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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 3, Issue 12

Date of first publication: 1867

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

Date first posted: Sep. 21, 2018

Date last updated: Sep. 21, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180933

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. DECEMBER, 1867. No. XII.

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.]














[See In Time’s Swing, page 748.]
The Ornamental Border, drawn by C. H. Jenckes; The Vignettes, by H. Fenn; and the Figures, by George G. White.

Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Vol 3, Issue 12: December 1867



The next day being Sunday, the Captain’s little friends did not go down to see him, and the day after being stormy, they could not. So, when Tuesday came, they were all the more eager for the visit that it had been delayed; and accordingly they hurried off at a very early hour. Indeed, the old man was only too glad to have them come down at any time, for he had during these past few days become so used to their being with him, and had, withal, taken such a fancy to them, that he felt himself quite lost and lonely when a day passed by without seeing them. Like most old men, he was at first somewhat afraid they might disturb him if he said, “Come at any hour you please,” instead of “Come at four o’clock”; but he had discovered them to be such well-behaved and gentle children, that he had made up his mind they could never worry or annoy him. So when last they parted, he said to them, “Come in the morning, if you like, and play all day about the grounds, and if I have something else to do you must not mind. Nobody will disturb you”;—and, in truth, there was nobody there to disturb them, for besides the old man and his boy, Main Brace, there was no living thing about the house, if we except two fine old Newfoundland dogs which the Captain had brought home with him from his last voyage, and which he called, “Port” and “Starboard.” He had also a flock of handsome chickens, and some foreign ducks. “And now,” said he, “when you have seen all these, and Main Brace, and me, you have seen my family, for this is all the family that I have, unless I count the birds that hop and skip and sing among the trees.”

Main Brace did all the work about the house, except what the Captain did himself. He cooked and set the Captain’s table, and kept the Captain’s house in order generally. As for the house itself, there was not much of it to keep in order. We have already seen that it was very small, and but one story high. There was no hall in it, and only five rooms upon the floor. Let us look into it more particularly.

Entering it from the front through the little porch covered over with honeysuckle vines that are smelling sweetly all the summer through, we come at once into the largest of the rooms, where the Captain dines and does many other things. But he never calls it his dining-room. Nothing can induce him to call it anything but his “quarter-deck.” On the right-hand side there are two doors, and there are two more on the left-hand side, and directly before us there are two windows, looking out into the Captain’s garden, where he has fruits and vegetables of every kind growing in abundance. The first door on the right opens into a little room where Main Brace sleeps. This the Captain calls the “forecastle.” The other door on the right opens into the kitchen, which the Captain calls his “galley.” The first door on the left is closed, but the second opens into what the Captain calls his “cabin,” and this connects with a little room behind the door, that is closed, which he calls his “state-room,”—and, in truth, it looks more like a state-room of a ship than a chamber. It has no bed in it, but a narrow berth on one side, just like a state-room berth. All sorts of odd-fashioned clothes are hanging on the walls, which the Captain says he has worn in the different countries where he has travelled. Odd though this state-room be, it is not half so odd as the Captain’s cabin.

Let us examine this cabin of the Captain. There is an old table in the centre of it. There are a few old books in an old-fashioned bookcase. There is no carpet, but the floor is almost covered over with skins of different kinds of animals, among which are a Bengal tiger, a Polar bear, a South American ocelot, a Rocky Mountain wolf, and a Siberian fox. In a great glass case, standing against the wall, there is a variety of stuffed birds. On the very top of this case there is a huge white-headed eagle, with his large wings spread out, and at the bottom of it there is a pelican with no wings at all. On the right-hand side there is an enormous albatross, and on the left-hand side there is a tall red flamingo, while in the very centre a snowy owl stands straight up and looks straight at you out of his great glass eyes. And then there are still other birds,—little ones and big ones, and birds bright and birds dingy, scattered about wherever there is room, each sitting or standing on its separate perch, and looking, for all the world, as if it were alive and would fly away only for the glass.

On the walls of this singular room are hanging all sorts of singular weapons, and many other things which the Captain has picked up in his travels. There is a Turkish scymitar, a Moorish gun, an Italian stiletto, a Japanese “happy despatch,” a Norman battle-axe, besides spears and lances and swords of shapes and kinds too numerous to mention. In one corner, on a bracket, there is a model of a ship, in another a Chinese junk, in a third an old Dutch clock, and in the fourth there is a stone idol of the Incas, while above the door there is the figure-head of a small vessel, probably a schooner.

When the children came down, running all the way at a very lively rate, the Captain was in his cabin overhauling his treasures, and dusting and placing them so that they would show to the very best advantage. Indeed, there were so many “traps,” as he called them, hanging and lying about, that the place might well have been called a “curiosity shop” better than a cabin. In truth, it had nothing of the look of a cabin about it.

When the Captain heard the children coming, he said to himself, “I’ll give them a surprise to-day,” and he looked out through the open window and called to them. They answered with a merry laugh, and, running around to the door, rushed into the “quarter-deck,” and were with the Captain in an instant.

“O what a jolly place!” exclaimed William; “such a jolly lot of things! Why didn’t you show them to us before, Captain Hardy?”

“One thing at a time, my lad; I can’t show you everything at once,” answered the old man.

“But where did you get them all, Captain Hardy?”

“As for that, I picked them up all about the world, and I could tell a story about every one of them.”

“O, isn’t that splendid?—won’t you tell us now?” inquired William.

“And knock off telling you what the Dean and myself were doing up there by the North Pole on that island without a name?”

William was a little puzzled to know what reply he should make to that, for he thought the Captain looked as if he did not half like what he had said; so he satisfied himself with exclaiming, “No, no, no,” a great number of times, and then asked, “But won’t you tell us all about them when you get out of the North Pole scrape?”

“May be so, my lad, may be so; we’ll see about that; one thing at a time is a good rule in story-telling as well as in other matters. And now you may look at all these things, and when you are satisfied, and I have got done putting them to rights, we’ll go spinning on our yarn again.”

The children were greatly delighted with everything they saw, and they passed a very happy hour, helping the Captain to put his cabin in “ship-shape order,” as he said. Then they all crowded up into one corner, and the Captain, seated on an old camp-stool, which had evidently seen much service in divers places, came back once more to his story.

“And now,” said he, “what was I doing when we knocked off the other day, after the storm?”

William, whose memory was always as good as his words were ready, said the Captain was “just going to sleep.”

“True, that’s the thing; and I went to sleep and slept bravely, I can tell you. And this you may well enough believe when you bear in mind how much I had passed through since the last sleep I had on board the ship,—for since then had come the shipwreck, the saving of the Dean and carrying him ashore, the walk around the island, besides all the anxiety and worriment of mind in consequence of my own unhappy situation and the Dean’s uncertain fate.

“More than twenty-four hours had elapsed since the shipwreck, and if I slept full twelve hours, without once waking up, you must not be in the least surprised. When I opened my eyes again, we were in the shadow of the cliffs once more; that is, the sun had gone around to the north again. The Dean was already wide awake. When I asked him how he was, he said he felt much better, only his head still pained him greatly, and he was very thirsty and hungry.

“I got up immediately and assisted the Dean to rise. He was a little dizzy at first, but after sitting down for a few minutes on a rock he recovered himself. Then I brought him some water in an egg-shell to drink. And then I gave him a raw egg, which he swallowed as if it had been the daintiest morsel in the world. ‘It’s lucky, isn’t it,’ said he, ‘that there are so many eggs about.’ After a moment I observed that he was laughing, which very much surprised me, as that would have been about the last thing that ever would have entered into my head to do. ‘Do you know,’ he inquired, ‘what a very ridiculous figure we are cutting. Look, we are all covered over with feathers. I have heard of people being tarred and feathered, but never heard of anything like this. Let’s pick each other.’

“Sure enough we were literally covered over with the down in which we had been sleeping, and when I saw what a jest the poor Dean, with his sore, dizzy head, made of the plight we were in, I forgot all my own troubles and joined in the sport which he was inclined to make of it. So we fell to work picking each other in good earnest, and were soon as clean of feathers as any other well-plucked geese. By this time the Dean’s clothes had become entirely dry; so each dressed himself in the clothes that belonged to him, and then started over to the nearest brook, where we bathed our hands and faces, drying them on an old bandanna handkerchief, which I was lucky enough to have in my pocket. I had to support the Dean a little as we went along, for he was very weak; but notwithstanding this his spirits were excellent, and when he saw, for the first time, the ducks fly up, he said, ‘What a great pair of fools they must take us for,—coming into such a place as this.’

“After we had refreshed ourselves at the brook and eaten some more eggs, we very naturally began to talk. I related to the Dean more particularly than I had done before the events of the shipwreck, and our escape, and what I had discovered on the island, and then made some allusion to the prospect ahead of us. To my great surprise, the Dean was not apparently in the least cast down about it. In truth, he took it much more resignedly, and had a more hopeful eye to the future, than I had. ‘If,’ said he, ‘it is God’s will that we shall live, He will furnish us the means; if not, we can but die. I wouldn’t mind it half so much, if my poor mother only knew what was become of me.’ This reflection seemed to sadden him for a moment, and I thought I saw a tear in his eye; but he brightened up instantly as a great flock of ducks went whizzing overhead. ‘Well,’ exclaimed he, ‘there seems to be no lack of something to eat here anyway, and we ought to manage to catch it somehow, and live until a ship comes along and takes us off.’

“The Dean took such a cheerful view of the future that we were soon chatting in a very lively way about everything that concerned our escape, and the fate of our unfortunate shipmates; and here I must have expatiated very largely upon the satisfaction which I took in rescuing the Dean, for the little fellow said: ‘Well, I suppose I ought to thank you very much for saving me; but the truth is, all the agony of death being over with me when you pulled me out, the chief benefit falls on you, as you seem so much rejoiced about it; but I’ll be grateful anyway, and show it by not troubling you any more, and by helping you all I can. See, I’m almost well. I feel better and better every minute,—only I’m sore here on the head where I got the crack.’

“To tell the truth, in thinking of other things, I had neglected, or rather quite forgotten, the Dean’s wounded head; so now, my attention being called to it, I examined it very carefully, and found that it was nothing more than a bad bruise, with a cut near the centre of it about half an inch long. Having washed it carefully, I bound my bandanna handkerchief about it, and we once more came back to consider what we should do.

“Of course, the first thing we thought of and talked about was how we should go about starting a fire; next in importance to this was that we should have a place to shelter us. So far as concerned our food and drink, our immediate necessities were provided for, as we had the little rivulet close at hand, and any quantity of eggs to be had for the gathering, and we set about gathering a great number of them at once; for in a few days we thought it very likely that most of them would have little ducks in them, as, indeed, many of them had already. Another thing we settled upon was, that we would never both go to sleep at the same time, nor quit our present side of the island together; but one of us would be always on the look-out for a ship, as we both thought it possible that, since our ship had come that way, others would be very likely to, though neither of us had the remotest idea in the world as to where we were, any more than that we were on an island somewhere in the Arctic seas.

“But the fire which we wanted so much to warm ourselves and cook our food,—what should we do for that? Here was the great question; and fire, fire, fire, was the one leading idea running through both our heads;—we thought of fire when we were gathering eggs, we talked of fire when, later in the day, we sat upon the rocks, resting ourselves, and we dreamed of fire when we fell asleep again,—not this time, however, under the eider-down where we had slept before, but on the green grass of the hillside in the warm sunshine, under my overcoat, for we had turned night into day, and were determined to sleep when the sun was shining on us at the south, and do what work we had to do when we were in the shade.

“Every method that either of us had ever heard of for making a fire was carefully discussed; but there was nothing that appeared to suit our case. I found a hard flint, and by striking it on the back of my knife-blade I saw that there was no difficulty in getting any number of sparks, but we had nothing that would catch the sparks when struck; so that we did not seem to be any better off than we were before; and, as I have stated already, we fell asleep again, each in his turn,—‘watch and watch,’ as the Dean playfully called it, and as they have it on ship-board,—without having arrived at any other result than that of being a little discouraged.

“When we had been again refreshed with sleep, we determined to make a still further exploration of the island; so after once more eating our fill of raw eggs, we set out. The Dean, being still weak and his head still paining him very much from the hurt, remained at the look-out. He could, however, walk up and down for a few hundred yards without losing sight of that part of the sea from which quarter alone were we likely to discover a ship. This brought him up to where I had discovered the dead seal and narwhal lying on the beach, when upon my first journey round the island. I had told him about them, as indeed I had of everything I had seen, and he was curious to see if he could not catch a fox; but his fortune in that particular was not better than mine.

“For myself, I had a very profitable journey, as I found a place among the rocks which might, with a little labor in fixing it up, give us shelter. I was searching for a cave, but nothing of the sort could I come across; but at the head of a little valley, very near to where I left the Dean, I discovered a place that would, in some measure at least, answer the purpose of sheltering us. Its situation gave it the still further advantage, that we commanded a perfect view of the sea from the front of it.

“I have said that it was not exactly a cave, but rather an artificial tent, as it were, of solid rocks. At the foot of a very steep slope of rough rocks there were several large masses piled together, evidently having one day slid down from the cliffs above, and afterwards smaller rocks, being broken off, had piled up behind them. Two of these large rocks had come together in such a manner as to leave an open space between them. I should say this space was ten or twelve feet across at the bottom, and, rising up about ten feet high, joined at the top, like the roof of a house. The rocks were pressed against them behind, so as completely to close the outlet in that direction; and in front the entrance was half closed by another large rock, which was leaning diagonally across the opening. I climbed into this place, and was convinced that, if we had strength to close up the front entrance with a wall, we should have a complete protection from the weather. But then when I reflected how, if we did seek shelter there, we should keep ourselves warm, I had great misgivings; for there came up the great question of all questions, ‘What were we to do for a fire?’

“Although this place was not a cave, yet I spoke to the Dean about it as such, and by that name we came to know it; so I will now use the term, inappropriate though it is. I also told the Dean about some other birds that I had discovered, in great numbers. They were very small, and seemed to have their nests among the rocks all along the north side of the island, where they were swarming on the hillside, and flying overhead in even greater flocks than the ducks. I knew they were called little auks, from descriptions the sailors had given me of them.

“ ‘But look here what I’ve got,’ exclaimed the Dean, as soon as I came up with him. ‘See this big duck!’

“The fellow had actually caught a duck, and in a most ingenious manner. Seeing the ducks fly off their nests, the happy idea struck him that, if he could only contrive a trap, or dead fall, he might catch them when they came back. So he selected a nest favorable to his design, and piled up some stones about it, making a solid wall on one side of it; then he put a thin narrow stone on the other side, and on this he supported still another stone that was very heavy. Then he took from his pocket a piece of twine which he was fortunate enough to have, and tied one end of it to the thin narrow stone, and, holding on to the other end, hid himself behind some rocks near by. When the duck came back to her nest, he jerked the thin narrow stone away by a strong pull on the twine string, and down came the big heavy stone upon her back. ‘You should have heard the old thing quacking,’ said he, evidently forgetting everything else but the sport of catching the bird: ‘but I soon gave her neck a twist, and here we are ready for a dinner, when we only find a way to cook it. Have you discovered any way to make a fire yet?’

“I had to confess that on the subject of fire I was yet as ignorant as ever.

“ ‘Do you know,’ continued he, ‘that I have got a brilliant idea?’

“ ‘What’s that?’ said I.

“ ‘Why,’ replied he, ‘you told me something about people making fire with a lens made of glass. Now, as I was down on the beach and looked at the ice there, I thought, why not make a lens out of ice,—it is as clear as glass?’

“ ‘But,’ said I, ‘what will you set on fire with it?’

“ ‘In the first place,’ he answered, ‘the pockets of my coat are made of some sort of cotton stuff, and if we could only set fire to that, couldn’t we blow a blaze into the fire plant, as you call it. See, I’ve gathered a great heap of it.’ And sure enough he had, for there was a pile of it nearly as high as his head, looking like a great heap of dry and green leaves.

“The idea did not seem to me to be worth much, but still, as it was the only one that had been suggested by either of us, it was at least worthy of trial; so we went down to the beach, and, finding a lump of ice almost as big as my two fists, we began chipping it with my knife into the shape we wanted it, and then we ground it off with a stone, and then rubbed it over with our warm hands until we had worn it down perfectly smooth, and into the shape of a lens. This done, we held it up to the sun, relieving each other as our hands grew cold; but without any success whatever. We tried for a long time, and with much patience, until the ice became so much melted, that we could do nothing more with it, when we threw it away, and the experiment was abandoned as hopeless.

“Our disappointment at this failure was in proportion to our hopes. The Dean felt it most, for he was, at the very outset, perfectly confident of success. Neither of us, however, wished to own how much we felt the failure, so we spoke very little more together, but made, almost in silence, another meal off the raw eggs, and being now quite worn out and weary with the labors and anxieties of the day, we passed the next twelve hours in watching and sleeping alternately in the bright sunshine, lying as before on the green grass, covered with the overcoat. We did not even dare hope for better fortune on the morrow. We had, however, made up our minds to struggle in the best manner we could against the difficulties which surrounded us, and mutually to sustain each other in the hard battle before us. Whether we should live or die was known but to God alone, and to his gracious protection we once more commended ourselves; the Dean repeating, and teaching me a prayer which he had learned, as was very evident, from a pious and careful mother, who had brought him up in the fear of Heaven, and taught him, at a very early age, to have faith in God’s endless watchfulness.

