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Harper's Young People, February 3, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly
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VOL. I.—NO. 14. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.

Tuesday, February 3, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.

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THE HOUSE-SPARROW.

The English house-sparrow, a pert, daring little bird, which is seen in crowds in almost all cities of the Northern United States, was first brought to this country about twenty years ago. It is said the first specimens were liberated in Portland, Maine, where they immediately made themselves at home, and began nest-building and worm-catching as eagerly as when in their native air. Others were soon brought to New York city, and set free in the parks. At that time New York, Brooklyn, and other cities were suffering from a terrible visitor, the loathsome measuring-worm, which made its appearance just as the trees had become lovely with fresh spring green. It infested the streets in armies, hung in horrible webs and festoons from the branches of the shade trees, and ruined the beauty and comfort of the city during the pleasantest season of the whole year. About the first of July, when the worm finished its work, the trees appeared stripped and bare, as if scathed by fire, and a second budding resulted only in scanty foliage late in the season. A month after the worm disappeared, its moth—a small white creature, pretty enough except for its connections—fluttered by thousands through the city, depositing its eggs for the worm of another year. Desperate measures seemed necessary to stop this nuisance, and the question of cutting down all the trees was seriously considered. But relief was at hand. A gentleman, an Englishman, proposed an importation of sparrows, and soon hundreds of these brown-coated little fellows were set loose in different cities. They at once became public pets. Little houses were nailed up on trees and balconies for them to nest in, sidewalks and window-sills were covered with crumbs for their breakfast, and boys were forbidden to stone them or molest them in any way.

Now although the sparrow is very willing to feed on bread-crumbs and seeds, and save itself the trouble of hunting for its dinner, by a wise provision of nature the little ones, until they are fully fledged, can eat only worms and small flies and bugs. As the sparrows have three or four broods during the warm weather, they always have little ones to feed at the very season when worms and other insects destructive to vegetation are the most plentiful. An English naturalist states that in watching a pair of sparrows feeding their little ones, he saw them bring food to the nest from thirty to forty times every day, and each time from two to six caterpillars or worms were brought. It is easy to see from this estimate how quickly the tree worms would disappear, as proved to be the case in the cities where the sparrows were set free.

A very few years after they were introduced not a worm was to be seen. The trees now grow undisturbed in their leafy beauty all through the summer, and many children will scarcely remember the time when their mothers went about the streets where shade trees grew carrying open umbrellas in sunny days and starry evenings to protect themselves from the constantly dropping worms.

It is no wonder that every one is gratefully affectionate to the sparrow. They are very social little birds, and are entirely happy amid the noise and dirt and confusion of the crowded street. They are bold and saucy too, and will stand in the pathway pecking at some stray crust of bread until nearly run over, when they hop away, scolding furiously at being disturbed. They are fond of bathing, and after a rain may be seen in crowds fluttering and splashing in the pools of water in the street. The cold winter does not molest them. They continue as plump and jolly and independent as ever, and chirp and hop about as merrily on a snowy day as during summer.

In the New York city parks these little foreigners are carefully provided for. Prettily built rustic houses may be seen all over Central Park, put up for their especial accommodation. During the summer, when doors and windows are open, the sparrows hold high revels in the Central Park menagerie. They go fearlessly into the eagle's cage, bathe in his water dish, and make themselves very much at home. In the cages occupied by pigeons, pheasants, and other larger birds, the sparrows are often troublesome thieves. They can easily squeeze through the coarse net-work, and no sooner are the feed dishes filled with breakfast than they crowd in and take possession, scolding and fluttering and darting at the imprisoned pigeons and pheasants if they dare to approach.

The smaller parks of New York city contain each about two hundred houses for the sparrows. Some of them are of very simple construction, being made of a piece of tin leader pipe about ten inches long, with a piece of wood fitted in each end. A little round doorway is cut for the birds to enter, and they seem perfectly happy in these primitive quarters. Feed and water troughs are provided, and it is the duty of the park keeper to fill them every morning. The birds know the feeding hour, and come flying eagerly, pushing and scolding, and tumbling together in their hurry for the first mouthful. The greedy little things eat all day. School-children come trooping in, and share their luncheon with them, and even idle and ragged loungers on the park benches draw crusts of bread from their pockets, and throw the sparrows a portion of their own scanty dinner.

It is very easy to study the habits of the sparrow, for it is so bold and sociable that if a little house is nailed up in a balcony, or by a window where people are constantly sitting, a pair of birds will at once take possession, bring twigs and bits of scattered threads and wool for a nest, and proceed to rear their noisy little family. Chirp, chirp, very loud and impatient, three or four little red open mouths appear at the door of the house, the parent birds come flying with worms and flies, and then for a little while the young ones take a nap and keep quiet, when, they wake up again and renew their clamor for food.

If houses are not provided, the sparrow will build in any odd corner—a chink in the wall or in the nooks and eaves of buildings. A pair of London sparrows once made their nest in the mouth of the bronze lion over Northumberland House, at Charing Cross. They are very much attached to their nest, and after the little speckled eggs are laid will cling to it even under difficulties. The sailors of a coasting vessel once lying in a Scotch port frequently observed two sparrows flying about the topmast. One morning the vessel put to sea, when, to the astonishment of the sailors, the sparrows followed, evidently bent upon making the voyage. Crumbs being thrown on the deck, they soon became familiar, and came boldly to eat, hopping about as freely as if on shore. A nest was soon discovered built among the rigging. Fearing it might be demolished by a high wind, at the first landing the sailors took it carefully down, and finding that it contained four little ones, they carried it on shore and left it in the crevice of a ruined house. The parent birds followed, evidently well pleased with the change, and when the vessel sailed away they remained with their young family.

Much has been written about the mischievous doings of the sparrow, and war has been waged against it to a certain extent both here and in England. But the sparrow holds its ground well, and proves in many ways that even if it may drive away robins, and injure grain fields now and then, it more than balances these misdeeds by the thousands of caterpillars, mosquitoes, and other insects which it destroys, thus saving the life of countless trees and plants. The whole year round it is the same active, bustling, jolly creature, and our cities would be lonely and desolate without this little denizen of the street.



A BRAVE PATRIOT.

In 1780, after the fall of Charleston, the British commander had issued a proclamation to the people of South Carolina, calling upon them to return to their allegiance, and offering protection to all who did so. The men inhabiting the tract of country stretching from the Santee to the Pedee selected one of their number to repair to Georgetown, the nearest British post, to ascertain the exact meaning of the offer, and what was expected of them.

In accordance with his instructions, Major John James sought an interview with Captain Ardesoif, the commandant of Georgetown, and demanded what was the meaning of the British protection, and upon what terms the submission of the citizens was to be made.

He was informed roughly that the only way to escape the hanging which they so justly deserved was to take up arms in his Majesty's cause.

James, not relishing the tone and manner of the British officer, coolly replied that "the people whom he came to represent would scarcely submit on such conditions."

Ardesoif, unaccustomed to contradiction, and enraged at the worthy major's use of the term "represent," which smote harshly on his ears, sprang to his feet, and, with his hand on his sword, exclaimed, "Represent! If you dare speak in such language, I will have you hung at the yard-arm."

Major James was weaponless, but in his anger was equal to the occasion. Seizing the chair upon which he had been sitting, he floored his insulter at a blow, and giving his enemy no time to recover, mounted his horse and escaped to the woods before pursuit could be attempted.

His people soon assembled to hear his story, and their wrath was kindled at hearing how their envoy had been received.

Required to take the field, it needed not a moment to decide under which banner, and the result was the formation of Marion's Brigade, which won such fame in the swampy regions of the South.



A LATIN WORD SQUARE.

Behold my first! In her palmy days (In the time of my second, you understand) She had many poets who sang her praise, Had soldiers and statesmen and wealth to amaze, Her fame was unrivalled in many ways— She had no equal in all the land.

Again to the time of my second refer, And spell that backward, my third behold— A hero of monstrous strength. They aver He held up a temple its fall to defer, And ate forty pounds (but I hope 'tis a slur) Every day for his food, both hot and cold.

Now spell my first backward, my fourth appears, The greatest power of any time. All poets have sung of its hopes and fears, All men have known it with smiles and tears, It has ruled and will rule for years and years In every nation and every clime.

Now take my word square and look all about, Sideways, across, and down the middle, Not a word can be found there by spy or scout Which can not be spelled upside down, inside out, All in Latin, you know; but now I've no doubt You've guessed every word of this easy riddle.



A TERRIBLE FISH.

Among the inhabitants of the sea which, from their size or strength, have been termed "monarchs of the ocean," are the saw-fish and the sword-fish, which are formidable enemies to the whale; but it is not merely on their fellow-inhabitants of the deep that these powerful fishes exercise their terrible strength. Some singular instances are related of their attacking even the ships that intrude upon their watery domain. An old sea-captain tells the following story:

"Being in the Gulf of Paria, in the ship's cutter, I fell in with a Spanish canoe, manned by two men, who were in great distress, and who requested me to save their lines and canoe, with which request I immediately complied, and going alongside for that purpose, I discovered that they had got a large saw-fish entangled in their turtle net. It was towing them out to sea, and but for my assistance they must have lost either their canoe or their net, or perhaps both, and these were their only means of subsistence. Having only two boys with me at the time in the boat, I desired the fishermen to cut the fish away, which they refused to do. I then took the bight of the net from them, and with the joint endeavors of themselves and my boat's crew we succeeded in hauling up the net, and to our astonishment, after great exertions, we raised about eight feet of the saw of the fish above the surface of the sea. It was a fortunate circumstance that the fish came up with his belly toward the boat, or he would have cut it in two.

"I had abandoned all idea of taking the fish, until, by great good luck, it made toward the land, when I made another attempt, and having about three hundred feet of rope in the boat, we succeeded in making a running bow-line knot round the saw, and this we fortunately made fast on shore. When the fish found itself secured, it plunged so violently that I could not prevail on any one to go near it: the appearance it presented was truly awful. I immediately went alongside the Lima packet, Captain Singleton, and got the assistance of all his ship's crew. By the time they arrived the fish was less violent. We hauled upon the net again, in which it was still entangled, and got another three hundred feet of line made fast to the saw, and attempted to haul it toward the shore; but although mustering thirty hands, we could not move it an inch. By this time the negroes belonging to a neighboring estate came flocking to our assistance, making together about one hundred in number, with the Spaniards. We then hauled on both ropes nearly all day before the fish became exhausted. On endeavoring to raise the monster it became most desperate, sweeping with its saw from side to side, so that we were compelled to get strong ropes to prevent it from cutting us to pieces. After that one of the Spaniards got on its back, and at great risk cut through the joint of the tail, when the great fish died without further struggle. It was then measured, and found to be twenty-two feet long and eight feet broad, and weighed nearly five tons."

An East Indiaman was once attacked by a sword-fish with such prodigious force that its "snout" was driven completely through the bottom of the ship, which must have been destroyed by the leak had not the animal killed itself by the violence of its own exertions, and left its sword imbedded in the wood. A fragment of this vessel, with the sword fixed firmly in it, is preserved as a curiosity in the British Museum.

Several instances of a similar character have occurred, and one formed the subject of an action brought against an insurance company for damages sustained by a vessel from the attack of one of these fishes. It seems the Dreadnought, a first-class mercantile ship, left a foreign port in perfect repair, and on the afternoon of the third day a "monstrous creature" was seen sporting among the waves, and lines and hooks were thrown overboard to capture it. All efforts to this effect, however, failed: the fish got away, and in the night-time the vessel was reported to be dangerously leaking. The captain was compelled to return to the harbor he had left, and the damage was attributed to a sword-fish, twelve feet long, which had assailed the ship below water-line, perforated her planks and timbers, and thus imperilled her existence on the ocean.

Professor Owen, the distinguished naturalist, was called to give evidence on this trial as to the probability of such an occurrence, and he related several instances of the prodigious strength of the "sword." It strikes with the accumulated force of fifteen double-handed hammers; its velocity is equal to that of a swivel-shot, and it is as dangerous in its effects as a heavy artillery projectile would be.

The upper jaw of this fish is prolonged into a projecting flattened snout, the greatest length of which is about six feet, forming a saw, armed at each edge with about twenty large bony spines or teeth. Mr. Yarrel mentions a combat that occurred on the west coast of Scotland between a whale and some saw-fishes, aided by a force of "thrashers" (fox-sharks). The sea was dyed in blood from the stabs inflicted by the saw-fishes under the water, while the thrashers, watching their opportunity, struck at the unwieldy monster as often as it rose to breathe.

The sword-fish is also furnished with a powerful weapon in the shape of a bony snout about four or five feet long, not serrated like the saw-fish, but of a much firmer consistency—in fact, the hardest material known.



THE STORY OF OBED, ORAH, AND THE SMOKING-CAP.

BY MRS. A. M. DIAZ.



A cozy room, a wood fire, bright andirons, and a waiting company. The Family Story-Teller promised the children he would come, and the whole circle, young, older, oldest, are expecting a good time; for the Family Story-Teller can tell stories by the hour on any subject that may be given him, from a flat-iron to a whale-ship. He once told about a flat-iron—and nothing can be flatter than a flat-iron—a story half an hour long. It began, "Once there was a flat-iron."

But where is he? Has he forgotten? Did the snowstorm hinder? Has he missed his horse-car? Hark! a stamping in the entry. Dick runs to open the door, and shows Family Story-Teller upon the mat, tall and erect, brushing the snow from his cloak, his whiskers, and his laughing eyes.

Miss Flossie declared that he must be "judged" for coming so late.

Said Dick, "I judge him to tell as many stories as we want."

This judgment being thought too easy for a person like him, to make it harder he was "judged" to tell the stories all about the same thing. It was left to grandpa to say what this thing should be, and grandpa said, with a laugh, "going to mill."

"Very well," said Family Story-Teller, "I will begin at once, and tell you the entertaining story of 'Obed, Orah, and the Smoking-Cap.'" He then began as follows:

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Once upon a time, in the pleasant village of Gilead, dwelt Mr. and Mrs. Stimpcett, with their four young children—Moses, Obadiah (called Obed), Deborah (called Orah), and little Cordelia. Mrs. Stimpcett, for money's sake, took a summer boarder, Mr. St. Clair, a city young man, who wished to behold the flowery fields, repose upon the dewy grass, and who had also another reason for coming, which will be told presently.

On the morning after Mr. St. Clair's arrival, Mrs. Stimpcett said to grandma that, as the noise of four young children at once would be too much for a summer boarder until he should become used to it, Obed and Orah would go and spend the day with their grandfather's cousin, Mrs. Polly Slater. Mrs. Polly Slater lived all alone by herself in a cottage at another part of the village of Gilead. Obed was six and a half years old, and Orah nearly five.

The two children set forth early in the morning. Orah wore her pink apron and starched sun-bonnet, and Obed wore his clean brown linen frock and trousers, the frock skirt standing out stiff like a paper fan. As his second best hat could not be found, and his first best was not to be thought of, he was obliged to wear his third best, which had a torn brim, and which he put on with tears and sniffles and loud complaints.

It happened very curiously that as Obed and Orah were walking through the orchard, Obed still sniffling, they saw, under a bush, a beautiful smoking-cap. Obed quickly threw down his old hat, and put on the smoking-cap in a way that the loose part hung off behind.

This beautiful smoking-cap belonged to the summer boarder, and was presented to him by a young lady who liked him very much. It was wrought in a Persian pattern slightly mingled with the Greek, and was embroidered with purple, yellow, crimson, Magenta, sage green, invisible blue, ecru, old gold, drab, and other shaded worsteds, dotted with stitches of shining silk and beads of silver, the tassel alone containing skeins of ecru sewing silk. The young lady lived not very far from Mr. Stimpcett's, and she was that other reason why Mr. St. Clair became a summer boarder in the pleasant village of Gilead.

Spry, the puppy dog, probably carried the smoking-cap to the orchard; but all that is known with certainty is that Mr. St. Clair, the evening before, then wearing the cap, reclined upon several chairs with his head out of the window, gazing at the moon, and there fell asleep, and that, as on account of the abundance of his hair it was a little too small, the cap fell off his head, and that when he awoke the pain in the back of his neck and the lateness of the hour caused him to forget all about it.

Now when Obed and Orah arrived at Mrs. Polly Slater's, they found her doors shut and locked. Mr. Furlong, the man who lived in the next house, called out to them, "Mrs. Polly Slater has borrowed a horse and cart, and gone to mill; she will stay and eat dinner with your aunt Debby." Then he added, "I am harnessing my horse to go to mill; how would you like to go with me, and ride back with Mrs. Polly Slater in the afternoon?"

Obed and Orah liked this so much that they ran and clambered into the cart as fast as they could, Orah climbing in over the spokes of a wheel. Mr. Furlong fastened Obed's cap on by tying around it a stout piece of line.

When they had ridden several miles on their way to mill, they met a boy on horseback galloping at a furious rate. The moment this boy saw Mr. Furlong, he pulled up his horse—he nearly fell off behind in doing so—and said he, "Mr. Furlong, your sister at Locust Point has heard bad news, and wants to see you immediately."

Mr. Furlong drove as fast as he could, until he came to the road which turned off to Locust Point. Here he set the children down, and showed Obed, not quite half a mile ahead of them, a large white building with a flag flying from the top. "There," said he, "your aunt Debby, you know, lives next to that white building. It is a straight road. I am sorry to leave you. Keep out of the way of the horses, and go directly to her house." Mr. Furlong then drove to Locust Point.



Now after the two children had walked a short distance, they came to a road which led across the road in which they were walking, and along this cross-road were running boys and girls, some barefoot, some bare-headed, some drawing baby carriages at such a rate that the babies were nearly thrown out; and all that these boys and girls would say was, "Baker's cart! baker's cart!" At last Obed and Orah found out that a baker's cart had upset in coming through the woods, and had left first-rate things to eat scattered all about. Our two children found a whole half sheet of gingerbread, which was not sandy, to speak of; and as they sat eating it, they looked through some bushes down a hill, and saw there something which looked like a molasses cooky. They scrambled down, the blackberry vines doing damage to their clothes, and found two molasses cookies, and each took one. But before Orah had finished hers she leaned her head on a grassy hummock, and fell asleep. When she awoke, sad to relate, they turned the wrong way, and went farther and farther and farther into the woods. After walking a long time, they came to a brook, and stopped there to drink. They had to lie flat on the ground, and suck up the water. Orah took off her shoes and stockings, because there was sand in them, and dipped her feet in the brook. Obed pulled hard, but he could not pull her stockings on over her wet feet, and she had to carry them and her shoes in her hand. The woods became thicker as the children walked on, and the trees taller. Obed began to cry. "Oh dear!" he said; "we are lost! we are lost!"

