement. The Prophet, praised be his name! has forbidden to make a likeness or picture of man, the image of Allah. But as thou possessest mine, done by some unbelieving dog—I can not conceive how he found time and opportunity to do it—"
"They paint rapidly," interrupted Zachur; "and are quick in all evil arts."
"True, very true. I should like to look at the thing. The people need know nothing about it. Couldst thou not take it out for me to have just one glimpse of it?"
"Thy wish is a command to me," answered Zachur, who was already fumbling in the sack, but for some time in vain.
"Well," called the Caliph, getting angry, "art thou sorry that thou hast promised? Or—"
"Here it is, O sire," said Zachur, breathing freely; and the anger of the ruler disappeared as he gazed with curiosity on a small silver medal.
"It is I, and yet it is not," he said, shaking his head. "It is my fez, with the ruby clasp, and the embroidery on my state dress; but I do not really look so stiff. Where are the brown cheeks, the brightness of the eyes, the coloring, friend? And—what do I see?—the thing is broken; look here! there is a crack across it that separates the feet of my horse from his body. Therefore thou canst not keep all thy things unhurt in that sack—thou canst not find them all in a minute: confess thou hast also lost some entirely."
"I am the son of a poor man," answered Zachur, blushing, "but I learned two things when only a boy: to use a sword, and to speak the truth. Yes, I have lost many a thing; and when I was boasting just now that I had everything in my sack, I was guilty of exaggeration, as men of limited capacity are, in the use of the two words everything and nothing. I should have said most things."
At this moment appeared two outriders on swift Arab steeds, and behind them came a gilt carriage, drawn by four Barbary horses. At sight of them Zachur sprang to his feet.
Without for a moment losing sight of the approaching procession seeing the Caliph rise too, he quickly pushed his carpet and nargileh into his sack, and exclaimed, with sparkling eyes, "To whom does this magnificence belong? Though how can I ask? for who but thou, O sire, could call such splendor his own?
"How beautifully the Nubian in his purple contrasts with the gray horse, and the pale Christian slave in the blue silk with the shining black steed! If only thou wert a merchant with this equipage for sale!"
"Princes do not barter," said the Caliph, as he put a little silver whistle to his mouth, and blew a shrill blast, when horses and carriage suddenly stood still by the side of the fountain.
"But thou hast made me a handsome present, friend Zachur, and what is more, given me a pleasant hour. Take what thou praisest so enthusiastically; be my guest to-day, and to-morrow, or when it pleases thee, drive away into the wide world in this carriage—it must be weary work dragging such a sack."
Zachur crossed his arms on his breast, bowed low, and answered: "Thy favor is like dew on a barren land, even for the richest, and if I had not promised a sick friend to be with him this evening, I would willingly enter within the shadow of thy halls. Therefore let me go in peace; but these beautifully kept horses and carriage shall not go through the dust of the suburbs."
Saying this, he quietly pushed the Nubian with his gray steed, the black horse and his rider, the carriage and horses, into the sack, bowed down to the ground again, and then stepped lightly and erect toward the city gate.
The Caliph shook his head as he looked after him, went home full of thought, and hung the double row of pearls round Zuleika's neck.
Then he sent for his private secretary and said:
"Take a swan quill and a sheet of the finest parchment, and write down carefully what I shall dictate: the story of Zachur with the Sack."
* * * * *
Many of our young readers have doubtless long since seen the meaning of this tale shine forth through its thin veil. We should all be surprised at a Zachur, and yet, like him, we have each a faithful capacious sack—memory—into which, from our youth upward, we have crammed what is noble and common, pearls and pebbles, and yet it does not become full, nor our purse—our power of comprehension—empty.
Who warms his slippers for papa When he comes home at night? Who meets him with a joyous laugh, And blue eyes beaming bright? Who climbs upon his ready knee, With kisses sweet as kiss can be?— Our Kitty.
Who teases poor old grandmamma, And pulls her work away, And with her gold-rimmed spectacles Too often tries to play? Who's full of mischief, sport, and fun, From early morn till day is done?— Our Kitty.
Whose little arms "hug mamma tight"? Whose lips give kisses sweet? Who follows nurse about the house With little restless feet? Who sings to Dolly, scolds her, too, And tries to act as "big folks" do?— Our Kitty.
Who, bent on mischief, truth to say, Like any little elf, Within the pantry hides to taste The "goodies" on the shelf? Who bothers cook, where'er she goes, And makes her scold, you may suppose?— Our Kitty.
But lest our Kitty chance to get More than her share of blame For mischief, I'll explain there is Some difference in the name: One Kitty is our child, you see; The other, Kitty's c-a-t!
A PEEP INTO ROYAL TREASURIES.
The Hasne, or imperial treasury, of Constantinople, contains a costly collection of ancient armor and coats of mail worn by the Sultans. The most remarkable is that of Sultan Murad II., the conqueror of Bagdad. The head-piece of this suit is of gold and silver, almost covered with precious stones; the diadem surrounding the turban is composed of three emeralds of the purest water and large size, while the collar is formed of twenty-two large and magnificent diamonds.
In the same collection is a curious ornament, in the shape of an elephant, of massive gold, standing on a pedestal formed of enormous pearls placed side by side. There is also a table, thickly inlaid with Oriental topazes, presented by the Empress Catherine of Russia to the Vizier Baltadji Mustapha, together with a very remarkable collection of ancient costumes, trimmed with rare furs, and literally covered with precious stones. The divans and cushions, formerly in the throne-room of the Sultans, are gorgeous; the stuff of which the cushions are made is pure tissue of gold, without any mixture of silk whatever, and is embroidered with pearls, weighing about thirty-six hundred drachmas. Children's cradles of solid gold, inlaid with precious stones; vases of immense value in rock-crystal, gold, and silver, incrusted with rubies, emeralds, and diamonds; daggers, swords, and shields, beautifully wrought and richly jewelled—all tell a story of ancient grandeur and wealth, when the Ottoman power was a reality, and Western Europe trembled before the descendant of the son of Amurath.
Notwithstanding these jewelled riches of Turkey, however, they are surpassed by the splendor of the Shah of Persia's treasury, the contents of which have accumulated in successive periods.
Nadir Shah of Persia, in the first half of the eighteenth century, amassed enormous riches by the spoils of war. He is said to have had a tent made so magnificent and costly as to appear almost fabulous. The outside was covered with fine scarlet broadcloth, the lining was of violet-colored satin, on which were representations of all the birds and beasts in the creation, with trees and flowers; the whole made of pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, amethysts, and other precious stones; and the tent poles were decorated in like manner. On both sides of the peacock throne was a screen, on which were the figures of two angels in precious stones.
This splendid tent was displayed on all festivals in the public hall at Herat during the remainder of Nadir Shah's reign.
It would be impossible to describe in a short article the splendor of the Persian treasury. One extraordinary object may be mentioned: a two-foot globe covered with jewels from the north pole to the extremities of the tripod on which the gemmed sphere is placed. His Majesty had coats embroidered with diamonds and emeralds, rubies, pearls, and garnets; he had jewelled swords and daggers without number; so because he did not know what else to do with the rest of his jewels, he ordered the globe to be constructed, and covered with gems; the overspreading sea to be of emeralds, and the kingdoms of the world to be distinguished by jewels of different color.
The great goshawk, a bird in a coat of blackish-brown covered with blotches of black and reddish-white, is a terrible enemy to wild rabbits, hares, and squirrels, and to all the small feathered inhabitants of field and forest. It is about two feet long, and although it is not a bird of very rapid flight, its cunning and strength are such that its prey rarely escapes. Should the terrified hare hide itself in some thicket, the goshawk patiently perches on an elevated branch near at hand, where it will wait hours, motionless, until the poor hare, thinking its enemy departed, ventures from its retreat, when in an instant it is swooped down upon, and struck dying to the ground.
Goshawks are found in the Middle and Western States during the autumn and winter. In the summer they go far to the northward to rear their young. They build a large nest of twigs and coarse grasses on some lofty branch of a tree, and lay three or four eggs of dull bluish-white slightly spotted with reddish-brown.
These savage birds are very common in Maine, where they make great havoc among the flocks of wild-ducks and Canada grouse, and will even, when driven by hunger, venture an attack on the fowls of the farm-yard. Its sharp eye always gleaming and on the alert, the goshawk sweeps over fields and woods, changing its course in an instant by a slight movement of its rudder-like tail whenever any desired prey is sighted. It is the most restless of birds, and is almost constantly on the wing, seldom alighting except for breakfast and dinner.
Audubon relates a curious instance of sagacity in a goshawk, which he himself witnessed. A large flock of blackbirds flying over a pond were pursued by one of these birds, which, dashing into the flock, seized one after the other of the poor little victims, apparently squeezing each one with its powerful talons, and then allowing it to drop on the surface of the water. Five or six had been captured before the fleeing blackbirds gained the shelter of a thick forest. The goshawk then swept leisurely back, and with graceful curves descended to the pond and collected its victims, taking the dead birds one by one and carrying them away as if laying up a store for its evening meal.
Instances have been known where this bird has itself fallen a victim to its own designs. Dead goshawks have been found with their talons hopelessly entangled in thorn and furze bushes, upon which they had pounced with the object of seizing some little rabbit or squirrel which had sought shelter beneath the undergrowth. A hunter once witnessed such an occurrence, the rabbit scampering away in safety across the field, while the great bird remained entangled in the bush. The hunter forbore to shoot at the little rabbit which had made so fortunate an escape, and killed the wicked bird of prey instead.
Goshawks are found in nearly every portion of Europe, and have sometimes been trained to assist in hunting; but as they are more ferocious than the falcon, they are less easily controlled, and are always on the watch to regain their liberty.
A smaller variety of the great hawk family, but one spreading equal terror among small birds, is the sparrow-hawk—a bold, provoking bird, with dark brown back and wings, and breast of rusty brown or grayish-white crossed by narrow bars of a darker tint. The sparrow-hawk feeds mostly upon small birds, but it will also catch moles, field-mice, and even grasshoppers. It flies low, skimming along but a few feet from the ground, its sharp little eyes always on the watch for prey.
