The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Universal Reciter, by Various

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Title: The Universal Reciter
       81 Choice Pieces of Rare Poetical Gems

Author: Various

Release Date: July 21, 2009 [EBook #29477]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Lesley Halamek, Jason Isbell, Afra Ullah and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at

[Transcriber's Note]

Book Cover, Back Book Cover, Spine Book Cover, Front

When the voice is weak, it should be strengthened by frequent practice,
by exercising it in the open air, and upon all convenient occasions.

fancy rule
The Universal Reciter


81 Choice Pieces
fancy rule

It is necessary not only to practise a little, but to practise a great deal.
In this way ease, grace, and fluency are acquired.


















A Horse Car Incident 194
A love of a Bonnet 87
An Eruption of Mount Vesuvius 100
A Plea for the Ox 103
A Pleasure Exertion 203
A Precious Pickle 125
A Psalm of Life 231
Bell of the "Atlantic" 243
Big Oyster, The 122
Black Regiment, The 162
Boy Archer, The 72
David and Goliath 109
David's lament over Absalom 71
Drafted 98
Dying Hebrew, The 41
Enlisting as Army Nurse 139
Falstaff's Boasting 64
Forging of the Anchor 148
Flowers, The 246
Give me back my Husband 44
Graves of a Household 249
Green Goose, The 175
Gridiron, The 144
Here she goes, and there she goes 105
How we hunted a Mouse 38
Hypochondriac, The 247
Ignorance is bliss 58
Injured Mother, The 50
Juvenile Pugilists 221
Knife Grinder, The 191
Last Man, The 232
Lord Dundreary at Brighton 151
Mantle of St. John De Matha, The 234
Mariner's Wife, The 11
Menagerie, The 56
Migratory Bones 177
Mills of God, The 55
Miser's Fate, The 16
Miss Maloney on the Chinese Question 119
Murdered Traveller, The 70[page 6]
My Mother's Bible 138
My Friend's Secret 156
One Hoss Shay, The 46
Only Sixteen 143
On to Freedom 68
On the Shores of Tennessee 159
Owl, The 245
Pat and the Fox 22
Pat-ent Gun 229
Patrick's Colt 34
Paul Revere's Ride 200
Pauper's Death Bed 193
Pledge with Wine 250
Polish Boy, The 237
Preaching to the Poor 192
Rain Drops, The 172
Red Chignon 180
Sambo's Dilemma 20
San Francisco Auctioneer 227
Satan's Address to the Sun 32
Scolding Old Dame 174
Shamus O'Brien 214
She would be a Mason 18
Snyder's Nose 13
Socrates Snooks 198
That Hired Girl 241
There's but one pair of Stockings to mend to night 85
Thief of Time, The 164
The Old Man in the Stylish Church 223
The Old Man in the Model Church 225
The World for Sale 37
To my Mother 27
Two Weavers, The 117
Vain Regrets 158
Ventriloquist on a Stage Coach 76
Voices at the Throne 155
Vulture of the Alps, The 62
What ailed "Ugly Sam" 29
Which am de Mightiest 219
Widow Bedott's Poetry 112
Wilkins on Accomplishments 7
[page 7]
fancy rule






Mr. Wilkins.   Mrs. Wilkins, of all the aggravating women I ever came across, you are the worst. I believe you'd raise a riot in the cemetry if you were dead, you would. Don't you ever go prowling around any Quaker meeting, or you'll break it up in a plug muss. You? Why you'd put any other man's back up until he broke his spine. Oh! you're too annoying to live; I don't want to bother with you. Go to sleep.

Mrs. Wilkins.   But, Wilkins dear, just listen a minute. We must have that piano, and—

Mr. W.   Oh! don't "dear" me; I won't have it. You're the only dear thing around here—you're dear at any price. I tell you once for all that I don't get any new piano, and Mary Jane don't take singing lessons as long as I'm her father. There! If you don't understand that I'll say it [page 8] over again. And now stop your clatter and go to sleep; I'm tired of hearing you cackle.

Mrs. W.   But, Wilk—

Mr. W.   Now don't aggravate me. I say Mary Jane shan't learn to sing and plant another instrument of torture in this house, while I'm boss of the family. Her voice is just like yours; it's got a twang to it like blowing on the edge of a piece of paper.

Mrs. W.   Ain't you ashamed, Wilk—

Mr. W.   It's disgrace enough to have you sitting down and pretending to sing, and trying to deafen people, without having the children do it. The first time I heard you sing I started round to the station-house and got six policemen, because I thought there was a murder in your house, and they were cutting you up by inches. I wish somebody would! I wouldn't go for any policeman now, not much!

Mrs. W.   I declare, you are a perfect brute!

Mr. W.   Not much, I wouldn't! But Smith, he told me yesterday that his family were kept awake half the night by the noise you made; and he said if I didn't stop those dogs from yowling in my cellar, he'd be obliged to complain to the board of health.

Mrs. W.   What an awful story, Mr Wilk—

Mr. W.   Then I told him it was you, and you thought you could sing; and he advised me as a friend to get a divorce, because he said no man could live happily with any woman who had a voice like a cross-cut saw. He said I might as well have a machine-shop with a lot of files at work in my house as that, and he'd rather any time.

Mrs. W.   Phugh! I don't care what Smith says.

Mr. W.   And you a-talking about a new piano! [page 9] Why, haven't we got musical instruments enough in the house? There's Holofernes Montgomery been blowing away in the garret for ten days with that old key bugle, until he got so black in the face that he won't get his colour back for a month, and then he only gets a spurt out of her every now and then. He's blown enough wind in her to get up a hurricane, and I expect nothing else but he'll get the old machine so chock full that she'll blow back at him some day and burst his brains out, and all along of your tomfoolery. You're a pretty mother, you are! You'd better go and join some asylum for feeble-minded idiots, you had.

Mrs. W.   Wilkins! I declare you're too bad, for—

Mr. W.   Yes—and there's Bucephalus Alexander, he's got his head full of your sentimental nonsense, and he thinks he's in love with a girl round the corner, and he meanders about and tries to sigh, and won't eat his victuals, and he's got to going down into the cellar and trying to sing "No one to love" in the coal-bin; and he like to scared the hired girl out of her senses, so that she went upstairs and had a fit on the kitchen door-mat, and came near dying on my hands.

Mrs. W.   That's not true, Mr. Wil—

Mr. W.   And never came to until I put her head under the hydrant. And then what does Bucephalus Alexander do but go round, night before last, and try to serenade the girl, until the old man histed up the sash and cracked away at Bucephalus Alexander with an old boot, and hit him in the face and blacked his eye, because he thought it was two cats a-yelping. Hang such a mother as you are! You go right to work to ruin your offspring.

Mrs. W.   You're talking nonsense, Wilk—

[page 10]

Mr. W.   You're about as fit to bring up children as a tadpole is to run a ferry boat, you are! But while I'm alive Mary Jane takes no singing lessons. Do you understand? It's bad enough to have her battering away at that piano like she had some grudge against it, and to have her visitors wriggle around and fidget and look miserable, as if they had cramp colic, while you make her play for them and have them get up and lie, and ask what it was, and say how beautiful it is, and steep their souls in falsehood and hypocrisy all on account of you. You'll have enough sins to answer for, old woman, without that.

Mrs. W.   I never did such a thing, and you—

Mr. W.   Yes—and you think Mary Jane can play, don't you? You think she can sit down and jerk more music than a whole orchestra, don't you? But she can't. You might about as well set a crowbar to opening oysters as set her to playing on that piano. You might, indeed!

Mrs. W.   You talk like a fool, Wilkins!

Mr. W.   Play! She play? Pshaw! Why, she's drummed away at that polka for six months and she can't get her grip on it yet. You might as well try to sing a long-metre hymn to "Fisher's Hornpipe," as to undertake to dance to that polka. It would jerk your legs out at the sockets, certain, or else it would give you St. Vitus' dance, and cripple you for life.

Mrs. W.   Mr. Wilkins, I'm going to tell you a secret.

Mr. W.   Oh! I don't want to hear your secrets—keep them to yourself.

Mrs. W.   It's about Mary Jane's singing.

Mr. W.   What?

Mrs. W.   Mary Jane, you know—her singing.

[page 11]

Mr. W.   I don't know, and I don't want to; she shan't take lessons, so dry up.

Mrs. W.   But she shall take them!

Mr. W.   I say she shan't!

Mrs. W.   She shall, and you can't help it.

Mr. W.   By George! What do you mean? I'm master in this house I'd like you to know.

Mrs. W.   Yes—but she's been taking lessons for a whole quarter, while you were down town, and I paid the bill out of the market money.

Mr. W.   Well! I hope I may be shot! You don't mean to say that? Well, if you ain't a perfectly abandoned wretch, hang me! Farewell, Mrs. Wilkins, farewell! I'm off by the first express-train for the West! I'll stop at Chicago, where the cars wait fifteen minutes for refreshments and a divorce—I'll take the divorce, that will be indeed refreshing! Farewell! F-a-r-e-well! Fare-r-r-r-r-r-r-well! Mrs. Wil-l-l-l-l-l-l-kins!





ND are ye sure the news is true?

And are ye sure he's weel?

Is this a time to think o' wark?

Make haste, lay by your wheel;

Is this a time to spin a thread,

When Colin's at the door?

Reach down my cloak, I'll to the quay,

And see him come ashore.

[page 12]

For there's nae luck about the house,

There's nae luck at a';

There's little pleasure in the house

When our gudeman's awa'.

And gie to me my bigonet,

My bishop's satin gown;

For I maun tell the baillie's wife,

That Colin's in the town.

My Turkey slippers maun gae on,

My stockings pearly blue;

It's a' to pleasure our gudeman,

For he's baith leal and true.

Rise, lass, and mak a clean fireside,

Put on the mukle pot;

Gie little Kate her button gown

And Jock his Sunday coat;

And mak their shoon as black as slaes,

Their hose as white as snaw;

It's a' to please my own gudeman,

For he's been long awa.

There's twa fat hens upo' the coop,

Been fed this month and mair;

Mak haste and thraw their necks about,

That Colin weel may fare;

And mak our table neat and clean,

Let everything look braw,

For wha can tell how Colin fared

When he was far awa?

Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,

His breath like caller air;

His very foot has music in't

As he comes up the stair.

And shall I see his face again?

And shall I hear him speak?

I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought,

In troth I'm like to greet!

[page 13]

The cold blasts o' the winter wind,

That thirléd through my heart,

They're a' blown by, I hae him safe,

'Till death we'll never part;

But what puts parting in my head?

It may be far awa!

The present moment is our ain,

The neist we never saw.

Since Colin's weel, and weel content,

I hae nae mair to crave;

And gin I live to keep him sae,

I'm blest aboov the lave.

And will I see his face again?

And will I hear him speak?

I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought,

In troth I'm like to greet.

For there's nae luck about the house,

There's nae lack at a';

There's little pleasure in the house

When our gudeman's awa.



S NYDER kept a beer saloon some years ago "over the Rhine." Snyder was a ponderous Teuton of very irascible temper—"sudden and quick in quarrel"—get mad in a minute. Nevertheless his saloon was a great resort for "the boys"—partly because of the excellence of his beer, and partly because they liked to chafe "Old Snyder," as they called him; for, although his bark was terrific, experience had taught them that he wouldn't bite.

One day Snyder was missing; and it was explained [page 14] by his "frau," who "jerked" the beer that day, that he had "gone out fishing mit der poys." The next day one of the boys, who was particularly fond of "roasting" old Snyder, dropped in to get a glass of beer, and discovered Snyder's nose, which was a big one at any time, swollen and blistered by the sun, until it looked like a dead-ripe tomato.

"Why, Snyder, what's the matter with your nose?" said the caller.

"I peen out fishing mit der poys," replied Snyder, laying his finger tenderly against his proboscis; "the sun it pese hot like ash never vas, und I purns my nose. Nice nose, don't it?" And Snyder viewed it with a look of comical sadness in the little mirror back of his bar. It entered at once into the head of the mischievous fellow in front of the bar to play a joke upon Snyder; so he went out and collected half a dozen of his comrades, with whom he arranged that they should drop in at the saloon one after another, and ask Snyder, "What's the matter with that nose?" to see how long he would stand it. The man who put up the job went in first with a companion, and seating themselves at a table called for beer. Snyder brought it to them, and the new-comer exclaimed as he saw him, "Snyder, what's the matter with your nose?"

"I yust dell your friend here I peen out fishin' mit der poys, unt de sun he purnt 'em—zwi lager—den cents—all right."

Another boy rushes in. "Halloo, boys, you're ahead of me this time; s'pose I'm in, though. Here, Snyder, bring me a glass of lager and a pret"—(appears to catch a sudden glimpse of Snyder's nose, looks wonderingly a moment and then bursts out laughing)—"ha! ha! ha! Why, Snyder—ha!—ha!—what's the matter with that nose?"

Snyder, of course, can't see any fun in having a [page 15] burnt nose or having it laughed at; and he says, in a tone sternly emphatic:

"I peen out fishin' mit der poys, unt de sun it yust ash hot ash blazes, unt I purnt my nose; dat ish all right."

Another tormentor comes in, and insists on "setting 'em up" for the whole house. "Snyder," says he, "fill up the boys' glasses, and take a drink yourse——ho! ho! ho! ho! ha! ha! ha! Snyder, wha—ha! ha!—what's the matter with that nose?"

Snyder's brow darkens with wrath by this time, and his voice grows deeper and sterner:

"I peen out fishin' mit der poys on the Leedle Miami. De sun pese hot like ash—vel, I burn my pugle. Now that is more vot I don't got to say. Vot gind o' peseness? Dat ish all right; I purn my own nose, don't it?"

"Burn your nose—burn all the hair off your head for what I care; you needn't get mad about it."

It was evident that Snyder wouldn't stand more than one tweak at that nose; for he was tramping about behind his bar, and growling like an exasperated old bear in his cage. Another one of his tormentors walks in. Some one sings out to him, "Have a glass of beer, Billy?"

"Don't care about any beer," says Billy, "but, Snyder, you may give me one of your best ciga—Ha-a-a! ha! ha! ha! ho! ho! ho! he! he! he! ah-h-h-ha! ha! ha! ha! Why—why—Snyder—who who—ha-ha! ha! what's the matter with that nose?"

Snyder was absolutely fearful to behold by this time; his face was purple with rage, all except his nose, which glowed like a ball of fire. Leaning his ponderous figure far over the bar, and raising his arm aloft to emphasize his words with it, he fairly roared:

"I peen out fishin' mit ter poys. The sun it pese [page 16] hot like ash never was. I purnt my nose. Now you no like dose nose, you yust take dose nose unt wr-wr-wr-wring your mean American finger mit 'em. That's the kind of man vot I am!" And Snyder was right.



In the year 1762 a miser, of the name of Foscue, in France, having amassed enormous wealth by habits of extortion and the most sordid parsimony, was requested by the government to advance a sum of money as a loan. The miser demurred, pretending that he was poor. In order to hide his gold effectually, he dug a deep cave in his cellar, the descent to which was by a ladder, and which was entered by means of a trap-door, to which was attached a spring-lock.

He entered this cave one day to gloat over his gold, when the door fell upon him, and the spring-lock, the key to which he had left on the outside, snapped, and held him a prisoner in the cave, where he perished miserably. Some months afterwards a search was made, and his body was found in the midst of his money-bags, with a candlestick lying beside it on the floor. In the following lines the miser is supposed to have just entered his cave, and to be soliloquizing.


  O, so! all safe! Come forth, my pretty sparklers—

Come forth, and feast my eyes! Be not afraid!

No keen-eyed agent of the government

Can see you here. They wanted me, forsooth,

To lend you, at the lawful rate of usance,

For the state's needs. Ha, ha! my shining pets,

My yellow darlings, my sweet golden circlets!

Too well I loved you to do that—and so

I pleaded poverty, and none could prove

My story was not true.

Ha! could they see

These bags of ducats, and that precious pile

Of ingots, and those bars of solid gold,

Their eyes, methinks, would water. What a comfort

Is it to see my moneys in a heap

[page 17]

All safely lodged under my very roof!

Here's a fat bag—let me untie the mouth of it.

What eloquence! What beauty! What expression!

Could Cicero so plead? Could Helen look

One-half so charming?                       [The trap-door falls.]

Ah! what sound was that?

The Trap-door fallen—and the spring-lock caught!

Well, have I not the key? Of course I have.

'Tis in this pocket. No. In this? No. Then

I left it at the bottom of the ladder.

Ha! 'tis not there. Where then? Ah! mercy, Heaven!

'Tis in the lock outside!

What's to be done?

Help, help! Will no one hear? Oh, would that I

Had not discharged old Simon! but he begged

Each week for wages—would not give me credit.

I'll try my strength upon the door. Despair!

I might as soon uproot the eternal rocks

As force it open. Am I here a prisoner,

And no one in the house? no one at hand,

Or likely soon to be, to hear my cries?

Am I entombed alive? Horrible fate!

I sink—I faint beneath the bare conception!

[Awakes.]   Darkness? Where am I? I remember, now,

This is a bag of ducats—'tis no dream—

No dream! The trap-door fell, and here am I

Immured with my dear gold—my candle out—

All gloom—all silence—all despair! What, ho!

Friends! Friends? I have no friends. What right have I

To use the name? These money-bags have been

The only friends I've cared for—and for these

I've toiled, and pinched, and screwed—shutting my heart

To charity, humanity and love!

Detested traitors! Since I gave you all—

Aye, gave my very soul—can ye do naught

For me in this extremity? Ho! Without there!

A thousand ducats for a loaf of bread!

Ten thousand ducats for a glass of water!

A pile of ingots for a helping hand!

Was that a laugh? Aye, 'twas a fiend that laughed

[page 18]

To see a miser in the grip of death.

Offended Heaven, have mercy! I will give

In alms all this vile rubbish; aid me thou

In this most dreadful strait! I'll build a church—

A hospital! Vain, vain! Too late, too late!

Heaven knows the miser's heart too well to trust him!

Heaven will not hear! Why should it? What have I

Done to enlist Heaven's favor—to help on

Heaven's cause on earth, in human hearts and homes?

Nothing! God's kingdom will not come the sooner

For any work or any prayer of mine.

But must I die here—in my own trap caught?

Die—die? and then! Oh, mercy! Grant me time—

Thou who canst save—grant me a little time,

And I'll redeem the past—undo the evil

That I have done—make thousands happy with

This hoarded treasure—do Thy will on earth

As it is done in Heaven—grant me but time!

Nor man nor God will heed my shrieks! All's lost!




   HE funniest story I ever heard,

The funniest thing that ever occurred,

Is the story of Mrs. Mehitable Byrde,

Who wanted to be a Mason.

Her husband, Tom Byrde, is a Mason true,

As good a Mason as any of you;

He is tyler of lodge Cerulian Blue,

And tyles and delivers the summons due,

And she wanted to be a Mason too—

This ridiculous Mrs. Byrde.

She followed him round, this inquisitive wife,

And nabbed and teased him half out of his life;

So to terminate this unhallowed strife,

He consented at last to admit her.

[page 19]

And first to disguise her from bonnet to shoon,

The ridiculous lady agreed to put on

His breech—ah! forgive me—I meant pantaloon;

And miraculously did they fit her.

The Lodge was at work on the Master's Degree;

The light was ablaze on the letter G;

High soared the pillars J. and B.;

The officers sat like Solomon, wise;

The brimstone burned amid horrid cries;

The goat roamed wildly through the room;

The candidate begged 'em to let him go home;

And the devil himself stood up in the east,

As proud as an alderman at a feast;—

When in came Mrs. Byrde.

Oh, horrible sounds! oh, horrible sight!

Can it be that Masons take delight

In spending thus the hours of night?

Ah! could their wives and daughters know

The unutterable things they say and do,

Their feminine hearts would burst with woe;

But this is not all my story,

For those Masons joined in a hideous ring,

The candidate howling like everything,

And thus in tones of death they sing

(The Candidate's name was Morey):

"Blood to drink and bones to crack,

Skulls to smash and lives to take,

Hearts to crush and souls to burn—

Give old Morey another turn,

And make him all grim and gory."

Trembling with horror stood Mrs. Byrde,

Unable to speak a single word;

She staggered and fell in the nearest chair,

On the left of the Junior Warden there,

And scarcely noticed, so loud the groans,

That the chair was made of human bones.

Of human bones! on grinning skulls

That ghastly throne of horror rolls—

Those skulls, the skulls that Morgan bore!

Those bones the bones that Morgan wore!

[page 20]

His scalp across the top was flung,

His teeth around the arms were strung—

Never in all romance was known

Such uses made of human bone.

The brimstone gleamed in lurid flame,

Just like a place we will not name;

Good angels, that inquiring came

From blissful courts, looked on with shame

And tearful melancholy.

Again they dance, but twice as bad,

They jump and sing like demons mad;

The tune is Hunkey Dorey—

"Blood to drink," etc., etc.

Then came a pause—a pair of paws

Reached through the floor, up sliding doors,

And grabbed the unhappy candidate!

How can I without tears relate

The lost and ruined Morey's fate?

She saw him sink in a fiery hole,

She heard him scream, "My soul! my soul!"

While roars of fiendish laughter roll,

And drown the yells of mercy!

"Blood to drink," etc., etc.

The ridiculous woman could stand no more—

She fainted and fell on the checkered floor,

'Midst all the diabolical roar.

What then, you ask me, did befall

Mehitable Byrde? Why, nothing at all—

She had dreamed she'd been in the Masons' hall.



M IDAS, I want to s'posen a case to you, an' I want you to gim me the gospel truth on your 'pinion 'bout de matter."

That's the manner in which one of Washington's dusky damsels put it to her adorer last evening.

[page 21]

"Now, Midas, you knows you'se tole me more times 'an you'se got fingers an' toes, as you lubbed me harder 'an a marble-top washstand, an' 'at I'se sweeter to you 'an buckwheat cakes and 'lassas foreber. Midas, this am only s'posen case, but I wants you to s'posen jus' as if'n 'twas a shunuff one.

"S'posen me an' you was goin' on a scursion down de riber!"

"Yas," broke in Midas, "down to Mount Vernon."

"Anywha's 'tall, down the riber. Midas, can you swim?"

"No, Luce, I's sorry to 'form you dat de only d'reckshon what I kin circumstanshiate fru de water am de bottom."

"Well, den, as I was 'latin'. S'posen we was on de boat, glidin' lubingly an' harmunly down de bussum ob der riber's stream, de moon was lookin' shiningly down pon de smoke-stack, an' you wos sottin' rite up to me (jus' slide up here closer, an' lem me show you how), dats de way."

"Yah, yah! but wouldn't dat be scrumptuous?" interrupted Midas.

"S'posen," continued Lucy, "you had jest put your arm roun' my wai' (dat's it), der wasn't nobody 'bout, you was a squeezin' me up, an' was jest gwine to gimme de lubinest kind ob a kiss, an'—an'—an' de biler would bust!"

"Oh, de debbil!" said the disappointed Midas.

"Now, Midas, I is s'posen dis case, an' I wants you to mind de words what I am a speakin'. S'posen when dat biler busted we bof went up in de air, come down in de ribber, an' when we arrive in de water we found de only thing lef' of dat boat was one piece ob board dat wasn't big enough to hole us bof, but we bof grab at it; now, Midas, [page 22] wud you let go dat board, or would you put me off an' took it all y'self? Dat's de question what I'm s'posen."

"Luce, can you swim?" he asked, after hesitating a few moments.

"No, Midas, ob course not. You know I can't swim."

"Well den, Luce, my conchenshus 'pinion ob de whole matter am dat we won't go on no scursions."




P addy," said the squire, "perhaps you would favor the gentleman with that story you told me once about a fox?"

"Indeed and I will, plaze yer honor," said Paddy, "though I know full well the divil a one word iv it you b'lieve, nor the gintlemen won't either, though you're axin' me for it—but only want to laugh at me, and call me a big liar when my back's turned."

"Maybe we wouldn't wait for your back being turned, Paddy, to honor you with that title."

"Oh, indeed, I'm not sayin' that you wouldn't do it as soon foreninst my face, yer honor, as you often did before, and will agin, plaze God, and welkim."

"Well, Paddy, say no more about that, but let's have the story."

"Sure I'm losing no time, only telling the gintlemen beforehand that it's what they'll be callin' it, a lie—and indeed it's ancommon, sure enough; but you see, gintlemen, you must remimber that the fox is the cunnin'est baste in the world, barrin' the wran——"

[page 23]

Here Paddy was questioned why he considered the wren as cunning a baste as the fox.

"Why, sir, bekase all the birds build their nest wid one hole to it only, excep'n the wran; but the wran builds two holes to the nest, and so that if any inimy comes to disturb it upon one door it can go out an the other. But the fox is cute to that degree that there's many mortial a fool to him—and, by dad, the fox could by and sell many a Christian, as you'll soon see by-and-by, when I tell you what happened to a wood-ranger that I knew wanst, and a dacent man he was, and wouldn't say the thing in a lie.

"Well, you see, he kem home one night mighty tired—for he was out wid a party in the domain cock-shootin' that day; and whin he got back to his lodge he threw a few logs o' wood an the fire to make himself comfortable, and he tuk whatever little matther he had for his supper—and afther that he felt himself so tired that he wint to bed. But you're to understand that, though he wint to bed, it was more for to rest himself like, than to sleep, for it was airly; and so he jist wint into bed, and there he divarted himself lookin' at the fire, that was blazin' as merry as a bonfire an the hearth.

"Well, as he was lyin' that-a-way, jist thinkin' o' nothin' at all, what should come into the place but a fox. But I must tell you, what I forgot to tell you, before, that the ranger's house was on the bordhers o' the wood, and he had no one to live wid him but himself, barrin' the dogs that he had the care iv, that was his only companions, and he had a hole cut an the door, with a swingin' boord to it, that the dogs might go in or out accordin' as it plazed thim; and, by dad, the fox kem in as I told you, through the hole in the door, as bould as a ram, and walked over to the fire, and sat down foreninst it.

"Now it was mighty provokin' that all the dogs [page 24] was out; they wor rovin' about the wood, you see, lookin for to catch rabbits to ate, or some other mischief, and so it happened that there wasn't as much as one individual dog in the place; and, by gor, I'll go bail the fox knew that right well before he put his nose inside the ranger's lodge.

"Well, the ranger was in hopes some o' the dogs id come home and ketch the chap, and he was loath to stir hand or fut himself, afeared o' frightenin' away the fox, but by gor, he could hardly keep his timper at all at all, whin he seen the fox take his pipe aff o' the hob where he left it afore he wint to bed, and puttin' the bowl o' the pipe into the fire to kindle it (it's as thrue as I'm here), he began to smoke foreninst the fire, as nath'ral as any other man you ever seen.

"'Musha, bad luck to your impidence, you long-tailed blackguard,' says the ranger, 'and is it smokin' my pipe you are? Oh, thin, by this and by that, iv I had my gun convaynient to me, it's fire and smoke of another sort, and what you wouldn't bargain for, I'd give you,' says he. But still he was loath to stir, hopin the dogs id come home; and 'By gor, my fine fellow,' says he to the fox, 'if one o' the dogs comes home, saltpethre wouldn't save you, and that's a sthrong pickle.'

"So with that he watched antil the fox wasn't mindin' him, but was busy shakin' the cindhers out o' the pipe whin he was done wid it, and so the ranger thought he was goin' to go immediately afther gettin an air o' the fire and a shough o' the pipe; and so, says he, 'Faix, my lad, I won't let you go so aisy as all that, as cunnin' as you think yourself;' and with that he made a dart out o' bed, and run over to the door, and got betune it and the fox, 'And now,' says he, 'your bread's baked, my buck, and maybe my lord won't have a fine run out o' you, [page 25] and the dogs at your brish every yard, you morodin' thief, and the divil mind you,' says he, 'for your impidence—for sure, if you hadn't the impidence of a highwayman's horse it's not into my very house, undher my nose, you'd daar for to come:' and with that he began to whistle for the dogs; and the fox, that stood eyein' him all the time while he was spakin', began to think it was time to be joggin' whin he heard the whistle—and says the fox to himself, 'Troth, indeed, you think yourself a mighty great ranger now,' says he, 'and you think you're very cute, but upon my tail, and that's a big oath, I'd be long sorry to let such a mallet-headed bog-throtter as yourself take a dirty advantage o' me, and I'll engage,' says the fox, 'I'll make you lave the door soon and suddint,'—and with that he turned to where the ranger's brogues was lyin' hard by beside the fire, and, what would you think, but the fox tuk one o' the brogues, and wint over to the fire, and threw it into it.

"'I think that'll make you start,' says the fox.

"'Divil resave the start,' says the ranger—'that won't do, my buck,' says he, 'the brogue may burn to cindhers,' says he, 'but out o' this I won't stir;' and thin, puttin' his fingers into his mouth, he gev a blast of a whistle you'd hear a mile off, and shouted for the dogs.

"'So that won't do,' says the fox—'well, I must thry another offer,' says he, and with that he tuk up the other brogue, and threw it into the fire too.

"'There, now,' says he, 'you may keep the other company,' says he; 'and there's a pair o' you now, as the divil said to his knee-buckles.'

"'Oh, you thievin' varment,' says the ranger, 'you won't lave me a tack to my feet; but no matter,' says he, 'your head's worth more nor a pair [page 26] o' brogues to me any day, and by the Piper of Blessintown, you're money in my pocket this minit,' says he: and with that, the fingers was in his mouth agin, and he was goin' to whistle, whin, what would you think, but up sets the fox on his hunkers, and puts his two fore-paws into his mouth, makin' game o' the ranger—(bad luck to the lie I tell you.)

"'Well, the ranger, and no wondher, although in a rage as he was, couldn't help laughin' at the thought o' the fox mockin' him, and, by dad, he tuk sitch a fit o' laughin' that he couldn't whistle—and that was the 'cuteness o' the fox to gain time; but whin his first laugh was over, the ranger recovered himself, and gev another whistle; and so says the fox, 'By my soul,' says he, 'I think it wouldn't be good for my health to stay here much longer, and I mustn't be triflin' with that blackguard ranger any more,' says he, 'and I must make him sensible that it is time to let me go, and though he hasn't understandin' to be sorry for his brogues, I'll go bail I'll make him lave that,' says he, 'before he'd say sparables'—and with that what do you think the fox done? By all that's good—and the ranger himself told me out iv his own mouth, and said he would never have b'lieved it, ownly he seen it—the fox tuk a lighted piece iv a log out o' the blazin' fire, and run over wid it to the ranger's bed, and was goin' to throw it into the sthraw, and burn him out of house and home; so when the ranger seen that he gev a shout out iv him—

"'Hillo! hillo! you murtherin' villain,' says he, 'you're worse nor Captain Rock; is it goin' to burn me out you are, you red rogue iv a Ribbonman?" and he made a dart betune him and the bed, to save the house from bein' burnt,—but, my jew'l, that was all the fox wanted—and as soon as the ranger quitted the hole in the door that he was standin' [page 27] foreninst, the fox let go the blazin' faggit, and made one jump through the door and escaped.

"But before he wint, the ranger gev me his oath that the fox turned round and gev him the most contemptible look he ever got in his life, and showed every tooth in his head with laughin', and at last he put out his tongue at him, as much as to say—'You've missed me like your mammy's blessin',' and off wid him, like a flash o' lightnin'."



[It is hardly necessary to say that too much tenderness cannot be imparted to the voice while reading these beautiful lines. The heart that recalls a departed mother's memory will be the best monitor.]


IVE me my old seat, mother,

With my head upon thy knee;

I've passed through many a changing scene,

Since thus I sat by thee.

Oh! let me look into thine eyes;

Their meek, soft, loving light

Falls like a gleam of holiness,

Upon my heart, to-night.

I've not been long away, mother;

Few suns have risen and set,

Since last the tear-drop on thy cheek,

My lips in kisses met.

'Tis but a little time, I know,

But very long it seems;

Though every night I came to thee,

Dear mother, in my dreams.

The world has kindly dealt, mother,

By the child thou lov'st so well;

[page 28]

The prayers have circled round her path;

And 'twas their holy spell

Which made that path so dearly bright;

Which strewed the roses there;

Which gave the light, and cast the balm

On every breath of air.

I bear a happy heart, mother;

A happier never beat;

And, even now, new buds of hope

Are bursting at my feet.

Oh! mother! life may be a dream;

But if such dreams are given,

While at the portals thus we stand,

What are the truths of Heaven?

I bear a happy heart, mother!

Yet, when fond eyes I see,

And hear soft tones and winning words,

I ever think of thee.

And then, the tears my spirit weeps

Unbidden fill my eye;

And, like a houseless dove, I long

Unto thy breast to fly.

Then I am very sad, mother,

I'm very sad and lone:

O! there's no heart whose inmost fold

Opes to me like thine own!

Though sunny smiles wreath blooming lips,

While love-tones meet my ear;

My mother, one fond glance of thine

Were thousand times more dear.

Then with a closer clasp, mother,

Now hold me to thy heart:

I'll feel it beating 'gainst my own,

Once more before we part.

And mother, to this love-lit spot,

When I am far away,

Come oft—too oft thou canst not come!

And for thy darling pray.

[page 29]




H E had been missing from the "Potomac" for several days, and Cleveland Tom, Port Huron Bill, Tall Chicago, and the rest of the boys who were wont to get drunk with him, couldn't make out what had happened. They hadn't heard that there was a warrant out for him, had never known of his being sick for a day, and his absence from the old haunts puzzled them. They were in the Hole-in-the-Wall saloon yesterday morning, nearly a dozen of them, drinking, smoking, and playing cards, when in walked Ugly Sam.

There was a deep silence for a moment as they looked at him. Sam had a new hat, had been shaved clean, had on a clean collar and a white shirt, and they didn't know him at first. When they saw that it was Ugly Sam, they uttered a shout and leaped up.

"Cave in that hat!" cried one.

"Yank that collar off!" shouted another.

"Let's roll him on the floor!" screamed a third.

There was something in his look and bearing which made them hesitate. The whiskey-red had almost faded from his face, and he looked sober and dignified. His features expressed disgust and contempt as he looked around the room, and then revealed pity as his eyes fell upon the red eyes and bloated faces of the crowd before him.

"Why, what ails ye, Sam?" inquired Tall Chicago, as they all stood there.

"I've come down to bid ye good-bye, boys!" he replied, removing his hat and drawing a clean handkerchief from his pocket.

[page 30]

"What! Hev ye turned preacher?" they shouted in chorus.

"Boys, ye know I can lick any two of ye; but I hain't on the fight any more, an' I've put down the last drop of whiskey which is ever to go into my mouth! I've switched off. I've taken an oath. I'm going to be decent!"

"Sam, be you crazy?" asked Port Huron Bill, coming nearer to him.

"I've come down here to tell ye all about it," answered Sam. "Move the cha'rs back a little and give me room. Ye all know I've been rough, and more too. I've been a drinker, a fighter, a gambler, and a loafer. I can't look back and remember when I've earned an honest dollar. The police hez chased me around like a wolf, and I've been in jail and the work-house, and the papers has said that Ugly Sam was the terror of the Potomac. Ye all know this, boys, but ye didn't know I had an old mother."

The faces of the crowd expressed amazement.

"I never mentioned it to any of ye, for I was neglecting her," he went on. "She was a poor old body living up here in the alley, and if the neighbours hadn't helped her to fuel and food, she'd have been found dead long ago. I never helped her to a cent—didn't see her for weeks and weeks, and I used to feel mean about it. When a feller goes back on his old mother, he's a-gittin' purty low, and I know it. Well, she's dead—buried yesterday! I was up there afore she died. She sent for me by Pete, and when I got there I seen it was all day with her."

"Did she say anything?" asked one of the boys, as Sam hesitated.

"That's what ails me now," he went on. "When I went she reached out her hand to me, [page 31] and says she, 'Samuel, I'm going to die, and I know'd you'd want to see me afore I passed away!' I sat down, feeling queer like. She didn't go on and say as how I was a loafer, and had neglected her, and all that, but says she, 'Samuel, you'll be all alone when I'm gone. I've tried to be a good mother to you, and have prayed for you hundreds o' nights and cried about you till my old heart was sore!' Some o' the neighbours had dropped in, and the women were crying, and I tell you, boys, I felt weak."

He paused for a moment, and then continued:

"And the old woman said she'd like to kiss me afore death came, and that broke me right down. She kept hold of my hand, and by-and-by she whispered; 'Samuel, you are throwing your life away. You've got it in you to be a man if you will only make up your mind, I hate to die and feel that my only son and the last of our family may go to the gallows. If I had your promise that you'd turn over a new leaf and try and be good, it seems as if I'd die easier. Won't you promise me, my son?' And I promised her, boys, and that's what ails me! She died holding my hand, and I promised to quit this low business and go to work. I came down to tell ye, and now you won't see me on the Potomac again. I've bought an axe, and am going up in Canada to Winter."

There was a dead silence for a moment, and then he said:

"Well, boys, I'll shake hands with ye all around afore I go. Good-by, Pete—good-by, Jack—Tom—Jim. I hope you won't fling any bricks at me, and I shan't never fling any at any of ye. It's a dying promise, ye see, and I'll keep it if it takes a right arm!"

The men looked reflectively at each other after [page 32] he had passed out, and it was a long time before any one spoke. Then Tall Chicago flung his clay pipe into a corner, and said:

"I'll lick the man who says Ugly Sam's head isn't level!"

"So'll I!" repeated the others.



This famous speech affords opportunity for the grandest declamation. It is studded with points—anger, hate, scorn, admiration and defiance. The student should read, and re-read and ponder over every line, until he catches the exact meaning intended to be conveyed—then, following the examples already given, he should declaim it repeatedly:


 THOU, that, with surpassing glory crown'd,

Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God

Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars

Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,

But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,

O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,

That bring to my remembrance from what state

I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;

Till pride and worse ambition threw me down

Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless king:

Ah, wherefore! he deserved no such return

From me, whom he created what I was

In that bright eminence, and with his good

Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.

What could be less than to afford him praise,

The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks,

How due! yet all his good proved ill in me,

And wrought but malice; lifted up so high

I 'sdain'd subjection, and thought one step higher

[page 33]

Would set me highest, and in a moment quit

The debt immense of endless gratitude

So burdensome still paying, still to owe:

Forgetful what from him I still received,

And understood not that a grateful mind

By owing owes not, but still pays, at once

Indebted and discharged; what burden then?

O, had his powerful destiny ordain'd

Me some inferior angel, I had stood

Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised

Ambition! Yet why not? some other Power

As great might have aspired, and me, though mean,

Drawn to his part; but other Powers as great

Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within

Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.

Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?

Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse

But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all?

Be then his love accursed, since love or hate,

To me alike, it deals eternal woe.

Nay, cursed be thou; since against his thy will

Chose freely what it now so justly rues.

Me miserable! which way shall I fly

Infinite wrath and infinite despair?

Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell;

And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep

Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide,

To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.

O then at last relent: Is there no place

Left for repentance, none for pardon left?

None left but by submission; and that word

Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame

Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced

With other promises and other vaunts

Than to submit, boasting I could subdue

The Omnipotent. Ah me! they little know

How dearly I abide that boast so vain,

Under what torments inwardly I groan,

While they adore me on the throne of hell.

With diadem and sceptre high advanced,

[page 34]

The lower still I fall, only supreme

In misery! Such joy ambition finds.

But say I could repent, and could obtain

By act of grace, my former state; how soon

Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay

What faint submission swore? Ease would recant

Vows made in pain, as violent and void.

For never can true reconcilement grow,

Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep:

Which would but lead me to a worse relapse

And heavier fall; so should I purchase dear

Short intermission bought with double smart.

This knows my Punisher; therefore as far

From granting he, as I from begging, peace;

All hope excluded thus, behold, instead

Of us outcast, exiled, his new delight,

Mankind created, and for him this world,

So farewell, hope; and with hope, farewell, fear;

Farewell, remorse! all good to me is lost;

Evil, be thou my good; by thee at least

Divided empire with Heaven's King I hold,

By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;

As man, ere long, and this new world shall know.




  ATRICK O'FLANIGAN, from Erin's isle

Just fresh, thinking he'd walk around a while,

With open mouth and widely staring eyes,

Cried "Och!" and "Whist!" at every new surprise.

He saw some labourers in a field of corn;

The golden pumpkins lit the scene with glory;

Of all that he had heard since being born,

Nothing had equaled this in song or story.

"The holy mither! and, sirs, would ye plaise

To be a tellin' me what might be these?

[page 35]

An' sure I'm thinkin' that they're not pratees,

But mebbe it's the way you grow your chase."

"Ah, Patrick, these are mare's eggs," said the hand,

Giving a wink to John, and Jim, and Bill;

"Just hatch it out, and then you have your horse;

Take one and try it; it will pay you well."

"Faith an' that's aisy sure; in dear ould Ireland

I always had my Christmas pig so nate,

Fatted on buttermilk, and hard to bate;

But only gintlemen can own a horse.

Ameriky's a great counthry indade,

I thought that here I'd kape a pig, of coorse,

Have me own land, and shanty without rent,

An' have me vote, an' taxes not a cint;

But sure I niver thought to own a baste.

An' won't the wife and childer now be glad?

A thousand blissings on your honor's head!

But could ye tell by lookin' at the egg

What colour it will hatch? It's to me taste

To have a dapple gray, with a long tail,

High in the neck, and slinder in the leg,

To jump a twel' feet bog, and niver fail,

Like me Lord Dumferline's at last year's races—"

Just then the merry look on all their faces

Checked Patrick's flow of talk, and with a blush

That swept his face as milk goes over mush,

He added, "Sure, I know it is no use

To try to tell by peering at an egg

If it will hatch a gander or a goose;"

Then looked around to make judicious choice.

"Pick out the largest one that you can hide

Out of the owner's sight there by the river;

Don't drop and break it, or the colt is gone;

Carry it gently to your little farm,

Put it in bed, and keep it six weeks warm."

Quickly Pat seized a huge, ripe, yellow one,

"Faith, sure, an' I'll do every bit of that

The whole sax wakes I'll lie meself in bed,

An' kape it warrum, as your honour said;

Long life to yees, and may you niver walk,

[page 36]

Not even to your grave, but ride foriver;

Good luck to yees," and without more of talk

He pulled the forelock 'neath his tattered hat,

And started off; but plans of mice and men

Gang oft agley, again and yet again.

Full half a mile upon his homeward road

Poor Patrick toiled beneath his heavy load.

A hilltop gained, he stopped to rest, alas!

He laid his mare's egg on some treacherous grass;

When down the steep hillside it rolled away,

And at poor Patrick's call made no delay.

Gaining momentum, with a heavy thump,

It struck and split upon a hollow stump,

In which a rabbit lived with child and wife,

Frightened, the timid creature ran for life.

"Shtop, shtop my colt!" cried Patrick, as he ran

After his straying colt, but all in vain.

With ears erect poor Bunny faster fled

As "Shtop my colt!" in mournful, eager tones

Struck on those organs, till with fright half dead

He hid away among some grass and stones.

Here Patrick searched till rose the harvest moon,

Braying and whinnying till he was hoarse,

Hoping to lure the colt by this fond cheat;

"For won't the young thing want his mither soon,

And come to take a bit of something t'eat?"

But vain the tender accents of his call—

No colt responded from the broken wall;

And 'neath the twinkling stars he plodded on,

To tell how he had got and lost his horse.

"As swate a gray as iver eyes sat on,"

He said to Bridget and the children eight,

After thrice telling the whole story o'er,

The way he run it would be hard to bate;

So little, too, with jist a whisk o' tail,

Not a pin-feather on it as I could see,

For it was hatched out just sax weeks too soon!

An' such long ears were niver grown before

On any donkey in grane Ireland!

So little, too, you'd hold it in your hand;

[page 37]

Och hone! he would have made a gray donkey."

So all the sad O'Flanigans that night

Held a loud wake over the donkey gone,

Eating their "pratees" without milk or salt,

Howling between whiles, "Och! my little colt!"

While Bunny, trembling from his dreadful fright,

Skipped home to Mrs. B. by light of moon,

And told the story of his scare and flight;

And all the neighbouring rabbits played around

The broken mare's egg scattered on the ground.




T HE world for sale! Hang out the sign; call every traveler here to me: who'll buy this brave estate of mine, and set this weary spirit free? 'Tis going! yes, I mean to fling the bauble from my soul away; I'll sell it, whatsoe'er it bring: the world's at auction here to-day! It is a glorious sight to see—but, ah! it has deceived me sore; it is not what it seems to be. For sale! it shall be mine no more. Come, turn it o'er and view it well; I would not have you purchase dear. 'Tis going! going! I must sell! Who bids! who'll buy this splendid Tear? Here's Wealth, in glittering heaps of gold; who bids? But let me tell you fair, a baser lot was never sold! Who'll buy the heavy heaps of Care? and, here, spread out in broad domain, a goodly landscape all may trace; hall, cottage, tree, field, hill and plain:—who'll buy himself a burial place? Here's Love, the dreamy potent spell that Beauty flings around the heart; I know its power, alas! too well; 'tis going! Love and I must part! Must [page 38] part? What can I more with Love? all o'er is the enchanter's reign. Who'll buy the plumeless, dying dove—a breath of bliss, a storm of pain? And Friendship, rarest gem of earth; who e'er has found the jewel his? Frail, fickle, false, and little worth! who bids for Friendship—as it is? 'Tis going! going! hear the call; once, twice and thrice, 'tis very low! 'Twas once my hope, my stay, my all, but now the broken staff must go! Fame! hold the brilliant meteor high; how dazzling every gilded name! Ye millions! now's the time to buy. How much for Fame? how much for Fame? Hear how it thunders! Would you stand on high Olympus, far renowned, now purchase, and a world command!—and be with a world's curses crowned. Sweet star of Hope! with ray to shine in every sad foreboding breast, save this desponding one of mine—who bids for man's last friend, and best? Ah, were not mine a bankrupt life, this treasure should my soul sustain! But Hope and Care are now at strife, nor ever may unite again. Ambition, Fashion, Show and Pride, I part from all forever now; Grief, in an overwhelming tide, has taught my haughty heart to bow. By Death, stern sheriff! all bereft, I weep, yet humbly kiss the rod; the best of all I still have left—my Faith, My Bible, and my God.



I  WAS dozing comfortably in my easy-chair, and dreaming of the good times which I hope are coming, when there fell upon my ears a most startling scream. It was the voice of my Maria Ann in agony. The voice came from the kitchen and to the [page 39] kitchen I rushed. The idolized form of my Maria was perched on a chair, and she was flourishing an iron spoon in all directions, and shouting "shoo," in a general manner, at everything in the room. To my anxious inquiries as to what was the matter, she screamed, "O Joshua! a mouse, shoo—wha—shoo—a great—ya, shoo—horrid mouse, and—she—ew—it ran right out of the cupboard—shoo—go away—O Lord—Joshua—shoo—kill it, oh, my—shoo."

All that fuss, you see, about one little harmless mouse. Some women are so afraid of mice. Maria is. I got the poker and set myself to poke that mouse, and my wife jumped down, and ran off into another room. I found the mouse in a corner under the sink. The first time I hit it I didn't poke it any on account of getting the poker all tangled up in a lot of dishes in the sink; and I did not hit it any more because the mouse would not stay still. It ran right toward me, and I naturally jumped, as anybody would; but I am not afraid of mice, and when the horrid thing ran up inside the leg of my pantaloons, I yelled to Maria because I was afraid it would gnaw a hole in my garment. There is something real disagreeable about having a mouse inside the leg of one's pantaloons, especially if there is nothing between you and the mouse. Its toes are cold, and its nails are scratchy, and its fur tickles, and its tail feels crawly, and there is nothing pleasant about it, and you are all the time afraid it will try to gnaw out, and begin on you instead of on the cloth. That mouse was next to me. I could feel its every motion with startling and suggestive distinctness. For these reasons I yelled to Maria, and as the case seemed urgent to me I may have yelled with a certain degree of vigor; but I deny that I yelled fire, and if I catch the boy who thought that I did, I shall inflict punishment on his person.

[page 40]

I did not loose my presence of mind for an instant. I caught the mouse just as it was clambering over my knee, and by pressing firmly on the outside of the cloth, I kept the animal a prisoner on the inside. I kept jumping around with all my might to confuse it, so that it would not think about biting, and I yelled so that the mice would not hear its squeaks and come to its assistance. A man can't handle many mice at once to advantage.

Maria was white as a sheet when she came into the kitchen and asked what she should do—as though I could hold the mouse and plan a campaign at the same time. I told her to think of something, and she thought she would throw things at the intruder; but as there was no earthly chance for her to hit the mouse, while every shot took effect on me, I told her to stop, after she had tried two flat-irons and the coal-scuttle. She paused for breath; but I kept bobbing around. Somehow I felt no inclination to sit down anywhere. "O Joshua," she cried, "I wish you had not killed the cat." Now I submit that the wish was born of the weakness of woman's intellect. How on earth did she suppose a cat could get where that mouse was?—rather have the mouse there alone, anyway, than to have a cat prowling around after it. I reminded Maria of the fact that she was a fool. Then she got the tea-kettle and wanted to scald the mouse. I objected to that process, except as a last resort. Then she got some cheese to coax the mouse down, but I did not dare to let go, for fear it would run up. Matters were getting desperate. I told her to think of something else, and I kept jumping. Just as I was ready to faint with exhaustion, I tripped over an iron, lost my hold, and the mouse fell to the floor, very dead. I had no idea a mouse could be squeezed to death so easy.

That was not the end of the trouble, for before I [page 41] had recovered my breath a fireman broke in one of the front windows, and a whole company followed him through, and they dradged hose around, and mussed things all over the house, and then the foreman wanted to thrash me because the house was not on fire, and I had hardly got him pacified before a policeman came in and arrested me. Some one had run down and told him I was drunk and was killing Maria. It was all Maria and I could do, by combining our eloquence, to prevent him from marching me off in disgrace, but we finally got matters quieted and the house clear.

Now when mice run out of the cupboard I go outdoors, and let Maria "shoo" them back again. I can kill a mouse, but the fun don't pay for the trouble.



The following poem, a favourite with the late Mr. Edwin Forrest, was composed by a young law student, and first published in Boston in 1858.


 HEBREW knelt in the dying light,

His eye was dim and cold;

The hairs on his brow were silver white,

And his blood was thin and old!

He lifted his look to his latest sun,

For he knew that his pilgrimage was done;

And as he saw God's shadow there,

His spirit poured itself in prayer!

"I come unto death's second birth

Beneath a stranger air,

A pilgrim on a dull, cold earth,

As all my fathers were!

[page 42]

And men have stamped me with a curse,

I feel it is not Thine;

Thy mercy, like yon sun, was made

On me, as them, to shine;

And therefore dare I lift mine eye

Through that to Thee before I die!

In this great temple, built by Thee,

Whose pillars are divine,

Beneath yon lamp, that ceaselessly

Lights up Thine own true shrine,

Oh take my latest sacrifice—

Look down and make this sod

Holy as that where, long ago,

The Hebrew met his God.

I have not caused the widow's tears,

Nor dimmed the orphan's eye;

I have not stained the virgin's years,

Nor mocked the mourner's cry.

The songs of Zion in mine ear

Have ever been most sweet,

And always, when I felt Thee near,

My shoes were off my feet.

I have known Thee in the whirlwind,

I have known Thee on the hill,

I have loved Thee in the voice of birds,

Or the music of the rill;

I dreamt Thee in the shadow,

I saw Thee in the light;

I blessed Thee in the radiant day,

And worshiped Thee at night.

All beauty, while it spoke of Thee,

Still made my soul rejoice,

And my spirit bowed within itself

To hear Thy still, small voice!

I have not felt myself a thing,

Far from Thy presence driven,

By flaming sword or waving wing

Shut off from Thee and heaven.

Must I the whirlwind reap because

My fathers sowed the storm?

[page 43]

Or shrink, because another sinned,

Beneath Thy red, right arm?

Oh much of this we dimly scan,

And much is all unknown;

But I will not take my curse from man—

I turn to Thee alone!

Oh bid my fainting spirit live,

And what is dark reveal,

And what is evil, oh forgive,

And what is broken heal.

And cleanse my nature from above,

In the dark Jordan of Thy love!

I know not if the Christian's heaven

Shall be the same as mine;

I only ask to be forgiven,

And taken home to Thine.

I weary on a far, dim strand,

Whose mansions are as tombs,

And long to find the Fatherland,

Where there are many homes.

Oh grant of all yon starry thrones,

Some dim and distant star,

Where Judah's lost and scattered sons

May love Thee from afar.

Where all earth's myriad harps shall meet

In choral praise and prayer,

Shall Zion's harp, of old so sweet,

Alone be wanting there?

Yet place me in Thy lowest seat,

Though I, as now, be there,

The Christian's scorn, the Christian's jest;

But let me see and hear,

From some dim mansion in the sky,

Thy bright ones and their melody."

The sun goes down with sudden gleam,

And—beautiful as a lovely dream

And silently as air—

The vision of a dark-eyed girl,

With long and raven hair,

Glides in—as guardian spirits glide—

[page 44]

And lo! is kneeling by his side,

As if her sudden presence there

Were sent in answer to his prayer.

(Oh say they not that angels tread

Around the good man's dying bed?)

His child—his sweet and sinless child—

And as he gazed on her

He knew his God was reconciled,

And this the messenger,

As sure as God had hung on high

The promise bow before his eye—

Earth's purest hopes thus o'er him flung,

To point his heavenward faith,

And life's most holy feeling strung

To sing him into death;

And on his daughter's stainless breast

The dying Hebrew found his rest!



N OT many years since, a young married couple from the far "fast-anchored isle" sought our shores with the most sanguine anticipations of happiness and prosperity. They had begun to realize more than they had seen in the visions of hope, when, in an evil hour, the husband was tempted "to look upon the wine when it is red," and to taste of it, "when it giveth its colour in the cup." The charmer fastened round its victim all the serpent-spells of its sorcery, and he fell; and at every step of his degradation from the man to the brute, and downward, a heartstring broke in the bosom of his companion.

Finally, with the last spark of hope flickering on the altar of her heart, she threaded her way into [page 45] one of those shambles where man is made such a thing as the beasts of the field would bellow at. She pressed her way through the bacchanalian crowd who were revelling there in their own ruin. With her bosom full of "that perilous stuff that preys upon the heart," she stood before the plunderer of her husband's destiny, and exclaimed in tones of startling anguish, "Give me back my husband!"

"There's your husband," said the man, as he pointed toward the prostrate wretch.

"That my husband? What have you done to him? That my husband? What have you done to that noble form that once, like the great oak, held its protecting shade over the fragile vine that clung to it for support and shelter? That my husband? With what torpedo chill have you touched the sinews of that manly arm? What have you done to that once noble brow, which he wore high among his fellows, as if it bore the superscription of the Godhead? That my husband? What have you done to that eye, with which he was wont to look erect on heaven, and see in his mirror the image of his God? What Egyptian drug have you poured into his veins, and turned the ambling fountains of the heart into black and burning pitch? Give me back my husband! Undo your basilisk spells, and give me back the man that stood with me by the altar!"

The ears of the rumseller, ever since the first demijohn of that burning liquid was opened upon our shores, have been saluted, at every stage of the traffic, with just such appeals as this. Such wives, such widows, and mothers, such fatherless children, as never mourned in Israel at the massacre of Bethlehem or at the burning of the temple, have cried in his ears, morning, night, and evening, "Give me back my husband! Give me back my boy! [page 46] Give me back my brother! Give me back my sister! Give me back my wife!"

But has the rumseller been confounded or speechless at these appeals? No! not he. He could show his credentials at a moment's notice with proud defiance. He always carried in his pocket a written absolution for all he had done and could do in his work of destruction. He had bought a letter of indulgence—I mean a license!—a precious instrument, signed and sealed by an authority stronger and more respectable than the pope's. He confounded? Why, the whole artillery of civil power was ready to open in his defence and support. Thus shielded by the law, he had nothing to fear from the enemies of his traffic. He had the image and superscription of Cæsar on his credentials, and unto Cæsar he appealed; and unto Cæsar, too, his victims appealed, and appealed in vain.





    AVE you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,

That was built in such a logical way

It ran a hundred years to a day,

And then of a sudden, it—ah, but stay,

I'll tell you what happened without delay,

Scaring the parson into fits,

Frightening people out of their wits,—

Have you ever heard of that, I say?

Seventeen hundred and fifty-five.

Georgius Secundus was then alive,—

[page 47]

Snuffy old drone from the German hive.

That was the year when Lisbon town

Saw the earth open and gulp her down,

And Braddock's army was done so brown,

And left without a scalp to its crown.

It was on the terrible Earthquake-day

That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.

Now in building of chaises, I tell you what,

There is always somewhere a weakest spot,—

In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,

In panel, or crossbar, or floor, or sill,

In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace,—lurking still,

Find it somewhere you must and will,—

Above or below, or within or without,—

And that's the reason beyond a doubt,

A chaise breaks down, but doesn't wear out.

But the Deacon swore, (as Deacons do,

With an "I dew vum," or an "I tell yeou,")

He would build one shay to beat the taown

'n' the keounty 'n' all the kentry raoun';

—"Fur," said the Deacon, "'t 's mighty plain

Thut the weakes' place mus' stan' the strain;

'n' the way t' fix it, uz I maintain,

Is only jest

T' make that place uz strong uz the rest."

So the Deacon inquired of the village folk

Where he could find the strongest oak,

That couldn't be split nor bent nor broke,—

That was for spokes and floor and sills;

He sent for lancewood to make the thills;

The crossbars were ash, from the straightest trees;

The panels of whitewood, that cut like cheese,

But lasts like iron for things like these;

The hubs of logs from the "Settler's ellum,"—

Last of its timber,—they couldn't sell 'em,

Never an axe had seen their chips,

And the wedges flew from between their lips,

[page 48]

Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips;

Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,

Spring, tire, axle and linchpin too,

Steel of the finest, bright and blue;

Thoroughbrace bison-skin, thick and wide;

Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide

Found in the pit when the tanner died.

That was the way he "put her through."—

"There!" said the Deacon, "naow she'll dew!"

Do! I tell you, I rather guess

She was a wonder, and nothing less!

Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,

Deacon and deaconess dropped away,

Children and grandchildren,—where were they?

But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay

As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake day!

Eighteen hundred;—it came and found

The Deacon's masterpiece strong and sound.

Eighteen hundred increased by ten;—

"Hahnsum kerridge" they called it then.

Eighteen hundred and twenty came;—

Running as usual; much the same.

Thirty and forty at last arrive,

And then come fifty, and fifty-five.

Little of all we value here

Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year

Without both feeling and looking queer.

In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth,

So far as I know, but a tree and truth.

(This is a moral that runs at large;

Take it.—You're welcome.—No extra charge.)

First of November,—the Earthquake-day,—

There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,

A general flavor of mild decay,

But nothing local as one may say.

There couldn't be,—for the Deacon's art

[page 49]

Had made it so like in every part

That there wasn't a chance for one to start.

For the wheels were just as strong as the thills,

And the floor was just as strong as the sills,

And the panels just as strong as the floor,

And the whippletree neither less nor more,

And the back crossbar as strong as the fore,

And spring and axle and hub encore.

And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt

In another hour it will be worn out!

First of November, 'Fifty-five!

This morning the parson takes a drive.

Now, small boys, get out of the way!

Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,

Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.

"Huddup!" said the parson.—Off went they.

The parson was working his Sunday's text,—

Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed

At what the—Moses—was coming next.

All at once the horse stood still,

Close by the meet'n'-house on the hill.

—First a shiver, and then a thrill,

Then something decidedly like a spill,—

And the parson was sitting upon a rock,

At half-past nine by the meet'n'-house clock,—

Just the hour of the Earthquake shock!

—What do you think the parson found,

When he got up and stared around?

The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,

As if it had been to the mill and ground!

You see, of course, if you're not a dunce,

How it went to pieces all at once,—

All at once, and nothing first,—

Just as bubbles do when they burst.

End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.

Logic is logic. That's all I say.

[page 50]


From the Rev. John Brown's tragedy of Barbarossa.


Barbarossa, an Usurper,

Othman, an officer,

Zaphira, the Widowed Queen.

[This play has many passages of splendid diction, well calculated for bold declamation. The plot of the piece runs thus: Barbarossa having killed, and then usurped the throne of his friend and master, tries to obtain the hand of Zaphira, the late monarch's widow—having previously destroyed, (as is supposed) her son, Selim. The following scene represents the interviews between the unhappy queen and her faithful Othman, and of the queen with Barbarossa.

Costumes.Barbarossa green velvet robe, scarlet satin shirt, white trousers, russet boots, and turban. Othman, scarlet fly, yellow satin shirt, white slippers, turban white, scarlet cashmere vest. Zaphira, white dress, embroidered with silver, turban, and Turkish shoes.

Note.—A little taste will enable any smart young lady to make up these dresses. They are mostly loose, and the embroidery may be of tinsel—while cheap velveteen looks as well as the best velvet on the stage.]

Scene i.—An apartment, with sofa.

Enter Zaphira, r.

Zap.  (C.)   When shall I be at peace? O, righteous heaven

Strengthen my fainting soul, which fain would rise

To confidence in thee! But woes on woes

O'erwhelm me. First my husband, now my son—

Both dead—both slaughter'd by the bloody hand

Of Barbarossa! What infernal power

Unchain'd thee from thy native depth of hell,

To stalk the earth with thy destructive train,

Murder and lust! To wake domestic peace,

And every heart-felt joy!

Enter Othman, l.

O, faithful Othman!

Our fears were true; my Selim is no more!

[page 51]

Oth.   Has, then, the fatal secret reach'd thine ear? Inhuman tyrant!

Zap.   Strike him, heav'n with thunder,

Nor let Zaphira doubt thy providence!

Oth.   'Twas what we fear'd. Oppose not heav'n's high will,

Nor struggle with the ten-fold chain of fate,

That links thee to thy woes. O, rather yield,

And wait the happier hour, when innocence

Shall weep no more. Rest in that pleasing hope,

And yield thyself to heaven, my honor'd queen.

The king——

Zap.   Whom stylest thou king?

Oth.   'Tis Barbarossa.

Zap.   Does he assume the name of king?

Oth.   He does.

Zap.   O, title vilely purchas'd!—by the blood

Of innocence—by treachery and murder!

May heav'n, incens'd, pour down its vengeance on him,

Blast all his joys, and turn them into horror

Till phrensy rise, and bid him curse the hour

That gave his crimes their birth!—My faithful Othman,

My sole surviving prop, canst thou devise

No secret means, by which I may escape

This hated palace?

Oth.   That hope is vain. The tyrant knows thy hate;

Hence, day and night, his guards environ thee.

Rouse not, then, his anger:

Let soft persuasion and mild eloquence

Redeem that liberty, which stern rebuke

Would rob thee of for ever.

Zap.   An injur'd queen

To kneel for liberty!—And, oh! to whom!

E'en to the murd'rer of her lord and son!

O, perish first, Zaphira! Yes, I'll die!

For what is life to me? My dear, dear lord—

My hapless child—yes, I will follow you!

Oth.   Wilt thou not see him, then?

Zap.   I will not, Othman;

Or, if I do, with bitter imprecation

[page 52]

More keen than poison shot from serpents' tongues,

I'll pour my curses on him.

Oth.   Will Zaphira

Thus meanly sink in woman's fruitless rage,

When she should wake revenge?

Zap.   Revenge!—O, tell me—

Tell, me but how?—What can a helpless woman?

Oth.  (c.).   Gain but the tyrant's leave, and seek thy father;

Pour thy complaints before him; let thy wrongs

Kindle his indignation to pursue

This vile usurper, till unceasing war

Blast his ill-gotten pow'r.

Zap.  (l.c.).   Ah! say'st thou, Othman?

Thy words have shot like lightning through my frame,

And all my soul's on fire!—thou faithful friend!

Yes, with more gentle speech I'll soothe his pride;

Regain my freedom; reach my father's tents;

There paint my countless woes. His kindling rage

Shall wake the valleys into honest vengeance;

The sudden storm shall pour on Barbarossa,

And ev'ry glowing warrior steep his shaft

In deadlier poison, to revenge my wrongs!  (crosses to r.)

Oth.  (c.).   There spoke the queen.—But, as thou lov'st thy freedom,

Touch not on Selim's death. Thy soul will kindle,

And passion mount in flames that will consume thee.

Zap.  (r.).   My murder'd son!—Yes, to revenge thy death,

I'll speak a language which my heart disdains.

Oth.   Peace, peace,!—the tyrant comes. Now, injur'd Queen,

Plead for thy freedom, hope for just revenge,

And check each rising passion.             [Exit Othman, r.

Enter Barbarossa, l.

Bar.  (l.).   Hail sovereign fair! in whom

Beauty and majesty conspire to charm:

Behold the conqu'ror.

[page 53]

Zap.  (r.c.)   O, Barbarossa,

No more the pride of conquest e'er can charm

My widow'd heart. With my departed lord

My love lies buried!

Then turn thee to some happier fair, whose heart

May crown thy growing love with love sincere;

For I have none to give.

Bar.   Love ne'er should die:

'Tis the soul's cordial—'tis the font of life;

Therefore should spring eternal in the breast.

One object lost, another should succeed,

And all our life be love.

Zap.   Urge me no more.—Thou mightst with equal hope

Woo the cold marble, weeping o'er a tomb,

To meet thy wishes. But, if generous love (approaches him.)

Dwell in thy breast, vouchsafe me proof sincere:

Give me safe convoy to the native vales

Of dear Mutija, where my father reigns.

Bar.   O, blind to proffer'd bliss!—What! fondly quit

This pomp

Of empire for an Arab's wand'ring tent,

Where the mock chieftain leads his vagrant tribes

From plain to plain, and faintly shadows out

The majesty of kings!—Far other joys

Here shall attend thy call:

Submissive realms

Shall bow the neck; and swarthy kings and Queens,

From the far-distant Niger and the Nile,

Drawn captive at my conqu'ring chariot wheels,

Shall kneel before thee.

Zap.   Pomp and pow'r are toys,

Which e'en the mind at ease may well disdain:

But oh! what mockery is the tinsel pride

Of splendour, when the mind

Lies desolate within!—Such, such is mine!

O'erwhelm'd with ills, and dead to ev'ry joy;

Envy me not this last request, to die

In my dear father's tents.

Bar.   Thy suit is vain.

[page 54]

Zap.   Thus, kneeling at thy feet—(kneels.)

Bar.   Thou thankless fair! (raises Zaphira.)

Thus to repay the labours of my love!

Had I not seiz'd the throne when Selim died,

Ere this thy foes had laid Algiers in ruin.

I check'd the warring pow'rs, and gave you peace,

Make thee but mine,

I will descend the throne, and call thy son

From banishment to empire.

Zap.   O, my heart!

Can I bear this?

Inhuman tyrant!—curses on thy head!

May dire remorse and anguish haunt thy throne,

And gender in thy bosom fell despair,—

Despair as deep as mine! (crosses to L.)

Bar.  (r.c.).   What means Zaphira?

What means this burst of grief?

Zap.  (l.).   Thou fell destroyer!

Had not guilt steel'd thy heart, awak'ning conscience

Would flash conviction on thee, and each look,

Shot from these eyes, be arm'd with serpent horrors,

To turn thee into stone!—Relentless man!

Who did the bloody deeds—O, tremble, guilt,

Where'er thou art!—Look on me; tell me, tyrant,

Who slew my blameless son?

Bar.   What envious tongue

Hath dar'd to taint my name with slander?

Thy Selim lives; nay, more, he soon shall reign,

If thou consent to bless me.

Zap.   Never, O, never!—Sooner would I roam

An unknown exile through the torrid climes

Of Afric—sooner dwell with wolves and tigers,

Than mount with thee my murder'd Selim's throne!

Bar.   Rash queen, forbear; think on thy captive state,

Remember, that within these palace walls

I am omnipotent. Yield thee, then;

Avert the gath'ring horrors that surround thee,

And dread my pow'r incens'd.

Zap.   Dares thy licentious tongue pollute mine ear

With that foul menace? Tyrant! dread'st thou not

[page 55]

Th' all-seeing eye of heav'n, its lifted thunder,

And all the red'ning vengeance which it stores

For crimes like thine?—Yet know, Zaphira scorns thee.

[crosses to R.

Though robb'd by thee of ev'ry dear support,

No tyrant's threat can awe the free-born soul,

That greatly dares to die.             [Exit Zaphira, r.

Bar.  (c.).   Where should she learn the tale of Selim's death?

Could Othman dare to tell it?—If he did,

My rage shall sweep him swifter than the whirlwind,

To instant death!             [Exit.

(R.) Right. (L.) Left. (C.) Centre. (R.C.) Right Centre. (L.C.) Left Centre.



Apart from the noble sentiments of these verses, and their exquisite diction—in which every word is the best that could possibly be used—as in a piece of faultless mosaic every minute stone is so placed as to impart strength, brilliancy, and harmony—they afford an excellent example of lofty, dignified recitation:


   HOSE mills of God! those tireless mills!

I hear their ceaseless throbs and thrills:

I see their dreadful stones go round,

And all the realms beneath them ground;

And lives of men and souls of states,

Flung out, like chaff, beyond their gates.

And we, O God! with impious will,

Have made these Negroes turn Thy mill!

Their human limbs with chains we bound,

And bade them whirl Thy mill-stones round;

With branded brow and fettered wrist,

We bade them grind this Nation's grist!

And so, like Samson—blind and bound—

Our Nation's grist this Negro ground;

[page 56]

And all the strength of Freedom's toil,

And all the fruits of Freedom's soil,

And all her hopes and all her trust,

From Slavery's gates were flung, like dust.

With servile souls this mill we fed,

That ground the grain for Slavery's bread;

With cringing men, and grovelling deeds,

We dwarfed our land to Slavery's needs;

Till all the scornful nations hissed,

To see us ground with Slavery's grist.

The mill grinds on! From Slavery's plain,

We reap great crops of blood-red grain;

And still the Negro's strength we urge,

With Slavery's gyve and Slavery's scourge;

And still we crave—on Freedom's sod—

That Slaves shall turn the mills of God!

The Mill grinds on! God lets it grind!

We sow the seed—the sheaves we bind:

The mill-stones whirl as we ordain;

Our children's bread shall test the grain!

While Samson still in chains we bind,

The mill grinds on! God lets it grind!




ID you ever! No, I never!

Mercy on us, what a smell!

Don't be frightened, Johnny, dear!

Gracious! how the jackals yell!

Mother, tell me, what's the man

Doing with that pole of his?

Bless your little precious heart,

He's stirring up the beastesses!

[page 57]

Children! don't you go so near!

Hevings! there's the Afric cowses!

What's the matter with the child?

Why, the monkey's tore his trowses!

Here's the monstrous elephant,—

I'm all a tremble at the sight;

See his monstrous tooth-pick, boys!

Wonder if he's fastened tight?

There's the lion!—see his tail!

How he drags it on the floor!

'Sakes alive! I'm awful scared

To hear the horrid creatures roar!

Here's the monkeys in their cage,

Wide awake you are to see 'em;

Funny, ain't it? How would you

Like to have a tail and be 'em?

Johnny, darling, that's the bear

That tore the naughty boys to pieces;

Horned cattle!—only hear

How the dreadful camel wheezes!

That's the tall giraffe, my boy,

Who stoops to hear the morning lark;

'Twas him who waded Noah's flood,

And scorned the refuge of the ark.

Here's the crane,—the awkward bird!

Strong his neck is as a whaler's,

And his bill is full as long

As ever met one from the tailor's.

Look!—just see the zebra there,

Standing safe behind the bars;

Goodness me! how like a flag,

All except the corner stars!

There's the bell! the birds and beasts

Now are going to be fed;

So my little darlings, come,

It 's time for you to be abed.

[page 58]

"Mother, 't is n't nine o'clock!

You said we need n't go before;

Let us stay a little while,—

Want to see the monkeys more!"

Cries the showman, "Turn 'em out!

Dim the lights!—there, that will do;

Come again to-morrow, boys;

Bring your little sisters, too."

Exit mother, half distraught,

Exit father, muttering "bore?"

Exit children, blubbering still,

"Want to see the monkeys more!"



Fred Brown.

Johnny Gray.

Ned White.

Scene.Recitation-Room at a Public School.

Enter Fred.

Fred.   A pretty task Master Green has given me this time! He calls me to his desk, and says, "Brown, those boys, Gray and White, have been very inattentive during the music lesson: take them into the recitation-room, and keep them there until they can sing four stanzas of 'The Battle-cry of Freedom.'" A nice music-master I am! I can't read, sing, or growl a note, and I don't know a single line of "The Battle-cry of Freedom." But I must not let them know that. Here they are.   (Enter [page 59] Gray and White; they get in a corner of the stage, and whisper together.)   Now, what conspiracy is hatching? Hem! Here, you fellows, do you know what you came here for?

Gray.   To take a music lesson, I suppose.

Fred.   Well, you had better commence.

White.   Certainly, after you.

Fred.   After me! What do you mean?

White.   I believe it's the custom of all music-masters to first sing the song they wish to teach.   (Aside to Gray.)   He can't sing a note.

Gray.   (Aside to White.)   He can't? good! Let's plague him.   (Aloud.)   Come, singing-master, proceed.

Fred.   No matter about me. You two can sing, and when you make a mistake I will correct it.

Gray.   You'll correct it! That's good. With what, pray?

Fred.   With this. (Producing a ratten from under his jacket.)

White.   O, dear, I don't like that sort of tuning-fork.

Fred.   You'll get it if you don't hurry. Come, boys, "The Battle-cry of Freedom."

Gray.   (Aside to White.)   Ned, do you know the song?

White.   (Aside.)   I know just one line.

Gray.   (Aside.)   O, dear, we're in a scrape. (Aloud.)   Master Fred, will you please give me the first line? I've forgotten it.

Fred.   Certainly. Let me see. "Rock me to sleep, mother."   No, that isn't it.

White.   (Aside.)   He's split on that rock.

Fred.   Hem! ah! "Dear father, dear father, come home." O, bother!

Gray.   (Aside.)   It'll bother him to "come home" with that line.

[page 60]

Fred.   "Give me a cot."—O, pshaw! I tell you what, boys, I didn't come here to talk, but to listen: now you two sing away at once, or down comes the ratten.

Gray.   (Aside.) I say, Ned, Brown doesn't know it? here's fun. Now you just keep quiet, and ring in your line when I snap my fingers.

White.   (Aside.)   All right. I understand. When you snap, I sing.

Fred.   Come, come! Strike up, or I shall strike down.

Gray.   (Sings to the tune of the Battle-cry of Freedom,)—

"Mary had a little lamb;

Its fleece was white as snow."

(Snaps his fingers.)

White.   (Very loud.)

"Shouting the battle-cry of freedom."

Gray.   (Sings.)

"And everywhere that Mary went

The lamb was sure to go."     (Snaps.)

White. "Shouting the battle-cry of freedom."

Fred.   Capital! Perfectly correct, perfectly correct. Sing again.

Gray.   (Sings.)

"It followed her to school one day;

It was against the rule."     (Snaps.)

White. "Shouting the battle-cry of freedom."

Gray.   (Sings.)

"It made the children laugh and play

To see a lamb at school."     (Snaps.)

White. "Shouting the battle-cry of freedom."

Fred.   Beautiful! beautiful! I couldn't do it better myself.

[page 61]

Gray.   (Aside.)   I should think not.

White.   Come, Mr. Singing-master, you try a stanza.

Fred.   What, sir! do you want to shirk your task? Sing away.

Gray.   (Sings.)

"And so the teacher turned him out;

Yet still he lingered near."     (Snaps.)

White. "Shouting the battle-cry of freedom."


"And waited patiently about,

Till Mary did appear."     (Snaps.)

White. "Shouting the battle-cry of freedom."

Fred.   Glorious! Why, boys, it's a perfect uproar.

White.   There's enough, isn't there?

Fred.   No, sir, four stanzas. Come, be quick.

Gray.   I don't know any more.

White.   I'm sure I don't.

Fred.   Yes you do, you're trying to shirk; but I won't have it. You want a taste of the rattan. Come, be lively.

Gray.   (Sings.)

"'What makes the lamb love Mary so?'

The eager children cry."     (Snaps.)

White. "Shouting the battle-cry of freedom."


"'Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know,'

The teacher did reply."     (Snaps.)

White. "Shouting the battle-cry of freedom."

Fred.   There, boys, I knew you could sing. Now come in, and I will tell Master Green how capitally you have done—that I couldn't do better myself.


[page 62]

White.   Well, Johnny, we got out of that scrape pretty well.

Gray.   Yes, Ned; but it's a poor way. I must pay a little more attention to my singing.

White.   And so must I, for we may not always have a teacher on whom the old saying fits so well.

Gray.   Old saying? What's that?

White.   "Where ignorance is bliss—"

Gray.   O, yes, "'Twere folly to be wise."




[The following stirring poem is highly dramatic. The reader should, as far as possible, realize the feelings of the shepherd-parent as he sees "the youngest of his babes" borne in the iron-claws of the vulture high in mid air towards his golgotha of a nest. Much force of attitude and gesture is not only admissable, but called for, as the agonized father leans forward following the flight of the vulture.]


'VE been among the mighty Alps, and wandered through their vales,

And heard the honest mountaineers relate their dismal tales,

As round the cottage blazing hearth, when their daily work was o'er

They spake of those who disappeared, and ne'er were heard of more.

And there I from a shepherd heard a narrative of fear,

A tale to rend a mortal heart, which mothers might not hear:

The tears were standing in his eyes, his voice was tremulous.

But, wiping all those tears away, he told his story thus:—

[page 63]

"It is among these barren cliffs the ravenous vulture dwells,

Who never fattens on the prey which from afar he smells;

But, patient, watching hour on hour upon a lofty rock,

He singles out some truant lamb, a victim, from the flock.

"One cloudless Sabbath summer morn, the sun was rising high,

When from my children on the green, I heard a fearful cry,

As if some awful deed were done, a shriek of grief and pain,

A cry, I humbly trust in God, I ne'er may hear again.

"I hurried out to learn the cause; but, overwhelmed with fright,

The children never ceased to shriek, and from my frenzied sight

I missed the youngest of my babes, the darling of my care,

But something caught my searching eyes, slow sailing through the air.

"Oh! what an awful spectacle to meet a father's eye!

His infant made a vulture's prey, with terror to descry!

And know, with agonizing breast, and with a maniac rave,

That earthly power could not avail, that innocent to save!

"My infant stretched his little hands imploringly to me,

And struggled with the ravenous bird, all vainly to get free,

At intervals, I heard his cries, as loud he shrieked and screamed:

Until, upon the azure sky, a lessening spot he seemed.

"The vulture flapped his sail-like wings, though heavily he flew,

A mote upon the sun's broad face he seemed unto my view:

But once I thought I saw him stoop, as if he would alight;

'Twas only a delusive thought, for all had vanished quite.

[page 64]

"All search was vain, and years had passed; that child was ne'er forgot,

When once a daring hunter climbed unto a lofty spot,

From whence, upon a rugged crag the chamois never reached,

He saw an infant's fleshless bones the elements had bleached!

"I clambered up that rugged cliff; I could not stay away;

I knew they were my infant's bones thus hastening to decay;

A tattered garment yet remained, though torn to many a shred,

The crimson cap he wore that morn was still upon the head."

That dreary spot is pointed out to travellers passing by,

Who often stand, and, musing, gaze, nor go without a sigh.

And as I journeyed, the next morn, along my sunny way,

The precipice was shown to me, whereon the infant lay.



This scene will give a good chance to practise variety of expression, both in words and action. Falstaff throws himself into all the attitudes, and elevates and depresses his voice, as if he was actually engaged in the combat he describes—preserving the utmost gravity of face, until he finds that the Prince has really detected him. Then the "fat rogue" bursts into a jolly, unctuous laugh, and carries off the honors, after all:

P. Henry.   What's the matter?

Fal.   What's the matter? there be four of us here have ta'en a thousand pound this morning.

P. Hen.   Where is it, Jack? where is it?

[page 65]

Fal.   Where is it? taken from us it is: a hundred upon poor four of us.

P. Hen.   What, a hundred, man?

Fal.   I am a rogue, if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them two hours together. I have 'scaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet; four, through the hose; my buckler cut through and through; my sword hacked like a hand-saw ecce signum. I never dealt better since I was a man: all would not do. A plague of all cowards!—Let them speak: if they speak more or less than truth, they are villains, and the sons of darkness.

P. Hen.   Speak, sirs: how was it?

Gads.   We four set upon some dozen,—

Fal.   Sixteen at least, my lord.

Gads.   And bound them.

Peto.   No, no, they were not bound.

Fal.   You rogue, they were bound, every man of them; or I am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew.

Gads.   As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh men set upon us.

Fal.   And unbound the rest, and then come in the other.

P. Hen.   What, fought ye with them all?

Fal.   All! I know not what ye call, all; but if I fought not with fifty of them, I am a bunch of radish; if there were not two or three and fifty upon poor old Jack, then I am no two-legged creature.

Poins.   Pray God, you have not murdered some of them.

Fal.   Nay, that's past praying for, for I have peppered two of them: two, I am sure, I have paid; two rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal,—if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou knowest my old ward;—here I lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me.—

[page 66]

P. Hen.   What, four? thou said'st but two, even now.

Fal.   Four, Hal; I told thee four.

Poins.   Ay, ay, he said four.

Fal.   These four came all a-front, and mainly thrust at me. I made no more ado, but took all their seven points in my target, thus.

P. Hen.   Seven? why, there were but four, even now.

Fal.   In buckram.

Poins.   Ay, four in buckram suits.

Fal.   Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.

P. Hen.   Pr'ythee, let him alone; we shall have more anon.

Fal.   Dost thou hear me, Hal?

P. Hen.   Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

Fal.   Do, so, for it is worth the listening to. The nine in buckram that I told thee of,——

P. Hen.   So, two more already.

Fal.   Their points being broken,——

Poins.   Down fell their hose.

Fal.   Began to give me ground: But I followed me close, came in foot and hand: and, with a thought, seven of the eleven I paid.

P. Hen.   O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two!

Fal.   But, as the devil would have it, three misbegotten knaves, in Kendal green, came at my back, and let drive at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst not see thy hand.

P. Hen.   These lies are like the father that begets them; gross as a mountain, open palpable. Why, thou clay-brained guts; thou knotty-pated fool! thou whoreson, obscene, greasy, tallow-keech,—

Fal.   What, art thou mad? art thou mad? is not the truth, the truth?

P. Hen.   Why, how couldst thou know these men [page 67] in Kendal green, when it was so dark thou couldst not see thy hand? come, tell us thy reason; what sayest thou to this?

Poins.   Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.

Fal.   What, upon compulsion? No; were I at the strappado, or all the racks in the world, I would not tell you on compulsion. Give you a reason on compulsion! if reasons were as plenty as blackberries I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.

P. Hen.   I'll be no longer guilty of this sin; this sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse back-breaker, this huge hill of flesh;—

Fal.   Away, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's-tongue, bull's-pizzle, you stock-fish,—O for breath to utter what is like thee!—you tailor's yard, you sheathe, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck;—

P. Hen.   Well, breathe a while and then to it again; and when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons hear me speak but this.

Poins.   Mark, Jack.

P. Hen.   We two saw you four set on four: you bound them, and were masters of their wealth.—Mark now how plain a tale shall put you down.—Then did we two set on you four: and, with a word, out-faced you from your prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in the house:—and, Falstaff, you carried your guts away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for mercy, and still ran and roared, as ever I heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword, as thou hast done; and then say, it was a fight! What trick, what device, what starting-hole, canst now find out, to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?

Poins.   Come, let's hear, Jack: What trick hast thou now?

Fal.   By the Lord, I knew ye, as well as he that [page 68] made ye. Why, hear ye, my masters: Was it for me to kill the heir apparent? Should I turn upon the true prince? Why, thou knowest, I am as valiant as Hercules; but beware instinct; the lion will not touch the true prince. Instinct is a great matter; I was a coward on instinct. I shall think the better of myself and thee, during my life; I, for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince. But, by the Lord, lads, I am glad you have the money.—Hostess, clap to the doors; watch to-night, pray to-morrow.—Gallant, lads, boys, hearts of gold. All the titles of good fellowship come to you! What, shall we be merry? shall we have a play extempore?



This poem should be delivered with bold energy, with flashing eye, swelling breast, and free action—as though the speaker's heart was full of the nobility of the theme:

"There has been the cry—'On to Richmond!' And still another cry—On to England!' Better than either is the cry—'On to Freedom!'"

Charles Sumner.


N to Freedom! On to Freedom!

'Tis the everlasting cry

Of the floods that strive with ocean—

Of the storms that smite the sky;

Of the atoms in the whirlwind,

Of the seed beneath the ground—

Of each living thing in Nature

That is bound!

'Twas the cry that led from Egypt,

Through the desert wilds of Edom:

[page 69]

Out of darkness—out of bondage—

On to Freedom! On to Freedom!

O! thou stony-hearted Pharaoh!

Vainly warrest thou with God!

Moveless, at thy palace portals,

Moses waits, with lifted rod!

O! thou poor barbarian, Xerxes!

Vainly o'er the Pontic main

Flingest thou, to curb its utterance,

Scourge or chain!

For, the cry that led from Egypt,

Over desert wilds of Edom,

Speaks alike through Greek and Hebrew;

On to Freedom! On to Freedom!

In the Roman streets, with Gracchus,

Hark! I hear that cry outswell;

In the German woods with Hermann,

And on Switzer hills, with Tell;

Up from Spartacus, the Bondman,

When his tyrants yoke he clave,

And from Stalwart Wat the Tyler—

Saxon slave!

Still the old, old cry of Egypt,

Struggling up from wilds of Edom—

Sounding still through all the ages:

On to Freedom! On to Freedom!

On to Freedom! On to Freedom!

Gospel cry of laboring Time:

Uttering still, through seers and sages,

Words of hope and faith sublime!

From our Sidneys, and our Hampdens,

And our Washingtons they come:

And we cannot, and we dare not

Make them dumb!

Out of all the shames of Egypt—

Out of all the snares of Edom;

Out of darkness—out of bondage—

On to Freedom! On to Freedom!

[page 70]




  HEN spring, to woods and wastes around,

Brought bloom and joy again,

The murdered traveller's bones were found,

Far down a narrow glen.

The fragrant birch, above him, hung

Her tassels in the sky;

And many a vernal blossom sprung,

And nodded, careless, by.

The red-bird warbled, as he wrought

His hanging nest o'erhead;

And, fearless, near the fatal spot,

Her young the partridge led.

But there was weeping far away,

And gentle eyes, for him,

With watching many an anxious day,

Grew sorrowful and dim.

They little knew, who loved him so,

The fearful death he met,

When shouting o'er the desert snow,

Unarmed, and hard beset.

Nor how, when round the frosty pole,

The northern dawn was red,

The mountain-wolf and wild-cat stole,

To banquet on the dead;

Nor how, when strangers found his bones,

They dressed the hasty bier,

And marked his grave with nameless stones,

Unmoistened by a tear.

But long they looked, and feared and wept,

Within his distant home;

And dreamt and started as they slept,

For joy that he was come.

[page 71]

So long they looked—but never spied

His welcome step again,

Nor knew the fearful death he died,

Far down that narrow glen.



This admirable composition gives ample scope for gentle, mournful, tear-stricken recitation. The thoughts prompt the speaker to natural expression:

The king stood still

Till the last echo died: then throwing off

The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back

The pall from the still features of his child,

He bowed his head upon him and broke forth

In the resistless eloquence of woe:—

"Alas! my noble boy! that thou should'st die

Thou, who wert made so beautifully fair!

That death should settle in thy glorious eye,

And leave his stillness in this clustering hair.

How could he mark thee for the silent tomb,

My proud boy, Absalom!

"Cold is thy brow, my son! and I am chill,

As to my bosom I have tried to press thee;

How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill,

Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress thee,

And hear thy sweet 'my father' from these dumb

And cold lips, Absalom!

"The grave hath won thee. I shall hear the gush

Of music, and the voices of the young;

And life will pass me in the mantling blush,

And the dark tresses to the soft winds flung;

[page 72]

But thou no more, with thy sweet voice, shall come

To meet me, Absalom!

"And, oh! when I am stricken, and my heart,

Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken,

How will its love for thee, as I depart,

Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token!

It were so sweet, amid death's gathering gloom,

To see thee, Absalom!

"And now, farewell! 'Tis hard to give thee up,

With death so like a gentle slumber on thee:—

And thy dark sin!—Oh! I could drink the cup,

If from this woe its bitterness had won thee.

May God have called thee, like a wanderer, home,

My erring Absalom!"

He covered up his face, and bowed himself

A moment on his child: then, giving him

A look of melting tenderness, he clasped

His hands convulsively, as if in prayer;

And, as a strength were given him of God,

He rose up calmly, and composed the pall

Firmly and decently, and left him there,

As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.



The fire and energy of Tell contrasts nobly with the youthful ambition of his son's young and noble heart. It is a charming exercise, and exceedingly effective when well delivered:

Scene.Exterior of Tell's cottage.   Enter Albert (Tell's son) with bow and arrows, and Verner.

Verner.   Ah! Albert! What have you there?

Albert.   My bow and arrows, Verner.

Ver.   When will you use them like your father, boy?

[page 73]

Alb.   Some time, I hope.

Ver.                         You brag! There's not an archer

In all Helvetia can compare with him.

Alb.   But I'm his son; and when I am a man

I may be like him. Verner, do I brag,

To think I some time may be like my father?

If so, then is it he that teaches me;

For, ever as I wonder at his skill,

He calls me boy, and says I must do more

Ere I become a man.

Ver.                         May you be such

A man as he—if heaven wills, better—I'll

Not quarrel with its work; yet 'twill content me

If you are only such a man.

Alb.                 I'll show you

How I can shoot   (goes out to fix the mark.)

Ver. Nestling as he is, he is the making of a bird

Will own no cowering wing.

Re-enter Albert.

Alb.   Now, Verner, look!   (shoots)   There's within

An inch!

Ver.   Oh, fy! it wants a hand.                 [Exit Verner.

Alb.                         A hand's

An inch for me. I'll hit it yet. Now for it.

While Albert continues to shoot, Tell enters and watches him some time, in silence.

Tell.   That's scarce a miss that comes so near the mark?

Well aimed, young archer! With what ease he bends

The bow. To see those sinews, who'd believe

Such strength did lodge in them? That little arm,

His mother's palm can span, may help, anon,

To pull a sinewy tyrant from his seat,

And from their chains a prostrate people lift

To liberty. I'd be content to die,

Living to see that day! What, Albert!

Alb.                                 Ah!

My father!

[page 74]

Tell.   You raise the bow

Too fast.   (Albert continues shooting.)

Bring it slowly to the eye.—You've missed.

How often have you hit the mark to-day?

Alb.   Not once, yet.

Tell.                 You're not steady. I perceive

You wavered now. Stand firm. Let every limb

Be braced as marble, and as motionless.

Stand like the sculptor's statue on the gate

Of Altorf, that looks life, yet neither breathes

Nor stirs. (Albert shoots) That's better!

See well the mark. Rivet your eye to it

There let it stick, fast as the arrow would,

Could you but send it there.   (Albert shoots)

You've missed again! How would you fare,

Suppose a wolf should cross your path, and you

Alone, with but your bow, and only time

To fix a single arrow? 'Twould not do

To miss the wolf! You said the other day,

Were you a man you'd not let Gesler live—

'Twas easy to say that. Suppose you, now,

Your life or his depended on that shot!—

Take care! That's Gesler!—Now for liberty!

Right to the tyrant's heart!   (hits the mark)   Well done, my boy!

Come here. How early were you up?

Alb.   Before the sun.

Tell.   Ay, strive with him. He never lies abed

When it is time to rise. Be like the sun.

Alb.   What you would have me like, I'll be like,

As far as will to labor joined can make me.

Tell.   Well said, my boy! Knelt you when you got up To-day?

Alb.   I did; and do so every day.

Tell.   I know you do! And think you, when you kneel,

To whom you kneel?

Alb.                 To Him who made me, father.

Tell. And in whose name?

Alb.                 The name of Him who died

[page 75]

For me and all men, that all men and I

Should live

Tell.   That's right. Remember that my son:

Forget all things but that—remember that!

'Tis more than friends or fortune; clothing, food;

All things on earth; yea, life itself!—It is

To live, when these are gone, when they are naught—

With God! My son remember that!

Alb.                             I will.

Tell. I'm glad you value what you're taught.

That is the lesson of content, my son;

He who finds which has all—who misses, nothing.

Alb. Content is a good thing.

Tell.                             A thing, the good

Alone can profit by. But go, Albert,

Reach thy cap and wallet, and thy mountain staff.

Don't keep me waiting.                     [Exit Albert.

Tell paces the stage in thought.   Re-enter Albert.

Alb.   I am ready, father.

Tell.   (taking Albert by the hand).   Now mark me, Albert

Dost thou fear the snow,

The ice-field, or the hail flaw? Carest thou for

The mountain mist that settles on the peak,

When thou art upon it? Dost thou tremble at

The torrent roaring from the deep ravine,

Along whose shaking ledge thy track doth lie?

Or faintest thou at the thunder-clap, when on

The hill thou art o'ertaken by the cloud,

And it doth burst around thee? Thou must travel

All night.

Alb.   I'm ready; say all night again.

Tell.   The mountains are to cross, for thou must reach

Mount Faigel by the dawn.

Alb.                 Not sooner shall

The dawn be there than I.

Tell.                 Heaven speeding thee.

Alb.   Heaven speeding me.

Tell.                             Show me thy staff. Art sure

Of the point? I think 'tis loose. No—stay! 'Twill do.

[page 76]

Caution is speed when danger's to be passed.

Examine well the crevice. Do not trust the snow!

'Tis well there is a moon to-night.

You're sure of the track?

Alb.             Quite sure.

Tell.                                         The buskin of

That leg's untied; stoop down and fasten it.

You know the point where you must round the cliff?

Alb.   I do.

Tell.             Thy belt is slack—draw it tight.

Erni is in Mount Faigel: take this dagger

And give it him! you know its caverns well.

In one of them you will find him. Farewell.




N OW then, look alive there!" shouted the coachman from the booking-office door, as Valentine and his Uncle John approached. "Have yow got that are mare's shoe made comfor'ble, Simon!"

"All right, sir," said Simon, and he went round to see if it were so, while the luggage was being secured.

"Jimp up, genelmen!" cried the coachman, as he waddled from the office with his whip in one hand and his huge way-bill in the other; and the passengers accordingly proceeded to arrange themselves on the various parts of the coach,—Valentine, by the particular desire of Uncle John, having deposited himself immediately behind the seat of the coachman.

"If you please," said an old lady, who had been standing in the gateway upwards of an hour, "will [page 77] you be good enow, please, to take care of my darter?"

"All safe," said the coachman, untwisting the reins. "She shaunt take no harm. Is she going all the way?"

"Yes, sir," replied the old lady; "God bless her! She's got a place in Lunnun, an' I'm told—"

"Hook on them ere two sacks o' whoats there behind," cried the coachman; "I marn't go without 'em this time.—Now, all right there?"

"Good by, my dear," sobbed the old lady, "do write to me soon, be sure you do,—I only want to hear from you often. Take care of yourself."

"Hold hard!" cried the coachman, as the horses were dancing, on the cloths being drawn from their loins. "Whit, whit!" and away they pranced, as merrily as if they had known that their load was nothing when compared with the load they left behind them. Even old Uncle John, as he cried "Good by, my dear boy," and waved his hand for the last time, felt the tears trickling down his cheeks.

The salute was returned, and the coach passed on.

The fulness of Valentine's heart caused him for the first hour to be silent; but after that, the constant change of scene and the pure bracing air had the effect of restoring his spirits, and he felt a powerful inclination to sing. Just, however, as he was about to commence for his own amusement, the coach stopped to change horses. In less than two minutes they started again, and Valentine, who then felt ready for anything, began to think seriously of the exercise of his power as a ventriloquist.

"Whit, whit!" said Tooler, the coachman, between a whisper and a whistle, as the fresh horses galloped up the hill.

"Stop! hoa!" cried Valentine, assuming a voice, [page 78] the sound of which appeared to have travelled some distance.

"You have left some one behind," observed a gentleman in black, who had secured the box seat.

"Oh, let un run a bit!" said Tooler. "Whit! I'll give un a winder up this little hill, and teach un to be up in time in future. If we was to wait for every passenger as chooses to lag behind, we shouldn't git over the ground in a fortnit."

"Hoa! stop! stop! stop!" reiterated Valentine, in the voice of a man pretty well out of breath.

Tooler, without deigning to look behind, retickled the haunches of his leaders, and gleefully chuckled at the idea of how he was making a passenger sweat.

The voice was heard no more, and Tooler, on reaching the top of the hill, pulled up and looked round, but could see no man running.

"Where is he?" inquired Tooler.

"In the ditch!" replied Valentine, throwing his voice behind.

"In the ditch!" exclaimed Tooler. "Blarm me, whereabouts?"

"There," said Valentine.

"Bless my soul!" cried the gentleman in black, who was an exceedingly nervous village clergyman. "The poor person no doubt is fallen down in an absolute state of exhaustion. How very, very wrong of you, coachman, not to stop!"

Tooler, apprehensive of some serious occurrence, got down with the view of dragging the exhausted passenger out of the ditch; but although he ran several hundred yards down the hill, no such person of course could be found.

"Who saw un?" shouted Tooler, as he panted up the hill again.

"I saw nothing," said a passenger behind, "but a boy jumping over the hedge."

[page 79]

Tooler looked at his way-bill, counted the passengers, found them all right, and, remounting the box, got the horses again into a gallop, in the perfect conviction that some villanous young scarecrow had raised the false alarm.

"Whit! blarm them 'ere boys!" said Tooler, "'stead o' mindin' their crows, they are allus up to suffen. I only wish I had un here, I'd pay on to their blarmed bodies; if I would n't—" At this interesting moment, and as if to give a practical illustration of what he would have done in the case, he gave the off-wheeler so telling a cut round the loins that the animal without any ceremony kicked over the trace. Of course Tooler was compelled to pull up again immediately; and after having adjusted the trace, and asking the animal seriously what he meant, at the same time enforcing the question by giving him a blow on the bony part of the nose, he prepared to remount; but just as he had got his left foot upon the nave of the wheel, Valentine so admirably imitated the sharp snapping growl of a dog in the front boot, that Tooler started back as quickly as if he had been shot, while the gentleman in black dropped the reins and almost jumped into the road.

"Good gracious!" exclaimed the gentleman in black, trembling with great energy; "How wrong, how very horribly wrong, of you, coachman, not to tell me that a dog had been placed beneath my feet."

"Blarm their carcases!" cried Tooler, "they never told me a dog was shoved there. Lay down! We'll soon have yow out there together!"

"Not for the world!" cried the gentleman in black, as Tooler approached the foot-board in order to open it. "Not for the world! un-un-un-less you le-le-let me get down first. I have no desire to pe-pe-perish of hydropho-phobia."

[page 80]

"Kip yar fut on the board then, sir, please," said Tooler, "we'll soon have the varmint out o' that." So saying, he gathered up the reins, remounted the box, and started off the horses again at full gallop.

The gentleman in black then began to explain to Tooler how utterly inconceivable was the number of persons who had died of hydrophobia within an almost unspeakable short space of time, in the immediate vicinity of the residence of a friend of his in London; and just as he had got into the marrow of a most excruciating description of the intense mental and physical agony of which the disease in its worst stage was productive, both he and Tooler suddenly sprang back, with their feet in the air, and their heads between the knees of the passengers behind them, on Valentine giving a loud growling snap, more bitingly indicative of anger than before.

As Tooler had tightly hold of the reins when he made this involuntary spring, the horses stopped on the instant, and allowed him time to scramble up again without rendering the slow process dangerous.

"I cannot, I-I-I positively cannot," said the gentleman in black, who had been thrown again into a dreadful state of excitement, "I cannot sit here,—my nerves cannot endure it; it's perfectly shocking."

"Blister their bowls!" exclaimed Tooler, whose first impulse was to drag the dog out of the boot at all hazards, but who, on seeing the horses waiting in the road a short distance ahead for the next stage, thought it better to wait till he had reached them. "I'll make un remember this the longest day o' thar blessed lives,—blarm un! Phih! I'll let un know when I get back, I warrant. I'll larn un to—"

"Hoa, coachman! hoa! my hat's off!" cried Valentine, throwing his voice to the back of the coach.

[page 81]

"Well, may I be—phit!" said Tooler. "I'll make yow run for't anyhow—phit!"

In less than a minute the coach drew up opposite the stable, when the gentleman in black at once proceeded to alight. Just, however, as his foot reached the plate of the roller-bolt, another growl from Valentine frightened him backwards, when falling upon one of the old horse-keepers, he knocked him fairly down, and rolled over him heavily.

"Darng your cloomsy carkus," cried the horse-keeper, gathering himself up, "carn't you git oof ar cooarch aroat knocking o' pipple darn?"

"I-I-I beg pardon," tremblingly observed the gentleman in black; "I hope I-I—"

"Whoap! pardon!" contemptuously echoed the horse-keeper as he limped towards the bars to unhook the leaders' traces.

"Now then, yow warmint, let's see who yow belong to," said Tooler, approaching the mouth of the boot; but just as he was in the act of raising the foot-board, another angry snap made him close it again with the utmost rapidity.

"Lay down! blarm your body!" cried Tooler, shrinking back. "Here, yow Jim, kim here, bor, and take this 'ere devil of a dog out o' that."

Jim approached, and the growling was louder than before, while the gentleman in black implored Jim to take care that the animal didn't get hold of his hand.

"Here, yow Harry!" shouted Jim, "yare noot afeared o' doogs together,—darng un, I doont like un."

Accordingly Harry came, and then Sam, and then Bob, and then Bill; but as the dog could not be seen, and as the snarling continued, neither of them dared to put his hand in to drag the monster forth. Bob therefore ran off for Tom Titus the blacksmith, [page 82] who was supposed to care for nothing, and in less than two minutes Tom Titus arrived with about three feet of rod-iron red hot.

"Darng un!" cried Tom, "this ere 'll maake un quit together!"

"Dear me! my good man," said the gentleman in black, "don't use that unchristian implement! don't put the dumb thing to such horrible torture!"

"It don't siggerfy a button," cried Tooler, "I marn't go to stop here all day. Out he must come."

Upon this Tom Titus introduced his professional weapon, and commenced poking about with considerable energy, while the snapping and growling increased with each poke.

"I'll tell you what it is," said Tom Titus, turning round and wiping the sweat off his brow with his naked arm, "this here cretur here's stark raavin' mad."

"I knew that he was," cried the gentleman in black, getting into an empty wagon which stood without horses just out of the road; "I felt perfectly sure that he was rabid."

"He 's a bull-terrier too," said Tom Titus, "I knows it by 's growl. It 's the worsest and dargdest to go maad as is."

"Well, what shall us do wi' th' warment?" said Tooler.

"Shoot him! shoot him!" cried the gentleman in black.

"O, I 've goot a blunderbus, Bob!" said Tom Titus, "yow run for 't together, it 's top o' the forge."

Bob started at once, and Tom kept on the bar, while Tooler, Sam, and Harry, and Bob held the heads of the horses.

"He 's got un; all right!" cried Tom Titus, as Bob neared the coach with the weapon on his shoulder. "Yow 'll be doon in noo time," he added [page 83] as he felt with his rod to ascertain in which corner of the boot the bull-terrier lay.

"Is she loarded?" asked Bob, as he handed Tom Titus the instrument of death.

"Mind you make the shot come out at bottom," shouted Tooler.

"I hool," said Tom Titus, putting the weapon to his shoulder. "Noo the Loord ha' marcy on yar, as joodge says sizes," and instantly let fly.

The horses of course plunged considerably, but still did no mischief; and before the smoke had evaporated, Valentine introduced into the boot a low melancholy howl, which convinced Tom Titus that the shot had taken effect.

"He 's giv oop the ghost; darng his carkus!" cried Tom, as he poked the dead body in the corner.

"Well, let 's have a look at un," said Tooler, "let 's see what the warment is like."

The gentleman in black at once leaped out of the wagon, and every one present drew near, when Tom, guided by the rod which he had kept upon the body, put his hand into the boot, and drew forth a fine hare that had been shattered by the shot all to pieces.

"He arn't a bull-terrier," cried Bob.

"But that arn't he," said Tom Titus. "He 's some'er aboot here as dead as a darng'd nail. I know he 's a corpse."

"Are you sure on 't?" asked Tooler.

"There arn't any barn door deader," cried Tom. "Here, I'll lug um out an' show yar."

"No, no!" shouted Tooler, as Tom proceeded to pull out the luggage. "I marn't stay for that. I 'm an hour behind now, blarm un! jimp up, genelmen!"

Tom Titus and his companions, who wanted the bull-terrier as a trophy, entreated Tooler to allow them to have it, and, having at length gained his consent, Tom proceeded to empty the boot. Every eye [page 84] was, of course, directed to everything drawn out, and when Tom made a solemn declaration that the boot was empty, they were all, at once, struck with amazement. Each looked at the other with astounding incredulity, and overhauled the luggage again and again.

"Do you mean to say," said Tooler, "that there arn't nuffin else in the boot?"

"Darnged a thing!" cried Tom Titus, "coom and look." And Tooler did look, and the gentleman in black looked, and Bob looked, and Harry looked, and Bill looked, and Sam looked, and all looked, but found the boot empty.

"Well, blarm me!" cried Tooler. "But darng it all, he must be somewhere!"

"I' ll taake my solum davy," said Bill, "that he was there."

"I seed um myself," exclaimed Bob, "wi' my oarn eyes, an' didn't loike the looks on um a bit."

"There cannot," said the gentleman in black, "be the smallest possible doubt about his having been there; but the question for our mature consideration is, where is he now?"

"I 'll bet a pint," said Harry, "you blowed um away?"

"Blowed um away, you fool!—how could I ha' blowed um away?"

"Why, he was there," said Bob, "and he baint there noo, and he baint here nayther, so you mus ha' blowed um out o' th' boot; 'sides, look at the muzzle o' this ere blunderbust!"

"Well, of all the rummest goes as ever happened," said Tooler, thrusting his hands to the very bottom of his pockets, "this ere flogs 'em all into nuffin!"

"It is perfectly astounding!" exclaimed the gentleman in black, looking again into the boot, while [page 85] the men stood and stared at each other with their mouths as wide open as human mouths could be.

"Well, in wi' 'em agin," cried Tooler, "in wi' 'em!—Blarm me if this here arn't a queer un to get over."

The luggage was accordingly replaced, and Tooler, on mounting the box, told the men to get a gallon of beer, when the gentleman in black generously gave them half a crown, and the horses started off, leaving Tom with his blunderbuss, Harry, Bill, Sam, and their companions, bewildered with the mystery which the whole day spent in the alehouse by no means enabled them to solve.


Recite this in a simple unaffected manner; carefully avoiding anything like rant. At times the voice should sink tremulously low, as the good dame recalls memories of her departed children:


  N old wife sat by her bright fireside,

Swaying thoughtfully to and fro,

In an ancient chair whose creaky frame

Told a tale of long ago;

While down by her side, on the kitchen floor,

Stood a basket of worsted balls—a score.

The old man dozed o'er the latest news,

Till the light of his pipe went out,

And, unheeded, the kitten, with cunning paws,

Rolled and tangled the balls about;

Yet still sat the wife in the ancient chair,

Swaying to and fro, in the firelight glare.

[page 86]

But anon a misty tear-drop came

In her eye of faded blue,

Then trickled down in a furrow deep,

Like a single drop of dew;

So deep was the channel—so silent the stream—

The good man saw naught but the dimmed eye-beam.

Yet he marvelled much that the cheerful light

Of her eye had weary grown,

And marvelled he more at the tangled balls;

So he said in a gentle tone,

"I have shared thy joys since our marriage vow,

Conceal not from me thy sorrows now."

Then she spoke of the time when the basket there

Was filled to the very brim,

And how there remained of the goodly pile

But a single pair—for him.

"Then wonder not at the dimmed eye-light,

There's but one pair of stockings to mend to-night.

"I cannot but think of the busy feet,

Whose wrappings were wont to lie

In the basket, awaiting the needle's time,

Now wandered so far away;

How the sprightly steps to a mother dear,

Unheeded fell on the careless ear.

"For each empty nook in the basket old,

By the hearth there's a vacant seat;

And I miss the shadows from off the wall,

And the patter of many feet;

'Tis for this that a tear gathered over my sight

At the one pair of stockings to mend to-night.

"'Twas said that far through the forest wild,

And over the mountains bold,

Was a land whose rivers and darkening caves

Were gemmed with the rarest gold;

Then my first-born turned from the oaken door,

And I knew the shadows were only four.

[page 87]

"Another went forth on the foaming waves

And diminished the basket's store—

But his feet grew cold—so weary and cold—

They'll never be warm any more—

And this nook in its emptiness, seemeth to me

To give forth no voice but the moan of the sea.

"Two others have gone towards the setting sun,

And made them a home in its light,

And fairy fingers have taken their share

To mend by the fireside bright;

Some other baskets their garments fill—

But mine! Oh, mine is emptier still.

"Another—the dearest—the fairest—the best—

Was ta'en by the angels away,

And clad in a garment that waxeth not old,

In a land of continual day.

Oh! wonder no more at the dimmed eye-light,

While I mend the one pair of stockings to-night."




Mrs. Clipper, a Widow.

Kitty, her Daughter.

Aunt Jemima Hopkins, a leetle inquisitive.

Mrs. Hortensia Fastone, very genteel.

Dora, her Daughter.

Katy Doolan, Irish Help.

Scene.Room in Mrs. Clipper's House. Lounge, L.; Chairs, C.; Table and Rocking-chair, Looking-glass, R.

[page 88]

Enter Mrs. Clipper and Kitty, r.

Mrs. C.   But really, Kitty, I cannot afford it.

Kitty.   O, yes, you can, mother; just this once. It's such a love of a bonnet! it's so becoming! and it only costs fifteen dollars.

Mrs. C.   Fifteen dollars! Why, child, you are crazy! We cannot afford to be so extravagant. The income derived from the property your dear father left will only allow us to dress in the most economical manner.

Kitty.   But this bonnet is not extravagant. Dora Fastone wears a bonnet which cost twenty-five-dollars, and her father has failed five or six times. I don't see why I can't have a new bonnet as well as that proud, stuck-up—

Mrs. C.   Hush, my child! never speak ill of our neighbors because they dress better than we do. If they spend money foolishly, we should endeavor to use ours to better purpose. I am sure I should be glad to gratify you, but we have so many expenses. Your music lessons cost a great deal of money; and your brother Harry, off at school, is really suffering for a new suit of clothes. I must send him some money to-day.

Kitty.   O, he can wait; he's only a boy; and no one cares how he looks; but young ladies must dress, or they are thought nothing of. O, you must let me have the bonnet, mamma!

Mrs. C.   If you have this bonnet, Kitty, Harry must go without his new suit.

Kitty.   If you could just see it! It's such a love of a bonnet! Do let me run down and ask Miss Thompson to send it up for you to look at.

Mrs. C.   I've no objection to that; and if you think you need it more than Harry does his new suit, why—

[page 89]

Kitty.   You'll let me have it. That's a good, dear mother. I know you wouldn't refuse. I'll run to Miss Thompson's. I won't be gone long. I suppose I am selfish; but then, mother, it's such a love of a bonnet. [Exit, L.

Mrs. C.   (Sits in a rocking-chair.)   Dear child, it is hard to refuse her! But one should be made of money to keep up with the extravagant fashions of the day.

Enter Aunt Hopkins, r.

Aunt H.   Angelina, what on airth have them air Joneses got for dinner? I've sot and sot at that air front winder till I've got a crick in my back a tryin' to find out whether it's lamb or mutton. It's something roasted, anyhow.

Mrs. C.   Aunt Hopkins, you are very inquisitive!

Aunt H.   Inquisitive! Law sakes, do hear the child talk! Neow, what harm kin there be in tryin' to find eout what your neighbors have got for dinner? I mean to put on my bunnet and run acrost and see. I know they've got apple dumplin's, for I see the hired gal throw the parin's out into the yard.

Mrs. C.   Run across! Don't dream of such a thing!

Aunt H.   Well, I'm goin' up stairs to git my specs and have another good look, anyhow; for I'm jest dyin' to know whether it's lamb or mutton. Land sakes! what's the use of livin', ef you can't know how other folks live? [Exit, R.

Mrs. C.   Aunt Hopkins!—She's gone! Dear me, she does worry me terribly! What will our neighbors think of us?

Enter Katy Doolan, l.

Katy.   If you plase, mam, may I coome in?

[page 90]

Mrs. C.   Certainly, Katy. What's the matter?

Katy.   If you plase, mam, I have a letther; and would you plase rade it for me?

Mrs. C.   (Takes letter.)   Certainly, Katy. From your lover?

Katy.   Indeed, mam, I have no lover. It's my cousin, mam.

Mrs. C.   O, your cousin.   (Opens letter.)   "Light ov my sowl!" Why, this cannot be your cousin.

Katy.   Indade, indade, it be, sure! It's only the insinivatin' way he has, mam!

Mrs. C.   (Reads.)

"Bewitchin' Katy! and how are ye's onyhow? I take my pin in hand to till ye's I am yurs, in good hilth and sphirits; and it's hopin' ye's the same, truly! The pulsitations uv my heart are batin' wid the love I bears ye's, darlin' Katy! the fairest flower—niver mind the blot—that iver bloomed an the family tree uv Phil Doolan uv Tipperary, dead and gone this siven years, bliss his sowl,—and how are ye's? An' by the same token that I loves ye's much, I sind by the ixpriss, freight paid, a new bunnit, which my cousin Biddy Ryan, for my dear love, have made for ye's charmin' Katy Doolan! Wear it nixt ye's heart! And if ye git it before this letther coomes to hand, ye's may know it is from

Your ever sighin',

Wid love for ye's dyin',

Cornalius Ryan.

P.S.   If ye's don't resave this letther, sind me word uv mouth by the man who fetches the bunnit."

Mrs. C.   That's a very loving epistle.

Katy.   Pistol, it is? Faith, I thought it was a letther.

[page 91]

Mrs. C.   And so it is; and a very loving one! Your cousin has sent you a new bonnet.

Katy.   Is it in the letther, mam!

Mrs. C.   It is coming by express.

Katy.   Sure, he might sind it in the letther, and save expinse. What will I do?

Mrs. C.   Wait patiently until the bonnet arrives.

Katy.   Will Cornalius coome wid it?

Mrs. C.   I think not. The expressman will bring it.

Katy.   Sure, I don't want the ixpressman. It's Cornalius I want.

Mrs. C.   This cousin of yours seems very affectionate. Are you going to marry him some day?

Katy.   Some day?—yis, mam. He tould me, Would I? and I axed him, Yes. What will I do with the letther, mam?

Mrs. C.   Keep it with your treasures. It should be precious to you.

Katy.   Faith, thin I'll put it in the savings bank with my money. I'm obliged, to ye's Mrs. Clipper, mam. If you plase, what was that last in the letther?

Mrs. C.

"Your ever sighin',

Wid love for ye's dyin',

Cornalius Ryan."

Katy.   O, don't, ma'am! Ye's make me blush wid the shame I fail. Och! it's a quare darlin', wid all his sighin', is Cornalius Ryan! Och, musha! it's an illigant lad he is, onyhow! [Exit, L.

Mrs. C.   So we are to have another new bonnet in the family! Well, Katy is a good girl, and I hope will get a good husband, as well as a new bonnet.

[Exit, L.

Enter Aunt Hopkins, r., with a bandbox.

[page 92]

Aunt H.   It's mutton! I was determined to find eout, and I have! I saw that air Jones boy a playin' in the street, and I asked him what his folks had got for dinner, and he said mutton, and neow I'm satisfied on that air p'int. I wonder what's in this 'ere bandbox! I saw that express cart stop here, and the man said it was for Miss Kitty somebody; of course, Angelina's darter. I do wonder what it is! (Opens box.) Well I declare! A spic span new bunnet! (Takes out a very large, gaudily-trimmed bonnet.) And sich a bunnet! Ribbons and lace, flowers and feathers! Now that's jest what I call a tasty bunnet! I mean to try it on. It'll jest suit my complexion. Law sakes! here comes Kitty! 'Twon't do to let her know I've been at her things! (Puts bonnet back into box, and places it behind the table.)

Enter Kitty, L.

Kitty.   O, aunt Hopkins! Where's mother?

Aunt H.   Land sakes! I don't know no more than the child unborn!

Kitty.   Dear me! Here are Mrs. Fastone and Dora coming up the steps! What shall I do?

Aunt H.   Why, let 'em in, of course!

Kitty.   Has my new bonnet come yet?

Aunt H.   Indeed it has! And sich a beauty!

Kitty. O, I'm so glad! But where is it?

Aunt H.   Down there behind the table. I hain't teched it; only jest took a peep.

Kitty.   I'll let Miss Dora see that some people can dress as well as some other people. Aunt Hopkins, you must manage to draw attention to my new bonnet while the visitors are here, to give me an opportunity to show it.

Aunt H.   Why, I'll take it right eout the fust hing.

[page 93]

Kitty.   No, no! that would be too abrupt. Manage to speak of bonnets; but do not show it until they ask to see it.

Aunt H.   Well, I guess I know heow to do it genteelly.

Enter Katy, l.

Katy.   Two ladies to see you, miss. (Crosses to R.)

Kitty.   Where's mother, Katy?

Katy.   Gone to the butcher's, miss. [Exit R.

Aunt H.   Butcher's? Wal, I do hope she'll git some mutton, for the Joneses has it; and we ought to be as genteel as our neighbours.

Enter Mrs. Fastone and Dora, l., very elegantly attired.

Mrs. F.   My dear child, how do you do?

Kitty.   (Shaking hands with her, and afterwards with Dora.)   I'm delighted to see you! Hope you are quite well, and Dora.

Mrs. F.   Quite well—aren't you, Dora?

Dora.   Quite, mamma.

Kitty.   Pray be seated, ladies.   (They sit on lounge.)   Mrs. Hopkins, Mrs. Fastone.

Aunt H.   (Steps over and shakes hands.)   Hope you are pretty well, ma'am, and you, too, miss, though you do look awful delicate! And how's your husband? He's a broker—ain't he?   (Sits in rocking-chair, and keeps it in motion.)

Mrs. F.   Yes, Mrs. Hopkins, Mr. Fastone is a broker, engaged day after day in the busy vortex of fluctuating enterprises.

Aunt H.   Well, I never hearn tell of that business afore; but I s'pose it's profitable, or you couldn't [page 94] afford to dress so. Is that a silk or a poplin you've got on?

Kitty.   (Brings her chair; sits, C.)   Aunt Hopkins!—Mother has stepped out to make a call.

Aunt H.   No, she hain't; she's only gone to the butcher's.

Kitty.   Aunt Hopkins!—Mrs. Fastone, what is the news?

Mrs. F.   Well, really nothing. I am dying of ennui, the world is so quiet; no excitement to move the placid waters of fashionable society—is there, Dora?

Dora.   Nothing, mamma.

Mrs. F.   Nothing to see, nothing to hear, nothing to wear,—is there, Dora?

Dora.   Nothing, mamma.

Aunt H.   Nothing to wear! Yes, there's bunnets.

Kitty.   Aunt Hopkins!—Mrs. Fastone, you are quite correct.

Mrs. F.   Mrs. Hopkins spoke of bonnets. I have been so disappointed! Thompson had a perfect love of a bonnet that I had quite set my heart upon for Dora; but it is gone, and the poor child is almost broken-hearted—ain't you, Dora?

Dora.   Quite, mamma.

Kitty.   I am very sorry, for bonnets are so hard to find. I have been very much perplexed about them myself. They are so very commonplace; no air of refinement about them.

Mrs. F.   None, whatever—is there, Dora?

Dora.   None, mamma.

Kitty.   I've just had a new one sent home, but it doesn't suit me.

[page 95]

Aunt H.   Why, Kitty, how you talk! It's a regular beauty!

Kitty.   Aunt Hopkins!—It is not what I wanted, but Thompson said it was the most stylish she had.

Mrs. F.   Thompson! Did you get it of Thompson?

Kitty.   Yes, all my bonnets come from Thompson.

Mrs. F.   Do let me see it!

Aunt H.   (Jumps up.)   I'll show it to you right off. It's an eligunt bunnet. (Gets bandbox.)

Kitty.   Aunt Hopkins!

Aunt H.   Neow don't aunt Hopkins me! for I'm going to show 'em jest how it looks on yer; set still; for if there's anything I pride myself on, it's showin' off a bunnet.   (Stands behind Kitty, puts the bonnet on her head, and ties it.)   There! ain't that a beauty?

Mrs. F.   Why! what a hor—a handsome bonnet! Did you ever see anything like it, Dora?

Dora.   Never, mamma!

Aunt H.   That's the style, marm.

Mrs. F.   Really! I want to know! And this is Thompson's most stylish bonnet! Really, how the fashions do change! Did you ever, Dora!

Dora.   Never, mamma!

Kitty.   (Aside.)   I do believe they are laughing! Aunt Hopkins, I cannot get it off! You've tied it in a hard knot!

Mrs. F.   It's very becoming—isn't it, Dora?

Dora.   O, very, mamma.

Mrs. F.   (Aside to Dora.)  —What a horrid fright!

Dora.   Frightful, mamma!

Mrs. F.   I believe we must be moving, for I must hurry to Thompson's and order just such a bonnet [page 96] for Dora. Good day. You have such a charming taste—hasn't she, Dora?

Dora.   Charming, mamma!   (They bow, and exeunt, L., with their handkerchiefs to their mouths, endeavouring to conceal their laughter.)

Kitty.   Good day. Call again.—The hateful things! They are laughing at me. What ails this bonnet. (Goes to glass.) Goodness gracious; what a fright! This is not my bonnet. Aunt Hopkins, you've ruined me! I shall be the laughing-stock of the whole neighbourhood. (Tears off the bonnet.)

Enter Mrs. Clipper, r.

Mrs. C.   Have the Fastones gone?

Kitty.   I hope so. O, mother, send aunt Hopkins home; she's made me look ridiculous!

Aunt H.   Well, I declare! this comes of trying to please folks!

Mrs. C.   Is that your love of a bonnet, Kitty?

Kitty.   No, indeed! Aunt Hopkins, where did you get this hateful thing?

Aunt H.   Out of that bandbox.

Kitty.   (Takes up the cover.)   It's marked "Miss Katy Doolan." You've made a pretty mess of it!

Aunt H.   Sakes alive! It's the hired gal's! Well, I never!

Mrs. C.   But where's the bonnet you sent from Thompson's?

Katy.   (Outside.)   O, murder! that iver I should say this day!

Enter Katy, r.,   (holding in her hand an elegant bonnet.)

The mane, stingy blackgurd has sint me this whisp of a bunnet, that I'll niver git on my head at all at all!

[page 97]

Kitty.   That's my bonnet!

Katy.   Is it, indade? and perhaps ye's be afther claiming the letther Cornalius Ryan sint wid it.

Mrs. C.   No, no, Katy; there's a little mistake here. This is your bonnet.

Katy.   Faith, now, isn't that a darling, jist! I'll wear it to church to-morrow, sure.

Kitty.   Put it on now, Katy; and then take this wisp of a bonnet, as you call it, to Miss Thompson, with my best compliments and tell her I have decided not to keep it.

Mrs. C.   Why, Kitty, I thought your heart was set upon having it.

Kitty.   So it was, mother; but I shall never dare to wear it, after the ridiculous appearance I have just made. It's too fine for me. My conscience gave me a little twinge as I was coming home. Send Harry the money for his new suit. My old bonnet is quite good enough for me.

Aunt H.   Neow that's what I call a self-denyin' gal. I'll fix it up for you; for if there's anything I pride myself on doin', it's fixing up old bunnets.

Kitty.   And trying on new ones! No, I thank you, aunt Hopkins. Hereafter I'll look after my bonnets myself. I think our acquaintance with Mrs. Fastone will be broken off by this adventure; and so I will make a merit of necessity, abandon fashionable society, and be more humble in my demeanor and in my dress.

Mrs. C.   Ah, my child, you will be better satisfied with your decision, as you grow older, and see how frivolous are the demands of fashion, and how little happiness can be obtained by lavish display. And I think this little adventure, though a severe lesson, will be far more profitable than the possession of that "love of a bonnet."

[page 98]



The opening stanzas of this poem should be recited in an agitated, broken voice, as though the fond mother could not fully realize the fact of her boy being drafted:—in the end the voice changes to a firmer and gentler tone, as a spirit of resignation fills the mother's heart:


  Y son! What! Drafted? My Harry! Why, man, 'tis a boy at his books;

No taller, I'm sure, than your Annie—as delicate, too, in his looks.

Why, it seems but a day since he helped me girl-like, in my kitchen at tasks;

He drafted! Great God, can it be that our President knows what he asks?

He never could wrestle, this boy, though in spirit as brave as the best;

Narrow-chested, a little, you notice, like him who has long been at rest.

Too slender for over much study—why, his master has made him to-day

Go out with his ball on the common—and you have drafted a child at his play!

"Not a patriot?" Fie! Did I wimper when Robert stood up with his gun,

And the hero-blood chafed in his forehead, the evening we heard of Bull Run?

Pointing his finger at Harry, but turning his eyes to the wall,

"There's a staff growing up for your age, mother," said Robert, "if I am to fall."

"Eighteen?" Oh I know! And yet narrowly; just a wee babe on the day

When his father got up from a sick-bed and cast his last ballot for Clay.

[page 99]

Proud of his boy and his ticket, said he, "A new morsel of fame

We'll lay on the candidate's altar"—and christened the child with his name.

Oh, what have I done, a weak woman, in what have I meddled with harm,

(Troubling only my God for the sunshine and rain on my rough little farm,)

That my ploughshares are beaten to swords, and whetted before my eyes,

That my tears must cleanse a foul nation, my lamb be a sacrifice?

Oh, 'tis true there's a country to save, man, and 'tis true there is no appeal,

But did God see my boy's name lying the uppermost one in the wheel?

Five stalwart sons has my neighbour, and never the lot upon one;

Are these things Fortune's caprices, or is it God's will that is done?

Are the others too precious for resting where Robert is taking his rest,

With the pictured face of young Annie lying over the rent in his breast?

Too tender for parting with sweet hearts? Too fair to be crippled or scarred?

My boy! Thank God for these tears—I was growing so bitter and hard!

*            *            *            *            *            *            *            *

Now read me a page in the Book, Harry, that goes in your knapsack to-night,

Of the eye that sees when the sparrow grows weary and falters in flight;

Talk of something that's nobler than living, of a Love that is higher than mine,

And faith which has planted its banner where the heavenly camp-fires shine.

[page 100]

Talk of something that watches us softly, as the shadows glide down in the yard;

That shall go with my soldier to battle, and stand with my picket on guard.

Spirits of loving and lost ones—watch softly with Harry to-night,

For to-morrow he goes forth to battle—to arm him for Freedom and Right!



The following magnificent description of perhaps the most awful phenomenon in nature, gives full scope for almost every tone and gesture. Care should, however, be taken that the natural grandeur of the subject be not marred by a stilted, pompous, or affected delivery. Let the speaker try to realize the thought and feelings of a spectator of the dark scene of desolation, and he cannot go amiss:


T HE eyes of the crowd beheld, with ineffable dismay, a vast vapour shooting from the summit of Vesuvius, in the form of a gigantic pine-tree; the trunk, blackness; the branches, fire, that shifted and wavered in its hues with every moment: now fiercely luminous, now of a dull and dying red, that again blazed terrifically forth with intolerable glare.

Then there arose on high the universal shrieks of women; the men stared at each other, but were dumb. At that moment they felt the earth shake beneath their feet; the walls of the theatre trembled; and beyond, in the distance, they heard the crash of falling roofs. An instant more, and the mountain-cloud seemed to roll toward them, dark and rapid like a torrent; at the same time it cast forth from its [page 101] bosom a shower of ashes, mixed with fragments of burning stone! Over the crushing vines, over the desolate streets, over the amphitheatre itself,—far and wide,—with many a mighty splash in the agitated sea, fell that awful shower!

The cloud advanced, darker, disgorging showers of ashes and pumice stones; and, amid the other horrors, the mighty mountain now cast up columns of boiling water. Blent and kneaded with the half-burning ashes, the streams fell like seething mud over the streets, in frequent intervals.

The cloud, which had scattered so deep a murkiness over the day, at length settled into a solid and impenetrable mass. But in proportion as the blackness gathered did the lightnings around Vesuvius increase in their vivid and scorching glare.

Nor was their horrible beauty confined to their hues of fire. Now brightly blue, as the most azure depth of a southern sky; now of a livid and snake-like green, darting restlessly to and fro, as the folds of an enormous serpent; now of a lurid and intolerable crimson, gushing forth through the columns of smoke far and wide, and lighting up all Pompeii; then suddenly dying into a sickly paleness, like the ghost of its own life!

In the pauses of the showers were heard the rumbling of the earth beneath, and the groaning waves of the tortured sea; or, lower still, and audible but to the watch of intensest fear, the grinding and hissing murmur of the escaping gases through the chasms of the distant mountain.

The ashes, in many places, were already knee-deep; and in some places immense fragments of rock, hurled upon the house-roofs, bore down along the streets masses of confused ruin, which yet more and more, with every hour, obstructed the way; and, as the day advanced, the motion of the earth was [page 102] more sensibly felt; the footing seemed to slide and creep, nor could chariot or litter be kept steady, even on the most level ground.

Sometimes the huger stones, striking against each other as they fell, broke into countless fragments, emitting sparks of fire, which caught whatever was combustible within their reach; and along the plains beyond the city the darkness was now terribly relieved, for several houses and even vineyards had been set on flames; and at various intervals the fire rose fiercely and sullenly against the solid gloom. The citizens had endeavoured to place rows of torches in the most frequented spots; but these rarely continued long; the showers and the wind extinguished them.

Suddenly arose an intense and lurid glow. Bright and gigantic through the darkness which closed around it, the mountain shone, a pile of fire! Its summit seemed riven in two; or rather, above its surface, there seemed to rise two monster-shapes, each confronting each, as demons contending for a world. These were of one deep blood-red hue of fire, which lighted up the whole atmosphere; but below, the nether part of the mountain was still dark and shrouded, save in three places, adown which flowed serpentine, and irregular rivers of molten lava. Darkly red through the profound gloom of their banks, they flowed slowly on, as towards the devoted city. And through the still air was heard the rattling of the fragments of rock, hurling one upon another, as they were borne down the fiery cataracts, darkening for one instant the spot where they fell, and suffused the next in the burnished hues of the flood along which they floated!

Suddenly a duller shade fell over the air; and one of the two gigantic crests into which the summit had been divided, rocked and waved to and fro; and then, with a sound, the mightiness of which no [page 103] language can describe, it fell from its burning base, and rushed, an avalanche of fire, down the sides of the mountain. At the same instant gushed forth a volume of blackest smoke, rolling on, over air, sea and earth. Another, and another, and another shower of ashes, far more profuse than before, scattered fresh desolation along the streets, and darkness once more wrapped them as a veil.

The whole elements of civilization were broken up. If in the darkness, wife was separated from husband, or parent from child, vain was the hope of reunion. Each hurried blindly and confusedly on. Nothing was left save the law of self-preservation.



This beautiful poem should be recited with a calm, even devout dignity; occasionally rising into energetic expression as the poet apostrophizes the Deity in behalf of the down-trodden:


F all my Father's herds and flocks,

I love the Ox—the large-eyed Ox!

I think no Christian man would wrong

The Ox—so patient, calm, and strong!

How huge his strength! and yet, with flowers

A child can lead this Ox of ours;

And yoke his ponderous neck, with cords

Made only of the gentlest words.

By fruitful Nile the Ox was Lord;

By Jordan's stream his blood was poured;

In every age—with every clan—

He loves, he serves, he dies for Man!

[page 104]

And, through the long, long years of God,

Since labouring Adam delved the sod,

I hear no human voice that mocks

The hue which God hath given His Ox!

While burdening toils bow down his back,

Who asks if he be white or black?

And when his generous blood is shed,

Who shall deny its common red?

"Ye shall not muzzle"—God hath sworn—

"The Ox, that treadeth out the corn!"

I think no Christian law ordains

That Ox or Man should toil in chains.

So, haply, for an Ox I pray.

That kneels and toils for us this day;

A huge, calm, patient, large-eyed Ox,

Black-skinned, among our herds and flocks.

So long, O righteous Lord! so long

Bowed down, and yet so brave and strong—

I think no Christian, just and true,

Can spurn this poor Ox for his hue!

I know not why he shall not toil,

Black-skinned, upon our broad, free soil;

And lift aloft his dusky frame,

Unbranded by a bondman's name!

And struggling still, for nobler goal,

With wakening will and soaring soul,

I know not why his great free strength

May not be our best wealth at length:

That strength which, in the limbs of slaves

Like Egypt's—only piles up graves!

But in the hands of freemen now

May build up states, by axe and plough!—

And rear up souls, as purely white

As angels, clothed with heavenly light;

[page 105]

And yield forth life-blood, richly red

As patriot hearts have ever shed.

God help us! we are veiled within—

Or white or black—with shrouds of skin;

And, at the last, we all shall crave

Small difference in the breadth of grave!

But—when the grass grows, green and calm,

And smells above our dust, like balm—

I think our rest will sweeter be,

If over us the Ox be—free!




   WO Yankee wags, one summer day,

Stopped at a tavern on their way,

Supped, frolicked, late retired to rest,

And woke, to breakfast on the best.

The breakfast over, Tom and Will

Sent for the landlord and the bill;

Will looked it over:—"Very right—

But hold! what wonder meets my sight?

Tom! the surprise is quite a shock!"

"What wonder? where?" "The clock, the clock!"

Tom and the landlord in amaze

Stared at the clock with stupid gaze,

And for a moment neither spoke;

At last the landlord silence broke,—

"You mean the clock that's ticking there?

I see no wonder, I declare!

Though maybe, if the truth were told,

'Tis rather ugly, somewhat old;

Yet time it keeps to half a minute;

But, if you please, what wonder in it?"

[page 106]

"Tom, don't you recollect," said Will,

"The clock at Jersey, near the mill,

The very image of this present,

With which I won the wager pleasant?"

Will ended with a knowing wink;

Tom scratched his head and tried to think.

"Sir, begging your pardon for inquiring,"

The landlord said with grin admiring,

"What wager was it?"

"You remember

It happened, Tom, in last December:

In sport I bet a Jersey Blue

That it was more than he could do

To make his finger go and come

In keeping with the pendulum,

Repeating, till the hour should close,

Still—'Here she goes, and there she goes.'

He lost the bet in half a minute."

"Well, if I would, the deuce is in it!"

Exclaimed the landlord; "try me yet,

And fifty dollars to be bet."

"Agreed, but we will play some trick,

To make you of the bargain sick!"

"I'm up to that!"

"Don't make us wait,—

Begin,—the clock is striking eight."

He seats himself, and left and right

His finger wags with all its might,

And hoarse his voice and hoarser grows,

With—"Here she goes, and there she goes!"

"Hold!" said the Yankee, "plank the ready!"

The landlord wagged his finger steady,

While his left hand, as well as able,

Conveyed a purse upon the table,

"Tom! with the money let's be off!"

This made the landlord only scoff.

He heard them running down the stair,

[page 107]

But was not tempted from his chair;

Thought he, "The fools! I'll bite them yet!

So poor a trick sha'n't win the bet."

And loud and long the chorus rose

Of—"Here she goes, and there she goes!"

While right and left his finger swung,

In keeping to his clock and tongue.

His mother happened in to see

Her daughter: "Where is Mrs. B——?"

"When will she come, do you suppose?"


"Here she goes, and there she goes!"

"Here!—where?"—the lady in surprise

His finger followed with her eyes;

"Son! why that steady gaze and sad?

Those words,—that motion,—are you mad?

But here's your wife, perhaps she knows,


"Here she goes, and there she goes!"

His wife surveyed him with alarm,

And rushed to him and seized his arm;

He shook her off, and to and fro

His finger persevered to go,

While curled his very nose with ire

That she against him should conspire;

And with more furious tone arose

The—"Here she goes, and there she goes!"

"Lawks!" screamed the wife, "I'm in a whirl!

Run down and bring the little girl;

She is his darling, and who knows


"Here she goes, and there she goes!"

"Lawks! he is mad! What made him thus?

Good Lord! what will become of us?

Run for a doctor,—run, run, run,—

For Doctor Brown and Doctor Dun,

And Doctor Black and Doctor White,

And Doctor Grey with all your might!"

[page 108]

The doctors came, and looked, and wondered,

And shook their heads, and paused and pondered.

Then one proposed he should be bled,—

"No, leeched you mean," the other said,—

"Clap on a blister!" roared another,—

"No! cup him,"—"No! trepan him, brother."

A sixth would recommend a purge,

The next would an emetic urge;

The eighth, just come from a dissection,

His verdict gave for an injection.

The last produced a box of pills,

A certain cure for earthly ills:

"I had a patient yesternight,"

Quoth he, "and wretched was her plight,

And as the only means to save her,

Three dozen patent pills I gave her;

And by to-morrow I suppose


"Here she goes, and there she goes!"

"You are all fools!" the lady said,—

"The way is, just to shave his head.

Run! bid the barber come anon."

"Thanks, mother!" thought her clever son;

"You help the knaves that would have bit me,

But all creation sha'n't outwit me!"

Thus to himself, while to and fro

His fingers perseveres to go,

And from his lips no accent flows

But—"Here she goes, and there she goes!"

The barber came—"Lord help him! what

A queerish customer I've got;

But we must do our best to save him,—

So hold him, gemmen, while I shave him!"

But here the doctors interpose,—

"A woman never—"

"There she goes!"

"A woman is no judge of physic,

No even when her baby is sick.

[page 109]

He must be bled,"—"No, no, a blister,"—

"A purge, you mean,"—"I say a clyster,"—

"No, cup him,"—"Leech him,"—"Pills! pills! pills!"

And all the house the uproar fills.

What means that smile? what means that shiver?

The landlord's limbs with rapture quiver,

And triumph brightens up his face,

His finger yet shall win the race;

The clock is on the stroke of nine,

And up he starts,—"'Tis mine! 'tis mine!"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean the fifty;

I never spent an hour so thrifty.

But you who tried to make me lose,

Go, burst with envy, if you choose!

But how is this? where are they?"


"The gentlemen,—I mean the two

Came yesterday,—are they below?"

"They galloped off an hour ago."

"O, purge me! blister! shave and bleed!

For, hang the knaves, I'm mad indeed!"


Goliath gives vent to his arrogance in a bombastic style. This should be borne in mind by the speaker. David, on the other hand, expresses himself with modesty, but in a tone of confident courage:

Goliath.   Where is the mighty man of war, who dares

Accept the challenge of Philistia's chief?

What victor-king, what general drenched in blood,

Claims this high privilege? What are his rights?

What proud credentials does the boaster bring

[page 110]

To prove his claim? What cities laid in ashes,

What ruined provinces, what slaughtered realms,

What heads of heroes, or what hearts of kings,

In battle killed, or at his altars slain,

Has he to boast? Is his bright armory

Thick set with spears, and swords, and coats of mail,

Of vanquished nations, by his single arm

Subdued? Where is the mortal man so bold,

So much a wretch, so out of love with life,

To dare the weight of this uplifted spear?

Come, advance!

Philistia's gods to Israel's. Sound, my herald,

Sound for the battle straight!

David.                Behold thy foe.

Gol.   I see him not.

Dav.                Behold him here.

Gol.                                    Say, where?

Direct my sight. I do not war with boys.

Dav.   I stand prepared; thy single arm to mine.

Gol.   Why, this is mockery, minion; it may chance

To cost thee dear. Sport not with things above thee:

But tell me who, of all this numerous host,

Expects his death from me? Which is the man

Whom Israel sends to meet my bold defiance?

Dav.   The election of my sovereign falls on me.

Gol.   On thee! on thee! by Dagon, 'tis too much!

Thou curled minion! thou a nation's champion!

'Twould move my mirth at any other time;

But trifling's out of tune. Begone, light boy!

And tempt me not too far.

Dav.                I do defy thee,

Thou foul idolator! Hast thou not scorned

The armies of the living God I serve!

By me he will avenge upon thy head

Thy nation's sins and thine. Armed with his name,

Unshrinking, I dare meet the stoutest foe

That ever bathed his hostile spear in blood.

Gol.   Indeed! 'tis wondrous well! Now, by my gods!

The stripling plays the orator! Vain boy!

Keep close to that same bloodless war of words,

[page 111]

And thou shalt still be safe. Tongue-valiant warrior!

Where is thy sylvan crook, with garlands hung,

Of idle field-flowers? Where thy wanton harp,

Thou dainty-fingered hero?

Now will I meet thee,

Thou insect warrior; since thou dar'st me thus,

Already I behold thy mangled limbs,

Dissevered each from each, ere long to feed

The fierce, blood-snuffing vulture. Mark me well,

Around my spear I'll twist thy shining locks

And toss in air thy head all gashed with wounds.

Dav.   Ha, say'st thou so? Come on, then; Mark us well.

Thou com'st to me with sword and spear, and shield;

In the dread name of Israel's God, I come;

The living Lord of Hosts, whom thou defi'st;

Yet though no shield I bring; no arms, except

These five smooth stones I gathered from the brook

With such a simple sling as shepherds use;

Yet all exposed, defenceless as I am,

The God I serve shall give thee up a prey

To my victorious arm. This day, I mean

To make the uncircumcised tribes confess

There is a God in Israel. I will give thee,

Spite of thy vaunted strength and giant bulk,

To glut the carrion-kites. Nor thee alone;

The mangled carcasses of your thick hosts

Shall spread the plains of Elah; till Philistia,

Through all her trembling tents and flying bands,

Shall own that Judah's God is God indeed!

I dare thee to the trial!

Gol.                Follow me.

In this good spear I trust.

Dav.                I trust in Heaven!

The God of battles stimulates my arm,

And fires my soul with ardor not its own.

In this dialogue, the first speech of Goliath is simple vaunt. Confident in his huge bulk and strength, he strides occasionally from side to side while speaking, elevating his arms and throwing his limbs about as if anxious to display his powerful sinews and muscular proportions. He speaks very loud, as if willing to terrify all Israel with his voice.

In this second speech, Goliath partly stoops, half shuts his eyes like a [page 112] person endeavouring to discern some diminutive object, and, after looking intently a short time, suddenly straightens himself up to his full height, and says arrogantly: "I see him not."

In his third speech, Goliath maintains the same ground, till, in the conclusion, he seems, at last, to have perceived David, and, turning away contemptuously, adds: "I do not war with boys."

In the latter part of the dialogue, Goliath becomes really furious, and is in haste to transfix David with his spear; while David, on the other hand, becomes more calm, collected, and observant as the critical moment approaches, thus denoting his firm and unwavering trust in the God of Israel. David makes but few gestures, but always assumes a reverential attitude when he mentions the name of God—not puritanical by any means, but expressive of humble hope and smiling confidence.




Y ES,—he was one o' the best men that ever trod shoe-leather, husband was, though Miss Jinkins says (she 't was Poll Bingham), she says, I never found it out till after he died, but that 's the consarndest lie, that ever was told, though it 's jest a piece with everything else she says about me. I guess if everybody could see the poitry I writ to his memory, nobody wouldn 't think I dident set store by him. Want to hear it? Well, I 'll see if I can say it; it ginerally affects me wonderfully, seems to harrer up my feelin's; but I'll try. Dident know I ever writ poitry? How you talk! used to make lots on 't; hain't so much late years. I remember once when Parson Potter had a bee, I sent him an amazin' great cheese, and writ a piece o' poitry, and pasted on top on 't. It says:—

Teach him for to proclaim

Salvation to the folks;

No occasion give for any blame,

Nor wicked people's jokes.

[page 113]

And so it goes on, but I guess I won't stop to say the rest on now, seein' there's seven and forty verses.

Parson Potter and his wife was wonderfully pleased with it; used to sing it to the tune o' Haddem. But I was gwine to tell the one I made in relation to husband; it begins as follers:—

He never jawed in all his life,

He never was unkind,—

And (tho' I say it that was his wife)

Such men you seldom find.

(That's as true as the Scripturs; I never knowed him to say a harsh word.)

I never changed my single lot,—

I thought 't would be a sin—

(though widder Jinkins says it's because I never had a chance.) Now 't ain't for me to say whether I ever had a numerous number o' chances or not, but there 's them livin' that might tell if they wos a mind to; why, this poitry was writ on account of being joked about Major Coon, three year after husband died. I guess the ginerality o' folks knows what was the nature o' Major Coon's feelin's towards me, tho' his wife and Miss Jinkins does say I tried to ketch him. The fact is, Miss Coon feels wonderfully cut up 'cause she knows the Major took her "Jack at a pinch,"—seein' he couldent get such as he wanted, he took such as he could get,—but I goes on to say—

I never changed my single lot,

I thought 't would be a sin,—

For I thought so much o' Deacon Bedott,

I never got married agin.

If ever a hasty word he spoke,

His anger dident last,

[page 114]

But vanished like tobacker smoke

Afore the wintry blast.

And since it was my lot to be

The wife of such a man,

Tell the men that's after me

To ketch me if they can.

If I was sick a single jot,

He called the doctor in—

That's a fact,—he used to be scairt to death if anything ailed me. Now only jest think,—widder Jinkins told Sam Pendergrasses wife (she 'twas Sally Smith) that she guessed the deacon dident set no great store by me, or he wouldent a went off to confrence meetin' when I was down with the fever. The truth is, they couldent git along without him no way. Parson Potter seldom went to confrence meetin', and when he wa' n't there, who was ther, pray tell, that knowed enough to take the lead if husband dident do it? Deacon Kenipe hadent no gift, and Deacon Crosby hadent no inclination, and so it all come on Deacon Bedott,—and he was always ready and willin' to do his duty, you know; as long as he was able to stand on his legs he continued to go to confrence meetin'; why, I've knowed that man to go when he couldent scarcely crawl on account o' the pain in the spine of his back. He had a wonderful gift, and he wa' n't a man to keep his talents hid up in a napkin,—so you see 't was from a sense o' duty he went when I was sick, whatever Miss Jinkins may say to the contrary. But where was I? Oh!—

If I was sick a single jot,

He called the doctor in—

I sot so much by Deacon Bedott

I never got married agin.

[page 115]

A wonderful tender heart he had,

That felt for all mankind,—

It made him feel amazin bad

To see the world so blind.

Whiskey and rum he tasted not—

That's as true as the Scripturs,—but if you'll believe it, Betsy Ann Kenipe told my Melissy that Miss Jinkins said one day to their house, how 't she 'd seen Deacon Bedott high, time and agin! did you ever! Well, I'm glad nobody don't pretend to mind anything she says. I've knowed Poll Bingham from a gall, and she never knowed how to speak the truth—besides she always had a pertikkler spite against husband and me, and between us tew I 'll tell you why if you won't mention it, for I make it a pint never to say nothin' to injure nobody. Well she was a ravin'-distracted after my husband herself, but it's a long story. I 'll tell you about it some other time, and then you'll know why widder Jinkins is etarnally runnin' me down. See,—where had I got to? Oh, I remember now,—

Whiskey and rum he tasted not,—

He thought it was a sin,—

I thought so much o' Deacon Bedott

I never got married agin.

But now he's dead! the thought is killin',

My grief I can't control—

He never left a single shillin'

His widder to console.

But that wa' n't his fault—he was so out o' health for a number o' year afore he died, it ain't to be wondered at he dident lay up nothin'—however, it dident give him no great oneasiness,—he never cared much for airthly riches, though Miss Pendergrass says she [page 116] heard Miss Jinkins say Deacon Bedott was as tight as the skin on his back,—begrudged folks their vittals when they came to his house! did you ever! why, he was the hull-souldest man I ever see in all my born days. If I'd such a husband as Bill Jinkins was, I'd hold my tongue about my neighbors' husbands. He was a dretful mean man, used to git drunk every day of his life, and he had an awful high temper,—used to swear like all posset when he got mad,—and I've heard my husband say, (and he wa' n't a man that ever said anything that wa' n't true),—I've heard him say Bill Jinkins would cheat his own father out of his eye teeth if he had a chance. Where was I? Oh! "His widder to console,"—ther ain't but one more verse, 't ain't a very lengthy poim. When Parson Potter read it, he says to me, says he,—What did you stop so soon for?"—but Miss Jinkins told the Crosbys she thought I'd better a' stopt afore I 'd begun,—she 's a purty critter to talk so, I must say. I 'd like to see some poitry o' hern,—I guess it would be astonishin' stuff; and mor'n all that, she said there wa' n't a word o' truth in the hull on 't,—said I never cared two cents for the deacon. What an everlastin' lie!! Why, when he died, I took it so hard I went deranged, and took on so for a spell, they was afraid they should have to send me to a Lunattic Arsenal. But that's a painful subject, I won't dwell on 't. I conclude as follers:—

I'll never change my single lot,—

I think 't would be a sin,—

The inconsolable widder o' Deacon Bedott

Don't intend to get married agin.

Excuse me cryin'—my feelin's always overcomes me so when I say that poitry—O-o-o-o-o-o!

[page 117]



This piece should be spoken in a simple, unaffected conversational manner; still it admits of much quiet emphasis, and subdued irony:


  S at their work two weavers sat,

Beguiling time with friendly chat,

They touched upon the price of meat,

So high, a weaver scarce could eat.

"What with my brats and sickly wife,"

Quoth Dick, "I'm almost tired of life;

So hard my work, so poor my fare,

'Tis more than mortal man can bear.

"How glorious is the rich man's state

His house so fine, his wealth so great!

Heaven is unjust, you must agree;

Why all to him? Why none to me?

"In spite of what the Scripture teaches

In spite of all the parson preaches,

This world (indeed I've thought so long)

Is ruled methinks extremely wrong.

"Where'er I look, howe'er I range,

'Tis all confused and hard and strange;

The good are troubled and oppressed,

And all the wicked are the blest."

Quoth John, "Our ignorance is the cause

Why thus we blame our Maker's laws;

Parts of his ways alone we know;

'Tis all that man can see below.

"See'st thou that carpet, not half done,

Which thou, dear Dick, hast well begun?

Behold the wild confusion there,

So rude the mass it makes one stare!

[page 118]

"A stranger, ignorant of the trade,

Would say, no meaning's there conveyed;

For where's the middle? where's the border?

Thy carpet now is all disorder."

Quoth Dick, "My work is yet in bits,

But still in every part it fits;

Besides, you reason like a lout—

Why, man, that carpet's inside out."

Says John, "Thou say'st the thing I mean,

And now I hope to cure thy spleen;

This world, which clouds thy soul with doubt

Is but a carpet inside out.

"As when we view these shreds and ends,

We know not what the whole intends;

So, when on earth things look but odd,

They're working still some scheme of God.

"No plan, no pattern, can we trace;

All wants proportion, truth, and grace

The motley mixture we deride,

Nor see the beauteous upper side.

"But when we reach that world of light,

And view those works of God aright,

Then shall we see the whole design,

And own the workman is divine.

"What now seem random strokes, will there

All order and design appear;

Then shall we praise what here we spurned,

For then the carpet shall be turned."

"Thou'rt right," quoth Dick; "no more I'll grumble

That this sad world's so strange a jumble;

My impious doubts are put to flight,

For my own carpet sets me right."

[page 119]




O CH! don't be talkin'. Is it howld on, ye say? An' did n't I howld on till the heart o' me was clane broke entirely, and me wastin' that thin you could clutch me wid yer two hands? To think o' me toilin' like a nager for the six year I 've been in Ameriky,—bad luck to the day I iver left the owld counthry! to be bate by the likes o' them (faix an' I'll sit down when I 'm ready, so I will, Aunt Ryan, an' yed better be listnin' than drawin' yer remarks)! an' is it mysel, with five good characters from respectable places, would be herdin' wid the haythens? The saints forgive me, but I 'd be buried alive sooner 'n put up wid it a day longer. Sure an' I was the granehorn not to be lavin' at onct when the missus kim into me kitchen wid her perlaver about the new waiter man which was brought out from Californy.

"He 'll be here the night," says she, "and, Kitty, it 's meself looks to you to be kind and patient wid him, for he 's a furriner," says she, a kind o' lookin' off.

"Sure an it 's little I 'll hinder nor interfare wid him nor any other, mum," says I, a kind o' stiff, for I minded me how these French waiters, wid their paper collars and brass rings on their fingers, isn 't company for no gurril brought up dacint and honest.

Och! sorra a bit I knew what was comin' till the missus walked into me kitchen smilin', and says kind o' shcared: "Here 's Fing Wing, Kitty, an' you 'll have too much sinse to mind his bein' a little strange."

[page 120]

Wid that she shoots the door, and I, misthrusting if I was tidied up sufficient for me fine buy wid his paper collar, looks up, and—Howly fathers! may I niver brathe another breath, but there stud a rale haythen Chineser a grinnin' like he'd just come off a tay-box. If you'll belave me, the crayture was that yeller it ud sicken you to see him; and sorra stitch was on him but a black nightgown over his trousers, and the front of his head shaved claner nor a copper biler, and a black tail a-hangin' down from behind, wid his two feet stook into the heathenestest shoes you ever set eyes on.

Och! but I was up stairs afore you could turn about, a givin' the missus warnin', an' only stopt wid her by her raisin' me wages two dollars, and playdin' wid me how it was a Christian's duty to bear wid haythins and taitch 'em all in our power,—the saints have us!

Well, the ways and trials I had wid that Chineser, Ann Ryan, I couldn't be tellin'. Not a blissed thing cud I do but he'd be lookin' on wid his eyes cocked up'ard like two poomp-handles, an' he widdout a speck or smitch o' whiskers on him, an' his finger-nails full a yard long. But it 's dyin' you'd be to see the missus a' larnin' him, and he grinnin' an' waggin' his pig-tail (which was pieced out long wid some black stoof, the haythen chate), and gettin' into her ways wonderful quick, I don't deny, imitatin' that sharp you'd be shurprised, and ketchin' an' copyin' things the best of us will do a-hurried wid work, yet don't want comin' to the knowledge of the family,—bad luck to him!

Is it ate wid him? Arrah, an' would I be sittin' wid a haythen an' he a-atin' wid drum-sticks,—yes, an' atin' dogs an' cats unknownst to me, I warrant you, which it is the custom of them Chinesers, till the thought made me that sick I could die. An' did n't [page 121] the crayture proffer to help me a wake ago come Toosday, an' me a foldin' down me clane clothes for the ironin', an' fill his haythin mouth wid water, an' afore I could hinder squirrit it through his teeth stret over the best linen table-cloth, and fold it up tight, as innercent now as a baby, the dirrity baste! But the worrest of all was the copyin' he'd be doin' till ye'd be dishtracted. It's yersel' knows the tinder feet that's on me since ever I 've bin in this counthry. Well, owin' to that, I fell into a way o' slippin' me shoes off when I 'd be settin' down to pale the praities or the likes o' that, and, do ye mind! that haythin would do the same thing after me whiniver the missus set him to parin' apples or tomaterses. The saints in heaven could n't have made him belave he cud kape the shoes on him when he'd be palin' anything.

Did I lave for that? Faix an' I did n't. Did n't he get me into trouble wid my missus, the haythin? You're aware yersel' how the boondles comin' in from the grocery often contains more 'n 'll go into anything dacently. So, for that matter, I'd now and then take out a sup o' sugar, or flour, or tay, an' wrap it in paper and put it in me bit of a box tucked under the ironin' blankit the how it cuddent be bodderin' any one. Well, what shud it be, but this blessed Sathurday morn the missus wos a spakin' pleasant and respec'ful wid me in me kitchen when the grocer boy comes in an' stands fornenst her wid his boondles, an' she motions like to Fing Wing (which I never would call him by that name ner any other but just haythin), she motions to him, she does, for to take the boondles an' empty out the sugar an' what not, where they belongs. If you'll belave me, Ann Ryan, what did that blatherin' Chineser do but take out a sup o' sugar, an' a handful o' tay, an' a bit o' chaze right afore the missus, wrap them into bits o' paper, [page 122] an' I spacheless wid shurprise, an' he the next minute up wid the ironin' blankit and pullin' out me box wid a show o' bein' sly to put them in.

Och, the Lord forgive me, but I clutched it, and missus sayin', "O Kitty!" in a way that 'ud cruddle your blood.

"He 's a haythin nager," says I.

"I 've found you out," says she.

"I 'll arrist him," says I.

"It 's you ought to be arristed," says she.

"You won't," says I.

"I will," says she; and so it went till she give me such sass as I cuddent take from no lady,—an' I give her warnin' an' left that instant, an' she a-pointin' to the doore.





  WAS a hazy, mazy, lazy day,

And the good smack Emily idly lay

Off Staten Island, in Raritan Bay,

With her canvas loosely flapping,

The sunshine slept on the briny deep,

Nor wave nor zephyr could vigils keep,

The oysterman lay on the deck asleep,

And even the cap'n was napping.

The smack went drifting down the tide,—

The waters gurgling along her side,—

Down where the bay glows vast and wide,—

A beautiful sheet of water;

With scarce a ripple about her prow,

[page 123]

The oyster-smack floated, silent and slow,

With Keyport far on her starboard bow,

And South Amboy on her quarter.

But, all at once, a grating sound

Made the cap'n awake and glance around;

"Hold hard!" cried he, "we've run aground,

As sure as all tarnation!"

The men jumped up, and grumbled and swore;

They also looked, and plainly saw

That the Emily lay two miles from shore,

At the smallest calculation.

Then, gazing over the side, to see

What kind of a bottom this shoal might be,

They saw, in the shadow that lay to the lee,

A sight that filled them with horror!

The water was clear, and beneath it, there,

An oyster lay in its slimy lair,

So big, that to tell its dimensions fair

Would take from now till to-morrow.

And this it was made the grating sound;

On this the Emily ran aground;

And this was the shoal the cap'n found,—

Alack! the more is the pity.

For straight an idea entered his head:

He'd drag it out of its watery bed,

And give it a resting-place, instead,

In some saloon in the city.

So, with crow, and lever, and gaff, and sling,

And tongs, and tackle, and roller, and ring,

They made a mighty effort to bring

This hermit out of his cloister.

They labored earnestly, day and night,

Working by torch and lantern light,

Till they had to acknowledge that, do what they might,

They never could budge the oyster!

[page 124]

The cap'n fretted, and fumed, and fussed,—

He swore he'd "have that 'yster, or bust!"

But, for all his oaths, he was quite nonplussed;

So by way of variation,

He sat him quietly down, for a while,

To cool his anger and settle his bile,

And to give himself up, in his usual style,

To a season of meditation.

Now, the cap'n was quite a wonderful man;

He could do almost anything any man can,

And a good deal more, when he once began

To act from a clear deduction.

But his wonderful power,—his greatest pride,—

The feat that shadowed all else beside,—

The talent on which he most relied,—

Was his awful power of suction!

At suction he never had known defeat!

The stoutest suckers had given in, beat,

When he sucked up a quart of apple-jack, neat,

By touching his lips to the measure!

He'd suck an oyster out of its shell,

Suck shrimps or lobsters equally well;

Suck cider till inward the barrel-heads fell,—

And seemed to find it a pleasure.

Well, after thinking a day or two,

This doughty sucker imagined he knew

About the best thing he could possibly do,

To secure the bivalvular hermit.

"I'll bore through his shell, as they bore for coal,

With an auger fixed on the end of a pole,

And then, through a tube, I'll suck him out whole,—

A neat little swallow, I term it!"

The very next day, he returned to the place

Where his failure had thrown him into disgrace;

And there, with a ghastly grin on his face,

Began his submarine boring.

[page 125]

He worked for a week, for the shell was tough,

But reached the interior soon enough

For the oyster, who found such surgery rough,—

Such grating, and scraping, and scoring!

The shell-fish started, the water flew,

The cap'n turned decidedly blue,

But thrust his auger still further through,

To quiet the wounded creature.

Alas! I fear my tale grows sad,

The oyster naturally felt quite bad

In spite of its peaceful nature.

It arose, and, turning itself on edge,

Exposed a ponderous shelly wedge,

All covered with slime, and sea-weed, and sedge,—

A conchological wonder!

This wedge flew open, as quick as a flash,

Into two great jaws, with a mighty splash

One scraunching, crunching, crackling crash,—

And the smack was gone to thunder.




Miss Rebecca Pease.

Mrs. Gabble.

Jenny Frost,
Bessy Snow,
Sadie Bean,
} City girls on a vacation
in the country.

Sissy Gabble.

Juno, Miss Pease's coloured help.

Scene.Miss Pease's best room.   Table, c., back.   Chairs, r. and l.   Rocking-chair, c.   Chair directly in front of the table.

[page 126]

Enter, l., Juno; costume, calico dress, handkerchief about her head in shape of a turban, broom in her hand.

Juno.   Bress my soul! Nebber see, in de whole co'se ob my life, sich a galloping set as dem are city gals—nebber! For all de worl', jes like a flock ob sheep. Shoo! away dey go, from de cellar to de top ob de house—pell-mell inter de barn. Skipterty shoo, ober de fields; skersplash into de brook; don't keer for nuffin nor nobody. Can't keep de chairs straight, nor de flo' clean nor nuffin. (Looks off, R.) Now, now, now, jes look a dar! jes look a dar! See 'em scootin' round, chasin' dat are poor orphanless calf, what ain't got no mudder. Never did see nuffin like it, nebber.   (Sweeps violently.)

Jenny.   (Outside, R.)   Ha, ha, ha! If you don't stop, girls, I shall die.

Bessie.   (Outside, R.)   Ha, ha, ha! O, dear, there goes my hat!

Sadie.   (Outside, R.)   Ha, ha, ha! Do see him jump!

[All three enter, R, laughing.

Jenny.   O, isn't this splendid! A country life for me.

Bessie.   It's glorious! I could live here forever.

Sadie.   So could I. No more city life for me.

Juno.   Bress my soul! Goin' fur to stay here forebber! I'll jes' pack up my jewelry, and slope, for sartin'.

Jenny.   Ah, there's Juno. O, Juno, isn't it most dinner-time? I'm so hungry!

Bessie.   So am I—ravenous.

Sadie.   I'm starving; slowly, but surely, starving.

Juno.   Dinner! Why, bress my soul! yer hain't got yer breakfast digesticated yet. Well, I nebber, [page 127] in de whole co'se ob my life, seed sich eaters—nebber. Six biscuit, four b'iled eggs apiece, and chicken; chicken by de dozen for dar breakfast; and now want dar dinner! Bress my soul! Doesn't yer git nuffin to eat in de city?

Sadie.   O, yes, plenty; but not such biscuits as Juno makes.

Jenny and Bessie.   Never, never!

Jenny.   And eggs, girls! None cooked as Juno cooks them.

Bessie and Sadie.   Never, never!

Bessie.   And chickens! never so nice as those broiled by Juno.

Jenny and Sadie.   Never, never!

Juno.   Doesn't yers, honies?   (Grinning.)   Dat's mean; dat's raal mean. Well, poor dears, I s'pose yers is hungry. Now you jes' wait and see what Juno can find for a lunch.

[Exit, L.

Jenny.   "A little flattery, now and then, is relished by the wisest men."

Bessie.   And the darkest of our sex, Jenny.

Sadie.   Yes; and "a soft answer turneth away wrath." O, ain't we having a splendid time, girls?

Jenny.   How kind of our parents, after eight months' hard study, to send us to this delightful place!

Sadie.   O, it's splendid. We want nothing here.

Bessie.   No, indeed. There's nothing left in that dry, hot city to be regretted.

Jenny.   Stop. There is one thing I should like.

Sadie and Bessie.   What is that?

Jenny.   One of mother's pickles.

Sadie and Bessie.   What! a pickle?

Jenny.   Yes. I'm dying for one of mother's sour, peppery pickles.

Sadie.   O, don't, Jenny. Do you want to make me homesick?

[page 128]

Bessie.   My mouth puckers at the thought. I want to go home.

Enter, R., Sissy Gabble, a very small girl, with a very large cape bonnet on her head, and a tin pail in her hand.

Sissy.   If yer pleath, Mith Peath, if, if—Mith Peath, if you pleath—

Jenny.   Why, who in the world is this?

Sadie.   What do you want, little girl?

Sissy.   Mith Peath, if you pleath, if, if—Mith Peath, to home, my mother thed—my mother thed. What did my mother thed? O, my mother thed, if Mith Peath is to home, to give Mith Peath her com—her com—to give Mith Peath her com—

Jenny.   Her compliments?

Sissy.   Yith ma'am, I geth tho; and tell Mith Peath, the thent her thome of her pickleth.

Sadie and Bessie.   Pickles! O, you dear little thing!

Jenny.   O, isn't she a darling!   (They all crowd round Sissy, take off her bonnet, kiss and hug her.)   Isn't she splendid?

Bessie.   I'll take the pail, little girl.

Sissy.   (Putting pail behind her.)   Yith marm; I geth not. My mother thed I muthn't give it to nobody but Mith Peath.

Bessie.   Well, take off the cover, little girl. The pickles will spoil.

Sissy.   I geth not. My mother's pickleth never thpoil.

Jenny.   The little plague! Say, Sissy; do you like candy?

Sissy.   Candy? Merlatheth candy?

Jenny.   Yes.

Sissy.   Ith it pulled?

[page 129]

Jenny.   Yes, indeed; pulled white as snow. Give me the pail, and I'll find you a long stick of it.

Sissy.   You ain't Mith Peath; and I don't like merlatheth candy white ath thnow. Where ith Mith Peath?

Sadie.   Little girl, don't you want some red and white peppermints?

Sissy.   No, I don't. I want Mith Peath.

Bessie.   Or some splendid gum drops?

Sissy.   No. I want Mith Peath.

Enter Miss Pease, l.

Miss P.   And here she is, Sissy Gabble. What have you for me?   (The girls fall back in confusion, and whisper together.)

Sissy.   Thome pickleth, Mith Peath, my mother thent you, with her com—her com—her com—

Miss P.   Her compliments, Sissy. I understand. I'm very much obliged to her for sending them, and to you, Sissy, for bringing them so carefully. Here, Juno!

Enter, Juno, l.

Juno.   Yes, missis. Why, bress my soul! if dar ain't Sissy Gabble! Come right here, yer dear chile.

Miss P.   Take her to the kitchen, Juno. Perhaps you can find a cake for her.

Juno.   Guess I can, missis, sure for sartin. Come, Sissy Gabble, come right along wid Juno.

Sissy.   Thay, Juno, who ith them?   (Pointing to girls.)

Juno.   Why, bress yer soul, dem ar's de young ladies from de city, on dar vex—vex—on dar vexation. O, Sissy, dar drefful sweet.

[page 130]

Sissy.   Thweet, Juno? I thpothe tho; they've got thuch loth of candy. But they didn't git my pail, tho!

Juno.   Come along to de kitchen. Come.

[Exeunt Juno and Sissy, l.   The girls gather about Miss Pease.

Jenny.   O, Miss Pease, I'm so glad Mrs. Gabble sent you those pickles, I'm so fond of them!

Bessie.   Yes, Miss Pease; they're so nice!

Sadie.   O, they're splendid! Do give us a taste.

Miss P.   Stop, stop young ladies. While I cannot but be grateful to Mrs. Gabble for her kindness, I wish it had taken some other shape. I have long been of the opinion that pickles are unwholesome, and have never allowed them to be placed upon my table. And I am sure I should be disobeying the instructions I received from your parents—to provide you only wholesome food—did I permit you to taste them. For the present, I shall leave them here.   (Places pail on the table.)   If you believe I have your interest at heart, you will not touch that which I have condemned. I know I can trust you.

Exit, L.

Bessie.   Well, I declare! The mean old thing!

Jenny.   It's too bad! Nothing but blasted hopes in this world!

Sadie.   Well, I don't care, I'm a going to have one of those pickles, if I die for it.

Jenny.   Why, Sadie Bean, you don't mean it!

Sadie.   Yes, I do. I know they are wholesome, and my mother always allows me to eat them.

Bessie.   I wouldn't touch one for the world. How impolite it would be, after Miss Pease has forbidden it!

Sadie.   No; she didn't forbid it. She said, if [page 131] we thought she had our interest at heart, we wouldn't touch the pail. Now I don't believe she has, when she wants to deprive us of such a luxury. I'm determined to have a pickle.

Jenny.   You are wrong, Sadie, to think of such a thing. A Precious Pickle you'll make.   (Sits on sofa.)

Bessie. Nothing would tempt me.   (Sits on sofa.)   How can you, Sadie?

Sadie.   Pooh! Cowards! It's just as easy as croquet, when you make up your mind.   (Lifts cover, and takes out pickle.)   A Precious Pickle. I'll taste, Jenny. Ain't they beauties?

Jenny.   Quick, quick, Sadie; somebody's coming!

Sadie.   Dear me!   (Claps on cover, runs and sits on sofa between Jenny and Bessie.)

Enter Juno, l.

Juno.   Bress my soul! dars Missis Gabble a runnin up de walk like all possessed. Speck her house afire, sure for sartin.

Exit, R.

Sadie.   (Tasting pickle.)   O, ain't it nice! Bessie, run and get one.

Bessie.   No, indeed; I shall do no such thing.

Jenny.   O, Sadie, I wouldn't believe you could do such a thing.

Sadie.   O, pshaw! It's all envy; you know it is.

Enter R., Juno, followed by Mrs. Gabble, who wears a calico dress, has her sleeves rolled up, her apron thrown over her head, and has altogether the appearance of having just left the wash-tub.

Mrs. G.   Yes, Juno, poor Mr. Brown has shuffled off this mortal—what's it's name?   (Looks [page 132] at girls.)   O, how do you do? I don't know how much he's worth, but they do say—Why, Juno, you've got a new calico—Fine day, young ladies.—They do say—Well, there, I oughtn't to speak of it. Got your washing out, Juno? I've been all day at that tub; and—Where's Miss Pease? I can't stop a minute; so don't ask me to sit down.   (Sits in rocking-chair and rocks violently.)

Juno.   Yes, Missy Gabble, Missy Pease to home. Send her right up, sure for sartin. Bress my soul, how that woman do go on, for sartin.

Exit, L.

Mrs. G.   Ah, poor Mrs. Brown, with all them young ones. I wonder where my Sis is.

Jenny.   I think she's in the kitchen, Mrs. Gabble.

Mrs. G.   You don't say so? Stuffing herself, I'm sure. And poor Mr. Brown lying dead in the next house—and there's my washing waiting for soap—and there's Mrs. Jones hasn't sent my ironing-board home; and mercy knows how I'm to get along without it.

Enter Miss Pease, l. During the dialogue between Miss Pease and Mrs. G., Sadie slyly eats her pickle, offering it to Jenny and Bessie, who at first shake their heads, afterwards taste; the pickle is passed among them, and devoured before the conclusion of the conversation.

Miss P.   Ah, Mrs. Gabble! I'm glad to see you.   (Takes chair and sits beside her.)

Mrs. G.   And poor Brown is gone!

Miss P.   Mr. Brown dead? This is sad news.

Mrs. G.   I should think it was—and there's Skillet, the butcher, chopped off his thumb—and Miss Pearson fell down stairs and broke her china sugar-bowl—sp'ilt the whole set. As I told my [page 133] husband, these expensive dishes never can be matched—and speaking of matches, Mrs. Thorpe is going to get a divorce. Jest think of it! I met her going into Carter's shop this morning. She had on that pink muslin he gave her for a birthday present—Jenkins has got a new lot of them, only a shilling a yard—speaking of yards, old Cooper tumbled into that miserable well in his back yard this morning. They pulled him out—speaking of pulling, Miss Tibbet was in to the dentist's this morning for a new set of teeth, and—Have you seen my Sis?

Miss P.   O, yes. She's in the kitchen with Juno. And, speaking of Sissy, reminds me that I must thank you for sending me—

Mrs. G.   My pickles? Yes. Well, I'm glad you got 'em. But I didn't have a bit of good luck with 'em. And, speaking of pickles, O, Miss Pease, that villain, Smith, the grocer, has been taken up. He's going to be hung. Nothing can save him.

Miss P.   Mr. Smith arrested! For what pray?

Mrs. G.   P'isoning! Jest think of it! And he a deacon in the church, and has such a splendid span of horses, and such an elegant beach wagon. I declare, the last time he took us to the beach I nearly died eating soft-shelled crabs; and my husband tumbled overboard, and Mr. Brown got sunstruck; and now he's gone! Dear me, dear me! And my washing ain't out yet.

Miss P.   But tell me, Mrs. Gabble, what is it about the poisoning?

Mrs. G.   Why, he or somebody else has been putting prussic acid in his vinegar, just at the time, too, when everybody's making pickles; and there's no end of the p'isoning he will have to answer for. Mrs. Jewel's just sent for the doctor, and Mrs. Poor's been dreadful all day, and Dr. Baldtop's [page 134] flying round from house to house; and, O, dear—there's my washing! Who'll be the next victim nobody knows, I'm sure.

Sadie.   (Jumping up.)   O, dear! O, dear! Send for the doctor, quick! I'm dying, I know I am.   (Runs across stage and sinks into chair, R.)

Miss P.   (Running to her.)   Bless me child, what ails you?

Sadie.   I don't know; I can't tell. The doctor, quick!

Mrs. G.   Deary me, she's took sudden, just for all the world like Susan Richie.

Jenny.   (Jumping up.)   Water, water! Give me some water! I shall die if I don't have some water.   (Runs down and sinks into chair, L.)

Mrs. G.   (Jumping up and running to her.)   Gracious goodness! here's another! It's something dreadful, depend upon it. When folks is took sudden—

Bessie.   (Jumping up.)   O, my throat! I'm burning up! Give me some ipecac. Quick, quick, quick!   (Runs round stage, then sinks into chair, C.)

Mrs. G.   There goes another! It's something dreadful, depend on it.

Miss P.   What does this mean? Here, Juno, Juno! Quick!

Enter Juno, l.

Juno.   Here I is, Missy Pease.

Sadie.   Run for the doctor, quick, Juno!

Juno.   (Running, R.)   Bress my soul! I'll fetch him.

Jenny.   No, no! Get me some water—quick!

Juno.   (Running L.)   To be sure, honey; to be sure.

[page 135]

Bessie.   No, no, Juno! some ipecac, or a stomach pump.

Juno.   Pump, pump! Want de pump? I'll fetch it, I'll fetch it. Bress my soul, I'll fetch something.

Exit, L.

Mrs. G.   Well, if this ain't drefful!—washing-day, too—and the undertaker's jest as busy as he can be—there never was so much immortality in this place, never. Poor critters! poor critters!

Miss P.   Girls, what does this mean?

Sadie.   O, Miss Pease, such agony!

Bessie.   O, dear, what will become of me?

Jenny.   O, this dreadful parching in the throat!

Mrs. G.   O, I know it, I know it. I told my husband that something dreadful was a goin' to happen when he sold that colt yesterday.

Miss P.   Sadie, what is the meaning of this. Your pulse is regular, your head cool, and your tongue clear.

Sadie.   O, Miss Pease, it's those dreadful pickles.

Mrs. G.   Yes, indeed, it is a drefful pickle—and so sudden, jest for all the world like poor Mr. Brown's sudden took, and these always seem to end fatally at some time or other—Dear me, dear me, and my wash—

Miss P.   Pickles! Have you disobeyed me?

Sadie.   I couldn't help it, Miss Pease; they looked so tempting. But I only took one.

Bessie.   And I only tasted that.

Jenny.   I only had one good bite.

Sadie.   And we are poisoned!

Bessie.   O, dear! poisoned!

Jenny.   Yes, poisoned!

Miss P.   How, poisoned?

Sadie.   Mrs. Gabble says the vinegar was poisoned by Mr. Smith.

[page 136]

Mrs. G.   Smith—vinegar—p'isoned! The land sakes! And I a good church member—and my washing—and poor Mr. Brown, tew. Well, I never! I'd have you to know that I bought no vinegar of Mr. Smith, I made my own.

Sadie.   And your pickles were not poisoned?

Mrs. G.   No, indeed. Never did such a thing in my life.

Sadie.   O, dear! I'm so glad!   (Jumping up.)

Bessie.   I won't have the ipecac.   (Rises.)

Jenny.   My throat is decidedly better.   (Rises.)

Enter Juno with a pail of water and a dipper.

Juno.   Bress my soul, de pump was fastened down so tight couldn't git it up. Here's a pail of water; if dat won't do I'll git a tub.

Miss P.   No matter, Juno. I think 'twill not be needed. Young ladies, I am very sorry—

Sadie.   Please, Miss Pease, do not speak of it. I alone am to blame for transgressing your command, for such we should consider it, as you are for the present our guardian. Forgive me, and in future I will endeavour to control my appetite, and comply with your wishes.

Mrs. G.   Well, I declare, I don't see the harm in eating pickles. My girls eat their weight in 'em, and they're just as sweet-tempered as—

Miss P.   Their mother. Mrs. Gabble, it is not a question of harm, but of obedience, here. You see, the young ladies accept me as their guardian, and I only forbid that which I think their parents would not approve.

Mrs. G.   And there's my washing in the suds! Where's my Sis.

[page 137]

Enter Sissy Gabble, l., with a large slice of bread, covered with molasses.

Sissy.   Here I ith, mother. Mith Peath thed I might have thumthin, and I like bread, and 'latheth.

Juno.   Bress my soul! dat are chile jest runnin' over with sweetness, sure for sartin.

Mrs. G.   Yes; and the 'lasses running all over the clothes! Come, Sissy, let's go home. I'm sorry, Miss Pease, you don't like pickles; and I'm sorry, young ladies, they disagree with you. And I'm sorry, Miss Pease, I left my washing.

Miss P.   Now don't be sorry at all, Mrs. Gabble. I'm always glad to see you. Your gift was well-intended, and the young ladies have suffered no harm, perhaps received a wholesome lesson.

Sadie.   I think we have. I shall be very careful what I touch.

Jenny.   O, dear! such a fright! I shall never get over it.

Bessie.   O, Sadie, you thought it was so nice!

Jenny.   Yes, such a Precious Pickle!

Mrs. G.   Of course it was. My pickles are the best made in town—precious nice, I tell you. Mrs. Doolittle always sends in for 'em when she has company; and the minister says they're awful soothing arter sermon.

Sadie.   O, certainly; I've no doubt of it. But I've found that stolen fruit is not the sweetest, and that mischievous fingers make trouble when they clutch what mine sought, and made a Precious Pickle.


[page 138]



After once reading this sweet little poem, the student will need no prompting to teach him that it is not possible for him to deliver it with too much genuine emotion:


   HIS book is all that's left me now!

Tears will unbidden start,—

With faltering lip and throbbing brow,

I press it to my heart.

For many generations past,

Here is our family tree;

My mother's hand this Bible clasped;

She, dying, gave it me.

Ah! well do I remember those

Whose names those records bear,

Who round the hearthstone used to close

After the evening prayer,

And speak of what these pages said,

In tones my heart would thrill!

Though they are with the silent dead,

Here are they living still!

My father read this holy book

To brothers, sisters dear;

How calm was my poor mother's look,

Who learned God's word to hear.

Her angel-face—I see it yet!

What thronging memories come!

Again that little group is met

Within the halls of home!

Thou truest friend man ever knew,

Thy constancy I've tried;

Where all were false I found thee true,

My counsellor and guide.

The mines of earth no treasure give

That could this volume buy:

In teaching me the way to live,

It taught me how to die.

[page 139]




I  WANT something to do."—This remark being addressed to the world in general, no one in particular felt it his duty to reply; so I repeated it to the smaller world about me, received the following suggestions, and settled the matter by answering my own inquiry, as people are apt to do when very much in earnest.

"Write a book," quoth my father.

"Don't know enough, sir. First live, then write."

"Try teaching again," suggested my mother.

"No, thank you, ma'am; ten years of that is enough."

"Take a husband like my Darby, and fulfil your mission," said Sister Jane, home on a visit.

"Can't afford expensive luxuries, Mrs. Coobiddy."

"Turn actress, and immortalize your name," said Sister Vashti, striking an attitude.

"I won't."

"Go nurse the soldiers," said my young neighbor, Tom, panting for "the tented field."

"I will!"

Arriving at this satisfactory conclusion, the meeting adjourned; and the fact that Miss Tribulation was available as army nurse went abroad on the wings of the wind.

In a few days a townswoman heard of my desire, approved of it, and brought about an interview with one of the sisterhood I wished to join, who was at home on a furlough, and able and willing to satisfy inquiries.

A morning chat with Miss General S.—we hear [page 140] no end of Mrs. Generals, why not a Miss?—produced three results: I felt that I could do the work, was offered a place, and accepted it; promising not to desert, but to stand ready to march on Washington at an hour's notice.

A few days were necessary for the letter containing my request and recommendation to reach head-quarters, and another, containing my commission, to return; therefore no time was to be lost; and, heartily thanking my pair of friends, I hurried home through the December slush, as if the Rebels were after me, and, like many another recruit, burst in upon my family with the announcement,—"I've enlisted!"

An impressive silence followed. Tom, the irrepressible, broke it with a slap on the shoulder and the grateful compliment,—"Old Trib, you're a trump!"

"Thank you; then I'll take something,"—which I did, in the shape of dinner, reeling off my news at the rate of three dozen words to a mouthful; and as every one else talked equally fast, and all together, the scene was most inspiring.

As boys going to sea immediately become nautical in speech, walk as if they already had their sea-legs on, and shiver their timbers on all possible occasions, so I turned military at once, called my dinner my rations, saluted all new-comers, and ordered a dress-parade that very afternoon.

Having reviewed every rag I possessed, I detailed some pieces for picket duty while airing on the fence; some to the sanitary influences of the wash-tub; others to mount guard in the trunk; while the weak and wounded went to the Work-basket Hospital, to be made ready for active service again.

To this squad I devoted myself for a week; [page 141] but all was done, and I had time to get powerfully impatient before the letter came. It did arrive, however, and brought a disappointment along with its good-will and friendliness; for it told me that the place in the Armory Hospital that I supposed I was to take was already filled, and a much less desirable one at Hurly-burly House was offered instead.

"That's just your luck, Trib. I'll take your trunk up garret for you again; for of course you won't go," Tom remarked, with the disdainful pity which small boys affect when they get into their teens.

I was wavering in my secret soul; but that remark settled the matter, and I crushed him on the spot with martial brevity,—"It is now one; I shall march at six."

I have a confused recollection of spending the afternoon in pervading the house like an executive whirlwind, with my family swarming after me,—all working, talking, prophesying, and lamenting while I packed such of my things as I was to take with me, tumbled the rest into two big boxes, danced on the lids till they shut, and gave them in charge, with the direction,—"If I never come back, make a bonfire of them."

Then I choked down a cup of tea, generously salted instead of sugared by some agitated relative, shouldered my knapsack,—it was only a travelling-bag, but do let me preserve the unities,—hugged my family three times all round without a vestige of unmanly emotion, till a certain dear old lady broke down upon my neck, with a despairing sort of wail,—"O my dear, my dear! how can I let you go?"

"I'll stay, if you say so, mother."

[page 142]

"But I don't; go, and the Lord will take care of you."

Much of the Roman matron's courage had gone into the Yankee matron's composition, and, in spite of her tears, she would have sent ten sons to the war, had she possessed them, as freely as she sent one daughter, smiling and flapping on the door-step till I vanished, though the eyes that followed me were very dim, and the handkerchief she waved was very wet.

My transit from The Gables to the village depot was a funny mixture of good wishes and good-bys, mud-puddles and shopping. A December twilight is not the most cheering time to enter upon a somewhat perilous enterprise; but I'd no thought of giving out, O, bless you, no!

When the ingine screeched "Here we are!" I clutched my escort in a fervent embrace, and skipped into the car with as blithe a farewell as if going on a bridal tour,—though I believe brides don't usually wear cavernous black bonnets and fuzzy brown coats, with a hair-brush, a pair of rubbers, two books, and a bag of gingerbread distorting the pockets.

If I thought that people would believe it, I'd boldly state that I slept from C. to B., which would simplify matters immensely; but as I know they wouldn't, I'll confess that the head under the funereal coal-hod fermented with all manner of high thoughts and heroic purposes "to do or die,"—perhaps both; and the heart under the fuzzy brown coat felt very tender with the memory of the dear old lady, probably sobbing over her army socks and the loss of her topsy-turvy Trib.

At this juncture I took the veil, and what I did behind it is nobody's business; but I maintain that the soldier who cries when his mother says [page 143] "Good by" is the boy to fight best, and die bravest, when the time comes, or go back to her better than he went.


"When last seen, he was considerably intoxicated.... and was found dead in the highway."—Republican and Democrat of May 17.


NLY sixteen, so the papers say,

Yet there on the cold, stony ground he lay;

'Tis the same sad story we hear every day—

He came to his death in the public highway.

Full of promise, talent, and pride,

Yet the rum fiend conquered him; so he died.

Did not the angels weep over the scene?

For he died a drunkard—and only sixteen,

Only sixteen.

Oh! it were sad he must die all alone:

That of all his friends, not even one

Was there to list to his last faint moan,

Or point the suffering soul to the throne

Of grace. If, perchance, God's only Son

Would say, "Whosoever will may come."

But we hasten to draw a veil over the scene,

With his God we leave him—only sixteen.

Only sixteen.

Rumseller, come view the work you have wrought:

Witness the suffering and pain you have brought

To the poor boy's friends. They loved him well,

And yet you dared the vile beverage to sell

That beclouded his brain, his reason dethroned,

And left him to die out there all alone.

[page 144]

What if 'twere your son instead of another?

What if your wife were that poor boy's mother,

And he only sixteen?

Ye free-holders who signed the petition to grant

The license to sell, do you think you will want

That record to meet in the last great day,

When the earth and the heavens shall have passed away,

When the elements, melted with fervent heat,

Shall proclaim the triumph of Right complete?

Will you wish to have his blood on your hands

When before the great throne you each shall stand,

And he only sixteen?

Christian men! rouse ye to stand for the right,

To action and duty; into the light

Come with your banners, inscribed "Death to rum."

Let your conscience speak. Listen, then, come;

Strike killing blows; hew to the line;

Make it a felony even to sign

A petition to license; you would do it, I ween,

If that were your son, and "only sixteen,"

Only sixteen.

The Watchword.


The Captain, Patrick, and the Frenchman.


P ATRICK.   Well, Captain, whereabouts in the wide world are we? Is it Roosia, Proosia, or the Jarmant oceant?

Captain.   Tut, you fool; it's France.

Patrick.   Tare and ouns! do you tell me so? and how do you know it's France, Captain dear?

Captain.   Because we were on the coast of the Bay of Biscay when the vessel was wrecked.

[page 145]

Patrick.   Throth, I was thinkin' so myself. And now, Captain jewel, it is I that wishes we had a gridiron.

Captain.   Why, Patrick, what puts the notion of a gridiron into your head?

Patrick.   Because I'm starving with hunger, Captain dear.

Captain.   Surely you do not intend to eat a gridiron, do you?

Patrick.   Ate a gridiron; bad luck to it! no. But if we had a gridiron, we could dress a beefsteak.

Captain.   Yes; but where's the beefsteak, Patrick?

Patrick.   Sure, couldn't we cut it off the pork?

Captain.   I never thought of that. You are a clever fellow, Patrick.   (Laughing.)

Patrick.   There's many a thrue word said in joke, Captain. And now, if you will go and get the bit of pork that we saved from the rack, I'll go to the house there beyant, and ax some of them to lind me the loan of a gridiron.

Captain.   But, Patrick, this is France, and they are all foreigners here.

Patrick.   Well, and how do you know but I am as good a furriner myself as any o' them.

Captain.   What do you mean, Patrick?

Patrick.   Parley voo frongsay?

Captain.   O, you understand French, then, is it?

Patrick.   Throth, you may say that, Captain dear.

Captain.   Well, Patrick, success to you. Be civil to the foreigners, and I'll be back with the pork in a minute.

[He goes out.

Patrick.   Ay, sure enough, I'll be civil to them; for the Frinch are always mighty p'lite intirely, and I'll show them I know what good [page 146] manners is. Indade, and here comes munseer himself, quite convaynient.   (As the Frenchman enters, Patrick takes off his hat, and making a low bow, says:)   God save you, sir, and all your children. I beg your pardon for the liberty I take, but it's only being in disthress in regard of ateing, that I make bowld to trouble ye; and if you could lind me the loan of a gridiron, I'd be intirely obleeged to ye.

Frenchman   (staring at him).   Comment!

Patrick.   Indade it's thrue for you. I'm tathered to paces, and God knows I look quare enough; but it's by rason of the storm that dhruve us ashore jist here, and we're all starvin'.

Frenchman.   Je m'y t—(pronounced zhe meet).

Patrick.   Oh! not at all! by no manes! we have plenty of mate ourselves, and we'll dhress it, if you be plased jist to lind us the loan of a gridiron, sir.   (Making a low bow.)

Frenchman   (staring at him, but not understanding a word.)

Patrick.   I beg pardon, sir; but maybe I'm undher a mistake, but I thought I was in France, sir. An't you all furriners here? Parley voo frongsay?

Frenchman.   Oui, monsieur.

Patrick.   Then, would you lind me the loan of a gridiron, if you plase?   (The Frenchman stares more than ever, as if anxious to understand.)   I know it's a liberty I take, sir; but it's only in the regard of bein' cast away; and if you plase, sir, parley voo frongsay?

Frenchman.   Oui, monsieur, oui.

Patrick.   Then would you lind me the loan of a gridiron, sir and you'll obleege me?

Frenchman.   Monsieur, pardon, monsieur—

Patrick.   (Angrily).   By my sowl, if it was you was in disthress, and if it was to owld Ireland you [page 147] came, it's not only the gridiron they'd give you, if you axed it, but something to put on it too, and a dhrop of dhrink into the bargain. Can't you understand your own language?   (Very slowly.)   Parley—voo—frongsay—munseer?

Frenchman.   Oui, monsieur; oui, monsieur, mais—

Patrick.   Then lend me the loan of a gridiron, I say, and bad scram to you.

Frenchman (bowing and scraping).   Monsieur, je ne l'entend—

Patrick.   Phoo! the divil sweep yourself and your long tongs! I don't want a tongs at all, at all. Can't you listen to rason?

Frenchman.   Oui, oui, monsieur: certainement, mais—

Patrick.   Then lind me the loan of a gridiron, and howld your prate.   (The Frenchman shakes his head, as if to say he did not understand; but Patrick, thinking he meant it as a refusal, says, in a passion:)   Bad cess to the likes o' you! Throth, if you were in my counthry, it's not that-a-way they'd use you. The curse o' the crows on you, you owld sinner! The divil another word I'll say to you.   (The Frenchman puts his hand on his heart, and tries to express compassion in his countenance.)   Well, I'll give you one chance more, you old thafe! Are you a Christhian, at all, at all? Are you a furriner that all the world calls so p'lite? Bad luck to you! do you understand your mother tongue? Parley voo frongsay?   (Very loud.)   Parley voo frongsay?

Frenchman.   Oui, monsieur, oui, oui.

Patrick.   Then, thunder and turf! will you lind me the loan of a gridiron?   (The Frenchman shakes his head, as if he did not understand; and Pat says, vehemently:)   The curse of the hungry be on you, you owld negarly villian! the back of my hand and the sowl of my fut to you! May you want a gridiron [page 148] yourself yet! and wherever I go, it's high and low, rich and poor, shall hear of it, and be hanged to you!



This fine poem is full of points for brilliant declamation; at times there should be a flow of rapid narration, rising frequently into shouts of exultation:


OME, see the good ship's anchor forged—'tis at a white heat now:

The bellows ceased, the flames decreased—though on the forge's brow

The little flames still fitfully play through the sable mound,

And fitfully you still may see the grim smiths ranking round;

All clad in leathern panoply, their broad hands only bare—

Some rest upon their sledges here, some work the windlass there.

The windlass strains the tackle chains, the black mound heaves below,

And red and deep a hundred veins burst out at every throe!

It rises, roars, rends all outright—O, Vulcan, what a glow:

'Tis blinding white, 'tis blasting bright—the high sun shines not so!

The high sun sees not, on the earth, such fiery fearful show;

The roof-ribs swart, the candent hearth, the ruddy lurid row

Of smiths that stand, an ardent band, like men before the foe

As, quivering through his fleece of flame, the sailing-monster slow

Sinks on the anvil—all about the faces fiery grow.

[page 149]

"Hurrah!" they shout, "leap out—leap out;" bang, bang the sledges go;

Hurrah! the jetted lightnings are hissing high and low—

A hailing fount of fire is struck at every quashing blow;

The leathern mail rebounds the hail, the rattling cinders strow

The ground around: at every bound the sweltering fountains flow

And thick and loud the swinking crowd at every stroke pant "Ho!"

Leap out, leap out, my masters; leap out and lay on load!

Let's forge a goodly anchor—a bower thick and broad;

For a heart of oak is hanging on every blow, I bode,

And I see the good ship riding, all in a perilous road—

The low reef roaring on her lee—the roll of ocean poured

From stem to stern, sea after sea; the mainmast by the board;

The bulwarks down, the rudder gone, the boats stove at the chains!

But courage still, brave mariners—the bower yet remains!

And not an inch to flinch he deigns, save when ye pitch sky-high;

Then moves his head, as though he said, "Fear nothing—here am I."

Swing in your strokes in order, let foot and hand keep time;

Your blows make sweeter music far than any steeple's chime.

But while you sling your sledges, sing—and let the burden be,

"The anchor is the anvil king, and royal craftsmen we:"

Strike in, strike in—the sparks begin to dull their rustling red;

Our hammers ring with sharper din, our work will soon be sped.

Our anchor must soon change his bed of fiery rich array,

For a hammock at the roaring bows, or an oozy couch of clay;

[page 150]

Our anchor must soon change the lay of merry craftsmen here,

For the "Yeo-heave-o'!" and the "Heave-away!" and the sighing seaman's cheer;

When, weighing slow, at eve they go—far, far from love and home;

And sobbing sweethearts, in a row, wail o'er the ocean foam.

In livid and obdurate gloom he darkens down at last;

A shapely one he is, and strong, as e'er from cast was cast.

O, trusted and trustworthy guard, if thou hadst life like me,

What pleasures would thy toils reward beneath the deep green sea!

O, broad-armed diver of the deep, whose sports can equal thine?

The good ship weighs a thousand tons, that tugs thy cable line;

And, night by night, 'tis thy delight, thy glory day by day,

Through sable sea and breaker white, the giant game to play.

O, lodger in the sea-king's halls, couldst thou but understand

Whose be the white bones by thy side, once leagued in patriot band!

O, couldst thou know what heroes glide with larger steps round thee,

Thine iron sides would swell with pride; thou'dst leap within the sea!

Give honor to their memories who left the pleasant strand,

To shed their blood so freely for love of father-land—

Who left their chance of quiet age and grassy church-yard grave

So freely, for a restless bed amid the tossing wave—

O, though our anchor may not be all I have fondly sung,

Honor him for their memory, whose bones he goes among!

[page 151]




O NE of the many popular delusions wespecting the Bwitish swell is the supposition that he leads an independent life,—goes to bed when he likes, gets up when he likes, d-dwesses how he likes, and dines when he pleases.

The public are gwossly deceived on this point. A weal swell is as m-much under authowity as a p-poor devil of a pwivate in the marines, a clerk in a government office, or a f-forth-form boy at Eton. Now I come under the demon—demonima—(no,—thop,—what is the word?)—dom—denom—d-denomination, that 'th it—I come under the d-denomination of a swell—(in—in fact—a howwid swell—some of my friends call me, but that'th only their flattewy), and I assure you a f-fellah in that capacity is so much westained by rules of f-fashion, that he can scarcely call his eyeglath his own. A swell, I take it, is a fellah who t-takes care that he swells as well as swells who swell as well as he, (there's thuch lot of thwelling in that thentence,—ha, ha!—it's what you might c-call a busting definition). What I mean is, that a f-fellah is obliged to do certain things at certain times of the year, whether he likes 'em or no. For instance, in the season I've got to go to a lot of balls and dwums and tea-fights in town, that I don't care a bit about, and show myself in the Park wegularly evewy afternoon; and latht month I had to victimize mythelf down in the countwy,—shooting (a bwutal sort of amusement, by the way). Well, about the end of October evewy one goes to Bwighton, n-no one knowth why,—that'th the betht of it,—and so I had to go too,—that's the wortht of it,—ha, ha!

Not that it's such a b-bad place after all,—I d-dare [page 152] say if I hadn't had to go I should have gone all the same, for what is a f-fellah to do who ith n't much of a sportsman just about this time? There 'th n-nothing particular going on in London. Evewything is b-beathly dull; so I thought I would just run down on the Southeastern Wailway to be—ha, ha!—Bwightoned up a bit. (Come, th-that's not bad for an impromptu!)

B-Bwighton was invented in the year 1784, by his Woyal Highness George P-Pwince of Wales,—the author of the shoebuckle, the stand-up collar (a b-beathly inconvenient and cut-throat thort of a machine), and a lot of other exthploded things. He built the Pavilion down there, which looks like a lot of petrified onions from Bwobdinag clapped down upon a guard-house. There'th a jolly sort of garden attached to the building, in which the b-band plays twice a week, and evewy one turns in there about four o'clock, so I went too (n-not too o'clock, you know, but f-four o'clock). I—I'm vewy fond of m-martial music, mythelf. I like the dwums and the t-twombones, and the ophicleides, and all those sort of inshtwuments,—yeth, ethpethelly the bwass ones,—they're so vewy exthpiring, they are. Thtop though, ith it expiring or p-perthpiring?—n-neither of 'em sound quite right. Oh! I have it now, it—it's inthspiring,—that'th what it is, because the f-fellahs bweathe into them!

That weminds me of a widdle I made down there (I—I've taken to widdles lately, and weally it'th a vewy harmleth thort of a way of getting thwough the morning, and it amuthes two f-fellahs at onth, because if—if you athk a fellah a widdle, and he can't guess it, you can have a jolly good laugh at him, and—if he—if he doth guess it, he—I mean you—no—that is the widdle—stop, I—I'm getting confuthed,—where wath I? Oh! I know. If—if he [page 153] doth guess it.... however it ithn't vewy likely he would—so what's the good of thupposing impwobabilities?) Well, thith was the widdle I made,—I thed to Sloper (Sloper's a fwiend of mine,—a vewy gook thort of fellah Sloper is,—I d-don't know exactly what his pwofession would be called, but hith uncle got him into a b-berth where he gets f-five hundred a year,—f-for doing nothing—s-somewhere—I forget where—but I—I know he does it),—I said to Sloper, "Why is that f-fellah with the b-bassooon l-like his own instrument?" and Sloper said, "How—how the dooth should I know?" (Ha, ha!—I thought he'd give it up!) So I said to Sloper, "Why, b-because they both get blown—in time!" You thee the joke, of course, but I don't think Sloper did, thomhow; all he thed was, "V-vewy mild, Dundreary,"—and t-tho—it was mild—thertainly, f-for October, but I d-don't thee why a f-fellah should go making wemarks about the weather instead of laughing at m-my widdle.

In this pwomenade that I was speaking of, you see such a lot of thtunning girls evewy afternoon,—dwessed twemendous swells, and looking like—yes, by Jove! l-like angels in cwinoline,—there 'th no other word for it. There are two or thwee always will l-laugh, somehow, when I meet them,—they do now weally. I—I almost fancy they wegard me with intewest. I mutht athk Sloper if he can get me an introduction. Who knowth? pwaps I might make an impwession,—I'll twy,—I—I've got a little converthathional power,—and theveral new wethcoats.

Bwighton is filling fast now. You see dwoves of ladies evewy day on horseback, widing about in all diwections. By the way, I—I muthn't forget to mention that I met those two girls that always laugh when they thee me, at a tea-fight. One of 'em—the young one—told me, when I was intwoduced to her,—in—in confidence, mind,—that she had often heard [page 154] of me and of my widdles. Tho you thee I'm getting quite a weputathun that way. The other morning, at Mutton's, she wath ch-chaffing me again, and begging me to tell her the latetht thing in widdles. Now, I hadn't heard any mythelf for thome time, tho I couldn't give her any vewy great novelty, but a fwiend of mine made one latht theason which I thought wather neat, tho I athked her, When ith a jar not a jar? Thingularly enough, the moment she heard thith widdle she burtht out laughing behind her pocket-handkerchief!

"Good gwacious! what'th the matter?" said I. "Have you ever heard it before?"

"Never," she said emphatically, "in that form; do, please tell me the answer."

So I told her,—When it ith a door! Upon which she—she went off again in hystewics. I—I—I never did see such a girl for laughing. I know it's a good widdle, but I didn't think it would have such an effect as that.

By the way, Sloper told me afterwards that he thought he had heard the widdle before, somewhere, but it was put in a different way. He said it was: When ith a door not a door?—and the answer, When it ith ajar!

I—I've been thinking over the matter lately, and though I dare thay it—d-don't much matter which way the question is put, still—pwaps the last f-form is the betht. It—it seems to me to wead better. What do you think?

Now I weckomember, I made thuch a jolly widdle the other day on the Ethplanade. I thaw a fellah with a big New—Newfoundland dog, and he inthpired me—the dog, you know, not the fellah,—he wath a lunatic. I'm keeping the widdle, but I don't mind telling you.

[page 155]

Why does a dog waggle hith tail? Give it up? I think motht fellahs will give that up!

You thee, the dog waggles hith tail becauth the dog's stwonger than the tail. If he wath n't, the tail would waggle the dog!

Ye-th,—that 'th what I call a widdle. If I can only wecollect him, I thall athtonish those two girls thome of these days.




LITTLE child,

A little meek-faced, quiet village child,

Sat singing by her cottage door at eve

A low, sweet sabbath song. No human ear

Caught the faint melody,—no human eye

Beheld the upturned aspect, or the smile

That wreathed her innocent lips while they breathed

The oft-repeated burden of the hymn,

"Praise God! Praise God!"

A seraph by the throne

In full glory stood. With eager hand

He smote the golden harp-string, till a flood

Of harmony on the celestial air

Welled forth, unceasing. There with a great voice,

He sang the "Holy, holy evermore,

Lord God Almighty!" and the eternal courts

Thrilled with the rapture, and the hierarchies,

Angel, and rapt archangel, throbbed and burned

With vehement adoration.

Higher yet

Rose the majestic anthem, without pause,

Higher, with rich magnificence of sound,

[page 156]

To its full strength; and still the infinite heavens

Rang with the "Holy, holy evermore!"

Till, trembling with excessive awe and love,

Each sceptred spirit sank before the Throne

With a mute hallelujah.

But even then,

While the ecstatic song was at its height,

Stole in an alien voice,—a voice that seemed

To float, float upward from some world afar,—

A meek and childlike voice, faint, but how sweet!

That blended with the spirits' rushing strain,

Even as a fountain's music, with the roll

Of the reverberate thunder.

Loving smiles

Lit up the beauty of each angel's face

At that new utterance, smiles of joy that grew

More joyous yet, as ever and anon

Was heard the simple burden of the hymn,

"Praise God! praise God!"

And when the seraph's song

Had reached its close, and o'er the golden lyre

Silence hung brooding,—when the eternal courts

Rang with the echoes of his chant sublime,

Still through the abysmal space that wandering voice

Came floating upward from its world afar,

Still murmured sweet on the celestial air,

"Praise God! praise God!"



 FOUND my friend in his easy chair,

With his heart and his head undisturbed by a care;

The smoke of a Cuba outpoured from his lips,

His face like the moon in a semi-eclipse;

[page 157]

His feet, in slippers, as high as his nose,

And his chair tilted back to a classical pose.

I marvelled much such contentment to see—

The secret whereof I begged he'd give me.

He puffed away with re-animate zest,

As though with an added jollity blest.

"I'll tell you, my friend," said he, in a pause,

"What is the very 'identical' cause.

"Don't fret!—Let this be the first rule of your life;—

Don't fret with your children, don't fret with your wife;

Let everything happen as happen it may,

Be cool as a cucumber every day;

If favourite of fortune or a thing of its spite,

Keep calm, and believe that all is just right.

"If you're blown up abroad or scolded at home,

Just make up your mind to let it all come:

If people revile you or pile on offence,

'Twill not make any odds a century hence.

For all the reviling that malice can fling,

A little philosophy softens the sting.

"Run never in debt, but pay as you go;

A man free from debt feels a heaven below;

He rests in a sunshine undimmed by a dun,

And ranks 'mid the favoured as A No. 1.

It needs a great effort the spirit to brace

'Gainst the terror that dwells in a creditor's face.

"And this one resolve you should cherish like gold,

—It has ever my life and endeavour controlled,—

If fortune assail, and worst comes to worst,

And business proves bad, its bubbles all burst,

Be resolved, if disaster your plans circumvent,

That you will, if you fail, owe no man a cent."

There was Bunsby's deep wisdom revealed in his tone,

Though its depth was hard to fathom I own;

[page 158]

"For how can I fail," I said to myself,

"If to pay all my debts I have enough pelf?"

Then I scratched my sinciput, battling for light,

But gave up the effort, supposing 'twas right;

And herein give out, as my earnest intent,

Whenever I fail to owe no man a cent.



SEEDY old beggar asked alms of me

As he sat 'neath the shade of a wayside tree.

He was beggared in purse and beggared in soul,

And his voice betrayed a pitiful dole,

As he sang a song, to a dismal pitch,

With the burden, "If things was only sich!"

"If things was only sich," said he,

"You should see what a wonderful man I'd be;

No beggar I, by the wayside thrown,

But I'd live in a palace and millions own,

And men would court me if I were rich—

As I'd be if things was only sich."

"If things was only sich," said he,

"I'd be lord of the land and lord of the sea;

I would have a throne and be a king,

And rule the roast with a mighty swing—

I'd make a place in Fame's bright niche;

I'd do it if things was only sich."

"If things was only sich," said he,

"Rare wines I'd quaff from the far countree,

I'd cloth myself in dazzling garb,

I'd mount the back of the costly barb,

And none should ask me wherefore or which—

Did it chance that things was only sich."

[page 159]

"If things was only sich," said he,

"I'd love the fairest and they'd love me;

Yon dame, with a smile that warms my heart,

Might have borne with me life's better part,

But lost to me, here in poverty's ditch,

What were mine if things was only sich."

Thus the old beggar moodily sung,

And his eyes dropped tears as his hands he wrung.

I could but pity to hear him berate,

In dolorous tones the decrees of Fate,

That laid on his back its iron switch,

While he cried, "If things was only sich."

"If things was only sich!"—e'en all

Might the past in sad review recall;

But little the use and little the gain,

Exhuming the bones of buried pain,

And whether we're poor or whether we're rich,

We'll say not, "If things was only sich."



The opening verses should be given in a low, almost plaintive tone; when the flag is seen, the exclamations should be ejaculated with spirit and rapturous delight. Care should be taken not to give the negro patois too broad, or it may prove a defect; where properly spoken it is really a beauty:


  OVE my arm-chair, faithful Pompey

In the sunshine bright and strong,

For this world is fading, Pompey—

Massa won't be with you long;

And I fain would hear the south wind

Bring once more the sound to me,

Of the wavelets softly breaking

On the shores of Tennessee.

[page 160]

"Mournful though the ripples murmur

As they still the story tell,

How no vessels float the banner

That I've loved so long and well.

I shall listen to their music,

Dreaming that again I see

Stars and stripes on sloop and shallop

Sailing up the Tennessee;

"And, Pompey, while old Massa's waiting

For Death's last dispatch to come,

If that exiled starry banner

Should come proudly sailing home.

You shall greet it slave no longer—

Voice and hand shall both be free

That shout and point to Union colors

On the waves of Tennessee."

"Massa's berry kind to Pompey;

But old darkey's happy here.

Where he's tended corn and cotton

For dese many a long gone year.

Over yonder, Missis' sleeping—

No one tends her grave like me:

Mebbe she would miss the flowers

She used to love in Tennessee.

"'Pears like, she was watching Massa—

If Pompey should beside him stay,

Mebbe she'd remember better

How for him she used to pray;

Telling him that way up yonder

White as snow his soul would be,

If he served the Lord of Heaven

While he lived in Tennessee."

Silently the tears were rolling

Down the poor old dusky face,

As he stepped behind his master,

In his long-accustomed place.

[page 161]

Then a silence fell around them,

As they gazed on rock and tree

Pictured in the placid waters

Of the rolling Tennessee;—

Master, dreaming of the battle

Where he fought by Marion's side,

When he bid the haughty Tarleton

Stoop his lordly crest of pride;—

Man, remembering how yon sleeper

Once he held upon his knee,

Ere she loved the gallant soldier,

Ralph Vervair of Tennessee.

Still the south wind fondly lingers

'Mid the veteran's silver hair;

Still the bondman close beside him

Stands behind the old arm-chair,

With his dark-hued hand uplifted,

Shading eyes, he bends to see

Where the woodland, boldly jutting,

Turns aside the Tennessee.

Thus he watches cloud-born shadows

Glide from tree to mountain-crest,

Softly creeping, aye and ever

To the river's yielding breast.

Ha! above the foliage yonder

Something flutters wild and free

"Massa! Massa! Hallelujah!

The flag's come back to Tennessee!"

"Pompey, hold me on your shoulder,

Help me stand on foot once more,

That I may salute the colors

As they pass my cabin door.

Here's the paper signed that frees you,

Give a freeman's shout with me—

'God and Union!' be our watchword

Evermore in Tennessee!"

[page 162]

Then the trembling voice grew fainter,

And the legs refused to stand;

One prayer to Jesus—and the soldier

Glided to the better land.

When the flag went down the river

Man and master both were free;

While the ring-dove's note was mingled

With the rippling Tennessee.


MAY 27, 1863. GEO. H. BOKER.




ARK as the clouds of even,

Ranked in the western heaven,

Waiting the breath that lifts

All the dread mass, and drifts

Tempest and falling brand

Over a ruined land;—

So still and orderly,

Arm to arm, knee to knee,

Waiting the great event

Stands the black regiment.

Down the long dusky line

Teeth gleam and eye-balls shine,

And the bright bayonet,

Bristling, and firmly set,

Flashed with a purpose grand,

Long, ere the sharp command

Of the fierce rolling drum

Told them their time had come,

Told them what work was sent

For the black regiment.

"Now," the flag-sergeant cried,

"Though death and hell betide,

[page 163]

Let the whole nation see

If we are fit to be

Free in this land; or bound

Down, like the whining hound,—

Bound with red stripes of pain

In our cold chains again!"

Oh! what a shout there went

From the black regiment!

"Charge!" trump and drum awoke,

Onward the bondmen broke:

Bayonet and sabre stroke

Vainly opposed their rush.

Through the wild battle's crush,

With but one thought aflush,

Driving their lords like chaff,

In the guns' mouths they laugh;

Or at the slippery brands

Leaping with open hands,

Down they tear man and horse,

Down in their awful course;

Trampling with bloody heel

Over the crashing steel,

All their eyes forward bent,

Rushed the black regiment.

"Freedom!" their battle-cry,—

"Freedom! or learn to die!"

Ah! and they meant the word,

Not as with us 'tis heard,

Not a mere party shout:

They gave their spirits out;

Trusted the end to God,

And on the glory sod

Rolled in triumphant blood.

Glad to strike one free blow,

Whether for weal or woe;

Glad to breathe one free breath,

Though on the lips of death,

[page 164]

Praying—alas! in vain!—

That they might fall again,

So they could once more see

That burst to liberty!

This was what "freedom" lent

To the black regiment.

Hundreds on hundreds fell;

But they are resting well;

Scourges and shackles strong

Never shall do them wrong.

O, to the living few,

Soldiers, be just and true!

Hail them as comrades tried;

Fight with them side by side;

Never in field or tent,

Scorn the black regiment.



John Ray,
Charley Cheerful,
Ralph Ready,
} School-boys.

Mr. Hanks, a Deaf Gentleman.

John Clod, a Countryman.

Patsy Flinn, an Irishman.

Scene.A Quiet Place in the Country.

Enter  Ralph Ready, r., with School-books.

Ralph.   Twenty minutes of nine. I can take it easy this morning. How glad I am I staid at home last night and studied "Spartacus." It's Declamation Day, and I want to win the highest mark. If I [page 165] fail, it will not be for want of study. I believe I'm all right. (Declaims.)

"Ye call me Chief—"*

Enter Charley Cheerful, l.

Charley.   (Clapping his hands.)   Bravo! Bravo! Spartacus. "They do well to call you chief!" number one in arithmetic, history, and geography; and to-day I've no doubt we shall call you number one in declamation.

Ralph.   Ah, Charley, glad to see you. Are you all ready for the contest?

Charley.   Yes, Ralph. (Declaims.)

"Again to the battle, Achaians;

Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance."

Ralph.   I see "a foeman worthy of my steel." Well, Charley, good luck to you.

Charley.   The same to you. I believe we are about equally matched. I want to take the highest mark, but if I am to be defeated, there's no one to whom I'd sooner surrender the "victor's laurels" than to you.

Ralph.   And I can heartily say the same of you; but we must both look out. John Ray told the boys yesterday he was bound to have the highest mark.

Charley.   I don't fear him.

Ralph.   But he's a good declaimer, Charley.

Charley.   I'll acknowledge that; but you know he's a terrible fellow for putting off study until the last moment. It was only yesterday morning Master Jones decided to have declamation to-day. The only time we had to prepare was yesterday noon, last night, and this morning.

[page 166]

Ralph.   Time enough, Charley.

Charley.   Certainly. But I know John Ray hasn't employed it. Yesterday noon he went boating; last night I'm afraid he visited Hopkins's melon patch; and this morning I saw him from my window playing ball.

Ralph.   Then we've not much to fear from him; but here he is, puffing like a porpoise.

Enter John Ray, l., with a book.

John.   Hallo, boys! what's the time?

Charley.   Eighteen minutes of nine. All ready for the declamation?

John.   Not yet; there's time enough.

Ralph.   Time enough! What have you selected?

John.   "Tell's Address." I'm going to pitch into it now. I can do it in eighteen minutes.

Charley.   Why, you haven't left it till now?

John.   Of course I have. Time enough, I tell you. I've got a locomotive memory, you know. None of your slow coaches. I shall only have to read it over two or three times.

Ralph.   But why didn't you take it up before?

John.   What's the use? I went boating yesterday; and last night I went—somewhere else.

Charley.   Yes! you took a meloncholy walk. Hey, John?

John.   What do you mean by that?

Charley.   No matter. You'd better study Tell's Address, if you expect to be ready by nine o'clock.

John.   So I had. Well, you run along, and let me have this place to myself. It's a quiet place. So good by. I'll see you by nine o'clock, with Tell's Address perfect.

Charley.   Well, good luck to you. Come Ralph.

Ralph.   I say, Ray; what's the proverb about the "thief of time"?

[page 167]

John.   Who do you call a thief?

Ralph.   A slow coach, that will rob you of your laurels spite of your locomotive memory. Come along Charley.

[Exeunt Charley and Ralph r.

John.   Now, who told them I was after melons last night.   (Opens book.)   "Tell's Address." Won't I astonish those lads! What's the use of wasting time in study before it's needed?   (Reads.)

"Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again."

Enter Mr. Hanks, l.

Mr. Hanks.   Look here, boy; where's Mr. Simmons's house?

John.   O, bother! Over by the mill.

Mr. H.   Hey?

John.   Over by the mill.

Mr. H.   Over that hill? Good gracious! You don't mean I've got to travel as far as that, do you, in the hot sun?

John.   No, no; it's only a little ways.

Mr. H.   Only a little blaze! It's an awful hot morning.

John.   O, dear! this old fellow is as deaf as a post.   (Very loud.)   Mr.—Simmons—lives—down—by—the—mill.

Mr. H.   O, he does! Why didn't you say so before? Down that way?   (Points r.)

John.   (Loud.)   Yes! To—the—right! That—old—wooden—one—ahead!

Mr. H.   Who do you call an old wooden head?

John.   O, dear! I never shall get that piece. You don't understand. I—said—wooden—house.

Mr. H.   Hey?

John.   O, dear! O, dear!   (Points r.)   That's Mr. Simmons's—house—down—there!

Mr. H.   O, yes. Thank you, thank you. I'm a little hard of hearing.

[page 168]

John.   I see you are. Suffering from a cold?

Mr. H.   Hey?

John.   O, what a nuisance! Is it—from a cold you—suffer?

Mr. H.   Old buffer, indeed! Be more respectful to your elders, young man; more respectful.

[Exit, r.

John.   I've got rid of him at last, and five minutes gone. O, dear!   (Reads.)

"Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!"

Enter Mr. Hanks, r.

Mr. H.   Did you say right or left?

John.   Good gracious! the man's back! To—the right! To the right! Follow the stream.

Mr. H.   Hey?

John.   Follow—the—stream—as—it—flows.

Mr. H.   Follow my nose! You're an impudent scamp! I'll ask you no more questions.

[Exit, r.

John.  I hope you won't. This comes of trying to do a good-natured act. O, dear! that address!   (Reads.)

"Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!"

Enter John Clod, l.

Clod.   I say, sonny; yer hain't seen nothin' of a keow, have yer, here or hereabouts?

John.   No, I haven't seen no cow.

Clod.   Well, don't git mad. It's plaguy strange where that are keow has travelled tew. Brand new keow dad brought hum from market yesterday. What on airth shall I do? She's a brindle, short horns. Yeou hain't seen her?

John.   No, I haven't seen her. I've seen no cows or cattle of any kind. It's no use stopping here.

Clod.   Well, I dunno what's to be did. Marm, [page 169] she dropped her bakin', and scooted one way; dad quit ploughin', and scooted another; and I've been scootin' every which way. Ain't heard a keow moo—mooing, have yer?

John.   I don't believe there's a cow within forty miles of here.

Clod.   Sho! yer jokin' neow. Neow, see here; I kinder think yeou dew know somethin' about that keow. Jest tell me where she is, and I don't mind ginning yer fo'pence.

John.   I tell you again, I know nothing about your cow. I'm studing my lesson; and if you don't clear out and leave me in peace, I shall never get it.

Clod.   Sho! Well, I don't want to hender ye, but I should like to know what's become of that are keow.

[Exit, r.

John.   Gone at last. Was ever a fellow so plagued! I've only got eight minutes, and I must study.   (Goes to back of stage, and walks up and down, studying.)

Enter Patsy Flinn, l.

Patsy.   Begorra, it's a foine irrant I's on ony way. It's all along iv thim watthermillons, bad luck to 'em! Slaping swately on my bid last night thinking uv the bould b'ys that fit, blid, and run away from Canady, I heerd a v'ice in the millon patch, "Here's a bouncer, b'ys." Faix, didn't I lept out uv that bid, and didn't I hurry on my clo'es, and didn't I take a big shtick, and didn't I run fur the patch, and didn't I find nobody? To be sure I did! So this morning, Mr. Hopkins sinds me to the school-house to find the b'ys that invadid the sacred retrait, which is the millon-patch. But how will I find thim? Begorra, I should know that v'ice; and I'll make the whole school shtand up togither one by one and shout, "Here's a bouncer!" that I will.

[page 170]

John.   (Coming down r. of stage.)   Now let's see how much I know.   (Declaims.)

"Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!"

Patsy.   By my sowl, that's the v'ice of my dr'ams!

John. "I hold to you the hands you first beheld,

To show they still are free."

Patsy.   Fray, is it, begorra! Ye'll not hould thim long, me b'y!

John. "Methinks I hear

A spirit in your echoes answer me."

Patsy.   Begorra, ye'll soon hear an Irish echo ax ye something else!

John. "And bid your tenant welcome to his home


Patsy.   Begorra, you're wilcome to no more watermillons, ye'll find!

John. "Ye guards of Liberty!"

Patsy.   Ye little blackguard!

John. "I'm with you once again! I hold my hands to you,

To show they still are free!"

Patsy.   Begorra, they're stained with watermillons, sure!

John. "I rush to you,

As though I could embrace you!"

(Runs into Patsy's arms.)

Patsy.   Come on, I'm waiting for you! O, you blackguard! O, yes spalpeen! I've got yes!

John.   Who are you? What do you want? Let me go!

Patsy.   Niver! Ye must go along wid me, my fine lad; there's a bill a waiting for you at farmer Hopkins's.

John.   Farmer Hopkins! But I shall be late for school.

Patsy.   O, niver mind the school. You'll get a little uv it there, from a nice big cowhide.

[page 171]

John.   Let me go, I say!

Patsy.   Quit your howling, and come along.

John.   I won't. Help! Help! Help!

Enter Charley and Ralph, r.

Charley.   What's the matter, Ray?

Ralph.   Hallo, Patsy! What's to pay now?

Patsy.   A small bill for watermillons, Master Ralph.

Ralph.   O, I see; you're found out, Ray!

John.   Well, I wan't the only one in the patch last night.

Ralph.   But you're the only one found out; so you must take the consequences.

Charley.  Master Jones sent us to look for you; it's five minutes after nine.

John.   O, dear, what's to become of me!

Ralph.   You must get to school at once. Patsy, I'll be answerable for John Ray's appearance at Farmer Hopkins's after school. Won't that do?

Patsy.   To be sure it will. I can depind upon you, Master Ralph. But mind and cape an eye on that chap; fur it's my opinion he's a little cracked; he's bin ravin' about crags, and peaks, and liberty like a full-blooded Fenian. I'll go home and practise a bit wid that cowhide.

[Exit, L.

Charley.   Well, John, got your piece?

John.   Got my piece? No. I've been bothered to death!

Ralph.   You've been keeping company with the "thief of time."

John.   I'd like to know what you mean by that.

Ralph.   I'll tell you. You should have studied your piece yesterday noon; but, instead of that, you went boating. You should have studied last night; but instead of that, you got into a scrape, which [page 172] promises to make trouble for you; and this morning you played ball instead of taking time for your work.

John.   Well, I meant to have studied it yesterday, but I thought I had plenty of time. I wanted a little recreation.

Charley.   Yes, John; but you should look out for the lessons first, and not neglect them. Come, let's go to school.

John.   And be at the foot of the class. I don't like this.

Ralph.   You'll find a remedy for it in the copy-book.

John.   What is it?

Ralph.   A warning to the dilatory—"Procrastination is the thief of time."

[Exeunt, R.

* The dialogue can be lengthened, if necessary, by allowing Charley and Ralph to declaim the whole of their pieces.




FARMER had a field of corn of rather large extent,

In tending which, with anxious care, much time and toil he spent;

But after working long and hard, he saw, with grief and pain,

His corn began to droop and fade, because it wanted rain.

So sad and restless was his mind, at home he could not stop,

But to his field repaired each day to view his withering crop.

One day, when he stood looking up, despairing, at the sky,

Two little rain-drops in the clouds his sad face chanced to spy.

"I very sorry feel," said one, "to see him look so sad;

I wish I could do him some good; indeed, I should be glad.

[page 173]

Just see the trouble he has had; and if it should not rain,

Why, all his toil, and time, and care he will have spent in vain."

"What use are you," cried number two, "to water so much ground?

You're nothing but a drop of rain, and could not wet one mound."

"What you have said," his friend replied, "I know is very true;

But I'm resolved to do my best, and more I cannot do.

I'll try to cheer his heart a bit: so now I'm off—here goes!"

And down the little rain-drop fell upon the farmer's nose.

"Whatever's that?" the farmer cried. "Was it a drop of rain?

I do believe it's come at last; I have not watched in vain."

Now, when the second rain-drop saw his willing friend depart,

Said he, "I'll go as well, and try to cheer the farmer's heart."

But many rain-drops by this time had been attracted out,

To see and hear what their two friends were talking so about.

"We'll go as well," a number cried, "as our two friends have gone.

We shall not only cheer his heart, but water, too, his corn.

We're off! we're off!" they shout with glee, and down they fell so fast.

"O bless the Lord!" the farmer cried, "the rain has come at last."

The corn it grew and ripened well, and into food was dressed,

Because a little rain-drop said, "I'll try, and do my best."

This little lesson, children dear, you'll not forget I'm sure;

Try, do your best, do what you can—angels can do no more.

[page 174]



   HERE once was a toper—I'll not tell his name—

Who had for his comfort a scolding old dame;

And often and often he wished himself dead,

For, if drunk he came home, she would beat him to bed.

He spent all his evenings away from his home,

And, when he returned, he would sneakingly come

And try to walk straightly, and say not a word—

Just to keep his dear wife from abusing her lord;

For if he dared say his tongue was his own,

'Twould set her tongue going, in no gentle tone,

And she'd huff him, and cuff him, and call him hard names,

And he'd sigh to be rid of all scolding old dames.

It happened, one night, on a frolic he went,

He stayed till his very last penny was spent;

But how to go home, and get safely to bed,

Was the thing on his heart that most heavily weighed.

But home he must go; so he caught up his hat,

And off he went singing, by this and by that,

"I'll pluck up my courage; I guess she's in bed.

If she a'nt, 'tis no matter, I'm sure. Who's afraid?"

He came to his door; he lingered until

He peeped, and he listened, and all seemed quite still,

In he went, and his wife, sure enough, was in bed!

"Oh!" says he, "it's just as I thought. Who's afraid?"

He crept about softly, and spoke not a word;

His wife seemed to sleep, for she never e'en stirred!

Thought he, "For this night, then, my fortune is made:

For my dear, scolding wife is asleep! Who's afraid?"

But soon he felt thirsty; and slyly he rose,

And, groping around, to the table he goes,

The pitcher found empty, and so was the bowl,

The pail, and the tumblers—she'd emptied the whole!

At length, in a corner, a vessel he found!

Says he, "Here's something to drink, I'll be bound!"

And eagerly seizing, he lifted it up—

And drank it all off in one long, hearty sup!

[page 175]

It tasted so queerly; and what could it be?

He wondered. It neither was water nor tea!

Just then a thought struck him and filled him with fear:

"Oh! it must be the poison for rats, I declare!"

And loudly he called on his dear, sleeping wife,

And begged her to rise; "for," said he, "on my life

I fear it was poison the bowl did contain.

Oh dear! yes, it was poison; I now feel the pain!"

"And what made you dry, sir?" the wife sharply cried.

"'Twould serve you just right if from poison you died;

And you've done a fine job, and you'd now better march,

For just see, you brute, you have drunk all my starch!"



  R. Bogardus "gin a treat,"

And a green goose, best of birds to eat,

Delicious, savory, fat and sweet,

Formed the dish the guests to greet;

But such, we know,

Is small for a "blow,"

And many times around won't go;

So Mr. Bogardus chanced to reflect,

And with a wisdom circumspect,

He sent round cards to parties select,

Some six or so the goose to dissect,

The day and hour defining;

And then he laid in lots of things,

That might have served as food for kings,

Liquors drawn from their primal springs,

And all that grateful comfort brings

To epicures in dining.

But Mr. Bogardus's brother Sim,

With moral qualities rather dim,

Copied the message sent to him,

In his most clerkly writing,

[page 176]

And sent it round to Tom, and Dick,

And Harry, and Jack, and Frank, and Nick,

And many more, to the green goose "pick"

Most earnestly inviting;

He laid it on the green goose thick,

Their appetites exciting.

'Twas dinner time by the Old South Clock;

Bogardus waited the sounding knock

Of friends to come at the moment, "chock,"

To try his goose, his game, his hock,

And hoped they would not dally;

When one, and two, and three, and four,

And running up the scale to a score,

And adding to it many more,

Who all their Sunday fixings wore,

Came in procession to the door,

And crowded in on his parlor floor,

Filling him with confusion sore,

Like an after-election rally!

"Gentlemen," then murmured he,

"To what unhoped contingency

Am I owing for this felicity,

A visit thus unexpected?"

Then they held their cards before his eyes,

And he saw, to his infinite surprise,

That some sad dog had taken a rise

On him, and his hungry friends likewise,

And whom he half suspected;

But there was Sim,

Of morals dim,

With a face as long, and dull, and grim,

As though he the ire reflected.

Then forth the big procession went,

With mirth and anger equally blent;

To think they didn't get the scent

Of what the cursed missive meant

Annoyed some of 'em deeply;

[page 177]

They felt they'd been caught by a green goose bait,

And plucked and skinned, and then, light weight,

Had been sold very cheaply.


Keep your weather eye peeled for trap,

For we never know just what may hap,

Nor if we shall be winners;

Remembering that one green goose

Will be of very little use

'Mongst twenty hungry sinners.




  E all have heard of Dr. Redman,

The man in New York who deals with dead men,

Who sits at a table,

And straightway is able

To talk with the spirits of those who have fled, man!

And gentles and ladies

Located in Hades,

Through his miraculous mediation,

Declare how they feel,

And such things reveal

As suits their genius for impartation.

'Tis not with any irreverent spirit

I give the tale, or flout it, or jeer it;

[page 178]

For many good folk

Not subject to joke

Declare for the fact that they both see and hear it.

It comes from New York, though,

And it might be hard work, though,

To bring belief to any point near it.

Now this Dr. Redman,

Who deals with dead men,

Once cut up a fellow whose spirit had fled, man,

Who (the fellow) perchance

Had indulged in that dance

Performed at the end of a hempen thread, man;

And the cut-up one,

(A sort of a gun!)

Like Banquo, though he was dead, wasn't done,

Insisted in very positive tones

That he'd be ground to calcined manure,

Or any other evil endure,

Before he'd give up his right to his bones!

And then, through knocks, the resolute dead man

Gave his bones a bequest to Redman.

In Hartford, Conn.,

This matter was done,

And Redman the bones highly thought on,

When, changed to New York

Was the scene of his work,

In conjunction with Dr. Orton.

Now mark the wonder that here appears:

After a season of months and years,

Comes up again the dead man,

Who in a very practical way,

Says he'll bring his bones some day,

And give them again to Redman.

When, sure enough

(Though some that are rough

Might call the narrative "devilish tough"),

One charming day

In the month of May,

[page 179]

As Orton and Redman walked the street

Through the severing air,

From they knew not where,

Came a positive bone, all bleached and bare.

That dropped at the doctor's wondering feet!

Then the sprightly dead man

Knocked out to Redman

The plan that lay in his ghostly head, man:

He'd carry the freight,

Unheeding its weight;

They needn't question how, or about it;

But they might be sure

The bones he'd procure

And not make any great bones about it.

From that he made it a special point

Each day for their larder to furnish a joint!

From overhead, and from all around,

Upon the floor, and upon the ground,


Down fell

Low bones, and high bones,

Jaw bones, and thigh bones,

Until the doctors, beneath their power,

Ducked like ducks in a thunder-shower!

Armfuls of bones,

Bagfuls of bones,

Cartloads of bones,

No end to the multitudinous bones,

Until, forsooth, this thought gained head, man,

That this invisible friend, the dead man,

Had chartered a band

From the shadowy land,

Who had turned to work with a busy hand,

And boned all their bones for Dr. Redman!

Now, how to account for all the mystery

Of this same weird and fantastical history?

That is the question

For people's digestion,

[page 180]

And calls aloud for instant untwistery!

Of this we are certain,

By this lift of the curtain,

That still they're alive for work or enjoyment,

Though I must confess

That I scarcely can guess

Why they don't choose some useful employment.

* Dr. Redman, of New York, was a noted medium, and it was said that, for a while, wherever he might be, bones would be dropped all about him, to the confusion and wonder of everybody. These bones, he said, were brought him by a spirit, whose bones were of no further use to him.




Miss Priscilla Precise,
{ Principal of a genteel Boarding
School for Young Ladies.

Hetty Gray,
Fanny Rice,
Lizzie Bond,
Hannah Jones,
} Pupils.

Mrs. Lofty, a fashionable Lady.

Scene.—Parlor in Miss Precise's Establishment.

  Piano R., Lounge L., Chairs C.

  Enter Hetty, Fanny, and Lizzie, R., laughing.

Hetty.   O, such a fright!

Fanny.   Such a stupid!

Lizzie.   I never saw such a ridiculous figure in the whole course of my life!

Hetty.   I should think she came from the back-woods.

Fanny.   Who is she, any way?

Lizzie.   She's the daughter of the rich Mr. Jones, [page 181] a man, who, three years ago, was the proprietor of a very small saw-mill away down east. He managed to scrape together a little money, which he invested in certain railroad stocks, which nobody thought would ever pay. They did, however, and he has, no doubt to his own astonishment, made a great deal of money.

Hetty.   And that accounts for Miss Precise's partiality. Well, I'm not going to associate myself with her; and I mean to write to father this very day, and tell him to take me home. She dresses so ridiculously!

Lizzie.   And talks so horridly!

Fanny.   And plays so wretchedly!

Hetty.   O, girls, don't you think I caught her at the piano this morning playing Yankee Doodle and whistling an accompaniment!

Fanny.   Whistling!

Lizzie.   Good gracious! what would Miss Precise say. If there's anything she forbids, it's whistling.

Hetty.   Yes, and such a reader! I heard her reciting Longfellow's Excelsior; and such reading, and such gestures!   (Recites.)

"The shades of night were falling fast,

As through an All-pine village past—"

(All laugh.)

Fanny.   O, it's ridiculous!

Lizzie.   And then her dress! O, girls, I've made a discovery!

Fanny.   What is it? What is it?

Hetty.   O, do tell us!

Lizzie.   Well, then, you must be secret.

Fanny and Hetty.   Of course, of course!

Lizzie.   Well, yesterday, at just twelve o'clock, I was in the hall; the door-bell rang; I opened it; [page 182] there was a box for Miss Hannah Jones; I took it; I carried it to her room; I opened—

Fanny and Hetty.   The box?

Lizzie.   The door; she wasn't there. I put it on the table; it slipped off; the cover rolled off; and such a sight!

Fanny.   What was it?

Hetty.   O, do tell us!

Lizzie.   Four—great—red—

Fanny and Hetty.   What? What?

Lizzie.   Chignons!

Hetty.   Chignons? Why, Miss Precise has forbidden our wearing them.

Fanny.   O, it's horrible!

Lizzie.   Ain't it? And I did want one so bad!

Hetty.   But she cannot wear them.

Lizzie.   We shall see! Now comes Miss Precise's trial. She has taken Hannah Jones because her father is rich. She worships money; but if there is anything she hates, it is chignons. If she can stand this test, it will be the best thing in the world for us. Then we'll all have them.

Hetty.   Of course we will.

Fanny.   But I don't like the idea of having such an interloper here. She's no company for us.

Enter Miss Precise, l. She stands behind the Girls with folded arms.

Hetty.   Indeed she isn't! I think Miss Precise is real mean to allow her to stay.

Lizzie.   She'd better go where she belongs,—among the barbarians!

Miss Precise.   And pray, whom are you consigning to a place among the barbarians, young ladies?

Hetty.   Good gracious!

Fanny.   O, dear! O, dear!

[page 183]

Lizzie.   O, who'd have thought!

(They separate, Hetty and Fanny, l., Lizzie, r., Miss Precise, c.)

Miss P.   Speak, young ladies; upon whom has your dread anathema been bestowed?

Lizzie.   Well, Miss Precise, if I must tell, it's that hateful new pupil, Miss Jones. I detest her.

Fanny.   I can't abide her.

Hetty.   She's horrible!

Lizzie.   So awkward!

Fanny.   Talks so badly!

Hetty.   And dresses so ridiculously!

Lizzie.   If she stays here, I shan't!

Fanny.   Nor I.

Hetty.   Nor I.

Miss P.   Young ladies, are you pupils of the finest finishing-school in the city? Are you being nursed at the fount of learning? Are you being led in the paths of literature by my fostering hands?

Lizzie.   Don't know. S'pose so.

Miss P.   S'pose so! What language! S'pose so! Is this the fruit of my teaching? Young ladies, I blush for you!—you, who should be the patterns of propriety! Let me hear no more of this. Miss Jones is the daughter of one of the richest men in the city, and, as such, she should be respected by you.

Lizzie.   She's a low, ignorant girl.

Miss P.   Miss Bond!

Hetty.   With arms like a windmill.

Miss P.   Miss Gray!

Fanny.   A voice like a peacock.

Miss P.   Miss Rice!

Hetty, Lizzie, and Fanny.   O, she's awful!

Miss P.   Young ladies! I'm astonished! I'm shocked! I'm thunderstruck! Miss Jones is my pupil. She is your associate. As such, you will [page 184] respect her. Let me hear no more of this. Go to your studies. I highly respect Miss Jones. Imitate her. She's not given to conspiracies. She's not forever gossiping. Be like her, and you will deserve my respect. To your studies. Miss Jones is a model for your imitation.

[Exit, l.

Hetty.   Did you ever!

Fanny.   No, I never!

Lizzie.   A model for imitation! Girls, we'll have some fun out of this. Imitate Miss Jones! I only hope she'll put on one of her chignons.


Enter Hannah Jones, r., extravagantly dressed, with a red chignon, followed by Mrs. Lofty.

Hannah.   Come right in, marm; this is our setting-room, where we receive callers. Take a seat.

(Mrs. Lofty sits on lounge.)

Mrs. Lofty.   Will you please call your mistress at once?

Hannah.   My mistress? Law, neow, I s'pose yeou take me for a hired gal. Yeou make me laugh! Why, my pa's richer than all the rest of 'em's pas put together. I deon't look quite so scrumptious as the rest o 'em, p'r'aps, but I'm one of the scholars here.

Mrs. L.   I beg your pardon. No offence was intended.

Hannah.   Law, I don't mind it. Yeou see our folks come from deown east, and we haven't quite got the hang of rich folks yit. That's why I'm here to git polished up. Miss Precise is the schoolmarm, but she's so stiff, I don't expect she'll make much of me. I do hate airs. She makes the girls tend tu door, because she's too poor to keep help.

Mrs. L.   Will you please speak to her? I have not much time to spare, as this is my charity day.

[page 185]

Hannah.   Charity day! Pray, what's that?

Mrs. L.   I devote one day in the week to visiting poor people, and doing what I can to alleviate their misfortunes.

Hannah.   Well, marm, that's real clever in you. I do like to see rich folks look arter the poor ones. Won't you please to let me help you? I don't know the way among the poor yit, but I'm going to find out. Here's my pocket-book; there's lots uv money in it; and if you'll take and use it for the poor folks, I'll be obleeged.   (Gives pocket-book.)

Mrs. L.   O, thank you, thank you! you are very kind; I will use it, for I know just where it is needed. Can you really spare it?

Hannah.   Spare it? Of course I can. I know where to git lots more; and my pa says, 'What's the use of having money, if you don't do good with it?' Law, I forgot all about Miss Precise. You just make yourself to home, and I'll call her. [Exit, l.

Mrs. L.   A rough diamond. She has a kind heart. I hope she'll not be spoiled in the hands of Miss Precise. (Opens pocket-book.) What a roll of bills! I must speak to Miss Precise before I use her money. She may not be at liberty to dispose of it in this wholesale manner.

Enter Miss Precise, l.

Miss P.   My dear Mrs. Lofty, I hope I have not kept you waiting.   (Shakes hands with her, then sits in chair, c.)

Mrs. L.   O, no; though I'm in something of a hurry. I called to ask you if you could take my daughter as a pupil.

Miss P.   Well, I am rather full just now; and the duties of instructor are so arduous, and I am so feeble in health——

[page 186]

Mrs. L.   O, don't let me add to your trials. I will look elsewhere.

Miss P.   No, no; you did not hear me out. I was going to say I have decided to take but one more pupil.

Mrs. L.   What are the studies?

Miss P.   English branches, French, Italian, German, and Spanish languages, and music; all taught under my personal supervision.

Mrs. L.   Quite an array of studies; almost too much for one teacher.

Miss P.   Ah, Mrs. Lofty, the mind—the mind is capable of great expansion; and to one gifted with the power to lead the young in the flowery paths of learning, no toil is too difficult. My school is select, refined; nothing rough or improper is allowed to mingle with the high-toned elements with which I endeavour to form a fashionable education.

Mrs. L.   I should like to see some of your pupils.

Miss P.   O, certainly. You will take them unawares; but I flatter myself you will not find them unprepared.   (Strikes bell on piano.)

Enter Fanny, dressed as before, but with large, red chignon on her head.

Miss P.   This is Miss Fanny Rice. Mrs. Lofty, Fanny. There you see one of my pupils who has an exquisite touch for the piano, a refined, delicate appreciation of the sweetest strains of the great masters. Fanny, my dear, take your place at the piano, and play one of those pieces which you know I most admire.   (Fanny sits at piano, plays Yankee Doodle, whistling an accompaniment.)   What does this mean?   (Turns and looks at Fanny, starts, puts her eye-glass to her eye.—Aside.)   Heavens! that child has one of those horrible chignons on her [page 187] head!—(Aloud.)   Miss Rice, why did you make that selection?

Fanny.   (Imitates Hannah's manner of speaking.)   Cos I thought you'd like it.

Miss P.   "Cos?" O, I shall die! And why did you think I should like it?

Fanny.   Cos that's the way Hannah Jones does.

Miss P.   Send Miss Gray to me.   (Follows Fanny to door.)   And take that flaming turban off your head. I'll pay you for this!

[Exit Fanny, l.

Mrs. L.   Your pupil is exceedingly patriotic in her selection.

Miss P.   Yes; there's some mistake here. She's evidently not on her good behaviour.

Enter Hetty Gray, l., with red chignon.

Ah, here's Miss Gray. Mrs. Lofty, Miss Gray. She has a sweet voice, and sings sentimental songs in a bewitching manner. Miss Gray, take your place at the piano, and sing one of my favourites.

(Hetty sits at piano, plays and sings.)

"Father and I went down to camp

Along with Captain Goodin,

And there we saw the boys and girls

As thick as hasty-puddin."

Miss P.   Stop!   (Looks at her through eye-glass.)   She's got one of those hateful things on too,—chignons! Is there a conspiracy? Miss Gray, who taught you that song?

Hetty.   Miss Hannah Jones, if you please.

Miss P.   Go back to your studies, and send Miss Bond to me.   (Takes her by the ear, and leads her to the door.)

[page 188]

Hetty.   Ow! you hurt!

Miss P.   Silence, miss! Take off that horrid head-dress at once.

[Exit, Hetty, L.

Mrs. Lofty, how can I find words to express my indignation at the conduct of my pupils? I assure you, this is something out of the common course.

Enter Lizzie, L., with red chignon.

Here is one of my smartest pupils, Miss Bond. Mrs. Lofty, Miss Bond. She particularly excels in reading. Miss Bond, take a book from the piano and read, something sweet and pathetic! something that you think would suit me.

Lizzie takes a position, L., opens book, and reads, in imitation of Hannah's voice.


What is it that salutes the light,

Making the heads of mortals bright,

And proves attractive to the sight?

My chignon.

Miss P.   Good gracious! is the girl mad?


What moves the heart of Miss Precise

To throw aside all prejudice,

And gently whisper, It is nice?

My chignon!

Miss P.   Chignon, indeed! Who taught you to read in that manner?

Lizzie.   Hannah Jones.

Miss P.   O, this is too bad! You, too, with one of these horrid things on your head?   (Snatches it off, and beats her on head with it.)   Back to your room! You shall suffer for this!

[Exit Lizzie, L.

[page 189]

Mrs. L.   Excuse me, Miss Precise, but your pupils all wear red chignons. Pray, is this a uniform you have adopted in your school?

Miss P.   O, Mrs. Lofty, I'm dying with mortification! Chignons! I detest them; and my positive orders to my pupils are, never to wear them in the house.

Hannah.   (Outside, L.)   Wal, we'll see what Miss Precise will say to this.

Enters with a red chignon in each hand, followed by Lizzie, Hetty, and Fanny.

Miss P.   Good gracious! More of these horrid things!

Hannah.   Miss Precise, jest look at them! Here these pesky girls have been rummaging my boxes, and putting on my best chignons that pa sent me only yesterday. Look at them! They're teetotally ruined!

Miss P.   Why, Miss Jones, you've got one on your head now!

Hannah.   Of course I have. Have you got anything to say against it?

Miss P.   O, no; only it don't match your hair.

Hannah.   What of that? Pa always goes for the bright colours, and so do I.

Lizzie.   Miss Precise, I thought pupils were forbidden to wear them.

Miss P.   Well, yes—no—I must make exceptions. Miss Jones has permission to wear them.

Lizzie.   Then I want permission.

Hetty.   And so do I.

Fanny.   And so do I.

Miss P.   First tell me what is the meaning of this scene we have just had.

Lizzie.   Scene? Why, didn't you tell us to take [page 190] Miss Jones as a model for imitation? Haven't we done it?

Miss P.   But Miss Jones doesn't whistle.

Hannah.   Whistle? I bet I can. Want to hear me?

Miss P.   No. She don't sing comic songs.

Hannah.   Yes, she does.

Lizzie.   Yes, and she wears chignons. As we must imitate her, and hadn't any of our own, we appropriated hers.

Miss P.   Shame, shame! What will Mrs. Lofty say?

Mrs. L.   That she rather enjoyed it. I saw mischief in their eyes as they came in. And now, girls, I'm going to tell you what Miss Jones does that you don't know. A short time ago she placed in my hands her pocket-book, containing a large roll of bills, to be distributed among the poor.

Lizzie.   Why, isn't she splendid?

Hetty.   Why, she's "mag."

Fanny.   O, you dear old Hannah.   (Kisses her.)

Mrs. L.   I'm going to send my daughter here to school, and I shall tell her to make all the friends she can; but her first friend must be Hannah Jones.

Hannah.   Well, I'm sure, I'm obleeged to you.

Lizzie.   O, Miss Precise, we are so sorry we have acted so! Let us try again, and show Mrs. Lofty that we have benefited by your instruction.

Miss P.   Not now. If Mrs. Lofty will call again, we will try to entertain her. I see I was in the wrong to give you such general directions. I say now, imitate Hannah Jones—her warm heart, her generous hand.

Mrs. L.   And help her, by your friendship, to acquire the knowledge which Miss Precise so ably dispenses.

Lizzie.   We will, we will.

[page 191]

Miss P.   Only, ladies, avoid whistling.

Hetty.   Of course, of course.

Miss P.   And comic songs!

Fanny.   O, certainly.

Lizzie.   And there is one more thing we shall be sure to avoid.

Miss P.   What is that?

Lizzie.   The wearing of red chignons.






EEDY Knife-grinder! whither are you going?

Rough is the road,—your wheel is out of order,—

Bleak blows the blast; your hat has got a hole in 't,

So have your breeches!

Weary Knife-grinder! little think the proud ones,

Who in their coaches roll along the turnpike-

Road, what hard work 't is crying all day 'Knives and

Scissors to grind O!

Tell me, Knife-grinder, how you came to grind knives?

Did some rich man tyrannically use you?

Was it the squire? or parson of the parish?

Or the attorney?

Was it the squire, for killing of his game? or

Covetous parson, for his tithes distraining?

Or roguish lawyer, made you lose your little

All in a lawsuit?

(Have you not read the Rights of Man, by Tom Paine?)

Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids,

Ready to fall as soon as you have told your

Pitiful story.

[page 192]


Story! God bless you! I have none to tell, sir,

Only last night, a drinking at the Chequers,

This poor old hat and breeches, as you see, were

Torn in a scuffle.

Constables came up for to take me into

Custody; they took me before the justice;

Justice Oldmixon put me in the parish-

Stocks for a vagrant.

I should be glad to drink your Honor's health in

A pot of beer, if you will give me sixpence;

But for my part, I never love to meddle

With politics, sir.


I give thee sixpence! I will see thee hang'd first,—

Wretch! whom no sense of wrongs can rouse to vengeance—

Sordid, unfeeling, reprobate, degraded,

Spiritless outcast!

[Kicks the Knife-grinder, overturns his wheel, and exit in a transport of enthusiasm and universal philanthropy.]


Father Taylor once said, "'Tis of no use to preach to empty stomachs."


   HE parson preached in solemn way,

—A well-clad man on ample pay,—

And told the poor they were sinners all,

Depraved and lost by Adam's fall;

That they must repent, and save their souls.

A hollow-eyed wretch cried, "Give us coals!"

[page 193]

Then he told of virtue's pleasant path,

And that of ruin and of wrath;

How the slipping feet of sinners fell

Quick on the downward road to h——,

To suffer for sins when they are dead;

And the hollow voice answered, "Give us bread!"

Then he spoke of a land of love and peace,

Where all of pain and woe shall cease,

Where celestial flowers bloom by the way,

Where the light is brighter than solar day,

And there's no cold nor hunger there.

"Oh," says the voice, "Give us clothes to wear!"

Then the good man sighed, and turned away,

For such depravity to pray,

That had cast aside the heavenly worth

For the transient and fleeting things of earth!

And his church that night, to his content,

Raised his salary fifty per cent.




   READ softly—bow the head;

In reverent silence bow;

No passing bell doth toll,

Yet an immortal soul

Is passing now.

Stranger! however great,

With lowly reverence bow;

There's one in that poor shed,

One by that paltry bed,

Greater than thou.

[page 194]

Beneath that beggar's roof,

Lo! Death doth keep his state;

Enter—no crowds attend;

Enter—no guards defend

This palace gate.

That pavement, damp and cold,

No smiling courtiers tread;

One silent woman stands,

Lifting with meagre hands

A dying head.

No mingling voices sound—

An infant wail alone:

A sob suppressed—again

That short, deep gasp, and then

The parting groan.

Oh! change!—Oh! wondrous change!—

Burst are the prison bars—

This moment there, so low,

So agonized, and now

Beyond the stars!

Oh! change—stupendous change!

There lies the soulless clod!

The sun eternal breaks—

The new immortal wakes

Wakes with his God!



N O matter what horse-car, but it happened that I had to go a mile or two, and held up my cane to attract the attention of the driver or the conductor of one of them, which I did, after some difficulty. I am bound to say it was not on the Touchandgo road, for the officers employed there [page 195] have an instinctive knowledge whether a man wishes to ride or not, and indeed often by the magic of the upraised finger they draw people in to ride who had hardly any previous intention of it. I have been attracted in this way, and found myself to my astonishment, seated in the car, confident that I had signified no disposition to do so. In this instance, however, I would ride, and got in.

There were the usual passengers in the car—the respectable people going out of town, who were reading the last editions of the papers, the women who had been shopping, the servant girls who had been in to visit their friends, feeling no interest in one another, and all absorbed in their own reflections, as I was. I was thinking seriously, when—my eye was attracted by some glittering object on the floor, beneath the opposite seat.

Of course everybody is attracted by glitter. A piece of glass in the moonlight may be a diamond, and show is far ahead of substance in influencing men, from the illusion which affects short-sighted vision. Thus this glittering object. What was it?—a diamond pin dropped by a former passenger? No, it could not be this, because it appeared to be round, and bigger than a pin stone could be. Could it be a bracelet? No, for it was too small. I directed my gaze more earnestly towards it in my doubt, and saw that it was a QUARTER, bright and sparkling with the freshness of new mint about it, so it seemed.

This I determined to make mine at the first chance, for a woman was sitting very near it, and I dreaded any confusion I might cause, by a sudden plunge, through the motion of the cars; so, whistling at a low breath, as if indifferent, but keeping my eye upon the prize, I awaited the opportunity that should insure me the coveted one-and-sixpence. It soon [page 196] came: the bell rang, and the lady opposite, with her arms full of bundles, walked out, leaving the object of my ardent regard more distinctly in view. It seemed to me that every one in the car had an eye on that quarter, which I felt was mine by right of discovery, and which I was determined to have.

As the coach started I rose and fairly tumbled over into the just-vacated seat, taking care to drop in such a way as to screen the glittering bait. I looked at my fellow-passengers, and found that all were staring at me, as though they were reading my secret. The conductor had come inside the door, and was looking at me, and a heavy gentleman on the same seat with me leaned far out on his cane, so that he could take in my whole person with his glance, as though I were a piece of property on which he had to estimate. I felt my face burn, and a general discomfort seized me, as a man sometimes feels when he has done a wrong or a foolish act; though I couldn't think the act I was about to perform was wrong, and no one could say it was foolish in one to try to get a quarter of a dollar in this day of postal currency. At length I stooped down as if to adjust something about my boot, and slipped the object of my solicitude into my hand, unseen, as I believed.

"What is it?" asked the conductor.

"What's what?" said I, with affected smartness.

"What you just found," he persisted.

"I was pulling my pants down over my boot," I prevaricated.

"That's all humbug," said he; "you found something in the car, and it belongs to the company."

"Prove that I found any thing," said I, angrily.

"Young man," said the voice of the big man who was leaning on his cane, still looking at me, "it is as bad to lie about a thing as it is to steal. I saw you pick something up, and to me it had the [page 197] appearance of money." He struck his cane on the floor as he spoke, and grasped it firmer, as if to clinch his remark.

"Yes," said the conductor; "and we don't want nothing of the kind here, and what's more, we won't have it; so hand over."

"My fine fellow," said I, prepared for a crisis, "I know my rights, and, without admitting that I have found any thing, I contend that if I had, in this public conveyance, which is as public as the street to him who pays for a ride in it, that which I find in it is mine after I have made due endeavour to find out its owner. Money being an article impossible to identify, unless it is marked, if I had found it, it would have been mine—according to Whately, Lycurgus, and Jew Moses."

"Hang your authorities," said he; "I don't know any thing about 'em, but this I know,—that money belongs to the Touchandgo Horse Railroad Company, and I'll have it. Ain't I right, Mr. Diggs?" addressing a gentleman with glasses on, reading the Journal.

"I think you are," replied he, looking at me over the top of his spectacles, as though he were shooting from behind a breastwork; "I think the pint is clear, and that it belongs to the company to advertise it and find out the owner."

"Well," I put in, "suppose they don't find the owner; who has it?"

"The company, I should think," said he, folding his paper preparatory to getting out.

"That's it," said the conductor, taking up the thread as he put the passenger down; "and now I want that money." He looked ugly.

"What money?" I queried.

"The money you picked up on the floor."

I saw that I was in a place of considerable difficulty, [page 198] involving a row on one side and imputation of villany on the other, and studied how to escape.

"Well," said I, "if, in spite of the authorities I have quoted, you insist upon my giving this up which I hold in my hand,—the value of which I do not know,—I shall protest against your act, and hold the company responsible."

"Responsible be——blowed," replied he, severely; "shell out."

The people in the car were much excited. The fat man on the seat had risen up, though still in sitting position, and balanced himself upon his toes to get a better view. I unclosed my hand and deposited in the conductor's a round piece of tin that had been punched out by some tin-man and hammered smooth bearing a close resemblance to money!

The disappointment of every one was intense. The conductor intimated that if he met me in society he would give me my money's worth, the fat man muttered something about my being an "imposture," several lady passengers looked bluely at me, and only one laughed heartily at the whole affair, as I did. It was a queer incident.



 ISTER Socrates Snooks, a lord of creation,

The second time entered the married relation:

Xantippe Caloric accepted his hand,

And they thought him the happiest man in the land,

But scarce had the honeymoon passed o'er his head,

When, one morning, to Xantippe, Socrates said,

"I think, for a man of my standing in life,

This house is too small, as I now have a wife:

[page 199]

So, as early as possible, carpenter Carey

Shall be sent for to widen my house and my dairy."

"Now, Socrates, dearest," Xantippe replied,

"I hate to hear every thing vulgarly my'd;

Now, whenever you speak of your chattels again,

Say, our cow house, our barn yard, our pig pen."

"By your leave, Mrs. Snooks, I will say what I please

Of my houses, my lands, my gardens, my trees."

"Say our," Xantippe exclaimed in a rage.

"I won't, Mrs. Snooks, though you ask it an age!"

Oh, woman! though only a part of man's rib,

If the story in Genesis don't tell a fib,

Should your naughty companion e'er quarrel with you,

You are certain to prove the best man of the two.

In the following case this was certainly true;

For the lovely Xantippe just pulled off her shoe,

And laying about her, all sides at random,

The adage was verified—"Nil desperandum."

Mister Socrates Snooks, after trying in vain,

To ward off the blows which descended like rain—

Concluding that valour's best part was discretion—

Crept under the bed like a terrified Hessian:

But the dauntless Xantippe, not one whit afraid,

Converted the siege into a blockade.

At last, after reasoning the thing in his pate,

He concluded 't was useless to strive against fate:

And so, like a tortoise protruding his head,

Said, "My dear, may we come out from under our bed?"

"Hah! hah!" she exclaimed, "Mr. Socrates Snooks,

I perceive you agree to my terms by your looks:

Now, Socrates—hear me—from this happy hour,

If you'll only obey me, I'll never look sour."

'T is said the next Sabbath, ere going to church,

He chanced for a clean pair of trousers to search:

Having found them, he asked, with a few nervous twitches,

"My dear, may we put on our new Sunday breeches?"

[page 200]




  ISTEN, my children, and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend—"If the British march

By land or sea from the town to-night,

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

Of the North-Church tower, as a signal-light—

One if by land, and two if by sea;

And I on the opposite shore will be,

Ready to ride and spread the alarm

Through every Middlesex village and farm,

For the country-folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said good-night, and with muffled oar

Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,

Just as the moon rose over the bay,

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay

The Somerset, British man-of-war:

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar

Across the moon, like a prison-bar,

And a huge, black hulk, that was magnified

By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street

Wanders and watches with eager ears,

Till in the silence around him he hears

The muster of men at the barrack-door,

The sound of arms and the tramp of feet,

And the measured tread of the grenadiers

Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the church,

Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,

[page 201]

To the belfry-chamber overhead,

And startled the pigeons from their perch

On the sombre rafters, that round him made

Masses and moving shapes of shade—

Up the light ladder, slender and tall,

To the highest window in the wall,

Where he paused to listen and look down

A moment on the roofs of the quiet town,

And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the church-yard, lay the dead

In their night-encampment on the hill,

Wrapped in silence so deep and still,

That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread

The watchful night-wind as it went

Creeping along from tent to tent,

And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"

A moment only he feels the spell

Of the place and the hour, the secret dread

Of the lonely belfry and the dead;

For suddenly all his thoughts are bent

On a shadowy something far away,

Where the river widens to meet the bay—

A line of black, that bends and floats

On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,

Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,

On the opposite shore waited Paul Revere.

Now he patted his horse's side,

Now gazed on the landscape far and near,

Then impetuous stamped the earth,

And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;

But mostly he watched with eager search

The belfry-tower of the old North-Church,

As it rose above the graves on the hill,

Lonely, and spectral, and sombre, and still.

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height,

A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!

[page 202]

He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,

But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight

A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,

And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark

Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet:

That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,

The fate of a nation was riding that night;

And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,

Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

It was twelve by the village-clock,

When he crossed the bridge into Medford town,

He heard the crowing of the cock,

And the barking of the farmer's dog,

And felt the damp of the river-fog,

That rises when the sun goes down.

It was one by the village-clock,

When he rode into Lexington.

He saw the gilded weathercock

Swim in the moonlight as he passed,

And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,

Gazed at him with a spectral glare,

As if they already stood aghast

At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village-clock,

When he came to the bridge in Concord town.

He heard the bleating of the flock,

And the twitter of birds among the trees,

And felt the breath of the morning-breeze

Blowing over the meadows brown,

And one was safe and asleep in his bed

Who at the bridge would be first to fall,

Who that day would be lying dead,

Pierced by a British musket-ball.

[page 203]

You know the rest. In the books you have read

How the British regulars fired and fled—

How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,

Chasing the red-coats down the lane,

Then crossing the fields to emerge again

Under the trees at the turn of the road,

And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;

And so through the night went his cry of alarm

To every Middlesex village and farm—

A cry of defiance, and not of fear—

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

And a word that shall echo for evermore!

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,

Through all our history, to the last,

In the hour of darkness, and peril, and need,

The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof-beat of that steed.

And the midnight-message of Paul Revere.



This humorous sketch is taken from a work entitled "My Opinions and Betsey Bobbet's."


T HEY have been havin' pleasure exertions all summer here to Jonesville. Every week a'most they would go off on a exertion after pleasure, and Josiah was all up in end to go too.

That man is a well-principled man as I ever see; but if he had his head he would be worse than any young man I ever see to foller up pic-nics, and 4th of Julys, and camp meetin's, and all pleasure exertions. [page 204] But I don't encourage him in it. I have said to him, time and agin, "There is a time for everything, Josiah Allen, and after anybody has lost all their teeth, and every mite of hair on the top of their head, it is time for 'em to stop goin' to pleasure exertions."

But, good land! I might jest as well talk to the wind. If that man should get to be as old as Mr. Methusler, and be a goin' a thousand years old, he would prick up his ears if he should hear of an exertion. All summer long that man has beset me to go to 'em, for he wouldn't go without me. Old Bunker Hill himself hain't any sounder in principle than Josiah Allen, and I have had to work head-work to make excuses, and quell him down. But, last week, the old folks was goin' to have one out on the lake, on an island, and that man sot his foot down that go he would.

We was to the breakfast-table, a talkin' it over, and says I, "I shan't go, for I am afraid of big water any way."

Says Josiah, "You are jest as liable to be killed in one place as another."

Says I, with a almost frigid air, as I passed him his coffee, "Mebby I shall be drownded on dry land, Josiah Allen; but I don't believe it."

Says he, in a complainin' tone, "I can't get you started onto a exertion for pleasure any way."

Says I, in a almost eloquent way, "I don't believe in makin' such exertions after pleasure. I don't believe in chasin' of her up." Says I, "Let her come of her own free will." Says I, "You can't catch her by chasin' of her up, no more than you can fetch a shower up, in a drewth, by goin' out doors, and running after a cloud up in the heavens above you. Sit down, and be patient; and when it gets ready, the refreshin' rain-drops will begin to fall without none of your help. And it is jest so with pleasure, Josiah [page 205] Allen; you may chase her up over all the ocians and big mountains of the earth, and she will keep ahead of you all the time; but set down, and not fatigue yourself a thinkin' about her, and like as not she will come right into your house, unbeknown to you."

"Wal," says he, "I guess I'll have another griddlecake, Samantha." And as he took it, and poured the maple syrup over it, he added, gently but firmly, "I shall go, Samantha, to this exertion, and I should be glad to have you present at it, because it seems jest, to me, as if I should fall overboard durin' the day."

Men are deep. Now that man knew that no amount of religious preachin' could stir me up like that one speech. For though I hain't no hand to coo, and don't encourage him in bein' spoony at all, he knows that I am wrapped almost completely up in him. I went.

We had got to start about the middle of the night, for the lake was fifteen miles from Jonesville, and the old horse bein' so slow, we had got to start a hour or two ahead of the rest. I told Josiah that I had jest as lives set up all night, as to be routed out at two o'clock. But he was so animated and happy at the idee of goin' that he looked on the bright side of everything, and he said that we would go to bed before dark, and get as much sleep as we commonly did! So we went to bed, the sun an hour high. But we hadn't more'n got settled down into the bed, when we heard a buggy and a single wagon stop to the gate, and I got up and peeked through the window, and I see it was visitors come to spend the evenin'—Elder Wesley Minkly and his family, and Deacon Dobbins' folks. Josiah vowed that he wouldn't stir one step out of that bed that night. But I argued with him pretty sharp, while I was throwin' on my [page 206] clothes, and I finally got him started up. I hain't deceitful, but I thought, if I got my clothes all on before they came in, I wouldn't tell 'em that I had been to bed that time of day. And I did get all dressed up, even to my handkerchief pin. And I guess they had been there as much as ten minutes before I thought that I hadn't took my night-cap off. They looked dretful curious at me, and I felt awful meachin'. But I jest ketched it off, and never said nothin'. But when Josiah came out of the bedroom, with what little hair he has got standin' out in every direction, no two hairs a layin' the same way, I up and told 'em. I thought mebby they wouldn't stay long. But Deacon Dobbins' folks seemed to be all waked up on the subject of religion, and they proposed we should turn it into a kind of a conference meetin'; so they never went home till after ten o'clock.

It was most eleven o'clock when Josiah and me got to bed agin. And then jest as I was gettin' into a drowse, I heard the cat in the buttery, and I got up to let her out. And that rousted Josiah up, and he thought he heard the cattle in the garden, and he got up and went out. And there we was a marchin' round most all night. And if we would get into a nap, Josiah would think it was mornin', and he would start up and go out to look at the clock. I lost myself once, for I dreampt that Josiah was a droundin', and Deacon Dobbins was on the shore a prayin' for him. It started me so, that I jest ketched hold of Josiah and hollered. It skairt him awfully, and says he, "What does ail you, Samantha? I hain't been asleep before to-night, and now you have rousted me up for good. I wonder what time it is?" And then he got out of bed again, and went out and looked at the clock. It was half-past one, and he said "he didn't believe we had better go to sleep [page 207] again for fear we would be too late for the exertion, and he wouldn't miss that for nothin'."

"Exertion," says I, in a awful cold tone; "I should think we had had exertion enough for one spell."

But I got up at 2 o'clock, and made a cup of tea as strong as I could, for we both felt beat out, worse than if we had watched in sickness.

But, as bad and wore out as Josiah felt bodily, he was all animated in his mind about what a good time he was a goin' to have. He acted foolish, and I told him so. I wanted to wear my brown and black gingham, and a shaker; but Josiah insisted that I should wear a new lawn dress that he had brought me home as a present, and I had got just made up. So, jest to please him, I put it on, and my best bonnet. And that man, all I could do and say, would wear a pair of pantaloons I had been a makin' for Thomas Jefferson. They was gettin' up a military company in Thomas J.'s school, and these pantaloons was white with a blue stripe down the sides, a kind of uniform. Josiah took a awful fancy to 'em; and, says he,

"I will wear 'em, Samantha; they look so dressy."

Says I, "They hain't hardly done. I was goin' to stitch that blue stripe on the left leg on again. They haint finished as they ought to be, and I would not wear 'em. It looks vain in you."

Says he, "I will wear 'em, Samantha. I will be dressed up for once."

I didn't contend with him. Thinks I, we are makin' fools of ourselves by goin' at all, and if he wants to make a little bigger fool of himself, I won't stand in his light. And then I had got some machine oil onto 'em, so I felt that I had got to wash 'em any way, before Thomas J. took 'em to school. So he put 'em on.

[page 208]

I had good vittles, and a sight of 'em. The basket wouldn't hold 'em all. So Josiah had to put a bottle of red rhaspberry jell into the pocket of his dress coat, and lots of other little things, such as spoons, and knives, and forks, in his pantaloons and breast pockets. He looked like Captain Kidd, armed up to the teeth, and I told him so. But, good land, he would have carried a knife in his mouth if I had asked him, he felt so neat about goin', and boasted so, on what a splendid exertion it was going to be.

We got to the lake about eight o'clock, being about the first ones there; but they kep' a comin', and before 10 o'clock we all got there. There was about 20 old fools of us, when we got all collected together. And about 10 o'clock we sot sail for the island. Josiah havin' felt so animated and tickled about the exertion, was worked up awfully when, just after we had got well out onto the lake, the wind took his hat off and blew it away. He had made up his mind to look so pretty that day, and be so dressed up, that it worked him up awfully. And then the sun beat down onto him: and if he had had any hair onto his head it would have seemed more shady. But I did the best I could by him; I stood by him, and pinned on his red bandanna handkerchief onto his head. But as I was a fixin' it on, I see there was something more than mortification that ailed him. The lake was rough, and the boat rocked, and I see he was beginning to be awful sick. He looked deathly. Pretty soon I felt bad too. Oh, the wretchedness of that time! I have enjoyed poor health considerable in my life, but never did I enjoy so much sickness, in so short a time, as I did on that pleasure exertion to the island. I suppose our bein' up all night a'most made it worse. When we reached the island we was both weak as cats.

I set right down on a stun, and held my head for a [page 209] spell, for it did seem as if it would split open. After awhile I staggered up onto my feet, and finally I got so I could walk straight, and sense things a little. Then I began to take the things out of my dinner basket. The butter had all melted, so we had to dip it out with a spoon. And a lot of water had swashed over the side of the boat, so my pies, and tarts, and delicate cake, and cookies, looked awful mixed up, but no worse than the rest of the company's did. But we did the best we could, and begun to make preparations to eat, for the man that owned the boat said he knew it would rain before night, by the way the sun scalded. There wasn't a man or a woman there but what the perspiration jest poured down their faces. We was a haggered and melancholy lookin' set. There was a piece of woods a little ways off, but it was up quite a rise of ground, and there wasn't one of us but what had the rheumatiz, more or less. We made up a fire on the sand, though it seemed as if it was hot enough to steep the tea and coffee as it was.

After we got the fire started, I histed a umberell, and sat down under it, and fanned myself hard, for I was afraid of a sunstroke.

Wal, I guess I had sat there ten minutes or more, when all of a sudden I thought, Where is Josiah? I hadn't seen him since we had got there. I riz right up and asked the company, almost wildly, "If they had seen my companion, Josiah?" They said "No, they hadn't." But Celestine Wilkins' little girl, who had come with her grandpa and grandma Gowdey, spoke up, and says she, "I seen him a goin' off towards the woods; he acted dreadfully strange, too, he seemed to be a walkin' off sideways."

"Had the sufferin's we had undergone made him delirious?" says I to myself; and then I started off on the run towards the woods, and old Miss Bobbet, [page 210] and Miss Gowdey, and Sister Minkley, and Deacon Dobbins' wife, all rushed after me. Oh, the agony of them 2 or 3 minutes, my mind so distracted with forebodin's, and the perspiration a pourin' down. But, all of a sudden, on the edge of the woods we found him. Miss Gowdey weighed 100 pounds less than me; had got a little ahead of me. He sat backed up against a tree in a awful cramped position, with his left leg under him. He looked dretful uncomfortable, but when Miss Gowdey hollered out: "Oh, here you be; we have been skairt about you; what is the matter?" he smiled a dretful sick smile, and says he: "Oh, I thought I would come out here and meditate a spell. It was always a real treat to me to meditate."

Jest then I came up, a pantin' for breath, and as the women all turned to face me, Josiah scowled at me, and shook his fist at them 4 wimmen, and made the most mysterious motions with his hands towards 'em. But the minute they turned 'round he smiled in a sickish way, and pretended to go to whistlin'.

Says I, "What is the matter, Josiah Allen? What are you off here for?"

"I am a meditatin', Samantha."

The wimmen happened to be a lookin' the other way for a minute, and he looked at me as if he would take my head off, and made the strangest motions towards 'em; but the minute they looked at him he would pretend to smile that deathly smile.

Says I, "Come, Josiah Allen, we're goin' to have dinner right away, for we are afraid it will rain."

"Oh, wal," says he, "a little rain, more or less, hain't a goin' to hinder a man from meditatin'."

I was wore out, and says I: "Do you stop meditatin' this minute, Josiah Allen."

Says he: "I won't stop, Samantha. I let you have your way a good deal of the time; but when I [page 211] take it into my head to meditate, you hain't a goin' to break it up."

Says I: "Josiah Allen, come to dinner."

"Oh, I hain't hungry," says he. "The table will probably be full. I had jest as leves wait."

"Table full!" says I. "You know jest as well as I do that we are eatin' on the ground. Do you come and eat your dinner this minute."

"Yes, do come," says Miss Bobbet.

"Oh," says he, with that ghastly smile, a pretendin' to joke; "I have got plenty to eat here, I can eat muskeeters."

The air was black with 'em; I couldn't deny it.

"The muskeeters will eat you, more likely," says I. "Look at your face and hands."

"Yes, they have eat considerable of a dinner out of me, but I don't begrech 'em. I hain't small enough, I hope, to begrech 'em one meal."

Miss Bobbet and the rest turned to go back, and the minute we were alone he said:

"Can't you bring 40 or 50 more wimmen up here? You couldn't come here a minute without a lot of other wimmen tied to your heels!"

I began to see daylight, and then Josiah told me.

It seems he had set down on that bottle of rhaspberry jell. That blue stripe on the side wasn't hardly finished, as I said, and I hadn't fastened my thread properly; so when he got to pullin' at 'em to try to wipe off the jell, the thread started, and bein' sewed on a machine, that seam jest ripped right open from top to bottom. That was what he had walked off sideways towards the woods for. Josiah Allen's wife hain't one to desert a companion in distress. I pinned 'em up as well as I could, and I didn't say a word to hurt his feelin's, only I jest said this to him, as I was a fixin' 'em: "Josiah Allen, is this [page 212] pleasure?" Says I: "You was determined to come."

"Throw that in my face again, will you? What if I wuz? There goes a pin into my leg. I should think I had suffered enough without your stabbin' of me with pins."

"Wal, then, stand still, and not be a caperin' round so. How do you suppose I can do anything with you a tousin' round so?"

"Wal, don't be so agrevatin', then."

I fixed 'em as well as I could, but they looked pretty bad, and then, there they was all covered with jell, too. What to do I didn't know. But finally I told him I would put my shawl onto him. So I doubled it up corner-ways, as big as I could, so it almost touched the ground behind, and he walked back to the table with me. I told him it was best to tell the company all about it, but he jest put his foot down that he wouldn't, and I told him if he wouldn't that he must make his own excuses to the company about wearin' the shawl. So he told 'em that he always loved to wear summer shawls; he thought it made a man look so dressy.

But he looked as if he would sink all the time he was a sayin' it. They all looked dretful curious at him, and he looked as meachin' as if he had stole a sheep, and he never took a minute's comfort, nor I nuther. He was sick all the way back to the shore, and so was I. And jest as we got into our wagons and started for home, the rain begun to pour down. The wind turned our old umberell inside out in no time. My lawn dress was most spilte before, and now I give up my bunnet. And I says to Josiah:

"This bunnet and dress are spilte, Josiah Allen, and I shall have to buy some new ones."

"Wal! wal! who said you wouldn't?" he snapped out.

[page 213]

But it wore on him. Oh, how the rain poured down. Josiah havin' nothin' but his handkerchief on his head felt it more than I did. I had took a apron to put on a gettin' dinner, and I tried to make him let me pin it on to his head. But says he, firmly:

"I hain't proud and haughty, Samantha, but I do feel above ridin' out with a pink apron on for a hat."

"Wal, then," says I, "get as wet as sop if you had ruther."

I didn't say no more, but there we jest sot and suffered. The rain poured down, the wind howled at us, the old horse went slow, the rheumatiz laid holt of both of us, and the thought of the new bunnet and dress was a wearin' on Josiah, I knew.

After I had beset him about the apron, we didn't say hardly a word for as much as 13 miles or so; but I did speak once, as he leaned forward with the rain a drippin' offen his bandanna handkerchief onto his white pantaloons. I says to him in stern tones:

"Is this pleasure, Josiah Allen?"

He gave the old mare a awful cut, and says he: "I'd like to know what you want to be so agrevatin' for?"

I didn't multiply any more words with him, only as we drove up to our door-step, and he helped me out into a mud puddle, I says to him:

"Mebby you'll hear to me another time, Josiah Allen?"

And I'll bet he will. I hain't afraid to bet a ten-cent bill that that man won't never open his mouth to me again about a Pleasure Exertion.

[page 214]




 IST afther the war, in the year '98,

As soon as the boys wor all scattered and bate,

'Twas the custom, whenever a pisant was got,

To hang him by thrial—barrin' sich as was shot.

There was trial by jury goin' on by daylight,

There was martial-law hangin' the lavins by night.

It's them was hard times for an honest gossoon:

If he missed in the judges—he'd meet a dragoon;

An' whether the sodgers or judges gev sentence,

The divil a much time they allowed for repentance,

An' it's many's the fine boy was then on his keepin'

Wid small share iv restin', or atin', or sleepin',

An' because they loved Erin, an' scorned to sell it,

A prey for the bloodhound, a mark for the bullet—

Unsheltered by night, and unrested by day,

With the heath for their barrack, revenge for their pay;

An' the bravest an' hardiest boy iv them all

Was Shamus O'Brien, from the town iv Glingall.

His limbs were well set, an' his body was light,

An' the keen-fanged hound had not teeth half so white;

But his face was as pale as the face of the dead,

And his cheek never warmed with the blush of the red;

An' for all that he wasn't an ugly young bye,

For the divil himself couldn't blaze with his eye,

So droll an' so wicked, so dark and so bright,

Like a fire-flash that crosses the depth of the night!

An' he was the best mower that ever has been,

An' the illigantest hurler that ever was seen,

An' his dancin' was sich that the men used to stare,

An' the women turn crazy, he done it so quare;

An' by gorra, the whole world gev it into him there.

An' it's he was the boy that was hard to be caught,

An' it's often he run, an' it's often he fought,

An' it's many the one can remember right well

The quare things he done: an' it's often I heerd tell

[page 215]

How he lathered the yeomen, himself agin four,

An' stretched the two strongest on old Galtimore.

But the fox must sleep sometimes, the wild deer must rest,

An' treachery prey on the blood iv the best;

Afther many a brave action of power and pride,

An' many a hard night on the mountain's bleak side,

An' a thousand great dangers and toils over past,

In the darkness of night he was taken at last.

Now, Shamus, look back on the beautiful moon,

For the door of the prison must close on you soon,

An' take your last look at her dim lovely light,

That falls on the mountain and valley this night;

One look at the village, one look at the flood,

An' one at the sheltering, far distant wood;

Farewell to the forest, farewell to the hill,

An' farewell to the friends that will think of you still;

Farewell to the pathern, the hurlin' an' wake,

And farewell to the girl that would die for your sake,

An' twelve sodgers brought him to Maryborough jail,

An' the turnkey resaved him, refusin' all bail;

The fleet limbs wor chained, an' the sthrong hands wor bound,

An' he laid down his length on the cowld prison-ground,

An' the dreams of his childhood kem over him there

As gentle an' soft as the sweet summer air,

An' happy remembrances crowding on ever,

As fast as the foam-flakes dhrift down on the river,

Bringing fresh to his heart merry days long gone by,

Till the tears gathered heavy and thick in his eye.

But the tears didn't fall, for the pride of his heart

Would not suffer one drop down his pale cheek to start;

An' he sprang to his feet in the dark prison cave,

An' he swore with the fierceness that misery gave,

By the hopes of the good, an' the cause of the brave,

That when he was mouldering in the cold grave

His enemies never should have it to boast

His scorn of their vengeance one moment was lost;

His bosom might bleed, but his cheek should be dhry,

For undaunted he lived, and undaunted he'd die.

[page 216]

Well, as soon as a few weeks was over and gone,

The terrible day iv the thrial kem on,

There was sich a crowd there was scarce room to stand,

An' sodgers on guard, an' dhragoons sword-in-hand;

An' the court-house so full that the people were bothered,

An' attorneys an' criers on the point iv bein' smothered;

An' counsellors almost gev over for dead,

An' the jury sittin' up in their box overhead;

An' the judge settled out so detarmined an' big,

With his gown on his back, and an illegant new wig;

An' silence was called, an' the minute it was said

The court was as still as the heart of the dead,

An' they heard but the openin' of one prison lock,

An' Shamus O'Brien kem into the dock.

For one minute he turned his eye round on the throng,

An' he looked at the bars, so firm and so strong,

An' he saw that he had not a hope nor a friend,

A chance to escape, nor a word to defend;

An' he folded his arms as he stood there alone,

As calm and as cold as a statue of stone;

And they read a big writin', a yard long at laste,

An' Jim didn't understand it, nor mind it a taste,

An' the judge took a big pinch iv snuff, and he says,

"Are you guilty or not, Jim O'Brien, av you plase?"

An' all held their breath in the silence of dhread,

An' Shamus O'Brien made answer and said:

"My lord, if you ask me, if in my life-time

I thought any treason, or did any crime

That should call to my cheek, as I stand alone here,

The hot blush of shame, or the coldness of fear,

Though I stood by the grave to receive my death-blow

Before God and the world I would answer you, no!

But if you would ask me, as I think it like,

If in the rebellion I carried a pike,

An' fought for ould Ireland from the first to the close,

An' shed the heart's blood of her bitterest foes,

I answer you, yes; and I tell you again,

Though I stand here to perish, it's my glory that then

In her cause I was willing my veins should run dhry,

An' that now for her sake I am ready to die."

[page 217]

Then the silence was great, and the jury smiled bright,

An' the judge wasn't sorry the job was made light;

By my sowl, it's himself was the crabbed ould chap!

In a twinklin' he pulled on his ugly black cap.

Then Shamus' mother in the crowd standin' by,

Called out to the judge with a pitiful cry:

"O, judge! darlin', don't, O, don't say the word!

The crathur is young, have mercy, my lord;

He was foolish, he didn't know what he was doin';

You don't know him, my lord—O, don't give him to ruin!

He's the kindliest crathur, the tendherest-hearted;

Don't part us forever, we that's so long parted.

Judge, mavourneen, forgive him, forgive him, my lord,

An' God will forgive you—O, don't say the word!"

That was the first minute that O'Brien was shaken,

When he saw that he was not quite forgot or forsaken;

An' down his pale cheeks, at the word of his mother,

The big tears wor runnin' fast, one afther th' other;

An' two or three times he endeavoured to spake,

But the sthrong, manly voice used to falther and break;

But at last, by the strength of his high-mounting pride,

He conquered and masthered his grief's swelling tide,

"An'," says he, "mother, darlin', don't break your poor heart,

For, sooner or later, the dearest must part;

And God knows it's betther than wandering in fear

On the bleak, trackless mountain, among the wild deer,

To lie in the grave, where the head, heart, and breast,

From thought, labour, and sorrow, forever shall rest.

Then, mother, my darlin', don't cry any more,

Don't make me seem broken, in this, my last hour;

For I wish, when my head's lyin' undher the raven,

No thrue man can say that I died like a craven!"

Then towards the judge Shamus bent down his head,

An' that minute the solemn death-sentince was said.

The mornin' was bright, an' the mists rose on high,

An' the lark whistled merrily in the clear sky;

But why are the men standin' idle so late?

An' why do the crowds gather fast in the street?

[page 218]

What come they to talk of? what come they to see?

An' why does the long rope hang from the cross-tree?

O, Shamus O'Brien! pray fervent and fast,

May the saints take your soul, for this day is your last;

Pray fast an' pray sthrong, for the moment is nigh,

When, sthrong, proud, an' great as you are, you must die.

An' fasther an' fasther, the crowd gathered there,

Boys, horses, and gingerbread, just like a fair;

An' whiskey was sellin', and cussamuck too,

An' ould men and young women enjoying the view.

An' ould Tim Mulvany, he med the remark,

There wasn't sich a sight since the time of Noah's ark,

An' be gorry, 'twas thrue for him, for devil sich a scruge,

Sich divarshin and crowds, was known since the deluge,

For thousands were gathered there, if there was one,

Waitin' till such time as the hangin' 'id come on.

At last they threw open the big prison-gate,

An' out came the sheriffs and sodgers in state,

An' a cart in the middle, an' Shamus was in it,

Not paler, but prouder than ever, that minute.

An' as soon as the people saw Shamus O'Brien,

Wid prayin' and blessin', and all the girls cryin',

A wild wailin' sound kem on by degrees,

Like the sound of the lonesome wind blowin' through trees.

On, on to the gallows the sheriffs are gone,

An' the cart an' the sodgers go steadily on;

An' at every side swellin' around of the cart,

A wild, sorrowful sound, that id open your heart.

Now under the gallows the cart takes its stand,

An' the hangman gets up with the rope in his hand;

An' the priest, havin' blest him, goes down on the ground,

An' Shamus O'Brien throws one last look round.

Then the hangman dhrew near, an' the people grew still,

Young faces turned sickly, and warm hearts turn chill;

An' the rope bin' ready, his neck was made bare,

For the gripe iv the life-strangling chord to prepare;

An' the good priest has left him, havin' said his last prayer,

But the good priest done more, for his hands he unbound,

And with one daring spring Jim has leaped on the ground;

[page 219]

Bang! bang! goes the carbines, and clash goes the sabres;

He's not down! he's alive still! now stand to him, neighbours!

Through the smoke and the horses he's into the crowd,—

By the heavens, he's free!—than thunder more loud,

By one shout from the people the heavens were shaken—

One shout that the dead of the world might awaken.

The sodgers ran this way, the sheriffs ran that,

An' Father Malone lost his new Sunday hat;

To-night he'll be sleepin' in Aherloe Glin,

An' the divil's in the dice if you catch him ag'in.

Your swords they may glitter, your carbines go bang,

But if you want hangin', it's yourself you must hang.

He has mounted his horse, and soon he will be

In America, darlint, the land of the free.


The "Colored Debating Society" of Mount Vernon, Ohio, had some very interesting meetings. The object of the argument on a particular evening was the settlement, at once and forever, of the question.

Mr. Larkins said about as follows: "Mr. Chaarman, what's de use ob a swoard unless you's gwyne to waar? Who's hyar dat's gwyne to waar? I isn't, Mr. Morehouse isn't, Mrs. Morehouse isn't, Mr. Newsome isn't; I'll bet no feller wot speaks on the swoard side is any ideer ob gwyne to waar. Den, what's de use ob de swoard? I don't tink dar's much show for argument in de matter."

Mr. Lewman said: "What's de use ob de pen 'less you knows how to write? How's dat? Dat's what I wants to know. Look at de chillun ob [page 220] Isr'l—wasn't but one man in de whole crowd gwine up from Egyp' to de Promis' Lan' cood write, an' he didn't write much. [A voice in the audience, "Who wrote de ten comman'ments, anyhow, you bet." Cheers from the pen side.] Wrote 'em? wrote 'em? Not much; guess not; not on stone, honey. Might p'r'aps cut 'em wid a chisel. Broke 'em all, anyhow, 'fore he got down de hill. Den when he cut a new set, de chillun ob Isr'l broke 'em all again. Say he did write 'em, what good was it? So his pen no 'count nohow. No, saar. De swoard's what fotched 'em into de Promis' Lan', saar. Why, saar, it's ridiculous. Tink, saar, ob David a-cuttin' off Goliah's head wid a pen, saar! De ideer's altogedder too 'posterous, saar. De swoard, saar, de swoard mus' win de argument, saar."

Dr. Crane said: "I tink Mr. Lewman a leetle too fas'. He's a-speakin' ob de times in de dim pas', when de mind ob man was crude, an' de han' ob man was in de ruff state, an' not tone down to de refinement ob cibilized times. Dey wasn't educated up to de use ob de pen. Deir han's was only fit for de ruff use ob de swoard. Now, as de modern poet says, our swoards rust in deir cubbards, an' peas, sweet peas, cover de lan'. An' what has wrot all dis change? De pen. Do I take a swoard now to get me a peck ob sweet taters, a pair ob chickens, a pair ob shoes? No, saar. I jess take my pen an' write an order for 'em. Do I want money? I don't git it by de edge ob de swoard; I writes a check. I want a suit ob clothes, for instance—a stroke ob de pen, de mighty pen, de clothes is on de way. I'se done."

Mr. Newsome said: "Wid all due 'spect to de learned gemman dat's jus' spoke, we mus' all agree dat for smoovin' tings off an' a-levelin' tings down, dere's notting equals de swoard."

Mr. Hunnicut said: "I agrees entirely wid Mr. [page 221] Newsome; an' in answer to what Dr. Crane says, I would jess ask what's de use ob drawin' a check unless you's got de money in de bank, or a-drawin' de order on de store unless de store truss you? S'pose de store do truss, ain't it easier to sen' a boy as to write a order? If you got no boy handy, telegraf. No use for a pen—not a bit. Who ebber heard of Mr. Hill's pen? Nobody, saar. But his swoard, saar—de swoard ob ole Bunker Hill, saar—is known to ebbery chile in de lan'. If it hadden been for de swoard ob ole Bunker Hill, saar, whaar'd we niggers be to-night, saar? whaar, saar? Not hyar, saar. In Georgia, saar, or wuss, saar. No cullud man, saar, should ebber go back, saar, on de swoard, saar."

Mr. Hunnicut's remarks seemed to carry a good deal of weight with the audience. After speeches by a number of others, the subject was handed over to the "committee," who carried it out and "sot on it." In due time they returned with the followin' decision:

"De committee decide dat de swoard has de most pints an' de best backin', an' dat de pen is de most beneficial, an' dat de whole ting is about a stan'-off."




Y ES, I've had a good many fights in my time," said old John Parky, tenderly manipulating his dismantled nose, "and it's kind of queer, too, for when I was a boy the old man was always telling me better. He was a good man and hated fighting. [page 222] When I would come home with my nose bleeding or with my face scratched up, he used to call me out in the woodshed, and in a sorrowful and discouraged way say, 'So, Johnny, you've had another fight, hey? How many times have I got to tell ye how disgraceful and wicked it is for boys to fight? It was only yesterday that I talked to you an hour about the sin of fighting, and here you've been at it again. Who was it with this time? With Tommy Kelly, hey? Don't you know any better than to fight a boy that weighs twenty pounds more than you do, besides being two years older? Ain't you got a spark of sense about ye? I can see plainly that you are determined to break your poor father's heart by your reckless conduct. What ails your finger? Tommy bit it? Drat the little fool! Didn't ye know enough to keep your finger out of his mouth? Was trying to jerk his cheek off, hey? Won't you never learn to quit foolin' 'round a boy's mouth with yer fingers? You're bound to disgrace us all by such wretched behaviour. You're determined never to be nobody. Did you ever hear of Isaac Watts—that wrote, "Let dogs delight to bark and bite"—sticking his fingers in a boy's mouth to get 'em bit, like a fool? I'm clean discouraged with ye. Why didn't ye go for his nose, the way Jonathan Edwards, and George Washington, and Daniel Webster used to do, when they was boys? Couldn't 'cause he had ye down? That's a purty story to tell me. It does beat all that you can't learn how Socrates and William Penn used to gouge when they was under, after the hours and hours I've spent in telling you about those great men! It seems to me sometimes as if I should have to give you up in despair. It's an awful trial to me to have a boy that don't pay any attention to good example, nor to what I say. What! You pulled out three or four handfuls of his hair? H'm! Did [page 223] he squirm any? Now if you'd a give him one or two in the eye—but as I've told ye many a time, fighting is poor business. Won't you—for your father's sake—won't you promise to try and remember that? H'm! Johnny, how did it—ahem—which licked?"

"'You licked him? Sho! Really? Well, now, I hadn't any idea you could lick that Tommy Kelly! I don't believe John Bunyan, at ten years old, could have done it. Johnny, my boy, you can't think how I hate to have you fighting every day or two. I wouldn't have had him lick you for five, no, not for ten dollars! Now, sonny, go right in and wash up, and tell your mother to put a rag on your finger. And, Johnny, don't let me hear of your fighting again!'"

"I never see anybody so down on fighting as the old man, was, but somehow he never could break me from it."



Additional effect may be given to this piece by any one who can impersonate the old man.


  ELL, wife, I've been to church to-day—been to a stylish one—

And, seein' you can't go from home, I'll tell you what was done;

You would have been surprised to see what I saw there to-day;

The sisters were fixed up so fine they hardly bowed to pray.

I had on these coarse clothes of mine, not much the worse for wear,

But then they knew I wasn't one they call a millionaire;

So they led the old man to a seat away back by the door—

[page 224]

'Twas bookless and uncushioned—a reserved seat for the poor.

Pretty soon in came a stranger with gold ring and clothing fine;

They led him to a cushioned seat far in advance of mine.

I thought that wasn't exactly right to seat him up so near,

When he was young, and I was old and very hard to hear.

But then there's no accountin' for what some people do;

The finest clothing nowadays oft gets the finest pew,

But when we reach the blessed home, all undefiled by sin,

We'll see wealth beggin' at the gate, while poverty goes in.

I couldn't hear the sermon, I sat so far away,

So, through the hours of service, I could only "watch and pray;"

Watch the doin's of the Christians sitting near me, round about;

Pray God to make them pure within, as they were pure without.

While I sat there, lookin' 'round upon the rich and great,

I kept thinkin' of the rich man and the beggar at his gate;

How, by all but dogs forsaken, the poor beggar's form grew cold,

And the angels bore his spirit to the mansions built of gold.

How, at last, the rich man perished, and his spirit took its flight,

From the purple and fine linen to the home of endless night;

There he learned, as he stood gazin' at the beggar in the sky,

"It isn't all of life to live, nor all of death to die."

I doubt not there were wealthy sires in that religious fold,

Who went up from their dwellings like the Pharisee of old,

Then returned home from their worship, with a head uplifted high,

To spurn the hungry from their door, with naught to satisfy.

Out, out with such professions! they are doin' more to-day

To stop the weary sinner from the Gospel's shinin' way

[page 225]

Than all the books of infidels; than all that has been tried

Since Christ was born at Bethlehem—since Christ was crucified.

How simple are the works of God, and yet how very grand;

The shells in ocean caverns, the flowers on the land;

He gilds the clouds of evenin' with the gold right from his throne,

Not for the rich man only—not for the poor alone.

Then why should man look down on man because of lack of gold?

Why seat him in the poorest pew because his clothes are old?

A heart with noble motives—a heart that God has blest—

May be beatin' Heaven's music 'neath that faded coat and vest.

I'm old—I may be childish—but I love simplicity;

I love to see it shinin' in a Christian's piety.

Jesus told us in His sermons in Judea's mountains wild,

He that wants to go to Heaven must be like a little child.

Our heads are growin' gray, dear wife; our hearts are beatin' slow;

In a little while the Master will call us for to go.

When we reach the pearly gateways, and look in with joyful eyes,

We'll see no stylish worship in the temple of the skies.



A companion to the foregoing.


  ELL, wife, I've found the model church! I worshipped there to-day!

It made me think of good old times before my hairs were gray;

The meetin' house was fixed up more than they were years ago,

But then I felt, when I went in, it wasn't built for show.

[page 226]

The sexton didn't seat me away back by the door;

He knew that I was old and deaf, as well as old and poor;

He must have been a Christian, for he led me boldly through

The long isle of that crowded church to find a pleasant pew.

I wish you'd heard the singin'; it had the old-time ring;

The preacher said, with trumpet voice: "Let all the people sing!"

The tune was "Coronation," and the music upward rolled,

Till I thought I heard the angels striking all their harps of gold.

My deafness seemed to melt away; my spirit caught the fire;

I joined my feeble, trembling voice with that melodious choir,

And sang as in my youthful days: "Let angels prostrate fall;

Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all."

I tell you, wife, it did me good to sing that hymn once more;

I felt like some wrecked mariner who gets a glimpse of shore;

I almost wanted to lay down this weather-beaten form,

And anchor in that blessed port, forever from the storm.

The prechen'? Well, I can't just tell all that the preacher said;

I know it wasn't written; I know it wasn't read;

He hadn't time to read it, for the lightnin' of his eye

Went flashin' 'long from pew to pew, nor passed a sinner by.

The sermon wasn't flowery; 'twas simple Gospel truth;

It fitted poor old men like me; it fitted hopeful youth;

'Twas full of consolation for weary hearts that bleed;

'Twas full of invitations to Christ and not to creed.

The preacher made sin hideous in Gentiles and in Jews;

He shot the golden sentences down in the finest pews;

And—though I can't see very well—I saw the falling tear

That told me hell was some ways off, and heaven very near.

How swift the golden moments fled within that holy place;

[page 227]

How brightly beamed the light of heaven from every happy face;

Again I longed for that sweet time when friend shall meet with friend,

"When congregations ne'er break up, and Sabbath has no end."

I hope to meet that minister—that congregation, too—

In that dear home beyond the stars that shine from heaven's blue;

I doubt not I'll remember, beyond life's evenin' gray,

The happy hour of worship in that model church to-day.

Dear wife, the fight will soon be fought—the victory soon be won;

The shinin' goal is just ahead; the race is nearly run;

O'er the river we are nearin', they are throngin' to the shore,

To shout our safe arrival where the weary weep no more.




N OW, ladies and gentlemen, I have the honour of putting up a fine pocket-handkerchief, a yard wide, a yard long, and almost a yard thick; one-half cotton, and t'other half cotton too, beautifully printed with stars and stripes on one side, and the stripes and stars on t'other. It will wipe dust from the eyes so completely as to be death to demagogues, and make politics as bad a business as printing papers. Its great length, breadth and thickness, together with its dark colour, will enable it to hide dirt, and never need washing. Going at one dollar? seventy-five cents? fifty cents? twenty-five cents? one bit? Nobody wants it! Oh, thank you, sir! Next, gentlemen—for the ladies won't be permitted to bid on this [page 228] article—is a real, simon pure, tempered, highly-polished, keen-edged Sheffield razor; bran spanking new; never opened before to sunlight, moonlight, starlight, daylight or gaslight; sharp enough to shave a lawyer or cut a disagreeable acquaintance or poor relation; handle of buck-horn, with all the rivets but the two at the ends of pure gold. Who will give two dollars? one dollar? half a dollar? Why, ye long-bearded, dirty-faced reprobates, with not room on your phizzes for a Chinese woman to kiss, I'm offering you a bargain at half a dollar! Well, I'll throw in this strop at half a dollar! razor and strop! a recent patent; two rubs upon it will sharpen the city attorney; all for four bits; and a piece of soap, sweeter than roses, lathers better than a school-master, and strong enough to wash all the stains from a California politician's countenance, all for four bits. Why, you have only to put the razor, strop and soap under your pillow at night, and wake up in the morning clean shaved. Won't anybody give two bits, then, for the lot? I knew I would sell them! Next, ladies and gentlemen, I offer three pair socks, hose, stockings, or half-hose, just as you're a mind to call them, knit by a machine made on purpose, out of cotton wool. The man that buys these will be enabled to walk till he gets tired; and, provided his boots are big enough, needn't have any corns; the legs are as long as bills against the corporation, and as thick as the heads of the members of the legislature. Who wants 'em at one half dollar? Thank-ee, madame, the money. Next I offer you a pair of boots made especially for San Francisco, with heels long enough to raise a man up to the Hoadley grades, and nails to ensure against being carried over by a land slide; legs wide enough to carry two revolvers and a bowie-knife, and the upper of the very best horse leather. A man in these [page 229] boots can move about as easy as the State Capitol. Who says twenty dollars? All the tax-payers ought to buy a pair to kick the council with, everybody ought to buy a pair to kick the legislature with, and they will be found of assistance in kicking the bucket especially if somebody should kick at being kicked. Ten dollars for legs, uppers and soles! while souls, and miserable souls at that, are bringing twenty thousand dollars in Sacramento! Ten dollars! ten dollars! gone at ten dollars! Next is something that you ought to have, gentlemen,—a lot of good gallowses—sometimes called suspenders. I know that some of you will, after a while, be furnished at the State's expense, but you can't tell which one, so buy where they're cheap. All that deserve to be hanged are not supplied with a gallows; if so, there would be nobody to make laws, condemn criminals, or hang culprits, until a new election. Made of pure gum-elastic—stretch like a judge's conscience, and last as long as a California office-holder will steal; buckles of pure iron, and warranted to hold so tight that no man's wife can rob him of his breeches; are, in short, as strong, as good, as perfect, as effectual and as bona-fide as the ordinance against Chinese shops on Dupont Street—gone at twenty-five cents.



'VE heard a good joke on Emerald Pat,

Who kept a few brains and a brick in his hat;

He was bound to go hunting; so taking his gun

He rammed down a charge—this was load number one;

Then he put in the priming, and when all was done,

By way of experiment, he thought he would try

And see if by perchance he might hit the "bull's eye."

[page 230]

He straightened himself until he made a good figure,

Took a deliberate aim and then pulled the trigger.

Click! went the hammer, but nothing exploded;

"And sure," muttered Paddy, "the gun isn't loaded."

So down went another charge, just as before,

Unless this contained a grain or two more;

Once more he made ready and took a good aim

And pulled on the trigger—effect quite the same.

"I wonder, can this be, still shootin'?" said Pat;

"I put down a load, now I'm certain of that;

I'll try it again, and then we shall see!"

So down went the cartridge of load number three.

Then trying again with a confident air,

And succeeding no better, he gave up in despair.

Just at that moment he happened to spy

His friend, Michael Milligan, hurrying by.

"Hello, Mike! Come here and try on my gun;

I've been trying to shoot until I'm tired and done!"

So Mike took the gun and picked up the powder,

Remarking to Pat, "it would make it go louder."

Then placing it firmly against his right arm,

And never suspecting it might do him harm,

He pointed the piece in the proper direction,

And pulled on the trigger without more reflection,

When off went the gun like a county election

Where whisky and gin have exclusive selection

Of those who are chosen to guard the inspection—

There's a great deal of noise—and some little inspection,

And Michael "went off" in another direction.

"Hold on!" shouted Pat, "Hold on to the gun,

I put in three loads, and you fired off but one!

Get up, and be careful, don't hold it so level,

Or else we are both us gone to the—cemetery!"

"I'm goin'," says Michael, "it's time that I wint,

I've got meself kicked and I'll just take the hint."

Now, old boys, and young, here's a moral for you;

Don't make Pat your pattern whatever you do.

Don't carry too much in the crown of your hat;

Of all things you lodge there beware of the bat!

[page 231]

I don't mean the little mouse flying in the air,

The ladies so fear that may get into their hair,

But the dangerous brick bat, so much worse than that,

Nobody can wear it that isn't a "flat,"

And then don't forget it is one of Old Nick's

Diabolical methods of playing his tricks

On foolish young men who become "perfect bricks;"

He don't give the hint until after he kicks!




ELL me not, in mournful numbers,

"Life is but an empty dream!"

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"

Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way;

But to act that each to-morrow,

Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,

Still, like muffled drums, are beating,

Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle.

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!

[page 232]

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!

Let the dead Past bury its dead!

Act—act in the living Present!

Heart within, and God o'erhead.

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time.

Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o'er life's solemn main,

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing

Learn to labour and to wait.




A LL worldly shapes shall melt in gloom, the sun himself must die, before this mortal shall assume its immortality! I saw a vision in my sleep that gave my spirit strength to sweep adown the gulf of Time! I saw the last of human mould that shall Creation's death behold, as Adam saw her prime! The Sun's eye had a sickly glare, the earth with age was wan; the skeletons of nations were around that lonely man! Some had expired in fight—the brands still rusted in their bony hands; in plague and famine some. Earth's cities had no sound or tread, and ships were drifting with the dead to shores where all was dumb. Yet, prophet-like, that Lone [page 233] One stood, with dauntless words and high, that shook the sere leaves from the wood as if a storm passed by, saying—"We are twins in death, proud Sun! thy face is cold, thy race is run, 'tis mercy bids thee go; for thou ten thousand years hast seen the tide of human tears—that shall no longer flow. What though beneath thee, man put forth his pomp, his pride, his skill; and arts that made fire, flood, and earth, the vassals of his will?—yet mourn I not thy parted sway, thou dim, discrownèd king of day; for all those trophied arts and triumphs, that beneath thee sprang, healed not a passion or a pang entailed on human hearts. Go! let Oblivion's curtain fall upon the stage of men! nor with thy rising beams recall life's tragedy again! Its piteous pageants bring not back, nor waken flesh upon the rack of pain anew to writhe, stretched in Disease's shapes abhorred, or mown in battle by the sword, like grass beneath the scythe! Even I am weary in yon skies to watch thy fading fire: test of all sumless agonies, behold not me expire! My lips, that speak thy dirge of death, their rounded gasp and gurgling breath to see, thou shalt not boast; the eclipse of Nature spreads my pall, the majesty of Darkness shall receive my parting ghost! The spirit shall return to Him who gave its heavenly spark; yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim when thou thyself art dark! No! it shall live again, and shine in bliss unknown to beams of thine; by Him recalled to breath, who captive led captivity, who robbed the grave of victory, and took the sting from Death! Go, Sun, while mercy holds me up on Nature's awful waste, to drink this last and bitter cup of grief that man shall taste,—go! tell the night that hides thy face thou saw'st the last of Adam's race on earth's sepulchral clod, the darkening universe defy to quench his immortality, or shake his trust in God!"

[page 234]




A.D. 1154-1864.


STRONG and mighty Angel,

Calm, terrible and bright,

The cross in blended red and blue

Upon his mantle white!

Two captives by him kneeling,

Each on his broken chain,

Sang praise to God who raiseth

The dead to life again!

Dropping his cross-wrought mantle,

"Wear this," the Angel said;

"Take thou, O Freedom's priest, its sign—

The white, the blue, the red."

Then rose up John de Matha

In the strength the Lord Christ gave,

And begged through all the land of France

The ransom of the slave.

The gates of tower and castle

Before him open flew,

The drawbridge at his coming fell,

The door-bolt backward drew.

For all men owned his errand,

And paid his righteous tax;

And the hearts of lord and peasant

Were in his hands as wax.

At last, outbound from Tunis,

His bark her anchor weighed,

Freighted with seven score Christian souls

Whose ransom he had paid.

[page 235]

But, torn by Paynim hatred,

Her sails in tatters hung;

And on the wild waves rudderless,

A shattered hulk she swung.

"God save us!" cried the captain,

For naught can man avail:

O, woe betide the ship that lacks

Her rudder and her sail!

"Behind us are the Moormen;

At sea we sink or strand:

There's death upon the water,

There's death upon the land!"

Then up spake John de Matha:

"God's errands never fail!

Take thou the mantle which I wear,

And make of it a sail."

They raised the cross-wrought mantle,

The blue, the white, the red;

And straight before the wind off-shore

The ship of Freedom sped.

"God help us!" cried the seamen,

"For vain is mortal skill;

The good ship on a stormy sea

Is drifting at its will."

Then up spake John de Matha:

"My mariners, never fear!

The Lord whose breath has filled her sail

May well our vessel steer!"

So on through storm and darkness

They drove for weary hours;

And lo! the third gray morning shone

On Ostia's friendly towers.

And on the walls the watchers

The ship of mercy knew—

[page 236]

They knew far off its holy cross,

The red, the white, the blue.

And the bells in all the steeples

Rang out in glad accord,

To welcome home to Christian soil

The ransomed of the Lord.

So runs the ancient legend

By bard and painter told;

And lo! the cycle rounds again,

The new is as the old!

With rudder foully broken,

And sails by traitors torn,

Our country on a midnight sea

Is waiting for the morn.

Before her, nameless terror;

Behind, the pirate foe;

The clouds are black above her,

The sea is white below.

The hope of all who suffer,

The dread of all who wrong,

She drifts in darkness and in storm,

How long, O Lord! how long?

But courage, O my mariners!

Ye shall not suffer wreck,

While up to God the freedman's prayers

Are rising from your deck.

Is not your sail the banner

Which God hath blest anew,

The mantle that de Matha wore,

The red, the white, the blue?

Its hues are all of heaven—

The red of sunset's dye

The whiteness of the moonlit cloud,

The blue of morning's sky.

[page 237]

Wait cheerily, then, O mariners,

For daylight and for land;

The breath of God is on your sail,

Your rudder in His hand.

Sail on, sail on, deep freighted

With blessings and with hopes;

The saints of old with shadowy hands

Are pulling at your ropes.

Behind ye, holy martyrs

Uplift the palm and crown;

Before ye, unborn ages send

Their benedictions down.

Take heart from John de Matha!—

God's errands never fail!

Sweep on through storm and darkness,

The thunder and the hail!

Sail on! The morning cometh,

The port ye yet shall win;

And all the bells of God shall ring

The good ship bravely in!




  HENCE come those shrieks so wild and shrill,

That cut, like blades of steel, the air,

Causing the creeping blood to chill

With the sharp cadence of despair?

Again they come, as if a heart

Were cleft in twain by one quick blow,

And every string had voice apart

To utter its peculiar woe.

[page 238]

Whence came they? from yon temple where

An altar, raised for private prayer,

Now forms the warrior's marble bed

Who Warsaw's gallant armies led.

The dim funereal tapers throw

A holy lustre o'er his brow,

And burnish with their rays of light

The mass of curls that gather bright

Above the haughty brow and eye

Of a young boy that's kneeling by.

What hand is that, whose icy press

Clings to the dead with death's own grasp,

But meets no answering caress?

No thrilling fingers seek its clasp?

It is the hand of her whose cry

Rang wildly, late, upon the air,

When the dead warrior met her eye

Outstretched upon the altar there.

With pallid lip and stony brow

She murmurs forth her anguish now.

But hark! the tramp of heavy feet

Is heard along the bloody street;

Nearer and nearer yet they come

With clanking arms and noiseless drum.

Now whispered curses, low and deep,

Around the holy temple creep;

The gate is burst; a ruffian band

Rush in and savagely demand,

With brutal voice and oath profane,

The startled boy for exile's chain.

The mother sprang with gesture wild,

And to her bosom clasped her child;

Then with pale cheek and flashing eye

Shouted with fearful energy,

"Back, ruffians, back, nor dare to tread

Too near the body of my dead;

Nor touch the living boy—I stand

Between him and your lawless band.

[page 239]

Take me, and bind these arms, these hands,

With Russia's heaviest iron bands,

And drag me to Siberia's wild

To perish, if 'twill save my child!"

"Peace, woman, peace!" the leader cried,

Tearing the pale boy from her side,

And in his ruffian grasp he bore

His victim to the temple door.

"One moment!" shrieked the mother; "one!

Will land or gold redeem my son?

Take heritage, take name, take all,

But leave him free from Russian thrall!

Take these!" and her white arms and hands

She stripped of rings and diamond bands,

And tore from braids of long black hair

The gems that gleamed like starlight there;

Her cross of blazing rubies last

Down at the Russian's feet she cast.

He stooped to seize the glittering store—

Upspringing from the marble floor,

The mother, with a cry of joy,

Snatched to her leaping heart the boy.

But no! the Russian's iron grasp

Again undid the mother's clasp.

Forward she fell, with one long cry

Of more than mortal agony.

But the brave child is roused at length,

And breaking from the Russian's hold,

He stands, a giant in the strength

Of his young spirit, fierce and bold.

Proudly he towers; his flashing eye,

So blue, and yet so bright,

Seems kindled from the eternal sky,

So brilliant is its light.

His curling lips and crimson cheeks

Foretell the thought before he speaks;

With a full voice of proud command

He turned upon the wondering band:

[page 240]

"Ye hold me not! no, no, nor can!

This hour has made the boy a man!

I knelt before my slaughtered sire,

Nor felt one throb of vengeful ire.

I wept upon his marble brow,

Yes, wept! I was a child; but now—

My noble mother, on her knee,

Hath done the work of years for me!"

He drew aside his broidered vest,

And there, like slumbering serpent's crest,

The jeweled haft of poniard bright

Glittered a moment on the sight.

"Ha! start ye back! Fool! coward! knave!

Think ye my noble father's glaive

Would drink the life-blood of a slave?

The pearls that on the handle flame

Would blush to rubies in their shame;

The blade would quiver in thy breast,

Ashamed of such ignoble rest.

No! Thus I rend the tyrant's chain,

And fling him back a boy's disdain!"

A moment and the funeral light

Flashed on the jeweled weapon bright;

Another, and his young heart's blood

Leaped to the floor, a crimson flood.

Quick to his mother's side he sprang,

And on the air his clear voice rang:

"Up, mother, up! I'm free! I'm free!

The choice was death or slavery.

Up, mother, up! Look on thy son!

His freedom is forever won;

And now he waits one holy kiss

To bear his father home in bliss—

One last embrace, one blessing—one!

To prove thou knowest, approvest thy son.

What! silent yet? Canst thou not feel

My warm blood o'er my heart congeal?

Speak, mother, speak! lift up thy head!

What! silent still? Then art thou dead?

[page 241]

——Great God, I thank Thee! Mother, I

Rejoice with thee—and thus—to die!"

One long, deep breath, and his pale head

Lay on his mother's bosom—dead.




W HEN she came to work for the family on Congress street, the lady of the house sat down and told her that agents, book-peddlers, hat-rack men, picture sellers, ash-buyers, rag-men, and all that class of people, must be met at the front door and coldly repulsed, and Sarah said she'd repulse them if she had to break every broomstick in Detroit.

And she did. She threw the door open wide, bluffed right up at 'em, and when she got through talking, the cheekiest agent was only too glad to leave. It got so after awhile that peddlers marked that house, and the door-bell never rang except for company.

The other day, as the girl of the house was wiping off the spoons, the bell rang. She hastened to the door, expecting to see a lady, but her eyes encountered a slim man, dressed in black and wearing a white necktie. He was the new minister, and was going around to get acquainted with the members of his flock, but Sarah wasn't expected to know this.


"Git!" exclaimed Sarah, pointing to the gate.

"Beg pardon, but I would like to see—see—"

"Meander!" she shouted, looking around for a weapon; "we don't want any flour-sifters here!"

[page 242]

"You're mistaken," he replied, smiling blandly. "I called to—"

"Don't want anything to keep moths away—fly!" she exclaimed, getting red in the face.

"Is the lady in?" he inquired, trying to look over Sarah's head.

"Yes, the lady is in, and I'm in, and you are out!" she snapped; "and now I don't want to stand here talking to a fly-trap agent any longer! Come lift your boots!"

"I'm not an agent," he said, trying to smile. "I'm the new—"

"Yes, I know you—you are the new man with the patent flat-iron, but we don't want any, and you'd better go before I call the dog."

"Will you give the lady my card, and say that I called?"

"No, I won't; we are bored to death with cards and handbills and circulars. Come, I can't stand here all day."

"Didn't you know that I was a minister?" he asked as he backed off.

"No, nor I don't know it now; you look like the man who sold the woman next door a dollar chromo for eighteen shillings."

"But here is my card."

"I don't care for cards, I tell you! If you leave that gate open I will have to fling a flower-pot at you!"

"I will call again," he said, as he went through the gate.

"It won't do any good!" she shouted after him; "we don't want no prepared food for infants—no piano music—no stuffed birds! I know the policemen on this beat, and if you come around here again, he'll [page 243] soon find out whether you are a confidence man or a vagrant!"

And she took unusual care to lock the door.




   OLL, toll, toll!

Thou bell by billows swung,

And, night and day, thy warning words

Repeat with mournful tongue!

Toll for the queenly boat,

Wrecked on yon rocky-shore!

Sea-weed is in her palace halls—

She rides the surge no more.

Toll for the master bold,

The high-souled and the brave,

Who ruled her like a thing of life

Amid the crested wave!

Toll for the hardy crew,

Sons of the storm and blast,

Who long the tyrant ocean dared;

But it vanquished them at last.

Toll for the man of God,

Whose hallowed voice of prayer

Rose calm above the stifled groan

Of that intense despair!

How precious were those tones,

On that sad verge of life,

Amid the fierce and freezing storm,

And the mountain billows strife!

Toll for the lover, lost

To the summoned bridal train

Bright glows a picture on his breast,

Beneath th' unfathomed main.

[page 244]

One from her casement gazeth

Long o'er the misty sea:

He cometh not, pale maiden—

His heart is cold to thee?

Toll for the absent sire,

Who to his home drew near,

To bless a glad, expecting group—

Fond wife, and children dear!

They heap the blazing hearth,

The festal board is spread,

But a fearful guest is at the gate:—

Room for the sheeted dead!

Toll for the loved and fair,

The whelmed beneath the tide—

The broken harps around whose strings

The dull sea-monsters glide!

Mother and nursling sweet,

Reft from the household throng;

There's bitter weeping in the nest

Where breathed their soul of song.

Toll for the hearts that bleed

'Neath misery's furrowing trace;

Toll for the hapless orphan left,

The last of all his race!

Yea, with thy heaviest knell,

From surge to rocky shore,

Toll for the living—not the dead,

Whose mortal woes are o'er.

Toll, toll, toll!

O'er breeze and billow free;

And with thy startling lore instruct

Each rover of the sea.

Tell how o'er proudest joys

May swift destruction sweep,

And bid him build his hopes on high—

Lone teacher of the deep!

[page 245]




W EN you come to see a owl cloce it has offle big eyes, and wen you come to feel it with your fingers, wich it bites, you fine it is mosely fethers, with only jus meat enuf to hole 'em to gether.

Once they was a man thot he would like a owl for a pet, so he tole a bird man to send him the bes one in the shop, but wen it was brot he lookt at it and squeezed it, and it diddent sute. So the man he rote to the bird man and said Ile keep the owl you sent, tho it aint like I wanted, but wen it's wore out you mus make me a other, with littler eyes, for I spose these eyes is number twelves, but I want number sixes, and then if I pay you the same price you can aford to put in more owl.

Owls have got to have big eyes cos tha has to be out a good deal at nite a doin bisnis with rats and mice, wich keeps late ours. They is said to be very wise, but my sisters young man he says any boddy coud be wise if they woud set up nites to take notice.

That feller comes to our house jest like he used to, only more, and wen I ast him wy he come so much he said he was a man of sience, like me, and was a studyin arnithogaly, which was birds. I ast him wot birds he was a studyin, and he said anjils, and wen he said that my sister she lookt out the winder and said wot a fine day it had turn out to be. But it was a rainin cats and dogs wen she said it. I never see such a goose in my life as that girl, but Uncle Ned, wich has been in ole parts of the worl, he says they is jes that way in Pattygong.

In the picture alphabets the O is some times a owl, and some times it is a ox, but if I made the picters Ide have it stan for a oggur to bore holes with. I [page 246] tole that to ole gaffer Peters once wen he was to our house lookin at my new book, and he said you is right, Johnny, and here is this H stan for harp, but hoo cares for a harp, wy don't they make it stan for a horgan? He is such a ole fool.



[In reciting this sweetly beautiful little poem its noble truths should be uttered with emphatic, but not noisy elocution. There is sufficient variety in the different stanzas for the speaker to display much taste and feeling.]


OD might have bade the earth bring forth

Enough for great and small,

The oak-tree and the cedar-tree,

Without a flower at all.

We might have had enough, enough

For every want of ours,

For luxury, medicine and toil,

And yet have had no flowers.

The one within the mountain mine

Requireth none to grow;

Nor does it need the lotus-flower

To make the river flow.

The clouds might give abundant rain;

The nightly dews might fall,

And the herb that keepeth life in man

Might yet have drunk them all.

Then wherefore, wherefore were they made,

All dyed with rainbow-light,

[page 247]

All fashioned with supremest grace

Upspringing day and night:—

Springing in valleys green and low,

And on the mountains high,

And in the silent wilderness

Where no man passes by?

Our outward life requires them not—

Then wherefore had they birth?—

To minister delight to man,

To beautify the earth;

To comfort man—to whisper hope,

Whene'er his faith is dim,

For who so careth for the flowers

Will much more care for him!



G OOD morning, Doctor; how do you do? I haint quite so well as I have been; but I think I'm some better than I was. I don't think that last medicine you gin me did me much good. I had a terrible time with the ear-ache last night; my wife got up and drapt a few draps of Walnut sap into it, and that relieved it some; but I didn't get a wink of sleep till nearly daylight. For nearly a week, Doctor, I've had the worst kind of a narvous head-ache; it has been so bad sometimes that I thought my head would bust open. Oh, dear! I sometimes think that I'm the most afflictedest human that ever lived.

Since this cold weather sot in, that troublesome cough, that I have had every winter for the last fifteen year, has began to pester me agin.

(Coughs.)  Doctor, do you think you can give me [page 248] anything that will relieve this desprit pain I have in my side?

Then I have a crick, at times, in the back of my neck so that I can't turn my head without turning the hull of my body.   (Coughs.)

Oh, dear! What shall I do! I have consulted almost every doctor in the country, but they don't any of them seem to understand my case. I have tried everything that I could think of; but I can't find anything that does me the leastest good.   (Coughs.)

Oh this cough—it will be the death of me yet! You know I had my right hip put out last fall at the rising of Deacon Jones' saw mill; its getting to be very troublesome just before we have a change of weather. Then I've got the sciatica in my right knee, and sometimes I'm so crippled up that I can hardly crawl round in any fashion.

What do you think that old white mare of ours did while I was out plowing last week? Why, the weacked old critter, she kept a backing and backing, on till she back'd me right up agin the colter, and knock'd a piece of skin off my shin nearly so big.   (Coughs.)

But I had a worse misfortune than that the other day, Doctor. You see it was washing-day—and my wife wanted me to go out and bring in a little stove-wood—you know we lost our help lately, and my wife has to wash and tend to everything about the house herself.

I knew it wouldn't be safe for me to go out—as it was a raining at the time—but I thought I'd risk it any how. So I went out, pick'd up a few chunks of stove-wood, and was a coming up the steps into the house, when my feet slipp'd from under me, and I fell down as sudden as if I'd been shot. Some of the wood lit upon my face, broke down the bridge [page 249] of my nose, cut my upper lip, and knock'd out three of my front teeth. I suffered dreadfully on account of it, as you may suppose, and my face ain't well enough yet to make me fit to be seen, specially by the women folks.   (Coughs.)   Oh, dear! but that ain't all, Doctor, I've got fifteen corns on my toes—and I'm afeard I'm a going to have the "yallar janders."   (Coughs.)



[This sweetly mournful refrain, should be delivered with sad earnestness; as though the speaker was describing the fate of his own family.]


   HEY grew in beauty side by side,

They filled our home with glee;

Their graves are severed, far and wide,

By mount, and stream, and sea.

The same fond mother bent at night

O'er each fair sleeping brow;

She had each folded flower in sight,

Where are those dreamers now?

One, 'midst the forests of the West,

By a dark stream is laid,—

The Indian knows his place of rest,

Far in the cedar shade.

The sea, the blue lone sea, hath one,

He lies where pearls lie deep;

He was the loved of all, but none

O'er his low bed may weep.

One sleeps where southern vines are drest

Above the noble slain:

He wrapt his colours round his breast,

On a blood-red field of Spain.

[page 250]

And one—o'er her the myrtle showers

Its leaves, by soft winds fanned;

She faded 'midst Italian flowers,—

The last of that bright band.

And parted thus they rest, who played

Beneath the same green tree;

Whose voices mingled as they prayed

Around one parent knee!

They that with smiles lit up the hall,

And cheered with song the hearth,—

Alas! for love, if thou wert all,

And nought beyond, oh, earth!



P LEDGE with wine—pledge with wine!" cried the young and thoughtless Harry Wood. "Pledge with wine," ran through the brilliant crowd.

The beautiful bride grew pale—the decisive hour had come, she pressed her white hands together, and the leaves of her bridal wreath trembled on her pure brow; her breath came quicker, her heart beat wilder.

"Yes, Marion, lay aside your scruples for this once," said the Judge, in a low tone, going towards his daughter; "the company expect it, do not so seriously infringe upon the rules of etiquette;—in your own house act as you please; but in mine, for this once please me."

Every eye was turned towards the bridal pair. Marion's principles were well known. Henry had been a convivialist, but of late his friends noticed the change in his manners, the difference in his [page 251] habits—and to-night they watched him to see, as they sneeringly said, if he was tied down to a woman's opinion so soon.

Pouring a brimming beaker, they held it with tempting smiles toward Marion. She was very pale, though more composed, and her hand shook not, as smiling back, she gratefully accepted the crystal tempter and raised it to her lips. But scarcely had she done so when every hand was arrested by her piercing exclamation of "Oh, how terrible!" "What is it?" cried one and all, thronging together, for she had slowly carried the glass at arm's length, and was fixedly regarding it as though it were some hideous object.

"Wait," she answered, while an inspired light shone from her dark eyes, "wait and I will tell you. I see," she added, slowly pointing one jewelled finger at the sparkling ruby liquid, "A sight that beggars all description; and yet listen; I will paint it for you if I can: It is a lonely spot; tall mountains, crowned with verdure, rise in awful sublimity around; a river runs through, and bright flowers grow to the waters' edge. There is a thick, warm mist that the sun seeks vainly to pierce; trees, lofty and beautiful, wave to the airy motion of the birds; but there, a group of Indians gather; they flit to and fro with something like sorrow upon their dark brow; and in their midst lies a manly form, but his cheek, how deathly; his eye wild with the fitful fire of fever. One friend stands beside him, nay, I should say kneels, for he is pillowing that poor head upon his breast.

"Genius in ruins. Oh! the high, holy looking brow! Why should death mark it, and he so young? Look how he throws the damp curls! see him clasp his hands! hear his thrilling shrieks for life! mark how he clutches at the form of his [page 252] companion, imploring to be saved. Oh! hear him call piteously his father's name; see him twine his fingers, together as he shrieks for his sister—his only sister—the twin of his soul—weeping for him in his distant native land.

"See!" she exclaimed, while the bridal party shrank back, the untasted wine trembling in their faltering grasp, and the Judge fell, overpowered, upon his seat; "see! his arms are lifted to heaven; he prays, how wildly, for mercy! hot fever rushes through his veins. The friend beside him is weeping; awe-stricken, the men move silently, and leave the living and dying together."

There was a hush in that princely parlor, broken only by what seemed a smothered sob, from some manly bosom. The bride stood yet upright, with quivering lip, and tears stealing to the outward edge of her lashes. Her beautiful arm had lost its tension, and the glass, with its little troubled red waves, came slowly towards the range of her vision. She spoke again; every lip was mute. Her voice was low, faint, yet awfully distinct: she still fixed her sorrowful glance upon the wine-cup.

"It is evening now; the great white moon is coming up, and her beams lay gently on his forehead. He moves not; his eyes are set in their sockets; dim are their piercing glances; in vain his friend whispers the name of father and sister—death is there. Death! and no soft hand, no gentle voice to bless and soothe him. His head sinks back! one convulsive shudder! he is dead!"

A groan ran through the assembly, so vivid was her description, so unearthly her look, so inspired her manner, that what she described seemed actually to have taken place then and there. They noticed also, that the bridegroom hid his face in his hands and was weeping.

[page 253]

"Dead!" she repeated again, her lips quivering faster and faster, and her voice more and more broken; "and there they scoop him a grave; and there without a shroud, they lay him down in the damp reeking earth. The only son of a proud father, the only idolized brother of a fond sister. And he sleeps to-day in that distant country, with no stone to mark the spot. There he lies—my father's son—my own twin brother! a victim to this deadly poison. Father," she exclaimed, turning suddenly, while the tears rained down her beautiful cheeks, "father, shall I drink it now?"

The form of the old Judge was convulsed with agony. He raised his head, but in a smothered voice he faltered—"No, no, my child, in God's name, no."

She lifted the glittering goblet, and letting it suddenly fall to the floor it was dashed into a thousand pieces. Many a tearful eye watched her movements, and instantaneously every wine-glass was transferred to the marble table on which it had been prepared. Then, as she looked at the fragments of crystal, she turned to the company, saying:—"Let no friend, hereafter, who loves me, tempt me to peril my soul for wine. Not firmer the everlasting hills than my resolve, God helping me, never to touch or taste that terrible poison. And he to whom I have given my hand; who watched over my brother's dying form in that last solemn hour, and buried the dear wanderer there by the river in that land of gold, will, I trust, sustain me in that resolve. Will you not, my husband?"

His glistening eyes, his sad, sweet smile was her answer.

The Judge left the room, and when an hour later he returned, and with a more subdued manner [page 254] took part in the entertainment of the bridal guests, no one could fail to read that he, too, had determined to dash the enemy at once and forever from his princely rooms.

Those who were present at that wedding, can never forget the impression so solemnly made. Many from that hour forswore the social glass.



[page 255]

Transcriber's Note:

There are a few pieces which contain some dialect. All dialect, period spelling, etc., has been preserved.

Errata - old typos:

Obvious punctuation errors have been repaired.

The remaining corrections made are indicated by dotted lines under the corrections.

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