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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 3, Issue 7

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 #20180844

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. JULY, 1867. No. VII.

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 H. L. Stephens.]          [See Both Sides, page 394.



George,” said Charley, “I’ve found out something in your line.”

“I haven’t got any line,” said I.

“O yes, you have; it’s Useful Knowledge. And you’d fight the poor editor on that line all summer, and disgust the Young Folks, and ruin the Magazine, if it were not for Joe and me. But, as Mr. Hosea Biglow says, ‘they didn’t know everything down in Judee,’ where you came from; and I’ve been researching and erudition-ing like a house afire, till I’ve found out something that isn’t in your father’s Cyclopædia: They have good children in China!!”


“Fact, sir! The regular keep-your-face-clean-don’t-tear-your-trousers-never-whistle-on-Sunday-die-young-and-go-to-heaven-sure kind!

“Do tell!” said I. “Joe, did you ever see one?”

“Well,” said Joe, “that depends on what you call a good child. Now there was Tea-Pot—”

“O Murder!” said Charley,—“a chap that would euchre his grandfather out of his tail, and go a-fishing in an eclipse. Nice notions about good children, you’ve got, Mr. Brace, I don’t think.”

“Tea-Pot,” said Joe, “had his failings; I’m agreeable to own that much; but considering his lights and channels and observations, I think he steered his course tol’able straight for a Chinee. I’ve seen some Tea-Pots since I came home that couldn’t stand the fire as well.”

“Ah! but there was Wu-Mang,” said Charley; “your Tea-Pot couldn’t hold a catechism to him. My big brother with the literary turn of mind is writing a life of him for the ‘Sunday Mercury.’ (He’s very particular, is my big brother with the literary turn of mind, and never writes for anything but the Sunday papers.) This is the way it begins:—

“ ‘Born an Orphan at an Early Age, of Poor but Wealthy Parents, Wu-Mang—’ ”

“Don’t, Charley,” said I, “please don’t. Life is too short, and instructive discourse too precious, to waste in such idle parodies. Speak your little biography, if you’ve got one, and have done with it.”

“Well, then, Once upon a Time there lived—”

“No, you don’t,” said I. “If your story is authentic history, give us the dates. None of your legendary uncertainties, or license of fable, as your big brother with the literary turn of mind would call it.”

[All this while Round-the-world Joe was whistling, and playing mumble-the-peg with his pocket-knife on the stoop. Then he began to sing at us,

“O, I’d rather sail on the salt seas

 Than be bored with such lubbers as these.

    For I’ve no foke’sel to fly to,

    And if you suffered what I do,

    I’m sartin you never would try to

 Be king of the O-why-hees.”]

Charley began again: “At Ching-tu, in the Province of Szchue, in the dynasty of Chau—”

“When did Chau die?”

“About two or three thousand years ago,” said Charley.

“That’s right,” said I; “be particular.”

“In the dy-nasty of Chau, there lived a remarkable lad named Wu-Mang, who loved his father and mother very much. In those days there were a great many mosquitoes in Ching-tu, and they were very bold and fierce, so that Mr. and Mrs. Mang, who were extremely poor and unable to provide themselves with mosquito-nets, were fairly sucked dry, and began to shrivel visibly; which so distressed their little Wu that he wept continually in secret, catching his tears in a pipkin in the daytime and emptying them into the pickle-tub at night, so that his parents might not know that his spirits were affected. At last, between grieving and scratching, he became exercised in his mind—”

“Does that hurt?” I inquired. “Anything like stomach-ache?”

“That depends upon where you carry your brains,” said Charley. “So little Wu went to the temple, and burned a peck of mock-money before the image of the Goddess of Mosquitoes, and vowed not to skin any eels till his tail grew gray, if she would only show him how to keep the mosquitoes from consuming his respectable father and mother.

“ ‘Set a trap,’ mumbled the Goddess.

“ ‘What bait, O Awful One?’ cried Wu-Mang, gasping.

“ ‘Wu-Mang,’ grumbled the Goddess.

“Now there was an answer that was calculated to floor anything less remarkable than a Chinese Good Child; and Wu-Mang sat down in the middle of the street, and chewed the end of his tail, and reflected. Suddenly he started up, punched his forehead with his fist, cried, ‘Ha! I have it!’—as the funny man in the play always does at least a quarter of an hour after everybody in the audience has ‘had it,’—and went home.

“That night he pretended to have growing pains, went to bed early, took off ALL his clothes, lay down outside the coverlet, and whistled for the mosquitoes.

“When poor old Mr. and Mrs. Mang came to bed, every humming bloodsucker was gorged to that degree that one more drop would have ‘busted’ him, and it would have been a sure case of apoplexy if he had tried to blow his horn. Next morning Mr. and Mrs. Mang were as plump as pumpkins, and as rosy as radishes; but as for little Wu,—well, he had never scratched once!

“Behold the filial devotion of Wu-Mang, the Lovely. He died young. Emulate his example. Hi-yah!”

[“Which,” said Charley, “at the current prices of mosquito-netting, I sha’n’t do it. Hi-yah!”]

“Joe,” said I, “what was the funniest thing you ever saw in China?”

“Baby,” said Joe.

“How did you know it was a baby?” asked Charley.

“Had its big toe in its mouth,” said Joe.

“Does a Chinese baby always have its big toe in its mouth?”

“No, sometimes in its eye. Sometimes gets mad because it can’t get both big toes in its mouth at once,—then cusses.”

“How do you know they swear, Joe?”

“Heard ’em,” said Joe,—“awful. A red-headed mate, with the ship aback, deaf man at the helm, and all hands drunk, is a whole prayer-meeting compared to ’em.”

“Got any tail?”

“Sort o’ bob-tail,—little bunch on top of the head, for good luck; ‘peach,’ they call it. All young children sail under the protection of a goddess called ‘Mother’; and if the baby is a girl, its head is shaved before her image,—if a boy, before the ‘tablet of ancestors,’—when it is only one month old. On that occasion, the baby’s grandmother brings twenty duck-eggs, painted to represent children, animals, and flowers, and teaches the sucking Confucius how to get the meat out without smashing the shell. If the child is going to be uncommon smart, it takes hold, and pulls like a porpus from the word Go.”

“A very pleasing fact,” said Charley, “from which—you observe, Georgey—we derive the popular phrase, at once so philosophical and so playfully ironical, about Teaching your Grandmother how to suck eggs.”

“When Tea-Pot,” said Joe, “went to school to our old friend, Magister Jin-Seng, one day, just for a bit of fun, he unshipped the great round, solemn glasses from the Magister’s soup-plate spectacles; which that Man in two Moons told him was not conformable to Reason nor according to the Rites, and accordingly he bambooed that sportive youth till he howled; and when Tea-Pot had done howling, the Magister explained to him that Calamities come from Heaven, and said his (T. P.’s) mamma must have forgotten to bind his wrists. After school Toby Tack and I met Tea-Pot going home to tell his mother. His eyes were swollen, and his nose was red, and his cheeks were streaky, and his tail looked mean and ashamed, and he had the snuffles, and was holding the stern of his trousers in an inelegant and mysterious manner. So Toby and I, seeing that this unlucky Tea-Pot had something on his mind, and was uncommonly pensive for such a peert Chinese, invited him to go with us aboard the “Quintessence of Beatitude” and play push-pin with Kuh-tang for ‘moon-cakes,’—just to cheer him up. As we walked down to the port, he related to us, with many tears and snuffles, the parable of the Spectacles and the Bamboo; and when we had finished the first game of push-pin (which he won, of course), I asked him what old Two Moons meant by saying that his mamma must have forgotten to bind his wrists.

“Then he explained, that every Chinese baby is washed for the first time when it is three days old, and that immediately after the washing its wrists are tied together with a red cord or tape about two feet long, to which several ancient cash, one or two silver or copper toys, and a little drum, bell, and pestle, are attached; and so they remain bound till the child is fourteen days old. The cash are for a charm to keep off evil spirits, the toys are for good luck, and the red cord is supposed to keep that rascal’s hands from mischief and foolish meddling,—such as unshipping the eye-lights of learned, grave, and reverend Magisters,—all his life long.

“Tea-Pot told us that, on the day his wrists were bound, some dog’s hair and some cat’s hair, done up in red paper, were fastened with a red string to the latch of the nursery door to prevent the barking and the howling and the catterwauling of the neighborhood from scaring him and making him cry; and at the same time his mother hung a pair of his father’s trousers, legs upward, over the frame of the bed, and pinned on them a piece of red paper inscribed with four characters, requesting the Blighting Influences and the Spiteful Powers to please to have the goodness to be so obliging as to do her the favor to go into the breeches instead of the baby.

“When Tea-Pot was four months old his grandmother made him a present of a little red chair, some playthings, and a big gob of molasses toffee. The chair was nicely carved and gilded, the playthings were fastened to the chair, and the molasses toffee was very soft and sticky. Now what do you think that toffee was for?”

“To ward off the Blighting Influences and the Spiteful Powers?” said I.

“To gum up his hair with, when he got tired of chewing his big toe?” said Charley.

“Gentlemen,” said Joe, “if they didn’t take and smear that soft sticky molasses toffee all over the seat of that nice little red chair, and sock that poor little bare heathen plump down in the middle of it, to keep him from sliding off, wish I may never!”

[“My gracious, George!” said Charley, “you aren’t going to put that in, are you? O, what a shame!”

“Can’t help that,” said I; “it’s Useful Knowledge, and down she goes. I know it’s tough; but whatever relates to the Manners and Customs of the Chinese is good for Young Folks. So down it goes, if it chokes ’em.”

“Well,” said Georgey, “there’s one comfort,—the worst is over now. If they swallow that, they’ll swallow anything.”

“Gentlemen,” said Round-the-world Joe, very dignified, “I’ll take my after-davit to it.”

“That’s all right, Joe,” said Charley. “Anything left in that Tea-Pot? George and I will take a few more cups, if you please,—same strength as the last.”]

“On Tea-Pot’s first birthday,” said Joe, “they dressed him in his best bib and tucker, and set him in the middle of a big bamboo sieve. Then they arranged around him, on the sieve, a sapeck, a dead puppy, a small coffin, a pencil, a pair of scissors, a large loaf with a fish on it, and the Jack of clubs; and they waited to see which he would take up first. If he chose the sapeck, he would be a rich banker; if the puppy, a celebrated cook; if the coffin, an eminent physician; if the pencil, an illustrious scholar and writer; if the scissors, an able editor; if the loaf and fish, a politician; and—and little Tea-Pot grabbed the Jack of clubs, and slipped it up his sleeve.”

“What was that a sign of, Joe?”

“Don’t know,” said Joe; “but Tea-Pot told me he thought he’d buy the rest of the clubs, and a pair of boxing-gloves, and run for Congress. He said he had already invited the Tiger to tea.”

“What did he mean by that, Joe?” asked Charley.

“Well, you see,” said Joe, “whenever a Chinaman is about to engage in any important enterprise, he always gives a spread, and invites the god or devil who has charge of that particular line of business, whatever it may be, to tea; and as His Excellency the Grasping Cash Tiger is the god of gamblers, why so—”

“Hurrah, Georgey!” cried Charley, “I’ve found out another thing that isn’t in your father’s Cyclopædia. It isn’t ‘Fighting the Tiger,’ it’s ‘Inviting the Tiger.’ Put down, ‘Charley Sharpe presents his compliments, and says he don’t charge anything for that; only he’d like to have the credit of the discovery in the Notes and Queries and Answers to Correspondents.’ ”

“When Tea-Pot,” said Joe, “could stand alone, and had just begun to toddle, his uncle, Old Hyson, (I forgot to tell you that Tea-Pot and Young Hyson were cousins,) brought the great Kitchen Knife, the one they bone the puppies and mince the greens with, and, holding it between the baby’s fat little legs, with the edge downward, made believe to chop an imaginary rope or string. This is called ‘cutting the cords,’ as if the baby’s feet were hobbled, like a skittish calf’s; and they do say, if that line had not been parted or cast off, Tea-Pot would never have been able to scramble for peanuts, let alone run for Congress.

“And then all the old folks of the Tea-Pot and Hyson connection began to be very anxious about him; but they took a queer way of manifesting their careful affection: they kept him in shabby clothes, and would not let his tail grow, and they loaded him with mean nicknames, such as ‘runt,’ and ‘lubber,’ and ‘bad-egg,’ and ‘brat,’ and ‘little stick-in-the-mud,’ and ‘three-for-a-sapeck,’ and ‘nobody’s pup,’—while all the time, in their secret hearts, they were as proud of the pig-eyed little sucker as a hen with one chick, or a turkey-gobbler with a red string round his leg. You see they were afraid something dreadful might happen to him through Envy and the Evil Eye; so they said to each other, ‘Let’s sham he’s a no-account child (the precious pootsy-tootsy dumpling rosebud toad!) just to fool the Blighting Influences and the Spiteful Powers and the Begrudging Angels; or the first thing we know they’ll be cutting off his tail and making a poor dear transparent cherub of him. And Mrs. Tea-Pot actually went so far as to advertise him in the Herald: ‘A Healthy blonde Boy, to be Adopted out. Inquire Over the Left.’

“On the 1st and the 15th of every month Tea-Pot’s mamma used to make him kneel down with her in three different places, and pray: first, to the Goddess of the Bedroom, to make him good-natured and easy to nurse; next, to the Goddess of the Bedstead, to cause him to sleep sweetly at all times without being fuddled first with Mrs. Winslow’s soothing syrup, or any other real blessing to mothers, and without being rocked or joggled, bounced on the pit of his stomach, or pounded in the small of his back; and finally, to the Goddess of the Eaves, to protect him from rolling off the front stoop, tumbling into the rain-barrel, or skinning his putty nose against the scraper.

“Once Tea-Pot being very bad with the wind colic, his anxious mamma burned much mock-money before the image of ‘Mother,’ and promised to offer up to her cat a fresh, raw pig’s tail, if she would make Tea-Pot well,—and she did. And another time, when he was ill, she burned joss-stick, and made an offering of seven rice-balls to a certain powerful Genius, in order that he might shoot (with the balls) the ‘heavenly dog’ that plagues and devours pretty children. Then she almost ruined herself offering meat, fish, fowls, vegetables, and mock-money to the goddesses of Measles and Small-Pox, when Tea-Pot had ’em both; and she had to pay an awful sight of money to the priest who rang the bell and banged the gong during a great storm, to prevent the thunder from bursting Tea-Pot’s pustules.

“As for charms against evil spirits, Tea-Pot was covered all over with them, so that he looked like the Chinese Department of Barnum’s Museum out on a spree; and it was wonderful how such a little chap could tote around on his dumpy legs such a lot of old iron and bones, coins, wood, and string. His pockets were lined with red cloth; and a red silk thread was braided in his tail to keep the demons from cutting it off; and the quantity of ashes of yellow paper that that reckless young Gentile swallowed in his tea was enough to keep his stomach in a continual state of lye. On his ankle he wore a ring made of an old coffin-nail, and his girdle was a strip of ragged fish-net. Before he had the small-pox, his nurse used to hang a small gourd round his neck by a red string, and pray to the goddess of Small-Pox to empty her poison into the gourd, and not into the Tea-Pot. It was a bad sign for Tea-Pot when a crow sat on the roof and cried, Ka, ka, ka!—‘Bite, bite, bite!’—and his mother trembled when she thought of the owl (‘the constable from the dark land’) that might come any night to call for his soul. It was a good sign for Tea-Pot when a dog came to the house, because dogs always know where to look for comfort and good cheer; but he cried when a cat came, because cats always know where to wait for rats and ruin.

“When Tea-Pot was four years old his mother dressed him in his birthday clothes of many-colored cloth, stamped with figures of beasts, birds, and fishes, junks, bridges, and summer-houses, and sent him to school, where every spring his magister invited the scholars to a feast in honor of Confucius; on which occasion each of the boys brought the master a few sapecks, and received from him in return a white paper fan, on which he had written an appropriate line of poetry, or a proverb, or a phrase from the classics,—also a funny toy figure, representing a student, or a magister, or a professor.

“And Tea-Pot had gay old holidays, and plenty of them.”

“George,” said Charley, “did you know it was a Chinese schoolmaster that first invented holidays?”

“No,” said I; “is that so?”

“Yes,” said Charley; “and when he died he went straight to heaven; and ever since he does nothing but slide on a rainbow, see the processions, have his gold tin-type taken, go to the circus for nothing, and call for more Fourth of July.”

“Charley,” said I, “you are an allegorical extravaganza.”

“You’re another,” said Charley. “Spout on, Joe, with your Tea-Pot.”

“Well,” said Joe, “there was ‘Filial Porridge Day’ for instance, in honor of all Chinese fathers and mothers, when everybody’s folks have a pious feed together, eating a sort of muddy soup made of rice, peanuts, taro, hemp-seeds, dried dates, and sugar; and when, in the evening, the children have lots of fun at home, building jolly bonfires, and dancing round them in masks, throwing salt in the blaze to make it crackle, letting off crackers, and burning all kinds of paper playthings.

“And there was the festival of ‘Congratulating the Moon,’ when the gallant gentlemen who live on the earth send their compliments to the beautiful ladies who live in the moon, and who pass their time going from one theatre to another, and watching ‘the white rabbit pounding rice’; and when all the Tea-Pots, and other young folks, are treated to white, red, yellow, brown, and green ‘moon-cakes,’ representing the white rabbit with his pounder on one side, and a moon-lady on the other; or else gods and goddesses, birds, animals, and flowers. And this is a great time for toys too, especially pagodas made of dried clay, some of them six feet high, which can be illuminated very prettily.

“But Tea-Pot’s favorite toy consisted of a pear-shaped lump of clay, about the size of an English walnut, with a small piece of resin in the centre. In the smaller end of the pear a hole had been pierced through the clay to the resin with a piece of wire; and in the side another hole, not so deep. If you inserted a piece of stiff wire into this side-hole, for a handle, and held the pear over the flame of a lamp, with the other hole uppermost, in a short time gas, formed from the heated resin, would escape, and, being ignited from the lamp, would burn for some minutes in a pretty jet. In Shanghai the boys buy a great many of these gas-toys, four for a cent.

“Tea-Pot’s Christmas came on the last night of the year, (‘Rounding the Year’ is the Chinese term for it,) and always curiously resembled our own frolic of Santa Claus. Tea-Pot’s ‘old man’ distributed gifts of money, new clothes, and toys among the servants and young folks, and all hands had a good time with bonfires, fireworks, and feasting.

“Then there was the kite-flying on the ninth day of the ninth month, when all the Tea-Pots in China are boiling over with enjoyment, and ‘half cracked’; all the air alive with kites,—bird, beast, and man kites,—kites shaped like butterflies, and kites shaped like eels,—kites in the form of dominoes, and kites in the form of spectacles,—flying tigers, flying dragons, and flying gods,—hawk-kites, five on one string, and pigeon-kites in flocks,—forty thousand people all flying kites at once on one hill!

“But as for the out-door sports of strength skill, and agility, such as base-ball and fox-and-hounds, the Tea-Pots have no turn for them,—the only smart thing they do in that line being a game of shuttlecock, in which they use the soles of their feet instead of battledoors.

“The greatest of all the holidays, in Tea-Pot’s opinion, was the rousing New Year’s frolic, when, for four or five—and among some of the people even ten—days, no unnecessary work is done, and all places of business are closed, except the toy and candy shops; when all the streets and dens are filled with gamblers, playing and betting; when all the old folks make calls (just as we do in New York), and are treated to tea, pipes, and gin-seng; and when all the young folks are presented with loose-skinned oranges, and watermelon-seeds done up in red paper, for good luck; when bands of music and companies of play-actors go from house to house, and fireworks, juggling, and all kinds of shows are free to everybody. Tea-Pot’s father used to tell him, if he was a good boy, and never lost his money on a cricket-fight, he’d be sure to go to New Year’s Day when he died.

“In the Feast of Lanterns, Tea-Pot could always beat the other boys with his ingenious contrivances. He made globe lanterns, to roll along the ground like fire-balls; and lanterns with wheels and puppets, that were worked by the heated air from the light.

“Tea-Pot was very fond of a game called ‘Blowing-the-Fist,’ which is always played by two persons, this way. Suppose Tea-Pot and Little Pigeon are playing. They sit at a table opposite each other, each leaning on his right elbow, with his right fist closed, but held up, and advanced toward his adversary, and with their eyes fixed on each other’s face. Then, at the same instant, both blow and stick out any number of fingers, from one to five, each calling out a number without hesitation. Whichever of the two has named the number corresponding to the whole number of fingers thrust out has won. Thus: they blow, and at the same instant Little Pigeon sticks out two fingers, and calls, ‘Five’; and Tea-Pot sticks out one finger, and calls, ‘Four.’ Neither wins, as two and one make three. So they blow again; Tea-Pot sticks out three fingers and calls, ‘Six’; and Little Pigeon sticks out three fingers and calls, ‘Four.’ Tea-Pot wins, because each has three fingers out. Again: Little Pigeon sticks out five fingers and calls, ‘Six’; and Tea-Pot sticks out no finger and calls, ‘Five.’ Tea-pot wins, of course.”

“Old sinners play for cups of sam-shu wine; young ones, for cups of tea. The fun is in the quickness with which the movement of the fingers and the guess are both made. There must be no interval or hesitation.

“Well, at last,” said Joe, “Tea-Pot’s sixteenth birthday arrived, and he ‘passed out of childhood,’ as the Chinese express it, and became a man according to law, with all the rights and responsibilities of a Chinese man, especially the right to have his head and tail cut off if he happened to whip his own daddy. There the baby and brat part of him disappeared (he was never much in the Good-Child line); and we have no further interest in him at present, except to try not to be hard on his failings, and to remember that we are all more or less like him,—poor earthenware, and full of flaws. That’s the good of going to China; it makes you a judge of tea-pots.”

“Anyhow,” said Charley, “this Tea-Pot is the genuine Chinese article, and it ought to draw. [Put that down, Georgey, and tell the editor he’ll find a joke there, if he’ll give all his mind to it.”

So there it is; but I don’t see it.]

George Eager.


“Kitty, Kitty, you mischievous elf,

What have you, pray, to say for yourself?”


          But Kitty was now

          Asleep on the mow,

And only drawled dreamily, “Ma-e-ow!”


“Kitty, Kitty, come here to me,—

The naughtiest Kitty I ever did see!

I know very well what you’ve been about;

Don’t try to conceal it, murder will out.

Why do you lie so lazily there?”


“O, I have had a breakfast rare!”


“Why don’t you go and hunt for a mouse?”


“O, there’s nothing fit to eat in the house!”


          “Dear me! Miss Kitty,

          This is a pity;

But I guess the cause of your change of ditty.

What has become of the beautiful thrush

That built her nest in the heap of brush?

A brace of young robins as good as the best;

A round little, brown little, snug little nest;

Four little eggs all green and gay,

Four little birds all bare and gray,

And Papa Robin went foraging round,

Aloft on the trees, and alight on the ground.

North wind, or south wind, he cared not a groat,

So he popped a fat worm down each wide-open throat;

And Mamma Robin through sun and storm

Hugged them up close, and kept them all warm;

And me, I watched the dear little things

Till the feathers pricked out on their pretty wings,

And their eyes peeped up o’er the rim of the nest.

Kitty, Kitty, you know the rest.

The nest is empty, and silent, and lone;

Where are the four little robins gone?

O Puss! you have done a cruel deed!

Your eyes, do they weep? your heart, does it bleed?

Do you not feel your bold cheeks turning pale?

Not you! You are chasing your wicked tail,

Or you just cuddle down in the hay and purr,

Curl up in a ball, and refuse to stir.

But you need not try to look good and wise;

I see little robins, old Puss, in your eyes,

And this morning, just as the clock struck four,

There was some one opening the kitchen door,

And caught you creeping the wood-pile over,—

Make a clean breast of it, Kitty Clover!”


          Then Kitty arose,

          Rubbed up her nose,

And looked very much as if coming to blows;

          Rounded her back,

          Leaped from the stack,

On her feet, at my feet, came down with a whack.

Then, fairly awake, she stretched out her paws,

Smoothed down her whiskers, and unsheathed her claws,

          Winked her green eyes

          With an air of surprise,

And spoke rather plainly for one of her size.


“Killed a few robins; well, what of that?

What’s virtue in man can’t be vice in a cat.

There’s a thing or two I should like to know,—

Who killed the chicken a week ago,

For nothing at all that I could spy,

But to make an overgrown chicken pie?

          ’Twixt you and me,

          ’Tis plain to see,

The odds is, you like fricassee,

          While my brave maw

          Owns no such law,

Content with viands à-la-raw.


“Who killed the robins? O, yes! O, yes!

I would get the cat now into a mess!

          Who was it put

          An old stocking-foot,

          Tied up with strings

          And such shabby things,

On to the end of a sharp, slender pole,

Dipped it in oil, and set fire to the whole,

And burnt all the way from here to the miller’s

The nests of the sweet young caterpillars?

          Grilled fowl, indeed!

          Why, as I read,

You had not even the plea of need;

          For all you boast

          Such wholesale roast,

I saw no sign, at tea or toast,

Of even a caterpillar’s ghost.


“Who killed the robins? Well, I should think!

Hadn’t somebody better wink

At my peccadilloes, if houses of glass

Won’t do to throw stones from at those who pass?

I had four little kittens a month ago,—

Black, and Malta, and white as snow;

And not a very long while before

I could have shown you three kittens more.

And so in batches of fours and threes,

Looking back as long as you please,

You would find, if you read my story all,

There were kittens from time immemorial.


“But what am I now? A cat bereft.

Of all my kittens, but one is left.

I make no charges, but this I ask,—

What made such a splurge in the waste-water cask?

You are quite tender-hearted. O, not a doubt!

But only suppose old Black Pond could speak out.

O, bother! don’t mutter excuses to me:

Qui facit per alium facit per se.”


“Well, Kitty, I think full enough has been said,

And the best thing for you is go straight back to bed.

          A very fine pass

          Things have come to, my lass,

          If men must be meek

          While pussy-cats speak

Grave moral reflections in Latin and Greek!”

Gail Hamilton.



Left to himself, Franz quickly began to follow the fairy’s directions. As soon as he took the axe in his hand, after safely arranging the rest of his tools, he felt it trembling in his grasp, and saw it turning in a direction different from that in which it happened to point when he first raised it. He was a little frightened at the strange sight, but, gathering courage, he walked on whither it led, forcing his way through the thick undergrowth and between the tall trees. Finally he came out into a circular open space, where, by the light of the moon, he could plainly see the wonderful tree standing alone in the centre of the circle. It was not tall,—its topmost branch being about twelve or fifteen feet from the ground. Its trunk rose, without any branches, to the height of nearly six feet, and it was quite thick. The leaves, though it was late in the season, were still green and fresh. Beneath the tree stood a dwarf, armed with a lance twice as tall as himself. He looked fiercely at Franz, but did not attempt to attack him, until, forgetting the fairy’s words, Franz aimed a blow at him with his axe. Then the dwarf rushed furiously upon him with his lance, and would have pierced him through and slain him on the spot, if Franz had not escaped the blow by springing to one side. The dwarf, however, did not continue the battle, but retired to his post beneath the tree; and Franz, now remembering what he had before forgotten, advanced toward the tree without even glancing at the dwarf, and commenced cutting it down with powerful strokes. He was a strong and skilful woodcutter, and very soon the tree lay prostrate upon the ground. Then, taking his hatchet from his belt, he quickly cleared the trunk of its branches, and also lopped off the upper part of the main stem, which was thin and tapering. He then unwound from his shoulders a coil of rope which he sometimes used in drawing felled trees nearer to the broad paths in the woods. This rope had a running noose at one end. Franz now lifted the tree a little, and passed the rope around it. Then, drawing the noose gradually up the trunk, he tightened it against the stumps of the branches, which he had taken care not to cut very close, that they might serve for that purpose. Then taking the end of the rope in both his hands, he drew it over his shoulder, and prepared to drag his prize homeward. Though that part of the woods was wholly strange to him, he knew that he should have no difficulty in finding his way, for he had placed all along the path by which he came those little marks which wood-cutters use to find the paths which they have before passed over. But just as he took the first step toward the point where had entered the open space, the dwarf, who had been leaning gloomily upon his lance, and watching all that Franz did, sprang forward and seated himself upon the fallen tree. Franz stood still.

“Alas!” said he to himself, “what shall I do now? This dwarf is so small and light that I could draw him easily enough; but I should not like very well to take him home with me, for he might choose to stay there if I did. Perhaps, though, he may not wish to go so far. At any rate, I will set out, and then I can see what he will do.”

So saying, Franz began again to pull the log along the ground. He found it was very difficult to drag it in and out among the thick trees and undergrowth of the forest. Still he went on pushing and tearing his way through, taking no pains to prevent the branches which he bent out of his way from striking the dwarf heavy blows as they flew back. The dwarf, however, did not regard them in the least, and would not stir from his seat. After a time they came in sight of the little hut where Franz lived. Seeing nothing else to be done, Franz boldly drew the log toward the door, and was just raising it over the threshold when the dwarf sprang up, and, standing in an humble attitude, addressed Franz in a tone of sulky submission.

“Wood-cutter,” said he, “you have conquered! My tree is yours, and with it you have gained the right to my services. I will assist you in the foolish task which you have set for yourself in any way you choose to command.”

Franz paused for a moment, then answered: “Wicked dwarf! a work such as mine would never succeed the better for thy unholy aid. Depart! My only command is that you never approach me again!”

At these words the dwarf, uttering a loud yell, sprang into the forest.

It was now nearly dawn, so that Franz only drew the log into the hut, and concealed it in a corner without attempting to commence his work upon it. The next evening, however, he began, and for that and many succeeding nights he labored almost until morning in shaping the wood into some rude resemblance to a human form. Very rude it was indeed, and, though he worked eagerly, he was almost discouraged. Besides this, such constant toil was more than he could bear. He grew pale and thin, and every day did less and less work in the woods. His fairy friend saw all this, and resolved to put an end to it. One evening she met him, as with quick but feeble step he was hastening home to begin his night’s labor upon his statue.

“Franz,” said she, “this is all wrong. If you go on in this way, you will only hurt yourself without saving your sister. You must never work more than two or three hours in an evening. But you will find that you go on much faster so than you do now, for I will send a Wind Spirit who will breathe sweet music through your room while you work. As long as that sound lasts, you will have as much skill as the greatest sculptor; but if you continue to labor after it ceases, you will only mar your own perfect work. Farewell! when the statue is finished, I will come to you again.”

This plan was precisely what Franz needed. That evening the fairy music began to sound as soon as he took the statue from the hiding-place where he kept it concealed during the day, as he did not wish to have his work come to the knowledge of any of the village housewives, who often came in, while he was absent, to bring him little presents of such articles as he could not easily make for himself. Very soft and clear sounded the music, and as Franz listened to it while he worked, he felt that he had never made such progress before. He had chosen to represent his sister in the attitude in which he had last beheld her, when, standing at the door of their home, she had waved him a farewell with outstretched hands. Now, as the music filled his soul, the form of his sister seemed to rise again before his eyes. He seemed to see her as she looked at that last parting, in her simple rustic dress of blue woollen stuff, with her fair curls streaming over her shoulders, and her bright eyes beaming with happiness and sisterly love. How easy grew his work with such a vision before him!

Thus, night after night, he toiled on, never ceasing to regret the absence of Bertha, nor to mourn for the hardships to which he knew she must be exposed, but full of the hope of her speedy rescue. Sometimes he would join his voice to the music, and express these feelings in a song:—

“Swiftly passed my happy days

 While my sister still was nigh;

 Now a mournful song I raise:

 Bertha! hear thy brother’s sigh!


“Sister, think not I forget:

 Time nor distance can remove

 Ties like those that bind us yet;

 Naught can change a brother’s love.


“Lab’ring thus ’mid hope and grief,

 I will yet thy ransom earn.

 O, despair not of relief!

 Bertha! thou shalt soon return.”

All this time, while Franz was patiently cutting and carving, the wood had remained of its own natural color. But now, as the finishing touches made each part of the statue perfect in form, the words of the fairy lady proved true. It was very delightful to Franz to watch this change, even while it was confined to the dress of his image; but while he was finishing the head, he could not sufficiently admire the lovely transformation. The hair, no longer of a dull wood-color, floated back in shining golden ringlets, a soft rose-color suffused the cheeks, whilst the lips were like the reddest coral, and the deep blue eyes seemed full of expression and of soul. When all was completed, Franz gazed with rapture at the beautiful work. He thought that now the power of speech, which the dwarfs required, must certainly belong to it, for it did not seem possible that anything so lovely could be dumb.

“Bertha!” he whispered, half expecting to see the lips open and breathe his name in answer. But the statue stood speechless still, unchanging in attitude and expression, and Franz saw that there was yet something more to be done. While he stood thinking of this, the fairy lady was by his side.

“Franz,” said she, “you have done nobly! Now you see that, with energy and perseverance, nothing is impossible.”

“But, lady,” answered Franz, “if it had not been for the help that you have so kindly given me, I could never have done this.”

“You may always be sure of the help you need,” she replied, with a smile, “if you will only do your best yourself, and not depend upon others. Now there is but little left to be done. To-morrow night be ready to go with me to the forest. You must take with you the statue, and all the fragments of wood that remain, as well as materials for making a fire.”

She was about to depart, when Franz, with a sudden burst of gratitude, seized her hand and exclaimed, “Kind lady, to you I shall owe all my happiness, if indeed my sister ever comes back!”

“Do not doubt of her return,” she answered. “To-morrow night she shall surely be with you again.” Gently withdrawing her hand from his grasp, she left him alone.

The next evening he made everything ready long before he expected the fairy’s arrival, and then sat looking at the statue, and trying to realize the happiness of seeing his sister again. When it had grown quite dark, the fairy lady came.

“Now let us go to meet Bertha,” said she. Franz slung over his shoulder the little fragments of the magic wood, which he had fastened securely together, and, lifting the statue in his arms, followed the fairy as she glided swiftly along the narrow path to the little hillock where Bertha had been carried off. When they had reached it, she drew a circle upon the ground with her wand, and bade Franz place the statue in the centre. Then, taking the sticks which he had brought, she arranged them in regular order around the edge of the circle, always putting them in groups of three, with their ends touching each other so as to form triangles of various shapes and sizes. Franz then took out his flint and steel, by means of which she lit a long and slender stick which she had kept apart from the rest. She gave this to Franz, and told him to set on fire each of the triangles which she had made. He did so. The wood did not blaze, but sent up great clouds of thin blue smoke, which curled and wreathed around the image, almost hiding it from sight. Then out of the midst of the smoky cloud came a voice from the lips of the statue. “Bertha!” it called, and at the sound the smouldering embers were extinguished, the statue disappeared, and Bertha herself sprang from the circle, and was clasped in her brother’s arms. For a moment they could think of nothing but their happiness, and when Franz turned to thank their fairy friend, of whom as yet Bertha knew nothing, she was gone. Like most of her race, she was very willing to render services, but disliked to receive the thanks of those she had helped.

The gray light of dawn was beginning to appear as Bertha and her brother walked slowly homeward, telling each other their various adventures. When they reached the hut it was quite day, and Bertha was very much surprised and pleased to see everything arranged as it used to be before she went away; for Franz had resisted the persuasions of the villagers, and always kept her spinning-wheel and work-basket, and all the little articles that she used, where she had been accustomed to have them, so that they looked as if she were expected to come back at any moment.

Bertha wished to remain there, and go back to their old way of life, but Franz was afraid that, if this were done, some new harm might befall her. “I think, Bertha,” said he, “that it would be as well for us not to go and tell the people in the village of your escape until the afternoon, for I want to show you this morning that I can do something better than cutting down trees for a living in future.”

Bertha was willing to do as he proposed, and eagerly watched him as he took a block of pine-wood that lay outside the door, and began to carve it into the shape of a bird’s head and neck. He no longer possessed the skill which the fairy’s aid had bestowed upon him while making the statue of his sister; but that work had given him some experience, and developed the genius which he would never otherwise have shown. The work, when finished, was somewhat rude, but yet, life-like. Bertha was delighted with it, and still more so when Franz told her his plans.

“Bertha,” he said, “we have already found this wood a very dangerous place, and I fear that it may now be more so than ever, for the dwarfs are doubtless very angry that you have escaped from their power. I think that, if we should go and live in the village, I could gain much more than I do now by carving images such as this for the figure-heads of vessels, and perhaps some time I could do even better than that.”

Bertha was so proud of her brother’s talents that she willingly gave up the idea of remaining in her forest home, and gladly helped Franz in making everything ready to remove. That same day they went to the village, and nothing could exceed the surprise and pleasure of the kind-hearted people at seeing Bertha among them again. When she had told them her adventures, and how it was by her brother’s efforts that she had been rescued, their former contempt for him was changed into admiration, and they readily entered into all his plans. A suitable dwelling was soon found, and before many days he and Bertha were comfortably settled in it. Franz had always enough to do, for all the villagers desired to possess some little image or bit of carving made by the hand that formed the magic statue, and the captains of vessels who heard his story, and saw his remarkable skill, never failed to wish to exchange the rough and unnatural figures upon their ships’ prows for his graceful handiwork. Thus he went on constantly improving in skill, and becoming more and more widely known.

One day a large ship of war belonging to the king of the country stopped at the port of the village, to make some necessary repairs. While these were going on, her captain, as he was loitering about on shore, saw and admired a figure of a sea-goddess which Franz had just made. He bought it, and had it fastened upon the prow of his vessel. Now it happened that this ship was on her return from a long and successful expedition, and when she had left the village, and arrived at the capital of the country, a banquet was given on board, at which the king himself was a guest. As he was leaving the ship after the banquet was over, his eye fell upon this figure-head. Struck by its beauty, he asked whence it came.

“Sire,” replied the captain, “I bought it of a poor wood-carver, in a little village where I stopped for repairs.”

“Let him be brought immediately to my court,” exclaimed the king; “for I do not know of a sculptor in the land who can produce such a figure as that!”

A ship was accordingly sent for Franz, which brought him and Bertha to the royal city, where he was received with the highest honor. There he made many beautiful and graceful statues, but among them all there were none so lovely as his figures of child-angels, and these always bore a resemblance, both in face and form, to his sister, as she had looked in her childish days when the dwarfs made her their prisoner.

L. E. S.


“May you go to find it?” You must, I fear,—

  Ah, lighted young eyes, could I show you how!

“Is it past those lilies that look so near?”

  It is past all flowers. Will you listen now?


The pretty new moons faded out of the sky,

  The bees and butterflies out of the air;

And sweet wild songs would flutter and fly

  Into wet dark leaves and the snow’s white glare.


There were winds and shells full of lonesome cries;

  There were lightnings and mists along my way;

And the deserts glittered against my eyes,

  Where the beautiful phantom-fountains play.


At last, in a place very dusty and bare,

  Some little dead birds I had petted to sing,

Some little dead flowers I had gathered to wear,

  Some withered thorns, and an empty ring,


Lay scattered. My fairy story is told.

  (It does not please her,—she has not smiled.)

What is it you say?—“Did I find the gold?”

  Why, I found the End of the Rainbow, child!

Sarah M. B. Piatt.


Nathaniel Nye, on that far-away island where his life had been weighed in the balance with a few bits of shining glass, naturally felt attached to the rude hut that had been by him converted into a glass factory. He spent a good deal of his time there, trying to see what he could get up next for the astonishment of his savage friends. One day he threw the whole community into a state of great excitement by exhibiting a wonderful glass affair, as round as a cocoa-nut, and having a long, narrow neck. Whatever Nathaniel poured into this amazing affair,—whether milk, or water, or red berry-juice,—the delighted islanders could see it plainly after it had disappeared down the long neck.

“Marvellous!” cried the king, as he put his hands on his knees and bent forward to gaze at the wonder. “To see through the sides of a dish with such a little hole in it! This is the most extraordinary of all! What do you name this miracle?”

“It is called a bottle,” said Nathaniel.

It was only after considerable study that our hero had been able to make the bottle. It was necessary that he should have a long iron tube, and it was only after much cogitation that the happy thought occurred to him that he could use the barrel of the gun he had brought to the island, for the purpose. He found it made a very good “rod,” as the glass-makers call it; and this is the way he used it. He would dip one end of the tube in the melted glass, catching a small portion, and then swinging it around in the air to cool it a little. After dipping it in so repeatedly, and taking on more glass each time, he soon had enough for a bottle. Then he blew through the tube, and the soft glass expanded just like a soap-bubble at the end of a pipe, when little Fred or Clara blows through it; and to shape the glass bubble he had a mould ready prepared.

The islanders were still in ecstasies of admiration over the bottle, when Nathaniel was again at work trying to produce a window-pane. The mixture out of which the bottle had been made was equally good for window-glass; for he had put a certain proportion of powdered lime in the mixture, so that the bottle would resist the effect of sudden transitions from heat to cold. The powdered lime, besides answering that end, renders the glass easier to cut with a diamond,—a very necessary quality in window-glass. To make the desired pane, Nathaniel did not blow his bubble into a mould, but swung the globe rapidly to and fro like the pendulum of a clock. This caused the globe to lengthen out, till it was shaped like a long, narrow egg. Then he placed it in the oven again, till it was softened and made pliable by the heat, and, drawing it out, gave it a sharp rap on the farther end, breaking it at that point. The softened sides spread now into the shape of a cylinder, one end still adhering to the gun-barrel. To get the cylinder free from the gun-barrel, Nathaniel put a drop of cold water on the hot glass at the point of adhesion, and struck a light blow on the gun-barrel near the middle. Then all he had to do was to cut the cylinder lengthwise with a dampened instrument, and the soft glass was easily flattened out into a window-pane. While it was still hot, it was easy to cut it into a perfect-shaped pane by means of the wet instrument before employed.

The pane of glass, I need not assure you, was hailed with acclamations by all the islanders, from the king down.

It must be admitted, even by us, to whom the uses of glass are quite familiar, that, considering the limited means at his command, our friend Nathaniel really accomplished surprising things. But there were many things beyond his skill, and the islanders were content to listen in open-mouthed wonder at the marvels which he told them existed in Boston. They would sit cross-legged in a circle around him, in the cool evenings, after the employments of the day were over, while he talked to them.

“In Boston,” said Nathaniel, “there are instruments which contain bits of glass, skilfully prepared for the purpose, with which wise men look into the skies at night, and see the stars and the moon so plainly that they can tell us more about them than they could if they lived there themselves. They have found out that the moon and stars are round globes, like this earth on which we live.”

Nathaniel had before this explained to his savage friends a good deal about our own earth; or you may be very sure he would have been flooded with questions now.

“And have the Boston wise men seen the people who live on the moon?” asked King Fu-ti, staring up at the sky with a new interest.

“No,” said Nathaniel; “there are no people there. They have found out that the moon is a wild waste where no living thing dwells. They have found out, too, that the sun is a world so large that this earth is a little thing in comparison; and that besides our earth, which I have already told you travels round and round the sun all the time, there are a great number of other worlds like ours which also travel round it, and this happy family of worlds, all jogging round the sun so good-naturedly, they have called the solar system.”

Nathaniel paused and looked up at the sky, where the stars were very brilliant. He called the attention of the circle to the Milky Way, and while they were all gazing upward with open mouths, he said: “In the Milky Way alone, my friends, there are eighteen million such systems as this of which our world forms a part. And even they are but as a drop of water in yonder ocean, when compared with the rest of the kingdom which that God has made whom you have learned to worship. We should never know all these things so well, but for those bits of glass in telescopes through which the wise men look.”

“How! how!” cried a dozen voices in chorus; “this is most wonderful of all!”

“Wait!” said our hero, calmly. “There are in Boston certain other instruments with bits of glass in them, through which the wise men can look into a drop of water, and see millions of living creatures there, which you could never see with your eyes,—no, not if you looked a thousand years for them. Strange things the wise men see with the lenses in their microscopes. What would you think of an insect,—a tiny thing that you could pinch to death in your fingers,—and yet which has thirty thousand eyes?”

“How! how!” cried the voices, in blank amazement.

“It is more than the eyes of all my people!” exclaimed the king. “Who saw this terrible monster?”

“The wise men of Boston have seen many such, with the aid of the glass lenses; and insects with more legs than you have hairs on your head, king!”

The savages all stared at the king’s head with the deepest interest.

“But this is not all,” said Nathaniel. “You know that, when your people grow old, they cannot see so well as in their youth. In Boston there are little contrivances made of gold, silver, or brass, in which are set two lenses of glass; and the old people who cannot see so well as in past years put one of these instruments across their nose—so,” (Nathaniel illustrated with his fingers,) “and so long as they wear it there, they can see as well as they ever could.”

“And do the old people go about with these things set upon their noses—so?” asked the king, imitating Nathaniel’s illustration, and making himself goggles of his fingers.

“O, many of them!” said Nathaniel. “I have met hundreds of them in my life.”

Again the savages cried, “How! how!” and exchanged astonished glances; and, putting their fingers to their noses, imitated the king and Nathaniel. The consequence of this was, that, in less time than I can tell it, the whole assemblage were roaring with laughter at the ludicrous thought, while some of them rolled on the ground and held their sides in an agony of mirth.

“How I should like to see a man with one of these instruments on his nose!” said the king. “But no,—I should burst out laughing in his face.”

“And he, no doubt,” said Nathaniel, “would find the ring you wear in your nose quite as much of an absurdity.”

“How could that be?” asked the king, sobered instantly; and the whole assemblage became equally sober at the thought; for they looked upon the ring in the nose as the most genteel and beautiful ornament imaginable.

It would take too much time to report all Nathaniel said to his friends at these evening meetings, and the astonishment with which they listened when he told them about how glass was used to make plants and flowers grow faster than they naturally would in hot-beds; about looking-glasses in which you could see yourself reflected; and many other things which I need not mention.

“Tell me this, if you can,” King Fu-ti one day said to Nathaniel. “What were those long pieces of glass which I used to wear on my breast?”

“They were what we call prisms. They are sometimes hung upon chandeliers, in my country, to reflect the light.”

“And are not prisms glass?” asked the king.

“Yes, they are glass, but not such glass as beads and bottles are made of. A proportion of calcined lead—that is, lead-powder—is mixed in, when the glass is melted, and this gives weight and brilliancy to the glass, and makes it easier to cut into shapely chunks.”

“And do you have hatchets and knives in your country sharp enough to cut glass?” asked the king, preparing himself for a fresh dose of astonishment.

“No, Fu-ti; we can cut glass only with the aid of whirling grinding-wheels. The work is first cut roughly on an iron wheel; then worked down on a finer one; then polished on a wooden one; and finally a cork wheel gives the finishing touch. It is a work requiring great skill and knowledge, and there are but few parts of the world where it is well done. The Bohemians are the best workers in cut glass; but there are establishments in Paris, in France, where imitation diamonds, emeralds, and rubies are made with wonderful skill.”

No little child in America ever craved knowledge of wonderful countries more earnestly than these simple islanders sought for the knowledge Nathaniel Nye gave them. But it was not only in the direction of glass-working that their minds thirsted after instruction. Nathaniel initiated them in the practice of the various trades with which he had familiarized himself in his ramblings over the world, and they were never tired of learning.

One thing is certain: at the end of three years, everything was changed throughout the whole extent of King Fu-ti’s dominion. In manners and customs, in their houses and clothing, in agriculture, in religion, all was so different from the past, that you would hardly have been able to realize the ignorance that had prevailed there but three short years before. No wonder Nathaniel was universally beloved and respected.

One day King Fu-ti took Nathaniel affectionately by the arm, and, walking along by his side, said: “You are alone, but you are a kind-hearted man. You must have a wife. I have seen your eyes rest on the form of my daughter Lo-line. She is good and beautiful. She loves you. I know it. Take her for your wife. She will make you happy.”

At the moment, Lo-line appeared. She was a graceful, willowy maiden, with large and soulful black eyes, fringed with long lashes; but her skin was brown, like that of a mulatto. Nathaniel Nye had been so long away from Boston, that I suppose he had forgotten there was such a word as “amalgamation” in the dictionary. At any rate, he thought no more of this beautiful and gentle creature’s brown skin than I would of the color of an angel’s robe, if I were to see one to-morrow,—as I hope I shall certainly. He reached out his hands to her, and she came timidly, but quickly, to his embrace.

“My children,” said King Fu-ti, “I bestow on you my blessing. May God watch over you!”

So Nathaniel married Lo-line, and very happy indeed she made him, because she was very happy herself, and overjoyed at being the wife of so good and wise a man. At the end of the year a little son was born in Nathaniel’s house.

It was not long after this when, one day, our hero said to the king, “Fu-ti, I have a mother in my country. She must think her son dead. Poor woman! I should like to see her once more before she dies.”

“Well said, my son. But how is it possible? America is so far away, and we have no communication with the world.”

“You must send word to the neighboring islands,” said Nathaniel, “and have them let me know when an American or European vessel comes this way.”

It was four years since any vessel had come near King Fu-ti’s island, which was so surrounded with reefs as to make it dangerous to approach. So Nathaniel’s advice was followed, and, a few months after, an opportunity occurred for him to leave. The whole island mourned his going, and the king shed tears. So also did Lo-line, Nathaniel’s wife, as she stood on the shore with her child on her arm, watching her husband’s departure.

After a long and dangerous journey, Nathaniel reached home. But his mother was dead, and grass had grown on her grave for a year. Nathaniel’s thoughts turned with strong affection to the simple islanders who held him in such love and esteem, and he at once made his preparations to return. He gathered what little property his mother had left him, and spent the most of it in buying a collection of useful things which he desired to employ for the benefit of the community where he had made his home.

He had been absent from the island nearly two years, however, when one evening the vessel cast anchor as near as possible to the shore of his adopted home. It was moonlight. Nathaniel at once had himself sent on shore in a yawl-boat, so as to surprise his people. His heart beat fast as he drew near the village.

But suddenly he looked around him in dismay, unwilling to believe his eyes. Instead of the flourishing village he had left, there was now only a desolation of ruined and burnt huts. He passed a miserable night in the midst of the ruins. At daylight he ventured out, and saw some one afar off, coming toward him. It was the king, who fell on Nathaniel’s shoulder and wept for joy.

“At the first break of dawn,” said Fu-ti, “I saw a vessel on the coast, and immediately I was thrilled with hope. I hastened hither, and here I find you. Come! Your wife and child are well.”

Words would not suffice to describe the joy every one felt at again beholding Nathaniel; nor his joy at once more meeting his wife and child, whom he kissed fondly.

The explanation of the ruined village was given in a few words. Several months since, some savages from a neighboring island, jealous of the prosperity of King Fu-ti’s subjects, had attacked them in the night, and without warning. Taken unawares, at first the king and his warriors were forced to retreat to the mountains; but perceiving afterward that Nathaniel’s wife and child were among the prisoners the enemy had captured, the islanders had attacked their foe with great fury, in order to recover these two persons, so dear to the man who had been their benefactor. In this they were successful, and the enemy had fled in dismay, leaving many dead on the field.

“Then,” said the king, “we made our home in the mountains for greater security.”

“Well, well!” said Nathaniel, “it might have been a deal worse. I guess we shall do, after all; for I have brought with me the materials to build a much finer village,—and a good many other things beside.”

And, in truth, the vessel was loaded with everything that could be of use to the young colony; and glorious sport the islanders had in unloading their treasures and bearing them away to the site of the new village. They greeted each fresh disclosure of the novel and the useful with exclamations of wonder and delight.

After the vessel had yielded up all Nathaniel’s goods, and sailed away, and everything had been arranged in a neat and orderly manner, the islanders gathered once more about our hero in the evening, with flaring torches, lighting up the picturesque scene. Then Nathaniel produced a large box containing a brilliant store of necklaces, bracelets, rings, and ear-rings, ornamented with all kinds of imitation gems made of cut glass. All had a share of these beautiful ornaments, and wore them proudly. Then Nathaniel told them that he had obtained these pretty things in France, where false gems are produced in great quantities, and in various degrees of excellence. In some cases it is almost impossible to tell them from real precious stones. He told them how glass took this or that color, according as they melted it with this or that metallic oxide. Thus they colored imitation emeralds, rubies, sapphires, hyacinths, amethysts, and turquoises with oxides of copper, gold, cobalt, iron, and magnesia.

To King Fu-ti Nathaniel had brought a present of especial beauty and value,—nothing less than a crown, in the shape of a head-dress of spun-glass and silk. This he also obtained in France, where liquid glass is spun into the finest thread, from which real cloth is made. The head-dress was surmounted by a crest, also made of spun-glass.

Besides these, he brought some painted glass for the windows of the church which they were now going to build; and when the church was erected, (as it very speedily was, for all the islanders were glad to join in the work who could,) these bright-hued windows were put into the sashes, and I doubt if there was an island in the whole Pacific Ocean that had a church at all equal to that in the kingdom of Fu-ti. It was not a large church, but it was as neat as wax, and very tasty.

The village, also, was very soon erected, and the inhabitants resumed the happy, peaceful, industrious life which war had for the time interrupted. They found, after they had all got nicely settled, that our hero had reserved some of his most delightful surprises for them still; and it really seemed to them as if glass was the most wonderful substance in the world, and capable of being put to an inexhaustible variety of uses. One night he would invite the king and a number of his friends to an exhibition of a magic lantern, and it would have amused you to witness the utter amazement which came over the islanders, as figure after figure stalked across the white sheet before which the audience were gathered. Then, after the performance, Nathaniel would explain the matter to them, and show how glass served the purposes of amusement in this case. At another time, he brought out upon the grand square of the village, in the evening, a fine harmonica,—a musical instrument which is not very common even in our own country, though it was invented by an American,—and upon this he would play the most beautiful tunes, to the great delight of the people gathered about. No words could express their astonishment at seeing Nathaniel evoke such entrancing strains merely by friction against the edges of these hemispherical glasses. Another day he produced a little cannon, which went off every day after that at just such an hour, under the influence of the sun’s rays, concentrated by a glass lens, and brought to a focus on the powder at the cannon’s vent.

Nathaniel obtained possession of several of the beads that he had made when his life hung on the event of his success. He made them into a tasty ornament, and had them hung up in the church, as a remembrancer to the islanders of the occasion to which, under God, they owed their present happiness. And from that time there was no happier kingdom in the world than that of King Fu-ti, nor among all the people one more happy than he who had been the indirect cause of all,—Nathaniel Nye.

William Wirt Sikes.


“Now, Uncle, you have not told us a story for ever so long,” said my niece Lightfoot, “and so you must tell us one this very evening.”

“Yes, do, uncle. Oo, why can’t you?” said Coppertoes, crowding between my knees without much ceremony. “You used to have lots of ’em.”

“My dear children, all the stories now-a-days are full of facts, and mine are all of the silly, old-fashioned kind. Suppose I were to begin, ‘Once upon a time there was a gas whose name was Hydrogen, and he lived in an India-rubber bag’?”

“O, no, no! not that kind!” protested both at once.

“Well then, ‘One of the most curious circumstances in relation to the coleopterous insects is—”

“Now, you’re really too bad,” pouted Lightfoot.

“Then you don’t think it fair that, ‘when the pie is opened,’ the birds should begin to—preach? I am very much of your mind about that, so I will try to tell you a story after my own fashion. But it is so long since I have told one, that I am afraid I shall make but a poor hand at it. You must let me have my head, as they say of horses, and I may find the right road after a while. So here goes!

“When our English forefathers came over to this new land, I cannot hear that they brought any fairies with them. Though such tiny creatures take up but little space, yet I do not think that the Pilgrim Fathers would have cared for their company, even though the Mayflower had not been packed so full of tables and chairs as we all know that it was. And I doubt if they would have had a very good time with the P. F.’s at any rate. It is said, I know not how truly, that one of the company that came a few years later to Salem brought with him an acorn from Hearne’s oak, under which, you know, the good folk loved to dance by moonlight. This he planted, and a fine tree grew from it, and they say that whoever goes to sleep under that tree at the full of a midsummer moon will afterwards have the gift of seeing fairies. But I could never find out that anybody ever did this, except a man named Hawthorne, and he either could not or would not tell where the tree might be found. Some think it is in Witch Woods at Beverley, but for my part I could never hear of a guide who would take me to it. As well as I can make out, a few English fairies did venture over from time to time, but they were never very well pleased with our greensward, it was so much less soft than what they had been used to, and wore out dancing-shoes so fast. These all went back after the Revolution, for fairies are not fond of new things, and they said that the Good Old Time was gone, never to come back. A Mr. Drake says that he has seen them since on the Hudson River, but his story does not seem a very likely one to me, and I rather think he only dreamed it after reading what an old poet named Drayton had told about them. It is pretty certain that Robin Goodfellow never came over, though I have sometimes heard an owl shout “Ho! ho!” in the woods very much as he is said to do. I hardly think gladsome Robin, even if he had come, would have cared to stay where even cider is sinful, unless it be turned to vinegar to keep some folks’ faces well soured. A great many Will-o’-the-Wisps, who love to lead people the wrong way, and souse them in cold water against their wills, found their way across the sea, and seem to like their new home very well. But, on the whole, I think it likely that we have not any real English fairies over here now. I have heard, indeed, of a Dutch Kobold who smuggled himself over to New Amsterdam, but I should not think him a settler of very good quality.

“Of course, you know, a country could not get along very well without fairies of some kind or other. For how could a baby be born with a silver spoon in his mouth, or anything of that sort, without help from the fairies? Now we all know very well that babies are now and then born so, even here, so there must be somebody to manage it for them; and as that kind of thing has always been done by fairies all the world over, there must be some among us. I was not born in that way myself, but I know a good many boys that were, and that made me curious to find out all I could about the fairies that brought the spoons. At first I thought they must be Irish ones, they are so apt to make blunders, and that they, perhaps, had carried my spoon to some other baby. But since then I have thought that I was not meant to have any, and that I am as well without it. However, that put me on hunting up the fairies, and I have learned that there are some Indian ones here, of about the same size as the European, and very much like them, only that they are of a swarthier hue. They wear leggings made of the little bags that spiders cover their eggs with, and moccasins felted very neatly of fern-down, so that they may pass through our great woods without scratching their legs or feet. They dress mostly in skins, and those who can afford it wear the golden furs of bumble-bees, which they know how to cure nicely by stretching them on spider-webs, by moonlight, with the wrong side outwards. Lakes and rivers they cross in little canoes made of acorn-shells split in two lengthwise, paddling them with the larger feathers of the humming-bird, which they find to answer very well. They still use the bow, with which they are very skilful, a good marksman among them bringing down a midge upon the wing nine times out of ten. Their arrows are barbed with hornet-stings, and they make bowstrings of three strands of gossamer twisted tightly together. A good thing about these strings is, that they do not shrink in damp weather. This is all that I could find out about them which I could be sure was true. I have heard other things, but I do not tell them again, because I do not feel as if I could believe them myself. It is said, for example, that their dances are not like those of Old World fairies, but war-dances, and that they paint themselves as the Indians do. Whether these things are likely or no, you can judge as well as I. One thing I forgot. Their wigwams, for so they call them, are made of the young cups of pitcher-plants, (I would tell you their Latin name if I knew it myself,) turned upside down, and staked firmly with bats’ teeth. These will hold a great many of them. Some that have had more to do with the whites build log-cabins with grass-stems laid across each other. But these are not thought so good against rain, though thatched pretty thickly with fallen pine-needles. They have Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, of course, to play in, just like everybody else.

“Now there are two tribes of these Fairies, one of them ruled by a squaw-sachem, named Fan-ta-si-a, or She that bloweth bubbles, and the other by a sagamore who is called El-bo-gres, or He that comes out right. Fan-ta-si-a and her tribe are very good-humored, but they are of soft wills, and not very thrifty, hunting only now and then for sport, so that in winter they sometimes have a hard time of it. They spend most of the day in blowing bubbles, or playing on slender reed pipes, with which they make very winsome music. They are all their lives trying to string these bubbles so that they may take them to market. Of course, they always fail, but they feel so sure of great prices, if they could only get them thither, that they keep on trying. As for their music, nobody will pay much for that. But El-bo-gres and all his people, though they look cross, have a surly sort of kindness in them after all, and, being very active by nature, are always forehanded, so that, if you came to one of their lodges even in February, you would be sure to find good store of dried ants’ tongues and great smoked gammons of grasshopper, that would make any one’s mouth water that was used to that kind of food. Over the door of every wigwam you would see huge antlers of the horn-beetle set up as trophies, and the skins of caterpillars with the fur inwards, and well rubbed with emmet’s grease to make them grow soft. They also make a great many useful things in the winter evenings, such as bows and arrows, hockey sticks, cricket balls, and very pretty baskets woven of dried corn-silk. These they sell to the other tribe when they are at peace with them. And they never will take payment in a promise to bring so many bubbles next week, but only in fern-seed, whereof they grind their flour, and which Fan-ta-si-a’s people, when they are hard bestead, sometimes gather during the Indian summer, because it is light work, and may be turned into a picnic whenever they like.

“Well, children, now you know as much about these two tribes of native fairies as I can tell you. You have had the matter-of-fact, or body of my story, and now you shall have the wings, by which I mean the fanciful or truer part thereof. I think it will be as useful to you as the bugs and things they try to make you learn about now-a-days, because every one of us has two pair of eyes, one withinside, and the other without. This you do not know anything about as yet, but if you ask me to tell a story, I must tell it in my own way. When I was of your age, no boy thought he had a real good Election Day, unless his money would buy him two several stomach-aches, one for the forenoon, and the other to carry home at night. Just in that way I have divided my story, giving you, first, the facts, which you may get rid of as soon as you please, for they are only the shell, and next the unreal kernel, which you may take to bed with you if you find that you do not forget it too soon.”

“O Uncle Cobus, do please tell us the story, for I don’t think this part is pretty a bit!” sighed Lightfoot, pushing the yellow hair back from her eyes, where she had not minded it till now.

“N’r I nother!” growled Coppertoes, sturdily. “ ’Tain’t any more like a real story than the surface of the country in the Jography at school is like the fields on the way home!”

“You should say ‘neither’ and ‘ ’tisn’t,’ my boy,” said I, trying to put him down.

“That ain’t nothin’ to do with the story,” retorted he in triumph, getting deeper into his nursery-dialect than ever.

I saw it was of no use to parley, so I went on.

“Of course, one or other of these two head-fairies must be by whenever a baby is born. And this keeps them pretty busy, I can tell you, for the population of this country increases at a ratio of—what’s the ratio, Coppertoes?”

Dunno, and don’t care!” snorted this young infidel to the gospel of Buckle.

“O Uncle,” threatened Lightfoot, “I believe you’re doing this on purpose, so as to get time to make up a story. Now I don’t like made-up ones; I want a real one, and, if you do so any more, I won’t kiss you when I go to bed,—see if I do!”

“Well, there must be a great many born, or there would not be so many parsley-beds, I should think,” said I, gravely.

“Now you must know that it makes all the odds in the world which of the two fairies gets to the baby first if it is a man-child. For though both of them have very good wills in the matter, and mean to do the little fellow good, yet it is found that where El-bo-gres brings his gifts soonest, the child is apt to grow up into a man more willing to work, and therefore, on the whole, better fitted to live happily in this ant-hill of ours. After that is made sure of, what Fan-ta-si-a gives does him more good than harm; but if she came earliest, the child would turn out to have too much girl in him, and would not find his right place so easily in this rough-and-tumble life. For the two fairies are very unlike each other in what they bestow. El-bo-gres uses to rub the little pink palms of the baby’s hands with the juice of a weed called good-speed-wort. I cannot find the name in any book, but the birth-fairies know very well where to get it when they want it. The good of this juice is, that it makes the hands handy, so that they can turn readily to any kind of work; for you know that there are two kinds of hands,—those that are good at anything, and those that are only good for some things.”

“Whichjewratherhave?” broke in Coppertoes, all in one word of that nimble lingo of his.

“I would rather have the first kind, unless I had a pair of the second that were the very best in their way, like Mr. Rowse’s, who drew your little scrubby noddle and made you look as your guardian-angel would like to see you, and as your mother sees you all the time, in spite of everything I can say.” Coppertoes waggled his close-cropt head at me so like a little ram that I took up my story again at once.

“So when there was a boy-baby brought into a certain house in a certain village not far from here, the mother could not help hoping that El-bo-gres would get there before Fan-ta-si-a did. But it chanced that he had been very busy all that day, because, for some reason or other, a great many babies had chosen it to be born on, and so Fan-ta-si-a slipped into this house before him. She came in very softly indeed, and, gliding up to where the little new-comer lay, making very queer faces at the world he had come into, she put the end of a thin reed into his little rose-leaf of an ear, and blew a bubble inside his head just behind his eyes. Before long in comes El-bo-gres in a great bustle, but he saw at once, by the strange way in which the baby was smiling, that Fan-ta-si-a had been there before him. However, he rubbed on his wonderful juice as if nothing had happened, though he feared it would do no great good.

“What was that baby’s name?” demanded Coppertoes, sharply.

“He was christened John, but his name was first Bobo, and then Bosun, and then Jacko, and then Jack, and at last, when he grew up, John again.

“Now this bubble that had been blown in his head did two things: it made everything he looked at seem to have a rim of rainbow round it, which, you know, it never really has; and it gave him the power of dreaming when he was wide awake, so that it was almost as good as a wishing-cap, for he could be and do and have whatever he liked, so long as the dream lasted.”

“Really and truly, uncle?” said Lightfoot, with plaintive doubt.

“No, my dear child, not really and truly in one sense, but really and truly in another, which, so far as this world is concerned, comes to very much the same thing. But you will understand that better one of these days.

“So when Jacky said to himself, ‘Let’s play I’m a king, or a captain, or what not,’ he would not have given a fig to be what he fancied, for any odds that he could see between the real thing and his dream of it. Now on this earth, and especially in our part of it, everybody must be good for something; that is, he must be willing and able to do, as well as to sit and think how nice it would be to have it done. Perhaps Jacky might have made a pretty good poet—”

“What? Like Mr. Longfellow, Uncle?” asked Lightfoot, awfully.

“No, my child, not quite like him; for I think that El-bo-gres must have got to him before Fan-ta-si-a, he has so much work in him, and his hands are always so ready to do good.

“Not that there was any harm in Jacky; but he could see so well what might be done, that he never cared much to do anything in particular; and then, if he did anything, it always had such a rainbow about it that it looked finer to him than to other people. And indeed it seemed of no great consequence at first whether he did anything or not, for Jacky’s father was rich, and of course he would never need to do anything, you know. But people have a trick in America of being poor one day and rich the next, or the other way, just as it happens; and it fell to the lot of Jacky’s father to be one of the second sort. When this took place, however, Jacky had grown up to be a young man, and was called John. But long before this, Jacky’s mother had begun to think sorrowfully about him; and at last, when his father began to have ill luck and to come home later and later, she used to sit up by the fire waiting for him, after every one else had gone to bed, and think about Jacky more sadly than ever.

“Now the only living thing she had to keep her company was a cricket that lived somewhere in the chimney-corner, and whose life she had saved one day from the house-maid’s broom. So you can guess how grateful the cricket felt toward her, and how she began by degrees to love the cricket; for people are more apt to love those they have done a kindness to, because that is the sort of thing that brings out whatever good there is on both sides,—don’t you see? So Jacky’s mother and the cricket began to love one another, and then, to be sure, they began to understand one another, so that the one could not go creak-creak, nor the other sigh and sit looking at the fire, but that each knew very well what the other meant. Now Jacky’s mother had been thinking one night that, if she could only find El-bo-gres, he might tell her something that would do good. Then the cricket creak-creaked a great many times, and crawled out from a crack in the hearth-stone, and turned up at her his little eye, that shone like any ruby, only brighter, because nothing shines like life. And Jacky’s mother knew what he meant, and it was this: ‘I know where El-bo-gres is to be found, and I can interpret between you. For that tribe never hurt us crickets, because we make music for them after the day’s work. They are encamped now on the edge of the pond, whither they come every autumn to hunt dragon-flies. They make armor out of the scales of the green and blue ones, and fans of their wings.’

“So the next day they two went together to the pond, and found everything as the cricket had said. As they went along, the crows over the great pine-wood kept shouting H’rah! h’rah! which they could not help taking for a sign of good luck, it sounded so cheery. Jacky’s mother did not see El-bo-gres, and I am sorry; for if she had, I could have told you how he looked. All that I can say certainly is, that he had a bass voice; for when he spoke, she heard something like the buzzing of a bee,—one of those great, grumpy ones that make their nests in the ground. But she was sure that the cricket had told the truth about the tribe’s coming there, because she saw their nets stretched for the dragon-flies from one pickerel-weed to another, and looking just like spider-webs. Well, the end of it all was, that El-bo-gres said he could not think of anything to be done till something should break the bubble in Jacky’s head. It would take a pretty hard knock to do that; but if it were once done, then the juice that had been rubbed on his palms would begin to work. So Jacky’s mother and the cricket went home again, not much wiser than they went forth, as people are very apt to do when they ask anybody’s advice but their own. For all that, the cricket chirped more cheerily than ever that evening, as if he felt sure that something good was coming to pass.

‘Creak-creak, creakity-creak!

 Something is sure to happen next week!’

sang the cricket; and though the rogue was wiser than some prophets I know of, and took care not to say just what would happen, yet Jacky’s mother knew, as well as if he had said it, that he meant some piece of good luck.

“But the cricket was mistaken, as even the wisest of them, no less than men, sometimes are. One day next week Jacky’s father came home and told his wife that he had lost everything he had in the world, and that they must sell the house they lived in, and where Jacky was born, to pay his debts. Now see the difference. Jacky’s mother had been looking for this, and it had made her very sad for a great while; but when it came, she looked cheerful and tried to cheer up her husband, and they kissed one another and sat holding each the other’s hand, till they felt happier than they had for many days, and loved each other as if their hearts would not break after all. But the cricket never once chirped again the whole evening.

“The next day, when Jacky heard the news, it seemed to him just as if some one had hit him a smart rap on the head, and something like the very thinnest glass were broken all to pieces within it. And when he came to look at things, there was no longer any border of rainbow about them; but they all seemed very clear and sharp-edged, and had a kind of hard look at first. Likewise his palms began to prickle, as if they would fain be a-doing; for the juice of the good-speed-wort began now to work strongly on him.

“Well, you both see how it is going to end, for Uncle Cobus likes the old kind of story such as used to be told to him ever so many years ago by the wood-fire, and those always had good endings. Jacky set to work with a will, and that always makes a way, you know. And so, all in good time, he had bought back the house again, and his father and mother lived there with him as happy as could be till they died. And by and by there was another little Jacky, and I hope El-bo-gres got to him first; but I do not know. And every evening, what do you think that cricket did? He sat in his crevice, for he was getting pretty old now, and rubbed his fore-claws together, and sang,

‘Creak-creak, creakity-creak

 I told you something would happen next week!’

For crickets, as well as men, are very apt to think that they are always in the right. But the nicest thing was, that, by degrees, whatever Mr. John looked at, (for so we must call him now,) began to get a rim to it brighter than ever.”

Then Lightfoot, who is getting a little beyond me now and wears a hoop, gave me a kiss and said, “Good night, uncle. You kept up a grave face; but I believe this is a ‘goodie’ story after all, and you know I don’t think they are half so pretty as the others. You used to tell nice, funny ones, that made me laugh. But I’m sure I thank you very much.”

But Coppertoes is the critic for me. He made a feint as if to turn a somerset, and shouted, “Hurrah! Fust-rate!” He was out of the room so soon that I did not think in time to find fault with him for saying fust.

James Russell Lowell.


It is probable that the best archers in the world are now to be found among the wild Indian tribes of our Western plains and mountains. With them the bow is not a means of recreation, but is still the implement of the chase and war, as it was with our early ancestors. Not long since I read a letter respecting the massacre of ninety of our troops at Fort Philip Kearney, and in that letter it was stated that, at from one hundred and fifty to two hundred yards, an arrow from an Indian bow is almost as sure as a Minié ball. If it be so, the Indians are as good archers as were Robin Hood and his merry men in Lincoln green, when they roved under the forest trees, setting sheriff and baron at defiance. But the statement is probably an exaggeration, for the bows and arrows of the Indians are not as well made as the old English weapons were. Still, it is to be remembered that the Indian has the bow in his hands from childhood, almost from infancy, and I know of nothing that is so much the result of practice as strength of shooting and truth of aim in archery. It is quite certain that Indians have been known to send an arrow clean through a bison bull, an animal of great girth, very thick and tough hide, and matted, shaggy hair. With these weapons, too, their boldest hunters kill the grizzly bear, which far surpasses any other wild animal, except the elephant and rhinoceros, in strength, ferocity, and tenacity of life. The lion is as strong for his size, but he does not attain anything like the weight of the largest grizzlies; in length the royal tiger is equal to the grizzly, but not in bulk. This bear is more ferocious than either the lion or the tiger, when wounded, and his tenacity of life is vastly in excess of theirs. It was, therefore, justly accounted a great feat for an Indian to slay one single-handed, and he was ever after looked upon as a hero. With good fire-arms, in the hands of a man of great daring and impassive nerve, the matter is different. I have a friend—I may almost say relative, as he is brother to my brother’s wife—who passed four years in the mountains. He went there at sixteen years old, to an uncle of his, an eminent fur-trader and mountain man, excelling as a hunter and in influence with the Indians. My friend was just twenty years old when he left the trading-fort to return to St. Louis, and he had then killed, with his own rifle, eleven grizzly bears. But it is to be remembered that he was gifted by nature with all the qualities necessary to make a marksman and a mighty hunter. Of a grave disposition, of very strong and agile form, of temperament that knows no fear and is never flurried in the face of danger, he is exactly fitted for a hunter of the wilds and waste places. To all this he added an eye that was as quick as thought, and exact as truth itself. He can hit a rabbit running, any time, with a rifle-ball, using the old heavy Kentucky rifle. Sir George Gore wanted him to try one of the costly modern English rifles, but he said: “No, I do not think I should shoot well with it, if I was at close quarters with a grizzly bear. With my own gun my confidence is perfect, and I have never failed.”

The biggest bear he ever saw was one killed by his uncle, himself, and a party of their men, on the banks of the Upper Missouri. They were descending the river in a Mackinaw boat, and the bear was discovered lying asleep upon a rock. My friend’s uncle is one of the best marksmen that ever loaded a rifle; but such was the position of the bear, with his fore-paw across his breast and nose, that the first shot only broke his fore-leg. The nephew, Antoine, then fired, but the bear was down on his knees, with his head low, so that the favorite aim, low down in front of the brisket, could not be got. Many and many were the shots fired at this bear before he was killed. His hide was so thick and indurated that the balls could not get through it. They could not hit him in the eye, for his head was all the time in motion; besides, the boat rocked with the current, and the shooting was not so accurate as it otherwise would have been. To shoot at his forehead was of no use, for you might, as Antoine observed, almost as well have shot at an anvil. He was by far the largest grizzly bear that Antoine’s uncle had ever seen, and he is the oldest mountain man now living.

As we are discoursing upon bears, instead of sticking to bows, I may as well add what I have heard and seen as to the ferocity and tenacity of life in the grizzly, in order that you may form an estimate of the courage of those Indians who killed him with bow and arrows, and wore his claws as a decoration of honor. Some years ago, a great circus company, called Franconi’s, from Paris, made a tour of this country. It was not, in fact, the Parisian concern, but it was as good, perhaps better. One of its chief proprietors and its manager was Mr. Avery Smith, of New York, a man who has made a large fortune in the show business, and keeps it. At that time I lived in the West, and knew him well. When the show reached Columbus, where I was residing, Mr. Smith sent for me, and we breakfasted together. I was a little facetious about Franconi, and the lady charioteers from Paris. The latter were all Irish, and had been taught to drive the chariots in a building over in Williamsburg.

“Now, look here,” said Avery; “this Hippodrome is worth seeing, and has cost a sight of money; but there is something down there in a sideshow that you will appreciate more. It is, indeed, the greatest real curiosity that I have ever known to be exhibited.”

“Why, what is it?”

“The largest grizzly bear that ever was captured alive, or that ever will be. One of the men who took him, the only survivor of four, now shows him; the other three were killed in the fight. Come along; you shall see the bear, hear the story from the man’s own lips, and see the scars where he was clawed and chawed in the battle.”

“And you believe the story to be all true, do you, Avery?”

“I know it is,” said he. “This man has travelled with the Hippodrome for months. He’s a plain, simple man, who couldn’t ‘put up a job,’ or invent a story that would take me in for two minutes.”

I knew that the man who could invent a story to take Avery Smith in must be a prodigy, so away we went to see the bear and hear the story.

I would have gone five hundred miles rather than not have seen the monster, and sooner than have lost the story I would have made it a thousand. By the side of the great tent in which the performances of the Hippodrome were given, there was a small one, at the entrance of which Mr. Smith introduced me to a person named Hubbel. He was a stoutly built man of forty-five, or thereabout, a little round-shouldered, and evidently possessed of great strength and activity. He was a quiet, sedate man, with an uncommonly strong jaw, a very calm, resolute eye, and a good forehead. I noticed that his left hand had been terribly mutilated, and that his cheek bore the seams of several deep gashes. Hubbel paid great deference to Mr. Smith, and immediately led the way into his tent. The great and almost sole feature of his “side show” was the enormous bear that met the eye on entering. I think there was a Barbary ape also, and a case containing some rattlesnakes; but nobody was likely to pay any attention to them in the presence of the Great Bear. He formed in himself, from his various attributes and the romantic story of his capture, a constellation, so to speak, of the first order. His proportions were so vast that at the first glance he looked more like a bison bull than a bear, and as he had an enormous hump upon the shoulders, such as I had never seen on one of his species before and have never seen since, it required a look at his head to remove the first impression that the animal in the cage before us was a bison. I afterwards became intimate with Old Adams, the bear hunter and tamer, who had a lot of grizzlies, with a cinnamon bear, and other varieties, in a tent on the corner of Thirteenth Street and Broadway. He had a very large bear called Samson, afterwards acquired for his Museum by Barnum, and advertised as the largest that had ever been exhibited, and which many young New-Yorkers have probably seen; but I say now, as I said at the time, when writing in Wilkes’s “Spirit of the Times” of Adams and his bears, that Samson was as a pygmy to the gigantic animal in Hubbel’s possession. I think I stood for ten minutes without a word, surveying the shaggy monster that rocked uneasily in his cage, standing sideways, and sometimes turning his seamed and battered head towards me. It looked as though his skull had been beaten almost to fragments, as with a sledge-hammer, and had afterwards united again. This was in a measure the case, for four stout men plied their axes upon it at the time of his capture. He had no teeth, except stumps; for, in his rage at finding himself in captivity, he had bitten upon crowbars so as to break his tushes and other teeth.

“What do you think of him?” said Avery Smith, triumphantly.

“He exceeds all my conceptions,” I replied. “There never was such a bear seen in a show before.”

“No, sir, nor anywhere else, hardly,” said Hubbel. “The Mexicans in California said he was by far the biggest that any of them had ever seen or heard of.”

I continued my examination of the Great Bear. He had a carcass like an ox in bulk, and his arms and paws were of the most tremendous character. His length was very great; and if he had stood up on the legs as horses and oxen do, he would have equalled a fifteen-hand (or five-foot) horse in height.

Mr. Smith now requested Hubbel to relate to me the full particulars of his capture, which the latter civilly proceeded to do. We seated ourselves before the Great Bear, and, face to face with him, the hunter gave the account of the desperate and bloody fight in his forest haunts on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada. What Hubbel said was confirmed, if I may so speak, by the bear himself; for his huge size and strength, and the seams upon his head, where the forest axes had cut deep, told of a desperate and mortal struggle. Besides, there was the man’s left hand, which had been bitten through and through, and his cheek, which had been sharply clawed; and he also showed me terrible scars upon his side and thigh. I tell you his tale as it was told to me, premising that, from the earnest, unaffected manner of the man, and from the matter and consistency of his relation, I fully believed it. Further inquiries have confirmed me. I have talked the matter over with Antoine, and he tells me that the bears of the west side of the Rocky Mountains are larger than those of the east side, but not so active and ferocious. He also said, that, from my description, Hubbel’s bear was not much larger than the one his uncle Charles Primeaux and he killed from the Mackinaw boat on the banks of the Upper Missouri. He also said that the unwieldy size of Hubbel’s bear was rather in favor of his captors than otherwise, considering the place in which he was taken. Antoine was of opinion that, if the animal had been a Rocky Mountain bear of large, but not uncommon, size and strength, the men would all have been killed. I took him to some menageries which contained grizzlies, (it was the only time he was ever in the East, and his great delight was the sea-shore at Coney Island, when there was a stiff wind and a rolling surf,) and he pronounced them small. We visited Barnum’s Museum and saw Samson. The latter was held by Antoine to be a good-sized grizzly bear, not extraordinary. “How could he be?” said he. “Adams brought him up tame from a half-grown cub; and though they get fat in confinement, the frame does not seem to grow to size.” Upon the whole, his verdict upon Hubbel’s story was, that it was a “true bill.”

It was pretty soon after the first rush of gold-seekers to California, when Hubbel, an Eastern man,—from Connecticut, I think he said,—sought to better his fortunes by going to that land of the mountain and the mine and the gigantic pine. With three other men, two of whom were from the States and the other a native Californian, or Mexican, as he called him, he was prospecting in the Sierra Nevada range. Game was plentiful, and they lived mostly by hunting, all being expert with the rifle and well versed in wood-craft. They were not dwellers in tents, but had built a log cabin, in which their hammocks were slung. One night, after a successful hunt for venison, not gold, they smoked their pipes, put out their light, and retired to rest, leaving the carcass of a good fat buck hanging to their rafters. In the dead of the night they were awakened by a strange noise in their cabin, and a rattle of their tools, pots, and pans. Their door, which opened inwards, had been left ajar, as was their custom. It was now tightly closed, and it seemed that some animal, which had been attracted inside by the scent of the venison, had shut itself in and was caught, with them, in a terrible trap. The men snatched up their boots and drew them on. They slept in their trousers, as men commonly do who live as they did. They had matches, and lit their swing-lamp. If it had been in the old tinder-box times, with flint and steel, I know not what might have happened; but it was in the instantaneous age of lucifers, sometimes called “loco-focos.” They saw the huge bear, and he saw the light, but was “all abroad”—and with good reason—at finding himself in a miner’s cabin, and no apparent way to get out. The men seized their rifles and revolvers and gave him a volley. With a roar that shook the roof upon its rafters, he rose upon his hams, and with his claws tore down the hammocks and the lamp. Many shots were put into him at such close quarters that his hair was singed with the flash; but he did not fall, and the small bullets seemed to have but trifling effect. The battle raged in the dark. Their charges being exhausted, the men took axes, and aimed for the spot whence the thick breathing came. In the mélée two of them were so badly clawed that they were fain to escape by opening the door. They died at break of day. Hubbel and the Mexican remained to carry on the contest, both, however, severely wounded. But the light that streamed in from the moon through the open door served them better than it did the bear. The animal was blind with blood; and, being very fat inside, was sorely distressed for breath, panting almost helplessly. Seizing the moment of advantage, Hubbel hewed at his head with all his force, and almost cleft his skull. Even then the Great Bear caught his left hand and the axe-helve in his mouth, and ground them up together. But now the Mexican, a very true, constant man in courage, plied his axe at the head of the bear, and he was finally beaten down, and lay stunned. Hubbel then stood over him with his axe in his right hand, ready to deliver a round, swinging one-handed blow, whenever he showed signs of reviving. He did give him several with the edge of the axe, while the Mexican, all bleeding and torn, went to the nearest party of prospecters for aid. The Mexican could have loaded a revolver, and either he or Hubbel might have despatched the Great Bear by a shot into the brain through the eye; but they had resolved to keep him alive, in captivity, if they could. Their neighbors soon arrived, and the bear was bound with bonds, and each of his legs tied to stakes driven into the ground. His wounds and hunger soon reduced him very much, but the gigantic frame endured. A stout cage of timber was built to confine the bear. Before he was hauled into it in part, and partly tempted to enter by the food placed within, which he now ravenously craved, he had broken out his teeth by biting the picks and crowbars of the miners. He was conveyed to the sea-coast by raft and by steamboat; and when Hubbel had recovered from his hurts, he started with him to this country. The wounds of the bear healed with great rapidity; but the scars and dents in his skull always remained, and the hair never grew over them. The grizzly bear can take with impunity, so far as life is concerned, wounds that would kill any other wild animal, save perhaps the polar bear, and, being cold-blooded, such wounds heal rapidly.

Hubbel told me that he did not make much by the exhibition of the bear. The people, he said, were “more taken by the music, and the spangles, and the dwarfs, and giants, and sich-like,” of the other shows. But Avery Smith afterwards informed me that Hubbel had no talent as a showman. He was, no doubt, said Avery, a wonderful man for the wilds, and a hero because of this adventure; but he had not the nous to improve his opportunity. He would sit and smoke in front of the bear’s den, and briefly relate his story to returned Californians, and other Western men and hunters; but that was all.

“He has,” said Mr. Smith, “no imagination, no fancy! His story is always the same,—dry and matter-of-fact; and so is his method of doing business.”

“You mean, he don’t tell extravagant lies; but having a real wonder to exhibit, and a wonderful story to relate, confines himself strictly to facts,” said I.

“Facts be hanged! facts of themselves are nothing. I declare to you that, if I had Hubbel’s scars and his Great Bear, I should be almost tempted to leave the female charioteers, Franconi, and my respectable partners to their own devices. He might make a fortune, and he just scrapes together a living.”

There was some truth in this. The men who can capture the wild beasts and great reptiles seldom succeed in the exhibition of them. Old Adams was a case in point; so were three men from Louisiana, whom I once met, exhibiting an alligator of truly enormous size and strength,—not to say stench, for his musky odor was great. They had caught him, and showed him alive in the West, but seemed to make nothing. Some time or other I may tell you that alligator’s story. For the present I have done.

There is not much concerning archery in this paper, in a practical point of view; but in the next numbers you will be told about bows and arrows, and how to enjoy the use of them. Till then, farewell.

Charles J. Foster.



The settlers, having now got in their hay and grain harvest,—and alarmed by the report that Indians had been seen in the town, and that they had killed a man and boy at Topsham, and still more frightened by the news which Hugh received from his brother at Saco, “that the Indians had broken out, killed a man and forty head of cattle, and burned a garrison and sawmill,”—labored night and day to complete the defences of their garrison. It was erected on the highest land in the town, still called Fort Hill, close to the old burying-yard. The site of the present village of Gorham was then an unbroken forest, with the exception of a path through the woods to Portland, that could be traversed only on foot or horseback in summer, and with ox-teams in the winter. The garrison proper, which was already finished, was built of hewn timber, twelve inches square; it was sixty feet long, and fifty wide, being two stories high, the upper projecting three feet over the lower. In this projection, loopholes were made, through which the inmates could fire down upon any one attempting to set fire to the walls or burst open the door. At each corner were built flankers, projecting four feet beyond the walls on each side, and consequently sixteen feet square. In two of these, and at opposite corners, were two iron six-pounders, which raked the walls. These cannon, although owned by private persons, were taken to Portland for its defence at the time of the Revolution, and never returned. The roof was nearly flat, with merely sufficient pitch to shed water, built of timber and made tight by calking, which was done by Hugh, who, as we have seen, was bred to the business. All around the edge of the roof was a bulkhead of timber, bullet-proof and loopholed.

These loopholes were not much larger, on the outside, than the muzzle of a gun, but enlarged upon the inside, so as to range about ninety degrees. There was no well inside the walls, but the large roof was provided with spouts, dug out of sappling pines, and the rain-water was caught in troughs. In the middle of the house was a great fireplace, where the inmates cooked their food in common. A portion of the lower story was reserved for the storage of provisions; the rest, with the entire upper story, was parted off into rooms,—some with partitions of hemlock bark, others with rough boards from Colonel Gorham’s mill, at that time just finished, but afterwards destroyed by the Indians,—while some occupants made blankets and the skins of bears and deer serve their turn.

Every nerve was now strained to complete the additional defences, which consisted of a stockade, made of sticks of timber thirteen feet in length and ten inches thick, lined on the inside with hewn timber, six inches thick. At the corners of the stockade, also, were flankers, which, after having been carried up thirteen feet, were floored over, and a watch-box built upon the top, which afforded an excellent lookout. The flankers, the walls of the stockade, and also the watch-boxes were loop-holed for musketry.

As the Indians were destitute of artillery, it is evident that a block-house, built with so much care, and defended by men as resolute as the first settlers of Gorham,—many of them soldiers, and commanded by Captain Phinney, an old Indian fighter,—could never be taken by storm by any force they were able to bring. But the Indians were fertile in stratagems, and often succeeded in setting block-houses and stockades on fire by fastening pieces of lighted birch-bark to arrows, and shooting them into the roofs and walls. It was to guard against this, the greatest danger, that the roof was made flat, with a bulkhead around it, that they might keep it wet with the water from the troughs, which was not allowed to be used, except in case of siege; the water for daily use being brought from a spring on Captain Phinney’s land, about fifty rods from the garrison, which has now been dry for many years by reason of the clearing of the land. The settlers cut away the forest for the space of three gun-shots around this little pond, that the Indians might not be able to attack them from a covert in case they were reduced to the necessity of making a sally for water.

To the casual reader it might still seem that all the Indians would need to do, in order to compel a surrender, would be to sit down before the walls till the inmates were starved out, since they had no well within the fort, and only a limited stock of provisions; but in this respect the peril was in reality very little. The Indians lived only by hunting, and could stay before a garrison but a few days, when they were obliged to go and hunt for their own support; while, in the event of a siege, the first discharge of cannon would be heard at Portland, Saco, Windham (then called New Marblehead), and Scarborough, where were garrisons and soldiers.

During the winter the Indians made no attacks, for fear of being tracked by the scouts. The settlers then lived upon their farms, removing to the garrison only in the spring, or when an attack was feared. It was not so much the numbers or the prowess of the Indians that gave birth to the agony of those long, terrible years, but their subtlety and untiring patience when bent on plunder or revenge.

While in the fort, the settlers were comparatively safe, and in the winter unmolested; but then, on the other hand, by reason of the previous summer’s crop being cut off by Indian attacks, they were often left at the point of starvation.

With the opening of spring came the Indian, thirsting for blood, with eye that knew not pity, and arm ever raised to strike. The cattle, absolutely necessary for the white people’s support and the cultivation of the soil, must go to the pastures and woods; and each night they must be driven to the garrison yard; while the savages, with eyes keener than the serpent’s, lay in ambush to slay or capture those who sought them. Indeed, the Indians often left the cattle unmolested, during a whole season, though pinched with hunger themselves, in order that they might prove decoys to bring the owners within swing of their tomahawks.

Not a load of firewood hauled to the garrison, not a pail of water brought from the springs, but had its attendant risk; every path of daily life and labor was beset; the prostrate windfall, the hollow log, the tufted tree-top, the rank grass and rushes of the gullies, and even the very beds of the brooks, concealed a pitiless foe. The cracking of a dry stick sent a thrill to the stoutest heart, and all summer long the air was full of tomahawks. That beautiful season of the year, the Indian summer, with its soft hazy atmosphere and rich hues of fading foliage, was fraught with no pleasant associations to the anxious settler, for it was the chosen period for the savage to make his final and most fearful attack. In addition to all this, after laboring with scanty nourishment through the day, they were compelled to stand guard at night, lest the savages, mounting upon each other’s shoulders, should scale the walls or thrust fire into the loopholes. In this latter duty the men were often aided by the women, who nobly bore their share of the heavy burden. Let the boys and girls who read this ponder well the hardships our fathers endured that their children might be better off than themselves.

“William,” said Hugh, one morning, about the middle of September, “I want you to dig a potato-hole in the western field; you will find four stakes there, that I have stuck up to mark it out. Dig it four feet deep. I’ll give you two days to do it in. It is easy digging, and if you do it in less time, you may have the rest of it to yourself. I am going up to hang the gates of the stockade, which will take me two days, and then our fort will be finished.”

The middle of the first afternoon soon came; so eager was William to finish his stint, in order that he might have time to beat up the quarters of a wolf which Bose had discovered, that he had forgotten to take his gun with him. He had buried himself to his shoulders in the pit, and was working as for dear life, when, hearing a noise, he stood up on his shovel, and, looking over the heap of earth he had thrown out, saw that all the cattle were in the field and making for the corn. Having driven them out, he began to put up the fence which ran along the edge of the woods; but scarcely had he put up the first log, when, happening to look up, he beheld an Indian in his war-paint within a few feet of him. It was evident to William, at the first glance, that his intentions were by no means hostile; his gun, though within reach of his hand, was placed against the but of a pine, while its owner, with arms folded upon his chest, stood gravely regarding him.

William had never before seen a savage accoutred for war, and he resolutely gazed, and with admiration, upon the startling apparition. His legs were encased to the thigh in stockings of dressed deer-skin, ornamented (as were also his moccasons) with porcupine quills dyed with bright colors; on his loins he wore a covering of red cloth, the ends of which hung in a flap behind and before, and were fringed and covered with Indian bead-work; in this covering was a pocket containing parched corn, and a flint and steel, with tinder made of the fungus that grows on the birch. His head was shaved, except a space of three or four inches wide, extending from the crown to the nape of the neck, which was divided into portions plaited together, and made so stiff with bear’s grease that it stood erect; the hair was pulled out of his eyebrows, and his forehead down to the eyes painted red; the rest of his body, which was naked, and his face, were painted with alternate stripes of red and black. The whole figure wore a frightful aspect, and, contemplated amid the gloom of the forest, was a thing to try the strongest nerves. In his belt were a tomahawk and an ammunition-pouch; and his scalping-knife was hung by a thong to his neck, while, to complete his equipment, a bow and quiver of arrows hung from his shoulder, secured by a band around the breast. The reason why the Indian encumbered himself with the bow, when in possession of the rifle, was, that the discharge of a gun would betray his whereabouts to the quick ears of his enemies, especially to the rangers employed by the government to scour the woods and follow the trail of the savages, who, being stimulated by a twofold motive,—the desire of obtaining the bounty of a hundred and sixty-five dollars for Indian scalps, and the thirst for vengeance,—were ever on the alert. With the bow and arrow he could without noise kill game for his sustenance, and they were likewise of great importance as saving powder and lead, for which the savage often had to travel hundreds of miles, and which were articles too precious to be lavishly expended.

William thought he had never beheld a grander sight than this warlike savage. But he could scarcely credit the testimony of his senses, when, through the thick coat of paint, he verily thought he perceived the features of his old playmate,—in short, that the stern, collected being before him was no other than the Indian lad whose laugh, but a few months ago, rang shrilly through the forest, and than whom none had been more light-hearted and frolicsome. In that brief period he seemed to have increased both in height and bulk, and, though but little older than William, to have leaped at once from a boy to the estate of a man. In a tone of mingled doubt and anxiety, William exclaimed, “Beaver, can this be you?”

The Indian extended his hand in silence, which William eagerly grasped. Drawing himself up with all the dignity of a chief who counted his scalps by scores, Beaver thus addressed his wondering playmate:—

“Leaping Panther, listen! Two moons ago, I was a boy, and played with the boys. I helped the squaws to pound the corn, get the wood for the fire, carry the canoes, and bring to the wigwam the meat the hunters had killed. Now I am a warrior. I have struck the war-post of my tribe; I have listened to the aged men, into whose ears the Great Spirit has whispered in their dreams, when the moose has lain down to rest, and the souls of the dead come back to ask why their blood is not avenged. I have heard the great war-chiefs tell their deeds,—how they struck the enemies of our tribe, bound them to the stake, and made them cry like squaws; and I have seen their scars of battle. When I too shall have taken many scalps, the maidens of my nation will contend to cook my food, light my pipe, and bring the meat to my lodge when I return from the hunt, to cover my moccasons and my leggins with ornaments, and pound my corn. Then I shall wear the eagle’s feather, and be counted with the chiefs at the council-fire.

“When the Master of Life calls me, I shall go to the southwest, where are the happy hunting-grounds of my fathers. There is no snow, there are no cold winds, but the leaves are always green, the flowers never fade, there is much game, and there bad Indians never come.

“Once we were children together; then we were like brothers. It is not so long ago that it should be forgotten. We slept by the same fire, played in the same brook, drank from the same gourd, divided what we took in hunting; one blanket covered us both. Those were happy days; they were too short for our pleasures, and we were sorry to see the sun go down.” As he uttered these words, his voice became musical, and his tones assumed an indescribable pathos, that melted into the very heart of his auditor, and brought the tears to his eyes. Pausing, he plucked from a rotten stump beside him two small hemlocks, whose roots, as they grew side by side, were twisted one around the other; holding them up, he said: “My heart is now soft, though it is the heart of a warrior. It is soft, because I call to mind that once we were like these plants. We grew side by side, and as our roots became bigger, they grew closer together; but now, like these, we must also be separated.” Tearing them asunder, he flung them in opposite directions. “We must now seek each other’s lives.

“Leaping Panther, listen! Your people have taken away our hunting-grounds, and cut down the trees so that we have no meat for our squaws and our little ones. The blood of our young men, shed by you, and not yet avenged by us, cries in our ears so that we cannot sleep. Therefore we have dug up the hatchet. We shall not bury it again till we make it red with the white man’s blood. Had I wished to kill you, without alarming your people, I could have done it with the bow or the tomahawk. If Wenemovet or Wiwurna, or any of our old playmates, had been here instead of myself, your scalp would have now been hanging at his girdle, or drying in the smoke of the wigwam. But as I watched you my heart grew soft. I said, ‘I will speak to my brother. I will look in his eyes. We will tear our hearts asunder, and then we will seek each other’s blood.’ Do not therefore be afraid, but speak. The ears of the Beaver are open.”

“I am not afraid of you, Beaver, though you are older than I am, have gun, knife, and tomahawk, and look so ‘skeerful’ in your paint, while I am barehanded. Mother Molly called me Leaping Panther, because I was so quick; I could jump on you and throttle you, before you could draw a knife, or cock a gun at me. Notwithstanding all your big talk about being a warrior, and striking the war-post, you never have seen (and it’s my opinion you never will see) the day when I couldn’t lay you on your back at rough and tumble, or at close hugs,—and let you have both ‘under-holds’ into the bargain. In respect to your shooting me at unawares, I freely say that you might have done it, just as easy as a cat can lick her paw, and in that I owe you my life. But that is no more than I should have expected at your hands; it is your nature, Beaver; you are a brave, good, true-hearted boy, and it’s only your Indian bringing up that will ever make you anything else.”

A smile of pleasure flitted athwart the grave features of the Indian at this downright avowal from one he loved with all the intensity of savage passion.

“But tell me, Beaver, did the cattle tear that fence down?”

“No; I tore it down.”

“That you might shoot me, when I came to drive them out?”

“No; but I was afraid of being seen by your people, and I took that way to draw you to my ambush.”

“It was well planned, and you are rightly called Beaver, for the beaver is wise, and I doubt not you will be a great chief. But you have taught me a lesson. The next time I will let the cattle eat the corn before I will go to drive them out without a gun.

“Well,” continued William, “if your heart grew soft when you saw me this morning, so did mine the day after you went away. You know we—you and I and Conuwass—were going to hunt porcupines in the hard woods on Watson’s hill, and your mother was going to work me a belt just like yours. I got up early, and tied Bose up,—for the old fool will shake a porcupine, and get his nose full of quills,—caught my gun, and ran with all my might to your wigwam. When I got there, you were all, all gone. Then I went down to the brook. There I found the rafts and the canoes, and all the things just as we had left them. Then, down to the swimming-place. But when I saw your tracks there, O, it brought everything right up, and the place looked so lonesome I couldn’t stay, but went back home. I went into the barn to untie Bose, and when he saw the gun in my hand, he began to jump up on me, and lick my face, thinking he was going a hunting. I said, ‘Bose, you will never more have any such good times as we have had, because Beaver is gone, and we shall never see him again.’ I had made out to hold in till then, but the minute I spoke your name the tears would come. I sat down and cried like a baby.”

In the course of this conversation the boys had drawn nearer and nearer to each other, until at length they seated themselves side by side on a windfall, and somehow their hands got locked together.

“That was wrong, Panther; only squaws do that.”

“I don’t see why a man shouldn’t cry, as well as laugh, especially if he can’t help it.”

“He should do neither; a warrior should never behave as a squaw; he should be like a rock.”

“I know what you mean,” was the rejoinder. “You think it makes against a man’s courage to have a tender heart; but it don’t. Now, there’s my mother. If the sun should fall right out of the sky, it wouldn’t scare her. For all that I saw her cry when she thought Mrs. Watson was going to die. Father is tender too; but your whole tribe couldn’t frighten him, or make him cry, unless he had a mind to. There is our Alec,—Little Snapping Turtle. When he gets crying mad, then look out for yourself; he’ll let you have hot coals, hatchet, anything that comes to hand; but nothing scares him.”

“You can never be a warrior, Panther, while you feel thus.”

“I never want to be.”

“Don’t want to be?”

“No. I had rather hoe corn, or hunt, than fight, just for the sake of fighting. I think it is just the poorest business a man can follow, except it is his duty.”

“I see, Panther, the Great Spirit has given to the white man a different heart from the Indian’s. I love to kill,—every Indian does; I love to see blood run; I would like to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the enemies of my tribe.”

While he spake the savage gleamed from his whole face; his eyes glared, his nostrils dilated, and his features, seen through the terrors of the war-paint, were those of a fiend. The instincts of his companion, nursed at the breast of a Christian mother, and imbued with the principles of religion, revolted at this display of a wolfish nature. He coolly replied: “I wouldn’t. I should rather drink buttermilk. If an Indian had injured me, I should want satisfaction from him; it would not do me any good to kill some other Indian, who never had injured me, just because he was an Indian; or to murder a little innocent babe in the cradle, because his father or grandfather had injured me or my grandfather before he was born.”

“That is our custom,” replied the Beaver. “Our fathers and wise men have always done so, and taught us to do so, and therefore it is right.”

“I don’t care who taught it, or whose custom it is,” replied his sturdy antagonist. “It ain’t right, nohow; that stands to reason. It’s clean against Scripture and the Catechism too. You say that after this we must seek each other’s lives because our fathers have injured one another. I’ve heard my father and mother say, a hundred times, that they never lost so much as a hen, or a kernel of corn, by the Indians, and that, so far as that was concerned, they didn’t want any better neighbors than the Indians,—that they should have starved to death one winter but for the Indians. I am sure no Indian will say that we ever wronged him, or took his land, for we bought our land and paid for it. No more did our ancestors hurt them, for they are all on the other side of the sea, and never saw an Indian.”

“Do not think, Panther, that the Indians do not know what is just. I have heard my people talk, and I know that, if you were living here alone, and no other white people here, no Indian would lift his tomahawk against you; and if you were hungry, they would share with you their provision, be it little or much. They know very well that you are not like the white men who were in the Narragansett war, who had their land given them because they killed the Indians; that you bought your land, although you bought it of those who killed the Indians; but that was not your fault. They know, too, that your speech is different from theirs, that your actions are different, and that there is no Indian blood on your hands, which are clean. But if you go with the rest to fight the Indians, you must expect they will kill you.”

“I expect you to kill me if you can, in a fair stand-up fight, or an ambush, when our peoples ambush one another. But I don’t see why we that have been like brothers together should pick each other out, and go skulking around, in the places where we used to play, to kill one another.”

They remained a long time silent. At length the Beaver, rising, replied:—

“Panther, I have thought of your words, and they are good. Not one of my tribe but would have slain you to-day. If the warriors knew that I had not done thus, they would blush with shame. When I set out on the war-path, I said: ‘I will speak to the Panther; after that, he will be on his watch; then my heart will be very hard. I know where he works, where he hunts, and where he plays. I will ambush him every step he takes. I will kill the dog, and then I shall the more easily kill him. I will hang his scalp at my girdle, and the warriors of my nation will rejoice. They will say that Beaver will be a great chief. He has slain the Panther, whose claws were almost grown, who could throw the tomahawk, and shoot the eye out of a squirrel, and who would have slain many of our people.’

“But your words have changed my heart, as the maple-leaves change beneath the fingers of the frost. We will not stain with each other’s blood the places where we have hunted and fished and played together. Only when our tribes meet on the war-path will we be foes. When the Beaver thinks of the Panther, and of the long summer days they have hunted and played together, and sat by the same fire, it shall be like a pleasant dream of the night; there shall be no blood on it. Is it well?”

As the Beaver uttered these words, it was evident that it required all the stoicism of his Indian nature and training to keep down the tender emotions that were struggling to betray themselves. His face, despite the terrors of the war-paint, assumed a noble, touching expression, and his voice was feminine in its low music.

William was touched to the very heart, and, being less able to control his feelings, his eyes filled with tears, and his voice trembled, as he replied, “It is well!”

The Indian resumed his gun, and, extending his hand to William, they exchanged a parting grasp, and he was soon lost in the depths of the forest.

William remained listening to the light step of his playmate till it was no longer audible. Then, seating himself on the ground with his back to a tree, he ran over in his mind the happy days they had spent together, till he was at length aroused by the trampling of the cattle, which, having got a taste of the grass, were again going through the gap into the field. He saw with surprise that it was almost sundown, and that his mother, alarmed by his not returning to supper, was coming after him with a gun on her shoulder, accompanied by Bose. The dog, after jumping on William, put his nose to the ground, and instantly started on the track of the Indian; but William called him back. He then sat down on the ground, and began to growl and whine and run his nose into the dirt.

“William,” said his mother, “look at that dog! There are Indians around! What made you come without your gun?”

“Yes, mother,” replied William; “there is an Indian round here; but he won’t injure us.”

“But what is the matter with you, William? How came this fence down? You have been crying! I saw you sitting here with your face between your hands, the cattle going into the field right before your eyes, and I thought you must be wounded.”

“I can’t talk now, mother; don’t ask me now. When we get home I’ll tell you all about it. Bose, drive the cows home!” But Bose, reluctant to leave the Indian’s track, required a second command, coupled with a little kick, before he would obey.

Elizabeth, though tenderly attached to her children, ruled them with a stern, though kind hand, and exacted of them unquestioning obedience. But she was possessed of great discernment of character, and with William, who was peculiarly thoughtful and affectionate, and seldom manifested any desire to overstep the limits of duty, she abated somewhat of the stern authority she exercised over the other children, who were of more rugged natures,—especially Mary (our own grandmother), and Martha (Grannie Warren), to whom we are indebted for the facts of this story, and who both of them greatly resembled herself; and so also with Alexander, who was a very devil for grit, and, as his father said, would have made a good moss-trooper.

Elijah Kellogg.


It was such a pretty nest, and in such a pretty place, I must tell you about it.

One lovely afternoon in May I had been wandering up and down, through rocky gorges, by little swampy bits of ground, and on the tops of windy headlands, looking for flowers, and had found many;—large blue violets, the like of which you never saw, white violets, too, creamy and fragrant, gentle little houstonias, gay and dancing erythroniums, and wind-flowers delicately tinted, blue, straw-color, pink, and purple. I never found such in the main-land valleys: the salt air of the sea deepens the colors of all flowers. I stopped by a swamp which the recent rains had filled and turned to a little lake. Light green iris-leaves cut the water like sharp and slender swords, and, in the low sunshine that streamed across, threw long shadows over the shining surface. Some blackbirds were calling sweetly in a clump of bushes, and song-sparrows sung as if they had but one hour in which to crowd the whole rapture of the spring. As I pressed through the budding bayberry-bushes to reach some milk-white sprays of shadbush which grew by the water-side, I startled three curlews. They flew away, trailing their long legs, and whistling fine and clear. I stood still to watch them out of sight. How full the air was of pleasant sounds! The very waves made a glad noise about the rocks, and the whole sea seemed to roar afar off, as if half asleep and murmuring in a kind of gentle dream. The flock of sheep was scattered here and there, all washed as white as snow by the plenteous rains, and nibbling the new grass eagerly; and from near and far came the tender and plaintive cries of the young lambs.

Going on again, I came to the edge of a little beach, and presently I was startled by a sound of such terror and distress that it went to my heart at once. In a moment a poor little sandpiper emerged from the bushes, dragging itself along in such a way that, had you seen it, you would have concluded that every bone in its body had been broken. Such a dilapidated bird! Its wings drooped and its legs hung as if almost lifeless. It uttered continually a shrill cry of pain, and kept just out of the reach of my hand, fluttering hither and thither, as if sore wounded and weary. At first I was amazed, and cried out, “Why, friend and gossip! what is the matter?” and then stood watching it in mute dismay. Suddenly it flashed across me that this was only my sandpiper’s way of concealing from me a nest; and I remembered reading about this little trick of hers in a book of Natural History. The object was to make me follow her by pretending she could not fly, and so lead me away from her treasure. So I stood perfectly still, lest I should tread on the precious habitation, and quietly observed my deceitful little friend. Her apparently desperate and hopeless condition grew so comical when I reflected that it was only affectation, that I could not help laughing, loud and long. “Dear gossip,” I called to her, “pray don’t give yourself so much unnecessary trouble! You might know I wouldn’t hurt you or your nest for the world, you most absurd of birds!” As if she understood me, and as if she could not brook being ridiculed, up she rose at once, strong and graceful, and flew off with a full, round, clear note, delicious to hear.

Then I cautiously looked for the nest, and found it quite close to my feet, near the stem of a stunted bayberry-bush. Mrs. Sandpiper had only drawn together a few bayberry-leaves, brown and glossy, a little pale green lichen, and a twig or two, and that was a pretty enough house for her. Four eggs, about as large as robins’, were within, all laid evenly with the small ends together, as is the tidy fashion of the Sandpiper family. No wonder I did not see them; for they were pale green like the lichen, with brown spots the color of the leaves and twigs, and they seemed a part of the ground, with its confusion of soft neutral tints. I couldn’t admire them enough, but, to relieve my little friend’s anxiety, I came very soon away; and as I came, I marvelled much that so very small a head should contain such an amount of cunning.

Celia Thaxter.


As I was walking one day with my friend G—— along the edge of the cliff below the American Fall, he told the following story of his first visit to Niagara.

“It was fifteen years ago,” said he. “I was a mere boy then. My father had died the spring before, and I was thrown upon my own resources. With my mother’s blessing, and twenty-three dollars in my pocket, I walked from our little home on Tonawanda Creek, in the town of Batavia, to Buffalo, where I hoped to get into business, make money enough to buy a house, take my mother to live with me, and educate my younger brother and sisters. I was full of ambition. But I didn’t succeed immediately in finding employment; and at the end of a week, having spent three dollars out of my precious little store,—for I knew that my mother had given almost her last penny for my journey,—I began to grow homesick and discouraged. At last I found a situation in a hardware store. I was to be boarded and clothed for my services, the first year; to receive, in addition, fifty dollars in money, the second year; one hundred, the third year; and so on.

“I engaged the place on Wednesday; I was to enter upon my duties the next Monday; and during the four intervening days I determined to treat myself to a view of the Falls.

“In order to save as much as possible of my mother’s money to send back to her, I made the journey on foot. I was all day Thursday about it. I slept at a tavern, and was fortunate the next morning in making the acquaintance of a very polite young man, who said he knew the place, and would show me around.

“Ah! what a wonderful summer day it was! How the mist went up from the cataract! how the sun made rainbows in it, which brightened and vanished as the vapory cloud gathered, and the wind blew it away! how the birds sang in the woods on Goat Island! how our little ferry-boat tossed on the foaming eddies below the Falls! how grand and glorious it all was, and what a glad child was I!

“My new acquaintance proved a very pleasant companion, although he was so very polished and self-possessed that he made me, a green country lad, feel sometimes very painfully my inferiority. He abounded in fine sentiments, one of which I had occasion to remember,—‘Confidence is the flower of friendship and the ornament of life.’ This he was accustomed to say with a persuasive smile and a sweet inflection of the voice which were quite captivating. He had a bow, and a flourish, and an apt word, for every occasion. He was genteelly dressed,—although I remember that his coat was a trifle threadbare, and that he wore it buttoned across his genteel bosom, warm as the day was. Once or twice I had a glimpse of soiled linen under it; but his politeness quite made me forget for the time the trifling circumstance.

“ ‘You must certainly cross the ferry,’ he said, ‘if only to be able to tell your mother that you have been in Canada. Your excellent mother,—how I should delight to see her, and say, “I had the honor of visiting Canada with your son”! Besides, you get the best view of the Horseshoe Fall as you cross the river below. I am sure,’ he added, ‘you will show your confidence in my friendship by taking my advice.’

“I told him I could not well afford the expense of crossing; and related the history of my twenty dollars. Tears came into his eyes as he grasped my hand.

“I honor your motives!’ he exclaimed. ‘You shall make this trip at my expense.’ He led me down the ferry stairs, and insisted on paying my fare in the boat. ‘Not a word! not a word!’ he said, waving me off, and counting out change to the boatman. ‘Confidence is the flower of friendship, and the ornament of life.’

“So we crossed the ferry; and, having spent an hour in rambling about on the other side, he advised me not to return without having first walked under the sheet of water.

“ ‘It is a most astonishing thing!’ he said. ‘You descend a staircase. You follow a path beneath the overhanging cliff. The thundering cataract is before you. You pass beneath it, along a narrow shelf of rock between it and the precipice. You are under Niagara! The shelf grows narrower as you proceed, until, by the guide’s directions, you put your finger in a hole in the rock, which he tells you is the farthest point to which mortal man has ever gone. It is an experience no enterprising young American should be contented to live without.’

“ ‘Is there no danger?’ I asked.

“ ‘None whatever. It is exciting, but not dangerous. All that is needed is a little confidence. Confidence is the—but you know what I think of confidence. Here is the house where you obtain clothes and a guide for the excursion. Let me suggest only one thing. You have a watch with you?’

“ ‘Yes, one that was my father’s. It is very dear to me on that account.’

“ ‘How very affecting!’ said he. ‘Treasure it as you would the jewel of your integrity. You will not wish to get it wet; and you will be drenched to the skin in the spray of the cataract.’

“ ‘I can leave it, with my money, where I leave my clothes,’ I said.

“ ‘In the hands of strangers?’ he replied. ‘Your clothes will be safe with them; but money? and your watch? Very well, very well. I suppose they will be safe, although I was about to suggest—but no matter. I shall not go under the sheet to-day.’

“ ‘Indeed! why not?’

“ ‘I’ve been under it a hundred times already. When I say a hundred times, I speak figuratively. I have been under it three times, in the course of my eventful life. Perhaps, after you have been, I will go, provided you will take charge of my pocket-book, and a valuable gold watch I carry, which was not exactly my father’s, but which was presented to me by a very dear uncle,—and which, really, I am unwilling to trust in any hands but yours.’

“This proof of confidence touched me deeply. ‘Then,’ said I, ‘if you stay here, you shall take charge of my watch and money.’

“ ‘As you please,’ said he. And I delivered my treasures into his obliging hands. ‘How beautiful!’ he said, with the same persuasive smile and sweet inflection. ‘Confidence is, indeed, the flower of friendship and the ornament of life.’

“Now I had all the time a strong feeling that I ought not to go under the fall. It seemed as if something wrong would happen if I did. But this polite and friendly young man had gained such a complete influence over me that I had no longer a will of my own. Having permitted him to pay for my crossing the ferry, I felt bound to please him by accepting his advice in everything. He now added to my obligations by paying at the counter for the clothes and guide I was to make the trip with. This he did much against my will, but I could not prevent him.

“While he was making change, an old gentleman, whose acquaintance I had made at the tavern the night before, touched my arm and drew me aside. ‘You look like an honest boy,’ he said; ‘and from our talk last evening I became interested in you. But I’m afraid you are getting into bad company. Do you know that fellow?’

“ ‘He?’ I said. ‘O yes, very well; I’ve been with him all day. Why?’

“ ‘Because,’ said the old gentleman, ‘I don’t like the looks of him. I believe he is a rogue.’

“ ‘You are very much mistaken,’ I replied. ‘He is one of the politest, one of the most generous men!’

“ ‘Well, well; perhaps,’ said the old gentleman, smiling doubtfully. ‘All I have to say is, look out for him. You haven’t seen as much of the world as I have.’ And he patted my shoulder.

“Just then the young man came with the bundle of clothes I was to put on, and led me away to the dressing-room. He said the guide was waiting, and talked so fast, and hurried me so, that I had no time to think, until he took leave of me at the top of the staircase.

“ ‘I will walk about here until you come back,’ he said, in such a very friendly way that I was indignant at the old gentleman who had slandered him.

“However, the minute he was out of my sight, I became troubled in my mind about him. Then I reflected that I had all along felt secret doubts of his character, which his persuasive manners and fine sentiments had for the time kept concealed almost from myself,—just as the tossing white torrent of foam, below the Falls yonder, hides the boiling eddies under it. I remembered, with increasing uneasiness, the old gentleman’s kind warning; and blushed at my foolish remark,—that I knew a perfect stranger very well, having been with him all day! As yet I had not even learned my friend’s name. There was something false about his politeness, I could not help thinking; and as to his generosity, what difference did it make which pocket-book paid my expenses, his or mine, if he finally ran away with both?

“These thoughts flashed through my mind, notwithstanding the excitement of the adventure; and, having stood a minute under the cataract, and put my finger in the crevice the guide showed me, I was anxious to return to the upper world. But now an accident happened, well calculated to favor the rogue, if he was a rogue, or to prove his friendship, if he was a friend.

“As I was passing from under the sheet, two or three small fragments of rock—loosened, I suppose, by the jar of the cataract—broke from the overhanging wall and fell on the path between me and the guide.

“ ‘Quick! quick!’ he exclaimed, pulling me towards him. But before I had passed the spot, a larger mass of fragments came down, almost burying me beneath them. I just remember the guide calling for help amid the roar of the Falls, and pulling at my shoulder, which was already dislocated by the tumbling rocks. Then I swooned away.

“When I came to myself, I was in the same room where my friend had hired for me my guide and clothes. I was in great pain, and groaning at every breath. I was carried into an adjoining room, and laid upon a bed; and there a surgeon visited me, and set my bones.

“Upon that bed I lay three weeks; and almost every day I could hear people come into the public room, the door of which was sometimes open, and inquire with regard to the danger of going under the Falls.

“ ‘There is not the least danger,’ was the invariable reply. ‘No accident was ever known to happen to any person going with a guide.’ And there I, the victim of a terrible accident, lay and listened to these lies, which I was too weak even to cry out and expose.

“A lonely and anxious month that was; for after I had recovered from my injuries so that I could sit up, it was still a week before I was able to travel. I wrote to my mother. I also wrote to the proprietor of the hardware store to whom I had engaged my services. He did not reply, and I could not help thinking I had lost the situation.

“I received the best of care at the hands of the strangers in whose house I was. It was not altogether disinterested care, however. The business of furnishing guides and clothes to visitors going under the fall was very profitable; and it was in my power to injure it materially by publishing my accident. My case never got into the newspapers; and as I was convinced that the danger of going behind the sheet was after all trifling, I took no pains to warn anybody against it.

“My expenses, during that long, lonesome month, were cheerfully borne by my kind host. Fortunately for me, for I had not a cent in the world. I did not write that fact to my mother, for I still hoped to hear from my watch and pocket-book.

“On making inquiries for my polite friend, after my accident, all I had been able to learn was, that a person who professed great interest in me had charged the proprietor of the house to have everything done for me that could be done, and had left his address on going away, with a message that, if I wanted anything, I had only to apply to him. As I did want my watch and pocket-book, I determined to hunt him up. Luckily, his address was Buffalo, where I was going.

“Well, I had enough of Niagara Falls that time; and glad was I when the surgeon pronounced me able to travel. My host paid my fare to Buffalo, and gave me two dollars besides.

“On reaching the city, I hastened first to the hardware store where I had hired out. The proprietor looked at me grimly. ‘O, you are the boy that took the situation, and then ran away! Well, we don’t want any such boys as you. Besides, the place is filled.’ He would listen to no excuses, and I went away with a heavy heart.

“I next went to find my friend. The address took me to a large warehouse on Buffalo Creek, over the entrance to which I saw, with a thrill of interest, the very name that was on the card.

“ ‘Is Mr. Keplow in?’ I eagerly asked; and was shown to the counting-room.

“I entered, and met face to face, not the polite young man to whom I had intrusted my watch and money, but the plain old gentleman who had warned me against him. ‘Ah!’ said he, ‘you have got along; I’ve been expecting you. Sit down.’

“ ‘Are you Mr. Keplow?’

“ ‘That’s my name.’

“ ‘And he—that young man you warned me against—who had my watch and pocket-book—’ I stammered.

“I know nothing about him; and if he had your property, I could have told you beforehand that you would never see it again.’

“ ‘I have lost them then, and my situation too!’ I exclaimed, and burst into tears.

“ ‘Well, well,’ said he, in a comforting tone, ‘there is no great loss without some small gain. You have gained a useful experience, and perhaps you will gain something else.’

“When I told him about the situation I had forfeited, he laughed, and said it was no great loss, as that man never could keep a boy longer than a few months, he was so hard with his help. He then said he had a place for me in his store, if I would like the flour and grain business; and before I left his counting-room I sat down at the desk and wrote to my mother that I had hired out for five years to my new friend.

“I remained eight years with Mr. Keplow, and before the end of that time I had my sisters and my younger brother going to school at my expense. Finally our firm wished to establish a branch house in Chicago, and I was placed at the head of it. There I have been ever since, and there I am now, doing about as large a business, buying and shipping wool and grain, as is done by any house on the Lakes.

“One morning, a year ago last winter, a gentleman entered my office, who said he wished to speak to me on personal and private business. The door being closed, he seated himself, took from his pocket a bundle of letters, and said: ‘Mr. G——, I have been induced to call on you, knowing that you are a liberal and high-minded man, and an influential member of the church of which I am a humble, but, I trust, faithful officiating minister. It is the same church, although you reside here in Chicago, and the field of my labors is in the distant State of Maine. My name is Loddy. I am a younger brother of the distinguished Dr. Loddy of New York. I produce these letters to show you that I am what I profess to be.’

“I glanced at the letters, and asked how I could serve him.

“ ‘I was so unfortunate, on getting off the train in a crowd last night, as to have my pocket picked. At this distance from my family and friends, I find myself suddenly without a dollar in money, either to pay my hotel expenses or to prosecute my journey. What I wish is a loan of fifty dollars, which shall be returned to you as soon as I get home. I regret exceedingly the necessity I am under of making this call upon your generosity, or I should rather say confidence; but confidence is a beautiful virtue which we do not perhaps sufficiently cultivate,—it is the flower of friendship and the ornament of life.’

“I was already trying hard to remember where I had seen that man; and every moment his plausible manners and persuasive smile were growing more and more familiar to me, when that favorite sentiment concerning confidence lighted up my memory as by an electric flash. I arose, locked the door, and pocketed the key.

“ ‘Mr. Loddy,’ said I, ‘do you remember a fatherless boy you robbed of a watch and twenty dollars, at Niagara Falls, thirteen years ago? I am that fatherless boy, and I am very glad to see you.’

“He blandly denied all knowledge of the circumstance.

“ ‘Mr. Loddy, or whatever your name may be, you are an impostor; these letters are forgeries; and it is in my power to send you to prison. Your only chance for yourself is to make a frank confession, and promise better things.’

“When he saw that I was in earnest, he said: ‘I do begin to remember a little adventure with a boy at Niagara Falls a few years ago; but I should never have suspected you of being that boy. How whiskers have changed you, to be sure!’

“ ‘Confess,’ said I, ‘that you are a sharper and blackleg by trade.’

“ ‘That is unfortunately the truth,’ he said, more seriously; ‘and I can say from experience that a very poor trade it is.’

“ ‘You do not look as if you had prospered at it,’ I said.

“ ‘I haven’t prospered at it!’ he exclaimed, his false smiles fading, and a genuine emotion coming into his face. ‘It’s a trade that don’t pay. If I had given half the time and energy to some honest calling, which I have employed in trying to get a living without work, I might now be a man of property and reputation like you, instead of the homeless wretch I am!’

“He told me his history, saying in conclusion, ‘I have been twice in State prison; and I have made acquaintance with all sorts of miseries in my life; but I tell you my worst punishment is in being what I am.’

“He spoke sincerely; and I was never so forcibly struck with the truth, that the robber robs only himself. The wrong he had done to me, and to hundreds of others, was but trifling and temporary; but the wrong he had done to his own manhood was deep and everlasting.

“I could not but pity the wretch, and having burned his forged papers, to prevent him from doing more mischief with them, I let him go. I have never heard from him since.”

J. T. Trowbridge.


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


Let me into the breakfast-room, Bridget,—

  I’ll be a good girl if you will;

And see if I can’t be a lady,

  And see if I don’t sit still.


You wash me and curl me and dress me,

  Yet say that I do not look fit.

You think that I’ll tease for the sugar;

  I won’t do it—hardly a bit.


I won’t put my foot on the table,

  Nor make the least atom of fuss;

I won’t drum at all with my teaspoon,

  I won’t pull the cloth in a muss.


Papa, if he only had seen me,

  I know would have said, “Let her stay.”

But just as I pushed the door open,

  You came there and snatched me away.


Don’t say, “No, you can’t,” and then kiss me,—

  You’re not half so kind as you seem.

I don’t wan’t to stay with you, Bridget:

  O dear! I’m afraid I shall scream!


I wonder if folks that are grown up,

  And thinking to have what they want,

Are patient when doors are shut on them,

  And good when they’re told, “No, YOU CAN’T!”

Mrs. A. M. Wells.



No. 10.

Up to a little rivulet,

  Half by ferns and rushes hid,

Upon a sultry summer’s day

  My first my second did.


But fierce a wolf came rushing,

  And my first drew back in fright;

For he knew the fierce wolf was my whole,

  And refuge took in flight.

O. O.

No. 11.

O’er hedges and ditches away we go,

With horse, and with hound, and a “view hallo”;

But my first he is cunning, and wise, and old,

And the chase grows slack as the scent grows cold.


My second fair Blanche to her lover gave,

As he lowly knelt, to her charms a slave,

And he bore the pledge through the field and fight,

Till the weary day gave place to night.


So lovely my whole with its brilliant hue,

So bright in the sunbeam, so fed by the dew,

That none would dream of the curse from it ta’en,

As they meet its charms in the shady lane.

A. R.


No. 6.

My whole is always passing.

My first is in fiction, but not in book.

My second is in cabinet, not in look.

My third is in welcome, not in sack.

My fourth is in edition, but not in black.


No. 7.

A whole, all concede, I’m an old-fashioned dame.

Cut short at both ends, I’m a singular name.

And yet at both ends if I’m shortened again

Some hundreds of me you will find still remain.

L. S.

No. 8.

Whole, I am very hard.

Behead me, I am a term in music.

Curtail me, I am a weight.

Behead me again, I am a preposition.

Curtail me, and I am an exclamation.





No. 1.



A royal pair are we,—our names

  Are blazoned in heroic story,—

Our charms, our loves, our pride, our shames,

  Girt with the halo of our glory.


First I, who, nurtured by meek doves,

  Yet of a bolder spirit born,

Scorning a woman’s fears and loves,

  Led through the breach the hope forlorn.

Aspiring higher, an Empress now,

  My power ranged through a wider field,

Built cities, made wild Asia bow,

  Egypt and Ethiopia yield.


Later two thousand years I reigned,

  And though my fame is not so grand,

The world’s great Emperor I chained

  And led him with this little hand.

And when one peerless man of men

  Loved me, and, loving, died for me,

’Twixt death and bonds my choice lay then,

  And I chose death and to be free.


I doubt the thing I cannot see,

  Of things I see I doubt my seeing;

Nor Life nor Death is sure to me,

  Creator nor created Being.


Right royally my line I trace

  From hoary eld, and of my kin

Are pain and crime and deep disgrace,—

  My name a synonyme for sin.


With visions of deep draughts and shade

  Parched lips and weary feet I mock;

Up springs glad Hope,—the visions fade,

  And Hope falls shattered by the shock.


The wealth of heat of Indian suns

  Ripens my blood’s celestial hue,

No scrutiny its pureness shuns,—

  Untainted, bluest of the blue.


Decorum and all proper rules,

  Are only fiddlesticks to me,—

Terror of homes, delight of schools,

  Queen of misrule and noisy glee.


A mystic science I, who solve

  Problems else found inscrutable,

And with unerring truth evolve

  Solutions irrefutable.


Beneath thy tread mine humble lot,

  Prostrate I wait thy steps to greet;

Though trampled on I murmur not,

  But kiss the dust from off thy feet.


I bow my head to stocks and stones,

  And worship that which I have made;

I deck their shrines and build them thrones,

  Their favor bless, their wrath upbraid.


Constant, yet changeful,—changing ever

  From calm to wrath, from wrath to calm,—

In storm or zephyr failing never,—

  I sing to earth my ceaseless psalm.


J. L.



8.Sirens (sigh-wrens).9.Out-law.

Arithmetical Puzzles.

1.Height, 30 inches; length, 15 inches; thickness, 60 inches.


6.Ne vous fiez pas toujours à l’extérieure.

Illustrated Rebuses.

8.Let our government extend to all skins equal tokens of honor. [Le (tower) (G over N) (men) (text) (end) (two awls) (K in S) (equal to) (K in S) (OF on OR).]
9.The enemy opened fire under cover of a stone wall. [T (he) N M E (o penned) (fire under C over OF A STONE WALL.)]

Our Letter Box

In answer to inquiries made about the Publishers’ prizes for new subscribers to “Our Young Folks,” the Editors are requested to say that the four large prizes were won by the following persons:—

First prize (two hundred dollars), L. H. Waters, New York.

Second prize (one hundred and fifty dollars), J. Banfield, Roxbury.

Third prize (one hundred dollars), G. F. Cass, Boston.

Fourth prize (fifty dollars), T. D. Plumb, Madison, Wis.

The number of subscribers obtained in the first club was three hundred and seventy-two.

Henry H. The conundrum which you say you “originated” is a very old one. We are sorry that somebody should have made it before you.

M. B. A collegiate education is of advantage to every man, no matter what his occupation may be, unless he begins his course so late that at its completion he will be too old for the early stages of the business or profession he intends to follow.—History, in all its branches, is a most important study for any person who hopes to be well informed and to have his judgment well founded.

Parker M. Your sketches are clever, but we cannot use them for engraving.

Carleton D. We could not possibly use it.

S. B. G. 1. None in particular is meant. 2. Yes.

E. B. R. Rhyme is not enough to constitute poetry, neither are mere words; well constructed verses, correct grammatical construction, good spelling, and even ideas, are of some importance. And, since you ask our candid opinion, we must say that your lines are lacking in all these particulars.

V. G. H. and K. L. H. “Is ‘The Young Voyageurs’ about the same boys that are spoken of in the adventures in search of a white buffalo?”—You mean, probably, by the latter book, “The Boy Hunters.” If so, the characters are the same.

Edith and Clara say:—

“We have heard that, if you collect a million stamps and send them to Paris, the people to whom you send them will send you in return $300. Now we want to know if it is so.”

This million-of-postage-stamps offer is a shabby hoax, which is occasionally set afloat in spite of contradiction. Never believe any such story.

M. P. M. The lines beginning,

“O woman, in our hours of ease,”

are the first in Stanza xxx., Canto VI., of Scott’s “Marmion.”

G. P. M., Charles N. W., Freddy Frost, Kitty W., F. D. A., D. Edwin H., L. P., Ruth Lee, May Shafton, Sarah S., C. B. W., C. M., Arthur M. R., A. T. S., Ariel C. H., Fanny Fay, Henry F., Eddie D. S. (“a little boy nine years old, who has never been to school, but who has taught himself to write,”—good boy!), Sybil, E. Please to take this acknowledgment as an answer to your favors.

A Young Lieutenant. That way will do.

Louie F. E. Send all at once. Remember what we have often said to the young writers.—Perhaps Trip will appear again some time.

Larkspur. In writing for the press, write only on one side of the paper.

S. B. C. Be patient; the best days are yet to dawn.

Alexander D., Jr. We will think over your suggestion.—In your writing is the foundation of a handsome hand.

R. S. G-r-o-w-n-s does not spell groans.

T. H.’s answers to his puzzle are:—

Silly chap,—chilly sap;

Maiden Lane,—laden main;

Rump steak,—stump, rake;

Silly fop,—filly, sop;

Coal hod,—whole cod (the Banks of Newfoundland, of course, are meant);

Pitch high,—hitch, pie;

Coal stove,—stole, cove;

Hot cake,—cot, hake.

Theo. N. We know of no treatise on croquet so good as that contained in “Every Saturday,” No. 35.

Helen L. Bostwick sends this bit of verse, which is acceptable just now:—

Little Plaid Sun-Bonnet.

“Little plaid sun-bonnet, what do you hide,

Down in the grass by the sunny wall-side?

Any short ringlets half out of curl?

Any round forehead as pure as a pearl?

Any blue eyes with a laugh bubbling over?

Any red mouth closing on a red clover?

Is it the wind makes you dance up and down,

Or is it a fairy head under your crown?


“O, Earth is bright, by the glad Summer kissed!

Millions of roses might scarcely be missed;

Acres of buttercups, growing so gay,

Cause not a sigh when their gold drops away.

Yet to my heart how your charm were destroyed,

All your flush meadows how wintry and void,

Earth, should you lose from your beauty and pride

Just what a little plaid bonnet can hide!”

Willie McC. We do not copy from others.

M. E. D. It is a very good composition, but it would hardly do for publication.

Milly Mass., Percie Vere, Lucie Linda. No, thank you.

Justina. We read “My Little Cousin” with pleasure, but it is not quite the thing to print.

One Third. It is “grown up.”

Benj. B. “Ewe-man” will hardly do for human, nor “bell-est” for blest.

From Geneva, in far-off Switzerland, Mary R. C. C. sends us this note and puzzle:—

Dear ‘Young Folks’:—Though I am in Europe, I receive you regularly, and I thank you very much for the pleasure you give me. At the beginning of every month I wait with impatience for the postman to come, and every time he rings I run, and am very much disappointed if I do not see in his hands your yellow cover. I never read anything that I liked better.

“As I found that children made puzzles, I tried to make one in French, and here it is:—

“Je suis un mot de cinq lettres.

“Mon entier appartient à la tragédie.

“Coupez-moi la tête, et je puis avancer les bateaux.

“Une lettre de moins, et je deviens immortelle.

“Dans mon dernier état, je suis un pronom.”

A little girl inquires whether answers must be sent with enigmas. Yes: not only the whole answer, but every separate word of which the enigma is formed. We have such basketfuls of puzzles, only those can receive attention which are plainly and carefully written throughout.

Groton (Mass.) sends this Greek palindrome for our “Box.” Perhaps some of our readers can give a translation. The accents are omitted intentionally:—

Νιψον ανομημα μη μοναν οψιν.

Antiquarian. You have pretty good notions of drawing, evidently, but you have much to learn. You will do well to make your sketches of buildings and common objects accurate, before you attempt to do much with figures, which are most difficult of all things to represent.

Last month’s picture proverb is, “Little pitchers have long ears.” This month we offer a capital one, for the design of which we have to thank Thomas 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 7 edited by J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]