“And now, my children,” concluded the Captain, “I have some work to do in my garden, to-day, so we must cut our story short this time. When you come to-morrow, I will tell you what next we did towards raising a fire, besides many other things for our safety and comfort.”

And now the party scattered from the “cabin,”—the Captain to his work, and the children to play for a while with the Captain’s dogs, Port and Starboard, out among the trees, and to talk with Main Brace, whom they found to be the most singular boy they had ever seen; after which they went to the Captain to say “Good evening” to him, and then ran briskly home,—William eager to write down what he had heard, while it was yet fresh on his mind, and all of them to relate to their parents, over and over again, what this wonderful old man had been telling them, and what a dear old soul he was.

Isaac I. Hayes.


Fourteen years ago, I spent a winter in Africa. I had intended to go up the Nile only as far as Nubia, visiting the great temples and tombs of Thebes on the way; but when I had done all this, and passed beyond the cataracts at the southern boundary of Egypt, I found the journey so agreeable, so full of interest, and attended with so much less danger than I had supposed, that I determined to go on for a month or two longer, and penetrate as far as possible into the interior. Everything was favorable to my plan. I crossed the great Nubian Desert without accident or adventure, reached the ancient region of Ethiopia, and continued my journey until I had passed beyond all the cataracts of the Nile, to the point where the two great branches of the river flow together.

This point, which you will find on your maps in the country called Sennaar, bordering Abyssinia on the northwestern side, has become very important within the last twenty or thirty years. The Egyptians, after conquering the country, established there their seat of government for all that part of Africa, and very soon a large and busy town arose where formerly there had only been a few mud huts of the natives. The town is called Khartoum, and I suppose it must contain, by this time, forty or fifty thousand inhabitants. It is built on a sandy plain, studded here and there with clumps of thorny trees. On the east side the Blue Nile, the source of which was discovered by the Scotch traveller Bruce, in the last century, comes down clear and swift from the mountains of Abyssinia; on the west, the broad, shallow, muddy current of the White Nile, which rises in the great lakes discovered by Speke and Baker within the last five years, makes its appearance. The two rivers meet just below the town, and flow as a single stream to the Mediterranean, a distance of fifteen hundred miles.

Formerly all this part of Africa was considered very wild, barbarous, and dangerous to the traveller. But since it has been brought under the rule of the Egyptian government, the people have been forced to respect the lives and property of strangers, and travelling has become comparatively safe. I soon grew so accustomed to the ways of the inhabitants, that by the time I reached Khartoum I felt quite at home among them. My experience had already taught me that, where a traveller is badly treated, it is generally his own fault. You must not despise a people because they are ignorant, because their habits are different, or because they sometimes annoy you by a natural curiosity. I found that by acting in a kind yet firm manner towards them, and preserving my patience and good-nature, even when it was tried by their slow and careless ways, I avoided all trouble, and even acquired their friendly good-will.

When I reached Khartoum, the Austrian Consul invited me to his house; and there I spent three or four weeks, in that strange town, making acquaintance with the Egyptian officers, the chiefs of the desert tribes, and the former kings of the different countries of Ethiopia. When I left my boat, on arriving, and walked through the narrow streets of Khartoum, between mud walls, very few of which were even whitewashed, I thought it a miserable place, and began to look out for some garden where I might pitch my tent, rather than live in one of those dirty-looking habitations. The wall around the Consul’s house was of mud like the others; but when I entered I found clean, handsome rooms, which furnished delightful shade and coolness during the heat of the day. The roof was of palm-logs, covered with mud, which the sun baked into a hard mass, so that the house was in reality as good as a brick dwelling. It was a great deal more comfortable than it appeared from the outside.

There were other features of the place, however, which it would be difficult to find anywhere except in Central Africa. After I had taken possession of my room, and eaten breakfast with my host, I went out to look at the garden. On each side of the steps leading down from the door sat two apes, who barked and snapped at me. The next thing I saw was a leopard tied to the trunk of an orange-tree. I did not dare to go within reach of his rope, although I afterwards became well acquainted with him. A little farther, there was a pen full of gazelles and an antelope with immense horns; then two fierce, bristling hyenas; and at last, under a shed beside the stable, a full-grown lioness, sleeping in the shade. I was greatly surprised when the Consul went up to her, lifted up her head, opened her jaws so as to show the shining white tusks, and finally sat down upon her back.

She accepted these familiarities so good-naturedly that I made bold to pat her head also. In a day or two we were great friends; she would spring about with delight whenever she saw me, and would purr like a cat whenever I sat down upon her back. I spent an hour or two every day among the animals, and found them all easy to tame except the hyenas, which would gladly have bitten me if I had allowed them a chance. The leopard, one day, bit me slightly in the hand; but I punished him by pouring several buckets of water over him, and he was always very amiable after that. The beautiful little gazelles would cluster around me, thrusting up their noses into my hand, and saying, “Wow! wow!” as plainly as I write it. But none of these animals attracted me so much as the big lioness. She was always good-humored, though occasionally so lazy that she would not even open her eyes when I sat down on her shoulder. She would sometimes catch my foot in her paws as a kitten catches a ball, and try to make a plaything of it,—yet always without thrusting out her claws. Once she opened her mouth, and gently took one of my legs in her jaws for a moment; and the very next instant she put out her tongue and licked my hand. There seemed to be almost as much of the dog as of the cat in her nature. We all know, however, that there are differences of character among animals, as there are among men; and my favorite probably belonged to a virtuous and respectable family of lions.

The day after my arrival I went with the Consul to visit the Pacha, who lived in a large mud palace on the bank of the Blue Nile. He received us very pleasantly, and invited us to take seats in the shady court-yard. Here there was a huge panther tied to one of the pillars, while a little lion, about eight months old, ran about perfectly loose. The Pacha called the latter, which came springing and frisking towards him. “Now,” said he, “we will have some fun.” He then made the lion lie down behind one of the pillars, and called to one of the black boys to go across the court-yard on some errand. The lion lay quite still until the boy came opposite to the pillar, when he sprang out and after him. The boy ran, terribly frightened; but the lion reached him in five or six leaps, sprang upon his back and threw him down, and then went back to the pillar as if quite satisfied with his exploit. Although the boy was not hurt in the least, it seemed to me like a cruel piece of fun. The Pacha, nevertheless, laughed very heartily, and told us that he had himself trained the lion to frighten the boys.

Presently the little lion went away, and when we came to look for him, we found him lying on one of the tables in the kitchen of the palace, apparently very much interested in watching the cook. The latter told us that the animal sometimes took small pieces of meat, but seemed to know that it was not permitted, for he would run away afterwards in great haste. What I saw of lions during my residence in Khartoum satisfied me that they are not very difficult to tame,—only, as they belong to the cat family, no dependence can be placed on their continued good behavior.

Among the Egyptian officers in the city was a Pacha named Rufah, who had been banished from Egypt by the Viceroy. He was a man of considerable education and intelligence, and was very unhappy at being sent away from his home and family. The climate of Khartoum is very unhealthy, and this unfortunate Pacha had suffered greatly from fever. He was uncertain how long his exile would continue: he had been there already two years, and as all the letters directed to him passed through the hands of the officers of government, he was quite at a loss how to get any help from his friends. What he had done to cause his banishment, I could not ascertain; probably he did not know himself. There are no elections in those Eastern countries; the people have nothing to do with the choice of their own rulers. The latter are appointed by the Viceroy at his pleasure, and hold office only so long as he allows them. The envy or jealousy of one Pacha may lead to the ruin of another, without any fault on the part of the latter. Probably somebody else wanted Rufah Pacha’s place, and slandered him to the Viceroy for the sake of getting him removed and exiled.

The unhappy man inspired my profound sympathy. Sometimes he would spend the evening with the Consul and myself, because he felt safe, in our presence, to complain of the tyranny under which he suffered. When we met him at the houses of the other Egyptian officers, he was very careful not to talk on the subject, lest they should report the fact to the government.

Being a foreigner and a stranger, I never imagined that I could be of any service to Rufah Pacha. I did not speak the language well, I knew very little of the laws and regulations of the country, and, moreover, I intended simply to pass through Egypt on my return. Nevertheless, one night, when we happened to be walking the streets together, he whispered that he had something special to say to me. Although it was bright moonlight, we had a native servant with us, to carry a lantern. The Pacha ordered the servant to walk on in advance; and a turn of the narrow, crooked streets soon hid him from our sight. Everything was quiet, except the rustling of the wind in the palm-trees which rose above the garden-walls.

“Now,” said the Pacha, taking my hand, “now we can talk for a few minutes, without being overheard. I want you to do me a favor.”

“Willingly,” I answered, “if it is in my power.”

“It will not give you much trouble,” he said, “and may be of great service to me. I want you to take two letters to Egypt,—one to my son, who lives in the town of Tahtah, and one to Mr. Murray, the English Consul-General, whom you know. I cannot trust the Egyptian merchants, because, if these letters were opened and read, I might be kept here many years longer. If you deliver them safely, my friends will know how to assist me, and perhaps I may soon be allowed to return home.”

I promised to deliver both letters with my own hands, and the Pacha parted from me in more cheerful spirits at the door of the Consul’s house. After a few days I was ready to set out on the return journey; but, according to custom, I was first obliged to make farewell visits to all the officers of government. It was very easy to apprise Rufah Pacha beforehand of my intention, and he had no difficulty in slipping the letters into my hand without the action being observed by any one. I put them into my portfolio, with my own letters and papers, where they were entirely safe, and said nothing about the matter to any one in Khartoum.

Although I was glad to leave that wild town, with its burning climate, and retrace the long way back to Egypt, across the Desert and down the Nile, I felt very sorry at being obliged to take leave forever of all my pets. The little gazelles said, “Wow! wow!” in answer to my “Good by”; the hyenas howled and tried to bite, just as much as ever; but the dear old lioness I know would have been sorry if she could have understood that I was going. She frisked around me, licked my hand, and I took her great tawny head into my arms, and gave her a kiss. Since then I have never had a lion for a pet, and may never have one again. I must confess, I am sorry for it; for I still retain my love for lions (four-footed ones, I mean) to this day.

Well, it was a long journey, and I should have to write many days in order to describe it. I should have to tell of fierce sand-storms in the Desert; of resting in palm-groves near the old capital of Ethiopia; of plodding, day after day, through desolate landscapes, on the back of a camel, crossing stony ranges of mountains, to reach the Nile again, and then floating down with the current in an open boat. It was nearly two months before I could deliver the first of the Pacha’s letters,—that which he had written to his son. The town of Tahtah is in Upper Egypt, near Siout; you will hardly find it on the maps. It stands on a little mound, several miles from the Nile, and is surrounded by the rich and beautiful plain which is every year overflowed by the river.

There was a head wind, and my boat could not proceed very fast; so I took my faithful servant, Achmet, and set out on foot, taking a path which led over the plain, between beautiful wheat-fields and orchards of lemon-trees. In an hour or two we reached Tahtah,—a queer, dark old town, with high houses and narrow streets. The doors and balconies were of carved wood, and the windows were covered with lattices, so that no one could look in, although those inside could easily look out. There were a few sleepy merchants in the bazaar, smoking their pipes and enjoying the odors of cinnamon and dried roses which floated in the air.

After some little inquiry, I found Rufah Pacha’s house, but was not admitted, because the Egyptian women are not allowed to receive the visits of strangers. There was a shaded entrance-hall, open to the street, where I was requested to sit, while the black serving-woman went to the school to bring the Pacha’s son. She first borrowed a pipe from one of the merchants in the bazaar, and brought it to me. Achmet and I sat there, while the people of the town, who had heard that we came from Khartoum and knew the Pacha, gathered around to ask questions.

They were all very polite and friendly, and seemed as glad to hear about the Pacha as if they belonged to his family. In a quarter of an hour the woman came back, followed by the Pacha’s son and the schoolmaster, who had dismissed his school in order to hear the news. The boy was about eleven years old, but tall of his age. He had a fair face, and large, dark eyes, and smiled pleasantly when he saw me. If I had not known something of the customs of the people, I should have given him my hand, perhaps drawn him between my knees, put an arm around his waist, and talked familiarly; but I thought it best to wait and see how he would behave towards me.

He first made me a graceful salutation, just as a man would have done, then took my hand and gently touched it to his heart, lips, and forehead, after which he took his seat on the high divan, or bench, by my side. Here he again made a salutation, clapped his hands thrice, to summon the woman, and ordered coffee to be brought.

“Is your Excellency in good health?” he asked.

“Very well, praised be Allah!” I answered.

“Has your Excellency any commands for me? You have but to speak; you shall be obeyed.”

“You are very kind,” said I; “but I have need of nothing. I bring you greetings from the Pacha, your father, and this letter, which I promised him to deliver into your own hands.”

Thereupon I handed him the letter, which he laid to his heart and lips before opening. As he found it a little difficult to read, he summoned the schoolmaster, and they read it together in a whisper.

In the mean time coffee was served in little cups, and a very handsome pipe was brought by somebody for my use. After he had read the letter, the boy turned to me with his face a little flushed, and his eyes sparkling, and said, “Will your Excellency permit me to ask whether you have another letter?”

“Yes,” I answered; “but it is not to be delivered here.”

“It is right,” said he. “When will you reach Cairo?”

“That depends on the wind; but I hope in seven days from now.”

The boy again whispered to the schoolmaster, but presently they both nodded, as if satisfied, and nothing more was said on the subject.

Some sherbet (which is nothing but lemonade flavored with rose-water) and pomegranates were then brought to me, and the boy asked whether I would not honor him by remaining during the rest of the day. If I had not seen his face, I should have supposed that I was visiting a man,—so dignified and self-possessed and graceful was the little fellow. The people looked on as if they were quite accustomed to such mature manners in children. I was obliged to use as much ceremony with the child as if he had been the governor of the town. But he interested me, nevertheless, and I felt curious to know the subject of his consultation with the schoolmaster. I was sure they were forming some plan to have the Pacha recalled from exile.

After two or three hours I left, in order to overtake my boat, which was slowly working its way down the Nile. The boy arose, and walked by my side to the end of the town, the other people following behind us. When we came out upon the plain, he took leave of me with the same salutations, and the words, “May God grant your Excellency a prosperous journey!”

“May God grant it!” I responded; and then all the people repeated, “May God grant it!”

The whole interview seemed to me like a scene out of the “Arabian Nights.” To me it was a pretty, picturesque experience, which cannot be forgotten: to the people, no doubt, it was an every-day matter.

When I reached Cairo, I delivered the other letter, and in a fortnight afterwards left Egypt; so that I could not ascertain, at the time, whether anything had been done to forward the Pacha’s hopes. Some months afterwards, however, I read in a European newspaper, quite accidentally, that Rufah Pacha had returned to Egypt from Khartoum. I was delighted with the news; and I shall always believe, and insist upon it, that the Pacha’s wise and dignified little son had a hand in bringing about the fortunate result.

Bayard Taylor.


Well, my dear girls, who read this story, I want now just to ask you, seriously and soberly, which you would rather be, as far as our story has gone on,—little Miss Pussy Willow, or little Miss Emily Proudie.

Emily had, to be sure, twice or three times as much of all the nice things you ever heard of to make a girl happy as little Pussy Willow; she had more money, a larger and more beautiful house, more elegant clothes, more brilliant jewelry,—and yet of what use were these so long as she did not enjoy them?

And why didn’t she enjoy them? My dear little girl, can you ever remember, on a Christmas or Thanksgiving day, eating so much candy, ice-cream, and other matters of that nature, that your mouth had a bitter taste in it, and you loathed the very sight of cake or preserves, or anything sweet? What earthly good did it do, when you felt in that way, for you to be seated at a table glittering with candy pyramids? You could not look at them without disgust.

Now all Emily’s life had been a candy pyramid. Ever since she was a little girl, her eyes had been dazzled, and her hands filled, with every pretty thing that father, mother, aunts, uncles, and grandmothers could get for her, so that she was all her time kept in this state of weariness by having too much. Then everything had always been done for her, so that she had none of the pleasures which the good God meant us to have in the use of our own powers and faculties. Pussy Willow enjoyed a great deal more a doll that she made herself, carving it out of a bit of white wood, painting its face, putting in beads for eyes, and otherwise bringing it into shape, than Emily did the whole army of her dolls, with all their splendid clothes. This was because our Heavenly Father made us so that we should find a pleasure in the exercise of the capacities he has given us.

So when the good fairies which I have told you about, who presided over Pussy’s birth, gave her the gift of being pleased with all she had and with all she did, they knew what they were about, and they gave it to a girl that was going to grow up and take care of herself and others, and not to a girl that was going to grow up to have others always taking care of her.

But now here at sixteen are the two girls; and as they are sitting, this bright June morning, up in the barn-chamber, working and reading, I want you to look at them, and ask, What has Miss Emily gained by her luxurious life of wealth and ease, that Pussy Willow has not acquired in far greater perfection by her habits of self-helpfulness?

When the two girls stand up together, you may see that Pussy Willow is every whit as pretty and as genteel in her appearance as Emily. Because she has been an industrious country girl, and has always done the duty next her, you are not to suppose that she has grown up coarse and blowsy, or that she has rough, red hands, or big feet. Her complexion, it is true, is a healthy one; her skin, instead of being waxy-white, like a dead japonica, has a delicate shade of pink in its whiteness, and her cheeks have the vivid color of the sweet-pea, bright and clear and delicate; and she looks out of her wide clear blue eyes with frankness and courage at everything. She is every whit as much a lady in person and manners and mind as if she had been brought up in wealth and luxury. Then as to education, Miss Emily soon found that in all real solid learning Pussy was far beyond her. A girl that is willing to walk two miles to school, summer and winter, for the sake of acquiring knowledge, is quite apt to study with energy. Pussy had gained her knowledge by using her own powers and faculties, studying, reading, thinking, asking questions. Emily had had her knowledge put into her, just as she had had her clothes made and put on her; she felt small interest in her studies, and the consequence was that she soon forgot them.

But this visit that she made in the country opened a new chapter in Emily’s life. I told you, last month, that she had a new sensation when she was climbing down the ladder from the hay-mow. The sensation was that of using her own powers. She was actually so impressed with the superior energy of her little friend, that she felt as if she wanted to begin to do as she did; and, instead of being lifted like a cotton-bale, she put forth her own powers, and was surprised to find how nicely it felt.

The next day, after she had been driving about with Pussy in the old farm-wagon, and seeing her do all her errands, she said to her: “Do you know that I think that my principal disease hitherto has been laziness? I mean to get over it. I’m going to try and get up a little earlier every morning, and to do a little more every day, till at least I can take care of myself. I have determined that I won’t always lie a dead weight on other people’s hands. Let me go round with you, Pussy, and do every day just some little thing myself. I want to learn how you do everything as you do.”

Of course, this good resolution could not be carried out in a day; but after Emily had been at the farm a month, you might have seen her, between five and six o’clock one beautiful morning, coming back with Pussy from the spring-house, where she had been helping to skim the cream, and a while after she actually sent home, to her mother’s astonishment, some little pats of butter that she had churned herself.

Her mother was amazed, and ran and told Dr. Hardhack. “I wish you would caution her, Doctor; I’m sure she’s over-exerting herself.”

“Never fear, my dear madam; it’s only that there’s more iron getting into her blood,—that’s all. Let her alone, or—tell her to do it more yet!”

“But, Doctor, may not the thing be carried too far?”

“For gentility, you mean? Don’t you remember Marie Antoinette made butter, and Louis was a miller out at Marly? Poor souls! it was all the comfort they got out of their regal life, that sometimes they might be allowed to use their own hands and heads like common mortals.”

Now Emily’s mother didn’t remember all this, for she was not a woman of much reading; but the Doctor was so positive that Emily was in the right way, that she rested in peace. Emily grew happier than ever she had been in her life. She and her young friend were inseparable; they worked together, they read and studied together, they rode out together in the old farm-wagon. “I never felt so strong and well before,” said Emily, “and I feel good for something.”

There was in the neighborhood a poor young girl, who by a fall, years before, had been made a helpless cripple. Her mother was a hard-working woman, and often had to leave her daughter alone while she went out to scrub or wash to get money to support her. Pussy first took Emily to see this girl when she went to carry her some nice things which she had made for her. Emily became very much interested in the poor patient face and the gentle cheerfulness with which she bore her troubles.

“Now,” she said, “every week I will make something and take to poor Susan; it will be a motive for me to learn how to do things,”—and so she did. Sometimes she carried to her a nice little print of yellow butter arranged with fresh green leaves; sometimes it was a little mould of blancmange, and sometimes a jelly. She took to cutting and fitting and altering one of her own wrappers for Susan’s use, and she found a pleasure in these new cares that astonished herself.

“You have no idea,” she said, “how different life looks to me, now that I live a little for somebody besides myself. I had no idea that I could do so many things as I do,—it’s such a surprise and pleasure to me to find that I can. Why have I always been such a fool as to suppose that I was happy in living such a lazy, useless life as I have lived?”

Emily wrote these thoughts to her mother. Now her mother was not in the least used to thinking, and new thoughts made a troublesome buzzing in her brain; so she carried her letters to Dr. Hardhack, and asked what he thought of them.

“Iron in her blood, my dear madam,—iron in her blood! Just what she needs. She’ll come home a strong, bouncing girl, I hope.”

“O, shocking!” cried her mother.

“Yes, bouncing,” said Dr. Hardhack, who had a perverse and contrary desire to shock fine ladies. “Why shouldn’t she bounce? A ball that won’t bounce has no elasticity, and is good for nothing without a bat to bang it about. I shall give you back a live daughter in the fall instead of a half-dead one; and I expect you’ll all scream, and stop your ears, and run under beds with fright because you never saw a live girl before.”

“Isn’t Dr. Hardhack so original?” said mamma to grandmamma.

“But then, you know, he’s all the fashion now,” said grandmamma.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.



I was sitting at the window reading, when Charley Sharpe came in with Round-the-World Joe.

“More useful knowledge, I’ll bet,” said Charley.

“Yes,” said I, “and entertaining as well as instructive,—something nice for Joe about his Eden of islands in the Indian Ocean.”

“Reel us off a turn or two,” said Joe.

“Do what?” said I.

“Read it out.”

“Oh! Why don’t you speak polite English when you’re ashore?” said I.

“Because fokesel lingo slips smoother, and coils snugger,” said Joe; “you can stow more sense in a few fathoms of it,—not so much slack. But bear a hand, Georgey, and pay out your log.”

“ ‘Busragon stretched along—’ ”

“I know where that is,” said Joe; “sou-west side of Mindoro Straits.”

“ ‘Busragon stretched along—’ ”

“Who’s preaching?” said Charley.

“Bayard Taylor,” said I; “now hush! ‘Busragon stretched along, point beyond point, for forty or fifty miles. The land rose with a long, gentle slope from the beaches of white sand, and in the distance stood the vapory peaks of high mountains. The air was deliciously mild and pure, the sea smooth as glass, and the sky as fair as if it had never been darkened by a storm. Except the occasional gambols of the bonitos, or the sparkle of a flying-fish as he leaped into the sun, there was no sign of life on those beautiful waters.’ ”

“That,” said Charley, “is what my Big Brother with the Literary Turn of Mind calls the Genial Style. All Style is either ‘Genial’ or ‘Incisive.’ ‘The Genial Style,’ says my Big Brother with the Literary Turn, ‘may be described as—’ ”

“O, belay that!” said Joe; “you must take a fellow for a Young Man’s Own Letter-Writer, or a Cooper Institute.”

“Well, as this is not a Debating Society,” said I, “Mr. Taylor and I will try it again.”

“ ‘Toward noon the gentle southeast breeze died away, and we lay with motionless sails on the gleaming sea. The sun hung over the mast-head, and poured down a warm tropical languor, which seemed to melt the very marrow in one’s bones. . . . . The night was filled with the glory of the full moon,—a golden radiance, nearly as lustrous, and far more soft and balmy, than the light of day,—a mystic, enamored bridal of sea and sky.’ ”

“Ah-h-h-h!” said Charley.

“That’s so!” said Joe,—both together.

“ ‘The breeze was so gentle as to be felt, and no more; the ship slid as silently through the water as if her keel were muffled in silk; and the sense of repose in motion was so sweet, so grateful to my travel-wearied senses, that I remained on deck until midnight, steeped in a bath of pure, indolent happiness.’ ”

“Now I know,” said Charley, “where all the good travel-writers go to when they die,—where the wicked critics cease from troubling and the weary readers are at rest. But jump into your bath again, Georgey; don’t mind me.”

“ ‘Retreating behind one another, until they grew dim and soft as clouds on the horizon, and girdled by the most tranquil of oceans, these islands were real embodiments of the joyous fancy of the poet Tennyson in his dream of the Indies. Here, although the trader comes, and the flags of the nations of far continents sometimes droop in the motionless air,—here are still “the heavy-blossomed bowers and the heavy-fruited trees,” “the summer isles of Eden in their purple spheres of sea.” ’”

“Oh!” said Charley, “if I only owned an Old Man, and my Old Man only owned a Circumnavigator, I’d leave this weary world, where school forever keeps, and climb one of those heavy-fruited trees—with a basket.”

But Joe said it was not all palms and banyans, heavy-blossomed bowers and heavy-fruited trees, in the Indian Ocean. Not far from the island of Cagayan, in the Sooloo Sea, there is a small, lonely coral bank,—a patch of glaring white sand, without tree, or shrub, or blade of grass, and surrounded by a belt of coral so steep that the Circumnavigator might have rubbed her sides against it, although no bottom could be reached with the hand-leads. The centre of this corpse of an island was stirring with an endless variety of sea-birds, from little naked, gaping, peeping chicks to the full-fledged screaming cocks and hens, that flapped and slapped the air overhead, and so boldly and obstinately disputed the landing of a boat’s crew from the ship that Joe and Barney Binnacle and Toby had to knock them down with sticks by the dozen. On this grim and dismal coral strand, with no requiem but the roar of Old Ocean, and no visitors more gentle than those savage sea-birds, was the solitary grave of a Mussulman, with its turban, the symbol that marks the last resting-place of every follower of the “Prophet,” rudely carved from a block of wood. Joe thinks it would be hard for even the most pious Mohammedan, standing by such a grave in such a place, to “envy the quiet dead,” as his Koran advises, and exclaim, “Would to God I were in thy place!” But for a true Mussulman any grave is better than the bottom of the sea, because, as Washington Irving says, they believe that the souls of the Faithful hover in a state of seraphic tranquillity near their own tombs.

But, of course, such barren banks are very rare and strange in the Indian Ocean,—almost all the islands, with their cones of never-fading green, “draped to the very edge of the waves, except where some retreating cove shows its beach of snow-white sand,” looking, from the sea, like great emeralds set in silver; or the larger ones, with their woody valleys folded between the hills, and opening upon long slopes, “overgrown with the cocoa-palm, the mango, and many a strange and beautiful tree of the tropics; island after island fading from green to violet, and from violet to the dim, pale blue that finally blends with the sky,”—showing like mounds of changing velvet that the giant genii of the sea have piled there to charm the fairies of the air.

Joe says, wherever the Circumnavigator came to anchor in this coral harbor, or off that bamboo village, the people put off from the shore, with great bustle, in their proas and canoes, and were soon alongside with fowls, quails, rice, yams, plantains, sweet pumpkins, and bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, oranges, pine-apples, the “stinking” but delicious dorian, the fragrant and more delicious mango, and the melting and most delicious mangosteen; besides a perfect Barnum’s Museum of curiosities to satisfy the imaginations of the expectant young folks at home,—such as dwarf monkeys, golden paroquets, green pigeons, tufted doves, Java sparrows, and a great variety of curious and beautiful shells. All these were bought, not with dollars, but with glass beads, looking-glasses, gaudy handkerchiefs, pieces of red or blue cotton, bright brass buttons, lucifer matches, and empty bottles.

“At Samarang,” said Joe, “on the north coast of Java, some of the fishermen had bird’s-nests to sell.”

“Do you mean the edible sort?” I inquired.

“The sort,” suggested Charley, “that the Chinese make soup of when the Nanking Fire Department gives a dinner at the Celestial Hotel to the Peking Seventh Regiment?”

“Exactly,” said Joe; “only when you trade for that kind, your buttons must be silver, and your bottles must be full.”

“But, Joe,” said I, “is it really a bird’s-nest? And what is there in it to make soup of?”

“It is the nest of the sea-swallow,” said Joe. “The Java traders call it the lawit, and on the Philippines it is the salangane,—a dark-gray bird, greenish on the back and bluish on the breast, and with a short, strong bill. There are two species; one smaller than a wren, the other double the size of a martin. They are found—both the large and the small—in swarms of countless thousands among the limestone caves of the Philippines, and in deep, sea-swashed, roaring caverns on the coasts of Java and Borneo. Karang Bollong (the ‘Hollow Reefs’), on the south coast of Java, is famous for them.

“From coral rocks and stones on the sea-shore, these birds gather and swallow fish-spawn, glutinous weeds, and jelly-like animals, such as are seen floating on every coast; and this mixture of vegetable and animal matter is digested in their stomachs into a transparent glue, slimy and very adhesive,—such slippery, sticky stuff, as you young land-lubbers find along the shore on stones that are alternately covered and left bare by the tide. The bird has the power of disgorging this glue at pleasure; and when it is ready to build its nest, it begins by expertly plastering with its trowel-like beak the walls of thundering caverns on the coast, and dreadful, sunless dungeons of awful depth, where it has its strange and dismal home. It is employed during two months in the preparation of the nest, which is bowl-shaped, about the size of a common coffee-cup, and composed of waxy-white or transparent shreds, like isinglass, cemented together by that stomach-glue; but from the time the eggs are laid until the young are fledged, it grows continually darker and dirtier. On the rocky walls, millions of these nests adhere together, in regular rows and tiers, without a break. In each nest two eggs are laid, and hatched in about a fortnight; and the chicks are found lying softly on feathers, which have evidently been shed for the purpose from the breasts of the parent-birds.

“The value of the nest to the Javanese, Malays, and Chinese engaged in gathering them depends on its age. The best are those which are newly made, and nearly transparent; those that contain eggs, and are darker and mixed with feathers, are of the medium quality; and those from which the young birds have flown, and which are defiled with food and dirt and streaked with blood, are classed as inferior; some of the nests are of coarser texture, originally, than others. When they are gathered, they are dried in the shade, assorted according to quality, and packed in wooden boxes, holding a picul each,—that is, about one hundred and thirty-three pounds. They are then shipped in the junks,—a fleet of which waits to receive them twice a year,—taken to China, and sold in the principal markets for from $1,250 to $4,500 per picul, according to quality; the very best fetch double their weight in silver, or about forty dollars a pound.

“The caverns in which the nests are gathered are dreadful pits and dungeons,—deep, dark, and dangerous. The caves of Karang Bollong open in the face of a sheer wall of rock five hundred feet to the top; from mouths twenty feet wide and thirty feet high, they expand within the rock until they attain the tremendous dimensions of one hundred and twenty feet in width and four hundred and fifty feet in height; and far, far back in their black recesses the waves of the Indian Ocean furiously dash and roar, as if struggling to break from those cells and tombs of midnight horror back to their dazzling noons and tender moonlight again.”

[“Well!” said Charley Sharpe. “Wishimaynever!”

“What’s the matter?” said I.

“Well! Wishimaynever if he ain’t trying his hand at Fine-Writing! Why, George Eager! I shouldn’t have thought it of you. If that’s what you’ve come to, you’d better resign, and let my Big Brother with the Literary Turn edit us. Joe didn’t say it that way, and the Young Folks will know it.

“O, that’s all right, Charley!” said Joe; “let him show his colors and fire a gun when he runs into Port Hyfalutin. What’s the use of being a Celebrated Author if you don’t spread yourself now and then? Proceed with the pretty talk, Georgy.”]

“The rows and tiers of nests in the caves are found at different depths, from fifty to five hundred feet; and the nest-gatherers, who are trained to their dreadful trade almost from infancy, descend to them by means of ladders of bamboo and reed, or of rope, when the depth is alarming. Down, down, down,—utterly out of sight and almost out of hearing from above, the foolhardy fowler gropes by the light of a torch through the pitchy darkness for his prize,—now clinging desperately to his slender ladder, now feeling with his cunning toes for a foothold on the dripping, slippery ledges, whence a single false step would plunge him into the greedy, fretting surf, or impale him on the spear-like spires of rock. Sometimes he drops his torch! and as it flashes down some devil’s-spout, and hisses in the boiling pot below, he can only crouch and tremble.”

[Joe says he dropped his torch once, in an idol-cave in Burmah; and though it still makes him shiver to think of it, he’ll try to tell the Young Folks the story, when he comes to it in the regular course of his travels.]

“The gatherings take place in April, August, and December; and as each expedition, so romantic in its peril, is an exciting event,—especially to the women whose husbands or lovers are to descend into the caves,—its departure is celebrated with strange ceremonies and stirring sports. A bimbang, or feast, is spread; and there are wayangs, or games in mask. The flesh of buffaloes and goats is distributed among the guests, and a pretty young Javanese girl, dressed in fantastic costume, represents an imaginary patroness, named Nyai Ratu Kidul, ‘the Lady-Queen of the South,’ to whom offerings are made, and her favor and aid invoked. There is an understanding, that, without her approval, the expedition cannot proceed, and that the ‘nesting parties’ must not move until she has given the word. But as the leaders of the expedition are always the judges of the omens, and have the appointment of the season, the Lady-Queen takes her cue from them, and is sure to give the required signal at the right time.”

“And all this trouble, expense, danger, and superstitious tomfoolery,” said Charley, “serves no better purpose than to help a lot of Chinese swells and office-holders to have a curiosity for dinner. Did you ever taste bird’s-nest soup, Joe?”

“Yes,” said Joe.

“What did it taste like?”

“An editor’s paste-pot, warmed up.”

“Trepang,” said I,—“that’s another queer thing that the Chinese make soup of. What’s Trepang, Joe?”

“Trepang?” said Joe,—“tre-pang? O, that’s the sea-cucumber: bêche de mer, the Frenchmen call it,—the sea-spade.”

“Do you mean a real cucumber, that grows in the sea?”

“O, no! It’s an animal,—rather more so than the sponge, for it gives signs of sensation.”

“Then why do you call it a cucumber?”

“Because, although there are several species, they generally resemble a cucumber in form. They are very curious creatures,—usually about eight or nine inches long, and one inch thick; but sometimes they are found two feet long and eight inches round the middle. In the water the sea-cucumber displays its full length; but if you touch it, it suddenly contracts and thickens, like a leech, so as to completely alter its shape and appearance. But, long or short, thick or thin, it is always an ugly dirty-brown thing,—hard, stiff, and with scarcely a sign of animal life; though at one end of its body it has a mouth with shelly teeth, set in a circle, and surrounded by many feathered tentacles, or feelers.”

Charley said he had read about it in Gosse’s “Ocean.”

“The sea-cucumber is found in shallow waters, on coral reefs, or in those lovely, calm lagoons, that shine like looking-glasses just inside the breakers,—sometimes exposed on the bare rocks, sometimes half buried in the coral-sand, its tentacles floating on the surface of the water. The natives often capture the larger kinds by spearing them on the rocks; but the usual mode of taking them is by diving, where the water is four or five fathoms deep, and gathering them by hand, as the pearl-oyster is taken. A good diver will bring up a dozen at a time.

“To prepare them for market, they are split down one side, boiled, and pressed flat with stones; then, stretched on bamboo slips, they are dried in the sun, and afterwards smoked; and so they are shipped aboard junks, and sent to China, to tickle the whimsical palates of dainty prefects and epicurean mandarins. And you may imagine how fond of trepang soup those luxurious fellows are, when I tell you, that although the finest sea-cucumbers sell in Fuhchow and Nanchang for about a dollar and a half a pound, fleets of from sixty to a hundred proas, carrying from fifteen hundred to two thousand men, leave Macassar in company to gather them.”

Joe says that of all the curious and beautiful forms of animal life that float or sail or row on the surface of the Indian Ocean, covering the sea for miles in all directions, the most curious and beautiful are the Violet Janthine, the Portuguese Man-of-War, the Sallee-man, and the Glass-Shells.

The Janthine is a snail with a shell which in form and size resembles the little house that the common garden snail carries on its back; but its color is pearly-white above, and violet beneath. It is provided with a curious oblong “float,” about an inch in length, composed of a delicate white membrane, inflated, and puckered on the surface into small bladders or bubbles; and supported by this the Janthine floats on the convex side of its shell. Three or four drops of a blue liquid are always found in its body; and some naturalists have imagined that the use of this is to conceal the pretty little creature, when danger threatens it, by imparting to the water around it a color like its own. But this can hardly be so, since the whole quantity found in even the largest Janthine is barely enough to stain half a pint of water. In the spawning season, the eggs of this sea-snail are hung by pearly threads under the float; yet these tiny bladders are found in great numbers, separate from the mother, but with the eggs attached; so the Janthine must have the power of casting off its float, and forming a new one,—leaving its eggs, and probably its young also, to be warmed and cradled on the billows, in the heat and light of the sun.

Then there are those exquisitely lovely and fragile “Glass-Shells,”—little living row-boats, the bustling shallops of invisible sea-fairies, like the mussel-shell the poet Drake describes in his charming story of “The Culprit Fay”:—

“She was as lovely a pleasure-boat

   As ever fairy had paddled in;

 For she glowed with purple paint without,

   And shone with silvery pearl within.

 A sculler’s notch on the stern he made;

 An oar he shaped of the bootle-blade;

 Then sprung to his seat with a lightsome leap,

 And launched afar on the calm blue deep.”

The two prettiest of these are the Hyalea and the Cleodora. Both have glassy, colorless shells, extremely delicate and brittle, with a pair of fins, or wings, which the elfin within uses as oars. In the dark the Cleodora is vividly luminous; its tiny glass lantern shining and bobbing on the top of a wave, like a fairy floating beacon for the Portuguese Men-of-War, and the Sallee-men, and its own consorts in the Glass-Shell fleet, to steer by.

“Ah!” said Charley, “that’s what I want to know about,—the Portuguese Man-of-War. I read of it in all my ‘Voyages’ and ‘Adventures,’ but I never yet did clearly know whether it was a boat or a bug.”

“Like the Glass-Shell,” said Joe, “it is a living boat, only it carries sail instead of oars; and the Sallee-man is like it. Its build is very simple,—merely a bag of semi-transparent membrane, round at one end and sharp at the other,—that is the hull. Along one side of this bag it carries a puckered membrane, which it can spread wide, or take in,—that is the sail. From the other side hangs a thick fringe of blue tentacles, among which are a few that are crimson or purple, and very long, and with these tentacles it can sting severely any living thing that comes within its reach; small fishes, benumbed and helpless, are often found attached to it.”

Joe says a fleet of these Portuguese Men-of-War, some thousands of them together, as he has many a time seen them in the tropics, with their blue hulls, and pink-edged sails, all on a pygmy scale, bearing down before a tender, playful breeze on the long lazy-swelling slopes of sea, is just the prettiest and most engaging sight on all the world of waters. And of all the marvellous displays of God’s power that those behold who go down to the deep in ships, there is nothing so wondrous and so sweet as that tender Providence which keeps His little Men-of-War afloat and tight in seas where man’s big men-of-war go down like stones.

Joe says that, on a clear moonless night, when the Circumnavigator has been dancing over the water gayly, he has seen the Indian Ocean all ablaze, ahead and astern, to windward and to leeward, with countless billions of luminous microscopical creatures, the makings without end of Him who made Leviathan and Mastodon, and cares for all alike,—lines of light, belts of light, globes of light, flakes of light, spangles and sparks of light, churned and curdled milky-ways of light, mists and clouds of light, whirls and eddies of light, spouts and waterfalls of light, flashes and steady glows of light, meteors and auroras of light, ripples and billows and long swells of light, fountains and wheels and whirligigs of light, tapers and calcium-lights of light, glow-worms and planets of light, lamps and laboratories of light, sweet smiles and fierce troubles of light, light white and sharp, light yellow and dull, light blue and vivid, light red and dead. For God has sown the sea thick with luminous life,—the darting Cyclop, the whirling Medusa, the sparkling Entomostraca, the globular Noctiluca,* the glowing Cephalus (the sun-fish), the ghostly Heterotis, the ghastly Squalus fulgens. And to all these He has said, Let there be Light! And there is Light, compared with which the Pope’s illumination of St. Peter’s at Easter is a mere lucifer-match.

George Eager.

A picture of the Noctiluca, greatly magnified, follows this article.


Next to the fishes and amphibious quadrupeds as swimmers come the aquatic or water birds. In some respects the latter beat the best of the amphibious quadrupeds. They can swim faster, though they cannot as divers stay under water as long as the otter, the beaver, the hippopotamus, and the alligator. The quadrupeds that are not amphibious are all inferior to the aquatic birds as swimmers. In the water they are almost wholly immersed, and if they can keep their heads up, it is about all they can do. On the other hand, the floatage of the birds is great. They swim on, rather than in, the water, and skim over its surface at a rapid rate. Their feathers serve to buoy them up in some measure, and the hollow structure of their bones is another aid. But the principal thing is the make of the bird. The next time you have duck for dinner (and a most savory thing roast duck is), observe the shape of the breast. It is nearly flat, and beautifully moulded, not sharp, and deeply let down, as the breasts of turkeys and barn-door fowls are.

The duck is not a favorite of the poets. I only know of one who alludes to it; and he, in describing the graceful measure of a fat young lady in a dance, says that she circled about “like a duck round a daisy.” But I know of nothing more easy and graceful than a duck on a fine sheet of water. It has passed into a proverb with the sailors, who say of a good ship in heavy weather, “She rides like a duck in a cove.”

Very few, if any, of you young folks have seen the albatross, the largest of the great sea-birds. Off Cape Horn, and, indeed, all round the world in those southern latitudes, these noble birds are seen in immense numbers. They do not swim much, for their power on the wing is immense; but they must mostly sleep on the water, as they are found hundreds of miles from any known land. Besides, they are not making a passage towards the land, but circling and sweeping about “day after day, for food or play.” And that reminds me that, in Coleridge’s poem of “The Ancient Mariner,” there is a mistake about the albatross. In speaking of the one he afterwards killed, the Mariner says,—

“In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

  It perched for vespers nine;

Whiles all the night, through fog smoke-white,

  Glimmered the white moonshine.”

No albatross would perch on mast or shroud. It is not a perching bird, but rests and sleeps upon the heaving waves. It is very broadly web-footed, and so made that it cannot rise and fly off from a flat, solid surface. Even in getting on the wing from the water, it paddles with its feet in the water, while giving quick strokes with its wings, for a considerable distance. But once fairly afloat between sea and sky, nothing can exceed the power and grandeur of its flight. We caught many of them during a passage to New South Wales. Some measured sixteen feet from tip to tip of wing, when extended. Our method was to rig a long line with a flat piece of pine board to float it out astern; and on this board there was a piece of fat pork on a good, stout fish-hook. This, being paid away astern, soon attracted the notice of an albatross, which would hover, take the bait, and settle on the water. When hooked, it was drawn up to the stern, hand over hand, and then lifted on board. I brought home the skull and bill of a very fine one. We tried the flesh of the albatross, but it was not as good eating as cutlets of shark. The latter is almost as good as some halibut.

The albatross carries hardly any flesh, except on the thighs; and this part seems to be nearly all sinew, and almost as hard as brass. No other bird that I know of goes so far out to sea for sport, except it be the stormy petrel. So you see that the albatross, which is the largest of the sea-birds, and the stormy petrel, which is the smallest, roam farthest over the ocean.

Before we quit this salt-water gossip, I must make another remark about sharks. Since I wrote in regard to them, and to men swimming in their haunts, the following report has come to my notice from Cork:—

“Captain Mitchell, of the American ship Josephine, just arrived in harbor, reports the fearful death of two of his crew, by being devoured by sharks while the vessel was lying at Rumados. He had been on shore, on the 26th of June, with two of his crew, purchasing some stores. Having transacted his business, Captain Mitchell took his boat, and, a fair wind blowing, he rigged sail. Having accomplished half the journey, accompanied by two seamen, a squall struck the boat; and it was so severe that she was completely turned over, and sunk. Two barrels which had been in the boat were floating about, and Captain Mitchell directed his men to hold on by them till assistance came, while he himself seized the mast, about a foot of which projected above the water. The captain believes the men did as he told them, but in a few minutes after he heard their cries. On looking round, he found they had disappeared from the surface of the water, and in a minute he saw the water about where the men were become red, which left no doubt they had been eaten by sharks. The captain then prepared for the worst; and at the time he gave up all chance of escape, as the waters in this place are actually infested with sharks. He lashed himself to the mast of the boat, and for thirteen hours remained in a state of fearful suspense. The accident to the boat occurred at four in the afternoon, and about two on the morning of the 27th, he found that his fears during the preceding ten hours were well grounded; for when the day began to dawn, Captain Mitchell’s alarm may be imagined when he saw two immense sharks swimming about him, at an oar’s length, evidently watching an opportunity to plunge at him. With these two monsters of the deep watching over his person, Captain Mitchell remained in this perilous position for three hours longer. The captain, from mingled fear and exhaustion, was getting insensible, when, fortunately, about five o’clock, a lighter which was passing came to his assistance. The approach of the lighter frightened off the sharks, and Captain Mitchell was rescued from his awful position in a half-insensible state. He accounts for his preservation by the fact that a small portion of the sail was above the water, and the wind kept it continually waving and splashing the water, which, he says, kept the sharks from coming nearer to him than they did.”

Now, at first sight, it might seem to you that this contradicts what I have advanced; but, if it is looked into, it will be found that it supports it. The Spaniard said, and I stated, that if a man was hanging to a boat or a spar he would be in great danger, and that, if a swimmer got frightened and lost action, the sharks would take him. In this case, the men were hanging to barrels. The two large sharks did not touch the captain in all that long night of thirteen hours, because of the flapping of the sail in the water. It appears by this that the Spaniard was quite right.

One thing to be remembered by young folks who go to swim is to keep out of a stream, current, or tideway. If you bathe in the sea or tidal waters, choose the slack of the flood tide, which is when the water has attained its highest point, and has not yet begun to run ebb. If you bathe in a river, choose a still pool. I think as many are lost by getting into strong tides and currents as by being seized with cramp. When a swimmer is drowned, it is always set down to cramp; but I and several companions came very near going under once, and none of us had a bit of cramp in any shape. The way of it was this.

On a fine Sunday morning, in the lower part of the splendid harbor of Rio Janeiro, in Brazil, a lot of us stripped, and went overboard for a swim. We headed for the sea, and went gayly on, swimming swiftly and easily, and never considering nor knowing that there was a strong current running that way. I think we were half a mile from the ship when we went about, and then we soon found that we should never reach her by swimming against that current. There was but one thing for it,—to swim to some other vessel with the current. So we went about again, and put for a Yankee brig that was nearly ready for sea, and lay below. We reached her, but could not go on board because they were holding divine service, and all the Protestant ladies belonging to the American and British vessels in the harbor were under the awnings on her flush deck. So we just hung on to the chain-cables, and kept up a jolly splashing of the water to keep the sharks away. After some time, we attracted the attention of one of her men, and he brought us a boat from under the stern. In this we pulled off to our own ship.

A swimmer, suddenly turning against tide or current, and finding himself almost unable to stem it, is liable to be seized with a panic, and drown from fright.

I live at Astoria, and go down to New York every morning, and up in the afternoon or evening, on a steamboat. We generally take the east channel, between Blackwell’s Island and Long Island. On the former there are some hundreds of prisoners, of course on the lookout for chances to escape. The tide runs very strong here to and from Long Island Sound and Hell Gate. Nevertheless, the convicts often swim across to the Long Island shore at Ravenswood; but then they either take the venture at the slack of the flood, high water, or at the slack of the ebb, low water. I once, however, saw a strong, bold swimmer go nearly across when the tide was running strong ebb. We discovered him soon after he left Blackwell’s Island, and watched him from the upper deck as he battled manfully with the rushing tide. When he got into the centre of it, where it ran strongest, it seemed that he must go under; but he gallantly held his own. Then, nearing the Long Island shore, he was sorely tried and baffled by an eddy. And when he got through that, and was about to mount the sea-wall, he had been discovered by the keeper, and a boat had pushed off to recapture him. He could not escape, for it was broad daylight, and he was utterly exhausted by the swim across. He almost deserved his liberty for such an effort.

Another thing for you to remember is this,—you can float easier and higher in salt water than you can in fresh, but you cannot swim faster or farther. The greater density of the salt water enables you to float in it with a buoyancy that is lacking in fresh water, but in swimming the greater density is an obstacle. Don’t you know that, when your father makes a brine to pickle the pork, he keeps on putting salt to the water until an egg will float? That simple test will convince you that the heaviest ship in the world, the Great Eastern, must displace more fresh water, and sink deeper, if she could get into it, than she does in salt water. Now, where the convicts swim across from Blackwell’s Island it is salt water,—the water of the ocean. It is called the East River, but improperly so. It is no river at all, but a strait between New York Bay and Long Island Sound.

Swimming in clothes is very difficult. I never tried it but once, and was then near coming to grief. It was when we lay in quarantine at Sydney, New South Wales, having had typhus-fever among the emigrants from the time we crossed the line. It was blowing a fresh breeze; there was some current, and a short, chopping sea. My cap blew overboard, and, without thought, I jumped over after it. I did well enough until I reached it, and then, turning about, I found that I made no headway with it in my hand. Therefore I took it in my teeth; but the sag of it, and the flannel shirt and trousers I had on, lowered my head so that the curl of every wave hit me in the face. I persevered for some time, and the second mate, seeing that I could not make progress, had a boat lowered, and I was picked up. The bathing-suits that are sold in the stores may do to bathe in, but they would not do to swim in. In the bathing that goes on at the fashionable watering-places, there is no such thing as swimming. You would no more learn to swim at Long Branch than you would learn to fly. As there is an undertow,—which is the undercurrent carrying out at the bottom the water rolled up by each billow,—an anchor is laid out in the surf, and from this a hawser leads to a stake driven in the beach. The bathers simply hold on to this hawser. Those farthest out towards the anchor are about up to their armpits; and many are not up to their knees in the water, except when a good big billow comes in with a sweep, and makes one exclaim,

“Roll o’er them, Ocean, in thy boisterous play!”

To enjoy a good swim at such places, it is necessary to go outside of the surf on the line of the coast, and then, stripping in the boat, go over and sound down, head first and eyes open, as a sperm-whale does.

In entering the water, it is best to pick out a deep place, and go in head first, with a good forward dive. Of course, you will have learned to swim before you plunge off a pier, a dock, or a bluff into tide-water, or the current of a river. You will not go very deep in your dive, for in practice it will be found harder to get down than it is to come up.

When the place chosen to jump from is a great height, and the water deep, you may go down feet first, with the arms folded across the breast, ready to be thrown out as you go down through the water. I have often jumped from the fore yard-arm in this way. The legs must be kept close together, and the body held stiff and straight. You should go down like a deep-sea lead, upright and rigid. A little swimming once a day is quite enough. In our climate, bathing lowers the vitality, and it is thought by those who have studied the matter, that much bathing in cold water will induce consumption. Here, again, the warm salt water of the sea on the coast, or in the estuaries and mouths of rivers at flood-tide, is greatly to be preferred to fresh water. Salt water never gives cold. The sea air is a specific remedy for a chronic cough. But then this does not mean the seacoast air, but the briny atmosphere which is found off soundings and far from the land. If salt water and sea fogs gave colds such as fresh water and land fogs do, sailors could hardly exist in some latitudes. The fishermen off Newfoundland, for example, are always in a fog, and nearly always wet; so are those of the British islands. Yet among ten thousand of them, a man will hardly be found with a cold or a cough while at sea.

I said at the outset that the old-fashioned method of action, like that of the frog, is the best. I am convinced that it is so. I have looked over a treatise on the upright or Italian method, invented by Bernardi, and cannot see that there is any use for it. The report of a commission, at Naples, on this subject, says:—

First. “It has been established by the experience of more than a hundred persons of different bodily constitutions, that the human body is lighter than water, and consequently will float by nature; but that the art of swimming must be acquired to render that privilege useful.”

Secondly. “That Bernardi’s system is new, in so far as it is founded on the principle of husbanding the strength, and rendering the power of recruiting it easy. The speed, according to the new method, is no doubt diminished; but security is much more important than speed; and the new plan is not exclusive of the old where occasions require great effort.”

Thirdly. “That the new method is sooner learnt than the old, to the extent of advancing a pupil in one day as far as a month’s instruction on the old plan.”

We have here an old but rather useless fact,—that the human body is lighter than water. Nobody will learn to swim any sooner by knowing that from the experience of more than a hundred persons, because it is in the experience of millions that the human body, notwithstanding its lightness, always sinks and drowns in deep water, unless it has been taught to swim. Then, again, it is confessed that the speed is much diminished; but the claim is that a man can swim longer upright than he can on his breast and belly. Now, by swimming slowly, a man can swim a long time by the old method, provided the water is warm. Indeed, he can swim in that way a vast deal longer than it is proper for him to do. In regard to the last assertion, that a day at the new method will advance the pupil more than a month at the old, I can meet it with a positive denial. A boy or a man can be taught to be a good swimmer in a great deal less than a month by the old method. The Indians and all the savage races swim in the old method. The pappooses are taught to swim when four years old, and in about three lessons they can do it.

Charles J. Foster.

“Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.”

“We reached the barn with merry din
and roused the prisoned brutes within.”

“The wise old Doctor went his round.”

Drawings by Harry Fenn, from the New Illustrated Edition of Snow-Bound

by John G. Whittier.



Hugh was now to reap as he had sown. The noble spirit he had manifested in taking care of the wounded savages brought its own reward. He improved his old fields, and cleared new, while others, confined to the fort for fear of the Indians, let their fields grow up to bushes, and cut scarcely any hay. The gratitude of the Indians had spared his cattle; so he could work his land and haul masts. As England held the empire of the sea, the lumber ships were convoyed, or guarded, by men-of-war, and therefore he continued to lumber and gather stock.

At this period, James and Joseph, sons of Bryce McLellan of Portland, both fell in love with Abigail; but she preferred Joseph. James was a cooper, very plain, but very pious. Joseph was a shipmaster, younger, handsome-built, red-cheeked, of exuberant spirits, as full of mischief and practical jokes as an egg is of meat, but free from vice, enterprising, and, as his after-life proved, knowing how to acquire property. It must be confessed that appearances were against Joseph.

Elizabeth considered it to be her duty to select husbands for her daughters. In so doing, she cared not a rush for the wealth of the candidate, but was rather influenced by moral character, and the possession of ability to earn a living. To use her own definition, “he was the most of a man that had the property in himself.” Elizabeth knew what James was,—a God-fearing young man, who had a good trade, and would get a good living, and that was enough. As for Joseph, he might be very well,—she hoped he was,—no doubt he was so; but he was a sailor,—sailors had great temptations,—they were rolling stones, and didn't gather much. A woman who married a sailor had an anxious life.

Joseph and Abigail went blueberrying; he broke a gold ring in two, gave half to Abigail, and she hid it in her bosom. The next day he went to sea. Elizabeth sent for James to come up. When he came, she asked her daughter how she liked the man she had chosen for her husband.

“I don’t like him at all, mother,” said Abigail, “he’s old and he’s ugly. I won’t have him.”

“Tell me you won’t have the man I have selected for you? Which knows best ? You shall have him,” and she boxed her ears.

Joseph came home, found Abigail married, and reproached Elizabeth in no measured terms. He then said, “I’ll have Mary; she is younger, and she is handsomer.”

“You cannot have Mary,” was the reply; “I have destined her for another man.”

“I will have her,” said Joseph; then, turning to Mary, he asked her on the spot if she would have him, to which she replied in the affirmative.

Grannie Warren always told me (in confidence), when I sat at her knees in the chimney-corner, that Mary, our own grannie, was a true “chip of the old block”; and that her mother, not caring to push matters to extremities with her, made no farther opposition.

Abigail had been married in August; and Joseph, determined to make sure work of it this time, was married in September of the same year, 1756. Thus, amid the perils of the Indian war, Hugh and Elizabeth were marrying off their children, and getting property. Hugh even bought such lands as went for a very low price, because of the danger of occupation.

And now had come the 26th of September, 1759. Hugh and his family had just risen, when the quick gallop of a horse driven at full speed was heard; and the next moment the latch was violently pulled up, and in burst Captain Thinney. The Captain’s manners were in general very grave and dignified, and he stood much upon ceremony; but on this morning his cocked hat was all awry, his face red with excitement, and his eyes were sparkling.

Catching off his hat, he waved it over the heads of the family, shouting at the top of his voice, “Quebec is captured! Montcalm killed! The French whipped into shoe-strings! Canada is ours. Bless the Lord! No more Indian wars. Pull down the garrisons, work your farms, go logging, do what you like! God bless his Majesty, King of Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland,—yes, and Canada! Hurrah!!!”

Out of breath, he sank into a chair, but with a look of inexpressible happiness. The cheer was instantly taken up, and repeated by the whole circle, from Hugh to Martha, the four-year-old.

“Stop and breakfast with us, Captain,” said Hugh, after he had heard the news.

“No, I thank you; I am too glad to eat.”

“Well, then, let us drink the King’s health.”

“With all my heart.”

It is utterly impossible for us to conceive the extravagant joy which pervaded New England when Canada was conquered. Those who for fourteen years had never labored in their fields, nor sat in the house of God without the musket beside them, nor ever gone to rest without feeling that they were liable to be waked by the war-whoop, could now rest and pursue their labors undisturbed. Old enmities were forgotten, and men hugged each other in the street for joy. In a few moments, the guns of the forts, and of the garrisons all around, and the batteries at Portland, together with the heavier broadsides of the men-of-war in the harbor, were heard celebrating the joyful event.

“It never rains but it pours.” The family were still sitting at the table, being delayed with listening to the good news. Indeed, Hugh was so transported with the tidings, that, for the first time in his life, he didn’t care whether he worked or not, when Jane, who was playing before the door, came in crying: “O mother! Uncle Joseph, Uncle James, and Aunt Mary are coming, with a man riding before them what’s got woman’s clothes on, and the funniest cap with two black feathers on it. He’s got something under his arm that looks like Uncle Bryce’s bellows, with four things sticking over his shoulder; and, mother! he’s putting the littlest one in his mouth.”

The parents had given attention only to the first portion of Jane’s news, as they instantly were engaged in consulting how worthily to entertain their unexpected guests.

“I’ve enough for breakfast,” said Elizabeth.

“I will kill a lamb before dinner; and there are chickens and eggs,” said Hugh.

Their deliberations were brought to a close by a shrill sound, that with its mighty volume seemed to fill the whole atmosphere.

“It sounds like the buzzing of a thousand swarms of bees,” said William.

“There comes the Bumblebee,” said Carey, as the strange noise took a deeper tone.

“It’s the drone of a bagpipe,” cried Hugh, the moment his ear caught the tone, “and it’s playing ‘Johnnie Cope.’ O wife,” said he, having by this time reached the door, “it’s our own bluid cousin, Archie Campbell, frae Argyle, wi’ the pipes, and the kilt, a braw bonnet and plaid, our ain clan colors; and he’s blowing away for dear life, God bless him!”

The whole family now rushed bareheaded from the house, and gathered around the guests.

“O Archie!” cried Elizabeth, flinging her arms around his neck the instant his foot was out of the stirrup, and kissing him on both cheeks again and again,—“that I should see my ain kindred, clean frae the braes of Loch Awe, at my ain door.” Overcome by her feelings, she lifted up her voice and wept for joy.

No sooner was he released from the grasp of Elizabeth, than Hugh, taking both his hands in his own, said, in a voice that trembled with emotion: “It’s a sight for sair e’en to look on your face, my auld companion; mony’s the day we have played together, both in Scotland and in Ireland, when we went back and forth to each other’s homes,—and how we used to lang for the times to come! But come into the house, all of ye.”

“I ken’d ye had not forgotten the auld music o’ your native land, and that ‘Johnnie Cope’ wad bring ye out like a swarm of bees,” said Archie. “What a swarm there is of ye, lads and lasses! sae strang and hale, looking not a feckless loon among them, and yourselves looking sae hearty and young. If, as James has been telling me, ye hae seen hard times, it has thriven well with ye. Aweel, ye hae now a house of your own, and can plough your ain land, which ye could never have done at hame.”

“But what brought ye here, Archie? You have not told us that.”

“I came over with Frazer’s Highlanders,—but belonged to the 58th,—to take Quebec; the transport our company was in was dismasted, and we put into Portland for repairs, and there we heard that the job was done. I got liberty till to-morrow noon, and I stumbled upon James in the street, and he brought me out here.”

If ever there was heartfelt satisfaction upon earth, it was to be found that day in that log-house. They had an early supper, and the great fireplace was filled with wood to make the room look cheerful.

“Now, Archie,” said Elizabeth, “we hae talked ower auld times, and asked, and ye hae answered, all the questions about the folks at home that we could think of, though I doubt not we shall think of as many mair when ye are gone. Now get your pipes, and let us have some of the auld songs.”

“Weel,” replied Archie, “I will begin wi’ ‘Johnnie Cope,’ ” and he instantly struck up the familiar tune, the words of which were these:—

“It was upon an afternoon,

 Sir John marched into Boston town,

 He says, ‘My lads, come lean you down,

 And we’ll fight the boys in the morning.’

 Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wauking yet?

 Or are ye sleeping, I would wit?

 O, haste ye, get up, for the drums do beat;

 O, fye, Cope, rise in the morning.


“But when he saw the Highland lads,

 Wi’ tartan trews, and white cockades,

 Wi’ swords and guns, and rungs and gauds,

 O, Johnnie took wings in the morning.

 Hey, Johnnie Cope, etc.”

This was succeeded by the “Battle of Killicrankie,” and many others. It is impossible to describe the effect produced upon the minds of his audience by this stormy music, which was connected in their associations with all that the heart holds dear on this side of the grave. The voice of tempests, the roar of a thousand torrents, the memories of many a green valley, and deep, clear lake sleeping among the hills, were recalled by its stirring notes.

As the songs went on, they rose from their seats, clasped each other’s hands, and with bending forms kept time to the music; but when Archie played the “Gathering of the Clans,” and the very rafters rang to these sounds, that had so often marshalled their kindred to victory or death, and wailed “savage and shrill” over so many bloody fields, their eyes filled with tears, and they wept and laughed by turns.

“Good old David danced before the ark,” said Elizabeth; “I don’t believe he was more rejoiced at the bringing in of the ark than I am at the outgoing of this weary war. Gie us a bonny spring, Archie; and I’ll see if these waeful years have taken all the youth out of me.” She sprang upon the floor, and, being joined by Hugh, Joseph, and James, they did their best to execute a Highland fling. “There are not enough of us,” said she. “If there were just eight of us Highland folk, wouldn’t we do it now?”

“Is it not a strange thing,” said Archie, stopping to take breath, “that we Presbyterians of the auld Kirk, whose fathers fought against the Stewarts, and took the Solemn League and Covenant, should be so stirred up by their auld Papistical sangs?”

“They are our ain country sangs, for a’ that they have been the scout of the heathen,” said Hugh. “A Highlander’s heart will leap to the pipes till it is cold in the grave.”

“Did you hear what took place at Quebec?”


“The auld fule of a general would not let the pipes play, and the Highlanders broke, and retreated in confusion. The Highland officer told the general he did vera wrang to take the pipes from the Highlanders, that these put life into them, and that even then they wad be of use. The general said, ‘Let them blow, in God’s name, then!’ The pipers sounded the charge, and the Highlanders, flinging off their plaids, rushed upon the French with their claymores, and drove them before them like sheep.”

“Now,” said Elizabeth, “that we have had our nonsense and our songs of bluidshed, let us have something better. Archie, I know that ye can sing as well as play; sing us ‘The Battle of the Boyne Water,’—it’s good enough to sing in kirk.”

Archie accordingly sang the auld song, which, although possessed of no poetical merit, was set to a good old tune, and commemorates a most important event, and the singing of which to-day in most parts of Ireland would expose the singer to a broken head:—

“July the first, in Oldbridge Town,

 There was a famous battle,

 Where many men lay on the ground,

 And cannons loud did rattle.

 King William said, ‘I don’t deserve

 The name of Faith’s Defender,

 If I don’t venture life and limb

 To make a foe surrender.’

 A bullet from the Irish came,

 It grazed King William’s arm;

 We thought his Majesty was slain,

 But it did him little harm.


“ ‘Brave boys,’ he said, ‘be not dismayed,

 For the loss of one commander;

 For God will be our king this day,

 And I’ll be general under.’

 Here let us all with heart and hand

   Unite forever after,

 And bless the glorious memory

 Of King William who crossed the water.”

Hugh was now able to take advantage of the changed condition of the times, and his progress was very rapid. He had a great number of masts on his own lands, and he bought all the land he could get. His great passion was for land; and he acted up to the spirit of Elizabeth’s maxim, “We’ll risk our scalps for land.” They had a fashion of keeping all their property together, and working together, which gave them a great advantage, as it furnished them with capital, and enabled them to undertake larger jobs. “A good many littles make a mickle,” said Hugh to his children and relatives, who, with his brother James and his sons-in-law, made quite a numerous company. “We will put it all in one pot, and boil it together, and then we shall have a pot full.”

Joseph carried lumber to the West Indies, and they built his vessel, and loaded her from their own forests. They bought timber lands, and small streams that they could dam with little expense, sawed out their own timber, hauled it with their own teams, and raised their own hay and cattle. Whenever any one married into the family, they all set to work to help him. In short, it was a Highland clan transplanted to the forests of Maine.

“It’s time our William was married,” said Elizabeth. “He has taken care of everybody else,—he ought to have some happiness himself.” She was not one who permitted her resolutions to evaporate in words. She instantly discovered that they had so much spinning to do, that she could not get along without a girl; where she should find a good one, the Lord only knew. At eight of the clock the next morning, she was in the saddle with a pillion behind it.

It would seem as if the Lord must have helped Elizabeth; for at four o’clock in the afternoon she came home, bringing with her a bouncing, cornfed girl, whom she introduced to the family as Miss Rebecca Huston. She said it was an excellent family, the Hustons,—good blood, none better,—and they were workers; that she had never worked out,—wouldn’t now, only to accommodate a neighbor.

In short, things worked to a charm. William and Rebecca milked together, and in due time they were married, on June 10, 1765. William bought a piece of land one mile south of Gorham Corner,—where were the old cellar and orchard to which reference was made in the first chapter. He added to this by subsequent purchase, till his homestead comprised seven hundred acres covered with a heavy growth of fine timber, and with a stream now called Week’s Brook flowing through a portion of it.

It was an occasion of mingled feelings with his parents, when William was married. It was hard parting with him as a member of the household. He was born in the old country, and was a link between them and the home and friends of their youth. His grandparents had seen him, and held him in their arms. In stature and shape he strongly resembled Hugh’s father; and, as his parents looked upon him, it often brought the tears of old memories to their eyes. He had also borne the brunt of the battle with them, shoulder to shoulder, during the bitter years of poverty and the deadly perils of the Indian war. Then, too, he had been most trustworthy, even from boyhood,—if it could be said that he ever had any boyhood; he had settled all the disputes of the younger children, and kept all around him in good-humor.

There was at that time no road from Gorham to Scarborough. William, his father, and his brothers, went into the dense forest, cleared a square of three acres, hauled out what timber they wanted for building, and burned the rest and planted the ground with corn. In the midst of this he put up his house and barn, September 15, 1763. As soon as one room was finished, he moved in. So thick was the forest at that time, and so completely was he buried in the woods, that he unyoked his oxen, and drove them in loose through the trees, rolled in the wheels of his cart, and carried the tongue and axletree on his shoulder.

He began housekeeping with himself and wife and four joiners, probably the smallest family he ever had, although without children of his own. He always liked to have many at the table and many at the fireside; and the last thing before he went to bed, it was his custom to go out and look around to see if there was any benighted traveller in sight.

The year after his house was built, a road was cleared directly by it to Scarborough, and people began to haul lumber. He then placed a seat between two trees that stood beside the road for wayfarers and the teamsters, who always stopped to water their cattle at the hill, to rest upon. If half a dozen came along at dinner-time, they were always asked to eat. His wife was just like him in this respect; if he liked to provide, she liked just as well to cook. She was as droll and keen of wit as her husband, and it was impossible to spend an evening there without many a hearty laugh.

The first meal they sat down to in their new house was supper. William provided abundantly, and charged his wife to fill both ovens.

“Why, William,” replied she, “there are but six of us, and here is enough for twenty.”

“Well, so there ought to be; this is the first meal in our new house, the first meal’s victuals you ever cooked as my wife. Mother says you must have lashings the first meal, for just as sure as you have a little ‘scrimped-up’ mess, you will have it so all your life; but if you begin with enough, you will always have enough, and she knows. Perhaps, too, somebody may come in before we get through.”

“I am sure I don’t know where they should come from, except we invite in the crows,—we are not so near to neighbors; but if a dozen should come, there is enough.”

They had scarcely begun to eat, when there was a knock at the door. “Come in!” shouted William. A singular-looking man made his appearance, in the remnants of a tattered uniform, who, after making a military salute, exclaimed, “God save all here!”

“Good day, friend; God’s blessing hurts no man,” said William. “Sit ye down, and eat with us,” kicking a chair to the table with his foot, while Rebecca laid a plate. “Now, friend,” said William, waving his hand over the table, “there are the victuals, and there” (pointing to the knife and fork) “are the tools; fall to and show yourself a ‘workman that needeth not to be ashamed.’ It is just as free as water.”

The meal being over, they drew together around the fire. Uncle Billy—as we shall now call him, as he had plenty of nephews and nieces,—besides, everybody loved him and called him so—then said to his guest, “What may be your name, friend? and whence do you come?”

“My name,” said the stranger, “is Andrew McCulloch; they call me Sandie for short. I’ll never deny my country,—I am Scotch born and bred.”

“Scotland is a country no one need be ashamed of,” replied Uncle Billy, “though she has good reason to be ashamed of many of her children.”

“I’m thinking ye may come from Scotland yourself.”

“From Ireland last, but our forbears were from Argyle. Have you been long in the Colonies?”

“Only three months; but I have been long from home, in all parts of the world. I have been a soldier.”

“And have deserted?” said Uncle Billy.

Sandie made a gesture of assent.

“What will you do, and where will you put your head this winter, Sandie?” inquired his host. “If you fall into the hands of the king’s officers you’ll be shot.”

“That is more than I know,” replied Sandie.

“Can you chop, or hoe, or mow, or drive oxen?”

“No, but I suppose I might learn.”

“And who’s going to keep you and feed you, while you are of little or no use, and are learning?”

“I don’t know; but I know one thing, and that is, I have suffered misery enough coming through the woods from Canada. I have been almost starved to death, and I don’t know why it was that I, who have taken so many other people’s lives, did not end my misery by taking my own.” His eyes filled at the recollection of his sufferings.

“Well, Sandie,” said Uncle Billy, “you’ll be safer here in the forest than anywhere else. In the short days that are coming, you will be worth no more than your board and your tobacco,—which an old soldier can’t live without, I suppose,—nor all of that, indeed. If you like to stay here, and mind the house and the barn, while I am in the woods, you can just stop where you are; you’ll be learning something to keep yourself with. In the spring, when the birds are singing and the travelling is good, you can take up your march, or, if you are agreeable then, I will give you wages. I keep all that will work, none that won’t; but any way you will stop the night with us, and break your fast in the morning. It’s my custom, and that of all our kin, to suffer no one to go away from the door hungry,—it would bring a curse on the roof-tree.”

“May the good God, who guided me here, bless you!” said Sandie, quite overcome, in the fulness of his heart. “Surely, what I lack in knowledge I’ll make up in good-will”;—and then, with the levity pertaining to a soldier, he put away all his troubles, and, taking “heart of grace,” sang songs, told stories, and cracked jokes that made Uncle Billy laugh till he cried.

“I’m glad we’ve got somebody in the house,” said Uncle Billy, looking complacently upon the company; “it isn’t natural to me to live with only the wife and cat.”

The old adage was abundantly verified in Uncle Billy’s case; as he began housekeeping with a feast, so had he plenty all the way through. As he began with welcoming the wayfarer, so was he never without a retinue to eat his cheer, and warm themselves at his hearth. He fed every poor creature, and then set them to work.

There was good fruit in Cambridge, even at that day. When Uncle Billy was there, in Washington’s army, he saved the seeds of all the apples he ate, and when he came home planted them, and lived to eat the fruit. The seeds, planted in the new soil, full of ashes, grew rapidly, and bear fruit still. That is where the old orchard came from.

Among his domestics, in later days, were two original characters, Thomas Gustin and Mary Green. Tom was good-natured, lazy,—that is, as lazy as anybody could be where Uncle Billy was,—and a great eater. Mary was a good drudge, but had a long tongue, and would say what she had a mind to. Aunt ’Becca bought a cap that was of fashionable shape, and, being excessively proud of it, wore it a while every day to show it. Mary got one just like it, and, putting it on, sailed into the front room, and sat down beside her mistress. The old lady took off her own cap, flung it on the floor, and set her feet upon it. At this Mary exploded. “Madam McLellan!” said she, “I’d have you to know that the Almighty made me as well as you, that he made us both out of the same clay, and that I have just as good a right to wear a nice cap as you have.”

“Yes, Mary,” replied Aunt ’Becca; “he did indeed make us out of the same clay, and out of the same clay the potter hath power to make a slop-jar or a china bowl.”

Nothing could confuse Uncle Billy, nor could any accident prevent him from accomplishing his purpose. Sandie used to say, “You might as well draw a blister on Owen Runnel’s wooden leg as to outwit Uncle Billy, for he could ‘put a keel into a fly.’ ” For example, when they came to haul the big mast on the stump of which they turned the yoke of cattle, the strongest and best yoke of oxen they had split their yoke. The company supposed they must go home, and give it up for the day. Uncle Billy said, “No, it would never do for so many men and cattle to break off and go home.” He guessed he could fix it.

“Fix it, Mr. McLellan!” said Daniel Mosier, “it’s split from end to end.”

They had no other tool than an axe. He cut down a straight-grained rock-maple, cut off it the proper length, and fitted it to the oxen’s necks with the axe and a jack-knife. He then split it in two parts, and cut holes in each part to receive the bows, fastened the two parts together with beech withes, and drew wedges under them, chained the ring on, and wedged that, and then hauled the mast.

Uncle Billy’s homestead consisted of a large two-story house, set endwise to the road, facing south, with a barn a hundred feet long connected with the house by a shed of the same length. At the northeast end was a row of Lombardy poplars. The approach to the front was by a lane, and the front windows permitted a view of the orchard, at the western end of which was a row of cherry-trees. Here the good man lived, making all around him happy, and “the blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon him.” Here, too, he died, many years later, by decay of nature, at the age of eighty-one.

They owned in the family fifteen hundred acres of land, covered with a heavy growth of timber, and were in possession of large stocks of cattle and mills. Hugh paid the largest tax of any one in the town, and still lived in the old log-house. It was on a Thanksgiving, and the children were assembled at their father’s table. “Mother,” said William, “your family is too big for your house. If you have any more grandchildren, you must have a larger house, or we must eat Thanksgiving out of doors. Boys, what do you say to building the old folks a better house? If they won’t take care of themselves, we must take care of them.”

His words fell on willing ears, and were like sparks upon tow. “A house for father and mother!” was the unanimous cry.

“Well, my children,” replied Hugh, his eyes glistening at this evidence of affection, “your mother and I have sometimes talked over the matter, but we have hated to leave the old spot, where we have had so many good and bad times, and where God has blessed us; besides, we always thought more of your comfort than of our own. We came to this country that our children might be better off than ourselves. Your mother has always said, when we have talked about it, that as we both belong to a race that had lands and lived in their stone houses, and as they turned her out of doors for marrying a poor man, and we now have more land than any of them, if she has a house, it shall be a brick one.”

“I might as well out with it at once,” said Elizabeth. “I should like to let my uncle that spit upon me, and trampled me under foot, and my dainty cousins who used to come down to the brook where I was bleaching linen, tossing their heads, and jeering, and pointing me out to the midshipmen and the young officers of the army that waited on them as their cousin who made a fool of herself, and married below her degree, with a mechanic,—though all they could bring against him was that he had neither their pride, their laziness, nor their vices,—I say I should like to let them know that the poor mechanic owns more land than ever they did, lives in a brick house, and is the bonniest Highland laddie that ever a lass was wedded to”;—and, sitting down in his lap, she put her arms around his neck, and gave him a hearty kiss. “Then,” continued she, “I’ll write a letter to Ireland to my old gossip, Sandie Wilson, who’s carried many a love-token between your father and me, and ask him to let them know it; and he will take no small pleasure in doing the errand.”

“That’s right, mother,” said Alexander; “I glory in your spunk.”

“Well, boys,” said Hugh, “you must not think that your mother and I are going to spend all that we have earned so hardly to live in a brick house. I would rather live in the old camp. If we do it, we must do it within ourselves, as we have done everything else; then there’ll be no ‘after-clap.’ ”

“I don’t see how we can do much of it ourselves,” said William; “we are not masons.”

“We can make the bricks, and hew all the timber, make the shingles, saw all the boards at our own mills, burn the bricks with our own wood, pay Jonathan Bryant for the mason-work in a great measure off the farm, and indeed do every part of it, except making and burning the bricks, at odd jobs after haying and harvest; and if we are ten years building it, it will be ours, and paid for when it is done. When I was a lad, I worked a spell with my Uncle Robert, who was a brickmaker. I can make the mill, mould the bricks, temper the clay, and set up the kiln. I may have to get some one to show me about building the arches, but that will not be much. I call that doing it pretty much within ourselves.”

They were four years in building the house; but they built it as Hugh and his children did everything they set their hands to, and they did it well. The old timbers, with the axe-clips of Hugh and William, are sound to this day, and the walls as firm as ever. A brick in the wall marked by the fingers of Elizabeth records the date of its erection; and the spring from which they drank, and from which William drew water the night before the slaughter of the Bryants, while the Indians ambushed the path, one hundred and twenty-one years ago, still slakes the traveller’s thirst.

Hugh, after having gained the victory in life’s struggles, and lived to see his adopted land a free republic and his sons partakers in the conflict, died at the ripe age of seventy-seven, having seen the church of which he was a ruling elder, and with which he began to worship in a log meeting-house with the rifle between his knees, increasing and firmly established.

Thomas, the youngest son, inherited the homestead; and with him Elizabeth lived, still retaining her energy of character and unbounded hospitality. During the Revolutionary war, Hugh and Thomas being from home, three men came to the door, and wanted to stay through the night. Her son’s wife was frightened, and refused to receive them. Elizabeth, now an aged woman, heard the conversation, and came to the door. “Where are you from, friends?”

“We are soldiers from Washington’s army, going home. The Continental money is good for nothing, and we are begging our way.”

“Come into the house, and may God bless you! My sons are soldiers. No men who have fought under Washington will harm a lone woman like me.”

She took them to her own room, gave them a warm meal, made them up a good bed on the floor, and slept herself in the same room, lying down with her clothes on, as her daughter-in-law, Jenny, was afraid to have them in her part of the house. In the morning she got them breakfast, and filled their haversacks with provisions.

After Jenny came into the family, she wished to have things a little more in conformity with modern usage. They had a slave by the name of Philipps, old and almost blind. They kept the cream-pot in winter in the oven, to keep it from freezing. Philipps used to get up in the night, take the cream, and make cream-porridge. Jenny declared she wouldn’t put up with such doings. Philipps persevered. She appealed to Elizabeth, who refused to interfere, saying it was misery enough to be a poor old negro, and blind to boot. “Let him have his cream, there is plenty of it.” Elizabeth was not made up to order, she was one of nature’s nobility; she cherished other feelings in respect to the old slave than those of the younger woman. He was an old, faithful servant, had carried on his shoulders the bricks and mortar to build the mansion, and she felt that he deserved consideration at her hands in his decrepitude. But Jenny determined to put a stop to it. She took the cream-pot out of the oven, and set in its place the blue-dye pot, with its unsavory contents. The blind negro went to the oven the next night, poured out a quart of blue dye into the kettle, and made his porridge. The next morning everything in the kitchen was spattered with blue dye that he had sputtered out; and when Thomas came into the room, Philipps greeted him with, “Massa Thomas, what for you bring that wretch here? Send her back where she came from.”

Elizabeth lived to the great age of ninety-six years, leaving at her death two hundred and thirty-four living descendants. As we have often in the preceding pages spoken of the use of liquor, it is but just to say that, though Hugh, as was the custom of the day, gave liquor to his company, neither himself nor his children were in the habit of dram-drinking. Their usual drink, other than water, was milk or buttermilk. But by their use they prepared the way for the abuse of it by their descendants, and unwittingly sowed the seeds of a bitter harvest among those who lacked their iron resolution and self-command.

Elijah Kellogg.


Father Time, your footsteps go

Lightly as the falling snow.

In your swing I’m sitting, see!

Push me softly; one, two, three,

Twelve times only. Like a sheet

Spreads the snow beneath my feet.

Singing merrily, let me swing

Out of winter into spring.


Swing me out, and swing me in!

Trees are bare, but birds begin

Twittering to the peeping leaves

On the bough beneath the eaves.

Wait,—one lilac-bud I saw.

Icy hillsides feel the thaw.

April chased off March to-day;

Now I catch a glimpse of May.


O the smell of sprouting grass!

In a blur the violets pass.

Whispering from the wild-wood come

Mayflowers’ breath, and insects’ hum.

Roses carpeting the ground;

Thrushes, orioles, warbling sound:—

Swing me low, and swing me high,

To the warm clouds of July.


Slower now, for at my side

White pond-lilies open wide.

Underneath the pine’s tall spire

Cardinal-blossoms burn like fire.

They are gone; the golden-rod

Flashes from the dark green sod.

Crickets in the grass I hear;

Asters light the fading year.


Slower still! October weaves

Rainbows of the forest-leaves.

Gentians fringed, like eyes of blue,

Glimmer out of sleety dew.

Meadow-green I sadly miss:

Winds through withered sedges hiss.

O, ’tis snowing; swing me fast,

While December shivers past!


Frosty-bearded Father Time,

Stop your footfall on the rime!

Hard your push, your hand is rough;

You have swung me long enough.

“Nay, no stopping,” say you? Well,

Some of your best stories tell,

While you swing me—gently, do!—

From the Old Year to the New.

Lucy Larcom.


Just a year ago this magazine contained a little article called “Pictures and Poets,” which was written, as many readers may remember, because the publishers had lent the editors some engravings which they were to use in new books, as it was thought that the children might like to know something about the volumes which were prepared for older people.

Finding that the great company of young folks were pleased with these borrowed pictures, and glad to hear about books, even though too old for them, the editors have again said to their publishers, “Lend some pictures, which we may add to our own, and so give more pleasure to the dear children, of whom we think so much and so lovingly.” And of course the publishers consented; and they sent to the editorial office of “Our Young Folks” copies of all their new books, and said, “Take what you like, and welcome!” So, little friends, in this article, and on the extra leaf near by, are the chosen pictures, and here are a few words about the volumes which contain them.

At the top of this page is a sweet little landscape, as soft as summer sun and air can make it, and delicately drawn by the pencil of Cary. This picture is taken from a book called “A Lover’s Diary.” Miss Alice Cary, of whom most of our readers must have heard, and who wrote some years ago that nice juvenile, “Clovernook Children,” is the author of this book. The “Diary” is made up of many poems describing a lover’s affection for his sweetheart, growing from her early childhood until she becomes a woman, and at last his wife. Much of the story is beyond the understanding of little people, but here are two selected little poems which are good enough for any place. The first belongs to the picture, and runs as follows:—



“My darling, dove-eyed Mona,

   What a merry tune she sings!

 And her feet, they fly along the grass

   Like little milk-white wings!


“In her life and in the season

   ’Tis the golden edge o’ th’ May,

 And her heart is like a flower that lies

   In the sunshine all the day.


“The cows that feed in the meadow,

   They know her song like a call,

 And lift their heads from the clover,

   And follow her, one and all,


“Along the daisied hillsides,

   And through the valleys green,

 As loyal to the little maid

   As subjects to their queen.


“Seeing her, you would say the year

   Had stolen the tender streaks

 From all the wildings of the woods,

   And put them in her cheeks.


“Mona, my dove-eyed Mona,

   She is fair and she is gay;

   And I would that for her beauty’s sake

   It might be always May.”

The second is one of little Mistress Mona’s own songs; and, if she were wont to sing so quaintly, it is no wonder that the kine in the meadows should “know her song like a call.” Thus it runs:—

“ ‘Little daisy, go to bed!’

  I hear the winds say as they pass,

‘Draw your white face under the grass,—

  Make of the leaves about you spread,

Brown and yellow, a coverled.’

  Little daisy, go to bed!


  “Without either sigh or tear,

Little daisy, say good by

To your sweetheart up in the sky,—

  He will come again next year,

  And your sisters will appear

All attired in dainty white,—

Kiss him now, and say good night.


  “Early in the month of May,

When the willow trims her head

  Round and round with tassels gay,

  You shall have a wedding-day.

And the clover’s angry-red

All shall turn to see you wed;

So in patience go to bed.


  “Then in every leafy bush

There shall be a rustling sweet,

And, your pleasure to complete,

When you with your lover meet,

  With a sympathetic blush

Each young rose your joy will greet;

So to bed away, away!

And be ready for the May.”

But Miss Cary did not forget the children while she was writing for grown folks; and she has made ready a book for children, which she calls “Snow-Berries,” and which contains about fifty stories and poems, with pictures as pretty as the one on the next page. There is not room for the story here, but a little space is made for two extracts from other parts of the book. The first is from the Prelude, and gives a key to the character of the matter.

“My little men and women

 Who sit with your eyes downcast,

 Turning the leaves of the Snow-Berries

 Over and over so fast,—


“I know, as I hear them flutter

 Like the leaves on a summer bough,

 You are looking out for the story about

 The fairies,—aren’t you, now?


“And so it is wise to tell you

 That you need not turn so fast,

 For there isn’t a single fairy tale

 In the book from first to last.


“My Muse is plain and homespun,—

 Quite given to work-day ways,—

 And she never spent an hour in the tent

 Of a fairy in all her days.


“She is strongest on her native soil;

 And you will see she sings

 Little in praise of elfs and fays,

 And less of queens and kings.


“The finest ladies, so she says,

 And the gentlemen most grand,

 Are made by Nature gentlefolk,

 And are royal at first hand.


“She says of the women who sew and spin,

 And keep the house with care,

 That they are the queens and princesses

 Whose trains we ought to bear,—


“And says of the men who hammer and forge,

 And clear and plough the land,

 That they are worthy gentlemen

 Who make our country grand.


“A ribbon, she says, in the button-hole,

 May go for what it goes;

 But he is the greatest man who is great

 Without such tinsel shows.


“Our country’s flag can never drag,

 She says, nor its stars go down;

 For how should it fall, when one and all

 Are rightful heirs to the crown?”

The second has a real snap to it, and will go straight to the hearts of all the youngsters. But remember, it only asks that boys should be boys,—not hectors, or turbulent, troublesome fellows. A great distinction there, young gentlemen!



“Young men must work, and old men rest,—

 They have earned their quiet joys;

 And everywhere, from east to west,

 The boys must still be boys.


“They do not want your larger sight,

 Nor want your wisdom grim;

 The boy has right to the boy’s delight,

 And play is the work for him.


“The idle day is the evil day,

 And work in its time is right;

 But he that wrestles best in the play

 Will wrestle best in the fight.


“Then do not, as their hour runs by,

 Their harmless pleasure clip;

 For he that sails his kite to the sky

 May some time sail a ship.


“And soon enough the years will steal

 Their mood of frolic joys;

 So keep your shoulder to the wheel,

 And let the boys be boys.”

Grace Greenwood, whose name is a household word wherever there are children, has also made a book this year. It is called “Stories and Sights of France and Italy,” and belongs to what is known as the “Merrie England” series, each volume of which contains bits of history, and anecdotes of travel in some European country, told in a peculiarly entertaining way. Like the other volumes of the set, the “France and Italy” has pretty pictures in it, of which one is here given. You can guess the story,—how two or three merry travellers made up a figure of their various wrappings, and how the railway conductor, after asking in vain for a ticket, shook what he supposed to be a sleeping passenger all to pieces, to his own amusement as well as that of those who had planned the joke.

There are two other new books, made for the children, of which you only need to be told. One is Mrs. Stowe’s “Queer Little People,” containing the stories and pictures of animals that have been printed in this magazine, and now reproduced for the youngsters who have not seen them all here. The other is “Grimm’s Goblins,” of which you had a sample last year in “Florinda and Florindel,” containing a number of those amusing German legends, with half a dozen pretty prints in colors.

Last year there was given a picture from Mr. Whittier’s “Maud Muller,” together with some little personal memoranda about him. This year a new edition of his “Snow-Bound” supplies three pictures, which will be found on the extra leaf. This poem, of which you must all have heard, because it has become absolutely famous, and has been circulated to the extent of thousands upon thousands of copies, was originally intended as a winter contribution for “Our Young Folks,” and was to describe what it was to be “snowed up” in a good old-fashioned winter storm. But the idea expanded as the poet thought upon it, and the lines grew under his hand until they stood forth a little army of twelve hundred,—too many to be marshalled and managed in such pages as these. So a little book was made, and everybody read it, and enjoyed it, and had hearty pleasure in living old times over again. Then people said, “Give us pictures with our favorite poem.” So Mr. Fenn, the artist, went down to the old homestead where Mr. Whittier lives, and made sketches, and chatted over incidents, and at last made a bookful of beautiful pictures, as you can see for yourselves. The little couplets under the pictures explain them partly. First is a glimpse of summer by the quiet river, of which in winter-time they dreamed; then you see the boys just as they have succeeded in digging through the mighty drifts to the barn, where the cattle and horses have been waiting for food and tending; and lastly, there is the village doctor hurrying along over the roads as soon as they are broken out, to see if any have fallen ill during the long time of tempest and blocked-up ways, and now need his cheery care and—his mighty doses. “Snow-Bound” is not a children’s book, but it is better for them than many that they have, and one which they will like better and better as they grow up to it and with it.

On the other side of this extra leaf is a bright picture of a grand old castle, with a troop winding down from its archway. This was drawn by Mr. Colman, who delights in such romantic scenes, to accompany the “Bugle Song,” which occurs in Tennyson’s poem, “The Princess,” and the picture is contained with others in a new edition of the complete works of the poet-laureate of England. All of you, even the youngest, should know something of Tennyson; for he has verses for all times and all ages, from a musical little cradle-song to his legends of chivalry and the strains of solemn yet tender grief in the “In Memoriam,” which he wrote in memory of a dear friend who died. But perhaps there is no purer or simpler specimen of his writing, in a style which will suit all the young, than this same “Bugle Song,” which every one may learn and repeat until the faint echoes seem sounding in thousands of wondering little ears.

  “The splendor falls on castle walls

    And snowy summits old in story;

  The long light shakes across the lakes,

    And the wild cataract leaps in glory:

Blow, bugle, blow! set the wild echoes flying;

Blow, bugle! answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.


  “O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,

    And thinner, clearer, farther going!

  O sweet and far from cliff and scar

    The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!

Blow! let us hear the purple glens replying;

Blow, bugle! answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.


  “O love, they die in yon rich sky,

    They faint on hill or field or river;

  Our echoes roll from soul to soul,

    And grow forever and forever.

Blow, bugle, blow! set the wild echoes flying;

And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.”


One summer’s day Dotty Dimple and Katie Clifford stood in the kitchen doorway at their grandmother Parlin’s, eating watermelon. Katie’s bib was buttoned about her neck, and a little tuft of yellow hair floated upward from the crown of her head, like an Indian’s war-plume.

“See, Dotty!” said she, holding out the pink-and-white slice, as full of brown seeds as Jacky Horner’s pie was of plums,—“see! my piece was big, but it keeps getting little!”

“O, how cunning!” said Dotty, patronizingly. “Whose precious little girl are you, dear?”

“My mamma’s, and my papa’s,—two of ’em.”

“Anybody else’s girl, Katie?”

Who-body else’s is I?” asked the little one, going on with her dessert.

“Why, mine, you know,” said Dotty Dimple, sprinkling the child’s cheeks with melon-juice as she gave her an ecstatic little hug.

“Then,” replied Katie, coolly, “if I’m IS your precious goorl, then you give me a hunnerd dollars, and I’ll buy me stick o’ canny!”

“Hush!” said Dotty; “there’s a man coming up the walk. It looks like a beggar-man or a thief; let’s go hide!”

“A feef, that’s fwhat is it,” screamed Katie, running into the pantry for dear life. “Fwhat he name?”

“An awful creature!” cried Dotty, out of breath. “O Aunt ’Ria! with a basket, scowling and smiling! He keeps shaking his head. Where’s Prudy?”

At this moment Sister Prudy arrived from the barn with a shaker full of eggs. “It’s only a good nice Irishman,” said she, soothingly; “he’s a pedler, for I saw the vases and images sticking up in his basket. Hark! if he isn’t ringing the bell!”

“You may go to the door,” said Mrs. Clifford, “and tell the man we do not care to buy any of his goods to-day.”

Prudy ran, followed by Dotty and “li’le Katie,” who, now the first alarm was over, were as full of awe and delight as if they expected to behold a blazing comet.

The man was rather odd-looking, it is true, his face dented all over with the ravages of small-pox; but he smiled upon the children with intense sweetness, and would not go away one inch. “ ’Twas no mahther if the ladies didn’t wush to buy. When folks says that,” remarked he, “I makes as if I didn’t hear it. So, my dear little childers, if you’d like to look at these pooty air-ticles in my basket, ’twould plaze me to show ’em.”

Whereupon, with sundry compliments to their bright eyes, he set his basket upon the piazza steps, and proceeded to take out the ornaments, one by one, and hold them up to be admired. “Here’s a fine-lady vase!” said he. “See how it kyurls over at the top like a pair of poutin’ lips. Ah! I know of a little gyurl had the promish of the same for an old rag of a dress, but her ma was feared ’twould make a proud gyurl of her to have such a fine-lady vase, and she tuck back her promish. I felt bahd for the little gyurl,—she was hoppin’ and scratchin’ and jumpin’,—she was a jewel of a child,—so I gave her a swate little match-save, and come away.”

“What a very good man!” thought wise Prudy. “Strange grandma don’t like pedlers! If my mamma were only here, she’d maybe buy two or three ornaments to pay him for being so kind.”

“Did I ever, ever see!” soliloquized Miss Dimple. “I wish Uncle ’Gustus would come and give me some money, and I’d buy him a present. They’re handsome enough for the king.”

“Just for old clo’es, little miss,” said the stranger, watching Dotty’s kindling eyes. “Haven’t you a ragged silk dress, a scarruf, a velvet bunnit, a handful of blue ribbin, or a gold finger-ring? Anything, now, that you’d wush to throw away, miss,—any old dud of a rag,—and I’ll give you a fine-lady air-ticle; just you thry me and see.”

“Rags!” exclaimed Dotty with a sudden dancing of hands and feet,—“rags, did you say?”

“The man camed, didn’t he?” chimed in Katie, in equal surprise. “We give he rags, he give we bottells. Oh! oh!”

“If my mamma were only here!” said Prudy, gazing wistfully at the tempting wares; “but she’ll be so sorry! And I don’t suppose you can wait till next week? And we didn’t bring our old dresses, only those we wear ‘up in the pines’; and we don’t have silk dresses ever, nor velvet bonnets and rings, sir,—not any at all.”

“We didn’t had any,” observed li’le Katie. “Oh! oh! where you get the holes in you face? When did you bit you on you cheek?”

“Hush!” whispered Dotty, blushing. “I’ll go ask Aunt ’Ria,” added she, aloud; “there’s a rag-bag in the back-room, as true as you live.”

“A handsome skee-urt, ye may say,” called the pedler after her,—“a skee-urt or a satin flounce, or a velvet bunnit, or a broken finger-ring. Anything she wushes to throw in the fire!”

“If you peezum, I want some mug,” said Miss Katie, thrusting her mischievous hands into the basket.

“O don’t,” said Prudy, gently pushing her away. “I’m afraid something will get broken.”

“No, sumpin won’t,” answered Katie, drawing out a cologne-bottle with gilt bands, and holding it wrong side upward to her nose.

“Don’t you be afeared,” said the good-natured pedler; “she’s too swate a babby to break the vally of a brahsh pin. Look here, miss,—did your bright eyes iver see the likes of this?” So saying, he set out upon the door-mat a decanter and six little wine-glasses upon a salver, all as beautiful as red bubbles, and nearly as delicate.

“O, how sweet!” cried Prudy, “as if they were made of fog or pink clouds! Don’t you breathe now, Katie Clifford!”

But Katie went on breathing; and not only that,—being fond of acting contrary to order,—she made a sudden plunge forward, and seized the decanter with both hands.

“Give it to me this minute!” cried Prudy, highly excited. “What made me tell you not to? I might have known better!”

Katie trudged into the parlor and crept under the sofa, pressing the frail ornament close to her heart. Before Prudy could induce her to come out, Dotty returned from the kitchen, reporting that Aunt ’Ria had no old dresses to spare, neither had grandma, and they were in no need of anything out of Mr. Pedler’s basket.

Evidently, Mr. Pedler was not very well pleased with this message, for his shaggy eyebrows met in a black frown. And just then Katie hugged the rosy decanter into fifty pieces! Prudy’s heart throbbed like a drum. She had only voice enough to cry faintly, “O Katie! Katie!”

“What a crayther ye are!” exclaimed the pedler, in fierce wrath. “Such a pack of childers did niver I see! If I whupped you soundly, ’twould be your desarvin’!”

“Dear! dear!” begged Prudy, “she’s only a baby, sir; she didn’t mean to.”

“Don’t tell me a whust aboot it. You just stood there afore my face and let her meddle. So, miss, you’ve desaved me and spiled the set, and it’s the whole you must pay for. The price is eight dollars,—as chape as a song!”

“Eight dollars!” groaned Prudy, ashy-pale, and too frightened to shed a tear.

Dotty was also in a flutter, and lost no time in running out to her grandmother with the dreadful news.

Mrs. Parlin and Aunt ’Ria came in directly with looks of dismay. The disagreeable man declared that the set was spoiled, and there was no denying it. That it had ever been worth eight dollars was another matter; but it was not possible for two gentle-voiced women to argue with such an angry and unprincipled man, and unfortunately there was no gentleman within call.

Mrs. Clifford brought down stairs a new calico dress; but the pedler would only allow her two dollars for it.

“O Aunt ’Ria!” said Prudy, wringing her hands, “you must open my money-box, and take out all I’ve been saving for Christmas. Pour it out, but don’t let me see it.”

“Why, darling, it was my little Katie who broke the decanter,” said Mrs. Clifford; “why should you pay for it, Prudy?”

“O Aunt ’Ria, Katie squeezed it to pieces, I know; but my conscience tells me ’twas I that was to blame. If I hadn’t told her not to, she wouldn’t have done it!”

Mrs. Clifford kissed Prudy’s forehead.

“I am the oldest,” continued the child; “I’ve known for a great many years that grandma didn’t buy of pedlers, and I oughtn’t to have let him set down his basket. My conscience pricks; so it’s right for you to break open my—”

The last words were lost in a sob. “Darling child!” said Aunt ’Ria, “ ’twill be a long while before I rob you of your precious bits of silver; so set your dear little heart at rest.”

The Irishman heard these remarks, but went on with his abusive brogue, as if trying to keep his anger warm. Little Katie was the only one of the party who seemed to enjoy the affair. “You gate big man,” said she with a fearless glance at the pedler, “you didn’t ask peeze! Why don’t you ask peezum?”

The man softened a little at this, and put on a thin veil of good manners, actually ending with “if you plaze, ma’am.”

Mrs. Clifford, finding it useless to reason with him, was about to yield, and give the money he wickedly demanded, when, I am happy to say, Colonel Allen entered the hall. He saw at once how matters stood, and confronted the pedler with an unflinching eye. “What do you mean, sir,” said he, “by taking advantage of ladies in this way, and frightening a little girl half out of her senses?”

Here Prudy clung to her uncle’s coat-sleeve, and drowned the starch out of the linen with her tears.

“Do you take the dress this lady has offered you, sir; it’s worth more than your flimsy decanter. Take it, and march out of the house with it this minute.”

The pedler muttered something about his “hard airnings,” but the impudence was gone out of him; he quailed, and tried to hide himself under his hat.

“Take your wine-glasses with you,” added Colonel Allen, as the man was meekly retreating without them, “we’ve no use for them here. And one thing more,—if you know what is for your best interests you’ll treat people with civility while you stay in this town.”

“O Uncle ’Gustus,” said Prudy, taking a vanishing view of the Irishman shambling with “faint-footed fear” out of the yard, “I feel as if an elephant had rolled off my heart! It’s the last thing that ever I’ll buy of a pedler!”

“That’s right, chickie. Now let’s go out in the garden and moralize.”

Moral lies! What can they be?” laughed the light-hearted girl. “Good by, Mr. Pedler!”

Bad by!” echoed Dotty.

Sophie May.


I know a spot where the wild vines creep,

  And the coral moss-cups grow,

And where, at the foot of the rocky steep,

  The sweet blue violets blow.

There all day long, in the summer-time,

You may hear the river’s dreamy rhyme;

There all day long does the honey-bee

Murmur and hum in the hollow tree.


And there the feathery hemlock makes

  A shadow cool and sweet,

While from its emerald wing it shakes

  Rare incense at your feet.

There do the silvery lichens cling,

There does the tremulous harebell swing;

And many a scarlet berry shines

Deep in the green of the tangled vines.


Over the wall at dawn of day,

  Over the wall at noon,

Over the wall when the shadows say

  That night is coming soon,

A little maiden with laughing eyes

Climbs in her eager haste, and hies

Down to the spot where the wild vines creep,

And violets bloom by the rocky steep.


All wild things love her. The murmuring bee

  Scarce stirs when she draws near,

And sings the bird in the hemlock-tree

  Its sweetest for her ear.

The harebells nod as she passes by,

The violet lifts its calm blue eye,

The ferns bend lowly her steps to greet,

And the mosses creep to her dancing feet.


Up in her pathway seems to spring

  All that is sweet or rare,—

Chrysalis quaint, or the moth’s bright wing,

  Or flower-buds strangely fair.

She watches the tiniest bird’s-nest hid

The thickly clustering leaves amid;

And the small brown tree-toad on her arm

Quietly hops, and fears no harm.


Ah, child of the laughing eyes, and heart

  Attuned to Nature’s voice!

Thou hast found a bliss that will ne’er depart

  While earth can say, “Rejoice!”

The years must come, and the years must go;

But the flowers will bloom, and the breezes blow,

And bird and butterfly, moth and bee,

Bring on their swift wings joy to thee!

Julia C. R. Dorr.


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



No. 14.


Deep in the earth,

With none to save,

How many find

In me a grave!


In search of me

How many roam,

Away from friends!

Away from home!


I stand not alone,

For close by my side

All trustingly leans

A young, lovely bride.


The name of a king

In the Holy Book,

You will find me declared,

If you patiently look.


Within my soft folds,

So spotless and white,

The weary repose

Through the long, silent night.


Though warned of my coming,

The warning was vain,

Bringing ruin and terror,

Relentless I came.



E. B.


No. 18.

I stood and gazed in doubt and fear;

No friendly, helping hand was near;

Beneath me rolled the foaming wave,

My first was there outspread to save.


With careful steps I sought the shore,

Well pleased to see my last once more;

Its friendly aid I oft had proved,

It held me up where’er I roved;

Yet now, no sooner did we meet,

Than it was trodden ’neath my feet.


My whole I never yet have seen;

Its fields are white, its rivers green;

It is a cool, secluded spot,

I could go there, but rather not.

J. L. G.


Willy Wisp.


No. 14.

I am composed of 34 letters.

My 9, 20, 4, is a river of North America.

My 22, 9, 3, 21, 30, 8, is a mountain in Maine.

My 2, 20, 24, 10, 25, 5, 9, is a city of North Carolina.

My 12, 23, 11, 27, 29, 18, is a river of North America.

My 7, 17, 19, 28, is a part of the Boston State-House.

My 14, 25, 15, 33, 16, 3, is an Austrian city.

My 26, 20, 34, 1, 13, 6, 29, is a city in Hindostan.

My 3, 31, 5, 32, 20, is a bay on the coast of Africa.

My whole is a quotation from Shakespeare’s King Henry VI.


No. 15.

I am composed of 29 letters.

My 18, 8, 13, 26, is found in the eye.

My 28, 16, 17, is a boy’s nickname.

My 11, 4, 14, 3, 4, is a part of the body.

My 5, 24, 21, is a weight.

My 15, 19, 28, 22, are found in convents.

My 23, 2, 21, is a metal.

My 10, 6, 11, is what a drunkard is called.

My 29, 1, 27, 25, is what every boy ought to do in order to become a man.

My 16, 7, 8, 28, 2, 21, 29, 22, 18, 13, 20, is the name of a steamship that was lately lost at sea.

My 11, 13, 12, is a very combustible article.

If everybody has done my 9, 2, 29, 4, 18, they feel happy.

My whole is a very true proverb.

W. A. May.






Illustrated Rebuses.

16.Death loves a shining mark, a signal blow.  [(Death) (love) (sash) (eye N in G) M (ark), A (signal) b low.]
17.Let dogs delight to bark and bite,
  For ’tis their nature too.

Belle Whitney.

[(L) E (tea) (dogs) D (light) (toe) (bee) (ark) & (bee) (eye) T E, 4 (tea) I S (tea) (he) (eye) R (gnat) (ewer) 2. (Bell) W H (eye) (tea) (knee).]


With this number, dear Young Folks, ends our third volume. We have no need to ask you if you have been satisfied with our efforts to please you, for the thousands of letters which you have written us during the year have been full of encouragement and praise. And, without meaning to flatter ourselves, we feel it simply right to say that you have had good reason to be pleased with this Magazine of your own,—for to no other audience of children in the world do such people speak as have come to talk to you during these three years. We have given you the best reading that the best authors could be persuaded or paid to furnish, and we have accompanied their writing with more than two hundred pictures, which we believe to be better and handsomer than any other juvenile periodical, on either side of the Atlantic, has contained; the fact that our articles and our pictures are constantly published by foreign periodicals as original with them proves this, we think.

But it is not so much of the past as of the future that we wish to speak to you now, and we want you all to consider very closely what we have done and shall do to make your fourth volume a really wonderful volume, and also to consider if you cannot do something for us in return. Our Publishers have always been very liberal to us, and allowed us to spend just as much money for you as we chose,—indeed, only those of you who can do long sums could fully understand how much we have paid away, even if we set down the figures here; we have given authors and artists the highest prices to work, not for us, but for you, that you might have only the best; and the magazines which the grown-up people read have not been prepared for them at a cost nearly so great in proportion as this little monthly of yours. But we have not yet done our utmost, as we shall briefly hint to you, and as the volume for 1868 will amply show.

In the first place, Charles Dickens has written a story for you alone. Although he has written so beautifully about children and in their service, he has very seldom written for them,—the principal exception being his “Child’s History of England,”—and although he has been for many years writing stories which all the world has read and remembered, he has never but once given anything to be printed in America, unless it was printed in England too. But this story of yours and ours is not even to be printed in England,—we have bought it all for you. Then, John Gilbert, who is called the greatest designer in all England, has made the pictures for Mr. Dickens’s story. He determined, some time ago, that he would draw on wood no more, and would only paint pictures; but when he was told that Mr. Dickens had written a story for “Our Young Folks,” he said that he would take as much interest in American boys and girls as Mr. Dickens, and that he would draw for each chapter the very prettiest picture he possibly could.

We should like to tell you more about the new volume, but we have not room here, and, besides, the Publishers give you all the particulars in their Prospectus. What we will say is this. We receive almost all the juvenile magazines of any consequence that are published in the world, which we examine carefully; and we honestly believe that, if all the best features of all of them were to be combined in one magazine, it certainly would not surpass what this Magazine has been, and it certainly could not equal what this will be in the new year, for the best writers and draughtsmen of England as well as of America are enlisted in your behalf, and engaged to assist us.

And now what are you to do about all this? We will tell you, and we shall be both surprised and disappointed if you do not act upon our hint. “Our Young Folks” goes now into half a hundred thousand families,—but that is not enough. It is not enough for the children, for there are yet countless thousands who never see our pages, who perhaps never even heard of us, and who would enjoy such reading and such pictures as we are always giving. It is not enough for the Publishers, whose money we spend so freely, that, if there were only a few thousand copies of the Magazine published, every single number would cost more than half a dollar, instead of being sent for twelve and a half cents, as is the case with club subscriptions. It is only because so many copies are sold, that the price can possibly be kept so low. But the Publishers ought to have a great many more subscribers to be really rewarded for their outlay, especially in this coming year, for which they have already expended many thousands of dollars, and in which they will have to spend many thousands more.

So now for your share. If each one of you, girl as well as boy, will feel that you really have an interest in this Magazine, that it is made for you and depends upon you for encouragement and support, and that you owe something to it in return for what it does for you,—if you will so feel, and then act as you feel, there will be no more to ask. You will then consider that you ought to help an acquaintance to grow up between us and your friends whom we do not now visit, and you will try to send our Publishers a new subscriber to make a return for the new contributors they have got for you. And if you each send but one new name, it will be a great deal, for that will carry the subscription list up almost to a hundred thousand! Think of it, and try it!

But we must not weary you with this long talk of plans and promises and business, while you are waiting for our Christmas wishes. Our thoughts and our wishes are always with you, whether we are reading your letters,—so welcome as those letters ever are!—or preparing the pages of some new number of your Magazine; whether jotting down answers to your questions, or studying out your puzzles and problems. We are constantly thinking how we can best serve you, how present to you only such things as shall teach you what is true, and lead you to love what is good; we are constantly wishing that you may grow up sincere, steadfast, gentle, and virtuous, and that your days may be long in a land of happiness and good-will. We cannot now think more tenderly of you, or wish more earnestly for you, than we always do: we can only hope and trust that in this anniversary of the season when the Christ-child came from heaven to bless and save us all, He may come more closely into your young, pure, loving hearts, and henceforward abide therein, blessing you sweetly, and making you a blessing to all around you.

Your affectionate friends,


Anna P. Frances Power Cobbe can hardly be called a popular English writer.

Haymaker. If we can.

C. S. H. No.

Aunt Sue. Very good, thank you.

H. P. T. You sent no answer, and we have not time for guessing.

Radie C. P. Thank you for letting us see your cousin’s verses, although they do not come quite up to the standard of print.

Alice F. G. Read any of the poems, or an extract from some of the stories; your school reading has more to do with the manner of your speech than with the selection of pretty pieces.

One of a Club. For the skilful skater no skate is so good as the flat-bottomed, rocker skate. The beginner will undoubtedly have to learn upon grooved irons, but he must discard them as soon as he can, if he means to be a first-rate skater and depend upon himself,—himself having a cool, brave head, and trustworthy legs and feet. Skates that fasten with clasps, springs, or screws are the best, if they hold tight to the sole and heel of the boot; straps are bad, because they pinch the foot and check free circulation of the blood. If straps are used, as in most cases they must be, be careful where and how they press.

Bird’s-nest. Excellent, not excelant, if you please.—You need not draw the pictures.—We don’t know why you had no answer; perhaps you sent no stamp.

Pelican Society. You have only altered one of our rebuses.

G. C. & W. Please to state your questions again. Your note is not clear, because you have put so many ifs into it.

Here is a catechism from H. S. & Co.

(1.) Do you approve of female suffrage?

(2.) Do you think a woman will ever occupy the presidential chair?

(3.) Who discovered the use of gas?

(4.) Who invented skates, and when?

(5.) What is the difference between melancholy and gloom?

(6.) How old is Empress Eugenie?

(1.) We do not think this subject has been sufficiently considered for a positive answer. (2.) It is possible, but it does not seem probable,—at least for very many years. (3.) Murdoch, of Redruth, in Cornwall, in 1792, who also built the first gas-works, in 1798. Experiments proved that coal could emit an inflammable gas as early as 1726, but no use was made of the discovery. (4.) It is not known. The oldest traditions of cold countries refer to their use, and they must have come down from the earliest time. (5.) Gloom is darker and deeper than melancholy, and partakes more of the nature of despondency or despair. (6.) She was born May 5, 1826.

Evan.}You sent no stamp, so you get no answer by mail.

Thomas. We would rather not make the request you suggest.

Winnie lays two matters before us for consideration. In the first place, she says she wishes to be an actress,—and of course she wishes to be a very fine one,—but she does not desire to gratify her ambition to accomplish something notable, if she must in any way step over the boundary lines of what is right and proper. At her wishes we do not wonder, and her determination we approve; but, as she is very young, we advise her to let all her desires for action and fame rest for at least three years; she will be young enough then to begin preparations for a public life if her sense of duty and propriety should then agree with her fancies.

Her second statement she shall make for herself, and thus it is:—

“I was reciting my history at school, when I came to a word I could not pronounce. My teacher pronounced it for me, and pretty soon I came to the word again, but I could not pronounce it. I told my teacher so, but she said, ‘Yes, you can.’ ‘No, I cannot,’ said I; ‘if I could, I should have pronounced it.’ My teacher is a very elegant, haughty woman; but when I said this she snapped her eyes and told me to sit down. She would not let me recite with the class, and at recess she asked me if I was not ashamed of my conduct. ‘I do not think I have done anything,’ said I. She made me take my seat, and she has not said anything to me since. I do not think I am to blame, and so I sha’n’t tell her so.”

Now Winnie says that she could not pronounce the word,—she does not say that she tried to pronounce it. She seems to have given it up as too hard for her, and taken refuge behind her inability, when she might at least have made an effort, even if she had broken down in the attempt to get the better of the big word. She also tells us what she said to her teacher, but she does not tell us how she said it. Her manner may have been objectionable, though she probably would not think so. She should have gone to her teacher at the first opportunity and said that she did not mean to be obstinate or unwilling to do her best, but that she felt afraid of a word which she had not practised, showing at the same time a desire to make her teacher as little trouble as possible. Then we think the lady would have met her half-way and helped her over the difficulty. Better still, if she had gone before the recitation, and asked the pronunciation of the word which she must have known all the time was too difficult for her.

But all children must remember that no form of disrespect is easier or more dangerous than saying unobjectionable words in an objectionable way. An insult is no less an insult, a wrong is no less a wrong, because it is civilly expressed. See to it that your feelings, your speech, your manner, are all dutiful, docile, and gentle.

Edie D. sent a “real nice” letter to us, full of little chat about herself and her doings, which is just a little bit too confidential to print. We must take a bit of exception, however, to her final sentence, in which she tells us that she ends her writing because the French teacher has come, and asks us to “picture her bending with knitted brow over that horrid grammar, and feeling all the while as if it would do her good to fling the book across the room.” We don’t sympathize with any such feeling as that, and we believe that, if Edie would get on better terms with her grammar, she would not find it half so hard. French is not a difficult language, and an acquaintance with it well repays all the trouble it costs.

Sarah and Mary, who live in Pennsylvania, ask us some puzzling questions about “the best boarding school in New England.” We do not know, dear little girls, the name of that school, nor where it is located, but we can tell you of several which we believe to be very good.

That one which you have heard of “where the scholars do the work of the house by turns, besides learning their lessons,” is Mount Holyoke Seminary, at South Hadley, Mass. We have not heard of another in New England conducted upon the same plan.

You wish to go “where you can learn how to be teachers when you are grown up.” At most of the Young Ladies’ Seminaries, particular attention is given to those who are preparing themselves to teach.

Among the oldest in Massachusetts are the schools at Ipswich, at Bradford, at Norton, and at Andover. And among the new ones, the most popular, perhaps, is that of Dr. Dio Lewis, at Spy Pond, Arlington, Mass., where much time is given to physical education, and much practice to gymnastics.

Further information can doubtless be obtained by addressing a letter to the “Principal of the Young Ladies’ Seminary,” at any of these towns. There are others as good, probably; we only mention the first that occur to us.

A good collection of select poetry for the young was prepared by the late Mrs. Kirkland. It is called “The School-Girl’s Garland.” There are many volumes of selections which would be valuable to you, but complete editions of the standard poets are the best. Usually, your own preference will be the best guide as to which of the poets you shall read. But this subject suggests too much: we must drop it until we can spare more room.

Alert gives the following as the result of his experiments in soap-bubble making:—

“Take a small piece of common bar-soap, over which pour a small quantity of hot water; beat to a foam, and then add to each cup of suds a small lump of saleratus. A little indigo will do no harm.”

Sailor. Latin and Greek are not necessary to a good education, that is, an education sufficient for all practical purposes. The literary man needs some knowledge of Latin, at least, and of course they are essential to a complete culture.—Our publishers will send you cloth covers by mail at 50 cents each; one cover contains a volume.

F. C. H.’s rhymes tell their own story:—

“What do you s’pose, Mr. Ed., is the reason

   Of all the rebuses sent hence to you,—

 Three is the number I’ve given this season,—

   No one of them all can you seem to make do?

 But that isn’t all; if you only would mention

   Just barely the fact that they came safe to hand,

 And say that you doubt not my well-meant intention,

   Or e’en that you’d like me to stop where I stand,

 It would do me some good, as I’m young yet, and little,

   To see in your next ‘Round the Evening Lamp,’

 That F. C. H. sent you a small mental whittle,

   And though you don’t use it, my ardor ’twont damp.”

H. S. They are old, dear.

N. B. Yes.

C. J. A. It is sufficient to say “twins”; the word means two, and only two, children of equal age.

Maria B. You wish to pronounce correctly, (1.) Goethe; (2.) Kossuth; (3.) Beatrice; (4.) Agassiz. (1.) Gu-the,—the u much as in “hurt,” and the e short, as in “wet”; (2.) Ko-soot; (3.) Bay-ah-tree-chĕ; (4.) Ag´assiz,—the z being silent.

Ungog (who sends a clever little sketch of two heads under one hat) wishes to know what our standard for rebus-making is. We can best answer him by saying that generally Willy Wisp’s rebuses are the best we have. We do not greatly care whether the symbols represent the sound of the words or their spelling, but we do wish that each rebus should follow out one plan or the other. Of course we print some in which symbols are used in both ways,—not because we think them perfect, but because they are the best we receive.

Dear Young Folks:—

“We want your opinion on a matter which has been exciting a great deal of attention here lately. We mean correspondence between boys and girls. Suppose, for instance, a youth sixteen or seventeen years old to be away at school. Suppose that he obtains the address of a young lady about the same age, and writes to her without her permission. She knows him to be a good and honorable boy, and knows that he would not write anything in the least objectionable. She knows that, if she showed the letter to her mother, she would tell her father and brothers, and the receiver of the letter would get soundly laughed at for her pains. (1.) Is she right or wrong in opening a correspondence with the young gentleman simply for the sake of a little fun?

“Suppose a young lady and gentleman wish to open a correspondence: (2.) who should propose it; and (3.) what should be the words used?


(1.) She is quite wrong. Should she trust her mother less than “a youth”? Should she do anything upon which she fears comment? If she—as a good daughter should—makes a real confidante of her mother, and, having her mother’s approval of her act, asks that the confidence may not be extended to others, does she believe that her mother would refuse to grant her wish? Such a correspondence may be all very well in itself, but it may lead to ill consequences; it is bad, at the beginning, for a young girl to have secrets from her mother. (2.) It would be most proper for the lad to ask the privilege of a correspondence; but (3.) a set form of asking is no more needed than in asking a friend to sing, to pass a book, or to answer a question.

Willie G. Conversation is almost an art when it is carried to its highest point, but much less brilliancy and skill will suffice under ordinary circumstances. You certainly need not be at a loss for topics of talk, if you have a little confidence in yourself, and try to think of matters in which you and your friends should have a common interest. There are books, pictures, music, the amusements of the season or the place, flowers, passing events at home and abroad, and many more, in which a young lady would be interested; if you once break the ice, you will find that talking is not so hard, for one subject runs into another when two or three persons are speaking of what they all understand and enjoy.

E. L. & R. find fault with articles in the magazine which they have not read, but have only “skipped with indifference,” and then ask us to say that they are justified in their fault-finding. Their own statement is enough to declare their unfairness.

Many answers are ready for the writers of letters to us, but we cannot possibly print them in this number. They will go into the next volume.

Last month’s proverb, translated, reads: “Faint heart (hart) ne’er (near) won (one) fair lady.” Now see what you can make out of this little one by Charlie W.


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 12 edited by J. T. Trowbridge, Gail Hamilton and Lucy Larcom]