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VOL. I.—No. 13. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, January 27, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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THE DANCE IN THE KITCHEN.
Oh, that winter afternoon, Such a merry, merry tune As the jolly, fat tea-kettle chose its singing to begin! 'Twas a lilting Scottish air, And it seemed, I do declare, As though bagpipe played by fairy was forever joining in.
Then the bagpipe ceased to play, And another tune straightway Sang the kettle, louder, louder, till its voice grew very big; And the feet of laughing girls (Girls with shamrock in their curls) You could almost hear a-keeping time to that old Irish jig.
Darling, smiling, cunning Bess Grasped with tiny hands her dress, And a pretty courtesy making, while the kettle made a bow, "I'll your partner be," said she; "Forward, backward, one, two, three;" And pussy cried, "Bravo! my dears," in one immense me-ow.
And they danced right merrily Till 'twas nearly time for tea, The kettle tilting this way and then that way—oh, what fun! And its hat bobbed up and down On its moist and steamy crown, With a clatter falling off at last, and then the dance was done.
THE OLD MAN OF MONTROSE.
There was an old man of Montrose Who had a remarkable nose, So long and so thin, And so far from his chin, 'Twas always in danger of blows.
One day the old man of Montrose Went out without muffling his nose; And it grieves me to tell That this organ of smell As stiff as an icicle froze.
Soon after, in sneezing, "ker-choo," His nose into smithereens flew, And left but a stump, A ridiculous lump, That even in summer looked blue.
The frost-bitten man of Montrose Used words that were equal to blows; And so great his disgrace, He soon quitted the place, And where he has gone no one knows.
"THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE."
In the small but strongly fortified town of Saar-Louis, on what was then the borders of France, in Rhenish Prussia, there was born, a little more than a hundred years ago, a child whose future intrepid career earned for him the title of "the bravest of the brave." His father's trade was nothing more warlike than that of a cooper; his home life and training were not different from those of many of his playmates; and yet before he was sixteen years old he had entered a regiment of hussars, or light cavalry, and before he was thirty had attained the high rank of general of division.
But those were warlike days; the French Revolution had just begun; all Europe was echoing with the clash and tread of such armies as the world had never before seen; and living as he did in the shadow of fortifications constructed by France's greatest military engineer, Vauban, it is not so strange that the youth became filled with an intense desire to taste the glory and share the danger of a soldier's life.
Michael Ney, Marshal of France, Duke of Elchingen, Prince of Moskwa—for by all these titles, commemorative of some one or other of his numerous victories, was he known—early rose in the confidence and estimation of the great Napoleon, and was by him intrusted with the most responsible commands in Switzerland, Prussia, Austria, and Spain; and it was not until he met Wellington at Torres Vedras, in the Peninsula, that he met his superior in the art of war; and even then, by a happy mixture of courage and skill, Ney was enabled to mitigate to a great extent the bitterness of defeat. But to relate his whole career would be to fill a volume, so we will only consider one or two incidents in his life.
In 1810, Ney took an active part in the invasion of Russia, and by his address and energy contributed largely to the French victory at the battle of the Moskwa, called by the Russians the battle of Borodino.
When the Russian Bear turned upon the invader, and the ever-memorable retreat commenced, with all its attendant horrors of cold, hunger, and physical pain, to Ney was assigned the honorable but arduous task of protecting the rear of the fleeing troops. At the start Ney's force numbered 7000 men, and on leaving Smolensk he found himself confronted by an army four times as large.
He was summoned to surrender before commencing the attack, and his characteristic reply, "A Marshal of France never surrenders," has passed into history, though it must be confessed that, in the light of recent events, history does not always bear out the assertion. Repeatedly driven back with awful loss, Ney determined to outwit the enemy; so, under cover of darkness, he and his troops made a wide circuit, and reached the bank of the river Dnieper far in advance of the pursuers.
But here a new foe confronted the gallant Marshal. How should he cross the stream? He had no boats, and although the weather was intensely cold, the rapid current was covered only by a thin coating of ice that bent beneath the weight of a single man. However, to deliberate was to be lost; so, dividing his forces into small companies, he caused the advance to be sounded, himself stepping first upon the glassy surface.
What a subject for a painter is here presented!—the frozen snowy landscape; the bare skeleton trees; the broad serpentine course of the frost-bound river, with here and there patches of open water showing darkly against the snow-covered ice; the scattered groups of soldiers treading carefully, and with the possibility before them that at the next step the treacherous floor might precipitate them into an icy grave.
But the hazardous passage was safely effected, and after a series of conflicts with forces in every case far superior to his own, Ney succeeded in rejoining the Emperor at Orsha, where he was received with open arms, and hailed as "the bravest of the brave"—a name which clung to him from that time.
After Napoleon left the army, Ney still continued to fight in the rear against the ever-increasing hordes of Russians that harassed the flanks of the fugitive army. Three times was the rear-guard that he commanded melted away by death, captivity, or flight, and as often was it reorganized by the indomitable Marshal who "never surrendered."
At last, with a poor remnant of only thirty men, Ney defended the gate of the town of Kovno—the last place in the Russian dominions through which the French retreated—against the pursuers, while the main body escaped through the gate at the other end of the town. He was himself the very last man to retire. Snatching a pistol from one of his men, he fired the last shot in the faces of the Russians, flung the weapon into the river Niemen, plunged in after it, and amid a storm of bullets swam the stream, and gained the neighboring forest, successfully eluded his pursuers, and joined his comrades, who had mourned him as dead, in the Prussian territory.
Ney's end was as unfortunate as it was unworthy so brave a soldier. When Napoleon was banished to Elba, Ney, who had previously incurred his displeasure, gave his allegiance to the restored Bourbons, and when the great Emperor re-appeared in France, Ney was placed in command of the army sent to oppose him, promising his new superiors to bring back Napoleon "like a wild beast in a cage."
There is no reason to doubt Ney's sincerity in this unhappy episode of his career. He was of a brave, impulsive disposition, one accustomed to act on the spur of the moment; so, when he drew near to the Emperor, and found that the men he commanded, nearly all of whom had fought at some time or other under the Emperor, were fixed in a resolve not to fight against Napoleon, it is not so much to be wondered at that Ney became Napoleonist with as much ardor as ever. And when Napoleon called on him by his old title, "the bravest of the brave," to once more rally under his standard, Ney responded with alacrity, as though the name possessed a magic spell he could not resist.
After Waterloo, when all that pertained to the cause of the dethroned Emperor was irretrievably lost, Ney was brought to trial by the re-restored Bourbons on the charge of treason, and was condemned to be shot on December 7, 1815. He met death with that same unflinching bravery which he so many times displayed, during his eventful career, on most of the great battle-fields of Europe.
On December 7, 1853, exactly thirty-eight years after his death, a statue was raised to the memory of the intrepid Marshal on the precise spot on which his execution occurred.
[Begun in No. 11 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, January 13.]
BY FLETCHER READE.
"A primrose by the river's brim A yellow primrose was to him, And it was nothing more."
"Princess Bebe! Princess Bebe! Princess Bebe!"
It was the little gate-keeper, running at the top of his speed, and shouting at the top of his voice.
Very much heated and very red in the face was the little man as he stood before the princess, holding out to her a loaf of bread almost as large as himself.
"This is for you," he said, in a choked voice, for he had run so far and so fast that he could hardly speak at all. "The wise old woman of Hollowbush sent it. Now eat, eat. Let me see what it is like—let me see how you do it."
While the princess ate her loaf of bread with more eagerness than any member of royalty ever displayed before or since, the gate-keeper watched her with wondering eyes.
"Well, I never saw anything like that before," he said at length. "And you go through that remarkable performance every day! Every day!" he repeated, in a tone of the most intense astonishment.
"But where did you find it?" asked the princess, who was more interested in the bread than in the gate-keeper.
"Find it!" he exclaimed. "I didn't find it. That wise old woman of Hollowbush, who has discovered the secret of the three knocks, knocked on the wall, and when I had opened the door, she thrust it in, saying she would bring you a fresh loaf every day."
"Then she has not quite forgotten me," sighed the princess, thinking of her last conversation with this same wise old lady. "But does she know that I must stay here the rest of my life?"
"Oh yes," answered the gate-keeper, shaking his head, and looking very wise. "That is—there is a secret—did it never occur to you, my dear princess," he added, suddenly, "that there might be a way of making your escape?"
"Oh, you dear delicious little gate-keeper!" exclaimed the princess, seizing him in her arms, and tossing him up and down. "I see how it is: you will let me out—you will do it. Oh, I am sure you will!"
"Not so fast, my dear," said the little man, struggling to free himself. "Put me down, and I will tell you all about it. But first of all you must promise to keep the whole matter a profound secret: if you should tell any one, the plan would fail."
"Oh, I can keep a secret," said the princess, smiling, and beginning to feel quite happy again.
"Well, then," said the gate-keeper, seating himself by the fountain—which was not a fountain at all, but only an imitation very skillfully done in aquamarine—"you are to stay here a year. Then, when the spring comes you are to be changed into a primrose, if you will consent to it, and grow up out of the ground like other flowers. Hidden deep within the woods, you must wait patiently, through sunshine and rain, till some one finds you, and breaks you from the stem. Whoever he may be, rich or poor, young or old, if he loves the flower well enough to take it home, and place it carefully in a vase of water, he will have the power of transforming it into a mortal, and you will be restored to your home in a world where the sun shines and where flowers grow."
"Dear! dear!" said the princess, "I suppose I must consent, if that is the only way of making my escape. But what if no one comes into the woods, and what if no one cares enough for the primrose to pick it?"
"Then it will wither on its stem, and you must come back to us, and be the Princess Bebe for another year."
The trial which was proposed to her seemed a very hard one, and the year which followed seemed very long. If it had not been for the kindness of the gate-keeper, who amused her by showing her all the curiosities which the kingdom of the mineral-workers contained, and explaining how the gems were cleaned and polished and cut, I am afraid the poor Princess Bebe would have died of homesickness long before spring. But at last the year came to an end, as all years must, and she started on her journey into the upper world.
Day after day she struggled through the earth, pushing her roots deep down into the soil, and stretching her slender leaf-like arms up into the sunlight. The dew came and kissed the little flower-bud with sweet moist lips, the sunshine warmed it, and the south wind sang to it, until at last a yellow primrose opened its eyes in the dark woods.
Day after day it lived there, trembling at the sound of every footstep, and wishing and praying deep down in its flower-heart for a friend.
June days had never seemed so long as these, for, despite her prayers, no one came, and the lonely primrose grew faint and weary with disappointment.
At last, however, a party of children playing in the woods caught sight of her bright face, and one of them—a merry, rosy-cheeked boy—broke the flower from its stem. He held it up to his companions, and they ran laughing after him.
"Oh, it's nothing but a yellow primrose," he said, as they tried to snatch the flower from his hand; and with these words he threw it away.
So it was all in vain that the little flower had lived and died, for the next day the Princess Bebe found herself back in the kingdom of the mineral-workers.
Her diamond necklace was just as beautiful as ever; her opal bed seemed all alive with trembling colors, soft white and flashing crimson; and the king welcomed her right royally, without a word of reproach for her long absence.
But for all that, her heart grew heavier every day. Even the attentions of the gate-keeper became tiresome; and when he tried to make her laugh with his merry ways, she could only smile sadly, and say, "Oh, it was such a disappointment to be picked, and then thrown away."
"Never mind—never mind," he would answer, cheerily: "better luck next time." And so the days dragged slowly by until another spring.
Then the princess began to hope once more; and when she found herself actually lifting her head into the sunlight, and felt the soft air blow over her, she wondered how she could ever have believed for a moment that anything was better or more beautiful than the deep blue sky above one, and the green earth beneath.
Contented and happy, she waited patiently through wind and rain, until it seemed as if her patience were to be rewarded.
A young man on a jet-black horse came riding through the woods. His face was bright and handsome, and he looked out upon the world with as merry a pair of eyes as you would care to see.
"Oh, if he would only take me home!" thought the flower. "I should like to be rescued by such a handsome youth as he." And in spite of her yellow primrose face, the little flower actually blushed.
"What a bright little flower!" said the young man, as he rode along. "If it were not so much trouble getting off my horse, I would carry it home to Marjorie. But it's only a commonplace little primrose after all," he added, and so rode on.
That night the little flower cried itself to sleep among the shadows, and before morning it had withered on its stem.
"I will never make the attempt again," said the Princess Bebe, when she found herself once more in the kingdom of the mineral-workers.
"Oh yes, you will," said the gate-keeper, who had come forward to meet her. "If life is worth having, it is worth struggling for. Next year I shall send you up for your trial, whether you consent or not."
"If that is the case, I suppose I may as well consent at once," said the princess, and so yielded the point.
And when the long, long days of another year had come and gone, she left the kingdom of the mineral-workers for the third time. For the third time she struggled through the ground, lifting up her head among the blue-eyed violets and slender waving grasses.
She shook out her petals in the sunlight, and smiled as sweetly as a primrose can smile; but the spring days went by, and the summer was almost over, before any one took any notice of her.
The poor little primrose was almost ready to die of despair, when one day, looking up quite suddenly, she saw the face of an old man bending over her.
He had gray hair and kind gray eyes; and as he looked at the flower he smiled tenderly, as if he were looking at something that he loved.
The flower smiled in turn, but could not speak.
"You must go home with me, little primrose," said the old man, stooping over the flower.
The fact that this gray-haired, gray-eyed old man was a poet will account, perhaps, for his talking to a flower as if it could understand what he said. At all events, he broke it from the stem, and when he reached his home placed it in a glass of water, saying,
"There you must stay, my little flower, until I can write a poem worthy of your bright face."
No sooner had he uttered these words than he saw standing before him a young girl with golden hair and softly shining eyes.
"Bless me! bless me!" exclaimed the old man, in great surprise, taking off the spectacles which he had so carefully adjusted across his nose, "where did you come from, my lady?"
"I came from the flower," she said; and she threw her arms round his neck and kissed him on the lips.
She was so delighted at her escape that she was not wholly responsible for her actions; and if she cried a little, I don't think any one will blame her.
Laughing and crying at the same time, and half wild with excitement, she told her new friend the story of her life for the past few years; and he, in his turn, smiled and wept a little, perhaps, and then he kissed her on the lips, and said,
"Henceforth, my dear girl, you shall be known as the Lady Primrose, and you shall stay with me as long as you will."
Whether or no he ever wrote a poem about her I can not tell. All I know is that she lived with him for the rest of her life, and was the sweetest and happiest Lady Primrose imaginable.
The house was as full of flowers as it could hold, and when the wise old woman of Hollowbush, who, you may be sure, had not forgotten her, asked her if she did not want another diamond necklace, Lady Primrose would answer:
"I don't care if I never see another diamond. The simplest flowers that grow in the woods are the loveliest jewels God ever made, and so long as I can have them, the lifeless flowers of the underground world may bloom for those who do not know of how little value the jewels they prize so highly really are."
EIGHTY YEARS OF A BIRD'S LIFE.
BY MRS. AMELIA E. BARR.
You must understand, my dear young readers, that the Raven of this tale is not at all an ordinary bird. It is true, he could not sing even as well as the smallest wren, but then he could talk, and it was generally believed that he knew a great deal more than the wisest of men and women supposed. He was, too, the very last representative of an extremely ancient family of Ravens, who had inhabited some rocky hills just behind the little cottage for hundreds of years—a family, indeed, so ancient that they had watched the battle-fields of Celts, Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans, and had had among them very wise birds, who croaked quite learnedly on the subject.
Now at the bottom of the lofty rocks which they inhabited was a rich and beautiful valley, and here, four hundred years ago, a Norman lord, who was a great fighter, built himself a fine castle. The Ravens and he got on very well together, and became great friends. His hunting and fighting supplied them with food, and it is said they told him a great many things that only a bird can know. He called his castle Ravensfield, and very soon people began to call him Ravensfield, and then the birds and he grew more friendly than ever. And it is said that when he was dying he told his son always to be good to the Ravens, for that just as long as the Ravens lived on Raven's Rock, the Ravensfields would own the rich lands below it.
For two hundred years everything went well; the knights grew rich and powerful, and the birds fat and numerous. Then the Ravensfields began to go to London, and spend money, and do all sorts of foolish things, and get into all kinds of troubles, and though the Ravens croaked and croaked until they were hoarse, they would not be prudent, and stay at home and mind their own business.
So the end of the matter was that every Ravensfield got poorer, and the fine old castle fell into ruins, and the colony of Ravens among the rocks also got smaller and smaller, until one morning the last knight of Ravensfield found in a deserted nest the last of this once powerful family of birds. It was half fledged and half starved, and he brought it home, and gave it to his sister to nurse. "Sister Mabel," he said, sadly, "this is the luck of Ravensfield: nurse it carefully, and to-morrow I will buckle my sword to my belt and go to India. I do believe this bird will live to see the old house rebuilt, and the glory of our family restored."
So the young Lord Stephen went over the seas, and Miss Mabel nursed the bird, and talked hopefully to it for fifteen years. But poor Lord Stephen was killed in a great Indian battle, and soon after there came to Miss Mabel a little lad who was Lord Stephen's only child. His father had left him a little money, and his aunt Mabel took great pains with him, and sent him to the best schools; and when he was twenty years old, she buckled his sword on his belt, and kissing him tenderly, sent him away also to India. "For, Stephen," she said, "you must win fame and gold to buy back the house and lands of Ravensfield."
All these twenty years the Raven had been growing large and splendid, and when the second Lord Stephen went away, he looked after him with a queer sidewise glance that filled Miss Mabel's heart with fear. But he was a bold, brave youth, and sent happy letters over the sea, and Miss Mabel told the Raven all the news, and I have no doubt they comforted each other very much. After nine years had passed, the Raven suddenly grew silent, and then there came a sad, sad letter: the second Lord Stephen had been killed fighting under his flag, and his sickly little baby girl was sent home to his aunt in England.
Poor Miss Mabel was now sixty years old, and her heart and hopes were quite crushed. She had little love left for the desolate child, and she seemed to take a dislike to the poor Raven. At any rate, she never spoke to it, and the bird became the companion of the little girl. They played and ate and slept together, and when little Nannette went out to gather primroses or berries, the Raven always walked solemnly beside her.
One morning (the very morning when somebody drew this picture of them) her aunt was cross—she had a heartache, and a toothache too, poor old lady!—and Nannette took her porringer of bread and milk out of the cottage, and she and the bird were enjoying it together, when some one called out, "Nannette, I am going to shoot that ugly old bird!"
Then Nannette's little heart stood still in her terror, and she dropped her breakfast and ran to the boy, crying out that she should die if it were killed, for it was the only thing in all the world she had to love her.
The boy saw that she had great brown eyes, and beautiful brown hair, and a little mouth like a rose-bud, and he thought, "How lovely she is!" and dropped his gun, and said so many comforting words to Nannette, that always after it they were the very dearest of friends. And the Raven seemed to approve of Reginald also—for Reginald was the little boy's name, and he was very proud of it, being, as you know, a little out of the common; he would perch on his shoulder, and what he said to him as years went by I can not tell; but Reginald became thoughtful, and talked to Nannette continually about going away, and growing rich, and then coming home to marry her and make her a great lady. But Reginald did not have money enough to go away, and so he was often very sad and silent.
One day he came to Nannette with a paper in his hand. "See!" he cried, "the squire's son has been lost in the hills while hunting, and there is one hundred pounds to be given to whoever finds him. I know all about the hills, and shall certainly find the young squire." Then he said good-by to Nannette, and would have done so to the Raven, but the bird flew away before him, and for all his mistress's cries he would not come back. So together they went up the rocks, and Nannette watched them quite out of sight.
And Reginald, who knew a great deal about birds, watched the Raven, and saw that he flew continually over one spot in a narrow ravine; and there he found the poor young squire. His horse had been killed by the fall, and there he lay with a broken leg, and almost dead with hunger and thirst and pain. After this piece of good luck, Reginald's way was clear. Every one was then talking about a new country full of gold, called California; and though it was at the other end of the world, Reginald bravely sailed away into the West. Aunt Mabel shook her head, and the Raven nodded his head, and Nannette cried and laughed, and bid him "come quickly back, and build again the beautiful castle of Ravensfield"; and Reginald said, gravely, "I will surely do it," whereat the Raven nodded his wise-looking head harder than before.
"How long will he be away, Aunt Mabel?" said Nannette, sadly.
"Twenty years at least, my dear. I shall never see him again. I am seventy-five years old now."
"And I am fifteen. Ah! I shall be an old woman when Reginald comes back, and he won't know his little Nannette any more!" Then the Raven said something to Nannette, and she laughed, and his "Croak! croak!" sounded very like "Yes! yes!" It did, indeed.
Four years after Reginald went away, a very singular thing happened. Two pairs of strange Ravens came to Raven's Rock, and built nests and reared their young there. Nannette's Raven went very often to see them, and seemed to be altogether a changed bird. For though he was getting near sixty years old, he began to plume his feathers, and to sit continually at the cottage door, watching, watching, watching, as if he expected somebody.
It affected Nannette at last. "I think, aunt," she said, timidly, "that Reginald must be coming home. Just look at that bird!"
"Nonsense, child! How should he know?"
And indeed I don't understand how this wonderful bird knew, but he did; for that very night, just as Nannette was going to light the candle, she heard Reginald's step on the crisp snow, and the old lady heard it, and the Raven heard it, and there was the gladdest meeting you can possibly imagine; and if ever a bird said "I told you so," that Raven said it at least a hundred times that night.
Besides, Reginald had come home with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pounds; and he married lovely Nannette, and rebuilt Ravensfield; and dear, patient Aunt Mabel, after sixty years of waiting, went back to the stately old house, and ended her days in the little parlor where she had kissed her brother Stephen farewell.
As for the Raven, he showed himself to be a bird of a very aristocratic nature. He stepped proudly about the fine halls and gardens, and never went near the little cottage or the village streets again. He lived until his fine plumage began to turn gray, and Nannette's oldest son was almost big enough to put on a scarlet coat and a sword; and when he was nearly eighty years old he died on Nannette's knee, his foot in her hand, and the last thing he was conscious of was her tears dropping upon it.
Very likely, children, some extremely wise men and women will say, "I would not believe too much of this story, boys and girls." But when you have lived as long as I have lived, you will know that extremely wise men and women don't know everything. At any rate, there are plenty of Ravens on Raven's Rock now, and plenty of Ravensfields in the splendid castle; and if ever you go to England, you can see them if you want to.
A HARD SWIM.
BY DAVID KER.
There are few things more delightful than to be at sea on a fine summer day, with a bright blue sky above and a bright blue sea below, while the fresh breeze fills your sails, and the great smooth waves toss you lightly along, and spatter you at times with their glittering spray, like frolicsome giants. But it is a very different thing to be out in the teeth of a real equinoctial gale, with the whole sky black as ink, and the whole sea one sheet of boiling foam, and a huge wave coming thundering over the deck every other minute, sweeping everything before it, and making the whole vessel tremble from stem to stern.
So, doubtless, thought Olaf Petersen, captain and owner of the Norwegian schooner Thyra, of Bergen, when just such a storm caught him half way across the North Sea. It did seem rather hard, after escaping all the storms of blustering March, that fresh, genial April should serve him such a trick; but so it was, and instead of having a short and easy run northeastward to Bergen, as he expected, he found himself flying away to the west, driven by a gale which seemed strong enough to blow him right round the world, if it did not happen to sink him by the way.
All the sails had long since been taken in, and the little craft was scudding under bare poles, no one being on deck but the two men at the wheel (who had quite enough to do keeping her head straight) and the captain himself. A fine picture Olaf Petersen would have made as he stood there, with the spray rattling like hail upon his drenched tarpaulins, and his clear bright eye looking keenly out through the wet hair that was plastered over his face. It might be seen by the firm set of his mouth that he meant to fight it out while a plank would swim; but he looked grave and anxious, nevertheless.
And well he might. This time it was not only his vessel and the lives of himself and his crew that were in danger: his young wife was on board, after whom the Thyra had been named, and it was now too late to blame himself for having granted her entreaty to be allowed to sail along with him, instead of being left at home by herself for so many weary weeks, without knowing whether he was alive or dead.
Still it blew harder, and harder yet. Had not the Thyra been as good a sea-boat as ever swam, it would have been all over with her. Even as it was, she could barely hold her own against the mountains of water that came plunging over her deck with a force that seemed sufficient to rend a rock. More than once the captain's stiffened fingers were almost torn from their hold upon the weather rigging, while the men at the wheel were under water again and again. Vainly did Olaf strain his eyes to windward in the hope of seeing a break in the inky sky. All was grim and gloomy, and amid the blinding spray and the deepening darkness it was hard to tell where the sea ended and the sky began.
All that night and all the next morning they drove blindly onward, not knowing where they were; for the sun had not been seen for two whole days, and no observation could be taken. But Captain Petersen, who had those seas by heart, began to fear that they were being driven in among the Orkney Isles, and he knew only too well what chance the stoutest three-decker would have against those tremendous rocks with such a sea running.
Toward afternoon the wind fell suddenly, though the sea still ran high; but now came something worse than all—one of those terrible Northern fogs which turn day into night, and make the oldest sailor as helpless as a child. The lanterns were lit and hoisted, the ship's bell was kept constantly tolling, and the captain ordered up two "look-outs" besides himself; but the fog grew thicker and thicker, till those on the forecastle could barely make out the foremast.
Ha! what was that huge dim shadow that loomed out suddenly just ahead, like a threatening giant? Could it be a rock?
"Port your helm!—port!" roared the captain, at the full pitch of his voice.
But it was too late. The next moment there came a deafening crash, a shock that threw them all off their feet, and the vessel, with her bows stove in, was sawing and grinding upon the sharp rocks that had pierced her through and through, with the water rushing into her like a cataract.
The next few minutes were like the confusion of a troubled dream—a shadowy vision of a huge dark mass overhead, a short fierce struggle amid swirling foam and broken timbers—and then the captain and wife found themselves upon one of the higher ledges, hardly knowing how they had reached it, while the crew, with bleeding hands and sorely bruised limbs, dragged themselves painfully up after them.
They were not a moment too soon. Scarcely had the last man gained the ledge, when a mountain wave took the vessel aback. She slid off the rocks which had held her up, and went down so quickly that the captain, turning at the shouts of his men, just caught a glimpse of her topmasts vanishing under water.
The situation of the shipwrecked crew was now dreary enough. Alone upon a bare rock in the midst of a stormy sea, with no means of escape, and no food but the few brine-soaked biscuits in their pockets, there seemed to be nothing left for them but to give themselves up and die. But, of all men living, a sailor is the least apt to think his case hopeless, however dark it may appear. Having just been saved from apparently certain death, the stout-hearted seamen were in no mood to despair so easily; and settling themselves snugly in a sheltered cleft of the rock, they ate their scanty meal (a good share of which had been reserved for Mrs. Petersen) as cheerily as if they were lying at anchor in Bergen Harbor.
Just as the meal ended, the fog suddenly rolled away like a curtain, and the last gleam of the setting sun showed them an island several miles to the north, on the shore of which the keen-eyed captain made out a few white specks that looked like fishermen's huts.
"Lads," cried he, "if the wind rises again, it'll blow us all into the sea; and even if it don't, we shall freeze to death if we stick here all night, with no room to move about. There's just one chance left for us, and I'm going to take it. Somebody must swim to that island for help, and as I believe I'm the best swimmer among us, I'll be the one to do it."
"Olaf!" cried his wife, catching him by the arm, "you won't think of it! It's certain death!"
"Pooh, pooh!" said the captain, cheerily. "I haven't swum across Bergen Bay and back for nothing. It's certain death to sit here and freeze, if you like; but you'll soon see me coming back with half a dozen stout fellows, and we'll all have a good supper before the night's out. Keep your heart up, dear. God bless you!"
The next moment he was in the water, and vanishing from the eager eyes that watched him into the fast-falling shadows of night. Then came a long silence. The men looked at each other, no one daring to utter the thought which was in every one's mind, while Thyra Petersen hid her face in her hands, and prayed as she had never prayed before.
Meanwhile Captain Petersen, who had told no more than the truth in calling himself a good swimmer, was breasting the waves manfully. But he soon found the difference between attempting a long swim when quite fresh and vigorous, and doing the same thing after a hard night's work, on short allowance of food, and with limbs stiffened by wet and cold. Moreover, the sea, although much quieter than it had been, was still rough enough to tell sorely against him. Before he had gone a mile he felt his strength beginning to fail; but he thought of his wife, and of all the other lives that now depended upon him alone, and struggled desperately onward. But now came a new trouble. In the deepening darkness the island for which he was heading soon disappeared altogether, and he found himself swimming almost at random. Every stroke was now a matter of life and death, and yet each of those strokes might be taken in the wrong direction. It was a terrible thought. Heavier and heavier grew his cramped limbs, harder and harder pressed the merciless sea. He sank—rose—sank again, and as he came up once more, lifted his voice in a despairing cry, feeling that all was over.
"Hist, laddies! there's some ane skirling" (screaming), shouted a hoarse voice near him.
There was a sudden splash of oars, a clamor of many voices, and then a strong hand clutched him as he sank for the last time. So utterly was he spent that he could barely force out the few words needful to tell his story; but these were quite enough for the Orkney fishermen, who at once put about and steered straight for the rock.
It was a glad sight for the weary watchers, when the boat came gliding toward them out of the darkness. But when they recognized their captain, whom they had long since given up for lost, they gathered their last strength for a feeble cheer, while poor Thyra sprang into the boat, and threw her arms round his neck without a word.
So ended Captain Petersen's daring swim, which brought him good in a way that he little expected; for when the news of the feat reached Bergen, the townspeople at once started a subscription to buy him another vessel, in which he is voyaging now.
SOME CURIOUS ART WORKS AND ARTISTS.
The Marquis de Veere once gave each of his household a sufficient quantity of the richest white silk damask for a suit. Charles V. was about to make him a visit, and the marquis wished his court to make a splendid appearance when assisting him to receive the emperor. His painter, Mabuse, who was always in debt, was granted the privilege of seeing to the making of his own suit of clothes. Mabuse, however, sold the damask for a good price, and having made a paper suit, painted it so perfectly to represent the damask that when he appeared in it all were deceived.
When the marquis called the emperor's attention to the beautiful clothing of his court, and asked which suit he most admired, the emperor at once selected that of Mabuse. The joke was then explained to the emperor, but he would not believe that the suit was not of real damask until he had touched it with his hands.
It no doubt took Mabuse considerable time to paint his damask, but a much more celebrated artist once made a wonderful drawing almost in an instant. At the time of the Caesars there was at Rome a panel on which was to be seen nothing but three colored lines. The lines were drawn one on top of the other, each thinner line dividing the next wider. This was considered one of the most wonderful art works at Rome.
The Grecian painter Apelles went one day into Protogenes's studio, and finding that artist out, drew on a panel the widest of the three lines in such a peculiar and beautiful manner that Protogenes knew at once his caller. When Apelles called the second time he found that Protogenes had drawn a colored line upon the first line, dividing it with the most delicate accuracy. Seeing this, Apelles divided the second line, to every one's astonishment. Protogenes lived at Rhodes, and the panel was taken to Rome to be admired by all who saw it. When the imperial palace was destroyed, the panel unfortunately shared a like fate.
In comparison, what a delicate flower is to a huge log, so the work of Apelles would be to such a vast oil-painting as the "Apotheosis of Hercules," painted by Lemoin, a Frenchman. This picture measured sixty-four feet one way by fifty-four feet the other, and the ultramarine to paint the clouds on it alone cost two thousand dollars.
Another huge painting, said to be the largest in the world, is Tintoretto's "Paradise," at Venice. It contains an almost innumerable multitude of figures, and fills the end of a large hall, over three hundred feet long and half as wide.
One of the most minute and beautiful of art works now at Florence is a glory of sixty saints carved on a cherry stone. It was carved by the Italian sculptress Rossi, who executed other similar carvings, besides working in marble.
Some of the old artists had peculiar methods of working. Aspertino taught himself to paint with both hands at the same time; and Goya, who died in this century, frequently used a stick or a sponge rather than a brush. There are pictures of Goya's done entirely with his palette knife and finger-ends.
One of the oddest of all artists was Bazzi, called Il Soddoma. Not only did he dress peculiarly, but his house was full of strange pet animals, such as monkeys and queer birds. Among the birds was a raven that could perfectly imitate his voice and manner of speech.
Sir Joshua Reynolds painted with brushes the handles of which were a foot and a half long, and used them so rapidly that he would paint a portrait in four hours. The finest of his pictures were those of children.
Other painters were noted also especially for their rapid work. One morning when some citizens called upon the Spanish painter Serra with an order for an altarpiece, he invited them to stay to dinner, and in the mean while to pass the time in his garden. When dinner-time came, the citizens were perfectly amazed to see Serra walk into their presence bearing the finished picture.
Rizi, another Spanish painter, went in early life to Salamanca to study theology, but he arrived there without money, and found that to be received at the college he must pay a hundred ducats. The abbot of the college gave Rizi but two days in which to get the money, or be refused as a student. Within that time, however, Rizi painted and sold a picture for the desired amount. He continued to paint to pay for his education, and in addition to becoming a famous painter he was made a bishop just before he died.
A celebrated painter of fairs and festivals such as took place among the Dutch was David Teniers. He usually painted on small or moderate-sized canvases, but the figures often were so numerous that one of his pictures contains nearly twelve hundred figures, while others with two hundred and three hundred figures are not rare. Teniers could imitate the style of other painters. At Vienna is a picture of his representing a gallery in which he and a gentleman are standing, and on the wall before them are hung fifty pictures of other artists. The pictures, of course, are quite small, but any one comparing them with the originals sees how striking is the imitation of different styles.
Another clever imitation of a very different kind was that of Peredo's, whose wife, a lady of rank, wished to have a servant with her whenever any one called. Peredo was not wealthy enough to keep merely ornamental servants, and he painted an old lady with glasses sitting in a chair, and who, apparently, when visitors saluted her, was so busily engaged in sewing as not to hear them.
HARES, WILD AND TAME.
The hare family is one of the largest of the great animal kingdom, for Master Lepus is found in almost every corner of the earth, and whether hiding in tropical thickets, or scampering on Alpine heights, or through the frozen regions of the North, it is always the same agile, shy, and stupid little beast. It has very long ears, tipped with black, and heavy whiskers growing from each cheek. Its hind-legs are very long. It is a swift runner, and can jump a great distance.
Hares are very common throughout the Northern United States, their favorite haunts being overgrown old clearings, and thickets where are many snug places of concealment. They change their fur during winter, throwing off the pretty reddish-brown summer coat, and donning one of white and dark fawn-color. The color of the fur, however, is so varied that it is difficult to find two specimens exactly alike.
This little creature will eat any juicy, tender food, such as the young buds and sprouts in the spring, berries, and leaves. It is fond of cabbage leaves and young grain, and often does much mischief to the crops. It generally sleeps through the day, and morning and evening jumps about in search of food, scampering here and there wherever it can find a sweet morsel to nibble. It does not burrow its nest in the ground, like its cousin the rabbit, but scratches together a little heap of dry grass, which makes a very good temporary lodging. The hare's nest is called a "form," and is so in harmony with surrounding objects that it is scarcely noticeable. One may pass very near without suspecting that under such a heap of dry rubbish a cunning little animal lies concealed. On English heaths the hare makes its "form" in the little stubbly furze-bushes. Inside this mass of prickly leaves it hollows out a soft little bed, where it sleeps away the long sunny day, crouched close to the ground, its ears laid flat on its back.
Hares have no means of defending themselves, except their sharp toe-nails, which they rarely think of using, and they fall an easy prey to the many enemies which beset them. They are vigorously hunted by men and dogs on account of the delicate flavor of their flesh, and it has been thought necessary to place them under the protection of the game-laws. They are also the prey of foxes, wild-cats, weasels, and many other animals. Although defenseless, they still are in a measure protected by their keen ear, which catches the sound of the least rustle or movement, and warns the little beast against approaching danger.
The hare is the worst mother in the world. When her little ones are four or five days old, she leaves them unprotected in their nest, and scampers away to enjoy herself, returning once or twice, perhaps, to nurse her forlorn babies, and then leaving them to shift for themselves. Many little ones, thus neglected, die of cold and hunger, or are swooped up by hawks and owls. It is a strange fact that the mother hare makes no attempt to protect her babies, but will run away at the least signal of danger, and leave them to their fate. Hares have even been known themselves to bite their children to death. A young hare family remain together until they are half grown, when they separate, continuing to live near their native spot, for hares are not travellers, and, unless disturbed, seldom change their home. They are very short-lived, and seldom attain the age of ten years.
Hares are very plentiful in Switzerland, and are found high up among the ice and snow of the most lofty mountains. These Alpine hares are subject to a very strange change of costume. In December, when the Alpine world is one vast expanse of snow, the fur of the hare is the purest white, only the ears preserving the distinguishing black tip. As spring comes on, gray-brown hairs appear in the white fur, until, about the end of May, the animal is entirely covered with a gray-brown coat, which with the first snows of the autumn begins, in its turn, to change again into white. Ice hares, which are found as far north as the Parry Islands, are also subject to the same change, with the exception that the warm weather continues only long enough to spread a gray mantle along the back of the little creature, which quickly disappears as the temperature declines. The ice hare lives on the bark and twigs of the arctic willow and the dry moss and stubble of the desolate regions it inhabits. It makes its nest among the rocks, and in winter digs a hole in the snow.
Hares are good swimmers, but will not enter the water unless to avoid a foe. There is, however, one species of aquatic hare, found only in the Southern United States. It is amphibious, like the musk-rat, is a most expert swimmer, and makes its nest, or "form," on the edge of the morass, where it sleeps all day, sallying forth morning and evening for a swim in search of the delicate water-plants upon which it feeds. The young ones enter the water at a very early age, and may be seen paddling about with the mother on a hunt for breakfast.
Tame hares make very pretty pets. They are very stupid about learning tricks, and are said to have very short memories. Hares which have escaped from their masters, and have been recaptured after a few days of freedom, have been found to be entirely wild, as if they retained no remembrance, even for that short time, of all the petting which had been bestowed upon them. Dr. Benjamin Franklin is said to have had a pet hare which lived on the most friendly terms with a greyhound and cat, and would share the hearth-rug with them in the winter.
William Cowper, the English poet, had three pet hares, to which he was much attached, and about which he wrote many pretty things. They were given to him when they were leverets, as a hare is called during the first year of its life, and he named them Puss, Bess, and Tiney. He built them houses to sleep in, and always kept them near him. Bess, who died soon after he was full grown, "was," writes Cowper, "a hare of great humor and drollery. Puss was tamed by gentle usage; Tiney was not to be tamed at all." Once poor Puss was sick. His master nursed him with the greatest care. He says: "No creature could be more grateful than my patient after his recovery—a sentiment which he most significantly expressed by licking my hand, first the back of it, then the palm, then every finger separately, then between all the fingers, as if anxious to leave no part of it unsaluted; a ceremony which he never performed but once again, upon a similar occasion."
Upon Tiney the kindest treatment had no effect. If his master ventured to stroke him, he would grunt, strike with his fore-feet, spring forward, and bite. Tiney lived to be nine years old, and died from the effects of a fall. Puss survived him two years. A memorandum found among Cowper's papers reads: "This day died poor Puss, aged eleven years, eleven months. He died between twelve and one at noon, of mere old age, and apparently without pain."
The poet was so fond of his pets that he buried them in his garden, and wrote an epitaph on Tiney, from which we take the following stanzas:
"Here lies—whom hound did ne'er pursue, Nor swifter greyhound follow, Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew, Nor ear heard huntsman's halloo—
"Old Tiney, surliest of his kind, Who, nursed with tender care, And to domestic bounds confined, Was still a wild Jack hare.
"Though duly from my hand he took His pittance every night, He did it with a jealous look, And, when he could, would bite.
"His diet was of wheaten bread, And milk, and oats, and straw; Thistles, or lettuces instead, With sand to scour his maw.
"On twigs of hawthorn he regaled, On pippin's russet peel, And when his juicy salads failed, Sliced carrot pleased him well."
Out on the sea, when the tempest is blowing, Over the waters dark and wild, Guide I the sailor, his pathway showing Over the shoals and the currents flowing; Never through me is the ship beguiled.
Many a wandering step have I guided; Children at school have I often taught; Many disputes through me are decided; Oft has my help, though sometimes derided, Even the Muse of History sought.
Off with my head! I'm a living creature; Trembling I follow, I guide no more; Large-eyed and gentle, of kindly feature, Hunted by man; in the wilds of nature, When he is coming, I fly before.
Cut off my head again, and for ages Long have I kindled the spirit of man. Worshipped by artists, adored by the sages, Present and past combine in my pages; There all the secrets of beauty you scan.
WHEN SKATES WERE BONES.
Though it appears to be impossible to fix on the time when skating first took root in England, there can be no doubt that it was introduced there from more northern climates, where it originated more from the necessities of the inhabitants than as a pastime. When snow covered their land, and ice bound up their rivers imperious necessity would soon suggest to the Scands or the Germans some ready means of winter locomotion. This first took the form of snow-shoes with two long runners of wood, like those still used by the inhabitants of the northerly parts of Norway and Sweden in their journeys over the immense snow-fields. These seem originally to have been used by the Finns, "for which reason," says a Swedish writer, "they were called 'Skrid Finnai' (Sliding Finns)—a common name for the most ancient inhabitants of Sweden, both in the North saga and by foreign authors."
When used on ice, one runner would soon have been found more convenient than the widely separated two, and harder materials used than wood: first bone was substituted; then it, in turn, gave place to iron; and thus the present form of skate was developed in the North at a period set down by Scandinavian archaeologists as about A.D. 200.
Frequent allusions occur in the old Northern poetry, which prove that proficiency in skating was one of the most highly esteemed accomplishments of the Northern heroes. One of them, named Kolson, boasts that he is master of nine accomplishments, skating being one; while the hero Harold bitterly complains that though he could fight, ride, swim, glide along the ice on skates, dart the lance, and row, "yet a Russian maid disdains me."
In the "Edda" this accomplishment is singled out for special praise: "Then the king asked what that young man could do who accompanied Thor. Thialfe answered that in running upon skates he would dispute the prize with any of the countries. The king owned that the talent he spoke of was a very fine one."
Olaus Magnus, the author of the famous chapter on the Snakes of Iceland, tells us that skates were made "of polished iron, or of the shank bone of a deer or sheep, about a foot long, filed down on one side, and greased with hog's lard to repel the wet." These rough-and-ready bone skates were the kind first adopted by the English; for Fitzstephen, in his description of the amusements of the Londoners in his day (time of Henry the Second), tells us that "when that great fen that washes Moorfields at the north wall of the city is frozen over, great companies of young men go to sport upon the ice. Some, striding as wide as they may, do slide swiftly; some, better practiced to the ice, bind to their shoes bones, as the legs of some beasts, and hold stakes in their hands, headed with sharp iron, which sometimes they strike against the ice; these men go as swiftly as doth a bird in the air, or a bolt from a cross-bow." Then he goes on to say that some, imitating the fashion of the tournament, would start in full career against one another, armed with poles; "they meet, elevate their poles, attack and strike each other, when one or both of them fall, and not without some bodily hurt."
Specimens of these old bone skates are occasionally dug up in fenny parts of Great Britain. There are some in the British Museum, in the Museum of the Scottish Antiquaries, and probably in other collections; though perhaps some of the "finds" are not nearly as old as Fitzstephen's day, for there seems to be good evidence that even in London the primitive bone skate was not entirely superseded by implements of steel at the latter part of last century.
One found about 1839 in Moorfields, in the boggy soil peculiar to that district, is described as being formed of the bone of some animal, made smooth on one side, with a hole at one extremity for a cord to fasten it to the shoe. At the other end a hole is also drilled horizontally to a depth of three inches, which might have received a plug, with another cord to secure it more effectually.
There is hardly a greater difference between these old bone skates and the "acmes" and club skates of to-day, than there is between the skating of the Middle Ages and the artistic and graceful movements of good performers of to-day. Indeed, skating as a fine art is entirely a thing of modern growth. So little thought of was the exercise, that for long after Fitzstephen's day we find few or no allusions to it, and up to the Restoration days it appears to have been an amusement confined chiefly to the lower classes, among whom it never reached any very high pitch of art. "It was looked upon," says a recent writer, "much with the same view that the boys on the Serpentine even now seem to adopt, as an accomplishment, the acme of which was reached when the performer could succeed in running along quickly on his skates, and finishing off with a long and triumphant slide on two feet in a straight line forward. A gentleman would probably then have no more thought of trying to execute different figures on the ice than he would at the present day of dancing in a drawing-room on the tips of his toes." Even as an amusement of the common people it is not alluded to in any of the usual catalogues of sport so often referred to.
THE MONKEYS OF INDIA.
A missionary in India gives an interesting account of the monkeys that live in that far-away country. He says that in the morning, during the cold season, the monkeys are always very listless, but as soon as they are warmed with the rays of the sun, they are as playful as kittens. They will jump over each other's backs, slap each other's faces, pull each other's tails, and even make pretense to steal each other's babies.
The gray and the brown species are found nearly all over the continent of India; the former is more daring and destructive, and the latter more mischievous and cunning. They both form themselves into separate packs, or tribes, and rarely go beyond a certain boundary. They seldom migrate, except it be for food or water in times of drought and scarcity. This wild citizenship seems to be respected, for they very rarely trespass on each other's ground. Each tribe has a leader, or king, which can easily be recognized, and from the manner in which he conducts himself, he is evidently aware of the dignity of his position.
Like nearly all other wild animals, they have a keen sense of danger, and when a certain whoop is given, however scattered or tempted to stay, in a few moments they are hidden on the tops of the highest trees in the locality. They have the bump of destructiveness largely developed, and it is no small calamity when a tribe locates itself near a village. Scarcely anything in the shape of fruit or grain comes amiss to them, and when neither are to be had, in the hottest part of the year they eat the stems of the young leaves. When they commence upon a field of lentils, pulse, or peas, they always pluck up the plant by the root, pull off one pod, and then fling the plant away, so that it does not require many days to clear a whole field. Ripe mangoes have a special attraction, and it requires no small amount of vigilance to keep them away from the groves.
Dogs, however strong and fleet, are of very little use to drive them away, for the monkeys are sagacious enough to know that their safety is in keeping near the trees. When the dog has spent himself with barking and screaming at the foot of the tree, a monkey will come down to the lowest branch, and wag his long tail within a few inches of the dog's face, and when the poor dog has retired, completely foiled, a monkey will soon be after him to tempt him to a second encounter.
Mischief is certainly in their hearts, for, not content with stealing the produce of the gardens and fields, they will pull off the thatch from the native huts, fling the tiles from the better-built houses and shops to the ground, and we have even seen them try their best to rift the stones from the temples. A native town in one of the zemindary estates was so mutilated by them that it looked as if it had sustained a siege.
Some years ago, after making our arrangements for our encampment at night, we constantly had our peaceful rest broken by a tribe of brown monkeys. They evidently thought that long possession had given them a prior claim to the grove. For our own comfort it was felt by all that some means must be adopted to drive them away. Accordingly one was shot. Death was not instantaneous, and quite a number came around to see it die. They looked with startling interest into its face, but as soon as life was extinct they bounded away. Fear had fallen upon them all, and not a sound was heard from them during the night. Early next morning they assembled in an adjoining field. The sharp and quick manner in which they turned their faces first in this way and then in that was a sight not soon to be forgotten. They had instinct enough to see that their only safety would be in flight. In the course of an hour the king headed the tribe, and away they went, and not a solitary monkey was seen in that region for years afterward. The natives dared not openly commend us, but they were not a little pleased that we had rid them of creatures so destructive to their homesteads.
The monkeys are very numerous in the sacred cities, and especially in Benares and Pooree. Within a few miles of the temple of Juggernaut there are many hundreds, if not thousands. They are so tame that they will come down from the trees and eat rice from the hands of the pilgrims. When the pilgrim presents his hand with the rice in it, the monkey seizes it with his left paw, and he will never let go his grip until he has taken every grain. Very few persons are injured by monkeys, but they will sometimes seize a basket, if there be fruit in it, when carried by a woman or child. The natives often say that "monkeys can do everything except talk, and they would do that were it not for the fear of being made to work."
THE LITTLE DELINQUENT.
"Lucie, my Lucie, wilt thou not forgive thy little Fritz?" pleaded the mother of two children whose father had been a soldier in the Prussian army, and whose bravery had been rewarded with a medal which was worn on his coat lapel.
Lucie answered, with a deep sigh, "He was so cruel, dear mother; he pushed me down so rudely on the hard floor!"
"Yes, I saw that push; but he was angry."
"And I tried so well to do what he wished; I kept the step and marched behind him, and I helped to make his cap, and I ran out to the poultry-yard for a feather which had dropped from the cock's tail—the green and blue one that eats so much corn—and I was as good a soldier as I knew how to be!"
"Well, what was the matter?"
"Why, I had my dear Rosa in my arms, and Ludwig looked over the fence, and laughed at Fritz for having a girl with a doll in his regiment, and Fritz became very cross, and said he would not play. Then I put my Rosa down, and went marching again; but that dreadful great cock came and pecked at her eyes, and I could not see her suffer; so I hid her in my apron while Fritz was not looking, and we came into the house to fill our knapsacks; then Fritz saw Rosa, and he said I was a disobedient soldier, and he pulled her out of my arms, and tossed her down and broke her, as you see—oh, my dear, my good Rosa!"
"But I think Fritz is sorry. See! he has been tied to the table a long while for punishment. Can you not forgive him?"
Lucie did not answer; her little soul seemed much disturbed.
"Come, I will tell thee a story, my Lucie, of two other children, and then, perhaps, thou wilt be more ready to let Fritz go free. Far away up in the mountains where are the chamois, and where the rocks are rough and the forests dark, lived Hans and Gretchen. They were wild as the chamois themselves, and their old grandfather could scarcely keep them by his side long enough to tell them the story of the Saviour's love, or teach them even to read. They knew the haunt of every wild creature of the woods, and many were their quarrels over a nest of young birds, or the possession of the animals they trapped. They had no kind mother; their words were often harsh, and sometimes hunger made them really cruel to each other. They were much to be pitied, for their grandfather was lame as well as old, and could do little for their support.
"One day, in an eager chase after a rabbit Gretchen gave Hans a great push, which sent him down over a rocky ledge on to some stones. She was frightened to see that he did not move, and still more frightened when she found he was moaning with pain. She ran to get help, and the neighbors came and lifted Hans and carried him home; but he never walked again: his spine was hurt. Ah! what sorrow then was Gretchen's! How she wished she had never been so unkind!
"How she missed her companion in her wild rambles, and in her search for the Edelweiss flowers which she sold to travellers, and so gained a little money! Lottie by little she learned how to be a better girl—learned to be patient with Hans, who was often very cross; and as she grew older, and could better care for the house and her old grandfather, they came to love her very much.
"But do you not think that little children who have been taught to be kind, and to love the dear Father in heaven whose Son died on the cross, should be willing to forgive when quarrels arise?"
Both little faces had grown sad, one with earnest resolve never again to be harsh with his sister, the other with tender regret. At last Lucie said, "My mother, I forgive Fritz; but what shall I do for poor Rosa?"
"Rosa shall have a new head when I have saved kreutzers to buy one," said Fritz; and so they kissed and made up.
THREE FAMOUS DIAMONDS.
A magnificent diamond, belonging to the Emperor of Russia, bought by the Empress Catherine, weighs over one hundred and ninety-three carats. It is said to be the size of a pigeon's head, and to have been purchased for ninety thousand pounds, besides a yearly sum for life to the Greek merchant from whom it was bought. This diamond formed one of the eyes of the famous idol Juggernaut, whose temple is on the Coromandel coast, and a French soldier, who had deserted into the Malabar service, found the means of robbing the temple of it, and escaped with it to Madras. There he disposed of it to a ship captain for two thousand pounds, and by him it was resold to a Jew for twelve thousand pounds. From him it was transferred for a large sum to the Greek merchant. This diamond now surmounts the imperial sceptre.
The diamond of the Emperor of Austria, which formerly belonged to the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, weighs one hundred and thirty-nine and a half carats. Its estimated value is one hundred and fifty-five thousand pounds. This stone is of a lemon yellow color, which greatly lessens its value.
Among the Prussian crown jewels is the famous Regent or Pitt diamond, discovered in the Pasteal mine at Golconda. It weighs one hundred and thirty-six and three-quarters carats, and is remarkable for its form and clearness, which have caused it to be valued at one hundred and sixty thousand pounds, although it cost only one hundred thousand pounds. It was stolen from the mine and sold to Mr. Pitt, grandfather of the great Earl of Chatham. The Duke of Orleans purchased the diamond for presentation to King Louis the Fifteenth.
After the fall of Louis the Sixteenth, the people insisted that the crown jewels should be exposed to the gaze of the mob, and with them the Regent diamond was shown. So little, however, did the exhibitors confide in the honesty of these patriots that great precautions were taken to prevent the consequences of too strong an attraction. The passer-by who chanced to demand, in the name of the sovereign people, a sight of the finest of the jewels, entered a small room, within which, through a little window, the diamond was presented for sight. It was fastened by a strong steel clasp to an iron chain, the other end of which was secured within the window through which it was handed to the spectator. Two policemen kept a vigilant watch on the momentary possessor of the gem, until, having held in his hand the value of twelve millions of francs, according to the estimate in the inventory of the crown jewels, he again took up his hook and basket at the door and disappeared.
This diamond, which decorated the hilt of the sword of state of the first Napoleon, was taken by the Prussians at Waterloo, and now belongs to the King of Prussia.
In former times, superstition attributed to the diamond many virtues. It was supposed to protect the possessor from poison, pestilence, panic-fear, and enchantments of every kind. A wonderful property was also ascribed to it when the figure of Mars, whom the ancients represented as the god of war, was engraved upon it. In such cases the diamond was believed to insure victory in battle to its fortunate owner, whatever might be the number of his enemies.
For a long time diamonds were sent to Holland to be cut and polished, but this art is now well understood in England, and has been recently introduced into this country.
Diamonds are not only worn as ornaments of dress, or rare objects of art, but they are employed for several useful purposes, as for cutting glass by the glazier, and all kinds of hard stones by the lapidary.
A butterfly lived like a princess in a green and golden wood, guarded day and night by the trees; but as there was never a butterfly yet that did not prefer sunshine to safety, she came fluttering out one morning, and after dazzling all the flowers in the neighborhood, spread her wings for a long flight.
There was no one to warn her of the dangers abroad, so when she came to the railroad track she just settled upon it, with no more fear than if it were a twig. An ugly brown worm that had been sunning himself on a sleeper crept up to her.
"You are in a dreadfully dangerous place," he groaned.
"Why?" asked the little rainbow, not a bit scared.
"There is a great monster coming soon. He crushes everything he meets; he has no heart; his bones are made of iron."
"How funny!" exclaimed the butterfly.
"See how dark the sky is getting; he will soon be here," went on the worm, solemnly.
"Oh, pshaw! it's only a shower coming up," said the butterfly, stretching her wings.
"No, it is the monster; don't you feel the ground shake? The storm is coming, but the monster is coming too. Get into this hole under the track; I beg you, I entreat you, get into this hole and be saved."
"Nonsense!" laughed the butterfly.
The rail was trembling, and in the distance a strange wild shriek was heard, a great puff of smoke went rolling up to the sky.
"Quick! quick!" implored the worm. "Do as I do, or you will be killed. There is no time to lose."
But the only answer he got was a laugh.
The monster was getting nearer and nearer, and the worm, with one more vain petition to the butterfly to follow him, squirmed into a crevice under the rail.
On came the monster, its great iron limbs pounding back and forth. A rattle, a shriek, a puff of smoke: he had come and gone. The worm—where was he? Limp and dead in his little hole under the rail. And the butterfly—the poor beautiful butterfly?
Oh, she had simply flown away.
NEW YORK CITY.
In a short paper entitled "The Paradise of Insects," in Young People No. 10, some interesting facts are told of small sand-flies, called sancudos, which abound on the Upper Amazons and other swampy localities of South and Central America. Boys will like to know the origin of their name. Stilts are called zancos in Spanish, and these flies, a species of mosquito, are called sancudos—more properly spelled zancudos—on account of their very long, slender legs and disproportionately small bodies, which remind one of a very small boy on very high stilts. Flies on stilts is a funny idea, but not more funny than the appearance of these troublesome little insects.
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I am a little girl twelve years old, and live at Fort Supply, Indian Territory. My father is a captain in the Twenty-third Infantry. We live in huts made of logs, and the cracks filled with mud to keep out the cold, and the inside lined with canvas. We have frequent visits from the Indians. Not long ago a party of about fifty Indians were here, some of whom were on the war-path last fall. We have a school, and about sixteen scholars. If it were not for school I should be very lonesome, as I have only one playmate. There are plenty of children here, but they are all too small to play with. I take Young People, and it is a great addition to my small fund of amusements.
GRACE W. HENTON.
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DEAR "YOUNG PEOPLE."—I thought when you made your first appearance that you were as pretty and interesting as possible, but when you arrived in your new dress, looking so fresh and bright, wishing us a "Merry Christmas," I was still more delighted with you. I hope the number of your subscribers will grow as fast as you have, you are such a dear little paper.
ANNA C. B.
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The two following letters are from very young readers, who wrote in big capitals with their own little hands:
NEW YORK CITY.
I am so glad you have published Young People. I am five years old. I have a little kitten, and my papa says it will soon be a cat. I wish it wouldn't.
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STOCKPORT, NEW YORK.
I thought I would drop you a line or two about the Young People and the "Wiggles," and I will. I send you what I make of the last number of the "Wiggles," and I like the new paper. So good-by. From
ROBBIE REYNOLDS (six years).
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Here are two more little folks, who employ an amanuensis:
I thought I would write you a letter to let you know how I like Young People. Grandpa takes it for me. I am only eight and a half years old. Grandpa is going to copy this, as I can not write very well.
EDGAR. E. HYDE.
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NEW YORK CITY.
I am only five years old, and can not read or write yet, but my nurse reads me the stories in Young People every week, and I like them very much, and the pictures and the letters; and papa says I ought to send you a letter, and tell you how much I like it. So does my little sister Lulu, and she is only three years old, and I have got a little brother only three weeks old, but he hasn't any name yet. I told papa I would send a letter, but I could not write it, and he said it would be fair if Nurse Belle would write, only I must tell her what to put in—I and nobody else—and so I did it.
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A few days ago I was walking with a friend when we saw a rabbit in the road. We ran to catch it, but could not, for it ran too. Suddenly it stopped. My friend whistled, and then it ran right up to her, and we caught it. I suppose that rabbits like music.
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NEWTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE.
I am going to tell you about a butterfly my brother Willie brought in from the woods this winter. It flew about the rooms for a few days, till one morning he seemed almost dead. Mamma took him to the door, and he flew away up over our barn and some great tall pine-trees. I am ten years old this winter.
L. MABEL MARSTON.
What color were the butterfly's wings, and how large was it?
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HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY.
I once had a pet rabbit. He was gray and white, and I named him Mac, after papa. Once I gave him a peach, and another rabbit ran away with it; then he stood up on his hind-legs and begged for another.
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George D. B. and Cora B. E., both of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also write of pet rabbits, and Spitz and Newfoundland dogs.
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NEW YORK CITY.
I have a chicken that I hatched out by putting the egg in ashes. While I am writing this letter it is sitting on my hand. When I call it, it comes to me. I have also four white mice, which are as tame as the chicken. I did have a squirrel, but it died. I wish you would tell me how to feed my mice.
White mice will eat nuts of all kinds, canary-seed, and various other grains. They will also nibble bread and cake. They must have plenty of water, and like a little milk now and then. They should be given a soft, warm nest of dry moss or of flannel.
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J. G. D.—In all rooms where meal is kept, the worms generally breed much faster than they are wanted. The meal-moth is very pretty. Its fore-wings are light brown, with a dark chocolate-brown spot on the base and tip of each. It is often to be seen clinging to the ceiling of kitchen or store-room, with its tail curved over its back. This moth deposits its eggs in the meal, and in a short time the worm is hatched, which soon forms itself into a cocoon, from which the moth again comes forth. You may find this worm crawling in old flour barrels or some box in which meal has been kept; and if you keep a box of meal standing open in some warm place, the moth will be very likely to find it, especially in the summer-time, and use it as a deposit for her eggs. Meanwhile you can feed your mocking-birds on meal and milk, mixed now and then with very fine chopped raw beef and with bits of fruit. You can also buy prepared food for them. Be sure to give them plenty of clean gravel in the bottom of the cage.
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"SUBSCRIBER," Moline, Illinois.—Hephaistos is the correct Greek spelling of Vulcan's name, but Hephaestos is the accepted English spelling of the word. Either is correct.—The translation of Don Quixote has become such a standard English work that the ordinary English pronunciation of the name is allowable. In Spanish it is pronounced Ke-ho-tay, with a slight accent on the second syllable.
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Favors are acknowledged from Belle R., Tennessee; Willie D. V., Indiana; Robbie B. H., St. John, New Brunswick; Alpha T. E., Pennsylvania; from Illinois—Mamie Ripley, Tommy C. H., Edith Patterson, Joseph K.; from Massachusetts—Kennie Norwood, L. Tyler P., Stanley K. H., Harry B., F. U. T.; from Ohio—Lulie H., Oscar B., Willie Gordon, Ralph M. F., Hattie Mitchell; from Michigan—Nellie M. C., L. A. Waldron, Edward D. E.; from New York—Fred L. Colwell, A. M. Tucker, D. C. Gilmore; Eddie R. Derwart, Toronto, Canada.
Correct answers to puzzles received from Walter S. Dodge, Washington, D. C.; Merton L. T., Massachusetts; James A. S., Connecticut; Sallie V. B., Nebraska; L. A. W., Canada; Harry Lewis, Kentucky; C. M. J., Ohio; from Pennsylvania—R. O. Lowry, George N. Hayward, Walter Lowry, Chester B. F., Florence M.; from New Jersey—K. H. Talbot, Otto M. Rau; from California—Violet A. Francis, F. T. Swett; from New York—H. G. S., Florence, Main, Perkins S., G. A. Page, Van Rensselaer, Etta R., Etha F. Smith, "Oats," Nellie H., B. F. W., F. N. Dodd.
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.
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.
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At LITTLE'S TOOL STORE, 59 Fulton St., N. Y. City.
Circulars free by mail.
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ABBOTTS' ILLUSTRATED HISTORIES.
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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:
Founders of Empires.
CYRUS. DARIUS. XERXES. ALEXANDER. GENGHIS KHAN. PETER THE GREAT.
Heroes of Roman History.
ROMULUS. HANNIBAL. PYRRHUS. JULIUS CAESAR. NERO.
Earlier British Kings and Queens.
ALFRED. WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR. RICHARD I. RICHARD II. MARGARET OF ANJOU.
Later British Kings and Queens.
RICHARD III. MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. ELIZABETH. CHARLES I. CHARLES II.
Queens and Heroines.
CLEOPATRA. MARIA ANTOINETTE. JOSEPHINE. HORTENSE. MADAME ROLAND.
Rulers of Later Times.
KING PHILIP. HERNANDO CORTEZ. HENRY IV. LOUIS XIV. JOSEPH BONAPARTE. LOUIS PHILIPPE.
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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 greatest interest. To them I am indebted for about all the historical knowledge I have."
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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.
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Boy Travellers in the Far East.
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TWO YOUTHS IN A JOURNEY
JAPAN AND CHINA.
Illustrated, 8vo, Cloth, $3.00.
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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.
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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.
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HOW TO GET STRONG, AND HOW TO STAY SO. By WILLIAM BLAIKIE. With Illustrations. 16mo, Cloth, $1.00.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
HARPER & BROTHERS will send any of the above works by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
"Learning made pleasant."
N. Y. EVENING POST.
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SCIENCE FOR THE YOUNG.
By JACOB ABBOTT.
4 volumes, 12mo, Cloth, $1.50 each.
I. HEAT. II. LIGHT. III. WATER AND LAND. IV. FORCE.
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If a mass-meeting of parents and children were to be held for the purpose of erecting a monument to the author who has done most to entertain and instruct the young folks, there would certainly be a unanimous vote in favor of Mr. Jacob Abbott. Two or three generations of American youth owe some of their most pleasant hours of recreation to his story-books; and his latest productions are as fresh and youthful as those which the papas and mammas of to-day once looked forward to as the most precious gifts from the Christmas bag of old Santa Claus. The series published under the general title of "Science for the Young" might be called "Learning made Pleasant." An interesting story runs through each, and beguiles the reader into the acquisition of a vast amount of useful knowledge under the genial pretence of furnishing amusement. No intelligent child can read these volumes without obtaining a better knowledge of physical science than many students have when they leave college.—N. Y. Evening Post.
Jacob Abbott is almost the only writer in the English language who knows how to combine real amusement with real instruction in such a manner that the eager young readers are quite as much interested in the useful knowledge he imparts as in the story which he makes so pleasant a medium of instruction—Buffalo Commercial Advertiser.
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Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
NOSES OUT OF JOINT.
You needn't cry and look so sad; I love you, pussy dear, the same— I truly do—as I loved you Before this cunning kitty came; But things are changed a little now, You know, and 'cause he's very small, I've got to 'tend the most to him. Your nose is out of joint, that's all. Don't you remember that cold day They left me hours and hours in bed, And when nurse came for me at last, "Your nose is out of joint," she said, "A baby's come to live with us?" Well, then, that's what's the matter now; You might have known how it would be— Oh dear, my head! Please don't me-ow, Or I must send you out the room; Nice little girls don't make a noise When their mammas give almost all Their kisses to small red-faced boys. I tell you, puss, you are too big To sit with kit upon my knee, And it's no worse for you to have Your nose put out of joint than me.
THE ELEPHANT PUZZLE.
The puzzle is, with two cuts of the scissors to make this elephant stand on all fours.
INSTRUCTIONS.—Trace or copy the accompanying figure on a piece of Bristol-board or thick writing paper, and then go to work with your scissors and see what you can do.
The solution will be given in our next.
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Ants that Bite.—Foraging ants by countless thousands are met with everywhere on the banks of the Amazons. Some of them are dwarfs not more than one-fifth of an inch long, while others are giants ten times as long, with monstrous heads and jaws. When the pedestrian falls in with a train of these ants, the first signal given him is a twittering and restless movement of small flocks of plain-colored birds (ant-thrushes) in the jungle. If this be disregarded until he advances a few steps further, he is sure to fall into trouble, and find himself suddenly attacked by numbers of the ferocious little creatures. They swarm up his legs with incredible rapidity, each one driving its pincer-like jaws into his skin, and with the purchase thus obtained doubling in its tail, and stinging with all its might. There is no course left but to run for it; if he is accompanied by natives, they will be sure to give the alarm, crying, "Tanoca!" and scampering at full speed to the other end of the column of ants. The tenacious insects that have secured themselves to his legs then have to be plucked off one by one—a task which is generally not accomplished without pulling them in twain, and leaving heads and jaws sticking in the wounds.