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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 2, Issue 12

Date of first publication: 1866

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

Date first posted: June 30, 2018

Date last updated: June 30, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180654

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






An Illustrated Magazine




Vol. II. DECEMBER, 1866. No. XII.

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

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













It was almost dark when Hans came near the Black Glen in the woods; much later, in fact, than Hans liked to be out, especially on this road. For in a deep, black forest, with all sorts of strange shadows and ghostly trees, one can never know what may be lurking out of sight; and the same Hans who with his two stout fists, in broad daylight, would have undertaken to keep any living boy or man from doing serious mischief, felt his teeth set hard and his heart stand still as he came into the shadow of the pines.

It was not much like our American woods, where bright green maples and beeches and birches and the twinkling leaves of the poplar are intermingled with the solemn evergreens. In the thick forests near the foot of the Hartz only pines and hemlocks are found for miles, and deep in the woods are great caverns in the rocks, where one might easily fall and break one’s neck. Sometimes, too, you may find the mossy remnants of an old stone altar, where human blood was spilt ages ago.

Through this dismal place Hans kept on, with his knees shaking, but with a brave heart, until he came to the great pine which the boys used to call a “spook,” because, ever since the lightning struck it, it had stood up white and tall, lifting its bare arms into the sky, like some spectre giant crying for vengeance. Here there was a little opening in the branches that let the light fall upon the ground, and there, right at the root of the pine, on a decaying log, sat a little old man, who was altogether the strangest-looking object that Hans had ever seen. He was about half the size of common men, though the whiteness of his long hair and beard showed plainly that he would never be any taller; and though his body was short and crooked to the last degree, his face was long and pale, but lighted up by the most wonderfully brilliant eyes. These were fixed on Hans from the moment he came in sight; and, piercing through the darkness, it is no wonder that they chilled the poor boy’s blood, and did not quicken his pace. Indeed, it is not quite certain that he would have advanced at all, if the greater part of the forest had not been behind him, though there seemed to be a spell in the strange brown eyes that drew the boy on in spite of himself.

“Come along! what are you afraid of?” cried the apparition, in a little, dry voice, that sounded as if it were accustomed to a continual cracking of jokes. In fact, there was nothing terrible about the little man’s face; and if Hans had not been blinded by fear, he would have noticed that its expression was kindly and good-natured.

“Come on! come on! little master,” he repeated. “Here I have been waiting more than an hour to tell you some good news; and now that you are here, you must hinder me forever, because you are such a coward. Come, come!”

“I don’t know you,” said Hans.

“Well, well, no matter for that, we won’t stand upon ceremony. I know you well enough, though; for I see you pass through here every morning and night.”

“Why did I never see you before?” said the boy.

“Because you take such precious good care to be out of the woods before sunset,” replied the Little Man with a chuckle; “and daylight, you know, is not good for my constitution.”

“It is getting dark now,” said Hans. “What have you to tell me?”

“O, you are in haste then. Well, no matter: perhaps you haven’t time to hear. There’s many a kaiser, though, that would give half his crown to know,—if he could only do it without being out after dark. O, you’re a precious set of babies, you that live in houses!”

“Who are you, any way?” said Hans; “for, on the whole, I believe I am not so much afraid of you as you seem to suppose.”

“There! that’s a man now!” said the little old fellow with an encouraging nod. “We shall get on well enough after a while, you will see. As to my name, we are called Kobolds, Trolls, and various other names, by your own writers; but among ourselves we are simply known as the Little People of the Mountains. You see we do not differ much from the human shape,—less than might be expected, eh? when we live so completely out of society. You do not treat us fairly, you human folk.”

“We know very little about you,” replied Hans, “except your mischievous, unearthly ways. What harm have we ever done to you that you serve us so many tricks? You overset our milk-pails, or steal the cream; you bewitch the beer in the brewing, and the butter in the churning; in short, you play the mischief generally with all our works.”

“That is only because you do not know us. You will not learn our charms; you will not even stay in the woods after dark, where we are waiting to meet you; you make us your natural enemies. Now, let me tell you, no creature likes to be avoided and distrusted; so we make you feel our power in ways you don’t happen to like. Some day it will all be different. Then the elves and humankind will live together on the best of terms, and all the rocks of the mountains will be open to the eyes of men.”

“When will that be?”

“When you learn to trust yourselves and us. Your human spirits are stronger than ours, if you only knew it; and we only laugh when we see you turn pale, with chattering teeth and shaking knees, when you happen to catch sight of us. The fact is, we were made to serve you; though, indeed, we had possession of your world long before humankind were born. It was like a great old castle, you know, stocked with fuel and provisions for thousands of years, and filled with servants dutiful and submissive, ready to do your bidding. But you were up to mischief from the very first; so you took your servants for jailers and had as little as possible to do with them. Some time you will be wiser and learn to know your friends.”

“You talk reasonably enough,” said Hans, “and I begin to believe you. But what was the wonderful story you were waiting to tell me?”

“Ah! don’t be impatient,” said the Little Man. “You are growing sensible at last, and you shall know all in good time. But I have kept you a long time already, and you must run home, or papa will be anxious. Come to me to-morrow, just at sunset, and you shall know more.”

It seemed a pity that the story could not be told while Hans’s courage was at its highest pitch; but it was of no use to beg, for the Little Man was gone almost before the last word was spoken. At least there was nothing in his place but a brown bush growing over a log, and Hans found himself trudging homeward, at the same rate as before this singular encounter. It is a little strange, but before he had entered the garden gate, at the parsonage, the whole affair had become so dim and misty in his mind that he resolved to say nothing about it,—doubting, indeed, whether he could make anything like a connected story that his parents could understand.

When he passed the spectral pine in the bright morning light, there was no sign of anything out of the common way, not even a foot-print in the wet moss at the foot of the tree; and all day, in the midst of his lessons, the question continually beset his mind, whether after all he should keep his appointment at sunset. Was it not foolish, or even wicked, for a pastor’s son to be holding interviews with this strange, heathenish creature in the woods? And yet, after all, he must go by the tree, and if he happened there at sunset, and any one else happened there at the same time, surely the Little Man had been right in one thing; it was unworthy of a reasonable Christian boy to be afraid of anything that was made, since, in fact, one Creator had made all.

And so it happened that just as the last red ray touched the top of the skeleton pine Hans was coming in sight of the tree; and he had not made up his mind whether or not to look at the log that lay at its feet, when he found himself drawn onward, as before, by the spell of two large bright eyes. When he did look, however, it was not the form of a crooked old man that met his sight, but of a beautiful little maiden, who sat leaning against the trunk of the tree.

“My father sent me,” she said, holding out a tiny brown hand, which Hans must have been a greater coward than he was to have feared to touch,—“My father sent me to show you the way, and he said, if you would know all that he has to tell, you must come to his home.”

Hans felt no great unwillingness to go with such a guide. Indeed, as the little one prattled along by his side in a voice as much like a mountain brook as anything else he could think of, he began to hope that the way might be very long before they should reach the old man’s mysterious abode. Nevertheless he almost lost his breath in trying to keep in sight of his guide; for her little feet twinkled along the rocky path like humming-birds’ wings, and there was a gleam of mischief in her brown eyes as she turned to offer a hand to help him up some stony staircase after she herself had perched like a bird at the top. The path had an end at last, just before one of those gloomy caverns which Hans had been accustomed to regard with the greatest dread. A great mossy stone guarded the entrance, upon which the guide tapped lightly with the five rosy tips of her little brown fingers, and the rock seemed rather to open than to roll away. Entering from the darkness of the forest, Hans put his hands before his eyes, to enable them slowly to bear the intense light. When he was able to look around him, his pretty guide was gone, but the Little Man of the last evening was by his side, with the same good-natured grin on his curious old face.

“Brave boy,” said he, “you concluded to trust your new friends a little further, eh? Well, as I have said, you shall lose nothing by it. How do you like my palace?”

Hans was bewildered by the unusual splendor. The walls, floor, and ceiling were white as snow, and incrusted with crystals and hung with pendants as clear as diamonds. Light from some unknown source was thrown back from a thousand glittering points, and, but for the warmth of the place, Hans might have imagined himself in the famous ice-palace of the frost-king.

“This is our vestibule,” said the Little Man. “There is more within than you will care to see in one evening, but let us take a glance at a room or two.”

They passed into a large and lofty chamber, whose gray walls were filled with glittering grains of gold. Here and there a bright mass of silver gleamed in the light, while rich and curious gems sparkled from the ceiling. Glittering treasures that would have made the wealth of an empire were heaped in distant corners of the floor, or lay scattered under the feet.

“Ah, it is splendid!” cried Hans, at length. “But who built your palace, and whence came all this treasure in this poor, humble little valley?

“Is it possible you don’t know who built the world?” said the Little Man in a serious tone. “As to the treasure, it is no more mine than yours; and if your valley is poor, it is all your own fault, because you will not take what belongs to you. There is enough more, deep in the heart of the hills, and we don’t grudge you what little amounts you will ever have the courage to take. You human creatures make slow progress in getting possession of the world; and you ought to be thankful if we give you a lift now and then.”

“Indeed I am,” replied Hans. “But I would like to know where your light comes from here underground.”

“Ah!” said the Little Man, “that is a secret that I will keep for the present. Better not tell you all at once, or you may squander your fortunes too fast. But this I will tell you. Some day, in a land far over the sea, there will be one of the final battles between Light and Darkness, and at first the dark side will seem to be winning, and will boast itself over the Light. Many of the powers of earth and air will join in the struggle; the very ships shall be armed in coats of mail from these underground treasuries that you have seen; and invisible creatures of the air will act as couriers, and keep every part of the great battle-field as it were beneath the eye of the leader-in chief. Then when the scale seems to be turning wrong, new treasures of the rocks shall be thrown into the balance for the right; and so the Little People of the Mountains, working with the men that are working for God, shall gain the day. You see you can afford to wait; you have treasures enough already to quarrel over, and very likely these will do you more harm than good.”

“I must ask you to show me the path through the woods,” said Hans, “for indeed you have entertained me so well that I fear it may be late.”

“The road is not hard to find,” said the Little Man, as he tapped with his crooked old fingers on the wall of the cavern.

Instantly Hans found himself standing at the edge of the pine-wood, and just before him shone a light in the window of the parsonage, which had been set there to guide the truant home.

As the years went on, great changes were seen in the village of Liefenwald. The little brown parsonage grew up into a grand and stately mansion, and its garden with the hollyhocks and poppies gave place to a lawn and park fit for a king’s palace. The good old pastor lived beneath his son’s roof, and studied his ancient leather-covered books, and attended to the wants of his former flock; but the parish had grown too large for his care, for the great Mining Academy had made a city out of the little village, and students flocked from all parts of the country to hear the lectures of the learned Professor Johann von Felsenhof.

For plain little Hans, the pastor’s boy, had studied his lessons so faithfully, that he was the wisest man in Germany in all that pertained to the secrets of the mines; and he had used his knowledge so well that the treasures of the rocks, so far as he could control them, brought good, and not harm, happiness, and not contention, to all the people of the forest valley.

Elsie Teller.


November and December.Winter.

A German writer declares that the botany of children is divided into two classes.

First, the ornamental. This includes flowers and blossoms, to be looked at and picked. Second, the useful. Of the plants belonging to this, two questions are to be asked before anything else:—Are their fruits eatable? Can they be put to any use for playthings?

Now, of course, that plant that could combine all the characteristics of both classes, would be the nearest to realizing the childish ideal. And there is none in all the collected world of plants that comes nearer to this ideal than the nut-tree,—Chestnuts, Walnuts, Shagbarks, Hazelnuts, Beechnuts, Groundnuts, three-cornered nuts, Pignuts, and Pecan,—the very names, whether tropical or home-bred, make the infant lips to smack. For, as to flowers and blossoms, we have seen how, in the early spring, they lead forth the ranks,—how the Horse-chestnut lifts up its richly tinted chandelier of blossom,—how in summer the Chestnut hangs out its flowers, “like the golden caterpillars of a general’s epaulette, to muster up its troops”!

And then the nuts! Open prey for the children, nobody hedges them in! No wonder they have invented the adjective “Nuts-y,” for everything especially delightful and rich in promise. Even into the November days, when the Indian summer glow lingers among the bared trees, there are some brave nutting parties out to contest with the squirrels for the last of the chestnuts.

While we sit munching under the trees, let us think how this food has been stored in these little chests, and ask what has brought it there.

Root and leaf,—these have been the workers for this community, tree or shrub. These leaves that the wind is now whirling about us, that gather round the squirrel’s winter home, that collect over the roots of the trees and form a sheltering covering for those plants that die down each year to the ground,—think how kindly their life has been, and they cannot give up their cherishing thoughtfulness even now, though they are but dead leaves.

Root and leaf have brought in the food. The leaf, with its breathing vessels, has called up the nourishing sap from the roots,—has, too, spread it out on its flat surface to receive the light, and the light has drawn out all that has not been needed for the growth of the plant.

And what has been the food of the plant? Did it find in the earth, all ready for it, this white, milky, sweet food, that we and the squirrels are enjoying just now? What does it have to fill its chests with?

All that the plant wanted was rain-water. Its needs are very few. Some simple plants need only air, finding all the moisture they want in the air they breathe. Then, when they die, they leave their decaying stalks and stems to furnish richer food for higher plants.

What it is that the plant wants of the rain-water I will presently tell you. Pure water would not satisfy it, for it contains but two of the three things that the plant must have, and the rain-water washes down this third thing out of the air,—out of the air into the ground,—and the ground holds it ready for the plant, ready for that little seed when it opens,—the little seed that has but a little food stored up to nourish it till the root shall appear,—the little root, which sends out delicate branches, just fitted to drink in every drop of moisture it can find, not coming out in regular order like the branches of the stem, but fine, delicate fibres, called spongioles or spongelets because they drink in so easily all watery matter. If they meet with anything to obstruct them, they follow along its surface till they can find a place to insinuate themselves, their slender threads discovering the favorable soil, and gaining a firm hold, delicate as they are. So long as the plant grows above ground, so long do the roots extend and increase under ground, bringing in fresh moisture to supply the demand created above; the newer the roots are, the more actively they absorb through their delicate walls, in which the highest possible magnifying power is unable to discover any pores or openings. Many rootlets send out still finer tubes, or root-hairs, increasing the number of absorbers.

Early in the growth of the plant its cells lengthen, and their walls thicken, forming what is called the woody fibre or wood-cells. In Exogenous plants, or the outside-growers, these woody parts collect to form a layer of wood, a ring, around the central cellular part, the pith, which is itself surrounded by the bark. Herbaceous stems die down to the ground each year. Shrubs and trees form a new growth every year, placing a new layer of wood outside that of the preceding year. It is through this living layer each year that the sap is called up into the leaves.

It is the active life of the leaf, its breathing through its open pores, and spreading itself to the light, that helps to call up this nourishing sap. The leaf, too, like the stem, has a woody and a cellular part. The woody part forms its skeleton of ribs and veins, that support the leaf while they bring up the ascending sap. The cellular part is the green pulp, which is filled with cells, loosely put together, that hold the green matter, the chlorophyll, that gives the color to the leaf. There are usually two layers of cells; those in the upper layer are more closely put together, and are covered with a delicate veil, the epidermis, to protect them from the direct rays of the sun, that might evaporate the moisture too quickly. For, should the leaves exhale the liquid food faster than it can be furnished by the roots, the plant would die. It is the lower part of the leaf, withdrawn from the sun’s rays, that has the pores by which the leaf may breathe at leisure. These are called the stomata, or breathing-pores. They are very small, but each leaf has an immense number. In the Apple-tree, each leaf has not far from one hundred thousand of these openings or mouths!

And what is the leaf doing with the food, as it spreads itself to light and heat? It changes inorganic into organic matter. It turns the mineral matter, on which we animals could not feed, into the vegetable food upon which we can live. With all our cooks, Professor Blot at the head, and with all our chemists, Professor Liebig and the rest, we could never make good eatable matter out of minerals. Think of a flint soup, or an iron porridge, or a sulphur pudding! It sets one’s teeth on edge to think of it!

But the plant knows how to do it; not, indeed, as necessary to its own vegetation, though it is so necessary for us. The plant might grow without mineral matter. Indeed, in time, as we have seen, it is these earthy parts that have brought the death of the leaf, that have clogged its pores and prevented its drawing in the necessary moisture. “Alas!” we feel like saying. Yet we see that the tree no longer needs the leaves; for it could not bear to have the winter air and the frosts brought into its community through open pores. In the winter days it could not bear the quick communication with the outer world through its leaves; it is ready now for the quiet time, as we have seen, to form its new flower and leaf buds, which shall be prepared to carry on its new, next summer’s life.

The mineral parts, however, have been useful to it; for they have strengthened its woody fibre, making the heart-wood, the “heart of oak,” giving denseness to it, while around it yearly new layers form of sap-wood. It strengthens, too, the stalks of the wheat.

But for us, consider how useful! All the earthy matter of our bones, and the iron and mineral matter that strengthens and colors our blood, comes from the plants on which we feed, or on which the animals feed, whose flesh we eat.

Our tincture of iron, then, our essence of flint and flavor of salt, are kindly served up for us by these gentle cooks. All summer long no day is so hot for them but what they set up a little fire in their leaves; for the action that takes place there is more like burning than anything else. The savory soups they make they send out into their flower-buds to help the growth of the seed. Sometimes, as we have seen, this sun-cooked food is stored up there for another season, and we feed upon it as grain or sugar or chestnuts. The ashes from these fires remain, filling the leaf-fibres. The sheep and cattle feed upon them, and we feed upon the grass-fed beef and mutton.

But this is not nearly all that the leaf has been about. The root has been drawing up water from the soil, and all the vapor it could find. The leaves, too, have absorbed directly vapor from the atmosphere, which holds, as I have said, two of the three elements that are necessary for the fabric of the plant.

You have often played the game of Elements,—earth, air, fire, and water. When you all grow up into little chemists, as you will very soon, as it is such very good fun to dabble in its different mixtures,—(it is most as nice as cooking, only you don’t have the advantage of eating the good things you make; on the contrary, you get your hands very black, and make large spots all over your clothes, and sometimes burn the end of your nose, if you do not, indeed, have a grand explosion, and break all the windows, and frighten the family generally,—besides that, instead of the nice, appetizing smell of Thanksgiving Day, you are apt to distress your mother and sisters with a variety of quite unexpected, and far from agreeable odors,)—well, in those halcyon days you will find that each of these—earth, fire, air, and water—has its own elements or composing parts, with longer names. For instance, water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.

Now the plant needs, I told you, three things. Besides hydrogen and oxygen, it wants carbon. For these magicians of our days, whom we call chemists, have found out what all the vegetable tissues are formed of. They have not yet been able to put together a lily, but they could take it apart. And learned as you will probably grow, after beginning with these papers, I think you will hardly be able to get further; for the chemist, wise as he is, has not been able to get at the principle of life, or find what it is that first stirs the germ, and sends the stem up to seek the air, and the root to look for water in the earth.

Now see how these elements that you were first acquainted with—air, fire, water, earth—have assembled round the little plant to interchange their elements for its use. The air has blown up a fire in the leaf that has drawn up from the earth the water that is to serve for its food.

For the air contains the carbon that the vegetable wants. The elements of air are oxygen and nitrogen, with a very small proportion, however, of carbonic acid, which, again, contains the carbon that the plant needs. It is in a very small proportion; for not only we do not need it, but it is very injurious to us. Carbonic acid consists of carbon combined with oxygen. Carbon is the same as pure charcoal. Charcoal is the carbon of a vegetable,—what is left behind, after heating it, out of contact with the air, so that all hydrogen and oxygen may be driven off, and the pure carbon left. But this is in a solid state and cannot be dissolved in water, which the plant likes to absorb, and cannot reach the plant so; for only liquid and air can pass through the walls of its delicate cells.

Now we, that is, all animals, are constantly forming this carbonic acid gas, the carbon from animal bodies uniting with the oxygen of the air. We breathe in oxygen into our lungs; we breathe it out as carbonic acid gas. With every breath we lessen the quantity of oxygen in the air,—so healthful and necessary for animal life,—while we increase the quantity of the carbonic acid in the air, so injurious. Carbonic acid is very poisonous: to breathe the air produced by burning charcoal in a close room would destroy life directly, as you well know.

Not vegetable life,—the plants feed upon it; they take it in through their leaves in every breeze that blows. Then every rain-drop that falls from the clouds and trickles into the ground carries with it a little carbonic acid that it has washed out of the air as it fell. In a rich soil, too, the air contains a larger store of carbonic acid gas than the atmosphere above. Decomposing vegetable matter sends out the carbonic acid that formed a part of its life, to enrich the pores and crevices of the soil, where the rootlets of new plants are to find their food. And the ponds and streams carry the favorite dish to the water-plants. Thus, what is man’s poison is meat for the plants. The component parts of this food—water and carbonic acid—are mineral matters; these are the materials with which the plant builds and feeds itself. In the plant the inorganic is changed into organic matter.

The plants then purify the air for animals. Not only they take in the injurious carbon in the carbonic acid, but they give out its oxygen, taking what is unfit for us, giving us what we need. So long as the herb, shrub, and tree are growing, so long are they busy at this work of purifying the air for us. When the light fades away during the night, this work ceases and the plant is in a passive state. The two kingdoms are thus perfectly adapted to each other, and the atmosphere seems to connect them and make them dependent upon each other.

Do you think this is a dull lesson, and has little to do with the Flora of plants? Are we not bound to consider, you ask, the beauty of leaves, flowers, and fruit, and not tire our heads with thinking of their use?

That little, but very tiresome word use,—why did it ever come into the language, except for the purpose of plaguing children! And we elders acknowledge that we are tired of the books that are always trying to instruct children, and pretending that they ought to be useful. A useful child! It calls up the pictures of worn-out children working in factories,—of tired little girls in crowded streets, old before their time, laboring for father and mother and younger brothers and sisters,—of newsboys, never having time to play! No; let a child be a child while it will. Their enjoyments and pleasures are not so wondrous as elder years paint them, out of their fancy or misleading memories of some few gay hours. Do not heap upon them the pains and responsibilities that come with the growth of the reasoning powers.

But as for our joy of the flowers,—it is surely enhanced to think of all the beautiful uses it has. And just at this season, when the year’s leaves are floating down the wind, it would seem ungrateful not to think of all the cheerful, unselfish work they have been so gay over all summer long. A child is no less a child when it is cheerful all through a hot day’s journey, or unselfishly gives the largest cocoa-nut cake to a younger brother. So it will do us no harm to think a little of the glad gifts these very leaves have brought us. For all these services we have to thank the plants. Not only do they purify the air for animals; they also produce all the food and fabric of animals. Neither the herbivorous nor the carnivorous animals can originate any organic matter. They destroy and decompose it; they take it ready made from plants.

And we, men, women, and children,—even when we are not Nebuchadnezzars ourselves, and do not directly take in the lettuce and spinach and green peas,—yet accept it in the fabric of the animals we eat. We accept it, as I have said, in our beef and mutton and veal. When you see the cattle, the sheep, and the calves, you little think how they are cropping up fat for you. But the fat of these animals is mostly drawn from the oily and waxy matters in the vegetables that make their food. They take what they need, then breathe out, by way of return to the vegetables, the carbonic acid and water that these want. What a different food is ham from acorns! Yet even a pig can bring about the change. What would you do for your sandwiches if he couldn’t or wouldn’t?

Is it not a happy thing that we do not have to fight with the plants for our food, but that what they want to take we cannot bear, and what we dislike they are willing to feed and flourish upon?

And not only do we enjoy and flourish upon this food, prepared for us by other animals; we too find it stored for us in the many fruits we have been considering. What admirable places are the autumn Agricultural Fairs and Shows to learn this! There you can see the various Chests, differing from these in our hand, in which our vegetable food is stored,—wheat and squashes, pears, tomatoes, and watermelons, side by side.

And how gayly and happily have the leaves done all this! Even when they must drop away and die, they have not put on any color of mourning, but the maple, the sumach,—many of the trees,—appear then in their gayest and most gorgeous tints. It is left for some of the little chemists that read this, perhaps, to find out the cause of these bright colors, and why it is that they are more brilliant with us than in other countries. The frost has very little to do with the autumn colors, for often in July or August a single tree among the maples turns scarlet or crimson, while the other trees are still green. The red maple has evidently a fondness for its bright colors, for early in the spring it puts its seed-vessels into deep red; and the little, young yearling maples, as we have seen, hurry to show what family they belong to, by putting their few leaves into gay colors.

It may be the transparency of our atmosphere, says Mr. Emerson, and therefore the greater intensity of the light, that gives the greater glow to our autumnal foliage,—“the same cause which renders a much larger number of stars visible by night, and which clothes our flowering plants with more numerous flowers, and those of deeper and richer tints,—giving somewhat of tropical splendor to our really colder parallels of latitude.”*

We have no right to consider our autumn days the “saddest of the year.” Not only maples and sumachs, but the oaks, put on their most brilliant colors. There are scarlet oaks and crimson oaks,—spots of color that shine of a cloudy day, and that glow when the sun is out,—yellow chestnut-leaves, many-colored dogwood, and pale ferns. But in the November days these are of the past.

From root to topmost bough, from potato up to chestnut, there is no part of the plant but what some species of herb, shrub, or tree has somewhere turned it into food for us. A comprehensive botany is then this child’s botany with its two classes. What is there that does not bring us its flowers, or else its fruit to eat, or to make into playthings? Wands for whistles, switches for riding-whips,—to say nothing of birch for the schoolmasters,—nutshells for baskets and boats, toys as countless as the fruits. From parts of the root, whole roots, seed, stalk, leaves, come sago, turnips, rice, sugar, tea,—can you make a count of all the stores, and not forget some?

And the kindly shelter of the trees for the summer’s birds, and the soft shelter of ferns and rushes for lizards and water insects! Stately trees and low grasses are full of their charities. Even low mosses have a great use and purpose. I must copy for you a description of what service the moss is that covers the rocks far up on the mountain-sides. This is what the moss does in Germany, and I can’t think that American moss should do less.

“It is the covering of moss on the forest mountains that gives sustenance to the brooks and torrents that flow from them. And through these streams life flows to the plants in the valley, and so to man and beast. This may sound like an exaggeration; but you would not consider it so, if you would for once consent to come with me and submit to a shower of rain in a picturesque ravine in the Hartz, or the Schwarz forests. I should like to take you to a steep precipice, where you could look over and listen to a forest stream far down, that murmurs softly to us. Here and there is a single white-pine, or some tall fir thrusts its roots among the loose blocks on the mountain-side. But all is covered with soft moss,—stone-boulders, roots of trees, and the steep sides of the precipice where no stone can lie. Then, let there come a vigorous mountain shower, penetrating, wetting us to the skin, through and through! Then I would beg you to look round, above, below, and see if, after this drenching shower, there were any marked change. The brook below has scarcely increased. It still rains violently; but as far as you can see over the precipice up which we have climbed, and opposite us, all is as it was before the rain began.

“Now imagine the precipice bare. You would have then seen large masses of earth whirled down by the swollen brooks. Many a tree would have been carried away, too, and in a few years only a bare wall of rock would be left here where the old pine that has served us as shelter from the storm has been growing a hundred years peacefully, to a beautiful, mighty tree. This the moss has done. Other ground plants gave help, but insignificant in comparison.

“These pretty little plants are mediators between heaven and earth when the rain-torrent comes down, as though, by breaking away the forest trees, it would make room for the encumbered streams. The moss softly hushes it up, crying out, ‘Gently, gently, boisterer,’ and thrusts itself between the heavy rain and the threatened earth, and catches the flood of heaven in its millions of graceful little leaflet hands, and breaks its great power, so that only drop by drop can it come through, and the ground can drink by degrees what it needs; and what is over quietly trickles from stone to stone, under the covering of moss, into the swelling stream.

“And in summer, if the parching sunbeams fall upon this rocky wall, and the pitch in the bark of the old pine turns liquid, then again it is the moss that flings itself between the sunbeams and the ground, and never lets the consuming glow penetrate into the earth.

“And the wind it tempers, too. If there are no mosses, the tempest drives the dry leaves together, and sweeps them down into the valley, and dries up the ground far down. But the mosses catch the needles and whirling leaves as they fall, and hold them fast, and weave themselves up with them to a protecting carpet around the trees.

“Yes, in wooded regions, the mosses are of incalculable worth. And the woods are equally valuable for streams and brooks, and these in turn make life possible. I have seen, in Southern Spain, regions of forty miles in extent, where life has become insupportable, because there was no water, and no water, because the countless sierras are bare of trees.”

And there are no trees, because there was no moss to protect them!

And this little moss forms part of the Flora of the winter. It will make for you a charming study to learn its method of flowering and scattering its seed. A study, not a play, but as charming as a play. For I have tried to tell you “a little about the Flora” of the past year, only to show how much yet remains to be learned of these our beautiful companions. We have seen how they have waited for us, and upon us, in winter and autumn, as well as summer and spring. Through the winter they are not even dead or sleeping,—they are always telling us something. And it is better to make a study of all the knowledge they will bring, than to try to make of it a play.

And a charming study, too. The boy that has dug over the Latin roots finds in his Virgil and Horace where are the fruits and flowers of his study that at first seemed so tedious. But Gray’s “How Plants Grow,” “First Lessons,” and “Botanical Text-Book,” make the very first steps in the study of Botany charming and delightful.

For this study one does not have to wait for elegantly printed or painted diagrams, but each season illustrates itself, bringing branch and bud, blossom, flower, leaf, fruit, seed, and dead leaves, for beautiful pictures of its own progress.

Still linger into November and December the brown leaves of the oak around the trees. The outer world has been growing more and more silent. Even the untimely cricket that chirped among the dry November grass is still. The gay harvest of autumn leaves is scattered. Even the yellow pumpkins that stayed late in the fields, among the corn-stalks, are housed now, and perhaps eaten. We stop a moment to look at the beautiful and differing shapes of the dead leaves, as they lie before us in the road. They might give us another study, to find the names of all the different forms, and what each different tree bears. But the winter wind swept them away.

Winter has come, and December again, and the tree that was the first in the season to welcome us comes to bid us a good-by greeting. Christmas day comes again, and the earth turns once more to the sun. A new year comes, and prospect of new seasons, to wish you all A Happy New Year.

Lucretia P. Hale.

Emerson’s Trees and Shrubs of Massachusetts.

Flora in Winterkleide.



Saturday was a day of hammering, basting, draping, dressing, rehearsing, running from room to room. Up stairs, in Mrs. Green’s garret, Leslie Goldthwaite and Dakie Thayne, with a third party never before introduced upon the stage, had a private practising; and at tea-time, when the great hall was cleared, they got up there with Sin Saxon and Frank Scherman, locked the doors, and in costume, with regular accompaniment of bell and curtain, the performance was repeated.

Dakie Thayne was stage-manager and curtain-puller; Sin Saxon and Frank Scherman represented audience, with clapping and stamping, and laughter that suspended both,—making as nearly the noise of two hundred as two could,—this being an essential part of the rehearsal in respect to the untried nerves of the débutant, which might easily be a little uncertain.

“He stands fire like a Yankee veteran.”

“It’s inimitable,” said Sin Saxon, wiping the moist merriment from her eyes. “And your cap, Leslie! And that bonnet! And this unutterable old oddity of a gown! Who did contrive it all? and where did they come from? You’ll carry off the glory of the evening. It ought to be the last.”

“No, indeed,” said Leslie. “Barbara Frietchie must be last, of course. But I’m so glad you think it will do. I hope they’ll be amused.”

“Amused! If you could only see your own face!”

“I see Sir Charles’s, and that makes mine.”

The new performer, you perceive, was an actor with a title.

That night’s coach, driving up while the dress-rehearsal of the other tableaux was going on at the hall, brought Cousin Delight to the Green Cottage, and Leslie met her at the door.

Sunday morning was a pause and rest and hush of beauty and joy. They sat—Delight and Leslie—by their open window, where the smell of the lately harvested hay came over from the wide, sunshiny entrance of the great barn, and away beyond stretched the pine woods, and the hills swelled near in dusky evergreen, and indigo shadows, and lessened far down toward Winnipiseogee, to where, faint and tender and blue, the outline of little Ossipee peeped in between great shoulders so modestly,—seen only through the clearest air on days like this. Leslie’s little table, with fresh white cover, held a vase of ferns and white convolvulus, and beside this Cousin Delight’s two books that came out always from the top of her trunk,—her Bible and her little “Daily Food.” To-day the verses from Old and New Testaments were these:—“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way.” “Walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time.”

They had a talk about the first,—“The steps,”—the little details,—not merely the general trend and final issue; if, indeed, these could be directed without the other.

“You always make me see things, Cousin Delight,” Leslie said.

“It is very plain,” Delight answered; “if people only would read the Bible as they read even a careless letter from a friend, counting each word of value, and searching for more meaning and fresh inference to draw out the most. One word often answers great doubts and askings that have troubled the world.”

Afterward, they walked round by a still wood-path under the Ledge to the North Village, where there was a service. It was a plain little church, with unpainted pews; but the windows looked forth upon a green mountain-side, and whispers of oaks and pines and river-music crept in, and the breath of sweet water-lilies, heaped in a great bowl upon the communion-table of common stained cherry-wood, floated up and filled the place. The minister, a quiet, gray-haired man, stayed his foot an instant at that simple altar, before he went up the few steps to the desk. He had a sermon in his pocket from the text, “The hairs of your heads are all numbered.” He changed it at the moment in his mind, and, when presently he rose to preach, gave forth, in a tone touched, through the fresh presence of that reminding beauty, with the very spontaneousness of the Master’s own saying,—“Consider the lilies.” And then he told them of God’s momently thought and care.

There were scattered strangers, from various houses, among the simple rural congregation. Walking home through the pines again, Delight and Leslie and Dakie Thayne found themselves preceded and followed along the narrow way. Sin Saxon and Frank Scherman came up and joined them when the wider openings permitted.

Two persons just in front were commenting upon the sermon.

“Very fair for a country parson,” said a tall, elegant-looking man, whose broad, intellectual brow was touched by dark hair slightly frosted, and whose lip had the curve that betokens self-reliance and strong decision,—“very fair. All the better for not flying too high. Narrow, of course. He seems to think the Almighty has nothing grander to do than to finger every little cog of the tremendous machinery of the universe,—that He measures out the ocean of His purposes as we drop a liquid from a phial. To me it seems belittling the Infinite.”

“I don’t know whether it is littleness or greatness, Robert, that must escape minutiæ,” said his companion, apparently his wife. “If we could reach to the particles, perhaps we might move the mountains.”

“We never agree upon this, Margie. We won’t begin again. To my mind, the grand plan of things was settled ages ago,—the impulses generated that must needs work on. Foreknowledge and intention, doubtless: in that sense the hairs were numbered. But that there is a special direction and interference to-day for you and me—well, we won’t argue, as I said; but I never can conceive it so; and I think a wider look at the world brings a question to all such primitive faith.”

The speakers turned down a side-way with this, leaving the ledge path and their subject to our friends. Only to their thoughts at first; but presently Cousin Delight said, in a quiet tone, to Leslie, “That doesn’t account for the steps, does it?”

“I am glad it can’t,” said Leslie.

Dakie Thayne turned a look toward Leslie, as if he would gladly know of what she spoke,—a look in which a kind of gentle reverence was strangely mingled with the open friendliness. I cannot easily indicate to you the sort of feeling with which the boy had come to regard this young girl, just above him in years and thought and in the attitude which true womanhood, young or old, takes toward man. He had no sisters; he had been intimately associated with no girl-companions; he had lived with his brother and an uncle and a young aunt, Rose. Leslie Goldthwaite’s kindness had drawn him into the sphere of a new and powerful influence,—something different in thought and purpose from the apparent un-thought about her; and this lifted her up in his regard and enshrined her with a sort of pure sanctity. He was sometimes really timid before her, in the midst of his frank chivalry.

“I wish you’d tell me,” he said suddenly, falling back with her as the path narrowed again. “What are the ‘steps’?”

“It was a verse we found this morning,—Cousin Delight and I,” Leslie answered; and as she spoke the color came up full in her cheeks, and her voice was a little shy and tremulous. “ ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.’ That one word seemed to make one certain. ‘Steps,’—not path, nor the end of it; but all the way.” Somehow she was quite out of breath as she finished.

Meantime Sin Saxon and Frank had got with Miss Goldthwaite, and were talking too.

“Set spinning,” they heard Sin Saxon say, “and then let go. That was his idea. Well! Only it seems to me there’s been especial pains taken to show us it can’t be done. Or else, why don’t they find out perpetual motion? Everything stops after a while, unless—I can’t talk theologically, but I mean all right—you hit it again.”

“You’ve a way of your own of putting things, Asenath,” said Frank Scherman,—with a glance that beamed kindly and admiringly upon her and “her way,”—“but you’ve put that clear to me as nobody else ever did. A proof set in the very laws themselves,—momentum that must lessen and lose itself with the square of the distance. The machinery cavil won’t do.”

“Wheels; but a living spirit within the wheels,” said Cousin Delight.

“Every instant a fresh impulse; to think of it so makes it real, Miss Goldthwaite,—and grand and awful.” The young man spoke with a strength in the clear voice that could be so light and gay.

“And tender, too. ‘Thou layest Thine hand upon me,’ ” said Delight Goldthwaite.

Sin Saxon was quiet; her own thought coming back upon her with a reflective force, and a thrill at her heart at Frank Scherman’s words. Had these two only planned tableaux and danced Germans together before?

Dakie Thayne walked on by Leslie Goldthwaite’s side, in his happy content touched with something higher and brighter through that instant’s approach and confidence. If I were to write down his thought as he walked, it would be with phrase and distinction peculiar to himself and to the boy-mind,—“It’s the real thing with her; it don’t make a fellow squirm like a pin put out at a caterpillar. She’s good; but she isn’t pious!”

This was the Sunday that lay between the busy Saturday and Monday. “It is always so wherever Cousin Delight is,” Leslie Goldthwaite said to herself, comparing it with other Sundays that had gone. Yet she too, for weeks before, by the truth that had come into her own life and gone out from it, had been helping to make these moments possible. She had been shone upon, and had put forth; henceforth she should scarcely know when the fruit was ripening or sowing itself anew, or the good and gladness of it were at human lips.

She was in Mrs. Linceford’s room on Monday morning, putting high velvet-covered corks to the heels of her slippers, when Sin Saxon came over hurriedly, and tapped at the door.

Could you be two old women?” she asked, the instant Leslie opened. “Ginevra Thoresby has given out. She says it’s her cold,—that she doesn’t feel equal to it; but the amount of it is, she got her chill with the Shannons going away so suddenly, and the Amy Robsart and Queen Elizabeth picture being dropped. There was nothing else to put her in, and so she won’t be Barbara.”

“Won’t be Barbara Frietchie!” cried Leslie, with an astonishment as if it had been angelhood refused.

“No. Barbara Frietchie is only an old woman in a cap and kerchief, and she just puts her head out of a window: the flag is the whole of it, Ginevra Thoresby says.”

May I do it? Do you think I can be different enough in the two? Will there be time?” Leslie questioned eagerly.

“We’ll change the programme, and put ‘Taking the Oath’ between. The caps can be different, and you can powder your hair for one, and—would it do to ask Miss Craydocke for a front for the other?” Sin Saxon had grown delicate in her feeling for the dear old friend whose hair had once been golden.

“I’ll tell her about it, and ask her to help me contrive. She’ll be sure to think of anything that can be thought of.”

“Only there’s the dance afterward, and you had so much more costume for the other,” Sin Saxon said, demurringly.

“Never mind. I shall be Barbara; and Barbara wouldn’t dance, I suppose.”

“Mother Hubbard would, marvellously.”

“Never mind,” Leslie answered again, laying down the little slipper, finished.

“She don’t care what she is, so that she helps along,” Sin Saxon said of her, rejoining the others in the hall. “I’m ashamed of myself and all the rest of you, beside her. Now make yourselves as fine as you please.”

We must pass over the hours as only stories and dreams do, and put ourselves, at ten of the clock that night, behind the green curtain and the footlights, in the blaze of the three rows of bright lamps, that, one above another, poured their illumination from the left upon the stage, behind the wide picture-frame.

Susan Josselyn and Frank Scherman were just “posed” for “Consolation.” They had given Susan this part, after all, because they wanted Martha for “Taking the Oath,” afterward. Leslie Goldthwaite was giving a hasty touch to the tent drapery and the gray blanket; Leonard Brookhouse and Dakie Thayne manned the halyards for raising the curtain; there was the usual scuttling about the stage for hasty clearance; and Sin Saxon’s hand was on the bell, when Grahame Lowe sprang hastily in through the dressing-room upon the scene.

“Hold on a minute,” he said to Brookhouse. “Miss Saxon, General Ingleside and party are over at Green’s,—been there since nine o’clock. Oughtn’t we to send compliments or something, before we finish up?”

Then there was a pressing forward and an excitement. The wounded soldier sprang from his couch; the nun came nearer, with a quick light in her eye; Leslie Goldthwaite, in her mob cap, quilted petticoat, big-flowered calico train, and high-heeled shoes; two or three supernumeraries, in Rebel gray, with bayonets, coming on in “Barbara Frietchie”; and Sir Charles, bouncing out from somewhere behind, to the great hazard of the frame of lights,—huddled together upon the stage and consulted. Dakie Thayne had dropped his cord and almost made a rush off at the first announcement; but he stood now, with a repressed eagerness that trembled through every fibre, and waited.

“Would he come?” “Isn’t it too late?” “Would it be any compliment?” “Won’t it be rude not to?” “All the patriotic pieces are just coming!” “Will the audience like to wait?” “Make a speech and tell ’em. You, Brookhouse.” “O, he must come! Barbara Frietchie and the flag! Just think!” “Isn’t it grand?” “O, I’m so frightened!” These were the hurried sentences that made the buzz behind the scenes; while in front “all the world wondered.” Meanwhile, lamps trembled, the curtain vibrated, the very framework swayed.

“What is it? Fire?” queried a nervous voice from near the footlights.

“This won’t do,” said Frank Scherman. “Speak to them, Brookhouse. Dakie Thayne, run over to Green’s, and say,—The ladies’ compliments to General Ingleside and friends, and beg the honor of their presence at the concluding tableaux.”

Dakie was off with a glowing face. Something like an odd, knowing smile twinkling out from the glow also, as he looked up at Scherman and took his orders. All this while he had said nothing.

Leonard Brookhouse made his little speech, received with applause and a cheer. Then they quieted down behind the scenes, and a rustle and buzz began in front,—kept up for five minutes or so, in gentle fashion, till two gentlemen, in plain clothes, walked quietly in at the open door; at sight of whom, with instinctive certainty, the whole assembly rose. Leslie Goldthwaite, peeping through the folds of the curtain, saw a tall, grand-looking man, in what may be called the youth of middle age, every inch a soldier, bowing as he was ushered forward to a seat vacated for him, and followed by one younger, who modestly ignored the notice intended for his chief. Dakie Thayne was making his way, with eyes alight and excited, down a side passage to his post.

Then the two actors hurried once more into position; the stage was cleared by a whispered peremptory order; the bell rung once, the tent trembling with some one whisking further out of sight behind it,—twice, and the curtain rose upon “Consolation.”

Lovely as the picture is, it was lovelier in the living tableau. There was something deep and intense in the pale calm of Susan Josselyn’s face, which they had not counted on even when they discovered that hers was the very face for the “Sister.” Something made you thrill at the thought of what those eyes would show, if the downcast, quiet lids were raised. The earnest gaze of the dying soldier met more, perhaps, in its uplifting; for Frank Scherman had a look, in this instant of enacting, that he had never got before in all his practisings. The picture was too real for applause,—almost, it suddenly seemed, for representation.

“Don’t I know that face, Noll?” General Ingleside asked, in a low tone, of his companion.

Instead of answering at once, the younger man bent further forward toward the stage, and his own very plain, broad, honest face, full over against the downcast one of the Sister of Mercy, took upon itself that force of magnetic expression which makes a look felt even across a crowd of other glances, as if there were but one straight line of vision, and that between such two. The curtain was going slowly down; the veiling lids trembled, and the paleness replaced itself with a slow-mounting flush of color over the features, still held motionless. They let the cords run more quickly then. She was getting tired, they said; the curtain had been up too long. Be that as it might, nothing could persuade Susan Josselyn to sit again, and “Consolation” could not be repeated.

So then came “Mother Hubbard and her Dog,”—the slow old lady and the knowing beast that was always getting one step ahead of her. The possibility had occurred to Leslie Goldthwaite as she and Dakie Thayne amused themselves one day with Captain Green’s sagacious Sir Charles Grandison, a handsome black spaniel, whose trained accomplishment was to hold himself patiently in any posture in which he might be placed, until the word of release was given. You might stand him on his hind legs, with paws folded on his breast; you might extend him on his back, with helpless legs in air; you might put him in any attitude possible to be maintained, and maintain it he would, faithfully, until the signal was made. From this prompting came the Illustration of Mother Hubbard. Also, Leslie Goldthwaite had seized the hidden suggestion of application, and hinted it in certain touches of costume and order of performance. Nobody would think, perhaps, at first, that the striped scarlet and white petticoat under the tucked-up train, or the common print apron of dark blue, figured with innumerable little white stars, meant anything beyond the ordinary adjuncts of a traditional old woman’s dress; but when, in the second scene, the bonnet went on,—an ancient marvel of exasperated front and crown, pitched over the forehead like an enormous helmet, and decorated, upon the side next the audience, with black and white eagle plumes springing straight up from the fastening of an American shield,—above all, when the dog himself appeared, “dressed in his clothes” (a cane, an all-round white collar and a natty little tie, a pair of three-dollar tasselled kid-gloves dangling from his left paw, and a small monitor hat with a big spread-eagle stuck above the brim,—the remaining details of costume being of no consequence),—when he stood “reading the news” from a huge bulletin,—“LATEST BY CABLE FROM EUROPE,”—nobody could mistake the personification of Old and Young America.

It had cost much pains and many dainty morsels, to drill Sir Charles, with all the aid of his excellent fundamental education; and the great fear had been that he might fail them at the last. But the scenes were rapid, in consideration of canine infirmity. If the cupboard was empty, Mother Hubbard’s basket behind was not; he got his morsels duly; and the audience was “requested to refrain from applause until the end.” Refrain from laughter they could not, as the idea dawned upon them and developed; but Sir Charles was used to that in the execution of his ordinary tricks; he could hardly have done without it better than any other old actor. A dog knows when he is having his day, to say nothing of doing his duty; and these things are as sustaining to him as to anybody. This state of his mind, manifest in his air, helped also to complete the Young America expression. Mother Hubbard’s mingled consternation and pride at each successive achievement of her astonishing puppy were inimitable. Each separate illustration made its point. Patriotism, especially, came in when the undertaker, bearing the pall with red-lettered border,—Rebellion,—finds the dog, with upturned, knowing eye, and parted jaws, suggestive as much of a good grip as of laughter, half risen upon fore-paws, as far from “dead” as ever, mounting guard over the old bone “Constitution.”

The curtain fell at last, amid peals of applause and calls for the actors.

Dakie Thayne had accompanied with the reading of the ballad, slightly transposed and adapted. As Leslie led Sir Charles before the curtain, in response to the continued demand, he added the concluding stanza,—

“The dame made a courtesy,

  The dog made a bow;

The dame said, ‘Your servant,’

  The dog said, ‘Bow-wow.’ ”

Which, with a suppressed “Speak, sir!” from Frank Scherman, was brought properly to pass. Done with cleverness and quickness from beginning to end, and taking the audience utterly by surprise, Leslie’s little combination of wit and sagacity had been throughout a signal success. The actors crowded round her. “We’d no idea of it!” “Capital!” “A great hit!” they exclaimed. “Mother Hubbard is the star of the evening,” said Leonard Brookhouse. “No, indeed,” returned Leslie, patting Sir Charles’s head,—“this is the dog-star.” “Rather a Sirius reflection upon the rest of us,” rejoined Brookhouse, shrugging his shoulders, as he walked off to take his place in the “Oath,” and Leslie disappeared to make ready for “Barbara Frietchie.”

Several persons, before and behind the curtain, were making up their minds, just now, to a fresh opinion. There was nothing so very slow or tame, after all, about Leslie Goldthwaite. Several others had known that long ago.

“Taking the Oath,” was piquant and spirited. The touch of restive scorn that could come out on Martha Josselyn’s face just suited her part; and Leonard Brookhouse was very cool and courteous, and handsome and gentlemanly-triumphant as the Union officer.

“Barbara Frietchie” was grand. Grahame Lowe played Stonewall Jackson. They had improvised a pretty bit of scenery at the back, with a few sticks, some paint, brown carpet-paper, and a couple of mosquito-bars;—a Dutch gable with a lattice window, vines trained up over it, and bushes below. It was a moving tableau, enacted to the reading of Whittier’s glorious ballad. “Only an old woman in a cap and kerchief, putting her head out at a garret window,”—that was all; but the fire was in the young eyes under the painted wrinkles and the snowy hair; the arm stretched itself out quick and bravely at the very instant of the pistol-shot that startled timid ears; one skilful movement detached and seized the staff in its apparent fall, and the liberty-colors flashed full in Rebel faces, as the broken lower fragment went clattering to the stage. All depended on the one instant action and expression. These were perfect. The very spirit of Barbara stirred her representative. The curtain began to descend slowly, and the applause broke forth before the reading ended. But a hand, held up, hushed it till the concluding lines were given in thrilling tones, as the tableau was covered from sight.

“Barbara Frietchie’s work is o’er,

And the Rebel rides on his raids no more.


“Honor to her! and let a tear

Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall’s bier.


“Over Barbara Frietchie’s grave,

Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!


“Peace and order and beauty draw

Round thy symbol of light and law;


“And ever the stars above look down

On thy stars below in Frederick town!”

Then one great cheer broke forth, and was prolonged to three.

“Not be Barbara Frietchie!” Leslie would not have missed that thrill for the finest beauty-part of all. For the applause—that was for the flag, of course, as Ginevra Thoresby said.

The benches were slid out at a window upon a lower roof, the curtain was looped up, and the footlights carried away; the “music” came up, and took possession of the stage; and the audience hall resolved itself into a ballroom. Under the chandelier, in the middle, a tableau not set forth in the programme was rehearsed and added a few minutes after.

Mrs. Thoresby, of course, had been introduced to the General; Mrs. Thoresby, with her bright, full, gray curls and her handsome figure, stood holding him in conversation between introductions, graciously waiving her privilege as new-comers claimed their modest word. Mrs. Thoresby took possession; had praised the tableaux, as “quite creditable, really, considering the resources we had,” and was following a slight lead into a long talk, of information and advice on her part, about Dixville Notch. The General thought he should go there, after a day or two at Outledge.

Just here came up Dakie Thayne. The actors, in costume, were gradually mingling among the audience, and Barbara Frietchie, in white hair, from which there was not time to remove the powder, plain cap and kerchief, and brown woollen gown, with her silken flag yet in her hand, came with him. This boy, who “was always everywhere,” made no hesitation, but walked straight up to the central group, taking Leslie by the hand. Close to the General, he waited courteously for a long sentence of Mrs. Thoresby’s to be ended, and then said, simply,—“Uncle James, this is my friend Miss Leslie Goldthwaite. My brother, Dr. Ingleside—why, where is Noll?”

Dr. Oliver Ingleside had stepped out of the circle in the last half of the long sentence. The Sister of Mercy—no longer in costume, however—had come down the little flight of steps that led from the stage to the floor. At their foot the young army surgeon was shaking hands with Susan Josselyn. These two had had the chess-practice together—and other practice—down there among the Southern hospitals.

Mrs. Thoresby’s face was very like some fabric subjected to chemical experiment, from which one color and aspect has been suddenly and utterly discharged to make room for something different and new. Between the first and last there waits a blank. With this blank full upon her, she stood there for one brief, unprecedented instant in her life, a figure without presence or effect. I have seen a daguerreotype in which were cap, hair, and collar, quite correct,—what should have been a face rubbed out. Mrs. Thoresby rubbed herself out, and so performed her involuntary tableau.

“Of course I might have guessed. I wonder it never occurred to me,” Mrs. Linceford was replying, presently, to her vacuous inquiry. “The name seemed familiar, too; only he called himself ‘Dakie.’ I remember perfectly now. Old Jacob Thayne, the Chicago millionnaire. He married pretty little Mrs. Ingleside, the Illinois Representative’s widow, that first winter I was in Washington. Why, Dakie must be a dollar prince!”

He was just Dakie Thayne, though, for all that. He and Leslie and Cousin Delight,—the Josselyns and the Inglesides,—dear Miss Craydocke, hurrying up to congratulate,—Marmaduke Wharne looking on without a shade of cynicism in the gladness of his face, and Sin Saxon and Frank Scherman flitting up in the pauses of dance and promenade,—well, after all, these were the central group that night. The pivot of the little solar system was changed; but the chief planets made but slight account of that; they just felt that it had grown very warm and bright.

“O Chicken Little!” Mrs. Linceford cried to Leslie Goldthwaite, giving her a small shake with her good-night kiss at her door. “How did you know the sky was going to fall? And how have you led us all this chase to cheat Fox Lox at last?”

But that wasn’t the way Chicken Little looked at it. She didn’t care much for the bit of dramatic dénouement that had come about by accident,—like a story, Elinor said,—or the touch of poetic justice that tickled Mrs. Linceford’s world-instructed sense of fun. Dakie Thayne wasn’t a sum that needed proving. It was very nice that this famous general should be his uncle,—but not at all strange: they were just the sort of people he must belong to. And it was nicest of all that Dr. Ingleside and Susan Josselyn should have known each other,—“in the glory of their lives,” she phrased it to herself, with a little flash of girl-enthusiasm and a vague suggestion of romance.

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Mrs. Linceford said to Dakie Thayne next morning. “Everybody would have—” She stopped. She could not tell this boy to his frank face that everybody would have thought more and made more of him because his uncle had got brave stars on his shoulders, and his father had died leaving two millions or so of dollars.

“I know they would have,” said Dakie Thayne. “That was just it. What is the use of telling things? I’ll wait till I’ve done something that tells itself.”

There was a pretty general break-up at Outledge during the week following. The tableaux were the finale of the season’s gayety,—of this particular little episode, at least, which grew out of the association together of these personages of our story. There might come a later set, and later doings; but this last week of August sent the mere summer-birds fluttering. Madam Routh must be back in New York, to prepare for the reopening of her school; Mrs. Linceford had letters from her husband, proposing to meet her by the first, in N——, and so the Haddens would be off; the Thoresbys had stayed as long as they cared to in any one place where there seemed no special inducement; General Ingleside was going through the mountains to Dixville Notch. Rose Ingleside,—bright and charming as her name,—just a fit flower to put beside our Ladies’ Delight,—finding out, at once, as all girls and women did, her sweetness, and leaning more and more to the rare and delicate sphere of her quiet attraction,—Oliver and Dakie Thayne,—these were his family party; but there came to be question about Leslie and Delight. Would not they make six? And since Mrs. Linceford and her sisters must go, it seemed so exactly the thing for them to fall into; otherwise Miss Goldthwaite’s journey hither would hardly seem to have been worth while. Early September was so lovely among the hills; opportunities for a party to Dixville Notch would not come every day; in short, Dakie had set his heart upon it, Rose begged, the General was as pressing as true politeness would allow, and it was settled.

“Only,” Sin Saxon said, suddenly, on being told, “I should like if you would tell me, General Ingleside, the precise military expression synonymous with ‘taking the wind out of one’s sails.’ Because that’s just what you’ve done for me.”

“My dear Miss Saxon! In what way?”

“Invited my party,—some of them,—and taken my road. That’s all. I spoke first, though I didn’t speak out loud. See here!” And she produced a letter from her mother, received that morning. “Observe the date, if you please,—August 24. ‘Your letter reached me yesterday.’ And it had travelled round, as usual, two days in papa’s pocket, beside. I always allow for that. ‘I quite approve your plan; provided, as you say, the party be properly matronized. I’—h’m—h’m!—That refers to little explanations of my own. Well, all is, I was going to do this very thing,—with enlargements. And now Miss Craydocke and I may collapse.”

“Why? when with you and your enlargements we might make the most admirable combination? At least, the Dixville road is open to all.”

“Very kind of you to say so,—the first part I mean,—if you could possibly have helped it. But there are insurmountable obstacles on that Dixville road—to us. There’s a lion in the way. Don’t you see we should be like the little ragged boys running after the soldier-company? We couldn’t think of putting ourselves in that ‘bony light,’ especially before the eyes of Mrs.—Grundy.” This last, as Mrs. Thoresby swept impressively along the piazza in full dinner costume.

“Unless you go first, and we run after you,” suggested the General.

“All the same. You talked Dixville to her the very first evening, you know. No, nobody can have an original Dixville idea any more. And I’ve been asking them,—the Josselyns, and Mr. Wharne and all, and was just coming to the Goldthwaites; and now I’ve got them on my hands, and I don’t know where in the world to take them. That comes of keeping an inspiration to ripen. Well, it’s a lesson of wisdom! Only, as Effie says about her housekeeping, the two dearest things in living are butter and experience!”

Amidst laughter and banter and repartee, they came to it, of course; the most delightful combination and joint arrangement. Two wagons, the General’s and Dr. Ingleside’s two saddle-horses, Frank Scherman’s little mountain mare, that climbed, like a cat, and was sure-footed as a chamois,—these with a side-saddle for the use of a lady sometimes upon the last, made up the general equipment of the expedition. All Mrs. Grundy knew was that they were wonderfully merry and excited together, until this plan came out as the upshot.

The Josselyns had not quite consented at once, though their faces were bright with a most thankful appreciation of the kindness that offered them such a pleasure; nay, that entreated their companionship as a thing so genuinely coveted to make its own pleasure complete. Somehow, when the whole plan developed, there was a little sudden shrinking on Sue’s part, perhaps on similar grounds to Sin Saxon’s perception of insurmountable obstacles; but she was shyer than Sin of putting forth her objections, and the general zeal and delight, and Martha’s longing look, unconscious of cause why not, carried the day.

There had never been a blither setting off from the Giant’s Cairn. All the remaining guests were gathered to see them go. There was not a mote in the blue air between Outledge and the crest of Washington. All the subtle strength of the hills—ores and sweet waters and resinous perfumes and breath of healing leaf and root distilled to absolute purity in the clear ether that only sweeps from such bare, thunder-scoured summits—made up the exhilarant draught in which they drank the mountain-joy and received afar off its baptism of delight.

It was beautiful to see the Josselyns so girlish and gay; it was lovely to look at old Miss Craydocke, with her little tremors of pleasure, and the sudden glistenings in her eyes; Sin Saxon’s pretty face was clear and noble, with its pure impulse of kindliness, and her fun was like a sparkle upon deep waters. Dakie Thayne rushed about in a sort of general satisfaction which would not let him be quiet anywhere. Outsiders looked with a kind of new, half-jealous respect on these privileged few who had so suddenly become the “General’s party.” Sin Saxon whispered to Leslie Goldthwaite,—“It’s neither his nor mine, honeysuckle; it’s yours,—Henny-penny and all the rest of it, as Mrs. Linceford said.” Leslie was glad with the crowning gladness of her bright summer.

“That girl has played her cards well,” Mrs. Thoresby said of her, a little below her voice, as she saw the General himself making her especially comfortable with Cousin Delight in a back seat.

“Particularly, my dear madam,” said Marmaduke Wharne, coming close and speaking with clear emphasis, “as she could not possibly have known that she had a trump in her hand!”

To tell of all that week’s journeying, and of Dixville Notch,—the adventure, the brightness, the beauty, and the glory,—the sympathy of abounding enjoyment, the waking of new life that it was to some of them,—the interchange of thought, the cementing of friendships,—would be to begin another story, possibly a yet longer one. Leslie’s summer, according to the calendar, is already ended. Much in this world must pause unfinished, or come to abrupt conclusion. People “die suddenly at last,” after the most tedious illnesses. “Married and lived happy ever after,” is the inclusive summary that winds up many an old tale whose time of action only runs through hours. If in this summer-time with Leslie Goldthwaite your thoughts have broadened somewhat with hers, some questions for you have been partly answered; if it has appeared to you how a life enriches itself by drawing toward and going forth into the life of others through seeing how this began with her, it is no unfinished tale that I leave with you.

A little picture I will give you, farther on, a hint of something farther yet, and say good by.

Some of them came back to Outledge, and stayed far into the still rich September. Delight and Leslie sat before the Green Cottage one morning, in the heart of a golden haze and a gorgeous bloom. All around the feet of the great hills lay the garlands of early-ripened autumn. You see nothing like it in the lowlands;—nothing like the fire of the maples, the carbuncle-splendor of the oaks, the flash of scarlet sumachs and creepers, the illumination of every kind of little leaf, in its own way, upon which the frost-touch comes down from those tremendous heights that stand rimy in each morning’s sun, trying on white caps that by and by they shall pull down heavily over their brows, till they cloak all their shoulders also in the like sculptured folds, to stand and wait, blind, awful chrysalides, through the long winter of their death and silence.

Delight and Leslie had got letters from the Josselyns and Dakie Thayne. There was news in them such as thrills always the half-comprehending sympathies of girlhood. Leslie’s vague suggestion of romance had become fulfilment. Dakie Thayne was wild with rejoicing that dear old Noll was to marry Sue. “She had always made him think of Noll, and his ways and likings, ever since that day of the game of chess that by his means came to grief. It was awful slang, but he could not help it: it was just the very jolliest go!”

Susan Josselyn’s quiet letter said,—“That kindness which kept us on and made it beautiful for us, strangers, at Outledge, has brought to me, by God’s Providence, this great happiness of my life.”

After a long pause of trying to take it in, Leslie looked up. “What a summer this has been! So full,—so much has happened! I feel as if I had been living such a great deal!”

“You have been living in others’ lives. You have had a great deal to do with what has happened.”

“O Cousin Delight! I have only been among it! I could not do—except such a very little.”

“There is a working from us beyond our own. But if our working runs with that—? You have done more than you will ever know, little one.” Delight Goldthwaite spoke very tenderly. Her own life, somehow, had been closely touched, through that which had grown and gathered about Leslie. “It depends on that abiding. ‘In me, and I in you; so shall ye bear much fruit.’ ”

She stopped. She would not say more. Leslie thought her talking rather wide of the first suggestion; but this child would never know, as Delight had said, what a centre, in her simple, loving way, she had been for the working of a purpose beyond her thought.

Sin Saxon came across the lawn, crowned with gold and scarlet, trailing creepers twined about her shoulders, and flames of beauty in her full hands. “Miss Craydocke says she praised God with every leaf she took. I’m afraid I forgot to—for the little ones. But I was so greedy and so busy, getting them all for her. Come, Miss Craydocke; we’ve got no end of pressing to do, to save half of them!”

“She can’t do enough for her. O Cousin Delight, the leaves are glorified, after all! Asenath never was so charming; and she is more beautiful than ever!”

Delight’s glance took in also another face than Asenath’s, grown into something in these months that no training or taking thought could have done for it. “Yes,” she said, in the same still way in which she had spoken before, “That comes too,—as God wills. All things shall be added.”

My hint is of a Western home, just outside the leaping growth and ceaseless stir of a great Western city; a large, low, cosey mansion, with a certain Old-World mellowness and rest in its aspect,—looking forth, even, as it does on one side, upon the illimitable sunset-ward sweep of the magnificent promise of the New; on the other, it catches a glimpse, beyond and beside the town, of the calm blue of a fresh-water ocean.

The place is “Ingleside”; the General will call it by no other than the family name,—the sweet Scottish synonym for Home-corner. And here, while I have been writing and you reading these pages, he has had them all with him; Oliver and Susan, on their bridal journey, which waited for summer-time to come again, though they have been six months married; Rose, of course, and Dakie Thayne, home in vacation from a great school where he is studying hard, hoping for West Point by and by; Leslie Goldthwaite, who is Dakie’s inspiration still; and our Flower, our Pansie, our Delight,—golden-eyed Lady of innumerable sweet names.

The sweetest and truest of all, says the brave soldier and high-souled gentleman, is that which he has persuaded her to wear for life,—Delight Ingleside.

Author of “Faith Gartney’s Girlhood.”


Willy and Susy Ely had gone to bed one night, but it was only a week before Christmas, and they had so much to talk about that they could not go to sleep. Their pretty little white-covered beds stood side by side, and by reaching out they could touch each other’s hands. Susy would often go to sleep with her plump cushiony little fingers closely clasped by Willy’s slender brown ones, because, as she would say, “I does feel a little lonely, when it is all so hushy and dark.” She was only five years old, and felt great confidence in Willy, who was a boy, and almost eight, and often said, “Don’t be afraid, Sue,—I’ll take care of you,”—in a very courageous manner. But on this night I am telling you of, she quite forgot the darkness in talking over Christmas plans with her brother, deciding how they should spend their own money, and guessing what they would find in their stockings and on the tree, when the glorious, long-expected day should arrive.

“Now, I’ll tell you what, Willy,” said Susy, eagerly; “I’m goin’ to buy a gold-headed cane for pa. Won’t that be splendid?”

“Ho, Sue! I don’t think so. It’s only real old men that walk with canes,—like our minister, you know, or gran’pa. Why, our pa’s only thirty, I b’lieve.”

“Well, but Willy, you know how slippery it is, and a cane might keep him from falling. How you’d feel, Willy Ely, if your poor, dear father should fall and get his knee-pail broke, like Sam Usher did!”

“Knee-pan you mean,” said her brother, with instant scorn. “Ho! I ain’t afraid. Pa isn’t such a goose; but I tell you,—you buy him a handkerchief with horses and dogs in the corner, all worked in red. I saw one at the store to-day; and I’ll get him a silk umbrella, ’cause he’s lost his. I guess I can get a beauty for two dollars. And let’s club and get a big photograph book for ma,—she’s got jew-ler-y enough now, I think; and O don’t you wish you knew what I’m goin’ to give you, Sue?”

Susy sighed. “But I’ve got a secret too, sir, and you won’t know a word of it, till you see it on the tree, a shining beautifully!”

“O, ho! it’ll shine, will it? Then I bet it’s a sword.”

“No, it isn’t, and I sha’n’t tell you another word. Let’s go to sleep. I’m awfully sleepy, ain’t you?”

“No, not a bit. Pull your hair a little, and keep awake, ’cause I’ve thought of another plan. Let’s not buy any presents for pa and ma: they have got about everything now. Let’s give it all to poor folks; let’s buy my cart full of turkeys, and go down that lane by the depot, and give all the poor people one; and mittens for the children, and potatoes, and—and lots of things.”

Here Willy grew so eager he sat up in bed, and Susy could almost see his black eyes sparkle.

“O, yes,” she added, sitting up also, and forgetting her sleepiness, “and candy too, and dolls for the little girls. O, won’t those poor, ragged things be pleased? Don’t you wish they could have a Christmas-tree, Willy? Couldn’t they come to ours?”

“O no; just think how many of them there’d be, and how dirty they are. They’d be scared in this house; and what a state Nancy’d be in about the carpets! O, I know; we could have a tree out-doors, and have the turkeys on it, and all the things! Our big pine-tree by the barn! Wouldn’t it look gay all strung over with goodies, and the poor things all so glad, and we helping pa take off the presents for them; that would be glorious!”

“But do you believe we’ve got money enough, Willy? I’ve only got two dollars.”

“I’ve got three; but, O dear, I’m afraid that isn’t enough, things are so high now,” he added despairingly, sinking back on his pillow.

Susy dropped down too, and both were silent a moment; but brave Willy was never discouraged long. “Pa can afford it, if we can’t,” he cried. “Let’s ask him the first thing to-morrow, and ask him if he cares if we don’t give him and mamma anything this year. Won’t we, Susy?”

“Children,” called the mother’s voice from below, “it is too late for you to be talking. Say good night directly, and go to sleep.”

“All right!” shouted Willy. “Good night, Sue. Be sure and remind me to ask papa first thing.”

“Yes. Good night.”

“Good night.”

In five minutes the little schemers were fast asleep; and then papa, who had been lying on the sofa, with a headache, in his dressing-room close by, crept down stairs and told mamma, with happy tears in his eyes, of the children’s loving, generous plans.

Sure enough, in the morning Willy’s brown face was all aglow with his project. He took his father into the library and told him all about it, and gave him his long-treasured three dollars and Susy’s two.

“But, my son,” said Mr. Ely, wishing to try his generosity, “do you think I can afford two trees,—one for you and Susy, and one for the poor people?”

“Then we can go without ours, papa,” said the boy, with a little gasp of regret. “We’ve always had one, and I s’pose they haven’t.”

“Every turkey will cost several dollars,” continued the father, gravely.

Willy hesitated; his cheeks grew very red, and he twisted his hands in his belt, and seemed to be struggling. At last, with a mighty effort, he exclaimed, “Perhaps you needn’t get me that soldier-cap and drum I asked for, sir.”

“Well, well, I’ll see about it, my son,” said Mr. Ely, very quietly, though he could hardly keep from hugging the boy to his heart.

“But you must get Susy candy and a big doll; won’t you, sir?—for she’s a little girl, and cares, you know.”

“Yes, yes; Sue shall have her presents as usual, and the poor people’s tree shall be instead of yours, Will, hey?”

“Yes, sir; thank you.” And now poor Willy ran away, after giving his father’s hand one grateful squeeze; for he had such a bright picture in his mind, just then, of the cap and drum, that he felt the big tears coming, and his throat seemed very choky. Away he ran, ashamed to be seen, and had a good race with terrier Guy, all around the garden. Then he felt better, and before he went to school he told Susy that it was “all right,—pa was going to see about it,” and she must “keep dark.”

Mr. Ely kept his word; and many happy hours did the children spend, during the following week, going to all the stores in the village, with papa and mamma, and returning with Willy’s cart piled up with bundles of every shape and size. They felt as pleased with every article as if it had been their own; and the parents experienced a true joy in such a right use of the riches God had given them. Formerly, more from thoughtlessness and habit than from unkindness, their Christmas gifts had been chiefly to each other, to their children, and wealthy relatives. Hundreds of dollars had been yearly spent on jewelry, costly statuettes, plate, pictures, or rare books, for those already luxuriously supplied; while a dress to each of the servants, and a bank-note to each clerk, had been the extent of their charity. But Willy’s fresh, loving little heart had suggested a new and nobler way. The pleasure of selecting and buying the gifts was only the first part. Hours were spent in deciding how they should be distributed, and in attaching names to the packages. Then a bright afternoon was passed in the wood on the hill, choosing and cutting down a big pine, on which the children rode home in triumph. In the barn it was firmly propped up with stones and earth, which the children overspread with moss, evergreen, and sprays of pigeon-berries with their pretty round leaves. Next came the happy task of hanging on the gifts. Turkeys and chickens, rosy apples, festoons of onions, bags of candy, packages of tea, china dolls, picture-books, warm mittens, scarfs and hoods of scarlet and blue, orange, purple, and white, rolls of red flannel, stockings and shoes, and many other nice and comfortable things. A gay sight it was, and a happy group around it then; but how much gayer—how much more joyfully surrounded—on Christmas Eve, when the barn was lit up by lanterns hung on all the beams,—when the candles on the tree were lighted, and a throng of delighted, astonished men, women, and children were there, gazing with grateful eyes on the wonders of the tree, hardly able to believe in their good fortune! Who so happy as Willy and Susy, distributing the generous gifts, listening to the grateful words, watching the happy faces, helping the children try on their new hoods and shoes, and seeing that each family carried home a fat turkey for the next day’s dinner! O, how Willy’s black eyes shone and Susy’s plump cheeks dimpled! How happy and grateful were their parents as they watched them! That was indeed a Christmas to be long remembered. And on New-Year’s day Willy received his cap and drum, and Susy her doll and candy.

L. D. Nichols.



Persons represented:—Frederic Watson, on his fifteenth birthday; and Lucy Watson, his sister, a year and a half older; their Uncle; Mr. Molson, a farmer from Maine.


Fred. (discovering a box conspicuously placed an the centre-table.) Hallo! I really believe this is for me! It is just like my good uncle! He never does anything like other people. He delights in agreeable surprises. On my last birthday he so arranged it that I should meet for the first time in two years my sister Lu. Dear darling sister Lu! He knew nothing in the world would please me so much. Then those shells that so fascinated me at Captain Wentworth’s last summer; a few days after, I found them all neatly arranged in a little case in my room, with this request written on a slip of paper and attached to one of the shells: “Give me the names of the original inhabitants of these handsome houses.” And didn’t I have to work for it! But this box,—how do I know it is for me? And yet the arrangement looks very much like a birthday celebration. A little pomp,—a little mystery? There should be an inscription of some kind upon it. (Taking it up and examining it.) Ah! I have found it, good uncle. Here on the bottom, the last place one would expect to find it, reads this plain English sentence,—short but conclusive: “For Frederic Watson.” As the house produces but one Fred, and this is doubtless a birthday present, I forthwith proceed to open. Delightful task, my dear, good uncle! (Opens and takes out a watch-case containing a plain silver watch.) Here I believe is my brightest dream realized! Ever since Ned Waters wore a watch, I have felt that I was behind the age in not having a similar article. But stop; what is this? (Finds in the bottom of the watch-case a slip of paper which reads thus: “To him who has seen, during the past year, the sun rise three hundred and sixty-five times upon a certain little globe called the earth.”) Seen the sun rise three hundred and sixty-five times! Of course I have not,—and who has? or has been in a condition to do so, had this most glorious spectacle of nature been made manifest? Provoking! vexatious! How I hate riddles and dark sayings of all kinds! My uncle is the strangest man! Of course the watch can’t be mine, and he knows very well that I am not up to breakfast more than two thirds of the time. How tantalizing! The very thing I wanted more than anything else snatched from me at the very moment of possession. My uncle knows very well that I can’t get up in the morning! (Enter Lucy.)

Lu. Knows that you won’t get up in the morning.

Fred. O Lu! I am so glad that you have come to help me out of this predicament. Here is a watch that ought to belong to me, and doesn’t.

Lu. A predicament indeed! (Reads the slip of paper.) Say good by to the watch, Fred. It is no more yours than mine. But never mind; don’t look so crestfallen. It is only one of uncle’s jokes. Let us proceed to further investigation. A penknife, a beautiful penknife!

Fred. Quite a timely presentation. I have not had a penknife for a month. You know I lost mine the day I went chestnutting. But stop, let us see what this says. (Picks up a slip of paper which had fallen upon the floor.) “To him who has one penknife to show for the three with which he has been furnished during the past year.” Well, I can’t stand this much longer! I should like to toss the box out of the window!

Lu. It is too bad, Fred, but don’t be discouraged till we get to the bottom of the box. These two parcels lay on the top, and Uncle likes to tease us a little.

Fred. But this is more than teasing; it is insulting. I can’t endure it.

Lu. Hush! hush! Fred, you know he is the best uncle in the world. You know he does not spare time or money on us poor orphans. We have everything to be grateful for. This is only a way of his.

Fred. (sullenly.) But I don’t like his way.

Lu. But never mind now. Let us see what this is. (Presents to view a handsome gold pencil-case.) What a beauty! (Reads on the paper attached to it:) “To him who can give in exchange for this a silver pencil-case presented two years since.”

Fred. The silver pencil is up stairs in my writing-desk, is it not, Lu? I have not seen it very lately; but I will pocket this in the hope of finding its humble relative.

Lu. O, that will never do. You know uncle’s idea of honor. But perhaps I can help you in this emergency. (Slowly draws from her pocket the silver pencil, and gives it to Fred.)


O dearest, kindest, best of Lu’s!

Of all the things I have to choose,

I’d one and all of them refuse,

Before this sister I would lose.”    (Kisses her heartily.)

Lu. Thank you, Fred. You shall compose an ode for my birthday, and I will crown you with laurel.

Fred. Agreed. But while fortune smiles, let us see what this may be. (Taking another package from the box.) A book,—unquestionably a book.

Lu. Or a brick. (Taking it in her hand.) You know our uncle’s genius for rare combinations is unrivalled. Don’t be surprised at anything this box may produce. (Opens and reads:) “To him who wishes to be master of the language in which Virgil sung, and Cicero thundered.” A Latin Grammar! What do you say, Fred?

Fred. I accept unhesitatingly,—profiting by my cousin Frank’s example, whom, when he refused to study Latin, my uncle set to digging potatoes. Now I would rather learn the twenty-six prepositions that are followed by an accusative, than hoe potatoes.

Lu. Your decision has my unqualified approval, and in six years from this time I hope to hail you valedictorian of your class. But, Fred, here is something worth more than all that has gone before. A miniature of your father. (Reads:) “To him who would emulate the good name and fair fame of an honored father.”

Fred. (taking it eagerly from her.) Mine by every right and title that can give claim to a possession that I prize above rubies. “No blot on the escutcheon,” Lu. Let this be our motto. The blessing of a good father still rests upon us; and uncle loves us because we are his good brother’s children.

Lu. O, don’t talk in this way, Fred, or you’ll make me cry, and that you know would be very improper on your birthday.


True, true, sister Lu,—

So fly away sorrow!

No trouble we’ll borrow,

But again to the box

Which, sly as a fox,

Never calls any names,

Yet a moral contains.

Lu. (laughing.)

O Fred, these silly rhymes!


O Lu, of love they are signs!


Signs of nonsense I should say!


Not on this auspicious day!

Lu. Incorrigible! But have you exhausted the box?

Fred. They say there is an end to all things under the sun, and here I believe is the last article in the box. (Holds up a purse.)

Yes, here is a purse,

And now for the verse

Which preaches a sermon

As clear as a firman

From Omar Pacha.

(Opens and reads from a slip of paper:) “To him who can wisely appropriate the contents.” A very easy and pleasant task, good uncle. (Pockets a five-dollar gold-piece.)

Lu. But where is your appropriation? I suppose you are expected to conform to the letter of the direction, which I think your metrical mood has led you too easily to overlook.


True, my blooming sister Lu,

I see that this will never do;

Only tell me what to buy,

And in an instant off I fly,

To lay it at your feet.

Lu. Thank you. (Makes a very low courtesy.)

Fred. O, I will buy you a ring just like Mary Nelson’s.

Lu. (Tea-bell rings.) Thank you, Fred; but I am afraid Uncle would hardly call that a wise appropriation.

Fred. Then what shall I do with it. I can spend it, or, as Uncle would say, throw it away, fast enough. I suppose he remembers that chattering parrot I was so lucky as to get off my hands after a week’s trial. If he had only left out that troublesome adverb, wisely, which interferes with the next very pleasant and agreeable word, appropriate. (Tea-bell rings again.)

Lu. Well, well; we must not wait longer now, or we may not be able to appropriate to ourselves a cup of tea.


Uncle. Here is my nephew, of whom you have heard me speak. Mr. Molson, Fred. We think here, he is quite a promising specimen of humanity, but I don’t know how he would figure down East.

Mr. M. Wal,—I dunno,—I’ve seen worse-looking chaps in my day. But I ain’t no great judge of the article. My boys are men now,—off to Califoony.

Uncle. We want to make a man of this boy,—fit him for California or Australia; and, as a preliminary step, I have thought of sending him to your school next summer. I know you have ample accommodations.

Lu. (aside to Fred.) What does Uncle mean? I believe he is losing his senses!

Mr. M. Wal,—yes. We’ve got plenty of room. I can stan’ at my door and see the country all round for forty mile or more. I suppose it is one of the pootiest places in the world; but then you know city people have different notions about these things.

Uncle. It is exactly these different notions with which I wish Master Fred to become acquainted. I want him to know the difference between a birch and a beech, a pine and a hemlock, a mouse and a moose.

Fred. (with interest.) Are there any moose in your neighborhood, sir?

Mr. M. Wal,—yes. They ain’t so plenty now as they used to be. I s’pose ye never camped out, did ye?

Fred. No, sir, but it must be great fun. I know I should like to.

Mr. M. Wal,—perhaps ye would, and perhaps ye wouldn’t. It ain’t always fancy work.

Lu. I hope the bears will keep at a respectful distance from your camp.

Mr. M. We don’t fear the bears none in summer. It is only when the winter is long, and they get very hungry, that they come down to the settlements and carry off a sheep or two for breakfast. Did ye ever see a young bear, Miss? It is as harmless a critter as breathes. I brought one to Boston once, and sold it to a man as a curiosity.

Lu. (aside to Fred.) I must say I should not care to put it among my curiosities.

Uncle. Partridges, quails, and woodchucks are no strangers, I suppose, in your neighborhood, Mr. Molson?

Mr. M. Plenty on ’em. Plenty on ’em. Our woods are full of game, and our rivers full of fish. Let the young man bring with him keen eyes, strong legs, and a pair of hands that he ain’t afraid to use, and I’ll engage that he shall know a thing or two before he comes back. But I suppose I must be going. (Rises.) I don’t want to be late to the Museum, for they say there’s considerable many things to be seen there. (Takes up the box which Lucy has just brought in.) I s’pose this is the box ye were talking about to-night?

Fred. Yes, sir.

Mr. M. It cost something, I expect?

Fred. Yes, sir, it cost me a handsome watch, and a good penknife.

Mr. M. So I heerd your sister say. We don’t have any such gimcracks down our way. (Looks at his watch again, and, turning to Uncle,) Wal,—good by. Just send the boy along, and we’ll see what can be done with him. (Exit Mr. Molson.)

Uncle (turning to Lu. and Fred. who were laughing at Mr. Molson’s bad grammar and awkward manners.) You may laugh at my friend as much as you like, but, take my word for it, he is good of heart and sound of head.

Lu. (laughing.) But he is so funny, Uncle! Did you notice how he ate with his knife, and turned out his tea in the saucer, and tilted back in his chair so far that I thought he would go over?

Fred. And it is quite certain that he has never made the acquaintance of Mr. Worcester or Mr. Murray.

Uncle. True. He has cultivated corn and potatoes, rather than grammars and dictionaries; but, as I said before, he is a good man, and well maintains the heroic virtues of his ancestors. Let me tell you a story.

Fred. O yes, a story,—a story. (Fred. and Lu. seat themselves near their uncle.)

Uncle. Less than a hundred years ago, two youths, Hugh and Hermann, lived on the borders of a dense wood in the northern part of Maine. They were friends. They went to school together, and were seldom separated in their amusements. They were both very fond of hunting, and one morning in the early spring they asked leave of their parents to go into the adjoining wilderness for a few days, to hunt the moose, which were then numerous and easily taken. Permission was given, and they provided themselves with blankets, guns, hatchets, snow-shoes, and provisions.

Fred. What fun!

Uncle. Thus equipped, they plunged into the gloomy forests of pines and hemlocks, which were so thick as almost to shut out the light of the sun. The snow was still more than a foot deep, but with their snow-shoes they easily pursued their way through the woods till afternoon, when they prepared for the night’s encampment. This was done by clearing away the snow, building a fire, and constructing from the boughs of trees a kind of booth or wigwam.

Lu. All very well for daylight and fine weather. But supposing a storm comes up?

Fred. O, never mind, Lu. You know you’ll never camp out. So don’t interrupt the story.

Uncle. Three days passed pleasantly enough, but without their seeing any moose. Not liking to fail in their enterprise, they pushed still farther into the wilderness. The next day, to their great delight, they espied a large moose endeavoring to escape from them; but it could not run as fast as Hugh could on his snow-shoes, and it was soon overtaken and despatched. Elated by success, they incautiously continued their march till they came to a stream of water, across which lay a log. They attempted to cross, but the log proved rotten, and precipitated them both into the water. What was the agony of Hugh, and the horror of Hermann, when they found that the knife which Hugh had carried in his belt had pierced his side, and that the life-blood was oozing from the dreadful wound.

Lu. Poor fellows! what could they do in that terrible wilderness?

Uncle. Not much in the way of comfort,—Hugh burning with fever, and frantic with pain, Hermann replenishing the fire, listening to the distant howling of the wolves, and holding the gun ready for the fierce catamount, whose glaring eyeballs he had more than once seen through the darkness of the night.

Lu. Horrible!

Fred. Rather serious, I should say.

Uncle. For four weeks they lived in this hut, subsisting on the stock of moose-meat, which Hermann took good care should never fail.

Lu. And what did poor Hugh do?

Uncle. Hugh’s wound began to heal, but he still suffered much pain, and was too weak to walk. Their clothes were in tatters, and their provisions beginning to grow scarce. The generous-hearted Hermann, seeing nothing but destruction before them if they remained longer in these dreary wilds, told Hugh that he must commence the journey home, and carry him on his back. To this the poor invalid was obliged to consent. For four days Hermann was enabled to sustain his burden, till at length, utterly exhausted, he told Hugh, at the foot of a high hill, that he could carry him no longer. Hugh, in an agony of grief, rather than be left behind, began to climb the hill on his hands and knees, and actually accomplished the ascent; when, to their great joy, from the summit they espied a smoke.

Lu. How thankful I am! I could not believe that Hermann would leave poor Hugh to die.

Fred. No, indeed! Hermann’s plan was to go forward and get help.

Uncle. Yes, doubtless. But now they pursued their journey with renewed courage, and that evening had the unspeakable joy of entering a log cabin about five miles from their home. The next morning, the good man of the house provided them with horses, and set them forward on their journey. Reduced almost to skeletons, and with clothes all in tatters, they were at first scarcely recognized by their friends. But their story was soon told, and the fond parents embraced the children whom they had mourned as dead. These boys grew to be men. Hermann cleared the forests, and planted cornfields and orchards; and these fields and orchards are now the property of his grandson, Mr. Molson.

Fred. How I wish I had known all this before! I should so have liked to talk with Mr. Molson!

Lu. Remember you are going to his school next summer, and you can talk it all over then.

Uncle. Well, my young friends, good night. I must go to work now. (Takes down his portfolio.) Fred, we’ll try to have the birthday box more satisfactory next year. I hope that watch will find an owner.

Lu. (rising to go.) And that penknife. And it is also to be hoped that that Latin Grammar will see hard service.

Fred. (drawing his sister away with him.)

O, never you fear, my sister dear,

But that penknife and watch are mine next year;

And as to the birthday box, I know,

That, as uncle would say, ‘I must reap what I sow.’

A. Hartlie.



And now some of my little friends perhaps have a question to ask me. Is not a little girl more likely to be happy who is brought up in the simple and natural way in which Pussy Willow has grown up, than one who has had all that has been given to Emily Proudie?

I began by telling you that the gift of being easily pleased was what made the difference between the two little girls,—that it was a gift worth more than beauty, or riches, or anything else that could be thought of.

But I do think that a way of “bringing-up” like that in which poor little Emily was educated is the surest way to destroy this gift, even if a girl’s birth fairies had given it to her. You know very well, that when you have been taking a lonely scramble among the rocks until long after your dinner-time, a plain crust of bread tastes so sweet to you that you wonder you ever have wanted cake or gingerbread; and that sometimes, in like manner, when you have walked till you are hot and thirsty, you have dipped up the water out of some wild-wood spring, and drank it with an enjoyment such as the very best tea or coffee or lemonade never gave. That was because you were really hungry or really thirsty; and the pleasure you get from food and drink can never be known unless you become really hungry and thirsty.

But many poor little children are brought up in such a way that they never know what it is to have a real desire for anything. They are like a child stuffed with cake and sweetmeats from morning till night. Every wish is anticipated, and pleasures are crowded upon them so fast, that they have none of the enjoyments of wishing, planning, and contriving which come to those who are left to seek their own pleasures and make their own way. The good God has so made us that the enjoyments which come to us through the use of our own faculties are a great deal more satisfactory than those which are brought to us by others. Many a little girl enjoys making a sand-pie out in the road far more than she would the most expensive playthings, because she trots about in making it, runs, laughs, works, gets herself into a healthy glow, and feels that she is doing something.

Poor little Emily Proudie never had that pleasure. From the time she was a baby, she has had constantly one, two, or three attendants, whose sole business it is to play with her and to contrive playthings and amusements for her,—and a very wearisome time they all have had of it. Yes, I do believe that if little Emily, without any more of a gift of being pleased than falls to the lot of all children, had been brought up exactly as Pussy Willow was, she would have been far happier than she is now.

There is another reason why Pussy Willow was growing up happy, and that is, that she was every day doing something that she felt was of some use. When she was so little that her head scarcely came above the table, she used to stand propped on a small stool and wash the breakfast cups and spoons,—and very proud she was of doing it. How she admired the bright bubbles which she could make in the clean, soapy water, and how proud she was of seeing the cups and spoons look so clear and bright as she rubbed them with her towel!—and then, getting down, she would trip across the kitchen with them, one or two at a time, and, rising on her little toes, by great good luck she could just get them on to the cupboard shelf; and then she would hang her towel on its nail, and empty her dish-pan, and wipe off the table, and feel quite like a large woman in doing it.

When Pussy was ten years old, her mother one day hurt her arm by a fall, so that she had to wear it in a sling. This would not be an agreeable thing to happen to anybody’s mamma; but Pussy’s mother had no servants, and everything that was to be eaten in the house had to be made up by her one pair of hands, and she therefore felt quite troubled, as the house was far from neighbors, and there were a husband and four hungry young men to be fed.

In a city you can send out to a bakery; but in the country what is to be done?

“I really think you’ll have to harness and drive the old mare over to Aunt Judy’s, and get her to come over,” said Pussy’s mother.

“That’s a trouble,” said her father. “The hay is all ready to get in, and there will certainly be rain by afternoon. The horse cannot possibly be spared.”

“Now, mother, just let me make bread,” said Pussy, feeling very large. “I’ve seen you do it, time and time again, and I know I could do it.”

“Hurrah for Pussy!” said her brothers;—“she’s a trump. You let her try,—she’ll do it.”

“Yes, yes,” said her father. “I’d rather have my little Pussy than a dozen Aunt Judy’s.”

Pussy was wonderfully elated by this praise, and got one of her mother’s aprons and tied it round her,—which, to say the truth, came quite down to her ankles and made her feel very old and wise.

Her mother now told her that she might go into the buttery and sift eight quarts of flour into the bread-tray, and bring it out, and she would show her just how to wet it.

So away went Pussy; and right pleased was she to get her little rosy hands into the flour. It was far more amusing than making believe make bread with sand, as she had often done when she and Bose were out playing together. So she patted and sifted, and soon came out lifting the bread-tray, and set it beside her mother.

“Now scatter in a handful of salt,” said her mother.

Pussy did so.

“Now make a little hole in the middle, and measure three gills of yeast, and put that in the hole.”

Pussy found this quite easy, because their tin quart-measure was marked around with rings for the gills; and so, when her yeast was up to the third ring, she poured it into the hole in the middle of the flour, and began stirring it with a spoon, till she had made a nice little foamy lake in the middle of her mountain of puffy white flour.

“And now for your wetting, Pussy,” said her mother. “You want about a quart of hot water and a quart of good milk to begin with, and we’ll see how you go on. But I’m a little afraid you’re not strong enough to knead such a big batch.”

“O mother, I’m a large girl now,” said Pussy, “and you’ve no idea how strong I am! I want to knead a real batch, just such as you do, and not a little play batch,—a baby’s batch.”

“Well, well, we’ll try it,” said her mother; “and I’ll pour in your wetting.” So she begun to pour in, and Pussy plumped in both hands, and went at her work with a relish. The flour stuck to her fingers; but she stirred about with vigor, and made her little hands fly so fast that her mother said they did the work of bigger ones. By and by the flour was all stiffly mixed, and now Pussy put out all her little strength, and bent over the tray, kneading and kneading, and turning and turning, till the paste began to look white and smooth.

“O mother, I like this!—it’s the best fun I ever had,” said Pussy. “How soft and smooth I am getting it! It’s beginning to rise, I do believe, this very minute; I can feel it rising under my hands. I shall be so proud to show it to father and the boys! Mother, you’ll always let me make the bread, won’t you?”

“We’ll see,” said her mother. “Mind you knead in every bit of the flour. Don’t leave any on the sides of the pan. Rub all those ragged patches together, and knead them in. You are getting it quite smooth.”

In fine, Pussy, elated, took up the whole white round cushion of dough, and turned it over in the tray, as she had seen her mother do, and left one very little fist-mark in the centre. “There now, Mrs. Bread, there you are,” she said; “now I shall tuck you up warm and put you to sleep, till it’s time to take you up and bake you.” So Pussy covered her bread up warm with an old piece of quilt which her mother kept for this special purpose; then she washed her hands, and put away all the dishes she had been using, and swept up the flour she had dropped on her mother’s clean, shining floor.

“And now, mother, shall I put on the dinner pot?” said Pussy, who felt herself growing in importance.

“Yes, you may put it on; and then you may go down cellar, and get a piece of beef and a piece of pork, and bring them up for dinner.”

And away tripped Pussy down cellar, and soon appeared again with her pan full of provisions. After that she washed the potatoes and turnips, and very soon the dinner was on the stove, boiling.

“Now, Pussy,” said her mother, “you can go and play down by the brook for an hour and a half.”

“Mother,” said Pussy, “I like working better than play.”

“It is play to you now,” said her mother; “but if you had to do these things every day, you might get tired.”

Pussy thought not,—she was quite sure not. Nevertheless, she took her Dolly and Bose, and went down to the brook, and had a good time among the sweet-flags. But her mind kept running on her bread, and every once in a while she came running back to peep under the little quilt.

Yes, sure enough, there it was, rising as light and as nice as any Pussy’s heart could desire. And how proud and important she felt!

“It was real lively yeast,” said her mother. “I knew it would rise quickly.”

Well, I need not tell my little readers the whole history of this wonderful batch of bread,—how in time Pussy got down the moulding-board, all herself, and put it on the kitchen-table; and how she cut her loaves off, and rolled, and kneaded, and patted, and so coaxed them into the very nicest little white cushions that ever were put into buttered bake-pans. One small portion Pussy left to be divided into round delicate little biscuits; and it was good fun for her to cut and roll and shape these into the prettiest little pincushions, and put them in white, even rows into the pans, and prick two small holes in the top of each.

When all these evolutions had been performed, then came the baking; and very busy was Pussy putting in her pans, watching and turning and shifting them, so that each might get its proper portion of nice, sweet, golden-brown crust.

She burnt her fingers once or twice, but she didn’t mind that, when she drew her great beautiful loaves from the oven, and her mother tapped on them with her thimble and pronounced them done. Such a row of nice, beautiful loaves,—all her own making! Pussy danced around the table where she had ranged them, and then, in the pride of her heart, called Bose to look at them.

Bose licked his chops, and looked as appreciative as a dog could, and, seeing that something was expected of him, barked aloud for joy.

That night Pussy’s biscuits were served for supper, with the cold beef and pork, and Pussy was loudly praised on all sides.

“Wife, you’ll take your ease now,” said her father, “since you have such a little housekeeper sent to you.”

Pussy was happier that night than if three servants had been busy dressing dolls for her all day.

“Mother,” she said, soberly, when she lay down in her little bed that night, “I’m going to ask God to keep me humble.”

“Why, my dear?”

“Because I feel tempted to be proud,—I can make such good bread!”

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


It was June when Lawrence came to the pond-side to live. His uncle’s house stood on a high green bank; and his aunt gave him an attic room with a window that looked out upon the water. The winding shores were fringed with flags and willows, or overhung by shady groves; and all around were orchards and gardens and meadows.

A happy boy was Lawrence, for he was passionately fond of the water, and he had never lived so near a pond before. The scene from his window was never twice the same. Sometimes the pond was like glass, mirroring the sky and the still trees. Sometimes light breezes swept over it, and sail-boats rode the dancing waves. Then there were the evenings, when clouds of the loveliest colors floated over it, and the moon rose and silvered it; and the mornings, when all the splendors of the new-risen sun were reflected into Lawrence’s chamber.

Whenever he had a leisure hour,—for he went to school, and worked in the garden,—he was to be seen rambling by the shore, or rowing away in his uncle’s boat; and he found that the faithful performance of his tasks made his sports all the sweeter to him.

As children who play about the water are always in more or less danger of falling into it, Lawrence’s uncle had lost no time in teaching him to swim. “The first thing for you to learn,” said the doctor,—for his uncle was a physician,—“is confidence. Plunge your head under water.”

Lawrence did so, and came up with dripping hair and face, gasping. The doctor made him repeat the exercise until he neither gasped nor choked.

“That does not hurt you, does it? No. Neither will it hurt you if you sink to the bottom, for you can hold your breath; the water is shallow, and, besides, I am here to help you. Now try to take a single stroke, just as the frogs do. Throw yourself boldly off your feet, and don’t be afraid of sinking.”

Lawrence, after considerable hesitation, tried the experiment, and found that he could swim a single stroke, and come down upon his feet again without drowning. He tried it again and again, delighted at his success.

“That will do for this lesson,” said his uncle. “You have been long enough in the water. Swimming is a fine exercise for boys, and the bathing is good for them; but they often make the mistake of staying too long in the water. Especially at first you must be careful: after you get used to it, you can stay in longer. Never go in when you are heated; or if you do, come out again immediately, and continue exercising, so as to keep the pores of your skin open.”

Lawrence learned, in his next lesson, to swim two strokes, and in a few days he could swim a rod. His uncle then taught him how to dive.

“You must avoid falling flat on the water; for if you do so, from any great height, it will beat the breath out of your body almost as suddenly as if you struck a board. Learn to keep your eyes open under the water. Some people’s nostrils are so large that the water gets into their heads when they dive; if that is the case with yours, it will be well to stuff a little cotton into them.”

Lawrence found no trouble of that kind. He was soon able to dive, and pick up pebbles, and to swim beneath the surface. His uncle then taught him how to save a drowning person.

“If he is still struggling, you must not let him get hold of you, or he will very likely cause you to drown with him. The safest and readiest method is to pull him up by his hair. Be sure and keep behind him as you bring him to the surface. Do not try to do more than to lift his face out of water, as you swim with him to the shore. The human body is so light in the water that it may be supported at the surface by a very slight effort; but it is hard to keep any portion of it much above the surface.”

“But what shall I do after I get him to the shore?” asked Lawrence.

“That is something very important to learn, which you will very likely find useful some day, if you live near this pond. Three young people have been drowned in it within five years, two of whom at least might have been saved from death, had the persons with them known how to get them out of the water, or what to do with them after they had got them out.”

“I wish you would teach me that,” said the boy.

“Very well; I’ll give you a practical lesson before long.”

Accordingly, a few days afterwards, the doctor met Lawrence and his companions as they were coming up from the water, and, seizing his nephew, exclaimed, “You have been drowned, have you?”

“Not to my knowledge,” said Lawrence laughing.

“Yes; you fell from the boat just now, getting water-lilies. You know how to swim, but you got tangled among the weeds, and were three minutes under water. You have just been fished out, and brought to shore. Lie down, sir, for a drowned boy has no business on his feet.”

Lawrence, who understood very well what his uncle meant, dropped down on the grass, and tried to play the part of a drowned person seriously; but he couldn’t help laughing, and all the while he watched closely to see what was done for him.

“What shall we do, boys?” cried the doctor. “For not a minute is to be lost.”

“Carry him home, the first thing,” said Tim Hooper.

“No, we haven’t time for that,—so many precious minutes would be wasted.”

“Put him in a warm bath,” said Jake Thomes.

“We couldn’t do that without carrying him home, or bringing the warm water to him. Besides, the warm bath is hurtful under such circumstances. A person will drown quicker in warm than in cold water. The reason seems to be, that cold water strikes a chill into the blood, so that its circulation is impeded, and less air is required for it in the lungs. The blood goes to the lungs to throw off carbon, and to get oxygen, which is breathed in with the air, of which you know it is a part. When a person drowns, the supply of oxygen is cut off, and the carbonic acid, retained in the blood, poisons it. A person in a swoon may live half an hour under water; for his blood moves so slowly that very little oxygen is required for it, and there is but little carbon to be thrown off. Now if we stimulate the circulation before we manage to get fresh air into the lungs,—as we should if we put him into a warm bath,—you see we should increase the difficulty.”

“The first thing I should do would be to go for the doctor,” said Lawrence.

“No, you wouldn’t, for you are drowned, and have no voice in the matter. Besides, I am five miles away, attending to a boy who broke his leg falling from a beam in a barn. But fortunately a boy comes up who has been told what to do in such cases,—fortunately indeed, for already too much time has been lost while we were considering what to do, instead of doing it. This boy knows that the first thing necessary is fresh air in the lungs. To make sure that the passage to the lungs is open, he turns the patient on his face, in which position any water that may have lodged in his mouth and throat, or anything that may have risen from his stomach and choked him, drops out.”

The doctor at the same time turned Lawrence on his face, to illustrate his method.

“In this position, the tongue also falls forward, and opens a passage to the windpipe. But sometimes the tongue is so much swollen that it is necessary to put your finger on the roots of it and press it forward. This should be looked to, and where there is a hand to spare it will be well to keep the tongue in place in that way. Act promptly, and don’t be afraid of hurting him. In this case, however, the tongue will take care of itself. All this must be quickly done; and the new-comer hastens to make the patient gasp. He places him on his side,—thus. He rubs his forehead smartly, to bring warmth and sensitiveness to the skin, then dashes cold water upon it. If he has any snuff about him, or hartshorn, or spirits of any kind, he applies them freely to the nostrils. But the drowned boy does not gasp. Then what?”

“Blow in my lungs,” said Lawrence.

“But my own breath is exhausted of oxygen, and charged with carbonic acid; and what we want is fresh air. While one of these boys runs for the doctor, and another for dry blankets, this is what the boy who knows does. He loosens your clothes; then turns you down again upon your face,—completely upon your breast,—with one wrist under your forehead, thus, and passes his other hand with a gentle pressure down your back. That compresses the lungs, and drives the bad air out of them. Then he turns you again on your side, and partly upon your back, in which position the lungs open again of themselves, and draw in fresh air. Repeat this process six or eight times a minute,—not too often, for the low circulation requires but little air, and too much cools the body. What we want now is to keep the body warm, and to excite circulation. As soon as we have got the artificial breathing started, we strip off all the wet clothes; wrap the body in the blankets which have been brought; let the fresh air blow on the face and chest; rub and slap the body till it is dry and sensitive, and dash cold water upon it; then rub and slap again. If the blankets do not come, throw off your own coats to wrap the body in.”

“How long will it take to bring me to?” Lawrence anxiously inquired.

“That depends upon how thoroughly drowned you were. I should not give you up for an hour; but I should not have much hope of you, if I could perceive no movement of the heart, by putting my ear to it, after a quarter of an hour. In five or ten minutes I should expect you to make a little gasp; and after that I should consider you safe.

“Now, boys,” the doctor continued, “remember that, as long as nothing is done to put fresh air into the lungs of a drowned person, it is just the same for him as if he remained all that while in the water. So you must be prepared to do all these things with the utmost promptitude.”

He then made them take little Tim Hooper and go through with all the movements with him, as he had done with Lawrence, and repeat the process until they were perfect in it.

“If this was taught in every school, the children of which live or play near a pond or river,” he said, “more than half the cases of actual death from drowning might be prevented.”

The boys laughed, and thought the lesson more a good joke than anything else. They little expected ever to have to practise it. But now see how useful a little knowledge sometimes proves.

December came, and the pond froze over. So thin, however, was the coating of ice that but few boys ventured to go upon it.

“Wait, my boy, a day or two, until the ice is stronger,” said the doctor. “Nothing will be lost by waiting; but much will be risked by attempting to skate to-day.”

So Lawrence, not without some mutterings of discontent, I am sorry to say, restrained his eagerness to strap on the new skates his uncle had given him, and remained on the shore, watching those who did skate.

Suddenly a boy fell, and, in falling, he broke the ice and went in; and, in struggling to get out, he slipped under the ice. It was Jake Thomes, one of the boys who had learned the lesson with Lawrence. How little did he imagine, when he laughed at it, that the time would so soon come for it to be practised on him!

“Boy drowned! Boy drowned!” was the cry; and the skaters flew to the rescue.

Lawrence knew that, under such circumstances, his uncle would approve of his going upon the ice, and he started to run to Jake’s assistance. But he had scarcely left the shore when he saw the ice give way again, under the weight of two skaters who approached the broken place. There were now three boys in the water.

“This won’t do,” thought he; and he ran back to the shore. There was a man at work, preparing some hot-beds, in a garden near by. He had already heard the alarm. “Bring planks! a rake!” cried Lawrence.

He seized one of the broad board coverings of the beds, and shoved it out before him on the ice. The man followed with another hot-bed cover, and a long-handled garden-rake. Nothing had yet been done for Jake, who had not been seen since he went down. Other skaters had arrived; but they were engaged in trying to rescue the two boys who had fallen in after him. It was perilous business. The ice was bending and cracking under them, and they could not reach the edge of it without breaking in, like the others. Fortunately, both boys could swim, and they were sustaining themselves by holding on to coats thrown to them over the edge of the ice. Thus far, at every attempt to get out, they had only broken the ice still more.

Lawrence pushed his board close up to the broken place, and, lying flat on his breast upon it, looked down into the clear cold water. He could have seen the bottom, but for the floating fragments of thin ice, and the ripples formed by the two boys trying to get out.

“Keep still! keep still!” he cried; but that was not easy for two boys in their position to do. As long as the light reflected from the waves danced in his sight, he could see nothing under them. So he plunged his face into the water, with his eyes open. Beneath the surface, they could see very well. And there, lying on the bottom, in about ten feet of water, clinging fast to some weeds, with his red tippet on his neck and his skates on his feet, was Jake Thomes.

He was directly under the ice Lawrence was on. The plunged face came dripping out of the cold water. “The rake!” The man handed it to Lawrence, who thrust it into the water, and hooked one of the teeth into Jake’s tippet, and drew him quickly and steadily up.

The broad board distributed the pressure of his weight over so large a surface of the ice that it did not break, even when he pulled the drenched and lifeless body out.

Drawn by W. J. Hennessy.
From the new illustrated edition of “Maud Muller,” by John G. Whittier.

Drawn by S. Eytinge, Jr.
From the new illustrated edition of “The Vision of Sir Launfal,” by J. R. Lowell.

Drawn by F. O. C. Darley.
From the new illustrated edition of “Evangeline,” by H. W. Longfellow.

Drawn by H. Fenn.
From “Flower-de-Luce,” a new illustrated volume of Poems, by H. W. Longfellow.

The situation on the ice being unsafe and awkward, the body was quickly slid ashore on the board, and taken to the gardener’s house, which was close by the pond. With the other board that had been brought, the other two skaters were speedily rescued; and Lawrence had nothing to do but to think of Jake and his uncle’s lesson.

“I shouldn’t have stopped to bring him to the house,” he said afterwards, “but Peter insisted on it.”

Arrived at the house, however, Peter, who was ignorant as an owl of what should be done in the case, left all to the boy.

“O yes! roll him!” said he, “I’ve heard that was good,—to get the water out of him.”

Lawrence did not stop to explain that the rolling process was not to get the water out, for none could enter the lungs, but to get the air in. He worked vigorously, according to his uncle’s directions. Meantime his uncle was sent for; but he was not at home.

Laid out on Peter’s kitchen-table, his wet clothes removed, his limbs wrapped in warm blankets, and several persons smartly slapping and rubbing them, according to Lawrence’s directions, while Lawrence himself, with Peter’s assistance, rolled him from his breast to his side, and over again upon his breast,—this was the situation in which the drowned boy’s mother found him, when, having heard the terrible news, she came running to Peter’s house.

But the peril was now nearly over. Jake had gasped slightly once or twice. Then came the agony of recovering consciousness, in the midst of which the doctor arrived. It was then half an hour from the time when Jake broke through the ice, and it was evident to all, that, if nothing had been done for him all that while, his recovery would have been impossible.

“Well done! well done!” cried the doctor. “You have made good use of my lesson, boy! Woman, your child is saved.”

The hearty praise of his uncle, the joy of the mother, and his own consciousness of having done a good action, made this the happiest day of Lawrence’s life.

J. T. Trowbridge.


When the days began to grow short and cold, Birdie could not play in the garden as much as in summer-time, but he spent many happy hours in the house, playing with his toys, and talking to his dear mamma. As Christmas drew near, he had many questions to ask about it; for it was the first Christmas Day he could remember, and he wanted to know whether Kriss Kringle would “surely come in a little sleigh and fill his ’tocking.” One day he trotted over the house, up stairs and down, looking at all the chimney-places, to see if they were large enough for Kriss Kringle to come down. He was afraid they were all too small, and told his mother so, with a very sad face; but she sent him to look at the kitchen chimney, which was so wide and high that he was delighted, and ran to his mother, saying, “O mamma, Kriss can come down the kitchen chimney, and bring a great big pack of toys.”

That evening little Birdie climbed up on his mother’s knee, and begged for a story before he went to bed. “Don’t you know somesin’ about fairies who come at Christmas, mamma?” he said.

His mother kissed his red lips, and said she would tell him a short story, because he had been a very good boy all day; so she began:—“Once upon a time, all the children in the world had been so good that Kriss Kringle had more work to do than he could well manage. He had lots of toys to buy, and a great many trees to dress, and then he had to go to every house the night before Christmas and fill all the stockings; so the dear old man thought he would be quite tired out, unless he could get some help. But one cold day, about a week before Christmas, as he was working away at some trees, he heard a little knock, low down, on his door; and when he opened it, who do you think he saw?”

I don’t know,” said Birdie. “Who was it?”

“Why, it was a little man, dressed all in brown, and only a foot high; and behind him were a great troop of little fellows just like him. Kriss Kringle was greatly surprised at this sight, and stared at his strange visitor without saying a word. But the little man did not mind that in the least; off came his pointed cap, and, with a low bow, he said: ‘How do you do, Mr. Kriss Kringle? we have come to help you do the work this Christmas.’ ‘O, indeed!’ said Kriss Kringle; ‘you are very kind, my friends. Come in, and let us have a talk about it.’ Then he led the little people into his house; but there was such a troop of them that he had not chairs for all, and was going to bring in some more seats, when they said, ‘Don’t trouble yourself, Mr. Kriss, we can easily find room’; and then some sat on the backs of the chairs, and some climbed up and sat on the trees that Kriss Kringle had been fixing for Christmas; while a few spread their brown cloaks, and seemed to fly up to the high mantel-shelf, where they sat in a row, laughing and nodding, and looking very comical. When they were all quiet, and Kriss Kringle had seated himself in his arm-chair, and taken his pipe, the leader of the fairies, who was on the mantel-shelf, said: ‘Now, Mr. Kriss, tell us what we can do for you. We have put the flowers to sleep for the winter, and wrapped up the leaves in warm coats until spring; and we are tired of living under ground, and counting gold-dust, or playing pitch-and-toss with diamonds; so we want to go with you and see the world’;—and the funny little fellow made a very droll face, and danced a few steps of the Highland Fling. Kriss Kringle laughed aloud at his antics, and said, ‘Well, friend, I shall be glad of help, if you will promise to obey me.’ He then told them all there was to be done, and said if they would be industrious, and help him dress all the trees, and tie up toys and sugar-plums, he would take them out in his sleigh the night before Christmas, and they could help him fill the stockings. When the fairies heard this, they were very much pleased, and tossed up their caps, and shouted, ‘Hurrah for Kriss Kringle! he’s a jolly old elf!’ and all agreed to work hard to get ready for Christmas. And so they did; and I have heard that the trees were very beautiful that year, and the stockings very well filled. It was really wonderful, too, how many good children found a bright gold piece in the toe of their stockings; and what do you suppose the naughty ones found? A hard turnip, or a big potato, just when they thought they had found an orange or an apple. The fairies are very wise, you know, my child,” said Birdie’s mamma; and the little boy nodded, and answered, “Yes, indeed, they are so; but I will try to be good, and then they won’t put metatoes in my ’tockin’.” Then our little friend gave his kind mamma a good-night kiss, and trotted off to bed, talking all the way about fairies.

The next day was the one before Christmas, and Birdie tried to be a very good boy; his goodness was to obey his mother quickly, to be kind to the cat, and not to get angry if his blocks or toys fell down. Well, on this day he tried very hard to be good, and succeeded so well that at dusk his mamma said she would have to tell Kriss Kringle about it. So she took Birdie’s hand, led him out to the kitchen, and called up the chimney, “Kriss Kringle! Birdie has been very good. Please bring him some pretty toys in your sleigh.”

“And a tree!” said Birdie as loud as he could.

Soon they heard a gruff voice saying, “Yes ma’am! Yes sir! I’ll remember Birdie!”—and then there was a sound of sleigh-bells, as if Kriss had been listening to Birdie, and was going on again.

This rather surprised the little boy; but the cook told him Kriss Kringle often went to different houses, to see if the children there had been good, before he came with the toys.

Then Birdie and his mother went back to the parlor; and, as he climbed up to his favorite seat on his dear mamma’s knee, she said, “Now we can have a nice talk until bedtime.”

“O yes,” said the child, “let’s talk about Christmas.”

“Very well, dear,” answered his mamma; “I will tell you why we have a Christmas day. Many years ago, there was no such day. The little children did not hang up their stockings, or find pretty trees by their beds when they awoke.”

“How funny!” exclaimed Birdie. “I’m glad I was not here then. How did they find out about it, mamma?”

“Listen, and you shall hear about the first Christmas. It was in a country across the sea, far away from here, that some shepherds were watching their flocks one night; the sheep were resting on the grass, the little lambs were fast asleep beside their mothers, but the kind shepherds were not asleep, but were watching that no harm should happen to the sheep. Perhaps they were looking at the stars, and talking of the ‘Happy Land’ above them, when suddenly there appeared a wonderful light in the sky, brighter than moon or stars, as if the sky had opened, and they saw the glory within. While the shepherds looked up, wondering what was the cause of that strange light, a beautiful shining angel came near them, and said: ‘Fear not; I bring you good tidings,’ (or good news,) ‘which shall be to all people. This day is born a Saviour, and ye shall find the babe lying in a manger.’ And suddenly the angel was joined by a multitude of the heavenly host, singing praises to God. This was their song:—

‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth

Peace, good-will toward men.’

When the angels were gone back to heaven, the shepherds said they would go to Bethlehem, and see this Saviour of whom the angels sang. They went with haste, and found him,—a little babe, in a stable, with no cradle to lie in, only a manger for his bed. That little babe was Jesus, the Son of God, who left his beautiful heavenly home, and the praises of angels, and became a child, to bless and save little children, and make all men good and happy, so that at last they might be in heaven with him. His birthday was the first Christmas day, and ever since that time we keep that day as a joyful and happy one, and send gifts to one another to remind us of the great and precious gift of Jesus.” When his mother had finished this true story, little Birdie sat still for a while thinking; but soon he looked up, and asked if Jesus had any Christmas gifts.

“No, my child,” said his mamma; “Jesus came as a poor babe. His mother loved him, but she was very poor, and had nothing to give him.”

“I would give him some of my Christmas gifts,” said Birdie, “if he was here now.”

“Well, dear, you can still do that, and I wish you would,” said his mother.

“Why, how, mamma?” exclaimed the little boy, looking very much puzzled. “I can’t get up to the sky to take them. Even if I stood on the top of a big, high tree, I don’t think I could touch the sky.”

“No, darling, I don’t think you could,” answered his mamma, smiling kindly; “but when our Saviour went back to heaven, he left the poor on earth for us to take care of, and said any kindness done to them was the same as doing it for him; so if you will give some of your Christmas gifts to the poor children at the Lodge, it will please Jesus as much as if you gave him something.”

“Well, I will,” said Birdie. “Let’s tell the childens to come here to-morrow, and not tell them what for, and when they see the tree, and I give them all some toys to keep, won’t they be disprised?” And the happy child laughed, as he thought of the poor children’s surprise.

Then his mother sang him some beautiful hymns for Christmas, which I hope are well known to all my little friends. They were, “While shepherds watched their flocks by night,” and “We three kings of Orient are.” By that time Birdie was so sleepy that he could not wait any longer to see his papa, but took a bowl of bread and milk by the parlor-fire, and went off to bed early, “to give Kriss Kringle plenty of time to fill his stocking very full, up to the top,” he said.

Christmas morning came very soon to the little boy, for he slept soundly, and was ready to awake at the first peep of day. What do you think was the first thing he did? “Why, he looked for his stocking, I think,” says each little reader. Yes, to be sure he did, and soon found it at the foot of his bed; but it had grown so long and was so heavy he could hardly lift it. At last he dragged it up to his pillow, set himself down, and began pulling out the toys with which it was filled. First a whip, then a ball; a doll too, for he liked dolls, though he was a boy; after that two or three books, with bright-colored pictures, which Birdie stopped to look at with delight; then a “horn” of sugar-plums; and, down in the foot of the stocking, a rosy apple, an orange, and—a little silk purse with a “gold penny” in it. By this time, his shouts of joy had awakened his mother, who looked at all of his treasures with him, and said she thought Kriss Kringle had been very kind to her dear little boy.

“And the fairies too,” said Birdie. “Look at this!” and he held up the little purse with the gold piece shining in it. Then his mother dressed him in a new, warm dress of red merino, “her Christmas gift to Birdie,” she said, and they all went to breakfast, the stocking dragging along with its load of toys, and going bump, bump, down stairs, as it hung from Birdie’s hand. After breakfast they all went into the parlor, and there on the table stood the prettiest little Christmas-tree! Its branches were hung with beautiful little toys, and cakes, and sugar-plums. It was just as pretty as the one you will have, little reader, if you are a good child.

When Birdie saw it, he danced for joy, and ran all around the tree looking at everything, and saying, “O, I am so glad Kriss Kringle brought me a tree; I was ’fraid he’d forget it!” As he looked at it, he found many wonders; at the foot of the tree he saw a large Noah’s ark, a strong wooden cart, some more picture-books, and a tin horse; and presently he discovered a doll, with a box of furniture beside her. His blue eyes grew larger than ever, and he said, “All these pretty things for me, mamma? I think Kriss Kringle must have upset his sleigh down our big chimney!”

“He has brought you a great many toys, my pet,” answered his mamma; “but perhaps he thinks you will not keep them all yourself. Don’t you remember what you said last night, about giving some toys to the children at the Lodge?”

“O, surely enough!” exclaimed Birdie, “I wish those childens would come!”

Just then there was a knock at the door. Birdie ran to open it, and there stood three little children. They had clean red and white faces, and clean blue and white aprons, and they began to say, “Merry Christmas, ma’am!” but were so pleased at the sight of the beautiful tree, that they could not finish their speeches,—they could only look, and smile with pleasure. Birdie led the children up to the tree, and took them all around it, showing them the pretty things on it, and talking as fast as he could. Then he showed them everything in his stocking, and asked them if Kriss Kringle had filled theirs. Mary, the oldest girl, said they had hung up their stockings and found candy and apples in them, but their mother said the chimney was too little for the pack of toys to come down. Then Birdie went to his mamma and whispered, “You tell ’em Kriss brought somesin here for ’em.”

“Very well, darling,” said his mamma; and, going to the tree, she took the doll and gave it to Mary, and put the box of furniture into Susan’s hand, saying, “Kriss Kringle brought these for you, and left them here; our chimney is so large, he had plenty of room.”

The little girls smiled, and said, “Thank ye, ma’am; they’re mighty pretty.”

But Birdie said, “Now give Johnny a present, mamma,” pulling the shy little boy towards the tree.

“Shall I give him this cart, Birdie?” said his father, lifting up the strong wooden one.

Now, our little friend had long wanted just such a cart, and would rather have given away anything else; so he did not answer right away, but looked at Johnny, whose dark eyes were fixed eagerly on the handsome toy; then Birdie looked at the tree, so full of pretty things, and thought of the little chimney at the Lodge, and just then his mother whispered, “It is the same as giving to Jesus, my child”; so he said, “Yes, papa, give it to Johnny.”

His father handed it to the little boy, who was too much delighted to say, “Thank you,” and who began pulling the cart and playing horse.

Birdie gave a little sigh, but felt happy to see Johnny’s pleasure, and was taking his new whip to play driver, when his father said, “Where is that gold piece of yours, my boy?”

“Here it is, papa,” said Birdie, pulling the purse out of his pocket.

“Now,” said his father, “you are such a generous little boy, you would like to give these poor children a piece of this gold penny, would you not?”

“Why, yes, I would,” answered the child, “if I could only break it. My little hammer is strong. I’ll just run and get it”;—and he turned to go for his hammer.

But his father called him back, and said, “See here, I’ve broken it for you”;—and when Birdie looked on the table, he saw a row of four shining silver pieces where he had left his gold one.

“There is a piece of it for each of you,” said his mother.

But Birdie was very much puzzled, and could not think how a gold piece could be broken into four larger pieces of silver. “I guess you must be a grown-up fairy, papa,” said he, after thinking it over for some time. Then he gave a silver penny to each of the children, and put one into his own little purse, and felt very rich and happy.

The children stayed to dinner, and had a grand play with the toys, both new and old, and a great treat of turkey, mince-pie, and sugar-plums, and then went home with a basket full of treasures; a funny basket it was, for it had a mince-pie for a lid!

One more wonderful thing happened on Birdie’s Christmas Day. When they went into the parlor after dinner, there under the tree stood another strong wooden cart, exactly like the one given to Johnny. In it was a paper, on which was written, “Kriss Kringle sends this to a generous little boy.”

Birdie was both surprised and delighted, and said, “Kriss was the goodest man in the world”;—and then he ran to the kitchen chimney and shouted up, “Thank you, Mr. Kriss, for all my toys.”

“You’re kindly welcome; I like good boys,” said a gruff voice.

So you see, my little readers, good, generous Birdie had a Merry Christmas.

Margaret T. Canby.


With the present number of this Magazine go four pictures, bearing each the name of a book from which it has been borrowed. These books are all “grown-up” books, as Grace Greenwood calls the volumes which are meant for adult readers; but still the editors of “Our Young Folks” have obtained the permission of the publishers of these books—who are also the publishers of their Magazine—to select and include these engravings, because they so beautifully illustrate poems which are among the best known writings of three great authors, about whom the readers of the Magazine already know something, but of whom they have yet much to learn before they can understand and appreciate them as they ought.

The first picture represents a scene from John G. Whittier’s poem, “Maud Muller.” Mr. Whittier is not a stranger to these pages, and his little friends have probably already guessed some of his characteristics from the stories he has told them. He lives in the pleasant country town of Amesbury, Massachusetts, and the sweet influences of that rural region may be easily felt in his writings. He is simple and sincere, fond of the works of God in nature, and a faithful lover of the equality and freedom which God ever teaches through the elements of the world as well as in the pages of his holy book; he writes earnestly and strongly, and tells his story so that the plainest may understand it. This poem of “Maud Muller” is a little sketch of a rich judge and a farmer’s daughter, who met once by the roadside and were much interested in each other, but who never met again; very often they used to think of each other, and feel dissatisfied that Providence had caused their lots in life to lie so far apart,—so that their short, sad history is a lesson to us to be patient, and to make the best of the circumstances in which we are placed, not wishing discontentedly for what we have not, because the Lord knows what is best for us, after all. The picture shows Maud’s children playing; you see they are poor children,—for she was poor, and had to work for her living,—but for all that they seem to be getting on very nicely in their own way.

The next picture illustrates a poem by James Russell Lowell, who lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is the Professor of Modern Languages in Harvard College, which is located in that city. He has never yet written anything for “Our Young Folks,” but perhaps some day, when he is not very busy with his learned books, he will do so, and then you will be greatly pleased; for although he is generally very thoughtful, and writes principally for pretty wise people, yet he greatly likes children and flowers, the rivers and great forests, and can sing charming songs about them; he is very witty, too, and when sometimes he writes articles to correct wrong-doers, he makes little sentences which are wonderfully sarcastic,—that is, severe and funny at the same time. When you grow older, you will like him very much, and even now you would enjoy much of his “Vision of Sir Launfal,” from which the picture is taken. That poem is about a knight who went in search of the “San Greal,”—the legend of which was repeated in the last number of the Magazine,—and who at last, after many experiences and hardships, learned that to be good and charitable was to be most knightly, and would receive the richest reward. So, when he humbled his pride and shared his last crust with a wretched leper, behold, in a vision the Saviour appeared to him, and offered him the cup of the communion for the Christian spirit which he now had. Can you not see the meaning of the story?

The other two pictures are chosen from two books by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, something of whose poetry must be known to everyone of you. He too lives in Cambridge, and he used to teach the collegians the same foreign languages which Professor Lowell now teaches; for he has a learned head as well as a kindly heart, and is much respected for his scholarship and taste by literary people. His poems are full of tenderness and affection, and he loves to dwell upon gentle subjects, and weave songs of such good, true sentiment as make people feel better and braver-hearted when they read them. The first of the two pictures belongs to the long poem “Evangeline,” which tells how—many, many years ago—the English drove out a happy French colony from their settlement in Acadia, and carried them away to other places, often separating families and friends forever. Poor Evangeline, for whom the poem is named, lost her beloved Gabriel in this bitter way, and went searching for him all over America, only to find him a dying old man at last. But her life was full of hope, and love, and trust in her Heavenly Father, and she was as a blessing to all around her, so sanctifying her affliction, and setting a beautiful example of patience and resignation. Her old friend, Father Felicien, who was very fond of children, and who taught her in her youth to be pious and good, is shown in the engraving with a group of young people about him. The second picture is that of the “Flower-de-Luce,” which gives its name to another volume by Mr. Longfellow, and may give you a hint of the enjoyment he has in observing the features of out-door life and scenery, as well as in studying the finer fancies and feelings of people, while perhaps you may see in it the likeness of a plant which old-fashioned people still are pleased to keep in their gardens and about their doorways.

So you can study over these pleasant pictures, which really illustrate or illuminate the passages of poetry with which they are connected, thinking meantime, to yourselves, that they also signify the kind of subjects which these authors prefer, and symbolize in some measure the manner and disposition with which they in their turn touch the themes of their choice,—for when the work has been well done there is a harmony between the subject or the story, the writer, and the artist or illustrator, which you can feel, even though you cannot fully understand and explain it. And by and by, when you happen to see these pretty books themselves, and read the beautiful poems they contain, you will perhaps feel better acquainted with them and their authors by reason of this little introduction.


Words by Emily Huntington Miller. Music by H. M. T.

Life throbs in swift pulses, joy thrills in each vein;

  Who cares how the winter is blowing?

We sweep like the wind o’er the glittering plain,

  Our cheeks like the summer are glowing.

So on till the moon sinks away from the west,

  And planets shine coldly to greet us;

Then home to the dear ones that love us the best,

  Who wait by the firelight to greet us!



No. 7.

A man has a piece of ground 25 rods square, and lays out a drive-way 5 rods wide all around it. How many square rods are left within the drive?


No. 8.

A number is composed of three figures, the sum of which is 18. The difference of the first and second is equal to the third divided by 4. The sum of the first and third is equal to the second multiplied by 3 and that product increased by 2.

What is the number?

Julie M. P.




Willy Wisp.


No. 25.


I am composed of 48 letters.

My 46, 22, 18, 4, 21, presided over houses and families.

My 7, 28, 35, 11, 48, was a Roman goddess.

My 1, 8, 35, 11, 5, instructed Hercules in music.

My 47, 29, 10, 2, 39, 6, was the mother of Apollo.

My 16, 12, 18, 36, was a priestess of Venus.

My 22, 9, 26, 38, was a famous musician.

My 14, 18, 33, 23, 31, 17, 20, was the son of Agamemnon.

My 35, 41, 34, 21, 11, 5, was a king of Megara.

My 3, 22, 1, 40, 6, 47, 1, 6, was the great hall of Odin.

My 42, 15, 45, 13, 13, 41, 39, was a winged monster.

My 19, 9, 26, 14, 35, was a son of Neptune.

My 27, 44, 2, 18, was the son of Odin.

My 3, 8, 34, 32, 38, 11, was a Hindoo deity.

My 43, 20, 46, 1, 20, was the daughter of Athamas.

My 24, 37, are not to be found in the Latin alphabet.

My whole is an extract from one of Mrs. Browning’s poems.

C. E. B.

No. 26.


I am composed of 18 letters.

My 14, 9, 11, 13, 16, is what a horse is sometimes called by Vermont boys.

My 11, 4, 12, 15, 16, 8, 18, is what Joab used for raiment.

My 6, 4, 3, 2, would be improper for gentlemen, and singular for ladies in these days.

My 14, 5, 13, a smart boy is always apt to say is his.

My 15, 4, 11, 7, was the name given to Bloody Mary in her girlhood.

My 11, 9, 1, 4, 17, 13, were with the Romans in the Punic wars.

My 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, is yours as long as you live.

My 17, 9, 18, 13, 9, is not so always.

My whole is my daily nourishment.







18.Some (sum) one ate (4 + 4 = 8) five dozen (5 12) dates for a meal*! Not often (oft ten) excelled.

Illustrated Rebuses.

30.Be ready at all times to face death. [(B-read) (yacht) (awl) (Time) s (toe) (face) (death).]

Contributed by Orange.

31.Activity of mind or body is the way to happiness, contentment, and prosperity. [(Act) ivi (tie) of (mine) (door) (body) (eye)s t(he) (weight) o hap(pin) ess (C on tent) (men) (tea) & p (row) (spirit) (eye).]

Contributed by Wyanoke.

Mille is French for a thousand.


We dare say that you hardly need to be reminded, little friends, of the offers which we made known to you on behalf of our Publishers, a month ago; but as this number will undoubtedly fall into the hands of some who did not see the previous one, we take just this little paragraph to direct your attention once more to the advertisement upon the fourth page of the cover, where you will find the Prospectus for 1867, and all particulars about the premiums. We believe that these premiums are the most generous which ever were offered for subscribers, because it is customary in most similar cases to require the full subscription price for each new name, while the Publishers of Our Young Folks, on the contrary, accept the smallest club rate. We hope that their liberality will receive in return many great lists of names, and that you, on your part, will have a claim upon them for a host of prizes. Whatever you do for the Magazine, you really do for yourselves; for the more subscribers it has, the stronger it will be for good entertainment, and the more able shall we be to carry out the plans which we are constantly making for your pleasure and advantage.

With our love to you all, and innumerable good wishes,

Your faithful friends,


May Day wishes us to give her some rules for polite behavior. We fancy that true politeness usually suggests its own rules. Kind feelings will mould your actions to gracefulness much sooner than the study of set forms.

There is no particular thing to be said when you are “introduced to a boy or girl of your own age.” The most natural subject—anything near at hand, flowers, a book, or music—is the best.

It would sound too stiff for little girls to be always calling each other “Miss”; but it may be considered necessary in ceremonious visits and at great parties.

As a rule, keep yourself a little girl,—with the manners of a well-behaved little girl, of course,—as long as you can. The simplest manners are the most attractive, in old and young. Politeness is thoughtful kindness and sympathy passing into action. This alone makes the “real lady.”

Emma H. Your friend Lillie’s stories are perhaps as good as you think them; but it is scarcely possible that we should find them suitable for “Our Young Folks.” Something more than “a splendid style” is required to please and instruct our juvenile public. Let “Lillie” study the works of wise and mature writers a few years longer, and she may then be able to write what any magazine will be glad to accept.

Lambda. “Begone dull care” is what you mean.

Emma J. C. says:—

“I want to ask you what I shall do, as I see you gave advice to some other girls. I go to school, and I have a very particular friend who sits next to me; sometimes she does not know a question which I know. Now I know that she will get promoted if she does not miss a lesson for a week, and I cannot, as I was absent a good deal in the spring. Now, is it wrong for me to prompt her?—for her rival hides her book in her lap, and reads the answers.”

Yes, it is wrong,—all wrong. Consider the question thus, and you will see it for yourself. The “rival,” as you understand the case, is guilty of an imposition upon her teacher by pretending to recite, when she only reads her answers, so deceives by professing a knowledge which she does not possess. Just so your friend deceives when she obtains her answers from you, instead of from her memory,—using you as her competitor uses a book. And the wrong in this case is the greater, because it involves two persons in it instead of one. Be sure that no position, however desirable in itself, is worth anything, if obtained by dishonesty or deception. It is better to stand at the foot of a class, knowing a few things accurately, than to stand at its head making believe to know a great deal: for if you have been faithful in study, your conscience will reward you with its approval.

Rye Field, Jr. has talent; the incident is well sketched, but there are many infelicities of language in the narration.

Fire-Fly. We should need half the pages in the Magazine to record all those particulars you speak of.

Mary A. A. D. Thank you heartily for your pleasant letter. But the rebus is a little too intricate.

Billy Barlow. The question is not new.

Eva C. S. K. Do you really think that Santa Claus is the children’s “dearest friend”?

O. O. O, O! what a misquotation! The charades are good; we shall print one.

Kiltie C. Too long.

Fidius Comes, commenting pleasantly on an extract from a letter which we printed recently, says:—

“I sometimes wish I could have some life-work given me like hers seems to be,—not that I wish to be an invalid, exactly. I have enough to teach me patience without that, but something by which I could be of some use in the world. It doesn’t seem as if I did any one any good.

“I sometimes think if I could die, and be at rest forever from all these troubles and temptations and failures, that that would be all I would ask. But then comes the thought, Our Father knoweth of what things we have need, before we ask him, and I try to be patient and wait.”

Ah, dear child, many older and stronger than you have felt the same doubt, and turned to the same true source for comfort. But remember also this,—“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might,”—and your life-work will take care of itself.

Sue & Bessie. Let us see how much better you can do. We do not expect perfection from our little contributors, nor should you. We only wonder that their mistakes are so few.

Esq. In England.

Carrie. You may “jump for joy” now, if you like. Aunt Fanny has written us some stories,—charming ones, we think,—which will be published soon.

R. I. Moorhead. We laid the puzzle aside, because the sentence was too common and too easily read.

M. The subject is far too serious for such treatment.

Linnet. The enigma is nice, but we don’t like to hold up such a tempting suggestion to our household of little folks. Suppose they should all act upon it?

H. They would guess the answer as soon as they read the question.

J. A. A. 1. Yes. 2. Yes. 3. We.

H. D. 67 South 5th St, Williamsburg, L. I.

H. D. H. We cannot tell. You know that we receive hundreds of such things, and therefore, after they have once been examined, it is impossible to keep account of them. The best of the “real good” ones are saved to be printed, and the others go into the waste basket.

O. Y. F. A pretty good beginning.

Minnie V. We do not remember about it. We cannot acknowledge every letter, because the important questions occupy all our space with their answers.

U. P. Declined with thanks.

W. A. T. The proverb is too familiar.

G. T. H. The list would undoubtedly be, as you say, a great curiosity, but we could not spare the room it would occupy.

Big Ingun. Not all spelled rightly.

May Minton. Thank you, but the proverbs are old, and one of them has been used by us already.

F. O. T. A. P. We do not approve of practical jokes. Most of them involve deception, and injury to the feelings of others.

Cambridge: Electrotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co.


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 2, Issue 12 edited by J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]