SCRIBNER'S ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE
FOR GIRLS AND BOYS,
MARY MAPES DODGE.
NOVEMBER, 1877, TO NOVEMBER, 1878.
SCRIBNER & CO., NEW YORK.
Copyright by SCRIBNER & CO., 1878.
PRESS OF FRANCIS HART & CO.
Child-Queen, A. (Illustrated by Alfred Fredericks) Cecilia Cleveland 1
Chased by Wolves. (Illustrated) George Dudley Lawson 3
Jingle: There was an Old Person of Crewd. (Illustrated by K. W. P.) 6
Mollie's Boyhood. (Illustrated by George White) Sarah E. Chester 7
*The Largest Volcano in the World. (Illustrated) Sarah Coan 13
Making it Skip. Verse. (Illustrated by Thomas Moran) M. M. D. 15
*Willow Wand, The. Poem. (Illustrated) A. E. W. 16
*Story that Wouldn't be Told, The. (Illustrated) Louise Stockton 18
Polly: A Before-Christmas Story. (Illustrated) Hope Ledyard 19
Boggs's Photograph. Picture. 21
Lord Mayor of London's Show, The. (Illustrated) Jennie A. Owen 22
My Girl. Poem. John S. Adams 25
Mars, the Planet of War. (Illustrated by the Author) Richard A. Proctor 26
*Domestic Tragedy, A. In Two Parts (Illustration) 31
Bell-Ringers, The Stickleback. (Illustrated by James C. Beard) C. F. Holder 31
Cricket on the Hearth, The. Poem. (Illustrated )Clara Doty Bates 33
How I Weighed the Thanksgiving Turkey. G. M. Shaw 34
Nimble Jim and the Magic Melon. (Illustrated by E. B. Bensell) J. A. Judson 34
"Oh, I'm My Mamma's Lady-Girl." Verse. (Illustrated by Addie Ledyard) M. M. D. 41
Christmas-Gifts, A Budget of Home-Made. (Illustrated) 42
*Little Tweet. (Illustrated) 64
*Jack-in-the-Pulpit. (Illustrated) 66
Can a Little Child Like Me? (Thanksgiving Hymn) Mary Mapes Dodge 68
"Baby's Opera" and Walter Crane, The. 69
*The Letter Box. 69
*The Moons of Mars. 69
*The Riddle Box. (Illustrated) 71
[Transcriber's Notes: For ease of navigation, this Table of Contents has been taken from the full contents listing for the volume. Some entries were missing from the index. For completeness they have been added and marked with an asterisk.
The full list of contents for Volume V is to be found at the end of this text.
p. 27: changed 'rains' to 'trains': ...—; just like the lines by which trains are made to run easily off one track on to another.
p. 30: Missing opening quote replaced: "The snows that glittered on the disc of Mars..."
p. 31:' replaced with ": "Don't you think, papa, that that's enough about the sun? Come and play with us on the lawn."
p. 59: Missing ) replaced, ...(widening the strip, however, in proportion as the fabric is thinner).
Music Notation (Our Music Page) has been added.]
* * * * *
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VOL. V. NOVEMBER, 1877. No. 1.
[Copyright, 1877, by Scribner & Co.]
* * * * *
A CHILD QUEEN.
BY CECILIA CLEVELAND.
I wonder how many of the little girl readers of ST. NICHOLAS are fond of history? If they answer candidly, I do not doubt that a very large proportion will declare that they prefer the charming stories they find in ST. NICHOLAS to the dull pages of history, with its countless battles and murdered sovereigns. But history is not every bit dull, by any means, as you will find if your elder sisters and friends will select portions for you to read that are suitable to your age and interests. Perhaps you are very imaginative, and prefer fairy tales to all others. I am sure, then, that you will like the story I am about to tell you, of a little French princess, who was married and crowned Queen of England when only eight years old, and who became a widow at twelve.
This child-sovereign was born many hundred years ago—in 1387—at the palace of the Louvre in Paris, of whose noble picture-gallery I am sure you all have heard,—if, indeed, many of you have not seen it yourselves. She was the daughter of the poor King Charles VI., whose misfortunes made him insane, and for whose amusement playing-cards were invented, and of his queen, Isabeau of Bavaria, a beautiful but very wicked woman. Little Princess Isabella was the eldest of twelve children. She inherited her mother's beauty, and was petted by her parents and the entire court of France.
King Richard II. of England, who was a widower about thirty years old, was urged to marry again; and, instead of selecting a wife near his own age, his choice fell upon little Princess Isabella.
"She is much too young," he was told. "Even in five or six years she will not be old enough to be married." The king, however, thought this objection too trifling to stand in the way of his marriage, and saying, "The lady's age is a fault that every day will remedy," he sent a magnificent embassy to the court of France, headed by the Archbishop of Dublin, and consisting of earls, marshals, knights, and squires of honor uncounted, with attendants to the number of five hundred.
When the embassy reached Paris, and the offer of marriage had been formally accepted, the archbishop and the earls asked to see the little princess who was soon to become their queen. At first the French Council refused, saying so young a child was not prepared to appear on public occasions, and they could not tell how she might behave. The English noblemen were so solicitous, however, that at last she was brought before them. The earl marshal immediately knelt before her, and said, in the old-fashioned language of the time: "Madam, if it please God, you shall be our lady and queen."
Queen Isabeau stood at a little distance, curious and anxious, no doubt, to know how her little daughter would answer this formal address. To her great pleasure, and the great surprise of all present, Princess Isabella replied:
"Sir, if it please God and my father that I be Queen of England, I shall be well pleased, for I am told I shall then be a great lady."
Then, giving the marshal her tiny hand to kiss, she bade him rise from his knees, and leading him to her mother, she presented him to her with the grace and ease of a mature woman.
According to the fashion of the time, Princess Isabella was immediately married by proxy, and received the title of Queen of England. Froissart, a celebrated historian living at that epoch, says: "It was very pretty to see her, young as she was, practicing how to act the queen."
In a few days, King Richard arrived from England with a gay and numerous retinue of titled ladies to attend his little bride. After many grand festivities they were married and were taken in state to England, where the Baby Queen was crowned in the famous Westminster Abbey.
I must not forget to describe the magnificent trousseau that the King of France gave his little daughter. Her dowry was 800,000 francs ($160,000); her coronets, rings, necklaces, and jewelry of all sorts, were worth 500,000 crowns; and her dresses were of surpassing splendor. One was a robe and mantle of crimson velvet, trimmed with gold birds perched on branches of pearls and emeralds, and another was trimmed with pearl roses. Do you think any fairy princess could have had a finer bridal outfit?
When the ceremonies of the coronation were over, little Isabella's life became a quiet routine of study; for, although a reigning sovereign, she was in the position of that young Duchess of Burgundy of later years, who at the time of her marriage could neither read nor write. This duchess, who married a grandson of Louis XIV. of France, was older than Queen Isabella—thirteen years old; and as soon as the wedding festivities were over, she was sent to school in a convent, to learn at least to read, as she knew absolutely nothing save how to dance. Queen Isabella, however, was not sent away to school, but was placed under the care of a very accomplished lady, a cousin of the king, who acted as her governess. In her leisure hours, the king, who was a fine musician, would play and sing for her, and, history gravely informs us, he would even play dolls with her by the hour!
But King Richard's days of quiet pleasure with his child-wife were at last disturbed, and he was obliged to leave her and go to the war in Ireland. The parting was very sad and affecting, and they never met again.
While King Richard was in Ireland, his cousin, Henry of Lancaster, afterward Henry IV., took possession of the royal treasury, and upon the return of Richard from his unfortunate campaign, marched at the head of an army and made a prisoner of him, lodging him in that grim Tower of London from which so few prisoners ever issued alive.
Meantime, the poor little queen was hurried from one town to another, her French attendants were taken from her, and the members of her new household were forbidden ever to speak to her of the husband she loved so dearly. Finally, it was rumored that Richard had escaped. Instantly, this extraordinary little girl of eleven issued a proclamation saying that she did not recognize Henry IV. (for he was now crowned King of England) as sovereign; and she set out with an army to meet her husband. The poor child was bitterly disappointed upon learning that the rumor was false, and her husband was still a prisoner, and before long she also was again a prisoner of Henry IV., this time closely guarded.
In a few months Richard was murdered in prison by order of King Henry, and his queen's childish figure was shrouded in the heavy crape of her widow's dress. Her superb jewelry was taken from her and divided among the children of Henry IV., and she was placed in still closer captivity. Her father, the King of France, sent to demand that she should return to him, but for a long time King Henry refused his consent. Meantime, she received a second offer of marriage from—strange to say—the son of the man who had killed her husband and made her a prisoner, but a handsome, dashing young prince, Harry of Monmouth, often called "Madcap Hal." Perhaps you have read, or your parents have read to you, extracts from Shakspeare's "Henry IV.," so that you know of the wild exploits of the Prince of Wales with his friends, in turning highwayman and stealing purses from travelers, often saying,
"Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack?"
and finding himself in prison sometimes as a result of such amusements? Isabella was a child of decided character, and truly devoted to the memory of her husband, and much as she had enjoyed her rank she refused to continue it by marrying handsome Madcap Hal, although he offered himself to her several times, and even as she was embarking for France.
Poor little Isabella, who had left France so brilliantly, returned a sad child-widow, and all that remained to her of her former splendor was a silver drink-cup and a few saucers. As Shakspeare says:
"My queen to France, from whence set forth in pomp, She came adorned hither like sweet May, Sent back like Hallowmas or shortest day."
She was received throughout France with joy, and tears of sympathy.
When Isabella was eighteen. Madcap Hal again offered his hand to her, supposing she had forgotten her former prejudice, but although she married again she was so far faithful to the memory of her English husband that she would not accept the son of his murderer. Some years later, when Prince Hal was king, he married her beautiful sister Katherine.
Isabella's second husband was her cousin, the Duke of Orleans, whose beautiful poems are considered classic in France. Again she was the joy of her family and the pride of France, but all her happiness was destined to be fleeting, for she survived her marriage only one year. Her husband, who loved her fondly, wrote after her death:
"Alas! Death, who made thee so bold, To take from me my lovely princess, Who was my comfort, my life, My good, my pleasure, my riches? Alas! I am lonely, bereft of my mate— Adieu! my lady, my lily! Our loves are forever severed."
And in another poem, full of expressions that show how very devoted was his affection for her, he says:
"Above her lieth spread a tomb Of gold and sapphires blue, The gold doth show her blessedness, The sapphires mark her true.
"And round about, in quaintest guise, Was carved—'Within this tomb there lies The fairest thing to mortal eyes.'"
Farewell, sweet Isabella!—a wife at eight, a widow at twelve, and dead at twenty-two,—your life was indeed short, and, though not without happy days, sorrow blended largely with its joy!
CHASED BY WOLVES
BY GEORGE DUDLEY LAWSON.
Some forty years ago the northern part of the State of New York was very sparsely settled. In one of the remote counties, which for a name's sake we will call Macy County, a stout-hearted settler, named Devins, posted himself beyond the borders of civilization, and hewed for his little family a home in the heart of a forest that extended all the way from Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario. His nearest neighbor was six miles away, and the nearest town nearly twenty; but the Devinses were so happy and contented that the absence of company gave them no concern.
It was a splendid place to live in. In summer the eye ranged from the slope where the sturdy pioneer had built his house over miles and miles of waving beech and maple woods, away to the dark line of pines on the high ground that formed the horizon. In the valley below, Otter Creek, a tributary of the St. Lawrence, wound its sparkling way northward. When Autumn painted the scene in brilliant hues, and it lay glowing under the crimson light of October sunsets, the dullest observer could not restrain bursts of admiration.
Mr. Devins's first attack on the stubborn forest had been over the brow of the hill, some four miles nearer Owenton, but his house was burned down before he had taken his family there from Albany. He had regretted that he had not "pitched his tent" on the slope of Otter Creek; so now he began with renewed energy his second home, in which the closing in of the winter of 1839 found him. He had sixty acres of rich soil under cultivation at the time of which we are to speak, his right-hand man being his son Allan,—a rugged, handsome, intelligent boy of sixteen.
The winter of '39 was a terrible one; snow set in before the end of November, and, even in the open country, lay upon the ground until the beginning of April, while in the recesses of the forest it was found as late as the middle of June. There was great distress among the settlers outside of the bounds of civilization, to whom the deep snow was an impassable barrier. The Devinses neither saw nor heard from their nearest neighbors from the first of December till near the beginning of February, when a crust was formed upon the snow sufficiently firm to bear the weight of a man, and a friendly Cayuga Indian brought them news of how badly their neighbors fared.
Mr. Devins was especially touched by the bad case of his friend Will Inman, who lived on the nearest farm. The poor man lay ill of a fever; Mrs. Inman was dead and temporarily buried, until her body could be removed to the cemetery in Owenton, and all the care of the family devolved upon Esther, his daughter, fourteen years old. After a short consultation, the next morning breaking bright and clear though very cold, it was determined to allow Allan to go over the hill to Inman's, bearing medicine, tea, and other little necessaries for the family. He was impressively warned to begin his return at so early an hour that he might reach home before the short day's end, especially because of the danger from wild animals. The severity of the winter had made the wolves more venturesome and dangerous than they had been for many years. Mr. Devins had lost several sheep and hogs, and deemed it unsafe for any of his family to be caught far from the house at night.
Allan armed himself with his light rifle, put some biscuits and cold meat in a pouch strapped to his waist, mounted one of the strong farm-horses, and set out on his journey. The road through the forest was better than he expected to find it, as the snow had been drifted off, but at the turns, and in the thickest part of the wood, his horse floundered through drifts more than breast high; and more than once Allan had to dismount and beat a path ahead. Therefore, he did not reach Inman's till two o'clock, and, by the time he had helped Esther about her work, assisted her young brother to get in a good supply of wood, and made things more comfortable for the invalid, it was almost sundown. He stoutly refused to wait for supper, declaring that the luncheon still in his pouch would serve, and started just as the short twilight came on. He was a brave lad, and, with no thought of peril, went off, kissing his hand gayly to Esther.
It took him an hour to traverse the first three miles, and then he came to a stretch of comparatively bare ground leading through his father's old clearing, and almost to the top of the hill back of Mr. Devins's house. He was just urging old Bob into a trot, when a long, clear howl broke upon his ear; then another and another answered from east and south. He knew what that meant. It was the cry of the advance-guard of a pack of wolves.
The howling sounded near, and came swiftly nearer, as though the wolves had found his tracks and scented their prey. Old Bob trembled in every limb, and seemed powerless to move. Allan realized that he could not, before dark, reach home through the drifts ahead, and the increasing cold of the advancing night would render a refuge in a tree-top probably as deadly as an encounter with the pack.
Presently there came a cry, shriller and sharper than before, and Allan, looking back, saw a great, lean, hungry gray wolf burst from the underbrush into the road, followed by dozens more; and in a moment the road behind him was full of wolves, open-mouthed and in keen chase. Their yells now seemed notes of exultation, for the leader of the pack—the strongest, fleetest, hungriest one among them—was within a dozen yards of Allan, who was now riding faster than ever old Bob had gone before or ever would go again. Excitement made the lad's blood boil in his veins, and he determined to show fight. The moon had risen, and the scene was almost as light as day. Now he could count the crowding host of his enemies, and just as he broke from the forest road into the old clearing, he turned in his saddle and fired. The foremost of the pack rolled over and over; the rest gathered around and tore their leader in pieces.
By the time they resumed the chase, Allan was a hundred yards ahead with his rifle loaded. He determined to make a running fight of it to the hill, where he was sure of meeting his father, or could take to a tree and shoot until help came. This had hardly flashed through his brain when, right ahead of him, a detachment of the pack sprang into the road and answered with double yells the cries of the rest coming up behind. The horse wheeled suddenly, almost unseating Allan, and dashed across the clearing toward the wood; but he had not taken a dozen bounds when a wolf sprang upon him. Old Bob reared and fell, pitching Allan nearly twenty feet ahead, and was covered with wolves before he could regain his footing. That was the last of poor old Bob.
But Allan! What of him? When he recovered from the effects of the shock, he found himself over head and ears in snow. He had no idea where he was, but struggled and plunged in vain endeavors to extricate himself, until at last he broke into a space that was clear of snow, but dark as Erebus, damp and close. Feeling about him he discovered over his head logs resting slantingly against the upper edge of a pit, and then he knew that he was in the cellar of the old house his father had built, and which had been burned down nine years before! The cellar was full of snow, except at the corner roofed over by the fallen logs, and Allan, bursting through the snow into the empty corner, was as secure from the wolves as though seated by his father's fireside. It was not nearly as cold in there as outside, and he found a dry spot upon which he lay down to think.
He was in no danger of freezing to death, his food would keep him from starvation a week at least, and Allan concluded that, with the first glimpse of dawn, his father would be in search of him, and, following the tracks, find old Bob's bones, and quickly rescue him from his predicament. He reasoned wisely enough, but the elements were against him. Before sunrise a furious storm of wind and snow had completely obliterated every trace of horse, rider and wolves.
At home, as the night wore on, the anxiety of the family had increased. While they were watching the gathering storm, they heard the long, dismal howl of the wolves coming over the hill. The chill of fear that they should never see the boy again settled down upon all their hearts, until the house was as dreary within as the winter waste and gloomy forest were without.
Meanwhile the brave youth was sound asleep, dreaming as peacefully as though snugly resting with his brother in his warm bed at home. He slumbered on unconscious of the raging storm without, and did not awake until late the next forenoon. It took him several seconds to realize where he was and how he came there, but gradually he remembered his ride for life, the falling of his horse, his struggle in the snow, and his breaking into the protected space where he lay.
The storm lasted all day and far into the succeeding night. Allan ate slightly, quenched his thirst with a few drops of water obtained by melting snow in the palm of his hand, and began casting about for means to get out. He soon found that to dig his way up through the mass of snow that filled the cellar was beyond his powers. If he could have made a succession of footholds, the task would have been easy; but all his efforts only tended to fill his retreat, without bringing him nearer the air. As soon as he saw this, he gave himself up to calmly waiting for help from without.
The second morning of his imprisonment broke clear and cheerful, and Mr. Devins set out to search for traces of his boy. He visited the Inmans' and learned the particulars of Allan's stay and departure, then mournfully turned his face homeward, his heart filled with despair. When he emerged from the forest into the clearing, he met the Indian who had visited him a few days before, and he told the red man of Allan's loss. The Indian stood a moment in deep thought, and then asked:
"No horse, no boy back there?" pointing to the road just traversed by Mr. Devins.
"No. I have looked carefully, and if there had been a trace left by the recent storm I should have detected it."
"Ugh! well, me come over the hill; nothing that way either; then they here."
"Why do you think so?"
"Ah! me know wolves. When Allan come to this place they ahead; horse turn; wolves caught 'em this side woods; we look there," and Tayenathonto pointed to the very course taken by the horse and rider.
It so happened when Allan was thrown from the horse's back that his rifle flew from his hand and struck, muzzle down, in a hollow stump, where, imbedded in the snow, it stood like a sign to mark the scene of the last struggle of the lost boy. The snow had whitened all its hither side. When the Indian came abreast of it, he cried:
"Told you so! See! Allan's gun! And here rest of 'em," pointing to the little heap over the ruins of the old cabin.
Kicking the snow hastily aside, the Indian examined the ground carefully a moment and then said: "No, only horse; Allan further on."
The Indian, with head bent down, walked quickly forward, threw up his arms, and disappeared. He had stepped over the clean edge of the cellar and sunk exactly as Allan had. A few desperate plunges sufficed to take the strong Indian through the intervening snow and into the protected corner where Allan, just rousing from his second sleep, sat bolt upright. The Indian's coming disturbed the snow so that a glimmer of light penetrated into the dark space. Allan supposed a wolf had found its way down there, and hastily drew his large knife, bracing himself for an encounter.
The Indian sputtered, thrashed about to clear himself from the snow, and in so doing rapped his head smartly against the low ceiling of logs.
"Waugh! waugh!" exclaimed he. "Too much low; Indian break 'em head; look out."
Allan instantly recognized the voice of the Indian, his comrade on many a fishing and hunting tour.
"Tayenathonto!" he cried, "dear old fellow, who would have thought of you finding me!"
The Indian quietly replied:
"Tayenathonto no find; come like water-fall; couldn't help his self."
A very few minutes sufficed to put both on the surface again, where Allan was received "like one come from the dead," and closely folded in his father's arms. Oh, the joy of that embrace! The past grief and suffering were forgotten in the bliss of that moment.
The Indian had to return with the happy father and son to their home, where he was hailed as Allan's rescuer, and enjoyed to the full a share of the festivities.
In after years Allan married Esther Inman, and now, by the fireside in winter, he tells his grandchildren of his escape from the wolves, and the little ones never tire of petting their faithful old Tayenathonto.
* * * * *
There was an old person of Crewd, Who said, "We use saw-dust for food; It's cheap by the ton, And it nourishes one, And that's the main object of food."
BY SARAH E. CHESTER.
A little girl sat squeezed in between an old fat man and his old bony wife in a crowded hall on a sultry evening in October. On one side it was as if feather pillows loomed above her with intent to smother; on the other, sharp elbows came into distressing contact with her ribs. The windows were open; but the hall had not been built with reference to transmitting draughts on suffocating nights for the benefit of packed audiences; and everybody gasped for breath, though everybody fanned—that is, everybody who had a fan, a newspaper, a hat, or a starched handkerchief. Mollie had neither fan, newspaper, hat, nor handkerchief, and yet she of all the audience gasped unawares. She was stifled, but happy. Elbows and bad air might do their worst; her body suffered, but her spirit soared. She was lifted above her neighbors, into an atmosphere where she was conscious of nothing but the eloquence that fell in such soft tones from the lips of the beautiful woman on the stage.
Mollie was fatherless and brotherless. She had no male cousins within a thousand miles. Her only uncle, two blocks off, was a man whose dinners rebelled against digestion, and who might have been beyond the seas for all the good he did her. They were a feminine family,—Mollie, her mother, the old cat and her kittens three,—bereft of masculine rule and care, and in need of money earned by masculine hands.
The mother bore losses and lacks with the philosophy of her age; but Mollie's age was only twelve, and knew not philosophy. She realized that she was a mistake. She was miserably aware that she was a mistake which could never be corrected. Friends repeatedly assured her that it was a great pity she had not been born a boy, and tantalized her with boyhood's possibilities. Frequent mention was made of ways in which she might minister to her mother's comfort if she were a son; and all Mollie's day-dreams were visions of that gallant son's achievements. She used to close her eyes and see wings and bay-windows growing around their little cottage and making it a mansion; their old clothes gliding away, and fine new robes stepping into their places; strong servants working in the kitchen; pictures stealing up the walls, and luxuries scattering themselves hither and thither, till she felt the spirit of the boy within her, and seemed equal to the deeds he would have done. Then she used to open her eyes wide to the fact of her girlhood and have little seasons of despair.
This had been going on a long time, the visions, their destruction by facts, and the consequent despair; for, of course, she had always believed there was nothing to be done. And now here was one telling her that something could be done—that she, even she, the little girl Mollie, had equal rights with boys, and that it was not only her privilege but her duty to claim them. Here was one exhorting her to throw off the yoke of her girlhood, talking of a glorious career that might be hers, of emancipation and liberty, of a womanhood grand as manhood itself. And how the tremendous sentiments, so beautifully uttered, thrilled through Mollie from the crown of her hat to the toes of her boots! She would have given worlds for one glance from that bravest of her sex who had thrown off the yoke, and for a chance to ask her just how she did it. For while Mollie had fully made up her mind to wear her yoke no longer, she did not know exactly by what means to become an emancipated creature. As she walked home with her hand in that of the fat gentleman who had treated her to the lecture, she reached the conclusion that no special instructions had been given because it was taken for granted that each woman's nobler instincts would guide her. She entered the gate a champion of freedom, a believer in the equality of the sexes—a girl bound to be a boy, and trusting to her nobler instincts to teach her how.
No trembling and glancing back over her shoulder for goblins and burglars to-night as she put the key into the door! No scared chattering of teeth in the dark hall! No skipping three steps at a time up the stairs pursued by imaginary hands that would grip at her ankles! She faced the darkness with wide-open eyes, instead of feeling her way with lids squeezed down as had been her custom; and when eyes seemed to look back at her from the darkness, her boyhood laughed at her girlhood, and she did not quicken her pace. But—Mollie was glad to step into the room where the light burned. Her mother had gone to bed early with one of her tired-out headaches, and she only half woke to see that her little girl was safely in. Mollie kissed her softly (for boys may kiss their mothers softly) and took the lamp into the little room beyond, where she always slept.
The first thing that she did was to look in the glass. What a girlish little face it was! How foolishly its dimples came and went with its smiles! In what an effeminate manner the hair crinkled above it, and then went rambling off into half a yard of stylish disorder! Mollie lifted the hair in her hand and surveyed it thoughtfully. Then she took a thoughtful survey of the scissors in her work-basket. Then she reached them. She allowed herself a moment of conscientious reflection; then the boy's naughty spirit crept down through her fingers and set the scissors flying, and the deed was done.
It was not easy to satisfy her mother's amazement and vexation in the morning; but Mollie stumbled through it and went to school. There opportunities were few. She coaxed her teacher to let her study book-keeping, and took one disagreeable lesson in its first principles; but she accomplished nothing else that day except the putting of a general check upon weak-minded inclinations to be frolicsome.
But that evening there was a fair sky, one of the soft, deep skies that make imaginative little girls' brains dizzy; and Mollie tramped down the gravel path to the gate and leaned over; then she soon nestled her head in her arms and looked up and lost herself. Boyhood was far from her dreamy fancies, when they were scattered by a tweak at one of her cropped locks.
"What does this mean?" asked the voice of the neighbor over the fence. "How came it to be done without my leave?"
"Don't I look manly, Mr. John?" said Mollie.
"What does it mean?" said he, severely.
"That would be telling," said Mollie.
"I intend that you shall tell me," said he.
"Oh, it's a secret!" said Mollie.
"All the better; we'll keep it together. Tell it."
He was a grown-up man, nearer thirty than twenty years old, who stooped to take an interest in his neighbor's little girl, and flattered himself that he was bringing her up in the way she should go. It amused him in his leisure moments to try the experiment of rearing a girl to be as unlike as possible the girl of the period.
From mere force of habit, Mollie opened her mouth and poured out her heart to him. He seemed quite impressed by the solemn confession. Mollie studied his face closely while she was speaking, and saw nothing but a grave and earnest interest in her project. She could not see deep enough to discover the indignation that was fuming over the loss of her pretty locks, and the purpose that was brewing to cure her of her folly.
"Don't have any half-way work about it, Mollie," said Mr. John. "Do the thing thoroughly, if you undertake it." "Oh yes, indeed!" said Mollie.
"If you should need an occasional reminder, I will try and help you," said he; "for of course it wont do to be off guard at all. But now get your hat, and we'll go for some ice-cream. I know you need cooling off this warm evening."
Mollie skipped about to run toward the house.
"Be careful of your steps," he called; and she tramped as boyishly as she could.
"No, don't take hold of my hand," as she came back and slipped her fingers in his. "Put your hands in your pockets."
"I've only one pocket," she answered meekly, putting her right hand in it.
"Difficulties at once, aren't there?" said Mr. John. "Your clothes want reforming, you see. You'll have to put on Bloomers."
"Oh!" said Mollie.
"I'm afraid you're not very much in earnest," he said. "You surely are not frightened by a trifle like that?" Mollie looked up imploringly.
"Must I?" she asked.
"Well," he answered, her earnestness making him fear that she would actually appear publicly in masculine array, "I don't know that it is necessary at present. A few days wont matter; and, after a while, it will seem to you the natural way to dress."
He was so faithful that evening in reminding her of her short-comings that their tete-a-tete over the little table in the ice-cream saloon, which usually was so cosey and delightful, was quite spoiled. She went to sleep regretting that she had taken Mr. John into her confidence and made it necessary for him to treat her as a boy.
She did not see him again for several days: and meanwhile she had taken her lessons in book-keeping, practiced the writing hours on heavy masculine strokes, learned to walk without dancing little whirligigs on her tiptoes every other minute, and made some progress in the art of whistling. She felt that she had done much to earn his commendation, and was anxious for a meeting.
On the way home from school, one afternoon, she saw his sister's baby at the window—the roundest, fattest, whitest and sweetest of all the babies that had taken up an abode in Mollie's heart, where babies innumerable were enshrined. There it was, being danced in somebody's hands before the window, and reaching out its ten dear little fingers to beckon her in.
She was quickly in, regardless of her gait. In a moment from the time the tempting vision appeared she was cuddling it in her arms, glibly talking the nonsense that it loved to hear, and kissing and petting it to her heart's content. She was so absorbed that she did not hear Mr. John come in; and he was close by her when she looked up and saw his face—not the genial, welcoming look she had been in the habit of meeting since he became her friend, but one of grave disapproval.
"I am ashamed of you, Mollie," he said. "Boys of your age don't pet babies in that way."
Mollie dropped it—she hardly knew whether on the floor or the stove—and flew. When she got home, she ran into the little back room that used to be her play-room. She was all ready for a good cry, and she closed the door. Then she thought, what if Mr. John were to see her crying like a girl-baby!—and she marched to the window, and through the dimness in her eyes tried to see something cheering. Her nature was very social, and her need of companionship great at that moment; so she turned to the friend who had been brother, sister and child to her through most of her little girlhood—her big doll Helena, who sat in a chair in the corner beholding her agitation with fixed, compassionless gaze.
"Come here, you dear," said Mollie, folding her tenderly in her arms and finding comfort in the contact of her cold china cheek. She had loved her so long that she had given her a soul; and to Mollie's heart the doll was as fit for loving as if she had had breath and speech. She did not play with her any longer, but Helena was still her dear old friend—an almost human confidant and crony.
As she held her closely, suddenly she thought of Mr. John. If he had objected to the petting of babies, what would he say to dolls? She gave her a frantic kiss, put her away, and turned her back on her to reflect; for she did not mean to shirk the most disagreeable reflections in the new line of duty she had chosen to follow.
If it had really been a human friend whose destinies Mollie considered, she could not have been more serious; and if it had been a human friend whom she at last decided must be put far from her, she could hardly have suffered severer heart-pangs. But she would have no compromising with inclination in this matter. She would be brave and strong, as it became her mother's son to be. So to the lowest depths of the deepest trunk in the garret she mentally consigned Helena. There, beyond the reach of her loving eyes and arms, she should lie in banishment until her heart became callous.
But there was something so repulsive in the idea of smothering human Helena under layers of old garments, that Mollie finally thought of a better way. Helena should no longer be Helena, dear to her heart in all her little feminine adornings and her sympathetic, tender traits of character. She should undergo a change; a radical reform. She, too, should become a boy, and her name should be Thomas. Thenceforth Mollie spent her leisure moments in manufacturing garments suitable for the change; and at last she saw a boy-doll, in roundabout and pantaloons, occupying the chair where Helena had so long sat in dainty dresses. The sight was a perpetual offense to her eyes; but she bore it bravely, keeping in store for herself a reward of merit in Mr. John's approval. She did not fail to mention to him Helena's reform the next time they met, which was one morning before breakfast. She was sweeping the front steps when he came and leaned over the fence and called her.
She shouldered the broom, as she had seen men shoulder implements of labor,—hoes, rakes, etc.,—and tramped toward him. Mr. John watched her, with an expression of disgust under his mustache.
"Well, Bob," he said, "I'm glad to see you out so early. Form good habits before you're grown, and when you come to manhood you'll make money by it. Where are your Bloomers to-day? It isn't possible your mind's not made up to them yet?"
There was something in Mr. John's tone and manner which did not seem quite courteous to Mollie; but she had hardly hung her head when he began to talk in his old half-fatherly, half-brotherly fashion; and then, in the lively conversation, she found a chance to introduce Thomas. Mr. John gave her a long, solemn, searching look.
"Mollie," he said, "I am very much afraid you will never succeed as a boy. It seems to me that even an ordinarily masculine girl of your age would have been clear-headed enough to see the absurdity of your little farce. It is nothing but a farce, mere babyishness. You have been playing with yourself and with your doll. No boy could have done it."
There was a short pause; then Mollie's voice piped out into a humble question as to what course a boy would have pursued in the matter.
"Why, that is clear enough," said Mr. John. "If you want to do what a boy would do, dispose of the doll on the shortest notice. Get it out of your sight and mind as soon as possible, and then never give it any more thought than you'd give the rattle you used to shake when you were a baby, or the rubber ring you cut your teeth on."
Could he be made to understand the immense difference between Helena and other toys? Could any words explain to him about the soul that had grown out of Mollie's love into the cloth and sawdust body? Mollie looked up to catch a sympathetic expression that should help her to tell him; but she did not find it.
"You don't understand," she said desperately.
"No?" said he.
"Mr. John," said Mollie, not looking him in the eye, "when you have a doll as long as I have had Helena, it is only natural that she should seem to you like a live person. If I didn't play with her at all, she'd seem real to me, and I shouldn't like to have her go away any more than I would mother."
"Which tells the secret that you have some sort of human fondness for the lifeless bundle of rags," said Mr. John, "and proves what I feared, that you are a very weak-minded little girl, Mollie."
"You wont believe in me at all," said Mollie.
"You wont think I am doing my best, and that I ever succeed. You are not like you used to be."
"That naturally follows your being different," said Mr. John. "Of course, we can't have the same feelings toward each other now as when you were contented to be a little girl and to let me treat you as one. I'm sorry you don't find me as agreeable as before, Mollie; but you must acknowledge that I am acting as a friend in doing all that I can to help you in your dear project."
"It isn't dear!" burst forth Mollie, indignantly. "I hate it!—but I'll never give it up!"
"Of course not," Mr. John said. "Then I presume you are all ready to part with Helena."
"I'll go and get her," said Mollie.
No one saw the parting in the play-room. It was quickly over, and she was back by the fence.
"Give her to Bessie," said Mollie, putting Helena and her wardrobe into Mr. John's arms. Bessie was one of his many nieces.
"To Bessie!" said he. "Where you can feel that she is away on a visit; where you know that she will be petted and cared for; where you can see her occasionally. If you are sincere in this matter, Mollie, send her off where you can no longer care to think of her. Our ash-man would be very glad to carry her home to his little girls."
Mollie's hands made a wild dive toward Helena as a vision of the little grimy man who crept into their areas for ashes rose before her.
"Decide now," said Mr. John. "Take your doll and be Mollie Kelly again, or be a boy and give her to the ash-man's children without a pang."
Mollie hung her head. There was color coming and going in her cheeks, her fingers trembled,—how they longed to snatch Helena!—and her mind was full of indecision. Mr. John watched her closely, and he thought he saw the tide turning in favor of her girlhood. He held the doll nearer that it might tempt her fingers; but, on the instant, she turned and ran away. He tucked Helena under his coat and carried her upstairs and locked her in a drawer, there to abide until Mollie should want her again.
That was a gloomy day to Mollie. She was out of humor with her boyhood. She was ashamed of herself one moment for bewailing Helena, and furious the next with Mr. John and the ash-man. She felt cross and discouraged, and was glad when the darkness came, and she could go to bed and sleep. But the next morning she was in no cheerier, braver frame of mind; and she walked home at noon, considering plain sewing versus book-keeping as a means of subsistence. Mr. John would have rejoiced if he could have seen his "little leaven" working.
"The gutters on the roof are full of leaves, Mollie," said her mother as she came in. "Stop on your way back to school and send Michael to clean them out. I think we are going to have rain, and we don't want them washed into the pipes."
"How much will he charge, mother?"
"About fifty cents."
"That fifty cents shall buy something for you," said Mollie to herself. "The boy of the family shall clean the roof."
There was just enough recklessness in her mood to make her rather enjoy than fear the prospect. She left her mother getting dinner, and took a broom and escaped up the garret stairs and through the scuttle. The roof did not slope steeply, and she let herself down with an easy slide to the rear eaves. She rested her feet on the edge of the house and swept as far as her arms would reach east and west. Then she shifted her position and swept again until the whole length was clean.
She heard her mother calling her to dinner, but she had the front gutter yet to sweep, and, climbing up, went down on the other side. There was a thought which gave zest to her work on that side,—Mr. John would be coming home that way to dinner and would see her. Besides, other people would see her, and no passer-by should say that she did not do her work as thoroughly and fearlessly as any boy. She had taken for granted that Mr. John's eyes would be drawn upward; but when he had walked almost by, looking straight ahead, she sent him a shrill call. He looked at the windows, around the yard, and even as far up as the trees.
"On the roof," screamed Mollie, and in her excitement she forgot her situation and lost her balance and slipped,—not far, but one foot went out beyond the eaves into the air. The other one rallied to the rescue, supported her whole weight, and helped her to regain her position. Danger was over in a moment, but it had been danger of death, and Mollie's heart beat wildly, and a faintness came over her. Still through it all she was able to see Mr. John's approving smile as he lifted his hat and waved it gayly in applause.
"He wouldn't care if I had fallen and been killed," thought Mollie, as she recovered herself. "All he wants is to have me succeed in being a horrid boy. I've a mind to give it up just to spite him."
She could not know—so successfully had he concealed his agitation under that bland smile—how faint he, too, had been in the moment of her danger, nor how fast his heart was still beating as he walked on, nor what resolves he was forming to put a speedy end to her boyhood.
He stopped on his way back from dinner to tell her that he had engaged to take a party of his nephews and nieces nutting that afternoon, and that he wanted her to come.
"It will be so nice to have a big boy on hand, Mollie," said Mr. John, "especially one that isn't afraid of heights. We may have some to climb."
Not a word about her danger and his gladness for her safety, and she knew he had seen her narrow escape. But she felt so gay over memories of Mr. John's nutting parties, and the prospect of another, that she forgave him all, and prepared to be thoroughly happy that afternoon.
School closed at three o'clock, and Mollie flew to Mr. John's yard, where they were all waiting. She came dancing by the gate, her cheeks rosy, her eyes shining,—just her old self, as she had been in the days when no boyhood loomed like an ugly shadow between her and Mr. John. He saw it all, and charged himself to be stony. So he gave no better response to her impulsive greeting than he would have given an ordinary boy. Her spirits fell a degree; but with those happy children bobbing around her, expecting her to be the happiest of all, they could do nothing but rise again.
Mr. John did not offer to lift her over fences as he lifted the other girls; he even called on her to help the little ones over. He held back branches that came across other girls' paths; he let her clear her own way. He carried Kittie and Bessie, and Esther and Dora, over the brook; he let her splash across on the stones with the boys. He gallantly made cups and gave the other girls to drink; he suggested to Mollie that she should scoop the water up in her hand, as he was doing for his own use.
She wished many a time before they came to the walnut-trees that she had staid at home. She wished her boyhood's days were over, or had never been. She couldn't bear Mr. John, and all the children noticed that she moped, and asked her why.
Well, there were no nuts when they got there, Mr. John had known there wouldn't be. They should have come much earlier in the day to find these trees full, and the next trees were too far away. So they concluded to turn their nutting party into a picnic. They had a basket of provisions, and Mr. John sent the big boys into the next lot to get wood for a fire. Then came his grand opportunity for crushing Mollie. He called her, and she ran to him gladly, ready to take him back to her favor on his own terms.
"Please, go and help the boys bring wood for our fire," he said. "They have all gone but you."
She went, but not without giving him a look that actually made him blush for his rudeness. She went with the aspect of a tragedy queen, and by the time she overtook the boys she had calmly made up her mind to two things: never, never again to be friends with Mr. John, and to give up her boyhood just to spite him. But one more temptation still held her. There was a little cliff over in that next lot, stony and steep, and high enough to make a leap which it was some credit to a boy to achieve. The boys stood on the edge, measuring the distance with experienced eyes and preparing to go over.
Now Mollie as a girl had always been a very good jumper, so she resolved at once to try the leap, and have the report of her valiant deed carried back to Mr. John. She joined the boys, and seeing that one after another went down safely, she soon asked for a turn. She was gravely remonstrated with. She was overwhelmed with sage masculine advice, but she swept her way clear and jumped—with all the recklessness of her reckless mood. She knew well enough the backward inclination proper for her head, what the relative positions of her knees and chin should be, and if she had taken the least forethought might have redeemed the declining reputation of her boyhood. The knowledge flashed across her in her swift descent that her spine had not preserved the proper perpendicular, and that she was coming down wrong. Chin and knees knocked together as she fell in a heap on the grass below.
It was a caving in of skull, she thought, that made that horrible crashing pain and that sent lightning dancing on a black background before her eyes, then blinded her quite. Nothing but a general chaos of skull and brain could make such terrible pain. She wondered if her friends would be able to recognize one dear lineament in the jumble of her features. She thought what a sad fate it was to die young. She wondered how Mr. John would feel now! and then she found that light dawned upon her and that she had an eye open. In a moment she discovered that the sense of hearing, too, had not abandoned her; for the boys had reached her by this time, and she heard Mr. John's nephew, John, saying:
"She's knocked her teeth through her lip, that's all. I did it once when I jumped wrong and hit my chin on my knee. She'll soon be all right."
Two eyes open now, and she saw a bloody frock, and what seemed an army of boys; for there was something still the matter with her vision which caused it to multiply.
"Boys, boys, nothing but boys!" thought Mollie, dropping her lids. "Where did they all come from, I wonder? There must be a thousand. I never want to see another. I wouldn't be one for the world. I wish they'd go away."
Then she felt some one bathing her face gently, and when the water had refreshed her, she ventured another peep at the world. Boys around her still; but she could see now that their number was only four, and the faces those of friends.
"Cheer up, Mollie," said John, jr. "You got a hard knock, but you're coming on. Bob's gone for the phaeton, and we'll have you home in no time."
They propped her up against a tree, and continued to bathe her head with water from Jerry's felt hat, filled at the little brook close by.
All this while Mr. John had been accounting for their absence by supposing that Mollie was taking some sort of revenge on him, and he would permit none of the girls to go in search of the wanderers. Not until Bob and the phaeton appeared did news of Mollie's valiant deed reach him. Then he went to her at once, and saw her pale and bloody.
But to display weakness now might be to lose all, reflected Mr. John; so he kept back the words of sympathy that were on his lips as he leaned down and offered to carry her to the phaeton.
"I prefer to walk, thank you," said Mollie, her pride giving her strength to rise and take the arm which John, jr., stood ready to offer. However, Mr. John forcibly made an exchange, and, in spite of Mollie, half led and half carried her to the road.
"Don't be discouraged, Mollie," he said as he put her in, while Bob was busy at the halter. "The next time you'll jump like a man."
"That nonsense is all over, thank you," said Mollie, very loftily, though not very clearly, because of her swollen lips. "Think what you please of me," she mumbled. "It is all ended; and it might have ended sooner, too, if I'd taken better advice."
"With better advice it never would have ended, you contrary little minx," said Mr. John to himself as she drove away.
The doctor came and Mollie was ordered to bed; but even his opiate did not make her sleep. It was soothing, indeed, to lie there in the twilight with her hand in her mother's, and feel that she was her little girl entirely, no more to be her boy while life should last. And pleasant visions of a Gothic school-house, where she should some day be mistress of sweet, rosy-cheeked children, rose gracefully on the ruins of her manly aspirations.
By and by the bell rang, and her mother brought a lamp, and a package which Mollie sat up and opened. There, with a note pinned on the left leg of her trousers and a box of Mollie's best-beloved candies clasped on her jacket, lay Helena.
"I have never been to the ash-man's house, Mother Mollie," said the note. "I have been visiting Mr. John's cuffs and collars in the bureau-drawer. I want my girls' clothes on to-morrow. I claim it as my right. We all have our rights. Put me in dresses and take me home to the play-room. You have your rights too, and I wouldn't let any one tell me that I hadn't a right to be a girl. It is my opinion that if you had been meant for a boy you would have been made one. Come, mother, cuddle me up, and let's go to sleep and have sweet dreams, and a blithe waking to girlhood in the morning, when we will make up with Mr. John; for he sends these chocolate-creams to let you know that he is sorry."
"So we will, dear," said Mollie, tucking Helena's head under her chin. "You were always wiser than your mother, child."
THE LARGEST VOLCANO IN THE WORLD
BY SARAH COAN.
"Why, it isn't on the top of a mountain at all! What a humbug my geography must have been!"
So wrote a little fellow to a young friend in America.
He was right. It isn't on the top of a mountain, though the geographies do say, "A volcano is a mountain sending forth fire, smoke and lava," and give the picture of a mountain smoking at the top.
This volcano is nothing of the kind; but is a hideous, yawning black pit at the bottom of a mountain, and big enough to stow away a large city.
Of course you want to know, first, where this wonder is. Get out the map of the Western Hemisphere, put your finger on any of the lines running north and south, through North America, and called meridians; follow it south until you come to the Tropic of Cancer, running east and west; then "left-about-face!" and, following the tropic, sail out into the calm Pacific. After a voyage of about two thousand miles, you'll run ashore on one of a group of islands marked Sandwich. We will call them Hawaiian, for that is their true name. Not one of the brown, native inhabitants would call them "Sandwich." An English sailor gave them that name, out of compliment to a certain Lord Sandwich.
On the largest of these islands, Hawaii—pronounced "Ha-y-e"—is the volcano, Kilauea, the largest volcano in the world.
We have seen it a great many times, and that you may see it as clearly as possible, you shall have a letter from the very spot. The letter reads:
"Here we are, a large party of us, looking into Kilauea, which is nine miles in circumference, and a thousand feet below us—a pit about seven times as deep as Niagara Falls are high. We came to-day, on horseback, from Hilo, a ride of thirty miles. Hilo is a beautiful sea-shore village, the largest on the island of Hawaii, and from it all visitors to Kilauea make their start.
"The road over which we came is nothing but a bridle-path, and a very rough one at that, traversing miles and miles of old lava flows. We had almost ridden to the crater's brink before we discovered, in the dim twilight, the awful abyss.
"Before us is the immense pit which, in the day-time, shows only a floor of black lava, looking as smooth as satin; and, miles away, rising out of this floor, are a few slender columns of smoke.
"At night, everything is changed; and you can't conceive of the lurid, demoniacal effect. Each slender column of smoke becomes a pillar of fire that rolls upward, throbbing as it moves, and spreads itself out above the crater like an immense canopy, all ablaze.
"Ships a hundred miles from land see the glow, and we here, on the precipice above, can read ordinary print by its lurid light.
"No wonder the natives worshiped the volcano. They thought it the home of a goddess, whom they named Pele, and in times of unusual activity believed her to be very angry with them. Then they came in long processions, from the seashore villages, bringing pigs, dogs, fowls, and sometimes human beings, for sacrifice. These they threw into the crater, to appease her wrath.
"A small berry, called the ohelo, grows on the banks of the pit, and of these the natives never dared to eat until Pele had first had her share. Very polite, were they not? And if ever they forgot their manners, I dare say she gave them a shaking up by an earthquake, as a reminder.
"Sandal-wood and strawberries grow all about here—and fleas, too! wicked fleas, that bite voraciously, to keep themselves warm, I think, for here, so far from Pele's hearth, it is cold, and we sit by a log fire of our own.
"The day after our arrival we went into the crater, starting immediately after an early breakfast. There is but one entrance, a narrow ledge, formed by the gradual crumbling and falling in of the precipice. Along this ledge we slipped and scrambled, making the descent on foot—for no ridden animal has ever been able to descend the trail. Holding on to bushes and snags when the path was dangerously steep, we finally landed below on the black satin floor of lava.
"Satin! What had looked so smooth and tempting from a thousand feet above, turned out to be a surface more troubled and uneven than the ocean in the most violent storm. And that tiny thread of smoke, toward which our faces were set, lay three miles distant—three miles that were worse than nine on an ordinary road.
"How we worked that passage! up hill and down hill, over hard pointed lava that cut through our shoes like knife blades; over light, crumbled lava into which we sank up to our knees; over hills of lava that were, themselves, covered with smaller hills; into ravines and over steam-cracks, some of which we could jump with the aid of our long poles, and some of which we had to find our way around; steam-cracks whose depths we could not see, and into which we thrust our walking-sticks, drawing them out charred black or aflame; over lava so hot that we ran as rapidly and lightly as possible, to prevent our shoes being scorched. Three hours of this kind of work for the three miles, and Hale-mau-mau, or 'House of Everlasting Fire,' lay spitting and moaning at our feet!
"A lake of boiling lava is what the column of smoke marked out to us,—a pit within a pit,—a lake of raging lava fifty feet below us, of which you have here the picture taken 'from life.'
"It was so hot and suffocating on the brink of this lake that we cut eye-holes in our pocket-handkerchiefs and wore them as masks. Even then we had to run back every few moments for a breath of fresher air, though we were on the windward side of the lake. The gases on the leeward side would suffocate one instantly. Oh, the glory! This Hale-mau-mau, whose fire never goes out, is a huge lake of liquid lava, heaving with groans and thunderings that cannot be described. Around its edge, as you see in the picture, the red lava was spouting furiously. Now and then the center of the lake cooled over, forming a thin crust of black lava, which, suddenly cracking in a hundred directions, let the blood-red fluid ooze up through the seams, looking like fiery snakes.
"Look at the picture, and imagine these enormous slabs of cooled lava slowly rising themselves on end, as if alive, and with a stately motion plunging beneath the sea of fire, with an indescribable roar.
"For three hours we gazed, spell-bound, though it seemed but a few moments: we were chained to the spot, as is every one else who visits Kilauea.
"The wind, as the jets rose in air, spun the molten drops of lava into fine threads, which the natives call Pele's hair, and very like hair it is.
"All this time, under our feet were rumblings and explosions that made us start and run now and then, for fear of being blown up; coming back again after each fright, unwilling to leave the spot.
"Occasionally, the embankment of the lake cracked off and fell in, being immediately devoured by the hungry flood. These ledges around Hale-mau-mau are very dangerous to stand upon. A whole family came near losing their lives on one. A loud report beneath their feet and a sudden trembling of the crust made them run for life; and hardly had they jumped the fissure that separated the ledge on which they were standing from more solid footing—separated life from death—than crash went the ledge into the boiling lake!
"Sometimes the lake boils over, like a pot of molasses, and then you can dip up the liquid lava with a long pole. You get quite a lump of it, and by quickly rolling it on the ground mold a cylinder the size of the end of the pole, and about six inches long. Or you can drop a coin into the lava to be imprisoned as it cools.
"A foreigner once imbedded a silver dollar in the hot lava, and gave the specimen to a native; but he immediately threw it on the ground, breaking the lava, of course, and liberating the dollar, which he pocketed, exclaiming: 'Volcano plenty enough, but me not get dollar every day.'
"One of our party collected lava specimens from around Hale-mau-mau, and tied them up in her pocket-handkerchief. Imagine her astonishment on finding, later, they had burned through the linen, and one by one dropped out.
"Terrible as old Pele is, she makes herself useful, and is an excellent cook. She keeps a great many ovens heated for the use of her guests, and no two at the same temperature, so that you may select one of any heat you wish. In these ovens (steam-cracks) she boils tea, coffee and eggs; or cooks omelets and meats. You wrap the beef or chicken, or whatever meat you may wish to cook, in leaves, and lay it in the steam-crack. Soon it is thoroughly cooked, and deliciously, too.
"She also keeps a tub of warm water always ready for bathers.
"She doesn't mean to be laughed at, though, for doing this kind of work, and doing it in an original kind of way. After she has given you one or two sound shakings, which she generally does, you'll have great respect for the old lady, and feel quite like taking off your hat to her. With the shakings and the thunderings under-foot, and now and then the opening of a long steam-crack, she keeps her visitors quite in awe of her powers, though she is probably several hundred years old.
"Not far from the little hut where we sleep, close to the precipice, is Pele's great laboratory, where she makes sulphur. We wear our straw hats to the sulphur banks, and she bleaches them for us.
"Well, this is a strange, strange land, old Pele being only one of its many curiosities.
"I only hope you may all see the active old goddess before she dies. She hasn't finished her work yet. Once in a while she runs down to the shore, to bathe and look at the Pacific Ocean, and when there she generally gives a new cape to Hawaii by running out into the sea."
Majestic old Pele! Long may she live!
MAKING IT SKIP
"I'll make it skip!" Cried Charley, seizing a bit of stone. And, in a trice, from our Charley's hand, With scarce a dip, Over the water it danced alone, While we were watching it from the land— Skip! skip! skip!
"I'll make it skip!" Now, somehow, that is our Charley's way: He takes little troubles that vex one so, Not worth a flip, And makes them seem to frolic and play Just by his way of making them go Skip! skip! skip!
THE WILLOW WAND. BY A.E.W.
I have a little brother, And his name is Little Lewy; His starry eyes are bright as flowers And they are twice as dewy. Sometimes the dew o'erflows them, And trickles down his cheeks; And then he cries so hard, you'd think He wouldn't stop for weeks. Then my other little brother, A bough of willow bringing, Drives all the dew-drops far away, By waving it and singing:
"One, two, free, fo', five, six, seven tears! You'll be as old as farver in forty sousand years. Drate big men don't have tears, so let me wipe 'em dry; In forty sousand years from now you'll never, never cry."
This other little brother, Whose name is Little Bert, Frowns in a dreadful manner Whenever he is hurt; The wrinkles right above his nose Look like the letter M, He keeps them there so long, he must Be very fond of them. Then my little brother Lewy, The branch of willow bringing, Sends all the naughty frowns away, By waving it and singing:
"A, B, C, D, E, F, G; How many wrinkles are there? One, two, three! We'll send them all off quickly, or they'll climb up to your hair, And then to-morrow morning you'll have lots of tangles there."
Sometimes our little Lewy Loses all his pretty smiles; He says they're very far away; At least a hundred miles. He looks as sober as a judge, As stately as a king, As solemn as a parson and As still as anything. And then our little Bertie, The witching willow bringing, Sends all the smiles safe home again, By waving it and singing:
"I want to buy a smile, sir, if you have some about; I'll draw this leaf across your lips, and that will bring them out. And if you cannot spare me one, just let me take a half. Oh, here they come and there they come, and now we'll have a laugh."
On every "morrow morning," This funny little Bertie Doesn't want to have his face washed Because it don't feel dirty; He runs half-dressed 'way out-of-doors, Safe hidden from our view; We search and call, hunt up and down, And don't know what to do, Until we see our little Lu The wand of willow bringing, And leading Bertie back to us, While all the time he's singing:
"Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si. You look like a very small heathen Chinee. Get the sleep all washed off and hang it up to dry, And then you'll look as fresh as if you'd just come from the sky."
When all the stars are shining, Each little sleepy-head Is lying in a funny bunch Within the little bed. Their eyes are so wide open, They stay awake so long, They're calling me to tell to them A story or a song. So up the stairs again I come, The magic willow bringing, And wave it here and wave it there, While o'er and o'er I'm singing:
"Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep; Sailing away on the dreamy deep; Sister to watch you and angels to keep; Sailing away and away and away, Away on the d-r-e-a-m-y deep; Sleep, sleep, s-l-e-e-p, sleep."
THE STORY THAT WOULDN'T BE TOLD.
BY LOUISE STOCKTON.
"Do tell me one more story; just one more!" said the little boy.
It certainly was getting late. The fire lighted the room, the shadows danced in the corners. Down in the kitchen they were hurrying with the dinner, and in a moment nurse would come in to take the boy to bed. But all this made him want to stay. He was very comfortable in his mamma's lap, and he was in no haste to go upstairs to Maggie and the nursery.
Then his mamma kissed him right on the tip of his little nose, and she said:
"But you must go to bed sometime."
"Please, mamma dear," he said, pushing his curly head almost under her arm, "just one little story."
"Just one! You can choose it, but mind, a little one!"
"You know what one I want. Of course about the giant Tancankeroareous, and how he stole the slipper of the princess for a snuff-box, and how the Prince Limberlocks climbed up a cherry-tree into the giant's room. That is the story I like!"
"And it must be the 'amen story' to-night. Well: Once upon a time the Princess Thistleblossom stood on one foot, while—"
"No, no," interrupted The Story, "you need not tell me! Tell some other story. I am tired of being said over and over. Every night, as soon as your bed-time comes, and you are so sleepy that you don't want to go to bed, you ask for me, and I have to be told. I am sick of it, and I want to rest."
"But I want you," said the boy. "I like you best of all my stories. I like that part where the giant comes in and calls out 'PORTER!' in such a loud voice that the gate shakes all the bolts loose."
"I suppose you do like it," said The Story; "anybody would. I am a very good story, and very fit to be told last, although I cannot see why that is any reason for calling me the 'amen story.' That is foolish, I think! But at any rate, that is no reason for telling me every night. Let your mamma tell you Cock Robin, or Jack the Giant-Killer. They are plenty good enough."
"I don't want them," said the little boy, beginning to cry; "I want you! I wont go to sleep all night if mamma don't tell you."
"I don't care!" replied The Story; "you needn't cry for me. I've made up my mind. You wont hear me to-night. That as as sure as your name is Paul."
And it was just as The Story said. There was no use in the boy's crying, for off went The Story, and it was not told that night; but it is my private opinion that the boy did go to sleep after all.
POLLY: A BEFORE-CHRISTMAS STORY.
BY HOPE LEDYARD.
"Santa Claus!" exclaimed Ned, half mockingly.
"Yes," insisted Mamie, "what's he going to bring you, Ned?"
"I don't know, and I don't care much," he answered, "for there isn't any Santa Claus."
"Why, Ned!" cried Mamie, in astonishment. "Even my big brother Harry believes in Santa Claus. He's coming home from school to-night, and we're going to hang up our stockings."
"Pshaw!" said Ned, "I must go home. Good-bye."
Merry little Mamie stood in amazement, and then ran in-doors to her mother with her perplexity.
"Why, mother!" she cried, "Ned Huntley said there wasn't any Santa Claus—and he was real cross about it, too."
"Well, Mamie," said her mother, "I wouldn't take any notice of Ned's being cross about Christmas-time. The Huntleys don't keep Christmas."
"Don't keep Christmas!" exclaimed Mamie, astonished beyond measure.
Seeing that her mother was busy, she took her doll, Helena Margaret Constance Victorine, in her arms, and talked the matter over with her.
"What do you think, my dear," said she, "they don't keep Christmas at Ned Huntley's house! I don't know just what mother means by not keeping it, for you know Santa Claus comes down the chimney, and so he can get in during the night and leave Christmas there. Oh, yes, but they don't keep it. They turn it out, I suppose, just like mother told me they acted about the dear little baby Savior; they hadn't any room for him, and I guess Mrs. Huntley hasn't any room to keep Christmas in. I wonder what she does with the Christmas things Santa Claus brings? I wonder if she throws 'em away? I mean to go and ask her;" and putting her child carefully in its cradle, Mamie started.
There was some truth in what Mrs. Gaston had told her little daughter; the Huntleys did not keep Christmas in a loving, hearty way. They kept it in so far that on this very afternoon Mrs. Huntley was busy making the mince pies, dressing the turkey, and doing all she could to be beforehand with the extra Christmas dinner. Mr. Huntley had just stepped into the kitchen for a moment to say to his wife, "What have you settled on for Ned's Christmas?"
"I've bought him a pair of arctics—he needed 'em; and if you want to spend more than common, you might get him half a dozen handkerchiefs."
"Well, wife, I was thinking that perhaps"—the farmer tried to be particular about his words, for Mrs. Huntley did not seem in a very good humor—"I was remembering how you used to enjoy giving the young ones candies and toys; so, perhaps—"
"Now, Noah Huntley, I'm surprised at you! Buy candies and toys for a great lumbering boy like Ned? Why, you must be crazy, man! The next thing will be that you'll want a Christmas-tree yourself!"
"Well, and it wouldn't be a bad idea," thought the father. "There's my man, Fritz, he has been to the woods and cut a little tree for his children, and he seems to get a heap of pleasure out of it. Ah! if only little Polly had lived!" Strangely enough, the wife was thinking the same thing, as she sliced and sifted and weighed. "If little Polly had lived it would have been different, but we can't throw away money on nonsense for Ned."
A little red cloak flashed by the window, a little bright face, just about the age of "our little Polly's," peeped in at the door, and Mamie asked, "May I come in, Mrs. Huntley?"
"Certainly, child. Here's a fresh cookie. I suppose you're full of Christmas over at your house?"
"Oh, yes, ma'am! And I'm so sorry you don't keep it. What's the reason?"
"Don't keep it! Why, we have a regular Christmas dinner as sure as the 25th of December comes round, and Pa gives me a new dress, or something that I need, and we give Ned a suit of clothes, or shoes, or something that he needs."
"Well," said Mamie, "but I like our way best. May I tell you how we keep Christmas?"
"Talk away. I can listen."
"Well, you see, a good while before Christmas my mother begins to get ready, and I often see her hide up something quick when I come in, and then she laughs, and I think, 'Oh, yes, something's coming,' and then mother takes me in her lap and tells me how Jesus is coming, and how He did come. Do you know, Mrs. Huntley?"
"You can tell me, child?"
"You see, He came a long, long time ago as a little baby. Mamma says that he began at the beginning, so that no little child could say, 'I can't be like Jesus, for Jesus never was so little as me.' That first birthday of His, there wasn't any room for Him at the tavern, and when the dear little baby Jesus was sleepy, they laid Him right in a stable manger, and the shepherds found Him lying there. Christmas is His Birthday, and I suppose they give all the children presents because Jesus loved little children, and then Santa Claus—Oh, Mrs. Huntley, that's what I came about, and I 'most forgot! If you don't keep Christmas—I mean as we do," she added, as Mrs. Huntley frowned, "and if you don't use the things that Santa Claus leaves here, can't I come over and get 'em? Only I'd rather Ned should have 'em."
"Child alive! How your tongue runs! Here, now, take these cookies home with you, I guess Ned's too busy to play with you."
"Thank you, ma'am. And you'll remember about Santa Claus?" said little Mamie, as she walked away with her cookies.
Mrs. Huntley worked on for a few minutes longer, and then, leaving her dishes, she went to her own room and opened a bureau drawer. There lay a bright little dress and pretty white apron,—Polly's best things,—the little clothes in which she used to look so lovely. There were the last Christmas toys the mother had ever bought,—only a little tin bank, a paper cornucopia, and a doll; but she remembered that Christmas so well! Could it be that it was only three years ago? How Polly had laughed and chattered over her stocking! And Ned,—now that she thought about it,—she remembered that they bought him a pair of skates that year. He had made a great time over those skates, and had taken his little sister out to see him try to use them. Ned was so loving and gentle in those days. And then the mother's heart reproached her. Could she blame her boy because he seemed to care so little for his parents and his home, when she had nursed her grief for the loss of her baby-girl, and taken no pains to be bright or cheerful with him? She thought how clearly Mamie had told the story of the Savior's birthday. Could her boy, who was six years older, do as well? He went to Sunday-school sometimes, but she had never talked with him about Jesus—never since God took her Polly. And her eyes filled as she shut the drawer.
Mrs. Huntley went back to the kitchen, but the room seemed different to her. Ned brought in the milk, and looked at his mother curiously at hearing her say, "Thank you, Ned." Wonders would never end, Ned thought, when, after tea, she said, "Father, it's a moonlight night; couldn't you and I drive to the village? Ned will excuse our leaving him alone."
"Excuse!" When had his mother ever asked him to excuse her? And then, as mother waited for the wagon to be got ready, she asked him to read about the Savior's birth, and surely there were tears in her eyes as father came in, just as Ned read, "And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."
Mr. Huntley was bewildered, too. To start off for the village at seven o'clock in the evening! When had such a thing happened?
On the road Mrs. Huntley told her husband what Mamie had said to her, and she added, "Perhaps, as I tell it, it don't seem much, but it made me think of our Polly, and"—the woman's voice broke, and the father, saddened too, said, comfortingly, "She's safe, my dear, in heaven."
"Yes, father, but I'm thinking of the one that's left, for all I cried a little. I guess you were near right about getting him something nice. He's but a boy yet, and he'd think more of Christmas, and perhaps of the child that was born on Christmas, if we show him that Jesus has made our hearts a little more tender."
What it cost that hard, reserved woman to say that, none knew, but I think her husband felt dimly how she must have fought with herself, and he was silent for some time. At last he said, with a tone of gladness in his voice, "My dear, I'm glad to get him something. He's a good boy, Ned is."
What a pleasant time they had, and how they caught the spirit of Christmas! They bought a sled and skates, a book or two, and candies, and Mrs. Huntley found a jack-knife that was just the thing Ned wanted. Then she said to her husband:
"I'd like to buy something for Mamie. It will be nice to buy a girl's present."
Their hearts ached a little, as they chose a wonderful little wash-tub and board, with a clothes-horse to match. How Polly's eyes would have shone at these!
Meantime, Ned mused over his mother's tears and her strangely kind tones, and thought: "I wonder if she's going to be as good to me as she was to Polly! I hated to hear Mamie talk about Santa Claus. Polly used to talk just that way, and we did have such good times. I used to get skates and things at Christmas, but now I get some handkerchiefs or a lot of shirts! It makes me mad." Then Ned fell asleep, and so the mother found him. She woke him gently and he went off to bed, bewildered by more kind words.
Morning dawned and Ned hurried down to light the fire in the kitchen, but he went no further than the sitting-room. There was a sled,—a splendid one,—a pair of skates, and books! He put his hands in his pockets to take a long stare, and felt something strange in one of them. Why! There was a beautiful knife!
Mother came in and watched his face, but at sight of her the boy fairly broke down. Laying his head on her shoulder, "It's like Polly coming back," he said.
And so it was, and so it continued to be.
THE LORD MAYOR OF LONDON'S SHOW.
BY JENNIE A. OWEN.
"Aunt Jennie," said my little godson Willie, a few days ago, "wont you go with us to see the Lord Mayor's show? There'll be thirteen elephants and eight clowns, and an elephant picks a man up with his trunk and holds him there. And then mamma's going to take me to Sampson's. Do you know Sampson, Aunt Jennie?"
"I know about Samson in the Bible, Willie."
"Oh, not that one; our Sampson is a man in a shop in Oxford street, and he makes such nice boys' clothes, and he's the master."
I have just come home from the Sandwich Islands, where I have been living; I spent a few years, too, in New Zealand and Tahiti, and so have seen many wonderful things on the land and sea; but a Lord Mayor going to be sworn in to his duties, attended by thirteen elephants and a London crowd, would be a novelty to me. I thought, too, that certain little boys and girls in the Sandwich Islands and the United States, who also call me Aunt Jennie, would like to hear all about it.
This has been an exciting week for the London children. The fifth of November fell on Sunday, and Guy Fawkes had to wait till Monday to make his appearance. All that day he was carried about the streets in various shapes and forms, and the naughty, ignorant little boys, in spite of enlightened school-board teaching, sang at our doors:
"A ha'penny loaf to feed the Pope, A penn'orth of cheese to choke him, A pint of beer to wash it all down, And a jolly good fire to burn him."
"Oh, papa," said Willie, as he ran into the breakfast-room for pennies, "aren't you glad you're a real man and not a pope?"
At last the ninth, the Lord Mayor's day, came. It is also the Prince of Wales' birthday, so the city would be very gay-looking with all the flags flying.
Alas! it was a dark, dull morning, and a heavy fog hung all over the city. Alas for the gilt coaches, the steel armor and other braveries! and then the elephants, how could they possibly feel their way all round the city in a thick, yellow fog? But, happily, by eleven the weather cleared, and the sun shone out brightly. Such a crowd as there was at our railway depot! So many bonny, happy little children never went on the same morning to the busy old town before. It was something new for great elephants to be seen walking through the prosy business streets. Once before, twenty-seven years ago, when Sir John Musgrave was Lord Mayor, not only elephants, but camels, deer, negroes, beehives, a ship in full sail, and Britannia seated on a car drawn by six horses, had made part of the show; since then, however, no Lord Mayor had been thoughtful enough of little and big children's pleasure to order out such delightful things, and so this year everybody must go. To quote from the Daily News:
"Since the reign of Henry III., when, by that monarch's gracious act the Lord Mayor of London was permitted to present himself before the Barons of Exchequer at Westminster instead of submitting the citizens' choice for the king's personal approval, there has been no Lord Mayor's show at which so great a concourse of spectators assembled."
We crowd into the cars and are soon in Cannon street. At the gates a boy meets us with little books for sale, shouting, "Thirteen elephants for a penny! the other boys'll only give you twelve, but I'll give you thirteen. Sold again! Thirteen elephants for a penny!" This wonderful book consists of a series of common gaudily colored pictures, supposed to represent the procession, which has done service at the show from time immemorial, but it is each year as welcome as ever to the children who each have a penny to buy one. Through the streets we have passing visions of pink silk stockings, canary-colored breeches, and dark green coats and gold lace, also tri-colored rosettes as large as saucers; and pass by shop-windows full of sweet, eager little faces, in the place of hose, shirts, sewing-machines, etc.
At last we arrive at our destination in Cheapside, where, through the kindness of a friend, a window on the first floor of a large building is waiting for us. How impatient we are until we hear the band of the Grenadier Guards, which heads the procession. After this band and that of the Royal London Militia, come the Worshipful Company of Loriners, preceded by jolly watermen in blue and white striped jerseys and white trousers, bearing banners; more watermen follow to relieve them; the beadle of the company with his staff of office; the clerk in his chariot; the wardens, wearing silk cloaks trimmed with sables, in their carriages, and amongst them Sir John Bennett, the great watch-maker in Cheapside, a charming-looking old gentleman with rosy cheeks and profuse gray curls; his face lights up with smiles as the shouts of "Bravo, Bennett," show how popular he is.
Then comes a grand yellow coach, in which rides the Master of the Company, attended by his chaplain. After the Loriners come the Farriers, the band of the First Life Guards, banners, beadle and mace clerk, wardens and master. After them the Broderers. As these pass slowly along, an excitement is caused by the behavior of the horse of a hussar, who is mounting guard. It does not like the proceedings at all, and still less the greasy asphalt on which it stands, dances round, backs into the Worshipful Master of Broderers' carriage, and finally rears and falls, unseating its rider. The hussar is quite cool and quiet, soon reseats himself, and rejects the offer of a fussy little man in red to hold his horse.
And now comes the Worshipful Company of Bakers, preceded by their banner, with its good old motto, "Praise God for all." These are really very jolly and well-favored looking companions, most of the members bearing large bouquets of flowers. After them the Vintners' Company, with the band of the Royal Artillery; ten Commissioners, each bearing a shield; eight master porters in vintner's dress; the Bargemaster in full uniform, and the Swan Uppers. These are men who look after the swans belonging to the corporation of London, which build their nests along the banks of the Thames, and they mark the young swans each spring.
The "Uppers" look very well in their dress, consisting of dark cloth jackets slashed with white, blue and white striped jerseys and white trousers.
After this company had passed, a grand shout announced the coming of the elephants. These, as some small boy has observed, are "curious animals, with two tails—one before and one behind." First came a number of large ones, with Mr. Sanger, their owner, who was mounted on a curiously spotted horse. They were gorgeous with oriental trappings and howdahs. On the foremost one rode a man representing a grand Indian prince. He had a reddish mustache, wore spectacles, a magnificent purple and white turban, and showy oriental costume. He produced a great impression on the crowd. In other howdahs sat one, two or three splendid Hindoos, whose dress was past description. Then came several young elephants ridden by boys; one of these was seized with a desire to lie down, and had to be vigorously roused; but, on the whole, they behaved in a wonderfully correct and dignified manner—now and then gracefully swinging round their trunks amongst the sympathizing crowd, in search of refreshment.
The elephants were escorted by equestrians in state costumes, and followed by six knights in steel armor, with lances and pennons, mounted on chargers. One of these "wouldn't go," and had to be dragged on ignominiously by a policeman. Then the Epping Forest rangers came. They were picturesquely dressed in green velvet coats, broad-brimmed hats and long feathers. After these, trumpeters, under-sheriffs in their state carriages, aldermen, the Recorder, more trumpeters, and then a most gorgeous coach—with hammer-cloth of red and gold, men in liveries too splendid to describe, and four fine horses—brings the late lord mayor. The mounted band of household cavalry follows. These really look splendid in crimson coats covered with gold embroidery and velvet caps, riding handsome white horses.
There is a stoppage just as they come up. They are rapturously greeted by the crowd, and requested to "play up." The mayor's servants, in state liveries, follow on foot. After them rides a very important person, the city marshal, on horseback. The city trumpeters come now, preceding the right honorable the lord mayor's most gorgeous gilt coach, drawn by six horses. In it sits Sir Thomas White, supported by his chaplain, and attended by his sword-bearer and the common crier. An escort of the 21st Hussars brings up the rear. Policemen follow, and after them a stray mail-cart, a butcher's boy with his tray; after that, not just the deluge, but the crowd.
"Oh, mamma!" says Willie, "the beefeaters didn't come! Nine of them there are in my book, and a grand one going in front, blowing a trumpet. And the man holding his thumb to his nose at the sheriffs; and the policeman knocking a thief down with a staff! And the lord mayor had no spectacles on. That's not fair! Do beefeaters eat lots of beef, mamma?"
"Oh, no," says Charlie, with a superior air, "they are only sideboard chaps."
Willie is still more puzzled, until he is told that in the olden time servants so costumed used to stand by the sideboard, or buffet, as it was called, at feasts, and so got the name of buffetiers, and by degrees the name became changed into beefeaters, which was more easily remembered by the people.
From our window we could not, of course, follow the procession on its winding way, nor had we seen it start. On looking at the paper next morning, we read that at first it was feared that the elephants had failed to keep their appointment. It was almost time to set out, and no elephants were to be seen. What must be done? The people ought not to be cheated out of the best part of the show; and yet, on the other hand, how undignified for a lord mayor to be kept waiting for thirteen elephants! I am sorry to say the police were rather glad. They had been very much afraid that the animals might prove troublesome during so long and unusual a walk; or else, coming from a circus, might, at any sudden pause, imagine themselves in the arena, and take it into their grave heads to perform on two legs and terrify the horses, or possibly annoy the lord mayor and his chaplain by putting their long trunks into his coach. But, happily for us, the police were disappointed. Such dignified creatures could not be expected to come early and be kept waiting.
Just at the right time they came leisurely up, and gravely taking their proper place, marched on with their proverbial sagacity—waiting outside Westminster Hall, whilst the lord mayor swore to do his duty, as quietly as though they were at home—and afterward left the procession at Blackfriars Bridge, to go to their own quarters and eat their well-earned dinner. It is to be hoped that the lord mayor ordered something specially good for them.
The elephants having left, the **embassadors, her majesty's ministers of state, the nobility, judges, and other persons of distinction, joined the procession, and proceeded to feast with his lordship and the lady mayoress at Guildhall.
* * * * *
BY JOHN S. ADAMS.
A little corner with its crib, A little mug, a spoon, a bib, A little tooth so pearly white, A little rubber ring to bite.
A little plate all lettered round, A little rattle to resound, A little creeping—see! she stands! A little step 'twixt outstretched hands.
A little doll with flaxen hair, A little willow rocking-chair, A little dress of richest hue, A little pair of gaiters blue.
A little school day after day, A "little schoolma'am" to obey, A little study—soon 'tis past, A little graduate at last.
A little muff for winter weather, A little jockey-hat and feather, A little sack with funny pockets, A little chain, a ring, and lockets.
A little while to dance and bow, A little escort homeward now, A little party, somewhat late, A little lingering at the gate.
A little walk in leafy June, A little talk while shines the moon, A little reference to papa, A little planning with mamma.
A little ceremony grave, A little struggle to be brave, A little cottage on a lawn, A little kiss—my girl was gone!
* * * * *
MARS, THE PLANET OF WAR.
BY RICHARD A. PROCTOR.
Not long ago, the planet Jupiter came among the stars of our southern evening skies. Those who noted down his track found that he first advanced from west to east, then receded along a track near his advancing one, then advanced again, still running on a track side by side with his former advancing track, and so passed away from the scene, toward the part of the sky where the sun's light prevents our tracking him.
That was a useful and rather easy first lesson about the motions of the bodies called planets.
We have now to consider a rather less simple case, but one a great deal more interesting. Two planets intrude among our evening stars, each following a looped track, but the tracks are unlike; the two planets are unlike in appearance, and they are also very unlike in reality.
I hope many of my young readers have already found out for themselves that these intrusive bodies have been wandering among our fixed stars. I purposely said nothing about the visitors last August, so that those who try to learn the star-groups from my maps may have had a chance of discovering the two planets for themselves. If they have done so, they have in fact repeated a discovery which was made many, many years ago. Ages before astronomy began to be a science, men found out that some of the stars move about among the rest, and they also noticed the kind of path traveled in the sky by each of those moving bodies. It was long, indeed, before they found out the kind of path traveled really by the planets. In fact, they supposed our earth to be fixed; and if our earth were fixed, the paths of the planets about her as a center would be twisted and tangled in the most perplexing way. So that folks in those old times, seeing the planets making all manner of loops and twistings round the sky, and supposing they made corresponding loops and twistings in traveling round the earth, thought the planets were living creatures, going round the earth to watch it and rule over it, each according to his own fashion. So they worshiped the planets as gods, counting seven of them, including the sun and moon. Some they thought good to men, others evil. The two planets now twisting their way along the southern skies were two of the evil sort, viz.: Mars, called the Lesser Infortune, and Saturn, called the Greater Infortune. In the old system of star-worship, Mars ruled over Tuesday, and Saturn over Saturday,—the Sabbath of olden times,—a day which the Chaldean and Egyptian astrologers regarded as the most unlucky in the whole week.
The actual paths traveled among the stars by these two planets, this fall, are shown in Fig. 1. You will see how wildly the fiery Mars, the planet of war, careers round his great loop, while old Saturn, "heavy, dull, and slow" (as Armado says that lead is—the metal dedicated to Saturn), plods slowly and wearily along. Between August 6 and October 1, Mars traversed his entire backward track,—Saturn, you notice, only a small portion of his much smaller loop. On the sky, too, you will see that while Mars shines with a fierce ruddy glow, well suited to his warlike character, Saturn shines with a dull yellow light, suggestive of the evil qualities which the astrologers of old assigned to him. "My loking," says Saturn, in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," "is the fader of pestilence:
"Min ben also the maladies colde, The derke treasons, and the costes olde; Min is the drenching in the see so wan, Min is the prison in the derke cote, Min is the strangel and hanging by the throte, The murmure, and the cherles rebelling, The groyning and the prine empoysoning."
[Footnote 1: Dark or gloomy coast. This line was amusingly rendered, by the printer of my "Saturn and its System," in which I quoted Chaucer's lines, "Mine is the prison, and the dirty coat."]
[Footnote 2: Churl's. Notice this word. It is the same as the word rendered Charles's in the common English name for the Dipper. One should always say Charles's Wain, not Charles' (as is the way Tennyson does in the "May Queen ").]