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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Vol 5, Issue 5

Date of first publication: 1869

Author: John Townsend Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom (editors)

Date first posted: Feb. 8, 2016

Date last updated: Feb. 8, 2016

Faded Page eBook #20160209

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

Drawn by Miss Jessie Curtis.]          [See page 288.







An Illustrated Magazine







Vol. V. May, 1869. No. V.



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by Fields, Osgood, & Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.


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



















In the course of ten days I recovered sufficiently from my injuries to attend school, where, for a little while, I was looked upon as a hero, on account of having been blown up. What don’t we make a hero of? The distraction which prevailed in the classes the week preceding the Fourth had subsided, and nothing remained to indicate the recent festivities, excepting a noticeable want of eyebrows on the part of Pepper Whitcomb and myself.

In August we had two weeks’ vacation. It was about this time that I became a member of the Rivermouth Centipedes, a secret society composed of twelve of the Temple Grammar School boys. This was an honor to which I had long aspired, but, being a new boy, I was not admitted to the fraternity until my character had fully developed itself.

It was a very select society, the object of which I never fathomed, though I was an active member of the body during the remainder of my residence at Rivermouth, and at one time held the onerous position of F. C.,—First Centipede. Each of the elect wore a copper cent (some occult association being established between a cent apiece and a centipede!) suspended by a string round his neck. The medals were worn next the skin, and it was while bathing one day at Grave Point, with Jack Harris and Fred Langdon, that I had my curiosity roused to the highest pitch by a sight of these singular emblems. As soon as I ascertained the existence of a boys’ club, of course I was ready to die to join it. And eventually I was allowed to join.

The initiation ceremony took place in Fred Langdon’s barn, where I was submitted to a series of trials not calculated to soothe the nerves of a timorous boy. Before being led to the Grotto of Enchantment,—such was the modest title given to the loft over my friend’s wood-house,—my hands were securely pinioned, and my eyes covered with a thick silk handkerchief. At the head of the stairs, I was told in an unrecognizable, husky voice, that it was not yet too late to retreat if I felt myself physically too weak to undergo the necessary tortures. I replied that I was not too weak, in a tone which I intended to be resolute, but which, in spite of me, seemed to come from the pit of my stomach.

“It is well!” said the husky voice.

I did not feel so sure about that; but, having made up my mind to be a Centipede, a Centipede I was bound to be. Other boys had passed through the ordeal and lived, why should not I?

A prolonged silence followed this preliminary examination, and I was wondering what would come next, when a pistol fired off close by my ear deafened me for a moment. The unknown voice then directed me to take ten steps forward and stop at the word halt. I took ten steps, and halted.

“Stricken mortal,” said a second husky voice, more husky, if possible, than the first, “if you had advanced another inch, you would have disappeared down an abyss three thousand feet deep!”

I naturally shrunk back at this friendly piece of information. A prick from some two-pronged instrument, evidently a pitchfork, gently checked my retreat. I was then conducted to the brink of several other precipices, and ordered to step over many dangerous chasms, where the result would have been instant death if I had committed the least mistake. I have neglected to say that my movements were accompanied by dismal groans from various parts of the grotto.

Finally, I was led up a steep plank to what appeared to me an incalculable height. Here I stood breathless while the by-laws were read aloud. A more extraordinary code of laws never came from the brain of man. The penalties attached to the abject being who should reveal any of the secrets of the society were enough to make the blood run cold. A second pistol-shot was heard, the something I stood on sunk with a crash beneath my feet, and I fell two miles, as nearly as I could compute it. At the same instant the handkerchief was whisked from my eyes, and I found myself standing in an empty hogshead surrounded by twelve masked figures fantastically dressed. One of the conspirators was really appalling with a tin saucepan on his head, and a tiger-skin sleigh-robe thrown over his shoulders. I scarcely need say that there were no vestiges to be seen of the fearful gulfs over which I had passed so cautiously. My ascent had been to the top of the hogshead, and my descent to the bottom thereof. Holding one another by the hand, and chanting a low dirge, the Mystic Twelve revolved about me. This concluded the ceremony. With a merry shout the boys threw off their masks, and I was declared a regularly installed member of the R. M. C.

I afterwards had a good deal of sport out of the club, for these initiations, as you may imagine, were sometimes very comical spectacles, especially when the aspirant for centipedal honors happened to be of a timid disposition. If he showed the slightest terror, he was certain to be tricked unmercifully. One of our subsequent devices—a humble invention of my own—was to request the candidate to put out his tongue, whereupon the First Centipede would say, in a low tone, as if not intended for the ear of the victim, “Diabolus, fetch me the red-hot iron!” The expedition with which that tongue would disappear was simply ridiculous.

Our meetings were held in various barns, at no stated periods, but as circumstances suggested. Any member had a right to call a meeting. Each boy who failed to report himself was fined one cent. Whenever a member had reasons for thinking that another member would be unable to attend, he called a meeting. For instance, immediately on learning the death of Harry Blake’s great-grandfather, I issued a call. By these simple and ingenious measures we kept our treasury in a flourishing condition, sometimes having on hand as much as a dollar and a quarter.

I have said that the society had no especial object. It is true, there was a tacit understanding among us that the Centipedes were to stand by one another on all occasions, though I don’t remember that they did; but further than this we had no purpose, unless it was to accomplish as a body the same amount of mischief which we were sure to do as individuals. To mystify the staid and slow-going Rivermouthians was our frequent pleasure. Several of our pranks won us such a reputation among the townsfolk, that we were credited with having a large finger in whatever went amiss in the place.

One morning about a week after my admission into the secret order, the quiet citizens awoke to find that the sign-boards of all the principal streets had changed places during the night. People who went trustfully to sleep in Currant Square opened their eyes in Honeysuckle Terrace. Jones’s Avenue at the north end had suddenly become Walnut Street, and Peanut Street was nowhere to be found. Confusion reigned. The town authorities took the matter in hand without delay, and six of the Temple Grammar School boys were summoned to appear before Justice Clapham.

Having tearfully disclaimed to my grandfather all knowledge of the transaction, I disappeared from the family circle, and was not apprehended until late in the afternoon, when the Captain dragged me ignominiously from the hay-mow and conducted me, more dead than alive, to the office of Justice Clapham. Here I encountered five other pallid culprits, who had been fished out of divers coal-bins, garrets, and chicken-coops, to answer the demands of the outraged laws. (Charley Marden had hidden himself in a pile of gravel behind his father’s house, and looked like a recently exhumed mummy.)

There was not a particle of evidence against us; and, indeed, we were wholly innocent of the offence. The trick, as was afterwards proved, had been played by a party of soldiers stationed at the fort in the harbor. We were indebted for our arrest to Master Conway, who had slyly dropped a hint, within the hearing of Selectman Mudge, to the effect that “young Bailey and his five cronies could tell something about them signs.” When he was called upon to make good his assertion, he was considerably more terrified than the Centipedes, though they were ready to sink into their shoes.

At our next meeting, it was unanimously resolved that Conway’s animosity should not be quietly submitted to. He had sought to inform against us in the stage-coach business; he had volunteered to carry Pettingil’s “little bill” for twenty-four ice-creams to Charley Marden’s father; and now he had caused us to be arraigned before Justice Clapham on a charge equally groundless and painful. After much noisy discussion a plan of retaliation was agreed upon.

There was a certain slim, mild apothecary in the town, by the name of Meeks. It was generally given out that Mr. Meeks had a vague desire to get married, but, being a shy and timorous youth, lacked the moral courage to do so. It was also well known that the Widow Conway had not buried her heart with the late lamented. As to her shyness, that was not so clear. Indeed, her attentions to Mr. Meeks, whose mother she might have been, were of a nature not to be misunderstood, and were not misunderstood by any one but Mr. Meeks himself.

The widow carried on a dress-making establishment at her residence on the corner opposite Meeks’s drug-store, and kept a wary eye on all the young ladies from Miss Dorothy Gibb’s Female Institute who patronized the shop for soda-water, acid-drops, and slate-pencils. In the afternoon the widow was usually seen seated, smartly dressed, at her window up stairs, casting destructive glances across the street,—the artificial roses in her cap and her whole languishing manner saying as plainly as a label on a prescription, “To be Taken Immediately!” But Mr. Meeks didn’t take.

The lady’s fondness, and the gentleman’s blindness, were topics ably handled at every sewing-circle in the town. It was through these two luckless individuals that we proposed to strike a deadly blow at the common enemy. To kill less than three birds with one stone, did not suit our sanguinary purpose. We disliked the widow not so much for her sentimentality as for being the mother of Bill Conway; we disliked Mr. Meeks, not because he was insipid, like his own sirups, but because the widow loved him; Bill Conway we hated for himself.

Late one dark Saturday night in September, we carried our plan into effect. On the following morning, as the orderly citizens wended their way to church past the widow’s abode, their sober faces relaxed at beholding over her front door the well-known gilt Mortar and Pestle which usually stood on the top of a pole on the opposite corner; while the passers on that side of the street were equally amused and scandalized at seeing a placard bearing the following announcement tacked to the druggist’s window-shutters:—

The naughty cleverness of the joke (which I should be sorry to defend) was recognized at once. It spread like wildfire over the town, and, though the mortar and the placard were speedily removed, our triumph was complete. The whole community was on the broad grin, and our participation in the affair seemingly unsuspected. It was those wicked soldiers at the Fort!


There was one person, however, who cherished a strong suspicion that the Centipedes had had a hand in the business; and that person was Conway. His red hair seemed to change to a livelier red, and his sallow cheeks to a deeper sallow, as we glanced at him stealthily over the tops of our slates the next day in school. He knew we were watching him, and made sundry mouths and scowled in the most threatening way over his sums.

Conway had an accomplishment peculiarly his own,—that of throwing his thumbs out of joint at will. Sometimes while absorbed in study, or on becoming nervous at recitation, he performed the feat unconsciously. Throughout this entire morning, his thumbs were observed to be in a chronic state of dislocation, indicating great mental agitation on the part of the owner. We fully expected an outbreak from him at recess; but the intermission passed off tranquilly, somewhat to our disappointment.

At the close of the afternoon session, it happened that Binny Wallace and myself, having got swamped in our Latin exercise, were detained in school for the purpose of refreshing our memories with a page of Mr. Andrews’s perplexingly irregular verbs. Binny Wallace, finishing his task first, was dismissed. I followed shortly after, and, on stepping into the play-ground, saw my little friend plastered, as it were, up against the fence, and Conway standing in front of him ready to deliver a blow on the upturned, unprotected face, whose gentleness would have stayed any arm but a coward’s.

Seth Rodgers, with both hands in his pockets, was leaning against the pump lazily enjoying the sport; but on seeing me sweep across the yard, whirling my strap of books in the air like a sling, he called out lustily, “Lay low, Conway! here’s young Bailey!”

Conway turned just in time to catch on his shoulder the blow intended for his head. He reached forward one of his long arms—he had arms like a windmill, that boy—and, grasping me by the hair, tore out quite a respectable handful. The tears flew to my eyes, but they were not tears of pain; they were merely the involuntary tribute which nature paid to the departed tresses.

In a second my little jacket lay on the ground, and I stood on guard, resting lightly on my right leg and keeping my eye fixed steadily on Conway’s,—in all of which I was faithfully following the instructions of Phil Adams, whose father subscribed to a sporting journal.

Conway also threw himself into a defensive attitude, and there we were, glaring at each other, motionless, neither of us disposed to risk an attack, but both on the alert to resist one. There is no telling how long we might have remained in that absurd position, had we not been interrupted.

It was a custom with the larger pupils to return to the play-ground after school, and play base-ball until sundown. The town authorities had prohibited ball-playing on the Square, and, there being no other available place, the boys fell back perforce on the school-yard. Just at this crisis, a dozen or so of the Templars entered the gate, and, seeing at a glance the belligerent status of Conway and myself, dropped bat and ball, and rushed to the spot where we stood.

“Is it a fight?” asked Phil Adams, who saw by our freshness that we had not yet got to work.

“Yes, it’s a fight,” I answered, “unless Conway will ask Wallace’s pardon, promise never to hector me in future,—and put back my hair!”

This last condition was rather a staggerer.

“I sha’n’t do nothing of the sort,” said Conway, sulkily.

“Then the thing must go on,” said Adams, with dignity. “Rodgers, as I understand it, is your second, Conway? Bailey, come here. What’s the row about?”

“He was thrashing Binny Wallace.”

“No, I wasn’t,” interrupted Conway; “but I was going to, because he knows who put Meeks’s mortar over our door. And I know well enough who did it; it was that sneaking little mulatter!”—pointing at me.

“O, by George!” I cried, reddening at the insult.

“Cool is the word,” said Adams, as he bound a handkerchief round my head, and carefully tucked away the long straggling locks that offered a tempting advantage to the enemy. “Who ever heard of a fellow with such a head of hair going into action!” muttered Phil, twitching the handkerchief to ascertain if it were securely tied. He then loosened my gallowses (braces), and buckled them tightly above my hips. “Now, then, bantam, never say die!”

Conway regarded these business-like preparations with evident misgiving, for he called Rodgers to his side, and had himself arrayed in a similar manner, though his hair was cropped so close that you couldn’t have taken hold of it with a pair of tweezers.

“Is your man ready?” asked Phil Adams, addressing Rodgers.


“Keep your back to the gate, Tom,” whispered Phil in my ear, “and you’ll have the sun in his eyes.”

Behold us once more face to face, like David and the Philistine. Look at us as long as you may; for this is all you shall see of the combat. According to my thinking, the hospital teaches a better lesson than the battlefield. I will tell you about my black eye, and my swollen lip, if you will; but not a word of the fight.

You’ll get no description of it from me, simply because I think it would prove very poor reading, and not because I consider my revolt against Conway’s tyranny unjustifiable.

I had borne Conway’s persecutions for many months with lamb-like patience. I might have shielded myself by appealing to Mr. Grimshaw; but no boy in the Temple Grammar School could do that without losing caste. Whether this was just or not, doesn’t matter a pin, since it was so,—a traditionary law of the place. The personal inconvenience I suffered from my tormentor was nothing to the pain he inflicted on me indirectly by his persistent cruelty to little Binny Wallace. I should have lacked the spirit of a hen if I had not resented it finally. I am glad that I faced Conway, and asked no favors, and got rid of him forever. I am glad that Phil Adams taught me to box, and I say to all youngsters: Learn to box, to ride, to pull an oar, and to swim. The occasion may come round, when a decent proficiency in one or the rest of these accomplishments will be of service to you.

In one of the best books* ever written for boys are these words:—

“Learn to box, then, as you learn to play cricket and football. Not one of you will be the worse, but very much the better, for learning to box well. Should you never have to use it in earnest, there’s no exercise in the world so good for the temper, and for the muscles of the back and legs.

“As for fighting, keep out of it, if you can, by all means. When the time comes, if ever it should, that you have to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to a challenge to fight, say ‘No’ if you can,—only take care you make it plain to yourself why you say ‘No.’ It’s a proof of the highest courage, if done from true Christian motives. It’s quite right and justifiable, if done from a simple aversion to physical pain and danger. But don’t say ‘No’ because you fear a licking and say or think it’s because you fear God, for that’s neither Christian nor honest. And if you do fight, fight it out; and don’t give in while you can stand and see.”

And don’t give in when you can’t! say I. For I could stand very little, and see not at all (having pummelled the school-pump for the last twenty seconds), when Conway retired from the field. As Phil Adams stepped up to shake hands with me, he received a telling blow in the stomach; for all the fight was not out of me yet, and I mistook him for a new adversary.

Convinced of my error, I accepted his congratulations, with those of the other boys, blandly and blindly. I remember that Binny Wallace wanted to give me his silver pencil-case. The gentle soul had stood throughout the contest with his face turned to the fence, suffering untold agony.

A good wash at the pump, and a cold key applied to my eye, refreshed me amazingly. Escorted by two or three of the schoolfellows, I walked home through the pleasant autumn twilight, battered but triumphant. As I went along, my cap cocked on one side to keep the chilly air from my eye, I felt that I was not only following my nose, but following it so closely, that I was in some danger of treading on it. I seemed to have nose enough for the whole party. My left cheek, also, was puffed out like a dumpling. I couldn’t help saying to myself, “If this is victory, how about that other fellow?”

“Tom,” said Harry Blake, hesitating.


“Did you see Mr. Grimshaw looking out of the recitation-room window just as we left the yard?”

“No; was he, though?”

“I am sure of it.”

“Then he must have seen all the row.”

“Shouldn’t wonder.”

“No, he didn’t,” broke in Adams, “or he would have stopped it short metre; but I guess he saw you pitching into the pump,—which you did uncommonly strong,—and of course he smelt mischief directly.”

“Well, it can’t be helped now,” I reflected.

“—As the monkey said when he fell out of the cocoanut-tree,” added Charley Marden, trying to make me laugh.

It was early candle-light when we reached the house. Miss Abigail, opening the front door, started back at my hilarious appearance. I tried to smile upon her sweetly, but the smile, rippling over my swollen cheek, and dying away like a spent wave on my nose, produced an expression of which Miss Abigail declared she had never seen the like excepting on the face of a Chinese idol.

She hustled me unceremoniously into the presence of my grandfather in the sitting-room. Captain Nutter, as the recognized professional warrior of our family, could not consistently take me to task for fighting Conway; nor was he disposed to do so; for the Captain was well aware of the long-continued provocation I had endured.

“Ah, you rascal!” cried the old gentleman, after hearing my story, “just like me when I was young,—always in one kind of trouble or another. I believe it runs in the family.”

“I think,” said Miss Abigail, without the faintest expression on her countenance, “that a table-spoonful of hot-dro—”

The Captain interrupted Miss Abigail peremptorily, directing her to make a shade out of card-board and black silk, to tie over my eye. Miss Abigail must have been possessed with the idea that I had taken up pugilism as a profession, for she turned out no fewer than six of these blinders.

“They’ll be handy to have in the house,” says Miss Abigail, grimly.

Of course, so great a breach of discipline was not to be passed over by Mr. Grimshaw. He had, as we suspected, witnessed the closing scene of the fight from the school-room window, and the next morning, after prayers, I was not wholly unprepared when Master Conway and myself were called up to the desk for examination. Conway, with a piece of court-plaster in the shape of a Maltese cross on his right cheek, and I with the silk patch over my left eye, caused a general titter through the room.

“Silence!” said Mr. Grimshaw, sharply.

As the reader is already familiar with the leading points in the case of Bailey versus Conway, I shall not report the trial further than to say that Adams, Marden, and several other pupils testified to the fact that Conway had imposed on me ever since my first day at the Temple School. Their evidence also went to show that Conway was a quarrelsome character generally. Bad for Conway. Seth Rodgers, on the part of his friend, proved that I had struck the first blow. That was bad for me.

“If you please, sir,” said Binny Wallace, holding up his hand for permission to speak, “Bailey didn’t fight on his own account; he fought on my account, and, if you please, sir, I am the boy to be blamed, for I was the cause of the trouble.”

This drew out the story of Conway’s harsh treatment of the smaller boys. As Binny related the wrongs of his playfellows, saying very little of his own grievances, I noticed that Mr. Grimshaw’s hand, unknown to himself perhaps, rested lightly from time to time on Wallace’s sunny hair. The examination finished, Mr. Grimshaw leaned on the desk thoughtfully for a moment, and then said:—

“Every boy in this school knows that it is against the rules to fight. If one boy maltreats another, within school-bounds, or within school-hours, that is a matter for me to settle. The case should be laid before me. I disapprove of tale-bearing, I never encourage it in the slightest degree; but when one pupil systematically persecutes a schoolmate, it is the duty of some head-boy to inform me. No pupil has a right to take the law into his own hands. If there is any fighting to be done, I am the proper person to do it. I disapprove of boys’ fighting; it is unnecessary and unchristian. In the present instance, I consider every large boy in this school at fault; but as the offence is one of omission, rather than commission, my punishment must rest only on the two boys convicted of misdemeanor. Conway loses his recess for a month, and Bailey has a page added to his Latin lessons for the next four recitations. I now request Bailey and Conway to shake hands in the presence of the school, and acknowledge their regret at what has occurred.”

Conway and I approached each other slowly and cautiously, as if we were bent upon another hostile collision. We clasped hands in the tamest manner imaginable, and Conway mumbled, “I’m sorry I fought with you.”

“I think you are,” I replied, dryly, “and I’m sorry I had to thrash you.”

“You can go to your seats,” said Mr. Grimshaw, turning his face aside to hide a smile. I am sure my apology was a very good one.

I never had any more trouble with Conway. He and his shadow, Seth Rodgers, gave me a wide berth for many months. Nor was Binny Wallace subjected to further molestation. Miss Abigail’s sanitary stores, including a bottle of opodeldoc, were never called into requisition. The six black silk patches, with their elastic strings, are still dangling from a beam in the garret of the Nutter House, waiting for me to get into fresh difficulties.

T. B. Aldrich.

“Tom Brown’s School Days at Rugby.”


Georgianna’s Letter to William Henry.

My dear brother Billy,—

Kitty isn’t drowned. I’ve got ever so many new dolls. My grandmother went to town, not the same day my kitty did that, but the next day, and she brought me home a new doll, and that same day she went there my father went to Boston, and he brought me home a very big one,—no, not very, but quite big,—and Aunt Phebe went a visiting to somebody’s house that very day and she brought me home a doll, and while she was gone away Hannah Jane dressed over one of Matilda’s old ones new, and none of the folks knew that the others were going to give me a doll, and then Uncle J. said that if it was the family custom to give Georgianna a doll, he would give Georgianna a doll, and he went to the field and catched the colt, and tackled him up into the riding wagon on purpose, and then he started off to town, and when he rode up to our back door there was a great dolly, the biggest one I had, and she was sitting down on the seat, just like a live one. And she had a waterfall, and she had things to take off and put on. Then Uncle J. asked me what I should do with my old dollies that were ’most worn out. And I said I didn’t know what I should. And then Uncle J. said that he would take the lot, for twenty-five cents a head, to put up in his strawberry-bed, for scarecrows, and he asked me if I would sell, and I said I would. And he put the little ones on little poles and the big ones on tall poles, with their arms stretched out, and the one with a long veil looked the funniest, and so did the one dressed up like a sailor boy, but one arm was broke off of him, and a good many of their noses were too. The one that had on old woman’s clothes Uncle J. put a pipe in her mouth. And the one that had a pink gauze dress, but ’tis all faded out now, and a long train, but the train was torn very much, that one has got a great bunch of flowers—paper—pinned on to her, and another in her hand, and the puppy he barks at ’em like everything. My pullet lays, little ones, you know. I hope she won’t do like Lucy Maria’s Leghorn hen. That one flies into the bedroom window every morning, and lays eggs on the bedroom bed. For maybe ’twould come in before I got up. My class has begun to learn geography, and my father has bought me a new geography. But I guess I sha’n’t like to learn it very much if the backside is hard as the foreside is. Uncle J. says no need to worry your mind any about that old fowl, for he’s so tough he couldn’t be killed. I wish you would tell me how long he could live if it wasn’t killed at all, for Uncle J. says they grow tougher every year, and if you let one live too long, he can’t die. But I guess he’s funning, do you? Our hens scratched and scratched up some of my flowers, and so did the rain wash some up that night it came down so hard, but one pretty one bloomed out this morning, but it has budded back again now. Aunt Phebe says she sends her love to you, tied up with this pretty piece of blue ribbon. She says, if you want to, you can take the ribbon and wear it for a neck bow. Grandmother says how do you know but that sailor that went to your school in Old Wonder Boy’s uncle’s vessel is that big boy, that bad one that ran away, you called Tom Cush?

Father laughs to hear about Old Wonder Boy, and he says a bragger ought to be laughed at, and bragging is a bad thing. But he don’t want you to pick out all the bad things about a boy to send home in your letters; says next time you must send home a good thing about him, because he thinks every boy you see has some good things as well as some bad things.

A dear little baby has moved in the house next to our house. It lets me hold her, and its mother lets me drag her out. It’s got little bits of toes, and it’s got a little bit of a nose, and it says “Da da! da da! da da!” And when I was dragging her out, the wheel went over a poor little butterfly, but I guess it was dead before. O, its wings were just as soft! and ’twas a yellow one. And I buried it up in the ground close to where I buried up my little birdie, side of the spring.

Your affectionate sister,


A Letter from Tom Cush to Dorry.

Dear Friend,—

I have not seen you for a great while. I hope you are in good health. Does William Henry go to school there now? And does Benjie go, and little Bubby Short? I hope they are in good health. Do the Two Betseys keep shop there now? Is Gapper Skyblue alive now? I am in very good health. I go to sea now. That’s where I went when I went away from school. I suppose all the boys hate me, don’t they? But I don’t blame them any for hating me. I should think they would all of them hate me. For I didn’t act very well when I went to that school. Our captain knows about that school, for he is uncle to a boy that has begun to go. He’s sent a letter to him. I wish that boy would write a letter to him, because he might tell about the ones I know.

I’ve been making up my mind about telling you something. I’ve been thinking about it, and thinking about it. I don’t like to tell things very well. But I am going to tell this to you. It isn’t anything to tell. I mean it isn’t like news, or anything happening to anybody. But it is something about when I was sick. For I had a fit of sickness. I don’t mean afterwards, when I was so very sick, but at the first beginning of it.

The captain he took some books out of his chest and said I might have them to read if I wanted to. And I read about a man in one of them, and the king wanted him to do something that the man thought wasn’t right to do; but the man said he would not do what was wrong. And for that he was sent to row in a very large boat among all kinds of bad men, thieves and murderers and the worst kind. They had to row every minute, and were chained to their oars, and above their waists they had no clothes on. They had overseers with long whips. The officers stayed on deck over the rowers’ heads, and when they wanted the vessel to go faster, the overseers made their long whip-lashes cut into the men’s backs till they were all raw and bleeding. Nights the chains were not taken off, and they slept all piled up on each other. Sometimes when the officers were in a hurry, or when there were soldiers aboard, going to fight the enemy’s vessels, then the men wouldn’t have even a minute to eat, and were almost starved to death, and got so weak they would fall over, but then they were whipped again. And when they got to the enemy’s ships, they had to sit and have cannons fired in among them. Then the dead ones were picked up and thrown into the water. And the king told the man that if he wanted to be free, and have plenty to eat and a nice house, and good clothes to wear, all he had to do was to promise to do that wrong thing. But the man said no. For to be chained there would only hurt his body. But to do wrong would hurt his soul.

And I read about some people that lived many hundred years ago and the emperor of that country wanted these people to say that their religion was wrong and his religion was the right one. But they said, “No. We believe ours is true, and we cannot lie.” Then the emperor took away all their property, and pierced them with red-hot irons, and threw some into a place where they kept wild beasts. But they still kept saying, “We cannot lie, we must speak what we believe.” And one was a boy only fifteen years old. And the emperor thought he was so young they could scare him very easy. And he said to him, “Now say you believe the way I want you to, or I will have you shut up in a dark dungeon.” But the boy said, “I will not say what is false.” And he was shut up in a dark dungeon, underground. And one day the emperor said to him, “Say you believe the way I want you to, or I will have you stretched upon a rack.” But the boy said, “I will not speak falsely.” And he was stretched upon a rack till his bones were almost pulled apart. Then the emperor asked, “Now will you believe that my religion is right?” But the boy could not say so. And the emperor said, “Then you’ll be burned alive!” The boy said, “I can suffer the burning, but I cannot lie.” Then he was brought out and the wood was piled up round him, and set on fire, and the boy was burned up with the wood. And while he was burning up, he thanked God for having strength enough to suffer and not lie.

Dorry, I want to tell you how much I’ve been thinking about that man and that boy ever since. And I want to ask you to do something. I’ve been thinking about how mean I was, and what I did there so as not to get punished. And I want you to go see my mother and tell her that I’m ashamed. Don’t make any promises to my mother, but only just tell her, “Tom’s ashamed.” That’s all. I don’t want to make promises. But I know myself just what I mean to do. But I sha’n’t talk about that any.

Give my regards to all inquiring friends.

Your affectionate friend,


P. S. Can’t you tell things about me to William Henry, and the others, for it is very hard to me to write a letter? Write soon.


William Henry’s Letter to his Grandmother.

My dear Grandmother,—

I suppose my father has got home again by this time. I like to have my father come to see me. The boys all say my father is a tip-top one. I guess they like to have a man treat them with so many peanuts and good seedcakes. I got back here to-day from Dorry’s cousin’s party. My father let me go. I wish my sister could have seen that party. Tell her when I get there I will tell her all about the little girls, and tell her how cunning the little ones, as small as she, looked dancing, and about the good things we had. O, I never saw such good things before! I didn’t know there were such kinds of good things in the world.

Did my father tell you all about that letter that Tom Cush wrote to Dorry? Ask him to. Dorry sent that letter right to Tom Cush’s mother. And when Dorry and I were walking along together the next morning after the party, she was sitting at her window, and as soon as she saw us she said, “Won’t you come in, boys? Do come in!” And looked so glad! And laughed, and about half cried, after we went in, and it was that same room where we went before. But it didn’t seem so lonesome now, not half. It looked about as sunshiny as our kitchen does, and they had flower-vases. I wish I could get some of those pretty seeds for my sister, for she hasn’t got any of that kind of flowers.

She seemed just as glad to see us! And shook hands and looked so smiling, and so did Tom’s father when he came into the room. He had a belt in his hand that Tom used to wear when he used to belong to that Base-ball Club. And when we saw that, Dorry said, “Why! has Tom got back?” Tom’s mother said, “O no.” But his father said, “O yes! Tom’s got back. He hasn’t got back to our house, but he’s got back. He hasn’t got back to town, but he’s got back. He hasn’t got back to his own country, but he’s got back. For I call that getting back,” says he, “when a boy gets back to the right way of feeling.”

Then Tom’s mother took that belt and hung it up where it used to be before, for it had been taken down and put away, because they didn’t want to have it make them think of Tom so much.

She said when Tom got back in earnest, back to the house, that we two, Dorry and I, must come there and make a visit, and I hope we shall, for they’ve got a pond at the bottom of their garden, and Tom’s father owns a boat, and you mustn’t think I should tip over, for I sha’n’t, and no matter if I should, I can swim to shore easy.

Your affectionate grandchild,

William Henry.

P. S. Bubby Short didn’t mean to, but he sat down on my speckled straw hat, and we couldn’t get it out even again, and I didn’t want him to, but he would go to buy me a new one, and I went with him, but the man didn’t have any, for he said the man that made speckled straw hats was dead and his shop was burnt down, and we found a brown straw hat, but I wouldn’t let Bubby Short pay any of his money, only eight cents, because I didn’t have quite enough. Don’t shopkeepers have the most money of all kinds of men? Wouldn’t you be a shopkeeper when I grow up? It seems just as easy! If you was me would you swap off your white-handled jack-knife your father bought you for a four-blader? My sister said to send some of W. B.’s good things. He wrote a very good composition about heads, the teacher said, and I am going to send it, for that will be sending one of his good things. It’s got in it about two dozen kinds of heads besides our own heads. W. B. is willing for me to copy it off. And Bubby Short wrote a very cunning little one, and if you want to, you may read it. The teacher told us a good deal about heads.

W. H.

W. B.’s Composition.


Heads are of different shapes and different sizes. They are full of notions. Large heads do not always hold the most. Some persons can tell just what a man is by the shape of his head. High heads are the best kind. Very knowing people are called long-headed. A fellow that won’t stop for anything or anybody is called hot-headed. If he isn’t quite so bright, they call him soft-headed; if he won’t be coaxed nor turned, they call him pig-headed. Animals have very small heads. The heads of fools slant back. When your head is cut off you are beheaded. Our heads are all covered with hair, except baldheads. There are other kinds of heads besides our heads.

First, there are Barrel-heads. Second, there are Pin-heads. Third, Heads of sermons,—sometimes a minister used to have fifteen heads to one sermon. Fourth, Headwind. Fifth, Head of cattle,—when a farmer reckons up his cows and oxen he calls them so many head of cattle. Sixth, Drumheads,—drumheads are made of sheepskin. Seventh, Heads or tails,—when you toss up pennies. Eighth, Doubleheaders,—when you let off rockets. Ninth, Come to a head—like a boil or a rebellion. Tenth, Cabbageheads,—dunces are called cabbageheads, and good enough for them. Eleventh, At Loggerheads,—when you don’t agree. Twelfth, Heads of chapters. Thirteenth, Head him off,—when you want to stop a horse, or a boy. Fourteenth, Head of the family. Fifteenth, A Blunderhead. Sixteenth, The Masthead,—where they send sailors to punish them. Seventeenth, get up to the head,—when you spell the word right. Eighteenth, The Head of a stream,—where it begins. Nineteenth, Down by the head,—when a vessel is deep loaded at the bows. Twentieth, a Figurehead carved on a vessel. Twenty-first, The Cathead, and that’s the end of a stick of timber that a ship’s anchor hangs by. Twenty-second, A Headland, or cape. Twenty-third, A Head of tobacco. Twenty-fourth, A Bulkhead, which is a partition in a ship. Twenty-fifth, Go ahead,—but first be sure you are right.

Bubby Short’s Composition.

On Morning.

It is very pleasant to get up in the morning and walk in the green fields, and hear the birds sing. The morning is the earliest part of the day. The sun rises in the morning. It is very good for our health to get up early. It is very pleasant to see the sun rise in the morning. In the morning the flowers bloom out and smell very good. If it thunders in the morning, or there’s a rainbow, ’twill be rainy weather. Fish bite best in the morning, when you go a fishing. I like to sleep in the morning.

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.


The lilies were fair, by the garden-wall;

They blossomed for beauty;—and was that all?

Etta checked her steps in the path; said she,

“I will carry a few for my friend to see.”

And she only stayed at my door to say,

“Here are lilies that blossomed for you to-day.”


I took the gift with a glad delight,—

So sweet, so perfect, so pure and white.

How modestly drooping their eyelids fell,

Like a bride’s, when she waits for the marriage-bell!

How fair they were, in the chalice tall!

They blossomed for beauty;—and was that all?


Our Annie came in with a tale of woe,

From a wretched home in the lanes below.

Little Mary, the pride of a poor man’s breast,

Had folded her hands in eternal rest.

Her robes were coarse, and the room was bare,

And nothing of beauty or light was there.


Then I took from the vase my lilies dear,

And gave them the dew of a silent tear;

And parting the fingers, pale and thin,

Annie laid the lilies their clasp within.

And the father and mother will think of her so,

Whenever the flowers in the spring-time grow.


The lilies were fair by the garden-wall;

They blossomed for beauty. That was not all;

For the Father his rain and his sunshine gave,

And they opened for Mary to wear in her grave,

And Etta did more of His will than she knew,

When she said “Here are lilies that blossomed for you.”

Mary B. C. Slade.


“What are you thinking, Lawrence?” said the Doctor, as the family were seated one evening round the library fire.

October had come, the nights were growing cold, and a bright glow from the grate gave a warm and cheerful aspect to the room. The Doctor had been reading the evening paper. Mrs. Dean was knitting a white worsted tippet,—so very white and soft, that anybody would have known it was intended for Lawrence’s little cousin Ethel,—for where was there another little throat or chin it would become so well? Ethel was rocking pussy to sleep in her doll’s cradle,—only pussy wasn’t very sleepy, and the sight of the white tippet was a constant temptation to her playful paws.

As for Lawrence, he was gazing abstractedly at the fire,—scarcely moving, except when, every minute or two, he took a lump of coal from the hod, and dropped it carefully into the grate, and never once speaking, for I don’t know how long, until his uncle startled him with his sudden question.

“Oh! I? I was thinking how curious it is. I mean the fire. And the coal that makes the fire,—where it comes from, and how we happen to be burning it here. Ever since we saw the great furnaces at the glass-works, I can’t keep it out of my head.”

“No!” cried little Ethel; “he won’t even look at my kitty,—and she is so interesting in her nightcap and nightgown! Only see how quiet she is! There! rock-a-by, baby, upon the tree-top! When the wind blows, the cradle will—Dear me, kitty!” she exclaimed; for there was just then an exciting movement of the white tippet, and away went kitty, nightcap, nightgown, and all, to have a snatch at it.

There was a good laugh at the funny appearance pussy made, dressed up so, with the nightcap-strings tied under her whiskers, and her paws in sleeves. And Mrs. Dean said, “You see, Ethel, cats will be cats, and boys will be boys. You mustn’t blame them because they won’t do always just as you would like to have them. Lawrence is a good deal more interested in coal, just now, than he is in cats with nightcaps.”

“For a while it was all glass,” said Ethel, putting pussy back into the cradle. “There wasn’t a glass thing in the house that he didn’t talk about, and tell us how it was made.”

“Yes, and didn’t you like to have me?” said Lawrence. “You made me tell you over and over again how your little ruby cup was made.”

“Yes, indeed; for that is very pretty, with my initials engraved on it, and the little flower-wreath around them to match yours. But coal,—ugly black coal!—I don’t see what there is interesting in that!”

“Lawrence does, and I am very glad of it,” said the Doctor. “How would you like to see where the coal comes from,—eh, Lawrence?”

“That’s what I’ve been wishing for!” exclaimed the boy. “If I could only go into a coal mine!”

The good Doctor smiled. “Well, now, I’ll tell you what I have been thinking. Some gentlemen of my acquaintance talk of purchasing coal lands in Pennsylvania; and they have their eye on some near Scranton, in Luzerne County,—which you will find, when you turn to your map, about the centre of the northeastern quarter of the State. They have asked me to go out and look at this property for them, and I think of starting next week. Would you like to go with me?”

Lawrence fairly leaped out of his chair with delight. “Would I? O uncle!”

“There she goes again!” said Ethel, with a rueful face, holding pussy’s nightgown in her hand, having pulled it off in a vain attempt to detain the runaway. “Why couldn’t you keep still, coz, when she was just getting so quiet?”

“Why, I’m going to Pennsylvania!” cried Lawrence,—as if that were excuse enough for the wildest conduct.

“Yes, but you needn’t dance up and down that way, if you are! Now she won’t go to sleep to-night!”

“Neither will Lawrence, I’m afraid,” said his aunt. “He shouldn’t have been told of anything so exciting until morning.”

The Doctor laughed, and said, “I knew he would have to lie awake one night, thinking of it, and that may as well be to-night.”

Lawrence seemed to be of the same opinion. He went to bed as usual; but he didn’t want to sleep. He lay awake, thinking of the promised journey, and of coal mines and miners, for an hour or two. He was so excited, that when he fell asleep at last he dreamed that he was a locomotive in nightcap and nightgown, and that, taking fright at the sound of a gun, he ran off the track, and smashed up a long passenger train. Then it seemed to him that the noise he had taken for a gun was in fact the explosion of his own boiler; then, that he was the engineer, and that he was knocked very high by repeated explosions, which wouldn’t let him come down out of the freezing weather. He awoke, in the midst of his trouble, to find that he had thrown off the bed-clothes, that he was shivering with the cold, and that a window-blind was slamming.

The days seemed very long to the boy, until at last the time came for bidding his aunt and cousin good by, and starting with his uncle on their journey.

They took the steamboat train for New York; and Lawrence, after sleeping soundly “as a top,” as he said, “on that pantry-shelf,”—meaning the berth in the state-room,—awoke the next morning in the great city.

He had a few hours to look about him, while his uncle transacted some business; then they crossed the river in a ferry-boat, (how keenly the boy enjoyed all that!) and, taking a train on the other side, rattled away, across New Jersey, and far up into Pennsylvania, reaching Scranton the same evening.

It was, of course, a delightful journey to the boy, and he was almost sorry when it came to an end. Yet the end was the most interesting part of it. The train went winding in among the mountains that enclose the Lackawanna Valley; they were covered with wild forests, still bright with the glorious tints of October, and, through a deep ravine that divided them, a beautiful stream—rightly named “Roaring Brook”—came rushing down. On the other side from this,—that is, on the right,—Little Roaring Brook came leaping from the rocks in white cascades, and, disappearing for a moment under the railroad bridge, fell into the larger stream below. Then Lawrence had exciting glimpses of steaming colliery buildings, with their black mounds—almost mountains—of waste coal and slate from the mines, pushing out into the narrow valley. Then the train passed within sight of immense iron mills and blast furnaces, flashing and flaming in the early twilight; then it came to a stop; and an omnibus whirled them away to a hotel in the city.

It was too late to see much of Scranton that night; but Lawrence consoled himself with anticipations of pleasure in going about with his uncle the next morning. He was, however, destined to be disappointed.

A tall gentleman, in gray overcoat and gray whiskers, whom he left talking with his uncle in the reading-room, was still at the hotel the next morning. After breakfast, a buggy came to the door of the hotel,—for himself and his uncle, Lawrence supposed; but no, it was for the tall gentleman; and the Doctor was going to ride with him.

“I’ve an engagement with this man,” said the Doctor, taking his nephew aside; “and I see his buggy has seats for only two. But you won’t mind being left alone for a few hours.”

“O, certainly not,” said Lawrence, with as cheerful a face as he could assume, though with a swelling heart. And his uncle rode away.

He watched the buggy as it disappeared up the long street; then a strange feeling of desolation came over him. The town was full of things worth seeing, but how could he, an utter stranger, hope to find them out? If he could only have gone in the buggy!

It was not his way, however, to spend much time in lamenting things that could not be helped. The morning was fine. The sunlight was beautiful on the mountains. “There’s no use feeling bad,” thought he. “I’m lucky to be here, any way. I can see the river and the city, if nothing else.”

So he went out, in good spirits, and spent the forenoon very happily. Yet he wasn’t quite satisfied with himself when he returned to the hotel at dinner-time. He had seen and enjoyed many things, but not what he most wished to see,—the interior of a coal mine. He had stood in silent wonder before more than one great colliery building, and heard the thundering crash of the coal dumped into the breakers; he had even looked into one, and seen the loaded cars from the deep mines whirled up swiftly, by the powerful engines, out of the black pit, and whirled back again empty, with terrible rapidity, and he had asked himself if he would ever have the courage to go down in one of them. He thought he would, if any one familiar with the mines would go with him; but everybody he saw appeared too busy to give a lad like him the least attention. “I must make acquaintances,” thought he; and he determined to begin at the dinner-table,—his uncle not having returned.

At dinner, however, he was quite disheartened by what he saw. Sixteen young men sat at the same table with himself, and scarcely sixteen words were spoken by all of them during the solemn ceremony of eating. They were all good-looking, and had clean dickies, and white foreheads, and appeared so intelligent, and so much at their ease, that their unsocial behavior quite astonished him. Indeed, it overcame him so, that he would no more have ventured to break the awful silence by speaking loud than if he had been sitting in his uncle’s church-pew during sermon-time.

While he was wondering what they could all be thinking about, another young man entered,—a very young man, I may say, for his age could scarcely have exceeded that of Lawrence himself, although his surprisingly cool and self-possessed manners made him appear much older. He had a pleasant face, a jaunty short jacket, and large side-pockets. In these he carried his hands, and, in one of them, the end of a cane, which stuck up behind him at about the angle of a plough-handle. He looked around with a knowing expression, and finally, seeming, after mature thought on the subject, to have selected Lawrence as a table-companion, went and sat down opposite him.

“Here, Muff!” said he; and Lawrence noticed that he was followed by a very small dog, in a very large fleece of white curls, that made him look as if Nature had at first designed him for a dog, but had afterwards changed her mind, and finished him up as a sheep.

The young man took the cane from his pocket, held it up directly over the animal’s upturned nose, and dropped it. Click!—the animal’s jaws flew open like a trap, and caught it.

“Turn three times!” said the young man.

The animal immediately got up on his hind legs, with his head thrown back, balancing the stick, and began to revolve, like a capstan with a lever thrust through it.

“Go!” said the young man; and the dog, dropping down on all fours, still holding the cane, retired with it to the door of the dining-room, where he laid it down under the hat-table, and put his paws on it, and kept vigilant guard over it, against all comers. The tall head-waiter made one or two attempts to turn him out, but got growled and snapped at so smartly that he finally let him remain.

Everybody appeared to be amused by this trifling incident, especially some children at a table near by, who could not laugh enough to see the tall waiter retreat from such a tangled little ball of wool. Even the solemn young men relaxed their grave countenances, and from that moment became sociable.

Meanwhile, the dog’s youthful master, not appearing in the least aware that either he or his pet had done anything extraordinary, glanced over the bill of fare, with the air of a person making judicious selections. Then he gave his order, calling the young lady who waited on him “Sis,” and talking to her very much as if he had been an old friend of her father’s, and held her on his knee when she was little. Then, resting his arms on the table, he looked across it at Lawrence, and gave a short nod.

Lawrence gave a short nod in return.

“Fine day,” said the young fellow.

“Beautiful,” replied Lawrence, adding, “That’s a splendid pup of yours,”—though he knew that splendid wasn’t just the word.

“He’ll do,” said the young fellow, with a glance at the door. “ ‘No dogs allowed in the dining-hall,’ says the chap in the white apron, as I came in. ‘Is that the rule of this hotel?’ says I. ‘Yes, sir,’ says he. ‘And a very good rule it is,’ says I; ‘but it don’t say anything about sheep’; and, while we were talking, Muff and I walked in. I’d like to see the place where Muff and I can’t go!—Thank you, sis,” to the young lady bringing his dinner.—“Acquainted in Scranton?”

Lawrence said no,—he arrived in town only the evening before with his uncle.

“Indeed! I came with my uncle, Mr. Fitz Adam, the celebrated mining engineer. You’ve heard of him, of course?”

Lawrence was forced to own that he had not heard of the celebrated Mr. Fitz Adam. Thereupon the young fellow laid down his knife and fork, and looked at him over his plate with mild astonishment, making Lawrence painfully aware how much he had lowered himself in his (the young fellow’s) esteem by that confession.

“May I ask where you came from, sir?” he said,—as if that must be a curious country, indeed, where the inhabitants had never heard of his uncle.

Lawrence hardly knew at first what to make of this impertinence, but wisely concluded to make a joke of it.

“I am from Massachusetts,” said he, with a droll smile just puckering the corners of his mouth. “And my uncle is the distinguished Doctor Dean. You have heard of him, of course?”

The young fellow laughed, and nodded at Lawrence approvingly; and Lawrence felt that this reply had raised him again in the young gentleman’s esteem. “We are even on that.—Butter, if you please, sis. Thank you, sis. And see here, sis!—can’t you get me a piping-hot sweet potato? I’ll remember you in my will, if you’ll be so kind as to oblige me.” Then, turning again to Lawrence: “We’re bound to speak well of our uncles, I see, though mine served me a remarkably shabby trick this morning.”

“How so?”

“He left me asleep in my bed, and, as near as I can find out, went off to ride with another gentleman.”

“Exactly what my uncle did by me!” said Lawrence, “only I wasn’t asleep in bed. Is your uncle a tall man in gray overcoat and gray whiskers?”

“The very same! You don’t say he and your uncle—well! this is a coincidence! Your hand on it!” And the young fellow stretched his arm across the table. “My name,” said he, “is Mr. Clarence Fitz Adam.”

“Mine is Lawrence Livingstone.” And from that moment they were friends.

“I wish you had been with me this morning,” said Mr. Clarence, wiping his elbow,—for he had dipped it into the gravy when he shook hands. “I have seen Scranton outside, inside, and”—he pointed downward, mysteriously—“underside.”

“Not in the coal mines?” said Lawrence, with a pang of envy. “I wanted to go down in a shaft, but didn’t know how the thing was to be done.”

“You ain’t bashful, I hope? You’ll find bashfulness don’t pay, if you are going through the world,” said Mr. Clarence, with an air of old experience. “The world’s a big shop. ‘No admittance,’ says the chap at the door. ‘O, excuse me!’ you say, and back out. But what do I say? ‘No admittance? Certainly, that’s all right,—an excellent regulation; but, if you please, sir,’—then I go on and ask questions, and the first thing he knows, he is showing me round. Come, I’ll get my pup fed, then we’ll take a stroll together.”

Lawrence was well pleased, for he was certain Mr. Clarence must be a capital fellow to go about with.

They walked down the street arm in arm, and crossed the river on the railroad bridge.

“This is the famous Lackawanna, as I suppose you have learned,” said Mr. Clarence, pointing downwards at the hurrying water. “It is the stream that gives its name to all this coal region about Scranton. This side of the river,” he continued, when they had crossed, “is Hyde Park. It is the fifth ward of the city. Let’s climb the bank above the railroad, and get a view. These,” said he, turning, when they had reached a favorable point,—“these plain-looking little houses right before us here are miners’ houses.”

“I don’t see but that they look very much like the houses of any other class of laborers,” said Lawrence; “and I had imagined, somehow, they must be different,—little, low, black, dismal, mysterious huts, to correspond with the miners’ dismal occupation, you know.”

“They may be so in some countries. But in this favored land of liberty,” said Mr. Clarence, smiling at his own eloquence, “the miners are so well paid, that they can afford to live very comfortably, as you see.”

“Well,” he went on, pointing with his cane, “there are the banks of the Lackawanna, and the railroad bridge we came over. We are here on the west bank; and there is the main part of the city on the east or left bank. This is all Scranton,—a fine, large city, as you see. But it has all been built up within a few years. A few years ago, this country was all a wilderness. Do you know what has made the difference? Coal, anthracite coal,” Mr. Clarence continued, answering his own question. “Coal built those fine brick blocks, those churches, hotels, stores. Coal built those big blast furnaces and iron mills. Coal built the railroads you and I came in on yesterday. Coal has done all this, and more,”—adding, by way of climax, “it has brought me the pleasure of your acquaintance.”

“This is a funny-looking brick church, up on the hill behind us,” said Lawrence, “with the end cracked open, and the sides held up with props.”

“Yes. And just beyond it you’ll see a house tipped up on one end, great pits in the earth, and other irregularities. Can you guess how they came about? Coal is to blame here too. There are mines all under where we stand. They extend like so many streets beneath the streets of the town,—two or three hundred feet below, of course. In place of houses and blocks down there, as you’ll see, for we are going into a mine presently, they have what they call pillars,—pillars of coal,—which they leave to support the country above, when they are undermining it. That is a very important consideration, where a city stands. But it seems they didn’t leave quite support enough under this part; for one day the ground began to shake and tremble; and it shook and trembled, every little while, all that day and night, and all the next day, and the great pillars down there groaned and complained; and now and then the coal would fly off from them, as if it was angry, and the props—for they put wooden props under the roof, besides—broke like pipe-stems; and finally, the next night, the crash came. The pillars had finally given way, and the country had settled. It looks now as if a young earthquake had kicked it.”

“Who pays the damages under such circumstances?”

“I believe that question hasn’t been decided yet. The owner of the land sells house-lots, reserving the right to mine the coal under them. He sells the right to the coal companies. Coal companies take out too much coal,—crash,—down go the house-lots, with the houses on them. Who is to blame? You see, it is a delicate legal point,” added Mr. Clarence, in his fine way. “And now, what do you say to going down and taking a look at that underground country?”

“I should be delighted to!” said Lawrence.

“Well, come along. I’ve been here before, you see. Come, Muff!” And Mr. Clarence led the way, swinging his cane.

J. T. Trowbridge.


“Heu—eu!” said the wind. “Here I am again!” And he gave little Carl Richter’s window a shake so that the panes rattled till they almost fell in pieces, and then he flew off,—like the wild fellow he was.

Carl started up in bed and opened his eyes wide. “That’s the old north-east!” said he, and began to listen. It was dark, as if it were the middle of the night, and Carl could not see anything in the room; only a patch of gray in the blackness showed where the window was. But he could hear a curious noise, or rather a good many different noises, that made him open his eyes wider than ever, only there was nobody there to see how big and round they got to be. First, there was the wind, that seemed trying to get in at all the doors and windows of the house, blowing and whistling, as if it were so cold,—so cold,—and wanted to get into Carl’s own warm little bed and be tucked up snug. Then there were the pine-trees sobbing and sighing to themselves, and Carl knew that far up the mountain, and for miles and miles away, all the pines were moaning and bending, just like those at his father’s door. Then—and it was to this that Carl was listening so eagerly—there was a sort of muffled roar, that grew louder and louder, and suddenly a report almost like that of a cannon, and after that a horrid, choking sound, as if some terribly big creature were trying to draw a deep breath, and then the roar again. I know more than one little boy, no younger than Carl was, who would have scampered under the bed-clothes, and perhaps called for his mother to come, on hearing that dreadful noise. I know one little boy who would have thought that a bear was in the room, or under the bed, and I am pretty sure that he would have screamed, and that his mother would have had to sit by him and hold his hand till he fell asleep again. But Carl did none of these things, and wasn’t in the least frightened. He had heard the same noise often enough before, and knew perfectly well what it meant. “That’s the old Northeast!” said he again, “and blustering more than ever.” But he did not say it in English as I have written it down, for Carl was a little German boy, and used to troll out the funniest long sentences, that would sound to your ears as if he were saying nothing but ugh! ugh! ugh! And to hear little Sophie, who was only three years old, try to sputter out some ugly word,—that would have made you laugh indeed. Carl knew enough of English to talk to the people who came to see his father, for they lived in America, where it is not everybody who can understand German. That seemed very strange to Carl. But always at home Carl spoke in German,—to his father and mother, and to Sophie and Johann, and to the cow and the robins, and to the dear old dog, whom he always called “Thou,” and whom he loved better than anything else that he had in the world.

Carl had come to America when he was a very little baby,—far too little to know anything of the land where he was born, or even the passage in the great ship; so his only associations were with the rocky nook where he now lived, and the little house around which the wind whistled that wild autumn morning. It was on the coast, with a great bare mountain rising up behind it, and the merry sea in front,—the sea over which Carl had been carried, a little, unconscious baby, in his mother’s arms. Often and often when he had been listening to his mother’s stories of the country where he was born, and which she loved so well, Carl would go out and sit on the rocks and rest his little brown cheek on his hand, and look across the silver sea as it flashed and danced in the sunlight. “When I am a man, I will go back to the fatherland,” he would say to himself. But he loved the new home too; there was the mountain to climb, and the rocks to play among, and his mother had planted a little patch of German daisies in the garden, that bloomed and smelled as sweet as they ever could have done anywhere. Then there were the beach and the sea, and Carl already owned a little boat, which he could row all alone; he could even take Johann with him sometimes, when the sea was quiet, and the little boy would promise to sit still. Carl had never been to school, for the nearest house was two miles off; but his mother had taught him to read and to write, and he could swim, and row, and drive the horse, and milk the cow, and he was learning to sail a boat,—yes, and sometimes he could tell when a storm was coming. He was the oldest of the children; then there were Johann, and Sophie, and the new baby, who was so very little that he hadn’t any name at all. They were all great sturdy children, with blue eyes and yellow hair, and fair, merry faces; only Carl was not fair, but as brown as a little Indian, with the sun and wind. And now you know what it was that Carl heard as he sat up in bed and listened. It was the sound of the waves that were beating on the rocks of Spouting Point.

Carl put his hand cautiously over to the side of the bed where Johann was, to see if he was awake. But Johann was certainly sound asleep; he had been playing hard all the day before, and slept as quietly as if the gentlest summer breeze were blowing. Then Carl got out of bed softly, so as not to wake him, and pattered along with his little bare feet to the window. It was still dark, but the east was beginning to grow gray, and down on the point he could see a white line of foam shooting up and fading away in the darkness again. He stayed there, kneeling down at the window, watching the white gleam that was a hundred times finer than any fountain, till he began to feel cold. By this time it was a good deal lighter, and Carl could distinguish the rocks quite plainly. “I will get up and go to see the breakers,” he said; “it is nearly time for the morning-red.” So he dressed himself quietly and quickly, always careful not to disturb Johann, and crept downstairs with his shoes in his hand. When he passed the door of the room where his mother was sleeping, he stopped a moment, and put his hand on the latch. Then he thought, “No, I will not wake her; I shall be back before she wakes,” and was creeping away again. But the mother was waking, and heard; or was it only the mother’s love which never sleeps, and which felt the little footsteps so dear to her? However that may be, Carl heard the mother’s voice calling to him.

“Where art thou going, child?” said she, when he had come into the room, and was standing beside her bed, and she saw that he was dressed in what he called his “weather-clothes.”

“Dost thou not hear the wind, Mütterchen?” said Carl, kissing her. “I am going to the point, to see the wind toss the waves about. That will be fine to-day!”

“Carl, Carl, why canst thou not sleep soundly in thy bed?” said his mother, smiling. “Thou art a true storm-chicken. Do not go among the rocks, lest thou stumble. And do not stay long, or I shall think something has befallen thee.”

“No, only a little,” said Carl. “It is near the daybreak already. How is the little brother?”

“He sleeps,” said his mother, “sweet as a little angel. Do not go near the rocks; remember, Carl.”

“No, Mütterchen,” said Carl, kissing her again, and went out, and softly shut the door. Down stairs before the hearth lay the dog Bezo. He was awake, too, and when Carl put his little round head into the house-room, he rapped on the floor with his tail. That was his way of saying good morning.

“Come, Bezo, and shake the sleep out of thine eyes,” cried Carl. “Dost thou not hear Northeast? How the old fellow rages! Let us come out and mock him, Bezo!”

But Bezo seemed to like the warm room better. He got up and stretched himself and yawned, licked the hand of his little master, and laid himself down again.

“Thou good-for-nothing!” said Carl. “Thou wouldst sit all day long, and roast like a potato among the ashes, if I did not drag thee out. Come!” he cried, and seized one of Bezo’s paws, and pulled him away from the warm hearth. Then he tied his hat on tight, and opened the outer door.

Whew! That was a blast! At the very instant that Carl opened the door, came a furious gust that tipped his hat down over his eyes, and blew Bezo’s hair all the wrong way up his back. But Carl planted his sturdy little legs very far apart on the ground, and the wind didn’t succeed in knocking him over, though it made him stagger and clinch his hands hard. The pine-trees bent and rattled, and louder than ever Carl could hear the slap of the surf, and the roar of the coming waves. He pulled his hat on once more, and called to Bezo to keep up the dog’s spirits, but found he had not much breath to spare. “That’s funny,” said he to himself, “that when there is so much wind, I should have so little breath!” Then he started to run down to the beach as fast as the wind would let him. It blew in his face, and tried to trip him up at every step, and once it nearly stole his hat, but Carl’s little brown fist clutched the brim just in time. Bezo kept along by his side, and so, panting and rosy, Carl stood, at last, just beyond highwater mark on the sand-strip. Down amid the sea-weed at his feet he saw Johann’s little boat, which their mother had rigged so carefully, and which Johann had been playing with the day before. Carl took it up and put it on some rocks where it was safer, and fastened it down so that it might not be blown away. “Poor Johann must not lose his boat till he can have a real one,” said Carl to himself, “like mine.”

Well, it was fine! The waves seemed tumbling over one another in their haste to get to the land, and to swallow up the little boy who stood there so coolly just beyond their reach. But, after all, the breakwater and the pier made it comparatively calm where Carl was; it was out on the rocks that he was looking, and there the spray was tossing and whirling, and great green walls of water rose every moment. Carl enjoyed it. He knew the rough old rocks would hold their own against the angry water, and he clapped his hands and shouted every time a wave bigger than the rest fell and shivered itself into foam against them. But all of a sudden something caught his eye which was not the foam,—something out beyond on the sea. Could he have seen clearly? Carl put his hand on Bezo’s head, and stared; his heart almost stopped beating for a moment. Another wave rose up, hurled itself against the crags, and then Carl saw the ship with its masts all broken, and a fragment of sail showing, come driving straight onwards. It was not a fishing-schooner, such as he saw every day passing, Carl knew at a glance, but a much larger vessel, evidently out of her course and helpless, drifting at the mercy of the merciless wind and sea. Poor little Carl stood looking on in horror for a moment, and clutched Bezo’s hair so tightly that he whined. But Carl didn’t hear him; he was thinking of nothing but the ship, nearer and nearer every moment. He knew that there were men on board who were trying to guide her motions, and he knew, too, what the men on board did not,—of the terrible sunken ledge on which she would strike, unless some quick hand were there to grasp the rudder; unless—Carl thought of the dear land over the sea, and perhaps on board there were some who came from thence,—countrymen, friends. The ledge seemed to Carl’s excited fancy to come to meet the fated ship; he knew so well where the cruel rocks were waiting for their prey.

“I cannot bear it!” cried he. “Come, Bezo!” and he started out on the pier, cautiously yet swiftly. There was his little See-mädchen fast to her moorings, and the oars lashed to a pile. Carl cast one glimpse at the breakers, and listened to that savage roar again, and gulped down something like a great sob. “I have been out in as rough a time with the father,” said he, and knelt down, and began to untie the boat. Bezo stood by him, puzzled and whining. Little Carl’s cheek was pale for all the sunburn, but he only said to himself, “I must show them the ledge,” over and over again, as if to keep down that curious rising in his throat; “there is nobody else.”

Suddenly came a dull sound that was not all the breaking of water, and Carl gave a cry and started to his feet, with one arm round the post to steady himself. It had come so soon. There was the vessel driven upon the ledge, and the breakers pounding, pounding, pounding. And back rang an answering cry to Carl’s,—the cry of men in sudden and utter despair,—and that drove every thought but one out of Carl’s generous, big heart. He stood up as tall as he could, and made a trumpet of his hand, and shouted in English, “See! this boat comes!” forgetting that the wind drove his poor little voice back, and choked it, and utterly silenced it. Then he turned, and gave one last look at the cottage. It was dark and still; behind it a great black mass rose that was the mountain; he knew that in a little while it would be red-capped, for the day was near. “The father must be here soon,” he muttered to himself, “and I have been out in as rough a time.”

Then he knelt down, and said the little prayer that he said every night at his mother’s knee, and then in another moment the See-mädchen was on the top of a wave with every muscle in Carl’s arms in play, and Bezo crouched at his feet. He knew the boat would live in almost any sea, “and I can swim, and so can Bezo,” he thought. Bezo sat watching him, never stirring; his intelligent eyes never moved from Carl’s face. The tide was going out; that helped him. O that the ship might not go to pieces before he could reach her! The little See-mädchen could only hold three,—but Carl never thought of that; he pulled stoutly on. Now a light came in the cottage, at the window of his mother’s room. Carl thought of little Sophie, with her yellow hair, and her eyes like the blue forget-me-nots. And then a mighty wave came, and swept the poor little boat away like a feather. Carl saw the rocks looming,—put out a slender oar to stave off—

When I went to see Carl’s mother last summer, she took me out, crying, to the little grave. It is near the house, and they have planted the sweet German daisies upon it; and when I saw it they were all in bloom, and the tender grass spread its velvet over the mound. And while I stood there, she told me how Bezo had dragged Carl’s poor little body up on the beach, wounded and bleeding himself, but having lived long enough to save his master, he thought, and how, as the first sunlight made the mountain-top red, Carl’s father found them there, both dead.

Johann stood by his mother’s side, and took her hand and kissed it. “Yes, I have thee left, my Johann,” said she, “and we have not lost our Carl forever.”

I stooped and picked one of the daisies which grew so fresh over the dead child, and I thought of the gallant little heart that had nourished the flower I held, and of the young life that was as sweet and fair, and of the love and tenderness of the Heaven that is over us all.

Lily Nelson.


It was the evening of New Year’s Day, and Minnie and Mysie, seated upon a sofa, with a great box of bon-bons, the gift of Signor Magnifico, between them, seriously devoted themselves to its consideration.

“What a pity we cannot devour sweetmeats forever!” remarked Minnie, at last, laying down a charming rose-colored heart with a profound sigh.

Mysie did not answer; in fact, her mouth was too full to admit of speech, and Minnie, after dreamily regarding the bonbonnière for a few moments, continued: “It is all very well to laugh at George the Third for asking how the apple got inside the dumpling, but I should really like to inquire how the drop of cream gets inside a chocolate Duchesse, or the liquid into a wine or brandy drop.”

“I can inform you how it gets out,” replied Mysie, savagely rubbing away at a spot upon her pet blue silk dress, caused by incautiously biting a Duchesse in two instead of putting it into her mouth entire.

“How it gets out of blue silk? You can tell me that to-morrow, if you please; but meantime how does it get into the Duchesse?” persisted Minnie, who was in an inquiring mood.

A peal at the door-bell, and the appearance of Signor Magnifico’s tall figure in the drawing-room, prevented the wise reply Mysie doubtless would have made; and Minnie, instead of speculating upon the gift, proceeded to thank the giver after her own pretty fashion.

“They are all delicious, especially the chocolates Duchesse,” said she, in conclusion, with a sly smile at Mysie, who muttered something about “A delusion and a snare.”

“But, Signor Magnifico, how does the cream get inside the chocolate?” continued Minnie raising her large eyes imploringly to Magnifico’s puzzled face.

“I am sure I don’t know. I’ll send and ask the fellow that makes them, if you like,” said he, after a moment’s consideration.

“Do, please. How charmingly you always suggest the road out of a dilemma!” said Minnie, gratefully.

“But I can suggest a still better one,” interposed Mysie. “Take us to see ‘the fellow,’ as you call him, at his work. I have not the least idea of how candies are made.”

Whether Magnifico was delighted with this suggestion or not, he professed to be so, and an expedition to the candy factory was arranged for the following day, which obligingly turned up one of the brightest and bluest of the year.

Punctually at the appointed hour appeared Magnifico, and a short drive brought the party to the famous saloon of fountains and flowers, singing-birds, and great green toads; not to mention cakes, ice-creams, and other delights of our first fifteen years. Having provided his two merry charges with all the dainties they would accept, Signor Magnifico left them for a few moments, and returned in company with a young gentleman, whom he announced as the best available authority upon the question in point, and obligingly willing to put his experience at the service of the young ladies, who gratefully accepted it.

“I do not know so much of the details as I might,” modestly began Mr. Son, “but I will introduce my foreman to you. He is a real enthusiast in his art, and I think you will find him thoroughly posted.”

So saying, Mr. Son led the way down a broad flight of steps and through a clean stone passage to a large subterraneous room fitted with several marble tables, a long wooden bench, and one or two brick furnaces. The good-natured-looking foreman, with his two assistants, was busy in opening some barrels of sugar just rolled in, but, summoned by Mr. Son, wiped his hands upon his white apron, and came smilingly forward.

“Good morning, Devine, what are you about to-day down here?” began Mr. Son.

“Well, sir, I thought of making some kisses and conversations, fish, elephants, and fancies. They tell me the stock is getting low up stairs,” said the artist in candies, glancing at one of the furnaces, over which bubbled a great copper kettle of sirup.

“That will do very well,” replied Mr. Son. “These ladies and gentleman want to see something of the process of candy-making, and I should like to have you show them whatever you can about it, and explain the rest.”

“Yes sir, I’ll do all that with pleasure, but the prettiest part of candy-making is the crystallized work, and that I have nothing to do with, you know.”

“Yes, we must go up stairs to see that; but you have a good deal to tell about down here,” said Mr. Son, comfortingly; and then, turning to his guests, he politely invited them to ask what questions they chose, and to help themselves to information or to candies, at their own discretion. Mysie, thus let loose upon the unfortunate foreman, at once began plying him with questions after her usual remorseless fashion, while Minnie and Magnifico talked alternate candy and South America with Mr. Son.

“What kind of sugar do you principally use?” began Mysie.

“The purest refined, such as you see here,” said the artist, with a look toward the just opened barrels. “And our sugar is sugar, instead of terra alba, such as some people that I could name, and won’t, use in the proportion of seven tenths terra alba to three tenths sugar.”

“What is terra alba?” asked Mysie, aghast.

“The words are Italian, and mean white earth, and the stuff is a good deal like plaster-of-Paris,” explained Devine. “In the first place, it was brought in by foreign ships as ballast, and thrown into the docks to get rid of it. This same mean scamp thought it would be good for adulterating sugar, and begged a few loads to try; and now it is largely sold to confectioners at three or four cents a pound, while sugar is seventeen cents. That is to say, I am told so, for not an ounce of terra alba has ever gone into my candies.”

“Of course not,” assented Mysie, hastily. “And is all the sugar alike for the different sorts of candy?”

“By no means. This white you see here is East Boston crushed, and is the best for my purposes, because it is the sweetest; but for crystallized work, they must have Stuart’s New York crushed, and then powder it. The East Boston won’t make the sparkling surface that the Stuart does. Then again, the icing for cakes and all sorts of ornamental frosting must be made from powdered sugar, or it cannot be worked as they want to have it. But these three sorts are all of the same grade and price, all first-class sugars.”

“Yes, and now how do you begin the candy?” asked Mysie, her mind at rest upon the sugar question.

“Like this,” replied the artist, taking off the cover of the great copper kettle, and showing it half full of a thick, transparent sirup boiling at great speed.

“That is nothing but sugar and water so far, and it has boiled for about twenty minutes,” said he. “Let us see if it is ready for candy yet. John, the basin.”

The basin, half filled with cold water, was presented, and the smiling artist, dipping his hand into it for a moment, in the next thrust it into the bubbling caldron, scooped up some of the sirup, and plunged his hand again into the basin.

“Oh! Didn’t it scald you?” exclaimed Mysie.

“Not in the least, although it easily might, if I were careless,” said the foreman, complacently drawing a piece of clear barley-candy from the basin of water, and presenting it to Mysie.

“You will see it is not yet quite brittle; it needs about two minutes more. John, are the marble slabs well buttered?”

“Yes, sir, all ready,” replied the attentive John, bringing forward two large saucepans and setting them upon the edge of the furnace.

“There!” exclaimed the artist, who had hastily made another dive into the kettle and then into the basin. “Another minute would ruin it,”—and, seizing the copper, he poured a portion of its contents into each of the two saucepans, and then emptied the remainder upon the two buttered marble slabs, where it lay in great golden transparent masses of about the consistency of raw pound-cake.

“Won’t it run off?” asked Miselle, as she noticed the gradual spread of the lake nearest to her.

“No. If it threatened to, I should lay down one of these iron rods to stop it; but it’s seldom I have to use them. Now I think we will make lemon candy of this lump, and checkerberry of the other,—those will be pretty colors to go together; then one saucepan shall be cinnamon, and the other clove, or half clove and half rose, if you think it would be better.”

“Yes, let us have it rose, by all means,” replied Mysie, gravely; and while Minnie and Magnifico drew near to look, the artist, taking from a shelf one of a number of vials with tubes in their mouths, pulled open with his fingers one of the lumps of candy and poured some drops of the essence into it. Then he closed the sides of the hole over it, and made another, remarking: “A little of this goes a great way. Those few drops will flavor the whole lump, and I shut it up inside to keep it from evaporating. That is the lemon, and I am going to make clear candy of that, because somehow lemon flavor always seems to belong to clear candies. The checkerberry, now, shall be both clear and pulled; or, if you say so, we will divide the lump, and have clear checkerberry, and pulled peppermint.”

“I think that would be best. Peppermint suggests pulled candy, if pulled means the opaque sort, like cream candy,” replied Mysie, with an air of deliberation.

“Yes, that’s it, and in a minute I will show you how it gets so,” replied the artist, seizing a broadsword handed him by the patient John, and dividing the unflavored lump of candy, now become quite stiff and firm, into two equal parts. One of these he flavored with checkerberry and the other with peppermint essence, and then began, partly with his own fingers, partly by aid of the broadsword, to turn and work the latter lump, much as a cook works her lump of pie-paste, before rolling it out.

“Isn’t it still hot?” asked Mysie, putting one finger upon the candy, and withdrawing it burnt.

“O yes, the inside of it is boiling now, and only an experienced hand can safely meddle with it. The boys who come here to work generally get a lesson, in the first day, that they remember. They see me handling the candy, and so they take hold—once.”

“It is like lava,” remarked Magnifico. “I have seen masses of that, almost cold upon the outside, when, an inch below the surface, there was heat enough to take the skin off your hand.”

“This is cool enough for pulling, now,” said the artist, gathering up the lump of peppermint candy in his hands, and suddenly throwing it over a great hook set in a stone post beside the table. Then, before it had time to cling or drop, he pulled it toward him in a great shining band, threw it again over the hook, pulled it out again, and so on, with quick, unceasing motion, while the candy, from a mere lump of gold-colored, bubbly sirup, became pure white, opaque, and fibrous, like a skein of glittering silk threads. The artist was now too busy to speak, and Mr. Son put in a few words of explanation.

“All but clear candies are pulled in this way, the coloring and flavoring being added first. Cream candy, usually flavored with vanilla, is pulled into the long bars in which it is sold, and then laid away for two or three weeks to ripen. That is the way it gets the soft, mellow consistency so much valued, although dealers generally prefer to buy it while brittle and hard, as that is a proof of its being new. Stick candy, after pulling, is either rolled under the hand upon the marble, or put through a machine which shapes the sticks. This lot, however—”

“There,” interrupted the artist, unhooking his skein of silk from the post, doubling it up, and tossing it into the hands of an assistant. “Keep that warm until I am ready for it.”

“See the footlights and the prompter’s box,” exclaimed Minnie, as the boy, hastening to the table at the other side of the room, laid the lump of candy close before a row of gas jets burning just above the surface of the table, and surrounded on three sides by a tin cover or hood. Leaving the assistant to turn and toast the skein of peppermint candy before these footlights, Mysie returned to watch the artist, who had already poured out and flavored his cinnamon candy, and was now pulling it, while another assistant divided the contents of the second saucepan, and flavored one half with clove, and the other with rose.

The artist was now fully absorbed in his work, and tossed and pulled his glittering skeins without an attempt at speech. Mr. Son played the part of chorus. “If the candy gets cool before it is pulled, it all has to be melted over, and when he is making three or four kinds at once, like this, he has to give his whole attention to it, and move pretty quickly too,” said he.

But now the peppermint, the cinnamon, the clove, and the rose were pulled, and the lemon, the checkerberry, and the barley, or unflavored candy, were left clear, and the last process began. The various masses were laid side by side before the gas-lights, one assistant devoting himself to keeping them warm and pliable, while another drew from under the bench and screwed upon the table a small hand-machine, consisting of two rollers with figures upon their surfaces, revolving upon each other, and a crank by which to turn them.

“This is the kiss-machine,” said the artist, pausing, knife in hand, before his lumps of candy. “What shall I make them of?”

“The rose-color,” replied Minnie, promptly; and the artist sliced off a bit of the pink dough about as large as his fist.

“Do add something to give it a little flavor,” suggested Mysie; and, with a subdued twinkle in his merry black eyes, the artist cut a piece of the white dough, and, taking both together in his hands, pulled them out in two layers, then folded and pulled them out again, thus giving four alternate stripes of pink and white. Then, while the lad steadily turned the crank of the kiss-machine, the artist placed his lump of dough between the rollers, and it came through upon the other side, a sheet of striped pink and white balls, nearly cut apart, and ready to break at a touch.

“So much for the kisses; now we will have some elephants,” said the artist. “What color shall they be?”

“Yellow, to look like nature,” said Mysie.

“No, white, like the elephant the great Mogul used to ride,” suggested Minnie.

“The whitest of elephants are yellowish like their own ivory,” said Magnifico, maliciously complicating the matter.

“Then please make them yellow and white,” said Minnie, turning to the artist, who, at the word, snipped off a lump of the clear barley candy, and another of the dead-white clove candy, pulled them out, doubled them up, and with the help of the boy ran the mixture through the elephant machine, producing a sheet of curiously mottled and striped yellow and white creatures, whom any one might know by their trunks to be meant for elephants.

“Now the fish-machine. What color shall we have the fishes?” asked the artist, a good deal in a hurry now, for his candies were growing brittle.

“O, the fish must be clear yellow, with a little pink about their mouths, like the perch we used to catch at Sharon last summer,” said Minnie.

“Lemon three fourths, checkerberry one fourth,” briefly replied the artist, cutting off a big and a little piece of dough from the two lumps he had named, and laying the checkerberry along one side of the lemon.

“Quick, boy! Put them through lively,” added he, thrusting the candy between the rollers.

John turned, and Minnie eagerly inspected the sheet of fishes as they came creaking and groaning through the machine.

“O, but half of them are lying the wrong way, and have got the pink on their tails, instead of their mouths!” said she, in disappointment.

“Sunrise and sunset,” suggested Magnifico, while the artist ruefully replied: “Machines cannot use much discretion. If it was only a toy now, the pink-tailed fish might have their heads painted; but, as they are meant to eat, we cannot meddle with paint safely.”

Mrs. Jane G. Austin.


Many of the readers of this Magazine, I suppose, when they hear anything about the Canary Islands, think of the pretty birds which bear the same name. I used to myself, being fond of a canary, and always liking to have one in the house to fill it with cheerful melody. There was a time, too, when I used to wonder whether the birds gave their name to the islands, or the islands to the birds. Neither is true. The word Canary (from the Latin Canaria) signifies doggy, and that name was given them because on one of the islands, when it was visited in the days of the Romans, a great number of large dogs were found, some of which were carried away, and given to one of the African kings. This breed of dogs has long ago disappeared, and only skeletons of them are occasionally found.

But there are plenty of canary birds in all the Canary Islands, as well as in the other groups off the African coast. Not yellow ones, such as we have in America, but of an olive-green color, dappled with black, or yellow, or both. About three hundred and twenty years ago, a small vessel from Leghorn came to these islands, and carried away as many of the little green singing birds as it could well accommodate,—the captain thinking, no doubt, that the people of Italy would be willing to pay a good price for such sweet musicians. But on his way up the Mediterranean the ship was blown ashore upon the Island of Elba, where it went to pieces, and many of the birds escaped to the land. They found Elba a pleasant abode, reared large families there, and thus the canary was introduced into Europe.

By careful breeding, their color has been changed from olive green to light yellow, although I am told that, among a nest full of young birds, there will often now be found one almost as green as its forefathers. In these later days, the green birds have come into fashion again in Europe, and some of the bird-dealers take as much pains to breed green canaries as they once did to get rid of the green. An English gentleman told me, the other day, that a very nice green canary, of a certain shape, will sometimes sell for fifty pounds in London, which is equal to more than three hundred of our dollars. For my part, I am well satisfied with a three-dollar yellow one.

It is not, however, of canary birds that I now think, when I read or hear of the Canary Islands. I think how fortunate it was that those four groups—the Canaries, the Cape Verdes, the Madeiras, and the Azores—were upheaved from the bottom of the Atlantic, just where they were, off the coast of Africa, to encourage the brave sailors of Portugal in their attempts to discover unknown lands and explore the unknown sea. Just look at them, as they lie upon the map. See how conveniently the Azores are situated, almost on a line with Lisbon and Philadelphia. What a nice halting-place they were for the bold navigators who first made their way to America! Being eight hundred miles from the coast of Portugal, Columbus was nearly one third of the way across when he had lost sight of the island farthest west; and without that assistance and encouragement another century, or many centuries, might have passed before America had been discovered.

Then look at the Canaries. They were even still more useful to the earliest navigators, who did not dare to sail far out into the broad ocean, but generally crept cautiously down the African coast, happy and proud if they could go a little farther south than any one had gone before. From the African coast to the nearest of the Canary Islands, is only fifty-seven miles; so that a captain who was within ten miles of the continent could often see one of them, and had only to sail a little farther to come in sight of the wonderful Peak of Teneriffe, towering aloft more than two miles above the level of the sea. What an encouragement to the gallant men who first ventured so far from home, it must have been, to discover a group of islands containing land enough to make two States as large as our Delaware, and lying so close to Africa that they could be reached without losing sight of that continent! Look at the Madeiras, too,—two large and fertile islands, three hundred and eighty miles from Africa, and six hundred and sixty miles from Portugal,—just far enough from both to make their discovery at once possible and glorious to the first explorers of the ocean!

It is a curious thing that we know just how those islands came there. I read the other day an advertisement of one of those impudent idlers who live by deceiving ignorant people, which declared that earthquakes are more violent now than they were formerly, and that therefore we might expect very soon to see the destruction of the world. I would like to take the author of that advertisement, and set him to climbing the Peak of Teneriffe, and hold his hand for a short time in one of the hot springs of the Azores, and insert his nose in a crevice, from which the fumes of sulphur continually rise, and then ask him what sort of an earthquake it must have been that could heave up from the bottom of the sea such groups of islands as these, and whether we have any of that kind now.

You have only to take a walk over any of those islands to see that they are the offspring of the earth’s internal fires. In the boiling fountains of the Azores, you can cook an egg in two minutes, and the ground about them is all covered with sulphur, like frost. On some of the Canaries you find scarcely anything except craters, fissures, and vast fields of lava. And something still more wonderful is to be said of this part of the ocean. It is here that new islands now and then emerge from the bosom of the deep. One writer describes an earthquake there, which lasted eight days and nights, at the end of which the pent-up fires burst from the surface of the ocean, and rose as high as the clouds, while great quantities of stones and earth were thrown out. At last, a great mass of rocks was suddenly upheaved, which increased till it covered several miles, and, after being shaken by another earthquake, settled down into a solid island.

We have another account, given by the captain of an English vessel, who says that in December, 1720, near the Azores, he saw fire suddenly break out of the sea. The ashes, he adds, fell on the deck of his ship like hail and snow, the fire roared like thunder, and a great quantity of lava and half-cooked fish floated on the sea. There are men still alive who have witnessed a similar marvel near the same place, of which we have an account from the captain of an English man-of-war, who witnessed it from the deck of his ship. An island, he records, was thrown up from the sea, and remained for some days above the surface, but it gradually sunk until it was only a reef fifteen fathoms deep. There can be no doubt that all these four groups of islands were raised during stupendous convulsions of nature, thousands of years ago. What are such earthquakes as we now have in Peru and San Francisco compared with mighty upheavals like these?

There, on the bosom of the Atlantic, those islands lay, scarcely known to civilized man for thousands of years, until at length the invention of the compass enabled the bold sailors of Portugal to find them. The ancients, I know, from the days of Homer, had some kind of knowledge or tradition that there were delicious islands—Isles of the Blest, as they were sometimes called, or the Fortunate Islands, as others styled them—somewhere off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean; and the Romans certainly knew something about the Canaries, through the nations and tribes of Africa which they had conquered. But, for any use that civilized men made of them, they might as well have remained unknown for thirteen hundred years and more after the birth of Christ. Nevertheless, there they lay smiling under the fertilizing sun, all ready to lure on adventurous men to explore the unknown regions of the world.

Portugal, of all the Christian powers of Europe, is nearest to those islands,—Portugal, with its five hundred miles of sea-coast, its excellent harbors, and that southwestern promontory, pointing its mariners the way they were to go.

I told you, in a former number, that the Portuguese navigators were the first to turn the compass to account, and that the reason was, that Portugal was blessed at this time with a royal family more intelligent, perhaps, and therefore more inquisitive and curious, than any other royal family in Europe. This month, I must be a little more particular, and tell you something about the King who founded the naval power of Portugal.

The Portuguese style him King Diniz, the Husbandman; but we generally call him, King Denis, which is our mode of spelling the name of the Saint on whose day he was born, and from whom he was named. To this day, the Portuguese speak of him very much as the English do of their good King Alfred. It was his father, Alphonso III., who conquered from the Moors that most southern province of Portugal, which juts out into the ocean, and, as I have just said, points towards the Madeira Islands. This Alphonso, like his son Denis, was one of those kings who liked better to fertilize a country than to lay it waste, and who built more villages than they destroyed.

A pretty little story is told of Prince Denis, when he was only six years of age. After his father had swept the southern province of Portugal clear of the Mahometans, the King of Spain claimed it as his, and demanded of the Portuguese monarch that he should only hold it and govern it, not possess it as his own. He also required that the King of Portugal should pay him the usual act of homage as the rightful sovereign of the province. The story runs, that Alphonso sent his little son Denis, with an escort of lords, knights, and squires, as an ambassador to the King of Spain, to protest against this claim; and that the boy was present in the King of Spain’s council-chamber while the matter was debated. Several Spanish lords spoke warmly against the pretensions of the King of Portugal, and maintained that the province belonged to the Spanish crown, and must not be given up to a king who was already too powerful. In the midst of the stormy discussion, the little Prince burst into tears. All hearts were softened by the grief of the boy, and the King gave to his tears what he would have denied to his father’s demands. And so the boy returned in triumph to his father’s court, to continue his studies.

Alphonso, who had resided many years in France in his youth, and acquired there a sense of the value of learning, invited excellent tutors from that country for his son, by whom the boy was well instructed in all the kinds of knowledge then valued. He learned Latin, and such science as was then pursued, and wrote a great deal of poetry, much of which has been recently discovered in the Pope’s library at Rome.

His father dying when he was not quite eighteen years of age, Denis became King, and he soon began those useful labors which caused his subjects to name him the Husbandman of his Kingdom. He cleared Portugal of robbers, and made it safe in every part for travellers. He lessened the power and wealth of some nobles, who were inclined to forget that they were not kings. He built fifty castles,—the police-stations of those times,—and he built many towns and villages. He founded the first university that Portugal ever had, which exists to this day; and when he had gathered in it a great number of learned men, to instruct the youth of his kingdom, he removed his court from Lisbon, and went to live at the university town, only because he loved to converse with scholars and poets. I cannot tell you a tenth part of the good things which this good King did for his country; but I must give you some idea of what he did for ships and sailors.

Along some parts of the Portuguese coast, there were sandy plains with a thin covering of soil, just sufficient to nourish the grass which grew upon them. Upon these grassy plains King Denis did what the government of the United States ought to do upon our western prairies: he caused them to be planted with trees,—especially with a kind of pine most excellent for ship-building. In due time, those barren downs were covered with precious forests; so that when, a hundred and fifty years after, Portugal was sending out fleets for discovery every year, her ship-builders found in those forests a bountiful supply of the best timber. Yes, the very ships in which the heroic Da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope were built of timber cut from the forests which Denis the Husbandman had planted nearly two hundred years before. He promoted also the coasting trade of Portugal, which was mostly carried on in galleys rowed by men, although sails were occasionally used.

Some day, when you are older, you will no doubt read the poetry of Camoens, the poet of Portugal; and, if you do, you will come upon what he says of King Denis and the coasting galleys:—

“And now brave Denis reigns, whose noble fire

Bespoke the genuine lineage of his sire.

Now heavenly Peace wide waved her olive-bough,

Each vale displayed the labors of the plough,

And smiled with joy; the rocks on either shore

Resound the dashing of the merchant-oar.

Wise laws are formed, and constitutions weighed,

And the deep-rooted base of empire laid.”

Another thing this good King did for the navy of his country and for the peace of Europe. You must know that during the whole period of nearly eight hundred years, in which the Moors possessed a great part of Spain, Moorish soldiers and emigrants were continually coming from Africa into the Spanish peninsula, across the Straits of Gibraltar. It was during the reign of Denis that the Portuguese tried to prevent this by keeping a fleet of galleys and other armed vessels always cruising about in the Straits, and especially when the Moors were thought to be preparing to invade some Christian province. But this was a heavy charge upon so small a kingdom as Portugal, and I read, in an old Portuguese history, that the Pope once granted King Denis a tenth of the church revenues of his kingdom, for three years in succession, to aid him in defraying the expense. At that time, Spain and Portugal were a kind of outpost to Europe, defending all the Christian countries from the inroads of the infidels, who would have certainly overrun the southern provinces of France, and desolated many of the fairest regions of Europe, if the valiant Christian soldiers of Spain and Portugal had not stopped them. It was quite natural, therefore, that the Pope, who felt himself to be the father of Christendom, should have come to the aid of the King of Portugal in this most costly kind of defence. As in fighting the Moors on the land Portugal had become a powerful kingdom, so it was by chasing and fighting the Moors upon the sea that her navy was increased and disciplined.

Years rolled on. When the compass was completed, about the year 1300, King Denis, aged forty years, was in the midst of his useful reign. In 1317, when the chief admiral of the Portuguese fleet died, we find the King making a wise choice of his successor. At that time, the sailors of Venice and Genoa were the most famous in Europe, although they confined their voyages to inland seas. King Denis now engaged a skilful and experienced Genoese as the chief admiral of his fleet, and bound him to procure twenty good Genoese captains to command his galleys. A few years after, in 1325, King Denis died, and Alphonso the Fourth, his son, reigned in his stead.

The new King was neither so good nor so great as his father; but, upon the whole, he performed his duties well for that age. It was in his reign that the first expedition of which any account has come down to us went forth from Portugal upon the ocean. That the Canary Islands had been visited before, we know from the fact that the historian of this expedition calls them the Rediscovered. It is probable that the first use to which the compass was put, after its completion at Naples, was to guide Portuguese sailors to the Canaries; but I do not believe that Europeans had ever landed upon them, or explored them, before the year 1341, the date of the expedition just mentioned.

On the 1st of July of that year, three small vessels, well manned and armed, set sail from Lisbon, and stood boldly out into the broad ocean. They took with them horses, and some of those engines which were once used for battering down castle walls; for these islands were known to be inhabited, and the intention of these adventurers appears to have been to conquer and hold them. The Canaries, as I have said above, are eight hundred miles from Portugal. A favorable breeze wafted the vessels swiftly on their way, and on the fifth day they came in sight of one of the large islands of the Canary group. It looked to them, as they sailed by, a barren, stony place; but they saw plenty of goats and other animals, and some naked men and women.

On this island they landed at length, and laid in a very good cargo of goat-skins, also of the fat and skin of the seals which floundered in great numbers along the shore. They sailed away to an island still larger, where a great number of people, all nearly naked, came to the shore to look at them and their ships. Some of these islanders, who appeared to be chiefs, were clothed in goat-skins, stained yellow and red, and rather neatly sewed together with the intestines of animals. One of them seemed to be a king, for the rest of the people showed him great respect, and obeyed his commands. As the islanders made signs for the strangers to come on shore, boats were manned, and were rowed cautiously toward the land. When the boats had come within hearing distance, the natives spoke to them in a pleasant, friendly manner; but, as no one in the boats understood their language, the sailors were afraid to land, and lay upon their oars at some distance from the beach. Some of the natives then swam off to the boats, and four of them were taken on board, carried off to the ships, and retained.

The ships continued their course round the island, and came to a part of the shore on which they saw small houses, fig-trees, palm-trees, and gardens with vegetables growing in them. Here twenty-five of the sailors found courage to go on shore. A band of natives, thirty in number, fled at their approach. The buildings were found to be very small, but well made of square stones, and were roofed over with large and handsome pieces of wood. The doors of some of the houses were closed, and these the sailors broke open, but found nothing in them except stores of food, such as dried figs in baskets, a fine quality of wheat, and some barley. The houses were perfectly clean inside. The adventurers soon came upon a building which they considered to be a temple, because it contained nothing but a stone statue of a man with a ball in his hand, and wearing an apron of palm-leaves. In those days, of course, the heathen had no rights which Christians considered themselves bound to respect; and consequently these Christian sailors considered this idol a fair prize, and carried it off. There seemed to be plenty of people on the island, and there were many fields and gardens that were well cared for. They saw the natives eat wheat and barley raw, as the birds do, but some of them pounded it into coarse flour, and ate it moistened with water.

Leaving this large island, and observing several others in sight, they sailed towards one of them, upon which, as they passed it, they could see nothing but a great forest of tall, straight pine-trees, shooting up, as the old chronicler says, to the skies. They sailed to another island, upon which they found streams of good water and plenty of trees. On this island the pigeons were so ignorant of man and his savage ways, that they could be knocked down with sticks. Not daring to venture far into the country, they soon returned on board their ships, and, sailing on, came in sight of the huge, mountainous island of Teneriffe, with its peculiar and lofty peak piercing the clouds. They did not dare to land, because they fancied they saw, on the summit of a tall mountain, an immense white fortress, which was afterwards found to be nothing but a white-crowned peak.

They continued for some days longer to sail pleasantly about among these islands, the sea being smooth, the breezes gentle, and the anchorage safe, until they had discovered thirteen, five of which they said were inhabited. Thirteen proved to be the correct number of the Canaries; but it was afterwards discovered that seven of them were inhabited. The chronicler of the expedition says that the people at the different islands could not understand one another’s language, although the islands are only a few miles apart, and that the people had no way of getting from one island to another, except by swimming.

The four men whom the adventurers carried away from the first island they took with them to Lisbon. They were young men, with beards yet ungrown, and handsome faces. Though of a very dark complexion, they were not negroes, but resembled the tribes living on the shore of Africa, opposite to the Canaries. They had long hair, which veiled their bodies to the waist, and they wore nothing in the way of clothing except a girdle of cord, from which hung a narrow apron made of the fibres of reed. Although there were on board these Portuguese ships men of five different nations, the captives understood the language of none of them; but they showed much intelligence in conversing by signs. They sang very sweetly, says the historian of the expedition, and danced almost as well as Frenchmen. They partook freely of whatever was given them to eat,—bread, figs, wheat, barley, cheese, meat,—but when wine was offered them they would not touch it. They appeared to be kind and just to one another; for if one of them received anything nice to eat, he would not taste it until he had divided it equally with his companions.

The ships returned safely to Lisbon, in November, after an absence from home of four months and a half, bringing a good cargo of goat-skins, seal-skins, seal oil, and valuable dye-woods. When these things were sold, however, the owners of the vessels found that they had barely cleared the expenses of their voyage. This fact, so disagreeable and discouraging to men who encounter strange perils in pursuit of gain, together with the impression they had received, that the islands were thickly peopled and strongly fortified, prevented the Portuguese from following up their discovery. Many a year was yet to elapse before white men settled upon the Canary Islands, or made any use of their discovery.

In those times, remember, wars were frequent, and the intervals of peace were short. The treasury of kings was continually drained dry by expensive warlike expeditions. There was needed a more settled state of things in Portugal than existed during the reign of Alphonso IV., and a mightier arm than his to govern the kingdom, before Portugal could put forth those great and regular efforts which finally added half the world to the knowledge of civilized man.

But the work of discovery was begun. In 1341 the Canaries were visited; and the knowledge that such islands did really exist gradually spread over Europe. There is good reason to believe, too, that the beautiful island of Madeira was discovered about the same time; and we know that the Madeiras were plainly put down upon a map of the world that was made in 1351. But never mind the Madeiras now; we shall come to them by and by.

An island is always a pleasant thing to think of. These islands in the Atlantic seem to have been much in the thoughts of the people of Spain and Portugal for a long time after their discovery. Nothing was too extravagant to be believed about them. It is very likely that Shakespeare’s grand play of “The Tempest” was written after the poet had read one of the many Spanish tales of enchanted islands which were written during the time when the Portuguese and Spaniards were discovering new islands every year. Those of you who have read “Don Quixote” cannot have forgotten how much fun there is in the second part of that delightful work about Sancho Panza’s getting to be governor of an island.

I would like to be able to tell what became of the four men that were stolen from the Canaries. It is most probable that they were sold as slaves, and spent all the rest of their lives in servitude. If so, they were only the first of many thousands of their countrymen who were stolen and enslaved in the same way. It is horrible to think of, but it is true, that it was the profits of the slave-trade which paid the expense of most of the first voyages of discovery; and still more horrible is it to know that the best men and women then living saw nothing wrong in pulling poor blacks out of the sea into a boat, carrying them away to a strange land, and selling them into slavery for life. If any one had objected to this way of making money, a Christian of that age might have replied, “Are they not heathen? If we baptize them and save their souls, is it of any great consequence what becomes of their bodies?”

People sincerely thought in this way, in the year 1341, and for centuries after; and the Portuguese appear to have taken a good deal of trouble to teach their slaves what they thought they ought to know before baptism.

James Parton.


About the same time that the girls began to set out their flowers, Willie and his father planted their tomatoes. They had bought a dozen or two fine plants from a neighbor, at a cost of a few cents each. They chose a time when the ground was rather wet, from a recent rain, so the plants needed only to be kept covered awhile during the daytime, then they went on growing as before. A few rows of string-beans, and hills of cucumbers, with the pop-corn, filled up all the space that was left; and really, when all was done that has been described, the little cottage and its surroundings looked very pleasant.

Before the summer was over, the vines had made a charming bower, and, as the family passed a great deal of their time on the piazza, these green, shady curtains added much to their comfort. The trees were as yet too small for the birds to build in, but Willie and his father had fitted up a few boxes like little houses, and tacked them up against the cottage, and under the broad eaves. So one day little Daisy saw a wren begin to carry some small sticks and straws into one of the boxes, and presently another came with a few more, until it was evident that a pair of little birds had concluded to go to housekeeping there. Daisy knew enough to be very still, and not frighten the timid little things, and they persevered until the nest was finished, and Mr. and Mrs. Wren were really established in their new house.

By and by they heard a wonderful chattering inside, and lo and behold! there was a family of young birds, which kept both father and mother busy, carrying worms and flies to feed them. All that was good news for the gardeners; for before long there were signs of the caterpillars and rose-bugs, which all their care and vigilance seemed unable to destroy. Whenever they saw the birds hopping about amongst their flowers, they were sure that they were doing good to them; and it would certainly have been a very interesting thing to know precisely how many worms and bugs a single pair of birds could destroy in a season. Some learned person, I believe, places the number at several millions. These wrens were treated with great consideration, and when their young birds were ready to fly, Daisy felt almost like crying, because she feared they might never return to the house again. But they had enjoyed themselves so well, that they soon came back, and built a new nest, first throwing out all the old sticks and straws, and making as thorough a house-cleaning as Mrs. Gray herself would have done under similar circumstances.

The grass on the lawn had grown so well, that by the middle of June it needed cutting, and, as the cow would require some winter provender, Mr. Gray determined to make hay. Now Maggie had often read about hay-making, and begged very hard to be allowed to assist in this delightful rustic employment. So, as soon as the grass was cut, the children all turned out with rakes, and began to toss it about in every direction, until they stopped from very weariness. As for Susie and Bessie, they even brought down their dolls to see the fun; and after throwing the hay, until quite tired out with the unusual exercise, they lay down upon a pile of hay to enjoy the society of the said dolls.

Just as Bessie turned her head to talk to dolly, she caught a glimpse of something moving in the grass, under one of the willow-trees, and, looking again, she spied a nest of young squirrels in a little hole in the ground. They were just about the size of young rats, and nearly of the same color, too; but their eyes were very bright and black, and they tried to cuddle down again into the hole, as if they wished to be out of sight. Bessie fairly screamed with delight, and called Susie to see the wonderful little creatures, although at the evident risk of frightening the poor things out of their wits.

“What are they?” the children exclaimed, in wonder; for they had never seen live squirrels, and the one they had looked at in pictures was generally represented sitting in an upright position, with a thick, bushy tail at its back, while its fore paws held a nut.

“Yonder comes Pat,” cried Susie; “I guess he can tell”; and they both screamed, “Pat, Pat!” until the boy stopped, and hallooed to know what was wanted.

“O, just come here, and see what we have found!” they cried again. “Do come, Pat,—there’s a good fellow.”

Now Pat was the hired boy, who attended to the cow, and did many jobs about the place. He had only that morning cut the grass. He was pretty good-natured, and so came to see what all this wonderment was about.

“What are they, Pat?” asked Susie; “we think maybe they are field-mice, such as we have read about, only they must be too large.”

“No field-mice, I can tell you,” said Pat; “they be gray squirrels, and I wonder where the old one’s gone?” With these words, he took one of them into his hands, and smoothed it as if it had been a kitten.

The children were astonished. “Won’t they bite?” they asked.

“Bite!” exclaimed the Irish boy. “No, indade, they haven’t learned to do that yet. It’s quare where the mother of ’em’s gone.”

“Maybe she’s frightened away,” suggested Susie.

“Or suppose she’s dead,” said Bessie; “then what will become of the poor little things?”

A sudden idea came into Pat’s mind, for he took up one of the rakes, and began to turn over the hay, as if in search of her.

“Sure enough,” he exclaimed, as he stooped down to pick up something; “here’s the poor thing itsel’; I must ha’ kilt her wi’ the scythe this mornin’.”

The children’s hearts were full when they saw the dead squirrel; and, as they knew the young ones must have been a long while without food, Susie ran up to the house at once, to tell the news, and bring a little milk for them. When she returned, she brought also her mother, Maggie, and Daisy, to view the orphaned family.

“What beauties!” said Maggie, taking one of them into her lap, and stroking its soft back. “Let us keep them.”

“Can we tame them, Pat?” inquired Susie; who was still rather afraid of them.

“To be sure ye can,” he said; “just as well as kittens. Only feed ’em, and stroke ’em that way, and when they get a little older they’ll run afther ye, and slape wi’ yees, if ye like.”

“O, that’ll be jolly!” cried Daisy, clapping her hands. “Mother, can I have one for myself?”

“Perhaps so,” answered Mrs. Gray; “but remember, they are very young, and perhaps they will die.”

In the mean time, Maggie had induced one of them to lap a little of the milk, and presently the other two began to do the same, much to the joy of the children, who looked on with great interest.

“Well, Pat,” said Mrs. Gray, “you must put some hay in the bottom of a box, for them to lie upon, and we will bring them up to the kitchen.”

“O, that will be grand!” cried Daisy, scarcely able to keep still. “Do it right away, Pat, for fear they’ll die.”

Thus urged, Pat went to the barn in search of something that would answer, and soon returned with an empty starch-box, nice and clean, in which they placed some of the new hay. The three squirrels were then laid in the box, and they curled up into a corner, and tried to bury their heads under the hay. Then Pat closed the lid over them, and carried the box, quite carefully, up to the kitchen, the children all following after. The squirrels were placed where no harm would be likely to reach them, and more milk was brought to tempt their appetites. Having once learned how to lap it up, they satisfied their hunger, and then cuddled up again, and went to sleep.

Daisy could not exactly venture to touch them as yet, they moved so quickly, and looked so sharply at her, out of their bright eyes, as soon as they awoke; but she took her place by the side of the box, more deeply engrossed than she had ever been in any of her previous pets. Susie and Bessie, too, were equally interested; and as there were three squirrels, each claimed one for her own.

When Mr. Gray and Willie came home from town, the incident of the day was related with great feeling by the three little sisters who were to act as foster-mothers to the unfortunate squirrels. The tears came into Daisy’s blue eyes as she described the finding of the poor dead creature slain so unintentionally by the scythe.

“Poor little thing!” said Mr. Gray; “she no doubt supposed that she was entirely safe amongst the long grass, or she would have chosen another place to make her nest.”

“Poor thing!” echoed Daisy, still wiping away a tear. “Pat ought to have looked where he was going, and then he needn’t have killed her.”

“But then, Daisy,” said Willie, “if he had not killed her, we shouldn’t have found the young ones.”

“Why not? Shouldn’t we have seen them all very plainly as soon as the grass was cut?—and it would have been so pretty to see the old one taking care of them!”

“Ha, ha!” laughed Willie. “Why, Daisy, she’d have taken them all away quickly, I can tell you, when she found the long grass was gone.”

“Where could she take them?”

“O, to a hole in the ground, or to some knot-hole in a tree.”

“But how would she take such little things?—they couldn’t run, you know.”

“Why, Daisy,” he said, “don’t you remember how the old cat, at the other house, used to carry her kittens in her mouth?”

“O yes. Do squirrels do that way, too? How sorry I am she died! it would have been such a pretty sight!”

“So it would; but perhaps, if we live here long enough, we may see more of them. I guess they’re quite plenty about here.”

“But stay, Willie,” said Mr. Gray, who had been listening to the conversation; “I rather think it is a mistake about the way in which the squirrels carry their young from place to place. They belong to a totally different species of animal from the cat. They are among those known as rodent or gnawing animal, and the shape of their mouths, and the arrangement of their teeth, are very different from those of the carnivorous, or flesh-eating class. I have read that, in the case of some species of squirrels, the mother has a peculiar method of conveying her little one; she lays it upon its back, and bends over it so closely that the young one can grasp her about the neck with its fore paws, and then, seizing it by the hind legs, she climbs a tree, or carries it into a hole.”

“O, how queer that must look!” cried Bessie, very much interested.

The squirrels were a source of great pleasure, and they very soon became exceedingly tame. The children lost all fear of them, and the little creatures would follow them about the house and grounds, and run up on their shoulders without any invitation. After a while, when their teeth had grown, they would take a nut into their paws, and sitting upon their haunches, with their bushy tails erect behind them, would crack the shells and eat the kernels as dexterously as their ancestors had always done before them.

Our little gardeners learned many things besides how to take care of flowers. As the summer went on, many insects appeared, which preyed upon different sorts of plants. The caterpillars seemed to be endless, both in numbers and variety, and made sad havoc among the vines and other plants. Little green worms ate the rose-leaves, until they looked like brown lace, and several of the bushes seemed to be dying, because their leaves had been entirely destroyed.

Now the leaves are to a plant what the lungs are to an animal, and of course, if they are gone, it cannot well exist, much less flourish and bloom; so our young gardeners were obliged to keep a sharp lookout to destroy these insects before they had made too much havoc. Strong soap-suds was of great use in keeping them off, and, as they only made themselves troublesome during the early part of summer, the roses recovered their good looks with a new growth of leaves. Then there were the rose-bugs, which preyed on the blossoms themselves, but which the wrens devoured in large numbers. In the cucumber-patch was found a kind of ugly, stupid bug, which would have destroyed the young plants entirely by eating off the main stems before they had grown to be two inches high. But these were banished by the timely use of some plaster-of-Paris powder, which one of the neighbors told Willie to sprinkle over them. If any of the pests escaped, or made their appearance later in the season, they were likely to be seized by those very useful assistants in a garden, the toads.

Now perhaps there is no creature more generally despised than these very toads, which are so abundant in our gardens. And yet these ugly creatures live upon the caterpillars, snails, bugs, and even small snakes, which do so much towards spoiling the gardens.

Another thing they learned was to spare the spiders, which made their curious webs with so much care among the branches of trees and bushes. True, they sometimes spread them in places so inconvenient and conspicuous that they could not be allowed to stay. And when the webs became very shabby, and were filled with the remains of insects that had been caught there, the children made a practice of brushing them down quite clean; but in the morning the same industrious spiders would have new webs spread out, sparkling in the sunlight with thousands of tiny dew-drops.

All these matters were new to the children, who had never dreamed that spiders could be made useful or entertaining. They liked to watch the fierce-looking fellows, decoying the silly flies into their webs, and then wrapping them around with fine silken threads, until the poor creatures could not move a leg or wing, but were altogether at the mercy of their captors.

Then there were the ants; how industriously they toiled, raising numerous little hills upon the smooth paths! No doubt they were busy in storing a supply of food for the winter, when they would have to live in their hidden houses, deep in the ground. But it was truly wonderful that these tiny creatures could do so much work, and carry such loads as they did.

“You remember what King Solomon said, children,” remarked Mr. Gray, as they were examining these ant-hills: “ ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.’ Surely he must have studied and admired her management, and I think he could not have chosen a more fitting example of industry.”

“No, indeed,” said Maggie; “but I wonder if they don’t get very tired?”

“Perhaps so, sometimes; yet they seem to be always busy, and never discouraged. If we tread on their hills, and stop up their holes, they will work all night to restore them. You see that the ant keeps three of the Bible commandments: first, not to weary in well-doing,—second, to provide for her own household,—third, not to be slothful in business. We may learn a very useful lesson, if we choose, from these insignificant little ants.”

After that, Daisy was more careful about treading on the curious ant-hills, and would pass much of her leisure time in watching the operations of the workers.


During the spring weather, and until the middle of June, the weather was very favorable for out-door work. There was an occasional rainy day, which did a great deal of good to the flowers, and also to the newly planted trees, raspberries, blackberries, and currants. As for the strawberry-bed, it was quite full of fruit, and the children were counting upon the fun of gathering and eating this, the first product of their garden. Before they were ripe, however, the weather had grown very hot, and our gardeners could not work out of doors after ten o’clock in the morning, even under their broad-brimmed hats.

But this, you know, was just the kind of weather to suit the strawberries. The sun, the great sweetener, was giving flavor and richness to the full-grown berries; if it had not shone brightly upon them for a week or two just then, the strawberries would have been very sour and pale. When the children heard this, they became reconciled to the heat, and, as soon as the fruit had really ripened, the four girls and Willie together made light work of the picking. Although this was the first season for the bed, it produced a nice dishful every day for two weeks, besides a few quarts for preserving. Next year, the yield would be doubled, and they would have some for their friends in the city too.

Willie, as the farmer, felt very proud of his plantation. An acre and a half was as much to him as one hundred and fifty would have been to some others. He rose early in the morning, and worked steadily with his hoe among the rows of corn, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes; so that by breakfast-time he had a fine appetite. His face had grown brown, and he was stouter and stronger already than when they left the city. For the present, school was set aside, in order that he might recruit a little, and try what country air and country work would do for the pale, slender city lad, who so often complained of headache and weariness. Nowadays nothing was heard of the old troubles, and though he did really work pretty hard, yet in a little while the fatigue had passed away, and he was ready to begin again as vigorously as ever. The girls still called on him whenever there was anything unusual to be done in the way of contriving frames and trellises, and he was too much interested in the appearance of the place to refuse them his assistance.

The arrangement of the flower-beds was according to Mrs. Gray’s taste. There were large oval beds, four in number, cut out of the green, grassy lawn, and over each of them one of the little girls exercised supreme control. Whenever the edges needed cutting smooth, where the grass seemed disposed to encroach, Pat was called in with his sharp spade, and soon took off the ragged edges, and made it look like new again; but the planting and weeding and training of the flowers were done by the gardeners themselves. Perhaps Daisy’s garden was in better order than any, because every one gave some extra help to the little girl, who could hardly be expected to do as much actual work as her older sisters. When there was a superfluous plant to be disposed of, it was sure to be transferred to her garden, where it flourished famously during the whole season.

In the centre of all these beds had been planted the seeds of certain annual vines,—delicate little climbers, which needed some framework for their support. In one were cypress vines; in another, the purple and white maurandias; in a third, the graceful Alleghany vines; and in the fourth, thunbergias, with their curious buff and black blossoms. By this plan, a great variety was insured, and as they grew, clambering up the frames that Willie had constructed of barrel-hoops, fastened to a central pole, with twine leading up on the outside to form a pyramid, they were very pretty. Every one who came to the place admired this way of arranging them, and it was a daily employment to train the new runners so as to cover up the spaces. But, lest the reader should think that no mishaps ever occurred among our young gardeners, I must relate what happened one night just as these vines were about half-way up the frames.

There had been a long dry season, which threatened to do great harm to the crops, and the grass was beginning to look quite brown and shabby. The neighbors all around were watching the sky every evening, in hopes of seeing a cloud that might bring the much-needed rain. But they looked in vain for a long time; the sun rose hot and red every morning, and set with very brilliant colors below the clear western horizon.

At length, however, after long waiting there came a heavy shower, accompanied with very high wind and sharp lightning, which continued until night had fairly set in. The children, who had seen laborious service during the dry weather, in filling and carrying their watering-pots many times from the pump to the flower-beds, rejoiced greatly, and enjoyed the sound of the rain-drops as they pattered upon the tin roof of the piazza.

“Won’t it make everything grow!” exclaimed one to another.

“The roses needed it,” said Maggie, who had been grieving over the ravages of the caterpillars.

“And my asters,” said Bessie,—“how they have suffered!”

“I think my Drummond phlox will be glad of it,” added Susie, who had indeed a beautiful variety in her bed.

“Yes,” said Mrs. Gray, “they will all be the better for it, and Daisy’s pretty cypress vines will look more charming than ever to-morrow morning.”

So they were all glad of the shower, and Willie calculated how much it would help the crops of corn and tomatoes, until bedtime came; and, as the children looked out of their chamber windows, they saw that the storm was over, and the quiet stars were shining again as calmly as ever. The parched earth was busy drinking in refreshment for all her thirsty plants.

Next morning the gardeners were out betimes, but dismay was pictured upon every countenance, as they beheld the effects of the wind. There lay the much-prized frames, with the tender vines clinging to them, flat upon the ground, and several of the plants were entirely uprooted.

The younger children cried aloud, and it was with difficulty that Maggie herself could refrain from tears. The sight was truly disheartening. When their father and mother came out, they found them in real affliction, but began to console them with the assurance that the damage was not past remedy. Upon this they dried their eyes, and ate their breakfast, although Daisy still sobbed a little whenever she thought of it.

Now there is nothing like having an early start in the morning, especially in farm and garden work, and early rising had been the rule ever since the family left the city. So the morning meal was over, and all hands out in the garden, on this occasion, by a little past seven o’clock. The boys raised the prostrate frames, and made them more secure than ever, by driving longer and stronger poles into the ground as central supports. As soon as one was finished, they proceeded to another, until all but Daisy’s were in order again. This one was damaged more seriously than the others, for the hoops, that were at best rather weak, had been broken in the fall, and refused to resume a circular shape.

“I know what to do,” exclaimed Willie, suddenly throwing down his tools, and starting towards the barn. In one corner of that useful building was stored a promiscuous collection of rubbish. Out of this he took an old, cast-off hoop-skirt, and, cutting off the top portion and belt, he tied strong twines at intervals along the upper tier of wire. Then carrying it to the garden, he proceeded to the business of erecting an elegant frame for the cypresses.

“Well, I never!” cried Maggie, as she saw him coming with this unheard-of substitute. “What can you be thinking of, Willie?”

“Of making the prettiest frame you ever saw,” was the answer; and winking at Daisy, who stood in uncertain mood, with the tears very near her eyes, he began to cut loose the long strings around which the vines had already twined themselves, to the distance of half a yard from the ground. After cutting them away from the old hoops, he set a strong, tall post for the centre, and it was then an easy thing to hang the new hoops around, securing them in proper style to the top. When this was done, the numerous strings and vines together were tied up over the frame, and in an hour or two the cypress vines were looking as if nothing had happened, only that the shape of the new frame was rather more graceful than the old had been. A little labor with the rake soon removed all traces of footmarks upon the ground. Willie received great praise for his ingenuity and originality, and Mrs. Gray resolved that hereafter old hoops should be considered valuable articles, instead of being consigned to the rubbish-heap.

“Next year,” she said, “we will make our frames altogether in this way.” So Willie’s patent frames became at once very popular.

The presence of so many vines of various kinds afforded them quite an interesting subject of study. Not only were their leaves and blossoms very different, but their methods of climbing. The grapes could be trained upon coarse frames of bars, and would cling to the wood-work by means of long, tough green tendrils, which reached out until they could clasp the support, and then curled up and shortened themselves, so as to draw the branches close to the frame, and hold them securely there. Then the ivies and creepers were furnished at every joint with curious little claws, which could thrust themselves into the hardest wood or stone, and hold on as tightly as if nailed there. The honeysuckles were partly twiners, although only the young shoots seemed to avail themselves of the aid of strings; but the clematis held on to its supports, whether they were strings or some neighboring vine, merely by its leaf-stems, which, as soon as they had found something to clasp, curled around, and secured a position, while the main vine shot farther upwards, to do the same thing again at the next opportunity. The delicate Alleghany vines, and the maurandias, climb like the clematis; but beans, thunbergia, cypress, convolvulus, and many others, can only be trained by means of strings, around which they will wind themselves tightly, always, however, twining the same way,—that is, each vine adheres to its own peculiar direction; and if any one should attempt to twist it the other way, it would steadily refuse to go.

Mrs. Gray’s piazza was a nice shady place, and the scarlet and hyacinth beans were in full bloom about the edges of the roof, and over the doorways, by the middle of June. The purple blossoms were very fragrant, but did not present so showy an appearance as the scarlet clusters, which contrasted brilliantly with the lovely green foliage. Then the sweet clematis came into bloom in August, and the fringe-like Mexican vine in September, furnishing a succession of sweet odors until frost. Before winter came, the tubers of the latter would be dug up and deposited, like potatoes, in the cellar, as they would be killed if left in the ground.

Mrs. Gray was well satisfied with the progress they had made in the ornamentation of their home; and, indeed, no one who looked at it from the road could have imagined it to be but a year old. Next season there would be some further improvements, however, which she felt would add very much to the beauty and also to the value of the place. Her husband saw plainly that she had not the slightest wish on her own account to return to the city, although his promise still held good. The children, too, were so happy in the country, and so free from restraint, that, for their sake alone, she would have been unwilling to leave the home which they were modelling according to their own ideas of beauty and fitness, and which they felt sure would in time become quite a little paradise.

Author of “Six Hundred Dollars a Year.”


“I don’t think I like the looks of it,” said Trotty, very distinctly.

He meant the baby. It was Aunt Matthews’s baby. Aunt Matthews, and Cousin Ginevra, and the baby’s nurse, and the baby’s trunks, and the baby’s carriage, and the baby’s crib, and the baby, were making a visit at Trotty’s house.

They had just gone into the spare chamber to take off their things, and Trotty had hopped up stairs on one foot after them, with an interested air. It struck him that people were making a great fuss over that pink bundle in that freckled woman’s lap,—kissing it, and squeezing it, and feeling of its fingers, and chucking it under the chin; saying how it had grown! and how much it looked like papa! and what a little dear it was! and see it laughing at you! He wondered whether, if he were a pink bundle in a freckled woman’s lap, they would pay so much attention to him.

“I’m four years old, and I’m going to be five, bime by,” he said, feeling that he had been neglected long enough. But nobody listened.

“I’m four years old. I’ve got a tip-cart, and some rubber boots,” he continued, severely. “I have free griddle-cakes for breakfast, and I eat my supper down stairs.”

But nobody heard that, either. However painful it may be to inflict a gentle reproof upon one’s inferiors, it is undoubtedly sometimes a necessity. Trotty, with quiet dignity, crept up behind Aunt Matthews, and jerked her by the waterfall.

“O!” said everybody talking at once, “do let Trotty see the baby. I don’t believe he ever saw a baby near enough to touch it in his life.”

doctor trotty.

So they made room for Trotty beside the freckled woman, and he examined the pink bundle with attention. It was a very pink bundle. Its flannel cloak was pink; its crocheted sack was pink; its little knit shoes were pink; its ribbons were pink; its hands were pink; and its face was very pink. It had two great black eyes, a funny little flat nose, no hair to speak of, and no teeth, whether you spoke of them or not. It stared at Trotty for a minute doubtfully; then scowled a little, scowled a little more, scowled very much, wrinkled, writhed, twisted, grew red, grew purple, opened its mouth wide, and screamed at him, then doubled its fists close, and punched him in the face.

“You frighten her, the blessed little dear!” said Aunt Matthews.

“I don’t wonder,” said Lill; “you’ve been to the sirup-pitcher, and the quince-jar, and the sugar-bowl, and the apple-barrel, since you washed your face last, to say nothing of the red crayon mark on your neck, and the black one on your nose. You’ve been at my paint-box, too, I know from the gamboge streak on your forehead, and the pea-green on that front curl.”

“No,” repeated Trotty, with decision, as he was marched off to the wash-bowl, “I don’t like the looks of it, and if God can’t find a better-looking baby than that for me, when I’m a man, he needn’t throw me down any!”

But by and by the baby had had a nap, and felt better, and Trotty had been washed, and looked better. So they cultivated each other’s acquaintance a little further. He sat on a cricket, and looked at the baby, and the baby sat on the floor, and looked at him.

“She makes faces at me,” he said, after some thought. “She puts her shoes in her mouth. She eats up all her fingers. I guess they made her of injun-rubber; I pinched her a little to see. She squealed. But then she’ll just fit into the tip-cart, and when she cries, why don’t they fill her mouth all up with sawdust? It’ll go in just as easy! You le’ me get some and try.”

In the course of a day or two, they were the best of friends. He did take her to ride in the tip-cart, and he did fill her mouth with sawdust, and it did go in “just as easy,” though it was another matter to get it out. Nobody has ever dared to inquire how fully he experimented on that baby. It is known that he managed to share all his raw apples and hot cookies with her at luncheon-time; that she cried two nights with colic, in consequence of his feeding her with pickled grapes; that he tied her feet together with a tippet, and made a little face with pen and ink upon every one of her ten finger-nails; that when she was undressed at night she rattled and rolled with cold pennies and marbles, that he had dropped down her neck; and that once, when the nurse was looking the other way, he contrived to lift her into the bath-tub, and turn the faucet on her.

But still no serious harm had happened to the child. Trotty had promised never to give her pickles again; he was very gentle, and did not tease her, or make her cry, so the grown people, with a little watching, let them play together when they would, and so that Saturday afternoon came when they took the drive to Pomp’s Pond.

They all went,—Aunt Matthews, and Ginevra, and Lill, and Lill’s mother, and Max. Grandmother was making calls. Trotty delicately hinted that he would like to go to ride too; but there was no room for Trotty. His mother gave him a kiss, and Max gave him a penny, (as if kisses and pennies could make up, O you stupid grown-up men and women! for a ride in mamma’s lap, on the front seat, away five miles through the sweet pine woods, and by the dimpled water!) and they drove merrily off and left him.

Trotty stood still for a minute, and looked after them with a crimson flush all over his little face. But he did not cry,—no, little boys, he did not cry one bit, and I think that was better than half a dozen rides. You don’t think so? No, I know it; but it is true for all that.

Trotty turned round, and went slowly up stairs. Biddy was in the kitchen, and the baby and Kathleen—that was the freckled woman’s pleasant name, and she was a pleasant-looking freckled woman, too—were in the nursery. Trotty came in, dragging his toes on the carpet in a melancholy manner, sat down in the corner on top of Jerusalem, and, for about five minutes, refused to be comforted. Then the baby crept up and pulled his longest curl,—it was precisely in the middle behind, and she could just reach it,—and pulled his fingers, and pulled his shoe-strings, and gurgled at him, and giggled at him, and crowed at him, and coughed at him,—and in five minutes more he was shoving her under the bed, in a rather tight-fitting mending-basket, as vigorously and as happily as if he had never heard of Pomp’s Pond in his life.

By and by the grocer’s boy drove into the back yard. Kathleen was sitting by the window, looking out.

“Trotty,” said she, laying down her work, “I’ve got a dress of me own that wants ironin’ for the Sunday. You be a good boy, now, and don’t let nothing happen to the baby, till I come back.”

So Kathleen took a pretty light calico of hers from the closet, threw it jauntily over one arm, tied a blue ribbon around her waterfall, and went down stairs singing.

Presently Trotty was tired of shoving the baby under the bed.

“O, I tell you,” said he, “le’ ’s play Dr. Trotty. You stay in mending-basket till I get ready, and ven you be a winfidel, and I’ll come to see you.”

The baby, not being very well able to offer a contrary opinion, stayed in the mending-basket, and Trotty went away to make a doctor of himself. Up garret in the first place. He knew something about a long dressing-gown, folded away carefully in the blue trunk; he had watched his mother through the crack of the door, when she put the camphor in it at house-cleaning time. It had been his father’s, that soft merino dressing-gown, but Trotty saw in that no reason why he should not play Dr. Trotty in it. Of course his pretty dead papa would let him! In fact, Trotty had a vague idea that he must have died before it was worn out on purpose that his little boy might have it that bright spring afternoon. So he pulled it out of the blue trunk (catching it on the lock, and tearing it in three separate and very large places), and crept into it. It dragged a half-yard on the dusty floor behind, and it took him the rest of the afternoon to find his arms; but he managed to make his way down stairs, a step at a time, and into the medicine-closet.

Ugh! that medicine-closet! What ghosts of croup, and measles, and green apples, and mince-pie, and “ ’lixy Pro,” stalked through its dark shelves! Trotty looked about with great eyes. He thought what fun it would be to take all those bottles away in a bushel-basket that he knew of, and jump up and down on them with his leather boots. He laid the brilliant idea aside, however, for future use, and climbed up on the drawers, to take down the homœopathic box that stood on the lower shelf. It was a neat little well-worn homœopathic box, with a great many bits of bottles in it. Most of these were empty, but two of them held a white powder, and one of them some dark yellow liquid. Trotty took the box to the great silver pitcher on the dining-room sideboard, and filled the empty bottles with water, and corked them tightly.

He put on Max’s rubber boots after that; they came nearly up to his neck. Then he put on Max’s tall hat, and that came just about to the tops of the boots. Then he put his box under his arm, and started for the nursery. He stopped a moment, and looked at that box. He wondered, with some interest, precisely what his mother was going to say when she came home.

He forgot all about that, though, when he came to go up the stairs. Such a time as he had climbing those stairs! First he trod on the dressing-gown with one foot, and fell flat, and bumped his nose; then he trod on it with the other foot, and fell down and bumped his nose again; then he trod on it with both feet, and tripped up, and sat down hard. Then Max’s hat slipped down to his neck,—O, how dark it was inside that hat!—and he pushed it up, and it slipped down again, and he jerked it up, and it jerked down; then the long sleeves of the dressing-gown folded up on the outside so that he lost his fingers altogether, and while he was trying to find them, down went the hat again; then he dropped the medicine-box, and tipped out all the bottles, and when he stooped to pick them up, down came the hat; then he tried to climb up on “all fours,” and his rubber boots fell off behind and flopped from stair to stair. He sat down in despair to watch them hopping down, when darkness fell, and there was that hat.

However, he managed, with a patience worthy of a better cause, to gain the nursery door at last. The baby, in her mending-basket, lay with her face all puckered into a red knot, crying.

“Good afternoon, mum,” said Dr. Trotty. “I’m sorry to find you so sick, mum. You should say, ‘How do you do, Dr. Trotty?’ and let me see your tongue.”

This, by the way, was a most unnecessary remark, for one could see, not only the baby’s tongue, but three quarters of the way down the baby’s screaming throat. Trotty lifted her out of the basket, and gravely put one of Lill’s dolls’ pewter spoons into her mouth. He hadn’t the shadow of an idea what for, you know; but he had seen Dr. Bryonia use a spoon when Max had the diphtheria, and he supposed that it was the proper thing to do. The baby didn’t like the taste of the spoon, and sputtered and wriggled and screamed harder than ever.

“Your tongue is quite serious, mum,” said Dr. Trotty,—“quite serious. And your pulps,”—he pinched her right elbow several times,—“your pulps, mum, is horrid! You’ll have to be a good boy, and take this medicine,—I mean girl,—and not kick the tumbler over, like I did the day after I got at the sardine-box,—and so you’ll get well, you see, and have some candy.”

He filled the pewter spoon from the bottles of water, and gave the baby a dose. This was very easy, you see, because her mouth was open so wide, that all he had to do was to put the spoon in and tip it over; she was crying so hard, that she must either swallow it, or choke. Trotty found the process quite entertaining.

By and by he did not care about feeding her with a spoon any more; she had stopped crying, and the fun was gone.

“I s’pose you’ll have to take a whole bottleful this time,” he said, hopefully. “You might die, if you didn’t, ’n’ when I tip it bottom up’ards, it comes out just as cunning!—you see, now!”

Just as he put his hand into the box to take out one of the bottles of water, that hat went down to his shoulders. In the dark he emptied the bottle down the baby’s throat. In the dark he heard her gasp and cry out. When he pushed up the hat—O the poor baby! the poor baby!—it was not the bottle of water that he had given her, but the bottle—nearly empty now—of yellow medicine. Across the yellow bottle a yellow label was pasted, and on it in distinct, black letters was a word which Trotty could not read,—Aconite.

Kathleen was just telling the grocer’s boy what a saucy fellow he was, when the kitchen door opened slowly, and a very white little face peeped in, under a great hat.

“You’d better come up to the baby,” it said, faintly; “she’s squealin’ and kickin’ all in a heap on the floor. We were playing Dr. Trotty, and—”

“O my good gracious!” Kathleen ran up stairs, three steps at a time, and her face was as white as the baby’s little doctor’s when she came to where the baby lay.

The carryall drove into the yard just as the grocer’s boy was driving out. Kathleen’s sobs came down through the open window, and the baby’s gasping scream. Aunt Matthews was up stairs in less time than it takes to say so. Kathleen was wringing her helpless hands. Trotty, extinguished by his hat, sat behind the bed, and the baby, in convulsions, was writhing on the floor. The cry ran through the house: “Poisoned! Poisoned! Oh! the baby’s poisoned!”

Then there was the sound of Max galloping for Dr. Bryonia,—of Dr. Bryonia galloping back,—of quick orders, and sobs, and cries, and steps running to and fro. By and by, silence, and Dr. Bryonia coming slowly down stairs, and driving slowly away.

They hunted all over the house for poor little Dr. Trotty. His mother found at last, in a corner, a queer little figure, all hat and boots, sitting with its face to the wall.

“Trotty,” said she.

He made no answer.

“Trotty, the baby—”

Trotty tumbled into her lap, hat, and boots, and all, and buried his face under her arm.

“O, I didn’t mean to kill her, I didn’t mean to kill her! O mamma, mamma, mamma! I was only going to be Dr. Trotty, and ve homeopoptic box got tipped about, and ve old hat fell down, and ven sumfin was ’e matter to her all to once, and—”

“Why, Trotty, hush! the baby isn’t dead. There, don’t cry so! Dr. Bryonia has given her some medicine, and he thinks God won’t let her die now. Come! put both your hands in mother’s, and we’ll kneel right down here and thank Him.”

E. Stuart Phelps.


Cinderella! Cinderella!

  How the heart of childhood rings

To that legend, quaint and olden,

  Her sweet history that sings!


Meek and innocent young creature,

  Moving on her duteous way,—

Gently, cheerly, at her labor,

  Singing like the birds in May.


Victim to those heartless sisters,—

  Dearer to our hearts for that,—

She who, overtasked, neglected,

  In the chimney-corner sat.


Service mean and thankless, ever

  Uncomplainingly she bore;

Mattered not the outward clothing

  That so pure a spirit wore.

For humility and goodness

  Did her inward soul possess;

And they clothed her form with beauty

  Hidden not by poorest dress.


Each in her luxurious chamber,

  Where the walls with mirrors shone,

Every night the sinful sisters

  Slept on curtained beds of down.


But their souls, disturbed by envy,

  Vain desires, and selfish cares,

Knew no virtuous aspirations,—

  No bright-visioned sleep was theirs.


To her poor, ill-furnished garret,

  Nightly, Cinderella crept;

There, upon her lowly pallet,

  In her innocence she slept.


And around her bed uncurtained

  Fell a drapery from above,

Flung by guardian angels round her,—

  Atmosphere of peace and love!


When the royal invitations

  Summoned to the pageant ball,

And none came to Cinderella,

  Fairest maiden of them all,


And the Godmother, perceiving

  Sadness in her downward glance,

Proffered fairy aid unto her,

  So to share the mazy dance,


How, through tears and blushes smiling,

  Yielding to the Fairy’s mood,

Startled by those incantations,

  Pleased, yet all amazed, she stood!

While in magic folds about her

  Robes of priceless splendor flowed,

And among her wavy tresses

  Wreathéd pearls and jewels glowed.


Nor deceptive these adornments;

  For the fair and bright outside

Typed the inward truth and beauty

  Envy sought so long to hide.


How she laughed to see converted

  Into steeds those vermin small,

And the green and lazy lizards

  Into footmen slim and tall!


How confidingly she entered

  That frail coach of pumpkin made,

With the whiskered, long-tailed coachman,

  All in livery arrayed!


Then, arriving at the palace,

  With what joy her bright eyes glance,—

Of her beauty all unconscious,

  Caring only for the dance!


Like a bird her young heart fluttering,

  ’Gainst its prison wildly beat;

She, amid the mazy measures,

  Lightly led with flying feet.


Harp and viol swelled unfaltering,—

  Still she danced, and wearied not,

Still pursued the sweet enticement,

  And the fleeting hours forgot!


Like a knell the tongue of midnight

  Smote upon her startled ear;

Then she fled, pursuit eluding,

  Swift as flies the frighted deer.


All a dream she might have deemed it,

  Vanished when the night was o’er,—

But that, safely, one glass slipper

  Yet on slender foot she wore.


Came at last the hour of trial,

  When the eager sisters vied

Which should wear the tiny slipper

  So to test the chosen bride.


Marvelled they when Cinderella,

  Blushing, smiling, took the shoe,

Slipped it on, and from her bosom

  Its companion gently drew.


Cinderella! Every nursery

  With the charming story rings;

In it lies a lesson finer

  Than the mere delight it brings;


Showing how all work is noble,

  If it be but nobly done,

And all high position worthless,

  Not by truth and goodness won.

Mrs. A. M. Wells.


Look at this mass of white jelly, floating in a bowl of pond water. It is clear and delicate, formed of little globes the size of peas, held together in one rounded mass. In each globe is a black dot.

I have it all in my room, and I watch it every day. Before a week passes, the black dots have lengthened into little fishy bodies, each lying curled in his globe of jelly; for these globes are eggs, and these dots are soon to be little living animals; we will see of what kind.

Presently they begin to jerk backwards and forwards, and perform such simple gymnastics as the small accommodations of the egg will allow, and at last one morning, to my delight, I find two or three of the little things free from the egg, and swimming, like so many tiny fishes, in my bowl of water. How fast they come out now! five this morning, but twenty to-night, and thrice as many to-morrow. The next day I conclude that the remaining eggs will not hatch; for they still show only dull, dead-looking dots; so, reluctantly, I throw them away, wash out my bowl, and fill it anew with pond water. But, before doing this, I had to catch all my little family, and put them safely into a tumbler to remain during their house-cleaning. This was hard work, but I accomplished it with the help of a teaspoon, and soon restored them to a fresh, clean home.

It would be difficult to tell you all their history, for never did little things grow faster, or change more wonderfully, than they.

One morning, I found them all arranged round the sides of the bowl in regular military ranks, as straight and stiff as a company on dress parade. It was then that I counted them, and discovered that there were just sixty-two.

You would think, at first sight, that these sixty-two brothers and sisters were all exactly alike; but, after watching them awhile, you see that one begins to distinguish himself as stronger and more advanced than any of the others,—the captain, perhaps, of the military company. Soon he sports a pair of little feathery gills on each side of his head, as a young officer might sport his mustache; but these gills, unlike the mustache, are for use as well as for ornament, and serve him as breathing tubes.

How the little fellow grows!—no longer a slim little fish, but quite a portly tadpole, with rounded body and long tail, but still with no expression in his blunt-nosed face, and only two black-looking pits where the eyes are to grow.

The others are not slow to follow their captain’s example. Day after day some new little fellow shows his gills, and begins to swim by paddling with his tail in a very stylish manner.

And now a sad thing happens to my family of sixty-two,—something which would never have happened had I left the eggs at home in their own pond; for there there are plenty of tiny water plants, whose little leaves and stems serve for many a delicious meal to young tadpoles. I did not feed them, not knowing what to give them, and half imagining that they could live very well upon water only; and so it happened that one morning, when I was taking them out with a spoon as usual, to give them fresh water, I counted only fifty. Where were the others?

At the bottom of the bowl lay a dozen little tails, and I was forced to believe that the stronger tadpoles had taken their weaker brothers for supper.

I didn’t like to have my family broken up in this way, and yet I didn’t at that time know what to give them; so the painful proceeding was not checked, and day after day my strongest tadpoles grew even stronger, and the tails of the weaker lay at the bottom of the bowl.

The captain throve finely, had clear, bright eyes, lost his feathery gills, and showed through his thin skin that he had a set of excellent legs folded up inside. At last, one day, he kicked out the two hind ones, and after that was never tired of displaying his new swimming powers. The fore legs followed in due time; and when all this was done, the tail, which he no longer needed to steer with, dropped off, and my largest tadpole became a little frog.

His brothers and sisters, such of them as were left (for, I grieve to say, he had required a great many hearty meals to enable him to reach the frog state), followed his illustrious example as soon as they were able; and then, of course, my little bowl of water was no suitable home for them; so away they went out into the grass, among the shallow pools and into the swamps. I never knew exactly where, and I am afraid that, should I meet even my progressive little captain again, I should hardly recognize him, so grown and altered he would be. He no longer devours his brothers, but, with a tongue as long as his body, seizes slugs and insects, and swallows them whole.

In the winter he sleeps with his brothers and sisters, with the bottom of some pond or marsh for a bed, where they all pack themselves away, hundreds together, laid so closely that you can’t distinguish one from another.

But early in the spring you may hear their loud croaking; and when the March sun has thawed the ice from the ponds, the mother-frogs are all very busy with their eggs, which they leave in the shallow water,—round, jelly-like masses, like the one I told you of at the beginning of this story, made up of hundreds and hundreds of eggs, for the frog mother hopes for a large family of children, and she knows, by sad experience, that no sooner are they born than the fishes snap them up by the dozen; and even after they have found their legs, and begin to feel old and competent to take care of themselves, the snakes and the weasels will not hesitate to take two or three for a breakfast, if they come in the way. So you see the mother-frog has good reason for laying so many eggs.

The toads too, who, by the way, are cousins to the frogs, come down in April to lay their eggs also in the water,—long necklaces of a double row of fine transparent eggs, each one showing its black dot, which is to grow into a tadpole, and swim about with its cousins, the frog tadpoles, while they all look so much alike that I fancy their own mothers do not know them apart.

I once picked up a handful of them and took them home. One grew up to be a charming little tree-toad, while some of his companions gave good promise, by their big, awkward forms, of growing by and by into great bull-frogs.

Author of “Seven Little Sisters.”



No. 32.

1. A travelling carriage, and a body of people.

2. Four fifths of a fop, a vowel, and a fierce animal.

3. A wild animal, and a gauntlet.

4. Three fourths of a camp, and an essayist.

5. Damp affection.

6. A domestic animal, and a child’s dress.

7. A part of speech, and three fourths of a river.

8. A measure in poetry, and a vowel.

9. A farm-product, and a drinking-vessel.

10. A make-believe stone.

11. An element, and its inhabitant.

12. A foreign star of many colors.

M. B. G.

No. 33.

I am composed of 25 letters.

My 3, 10, 6, 2, 7, is a strait in Asia.

My 16, 12, 23, is a river in Europe.

My 13, 6, 5, 20, 24, 25, is a country in Europe.

My 8, 10, 4, 17, 1, 10, is a Spanish city.

My 9, 6, 19, 4, 7, 11, 21, is one of the British Isles.

My 24, 4, 22, 5, 6, is a cape in Ireland.

My 14, 24, 2, 4, 7, 15, 1, is an island in the Atlantic Ocean.

My 1, 5, 6, 9, 19, 11, is a gulf in South America.

My 18, 12, is a river in Italy.

My 17, 8, 20, 7, is a mountain in Sicily.

My 25, 6, 9, 19, is a lake in North America.

My 3, 12, 11, 24, 10, 6, 1, is the capital of one of the Eastern States.

My 10, 15, 14, 12, 20, is a river in Vermont.

My 8, 7, 6, is a river in North Carolina.

My 18, 22, 5, 6, 4, is a river in Mississippi.

My whole is one of the most important documents ever printed in America.

G. E. P.

No. 34.

Do with care my 1, 2, 3,

When a lesson hard you see.

4, 5, 6, and 7, is spread

O’er the weary soldier’s head.

Business should move briskly when

You behold my 8, 9, 10.

Drop 11, my little man,

Saying for “I can’t,” “I can.”

These eleven letters small

Shape me,—wealth enough for all.



26.1. Marigold.
2. Candytuft.
3. Calla.
4. Lupine.
5. Hollyhock.
6. Oleander.
7. Chamomile.
8. Larkspur.
9. Dutchman’s pipe.
10. Turk’s cap.
11. Laburnum.
12. London pride.
28.If any man attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot.
29.The letter R.
31.Those who tell all they know too often tell more. [(Tea) (hose) W (hotel) (awl) T (hay) (note) ooo (F) (ten) (Tell) (mower).]


It is surely spring, whatever the weather may be, for a little girl in Pennsylvania writes to us thus:—

“As I was riding home from church to-day (we live in the country), I saw on a tree some blossoms which were very much like pussy-willows. I cannot say positively that they were, because it seems so early for them. My sister found some alders a day or two ago, which come about the same time the pussy-willows do.”

No, it isn’t too early for pussy-willows, but almost too late for them, even in New England. “Virginia’s” letter is dated March 21st, and here are some verses from one of Whittier’s poems, written March 1st, 1857, which show how early the willow and alder-blossoms are on the banks of the Merrimack:—

“For ages on our river-borders,

  These tassels in their tawny bloom,

And willowy studs of downy silver,

  Have prophesied of spring to come.


“For ages have the unbound waters

  Smiled on them from their pebbly hem,

And the clear carol of the robin

  And song of blue-bird welcomed them.”

These soft, gray tree-buds are only forerunners of the gayer spring-flowers, which our little Pennsylvania friend is perhaps gathering to-day. She finds the snowy, rose-tinted spring-beauty, probably,—a flower that Massachusetts children know nothing about. And farther West, there is the tiny moccason-flower, and such a show of flame-red painted cups in the prairie-grass! At the South, there are brighter blossoms still.

We should like to have the children in different parts of the country write to us about the wild-flowers they are finding, from month to month. We will arrange them, as well as we can, in one great bouquet, for all to enjoy. Only think of the variety we shall have, if we get a description of all the wild-flowers in bloom at once in Maine and Wisconsin and Carolina and Kansas and Florida! Tell us of the first blossoms you find, for the sweetest are almost always the earliest, as well as the most familiar. Violets, for instance,—the darlings of spring,—grow everywhere.

We have some very pleasant letters from our little friends, that we wish we could copy entire. Lulu R.’s is one of these, and so is Mary Helen H.’s. From “Pussy Willow’s” we must take a few paragraphs, because she gives so good an idea of her Missouri home.

De Kalb Co., Missouri,

March 2, 1869

Dear ‘Young Folks’:—

“We have only been living here for about a year, and things seemed so strange at first! The odd dialect of the ‘native inhabitants’ amused us greatly, while ours to them was equally amusing.

“They call afternoon ‘evening,’ and a shower a ‘right smart sprinkle.’ Everything is ‘right smart’ with them. One of the most expressive of their terms is ‘plumb-full.’ If they think you have said anything about right, it is either ‘You bet,’ or ‘Your head’s about level.’

“But, dear ‘Young Folks,’ they do have one thing here that is magnificent. That is their prairie-fires,—sometimes far off, lighting up the horizon, and sometimes so near that we can hear the flames, which roar and crackle as if they were burning pine-boughs, and ever and anon leaping forth like numberless serpents eager for their prey. It is a sight well worth coming West to see.

“I send you a new conundrum: Why is a prairie like a good conscience? Because it is void of offence (a fence).

“Long life to ‘Our Young Folks,’ and many good wishes from

Pussy Willow.”

Gardening for Girls” is full of useful hints for the present season, and will doubtless interest our readers still more, from month to month. Our friends, the “Grays,” are making a little Eden of their suburban home.

Young folks about here, who are planning their gardens for the coming season, will find help in the “Amateur Cultivator’s Guide,” published by Washburn & Co., Seed Merchants, Boston. It contains a descriptive list of two thousand varieties of flower and vegetable seeds, and furnishes illustrations of many of the rarer plants. In our tardy May, it is a pleasure even to run over these dry pages of botanical names. They form for us a better sort of herbarium, where the flowers are all wide awake, and bloom in fancy as they never could in reality.

Since the days of Adam and Eve, it has been an instinct with almost everybody to wish for a patch of ground “to dress and to keep.” But editors can usually find time only for imaginary flower-gardens. And why not “Gardens in Spain” as well as “Chateaux” in the same remote region? They are just as cheap, and a great deal less dangerous; for villas and castles, even though built in the air, give us weak-headed mortals something of a shock, when they fall.

But we shall be just as much interested to hear of our readers’ success in sowing, and planting, and weeding, as if our own flowers grew in solid earth.

Our readers will surely be pleased to hear from “Trotty” again, although, like many another young doctor, he is so unfortunate as almost to kill his first patient.

Miss Phelps knows how to paint a child’s picture to the life. Even the “Gates Ajar” would not be so delightful a book as it is, were little “Faith” left out of it.

Many parents and teachers will welcome the publication, in one unabridged volume, of Conybeare and Howson’s “Life and Epistles of Saint Paul.” We have seen a group of young girls, aided by this volume, tracing the journeyings and resting-places of the Apostle with all the interest they would have shown in a vivid description of a friend’s tour through Europe. And to ourselves, the voyages of Ulysses and Æneas, and the war-travels of Julius Cæsar, seem no more wonderful, as stories, than these adventurous wanderings of the most remarkable teacher and preacher Christendom has ever known.

This is no dry exposition or commentary. The scenery of the East rises freshly before us, “the snowy distances of Taurus, the broad Orontes, under the shadow of its steep banks with their thickets of jessamine and oleanders,” as well as “the olives of Attica and the green Isthmian pines of Corinth.” And the life and customs of the ancient cities where Paul preached are present to sight as we read. The character of the Apostle himself stands out clearer in its large, manly simplicity, seems more human and friendly, thus revealed in his “Life and Letters.”

The “Acts and Epistles” would not be a tedious study to young persons, if they always had a “Conybeare and Howson” at hand to help them.

The publishers of the above (Scribner & Co., of New York) have issued two very instructive volumes of another kind,—Marion’s “Wonders of Optics,” and De Fonvielle’s “Thunder and Lightning.” Any boy—or girl either—who wants to understand the telescope, the stereoscope, the magic-lantern, the construction of the eye, and the laws of light, or to read strange stories and see curious pictures of the doings of electricity, had better get these books.

It will require much more time than we had supposed would be necessary to arrange and decide upon the Prize Puzzles. In the June number the successful competitors will be announced, and as many of the Prize Rebuses, Charades, etc. as we can make room for will then appear.

Bessie H. writes thus: “The other day Papa was looking over the April number and he laughed and said that he had found out one of the charades he said it was April and Mama said she found that out only she called it ‘Monkey brook’ and then we had a great laugh. I shall be fourteen years old next June and I am going to try for the prize and I hope I shall succeed. At least Mama says it will help me learn to write.”

Don’t be offended, Bessie, because we have printed this paragraph from your letter exactly as you wrote it. If you do get a prize, the punctuation, and everything else about your composition, must be just right; and by reading this in print you will, perhaps, see what is needed.

No prize will be given for a composition which requires any correction on our part. That is to say, the spelling, punctuation, and grammar must be right, and the sentences must be properly put together. Of course something besides correctness is also very necessary to insure success. But those who prove unsuccessful in winning what we offer, and yet learn, by endeavoring to do so, to express their thoughts clearly, will gain something much more valuable than all our prizes put together.

“Jessie” and others are informed that competitors may send in their papers as soon as they choose. If not labelled as directed in the April number, they will be likely to get thrown aside. None of these prize-compositions will, for any reason, be returned. We prefer to have but one composition from each writer; and two prizes will not be given to the same person. We have no preference with regard to the kind of composition, but of the three mentioned we think the Dialogue will be the most difficult to bring up to the standard of “very good.”

The offer of prizes for compositions is made only to this year’s subscribers for our Magazine.

Willy Wisp” offers the following rejoinder to “Hitty Maginn.” Our readers will doubtless be glad to get the hints about rebus-making dropped on both sides of this good-natured controversy.

Editors “Our Young Folks”:

The particulars in which Hitty Maginn differs from me in rebus-making are but trifling. I also think it better to represent words as much as possible by the (1) sound of symbols; and of course the more (2) incongruity between the symbol and its solution the more agreeable the surprise of those who solve it.

Still there are objections to restricting pictorial expressions entirely to sound, and rejecting all spelling devices. As language written is more correct than language spoken, so does an ear and a nest more reliably represent earnest than an urn and nest; for the reason that words are pronounced differently by different persons and in different sections of a country. There is not room to enter into details of this nature here. Let me ask, however, were Hitty to represent senate, as it is pronounced in the West, by sound, that is, by a cent, what New England person would possibly guess the symbol? Or, should she represent which by h-witch,—a perfect phonographical exponent,—who would not think it a mistake of the designer? Such is the dominion the eye holds over the ear, forcing upon us the delusion that the w sound in which precedes the h sound, when the contrary is the fact. And I say nothing, here, of the five hundred words of doubtful pronunciation in our language.

But I admit these are not serious objections to such a restriction, as they would be were heavy wills made in rebus-language, instead of its being the language of pastime. The chief objection is that in shutting out everything that is not purely classical, as we might term this “sound” method, we exclude such expressions as tall curs for talkers; poster in posterity; a swell for as well; comet o for come to; effigy for FIG; D reads (peruses) for dreads; o fat hens for of Athens; gallon t lion for gallantly on, etc.,—aptly introduced discords, may we call them? which have, doubtless, delighted thousands of readers of “Our Young Folks.” In the Appendix of Roget’s Thesaurus there are forty-one pages of cant expressions, etc., which are in use in our language. The expressions I would allow interspersed in rebuses are of this vigorous nature; they are “not classical,” but are, nevertheless, admissible, for all that.

If I understand Hitty, she would not represent letters by music or in any other indirect way. Is she not at fault here, and would not her second rebus be improved by illustrating her written F by two hands placed to signify that labial as is done by deaf mutes (two-handed method)? It is perchance owing to this slight defect of theory that Hitty is guilty of, on page 272, the infelicitous expression of T H R for “thar.”

My critic would say that t and a hat for that was “illegitimate,” because th is a double character standing for a simple sound quite unlike the successive sounds of t and h as separate letters. But there is really no reason why the letters should not spell th in that when put together by the engraver as well as by the printer.

But it seems that Hitty has found her rule rather difficult to live up to, for she has palpably violated it in her third effort, having spelled our Chief Justice by a salmon (sam-mun); or is she really in the habit of pronouncing Salmon without the l? Perhaps by redoubling her efforts she may do better next time.

Willy Wisp.

Questions and answers in abundance are waiting for room in “Our Letter Box.”

If this fashionable lady is closely questioned, the title of what celebrated play will she reveal?


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

Illustrations have been relocated due to using a non-page layout.

Some photographs have been enhanced to be more legible.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Vol 5, Issue 5 edited by John Townsend Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom]