* A Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook *

This eBook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. These restrictions apply only if (1) you make a change in the eBook (other than alteration for different display devices), or (2) you are making commercial use of the eBook. If either of these conditions applies, please contact a https://www.fadedpage.com administrator before proceeding. Thousands more FREE eBooks are available at https://www.fadedpage.com.

This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. IF THE BOOK IS UNDER COPYRIGHT IN YOUR COUNTRY, DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR REDISTRIBUTE THIS FILE.

Title: Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 4, Issue 12

Date of first publication: 1868

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

Date first posted: Aug. 15, 2019

Date last updated: Aug. 15, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190833

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. DECEMBER, 1868. No. XII.

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 W. J. Hennessy.]          [See page 717.


Once upon a time a great king reigned in the land; a king so great and despotic, that not a courtier of all the court dared say his soul was his own without the king’s consent. He was an unbelieving old fellow as well; and when the people came to him with tales of fairy-folk who stole all the corn-silk to embroider their trappings, and kept the corn from coming to ear; who drew the wine off the grapes, ran away with the maple-syrup, and left only the stones on the cherry-trees,—he sent them off in a passion. “Nonsense! I don’t believe a word of it. Good for the fairies! Humbug!” and all that sort of encouragement. But as time went on the fairies became so mischievous, and the peasantry complained so often, that he was induced to publish an edict, sending all fairies, kith or kin, into exile, forbidding them the land then and there-after.

I think that he would hardly have been brought to such a pass, but that, being out in the forest hunting one day, he wounded a beautiful wood-pigeon, and was just considering how deliciously it would savor, delicately dressed and served with salads and sauces, when it paused in mid-air, and behold, there was only a saucy little fairy clown swinging in a spider’s web, and pulling off his cap-and-bells to the disappointed monarch! He went straight home, and wrote the edict. He could very well endure the loss of corn while wheat was plenty, and, as for the grape-wine, he could import it for himself; but when it came to poaching on his own hunting-grounds,—why, it was time to see to things, and find who was master.

“We’ll be even with you,” said the fairies, laughing in their sleeves at the King’s spite, while they sent an embassy to make terms.

“Make terms with such minikins?” quoth his Majesty; “we’ll make game of you sooner!”

“Your Highness tried that the other day in the forest, and with what success?”

“Hem! yes,—well,—what terms do you propose?”

“Only the gracious privilege of naming your son and heir when he shall arrive, and we leave your kingdom forever.”

So the King agreed,—it was such a little thing to ask; and the fairies packed their moths’-down cloaks, their mantles of silver mist, and their court-dresses, woven of gossamer and dewdrops, into a nutshell, and chartered a sea-breeze which carried them over to Ireland, where one Edmund Spenser owned an estate somewhat later.

After they were well away, the King began to wonder what his son’s name would be. He thought of Zerubbabel and Sennacherib, of Cheops and Rameses, and pleased himself with going over all the high-sounding names he had ever heard; and he used to wake the Queen, when she nodded in her throne chair, to know if there was anything to choose between Adonijah and Shalmaneser. This made her a little testy.

“You have no choice, if there is,” she reminded him. “Don’t set your heart on high things; it’ll prove a commonplace name enough.”

“Stuff and nonsense,” cried the Monarch; “a Prince of the house of Great Grandiose with a peasant’s name!”

Thus time sped, and the King and Queen began to rejoice in the prosperity of the land; and one day, when they were already quite weary of waiting for him, their son and heir looked in on them,—the baldest, rolly-polyist little image that was ever expected to fill a throne with dignity or strike awe into a nation. He was destined to give them all the cold shoulder instead.

Before he could creep, he began to show what an inquiring mind a Prince can possess; and, before five years had passed over his head, he had snuffed out the royal candles to know what it was like; had smashed most of the crown glass with his princely hammer, to make sure it would break; and had punched a hole in the ancestral drum which had celebrated all the victories of the house of Great Grandiose time out of mind, just to see where the noise came from. When they thought him sound asleep, ten to one but he was down in the cellar letting the costly wines run to waste, or up in the pantry filling the King’s pasty with wormwood, and mixing salt with the honey.

And all this time he had no name! The King grew impatient; he sent a telegram to the fairies by the Flying-Spider, but there was no reply; he despatched a message by the Sunbeam Express, but the express was overtaken by a band of wandering Cumuli, and never heard from; and the King, growing tired of it all, embarked for Ireland himself at last, only to find the fairies making merry on the banks of the Liffey, as if they had never dreamed of such a great monarch.

“What’s the meaning of all this folderol,” he cried, breaking in upon them, “and a Prince of the house of Great Grandiose waiting ten years for a name?”

But all he could get from them was,—

“What’s the Prince’s name?

 Hold! it is not Flame

 You shall have it soon,—

 Have the precious boon;

 And if it shouldn’t please you,

 It’s pretty sure to freeze you.”

This puzzled the King mightily. “It isn’t Flame,” he repeated; “of course not; we should be distressed if it were”;—and he went off in great wrath.

When he drew near his own kingdom, all the court came down to meet him.

“What’s up?” said he.

“Gold, your Highness,” they answered. “Your son has been behaving so ill that gold has risen as high as nine.”

“What has he done now? How dare you?”

“He has desolated the land,” they cried in chorus, since numbers inspire courage.

“Rigmarole!” observed the King, with brevity. “Where is he?”

“Here I am, your Majesty,” answered the Prince, bending to kiss his father’s hand; the King drew it away with a sharp howl.

“You bit it, you rascal!”

“Indeed, no; I merely saluted thus,” returned the bold Prince, again touching his lips to the fatherly hand.

“We tell you that you bit again, and you bit harder; none of your tricks, sir, or we’ll have you in irons in a trice.”

“That’s it,” sang out all the courtiers.

“No, it isn’t it!” broke in the King. “We won’t do anything of the sort, since you are so set upon it.”

“But the Prince has bitten your Majesty.”

“Who dares say it?” questioned the tyrant. “Send our physician,”—wringing his hand in pain.

“Your Highness is—frost-bitten,” declared the doctor, coining a word for the occasion, since it had proved unwise to say “Prince-bitten.”

“There!” exclaimed the King, turning to the courtiers who had assembled to hear the decision, “who said it was our son? We are frost-bitten,—nothing more”; and, although he hadn’t the least idea what it meant, he ordered the instant arrest of the subject who had dared assert the contrary.

But it was very touching when the King sat down to dine. None of the dishes sent forth smoking savors.

“What’s up now?” said he. “Are there to be no hot meats?”

“Your Majesty,” began the butler, “the Prince—at least—they are all frost-bitten!” he ended, struck with a happy thought; for the fact was that the Prince had stolen into the kitchen while the cook talked out of the scullery window with her wooer, and he had turned the spit, and turned it, roast and all, into an icicle.

“Ah!” groaned the unsatisfied King. “We’ll have a bunch of grapes, then.”

“Hem!” said the butler. “Wouldn’t your Majesty like to try the new pudding?”

“We abominate puddings.”

“But this one is very rich and delicate; none of the household have been able to swallow more than a mouthful; why, your Majesty, it gave the Prime Minister a cramp for half an hour.”

“Let me have it, by all means,” returned the King, ready to make the court ashamed of its digestion. “How did you come by the receipt?” Anything, no matter what, which would give the Prime Minister—with whom he was sometimes at odds—a cramp, wasn’t to be sneezed at.

“It’s the Prince’s receipt,” answered the wily butler; for while the cook had been making custards his small Highness put in a finger, and ice-cream resulted.

Before night the King was as sick as the Prime Minister, and frightened out of his wits besides; but when he had gotten quite over it, he requested a bunch of grapes.

“Grapes,” repeated the butler; “they—that is—the young Prince—I mean to say that—in point of fact, they are frost-bitten.”

“And the bananas?”

“Frost-bitten, your Majesty.”

“And the pomegranates?”

“Frost-bitten, your Majesty.”

And having enumerated the most delicate fruits of the country, and receiving the same reply, he gravely said, “Send us a slice of bread and butter, and the Prime Minister; we are on the eve of a revolution.”

The Prime Minister came to the point at once. “It’s the Prince,” he said.

“What’s the Prince?” demanded the monarch. “Do you mean to declare that the Prince gave us the cramp? By our crown, if we thought so, we’d disinherit him! Frost-bitten,—what does it mean?”

“It means,” said the Minister, “that the fairies have named your son and heir—”

“And named him—?” cried the King, eagerly, nothing doubting to hear Abimelech or some rolling syllables,—“and named him—?”

Jack Frost.

We will draw a veil over the King’s distress, provided there is one in the market (owing to the demand caused by so many troublesome scenes); suffice it to say that the King refused to believe in this misfortune, and the Prime Minister supped sorrow.

But all the same the Prince went on desolating the land, blighting the crops, shrivelling the foliage, making one shiver at his mere presence. Wherever he roamed abroad he carried destruction; one could see his fatal footsteps along the highways and hedges, and the laborers, seeking the vineyards in the gray of the morning, would mutter, under their breath: “Jack Frost has given us a call; he does more mischief than the whole fairy-folk.”

Whatever he touched turned to ice; there was skating on the meadows before the salt hay was reaped, and if a body but sneezed, the Prince was pretty sure to be at the bottom of it. If he took to the chase, the entire court, in hunting-green, took to its heels, and every housekeeper in the land shut her door on him without remorse. Thus he became, in fact, Jack Frost, just as a sailor becomes Jack Tar, a handy fellow, Jack-at-all-trades.

In the mean while the kingdom was in arms; a famine threatened. The monarch himself was growing gray, and such an heir! The people rose in hungry herds, and demanded that the Prince should be exiled and disinherited.

So the King, being, as I said, a dreadful despot, banished Jack Frost.

“May I never return?” asked the wretched Prince.

“Well,” deliberated the Monarch, “perhaps—when the crops are all in, the grapes pressed, the foliage ripened—you may come—and spend—the holidays.”

Jack took his leave, and, journeying towards the pole, founded for himself a mighty empire of Frost, of bergs and fields of glittering ice. But now and again he returns a little unseasonably. Just when the peaches promise finely, when the grapes grow tempting, when farmers calculate their crops and their incomes, he pays a flying visit, and destroys both hopes and harvests. The holidays bring him, without fail, ready for mischief and malice prepense; he nips the children going out to buy New Year’s gifts; he tingles their toes on Christmas mornings when they troop, barefooted, across the nursery floor for the plump stockings showing dimly in the dawning light against the chimney-piece; he twinges the poulterer’s ears till this worthy is glad to give himself a Christmas-box; and, according to Mother Goose, he hangs a long icicle on the milkman’s nose.

While you are sound asleep he executes marvellous etchings on the window-pane, breaks the best china bowl with a tap, and pays up old scores by decking the naked trees with fine laces and fleeting gems.

Think of him travelling from the far Northland, and no one to give him welcome now that the King and his court have been a fable these many years. Yet there will always be a few who rejoice at his presence so long as he brings good coasting and freezes the pond to perfection. And this was how the fairy-folk made it even with the King.

Mary N. Prescott.


Such an odd name! but I will tell you now why every one called Alice so. When she was a tiny child, her mamma used to repeat to her many jingling rhymes, and one especially pleased Alice. I do not know the whole, but the closing line was “Coosie, coosie, coodlie coo.”

After she could repeat it herself, one might hear her sweet voice half the day singing “Coosie Coo,” as she gathered clover blossoms in the orchard, or rocked her doll to sleep; and she told those who asked her name that it was Coosie Coo. Gradually her friends adopted it for her pet name, and at six years of age she was seldom called by any other.

Coosie’s papa died when she was a baby, and, as her mamma was poor, Coosie had never known many pleasures which some children have every day of their lives. She could not dress finely, nor ride in a carriage when she went out, and she had no grandparents nor aunts to give her costly toys; but she was a sweet-tempered child, and felt much happier as she played with the battered old doll which her papa gave her, or set a tiny table with acorn cups and saucers, under the oak-tree, than many little girls with elegant wax dolls and china tea-sets, who are peevish and ungrateful.

Coosie and her sister Eveline, who was ten years the elder, did all they could to assist their mamma; but they earned so very little money that sometimes there were sad faces and anxious hearts in the little brown cottage.

One day it was decided that Evy should go to a distant city, and get employment in a factory, and thus earn money for her mother and sister.

Coosie was too young to understand much of the trouble that made her mother weep and saddened Evy’s sweet face; but she knew her darling sister was to go away, and that, if they had plenty of money, she need not leave them.

Where could money be got? Coosie went to consult Floy, her dolly, who usually helped her settle hard questions; but Floy, although so experienced, had no reply to make. Indeed, as Floy had lost her nose and one arm, and both her eyes had been removed by Coosie’s frequent washings, she might plead old age and infirmity as an excuse for not seeing into the subject.

Getting no answer from Floy, Coosie took her in her arms and sauntered down the lane, with her dog Trot following, to see if any wild roses yet bloomed by the old stone wall.

Old Rambler—a white horse pastured in the adjoining field—put his head over the wall and looked at the little girl; and she thought, “Dear me! if Rambler could speak, I think he could tell me where to get money, he travels to so many places with his rich master.” And she climbed upon the bank to give Rambler a handful of clover, for which he neighed his thanks, but she was no wiser for all that.

A few roses still brightened the lane, and gathering them, with some pretty grasses and pigeon-berries from the vines that overhung the wall, she sat down upon the grass to arrange them in the prettiest manner for her sister, who loved wild flowers. Sitting there, with Floy by her side, and Trot capering after the butterflies and barking for joy, her mind was still occupied with the sad thought of separation from Evy, and the remedy which she sought in vain.

Humble-bees buzzed about her flowers, and slender wasps stopped to sip their sweets; golden butterflies with brilliant eyes, and glorious brown ones with large black spots like velvet upon their wings, fluttered about her head,—mistaking her perhaps for a bright little rosebud; and a lovely striped snake curled round and round in a sunny spot by the wall, and ran his slender tongue in and out of his tiny head, hoping to catch a foolish insect.

Brown sparrows chirped long stories to her as they stood upon the wall; all about their family affairs, and their saucy neighbors, the robins, who lived in the apple-tree, while lazy crows, calling to her a friendly “Caw, caw!” sailed slowly over her head; and once a humming-bird, so bright that Coosie thought he must be a bit of rainbow, hovered a moment over her flowers, and darted his tiny bill at them.

“How happy they all are!” thought our little girl, “while I, who love them so well, am sad, and they cannot tell me what I so long to know.”

Soon dark clouds swept up the sky; the wind bowed the tall trees and swayed the elm-branches hither and thither; the birds and insects betook themselves to safe retreats, and all signs foretold a shower.

Coosie bethought herself of her new pets (and odd ones they were!)—Graybeard, a venerable-looking grasshopper which she had that morning captured, and placed with a beautiful caterpillar in a little pen built expressly for them. She did not fear getting wet, but she did not wish Graybeard and Muffy—the caterpillar—to suffer from exposure; so she ran quickly homeward, reaching the house in season to transfer her pets to a box before the first great drops fell heavily.

With flushed cheeks she stood in the doorway, her hand clasped in Evy’s, and watched the clouds chase each other across the sky, and wreathe into fantastic shapes of mountains, castles, and huge birds; then the lightning blazing with blinding glory across the heavens, followed by solemn thunder, that echoed and re-echoed from cloud mountains and castles, like the voice of God. Soon the rain fell more gently; then, ceasing entirely, the clouds drifted away, and the sun burst forth with glad, warm smiles for the dripping roses which bent their heads before the wind and beating rain, but lifted them again with answering smiles to the sun. The maple-leaves and the bright grass were as soft and fresh after their bath as though newly created; and insects came from their hiding-places to dance up and down in the soft air, glistening like jewels.

Suddenly Coosie clapped her hands, and cried, “Look, Evy, a rainbow! See, it touches the ground!” and indeed the glorious arch seemed to rest at one end upon a hill in the distance, called Tumble-down-Dick.

They looked at the rainbow until it faded quite away, and then Evy said, “I wish I could find the pot of gold.”

“What pot of gold?” asked Coosie, with widely opened eyes.

“Don’t you know,” said her sister, “that, if you could reach the end of the rainbow, you would find a pot of gold beneath it?”

“Well,” said Coosie, excitedly, “I saw just where the end touched. It was right on top of Tumble-down-Dick. Do you think we could get there to-night?”

“No, love,” replied her sister; “and we should have to dig so deep for the gold, I think we will not try.”

Coosie said no more, but, seating herself upon the doorstep, continued to think about the pot of gold, for she had resolved to go in search of it; but, fearing her sister would oppose her, she said nothing of her plan; and what a joy it would be to come home carrying that great pot of gold! for of course so large a bow would have a pot of large size. Concluding that she would not have time to go and return before sunset, she decided to go to bed with the sun, that she might awake in season to feed all her pets before starting the following morning.

Her mind was so full of joyful thoughts that she could not fall asleep at once, and her dreams were of pots of gold, fairies, and all pleasant things.

Rising with the sun, she carried milk to the kittens, and flowers and green leaves to Graybeard and Muffy.

Soon after breakfast, Coosie asked leave to spend the day in the fields, as she often did; and, after obtaining permission, she put some slices of buttered bread and a cup to drink from into a small basket, and taking also a small shovel with which to dig, if the pot should not, as she hoped, be sitting upon the ground, she started upon her journey.

At first she went down the lane, but soon turned into the fields, climbing fences and jumping over brooks with a light heart, often laughing aloud for joy as she fancied how pleased her mamma and Evy would look to see the treasure, and how they would live happily ever after, like the story-book people. “One thing is certain,” thought Coosie, “we will live in a marble house, and mamma shall eat cake all the time, and Evy shall wear a white silk dress and a diamond comb.”

After a time, she turned into the road that led to the mountain. Trot leaped about her, overjoyed at the prospect of a long ramble with his little mistress.

Occasionally she met a farmer with a load of hay or other farm produce, and they all looked with surprise at the little child with her shovel. She felt so afraid some one would question and detain her, that she walked quickly, often running, until she was compelled by heat and fatigue to rest awhile in the shade of a great elm in one of the fields. When she reached the spot, she heard a brook babbling near, and she hurried to fill her cup with water, and then returned to the tree, and sat in the shade, and ate her lunch. When the last crumbs were thrown to a little distance, that some stray bird might chance to find them, she still felt so very tired that she thought she would lay her head for a few moments upon a soft, mossy hillock at the foot of the elm, and listen for a few moments to the twittering birds that fed their young above her head, and swung upon the hanging branches. The rippling waters of the brook sounded so pleasant as she lay and listened to the lulling murmur, that unconsciously her eyes closed and the little adventurer fell asleep.

Trot kept faithful watch by her side, and when she awoke, after a long and refreshing slumber, she could not at first think why she was lying under a tree. She soon was quite awake, and started up, vexed to find she had lost so much time in sleep; for she saw with dismay that the shadows lay long and aslant upon the grass, and the sun hung low on the distant western hills. Coosie could hardly keep the tears from falling when she thought of her stupidity in falling asleep. At first she had half a mind to go home, and try again on the morrow; for she feared she might not get to the top of the mountain before dark, it still seemed so far away; but she felt so afraid some one else would in that case get the gold, that she jumped over the wall and continued her walk. But she was foot-sore and stiff, and found it hard work to feel much enthusiasm about anything. “I think,” said Coosie to herself, “I had best turn a few somersaults on the grass, and get back the happy,”—this was a peculiar plan of hers for driving away ill-natured feelings, but her recipe proved a failure in this instance, and she went on with lagging steps, a very sober little girl.

Slowly the sun sank behind the hills, the evening star gleamed brightly in the sky, and seemed, as it twinkled, to nod encouragingly to the wanderer, and soon the moon arose shedding her friendly light over the hills and valleys, and revealing plainly the path Coosie was to take; but the child found herself yet a long way from Tumble-down-Dick, and too much exhausted to return home. For a long time she had met no person, and now quite worn with fatigue and disappointment, and a little alarmed by the solemn stillness that prevailed now that the birds and insects had gone to sleep, she sat down upon a stone and burst into tears. She thought of the story in the “Young Reader” of the poor squirrel, who, starting out to see the world, found, when he reached the top of the hill from whence he expected to behold it spread out before him, that hills still higher than the ones he had climbed lay before him, and, abandoning his journey, was pursued and caught by a kite on his way home.

“I am like the squirrel,” thought Coosie; “and there may be bears in these woods who will eat me up.”

Poor Trot was greatly disturbed by Coosie’s sobs, and tried by barking and jumping to attract her attention. His caresses comforted her, and she patted his head, as she said, “I am not alone, darling Trot, while I have you, and I do hope God will send an angel to take care of us. We must sleep here, I suppose.”

After drying her eyes, she selected a large tree in a grove by the roadside, and prepared to lie down at its foot. First seating herself upon the grass, she softly sang a hymn of praise to God, and then, kneeling, prayed him to protect her, and not let her mamma and sister feel troubled.

It chanced that, as Coosie entered the grove, a traveller on horseback was ascending the hill upon whose top the woods grew; and as the way was steep his horse walked slowly, and made but little noise.

The traveller was an old gentleman with gray hair and a pleasant face, which seemed by the moonlight sad and thoughtful. He had wandered during many years in foreign lands, and had lately come to his birthplace to find his brothers and sisters all dead, and the friends of his childhood gone from his early home; so he was without any dear friend to welcome him.

He had become a rich man years before, but he thought, as his horse toiled up the hill, how very poor his life was with all his wealth, and that, when he should die, no one would sorrow, when suddenly he heard a child singing. Surprised, for he knew there was no house for a long distance, he dismounted at the top of the hill, and left his horse to rest, while he walked toward the singer.

He listened, and was yet more astonished to hear a child’s voice repeat these words: “God, my dear Father, will you please send a strong angel to keep the bears from eating me up; and please tell him to take good care of Trot and me, and take care of my mamma and sister; and O, do let the angel stop in the morning and help me find a pot of gold! I know you will, because you love little children, and I love you. Amen.”

The gentleman, who had smiled at the first of her childish prayer, felt the tears come in his eyes on hearing her expressions of faith in God’s love; and when she had ended, he walked in among the trees to search for her.

Trot heard his footsteps, and barked angrily, while Coosie, who had laid her head upon him for a pillow, started up, exclaiming, “Who is it? Is it the angel?”

“No, my child, but a friend who will take care of you,” said the gentleman. He lifted Coosie in his arms as he spoke, and carried her to his horse, where he placed her before him upon the saddle, and asked, as they rode along, “My dear child, what are you doing in this lonely wood so late at night? and why are you so far from home?”

Coosie looked in his face for a moment, and, reading there nothing but kindness, she drew a sigh, as though relieved to have found a protector, and simply said, “I came for a pot of gold, sir. I came away from home this morning, and I had not time to find it to-night, so I was going to sleep in the wood, and I am afraid mamma will feel frightened because I do not go home.”

“And where is the pot of gold?” asked her friend.

“On top of Tumble-down-Dick, sir, under the rainbow; and O, you won’t tell, will you? for I must get it, or my darling Evy will have to go away from us and work very hard.”

The gentleman kissed her, and telling her that perhaps he could help her on the morrow, but that now he must take her home, he rode rapidly onward.

They were not long in reaching the cottage, where they found people just starting to seek the lost child, and her friends, who had looked in vain for her in her usual play-places, in great trouble. Words would fail to describe their joy at seeing her, and their astonishment at the story of her wanderings and her belief in the idle tale of a pot of gold beneath the bow.

Coosie was far too weary to remember Graybeard and Muffy, but she paid them an early visit next morning, when she found them dead, and, as the food she provided was untouched, it is probable they starved to death. She buried them under a rose-bush, and placed a stone to mark the grave, upon which she hung a tiny garland of flowers every day for a week, and then, as children are apt to do, she forgot them in some new interest.

The gentleman kept his promise about the pot of gold, although not in the manner Coosie expected. He married Coosie’s mamma, and took as kind care of Coosie and her sister as though they had been his own children, so that Evy had no need to leave her home, and Coosie concluded that the gold served as good a purpose as though found under a rainbow.

I should like to tell you of the swift-winged years that bore our little heroine swiftly from childhood to maidenhood, and ripened her early promise into a fulness of love and beauty; how she grew to be a lovely and beloved woman, a sunbeam of joy to all about her,—but I can only hint at these things.

While Coosie yet lingered in the charming borders of childhood, the dear Evy, for whose sake she sought the treasure, journeyed to a brighter world, and left her sisterless. Slowly but surely she faded away, and one lovely spring-time, while the winds were sweet with the breath of violets and anemones,—while the fields and meadows were yet ablaze with dandelions and buttercups, and the gardens began to blush with opening roses,—while the birds warbled love-notes among the flickering leaves, and the whole earth rejoiced in its fresh life, Evy gave her willing hands to the waiting angels, and was borne gently across the dark river, upon whose farther shore is the land of endless life.

Coosie’s new papa had many pet names for her, but the one by which he oftenest called her was Rainbow; and often when they looked together at the glorious bow, he would ask her if she was ready to start with her shovel for Tumble-down-Dick, and she would reply that she met her Tumble-down-Dick by the way. And no one need laugh at her, as she did get the gold, and she got it because of the rainbow.




Does she read of a little bird that flew

Out, far out, o’er the waters blue,

To be the pet of a good ship’s crew,

    And to eat from a sailor’s hand,

On board of a ship that sailed away,—

Sailed and sailed for many a day;

And whither she sailed no tongue can say,

    But she came no more to land?



Or does she read of a rose that fell

From its mother stem in a forest dell,

And lit on a tiny streamlet’s swell,

    And floated away with its tide,—

On and on in shadow and sun,

On till the streamlet’s course was run,

On till the wandering deep was won,

    Where it shrunk, and withered, and died?



Or does she read of a May-day cloud,

When skies were brilliant and winds were loud,

White and fleecy, and slow and proud,

    As it sailed through the upper air,—

Stately as thought, and light as glee,

And bright as the sun, and grand as the sea,

But never, ah, never again to be

    Thus noble and gentle and fair?



Or does she read of a snow-flake light,

That floated down through a moonless night,

Still, and peaceful, and cold, and white,

    To its rest on a sleeping stone,—

Where, many a brother and sister nigh,

Weeping sadly to see it die,

When the sun came back to the noonday sky,

    It wasted without a moan?



But, whatsoever she reads, it ’is sure

That bird, rose, cloud, and snow-flake pure

Are types of beauty that cannot endure,

    And are therefore types of this,—

Childhood sweet, in the morn of its days,

Innocence, dreaming in quiet ways,

Purity, living its hymn of praise

    For youth’s unspeakable bliss.



O, murmur on, sweet childish voice!

Whatever your story, she loves the choice,

Who listens, and feels her heart rejoice.

    May the brightest of fates be yours!

In loveliness grow, and in goodness too;

Be gentle in all you say and do;

And the emblem live, forever true,

    Of the beauty that endures!

William Winter.


We went on, through two or three suburban towns; through reaches of wood where the road lay between the villages; along the edges of lonely swamps, sometimes, where we heard the cry of strange birds, or the croak of great frogs sitting half in, half out of the water, on mossy stones or stumps, and could see the tall, stately cat-o’-nine-tails standing in still ranks, with their close-fitting brown velvet uniform jackets, always prim and orderly, and drawn up in the same array, as if they had stood there from year to year, though no one might pass by for days or weeks together to see. I always had peculiar fancies about these plants. They were not flowers,—they had no leaves,—they were different from any other growing thing. I always saw them on these summer journeys, and never at any other time. They seemed to wait, like elfin sentinels, by the wayside, or to stand spellbound, like enchanted things, in motionless groups, away back among green shadows.

Then there were roadside brooks that we drove through to wet the wheels and cool the horses’ feet, and sometimes to let down their heads for a long, delicious drink. We had our mugs, too, in the carriage pockets, and it was great pleasure to get out and dip up from among the shining pebbles the cool running water that came away down from the far hills, bringing with it the sweet flavor of the rocks and moss, and the purity that only open streams, trickling along in the fresh air, under sunshine and forest-shadow, can ever have.

Then I unpacked some nice parcel, and handed round to father and mother and Jamie the cakes that tasted so good after our ride of hours since the early and half-eaten breakfast. And then we began to “take sides and guess houses,”—a travellers’ game invented by ourselves, that whiled away a good piece of the long stretch of time and way between morning and noon.

We made our guesses as we wound along a wild and solitary piece of road where no house was visible; yet that, being a road, we knew must lead, at last, among habitations.

“I guess red,” would be the first cry, from Jamie or me, eager to claim the color that in these regions gave the broadest chance.

“Well, I guess yellow,” would be the reply, taking the alternative. “What do you guess, mother?”

“O, I don’t know,—black, perhaps.” Black stood with us for the weather-beaten tint of the many buildings that had never known the touch of paint at all.

And once in a while father would say, decidedly, “I guess white.”

Then there would be great haste between us to take his side, which we had good reason to suspect the strongest; and presently, out of the four nominated colors, we settled down to two parties only, each standing by its own,—the canvass greatly affected by the apparent comparative reliance of individuals upon their separate conjectures, which varied according as they rested more on memory or chance.

Then what an eager watching for the first glimpse, at a turn in the road, of some distant farm-house, or the showing of its chimney among the trees! And what glee and triumph for two of us, if a color we had chosen turned out to be the right! Sometimes, of course, we were all wrong; but this only proved that father and mother didn’t always know of a surety what should come next, and gave fresh zest of uncertainty to future ventures.

We had drawn upon each of these resources successively, and we had been four hours upon the road, when Jamie said, “I think, father, it’s all used up, now, but the driving.” And father, smiling, gave the reins into his hands.

We were upon a long, even reach of turnpike road, that lay between level fields of grass and corn. It was a pretty thing to see Jamie, in his bright new suit and eagle buttons, sitting so upright and firm and manly, with the broad reins in his little hands, and such a look of glad daring in his handsome face, as his blue eyes looked straight forward, with a glow of light in them, at the great free-stepping horses, and the wind blew back the brown curls and waves of his hair and the blue ribbon of his hat. It was my pleasure to watch him then; I never thought that my resources were used up. Besides, if he had the driving, I had always Dolly; and this was a pleasure boys knew nothing about.

“Shall we have dinner at Nishaway?” asked Jamie, as father resumed the reins at the brow of a long hill, at last.

“Yes, at Nutt’s tavern,” said father, with an anticipation of good cheer in his tone. Jamie just opened and shut his lips in a satisfied way. Nutt’s tavern was an enjoyment of itself.

There were no great, clattering hotels then, with fusty, pinchbeck style and vulgar hurry; we stopped at quiet, roomy country inns, with broad, clean, homely porticos, and smooth slopes of turf rolling away from these to the roadside over which we came up to the door, under the swinging signboard.

Nutt’s tavern was a fair and pleasant specimen of such. We arrived there to-day, as usual, at a little past noon; and the easy rumble of our city equipage brought “Cap’n Nutt” himself to the entrance, to make us welcome.

“Ben thinkin’ ’twas time to expect you, Squire, for a week back.” All along the road, every year, people expected the “Squire,” from the Fourth of July “out,” as our Irish brethren say.

There was a great cackling in the farm-yard, for the hens were proclaiming their own “well done” for the day, and the bountiful sweetness of the hay smell came from the great barn that stretched out at right angles from the tavern at a few paces’ distance. A couple of hostlers had loosened our horses’ traces, and looped up the harnesses, while we were alighting and looking round; and in two minutes Jamie was running on before father to the barn to see them cared for, and mother and I had gone into the little low-ceiled, shaded best parlor, where the bright brasses and asparagus in the wide brick fireplace and the striped rag-carpet on the floor looked just as they had done last year, and every year since I could remember Nutt’s.

Here mother laid aside her high bonnet, and rolled her curls smoothly over her fingers by the little tilted glass against the wall that had a gay lady on a green bank painted at the top, and a gilt eagle with two chains of bright balls festooning from his beak to the corners of the frame above. My bonnet and coat were quickly off also; and then we walked out together along the wide hall that opened through the house, and led upon a great, square, sloping platform at the back. Here we found Mrs. Nutt, round and jolly and tidy, and smiling at us with that especially benignant smile of an old lady innocent of teeth, and gone back, so, to a certain infantile simplicity and sweetness of expression.

It would be difficult to describe our country dinner; impossible to convey an idea of our relish for it. There were the eggs the hens had just been cackling about; there was broiled chicken, deliciously tender, and hearty beefsteak, the least bit tough. There was apple-pie and mince-pie and custard-pie, and cheese, and cider, and plum-cake, and smoking tea, and yellow cream, and brown bread as good as cake, and butter that looked like gold and smelt like a nosegay; and there was a great plate—without which a country tavern table is never set—of doughnuts. And we ate what we liked best, and all we wanted; for all was light and sweet and fresh, and daintily cooked by Mrs. Nutt’s own hands; and we were travelling, and nothing ever hurt us on a journey.

After dinner, mother went up stairs, and had a little nap; and Jamie and I went all over the yards and barns, and made acquaintance with a dog that would roll over, and beg, and speak, and with a great, beautiful brood of yellow ducks which had an old hen for a step-mother; and we drove the peacock round, and tried to make him spread his tail, which no peacock that I ever saw would ever do for me until I was old enough to have outgrown my eagerness for its fabulous glories. And Captain Nutt tried to hunt up his famous rooster, of a new breed, that he said had been out of sight for some days, and show him to father; and when Moses, the hostler, finally went down a trap-door under the barn, and routed him out with a great scurry, we had such a laugh as never was! It was a good while before he would come at all; and then such a poor, pitiful, sneaking creature, with his comb hanging, and his tail-feathers draggled and broken and half pulled out, and his skin picked bare in spots, as showed himself under protest, and made an instant rush across the corner of the yard, and hid himself under a pile of boards, you wouldn’t believe!

“He’s sheddin’ his feathers,” said Captain Nutt, almost as much mortified in his turn. “I didn’t know he’d got to look so bad. The hens must have been a peckin’ of him too; and I guess that air rampageous old red rooster of Danforth’s has ben over, an’ hed a fight. But it’s a famous breed, for all that.”

“A bran-new breed, squire,” said Moses to my father, with a twinkle of fun. “All meat and no feathers.”

Captain Nutt and father had a hearty laugh then, and went off together to look at the oxen.

We could have stayed at Nutt’s tavern a whole week happily, but in a couple of hours from our arrival the horses were put to again and driven round; and mother and I had on our bonnets, and Jamie was on the front seat, and we all got in, and Mrs. Nutt smiled, and the Captain bowed, and Moses went off with a pleased face and his hand in his pocket, and we rolled away again over the turf and into the high-road, as Jamie said, to “renew our journey.”

This feeling of freshness and renewal, and of more pleasantness farther on, is the great charm of a journey, as it is of our life.

It had been nice to get out of the carriage, and rest ourselves, and run about, and eat a good dinner; it was nicer yet to set off anew, with the great green hills rising up before us, among which lay our road; the horses feeling, like ourselves, quite ready and glad to go on,—with other villages and people to see, other brooks to water at, and a tea-table as bountiful in its way as the dinner to be ready for us when we were hungry again, somewhere, we did not know yet where, perhaps at the tavern in Anniton; perhaps, as last year, at the “House Beautiful.”

“Mayn’t we stop at the House Beautiful?” I begged, when we had travelled three hours more, and the sun began to slide down the west.

Now at the House Beautiful we had found ourselves accidentally the year before, when we had been delayed by the casting of a horse’s shoe, and it had grown too late to reach Anniton by tea-time. It had opened its doors to us while we waited, and we had been made welcome, and had stayed all night, and had seen wonderful things, and I had given a name out of my dear Pilgrim’s Progress to the house of our entertainment.

Two maiden ladies lived there; their grandfather had kept it as a tavern before Anniton became the stage stopping-place. It was a great rambling mansion, with a pole before the door, from which the sign had long been taken down; and on this, now, a beautiful wren-house perched itself instead, and woodbine climbed up, and hung long wreaths and streamers about it to the very top.

“Suppose we do stop at the House Beautiful,” said my mother, “and then keep on to Anniton to spend the night?”

“O, do, father! I want to see if Adam and Eve have fell down yet.”

“Or the apples.”

“Or a bird; or only just a few of the little red berries.”

All this we said in one breath.

“I think that great accident happened, once for all, a good many thousand years ago,” said my father. “But you should say ‘fallen,’ not ‘fell.’ ”

“Well, fallen. O, I do hope they have!”

“I’m afraid that’s a little touch of the old coveting serpent,” said mother.

We were conscious of no harm, Jamie and I; and I don’t think mother meant that we were very wicked, after all.

“Miss Perie was real good,—wasn’t she?” said Jamie.

“And Miss Persie too,” quoth I.

“It’ll be prime to go there again!” That is what boys said, then, to express completeness of pleasure. Now it would be “jolly” or “bully.” There are fashions of slang, as of everything else.

“You’ll stop,—won’t you, father?”

“Perhaps we will,” said my father; and this decision led to a bit of an adventure, to close this day, which had begun, also, with something very near one. This is just why I have chosen it to tell you of.

It was half past five when we drove up in front of “Radd’s.” It was so the country people spoke, to this day, of what had been, long ago, Radd’s Tavern.

The ladies Radd, Miss Experience and Miss Perseverance, came to the door. Miss Perie was altogether the “old lady” in her style; wearing a cap and a false front of little curls, with a band of black velvet ambushed among them, hiding its edge, and holding it on. Miss Persie, some years younger, kept to her own natural front of grayish locks, frisée, and wore a great many bows and notched ends of brown satin ribbon about her comb, where my mother had the bows and bands of her beautiful hair. But they had placid and lovely faces, both of them; and there was genial, honest gladness of welcome in them now, as they met us at the steps of the carriage, and hastened us in.

“Now, this is real clever of you,” said Miss Perie. “I should have took it hard if you had drove by without stopping.”

“They wouldn’t have thought of doing that, Sister Perie,” said Miss Persie, reproachful of the admission of possibility. She had me by the hand, leading me down the long hall to the sitting-room; and with the words she suddenly picked me up by the arms, and kissed me.

“We wanted to see Adam and Eve,” said I, without a bit of concealing tact.

“Hasn’t it tumbled down yet?” cried Jamie, eagerly.

“No,” said Miss Persie, laughing; “but when it does—”

“I’m to have Adam and the horse,” said Jamie.

“And I’m to have Eve and the barberry-bush,” said I.

They took us into the sitting-room, which was oak-panelled, and had an old-fashioned square carpet with a border on the floor, of which it covered only the middle, and beyond it the dark oak boards shone like a rich framework. And the wonderful fireplace was there; set with painted tiles; wide and open, to hold a generous blaze in winter; but decked now with a summer garniture such as I never beheld elsewhere. In the first place, upon the deep brick hearth had been placed garden earth, heaped and moulded into undulations of mound and hollow,—I might say, almost, hill and dale; on this, again, a covering of bright green moss, carefully fitted and kept fresh with water; bits of pine branch and little trails of winterberry vine diversifying it; and a china shepherdess with her dog, and a numerous flock of milk-white sheep, grouped about among it all.

We sat right down before it, Jamie and I, and would have found enough in it to amuse us for hours, if presently the thought of Adam and Eve had not recurred. Miss Perie said she would take us up to see it while Miss Persie should lay the table and put the kettle on for tea. Their tea, good souls, had been over and cleared away by five.

Then we went, well pleased, up the broad staircase of shallow steps, and trotted after Miss Perie along the gallery above. At the far end she opened a door into a kind of state-chamber, and went in to roll up the paper shades, and set open a blind, while Jamie and I stood just within the entrance, trying to accustom our eyes to the dimness of the shut-up room. Then suddenly it shone upon us, as the light was let in. Over the mantel, in a great frame or case, projecting six or seven inches and glassed in front, and occupying the whole width and half the height of the chimney,—the glory of the old mansion,—Adam and Eve in waxwork, done by Miss Perie and Miss Persie at a boarding-school forty years before.

In truth, it was a marvel. The whole right of the scene was occupied by forest trees and interlacing vines, made of wax foliage, fashioned bit by bit, and stuck in according to the taste of the artists. Among these, astonishing birds in rare companionships, a robin-redbreast and a poll-parrot on the same branch; yellow-birds and bluebirds and gorgeous nondescripts; fruits, also, as curiously grouped; crimson apples and pink peaches, purple grapes and golden oranges. Then, below, and scattered throughout the whole, the animals; sheep in abundance; cows; goats,—much like the sheep, with the addition of horns; hens and chickens; a cat, a dog, a lion, and a leopard; and a green snake lying in the grass. Close by Adam, a red-brown horse, with enormous tail and mane. But, above all, there were Adam and Eve! Two little wax figures, like dolls! Eve’s light, flossy hair—of silk, or real, I don’t know which—hanging in waves about her, nearly enveloping her; her face turned toward us and away from Adam, who stood beyond, slightly turned away also: perhaps there had been already a little paradisiacal tiff. At Eve’s feet, the barberry-bush with its glowing pendules of scarlet berries; this was what I coveted.

We stood in breathless delight and awe before it; it was minutes before we spoke. Then Jamie said, timidly, “I wonder if it ever will tumble down!”

“Perhaps if we were to jump—” whispered I.

“That wouldn’t be fair!” said the boy, with a proud, indignant honor in his tone. I shrunk back, abashed.

We looked, and looked, and drew long breaths of relief now and then; and pretty soon Miss Perie said, “Now we will go and see the peacock.”

So she led us, down three steps, into a narrow passage diverging from the first, and along this till we came to a tiny door in an angle of the wall,—a bit of a door, just wide enough to pass through, and so low that Miss Perie had to stoop. This led upon a flight of ten narrow steps, which brought us up into a little railed balcony with a recessed alcove at the back, and looking down in front into a long, empty hall,—the ball-room of the old inn. This that we were in was the musicians’ gallery. Back in the alcove stood what we came to see,—a magnificent stuffed peacock, with very full and perfect tail at its utmost spread. No live bird ever did as much for me, as I said before; and I doubt if any live bird ever had such a tail to spread, which accounts for it.

It was like a dream or a fairy story,—this queer old house with its curious things, and its many rooms, its steps up and steps down, and unexpected doors, and little galleries and “cubbies.” We believed that there were scores of wonders within its walls yet unrevealed. But we were satisfied with Adam and Eve and the peacock. Then we went down, and had a race in the great, empty ball-room. Something of the old merriment that had clung to its walls when grandmothers were young touched and inspired us, and we frolicked up and down in pure glee of space and freedom, till we heard the tinkle of a bell at the foot of the great stairs.

“That’s tea,” said Miss Perie; and we went down.

It was tea, and a great many things beside. Brown bread and white bread, and butter, raspberries and cream, plum-cake, and gingerbread, and doughnuts.

It was after seven when we had finished, and were bidding Miss Perie and Miss Persie good by. We had eight miles to go to Anniton; and in the west, where we had trusted to the long twilight and the young moon, there was a dark cloud that rolled itself into great, billowy edges, and kept swelling up the sky. We had had candles in the sitting-room, which was shaded by thick lilac-bushes close to the windows, and we had not guessed at this.

“O James!” cried my mother, “look there!”

“You’d better stay all night,” said Miss Perie.

“O no, we’re obliged to you,” said my father. “It will go round, quite likely. We had better keep on.”

Mother looked at him again, and hesitated, before she put her foot on the carriage-step. She never said so before us, but we knew quite well that she was afraid of thunder.

“It is only a wind-cloud, I think,” said father.

“You will stop if it comes on to—storm?” she said, still hesitating.

“O yes, we’ll get under cover somewhere. It won’t amount to much.”

And so we started. But before we crossed the Moonick bridge, and came into the woods that lay beyond, a little quivering thread of lightning ran down the black curtain of cloud, a few drops fell from its upper fringe, and our adventure began. There was a mile of woods before we should come out into the open road, and as much more distance to the nearest dwellings. The wind freshened, and the black cloud surged up higher,—faster. Father urged on his horses, and mother leaned back in her corner, and never spoke a word. In the heart of the wood we were in complete darkness. Father gave the horses their heads, and they kept the road. I could hear mother’s quick breath, and feel a tremble of her hand as she held mine. Suddenly, on before us, straight down across the opening between the trees, shot a bolt of pale, intense purple fire: and crashing, rolling, splitting, hissing, all in one mingled sound, came the thunder-burst. The horses paused, half reared, and then sprang on; but my father held them firmly by the curb, and they quieted again,—quieted to a safe, but very rapid trot, which in a few hushed, fearful minutes brought us out into comparative light. Then the rain came down in great drops. Father drew up the boot, which he had unbuckled when the first sprinkle fell. Mother wrapped a shawl around me, and did not let me go when she had done it, but held me tight in her arms.

“Jamie had better come back here,” she said, speaking for the first time, with something very strange in her voice. Father knew what it meant.

“There’s a little farm-house along here somewhere, in the edge of Rundell; we can reach it in a few minutes, and perhaps they’ll take us in.”

Jamie climbed in over the back of the front seat, and we sat huddled together,—all three. There came no more such terrific bursts, but the lightning flashed in broad sheets at quickening intervals, and the thunder rolled in almost continuous accompaniment. We could see our road quite plainly now.

“Jacobs told me the truth in recommending these horses,” said my father, in a cheery way, drawing the boot-leather higher toward his shoulders. “They will stand almost anything.”

And then we said nothing more, but watched with dazzled eyes the flashes, and heard the rain-streams pour like shot upon the carriage-roof. Ten minutes of this glare and dash and silence brought us to a little long, low, red house on a grass slope by the roadside. Father turned the horses right up to the door, and gave one stroke with his whip-handle upon it. A woman opened it,—her husband and three children following her, and looking from behind to see who came.

“Can you—” began my father.

“Land’s sake, yes!” cried the woman. “Come right along in. Jeb, open the kerridge door, and then help round with the hosses to the barn. Enoch, fetch the lantern!”

The oldest boy went to obey; and the farmer opened the door and let down the steps. I jumped right into his arms. Then came mother, very pale, and quite exhausted. As for Jamie, he had scrambled over the front seat again, to come out from his proper place like a man.

We had never been in a house like this before. It was a contrast to the House Beautiful, yet it had its charms. Jamie said it was prime fun. They wanted to set a tea-table for us, but we assured them we had had our tea an hour before, and could not eat. But the farmer would bring up a pitcher of strong cider, and his wife produced a plate of the inevitable doughnuts. Just to gratify them, we tasted; and then we children begged to be put to bed, partly from real weariness, partly because we were impatient for the fun of it.

“Anything will do; a shake-down in the same room with us,” said father.

“O, there’s plenty of room,” replied the hostess, in the pride of her hospitality. “The little folks can have the eave-garrets, and our boys can go into the shed chamber. Ruthie can come down and sleep in the cot.”

Mother let her arrange it in her own way; and presently, to our great delight, we were ushered up a broad, bare stairway of clean unpainted boards, into the open middle space under the house-roof. On each side were the “eave-garrets,”—two nice little tidy bedrooms made up fresh for us with coarse, but very white, sheets and pillow-beers, as the good woman called them.

There was a savory smell of thyme and lavender and pennyroyal and all sorts of herbs, drying in the open room, mingled with the odor of the clean rough boards and rafters also, that had baked under the summer suns for years and years.

Mother tucked us in, and heard us say our prayers; and then went down to her own room, which was only just at the foot of the broad, short stairway. She left her door open, and we all seemed close together. Jamie and I talked across for a long time about what there might be in the open garret that lay between us, and how far it went, and where it led to. We made up quite a story about it, in the middle of which, at last, we fell asleep.

Well—that was our adventure. We thought it quite a considerable one. The morning sun came up grand and glorious, and shone into the great garret in little slender lines of light, here and there, between the boards and rafters. And it was very still, after the rain-music to which we had slept and dreamed. We wondered if father and mother and the horses were up. Very soon we were down stairs, looking out at the open door upon the green slope, where every blade was strung with shining drops. There were ducks and chickens about, and the horses were being curried at the barn door. There was a breakfast of hot cakes, and maple syrup, and fried pork and eggs, and potatoes, and doughnuts; and by seven o’clock, after many thanks and “welcomes,” we were on our way. At twelve, coming to the top of a hill, just at the end of our journey, we spied grandpa’s old chaise turning in to the green lane at the bottom; and as he got out at the barn, our horses trotted up to the door. So we got safely, at last, to Ridgeley. But the time we had at Ridgeley would be a story of itself.

It occurs to me just to tell you this before I finish. Years afterward, when we were man and woman, and Jamie and his wife and little child were at the old home in V—— Street to spend Christmas, and I was toasting Baby Susie’s feet before the fire, and telling her “this little pig and that little pig,” there came a great ring at the door, such as express-men and telegraph-boys and people after the doctor only give, and presently word was brought up to us of something that had come “in a big box.” I rolled all the little pigs up in Susie’s crimson flannel nightgown, and popped her into nurse’s lap, and Jamie and Mrs. Jamie and I ran down to see.

A great case of boards had come by railroad, with this curious address:—

To the children of James Thornell, Esq.

V—— Street.


Inside the lid was a letter, explaining. It was a bequest to Jamie and me.

Miss Perie and Miss Persie were dead, and this was Adam and Eve.

Author of “Leslie Goldthwaite.”


      “Come, come, come,

      I am Spring;—

      Fair and blue

Violets I bring to you;

      April showers,

      Pink May-flowers

    Wet with crystal dew;

Bursting from the brown earth’s heart,

How the tender grass-blades start;

      Twittering birds

      Warble words

    To the gurgling brooks.”


      “Come, come, come,”

      Summer sings,—

      “White and red

Roses twine about my head;

      In the sun

      Wild bees hum,

    While I softly tread;

Slowly through the dreamy day

To and fro the lilies sway,

      Laurels bright

      Fade to white

    On the mountain’s slope.”


      “Come, come, come,”

      Autumn speeds;

      “Berries bright

Flush the russet leaves with light;

      Wealth untold,

      Sheaves of gold,

    Ripen in my sight;

Clear and cool the mountain breeze

Fans to flame the maple-trees.

      Asters blaze

      Purple rays

    From their glowing hearts.”


      “Come, come, come,”

      Winter speaks;

      “I am here.

See the diamonds cold and clear,

      Flashing bright

      In the light,

    Glittering far and near.

Fluttering falls my downy dress,

Tenderly the earth to press,

      Soft and close

      Wrap the snows,

    Safe to guard from harm.”

Perle Ley.

The Frost Giants.

Do you believe in giants? No, do you say? Well, listen to my story, which is a really true one, and then answer my question.

Many hundreds of years ago, certain people who lived in the North, and were therefore called Northmen, had a strange idea of the form and situation of the earth; they thought it was a flat circular piece of land surrounded by a great ocean, and that this ocean was again surrounded by a wall of snow-covered mountains, where lived the race of Frost Giants.

I have seen a pretty picture of this world of theirs with a lovely rainbow bridge arching up over the sea to the earth, and a great coiled serpent, holding his tail in his mouth, lying in mid-ocean like a ring around the land. Perhaps you will some day read about it all, but at present we have only to do with the Frost Giants; for I want to tell you that, although no one now thinks of believing about the serpent, or the flat earth, or the rainbow bridge, yet the Frost Giants still live, and their home is really among the mountains.

You may call them by what name you like, and we may all know certainly that they are not what the old Northmen believed them to be, but are God’s workmen, a part of Nature’s family, employed to work in the great garden of the world; but whenever we look at their work, we cannot fail to admit that to do it needed a giant’s strength, and so they deserve their title.

Have you sometimes seen great boulder stones, as big as a small house, that stand alone by themselves in some field or on some sea-shore where no other rocks are near? Well, the Frost Giants carried these boulders about, and dropped them down miles away from their homes, as you might take a pocketful of pebbles, and drop them along the road as you walk. Sometimes they roll great rocks down the mountain-sides, playing a desperate game of ball with each other. Sometimes they are sent to make a bridge over Niagara Falls, or to build a dam across a mountain torrent in an hour’s time. Now and then they have to rake off a steep mountain-side as you might a garden bed, and sometimes to bury a whole village so quickly that the poor inhabitants do not know what strange hand brought such sudden destruction upon them. Their deeds often seem to be cruel, and we cannot understand their meaning; but we shall some time know that the loving Father who sent them orders nothing for our hurt, but has always a loving purpose, though it may be hidden.

While I thus introduce to you the Frost Giants, let me also present their tiny brethren and sisters, the Frost Fairies, who always accompany them on their expeditions; and, however terrible is the deed that has to be done, these little people adorn it with the most lovely handiwork,—tiny flowers, and crystals, and veils of delicate lace-work; fringes, and spangles, and star-work, and carving, so that nothing is so hard and ugly and bare that they cannot beautify it.

Now that you are introduced, you will perhaps like to join a Frost party that started out to work, one day in the early spring of 1861, from their homes among the Olympic Mountains.

Nannie’s Run.

Can you imagine a beautiful oval-shaped bay, almost encircled by a long arm of sand stretching out from the main-land? In its deep water the largest vessels might ride at anchor, but at the time of my story a lonelier place could scarcely be found. Now and then Indian canoes glided over the water, and at long intervals some vessel from the great island away yonder to the north visited the little settlement upon the shore of the bay. It is indeed a very little settlement,—a few houses clustered together upon the sandy beach close to the blue water; behind the houses rises a cliff crowned with great fir-trees standing tall and dark in thick ranks, making a dense forest; and, beyond this forest, cold, snow-covered mountains lift their peaks against the sky,—a fitting home for the Frost Giants.

Three streams, straying from the far-away mountains, and fed by their melted snows and hidden springs, find their way through the forest, leap and tumble over the cliff, and, passing through the little settlement, reach the sea. The people who live here call these little streams runs, and one of them is Nannie’s Run.

And, now, who is Nannie? Why, Nannie is Nannie Dwight,—a little girl not yet five years old, who lives in the small square house standing under the cliff. She sits even now on the door-step, and her red dress looks like one gay flower brightening the sombre shadow of the firs. Her father and mother came here to live when she was but a baby, and before there was a single house built in the place; and it is out of compliment to her that one of the streams has been named Nannie’s Run.

While Nannie sits on the door-step, and looks out at the sea, watching for the vessel that will bring her father home from Victoria, we will go through the forest, and up the mountain-sides till we find the home of the Frost Giants, and see what they are about to-day.

They have been working all winter, but not quite so busily as now; for since yesterday they have cracked that big rock in two, and dug the great cave under the hill, and now they are gathered in council on the mountain-side that overlooks a dashing little stream. As we followed this stream from the sea-shore, we happen to know that it is no other than Nannie’s Run. And as we have already begun to care for the little girl, and therefore for her namesake, we are anxious to know what the giants think of doing. We have not long to wait before we shall see, and hear too; for a great creaking and cracking begins, and, while we gaze astonished, the mountain-side begins to slide, and presently, with a rush and a roar, dashes into the stream, and chokes it with a huge dam of earth and rocks and trees.

What will the stream do now? For a moment the water leaps into the air, all foam and sparkle, as if it would jump over the barrier and find its way to the sea at any rate; but this proves entirely unsuccessful, and at last, after whirling and tumbling, trying to creep under, trying to leap over, it settles itself quietly in its prison, as if to think about the matter.

Now, if you will stay and watch it day after day, you will see what good result will come from this waiting; for every hour more and more water is running to its aid, and, as its forces increase, we begin to feel sure that, although it can neither pass over nor under, it will some day be strong enough to break through the Frost Giant’s dam. And the day comes at last, when, summoning all its waters to the attack, it makes a breach in the great earth wall, and in a strong, grand column, as high as this room, marches away towards the sea.

As we have the wings of thought to travel with, let us hurry back to the settlement, and see where Nannie is now, and tell the people, if we only can, what a wall of water is marching down upon them; for you see the little channel that used to hold Nannie’s Run is not a quarter large enough for this torrent that was gathered so long behind the dam.

Peep in at the window, and see how Nannie stands at the kitchen table, cutting out little cakes from a bit of dough that her mother has given her; she is all absorbed in her play, and her mother has gone to look into the oven at the nicely browning loaves.

O, don’t we wish the house had been built up on the cliff among the fir-trees, safe above the reach of the water! But, alas! here it stands, just in the path that the torrent will take, and we have no power to tell of the danger that is approaching.

Mrs. Dwight turns from the oven, and, passing the window on her way to the table, suddenly sees the great wall of water only a few rods from her house. With one step she reaches the bedroom, seizes the blankets from the bed, wraps Nannie in them, and, with the little girl on one arm, grasps Frankie’s hand, and, telling Harry to run beside her, opens the door nearest the cliff, and almost flies up its steep side.

Five minutes afterwards, sitting breathless on the roots of an old tree, with her children safe beside her, she sees the whole shore covered with surging water, and the houses swept into the bay, tossing and drifting there like boats in a stormy sea. And this is what the Frost Giants did to Nannie’s Run.

The Indians.

What will Nannie do now? Here in our New England towns it would seem hard enough to have one’s house swept away before one’s eyes; but then you know you could take the next train of cars and go to your aunt in Boston, or your uncle in New York, to stay until a new house could be prepared for you. But here is Nannie hundreds and thousands of miles away from any such help; for there are not only no railroads to travel upon, but not even common roads, nor horses, nor wagons; nevertheless there are neighbors who will bring help.

You remember reading in your history, how, when our great-great-grandfathers came to this country to live, they found it occupied by Indians. The Indians are all gone from our part of the country now, but out in the far northwest, where Nannie lives, they still have their wigwams and canoes, still dress in blankets and wear feathers on their heads; and in that particular part of the country lives a tribe called the Flatheads. They take this odd name because of a fashion they have of binding a board upon the top of a child’s head, while he is yet very young, in order that he may grow up with a flattened head, which is considered a mark of beauty among these savages, just as small feet are so considered among the Chinese, you know.

The Flatheads are Nannie’s only neighbors, and perhaps you would consider them rather undesirable friends; but when I tell you how they came at once with blankets, and food, and all sorts of friendly offers of shelter and help, you will think that some white people might well take a lesson from them.

They had been in the habit of bringing venison and salmon to the settlement for sale; and when Nannie’s mother tells them that she has no longer any money to buy, they say, “O no, it is a potlach,” which in their language means a present.

Happily the warm weather is approaching, and a little girl who has lived out of doors so much does not find it unsafe to sleep in the hammock which Hunter has slung for her among the trees, or even on the ground, rolled in an Indian blanket; and when her shoes wear out, she can safely run barefooted in the woods or on the sand.

Before many weeks have passed, some of the tall fir-trees are cut down, and a new house is built, this time safely perched on top of the cliff; and, so far as I know, the Frost Giants have never succeeded in touching it.

Author of “The Seven Little Sisters.”


The hero of a hundred fights,

He bore his scars about of nights,

Reproaches to those luckless wights

That had not fought a hundred fights.


His great green eyes alarmed his foes

With splendor; curdling blood they froze

With their live emeralds, when he rose

And laid about him mighty blows.


O’er his war-harness, grim and dire,

A mantle worth a captain’s hire

He trailed; and in his dreadful ire

Its very fur struck sparks of fire.


He went on raids throughout the land;

He dared the cats on every hand

Up to the scratch. The craven band

Bit dust before his champion brand.


What rat but quaked when he drew near?

What caitiff mouse refused him cheer?

What clarion-call could give him fear

Who cut the comb of chanticleer?


His battle-cry’s resounding din

Taught music to the violin;

And, to wind-shaken harp-strings kin,

His purr the listening ear would win.


He was a knight without a flaw;

In him both court and camp one saw;

For, bowing to the fireside law,

What other ever gave his paw?


But, jealous of his wide renown,

Fate sent a monster thundering down,

As erst some dragon raised his crown,

Beleaguering an ancient town.


Its solid tread shook all the ground;

It scattered flames of fury round;

Puss felt the heart within him bound

To measure swords with this Mahound.


He gazed. He sprang with valor hot—

Turn, turn!—nor view the fearful lot!

A twisted tail, some hair, a spot,

Were all there was,—for Puss was not.

Harriet Prescott Spofford.


“Who was my favorite pupil?” repeated the schoolmaster, his shrewd, firm face lighting up with a sparkle of kindly humor,—I think the people with most fun in them have very often the most kindliness. “What say you to that, sister?”

The sister smiled. She was a delicate-looking person,—young, too, for a pedagoguess; but doubtless that was all the better for the boys. “I think my brother and I should be pretty well agreed as to which of all our pupils we liked best. Undoubtedly, Crabbe Waldron.”

“What a mouthful of a name!” I exclaimed.

“Crabbe was his original surname, and Waldron was added on his father’s succeeding to a large property. He had some queer Christian name,—Josephus, I think it was; but we never called him anything but Crabbe Waldron.”

“Was he as sour and rough as his name? or probably quite the contrary,—a sweet-faced youth, with rosy cheeks and curly hair, such as ladies make a pet of.”

“Certainly not,” said the schoolmaster’s sister. “I might as well have petted a mastiff dog. He was the roughest, ruggedest little fellow! And yet it was such a nice ugly face! that is, ugly until he smiled, when it beamed all over, and became the honestest, pleasantest boy’s face imaginable.”

“Ah! Lizzie always liked him, and always could manage him. And it was necessary, for he was always getting into trouble. Even the very first day he came to school something happened,—didn’t it, sister?—though I quite forget what.

“We never got rightly to the bottom of things, but I think it was because he came in with his eyes red with crying after his mother, from whom he had never before been parted, and he was just over ten years old. The boys teased him, and called him ‘baby,’ and so he ‘pitched into them’ all round. Big and little, neither mattered to Crabbe Waldron when he was in one of his furies,—a perfect Berserk, if the fit seized him.”

“And what was the end of it?” asked I.

“We had to send him to bed,—him and Charlie Donne, who came the same day,—or they would have fought like two spiders under a tumbler. Very different boys they were,” added Miss Birch. (I will call her so, by way of contrast, for I am sure she never used it in her life.) “The contrast struck me forcibly when I went into their rooms with the bread-and-milk supper that was to soften their punishment. Crabbe lay exceedingly humble in his bed, to which he had obediently retired at 4 p. m. As I came in, he pushed a book, blushing, under his pillow; I afterwards found out it was his Bible. Now, though I suppress all cant, one cannot scold a child for surreptitiously reading his Bible. He turned upon me the most mournful eyes: ‘O Miss Birch, to think it should have come to this, and my first day too! Please don’t tell my mamma, that’s all. It would make her so miserable!’ ”

“Yes, his mother was his weak point, always,” said the schoolmaster.

“We are orphans, my brother and I,” continued Miss Birch, “and we have always good hopes of a boy whose weak point is his mother. Nor did I think the worse of Crabbe for grieving. Charlie Donne didn’t, apparently; I found him not gone to bed, but encamped cheerfully in a corner of his room, unpacking his box, and dividing his time between eating great lumps of cake, whistling, and reading Robinson Crusoe;—certainly his mother did not weigh much upon his mind!”

“But, Lizzie, in strict justice,—a schoolmaster must be just, or he is not worth twopence,—you should state that the mothers were not of the same sort. Lady Donne was a fashionable woman, who hardly saw her son except at meal-times; while Mrs. Waldron seldom let hers go out of her sight. His father was a soldier in foreign service, and Crabbe was an only child. Still, I grant you, there was something very peculiar in the lad’s devotion to his mother,—she being a confirmed invalid, who could give him no pleasure, only love. That she did, and he returned it. In his wildest, naughtiest moods,—and he was very naughty, in contradistinction to vicious, for there was no real wickedness in him,—the mere mention of her would rein him in. He rarely mentioned her himself, after the first day, for the other boys teased him so much; but the slightest reference to her would make his cheeks redden and his eyes flash. Certainly his love for his mother was the best thing in him, poor little scamp!”

“But was he a scamp?” I asked, becoming strongly interested in Crabbe Waldron.

“Speaking pedagogically,—if there is such a word,—I am afraid he was. He gave me no end of trouble in the school-room, for learn he neither could nor would. He was not stupid exactly; nay, he was clever in a sort of way, especially with his hands, and he had good common sense. But, as to putting Latin into him, you might as well pour it into a sieve; it all ran out the next day, nay, the next hour. And for arithmetic, though he is now twenty-one years old and six feet high, I doubt if he is always certain that two and two really do make four. Then, out of school-hours, he had the most awful propensity for running away. But I am tiring you. I always do bore people when I get on the subject of my pupils,” said Mr. Birch, who was quite the ideal schoolmaster, and ardently fond of his profession.

I protested and entreated; confessing that, once upon a time, I myself had cherished for years a pet scheme of “running away”; that to this day the idea of living in a hut of brushwood and sleeping under the stars was far more delicious than to a respectable lady of my time of life I suppose it ought to be. I assured him I could fully sympathize with the adventures of Crabbe Waldron.

“Tell them, brother, for I often thought they might be put into a book,” said Miss Birch; then turning to me with the vague dread that many folks have of poor harmless authors, “Only, please, will you disguise name and all, for fear of hurting people’s feelings?”—which I have accordingly done.

“Let me see,” began the schoolmaster; “what was the first little episode the boy treated us with? O, I think it was his adventure with the railway porter, which obliged me to keep him as far as ever I could from that respectable functionary during the remainder of the half-year. This was how it happened:—

“He was always talking about running away; not that he had any special grudge against me,—on the contrary, I believe we were the best of friends, at least he tells me so now,” said Mr. Birch, smiling; “but he had some sort of Robinson Crusoe notion that life in the woods was the grandest thing imaginable. The big boys taunted him with his projects, and dared him to carry them out; so one Saturday afternoon he boldly determined to run away.

“It was just after dinner when he slipped out, knowing that somewhere about that time was a train passing our station. But as he came up he saw it just gliding away. In despair lest he should be discovered, he applied to a porter to ‘hide him somewhere’ until the next train started. This man knew him for one of my boys, and, suspecting something amiss, pocketed Crabbe’s offered shilling (which last proceeding I still consider as an instance of ‘Punica fides’ enough to exasperate any school-boy), and told him there was a dark room belonging to the parcel-office, where he might easily be locked in. Nobody could possibly get at him; indeed, he, the civil porter, would keep the key in his pocket.

“So my poor innocent little rascal jumped at the offer, crawled in, and curled himself up among the musty bags and parcels,—not quite comfortable, but most heroically happy; for he had the true adventurer’s delight in enduring hardships. Meantime the porter hastened to me, and asked if any of my boys had run away. At first I stoutly denied this,—they were all gone, to the best of my knowledge, for their Saturday walk, the big ones in charge of the little ones, and nobody could possibly be missing,—till my sister recollected we had not seen them start, and that she had overheard Charles Donne taunting Crabbe Waldron about running away; then, comparing him with the man’s description of his young prisoner, I thought it would be safest, at least, to go and look.

“ ‘He’s such a plucky little fellow, sir,’ said the porter, giving the key to me, ‘I think you’d better open the door yourself, and I’ll just step behind you,’ which was an instance of clever cautiousness on the part of my Punic friend.

“I opened the door of the parcel-room, and there, sure enough, with his cheeks flushed by the close heat, and his eyes dazzled by the sudden light, staring blindly out, was poor little Crabbe Waldron. He paused a minute, then his quick eye darted to the porter behind me. He seemed to comprehend all. Without taking the least notice of me, he sprang at his false friend, and seized him by the throat.

“ ‘You villain! you traitor! You took my shilling, and then betrayed me. If I had a knife here, I would stab you to the heart,’—and I really believe the poor maddened little scapegrace would.

“With some difficulty the big porter shook himself free from his small adversary, and justified his right to the title of traitor by quietly sneaking off; the shilling, however, safely remaining in his pocket,—whence, to the best of my belief, it has never been extracted. Poor Crabbe Waldron stood a minute, white and shaking with fury; then, before I had time to catch hold of him or to say one word to him, he darted off like a shot, and was away down the line of railway towards London. We had a hard run for it,—the porters and I,—and a locomotive on one side and a train on the other approached a little nearer than was quite convenient; but nobody came to harm, and we succeeded at last in catching the boy.”

“And what did you do with him?”

“Why, nothing; what could I do, considering the state of exhaustion and excitement he was in, but put him in my sister’s charge, to be got away to bed as quickly as possible? Sending to bed is not such a foolish punishment as you new-fangled reformers believe. Very often half a child’s naughtiness is simply illness, which quiet, solitude, and perhaps a little wholesome hunger, soon put right. Besides, Crabbe Waldron’s error was more folly than sin, and I hoped this hard experience, and the endless quizzing he got about it,—for, of course, in our village the whole story, with vast improvements, soon ran about like wildfire,—would have cured him of his nonsense ever after. But I was mistaken.

“His second running away, a much more serious matter than the first, was, I think, originated by a very amusing, harmless book which another boy had brought to school with him,—the ‘Narrative of Sir Edward Seaward.’ It became quite the rage with us. The lower class, of whom Crabbe, alas! was far the eldest and the leader,—all these little fellows studied it from morning till night! Endless were the questions put to Lizzie, and even the cook, as to the right method of lighting fires; and whether it would be possible to build in our English woods a hut of branches similar to the one in which Seaward and his wife lived so happily and so long in that lovely Pacific Island where they were so fortunately wrecked. Nay, Crabbe told my sister,—she being his confidante in most things,—that he had determined to go to sea, if only to get such another chance. In the mean time, he practised himself in digging holes in the garden,—building fireplaces with brick ends, and cooking thereon apples or potatoes as imaginary yams; in short, coming as near to the ideal Seaward and Crusoe life as was possible in—I flatter myself—my well-regulated modern establishment.

“The little rebels,—but let me not miscall them; it was not exactly rebellion, since, no such exploit on their part having ever been contemplated by me, of course, I had not legislated against it,—the little adventurers laid their plans with considerable ingenuity. Excluding all doubtful allies, they confined their secret strictly to the four concerned in it,—Crabbe Waldron, as leader; Charles Donne, his contemporary and rival in most things, as second in command; and two little Calcutta lads,—half-castes,—named Ingledew, whom Crabbe patronized a good deal, as he did all weak and helpless and unprotected things, also because these two had the additional advantage of coming from foreign parts, of having actually crossed a jungle, seen a tiger, and ridden on an elephant. Whether they expected a similar good fortune now, I cannot tell; but they were eager to join the party, and as eager to chatter about it afterwards.

“The four boys took a solemn vow of secrecy, which, I think, was administered over two crossed clasp-knives, in imitation of Highland crossed swords, and was kept, wonderful to relate! for fully six days. During that time they occupied themselves in making preparations for their exploit.

“Food, of course, was an inevitable necessity; but they were too honest to appropriate my food out of my house. So at various times they contrived to buy in the village a piece of ham, half a Dutch cheese, four penny loaves and two twopenny tarts. They also got, for accidental needs, a box of lucifers, a candle, a ball of twine, a mariner’s compass, a piece of soap and washing-flannel, and a prayer-book,—which last odd combination showed the value in which they held both cleanliness and godliness. These impedimenta they packed up in an old rug belonging to Charlie Donne; but then, becoming doubtful of the risk of carrying so large and suspicious a bundle out at my front door, they decided to unpack it again,—and convey the things separately outside, or drop them by a string over the garden wall into a large furze-bush on the green.

“This was about dinner-time. At dinner the little conspirators behaved just as usual,—except that we afterwards noticed they were rather quiet, considering it was Saturday,—and declined cricket, saying they had planned a long walk. Then they marched composedly out, two and two, a little before the rest of the school started for the cricket-field.

“The rest all returned; tea-time came; but of the four juniors—alas! Crabbe, though growing a big boy, was still in the junior class—there was no sign. However, we were not alarmed. Crabbe sometimes took his little friends rather too far. ‘They are sure to be back to supper,’ said my sister, composedly.

“But they were not; and then, considering the strong compulsion of boyish appetites, we grew decidedly uneasy; still more so when somebody suggested the idea of the four boys having ‘run away.’ When night began to fall, we instituted inquiries, and found that the gardener’s lad, while eating his dinner in an out-house, had noticed something tied up in brown paper dangling by a string from the top of the fruit wall; and the housemaid next door had seen one of my boys take a large bundle from under a furze-bush, and march off with it on his back.

“This looked very suspicious. I blamed myself severely for not having taken sharper notice of Crabbe Waldron’s proclivities for running away. That he was at the bottom of it all, I was sure; equally sure that he did it out of no real badness, or discontent at school,—he was the happiest little fellow imaginable,—but out of pure love of adventure. However, it was useless shutting the stable-door after the steed was stolen; we must institute a search. The boys could not have got far, and would soon be found.

“They had not gone by the railway; I learned thus much, and then I started off various parties in all directions to look for them. It was a June evening. We should have a fairly long twilight, and then, after an interval, a midnight moon. Still, I own, when darkness fell, my sister and I grew seriously anxious. Not that we feared any accident; they were, we believed, four together,—sharp enough lads too; and, besides, ill news always travels fast enough,—but where could they be gone? We are sufficiently civilized about here to have no lurking-places for vagabonds, no wild moors or pathless woods. To-day was Saturday; they must certainly be found on Sunday. But even one night in the open air to boys unaccustomed to the life of tramps or gypsies might prove a dangerous thing.

“The searching parties came back, having traversed the roads for ten miles round, with no success whatever. I was just about to do what I was very loath to do, from the shame and humiliation it would be to the boys, and the joke it would be held against them for months to come,—to apply to the police,—when my eldest pupil suggested Holt Common.

“You know Holt Common,—our finest point of view about here, the bit of fresh breezy table-land which the clouds walk over in daytime and the stars at night,—bless me! am I growing poetical? but really it was enough to make one so, if I had not been so uncomfortable about my four boys,—that midnight when Merton and I reached it. I took Merton, for he was a big, sensible fellow, and he volunteered to go. But I took no one else, wishing to make as little fuss as possible.

“Holt village had long gone to bed; and even the two or three donkeys and shaggy colts that one usually finds grazing about had become invisible, except one old ass, which, when we accidentally disturbed her, startled the silence by a most unearthly bray. Then everything grew breathlessly quiet again, until, lifting herself up out of the horizon, the gibbous moon began to stare at us, and make the gloom more visible with her feeble light. It turned very cold too, and I thought with apprehension of my boys, and especially of the two little half-castes, in case they had been persuaded to encamp for the night in the place which Merton thought he remembered having once heard Crabbe Waldron suggest as a ‘capital sleeping-place, like Robinson Crusoe’s cave.’

“We had some difficulty in finding it out, the Common was so dark, and full of so many tortuous paths. We lost our way, and kept stumbling over furze-bushes and heather,—no bogs, luckily, it was too high ground. We dared not shout, both for fear of disturbing the village and of frightening still further from us the little runaways, in case they were obstinate. But at last, quite unexpectedly, and when we had nearly given up the hope of finding them, we came upon the four.

“A most forlorn little party they were, huddled in the hollow of a gravel-pit, several feet below the surface of the Common. They had lighted a fire, from the embers of which still came the nasty, rather than appetizing savor, of frizzled, not to say burnt, ham, and toasted cheese; fragments of newspaper were flitting about in the night-wind; and the last remnant of flaring candle, stuck in the neck of a bottle, illuminated a muddled heap of legs and arms, out of which appeared two dirty, blubbered faces,—the poor little Ingledews’.

“They had all four—as we afterwards discovered—begun their adventure in great glee; had walked some miles across country to that spot, waited till dark, and then kindling this fire, had cooked their provisions in triumph. But they were so hungry that in one meal all were consumed. Then the younger boys grew exceedingly sleepy, and Crabbe proposed ‘going to bed,’—rather an imaginative proceeding. However, he spread the rug in the gravelly hole, and then, to carry out his duties as head of the little family, he took out the prayer-book, and, in imitation of me, read solemnly the evening psalms. Afterwards he persuaded the little ones to go to sleep, and arranged a watch, turn and turn about, between himself and Charlie.

“But the donkey’s bray had woke them all up; the Ingledews had begun to cry and want to go home; Charlie Donne had called them cowards and threatened to thrash them; Crabbe Waldron interfering, had found that there may be easier positions in life than heading an exploration party. Things were in this state when Merton and I suddenly appeared on the scene.

“A most dramatic scene it was! The younger boys, taking us for either ghosts or robbers, set up a loud scream; Charlie Donne started to his feet with a wild ‘Hallo there!’ and then—I wouldn’t wish to insult him, but he dropped behind a furze-bush in a manner that gave reason for the supposition that he meant to ‘cut and run’ if possible. Crabbe Waldron alone stood to his arms,—which consisted of a thick knobbed walking-stick,—and, without saying a word, faced the foe like a man.

“ ‘You simpletons!’ cried Merton, bursting into a shout of laughter. ‘Don’t you see who we are? Are you all four here? What asses you have been!’

“This view of the question at once took us down from the sublime to the ridiculous, and prevented anything like resistance, which, knowing Crabbe’s rather desperate humor, I had half feared. But when he heard me laughing as loud as Merton,—I did it on purpose,—he hung his head, let his weapon drop, and looked excessively foolish.

“ ‘Well, lads, I hope you have had enough of it! Frightening Miss Birch, and dragging Mr. Birch across country at this time of night, just that you might have the pleasure of eating a half-raw supper on a nasty damp common! Faugh! I thought you had more sense. Get up and come along.’

“ ‘Yes,’ I added, really glad that big Merton took the matter out of my hands, for I was puzzled what to say. Of course I ought to have been severely dignified; but then I was so thankful to have found my young scapegraces, and, besides, they did look so ludicrously wretched and crestfallen! ‘Come home now, and we’ll discuss the matter afterwards.’

“It was fully two in the morning before we reached home, for they were all very tired, and Merton and I had to carry the youngest Ingledew, by turns, half the way. The other three boys scarcely spoke, but crawled after us as well as they could, tired and footsore, sleepy and cold,—in the wretchedest plight, indeed, though none of them would, of course, acknowledge it. Only Crabbe, when my sister met us in the hall, and took Ingledew minor at once to bed, saying, reproachfully, she only hoped he would not be seriously ill, answered pitifully, ‘If he is, it will be all my fault,’ and then crept off like a detected rebel and unsuccessful revolutionist. I said not a word; his punishment was sharp enough.”

“But did you not punish him at all then?” inquired I, with some surprise.

“Should you be very much shocked if I said no? Well, in the first place, what was I to punish him for? He had broken no law, for none had ever been made against running away. And he had committed no moral crime. At the worst, it was only a piece of boyish folly,—yet a folly which might involve in most serious consequences both me and my school. At the same time, to exaggerate it into a heinous sin, and punish it as such, would be one of those glaring injustices which all boys see at once, and which ruin a schoolmaster’s authority forever. Still, the thing could not be passed by. Either Crabbe Waldron must be sent away home in disgrace, or this unfortunate propensity of his for running away must be stopped in some manner; else we should have no peace of our lives.”

“Certainly not. And what did you do?”

“I’ll tell you. Don’t laugh,” said the schoolmaster, with a queer twinkle of the eye. “I assure you I was as grave as a judge myself. The next day, fortunately, was Sunday, when everything went on as usual, but on Monday morning I sent for Crabbe Waldron into my study. He entered with a look on his ugly face which made it really ugly,—half sullen, half furious. There was certainly in him the making of a patriot or a rebel, a hero or a freebooter, according as he was treated. ‘Sit down,’ said I to him, and the boy sat down.

“ ‘Now, Crabbe Waldron,’ I continued, ‘there is no need for me to question you about that ridiculous proceeding of Saturday. I know perfectly well that you were at the root of it all.’

“ ‘Yes, I was,’ said he, boldly.

“ ‘And, may I ask, do you intend to try it again?’

“ ‘I don’t know, sir. That depends upon circumstances.’

“ ‘What circumstances? Are you unhappy here? Because, if so, I will write to your mother, and request her to fetch you home at once.’

“ ‘O no, sir, please don’t tell my mother. It’s not that indeed, sir.’

“ ‘What is it then? What did you run away for?’

“Crabbe scratched his head with a puzzled air. ‘Upon my word, sir, now you ask me, I really can’t tell. I suppose it was just for fun.’

“ ‘And have you had enough of it?’

“Crabbe was silent.

“ ‘Because, I assure you, I have. To say the least, such sort of “fun” is extremely inconvenient. Some masters might stop it by giving you a sound thrashing (here I saw the boy wince, and his bright eye glare), but you know thrashing is not the custom in our school. Or I might expel you, but that would half kill your mother. Still, this sort of thing cannot go on. You and I, as gentlemen and men of honor’ (here Crabbe looked up again), ‘must come to an understanding of some sort, or part company entirely. Please to read over this paper.’

“It was a sheet of lawyer’s foolscap, on which, in my most legible writing and most legal phraseology, I had drawn up a memorandum of agreement between the Reverend Thomas Birch, on the one hand, and Crabbe Waldron, Gentleman, on the other, that the said Crabbe Waldron should make no attempt to run away, or urge any other person to run away, during his whole term of pupilage with the said Thomas Birch. And to this I had affixed four most imposing seals and signatures in pencil, one for him, one for me, and one for each of the two witnesses.

“Crabbe read it slowly over, and gave me back the paper.

“ ‘Are you prepared to execute this deed?’

“ ‘Yes, sir,’ said he, with an air of great importance. ‘Certainly, sir, if you wish it, with all my heart.’

“ ‘And you quite understand that it will be binding?—that, when a gentleman signs an agreement, he cannot break through it? He is upon honor.’

“ ‘Of course he is. Give me the pen, sir.’

“ ‘Stop a minute, we must do it properly.’ And I rang the bell, and desired two of the servants to come in. In their presence, and with great formality, the little fellow signed the document, which I tied up with red tape, and laid aside in the business-drawer of my desk. We then shook hands, both in ratification of the bond and to prove the restored good feeling between us, and my pupil left my study looking a bigger man, by an inch or two at least, than he was when he entered it. The minute his back was turned, I and Lizzie—who had been lying perdue in the next room—went into fits of laughing together, very glad that we had got so easily out of such a difficult matter.”

“And did he never attempt to run away again?”

“Never,” said Miss Birch. “My brother had found, as he always contrives to do with all his boys, the right key to Crabbe’s highest nature, his true sense of honor. All the punishments in the world would not have affected him so much as asking him to sign that deed, and trusting him to keep it inviolate. He never gave us any more trouble with his adventurous spirit; indeed, in many ways, after this exploit on Holt Common, he grew a much better boy than he had been before,—more humble, more obedient, more considerate and thoughtful of others. The sense of responsibility made him feel bound to act up to the confidence placed in him. And I think as he grew older, and found out what evil results might have come from his adventure, and how very leniently he had been dealt with in the matter, his gratitude to my brother knew no bounds. When, some years after, he left us,—and school altogether,—it was with grief unfeigned on both sides.”

“And what has become of him?” I inquired.

The schoolmaster and his sister smiled at one another. “I think, Lizzie, we’d better not say. What one doesn’t know, one can’t tell. Only of this our friend may be quite sure,—that an honorable boy grows up into an honorable man. Consequently, whatever his career may be,—and I will confess thus much, that it is likely to be a hard, rather than an easy one,—the last thing Crabbe Waldron will ever again attempt will be the foolish proceeding of running away.”

Author of “John Halifax, Gentleman.”


A roar of cannon, blare of trumpets, rattle of drums, and loud shouting from hundreds of throats,—so commenced the Christmas of 1550 at the royal palace of Greenwich.

A boy king reigned in England. Henry the Eighth—“Bluff King Hal,” as some people call him—had been dead nearly four years. His son, Edward the Sixth, now thirteen years old, had been nominally king since his father’s death,—the actual ruler being his guardian, the Duke of Somerset. But now the Duke of Somerset was in disgrace. He had been deposed from his high place, tried and convicted of treason, and lay in the Tower of London under sentence of death. The new guardians of the young King, in order to divert his mind from his uncle’s approaching death, decreed that Christmas should be kept at Greenwich, where the King held his court, with all the magnificence and hospitality that customarily belonged to that festal season.

A sober, quiet, reserved boy was King Edward the Sixth. He deeply loved his books, could write Latin with ease when but ten years old, composed grave essays on matters of state government, kept a diary of his own doings and of the principal occurrences in the nation, and had wisdom far beyond his years. At the same time he could play on different musical instruments, ride after the hounds, shoot with the long-bow, tilt with the lance, and run or leap with the most active. Moreover, grave as he might be, he was still a boy, and could enjoy sports and merriment. So the announcement that Christmas would be kept with all its accustomed glory was not an unpleasant one to the King, or to the people around his court.

There was roar of cannon without, and blare of trumpets, rattle of drums, and loud shouting from hundreds of throats within the great hall of Greenwich palace on Christmas Eve, as the King, standing on the dais, or raised floor at the upper end of the hall, announced that, in accordance with the advice of his council, Christmas should be kept with open household and frank resort to court; and that, for the greater pleasure of court and people, he had appointed Master George Ferrers, a wise and learned gentleman, Lord of Misrule, and Master of the King’s Pastimes. “And now,” said the boy King, with a laugh, “into the hands of his Merry Majesty I commit the care of the court for the next twelve days.”

Grave and wise Master George Ferrers may have been in ordinary life, but gravity and wisdom formed no part of the office he was appointed to fill, and so he retained no trace of either. His garments were of rich material, but of marvellous oddity. Long feathers drooped from his fantastic hat. In his hand he carried a staff crowned with a fool’s head. His ordinarily sober features were concealed by a mask, the mouth of which was twisted into a comical laugh; the ears large, to catch all the funny things said; the eyes round and staring, to watch that no one was dull or sorrowful; and the nose, big and bunchy, red as a boiled beet with excessive eating and drinking. By his side were his two pages,—little boys, all legs and head; not much of the former, and a great deal of the latter. His Orator, long-nosed, sharp in the chin, and with staring eyes, sawed the air, and gesticulated as if making a speech; occasionally breaking out in loud declamation, and immediately silenced by a blow from a bladder at the end of a wand carried by a fantastically dressed Fool, the Lord of Misrule’s heir. There were also an Interpreter and Jailer, Counsellors, Gentlemen-ushers, Footmen, Pages, Jugglers, Messengers, Huntsmen, Heralds, and Trumpeters,—all clad in fantastic costumes, and grotesquely masked.

The Lord of Misrule mounted the dais, and smote the floor thrice with his staff. The Trumpeters blew with all their might, and the Drummers drummed until their arms ached,—to procure silence. The Heralds proclaimed “Oyez, oyez, oyez! The Lord of Misrule speaks!” The Orator opened his mouth to commence a speech, but it was instantly filled with the staff of the Fool, who at the same time seized the Orator by the nose, and led him back among his fellows. Then the Lord of Misrule said:—

“My loving subjects and dear fools, natural and otherwise, I hereby absolve you from all your wisdom, and allow you to be no wiser than to make fools of yourselves, in case you are not already fools. The one law to be obeyed in my kingdom is to laugh. To be grave is a serious offence against my privileges and dignities, and him who pulls a long face I sentence to be tickled every five minutes with a sharp joke. No one shall sit aside in his pride to laugh at the folly of others. All such, taken in the act, shall be condemned to play the merry fool, instead of the proud one. The magical power of my office enables me to change you all into children, and hey! presto! there you are, all young again; and look you do not merit the birch by being naughty or sulky children.”

A loud shout from every one in the hall greeted the conclusion of the speech; there was another noise of trumpets and drums, and in an instant the stiffness and dignity of a royal court were at an end.

Amid the noise and merriment within the hall could be occasionally heard shouting and snatches of music without. The Lord of Misrule commanded silence, that he might listen. There was a moment’s hush, and then with one voice they cried “Yule! Yule! The Yule log!”

“Away, my children!” said the merry master of the revels. “Let us do proper honor to the noble visitor.”

In noisy, disorderly procession the laughing crowd hurried out of the great portal to meet the Christmas log, that had been dragged by scores of stalwart fellows from its home in the wood, and was now approaching the palace amid a merry crowd, in the glare and smoke of a hundred torches. Nearer came the noise. It was at the door, and in came men, women, and children; old men hobbling, and children screaming and tumbling over each other in their haste. After them came two or three score stout men, tugging at ropes fastened to the log; and in, too, came the Yule log itself,—an immense block cut from one of the largest trees in the neighboring wood. Astride on its huge girth, as on a royal steed, rode the Lord of Misrule, bowing right and left to the shouting crowd. Standing behind him on the log was the Orator, making an excessively profound speech, the effect of which was marred by his endeavors to keep his footing as the log was dragged and bumped forward, and by the frequent belaborings administered by the Fool with a distended bladder. Across the rush-strewn floor, amid a discordant noise of trumpets, drums, and shouts, the log was drawn to the wide hearth. Those perched upon it dismounted, fagots of dry wood were piled high, and there was a temporary lull in the confusion, as the throng fell away from the hearth to give space for the proper ceremonies of the lighting of the Yule log.

An enormous candle in a massive stone socket, on the high table, was lit. Fire from the Yule candle was set to a piece of the charred remains of the last year’s log, carefully preserved for the purpose of lighting its successor. As this burning charcoal was borne down the hall to the hearth, every man lifted his hat, and the minstrels chanted an ancient song in the chorus of which all present joined:—

“Welcome be thou, heavenly King,

 Welcome, born in the morning,

 Welcome for whom we shall sing,

    Welcome Yule.


“Welcome be ye that are here,

 Welcome all, and make good cheer,

 Welcome all, another year.

    Welcome Yule.”

The burning coal was blown into a flame by half a dozen lusty lungs. Then it was placed amid the dry fagots; a bright flame leaped up, crackling and snapping around the great log, throwing a ruddy glow on the walls and roof, hung with holly, ivy, bay, and mistletoe; on the boy King Edward and the nobles of his court seated on the dais; and on the fantastically dressed throng that danced in the hall or gathered around the blazing fire, drinking strong ale from black leather bottles and mugs, and listening to the voices of a party of carol-singers, who had entered soon after the Yule fire was lighted.

First the men sung:—

“As I rode out this enders night,

 Of three jolly shepherds I saw a sight,

 And all about their fold a star shone bright;

 They sang terli terlow:

 So merrily the shepherds their pipes can blow.”

Then the women sung:—

“Lully, lulla, you little tiny child:

 By, by, lully, lullay, you little tiny child:

 By, by, lully, lullay.

 O sisters two, how may we do

 For to preserve this day

 This poor youngling, for whom we do sing

 By, by, lully, lullay?


“Herod the king, in his raging,

 Charged he hath this day

 His men of might, in his own sight

 All young children to slay.


“That woe is me, poor child, for thee,

 And ever mourn and say,

 For thy parting neither say nor sing

 By, by, lully, lullay.”

Then the men took up the song:—

“Down from heaven, from heaven so high,

 Of angels there came a great company,

 With mirth, and joy, and great solemnity:

 They sang terli, terlow:

 So merrily the shepherds their pipes can blow.”

“And now to sleep, my children,” said the Lord of Misrule, waving his staff. “Proclaim, Herald.”

The Herald, whose tabard, or coat, was embroidered in front and back with a grinning fool’s head, blew his trumpet thrice, and made proclamation:—

“Sleep and snore through the night,

 Wake with the first light,

 Rub your drowsy eyes bright,

 That you may feast your sight

 With each new delight.

 Away, take your flight!”

By this time King Edward and his nobles had gone to their sleeping-rooms; and soon there was no one in the great hall but the guards, some stretched on the rushes, and others sitting around the blazing Yule log, drinking ale, telling stories of the merry Christmases in the time of King Henry, and singing carols, the time to which was marked by the snores of the sleepers.

Early in the morning there was a stir throughout the palace. The sleepers stretched on the floor of the hall were awakened, and the watchers around the Yule fire, who had stopped both song and story, and were nodding drowsily at each other, stretched, yawned, and rubbed their eyes as they were called to duty. Fresh logs were thrown on the fire, a hasty meal of cold beef, bread, and ale taken, and the work of preparing the hall for the great Christmas feast was begun. Fresh rushes were strewed on the floor. On the dais, or raised floor at the upper end, a rich carpet of Turkish make was laid with great care. The walls around the dais were hung with silk tapestry, embroidered in gold and colored threads with the history of David. Instead of tapestry, the other portions of the walls were decorated with branches of holly, bay, and ivy, and from every point in the carved rafters depended boughs and garlands of holly and ivy. At either side of the front of the dais, surrounded with strong railings, were placed two high cupboards, one with four stages of shelves and the other with six. Then the tables were brought out The high table on the raised platform, stretching nearly from side to side, was of massive oak, and was covered with a fine linen cloth. The other tables, which ran the length of the hall, were plain boards on movable supports, and were uncovered.

By this time it was nearly noon, and the hurry became every moment greater. Stout men entered, bearing hampers under the weight of which they staggered, and which were carefully guarded by red-faced men in scarlet and gold uniforms, and carrying halberds. From out the baskets were taken massive gold and silver plate with which the cupboards were soon loaded; the gold being placed on one, and the silver on the other. Around these cupboards the red-faced men in scarlet and gold stood guard; for so much gold and silver might prove too strong a temptation for some men not over honest. More hampers were brought, and from these were taken plates and dishes of silver gilt for the high table, and trenchers of wood and pewter for the other tables.

Twelve o’clock. The hall was crowded with servants, retainers, and curious lookers-on. A flourish of trumpets, a shout to “clear the way for his Highness the King!” and there was much pushing and standing on their own toes, and on those of one another, to see King Edward and the nobles of his court enter at a side door and take their places at the high table.

The guests of less note took their seats at the lower tables, each in the order of his rank. Those who had no place at the tables gathered at the foot, watching the proceedings with hungry eyes, and licking their lips in expectation of their own time coming at last. A squire knelt before the King, and left the hall to give notice to the kitchen. Then an expectant silence reigned.

A noise of trumpets and kettle-drums sounded in the passages. The crowd fell back from the doorway. Twelve trumpeters and two drummers marched in with great din of brass and sheepskin. They were followed by the Lord of Misrule and his court, among whom were now a number of hobbyhorses, prancing and kicking as though they were real chargers, instead of wood and cloth frames tied to the waists of jolly retainers. Behind this boisterous crew came the Sewer, the chief officer of the royal kitchen, bearing a white wand, and proudly marching before the great dish of the feast.

This was the Boar’s Head.

An immense head it was, and a tremendous fellow must have been the boar from which it was cut; not an agreeable animal to meet when it was enraged and those enormous tusks could tear and rend. Now, skilfully cooked, decked with sprigs of evergreen, and with a gilt orange glittering in its mouth, it lay peacefully enough on the huge golden dish under which a stalwart man staggered. Behind walked a long procession of the chief officers of the palace, bearing other dishes, on which were great joints of meat, with swans, geese, fowls, and pheasants.

The trumpeters wiped their mouths, and the drummers rested their weary arms, as the Boar’s Head was borne up the centre of the hall to the high table. A strong voice broke out in the ancient carol that for year after year had been sung on such occasions, and hundreds of lusty throats joined in the chorus.

    “Caput apri defero,

     Reddens Laudes Domino.

The boar’s head in hand bring I

With garlands gay and rosemary:

I pray you all sing merrily,

    Qui esti in convivio.


“The boar’s head, I understand,

 Is the chief service in this land:

 Look wherever it be found,

    Servite cum cantico.


“Be glad, both more and less,

   For this hath ordained our steward,

 To cheer you all this Christmas,—

   The boar’s head, and mustard!

     Caput apri defero

     Reddens laudes Domino.”

The dishes were set down in order on the tables, the Boar’s Head in front of the King. The Carver plunged his knife into the head, the thrust being accompanied with a flourish of trumpets. Then the feast began. The guests at the chief table were first served, the attendants kneeling on one knee whenever anything was presented to the King, whether of meat or drink. When these had been served, the dishes were sent down to the lower tables, and what remained was kept for the servants, and for the poor that thronged around the door.

When all had been supplied, the officers of the hall commenced removing the dishes, and there was a bustling about, and rushing here and there to make way for the next course. In a few minutes strains of music were heard, an officer cleared away the crowd from the door, and, with trumpets and drums at their head, marched in a long procession of richly dressed ladies, each carrying a dish with a choice bird skilfully cooked, and many of them ornamented with devices. The foremost lady of high rank bore a golden dish on which was a peacock; its body covered with gold leaf, its tail spread as in life, and its bill emitting fire. The King and all the guests raised their caps—for they sat with their heads covered—when the gilded peacock was placed on the table. The other dishes were taken from the ladies by the attendants, and ranged in order on the board. The chief lady, after making respectful obeisance, skilfully carved the peacock, and served a slice, with a portion of the spiced stuffing, to the King and each of the chief guests. Then the ladies retired in procession as they entered, the trumpeters and drummers blowing and drumming vigorously as they went.

That course finished, the tables were again cleared; and fruits, sweetmeats, cheese, and wine were served. The Lord of Misrule and his train arose and left the hall, presently returning in great state with trumpeters, harpers, and singers chanting a new song made for the occasion. Behind these came gentlemen in velvet and silk, bearing great trays, on which were displayed novel and beautiful devices in confectionery. A knight in armor caracoled on his war-horse. A church, with painted windows and tall steeples in which silver bells chimed sweetly, was borne along by four men. A castle with knights and men-at-arms on the walls followed. Then came birds and animals; a peacock, with its gaudy colors accurately counterfeited; a lion in the act of springing; and other beasts done to the life. Next was a model in sugar of Greenwich Palace, with the royal flag displayed; and the procession of sugared devices closed with an image of the King himself, in coronation robes, wearing the crown, and bearing the orb and sceptre. At the sight of this, the young King, who had been gazing in wonder on the different devices, could not restrain his delight, but clapped his hands in glee.

At last the feast was over. The tables were cleared. The guests retired. The broken victuals, thrown into great baskets, were carried out to the palace gate, and distributed to the crowd of poor in waiting; and soon night settled down on the first day of the Christmas festival.

Day after day during the Christmas-tide there was feasting in the hall, followed by sports and pastimes of various kinds, designed by the Lord of Misrule, and carried out by him and his train. On the third of January, in the Palace Yard, was a match at Tilt between three gentlemen of the court, and eighteen other gentlemen whom they challenged. An upright post with an arm was erected in the yard; and from this arm hung a ring, so fastened that it could be carried off on the point of a lance. The gentlemen, mounted on their horses, galloped past the post, aiming their lances at the ring, and striving to bear it off on the lance-point. Each rode six courses, but the three challengers were not defeated, carrying off six rings each; whilst some of their rivals rode around six times, without winning a single ring, amid the laughter of the gay throng around the barriers. The match over, King Edward mounted his favorite horse,—a spirited black charger,—and rode around the course so gracefully that all admired his skill in horsemanship. Then he dashed forward, lance in hand, and bore off the ring, amid the applause of knights and ladies.

Next day the Lord of Misrule, and a gay train of lords and gentlemen in rich dresses, went in gorgeously decorated barges up the Thames to the Tower of London. There they landed, mounted horses awaiting them, and rode merrily through the streets. Towards night they returned in state to Greenwich, and went to bed early for a good night’s sleep before the dawn of Twelfth Day, the last of the Christmas festival.

The sixth of January was a busy day. On that day Christmas ended, and it was crowded with feasts, games, and pageantry from morning to night. At early dawn, there was hammering and busy stir in the Palace Yard, for a Tourney was to be held, the same who had contested at Tilt now being opposed at the Jousts. A long barrier of wood, about breast-high, was erected; and, on either side, the ground cleared for the knights to ride. The King and the chief members of his council overlooked the scene from a window of the palace, and at other windows were gathered the ladies of the court.

The heralds sounded the challenge, and announced that Sir Henry Sidney, Sir Henry Nevel, and Sir Henry Gates, gentlemen of valor and prowess, were ready to break a lance with all comers. After the challenge had been proclaimed, the three knights rode slowly past the barriers, bowing low to the King and to the ladies. Down one side of the barrier and up the other they rode abreast, until they reached their starting-point, when they reined their steeds and waited an answer to the challenge.

Three times a trumpet sounded, and a herald announced that several valiant lords and gentlemen were willing to ride a course and break a lance with the challengers. The eighteen knights, some of them of high rank, and all richly clothed and armed, also rode down the course, bowing to the King, and acknowledging the smiles and greetings of the ladies, reining up their horses at the end of the barriers opposite to the challenging knights. The King lifted a gilded staff, and dropped it as a signal that the Tourney might begin. The heralds sounded the charge, and, like two thunderbolts, Sir Henry Sydney and the Lord Fitzwalter dashed towards each other, lance in rest, on opposite sides of the barrier. They met in the centre. The lance of Lord Fitzwalter struck his opponent full on the steel breastplate and was shivered to pieces. That of Sir Henry Sidney struck Lord Fitzwalter’s helmet, and threw him from his horse to the ground. The ladies waved their scarfs and handkerchiefs, the King clapped his hands in delight, and the successful knight rode proudly back to his place.

Next came Sir Henry Nevel and Sir George Howard. The latter was also struck in the head, but his helmet fastenings gave way, and he rode on bareheaded. One after the other the three challengers met the defendants, and after much riding and many hard thrusts all were unhorsed except Sir Henry Sidney of the challengers and Sir William Stafford of the defendants. These were left to decide between them the honor of being the winner of the Tourney.

Great was the excitement as the trumpet sounded the charge for these two. The ladies crowded each other at the palace windows, and the King rose to his feet in feverish anxiety as the horses of the two knights dashed towards each other. There was a sudden crash. The two horses were thrown back on their haunches, but the riders sat unmoved, holding the stumps of their shattered lances. The King dropped his staff as a sign that the contest should cease. But the two knights rode up to the window, and begged permission for the Joust to continue until one or the other was defeated. The King was delighted, and at once gave the desired permission.

The knights rode back to their places. Again the trumpets sounded, and again they hurled themselves upon each other. But neither fell. The lance of one was shivered, the helmet of the other was broken from its fastenings; but both rode erect and firm.

The ladies were wild with excitement. The King could scarcely remain at the window. The crowd around the lists were noisy with cheers and praises of the two knights. In the mean time Sir William Stafford had his helmet new laced, fresh lances were supplied, and again the knights dashed towards each other. This time fortune favored Sir Henry Sidney. The lance of his rival struck the visor of his helmet, but glanced off. His lance struck his opponent full in the face, and bore him to the earth. Then the trumpets sounded a victory. Shouts went up from hundreds of throats. The ladies dropped scarfs and ribbons on the successful knight, as he passed under their windows; and when he made obeisance to the King, Edward drew from his finger a valuable ring and gave to Sir Henry.

The Tourney was over, and, it being now near noon, all hurried away to prepare for dinner. That meal was served with less ceremony, and more hurriedly eaten, than was the first dinner of the Christmas festival; for there was yet much to do and to be seen before night put an end to the Twelfth Day festivities. As soon as the dinner was eaten, the tables were removed, fresh rushes strewn, and the hall cleared for the pastimes of the afternoon.

First the Lord of Misrule advanced, at the command of the King, and was by Edward warmly thanked for the ingenuity and skill he had shown, during his twelve days’ merry reign, in devising and executing diverting pastimes. To give weight to his compliments, King Edward presented him with a valuable jewel. The Lord of Misrule thanked the King, but said he was not yet prepared to abdicate his Christmas dignities, for he had more to show.

A trumpet sounded.

At one door entered an aged man, magnificently attired, and loaded with jewelry, but tottering with palsied decrepitude. In one hand he bore a bag of golden coin, the other hand rested on a staff.

At the other door, with light, elastic step, came a young man, soberly clad, ruddy-cheeked, and full of health and vigor. He bore in his hand a bow, in his girdle was thrust a sheaf of arrows, and around his neck hung a hunting-horn. This was Youth, the other Riches.

Gayly Youth tripped across the rush-strewn floor, on his way to the hunt. But Riches stayed him with his staff, and asked, “Whither away?” Youth answered, “To the chase.” Then Riches rated him for his idleness, praised the merits of money-getting, and extolled the power of wealth. Youth jeered, and asked of what value was money, compared with strength and health. The dispute grew hot; at last Riches struck the floor with his staff, when six knights in complete armor, and with drawn swords, entered to attack Youth. But he blew a blast on his horn, and six other knights, ready for the fray, rushed in to his defence. The twelve knights attacked each other, and fought desperately, the sparks flying in showers from their heavy swords as they clashed. Down the hall they fought, and so out at the great door, Youth and his friends driving out Riches and his party, thus complimenting the King, who was young, and whose riches had been mostly spent by his former counsellors.

Another blast of a trumpet.

Two German merchants, in long robes, furred and hooded, came in, each walking with a staff, and with a heavy sword girded around his waist. On the other side came two friars, reading their books so intently that they did not see the Germans until they met them face to face. The monks sought to pass, but this was not permitted by the Germans, who dropped their sticks and drew swords. The monks immediately threw away their books, caught the sticks of the Germans, and with them desperately fought their way out of the hall.

Trumpets, drums, and harps mingled their notes as the closing display of the feast entered. A number of men clad in hairy skins of beasts, with their faces hid in masks to resemble savages, drew along a mount, on the top of which was a castle with the banner of the King displayed. When it reached the middle of the hall, the hairy savages dropped the ropes, ran around the hall with strange cries, and finished by advancing to the King and performing a savage dance. When they had ended, the castle opened, and from it came six men in robes of crimson velvet spangled with gold, the foremost wearing a crown. These descended the mount, and advanced to the savages, who ran off howling. The six danced in stately measure before the King, and were about to reascend the mount when it opened suddenly, and from it came six beautiful ladies, clad in crimson satin embroidered with gold and pearls. These danced before the King, at first alone, and afterwards with the six gentlemen. Then the ladies re-entered the mount, which closed upon them. The six gentlemen ascended and entered the castle, which also shut them from sight. The savages seized the ropes, and the whole pageant was borne out of the hall.

The Lord of Misrule advanced slowly to the middle of the dais, and, kneeling at the King’s feet, broke his staff of office, and laid the pieces before the King, saying, “At the feet of your Highness I lay my title and my borrowed power. No longer the all-powerful Lord of Misrule, but plain George Ferrers, I humbly beg indulgence for the faults I may have committed, and rest me ever your loyal subject.”

“By my faith!” said King Edward, raising Ferrers by the hand, “if my Youth had thy wisdom, I should be better fitted to be King of England. Alas! young as I am I can see that my rule is of worse order and gives less satisfaction than thy misrule. But come with us to the great chamber, where there is spread, they tell me, a rare banquet with which to finish Twelfth Night.”

And thus closed the boy King’s Christmas, the last “Merry” Christmas he ever enjoyed, for sickness and cares of state made his next two Christmas festivals cheerless enough. Before a third Christmas came he was dead.

J. H. A. Bone.


Drawn by W. J. Hennessy.

From the New Illustrated Edition of Locksley Hall, by Alfred Tennyson.


Drawn by S. Eytinge, Jr.

From the New Illustrated Edition of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.


As usual at this season, the Editors have borrowed from their publishers some engravings specially intended to illustrate the Christmas gift-books of the year, in order that the last number of “Our Young Folks,” for 1868 may be as attractive as possible, and that their readers may know something about what is doing in the matter of books as well as of magazines.

And first there are to be presented some pictures taken from the new juvenile books, as they will possess most interest for the little people for whom the volumes are prepared. So here is given an illustration from the book which has been written by Mrs. Diaz, whose William Henry Letters have made her so great a favorite and friend of all readers of this magazine. Her subject is “The Entertaining Story of King Brondé, his Lily and his Rosebud,” and while the form she has chosen is that of a kind of fairy tale, it will be found that there is much to be learned from it about the beauties and advantages of a patient, pleasant, helpful, generous life. The first picture represents the King’s Lily,—that is, his wife; and the second shows his Rosebud,—that is, his daughter,—watching the sea with a fisher-boy who was her playmate; while in the third there is shown the Rosebud, now grown to be a woman, walking with the Prince her husband. Of course there are many more engravings in the book, and all are drawn as prettily as these, by Mr. W. L. Sheppard.

The next picture is from a little book of tales, called “The Flower and the Star,” by Mr. W. J. Linton, of whom the reader may have heard as having the greatest skill and power in engraving upon wood of all men now living. He has written the stories, drawn the pictures, and engraved them all himself; so that there can be no doubt, that for once, at least, the illustrator of a book has been able to do just what the writer of it wished him to do. See how quaint and ingenious this is. It illustrates a new story about Jack the Giant-Killer, and the bright eyes must look sharp to find the head and hand of the old fellow who has scared Jack so dreadfully. The other picture is as beautiful as a dream,—indeed it represents part of a dream that came to a little boy, named Willie, who used to dream most delightful things,—apparently just for Mr. Linton to describe and adorn with his own fancies.

The large pictures on the separate leaf are taken from the illustrated books which have been made for grown-up people, but they can be understood and enjoyed by the smallest admirer of “Our Young Folks.” The first one—drawn by Mr. Eytinge—shows a scene from Mr. Dickens’s beautiful “Christmas Carol.” The Cratchit family are poor, and they can hardly afford to have any extra cheer, even for Christmas; but they love one another so, and are so brave and contented, that a very little additional comfort seems to them as rich a blessing and as worthy of thanksgiving as the richest luxury in the world. See how eager and delighted they are over the little pudding, which is all that the good mother could make, and then read what Mr. Dickens says about it:—

“Hallo! A great deal of steam! The pudding was out of the copper. A smell like a washing-day! That was the cloth. A smell like an eating-house and a pastry-cook’s next door to each other, with a laundress’s next door to that! That was the pudding! In half a minute, Mrs. Cratchit entered—flushed, but smiling proudly—with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half a quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.

“O, a wonderful pudding! Bob Cratchit said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs. Cratchit since their marriage. Mrs. Cratchit said that, now the weight was off her mind, she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity of flour. Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing.”

Last December’s number contained an illustration to Mr. Tennyson’s “Bugle Song,” accompanied by the verses; now another passage from that author is presented in pictorial form. Among his most famous poems is the one called “Locksley Hall,” which is indeed, as a whole, beyond the understanding of children, but in its changes the poet has a sweet word to say about the tender yet mighty influence that a little fragile infant has over the life and love of its mother, and Mr. Hennessy has most touchingly expressed the sentiment of that mother’s affection, which is stronger and truer and more enduring than any other earthly passion. Is there not a lesson for all the children here?—that they ought to value and return in every way of duty and affection this mother’s care and love which, they enjoy?


Frédéric Baumfelder. Op. 49.



No. 79.

King Arthur and the Table Round

  In towered Camelot held revel,

And prince, and knight, and courtier found

That night upon the rush-strewn ground

  A temporary level.


They pledged the king, and quenched their thirst,

  For loyalty and pleasure beckoned,

Sobriety was treason worst;

So mirth and madness filled my first,

  And serving-men my second.


A boisterous set, upon my soul,

  And troubled more with thirst than thinking;

Ready for banquet and for bowl,

Or lance and helmet and my whole,

  For drawing sword or drinking.


No. 80.

My second filled Cleopatra,

  She shook her stately head;

“They ne’er shall take me prisoner,

  Bring me my first,” she said.


And thus she died unwept for,—

  For her no bell did toll,—

None mourned her, for, though world-renowned,

  She ever did my whole.

Oddo Ossett.






No. 83.—french.

Je suis composé de 33 lettres.

Mon 13, 11, 6, 4, 27, 32, est un titre.

Mon 4, 25, 18, 10, est un mois.

Mon 19, 2, 21, tous les enfans aiment.

Mon 32, 30, vous parlez plusieurs fois dans un jour, si,

Mon 27, 18, 7, 16, vous n’êtes pas.

Mon 13, 29, 33, 14, 5, 2, j’espère que vous ne souffriez jamais.

Mon 1, 14, 3, 4, 22, 6, j’ai pour vous.

Mon 24, 20, 30, 8, 9, vous appartient.

Mon 28, 24, 17, 12, 15, est une verbe.

Mon 26, 12, 31, 7, est un titre.

Mon 26, 29, est très douteux.

Mon 4, 6, 12, 14, 18, il faut que je dise maintenant.

Mon entier vous fera heureux dans l’école, si vous le suivez.


No. 84.

I am composed of 69 letters.

My 28, 35, 66, 62, 52, 63, was a wife of Vulcan.

My 2, 24, 56, 43, was a mountain in Thessaly.

My 3, 47, 53, 11, 48, 38, 55, was the patroness of slaves.

My 49, 26, 6, 34, 39, 13, was one of the Hyades.

My 31, 30, 23, 28, 29, 5, was a beautiful nymph, loved by Cupid.

My 58, 21, 41, 67, 2, 17, 57, presided over war.

My 50, 51, 39, 19, 20, 60, was an intimate friend of Ulysses.

My 69, 18, 14, 32, was the mother of a certain pair of twins.

My 37, 31, 10, 68, 44, 16, was the god of music and poetry.

My 66, 5, 15, 9, 20, 41, 37, was another goddess of war.

My 64, 54, 36, 65, 1, was a giant killed by Hercules.

My 33, 59, 31, 31, 40, is a letter of the Greek alphabet.

My 12, 63, 45, 27, is a Hindoo goddess.

My 58, 7, 42, 23, 43, was a powerful sorceress.

My 3, 15, 20, 46, 21, 52, 8, were presided over by Flora.

My 3, 32, 4, 21, 30, were three powerful goddesses.

My whole is two lines of poetry which are frequently quoted.

Sweet Clover.


72.Who does not love to peruse a well-written tale. [(Hood) OES (knot) Love (two Peru’s) A (well written) (tail).]
75.Words are but leaves, deeds are the fruit. [(Words) R (butt) (leaves), (deed) S R (tea) (he) (fruit).]
78.Fortune is none that reason cannot conquer. [(IV) (tune) (eyes) (N on E) (t-hat) (re’s on can) (knot) (C on cur).]


Here ends the fourth year of intercourse which we have held together through the pages of our Magazine, dear children and friends. That intercourse we have enjoyed most heartily, although we may have now and then grown a little weary with the constant thought and exertion necessary to prepare the numbers which succeed each other so rapidly, and which must be ever watched that they may be worthy of your regard and confidence. You too have been happy with us, as your almost innumerable letters have told us, and you have wished us from month to month more prosperity and length of days than are wont to fall to the lot of any in this world, where life and usefulness and happiness are only prepared for, or, at the most, are only begun. For all your interest and good-will we thank you; and we are sure that you will believe us when we tell you again, as we have told you before, that our chief pleasure in our work, and our chief reward for it, spring from your enjoyment and benefit in the result of our labors.

Our fifth volume, which begins with the next number, will be undoubtedly the best of all; and we shall expect to find you all gathering again about us, and bringing into the circle those of your friends with whom we are not yet acquainted.

In this place we cannot enter into the full particulars of the Prospectus for 1869, but we can give you an idea of the principal features.

To begin with, Mr. Aldrich will tell you “The Story of a Bad Boy.” Not an “awfully bad boy,” you know, but a boy like so many of our nephews and godsons,—with every-day faults, and every-day virtues too, who learns to work his way through naughtiness to goodness, and who comes, through some trouble and some “scrapes,” to an honest and esteemed youth. We believe that this will be the first time that such a real boy has been put into a story, and we are sure that you will all be delighted with him.

For the girls we have a story too,—the companion to “Farming for Boys,” a tale written by the daughter of the gentleman who wrote that most popular narrative, and who will give his attention and advice to the preparation of “Gardening for Girls.”

The declaimers among you will find themselves well provided for in Mr. Kellogg’s Declamations, and the Dialogues of Mr. Epes Sargent; while for evenings at home, or for any exhibitions at school or elsewhere, there will be the Acting Charades of Miss S. Annie Frost.

Instruction and information will be supplied you in the articles upon American History by Mr. Bone, Mr. Parton’s stories of some of the world’s great navigators, in Mr. Shanks’s tales of man’s strange occupations by land or sea, in the articles by different hands about the wonders of nature and the marvels of foreign lands, and in accounts of trades and manufactures by Mr. Trowbridge and others.

Lighter reading will not be forgotten, of course, and stories and poems by your favorites and by new writers will form a part of every number; so that with music, pictures, and your own departments,—“Round the Evening Lamp” and the “Letter Box,”—there will be something within our covers for every day and hour.

And now that we have thus hastily sketched the outline of our plans for the next year, we must leave you to read the full Prospectus, and to get up your clubs (which we hope will be larger than ever), while we resume the regular course of our duties, wishing you, as we turn back to our desks, the merriest of Christmas-tides, the happiest and best of New Years, and the brightest, noblest, and most honorable of futures!

Your friends,


G. V. R. desires us to call attention to a misspelling in puzzle No. 62; the third single answer should read Wodan, not Woden.—He also thinks that we should have laid more stress upon Jo’s correction to M. B. B.’s puzzle (No. 43), than we did, when we printed it in our September number. But it is to be borne in mind that the difficulty arises simply from an imperfection in M. B. B.’s statement. If he were to except from his challenge all sums ending with 0 or 9, he could make it good, according to our understanding, and Jo could only trip him up in just such a case. We therefore did not—and do not—consider it necessary to undervalue M. B. B.’s puzzle because he omitted to specify the one exception to it.—This paragraph of G. V. R.’s tells its own story:—

“Enigma No. 46 makes Cromwell the ‘celebrated man who figured conspicuously in the time of the Reformation.’ The Reformation was first set on foot by John Wickliffe in 1370, and was completed by Edward VI. in 1547. Lutheranism was introduced into Sweden in 1544, and established in Germany in 1625. Cromwell figured from 1643 to 1658, but never in the time of ‘The Reformation.’ T. C. P.’s chronology is out of tune.”

A. G. W., Russite Rye, Laura, Alice E. B., Clara A. H., H. P. & C. G., Lotie, Karl Thautful, Bessie W., Bennie, Katydid, M. C. D., Zobie, F. G. DuB, thank you, although we cannot use your favors.

Charly Wilder G. Send on the names and get the premium.

George A. S. If you had read the contents-page of your Magazine, you would have found out what you now ask us to tell you.

Edith E. H. Your verses are very good. You have tried to do a little too much in some of them, however, and so there is an occasional confusion of images. You have a good command of language and a clear sense of rhythm.

Penelope T. We never begin correspondences between our subscribers.

The Girls. Mr. Whittier was himself one of the three friends in “The Tent on the Beach,” and Bayard Taylor, the traveller, was another.

Hickety Pickety. The puzzles are not quite up to our mark, we are sorry to say.

R. T. “would like the job of writeing peases for yong Folks.” He had best undertake a little “job” with the spelling-book.

F. O. N. We do not know.

Ruth and Birdie are very much interested in the story of the Peterkin Family, and want to know when it will be continued. The people in Canada who have read the story hope that the Lady from Philadelphia has not yet succeeded in making the Peterkin Family sensible.”

The tale of the Peterkins is all told, and we can only hope that our readers may learn from their mishaps to use their own wits seasonably.

A. S. The verse you quote is from “The Bugle Song” in Tennyson’s “Princess.”

Mary & Lizzie. If a lady and gentleman are making a call, the lady gives the hint for leaving.—In a formal introduction, there is no need of shaking hands, for that act is an informality of itself.

Tommy. Your drawing is not a rebus; it is only a little sketch of some objects.

Earl N. Y. The subject shall be considered.

Mary Ella C. Please to send us your address, and we will write to you by mail.

May F. Planchette is well enough for fun, provided you don’t believe any of the nonsense, or apparent sense, that is written by means of it.

Alice L. E. sent us, from Chicago, these words for the “Evening Prayer,” which was published in our musical department last winter. They will be found to fit exactly, and now the “Prayer” can be sung as well as played:—

“As in the Shepherd’s bosom

Little lambs delight,

So fold me, Heavenly Father,

In thy arms to-night.

    Alone in the darkness,

    Alone in the world,

    I seek thy protection,

    A lamb of thy fold.

Forgive me when I stray;

O, love me when I pray,

                Father dear!”

Many Letters remain to be answered in our next volume.

The explanation of last month’s picture is, “See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.” This month we give you, not a problem, but a puzzle; for our little picture is a contradiction, and we are half inclined to think that only the very shrewdest of you will guess it, although you will all say that it is a first-rate “catch,” when you know the answer.

[The end of Our Young Folks. An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. Volume 4, Issue 12 edited by J. T. Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom]