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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 2, Issue 9

Date of first publication: 1866

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

Date first posted: Nov. 23, 2015

Date last updated: Nov. 23, 2015

Faded Page eBook #20151112

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

W. J. Hennessy, Artist.
A. V. S. Anthony, Engraver.







An Illustrated Magazine







Vol. II. SEPTEMBER, 1866. No. IX.



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.]
















“At this season [1647], two whales of common size, swam up the [Hudson] river. One grounded about forty-three miles from the sea. [A Dutch mile is nearly equal to four English miles.] This fish was tolerably fat, for although the citizens of Rensselaerswyck broiled out a great quantity of train oil, still the whole river was oily for three weeks, and covered with grease.”—Vanderdonck.

WHEN Peter the Headstrong, of stubbornest will,

Was sent out from Holland, commissioned to fill

In New Netherland province a Governor’s chair,

The people all knew by his obstinate air,

By the stamp of his foot and the wag of his head,

That he meant to be minded in all that he said;

And that naught but the soberest, solemnest fun

Would ever find vent from this son of a gun.

Descended from captains, he too in the fight

Had led on to glory, but never for flight,

And in reaching the former by acting, not talking,

Had lost an extremity needed in walking.

By closely observing, his people soon learned

To compass his movements, wherever he turned:

For the index that showed what old Peter intended

Was not in his face, but the limb that was mended.

So they watched with sly glances the silver-clad peg

That served as a mate to his natural leg,

And whenever, in argument, down came the stump,

And smote on the floor with a resonant thump,

Not a tongue further wagged, but, with looks mild and meek,

The Dutchmen all listened for Peter to speak.

Still they liked the old hard-headed, obstinate soldier,

For than he none e’er lived who was kinder or bolder,

And during his reign all his subjects rich gat,

While their faces grew broad and their bellies waxed fat.


  One morn, at Manhattan, this Governor great

Sat weighing in Council grave matters of state,

When a stout-bodied Dutchman bounced into the room,

On whose face were depicted the terrors of doom.

“Your Highness,” he said, having got back his breath,

“I have seen, God preserve us! a portent of death.

Just now in the river that flows by our town

Appeared a great monster, whose color was brown:

My glass, as I raised it, was wanting in strength

To disclose to my vision his terrible length:

And then through his nostrils the water he threw

So high, that it fell not in rain but in dew:

And so swift did he rush ’gainst the stream pouring down,

That he banked up the waters and flooded the town;

But he’s gone up the river, and much do I fear

That tidings of woe we directly shall hear.”


  Then Peter called out, “Bring to me my state pipe

And a pound of tobacco; I don’t like the stripe

Of the tale which you tell, and must presently think;

For if at such pranks we should knowingly wink,

The Yanghees from Hartford perhaps will come next

With a Puritan parson, all sermon and text,

Bringing onions and rum to Manhattan’s fair isle,

And all sorts of notions our maids to beguile.”

For two hours and a quarter he silently smoked,

Till his Councillors doughty were more than half choked;

Then, rising, in dignity calm and serene,

While his face through the smoke shot a rubicund gleam,

To the floor of the chamber he brought down his peg

And steadied himself on his flesh-and-blood-leg;

Then looking around, with an air grand and grim,

Said aloud in firm tones, “Let the animal swim!”


  So the animal swam ’gainst the wind and the tide,

Caring not if the river were narrow or wide,

Rushing on like the tempest, and marking his path

With the terrible waves of his foam-breathing wrath.

As he passed by Fort Orange the gunner awoke:

“The Yanghees from Hartford!” was all that he spoke,

Then opened the gates, and, with breeches in hand

And pipe in his mouth, rendered up his command.

But soon ’mid the islands off Rensselaerswyck’s shore

The animal floundered and snorted and tore.

Stuck fast in a quicksand, unable to go,

He blew out his life in a chorus of woe,

While the Donderberg mountains re-echoed his pain,

And rolled out their thunder o’er valley and plain.



  As the spring floods subsided, the yeomanry came

To see the great monster without any name;

Among them a skipper, renowned on the sea,

With a knowledge of fishes like Barnum, P. T.

This skipper climbed up on the animal’s back,

Then wandered about on a varying tack,

Pulled away at his flippers, examined his tail,

And said to the Dutchmen, “This here is a whale.”

As when in years later, obedient to fate,

The rocks flowed with oil in a neighboring state,

And hundreds forsook their homes, firesides, and friends,

For the spot where the stream of petroleum wends,

So now from the hillsides, the plains, and the town

The people all came where the animal brown

Lay dead on the quicksand, with hatchets and saws,

And axes and cleavers, and meat-hooks and claws,

Determined to turn to their own private use

What before they had thought was a public abuse,

Prepared in great kettles his blubber to broil,

And try the great whale into barrels of oil.

The Skipper Jan Symensen ruled in the roast,

With Borssum and Stogpens and burgher Van Voorst.

Then Dirck Cornelissen came in for his share,

As did Jansen and Claessen,—which surely was fair.

Govert Loockmans was there with the Criegers and Pieters,

And Volckertsen, Symon Pos, Teunissen Meters;

Jan Tyssen, the trumpeter famed for his blowing,

And Wolfert Gerrittsen, a master at mowing;

Rutger Hendricksen, ale-maker equal to Taylor;

Cornelis Tomassen, both blacksmith and nailor;

Carstenssen, the millwright, Laurenssen, the sawyer,

And Adriaen van der Donck, sheriff and lawyer;

Jansen Stol, who at Beverwyck managed the ferry;

Pieter Bronck, at whose tavern so many got merry;

Gerrittsen van Bergen, the owner of acres;

The sportsman renowned, named Harry de Backers,

Of whom it is told that one day out of fun

He killed eleven gray geese at a shot from his gun;

Pels Steltyn the brewer, and Jacob Wolfertsen;

Cornelis Crynnesen, Cornelis Lambertsen;

Claes Jansen van Waalwyck, Claes Jansen van Ruth,

And Megapolensis, a preacher of truth,

Who afterwards sent his son Samuel to college,

Where he rapidly grew both in size and in knowledge;

Sander Leendertsen Glen, a skilled Indian pedler,

And Mynderts der Bogaert, a quarrelsome meddler,

Of whom it is said, having got in a passion,

He strove to throw over in murderous fashion

A man whom in anger he caught by the throat,

As the twain were a-sailing one day in a boat;

Jan de Neger, the hangman, the colonie’s Haman;

Jan Willemsen Scuth, and Jan Jansen van Bremen;

Antonie de Hooges, who to Anthony’s Nose

Gave his name on the Hudson, and Andries de Vos;

Jan Labbadie, carpenter, native of France,

Who oft at Fort Orange led many a dance;

Gysbertsen, the wheelwright, who frequently spoke;

Jansen Dam, who in Council delighted to smoke;

Burger Joris, whose smithy stood under a tree;

Adriaensen van Veere, a freebooter free;

And Pieterse Koyemans, called Barent the miller,

Whose name in the manor was ever a pillar

Of strength, and his brothers Dave, Jacob, and Arent,

Who shed lustre and fame on the name of their parent.

Besides these, there came an unnamable throng,

With titles so twisted and jagged and long,

That were I to try to record them in rhyme,

I should fail in my language, my rhythm and time.

It would lengthen too much this unerring detail

To tell how by piecemeal they cut up the whale;

How the doughty old knights of the broadsword appeared

When they brought down their blades as if nothing they feared;

How the butchers with cleavers dealt terrible blows,

And the children all scattered for fear of their toes;

How Harry de Backers, with cracking report,

Kept on shooting his gun off to keep up the sport;

How Skipper Jan Symensen smoked and drank toddy

Till he could not distinguish the whale from his body;

How Mynderts der Bogaert got into a fight,

And was whipped by Van Porg, to the people’s delight;

How Jansen Dam swore, and how Labbadie capered;

How Neger, the hangman, got sulky and vapored;—

These matters are treated by Munsell’s grave pen,

In his volumes of Annals, now numbering ten.


  At the end of a month from the time they began,

The oil ceased to flow, which so freely had ran.

Of the whale naught remained but his carcass and spine,

On which crows came to breakfast and oft stayed to dine.

An account which was kept showed the end of this toil

To be seventy-nine barrels five pipkins of oil.

Thus light was increased, and spread through the land,

Springing forth from the whale lying dead on the strand;

And down to this day in some houses they show

The oil which kind Providence once did bestow;

For the vessels in which it was placed, like the cruse

Of the widow, ne’er lessened, though ever in use;

And the good vrouws felt certain that oil would abound

If the vessels that held it were kept clean and sound.


  But the ghost of the whale lingers still round the spot

Where they tried out his blubber in caldron and pot.

And in spring, when the ice in the river goes down,

And rushes in torrents past Albany town,

When the water submerges the docks and the street,

And boats take the highway intended for feet,

Then often dread blows break the silence of night,

And the children start up with a terrible fright,

And mammas in their nightcaps look ghastly with fear,

As the sound from the river falls full on the ear.

Well the old burghers know that the wandering shade

Of the monster is roving and will not be laid.

And though ages have passed since he gave his last groan,

And no vestige remains of his vertebrate bone,

Still the noise of those blows, as it breaks on the sense,

Makes the breathing come hard, and the muscles grow tense;

For then in mid-river the ghost of the whale

Is flapping in madness his horrible tail.

B. H. Hall.



IT so happened once, that a fair, tall White Lily grew near the edge of a small brook in a forest; and the forest, which was very large, nestled the brook in its very midst; and so no human eye had ever looked upon the Lily, and she could never have known of the existence of human beings at all, unless she listened to what the young angels whispered, as they flew past sometimes at twilight.

But she was so happy in her green, wild home, surrounded by her friends, and full of her cares!

If she looked up, she saw some large-leaved vine, which threw its tendrils from branch to branch of the tall trees, and from tree to tree. So there a great bower spread over her head. And when she looked down, there was the thick, green moss, spotted with bright flowers, and tiny vines crept in and out of it, with bright red berries, and soft, white blossoms; and she, in the midst of her large tuft of leaves and flowers, herself the tallest and fairest of them all, the queen and eldest sister, watched with pride and joy their slowly swelling buds, and the pale yellowish, greenish petals, as they grew almost glowing with whiteness. She was so fair, our Lily, that nature had given her a mirror, the clear waters of the little brook, from which her open blossom looked up into the blue skies.

Did I tell you she had friends there in the woods? Yes, and you have already guessed them. Not a gay butterfly roamed that way, that did not stop to rest upon her dear blossoms; there were tiny birds, too, with bright plumage, that would come and dip their long bills among her yellow-dusted stamens, and then, lifting their heads in the air, fly away, singing her sweetest praises; and she loved at night to listen to their notes, when they sang and folded their little heads under their wings.

Was it not a beautiful forest, to be so full of love and sweetness, all alone by itself, and don’t you wish you could find it out?

But this Lily was meek, as well as lovely, and did not scorn to talk with the grasshoppers that came awkwardly jumping on her green leaves, nor the flies, though they sometimes would eat holes in her green leaves and lay their eggs injuriously along their fibres; and she always had a pleasant nod for the gnats hopping along on the stream, whenever those nervous creatures could stop to look her way. O, you cannot think what a busy life that was, off in the forest, where there lived so many brilliant and so many ugly little creatures, all together, but each living for some good purpose, and a necessary one too.

There were the glow-worms and the fireflies, that were loved by the Lily, for they came at the pensive hour of evening, with the dews and the soft night-breezes, and when their silent, yellow light shone out, her softest fragrance filled the air.

I suppose you have often seen a beetle? There are many different kinds of them, and they do not look pretty either, as you turn them up from the earth; but I want to tell you how the Lily comforted one of them, who believed himself to be very ugly, and of no use to anything in the world.

Very near her, down under the moss, in the marshy bog, a whole family of brown beetles lived. The old father and mother had died long ago, and left the children to bring themselves up; and they did it a good deal better than little human children would have done, whom God makes dependent upon tender care; they brought themselves up so well, that they could do everything that beetles were intended to do, quite as properly as ever their father and mother did before them.

But these young beetles, who had been hatched in the earth where their mother had left them when she died, had not come yet to notice the beautiful things about them, but crawled about slowly over the moss, tipping forward on their noses, and then backwards on their tails, while their long, fan-like horns waved slowly up, and then down, till you would have thought the bright moss was a very uneven ground for them.

But one day one of the beetles, as he crawled up out of his hole in the earth, felt himself stronger. So, taking courage and looking up, what should he see but that great tuft of Lily; and before he knew what he was going to do, the hard crust on his back had separated, and out came two gauzy, but fibrous wings, which took him right up to the Lily, and there he sat on one of her green, broad leaves! Well, indeed! and on the same leaf a golden butterfly had settled himself just before, and, astonished at the impudence of the brown beetle, whose back was covered with grains of dirt, he fluttered off up to the white petals of the Lily, and then poised himself on her long stamens.

“The awkward thing,” he said, flippantly, “to come bouncing here without warning or invitation. Shake him off, fair Lily, and let him not come to ride on your shiny leaves.”

But the Lily, though perhaps she thought his appearance was sudden, only nodded her stately head, and slightly moved her leaves, so that the beetle enjoyed a pleasant swing; and the butterfly, shocked at her indifference, hastily bade her good morning.

But very happy was the ugly brown beetle with his new experience of life; and soon feeling about, in his way, with those fan-like horns of his, he came upon the layers of eggs which the flies had left there, and shortly made a good meal of them; and some insects that alighted for a bite of the green leaves, he soon made way with; and every time a zephyr came that way, the Lily poured out sweet fragrance, which the beetle eagerly drank in.

“But how still you are!” he said, gazing up into her lovely face. “Are you not tired of standing so always?”

“O no,” she answered, “how could that be? This is my home; I never wander, and so never weary; but I wave to and fro in the cool breezes, and my leaves dance for joy in the air and the sunbeams.”

“But I,” said the beetle,—“I work in the earth; I go to and fro, silent among my brothers; I grow weary; still I make passages in the ground, and dig it away with my claws, to shape a grave for some dead mouse, into which he falls. But what do you do, standing still and looking into the brook?”

“O,” replied the Lily, with a gentle dignity, “I do not need to make roads in the earth, as thou dost, but I gladden the brook when I look in it, and the sky comes down and kisses us both; the little flies and tired insects sleep under my leaves, and I sweeten the air with my breath. Many tiny eggs are hatched along my stems, and the little creatures would die, were it not for the nourishment of my tender leaves.”

But the beetle could scarcely understand her mission.

“Where do you sleep when night comes?” he asked; “do you not crawl somewhere into the ground?”

“When night comes, I close my leaves together and rest thus.”

“But do you not work for something to eat?” he persisted, poor stupid beetle.

“The warm air and the sunlight nourish me,” she patiently answered.

“But you look so beautiful!” said the poor beetle, at last, dazzled by the brightness of her white petals; “how do you paint yourself so?”

“I take no care of myself, it is all given to me.”

“I see how it is,” said the beetle, sadly; “I am a poor earth-worm, and cover myself with its dust; but you are above the earth.”

“No indeed,” interrupted the Lily, “that is not so. I grew slowly out of the ground. I draw much nourishment from the air, but yet, without the ground in which my roots are planted, I could not live one day: from the earth I derive the strength of my color, and from it freshness and vigor shoot up through my branches.”

“I did not think the black earth could have anything to do with such beauty,” he said, struck with astonishment; and, creeping close to the stalk of the Lily, out of sight, he whispered to himself, humiliated, “O, if I could only work for the fair Lily, and help her beauty, and not be so ugly in her sight!”

“But see,” said the Lily, for a little breeze had brushed the green leaves over the brown beetle, and a stray sunbeam made him shine like a rainbow, “you have a beauty of your own in your shelly back, which I can admire, and the green of my leaves is reflected mingled with gold upon it. When in the dark ground, you eat up the worms about my roots, you give me life, and when the flies lay their eggs too thickly under my leaves, you, by devouring them, save me from destruction. You have found your wings; go now, and chase that crowd of flies over the brook.”

And so indeed he could, to his delight, skim the surface of the water, and snap up many an unwary insect that was becoming troublesome; but, in his love, he still returned to the Lily, to watch over her fair leaves, and to dig with his strong claws down into the earth about her roots, to eat away the grubs, and loosen the ground for the rootlets to creep about in. He was very happy in doing it for her sake. And was it not beautiful, that what he loved to do, and could do, was just the very thing he was made to do, and that in such a natural way he could minister to the beautiful Lily?

So use and beauty are combined in this world, children; you will see it more plainly as you grow older and older.

Author of “Angel Children.”



FATHER BRIGHTHOPES had been a long time absent from the Vale; and on his return to Mr. Reverdy’s house, the young folks of the neighborhood, who, I believe, had not quite forgotten him, went one evening to pay him their respects.

It was a joyous occasion; but the old clergyman’s pleasure at the reunion was marred by a sad report which had reached him concerning the conduct of two of his young acquaintances. They had been seen to steal into a neighbor’s orchard on Sunday afternoon, when they supposed everybody was at church, and help themselves to some choice early pears. The owner of the fruit was very indignant, and he had stopped Father Brighthopes in the street, to relate to him the circumstance, and to request him to “have up the little villains and give them a sound lecturing.” The “little villains,” I am sorry to say, were our friends Jason Jones and Burton Thorley.

Father Brighthopes did not like to cloud the happiness of that evening by “lecturing” anybody. Besides, the guilt of the two boys being generally known, he observed that they were already suffering no light punishment from the taunts and significant looks of their companions. There were frequent allusions to pears; and once Cary Wilson, having called Burt’s attention, pretended to be eating some very delicious fruit, and filling his pockets with it, at which pantomime nearly everybody laughed except Burt, who looked very black and fierce.

Father Brighthopes, considering what he should do about this unpleasant affair, excused himself for his long absence by telling the children the occasion of it. “A near relative of mine,” he said, “did something very rash and wrong, which plunged not only himself, but his whole family, into deep trouble, and I was sent for to assist them.”

“He couldn’t have been much like you, if he did anything so wrong!” said Emma Reverdy.

“Why not, my child?”

Emma thought a moment, then said, “Did you ever do anything wrong, Father Brighthopes?”—regarding the beautiful, kind face of her old friend with a look which implied plainly, “I don’t believe you ever could do wrong!”

“My dear child,” said the old clergyman, “if I had never done wrong, I should not know how to pity and forgive others who do wrong. I have done many, many wrong things in my life,” he added, with sincere humility.

“Tell us one,—just one real bad thing, you know!” said Emma. “I should so like to hear it!”

Father Brighthopes looked around his little audience, and saw that all were eagerly watching for his reply. His eye fell on Burton and Jason, and he thought, “Instead of a lecture, it shall be a story.” And he began in this way:—

“Well, Emma, since you wish it, I will tell you something I did when I was a small boy,—so many years ago! It was a very wrong thing, but it proved to be one of the most useful lessons of my life.”

“If it was such a useful lesson, how could it be wrong?” said Grant Eastman.

“My son, everything that happens in this world is, I believe, designed for our good. Suffering and even wrong have their use, or they would not be permitted. And what can teach us so much as one of our own errors? If you commit a fault, and know that it is a fault, and are sorry for it, don’t you see how useful and important the lesson may be?—exerting an influence, perhaps, over your whole life. But this is to be a story,” said Father Brighthopes, pleasantly, checking himself, “and not a lecture.”

“O yes! a story!” said Emma. “Some real naughty thing now, remember!”—and, folding her hands, she looked up in his face with a beaming expression, confident that she was to hear something very interesting and delightful.

“Well, it happened when I was once visiting my cousins Edward and Jane. We were all children then: Jane was about my own age, but Edward was older. He was a strong, self-reliant boy, and Jane and I looked up to him with great respect and admiration. So, when he said one day, ‘Hurrah, let’s have some fun!’ we were of course very eager to join him, and asked what he would do.

“ ‘Get a bag and a basket,’ said he, ‘and I’ll show you.’

“Jane ran to the house for a basket, and I ran to the barn for a bag, and off we started, following Edward’s lead, and wondering what fun he would show us. He always took the lead at such times, and always made us carry the bag and basket, or whatever the burden might be. He was a rather proud young gentleman, as I remember him; and I see him again now, walking on before, important, mysterious, refusing to tell us his plans, and frequently ordering us to keep a little behind him, and talk low.

“ ‘O, I know,’ said Jane at last, ‘it’s but’nuts!’ for that’s what we children called them. ‘But, Eddie,’ said she, ‘those are Mr. Talbot’s trees, and he won’t let us; for you know he is very particular about his but’nuts.’

“ ‘Come along!’ said Edward, in his authoritative way, ‘and don’t make so much noise! Talbot ain’t at home, and he never’ll know; he won’t miss ’em, for he has got so many they’re rotting on the ground.’

“ ‘But there’s the brook to cross,’ I remonstrated; and very glad I was of any obstacle in our way. I had a feeling that we ought not to touch Mr. Talbot’s butternuts. Notwithstanding Edward’s authority and influence, and my own love of adventure, and my love of butternuts too, something within me kept whispering, ‘Do not go, do not!’ It was the voice, my children, which we always hear at such times, if we only listen, and which would never let us do wrong, if we would obey it.

“ ‘Who cares for the brook?’ said Edward. ‘You are a brave fellow, to be scared by a little water!’

“ ‘We might have crossed the bridge and come up the other side,’ said Jane.

“ ‘With everybody staring at us!’ said Edward, contemptuously. ‘I came this way on purpose. Think I’m a goose?’

“ ‘I should think you thought I was, if you expect me to swim,’ said Jane.

“That made me laugh; and very glad I was to laugh and forget what that uncomfortable little voice within me kept saying.

“ ‘We can wade,’ said Edward; and he began to roll up his trousers.

“I did the same, afraid he would think me a coward if I didn’t. Then we all sat down and pulled off our shoes and stockings. Then we forded the stream, taking care not to slip on the stones, or step in the deep places. I carried over both the bag and the basket, for Jane had to hold up her dress.

“ ‘There!’ said Edward, triumphantly. ‘You see it’s easy to do a thing if you’ve got somebody to show you how, and ain’t afraid. Now for the but’nuts!’

“ ‘If Mr. Talbot wouldn’t like to have us get them, I don’t think we ought to,’ I again remonstrated,—rather feebly, I suppose, for I wasn’t strong enough to resist both the temptation and Edward’s influence. It is not because we are strong, my children, that we ever do a mean action, but because we are weak,—because that part of us which should always govern is too weak for the selfish part, which should be governed. Remember this, my dear boys, and never flatter yourselves that it is brave or manly to do wrong. Remember it, my dear girls, and do not indulge your faults because it is said women are weaker than men. In coarse, animal qualities, women are certainly weaker; but in true strength, in the finer qualities of the heart and conscience, I have often found them as superior to men as my little cousin Jane was to my big cousin Edward.

“Edward called me a coward. I was afraid of appearing a coward in his eyes, and that was the real cowardice I showed. If I had been truly courageous, I should have had the power to say, ‘No,’ and turn back, notwithstanding his taunts.

“ ‘Come,’ said he to me, ‘don’t stand moping,—there’s no use in that; but pick ’em up, and you shall have half you get.’

“That decided me. The prospect of having some butternuts to carry home to my brother and sister made me forget my scruples; and Jane and I, getting down on our hands and knees, under the trees, gathered the nuts, while Edward walked around and kept watch.

“ ‘There!’ said he, when we had filled both the bag and the basket, ‘you’ve done it, and nobody is hurt. Now don’t you see I was right about it?’

“I tried hard to feel that he was right. Although we had taken as many as we could carry, we had left a great many more on the ground, and it was not likely that Mr. Talbot would suspect the robbery. Still I experienced a strangely uneasy and guilty sensation, as we recrossed to the other side of the brook, and placed our plunder on the bank. We were all anxious to get away, fearing to be seen; but our feet were wet, and I tore my stockings putting them on. At last we started off; I with one shoe in my hand, and the bag on my shoulder, and Jane with her shoes in the basket. Edward walked leisurely behind, to guard our rear, whispering now and then to frighten us, ‘Hurry! hurry! Old Talbot will be after you!’

“Poor little Jane was more frightened than I was. She lost one of her shoes out of the basket as she ran, and Edward had made us think Mr. Talbot was so surely coming that we were afraid to go back and find it.

“ ‘Never mind it,’ said she ‘I will go home without it.’

“ ‘But what will you tell your mother?’ I asked.

“ ‘Besides,’ said Edward, ‘Old Talbot will find the shoe. He’ll know it’s Jane’s, and he’ll be marching over to our house with it, and saying, ‘Look here! this belongs to a little girl that has been stealing my but’nuts!’

“That plunged us both in very great distress, and I was going back to find the shoe, when Edward took something from behind him, and threw it far on before us into the woods. It was the shoe, which he had picked up, and had held in his hand all the while we were talking about it.

“Going through the woods, Jane tripped, and spilled the butternuts out of her basket; and she and I had to stop and gather them up,—for Edward would not touch them. At length, after several such adventures, we entered my uncle’s orchard.

“ ‘Now,’ said Edward, ‘if anybody sees you, and asks what you have got, you can say apples.’

“ ‘But anybody can see the but’nuts, and know they are not apples,’ Jane replied.

“ ‘What a couple of silly fools you are!’ said Edward. ‘You wouldn’t know anything if it wasn’t for me!’ And he made us cover the basket with leaves.

“So we reached home, and hid the butternuts in the loft over the woodshed. I tried to feel that the danger was now over, and all occasion of uneasiness at an end. But I was secretly troubled. So I knew was Jane; for her bright young face was clouded. And not even Edward’s haughty and careless bearing could disguise the fact that he too felt something which spoiled his anticipated enjoyment.

“At last, evening came, and after supper Jane and I walked in the orchard. The approaching night, the deepening shadows, and the stillness—all but the noise of the crickets—impressed us both.

“ ‘O dear!’ said she, with a sigh, ‘what do you think, cousin?’

“ ‘I wish we hadn’t taken Mr. Talbot’s but’nuts,’ I replied.

“ ‘Do you? So do I! I’d give anything if we hadn’t touched them! I am as unhappy as I can be about them.’ And dear little Jane heaved a big sigh. ‘What made us, do you know?’

“ ‘I suppose we didn’t think,’ I said.

“ ‘But we think now,’ said she. ‘And do you want to keep them? I don’t; I’d give anything if they were back under the trees!’

“ ‘What if we should carry them back?’ I said. ‘It isn’t too late, is it?’

“ ‘O, no! let’s find Eddie, and see what he says.’

“But Edward only laughed at us. He didn’t steal any of the butternuts, he said; and then we remembered that he had made us pick them up and carry them home. ‘I only went to please you,’ he said. ‘It was all for fun; and now if you want the fun of taking them back, you can have it all to yourselves, for I sha’n’t go with you!’ ”

“Wasn’t that mean?” exclaimed Emma Reverdy,—“to make you steal the butternuts, and then get off that way!”

“Jane and I thought it rather hard; but we talked it over, and comforted and encouraged each other as well as we could. All the while it grew darker and darker. Two such miserable little wretches you never saw.

“ ‘I shouldn’t think you would care so much,’ said she to me; ‘for you will go home in a few days, and nobody will ever accuse you of stealing Mr. Talbot’s but’nuts. You won’t have to meet him and look him in the face, as I shall.’

“But that did not console me. I knew that, wherever I might go, the recollection of those dreadful butternuts would go with me, and make me miserable. If nobody else knew I was a thief, I should know, and that would be more punishment than I could bear.

“And so, though the evening was cloudy, and the autumn wind blew drearily, and the night threatened to be wild and dark, Jane and I went up into the wood-shed, took down the bag and basket, and carried them back through the orchard to the woods. As many years as I have lived since then, my children, I have never forgotten that night. How gloomy it was! How the wind roared! The great trees rocked and swung over our heads, and awful sighs and moans filled the darkness. The leaves rustled under our feet, the twigs snapped, and now and then some giant limb creaked, like a living thing.

“ ‘Do you think God sees us?’ whispered little Jane.

“The question filled my young soul with awe.

“ ‘Yes,’ said I, ‘He sees us, and He is displeased at what we have done.’

“ ‘But if we do right now, He will be pleased, won’t He?’ said dear little Jane, holding fast to my hand.

“We hurried on. Sometimes we stumbled in the darkness, but at last we got safely through the woods. Then there was the brook to cross. It was a black stream now, and we could not see the big stones nor the deep places. The noise it made, mixed with the roaring wind, was something terrible.

“ ‘Can we ever get across with the but’nuts?’ Jane said, despairingly, as we once more took off our shoes on the bank.

“ ‘You stay here,’ I said, ‘and I will carry over the bag first, and then come back for the basket.’

“But she would not hear of that,—the brave, the noble little girl! ‘I helped take them,’ said she, ‘and I will help carry them back.’ So we crossed the brook together, feeling the way carefully with our feet, and holding each other tightly by the hand. We climbed up the other bank, hurried on to the trees, and there emptied the bag and basket, scattering the butternuts over the ground. Then we forded the brook again, and returned home.

“We left the black stream and the dark windy woods behind us; and something more,—we left our sin behind us, too.

“ ‘I am so glad! so glad!’ dear little Jane kept saying, as she ran by my side. And indeed all the butternuts in the world would not have made us as happy as we were at that moment. Do you know why, my children?”

“Because you had done right,” said golden-haired Margaret Grover, showing her pretty teeth with a smile.

“Yes! The consequences of doing right, after the mind has been troubled by a guilty action, are wonderful. The clouds break away; the spirit becomes bright and clear as the blue heavens. How strong we feel, and how thankful that wisdom and courage were given us to put away our sin!”

The enthusiasm with which the old man spoke made every one present feel that to do right was the most beautiful as well as the wisest thing in the world; and more than one then silently resolved never to commit another selfish or unjust action.

“But suppose the butternuts had been pears, and you had eaten them?” said mischievous little Cary Wilson, with a sly glance at Jason. “Then you couldn’t have carried them back.”

“No; but I should have felt, all my life long, how slight, how brief the pleasure of eating them, and how long and bitter the dissatisfaction of having taken wrongfully that which was another’s; and I am sure that would have taught me never to do so foolish a thing again.

“O, my children,” added Father Brighthopes, earnestly and tenderly, “what is most beautiful, what is happiest, in man and woman, and in boy and girl the same, is to bear a clear and noble mind, unsullied by any meanness or injustice. If you have that, you are rich and strong; and if you have it not, no pleasure, neither wealth nor position, can compensate you for the loss.”

J. T. Trowbridge.


IN the country of the Dollys there was a lily-pond. Its banks were green, its waters blue. Along the shores bloomed bright shrubs. Flowering trees bent over the edge, and shook off their blossoms. It was the Pond of the Dollys, and there, on large palm-leaves, we floated abroad, in the sunshine and in the shade.

One day, in early summer-time, as I was drifting about on my fine boat, a pleasant little zephyr, who had already paid me a good deal of attention, wafted me near to a blossoming tree.

Wishing to be by myself awhile, I sent him to bring me a choice perfume from the flowery fields of Persia. He was a pleasant little zephyr, but too playful,—would keep blowing in my face, when I wanted to be quiet and listen to what was going on down at the bottom.

It was the busy time of year, and the Water-Fairy was hurrying up the lily-buds and getting summer clothes ready for the water-bugs. Even the worms could not go through the season without something new. She wished them all to agree never to sting anybody. But the mosquitos made no promises.

The lily-buds had to spin and weave their own clothes. Beautiful garments of green and white and real lily-gold. And all to be made of mud. They grumbled at having nothing better to work with. But the Water-Fairy kept singing away, night and day,

“Lily-bud, lily-bud, spin your gold.”

One lazy bud worked just below me, and her complainings were loud.

“Gold from mud! Who believes it? White from black! It can’t be done. There’s a wind stirring. Let me alone, to rock while the waters are in motion. The breeze will soon be gone.”

“Lily-bud, lily-bud, spin your gold.”

“And why spin gold, and keep it hid beneath my mantle? Nobody can see it,—not even the pickerel. Why should I work? There’s a fish just come. He’s a brook fish and brings news from the mountains. It is said they have high times up there. Pretty fish, what have you seen?”

“Sights that made my blood run cold,” said the fish.

“Lily-bud, lily-bud, spin your gold,”

said the Water-Fairy again; and then she went on, quite sadly, “My dear little bud, I love you, and only want you to do your best. Don’t add to my troubles. One of your grown-up sisters has just had her heart eaten into, and turned black. My trials are great.”

Then her tears came up in little bubbles, and floated upon the water,—I suppose, because they were salt.

Just then a stout little puff came along, all of a breeze, and pushed me half across the pond. Floating away, I heard the lily-bud singing forth her troubles,

“Beneath the wave it is dark and cold;

 There’s nothing here but mud and mould:

 Still thou bidst me spin my gold.”

And the Water-Fairy answered,

“Draw their best from mud and mould:

 So shalt thou turn it into gold.”

The winds were asleep, and for that reason I floated out all night. The stars were friendly, and kept winking at me, but I couldn’t quite take their meaning. The katydids were busy, doing that which they keep speaking of, later in the season. But as they wish it kept private, I shall never, never tell. Yet it is all true, every word of it. Katydid, she did, she did.

I also found out why that mournful bird that sings of summer nights wants everybody to whip poor Will. This I might speak of, as it is no secret. But everything cannot be told at once. I have not yet done with my lily-bud.

Just about sunrise the same stout puff came whistling along, on his way back, and gave me a blowing-up for staying out nights. But when I showed him it was his own fault, he calmed down somewhat, and took me to visit a pleasant young family of turtles, who had a happy home of their own, with blue flags waving over it.

He was a changeable, shifty-minded, short-winded little puff, and was a long while in bringing me back to my blossoming tree,—some days, I should think. I arrived one early morning, just about sunrise, and found my lily-bud, with her head above the surface. The sunlight crept softly along the water and touched her lips. Then she quivered with joy, and struggled to throw back her green mantle, calling upon the Water-Fairy for help.

But from below there came up a mournful voice. “My dear child, I have done for you all that I can. Farewell. I shall never see you more. Alas! alas!” And great briny tears bubbled up and floated upon the water.

The Flower-Fairy, doing up her morning work, passed that way. She blew, with her mild breath, upon the lily-bud, and her green mantle fell back. In pure white and gold she floated there, no longer a bud, but a perfect lily.

Then the Fairy gathered up the floating tears, and sprinkled them upon the bosom of the flower. “These, my child,” said she, “are the tears of affection. They will add a fragrance which shall make you everywhere beloved. You shall be welcomed always with a smile.”

I have noticed that people smile at sight of a bunch of lilies. I don’t suppose they know that their smile is making what a fairy foretold come true.

When my zephyr arrived, I gave him to understand that he might take back his choice perfume to the flowery fields of Persia; for where the Water-Lily grew, it would not be needed. He kissed the flower, but she was too full of the delight of her new life to heed him. As I was wafted away, I heard her singing forth her joy to the young lily-buds below.


Sisters, come up, and breathe the air.

Come up, come up! the world is fair!

There’s life and gladness everywhere.

            Sisters, come up!


Sisters, come up, and see the light:

The sky is such a beautiful sight,

The blue is so blue, and the white is so white!

            Sisters, come up!


Sisters, come up! If you only knew

This gentle warmth, how it thrills me through!

O, I long for the sun to be shining on you!

            Sisters, come up!


Sisters, come up. The beauty may go;

For the world was made but this morning, I know.

And if you should lose all this wonderful show!

            Sisters, come up!


Sisters, come up! There’s music so gay,

And all around such a bright array,

That methinks I have come on a festival day.

            Sisters, come up!


Insects bright their way are winging,

Birds on leafy boughs are swinging.

There’s humming and buzzing and chirping and singing,

And all the air with joy is ringing.

            Sisters, come up!


And the trees are out in their brightest bloom,

And the flowers have brought their rich perfume.

The world is full; but still there’s room.

            Sisters, come up!


O, glad am I that, down in the cold,

The Fairy bade me spin my gold,

And draw things beautiful out from the mould.

            Sisters, come up!


What grief should I suffer, when everything

Some gift of beauty or joy doth bring,

If I alone had no offering!

            Sisters, come up!


Sisters, come up! The world is gay,

And all, of their best, are giving away:

I’m sure it must be a festival day.

            Sisters, come up!

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.


“YOUR walk is lonely, blue-eyed Grace,

  Down the long forest-road to school,

Where shadows troop, in many a place,

  From sullen chasm to sunless pool.

Are you not often, little maid,

Beneath the sighing trees afraid?”


“Afraid,—beneath the tall, strong trees

  That bend their arms to shelter me,

And whisper down, with dew and breeze,

  Sweet sounds that float on lovingly,

Till every gorge and cavern seems

Thrilled through and through with fairy dreams?


“Afraid,—beside the water dim

  That holds the baby-lilies white

Upon its bosom, where a hymn

  Ripples forth softly to the light

That now and then comes gliding in,

A lily’s budding smile to win?


“Fast to the slippery precipice

  I see the nodding harebell cling;

In that blue eye no fear there is;

  Its hold is firm,—the frail, free thing!

The harebell’s Guardian cares for me:

So I am in safe company.


“The woodbine clambers up the cliff

  And seems to murmur, ‘Little Grace,

The sunshine were less welcome, if

  It brought not every day your face.’

Red leaves slip down from maples high,

And touch my cheek as they flit by.


“I feel at home with everything

  That has its dwelling in the wood;

With flowers that laugh, and birds that sing,—

  Companions beautiful and good,

Brothers and sisters everywhere;

And over all, our Father’s care.


“In rose-time or in berry-time,—

  When ripe seeds fall, or buds peep out,—

While green the turf, or white the rime,

  There’s something to be glad about.

It makes my heart bound, just to pass

The sunbeams dancing on the grass.


“And when the bare rocks shut me in

  Where not a blade of grass will grow,

My happy fancies soon begin

  To warble music, rich and low,

And paint what eyes could never see:

My thoughts are company for me.


“What does it mean to be alone?

  And how is any one afraid,

Who feels the dear God on his throne

  Beaming like sunshine through the shade,

Warming the damp sod into bloom

And smiling off the thicket’s gloom?


“At morning, down the wood-path cool

  The fluttering leaves make cheerful talk;

After the stifled day at school,

  I hear, along my homeward walk,

The airy wisdom of the wood,—

Far easiest to be understood.


“I whisper to the winds; I kiss

  The rough old oak and clasp his bark;

No farewell of the thrush I miss;

  I lift the soft veil of the dark,

And say to bird and breeze and tree,

‘Good night! Good friends you are to me!’ ”

Lucy Larcom.




JUST now, and for five years past, all our ideas of cripples have been associated with some poor maimed soldier, one of the heroes who, though no less brave than they who lost their lives, nor more so than the more fortunate, who saved both life and limb, yet demand our full sympathy and respect.

But stop: our title says, Written by herself. Was she, then, of those devoted, though mistaken ones, who felt themselves more useful in carrying the musket than when wielding their truer weapons, the pen and the needle, for the comfort and encouragement of dear ones in the field?

No, our cripple was none of these. She can only say that, though in one sense born almost under the walls of that fort against which Treason first exploded its long pent-up malice and deadly hate of Freedom, yet her earliest conscious breath was drawn equally near those not less sacred walls where was wisely conceived, and bravely urged upon a doubting world in the shape of two thousand negro soldiers, an idea in grandeur and importance second only to that of Emancipation itself,—the idea that the oppressed should, could, and would fight for their own lives and liberties.

And so our cripple claims to be a true Union—female.

But who was she, and what was the matter with her?

The latter question will be answered in her own words; but it is no more than fair to tell our readers beforehand what kind of a person she is, lest, if they should suppose her to belong to the human species, and near the beginning of her story she should bewail the loss of three and a half of her legs, they should suspect, either her of a moral as well as bodily deficiency, or us, the translator, of inserting some absurd things for our own amusement. And so, as it is all true and not even embellished,—as we have read in one of the Rollo books of a story told by that prince of small boys’ friends, Jonas,—we are willing, at the risk of their not reading it at all, to tell them that this individual was large, but very handsome (for she was yellow, with splendid anklets of black hairs), and useful (for out of her body came the most beautiful golden silk you ever saw), and good (for she would eat and drink from my hand),—was a great, handsome, good, and useful spider.

Yes, a spider,—one of the “silk spiders of South Carolina,” and, in our opinion, a very well-behaved individual, considering where she came from.

She was a favorite pet of ours. Her large size and good temper, but, above all, her remarkable and never-before-heard-of calamities, made her the chief among many others of her kind; and though a record of them all was kept, yet hers was most full and complete, and abounds in incidents very curious and instructive.

But now you say, If this is a true story, tell us how your wonderful spider told it to you; for we never heard of a spider talking, nor even writing, though we have seen writing that would have passed for a spider’s handiwork.

Now this is a secret that we cannot explain to you; but we can suppose an explanation. While dying, this spider lay in a box upon a cushion of a silk handkerchief folded up; and, with her sharp jaws, she may have cut the words which we alone could decipher and translate; and if you insist upon seeing this same handkerchief, and find yourself unable to read a word of this story, that is no reason why we should be, for spider language is very peculiar, and only to be acquired after long practice.

But in whatever way it was written and read, the story is a true one. Hear it:—


I am about to die,—here all alone in a dark box. I am so weak that I cannot spin a thread, and, if I could, my legs are not strong enough to support me on the web. I should not care so much if I could only lay the eggs which, I am sure, are in my body, and cover them up warm with soft silk, and hang the cocoon under a leaf so as to be shielded from sun and rain and greedy birds: then I could die content.

Fig. 1. Female Spider (minus first right leg,
and first, second, and tip of fourth left legs).

My only hope is that my master, the Doctor, (to whose desire for information on certain matters my fatal illness is due,) understands my condition, and will care enough for the eggs to open my poor body after my death and take them out and keep them until they hatch. I think he will; and this induces me to write for the benefit of you, my five hundred little spider-children who may in time come from these eggs.

I say for your benefit; for although as soon as you are hatched you will know all that would be necessary to know in your native woods, yet, as it will be your fate, and probably the fate of all your descendants, to live in captivity here at the North, there are many things that will be strange and perplexing, and may, as in my own case, be the cause of injury and death. Indeed, my own experience gives me some ground for apprehension lest your captivity and unnatural condition may so affect coming generations that, although you now understand as well as I could tell you how to behave toward your sisters and brothers,—which ones it is prudent for you to try to eat, and which, on the other hand, you must submit to be eaten by,—how to twist your legs and swell your little bodies when the times come for casting off your skins,—how to make your webs and catch and eat your food,—yet in course of time all these may be as lost arts, and a complete account of them become desirable.

And so, if my failing strength will permit, I shall speak not only of those things which are to be sought or avoided by you in your state of bondage, but also of those which, though now most familiar, may be less well understood by your great-great-grandchildren.

I think, too, that without conceit I am as well fitted for the work as any one. I am quite old,—seven months yesterday, for I was hatched on the 4th of October, 1865, and to-day is the 5th of May, 1866. Moreover, I have seen much of life, and passed through many remarkable scenes and adventures; I am sure, too, that the Doctor thought a great deal of me, especially after I lost three and a half of my legs; for he had to put some extra pages into his note-book of spiders to finish my record, while the others never covered the space allowed them.

I say this, because, although these memoirs are especially designed for you, my own children, yet they may be found useful to strangers, and they might wish to know the authority and reputation of their informant and adviser. Of course I have made mistakes,—one of them is the direct cause of my death; but this experience may help others to avoid similar errors.

But, though this is intended to give warning and advice, yet I know too well the temper of young spiders to expect such solemn matters to be greatly esteemed for their own sake. Like solid food, they need some flavoring to be acceptable, and so I shall not hesitate to make this history as interesting as I can consistently with the truth.

For this reason, instead of beginning at my own birth, when, of course commenced my first personal acquaintance with spiders, men, and things, I will relate what I have heard in various ways concerning my parents, their neighbors, and the country where they lived.

I am sorry so much of this information comes through men; for men never seem content with simple truth, which to simple minds is always strange and interesting, but, even in the fairy tales they write for their little children, are unable to restrain their fancy, and are led from one figment to another, until there is no end to the stories they tell of innocent plants and animals, whose real lives are far more wonderful than all that ever was imagined of them by men.

Fig. 2. Map of Charleston, S. C.

But it could not be helped. We spiders have no books or records; for, though we can communicate with each other, yet, as all are born knowing exactly what will be essential to their comfort, there has never been felt the need of preserving knowledge. We have not even traditions; for such is our nature that young and old do not associate. The latter generally perish soon after their eggs are laid, and before their children are hatched. But it was our good fortune to live for some time in the little paper box where my mother died; so we read all the many interesting things that were written on the inside, and from them I select the more important to transmit to you, her grandchildren.

It appears that our kind of spider (which men call Nephila plumipes or feather-footed Nephila) is found in but one small place, named Long Island, a little south from Charleston, on the coast of South Carolina, between James and Folly Islands. It is said that some have been seen in other places, but we have always felt that Long Island was specially adapted for us. We are very peculiar, and need a great deal of water both to drink and to keep the air soft and moist; and this island lies in the middle of a great swamp, and is covered with trees and vines and bushes, so that it is nice and damp. Indeed, we cannot live in a dry atmosphere, and this, we think, is the reason why we are not found in other parts of the State.

We are fond of the sunlight too, and do not avoid the light, as do our ugly black cousins, that live in holes in houses and on the ground, but always make our webs on the trees, so that the sun may reach us in the morning at least, while at noon we are sheltered from the great heat by the leaves. The only neighbors on Long Island were great mosquitoes, who were so good as to attack their common enemies, but never troubled our race. They were better off than the spiders; for though we have eight eyes on the front of our heads, yet we cannot see each other, or anything else at all, but merely distinguish light from darkness. Our hearing and touch, however, are very acute and almost make up for the poorness of our eyes.

[Note by the Translator.—She is right in saying that their hearing is acute; but we are inclined to think that, for some of the particulars of her capture, our cripple’s mother depended upon what she had heard from ourself and others, as much as upon her own perception of what was going on. It would seem, that, although most spiders evidently can see very well, yet this kind only sees about as much as a man does with his eyelids shut.]

Fig. 3. Cocoon of Spider.

My mother says that one day in April, more than a year ago, while she and her sisters were enjoying the shade of the leaf that supported their cocoon, and wondering how soon it would be proper for them to leave their close nursery, where they had been cooped up for several weeks after they left the eggs, there came along the path two men, one of whom carried a gun, and the other a little paper box, into which he dropped cocoons which he picked off the bushes. The little spiders trembled for fear their house would share the same fate; but, thanks to the friendly leaf, the horrid strangers passed them by.

But, though spared this time, yet when they came out of the cocoon, and separated, each to make a house for itself, my mother took pains to climb up into a tree by the side of the path, and make her web in a secure position. During the summer, most of her sisters were, one by one, either devoured by birds, or drowned by the rain, or swept away by the wind, till only six were left; but, as these were the largest and strongest of all, they made bigger and bigger webs, even three feet across, and every day caught great bugs, locusts, and flies, on which they grew fat and comfortable, and they hoped no cocoon-hunter would ever come that way again.

But alas! one day in August there came striding along the terrible man with the box; only this time he had no box, but carried in one hand a stick, with which he broke down the webs across his path, while the other he flourished about to keep away the mosquitoes, who had already taken the alarm and were attacking him on every side; so that, though he shook his head and stamped his feet and threw about his hands, he was evidently much tormented. He looked tired, too, and hot, and was covered with mud to the waist, but his lips moved steadily, as if he was counting how many spiders there were. Suddenly he stopped, and with his stick entangled one of them in her web, took off his hat and dropped her into it, then brought together the edges of the rim, so that she could not escape. He tried to carry it in his hand, but the mosquitoes now attacked him with such fury that he was obliged to hold the hat in his teeth, and my mother hoped the captive would find her way out and bite him in the face.

He was soon gone, apparently satisfied with a single specimen; but after this my mother and the others lived a life of fear and trembling, lest this pirate, who had come through such deep mud for one spider, should come again and kidnap the entire population of the island.

Their worst fears were realized; on the last day of August the enemy again appeared, but this time in greater force. The leader carried a long stick as before, then came a man holding a little paper box, while behind him was a boy carrying some trays filled with these boxes. When they came to a spider the leader tore down her web, and quickly dropped her into the box, which was ready to shut and be exchanged for an empty one. So, one by one, her neighbors were taken; and, though the valiant mosquitoes stung them at every step, even through their clothes, crawled down their backs and into their ears, the invaders came steadily on and stopped under the tree where my mother had made her web. She had gone so high that she hoped they either would not notice her or would not be able to reach her; but, after a few trials, a stick thrown by the leader came crashing through her web and brought her to the earth. Her efforts to escape were in vain, (for our legs are so slender, that, though we are quick enough on our webs, yet on the ground we move quite slowly,) and she was soon confined in a space so small that she could hardly stretch herself.

But she was the last captive; for the clouds, which had for some time looked very black at this intrusion upon the peaceful regions under their care, now opened upon the invaders their heaviest batteries of thunder and lightning, blasts of wind, and heavy drops of rain; whereupon, as they said, lest the boxes should be wet, but, as we think, stricken with remorse and terror, they began a retreat, and, having gained their boat, put off with all haste. But even now the good clouds pursued them, and when they tried to row, the winds blew them backward faster than they could go forward; and when they raised a sail, tipped them over, and would have spilled them into the water if the sail had not split into ribbons; and all this time the rain drenched them, the thunder and lightning terrified them, and the wind blew from every point against them as they turned in the creeks. They grounded on oyster-beds, and stuck fast upon mud-flats, and each moment my mother expected to hear wicked words and threats to cast overboard the box of captives, as Jonah was cast in ancient time.

But no; they seemed anxious only lest their precious freight should be lost; and their leader spoke so confidently of the beautiful silk he should get from them, as he had done the year before, and the year before that, when he first found a stray spider on Folly Island, that my mother and her companions forgot their hate, and soon the clouds too were appeased, and the moon came out and lighted them home; and so, though the rough harbor had to be crossed, and it was nearly midnight, yet they finally arrived safely at Mt. Pleasant, near Charleston.

My mother was kept in her box; but every morning it was opened, and she was examined, and a few words written on the cover. During the night of the third day of her captivity, she made a soft cushion of silk upon the lower side of the cover by pulling threads out of her spinners with her hind feet, and curling them up, and then, pressing the under side of her body against it, deposited upon it four or five hundred little yellow eggs. These she covered with another cushion, and then spun strong threads over it all, so that they should be secure from injury, and never fall out. (Fig. 3.)

The next morning, when the Doctor (for so he was called) opened her box, he was much pleased, and spoke to his friends of the young spiders that would be hatched from the eggs; but, though he might have known my mother was faint and weary, he offered her no water. The following day, however, he brought her, on a pin, a little bit of flesh, so soft and juicy that it was nearly as good as her favorite dish,—a fly with dewdrop sauce; and, as she took this eagerly, it was given her every day, and sometimes a drop of water on it made it still more delicious. Still, the air was dry, and very different from that of her dear Long Island; and gradually my poor mother wasted away, and grew weaker and weaker, till she could not eat, and at last, on the 25th day after her capture, she died.

Two observations which she made were less clear then than now. One was, that almost every day during their quiet stay at Mt. Pleasant she heard strange noises, as of rubbing and turning, which must have been caused by the machinery used in reeling silk from her less fortunate companions; the other was, that, soon after these noises ceased, she felt the case in which all the little boxes were kept lifted and carried about, then she breathed the sea-air, and by the middle of September a cooler atmosphere; when, too, she heard great rattlings and rumblings, and at times the word Boston; which means that here in this city, where I was hatched, and where I trust you will be, my mother died on the 25th day of September, 1865.

I am sure her life might have been prolonged if water had been given her; for some of her younger companions, who had not exhausted their strength by laying eggs, lived until the Doctor was convinced of their need of water, and gave them some; then they revived, and one of them, who was set at liberty in a house of flowers, made a great web, and caught all the flies, and grew fat; but during the winter they squirted very badly-smelling water over the plants to kill the bugs, and it killed her too.


And now, my dear children, it is time to commence my own story.

You have already seen that this nominally begins on the 3d day of September, 1865 when, according to my mother’s account, her eggs were laid in the little box where she died. But I really knew nothing for myself until they hatched on the 4th day of October.

Fig. 4. Young Spider in the egg.

Now these eggs are curious things. I can’t understand (nor do I believe men know any better, wise as they think themselves) how it is that a little yellow ball, not half as big as a pin’s head, and filled with what look like drops of oil, should, within a few weeks after it is laid, change of itself, and become in some places harder, in others softer, with little partitions and divisions into the head and body and legs of a little round spider, with eyes and jaws and everything; but still packed away tight in the egg.

These changes, however, men have watched, and have been convinced of what we knew long ago,—that we are not merely spiders, but insects, just as much as the proud beetles and butterflies. For, although after we are hatched our head and chest are closely soldered together so as to look like one piece, yet while we are forming in the egg they are quite distinct,—as much so as the head and chest of a grasshopper. What if we don’t have wings? We have eight legs, and other insects have only six; and, in fact, we don’t need wings, for some of us never want to leave the earth, and others can crawl up as high as they wish and swing off, and some can spin fine silky threads, which are so light as to float in the air, and even carry the spider with them over land and water, which is a much easier way than insects have, by flapping their wings, and working so hard. And as for being ugly, why, I have heard the Doctor say we were very handsome and far more sensible than common insects, for we never run away as they do when food or drink is put to our mouths. I would not change coats with any of them.

Fig. 5. Young Spider (natural size and magnified).

Well, we will let men quarrel over our names, and go back to the 4th of October, 1865, when I broke the shell of my egg and came out into the air. I was one of the first, being on the outside of the mass of eggs; but this had already cracked open in several places, and within two days all my sisters and brothers had come out and pushed the shells away out into the meshes of the cocoon, so that the cavity was occupied by us. Of course we needed more room now, for our legs, though short, were active, and we were packed pretty closely, so as to resemble, the Doctor said, a white raspberry. How that would have frightened us a month later, after having heard that the natives of some hot countries, and even some learned persons, consider spiders very good eating, and say they taste like nuts!

For the first few days, I kept pretty quiet, and, thinking my stomach or abdomen too fat and round, while my head and legs were too thin, I occupied myself in squeezing as much as I could from my abdomen through the slender stem that supports it into my head and legs, and was glad to find them growing larger. But now the skin over these parts became stiff and dry, and would no longer stretch; and all at once, while straining hard, the skin on the top of my head snapped right up, like the lid of a box, so that I soon got my head and eyes and jaws out, and then, by pulling, split the skin on each side, near the stem, so that my abdomen could be pulled out; and now only my legs were left, and by getting on my back, and pulling and twisting, I extricated first the third pair of legs which are short, and then the others, and my feelers or palpi; after which I kicked my old clothes out among the egg-shells, and found myself in a nice clean suit, softer and easier than the first one.

Fig. 6. Spider casting her skin.

I could now spin threads by pressing my spinners against anything, and moving away from it. I had no occasion to spin a great deal then, but it was good fun to climb about on the silken ropes of our cocoon, and then I always fastened a thread to hold me if I fell.

But presently a new trouble arose: I was hungry and had nothing to eat. When thirsty, we had always found little drops of water which were sprinkled upon the cocoon, but now we needed food too, and, seeing nothing else, I began to long for a taste of one of my plump little sisters; so one day I pretended to be very much hurt when a small one tumbled against me, and caught her in my jaws and bit her so that she died,—and then, of course, I might as well eat her. So I did, and after this, although I was sorry to lose my little sisters, I had to eat them, for there was no other food, and if some did not eat others, all would starve.

Men are very much shocked at what they call our natural cannibalism, but I am quite certain that, if five hundred of them were shut up in a small room, with nothing to eat, the men would soon eat the little boys. To be sure we are very different from men, and it might not be proper for them, but it is evidently the thing we are intended to do. The little spiders are like many shoots on an apple-tree in the spring, some of which must be cut off to let the rest grow better. But I think you understand it, and need only tell you always to select the smallest, for the larger will make the best spiders when they grow up, and do most credit to our race; and besides, a big one might object to being eaten, and do you an injury, or even eat you herself.

Fig. 7. Male Spider.

We never felt ugly toward each other, though, I must say, that to be large and eat, is nicer than to be small and be eaten. I have never mentioned my brothers. I don’t think I had any, and I hope you will never see any either. Gentlemen spiders, they call themselves. They are a disgrace to our family,—little, dried-up, good-for-nothing creatures. Why, they look as if they had stopped growing when only a quarter of an inch long, while we keep on till we are more than an inch in length, and are as handsome as can be. I know we abuse our brothers and husbands sometimes, and even eat them up; but it is their own fault, for they never do anything, and are always in the way, and if they are really treated unjustly, why, let them hold a convention and assert their rights.

Well, on the 1st of November we were carefully put into a glass jar, which was kept mouth downward. This gave us light and plenty of room, especially now that only one hundred of us were left. We now ventured out of the cocoon and spun a loose web of lines crossing in all directions, so that we could hang on them and climb about. Soon after this, a great blue-bottle, crushed, was dropped into our midst. At it we rushed, and as many as could plunged their sharp teeth into it and sucked away at the juicy flesh. And now every day was given us a fly or a cockroach, and by and by we did not hesitate to attack them even when alive, and seldom felt obliged to devour one another.

On the 20th of November, I, being the largest of all, was put into a jar all alone. I soon forgot my companions, and set about making a nice new web, three inches wide, and not in the least like the one we all lived in together; for it was flat like a wheel, and the lines were regular and carefully made, so that when finished it was very handsome. Over some of the threads I spread a soft gum, which presently ran into little globules or beads, which shone in the sun like pearls.

Fig. 8. Web of Spider.

I shall not be able to tell you all about this web, and the many others I made afterward, and will only give you a few hints, the result of my long experience. 1st. Never make your webs right up and down, as people think spiders’ webs are made, but always slanting a little, so that your bodies may hang away from the web, and not touch the sticky threads. 2d. Never make them of circular or spiral lines, as common spiders do, but spin your cross-lines in loops running from side to side over the radii, but not going all the way round, so that the web is not circular, but oval, with the greater part below the point where the straight lines meet, and then, as you hang head downward, you can feel where an insect is, when it touches the web, and dart to it without turning about. 3d. If the insect seems to be a large one, never seize it until you have touched it all over with your front legs, and measured its size and strength; then, if it is safe, bite it in a soft place, and hold on till it is almost dead; then turn it over between your palpi (feelers) and third pair of legs, and reel out silk upon it with your hind legs till it cannot move, and finally hang it up and eat it at your leisure. 4th. When your web becomes dry and dusty or rent, you can tear down as much as is necessary, and renew it; but never throw the old part away till you have chewed it up and swallowed all the gum, so that only the dust and the dry silk are left. 5th. Always build your webs during the night, or just before day, so that they may be fresh and sticky next morning; but it is better to cast your skins during the day, while the other spiders are quiet, and then by evening your skin will have dried, so that you need not fear them if they move about during the night.

In this manner I lived on alone, and, having plenty to eat, soon grew to be nearly an inch in length. I had already cast my skin several times, and when the operation had to be gone through with again I felt it a great bore to have to stop eating for several days, to make the old skin more loose and easy to come off, and then to spend a whole half-hour in getting it off and hanging by my thread while I pumped fluid through the stem from my abdomen into my head and legs, so that when the new skin dried they would be larger than before; for you see I was lazy and fat, and did not like so much exertion.

And so this time, after my body was all out, I thought matters could be hastened; and when the first two legs on my left side seemed to stick, I grew impatient and gave a jerk; and snap! off went the first leg close to my body. To be sure it did not hurt me much, for you know we have the power of casting off our legs at the second joint from the body without bleeding to death, as we might if injured in other places; but this is only to save our lives when we are caught by the legs. So I was very sorry indeed, for I had always been rather vain of my good looks.

Fig. 9. Spider after casting her skin.

There I hung by the thread coming from my spinners, and by the second leg, which seemed to be twisted and indisposed to come out. I dared not struggle, for fear of losing it also, but toward night, the Doctor, thinking I might die if unrelieved, tried to help me; but at the first touch the already over-strained parts gave way, and off came my second leg, leaving me alive, though dreadfully weak and a cripple for life.

This was on the 7th of January. The next morning I was put into a fresh jar, where, during the night, I tried to make a web; but I was so awkward with only six legs that it was a very poor one. However, it was good enough to catch the little flies and cockroaches that were dropped upon it.

The truth is, although it was well enough to be particular when we had to catch our food in our webs, and each spider wished hers to be the largest and best, yet now, when food is put into our mouths, it is not worth while to spend so much time and trouble; and it is much easier, too, to suck water from the end of a stick or brush, than to run over the web after a shower, and pick up a drop here and there.

On the 4th of February I moulted again, and this time was careful not to pull off any more legs. In fact I was a little disappointed not to find two new ones in place of those I had already lost, as might have been the case if I had been younger; but so far from this, the Doctor, in trying to cut down my old skin, snipped off the end of my left hinder leg. He seemed to feel very sorry, and spoke of ordering some “artificial legs” for me, but they never came, and, though I lost only a drop of blood, and soon recovered, I missed this foot more than the other two; for, as you know, the hind legs are used to draw out the silk from the spinners, and wind it over the insects we have caught, to guide the thread while we spin, and, finally, to support the weight of our bodies as we hang in the web. However, I was soon strong again, and, on being put into a large glass case with others, found myself larger than any of them, and treated them just as I pleased, which, I regret to say, was not very kindly; I demolished their webs for fun, and, if they complained, threatened to demolish them too. But I was punished for this, for while preparing to cast my skin, and feeling, as all spiders do at that time, weak and sluggish, I was attacked by one whom I had abused, and should have been slain if I had not cast off the leg which she had seized, and fallen to the bottom of the case. I was now a cripple indeed, and, after moulting for the last time on the 5th of March, was glad to be removed to a jar by myself, and afterward to a wire frame fastened in a board, on which I made a web, poor enough, but yet something to hang from.

On the 26th of March, the Doctor noticed for the first time that my hinder leg, the end of which had been cut off, was again possessed of at least one claw, not so good as the first, but better than none at all. He spoke then of wishing to see how it looked, and wondering whether it would be reproduced a second time; but I never thought he would do such a horrible and wicked thing as to cut it off again. But he did, with a great dull pair of scissors, and all the satisfaction I had was in knowing that he looked at it through a glass for half an hour. After this injury, I could hardly get along at all. All I could do with that leg was to hook the stump over a thread or wire; and my body was now so heavy and full of eggs that I grew weary and sick.

But it seemed as if I was fated to bear all possible trials; for only a week after this, my poor body was put in a kind of stocks, with my head and jaws and legs all on one side of a partition, and my abdomen on the other, so that I could not help myself, or touch the silk which hung out of my spinners; the Doctor now fastened the end of this to a little wheel, and turned it, and pulled out all the silk I had, and which I meant to use in making a cocoon for my eggs. It was downright stealing, I think. I would like to bite him now for it.

This, of course, put me into a bad humor, the consequence of which was, that when, on the 28th of April, a week ago, he took me between his thumb and finger, and pinched me a little, I opened my jaws and tried to bite; and when the leg of a little kitten, a few days old, was put against my head, I bit it as hard as I could, and the kitten jerked her paw away, and I fell heavily to the floor, which bruised me badly. I was picked up, but now I had lost my temper and needed no pinching, but bit the poor kitten again, and drew blood, and again I was thrown to the floor.

The Doctor was now satisfied, and put me back into my web; but I was so weak that, after a few days, I fell to the bottom of the box, injuring me still more, so that yesterday I was laid upon this soft cushion to die. I found that it would be impossible for me to lay my eggs, and so I have spent my last moments—

Note by the Translator.—It would seem that our unhappy cripple made her story so long that she could not add the parting words of advice proper to the melancholy occasion. But perhaps she would have said: “Do not be in too much haste to be rid of your old clothes; for in this my misfortunes began. Do not impose upon your weaker neighbors; for this cost me a leg, which I could ill spare after losing two and a half before. Do not lose your temper because you are pinched a little; for this was the cause of my untimely death.”

The kitten is still alive and well.

Burt G. Wilder, M. D.


In a retired town of New England was a certain little green hollow among high hills; and in this little hollow stood an old brown farm-house. It was built two stories high in front, but the roof sloped a long way down behind, till it came so near the ground that any one of you might have jumped off from it without frightening the most anxious mamma.

As I have said, this house stood in a little hollow formed by ever so many high hills, which rose around it much as waves rise around a little boat in stormy weather; they looked, in fact, like green waves that had been suddenly stopped and hardened into mountains and hills. Upon their sides grew forests of pines, besides chestnut, hickory, ash, and maple trees, which gave them a charming variety through most of the months of the year. The rocks, too, in many places were perfectly veiled and covered with the bright, glossy green leaves of the rose-laurel, while underneath the crevices were full of fern, saxifrage, rock-columbine, and all sorts of lovely things, which were most charming to explore, if one had energy enough to hunt them up.

The house had no yard round it, but stood on a smooth green turfy knoll, and was shaded by a great elm-tree, whose long branches arched over, and seemed like a broad, leafy sky. In summer this was pleasant enough, for the morning sun sent straight arrows of gold hither and thither between the boughs and branches, and carried some of the greenness as they went into the chambers of the old house, and at night the moon and stars winked and twinkled, and made a thousand pretty plays of light and shadow as they sent their rays dancing over, under, and through the elm-boughs to the little brown house.

It was somewhere about the first of March, I believe, when there was quite a stir in the ground-floor bedroom of this little brown house, because a very small young lady had just made her appearance in this world, who was the first daughter that had ever been given to John and Martha Primrose; and, of course, her coming was a great event. Four of the most respectable old matrons in the vicinity were solemnly taking tea and quince preserves in Martha’s bedroom, in honor of the great event which had just transpired, while a little bundle of flannel was carefully trotted and tended in the lap of the oldest of them, who every now and then opened the folds and peered in through her spectacles at a very red, sleepy little face that lay inside.

“Well,” said Dame Toothacre, the eldest, “did I ever know such a spell of warm weather as we had the last fortnight?”

“Yes,” said Ma’am Trowbridge, “it has fairly started the buds. Look, that pussy willow by the window is quite out.”

“My Mary says she has seen a liverwort blossom,” said Dame Toothacre; “and I’ve heard blue-birds these two weeks,—it’s a most uncommon season.”

“If the warm weather holds on, Martha will have a good getting-up,” said Dame Johnson. “She’s got as plump and likely a little girl as I should want to see.”

And so, after a time, night settled down in the bedroom, and one after another of the good old gossips went home, and the little bundle of flannel was tucked warmly into bed, and nurse Toothacre was snoring loudly on a cot-bed in the corner, and the moon streamed through the willow-bush by the window, and marked the shadow of all the little pussy buds on it clearly on the white, clean floor,—when something happened that nobody must know of but you and me, dear little folks; and what it was I shall relate.

There came in on the moonbeams a stream of fairy folk and wood spirits, to see what they could do for the new baby. You must know that everything that grows has its spirit, and these spirits not only attend on their own plants, but now and then do a good turn for mortals,—as, when plants have good and healing properties, they come to us by the ministry of these plant spirits.

In the winter, when the plant seems dead, these spirits dwell dormant under ground; but the warm suns of spring thaw them, and renew their strength, and out they come happy and strong as ever. Now it was so early in March that, if there had not been a most uncommonly warm season for a week or two past, there would not have been a plant spirit stirring, and the new baby would have had to go without the gifts and graces which they bring. As it was, there came slipping down on the moonbeam, first, old Mother Fern, all rolled up in a woollen shawl, with a woollen hood on her head, but with a face brimful of benevolence towards the new baby. Little Mistress Liverwort came trembling after her; for it was scarcely warm enough yet to justify her putting on her spring clothes, and she did it only at the urgent solicitations of Blue-bird, who had been besieging her doors for a fortnight. And, finally, there was Pussy Willow, who prudently kept on her furs, and moved so velvet-footed that nobody would even suspect she was there; but they undrew the curtains to get a look at the new baby.

“Bless its heart!” said Mother Fern, peering down at it through her glasses. “It’s as downy as any of us.”

“I should think it might be a young blue-bird,” said Liverwort, looking down out of her gray hood; “it looks as much like one as anything. Come, what shall we give it? I’ll give it blue eyes,—real violet-blue,—and if that isn’t a good gift, I don’t know what is.”

“And I’ll give her some of my thrift and prudence,” said Mother Fern. “We Ferns have no blossoms to speak of, but we are a well-to-do family, as everybody knows, and can get our living on any soil where it pleases Heaven to put us; and so thrift shall be my gift for this little lady. Thrift will surely lead to riches and honor.”

“I will give her a better thing than that,” said Pussy Willow. “I grow under the windows here, and mean to adopt her. She shall be called Little Pussy Willow, and I shall give her the gift of always seeing the bright side of everything. That gift will be more to her than beauty or riches or honors. It is not so much matter what color one’s eyes are, as what one sees with them. There is a bright side to everything, if people only knew it, and the best eyes are those which are able always to see this best side.”

“I must say, friend Pussy,” said Mother Fern, “that you are a most sensibly-spoken bush, for a bush of your age. You always did seem to me to have a most remarkable faculty in that line; for I have remarked how you seize on the first ray of sunshine, and get your pussies out before any of us dare make a movement. Many a time I have said, ‘Well, I guess Miss Pussy Willow’ll find herself mistaken in the weather this year’; but, taking one year with another, I think you have gained time by being always on hand, and believing in the pleasant weather.”

“Well,” said Pussy, “if I should hang back with my buds as our old Father Elm-tree does, I should miss a deal of pleasure, and people would miss a deal of pleasure from me. The children, dear souls! I’m always in a hurry to get out in the spring because it pleases them. ‘O, here’s Pussy Willow come back!’ they cry when they see me. ‘Now the winter is over!’ And no matter if there is a little dash of sleet or snow or frost after that, I stand it with a good heart, because I know it is summer that is coming, and not winter, and that things are certain to grow better, and not worse. I’m not handsome, I know; I’m not elegant; nobody thinks much of me; and my only good points are my cheerfulness and my faith in good things to come;—so these are the gifts I bring to my little god-child.”

With that, Pussy Willow stooped and rubbed her downy cheek over the little downy cheek of the baby, and the tiny face smiled in its sleep as if it knew that something good was being done for it. But just then Nurse Toothacre, who had been snoring very regularly for some time, gave such a loud and sudden snort that it waked her up, and she sat bolt upright in bed. “Was that a dog barking?” she exclaimed. “I thought I heard a dog.”

Whisk! went all the little fairies up the ladder of moonshine; but Pussy Willow laughed softly as she softly patted her velvet tip against the window, and said,—

Harriet Beecher Stowe.



THE “by-and-by” people came at last,—Jeannie, and Elinor, and Sin Saxon, and the Arnalls, and Josie Scherman. They wanted Leslie,—to tell and ask her half a hundred things about the projected tableaux. If it had only been Miss Craydocke and the Josselyns sitting together, with Dakie Thayne, how would that have concerned them,—the later comers? It would only have been a bit of “the pines” preoccupied: they would have found a place for themselves, and gone on with their own chatter. But Leslie’s presence made all the difference. The little group became the nucleus of the enlarging circle. Miss Craydocke had known very well how this would be.

They asked this and that of Leslie which they had come to ask; and she would keep turning to the Josselyns and appealing to them; so they were drawn in. There was a curtain to be made, first of all. Miss Craydocke would undertake that, drafting Leslie and the Miss Josselyns to help her; they should all come to her room early to-morrow, and they would have it ready by ten o’clock. Leslie wondered a little that she found work for them to do: a part of the play she thought would have been better; but Miss Craydocke knew how that must come about. Besides, she had more than one little line to lay and to pull, this serpent-wise old maiden, in behalf of her ultimate designs concerning them.

I can’t stay here under the pines and tell you all their talk this summer morning,—how Sin Saxon grew social and saucy with the quiet Miss Josselyns; how she fell upon the mending-basket and their notability, and declared that the most foolish and pernicious proverb in the world was that old thing about a stitch in time saving nine; it might save certain special stitches; but how about the time itself, and other stitches? She didn’t believe in it,—running round after a darning-needle and forty other things, the minute a thread broke, and dropping whatever else one had in hand, to let it ravel itself all out again; “she believed in a good big basket, in a dark closet, and laying up there for a rainy day, and being at peace in the pleasant weather. Then, too, there was another thing; she didn’t believe in notability itself, at all: the more one was fool enough to know, the more one had to do, all one’s life long. Providence always took care of the lame and the lazy; and, besides, those capable people never had contented minds. They couldn’t keep servants: their own fingers were always itching to do things better. Her sister Effie was a lamentable instance. She’d married a man,—well, not very rich,—and she had set out to learn and direct everything. The consequence was, she was like Eve after the apple,—she knew good and evil; and wasn’t the garden just a wilderness after that? She never thought of it before, but she believed that was exactly what the old poem in Genesis was written for!”

How Miss Craydocke answered, with her gentle, tolerant common-sense, and right thought, and wide-awake brightness; how the Josselyns grew cordial and confident enough to confess that, with five little children in the house, there wasn’t a great necessity for laying up against a rainy day, and with stockings at a dollar and a half a pair, one was apt to get the nine stitches, or a pretty comfortable multiple of them, every Wednesday when the wash came in; and how these different kinds of lives, coming together with a friendly friction, found themselves not so uncongenial, or so incomprehensible to each other, after all;—all this, in its detail of bright words, I cannot stop to tell you; it would take a good many summers to go through one like this so fully; but when the big bell rang for dinner, they all came down the ledge together, and Sue and Martha Josselyn, for the first time in four weeks, felt themselves fairly one with the current interest and life of the gay house in which they had been dwellers and yet only lookers-on.

Mrs. Thoresby, coming down to dinner, a few minutes late, with her daughters, and pausing—as people always did at the Green Cottage, without knowing why—to step from the foot of the stairway to the open piazza-door, and glance out before turning toward the dining-room, saw the ledge party just dividing itself into its two little streams, that were to head, respectively, for cottage and hotel.

“It is a wonder to me that Mrs. Linceford allows it!” was her comment. “Just the odds and ends of all the company here. And those girls, who might take whatever stand they pleased!”

“Miss Leslie always finds out the nicest people, and the best times, I think,” said Etty, who had dragged through but a dull morning behind the blinds of her mother’s window, puzzling over crochet,—which she hated, because she said it was like everlastingly poking one’s finger after a sliver,—and had caught, now and then, over the still air, the laughter and bird-notes that came together from among the pines. One of the Miss Haughtleys had sat with them; but that only “stiffened out the dulness,” as Etty had declared, the instant the young lady left them.

“Don’t be pert, Etty. You don’t know what you want, or what is for your interest. The Haddens were well enough, by themselves; but when it comes to Tom, Dick, and Harry!”

“I don’t believe that’s elegant, mamma,” said Etty, demurely; “and there isn’t Tom, Dick, nor Harry; only Dakie Thayne, and that nice, nice Miss Craydocke! And—I hate the Haughtleys!” This with a sudden explosiveness at the last, after the demureness.

“Etty!” and Mrs. Thoresby intoned an indescribable astonishment of displeasure in her utterance of her daughter’s name. “Remember yourself. You are neither to be impertinent to me, nor to speak rudely of persons whom I choose for your acquaintance. When you are older, you will come to understand how these chance meetings may lead to the most valuable friendships, or, on the contrary, to the most mortifying embarrassments. In the mean time, you are to be guided.” After which little sententious homily out of the Book of the World, Mrs. Thoresby ruffled herself with dignity, and led her brood away with her.

Next day, Tom, Dick, and Harry—that is to say, Miss Craydocke, Susan and Martha Josselyn, and Leslie Goldthwaite—were gathered in the first-named lady’s room, to make the great green curtain. And there Sin Saxon came in upon them,—ostensibly to bring the curtain-rings, and explain how she wanted them put on; but after that she lingered.

“It’s like the Tower of Babel up stairs,” she said, “and just about as likely ever to get built. I can’t bear to stay where I can’t hear myself talk. You’re nice and cosey here, Miss Craydocke.” And, with that, she settled herself down on the floor, with all her little ruffles and flounces and billows of muslin heaping and curling themselves about her, till her pretty head and shoulders were like a new and charming sort of floating-island in the midst.

And it came to pass that presently the talk drifted round to vanities and vexations,—on this wise.

“Everybody wants to be everything,” said Sin Saxon. “They don’t say so, of course. But they keep objecting, and unsettling. Nothing hushes anybody up but proposing them for some especially magnificent part. And you can’t hush them all at once in that way. If they’d only say what they want, and be done with it! But they’re so dreadfully polite! Only finding out continual reasons why nobody will do for this and that, or have time to dress, or something, and waiting modestly to be suggested and shut up! When I came down they were in full tilt about the Lady of Shalott. It’s to be one of the crack scenes, you know,—river of blue cambric, and a real, regular, lovely property-boat. Frank Scherman sent for it, and it came up on the stage yesterday,—drivers swearing all the way. Now they’ll go on for half an hour, at least; and at the end of that time I shall walk in—upon the plain of Shinar—with my hair all let down,—it’s real, every bit of it, not a tail tied on anywhere,—and tell them, I—myself—am to be the Lady of Shalott! I think I shall relish flinging in that little bit of honesty,—like a dash of cold water into the middle of a fry. Won’t it sizzle?”

She sat twirling the cord upon which the dozens of great brass rings were strung, watching the shining ellipse they made as they revolved,—like a child set down upon the carpet with a plaything,—expecting no answer, only waiting for the next vagrant whimsicality that should come across her brain,—not altogether without method, either,—to give it utterance.

“I don’t suppose I could convince you of it,” she resumed; “but I do actually have serious thoughts sometimes. I think that very likely some of us—most of us—are going to the dogs. And I wonder what it will be when we get there. Why don’t you contradict—or confirm—what I say, Miss Craydocke?”

“You haven’t said out, yet, have you?”

Sin Saxon opened wide her great, wondering, saucy blue eyes, and turned them full upon Miss Craydocke’s face. “Well, you are a oner! as somebody in Dickens says. There’s no such thing as a leading question for you. It’s like the rope the dog slipped his head out of, and left the man holding fast at the other end, in touching confidence that he was coming on. I saw that once on Broadway. Now I experience it. I suppose I’ve got to say more. Well, then, in a general way, do you think living amounts to anything, Miss Craydocke?”

“Whose living?”

“Sharp—as a knife that’s just cut through a lemon! Ours, then, if you please; us girls’, for instance.”

“You haven’t done much of your living yet, my dear.” The tone was gentle, as of one who looked down from such a height of years that she felt tenderly the climbing that had been, for those who had it yet to do.

“We’re as busy at it, too, as we can be. But sometimes I’ve mistrusted something like what I discovered very indignantly one day when I was four years old, and fancied I was making a petticoat, sewing through and through a bit of flannel. The thread hadn’t any knot in it!”

“That was very well, too, until you knew just where to put the stitches that should stay.”

“Which brings us to our subject of the morning, as the sermons say sometimes, when they’re half through, or ought to be. There are all kinds of stitches,—embroidery, and plain over-and-over, and whippings, and darns! When are we to make our knot and begin? and which kind are we to do?”

“Most lives find occasion, more or less, for each. Practised fingers will know how to manage all.”

“But—it’s—the—proportion!” cried Sin, in a crescendo that ended with an emphasis that was nearly a little scream.

“I think that, when one looks to what is really needed most and first, will arrange itself,” said Miss Craydocke. “Something gets crowded out, with us all. It depends upon what, and how, and with what willingness we let it go.”

Now we come to the superlative sort of people,—the extra good ones, who let everything go that isn’t solid duty; all the ornament of life,—good looks,—tidiness even,—and everything that’s the least bit jolly, and that don’t keep your high-mindedness on the strain. I want to be low-minded—weak-minded, at least—now and then. I can’t bear ferociously elevated people, who won’t say a word that don’t count; people that talk about their time being interrupted, (as if their time wasn’t everybody else’s time, too,) because somebody comes in once in a while for a friendly call; and who go about the streets as if they were so intent upon some tremendous good work, or big thinking, that it would be dangerous even to bow to a common sinner, for fear of being waylaid and hindered. I know people like that; and all I’ve to say is, that, if they’re to make up the heavenly circles, I’d full as lief go down lower, where they’re kind of social!”

There can scarcely be a subject touched, in ever so light a way,—especially a moral or a spiritual subject,—in however small a company of persons, that shall not set in motion varied and intense currents of thought,—bear diverse and searching application to consciousness and experience. The Josselyns sat silent with the long breadths of green cambric over their laps, listening with an amusement that freshened into their habitual work-day mood, like a wilful little summer breeze born out of blue morning skies, unconscious of clouds, to the oddities of Sin Saxon; but the drift of her sayings, the meaning she actually had under them, bore down upon their different knowledge with a significance whose sharpness she had no dream of. “Plain over-and-over,”—how well it illustrated what their young days and the disposal of them had been! Miss Craydocke thought of the darns; her story cannot be told here; but she knew what it meant to have the darns of life fall to one’s share,—to have the filling up to do, with dextrousness and pains and sacrifice, of holes that other people make!

For Leslie Goldthwaite, she got the next word of the lesson she was learning,—“It depends on what one is willing to let get crowded out.

Sin Saxon went on again.

“I’ve had a special disgust given me to superiority. I wouldn’t be superior for all the world. We had a superior specimen come among us at Highslope last year. She’s there yet, it’s commonly believed; but nobody takes the trouble to be positive of it. Reason why, she took up immediately such a position of mental and moral altitude above our heads, and became so sublimely unconscious of all beneath, that all beneath wasn’t going to strain its neck to look after her, much less provide itself with telescopes. We’re pretty nice people, we think; but we’re not particularly curious in astronomy. We heard great things of her, beforehand; and we were all ready to make much of her. We asked her to our parties. She came, with a look upon her as if some unpleasant duty had forced her temporarily into purgatory. She shied round like a cat in a strange garret, as if all she wanted was to get out. She wouldn’t dance; she wouldn’t talk; she went home early,—to her studies, I suppose, and her plans for next day’s unmitigated usefulness. She took it for granted we had nothing in us but dance, and so—as Artemus Ward says—‘If the American Eagle could solace itself in that way, we let it went!’ She might have done some good to us,—we needed to be done to, I don’t doubt,—but it’s all over now. That light is under a bushel, and that city’s hid, so far as Highslope is concerned. And we’ve pretty much made up our minds, among us, to be bad and jolly. Only sometimes I get thinking,—that’s all.”

She got up, giving the string of rings a final whirl, and tossing them into Leslie Goldthwaite’s lap. “Good by,” she said, shaking down her flounces. “It’s time for me to go and assert myself at Shinar. ‘Moi, c’est l’Empire!’ Napoleon was great when he said that. A great deal greater than if he’d pretended to be meek, and want nothing but the public good!”

“What gets crowded out?” Day by day that is the great test of our life.

Just now, everything seemed likely to get crowded out with the young folks at Outledge, but dresses, characters, and rehearsals. The swivel the earth turned on at this moment was the coming Tuesday evening and its performance. And the central axis of that, to nearly every individual interest, was what such particular individual was to “be.”

They had asked Leslie to take the part of Zorayda in the Three Moorish Princesses of the Alhambra. Jeannie and Elinor were to be Zayda and Zorahayda. As for Leslie, she liked well enough, as we know, to look pretty; it was, or had been, till other thoughts of late had begun to “crowd it out,” something like a besetting weakness; she had only lately, to tell the whole truth as it seldom is told, begun to be ashamed, before her higher self, to turn, the first thing in the morning, with a certain half-mechanical anxiety, toward her glass, to see how she was looking. Without studying into separate causes of complexion and so forth, as older women given to these things come to do, she knew that somehow there was often a difference; and beside the standing question in her mind as to whether there were a chance of her growing up to anything like positive beauty or not, there was apt often to be a reason why she would like to-day, if possible, to be in particular good looks. When she got an invitation, or an excursion was planned, the first thing that came into her head was naturally what she should wear; and a good deal of the pleasure would depend on that. A party without an especially pretty dress didn’t amount to much; she couldn’t help that; it did count with everybody, and it made a difference. She would like, undoubtedly, a “pretty part” in these tableaux; but there was more in Leslie Goldthwaite, even without touching upon the deep things, than all this. Only a pretty part did not quite satisfy: she had capacity for something more. In spite of the lovely Moorish costume to be contrived out of blue silk and white muslin, and to contrast so picturesquely with Jeannie’s crimson, and the soft, snowy drapery of Elinor, she would have been half willing to be the “discreet Kadiga” instead; for the old woman had really to look something as well as somehow, and there was a spirit and a fun in that.

The pros and cons and possibilities were working themselves gradually clear to her thoughts, as she sat and listened, with external attention in the beginning, to Sin Saxon’s chatter. Ideas about the adaptation of her dress-material, and the character she could bring out of, or get into, her part, mingled themselves together; and Irving’s delicious old legend that she had read hundreds of times, entranced, as a child, repeated itself in snatches to her recollection. Jeannie must be stately; that would quite suit her. Elinor—must just be Elinor. Then the airs and graces remained for herself. She thought she could illustrate with some spirit the latent coquetry of the imprisoned beauty; she believed, notwithstanding the fashion in which the story measured out their speech in rations,—always an appropriate bit, and just so much of it to each,—that the gay Zorayda must have had the principal hand in their affairs,—must have put the others up to mischief, and coaxed most winningly the discreet Kadiga. She could make something out of it: it shouldn’t be mere flat prettiness. She began to congratulate herself upon the character. And then her ingenious fancy flew off to something else that had occurred to her, and that she had only secretly proposed to Sin Saxon,—an illustration of a certain ancient nursery ballad, to vary by contrast the pathetic representations of Auld Robin Gray and the Lady of Shalott. It was a bright plan, and she was nearly sure she could carry it out; but it was not a “pretty part,” and Sin Saxon had thought it fair she should have one; therefore Zorayda. All this was reason why Leslie’s brain was busy, like her fingers, as she sat and sewed on the green curtain, and let Sin Saxon talk. Till Miss Craydocke said that, “Something always gets crowded out,” and so those words came to her in the midst of all.

The Josselyns went away to their own room when the last rings had been sewn on; and the curtain was ready, as had been promised, at ten o’clock. Leslie stayed, waiting for Dakie Thayne to come and fetch it. While she sat there, silent, by the window, Miss Craydocke brought out a new armful of something from a drawer, and came and placed her Shaker rocking-chair beside her. Leslie looked round, and saw her lap full of two little bright plaid dresses.

“It’s only the button-holes,” said Miss Craydocke. “I’m going to make them now, before they find me out.”

Leslie looked very uncomprehending.

“You didn’t suppose I let those girls come in here and spend their morning on that nonsense for nothing, did you? This is some of their work,—the work that’s crowding all the frolic out of their lives. I’ve found out where they keep it, and I’ve stolen some. I’m Scotch, you know, and I believe in brownies. They’re good to believe in. Old fables are generally all but true. You’ve only to ‘put in one to make it so,’ as children say in ‘odd and even.’ ” And Miss Craydocke overcasted her first button-hole energetically.

Leslie Goldthwaite saw through the whole now, in a minute. “You did it on purpose, for an excuse!” she said; and there was a ring of applauding delight in her voice which a note of admiration poorly marks.

“Well, you must begin somehow,” said Miss Craydocke. “And after you’ve once begun, you can keep on.” Which, as a generality, was not so glittering, perhaps, as might be; but Leslie could imagine, with a warm heart-throb, what, in this case, Miss Craydocke’s “keeping on” would be.

“I found them out by degrees,” said Miss Craydocke. “They’ve been overhead here, this month nearly, and if you don’t listen nor look more than is ladylike, you can’t help scraps enough to piece something out of by that time. They sit by their window, and I sit by mine. I cough, and sneeze, and sing, as much as I find comfortable, and they can’t help knowing where their neighbors are; and after that, it’s their look-out, of course. I lent them some books one Sunday, and so we got on a sort of visiting terms, and lately I’ve gone in, sometimes, and sat down awhile when I’ve had an errand, and they’ve been here; and the amount of it is, they’re two young things that’ll grow old before they know they’ve ever been young, if somebody don’t take hold. They’ve only got just so much time to stay; and if we don’t contrive a holiday for them before it’s over, why,—there’s the ‘Inasmuch,’—that’s all.”

Dakie Thayne came to the door to fetch Leslie and the curtain.

“It’s all ready, Dakie,—here; but I can’t go just now, or not unless they want me very much, and then you’ll come, please, won’t you, and let me know again?” said Leslie, bundling up the mass of cambric, and piling it upon Dakie’s arms.

Dakie looked disappointed, but promised, and departed. They were finding him useful up stairs, and Leslie had begged him to help.

“Now give me that other dress,” she said, turning to Miss Craydocke. “And you,—couldn’t you go and steal something else?” She spoke impetuously, and her eyes shone with eagerness, and more.

“I’ve had to lay a plan,” resumed Miss Craydocke, as Leslie took the measure of a button-hole and began. “Change of work is as good as a rest. So I’ve had them down here on the curtain among the girls. Next, I’m going to have a bee. I’ve got some things to finish up for Prissy Hoskins, and they’re likely to be wanted in something of a hurry. She’s got another aunt in Portsmouth, and if she can only be provided with proper things to wear, she can go down there, Aunt Hoskins says, and stay all winter, get some schooling, and see a city doctor. The man here tells them that something might be done for her hearing by a person skilled in such things, and Mrs. Hoskins says, ‘There’s a little money of the child’s own, from the vandoo when her father died,’ that would pay for travelling and advice, and ‘ef the right sort ain’t to be had in Portsmouth, when she once gets started, she shall go whuzzever ’tis, if she has to have a vandoo herself!’ It’s a whole human life of comfort and usefulness, Leslie Goldthwaite, may be, that depends!—Well, I’ll have a bee, and get Prissy fixed out. Her Portsmouth aunt is coming up, and will take her back. She’ll give her a welcome, but she’s poor herself, and can’t afford much more. And then the Josselyns are to have a bee. Not everybody; but you and me, and we’ll see by that time who else. It’s to begin as if we meant to have them all round, for the frolic and the sociability; and besides that, we’ll steal all we can. For your part, you must get intimate. Nobody can do anything, except as a friend. And the last week they’re here is the very week I’m going everywhere in! I’m going to charter the little red, and have parties of my own. We’ll have a picnic at the Cliff, and Prissy will wait on us with raspberries and cream. We’ll walk up Feathercap, and ride up Giant’s Cairn, and we’ll have a sunset at Minster Rock. And it’s going to be pleasant weather every day!”

They stitched away, then, dropping their talk. Miss Craydocke was out of breath; and Leslie measured her even loops with eyes that glittered more and more.

The half-dozen button-holes apiece were completed; and then Miss Craydocke trotted off with the two little frocks upon her arm. She came back, bringing some two or three pairs of cotton-flannel drawers.

“I took them up, just as they lay, cut out and ready, on the bed. I wouldn’t have a word. I told them I’d nothing to do, and so I haven’t. My hurry is coming on all of a sudden when I have my bee. Now I’ve done it once, I can do it again. They’ll find out it’s my way, and when you’ve once set up a way, people always turn out for it.”

Miss Craydocke was in high glee.

Leslie stitched up three little legs before Dakie came again, and said they must have her up stairs.

One thing occurred to her, as they ran along the winding passages, up and down, and up again, to the new hall in the far-off L.

The Moorish dress would take so long to arrange. Wouldn’t Imogen Thoresby like the part? She was only in the Three Fishers. Imogen and Jeannie met her as she came in.

“It is just you I wanted to find,” cried Leslie, sealing her warm impulse with immediate act. “Will you be Zorayda, Imogen,—with Jeannie and Elinor, you know? I’ve got so much to do without. Sin Saxon understands; it’s a bit of a secret as yet. I shall be so obliged!”

Imogen’s blue eyes sparkled and widened. It was just what she had been secretly longing for. But why in the world should Leslie Goldthwaite want to give it up?

It had got crowded out, that was all.

Another thing kept coming into Leslie’s head that day;—the yards of delicate grass-linen that she had hemstitched, and knotted into bands that summer,—just for idle-work, when plain bindings and simple ruffling would have done as well,—and all for her accumulating treasure of reserved robings, while here were these two girls darning stockings, and sewing over heavy woollen stuffs, that actual, inevitable work might be despatched in these bright, warm hours that had been meant for holiday. It troubled her to think of it, seeing that the time was gone, and nothing now but these threads and holes remained of it to her share.

Martha Josselyn had asked her yesterday about the stitch,—some little baby-daintiness she had thought of for the mother who couldn’t afford embroideries and thread-laces for her youngest and least of so many. Leslie would go and show her, and, as Miss Craydocke said, get intimate. It was true there were certain little things one could not do, except as a friend.

Meanwhile, Martha Josselyn must be the Sister of Charity in that lovely tableau of Consolation.

It does not take long for two young girls to grow intimate over tableau plans and fancy stitches. Two days after this, Leslie Goldthwaite was as cosily established in the Josselyns’ room as if she had been there every day all summer. Some people are like drops of quicksilver, as Martha Josselyn had declared, only one can’t tell how that is till one gets out of the bottle.

“Thank you,” she said to Leslie, as she mastered the little intricacy of the work upon the experimental scrap of cambric she had drawn. “I understand it now, I think, and I shall find time, somehow, after I get home, for what I want to do.” With that, she laid it in a corner of her basket, and took up cotton-flannel again.

Leslie put something, twisted lightly in soft paper, beside it. “I want you to keep that, please, for a pattern, and to remember me,” she said. “I’ve made yards more than I really want. It’s nothing,” she added, hastily interrupting the surprised and remonstrating thanks of the other. “And now we must see about that scapulary thing, or whatever it is, for your nun’s dress.”

And there was no more about it, only an unusual feeling in Martha Josselyn’s heart, that came up warm long after, and by and by a little difference among Leslie Goldthwaite’s pretty garnishings, where something had got crowded out.

This is the way, from small to great, things sort themselves.

“No man can serve two masters,” is as full and true and strong upon the side of encouragement as of rebuke.

Author of “Faith Gartney’s Girlhood.”





Unfortunately for our adventurers, as well as for the cow-fish itself, other eyes than those of the tapuyo had been watching the gambols of the two cetaceans, and had paid particular attention to the one now taking its siesta on the surface. Neither Munday nor his companions had any suspicion of this; for, excepting the peixe-boi itself, no living creature was in sight. Having observed it for a considerable length of time, still reclining in its attitude of repose, they had almost ceased to think of it; when all at once it was seen to spring clear out of the water, and, after making two or three grotesque plunges, sink suddenly below the surface!

The action was too violent and unnatural to be voluntary. The peixe-boi had evidently been assailed in its sleep by some enemy, from which it was but too eager to retreat.

But what could this enemy be? The tapuyo knew of nothing under the water that was likely to have made the attack. There are no sharks nor swordfish in the Gapo, and an alligator would scarcely dare to meddle with a creature of such enormous dimensions. Much less could an enemy have come from the air. There is no bird in South America, not even the great condor itself, that would think of swooping down upon a peixe-boi.

Some of the party said that they had seen something glancing towards the cow-fish at the moment it made the leap,—something that looked like a flash of lightning! What could that be? There was no cloud in the sky, no thunder. It could not have been lightning.

Pa terra!” exclaimed the tapuyo, in evident alarm. “I know not what it was. Keep quiet, or we are lost!”

“What was it?”

“A harpoon,—look yonder, patron! Don’t you see the water in motion where the juarouá went down?”

“Certainly I do. That’s very natural. The waves are caused by the plunging of the animal.”

“The waves! not that; look again. You see a thin ripple. There’s a cord making it. Yonder’s the float! and close behind that you will see something more. There, there he is!”

Sure enough, there was a rippling line caused by a cord drawn rapidly along the surface; at the end of this a small buoy of wood dragged rapidly after, and close behind a canoe, with an Indian in it, the Indian in a bent attitude, plying his paddle, and evidently in pursuit of the wounded cow-fish. The log was a “float,” the line drawing it along was at its other end attached to a harpoon, and that harpoon had its barbs buried in the body of the peixe-boi!

Such a specimen of a human being, even for a savage, none of the spectators—the tapuyo perhaps excepted—had ever beheld. He was as naked as if he had never been outside the Garden of Eden; and this very nakedness displayed a form that, but for the absence of a hairy covering, more resembled that of a monkey than a man. A body extremely attenuated, yet pot-bellied, too; a pair of long, thin arms, with legs to match, the latter knotted at the knees, the former balled at the elbows; a huge head, seemingly larger from its mop of matted hair; a face with high cheeks and sunken eyes,—gave him an appearance more demoniac than human. No wonder that little Rosa screamed as he came in sight, and that dismay exhibited itself on the features of several others of the party.

“Hush!” whispered Munday. “Silence all! Not a word, or we shall be seen, and then not he, but perhaps a hundred of his tribe—— Hush!”

Fortunately the scream of Rosita had been only slight; and the savage, in eager pursuit of the peixe-boi, had not heard it, for he continued the chase without pause.

He had no difficulty in discovering the whereabouts of his game. The float guided him; for, no matter where the cow went, the tether was still attached to her, and the movement of the log along the surface betrayed to the eye of her pursuer every change of direction.

Two or three times, the savage, dropping his paddle, was enabled to lay hold of the line and commence hauling in; but the great strength of the juarouá, as yet unexhausted, proved too much for him, and he was compelled to let go or be pulled out of his craft.

The latter was but a frail concern, of the smallest and rudest kind,—consisting of a shell of bark, gathered up at both ends and tied by sipos, so as to give it somewhat the shape of an ordinary canoe. Even when paddling with all his strength, its owner could make no great speed; but great speed was not required in the chase of a peixe-boi with a barbed spear sticking through its skin and rankling between its ribs. It only required patience, until the huge creature should become exhausted with its struggles and enfeebled by the loss of blood. Then might the conquest be completed without either difficulty or danger.

For twenty minutes or more the chase continued; the float being dragged hither and thither, until it had crossed the water in almost every direction. Sometimes both log and canoe were in sight, sometimes only one of them, and sometimes neither,—at such times the cow-fish having passed far beyond the limits of clear water visible to the spectators.

On the last of these occasions, several minutes had elapsed before the chase came again in sight. Our adventurers were in hopes they would see no more of either fish, float, or follower. The interest they might otherwise have taken in such a curious spectacle was destroyed by the thought of the danger that would result in their being discovered.

Just as they had begun to congratulate themselves that they were to be spared this misfortune, the float once more came before their eyes, still being dragged along the surface, but with much less rapidity than when last seen. The manatee was coming into the arcade, the canoe following close after, with the hideous savage eagerly plying his paddle, while, with outstretched neck and wild, scintillating orbs, he peered inquiringly into the darkness before him!

There was no chance to escape discovery.



The fears of those standing upon the ceiba could not have been greater than that of the savage himself, as his canoe came bumping against the deadwood, and he saw standing above him a crowd of human forms. A wild cry escaping from his lips expressed his terror and astonishment. Then a second, in louder tone, was intended to give the alarm to his kindred, who might possibly hear it.

With an Indian, as with the wild animals, presence of mind is rather an instinct than an act of reason. Instead of being disconcerted by what he saw, and losing time to recover himself, the Mura at once plunged his paddle into the water, and commenced beating backward, assisted by the recoil of the canoe, which, on striking the dead-wood, had rebounded from it by the violence of the collision.

In a moment he had sculled himself almost clear of the arcade; he was already within a few feet of its mouth, and would soon be back upon the open lagoa, when he would undoubtedly make for the malocca, and bring the whole tribe of cannibals upon them. None of the party thought of pursuing him. There was an attempt made to seize the canoe at the moment of its closing upon the log, but the craft had recoiled so suddenly after the collision, and been paddled so rapidly out of reach, that it all ended in Tipperary Tom getting soused in the water, and nearly drowned before he could be dragged out again. The attempt at seizure might have had a different result had Munday been among those who made it. But he was not.

He was nowhere to be seen upon the log, nor anywhere else! What had become of him? None of them could say. Little Rosa was the only one who could give any explanation of his absence. She thought she had seen him slip off at the back of the log, while the canoe was coming on in front. She was not sure, it was so dark upon that side; and she had been too much engaged in regarding the approach of the savage.

Had he made off to conceal himself among the tree-tops? Had he gone to secure his own safety, and abandoned his friends to their fate? They could not think this. Such a cowardly act would have been contrary to all they knew of the brave Mundurucú, whose faithfulness had so many times been put to the severest test. No one could account for it.

Just at that critical moment when the canoe had reached the mouth of the arcade, a dark round thing, like a human head, rose up in the water some six feet before it, and then another dark thing, wonderfully like a human hand, shot up beside the head, followed by a long and sinewy arm. The hand was seen to strike upward and clutch the canoe close by the stem; and then the craft went down, one end under water, while the other flew up into the air; then there was a capsize,—the savage, with a shriek and a loud plash, falling out; and then there was a struggle,—now under water, now above the surface,—accompanied by strange choking noises, as if two enormous alligators were engaged in a conflict of life and death.

As the astonished spectators continued to gaze upon the scene,—still but imperfectly comprehended by them,—they saw that the combatants were coming nearer, as if the struggle was being carried on towards the end of the arcade, and was likely to terminate where they stood.

And there it did end, immediately after, by the missing tapuyo making his appearance alongside the log, and dragging beside him the man who had made that involuntary “header” from the canoe.

The latter no longer resisted. The knife-blade glittering between Munday’s teeth—a taste of whose quality the savage had already experienced—hindered him from offering any further resistance; and as they came up to the log, the two were swimming side by side peaceably, only that the action of one was evidently involuntary, while the other was directing it.

It was more like the companionship of a policeman and a thief, than that of two swimmers who chanced to be going the same way. One arm of the Mura was clutched by the Mundurucú, as if the captive was partly supported while being dragged along.

“Reach out there, patron, and pull him up!” cried Munday, as he conducted his captive alongside the log. “I don’t want to kill the animal, though that might be the safest way in the end.”

“No, no, don’t do that!” returned Trevannion, who now, along with all the others, had arrived at a full comprehension of the affair. “We can keep him secure enough; and, if his shouts have not been heard, we need not fear having him along with us.” As the patron spoke, he reached down, and, laying hold of the captive, drew him close to the side of the deadwood. Then, assisted by Munday in the water and Mozey upon the log, the Mura was hoisted aboard.

Once upon the dead-wood, a more abject wretch than the captive Mura could not have been found. He trembled from head to foot,—evidently believing that he was about to be killed, and perhaps eaten. He had only consented to be taken in the knowledge—which Munday had in some way conveyed to him—that resistance could but end in instant death; and there are few, even amongst the most reckless of savages, who will not yield to this.

As he stood dripping upon the dead-wood, a red stream, trickling down his wet skin from a knife-wound in the shoulder, explained how the tapuyo had made known to him the idleness of resistance. It was a first stab, and not dangerous; but it had given a foretaste of what was to follow, had the struggle been kept up. After receiving this hint, the Mura had surrendered; and the after commotion was caused by his being towed through the water by a captor who was required to use all his strength and energy in supporting him.

While the canoe-man was advancing up the arcade, the Mundurucú, instead of waiting till he came near, had dropped quietly into the water, and swum in an outward direction, as if intending to meet the manatee-hunter, face to face. This he actually did,—met and passed him, but without being seen. The darkness favored him, as did also the commotion already caused by the wounded cow-fish, which in its passage up the creek had left large waves upon the water. These, striking against the trunks of the trees, created a still further disturbance, amidst which the swimmer’s dark face and long swarthy locks could not have been easily distinguished.

Supporting himself by a branch, he awaited the return of the savage,—knowing that as soon as the latter set eyes upon the others he would instantly beat a retreat. All turned out just as the tapuyo had anticipated; and just as he had designed did he deal with the canoe-man.

In all this, the only thing that appeared singular was the tapuyo’s taking so much pains to go out near the entrance, instead of boldly laying hold of the canoe as it passed him on its way inwards, or indeed of waiting for it upon the log,—where any one of the others, had he been a strong swimmer and armed with a knife, might have effected the capture.

Munday, however, had good reasons for acting as he had done. While the canoe was approaching, who could tell that it would come close up? It had done so, even to striking the dead-wood with its bow; but Munday could not rely upon such a chance as that. Had the savage discovered their presence a little sooner, he would have turned and sculled off, before any swimmer could have come up with him.

A similar reason was given for gliding stealthily past, and getting on the other side. Had the Mundurucú acted otherwise, he might have been perceived before he could seize the canoe, and so give time for the manatee-hunter to make off. As this last would have been a terrible contingency, rendering their discovery almost a certainty, the cunning old man knew how important it was that no mismanagement should occur in the carrying out of his design.

“If that rascal’s shout has been heard,” said Trevannion, “there will be but little chance of our escaping capture. From what you saw, I suppose there are hundreds of these hideous creatures. And we, without weapons, without the means either of attack or defence, what could we do? There would be nothing for it but to surrender ourselves as prisoners.”

The Mundurucú was not able to offer a word of encouragement. To have attempted defence against a whole tribe of savages, armed, no doubt, with spears and poisoned arrows, would have been to rush madly on death.

“It is fortunate,” continued the ex-miner, “that you have not killed him.”

“Why, patron?” demanded the tapuyo, apparently in some surprise.

“It would have made them revengeful; and if we have the ill luck to be taken, they would have been the more certain to destroy us.”

“No, no,” answered the Indian,—“not a bit more certain to do that. If, as you say, we have the bad luck to become their captives, we shall be killed all the same. Their old revenge will be strong enough for that; and if not their revenge, they have an appetite that will insure our destruction. You understand, patron?”

This conversation was carried on in a low tone, and only between Trevannion and the tapuyo.

“O Heaven!” groaned the ex-miner, turning his eyes upon his children. “It would be a fearful fate for—for all of us.”

“The more reason for doing all we can to avoid falling into their hands.”

“But what can we do? Nothing! If they discover our hiding-place before nightfall, then we shall surely be taken.”

“Admit that, master; but if they do not—”

“If they do not, you think there would be some hope of our getting away from them?”

“A good hope,—a good hope.”

“On the raft?”

“Better than that, patron.”

“You have some plan?”

“I’ve been thinking of one; but it’s no use to speak of it, so long as we are in doubt this way. If we are left unmolested until night, then, patron, it will be time to declare it. Could you but promise me that this screecher hasn’t been heard, I think I could promise you that by midnight we should not only be beyond the reach of his bloodthirsty fellows, but in a fair way of getting out of our troubles altogether. Ha! yonder’s something must be looked to; I forgot that.”


“The igarité. How near it was to betraying us! Its course must be stopped this instant.” And he once more slipped down into the water and swam away.

The canoe, out of which the Mura had been so unceremoniously spilled, and which was now bottom upwards, was drifting outward. It was already within a few feet of the entrance, and in another minute would have been caught by the breeze stirring beyond the branches of the trees. Once outside, it would soon have made way into the open lagoa, and would have formed a conspicuous mark for the eyes of the malocca.

Munday swam silently, but with all his strength, towards it. It must be reached before it could drift outside; and for some time there was apprehension in the minds of the spectators that this might not be done. The only one of them that would have been gratified by a failure was the captive Mura. But the wretch showed no sign of his desire, knowing that there would be danger in his doing so. He was held fast in the strong arms of the negro; while Tipperary Tom stood near, ready to run him through with the spear in case of his making any attempt to escape.

Their apprehensions soon came to an end. The tapuyo overtook it before it had cleared the screening of tree-tops; and, laying hold of a piece of cord which was attached to its stem, took it in tow. In less than five minutes after, it might have been seen right side up, lying like a tender alongside the grand monguba.



All day long did our adventurers abide in silence, keeping close in their shadowy retreat. Now and then only the Mundurucú swam to the entrance of the arcade; and, screened by the trees, took a survey of the open water outside. He saw only a canoe, larger than that he had captured, with three men in it, out upon the lagoa, about two hundred yards from the edge, and opposite the malocca, which could not itself be seen, as it was some distance back among the trees; but, from the bearings he had taken on the night previous, the tapuyo knew where it lay.

He watched the canoe so long as it remained in sight. The gestures of the savages who were in it showed that they were occupied in fishing, though what sort of fish they might be taking in the flooded lake Munday could not guess. They stayed about an hour; and then, paddling their craft back among the trees, were seen no more.

This gratified the tapuyo and those to whom he made his report. It was evidence that the harpooner had come out alone, and that, while striking the cow-fish, he had not been observed by any of his people. Had that incident been witnessed, every canoe in possession of the tribe would have instantly repaired to the spot.

Since the killing of a juarouá is an event of rare occurrence in the season of the vasanté, when it does transpire it causes the same joyful excitement in a malocca of Amazonian Indians as the capture of a great walrus would in a winter village of Esquimaux. It was, therefore, quite clear to our adventurers, that no suspicion had been aroused as to the cause of the harpooner’s absence from the malocca, and so they were enabled to endure their imprisonment with calmer confidence, and higher hopes of finally effecting their escape.

How long would this state of things continue? How long might the Mura be away before his absence should excite suspicion and lead to a search?

“As to such a thing as this,” said Munday, pointing contemptuously to the shivering captive, “he’ll no more be missed than would a coaita monkey that had strayed from its troop. If he’s got a wife, which I don’t suppose he has, she’ll be only too glad to get rid of him. As for any one of them coming after him through affection, as you call it, there you’re all out, Patron. Among Muras there’s no such feeling as that. If they’d seen him strike the juarouá it might have been different. Then their stomachs would have brought them after him, like a flock of hungry vultures. But they haven’t seen him; and unless chance guides some one this way we needn’t be in any fear for to-day. As for the morrow, if they’ll only stay clear till then, I think I can keep my promise, and we shall not only be beyond reach of Muras, but out of this wretched lagoa altogether.”

“But you spoke of a plan, good Munday; you have not yet told us what it is.”

“Wait, master,” he rejoined; “wait till midnight, till the lights go out in the Mura village, and perhaps a little longer. Then you shall know my plan by seeing it carried into execution.”

“But does it not require some preparations? If so, why not make them while it is daylight? It is now near night; and you may not have time.”

“Just so, Patron; but night is just the preparation I want,—that and this knife.”

Here Munday exhibited his shining blade, which caused the Mura captive to tremble all over, thinking that his time was come. During all the day he had not seen them eat. They had no chance to kindle a fire for cooking purposes, apprehensive that the smoke, seen above the tree-tops, might betray them to the enemy. Some of them, with stronger stomachs than the rest, had gnawed a little of the charqui raw. Most had eaten nothing, preferring to wait till they should have an opportunity of cooking it, which the Mundurucú had promised them they should have before morning of the next day. Their abstinence was altogether misunderstood by the Mura. The wretch thought they were nursing their hunger to feed upon his flesh.

Could he have seen himself as he was in their eyes, he might have doubted the possibility of getting up such an appetite. They had taken due precautions to prevent his making his escape. Tied hand and foot by the toughest sipos that could be procured, he was also further secured by being fastened to the monguba. A strong lliana, twisted into a rope, and with a turn round one of the buttress projections of the roots, held him, though this was superfluous, since any attempt to slide off into the water must have terminated by his going to the bottom, with neither hands nor feet free.

They were determined, however, on making things doubly sure, as they knew that his escape would be the signal for their destruction. Should he succeed in getting free, he would not need his canoe; he could get back to his village without that, for, as Munday assured them, he could travel through the trees with the agility of an ape, or through the water with the power of a fish; and so could all his people, trained to the highest skill both in climbing and swimming, from the very nature of their existence.

There was one point upon which Trevannion had had doubts. That was, whether they were really in such danger from the proximity of this people as Munday would have them believe. But the aspect of this savage, who could now be contemplated closely, and with perfect coolness, was fast solving these doubts; for no one could have looked in his face and noted the hideous expression there depicted without a feeling of fear, not to say horror. If his tribe were all like him,—and the tapuyo declared that many of them were still uglier,—they must have formed a community which no sane man would have entered except upon compulsion.

No wonder, then, that our adventurers took particular pains to keep their captive along with them, since a sure result of his escape would be that they would furnish a feast for the Mura village. Had he been left to himself, Munday would have taken still surer precautions against his getting off; and it was only in obedience to the sternest commands of Trevannion that he was withheld from acting up to the old adage, “Dead men tell no tales.”



The night came on without any untoward incident; but no sooner was the sun fairly below the horizon than they became aware of a circumstance that caused them serious annoyance, if not absolute alarm. They saw the full round moon rising, and every indication of the most brilliant moonlight. The Mundurucú, more than any of them, was chagrined at this, because of the importance of having a dark night for carrying out his scheme, whatever it was. In fact, he had declared that a dark night was indispensable, or, at all events, one very different from that which the twilight promised them.

The original intention had been, as soon as night set in, to get the deadwood once more into the open water, and then, if the wind should be in their favor, to bend the sail and glide off in any direction that would take them away from the malocca. If there should be no wind, they could use the paddles and creep round the edge of the lagoa, going as far as might be before another sun should expose them to view. It was doubtful whether they could row the dead-wood, before daybreak, beyond eyeshot of the savages; but if not, they could again seek concealment among the tree-tops, and wait for night to continue their retreat.

This intention was likely to be defeated by the clear shining of a tropical moon. As she rose higher in the heavens, the lagoa became all white effulgence; and as there was not the slightest ripple upon the water, any dark object passing along its surface would have been seen almost as distinctly as by day. Even the little canoe could not have been carried outside the edge of the trees without the danger of being seen from afar.

That the entrance to the arcade and the tree-line outside could be seen from the malocca was a thing already determined, for the tapuyo had tested it during the day. Through the foliage in front of the village he could see here and there some portions of the scaffoldings, with the toldos erected upon them, while its position was also determined by the smoke rising from the different fires.

As soon as night had come on, he and the young Paraense had made a reconnoissance, and from the same place saw the reflection of the fires upon the water below, and the gleaming fires themselves. Of course they who sat or stood around them could see them, should they attempt to go out with the monguba. This scheme, then, could only be resorted to should the moon be obscured, or “put out,” as Munday said, by clouds or fog.

Munday admitted that his plan might be put in practice, without the interposition of either; but in this case it would be ten times more perilous, and liable to failure. In any case he did not intend to act until midnight. After that, any time would do before the hour of earliest daybreak. Confiding in the craft of the old tapuyo, Trevannion questioned him no further, but along with the rest waited as patiently as possible for the event.

The water-forest was once more ringing with its nocturnal chorus. Tree-toads and frogs were sending forth their metallic monotones; cicadæ and lizards were uttering their sharp skirling notes, while birds of many kinds, night-hawks in the air, strigidæ among the trees, and water-fowl out upon the bosom of the lagoon, were all responding to one another. From afar came lugubrious vociferations from the throats of a troop of howling monkeys that had made their roost among the branches of some tall, overtopping tree; and once—what was something strange—was heard a cry different from all the rest, and on hearing which all the rest suddenly sank into silence.

That was the cry of the jaguar tiger, the tyrant of the South American forest. Munday recognized it on the instant, and so did the others; for they had heard it often before, while descending the Solimoes. It would have been nothing strange to have heard it on the banks of the mighty river, or any of its tributaries. But in the Gapo, it was not only strange, but significant, that scream of the jaguar. “Surely,” said Trevannion, on hearing it, “surely we must be in the neighborhood of land.”

“How, Patron?” replied the Mundurucú, to whom the remark was particularly addressed. “Because we hear the voice of the jauarité? Sometimes the great tiger gets overtaken by the inundation, and then, like ourselves, has to take to the tree-tops. But, unlike us, he can swim whenever he pleases, and his instinct soon guides him to the land. Besides, there are places in the Gapo where the land is above water, tracts of high ground that during the vasanté become islands. In these the jauarité delights to dwell. No fear of his starving there, since he has his victims enclosed, as it were, in a prison, and he can all the more conveniently lay his claws upon them. The cry of that jauarité is no sure sign of dry land. The beast may be twenty miles from terra firma.”

While they were thus conversing, the cry of the jaguar once more resounded among the tree-tops, and again was succeeded by silence on the part of the other inhabitants of the forest.

There was one exception, however; one kind of creatures not terrified into stillness by the voice of the great cat, whose own voices, now heard in the interval of silence, attracted the attention of the listeners. They were the Muras. Sent forth from the malocca, their shouts came pealing across the water, and entered the shadowy aisle where our adventurers sat in concealment, with tones well calculated to cause fear; for nothing in the Gapo gave forth a harsher or more lugubrious chant.

Munday, however, who had a thorough knowledge of the habits of his national enemies, interpreted their tones in a different sense, and drew good augury from them. He said that, instead of grief, they betokened joy. Some bit of good luck had befallen them, such as the capture of a cow-fish, or a half-score of monkeys. The sounds signified feasting and frolic. There was nothing to denote that the sullen savage by their side was missed from among them. Certainly he was not mourned in the malocca.

The interpretation of the tapuyo fell pleasantly upon the ears of his auditors, and for a while they felt hopeful. But the gloom soon came back, at sight of that brilliant moon,—a sight that otherwise should have cheered them,—as she flooded the forest with her silvery light, till her rich rays, scintillating through the leafy llianas, fell like sparks upon the sombre surface of the water arcade.



Midnight came, and still the moon shone too clear and bright.

Munday began to show uneasiness and anxiety. Several times had he taken that short swim, like an otter from its earth or a beaver from its dome-shaped dwelling, each time returning to his companions upon the log, but with no sign of his having been gratified by the excursion. About the sixth trip since night had set in, he came swimming back to the dead-wood with a more pleased expression upon his countenance.

“You’ve seen something that gratifies you?” said Trevannion, interrogatively; “or heard it, perhaps?”

“Seen it,” was the laconic reply.


“A cloud.”

“A cloud! Well?”

“Not much of a cloud, Patron; no bigger than the spread skin of the cow-fish there; but it’s in the east, and therefore in the direction of Gran Pará. That means much.”

“What difference can it make in what direction it is?”

“Every difference! If from Gran Pará ’tis up the great river. Up the great river means rain,—perhaps thunder, lightning, a storm. A storm is just what we want.”

“O, now I see what you mean. Well?”

“I must go back to the mouth of the igarapé, and take another look at the sky. Have patience, Patron, and pray for me to return with good news.” So saying, the tapuyo once again slipped down into the water, and swam towards the entrance of the arcade.

For a full half-hour was he absent; but long before his return the news he was to bring back had been told by signs that anticipated him. The moon-beams, hitherto seen striking here and there through the thinner screen of the foliage, had been growing dimmer and dimmer, until they were no longer discernible, and uniform darkness prevailed under the shadow of the trees. So dark had it become, that, when the swimmer returned to the ceiba, they were only warned of his approach by the slight plashing of his arms, and the next moment he was with them.

“The time has come,” said he, “for carrying out my scheme. I’ve not been mistaken in what I saw. The cloud, a little bit ago not bigger than the skin of the juarouá, will soon cover the whole sky. The rags upon its edge are already blinding the moon; and by the time we can get under the scaffolds of the malocca it will be dark enough for our purpose.”

“What! the scaffolds of the malocca! You intend going there?”

“That is the intention, Patron.”


“No. I want one with me,—the young master.”

“But there is great danger, is there not?” suggested Trevannion, “in going—”

“In going there is,” interrupted the tapuyo; “but more in not going. If we succeed, we shall be all safe, and there’s an end of it. If we don’t, we have to die, and that’s the other end of it, whatever we may do.”

“But why not try our first plan? It’s now dark enough outside. Why can’t we get off upon the raft?”

“Dark enough, as you say, Patron. But you forget that it is now near morning. We couldn’t paddle this log more than a mile before the sun would be shining upon us, and then—”

“Dear uncle,” interposed the young Paraense, “don’t interfere with his plans. No doubt he knows what is best to be done. If I am to risk my life, it is nothing more than we’re all doing now. Let Munday have his way. No fear but we shall return safe. Do, dear uncle! let him have his way.”

As Munday had already informed them, no preparation was needed,—only his knife and a dark night. Both were now upon him, the knife in his waist-strap, and the dark night over his head. One other thing was necessary to the accomplishment of his purpose,—the captured canoe, which was already prepared, lying handy alongside the log.

With a parting salute to all,—silent on the part of the tapuyo, but spoken by the young Paraense, a hope of speedy return, an assurance of it whispered in the ear of Rosita,—the canoe was shoved off, and soon glided out into the open lagoa.

Mayne Reid.


LITTLE BIRDS are wide awake

  Early in the morning.

Just think how funny it would be

  To see the robins yawning!


To hear the little sparrow say,

  “O dear! ’tis hardly light!

Mamma, I want to sleep some more!”

  ’Twould make you laugh outright.


They hop out of their little nests,

  So cosey and so warm,

And sing their merry morning tune

  In sunshine and in storm.


And now, my pet, run find mamma,

  And whisper in her ear,

That, when she wakes her birdie up,

  It will be sure to hear.

A. Q. G.



IN our last paper we inadvertently omitted to mention the admirable collegiate institution located in the New York University building,—thereby giving offence to one or two gentlemen who are justly proud of a college which can boast of so many distinguished names among its professors and its graduates. As we find ourselves again at the portals of this sober edifice, it is appropriate that we should confess and lament our negligence.

In that same unfortunate paper we spoke of sometimes meeting files of spectral little boys, with tattered Latin grammars under their arms, issuing from the University. It was far from our thought to injure the feelings of any of those learned little gentlemen, but it seems that we have done so.

A little boy—we know he must be a spectral little boy, and are sure that he has a tattered Latin grammar under his arm—has written us a dispiriting missive, in which he finds great fault with us because we called the University a “gloomy” building, and wondered how people could live in it, and not grow morbid. Now the tone of our sinister little friend’s letter is an evidence of the deteriorating effect which the cheerless architecture of the University exercises on the youthful mind. Figuratively speaking, he has thrown down the tattered Latin grammar, taken off his little jacket, and dared us to meet him in mortal combat on the threshold of the haunted castle. For our part, we shall avoid that spectral little boy. We would not venture near the place on the present occasion, but, having promised to meet a friend in Mr. Hennessy’s studio, what can we do? We must keep our engagement, even if we have to face le petit monstre.

Near the end of a lonely hall in the third story are two doors facing each other. Each door has a small white porcelain slate attached to it, and under the slate the name of the occupant of the premises. With one of these rooms (Mr. Homer’s) the reader is already acquainted. The other is the studio of Mr. Hennessy.

The two studios offer a strange contrast. Mr. Homer’s workshop is as scantily furnished as a shelter-tent. A crayon sketch of camp-life here and there on the rough walls, a soldier’s overcoat dangling from a wooden peg, and suggesting a military execution, a rusty regulation musket in one corner, and a table with pipes and tobacco-pouch in the other,—these are the homely decorations of Mr. Homer’s chamber. Mr. Hennessy’s apartment, on the contrary, is rather exquisitely arranged, as the reader will observe on turning to the engraving which accompanies this article. The tinted walls are covered with choice paintings, engravings, and photographs. A landscape by Whittredge—showing a ledge of rocks near the sea-shore,—is one of the gems of Mr. Hennessy’s snuggery.

There are several canvases with their faces turned to the wall,—studies, hints, embryo figure-pieces,—failures perhaps. These pictures which give us the cold shoulder, as it were, always excite our curiosity. We feel like one who, standing on the boundary of a wonderful garden, is not permitted to enter: we understand why Bluebeard’s wife couldn’t for the life of her keep out of the forbidden chamber.

On a screen back of the easel hangs a small study which seldom fails to attract our attention. It is not, perhaps, one of Mr. Hennessy’s best efforts; but there is a simple pathos about it that wins us in certain moods. A very old lady, with silvery hair and a serene, dreamy face, is sitting alone by the wide fireplace in a dreary-looking kitchen. Through the open lattice you see the village church, and the quiet graveyard lying in the sunshine. We never gaze upon this old lady’s meagre face—it seems touched with the light of another world—without remembering the lines of La Motte Fouqué, translated by Thackeray in his book of ballads.

“And thou wert once a maiden fair,

     A blushing virgin, warm and young,

 With myrtles wreathed in golden hair

 And glossy brow that knew no care,—

     Upon a bridegroom’s arm you hung.


“The golden locks are silvered now,

     The blushing cheek is pale and wan;

 The spring may bloom, the autumn glow,

 All’s one,—in chimney-corner thou

     Sitt’st shivering on.


“A moment—and thou sink’st to rest!

 To wake, perhaps, an angel blest,

     In the bright presence of thy Lord.

 O, weary is life’s path to all!

 Hard is the strife, and light the fall,

     But wondrous the reward!”

If we were compiling one of those gilded “Books of Beauty” which used to be fashionable, we would put in this old lady, even if we were obliged to leave out a dozen of her blooming granddaughters.

We would like to linger half the day in this pleasant room, where Mr. Hennessy, like a skilful gardener, has turned every inch of his limited ground to good account. From the ivy-vine, which shoots up from the flower-pot on a bracket, and wreathes itself into a graceful drapery for the window, to the few rare volumes on the escritoire, you see something of that sense of refinement which is never wanting in this artist’s pictures, however homely or commonplace the subject may be. So much for Mr. Hennessy’s studio. A word or two touching the painter himself.

Mr. William J. Hennessy is among the youngest recognized members of his profession. He was born in Ireland in the year 1837. The schools of the county not affording such a course of instruction as was desirable, his father employed a tutor for young Hennessy and the other children of the household. Under the guidance of this teacher, who was a graduate of Tuam College, Hennessy pursued his studies with success, until the deplorable condition of the over-taxed country forced his father to remove with the family to some more friendly land.

They came to the United States and settled in New York. Here young Hennessy, who had early displayed remarkable facility with his pencil, gave every spare hour to roaming through the picture-galleries, though at this period he had no idea of becoming a painter by profession. He was connected for a while, we believe, with the Associated Press. He relinquished his position whatever it was, and entered an English importing house, where he remained two years, discovering, by degrees, that commercial business was not, for him at least, the road to content. During these two years he had not neglected his art, and he now determined to devote himself to it exclusively. As a preliminary step, he secured a place in the office of Mr. Roberts, the wood-engraver, where he was at once employed to draw on the block,—a proof that he was something more than a ’prentice hand.

His connection with Mr. Roberts’s establishment lasted several years. On retiring from the business, his skill as a draughtsman enabled him without difficulty to obtain commissions for drawings from a number of influential publishing houses. His three years’ experience in this work was of inestimable advantage to Mr. Hennessy, when the time came for him to exchange the pencil for the brush.

The transition from India-ink to oil-colors seems natural enough: it is not always so easy to accomplish. Mr. Hennessy, however, was successful. We do not propose to follow him through his various fortunes. A brief survey of his progress is all that the plan of our sketch will permit. The first picture exhibited by him was entitled “Dolly Neglected,” 1860. In 1861, an excellent painting, “Over the Way,” obtained for the artist his election as an Associate of the Academy. During the following year, he became a full Academician. The works which entitled him to this recognition were “Passing Away,” and “The First Day Out,” painted for Mr. J. R. Pinchot of New York. Since 1862, Mr. Hennessy has executed numerous orders. It is high praise of his pictures to say, that they almost always come into the possession of gentlemen whose taste in art matters is respected. Mr. Hennessy is at present engaged on two large works, and has recently completed a series of beautiful designs on wood for an illustrated edition of Mr. Whittier’s “Maud Müller.”

When an artist has finished a picture of importance, he sometimes drapes it carefully on his easel, and invites a few friends and critics to view the work, previous to sending it to the Academy, where it becomes, to a certain extent, public property. In this private exhibition the picture has its fairest trial, for the chances are that the painting hung next it in the crowded gallery will spoil the effect which the artist labored so conscientiously and successfully to produce. It affords us pleasure to give our readers a private view of Mr. Hennessy’s latest picture before it leaves his atelier. (See frontispiece.) “The Wanderers” was drawn by the artist from the original painting, and is the first of a series of full-page illustrations which will henceforth be one of the features of this Magazine.

The blind old fiddler and his little companion, his granddaughter, tell their own story,—a sad story undoubtedly, for they are poor, alone, and as helpless as the Babes in the Wood. Indeed, they are more helpless than those young prodigals, for the robins took care of them, and it isn’t likely that the birds will show any attention of the sort to this vagrant pair. If any such queer couple—a little child, and an old man who has grown to be a child again—should, in real life, come to the reader, we trust he will treat them kindly. In the mean while, we commend this picture of “The Wanderers” to his special favor.

T. B. Aldrich.




No. 14.

Take the name of a bird which in color is blue,

(Or the name of a person in Scripture will do,)

Which backward and forward will spell the same through;


Of one who dwelt in a vale, take the plain Bible name,

Which backward and forward is also the same;


And a word sometimes used in a questioning way,

(Though not very common perhaps in our day,)

And spelling the same, if you read either way.


Place their three initials together, and frame,

Of the son of a Jew whose brethren once came

To comfort in sorrow, the brief Scripture name

Which backward and forward will still prove the same.


No. 15.

I am the letter p pronounced by inspiration. I am found in all languages, written or unwritten. I am pronounced when dear little children are put to bed, and when they are welcomed in the rosy morning. I am sometimes heard at a great distance, and a man was once fined $15 and costs for pronouncing me improperly in the street. Like a Hebrew word, I have various, incoherent meanings. Sometimes I signify affection, sometimes respect, sometimes patronage, sometimes design, and not rarely nothing. Animals change me from a labial to a lingual, and make a kind of l out of me. Bunnie’s l is very downy, but Kittie’s—oh! oh! take her away—a nutmeg grater would be a greater,—yes, it is a grater; and now, after this egotistical curvetting, I will enclose an impression of myself in this envelope, and the first reader that guesses me, next to the Editor, shall posses my labial photograph.

Willy Wisp.


No. 5.

A number is composed of three figures. Their sum is equal to 12. The sum of the first and second is equal to the third, and the sum of the first and third is equal to 10. What is the number?


No. 6.

Take one half of ten, and multiply it by itself, so that the answer will be neither less nor greater than the number taken.


Willy Wisp.


No. 21.—latin.

I am composed of 34 letters.

My 15, 25, 23, 13, 32, 26, 34, is a Latin preposition.

My 27, 8, 5, 3, is what every one wishes to preserve (in Latin, as all the answers are).

My 17, 4, 24, 1, 6, 29, is an adverb.

My 3, 26, 20, 13, 23, 17, is a famous hero of Virgil’s.

My 11, 23, 12, 28, 7, is children’s dearest friend, whom they should never disobey.

My 21, 19, 31, is a pronoun.

My 30, 3, 34, 21, 16, 8, 20, 31, 33, 17, is the name of an illustrious family at Rome, two of whom were kings.

My 22, 18, 10, 17, is a numeral adjective.

My 14, 23, 2, 17, is the god of war.

My 27, 31, 2, is the noblest work of God.

My 18, 4, 1, 9, 22, 20, 6, was the god of the sea.

My whole is a Latin proverb which school-children especially should remember.

E. P.


C. J. S.







18.A long vacation.
19.Comme on fait son lit, on se couche.
20.Servius Tullius.

Illustrated Rebus.

25.How doth the little busy bee
    Improve each shining hour.
[H ough (dot) h t(heel) it (Tell) (bus) y (bee) (imp)(row) ve (ch)(shin) ing (hour).]


A. M. G. Rebus No. 14 cannot well be read as you suggest, but it may be read, “Potatoes cannot be for tea (forty).”

George P. W. The reason why we do not publish your rebuses is that we have had enough proverbs for the present.

M. L. S. It is really too old.

Oliver E. C. has for an inversion: “No evil was in a man I saw live on.”

Frank A. P. The puzzle is not original.

W. F. H. We have several stories of Bayard Taylor’s already by us, which will be printed as soon as the accompanying illustrations are ready. Oliver Optic will write something more when he is free from present engagements which keep him hard at work upon his books.

Baby & Dot. Try again, but don’t take a proverb.

Lizzie P. Either way.

Fred. P. If you turn to the first mention of the subject in the “Letter Box,” you will find out what you wish to know.

Paul. There is no good authority, so far as we know, for beginning the words you mention with small letters.

A writer may be great in spite of his faults, but not because of them. In considering the objectionable expressions which we meet in Shakespeare, we must remember the time and the state of society when he wrote; the world is wiser and better now, and sees that there is error in what was held to be quite right in his day. Therefore admire him for his wonderful genius, profit by what is good in his writing, and be mindful that his blemishes are no more to be imitated or approved than those of a common man.

Swearing is swearing, no matter in what language it is spoken; it is a contemptible and degrading vice.

Clinton B. We are pleased to hear from you.

X. Y. Z. “Time and tide waits” is bad grammar.

Louisa C. A very good beginning.

Nellie Dee. “Learn to labor and to wait.”

Reader. Senatus Populus-Que Romanus. The Roman Senate and People is the meaning.

Daisy. You do not take any liberty at all in writing to us. We are always glad to hear from our little friends; to know their pleasures and their troubles (and we know how to sympathize with them in both); to share their confidences, which we respect as much as though they were as old as their grandfathers; to answer their questions, and to give them all the help we can. When, therefore, you feel as though you would like to write to us, do so freely, believing that your letter will be welcome as a proof of the regard which we shall always try to deserve and to return.

Clem. C. They were not quite up to the mark.

Cousin Will. You are quite right. The answers were transposed.

P. H. C. desires us to say to such of our readers as have favored him with letters, that he has just returned from a professional tour in Brazil, and finds awaiting him engagements in the South and the Southwest which will call him immediately from home again, allowing him no leisure to reply to his correspondents. He therefore asks for indulgence until he shall have a vacation and be at liberty to attend to them.

John L. B. Certainly; raise it as you like.

W. C. P., with wonderful patience, has been wrestling with that big, ugly word “Disproportionableness,” and has reduced it into 1700 submissive little words, all to be found in their proper dictionary places when wanted. If W. C. P. will exert equal perseverance and industry in the important work of life that is coming on soon, he can hardly fail to accomplish something worth remembering.

M. W. B., whose letter reaches us just as we have written the above paragraph, relates that he has been trying his hand on the same stout word as W. C. P., and has moulded it into 2241 new shapes. He has also been manipulating “Manufactory,” and has got from it 512 words and 41 geographical names, while from “Stripe” he has produced 54 words. And now we hope he will exert his evident industry in some more profitable way.

Little Lettie” is not quite up to the standard for publication.

One of the Young Folks, whose enclosure is postmarked at Brooklyn, sends the following verses. As she gives no direction as to the disposition we are to make of them, we decide to give her pretty compliment this place in our exchange of remembrances.




Would that I knew more than your name,

And whether, ever, you’re the same;

Loving blest Nature’s every look,

Without—well as within—a book,

                        Rose Terry!


In joyous strains you greet the spring,

The very measure seems to sing.

It needs no music,—for the best

Could not impart a keener zest,

                        Rose Terry!


And I can feel the breezy air

Bounding along the meadows fine,

Resting upon the hillside green,

Listening to your sweet “song” between,

                        Rose Terry!


I know the very spot where gleam

The sunbeams on the sparkling stream,

O’ershadowed by the tangled wood,

Where once the sylvan forest stood,

                        Rose Terry!


I’d safely place the stones to guide

That you might reach the other side

Without a fear, without a scath;

That would I do—if I were “Faith,”

                        Rose Terry!


I know just where the scented air

Breathes of the lilac blossoms there,

And where the modest daisy springs,

The robin in the cedar sings,

                        Rose Terry!


But more I know,—a willow tree

That stands beside the pleasant lea;

Its twisted trunk for two has room,

And I’ll pluck flowers of spring-time’s bloom,

                      For you, Rose Terry!


There, ’neath the willow’s silvery spray,

Watch the bright river glide away

Till lost in distance:—long may be

Time’s distance ere you’re lost to me,

                        Rose Terry!


The Poppy” is declined because it is a translation.

Several Writers are informed that all letters about subscriptions, changes of address, clubs, and such business, should be sent to the Publishers, and all communications offered for insertion in the Magazine, together with all questions to be answered here, should be addressed to the Editors.

Inky. The objection to your enigma is that it is based upon the name of one of us,—from which we modestly shrink.

Whistler wishes for some good mathematical puzzles. So do we, but our young friends do not send us any. We get enigmas by the hundred, together with many charades, but we still want really clever and original puzzles. Where are the bright boys and girls who will invent something for us?

Just my Luck again!


Obvious printer errors have been silently corrected. Otherwise, most inconsistencies, variations and possible errors in spelling and punctuation have been preserved.


[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 2, Issue 9 edited by J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]