When tamed, the sparrow-hawk becomes affectionate toward its owner, but will rarely accept civilities from any other person. One of these birds, which had been tamed by a lady, was accustomed to perch on the shoulder of its mistress, and eat from her hand. It was intensely jealous, and would fly savagely at any one to whom its mistress showed the least favor. This particular pet proved as troublesome as a thieving cat, for was any fine fat chicken or partridge left lying on the kitchen table, if the cook's back was turned for a moment, the prize was either mangled or borne away to a hiding-place by the mischievous bird.
The sparrow-hawk is not a nest-builder, but will usurp the nest of the crow or some other large bird. If a deserted nest can be found, the sparrow-hawk will immediately take possession; but if no such presents itself, this bad-hearted, quarrelsome bird does not hesitate to depose the rightful owner, and proceed to occupy a home to which it has neither right nor title.
The sparrow-hawk, the malicious hen-hawk, and cruel pigeon-hawk, are very common throughout the United States and Europe.
UNCLE PHIL'S THIMBLE.
BY ELINOR ELLIOTT.
"That's just what I am," sighed a poor girl who stood at one of the long tables in the rag-room of a large paper-mill. Down each side the table stood a row of girls, some older, some younger, than herself, all miserably clothed, and all with worn, pinched faces.
These girls came each day to their work with an eager look in their eyes, which burned brightly in the morning, flickered fitfully through the day, and faded out at night, leaving the patient, tired look which want and hunger and disappointment bring, and which is always ready to take courage and look forward once more; for in a pile of rags there sometimes lay a treasure—an odd penny, an old knife, a pair of scissors—something that might be taken to the little pawn shop round the corner and sold.
A little while ago a girl—a lucky girl—had a "find," a bright silver quarter. Her good luck had been whispered up and down the row, but no one betrayed her fortune. When the overseer came through the room, no exultant look nor envious glance suggested anything unusual, for this band of "rag-pickers" had its honor, which it held to as closely as the most compact trades-union in the land.
To some of the girls the thought sometimes came, "Is what we find really ours?" but long generations of workers in the mill had appropriated these "finds," and it had become a custom if not a right.
To-day Nance, at the head of the table, felt a keener longing than usual to secure something. She had never felt the utter dreariness of her loneliness and poverty so strongly as she had in the last bright Christmas season, which had been to her only a vision; not the sweet reality that it becomes to us, who bring it close to us in happy anticipation weeks before it really comes, who live in its light and peace and cheer, in its sweet givings and receivings, and keep its memory with us throughout the year.
For a whole year Nance had been at work in the mill, and had had nothing but her regular five-cent salary. Now her long nervous fingers ran rapidly through the pieces, making four divisions, as she called; "Linen, cotton, woollen, silk—linen, cotton, woollen, silk," and the different bits dropped into their proper piles like falling leaves; while the girl on her right took the cottons, and assorted them, and the girl on her left went through the woollens in the same way, and a girl further on took the silks.
A stranger was always amused to watch the long rows of quiet bodies, nimble fingers, and moving lips, and to hear the half-whispered counting and calling of colors as they divided the pieces.
To-day Nance had a bag to pick from. Here lay her chance. The girls who took the rags from the bags were the most apt to find treasures, and their turn came only once a month.
She was fast nearing the bottom of the last bag. Every time she thrust her hand in, her heart beat fast, and she thought, "Shall I keep it, if I find anything?"
Once more, and her hand touches something cold; her fingers close round it, and she draws it out. Her head swims, she clutches the table with her other hand to keep from falling—perhaps, after all, it is only a button. She collects herself, and peeps slyly into her hand.
A gold thimble!
No one has seen it, no one knows, and Nance slips it into her pocket, and goes on with her work; but somehow it doesn't run smoothly. It is "Silk, cotton, woollen, linen," and then "Cotton, woollen, linen, silk," and the girls find fault because the piles are "mixed," and then the bell rings, and they are free for to-day.
Cautiously Nance makes inquiries about the "finds." How much did they sell things for, if they found any?
"My aunt," said one girl, "onst foun' a gol' ring, an' the jew'ler give her a dollar for 't."
"He melted it down," explained another. "They allus does that. He told me one day that if ever I found a gold breas'pin or a bracelet, 'which 'tain't noways likely you will,' sez he, 'fetch it to me, an' I'll give you what's right for it.'"
So Nance's "find" was really worth money. More money, too, than she could earn in many days' steady toil. What would it not buy! Food, clothing, warmth, everything, seemed within her reach now that she held that source of wealth in her hand.
"'Tain't stealin', I hope," thought Nance. "Course not. I don' know who it belongs to."
When alone, Nance took out the thimble. What a dainty little thing it was! She tried it on each of her hard, bony fingers, and laughed to see the poor grimy things wearing a golden crown.
Why, there were letters on it!
"Reel writin'!" cried Nance, as she paused under a street lamp to spell the word by its light.
"Onst I could read writin'. That first mus' be a capertin—that's what they call them big fellers that stands first—a kin' of a Gennyrel with his soljers. Oh! I don' know the capertins—never got acquainted when I went to school; common letters was good enough for me.
"That tall one, that's l, an' there's round o, then r, an' then i with a dot. L-o lo, r-i ri, lori; m, e, an' then another tall l on the end—that's m-e-l mel, lorimel. Now what's the capertin's name?—lorimel, lorimel; I've heerd that name some'eres. Why, it's her that came that day mother lay a-dyin' an' spoke so soft like; an' the gennelman with her he called her 'lorimel'—no that warn't it—Florimel, Florimel, that's the name!
"Tain't yourn now, Nance. You know where it belongs. You ain't got no right to it now."
And then came other thoughts.
"What's a gold thimble to her? She can buy all she wants—gold thimbles, and gold scissors, and gold needles; and sit in a gold chair, and sew on a gold gown. She hadn't no business leavin' a gold thimble in a rag bag. Them that's careless has to pay for it."
* * * * *
The curtains were drawn in an elegant house on the Avenue. A bright fire burned in the grate, throwing a warm glow on the delicate walls, the beautiful pictures, and the snowy marble statues, and reflecting itself in the long mirrors, seemed, as it sparkled and glowed, the only thing of life in the room; for the young girl who lay back in the luxurious depths of the large chair by the hearth, with her fair hands lying listlessly in her lap, was as white and motionless as the statues around her.
Now and then her lip quivered, and an occasional tear stole from under her long lashes, but she did not look up till a gentleman entered the room. Then she sprang into his arms, and sobbed out, in reply to his question of how she had spent the day,
"I've been perfectly miserable, papa. I've lost my thimble—the thimble Uncle Phil gave me. I'd give everything in the world to see it again."
"Why, my dear little girl, that would hardly be worth while, when you can get another for a few dollars. We'll go to-morrow and buy the prettiest—"
"Ah! papa, you don't understand. All the money in the world can't buy a thimble to take the place of the one Uncle Phil gave me. It was the last thing he ever bought."
"Was it, darling?"
"Yes; and he said that morning, 'Florimel, can you sew pretty well?' and I laughed, and said, 'Of course not, Uncle Phil; what's the need of my sewing?' 'Great need, great need, little niece,' he said. 'Sewing is woman's most womanly work, and though you may never need to sew for yourself, if you knew how, you might teach hundreds of poor girls to sew and clothe themselves and their families.'"
"My little daughter teaching a sewing-school! How funny it would be!"
"So that afternoon we went into Shreve's and selected one, and had my name engraved on it; and that night Uncle Phil was taken ill. So of course I feel badly, papa; don't you see why?"
"Yes, Florimel; but perhaps we shall find this thimble. Have you had Janet search for it?"
"Indeed I have, all day long. I had it yesterday at work on my Kensington, and think Janet must have taken it up among the bits of worsted when she put them into the scrap bag; and Ann sold all the scraps last night to the ragman. Oh dear! I shall never see it again."
"Hif you please, sir," said Jacobs, appearing in the doorway, "there's a vagrant at the basement door. Three times hi've sent 'er away, han' three times she 'as returned, hevery time hasking for Miss Florimel, han' sayin' she must see 'er."
"To see me? At the basement door? How strange!" and Florimel forgot her tears in her eagerness to see what the poor child at the door could want.
Her papa hurried down stairs after her, and saw her face radiant with joy as she held in her hand a gold thimble, while a scantily clothed girl stood beside her awkwardly twisting the corner of her shabby shawl.
"Oh, papa! this girl Nancy found my thimble among some rags, and brought it back to me. Oh, what can I do for her, papa?"
"How did you know whose the thimble was, my child?"
"I warn't sure, sir," faltered Nance, whose honor had outweighed her longing for money and the comfort it would bring, and had brought her through the long city to seek the rightful owner of the thimble—"I warn't sure; but I knew her name, for herself an' a gennelman came onst to see mother long ago."
"That was Uncle Phil," said Florimel. "He used often to take me when he went to visit the poor. But how did you know where I lived?"'
"I knew the house, 'cause he told me to come here onst for some soup for mother, an' I came an' got it."
"How is your mother now?"
"She's dead, miss," sobbed Nance.
"And so is Uncle Phil;" and the two girls—the one so fair and beautiful and carefully guarded, the other so pale and pinched and friendless—forgot for a moment all but their sorrow, their longing for the dear dead faces they could never see again.
But Florimel's papa called Janet to see that Nancy was warmed and fed after her long cold walk, and took Florimel into the library to see what they really could do for this poor but honest girl.
Florimel at first insisted upon having her for her own little maid, but her papa convinced her that Nancy was too ignorant for such a position; and they finally decided that the best thing to do for her would be to give her a good home, where she could learn to do all kinds of nice work, and could also go to school.
"Why, papa, I know the very place for Nancy. Nurse Susan lives all alone, now her niece has gone out to service, and Nancy could live with her."
"That is a very bright thought, little daughter. It would be a comfort to Susan to have a young girl with her, and the money we should pay for Nancy's board would lighten her expenses. Let us send now for Nancy, and see if she likes the idea."
Did Nance like the idea?
Did she like to think she need never go back to the bustling, dusty mill; that she need not go again to that miserable tenement-house which she called home, where she shared one tiny room with seven other girls; that she need not know again what it was to battle with hunger and cold? Did she like to feel that she should have a home in the sweet fresh country; that her work should be in a garden, in a dairy, in a neat little cottage; that clothing, food, and the learning to be a good woman would lie within her reach?
LIFE ON BOARD A TRAINING-SHIP.
Training-ships, on board which boys are taught to become first-rate seamen, form an important portion of every navy; and in the accompanying sketches our artist has endeavored to convey correct ideas of the daily life of these boys to those of our readers who live far inland, are not familiar with ships and sailors, and who perhaps have never seen the sea.
The first sketch is one showing the boys undergoing a part of their sail drill, and engaged in furling the mizzen top-gallant-sail and royal. The sails of a man-of-war are furled and stowed with the utmost care and precision, so that the ends of the yard look exactly alike, and sometimes the boys have to do their work over and over again before the critical eye of the officer watching them is satisfied. In storms, when the great ship rolls so that the yard-arms sometimes touch the water, lying out on them and furling sails is very difficult and dangerous work, and it is only on account of the constant drill they have received during fair weather that the boys are able to accomplish the task under these circumstances.
Above all things, on these training-ships the boys are obliged to keep themselves neat and clean. They are expected to bathe frequently, and are always compelled to do so on Sunday. The bath-room, provided with tubs, basins, and a plentiful supply of water, is located in the bows, in the extreme forward part of the ship.
Generally amidships, but sometimes in the stern of the ship, is the school-room; for sailor boys have other things to learn besides the practical sailing of a ship. In this school-room the young sailors spend four or five hours of each day, and are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, history, geography, and grammar.
At noon, or eight bells, as they say on shipboard, the bugles sound the dinner call, and from all parts of the ship the boys tumble down the hatchways to the berth-deck, where is a long row of short tables swung from the ceiling, and where the young sailors eat the bountiful dinner provided for them as only healthy, hearty boys can eat.
The fourth or lowest deck of the ship is called the "orlop deck," and it is here that the boys stow away their muskets and cutlasses after drill. On this deck also the boys receive at four bells, or six o'clock in the evening, the allowance of bread and molasses, or treacle, that composes their regular supper.
Next to the sail drill, perhaps the most important is the gun drill, or practice with the heavy guns. This gun drill is not important merely because the guns are to be used in case of a fight, but because they are also used in the firing of salutes. These salutes must be fired whenever another man-of-war comes into port or a distinguished officer comes on board, on national holidays, and at many other times; therefore it is very important that the boys should be familiar with the great guns. Each gun has its crew, each one of whom has an especial duty to perform. The long cord that the boy in the last picture holds in his hand is called a lanyard; and as he pulls it with a smart jerk, a hammer falls on the breech of the gun, and with a roar that shakes the ship, the great gun is fired.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.
I am twelve years old, and go to the Lincoln School. It is so called because it has a statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of it. It was built in 1864, has over twelve hundred pupils enrolled, and I think it is the best school in the city. I have been making vases out of Farallon eggs to send East to my cousins. The eggs come from the Farallon Islands, twenty-one miles outside of the Golden Gate. They are of a blue color, and have marks on them that look like hieroglyphics. The birds that lay them are a species of gull. I was born in San Francisco, and have lived here most of my life. Four years I spent up in the mountains on a farm, or ranch, as they call it here.
CHARLES W. S.
Farallon, the name of these islands near the entrance to San Francisco Bay, is a Spanish word signifying a small pointed islet in the ocean. The islands, of which there are six, are so called because they consist of rugged towering peaks of granite! A more desolate place could not well be imagined. There is nearly always a fierce wind blowing, and the waves dash wildly into the numerous spouting caves along the rocky coast. There is a light-house here three hundred and sixty feet above the sea, and its keepers are the only human inhabitants of the desolate sea-bound rock; but thousands of sea-lions congregate upon the cliffs, and vast numbers of gulls and wild rabbits make their home there. During the egging season men visit the islands, and gather thousands of eggs for the San Francisco market. A very interesting account of these islands, is given in Mr. Nordhoff's book on Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands.
* * * * *
FORT ASSINIBOINE, MONTANA TERRITORY.
I am always glad to see YOUNG PEOPLE come with papa's mail. Out here in the wilderness we do not often see nice papers; but then we see what city people never see—plenty of Indians. Many of them are very poor, and so hungry that they pick bread and scraps of meat out of the swill barrels to eat—old stuff that the soldiers have thrown away. I think people should send the poor Indians something to eat. I send you a picture of some Indians as they look hunting for food this cold day. I am only nine years old, and can not draw very good pictures.
* * * * *
I have a canary, which is the only live pet I ever had. It was eight months old the 17th of February. I plant canary-seed, and let it grow until it is about two inches high, and then I give it to my canary. It likes to eat it very much.
LOUIE E. WARE.
* * * * *
I live way off in Washington Territory, and thought I would tell you something about this distant country. We live near the Simcoe Mountains. They are covered with evergreen pines. We can see the snow-capped mountains every day in the year—Mounts Jefferson, Hood, St. Helen's, and Adams. It snows here sometimes in winter, but the wind comes up from the sea, and takes it away in a few days. I do not live near any school, but I study and recite my lessons at home. Six miles away, at the new town of Goldendale, there is an academy, and they are teaching in it now. I am ten years old, and was born in this country. Sometimes troops of Indians come riding past on their spotted ponies. They bring salmon from the Columbia River, huckleberries from the mountains, and now and then ponies to sell. I am very fond of reading, and am delighted with YOUNG PEOPLE. I read every word in it.
* * * * *
I am a little girl eight years old. I take YOUNG PEOPLE, and like it very much. I have a doll named Laura Martin. I live on a cotton plantation on the Arkansas River, and I can stand on the front gallery of our house and see all the boats that pass. We have never been to school, and we have no governess now, so mamma has to teach us. We have a great many pecan-nut trees here, and there is a pond near our house with a boat on it, and my sister and I row sometimes.
CYNTHIA R. SMITH.
* * * * *
UTICA, NEW YORK.
I am six years old. My birthday was the 18th of January, and mamma gave me a little party. We had a nice time, and sat down to tea all by ourselves, without any grown people. I have two birdies; they will put their little heads clear out of the cage, and take seeds from my mouth. Sometimes they nip my tongue, and one birdie will fly out right into the cup I keep seed in. I taught them to eat in that way by not letting them have anything until they would take it.
BESSIE L. CARTER.
* * * * *
Papa brought me the numbers of YOUNG PEOPLE a few days ago. I had been waiting anxiously for them, and I was so delighted when he gave them to me. I have known all about Harpers' publications for a long time. Mamma says that papa took HARPER'S MAGAZINE long ago, before the war. I like the stories, letter-box, and puzzles in YOUNG PEOPLE very much, and I have succeeded in getting answers to some of the puzzles. My pets are cats and dogs, and I would like to get a parrot. Alabama was my native place, but now I live in Maryland.
LIDIE B. DUKE.
* * * * *
I thought you might like to know about "Dr. Pruitt's boys," so I concluded to write you a letter. I am Will, aged twelve; then there are Fred, Edward, and Charley. Papa takes HARPER'S MONTHLY, and mamma takes the BAZAR, and when YOUNG PEOPLE was advertised papa proposed that each of us give something and take that too. We four boys earned just one hundred dollars picking cotton last fall, so we all contributed. We like the paper very much, and watch for its coming; and we read everything in it.
WILL E. PRUITT.
* * * * *
GRAND ISLAND, NEBRASKA.
I am ten years old. My uncle takes YOUNG PEOPLE for me, and I can hardly wait until it comes. I have got the elephant on his four legs, and he looks well. I have a little prairie-dog named Jenny. It lives in a hole in the yard, where I think it must have a good nest, for I gave it lots of rags last fall to put in the hole. It comes to the house almost every day to get something to eat, and seems glad to see us. I have also a little dog named Frisk, only I sold one-half interest in him yesterday for twenty-five cents to a doctor who lives next door. He wanted him for his baby to play with. Can you tell me what kind of a place a junk-shop is?
HARRY K. HEFFLEMAN.
A junk-shop is where old ropes, old anchors, old iron, and cast-off odds and ends of all kinds are kept for sale. There are many such shops to be found in every large city, and if it is a seaport, they are generally located near the waterfront, as a vast quantity of such rubbish is picked up along the wharves. In New York city junk dealers drive wagons round the streets, and buy old stoves or any worn-out household goods.
* * * * *
I found in mamma's front yard, near a brick wall, a little pansy, which I send you. It bloomed out the 29th of January.
SARAH F. S.
It was fortunate for the little pansy that it was picked and pressed, for Katie Black writes, also from Arkansas: "There was a very pretty snow-storm here on the 2d of February. It began in the morning, and snowed all day."
* * * * *
WARD A. P.—Your puzzle is neatly done, but as we have already published one having the same solution, we can not use it.
* * * * *
WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA.
Can you tell me what five words in the English language end in "cion"?
S. R. W.
Can any correspondent answer this question?
* * * * *
J. R. B.—Jupiter will be evening star until March 15, morning star until October 6. Mars will be evening star until October 25. Saturn will be evening star until April 7, morning star until October 18. Venus will be morning star until July 13, evening star the rest of the year.
* * * * *
KATE.—You may write us any interesting things you know about prairie-dogs in Kansas.
* * * * *
"JONATHAN."—You will find brief accounts of the ancient Roman road-builders in any history of Rome, also in Appleton's Encyclopedia under "Roads." Lempriere's Classical Dictionary also contains much information, especially of the Appia Via.
* * * * *
MAE W. T.—"The Youthful Philomathesians" would be a pretty name for your literary society. Philomathesian is a Greek word signifying loving to learn, or lover of knowledge.
* * * * *
WALTER S. DODGE.—The picture on the first page of YOUNG PEOPLE No. 14 is a fac-simile of a pencil drawing reproduced by a photographic process.
* * * * *
Very neat "Wiggles" are received from R. V. R., Hattie Strong, and F. B. Myers, which we regret being unable to publish.
* * * * *
LOUISE S.—You write so prettily that we are sorry your enigma is not good enough to print. Do not be discouraged. Try again, and the next time see if you can not make rhymes.
* * * * *
JOHN F. S.—Persevere with your locomotive-engine drawing, and some day you may be able to put it to good use. Engines and machinery of all kinds are good things for a boy to become familiar with, and if you are really fond of them cultivate your inclination all you can.
* * * * *
Netta Franklin, Freddie C., Emma S., Pussy K., and Robbie V. R. are very youthful correspondents who favor us with letters printed with remarkable neatness. May R. also writes a very legible "Wiggle." When you learn to print, little girl, write again.
* * * * *
Acknowledgments for favors are due to C. Fannie Anderson, William F. B., John T. I., Perceval Hill, Frank Yarington, Angie T. Tenny, Florence G., Istalina Beach, George P. R., Orie Maude, Albert A., Mary Buchanan, Jennie E. Anderson, Myrtle Gilman, Alice M. S., Minta Holman, Mary F. W., Walter Jennings, Locke S., Sue Dawson, Ida S., Annie Black, Freddie L., Minnie Parker, Della L. Grimshaw, Bert Wellman, Eliza E. Crowell, Clarence C. Culver, Ada R., Ida M. C., Mary Landon S., Arthur D. Miller, Eddie Carnes, Bertha B. H., Daisy J. M., Katie Bouck, W. C. B.
* * * * *
Correct answers to puzzles received from Effie K. T., P. S. Heffleman, C. F. Langdon, Louise Swift, Maude K. Smith, E. and M. D., Florence Schaffenburg, H. M. H., J. H. Merrick, Harry E. Sears, Lewis K. Davis, M. Barton, P. Karberg, "the Boys, Bessie, Mamma, and I," Katie W., Harry S., Pussy Kellogg.
* * * * *
ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN NO. 14.
The following solution to "A Latin Word Square," on page 155, is from a correspondent in Pennsylvania:
R O M A O L I M M I L O A M O R
The square is made of magic spells That speak of Horace and of Homer; The third the glory that was Greece, The first the grandeur that was Roma.
Tales of eating and of drinking, And of falling roofs upholden, Call up Milo; Milo backward murmurs Olim, These, all these, were in the olden Time long ago.
Lo! in yon brilliant window niche My fourth—how statue-like he stands! His bow and arrow in his hands, Ah, Amor, from the regions which Are Holy Lands.
* * * * *
Answer to "Throwing Light," on page 168—"Draught, draft."
* * * * *
We have received numerous answers to the Puzzle Picture on page 168, which are correct with the exception that more beasts are there than any one has yet discovered. A great many little folks have found seven. Only one has found eight. There are nine concealed in the picture, and we give one more week in which to hunt for them before publishing the answer.
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at the following rates—payable in advance, postage free:
SINGLE COPIES $0.04 ONE SUBSCRIPTION, one year 1.50 FIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS, one year 7.00
Subscriptions may begin with any Number. When no time is specified, it will be understood that the subscriber desires to commence with the Number issued after the receipt of order.
Remittances should be made by POST-OFFICE MONEY ORDER or DRAFT, to avoid risk of loss.
The extent and character of the circulation of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will render it a first-class medium for advertising. A limited number of approved advertisements will be inserted on two inside pages at 75 cents per line.
Address HARPER & BROTHERS, Franklin Square, N. Y.
Send one, two, three, or five dollars for a sample box, by express, of the best Candies in America, put up elegantly and strictly pure. Refers to all Chicago. Address
C. F. GUNTHER, Confectioner, 78 MADISON STREET, CHICAGO.
Square 4to, about 300 pages each, beautifully printed on Tinted Paper, embellished with many Illustrations, bound in Cloth, $1.50 per volume.
The Children's Picture-Book of Sagacity of Animals.
With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Bible Picture-Book.
With Eighty Illustrations, from Designs by STEINLE, OVERBECK, VEIT, SCHNORR, &c.
The Children's Picture Fable-Book.
Containing One Hundred and Sixty Fables. With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Picture-Book of Birds.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
The Children's Picture-Book of Quadrupeds and other Mammalia.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
Old Books for Young Readers.
* * * * *
Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
The Thousand and One Nights; or, The Arabian Nights' Entertainments. Translated and Arranged for Family Reading, with Explanatory Notes, by E. W. LANE. 600 Illustrations by Harvey. 2 vols., 12mo, Cloth, $3.50.
The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner. By DANIEL DEFOE. With a Biographical Account of Defoe. Illustrated by Adams. Complete Edition. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.
The Swiss Family Robinson.
The Swiss Family Robinson; or, Adventures of a Father and Mother and Four Sons on a Desert Island. Illustrated. 2 vols., 18mo, Cloth, $1.50.
The Swiss Family Robinson—Continued: being a Sequel to the Foregoing. 2 vols., 18mo, Cloth, $1.50.
Sandford and Merton.
The History of Sandford and Merton. By THOMAS DAY. 18mo, Half Bound, 75 cents.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
BOOKS FOR YOUNG MEN.
* * * * *
Character. By SAMUEL SMILES. 12mo, Cloth, $1.00.
It is, in design and execution, more like his "Self-Help" than any of his other works. Mr. Smiles always writes pleasantly, but he writes best when he is telling anecdotes, and using them to enforce a moral that he is too wise to preach about, although he is not afraid to state it plainly. By means of it "Self-Help" at once became a standard book, and "Character" is, in its way, quite as good as "Self-Help." It is a wonderful storehouse of anecdotes and biographical illustrations.—Examiner, London.
* * * * *
Self-Help; with Illustrations of Character, Conduct, and Perseverance. By SAMUEL SMILES. New Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 12mo, Cloth, $1.00.
The writings of Samuel Smiles are a valuable aid in the education of boys. His style seems to have been constructed entirely for their tastes; his topics are admirably selected, and his mode of communicating excellent lessons of enterprise, truth, and self-reliance might be called insidious and ensnaring if these words did not convey an idea which is only applicable to lessons of an opposite character and tendency taught in the same attractive style. The popularity of this book, "Self-Help," abroad has made it a powerful instrument of good, and many an English boy has risen from its perusal determined that his life will be moulded after that of some of those set before him in this volume. It was written for the youth of another country, but its wealth of instruction has been recognized by its translation into more than one European language, and it is not too much to predict for it a popularity among American boys.—N. Y. World.
* * * * *
Thrift. By SAMUEL SMILES. 12mo, Cloth, $1.00.
The mechanic, farmer, apprentice, clerk, merchant, and a large circle of readers outside of these classes will find in the volume a wide range of counsel and advice, presented in perspicuous language, and marked throughout by vigorous good sense; and who, while deriving from it useful lessons for the guidance of their personal affairs, will also he imbibing valuable instruction in an important branch of political economy. We wish it could be placed in the hands of all our youth—especially those who expect to be merchants, artisans, or farmers.—Christian Intelligencer, N. Y.
In this useful and sensible work, which should be in the hands of all classes of readers, especially of those whose means are slender, the author does for private economy what Smith and Ricardo and Bastiat have done for national economy. * * * The one step which separates civilization from savagery—which renders civilization possible—is labor done in excess of immediate necessity. * * * To inculcate this most necessary and most homely of all virtues, we have met with no better teacher than this book.—N. Y. World.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
THE FIRE-FLY GAME.
The game of fire-fly is very graceful and amusing for dull days or winter evenings in the house. Out of a piece of Bristol-board (an old playing-card will do) cut a figure in the shape of the annexed diagram. If you have water-colors, and can paint it brightly in red and green or red and yellow stripes, all the better. Lay it flat on the cover of a book so that part of one of the wings projects over the edge; hold the book at a slight angle, pointing toward the ceiling, and then with a pencil or pen-holder give the projecting wing a smart blow, so as to send it flying upward; it will go twirling through the air toward the ceiling, and then return twirling back to the neighborhood of your feet. The game consists in trying to catch it on the cover of the book when it comes back. If you succeed, it counts you ten points; if you fail, you allow the fly to lie where it has fallen. Your adversary now takes his turn, and if he fails to catch his fly, then you see which fly has fallen nearest to a certain line on the floor on which you have previously agreed, and the owner of the nearest fly scores five. Whoever first scores one hundred wins the game.
* * * * *
A School in Morocco.—If one, happening to be in the south of Spain some day, should run across the Straits of Gibraltar in a southwesterly direction, he would come to the ancient city of Tangier, in Morocco. Here he would see many curious sights, but none more picturesque than the schools for children, of which there are several. A row of tiny slippers at the door and a hum of childish voices inside prompt the passer-by to look in. He sees a room, empty of furniture, and lit only by the open door. The school-master, a veritable Moses in appearance, is squatted on his haunches in the centre, and around him squat his pupils. Each has his slate before him, and repeats his lesson with monotonous chant, keeping his body moving backward and forward as if he were rowing hard the whole time against stream. The school-master's whip is of sufficient length to reach every boy around him, and now and then, without rising from his seat, he touches one or other up in the same manner as the driver of a mail-coach takes a fly off his leader's ear. The imperturbable gravity of the master, and the comical looks and quaint attire of the boys, form a picture which could not be transferred to canvas.
THE CHICKEN PUZZLE.
Here is an orange. With four cuts of the scissors and the prick of a pin transform it into a chicken.
My first belongs to an ancient race; They say his pedigree he can trace To the time of the ark, and before; But this I know, though his family tree Be spread as wide as the sounding sea, He was not a companion of Noah.
My next in death plays a cruel part, And yet 'tis dear to a woman's heart, And sets her pulse beating high. Of all sizes and shapes, it can fly or bound; When most 'tis inflated it trails on the ground; When base, then it soars in the sky.
My whole is extracted from earth and from sea; Compounded with care, from obstacles free, 'Tis dear to the Yankee, I own. 'Tis famous in song, and famous in story, And yet 'tis indebted for most of its glory To the time when 'twas taken alone.