"Oh, I want to see my ma! I do! I do!" said Orah, and burst out crying. Crying?—roaring!—so the man said who heard it.

This was a charcoal man who happened along just then, driving an empty charcoal cart. He kindly asked them where they lived, and whither they were going. After Obed had told him, he said to them, "You poor little children! You are dirty and ragged, and you are a long way from your aunt Debby's. I shall pass near your father's house, and would you like to take a ride with me?" Then, as they seemed willing, he helped them into his cart, dropping them at the bottom as the safest place. Obed, however, by putting his toes into knot-holes and cracks, climbed high enough to put his head over the top, and Orah found a loose board which she could shove aside, and so push her head through and look up at Obed.



Now as they were rattling down a steep hill not a great way from home, a slender young lady started from the sidewalk, and ran after them, shouting and waving her parasol in the most frantic manner. The charcoal man did not hear her. This frantic and slender young lady was the young lady who made for Mr. St. Clair the smoking-cap done in the Persian pattern slightly mingled with the Greek, and embroidered with the shaded worsteds before mentioned, mingled with stitches of silk and beads of silver.

It is not strange that upon seeing that smoking-cap, which had cost her so much time and labor and money, appearing over the top of a charcoal cart on the head of a sooty little boy—it is not strange, I say, that the slender young lady went to Mr. St. Clair and asked what it all meant. She found Mr. St. Clair sitting upon the door-step, watching the sunset sky. Mr. St. Clair declared that he had spent the whole day in looking for the smoking-cap, and that it must have been stolen. Mr. and Mrs. Stimpcett came out, and said they had been looking for the cap all day, and had felt badly on account of its loss. At this moment, grandma, who was confined to her room with rheumatism, called down from a chamber window that there were two little beggar children coming round the barn—colored children, she thought.

"Why," cried the slender young lady, "that's the very boy!"

Mr. St. Clair rushed out to the barn. Just as he left the door-step who should drive up to the gate and come in but Mrs. Polly Slater. "I have been to the mill," said she, "and I came home by this road, thinking you would like to hear from Debby."

"But where are Obed and Orah?" cried Mrs. Stimpcett, in alarm.

"I have not seen them," said Mrs. Polly Slater.

As she said this, Mr. Furlong stopped at the gate. He said that as he was passing by he thought he would ask how Obed and Orah got on in finding their aunt Debby's.

"Aunt Debby's!" cried Mr. Stimpcett, Mrs. Stimpcett, grandma, and Mrs. Polly Slater—"Aunt Debby's!"

On hearing at what place Mr. Furlong had left her children, Mrs. Stimpcett fainted and fell upon the ground. Then all the people tried to revive her. The slender young lady fanned with her parasol, Mrs. Polly Slater fetched the camphor bottle, Mr. Furlong pumped, Mr. Stimpcett threw dipperfuls of water—though owing to his agitation not much of it touched her face—and grandma called down from the chamber window what should be done.

In the confusion no one noticed the approach of a newcomer. This was the charcoal man, bringing shoes and stockings. "Here are your little girl's shoes and stockings," said he. "She left them in my cart."

"They are not my little girl's," said Mr. Stimpcett, throwing a dipperful of water on the ground.

"She said she was your little girl," said the charcoal man. "But there she is"—pointing to the barn; "you can see for yourself."

Mr. Stimpcett ran to the barn, and was amazed to find that the two beggar children were his Obed and Orah. Mr. St. Clair was scolding them, and the tears were running down their cheeks in narrow paths. Mr. Stimpcett led them quickly to Mrs. Stimpcett. Seeing their mother stretched as if dead upon the ground, they both screamed, "Ma! ma! m—a!"

The well-known sounds revived her. She opened her eyes, raised herself, and caught the children in her arms.

The slender young lady advised that the smoking-cap be hung out-doors in a high wind, and afterward cleansed with naphtha. The clothes of Obed and Orah were also hung out, and Mr. Stimpcett, for fun, arranged them in the forms of two scarecrows, which scared so well that the birds flew far away. The consequence was an enormous crop of cherries, all of which, except a few for sauce, Mr. Stimpcett sent to the charcoal man.

Mr. St. Clair and the slender young lady were married the next year at cherry-time, and it was said that during their honey-moon they subsisted chiefly upon cherries. And now my story's done.

* * * * *

"How is this, Mr. Story-Teller?" cried the children's mamma. "The story is a story, no doubt, but it can not be counted in, for Obed and Orah did not really go to mill."

Family Story-Teller said, looking around with a calm smile, that he could tell plenty more, and that in his next one Grandma Stimpcett should really go to mill, and should meet with surprising adventures.



PUSSY'S KITTEN (?).

Once a tiny little rabbit strayed from home away; Far from woodland haunts she wandered, little rabbit gray. Our old Tabby cat, whilst sitting at the kitchen door, Thought she saw her long-lost kitten home returned once more.

Gave a pounce, and quickly caught it, with a happy mew, Ere the frightened little wanderer quite knew what to do. Gently Tabby brought her treasure to the old door-mat, Purred, and rubbed and licked and smoothed it—motherly old cat!

But what puzzled pussy truly, and aroused her fears, Was the length to which had grown her kitten's once small ears. Most amazing, most alarming, was that sight to her; Green and round her eyes were swelling, stiff and straight her fur.

"Poor wee kitty! what a pity you're deformed!" thought she; "Surely this has somehow happened since you went from me. But you're welcome home, my kitten; mother's love is strong, Though I will confess I wish your ears were not so long."

So the tiny little rabbit grew contented quite, And our visitors like to call and see the pretty sight Of nice old Tabby playing with her rabbit-kitty gray; And she doesn't dream of her mistake, although, the truth to say,

Her own true kitten went the road that many kittys go; For John the coachman took it to the horse-pond just below. But I think it is most cruel to drown a little cat; And I trust all girls and boys will have too much heart for that.



THE BOYS AND UNCLE JOSH.

BY W. O. STODDARD.

"Hey Billy, my boy! Going skating?"

"Yes, Uncle Josh, Joe Pearce and me. The big pond's frozen solid."

"Is it safe?"

"Charley Shadders he says it's twenty feet thick in some places."

"Twenty feet thick! I declare! That's pretty thick ice. How did he know?"

"I don't know. I guess he guessed at it. He's an awful guesser."

"I should say he was. Twenty feet thick! Why, Billy, the water's only five feet deep in summer."

"Oh, but," exclaimed Joe Pearce, who had been listening with all the eagerness of twelve years old, "it swells water to freeze it, Uncle Josh."

"So it does, so it does. But I never heard of a swell like that." And Uncle Josh—for he was uncle to all the small boys in the village—shook his fat sides with laughter, but it was not all about the remarkable ice, for his next question was, "But, Billy, you've put all your skating on one foot. How's that?"

"'Cause it's all in one skate."

"Well, it's big enough. Why don't you divide it, and give the other foot a fair share?"

"I've put mine on the other foot," shouted Joe, trying to balance himself on one leg and hold up an uncommonly large skate for inspection.

How those skates were strapped on! They were even steadied with pieces of rope, and had bits of wood and leather stuffed in under the straps to make them fit.

"You see, Uncle Josh," explained Billy, "my brother Bob he went away to college, and left his skates, 'cause, he said, the college was out of ice this winter. And Joe Pearce he didn't have any. And Christmas forgot to give me any. And so we divided 'em, and took the sled, and we're going to the big pond."

"That was fair. Only you haven't divided the sled."

"The sled won't divide," said Joe, with a solemn shake of his curly head; "but I'd like to divide my skate with my other foot."

"I'll tell you what, boys," suddenly exclaimed Uncle Josh, "let's have a little Christmas of our own."

"Have you got any?" asked Billy.

"I guess I have. Come right along to the store with me."

"Come on, Joe. Keep your skate on. Don't limp any more'n you can help."

But both he and Joe cut a queer figure as they followed Uncle Josh up the street; for when a boy makes one of his legs longer than the other, and slips and slides on that foot, it makes a good deal of difference in the way he walks.

Everybody knew Uncle Josh, and although he was a deacon and a very good man, everybody expected to see a smile on his face, and to hear him chuckle over something when they met him. So nobody was half so much surprised as Joe and Billy were, and their surprise did not come to them until they reached the store. But it came then.

"Skates for these boys," said Uncle Josh, as they went in. "One for each foot, all around. Straps too."

That was it, and now the boys were doing more chuckling than Uncle Josh himself.

"Billy," asked Joe, "do you know what to say?"

"Why, we must thank him."

"Yes, I s'pose so. But that doesn't seem to be half enough."

"Can't we thank him big, somehow?"

"Enough for two pair of skates?"

"That's so. We can't do it."

They had to give it up; but they did their best, and Uncle Josh cut them short in the middle of it.

"Come, come, boys, we can't stay here all day. There won't be another Saturday again for a week, and then it may rain. Don't put your skates on. Wait till we get to the pond. Bring along the big ones. They'll do for me."

"Why, are you going, Uncle Josh?"

"Of course I am. If the ice is twenty feet thick, I want to skate on it. That kind of ice'll bear anybody."

And so the boys tied the big skates upon the sled, and were starting off, when Uncle Josh exclaimed:

"No, boys, give 'em to me. I haven't had a pair of skates in my hand for twenty years. I want to see how it would seem to carry them."

There were not a great many people to be met in a small village like that, but every one they did meet had a smile for Uncle Josh and his skates, till they reached the miller's house, just this side of the pond. And there was Mrs. Sanders, the miller's wife, sweeping the least bit of snow from her front stoop.

"Joe," said Billy, "do you see that?"

"And Charley Shadders was guessing, then. He said snow wouldn't light on her stoop."

"There isn't but mighty little of it, and it didn't cost her anything."

But just at that moment Mrs. Sanders was resting on her broom, and looking very severely at Uncle Josh, and saying,

"Now, Deacon Parmenter, where are you going with those boys? Skates, too, at your time of life."

"Good-morning, Sister Sanders. I declare, if you'll go with us, I'll trot right back and get a pair of skates for you. I'd like to see a good-looking young woman like you—"

"Deacon Parmenter! Me? To go skating? With you and a couple of boys? I never!"

But she did not look half so angry as she did at first. She was a plump and rosy woman; but she had a pointed nose, and her lips were thin. Billy whispered to Joe Pearce, "Aunt Sally says it'd keep any woman's lips thin to work 'em as hard as Mrs. Sanders does hers."

They were almost smiling just now, for Uncle Josh went on: "Now, Sister Sanders, I know it's a little queer for an old fellow like me, but it's just the thing for young folks. Just you say the word, and you shall have 'em. You're looking nicely this morning, Sister Sanders."

"Billy," whispered Joe, "how red in the face Uncle Josh is getting!"

"So is she," said Billy. "If he goes on that way, she'll come along and spoil the fun."

"No, she won't."

Joe was right, for Mrs. Sanders brought her broom down on the front step with a great bang with one hand, and she smoothed her front hair with the other, as she answered Uncle Josh: "No, Deacon Parmenter, I couldn't bring myself to set such an example. You must take good care of the boys, and see that they do not get into any mischief. If I was their mothers, I'd feel safer about them to know you was with 'em."

Uncle Josh had a spell of coughing just then, and it seemed to last him till he and the boys were away past the miller's house, and going down the slope toward the pond.

It was frozen beautifully, for the weather had been bitterly cold, without any snow to speak of. The pond was all one glare and glitter, and more than twenty men and boys were already at work on it, darting around, like birds on their ringing, spinning, gliding skates. Only that some of the smaller boys put one more in mind of tumbler pigeons than of any other kind of birds.

It was quite wonderful how quickly Joe and Billy had their new skates on, and Uncle Josh looked immensely pleased to see how well they both knew how to use them.

"Why, boys, you haven't tumbled down once. How's that?"

"Oh, we know how," said Billy; "and the ice is great. Thick ice always skates better'n thin ice."

But Uncle Josh had seated himself on the sled, and was hard at work trying to put on Brother Bob's big skates.

They fitted him well enough, but he seemed to have a deal of trouble in getting hold of the straps.

"Seems as if my feet were further away from me than they were twenty years ago."

"Joe," said Billy, "let's help. We can strap 'em for him."

"That's good, boys. Pull tight. Tighter. Let me stamp a little. There—one hole tighter. Now buckle."

And so they went on, till Uncle Josh's skates were strapped, as Joe Pearce said, "so they couldn't wiggle."

"That's all right," said Uncle Josh. "Now, you boys, just skate away, anywhere, and I'll enjoy myself."

They hardly liked to leave him, but off they went, for the boys to whom they wanted to show their new skates were away over on the other side of the pond.

"I don't know if this ice is twenty feet thick," muttered Uncle Josh, as he pulled his feet under him, "but it looks twenty miles slippery. Ice on this pond always freezes with the slippery side up. Steady, now. There! I'm glad I've got the sled to sit down on."

It was well it was a good strong sled, with thick ice under it, for Uncle Josh sat down pretty hard, and he was a fat, jolly, heavy sort of man.

He sat right still and laughed for a whole minute, and then he tried it again.

This time he succeeded in standing up, and he was just saying to himself, "I wish Jemima Sanders had come along to see me skate," when one of his feet began to slip away from him.

"I know how," he shouted. "There's no help for it. I must strike right out."

So he did, and his first slide carried him nearly a rod on that one skate before he could get the other one down. He did that, however, and it worked finely, for he had been a good skater when he was a young man. He had kept hold of the rope-handle of the sled, and it was following him. That is, when he struck out with a foot he swung his long arms too, and the sled swung around on the ice as if it was half crazy.

"What can be the matter with my ankles?" he said to himself. "They used to be good ankles."

No doubt; but then the last time he had skated before that, they had not had so much to carry.

"Billy," exclaimed Joe Pearce, "Uncle Josh is agoing!"

"How he does go! Ain't I glad it's thick ice!"

"Let's go. Come on, boys."

Other eyes than theirs had been watching Uncle Josh, for everybody knew him, and nobody had ever seen him skate, and Joe and Billy were followed by almost all the boys on the pond.

"Hurrah for Uncle Josh!"

"Can't he skate, though!"

"See him go."

Right across the pond, as if he were in a desperate hurry to reach the opposite bank before the ice could melt under him, went Uncle Josh, and with him, all around him, swung the sled.

It may have served as a sort of balance-wheel, and helped to steady him, but it could not steer him. Neither could he steer himself, and the next thing he knew he was headed down the pond, and skating for dear life toward the dam.

"If I stop, I shall come down," he said, with a sort of gasp. "I'm getting out of breath. Good! I'm pointed for the shore again, and there's a snow-bank."

All the boys were racing after him now, but they had stopped shouting in their wonder at what could have got into Uncle Josh. He himself was beginning to feel very warm, for it was a good while since he had done so much work in so short a time.

"Here comes the shore!" But just as he said it, there he was, and the skate he was sliding on caught in a chip on the ice.

The wind had been at work to keep the pond clean when it piled that snow-bank, and had left it all heaped up, white and soft and deep, and into it went Uncle Josh, head first, while the sled was pitched a rod beyond him.

"Get the sled, Billy," said Joe.

"He skated himself right ashore."

"Guess he isn't hurt."



"Hurt? No, indeed!" shouted Uncle Josh, as he came up again through the snow. "That's the way we used to skate when I was a boy. Billy, where's that sled?"

He did not seem in any hurry to stand up, but Joe Pearce found his hat, and handed it to him.

"Thank you, Joseph. Billy, you may bring the sled right here in front of me."

"He wants to sit down," said one of the boys.

"He's sitting down now," said Joe. But Billy brought the sled, and Uncle Josh carefully worked himself forward upon it, and began to brush away the snow.

"I'm as white as a miller," he chuckled to himself. "Boys, I guess you may do the rest of my skating for me to-day."

"Don't those skates fit?" asked Joe.

"Oh yes, they fit well enough. It's the ice that doesn't fit. It's too wide for me."

"Well," said Billy, "we'll pull you across. Take hold, boys."

"I declare!" began Uncle Josh; but the boys had seized the rope, and were off in a twinkling.

"It's fun," they heard him mutter; "but what would Sister Sanders say?"

"There she is!" exclaimed Billy, "right down by the shore. She's come to see us skate."

"Hold on, boys! hold on! Let me get my skates off."

But there were so many boys pulling and pushing around that sled that before they could all let go and stop it, the pond had been nearly crossed, and there was Mrs. Sanders.

Uncle Josh did not seem to see her at all, and only said, "Now, boys, just unbuckle my skates for me, will you?"

It would have been done more quickly if there had not been so many to help, and by the time one skate was loose, Uncle Josh was laughing again.

"Deacon Parmenter!"

"Is that you, Sister Sanders? They're all safe—every boy of them. Just wait a moment now, and they'll be ready for you."

"Ready for me! What can you mean? I'm just amazed and upset, Deacon Parmenter. A man like you, to be cutting up in such a way as this!"

"There they are, Sister Sanders. You can put 'em right on. Come and sit down on the sled. They're a little large for me, but they'll just fit you; I know they will."

Uncle Josh had very carefully risen to his feet, and was holding out to her Brother Bob's big skates, straps and all. Her face grew very rosy indeed as she looked at them.

"Fit me!" she exclaimed—"those things fit me! Why, Deacon Parmenter, what can you mean?"

"Too small, eh? Well, now, I'd ha' thought—"

But Mrs. Sanders turned right around and marched away toward her own house without saying another word.

"Boys," said Uncle Josh, "the skating is fine, but there isn't any more of it than you'll want. Billy, take care of Brother Bob's skates for him. I hope you'll all have a good time."

He was edging and sliding along toward the shore while he was talking, and the last they heard him say was,

"I can skate well enough, but I'm afraid somebody else'll have to do my walking for me for a week or two."

"He's just the best man in the village," said Joe Pearce.

"So he is," said Billy; "but I'm glad the ice was thick. What would we have done if he'd broken through?"

"That's why fat men like him don't skate, Billy. Did you see what a hole he made in that there snow-bank?"

He had, and so had the rest, but they all skated a race across the pond to take another look at it, and wonder how he ever managed to get out.



SHIPS PAST AND PRESENT.—[SEE PAGE 162.]



SHIPS PAST AND PRESENT.

On page 161 are given illustrations of six different styles of vessels, all of which are correct drawings of ships that in different ages have acted important parts in the history of this continent.

The upper right-hand picture represents a Norwegian war ship of the tenth century, and in such a one Scandinavian traditions assert that, early in the eleventh century, Olaf Ericsson and his hardy crew sailed into the unknown west for many a day, until at length they reached the shores of America. On the authority of these same traditions, some people assert that the structure known as the "old stone mill of Newport" was erected by this same Olaf Ericsson, and left by him as a monument of his discovery.

If Ericsson and his men did make the voyage across the unknown ocean, it was a very brave thing for them to do, for as the picture shows their ship was a very small affair when compared with the magnificent vessels of to-day, and was ill fitted to battle with the storms of the Atlantic. She was of about ten tons burden, or as large as an oyster sloop of to-day, and carried a crew of twenty-five men. A single mast was stepped amidships, and this supported the one large square sail which was all that ships of those days carried. Well forward of the mast was a single bank of oars, or long sweeps, that were used when the wind was unfavorable, or during calms.

Although this style of craft appears very queer to us, in those days it was considered the perfection of marine architecture, and in these little ships the fierce Scandinavian Vikings, or sea-rovers, became the scourge and terror of the Northern seas.

The upper left-hand picture represents three ships very different in style from the first, but still looking very queer and clumsy. They are the ships in which, in—who can tell the date?—"Columbus crossed the ocean blue," and made that discovery of America which history records as the first. These caravels, as they were called, were named the Santa Maria, Pinta, and Nina. The first-named was much larger than the others, and was commanded by Columbus in person; but large as she was then considered, she would now be thought very small for a man-of-war, as she was, for she was only ninety feet in length. She had four masts, of which two were fitted with square and two with lateen sails, and her crew consisted of sixty-six men. In old descriptions of this vessel it is mentioned that she was provided with eight anchors, which seems a great many for so small a ship to carry. The other two vessels were much smaller, and were open except for a very short deck aft. They were each provided with three masts, rigged with lateen-sails.

From this time forth a rapid improvement took place in the building of ships. They were made larger and stronger, as well as more comfortable; a reduction was made in the absurd height of the stern, or poop, and much useless ornamentation about the bows and stern was done away with.

In the third picture is shown a model ship of the seventeenth century, which is none other than the Mayflower, in which, in 1620, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean in search of a place for a new home, which they finally made for themselves at Plymouth.

During the eighteenth century trade increased so rapidly between the American colonies and the mother country that the demand for ships was very great, and the sailing vessels built then and early in the present century have not since been excelled for speed or beauty. But a great change was about to take place; and early in this century people began to say that before long ships would be able to sail without either the aid of wind or oars, and in 1807 Robert Fulton built the first steamboat. Twelve years later the first ocean steamer was built, and made a successful voyage across the Atlantic. She was named the Savannah, and our fourth picture shows what she looked like.

The last two pictures are those of a full-rigged clipper ship of to-day under all sail, and one of the magnificent ocean steamers that ply so swiftly between New York and Liverpool, making in eight or nine days the voyage that it took the Savannah thirty days to make.



THE RABBITS' FETE.

BY MRS. E. P. PERRIN.

"Good-night, little girl. Go to nurse, and ask her to pop you right into bed."

The front door was shut, and Ellie hurried up stairs to the great hall window, and looked out to see her mamma and pretty Aunt Janet get into the sleigh and drive off. "Hark!" she says to herself, "how nice the bells sound! They keep saying,

'Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way; Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one-horse open sleigh!'

It's just as light as day out-doors. The moon makes the snow look like frosted cake. I can see the croquet ground as plain as can be, and it looks like a great square loaf. There's the arbor, and the seats in it have white cushions on them. How funny it would be to play croquet on the ice! Only the balls would go so fast we should have to put on skates to catch them. I can see ever and ever so far—'way over to the woods where Jack sets his traps. He says they are chock-full of rabbits; but I don't believe him, for he never catches any. What's that moving on the edge of the grove? What can it be? Oh, it's lots of them! They are coming this way, and I can hear them laughing and talking."

Ellie watched, and soon saw a troop of rabbits hopping along toward the lawn.

"Why, I do believe it is a rabbit party. How lucky it is I haven't gone to bed!"

On they came, chattering in the funniest way, and dressed in the top of the fashion. One who seemed to be the leader said: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the spot. You see how level it is for dancing, and we can have a game at croquet if you choose. The band will now strike up; and take partners, if you please, for a waltz."

Ellie wondered where the band was, but the strains of "Sweet Evelina, dear Evelina," came floating on the air, and, looking up, she saw two crows perched on the bar from which the swing hung in summer. One had a little fiddle, and the other a flute.

"That's the queerest thing yet," thought Ellie. "The idea of a crow being able to play on anything, when they make such a horrid noise cawing! The night crows must be different from the day ones."

After the waltz was ended, and the couples were promenading, Ellie took a good look at the young ladies and their lovely dresses. There was one so beautiful she was charmed by her. She was as fair as a lily, and so gentle and sweet Ellie called her the belle of the ball. A little gray fellow never left her side, and could not do enough for her. He called her Alicia, and Ellie did not wonder he seemed so fond of her. She noticed, too, a tall young lady who had a white face with a black nose. She looked very cross, but was much dressed in a scarlet silk, with a long train, which gave her no end of trouble, for it was always in the way. Ellie heard her say, in the crossest way: "I suppose Alicia thinks she looks well to-night with that high comb in her head. I call her a perfect fright."

"You only say so because you haven't one," answered her companion. "I think it is very becoming, and it makes her veil float out beautifully behind."

The leader called out, "Take partners for the Lancers!" and they quickly formed into sets.

They danced to perfection; even the "grand square" was got through without a blunder. The leader was unlucky enough to step upon the scarlet train, and its wearer turned upon him, crying out: "I do wish, Mr. Hopkins, you wouldn't be so clumsy! You will tear my dress off me."

He humbly begged her pardon, but told his partner he should look out and not get in the same set with Matilda again; she was as disagreeable as ever. "Just because her grandmother was French, she gives herself great airs. She is no better than the rest of us."

After the Lancers was finished, Matilda went to the arbor to get her train pinned up. It was sadly torn. While one of the matrons was at work upon it, Ellie listened to the conversation.

"Why isn't Mrs. Gray here to-night?" asked one.

"Don't you know she has eight little ones a week old to-day?"

"Oh, indeed! Her hands must be full. I have been so busy with my own affairs, I know nothing about my neighbors'. But who is that who has just arrived? Mr. Hopkins will surely break his neck trying to get to him."

"That must be Lord Lepus; he belongs to the Hare family, one of the most aristocratic in England. I heard he was to be invited. What an honor!—a nobleman at our New-Year's fete."

Matilda grew impatient, and pulled her dress away, saying, "That will do; I hope you've been long enough about it," and without a word of thanks hurried to join the young people.

"How very rude she is!" thought Ellie. "I always thought that French people were polite."

Her attention was drawn to the new arrival. "He must be what Jack calls a swell," thought she, "with that long coat almost touching his heels, and his button-hole bouquet of carnations, heliotrope, and smilax. How does he keep that one eyeglass in his eye? It never moves, and yet he skips about like a grasshopper."

"Shall I present your lordship to one of the ladies?" asked Mr. Hopkins. "Any of them will be only too happy to dance with you."

"Aw, really now!" answered Lord Lepus. "'Pon my word, they are all such charming creatures, it is hard to choose. Who is the little one with the blue veil standing with the gentleman in demi-toilet of gray?"

"That is Alicia. The gentleman is Mr. Golightly. They are to be married soon."

"How extremely interesting! Pray present me."

His lordship secured the blushing Alicia for a waltz, and was so well pleased with his partner he danced with her again and again.

After the last dance, Ellie saw Mr. Hopkins setting out the wickets for croquet. The balls were lady apples with different colored ribbons tied to the stems, and the mallets were cat-o'-nine-tails, with the pussy end going the other way.

"Well," thought she, "I don't see but that rabbits know as much as people. I wonder how they will play."

She did not have to wonder long, for they were at it almost before she had done thinking. Lord Lepus was a fine player. Alicia was his partner, and with his help her balls went flying through the wickets in a twinkling. Golightly and Matilda were in the same game, and did their prettiest; but his lordship was too much for them.

At last when Alicia sent Matilda's ball spinning, and struck the stake for her partner and then for herself, Matilda flew in a rage, and lifting her mallet, struck Alicia a blow on the head, which drove the teeth of her comb down into the pretty white skin. Poor Alicia gave one cry, and dropped senseless. Golightly was beside himself with grief, and pushing Lord Lepus aside as he sprang to her aid, cried, "Away! away! You took her from me in life: she is mine in death."

"I beg pardon—" politely began his lordship, but was interrupted by Mrs. Muff, Alicia's chaperon, who calmly ordered Golightly to stop his noise, and help Mr. Hopkins carry her charge to the arbor.

"Oh, what shall we do?" groaned Golightly, beating his brow with his hand.

"Do," repeated Mrs. Muff; "why, send for a porous plaster. Here, Skipjack, run to Dr. Pine as fast as you can, and fetch me one."

In a moment he was back with it, and Mrs. Muff quickly clapped it upon Alicia's head. Ellie looked on with breathless interest, and soon Alicia slowly opened her eyes, and looking up, said, in a soft voice, "Dear Golightly!"

Mrs. Muff skillfully jerked off the plaster, and Ellie saw the teeth of the comb sticking to it.

"Bless my soul! it's the most extraordinary thing," cried his lordship.

"Oh, that's nothing," replied Mrs. Muff; "I always use them when my children are teething, with great success. But where is Matilda?"

"The poor girl was terribly cut up, you know, and ran away toward the woods," answered Lord Lepus. "How does the charming Alicia find herself? Well enough to join us, I hope."

"She must rest awhile. A short nap will entirely restore her," said Mrs. Muff.

At that moment Mr. Hopkins put his head in the arbor, and announced supper was served.

"Now," said Mrs. Muff, "while you are at supper Alicia shall go to sleep, and I will watch her."

Ellie looked out, and saw a table spread on the croquet ground. "Well, well, how quick rabbits are! I wonder what they have to eat;" and she ran along with the rest of the party to find out. The table was loaded with nice things—apples and celery in abundance, and piles and piles of popped corn. Lord Lepus had never seen any before, and was so much pleased with it, Mr. Hopkins ordered a waiter to fill a bag and give it to his lordship when he left. "How strange," thought Ellie; "mamma says it is very impolite to carry away anything to eat when you go to parties. But perhaps it is different with rabbits."

When they had finished supper, Mr. Cawkins and son—the band—came flapping down and picked up everything that was on the table. "I suppose that playing makes them hungry," thought Ellie; "but how fast they do eat!"

When the last kernel of popped corn had disappeared, the crows flew back to their perch and began to play the liveliest, merriest tune Ellie had ever heard. Mr. Hopkins said to Lord Lepus, "Will your lordship join us in dancing the merry-go-round? It is our national dance, and we always have it on New-Year's Eve."

"I shall be most happy; and here comes the fair Alicia, looking as fresh as a daisy. I will secure her for my partner."

But Mr. Hopkins formed them into a circle, and they began to dance around, singing as they went. Ellie listened, and caught the words,

"Come dance, come dance the merry-go-round, With sprightly leap and joyous bound. We'll grasp each hand with right good cheer, And welcome in the glad new year. Oh, the merry-go-round, the merry-go-round, We'll dance till day is dawning."

They flew around fast and faster, till Ellie could not tell one from another. They looked like a streak on the snow.

"Dear me, how dizzy they will get! Poor Alicia will certainly have the headache," thought Ellie; but still quicker went the music, and still faster flew the dancers. All of a sudden Ellie was startled by a loud "caw." She felt some one shaking her shoulder, and a voice in her ear said, "Wake up, Miss Ellie, wake up. The hall clock has just struck half past nine, and to think of your being out of bed at this hour! What will your mamma say? That giddy-pate Sarah told me she would undress you, for I was called away."

"I am so glad," said sleepy little Ellie, "for I have seen the merry-go-round."

Nurse gathered her up in her arms, and bore her to the nursery.

"Nursey," asked Ellie, "are English hares better than our rabbits?"

"Yes, miss, much better for soup."

"Soup!" cried Ellie; "how dreadful, when he was so beautifully dressed!"

"Yes," said nurse, "we like to have them dressed; they are so hard to skin."

"What do you mean?" exclaimed Ellie. "He wore such a beautiful long coat, and had on a locket and three rings."

"Dear me," thought nurse, "she has been in the moonlight so long I am afraid it has turned her brain. She certainly seems a little looney. The sooner she is undressed and in her bed, the better."

"Oh, nursey, the next time baby has any teeth coming, put on a porous plaster, and it will pull them right through his gums."

"Bless the child! What is she talking about now? Hares and plasters! The moon is a dangerous thing, and Sarah shall be well scolded for her neglect."

As Ellie laid her head on the pillow, she said, "They danced the merry-go-round, and at the end of every verse they sang, 'Oh, the merry-go-round, the merry-go-round, we'll—dance—till—day—'"

Nurse looked, and saw that little Ellie was fast asleep.



A WISE DOG.

Many anecdotes have been published respecting dogs, proving that, besides giving evidence of being endowed with certain moral qualities, they possess and exercise memory, reasoning powers, and forethought; they can communicate with each other, form plans, and act in concert. The subject, however, is by no means exhausted, and dog stories almost always meet with a welcome reception, especially from juvenile readers.

The following story gives an instance, in the first place, of two dogs combining to perform a certain action; in the second place, it shows that one of these dogs evidently understood from the conversation of his master and another man the consequences likely to result from this action, and that he thereupon formed and carried out a plan to avoid them.



A farmer who resided in a town on the borders of Dartmoor was the owner of a valuable sheep-dog. So skillful was this dog in collecting and driving the sheep, that he almost performed the part of a shepherd. If the farmer, on his return from market, wanted the sheep to be driven to the field, he had only to say, "Keeper, take the sheep to field," and the dog would collect the flock and drive them to the field without suffering a single one to stray. But the proverb, "Evil communications corrupt good manners," is as applicable to dogs as to men. Keeper got acquainted with another dog, which proved to be of disreputable character, and like other disreputable characters, had a habit of rambling about at night. When the farmer was smoking his evening pipe by the kitchen fire, and Keeper was stretched along the hearth, apparently asleep, a low bark would be heard outside; Keeper would prick up his ears, and when the door was opened, would make his escape and join his companion, and then away would go both dogs on a ramble.

This game was carried on for some little time; Keeper's bad habits were not suspected at home, and he did his duty by his master's sheep as faithfully as ever. In the mean time it became known in the town that a few miles distant many sheep had been "worried" by dogs, but as yet the culprit or culprits had not been discovered. It may, perhaps, be as well to explain that by "worrying" sheep is meant that they have been attacked by dogs, which seize the sheep by the throat, bite them, and suck the blood, and then leave them to perish. In a single night one dog has been known to "worry" forty sheep. No wonder such animals are a terror to farmers. Besides, if a dog once takes to "worrying" sheep, he never leaves off the habit.

One evening as the farmer sat by his fire smoking and conversing with a neighbor, Keeper as usual basking by the fire, and waiting the expected call of his dog companion, the conversation turned on the great number of sheep that had been lately "worried" and destroyed, and the loss that would ensue to the farmers.

"Well," said the neighbor, "we caught one on 'em, with his mouth and coat bloody, and we hanged him up on the spot. They do say thy dog Keeper was with un."

"It is too true, he was there," replied the farmer; then looking at the apparently sleeping dog, and shaking his head at him, he said, "Thee knows thee has been with un. Thy turn will come next. We'll hang thee up to-morrow."

Keeper lay still, pretending sleep, but with his ears open. He had heard his death-warrant, and was determined that it should not be carried into execution if he could prevent it. When the outer door was opened, he slunk off quietly, and was never seen again.

What became of him was never known.

Who will say after this that dogs do not understand the conversation of men, especially when it relates to "worrying" sheep, and the punishment it entails on the guilty dogs?



* * * * *

The Lesson of the Bath.—One of the most valuable discoveries made by Archimedes, the famous scholar of Syracuse, in Sicily, relates to the weight of bodies immersed in water. Hiero, King of Syracuse, had given a lump of gold to be made into a crown, and when it came back he suspected that the workmen had kept back some of the gold, and had made up the weight by adding more than the right quantity of silver; but he had no means of proving this, because they had made it weigh as much as the gold which had been sent. Archimedes, puzzling over this problem, went to his bath. As he stepped in he saw the water, which his body displaced, rise to a higher level in the bath, and to the astonishment of his servants he sprang out of the water, and ran home through the streets of Syracuse almost naked, crying, "Eureka! Eureka!" ("I have found it! I have found it!").

What had he found? He had discovered that any solid body put into a vessel of water displaces a quantity of water equal to its own bulk, and therefore that equal weights of two substances, one light and bulky, and the other heavy and small, will displace different quantities of water. This discovery enabled him to solve his problem. He procured one lump of gold and another of silver, each weighing exactly the same as the crown. Of course the lumps were not the same size, because silver is lighter than gold, and so it takes more of it to make up the same weight. He first put the gold into a basin of water, and marked on the side of the vessel the height to which the water rose.

Next, taking out the gold, he put in the silver, which, though it weighed the same, yet, being larger, made the water rise higher; and this height he also marked. Lastly, he took out the silver and put in the crown. Now if the crown had been pure gold, the water would have risen only up to the mark of the gold, but it rose higher, and stood between the gold and silver marks, showing that silver had been mixed with it, making it more bulky; and by calculating how much water was displaced, Archimedes could estimate roughly how much silver had been added. This was the first attempt to measure the specific gravity of different substances; that is, the weight of any particular substance compared to an equal bulk of some other substance taken as a standard. In weighing solids or liquids, water is the usual standard.

* * * * *

How this Solid Earth keeps Changing.—The student of history reads of the great sea-fight which King Edward III. fought with the French off Sluys; how in those days the merchant vessels came up to the walls of that flourishing sea-port by every tide; and how, a century later, a Portuguese fleet conveyed Isabella from Lisbon, and an English fleet brought Margaret of York from the Thames, to marry successive Dukes of Burgundy at the port of Sluys. In our time, if a modern traveller drives twelve miles out of Bruges, across the Dutch frontier, he will find a small agricultural town, surrounded by corn fields and meadows and clumps of trees, whence the sea is not in sight from the top of the town-hall steeple. This is Sluys.

Once more. We turn to the great Baie du Mont Saint Michel, between Normandy and Brittany. In Roman authors we read of the vast forest called "Setiacum Nemus," in the centre of which an isolated rock arose, surmounted by a temple of Jupiter, once a college of Druidesses. Now the same rock, with its glorious pile dedicated to St. Michael, is surrounded by the sea at high tides. The story of this transformation is even more striking than that of Sluys, and its adequate narration justly earned for M. Manet the gold medal of the French Geographical Society in 1828.

Once again. Let us turn for a moment to the Mediterranean shores of Spain, and the mountains of Murcia. Those rocky heights, whose peaks stand out against the deep blue sky, scarcely support a blade of vegetation. The algarobas and olives at their bases are artificially supplied with soil. It is scarcely credible that these are the same mountains which, according to the forest-book of King Alfonso el Sabio, were once clothed to their summits with pines and other forest trees, while soft clouds and mist hung over a rounded, shaggy outline of wood where now the naked rocks make a hard line against the burnished sky. But Arab and Spanish chroniclers alike record the facts, and geographical science explains the cause. There is scarcely a district in the whole range of the civilized world where some equally interesting geographical story has not been recorded, and where the same valuable lessons may not be taught. This is comparative geography.



That our youthful correspondents may not think we slight any of their favors, we would say that we regret exceedingly that our limited space compels us to print so few of their prettily worded and neatly written letters. We thank you all for your praise and hearty goodwill, but while we read all your comments on Young People with attention, as in that way we learn what pleases you best, we must choose for printing those letters which tell something of interest to other young readers.

To one thing we would call your attention. When you send drawings of "Wiggles" and other picture puzzles, be careful to do it on a separate piece of paper. Your letters are all recorded, and filed away, and if your idea for a "Wiggle" is drawn on the same piece of paper on which you write your letter, it makes confusion. We hope our young correspondents will pay attention to this suggestion.

* * * * *

ISHPEMING, MICHIGAN.

In Harper's Young People, No. 10, Mr. Lossing wrote about "Putnam's Narrow Escape." He said his informant was General Ebenezer Mead. Please tell Mr. Lossing that General Mead was my great-grandfather. I am nine years old. I was born in Evergreen, Louisiana, and came North when I was only three weeks old, so I don't remember about any home but where I live now.

BEN BRYANT HILL.

* * * * *

DEL NORTE, COLORADO.

I am ten years old, and live away out in the Rocky Mountains. I went down to the hotel last night, and saw the twelve Ute chiefs who are on the way to Washington. Ouray, the head chief, had his wife with him. There being but one chair in the room, she very kindly sat flat upon the floor, and allowed her husband to occupy the chair.

WALLACE S.

* * * * *

SHEEPSCOTT BRIDGE, MAINE.

I am eleven years old. My father tells me lots of stories about Indians, and shows me the places where some poor people were killed by them. Our field takes in a part of Garrison Hill, where people used to come into the fort when the Indians came. My father says Sheepscott is a very old place, and the Pilgrims came here for corn. Close by our field is an old barn where the Indians came when some men were threshing, and fired on them, and killed two and took their scalps off, and one man hit back at them with his flail, and broke an Indian's arm, and they carried him prisoner to Canada. It says so on his old grave-stone, and I have seen it. My grandfather shot bears, but there are none here now. The people here build little houses on the ice, and catch lots of smelts through a hole in the ice. Sometimes there are as many as a hundred houses. The smelts are sent to New York. I like Young People, and hope I shall always get it.

CLARENCE E. C.

* * * * *

WARREN, OHIO.

I want to tell you about my dogs. I have two coach-dogs; Spot and Sport are their names. I used to drive them in a sleigh, and they would draw me all about the town. I trained them all myself. Sport was just like some horses; he would back and kick and chew his harness. One day he chewed it all to pieces. Spot was good all the time. I am older now, and drive ponies. I drove the dogs when I was five years old.

ALASKA P.

* * * * *

EMPORIA, KANSAS.

My uncle gave me a little axe on New-Year's Day, of which I am very proud, and make good use of it by cutting wood for my mamma, but Kansas wood is very hard to split. My papa says, "Where there is a will there is a way," and I am going to earn money enough with my axe to subscribe for Young People.

PORTER HUNTER.

* * * * *

EAST SMITHFIELD, PENNSYLVANIA.

I have a canary. His name is Willie. He sings very sweetly, but he has not bathed for a long time. Do you know any way to make him take his bath?

MARY.

Sometimes canaries will not bathe in cold weather. You must give your bird tepid water, otherwise it will get chilled, and sicken. Try putting the bath dish in its cage and leaving it alone. Some canaries will never bathe if they are watched.

* * * * *

PEABODY, MASSACHUSETTS.

I have two Maltese cats exactly alike. One of them will eat pea-nuts faster than I can crack them. The one that eats pea-nuts has a bad cold. What can I do for her?

HARRY P. H.

Your kitty has a very funny appetite. Keep her in a warm corner by the fire, and give her plenty of warm milk to drink, and her cold will get well. A little weak catnip tea mixed with the milk would do her good.

* * * * *

Robie I. G. has a kitty which climbs up on the balusters every morning and tries to open his chamber door; Carlotta P. writes that her kitties Betsy and Busti play with balls, and run up the curtains as if they were climbing trees; Charlie M. S., Annie C. and Maggie W., Mattie V. S., and Ida R. L., also write of pet cats and dogs and birds.

* * * * *

MAYNARD A. M.—Your story and poems are very pretty, and show much fancy and imagination for a boy of your age, but we have not room to print them. We return them to Detroit, Michigan, the only address you give.

* * * * *

"MYSTIC."—Your drawing is very well done, but we can not use it.

* * * * *

MISS A. T.—There is no commentary on Pope's translation of Homer, but many interesting papers have been published on the subject.

* * * * *

EDWARD M. VAN C.—Your letter was a long time reaching its destination, as it first took a trip to the Dead-letter Office at Washington, and was forwarded to us from there. Like the little girl mentioned in the paper on the Dead-letter Office in Young People, No. 11, you posted it without a stamp.

* * * * *

E. L. M.—You write a very pretty letter considering that you are "only a little girl nine years old," and you need not feel nervous in future.

* * * * *

MISS E. W.—Many thanks for the charming letter and poem you so kindly forward from the bright little nine-year-old girl, Jennie Lancaster, of Marshall, Texas.

* * * * *

ADDIE W. P.—The quotation you wish is probably this: "Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it." It occurs in Shakspeare's play of Macbeth, act first, scene fourth.

* * * * *

GEORGE O. D.—We are very sorry you are so unfortunate, and trust the weekly visit of Young People will continue to brighten the monotony of your illness.

* * * * *

W. T. DOTY.—The incident you mention must be taken as an exception to a general rule, as the personal observation of many students of natural history establishes the statement to which you demur.

* * * * *

ETHEL S. M.—Either spelling of the word is correct. The form you object to is more often used by American writers than the one you found in your English history.

* * * * *

Favors are acknowledged from Esther B., Minnesota; Osborn D., Arkansas; Bert C. S., Iowa; Tillie F. W., Maryland; Ethel P., Washington, D. C.; Willie Baldwin, Massachusetts; Louis C. V., New Jersey. From Connecticut—Archie H. L., "Daisy." From New York—M. Cohn, Addie and A. Goodnow. From Missouri—Charlie B., Theodore W. B. From Illinois—S. M. H., Marion Potter. From California—Mary M. Carr, Arthur White.

* * * * *

Correct answers to puzzles are received from Charlie A. T., Illinois; H. W. Singer, Ohio; Florence and Pauline W., California; J. T. Newcombe, Michigan; Ida U. B., Minnesota; John R. Glen, Georgia; S. Addison W., Maryland; C. S. C., Connecticut; J. H. Hassett, New Hampshire. From Massachusetts—A. A. Gilmore, Stanley King, C. H. A., A. F. C. From New York—Thomas H. Van T., F. W. P., Mabel L., William MacG., Walter L., H. and B., Rufus W. T., E. S., F. Bisbee. Oscar F., New Jersey.

Many of these answers are given in very neat operations in figures.

* * * * *

Answers to Mathematical Puzzles in No. 10:

No. 5.—While selling their apples separately the boys received an average price of two and one-twelfth cents per apple. The boy who sold the whole lot together received only two cents per apple, losing one-twelfth of a cent on each. This loss on sixty apples amounted to five cents.

No. 6.—Mother's age, sixty-five; oldest daughter's, thirty; second daughter's, twenty; youngest daughter's, fifteen.



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A LIBERAL OFFER FOR 1880 ONLY.

HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE and HARPER'S WEEKLY will be sent to any address for one year, commencing with the first Number of HARPER'S WEEKLY for January, 1880, on receipt of $5.00 for the two Periodicals.



PLAYS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, with Songs and Choruses, adapted for Private Theatricals. With the Music and necessary directions for getting them up. Sent on receipt of 30 cents, by HAPPY HOURS COMPANY, No. 5 Beekman Street, New York. Send your address for a Catalogue of Tableaux, Charades, Pantomimes, Plays, Reciters, Masks, Colored Fire, &c., &c.



CANDY

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.



WOODEN WEDDING PRESENTS

Ready-made and to order.

SCROLL SAWS, DESIGNS, AND WOOD,

At LITTLE'S TOOL STORE, 59 Fulton St., N. Y. City.

Circulars free by mail.



DU CHAILLU'S STORIES

OF

ADVENTURES IN AFRICA.

* * * * *

Stories of the Gorilla Country.

By PAUL B. DU CHAILLU. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.

It is a capital book for boys. * * * The stories it contains are full of the kind of novelty, peril, and adventure which are so fascinating.—Spectator, London.

These stories are entertaining and are well told, and they are calculated to impart much knowledge of natural history to youthful readers.—Boston Traveller.

* * * * *

Wild Life under the Equator.

By PAUL B. DU CHAILLU. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.

The amount of enjoyment that was afforded to the children by the previous work of this author, "Stories of the Gorilla Country," is beyond computation. * * * We have read every word of "Wild Life under the Equator" with the liveliest interest and satisfaction No ingenious youth of twelve in the land will find it more "awfully jolly" than did we.—N. Y. Evening Post.

* * * * *

Lost in the Jungle.

By PAUL B. DU CHAILLU. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.

Full of adventures with savage men and wild beasts; shows how these strange people live, what they eat and drink, how they build, and what they worship; and will instruct as well as amuse.—Boston Journal.

A whole granary of information, dressed up in such a form as to make it nutritious for young minds, as well as attractive for youthful appetites.—Philadelphia Ledger.

* * * * *

My Apingi Kingdom:

With Life in the Great Sahara, and Sketches of the Chase of the Ostrich, Hyena, &c. By PAUL B. DU CHAILLU. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.

In this book Mr. Du Chaillu relates the story of his sojourn in Apingi Land, of which he was elected king by the kind-hearted and hospitable natives. * * * We assure the reader that it is full of stirring incidents and exciting adventures. Many chapters are exceedingly humorous, and others are quite instructive. The chapter, for instance, on the habits of the white and tree ants contains an interesting contribution to natural history.—N. Y. Herald.

* * * * *

The Country of the Dwarfs.

By PAUL B. DU CHAILLU. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.

Hail to thee, Paul! thou hero of single-handed combats with gorillas and every imaginable beast that ever howled through the deserts, from the elephant to the kangaroo; thou unscathed survivor of a thousand-and-one vicissitudes by fire, field, and flood; thou glowing historian of thine own superlatively glorious deeds: thou writer of books that make the hairs of the children stand on every available end; thou proud king of the Apingi savages of the equator; hail! we say.—Utica Herald.

* * * * *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, N. Y.

Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.



ABBOTTS' ILLUSTRATED HISTORIES.

* * * * *

HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHIES. By JACOB ABBOTT and JOHN S. C. ABBOTT. The Volumes of this Series are printed and bound uniformly, and contain numerous Illustrations. 16mo, Cloth, $1.00 per volume; Set in box, 32 vols., $32.00.

Cyrus the Great. Darius the Great. Xerxes. Alexander the Great. Romulus. Hannibal. Pyrrhus. Julius Caesar. Cleopatra. Nero. Alfred the Great. William the Conqueror. Richard I. Richard II. Richard III. Margaret of Anjou. Mary Queen of Scots. Queen Elizabeth. Charles I. Charles II. Hernando Cortez. Henry IV. Louis XIV. Maria Antoinette. Madame Roland. Josephine. Joseph Bonaparte. Hortense. Louis Philippe. Genghis Khan. King Philip. Peter the Great.

For the convenience of buyers, these Histories have been divided into Six Series, as follows:

I.

Founders of Empires.

CYRUS. DARIUS. XERXES. ALEXANDER. GENGHIS KHAN. PETER THE GREAT.

II.

Heroes of Roman History.

ROMULUS. HANNIBAL. PYRRHUS. JULIUS CAESAR. NERO.

III.

Earlier British Kings and Queens.

ALFRED. WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR. RICHARD I. RICHARD II. MARGARET OF ANJOU.

IV.

Later British Kings and Queens.

RICHARD III. MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. ELIZABETH. CHARLES I. CHARLES II.

V.

Queens and Heroines.

CLEOPATRA. MARIA ANTOINETTE. JOSEPHINE. HORTENSE. MADAME ROLAND.

VI.

Rulers of Later Times.

KING PHILIP. HERNANDO CORTEZ. HENRY IV. LOUIS XIV. JOSEPH BONAPARTE. LOUIS PHILIPPE.

* * * * *

ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S OPINION OF ABBOTTS' HISTORIES.

In a conversation with the President just before his death, Mr. Lincoln said: "I want to thank you and your brother for Abbotts' Series of Histories. I have not education enough to appreciate the profound works of voluminous historians; and if I had, I have no time to read them. But your Series of Histories gives me, in brief compass, just that knowledge of past men and events which I need. I have read them with the interest. To them I am indebted for about all the historical knowledge I have."

* * * * *

PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK.

Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.



"A book beyond the pale of criticism."

N. Y. DAILY GRAPHIC.

* * * * *

Boy Travellers in the Far East.

* * * * *

ADVENTURES OF

TWO YOUTHS IN A JOURNEY

TO

JAPAN AND CHINA.

Illustrated, 8vo, Cloth, $3.00.

* * * * *

A more attractive book for boys and girls can scarcely be imagined.—N. Y. Times.

The best thing for a boy who cannot go to China and Japan is to get this book and read it.—Philadelphia Ledger.

One of the richest and most entertaining books for young people, both in text, illustrations, and binding, which has ever come to our table.—Providence Press.

* * * * *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, N. Y.

Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.



A BOOK FOR EVERYBODY.

* * * * *

Ninth Edition now Ready.

* * * * *

HOW TO GET STRONG, AND HOW TO STAY SO. By WILLIAM BLAIKIE. With Illustrations. 16mo, Cloth, $1.00.

* * * * *

Your book is timely. Its large circulation cannot fail to be of great public benefit.—Rev. HENRY WARD BEECHER.

It is a book of extraordinary merit in matter and style, and does you great credit as a thinker and writer.—Hon. CALVIN E. PRATT, of the New York Supreme Bench.

A capital little treatise. It is the very book for ministers to study.—Rev. THEODORE L. CUYLER, D.D., in New York Evangelist.

* * * * *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.



PUZZLE PICTURE.

The envelope in the middle of this picture is supposed to contain a number of letters. These letters taken from the envelope, and correctly placed before the several objects shown in the picture, will transform them into wild animals.



THROWING LIGHT.

I am intangible; can't be seen, yet can be felt; am apparent to the taste—certainly to the touch, for I am pocketed daily, and there is no one who would not gladly grasp me at any time when offered; at the same time, I am almost always disagreeable, and very rarely desired. Too much of me is dangerous, and yet how could any one have too many of me? though even a sip is more than any one craves. No one was ever heard to say he was tired of me, and yet how many tears I have made children shed! I am the means of making people happy, yet I am dangerous under certain circumstances, though, to be sure, if I make people sick, I also make them well. Once I made a dreadful disturbance in New York, but yet I doubt if there is any city in this country where more of me, if as many, pass from people's hands.

I cost nothing, anybody can have me that wants me, yet no one if poor can keep me, though I am easily bottled. You can't confine me, though you can shut me out, for there is nothing to take hold of, but a little package will hold many hundreds of me. I am a fluid, yet I am only air. I can be made by a stroke of the pen, but the greatest care must be exercised in making me properly; but when I am made artificially I am not half as refreshing as when Nature makes me. You can carry me in your pocket, but you can not take hold of me. You may swallow me, but you can not touch me. What am I? Let some one else throw a light.

* * * * *

Answer to Charade.—Answer to Charade on page 146 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE No. 13 is "Chart."



Answer to the Elephant Puzzle.—To solve the Elephant Puzzle presented in No. 13 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE make two cuts with the scissors as shown by the white lines in Fig. 1, and transpose the section thus cut out, placing it in the position shown by the white lines of Fig 2.



IT BEING DICK'S BIRTHDAY, HE IS ALLOWED TO STAY HOME FROM SCHOOL.

1. Exploring the closets. 2. Bread and butter, with plenty of sugar. 3. Plays horse with the parlor chairs. 4. "I've sawed the chair. What will mother say?" 5. Ornaments the walls.

Result: On Dick's next Birthday he will go to School.

THE END

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