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Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 4, Issue 11

Date of first publication: 1868

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

Date first posted: July 12, 2019

Date last updated: July 12, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190725

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. NOVEMBER, 1868. No. XI.

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 S. Eytinge, Jr.]          [See More about Trotty, page 649.


Quercus Alba lay on the ground, looking up at the sky. He lay in a little, brown, rustic cradle which would be pretty for any baby, but was specially becoming to his shining, bronzed complexion; for although his name, Alba, is the Latin word for white, he did not belong to the white race. He was trying to play with his cousins, Coccinea and Rubra, but they were two or three yards away from him, and not one of the three dared to roll any distance for fear of rolling out of his cradle; so it wasn’t a lively play, as you may easily imagine. Presently, Rubra, who was a sturdy little fellow, hardly afraid of anything, summoned courage to roll full half a yard, and, having come within speaking distance, began to tell how his elder brother had, that very morning, started on the grand underground tour, which to the Quercus family is what going to Europe would be for you and me. Coccinea thought the account very stupid, said his brothers had all been, and he should go too sometime he supposed, and, giving a little shrug of his shoulders which set his cradle rocking, fell asleep in the very face of his visitors. Not so Alba; this was all news to him,—grand news. He was young and inexperienced, and, moreover, full of roving fancies; so he lifted his head as far as he dared, nodded delightedly as Rubra described the departure, and, when his cousin ceased speaking, asked eagerly, “And what will he do there?”

“Do?” said Rubra,—“do? why, he will do just what everybody else does who goes on the grand tour. What a foolish fellow you are to ask such a question!”

Now this was no answer at all, as you see plainly, and yet little Alba was quite abashed by it, and dared not push the question further for fear of displaying his ignorance; never thinking that we children are not born with our heads full of information on all subjects, and that the only way to fill them is to push our questions until we are utterly satisfied with the answers; and that no one has reason to feel ashamed of ignorance which is not now his own fault, but will soon become so if he hushes his questions for fear of showing it.

Here Alba made his first mistake. There is only one way to correct a mistake of this kind, and it is so excellent a way that it even brings you out at the end wiser than the other course could have done. Alba, I am happy to say, resolved at once on this course. “If,” said he, “Rubra does not choose to tell me about the grand tour, I will go and see for myself.” It was a brave resolve for a little fellow like him. He lost no time in preparing to carry it out; but, on pushing against the gate that led to the underground road, he found that the frost had fastened it securely, and he must wait for a warmer day. In the mean time, afraid to ask any more questions, he yet kept his ears open to gather any scraps of information that might be useful for his journey.

Listening ears can always hear; and Alba very soon began to learn, from the old trees overhead, from the dry rustling leaves around him, and from the little chipping-birds that chatted together in the sunshine. Some said the only advantage of the grand tour was to make one a perfect and accomplished gentleman; others, that all the useful arts were taught abroad, and no one who wished to improve the world in which he lived would stay at home another year. Old grandfather Rubra, standing tall and grand, and stretching his knotty arms, as if to give force to his words, said, “Of all arts, the art of building is the noblest, and that can only be learned by those who take the grand tour; therefore all my boys have been sent long ago, and already many of my grandsons have followed them.”

Then there was a whisper among the leaves: “All very well, old Rubra, but did any of your sons or grandsons ever come back from the grand tour?”

There was no answer; indeed, the leaves hadn’t spoken loudly enough for the old gentleman to hear, for he was known to have a fiery temper, and it was scarcely safe to offend him; but the little brown chipping-birds said, one to another, “No, no, no, they never came back! they never came back!”

All this sent a chill through Alba’s heart, but he still held to his purpose; and in the night a warm and friendly rain melted the frozen gateway, and he boldly rolled out of his cradle forever, and, slipping through the portal, was lost to sight.

His mother looked for her baby; his brothers and cousins rolled over and about in search for him. Rubra began to feel sorry for the last scornful words he had said, and would have petted his little cousin with all his heart, if he could only have had him once again; but Alba was never again seen by his old friends and companions.


“How dark it is here, and how difficult for one to make his way through the thick atmosphere!” so thought little Alba, as he pushed and pushed slowly into the soft mud. Presently, a busy hum sounded all about him, and, becoming accustomed to the darkness, he could see little forms moving swiftly and industriously to and fro.

You children who live above, and play about on the hillsides and in the woods, have no idea what is going on all the while under your feet; how the dwarfs and the fairies are working there, weaving moss carpets and grass-blades, forming and painting flowers and scarlet mushrooms, tending and nursing all manner of delicate things which have yet to grow strong enough to push up and see the outside life, and learn to bear its cold winds and rejoice in its sunshine.

While Alba was seeing all this, he was still struggling on, but very slowly; for first he ran against the strong root of an old tree, then knocked his head upon a sharp stone, and finally, bruised and sore, tired, and quite in despair, he sighed a great sigh, and declared he could go no further. At that two odd little beings sprang to his side,—the one brown as the earth itself, with eyes like diamonds for brightness, and deft little fingers, cunning in all works of skill. Pulling off his wisp of a cap, and making a grotesque little bow, he asked, “Will you take a guide for the under-world tour?” “That I will,” said Alba, “for I no longer find myself able to move a step.” “Ha, ha!” laughed the dwarf, “of course you can’t move in that great body, the ways are too narrow; you must come out of yourself before you can get on in this journey. Put out your foot now, and I will show you where to step.” “Out of myself!” cried Alba, “why that is to die! My foot, did you say? I haven’t any feet; I was born in a cradle, and always lived in it until now, and could never do anything but rock and roll.”

“Ha, ha ha!” again laughed the dwarf, “hear him talk! This is the way with all of them. No feet, does he say? Why, he has a thousand, if he only knew it; hands too, more than he can count. Ask him, sister, and see what he will say to you.”

With that a soft little voice said cheerfully, “Give me your hand, that I may lead you on the upward part of your journey; for, poor little fellow! it is indeed true that you do not know how to live out of your cradle, and we must show you the way.”

Encouraged by this kindly speech, Alba turned a little towards the speaker, and was about to say (as his mother had long ago taught him that he should in all difficulties) “I’ll try,” when a little cracking noise startled the whole company, and, hardly knowing what he did, Alba thrust out, through a slit in his shiny brown skin, a little foot reaching downward to follow the dwarf’s lead, and a little hand, extending upward, quickly clasped by that of the fairy, who stood smiling and lovely in her fair green garments, with a tender, tiny grass-blade binding back her golden hair. O, what a thrill went through Alba, as he felt this new possession! a hand and a foot,—a thousand such, had they not said? What it all meant he could only wonder; but the one real possession was at least certain, and in that he began to feel that all things were possible.

And now shall we see where the dwarf led him, and where the fairy? and what was actually done in the underground tour?

The dwarf had need of his bright eyes and his skilful hands; for the soft, tiny foot intrusted to him was a mere baby that had to find its way through a strange dark world, and, what was more, it must not only be guided, but also fed and tended carefully; so the bright eyes go before, and the brown fingers dig out a road-way, and the foot that has learned to trust its guide utterly follows on. There is no longer any danger; he runs against no rocks, he loses his way among no tangled roots; and the hard earth seems to open gently before him, leading him to the fields where his own best food lies, and to hidden springs of sweet fresh water.

Do you wonder when I say the foot must be fed? Aren’t your feet fed? To be sure, your feet have no mouths of their own; but doesn’t the mouth in your face eat for your whole body, hands and feet, ears and eyes, and all the rest? else how do they grow? The only difference here between you and Alba is that his foot has mouths of its own, and as it wanders on through the earth, and finds anything good for food, eats both for itself and for the rest of the body; for I must tell you that, as the little foot progresses, it does not take the body with it, but only grows longer and longer and longer, until, while one end remains at home, fastened to the body, the other end has travelled a distance such as would be counted miles by the atoms of people who live in the under-world. And, moreover, the foot no longer goes on alone; others have come, by tens, even by hundreds, to join it, and Alba begins to understand what the dwarf meant by thousands. Thus the feet travel on, running some to this side, some to that; here digging through a bed of clay, and there burying themselves in a soft sand-hill; taking a mouthful of carbon here and of nitrogen there. But what are these two strange articles of food? Nothing at all like bread and butter, you think. Different, indeed, they seem; but you will one day learn that bread and butter are made in part of these very same things, and they are just as useful to Alba as your breakfast, dinner, and supper are to you; for just as bread and butter, and other food, build your body, so carbon and nitrogen are going to build his; and you will presently see what a fine, large, strong body they can make; then, perhaps, you will be better able to understand what they are.

Shall we leave the feet to travel their own way for a while, and see where the fairy has led the little hand?


It was a soft, helpless, little baby hand. Its folded fingers lay listlessly in the fairy’s gentle grasp. “Now we will go up,” she said. He had thought he was going down, and he had heard the chipping-birds say he would never come back again; but he had no will to resist the gentle motion, which seemed, after all, to be exactly what he wanted; so he presently found himself lifted out of the dark earth, feeling the sunshine again, and stirred by the breeze that rustled the dry leaves that lay all about him. Here again were all his old companions,—the chipping-birds, his cousins, old grandfather Rubra, and, best of all, his dear mother; but the odd thing about it all was that nobody seemed to know him; even his mother, although she stretched her arms towards him, turned her head away, looking here and there for her lost baby, and never seeing how he stood gazing up into her face. Now he began to understand why the chipping-birds said, “They never came back! they never came back!” for they truly came in so new a form that none of their old friends recognized them.

Everything that has hands wants to work,—that is, hands are such excellent tools that no one who is the happy possessor of a pair is quite happy until he uses them; so Alba began to have a longing desire to build a stem and lift himself up among his neighbors. But what should he build with? Here the little feet answered promptly, “You want to build,—do you? Well, here is carbon, the very best material; there is nothing like it for walls; it makes the most beautiful, firm wood; wait a minute, and we will send up some that we have been storing for your use.”

And the busy hands go to work, and the child grows day by day. His body and limbs are brown now, but his hands of a fine shining green. And, having learned the use of carbon, these busy hands undertake to gather it for themselves out of the air about them, which is a great storehouse full of many materials that our eyes cannot see. And he has also learned that to grow and to build are indeed the same thing; for his body is taking the form of a strong young tree; his branches are spreading for a roof over the heads of a hundred delicate flowers, making a home for many a bushy-tailed squirrel and pleasant-voiced wood-bird; for, you see, whoever builds cannot build for himself alone; all his neighbors have the benefit of his work, and all enjoy it together.

What at the first was so hard to attempt became grand and beautiful in the doing; and little Alba, instead of serving merely for a squirrel’s breakfast, as he might have done had he not bravely ventured on his journey, stands before us a noble tree, which is to live a hundred years or more.

Do you want to know what kind of a tree?

Well, Lillie, who studies Latin, will tell you that Quercus means oak. And now can you tell me what Alba’s rustic cradle was, and who were his cousins Rubra and Coccinea?

Author of “The Seven Little Sisters.”


In fact, there is so much more about him that I hardly know where to begin; but, after having devoted just about a year’s study to the subject, I am inclined to take the Ginger-snap Story.

If it had not been ironing-day, there never would have been such a story to tell.

But then it was ironing-day, so it is of no use to say anything about that.

Trotty was sitting on the ironing-table too.

Trotty felt the responsibilities of ironing-day. Nobody knows how he felt them. The labors of his mother and Biddy were nothing in comparison. In the first place, there were his “pocky-hankychers” to be ironed. O those poor little pocky-hankychers! He used to crawl up behind the clothes-basket, and pull them out of his pockets (Trotty had two pockets) one by one till he came to the end, and there were always at least three or four. Such a sight as they were! All rolled up, and twisted up, and tied up, and squeezed up,—and as for the color! Well, Trotty picked all his dandelions, and all his fox-berries, and all his flagroot in them; watered his flowers, fed his chickens, brushed his shoes, and made his mud-pies with them, so perhaps you can have some idea of the color. I don’t believe you can, though. Nothing would do but that Biddy must heat his little iron,—it wasn’t much larger than a table-spoon, nor hotter than fresh milk,—and let him iron every one of those handkerchiefs to his entire satisfaction. A washed one, fresh from the pile on the window-sill, did not answer the purpose at all.

Then he must always have his shoe-strings pressed out.

Then there was Jerusalem. Jerusalem must, I think, have been remotely connected with the Flat-head Indians, though he was in skin an Ethiopian, and in temper quite harmless. Compounded from one of grandmother’s ravelled stockings, Lill’s old black silk apron, and the cotton-wool bag, Jerusalem possessed, in the beginning, an ample supply of brains; but Trotty bored a gimlet-hole in the top of his head one day, and pulled them out. Jerusalem, however, did not appear to suffer seriously from this treatment; and the little black silk bag which was left answered the purpose of a head to him quite as well as some fuller ones have done in the course of this world’s history. The only inconvenience about it was the slight one of having your face lop down on your neck whenever anybody shook you a little. Jerusalem felt it quite a comfort to be flattened out.

So Trotty ironed him every Tuesday afternoon.

On this afternoon, he had finished the handkerchiefs and the shoe-strings, and was ready to devote all his energies to Jerusalem, when Biddy dropped her flat-iron and jumped.

“Ow!” said Trotty; for the iron fell plump upon Jerusalem’s face, and scorched it to a delicate, smoky brown from forehead to chin. Jerusalem bore it manfully, and did not so much as wink. Trotty compassionately stuck him head-first into the sprinkling-bowl, and left him there to cool.

“Shure an’ it’s the baker goin’ by on me up the street,” said Biddy running to the window; “there’s not a crumb of cake in the house for supper the night, an’ it’s your mother as told me to stop him, bless my soul! Rin out now, Trotty, and holler afther him, there’s a good boy!”

Trotty, never loath to “rin out and holler” for any cause, prepared to obey; but the baker’s cart had turned the corner, and the jingling of his bells was growing faint. Biddy went to report to her mistress, and Trotty, having hung Jerusalem on the door-latch by his head, trotted along after her, to find out what was going to happen.

“Well,” said his mother, “there is no way now but to send to the Deacon’s for some ginger-snaps.”

Trotty beat a soft retreat. But his shoes squeaked,—Trotty’s shoes always did squeak,—so everybody heard him.

“Come, Trotty!”

“O, I don’t want to,” said Trotty, briskly, backing off.

“But mother wants you to. Come! see how quick you can be. You wouldn’t want to go without any cake for supper, you know.”

“Biddy can bake me some cake. I should like to know if that isn’t what God made her for!” said Trotty, with decision.

“No; Biddy can’t bake cake on ironing-days; she has too much else to do. Now, which would you rather do,—go without the ginger-snaps, or go to the Deacon’s?”

“Have Lill go,” said Trotty, looking bright.

As Trotty’s mother had a habit of meaning what she said, Lill did not go, and Trotty did. He jammed his little straw hat over his curls in a melancholy manner, back side in front, with the blue ribbons hanging down into his eyes, took Jerusalem down from the door-latch, looked unutterable things at Biddy, slammed the door severely, and trudged away through the dust to call for Nat, talking impressively to himself: “Now I don’t care! She needn’t have went and made me get her old ginger—”

“One pound, remember!” called his mother from the house; “and you and Nat may have one apiece.”

Trotty’s spirits rose. He called Nat out, and told him about that; and Nat said that it was “bully,” and Trotty thought so too. On the whole he began to be very glad that he was not at home ironing Jerusalem. Jerusalem himself seemed to be quite of the opinion that he had had ironing enough for one week; what with the scorching, and the drowning, and the hanging, he was in rather a depressed state of mind. Thinking to encourage him, Trotty carried him by the head awhile.

It took Trotty and Nat a long time to go to the Deacon’s. It never took Trotty and Nat anything but a long time to go anywhere. They dug wells in every sand-bank, and sailed chips on every mud-puddle, and knocked the stones off from every wall, and covered themselves with pitch on every wood-pile, and made friends with every kitty, and ran away from every puppy, and picked every dandelion that they came across,—to say nothing of Jerusalem; for Jerusalem could be an elephant, and Jerusalem could be a mouse, and Jerusalem excelled in the character of a horse-car or a steamboat. Jerusalem was unequalled as a telegraph-wire and a fish-hook; he could be buried, could be married, could be a minister and an apple-pie; made such a Daniel in the den of lions that the lions never would have known the difference; and in the capacity of Jeff Davis on a sour-apple tree has never been thought, by more impartial minds than Trotty’s, to have a rival.

Much to Jerusalem’s relief, they came to the Deacon’s at last, and Trotty climbed the high wooden steps, and stood on tiptoe, so that the end of his nose and the top of his curls just showed above the counter, and hammered away for a while with his little brown fists, till the Deacon heard him. How he opened his eyes and mouth, while the Deacon’s boy weighed out a pound of brown, round, crisp, fresh, sweet ginger-snaps!

“O my!” said Nat.

“Wait a minute,” said Trotty; “mother told me to sharge ’em.”

So Trotty took the ginger-snaps, and waited about; and the Deacon’s boy was busy, and did not notice him.

“What does it mean to have ’em charged?” asked Nat, in a hungry whisper, after they had walked drearily about the store for five minutes. Trotty shook his head. He had an idea of his own,—I’m sure I do not know how he came by it,—that he was to carry home a paper with something written on it, and that the Deacon was to write it for him, but he did not feel quite sure, and did not dare to ask. So he and Nat walked back and forth, and began to feel very hungry and very homesick.

“Hulloa!” said the Deacon, presently, “why, what’s the matter?”

“Mother wants ’em sharged,” said Trotty, half ready to cry, but looking as important as he knew how.

“O,” said the Deacon, “they’re all ‘sharged’ long ago. Run along!”

Trotty ran along in some perplexity. He had a vague impression that either he or the Deacon had made a mistake, but I doubt if he knows which, to this day.

Out again in the sunlight and the yellow dust, among the stone walls and the dandelions, he and Nat opened the paper.

Think of it,—a pound of ginger-snaps, and nobody to be seen among the stone walls and dandelions but Trotty and Nat! Nobody to look on, all the way home, and nothing but ginger-snaps away down to the bottom of that big paper bag! O you great grown-up people who talk about “temptations,” think of it!

“J-j-j-est look a there!” stammered excited Nat, hardly able to put one word straight after the other; for Nat did not have a ginger-snap very often.

“Mother said I might have one, and you might have one, an’ we might bof two of us have one,” said Trotty, graciously. So he put in his dainty, dimpled fingers, and felt all about till he found the largest two ginger-snaps in the brown bag.

O, well, to think how they tasted! Trotty nibbled his up in little bites about as big as a canary’s, and felt the sunshine all about, and heard a bluebird singing as she hopped along on the wall, and wondered in his secret heart—though this he did not say to Nat—whether there would be any Deacon’s, up in heaven; if he would keep ginger-snaps; if you could go down there some afternoon, and just eat all you wanted.

By and by the ginger-snap was all nibbled away.

“O, see here!” said Trotty, abstractly; “don’t you wish peoples hadn’t any mammas, Nat?”

“Let’s look in and see if they’re all safe, you know,” suggested Nat, after some thought.

Trotty opened the paper in a vague way, and peeped in.

“I’d like to look and see how safe they are,” said Nat. So Nat looked to see how safe they were.

“Wonder if there’s a hundred of ’em,” observed Nat, putting just the tips of his fingers over just the edge of the paper.

“O, I guess there’s more’n that; there’s as many as fifteen, I shouldn’t wonder,” said Trotty.

Presently he opened the bag again, and took out two ginger-snaps again.

“I don’t b’lieve she’d care if we had two ones, Nat.”

“That must ’a’ been what she meant,” explained Nat.

But something was the matter with that ginger-snap; Trotty thought that it did not taste as good as the other.

“I guess this one’ll taste better, you see. Free isn’t a great many more’n one, is it, Nat?”

Nat felt positive on that point. He didn’t think that four were a great many more, either.

“Look here,” said Trotty, after a while, “I’m glad mamma isn’t God.”

“Why?” asked Nat.

“ ’Cause then she’d just have to be round everywhere looking on.”

The bluebird had stopped singing, and the sunshine ran away, as fast as it could, to hide behind a cloud.

“Where’s Trotty?” asked everybody, when supper-time came; for nobody ever knew Trotty to fail of being on hand at supper-time.

“Trotty, Trotty! Trotty Tyrrol! Kitty Clover! Little pink Dai-sy! Trotty Teaser!”

Lill went up stairs and down, shouting a few dozen of Trotty’s names; to tell you all the names that Trotty had would take a separate number of Our Young Folks.

Lill looked in the attic; she looked in the cellar; she searched the woodshed; she peered into the refrigerator.

“Why, what has become of the child?”

“I’ll look myself,” said his mother, coming up. “Trotty!”

Yes ’um!” said Trotty, faintly, from somewhere. And where do you suppose it was? His mother came into the entry by the linen-closet, and went up to the tall clothes-basket that stood in the corner, and peeped in. There sat Trotty, all curled up in a little heap at the bottom, with his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands.

“Couldn’t get out,” said Trotty, meekly, looking up from the depths.

“But what did you get in for?”

“O, I was a fish, and fell down the well, I guess,” said Trotty, stopping to think; “don’t want any supper. I think you must be hungry, mamma; you’d better go down, you know.”

But mamma did not know. She fished him out somewhat gravely, and put him down upon the floor.

“We are all at supper now, and waiting for Trotty. Where are the ginger-snaps? Did you forget them?”

“No ’um.”

“Well, show me where they are. Come, dear.”

But Trotty hung back. They were “in the shina-closet,” he said, on the lowest shelf.

So somebody went to the “shina-closet.” There on the shelf lay a little, a very little, roll of brown paper. It had been a bag once; it was torn now, and twisted up.

They brought it to Trotty’s mother, and she opened it.

Just five ginger-snaps! Everybody looked at everybody else.

“They’ve eaten—why, did you ever in all your life?—they’ve eaten a pound!”

Lill laughed till the tears came; grandmother said that they would die before morning; mamma went sadly up stairs, and found her little fish sitting on the floor beside his well, head hanging, and dimple gone.

She took him up in her arms, and looked at him. Trotty lifted his great yellow eyelashes just enough to peep through and get an idea of the state of affairs; then dropped them down—down.

“Trotty, where are the rest of mother’s ginger-snaps?”

“The Deacon’s pounds ain’t—well, they ain’t so big as they used to be,” said Trotty, twisting his fingers into each other. “Sumfin’s the matter with his weighing-thing, I guess.”

“No, Trotty; the Deacon gave you a great many more than you have brought home, and somebody has eaten the rest. Was it Trotty and Nat?”

“Me and Nat, we eat free,” said Trotty, very low.

“Only three? But who ate the rest, Trotty?”

“Jerusalem!” said Trotty, after some consideration.

“Very well; whoever ate the ginger-snaps can’t go down stairs any more to-night, but must go to bed and stay alone. Shall I put Jerusalem to bed?”

Trotty opened his eyes rather wide, but said nothing. His mother put Jerusalem into Trotty’s bed, and covered him up, and tucked him in; Jerusalem folded his head quite over on the counterpane for shame and sorrow.

“O, see here!” said Trotty, with a little jump. “It—it wasn’t Jerusalem, either.”

Trotty cried himself to sleep that night. But, before he had cried himself to sleep, his mother came up with his mug of milk, and sat down on the bed. She looked very sober, and said nothing, nor did she kiss him.

“Mamma,” faltered Trotty, presently.



Why, you would have thought his little heart was broken! He had never spent ten unnoticed, unpetted minutes in all his life before; and I suppose he had settled it in his wretched little thoughts that he never was going to be noticed or petted or kissed or forgiven.

“Too bad!” moaned Trotty. “O, it’s too bad!”

So he crept up into his mother’s arms,—he looked like a little tinted statue, with his nightgown, and bare feet, and wet curls, and grieving, red mouth,—and they talked it all over.

“Will I die?” asked he, by and by, very sorry and a little frightened.

O no, not now, his mother hoped; but she was afraid he would be sick to-morrow. Indeed, she had sent Lill to ask the doctor to stop in a moment on his way home; though that she did not tell Trotty.

Trotty called her back after she had started to go down stairs, and wanted to know “Which would be died first,—me or you or Jerusalem?”

“O, I presume I shall die first; I am the oldest. Come, Trotty, go to sleep now, it is very late.”

“Mamma—” when she had stepped on the very last stair: and up she must climb again, wearily.

“Look here, mamma. I should just like to know about it. If you go to heaven first, who’ll shoot me?”

You see, all the dead people that the poor little philosopher knew anything about, were two in number. One was his father, whose great, blue brave eyes looked down out of the picture up stairs, and who lay with a bullet in his heart among the solemn shadows of Gettysburg. The other was the Good President. Consequently, he had inferred that the only means of translation from this world to another was by pistol.

“And, O dear!” cried his mother, afterwards, “to think that I should have to be the one to do it!”

“A pound of ginger-snaps! A pound of ginger-snaps!” repeated grandmother at intervals throughout the evening. “He certainly will die before morning.”

Trotty did not, however, die before morning. And, what is more,—I do not expect to be believed, but it is true,—they never hurt him a bit.

The next Sunday he preached a sermon to Lill and Biddy. If you had only heard it! It began—

. . . . A telegram just received from the Editors, (who are not of a theologic turn of mind) mildly but decidedly hints that I may go on writing as long as I choose, if it is any comfort to me; but that young folks have sensibilities, and the Magazine has covers, and not another line will they print for me this time.

E. Stuart Phelps.


The old-wives sit on the heaving brine,

  White-breasted in the sun,

Preening and smoothing their feathers fine,

  And scolding, every one.


The snowy kittiwakes overhead,

  With beautiful beaks of gold,

And wings of delicate gray outspread,

  Float, listening while they scold.


And a foolish guillemot, swimming by,

  Though heavy and clumsy and dull,

Joins in with a will when he hears their cry

  ’Gainst the Burgomaster Gull.


For every sea-bird, far and near,

  With an atom of brains in its skull,

Knows plenty of reasons for hate and fear

  Of the Burgomaster Gull.


The black ducks gather, with plumes so rich,

  And the coots in twinkling lines;

And the swift and slender water-witch,

  Whose neck like silver shines;


Big eider-ducks, with their caps pale green

  And their salmon-colored vests;

And gay mergansers, sailing between,

  With their long and glittering crests.


But the loon aloof on the outer edge

  Of the noisy meeting keeps,

And laughs to watch them behind the ledge

  Where the lazy breaker sweeps.


They scream and wheel, and dive and fret,

  And flutter in the foam;

And fish and mussels blue they get

  To feed their young at home:


Till, hurrying in, the little auk

  Brings tidings that benumbs,

And stops at once their clamorous talk,—

  “The Burgomaster comes!”


And up he sails! a splendid sight,

  With “wings like banners” wide,

And eager eyes, both big and bright,

  That peer on every side.


A lovely kittiwake flying past

  With a slippery pollock fine,

Quoth the Burgomaster, “Not so fast,

  My beauty! This is mine!”


His strong wing strikes with a dizzying shock;

  Poor kittiwake, shrieking, flees;

His booty he takes to the nearest rock,

  To devour it at his ease.


The scared birds scatter to left and right,

  But the bold buccaneer, in his glee,

Cares little enough for their woe and their fright,—

  “ ’Twill be your turn next!” cries he.


He sees not, hidden behind the rock,

  In the sea-weed, a small boat’s hull,

Nor dreams he the gunners have spared the flock

  For the Burgomaster Gull.


So proudly his dusky wings are spread,

  And he launches out on the breeze,—

When lo! what thunder of wrath and dread!

  What deadly pangs are these!


The red blood drips and the feathers fly,

  Down drop the pinions wide;

The robber-chief, with a bitter cry,

  Falls headlong in the tide!


They bear him off with laugh and shout;

  The wary birds return,—

From the clove-brown feathers that float about

  The glorious news they learn.


Then such a tumult fills the place

  As never was sung or said;

And all cry, wild with joy, “The base,

  Bad Burgomaster’s dead!”


And the old-wives sit with their caps so white,

  And their pretty beaks so red,

And swing on the billows, and scream with delight,

  For the Burgomaster’s dead!

Celia Thaxter.


The intolerable oppression of the patricians, to which was now added the tyranny of the Decemvirs, had excited a spirit of rancor in the breasts of the Roman commons, which was gradually extending itself to the entire army that now lay encamped in a strong position within sight of the enemy. But so sullen was their temper that the generals feared to lead them from their intrenchments, and the only barrier to open mutiny seemed to be the absence of special provocation, or the lack of a leader.

Upon the slopes of Crustumeria hung the dark masses of the Roman [their]* legions, while the watch-fires of their enemy, gleaming through heavy masses of foliage, lit up the vales below. But the haughty joy with which these stern warriors were wont to hail the hour of conflict no longer thrilled the soldiers’ breasts. By the dim light of stars, men spake in whispers; and murmurs, waxing louder as the night wore on, like the hollow moan of surf before the gathering tempest, rose on the midnight air.

Just as the red light, touching, tinged the mountain summits, a warrior, clad in a gory mantle from which the blood, slow dripping, had stained his armor and clotted upon his horse’s mane, rode down the sentry, and, bursting into the midst of the camp, shouted, “Soldiers, protect a tribune of the people!” Those pregnant words, associated with all of liberty the commons had ever known, were to the chafed spirits of the soldiery as fire to the flax. From every quarter of the camp trumpets sounded to arms, the clash of steel mingled with the tramp of hurrying feet, and, marshalled by self-elected commanders, the gleaming cohorts closed around him. But when the helmet, lifted, revealed a face of wondrous beauty, stained by the traces of recent grief, the eyes flashing with the light of incipient madness, tears trembled on the cheeks of that stern soldiery, and “Icilius!” ran in a low wail through their ranks.

“Comrades,” he cried, “you behold no more that young Icilius who, foot to foot and shield to shield with you, has borne the brunt of many a bloody day, and whose life was like a summer’s morning, rich with the fragrance of the opening buds, while every morn gave promise of new joys, and twilight hours were in their lingering glories dressed,—but a man sore broken, made ruthless by oppression, and so beset with horrors that this reeling brain, just tottering on the verge of madness, is steadied only by the purpose of revenge.

“Yesterday, Virginia, my betrothed, was by her father slain, to thwart the lust of Appius Claudius, a guardian of the public virtue and a ruler of the State.

“As she crosses the forum, on her way to school, that she may take leave of her mates and invite them to her bridal, some ruffians set on by Appius Claudius lay hold upon her, averring that she is not the daughter of Virginius, but of a slave-woman, the property of Marcus, his client. The matter is brought to public trial; Appius, failing to obtain in this manner the custody of her, that he may gratify his evil passions, commands his soldiers to take her by force. Her friends, apprehending no violence at a legal tribunal, are without arms. Soldiers are tearing her from her father’s embrace, when the stern parent, preferring death to dishonor, catches a knife from the butcher’s stall, and crying, ‘Thus only can I restore thee untainted to thy ancestors,’ stabs her to the heart.

“The purple torrent gushing from her breast, she falls upon my neck,—her arms embrace me,—her lips close pressed to mine, murmuring in death my name, she dies.

“In childhood we were lovers; from her father’s door to mine was but a javelin’s cast. We sought the nests of birds,—played in the brooks,—chased butterflies,—we clapped our hands in childish wonder when the great eagle from the Apennines plunged headlong to the vale, or skimmed with level wing along the flood,—and I, adventurous boy, risked life and limb upon the jutting crag, to pluck some wild-flower that her fancy pleased.

“As generous wine by age becomes more potent, thus fared it with our loves. For her I kept myself unstained, rushed to the battle’s front, and honors gained, that I might lay them at her feet, and, by her love inspired, press on to worthier deeds. Like flowers whose kindred roots intwine, whose perfume mingles on the morning air, did our affections blend. ’Twas but three nights ago that we sat hand in hand beside the Tiber, and listened to the song of nightingales among the elms. The purple twilight quivering through the leaves streamed o’er her brow, and bathed in heavenly hues her lovely form.

“There we talked of our approaching nuptials. Love ripened into rapture. I kissed her lips, and chid the slow-paced hours that kept us from our bliss. The marriage day was fixed. With curtains richly wrought, and coverings of finest linen, spun by her own hands and by her maidens, my mother had adorned the couch.

“To that sweet home where I had hoped through happy years to cherish her a wife, I bore her mangled corpse, gashed by a father’s hand. Her blood bedewed the bed decked with those nuptial gifts.

“To you, mates of my boyhood, brethren in battle tried, I stretch my hands; not in the petty interest of a private wrong, but in the sacred right of Roman liberty, of virgin purity, sweet household joys, and in the name of those whose fair forms mingle with your dreams, in the fierce shock of battle nerve your arms, the fragrance of whose parting kiss yet lingers on your lips.

“The blood of age creeps slowly, and in its timid counsels interest and fear bear sway. Shall youthful swords lie rusting in the scabbard, and young men count the odds, when slaughtered beauty from its bloody grave clamors for vengeance?

“Behold this mantle, drenched in the blood of her whose fingers wove it as a gift of love,—each precious drop a tongue to shame your lingering courage. Led by the father with his bloody knife, your comrades thunder at the gates of Rome, while you, unworthy sons of sires who banished Tarquin and expelled the kings, sit here deliberating whether the virgin’s sanctity, the wife’s fair virtue, and all that men and gods hold sacred, are worth the striking for. Consume your youth in hunger, cold, and vigils, with spoils of conquered realms to pamper tyrants, till, waxing wanton on your bounty, they desolate your homes; and ye, hedged in by mercenary spears, revile your misery.”

His words were drowned in the clash of steel and the cries of multitudes calling to arms. Tearing the bloody garment in pieces, he flung them among the thronging battalions. “Be these your eagles! Bind them to your helmets; and, in the spirit they inspire, strike down the oppressor, that sweet Virginia’s unquiet ghost no more may wander shrieking for vengeance on the midnight air, but to the silent shades appeased return.”

Elijah Kellogg.

Note.—The Publishers of “Our Young Folks” are obliged, by their arrangement with the author of the foregoing declamation, positively to prohibit its republication.

If the first paragraph be spoken, the speaker will here use the reading in brackets, instead of “the Roman.”


Small events and trials in the life of a young child have more effect upon after life than we always know.

The following, which among other family and nursery records I remember, is a true story.

Little Mary sat alone in the parlor, “sewing a weary seam”; and she sighed once or twice as the breeze came soft and sweet through the open window, and she thought how very, very pleasant it was out there, where the lilacs were in bloom and the trees in full blossom.

Presently a door opened, and her mother came from the adjoining bedroom. Mary’s mother—a grave, stately-looking lady—was dressed for going out. We should smile to meet any one in our streets apparelled in like manner, but it was the fashion of that time. Her dress was a bright-patterned chintz sack, long, and open in front; the corners drawn back and fastened up behind, so displaying a flower-quilted petticoat beneath. Fifty years ago a young girl took that dress from the bottom of an old trunk, where it had lain for nearly thirty, and appropriated it to private theatricals. Over the lady’s shoulders lay a black mantle, and on her arms she wore long black mits, reaching to the bare elbows. A black silk hat was set low over the forehead, and raised behind so as not to crumple the starched high crown, clear and delicate, of her muslin cap; and she carried an open green fan, larger than some of the sunshades now in use. The pointed toes and high heels of her prunella, paste-buckled slippers clicked daintily as she walked, and left slight trace upon the sanded floor.

At the opposite door she paused, with her hand upon the lock, and looked back at the child, who, prim and silent, sat upon a low stool near the window. There was a flush of excitement on the pale little face, for she had hoped to be the companion of her mother’s walk; but the strict discipline of those days forbade much freedom of speech in children, so Mary could not dream of asking excuse from a task unaccomplished, however industrious she might have been; but her dark eyes looked so wistful there was no mistaking their language.

“Go fetch your hat, Mary,” said the lady, at length; and with pleased smiles the little maiden folded her work, replaced the square, oaken stool in exact angle with the lion-clawed table, and obeyed the welcome summons.

With careful steps the mother and daughter walked along the unpaved streets of Glostown,—I give it that name, though the four first letters alone belong to it. They stopped at a square wooden house, which was approached by two very low flat steps, and entered through a pair of red folding-doors, having a brass knocker on the one and a brass handle on the other. Blinds had not yet come into general use; but the windows of this house were hung with curtains, and four thickly leafed poplars shaded them outwardly. Here lived the parish clergyman, Parson Fordes.

The town of Glostown has now its six or eight places of public worship, perhaps more; but at that time the one old meeting-house—which, if it had ever been painted, retained no trace of it—stood solitary, with its belfry and pointed steeple, overlooking the whole parish.

The little fishing-town has since become a thickly settled place. Hotels and rows of stores have displaced all the pretty gardens; and railroad tracks stretch along where Mary and her mother walked that afternoon so quietly.

The two visitors were received in the parlor of Madam Fordes, the wife of the clergyman. This lady, well advanced in years, sat in a white dimity-covered easy-chair, dressed all in white herself; her Bible and spectacles lying on a three-footed light-stand beside her, and her favorite cat on a cushion near by. The floor was carpeted,—a rare thing in those days. This carpet was home-made; industry and ingenuity had slowly accomplished it. Bits of woollen cloth—black, red, gray, green, and yellow—cut to the width of common tape, and sewed together in long variegated strips, braided and interwoven, had produced a durable fabric, a carpet, giving to this room a look of cheerful comfort.

Between the windows stood a small table with raised edges, bow-legged and curiously carved, supporting a tea-service of china with cups almost toy-like in size. If a lady has only one such now she holds it precious, and gives it place among curiosities.

On the opposite side of the room was a high chest of drawers, kept in shining nicety; and beside it—close beside it—there stood, unfortunately as it proved, a child’s arm-chair,—the only chair among the high, stiff-backed ones that stood round the room on which the little girl could have seated herself in comfort.

The two ladies conversed of their dairies, their gardens, their spinning and knitting, their quiltings and weavings, and in more serious tones of the Dark Day which had very recently occurred, filling people’s hearts with terror while it lasted, and leaving them impressed with awe and solemnity; for the Dark Day of the year 1780 was not an eclipse, and many looked upon it as a forewarning that the world was coming to an end. Up to the present time it has not been satisfactorily accounted for. It lasted from early forenoon to near sunset; candles were lighted, for it was like night; the fowls went to roost, the birds to their nests, and when the sun reappeared, just before its setting, they awoke as to a new day.

Engaged upon so serious a subject, they thought not of little Mary, sitting unnoticed and silent in her low chair apart; but although she had studied the blue tiles round the fireplace several times over, and gazed, till her fancy was more than satisfied, upon the picture of Queen Anne with a string of beads round her throat, she was neither weary nor inactive. Her curiosity and her admiration had become strongly excited by an object that fixed her gaze with a magical charm.

One of the drawers of the great shining chest was a little—a very little—way open, and from it peeped forth a bit of pink sarcenet; it was but a small bit,—not much larger than the pink surface of Mary’s own little hand; but it was triangular, just the shape and size for a doll’s shawl; so suitable to supply the scant wardrobe of that beloved, wooden-faced Mehitable at home. Mary longed to examine it more nearly; after a while she ventured just to touch the end of it. It was hanging so that a slight movement would cause it to fall.

Mary sighed; she sat up a little straighter in her chair; she turned away her head; she stared again at the staring Queen Anne; she looked this way and that; but there was nothing in the whole room so interesting, so altogether lovely, as that bit of sarcenet, and her eye reverted still, in sidelong glances, to its first allurement. Again her soul was fascinated. Eve’s temptation was not stronger. Suddenly, she scarcely knew how or when, she had withdrawn the silken treasure; it was in her hand, but ah, its charm was gone! She hardly dared to look at it; she trembled, and felt flushed as with fever. Now could she but replace it in the drawer,—but no; it was the narrowest crack through which the fatal silk had escaped, and it could not be put back.

She sat behind her mother, and was thus screened also from the observation of Madam Fordes; but her mother would rise; she would turn towards her daughter; the eyes of both would be upon her, and then,—where could she hide her shame? At length the dreaded moment came; the conversation had closed, the ladies were exchanging the ceremonies of taking leave; from an impulse of terror, Mary hastily crushed the silk into her pocket, made her courtesy with downcast eyes, and, sick at heart, returned home.

A sleepless night had the child, and morning brought no relief. She knew nothing about moral courage; she had that yet to learn. She dared not go to her mother for counsel or comfort, as you, dear young friends, would do, not because love was lacking between them, but because in those old days it was thought right to check all familiarity in children, and to inculcate fear quite as much as love,—so different was home education then from now; so Mary kept her secret, and was miserable.

A week had passed when, one night, as she repeated her Lord’s Prayer, and asked to be delivered from evil, a good angel whispered to her—so she believed, for the thought came suddenly to her, like the sun breaking through a cloud—that the detested bit of sarcenet might be carried back.

Next day was the Sabbath, and Mary’s mother was glad to see her little one repairing to church with her usual cheerful step. After morning service the children stayed for catechism; after this, too, Mary still lingered. The good clergyman observed her, and, thinking she might wish to speak to him, came and took her hand.

“What, Mary, left behind? Well, so am I. Shall we walk along together?”

Mary could not reply, but she unclasped her fingers, and Mr. Fordes felt that something was slipped from them, and left in his hand.

“What is this?” he asked, smiling, and looked inquiringly at the sarcenet and at Mary.

“It is yours, sir,—I mean—it is Madam’s. I—I took it away, sir.”

“Took it?”

“Yes, sir, from your house when I was there. Oh! oh! I stole it, sir,” and the child burst into tears.

“Did your mother tell you to bring it to me, Mary, dear?”

“No, sir, I think it was an angel.”

The effort was made,—the first great effort, which makes all after effort easier. Mary’s heart unburdened itself to her kind friend, whose gentle admonitions sent her home strengthened and comforted.

It was a lesson that she never forgot; and I believe that the eloquence with which my dear, long-since-departed mother—for she it was—used to picture to us children the happiness of the good, and the misery of doing wrong, may be traced back to this trial of her childhood.

“Listen, children,” she would say,—“listen always for the angel voices.”

Mrs. A. M. Wells.


In the glow of the rosy western light

  I met two children walking;

Each clasped the waist of the other tight,

And the faces that touched were fond and bright,

  But no sound was there of talking.


Four pretty bare feet in the quiet street

Rang a faint, sweet chime in perfect time;

Two forms lithe and round were gracefully crowned

By pretty heads bare save of sunny hair;

Crossed behind two arms, clasped in front two palms;

On the setting light so ruddy bright

Gazed four full eyes, clear as June’s calm skies.


And as lilies blooming in lowly grace,

  Dashed by the soil in showers,

Despite every stain reveal Beauty’s trace,

So these, low in circumstance of place,

  Were lovely, though sullied flowers,—


Lovely, through many a marring trace

  Of human apathy;

While fragrance stole out of that holy grace

Which draws two hearts in one embrace,

  Sweet human sympathy.

Charlotte F. Bates.


When the little Traveller again came before the court and the Lord High Fiddlestick, it was with a face of wicked glee; and before my lord could open his mouth, he took a tall wax taper and a candlestick out of his pocket, and, lighting it, set it on the table, saying,—

“My Lord High Fiddlestick, here is a flame, and of course your friend Heat; but will you show me where is the force, or motion, in this candle?”

“Why, it is all in motion,” answered my Lord High Fiddlestick. “This candle is simply a stick of wax, with a cotton wick drawn through it. You light the wick. It melts the wax just below it. The cotton wick is full of tiny tubes, called capillary tubes, because they are as fine as a hair. The heat which has pulled apart the stiff wax atoms, so that we call them melted, drives and pulls them up through these hair-like tubes, and makes them into vapor, as it turns water into steam. This vapor is made of two gases, one called carbon, and the other hydrogen; and the air around the vapor is full of another substance, that we call oxygen. Now, sir, atoms of oxygen, and atoms of hydrogen and carbon, are fond of each other; so fond, though I can’t tell why, that, wherever they find each other, they are sure to rush together. They are too much in earnest to come gently and quietly, and Heat gives them so much more motion, and brings them together with such a clash, that they burst into flame. It is the swiftness and violence with which these atoms meet and struggle that makes the flame. So, you see, there is a prodigious force and motion, to strike out a white heat by their violence; and now, your Majesty, I should like to explain what I have here,” pointing to something that looked like a large wash-bowl of iron, mounted on a tall iron stick. “Doubtless your Highness remembers a miserable little country called Iceland, in which are horrible ice-mountains, and great caves, from which steam rushes roaring and hissing; and pools of mud which send up bubbles of slime; and ice-fields from which streams of water spread out over the country in dreadful swamps, so that your Majesty declined to consider Iceland as part of your kingdom, because it was too sloppy. Probably you must remember also that wonderful boiling spring called the Geyser. This spring has a tube more than seventy feet deep, and a beautiful wide basin lined with something like hard, smooth plaster. Regularly the ground shakes with a noise like thunder, the water struggles in the basin, and at last it is lifted, and, mixed with clouds of steam, is thrown high in the air.”

“I remember all about it,” exclaimed the little Prince Imperial. “That is the boiling spring where the water doesn’t boil. Our wise man said so.”

“He! he! he!” tittered the little Traveller.

“His Highness is quite right,” answered the Lord High Fiddlestick. “Water and steam burst out, and yet our wisest man discovered that the water in the tube was nowhere at what we call the boiling-point.”

“See here!” observed the King, looking with great round eyes at the Lord High Fiddlestick. “What is the Great Geyser’s receipt for that? Here we can never get our tea till the water boils.”

“I must explain first what we mean by the boiling-point,” returned the Lord High Fiddlestick. “Your Majesty will observe the water boiling in this glass vessel. You see rising through the water thin bubbles of film. These are steam bubbles. On each of these thin films the air above it is pressing. The air presses very hard: though we can neither see nor feel it, there is as much air as would weigh fifteen pounds pressing on every square inch. Why does not such a weight of air break in through these films? Simply because the steam atoms are pushing out, just as strongly as the air atoms are pushing in: so when these steam atoms that are struggling up grow just as strong as the air atoms that are pressing them down, we see the steam bubbles; and the water boils, or it is at its boiling-point. Do I make it clear, your Majesty?”

“Perfectly,” mumbled the King, growing very red, for, to tell the truth, he was taking a sly bite at a ginger-snap.

“Then you see,” continued my Lord High Fiddlestick, “that all the world has not the same boiling-point. It takes more heat to make water boil in your Majesty’s palace than on the top of a mountain; because on the mountain the air, as it rises higher, stretches out, and grows lighter; so the air atoms do not press so hard, and the steam bubbles are not obliged to make so long a fight of it. Now we can come back to the Geyser. I have here a basin of iron, on top of a long tube of iron. I have filled the tube with water. Under it, as you see, is a fire. Just so the tube of the great Geyser is filled with hot water, that rushes in from a warm spring, down deep in the earth. The water is very warm towards the bottom of the tube, but it is not quite ready to boil; that is, the steam bubbles are not strong enough to push their way up against the water above and the air which presses heavily down there. More steam rushes in at the bottom; and being cooled, or made to draw together suddenly in water-drops by rushing into water cooler than itself, it makes the thundering noise of which I spoke. But before it is quite cooled, it pushes and presses for more room, as usual. You know how strong steam is. It pushes so hard, that it lifts the water that could not quite boil up higher, where the air does not press so heavily. The steam atoms are as strong as the new air atoms, and they burst out; and the water below has a lighter weight to lift. More steam comes in at the bottom of the tube, and lifts the water still higher, where the air is lighter yet, till the steam grows so strong that it throws the water above it high in the air. See! here goes our little Geyser, and sends the water almost to the ceiling. Is it clear, Mr. Traveller?”

“Clear as mud,” growled the Traveller.

“It is a beautiful experiment,” said the Lord High Fiddlestick, looking as pink as his slippers with pleasure; “but the credit of it belongs to our wisest man. We should never have found it out, but for him.”

“If he finds out anything like that again, I will have him hung,” growled the King; “that is, if I am obliged to hear about it.”

“Before concluding,” said my Lord High Fiddlestick, “I have something more to tell you about Heat. When air is heated, it grows larger and lighter. It gets more motion, and it rises. In this way, Heat makes the winds. The sun’s rays strike on the earth, and heat it. The air just above the earth is heated, and, as I have said, it rises. You know that the earth is round, and that it turns from west to east. Your Majesty remembers, also, that the middle of the earth is called the Tropics; for when we proposed to your Majesty to settle there, your Majesty answered, that you liked the bananas and oranges, but you objected to the lions and tarantulas. On this happy country of the tarantulas the sun shines straight down. Naturally there the earth and the air are most heated. Our earth is turning around, like a wheel, from west to east, and we keep up a good rate of speed. Where this warm air rises, the earth advances a thousand miles an hour. This warm air flows out, sideways, towards the ends of the earth, called the Poles, where they only have sun six months in the year, and where the rate of speed is nothing. Now if a man should jump out of a train that was moving, you know what would happen. He would be pitched forward, in the direction that the train was going. Just so this air is pitched forward with the earth, and makes what we call a westerly wind. The warm air leaves an empty place behind it, and into this place drops the cold heavy air from the Poles. This goes on continually, and we have the two great winds called the Trades, continually sliding over each other, one going out, and the other coming in. But this is not all.”

“Sorry to hear it,” muttered the King.

“With this warm air rises the vapor of water, which Heat has drawn up from the brooks, the rivers, and the oceans. It is not mist, or anything that you can see, but is as transparent as air. As the air and the vapor rise, they stretch out, and push on every side; but by this time you know what does the work. It is Heat. The vapor atoms use all their Heat. They find themselves high in what we call space. There is no air there, and space has no heat to give them back. Their nearest neighbors are the mountain-tops, but the mountain-tops are as poor as the vapor atoms. They have given all their Heat to space, too. The chilled atoms huddle together in water drops; the water drops cling together in clouds, and come down in rain. On the high mountain peaks it is so cold, that they get a second chill, and, drawing closer yet together, come down in snow. Much of this snow falls on the sides of the mountains, where it is so cold that snow can never melt. But if this snow always remained there, by and by Heat would have drawn up all the rivers and oceans, and we should have no water, and mountains of snow, greater than our earth mountains. The snow, however, does not remain there. It slips and slides, very slowly, but steadily, towards the earth; and it pushes and packs itself together. You know how hard you can make a snowball. If you could squeeze it hard enough, you could make it into ice. Well, we have here the mountain’s snowball, sliding and packing till it turns into ice, and makes those great ice-fields called the glaciers. The glaciers slip and slide also, like the snow above them, scratching the hard rock with deep lines, and dragging along under them earth and stones. After a time, they find Heat that is strong enough to set their atoms free, and melt them into water; and this water swells the brooks, and rushes down to swell the rivers, and carries with it some of that fresh mountain earth, that the glaciers dragged along, to the fields below, where it is needed. But there is more yet to be said about Heat. This world—”

The King groaned. To commence with the world, looks as if you might talk to the end of time.

“The world,” said my Lord High Fiddlestick, “is a great Heat-market. Every body and vapor gives Heat away, and gets back Heat from other bodies and vapors. But some bodies and vapors are wholesale dealers, and some are retail dealers. A tree is a retail dealer. Its wood gives away very little of the Heat that it gets from the ground, and its bark takes in very little Heat; so that it is not likely to be injured by sudden changes in the weather. The feathers and down of a bird are small dealers. They let in, and let out, very little Heat, so that birds can wear their winter coats all summer without suffering. Dry air, that is, air without the vapor of water, is only a sales-agent in the Heat-market. It takes in vast quantities of Heat, but it lets it all out again. For instance: In the Great Desert of Sahara, the sun beats down on miles of sand, where there is no water. The sand fairly burns, and the air is like flame; but when the sun sets, the sand, which never keeps Heat long on hand, makes over its Heat to the dry air; the dry air, as usual, lets all the Heat slip through it, and the consequence is, that the nights are often painfully cold, and ice is formed. Water, on the contrary, is a wholesale dealer. It drinks in all the Heat it can get. The ocean may be called the earth’s storehouse of Heat, for it takes in Heat all the summer, and gives it out through the winter; and the vapor of water, that clings about the earth, is the earth’s blanket. All day long, it takes Heat from everything that will give it. All night long, it gives Heat to whatever needs it; otherwise, after a burning summer day, we should give away all our Heat, like the sands of Sahara, and then, having none given back, would be pinched with frost and cold. Grass is also a dealer in Heat, and at night, like the vapor of water, it commences to give away its Heat; but as the grass has a smaller stock of Heat than the water vapor, it gets through first. Of course, when it has given all its Heat away, the grass is chilled. It chills the water vapor just above it. You know what vapor atoms do when they are chilled: they huddle together in water drops, and fall on the grass, in what we call dew.”

The little Traveller was noticed here nearly double in a fit of laughter.

“The world a great Heat-market!” he exclaimed, as soon as he could speak. “Ha! ha! he! he! So Heat runs the world, does it, my Lord High Fiddlestick? Hoo! hoo! hoo!”

“Precisely,” answered my Lord High Fiddlestick. “Heat is God’s magician. He comes down to earth, almost without shape or body that we can see. He enters the air, and comes out as our old friends, the north, south, east, and west winds. He packs his bag with water vapor, and sends us down clouds, rain, snow, and glaciers. He pulls the train, and turns the factory-wheels, and prints the papers—”

“And fries the cakes,” murmured the King.

My Lord High Fiddlestick stopped in astonishment. The King was talking in his sleep. The courtiers were all nodding, too. Not a soul was awake but the little Traveller.

Exit my Lord High Fiddlestick, his nose in the air, his green satin gown under one arm, and the iron basin under the other.

Louise E. Chollet.


“Dear Sir,—It becomes my painful duty to inform you of the death of your pet, left in my keeping. A lady very carelessly left him on the piano, and in his playfulness he jumped down and broke his neck.”

The above is an extract from a letter I received during a little visit to Washington, last winter. It came in a black-edged envelope, was written on black-edged paper, and was handed to me at the breakfast-table; so, taken all in all, it might have been said to be the mourning news.

It was an announcement of the death of “Toodles.”

You do not know who “Toodles” is, perhaps? Ah, well, “Toodles” is a dog, one of the prettiest little dogs that ever were seen, with white curly hair, soft as silk, and eyes bright and black as beads,—black beads of course. He got his name from a funny trick he has of pawing at the bow of his ribbon when it slips round to one side of his neck, just as Toodles does at the ends of his cravat in the play. You have never seen the play, of course, but perhaps your papa has, and, if you ask him, it may be that he’ll show you what Toodles does, and then you will understand how funny it must be when done by a little dog.

To explain how “Toodles” came into my possession would be to tell a long story, and in this busy world of ours long stories are out of place. But I may say that he was a philopena from a little girl with whom I was eating almonds one evening. “Give and take” was agreed on. You will readily imagine the various stratagems we practised on each other; how queer things, that under other circumstances would have been seized with eagerness, were offered for examination and refused; how my curiously contrived pencil-case, that could be transformed at pleasure into a pen, a knife, a pair of scissors,—almost anything, in fact, but a boot-jack,—suddenly lost its charms for my little friend, while a wonderful doll, that would open its eyes, and cry “mamma,” and attempt to kick the clothes off on being laid in its cradle, extended its arms to me in vain, though I had long been anxious for a closer acquaintance with the flaxen-haired young lady than Miss Carrie, in her jealous care, would allow me. At last I won the day with a silkworm’s cocoon. An opportunity to see “how silk aprons growed” was not to be neglected, and Miss Carrie fell a victim to her curiosity. The next morning a little basket came to me half filled with cotton-wool. At first I thought it contained nothing but cotton-wool, and that the whole thing was one of Carrie’s famous jokes; but closer examination revealed a black nose and a pair of pink ears peeping out, and I knew what the present was. What to do with it was the next question. I was really afraid to take it out of the basket for fear of breaking it. Such a little dog I do believe was never before seen; it might almost have been sent to me in an envelope like a letter. You could take it up in your thumb and finger, as you may have seen an old lady take a pinch of snuff. I called it a watch-dog, because I could carry it around in my pocket like a watch. Indeed,—this is no exaggeration,—I often took it out, to make calls on little ladies of my acquaintance, comfortably tucked away in the inner breast-pocket of my coat.

“Toodles” was very funny in those infant days,—the days when he was an “it.” His bark was but a loud breath. You could scarcely believe that it was a real dog,—he seemed a toy-dog, or at least a burlesque on dogs generally. When he reared up on his hind legs, in real or pretended anger, we almost rolled out of our chairs with laughter. On these terrible occasions he would go over to the other side of the room, and crouch down like a lion, to suddenly spring up and rush at us, with mouth so wide open, that one could almost thrust a peanut into it, trying to utter a ferocious roar, but only accomplishing a faint whistle. Indeed, you could not believe that he was a dog,—he seemed to be something else, only playing dog. Now Toodles is larger. I have to carry him in an overcoat-pocket when I take him out of evenings, and Katy, the chambermaid, tells me that yesterday he got out two real barks. Rolling around on the floor, you would formerly have mistaken him for a ball of white wool; now, in his caperings, he looks like an animated muff, and we warn visitors against teasing him or making him angry, lest he should tear them in pieces.

To return to the beginning of my story, and proceed in regular order. When “Toodles” first arrived at my domicile, I wrote a note to the donor (if my little friends find any words here they do not understand, they must look them up in the dictionary, for they’ll have to read Carlyle and Miss Evans some day), thanking her for the gift, but asking what she expected me to do with it, and how and where I could keep it. She replied that she expected me to feed the little baby regularly, wash and comb him every day, and see that he always had a nice ribbon round his neck; and as for keeping him, if I had no other place, I must do with him what “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin-Eater,” did with his wife.

By diligent inquiry, I learned that the said Peter put his wife “in a pumpkin-shell,” and the rhyme went on to say that “there he kept her very well.” But unfortunately I had no pumpkin-shell; and a nut-shell not seeming likely to answer the purpose, I had to bargain for a box. So “Toodles” had his private box, and enjoyed himself in it quite as much as he could have done at the opera.

Just as things got comfortably settled, and working well in their grooves, business called me to Washington. The period of my absence was indefinite; it might be ten days, or ten weeks, or ten months. What to do with “Toodles” became a matter of serious consideration. I couldn’t take him with me, for he didn’t know any more about reconstruction than members of Congress do, and he couldn’t make noise enough to be a successful politician. In the midst of my trouble, a woman who lived in the same house with “Toodles” and me suddenly appeared and said she would take care of him while I was gone.

I did not then know that the woman was a witch, or I should not have accepted so readily what seemed a kind offer. She said he should be fed on rose-leaves and chicken-bones,—an excellent diet for little dogs,—that his hair should be combed and curled every day, that he should have his ears pierced and gold rings put in them, that he should have a velvet collar, too, with a gold buckle, and that she would take him out in her carriage every day to ride in Central Park.

Not knowing that she was a witch, I of course didn’t know that her only carriage was a broomstick, and that she only wanted “Toodles” to keep her company and bark at the moon when she went careering through the sky. So I innocently accepted her offer, and thanked her for the kindness,—and went to Washington.

I’m wiser now, and know witches when I see them. They have black hair, and bold features, and wear a good many rings on their fingers, and talk loudly, and find fault with everything on the table, and scold the servants, and are always finding out things about others that none but a witch could find out, and telling things about others that none but a witch or a wicked woman would tell. “Toodles” knows witches too, now, and tries to bark and bite and tear their dresses, when they come into the room. Some day he’ll eat one of them up, perhaps, and then she’ll be rather sorry, I guess, that she was a witch.

As I was saying, I went to Washington. Some two or three days after my arrival there, before I had got the national difficulties half settled, or determined what it would be best to do with the President, the letter from which the extract which begins this story is taken was brought to me at the breakfast-table. It didn’t take away my appetite, because I was already through; but it made me feel very bad indeed, and a little provoked.

“Jumped from the piano,” did he? How came he to be playing on the piano? He was not musically educated, he had no bad habits of that kind, he was not a young lady! Nor could I exactly see how, in jumping off a piano, he could break his neck,—unless he jumped from an extraordinarily high note. Had he even fallen, so much was he like a bag of wool, that beyond bounding two or three times, and bumping a little against the ceiling, no harm could have happened to him. Altogether the affair was so mysterious that I determined to investigate it on my return.

On my return, I found that the witch had flown. One morning she got on her broomstick and whisked away to Boston. But before going she told others in the house a story similar to the one she wrote to me. She sent the little dog down to her daughter’s, she said, to see something of society, and a lady left him on the piano, and he jumped off and broke his neck, and was buried in Washington Park. There was great mourning in our house; and one of the young ladies wanted to put crape on the door, and muffle the knocker, for “Toodles” was a favorite.

Some way my suspicions were excited; the piano story seemed scarcely in tune,—there was a false note somewhere, and it occurred to me that the letter I received in Washington was the one. So one day, in passing Washington Park, I stopped and asked the keeper if there had been any dog-funerals there lately. No. I then discussed the subject in all its bearings, and learned that dogs were sometimes buried there in summer; for a small consideration he dug green little graves under the trees, and planted poodles and other pets. If I examined the trees carefully, he thought I could easily discover the ones under which dogs had been buried,—by their bark. But there had been no burials since last August; that was the funeral of a fat old lady dog, a black and tan, that had been in some family for a long while, and was followed to the grave by her mistress and several descendants. The coffin was of oak, with a little silver plate inscribed “Lady Jane”; and in compliment to the greatness of the occasion and the race to which the deceased dog belonged,—he called it “breed,” I think,—the sexton-keeper filled in the grave with tan-bark instead of common earth. He would have used black and tan bark, he said, but it could not be procured. He was sure that since that illustrious interment none other had taken place; it was impossible, in fact, that one could come off without his knowledge, especially when the ground was so hard frozen that digging the grave would be the work not of a moment, but of hours.

Now it so happened that I knew a great and good magician, named Leonard, who dwells in a castle on Mulberry Street, and is potent in punishing evil-doers and bringing offenders to justice. His myrmidons (that’s a long word for you, but I couldn’t find a shorter one that would do me) are out night and day, walking up and down the city, carrying in their hands wands of singular efficacy in persuading persons to do as they want them to. You might think these wands were base-ball clubs, but they are not. An “inning” when they are played is rather a serious matter. Well, to this magician I went, and told just what the wicked witch had done, and how I suspected her of having spirited away “Toodles.” He sympathized with me, and promised to assist me in sifting the mystery. So next day, one of the myrmidons came to my house with a note from my magician, stating that the name of the bearer was McGowan, that he could transform himself into a dozen different things at pleasure, track lightning after it had vanished, and smell out thunder before it broke; that he was at my bidding night and day, and would not leave me until the wicked witch was routed, and “Toodles” restored to his happy home. It seemed to me that McGowan was a funny name for such a chap, and that he might better have been christened Swiftfoot, or Sharpeye, or Hammerclaw, or Catchrogue; but that was something which concerned his fairy godmother only: I was glad to know him by any name. He took a seat on the sofa, and asked me a great many questions,—how old “Toodles” was, and what he looked like; where the witch was, and what she looked like; where her daughter lived, and what time it was. After asking this last question, he said it was time to go. I looked to see him go whirling up the chimney in a cloud of blue smoke, scattering the ashes all over the hearth, and leaving a smell of matches in the room; but instead of all that he put on his hat and said good afternoon, and went down stairs, as though he were only a common visitor, instead of the great McGowan, who could track lightning after it had vanished, and hear thunder before it broke, and at whose coming evil witches bustle off on their broomsticks.

The next morning, a queer-looking man called at the house where the witch’s daughter lived. He had an old shooting-jacket on, and a frowzy red handkerchief was tied round his neck, and his boot-legs were outside of his pantaloons, and his hat was jammed in, and altogether he was just the kind of a man you wouldn’t like to see coming into your back yard when Dash was there playing ball by himself, or there were many clothes hanging on the lines to dry. A servant came to the door when he rang, and he asked if a Mrs. Thompson lived there.

“No,” said the servant.

That was very strange. He was a dog-doctor, and had got a note from a lady of that name, asking him to call there and see a sick dog.

“What kind of a dog was it?” asked the servant.

A big black dog, with long hair,—a Newfoundland, he thought.

It couldn’t be there, she said; there was only one dog in the house,—a little white dog, curly-haired,—and that belonged to a Mrs. Johnson.

But wasn’t that dog sick, or hadn’t he been?—Thompson and Johnson were very much alike, and he might have mistaken the description of the dog.

No; Mrs. Johnson had only had the dog a few days; it was a present from her mother who had lately gone to Boston; but if he called in the afternoon again, he could see Mrs. Johnson herself, and perhaps she might know something about it.

So in the afternoon two dog-doctors—I was along this time—rung the bell, and, when the servant went to see if Mrs. Johnson was in, followed her to the door of the room, stepping inside immediately it was opened. The action was scarcely polite, but dog-doctors are not dancing-masters. There on the floor was “Toodles,” large as life, rolling over and over in an ecstasy of delight at having succeeded in getting hold of the piano cover, and shaking a valuable vase to the floor. For all his famous fall he did not seem to hold pianos in mortal dread. On seeing me, he indulged in the most extraordinary demonstrations, tumbling end over end in his wild anxiety to get into my overcoat-pocket, evidently thinking that he had made a pretty long call there already.

The witch’s daughter was in a terrible way, but seemed to feel more concern at losing the dog than shame at having her mother’s wickedness found out. And at first she declared that part with “Toodles” she would not; that her mother had left him in her keeping, and would gallop everybody off on a broomstick if he were not there when she returned. But Sorcerer McGowan was neither to be coaxed nor frightened; displaying a talisman which he wore on his breast,—a sign of such awful power and significance that evil-doers grow pale the moment they set eyes on it,—he declared that he was commissioned by his chief to gallop all parties off to the Station House, if we were not permitted to depart in peace with “Toodles,” and thereafter there was no remonstrance. We bore “Toodles” away triumphantly, his white tail whipping in the wind like a royal banner, and the wicked witch was routed.

Do you not think that she was a naughty woman, and deserved to be put in a coal-hole? I said he was as large as life when we found him; he was larger in fact, for he had grown considerably.

Having known so much about “Toodles,” it may interest you to know a little more. He is very intelligent, moreover, and learns with astonishing rapidity, being already able to balance successfully on his hind legs, which with dogs is about equal to knowing the alphabet. To callers he is very polite, and stands up to shake hands with them, becoming very demonstrative in his bows,—and wows,—if they bring him a bonbon. He likes quiet, however, and knows no greater happiness than to be stretched out on the rug, pillowing his head on the feet of any one who will allow him the privilege. He is a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, I discover; for very often he starts suddenly from sleep with an inarticulate bark, looking wildly round the room for something which is not there. And he mutters to himself continually in his sleep, holding conversations with imaginary companions, and catching invisible rats in utterly impossible corners. I regret to record that he is a greedy dog. Not in the common acceptation of the phrase, for he eats gracefully and daintily, and a piece of beefsteak the size of a postage-stamp, or the half of a chicken’s wing, is quite as much as he can manage at a meal. But he seems to regret that he cannot eat more. Yesterday, for the fun of it, I thought I’d feed him to the very full of his wishes. At first he rose eagerly for the morsels of meat, like a trout at flies in June, but very soon he got up reluctantly, and encouragement was necessary. Finally he turned to leave the field. “See here, Toodles!” I said, cutting off a particularly nice and juicy-looking bit. Turning back he gazed at it a moment longingly and regretfully; then uttering a short, sharp yelp, expressive of all manner of indignation, he trotted away to his corner and lay down with a determined air, nor could I coax him out by any inducement. Whether he meant to reprove me for holding out temptation after having learned his weakness, or merely intended to indicate his sense of the injustice which nature did him in not making him a stomach as large as other dogs, so that he could eat more, I do not know. But certain it is that he fled from the danger, and refused to ever trust himself within reach of a savory smell. There’s a lesson for little boys!

Now you know who “Toodles” is, and how he was dead and buried and resurrected. While I write, he lies at my feet, looking as though he knew that his biography is being written, and mutely pleading with me to say nothing bad about him.

C. H. Webb.


The world has grown a great piece since I was a little girl, and I am not a hundred years old either. Jamie’s children are not big enough yet for anything but “this little pig, and that little pig”; and so, by way of brushing up beforehand, and lest my memory, when it begins to drop things, should let slip some of these recollections that may be useful by and by, I will try and rehearse them for the readers of Our Young Folks, and set down some few fragments in black and white, where they can at least “be kept till called for.”

The city that I was born in has grown, since then, away out into the country; and the country has grown away out over the wilderness and the mountains, till it stands thinking awhile what is to be done next on the shores of another ocean. It is a good thing that the world is round. What would have become of us all, and of our travels, if there had been a “jumping-off place”?

When I was a little girl, born in a city, there weren’t half so many cities to be born in as there are now. Dozens of them have been born, since then, themselves.

There were no gas-lights, in those nights, in the streets or in the houses. The lamplighters used to come round in the mornings, with their ladders and oil-cans, and trim and fill the lanterns; running up the rungs, and sliding down the posts. Then at evening they came again with their torches, and lit them up. It was great amusement for the city children to watch them from the windows; they had grown so quick, so elf-like, so shiny from head to foot with their employ. In the parlors we had astral lamps, giving the starlike light that their name signifies. Then there were mantel lamps, and hanging lamps in the chandeliers, which were like the children, sure to behave their worst if there was company.

We hadn’t any furnaces then; and I remember when there were no cooking-ranges, and very few coal-grates; and how the old gentlemen grumbled when the new inventions first came, and couldn’t eat their roast-beef that was no longer cooked by a wood-blaze, or reconcile themselves at all to “sitting round a hole in the carpet.”

Ways of living were different. There wasn’t half so much cloth wanted, nor half so much sewing or housekeeping to be done; and yet they all thought they were pretty busy too. Very nice people were contented to have haircloth-covered-chairs and sofas, and plain white blinds to their windows, and they only put five widths into their silk dresses. There were pictures of women in hoops in the histories we studied at school; and we wondered at them, as we did at the costumes of the Turks and the Japanese.

When I was a very little girl, there were no omnibuses even. At least not in our city. Street cars had never been dreamed of. There were no enormous distances to traverse, such as there are now. The street we lived in, which is to-day quite in the old part of the town, had but one house, then, below our own, which stood little more than half-way down. A great square of elegant dwellings opposite was then a vacant ground, where boys played ball and marbles, and flew kites, and built snow forts in winter. Brick by brick, we children, as we grew, saw all these stately mansions grow up likewise, only faster, as is the nature of things contrasted with souls.

When we went out of town, we drove in carriages or travelled in stages. The steam-whistle, that shrieks from end to end of the great metropolis to-day, had never lifted up its eldritch voice. The sweet country roads wound still and green out from the paved thoroughfares, crossed by no iron tracks, and bestridden by no warning signboard bidding “Beware of the Engine!” It was something, then, to go out of town!

Country was country in those days,—not merely inconvenient city. Twenty miles was a journey. And when you got there there was a new atmosphere and look to things. City contrivances and fashions didn’t appear simultaneously in the farmhouses. They had asparagus branches in the fireplaces, and peacocks’ feathers over the looking-glasses. You didn’t find the same patterns of paper on the walls, or carpets on the floors. And there weren’t any photograph albums lying about, or novels and magazines on the tables. Who had ever heard of a sun-picture then? You might see an ancient portrait or two in the best parlor, and you might find The Scottish Chiefs, or The Romance of the Forest, or The Spectator, or Paradise Lost, or Thomson’s Seasons, if you looked for books. But these wouldn’t be lying about; they would be safely put away on shelf or in cupboard, and you would have to look for them. Country was countrified; it wasn’t brackish with a mixture of city airs; it was sweet, and pure, and simple, and distinct, with ways of its own.

I am going to tell you a story: that was what I began for. Children like particular memories better than general retrospections. It was to be a story, or, rather, a bit of that inexhaustible story from which old ladies draw, of “When I was a little girl.”

It shall be a story of a summer journey.

There were two of us, my brother and I. We were sent to bed early, because we were to set off early in the morning. We put our shoes and clean stockings beside our beds, ready for the feet to pop into; the clothes were laid out for each of us on chairs. Fresh pantalets, with their triple ruffles; the fine flannel petticoat with its brier-stitched hem, and the dimity overskirt, edged with tiny points,—for my mother was dainty of her little ones’ apparel; the frock of French print and the nankeen coat, braided with white,—these were for me. Jamie had his blue suit with the eagle buttons, and his new straw hat with dark blue ribbon to match.

Two queer things came, or seemed to come, close together. A restless toss upon my pillow, with a word to Jamie lying in the little open room adjoining, “O dear, Jamie! this night never will be gone! I can’t go to sleep, and it won’t be morning till I do!” And then—our mother’s bright, sweet look above me, and the sun making golden bars across the chamber through the blinds, and her call, “Wake up, little sleepers! We’ve got a journey to begin!” Just in a wink the night was gone, after all.

I suppose, if you could see a picture of our mother, she would look to you very like the queer mammas in the old editions of Rosamond, and Harry and Lucy. That is one reason I like those old story-books so much to this day. But I know, from my childish memory, and because I have been told, that there was hardly a lovelier lady to be seen in those days than she, with her dark hair gathered up in knots and bows and bands about the delicately wrought high-topped tortoise-shell comb, and the soft little curls lying lightly upon her temples. I have a picture of her so, with a short-waisted dress, and a broad belt and gold buckle, and great sleeves that look odd, to be sure, but somehow stately, rounding out their airy swell from shoulder to elbow.

She had on her gray pongee travelling-habit when she came to wake us that morning,—a dress such as ladies wore in those days upon journeys; turned away in front from a white habit-shirt with little crimped ruffles, and the great sleeves coming in small and close at the wrists, finished with the same nice cambric crimpings. Her hair, except the little curls upon the temples, was wound smoothly around the comb in one great glossy band, which it was my delight always to see her brush when she dressed it, holding it with some difficulty in the grasp of one hand, while with the other she swept out its splendid length away down to her knees as she sat before her toilet-glass. Such hair as that is hardly to be seen now, except sewed to wires, so that anybody can buy it and tie it on.

We woke wide up in a minute, Jamie and I; and mother laughed to see us scramble on our stockings, heels before, in our hurry, asking questions, and chattering like newly wakened swallows.

“O mother, have you been to breakfast? Why didn’t you call us sooner?”

“Who cares for breakfast? Are the horses come?”

“O Jamie! how many stockings have you got on?”

“I’m most ready; but it always takes girls so long!”

“I’m glad my hair’s just cut. Snarls are the worst things. There, Jamie, I’m most ready too. O, just think, it really has come,—to-day! And we’re going to Ridgeley!”

“Not to-day. We shall ride all day to-day, and part of to-morrow. And I shall drive. That’s the best of it. Are they gray horses or black ones? O mother, these eagle buttons are so new! they won’t go through the holes! Please just come and fasten this.”

And, after all, I was ready as soon as Jamie.

Table rules had to be suspended that morning. Jamie was at the window half a dozen times with his biscuit in his hand, watching for the horses that were driven up at last,—a pale cream-colored and a gray one,—beauties, with long tails. Jamie went then and finished his biscuit sitting upon the front seat with the driver. I sat on the doorstep, looking alternately at him and at something on the opposite side the street that had been a childish mystery and wonder to me ever since I could remember, and that I could hardly reason myself out of my first thought of, though I knew better now. There was an old gate, seldom used, that led into a garden; and on this gate was a streak that had precisely the effect of a black cat’s tail shut in. How many weary minutes I had watched it from the nursery window above, wondering if I should ever see the gate opened, and find out if there were really a black cat there or not! To this day I never have. The illusion was always complete. There was the tail, curved up from the crack as if in pain, and the cat must be on the other side of it. I could not help looking at it and thinking of it so, even after my mother had led me over and shown me that it was only a dash of black paint.

When my father and mother had finished their breakfast, and mother had put on the Leghorn bonnet with its high crown that went over the great comb, and its wide brim that shaded her face and held, away back against the soft curls, gauze bows and flowers, I helped Martha bring out the bags and shawls. I had also my doll and three picture-books. There were pockets to the carriage, and a great box under the driver’s seat. It was great fun to pack these,—to put in first the little parcels that would not be wanted till night, and then the books and the cakes and the paper of sugar-plums which were to be wanted first, and were to console the tediousness of the journey when the hours began to grow long in the heat of the day.

There was an excellent place for Dolly; a seat by herself, formed by the steps of the carriage on the farther side, where they were folded up within the door. You don’t see carriages made so now. They are hung low, and there is just one iron step that is never folded in; but in those days, when Jamie and I went to Ridgeley in the summers, it was a great part of the ceremony and delight,—the letting down of the steps with a rattle, the ascending them to the high body of the vehicle, and the shutting them up with a slam by the driver after we were in.

So at last the trunks were strapped behind, and we were off, in the fresh, sparkling summer morning. The man from the stable gave up the long white reins to my father when he was seated, touched his hat, and walked away down the sidewalk, putting one hand in his pocket, as he had doubtless had pleasant occasion given him to do; the little children playing in the sand where the new house was building down the street looked up as we went by, and I was very sorry for them that they were to have no better time to-day, when Jamie and I were going off on a journey; the wheels clattered merrily over the round paving-stones till we got upon the “soft street,” as we children called it, where the new macadamizing had been done; and presently we drove over a long bridge with a wide blue river running below, and came really and truly out into the beginning of the country.

“Now, father, let me drive,” said Jamie.

“By and by,” said father.

“It’s nice and level here,” said Jamie, with as strong suggestion of argument as he was apt to venture upon. He did not say “Why not now, father?” as some boys would,—not by any means naughty boys either. He knew that when father said “by and by,” he meant by and by, and that the “why not now?” of persistence was never tolerated.

“Yes, it’s nice and level,” replied my father, who was, on his part, never unnecessarily short or peremptory in his denials; “but I have two very good reasons for not letting you drive just yet. I wonder if you can guess what they are.”

“Perhaps there’s a hill coming.”

“We might be coming to a hill, possibly; I don’t think the hills will put themselves at all out of their way to meet us; that would be something frightful, and require a man at the reins! No, that isn’t it.”

“Perhaps you think we’ll meet a drove of sheep.”

“If we did, I could relieve your responsibility. No, that isn’t it, either.”

“Well, father,” said Jamie, looking with his bright blue eyes all around and forward upon the unobstructed way, “I don’t think I see any great reason at all.”

Father laughed.

“You discriminate wisely between ‘I don’t think I see’ and ‘I don’t think there is.’ Well, I’ll tell you. In the first place, the horses are fresh.”


“Yes; not at all tired, and inclined to go pretty fast.”

“I guess I could hold them,” said Jamie, straightening up his little person, and looking very mighty indeed with squared elbows and closed fists that made little back and forth movements as if grasping the tugging reins. “But what is the other reason?”

“You are fresh too,” said father.

Jamie looked a little uncomprehending.

“You have just begun your day, and the pleasure of it. You haven’t used any of it up. By and by you will begin to get a little tired of sitting still and merely looking about. It will be a good plan, then, to have the pleasure of the driving in reserve. The best for the last, Jamie,—like the mince-pie.”

“Only I didn’t get that, after all,” said Jamie. “It’s a bad plan to save up too long.”

“If I didn’t understand better than Miss Eunice,” said father, laughing.

Miss Eunice was an elderly lady-friend, to whose house our mother had taken Jamie and me some time before. There were two kinds of pie at dinner, and we had given us a small piece of each. Jamie had carefully set aside his mince-pie on his plate, and eaten all the apple-pie first, on the principle of keeping the best until the last; when, to his great consternation, before he could touch his knife to his favorite morsel, Miss Eunice interposed.

“You don’t like the mince-pie, do you, dear? Well, here’s another bit of apple.” And in a twinkling the substitution was made, and the mince-pie laid back upon its own dish. Jamie didn’t cry, though he came pretty near it for a second; but he told me privately, afterward, that Miss Eunice was a “gump,” and I think the lady never regained her former place in his estimation.

Poor Jamie! I don’t remember that ever in his life he lost anything again by saving it up too long!

“There’s a cow in the road, father!” cried Jamie, suddenly, a minute after; “and she looks cross, or something. What is the matter with her?”

Mother and I looked out, then, at the front, between father’s elbow and Jamie’s shoulder, and saw, directly before us, at some rods’ distance, a white cow, in apparently a very agitated state of mind, moving to and fro with uncertain air, and a sort of plunge in her quickened gait; giving an excited toss of her head every now and then, accompanied by a short and anxious “moo.”

“She’s crazy, I guess,” said Jamie.

“She’s in some trouble,” said my father. “Strayed away from her pasture, probably, and lost herself.”

“Is it quite safe to pass her?” asked my mother, anxiously. She was a little timid in a carriage. “Won’t she frighten the horses?”

“Or hook them?” asked I, who had a special terror of horned beasts.

“O no,” answered father, quite calmly. “There’ll be no danger. She’ll move aside as we come up. She’s only astray, as I said,” he added, as we approached her nearer. “I can see the rope about her neck. She has been tied, and broken away.”

We could all see it now, hanging from her neck and swaying about, dragging one end in the dust as she moved.

She was heading toward the right-hand side of the road as we came up, and father took the left.

Suddenly a queer thing happened, that really threw us into danger.

As we approached the cow, and were about to pass, she hastened her steps across the road, at the same time turning down toward us on our right. With this movement, her rope, that had been dragging on the ground, lifted, and showed itself attached to a heavy chain, which in its turn reached up the steep bank on our left, and was fastened to a post in the rail-fence. A gap in this fence, close by, and furrows in the bank, made it evident, at a glance, how she had got into her present position, and what was her trouble, and ours as well.

It was a peril, though a strange and ludicrous one, for an instant. Blundering Mooly all but had us in a frightful noose. The horses would have been entangled and thrown down, and the cow, perhaps, tumbled into the carriage, with three more forward steps of either. My father turned short round to the right, striking with his whip, at the same instant, toward Mooly, to check her advance. The carriage gave a whirl and a tilt,—for the forward wheels were not made to run under; the cow tossed her horns under the very noses of the horses, and fell back; the horses sprang past her and dashed on, my father drawing the reins tightly; and for another two or three rods it was a question of a run. But they were curb-bitted, and the hands upon them were steady; and in a minute more the danger was over, and we caught our breaths.

Mother was very pale, leaning back in her corner of the carriage. As soon as father could transfer the reins to one hand again, he leaned back anxiously toward her.

“Are you faint, Susie?”

“O no,” answered my mother with a smile, the color coming back a little to her cheeks; “but it was a great fright.”

“It has proved our horses. They were less startled than most animals would have been, and I have them perfectly under control.”

Father always found something to say which was just the assurance mother needed. He never told her not to be afraid; he always gave her a reason why she should feel that fear was uncalled for. She smiled again, in reply; and, though she did not say much for some minutes, the color kept creeping back to her face, and the expression of anxiety relaxed, and I could see that her first day’s pleasure was not going to be spoiled by the accident.

Author of “Leslie Goldthwaite.”


“You’re the hero of the day, Grant!” cried Emma Reverdy, as he pulled the bow of the boat up on the shore. “I wouldn’t be in a hurry about going back for those scapegraces. It will do them good to wait.”

“I shall keep my appointment with them, if they didn’t keep theirs with you,” replied Grant; and, having helped Father Brighthopes to land, he returned, and brought over Burt and Jason.

“What a delightful place for a picnic!” said Father Brighthopes, entering the cool grove.

“Goodie good!” exclaimed Laura Follet; “we’re in time for a dance before dinner!”—for, as they climbed the bank, the music, which had ceased for a while, struck up again, and they had glimpses of children dancing, half in sun and half in shade, on the smoothly swept ground among the trees.

There must have been nearly a hundred children in the grove, besides a number of grown people. The long dinner-tables, covered with white cloths, and loaded with good things, were set in the open air, and spotted with the sunshine that dropped its beautiful golden leaves down through the green leaves of the trees. The snowy pitchers, the dishes of yellow oranges, and the vases of flowers placed at intervals among the plates of bread, butter, cakes, pies, and cold meats, made a charming picture. The new-comers ran with their baskets to the ladies who were arranging the banquet, and then looked around to see what sports they should join.

All the hundred children seemed to be delightfully employed; their laughing voices fell like silver rain upon the stream of music from the band. About thirty were dancing. Others were playing “Copenhagen.” Some were in the swings,—the great swings suspended from the tall trunks,—enjoying a pleasure which was almost a terror, flying through the air so swiftly that it blew their hair back and took their breath away. There were two little girls in one swing, and they went so fast that the colors in their dresses almost made an inverted rainbow under the trees.

Father Brighthopes sat on a bench and watched these sports, and listened to the mingled music of the instruments and of the glad young voices.

“How beautiful it is! how beautiful!” he repeated many times, his joy gushing up from a deep fountain of love and gratitude in his soul. “I thank thee, I thank thee, O Heavenly Father, for the happiness of these dear children!”

He had sent all his young friends from him, saying, “Play while you can; play will give you an appetite, my darlings”; and all had joined the sports except Emma, who now came running to him with her arms loaded with shawls.

“You are not to get tired, you know; and, for fear you should, I am going to make such a nice lounge for you of this bench, and let you rest till dinner-time.”

“How thoughtful you are, my child!” said Father Brighthopes, stretching himself out upon the shawls, and closing his eyes. “Now go and play, for I shall not rest if I think you are giving up your pleasure for me.”

Emma spread her handkerchief over his face, and remained near, to prevent any rude youngsters from coming too close and disturbing him. He was soon asleep; and it was an hour before he awoke.

Emma was at his side the moment she saw him take the handkerchief from his face.

“Don’t you think,” she said, “dinner was ready almost as soon as you fell asleep. I thought I wouldn’t wake you, but we’ve saved some good things for you. You needn’t stir; we’ll bring them to you here on the bench.”

She ran away, and presently returned with a dozen of her young companions, each bringing to him some portion of the banquet,—cold chicken, cold lamb, bread and butter, crackers, milk, iced lemonade, a cup of tea, and all sorts of pies,—lemon-pie, Washington-pie, cream-pie, apple-pie, berry-pie, and I don’t know what else.

“Have I waked in fairy-land? or am I still dreaming? Thank you, thank you a thousand times, my children!” And he ate and drank, while they stood around, urging him to partake of what they had brought, or ran back to the table for something they imagined might tempt him.

This pleasing scene attracted a group of spectators, old and young; to whom the old clergyman, sipping his tea, and breaking his bread, but eating little, talked a good deal. I am indebted to Emma Reverdy for the following account of a few of the things he said.

He began by telling them how vividly the scenes of that day reminded him of an incident in his own childhood, so many, many years ago.

“It was the sight of Grant rowing away alone in the boat which first reminded me of it; and your sports have been like sweet winds, blowing my thoughts back to the days of that childish joy.

“My own boyhood was, I think, a very happy one; but there is one day in particular which I remember as the most wonderfully bright of all.

“It was a summer afternoon,—I might almost say evening, for I think the sun was already set,—when, as I stood on the shore of a little pond which made a looking-glass for the sky behind my father’s house, I saw a most surprising object coming towards me across the water.

“It appeared to be a little man in a little boat. Had they been of any size, the sight would have been nothing extraordinary. But they were both so very small that I was filled with astonishment. The boat was not more than two feet long, and the man was not more than ten or twelve inches tall. He was rowing very fast, and the two little paddles rose and fell with perfect regularity; the water plashed, and the skiff left a little wake behind it.

“ ‘True as the world,’ I exclaimed, in an ecstasy of wonder and delight, ‘it is a fairy in a fairy canoe!’ ”

“Ah, it is not a true story you are telling us!” said Margaret Grover, her sweet face smiling in its frame of golden curls. “I hoped it was going to be a true story; but fairy stories are not true.”

“But this is a true story, every word and syllable of it,” replied the old clergyman. “Everything happened to me just as I tell you.”

This serious assertion filled all the children with the liveliest curiosity to know who and what the fairy and the fairy boat could be, and they gathered more closely around him.

He ate a piece of cold chicken, tasted the iced lemonade, and continued:—

“The rower was dressed in a blue sailor’s jacket, and had a jaunty little hat on his head. With every stroke of the oars he threw his head and shoulders back, never looking around, and pulling as if he was very much in earnest. The boat, instead of coming straight across to me, as I hoped it would, turned, and went around in a wide circle between the shore and the centre of the pond. I would have rushed in after it, but the pond was deep, and I could never have got it by swimming. In the wildness of my excitement, I ran home, and told my mother that there was a real fairy rowing his canoe on our pond.

“ ‘O no,’ she said, ‘I don’t think it is a real fairy, my son; there are no fairies nowadays, at least around here.’

“But she went with me to the pond-side, to see what the strange thing was; when, to my utter disappointment, it had disappeared, and the water was as still as if no ripple had been upon its surface. I dreaded lest my mother should think I had been deceiving her; and I ran around the shores, thinking to find the fairy pulling his skiff somewhere up into the bushes; but I found nobody except my uncle, walking behind the alders, who laughed at me, and said he had not seen any fairy, and never expected to see one.

“ ‘But, if there was one, go back to the spot where you saw him first, and wait, and you’ll very likely see him again,’ he said.

“So I went back and sat down on the bank, and watched, and watched, until by and by—O, wonderful!—there he was again; I had not been mistaken, I had not been dreaming, as I was a moment before half convinced I had been.

“The same little man in the same little boat rowing towards me! He came on by the alders behind which I had seen my uncle, and this time rowed straight across the pond. Nearer, nearer, nearer he came. ‘O, I shall have you this time sure!’ I said. He did not look over his shoulder, and I kept perfectly still, determined that, if he did not see me, he certainly should not hear me. Dip, dip, dip went the little oars, no larger than tablespoons; and in a few minutes he ran his canoe ashore on the very bank where I was sitting.

“I crept softly towards it, and saw that the oars kept going, and that the oarsman never looked around, not appearing to know that anything was the matter. So I stepped down to the edge of the water, and seized fast hold of the canoe, before he could get away. I was so much excited that I hardly knew what I did, but I held fast.”

“What was it?” the children cried. “Was it really a canoe? Was it really a fairy?”

“It was really a canoe, hollowed out of a block of wood. But the industrious little oarsman,—ah, my children, he was wood too!—a little image my uncle had made, and painted and dressed up to look like a sailor.”

“How could a wooden man row?” asked Jason Jones.

“He thinks it’s hard enough for bones and muscles to row sometimes!” whispered Grant Eastman, alluding to Jason’s adventure in the morning.

“I drew the toy ashore,—for it was nothing but a toy, contrived for my gratification by my uncle,—and found that the whole thing was moved by a sort of clock-work. There was a little machine that turned a crank which worked the oars, and set the little sailor’s body in motion at the same time. My uncle came around to me with a key, and wound it up after it had run down. Then we put it in the water again; and, ah, my children, I doubt if ever there was a happier boy than I, as I watched the wonderful little sailor in his skiff, and was told by my good, kind uncle that the toy was a present for me.

“I dreamed of it that night, and was up early the next morning, you may be sure, to wind it up and put it again in the water. Those were golden days,—just such days, my children, as many of you are enjoying now. But soon I had other things besides my fairy boat to think of. I was sent to school; and, as I grew strong, I had work to do, for my parents were poor. At length I gave the toy to another boy, younger than I.

“So it is with us all, my children. Our youthful sports cannot last always. The time comes when they must be put away, and the business of life begun. Some of you have already begun that serious business, and all of you are, I hope, preparing for it.

“My children, to be happy, you must have two things,—first, love; next, occupation. No person was ever blessed whose heart was barren of affection. It is even less important to you that your parents, brothers and sisters, and friends, should love you, than that you should love them. A man who cares for nobody’s welfare but his own, who thinks only of himself, can no more have happiness than you can raise beautiful flowers like these”—Father Brighthopes held up a bouquet one of the girls had brought him—“on a bare rock. Love, my children, is the soil in which alone that blessed flower, happiness, can grow. Though you should gain all knowledge, and have wealth and honor and station, without love you will find life but a dreary desert.

“But with love you must have occupation. Our fairy canoes will not always satisfy us. I hope you will never become so engaged in the business of the world that the woods and fields, and sunshiny leisure, and honest fun, will have lost their charms for you. But your enjoyment of these things, to be pure and refreshing, must be sustained by the sense of duties done. Recreation shines like a rainbow before the eyes of him who has done earnest work, and his heart leaps up to meet it; but pleasure becomes a weariness to the idle man.

“My children, amid all your sports you must prepare for the serious things of life. First of all, acquire knowledge; cultivate your minds, so that your future choice of occupations and the exercise of your faculties may be varied and enlarged. He who knows only one thing can do only one thing, whether he is fitted for it or not. But to the person of knowledge and culture all avenues seem open.

“Some of you, I am aware, have but poor opportunities for learning. But make the most of such opportunities as you have, and you will find that a little knowledge acquired under difficulties is often of more value than all that careless students get in the schools. It is the development of the faculties by action, and not mere book-learning, which is the true education.

“And there is a learning of more practical value to all of us than anything in the books. I mean a skill in the ordinary duties of life. Every boy should know all about the farm, the garden, or the shop. And as for you, my dear little girls, let me persuade you, whatever is to be your position in life, to learn, by practice under your mother’s care, all the arts of housekeeping.

“I prize the accomplishments of the parlor, but I think I prize those of the kitchen still more. I do not relish quite so well the good music with which a lady favors me at her piano, if at her table she gives me poor bread. She may blame the cook for this, but the blame reflects back upon her. If she is a thorough cook and housekeeper herself, she will find it easy to make her servants what they should be.

“Besides, my dear children, very likely many of you who expect now to be wealthy and to have servants will be poor and have no servants. If you are prepared for that condition, and have gentle and well-trained hearts for it, you will be just as happy in it as you would be in any other.

“But the musicians are taking their places and tuning their instruments, and to-day is to be a day of sport for you. I have told you a story, and I have preached you a sermon; and I will keep you no longer. Return to your games, my dear young friends, but remember what I have said as if they were the last words a loving old father were to speak to you,—that there is no true happiness in life without love and work.”

J. T. Trowbridge.


Eddy’s pony was black and shiny.

As soon as Dilly awoke in the morning, and knew that he had come, she was in such a hurry to see him that she ran right out in her nightgown.

“O, the grass will wet us!” said Ten Toes.

“No matter for that,” said Dilly.

“But the stones will hurt us,” said Ten Toes.

“No matter for that,” said Dilly, and away she ran.

But her mother called, and said, “Dilly, you must come back and be dressed.”

“Shall we cry?” asked Blue Eyes.

“Yes, cry,” said Dilly. “O, how I want to see Eddy’s pony!”

For she forgot what she told her mother the night before.

And she forgot many times. She ought to have tried harder to remember.

I have told you about one of her crying days. I don’t believe you will want to hear about another. That was when she was six years old. I will now tell you what happened one day when she was seven.

You must know that Dilly had two servants which I have not mentioned. I mean her Two Ears. It was their business to let her know when she was spoken to, and also when the birds were singing, and when the school-bell rang.

One day, when she was seven years old, she had leave to eat raspberries in the garden. The bushes were so high that they almost covered her over. She was sitting behind them. Nimble Fingers were resting, for they had been working hard among the bushes. Rosy Lips were quite purple. They were resting too.

But Two Ears were listening. That was their business. Two ladies were standing on the other side of the bushes, and talking quite loud. These two ladies were making a visit at the house, and were just the kind of ladies that Dilly liked. They often told her stories or took her to walk with them. She was glad when they came to see her mother.

Now they were talking to each other, and Dilly could not help hearing, for they spoke loud, and her Two Ears were very good ones.

“What a pleasant place this is!” said one lady.

“Yes,” said the other. “It would be the very nicest place I know of, to visit, if it were not for one thing.”

“Do you mean the way Dilly behaves?” said the first lady.

“Yes. She frets so much, and teases and cries so often, and is such a meddler, that she really spoils my visit. I don’t think I shall stay long.”

“It will be too bad,” said the first lady, “to leave such a nice place, such beautiful flowers, and such a pleasant lady as Dilly’s mother.”

“I know it,” said the other. “But I had rather go to Mrs. Lane’s. She has no fruit, and hardly any flowers, and her house is not so pleasant; but her little girl has a bright, smiling face, and knows how to behave well. She is a very gentle little girl.”

The two ladies then passed along to another row of bushes.

O, how bad Dilly did feel, to think that such a little girl as herself should spoil the visit of the two kind ladies! She kept thinking about it all the rest of the day. Many times she said to herself, “They will go away because I am cross.”

At night, when her mother took her in her arms, after the baby was asleep, she said, “Dilly, you have been quite a good girl to-day.”

“I am going to be good all the time,” said Dilly.

“I hope so,” said her mother, “but I’m afraid you’ll forget.”

Dilly kept very still. She was thinking how often she had forgotten. At last she said, “How can I keep from crying when I feel so badly?”

“Shut your eyes up tight,” said her mother, “to keep the tears from coming, and your lips too, that the cross words may be kept back. Then think of something pretty and pleasant. Let me see. What is there pretty and pleasant? A humming-bird. You can think of a humming-bird, dipping his bill into the flowers,—or anything else. What else can you think of that is pretty and pleasant?”

“Of a squirrel,” said Dilly.

“O yes,” said her mother,—“of a squirrel with his bushy tail curled over his back, cracking nuts. What else?”

“Of a gold-fish.”

“So you could. A gold-fish swimming about in his glass globe. Now, when you feel the tears or cross words coming, shut your eyes and your lips close, and hurry as fast as you can to think of ‘humming-bird, squirrel, gold-fish.’ ”

“I mean to,” said Dilly.

But she had so long been used to crying and to speaking cross that it was not easy leaving off. She tried very hard, though, to be good. She wanted so much to be like Mrs. Lane’s little girl, who had a bright, smiling face, like a sunny summer’s day. Should you like to know how much better she grew before she was eight years old? I will tell you.

One pleasant day in June, when the roses were in bloom, Eddy mounted his pony and set off for a ride. Dilly stood still and watched him till he was out of sight.

“O, how I wish I had a pony!” said she.

“I will make you a pony,” said Ben.

Ben was a big boy who worked for her father.

“You can’t make a pony,” said Dilly.

“See now,” said Ben. Then he sawed a piece from an old beam which was lying there, and put two round sticks of wood in each end for legs.

“There’s a pony for you,” said he,—“safe one, too. He won’t kick.”

“But he has no head,” says Dilly.

Then Ben nailed a stick at one end, and put a man’s hat upon it.

“That will do for a head,” said he. “There’s a pony in the almanac with a man’s head.”

“Is there?” said Dilly; “well, he has no tail.”

Ben looked all around,—in the barn, and the woodhouse, and in the workshop,—and came out at last with a paint-brush.

“Some ponies have bobtails,” said he, and he nailed it on behind; “and here’s a real bridle, and you shall have my whip. There now! Isn’t this a nice pony?”

Dilly’s mother lent her a dark skirt for a riding-dress, and one of Eddy’s caps.

“What is all this hanging about us?” said Ten Toes. “We can’t go.”

So Dilly held up her riding-dress in front, and said she thought it would be proper for her to have a feather in her cap.

Ben said he had heard that hens’ feathers were all the fashion, and he stuck one in front, and turned the visor round behind so as to shade the back of her neck.

While she was riding, the funny man came along, and looked over the fence.

“Is that you?” said he. “O yes. That’s you,—isn’t it? So ’tis, I declare. What are you doing?”

He had quite a long nose, and he pinched the end of it, to keep from laughing, and puffed his cheeks out.

“Well, I declare!” said he, “that is a nice pony. I wish you’d let my little girl play in your yard. Her name begins with M. Why can’t you let her ride on your pony once?”

“I will,” said Dilly.

“I’ll go after her,” said the funny man. “Do you want she should bring anything?”

“Yes, sir,” said Dilly.

“What shall she bring?”

“I don’t know,” said Dilly. “I don’t know what she’s got.”

Then the funny man scratched his head and twinkled his eyes. “I’ll go see,” said he.

So Dilly kept on riding and watching for the little girl whose name began with M.

But presently her mother came to the window, and said, “Dilly, it is time for you to come in now and do your sewing.”

Now Dilly had just started for Boston,—playing so, you know,—to see the boys sail boats on the Frog Pond, and was thinking what she should buy, and what she should say to her Boston cousin, and she thought it was too bad to be called in.

“What shall we do?” said Blue Eyes; “shall we cry?”

“No, no,” said Dilly. “ ‘Humming-bird, squirrel,’—don’t cry. ‘Humming-bird, squirrel, gold-fish.’ Have the tears gone back?”

“No, they are wetting us all over, and they want to come out. What shall we do?”

“Shut up tight,” said Dilly. “Don’t let them out.”

“What shall we do?” said Rosy Lips; “shall we pout?”

“No. Don’t pout. Try to smile if you can.”

“But we can’t. There are some cross words behind us. They want to get out.”

“Hush, hush,” said Dilly. “Keep close,—‘Humming-bird, squirrel, gold-fish.’ ”

And the cross words did not get out; and when the tears found that Blue Eyes would not let them run past, they went back where they belonged.

Then Dilly sat down by her mother to sew. Her cap and riding-dress were on the sofa, and while Nimble Fingers were drawing out the thread Blue Eyes got a chance to look that way. She was thinking what a nice time she should have riding after tea, when the sun was gone from the yard.

While Dilly was sitting with her mother, there came in a boy with a glass dish. He wanted to get a little jelly for Alice. Alice was a sick girl who lived near.

After the boy was gone, Dilly asked her mother what made Alice sick so long.

“Poor Alice!” said her mother; “I pity her.”

“Because she is sick?” asked Dilly.

“Partly because she is sick,” said her mother, “and partly for other reasons. You will know, when I have told you about her, why I pity her.

“Once Alice had a little sister named Mabel. That was her name, but almost everybody called her Bluebird; for even when she was a very little child, hardly more than a baby, she liked blue better than any other color. She liked blue flowers, blue ribbons, blue dresses, the blue water, and she had blue eyes. So she was called Bluebird, or, sometimes, Birdie. Alice took all the care of her, for their father and mother were dead. Alice was grown up.

“Little Bluebird had a sweet, lovely face, with soft curls and laughing eyes. Her neck was white as snow, with pretty, round shoulders. She had nice fat arms to throw round anybody’s neck when she wanted to give anybody a good hug and kiss, and that was pretty often.

“And one day Alice put upon her little sister her blue muslin frock that had lace round the neck, and short sleeves with ruffles to them, and her best shoes, and her straw hat with a wreath around the crown of it, and took her out to walk.

“It was after tea, in the cool of the day.

“Little Bluebird ran on ahead to catch a butterfly. She took off her hat to catch him with, as she had seen boys do. Perhaps, if she had not taken off her hat, the sad thing which I am going to tell would not have happened.

“She ran a great way. So far that she could not hear Alice calling her to come back. So Alice sat down upon the grass to wait for her.

“But she did not come. The sun set, and she did not come. Then Alice went to look for her.”

“Did she find her?” asked Dilly.

“I will tell you,” said her mother.

“Alice walked on and on. She looked among the bushes and behind the rocks, calling, all the time, ‘Little Bluebird,’ ‘Birdie,’ ‘Birdie.’

“But all the sound she heard was the dismal noise of the frogs. At last she came to the pond, and floating there was the straw hat of little Bluebird with the wreath about the crown.

“Alice screamed so loud that a man heard her, who was going home with a load of hay. He jumped into the pond, but he could not find little Mabel.”

“And didn’t they ever find her?” asked Dilly, almost crying.

“I will tell you,” said her mother.

“The man went for a great many more men, and after a long time, when it was in the middle of the night, they found her. But she was drowned. They supposed that she stood on a rock, and stooped over so far to pick some blue flags that she fell in; for the flags were all bent and broken. She had her hat in one hand, so that she could not catch hold of anything to save herself.

“Then poor Alice had no little sister on earth, for she had gone to be an angel.

“And soon Alice began to grow sick from staying out of doors till the middle of the night, when the grass was wet and the air was chilly. And people say she will never be well again, she weeps so much because her little sister was drowned.”

Dilly sat very still. She could hardly speak, she felt so bad.

“O, we want to cry so much,” whispered Blue Eyes. “We think our tears must come.”

And Dilly said, “It is no harm to cry now,—is it, mother?”

“No,” said her mother, “it is no harm to cry now. I feel like crying too. Tears were given us that we might weep for our friends when they are in trouble.”

And, all the while her mother was saying this, Dilly’s head lay in her lap,—in her mother’s lap. And she cried, for she could not help it, thinking about poor Alice so lonely without any little Mabel!

After supper, Dilly’s mother said that, now the sun had left the yard, she might go out riding. So she hurried to put on her riding-dress and cap, thinking what a nice time she should have.

But something had happened to the pony! It was too bad, but, while they were eating supper, something had happened to the pony! Dilly did not find it out till she got into the yard.

A big boy, named Jim,—a big, ragged boy named Jim,—while they were at supper, came along with an axe, and smashed it; split it up, and cut off its legs, and threw the hat into the duck pond.

Dilly knew it was he that did it, for he sat upon a high post, swinging his legs, with the paint-brush stuck in his hat. When he saw Dilly coming, he ran away. I can’t think what he wanted to do so for.

When Dilly saw her pony all smashed up, she felt bad enough. Any little girl would.

“O dear!” said she, “O dear me!”

“Shall we cry now?” said Blue Eyes.

“No, I guess not. O dear. No. Don’t cry. Shut up tight. ‘Humming-bird, squirrel, gold-fish.’ ‘Humming-bird in the flowers.’ Don’t cry. ‘Squirrel in a glass—No, Squirrel cracking nuts.’ Don’t cry. O dear!”

“But,” said Blue Eyes, “here are two tears that must come, because we didn’t shut up soon enough.”

And two big tears rolled down.

But Nimble Fingers had wiped away so many in their lives that they thought it a very easy matter to take care of two. They were out of sight in a twinkling.

“What shall we do? shall we pout?” said Rosy Lips; “shall we say something cross?”

“O no, no,” said Dilly. “ ‘Humming-bird dipping his bill.’ ‘Squirrel with a bushy tail.’ ‘Gold-fish swimming about in the sun,’—no, don’t pout.”

Her mother thought it was too bad about the pony, but said she was very, very glad that Dilly could keep from crying. She was really a good girl, and growing better every day.

Afterwards Dilly went up stairs to find something to play with. Upon her sister’s table were boxes and baskets full of pretty things. There were wax flowers, and sugar strawberries, and shining rings, and a cologne bottle half full, and a little white-handled penknife that looked very smooth.

Her mother passed by the door.

“Where are your Fingers, Dilly?” said she.

“All right,” said Dilly, “they are good Fingers now. They don’t meddle. They haven’t touched one of sister’s things!”

“But I know they want something to do,” said her mother. “Fingers don’t like to keep still. I know of something very pleasant they might do.”

“What is it?” asked Dilly.

“Here are some scissors. You may cut some damask and some white roses, and take them to Alice. That will be a very pleasant thing for Fingers to do.”

It was almost sunset when Dilly came back from carrying the roses. Just as she went through the gate, the funny man came along, leading his little girl,—the one whose name began with M.

“Is that you?” says he. “O yes, that’s you,—isn’t it? So ’tis, I declare. Well, sis has come. She has brought two sugar hearts and a flag for pony’s head. You know when the circus horses come to town, drawing the chariot, the great golden chariot, with the band a playing, they have flags at their heads.”

“My pony is broken in pieces,” said Dilly.

“Broke in pieces? Who broke it?”

“Big Jim, with his axe.”

“Well, I declare!” said the funny man. And he took off his hat, and puffed out his cheeks, and scratched his head, and felt in his pockets more than ever. Pretty soon he pinched the end of his nose, and his eyes began to twinkle.

“I know what I’ll do,” says he, “if he ever comes in my yard, I’ll set my rooster at him. And when my ship comes you shall have a live pony, and the very first one I take out of her.”

Dilly laughed, and asked him when his ship was coming.

“Do you care how long the tails are?” said he.

“No,” said Dilly. “I like long tails to ponies.”

“I’m glad of that,” says he, “for I guess they’ll all have long tails. Keep the flag for him. Come, sis, let’s go home.” But before he went he handed Dilly the handle of a jack-knife, which he found in his last pocket; and his little girl gave her one of the sugar hearts.

When Dilly went into the house, she could not find her father or mother, or anybody else. She was afraid all the people had gone out. But she knew somebody must have stayed with the baby. She ran up into her mother’s room. Baby was in the cradle, fast asleep, with one fat arm thrown over his head. Nobody was in the room, but she thought she heard talking somewhere, and thought, too, that she heard something which sounded like crying.

The sounds seemed to come from Eddy’s room. She went there, and found her father and mother and Ellen. Eddy was lying on the bed, with his face in the pillow. He was crying. They all were crying.

Dilly went up to her sister, and said in a whisper, “What are they all crying for?”

Her sister bent her head down and whispered, very softly, “Hush, Dilly! Eddy has told a lie!”

“O dear!” said Dilly to herself.

“Shall we cry?” said Blue Eyes.

“Yes,” said Dilly, “the tears must come now. It is so sad to have a brother who has told a lie. My father and mother are crying too. They would not cry if it were not something very bad. O, I am so sorry!” And Dilly laid her head in her sister’s lap, and cried.

That night, when her mother undressed her, she said, “Dilly, you have grown quite a good girl,—a pleasant, gentle girl. I think you have found out something which is very good to know.”

“What is it?” asked Dilly.

“Why,” said her mother, “you have found out what tears are for.”

“Tears are made to cry with,” said Dilly.

“Yes, but I mean you have learned when it is right to cry. See if you can tell me.”

“I know,” said Dilly, “but I can’t say it. You say it, please.”

“Well,” said her mother, “we must not cry because we cannot do as we want to.”

“No,” said Dilly.

“Nor because we cannot have what we want.”

“No,” said Dilly.

“But when we feel sorry for anybody, when we pity them very much, then we may let the tears come.”

“Yes,” said Dilly.

“But for our own troubles we must not let them come. We must be brave, and bear our own troubles without crying.”

“Yes,” said Dilly.

“And when our friends do something wrong, when a little boy that we love very much tells a lie, we must let the tears come, we can’t help it.”

And her mother’s tears began to fall, for she was thinking about Eddy.

“Mother,” whispered Dilly, “I wish you would tell me how Eddy came to do so.”

Her mother told her, but I cannot write it down now. I have not the time, and, besides, it is not a pleasant thing to write about.

But there is one thing more about Dilly which I think you would like to know.

One morning her sister Ellen came into her room before she was up, and stood by her bed. She had in her hand a small square box,—a very small one. And when she had opened the box, she took out of it a little gold ring with a bright stone in it.

“Which is the black-string Finger,” said she. “Which is the white-lily, black-string Finger?”

Dilly held up her hand.

“You are good Fingers now,” said Ellen, “you deserve a ring, and you shall have one.” Then she slipped on the ring, and it fitted exactly.

“We are going to smile,” said Rosy Lips.

“We will help you,” said Blue Eyes.

“We want to do something else,” said Rosy Lips. “We’ve got a kiss.”

So Dilly put up her lips, and they kissed Ellen, and thanked her, and said it was a dear, darling little ring.

Are you not glad that Nimble Fingers grew so good? And are you not glad that Blue Eyes knew when to keep the tears back? Are you not glad that Rosy Lips could keep the cross words from coming out?

Don’t you think it was a good plan for Dilly to think of something pleasant, when anything happened to make her feel cross?

“Humming-bird, squirrel, gold-fish!” I don’t believe they ever looked cross in their lives.

Why don’t you try to make your little servants do right? your Blue Eyes, your Rosy Lips, your Nimble Fingers?

Perhaps you haven’t blue eyes, but black ones will mind just as well as blue ones.

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.


The Summer was going on a long, long journey; no one knew where, no one knew why, only that she was surely going,—that every one knew. The trees said it over and over to the birds, and the birds told it again directly to the brook; while the brook, half laughing, half crying, did nothing all day long but run as fast as it could from stone to stone, telling the news to every bunch of fern, to every clump of reeds and bulrushes along his bank, and to the old gentlemen frogs who sat in the cool, wet places, trying to look as young as possible in their fresh green surtouts, and refusing to believe anything they heard about anything whatever, even if the minister himself should tell them it was true.

In the woods, the crow is the minister; you may see him on Sundays sitting in a high tree, preaching his sermon, “Caw, caw!” while all the birds come from far and near to listen, and the poor trees and flowers, who cannot stir from their places, look very serious, and all through the wood everything is still. What the crow says is very wise indeed, and the little flowers and grasses listen so hard, in order not to lose a word, that you would think them fast asleep,—as, in truth, I am afraid they sometimes are.

The news made a great commotion in the wood. Everybody had something to say about it, and if the kind heart of the Summer could have taken pleasure in seeing any one sad, she might have been made vain to know that all these mournful sighs of the wind in the branches, all these murmurs of the long grass in the meadows, all these faint cries of the little birds nestling close together in the chilly mornings and evenings, were for sorrow that she was going to leave them. But, far from making her vain, she only looked sorrowful, and wished that she could stay; and all night long she wept till the grass and the rocks and the ground were covered with her tears, so that, when the old rabbit looked out at the house door early in the morning, she said to the little ones, who were lying in bed telling stories, “Children, you needn’t get up yet, but wait till the sun is higher; for either it has rained in the night or there has been an astonishing dew-fall. Really, I must just skip over to Neighbor White-Nose, and ask her opinion; and mind you don’t stir out till I come home!” So off she skipped; and you may be sure that, the minute their good little mother was gone, those two mischievous ones in the bed began such capers! They turned heels over head, buried one another in the leaves their bed was made of, and played at leap-frog, until they were out of breath; and their mother, coming home softly, caught them, boxed their ears, and sent them out to pick up their breakfast.

Mother Rabbit had met her neighbor White-Nose in the wood, and, as the two scampered home together over the dead leaves, she learned that, while she was sleeping soundly early in the morning, all the little wood-people had met together at the big rock in the middle of the forest; and that the Owl had made a speech to them,—and a very wise speech too,—all about the Summer’s going; and that he had advised every one to bring something the next day to the wood,—something, no matter what, only let each one bring what he could,—as a parting gift to their dear friend the Summer, whom many of them might never see again.

Among the little wood-people sadness cannot last long; and after a few tears and sighs the sky came blue again, the leaves rustled cheerfully in the brisk morning air, loud and clear sang the birds, and every one thought cheerfully and busily on what he should give the Summer as his parting gift. So tenderly did they love her that every one wished to give her the prettiest gift he could find, and through the whole of that day the wood was noisy enough with their scampering to and fro,—the older ones putting their heads together to contrive something handsome and surprising for their friend; and all the younger people talking together by the hour, first proposing this thing, then that, and at last giving it up, and running to father and mother to help them in their trouble. Such a noisy wood as it was that morning!

But all day long poor Dandelion sat by the edge of the wood, sad and alone, thinking and thinking what she could give, but in vain! Of all the little wood-people there was none who loved the dear Summer more than she, none who was sorrier that she must go; and yet here she must sit, dusty and forlorn, while her best friend passed her by; and, while everybody else had a pretty present to lay at her feet, she had nothing,—no, not the least thing in the world. So she sat quite down-hearted, hearing the bustle and noise about her, and the sly whispers and merry laughter; and at last, worst of all, an envious thought stole into her soul as she heard a little wren in the sumach-bush behind her trying over and over the merry song he was to sing as his gift to the Summer on the morrow.

“Every one has something,” said poor, dusty Dandelion,—“even this little brown wren! O, if I could only give her the least thing in the world!”

And now it was night, and everywhere in the wood there was silence, except when, now and then, a light-headed breeze that had no talent for sleeping, and consequently liked to keep everybody else awake, came sauntering along, touching here a tree, and there a bush or rock covered with moss and trailing vines, causing them to stir uneasily in their sleep, and dream that it was morning, and so time to get up and make ready for the coming of their friend the Summer!

All night the sky was dark blue overhead, and in the middle stood the moon like a silver bee-hive, while all about her swarmed the stars in and out among the clouds like golden bees. And the poor tired little Dandelion, who could not sleep for thinking, said to herself, “O, if I could only catch one of those pretty bees, and keep him till morning, what a present that would make!”

But the golden bees kept up in the sky far away, far away! and, though she watched nearly all night, never one flew down to the earth, although once or twice the poor Dandelion thought her watching was to be rewarded, for a star would seem to start from its place and sail down across the sky; but just as Dandelion reached out her hands, hoping to catch it, it would disappear as if it had melted away. At last, toward morning, tired out, she fell sound asleep, and had a dream.

She dreamed that one of the stars came sailing slowly down, just as a bee would, and steered straight to where she lay in the grass, and as it came nearer she saw that it was no bee, but a large golden Dandelion-flower, brighter and yellower than she had ever brought forth; and down it came, nearer, nearer, and landed safely, all bright and sparkling, directly in the middle of her little circle of dry, dusty leaves! And with that Dandelion woke up, and O how sorry she was to find it only a dream!

At last the morning came, and the sun shone through the mist on the mountains like a great red rose; and little by little the wood began to stir with life, and presently it was as noisy as yesterday. In the tallest trees sat the crows, dressed in span-new clothes, shining and dapper; for one of them was to make a speech that day, bidding the Summer “good by,”—and when one has to speak in public he must be well dressed, mind you, especially if he have as little to say as the crow had. Then there were the spiders. How fine they had made the grass look! for they had covered it all over with a delicate net, and the dew had fallen, and every thread was strung with the smallest crystal beads, that sparkled like so many diamonds! The little brook came rushing by, whirling a small round ball of foam, which it said was a fine frosted cake for the dear Summer; so to work it went, spinning it round and round to make it as large and handsome as possible.

All day the birds practised their songs, trilling and quavering; the brown bees flew about busily, getting ready their best honey-comb; the striped squirrels scampered hither and thither, like small streaks of red lightning, picking up the best nuts that the trees could throw down; the yellow butterflies, with here and there a red one, gathered together from far and near to arrange a dance in honor of their friend. And poor Dandelion saw all this merry bustle, and grew sadder and sadder every minute of the day.

Then there came into her mind, all at once, a bright thought, and she said: “If I could only have one of my little yellow flowers to give the Summer, that would be something, and perhaps she might take it kindly, seeing I have nothing else to give. But, O dear me! it is so late in the year, I am afraid I can hardly hope to have a flower, certainly not a fine full one, such as I have in May!” Then she thought of her dream, and suddenly it seemed to her as if she might yet have a flower, if only she thought about it hard enough, and wished it in good earnest; and with that there came into her soul a warm thought of love for the Summer, and a yearning to tell her how much she loved her; and, as she thought, up from the middle of the nest of half-dried dusty leaves there pushed itself a fresh green stem, and at the top a small plume-like bud, just as in the old time! and as the bright sunshine streamed down upon it through the half-bare trees, Dandelion felt that the bud became a flower, and her poor little heart was happy.

In the afternoon came a few loitering snow-flakes, and told the wood-people that the Summer was on her way. Presently there was a sound as of harps and flutes, which, in fact, was a concert got up by two or three young orphan northwest winds who had been adopted by the Winter to amuse him, and run errands for him, while he was getting up snow-storms and gales, but who had nothing better to do until he came than to be civil to the lady Summer. And when the wood-people heard this sad music, which, in truth, was more like children’s crying than anything else, they ran out to meet their friend, and each one, with a smile in one eye and a tear in the other, gave her his gift. The trees, as she passed, strewed her way with their many-colored leaves—green, yellow, purple, and scarlet—for a splendid carpet; the squirrel brought his nuts; the humming-bees their honey; before her danced the gay butterflies; the wren shook out his song in the sumach-bush, and, when he ended, all the birds joined in chorus.

On the top of the tallest tree stood Mr. Crow, making his speech with flourish and gesture, and thinking himself a very great personage indeed. But all you could hear was nothing but the same old “Caw, caw!” that he had said over and over for a hundred years.

Then the Summer came to where poor Dandelion waited for her, sad and alone, and as she came her heart beat and shook the flower that glimmered like a star in the warm twilight of the dusky wood, and the sky burst forth into crimson and gold, as if it were Autumn among the clouds as in the wood; and while the rosy flame touched the Summer’s cheek, she looked down, and spied the trembling yellow flower, and instantly a tear sprang to her eye as, stooping over it, she cried: “O, all the other gifts were sweet and dear to me, for love is always so; but this is the sweetest gift of all, for it minds me of the days when I was young!”

So the Summer passed away in smiles and tears, the bright sky faded, and the music died on the dying western wind. And who slept and dreamed she was a happy heavenly star that night, but poor little dusty Dandelion!

Clarence Cook.


J. N. Hummel.




No. 73.

I am a word of four letters.

My 1, 4, 3, 2, is a man’s name in the Old Testament.

My 3, 4, 2, 1, is an article of dress.

My 4, 3, 2, 1, is a synonyme of my 3, 2, 1, 4.

My whole you do every day.


No. 74.

I am a word of four letters.

My 2, 3, 1, is an animal.

My 1, 2, 4, is a nickname.

My 1, 2, 4, in another sense is a synonyme of my 4, 2, 1.

My 3, 2, 1, is a part of a tree.

My whole is no longer in existence.





No. 76.


I am the joy of all mankind;

I dwell in every human mind;

  To many a burdened heart

  I light and hope impart.


I am the bane of human life;

I gender passion, rage, and strife;

  Without my frequent aid

  No battle would be made.


A woman in an olden book,

  Though striving eagerly the while,

Could not procure a tender look,

  Nor gain a husband’s loving smile.


In at the door with smiling face

  Hundreds of merry people rush;

I please them with display and grace,

  And with the sweetest music hush.


A common flower which oft we meet,

  And each remembers with delight;

Its beauty and its perfume sweet

  Can make the dreary sick-room bright.


Wandering through all the fields of space,

  Resting upon the mountains high,

I find mid these my dwelling-place,

  Unseen by any mortal eye.


No. 77.


I have a stake which may be won,

In winning it consists the fun.

We help the winning of the stake,

Without us none success can make.


Of jokes I form the better part,

Of ice the willing slave,

I’m fit to go with any tart,

And help rich men to shave.


Lady-love of English knight

Who won for her the prize,

From heroes for their strength renowned,

Before admiring eyes.


I sleep by day, by night I prowl,

My nose it can’t be mated;

I oft have horns, and, though a fowl,

In Greece am venerated.


I am the product of a goose,

As also of a hen;

I help in law to bind and loose,

And oft supply a pen.


My uncle was a forest brook,

My husband was a knight,

At first I was a water-nymph,

But now a fountain bright.


Chief of Ireland’s patriots,

Martyred to his cause,

He strove against the English rule,

And disobeyed its laws.


For years the waves from my dry lips

Recede on every side;

For years and years the golden fruit

To taste I’ve vainly tried.

W. B. C.




66.The Wind.
68.Time and tide wait for no man.
[(Tie) (man tied) (weight) for N O (man).]
69.Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.
70.Rome was not built in a day.
71.Tout ce qui brille n’est pas or.


Dear Editors,—

“In the July number this question is asked, ‘Who was Caspar Hauser, and for what crime was he imprisoned?’ As that subject has been brought before my notice a great deal of late, I undertake to answer it.

“The origin of Caspar Hauser is very uncertain. He was found near the gate of the city of Nuremberg, seemingly very much frightened at everything he saw, and not understanding a word that was spoken. The city authorities took him in charge and educated him, always keeping him carefully guarded, lest any attempt should be made to take him away. He had no recollection whatever of his former life, except that he was always in the dark, and never saw any one,—his food being put through a hole by an invisible hand.

“After a time attempts were made to assassinate him. On one occasion a man rushed in at the front door of his dwelling, stabbed him on the stairs, and fled again through the open door. The wound proved slight, and he recovered. Not long afterward he received a note saying, that, if on a certain day he would meet the writer at a place specified, he would be told of his birth and parentage. Of course he was eager to learn all he could of himself, and he succeeded, on the day appointed, in bringing the walk with his tutor toward the place mentioned in the note. Here, after some trouble, he separated himself from his guard, and turned the corner; suddenly his attendants were startled by a loud cry, and, rushing after him, found him lying dead, with a wound near his heart. In the distance a man, covered with a large black cloak, was flying, with a dagger in his hand.

“It was supposed that Caspar Hauser was the heir to the throne of some neighboring kingdom, or stood in somebody’s way; and it was always a mystery why he was not earlier put out of that somebody’s way privately,—which could easily have been done, as no one knew of his existence.

“I hope this simple statement of facts will meet your approval as my first attempt to do anything for ‘Our Young Folks.’

“Ever your most interested reader,

“M. L.”

Charles B. K. We think Mr. Foster’s new articles, which are soon to begin, will suit you.—We know of no trustworthy dealer in postage-stamps.

Issa. You are doubtless unaware of it, but your verses entitled “Baby Belle” are simply an imitation of some contained in Aldrich’s beautiful “Ballad of Babie Bell.” Have you not been in the habit of reading that poem?

Maggie H. There is no need of asking whether certain things you mention are morally wrong or not. No lady would do them, or allow them to be done,—no more needs be said.

Hautboy. We accept No. 1.

St. Clair supplies satisfactory answers to some questions, as follows:—

“Yo Semite is pronounced, Yo Sem′-i-te.—The balloon was first invented by the brothers Stephen and Joseph Montgolfier.—Beethoven died March 26, 1827.—Astrachan fur is so called from the Russian province of Astrachan, where it is manufactured, though the skin itself is taken from a sheep, native of Bokhara, and other Asiatic countries.—The best way to make an Æolian harp is,—Make a rectangular box of very thin deal, as long as the window in which it is placed is wide, about five inches deep, and six inches wide. Over the upper surface of the box, which is pierced with sounding-holes, like the sounding-board of a fiddle, stretch several catgut or wire strings, with a slight degree of tension, and the harp will be completed.—Windmills were known among the ancient Romans; and they were also familiar with ink, as were the Chinese and early Jews; while as to fire-arms, according to Chinese chronicles, they were known among the Chinese as early as 618 years B. C. It does not seem probable to me, that among two dead nations, as the Jews and Romans, the name of inventors, and the time when the inventions were first made public, could have been transmitted down from generation to generation till the present time; and the well-known jealousy of the Chinese in not allowing any of the other nations to partake of their knowledge would certainly prevent it.”

It is hard to resist such a touching appeal as the following, but our Box is too full, and the season is too late, for us to admit the lively description of their New Hampshire nook which our charming correspondents have sent us. But we atone for our rejection by printing their lively letter complete.

“For mercy’s sake have pity upon our first gushings for the press, and don’t nip our expectations in the bud! Neither suffocate us beneath a pile of literary lore that may have collected upon your table for the ‘Young Folks.’

“Give us an early airing, before the mountain breezes have died out of our effusion, leaving it ‘stale, flat, and unprofitable.’ Its present-shortness is sufficient plea against any pruning by editorial shears; so please spare our sentences and—feelings!

“ ‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’ Believing this, and acting thereon, we glide gracefully from your ‘sanctum sanctorum,’ leaving, on which to feast your eyes, our cards, bearing the names,

Nellie C.

Annie C.

Marie C.

Eva Leigh. Your “little piece” is pretty. Read and consider what we have said in former numbers to others who wished to have “a career,” or who wanted to be authors.

W. N. G. says that in his butterfly hunting he finds that ether only stupefies, and does not kill, the insect. Probably either the ether is not pure and strong, or he does not skilfully apply it so as to cover the breathing apparatus completely and cause suffocation.

G. V. R. A little too hard,—that rebus.

Hickety. You should not write letters in pencil; our eyes and time are more valuable than your ink, we fancy.

Birdie. We must lay aside your sketch with those of so many other young authors. Thank you for trying, you know.

Warren. Like all other arts, phonography has made much advance in twenty years. If you wish to study it, get the latest books you can.

Red Wing. You did not send the complete answer, after all.

“First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.” That is the solution of the picture proverb we gave you last month. This time we return to our Shakespearian puzzles, and give you a very nice subject here. See if you can find the line to match it in the second scene of the second act of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 4, Issue 11 edited by J. T. Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom]