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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 3, Issue 6

Date of first publication: 1867

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

Date first posted: Aug. 1, 2018

Date last updated: Aug. 1, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180801

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






An Illustrated Magazine




Vol. III. JUNE, 1867. No. VI.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, 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.]














Drawn by Winslow Homer.]          [See Swinging on a Birch Tree, page 355.


The Animal Kingdom is divided by the science of Zoölogy into four great branches or types,—Vertebrata, Articulata, Mollusca, and Radiata.

You, my young friend Harry, are an enthusiastic fisherman, and being a thorough, successful one,—a genuine disciple of the wise and simple Izaak Walton,—have probably a case, or box, or leather book, in which one drawer or pocket holds deep-sea lines; another, brook and river lines; another, perhaps, the giant hooks for sharks and blue-fish; then we find packages marked “bass-hooks,” “perch-hooks,” “pickerel-hooks,” “trout-hooks,” etc., etc. Here is a place for floats, and there for sinkers. Pursuing your favorite sport ardently and intelligently, you systematize it, and keep the tools of your pleasant craft in order. So the great lovers and students of the splendid and elevating science of Zoölogy—the department of Natural History treating of animals—have arranged and ranked the divisions of the Animal Kingdom. First, they have made four great branches or types, each determined by its organization,—the highest type, that called Vertebrata, consisting of animals of the most varied and complicated structure. The second type, Articulata, is of a bodily organization not so intricate and ingenious. The third type, Mollusca, comprising such soft-bodied animals as cuttlefish, oysters, and clams, has a structure simpler than the second. And the fourth type consists of animals of the fewest and most symmetrical parts. But in each of these particular branches or types there are many strongly marked divisions and subdivisions. In the branch of Articulata, for instance, are bees, lobsters, and earth-worms; but the bee is of a different class from the lobster, and the lobster is of another class than the earth-worm; and the bee, though of the same class as the bug and the spider, is of another order; the bug, the spider, and the bee being each of a different order of the class of Insects. The particular order to which the bee belongs is called Hymenoptera,—distinguishing all insects with four membranous and transparent wings, the hind pair the smaller, and all traversed by a few irregularly branching veins. Under the order Hymenoptera are several families; Bee family, Wasp family, Gall-fly family, etc. And again there are different genera of these families. In the Bee family is the genus Hive-bee, the genus Humble-bee, etc. Even the genus may contain a variety of species, or groups of individuals essentially alike, as in the Hive-bee genus are the species drones, queens, and workers. So we see that the Animal Kingdom is divided into branches, each branch into classes, each class into orders, each order into families, each family into genera, each genus into species; as in our War Department we have seen Armies of the North, South, East, and West, divisions of each of those armies, brigades of each division, regiments of each brigade, companies of each regiment, and—corresponding to the zoölogical species above—a captain, first-lieutenant, second-lieutenant, and so on to privates of each company.

One more illustration to—Halloo! who was that saying, “Hurry up, old Moustache, with your science, and come to the story”? You rogue! surprised, eh? that my ears are so sharp. But, my dear fellows, and sweet, patient girls, before bringing forth my hero I must give you another example of how the science I am talking of applies to the Animal Kingdom, and has a shelf or drawer or pigeon-hole for every living thing. Perhaps another familiar illustration will excite your curiosity,—draw your attention,—give you a general idea of the extensive, yet simple, study of Zoölogy; if so, it will add a new zest to all your out-of-door sports, beside elevating and utilizing them. Suppose some one of you, with your terriers, to have dug out a woodchuck from beneath that old stone wall between the potato-field and the woods. Well, is it not interesting to know, as you hold up the destructive guerilla by the tail, that he is of the same branch of the Animal Kingdom as you yourself? Of the same branch or type,—the Vertebrata,—because he has an internal skeleton with a backbone for an axis. That plan of structure characterizes the highest of the four types into which all animals are divided. And you and he, and monkeys, bats, birds, turtles, frogs, and fishes, are all of one plan of structure,—are all Vertebrata. The woodchuck, too, is not only of the same type, but of the same class of that type as you,—the Mammalia,—that is, of the class comprising all those Vertebrata which bring forth their young alive, and nourish them with milk from their own bodies. But he is not of the same order in the Mammalia class, for you are of the order of Bimana, or Man, and he of the order of Rodentia, or Gnawers; and thinking of how your natural position is an erect one, and his a crouching, leaping one, that you talk whilst he can only make unintelligible sounds, and of other principal differences between the order of Man and that of Rodentia, consisting of squirrels, gophers, rats, porcupines, and hares, you can understand the differences that divide animals of one class into several orders. Under that order of Rodentia, he is of the family of squirrels (all sorts of squirrels proper, beside prairie-dogs, marmots, dormice, beavers, and our dead friend, the woodchuck, being squirrels, zoölogically speaking), that is, he is of a family of Rodentia distinguished from other families of that order by the peculiarity of having the shin-bone and lesser bone of the leg distinct. Finally he is of the Arctomys (woodchuck) genus of the squirrel family, because he has—differing from the prairie-dog, dormouse, beaver, or any other genus of the squirrel family—a long, thick, depressed body, those small cheek-pouches, those small thumbs armed with little flat nails, and naked soles. Now, I ask, does it not add to the fun of catching your game, to study out in what it is like you or differs from you, in what it is like any other animal or differs from it,—to know just where it belongs in the grand bureau of the Animal Kingdom?

But to my story.

Damon,—his skeleton and stuffed skin are before me as I write,—my hero, was an inhabitant of the waters and borders of a pond, called Wissahissick, among the Blue Hills of Milton. Truly his lines had fallen in pleasant places, for a lovelier spot than Wissahissick—now commonly called Houghton’s Pond—one must go more than twelve miles from Boston to see. Off from the ordinary roads of travel, shadowed by the highest of the Blue Hills as the sun sets, guarded in comparative seclusion on the east by a large tract of unsettled woods and swamp, that steps not across the intervening Blue Hill River, but leaves a wide uncultivated plain (still marked in little hills where the Indians planted corn one hundred years ago) between its haunts of partridge, woodcock, rabbit, and fox, and the depth, quietude, and picturesqueness of Damon’s once happy home, the peaceful Wissahissick, with but one roof in sight, reposes prettily, attracting those who know her fascinations to picnic on many a summer and autumn day by her retired shores. Some such health-and-pleasure seekers have seen, perhaps, though unconscious that they gazed on a character to live thereafter in the pages of “Our Young Folks,” my hero; for there he lived, loved, croaked, roamed, and died. When I first met Damon, his nursery days of tadpolism were long ago past. He was out in the world, his own master, and pretended to forget that he was ever a tadpole, with enormous head and belly and a long tail. He was a handsome fellow, with his length of over twenty inches, his large, intelligent eyes, and his active limbs. He wore a tight-fitting coat of green and a white vest, while his peg-top breeches and gaiters were in color a combination of coat and vest. His singing, on which he particularly prided himself, was peculiar,—not like Mario’s or Brignoli’s, and yet, perhaps, considered as fine in the society he adorned. It was something between the sweet croak of the raven, and the gentle bellowing of a young bull. However, I remember that in most stories the writer opens the account of his leading character with some mention of the hero’s family and rank. Let me supply the oversight here before proceeding further. Damon came into the Zoölogical Kingdom with the Vertebrates, the first, you remember, of the four great branches, and the most aristocratic of the four. He was a member of the fourth class—the Batrachia—of that grand branch, and he belonged to the noblest order of his class, the order of Anoura or Tailless Batrachians (that is why it was a grievous insult to tell him he was once “only a tadpole, a tailly tadpole”). You may talk about your Hancocks, Quincys, Gores, Winthrops, and others, but he, Damon, was, by family, of the Ranidæ! Moreover, if Damon was not a rare genius, he was certainly a Genus Rana, and he was distinguished from others of his family by being “Rana Pipiens” (so it was written in a blank leaf of register in the Zoölogical Bible), though they and the rest of the world vulgarly called him Bull-Frog. In return for the nickname, he dubbed his brothers (each has a large family scattered in all parts of our country) Green-Frog, Leopard-Frog, Pickerel-Frog, and Wood-Frog, though in society and by letter their true names were given as Fontanalis, Halecina, Palustris, and Sylvatica. I cannot condescend, particularly now that my friend is dead, to call him Bull-Frog. No! no! But, dropping the great family title of Ranidæ, let us speak of him by his Christian title, Pipiens, and that genus term of distinction, Rana, prefixed to his and each of his brothers’ given name by the great zoölogical world. Poor skin and skeleton, I knew and loved you as Damon,—my Damon! With a tear let me blot out the familiar pet term, and talk of you to the cold world only as Rana Pipiens. Well, Rana Pipiens, though a mighty dandy, was a handsome, powerful fellow. He could take a leap of over a foot in height and nine feet in length.

After a long winter, and as the frost oozed out of the ground, Rana Pipiens awoke one soft April midday in his winter bed beneath tree-stumps and mud. He stretched his limbs, yawned once or twice, and was about to turn around for another nap, when he perceived that his once firm bed was damp and muddy. At the same time, too, he thought he heard a robin’s song. “Nonsense,” said he, “it can’t be spring yet; I have not had half sleep enough.” But spring it was, and Rana Pipiens had been sleeping steadily for nearly six months. He soon recognized the facts, perhaps because of the uncomfortable bed and a hungry gnawing at the pit of his stomach; so he commenced slowly and languidly to make his way out of his winter’s home. After much digging and squeezing, he came to the sunny world above ground, but for a time could only blink and rub his eyes. The trees and bushes were yet bare, the air was cool, but the sun spread his rays with the force and assurance of spring, many birds twittered and hopped about, and the pond before him laughed in glad little waves. Getting accustomed gradually to light and air, he passed the remainder of the day, first in sitting lazily on a flat stone, darting out his tongue continually until he had made an immense meal of insects, then in taking a bath; but, ugh! the cold water made his skin quiver, and he soon finished that; next he practised leaping, and, being dissatisfied with his strength and activity, tried to sing a note or two; but what disconsolate, discordant, feeble notes! As the shadows and dampness of evening warned him to hunt up a leafy night-retreat, he heard a buzzing, humming, loud and louder chorus of peeping, twittering voices, like a combined whistling of thousands of snipe. Rana Pipiens turned his head to listen, while an expression of derision stole over his countenance. “Dr-u-u—Dru-u-u-nk!” said he, hopping along,—“those miserable, blabbing little Fontanales” (Green-Frogs) “at their noisy nonsense already!”

Many days of April passed away, Rana Pipiens remaining under the lassitude and dreaminess that naturally follow a prolonged sleep. All he did was to eat, eat, eat, to doze beside sunny stones and roots, to leap a little higher and farther each day, to swim a few yards in shallow water, to wink, blink, wink, and sometimes to attempt a croak. In that last accomplishment he made but slow progress, and practised it only as a duty; his heart was not musical while the east winds continued, and those Fontanales of one song, and such sappy, sentimental delight at the return of spring, kept up their morning and evening “nonsense,”—so he styled it. Lilacs and willows were green, the young leaves of the horse-chestnuts were out; April had passed into May. Now Rana Pipiens commenced making excursions about his Wissahissick country, giving “good-mornings” to friends and brethren whom he met, startling schools of tadpoles by leaping slyly with a “Jo-onrk!” and a splash into their shallow pebbly play-grounds, admiring a grassy point here and a promising plantation of water-lilies there, once cunningly jumping on the back of a turtle that he discovered twenty feet from the pond, and riding his frightened steed until it took to the water. The old boy was getting gay and active. Sometimes, too, he grew sentimental in his rambles, and from mossy tree-stumps would watch, hour by hour, the changing, drifting clouds in the sky above him, and his batrachian heart would be strangely stirred by many fond fancies and golden hopes. With what a sigh and whispered, guttural “R-o-o-nk!” would he, after such a May revery, let himself down from his observatory, and in dreamy bounds make his way to the north side of the pond, where, on the sunny border of a wood, the bank sloped southward! There, old Beau Rana Pipiens, with big, soft eyes, looked on a natural garden, while his ears enjoyed the harp-like melody of the pines, and his yellow nose drew in the sweets of anemones, violets, columbines, and those wild flower-queens of May,—the trailing arbutus. Happy, contented fellow was Rana Pipiens on such days of May. He could lounge and dream in them as we men Mammalia, eating our bread by the sweat of our brows, cannot. “Loafer?” Yes; but he was made so, and was a good, humorous fellow at any rate.

One of these sentimental hours of stump-revery, however, came very near being fatal to our tailless batrachian friend. It was about the first of June. A warm day and a gentle, soft south-wind made the dreamy head of Rana Pipiens to nod and nod. At last the “nodding, nid-nid nodding” fell off to sleep, and the musings to forgetfulness. After a while the sweet unconsciousness changed to a dim perception of a disagreeable, harsh voice, that ruffled the tranquil surface of his slumber, as a stone thrown into the quiet waters of a pool breaks its tranquillity into little waves. The fact was, a gaunt, hungry crow had sailed over the Blue Hills in search of a dinner by Houghton’s Pond. Lighting on the seared branch of an old oak by the north side of the pond, he sang out a ravenous croak. It was that “Caw! c-a-aw! caw!” my sleeping friend imperfectly heard. He was gradually awaking, but hungry Master Crow suddenly saw our friend, and ceased his cawing to descend with fierce beak and claws on the prey he particularly preferred. As the crow flapped from his perch, the opening eyes of Rana Pipiens spied his danger. Like a great, black arrow the destroyer swooped down, and his talons were within a foot of our friend’s fat green back, when, with a tremendous leap, somersault, and gurgling “Ah-r-r-o-o-nk!” Rana Pipiens threw himself into the mouth of a hole beneath a neighboring rock. And there lighted the crow, to dig with beak and claws, and caw fiercely and more fiercely. Rana trembled and quaked until the report of a gun assured him that his enemy was either dead or scared away. The fright, however, made our Batrachian more careful after that, and often when I saw him during the summer, and he saluted me with a satirical (for he could joke over his own defeats) “Funk! Ho what a f-u-unk!” I could only distinguish his great green head, like a big emerald, rising above the water about the lily-pads, and the protruding eyes rolling watchfully, but comically, around.

I have not space in which to tell all the incidents in that one summer’s period of our hero’s life. It was full of sun-basks and fresh baths, adventurous journeys and delicious squats in the mud, evenings at the singing-club and mornings in exciting chase of darting insects. But, though it abounded in pleasure and interest to him, it was not without its troubles and dangers. Out of his own Batrachian class, he had one or more enemies in every other class. In that of Mammalia was the cruel Boy of the order of Man; in the Bird class many, as the Crow of the order Raptores, and the Bittern, of the order of Waders; in the class of Reptiles, there was the voracious Snapping-Turtle of the Testudinata order; and among Fishes, an occasional giant Pickerel of that order with the prodigious name—the order of Abdominal Malacopterygians (!)—snapped threateningly at the calves of his yellow legs. However, the long title of his fish-enemy’s order rather sweetened the occasional risks that our aristocratic friend ran from the sharp teeth of a long-nosed pickerel.

All those minor events must be denied the reading world until Rana Pipiens’s biography may be written; what few facts in his career I have yet to write of are those which principally lent romance to it, and at last, through the chivalry of an aspiring spirit, sadly signalized his painful death.

Some time in June or July, my hero of big heart and long legs saw a lady (a Ranida lady of course) of swimming grace, queen-like figure, languishing green eyes, the tiniest hands and feet imaginable (on a frog), and such a voice!—such a voice that my pen, to do it justice, would need be dipped in the distillation of bass-viols and the morning breath of lowing cattle. Her name was Musidora. For that reason I had given the name of Damon to him, our hero, whose heart she won. And now Rana Pipiens was no longer a careless, happy mortal, but, convulsed by the palpitations of his loving heart, he gave up old amusements, lost his appetite, and sat for many hours of each summer day sighing away his once jolly existence in muttered, melancholy croaks. At night, when the plaintive call of the whippoorwill resounded through the forest, and when other Ranidæ from every quarter of the pond answered each other’s comical songs, our love-struck friend would seek with stealthy leaps the bower of his Musidora, and there pour out in chanted verses of most ridiculous pathos his consuming passion. His lugubrious notes, perhaps, flattered Musidora, but to all other hearers they were only sources of ridicule. One witty fellow, a rival of our hero’s, was one night taking tea with the lovely Musidora, when our love-sick swain struck up his ditty on the pond shore before the charmer’s bower. As Rana Pipiens finished a pathetic verse with the strain, “Love’s bark was sunk!—oh! aah! Love’s bark was sunk!!!” the rival from a back window replied in slow, sad, bass voice, “And Damon got dru-unk!—Ha! H-a-a! and Damon got dru-unk!!”

Incensed in the highest degree, so that his muscles quivered with rage, Rana Pipiens had yet the coolness to answer not a word, but wait until his insulter left Musidora’s roof of leaves and flowers. When the rival, unconscious of a hidden foe on his path, was passing our hero’s dark corner, out leaped Rana Pipiens and struck his enemy full in the face with his distended foot. The assailed one quickly recovered from the blow, and, drawing a trusty rapier of well-tempered sword-grass, cried, in a voice husky with rage, “Come on, foul frog! Blood! blood!” Rana Pipiens answered the challenge by drawing his weapon and awaiting the onslaught. What a scene of blood and passion for that quiet night! The stamping feet, the murmurs of rage, the flashing of the slim, green blades in the streaming moonlight! A quicker interchange of thrusts and parries,—a groan,—and the rival has fallen pierced through the lungs by Damon,—once so gentle, so kind-hearted, now a murderer!

Rana Pipiens must flee! Trembling because of his terrible crime, he hastened from the cold body of his foe. By early dawn of the following day, Rana Pipiens was a miserable, conscience-stricken outlaw by the wild forest shores of Punkapog. There he lived among strangers until September came and the fierce clamor had subsided. His relatives, having much power in the Wissahissick community, allayed the popular feeling against Rana Pipiens, and wrote him to return. Alas, poor fellow! thou hadst better have dragged out thy miserable existence—an unfortunate among strangers in a dreary land—than to have returned to the tragic fate that cut thee short in the flower of life!

A week after his return, Musidora accepted his hand, and their engagement came out. All the Ranida society in Wissahissick crowded to offer congratulations. Many went merely from curiosity to see the fatal duellist; others to admire the beauty of the fair Musidora; some, because of true friendship for the distinguished couple.

Now was the world again bright and joyous for the sorely tried Rana Pipiens. Always with his beloved Musidora, the glances of her green eyes were more comforting than the beams of the sun, her smiles more satisfying than mouthfuls of May-flies.

One lovely afternoon in October, ten days before their wedding was to take place, Damon and Musidora strolled out arm in arm for a walk. In pleasant talk they wandered to a favorite cove at the east end of the pond, and there, among the lily-pads, enjoyed for a time the landscape constantly changing its effects in the departing touches of the setting sun. Enraptured by the beauty of the scene and their own fond chat, they heeded not the approach of one of their enemies,—one of the class Mammalia,—a cruelly mischievous boy of the order of Bimana, or Man. This youth stealthily crept near, and, holding a fishpole above our innocent Ranida, dropped a hook, artfully hidden in half a square inch of red flannel, directly on the delicate nose of Musidora. Enraged by the insult to his lady-love, Rana Pipiens instantly sprang to tear down the hated color. He missed it. The dirty-faced, barefooted, grinning little rascal raised the hook a few inches, and then shook it again, this time above the head of Rana Pipiens himself. With a croak of rage,—a savagely muttered “Ah rhoonk!”—Rana Pipiens made a strong and sudden leap, and caught the maddening rag. But look! See him rise through the air! See those kicks of agony,—the hands spread out imploringly, and then clutching the line by which he is suspended,—the knees bent to the body and then kicked down in a spasm of pain, an effort at escape! What a cruel scene! What plaintive, fearful, beseeching cries come from the breast of our poor captured, wounded hero!

While the affrighted Musidora fled weeping and trembling from the scene, the savagely-laughing eleven-year-old specimen of Bimana drew in his prey to his clutches, and in a minute more poor Damon was a murdered corpse. I bought the body of the slaughtered one from the slayer, and preserved the remains of a fellow-being I had so well known in his lifetime. Thus tragically terminated the romance of Rana Pipiens.

Vieux Moustache.


In a little hut in the forest which borders on the German Ocean dwelt a brother and sister, Franz and Bertha by name. Franz was much older than his sister, being fifteen years of age, while she was only ten. He was strong, and large in frame, with a good-humored, but not very intelligent face. Bertha was a bright, merry little girl, and perfectly fearless in the lonely woods. They had not always lived in this manner, but had dwelt with their parents in a neighboring village. It was but a few months since their father and mother had died of a fever, within a few days of each other, leaving them orphans, and wholly destitute. The father had been a carpenter, and was beginning to teach his son the same trade when he died; but he had learned so slowly that no one was willing to take him for an apprentice. They said that he was too stupid to learn any trade, and only fit to be a wood-cutter or a charcoal-burner in the forest. A great many people would have been willing to take little Bertha into their houses and maintain her in return for such work as she could do, but nothing could persuade her to leave her brother. They remained in their parents’ house for two or three days after the last funeral, for no one wished to disturb them so soon, when one evening Bertha said to her brother, “Don’t you think, Franz, that we ought to decide what we shall do now?”

“I don’t know what to do,” answered Franz, gloomily; “I have been to all the master-workmen in the village, and not one of them will take me. Ah! if father had but lived to teach me a little more!”

“Yes, but Franz,” persisted Bertha, “we must think of something, for you know we cannot go on living in this way.”

“You can go to the Frau Hoffman’s, if you like,” replied he; “I know she wants you to help take care of her cross children.”

“No,” said Bertha, shaking her head decidedly, “I shall stay with you. And now see what a nice plan I have made! You know the hut in the forest, which Gottfried the wood-cutter has just left to go to the wars? Well, I am sure that you could get his place, and we would live there, and it would be so comfortable, and I would be your housekeeper!” Bertha’s eyes danced at the thought of the fine housekeeper she would be, and even Franz roused himself at the idea.

“Why, that is just what I should like,” he said; “but what would you do all alone, while I am out at work?”

“O, I should be quite happy,” she replied. “You know that I can spin and weave, so I should have a great deal to do; and then you could tell me where you were going to work, and I could bring out our dinner, and we could have it together in the woods, like a picnic.”

They sat up very late that night talking over their plan; and the more they thought of it the better it seemed; for though Bertha was so young, she had a wise head, and knew very well what was best to do. Early the next morning Franz went to the Mayor and asked for the wood-cutter’s employment, which was very willingly given to him. Gottfried had sold all the furniture of the hut when he went away, so that they brought with them such articles as they needed from their old home. Bertha was very particular to have her mother’s loom and wheel in her new dwelling; and when they were set in their places, and the tall clock stood ticking in the corner, the hut began to have quite a home-like appearance. Franz brought all his father’s tools, because he did not like to part with them, though he had no use for any except an axe and a hatchet. Such of their parents’ furniture as they thought they should not need, they sold, and with the money Franz paid all the funeral expenses. When people saw that the orphans were so much in earnest about helping themselves, they began to be very willing to assist them. The miller sent them a large bag of meal, and many farmers brought them presents of vegetables and cheese. When they first removed to the hut one and another of the villagers’ wives would often come and spend several hours at a time with Bertha, and show her how to do a great deal of household work. After a while they came less frequently, for they were all busy women, with families of their own to take care of. But Bertha had learned so much from them while they continued to come, that she was able to manage quite well by herself afterwards. In the morning she would arrange everything in the hut as neatly as if she had lived in a great city where she might expect many visitors, for she wished to have things look pleasant and cheerful for her brother and herself. After this she would spend most of the day in spinning and weaving. She made all her own and her brother’s clothes, and she was known to be so skilful a spinner that people would sometimes even bring her flax from the village to be spun, and in this way she earned a little money herself to add to her brother’s wages. Thus they lived for some time, very quietly to be sure, but very happily, for they loved one another so much that they never cared for the loneliness of the place nor longed for other company.

One autumn morning, as Franz was preparing to go out to his work, Bertha put the bread and cheese which made his usual dinner into the little tin pail, and gave it to him to carry, saying that she should not be able to bring it to him that day, for she had some work which she was in a hurry to finish; but that she would come out at dusk and walk home with him instead. Franz assented, as he always did to whatever she proposed, and, only bidding her be careful and not work too hard, he kissed her and said good by. Bertha stood at the door and watched him as he went down the path, while the leaves rustled and crackled beneath his feet, and the sun shone brightly through the branches, which still bore a few red and yellow twigs. She kept calling “Good by! good by!” as long as her brother was in sight, and when she could no longer see him, she turned back into the hut. It seemed quite dark and gloomy to her within, in comparison with the fresh brightness of the early morning out of doors. As she took up the large bundle of flax, she said to herself, “I almost wish I had not given Franz his dinner, it will be so pleasant out in the woods to-day. But then I must finish this spinning for the Sattlerin Graff before night, or I think she would not give me any more.” She sat down by the wheel and soon grew interested in her work. Joining her voice to the cheerful hum of the wheel, she spent the day quite pleasantly in singing and working. A little while before dark the yarn was all spun, and neatly reeled off, and folded up ready for the Sattlerin, whenever she might call for it. Then Bertha gladly put on her cloak, and drew its hood over her head, and set off gayly for the forest. As she ran along the path she observed a little old man, a short distance ahead, who was walking in the same direction as herself. As she came up to him, she saw that he stooped a great deal, and that his face was very much wrinkled; but yet he carried no staff, and seemed very bright and active. He wore upon his head a curious-looking red cap. The rest of his clothes seemed to be of an indefinite dusky hue, but where a stray beam of the setting sun fell upon them it showed that their real color was a dull green. He turned when he heard Bertha’s approaching steps, and looked keenly at her with his sharp, gray eyes.

“Who are you, my little maid?” he said; “and what can you be doing all alone in the forest?”

Bertha was a good deal astonished at meeting a stranger in such a retired spot, but, as she had been alone all day, she felt glad to have some one speak to her, and answered readily. “I am the Fraulein Bertha, the sister of Franz the wood-cutter,” she replied, with as much importance as she could assume, “and I live with him in the hut just a little way behind us.”

The old man turned his eyes upon her again with a quick glance of satisfaction. Then he gathered some of the brightest leaves from the trees, and commenced forming them into a wreath, walking very slowly as he did so. Bertha loitered by his side, watching the progress of the work, and they grew quite friendly together, as they talked of the forest, and the wild birds and little animals that dwelt in it. As the work on the wreath went on, Bertha thought she had never seen one so beautiful. Finally she ventured to ask who it was for.

“It may be had for the asking,” replied the old man, giving it a finishing touch and holding it out so that the sunlight might strike through it.

“Then may I have it?” said Bertha eagerly.

“Yes,” answered he, “but you must put it on for yourself.”

Bertha took the wreath with thanks, and soon, throwing back her hood, arranged it upon her head. “Now I look like a wood-fairy, don’t I?” said she, gleefully.

The old man frowned slightly. “More like a princess, I think,” he answered rather dryly.

They walked on together a few steps, when, just as Bertha was beginning to think that she must hasten on to her brother, who would be tired of waiting for her, the old man stood still, and pointed to something.

“See that tree, Bertha!” he exclaimed.

Bertha looked, and saw a very large tree standing a little back from the foot-path which they were following. It was indeed a tree of wonderful size, and she thought it very strange that she had never noticed it before. In its trunk, three or four feet from the ground, there was a large, hollow space, looking like a doorway, quite high and broad enough for any little girl to enter.

“Let us go nearer and look at it,” said the old man, and Bertha, full of wondering curiosity, went with him.

When they reached the tree she could just look over the edge of the hole. There she saw a flight of steps, leading downward, cut in the wood.

“I wonder whether steps can be strong that are cut in such old wood,” remarked the little man, carelessly.

“I will try them,” said Bertha, climbing up on the edge, and then bravely stepping down.

They seemed quite strong, and she went down one or two, when suddenly the old man sprang up behind her and prevented her return. Bertha was rather astonished at his activity, but thought he was only in sport, until, glancing up, she saw a most malicious expression upon his withered face.

“Yes, go down!” he said, with a mocking laugh. “These steps lead to the underworld, where you must serve us for a hundred years. It is all your own doing, too, for you know that it was of your own accord that you put on that wreath, and without it you never would have seen this tree, and we could have had no power over you.”

Bertha tried to tear the fairy wreath from her brow, but it was immovable. No hand but her own could have placed it there, and none but her captor’s could remove it. She stood still, despair and indignation at the treachery of the dwarf rendering her perfectly defiant. “It is all a shame and a cheat!” she cried. “I never would have put on the wreath if I had known what it really was!”

“Of course you would not!” coolly answered the dwarf. “But come, go down quickly!”

Bertha was forced to obey. And now, to add to her troubles, came the thought of her brother, and of the grief he would feel at her loss, and she burst into a torrent of wild tears and sobs. But the relentless dwarf drove her on before him, and soon, after going down the rest of the steps, and passing through a dark, narrow passage, they came to a large open space.

From this space two paths branched off in opposite directions. The one on the right led to the gay palaces and gardens of the underground dwarfs; that on the left, to a dreary plain, where the mortal children whom they had captured and made their slaves were constantly employed in their hard tasks. The dwarf stopped for a moment, hoping that Bertha would look around, and that the distant view of the bright palaces and flowering trees on the right would make the place where she was to dwell seem still more hateful to her. But she was too much absorbed in grief to see anything; and, indeed, all the delights of that abode would have seemed perhaps even worse than the toils she was to undergo, for she had no heart to enjoy anything there. They turned to the left, and soon Bertha heard a mournful strain of music rising on the air. It came from her fellow-captives, little German children, who were sadly singing their old home songs as they labored. Then the dwarf who had brought her down gave a shrill whistle, and immediately another dwarf even uglier than himself appeared. To him Bertha was given in charge, with the command that she should be employed day and night in spinning. “For I have heard that the Fraulein Bertha, as she calls herself,” said her captor, contemptuously, “is a good spinner, and we must get all we can of her work.”

Thus Bertha was led away to join the other unfortunate children who were there before her, in their hard and hopeless toil,—her pleasant home, her happy occupations, and, worse than anything else, her dear brother, all lost to her, as she believed, forever. The time passed wearily on. Bertha tried to talk a little with the other children, who all had some story of wrong similar to her own to relate, but they were constantly watched by their cruel taskmaster, who punished them whenever he heard a word spoken, so that they could not have much companionship together.

But now let us see what happened to Franz, thus left alone in the world. On the day that Bertha was carried off he worked hard, as usual, cutting down several trees and clearing them of their branches. When he saw that the sun was near setting, he began to expect his sister. Still he went on with his work. Sunset came, and it began to grow dark, so that he put up his tools and stood leaning against a tree, wondering much that she did not come, but unwilling to start for home alone, thinking that it might disappoint her, and make her feel as if she had been to blame in not coming sooner. Thus he stood for some time while it grew darker and darker. He then began to feel afraid that she might have been taken ill suddenly, and was just slinging his tools across his back to go home and see how it was with her, when he heard the sharp little voice of a wood-elf in the bushes behind him.

“Do you know what has happened in the wood this afternoon, Thornie?” it said.

“No; what is it?” replied the elf that was spoken to.

“The underground people have carried off Bertha, the wood-cutter’s sister, to keep her a prisoner for a hundred years on the old terms.”

“You mean, unless the statue that can speak is given them for a ransom?”

“Yes. Stupid Franz is a likely one to make it, isn’t he?” was the answer, and they both laughed.

Franz heard every word they said, and stood still for a moment, struck with horror. Then he remembered how malicious these elves were said to be, and tried to believe that they had made up the whole story on purpose to tease and frighten him. It agreed but too well, however, with the fact that Bertha had not come for him as she had promised, and, full of the keenest anxiety, he hastened home at the top of his speed. He found the hut quite dark when he reached it; but, instantly lighting a candle, he looked around. Everything was neatly arranged; a few sticks were laid together upon the hearth, ready to make a fire; the bundle of yarn which Bertha had spun that day lay by the side of the wheel; but Bertha herself was nowhere to be seen. Then Franz could no longer doubt the truth of what the elf had said. He sat down by the table, and, burying his face in his hands, remained for a long time lost in mournful thought.

“Alas!” he said to himself, “is Bertha indeed gone? Can it be that I shall never see my dear sister again? And how wretched must be her life among the cruel dwarfs who have carried her away! O Bertha! Bertha! if I might but save you and bring you home again! But that can never be. No, I shall nevermore see my sister!”

After a while he thought that he must let the people in the village know what had happened, though it was not possible that they could be of any service. So he set out to walk to the village, still saying to himself as he went, “I shall never see my dear sister again.”

Suddenly he heard a soft voice whisper, “Thou canst see thy sister again!”

He was now in an open part of the wood, and the moon, which had risen, was shining brightly. He turned quickly round, and saw the tall, delicate figure of a fairy lady, dressed in a robe of clear, faint green, like that of the leaves when they first come forth in the spring, with a bright and gentle face.

“Be quiet!” said the fairy, raising her hand with a warning gesture; “it must not be known that I have spoken to you; but I will show you how your sister can be brought back to earth again, if you will obey me in all I say.”

“I will do anything,” answered Franz, speaking as softly as he could in his excited state.

“Listen to me, then,” said the fairy. “I am Pinella, and I have my dwelling in these woods. I know how much you and Bertha care for one another, and because nothing pleases me more than such love between a brother and a sister, I would most gladly bring you together again. But if any of my race should know that I had helped the wood-cutter, they would inflict the severest penalties upon me. So that, first of all, you must promise not to tell any one that you have seen me, and to perform all that I direct you to do with the utmost secrecy.”

“I promise, willingly,” said Franz.

“Then,” said Pinella, “in the first place, I will tell you what you have to do. The statue which you must make must be exactly like your lost sister as she appeared when you last saw her,—the color of her eyes and hair, the dress she wore, everything, indeed, must be precisely the same. And more than all this, the image must be able to speak, as you heard the elves say a little while ago.”

“Alas!” said Franz, “I can never make such an image. I never made so much as the figure of a dog or a bird in my life, and I know that I cannot do it.”

“Do not speak so,” replied the fairy; “for, if you make up your mind that you cannot do a thing, you never will do it; but if you will only try, I can help you so much that you will be sure to succeed. Now I must leave you; but if you are willing to trust me and do what you can to save your sister, come to this place to-morrow night. Meantime remember to tell no one that you have seen me. Farewell!”

As she finished speaking, the fairy moved quickly away; but Franz called after her, in a loud, hurried whisper, “I will come! I will try! I will do anything to save Bertha!” She turned her face back toward him with a smile, and he now began to feel a little hope for the first time since Bertha had disappeared.

He continued his way toward the village, and soon reached the house of the Sattler Graff, whose wife had given Bertha her last spinning. He looked in at the window and saw the family sitting around the fire. One of them was a little girl of about the same age as his sister. The sight of her made him feel so very forlorn that he did not like to go in. While he thus stood irresolute by the window, he saw the saddler rise from his seat and put on his great-coat to go out. Franz moved a little away from the house, and as soon as the man came out from the porch he walked towards him.

“Ah, Franz! is that you?” cried the saddler, as he caught sight of him. “We don’t often see you in the village of an evening, you keep house so well with that good little sister of yours!”

“Poor Bertha is gone!” said Franz, sadly. “I came here to tell you that the underground people carried her off this evening while I was at work in the forest. But I—” he added hopefully, and then suddenly stopped, remembering in time the promise that he had just made. He was going to say, “But I have seen a good fairy who will help me to bring her back!”

The saddler was too much astonished and shocked to notice how abruptly Franz stopped speaking. “Bertha carried off!” he repeated. “And she was so good and so useful and so intelligent,—quite a little woman, indeed! Poor Bertha!”

The compassionate saddler stood still for some minutes, grieving over the little girl’s fate, then, turning to Franz, he said, “And you, my poor boy,—you will not wish to live in the forest any longer, now that you will be all alone. Come and stay at my house for a few days, at least until something can be settled for you.”

Franz remembered his appointment with the fairy for the next night, and thought of the strange labor which he would have to perform in secret. These thoughts made him decide that it would be much better for him to live by himself. So he thanked the saddler very heartily, but said that he should prefer to remain where he was. The man was a good deal surprised at his decision, but did not urge him to alter it, for he had but a small house to live in iwht his large family of children, and he knew quite well that his wife would not be at all pleased at having Franz with them, especially as she had always thought him very awkward and stupid.

“Well, Franz,” he said, “it is better that you should do as you choose. I will come in soon and see how you get on, and my wife shall go now and then and help you about your housekeeping.”

Franz said that he hoped they would come, and then they bade each other good night and parted. Franz knew that he need not himself tell any one else of Bertha’s disappearance; for he was sure that the saddler would spread the news through the village, so that he walked homeward immediately. The next morning he had to get breakfast for himself in the best way he could, and then he went out to his work as usual.

All day he was longing for the time to arrive when he might go to meet the fairy, and he found that it was only by working very hard that he could be at all patient. Twilight came at last; and after having hastily eaten a little bread and cheese which he had saved from his dinner,—for he liked to keep away from the lonely hut as much as possible,—he set off for the appointed spot, with his axe resting on his shoulder and his hatchet in his hand. Scarcely had he reached the place when he heard the voice of the fairy lady speaking to him as she came forward through the trees.

“You are truly a good brother, Franz,” she said, “and I am glad that you have brought your tools with you. Now I will tell you what is first to be done. In this forest there grows a tree whose wood possesses a wonderful power. If you carve it into the exact shape of anything that you wish to copy, it will of its own accord become of the proper color. This, you see, will be a great help to you, for you could never get all the different paints which would be needed to color your image, and, even if you could, it would not be possible to match them so exactly that the dwarfs could not discover any difference between the statue and your sister’s real appearance. I cannot show you the way to this tree myself; but I will tell you how you can find it. You must fasten the rest of your tools securely about you, and hold your axe loosely in both hands. The edge will turn of itself in the right direction, and all you will have to do is to go where it points. When you reach the tree, you will find a fierce-looking dwarf stationed there to guard it; but if you do not take any notice of him, he will not be able to hurt you. Cut the tree down as quickly as you can, and take home a piece of the trunk about four feet long. This will make a statue of just about your sister’s height. You must work upon it only in the evening, when your regular labor in the forest is done; and remember never to let any one know what you are doing. Be careful to save all the little chips and splinters of the precious wood, and put them safely away by themselves, for they will all be wanted. I will come to you soon and see how you succeed. Until then, farewell!”

With the last words the fairy disappeared, giving Franz no opportunity to make any objections or to ask any further help.

L. E. S.

(To be concluded.)


And so it became an established fact that our Little Pussy Willow was very pretty to look at, as well as good for use. Now, for our part, we are not of the class of those who think it is no sort of matter how one looks if one is only good. Our kind Father in heaven has set us the example of making all his useful works ornamental. A peach-tree might have been made to bear good peaches without having any ornament about it; in fact, peaches might have been made just as they come into market, in rough bushel-baskets; but, instead of that, only see the beauty that is lavished on a peach-tree! There is no flowering shrub that one can get for one’s front door-yard that is more beautiful. There is, first, the beauty of its long, narrow green leaf, which grows with so rich a luxuriance, and then the beauty of its lovely pink blossoms, and after that the charming velvet peach, colored so beautifully with a rosy bloom on one side. And so, in the same manner, apple and pear trees are in the spring of the year covered with the most delicate and delicious flowers. Now, as not more than one in a dozen of these thousands of blossoms ever sets for fruit, it is plain that our good Father meant them for ornament alone.

And so the impulse which makes men and women wish to ornament the houses they live in, and to wear delicate and beautiful clothing, is quite in agreement with the will of our great Creator, who has made everything beautiful in its season.

So that when our little Pussy, on Sunday morning, felt such pleasure in tying on her pretty, fair straw hat, crowned with nodding daisies and meadow grasses, she was just as good a little Christian as she was when she was getting breakfast and helping her mother about the daily work, or reciting her lesson in the Bible class at her Sunday school.

It is not wrong for you, my little girl who reads this, to wish to look pretty, any more than it is wrong to wish to be good; and it is not in the least true, that it is of no sort of importance how you look if you are only good. It is true, though, that it is a great deal more really beautiful to be good than to have a pretty face, or be well dressed. Think this over by yourself, and see if you do not find it so. If you have two schoolmates, one of whom is very pretty and wears the prettiest of clothes, and the other of whom is plain, and wears very plain clothes, at first you like the pretty one the best. But if she is ill-tempered and cross, if she frowns and scolds and is disobliging, by and by she really begins to look homely to you. And if your plain friend is always bright and cheerful and good-tempered and ready to oblige you, you begin to think her quite pretty; she looks pretty to you because you love her.

Now the great trouble about girls and women is, not that they think too much of outside beauty, but that they do not think enough of inside beauty. If Pussy thought of nothing but how to dress herself, if her whole mind were taken up with thoughts about her clothes, she would be on the way to lose what is her best beauty, and her most lasting one,—that is, her unselfish and sweet disposition.

So there is not the least harm, also, in loving to be admired,—especially if you prefer the admiration of your own dear, true friends, to that of strangers. There are some young girls who do not care how they look at home, who do not care that their fathers and mothers and brothers should see them with tumbled and torn dresses, and rough hair, while they will spend hours and hours in getting ready to shine in some party or ball. But our little Pussy was delighted to have her mother pleased, and her father happy, and to see that her brothers were proud of her. She looked at herself in the glass when she came home from church, and saw that she was very pretty, and thanked her Heavenly Father for it, and thought what a good girl she must try to be to those dear parents who loved her so dearly.

She felt as if ten dollars spent on her dress was almost an extravagant sum, but thought she would try to make it up by being very industrious and economical; and she began directly to be very busy, in secret, braiding straw to make her mother a bonnet that should be even finer and nicer than her own. She had learned so well that she could braid straw while she was reading or studying, and her little fingers were never idle, even while her mind was away on other things.

The love of beauty did not stop with her own dress. She began to consider what could be done to make their home attractive. There had been always a best room at the farm-house, but it had been rather a bare place. Not one of the thousand little pretty things and knick-knacks which dress up modern parlors could they have at the farm-house. The floor had not even a carpet, but was covered with clean white sand, crinkled with great art and care, so as to resemble the rippled sand on the sea-beach.

But Pussy set her eyes on this room, and resolved to make it pretty. First she persuaded her mother to let her open the windows and take away some heavy, dark paper curtains, so that the bright light of the sun might be let in. Then she searched the buffet, in the corner of the best room, and found there an old India china bowl that belonged to her mother’s wedding tea-set, and this she set upon the table and kept constantly full of mignonette and other sweet flowers that perfumed the air of the room. Then she arranged mosses and ferns in various little fanciful plots upon various dishes and plates. Her brothers, seeing her object, lent her the aid of their strong arms, and dug up for her roots of plumy ferns, which they brought home all waving with their great fan-like leaves, and planted for her in the lower half of a cask which they sawed in two for the purpose. This was set in the fireplace, and then Pussy busied herself in covering the sides of the cask with green moss. The looking-glass she ornamented with wreaths of evergreen, intermingled with the long gray moss that grew on the boughs of pine-trees, and brightened by red berries. In short, after a while the little parlor looked like some of those quaint mossy bowers in the woods, where one loves to sit and enjoy the sunshine.

There were tall, climbing rose-bushes which grew up over the window and looked in with a hundred rosy, inquiring faces, all through the month of June; and by the time the roses had passed away, there were morning-glories planted at the roots of the bushes which kept up a constant succession of bright blossoms through the summer.

Pussy had induced her brother to make her a rough frame for a lounge, which she cushioned and stuffed, and then covered with a pretty, neat green chintz. A couple of rough boxes, cushioned and covered with the same material, made a pair of ottomans to match this lounge; and the room really began to wear quite an inviting appearance.

Pussy had persuaded her father to allow her the milk of one cow, which he cheerfully did, for he knew she was a deft little dairy-maid. Pussy was happy and busy enough taking charge of Clover,—for so her cow was called. She prepared a breakfast for her every morning with her own hands, and Clover would come up and stand with her head over the fence waiting for it. Pussy would stroke her head, and pat her, and talk to her, and tell her that she must try and be a good cow, and give her a plenty of milk to make butter of; and Clover would look at her attentively out of her great, clear, soft eyes, where you could see the shadow of the lashes just as you can see the rushes in a brook. The fact is, Pussy grew so fond of Clover that she spent a great deal of time petting her. Clover learned some of the arts of civilized life with great rapidity; she would eat cake and gingerbread and apples out of Pussy’s hand, and Pussy would sometimes put a wreath of buttercups and daisies round her horns, and lead her by one horn to look at herself in the brook, and see how she liked herself. What Clover thought of all this she never mentioned; but she showed her regard for her young mistress in the best way that a cow could devise, by giving the most uncommon quantity of nice rich milk. And then Pussy’s brothers went to work and built a milk-room out in the pasture directly over the brook, so that the little stream pattered directly through it; and here Pussy’s pans of milk were set to raise their cream, and here was her seat when she used to churn and work her butter. Pussy’s butter became quite celebrated in the neighborhood, and sold for an extra price, and Pussy counted the money with a glad heart. In six months she had saved enough to buy a neat little shelf of books to put in the parlor; and many and many a happy hour at home grew out of that shelf of books. No ornament of a house can compare with books; they are constant company in a room, even when you are not reading them.

Pussy used sometimes to take a book out and show it to Clover, and say, “Thank you for this, dear Clover,”—all which Clover accepted in perfect serenity.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


Nathaniel Nye was born in Boston about sixty years ago. When he was a lad of eighteen, he shipped as a sailor on board a vessel bound for Liverpool, and left the vessel there and went to London. For a period of about six years, following his departure from Boston, he wandered from city to city of Europe, with his bright Yankee brain ever on the alert to acquire useful knowledge. He worked at several trades long enough to become somewhat familiarized with them;—in a cutlery establishment in Sheffield, England; in a pottery in Sevres, France; in a glass factory in Venice, Italy; in a cabinet shop in Munich, Germany; and I don’t know what more. At the same time he cultivated acquaintance with books; so that by the time he was twenty-four years old he had a head uncommonly well stored, and hands uncommonly skilled in different kinds of workmanship.

At this time he began to think of returning to Boston, and settling down in life. But before doing so, he determined to go to China and familiarize himself with silk-manufacturing, a subject he had studied just enough in France to induce him to think he could make it profitable to transfer this pursuit to his native New England. He therefore shipped on a China-bound vessel. But he never reached China. In the Pacific Ocean, the vessel was captured by a Malay pirate. The captain of the pirate, after killing the English officers, made a proposal to the crew. He had had until recently among his men an English mariner named Leach, who had been killed in an engagement a short time before this. He now offered to spare the life of such one of the men as should best illustrate his knowledge of navigation on the English method. Half a dozen eager fellows offered their services; but, on examination, the Malay captain found that they all knew too little for his purpose, with the exception of Nathaniel Nye, who was no less wise in this matter than in many others. So, to save his life, Nye became the Malay captain’s factotum; but he was firm in the purpose of deserting as soon as an opportunity arrived.

One day the pirate stopped at an island in the South Pacific to replenish her stock of water. Watching his chance, Nye concealed himself at twilight in a clump of bushes not far from the shore, and was overjoyed at seeing the vessel weigh anchor and make sail without him, for he had not yet been missed. He was now a free man, but as to what sort of an abode Providence had thrown him upon, he could form but a general idea. However, he was provided with his gun and a few rounds of ammunition, together with food enough to last him for a day. So, after penetrating inland till late in the evening, he stretched himself out on the ground, and fell into a sound sleep, from which he did not awake till the next morning.

He now resumed his journey, but had not walked far when he suddenly found himself face to face with a savage whose dusky countenance was hideously tattooed. The islander made an effort to wrest Nathaniel’s gun from him; but the American proved the stronger of the two, and the savage retired to a short distance. Suddenly turning, he drew his bowstring to his cheek, and pointed an arrow at Nathaniel. The latter, preferring that of the two the savage should die, fired upon and killed him. The report of the gun brought upon the scene a hundred dusky warriors, who surrounded our unfortunate adventurer, disarmed him, stripped him of his clothing, and led him to their village, where he was condemned to be shot.

The hour of execution followed speedily on the sentence. Nathaniel was led forth, bound and guarded. The king of the tribe sat beneath a wide-spreading tree, surrounded by a circle of his subjects. A line of warriors were drawn up at a short distance, and the king rose to his feet to address them. Taking from his neck a string of glass beads which he wore, he detached one of them from the string, and held it up between his thumb and forefinger. “This jewel,” said the king, “shall be the prize of him who shall first pierce the prisoner’s heart with an arrow.”

You may imagine that Nathaniel had watched what passed about him very closely. The king, in speaking, was very profuse of gesture, and Nathaniel comprehended what he was saying, although he could not understand his words. Perhaps his perceptions were rendered more keen by the sight of the twenty arrows, headed with sharp fish-bone and feathered with bright red feathers, which were already pointed at him. He made a gesture to attract the attention of the savage who had acted as an interpreter for him thus far. This savage, whose name was Mog-Pi, spoke the Malay dialect, enough of which Nathaniel had picked up, while on board the pirate, to be able to make himself understood. The interpreter approached.

“Is that necklace highly valued by your king?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Mog-Pi, “the king’s necklace has no brother. It was captured in one of our wars with a neighboring tribe, and was bought with the blood of a hundred warriors.”

“Ask your king if he will spare my life, and give me my liberty, if I will make him ten such necklaces.”

Mog-Pi laughed.

“What does he say to you?” demanded the king, impatiently.

“He says,” answered Mog-Pi, “that, if you will spare his life, he will make ten such necklaces as that.”

“What!” cried the king, in great surprise, and with gestures showing the intensity of his astonishment. “Is he a magician?” He approached Nathaniel and stared at him earnestly. “Make him say it again, Mog-Pi.”

Nathaniel repeated his words.

“Unbind him!” cried the king. “Shall I have my new necklaces to-morrow?”

Nathaniel took a moment for reflection, and then said to the interpreter, “I must have thirty days.”

The king was greatly disappointed at this; but he finally agreed to the terms. “I am suspicious,” said he. “Why can he not make these gems sooner? But give him the time he asks. He shall be watched night and day, and, Mog-Pi, tell him this: if in thirty suns he has not proved his wonderful power, his tongue shall be cut out and burned for lying, his eyes shall be picked from their sockets for having looked on my disappointment, and his body shall be burned, and the ashes scattered to the winds.”

“A very uncomfortable prospect that,” thought Nathaniel; “but I shall do it. Blessed day that sent me into Giacomelli’s glass-works! I am saved.”

He was soon left to himself, except that a guard of four stalwart savages kept watch over him; and sitting down under the tree whose shade the king and his subjects had just vacated, he began to take counsel with himself.

“Thirty days in which to make a bushel or so of glass beads,” he said to himself, “and nothing to work with but these two hands. Excuse me, my brains, I came near forgetting you. And now, what to do? There are two materials that I must have, to make glass of; namely, flint and an alkali. Flint is here in plenty, in the shape of sand, which is mostly composed of flint. If I had time to spare, I dare say I could hunt up a purer article of flint, in the shape of quartz crystal; but sand will do. To melt it, I must have an alkali, either in the shape of potash or soda, and this I must make. The ashes of wood and plants will yield me potash in plenty; but there it is again! I haven’t time to spend in converting these ashes into an alkali. Now, as to soda, that is a simpler matter to get,—I have only to burn a quantity of sea-wrack, of which there appears to be plenty on this island; and, besides, soda makes glass brighter and harder than potash. So soda it is!”

With this he sprang up briskly to go at his task at once, and, noticing his guards staring intently at him, he addressed them, though knowing they couldn’t understand a word. “You poor heathen dunces, you expect to hear me cry, Presto, change! and see me wave my hands in the air, I suppose, don’t you? What a precious lot of greenies you fellows are, anyhow! I suppose you don’t know that glass was made in Egypt three or four thousand years ago. I suppose you don’t know that Moses and Job both knew about glass in those old times of theirs. I suppose you don’t even know who Moses and Job were. But I’m wasting my time addressing you, gentlemen. Let me see,” he continued musingly. “Raw materials are very well as far as they go; but the worst part of it is to come. I must have a furnace in which to melt my sand and soda, or I can do nothing.”

Nothing was more certain than this. To melt sand and soda requires a very intense heat, and of course the crucible in which they are melted must be able to sustain this heat unharmed; and not only that, but it must resist the chemical action of the soda, which will melt some things that fire won’t, because it can’t. The material must therefore be a clay containing so small a proportion of flint as to resist the action of the alkali. The main constituent of this clay is alumina, which, when mixed with a certain proportion of sand and a little magnesia, will resist almost any fire.

Nathaniel understood all this thoroughly, thanks to his habits of study, for it is not probable he ever would have learned so much by the mere working in a glass factory; and without more delay he set out to search for the materials for his crucible, or “bead oven,” as he facetiously termed it, for there was no dampening his spirits. Men who have seen much of life are not apt to lose their spirits under menacing danger.

The thirty days were rapidly slipping away, and the greater part of them had been used by Nathaniel in experimenting, with slowly improving results. At last the much-desired oven was done, and the last day of the thirty was perilously near at hand. The oven stood in a large hut, where he had gathered wood for a fire, with the aid of savages whom the king placed at his service; for the king was liberal with all the assistance in his power, though he kept a vigilant guard over our hero, and frequently commissioned Mog-Pi with repeating to Nathaniel the tortures that awaited him if he failed to meet his agreement. Nathaniel only smiled at these things, and went on with his labors; but his heart fluttered a little as the critical hour drew nigh. He had selected the finest sand he could find, and had the savages grind it still finer between smooth stones; and by burning aquatic plants in holes dug in the ground, as he had learned to do in Giacomelli’s factory in Venice, he had succeeded in obtaining in the ashes some fine pieces of soda, which also were ground fine by the much-wondering natives.

“Now leave me alone,” said he; and he put every man of them out of his hut-factory. “The hour has come,” he said to himself. “If I have made any mistake in my preparations, and therefore fail, I am a dead man, and alas for my poor tongue and my unhappy eyes!”

He lighted his fire. The wood proved bad, and gave but little heat with a great deal of smoke. Better wood had to be provided, and he tried again. Then the oven, being new, heated very slowly. At last there remained but just time enough to enable him to complete his operations before the fatal day, provided he had no further hindrances. Mixing the sand and powdered soda, he put the compound on the stone shelf in his baking oven, over the fire, and stirred it slowly with a piece of iron, so that it should heat up evenly, and not make lumps.

“Come, be lively, Mister Fire!” apostrophized Nathaniel, who naturally felt a little excited, and may therefore be excused if he said an absurd thing or two. “What a spoon this is to stir my frit with! It’s the only piece of iron these poor heathens possess, though. Now, then, Mister Fire, will you be lively? Aha! now for it! My frit is getting cherry-red, and will soon be ready to go into the red-hot crucible.”

At last it was hot enough to put into the crucible without breaking it, and in it went. And while Nathaniel with a flushed and happy face was skimming the mixture as it melted, and keeping up a roaring fire underneath, the king and his warriors were gathering outside; for the last day of the thirty had come. Mog-Pi put his head in at the door of the hut and said: “The warriors are preparing their arrows. If the beads are not ready at the setting of the sun, you know your fate.”

“Well, well!” said Nathaniel, without looking around; “keep quiet, will you? Hang the fellows! if I should need a half-hour’s grace, they wouldn’t give it to me.”

The melting was successful. Nathaniel Nye felt that he was saved, as he viewed the clear, transparent liquid in his crucible. He was none too soon, however. The sun was already sinking behind the western hills, and as he beheld this sign, Fu-ti the king strode into the hut, with his warriors at his heels. But the hut was not so large as some houses I know of in Boston, and only a few could enter. These gathered in a semicircle about the king, while others peered in at the door. Before the king there stood a large vessel filled with water, which Nathaniel had got ready and placed there.

“Show me my stars!” demanded Fu-ti. “Where are the stars you promised me?”

“Here is one,” said Lonet,—for he had already begun to pick up the language of the islanders, and understood the king’s words,—and at the moment of making this reply he dipped his rod of iron in the crucible, and let the liquid glass which had adhered into it drop in the water, where it immediately hardened and formed an opaque white bead, pear-shaped, such as are often known by the name of Prince Rupert drops. This he presented to King Fu-ti.

The king looked at it in amazement, and then, turning to his warriors, set up a shout of joy, which they re-echoed till the little hut rang again. Nathaniel Nye joined in the shout, and made as much noise as the loudest of them, for he thought he had reason to be as delighted as the king; and I think so too.

“He has got a glass bead, and I have got my life,” laughed Nathaniel, as he again dipped the iron in the crucible, and again produced a bead. What was the king’s delight as he saw the beads accumulate to the number of several hundred under Nathaniel’s skilful management!

When he had got the required number ready, our hero decided to make the warriors his friends. So he made a bead for every one of them, and so delighted them by his generosity that they could have fallen on their faces before him in gratitude and admiration.

“I guess I will give them a touch of the wonderful now,” said Nathaniel, taking a bead in his hand. This he struck sharply on the pointed end, when it exploded with a loud noise, like the firing of a pistol, leaving nothing in his hand but a little dust. This was so marvellous to the savages, that they cried out in alarm.

Nathaniel Nye now found himself a very popular man in the community. King Fu-ti manifested his respect and affection for his late prisoner by going up to him and rubbing his nose against Nathaniel’s. All the warriors followed in their turn, and some of them had such very hard noses, with such very rough rings in them, that Nathaniel had almost as trying a time of it as General Grant had last summer in shaking hands with his admirers; but our hero submitted with a good grace, and reflected that, if his nose was a little lame at the end of the performance, he had been accorded the highest honors of the country. To cap the climax of their regard, he now ran some of the melted glass into several little clay moulds that he had provided for the purpose, and turned out various curious and pretty articles.

From this time forward, Nathaniel Nye became almost an object of worship on the island. Had he been a bad man, he would have taken unmanly advantage of the reverence in which he was held; but his mother was one of those good New England women who instil noble principles into the minds of their children, and Nathaniel had not forgotten his training in all his wanderings. So he set to work to endeavor to Christianize and civilize these people. By addressing himself to their interests as well as their consciences, he soon succeeded beyond his first expectations. At the end of a year they had given up their idols and erected a temple to the true God. Idleness and war were forsaken for industry and thrift, and before long the nation was metamorphosed.

William Wirt Sikes.


Ah ha, little maiden! I’ve heard, I have heard

    From the lips of my faithful, confiding Bluebird,—

    No eavesdropper he, but ’t was under his tree

You were sighing your wish, and he caught every word.


And would you, then, like so dearly and well

To hear all the secrets of dingle and dell

    That nobody knows but the wind that blows,

And the brooks and the birds, and won’t you tell?


Little Ann Emony surely you know;

The Wind is my father, I bend and bow low

    Down in the grasses whenever he passes,

Because I know and love him so.


My lady, Spring Beauty, lives just within call,

Her dress is striped pink, and she’s stately and tall,—

    Much finer than I, although Bluebird says, “Why?

I like people best who are quiet and small.”


Down by the brook, in a leafy nest,

Shady and cool, in her soft blue dressed,

    Wild Vio Letta—perhaps you have met her—

Leans over the one that loves her the best.


And her lover, the Brook, he madly sings,

And rubies and diamonds gayly flings

    Up over her hair and breast so fair,

As she sits and dreams all golden things.


Wood Robin came wooing, the other day;

He carolled his sweetest roundelay,

    But Vio, so wise, never lifted her eyes,

And Robin flew, silent and hopeless, away.


The bright clouds smile down as they sail by above her;

The fishes flash gold, but nothing can move her;

    Still she sits, in her blue, ever faithful and true,

Hearing naught, seeing naught but her glad, leaping lover.


So we are to have a wedding, you see,

Under the merry old greenwood-tree,

    But when, I can’t tell, though I like you so well,

For they’ve only told Patty, and she told me.


Did you ever see Patty, little ’E. Patty Car?

She wears pale purple, her eye’s like a star.

    Nobody’s like Patty, so dainty and natty,

So shy and so tender, look near or look far.


Patty’s house is of moss, down under the fern,

And all through the winter so bitter and stern

    She opens it wide for the homeless to hide,

The beetles and bugs, till spring doth return.


The birds and the butterflies love her well,

And—if you won’t mention it—Gray Squir Rell

    I’ve seen stop his chatter and sit looking at her

By the half-hour,—but that I ought never to tell.


O, there comes Bluebird, as fast as he can,

To sing to me; so I must leave you, sweet Fan.

    With this he will fly to you; so now good by to you,

And I hope you’ll soon call on your friend, little Ann.

Mrs. George Warner.


Once upon a time, and a long, long time ago, for it was on the nineteenth day of May, 1780, the good and pious people of New England, not to mention the sinners, of whom probably none then existed, were very much startled by a phenomenon known ever since as “The Dark Day,”—not a make-believe dark day, such as we all see now and then, when the darkness comes from our own hearts and heads,—not a national dark day, although the people who saw it were in the midst of the Revolutionary war, and a good many of them enjoyed taking exceedingly uncomfortable views of the country’s future, just as some of us have been fond of doing in the last few years,—not a spiritual or intellectual dark day, such as the world has seen so many of, that a long epoch in its history is known as the Dark Ages,—not the dark day of an eclipse, foretold by all the wise men, and for which we prepare smoked bits of glass, and have such fun in blacking our noses by peeping through them,—in fact, not like any other dark day that ever was heard of since the world began, and for which no one is even now able to account.

There yet live people who were children then, and one of these, a charming old gentleman, has told me all about it, and I will tell it to you again.

He says that, very early upon that morning, a learned astronomer, who had risen betimes to take a peep at the morning, discovered that something was wrong with the clouds and the winds, and predicted to his family that the day would be the darkest ever known in New England, for the heavy strata of cloud he had seen driven by opposing winds across each other at different heights, must, if they continued to thicken as they were then doing, obscure the sun’s rays almost entirely. Very likely the astronomer’s family smiled slyly into its coffee-cups, and said to itself that long vigils and early rising, together with much star-gazing, are apt to make a man fanciful, and that a cloudy day was no such marvel. But before the coffee-cups were washed and put away, the prophecy had become a fact, for the clouds, growing darker and heavier with every moment, seemed closing down upon the earth like a great black roof, shutting out the daylight almost altogether. The sea, moaning and surging in an uneasy sort of way, lay black and awful under the blacker sky, except when long lines of foam curved like white lips upon its surface. The wind, sighing through the broad pine woods that lie for miles about the Old Colony where I heard the story, sounded wild and wicked as the winds that blow down to us from the old days of sorcery and witchcraft; or perhaps it was because all who saw and heard them were so frightened and astonished that they seemed to look and sound so. But at any rate, (for this is a homely fact, not to be done away with by common-sense suggestions,) the hens, not usually too romantic in their notions, saw something so strange about the day that at nine o’clock in the morning they went soberly to roost, and, with their heads under their wings, slept straight through the day and night that followed. The cows, too, came to the bars, lowing to be driven home; the dogs whined and howled, the pigs squealed, the horses wouldn’t go, and the little children ran crying to their mothers.

As for the big children, I suppose they thought it fun, and capered about, getting in every one’s way, asking all manner of questions, running out every minute to look, and in, every other minute, to report upon the way things were going. At least that is the way we would have acted if we had been there, wouldn’t we?

But the fathers and mothers,—those poor fathers and mothers who have to take all the care and worry, while the children keep all the fun, and who are sometimes tempted to be too severe and sad, just because they can no longer be gay and careless as they once were,—the fathers and mothers, I say, took very gloomy and terrified views of this Dark Day.

Some thought the world had come to an end, and that this was the Day of Judgment; these occupied themselves with listening for the blast of the last trumpet, and looking toward the gloomy heavens to catch the radiance that should herald the coming of the Lord. Others considered the darkness a sign of God’s displeasure at the wickedness of man, and a warning to amend before it was too late. Others thought it an omen that the war was about to end disastrously; and a few Tories, who had been obliged till then to hold their tongues, now ventured to say that the war was a wicked and an unnatural one, and had excited the wrath of God,—that the American Colonies had done very well under the rule of Great Britain, and should have remained quiet, instead of making every one uncomfortable, and sending the prices of everything worth having out of honest people’s reach,—just such talk, indeed, as might have been heard during our own great war in many an odd corner and cowardly hiding-place.

Yet others were there, who were so determined to take a rational and everyday view of the Dark Day that they insisted it was only caused by vast volumes of smoke from burning woods, added to the natural murkiness of a cloudy day; but this explanation was about as satisfactory as if some one should tell us the deluge was caused by Mrs. Noah’s having emptied her washing-tubs into the ocean.

So every one believed that the most dreadful thing he could imagine was about to happen, and nearly every one began to pray very loud, as was then the fashion under almost all circumstances, and to read the most awful passages of Scripture that could be selected, as also was then the fashion; for our good Puritan fathers were much fonder of talking of the justice and power and wrath of God than of His infinite love, mercy, and patience. So they read and prayed the whole day through; and when about five o’clock the clouds lightened a little, they thought, I suppose, that they had prayed away the Dark Day, and felt quite satisfied with themselves and their efforts; but at nightfall the darkness came on again, and more intensely than ever, of course, the unnatural gloom of the day being added to the natural gloom of night, and both together causing a darkness that people say was to be felt as well as seen, and oppressed those who ventured out in it with a crushing, choking feeling, intolerable to endure. Lights in the windows of houses could not be seen from the opposite side of the street, and several persons were quite lost and bewildered in trying to go from one house to the next. One young man in particular was sent across North Street in Plymouth with a message, and although he took a lantern, and the houses were both well lighted, he could not find the way, and after wandering for half an hour up and down, backward and forward, and round and round, as you have seen the Blindman do when the handkerchief is tight, and no one guides him by calling, he groped his way home by the help of the fence, and ventured out no more that night.

One old lady there was, however, who showed an amount of coolness, and what the boys call pluck, that deserves to be recorded. She was grandmother to the pleasant old gentleman who told me the story, and he evidently took much satisfaction in that circumstance. This old lady, after reading and praying all the day, and finding herself greatly strengthened and comforted thereby, devoted a part of the night to writing verses about the Dark Day, whose end she could not yet know. These verses her grandson still preserves, and they are so quaint and simple, so devout and so brave, that I am sure you will like to read them, fancying all the while the dark and solemn night, with the frightened people not daring to go to bed, but waiting for what dreadful thing was to happen before morning, and the cheerful, brave old lady sitting so calmly among them, now comforting those about her, and again turning to her verse-making.



May 19, 1780.

“There’s many changes past this yeare,

And one Dark Day there did appeare;

Ye Sun did soe withedrawe his light

It made ye noonday looke like night.


“As for ye monthe it was in Maye,

And fell upon ye nineteenth day.

Ye darkness held till almost night,

And then agen it grew more light.


“But when ye evening did come on,

Ye darkness did agen return;

Ye good folk who were then abroade

Say that they could not keep ye roade.


“Some persons were in great distress,

And by their words they did express

They tho’t ye Judgment Day was neare,

And that ye Lord would soon appeare.


“But it to me was a true marke

To show ye darknese man’s heart;

For when ye Lord withdrawes his light

Man’s heart is then as dark as night.


“Nowe may this day a warning bee

To all ye folk that doe it see,

And may we soe refine our ways

That we shall see no more Dark Days.”

I wonder if, in their holy readings, any of these frightened people came upon the text, “Darkness endureth for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” If so, they must have remembered it when the sun rose the next day, somewhat dimly to be sure but yet visibly, and the gloomy sky cleared by slow degrees, until at sunset all was as bright and joyous as ever, and of all the Dark Day nothing remained but its memory, and, we will hope, some of the good resolutions its terror had evoked. But good resolutions with no better foundation than terror are not very strong, and I am afraid the world was not so much improved, after all, as it should have been by the Dark Day.

Very early that next morning, a man on horseback, pale and anxious, as indeed it had been quite the fashion for every one to be during the last day and night, rode into Plymouth from the neighboring town of Carver, asking every one he met if they had seen his little son, a child of four years old, with long fair hair curling about his shoulders, large black eyes, and a clear red and white complexion. He had risen upon the morning of the Dark Day before either of his parents, dressed himself in his little blue frock and cap, and left the house. The father, rising soon after, had gone to the woods to his work, supposing the child at play somewhere near home; and the mother, after looking for him in vain, concluded he had gone with his father. About nine o’clock, when the darkness brought the farmer home from the woods, and stopped the household labors of his wife, it was discovered that the child had not been seen by either since he left his little crib in the early morning. The father tried to seek for him, but the intense darkness soon drove him home again, fortunate in being able to reach home; and all that fearful day and night the poor father and mother had been obliged to wait, doing nothing, and fancying every moment some new peril or misfortune to their darling, and reproaching themselves for not having better watched him. And yet all that dark Dark Day and all that darker night, they could not even leave their lonely house, could not stir hand or foot to seek for him; and before the daylight came, the mother lay scorched with fever and raving with delirium upon her bed, not even knowing when her husband, calling a neighbor to stay with her, rode away, with a heavy and almost hopeless heart, to look for the boy.

Arrived in Plymouth, and telling his sad story to every one he met, the farmer came at length to an old woman, who, while picking up some chips upon the previous morning, had seen a pretty child dancing by, who she thought must be a stranger in the town. She called to him and asked where he was going.

“Going to seek my fortune,” said the child, stopping to look at her with his great dark eyes.

“Your fortune, indeed! And what may be your name, my child?” asked the old woman.

“Why, don’t you know? I’m Daddy’s Man,” replied the boy; and, shaking back his yellow curls, he danced away before the rising wind, like a little fairy changeling, leaving the good woman shading her old eyes and staring after him, doubtful if she should not have kept him from his fortune, until at any rate he had given her some less fantastic name and errand.

The pale father listened eagerly to all the rambling story the old woman was glad to tell, then, climbing stiffly to his saddle, said: “Yes, yes, mother, it was my boy, no doubt. That is just his pretty way and brave temper; and as for the name, he never went by any other since first I took him in arms, and said he was Daddy’s Man. And which way did he go?”

“Straight on into the town, and like enough you will hear of him there, good man. I would—” But the father, with his white face and straining eyes set steadily forward, listened to nothing now, and a few minutes later was asking his eager questions of every one who would stop to listen.

At last a little girl, running with her book to school, paused to hear the story as it was told to two or three pitying women, and when it was done shyly said, “I guess he’s dead, for I saw an angel on the Burying Hill yesterday morning that looked just like him.”

“Nay then, Patty Winslow, what do you know of how angels look, and what was it that you saw?” asked one of the women, turning upon the child, who, nothing daunted by the doubt so bluntly expressed, went on to tell in her simple fashion how she had tried to go up on the Burying Hill on the morning of the Dark Day, but had been frightened back by the great clouds that came rolling down toward her, and was running home, when she saw a little figure standing on a tomb with long fair hair blowing out behind him, and a pale face with great dark eyes uplifted to the sky, while the little hands were tightly folded upon the breast.

Patty stopped a moment to stare at the strange and lovely sight, and remembering a picture in her mother’s Bible of an angel standing much in the same way before the door of the Holy Tomb, she concluded that here was another angel, come perhaps to call the dead men from their graves, if this indeed were the Day of Judgment, and so crept softly away, not daring to approach the beautiful vision.

“It was my boy,” again cried the father. “You did indeed see an angel, my little maid, but in the flesh, as God grant I yet may find him.”

Then setting spurs to the horse he had not dismounted from, he rode on, still asking of every one he met if they could give him news of little lost Daddy’s Man, until at last the whole town was aroused to join in the search, and all that day the lost child was sought through the dark pine-forest, and on the tangled borders of the ponds, and among the great round hills, and along the desolate shore, where the waves came sobbing in, as if they had a story to tell of him that might break your heart to hear could you but understand their mighty voice. At last, just at the sunset, they found him deep in the heart of the great wood between Plymouth and Kingston, ten long miles from the home he had left so bravely and so merrily upon the morning of that terrible Dark Day. How had those little feet carried him so far, and how had he missed all the friendly roofs that would have sheltered him, the kind hearts that would have cared for and protected him, and how, in the darkness and the terror involving him, had he made his way through miles of tangled forest to the lonely spot where he was found? There he lay, under a great pine-tree, his pretty curls tangled with the brown needles, his dark eyes close shut, his little listless hands folded upon his breast, and the smile of Heaven upon his parted lips.

I am so glad that it was the father himself who found him, and who, treading cautiously toward him, and bending fearfully above him, dreading to find him too sound asleep for earthly waking, caught the first glance of those slowly opening eyes, the first glad flash of consciousness and recognition.

“O Daddy!” shouted the little man, springing to his father’s arms, “I’m so glad you’ve come! The night was so dark and long, and I couldn’t find my fortune.”

Ah! the prayer that the father prayed, kneeling there in the solemn wood, his darling clasped close, close to his heart, his wet face upraised to the God who had given him back the treasure so nearly lost forever, must have been a prayer of such praise as the angels sing before the Great White Throne, full of joy and gratitude not to be put in words.

And so Daddy’s Man was carried home in triumph to comfort that poor mother, whose illness must have fled before the great joy of his return; and we will hope that, when next the little hero went forth to seek his fortune, it was with better success.

And if you would know his name when he grew too old to be called Daddy’s Man, and all the rest that may be said of him, go to dear Pilgrim Plymouth, and ask the first old man you meet for the story of the Dark Day. He will give it you in all its details, and many a charming legend beside, or I am no true prophet. And so good by.

Jane G. Austin.


Swinging on a birch-tree

  To a sleepy tune,

Hummed by all the breezes

  In the month of June!

Little leaves a-flutter

  Sound like dancing drops

Of a brook on pebbles,—

  Song that never stops.


Up and down we seesaw:

  Up into the sky;

How it opens on us,

  Like a wide blue eye!

You and I are sailors

  Rocking on a mast;

And the world’s our vessel:

  Ho! she sails so fast!


Blue, blue sea around us;

  Not a ship in sight;

They will hang out lanterns

  When they pass, to-night.

We with ours will follow

  Through the midnight deep;

Not a thought of danger,

  Though the crew’s asleep.


O, how still the air is!

  There an oriole flew;

What a jolly whistle!

  He’s a sailor, too.

Yonder is his hammock

  In the elm-top high:

One more ballad, messmate!

  Sing it as you fly!


Up and down we seesaw:

  Down into the grass,

Scented fern, and rose-buds,

  All a woven mass.

That’s the sort of carpet

  Fitted for our feet;

Tapestry nor velvet

  Is so rich and neat.


Swinging on a birch-tree!

  This is summer joy,

Fun for all vacation,—

  Don’t you think so, boy?

Up and down to seesaw,

  Merry and at ease,

Careless as a brook is,

  Idle as the breeze.

Lucy Larcom.



“We ought to have schools,” said Elizabeth one day; “our children will be savages; and I do want some playmates for them other than Indians. William is more than half Indian now; he talks Indian, struts about with a knife and tomahawk, and all he cares about is hunting. Since he shot the bear, the old Indians tell him he will be a great chief, and sometimes I fear he will go off with them. The other day he had a whole parcel of paint,—going, as he said, on the war-path. I suppose the Indian children put it into his head.”

But they were now to have their wishes gratified. One pleasant afternoon Captain Phinney came down with his wife to supper, and, as there was a moon, they were persuaded to spend the evening. Elizabeth had been long desirous of having them as guests, not merely because she had a great affection and respect for them, but because she was now able to entertain them well, and, if the truth must be told, that she might show her new house and dishes. She could now set on the spirit in a pewter tankard scoured as bright as silver, and with it pewter porringers to drink from; she could offer also in earthen cups some tea, which was then a great luxury, drank only two or three times a year,—at Thanksgiving, and when the minister came. After supper Hugh took the company to see his stock,—four large oxen and three cows, with half a dozen sheep and pigs. Then he showed his wheat in a chamber, and, in a lower room parted off from the kitchen, his carpenter’s bench and tools, and a shoemaker’s bench covered with moosehide, on which were awls and lasts and pincers that he had brought from Ireland. Finally he uncovered the potatoes, the sight of which greatly astonished and pleased them. “Why,” said the Captain, “I had no idea there were any potatoes raised near here. Where did you get the seed?”

Hugh then told him that, when he repaired the vessel at York, he found some that a passenger had left in one of the berths, and, having no land, gave them to his brother James; but when he came to this place he had taken the seed again and planted it.

Elizabeth had also her treasures to show,—butter that she had put down in the summer, a piece of thick cloth that she had woven for breeches and jackets, table-linen and towels, figured and bleached as white as snow, linen yarn, spun almost as fine as silk, and deer-skins, which she had learned from the Indians how to dress, and which were as soft as cloth. The table-linen and the napkins were in a box of birch-bark, worked with differently-colored porcupine-quills, blue, red, and yellow. “Look at this,” said she, taking from the box a beautiful table-cloth which Hugh’s mother had woven and given to her at their marriage; “how handsome this is! and yet the figures on this box, worked by the wild savages, are handsomer. I often wonder at their work when I see their tools.”

When they were again seated before the fire, Captain Phinney said to Mr. McLellan: “I am astonished when I consider how you have got along in the world. About two years since, I took supper with you in the old camp; we all had to drink out of one dish, for you were very, very poor, with a small family and no help. Now you have a better house and better stock than I have, more corn and grain, and almost as much land cleared; yet I had no land to pay for, and had two stout boys to help me.”

“And when I look back,” replied Hugh, “it appears to me like a dream. I lay it to the good providence of God, who has blessed the labor of our hands. I think, however, you are at fault when you say that I have had no help. A kind Providence gave me this wife to begin the world with, who has been more to me than a whole family of boys. Not only has she done the work of the house, which other women deem sufficient, and which is all any man ought to ask, but she has helped me in the field, has reaped grain, dug potatoes, pulled flax, and got in a whole harvest when I was away, and has even cut down trees and done many other things which I never would have permitted her to do had it not been for my extreme poverty. She has aided me by counsel, and encouraged me when I felt worn out and depressed. William, also, young as he is, has been a great help in the way of obtaining provisions. I do not know how we could have got through the last winter, had it not been for him and his dog.”

Captain Phinney having succeeded in drawing out his favorite William to tell the story of the bear, the company laughed heartily when he came to his mother’s saying that it was their duty to kill it, and Mrs. Phinney doubted very much whether she should have considered it her duty to make such an exertion.

“But William,” said the Captain, when the story was finished, “you give nearly all the credit to Bose. Now it is Bose’s nature to clinch a bear; I might say yours too, for you have come to be almost an Indian. It seems to me that your mother was the leader, after all, and ought to have the most credit.”

“I thought everybody knew what mother is,” said Billy; “for a good many times father has said to me in the woods, ‘William, help your mother all you can when I am away, for there is not such another mother in the world.’ But I thought you didn’t know about Bose, and I wanted you should.”

Elizabeth blushed at this incidental proof of her husband’s appreciation, and said: “I never was much used to dogs, and when William brought this one home I felt sorry and provoked, as we had then so little to eat for ourselves. But I have been astonished to find how valuable a dog is in a new settlement, as a help in hunting, and a safeguard too. I didn’t like to have Abigail play so much with the Indian children, but she had no other playmates; in the winter she could not go to your house,—it was so far,—and in the summer the bears and wolves were about; but now that we have a dog, he goes with her, and I don’t feel concerned. Besides, Bose is good company when my husband is gone.”

“But why did you learn to use a gun?” said Mrs. Phinney.

“Necessity,” said Elizabeth, smiling, “drove me to that, as it has to many other things, and not any fondness for shooting. Hugh had paid away his last dollar for land, we had a crop in the ground, and he was away working hard to earn money to buy provision to live on till that ripened. We had not an ox, sheep, or plough, and needed money to buy them, and I could not bear to take every cent for food as fast as he earned it, when there was game all around us in the woods. William was then too young to handle a gun, so I determined to learn. Besides, I felt that, if there should be trouble with the Indians, I might be the means of saving the lives of some of my family; and now that I can shoot, I mean to practise till the Indian troubles are over, or there are more men hereabouts than at present.”

“It is a noble resolution,” cried Captain Phinney, gazing with undisguised admiration upon the speaker; “and nothing but good can come of it. But this talk of Indians reminds me to tell you the last news, which is, that it is the opinion in high quarters that there will be a general war in Europe on account of the Austrian succession, and it is almost certain that war will be declared by England against France, and then we shall have another Indian war. There are but two courses open to us,” continued he. “One is to build a garrison, in which our families may be secure, and stay by to work our land; the other is to flee to Saco, or elsewhere, till the war is over. If we remain in our houses, we shall all be cut off; if we build a garrison, the government will furnish us with cannon and a guard of soldiers. There will be time enough to build a garrison after we know that war is declared, but in the mean time we should be making up our minds either to go or stay; and, as I know you to be persons of good judgment and resolution, I wish to get your opinions and advice.”

“I can speak only for myself,” said Hugh. “I am for staying where I am. Here are my property, and all the means of getting bread I have. If a sufficient number will stay to build a garrison, I will stay, be they many or few. But I shall leave all other considerations to my wife; in such a time the women and children suffer most.”

“I,” said Elizabeth, “am of the same mind as my husband,—I am for staying.”

“It is the decision I expected you would come to,” said the Captain, “and it is mine likewise. Mosier is also for staying. There are quite a number of us, all able-bodied men, and more are coming to join us. With a good garrison and strict watch, and under the Divine blessing, I hope we may win in any war; it is also possible that all trouble may blow over. But there is another more pleasant matter I wish to speak about. I expect you are going to have a very near neighbor.”

“I shall rejoice at that,” replied Hugh, “if he proves a good one.”

“His name is Watson, and he is the husband of Elizabeth, my eldest daughter. He is going to take up the lot on the ridge west of you, so that your lands will join.”

“Have they children?” said Elizabeth.

“They are young married folks, and have but two. Though it would perhaps come better from some one else, I will say that Eliphalet Watson is an industrious, resolute, God-fearing man, and will be to you a first-rate friend and neighbor.”

“What a comfort that will be!” said Elizabeth. “It was only a little while ago that we were saying we wished we had a neighbor, and I was telling how much I missed Mrs. Ayres.”

“It is a custom,” continued the Captain, “when a new settler comes in, for the old residents who are all settled to give him a lift about putting up his house. I thought I would ask you to aid Watson, with the rest of us, when he comes.”

“Certainly I will,” replied Hugh; “but if I were going to begin, I would not build my house till I had made my burn. A man going into the woods in a hurry claps his house up anywhere, and hardly ever gets it where he wants it. Besides, he is in great danger of burning himself up in first clearing his land, when he has no open spot on which to set his house. Watson can come here and live with us and welcome, this summer. He will be convenient to his work; we’ve room to spare, enough to eat, and a plenty of milk for the children. Then, after he has been about on his place three or four months, has become acquainted with it, and knows what he wants, and where he wants his house, we will all turn out and put it up in a jiffy. Perhaps, too, he may leave, on account of the war, and then he won’t need any house.”

“No, he won’t,” replied the Captain; “he is not one of that sort. But you are very kind indeed, and I think your advice is good. I will tell him of it, and also of your kind invitation. If he should accept it, we should take his wife and the children at our house.”

“Tell him also,” said Hugh, “that I have a heavy team, and when he makes his burn, will help him roll and pile his logs.”

“Tell his wife,” added Elizabeth, “that I join heartily with my husband in the invitation.”

The evening being now far spent, they parted with mutual good wishes, and the Captain, mounting his horse, with his wife behind him on a pillion, was soon lost in the shades of the forest.

Hugh and Elizabeth that night builded many castles in the air as they sat by the fire. “Now that we have wool and flax,” said she, “I mean that you and the children shall have something better to wear than leather breeches; for although they are strong and warm when it is dry weather, they are not very comfortable when it is wet.”

This season Hugh proposed to build a framed barn, and also to board and shingle the roof of the house, and to build a brick chimney. He and William reckoned they could make the bricks, and they knew they could make the shingles. But all these pleasant anticipations were to be dashed, and the McLellans were to be called to greater trials than they had ever yet experienced. Still, as though to strengthen them for it, Providence was allotting them a year of unalloyed happiness.

The last of another May was now come, the planting was finished, and Hugh had determined, before the hoeing came on, to cut his barn frame. Settlers were joining them now also. John Reed made his clearing between them and Captain Phinney, just over the brook. Then came William Bryant, and made his between Reed and Phinney.

“Look here, husband,” said Elizabeth, one evening; “here is Bryant with a family, and Reed, and Watson, and others are coming; I don’t see what there is to hinder our having a school for all the children in the neighborhood. We might take one of the front rooms, and put in some benches, and fix it for a school-room, in the summer at any rate; and if you build your brick chimney, we might then make fireplaces in the other rooms as well as in the kitchen, and so we could use it in the winter. What a great thing it would be for the children! Here they are all the time with the Indian children, and they will grow up just like them; and yet it is but little time that you or I can get to instruct them.”

“But where shall we get a schoolmaster?” inquired Hugh.

“Why, there is Sarah Phinney,—she has good learning; you can all club together and hire her.”

“Whether I build the chimney or not,” said Hugh, “I will put a stone fireplace in there just like this in the kitchen, and I will go and see if the rest will join me; and if not, we will hire her ourselves. It is just as much our duty to give our children learning as it is to give them bread. I think the neighbors will like it in the summer; but in the winter how could the children get here?”

“The older ones could come on snow-shoes, and haul the younger ones on a sled. They might be obliged to lose a good many days, but it would be a great deal better than nothing.”

Hugh found the others of the same mind, and he accordingly put in some benches, and secured the teacher; and the next week the school was under way. William could not be spared all the time, as Hugh needed his help in hoeing and haying; but he went three days in the week, and in haying-time Elizabeth went out and worked, she was so anxious that her son should go to school. Abigail was also taken from school in haying-time to help do the housework, that her mother might work out-doors, and let William be in school; for in those days it was thought more necessary that boys should have instruction than girls. William, as you very well know, was extremely fond of hunting, and also of shooting with the bow (for he did not abandon that even after he had his gun), and going to school almost deprived him of this sport, because on Saturdays, when there was no school, he was most of the time obliged to help his father; yet William was glad of the privilege of going to school, because he was a wise and good boy and saw the importance of it, and also saw how earnest his parents were for it. Besides, William did not roam in the woods shooting merely to please himself, but to procure something to live upon, and he could not have gone to a school before, even if there had been one, because he would have had to hunt to support the family. Indeed, all seemed delighted with the school, except Bose, who couldn’t appreciate the advantages of learning. He was cross and uneasy enough, because he wanted William to go hunting with him; and so he would go to the door of the school-room, and whine and scratch till William would come out to still him, and then he would go and jump up to the hooks where the gun was kept, and bark, and then run to William, and put his fore paws on his shoulders, and lick his face, and look so wishful, and say as plain as a dog could say, “Now, William, I do want you to take that gun and go into the woods with me. Do, William!”

Mr. Watson soon began to fell trees and prepare for his burn. Leaving his wife and children at Captain Phinney’s, he came to live with the McLellans. On Saturday nights he went home to his family, and sometimes also in the week. His wife would frequently take her knitting or sewing, and come down to take tea, bringing perhaps Mrs. Phinney and the children. They and Elizabeth’s children would play together, and, if they could get a chance, would all steal off to the brook to frolic with the Indian children. Mrs. Watson would often stop all night, and then Elizabeth had somebody to talk with and consult about her work. Sometimes she would bring down wools, and sit and card while Elizabeth wove, and sometimes she would bring flax and get Elizabeth to spin it, while she would get into the loom and weave, or would cut and make some dress for the children,—for she was very capable in such things; but she could not spin flax and make it look as nice as Elizabeth. Thus they aided each other, and were like sisters. As they sat together thus in the afternoons, they chatted over their work, and had the best times imaginable. Elizabeth was keen of wit and possessed great descriptive powers, and she would tell of odd things that had occurred in Ireland, so that Mrs. Watson would laugh till she cried. No one would have thought, to hear them, that a terrible war was impending, that massacre was almost at their very doors, and that they knew it. Mrs. Watson had great skill also in coloring with bean-leaves, and willow-bark, and sumach, and all kinds of roots. One day Elizabeth brought a piece of bright red cloth, and, laying it in her lap, said, “What do you think of that?”

“O what a clear, beautiful red!” she exclaimed.

“Handsome, is it not?”

“Never saw anything like it; will it wash?”

“Yes, it is a real fast color. What do you suppose I colored it with?”

“Dye-wood that you got at Saco, or cochineal.”

“No, I colored it with the leaves and blossoms of a plant that old Molly, the Indian whom you saw here the other day, gave me.”

“Why didn’t you ask her what it was?”

“I did, but she wouldn’t tell. I don’t suppose she would have given it to me, only she was hungering for some tobacco, and she heard me tell William that he would have to take the horse and go to Saco, or somewhere, and get me some red dye. Then she said that, if I would give her the tobacco, she would get me some red dye that would never fade as long as the grass grew; and I believe she has been as good as her word. I am astonished when I see what gifts the Almighty has given to these poor savages. Why, they can color their skin robes, and belts of wampum, and the things they keep for great occasions; and porcupine-quills they can color red, or blue, or yellow, and they will last better than ours, with all our knowledge.”

“Did you put alum in it?”

“Yes, she told me to; but they don’t; they put into it the juice of some other herb that has the same effect. They won’t tell these things, although sometimes they will color things for me; but it is just as they happen to feel: at other times you could not hire them to do it. It is my opinion that only a few of them know these things, and they keep the secret just as our dyers do, and that old Molly is one of these, because she is always at work upon such things, and does not do so much of the drudgery as the other Indian women. I hardly ever see her bringing wood.”

It was equally pleasant for Hugh, after working and living so many years alone, to have Watson to talk with when he came in from his labor; and the two men contrived to get together, as well as their wives, without hindering their work, and so they became as fast friends as their wives. When Watson first came, Hugh said to him, “Now, Mr. Watson, we are to be very near neighbors, and as all men are liable to err, I want you, if ever you have any matter against me, to tell me of it before you do anybody else, and I will do the same on my part”;—and this wise and Christian habit kept them close friends till death. They were very useful to each other, too. Watson, though an excellent farmer, and a very intelligent man, having had far greater advantages than Hugh, had no mechanical gift, and could scarcely make a sled-stake; but Hugh could do anything with wood, and could even shoe an ox or horse in case of necessity. Watson took Hugh’s advice about building, and found it wise, for he finally set his house in the middle of the very piece he had preferred to burn over.

“How lively it seems now!” said Hugh. “Ever since I was a boy I worked in a ship-yard with large gangs of men, and even after I came to the colonies. But since I came to this place, I have worked month after month alone in the forest, where I could hear nothing but the echo of my own axe, the chattering of a squirrel, or the sound of wind among the trees. Now I can hear the sound of your axe in one ear, and that of Reed’s in the other; and when the wind is northwest I can hear Bryant’s children as plain as day, screaming and laughing, and Bryant driving his oxen to plough.”

But fearful rumors were now abroad; it was said that war was inevitable between the mother country and France; it was certain that the Indians would be stirred up by France, and let loose upon the frontier settlements, and Maine was all frontier,—Gorham (Narragansett) lying directly in the Indian trail.

In the latter part of May this state of suspense was turned into fearful certainty. An Indian runner in the service of the government brought word to Captain Phinney that England had declared war against France. All was now activity along the sea-coast, arming forts, and building garrisons, and preparing for an attack from the French by water. But the danger of the settlers in Gorham was from the Indians. It was nineteen years since the last Indian war; but there were many whose parents, children, and friends had then fallen beneath the tomahawk. Many of the settlers had themselves fought, and its horrors were fresh in their recollection. But the excitement was somewhat allayed by the news that the government had made a treaty with all the Indians this side of the Penobscot River, and with the Penobscots, to take part on neither side; and so said the Indians themselves, who appeared as friendly as ever. Soothed by this report, the inhabitants, loath to leave their fields and lose their crops in order to build a garrison, continued at their labors as usual, in spite of the efforts of Captain Phinney, who put no trust in Indians or Indian treaties.

Hugh determined, instead of going into the woods to cut a barn-frame, as he had intended, to put his own house in a state of defence, rather than await the tardy movements of the rest. He first took off the bark roof, and then, with some heavy timber, made a projection all round, and loophooled it, that he might be able to fire down upon any one coming to break the door or set the house on fire. He put on a new roof and shingled it, first covering it with plank. He then dug a small cellar under the floor, and stopped up the windows to the size of loopholes. Next he made a large trough, and put it within the house and filled it with water. Finally he bought an additional gun, lead, powder, and flints, and, having made thorough preparations, went about his work as usual. “If we were in garrison,” said Hugh, “we should have to come out to work our lands, and this house is now about as good as a garrison.”

In the autumn Captain Phinney, Hugh, and the other near neighbors, all turned out and helped Watson put up his house, and a hovel or log barn for his cattle. As they were all strong men and skilful at the business, having had abundant experience, the work went rapidly on; and they made the house in rather a different manner from that in which we proceed in modern days,—they built the chimney before they built the house. A fireplace in those days was an enormous thing; it was like a great cave; you might stand under the mantel bar, and when it opened its mouth, it swallowed half a cord of wood. The chimney in which this great fireplace was built was thirteen feet square, sometimes more; the foundation was laid with great rocks, of which the jambs of the fireplace were also made. Daniel Mosier said that the easiest and quickest way was to build the chimney first, and then they could take the oxen and haul the rocks just where they wanted them, as there was no cellar, and put them right on to the work, instead of having to get them in at the door. So they made him master-workman of the chimney,—and a noble one he built too; and by the time he had the chimney up, the others had the logs cut and hewed, ready for the walls of the house, which they soon rolled and piled up. Captain Phinney gave Watson a cow and a pig. Hugh gave him half a dozen hens and a turkey, Elizabeth presented a beautiful linen table-spread, and cooked a dinner and carried it over, (she and Hugh helped to eat it,) Mr. Bryant sent half a sheep, and Daniel Mosier a bushel of wheat-flour and a leg of bacon,—so that the family could begin life splendidly in their new home.

The government not being able to persuade the Saint John and Cape Sable Indians to remain neutral, declared war against them, and required the Penobscots to aid in subduing them. When Captain Phinney heard of this he said: “Now we shall have it, before long. Dog won’t eat dog; you can’t make the Indians fight against Indians,—at any rate such a tribe as the Penobscots; with some of the remnants of broken-down tribes, like these Saco Indians, it might be done. They won’t do it, and when the government insists on it, they will join the Canada Indians and these around here and in New Hampshire against us.”

Still the spring passed quietly, and the Indians came as usual, and were apparently as friendly as ever, although there was open war between the government and the Eastern Indians, and it was said that the Penobscots had been seen with their war parties.

During the summer Mrs. Phinney would frequently go over on a Saturday to take supper with her daughter, calling at Hugh’s either going or coming, and often the Watsons and McLellans would “go a piece” with her, on her way home. So, on a Saturday night in July, 1745, Mrs. Phinney came down after dinner with her husband to make her usual call. As they came along on their way home by McLellan’s, he and Elizabeth were sitting in the door, with Sarah, who had been keeping school, and who was waiting for her father and mother. “Come!” said the Captain, “put on your things and go along a piece with us.”

Hugh complied, and the neighborly party proceeded till they came to the brook, when a curious and comical scene met their view. On the northern side of the brook were four Indian wigwams covered with bass-bark, and from the limb of a large tree was hanging the carcass of a deer, from which a squaw was cutting steaks and roasting them on sticks stuck in the ground. Two other squaws were making moccasons, while three men were at work upon a birch canoe. But in the brook below were a whole bevy of Indian children, from ten to fourteen years old, with nothing on but their breech-clouts, mingled with whom were the white children, all apparently at the very summit of earthly enjoyment. They had built a dam across the brook, and in the pond formed by the flowing back of the water they had made three beaver lodges or houses, constructed in exact imitation of those made by the beavers themselves.

“The young rogues must have had older hands to help them make these houses,” said Captain Phinney, “for they are true to the life.”

There was a hole in the dam, and some of them were repairing it; others were swimming with sticks of willow and alder for winter provision in their teeth, and sinking them before the doors of the houses with stones; some were crawling on their knees in the water, with mud held in both hands up against their throats, which they carried to stop the break in the dam. All were imitating beavers; and as their tawny backs glistened in the sun, they were not unlike those animals in appearance. Abigail McLellan was cutting willows with a hatchet, and Bryant’s children and some Indians were crawling on their hands and knees and dragging them in their mouths to the water. “I wonder they don’t try to gnaw the trees down,” said Hugh; “they do everything else.”

While they were all thus busily at work, one beaver walked on the dam and did not put his hand to anything, but seemed a sort of sentinel,—for every little while he would slap on the water with his foot for a tail, and then in an instant all the young savages would dive into the water and disappear, the sentinel after them, and go into the houses that had entrances under water, while the white children would hide in the woods, and for a few moments all would be as still as death; then the sentinel would poke up his head and listen, and then utter a low cry, upon which they would all come out and go to work again. But the most singular actors in the scene were the young Indians, who were in the banks of the brook. Beavers always make holes in the banks, the entrances to which are under water, but afterwards slanting upwards as they go in, so that they are warm and dry. To these they flee when their houses are disturbed. The urchins had made holes in the banks, and every little while out would come an Indian child; and, as his head rose above water, his black wet hair and skin shining, and his eyes glistening like balls of fire with the excitement, the sight was so irresistibly ludicrous that the whole company burst into peals of laughter, while the savages on the bank never moved a muscle, but kept on with their work as though unconscious of the presence of visitors.

“O mother,” cried Abigail, who now for the first time caught sight of the party; “see, we are playing beaver!”

“Only see there,” said Elizabeth, pointing to the woods; “if there is not our William, as good an Indian as any of them!”

Sure enough, William was now seen in company with a young Indian, both armed with bows and arrows, with tomahawks in their belts, creeping on their bellies in the direction of the dam. When within a short distance, William, fitting an arrow to the string, drew the bow, and the shaft struck the sentinel on the back, who fell at once, but, though wounded, made out to roll himself into the water with a loud splash, alarming all the rest, who disappeared in an instant to the different retreats. All was now still, and not a beaver to be seen or heard. William and his companion, a fine-looking fellow, stood talking together in a low tone after the animals had disappeared.

“As I live,” said Captain Phinney, who was listening, “they are talking Indian!”

“Very likely,” said Elizabeth. “William can talk Indian and give the war-whoop with the best of them. One reason why I was so anxious to have a school was to wean him and Abigail from them; but who can wonder that they are bewitched to get with them? I am sure this is worth going a mile to look at, and what capital fun it must be for them! Indeed, I almost wanted to go in with them. But see there; what are they going to do next?”

The two boys now approached the dam and cut a hole in it with their tomahawks, when the water began to pour out in a great stream, leaving the houses and the holes in the banks dry. The animals, now leaving their houses and holes, began to run for the woods on their hands and knees, imitating the slow gait of the beaver, which cannot run much faster than a frog can hop, although very active in the water. William and the Indian now attacked them, tomahawk in hand, chasing and knocking them on the head till they had despatched them all. They then threw the bodies together in a great heap, and, giving the yell of victory, went away, probably to get help to carry off the game; but no sooner were their backs turned, than all the dead beavers got up and ran away.

“Do you suppose,” said Hugh to Captain Phinney, “that these Indians who have been here so many summers, and whom we have treated so kindly, will turn against us with the rest?”

“Do I? Yes, indeed! And as they know all about us, where the farms lie, and just how many of us there are, they will be just the ones to guide the French and other Indians to cut our throats. I wish I knew what those surly fellows are thinking about that are at work on that canoe. They have been here now four summers, and I have never seen a canoe amongst them; now they are building one, and a large one too. It looks as though they expected to travel a great deal; but you never can tell anything by an Indian’s looks, as you can by a white man’s. When they want to keep anything secret, there is no more expression in their faces than in an anvil. Neither can you torture or frighten them into telling anything. The whole Spanish Inquisition could not force a secret from an Indian’s lips. I sometimes have a great mind to get the neighbors together and take them all prisoners, before they have time to get away and become spies and enemies. There would be so many guns and tomahawks the less to dread. All that prevents me is, that it would hasten matters, and bring the Indians that are camped around Sebago Pond upon us before we are ready. My son Edmund has been up there hunting, and he says there are twenty there, that there are very few squaws and children with them, that some of them had new guns of French make, and that their knives were new. If we only had the garrison built, I would do it in a moment, so sure do I feel that they are meditating mischief.

“There is scarcely anything that an Indian will not do for liquor; they never refuse it; they will in winter sell the beaver-skins they need for clothing to get it. Highly as they prize a gun, I have known them, when they had been drinking a day or so, to barter one for rum. Liquor will also do what nothing else will,—unlock an Indian’s tongue, so that it will run like a mill-clapper. Often when in liquor they will let out what no threats, bribery, or coaxing could get from them sober. I offered old Molly’s husband a pint of rum the other day, if he would drink it at my house, and stay the forenoon and fill the bottoms of some snow-shoes for me; and, don’t you think, the creature refused it! He offered to take the rum and the snow-shoes to his wigwam and do the work there; but I wanted to set his tongue loose to find out what was going on. Still he refused, though he loves rum to distraction. I felt sure then that he suspected my design, and that there was something on foot which he was fearful he might, under the influence of liquor, let out to me.”

“I should think,” replied Hugh, “that William, understanding their lingo, would hear something dropped by the women or children.”

“No,” said the Captain, “they are not like us in that. Neither women nor children know the warriors’ secrets; besides, Indian women are as close-mouthed as their husbands.”

“Do you suppose,” inquired Elizabeth, “that old Molly would stand by and see William killed?”

“Yes, unless they could take him prisoner, and make an Indian of him, which wouldn’t be a great task.”

“Do you believe,” said Elizabeth, “that the Beaver, as William calls that young Indian, who is his sworn friend, who has been his playmate this four years, who spends weeks sleeping in the woods by the same fire with him, would kill the Leaping Panther, as he calls William?”

“I suppose,” replied Captain Phinney, “that the Beaver would now risk his life for William, and share the last morsel with him; but if the Beaver had struck the war-post, and was painted for the war-path, and his Indian nature was up, he would glory in hanging William’s scalp at his girdle.”

“I cannot think so,” said Elizabeth, glancing at the two boys, who, having finished their sport, sat by old Molly’s fire, eating the deer-steaks she had been roasting for them.

In August, the government, finding the Penobscots were not only determined not to aid in subduing the other Indians, but were also, if they could not remain neutral, disposed rather to join with them, declared war against them, and offered a bounty equal to a hundred dollars in silver for each Indian scalp. But before the news had reached Gorham, William, going down one evening, as usual, to the Indian wigwams, found them deserted, and not an Indian to be seen. The settlers, now completely aroused and sure of immediate danger, set instantly to work upon the garrison, in order that they might put their harvest into it as it was gathered, and might keep the women and children in security.

The government had raised a company of rangers, who, guided by three friendly Saco Indians, scoured the woods. These reported that the Indians who had all summer been encamped at Sebago had disappeared. There was no longer any doubt that the savages had gone to Canada to receive instructions and arms, and would soon reappear as merciless and subtle foes! William was greatly disturbed at the loss of his playmates, especially of the Beaver, with whom he had spent so many happy days. He walked sadly over the silent spot lately so full of life; he contemplated the desolate wigwams, whose bare poles were still standing, the blackened brands of the camp-fires around which he had eaten so many meals and listened to the tales of the older Indians, the marks at which they had been accustomed to shoot, and the remains of the old beaver-dam where they had enjoyed such glorious fun so recently. But when he came to the place where they used to swim, and saw the rafts made of logs bound together with withes (one of which was then moored to the bank just as they last had left it), and the little birch canoes that the squaws made for them, and saw the foot-prints of his old playmates yet fresh in the clay, the tears came into the lonely boy’s eyes in despite of himself, and he hasted, almost ran, from the spot.

Elijah Kellogg.


“Loud rush the torrent floods,

  The Western wilds among,

And free in green Columbia’s woods

  The hunter’s bow is strung.”

There is hardly any greater enjoyment, in the summer season, than to rove abroad with a hearty band of playmates, over the green meadows, and through old stately woods, bow in hand, and with arrow ready to be laid to the string. The rippling of the streams, the song of the wild birds, the hum of the brown bees, the flash of sunny butterflies, and the sweet breath of the meadow-gales, are all enjoyed in the prosecution of the ancient, the noble, and the romantic sport of archery.

I think bows and arrows were the first manufactured implements of hunting and war. The primitive savages, no doubt, might use a stick or a stone as the first thing that came to hand, but their invention probably soon compassed the bow and the sling. There have not been many savage races without the knowledge of bows and arrows. The Australian blacks, however, had no knowledge of them; but they had that singular and ingenious implement, the boomerang, which is grossly misdrawn in a book that I have lately seen. The picture is no more like the real boomerang which I saw thirty years ago in the hands of the natives of New South Wales and the regions of Torres Straits, as far north as the great Gulf of Carpentaria, than a hen is like a horse. Farther to the eastward, and outside the great barrier reefs which have been built up by the countless myriads of the coral insect, lies the land of New Zealand. I think I remember to have read that its people had bows and arrows when Cook discovered the islands. The natives of the Pacific groups were, however, mostly armed with spears, and it might perhaps be found by investigation that the bow and arrows have seldom been seen in the hands of any races of men who had not at some time been in communication with the tribes or nations of the Old World. Some might think that our Indians and the ancient nations of Mexico and Peru disproved this idea, but the evidence is strong that in remote ages North America was peopled by an immigration from across Behring’s Straits, and the bow has always been a favorite instrument in the hands of the people of the northern part of Asia. It was proverbially so. When the Fairy King says to Puck,

“About the wood go swifter than the wind,

 And Helena of Athens look thou find,” &c.,

the merry wanderer of the night replies,

“I go, I go, look how I go!

 Swifter than arrow from a Tartar’s bow.”

We have then a right to suppose that our Indians first got the bow and arrows from the Tartars on the other shore of the Straits. Wherever they got them, few knew the use of them better in the chase and war,—but at this we will glance by and by.

In the old mythology we find the gods and goddesses using bows and arrows. Apollo, the god of day, who drove the coursers of the sun, was the archer god. Diana of the Ephesians, who presided over virgins and the chase, was an archer. Juno is called by the poets the goddess of the golden bow. The god of love has bow and quiver, and, being blind, shoots his arrows at sad random. In the wars of the Iliad, in which Troy fell after ten years of fighting, the bow was a prime instrument. The strong and crafty king of Ithaca, Ulysses, had a bow that none but himself could bend. Achilles, after having killed Hector, was killed himself by an arrow. In the wars waged by the people of Israel the bow was a chief weapon. In Job’s description of a battle he says, “The quiver rattleth, the glittering spear and the shield.” The Assyrians were famous archers, and their monarch, Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord, slew the beasts of the chase with his arrows. Later on, the Parthians were famous bowmen, as were the Huns, the Scythians, and, in short, all the tribes and peoples who came from their forests and fastnesses and overwhelmed the Roman Empire. Then Timour the Tartar, at the head of his archer hordes, swept over Persia, and conquered China. The Saracens and Libyans were expert with the bow; but no people ever excelled the skill and courage of our ancestors of “Merrie England” with that warlike instrument, and it may be thought that the people of Anglo-Saxon blood to this day are indebted to that circumstance for much of their liberty and progress.

In the wars which accompanied the retreat of the Romans from England, the arrival of the Saxons, the irruptions of the Danes, and the invasion of the Normans, the main body of the forces fought on foot, and their arms were “bows and bills.” The latter was a sort of battle-axe. The nobles and gentry were mounted, clad in armor, and having for weapons sword and lance. At the battle of Hastings, the bowmen of England, under Harold, standing shoulder to shoulder, and letting fly their gray-goose shafts with steady aim, had nearly defeated the Norman knights. They would, in fact, have won the battle, had not the Normans craftily pretended to give ground, and so induced the bowmen to break their ranks in pursuit. So you see that, even at that early period, our English forefathers were noted for the cool and obstinate valor with which they would fight in line; and this is why their sons won at Waterloo and Inkermann. In the long wars of the Middle Ages against the French, the English won almost all the great battles. This was mainly due to the commons, who were the archer infantry of the island armies. The knights of France were as valiant and able as the knights of England. They were as well mounted; for in those days the great improvement of the English horse, which was brought about by competitive racing, had not begun. But the French had no foot-soldiers that could stand against the bows and bills of the commons of England, and the great victories of Cressy, Poictiers, and Agincourt were won by reason of that. You shall find that the bowmen won the battles, though the mailed knights got most of the honor and praise.

This last may be accounted for by the fact that the nobles and barons kept in their pay the minstrels and chroniclers of the time. The fact that every man, and every boy, I may say, had his bow, and knew how to use it, kept the king within bounds, and enabled the people to withstand the tyranny of the nobles. If the king was a weak tyrant, like John, the barons, mustering their bowmen, took the field against him, and seldom laid down their arms until they had compelled the monarch to agree that he would govern according to the ancient constitution and laws of the realm. Then the nobles themselves were in some sort curbed by the knowledge that they must depend upon their tenants and retainers for means to keep up their state, and bring a power into the field. Besides that, the woods and forests swarmed with outlaws, of the stamp of Robin Hood, who, being kith and kin to the yeomanry and common people, allied themselves with the latter, revenged them upon oppressors, robbed fat monks, and kissed pretty girls in kirtles gay, “all under the greenwood tree.” Their skill with the bow was surprising. The story of William Tell, shooting at an apple on the head of his son, was preceded by the old ballad in which that feat is related as having been done by William of Cloudslee, a noted Northern archer of the English outlaws. At five-score yards Robin Hood hit a willow wand no thicker than his thumb. But the best of ordinary archers refused to shoot at such a mark, and it must be allowed that Robin was a man “above ordinances.” He was also a strong shooter. Common armor was no sufficient defence against his gray-goose shaft, a cloth-yard long. At the siege of Torquil-stone castle, when he had shot several times at De Bracy, he exclaimed, “Curse on thy Spanish steel coat! Had English smith forged it, these arrows had gone through!” The Spanish armor in that age was esteemed as superior as the Spanish blades, which were forged and tempered at Toledo. The Spanish yew was also accounted the best wood for bows.

The people of England, then, in the Middle Ages, always had the power to resist the oppression of the barons, and to dethrone weak and tyrannical kings. Happily for us, they frequently exercised it. When King Richard II. returned from Ireland, he was told of the great uprising of the people in favor of the banished Earl of Hereford, the son of old John of Gaunt. The climax was in these words:—

“The very beadsmen learn to bend their bows

 Of double-fatal yew against thy state.”

I once saw a curious commentary upon Shakespeare, in which it was supposed that he used the word “double-fatal” because the yew composing the bow was in two pieces, glued together. But Shakespeare never had such a “base, mechanical” meaning as this. The yew was “double-fatal,” because it was the actual implement of slaughter, as well as the symbol of death. Many churchyards in England are surrounded by yew-trees, and the shrouds of the dead used to be stuck over with slips of it. The witches of “Macbeth” use, in their incantation, these ingredients:—

            “Maw and gulf

Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,

Root of hemlock digged i’ th’ dark,

Liver of blaspheming Jew,

Gall of goat, and slips of yew,

Slivered in the moon’s eclipse.”

All through the Wars of the Roses, in which the people of England were ranged about equally, one half under the banners of the Plantagenets of York, and the other around those of Lancaster, the bowmen were the main force. At the very last battle of those great civil wars, that of Bosworth Field, the martial King Richard III. began the onset upon Richmond’s men, shouting,

“Fight, gentlemen of England, fight, bold yeomen!

 Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!”

In the forays and brawls of the Border, too, the bowmen commonly decided the fate of the day; and the moss-troopers knew that their incursions must be so rapid and sudden that they could gather their plunder and get away before the archers could assemble in force. Otherwise the long bows would have sent the cloth-yard shafts through the bodies of the horses, if not through the breasts of their riders, just as the Camanches of our Southwestern plains drive their arrows through the sides of buffaloes. The fine old ballad of Chevy Chase gives us a picture of that strong-handed age. Percy, the stout Earl of Northumberland, crosses the border to hunt the Scottish ground of Teviot-dale

“With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,

   All chosen men of might,

 Who knew full well, in time of need,

   To aim their shafts aright.”

Earl Douglas goes with two thousand spearmen to drive him back; and in view of the slaughter that he is about to relate, the bard says,

“To hunt the deer with hound and horn

   Lord Percy took his way,—

 The child shall rue, that is unborn,

   The hunting of that day.”

The chieftains meet, and after brief parley the fight begins. At the first flight of arrows the English bowmen kill fourscore of the Scots. Douglas assaulted in three columns, and slaughtered many English. At length the Earls meet. Douglas summons Percy to surrender; the latter refuses, and

“With that there came an arrow keen,

   Out of an English bow,

 Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart,

   A deep and deadly blow.”

The stout Earl dies, shouting, “Fight on, my merry men all!” Percy, in admiration of such great valor, took the dead man by the hand, and thereupon Sir Hugh Montgomery spurred up and ran him through with a spear. But he did not live long after this stroke; an English archer perceived that Percy was slain.

“He had a bow bent in his hand,

   Made of a trusty tree;

 An arrow of a cloth-yard long

   Up to the head drew he.


 Against Sir Hugh Montgomery

   So right the shaft he set,

 The gray goose-wing that was thereon,

   In his heart’s blood was wet.”

The English prevailed, according to the bard, but not without great loss; and indeed night put an end to a conflict in which it seemed that the parties would exterminate each other. Fifty-five Scotch only survived. As for the invading hunters,

“Of fifteen hundred Englishmen

   Went home but fifty-three;

 The rest were slain in Chevy Chase,

   Under the greenwood tree.”

Doubtless it might be said that it was a cruel wrong of the barons to lead their tenants and retainers into such bloody work. It is very apparent, however, that in those days the common people were always willing enough to be led into brawl and war. When the monarchs of England could get money from the Commons in no other way, their usual expedient was a promise to make war on France, and then a subsidy, or a benevolence, was at once forthcoming.

The bow and arrows played a great part in English history. The life of Edward, a prince of great prowess and renown, was saved, when he was wounded by a poisoned arrow, by the devotion of his queen, who sucked the poison from the wound. Another English king was killed by an arrow from the bow of Sir Walter Tyrrel while they were out hunting deer in a royal forest. It is said to have been an accidental shot, but many thought Sir Walter hit what he aimed at. In after times, when the tyrant John asked Locksley about his skill with the bow, the archer replied, “A woodsman’s mark, and at woodsman’s distance, I can hit.” “And Wat Tyrrel’s mark at a hundred yards,” was added by somebody in the crowd.

In the English armies of that age the proportion of bowmen to men-at-arms, who were mounted and fought in armor, was ten to one. Edward’s great army for the invasion of Scotland, against Robert Bruce, was sixty thousand bowmen to six thousand men-at-arms. Therefore you see that the main power of the nation was composed of bowmen who fought on foot. The forces of Wat Tyler, Jack Cade, and Robin of Redesdale, the men of the people who at different epochs led a power of the common people against the crown and the nobles, were still more largely composed of bowmen. Wat Tyler was a blacksmith, Jack Cade was a bricklayer, Robin of Redesdale, the greatest man of the three, was a drover. Being once in London, and telling a nobleman to whom he was known of some grievances suffered by the people, and malpractices of the Duchess of Bedford, aunt to the Queen, the Earl said, “Come with me to the Tower; you shall denounce her to the king!”

“Hardly,” said Robin. “I like not entering into the Tower: it may not be so easy to come out again. I will denounce the Duchess surely enough, but it shall be upon the wolds of Yorkshire, with fifty thousand bowmen at my back.”

To the bow the common people of England owed their liberties. From before the invasion of the Saxons, almost until the era of the Reformation, it was as familiar to the hands of the lowest class as the plough, the spade, and the scythe. It was the instrument of the rude outlaws who roamed forest, marsh, and woodland, and set at defiance alike the king and the barons; and it was the weapon which made monarchs and feudal nobles careful how they trod upon the rights of the people. When every man in the community was an armed man, neither prince nor noble could enslave the peasantry. In those old times, butts (that is, targets) were erected in every parish, and at them, on festivals and holidays, the archers shot. There is a collection of old English bows in the Tower of London; and about the oldest portion of that ancient and famous building is call the Bowyer’s Tower. I saw these bows at the Tower when a boy; and if I should go there again they would interest me more than a view of the crown jewels, for with these arms, and true courage, the people gained and held the jewel liberty. The commons were not at great charges for arms, horses, and armor. Upon a pinch they could cut their favorite weapon from any hedge. Many of you young folks will visit the island from which our ancestors came, and I trust you will see the antiquities of that land,—the gray old towers, the mouldering ruins of the abbeys, the old, ivy-mantled oaks, under which baron and bowmen marched to battle for and against a king.

But I have gossiped on at such length about archery in past ages, that the subject must be continued, in order that modern archery may be treated of,—which shall be done next month.

Charles J. Foster.


The White Turkey was dead! The White Turkey was dead!

How the news through the barn-yard went flying!

Of a mother bereft, four small turkeys were left,

And their case for assistance was crying.

E’en the Peacock respectfully folded his tail,

As a suitable symbol of sorrow,

And his plainer wife said, “Now the old bird is dead,

Who will tend her poor chicks on the morrow?

And when evening around them comes dreary and chill

Who above them will watchfully hover?”

“Two, each night, I will tuck ’neath my wings,” said the Duck,

“Though I’ve eight of my own I must cover!”

“I have so much to do! For the bugs and the worms,

In the garden, ’tis tiresome pickin’;

I have nothing to spare,—for my own I must care,”

Said the Hen with one chicken.


“How I wish,” said the Goose, “I could be of some use,

For my heart is with love over-brimming;

The next morning that’s fine, they shall go with my nine

Little, yellow-backed goslings, out swimming!”

“I will do what I can,” the old Dorking put in,

“And for help they may call upon me too,

Though I’ve ten of my own that are only half grown,

And a great deal of trouble to see to.

But those poor little things, they are all heads and wings,

And their bones through their feathers are stickin’!”

“Very hard it may be, but, O, don’t come to me!”

Said the Hen with one chicken.


“Half my care, I suppose, there is nobody knows,—

I’m the most overburdened of mothers!

They must learn, little elves! how to scratch for themselves,

And not seek to depend upon others.”

She went by with a cluck, and the Goose to the Duck

Exclaimed, in surprise, “Well, I never!”

Said the Duck, “I declare, those who have the least care,

You will find, are complaining forever!

And when all things appear to look threatening and drear,

And when troubles your pathway are thick in,

For some aid in your woe, O, beware how you go

To a Hen with one chicken!”

Marian Douglass.


Words by Emily Huntington Miller. Music by J. R. Thomas.



No. 8.

Fair Lucy, standing on the lawn,

  Some thought of sorrow nursed,

And, heedless of the lovely morn,

  She softly breathed my first.


My second, on the hawthorn near,

  Were trilling forth a tune,

And gentle Lucy deigned to think

  Their music was a boon.


And soon upon the ambient air

  Her own clear accents roll,

In strains more witching, all declare,

  Than ever sung my whole.

Emma Van D.

No. 9.

O Sherwood is merry in summer,

  When the weather is bright and fair;

And Sherwood is dreary in winter,

  When the gnarled oak-boughs are bare;

But in heat or cold, my whole so bold

Is ever my first in the forest old.


When the sheriff goes down through Sherwood,

  With the officers of my last,

My whole lies close in his covert snug,

  While the train goes riding past.

’Neath his leafy screen he hides unseen,

Till the riders are out of the forest green.



No. 1.

The height of a block of wood is one half of its thickness; the length is three sixths of the height; the thickness is four times the length. What are the dimensions?

F. W. K.

No. 2.

I am a word composed of 7 letters. Subtract my 7th from my 1st, my 5th from my 3d, my 2d from my 4th, my 4th from my 6th; add the several answers together, and the sum of the figures composing the number thus obtained will be a number from which, if you take nothing away, only 1 will remain. What am I? what is the number left after several subtractions? what is the sum of the figures composing it? and how can you take nothing from it and have 1 left?

Cousin Will.

No. 3.

What number is that which, when multiplied by 12, equals its square multiplied by 2 and its cube divided by 3?




No. 6.



I am composed of 32 letters.

My 9, 36, 30, is from the verb être.

My 11, 4, 8, 1, 14, is a French negative.

My 3, 18, 16, 21, is a French pronoun.

My 20, 29, 2, 1, is nothing.

My 23, 29, 24, 16, expresses situation.

My 6, 5, 32, 27, is certain.

My 30, 11, 15, 31, 25, is the masculine of épouse.

My 12, 31, 28, 27, 10, is in the future tense of the verb avoir.

My 32 is an article.

My whole is a piece of excellent advice.


No. 7.

My whole is a ruler all “young folks” should honor,

Her right is divine,—the crown be upon her!

My 4, 2, 1, 5 is her capital city,

Now large, and now small, now homely, now pretty.

My 1, 2, 3, 4 oft flutters around it,

And even within sometimes I have found it.

My 4, 5, 6, 2 tells of one great and fearless,

(The son of my whole, be he ever so peerless,)

Such as 4, 2, 1, 5, 6 has sung in the story,

That has clothed both the sung and the singer with glory.

T. D.




4.Blowing.5.Litera L.


5.The woods, the waters, and the Clan Alpine
Are the oldest things in Albyn.

Illustrated Rebuses.

6.Scarfs, garters, books, amuse his riper stage,
And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age.
[(Scarfs) (garters) (books) A (muse) h (eye) S (rye) per (stage) & (beads) & (prayer-books) R t (he) (toys) of (age).]
7.The king’s ship rode gallantly onward over immense billows. [(Tea) (he) (kings) (ship) (rod) E (gallon) (tea) (lion) (war) (dove) (rim) (men) (sea) (bill) o’s.]

Our Letter Box

Nellie L. S. writes a pleasant account (which we have not room to copy) of her following Pussy Willow’s example, and getting breakfast,—for the first time, too,—to the surprise and satisfaction of her parents and the family. She found the business by no means difficult, and the sense of having really done something quite repaid her for all her trouble.

Lue E. Don’t you think the next one will be better?

Alice. The April and May numbers were both finished when your letter came.

W. S. J. Are they original with you?

L. B. The title of that romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne to which you refer is “The House of the Seven Gables.”

C. A. B. The “New American Cyclopædia” is published in New York by Messrs. D. Appleton & Co., to whom you should write for the information you want. The price of a set is about $60.

M. A. B. You can try.—There are two s’s in cuirass.

Charles R. N. Van P. It will be finished.

F. L. He only sent us a copy which he had bought. We do not know of any postage-stamp publication which we can recommend.

Reader. Two new subscriptions for one year, or one for two years, will give you a prize. Willy Wisp’s real name we could not tell you without breaking confidence.

G. E. D. Too late.

Amy P. Your letter makes us very glad.

Winnie. No, thank you.

Ethel and Claire. Where were the separate answers?

Minnie A. W. Our volume for 1866 can easily be had; the price is $2 in numbers, $3 handsomely bound in muslin.

James A. F. Not this year.

Tom. You should have dated your letter April 1st, instead of 4th. Such an admission would be better made in joke than in earnest.

A. J. B. Artemus Ward is only an imaginary showman, not a real one. Charles F. Browne, who invented the character and the name, has just died in England.

Dwight, Kitty Clover, Eddie P., Jessie M. B., Edith Hazleton (rather romantic), Alice May W., Lilly H. (you haven’t grown out of our good graces yet, by any means), Mammoth Cave, Kitty May, F. E. H., Nellie Winthrop. You all have our thanks for long letters or enclosures.

Queen Mab. A very nice letter.

A Novice. Your rebus is a little forced. Will you try again.

Timber. We do not know.

T. H. offers these specimens of a new kind of puzzle:—

“By changing fronts in the following riddles is meant the interchange of the consonant sounds at the beginning of two spoken words; as, changing red hot into head rot, or arm chair into charm air:—

“A foolish fellow with changed front becomes a cold vegetable juice.

“A street of our American metropolis becomes with changed front the ocean bringing the riches of all countries to its wharves.

“A particular slice of raw beef becomes with changed front the remnant of a cigar, and a dissolute fellow who has smoked it.

“A foolish fellow vain of his dress becomes with changed front a young female of the pasture, and the signs which marked the traitor.

“An indispensable article of furniture in most kitchens becomes with changed front a specimen of what is neither coin nor bills, and is yet the wealth of the largest banks in the world.

“An exhortation to a haymaker when the rick is tall becomes with changed front a boggle and a specimen of pastry.

“An article of furniture for kitchens or parlors becomes with changed front a long robe and a small bay.

“A delicacy fresh from the griddle becomes with changed front a small terrestrial habitation, and a goodly marine inhabitant.”

Now, guess away!

Samson. We shall soon print an article on deer-hunting.—A book on the birds of New England, by Mr. E. A. Samuels, is just publishing in Boston.

Clarence Clayton. If a rebus is written out as we print our answers, it is sufficiently clear.

C. M. Crandall & Co., of Montrose, Pa., have sent us a specimen of their Building Blocks, which are among the most ingenious toys we ever saw. The blocks are of different sizes and shapes, and the ends of each are notched, so that they can be fitted tightly together, keeping just the position in which the little builder may have put them. With the addition of some wooden ornaments which accompany the blocks, villages, churches, fences, and all sorts of edifices, can be imitated by a child. We think parents will find them as useful as they are cheap.

Willy Wisp has sent us quite a lot of squibs, from which we select these examples:—

First Butcher. From what does it appear, neighbor, that your beef is worse than mine?

Second Butcher (angrily emphatic). ’Taint, sir.

Boy Philosopher. What, for instance, could we address to a worm’s comprehension?

Echo. Hen-shun.

“How is it shown that Gov. Winthrop knew little about the ages of his children?

Answer. He called his third son Forth.”

“What nation did surprise parties probably have their origin in?

Ans. Conster-nation.”

“How should a duellist direct the letter of acceptance which he sends his challenger?

Ans. Fellow,—D. C. (felo-de-se.)”

“What kind of a cane will best facilitate the progress of pedestrians?

Ans. Hurri-cane.”

“By what power should a draw-bridge over a wide river be raised?

Ans. By hy-drau-lic power.”

“Which is the largest moth that ever existed?

Ans. The mam-moth.”

Claudie’s Prayer has a message for mothers which makes it welcome to a place in “Our Letter-Box”:—

Claudie’s Prayer.

“ ‘Come, Claudie, the bird in the maple

 Has ended her motherly cares,

 And kitty is purring in dreamland,

 ’Tis time you were saying your prayers.’


“But Claudie’s feet never grew weary,

 His eyes were too starlike for sleep,

 And off in the garden he bounded

 With many a frolicsome leap.


“Life bubbled within and ran over

 In ripples of laughter and fun,

 Unconscious of self or its action,

 As the hat or the dress he had on.


“ ‘Come, Claudie,’ I said, as I found him

 Coiled up in a strange little heap,

 ‘Your fresh milk and night-gown are waiting,—

 ’Tis time you were taking your sleep.’


“But Claudie still wriggled, and twisted,

 And floundered in infinite glee,

 Till vexed at myself for forbearance

 I grew near as childish as he.


“ ‘Come, Claudie,’ I said, and impatience

 Looked everywhere out of my eyes,

 As I added somewhat to my wrinkles

 And tried to look dreadfully wise.


“His rosy lip quivered a moment,

 His little round hand was in mine,

 And into the parlor in silence

 I led him with settled design.


“Then barring his eyes to the twilight,

 He fell on his bare little knees,

 And I thought that some bright shining angel

 Dropped the words in his mouth,—they were these:—


“ ‘God bless my mamma,’—and the accents

 Were mingled with sobbings and tears,

 And the prayer went no further in utterance,

 Though I think that it reached to His ears.


“He said not a word of ‘Our Father,’

 Not a word of his ‘Now I lay me,’

 And I thought in the hush of that moment

 That I needed the prayer more than he.


“And oft in the days that have followed,

 When life has grown sombre with care,

 Impatience and weakness have vanished

 At the thought of that night and that prayer.”

Mrs. E. A. Severance.

Of course most of our little people guessed the meaning of last month’s puzzle, “Seeing is believing” (C in G is B leaving). For this month we offer this picture proverb by C. J. S.


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 3, Issue 6 edited by J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]