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VOL. I.—NO. 18. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, March 2, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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A HUNTING ADVENTURE.
I had been travelling in the interior of Africa, in company with a Portuguese ivory trader, for several weeks, greatly enjoying the wild and exciting life we were compelled to lead. The exercise had steadied and braced my nerves, which before setting out were in a shattered condition from the effects of a severe and long attack of fever. Constant practice had also made me an expert shot and a successful hunter. Indeed, if one only knew how to handle a gun, and went to work with proper precaution, the amazing abundance of animal life everywhere to be met with could not fail in making him more or less of a sportsman.
In hunting the large game, such as the lion, the elephant, and the rhinoceros, there was always a spice of danger, and I had in two or three several instances found myself in positions of extreme peril, from which nothing but presence of mind or good fortune brought me safely out. But the danger incurred only lent additional charms to the pursuit; while a proud feeling of exultation would steal over the heart when, thinking that an insignificant and feeble man should be more than a match for such huge creatures in spite of their gigantic strength.
One day, in our several canoes, we were paddling up a broad river; on either bank stretched an apparently impenetrable forest, many of the trees of which approached to the very water's edge, while the ends of creepers fell into, and huge plants actually raised their heads out of, the river itself. From the branches of the trees curious-looking monkeys gazed inquisitively at us, chattering to each other as if inquiring what business we had in invading their domains; numbers of brilliantly colored birds hovered on the wing, making the air resound with their varied and peculiar notes; the gentle gazelle would timidly approach to slake his thirst at the water; the noble lion would stalk out in all his majesty for the same purpose, while ever and anon, now close to the canoes, now yards away, a loud snort would startle us, and the huge ugly head of a hippopotamus would be thrust above the surface.
Journeying thus by water is a pleasant and restful change from the everlasting tramp, tramp, through the forest, which, although enjoyable, sometimes becomes a little wearisome. This particular day of which I speak made the third we had thus progressed without any startling adventure occurring to interrupt our voyage; it was not, however, to have so peaceful a close as the other two.
When within some few miles of the spot where we intended camping for the night, as our larder was low, I told the trader I would land and procure some fresh meat for supper, and that I would meet him before long at the trysting-place. My canoe was accordingly directed to the shore. Taking with me four of the natives, to carry my spare gun and what game I might shoot, I plunged into the forest.
I did not go very far from the banks of the river, for, as the day was drawing to a close, I was in hopes of meeting with plenty of game on their way to the water; so I followed the course of the stream toward our camping-place.
The sudden plunge from the dazzling brilliancy of the sun to the solemn gloom of the forest made it almost impossible to see anything clearly until my eyes got accustomed to the peculiar light; so I was perforce obliged for a short time to grope my way cautiously along.
My four attendants followed: one, a lad, bearing my spare gun; two armed with long lances; and the fourth—whom I always called Nacko, and who was one of the best native hunters I have ever known, active, brave, and cool in the presence of danger—carrying a gun of his own, which he could use with something like skill.
Nacko always kept close to my heels, for I think he looked upon himself as my shield and guardian, and thought his protection necessary to insure my safety; otherwise I should run into danger, and come to inevitable grief. His coolness and courage had on more than one critical occasion aided me very materially.
After a quarter of an hour's trampling through grass and bush and prickly thorn, a fine deer offered himself as a target to my rifle; he was on his way to the river, when, hearing our approach, he stopped to listen, and in so doing turned his shoulder toward me. Lifting my rifle, I took quick aim, and fired. The noble beast sprang into the air, and then, falling forward on his knees, gave a few convulsive struggles, and lay perfectly still.
Leaving two of the natives to convey the carcass to the boat, I pushed on with the others, hoping to get another shot. I had not proceeded far, when Nacko expressed his opinion that there were lions in the neighborhood.
"What leads you to think so, Nacko?" I inquired.
Before he could reply there was a rustling in the foliage, and a graceful gazelle bounded into view, evidently fleeing from some pursuer. Quick as thought my gun was at my shoulder, and in an instant he was rolling over.
Then, and only then, I became aware that his pursuer was close at hand, as the roar of a lion fell upon my ear. I began quickly to reload my rifle, but before I had rammed down the bullet a large lion sprang on the body, while a lioness with her half-grown cub followed at his heels.
With his two fore-paws placed on the body of the gazelle, the lion stood erect, and turned his face in our direction. No sooner did he see us than he gave utterance to a savage roar, but seemed uncertain what to do—whether to keep possession of the slaughtered prey or attack the new. Meanwhile the lioness crouched, growling, down by the side of the dead body, while the cub licked the blood trickling from the wound.
I never stirred, but kept my eyes fixed upon the lion, telling the lad with the spare gun to be ready to hand it to me when I should require it. Nacko stood prepared for what might follow.
For a minute we stood thus. I was unwilling to lose the gazelle, but hesitated to fire at the lion, for, even should I be fortunate enough to kill him, there would be the lioness to contend with. I determined to run the risk.
Taking a steady aim, I fired. The explosion was followed by a terrific roar. The bullet had not touched a vital part; I had only succeeded in dangerously wounding him. I had now an angry and formidable foe to encounter.
Throwing down my empty rifle, I put my hand behind me to receive the other from the boy. He was a few steps from me, and before he could place it within my reach, I saw the lion making ready for the fatal spring.
"Fire, Nacko," I cried, as the animal bounded into the air.
Swift as thought the flame leaped from his barrel. I heard the thud of the bullet on the body of the lion, but it could not check the impetus of his spring, and in another moment I was hurled violently to the ground, and for a moment lay stunned by the shock.
A dead heavy weight upon my body and legs soon brought me back to consciousness. Opening my eyes, I found my face within an inch or two of the lion's.
Nacko, seeing me knocked over, had thrown his own gun to the ground and picked up the spare one, and was now approaching to give the lion his coup de grace. The animal watched the hunter's motions, but was unwilling, or too badly wounded, to leave me and attack him.
The bold black approached within six paces of the foe, and aiming behind his ear, fired. A shuddering quiver ran through the mighty frame; I felt a sudden relief from the oppressive weight which confined me to the ground as the lion rolled over, dead.
Nacko assisted me to my feet, running his hands over my body to ascertain if any bones were broken; but with the exception of several severe bruises, and a feeling of general soreness all over my body, I was unhurt. We looked round for the lioness and her cub; they were nowhere to be seen, and must have decamped during my encounter with the lion, for which I felt not a little thankful, as I had no wish for another such encounter.
BY MRS. ZADEL B. GUSTAFSON.
Mrs. Brown was not quite so bad as her word, for she did not take away Biddy's doll every night when Biddy could not give her extra pay. Of course there were many nights when Biddy could not do this, even with Charley's help. She had, in the first place, to pay for her straw, her soup, and her bread. Whenever she had earned more than enough for this, Mrs. Brown had always tried to get it away from her on some pretense or other. Biddy had a brave heart; she had never been afraid of the rough old woman, and often had her own way.
If you should use your soft little hands to do coarse and heavy work, it would not be long before they would get out of shape, and become covered with a thick skin. They might still be very good and dear little hands inside, but they would not so quickly feel the softness of mamma's cheek. All the pleasure of the sense of touch, which you would then find had been great and of many kinds, would be lost to you. So it was with Biddy's heart. She had never had any of the little pleasures, the good times, little hopes and plans, to which all children have a perfect right. Her hard, friendless, cheerless life had made the outside of Biddy's brave little heart tough, just as hard, unfit work would toughen your little hands. But the doll had made a difference to Biddy in every way. She had done all she could for her doll. She loved it. She had made it a dress from a piece of her own. She had been beaten again and again for its sake. Almost more than you would be willing to do for your doll, is it not? But it had done and was doing a thousand times more for Biddy, because Biddy had what the doll had not—life.
Mrs. Brown sometimes forgot to torment Biddy about the doll, and at other times she seemed to feel too stupid and dull to care about it. But she remembered quite often enough, and got away all Biddy's money, and gave Biddy many a scare and heart-ache about it. At last the hard-hearted old woman went too far, as cruel people are pretty sure to do in the end.
About four months had passed since Biddy first found her doll. The warm winds, the green buds, and singing-birds of spring had come, when one night Mrs. Brown took the doll away from Biddy, and told her that unless she could bring her at least two dollars by the close of the week, she should never see it again.
That night Biddy lay awake a long while thinking over what she could do. It was late in the night when she whispered to Charley that she had made up her mind, and wanted to see him somewhere in the morning, and tell him her plan. Charley answered that he would watch for her in the Bowery near a jewelry shop where they had often stopped to look at the pretty things in the window. He said he would be there about half past eight o'clock. After this was settled, Biddy fell asleep.
In the morning the children met as they had agreed, and walked slowly down the Bowery for a block or two, while Biddy told her plan to Charley.
"I can't tell ye all I've been thinkin'," said Biddy; "I feels all stirred up with thinkin', like the soup when Grumpy puts the stick in it. I never slept at all till I thinked it out as how I'd do jist one thing."
"Yis, yis," said Charley, eagerly.
"I'll find a home for Dolly an' me," said Biddy; "I'll begin an' never stop till I gits it."
"Ye'll find a home?" asked Charley. He was a good deal puzzled.
"Yis," said Biddy; "I telled ye my mind's made up. I'll look at every man as I meets, an' I'll ax the first one as I likes the looks of to take me an' try me. Some of 'em'll be wantin' a girl, sure."
Charley continued to look so astonished that Biddy explained: "'Most every one wants a girl to do chores, an' sweep, an' dust, an' make fires, an'—an' sich. I've seen lots o' girls no better nor me sweepin' in the big houses, with cloths on their heads."
"Ye know all them things?" said Charley.
"An' if I don't, can't I be teached?" said Biddy, almost angrily. This question seemed to make everything quite sure.
"Now I'm goin' to begin," said Biddy.
She darted away, and ran back to the place where she and Charley had met. Charley slowly followed. He held his unsold papers under his arm, and stopped by the jewelry window. Biddy had taken her stand on the corner just opposite. A gentleman with a closed umbrella in his hand, which he used as a cane, was coming down the Bowery toward them. He did not seem to notice either of the children; his head was down as if he was thinking. At the same instant another man, with his Ulster coat flying back, came swiftly from a cross street, and taking the first gentleman by the arm, said, so loud that both the children heard it: "Bless me! if it isn't Phil Kennedy! How odd this is! The first day for an age when I'm not thinking of and hunting for you, Phil, I find you."
"But I'm very busy; you really must not keep me," said the one called Phil Kennedy. He smiled as he spoke. Biddy saw the smile. She did not wait an instant; she stepped up close in front of him. "Does yer missus be wantin' a girl?"
Both men looked down at her. The man in the Ulster laughed. "Get along, you little drab!" said he, in the same loud voice as before.
Biddy did not move, or take her eyes from Phil Kennedy's face. The fingers of her hands were twisting together as on the day when she had first begged Mrs. Brown for her doll. Biddy did not know she was doing anything with her hands.
"Be off, I say!" said the man in the Ulster. He spoke very sharply this time. It was like a blow from a cane.
"Can you read?" said Phil Kennedy to Biddy. He was feeling in his vest pocket as he asked this question, and drew out a card.
"I knows 'em as can," said Biddy.
He gave her the card. "Get some one to tell you what is on it," said he, "and come to the place it says—let me see—can you come to-morrow morning about this time?"
Biddy took the card. "Will ye be there?" said Biddy.
"Yes, my little girl, I will." He smiled at her as he spoke. Biddy crossed her hands over the bag she carried, and walked away without a word.
"I see you are just the same," said the man in the Ulster. He looked vexed. "Who'd believe you'd give that thankless little beggar your card, while some of your best friends don't know where to find you!"
"Thankfulness is better than politeness," said Phil Kennedy. "She can be taught to be polite. If you had looked at her, you would have seen that she thanked me."
The two men then walked away.
Charley had not looked round at Biddy and the gentlemen once. He had looked steadily into the window, which had on it, in large letters, "Jewelry and Diamonds." His heart beat very fast; he hardly noticed the gems that flashed and sparkled in the trays and boxes. But when the men had passed on, he turned and looked up and down the street, and after a moment saw Biddy sitting on the lower steps of a wholesale store. He hurried up to her. Biddy had been crying a little, but her eyes were shining with hope. She held the card to Charley.
"I axed 'em in there," said she, "an' they telled me as it's the place where a very nice gentleman have his home, an' it's his name is on it, too; an' they axed me how ever did I gits that gentleman's card. An', oh, Charley, do ye thinks as his missus'll be wantin' me? An', oh, do ye think ye can hook away my dolly from Grumpy?"
Biddy stopped for breath. Charley looked up at the windows of the store, as if he were trying with all his might to see just how they were made; then he looked back toward the Bowery again.
"How queer ye look!" said Biddy.
Then for the first time Biddy thought of what Charley might be thinking. She rose quickly from the steps.
"Here, ye take the card," said she. "I'll mebbe lose 'em, or she'll be after gittin' it. An' ye shall go with me in the mornin'; an' if I gits a home, I'll speak for ye. Do ye mind that, Charley? They'll be after wantin' of a boy as much as a girl; an' I can give ye a fust-rate riccommend, so I can."
Biddy made him take the card, and punched him once or twice to make sure of his attention.
"Did ye look at him, Charley?" she asked as they walked along. "Did ye mind the two kind eyes of him? The minute ever he looked at me I warn't a bit afeard; an' I felt as I could work my fingers to the bone for him."
Biddy went the next day to the place written on the card Mr. Phil Kennedy had given her. She teased and coaxed Charley a long time before she could get him to go with her, for he was very bashful, and hung back all the way. While she stood at the foot of the steps, looking up to be sure about the number, Mr. Phil Kennedy himself came to the door, and called her in. He looked just as kind and smiling as on the day before, and Biddy bobbed her curly head up and down, to show him how glad she was. She was so eager that she did not think to say "Good-morning"; but she cried out, in a glad, piping voice, "Here's Charley, sir; an' the best boy ye can ever see! If ye wants a boy to take care of the furniss an' fetch the coal; an' he can run of errants faster nor me; an' he mended me doll. Charley—"
While Biddy talked she kept making little springs and jumps at Charley, who kept edging away, so that Biddy was likely to get half way down the block, when all at once Charley turned, and showed his speed by running out of sight very quickly indeed. Biddy looked as if she was going to run after him; but Mr. Phil Kennedy, who stood laughing in his doorway, called after her, and Biddy came back. He led her through the hall, into a very pleasant room. There was an open fire, a bright rug in front of it, a mocking-bird in a cage in the window, and a beautiful lady sitting in an arm-chair, with her feet on a cushion. The lady was pale; her hands were thin and white; there were crutches beside her chair; but she looked as if she were very happy; and when she smiled at Biddy, Biddy could not have told why she felt as if her heart was filling her whole body.
"Let her sit here near me, Phil," said the lady. Then, when Biddy was seated between them, they asked her a great many questions, and Biddy answered them all as well as she knew how. Both spoke so kindly, sometimes the lady and sometimes the gentleman, and seemed to care so much to know all about her, that Biddy took a new interest in her own story, and told it very well. Like the stories of thousands of other friendless children, Biddy's story was very simple. She didn't know where she was born. She had never seen her parents. She didn't know if she had any brothers or sisters; she did know she had never seen any. She had never been at school. She had never slept on a real bed only when she was in the hospital. She had had a "reel good time" in the hospital. A little girl had given her some flowers. She had a friend; his name was Charley; and if they wanted a boy to do things, he was the best boy. He had mended her doll. She wanted a home for her doll. Grumpy wouldn't let her have her doll; that was why she wanted a home. And if they would let her bring her doll, she would do all she could, and try hard to please them.
When Biddy came to the end of her story, Mr. Phil Kennedy said:
"This lady is my sister. She is the only near friend I have in the world, Biddy. If you come to live with us, we will take good care of you, and you must take good care of her. She is lame, and can only walk a very little. You must watch, and learn to save her trouble. She will teach you the things she wants to have you do, but you must not make her tell you the same things over and over again."
Biddy sat very still, and when Mr. Kennedy paused, she waited for him to speak more. He seemed to think for a few minutes very deeply, then he said:
"After you have learned what you are to do, Biddy, I shall want you to help me find some other little girl who has no friends, and needs a home just as you do, and I can perhaps find a home for her too. I have heard all you have said about Charley. There are reasons why I can not help him just at this time. But I promise you that I will remember about him, and will see what I can do for him as soon as I can. Now, Biddy"—and Mr. Kennedy smiled, with a very merry look—"what wages do you think we ought to pay you?"
Biddy did not seem to even hear this question, she was so much interested in the other things Mr. Kennedy had said; and the moment he stopped speaking she asked if she might really have her doll, and when they had satisfied her on this point, she told them Charley would bring it. Then she seemed to suddenly feel how great a change had come in her life. She jumped down from her chair, looked round the room, her breath coming quick, then at her new friends.
"Oh, it's home it'll be! An' if ye'll let me begin," she cried, "I'll try to be so good, so I will!"
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
HELPING HIMSELF TO CAKE.
BY M. E.
Fast asleep fell Madeline, Fairy-book held in one hand, In the other slice of cake— Slept, and drifted to the land Where the spirits of the dreams Many wondrous visions keep— Visions that are only seen When the eyes are closed in sleep.
Dreamed the little Madeline That she was a princess fair, Beautiful as that proud maid Famous for her golden hair. And at splendid feast she sat, And a prince sat by her side, Handsome as the prince who won "Sleeping Beauty" for his bride;
Dreamed a cake—a wedding cake— She dispensed to courtly throng, Cutting it with knife of gold, While the "Blue Bird" sang a song. Largest piece received the prince, And he whispered, "This is bliss," As he kissed her hand and gave Ring of diamond with the kiss.
But ere long the dream grew dim, Feast and courtiers vanished quite, Diamond ring and lover too Softly faded from her sight; And the only prince she saw (She was once more wide-awake) Was a little prince of mice Nibbling at her slice of cake.
BY HARLAN H. BALLARD.
We left India in a bag of leather. Dark and narrow it was, but greater messengers than Postal Cards have to wait a while in darkness before the time comes for them to tell their message. Flowers have to—so do butterflies.
Do not think from this that I was lonely. Oh no. I rode next to a grand Letter in white, and not far from a portly Circular in buff. However, as he was not of my clasp, I shunned him. The Letter, on the contrary, charmed me; he seemed so self-contained, so wrapped up in his own thoughts. Besides, he bore a crest and a monogram and a superscription to be proud of. He was quite reserved; but before we passed Aden his angularity had so far worn off that I learned that he was commissioned to bear a message to a dainty young lady in the southwest of England. What the message was I could only guess. Letters are not nearly so frank about such matters as I have been taught to consider proper. Still, it must have been something very delightful, for one could tell from his crest and monogram that the Letter had been sent by a person of gentle blood, and in fact he told me that his master was a handsome young man in a military coat. Moreover, he said that this young man had given him a very warm pressure of the hand at parting (which had left a deep impression on him), and had even touched him lightly to his lips.
Possibly you have never reflected upon the fact that Postal Cards and Letters have any feelings. But wait. Perhaps one of our race is waiting at this very moment to undeceive you. After the right one comes along and tells you his message, you will know thenceforward that we are quite alive, and have great power over the affections.
Post-office clerks have no sentiment. All along the way they handled us as rudely as if we had been mere blank pieces of pasteboard. One or two of them coolly stared at me till I was very red in the face, and then turned me over and stared again, until I felt as if I were getting read in my back. I am told that such rudeness is not uncommon. As if this were not enough, the fellow then laid me upon my back, and picking up a heavy instrument, struck me a violent blow in the face. It was as if I had been stamped upon, and I carry the marks of it to this day. Why he did it, I do not know, unless it was because I was a foreigner.
The gentleman for whom I was travelling was a student, and I was carrying a glad message to an old chum of his in Massachusetts. I lived with this student some weeks before he sent me on my errand. As I lay in a pigeon-hole of his desk, I often saw him get out his books and study. He sometimes read them aloud. He liked Horace best of all. He would light a cigar, put his feet on the desk, and read Satires as if he were very happy indeed. I soon became fond of Horace too. I liked to listen to his queer stories of life in Rome, of his love of country life, and of his dear friends Virgil and Maecenas.
My favorite story was the "Trip on a Canal-Boat." I used to picture to myself the jolly poet sitting by the prow of the quaint boat, watching the twinkling lights alongshore; and listening to the loud songs and rude jests of the barge-men. So when I learned that I was to be sent on a long journey, you may believe it was no small comfort to me to learn that I was to go "via Brindisi." I was to visit the very town to which the poet had travelled so long ago. Perhaps between here and Rome I might even catch a glimpse of the old canal. Fortunately there was a little crack in the side of the bag where I lay, and I managed to get a peep of the town. I could not see anything which satisfied me much. Brindisi is not what Brundusium was. When Virgil died there, when Caesar marched against it with golden eagles, when Antony threatened there the man who afterward became Augustus, it was a great city. It had an excellent harbor, strong fortifications, and sixty thousand inhabitants. Now it is nothing.
I can not tell you of all the interesting places I passed on my way. In fact, I hardly know myself where I did go, for I slept most of the time, and when awake, my bruised head ached so badly that I did not care to be curious.
In fact, until I reached Brindisi I had only once attempted to peep out. I did wish to view the Suez Canal. But for that I should have been obliged to go around the Cape of Storms. To be sure, in that case I might have caught a glimpse of Table Mountain and its vaporous "table-cloth," and have seen the rocky isle where Napoleon was caged. But that would have been small compensation for the tedious voyage. So I regarded the Suez Canal as in some sort a friend, and I tried to see it. But the vulgar yellow Circular I told you of edged himself directly in front of me, and hid the view completely. I had no more remarkable adventures until we reached the Post-office in London. I did not suffer at all on the Channel, though my courtly friend the Letter and his pages were all quite distressed. He was unkind enough to say that my escape was probably due to the fact that I had nothing inside. I excused the discourtesy, under the circumstances, and was heartily sorry to part from him at London. Here I was taken out and given a breath of fresh air. But here, also, I suffered. Another clerk seized me, and struck me a violent blow on the breast. He certainly left a red mark upon me. I think that I shall not recover from my ill-treatment.
I have lived long enough to reach the one to whom I was sent, and to give him glad congratulations on his— But, there! I almost told my secret. It is my greatest fault.
My life is nearly over. I meant to tell you of Bombay, its race-course, its fine harbor which gives it its name, its wealthy Parsees, and good Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, but I am too much worn out. I have had my face photographed for you. You can see my scars. You must not turn me over and read my glad message. That would not be fair. I too have a superscription. I have been of use. I have been told that after my death I may live again; that I may, perhaps, live in white, and become a grand Letter. I may even get a monogram and a crest. It is not impossible. Other messengers of glad tidings die and live again. Flowers do—and butterflies.
POP'S IDEA OF FUN.
BY MRS. FRANK McCARTHY.
Only this morning Pop punched me in the ribs, and winked, and whispered behind his hand, "Any more sprees on hand, Bob?" I was disgusted, and didn't say anything. If he'd been a boy of my size just then, things would have been different; but Pop is a kind of man it isn't pleasant to offend. I smiled in a sickly way, but I was never more disgusted in my life. Any more sprees! I should think not. I'll leave it to any one if his kind of sprees pay. "Count me in for the next racket, Bob," he said at the breakfast table, and then he winked again. I declare I was that sick I let my buckwheat cake get cold.
Here's the way it was. We live in a nobby kind of place, you see. Almost everybody owns his own house and grounds, and spends all his spare time in fixing up. Most of the gentlemen go over to New York to business every day, but before they go, and after they come back, they're always fussing around, making little alterations, and what they call improvements. It makes 'em awful mad if the place is out of order the seventieth part of an inch. The ladies raise flowers, fix baskets and roses, and all that kind of gimcracks, and the men go pottering about, making more fuss over their plots of ground than a big farmer out West does over his thousands of acres. Well, we boys get together sometimes and arrange everything to suit ourselves. In a single night it'll be like a transformation scene at a pantomime—maybe not so pretty, but every bit as funny. Fun! We've laughed ready to split our sides to see the poor old barber come limping up for his pole in front of the doctor's, and the doctor go blustering down there for his hitching post; a lot of paving-stones against the door of the real-estate office, and the cows and chickens running loose about town.
But this particular lark was what we called a specialty. Only gates were to be touched, and these were to undergo a regular tribulation. The weather was about right—muggy—and the mud in some places knee-deep. We arranged all the preliminaries at recess, and Tom Jones was to go around about nine o'clock and let us know if the coast was clear; but he wasn't to give our regular call—all the place knows that. It goes something in this way, "Ki-yuah-yuah, yoo-o," with a prolonged howl at the end. We always drop it when anything secret's on hand. It was agreed upon that Tom Jones should go to each house, if all was right, and have a coughing and sneezing spell that wouldn't arouse suspicion; then we were to creep out, when the folks were gone to bed, and go to work. And it happened to be work that time, you'd better believe!
We were all sitting around the table when the clock struck nine. Pop had his spectacles on, and was reading an editorial to ma, the girls were busy with their lessons, and I had finished my last example, when all at once we heard a terrible coughing and sneezing out in the street. That was the worst of Tom Jones—he always overdid his part. If he'd had pneumonia, whooping-cough, asthma, and bronchitis, and been hired to go round with a cough medicine to cure 'em, he couldn't have turned himself further inside out. Of course Pop began to notice it, and ma looked up in alarm. "Why," said ma, "that boy's got a terrible cold!"
"Fearful!" said Pop, with a queer twist of his under lip; and when Tom Jones, like a big donkey, went across the street to Jim Clancy's house, and began the whole thing over again, Pop wanted to know why that boy's cold was like the paper he held in his hand. We all gave it up, and Pop said because it was periodical. Ma and the girls looked mystified, but I was afraid then he'd tumbled to something, and couldn't help getting red, to save my life. That's the worst of my plagued skin—it's so thin the blood shows right through it.
There were no more of the boys' houses in our avenue, and pretty soon we all went to bed. I slept in the little room on the second floor off the hall; it was an easy thing to climb out the window, and down by the Virginia creeper to the front garden. I went around to our place of meeting, and there they all were. The wind had sprung up pretty brisk, and there was a thin coating of ice over the mud; but that was all the better for the gates we wanted to bury. We owed a grudge to old Jake Van Couter, and we made up our minds he'd have a nice time getting his gate back. The miserable old caboodle was rusty, and nearly tore our nails off, but we got it loose at last, and hauled it off to a marshy lot, where we sunk it in the mud. Then we changed the doctor's gate to the judge's, and to avert suspicion we took our own gates off with the rest. We were getting pretty well tired out and ready for home, and had laid my gate up against a neighboring fence, when who should be standing right there in the shadow of the wall but Pop! We were all so thunder-struck that we didn't move, and to my surprise Pop began to laugh and beckon to the boys to come closer. They were not to be caught by that bait, and stood off pretty considerably, when Pop whispered over to us, in quite a jolly tone of voice: "Don't be afraid, boys. I like to see you enjoy yourselves. I was a boy once myself. Bless your hearts! I like fun yet as well as anybody."
Then he laughed ready to split, bent himself double, and we all began to feel easy, and laugh too. Tom Jones said he wished his father was like mine, and Pop began to encourage us to do more. We were so spurred on by him that we hardly left a gate in the place where it belonged, Pop going along with us, acting as a kind of scout, he said, and seeing that nobody was near to disturb us. Once or twice he gave a signal of alarm, and we all crouched down as still as mice, Pop stiller than any of us. I never was so dumfounded in my life, for I'd never seen Pop very jolly that way before. The boys were delighted with him; they all agreed to make him president of our club, and Pop said he'd take the position when he got back from the Legislature.
Well, we'd come to the conclusion the place was completely done, and Jim Clancy proposed we should go home. Jim had torn his hands rather badly with Uncle Jake's gate, and didn't feel very good, when suddenly Pop said:
"Yes, boys, of course we'll go home pretty soon, when we're through, you know; but we must put all the gates back in their places again first!"
We all looked at each other aghast for a minute. "Back again!" cried the fellows. "Well, I guess not!" "Not much!" "Hardly!" and all sorts of derisive refusals went round.
Pop stood among us, whirling his cane, smiling all the time, and said: "Oh, yes you will, boys, when you think of it a minute. You've had your fun, you know; but it won't do to go too far. I'm a justice of the peace, you see, and this innocent little racket comes under the head of 'malicious mischief.' You could all be sent to jail; and no matter how badly I'd feel, I'd have to act under the law. There's where it is, you see; people are so hard on boys they won't let them enjoy themselves. It's too bad; but never mind, we've had our fun anyway. Now let's get to work in earnest. Here, we'll begin with this gate. Lift it up there, Jim; hold on the other side, Bobby, my boy. Now we have it—all together." And as true as you live, we actually found ourselves walking along with the gate between us. From that gate we went to another, and another. I don't know how it was, but we just plodded along, and did what Pop said. He was laughing, and joking, and flourishing his cane; but, oh, how tired we were! How our hands and our feet and our hearts ached, and how sickening it all was! The most sickening of anything was to hear Pop laugh and carry on all the time, as if this was the cream of the joke. I tell you, we were all mad enough; and when we got to old Jake Van Couter's, we just rebelled. We all hated Jake, anyhow; and Tom Jones he stood right out in the road, and said Jake was a mean old curmudgeon; and then Pop got hold of Tom before we knew it, and down came his cane with a whack.
"Now, boys," says Pop, "fun's fun, and I'm as fond of it as anybody, but I don't see any use of spoiling a good time in this kind of way. Jake couldn't put that gate back, to save his life, and it goes to my heart to hear hard words against the poor old man. He's bent double with rheumatism, he's old and he's poor, and he's no subject for your fun. Take a fellow like me if you want fun. I don't mind it. Do what you like to me, but spare poor old Jake."
Well, we just looked at one another in mute disgust, but we didn't care to dispute any further with Pop. We plunked along that nasty old freezing road, and we yanked Uncle Jake's gate out of the mud, and carried it half a mile, our nails hanging off, and tears of rage and mortification rolling down our cheeks, with Pop laughing like a good one all the while, declaring that he didn't see how anybody could be so hard on boys; they would have their fun, and for his part he thought it did them good, and it took him back to his youth again; he hadn't had such a spree for many a year.
We groaned and looked at each other, and each of us dropped off silently and gloomily at our separate doors. A whole month has gone by without a proposition for fun of any kind, and I'll leave it to anybody if it ain't enough to disgust a fellow to have Pop winking at me behind his hand, and telling me to count him in for the next racket.
Almost time for the pretty white daisies Out of their sleep to awaken at last, And over the meadows, with grasses and clover, To bud and to blossom, and grow so fast. Almost time for the buttercups yellow, The ferns and the flowers, the roses and all, To waken from slumber, and merrily hasten To gladden our hearts at the spring's first call.
Almost time for the skies to grow bluer, And breezes to soften, and days to grow long; For eyes to grow brighter, and hearts to grow gladder, And Earth to rejoice in her jubilant song. Almost time for the sweetest of seasons: Nearer it comes with each new-born day, And soon the smile of the beautiful spring-time Winter's cold shadows will chase away!
Australia and Tasmania possess many specimens of strange animal life; even in the latter, or Van Diemen's Land, are found several species which exist only on that small bit of the earth's surface. Tasmania, which is separated from the southern extremity of Australia by a strait about one hundred and forty miles in width, was first discovered in 1633, by Abel Tasman, a famous Dutch navigator, who supposed it to be a portion of Australia, then known as New Holland. The celebrated Captain Cook visited it one hundred and fifty years later; but it was not until about 1800, when Captain Flinders, exploring the southern coast of Australia, discovered the strait, that Tasmania was known to be an island. As Mr. Bass, surgeon of a British ship which had cruised in those waters, had already affirmed that such a strait existed, Captain Flinders named it Bass Strait in his honor.
At the beginning of this century a few tribes of natives were the sole human inhabitants of Tasmania, but about 1803 a party of English military, with a gang of convicts under their charge, came from New South Wales and formed a settlement, which is now a flourishing English town called Hobart Town. Sheep-raising is now the principal industry of this island, and large exports of wool are made yearly.
The scenery of Tasmania is very picturesque. Grand basaltic headlands tower along the coast, while inland are lofty mountains, broad lakes, untrodden jungles, and wide-spreading plains covered with rich and luxuriant vegetation.
Australia and Tasmania are the residence of the curious family of animals with pouches, called Marsupialia, from marsupium, signifying a purse or bag. One variety of this species, the opossum, is found in the United States, and a few live in South America and Mexico, but in the Australian regions are more than seventy different kinds of these singular creatures. The leader of them all is the great kangaroo, which stands about five feet high when resting upon its hind-feet and haunches. When running it springs from the ground in an erect position, holding its short fore-arms tight to its chest, like a professional runner, and it will go as far as sixteen feet at one jump. From twenty to thirty species of kangaroos are found in Australia and the surrounding islands.
A member of the Marsupialia family which does not exist out of the small island of Tasmania is the zebra-wolf, the most savage and destructive of all the marsupials. This ferocious beast is about the size of the largest kind of sheep-dog. Its short fur is of a yellowish-brown color, and its back and sides are handsomely marked with black stripes. It is a fleet runner, propelling itself with its hind-legs, which are jointed like those of a kangaroo, although it goes on all fours. Its gait is a succession of quick springs—a peculiarity of nearly all the animals of Tasmania.
The zebra-wolf is very troublesome to the sheep-raising farmers, and constant watch is required to prevent its depredations on the flocks and herds. It inhabits caverns and rocks in the deep and almost impenetrable glens in the neighborhood of the high mountain ranges, from whence it sallies forth at night to scour the great grassy plains in search of food. It preys on the brush kangaroo, the great emu, and any small birds or beasts it can capture.
Another strange beast is the porcupine ant-eater, or Tasmanian hedgehog. It is much larger than the English hedgehog, and can not roll itself into a ball. Its back is covered with very stout spines protruding from a coat of thick gray fur, and in place of a mouth it has a round bill about two inches long. One of these strange creatures was once presented to an English lady living at Hobart Town. For safety she placed it at the bottom of a deep wooden churn until better lodgings could be provided. Shortly after, on going to look at her captive, she found it clinging by its long claws to the top of the churn, with its funny little head peeping over. The bill gave an indescribably droll expression to its queer pursed-up face, while its bright eyes peered restlessly about from their furry nooks. There was something so pitiful, pleading, and helpless in the expression of the little creature, that the lady, fearing she could not make it happy in captivity, at once set it free in her garden. It immediately began to burrow, casting up a circular ridge of earth, beneath which in a moment it vanished, and never was seen again.
The duck-bill is a near kinsman of the porcupine ant-eater. It is a mole-like quadruped, with a large bill like a duck's. It spends most of its time in the water, but lives in a burrow on the shore. Its feet are very curious, as they can be changed at the pleasure of their owner. When in the water they are webbed like a duck's, but if the creature comes on shore, the web shrinks, and leaves long sharp claws ready for burrowing.
There is also a small, clumsy, inoffensive animal called the wombat, which is never found outside of these Australian regions. Its head resembles that of a badger. It has very small eyes, short legs, and its fat, squab body is covered with coarse gray hair. It lives in rocky places and mountain gullies, and feeds on the roots of plants. It is easily tamed, and makes a very affectionate pet. Some English children living in Tasmania once had a pet wombat. It became so mischievous, however, that they determined to carry it back to its native forest. But the wombat having tasted the comforts of civilized life, had no desire to dig for its living again. Three times it was carried away, the last time to a wood beyond a deep river; but every time, when night came, a well-known scratching was heard at the door, and the wombat presented itself, drenched and weary, but determined not to suffer banishment from its comfortable home. Its master, touched by so much attachment, at length allowed it to remain, and it passed the rest of its days in peace.
The kangaroo-rat and kangaroo-mouse, the opossum-mouse, the flying opossum, and some other odd little creatures, inhabit Tasmania. They are all marsupials, having a pouch for their little ones, and jumping on their hind-feet like a kangaroo.
An enormous bird is found in the Australian countries, called the emu. In its habits and general appearance it resembles the ostrich, although it does not possess the exquisite plumage of that bird. The long drooping feathers of the emu are brownish-black in color, and covered with hairy fibres. A full-grown bird is five or six feet in height. It never flies, but, like the ostrich, is a very swift runner, and as it is very shy, is difficult to capture. Its nest is a hole scraped in the ground, where it lays six or seven dark green eggs. Emus are much hunted by the Bushmen, as a fine clear oil is prepared from the skin, which is highly prized for its medicinal qualities.
Many varieties of remarkable and beautiful birds are found in Australia and Tasmania: the lyre-bird, with its wonderful tail feathers; the odd owl-like "morepoke," which screams its own name through the forest solitudes all night long; glistening bronze-winged pigeons; strange and gorgeous parrots; and others, to describe which would fill a large volume. In this locality are nearly a hundred species of birds and beasts not found in any other portion of the world, and they are all, with scarcely a single exception, the oddest and strangest of existing creatures.
A True Story.
Little Ned Bancroft stood by the window, and as he looked at the fast-falling snow and the sidewalks deeply covered, he thought, "What a fine time I shall have this afternoon shovelling snow, for it is Friday, and I shall have no lesson to learn!"
His mamma then called to him, "Come, Ned, it is nearly nine o'clock; you must start for school."
So off he trudged, delighted with the idea of battling the storm, his feet well protected with high rubber boots, and his hands covered with warm mittens made by his loving grandmamma.
Ned was an only child, the pride of his papa and mamma, and the great pet of aunties and uncles. As for grandmamma, she never tired of kissing his sweet round little face.
Not long after he had gone to school it stopped snowing, and men with large shovels were seen in the streets, pulling the door-bells, and asking, "Want your snow shovelled?"
Mrs. Bancroft engaged one of these men, and ordered him, before cleaning the sidewalk, to clear up the back yard by shovelling the snow into a pile in one corner, as Jane wanted to hang out the clothes.
When Ned came home to lunch, he saw with delight the great mound of snow the man had made, and he resolved to make a house in it when school was over.
His aunt Lou, who lived in New York, came in on her way to grandmamma's while Ned and his mamma were eating their lunch, and Ned heard auntie ask his mother to go with her, and mamma consented, and he heard her say, "I will not get home before six o'clock." How well he remembered this remark, some hours afterward, we shall see, but at the moment he paid little heed to it, as his mind was full of the afternoon's sport. He kissed them good-by as he left the table, and was soon back at school, which was only a few blocks off.
Ned was only ten years old, but his mother had taught him to be careful with his books and toys, and put them in their proper places when he had done with them.
When school was out he ran home, put his spelling-book on the shelf in his little room, took out his shovel from the box where he kept his playthings, and went into the yard.
He began to work immediately, digging out a hole in the bottom of the pile of snow, which was to be his house. His shovel was small, and it took a long while to make a place large enough to creep into. But he enjoyed the sport, tossing each shovelful of snow as high as he could, and across the yard.
For a short time he had a companion, Eva Roslyn, a little girl who lived next door, who peeped through a crack in the fence, and could just see him at work.
"Didn't I throw that shovelful high, Eva?" he called out.
"Oh, I can hardly see you," said Eva. "I wish you would cut this hole larger, Ned."
"I will some day," replied Ned. "But run and ask your mother to let you come in here and help me dig out my house."
"Well," said Eva, and went in-doors, and up stairs to her mamma, whom she found in the parlor talking with a lady who had brought her little girl to play with Eva.
Eva and her friend were soon busy with their dolls and baby-house, and poor Ned was entirely forgotten. He had by this time made his house just large enough to allow him to get inside. He said to himself, "I will try it myself before Eva comes," and bending his head quite low, crept into the hole.
The stooping position was very uncomfortable, and he thought, "I must make my house higher inside," and moved slightly backward, intending to get out. Suddenly he found himself unable to stir, and entirely surrounded with darkness: his house had caved in, and the poor boy was deeply buried in the snow.
The brave little fellow, although terribly frightened, began at once to consider what was best for him to do. He thought there were three ways in which he might get released from his imprisonment. He had seen the clothes hanging on the lines; Jane would come out to take them down, and when she did, he would call to her for help. If she didn't hear him, then—oh, how well he remembered the hour!—mamma would be home at six o'clock. He knew she always closed her blinds before lighting the gas; he would call to her as loud as he could, and she might hear him. But he began to wonder a little how long should he have to wait. If neither Jane nor mamma heard him, he must then wait for papa, who would surely not sit down to dinner without searching for his little son. He thought of Eva, but didn't expect any assistance from her, because he knew when she came to the door and didn't see him in the yard she would return home.
Then he happened to remember what his teacher had told the class in school that very day—that any one would soon smother to death unless he could have fresh air to breathe, and he thought, "I shall soon use all the air in here. If I could only make a little hole to let in some fresh air from outside!" He felt very tightly packed in, his chin resting on his knees, and his back almost bent double. He tried so hard to change his position, but could at first only move backward and forward the fingers of his right hand; this he continued to do until he could slightly move his arm. He worked with it until at last he felt the cold air blowing upon his hand. How cold it felt! but he kept it outside, making as much motion with it as he could, hoping Jane would see it when she came out for the clothes, and wondering what it was, would come to his relief.
But he found it impossible to hold his little hand out long, for it began to ache and grow stiff; so he pulled it in, and comforted himself with the ray of light that came through the hole, and the thought of the fresh air he now had to breathe.
He hadn't once called out loudly for help, as most boys would naturally have done, for, as we have seen, he was thoughtful as well as brave, and knew that if he cried out now, when no one was near, he might not have any strength left to call to Jane when she came out, or to his mother when she opened the window.
How slowly the time passed! The small ray of light was getting dim, his courage began to fail, when the sound of an opening door came to his ears. It must be Jane, he thought, and his heart beat faster with hope.
Out she came, singing loudly,
"'Now, Rory, be aisy,' sweet Kathleen would cry, Reproof on her lip, but a smile in her eye,"
and poor little Ned's smothered voice was not heard as he called, "Jane! Jane! come and help me; I'm under the snow!"
It seemed to him but a minute before all was still again; the clothes were taken from the line, and Jane was back in her warm kitchen, without a thought of suffering Ned.
One of his three hopes had failed, but Ned took courage. It must be nearly six now, for hardly any light was coming in through the hole, and mamma would soon open the window to close the blinds. How still he kept, listening for every sound! and at last his heart gave a thump.
"Surely that was the window opening." Not a second did he lose. "Mamma! mamma! I'm here under the snow; do come here!" he called, with all his strength, over and over again. It is no wonder that the tears began to fall thick and fast from Ned's eyes as the window closed, and the dreadful still darkness was around him, and the hope of making mamma hear him lost.
Now he had only to wait for papa, and our little hero stopped his sobs, fearing he might lose one sound of those expected welcome steps. He would try to be as patient as possible, not a doubt entering his mind of papa's finding him.
Mrs. Bancroft had come home, and after taking off her cloak and bonnet, as usual closed her blinds, entirely unconscious of the little voice appealing to her for help. She thought her boy was sitting in the library learning his lesson, or was perhaps listening to one of Jane's Irish stories in the kitchen, Jane being very fond of him: she had been his nurse when he was a baby. Yet mamma was rather surprised that Ned had not run up stairs to see her after the long afternoon's absence.
She went down stairs to meet Mr. Bancroft, whom she heard opening the front door; they walked together into the library, papa saying, "Where's Ned?"
"He must be in the kitchen," said Mrs. Bancroft. "I've not seen him since I came home at six o'clock."
Mr. Bancroft went into the hall, calling aloud, "Ned, where are you?"
How joyfully would Ned have answered could he have heard papa's dear cheerful voice!
There was no response, and Mrs. Bancroft rang the library bell. "Jane, send Master Ned up stairs," she said, as Jane made her appearance.
"Sure I've not seen him the whole afternoon, ma'am."
Mrs. Bancroft looked at her husband with an alarmed face, saying, "Where can the child be? He never staid out so late before."
After searching every room in the house, they went to the front door, looking in vain up and down the street. Mr. Bancroft then went to the houses of several neighbors whose little boys had often played with Ned, but none had seen him since school-time.
The parents were now truly frightened, for Ned had never been in the habit of going anywhere without permission; but now they thought he must have strayed away, and some accident befallen him.
"Oh, Edward," said Mrs. Bancroft, the tears falling from her eyes, "what shall we do to find our boy?"
Dreading to alarm her, Mr. Bancroft didn't mention his fears, but with a heavy heart put on his hat, and again went into the street, his wife returning to the library convulsed with sobs.
Where could he go but to the nearest station-house, thought Ned's anxious father, and started thither; but when he reached the corner of the street he turned round again, disliking the idea of going far from the house where it was most natural to see the boy.
"I will go back and examine his playthings. He has always been an orderly child. I can easily tell whether he has used any of them this afternoon."
Once more he entered the door, and went directly to Ned's room. The spelling-book was in its place, but his overcoat and hat were not to be found. The box of playthings was next examined. It was open, showing Ned had been there, and his little shovel was missing.
Why he immediately went into the yard, Mr. Bancroft could afterward never tell. It must have been a good fairy that led him to the back door, where he stood a few seconds looking out into the darkness, longing for a sight of the little face which always welcomed him home.
It must have been the same fairy that moved him to walk to the back of the yard, where a black spot in the snow attracted his attention. His heart gave a leap: it was Ned's shovel. And what was that faint moaning sound that came to his ears? Was Eva in any distress in the next yard? He listened.
"Papa! oh, papa! I'm here, under the snow!"
"Ned, my boy, where are you?"
"Here, papa, under the snow."
With the same little shovel the father now worked with all his might, cheering his child by the continued sound of his voice, saying, "Papa will take you out in a minute. Be a brave boy. Papa will soon get you."
Mrs. Bancroft, who was waiting in-doors, heard, as she thought, persons talking in the yard, and opened the library window, when her husband called to her: "Send some one here to help me! Be quick; Ned is here under the snow."
Jane overheard, and rushed out with her coal shovel, and began to dig with the strength and energy of a man, and crying, "Me darlint, me darlint, is it here ye are?"
When at last the brave little fellow felt the loving arms of his father tight about him, he simply whispered, "Oh, papa, I'm so glad you came!"
Can any of my young readers imagine with what happiness both father and mother kissed and hugged their cold and stiff little darling? They carried him with gentle hands into the house, and hurriedly sent Jane for the doctor, as poor Ned was now quite exhausted.
When old Dr. Gray looked down at the child he said little, but with a serious face administered stimulants, and with his own hands assisted in rubbing back life into the almost frozen body of our young hero.
If Ned had been many minutes longer buried in the snow, this story could never have had such a cheerful ending.
AN HONEST MINER.
If you go into a mining district in Cornwall, England, you will see, not far from the mine works, rows of neat little cottages; most of them are extremely clean in the interior, and here the miners may be found seated at comfortable fires, frequently reading, or in the summer evenings working in their little gardens or in the potato fields. Frequently they become experienced floriculturists, and at the flower shows that occur annually in several of the Cornish towns they often carry off the prizes.
A pleasing anecdote is recorded of the honesty of a poor Cornish miner. There lived at St. Ives a lady named Prudence Worth, whose charity was remarkable. A miner living at Camborne had his goods seized for rent, which he could not pay. He had heard of the many good deeds done by "Madam" Worth, as she was usually called, and he determined to apply to her for assistance. He said:
"Madam, I am come to you in great trouble. My goods are seized for rent, and they will be sold if I can not get the money immediately."
"Where do you live?" inquired Mrs. Worth.
"In Camborne, and I work in Stray Park Mine."
"I know nothing of you," observed the lady, "and you may be a drunkard, or an impostor."
"Madam," replied the miner, with energy, "as I live, I am neither; and if you will lend me the money, I will return it in four months."
The money was lent, the period of four months elapsed, and, true to his promise, the poor miner, notwithstanding that bad luck had attended him, had managed to get the amount borrowed together, and set off on foot with it. Arriving at Hayle River, he found the tide coming up, but to save a journey of three miles round by St. Erith Bridge, he resolved to cross the water, which appeared to him shallow enough for this purpose. The poor fellow had, however, miscalculated the depth, and was drowned. When the body was brought to shore, his wife said that he had left home with three guineas in his pocket for Madam Worth. Search was made in his pockets, and no money was found, but some one observed that his right hand was firmly clinched. It was opened, and found to contain the three guineas.
BY K. M. M.
What are you looking at, Baby dear, With your wide-open serious eyes, That were made from the depths of heaven's own blue, Stolen away from the skies?
What do you think of this great wide world That you gaze on with such surprise? I should like to know, if you only could tell, You look so grave and so wise.
The professor himself, who has studied for years, Has not half so sage an air As this baby of ours when he sits all alone In the lap of the great arm-chair.
And what are you talking of, all by yourself, In those words which none of us know?— We forget so soon the language of heaven, In this work-a-day world below.
But teach us those accents strange and sweet That you've learned from the angels above, For we must become like this little child E'er we enter God's kingdom of love.
Little girls who like to knit will be glad to know how to make this pretty scarf. It is knitted with two threads, one of white and the other of chinchilla zephyr worsted, and wooden needles, crosswise, in rounds going back and forth. Strands of worsted are knotted in the ends for fringe. Begin the scarf with a thread of white and a thread of chinchilla worsted, cast on 27 st. (stitch), and knit as follows: 1st round.—(Slip the first st. of each round, and carry the working thread to the wrong side, slipping it through between both needles; the last st. is always knit off plain with both threads, catching them together. This will not be referred to further.) Lay the chinchilla worsted on the needle from the front to the wrong side, knit the next st. plain with the white thread, * carry the chinchilla thread underneath the needle and over the white thread to the front, lay the white thread on the needle from the front to the wrong side, purl the next st. with the chinchilla worsted, lay the latter on the needle from the front to the wrong side, carry the white thread underneath the chinchilla thread to the next st., and knit this plain, and repeat from *. 2d round.—Lay the chinchilla thread on the needle from the front to the wrong side, purl the next st. which appears purled on this side, together with the thread thrown over, with the white thread, * lay the white thread on the needle from the front to the wrong side, carry the chinchilla thread underneath the white thread to the next st., and knit this plain together with the thread thrown over, carry the white thread from the wrong side to the front underneath the needle, and over the chinchilla thread, lay the latter on the needle from the front to the wrong side, purl the next st. together with the thread thrown over, with white worsted, and repeat from *. 3d and 4th rounds.—Like the 1st and 2d rounds, but in the 3d round always purl the st. which appear purled on the working side, and knit plain those which look as if knit plain. Repeat always the 1st to 4th rounds, transposing the design (see Fig. 2). Finally, cast off the st. loosely with both threads.
The story goes that there once lived in Germany, in a handsome, spacious palace, a selfish, fat old Bishop. His table was always spread with the choicest dainties, and he drank in abundance wine of the very best; he slept long and soundly, and looked so comfortable and happy and fat that the people whispered to each other, "How grand it must be to be a Bishop!"
One summer, in the neighborhood where the Bishop lived, the rain came down in such torrents, and continued so long, that the grain was utterly ruined, and when autumn arrived, there was none to be gathered. "What shall we do," said the poor fathers and mothers, "when the long winter comes, and we have no food to give our children?"
Winter arrived, bringing the cold winds and the snow and the frost. The little ones begged for bread, and the poor mothers were compelled to say the bread was all gone.
"Let us go to the Bishop," at last said the poor pining creatures. "Surely he will help us. He has far more food than he needs, and it is useless our starving here when he has plenty."
Very soon from his palace window the Bishop saw numbers of the poor people flocking to his gates, and he thought to himself: "So they want my corn; but they shall not have it; and the sooner they find out their mistake, the better." So he sent them all away. The next day others came. Still the Bishop refused, but still the people persevered in calling out for food at his gates.
At last, wearied with their cries, but still unmoved by their pitiable condition, the Bishop announced that on a certain day his large barn should be open for any one to enter who chose, and that when the place was full, as much food should be given them as would last all the winter.
At last the day came, and for a time forgetting their hunger, the women and children, as well as the men, both old and young, crowded up to the barn door.
The Bishop watched them, with a smile on his deceitful old face, until the place was quite full; then he fastened the door securely, and actually set fire to the barn, and burned it to the ground. As he listened to the cries of agony, he said to himself, "How much better it will be for the country when all these rats," as he called the poor sufferers, "are killed, because while they were living they only consumed the corn!"
Having done this, he went to his palace, and sat down to his dainty supper, chuckling to himself to think how cleverly he had disposed of the "rats."
The next morning, however, his face wore a different expression, when his eye fell upon the spot where the night before had hung a likeness of himself. There was the frame, but the picture had gone: it had been eaten by the rats.
At this the wicked Bishop was frightened. He thought of the poor dying people he had spoken of as rats the day before, and he turned cold and trembled. As he stood shivering, a man from the farm ran up in terror, exclaiming that the rats had eaten all the corn that had been stored in the granaries.
Scarcely had the man finished speaking when another messenger arrived, pale with fear, and bringing tidings more terrible still. He said ten thousand rats were coming fast to the palace, and told the Bishop to fly for his life, adding a prayer that his master might be forgiven for the crime he had committed the day before.
"The rats shall not find me," said Bishop Hatto, for that was his name. "I will go shut myself up in my strong tower on the Rhine. No rats can reach me there; the walls are high, and the stream around is so strong the rats would soon be washed away if they attempted to cross the water."
So off he started, crossed the Rhine, and shut himself up in his tower. He fastened every window securely, locked and barred the doors, and gave strict injunctions that no one should be allowed to leave the tower or to enter it. Hoping that all danger was over, he lay down, closed his eyes, and tried to sleep. But it was all in vain; he still shook with fear. Then, all at once, a shrill scream startled him. On opening his eyes he saw the cat on his pillow. She too was terrified, and her eyes glared, for she knew the rats were close upon them.
Up jumped the Bishop, and from his barred window he saw the black cloud of rats swiftly approaching. They had crossed the deep current, and were marching in such a direct line toward his hiding-place that they might have been taken for a well-marshalled army. Not by dozens or scores, but by thousands and thousands, the creatures were seen. Never before had there been such a sight.
"Down on his knees the Bishop fell, And faster and faster his beads did he tell, As louder and louder, drawing near, The gnawing of their teeth he could hear.
"And in at the windows, and in at the door, And through the walls helter-skelter they pour, And down from the ceiling and up through the floor, From the right and the left, from behind and before, From within and without, from above and below, And all at once to the Bishop they go.
"They have whetted their teeth against the stones, And now they pick the Bishop's bones. They gnawed the flesh from every limb, For they were sent to do judgment on him."
Such was the horrible fate of Bishop Hatto; and whether it be perfectly true or not, it is a striking illustration of the folly, as well as the cruelty, of selfishness.
FULTON WELLS, CALIFORNIA.
I am assistant teacher here in Little Lake district. I have a class of seven boys, among whom I am dividing the year's subscription of YOUNG PEOPLE. The "Parrot Story" I read aloud in school, and am now doing the same with the "Brave Swiss Boy." I read a chapter in the morning, and those who are tardy lose the story till they can borrow the paper. Every number is sewed, and the leaves neatly cut, and the boys are much pleased with the charming little paper and the beautiful stories. The story about the "Flower that Grew in a Cellar" left them hushed and thoughtful for several minutes afterward. The puzzles and "Wiggles" are all discussed, but none of the boys dare send answers for fear they "wouldn't be right." A great California owl flew into the school-room the other night through the top of a lowered window, and staid all day perched up over our heads, with his great soft dark eyes shut, and his chin comfortably settled in his beautiful feathers. We have made "Tombolas," and they are very funny. We are so glad you are publishing this paper; it is just what we needed.
JENNIE R. BUSH.
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PORTLAND, OREGON, January 21.
My brother Henry and I have just picked a bunch of willow "pussies" for our mamma.
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I am six years old. I see a good many little girls write letters to YOUNG PEOPLE. I like the paper first-rate, and so does brother Will. He is a big boy thirteen years old, and can skate. We are having a very warm winter here in Missouri, and not much ice.
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GALT, CALIFORNIA, February 4.
The other day we had a snow-storm. It was the first time I ever saw snow. We have a large garden, and there are a great many birds in it. Last summer there was a bird's nest in the ivy, and now the little birds which were born there are coming back. We have beautiful flowers in California, but I would like to see some of the Eastern flowers. I am eight years old.
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SAG HARBOR, LONG ISLAND.
I am ten years old, and am visiting my grandma. She lives by the sea-shore. We had a hard snow-storm the other day, and the tide came nearly up to the seats of our boat-house, and the next day it was away down to the eel-grass. My aunt teaches school in the village, and the tide was up to the railroad track, so she had to ride home. What makes the tide so high and then so low? Grandma says the day it was so high the wind was east, and the next day it was west, and it blew very hard.
BERTHA A. F.
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I could not tell you how happy YOUNG PEOPLE makes my brother and me. We can not wait for the week to go by. We haven't any pets except our little brother Maxwell, who is three years old. He is so funny and full of mischief that we would rather have him than all the other pets in the world. He talks as funny as the baby that wanted Daisy to come back, but my brother Jimmie and I can always understand every word he says, even when mamma can not. He is almost three years old.
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JAMAICA PLAIN, MASSACHUSETTS.
I am nine years old. I have a cat. She is three years old. There is a strange cat comes in our cellar. I gave her some milk, and she would not drink it. She runs away from me. I have a tool-box, and have been making some easels to-day.
ARTHUR N. B.
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There are a great many coal mines near where I live. Six little girls, including myself, went down in one of them once with the superintendent, who explained to us how they mined coal. We girls each took a miner's pick and knocked off a piece of coal, so that we could say we had mined some ourselves. I take YOUNG PEOPLE, and I like it ever so much.
M. H. A.
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I have a cunning little kitten, and its name is Pinafore. It will eat ice-cream as fast as I can give it to it. We have had lots of snow here, and I go out sliding 'most all the time when I am not in school.
ABBIE C. PUTNAM.
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When I read Harry P. H.'s letter about his kitten that eats peanuts, I thought I would tell you about a dog I know. His name is Sport, and he lives at my grandfather's farm, not far from here. As soon as he sees me he runs toward me, and wags his tail, and jumps up and down. He follows me everywhere. I give him corn and apples to eat, and he jumps to take them from my fingers. When he is very hungry he will always eat corn and apples. Do all dogs like such things?
W. A. LEWIS.
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FORT PREBLE, PORTLAND, MAINE.
I live in a fort by the sea-shore. Our post takes HARPER'S WEEKLY, and I read the YOUNG PEOPLE, which comes with it. We have splendid boating and fishing. We catch cod-fish, mackerel, cunners, and lobsters. We catch the lobsters in nets. I have two pet pigeons, and two kittens exactly alike. Their names are Spunk and Pluck. Spunk will run up my knee when I hold out a piece of meat.
CAMPBELL P. HAMILTON.
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WEST TROY, NEW YORK.
I would like to know what to do with my parrot. He talks, sings, and whistles very nice, but he picks his feathers all out, and looks almost naked. I had a canary, but it died two years ago. It was almost twenty years old. Can any little boy or girl tell me what to do for my parrot?
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H. L. MURRAY.—A big, strong Newfoundland dog will be the best to harness in your little carriage. Newfoundland dogs are very wise and gentle, and, if treated kindly, are easily trained.
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CHARLEY D. M.—The trouble with your fish probably comes from the want of air in the water. If you will make a reed or elder-bush squirt-gun, closing the lower end, and making a number of small holes near the bottom, you can use it for forcing air into the tank. This will make the water "alive," and your fish will flourish. It will be well also to put two or three fresh-water crabs and snails and a little vegetation into the tank.
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T. H. KNOX.—An owl, or an owl's head, would make a good badge for your literary society. You can buy very pretty owls' heads under glass, arranged to wear as a scarf-pin. They are not expensive. Or if you wish something original, a small gold eagle's quill would be appropriate.
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FRED C. S.—The United States government has never offered to purchase cancelled stamps.
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I. U.—Sheep have front teeth, or nippers, only on the lower jaw, the upper having instead a firm fibrous pad. There are eight of these nippers in a full-grown sheep. There are six grinders, or back teeth, on each side of both the upper and lower jaws.
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EDITH J. P.—You will find information about gold-fish in YOUNG PEOPLE No. 6.
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ZELLA T.—The origin of April-fools' Day is unknown. It is observed as a season of practical jokes in nearly every country. Even the Hindoos have a festival terminating on the 31st of March, during which they aim to send their friends on all manner of absurd errands, and enjoy a laugh at their disappointment. In Italy and France the victims of practical jokes of the 1st of April are called "April-fish."
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B. H. T.—If you wish to keep the skin of your greyhound very soft and delicate, feed it on bread and milk, sugar, cake, crackers, and dainty food of any kind. It will eat meat fast enough, if you allow it to do so, and a little beef, cut very fine, will make it stronger and do it good. Always give it plenty of fresh water.
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SADIE E. P.—The saw-fish (Pristis antiquorum) is most plentiful in tropical seas, although a few species are found in the arctic regions. Its weapon is a flat prolongation of the head, and has on either edge hard tooth-like projections. One species is found all along our coast, from New England to Florida. It has no other common name.
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GORDON C.—Your theory that the peeking and the scolding noise made by a canary are simply to show its affection for its friends, and really a sign of pleasure, is very pretty, but we are not sure it is right. It is true that a canary will not often act in that way when approached by a stranger, for a new voice frightens it, and makes it shrink into a corner of its cage, but it will show a great deal of fight, and peck vigorously, when disturbed by a familiar finger. But either way, if it is loving or enraged, a canary is always the same dear downy little pet, and deserves the tenderest care and affectionate treatment.
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A. H. SPEAR.—Peter Minuit—more correctly Minnewit—was born at Wesel, Holland, some time during the later part of the sixteenth century. He was appointed third Director-General of New Netherland in 1625—Cornelis May having been the first and William Verhulst the second—and arrived at Manhattan the following May. To him belongs the honor of having purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians, as up to this period (1626) the Dutch had possessed it only by right of occupation. Minuit opened negotiations with the native proprietors, and purchased the entire island for the Dutch West India Company "for the value of sixty guilders"—about twenty-four dollars of our present currency. He died at Fort Christiana, Delaware, in 1641.
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A. L. W., Washington Territory, sends a neat "Wiggle," which we are sorry came too late to be printed.
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DORSEY COATE.—Many thanks for your pretty valentine.
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MARY N. C., Cuba.—The beautiful little moth which flew on your table while you were writing, and which you inclose, resembles the Deiopeia bella, which lives on the mouse-ear of our Northern fields. The size and markings are precisely the same, but the cross-bars on the fore-wings of the Northern moth are buff, while those of its Cuban cousin are delicate pink.
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ANNA M. M., AND AGNES AND WILLIE, Scotland.—We are very glad to learn from your neatly written letters that little folks in Scotland derive so much pleasure from reading the "American stories in YOUNG PEOPLE."
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Pretty favors are acknowledged from Frederick Helzel, Nicholas P. G., Tillie F. Weishampel, George H. F., John B. Maxwell, F. L. W., Eddie S., Randall Goodnough, E. G. B., Carrie L. Holman, Jay H. Maltby, Lollie E. W., Mamie Evans, S. G. McKnight, Bennie B. H., L. S. R., Willie B. M., T. S. March, F. V. Griffin, Alfred Opdyke, Henry R. C., J. B. Tanner, George N. M., M. H. V., Mary B. R., Florence E. I., Carrie Pelham, Flora, Ross, and Sallie, Freddie Haggerty.
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Correct answers to puzzles received from Paul Sterling, G. J. D., Birdie A. Randolph, Mabel Lowell, Abby H. Vail, Laura B. Wallis, Chester Fernald, William F. B., Nena Crommelin, Amy S. Turner, Willie H. Spiller, Maggie M. Mather, Georgie M. Hollenbeck, S. V. B., Lillie M. Jones. John R. Glen, Mary M. Smith, M. Willie, J. Rector, J. M. Wolfe, N. L. Collamor, E. S. May, Harry C. M., "Phoenix," Belle F., Maud Miller, Chesly B. H., S. Birdie Dorman, Philip P. Cruger, Dorsey E. C., B. F. H., "Hartley."
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My first is in cistern, but not in well. My second is in write, but not in spell. My third is in note, but not in bill. My fourth is in factory, not in mill. My fifth is in window, but not in door. My sixth is in ceiling, not in floor. My seventh is in wrong, but not in right. My eighth is in dark, but not in light. My ninth is in true, but not in false. My tenth is in slide, but not in waltz. My whole is a large city in the United States.
W. F. C.
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GEOGRAPHICAL DOUBLE ACROSTIC.
An island off the coast of Massachusetts. A city in Ireland. A city in Cochin China. A river in New York State. A city in Italy. One of the United States. A river in the Northwestern United States. A city in Kentucky. A lake in North America. Answer—a city in the United States, and the State of which it is the capital.
SADIE (twelve years).
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My first is in carriage, but not in gig. My second is in false, but not in wig. My third is in laughter, but not in mirth. My fourth is in girdle, but not in girth. My fifth is in sad, but not in merry. My sixth is in pear, and also in cherry. My whole lies under-ground.
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First, a firm, hard substance of dull white color. Second, elliptical. Third, an iron pin. Fourth, a girl's name.
WILLIAM F. B.
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A consonant. A beverage. Bright. A part of the head. A consonant.
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I am composed of 14 letters. My 5, 1, 7 is a kind of meat. My 11, 12, 6, 8 is dug from the earth. My 12, 4, 3 belongs to a boat. My 6, 14, 10, 4 is a girl's name. My 2, 9, 13, 8 is part of a bird. My whole was a great man.
FANNIE (10 years).
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ANSWER TO PUZZLE PICTURE IN No. 14.
S-wine. S-tag; W-easel. G-oats. D-rill. B-ear. B-oar. M-ink. F-ox.
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ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN No. 15.
Z P E A Z E B R A A R T A
Photogen and Nycteris.
G ri P R u E A i R N ea R T r Y
F L A W L I N E A N O N W E N T
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
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The extent and character of the circulation of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will render it a first-class medium for advertising. A limited number of approved advertisements will be inserted on two inside pages at 75 cents per line.
Address HARPER & BROTHERS, Franklin Square, N. Y.
Send one, two, three, or five dollars for a sample box, by express, of the best Candies in America, put up elegantly and strictly pure. Refers to all Chicago. Address
C. F. GUNTHER, Confectioner, 78 MADISON STREET, CHICAGO.
BLUME'S BEAUTIFUL BALLADS—"Shining Curls of Gold," "Rambling o'er the Hill," "Four-Leaf Clover," "Buttercups and Daisies," "Pink Domino" Waltz, Dodworth's "Five-step," "Don't Get Weary" Galop. Each 35c., mailed. FREDERICK BLUME, 861 Broadway.
The Child's Book of Nature.
* * * * *
The Child's Book of Nature, for the Use of Families and Schools: intended to aid Mothers and Teachers in Training Children in the Observation of Nature. In Three Parts. Part I. Plants. Part II. Animals. Part III. Air, Water, Heat, Light, &c. By WORTHINGTON HOOKER, M.D. Illustrated. The Three Parts complete in One Volume, Small 4to, Half Leather, $1.31; or, separately, in Cloth, Part I., 53 cents; Part II., 56 cents; Part III., 56 cents.
* * * * *
A beautiful and useful work. It presents a general survey of the kingdom of nature in a manner adapted to attract the attention of the child, and at the same time to furnish him with accurate and important scientific information. While the work is well suited as a class-book for schools, its fresh and simple style cannot fail to render it a great favorite for family reading.
The Three Parts of this book can be had in separate volumes by those who desire it. This will be advisable when the book is to be used in teaching quite young children, especially in schools.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
Square 4to, about 800 pages each, beautifully printed on Tinted Paper, embellished with many Illustrations, bound in Cloth, $1.50 per volume.
The Children's Picture-Book of Sagacity of Animals.
With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Bible Picture-Book.
With Eighty Illustrations, from Designs by STEINLE, OVERBECK, VEIT, SCHNORR, &c.
The Children's Picture Fable-Book.
Containing One Hundred and Sixty Fables. With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Picture-Book of Birds.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
The Children's Picture-Book of Quadrupeds and other Mammalia.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
BOOKS FOR YOUNG MEN.
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Character. By SAMUEL SMILES. 12mo, Cloth, $1.00.
It is, in design and execution, more like his "Self-Help" than any of his other works. Mr. Smiles always writes pleasantly, but he writes best when he is telling anecdotes, and using them to enforce a moral that he is too wise to preach about, although he is not afraid to state it plainly. By means of it "Self-Help" at once became a standard book, and "Character" is, in its way, quite as good as "Self-Help." It is a wonderful storehouse of anecdotes and biographical illustrations.—Examiner, London.
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Self-Help; with Illustrations of Character, Conduct, and Perseverance. By SAMUEL SMILES. New Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 12mo, Cloth, $1.00.
The writings of Samuel Smiles are a valuable aid in the education of boys. His style seems to have been constructed entirely for their tastes; his topics are admirably selected, and his mode of communicating excellent lessons of enterprise, truth, and self-reliance might be called insidious and ensnaring if these words did not convey an idea which is only applicable to lessons of an opposite character and tendency taught in the same attractive style. The popularity of this book, "Self-Help," abroad has made it a powerful instrument of good, and many an English boy has risen from its perusal determined that his life will be moulded after that of some of those set before him in this volume. It was written for the youth of another country, but its wealth of instruction has been recognized by its translation into more than one European language, and it is not too much to predict for it a popularity among America boys.—N. Y. World.
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Thrift. By SAMUEL SMILES. 12mo, Cloth, $1.00.
The mechanic, farmer, apprentice, clerk, merchant, and a large circle of readers outside of these classes will find in the volume a wide range of counsel and advice, presented in perspicuous language, and marked throughout by vigorous good sense; and who, while deriving from it useful lessons for the guidance of their personal affairs, will also be imbibing valuable instruction in an important branch of political economy. We wish it could be placed in the hands of all our youth—especially those who expect to be merchants, artisans, or farmers.—Christian Intelligencer, N. Y.
In this useful and sensible work, which should be in the hands of all classes of readers, especially of those whose means are slender, the author does for private economy what Smith and Ricardo and Bastiat have done for national economy. * * * The one step which separates civilization from savagery—which renders civilization possible—is labor done in excess of immediate necessity. * * * To inculcate this most necessary and most homely of all virtues, we have met with no better teacher than this book.—N. Y. World.
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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.
Tommy was only ten years of age, but still he was determined to obtain it. At last, one day, he ran into his father's office in ecstasies, and shouted, "Hurrah! Pop, I've got it!"
"Got what, my son?"
"Perpetual motion!" cried Tommy. "I've been watching it for the last half hour, and it works bully!" Then grasping "Pop" by the hand, "Come up in the garret and see it."
His father went up, and, sure enough, there was perpetual motion—that is, as long as there was any life left in the dog and that piece of roast beef hung to his tail.
THE SOAPBOXTICON, OR HOME-MADE MAGIC LANTERN.
Would you like to have a magic lantern? Very well: I will tell you how to make it. In the first place you must procure a burning-glass, such as you can get at any toy store for a few cents; or you may, perhaps, have the glass out of an old telescope. You also want a soap box (or any other kind of square box), a cigar box, and a piece of white muslin or linen as large as a pocket-handkerchief. Make a hole in the cigar box to fit your magnifying-glass, and put the glass into it. Now look at Fig. 1, and see how the cigar box is placed inside the soap box. Stretch the muslin over the opposite side of the soap box (from which, of course, you have removed the bottom), and tack it to the edges of the box. Put a lighted candle in the cigar box as represented in the illustration, and if you hold a drawing or a photograph opposite the glass in the cigar box, it will be reflected on the muslin stretched over the end of the soap box, and you have a magic lantern.
One thing more. By looking at Fig. 1 you will see that there are two bars and a cross-bar to hold the picture. These can easily be fixed, and will save you the trouble of holding the picture in your hand, and will be more steady. By carefully looking at the different drawings, you will soon see how to make one yourself.
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A Brave Princess.—In one of the Sandwich Islands, in the South Seas, is a volcanic mountain with a huge lake of ever-burning fire. This was the reputed abode of the goddess Pele and her fiery companions, the worship of whom was the central superstition of the islanders. The young Princess Kapiolani was converted to Christianity through the teaching of the missionaries. Grieving for the ignorance and misery of her people, she resolved to visit the burning mountain of Kilauea, and dare the dreaded Pele to do her worst. There a priestess met her, threatened her with the displeasure of the goddess if she persisted, and prophesied that she and her followers would miserably perish. In defiance of this threat, she and her Christian followers went down to the edge of the burning lake, and, standing erect, she thus spoke: "Jehovah is my God. He kindled these fires. I fear not Pele. If I perish by the anger of Pele, then you may fear the power of Pele; but if I trust in Jehovah, and He should save me from the wrath of Pele, then you must fear and serve the Lord Jehovah."
I am rocked in the arms of the sea, Or tossed on the flowing main; Then fold my white wings in some peaceful bay, And am bound to the earth with a chain.
There's a fruit with its hue of gold From the land of the tropical sun; I make it a cooling draught to hold To the lips of the thirsty one.
With the tread of many feet, And the changeless roll of the drum, With a deadly volley my foe to greet, Mid the flash of steel, I come.