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Title: Our Young Folks 1866-05 Volume 2, Issue 5

Date of first publication: 1866

Author: J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom

Date first posted: May 7, 2015

Date last updated: May 7, 2015

Faded Page eBook #20150521

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Paulina Chin & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net







An Illustrated Magazine







Vol. II. MAY, 1866. No. V.



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by Ticknor and Fields, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.



[This table of contents is added for convenience.—Transcriber.]


















The Huguenot Fort.

T1HE steamer Augusta Dinsmore came to anchor late in the evening of the 15th of February, 1863, off the entrance to Port Royal. The night was cloudy and dark; the wind northeast. There had been a gentle breeze through the day, but when the sun went down the wind came up. Great waves were rolling past us, tumbling headlong upon the sand-bars. Loud the wind and ceaseless the roar of the breakers. Through the night I heard the voices of the sea,—solemn and fearful. Yet it was glorious to stand upon the deck, holding on to the ropes, and look out upon the ocean white with foam,—the steamer rolling, pitching, and tossing, as if tugging to break the great iron chain which held her. The storm-clouds were flying past, so low down that they almost touched the masts.

“If it blows much harder we shall have to put out to sea,” said the Captain, who walked the deck, looking sometimes out to sea, then anxiously towards the shore, to see if the pilot-boat was coming. But the pilot had run in to the harbor, to find safe anchorage. The gulls screamed around us; the salt spray swept over the deck; and the breakers kept pounding the bows of the ship through the long, weary, dreary night.

The morning dawned. How wild the clouds, which flew past us like horses on a race! The sea was foaming furiously; but the steamer was riding gloriously over the mighty swells.

“We must either go out or in,” said the Captain, once more looking anxiously around, to see if the pilot was coming.

The steamer was pitching, tossing, rolling, and tugging harder than ever at her anchor, to get away and drift broadside upon the beach. We could see under the fog the black buoys which marked the channel dancing on the waves.

“I’ll go in,” said the Captain, “although I don’t know the channel.”

“Up anchor there! Quick, lively, boys! Starboard your helm!”

The sailors sprang to the capstan. The anchor was lifted. The engine began to work. The steamer came broadside to the sea. A great wave rolled in upon the deck, throwing the spray high upon the mast. The vessel staggered, reeled, and trembled in every timber, but rose upon the wave, came round before the wind, and turned her bow towards the channel. So we moved on, through the wide entrance, past the shoal,—all froth and foam,—reaching the calmer water and the end of our voyage, glad to find a shelter before the storm burst upon us in all its fury.

We were in the harbor of Port Royal. There have been many stirring events along its now peaceful shores. I remembered that three hundred years had passed since the first European vessel came to anchor in the bay. Then, tall pines, wide-spreading oaks, and green-tufted palmettos covered the low lands along the shores with perpetual green. Then, as now, long trails of moss hung drooping from the trees. Innumerable flowers perfumed the air. Sea-birds swam in the calm waters, and built their nests and reared their young along the reedy marshes. A few Indians dwelt along the inland rivers; but the solitude of the sea-coast was undisturbed by the footsteps of men, except when the Indians came down in their canoes, paddling along the creeks and inlets, to hunt deer upon the islands or gather oysters from the marshes.

I passed many pleasant weeks around Port Royal, sometimes riding horse-back over the island, visiting the plantations from which the planters had fled; sitting down in the camps of the soldiers, listening to their stories; sometimes sailing across the bay in a boat, and visiting interesting places.

About ten miles up the Beaufort River we found an old fort,—one of the oldest in America,—built long before Jamestown was settled, or before the Pilgrims thought of leaving their homes in England. It stands on the bank of the Beaufort river, in a lovely spot. It is a low wall, enclosing a piece of ground not larger than a small garden. The great oaks which overshadow it must have been little shrubs when the wall was laid. Perhaps the acorns from which they grew were not grown at that time. There is a gravelled walk leading past the fort, up a gentle slope, to a house. The beautiful magnolia-trees which stand on either side of the walk make a delightful shade through the long sultry summer days. Although it was midwinter, roses were in bloom. The orange-trees were loaded with ripening fruit. Birds were merrily singing in the trees. Sitting on the wall, inhaling the sweet perfume of the flowers, with the balmy south wind fanning my cheek, I thought of those who stood there long time ago. And now let us in imagination sail over the sea to France, and take a look at what was going on there three hundred years ago, for that is the way to find out how the fort came to be built.

All Europe was in turmoil. Mary—the “Bloody Mary,” the name by which she is best known—was Queen of England. She was burning men, women, and children alive, in a place called Smithfield, just out of London; not because they were robbers, or murderers, or had done anything worthy of death, but because they did not choose to acknowledge all the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and obey all the commands of the Pope of Rome and the priests of that Church. Charles V., King of Spain and Emperor of Germany, had been hunting down those who protested against the Pope’s authority, and who thus were called Protestants. Henry II., King of France, was equally bloodthirsty. He rode through the kingdom with a great company of noblemen and officers and court favorites, men and women. There were five or six thousand, dressed in crimson, scarlet, and purple, with nodding plumes in their caps. It was a magnificent sight, and the country people stood amazed when they saw the gay cavaliers on their prancing steeds. As Henry was a zealous Catholic, the Holy Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church planned an entertaining spectacle when he entered Paris. Outside the city gates there was a row of gibbets, from which Protestants hung dangling by the neck, or were roasting alive over slow fires. All of this hanging, burning, and roasting, in England, France, and Spain, gave great delight to the wicked old Pope, Paul IV., in Rome. He was seventy years old, tall and thin, with fiery eyes, bloodthirsty and bigoted, who said to those around him, “I am chosen of God to kill heretics and purify the Holy Church.” He used to sit several hours alone at his table, drinking thick black wine, and talking to his cardinals of what he intended to do. But one day in August, 1559, the wicked old tyrant died, which gave great joy to Protestants everywhere. The bloody Mary of England died also, and her sister Elizabeth became queen. Henry of France had a tilt at a tournament with a stout Scotch knight, and received his death-wound, and his son Francis, sixteen years old, became king; but he also died in 1559.

Then there came a boy-king to the throne of France, Henry’s second son, Charles IX. He was only eleven years old when he became king, which seems very foolish to us, who live in this age and under a free republican government. It was foolish. Boys are not fit to be kings. The boy was called the king, but his mother told him what to do. Her name was Catharine de’ Medici. She was crafty and cruel, and one of the most wicked women that ever lived.

The Protestants in France were called Huguenots,—a word which means a sudden gathering of people. Among the Huguenots was one noble soldier, Admiral Coligny, who had fought gloriously for the kingdom. He was a pure-minded, noble man. He wished for peace and quietness, and influenced the king to call the great council of the kingdom together to consult upon the matter. They assembled at the king’s palace of Fontainebleau.

“We claim the right to worship God publicly, in our own way, and we ask that we may have churches of our own,” said Admiral Coligny in behalf of the Huguenots.

“If you allow them to have churches and set up their own worship,” said Cardinal Lorraine, “you will be responsible for their heresy and destroy your own soul.”

The king heard all that they had to say,—or his mother heard it for him; and he decided that the Roman Catholic cardinals, bishops, and priests should be judges of what was heresy, and that all heretics should be sent to prison or banished from the empire. This was better than to be hung, or roasted over a slow fire; but it seemed very hard to the Huguenots.

The good Admiral Coligny then obtained permission from the king for Huguenots to settle in America. Two ships were sent to Brazil, but the attempt to found a colony there was a failure. But another expedition, composed of two ships, commanded by John Ribault, was sent out to make a settlement in Florida.

Ribault had a safe passage, reached the coast, sailed along the shores, and one bright May morning entered a river which he named “the River of May”; it is the St. John’s River in Florida. Then, sailing north, he came to an inlet which was so wide and spacious that he called it Port Royal. He sailed up the harbor, enchanted with the prospect around him. He cast anchor, and sent out parties in his small boats to explore the shores. They were charmed by the music of the strange birds, which sang in the woods through the long summer days. Deer were feeding in the meadows. The air was fragrant with flowers. Grape-vines grasped the tallest trees in their embrace. It made them think of their own sunny France, to gaze upon the heavy clusters of ripening fruit. This was their promised land,—this the place for their future home. So, selecting a suitable site for a settlement, they built this fort and called it Fort Carolina, after the boy-king of France.

Ribault left Captain Albert with twenty-five men to begin the colony, and sailed down the bay, passed out to sea, and trimmed his sails for a voyage to France. The Indians were kind to the new-comers. The chiefs used to come down Broad River in their canoes, and have a talk with the Frenchmen. It is not difficult to imagine the dusky warriors sitting cross-legged by the camp-fires,—making signs, telling Captain Albert that there is plenty of corn to be had away in the west. We can imagine the Captain going up the river in his boat, the oars gently plashing in the water.

The Captain received kind treatment from the chiefs, and came back with his boat loaded with corn, to find that a fire had accidentally caught in the fort and burned up several of their huts and a large portion of their supplies. But two Indian chiefs, with their warriors, came down Beaufort River, drew their boats up on the beach, and made signs that they would help them rebuild the fort, for which the Captain thanked them.

But Captain Albert was harsh and cruel to his men. He ordered one, who had done something out of the way, to be starved to death. The soldiers stood by their comrade, mutinied, and killed the Captain. Then they elected Nicholas Barre to be their commander. They lived peaceably among themselves after that, as also with the Indians.

But, as the months rolled by, they longed to return to France. They feared that Ribault was lost, or had forgotten them. Their home-sickness was hard to bear. They resolved to make the attempt to get back to their friends. All hands went to work to build a ship. It was a small craft; but they had axes and saws, and after months of patient labor they were able to launch it. They caulked the seams with grass. They cut down the tall pitch-pines, and obtained tar and resin. They made ropes of the tough fibres of the grape-vine. They took their shirts and sewed them together for sails.

When everything was ready, they bade adieu to the Indians, parted from them good friends, left the fort, and sailed down the harbor and out upon the heaving sea. For a few days they made good progress. Then a calm came on, and day after day they lay almost motionless. Their provisions began to fail. They put themselves upon an allowance of twelve kernels of corn a day. Their water was fast going. Then a storm came on, and their little craft was tossed like a chip on the great waves. They expected to go to the bottom, but the wind lulled and their hopes revived. Their last kernel of corn was gone,—their last drop of water. Some of their number had already died, and death stared all of them in the face. Then up spake one of them, a noble fellow, who said, “It is better that one of us should die than all. I am ready.” But they would not listen to him. They could not bear the thought of eating human flesh, and they floated on another day. Then they cast lots to see who should die, and the lot fell to the one who had said that he was ready.

Calmly, as if lying down to sleep, he folded his hands, bared his neck, and, when the fatal stroke was given, died without a struggle. It was horrible; but starving men will do anything. Their lives were saved; for they soon fell in with an English vessel, homeward bound from the West Indies, and were carried some to France and some to England.

Such is the brief story of this old Fort Carolina, which has given a name to two States of the Union, and which, as we walk round the low wall, sets us to thinking of those terrible times when Elizabeth was Queen of England; of Mary of Scotland, who was beheaded by Elizabeth; of the great Massacre of St. Bartholomew, which came a few years later, in 1572, when the boy-king was a young man, and issued the order, at the instigation of his mother, which caused the slaughter of seventy thousand Protestants,—among them the noble old Admiral Coligny, who had sent out Ribault’s expedition.

Sitting there beneath the magnolias, it seemed as if I could hear the great bell of the Church of St. Germain, in Paris, toll the signal for the commencement of the slaughter. How horrible those scenes! Thousands of corpses of men, women, and children in the streets! the pavements thick with blood! the king shooting the fleeing fugitives from his palace windows! his mother rejoicing at the sight, sitting down to write to the Pope an account of what was going on,—taking great pleasure in describing the shooting and hanging, the cries of the murdered thousands begging for mercy, and how God had been honored by their destruction! Then in Rome we see the Pope, who claims to be the head of the true Church, the representative of pure religion, walking in solemn procession to St. Peter’s, to give thanks to God that seventy thousand Protestants had been hacked to pieces!

But the conscience of the boy-king began to trouble him. He became haggard and pale. He could not sleep. There was no pleasure in life. He had a physician named Ambrose Pace, who gave him medicine, and who did all that he could to give sleep and rest to the king, but in vain. Three days after the massacre he said, “Sleeping or waking, the murdered Huguenots seem ever present to my eyes, with ghastly faces and weltering in blood. I wish the helpless and innocent had been spared.”

His wicked mother kept crying, “Kill them! kill them!” and so for days and weeks, all over France, the Huguenots were murdered in cold blood.

But the king was wasting away. He was wrinkled, withered, and looked like an old man. He suffered great pain, and died in excruciating agony of body and mind when he was only twenty-five years old,—with the murdered Huguenots ever before his eyes.

These terrible events—this wholesale destruction of so many people, many of them the best citizens of France—put an end to all further attempts to build up a colony at Port Royal; and so for one hundred years the old fort stood in the solitudes, visited only by the Indians. The oak-trees grew up around it, and threw out their sheltering branches. Vines began to creep over the crumbling walls, and birds built their nests undisturbed in the crevices of the rocks. But after many years Englishmen came to Jamestown, in Virginia. Other colonists came to Charleston, and, as time rolled on, settled along the shore, and purchased negroes from John Hawkins, an Englishman, who carried rum, tobacco, knives, and beads to Africa, and brought back slaves, sold them to the planters, and made himself rich. A great many other men went into the business, setting the tribes of Africa by the ears,—urging them to make war upon each other, that they might buy rum with the captives taken in battle. A great fleet of ships was employed in the slave-trade. There were dreadful scenes:—thousands of poor creatures were chained together, crowded between the decks, suffocated for want of air, their bodies tossed overboard to the hungry sharks which ever followed the ships. Men who called themselves good were engaged in this horrible business. Other men who thought they were doing justly bought them, and so encouraged the trade. It seems horrible to us now, but it was thought to be all right then. The great war which we have had was brought about because men did not recognize justice and equity. God is just. His laws are right and holy. We cannot violate them without suffering for it. Because John Hawkins and other old pirates stole slaves from Africa, because our fathers bought them and put them to unrequited labor, we in this generation have to pay the penalty, in weeping and mourning for our friends who have fallen upon the battle-field. God says, “Be sure your sin will find you out”;—and it is just as true of a nation as of an individual. France paid a fearful penalty for the murdering of seventy thousand men, women, and children. She had terrible war and desolation,—the guillotine set up in every town. The Southern States rebelled against a just government, and began a terrible civil war. They have been defeated. Their fine houses are burned, their plantations destroyed, their homes broken up, their sons killed, because they undertook to do wickedly. Such is the historic lesson which we read while sitting by the old fort. The owner of the plantation on which the fort stands was a fugitive. He fled very suddenly on the morning of the 7th of November, 1861, when he heard that the Yankees had captured the forts at the entrance of the harbor. He left his furniture, his hundreds of negroes, and fled in great fear, riding as fast as he could go up the road toward Beaufort. But of what happened on that morning, and what has transpired since then around Port Royal, I will tell you at another time.




“GRIMGRIFFINHOOF won’t speak to you to-night,” said Jeannie Hadden, after tea, upon the balcony.

She was mistaken. There was something different, still, in Leslie Goldthwaite’s look, as she came out under the sunset-light, from the looks that prevailed in the Thoresby group when they too made their appearance. The one moved self-forgetfully,—her consciousness and thought sent forth, not fluttering in her robes and ribbons; with the others there was a little air and bustle, as of people coming into an opera-box in presence of a full house. They said “Lovely!” and “Splendid!” of course,—their little word of applause for the scenic grandeur of mountain and heaven, and then the half of them turned their backs upon it, and commenced talking together about whether waterfalls were really to be given up or not, and of how people were going to look in high-crowned bonnets.

Mrs. Linceford told the “hummux” story to Marmaduke Wharne. The old man laughed till the Thoresby party turned to see.

“But I like one thing,” he said. “The woman was honest. Her ‘black alpacky’ was most to her, and she owned up to it.”

The regular thing being done, outside, the company drifted back, as the shadows fell, to the parlor again. Mrs. Linceford’s party moved also, and drifted with the rest. Marmaduke Wharne, quite graciously, walked after. The Lancers was just forming.

“The bear is playing tame and amiable,” whispered Jeannie. “But he’ll eat you up, for all that. I wouldn’t trust him. He’s going to watch, to see how wicked you’ll be.”

“I shall let him see,” replied Leslie, quietly.

“Miss Goldthwaite, you’re for the dance to-night? For the ‘bright and kind and pleasant,’ eh?” the “bear” said, coming to her side within the room.

“If anybody asks me,” answered Leslie, with brave simplicity. “I like dancing—very much.”

“I’ll find you a partner, then,” said Mr. Wharne.

She looked up, surprised; but he was quite in earnest. He walked across the room, and brought back with him a lad of thirteen or so,—well grown for his age, and bright and manly-looking; but only a boy, and a little shy and stiff at first, as boys have to be for a while. Leslie had seen him before, in the afternoon, rolling the balls through a solitary game of croquet; and, afterward, taking his tea by himself at the lower end of the table. He had seemed to belong to nobody, and as yet hardly to have got the “run” of the place.

“This is Master Thayne, Miss Leslie Goldthwaite, and I think he would like to dance, if you please.”

Master Thayne made a proper bow, and glanced up at the young girl with a smile lurking behind the diffidence in his face. Leslie smiled outright, and held out her hand.

It was not a brilliant début, perhaps. The Haddens had been appropriated by a couple of youths in frock coats and orthodox kids, with a suspicion of moustaches; and one of the Thoresbys had a young captain of cavalry, with gold bars on his shoulders. Elinor Hadden raised her pretty eyebrows, and put as much of a mock-miserable look into her happy little face as it could hold, when she found her friend, so paired, at her right hand.

“It’s very good of you to stand up with me,” said the boy, simply. “It’s awful slow, not knowing anybody.”

“Are you here alone?” asked Leslie.

“Yes; there was nobody to come with me. Oliver—my brother—will come by and by, and perhaps my uncle and the rest of them, to meet me where I’m to be, down among the mountains. We’re all broken up this summer, and I’m to take care of myself.”

“Then you don’t stay here?”

“No; I only came this way to see what it was like. I’ve got a jolly place engaged for me, at Outledge.”

“Outledge? Why, we are going there!”

“Are you? That’s—jolly!” repeated the boy, pausing a second for a fresher or politer word, but unable to supply a synonyme.

“I’m glad you think so,” answered Leslie, with her genuine smile again.

The two had already made up their minds to be friends. In fact, Master Thayne would hardly have acquiesced in being led up for introduction to any other young girl in the room. There had been something in Leslie Goldthwaite’s face that had looked kind and sisterly to him. He had no fear of a snub with her; and these things Mr. Wharne had read, in his behalf, as well.

“He’s a queer old fellow, that Mr. Wharne, isn’t he?” pursued Master Thayne, after forward and back, as he turned his partner to place. “But he’s the only one that’s had anything to say to me, and I like him. I’ve been down to the old mill with him to-day. Those people”—motioning slightly toward the other set, where the Thoresbys were dancing—“were down there too. You’d ought to have seen them look! Don’t they hate him, though?”

“Hate him? Why should they do that?”

“O, I don’t know. People feel each other out, I suppose. And a word of his is as much as a whole preach of anybody’s else. He says a word now and then, and it hits.”

“Yes,” responded Leslie, laughing.

“What did you do it for?” whispered Elinor, in hands across.

“I like him; he’s got something to say,” returned Leslie.

“Augusta’s looking at you, like a hen after a stray chicken. She’s all but clucking now.”

“Mr. Wharne will tell her.”

But Mr. Wharne was not in the room. He came back just as Leslie was making her way again, after the dance, to Mrs. Linceford.

“Will you do a galop with me presently?—if you don’t get a better partner, I mean,” said Master Thayne.

“That wouldn’t be much of a promise,” answered Leslie, smiling. “I will, at any rate; that is, if—after I’ve spoken to Mrs. Linceford.”

Mr. Wharne came up and said something to young Thayne, just then; and the latter turned eagerly to Leslie. “The telescope’s fixed, out on the balcony; and you can see Jupiter and three of his moons! We must make haste, before our moon’s up.”

“Will you go and look, Mrs. Linceford?” asked Mr. Wharne of the lady, as Leslie reached her side.

They went with him, and Master Thayne followed. Jeannie and Elinor and the Miss Thoresbys were doing the inevitable promenade after the dance,—under difficulties.

“Who is your young friend?” inquired Mrs. Linceford, with a shade of doubt in her whisper, as they came out on the balcony.

“Master——” Leslie began to introduce, but stopped. The name, which she had not been quite certain of, escaped her.

“My name is Dakie Thayne,” said the boy, with a bow to the matron.

“Now, Mrs. Linceford, if you’ll just sit here,” said Mr. Wharne, placing a chair. “I suppose I ought to have come to you first; but it’s all right,” he added, in a low tone, over her shoulder. “He’s a nice boy.”

And Mrs. Linceford put her eye to the telescope. “Dakie Thayne! It’s a queer name; and yet it seems as if I had heard it before,” she said, looking away through the mystic tube into space, and seeing Jupiter with his moons, in a fair round picture framed expressly to her eye; yet sending a thought, at the same time, up and down the lists of a mental directory, trying to place Dakie Thayne among people she had heard of.

“I’ll be responsible for the name,” answered Marmaduke Wharne.

“‘Dakie’ is a nickname, of course; but they always call me so, and I like it best,” the boy was explaining to Leslie, while they waited in the doorway.

Then her turn came. Leslie had never looked through a telescope upon the stars before. She forgot the galop, and the piano tinkled out its gayest notes unheard. “It seems like coming all the way back,” she said, when she moved away for Dakie Thayne.

Then they wheeled the telescope upon its pivot eastward, and met our own moon coming up, as if in a grand jealousy, to assert herself within her small domain, and put out faint, far satellites of lordlier planets. They looked upon her mystic, glistening hill-tops, and down her awful craters; and from these they seemed to drop a little, as a bird might, and alight on the earth-mountains, looming close at hand, with their huge, rough crests and sides, and sheer escarpments white with nakedness; and so—got home again. Leslie, with her maps and gazetteer, had done no travelling like this.

She would not have cared, if she had known, that Imogen Thoresby was looking for her, within, to present, at his own request, the cavalry captain. She did not know in the least, absorbed in her pure enjoyment, that Marmaduke Wharne was deliberately trying her, and confirming his estimate of her, in these very things.

She danced her galop with Dakie Thayne, after she went back. The cavalry captain was introduced, and asked for it. “That was something,” as Hans Andersen would say; but “What a goose not to have managed better!” was what Imogen Thoresby thought concerning it, as the gold bars turned themselves away.

Leslie Goldthwaite had taken what came to her, and she had had an innocent, merry time; she had been glad to be dressed nicely, and to look her best;—but somehow she had not thought of that much, after all; the old uncomfortableness had not troubled her to-night.

Just to be in better business. That’s the whole of it,” she thought to herself, with her head upon the pillow. She put it in words, mentally, in the same off-hand fashion in which she would have spoken it to Cousin Delight. “One must look out for that, and keep at it. That’s the eyestone-woman’s way; and it’s what has kept me from worrying and despising myself to-night. It only happened so, this time; it was Mr. Wharne,—not I. But I suppose one can always find something, by trying. And the trying—” The rest wandered off into a happy musing; and the musing merged into a dream.

Object and motive,—the “seeking first”; she had touched upon that, at last, with a little comprehension of its working.

She liked Dakie Thayne. The next day they saw a good deal of him; he joined himself gradually, but not obtrusively, to their party; they included him in their morning game of croquet. This was at her instance; he was standing aside, not expecting to be counted in, though he had broken off his game of solitaire, and driven the balls up to the starting-stake, as they came out upon the ground. The Thoresby set had ignored him, always, being too many already among themselves,—and he was only a boy.

This morning there were only Imogen, and Etty, the youngest; a walking-party had gone off up the Cherry-Mountain road, and Ginevra was up stairs, packing; for the Thoresbys had also suddenly decided to leave for Outledge on the morrow. Mrs. Thoresby declared, in confidence, to Mrs. Linceford, that “old Wharne would make any house intolerable; and that Jefferson, at any rate, was no place for more than a week’s stay.” She “wouldn’t have it mentioned in the house, however, that she was going, till the time came,—it made such an ado; and everybody’s plans were at loose ends among the mountains, ready to fix themselves to anything at a day’s notice; they might have to-morrow’s stage loaded to crushing, if they did not take care.”

“But I thought Mrs. Devreaux and the Klines were with you,” remarked Mrs. Linceford.

“Of our party? O, no indeed; we only fell in with them here.”

“Fell in” with them; became inseparable for a week; and now were stealing a march,—dodging them,—lest there might be an overcrowding of the stage, and an impossibility of getting outside seats! Mrs. Thoresby was a woman of an imposing elegance and dignity, with her large curls of resplendent gray hair, high up on her temples, her severely-handsome dark eyebrows, and her own perfect, white teeth; yet she could do a shabby thing, you see,—a thing made shabby by its motive. The Devreaux and Klines were only “floating people,” boarding about,—not permanently valuable as acquaintances; well enough to know when one met them,—that was all. Mrs. Thoresby had daughters; she was obliged to calculate as to what was worth while. Mrs. Linceford had an elegant establishment in New York; she had young sisters to bring out; there was suitability here; and the girls would naturally find themselves happy together.

Dakie Thayne developed brilliantly at croquet. He and Leslie, with Etty Thoresby, against Imogen and the Haddens, swept triumphantly around the course, and came in to the stake, before there had been even a “rover” upon the other side. Except, indeed, as they were sent roving, away off over the bank and down the road, from the sloping, uneven ground,—the most extraordinary field, in truth, on which croquet was ever attempted. But then you cannot expect a level, velvet lawn on the side of a mountain.

“Children always get the best of it at croquet,—when they know anything at all,” said Imogen Thoresby, discontentedly, throwing down her mallet. “You ‘poked’ awfully, Etty.”

Etty began an indignant denial; unable to endure the double accusation of being a child,—she, a girl in her fourteenth year,—and of “poking.” But Imogen walked away quite unconcernedly, and Jeannie Hadden followed her. These two, as nearest in age, were growing intimate. Ginevra was almost too old,—she was twenty.

They played a four-ball game then; Leslie and Etty against Elinor and Dakie Thayne. But Elinor declared—laughing, all the same, in her imperturbably good-natured way—that not only Etty’s pokes were against her, but that Dakie would not croquet Leslie’s ball down hill. Nothing ever really put Elinor Hadden out, the girls said of her, except when her hair wouldn’t go up; and then it was funny to see her. It was a sunbeam in a snarl, or a snow-flurry out of a blue sky. This in parenthesis, however; it was quite true, as she alleged, that Dakie Thayne had taken up already that chivalrous attitude toward Leslie Goldthwaite which would not let him act otherwise than as her loyal knight, even though opposed to her at croquet.

“You’ll have enough of that boy,” said Mrs. Linceford, when Leslie came in and found her at her window that overlooked the wickets. “There’s nothing like a masculine creature of that age for adoring and monopolizing a girl two or three years older. He’ll make you mend his gloves, and he’ll beg your hair-ribbons for hat-strings; and when you’re not dancing or playing croquet with him, he’ll be after you with some boy-hobby or other, wanting you to sympathize and help. ‘I know their tricks and their manners.’” But she looked amused and kind while she threatened, and Leslie only smiled back and said nothing.

Presently fresh fun gathered in Mrs. Linceford’s eyes. “You’re making queer friends, child, do you know, at the beginning of your travels? We shall have Cocky-locky, and Turkey-lurky, and Goosie-poosie, and all the rest of them, before we get much farther. Don’t breathe a word, girls,” she went on, turning toward them all, and brimming over with merriment and mischief,—“but there’s the best joke brewing. It’s just like a farce. Is the door shut, Elinor? And are the Thoresbys gone up stairs? They’re going with us, you know? And there’s nothing to be said about it? And it’s partly to get away from Marmaduke Wharne? Well, he’s going, too. And it’s greatly because they’re spoiling the place for him here. He thinks he’ll try Outledge; and there’s nothing to be said about that either! And I’m the unhappy depositary of all their complaints and secrets. And if nobody’s stopped, they’ll all be off in the stage with us to-morrow morning! I couldn’t help telling you, for it was too good to keep.”

The secrets were secrets through the day; and Mrs. Linceford had her quiet fun, and opportunity for her demure teasing.

“How long since Outledge was discovered and settled? By the moderns, I mean,” said Mr. Wharne. “What chance will one really have of quiet there?”

“Well, really, to be honest, Mr. Wharne, I’m afraid Outledge will be just at the rampant stage this summer. It’s the second year of anything like general accommodation, and everybody has just heard of it, and it’s the knowing and stylish thing to go there. For a week or two it may be quiet; but then there’ll be a jam. There’ll be hops, and tableaux, and theatricals, of course; interspersed with ‘picnicking at the tomb of Jehoshaphat,’ or whatever mountain solemnity stands for that. It’ll be human nature right over again, be assured, Mr. Wharne.”

Yet, somehow, Mr. Wharne would not be frightened from his determination. Until the evening; when plans came out, and good-byes and wonders and lamentations began.

“Yes, we have decided quite suddenly; the girls want to see Outledge; and there’s a pleasant party of friends, you know,—one can’t always have that. We shall probably fill a stage,—so they will take us through, instead of dropping us at the Crawford House.” In this manner Mrs. Thoresby explained to her dear friend, Mrs. Devreaux.

“We shall be quite sorry to lose you all. But it would only have been a day or so longer, at any rate. Our rooms are engaged for the fifteenth, at Saratoga; we’ve very little time left for the mountains, and it wouldn’t be worth while to go off the regular track. We shall probably go down to the Profile on Saturday.”

And then—da capo—“Jefferson was no place really to stay at; you got the whole in the first minute,” &c, &c.

“Good night, Mrs. Linceford. I’m going up to unpack my valise and make myself comfortable again. All things come round, or go by, I find, if one only keeps one’s self quiet. But I shall look in upon you at Outledge yet.” These were the stairway words of Marmaduke Wharne to-night.

“‘One gets the whole in the first minute’! How can they keep saying that? Look, Elinor, and see if you can tell me where we are?” was Leslie’s cry, as, early next morning, she drew up her window-shade to look forth—on what?

Last night had lain there, underneath them, the great basin between Starr King, behind, and the roots of that lesser range, far down, above which the blue Lafayette uprears itself. An enormous valley, filled with evergreen forest, over whose tall pines and cedars one looked, as if they were but juniper and blueberry bushes; far up above whose heads the real average of the vast mountain-country heaped itself in swelling masses,—miles and miles of beetling height and solid breadth. This morning it was gone; only the great peaks showed themselves, as a far-off, cliff-bound shore, or here and there a green island in a vast, vaporous lake. The night-chill had come down among the heights, condensing the warm exhalations of the valley-bosom that had been shone into all day yesterday by the long summer sun; till, when he lifted himself once more out of the east, sending his leaping light from crest to crest, white fallen clouds were tumbling and wreathing themselves about the knees and against the mighty bosoms of the giants, and at their feet the forest was a sea.

“We must dress, and we must look!” exclaimed Leslie, as the early summons came for them. “O dear! O dear! if we were only like the birds! or if all this would wait till we get down!”

“Please drop the shade just a minute, Les. This glass is in such a horrid light! I don’t seem to have but half a face, and I can’t tell which is the upside of that! And—O dear! I’ve no time to get into a fuss!” Elinor had not disdained the beauty and wonder without; but it was, after all, necessary to be dressed, and in a given time; and a bad light for a looking-glass is such a disastrous thing!

“I’ve brushed out half my crimps,” she said again; “and my ruffle is basted in wrong side out, and altogether I’m got up à la furieuse!” But she laughed before she had done scolding, catching sight of her own exaggerated little frown in the distorting glass, that was unable, with all its malice, to spoil the bright young face when it came to smiles and dimples.

And then Jeannie came knocking at the door. They had spare minutes, after all, and the mists were yet tossing in the valley when they went down. They were growing filmy, and floating away in shining fragments up over the shoulders of the hills, and the lake was lower and less, and the emerging green was like the “Thousand Islands.”

They waited a little there, in the wide, open door, together, and looked out upon it; and then the Haddens went round into their sister’s room, and Leslie was left alone in the rare, sweet, early air. The secret joy came whispering at her heart again; that there was all this in the world, and that one need not be utterly dull and mean, and dead to it; that something in her answered to the greatness overshadowing her; that it was possible, sometimes, and that people did reach out into a larger life than that of self and every-day. How else did the great mountains draw them to themselves so? But then she would not always be among the mountains.

And so she stood, drinking in at her eyes all the shifting and melting splendors of the marvellous scene, with her thought busy, once more, in its own questioning. She remembered what she had said to Cousin Delight: “It is all outside. Going, and doing, and seeing, and hearing, and having. In myself, am I good for any more, after all? Or only—a green fig-tree in the sunshine?”

Why, with that word, did it all flash together for her, as a connected thing? Her talk that morning, many weeks ago, that had seemed to ramble so from one irrelevant matter to another,—from the parable to her fancy-travelling,—the scenes and pleasures she had made for herself, wondering if the real would ever come,—to the linen-drawer, representing her little feminine absorptions and interests,—and back to the fig-tree again, ending with that word,—“the real living is the urging toward the fruit”? Her day’s journey, and the hints of life—narrowed, suffering, working—that had come to her, each with its problem? Marmaduke Wharne’s indignant protest against people who “did not know their daily bread,” and his insistence upon the two things for human creatures to do,—the receiving and the giving; the taking from God, in the sunshine, to grow; the ripening into generous uses for others; was it all one, and did it define the whole, and was it identical, in the broadest and highest, with that sublime double command whereon “hang the law and the prophets”?

Something like this passed into her mind and soul, brightening there, like the morning. It seemed, in that glimpse, so clear and gracious,—the truth that had been puzzling her.

Easy, beautiful summer-work; only to be shone upon; to lift up one’s branching life, and be—reverently—glad; to grow sweet and helpful and good-giving, in one’s turn;—could she not begin to do that? Perhaps—by ever so little; the fruit might be but a berry, yet it might be fair and full, after its kind; and, at least, some little bird might be the better for it. All around her, too, the life of the world that had so troubled her,—who could tell, in the tangle of green, where the good and the gift might ripen and fall? Every little fern-frond has its seed.

Jeannie came behind her again, and called her back to the contradictory phase of self, that, with us all, is almost ready, like Peter, to deny the true. “What are you deep in now, Les?”

“Nothing. Only—we go down from here, don’t we, Jeannie?”

“Yes. And a very good thing for you, too. You’ve been in the clouds long enough. I shall be glad to get you to the common level again.”

“You’ve no need to be anxious. I can come down as fast as anybody. That isn’t the hard thing to do. Let’s go in, and get salt-fish and cream for our breakfast.”

The Haddens were new to mountain travel; the Thoresbys, literally, were “old stagers”; they were up in the stable-yard before Mrs. Linceford’s party came out from the breakfast-room. Dakie Thayne was there too; but that was quite natural for a boy.

They got their outside seats by it, scrambling up before the horses were put to, and sitting there while the hostlers smiled at each other over their work. There was room for two more, and Dakie Thayne took a place; but the young ladies looked askance, for Ginevra had been detained by her mother, and Imogen had hoped to keep a seat for Jeannie, without drawing the whole party after her, and running aground upon politeness. So they drove round to the door.

“First come, first served,” cried Imogen, beckoning Jeannie, who happened to be there, looking for her friend. “I’ve saved a place for you”;—and Jeannie Hadden, nothing loath, as a man placed the mounting-board, sprang up and took it.

Then the others came out. Mrs. Thoresby and Mrs. Linceford got inside the vehicle at once, securing comfortable back corner-seats. Ginevra, with Leslie and Elinor, and one or two others too late for their own interests, but quite comprehending the thing to be preferred, lingered while the last trunks went on, hoping for room to be made somehow.

“It’s so gay on the top, going down into the villages. There’s no fun inside,” said Imogen, complacently, settling herself upon her perch.

“Won’t there be another stage?”

“Only half-way. This one goes through.”

“I’ll go half-way on the other, then,” said Ginevra.

“This is the best team, and goes on ahead,” was the reply.

“You’ll be left behind,” cried Mrs. Thoresby. “Don’t think of it, Ginevra!”

“Can’t that boy sit back, on the roof?” asked the young lady.

“That boy” quite ignored the allusion; but presently, as Ginevra moved toward the coach-window to speak with her mother, he leaned down to Leslie Goldthwaite. “I’ll make room for you,” he said.

But Leslie had decided. She could not, with effrontery of selfishness, take the last possible place,—a place already asked for by another. She thanked Dakie Thayne, and, with just one little secret sigh, got into the interior, placing herself by the farther door.

At that moment she missed something. “I’ve left my brown veil in your room, Mrs. Linceford”;—and she was about to alight again to go for it.

“I’ll fetch it,” cried Dakie Thayne from overhead, and, as he spoke, came down, on her side, by the wheel, and, springing around to the house entrance, disappeared up the stairs.

“Ginevra!” Then there came a laugh and a shout and some crinoline against the forward open corner of the coach, and Ginevra Thoresby was by the driver’s side. A little ashamed, in spite of herself, though it was done under cover of a joke; but “All’s fair among the mountains,” somebody said, and “Possession’s nine points,” said another, and the laugh was with her, seemingly.

Dakie Thayne flushed up, hot, without a word, when he came out, an instant after.

“I’m so sorry!” said Leslie, with real regret, accented with honest indignation.

“It’s your place,” called out a rough man, who made the third upon the coach-box. “Why don’t you stick up for it?”

The color went down slowly in the boy’s face, and a pride came up in his eye. He put his hand to his cap, with a little irony of deference, and lifted it off with the grace of a grown man. “I know it’s my place. But the young lady may keep it—now. I’d rather be a gentleman!” said Dakie Thayne.

“You’ve got the best of it!” This came from Marmaduke Wharne, as the door closed upon the boy, and the stage rolled down the road toward Cherry Mountain.

There is a “best” to be got out of everything; but it is neither the best of place or possession, nor the chuckle of the last word.

Author of “Faith Gartney’s Girlhood.”


WHEN our ancestors first came from Old England to America, they brought with them the old associations and recollections of the home they were leaving. Unwilling to part at once with these old and dear associations, they sought to keep alive many familiar names by bestowing them upon similar objects in America. In so doing they have caused much confusion. The same terms do not mean the same things in Old England and in New England. The ivy of Europe is a very different plant from the poisonous species of sumac which is here called by that name. Our New England dogwood is also a sumac, and not a true dogwood. Our woodbine is not the same vine meant in English books by that name; and the Robin of North America is totally unlike the dear old Robin Redbreast whose benevolent attentions to the unfortunate Babes in the Wood have invested the name of Robin with the affectionate associations of childhood wherever the English language is spoken.

The Robin Redbreast more nearly resembles our common Bluebird than any other of our native birds, although the latter is somewhat larger. The Redbreast of Europe is quite a small bird, being only about five inches and three quarters from the tip of its bill to the end of its tail-feathers. The principal color of this bird is a yellowish olive-brown. The throat and breast are of a reddish-orange color, and this gives to them their name of Redbreast.

They are very common in Europe, and especially so in England. They remain all the year round, and appear to be even more numerous in winter than in summer. This may be partly owing to their deserting the frozen fields and snow-covered gardens, where they can no longer obtain food, and resorting to the habitations of man.

In the summer time they feed upon insects and berries. In the winter, every rural dwelling is resorted to by these charming little birds, who seldom fail to meet with a cordial welcome from the young folks of Old England. Where they are well treated they soon become very familiar and make themselves quite at home, entering the cottage doors, picking up the crumbs thrown to them, and often roosting contentedly over night in their warm and hospitable kitchens.

The poet Thomson thus describes the manner in which little Robin Redbreast enters a cottage to pick up the needed food:—

“The Redbreast, sacred to the household gods,

 Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky,

 In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves

 His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man

 His annual visit. Half afraid, he first

 Against the window beats; then, brisk, alights

 On the warm hearth; then, hopping o’er the floor,

 Eyes all the smiling family askance,

 And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is;

 Till, more familiar grown, the table-crumbs

 Attract his slender feet.”

Mr. Yarrell, the English naturalist, tells us that the Redbreast has a sprightly air, a full, dark eye, which, with the sidelong turn of its head which it puts on when thus appealing for human aid, gives an appearance of sagacity and inquiry to its character. This, aided by its trusting confidence, gains it friends everywhere, and the Robin has accordingly become a familiar domestic pet in almost every country of Europe.

The Redbreast has a sweet and plaintive, but not a powerful song, which it keeps up, like our own Bluebird,—which in this respect also it most resembles,—from early spring to late in autumn. It builds a very pretty and neatly-constructed nest of mosses, dried leaves, and dead grasses, lined with fine hair and soft feathers. These are placed near the ground, in thick bushes, or in holes in walls, among branches of ivy. English books of natural history are full of interesting narratives of the beautiful confidence in man shown by the Redbreast in selecting a place for its nest.

One pair selected a small cottage adjoining a large blacksmith’s shop, where, throughout the day, a constant noise was made by the forge. They entered through an open window, and built their nest in a child’s covered cart, hanging on a peg over the fireplace. Here the pair built their first nest early in spring. Although they were attentively watched by crowds of curious spectators, they raised their brood, and, as soon as these could fly, built a second nest on a shelf on the opposite side of the room. Here, too, they raised successfully a second brood; and as soon as these could take care of themselves, the same pair built a third nest in a different part of the room, on a bundle of papers on a shelf, and there, late in June, the pair were seen feeding their four fledglings, unmindful of a roomful of featherless bipeds looking curiously on.

Another pair of Redbreasts chose for their nest a shelf in a school-room, in which there were some seventy children at school, and directly over the heads of a little class of girls, who never once disturbed them. There they hatched out five eggs. One of their little birds died, and the parents carried out its dead body during school hours. The other four little Robins were fed and reared, day by day, in the presence of the seventy children. Do you wonder that the young folks of England are so fond of their confiding Robin Redbreast?

But we will tell you one more anecdote, still more interesting. In one of the churches of Old England the Bible had been left on the sacred desk lying open, with one part resting on a raised ledge, leaving a hollow place between it and the cushion. There a pair of Robins, before the following Sunday, built their nest and deposited their eggs. The next Sunday, during divine service, there the mother bird boldly sat, undisturbed either by the music of the choir, the reading of the services, or the responses of the congregation. On the following Sunday there were five little young Robins in the nest; and all through the morning and evening services the parent birds were flying in and out, bringing food to their little ones, unmindful of the congregation over whose heads they passed and repassed in the discharge of their parental duties.

Such is the Robin Redbreast of Europe. We have no bird in this part of America which quite equals it in its confiding trust and its sociable and affectionate familiarity. Our Robin, so called from some fancied resemblance in its colors, is a very different bird in all respects.

The Robin of North America belongs to a very different family,—that of the Thrushes. It is of nearly twice the length of the Redbreast, and more than twice its size. Having been so fortunate as to receive the name by which it is now generally known, and having some good qualities of its own, the American Robin is quite as much of a favorite as it deserves to be,—more so than a good many other birds far more worthy of our favor.

Our Robin is probably one of the most common birds all over North America. In summer it is found as far to the north as the Arctic seas, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans; and in winter it is found in all the Southern States and in Mexico. It is called the Migratory Thrush by Audubon, because it leaves us when winter comes on, and does not return until the frost is out of the ground. It does this probably because its food fails it in winter,—not because of the cold. In the thick woods in the valleys of the White Mountains, where berries are plentiful all the year round, the Robin stays through all the very severe winters.

The American Robin possesses some traits of character not altogether to be commended. He is greedy, voracious, and wasteful of the good things of our gardens. He helps himself to our cherries. He eats more than he needs, and wastes more than he eats. He plunders our strawberry-beds, and there too he picks to pieces and destroys unnecessarily more than he eats. So, too, the Robin appropriates our currants, and, later in the season, helps himself to ripe pears, if we leave them to ripen within his reach; and he is also accused of helping himself in the autumn to our grapes. The worst of it is that he does not seem to know when he has had enough. Too often will he eat more than is good for himself. In South Carolina he will devour the berries of a tree called the Pride of India, in such large quantities as to disable himself from flying, and large numbers are taken and destroyed after they have thus fed upon these berries, becoming an easy prey.

The Robin is also a quarrelsome fellow, and will sometimes drive away from the garden where it resorts other kinds of unoffending birds which deserve better treatment. A pair of Robins once undertook to prevent several families of Swallows from returning to their own homes in a Martin-box, in order to feed their young. The Robins stood doggedly before the entrance to the nest of the Swallows, and refused to permit them to pass in. The poor Swallows, not strong enough to fight their own battles alone, told their grievances to their neighbors, who came in large numbers and resolutely attacked the Robins; but even they were not strong enough to break the blockade until the owner of the garden appeared, and raised the siege by driving the Robins away.

But these are the worst points in our Robin’s character. It has its good points too, and these are not few. Its very greediness enables it to do a great deal of good. In the spring of the year, when there are no berries for it to feed upon, it destroys a vast number of injurious insects, slugs, and worms, which, but for the Robin, might destroy whole crops.

Like the Robin of Europe, our bird also has a confiding disposition; though its confidence has more of the boldness of one who demands a right, than of the gentle trust of one who seeks a favor. Early in spring, long before there are any leaves to shelter or hide his nest, our Robin openly constructs his large coarse nest of mud and hay, in places more or less exposed. His very boldness assures his safety, under the protection of man, from other enemies. He builds his nest often in places singularly exposed to interruption and observation. In one instance it was near a blacksmith’s forge; in another, it was on the timbers of a half-finished ship on the stocks, upon which the carpenters were still at work. It is a very common thing to find its nests on the porches of houses, over window-sills, and in other places which bring it into similar intimacy with man.

The Robin is a deservedly popular singer. Its notes are said, by persons familiar with those of the far-famed Blackbird of Europe, to so greatly resemble those of the latter bird as to be hardly distinguishable. These are earnest, simple, and thrilling; and, being the first to open and among the last to close the great vernal concert of Nature, their notes are even more esteemed than those of many of our superior songsters.

The parental devotion of our Robin is one of its best traits. It is watchful, provident, and faithful to its young; jealous of any approach to its nest, and evincing the greatest anxiety at any appearance of danger. If its nest is approached too near, or its young molested, its cries of distress and alarm are made almost articulate with reproaches and remonstrances.

Our Robins, when taken sufficiently young, are easily tamed and reconciled to confinement. They soon become strongly attached to their benefactors where they are kindly treated, and perfectly tame and familiar. In our younger days, a pair of tame Robins made a part of our large family. They were allowed to come and go from their cage at pleasure, and would follow our father, when permitted to do so, wherever he went,—ever on the watch for food from his hands, or ready to see if he turned over the ground, that they might search for worms. They would come at his call, alight on his finger, or head, or shoulder; and would resent, with an amusing air of jealousy, any attempt of the smaller children to interfere with their privileges in these respects. One of our pets, very much to our sorrow, was accidentally killed. But our childish grief, sincere as it was, did not equal the inconsolable sorrow of its bereaved mate, which, refusing to be comforted, resisted all attempts to induce it to take food, and in a few days its loving spirit—for who can doubt that it had one?—had left it to follow its loved and loving mate.

Such is our American Robin,—bearing little resemblance in size, shape, colors, or character to its English namesake, yet not wholly undeserving of our favorable regard. We might all imitate with advantage its affectionate, loving disposition to its kindred and family; and esteem ourselves fortunate if we can make ourselves so generally welcome with our sweet and simple harmony as the Robin. Its faults, we will remember, are but the promptings of its natural instincts, planted there by a common Creator; and that we, who are better taught, have no excuse when we imitate them.

There are other birds called Robins also in America, but not properly. The Baltimore Oriole, of which we may say something in another number, is often called the Golden Robin. The Towhee Finch, one of the common birds of the woods, is known by many as the Ground Robin. In some parts of the State of New York, the showy Scarlet Tanager is only known as the French Robin. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Hermit Thrush and the Olive-backed Thrush are both called the Swamp Robin. All this only shows that, as a people, we have little or no originality in giving names to new objects,—which is rather unfortunate, as it necessarily makes a good deal of confusion that might have been avoided.

T. M. B.


“May, sweet May, again is come,

 May, that frees the land from gloom;

 Children, children, up and see

 All her stores of jollity!”

THUS sang a German Minnesinger of the twelfth century, Earl Conrad of Kirchberg by name, title, and residence. Suppose we “go a Maying” among old traditions and old poets for a little, and see with what rites and ceremonies our English ancestors welcomed the “merry month.”

We do not celebrate the first day of May to any extent in this country. When those grim old Puritans came across the sea in the good ship Mayflower, and landed on ice-covered Plymouth Rock, they brought with them, together with other stiff and uncomfortable things (their straight-backed, hard-seated chairs, for instance), an abhorrence for the light observance of any festival-day that might be traced to Heathen or Popish “idolatry.” And May-day, alas! dates from both the Romans and the Druids. So May-day, Christmas, and other holidays found no footing on New England soil.

Christmas (clearly Papistical in origin) has asserted itself again, but May-day can never hope for much favor with us. For even farther to the south, where men of less rigid tastes and opinions settled, we lack at this season that profusion of wild-flowers that renders the month so great a favorite with English boys and girls. (In the far South, flowers bloom all the year, and May-day can possess no significance.) With us, that most sweet and lovely blossom, the Trailing Arbutus,—“Darling of the forest,” as Rose Terry prettily calls it,—has long since passed away. It came very early; we plucked it perhaps from beneath a light spring snow; it gladdened us beyond measure, but it is gone, and there is little to take its place. And, certainly, without flowers in plenty one cannot fitly celebrate a floral festival.

I know, indeed, some pleasant country places where little parties are made up to visit the woods and choose and crown a Queen; but these are only feeble indications of that youthful love for the day which inspired Tennyson’s beautiful “May Queen.”

In England it is very different. The season has advanced with rapid stride; already the earth is covered with luxuriance of wild-flowers, and Summer, lusty and impatient, knocks at the door. English writers upon country life abound with pictures of fragrant and beautiful May. What a wealth of wild blossoming does not that admirable writer for the young, Thomas Miller, spread before us when he says: “If May produced not another blossom beyond those which she hangs out upon our thousands of miles of hawthorn hedges, we should still hail her as Queen of the Year. O, is it not a pleasant thought to know that even ‘looped and windowed raggedness,’ the poorest beggar that ever wandered by the wayside, now inhales a fragrance worthy of the gardens of Heaven?”

May-day is fitly celebrated where so much material for floral decoration exists; but even in England the old customs have sadly fallen away. Once upon a time every village had its annual setting up of the May-pole, which was consecrated to the Goddess of Flowers, the garlands upon it being left undisturbed till the ensuing year. At the present time, I presume a May-pole would hardly be discovered if one searched from end to end of “Merry England.”

Washington Irving says: “I shall never forget the delight I felt on first seeing a May-pole. It was on the banks of the Dee, close by the picturesque old bridge that stretches across the river from the quaint little city of Chester. My fancy adorned it with wreaths of flowers, and peopled the green banks with all the dancing revelry of May-day. One can readily imagine what a gay scene it must have been in jolly old London, when the doors were decorated with flowering branches, when every hat was decked with hawthorn, and Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Maid Marian, the morris-dancers, and all the other fantastic masks and revellers, were performing their antics about the May-pole in every part of the city.”

Robin Hood, personated by some gay young fellow, presided in those gay old times as Lord of the May; while beside him Maid Marian, crowned as Lady of the May,

“With eyes of blue

Shining through dusk hair, like the stars of night,

And habited in pretty forest plight,

His greenwood beauty, sat, young as the dew.”

Early on May morning, while the gradually brightening east shot upward faint spires of grayish light, and the damp breath of the night still floated over meadow and wood, the young people were up and out to “gather the May.” The matter of the first moment was the May-pole. It was the custom in most parts of England for the landed gentry to allow the villagers the choice of a suitable tree on their domains; and a tall, straight sapling having been selected, it was speedily cut down and dragged to the village-green by oxen gayly decorated with flowers and bright-colored ribbons. It is stated that during the reign of Queen Elizabeth it was not uncommon to see as many as forty yoke of cattle employed in drawing a May-pole. Following it came youths and maidens bearing green branches and gay wreaths and nosegays. Besides decorating the May-pole with these floral treasures, they fastened them to the cottage-doorways and twined them about the pillars in the village church. For it was a simple age, when simple pleasures satisfied the country people.

The custom of erecting a May-pole, as well as the practice of choosing a King and Queen (or Lord and Lady) of May, dates from the time of the Saxons, when yearly “Wittenagemotes,” or assemblies of the Barons, were held in the month of May. During the absence of their chiefs the common people chose a King, who selected a Queen, and the two ruled in the stead of their lords,—he crowned with an oaken, she with a hawthorn wreath. A pole was put up to dance about, and the authority of the pair was respected while the Wittenagemote continued in session. The May-pole was sometimes a “Liberty-pole” too, in those days, its erection with a garland upon its top being the signal for a meeting of the people when they saw cause for punishing or deposing their governors. But I must return to more modern times.

In some parts of the country the young men, rising earlier than the earliest maidens, were away to the woods with the following song:—

“Come, lads, with your bills,

 To the woods we’ll away,

 We’ll gather the boughs,

 And we’ll celebrate May.


“We’ll bring our load home,

 As we’ve oft done before,

 And leave a green bough

 At each pretty maid’s door.”

Another English practice on the morning of May-day was the washing one’s face in newly-fallen dew. So late as the 2d day of May, 1791, the London “Morning Post” contained the following paragraph: “According to annual and superstitious custom, a number of persons went into the fields yesterday, and bathed their faces with dew on the grass, under the idea that it would render them beautiful.” Samuel Pepys, a noted gentleman of Charles the Second’s time, whose quaint diary many of our young folks will doubtless read some day, has the following note of the custom: “My wife away down to Woolwich, in order to a little ayre, and to lie there, and so to gather May-dew to-morrow morning, which Mrs. Turner has told her is the only thing to wash her face with.” He adds,—the sinner,—“I am contented with it”; and gives the reason for his contentment immediately thereafter: “I by water to Fox-hall, and there walked in Spring-garden; and it is very pleasant and cheap going thither, for a man may go to spend what he will or nothing—all as one: but to hear the nightingale and other birds; and here a fiddler, and there a harp, and here a laughing, and there fine people walking, is mighty diverting,” says honest Mr. Pepys, whose wife is gone to Woolwich, “in order to a little ayre, and to gather May-dew.”

After the May-pole was fairly raised and decorated, when green bowers had been erected for the use of the Lord and Lady of the May, came the merry dances, the maskings and mummings peculiar to the day. In many places the nobles and gentry graced the festivities with their presence, and grotesque pantomime added to the enjoyment of the villagers. On these occasions there were Robin Hood and Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Much the Miller’s Son, Little John, Will Scarlet, and all the other famous characters of merry Sherwood. Maid Marian was often splendidly attired, as the following ancient chronicle of one of these maskings setteth forth:—

“She was habited in a watchet-colored tunic reaching to the ground; over which she wore a white linen rochet with loose sleeves, fringed with silver and very neatly plaited; her girdle was of silver baudekin, fastened with a double bow on the left side; her long flaxen hair was divided into many ringlets, and flowed upon her shoulders; the top part of her head was covered with a network caul of gold, upon which was placed a garland of silver, ornamented with blue violets.”

[Possibly some of the young lady readers of “Our Young Folks” may fancy taking the pains to ascertain what was “watchet color,” or what material was “silver baudekin.” I protest that I know no more about it than my great-grandson will about “mauve” or “magenta,” or “rats,” “mice,” “waterfalls,” and other adjuncts of the present style of toilet.]

Into the ring came also a hobby-horse and a dragon, the former ambling and prancing about, while the latter hissed and shook his wings, to the great delight of the multitude. Friar Tuck, meanwhile, marching solemnly about within the circle of spectators, occasionally dropped his heavy staff upon the toes of intrusive individuals. Then there were morris-dancers, with bells attached to their knees and elbows, who danced and capered musically; also they now and again slyly cast handfuls of meal in the faces of the admiring rustics, or tapped them resoundingly on the head with an inflated bladder hung at the end of a pole. Not intellectual or refined amusements, certainly, but well fitted to the cultivation and manners of the times, and far better than some of the more brutal sports that modern Englishmen delight in. After trials of skill in archery by Robin Hood and his fellows the regular pageant was concluded, and the villagers, thronging about the May-pole, passed the day in promiscuous dancing.

In the smaller places—the little villages lying here and there, far removed from the great world—much simpler ceremonies were practised, nearly every locality having its own peculiar observances, handed down from father to son. In Cornwall, for instance, it was the custom for a number of young men and women to assemble at a public-house on the evening of the 30th of April, and, waiting till the clock struck the hour of midnight, sally out with violins, drums, and other instruments to the various farm-houses within four or five miles around, where they were expected, and where they were treated to “junket” (curds and whey), cake, etc. Having thus feasted before daylight, they proceeded to gather the May. In Wales, similar parties go about to the farm-houses collecting money, which is used to defray the expenses of a village festival. In all cases, a dance around the village May-pole was the principal feature of the day’s proceedings.

Perhaps the most peculiar custom on record was that observed at Temple Sowerby, a village in Westmoreland, where on May-day the villagers assembled on the green and strove who should tell the most thoroughly improbable story, the winner receiving a prize. On one occasion a certain Bishop of Carlisle, passing in his carriage, was arrested by the throng, and inquired its cause. Upon being told, he delivered an impromptu sermon on the sin and folly of such conduct, concluding by saying that, for his part, he had never told a lie in his life. “The Bishop has won!” cried judges and people with one accord, and, whether he would or no, the prize was thrust upon him.

Those Mayers who went about in the early morning from house to house, affixing green branches to the doors, dancing, and sometimes begging, sang rude songs at each stopping-place, of one of which the following is a literal copy:—



“Remember us poor Mayers all,

   And thus we do begin

 To lead our lives in righteousness,

   Or else we die in sin.


“We have been rambling all this night,

   And almost all this day,

 And now returned back again

   We have brought you a branch of May;


“A branch of May we have brought you,

   And at your door it stands,

     It is but a sprout,

     But it’s well budded out

 By the work of our Lord’s hands.


“The hedges and trees they are so green,

   As green as any leek,

 Our Heavenly Father he watered them

   With his heavenly dew so sweet.


“The moon shines bright and the stars give a light

   A little before it is day,

 So God bless you all, both great and small,

   And send you a joyful May.”

All the songs used upon these occasions that I have seen contain a quaint mixture of piety with May-flowers, and many of them not a little sage wisdom put in homely phrase. The following verse from one of them contains a sentiment found in nearly all:—

“Mirth we love,—the proverb says

 Be ye merry, be ye wise;

 We will walk in Wisdom’s way,

 There alone true pleasure lies.”

But the May-poles and May dances, songs, and ceremonies were by no means confined to the country. Allusions to them by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, and all the lesser lights of English song, show their universality in the kingdom; and we find them flourishing with unabated gusto in the busy city of London itself, where, at one time, upon May morning, tall poles were duly erected, and verdant arbors stood in Cornhill and the Strand, while green branches overhung the street.

This was a great day for the milkmaids and chimney-sweeps, who paraded the streets in companies, begging a trifle from their customers. It is some sixty years now since the milkmaid of song and picture-book disappeared from the streets of London. Thirty odd years since a Londoner wrote as follows:—

“In London thirty years ago,

 When pretty milkmaids went about,

 It was a goodly sight to see

 Their May-day pageant long drawn out:—


“Themselves in comely colors dressed,

 Their shining garland in the middle,

 A pipe and tabor on before,

 Or else the foot-inspiring fiddle.


“They stopped at houses where it was

 Their custom to cry, ‘Milk below!’

 And, while the music played, with smiles

 Joined hands and pointed toe to toe.


“Such scenes and sounds once blest my eyes

 And charmed my ears,—but all have vanished;

 On May-day, now, no garlands go,

 For milkmaids and their dance are banished.”

When the sweeps turned out, they made a grotesque show indeed. One of the party, known as “Jack in the Green,” was covered, with the exception of his legs, with green boughs, garlands, and nosegays; and moved, a dancing bouquet, up and down the streets. They had a Lord and Lady of May, also, attired with all the magnificence possible. And they collected considerable sums of money from the populace, the greater portion of which, I am sorry to say, their hard masters took from them and appropriated to themselves.

But there are neither May-poles nor morris-dancers nor Jacks in the Green now. The festival withstood the attacks of persecution, but died when the ancient simplicity of manners departed from the lower orders of the people, who were its chief upholders. Great abuses had arisen in the observance of the day, and the reforming Parliament (the men who afterwards beheaded Charles the First) passed an act in 1644 to the effect that “all and singular May-poles that are or shall be erected, shall be taken down and removed by the constables, bossholders, tithingmen, petty constables, and churchwardens of the parishes where the same be, and that no May-pole be hereafter set up, erected, or suffered to be set up within the kingdom of England or dominion of Wales; the said officers to be fined five shillings weekly till the said May-poles be taken down.”

So the May-poles came down.

But though the erection of May-poles was abolished, the celebration of the day could not be entirely suppressed even by the stern hand of Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell; and in 1654 a London print entitled “The Moderate Intelligencer” contained the following notice: “This day was more observed by people’s going a Maying than for divers years past, and indeed much sin committed by wicked meetings, drunkenness, ribaldry, and the like.”

The restoration of the gay and frivolous Charles the Second was of course a signal for the re-establishment of all those public amusements the “Roundheads” had frowned upon; and May-poles again arose, flower-crowned, garlanded with green, in every part of England. They flourished for a long time,—in remote rural nooks even to within the memory of many living men; but it is a question if they will ever arise again from their present downfall.

It would, perhaps, be a good and pleasant thing if they might. Many of the readers of this Magazine play a pretty, innocent, and healthful game, only a few years since revived in England. In Charles the Second’s time it was called “Pall Mall,” and the gay lords and ladies of his court enjoyed it hugely. Now we call it “Croquet.” Possibly, before we are all gray, a fashion for May games and a May Queen may arise once more across the ocean, in which case, doubtless, we shall follow it to the best of our ability.

J. Warren Newcomb, Jr.


I KNOW the song that the bluebird is singing,

Out in the apple-tree where he is swinging;

Brave little fellow, the skies may be dreary;

Nothing cares he while his heart is so cheery.


Hark! how the music leaps out from his throat,—

Hark! was there ever so merry a note?

Listen a while and you’ll hear what he’s saying,

Up in the apple-tree swinging and swaying.


“Dear little blossoms down under the snow,

You must be weary of winter I know;

Hark while I sing you a message of cheer:

Summer is coming! and spring-time is here!


“Little white snowdrop! I pray you arise;

Bright yellow crocus! come open your eyes;

Sweet little violets, hid from the cold,

Put on your mantles of purple and gold;

Daffodils! daffodils! say, do you hear?—

Summer is coming! and spring-time is here!”

Emily Huntington Miller.



I AM the Dolly that came over in the big ship. I live now in the house with a baby. He is a great talker in his own way. Baby-talk is not a real language. It is made up from the language of flowers, and of birds, and of fishes. Have you never seen a baby hold up a flower and talk to it? They would like to do the same with a goldfish.

I will tell how our baby jabbers away to himself, or to me, or the rocking-horse. Some of it I heard, and some I dreamed, and some I guessed at. I learned to guess of a Yankee hen. She could guess when company was coming, and how soon it would be Thanksgiving Day, and which eggs would hatch out ducks.

Please to think of our baby sitting on the floor, and jabbering away, as I said before, after his own fashion, something like this:—

“Dear horse, whoa! and don’t rock on my toes. Rock on the cat. She’s a scratch-cat. Her tail is too short. I can’t reach it. She bites. I want to bite, but I can’t bite. I’m in a teething humor, but I can’t bite. They haven’t come,—I mean teeth. But they’re coming. They’ve been heard from.

“I want to get up, but I can’t get up. I tip over easy. Please turn round your tail this way. I want to get hold. There I go. I’m rolled over. You didn’t hold still. I’ll cry, for I’m not a well baby. Grandma says so; says no wonder; says I ought to have clear milk, with sugar in it, and gingerbread crumbed in.

“Why don’t somebody jingle my playthings? I’ve done with the candlesticks. I don’t want the button-bag tied up. I want the door-handle. I want the tin. I want a pile of it. Make a house. Knock it over. Hurrah! Clap your hands. Drum on a pan. Rattlety-bang. Make a racket. Dance me, trot me, shake me, cuddle me. Throw me up to the wall. Hurrah for a great stir!

“I don’t want to tell what the sheep says. Why does everybody wish to know? Nor the cow, nor the rooster. They don’t want it told of. The cat’s got a secret. (P. K. Keep it private.) She’s going to change her boarding-place, if they don’t stop giving her sour milk. Thinks it hurts her voice. Likewise, if she can’t have a night-key. P. K.

“No, I don’t want to rock-a-by. I want to put sand in my mouth. I want all my clothes off. I want to spat in the water. Give me the poker. No, I sha’n’t shake a day-day. I want to go myself. Bring out my hat and feather.

“One day I went to a party. Ten babies. They set us in a row. We all wore our best bibs, and towards night we all sang the same tune. Then the bottle was passed round.

“They told me to lay my little heddy downy, and go s’eepy. But I’d rather pull hair.

“One little girl baby sat upon the floor. She was a pretty baby. Her eyes were blue as skim-milk, her skin white as a cotton-flannel rabbit, her hair curled up like a snarl of silk.

“I pulled it; I picked her eyes, I grabbed her, I mauled her, I fisted her, I cuffed her, I crawled over her. But next day I was sorry.”

This is all true. He was rough with the little delicate girl baby. But the next day he was very sober, and cried more than once. They thought it was owing to something he had eaten at the party. But the canary-bird knew better. It was all plain to him. And he sang it to a little girl in white, and the little girl in white told it to the one she loved best, and the one she loved best wrote such verses as she thought our baby would like to have written if he had known enough.

They were sent to the delicate little girl baby. Also, there was sent a beautiful blue apron, with something rolled up in it very good and sweet.

Here are the verses:—

To a Very Little Maiden.


Little maiden, maiden fair,

            List to me, list to me!

Maiden with the wavy hair,

            I speak to thee.


Haughty little Lady May,

            Smooth thy brow, smooth thy brow!

Graciously to what I say

            Hearken thou.


Excuses I have tried to find

            To smooth it over, smooth it over.

But all in vain; my peace of mind

            I can’t recover.


But when we thus have gone astray,

            And sadly grieve, sadly grieve,

I’ve heard ’twere much the prettier way

            To say, “Forgive.”


And this sweet word, on bended knee,

            I now will say, humbly say.

For all the wrong I did to thee,

            Forgive me, May!


Forgive me, too, that I make bold

            To send you this, send you this;

Within it I have softly rolled

            A loving kiss.


’Tis for an apron, sweetest love;

            Don’t you see? don’t you see?

And when you wear it, little dove,

            Think of me.


Fairy one, with cheek so fair,

            Dark blue eye, sweet blue eye,

Rosy mouth and golden hair,

            Good by.

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.


MISS KATY-DID sat on the branch of a flowering Azalia, in her best suit of fine green and silver, with wings of point-lace from Mother Nature’s finest web.

Miss Katy was in the very highest possible spirits, because her gallant cousin, Colonel Katy-did, had looked in to make her a morning visit. It was a fine morning, too, which goes for as much among the Katy-dids as among men and women. It was, in fact, a morning that Miss Katy thought must have been made on purpose for her to enjoy herself in. There had been a patter of rain the night before, which had kept the leaves awake talking to each other till nearly morning, but by dawn the small winds had blown brisk little puffs, and whisked the heavens clear and bright with their tiny wings, as you have seen Susan clear away the cobwebs in your mamma’s parlor; and so now there were only left a thousand blinking, burning water-drops, hanging like convex mirrors at the end of each leaf, and Miss Katy admired herself in each one.

“Certainly I am a pretty creature,” she said to herself; and when the gallant Colonel said something about being dazzled by her beauty, she only tossed her head and took it as quite a matter of course.

“The fact is, my dear Colonel,” she said, “I am thinking of giving a party, and you must help me make out the lists.”

“My dear, you make me the happiest of Katy-dids.”

“Now,” said Miss Katy-did, drawing an azalia-leaf towards her, “let us see,—whom shall we have? The Fireflies, of course; everybody wants them, they are so brilliant;—a little unsteady, to be sure, but quite in the higher circles.”

“Yes, we must have the Fireflies,” echoed the Colonel.

“Well, then,—and the Butterflies and the Moths. Now, there’s a trouble. There’s such an everlasting tribe of those Moths; and if you invite dull people they’re always sure all to come, every one of them. Still, if you have the Butterflies, you can’t leave out the Moths.”

“Old Mrs. Moth has been laid up lately with a gastric fever, and that may keep two or three of the Misses Moth at home,” said the Colonel.

“What ever could give the old lady such a turn?” said Miss Katy. “I thought she never was sick.”

“I suspect it’s high living. I understand she and her family ate up a whole ermine cape last month, and it disagreed with them.”

“For my part, I can’t conceive how the Moths can live as they do,” said Miss Katy with a face of disgust. “Why, I could no more eat worsted and fur, as they do——.”

“That is quite evident from the fairy-like delicacy of your appearance,” said the Colonel. “One can see that nothing so gross and material has ever entered into your system.”

“I’m sure,” said Miss Katy, “mamma says she don’t know what does keep me alive; half a dewdrop and a little bit of the nicest part of a rose-leaf, I assure you, often last me for a day. But we are forgetting our list. Let’s see,—the Fireflies, Butterflies, Moths. The Bees must come, I suppose.”

“The Bees are a worthy family,” said the Colonel.

“Worthy enough, but dreadfully hum-drum,” said Miss Katy. “They never talk about anything but honey and housekeeping; still they are a class of people one cannot neglect.”

“Well, then, there are the Bumble-Bees.”

“O, I doat on them! General Bumble is one of the most dashing, brilliant fellows of the day.”

“I think he is shockingly corpulent,” said Colonel Katy-did, not at all pleased to hear him praised;—“don’t you?”

“I don’t know but he is a little stout,” said Miss Katy; “but so distinguished and elegant in his manners,—something martial and breezy about him.”

“Well, if you invite the Bumble-Bees you must have the Hornets.”

“Those spiteful Hornets,—I detest them!”

“Nevertheless, dear Miss Katy, one does not like to offend the Hornets.”

“No, one can’t. There are those five Misses Hornet,—dreadful old maids!—as full of spite as they can live. You may be sure they will every one come, and be looking about to make spiteful remarks. Put down the Hornets, though.”

“How about the Mosquitos?” said the Colonel.

“Those horrid Mosquitos,—they are dreadfully plebeian! Can’t one cut them?”

“Well, dear Miss Katy,” said the Colonel, “if you ask my candid opinion as a friend, I should say not. There’s young Mosquito, who graduated last year, has gone into literature, and is connected with some of our leading papers, and they say he carries the sharpest pen of all the writers. It won’t do to offend him.”

“And so I suppose we must have his old aunts, and all six of his sisters, and all his dreadfully common relations.”

“It is a pity,” said the Colonel, “but one must pay one’s tax to society.”

Just at this moment the conference was interrupted by a visitor, Miss Keziah Cricket, who came in with her work-bag on her arm to ask a subscription for a poor family of Ants who had just had their house hoed up in clearing the garden-walks.

“How stupid of them!” said Katy, “not to know better than to put their house in the garden-walk; that’s just like those Ants!”

“Well, they are in great trouble; all their stores destroyed, and their father killed,—cut quite in two by a hoe.”

“How very shocking! I don’t like to hear of such disagreeable things,—it affects my nerves terribly. Well, I’m sure I haven’t anything to give. Mamma said yesterday she was sure she didn’t know how our bills were to be paid,—and there’s my green satin with point-lace yet to come home.” And Miss Katy-did shrugged her shoulders and affected to be very busy with Colonel Katy-did, in just the way that young ladies sometimes do when they wish to signify to visitors that they had better leave.

Little Miss Cricket perceived how the case stood, and so hopped briskly off, without giving herself even time to be offended. “Poor extravagant little thing!” said she to herself, “it was hardly worth while to ask her.”

“Pray, shall you invite the Crickets?” said Colonel Katy-did.

“Who? I? Why, Colonel, what a question! Invite the Crickets? Of what can you be thinking?”

“And shall you not ask the Locusts, or the Grasshoppers?”

“Certainly. The Locusts, of course,—a very old and distinguished family; and the Grasshoppers are pretty well, and ought to be asked. But we must draw a line somewhere,—and the Crickets! why, it’s shocking even to think of!”

“I thought they were nice, respectable people.”

“O, perfectly nice and respectable,—very good people, in fact, so far as that goes. But then you must see the difficulty.”

“My dear cousin, I am afraid you must explain.”

“Why, their color, to be sure. Don’t you see?”

“Oh!” said the Colonel. “That’s it, is it? Excuse me, but I have been living in France, where these distinctions are wholly unknown, and I have not yet got myself in the train of fashionable ideas here.”

“Well, then, let me teach you,” said Miss Katy. “You know we republicans go for no distinctions except those created by Nature herself, and we found our rank upon color, because that is clearly a thing that none has any hand in but our Maker. You see?”

“Yes; but who decides what color shall be the reigning color?”

“I’m surprised to hear the question! The only true color—the only proper one—is our color, to be sure. A lovely pea-green is the precise shade on which to found aristocratic distinction. But then we are liberal;—we associate with the Moths, who are gray; with the Butterflies, who are blue-and-gold-colored; with the Grasshoppers, yellow and brown;—and society would become dreadfully mixed if it were not fortunately ordered that the Crickets are black as jet. The fact is, that a class to be looked down upon is necessary to all elegant society, and if the Crickets were not black, we could not keep them down, because, as everybody knows, they are often a great deal cleverer than we are. They have a vast talent for music and dancing; they are very quick at learning, and would be getting to the very top of the ladder if we once allowed them to climb. But their being black is a convenience,—because, as long as we are green and they black, we have a superiority that can never be taken from us. Don’t you see now?”

“O yes, I see exactly,” said the Colonel.

“Now that Keziah Cricket, who just came in here, is quite a musician, and her old father plays the violin beautifully;—by the way, we might engage him for our orchestra.”

And so Miss Katy’s ball came off, and the performers kept it up from sundown till daybreak, so that it seemed as if every leaf in the forest were alive. The Katy-dids, and the Mosquitos, and the Locusts, and a full orchestra of Crickets made the air perfectly vibrate, insomuch that old Parson Too-Whit, who was preaching a Thursday evening lecture to a very small audience, announced to his hearers that he should certainly write a discourse against dancing for the next weekly occasion.

The good Doctor was even with his word in the matter, and gave out some very sonorous discourses, without in the least stopping the round of gayeties kept up by these dissipated Katy-dids, which ran on, night after night, till the celebrated Jack Frost epidemic, which occurred somewhere about the first of September.

Poor Miss Katy, with her flimsy green satin and point-lace, was one of the first victims, and fell from the bough in company with a sad shower of last year’s leaves. The worthy Cricket family, however, avoided Jack Frost by emigrating in time to the chimney-corner of a nice little cottage that had been built in the wood that summer.

There good old Mr. and Mrs. Cricket, with sprightly Miss Keziah and her brothers and sisters, found a warm and welcome home; and when the storm howled without, and lashed the poor naked trees, the Crickets on the warm hearth would chirp out cheery welcome to papa as he came in from the snowy path, or mamma as she sat at her work-basket.

“Cheep, cheep, cheep!” little Freddy would say. “Mamma, who is it says ‘cheep’?”

“Dear Freddy, it’s our own dear little cricket, who loves us and comes to sing to us when the snow is on the ground.”

So when poor Miss Katy-did’s satin and lace were all swept away, the warm home-talents of the Crickets made for them a welcome refuge.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


IT was after school, and Susy sat in one of the great windows of the library, writing out her French exercises. It was evidently dull work for her, for she yawned, and fidgeted, and sighed, in a very restless manner; and every now and then she would stop in the midst of a line, and watch the boys playing at marbles on the sidewalk. There was little Kit, and Jimmy Grant; what good times they did have! O dear! she wished she was a boy, and was playing marbles on the sidewalk, instead of toiling at these tiresome French exercises. Nobody had to study so hard as she did, she was sure. There was Tom, now, flying his kite an hour ago; and there—yes, there was Fanny Hamlin going after trailing arbutus, as true as the world! This was too great a temptation. Down went the exercises, and up went the window, in a breath. “O Fanny! Fanny! are you going after trailing arbutus?”

Yes, Fanny was going after trailing arbutus, and she wished Susy would come with her. Why couldn’t she? Susy asked herself the very question, and came to the conclusion that there was really no sufficient reason why she couldn’t. “Because I can write the rest of my exercises out to-morrow morning,” she thought.

“I’m just going for a walk to Pine-woods,” she said to Aunt Cathy, who had the charge of Susy and her brothers since their mother’s death.

Aunt Cathy lifted her kind but penetrating gaze to Susy’s face, and Susy felt uncomfortable, though all her aunt said in reply was, “Very well, my dear; you know best whether you can spare the time.”

This was always Aunt Cathy’s way. She said a sensible girl of thirteen, like Susy, should be taught to depend on her own judgment in matters of this kind. Susy was the one who went to school; Susy was the one who had lessons to learn;—then Susy was the only one who could tell when these school duties were over, and whether her lessons were learned. And if Susy wasn’t faithful to her duty, then she must suffer the penalty. She was a baby no longer, to be governed blindly; she must learn to govern herself; it would teach her to know herself a great deal better, and to be self-reliant.

Susy liked Aunt Cathy’s “way,” but she always knew when Aunt Cathy thought she had neglected anything, and it always made her feel very uneasy, as people do when they abuse the trust reposed in them. And now this lovely spring afternoon, searching for arbutus with Fanny Hamlin, there was this shadow of uneasiness, of something unfulfilled, which clouded the bright day, and made the pleasure half a pain. But they were very successful in their hunt for flowers. Susy had never carried home such a big basketful, and dear, kind Aunt Cathy admired them to her heart’s content.

“But you look tired, Susy,” she said to her.

“Yes, we went farther than we meant to at the start; why, we went almost to Long-Roads, Aunt Cathy.”

“Which is almost three miles. I should think you’d be tired, Susy. Now I should advise you, my dear, to eat your supper at once and go to bed.”

And Susy was sensible enough to take this advice, for she remembered what she had to do in the morning: and if she should oversleep the time!

“Will you call me when you get up, Bridget?” she asked of the cook, when she went up stairs.

“Shure, it’s not at five o’clock you’d be wanting to rise?” exclaimed Bridget, in astonishment.

“But I do, Bridget; and I want you to call me.”

“O well, I can do that aisy, Miss; but it’ll not be so aisy for you to mind it,” Bridget replied in her dry way; “for shure,” she said to Katy Malony, the chambermaid, “haven’t I tried her at this calling before, and didn’t she always fail at the minding!”

It didn’t seem more than an hour to Susy when she heard Bridget calling at her door, “Come, Miss Susy, it’s five o’clock, and you remimber you wanted me to call yez.”

“Yes, Bridget, I hear,” she answered, “and I’m going to get right up,” which she certainly meant to do. But it was so early, so long before nine o’clock, she would lie just a minute: and that was the last she remembered until a great thumping at her door broke into a morning dream.

It was her brother Tom. “Come, Sue,” he shouted, “aren’t you ever going to get up? It’s breakfast-time, and Bridget says she woke you hours ago. Come, hurry up! I want you to see me fly my new kite. I bought it off Sam Green yesterday; it’s the tallest kite you ever saw.”

Susy was horrified at one part of Tom’s communication. Breakfast-time! How could she have slept so long? Only an hour to school-time,—and those exercises! Was there ever such an unlucky girl? “Do go away, Tom,” she said petulantly to her brother, as she hurried into the library after a hasty breakfast. “I can’t attend to your kite now; I’m in a hurry.”

Tom flung out of the room in disgust. “I never saw such a girl in my life as you are, Sue. You’re always in a hurry, and you never get out of it.”

There was no time given her to reply to this assertion, for Tom had banged the door, and was half-way down the avenue in a minute. Then what could she have replied? When the truth is told us, however unpleasantly, what is there for us to say?

But the fact was, at present Susy didn’t think much about the saying; it was the doing that occupied her. Here were two pages yet to translate! She set to work now in good earnest, but, of necessity, it had to be very hurried work; and Susy was never a ready translator. She was always a little uncertain with those perplexing verbs and pronouns. There was one rule she had to repeat to herself over and over again: “Ne before the verb, and pas after it.” She had no time this morning to go back and correct mistakes, however, for there rang the quarter bell, and she was only at that moment at the foot of the page.

“Dear me!” she sighed; “if I get another tardy mark, or an imperfect one, Miss Hill will change my seat, I know. Everything has gone wrong this week. I suppose it’s what Cousin Bella calls a Fate.”

Poor Susy! she got both,—the tardy mark and the imperfect one; for that French lesson was an awful boggle.

“What does ail you, Susy?” said Miss Hill, as Mademoiselle Le Brun reported her angrily.

“She has de grand talent; but she is not attenteev!” cried Mademoiselle, in her broken English, and her little shrill, impatient voice.

“I am afraid that is it, Susy,” said Miss Hill, kindly.

Susy burst into tears. A dim consciousness was stealing over her, that the “everything going wrong” wasn’t Fate exactly.

Her eyes were so red from these tears when she went home that Aunt Cathy asked the same question Miss Hill had asked, but with a different solicitude,—“What does ail you, Susy?”

Then Susy told her troubles: how she had missed yesterday in her geography, and to-day in her French; how she had been marked tardy just for being a second behind the last bell-ringing; and then the dreaded result of all,—losing her seat beside Fanny Hamlin.

Aunt Cathy heard her gently and patiently, but at the end she did not say much; she felt sure that Susy was finding out for herself the cause of these troubles, and she thought this would be better for her in the end than to have her fault held up before her by somebody else. That time, at least, Susy was on her guard. She took her history lesson into a little back room, where she could neither see the boys playing at marbles, nor Tom flying his kite, nor Fanny Hamlin if she passed; and then she put her mind upon her task, and was astonished to find that, by this steady, uninterrupted application, she had accomplished in an hour what she had many a time spent three hours over.

When she went down stairs, Tom was crossing the hall whistling one of his favorite negro melodies; and, remembering her ungraciousness of the morning, she said to him, “I want to see your new kite, Tom.”

“O you’re over your hurry, are you? Well, the new kite’s gone to bed for to-day,—you’ll have to wait till to-morrow”;—and away he went towards the parlor, looking rather “huffy” and injured still.

Susy followed him, and found Aunt Cathy reading aloud to little Kit. It was a pleasant story, and Aunt Cathy was a pleasant reader; and after the reading, which both Susy and Tom had enjoyed as much as little Kit, they all began looking over the engravings in the book; and here Susy came across a picture of St. George and the Dragon.

“Who was St. George, Aunt Cathy?” she asked.

“St. George? O, he was a saint or hero, whose story belongs to the age of the Crusades. The Crusaders, you know, were those who fought in what are called ‘The Holy Wars,’ for the conquest of Palestine. Palestine, you see, was in the hands of unbelievers, and the Christians were horrified that the land where Jesus had lived, and taught, and died, should be in such possession; so for years they disputed this possession by fighting these battles. The legend of St. George is, that he was a renowned prince, whose greatest achievement was the slaying of an enormous dragon, by which exploit he effected the deliverance from bondage of Aja, the daughter of a king. His story and character were so popular with the ancient Christians, that they bore the representation of the knight upon their standards. And at this day the badge of the famous Order of the Knights of the Garter, in England, is the image of St. George. To every one now it is a symbol of victory of some kind,—the victory gained over any weakness or sin; for we all of us have some weakness or sin which is a dragon for us to fight. Thackeray, the great novelist, whom your father admires so much, said he had not one dragon, but two, and that they were Indolence and Luxury; and he said it in connection with this picture of St George, which had just been given him, and which he declared he should hang at the head of his bed, where he could see it every morning.”

As Aunt Cathy concluded, Susy’s face grew very grave and earnest, and, bending over the picture of St George, she looked at it a long time in silence; but it was not until she was alone with Aunt Cathy that she spoke what was in her mind.

The boys had both gone to bed, and she still held the picture before her, regarding it with great interest, when she said: “Aunt Cathy, I’ve found out my dragon. It is that long word beginning with P, that little Kit was trying to spell the other day; and it means to keep putting everything off till another time,—what ought to be done right away.”

“I know. Procrastination,—that is the word, Susy.”

“Yes, that is it; that is my dragon, and it’s been the cause of all my troubles, Aunt Cathy. Now I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to ask father if he will let me have this picture cut out and framed, and I’ll hang it at the foot of my bed, and try to remember, when I look at it, that I’ve got a battle to fight every day; for I have, Aunt Cathy. O, you don’t know what hard work it is for me to sit and study. If it isn’t one thing, it is another that makes my mind wander. Sometimes it’s little Kit at his marbles, or the school-girls passing, or what people are saying; and then at the end of an hour I won’t know a word of my lesson, and the tea-bell will ring, or somebody’ll call for me to go somewhere, and I’ll think, ‘O, well, I can get the lesson to-morrow.’ And then when to-morrow comes, all sorts of things will happen, so there won’t be a scrap of time; and that’s the way the dragon has gone on beating me, ever and ever so long; and—I don’t know, Aunt Cathy, but—but he always will.” And here Susy began to choke a little; the next moment she burst out bravely, in a determined voice: “But I shall try real hard to beat him, any way!”

“That’s it, Susy!” Aunt Cathy exclaimed. “Try ‘real hard’; it’s all anybody can do; and in trying I know you will win the battle, my dear.”

And Susy was true to her word. She did try “real hard,” and at last she won the battle.

Nora Perry.


STROLLING along a street near the river, below the burnt district, I looked up from the dirty pavements, and from the little ink-colored stream creeping along the gutter, (for Richmond abounds in these villanous rills,) and saw before me a sign nailed to the corner of a large, gloomy brick building, and bearing in great black letters the inscription,—


Passing the sentinel at the door, I entered. The ground-floor was partitioned off into offices and store-rooms, and presented few objects of interest. A large cellar-room below, paved with cobble-stones, was used as a cook-house by our soldiers then occupying the building. Adjoining this, but separated from it by a wall, was the cellar which is said to have been mined for the purpose of blowing up Libby with its inmates, in case the city had at one time been taken.

Ascending a flight of stairs from the ground-floor, I found myself in a single, large, oblong, whitewashed, barren room. Two rows of stout wooden posts supported the ceiling. The windows were iron-grated, those of the front looking out upon the street, and those of the rear commanding a view of the canal close by, the river just beyond it, and the opposite shore.

There was an immense garret above, likewise embracing the entire area of the floor. These were the prison-rooms of the infamous Libby. I found them occupied by a regiment of colored troops, some sitting in Turkish fashion on the floor, (for there was not a stool or bench,) some resting their backs against the posts or whitewashed walls, and others lying at length on the hard planks, with their heads pillowed on their knapsacks.

But the comfortable colored regiment faded from sight as I ascended and descended the stairs, and walked from end to end of the dreary chambers. A far different picture rose before me,—the diseased and haggard men crowded together there, dragging out their weary days, deeming themselves oftentimes forgotten by their country and their friends,—men who mounted those dungeon-stairs, not as I mounted them, but to enter a den of misery, starvation, and death.

On the opposite side of the same street, a little farther up, was Castle Thunder,—a very commonplace brick block, considering its formidable name. It was still used as a prison; but it had passed into the hands of the United States military authorities. At the iron-barred windows of the lower story, and behind the wooden-barred windows above, could be seen the faces of soldiers and citizens imprisoned for various offences.

Besides Libby and Castle Thunder, there were several smaller prisons in Richmond.

“We had one next door to us here,” said Mr. W——, whom I saw at his house on 25th Street. Mr. W—— was one of the small band of Union men who lived under the reign of terror in the Confederate capital, enduring persecution, sacrificing much, and perilling their lives for the good cause. “There was another prison on the opposite side, farther up the street. We had the prisoners under our very eyes, and couldn’t help doing something for them. We collected a fund for their benefit. One of the first contributors towards it was an illiterate poor man named White. He put in five dollars. ‘That’s too much,’ said I, ‘for a poor man like you.’ ‘No,’ said he, ‘I’s got two fives, and I reckon the least I can do is to go halves.’ From that small beginning the fund grew to the handsome sum of thirteen thousand dollars.”

White, concealing his Union sentiments from the authorities, got permission to sell milk and other things to the prisoners, which they paid for often with money he smuggled in to them. With small bribes he managed to secure the good-will of the guard. He played his part admirably, higgling with his customers, and complaining of hard times and small profits, while he gave them milk and money, and carried letters for them. One day a prisoner was observed to slip something into his can. To divert suspicion, White pretended great surprise, and, appearing to fish out a dime, held it up to the light as if to assure himself that it was real. “I’s durned if there a’n’t one honest Yankee!” said he with a grin of satisfaction.

Mrs. W—— obtained permission to send some books to the prisoners; very few reached them, however,—the greater part being appropriated by the Rebels. Donations of clothing and other necessaries met with a similar fate. In this state of things, White’s ancient mule-cart and honest face proved invaluable. He carried a pass-book, in which exchanged prisoners were credited with sums subscribed for the benefit of their late companions. Many of these subscriptions were purely fictitious,—the money coming from the Union-men’s fund. On the strength of one fabulous contribution, set down at fifty dollars, he had given the prisoners over a hundred dollars’ worth of provisions, when a Rebel surgeon stopped him.

“Haven’t you paid up that everlasting fifty dollars yet?”

“Doctor,” said White, producing his pass-book, “I’s an honest man, I is; and if you say I can’t put in no more on this yer score, you jest write your name hyer.”

The surgeon declining to assume the responsibility, White managed to take in to the prisoners, on the same imaginary account, milk and eggs to the amount of fifty dollars more.

“I told you there were only twenty-one Union men in Richmond,” said Mr. W——. “I meant white Union men. Some of the colored people were as ready to give their means and risk their lives for the cause as anybody. One poor negro woman, who did washing for Confederate officers, spent her earnings to buy flour and bake bread, which she got in to the prisoners through a hole under the jail-yard fence,—knowing all the while she’d be shot, if caught at it.”

Mr. W—— assisted over twenty Union prisoners to escape. Among other adventures, he related to me the following:—

“From our windows we could look right over into the prison-yard adjoining us here. Every day we could see the dead carried out. In the evening they carried out those who had died since morning, and every morning they carried out those that had died over night. Once we counted seventeen dead men lying together in the yard, all stripped of their clothes, ready for burial; so terrible was the mortality in these prisons. The dead-house was in a corner of the yard. A negro woman occupied another house outside of the guard-line, and close to my garden fence.”

He took me to visit the premises. We entered by a heavy wooden gate from the street, and stood within the silent enclosure. It was a clear, beautiful evening, and the moonlight lay white and peaceful upon the gable of the warehouse that had served as a prison, upon the old buildings and fences, and upon the ground the weary feet of the sick prisoners had trodden, and where the outstretched corpses had lain.

“Every day some of the prisoners would be marched down to the medical department, a few blocks below, to be examined. A colored girl who lived with us used to go out, with bread hid under her apron, and slip it into their hands, if she had a chance, as she met them coming back. One morning she brought home a note, which one of them, Captain ——, had given her. It was a letter of thanks ‘to his unknown benefactors.’ Miss H——, who was visiting us at the time, proposed to answer it. It was much less dangerous for her to do so than it would have been for me, for I was a suspected man; I had already been six months in a rebel prison. But if she was discovered writing to a Yankee, her family would be prepared to express great surprise and indignation at the circumstance, and denounce it as a ‘love affair.’ (The H——s are one of the Union families of Richmond; and Miss H—— was a young girl of nerve and spirit.)

“In this way we got into communication with the Captain. It wasn’t long, of course, before he made proposals to Miss H——; not of the usual sort, however, but of a kind we expected. He and another of the prisoners, a surgeon, had resolved to attempt an escape, and they wanted our assistance. After several notes on the subject had passed,—some through the hands of the colored girl, some through a crack in the fence,—everything was arranged for a certain evening.

“Citizens’ clothes were all ready for them; and I obtained a promise from G——, a good Union man, to conceal them in his house until they could be got away. To avoid the very thing that happened, he was not to tell his wife; but she suspected mischief,—for it’s hard for a man to hide what he feels, when he knows his life is at stake,—and she gave him no peace until he let her into the secret. She declared that the men should never be brought into their house. ‘We’ve just got shet of one boarder,’ says she, meaning a prisoner they had harbored, ‘and I never’ll have another.’

“I couldn’t blame her much; for we were trifling with our lives. But G—— felt terribly about it. He came down to let me know. It was the very evening the men were to come out, and too late to get word to them. If their plans succeeded, they would be sure to come out; and what was to be done with them? They would not be safe with me an hour. My house would be the first one searched. G—— went off, for he could do nothing. Then, as it grew dark, we were expecting them every moment. There was nobody here but Miss H——, my wife, and myself. The colored girl was in the kitchen. It was dangerous to make any unusual movements, for the rebel guard in the street was marching past every three minutes, and looking in. We sat quietly talking on indifferent subjects, with such sensations inside as nobody knows anything about who hasn’t been through such a scene. My clothes were wet through with perspiration. Every time after the guard had passed, we held our breath, until—tramp, tramp!—he came round again.

“At last in came the colored girl, rushing from the kitchen, in great fright, and gasped out in a hoarse whisper,—‘O master! two Yankees done come right into our back yard!’

“‘We have nothing to do with the Yankees,’ I said; ‘go about your work, and let ’em alone.’ And still we sat there, and talked, or pretended to read, while once more—tramp, tramp, tramp—the guard marched by the windows.”

“But there was a guard inside the prison-yard; how then had the Yankees managed to get out?”

“I’m coming to that now. I told you the dead were borne out every morning and evening. That evening there was an extra body. It was the Yankee Doctor. He had bribed the prisoners, who carried out the dead, to carry him out. The dead-house was outside of the guard. They laid him with the corpses, and returned to the prison. Poor fellows! there were four of them; they were sent to Andersonville for their share in the transaction, and there every one of them died.

“A little while after, as some prisoners were going in from the yard, they got into a fight near the door. The guard ran to interfere; and the Captain, who was waiting for this very chance,—for the scuffle was got up by his friends expressly for his benefit,—darted into the negro woman’s house, and ran up stairs. From a window he jumped down into my garden. In the mean time the Doctor came to life, crawled out from among the dead men, pushed a board from the back side of the dead-house, climbed the fence, and joined his friend the Captain, under our kitchen windows.

“Not a move was made by any of us. We kept on chatting, yawning, or pretending to read the newspaper; and all the while the guard in the street was going his rounds and peeping in. Everything—the freedom of these men, and my life—was hanging by a cobweb. One mistake, a single false step, would ruin us. But everything had been pre-arranged. They found the clothes ready for them, and we were waiting only to give them time to disguise themselves. So far, it could not be proved that I had anything to do with the business, but the time was coming for me to take it into my own hands.

“I showed you the alley running from the street to my back yard, and now you’ll see why I took you around there. The Captain and the Doctor, after getting on their disguise, were to keep watch by the corner of the house at the end of the alley, and wait for the signal,—a gentleman going out of the house with a lady on his arm and a white handkerchief in his hand. They were to come out of the alley immediately, and follow at a respectful distance.

“Having given them plenty of time,—not very many minutes, however, though they seemed hours to us,—Miss H—— put on her bonnet, and I took my hat; I watched my opportunity, and, just as the guard had passed, gave her my arm, and set out to escort her home. As we went out, I had occasion to use my handkerchief, which I flirted, and put back into my pocket. We didn’t look behind us once, but walked on, never knowing whether our men were following or not, until, after we had passed several corners, Miss H—— ventured to peep over her shoulder. Sure enough, there were two men coming along after us.

“We walked past Jeff Davis’s house, and stopped at her father’s door. There I took leave of her, and walked on alone. I had made up my mind what to do. G—— having failed us, I must try R——; an odd old man, but true as steel. It was a long walk to his house, and it was late when I got there. I hid my men in a barn, and knocked at the door.

“‘Anything the matter?’ says Mrs. R——, from the window.

“‘I want to speak with Mr. R—— a moment,’ said I. I saw she was frightened, when she found out who I was; but she made haste to let me in. Serious as my business was, I couldn’t help laughing when I found R——. He sleeps on a mattress, his wife sleeps on feathers; and both occupy the same bed. They compromise their difference of taste in this way: they double up the feather-bed for Mrs. R——; that gives her a double portion, and makes room for R—— on the mattress. She sleeps on a mountain in the foreground; he, in the valley behind her.

“‘W——,’ says he, looking up over the mountain, ‘there’s mischief ahead! You wouldn’t be coming here at this hour if there wasn’t. Is it a Castle Thunder case?’

“‘No,’ I said, quietly as I could, for he was very much agitated.

“‘I’m afraid of Castle Thunder!’ says he. ‘I’m afraid of you! If it isn’t a Castle Thunder case, I demand to know what it is.’

“‘It’s a halter case,’ I said. And then I told him. He got up and pulled on his clothes. I took out fifty dollars in Rebel money, and offered him, for the feeding of the men till they could be got away.

“‘You can’t get any of that stuff on to me!’ says he. ‘I’m afraid of it. We shall all lose our lives, this time, I’m sure. Why did you bring ’em here?’

“But, though fully convinced he was to die for it, he finally consented to take in the fugitives. So I delivered them into his hands; but my work didn’t end there. They were nine days at his house. Meantime, through secret sources, by means of bribes, I got passes to take them through the lines. These cost me a hundred dollars in greenbacks; then, when everything was ready, all passes were revoked, and they were good for nothing. Finally Dennis Shane took the job of running them through the lines for five hundred dollars in Rebel money.

“He got them safely through; and just a month from that time one of those men came back for me. General Butler sent him: he wanted to talk with me about affairs in Richmond. I went out with a party of seven; and when near Williamsburg we were all captured by a band of Confederate soldiers.

“I determined not to be taken back to Richmond and identified, if I could help it. I got down at a spring to drink, crawled along under the bank a little way, as fast as I could, then jumped up, and ran for my life. I was shot at, and chased; they put dogs on my track; I was four days and nights without shelter or food; but I escaped. After that, I ran the lines to Butler whenever I had any important information for him; until at last it wasn’t safe for me to come back to Richmond at all. This is the way we worked for our country, almost with halters about our necks.”

J. T. Trowbridge.


LITTLE Katy, good and fair,—

Rosy cheeks and yellow hair,

Yellow ringlets, soft and curly,—

Waking in the morning early,


Waking at the dawn of day,

On her pillow as she lay,

Heard a robin, loud and clear,

Sing, the chamber window near.


Katy listened to the bird,

Did not stir nor speak a word,

Happy thus to hear him sing,

Thinking, now it would be Spring,—


Thinking that there soon would be

Blossoms on the apple-tree,—

Smiling, that erelong she should

Hunt for violets in the wood.


Oh! the winter had been long,

Without flowers and without song,

Without rambles in the grove,

Such as eager children love.


Spring was coming! To begin it,

She would rise that very minute.

Off with night-gown, off with cap!

Hark! She listens: tap, tap, tap!


Drop by drop the pattering rain

Pelts against the window pane!

Katy shall not have her will;

But the robin charms her still.


So by him her heart is stirred

That she does not speak a word,—

Does not speak a word, nor stir,

While the robin sings to her;—


Tells her how he came to bring

Earliest tidings of the Spring;

How the flowers will earlier blow,

For the rain that makes them grow;


How there will be pleasant days,

Sunshine following rain always.

Thus sings robin unto Kate,

“Trust me, Katy,—trust and wait.”

Mrs. Anna M. Wells.





THE companions of the tapuyo were no wiser for his words, until piranhas was explained to them to mean “biting fish,” for such were the unseen enemies that assailed them.

They belong to the great tribe of the Salmonidæ, of which there are many varieties in the different Amazonian rivers, all very voracious, and ready to bite at anything that may be thrown into the water. They often attack bathers, putting them to flight; and a swimmer who should unfortunately be surrounded by them, when far from the shore or a boat, would have the greatest difficulty to escape the fearful fate of being eaten up alive. Most of the species are fish of small size, and it is their numbers that the swimmer has chiefly to dread.

As it was, our adventurers were more scared than hurt. The commotion which they had made in the water, by their plunging and kicking, had kept the piranhas at a distance, and it was only an odd one that had been able to get a tooth into them.

For any injury they had sustained, the Mundurucú promised them not only a speedy revenge, but indemnification of a more consolatory kind. He knew that the piranhas, having tasted blood, would not willingly wander away, at least for a length of time. Although he could not see the little fish through the turbid water, he was sure they were still in the neighborhood of the log, no doubt in search of the prey that had so mysteriously escaped them. As the dead-wood scarcely stirred, or drifted only slightly, the piranhas could keep alongside, and see everything that occurred without being seen themselves. This the tapuyo concluded they were doing. He knew their reckless voracity,—how they will suddenly spring at anything thrown into the water, and swallow without staying to examine it.

Aware of this habit, he had no difficulty in determining what to do. There was plenty of bait in the shape of half-dried charqui, but not a fish-hook to be found. A pair of pins, however, supplied the deficiency, and a piece of string was just right for a line. This was fastened at one end to the pashuba spear, to the pin-hook at the other; and then, the latter being baited with a piece of peixe-boi, the fishing commenced.

Perhaps never with such rude tackle was there more successful angling. Almost as soon as the bait sank under the water, it was seized by a piranha, which was instantly jerked out of its native element, and landed on the log. Another and another and another, till a score of the creatures lay upon the top of the dead-wood, and Tipperary Tom gave them the finishing touch, as they were caught, with a cruel eagerness that might to some extent have been due to the smarting of his shins.

How long the “catch” might have continued it is difficult to say. The little fish were hooked as fast as fresh bait could be adjusted, and it seemed as if the line of succession was never to end. It did end, however, in an altogether unexpected way, by one of the piranhas dropping back again into the water, and taking, not only the bait, but the hook and a portion of the line along with it, the string having given way at a weak part near the end of the rod.

Munday, who knew that the little fish were excellent to eat, would have continued to take them so long as they were willing to be taken, and for this purpose the dress of Rosita was despoiled of two more pins, and a fresh piece of string made out of the skin of the cow-fish.

When the new tackle was tried, however, he discovered to his disappointment that the piranhas would no longer bite; not so much as a nibble could be felt at the end of the string. They had had time for reflection, perhaps had held counsel among themselves, and come to the conclusion that the game they had been hitherto playing was “snapdragon” of a dangerous kind, and that it was high time to desist from it.

The little incident, at first producing chagrin, was soon viewed rather with satisfaction. The wounds received were so slight as scarce to be regarded, and the terror of the thing was over as soon as it became known what tiny creatures had inflicted them. Had it been snakes, alligators, or any animals of the reptile order, it might have been otherwise. But a school of handsome little fishes,—who could suppose that there had been any danger in their attack?

There had been, nevertheless, as the tapuyo assured them,—backing up his assurance by the narrative of several narrow escapes he had himself had from being torn to pieces by their sharp triangular teeth, further confirming his statements by the account of an Indian, one of his own tribe, who had been eaten piecemeal by piranhas.

It was in the river Tapajos, where this species of fish is found in great plenty. The man had been in pursuit of a peixe-boi, which he had harpooned near the middle of the river, after attaching his weapon by its cord to the bow of his montaria. The fish being a strong one, and not wounded in a vital part, had made a rush to get off, carrying the canoe along with it. The harpooner, standing badly balanced in his craft, lost his balance and fell overboard. While swimming to overtake the canoe, he was attacked by a swarm of piranhas ravenous for prey, made so perhaps by the blood of the peixe-boi left along the water. The Indian was unable to reach the canoe; and notwithstanding the most desperate efforts to escape, he was ultimately compelled to yield to his myriad assailants.

His friends on shore saw all, without being able to render the slightest assistance. They saw his helpless struggles, and heard his last despairing shriek, as he sank below the surface of the water. Hastening to their canoes, they paddled rapidly out to the spot where their comrade had disappeared. All they could discern was a skeleton lying along the sand at the bottom of the river, clean picked as if it had been prepared for an anatomical museum, while the school of piranhas was disporting itself alone, as if engaged in dancing some mazy minuet in honor of the catastrophe they had occasioned.



The new-caught fishes looked too temptingly fresh to be long untasted; and although it was but an hour since our adventurers had eaten their dinner, one and all were inclined for an afternoon meal upon piranha. The Mundurucú set the fire freshly astir, and half a dozen piranhas were soon browned in the blaze and distributed among the party, who one and all indorsed the tapuyo, by pronouncing them a delicacy.

After the second dinner they were more gay than ever. The sun sinking westward indicated the quarters of the compass; and already a few puffs of wind promised them an evening breeze. They saw that it was still blowing in the same direction, and therefore favorable to the navigation of their craft, whose thick sail, spread broadly athwart ships, seemed eager to catch it.

Little dreamt they at that moment that, as it were, a volcano was slumbering under their feet; that separated from them by only a few inches of half-decayed wood was a creature of such monstrous size and hideous shape as to have impressed with a perpetual fear every Indian upon the Amazon, from Para to Peru, from the head waters of the Purus to the sources of the Japura! At that moment, when they were chatting gayly, even laughingly, in confidence of a speedy deliverance from the gloomy Gapo,—at that very moment the great Mai d’Agoa, the “Mother of the Waters,” was writhing restlessly beneath them, preparing to issue forth from the cavern that concealed her.

The tapuyo was sitting near the fire, picking the bones of a piranha, which he had just taken from the spit, when all at once the half-burned embers were seen to sink out of sight, dropping down into the log, as cinders into the ash-pit of a dilapidated grate. “Ugh!” exclaimed the Indian, giving a slight start, but soon composing himself; “the dead-wood hollow at the heart! Only a thin shell outside, which the fire has burnt through. I wondered why it floated so lightly,—wet as it was!”

“Wasn’t it there the tocandeiras had their nest?” inquired Trevannion.

“No, Patron. The hole they had chosen for their hive is different. It was a cavity in one of the branches. This is a hollow along the main trunk. Its entrance will be found somewhere in the but,—under the water, I should think, as the log lies now.”

Just then no one was curious enough to crawl up to the thick end and see. What signified it whether the entrance to the hollow, which had been laid open by the falling in of the fire, was under water or above it, so long as the log itself kept afloat? There was no danger to be apprehended, and the circumstance would have been speedily dismissed from their minds, but for the behavior of the coaita, which now attracted their attention.

It had been all the time sitting upon the highest point which the dead-wood offered for a perch. Not upon the rudely rigged mast, nor yet the yard that carried the sail; but on a spar that projected several feet beyond the thick end, still recognizable as the remains of a root. Its air and attitude had undergone a sudden change. It stood at full length upon all fours, uttering a series of screams, with chatterings between, and shivering throughout its whole frame, as if some dread danger was in sight, and threatening it with instant destruction.

It was immediately after the falling in of the fagots that this began; but there was nothing to show that it was connected with that. The place where the fire had been burning was far away from its perch; and it had not even turned its eyes in that direction. On the contrary, it was looking below; not directly below where it stood, but towards the but end of the ceiba, which could not be seen by those upon the log. Whatever was frightening it should be there. There was something about the excited actions of the animal,—something so heart-rending in its cries,—that it was impossible to believe them inspired by any ordinary object of dread; and the spectators were convinced that some startling terror was under its eyes.

Tipperary Tom was the first to attempt a solution of the mystery. The piteous appeals of his pet could not be resisted. Scrambling along the log he reached the projecting point, and peeped over. Almost in the same instant he recoiled with a shriek; and, calling on his patron saint, retreated to the place where he had left his companions. On his retreat Munday set out to explore the place whence he had fled, and, on reaching it, craned his neck over the end of the dead-wood, and looked below. A single glance seemed to satisfy him; and, drawing back with as much fear as the man who had preceded him, he exclaimed in a terrified shriek, “Santos Dios! ’t is the Spirit of the Waters!”



“The Mai d’Agoa! the Spirit of the Waters!” exclaimed Trevannion, while the rest stood speechless with astonishment, gazing alternately upon the Indian and the Irishman, who trembled with affright. “What do you mean? Is it something to be feared?”

Munday gave an emphatic nod, but said no word, being partly awed into silence and partly lost in meditating some plan of escape from this new peril.

“What did you see, Tom?” continued Trevannion, addressing himself to the Irishman, in hopes of receiving some explanation from that quarter.

“Be Sant Pathrick! yer honor, I can’t tell yez what it was. It was something like a head with a round shinin’ neck to it, just peepin’ up out av the wather. I saw a pair av eyes,—I didn’t stay for any more, for them eyes was enough to scare the sowl out av me. They were glittherin’ like two burnin’ coals! Munday calls it the spirit av the wathers. It looks more like the spirit av darkness!”

“The Mai d’Agoa, uncle,” interposed the young Paraense, speaking in a suppressed voice. “The Mother of the Waters! It’s only an Indian superstition, founded on the great water serpent,—the anaconda. No doubt it’s one of these he and Tom have seen swimming about under the but end of the log. If it be still there I shall have a look at it myself.”

The youth was proceeding towards the spot so hastily vacated by Munday and Tom, when the former, seizing him by the arm, arrested his progress. “For your life, young master, don’t go there! Stay where you are. It may not come forth, or may not crawl up to this place. I tell you it is the Spirit of the Waters!”

“Nonsense, Munday; there’s no such thing as a spirit of the waters. If there were, it would be of no use our trying to hide from it. What you’ve seen is an anaconda. I know these water-boas well enough,—have seen them scores of times among the islands at the mouth of the Amazon. I have no fear of them. Their bite is not poisonous, and, unless this is a very large one, there’s not much danger. Let me have a look!”

The Indian, by this time half persuaded that he had made a mistake,—his confidence also restored by this courageous behavior,—permitted Richard to pass on to the end of the log. On reaching it he looked over; but recoiled with a cry, as did the others, while the ape uttered a shrill scream, sprang down from its perch, and scampered off to the opposite extremity of the dead-wood.

“It is an anaconda!” muttered the Paraense, as he made his way “amid-ships,” where the rest were awaiting him; “the largest I have ever seen. No wonder, Munday, you should mistake it for the Mai d’Agoa. ’Tis a fearful-looking creature, but I hope we shall be able to destroy it before it can do any of us an injury. But it is very large, and we have no arms! What’s to be done, Munday?”

“Be quiet,—make no noise!” entreated the Indian, who was now himself again. “May be it will keep its place till I can get the spear through its neck, and then—Too late! The sucuruju is coming upon the log!”

And now, just rising through a forked projection of the roots, was seen the horrid creature, causing the most courageous to tremble as they beheld it. There was no mistaking it for anything else than the head of a serpent; but such a head as not even the far-travelled tapuyo had ever seen before. In size it equalled that of an otter, while the lurid light that gleamed from a pair of scintillating orbs, and still more the long, forked tongue, at intervals projected like a double jet of flame, gave it an altogether demoniac appearance.

The water out of which it had just risen, still adhering to its scaly crown, caused it to shine with the brightness of burnished steel; and, as it loomed up between their eyes and the sun, it exhibited the coruscation of fire. Under any circumstances it would have been fearful to look at; but as it slowly and silently glided forth, hanging out its forked red tongue, it was a sight to freeze the blood of the bravest.

When it had raised its eyes fairly above the log, so that it could see what was upon it, it paused as if to reconnoitre. The frightened men, having retreated towards the opposite end of the dead-wood, stood as still as death, all fearing to make the slightest motion, lest they should tempt the monster on.

They stood about twenty paces from the serpent, Munday nearest, with the pashuba spear in hand ready raised, and standing as guard over the others. Richard, armed with Munday’s knife, was immediately behind him. For more than a minute the hideous head remained motionless. There was no speech nor sound of any kind. Even the coaita, screened by its friends, had for the time ceased to utter its alarm. Only the slightest ripple on the water, as it struck against the sides of the ceiba, disturbed the tranquillity of the scene, and any one viewing the tableau might have supposed it set as for the taking of a photograph.

But it was only the momentary calm that precedes the tempest. In an instant a commotion took place among the statue-like figures,—all retreating as they saw the serpent rise higher, and, after vibrating its head several times, lie flat along, evidently with the design of advancing towards them. In another instant the monster was advancing,—not rapidly, but with a slow, regular motion, as if it felt sure of its victims, and did not see the necessity for haste in securing them.



The great reptile had already displayed more than a third of its hideous body, that kept constantly thickening as it rose over the but end of the log; and still the tapuyo appeared irresolute. In a whisper, Trevannion suggested their taking to the water.

“No, Patron; anything but that. It would just be what the sucuruju would like. In the water it would be at home, and we should not. We should there be entirely at his mercy.”

“But are we not now?”

“Not yet,—not yet,—stay!” From the fresh confidence with which he spoke, it was evident some plan had suggested itself. “Hand me over that monkey!” he said; and when he took the ape in his arms, and advanced some paces along the log, they guessed for what the pet was destined,—to distract the attention of the anaconda, by securing for it a meal!

Under other circumstances, Tom might have interfered to prevent the sacrifice. As it was, he could only regard it with a sigh, knowing it was necessary to his own salvation.

As Munday, acting in the capacity of a sort of high-priest, advanced along the log, the demon to whom the oblation was to be made, and which he still fancied might be the Spirit of the Waters, paused in its approach, and, raising its head, gave out a horrible hiss.

In another instant the coaita was hurled through the air, and fell right before it. Rapidly drawing back its head, and opening wide its serrated jaws, the serpent struck out with the design of seizing the offering. But the ape, with characteristic quickness, perceived the danger; and, before a tooth could be inserted into its skin, it sprang away, and, scampering up the mast, left Munday face to face with the anaconda, that now advanced rapidly upon him who had endeavored to make use of such a substitute.

Chagrined at the failure of his stratagem, and dismayed by the threatening danger, the tapuyo retreated backwards. In his confusion he trod upon the still smouldering fire, his scorched feet scattering the fagots as he danced through them, while the serpent, once more in motion, came resolutely on.

His companions were now more frightened than ever, for they now saw that he was, like themselves, a prey to fear. For again had he become a believer in the Spirit of the Waters. As he stood poising his spear, it was with the air of a man not likely to use it with effect. The young Paraense, with his knife, was more likely to prove a protector. But what could either do to arrest the progress of such a powerful monster as that, which, with only two thirds of its length displayed, extended full twenty feet along the log? Some one of the party must become a victim, and who was to be the first?

The young Paraense seemed determined to take precedence, and, with the generous design of protecting his friends,—perhaps only little Rosa was in his thoughts,—he had thrown himself in front of the others, even the spearman standing behind him. It appeared that his time was come. He had not confidence that it was not. What could he do with a knife-blade against such an enemy? He stood there but to do his duty, and die.

And both would quickly have been accomplished,—the duty and the death,—but that the Omnipotent Hand that had preserved them through so many perils was still stretched over them, and in its own way extricated them from this new danger. To one unacquainted with the cause, it might have been a matter of surprise to see the reptile, hitherto determined upon making an attack, all at once turn away from its intended victims; and, without even showing its tail upon the log, retreat precipitately into the water, and swim off over the lagoa, as if the ceiba was something to be shunned beyond everything else that might be encountered in the Gapo!



Though it may be a mystery to the reader why it had retreated, it was none to our adventurers, who had seen it crawl over the scattered fagots; they had heard the hissing, sputtering sound, as the live coals came in contact with its wet skin; they had witnessed its dismay and flight at a phenomenon so unexpected. They were therefore well aware that it was the scorching hot cinders that had caused the sucuruju to forsake the dead-wood in such a sudden and apparently mysterious manner.

It was some time before they were entirely relieved of their fears. Notwithstanding its precipitate retreat, they could not tell but that the anaconda might change its mind and come back again. They could see it swimming for some time in a tortuous track, its head and part of its neck erect above the water; then it took a direct course, as if determined upon leaving the lagoa. It was, therefore, with no ordinary feeling of relief that they saw it finally disappearing from view in the far distance.

The mystery of its presence upon the dead monguba was soon cleared up. The log was hollow inside, the heart-wood being entirely decayed and gone. In the cavity the serpent had perhaps sought a sleeping-place secure from intrusion during some protracted slumber that had succeeded the swallowing of a gigantic prey,—deer, paca, or capivaia. Here it had lain for days,—perhaps weeks; and the log, carried away by the rising of the floods, had done nothing to disturb its repose. Its first intimation that there was any change in the situation of its sleeping-place was when the fire fell in through the burnt shell, and the hot cinders came in contact with its tail, causing it to come forth from its concealment, and make the observation that resulted in its attacking the intruders. The hollow that had contained the colony of tocandeiras was altogether a different affair. It was a cavity of a similar kind, but unconnected with that in the heart of the tree; and it was evident that the little insects and the great reptile, although dwelling in such close proximity,—under the same roof, it may be said,—were entirely unacquainted with each other.

When the serpent was quite out of sight, our adventurers once more recovered their spirits, and conversed gayly about the strange incident. The breeze, having freshened, carried their raft with considerable rapidity through the water, in the right direction, and they began to scan the horizon before them in the hope of seeing, if not land, at least the tree-tops ahead. These, however, did not show themselves on that day, and before the sun went down the forest behind them sank out of sight. The night overtook them, surrounded by a smooth surface of open water, spotless and apparently as limitless as the great ocean itself.

They did not “lay to,” as on the night before. The breeze continued favorable throughout the night; and, as they were also favored with a clear sky, and had the stars to pilot them, they kept under sail till the morning. Before retiring to rest they had supped upon roast charqui and fish broiled over the coals; and, after supper, talk commenced, as usual, the chief topic being the anaconda. On this subject the tapuyo had much to say, for of all the animals that inhabit the water wilderness of the Amazon there is none that inspires the Indian with greater interest than the sucuruju. It is the theme of frequent discourse, and of scores of legends;—some real and true, while others have had their origin in the imagination of the ignorant aboriginal; some even having proceeded from the excited fancy of the colonists themselves, both Spanish and Portuguese, who could boast of a higher intelligence and better education.

The fanciful say that there are anacondas in the waters of the Amazon full thirty yards in length, and of a thickness equalling the dimensions of a horse! This has been stated repeatedly,—stated and believed in, not only by the ignorant Indian, but by his instructors, the monks of the missions. The only fanciful part of the statement is what regards the size, which must be merely an exaggeration. What is real and true is of itself sufficiently surprising. It is true that in the South American rivers there are anacondas, or “water boas,” as they are sometimes called, over thirty feet in length and of proportionate thickness; that these monstrous creatures can swallow such quadrupeds as capivaias, deer, and even large-sized animals of the horse and cattle kind; that they are not venomous, but kill their prey by constriction,—that is, by coiling themselves around it, and crushing it by a strong muscular pressure; and that, once gorged, they retire to some safe hiding-place,—of which there is no scarcity in the impenetrable forests of Amazonia,—go to sleep, and remain for a time in a sort of torpid condition. Hence they are much more rarely seen than those animals which require to be all the time on the alert for their daily food.

Of these great snakes of Tropical America there are several species; and these again are to be classified, according to their habits, into two groups markedly distinct,—the “boas,” properly so called, and the “water boas,” or anacondas. The former are terrestrial in their mode of living, and are to be found upon the dry road; the latter, though not strictly living in the water or under it, are never met with except where it is abundant; that is to say, on the banks of rivers and lagoons, or in the submerged forests of the Gapo. They swim under water, or upon the surface, with equal facility; and they are also arboreal, their powers of constriction enabling them to make their way to the tops of the highest trees. It is these that are more properly called sucurujus,—a name belonging to the common language spoken upon the Amazon, a mixture of Portuguese with the ancient tongue of the Supinambas, known as the lingua geral. No doubt, also, it is from some unusually large specimen of sucuruju, seen occasionally by the Indian hunters and fishermen, that these simple people have been led into a belief in the existence of the wonderful Mai d’Agoa, or “Mother of the Waters.”

Mayne Reid.



IT is only in legend and fable

  The fairies are with us, you know;

For the fairies are fled, little Mabel,

  Ay, ages and ages ago.


And yet I have met with a fairy,—

  You needn’t go shaking your curls,—

A genuine spirit and airy,

  Like her who talked nothing but pearls!


You may laugh if you like, little Mabel;

  I know you’re exceedingly wise;

But I’ve seen her as plain as I’m able

  To see unbelief in your eyes.


A marvellous creature! I really

  Can’t say she is gifted with wings,

Or resides in a tulip; but, clearly,

  She’s queen of all beautiful things.


Whenever she comes from her castle,

  The snow fades away like a dream,

And the pine-cone’s icicle tassel

  Melts, and drops into the stream!


The dingy gray moss on the boulder

  Takes color like burnished steel;

The brook puts its silvery shoulder

  Again to the old mill-wheel!


The robin and wren fly to meet her;

  The honey-bee hums with delight;

The morning breaks brighter and sweeter,

  More tenderly falls the night!


By roadsides, in pastures and meadows,

  The buttercups, growing bold,

For her sake light up the shadows

  With disks of tremulous gold.


Even the withered bough blossoms,

  Grateful for sunlight and rain,—

Even the hearts in our bosoms

  Are leaping to greet her again!


What fairy in all your romances

  Is such an Enchantress as she,

Who blushes in roses and pansies,

  And sings in the birds on the tree?

T. B. Aldrich.




No. 10.


“Ho for my first!” my second said,

  “All strangers as we are!

The wind, so long right dead ahead,

  Now freshly blows, and fair.”

And tho’ ’twas growing dark and late,

  Without a sign or word.

Thro’ lane and road and turnpike gate

  They sped to gain my third!


It was the dewy morning hour;

  The birds began to sing;

The sun, which lighted up their bower,

  Lit up my third’s pale wing.

It saw my first, in wild affright,

  Dash over plain and cliff,

And ah! it saw a sadder sight,

  My second stark and stiff!


They caught my first, but not my third,

  It was too far away;

And all, with hearts by sorrow stirred,

  Hied where my second lay.

And then a jury came and said

  (While priests prayed for his soul)

Their verdict was, to wit, “Found dead,

  Because he lacked my whole!”

A. R.


J. W. C.




No. 12.

I am composed of 10 letters.

My 10, 6, 7, is what ignorant nurses sometimes give innocent infants.

My 4, 9, 2, 10, is an age at which babies are thought interesting.

My 3, 9, 2, 10, is what they are foolishly made afraid of.

My 8, 2, 7, 2, is the way they speak of their fathers and mothers.

My 10, 6, 1,—10, 2, 8,—5, 2, 7, and 1, 6, 7, 8, are what they often get and cry about.

My whole is what they are frequently exercised with.

No. 13.

I am composed of 10 letters.

My 9, 2, 6, 10, 7, is the rock on which the church is founded.

My 1, 5, 10, is an agricultural implement well known by the Southern negroes.

My 9, 8, 3, 4, 6, 2, is what everybody ought to be, but too few are.

My whole is more attractive to the smell than to the sight.

No. 14.

I am composed of 20 letters.

My 13, 6, 3, 9, 4, catches many rogues.

My 5, 14, 8, 16, oft a drudge, and oft the poet’s theme.

My 1, 14, 11, 20, 15, separates many friends.

My 5, 10, 7, 18, 17, is a fruit.

My 19, 2, 17, 10, is near 8, and not far from 10.

My 4, 10, 6, 16, 14, 9, 4, 20, is what this enigma has given me.

My whole is a quotation from President Lincoln’s Inaugural Address.

J. E. M.

No. 15.

I am composed of 43 letters.

My 5, 25, 14, 27, 40, 9, 1, 30, was a famous Grecian warrior.

My 17, 26, 7, 16, 39, is a city noted for the signing of a treaty.

My 6, 35, 19, 32, 16, 42, 10, 16, 28, 6, 36, 4, 10, 24, is the hero of a remarkable book.

My 6, 15, 8, 23, 12, 34, 27, 7, 36, was the founder of the French Academy.

My 31, 7, 33, 9, 32, 16, 2, 43, 35, 16, was a British general.

My 16, 41, 13, 26, 38, 16, 14, 5, 34, 24, was one of the noblest heroes of the Revolution.

My 20, 18, 3, 6, 41, 16, 22, was present at the surrender of Lee.

My 31, 38, 9, 37, 24, 6, 11, 28, 10, 21, 43, is a popular novelist

My 29, 5, 16, 24, is an explorer.

My whole is a Chinese proverb.



No. 1.

Combine six nines so as to make 100.

E. I. H.

No. 2.

Arrange the ten digits, using each but once, so that their sum shall be 100. Also arrange the nine digits so that their sum shall be 100,—giving a different answer from that supplied to Arithmetical Puzzle No. 2 of 1865.

O. Y. F.

No. 3.

I am composed of five letters.

My first - my fifth gives my second.

My second + 1 gives my fourth.

Five times my first + five times my fifth gives my third.

My whole is funny.

Alexander H.

No. 4.

From 45 take 45, and have 45 for an answer.

M. Y.




No. 10.

I am a word of six letters, and when known am shunned by all. Behead me twice, and I am in a hospital. Cut off three letters, and I am an animal. Transpose me, and I make a quarrel. Transpose me again, and I am useful in a gun; again, and I am feared by school-boys. Behead and curtail me, and I am no longer at peace. Alter my letters again, and I am a mode of conveyance; again, and I am in misery. Change me again, and I am part of a circle. Another change in my various parts, and I afford you amusement; another, and I am a fish; another, and I am uncooked; and, lastly, I am a girl’s name.



F. S. G.



7.Box-wood; wood-box.


7.Nicholas Nickleby.
8.Jefferson Davis.
9.Washington Irving.
10.Louis Napoleon.
11.When the cat’s away,
The mice will play.


9.Mary (acrostic).

Illustrated Rebuses.

12.  I long to lay this aching head
  And wounded heart beneath the soil,
  To slumber in that dreamless bed
  From all my toil.
[(I long) 2 (lathe) is (a king head) and (wounded heart beneath the soil) (toes) (lumber) (inn) T (hat) d (ream) (less) (bed) from (awl) m (eye) t (oil).]
13.When you want to lose money, invest in oil. [W (hen) u double-u (ant) toll oo’s (m-one-y in vest in oil).]
14.Potatoes cannot be bought for nothing. [(Pot) (8 o’s) (can) (knot) (bee) B [1] 4 0.]
15.Evil pursues the wicked. [(Eve) (ill) (purse) (ewes) (tea) (he) (wee kid).]

Omitted by the draughtsman.


Here is an entertaining account, from a correspondent over the sea, of one of the ways by which Viennese children amuse themselves. We are sure our American young folks will like to hear his description of “A Half-hour on the Paradeplatz,” and to see it illustrated.

A Half-hour on the Paradeplatz.

“You do not know where the Paradeplatz is.—It is here in Vienna, Austria. It is an open park where the twenty thousand soldiers, who form the garrison of this city, are reviewed and exercised in arms. Some years ago they dug up all the trees that used to shade the ground, in order to make it suitable for this purpose. This rendered it also a favorable place for kite-flying. In the midday sun it is an uninviting common, but in the evening it is thronged with active players. And in the fall kite-flying is the sport that is uppermost in the minds of the young Viennese. Sometimes the children of a family bring with them their little wagon, containing their implements of play, and enjoy an hour’s evening picnic, having the wagon for their rallying-point.

“A kite is called Drachen here. The name signifies a fabled flying serpent, a dragon. In Prussia they call it Alf, which means an air-spirit, an elfin. In France they name it Cerf volant, or flying deer; and we give it the name of a bird, the kite or hawk.

“The young Austrians love to flaunt in the air the double-headed Austrian eagle, and black and yellow, their national colors. Also one sees on the kites the emblems of different orders, that is, classes of men who are honored by the Emperor with a particular badge. Here is the Kaiser (Emperor), wearing the emblem of an order on his breast. And because Franz Josef, the Kaiser, married a Bavarian princess, the colors of Bavaria, blue and white, are adopted by many of the children.

“In Europe it is the custom that many families live in the same large house; and so the children have not much freedom to romp and halloo at home. Therefore the open space and free air of the common are doubly dear to them. But the winter will soon be here, when they will have to stay in the house and be quiet, and the kites too must be laid by. Next fall the old skeleton of sticks will be clothed with new paper and new colors, and the kite will have another life.

“Here they gather the apples in September, and in October they press the grapes for wine; but November is cool enough for active exercise,—Young November is therefore a hunter boy, with hound and horn. Here is his statue in the Belvedere palace garden.”

U. S. A. “Washington’s Judgment” is not up to the mark.

Answer to Strange Stairways.

First step, do (dough); second, re (ray); third, mi (me); fourth, fa (far); fifth, sol (soul); sixth, la (Lah); seventh, si (sea); eighth, do (dough). The stairways are the ascending and descending scales in music; the “folks of note” are the musical notes.

M. B. C. S.


Obvious printer errors including punctuation have been silently corrected.

Inconsistencies, variations and possible errors in spelling have been retained, with the following exception:

“of” changed to “off” on p. 296.


[The end of Our Young Folks, Volume 2, Number 5, edited by J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom.]