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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 4, Issue 8

Date of first publication: 1868

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

Date first posted: Apr. 21, 2019

Date last updated: Apr. 21, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190469

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






An Illustrated Magazine




Vol. IV. AUGUST, 1868. No. VIII.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by Ticknor and Fields, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

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
















Drawn by Winslow Homer.]          [See Green Apples, page 470.


Hot weather was having things all its own way ’long shore. July was more than half over, and the sun poured down on the rock house in such glaring fashion, that, through the middle of the day, even Polly and Nathan, who by this time had baked to a lively brown, were obliged to admit that shade was desirable. Lotty’s little nose had blistered and peeled, and peeled and blistered again, till I’m afraid to say how many new skins had come and gone, and Harry’s original complexion was quite lost in freckles, while Paul, who had burnt red in the first place, never had got over it, but looked as if he had washed his face in currant-juice ever since.

Nathan and Polly went up every morning now to Squire Green’s, and studied little lessons with Lotty and Harry for an hour or two, all going back together,—sometimes to the rock house, if the day were cool enough, but oftener waiting in the woods till the fiercest heat had passed. There, under the great hemlocks and cedars, it was always cool; and while Paul, when not in the boats, swung in the hammock which Jack had slung between two trees, and read every book of travel and adventure he could find in his grandfather’s library, the younger children played among the trees, or, at rare moments, sat still, and looked out to the blue water always before them, and the white sails coming and going.

Under one great hemlock root bubbled up a tiny spring, choked, when first found by the children, with grass and dead leaves. Such clearing away and digging out never were known before. Polly scorched, one whole morning, on the Point, gathering gold and silver shells, and the smallest, whitest clams she could find; and all four worked together, laying them for a border about the little spring, which could hardly have known itself when they ended, so changed it was. Harry spent five cents in a tin cup painted blue, which had printed on it, in gilded letters, “Affection’s Gift,” and which, being hung up on a nail driven into the tree, had somebody drinking from it so constantly for some days afterward, that the store, which was kept two trees away, was left more than half the time without owner or clerk. Nathan was the clerk, and Harry the owner, and Lotty and Polly the two ladies who were always out of groceries, particularly molasses, which was sold to them for three shells the acorn-saucerful. Harry’s stock in trade consisted of three bottles,—one of molasses, which grandma had been coaxed to give, one of licorice-water, and one of vinegar,—with two clam-shells of brown sugar, which required incessant attention from the clerk to keep the flies off. One shell’s worth of vinegar and two shells’ worth of sugar, mixed with spring water in “Affection’s Gift,” made a remarkable drink much in demand among the children, and condescended to even by Paul, while an acorn-saucerful of molasses could be watered to last through a whole tea-party.

On this particular afternoon, Paul, tired of reading, had left the wood, and walked on to the bluff, where he lay now, looking off to the sea, and watching Jimmy fishing from Black Rock. There was a row of stakes set from the shore to the rock, which, at high tide, was always very nearly covered, and Paul wondered what they had been put there for. Presently Jack came down the bluff, whistling, and trundling before him a wheelbarrow loaded with brush, which he dumped near the water’s edge. Paul felt too curious to lie there any longer, and, getting up, walked slowly down the steep path, and on to the shore. “What are you going to do, Jack?” he called, when near enough to be heard.

“Going to make a fyke,” answered Jack, “and empty it when we come home from the meadows to-morrow.”

“O,” said Paul, delighted, “then you’re going up to mow sedge to-morrow! Are we all going?”

“All that want to,” said Jack. “We’re going up when the tide’s half high, so’s to get across the bar easy; and we’ll be home with the falling, so’t I shall take up the fyke fust thing.”

“What is a fyke?” said Paul, who was learning not to be ashamed of asking questions; and, as all you young folks must be equally anxious to know, I will answer for Jack.

The ’long-shore fyke is a fish-trap, which may be set on the shore wherever the tide rises and falls from three to eight feet. The body of the trap is a tunnel of net, one end of which is fastened around a stout hoop, and the other is gathered up and tied with cord. Inside of this is a smaller tunnel fastened to the hoop also, but left open at the little end. This double tunnel is set between two stakes, in a line at right angles with the shore, where the water will not be more than two feet deep at low tide, the hoop being fastened upright to the stake nearest shore, and the gathered end hauled taut to the outer stake. From the stake holding the hoop, to about high-tide mark on the shore, a hedge, or fence, is erected of wicker-work, or of net suspended from stakes. Wings made in the same manner also stretch out each way from the hoop-stake, about ten feet obliquely toward the shore, and then, making a sharp angle, return half-way to the hedge. All this will be better understood by reference to the diagram here given.

At high tide, the fish come into shoal water to feed, and, running up or down shore, are stopped by the hedge. When meeting an obstacle, and obliged to turn aside, it is fish nature to turn toward deep water. Accordingly, when Mr. Fish runs his nose against the hedge, he turns off shore, and probably works his way out to the wing. If he then tires of worrying at the hedge, and determines to turn away, he will directly come to the wing, and between wing and hedge may circle about until confused and weary. At last he finds his way into the little tunnel, where there is an opening leading off shore. ’Tis close quarters, to be sure, but he wiggles through into the large tunnel, and there he is, safe as a cat in a meal-bag. He might turn about, and swim right out again easily enough; but that he never dreams of doing. He knows deep water is in the opposite direction, and for deep water he will point while he can ply a fin. When the tide goes down, the boys wade out, untie the purse or gathered end of the tunnel, and slide the fish into a basket, throwing the small, poor ones into the water, and keeping only the choicer kinds.

Paul listened with the greatest attention to Jack’s explanation, and, as he ended, said: “What are you going to do with the fish? We can’t eat ’em all.”

“Your grandfather said I might have all I caught,” said Jack, “and I’m going to give ’em to father to sell.”

“What’ll you do with the money?” asked Paul; and Jimmy, who by this time was on shore, came up and stood looking on.

“Buy a surf-boat, when I get enough,” said Jack.

“Cracky! ain’t that a notion, though?” said Jimmy, while Paul wanted to ask what a surf-boat was, but hesitated. “Then we won’t have to pull way round Long Point no more. Where’ll you get it, though?”

“Cap’n Brown’s got one over in the river,” answered Jack, “and it don’t weigh a hundred pounds, paddles and all. The boards ain’t a quarter of an inch thick.”

“Queer kind of a boat, then,” said Paul; “you’d smash through it the minute you stepped in. What’s the good of it?”

“One thing is, it’ll ride any kind o’ sea,” said Jack; “and then it’s so light, that we can carry it ourselves, right across Long Point, instead of having to pull our arms off, rowing round to the ocean-side, when we want to fish with squid lines. You can’t have your boots on, ’cause the nails would be through it in a jiff; but get in barefoot, and you go like a bird, and it’ll stand anything. This one’s all cedar, and it ain’t but seven dollars, and I’ve got two a’ready, that I earned driving cows last summer. Jimmy’s got ’most a dollar, and I’ll make three or four off the fish, maybe”; and here Jack, who had been rolling up his trousers, stepped into the water, and, picking up some brush, began weaving it in and out. Jimmy followed, and Paul, sitting down on a stone, watched them with interest; while the little girls, who had come down a few minutes before, walked on to the rock house, leaving Nathan and Harry to talk about the fyke.

“Paul’s getting real nice,—ain’t he?” said Lotty. “I heard grandpa say he never saw a boy try any harder, and that there was good stuff in Paul.”

“It makes him thin to be good-natured,” said Polly; “mother says he looks real peaked.”

“Yes,” said Lotty, “but that’s because he has to keep working at it all the time. He got dreadful angry the other day, and he just ran way up the road, hard as he could go; and when mother asked him what he did it for, he said, ’cause he didn’t want to say anything hateful.”

“Well,” said Polly, as she covered up the dolls; “I’m glad he’s getting better. It’s dreadful hard to be good, anyway.”

Here Harry came running: “I say, girls, did you know we were all going to the meadows to-morrow? Let’s hurry home, Lotty, and go to bed right after supper, ’cause we’ve got to start by five o’clock in the morning, when the tide’s half in, so’s to get over the bar easy, Jack says. Come on!”

Polly, deciding the bed plan to be a good one, went home immediately for her supper; and when Jack dropped in, about seven o’clock, for a moment with Jimmy, her little brown head was rolling about, trying to find a cool place on the pillow. Up at Squire Green’s, Harry and Lotty kept up a brisk conversation for some time; but when Paul came up, at eight o’clock, they had found the cool place in their pillows, and were fast asleep.

Morning came soon enough. Grandpa Green was up before four, and Michael and Jack, with another ’long-shore man, were down on the beach by that time, bailing out the great scow, which was seldom used except at haying-time.

“How wet it is!” said Paul, holding back a little, as the others crowded in. “I don’t like to get into such a muss.”

“Can’t help it,” said Michael; “take off your shoes an’ be barefut, like the rest of ’em, if you’re afraid of spoiling ’em.”

“Here’s a pretty dry place,” said Jimmy; “but hurry up.” And Paul, much against his will, splashed through the dirty water, while grandpa and the men pushed off with long poles.

“What meadows are you going to, grandpa?” said he, as he began to unlace his shoes.

“ ’Long Ward’s Creek,” answered grandpa; “we’ll be there in ten minutes.”

“Why,” said Paul, as they drew nearer, “I didn’t know there was any creek here. I’ve been by here with Jimmy, and I’m certain it was all sand.”

“So it is at low water,” said grandpa. “These creeks which run up through the meadows are narrow,—not more than fifteen or twenty feet at the widest, and as deep often as they are wide. There’s little motion in them, for they stay just about so full, whether the tide’s up or not; and, seeing the sand bar before them, you wouldn’t think there was anything there. This bar before Ward’s Creek is the worst one ’long shore; for, since I can remember, two men have been sucked into the quicksand, and that was the end of them.”

“What is a quicksand?” said Harry.

“Loose sand that won’t hold you up, as near as I can make it out,” said grandpa, “but that lets you sink in, half in sand, half in water, deeper and deeper all the time, and that seems to hold you tight, so that no strength of your own can get you out. You might walk right over this one at low water and not know it; but let the water be even half a foot deep, and, if your foot touches it, you’re gone. Old Hardcastle, that was lost last year, undertook to wade across, without thinking much about it, I suppose; he must have been hours in sinking, for the tide had but just turned to come in; but nobody heard him, and nobody knew about it till his body was found down the shore three days afterward.”

The children looked over the side of the scow, as it pushed over the bar, and into the sluggish creek, bordered on either side by tall cat’s-tails, and tried to imagine the whirlpool underneath them.

“I stuck a stake in there one day,” grandpa went on, “to see how it worked, and it was three hours before it was sucked in. I found it thrown up on the beach below, and knew it because I’d put a mark on it.”

Grandpa turned quickly, for Paul had cried out loudly, and was dancing up and down now in a most unaccountable manner. Deeply interested in what his grandfather was saying, he had, after taking off his shoes, put his feet down without much thought of the dirty water; and, as he listened, sat moving them about in it unconsciously, gradually breaking up all the housekeeping arrangements of a respectable king-crab, which, not liking it at all, had fastened suddenly on Paul’s great toe, and was pinching with a will. Paul, never very brave, screamed loudly, and could scarcely stand still to have grandpa take it off and throw it over. Lotty began to cry; while the other boys, half laughing, half sympathizing, advised Paul to put his toe in his pocket till they landed.

“Nasty thing!” said he, very red, and almost in a passion. “How am I going to walk to-day, I’d like to know? Why can’t you go in a scow that don’t leak, and isn’t half full of water?”

“You’ve got to find that one yet,” said Michael. “Wet your handkercher, and tie your toe up, and it’ll be getting better. You see scows is built crossways o’ the wood, and ’tain’t natur for them not to leak. You’ve got to take boards lengthwise if you want tight boats. Here we are!” and Michael poled the scow up to a sort of half-wharf built of stones, and tied it by a rope to a post.

“Scatter now, you young ones,” said he, “an’ keep out o’ the way while we’re mowing.”

Paul hobbled out to shore, but sat down in the meadow, making dreadful faces. The toe was badly swelled; and the children began to think the day quite spoiled, when Jack came up.

“You stay there awhile, and I’ll fix things for you,” said he. “After you’ve kept still an hour or two, you’ll be all right.”

Michael, with a sweep or two of his scythe, made a clear space, and piled up the stiff green grass near the edge of the creek.

“Here’s a basket,” said Jack, “an’ now you just sit still there on the grass, and with this ’ere crab-net you nab every feller that comes along. I’ll tie on a stick so’s to have a longer handle that’ll let you reach further, and maybe you’ll get enough for a dinner.”

“O,” said Lotty and Harry together, “can’t we have nets too?”

“Yes,” said Jack; “there’s some more in the basket. Work away fast as you like; for there’s ten of us, and we all want crabs for dinner.”

“How are you going to eat ’em?—raw?” said Lotty.

“Guess not,” said Jack, “unless you hanker after ’em that way. That’s what that iron pot’s for; and when you get a lot, holler, an’ I’ll come an’ fix a fire.”

“O, what fun!” said Harry, making a dive for a small green crab, and actually catching it at once.

“There’s more further up, where the creek stops,” said Jack; “they come out, lots of ’em, up there, and I guess you’ll catch all you want.”

Paul landed some half a dozen, and then, getting tired, drew a book out of his pocket, and, making a sort of nest in the salt grass, settled himself comfortably down; while the other children walked on, looking, as they went, at the mowers, who, headed by Grandpa Green, had already cleared a wide stretch of meadow.

“Keep straight ahead,” called he, “so’s not to get into ditches, and perhaps you’ll find some grass-nuts further on.”

“My!” said Polly, “I’d forgotten all about grass-nuts. Let’s hunt for some before we get any more crabs”; and, taking all the nets, she threw them into the deep basket, where a dozen or more crabs were fighting at the bottom, and hurried back. The meadow lay between two bluffs, and toward one of these the children pushed on, coming by and by near the shore, where the grass grew thinly and patches of sand were seen.

“That’s where the grass-nuts grow,” said Nathan.

Lotty and Harry saw only some spikes of grass growing alone in the sand-patches, and, with the idea that nuts must be on trees, looked far ahead, unable to see even a bush.

“Where are you looking?” said Nathan. “See here!” and, pulling up one of these tufts of grass, showed, clinging to the roots, two or three little brown balls like tiny potatoes.

“Taste ’em,” said he.

Lotty took one dubiously, and tasted.

“Why, it’s sweet!” said she after a moment, and looking much relieved,—“sweet, and a little bit spicy, and sort o’ juicy; ain’t it good?”

“To be sure,” said Nathan, running from one tuft to another; “let’s get a lot”; and all the children went to work too busily to say much.

“Why, here’s a shell,—a beauty, too,” said Lotty, at last; “how did it get here?”

“Left in the spring,” said Nathan; “this end o’ the meadow is always covered with water then. You can’t get grass-nuts anywhere where the water hasn’t been. There ain’t one in the other meadow, for all the grass looks just the same. We’ve got ’em all now, I guess, so let’s go back.”

Jack’s voice was heard, calling loudly, and they turned and ran back to the spot where they had left Paul.

“That’s one way to get a dinner,” said Jack, as they reached him,—“run off when there ain’t but fourteen crabs in the basket.”

“I should think fourteen ought to be enough,” said Harry.

“Why, you’d starve to death on fourteen,” put in Jimmy, “for they’re so little, and it’s such hard work to get the meat out, that you’re hungrier and hungrier with every one. I’ve got some fellows worth while, though”; and he showed a basket full of great green-backs. “Ain’t that a comfortable pot o’ water for ’em?”

Two crotched sticks had been set in the ground, and one laid across, on which the kettle hung, while a brushwood fire burned briskly beneath.

“O,” screamed Lotty, as the water in the pot began to boil, and Jimmy suddenly dumped every crab right into it,—“O, what a wicked thing to boil ’em all alive!”

“It don’t hurt,” said Nathan; “they’re used to it. That’s the way to kill ’em, an’ it’s the quickest way too.”

Lotty shook her head, and inwardly resolved not to touch one; but when, half an hour later, with the great lunch-basket unpacked and everybody sitting round and eating them, Harry presented a particularly juicy red claw, it smelled so good, that she sucked a little bit, and then more, and finally ended with eating half a dozen.

“Jack,” said Grandpa Green, “you may take an hour now, and go with the children to the lower bluff to show them the hawk’s nest. How’s your toe, Paul?”

“Pretty well, I guess,” said Paul, who had been sound asleep on the salt grass till lunch-time, and had eaten as many crabs as anybody, notwithstanding his bite. “I’ll go too, I guess.”

Lotty and Polly piled everything into the great basket,—which Michael carried back to the scow,—and started on with Jack, who seemed to know every inch of the meadow, and piloted them through places where they would never have thought of going alone. By and by, quite speckled with mosquito bites, they came out on another sandy space, very like the one where they had gathered grass-nuts, and from this struggled up the bluff, and sat down all out of breath under a cedar.

“See that tree, way out on the end o’ the bluff?” said Jack, “and all them sticks and things clear up on the tip-top? That’s the hawk’s nest, that my father says was there when he was a boy, and, blow as big a gale as you like, no wind has ever knocked a stick out yet. Shouldn’t wonder if it had grown into the tree, else it couldn’t stay put so. You stay round here now till I come after you, for I’ve got to go back and rake, and maybe you’ll see the mother hawk come home with a fish.”

“Wait a minute,” said Nathan; “let’s divide the grass-nuts now, an’ then Jack can eat his when he’s going back.”

“Hi!” said Jack, as they emptied them out, “that’s nice. How many have you got?”

“I’m going to count,” said Jimmy, beginning on the little pile. “Sixty-three! that’s a haul now! nine apiece; where’d you get such a lot?” and he and Jack, taking possession of their share, walked off to the meadow.

The children sat still under the cedar, eating their nuts, and growing cooler as the sea-breeze blew over them, and finally Paul, who could tell very delightful stories when he chose, began one which grew so interesting that they quite forgot the hawk, till Nathan, looking out to the water, cried suddenly, “There she is!” and they saw a great brown and white bird, flying slowly over the water, swoop quickly down, and, rising again with a fish, fly towards the old cedar.

“Hush now!” said Paul; and the children, standing up, watched two little hawks in the nest put their heads out and scream to the mother bird, which came swiftly to them, and settled into the nest, with the fish still struggling in her claws. Lotty drew a long breath.

“Everything eats everything else,—don’t it?” said she; “and I suppose, if that fish hadn’t been caught, he’d eat all the little fish he could all the afternoon.”

“To be sure,” said Paul. “Hush, though; isn’t that grandpa calling?”

“Yes,” said Harry, “and there’s Jack ’most here; let’s hurry down.”

All started up, and, meeting Jack at the foot of the bluff, walked back through the meadow.

“I don’t want to go home so soon. What makes you?” said Harry.

“ ’Cause it’s after four now,” said Jack; “tide’s more ’n half high, and we’ve got to hurry along. They’re loading the scow now.”

“Is the hay going to be taken home to-day?” said Lotty; “I thought you always left hay to dry.”

“So we do most times, but not salt hay,” answered Jack, as they came out into the meadow once more, and neared the scow, on which the hay was being rapidly piled. “You see the salt hay don’t belong to nobody in particular, an’ if we left this lying here, any one that came along would help himself. It’s going to be taken down shore to where the wagons come for clams, an’ the team’ll be there to meet it and carry it up to the barn-yard.”

“Come, children,” shouted grandpa; “hay’s all in!”

“How shall I get up there?” said Lotty, looking up to the great stack, which had sunk the scow almost to the water’s edge.

“I’ll show you,” said grandpa; and, lifting her in his arms, he tossed her up right into the pile, and Harry after her.

“Paul, you’re almost too big,” said he, “but we must play you’re little on account of your toe”; and Paul found himself suddenly heels over head in the hay, followed by Polly and Nathan, and then by grandpa himself, and Jack and Jimmy and Michael and the other man, while the scow, almost too heavily loaded to be managed, floated slowly down the creek, and out to the open bay, smooth as glass under the hot July sun. It was only a very little way to the bluff where the road came down; the great hay-wagon was waiting; and, after grandpa had jumped the children to the shore, they stood and watched the men pitch the grass from the scow, and debated whether they had better ride home on the hay or walk down the shore and see the fyke emptied. Polly had seen fykes all her life, and even Lotty was inclined to think a ride more desirable; so the two little girls were lifted to the very top of the load again, and Harry, who had changed his mind a dozen times, took a place beside them, while Paul walked down shore with the other boys.

“There’s no use in emptying the fyke to-night,” said Jack, after they had gone a little way; “father won’t go to Shrewsbury till to-morrow morning anyway, so ’t they ought to stay in it to keep fresh. Hurry back, boys, and we’ll all have a ride on the hay.”

The wagon was up the bluff, and creaking through the sandy road, when they caught up with it, red and out of breath.

“Up with you, young ones!” said grandpa, who was walking; and all “swarmed up” the sides and in among the others. Such a ride home! The ruts were very deep, and the heavy load swayed sometimes as if determined to go over, while Lotty and Polly gave little screams, and then tried to look as if they never had thought of such a thing. Grandma Green had a great basket of peaches ready for all the hot, tired people; and the children sat down under the trees in the front yard with their share, and ate and talked till the great red sun went down into the sea, and the Ben boys and Polly started for home.

Harry and Lotty went to bed, determined to wake up very early, and go down with Paul to see the fyke emptied; but when five o’clock next morning came, they were still sleeping so soundly that nurse said they must not be wakened, and Paul went down alone. Jimmy and Nathan had finished breakfast, and came running as they saw Jack and Paul coming from opposite directions. Jack rolled up his trousers and waded out.

“You had better do like me, if you want to see the fun,” he said to Paul; and Paul, after a moment’s hesitation, as he remembered the crab of yesterday, kicked off his shoes, and followed.

“Hold the basket, will you?” said Jack, as he untied the gathered end. “Here they are, all in a heap, pointing their noses to deep water every one of ’em. Porgies? no sir, plenty o’ you any day without the trouble o’ setting a fyke,” and he slid each porgy back to the water. “Week-fish? that’s good; an’ sea-bass, two of ’em, and rock-fish, and a heap o’ plaices. O, this is a pretty good haul!—worth a dollar and a half, I’ll bet.”

“ ’Twon’t take long to earn the boat,—will it?” said Jimmy. “I’m going over to Long Point for blue-fish to sell; maybe we’ll make up the seven dollars by the end o’ the week. What have you got in that wheelbarrow up there, Jack?”

“Clams,” said Jack, as, after re-tying the fyke, he started for home. “I dug ’em this morning. You see, I want all the money I can get, ’cause Cap’n Brown’s had an offer a’ready for the surf-boat, an’ the man that wants it says he’ll give eight dollars, rather than do without it. The Cap’n says he’ll wait a week for me, an’ this fyke’s got to do the business. Come on, Paul, if you’ve a mind to go home my way.”

“I guess not,” said Paul, whose face wore a very knowing look, and he dashed off toward Squire Green’s before any one could ask the reason why.

What he was in such a hurry for, you may some time find out; and, till then, good by.

Helen C. Weeks.


There’s a meddlesome “Somebody” going about,

And playing his pranks, but we can’t find him out;

He’s up stairs and down stairs from morning till night,

And always in mischief, but never in sight.


The rogues I have read of in song or in tale

Are caught at the end, and conducted to jail;

But “Somebody’s” tracks are all covered so well

He never has seen the inside of a cell.


Our young folks at home, at all seasons and times,

Are rehearsing the roll of “Somebody’s” crimes;

Or, fast as their feet and their tongues can well run,

Come to tell the last deed the sly scamp has done.


“ ‘Somebody’ has taken my knife,” one will say;

“ ‘Somebody’ has carried my pencil away”;

“ ‘Somebody’ has gone and thrown down all the blocks”;

“ ‘Somebody’ ate up all the cakes in the box.”


It is “Somebody” breaks all the pitchers and plates,

And hides the boys’ sleds, and runs off with their skates,

And turns on the water, and tumbles the beds,

And steals all the pins, and melts all the dolls’ heads.


One night a dull sound like the thump of a head

Announced that one youngster was out of his bed;

And he said, half asleep, when asked what it meant,

“ ‘Somebody’ is pushing me out of the tent!”


Now, if these high crimes of “Somebody” don’t cease,

We must summon in the detective police;

And they, in their wisdom, at once will make known,

The culprit belongs to no house but our own.


Then should it turn out, after all, to be true,

That our young folks themselves are “Somebody” too,

How queer it would look, if we saw them all go

Marched off to the station-house, six in a row!


William Allen Butler.


“What has become of Pussy Willow? Isn’t that story ever going to be finished? Nothing about it last month,—nothing about it this month. It’s too bad!”

Some such voices have reached our ears, away, away, far off down in the sunny land of Florida, where we fell asleep in an orange-grove, and only dreamed that there were yet such things as cold winds, snow-storms, hail, and ice existing.

Two of our little friends have sent urgent messages to awaken us out of our sleep. One nice little blue-eyed friend modestly begs to know when Pussy Willow will be finished; and one brown-eyed little puss assumes more decided ground, and threatens us terribly, that, if Pussy Willow isn’t finished before we go North, she will not kiss us when we meet. That would be frightful; we actually wake up, open both eyes, and begin to think Where are we now? Not in the moon, it appears; not in the enchanted land,—though we have seen strange sights here. While you poor Northern people have been having snow-storm after snow-storm, and the fires have been kept going, and the furnaces roaring red-hot in the cellars, we, down here, have been sitting out under trees, watching the coming and going of the ivory buds and blossoms of the orange and lemon trees.

All around us in the different yards the great oleander-trees have borne aloft their crowns of bright crimson blossoms, looking like full-blown roses, and the pomegranate has flowered out in brilliant scarlet dyes, while red-birds every morning have wakened us, singing, “What cheer! what cheer!” and the mocking-birds have sung to us like every other bird you can think of. Some days the jays have kept the trees all alive with their chatter, and sometimes a cloud of bright green paroquets have come flying over,—so green that they could scarcely be distinguished from the trees. Whole tribes of wild flowers in the woods have come and are gone since we have been here, and yet the woods are full now.

Early in February the trees in the woods were all wreathed into garlands with the bright yellow jessamine, which hung its golden bells full of violet perfume in long festoons. These passed away as March came in with orange and lemon blossoms, and then in the moist spots in the woods sprang up pure silver-white lilies, whose buds were tinted with the most beautiful pink, like the rosy inside of a sea-shell; and purple glycine flowers, and scarlet honeysuckle, and two kinds of trumpet-flowered bignonia began to wreathe the trees of the forest together.

As to the flowers that have been blooming, their number is bewildering. They have kept us looking and wondering and exclaiming, and making flower vases, ever since we have been here. Can you wonder that among all these new, bright, strange scenes the cold, frozen North was awhile forgotten, and that it seemed pleasanter to wander and gather flowers and sit under trees and eat oranges from off them, while yet they were pearly with blossoms, than to be going on with any story whatsoever?

To do ourselves justice, we must tell you that we wrote you all about it once, and our manuscript was lost by a most strange accident. You must know that we are living in a little cottage on the banks of the great St. John’s River, which, where we are, is six miles wide, so that the opposite shores are blue in the distance. The principal way in which this little village, named Mandarin, communicates with the world is by steamboats, which pass and repass four or five times a week. There used to be a long wharf built out into the river to the deep-water channel, where the steamboats pass; but in war time about half of the passage-way out to this wharf was destroyed, so that the mail-bag has now to be sent out in a boat.

Well, a short time ago, we wrote all about Pussy Willow, and finished her history, and did it up, and directed it to Ticknor and Fields, and put it into our mail-bag. But, just as the time came to get the bag out to the wharf, there came up a thunder-storm with a tremendous gale of wind, and the little mail-bag was seized by the wind, and carried sheer off the wharf into the water; and the waves were running so high, and the wind was making such a commotion, that there was no such thing as dragging for it till next day,—and then dragging did no good. There it lies at the bottom of the St. John’s River,—this diverting and edifying history of Pussy Willow,—along with forty letters, the half-weekly mail of the village of Mandarin.

For the life of us we can’t help wondering what will become of them all. There is a pretty lively and intelligent population of people under the blue waters of the St. John’s, who will probably, first or last, have the discussion of it; but their opinions will be rather of a scaly nature, and will never be known to us. There is the lordly Dr. Alligator, who, though his mouth opens like an old-fashioned snuff-box, and his backbone runs down to a long scaly point, nevertheless is an honest, respectable old fellow in his way. I think he will probably have the first opening of that mail-bag, which he will manage with one decided chaw; and then I fancy he will abandon it in disgust, after the manner of newspapers and critics generally, when they come across what has no particular relation to their own tastes and fancies.

“Pshaw!” I hear the old Doctor say, “what tough stuff! No savor,—decidedly a poor, watery performance. Well, if this is what those tribes on shore make much of, they are welcome to it,”—and away he swims.

Then will come up a whole host of gar-fish. These fellows are fish with long bills on the ends of their noses, armed with sharp teeth, which they use on any and every thing that comes in their way. One of them gets hold of the history of Pussy Willow, chews it up, and swallows it. There was ever so much excellent advice in it,—quantities of considerations for good little girls; and this unappreciative gar-fish swims off with them all in his stomach, and I question if he is a whit the wiser or better thereby. Ten to one he complains to Mrs. Gar that “that trash lies so heavy in his stomach that you will never catch him having anything to do with such stupid, heavy productions from on shore again.” I doubt whether any of them ever get the contents of another mail-bag into their stomachs. It is their last opportunity, and much good may it do them!

And now, my little folks, having made my apologies, I will proceed to rewrite for you from memory the last chapter of the history of Pussy Willow. We left off just as the war began, and Emily’s brother, and Pussy’s brothers, and everybody’s brothers, were all marching off to the war. What times those were, to be sure! Wasn’t everything for a while turned topsy-turvy? Those were days when all who had any capacity in them that was good for anything were sure to find it out, and have it called into use. People who do great things and good things at such times do them because they have been laying up strength beforehand, and training themselves in body and in mind. Then, when the time comes to use their faculties, they have them all ready, and they know just where to find them.

Very soon came the news of battles and skirmishes, and then of precious blood shed. Then of battles that left ever so many of the noblest and most precious of our Northern soldiers wounded and bleeding. Cannot all of you remember how the mothers and daughters and sisters, all over the country, flew to their relief,—how societies were formed, and women worked day and night to send aid to the brave men who were fighting our battles on the field?

Then, had you been in New York, you must have seen the City Park lined along its edges with barracks thrown up to receive the wounded soldiers. Within were long lines of neat beds where the poor fellows lay. There you might have seen a pretty young girl, dressed in deep mourning, who came every day with her little basket on her arm, leaving at many a couch some token of her gentle presence and loving care. This is the girl that was once the idle, selfish Emily Proudie. What is she now? To the poor suffering men whom she visits every day she seems like an angel; and, as she passes among them, she leaves a bunch of flowers here, an interesting book or pamphlet there. Sometimes there is a little bottle of cologne, or a palm-leaf fan, or a delicate, nicely hemmed handkerchief,—luxuries for the sick-bed of which her kind eye sees the need here and there. Occasionally she will sit for an hour at a time by some poor feverish boy, fanning away the flies, that he may sleep, and perhaps singing a sweet hymn. Once she used to get vast credit for singing French and Italian songs with a great many shakes and trills in them, which it fatigued her very much to learn, and which, when she got through with them, people complimented her for as wonderfully well done. Now she sang some simple airs from a soldier’s tune-book; and when her tender voice rose, it was in words like these:—

“Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,

 That calls me from a world of care,

 And bids me at my Father’s throne

 Make all my wants and wishes known.”

Often, while she was singing, there would be such a stillness all up and down the hospital that you might hear a pin drop, and you might see hard, dark hands brushing away tears quietly; and then the men would speak softly of pious mothers, at whose knees they learned to pray long years ago.

You remember the days when Emily had everybody in the house at her feet, waiting on her, and yet was full of disgust and weariness. In those days her back ached, and her head ached, and everything constantly troubled her; her dresses never were trimmed to suit her, and everything went wrong with her from morning to night.

Now she is a different girl indeed. She wears a plain mourning dress for her dear brother, who was one of the first to lay down his life for his country; but her dress costs her little thought and little care, because her heart is full of sweeter and nobler things. Emily is living no more for self, she is living for others; she has learned the Saviour’s beautiful lesson that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and she finds it so. She uses every day all the strength she has, resolutely and systematically, in some good works of charity. Besides going to the hospital, she goes often to the rooms of the Soldiers’ Aid Society to cut out work, and she takes some home with her, that every hour may be usefully employed. She writes letters for the poor fellows who are too feeble to write for themselves, and tells distant mothers and friends how their beloved ones are doing. Many of Miss Emily’s letters are treasured in distant dwellings in the country, where her face has never been seen, because they are all the tidings that remain of some dear one forever lost to earth.

Emily’s mamma and aunts declared that the dear child was doing too much, and actually wearing herself out; but Emily found one great secret, and that was, when she had used all her strength in good works, to look humbly to her Father in secret for more,—and this strength always came.

“Aren’t you afraid, Doctor, that Emily will wear herself out with visiting the hospitals and working for the soldiers?” said anxious mamma.

The Doctor gave her a good look through his great round spectacles.

“I think she’ll stand it,” he said, “rather better than she used to stand the opera and the German some winters ago.”

“And if I don’t,” said Emily, “I’d rather wear out than rust out. I have found out what life is good for now.”

As to Pussy Willow, she had a brother who rose to be a General, and had command of a whole State, and she went to the South to keep house for him. One of the largest hospitals in the Southern Department was conducted under her eye and care, and a most capital one it was. She had strength, the result of years of healthy energy, to give to the service of her country. She had experience in the use of her hands, and could do everything in the neatest and quickest way; and when a hundred desperately wounded men are brought in at once to be relieved and made comfortable, nobody without experience can tell how important it is to know how to do exactly the right thing in the least time. The nights that Pussy has been up in her hospital kitchen, making soup and gruel and coffee, when the wounded were being brought in after a battle! She moved so quickly that she seemed to be everywhere; she directed everybody and everything, and wherever anything seemed in danger of going wrong, there she was in a trice, and set it right again.

Nobody knows the amount of work done by fair, delicate women in those days. They did not turn aside from any horror, they did not spare themselves any fatigue, they called no service beneath them whereby they could relieve a pain. Among these heroines our Pussy was foremost. Those blue eyes of hers became stars of hope to many a poor fellow, and her ministering hands seemed to have the very gift of healing in them. She overlooked the stores sent by the Sanitary Commission, and saw that they were wisely kept and administered. She wrote to the North for whatever was wanting, and kept her patients well and carefully clothed, fed, tended, and nursed. Many letters passed between her and Emily in this labor of love, and many a nice package of shirts and stockings came down to her from Emily’s Fifth Avenue sewing association. So these two girls were united in the service of their country.

And, in this war, it was the women, no less than the men, that saved the country. If there had not been hundreds of thousands of brave women who did as Miss Emily and our Pussy did, thousands of dear and precious lives must have been wasted, and the war could not have come to so glorious an end.

Well, peace came at last. How glad we all were! And all our generals and colonels came North again, and laid aside their titles, and went to work at their farms and merchandise as quietly as though nothing had happened. But the people where Pussy lives still persist in calling her brother General, and his coat with the gold star on it is hung up with his sword in the little cottage where our story began.

As to Pussy, she has married lately, and gone to live in New York. She lives in a nice brown-stone house in Fifth Avenue, not far from Miss Emily, and the two girls are more intimate than ever. People do say that the General, Pussy’s brother, is going to marry Miss Emily, and so they will by and by be sisters. I can’t say certainly as to that; I only know that they are a great deal together; and on the whole, if my young folks will have it so, I guess we will finish up our story that way.

It is agreed that Pussy is always to spend her summers at the old homestead where she first saw the light, where the bright pussy willow bush tassels out early in March under the chamber windows, and the old grandmotherly ferns, with their woolly nightcaps, peep out to see whether it will do to unroll and come up into this upper world.

Pussy is right, for the good fairies dwell in these quiet country places. Do you want to see one, my dear Charlotte or my blue-eyed Mary? Well, the next time you get a chance to look down into a clear spring, or a deep well all fringed with ferns, if the water is very still and clear, perhaps you will see one smiling and looking amiably at you.

Now remember to be a good girl, and live to help other people. Begin by being, as Pussy was, a kind, helpful daughter to your dear mother, who has done more for you than you have any idea of; and remember that your happiness consists in what you give and what you do, and not in what you receive and have done for you.

And now good by.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


Running away from mother,

  Bareheaded up the street,

Kicking the dust into yellow smoke

  With little roguish feet;


Tossing it over his clean white dress,

  Into his stocking-heels,

Choking the little wooden horse

  That trundles along on wheels;


Dreaming away with wide blue eyes,

  And speculating why

God won’t give him the golden ball

  That drops in the quivering sky;


What’s the use of that pretty pink cloud,

  Sailing away so high,

If you can’t have a ride in it;

  And it’s just no use to try!


If that woman grew with glasses on;

  If this house is papa’s;

Why that nice red cow won’t talk to him,

  Looking across the bars;


Into the neighbors’ gates and doors!

  Under their cherry-trees!

Into mischief and out again,

  Wherever he may please;


Wandering at last to the old church steps,

  Little horse and all;

Climbing up laboriously;—

  Too bad if he should fall!


Pushing in, with dimpled hands,

  The great door strong and tall,

Letting the sweet warm summer light

  Slide down the shadowed wall;


Standing there in the solemn hush

  Of chancel, nave, and dome;

Thinking it is prettier

  Than the sitting-room at home;


Standing still in the broken lights

  That shimmer through the place,

Mellowing down through painted glass

  Like rainbows on his face.


Not a bit afraid—ah, no, indeed!—

  Of the shadows vast and dim;

Quite at home! and sure it was made

  All on purpose for him!


      *      *      *      *      *


The old, old words come up to me,

  Spoken so long ago,

About the heavenly temple

  Where you and I would go,—


The beautiful, waiting temple,

  Which has no room for sin;

Something about a little child,

  And the way of entering in.

E. Stuart Phelps.


Letter from Aunt Phebe.

Dear Billy,—

You rogue, you! You’ve frightened us all to pieces with your ghost that wasn’t a ghost, and your whipping that wasn’t a whipping, and your measles that you didn’t have. Grandmother may talk, but she’s losing her memory. You were red as a beet with ’em. As if I didn’t carry you about all night and go to sleep walking!

Grandmother says, “Yes, indeed! bring Dorry, and let him stay a week if he wants to.” Bless her soul! She’ll always keep her welcome warm, so never mind her memory. And Bubby Short, too. Pray bring Bubby Short. I want to see his black eyes shine. Don’t Benjie want to come? I’ve got beds enough, and girls enough to work, and a great batch of poor mince-pies that I want eaten up. Don’t see how I came to make such a miss in my pies this baking. Your uncle J. thinks I skinched on plums. There never was such a man for plums. I do believe if they were put into his biscuits he’d think he’d got no more than his rights.

Your uncle J. says: “Tell the boys to come on. I’ve got apples to gather, and husking to do.” They’d better bring some old clothes to wear. This is such a tearing place. I’ve put my Tommy into jacket and trousers. He used to hitch his clothes upon every rail. Such a climber! I don’t know what that boy’ll be when he grows up.

I send you a good warm comforter, knit in stripes; and all the family are knit into it, especially Tommy. The pink stripes are his good-boy days, and the black ones are his naughty actions. I showed him where I knit ’em in. That clouded gray and black stripe is for my two great girls quarrelling together about whose work ’twas to do some little trifle. I told ’em they should be knit in, big as they are, if they couldn’t behave, and be accommodating. That bright red stripe is for Hannah Jane’s school report, all perfect. That blue stripe is for your sister Georgianna when she made a sheet. It matches her eyes as near as I could get the yarn. My blue dye is weak this fall. Indigo is high. Your uncle J. says it’s on account of the Rebs feeling so blue. That gray stripe, dotted with yellow, means a funny crying-spell Tommy had at table. I came home, and there he sat in his high chair, with his two hands on the arms of it, his mouth wide open, eyes shut, and the tears streaming down, making the dolefullest noise,—“O-oh, a-ah; o-oh, a-ah.” Lucy Maria said he’d been going on in that strain almost half an hour, because we didn’t have mince-meat for supper. That green stripe is for the day we all took the hay-cart and went to ride in the woods. The orange-colored one is for the box of oranges your uncle J. fetched home. “A waste of money,” says I. “Please the children,” says he; “and the peel will save spice.” Makes me laugh when your uncle J. sets out to save. My girls and Tommy have got the very best of fathers, only they don’t realize it. But young folks can’t realize. The pale rose-colored stripe is for the travelling doctor’s curing your grandmother’s rheumatics, and promising she never should have another touch of ’em if she was careful. The dark red stripe is for the red cow’s getting choked to death with a turnip. She was a prime butter cow. Any man but your uncle J. would look sober for a month about it. But he says, “O, there’s butter enough in the world, Phebe. And the calf will soon be a cow on its own hook.” That’s your uncle J.

The plain dark purple stripe is for my Matilda’s speaking disrespectfully to grandmother. She was sorry enough afterwards, but I told her it should go in. That bright yellow stripe is for the day your father went to market and got such a great price for his colt. The bright fringe, mixed colors, is for us all in both houses, when we got news of your coming home, and felt so glad. There’s a stitch dropped in one place. That may go for a teardrop,—a tear of mine, dear, if you please. Do you think we grown-up women, we jolly, busy women, never shed tears? O, but we do sometimes, in an out-of-the-way corner, or when the children are all gone to school, or everybody is in bed. Bitterer tears they are, Billy, than boys’ tears. One more stripe, that plain white one in the centre, is for the little Tommy that died. I couldn’t bear to leave him out, Billy. He had such little loving ways. You don’t remember him.

There’s your uncle J.’s whistle. He always whistles when he gets to the bars, to let me know it’s time to begin to take up dinner.

From your loving

Aunt Phebe.

Dorry’s Second Letter.

Dear Sis,—

Who’s been giving you an inch, that you take so many “l’s”? Or is father putting an “L” to his house, or some great “LL.D.” been dining there, or what is the matter, that about every “l” in your letter comes double? I wouldn’t spell “painful” with two “l’s” if the pain was ever so bad. But I know. You are thinking about Billy and the good times we are having. Aunt Phebe says you might have come too, just as well as not; for her family is so big, three or four more don’t make a mite of difference.

We got here last night. Billy’s grandmother’s a brick. She took Billy right in her arms, and I do believe she cried for being glad, behind her spectacles. His sister is full as pretty as you. Billy brought her a round comb. Aunt Phebe’s little Tommy’s as fat as butter. He sat and sucked his thumb and stared, till Billy held out a whistle to him, and then he walked up and took it, as sober as a judge.

“And I’ve brought you something, grandmother,” says Billy.

He went out, and brought in a bandbox tied up. I wondered, coming in the cars, what he had got tied up in that bandbox. He out with his jack-knife, and cut the strings, and took out—have you guessed yet? Of course you haven’t,—took out a new cap like grandma’s. He stuck his fist in it, and turned it round and round, to let her see it.

“Now sit down,” says he, “and we’ll try it on.”

She wouldn’t, but he made her.

“Come here, Dorry,” says he, “and see which is the front side of this.”

When her old cap was pulled off, there was her gray hair all soft and wavy. He got the cap part way on.

“You tip it down too much,” says I.

“We’ll turn it round,” says he.

“ ’Tis upside down,” said Billy’s father.

“Now ’tis one-sided,” says Uncle J., “like the colt’s blinders.”

“ ’Twas never meant for my head,” says grandmother.

“Send for Phebe,” says Uncle J.

But “Phebe” was coming. There was a great chattering outside, and the door opened, and in came Aunt Phebe, laughing, and her three great girls laughing too, with their red cheeks, and their great braids of hair tied up in red bow-knots of ribbon. And they all went to kissing Billy.

And then says Aunt Phebe, “What in the world are you doing to your grandmother? A regular milliner’s cap, if I breathe! Well done, grandmother! Here, let me give it a twist. It’s hind side before. What do boys know? or men either? What are all these kinds of strings for?”

“The great ones to hang down, and the little ones to tie up,” says Billy.

The girls stood by to pick the bows apart, and fuzz up the ruffles where they were smashed in; and Billy’s father and Uncle Jacob, they sat and laughed.

Grandmother couldn’t help herself, but she kept saying, “Now Phebe! Now girls! Now Billy!”

“And now grandmother!” says Aunt Phebe. “There! fold your hands together. Don’t lean back hard, ’twill jam easy. Now see, girls! Isn’t she a beauty?” And, Maggie, I do believe she’s the prettiest grandmother there is going. Her face is just as round and smiling!

“Now sit still, grandmother,” said Aunt Phebe. And she winked to the girls, and they whisked two tables up together, spread on the cloth, set on the dishes; then out into the entry, and brought in great loaves of plum-cake, and pies and doughnuts, and set out the table,—all done while you’d be tying your shoe. Then they set a row of lights along the middle, and we all sat round,—grandmother at the head, and Aunt Phebe’s little Tommy in his high chair; and I tell you what, if these are poor mince-pies, I hope I shall never see any good ones.

“Why didn’t you have some fried eggs?” said Uncle Jacob.

“Now did anybody ever hear the like?” said Aunt Phebe. “Fried eggs! when they’re shedding their feathers, and it takes seventy-six fowls to lay a dozen, and every egg is worth its weight in currency! Better ask why we don’t have cranberry sauce!”

“There!” says Uncle J. “I declare, if I didn’t forget that errand, after all!”

“When I told you to keep saying over ‘Cranberries, cranberries,’ all the way going along!” says Aunt Phebe.

“They would ’a’ set my teeth on edge before I got to Ne’miah’s corner,” said Uncle J. “The very thoughts of ’em is enough. Lucy Maria, please to pass that frosted cake. I declare, I’m sorry I forgot that errand.”

For all we were so hungry, there was a great deal left, and I was glad to see it going into Billy’s buttery. Billy says it’s just like his aunt Phebe to come to supper, and make that an excuse to bring enough to last a week, to save grandmother steps.

I do like to stay where folks are jolly. They keep me a-laughing; and as for Bubby Short, his little black eyes have settled themselves into a twinkle, and there they stay. I never had such a good time, in my life.

From your same old brother,



P. S. We have got good times enough planned out to last a month. Uncle J. says we may have his old horse, and Young Gray, and Dobbin, and the cow too, if we want, to ride horseback on, or tackle up into anything we can find, from a hay-cart to a wheelbarrow. I shall want to write, but sha’n’t. There’ll be no time. When I get home, I’ll talk a week.

Love to all inquiring friends.

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.


Pull down the bough, Bob! Isn’t this fun?

Now give it a shake, and—there goes one!

Now put your thumb up to the other, and see

If it isn’t as mellow as mellow can be!

          I know by the stripe

          It must be ripe!

That’s one apiece for you and me.


Green, are they? Well, no matter for that.

Sit down on the grass, and we’ll have a chat;

And I’ll tell you what old Parson Bute

Said last Sunday of unripe fruit.

          “Life,” says he,

          “Is a bountiful tree,

Heavily laden with beautiful fruit.


“For the youth there’s love, just streaked with red,

And great joys hanging just over his head;

Happiness, honor, and great estate,

For those who patiently work and wait;—

          Blessings,” said he,

          “Of every degree,

Ripening early, and ripening late.


“Take them in season, pluck and eat,

And the fruit is wholesome, the fruit is sweet;

But, O my friends!—” Here he gave a rap

On his desk like a regular thunder-clap,

          And made such a bang,

          Old Deacon Lang

Woke up out of his Sunday nap.


Green fruit, he said, God would not bless;

But half life’s sorrow and bitterness,

Half the evil and ache and crime,

Came from tasting before their time

          The fruits Heaven sent.

          Then on he went

To his Fourthly and Fifthly:—wasn’t it prime?


But, I say, Bob! we fellows don’t care

So much for a mouthful of apple or pear;

But what we like is the fun of the thing,

When the fresh winds blow, and the hang-birds bring

          Home grubs, and sing

          To their young ones, a-swing

In their basket-nest, tied up by its string.


I like apples in various ways:

They’re first-rate roasted before the blaze

Of a winter fire; and, O my eyes!

Aren’t they nice, though, made into pies?

          I scarce ever saw

          One, cooked or raw,

That wasn’t good for a boy of my size!


But shake your fruit from the orchard tree,

And the tune of the brook, and the hum of the bee,

And the chipmonks chippering every minute,

And the clear sweet note of the gay little linnet,

          And the grass and the flowers,

          And the long summer hours,

And the flavor of sun and breeze, are in it.


But this is a hard one! Why didn’t we

Leave them another week on the tree?

Is yours as bitter? Give us a bite!

The pulp is tough, and the seeds are white,

          And the taste of it puckers

          My mouth like a sucker’s!

I vow, I believe the old parson was right!

J. T. Trowbridge.


The long, cold winter days have all passed away, and midsummer, with its jolly weeks of vacation, has come to make merry the hearts of all our little young folks. How happy we were—Tom, Maggie, and I—when the appointed morning came, and we left our home in the city to spend a few weeks among the fresh green fields! What a sensation of new life we all felt as we passed up the beautiful Connecticut Valley, and saw the meadows and trees and flowers, and smelt the sweet air from a hundred clover-fields! And now here we are, up among the Green Mountains, spending our days in all kinds of country sports and pleasures. Tom thinks that perhaps some other little young folks would like to know what we are doing, and how we are learning many things which winter schools have failed to teach us.

One day, when we first came here, we were all out walking, and saw a whole crowd of little ruddy-faced boys playing about by the roadside. They were running this way and that, and swinging their little straw hats in the air. At first we could not see what they were about, but soon Tom shouted, “O, they are butterfly hunters,” and off he started to join them.

Now Tom, Maggie, and I had hunted butterflies the summer before, and Tom knew all about the best way to trap the delicate little insects; but we found that these little fellows, although eager for the sport, were quite ignorant as to the ways and means to prosecute it successfully. Tom made acquaintance with the whole band at once, and since that day we have all spent many pleasant hours together, hunting through the meadows and woods for specimens of different kinds of butterflies. Under our guidance the little boys have become very skilful in this pursuit; the little straw hat has given place to a neat net, and instead of the poor broken-winged insects which the boys did not think worth keeping, but generally threw away as soon as they were caught, they have collections of very neatly mounted specimens, and are much interested in every new variety they are able to capture.

It would be quite impossible to tell about all the pleasant hunts we have had, or to describe all the varieties we have placed in our collection; but I will do what I can to interest our young folks, and perhaps, when I have told them some things about butterflies, they may hunt and catch specimens for themselves.

July and August, the very months when school is shut up, and the children are free for the long holidays, is the time when the fields and woods are full, more than at any other season, of the most brilliant and gorgeous species of butterflies. It is now that the Papilio Asterias spreads its large, brilliant wings, and flutters about in the hot July sun. All the small varieties of butterflies are also very numerous at this season of the year; and in the open, sunny fields, the cool woods, and damp meadows, may be found many varieties to enrich the collections of boy and girl hunters.

The instinct for catching butterflies seems to be born with little folks. What boy could see the brilliant little insect flit past him, and not give chase, and with a blow of his hat fell the pretty game to the ground? This is, however, very ruthless sport. To catch butterflies, a few simple implements, easily to be obtained by any boy, are indispensable. These are a firmly made net, light and easy to handle, a small bottle of ether, and a box in which to mount the specimens. By means of the net, the butterfly can be easily secured without injury, and held while the little naturalist administers the drop of ether which serves to quiet the fluttering of the wings and render the insect insensible, while it is secured, by means of a pin through the body, to the case prepared to preserve it.

In the tropical countries, where summer reigns eternal, the butterflies, as a general thing, are much larger and much more beautiful in color than those produced during our short season of green grass and flowers. Mr. Church, the artist, has brought home from the plains of Mexico and the South American wilds a collection wonderful for its brilliant and magnificent coloring. The glossy blue of the wings of some of the insects is far richer than any color worn by our Northern butterflies. We have also seen a collection made in India, which bore this same character. Travellers in foreign lands have very frequently brought back with them collections of this nature; but, while admiring these, we fear our boys and girls have overlooked the beauties nearer home, for, until recently, we have heard of but little effort among them to form collections of native specimens. Our Northern butterflies, although not possessing the great brilliancy of their tropical relations, are quite as beautiful in markings, and of very great variety in color.

The beauty of this summer season of the year is enough in itself to tempt the boys out into the fields and woods; and the ramble will receive a new interest if they open their eyes to notice the hundreds of butterflies which are flitting through the air every sunny morning. Let us take a bright day in the early part of August, and as soon as the sun has dried the dew from the grass and flowers, so that the butterflies can come out from under the leaves where they have spent the night, and fly about without fear of wetting their dainty feet, we will swing our nets over our shoulders, and go off into the open meadows. But first we must pass through the garden back of the house, where sunflowers, hollyhocks, and other common plants are growing luxuriantly side by side with beds of parsley, caraway, sage, and camomile. What is that brilliant spot of color hovering round and round over the parsley? Tom has swung his net, and there entrapped is the beautiful insect. Hold it very carefully in the net, while Maggie pours just one drop of ether on its head. How it draws back at first from the odor which is to be its death, but all in vain; the large wings give one last, faint flutter, and the short, sunny life of the butterfly is over. There it lies still and quiet in your hand. Now fasten it in your box, and arrange the wings before they grow stiff and brittle. What a great, handsome fellow it is! Measure its wings; they expand nearly four inches. The wings and body are both black. On the body are two rows of yellow dots, and the front wings have two rows of yellow spots on the margin. Each of the hind wings has a little tail, and is marked with two bands of yellow, between which are seven bright blue spots. Just at the hind angle of the wing is an orange spot with a black dot in the centre. This large, handsome butterfly is called Papilio Asterias. Here is a picture of it, so that you will know just how it looks.* You will find it flying about in July and the early part of August, generally in or near some kitchen garden.

There are several other large and very beautiful butterflies belonging to this same species; but we must not stop to talk about them here, for Tom and Maggie have already passed through the little garden gate, and are walking slowly along the road. We will join them, and when we reach that old pair of bars we will climb over and sit down to rest under the elm-tree in the meadow. There we can watch the haymakers at work. How pleasant it is here under the elm in the summer noon-time! The haymakers are sitting down to rest under the trees at the farther end of the lot, and in the pasture near by the cattle are all lying down in the shade, throwing their tails about now and then, or sleepily whisking an ear to drive away the teasing little flies which always torment them on a hot summer day. The whole air is fragrant with the new-mown hay, which lies all about.

“Only see all those little yellow butterflies!” cries Tom; and as we look around over the field the whole air appears alive with the gay little honey-eaters. How strange it seems to be surrounded by so much life and activity, and yet to hear no sound of any motion! Hundreds of these brilliant little insects are hovering all about us, revelling in the hot summer sun, and yet how silent it is! It seems as if there must be some spiritual element about these fairy-like creatures, and that they must be part of the sunshine itself. How silent throughout is the butterfly’s existence! From the beginning to the end of its short life it makes no sound. The bee, the wasp, and almost all other insects make sharp, humming noises, as their stiff wings cut through the air; but the soft, downy wings of the butterfly flutter up and down, and no sound is heard. Sometimes, when I have captured a large butterfly, it has been much harder to put an end to its life than it would have been had it protested with a loud buzz of complaint. There is something infinitely touching in the silent submission of the beautiful insect to its little griefs and sorrows.

But Tom shouts that with one swing of his net he has captured a dozen yellow butterflies, and we must help him to arrange them in his box.

These little butterflies are called Colias Philodice. They are to be seen flying round in the sunshine almost all summer, sucking nourishment from all kinds of honey-flowers. They love to fly among the clover-blossoms, and a very beautiful sight it is to see hundreds of these dainty little insects clinging to the great round clover-heads, and swaying back and forth in the summer breeze. Now that Tom has his specimens all in the box, and their wings fastened open with pins so that they will dry in a suitable position, we will look at them, and see how beautifully they are colored. The wings are a bright yellow, with a broad border of black. In the centre of each fore wing is a small black dot, and on each hind wing is a little spot of bright orange. You will notice that on some of these little butterflies the black border is much broader than on others, and beautifully shaded into the yellow of the rest of the wing. These are the female butterflies. Here is a little picture of one of them.

Now we will gather up our nets and walk towards home. Fluttering over the green grass at the side of the road we see great numbers of the little red Copper butterfly, and here and there one of its little dull brown sisters, the tiny Epixanthe; but we will not stop to catch them now, for the noon sun is growing very hot, and we must seek the shade of the large maple-trees in front of the house.

On the grass under these trees, Tom, Maggie, and I spend many long summer afternoons. Now and then some gaudy butterfly flits across the yard, and entices Tom to a run with his net. It is very often a fruitless journey, however. Butterflies are not always to be caught, even by running for them. They are very sly and very quick, and some of the larger varieties will lead a boy a long chase, ending, perhaps, in disappointment. It was only the other day, as we were walking along a pretty country road, that Tom caught sight of a magnificent Archippus butterfly perched proudly upon an asclepias flower. He crept towards it very softly, but, just as his net was about to fall over it, away it soared into the pasture. “I will have that splendid fellow!” said Tom, and, jumping over the wall, he started after it at full speed. Away floated the Archippus, lighting now and then, but always taking to its wings whenever Tom approached. At last it came back into the road again, and fluttered quietly about among the asclepias. Tom climbed over the wall as fast as he could, and, very hot and tired with his long chase, came creeping up to where the butterfly was playing. Up went his net and then came down again, bringing with it a great bunch of asclepias blossoms; but the Archippus spread its large wings, and floated off over a forest of young birches on the other side of the road. Poor Tom stood looking after it with very longing eyes; but when it disappeared he swung his net over his shoulder and went whistling up the road, thinking that perhaps the next time boyish skill and perseverance would prove too much even for an Archippus butterfly. And so it proved; for, before reaching home, a magnificent specimen was safely mounted in his box.

One evening we were sitting reading around our German student-lamp, when thump, thump came something against the window-pane. Maggie pushed up the glass, and very soon a great moth fluttered wildly into the room. It darted round and round the lamp, and, blinded by the glare of light, seemed in great danger of burning itself to death. At last it alighted on the table. Tom had his net all ready, and in a moment the creature lay still and dead in his hand. Poor fellow! The ether had done its work faithfully, and the moth would flutter no more among the sweet honeysuckles in the cool night air. How much it looked like a creature of the night! Its large, heavy eyes and “sober-suited” wings seemed fitted to the quiet, dark hours in which it loved to play. Here is a picture of this moth, showing just how it looks in Tom’s case of specimens.

Its wings are black and gray mixed together with great delicacy. Do you see that long tube partly rolled up in the picture? It is through this tube that the moth draws its food. It unrolls it, and thrusts it down into the deep cups of the honeysuckle and other sweet flowers, and by this means sucks up the honey upon which it lives. When Tom caught this moth we did not see the tube, but, on looking closely, we found it carefully rolled up under the head. By means of a pin, we drew it out before it grew dry and brittle, and left it as in the picture. On each side of the body of this creature are five round orange spots, and on this account it is called the Five-spotted Sphinx.

Tom has captured a great many other moths. They are often very rich in coloring, and possess quite as much interest for the student of natural history as their sisters of light and sunshine, the butterflies. It is not, however, so easy for our young folks to capture them, as they remain concealed among the thick foliage through the day, and only venture out after the sun has set, and it has become quite dark, when the boys and girls, like the butterflies, are sound asleep in their little nests.

I am sure you all know how delicious the woods are on a sultry summer day, but perhaps you have never heard about the delicate little butterflies which make their home among the cool ferns and low bushes. We were all out in the woods one afternoon,—Tom, Maggie, and some other little folks. There was a little boy named Frankie with us. It was not little Frankie that you have read about in the “Butterfly Hunters,” but a boy just like him. We found a delightful resting-place under some maple-trees, and sat down there in the cool shade. It was on the top of a high, rocky cliff, at the foot of which flowed a broad river, rushing on and on out to the sea. Its surface was covered with rafts and boats, and small river craft of various kinds, and the children were never tired of watching them passing up and down. But Tom could think of nothing but butterflies, and as this was a capital place to hunt for Hipparchians, the modest little butterflies of the woods, he and Frankie started off among the bushes to look for them. Frankie had no net, and Tom was so eager to capture specimens that he could not lend his for a single moment. While they were gone, the other children wished to look at the butterflies we had captured on our way to the woods. I opened Tom’s specimen-box, and showed them the pretty insects. Tom had captured three varieties that day. There was a gay little Milbert’s butterfly with its brilliant black and orange wings, and a very fine, fresh specimen of the Cynthia Cardui, or Thistle butterfly, which we had found playing over a great thistle-plant by the roadside. But what pleased the children best was the Argynnis Idalia. On the preceding page is a picture, to show you how large and handsome it is.

The fore wings of the Idalia butterfly are of a dark orange color spotted with black, but the hind wings are quite different, being of a brilliant blue-black tint, and ornamented with two rows of spots,—the inner row almost white. Both rows are of the same color on the female, but on the male the outer row is orange, like the fore pair of wings. All along the outer edge of both pairs of wings are little white spots. This is one of the prettiest butterflies of midsummer.

Tom and Frankie came back before long. Tom had captured a very perfect specimen of the Hipparchia Alope, and we all crowded round to look at it. The Alope butterfly is the largest of the Hipparchians. It loves the woods, but later in the season, when the sun is not so hot as at present, it often may be found flying about in the open fields. Its wings are of a dull brown tint. Across the fore wings is a broad band of yellow, on which are two black spots with a light blue dot in the centre.

But Tom, although much pleased with his fine specimen of the Alope, was disappointed at having missed a Hipparchia Eurytris. He said it was fluttering about among some bushes, and, just as he was going to throw his net, Frankie rushed up and tried to catch it with his hat. The butterfly disappeared, and Tom thought it must have hid under some of the leaves. Frankie was sorry, too, for he wanted to see the little Eurytris butterfly; and, although the boys had hunted all through the damp, shady bushes, they had not been able to find another specimen. Frankie pulled off his hat, and was just going to throw himself down to rest on the cool, green moss under the trees, when one of the other children cried out that something was sticking in his hair. And there, sure enough, was the little Eurytris, its tiny feet caught fast in Frankie’s curly locks. It seems that the little butterfly had been in his hat all the time the boys were looking for it. Tom came up and threw his net with a great flourish, capturing Frankie and the butterfly at the same time. The wings of the delicate little creature were slightly broken, but it did very well to fill a vacant place in Tom’s box. The wings of this little butterfly are of a very delicate drab. Running across both pairs of wings, near the margin, is a band of a lighter shade, upon which are some little black spots within a ring of drab.

Unless I were to give you a journal of each day’s walks and talks, I could not begin to tell you of all the pleasures that Tom, Maggie, and I have found in hunting butterflies, nor of the great beauty of fields and flowers and woods which has been revealed to us, as we have searched them through and through in pursuit of their dainty little inhabitants. If all the little boys and girls who are just starting to spend their summer vacation in the country will follow our example, and devote a part of their time to the study of this attractive branch of natural history, they will find themselves well repaid, when autumn comes, by the store of pretty facts and the collection of beautiful insects they will have secured to enliven the long evenings of the coming winter.

Author of “The Butterfly Hunters.”

The plates that illustrate this article are taken from “The Butterfly Hunters,” published by Messrs. Ticknor and Fields.


This is the story of Walter Spargo, a sailor lad of Fowey, told to me, Anselm, a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict, dwelling in the Priory of Tywardreth, in the reign of the great and powerful Prince, Edward the Third, King of England.

When the news came that our gallant young King would make war upon France there was great rejoicing in all the English seaports, but none were more glad than the people of Fowey. When there was war, there was fighting and plundering to be done; and the Fowey sailors were so accustomed to both that they sometimes made war on their own account, that they might fight and carry home treasures from whatever ships they met with.

I was a sailor boy on the new ship “Edward,” that the master, Roger Davy, had named after the young King. She was a goodly ship of sixty tons’ burden,—not so large as the King’s great ship “Christopher,” or even Piers Tregoning’s “Salutation,” but one that carried twenty-five men, and had stood many a fierce storm in the narrow seas and on the voyage to Spain. Roger Davy was proud of the “Edward,” and when he stamped up and down the deck in his big boots, he sometimes boasted that if he met Sir Hugh Quiriel himself, the terror of the narrow seas, he would shake his beard for him.

When there was nothing else to do we went fishing, and especially about the Lenten season, to supply the great lords and their households with fasting fare; but, as soon as a strange sail hove in sight, we pulled up our nets, and went to meet the stranger. If a Frenchman, we soon laid her aboard, and, if we were strong enough, took her and her cargo, sometimes dropping her men overboard, and at others taking them to the nearest land, and turning them loose; for though the priests and holy men told us that fighting to rob was sinful, and that the apostles set us an example of fishing, our men would always rather fight than fish, and made both fishing and fighting profitable.

Sometimes we carried pilgrims to St. James of Compostello, in Spain; and these were the worst kind of freight, for they were always in the way in fine weather, and in rough weather they lay on the deck like so many sacks, groaning and begging to be put on shore, as they did not care for the privilege of wearing the pilgrim’s scallop-shell at the cost of so much misery. Carrying wine from Bordeaux was more profitable, and a great deal more pleasant.

Stirring news came to Fowey. A fleet of French vessels, under the Norman Sir Hugh Quiriel, had sunk a number of English ships, entered Southampton and burned the town, and had even captured the King’s own ship, the “Christopher.” They had met two Fowey vessels, the “Mary of the Sea” and the “Hope,” which they robbed and sunk; more,—they had threatened to come down the coast, and serve Fowey as they had served Southampton, because our vessels had done their towns and ships much damage. There was great dread along the coast, and much preparation made for the visit. Watchmen were stationed on the highest cliffs to look out for the expected fleet; and, where the ground was not high enough, great wine casks, filled with sand, were piled one on the other, and on the topmost a watchman was placed. Beacon-fires were prepared on every cliff and hill-top, ready to be lighted when the fleet came in sight, and thus summon all the country to the spot. Our ships put out to meet the enemy and harass them, if too strong for us to give them regular battle. The good people of Fowey met in the market-place and in the ale-house to wag their heads and marvel that the King did not send out a summons to all the seaports, for a navy to destroy the saucy Frenchman. But weeks wore on and nothing came of it. The Frenchman sometimes caught a Dartmouth or Rye or Winchelsea vessel, and boasted that he would yet make beacon-fires of our sea towns; but he kept clear of the land, and we were not so strong but that we kept clear of him,—though when one of his country’s vessels fell in our way, she was made short work of, and her shipmen had good reason to be sorry for the boasts of their countryman.

One June evening, in the year 1340, I was sitting on the rocks just below the street of Fowey, fishing for crabs with a conger’s head tied to a string, and was just lifting the bait with two big fellows on it, when I heard the sound of a horse’s hoofs. Looking up the steep hill behind me, I saw a horseman galloping furiously down the road, waving his hat as he went. I pulled the knife from my belt, cut off the bait, and let it and the crabs fall in the water, then ran up the rocks, winding my string as I went. Just as I reached the street the horseman dismounted, covered with dust and perspiration, and the people crowded around him to hear the news. There was mother, spindle in hand, running with her gossips from her house to see the stranger; and there was our shipmaster, Roger Davy, his brown face and great beard stretched up to catch every word. Sir Robert Treffry, from Place House, was there also, mounted on horseback, having just been riding along the cliffs to learn the reports from the watchmen; and all the men, women, and children of Fowey were gathered around the stranger.

I reached the side of our shipmaster just as the stranger pulled out a paper, and read in a loud voice that our sovereign lord, the King, was about to make a descent on France, and required all his loving subjects to send at once aid in men, money, and ships. Especially the good people of Fowey were required to send at once all the vessels they could spare to London, that the King’s army, with the King himself, might be taken over to France. With that the people gave a shout, and Hugh Davy, turning around, and seeing me, gave me a hearty slap on my back, saying, “Now, boy, for a crack at this Norman thief!” after which he ran down the rocks to his ship. I followed him in a hurry, shouting to mother, as I passed her, that she should have silks from France. Our crew soon gathered on board. We hauled up our anchor, shook out our heavy sail, and started down the harbor, followed by all the ships but the “Margaret,” which was left behind to guard the town. As we sailed down the narrow and rock-sheltered harbor, the bells of Saint Trimbarrus, on the hill above, rang out an alarum peal; beacon-fires flashed and smoked on every hill-top, and the women left behind waved their hands, and bade us “Good speed.” The wind was fair, and we soon passed out of the smooth land-locked harbor, through the narrow rock-guarded pass, and were sailing merrily for London.

It was a gay sight, when we sailed up the Thames to London, to see the goodly ships from all the ports of England gathered together. We lay just below the great bridge, all the crafts of each port anchored together, and a little way from the vessels of other ports,—for there was no great friendship between the shipmen of different ports; and especially the men of Rye and Winchelsea bore no love to the men of Fowey, who had often quarrelled with and fought them at sea. As it was, when we went ashore there was much quarrelling, and many fights were had in the narrow streets. It was the first time I saw London, and I wondered much at the long bridge with the tall houses on it, and the chapel in which priests said mass whilst the river was rushing through the arches and swirling around the piers beneath them. Up by the Tower I went, where the King was staying, and to which the dukes, earls, and knights came riding with their armed followers to join the King’s army, which was going to Hainault to help the Earl of Hainault, the King’s brother-in-law, against France. Such a gay crowd of knights in bright armor with rich coats over it, embroidered with their devices of lions, bears, and other creatures; such a host of pikemen, longbow-men, and crossbow-men; such galloping of horses and tramping of men; such shouting of orders and braying of trumpets,—I had never before seen or heard. So great were the hurry and noise that I was glad to get to our ship, where every one was soon busy, making ready for the knights and men-at-arms that we were to take on board.

Early in the morning of the day before the Eve of St. John the Baptist, the army came down to the river-side and began to embark. It was a bright day, as fine June weather as was ever seen in England, and as warm as Spain. Our shipmaster looked up to the sky, and nodded pleasantly; for if the wind held, as it seemed likely to do, we should make a good run down the river and across the narrow sea to Sluys, where the army would land.

There were braying of trumpets, and loud shouting, as the great nobles came down to the river, with the sun glancing on their polished armor and waving plumes. Pennons and banners fluttered, and hundreds of spears and pikes glistened, as the men-at-arms moved down the bank to the stairs. Then, with great flourish of trumpets, a brilliant sight came into view. It was a crowd of ladies, richly attired, their dresses ornamented with devices like those on the surcoats of the knights, and long sleeves reaching to the ground. These were countesses, baronesses, and knights’ and gentlemen’s wives, going over sea to attend on the young Queen, who was holding her court at Ghent. With them came down a number of the bravest and most gallant knights, who guarded them through the crowd of armed men, and placed them on board ship. When the ladies were all well disposed, there was more flourishing of trumpets, and great shouting of “Long live our King Edward!” The men-at-arms presented their spears and pikes in honor, and we on board ship shouted as if we would split our throats, when a number of gentlemen came down, following a tall and stately man, whose handsome face and commanding air, no less than his royal armor and robes, proclaimed him our young and valorous King. He was then, so those who knew told me, about twenty-eight years old. His hair was long and black, his beard heavy, his eye piercing, and his look and manner right royal. The nobles who followed him were the flower of the kingdom,—among them being the great earls of Derby, Pembroke, Hereford, and Huntingdon, the brave Sir Walter Manny, and a host of others, whose names it would take me too long to tell, even if I remembered them all.

At last it came our turn to haul alongside the stairs, and take aboard the knights and men-at-arms who were to be our passengers. Right joyfully did we cheer and toss our caps, when our own brave Sir Robert Treffry and his retainers, all good and stout men of Fowey, stepped on board. Our shipmaster fairly danced with joy; and when Sir Robert said, “Now, Roger, we look for good sailing, and bold fighting if fortune should hap to send the Norman in our way,” the shipmaster replied: “If our brave King will only lead us where we can meet the thieving dogs who stole his “Christopher,” the gallants of Fowey will soon make him a gift of her. What say you, gallants, to that?” With that we all shouted again, and then, hoisting our great sail, we stood down the river with the fleet.

Never had I seen so grand a sight as the King’s fleet as it sailed down the Thames. Being swift, though none of the largest, our ship shot ahead of the main fleet, and kept in front, with a few others of like size and speed, to spy out any enemy that might fall in our way. Looking back, we could see the whole fleet pressing after us,—their white sails, bellying out with the fair wind, shining in the morning sun. A little foremost of the main line was the King’s ship, brightly painted, her top blazoned with the lions and lilies, and the same showing on the great banner borne on board. Some of the other ships were also brightly painted, and on nearly all were banners and pennons of the earls and knights on board. Some were filled with knights in polished armor, and with stalwart men-at-arms with pikes and spears. In others were longbow-men and crossbow-men, whose arrows and bolts had many a time made the Frenchman flee. Guarded by these ships of armed men came other ships, on which we could see the beautiful faces and gay dresses of the ladies going to the Queen’s court at Ghent. Trumpets flourished at times, and the men-at-arms sometimes shouted the war-cries of their leaders to cheer each other as the ships passed and repassed.

By and by we were out of the river, and tossing in the narrow sea. It was laughable to see some strong warrior, clad in iron armor, who could crush such a youngster as I with one blow of his fist, to say nothing of the long pole-axe he carried, leaning over the side of the ship, so weak he could not stand upright, whilst I could climb up the rigging, and sit in the top, which swung about as the waves rocked the vessel, without feeling sick or weak. But the wind was fair, and the sea not very rough, so that not many of our passengers were sick.

All day and all night we sailed,—it was bright moonlight, so that we had no trouble in keeping our reckoning right,—and early in the morning we were off Sluys, where we were to land the King and his army, who were going to Ghent. I had been to Sluys before, and knew well the appearance of that strongly walled town, sitting in the water and guarding the lowlands kept by dikes from being flooded by the sea. But the view of Sluys that morning of St. John’s Eve was a new one, and one not easily forgotten. There was drawn up the great fleet of Picards, Normans, and Genoese in the service of the King of France. There could we see the banners of Sir Hugh Quiriel, Sir Peter Bahucet, and Barbenoire,—those terrors of the narrow seas, who had burned our towns and sunk our vessels. Our shipmaster stamped with anger when he saw their banners. “French dogs,” said he, shaking his fist towards them, “I may say something to you ere the day be done.”

The French fleet lay before Sluys like a great wood, their masts seeming as numerous as the trees of a forest. They had a hundred and twenty tall ships, and more than that number of smaller craft. Over forty thousand knights, men-at-arms, and sailors were on board; and the sailors were brave and practised men, who had sailed in many a clime and fought many a battle. Those on our King’s ship say that when the master told King Edward what fleet it was, how powerful and daring were its leaders, and that they outnumbered our force four to one, the King stroked his beard cheerfully and said: “I have for a long time wished to meet with them, and now, please God and St. George, we will fight them; for in truth they have done me so much mischief, that I will be revenged on them, if it be possible.” These words greatly encouraged all who heard them, and preparations were at once made for giving battle.

The trumpet sounded, and word was shouted from vessel to vessel what the King would have done. All the great ships were drawn up in a line, the King’s in the middle. Between every two ships with knights and men-at-arms was placed one with archers. On the wings were stationed smaller craft, mostly filled with archers. The ships with the ladies on board were placed away in the rear, with three hundred men-at-arms and five hundred archers to guard them.

On board our vessel every man was busy. We were placed near the middle of the line, and on one side of us was another Fowey ship, filled with archers. Our master, Roger Davy, strode up and down, ordering us to pull ropes, and get out grapnels, axes, great stones, bolts of iron, and other missiles to fling on the decks of the enemy. Then he would rub his hands, and say to our chief passenger, “We will warm these Normans, Sir Robert. We will give them something to remember us by. They would burn our town,—would they? We will see which can do best at burning.” With that he bade us bring out pots of quicklime, which he meant to throw on their decks to set them on fire.

Sir Robert stood by the ship’s side, looking at the enemy, very grave and silent. At last he beckoned our master to him. I was making fast a rope near them, and heard all that was said.

“Roger,” said Sir Robert, “they are many, and we are few. I mistrust, unless we get help from the Flanders men, we shall never see Merry England again.”

“They may be many,” replied our master, tugging his long beard fiercely; “but, were they twenty times as many, the ‘Edward’ will have a crack at some of them, though King Edward himself and all the rest of his fleet should turn back to the Thames.”

“And this blade shall uphold the honor of Fowey,” said Sir Robert, drawing his heavy sword. “But I fear me, good Roger, I shall never see home again. If I fall to-day, take this token to my lady, and say that her husband died as an English knight should die, fighting bravely.”

“Tush! a sea-sick fancy,” roughly said our master, though I could see there was water in his eyes; “I have known you, Sir Robert, from a boy, and we do not part to-day. I will take your token, but, trust me, there will be no need of my giving it to my lady. We shall whip yon Normans, and then sail home with spoils of armor and treasure for Place House, and something, mayhap, for my own cottage near by.” With that he took a ring from Sir Robert’s hand, and fastened it tightly in the scarf around his waist. Then Sir Robert drew on his gauntlets of mail, closed his helmet, and made him ready for battle.

The sun was in our faces and the wind on our quarter; so word came from the King’s ship that we should sail away until we got the advantage of wind, and had the sun on our side. When the Frenchmen saw us turn and sail off to one side they raised a great shout, for they thought we were afraid; and they made sail after us in great haste. But when we turned about, and came down in perfect line with full sails, running with the wind directly upon them, they saw their mistake, and got their ships as speedily as might be into order,—which they soon did, for they were good sailors. Then our King Edward had his great standard displayed; and with a loud shout, along the line, of “St. George for England!” which was answered by another from the enemy, of “St. Denis for France!” our two lines met.

Fights more than one had I been in where our ship had fought another ship, but then none but the sailors on either side took part. A great battle at sea, where hundreds of ships were fighting all at once, and where knights and men-at-arms in complete armor cut and thrust at each other, saw I never before, and at first I was much troubled. Foremost in the Frenchman’s fleet came the “Christopher,” which had been our own King’s ship, but had been taken by the Norman Sir Hugh Quiriel. A great ship she was, bigger than two like the “Edward”; and the Frenchmen had filled her with Norman sailors, Picard men-at-arms, and Genoese crossbow-men, so that she swarmed with fighting men. Down she came directly towards us, the lilies of France and the banners of Norman knights displayed,—a party of trumpeters in her prow blowing blasts of defiance, and the crossbow-men firing iron bolts and sharp darts at us as she came. Behind and around her came the whole French fleet,—a crowd of ships without number like the “Christopher,” blowing trumpets and firing darts and bolts as they came, and looking as if they would drive our poor little fleet under the water.

Then Sir Robert drew his sword, and, pointing to the “Christopher,” just ready to crash into us, shouted, “Gallants of Fowey! it is the King’s ship!” With that we all gave a shout, for we knew he meant we should take her, if possible. Next us was Piers Tregoning’s ship, the “Salutation,” of our port, which veered off a little, that the “Christopher” might come between us, and we might attack her on both sides,—for she was a great ship, too large for either to handle singly. As she came rushing on, just when her bows passed ours, a flight of arrows from the longbows of our archers struck among the men crowded on her deck. It was returned by the Genoese crossbow-men, and another flight followed from our side. Then, with a crash that shook every timber in our little craft, the “Christopher” was wedged between our ship and the “Salutation.” At the same moment the other ships of the Frenchman dashed upon our line.

A terrible scene followed. All was noise, confusion, and strife. Grapnels and iron hooks fastened with stout ropes and strong chains were thrown from ship to ship into the rigging, to hold them together whilst fighting. With a loud shout our men clambered up one side of the “Christopher,” whilst the men from the “Salutation” clambered up the other. The knights fought with heavy swords and battle-axes, the men-at-arms thrust each other with spears, or dealt heavy blows with pole-axes. Helmets were split and armor crashed open by the tremendous blows of the axes and swords. Sharp spears were thrust into many a side; and some, seeking to escape the thrust or the blow, fell overboard, and were drowned. There was no hope for him who fell into the sea, for the heavy armor worn in the fight sank the man to the bottom at once.

While the archers were firing their arrows, and the armed men slashing and thrusting at each other, I and some of the other sailors armed ourselves with axes and sharp hooks, with which we cut the rigging of the “Christopher,” and rent her sails, that she might not escape us by flight. We were greatly hindered in this by some men in her top, who cast down stones and sharp bolts of iron upon our heads, wounding some grievous sore, and killing one outright. Our archers spied them out, and plied them with arrows so swift and sure that of the four men in the top three soon ceased troubling us.

But the one left distressed us greatly, flinging down stones and bolts till it was wonder where he got so many; and at last he began shooting arrows, killing some of our best men. Yet so careful of himself was he that none of our archers could hit him.

“By St. Nicholas!” said our shipmaster, “that knave is a shrewd one, and he were a brave man who could throw him over the top.”

The excitement of the battle had made my blood as if on fire. When Roger Davy spoke, I threw down my axe, felt if the Sheffield knife was in my belt, and jumped on board the “Christopher.” Her deck was slippery with blood, and crowded with men cutting and hacking each other. I passed as rapidly as might be through the fighting throng, narrowly escaping cuts and slashes, and, stumbling over dead and dying men, I reached the mast. A rope was hanging from the top, and up it I swarmed, hand over hand, as swift as possible. The fighting crowd on the deck did not see me, being too busy with the work they had on hand; and, as I was directly under the top, the man in it knew nothing of my approach.

I was light and active, so climbed up without much fatigue. The top was a boarded-up place, about breast-high, and large enough to hold four or five men. In the floor was a trap-door, through which it was entered from the rigging. I left the rope for the steps of the rigging, which here came under the top, drew my knife with one hand, whilst with the other I cautiously lifted the trap-door. Fortunately there were no obstructions on it, for the dead men had been dropped to the deck below. The remaining man was taking aim with his crossbow at Roger Davy when I rose silently behind him. In stepping forward I stumbled, and fell against the man. The shock startled him, and spoiled his aim, for the bolt went wide of its mark, and fell harmlessly in the sea. As he turned I grasped him around the waist, binding his arms to his side in my embrace.

The struggle of the next minute or two seemed like one of an hour’s length. He was much larger and stronger than I, but I had him at an advantage by keeping his arms fast. I dared not loosen my hold to get my knife, for then he would free himself and overpower me, and I knew his strength was so much greater than mine that I could not keep him fast much longer. He was a black-bearded Genoese, fierce and savage in countenance. Suddenly he stooped his head, and bit my cheek so that the blood spurted out. The pain was so sudden and sharp that I let go my hold, and fell back against the side of the top. He drew his knife, and made a plunge at me, when, with a wild cry, he disappeared from my sight. He had stumbled and fallen through the open trap.

When I looked down through the opening, the fight on the deck was over. The Frenchmen had all been killed, or driven overboard and drowned. Sir Robert was giving orders what was next to be done, and most of our men were going back to their ships. I slid down by the rope, and, as I touched the deck, our brave old master Roger Davy hugged me in his arms, and then told Sir Robert what he had seen me do, for he had watched all our struggle in the top. Sir Robert spoke kindly, praising what I had done, and saying I might, perhaps, do even more gallant deeds before the day was over. My face must have grown red with joy and pride at such praise.

But our success was not winning the battle. The Frenchmen were four to our one, and, unless help came from the Flemings, it would go hard with us. Some of our sailors were put on board the “Christopher,” with a number of archers and men-at-arms, and she was turned about to fight in our line.

Just then Roger Davy caught sight of a ship, with Sir Hugh Quiriel’s banner, fighting the King’s ship, and seemingly pressing her hard.

“St. Nicholas to speed!” said our master, “but yon is that Norman thief that threatened to sink our vessels and burn our town. Now will I give him a blow, though I sink for it!”

Sir Robert saw it at the same moment, and shouted, “The King is in danger! A rescue for the King!”

Bravely our good little ship sailed along, passing easily by our master’s skill, through the mass of fighting and sinking vessels, until she dashed against the side of the Norman, and our grapnels were thrown into her rigging. At the same moment another Norman closed on us on the other side, and hooked fast to our rigging. A dozen other ships of both sides were also hooked together, so that they formed a mass of vessels over the decks of which the contending parties fought as on a battle-field on land.

Dreadful was the battle. The King, surrounded by some of his chief nobles and bravest fighting men,—the Earl of Derby, Earl Gloucester, Lord Percy, Lord Cobham, Sir Walter Manny, and others,—fought like a young lion, but was overpowered by numbers, and was nearly driven from his own ship to that next it. A loud shout arose of “St. George for England! Gallants of Fowey to the rescue!” Hewing down every one in his way, and followed by his men, cutting and slashing as they went, Sir Robert forced his way to where King Edward was laying about him with a heavy mace, crushing helmets and breaking skulls as if they were but eggshells. With his help and that of his followers the tide of battle was turned, and the Frenchmen began to fall back to their own ships.

We sailors had work to do keeping our vessel clear of the Normans who came on us from other vessels. Roger Davy wielded a huge club, with which he smote down all who came within his reach, whilst we others used our axes and knives. So busily were we engaged, that we knew little of the course of the fight on the other ships until we had cleared our own decks. Then our master turned to look for Sir Robert. Alas for what he saw!

The Frenchmen in retreating had separated. The main body had been pursued by the King and his party over several ships, and many were killed by sword and axe, but many more drowned. Sir Hugh Quiriel, with his men, had fallen back to his own ship, hotly pressed by Sir Robert Treffry and his men. The two knights had become separated from their followers, and were fighting desperately, giving and receiving grievous wounds,—their armor being hacked and broken in many places. When we saw them fighting, the Norman had struck Sir Robert with a mighty blow to his knee, and was drawing his dagger to pierce him to the heart between the joints of his mail.

Roger gave a loud cry, and jumped on the deck of the Norman. With a tremendous blow his club crashed through the helmet of Sir Hugh Quiriel, and with a second the famous Norman captain staggered and fell overboard, where he sank instantly. Quick as thought, Roger bent over Sir Robert, and unlaced his helmet, but it was too late. The fierce Norman’s dagger had found his heart, and our brave, our good, our loved Sir Robert was dead.

But we had no time for idle sorrow. Tenderly we carried his body back to our own ship, and then we bore down on other French vessels to fight them. From early morning until midday the fight raged. Help came at last in some Fleming ships that fought well on our side. Many strange devices were used in the battle. Besides the stones and darts thrown from the tops, there were also long, pointed bolts of iron to drive holes through the ships’ bottoms. Pots of quicklime were thrown, both to blind the men and to set fire to the ships. Some threw dried peas on the deck, so that the men slipped and fell whilst fighting. Late in the afternoon the fighting was over. Every ship of the Frenchman’s fleet was taken; not one escaped. From ten to fifteen thousand of their men perished miserably, either killed in the fight or thrust overboard after it was done; for but few prisoners are taken in a sea fight, and those who fall or are pushed overboard must needs drown because of the weight of their armor.

In the close of the fight, our brave shipmaster, Roger Davy, was killed by a dart from a crossbow. He never spoke after he was struck, but when I knelt by his side, and wept over my steadfast and best friend, he unclosed his eyes, gave me a wistful look that I knew how to interpret, and then closed them forever. We laid his body by the side of that of Sir Robert, that we might carry them home to Fowey when the King should land at Sluys. I took Sir Robert’s ring from our dead master’s belt, and his own ring from his finger, that, in case we should be unable to carry home the bodies, I might take tokens of them to those who waited to hear from them.

All night long the army lay on board the ships in Sluys Harbor, and there was great rejoicing, sounding of trumpets, shouts of triumph, songs of victory, and much carousing and revelling. But all night long I sat silent and weeping, thinking of the kind friends who lay cold before me, and of the misery I must carry to their homes.

Next morning being St. John’s Day, the army landed. The King and great crowds of knights set out on foot on a pilgrimage to our Lady of Ardembourg, where they heard mass and dined. We sailors also went ashore and heard mass in the church; but in all the fine music of the mass I heard the crash of arms, the oaths and shouts of battle, the groans of the wounded, and the wild shrieks of the thousands who were flung into the sea to perish.

J. H. A. Bone.



I must now tell you,” continued the Captain, “that, while all these adventures of the hunt and other matters were happening, the winter was passing rapidly away, and indeed was soon gone; and, from what I have before told you about the arctic seasons, you will know that when the winter was at an end the darkness was at an end too,—that is, to be more particular, first there came a little flush of light at noon, to see which made us very glad, you may be sure; and after this, from day to day, the light grew brighter and brighter, until it was almost broad daylight, as it is here just before the sun has risen in the morning; then the sun came up next day only a little way above the horizon (of course right in the south); and then, next day, it was a little higher, and the next day a little higher still; and then, by and by, it was (as it had been in the summer-time before) circling round and round us, shining all the time; and now our hut was at midnight in the shadow of the cliff, and at noon the sun was blazing down upon us, softening the snow, and making our hearts, O, more happy and thankful than I can tell you.

“I thought I never in all my life saw anything so splendid as the sun’s bright force, when he appeared for the first time after this long dark winter. For you must know, we were more than one hundred and twenty days without once setting eyes upon the sun at all; and now, when he did rise, after this long interval, what could we do but take off our caps and whirl them round and round our heads, in very joy and gladness?

“The summer now came on steadily, and the temperature became warmer every day. The spring was passing into summer, and early in the month of June the snow began to melt in good earnest, and by July great streams of melted snow went dashing and roaring over the cliffs, and through the gorges, to the sea. And the sea, too, quickly began to show the influence of the summer heat; for the ice grew rotten shortly, and from being white it got to be quite dark, and we could no longer go out upon it with any safety, except in one particular direction, towards the east, where it was much thicker than in any other place. Then strong winds came, and the ice was broken up, and after that it went drifting here and there to right and left, up and down upon the sea, according as the winds were blowing.

“And now once more we kept a sharp lookout for ships, hoping freshly every day that that would be the day of our deliverance. And so we lived on as we had done before, every day adding one more disappointment to the list,—for no ship came. Thus watching, waiting, hoping on, we grew restless with anxiety, and were more unhappy than we had ever been in the gloomy winter that had passed away.

“But the summer brought some pleasure to us. As soon as the snow had gone, the grass grew green upon the hillside, and the tiny little plants put out their leaves, and then the tiny little flowers were blooming brightly, and turning up their pleasant faces to the ever-smiling sun.

“And then the birds came back,—the eider-ducks, and the little auks, that I have told you of, and great flocks of geese and gulls, all looking out for places where to make their nests; and they fairly kept the air alive with the flutter of their wings, and their ‘quack, quack, quack,’ and their gladsome screams, as they hurried to and fro.

“And then bright yellow butterflies and little bees came fluttering and buzzing about the little flowers, and all was life and happiness and brightness in the air about us; but there was no one there to look at us and see how heavy were our hearts at times.

“But not on our desert island alone was nature full of life and gayety. The seals, as if glad that summer had once more returned, crawled out upon the ice, and lay there on it, where it floated in the water, basking in the sun. There were hundreds and hundreds of them to be seen almost every day; and, besides the seals, the walruses with their great long hideous-looking tusks and ugly and ungraceful bodies came up too; and the narwhals, also, with their long ivory horns, and the white whales, were to be seen at almost any time, ‘spouting’ round about us in the sea. And besides all this life in the sea, and in the air, and on the land, we now and then saw a great white bear, prowling about upon the floating ice-fields, seeking seals to feed upon, and, when tired of one ice-field, springing into the water, and swimming away to another.

“Thus you observe that, if we were upon a desert island in the Arctic Sea, it was not so barren as one would think who had never seen or known anything of such a place.

“It is not worth while for me to tell you how we lived through this second summer. Of course we had a much easier time of it than we had had the summer previous, for there was no hut to build, and we had now leisure to make ourselves more comfortable; and indeed we used our time so well that we accumulated, in good season, everything we needed in the way of food and fuel,—catching the birds and other animals as before, and stowing all away in so many different places that we felt quite sure the bears would not be likely to discover all of it. And then we made fresh suits of fine fur clothes, and fresh fur bedding, and carved new lamps and pots and cups out of soapstone, that we might be safe against all accidents.

“While we were thus working, and watching all the time for ships, without the hoped-for ship ever coming, the summer passed away, the birds flew off once more with the setting sun, the sea froze up all around the island, and we were left again alone,—all, all alone, in the cold and snow and darkness of another winter.

“And this winter passed as the other had. No bears came this time, however, to disturb us; and another summer came to find us in good health, and now well hardened to the climate. And this summer passed, with its bright sunshine, and its pretty butterflies and flowers, and myriads of birds, and still no ship, and still no rescue.

“The next winter brought us the same routine, but greater, resignation. ‘Here we are forever,’ said the Dean, ‘and that we must make up our minds to. It is God’s will, and we must bow before it and be reconciled.’

“ ‘I fear, Dean, that that is so,’ I answered solemnly.

“This was in the month of February, and the sunlight was coming back, and, to see if we could not catch a glimpse of the god of day, we had gone out together, wading through the heavy snow.

“The Dean felt it when he said ‘we must be reconciled’; but he had hardly spoken when our attention was quickly called away from such reflections (and from the sun too) by seeing an object moving on the frozen sea, not far away from us.

“We were not long in doubt as to what the object was, for we had seen too many polar bears to be cheated this time; and a bear it was, without any doubt at all. He was running very fast, and was making directly towards the island. He soon ran behind a large iceberg, and for a little time was out of sight; but he appeared again soon afterwards, and held on in the same course. Then we lost him once more among rough ice, and then again he came in view. He appeared so dark at first, that less-experienced persons might have been uncertain about what it was; for although the polar bear is usually called the white bear, yet in truth he has a yellowish hue, and is quite dark, at least in comparison with the pure white snow.

“ ‘It’s another bear, I do believe!’ exclaimed the Dean, and at once we made for the hut, without stopping for further reflection. But the bear was running much faster than we were, and was moreover coming in right towards our hut. So we grew much alarmed, and quickened our speed, and not without difficulty either; for the snow was, in places, very deep.

“By and by the bear, which proved to be a very large one, caught sight of us; and, as you know already that the polar bear is rather a cowardly brute than otherwise, you will not be much surprised to learn that, when he saw us, he altered his course, and turned off from the island as fast as he could go. Seeing him do this (as you may be sure to our great delight), we halted to watch him; and now we perceived, for the first time, that the animal was pursued. By what we could not imagine, but clearly enough by something; for in the distance, and from the quarter whence the bear had come, there was clearly to be seen, winding among the bergs and rough masses of ice, a dark object, following on the very track which the bear had taken, sometimes lost to sight and sometimes in full view, and growing larger every moment, just as the bear had done.

“Nearer and nearer came this object, and greater and greater grew our wonder. Presently we heard a cry.

“ ‘Hark!’ said the Dean.

“The cry was repeated.

“ ‘A dog!’ exclaimed the Dean.

“ ‘A dog!’ said I, in answer, for I heard it clearly.

“ ‘Hark!’ said the Dean, again, for there was another sound.

“ ‘A man,’ said I.

“ ‘A man!’ repeated the Dean, excitedly.

“And a man it was.

“Dogs and men! what could they be doing there? was the question that ran through both our minds at once.

“But dogs and a man (not men) there were, and whatever they might be doing there, or whithersoever they might have come, it was certain that of dogs and a man were made the dark spot which we saw upon the white frozen sea; and it was, moreover, clear that they were pursuing the bear which had passed us and was now pretty far away.

“Nearer and nearer came the dogs and man, and the sounds became clearer and clearer; the dogs were upon the bear’s great tracks, the man was upon a sledge to which the dogs were fastened. At length they came so near that we could easily count them. They were seven, and all of different colors, and were fastened with long lines to the sledge, so that they were a great way in front of it, and they were running all abreast. They were straining and pressing into their collars, all the while crying impatiently, as they bounded over the snow at a rapid gallop. The man was encouraging them along all he could with a long whip, which he threw out with a lively snap, exclaiming, ‘Ka, ka! ka, ka!’ over and over again; and then, ‘Nenook, nenook, nenook!’—many times repeated; for he was now near enough for us to distinguish every word he said.

“It was a wild chase, and both the Dean and myself became much excited over it, running all the time to get nearer to the passing sledge and man and dogs.

“Very soon we should have met, but suddenly the bear came in full view of the dogs, evidently for the first time, for up to this moment the dogs had only been following the tracks. The dogs, now leaving the track, gave a wild, concerted howl, and dashed off after the bear in a straight line. Man, sledge, dogs, and all passed us quickly by,—the man shouting more excitedly than ever to his dogs, sometimes calling them by name, as it seemed to us, and sometimes crying ‘Nenook, nenook!’ and sometimes, ‘Ka, ka! ka, ka!’ and so away they went, rushing like the wind,—the whole scene more strange than strangest dream,—the dogs and man like spectral things, so quickly had they come and so unexpected; or, at the least, the dogs seemed like great howling wolves, and the man a wild man of the frozen ocean, clothed in wild beasts’ skins.

“We called to the man to stop; we shouted, ‘Come here, come here!’ and then again, ‘Come back, come back!’ as loud as we could shout, waving round our caps, and throwing up our arms, and running in a most frantic way; but not the slightest notice would he take of us, not one instant would he stop, but upon his course and purpose he kept right on, pushing after the running bear, without appearing to give us even a single thought. We could not doubt that he had seen us, we were so near to him.

“On went the bear, on after him went the dogs and sledge and man. More impatient grew the dogs, louder called the man to his excited team, and the Dean and I ran after, shouting still, as we had done in the beginning. We came soon upon the sledge track, and followed it at our greatest speed.

“At length the cries of the dogs grew indistinct, and then died away at last entirely, and the man’s voice was no longer heard; and that which had come so suddenly to put a tantalizing hope of rescue in our hearts for one brief moment soon became but a dark moving speck upon the great white frozen sea, as it had first appeared; but after it we still followed on.

“Then the moving speck faded out of view, and everything around was still and cold and solemn and desolate as before. Yet still we ran and ran.

“I said as desolate as before. But O, it was a thousand times more desolate now than ever,—as the night is darker for the lightning flash that has died away, or a cloudy noon is colder for a single ray of sunshine that has broken through the vapors.

“Yet on and on we ran and ran, until we could run no more.

“And then, we laid us down upon the snow and wept, and we bemoaned our hard, hard fate; but no word was spoken. The disappointment was too great for words; and, after a short rest in the chilly air upon the frozen sea, we wandered slowly back to our poor hut; and after many weary hours we reached it, more dead than alive,—for through miles and miles of heavy snow we had run after the sledge, and through these same miles we trudged back again, with a cruel disappointment rankling in our hearts, and with no hope to buoy us up.

“Strange—was it not?—that at no period of our unhappy life upon the desert island were we so unhappy as we were that day,—never so utterly cast down, never so broken-spirited, never looking on the future with such hopelessness.

“And in this state of mind we crawled beneath our furs, feeling too lonely and forsaken to have a thought to cook a meal, and so very weary with the labors we had done, in running and wading through the heavy snow, that we did not care for food; and in deep sleep we buried up the heaviest sorrow that we had ever known,—the grievous sorrow of a dead, dead hope.”


“How long we slept I have not the least idea. It may have been a whole day, or it may have been two days. It was not a twenty years’ sleep, (how we wished it was!) like that of Rip Van Winkle, yet it was a very long sleep; and, indeed, neither of us cared how long it lasted, we were so cast down about what seemed to be the greatest misfortune that had yet happened to us. If we woke up at any time, we went to sleep again as quickly as possible, not caring at all to come back any sooner than was necessary to the contemplation of our miserable situation,—never reflecting for a moment that the situation had not been changed in the least by the unknown savage who had appeared and disappeared in such a mysterious way. But the sight of him had brought us back again to the world from which we had been cut off,—a world with human beings in it like ourselves; and it was not altogether unnatural, therefore, that we should be made miserable by the event. And so we slept on and on, and thus we drowned everything but our dreams, which there, as everywhere, are very apt to be most bright and cheering in the most gloomy and despondent times. Such, at least, was the case with me; and if I could have kept dreaming and dreaming on forever, about pleasant things to eat, and pleasant people talking to me, I should have been quite well satisfied.

“But our long sleep was brought to an end very suddenly. I was first startled by a great noise, and then, springing up, much alarmed, I aroused the Dean, who was a sounder sleeper even than myself.

“ ‘What’s the matter?’ cried he.

“ ‘Didn’t you hear a noise?’ I asked.

“ ‘No!’ answered the Dean; ‘nothing more, at least, than a church-bell, and that was in my sleep,’—which was clear enough.

“Presently I heard the noise again, and this time it seemed to proceed from something not far off. It was now the Dean’s turn to be amazed.

“ ‘Did you hear?’ I asked again.

“ ‘Yes,’ said the Dean, holding his breath to listen.

“Again the strange sound was repeated.

“ ‘Is it the wind?’

“ ‘How can it be? the wind does not make a noise like that!’

“ ‘Can it be a bear?’

“ ‘No! it cannot be a bear!’

“ ‘A fox? perhaps it is a fox!’

“ ‘No, listen! there it is again.’

“The sound was louder now, and nearer to the hut. Again and again it was repeated,—nearer now and more constant; then a footfall on the crusted snow.

“ ‘It is a man! the bear-hunter has come back again!’ shouted the Dean, quite frantically, and throwing up his hands.

“Again the noise was heard; again the footfall creaked upon the snow.

“ ‘The bear-hunter, it must be!’ cried the Dean, again.

“ ‘O God! I pray that it is so,’ I added.

“Again the voice was heard. I answered it. The answer was returned, and with the answer came a heavier and more rapid creaking of the footfalls on the snow.

“We rushed from the hut into the open air without another moment’s loss of time, and without saying another word; and there, not ten yards away, stood the very man who had passed us on the sledge,—the bear-hunter of the frozen sea.

“And a strange-looking creature he was, to be sure. There was not the least sign of alarm or fear about him; but, on the contrary, he was looking mightily pleased, and was talking very fast in a language of which the Dean and I could neither of us understand a single word. When he was not talking he was laughing, and his enormous mouth was stretched almost from ear to ear. ‘Yeh, yeh!’ he went, and I went that way too, by way of answer, which seemed greatly to delight him. He was dressed all over in furs, and looked very wild; but, as he kept yeh, yeh-ing all the time, we were not afraid. As he came up to us, we greeted him very cordially; but he could no more understand what we said than we could understand him. He talked very much, and gesticulated a great deal, pointing very often in one particular direction with his right hand. Then he cried, ‘Mick-ee, mick-ee!’ and pointed to the beach below, towards which we followed him. There we found a sledge and seven dogs; and now we understood very certainly, if we had any doubts before, that this was the man and these were the dogs that had passed us, following the bear.

“The man tried his best to explain to us the whole affair, talking very rapidly; but we could not gather from what he said more than our eyes told us already, for on the sledge we soon discovered a large bear-skin, all bloody and folded up, and some large pieces of bear’s meat. The dogs were tied some distance from the sledge, and were securely fastened by their traces to a heavy stone, which I was very glad of, for the wolfish brutes were snarling at each other, and fighting, and howling at us continually,—seeming all the while to wish themselves loose, that they might fly upon us, and tear us to pieces.

“If we could not understand the hunter’s words, we made out by his signs, after a while, that he had seen us when he passed in pursuit of the bear. After overtaking and capturing the animal, he turned about upon his track to look for us, and, finding our footmarks at last, he had followed us to the hut, calling loudly, as he neared us, to attract our attention, for he could not find us easily,—our hut was so buried up in snow.

“After being fully satisfied with the inspection of the dogs and sledge, and what there was upon it, we all three returned to the hut.

“It would be difficult to describe our visitor. I have said that he was wholly dressed in furs. His pantaloons were made of bear-skins reaching to the knees, where they met the boots, which were made of the same materials. His underclothing was made of bird’s-skins, like our own, and he wore a coat of fox-skins, with a heavy hood covering up the head completely. On his hands he wore mittens made of seal-skins, with warm dog-skin for an inside lining, and his stockings were of the same. So you see no part of him was exposed but his face, which was quite dark, or, rather, copper-colored (something darker than a North American Indian), and it was very broad and very round. The nose was very small and very flat, and the eyes were small and narrow. His hair was jet black, long and tangled, and was cut straight across the forehead. He had but little beard,—only a few black, wiry-looking bristles growing on his upper lip and on the tip of his chin.

“You would hardly suppose that such a creature could be anything else than savage and repulsive; but he was really as amiable a fellow as ever was seen. The first word he said that we understood the meaning of was, ‘Me drinkum.’ This very much surprised us, as we knew that he was asking for water, which having been given him, he then said, ‘Me eatum,’ signifying that he was hungry. We lost no time, therefore, in preparing him a hearty meal of ducks and bear’s meat, which he appeared to relish very much. Then he had a great deal to tell us about something that he called ‘Oomeaksuak,’ the meaning of which we could not make out; but, as he pointed in a particular direction, we thought he meant the place where he lived. We could not understand from him what his name was; so, as we had to speak of him to each other constantly, we called him at once ‘Eatum,’ as that was the word he used most. He amused us very much with his frequent repetition of it, and with the enormous quantities of food he took into his stomach after he did repeat it; for he only had to say, ‘Me eatum,’ to get as much food as he wanted. It soon got to be quite a joke with us, and when he said, ‘Me eatum,’ we all three fell not only to feeding but to laughing besides.

“Finding himself in such pleasant quarters, Eatum manifested no disposition to leave them; but, after he had taken a sound sleep, he had a great deal to say about ‘mickee,’ as before; and since he made a great many motions, as if using a whip (pointing all the while towards the beach), we concluded that he must mean something about his dogs, which we found to be true, for ‘mickee’ in his language means dog, as we afterwards discovered. As soon as we had settled this, we all went out of the hut again, and went down and brought the bear’s meat and skin on the sledge up to the hut, and then we fastened the dogs near by. After being fed, they all lay down and went to sleep on the snow. These dogs were very large and strong animals; and the seven could draw a very heavy load,—I should think that the whole seven could draw as much as a small horse.

“Eatum seemed to have been quite exhausted with long hunting when he came to us, and he did very little but eat and sleep for several days. His nose had been a little touched by the frost, but he scorched some oil, and rubbed it on as we would ointment, and cured it very quickly.

“After he had eaten and slept to his entire satisfaction, he appeared to grow more lively, and showed a great deal of curiosity about our hut and furniture, and hunting implements, being highly pleased with every new thing he saw. It was very surprising to see how nearly like his own many of our things were,—our lamp and pot and cups, for instance, and also our clothing. Our harpoon (the ‘Dean’s Delight’) was almost exactly a match for his.

“It was a great drawback to our satisfaction that we could not understand him or he us, but little by little we got over part of this difficulty; for, upon discovering that he used one particular word very often, I guessed that he must be asking a question. The word was ‘Kina’; so once when he used it he was pointing to our lamp, and I said ‘lamp’ at a venture, whereupon, after repeating it several times, he appeared to be much gratified and then said, ‘Kolipsut,’ and this I repeated after him, which pleased him again. Then I knew that ‘Kina?’ meant ‘What is it?’ or ‘What’s this?’ so after that we kina-ed everything, and got on finely. We, of course, learned more rapidly than Eatum, picking up a great many words from him; and, having both of us good memories, we got to be able to make him understand us a little in the course of time; and as fast as we learned we taught him, and he got to know some of our language, in which we encouraged him. ‘Me speakum much bad,’ he would say sometimes, which was very true; but so long as we understood him it made little matter.

“And now it was that we got to find out how he had picked up the few words such as me drinkum, me eatum, &c., that he had used at first; for he gave us to know that we were not a long way from where ships came every year, and that some of his people saw the ships when they passed, and sometimes went aboard of them. ‘Ship’ was what he meant by ‘Oomeaksuak,’ which word he had at first used so often. He had frequently been aboard of an Oomeaksuak, he said.

“Now this was great news for us, and we began at once to devise means of escape from the island. We made Eatum understand as much of what we wanted as possible. All this time I must not neglect to mention, however, that Eatum was of the greatest service to us; for when the weather was good he would fasten his dogs to the sledge, and all three of us would go out together on the sea to hunt,—Eatum driving. It was very lively sport indeed; and sometimes, when the ice was very smooth and the snow hard, we went very fast, almost as fast as a horse would run, even with the three of us upon the sledge. The sledge, by the way, I must tell you, was made out of bits of bones, all cunningly lashed together with seal-skin thongs. Once we were caught in a severe gale, a good way from home, and had to make a little house to shelter ourselves from it out of snow; and in this, with our furs on, we managed to sleep quite comfortably, and remained there about twenty-four hours before the weather would permit us to go on again.

“While in the snow hut we had a lamp to give us light and warmth; and this lamp (which was Eatum’s) was made like ours, and Eatum made a spark, and started a flame, and kept it burning just as we had done,—the tinder being the down of the willow blossom (which he carried wrapped up in seal-skin), with moss for wick and the blubber for fuel. The pot in which he melted snow for water, and cooked our supper, was made, like ours, of soapstone.

“When the storm broke, we left the snow hut, and set out for the island; catching two seals by the way, and in the very same manner, too, that the Dean and I had done long before we ever knew there was such a person as Eatum in the world. We were much disappointed at not discovering any bears, and so were the dogs.

“But not many days afterward, the weather being fine, we went out upon the sea a great way, and were rejoiced to come across a bear’s track, which Eatum said was very fresh. No sooner had the dogs seen it than away they started upon it; and over the ice and snow—rough and smooth, right upon the track—they ran as fast as they could go.

“The bear had been sleeping behind an iceberg, and we had come upon him so suddenly that he had not time even to get out of sight, and we saw him almost as soon as we had discovered the track. ‘Nenook, nenook!’ cried Eatum, pointing towards him; and there he was, sure enough, running as fast as he could. But no matter how fast he ran, we went still faster; and it could not have been an hour before we overtook him. Then Eatum leaned forward and untied his dogs, letting them run ahead while the sledge stopped. In a few minutes the dogs had brought the bear to bay,—surrounding the huge wild beast, and flying at his sides, and tormenting him in a very fierce manner. But I always observed that they took good care to keep away from his head, for if he should get a chance at one of them, and hit him with his huge paws, he would mash him as flat as a pancake, or knock him all into little bits.

“While the dogs were worrying the bear we got out our weapons,—the Dean his ‘Delight,’ I ‘Old Crumply,’ and Eatum a spear made of a narwhal horn, and looking, for all the world, just like ‘Old Crumply’s’ twin brother. Then we rushed up to the bear, Eatum leading; and fierce though the animal looked, and awfully as he roared, we closed right in upon him, and quickly made an end of him. Then we drove off the dogs, and tied them to a lump of ice, while we butchered the dead animal and secured the skin and what meat we wanted, after which we allowed the dogs to gorge themselves. Being now too full to haul, we had to let them lie down and sleep, while we built a snow hut, and, crawling into it, got a good rest. Then we returned to the island, mighty well satisfied with ourselves.

“After this we fell again into conversation about the Oomeaksuaks, or ships, as I have explained before; and, having learned more and more of the language which Eatum spoke, we got to comprehend him better, so we fixed clearly in our minds where the place was that the ships came to, and were fully satisfied that Eatum told the truth about it. We now offered to give him everything we had if he would take us there and stay with us until the ships should come along and take us off his hands. About this we had several conversations; but just when we thought the treaty was complete, and Eatum was going to carry out the plan we had fixed upon, this singular savage disappeared very suddenly,—dogs, sledge, and all,—without saying a word to us about it.

“When we made the discovery that he was gone, we were filled with astonishment and dismay. We hoped, at first, that he had gone off hunting; but, finding that he did not return, we tried to follow the tracks of his sledge, but the wind had drifted snow over them, and we could not.

“We now made up our minds that Eatum was nothing more than a treacherous savage; and we were afraid that he would come back with more savages and murder us, in order that he might get the furs and other things that we had; so for a while we were much alarmed, and were more cast down, I believe, than ever before, for our hopes had been raised very high, and since we had heard of Eatum’s people and the ships we had begun to feel sure of rescue. The suddenness with which all our expectations were destroyed quite overcame us, and we passed the next five days very miserably indeed, hardly stirring out of the hut during all that time. But at length we saw the folly of giving way to despair.

“One thing we quickly determined upon, and that was to leave the island, one way or another; for now we were so afraid of the savages coming to murder us, that we would suffer any risk and hardship rather than remain there longer. So once more we began to devise means for our safety.

“It was no longer what we should do for food and fuel, or clothing, but how we should escape. The ships we had given up long ago, and with the ships had vanished every hope of rescue. But now a wild man had come to us out of the ice-desert, and had told us that ships came in the summer not far from where we were, and through this intelligence we had obtained a glimpse of home and our native country, as it were; and this too at the very time when we had become most reconciled to our condition, and had made up our minds to live as best we could on the Rock of Good Hope for the remainder of our days.

“But now our minds were wholly changed. ‘We are worse off than ever,’ said the Dean, ‘for this little hope the savage gave us, and the fear, besides, that he has put into us,’—which was true enough.

“Stimulated now by the memory of that hope and the presence of that fear, we prepared to undertake the bold task of rescuing ourselves. The savage had pointed out to us the direction of the place where the ships passed, ‘And now,’ we thought, ‘if we can only reach the land there before the summer comes we shall be all right.’ But if we should not get to the proper place, or if the ships did not come along, then the chances were that we might starve or freeze to death. Nothing daunted, however, by the contemplation of that gloomy side of the picture, we went earnestly to work, and very soon had contrived a plan.

“Of course we must have a sledge, as we were obliged to travel a long distance, and must carry not only food to eat by the way, but blubber for a lamp with which to melt water from the snow, and furs to keep us warm while we slept. Eatum had taught us how to construct a snow hut, so that we felt quite easy about being able to shelter ourselves from the storms. But the sledge was the great difficulty. How should we make a sledge? was the question which most occupied our thoughts, and most taxed our ingenuity. Apparently we had nothing to make it of, nor tools to make it with. To fasten together pieces of bone in the manner that Eatum had done, and thus construct a runner, was not in our power, as we had no drill to make holes with,—and besides, if we had, the work would have required too long a time for our present necessities. Our purpose was to get away from the island with as little delay as possible.

“We made a sledge, however, at last, and in a very singular way. First we cut our two strips of seal-skin, and sewed them into tubes. Then we filled the tubes with hair, and pieces of meat chopped very fine, and also bits of moss. Then we poured water into the tubes, and flattened them down by stamping upon them. Very soon the whole froze together, solid as a board. These were soon fashioned into the proper shape for runners. We found no difficulty in fastening the two together with cross-ties of bone, which we lashed firmly to each runner. Thus, in seven days from the time of beginning, our sledge was complete.

“Very much rejoiced over this triumph, we put a load on the sledge, and set out to give it a trial. But one runner gave way before we had gone a dozen yards, and we were in a state of great perplexity. We resolved now to bundle up everything we needed in a bear-skin, and drag that over the snow after us,—drawing it head-foremost, so that the fur would slip more easily over the snow. But when we had done this, we discovered that we could not budge the load an inch; and so we unpacked it, in greater trouble and despair than ever. Next day we went back to the sledge, and began to work upon it again; all the while looking out for the savages, and expecting them to come and murder us every minute.”

I. I. Hayes.


The spring was coming. One bright day in March was here already to tell the people in the great island city, that out in the woodlands and on the farms the fresh little hearts of the buds were swelling so that they soon must burst their vests, and the roots were waking from their long sleep so like death, and were pushing and struggling in their graves to let the new life, the tiny green blade, up into the sunshine of a new year. The warm air, spiced with sea-breezes, was full of families of pigeons,—the city substitute for wild birds,—that came sailing down in every street to look for stray grains and crumbs where the snow had melted; and now and then a shrill crow issued from some back yard where a tall Shanghai perched upon the fence, stretching his neck in the vain effort to look over the high brick buildings and salute his country cousins on Long Island or Hoboken Heights.

And the children! Wilder than the pigeons, noisier than Shanghai, they flocked into the open air. Up on the avenues, in bright and warm dresses, they romped together, or walked with their maid, who carried the baby brother or sister wrapped in costly cloak, and veiled from the wind. Down in the by-streets they sat upon the curbstones, rolled upon the walks, or scrambled over heaps of rubbish, joyously for the time forgetting hunger, cold, dirt, and rags. Thank God, his sunshine and blessed air are free alike to rich and poor!

Often in the most pleasant streets, among dwellings of comfort and elegance, there will be some old house, once fine, but abandoned at last to as many families as there are rooms, or a workshop, or a den, inside of whose carefully screened windows fathers and mothers go to swallow up in fiery drink the bread, the joy, even the life, of their little ones. Such a tenant house, close to Broadway, Somebody passed every day.

Out on the dirty wooden steps, on this bright March morning, played, screamed, and wrestled a little tribe of unwashed, half-clothed, and hungry-faced little people of every size, from the height of a chair to the length of a broom-handle,—and every nation too. The little black-eyed French child from the bakery next door, with pretty face and long, tangled hair, clasps hands with the little Dutch maiden in woollen nightcap and dark blue woollen stockings, while the rosy, impudent little man who is a “rale born Amerikin,” so his mother says, cuffs about without mercy the pale mite whose mother sews for the tailors, and whose father has “gone to the war” for the land we all love.

That is poor sport for this sturdy “sprig of Green Erin,” so he pitches into Micky, a larger copy of himself, and soon lands him in the big dry-goods box, on the edge of the sidewalk, which receives the daily contributions of ashes, sweepings, bones, and parings of all the families to whom these little folks belong. As Micky rises, flushed and threatening, from his ashy bed, a frowzy head is thrust from an upper window, and a bare red arm and fist are shaken to give emphasis to the harsh voice that cries:—

“You Micky! come in yere, quick! an’ you, Johnny Rafferty, if you tech my b’y agin I’ll break ivery bone in yer body.”

Whereat Johnnie cocks his torn cap on one side, thrusts his hands into his pockets, and sticking out his tongue, like a naughty boy as he is, sings out in a piping voice:—

“Holler louder!—can’t yer?”

But Micky, to whom minding his mother is something he knows and cares nothing about, thinks he had rather pocket the insult than go in; so he shakes himself, and begins to pick cinders from the box to pelt a poor, hungry little dog, who doesn’t see what he is at, because his head is in a barrel on the other side of the street.

That grows tiresome, there is a long day to be got rid of somehow, and little of real amusement ever falls to the share of these “children of the waste.” So the noise increases and the quarrelling too. In the midst of Johnnie’s second fight, which sprawls him on his back, the house door opens, and a slim, pale girl, perhaps ten years old, comes out and speaks to them.

What did she say? They all run and seat themselves in rows upon the steps, and try to compose their antic limbs and busy tongues into something like quiet.

It is “play school,” with little Mary Ryan for teacher. To play with good, gentle Mary is a privilege too rare to be refused; for Mary is a sickly, quiet child, and doesn’t like noise or dirt or quarrelling, so she seldom plays with the other children who swarm the house, and, when she will, they are glad to do what she likes.

“But you ha’n’t no book,” says Micky.

“O, you’ll see,” says Mary, and she goes to the ash-box, and picks out a large cinder that has turned whity and soft on the outside, and with it she marks out a space upon the flag-stones in front of the steps, and writes, as well as she can (for little Mary has never been to school much) great A and B, with B-O-Y and C-A-T. Then she takes from the box a piece of lath, and points and questions, and drills her school.

There is a good deal of very bad spelling, some going to the head and some being sent to the foot, some crowding and pushing, as there is in schools where children are better taught and ought to be better behaved, but, on the whole, Mary’s class does pretty well.

Somebody, who passed that way that morning, and thought sadly of the little hearts that could find joy in the sunshine, unknowing how poverty and the struggle for life would grip them by and by,—Somebody was not well or happy that day. Perhaps she pined for the country and rest from labor, perhaps she was lonely for loved ones far away, but somehow she could not eat when lunch-time came. Mince-pie could not tempt her, sandwiches were tasteless, and even a large slice of gingerbread had lost all charms. So she opened the window where two or three lordly pigeons strutted and cooed, and spread their glossy wings in the sun that shone on the copper-roofed shed beneath, and was about to spread a feast for them. But the little hungry faces that clustered round the ash-box came before her mind, and—the pigeons lost their mince-pie and gingerbread that day.

The school was loudly and busily spelling D-O-G, when Somebody laid a paper parcel on the heap in the ash-box, well knowing that a dozen pairs of eyes would pry into its contents in two minutes.

And many a bright day, as the spring opened, found Mary and her scholars again at their favorite play. Somebody, in passing one day, gave Mary a large pasteboard card covered with colored letters and easy words, and also a large piece of chalk to write them with upon the flags; and on another day Somebody stopped, and asked Mary if they had all been good and learned well, and gave each of them a penny. What a rush they made into the French bakery next door! Such buns as they bought! and how fast they ate them!

And there were rainy days, and some cold and windy ones, before the summer fairly managed to get into the city, and then how lonely and dirty the old steps and the ash-box looked to Somebody, who hurried by with a little sigh that told how she had learned to miss the little dirty faces and ragged garments that covered, but could not conceal, the beauty of childhood!

But there came one glorious day to the ash-box school before moving-day scattered its members far and wide.

Over the way, in the first house of the brown-stone row, bright eyes and rosy lips at the window had watched and talked about little Mary Ryan’s school, and warm little hearts were roused with interest. The play was all the better when they knew it had spectators, and that hands as small as their own would be clapped with glee as one after another “went up head,” or some unruly one was mounted on the ash-heap with a paper dunce-cap on.

But the bright faces fled from the window one morning, to appear again at the door; and there was a patter of little feet, and little arms laden with toys and books scattered their burden among the children of Mary’s school.

What if the books were worn, and here and there a leaf gone? What if the doll had lost an arm, or the tin horse a leg?

They were priceless treasures to their new owners, and the good fairies, named Kindness and Happiness, touched them tenderly, and made them fresh and new in beauty and power to please.

Caroline Augusta Howard.


Arranged by Julius Eichberg. Diabelli.


Arranged by Julius Eichberg. F. Kuhlau.



No. 48.


As celestial a creature as ever was known,

Yet not fit for heaven I really must own.


But look at his head, and you’d say it were vain

To introduce me where waterfalls reign.


A one-eyed blacksmith, I

Must serve the gods or die.


Within my name there lurks

The paradise of Turks.


The writers of our time!

In this bright group I shine.


A house not built on land,

Nor made by human hand.


I shout thy name so dear!

Discovery is near.


Among my wounded brave

An angel moved to save.


Reproach, alas! not rare,

Of beauty everywhere.

The Seven Gables.

No. 49.


My soothing words

  You love to hear;

Like music sweet,

  They charm the ear.


From mothers’ lips

  I lull to sleep;

I make you laugh,

  I make you weep.


The pet of the children,

  The plague of the cook,

A story I would tell

  If I could write a book.


I reigned as a king

  O’er the fair land of Greece;

Her fame shall ne’er depart,

  Her glory never cease.


To weary ones

  I bring sweet rest,

And send the bird

  To seek her nest.


On me burst forth

  Fresh buds of spring,

And birds revive

  The drooping wing.





No. 51.


I am composed of 53 letters.

My 35, 42, 37, 40, 47, 44, 6, 11, 15, is one who the Bible tells us taught singing.
My 30, 1, 12, 16, 20, was a captain in Saul’s army.
My 1, 19, 50, 5, was an important article of merchandise among Eastern people.
My 35, 47, 5, 53, 26, is a highly useful animal in the East.
My 49, 30, 40, 8, 25, 50, was a famous prophet.
My 41, 32, 5, 39, 38, was a fellow-laborer of Paul’s.
My 29, 31, 4, 38, 34, 7, 50, 11, was one of Herod’s daughters.
My 18, 1, 45, 48, 10, is a well-known wood from India.
My 17, 51, 46, 14, 33, 16, 25, is a celebrated evergreen from Mount Lebanon.
My 3, 30, 13, 30, 38, 38, 47, 24, was a Jewish orphan.
My 36, 16, 50, 1, 21, 40, is a Syrian city celebrated for its wines.
My 27, 5, 31, 34, was an officer in the army of Israel.
My 9, 53, 48, 23, is a temporary dwelling.
My 22, 30, 40, is an agricultural implement of the Jews.
My 52, 6, 22, 9, 2, was the age at which the Levites ceased to serve in the temple.
My 30, 19, 28, 43, 48, was the first Jewish high-priest.
My whole is the scriptural way to prosperity.


No. 52.

I am composed of 11 letters.

My 11, 6, 5, 10, is an animal.
My 4, 2, 10, 7, is an insect.
My 11, 3, 5, 1, is a tree.
My 9, 10, 1, 2, is a city in Europe.
My 5, 6, 3, 2, is a river in Europe.
My 9, 6, 5, is a river in England.
My 4, 8, 2, is a machine.
My 2, 6, 7, is a nickname.
My 5, 1, 4, is a nickname.
My whole will be equally enigmatical, whether you find it out or not.




No. 55.

From the scented clover,

  From the woodbine bower,

Where the busy rover

  Clings to the bending flower;

From the summer roses,

  Where, by the sunbeams nursed,

Each swelling bud uncloses,

  Comes my drowsy first.


When the lamp is lighted

  At the close of day,

Entering uninvited,

  Never asked to stay,

Round the chamber wheeling,

  Now circling slow, now fast,

Blundering ’gainst wall and ceiling

  Flies my clumsy last.


By forest and by fountain,

  On rock and stone and tree,

By woodland and by mountain,

  Where there’s an eye to see;

On wall of city dwelling,

  On forest giant’s bole,

Stand the inscriptions telling

  The reader of my whole.


No. 56.

I am a beast on western prairies found,

And skulk at night about the farmer’s ground;

Russia’s cold steppes I scour prey to pursue,

And victims make of all I can subdue.


Now change my form, my tribe is daily sought

By men who need some object for their sport;

This head remove, my face remains to scare

All truant urchins who my presence dare.


Restore and change again, I oft in meadows hide,

Spreading most widely with the rising tide;

Remove my present head, and what is left

Denotes depression, or of health bereft.


Double my second, cast my third away,

And, without me, no weaver needs the sley;

Now restore my third, take away my last,

I make endurable a wintry blast.


Write me as at first, then one half retire,

I am two fifths of that all men admire;

Which, when from marts of business they retire,

Is oft their chief, sometimes their sole desire.



43.I add the remaining figures together, and subtract them from nine, or the multiple of nine next larger than their sum.
44.Plan to live within your income. [(Plant) (tool) I V (withe in ewer) (in comb).]
45.The sad catastrophes and bitter calamities of war are passed, and gentle Peace reigns now. [(The’s add) (cat) (ass) (trophies) (& bit) (Turk) A (lamb) it is of (war) R (pass) (tangent) L (piece) (rain) (snow).]
46.Oliver Cromwell.


Will o’ the Wisp—whose beautifully sketched rebuses we have under consideration—says:—

Dear Letter Box,—

“Noticing the inquiries of your correspondents in regard to soap-bubbles, I thought of some directions I had seen in an old magazine for blowing ‘Rainbow Bubbles.’ I give them entire.

“ ‘Take three quarters of a pint of water that has boiled and got cold, and put into it a quarter of an ounce of Castile soap, cut up fine. Put this into a pint bottle, and set it in hot water, in a saucepan, on the fire; there let it remain an hour or so (now and then with a shake-up), till the soap has dissolved. Now let the fluid stand quiet for a few hours, for the impurities and coloring matter of the soap to settle; then pour off the fluid, and add to it eight (8) ounces of glycerine, and your bubble solution is ready. In an ordinary way you may blow the bubbles easily with a clean tobacco pipe; but, if you wish to attain scientific perfection, you had better employ a glass pipe. These bubbles are so strong you can play battledore with them.’ ”

I. Wonder. We could not think of admitting such ill-behaving and ill-speaking children to our family. Low language is pardonable nowhere, and least of all in a story for children.

Nantucket Shore.” We want the address of the author of some verses with this title.

Many Readers.” To use your own wits, instead of being stupid and depending on others to help you out of difficulties, is the warning held up by the folly and luckless experiences of the Peterkins, who would not think for themselves. You may be as silly, perhaps, in your own way.

Alice L. Thank you for your letter. We shall be glad to hear from you again, for you have written well and interestingly. Although you are not strong, you need have no fear that you cannot be useful to others, and do them good. If your mind is well stored, and your spirit well tempered, and you exercise both mind and spirit thoughtfully, earnestly, and patiently, you cannot fail to be of service by your conversation and example, even though your infirmity should prevent you from being useful by mere strength of body.

Eddie W. F. Write to D. Appleton & Co., of New York City, for stamp albums, or for the prices of them.

Bert Hart. Any cabinet-maker or carpenter can make a book-rack, if you show him the picture. Or you can write to Dr. Dio Lewis, Boston, for full particulars.

Jennie. Yes. But, when you send for the books, be sure to refer to the permission given here.

Clay Hill. Attend to your grammar and spelling-book.

Herbert. Write only when you feel really impelled to do it,—not when a mere fancy for putting words together seizes upon your mind. Let what you write lie quietly by for a while,—unless, of course, you have written for a particular purpose and time; compare what you do at one time with what you did three or six months before, and look closely for any signs of progress. If, as you follow this course, your work seems honest and good, and others care to see it in print, there can be no objection to your publishing, so long as you remember that hundreds can do the same thing just as well.

Hautboy & Al P. Your rebus was well made out, but unfortunately the subject was very badly misquoted.

May White. It is not at all necessary to say anything about it. Common sense, the duration of the call, and the weather, will determine so small a point.

N. W. Mr. Eichberg is now the Director of the Boston Conservatory of Music,—an institution with five or six hundred pupils. He is a very cultivated musician, a fine violinist, and a man of much practical experience. He did occupy the place you mention at the late Musical Festival in Boston.

Edwin A. P. (1.) In the autumn. (2.) Probably. (3.) Her family name is Guelph.

A. H. M. We know of no good book on lathe-work for beginners.

Chemistry. Stockhardt’s “Elements of Chemistry” is a good book.

Little Boy. The needle gun and mortar are capital toys. You will find all about them among the advertisements.

To Many Friends. Answers must be sent to every question of enigmas, or the contribution must go into the waste-basket unread.

Jesse W. F. A little too involved.

Penelope Tittletone. You must excuse us for not complying with your request. We do not quite like the idea, and have always avoided it in any form.

Charlotte M. Packard, whose address we do not know, writes this appropriate summer poem:—

An Old Story.

“What so gay as a Honey-bee,

  Sailing the green fields over?

Resting here in the heart of a rose,

  There in the heart of a clover.


“All the blossoms nod to him,

  ‘Say, Brown-coat, will you buy?’

‘Mine are the sweet stores,’ saith the red;

  And the white saith, ‘Sweet am I!’


“ ‘Where shall I choose to banquet?

  This poppy is bright and warm;

But the clematis hangs in clusters,

  It would shelter one in a storm.’


“Droning, and spreading his velvet,

  He floats on the languid air,

While the sun shines out of heaven,

  And the world to him is fair.


“But he is a busy worker,

  Not idly his days are spent;

He hums at his toil forever,

  Like the very soul of content.


“Children, gather the honey!

  Something beside the flower;

For one will last in the winter,

  And the other will last but an hour!”

We gladly bring to light this pretty “Pearl,” which has long lain hidden under the rubbish in our “Box.”


“O darling, my kitty, my ‘Pearl’ of great price,

Why should I not put all my love in a song?

Prince, Carlo, and Rover each had his proud day,

And not for the world would I do them a wrong.


“Nice doggies they were, I don’t doubt it; but then

How can any dog with my pussy compare?

Such bright, eager eyes, such a lovely white breast,

Some praise, I am sure, ought to fall to your share.


“How well I remember, four spring-times ago,

You came, a wee bit of a kitten, to me,

And crept up my shoulder, close under my chin,

And lay there as cunning as cunning could be!


“And then how you scampered through parlor and hall,

Raced up stairs and down, and right over the rail,

So full of mad capers, and mischief, and fun,

And whirled around twenty times after your tail!


“But oh! how it gives me the heartache to tell

(I must, or it wouldn’t be honest, you know)

Of the little gray robin with bright scarlet breast,

That you caught and ate up; ah! how could you do so?


“But you couldn’t tell a gray bird from a mouse,

And, of course, we know, kitty, you must catch the mice;

So no one shall blame you, or call you hard names;

But we’ll give the young robins the best of advice.


“And now you are grown such a big pussy-cat,

You step like a prince, and look solemn and wise;

And there you lie idly asleep in the sun,

While I have been praising you up to the skies.


So you all guessed last month’s puzzle to be “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,”—did you? Good children! Now try this,—which is not Shakespeare, by the way.


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 4, Issue 8 edited by J. T. Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom]