The Youth's Companion
For the Companion.
THE HOSTLER'S STORY.
By J. T. Trowbridge.
What amused us most at the Lake House last summer was the performance of
a bear in the back yard.
He was fastened to a pole by a chain, which gave him a range of a dozen
or fifteen feet. It was not very safe for visitors to come within that
circle, unless they were prepared for rough handling.
He had a way of suddenly catching you to his bosom, and picking your
pockets of peanuts and candy,–if you carried any about you,–in a
manner which took your breath away. He stood up to his work on his hind
legs in a quite human fashion, and used paw and tongue with amazing
skill and vivacity. He was friendly, and didn't mean any harm, but he
was a rude playfellow.
I shall never forget the ludicrous adventures of a dandified New Yorker
who came out into the yard to feed bruin on seed-cakes, and did not feed
him fast enough.
He had approached a trifle too near, when all at once the bear whipped
an arm about him, took him to his embrace, and "went through" his
pockets in a hurry. The terrified face of the struggling and screaming
fop, and the good-natured, businesslike expression of the fumbling and
munching beast, offered the funniest sort of contrast.
The one-eyed hostler, who was the bear's especial guardian, lounged
leisurely to the spot.
"Keep still, and he won't hurt ye," he said, turning his quid. "That's
one of his tricks. Throw out what you've got, and he'll leave ye."
The dandy made haste to help bruin to the last of the seed-cakes, and
escaped without injury, but in a ridiculous plight,–his hat smashed,
his necktie and linen rumpled, and his watch dangling; but his fright
was the most laughable part of all.
The one-eyed hostler made a motion to the beast, who immediately climbed
the pole, and looked at us from the cross-piece at the top.
"A bear," said the one-eyed hostler, turning his quid again, "is the
best-hearted, knowin'est critter that goes on all-fours. I'm speakin' of
our native black bear, you understand. The brown bear aint half so
respectable, and the grizzly is one of the ugliest brutes in creation.
Come down here, Pomp!"
Pomp slipped down the pole and advanced towards the one-eyed hostler,
walking on his hind legs and rattling his chain.
"Playful as a kitten!" said the one-eyed hostler, fondly. "I'll show
He took a wooden bar from a clothes-horse near by, and made a lunge with
it at Pomp's breast.
No pugilist or fencing-master could have parried a blow more neatly.
Then the one-eyed hostler began to thrust and strike with the bar as if
in downright earnest.
"Rather savage play," I remarked. And a friend by my side, who never
misses a chance to make a pun, added,—
"Yes, a decided act of bar-bear-ity."
"Oh, he likes it!" said the one-eyed hostler. "Ye can't hit him."
And indeed it was so. No matter how or where the blow was aimed, a
movement of Pomp's paw, quick as a flash of lightning, knocked it aside,
and he stood good-humoredly waiting for more.
"Once in a while," said the one-eyed hostler, resting from the exercise
and leaning on the bar, while Pomp retired to his pole, "there's a bear
of this species that's vicious and blood-thirsty. Generally, you let
them alone and they'll let you alone. They won't run from you maybe, but
they won't go out of their way to pick a quarrel. They don't swagger
round with a chip on their shoulder lookin' for some fool to knock it
"Will they eat you?" some one inquired; for there was a ring of
spectators around the performers by this time.
"As likely as not, if they are sharp-set, and you lay yourself out to be
eaten; but it aint their habit to go for human flesh. Roots, nuts,
berries, bugs, and any small game they can pick up, satisfies their
humble appetite as a general thing.
"But they're amazin' fond of honey, and there's no end of stingin' they
won't stand for the fun of robbin' a bee-nest. They're omnivourous as a
The spectators smiled, while some one remarked,—
"You mean omnivorous."
The hostler winked his one eye knowingly, and replied.—
"I mean omnivourous," with a still stronger accent on the wrong
syllable. "I found the word in a book, and it means eathin' or devourin'
all sorts. That's what a bear does. He likes everything, and a good deal
of it. He can't live on suckin' his paws all winter, neither. That's a foolish notion."
"Do you mean to say a bear doesn't hibernate?" I asked.
"He hibernates,–yes. I believe that's what they call it," replied the
one-eyed hostler. "He lies curled up kind o' torpid sometimes in winter;
but what he really lives on then is his fat.
"Fat is fuel, so ter speak. He lays it up in the fall, and burns it out
the the winter. He goes into his cold-weather quarters plump, and comes
out lean; but it's only in very cold weather that he keeps so quiet. In
mild, open winters he's out foragin' around, and when there comes a warm
spell in the toughest winter, you may see him. He likes to walk out and
see what's goin' on, anyhow."
The one-eyed hostler leaned against the pole, stroked Pomp's fur
affectionately, and continued somewhat in this style:
"Bears are particularly fond of fat, juicy pigs, and once give 'em a
taste of human flesh,–why, I shouldn't want my children to be playin'
in the woods within a good many miles of their den!
"Which reminds me of Old Two Claws, as they used to call him, a bear
that plagued the folks over in Ridgetown, where I was brought up,–wal,
as much as forty year ago.
"He got his name from the peculiar shape of his foot, and he got that
from trifling with a gun-trap. You know what that is,–a loaded gun set
in such a way that a bear or any game that's curious about it, must come
up to it the way it p'ints; a bait is hung before the muzzle, and a
string runs from that to the trigger.
"He was a cunning fellow, and he put out an investigatin' paw at the
piece of pork before trying his jaws on it; so instead of gettin' a
bullet in the head, he merely had a bit of his paw shot away. There were
but two claws left on that foot, as his bloody tracks showed.
"He got off; but this experience seemed to have soured his disposition.
He owed a spite to the settlement.
"One night a great row was heard in my uncle's pig-pen. He and the boys
rushed out with pitchforks, a gun and a lantern. They knew what the
trouble was, or soon found out.
"A huge black bear had broken down the side of the pen; he had seized a
fat porker, and was actually lugging him off in his arms! The pig was
kicking and squealing, but the bear had him fast. He did not seem at all
inclined to give up his prey, even when attacked. He looked sullen and
ugly; but a few jabs from a pitchfork, and a shot in the shoulder,
convinced him that he was making a mistake.
"He dropped the pig, and got away before my uncle could load up for
another shot. The next morning they examined his tracks. It was Old Two
"But what sp'ilt him for being a quiet neighbor was something that
happened about a year after that.
"There was a roving family of Indians encamped near the settlement,
hunting, fishing, and making moccasins and baskets, which they traded
with the whites.
"One afternoon the Red-Sky-of-the-Morning, wife of the
Water-Snake-with-the-Long-Tail, came over to the settlement with some of
their truck for sale. She had a pappoose on her back strapped on a
board; another squaw travelled with her, carrying an empty jug.
"Almost within sight of Gorman's grocery, Red-Sky took off her pappoose
and hung it on a tree. The fellows around the store had made fun of it
when she was there once before, so she preferred to leave it in the
woods rather than expose it to the coarse jokes of the boys. The little
thing was used to such treatment. Whether carried or hung up, pappoosey
"The squaws traded off this truck, and bought, with other luxuries of
civilization, a gallon of whiskey. They drank out of the jug, and then
looked at more goods. Then they drank again, and from being shy and
silent, as at first, they giggled and chatted like a couple of silly
white girls. They spent a good deal more time and money at Gorman's than
they would if it hadn't been for the whiskey, but finally they started
to go back through the woods.
"They went chattering and giggling to the tree where the pappoose had
been left. Then suddenly their noise stopped. There was no pappoose
"This discovery sobered them. They thought at first the fellows around
the store had played them a trick by taking it away; but by-and-by the
Red-Sky-of-the-Morning set up a shriek.
"She had found the board not far off, but no pappoose strapped to it,
only something that told the story of what had happened.
"There were bear tracks around the spot. One of the prints showed only
"The Red-Sky-of-the-Morning went back to the camp with the news; the
other squaw followed with the jug.
"When the Water-Snake-with-the-Long-Tail heard that his pappoose had
been eaten by a bear, he felt, I suppose, very much as any white father
would have felt under the circumstances. He vowed vengeance against Old
Two Claws, but consoled himself with a drink of the fire-water before
starting on the hunt.
"The braves with him followed his example. It wasn't in Indian nature to
start until they had emptied the jug, so it happened that Old Two Claws
got off again. Tipsy braves can't follow a trail worth a cent.
"Not very long after that a woman in a neighboring settlement heard her
children scream one day in the woods near the house. She rushed out, and
saw a bear actually lugging off her youngest.
"She was a sickly, feeble sort of woman, but such a sight was enough to
give her the strength and courage of a man. She ran and caught up an
axe. Luckily she had a big dog. They two went at the bear.
"The old fellow had no notion of losing his dinner just for a woman and
a mongrel cur. But she struck him a tremendous blow on the back; at the
same time the pup got him by the leg. He dropped the young one to defend
himself. She caught it up and ran, leaving the two beasts to have it out
"The bear made short work with the cur, but instead of following the
woman and child, he skulked off into the woods.
"The settlers got together for a grand hunt; but Old Two Claws–for the
tracks showed that he was the scoundrel–escaped into the mountains, and
lived to make more trouble another day.
"The child? Oh, the child was scarcely hurt! It had got squeezed and
scratched a little in the final tussle; that was all.
"As to the bear, he was next heard of in our settlement."
The hostler hesitated, winked his one eye with an odd expression, put a
fresh quid into his cheek, and finally resumed,—
"A brother-in-law of my uncle, a man of the name of Rush, was one day
chopping in the woods about half a mile from his house, when his wife
went out to carry him his luncheon.
"She left two children at home, a boy about five years old, and a baby
just big enough to toddle around.
"The boy had often been told that if he strayed into the woods with his
brother a bear might carry them off, and she charged him again that
forenoon not to go away from the house; but he was an enterprising
little fellow, and when the sun shone so pleasant, and the woods looked
so inviting, he wasn't one to be afraid of bears.
"The woman stopped to see her husband fall a big beech he was cutting,
and then went back to the house; but just before she got there, she saw
the oldest boy coming out of the woods on the other side. He was alone.
He was white as a sheet, and so frightened at first that he couldn't
"'Johnny,' says she, catching hold of him, 'what is the matter?'
"'A bear!' he gasped out at last.
"'Where is your little brother?' was her next question.
"'I don't know,' said he, too much frightened to know anything just
"'Where did you leave him?' says she.
"Then he seemed to have gotten his wits together a little. 'A bear took
him!' said he.
"You can guess what sort of an agony the mother was in.
"'O Johnny, tell me true! Think! Where was it?'
"'In the woods,' he said. 'Bear come along,–I run.'
"She caught him up and hurried with him into the woods. She begged him
to show her where he was with his little brother when the bear came
along. He pointed out two or three places. In one of them the earth was
soft. There were fresh tracks crossing it,–bear tracks. There was no
doubt about it.
"It was a terrible situation for a poor woman. Whether to follow the
bear and try to recover her child, or go at once for her husband, or
alarm the neighbors, what to do with Johnny meanwhile,–all that would
have been hard enough for her to decide even if she had had her wits
"She hardly knew what she did, but just followed her instinct, and ran
with Johnny in her arms, or dragging him after her, to where her husband
"Well," continued the one-eyed hostler, "I needn't try to describe what
followed. They went back to the house, and Rush took his rifle and
started on the track of the bear, vowing that he would not come back
without either the child or the bear's hide.
"The news went like wildfire through the settlement. In an hour
half-a-dozen men with their dogs were on the track with Rush. It was so
much trouble for him to follow the trail that they soon overtook him
with the help of the dogs.
"But in spite of them the bear got into the mountains. Two of the dogs
came up with him, and one, the only one that could follow a scent, had
his back broken by a stroke of his paw. After that it was almost
impossible to track him, and one after another the hunters gave up and
"At last Rush was left alone; but nothing could induce him to turn back.
He shot some small game in the mountains, which he cooked for his
supper, slept on the ground, and started on the trail again in the
"Along in the forenoon he came in sight of the bear as he was crossing a
stream. He had a good shot at him as he was climbing the bank on the
"The bear kept on, but it was easier tracking him after that by his
"That evening a hunter, haggard, his clothes all in tatters, found his
way to a backwoodsman's hut over in White's Valley. It was Rush. He told
his story in a few words as he rested on a stool. He had found no traces
of his child, but he had killed the bear. It was Old Two Claws. He had
left him on the hills, and came to the settlement for help.
"The hunt had taken him a round-about course, and he was then not more
than seven miles from home. The next day, gun in hand, with the
bear-skin strapped to his back,–the carcass had been given to his
friend the backwoods-man,–he started to return by an easier way through
"It was a sad revenge he had had, but there was a grim sort of
satisfaction in lugging home the hide of the terrible Old Two Claws.
"As he came in sight of his log-house, out ran his wife to meet him,
with–what do you suppose?–little Johnny dragging at her skirts, and
the lost child in her arms.
"Then, for the first time, the man dropped; but he didn't get down any
further than his knees. He clung to his wife and baby, and thanked God
for the miracle.
"But it wasn't much of a miracle, after all.
"Little Johnny had been playing around the door, and lost sight of the
baby, and maybe forgotten all about him, when he strayed into the woods
and saw the bear. Then he remembered all that he had heard of the danger
of being carried off and eaten, and of course he had a terrible fright.
When asked about his little brother, he didn't know anything about him,
and I suppose really imagined that the bear had got him.
"But the baby had crawled into a snug place under the side of the
rain-trough, and there he was fast asleep all the while. Then he woke up
two or three hours after, and the mother heard him cry; her husband was
far away on the hunt.
"True,–this story I've told you?" added the one-eyed hostler, as some
one questioned him. "Every word of it!"
"But your name is Rush, isn't it?" I said.
The one eye twinkled humorously.
"My name is Rush. My uncle's brother-in-law was my own father."
"And you?" exclaimed a bystander.
"I," said the one-eyed hostler, "am the very man who warn't eaten by the
bear when I was a baby!"
We crown the unconscious brew with wreath of bays
We press in pulseless hands the sweetest flowers.
When all unneeded any grace of ours
We find a voice for all the loving praise
For which, perhaps, through weary, unblessed days
The heart had hungered. We are slow to prove
The tenderness we feel, till some dark day
We can do naught but bow our head and pray
That Heaven may teach us how to show our love.
May it not be that on the other side
They wait for us, and, like us, long to make
The sad wrongs right, ready to give and take
The hand-clasps and the kisses here denied?
For the Companion.
There is probably no human weakness that awakens more derisive contempt
than a false assumption of superior knowledge. The vanity of young
people frequently leads them into ludicrous positions, and sometimes
even into serious difficulties, through a pretence of knowing things of
which they are really ignorant. The experience of one of my young
friends is a case in point.
Silvia Morden is a girl of sixteen. She is both bright and pretty. Her
worst fault was the one I have mentioned,–a most ridiculous mania for
wishing to appear well acquainted with all subjects.
The flattery of her companions at Miss Hall's "Young Ladies' Academy" no
doubt had something to do with this folly; for she was generous, end a
great favorite with her schoolmates. It often led her into difficulties,
as falsehood in any form always does, and Silvia was really becoming a
confirmed liar when the little episode I am about to relate, checked her
on the very brink of the precipice.
The craze for "high art decorations" had spread from the great city
centres to the country town of Atwood, where Silvia's parents lived. Of
course every one understands that "high art" becomes very much diluted
in its country progress, and when it appears in out-of-the-way places,
where the people are neither wealthy nor well read, it is apt to
degenerate into very low art, indeed.
But the Atwood girls did what they could to follow the fashions. Old
ginger-jars were dragged down, covered with paint, and pasted over with
beetles, and birds, and flowers, in utter disregard of the unities. Here
Egyptian scarabæi were perched on an Alpine mountain; there a clay
amphora, of the shape of the Greeks or Romans, was adorned with gaudy
plates cut out of fashion magazines.
The merchants in Atwood, taking advantage of this furore, sent for all
shapes of pottery, but they could not import the taste to decorate it.
Atwood, however, was satisfied with its own style of art, and that was
Silvia's decorations were rather better than those of her acquaintances.
She read everything she could on the subject, but, with her usual
self-conceit, refused to ask any questions of those who might have
enlightened her, and in fact, set herself up as an oracle on art
One day, she saw in a city paper a list of articles for decoration,
among which were "cuspadores."
"What on earth is a 'cuspadore'?" she asked herself.
Of course, something lovely, she judged, from the name. It was
high-sounding, and seemed classical. She concluded it must be one of
those lovely vases she had read descriptions of, and she determined to
buy one that very evening, for of course Morris had them among his new
lot of potteries.
She went to school that morning with her head full of cuspadores. She
missed all her lessons, and got a bad mark for inattention, but the
thought of a cuspadore kept her from worrying over her misfortunes.
"I do hope Miss Hall isn't going to keep us all the afternoon bothering
over that rhetoric," she said to her friend Anna Lee. "I want to go up
town this evening, and must go, if it's dark when I get home."
"What are you so crazy to go up town for?" asked Anna.
"Oh, I want to go to Morris's store to get a cuspadore."
"Cuspa—what?" inquired her amazed companion. "What on earth is that?"
"You'll see when I get it," was the evasive answer.
"Oh, bother your mysteries! You needn't make a secret of it, Just tell
me what it is and what it's for."
With all her heart, Silvia wished that she could answer that question.
Thinking she could not be very far wrong, she ventured to say,–
"It's a lovely antique vase. I'm going to put a running border of roses
and pansies on it,–the sweetest pictures you ever saw,–and I'll put it
on the mantel for flowers."
"I never heard of them before," persisted Anna. "Where did you see them,
Another falsehood was required.
"I saw a great many pretty things when I was in the city last March, and
cuspadores were among them."
"Well, I'll wait and see yours," answered unsuspicious Anna. "If I like
it, I'll get one too. Now mind you show it to me first when you've
As soon as school was dismissed, Silvia hurried through Atwood to the
store of Mr. Morris.
The clerk who came bowing to her was a young man for whom she had a
special dislike,–"a conceited idiot," she called him to her companions,
"with an offensive familiarity of manner." In reality, Tom Jordan was a
well-meaning young man, though rather silly, but his vanity and conceit
happened to jar upon the same marked characteristics in Miss Silvia.
"What shall I show you this evening, Miss Silvia?" rubbing his hands and
"Are none of the other clerks disengaged?" she asked, loftily.
The young man's smile faded away. "I'm afraid, Miss Morden, they're all
busy. Can I show you anything?"
"Have you any cuspadores among your new pottery?"
"What did you say?" asked Tom.
"I said cuspadores. I presume you know what they are."
Now Jordan didn't know any better than she what cuspadores are. But he,
too, had a reputation to support for knowing everything in his line of
business. He was not going to peril it at a counter full of gaping
customers by acknowledging his ignorance.
He would question her a little, to find out what it was.
He put his finger to his forehead, and shut his eyes, as if trying to
remember where the cuspadores were placed.
"What style do you wish? The fact is, there are so many different shapes
in vogue now."
"Oh, the most antique, of course. I doat on those queer antique things."
His head in a whirl, Tom rushed into the back room, leaving Silvia
conversing with some acquaintances who had come in. From the back room
he ran into an office where the book-keeper, who was lately from
Philadelphia, was absorbed over a column of figures.
"Ralston, what under the sun is a cuspadore?" he cried.
"It's a spittoon,–a spit-box,–you ninny! If you interrupt me again,
I'll shy mine at your head!"
"Whew!" whistled Tom. "Who'd have thought that 'toploftical' young miss,
with her airs and graces, used tobacco? I s'pose she rubs, or maybe she
smokes. One never knows, Ralston, what girls are up to."
"But I know what I'll be up to if you don't clear out!" cried the angry
Tom rummaged the warehouse, and found a common earthenware spittoon,
which he dragged out in triumph.
"I wonder if she thinks she can buy spittoons by a new-fangled name," he
muttered, "and nobody know what she wants 'em for? I'll let her know she
can't put her finger in my eye. That's why she wanted another clerk."
With a flourish and a smirk, Tom deposited the spittoon on the counter
under Silvia's astonished eyes.
"Here's a cuspadore, Miss Morden; not the very finest article, but it
serves every purpose. Cleans easy, too, and that's the great thing,
after all. Shall I send you a pair?"
Utterly astonished and struck dumb, Silvia stood gazing at the hideous
"And look here, Miss Morden," dropping his voice to a confidential
whisper, "we've got the finest lot of tobacco and the best snuff you
ever used. Oh, I know,–I'll not mention it. Young ladies, of course,
have their little secrets,–I understand that, and I'll be upon honor,
'pon my word I will."
"You insulting creature!" Silvia gasped.
Her look and tone caused Tom to back, and bump his head so violently
against a shelf that, for a minute, he was blind. When he recovered his
sight, Silvia had left the store, and the people at the counter were
gazing with wide-open eyes on the scene.
"What did you say to Miss Morden, that she flew off in such a rage?"
asked a tall, gaunt, spectacled old maid,–Miss James,–who was the
terror of the town for her ill-natured gossip and interfering ways.
"Upon my word, ma'am, I said nothing insulting," replied the angered
clerk. "Miss Silvia asked for a spittoon, and I showed her one. Of
course people do not want spittoons unless they use tobacco, do they? I
am sure I meant no harm. I only wanted to accommodate a customer."
"Of course, of course," said his grim listener. "Judge Morden and her ma
don't dream of their daughter's goings-on, I'm sure of that. I'm a
friend, and they'll know it before I'm an hour older."
She stalked out of the store, and down to Judge Morden's house. Without
ringing, she marched into the sitting-room, where Mrs. Morden was at
"Clara Morden," she said, in her sharpest tones, for she was an old
acquaintance of the lady, "how have you brought up your daughter, that
she's disgracing you?"
"Disgracing! Are you talking of Silvia?"
Gentle Mrs. Morden's face was pale as she turned her startled eyes on
"Who else? Don't you think it a disgrace for a girl to use tobacco? and
that's what Sil does, and goes and buys a spittoon before the whole
town! I'd tobacco her! But everybody knows it by this time, and whether
she gives it up or not, people will keep on thinking she uses it. You
always did give that girl too much head, I've told you so time and
again, and now you see you'd better have taken my advice."
Mrs. Morden had regained her calmness by this time.
"There is certainly some mistake," she said, coolly. "I will ask Silvia
about it when she comes in."
"You'll find it no mistake," said her visitor. "At least half-a-dozen
people were in Morris's this evening when she asked for the spittoon,
and then got mad with the clerk about something."
The explanation Silvia was compelled to make that evening, though it
acquitted her of the first charge, left a most painful impression upon
her mother that the habit of falsehood had grown upon her daughter.
"I will not add to your punishment by re-proof," she said, gravely,
"because I foresee the mortification that this is going to bring to you.
No explanation will convince half the gossips in town that you have not
the filthy habit of using tobacco, and the story will cling to you for
"That's harsh and unjust!" Silvia cried, hotly. "It was a mistake
anybody might have made."
"Yes, anybody who pretends to know what you are ignorant of. There is a
strong likeness in the family of lies, and it is neither hard nor unjust
that we should be punished for them. Your humiliation I hope may prove a
It did. Silvia is rarely tempted now to her old pretences of superior
knowledge. The cuspadore story brought her such pain and mortifition
that the scars remain yet.
For the Companion.
IN THE BACKWOODS.
In Five Chapters.–Chap. I.
By C. A. Stephens.
We were boiling down "salts" that winter in Black Ash Swamp,–not epsom
salts, but an extract from the lye of wood ashes. The ashes were boiled
much as maple sap is boiled in order to obtain sugar.
I do not know whether the reader ever heard of such a thing. It was one
of many ventures which Edward Martin, Vet Chase and myself made when we
were boys up in the Maine backwoods in order to obtain a little money.
Black Ash Swamp was four or five miles up Mud Stream, a small tributary
of the Penobscot. It was situated on "wild" land, as it was called, and
was full of yellow ash, black ash and elm.
We had gone there early in November. Our first work was to fell the
great ash-trees and cut them up so that the wood could be burned in
ricks. Many of the trees were very old, nearly lifeless, and punky at
the heart; but they made an abundance of ashes.
There is no wood in the world from which such quantities of ashes can be
secured; and that is the reason, I suppose, why the tree is called
ash. Nor is there another tree whose ashes make so strong a lye. It
was for this reason that we came here to make "salts."
We brought up on our raft twenty old flour-barrels, to be used as
leach-tubs. These were set up in a semi-circle round our boiling-place,
which was a long stone "arch." A pole and lumber-shed served us as a
We used to sit there evenings, and by the light of the fire under the
boiling kettles of lye, try to read Æsop's fables in Latin, and I never
to this day take up my old Latin reader without seeming to hear the
steady drip-drop of those twenty leach-tubs.
Making salts was hard work for us, though not much harder than
translating some of those fables; but one needs to work to keep warm in
Northern Maine in December.
In the forenoons we would all three cut and split the ash into
fire-wood, then burn it and boil the ashes. Sometimes we burned eight or
ten cords in a single rick, which made from seven to ten barrels of
ashes. Then we poured water into the barrels, and set earthen pans or
pots underneath to catch the lye as it drained through.
When our four iron kettles,–hung with "hooks" to a long pole over our
arch,–were all boiling, there was a strong odor, and the steam made our
eyes smart. It took a lively fire, and we made a good many ashes in the
When boiled away, the lye leaves a residuum, which, in color and general
appearance, resembles brown sugar. This was the "salts." It is very
strong. Compared with lye, it is like the oil of peppermint compared
with peppermint tea.
We had been promised six cents a pound for salts delivered at Bangor, to
be refined into soda. When we met with no interruptions, we obtained
from forty to fifty pounds of salts in a day. Not a very rapid way of
getting rich, yet better than nothing for boys who were determined to
earn something so that we could prepare for college.
But it was shocking work for the hands, handling the lye and these
"salts." Round our finger nails the skin was eaten off, and the nails
themselves were warped and yellowed. Often the blood followed a single
accidental slop of the "juice" which settled at the bottom of the
"salts." I once heard a man who used to make salts say that he spoiled a
horse by carrying a bagful of the nearly dry extract thrown across the
saddle. Some of the juice trickled out, and going under the saddle, not
only took the hair off, but made terrible sores, which it was found
well-nigh impossible to heal. The liquid corroded our iron kettles very
All through November, December and January we worked industriously, and
studied our Latin. In summer the swamp would have been unhealthy and
dangerous to life; but in winter, with the mud and water-holes frozen
solidly, it was a warm, comfortable location, for it lay in a great
valley, inclosed by high mountain ridges, that were covered by dense
growths of pine and spruce. It fairly seemed as if the great fires which
we built every afternoon warmed up the whole swamp.
Our smoke would often almost hide the sun when the weather was calm.
Very little wind at any time found its way into our sheltered valley.
The winter fortunately was a mild one. The snow was not more than a foot
deep, and rains occasionally fell, leaving an icy crust.
One of these rain storms came during the last days of January. It thawed
for two days, and then became cold on the following night. Next morning,
while we were getting breakfast, boiling potatoes and baking biscuits in
our tin baker, we heard out in the woods, to the east of our camp,
sounds as if some animal was walking on the snow and breaking through
We listened. The sounds came nearer, and pretty soon we saw through the
tree trunks that they were made by a bear. Probably the warm rain had
roused him out of his winter den, or else he was starved out, for he
looked surly and fierce, as if he felt cross.
He walked leisurely until he was within seven or eight rods of us. Then
he stopped and looked at us a minute, but started forward again, and
would probably have gone on civilly, had not Ed took our gun, which we
kept loaded, and ran after him.
Hearing Ed coming, the bear turned round and ran towards him.
Ed stopped and took aim. The bear at once rose on his hind legs, and
fanned the air with his paws.
Ed fired, and fortunately killed him with a single charge of buck-shot.
But I never saw a poorer bear. His hair was rusty, and he was evidently
not in good health. The meat we could not eat; the very crows would have
passed it by.
We wanted, however, candles to study by, and thought we could obtain
grease enough from poor bruin to serve this purpose.
So we cut the body up, hair and all,–for his hide absolutely stuck to
his bones,–and that night cleared out one of the kettles, and commenced
trying out our bear's grease.
The contents of the kettle sizzled there all the evening, giving off
anything but an agreeable odor. We were translating the fable of "The
Mouse and the Peasant" that night, and nihil Mehurcule is still mixed
up in my mind with the odor of that old bear.
By nine o'clock the oil was fried out. We throw the scraps into the
fire, and these made, if possible, a still more disagreeable odor as
they burned. The whole swamp was full of it.
The hot fat was then poured off into a tin pail, and hung in a little
spotted maple near one end of our camp-shed. We used to hang all our tin
dishes and ladles here, for the maple had low limbs, which we had cut
off so as to leave the stubs for pegs.
Underneath this tree was the great box–an old grain-box from a
logging-camp–in which we stored our "salts" as it was made.
In the night.–it must have been after midnight, for the fire was
out–I was roused from sleep by Ed, who was moving about the shed. I
thought at first that he was walking in his sleep,–for he was a
somnambulist,–and gave him a shake.
"Sh!" whispered he. "There's something sniffing round the arch."
We both peered sharply, but it was so dark that we could see nothing.
"It's the mate to that old bear, I guess," Ed whispered. "He's lonely,
and wants company."
"More likely he has smelled the fat," said I, "and intends to steal it."
"Perhaps so," said Ed. "I thought we should draw some beast or other to
us. Sh! I believe I can see him. Keep still! I'll teach him not to steal
from his neighbors."
Ed reached for the gun, which at night always lay loaded at the head of
Cocking the gun, he took aim and fired.
There was a yell almost as loud as the report, and it startled me a good
deal worse. I once heard a vicious hound when shot make almost just such
a noise. It was really a blood-curdling sound.
Vet had been sound asleep. The gun and the yell brought him suddenly to
"What is it?" he screamed. "What's the matter?"
"Matter?" exclaimed Ed; "that was a wolf! An ugly customer, too."
The creature had ran yelping away, and now the whole swamp resounded to
its cries, as it crossed the frozen stream and ran for the
mountain-side. What we took for the echoes at first, came back amazingly
distinct from the mountains all about us. "Why," cried Vet, "those cries
are other wolves answering him!"
It is strange what a distance the smell of burned bones and scraps will
be carried to the noses of carnivorous beasts. A hunter in the woods
better not burn such refuse unless he wants to draw dangerous game about
him. It may be a wild opinion, but I haven't a doubt that the odor of
those bones drew wolves twenty-five miles off to us that night.
As soon as Vet spoke, Ed and I both knew there must be other wolves
howling. It made us feel almost frightened, there, in the dead of night,
for we soon found that the creatures were drawing together and coming
nearer, large numbers of them. Ed loaded the gun again.
"But what good will that do if there's a pack of 'em?" Vet exclaimed.
If we had had a log camp with a door, we shouldn't have felt uneasy; but
our open shed would not afford us safety. There was no time to be lost,
for the wolves were racing and scurrying about the swamp, not half a
"I'm going into that old stooping hemlock!" said Vet, and he ran for it.
This large mossy hemlock was a few yards to the right of our camp. It
leaned down and rested partly in a great elm that stood on the bank of
Any one could make a run and scramble up the trunk of this tree to the
first limbs, twelve or fourteen feet. Ed and I only waited to place two
big stones from the arch upon our pork cask, and also to throw our
flour-bag and meal-bag upon the roof of the shed. Then we scrambled
We got amongst the green boughs, and perched ourselves as comfortably as
we could. There was no wind, and the temperature could not have been
below freezing, much.
We had but just got into the hemlock when two or three wolves ran by,
and were soon scurrying about our "arch" and camp,–going and coming,
here and there, uttering, now and then, a quick, eager yelp, like hounds
hunting a track.
Though it was pretty dark, we could distinguish their dusky forms. We
could hear them eating, too, the bones, scraps and offal we hand thrown
out,–quarrelling, snapping and fighting with one another.
Several times, one or more of them were on the shed-roof. They dragged
off the meal-bag, and tugged at the cloths, and dragged the bag about
the ground. Then they began to jump into the little spotted maple. This
was so near that we could see them better. They tore down the tin
dishes, and still kept leaping up.
"Good-by, candles!" muttered Ed. "They're after that pail of bear's
Pretty soon, we heard the pail go down, thump! into the box of
"salts," that was, as I have said, underneath it. Then there was a great
rush and snapping of the whole pack–twenty to thirty of them, we
thought–as they licked it up from among the salts.
They hurried hither and thither around the camp for ten or fifteen
minutes longer, then dropped off, one after another, in response to
howlings further down the stream.
The next morning, we saw where they had upset the bear-fat into the
"salts." The oil had not cooled, and of course it soaked down into the
loose salts. In their eagerness to get the warm grease, the rabid brutes
had eaten grease and salts together.
"Well," said Ed, "some of 'em will be troubled with dyspepsia after
this, that's certain."
This was Wednesday. Friday morning, Vet and I set off to go to the
settlement. We followed down Mud Stream five miles, to where it entered
the Penobscot. Here there was, or had recently been, open water, now
only partly frozen over.
We could not get upon the river at the forks, and had to follow up the
bank thirty or forty rods. We had gone only a few steps when we came
upon a dead wolf, lying close down to the water's edge, among brush and
"Here's one of our friends!" cried Vet, laughing.
We hauled the carcass up to the top of the bank. It was a good-sized
wolf, as large as a fox-hound. We felt pretty happy, for the State then
paid a bounty of eight dollars on wolf-scalps; and the hide–if we could
get it off–would bring two or three dollars more.
Well, we had not gone four rods further when we came upon another wolf,
curled up, dead, near the water. And–to cut the story short–we found
eight dead wolves lying along that strip of open water.
The "salts" had proved a fatal meal for them.
We were not long going for Ed, and then we skinned the lot. But it was a
tough job. We could not help cutting the hides considerably, and in
consequence of this, we obtained but eleven dollars for these. We got
seventy-six dollars in all, however, and this was a large amount for us
in those hard, self-denying days.
For the Companion.
IN THE MINING REGIONS.
At the Station.
The cars stopped at a rude station. A little girl standing by a cow was
the only human being to be seen. The girl was barefoot; her white hair
looked as if it had not been touched by any comb for a week.
Grandly the hills stretched out, summit after summit. Here and there
could be seen a little home, plain enough and poor enough, but made
beautiful by its emerald setting.
"Do you work in the mills?" I asked the child with the white head. She
stuck her forefinger in her mouth, looked shyly down, and shook her
"Is that your cow?" was the next question. She nodded this time, and
looked up at us with pleasant blue eyes.
"Can you show as where the mine is?"
"Yes, I can," she said, brightening at the small bit of money I held
out, "It's yenter,–coom an' I'll tell ye."
We followed her to a fissure in the side of the hill, a place of rough
beams, and bare of verdure. It seemed singularly deserted, for it wanted
nearly half an hour to working time. We looked into the shaft with a
shudder. It led in a slanting direction into the deep earth, and it
seemed like going into a grave to enter it.
"Poppy goes down ther," said the girl. "He an' the other men are mad
'cause they have to stay there so long."
"Could we got a breakfast round hers, anywhere?" my friend asked of the
"Oh, yes, Aunt Sally, down there;" stud she pointed to a little
clearing, dazzlingly white amidst the pretty garden spots. The girl
volunteered to go with us.
The child led us into a small clean room, where were milk-pans, shining
Aunt Sally was a small, tidy body, with a bright English face of the
best type, straight as an arrow, and with an eye that meant business.
"Them miners is a hard set," she said, as she bustled about us, getting
bread and coffee. "You see, there's so many nations mixed. There's
Irish, and German, and Swiss, and patience knows what else, and they get
among themselves if they think things don't go right, and talk and talk,
and git discontented and ugly.
"I'll 'low it's a hard life, 'specially for the women and children,
though there aint but few o' them work about here. But then, though
they work a good while, yet they have a good bit of daylight, after all.
The men as don't drink are, as a general rule, the easiest to git along
with. There go some of 'em now."
The Murdered Miner.
A group of low-browed, sturdy follows passed the door, laughing and
talking, seemingly contented, and after breaking our fast, we followed
A woman was walking ahead of us, with, a child in her arms, a little
girl of six or seven years tugging at her skirt. They were a very quiet
I noticed that the woman wore a bit of black crape on her hat, and
there was something in her face that inclined me to stop and speak to
"You look young to have two children," I said.
"Yes'm; I aint twenty yet," she said, shifting the great boy to the
"And you are in mourning."
"Yes'm. I've lost Jim. He was a good husband, a real steady man; never
drunk nor nothin'. Him and me'd knowed each other ever sence we were
little uns. We was raised in Edinburgh, miss, and come over when we was
married. Then Jim got sick, and it cost all we brought to cure him. So
we came up here a year ago, and was doing quite well, miss."
"Was it an accident in the mines?" I ventured to ask.
"Oh, no, miss, it was a cruel murder; he was killed by them Molly
Maguires!" and her lips trembled, and the tears started to her eyes.
I was sorry I had asked her, and was silent from sympathy.
"They're all very good to me about here. They've give me something to
do, and Ruby, here, takes care of the baby like a little woman while I'm
in the mine at work."
"Why, what can you possibly do?"
"Oh, a good many little odd jobs,–throwing the lumps out of the
passages, and doing whatever comes to hand,–helping to load sometimes.
I'm very glad to get it.
"They talk of raising me some money to buy a bit shanty," she added. "I
can pick up a little to do, perhaps, then, that'll keep me out of the
mine. It don't seem to be a woman's place, somehow. Not but what they're
all very respectful and kind."
"Are there other women there?"
"Not many in this mine. Over on the hill where the men struck once or
twice, there's a-many, and some of 'em do men's work; but a woman had
better be home if she's got a home."
The sentiment found an echo in my heart as I looked on the pale,
sorrowful face, so commonplace, yet so interesting, from its very
Down in the Mines.
"Wouldn't you like to go in?" she asked. "Ladies do, sometimes."
She placed the child in the arms of the girl,–a quiet little thing, and
I followed her into the side of the hill, already thickly covered with
working men, with the star of light burning on their foreheads, so faint
and blue in the sunshine, so bright in the darkness.
I shall never forget the sensations of that hour. In and on, with a
sense of continually descending; on each side, the great glistening
black walls of anthracite; here and there small streams of water
trickling down; now and then a dull thud of pick; a muffled, low roar,
ringing in one's ears wherever there was a passage in which people were
There were great hollows that looked like caves on one hand, and
precipitous banks on the other; little bursts of sound, coming upon one
suddenly, of miners talking or laughing below the mule tracks; patient
mules, laboring on in the darkness; patient or impatient men, toiling
from morning till night; even women denied the fair sunshine of the
Here were carts being loaded. Here were men making great fissures in the
coal; the air was filled with a shimmering dust, oddly gleaming in
plates as the light struck it. It filled the nostrils and the throat,
and I wondered how the miners dared open their months to talk.
"You can't think how bright it all seems outside, after I get through,"
said the young woman, whose name, I learned, was Matilda Vernon.
"Sometimes I think it's almost worth while to be shut up, things look so
different. You live in two worlds like."
I had a terrible sensation of dread in going out,–more palpably felt
than when I entered. What if these horrible jagged masses should fall on
or in front of me, obstructing my path! I could see myself flying before
me, and my breath grew so short that it was something like agony as I
toiled up and up, led by a miner so bulky that he almost filled the
passage at times.
I could have shouted for joy when at last I saw the faint far glimmer of
the beautiful glad light,–the light of the blessed sun. I could not
wonder that the miners asked for the boon of the eight hours law. It
certainly seems long enough, and too long, to be imprisoned in the
bowels of the earth.
Back again to the station, ready for the journey West,–I could hardly
believe that it was not yet ten o'clock in the morning.
ENGLAND AND HER COLONIES.
England's pride in her colonies and dependencies has some serious
drawbacks. To have planted her flags in every quarter of the globe, to
be able to say that she is the mistress of an empire "upon which the sun
never sets," to have ports in every sea, and fortresses on every
continent, are surely things of which the little islands of Britain may
well be proud.
But this glory and power are expensive, and the cause of not only many
anxieties and perplexities, but of frequent wars, costly in men and
money. Many of the English colonies, in lands far distant from the seat
of empire, are still feeble, and still need the aid of the mother
country; besides, England is almost constantly acquiring and settling
new colonies, which must be defended.
Australia, Canada, and a few of her colonies have now grown large enough
to take care of themselves. They ask for little or no aid, either in
soldiers or money, from the Queen. This is not the case, however, with a
majority of her dependencies.
England has held India for more than a century; and that great oriental
empire has been throughout a source of enormous cost and trouble to her.
It is still so, as may be seen by the fact that England has risked war
with Russia, and is even now at war with Afghanistan in order to protect
India. This object, indeed, is at the bottom of the English share in the
Eastern Question, and her alliance with the Sultan of Turkey.
Another dependency which has been very expensive, and very difficult to
maintain, has been that of what is called the Cape Colony. This colony
is situated at the extreme southern end of the continent of Africa,
ending at time Cape of Good Hope. It was first established by the
English, early in the present century, having before been settled by
Dutch emigrants. In 1833, the Dutch possessions which still remained
there were finally ceded to England; since which year, the latter
country has exercised complete rule over the region.
But the original Cape Colony has been gradually extended in the march of
time. Adjoining tribes and districts have been gradually added. As the
barbarous Caffres, a name given to all the South Africans on the borders
of the colony, have become troublesome, their countries have been
conquered and annexed.
The Dutch settlers, moreover (who are called "Boors"), are dissatisfied
with English rule, and have withdrawn into the interior, and there
formed little governments of their own. But the English have, in one or
two cases, followed them up, and have absorbed them also.
Now the English are having trouble with a fierce and warlike Caffre
tribe on the East coast, just north of Natal, called the Zulus. The
despot of this tribe, Catewayo, has long been preparing to attack the
colony by raising and drilling an army of no less than forty thousand
Recently, Catewayo had a dispute with Sir Bartle Frere, the English
Governor, about the boundary between Zululand and Natal. The Governor at
last yielded, but demanded that Catewayo should disband his army. This
the barbaric king would not do; and the English troops entered his
territory under Lord Chelmsford, whose first encounter with the brave
and savage Zulus resulted in a bloody and over-whelming disaster to the
There is little doubt, however, that sooner or later the English must
overcome Catewayo. The natural result of this would be the annexation of
Zululand to the Cape Colony. Thus its dimensions are ever increasing.
CLOUDS AND SHADOWS.
The clouds, which rise with thunder, slake
Our thirsty souls with rain:
The blow most dreaded falls to break
From off our limbs a chain;
And wrongs of man to man but make
The love of God more plain:
As through the shadowy lens of even
The eye looks farthest into heaven.
On gleams of star and depths of blue
The glaring sunshine never knew!
HOW THE CANADIAN PARLIAMENT IS OPENED.
Compared with the annual convening of the American Congress, the opening
of the Dominion Parliament is an imposing event. This year additional
interest has been given it for Canadians, because over it not only
presided a new and popular Governor-General, and a new ministry, but the
Princess Louise, wife of the Governor-General, and daughter of Queen
In Canada an American observer is struck by the close connection between
political and social affairs; a union that is probably caused by the
fact, that "society" is there formed by men, while in the United States
it is almost, if not wholly, formed by women.
A lady in the United States, as a rule, makes her social position. If
she has the qualities of a society leader, she becomes one, independent
of her husband's position, unless that should be exceptionally bad.
In Canada the conditions are reversed. A young girl, when she marries,
accepts the place and station in society which her husband has always
occupied. Social circles are graded entirely upon an official basis. A
woman may have lived a life of retirement and obscurity until the day
her husband is appointed or elected to some high office, when she at
once comes prominently forward, and has an acknowledged place in
But we are wandering from our subject. For several weeks the Canadian
Senate Chamber had been undergoing thorough renovation. The dais upon
which has always stood one chair, known as "the throne," because there
the representative of royalty presides over this Chamber, has been
enlarged. Because the wife of the Marquis of Lorne is a member of the
royal family, two chairs were placed upon it, and on state occasions the
Princess Louise is to sit beside her husband.
The Senate Chamber at the opening presented a brilliant appearance. The
floor had been given up to the ladies, who were in full evening dress.
At the hour appointed the doors behind the throne were opened to admit
the suite from Rideau Hall. The ladies were still dressed in deep
mourning for the Princess Alice, but the gentlemen were in full court
dress. A few minutes later the Marquis of Lorne and the Princess Louise
entered, and–every one else standing–seated themselves.
The Marquis, owing to his fair hair and florid complexion, is very
youthful in appearance; but he carries his honors with real dignity.
The Princess, like the ladies of her household, was dressed in black
satin, with low neck and short sleeves, and wore magnificent diamonds in
her hair, around her throat, and studding the bosom of her dress.
Almost immediately after they had taken their places the Speaker of the
Senate approached the throne, and after bowing very low, waited to know
the wishes of the new Governor-General.
The Marquis expressed his readiness to receive the members of the House
of Commons, and formally open the first session of the fourth
Parliament. Accordingly the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod was sent,
and soon a knocking was heard at the door of the Senate Chamber, and the
Governor was informed that the members waited without.
The door was opened, and headed by their newly-elected Speaker, Dr.
Blanchet, they advanced to the bar of the Senate. Then, after
salutations had been exchanged between the Governor and his Parliament,
Dr. Blanchet announced that he had been chosen by his brother members as
their Speaker for the present Parliament, and as such was prepared to
receive instructions from the throne, and know the pleasure of the
This short address was first delivered in English, and afterwards in
French, and the reply was also given in both languages.
This reply, or "Speech of the Throne," as it is called, is in character
similar to the "President's Message," only very much shorter. It is a
review of the leading events of the time which has elapsed since
Parliament last assembled, and an outline of the work which the present
session is expected to accomplish. Although given by the
Governor-General, it is in reality but the expression of his ministry.
The entire ceremony of opening Parliament occupies about half an hour,
and by four o'clock the Senate Chamber was empty.
THE USE OF TOBACCO.
A good deal of excitement was produced lately in an Ohio village, when
an old and reverend deacon in the church, a model in good words and
works, was attacked with what appeared to be delirium tremens. The
attack was renewed again and again, and finally the deacon died.
The disease really was, as stated by the physicians, similar to
mania-a-potu, but had been produced by the excessive use of tobacco,
which had slowly but thoroughly penetrated his nervous system.
The superintendent of the Pennsylvania Insane Hospital, in his last
annual report, states that he has carefully tabulated for many years the
causes of insanity in his patients, and finds intemperance the highest
on the list. First, intemperance in the use of liquor, secondly, of
tobacco, and thirdly, of opium and chloral.
"The earlier in life," he says, "that boys begin to use tobacco, the
more strongly marked are its effects upon the nerves and brain.
"Statistics obtained from European schools show that lads whose standing
had been good in their classes before they began to smoke or chew, were
invariably found, after they became addicted to either habit, to fall
below the school average."
If young men would at least refrain from the use of tobacco until after
the age of twenty-five, they would probably never acquire the habit of
using it; or, if they did, it would not gain so secure or deadly a hold
upon them, because their constitutions would be better able to resist
There is no temptation to young girls in tobacco, but the use of
narcotics, anodynes, "drops" and chloral, to which many woman are
becoming addicted, is even more perilous to body and mind.
Charles Langheimer, a white-haired old German, of seventy years of age,
presented himself, a few weeks ago, at the door of the Eastern
Penitentiary, in Pennsylvania, and asked to be given a cell in charity,
and allowed to end his days there.
This Langheimer has a singular history. He was a convict in this prison
when Charles Dickens visited it during his first visit to this country.
The rule of the institution is solitary confinement. The genial
novelist's heart was so wrung with pity for the poor creatures he saw
there condemned to years of absolute silence and loneliness, that he
protested vehemently against the system in his "American Notes." He took
the case of this wretched German as his text. Probably thousands of kind
eyes, all over the world, have filled with tears at the story of
The authorities of the prison and the defenders of the system, however,
tell with great gusto the sequel of the story. It seems that
Langheimer, as soon as he was released for one offence, committed
another, and has been brought back again and again, until forty years of
his life have been passed within these walls. Finally, not being under
any charge, he voluntarily came back and begged for admission.
An impartial observer would be apt to think that Dickens was right, and
that the system cannot be the best one that fits a man to commit more
crimes, or which made poor Langheimer unable to find a home in society
outside of a jail.
The American people are only beginning to learn that the use of prisons
is to reform wicked men as well as to punish them.
TWO NOTABLE RHETORICAL FIGURES.
Daniel Webster is credited with one of the most vivid figures in the
rhetoric of American eloquence. The orator was eulogizing the financial
genius of Hamilton, and startled the audience by the sentence, uttered
in his impressive tone,—
"He touched the dead corpse of Public Credit, and it sprung upon its
The audience rose to their feet,–it was a public dinner,–and greeted
the sentiment with three rousing cheers.
The figure, Mr. Webster said, was an impromptu, suggested by a napkin on
the dinner-table. He had paused, in his usual deliberate way, after the
sentence, itself containing a figure beautiful in its appropriateness.
"He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of
revenue gushed forth." His eye fell upon a folded napkin; that suggested
a corpse in its winding-sheet, and the figure was in his mind.
Grand as this rhetoric is, it is almost paralleled in vividness, while
exceeded in wit, by a figure which Seargent S. Prentiss, of Mississippi,
A Southern statesman, noted as a political tactician, had written a
letter on the annexation of Texas. As public opinion in the South
favored the measure, while in the North it was opposed, the tactician,
whose object was to gain votes for his party, published two editions of
his letter. The edition intended for the South was bold in its advocacy
of annexation; but that designed for Northern circulation was remarkable
for its ambiguity.
Mr. Prentiss denounced the trick on the "stump." Grasping the two
letters, he threw them under his feet, saying,–
"I wonder that, like the acid and the alkali, they do not effervesce
as they touch each other!"
"UP TO SNUFF."
A genial observer of our public men is amused at the political dexterity
of those anxious to serve as presidential candidates. If he is a
veteran, as well as a genial observer, he smiles as he compares these
'prentice hands with the master of political adroitness, Martin Van
Looking upon politics as a game, Mr. Van Buren played it with forecast
and sagacity, and with the utmost good-nature.
"He was the mildest manner'd man
That ever scuttled"
a Whig ship, or cut off a politician's head. No excitement quickened his
moderation. Even the most biting of personal sarcasms failed to ruffle a
temper that seemed incapable of being disturbed.
Once, while Mr. Van Buren, being the Vice-President, was presiding over
the Senate, Henry Clay attacked him in a speech freighted with sarcasm
Mr. Van Buren sat in the chair, with a quiet smile upon his face, as
placidly as though he was listening to the complimentary remarks of a
The moment Mr. Clay resumed his seat, a page handed him Mr. Van Buren's
snuff-box, with the remark,–
"The Vice-President sends his compliments to you, sir."
The Senate laughed at the coolness of the man who was "up to snuff." The
great orator, seeing that his effort had been in vain, shook his finger
good-naturedly at his imperturbable opponent, and taking a large pinch
of snuff, returned the box to the boy, saying,–
"Give my compliments to the Vice-President, and say that I like his
snuff much better than his politics."
A NEW WONDER.
At the last total eclipse of the sun, many astronomers busied themselves
chiefly with observing the corona which had excited so much interest and
speculation at previous eclipses. This is the name given to the bright
light seen outside of the moon's disk when the body of the sun is
completely hidden by it.
Opinions were divided as to its cause; some observers thinking it
proceeded from the sun's atmosphere, or from luminous gases which shot
far above its surface; while others imagined it separated from the sun
altogether, and due to other causes in the depths of space.
From the observations made, and from photographs taken, it is now
believed to be simply the reflected light of the sun. This reflection is
supposed to be due to immense numbers of meteorites, or possibly,
systems of meteorites, like the rings of Saturn, revolving about the
sun. The existence of such meteorites has long been suspected, and
observations now seem to justify a belief in their existence. Their
constant falling into the sun is thought to be one of the methods by
which its heat is maintained without loss.
STEALING FROM MILTON'S COFFIN.
Mr. A. T. Stewart is not the only distinguished man whose remains have
not been suffered to lie undisturbed in the tomb. John Wickliffe's bones
were exhumed and burned, and Oliver Cromwell's body was taken up and
beheaded. That the remains of the great Milton were subjected to such
barbarous sacrilege is not so generally known. From an ancient London
magazine, the Portland Transcript extracts an account of this outrage.
When the old church of St. Giles, Cripplegate (the place of Milton's
grave), was repaired about a hundred years ago, the great poet's coffin
was brought to light and officially identified, with a view to placing a
monument over the remains. In the night a party of men entered and
forcibly opened it, plundering the hair and several of the bones to sell
All this seems to have been done without any attempt at concealment, as
to public exhibitions of portions of the body would indicate. The
oft-quoted inscription over Shakespeare's tomb at Stratford-on-Avon
would have been especially appropriate over both that of Milton and of
"Blesse be ye man yt spares thes stones,
And cvrst be he yt moves my bones."
The crime of robbing the dead is one of the most revolting to every
natural feeling. It is a singular fact, having almost a suggestion of
retributive justice in it, that the bones of Nathan Hale, the gallant
patriot spy of the Revolution, lay in the earth that was dug out and
carried away to make room for the foundations of one of Mr. Stewart's
immense New York buildings.
First Comptroller Porter, of the Treasury at Washington, has lead a
novel case presented to him for decision:
A wealthy Scotch gentleman, while travelling by rail in his native
country in 1876 lost his portmanteau, containing five hundred thousand
dollars in bonds of various nations, among which were five thousand
dollars in United States six per cent coupon bonds. Some time ago the
police of Scotland arrested two men and one woman upon suspicion of
having stolen the portmanteau.
Upon being arraigned they confessed the theft, and related a singular
story about the disposition of the property.
They explained that, not being able to read, they were not aware of the
value of the papers, and fearing to retain them, they were burned.
A relative of the Scotchman residing in this country now comes forward
with an application for the issue of duplicates for the bonds stolen, a
full description of which is given.
Similar applications to European Governments whose bonds were among
those alleged to have been burned have been granted.
A transcript from the record of the Scotch courts sets forth these
facts, and attests the respectability of the gentleman who lost the
The First Comptroller has intimated that if, upon a thorough
examination, the facts are found to be as stated, he will approve the
Should the duplicates be issued, they will have to be deposited in trust
with the United States Treasurer in order to secure the Government
When those particular bonds are called for redemption the amount will be
paid the owner, and in the meantime he can regularly draw the interest.
A NOBLE-HEARTED RESCUER.
A French paper in New York, the Courier des Etats-Unis, published the
following instance of brave self-sacrifice by a Belgian comic singer
named Martens, who at one time was in this country, and gave
entertainments in the "Empire City." The scene in which he figures here
as the hero is laid in Bucharest, the half-oriental capital of
Wallachia, at the farther end of Europe:
M. Martens, says the Bucharest Chronicle, lived with his family near a
house wherein broke out a fire at one o'clock in the morning.
Half-dressed, he ran out to help his neighbors, and found a woman crying
wildly, "My children!"
"How many have you got?" he said.
"Up stairs, third story."
"Why, that's where the fire broke out!" cried Martens, and went up the
staircase in a hurry. In a few minutes he came down with his arms full.
"There they are," said he; "but there's only two."
"Merciful Heaven! I forgot to tell you that the other was in the back
"Well,–yes; you might have mentioned that before. You see the timbers
are falling, and–I've got three children myself. However"—
Up he went again, four steps at a time. Pretty soon he came back, a
blackamoor with smoke; but he had the baby safe and sound, and gave it
to its mother. Next day when he came to sing at the Muller Gardens, the
audience glorified him.
NOT A SEA-SERPENT.
That there really is a sea-serpent, scientific men now have little
doubt; but many people have not seen it who thought they did. One
curious deception of this sort is thus related by an English writer:
One morning in October, 1869, I was standing with a group of passengers
on the deck of time ill-fated P. and G. steamship Rangoon, then
steaming up the Straits of Malacca to Singapore.
One of the party suddenly pointed out an object on the port-bow, perhaps
half a mile off, and drew from us the simultaneous exclamation of "The
And there it was, to the naked eye a genuine serpent, speeding through
the sea, with its head raised on a slender curved neck, now almost
buried in the water, and anon reared just above its surface. There was
the mane, and there were the well-known undulating coils stretching
But for an opera-glass, probably all our party on board the Rangoon
would have been personal witnesses to the existence of a great
sea-serpent. But, alas for romance! One glance through the lenses, and
the reptile was resolved into a bamboo, root upwards, anchored in some
manner to the bottom,–a "snag," in fact.
Swayed up and down by the rapid current, a series of waves undulated
beyond it, bearing on their crests dark-colored weeds of grass that had
been caught by the bamboo stem.
PUNISHED BY CONSCIENCE.–A writer in the Boston Transcript calls
attention to the fact that a man may escape the law, and yet be held by
his conscience. He says:
Many years ago, a young man in this city was guilty of an offence
against the law, an offence which brought social ruin upon himself and
his family. The span and his offence are forgotten by the public, yet he
lives, and lives here in Boston. But from the day his offence was
discovered,–although, having escaped the law, he is free to come and go
as he pleases,–he has never been seen outside of his own home in the
Sometimes, under the cover of night, he walks abroad to take an airing
and note the changes that thirty years have wrought, but an ever-active
conscience makes him shun the light of day and the faces of men, and he
walks apart, a stranger in the midst of those among whom he has always
NO QUOTATION MARKS.
A writer in the Boston Transcript notices the fact that even men
eminent in literature are not above borrowing from each other, and
sometimes display the borrowed article as their own:
When Tennyson's "In Memoriam" appeared, a certain poet was standing in
the Old Corner Bookstore, turning over the leaves of the freshly-printed
volume, when up stepped a literary friend, of rare taste and learning in
poetry, saying to the poet,—
"Have you read it?"
"Indeed I have!" was the answer; "and do you know it seems to me that,
in this delightful book, Tennyson has done for friendship what Petrarch
did for love."
This was too neat a mot for the literary friend to forget. That
afternoon, he called upon a lady on Beacon Hill, and noticing a copy of
"In Memoriam" on her table, saw his opportunity.
After the usual greetings, he took up the book. "Have you read it?" he
"Yes," said the lady, "and I have enjoyed it greatly."
"So have I," said her visitor, "and do you know that it seems to me that
in this charming poem Tennyson has done for friendship what Petrarch did
"Indeed," rejoined the lady, adding, with a mischievous smile, "Mr.
——" (naming a well-known essayist and critic) "called this morning,
and said the same thing."
Who it was that originated the apt comparison remains an unsolved
mystery to this day.
A DOG AND A STRING.
The Paris Figaro reports a conversation between an optician and a
customer of an inquiring mind:
A near-sighted friend went to an optician the other day to change the
glasses of his spectacles, which had become too weak. He was given the
next number lower.
"After this number, what will I take?" he asked.
"And after that?"
"And then?" asked the myope, with an anxious air.
"Then," said the dealer, "I think a small and sagacious dog, with a
string attached, will be about the thing."
Sydney Smith, in the following paragraph, suggests the moral basis of
Manners are the shadows of virtues; the momentary display of those
qualities which our fellow-creatures love and respect. If we strive to
become, then, what we strive to appear, manners may often be rendered
useful guides to the performance of our duties.
To every purchaser of our Holly Scroll Saw we give free full-sized
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HOLLY SCROLL SAW.
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ON RECEIPT OF $3,
which is the price of the Holly Scroll Saw with the Drill, we will give
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1 Design for a $3 Eastlake Book-Shelf.
1 Design for a $2 Eastlake Foot-Rest.
1 Design for a $1.15 Eastlake Bracket.
1 Design for a $2 Slipper Holder.
Designs for $50 worth of Brackets.
200 Miniature Designs.
5 Silhouette Designs.
1 Sheet Impression Paper.
12 Best Steel Saw Blades.
2 Best Drill Points.
1 Illustrated Manual of Fret Sawing and Wood Carving.
If you desire to know more about it before purchasing, please send us
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DESCRIPTION.–It is 33 inches high, and has 18 inches swing. Speed from
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Perry Mason & Co.,
41 Temple Place, Boston, Mass.
The Greatest Musical Success of the Day is
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Elegant copies, with Music, Words and Libretto, mailed for $1 00. Per
Emerson & Tilden's HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR . $1 00
LAUREL WREATH, by W. O. Perkins . . . . . 1 00
C. Everest's SCHOOL SONG BOOK . . . . . . 60
are three of the very best books for Seminaries, Normal and High
A splendid stock of these on hand, cost but 6 to 10 cts. each, and each
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LADY AGENTS WANTED FOR
Any of above goods sent by mail, postage paid, on receipt of list price.
Send for Descriptive Circular. Permanent and profitable employment for
ladies. Exclusive territory given. CAUTION.–All Corsets manufactured
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Descriptive Circular address main office. MADAME GRISWOLD, 921 and 923
Broadway, N. Y. Branch office, 32 Winter St., Arcade Building, Boston,
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For Beauty of Polish, Saving Labor, Cleanliness, Durability & Cheapness,
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10 VARIETIES Foreign Copper Coins, and 125 Foreign Stamps, with
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For the Companion
THE BOY I LOVE.
My boy, do you know the boy I love?
I fancy I see him now;
His forehead bare in the sweet spring air,
With the wind of hope in his waving hair,
The sunrise on his brow.
He is something near your height, may be;
And just about your years;
Timid as you; but his will is strong,
And his love of right and his hate of wrong
Are mightier than his fears.
He has the courage of simple truth.
The trial that he must bear,
The peril, the ghost that frights him most,
He faces boldly, and like a ghost
It vanishes in air.
As wildfowl take, by river and lake,
The sunshine and the rain.
With cheerful, constant hardihood
He meets the bad luck and the good,
The pleasure and the pain.
Come friends in need? With heart and deed
He gives himself to them.
He has the grace which reverence lends,–
Reverence, the crowning flower that bends
The upright lily-stem.
Though deep end strong his sense of wrong,
Fiery his blood and young,
His spirit is gentle, his heart is great,
He is swift to pardon and slow to hate;
And master of his tongue.
Fond of his sports? No merrier lad's
Sweet laughter ever rang!
But he is so generous and so frank,
His wildest wit or his maddest prank
Can never cause a pang.
His own sweet ease, all things that please,
He loves, like any boy;
But fosters a prudent fortitude;
Nor will he squander a future good
To buy a fleeting joy.
Face brown or fair? I little care,
Whatever the hue may be,
Or whether his eyes are dark or light;
If his tongue be true and his honor bright,
He is still the boy for me.
Where does he dwell? I cannot tell;
Nor do I know his name.
Or poor, or rich? I don't mind which;
Or learning Latin, or digging ditch;
I love him all the same.
With high, brave heart perform your part,
Be noble and kind as he,
Then, some fair morning, when you pass,
Fresh from glad dreams, before your glass,
His likeness you may see.
You are puzzled? What! you think there is not
A boy like him,–surmise
That he is only a bright ideal?
But you have power to make him real,
And clothe him to our eyes.
You have rightly guessed: in each pure breast
Is his abiding-place.
Then let your own true life portray
His beauty, and blossom day by day
With something of his grace.
For the Companion.
A TRUE STORY.
A few years ago a couple of good women living together near one of our
great cities took two or three orphan children into their home.
As time passed, other helpless, friendless little ones came to them,
until they had thirty under their care. Their own means they gave to the
last dollar, and for the rest they trusted God, living from week to week
on the contributions of the charitable, but making it a rule to ask help
of nobody but Him who has promised to be a father to the fatherless.
Last winter one of their friends published a short account of this
little home, and happening to meet that day a gentleman well known as a
financier all over the country, handed it to him.
"This Home is but a mile or two from your house, Mr. C——," he said.
"Yes," said Mr. C——, carelessly; "I have heard of it. Kept up by
prayer and faith, eh?"
"Yes. A bad capital for business, I fancy."
Mr. C—— thrust the paper in his pocket, and thought no more about
it. That night at about eleven o'clock he was sitting toasting his feet
before going to bed, when there was a tap at his door, and his daughter
came in with the paper in her hand and her cheeks burning with
"Father, I've been reading about this Orphan Home. We never have done
anything for it"—
"And you wish to help the orphans, do you? Very well, we will look into
the matter to-morrow."
She hesitated. "Father, I want to do it to-night."
It was a bitter night in December; the snow lay upon the ground. "The
horses and coachman are asleep long ago. Nonsense, my dear; wait until
"Something tells me we ought to go now," she pleaded, with tears in her
Mr. C—— yielded; he even caught the infection of her excitement, and
while she called the servants and heaped the carriage with bundles of
bedding, clothes and baskets of provisions, he inclosed a hundred-dollar
bill in a blank envelope.
In the meantime the guardians of the orphans had on that day spent their
last dollar. "We had," said the matron, "actually nothing to give the
children for breakfast."
The two women went to their knees that night, God only knows with what
meaning in their cries for daily bread.
While they were yet praying, a carriage drove to the door, and without a
word, the clothes, provisions and money were handed out by an unknown
They knew God had sent her in answer to their prayers.
If we all could bring our absolute, simple faith in Him into our daily
lives, what a solid foundation we would lay under all change of fortune,
disease, or of circumstance! We should have then a house indeed founded
on a rock.
"TEARS AND KISSES."
A writer in the Sabbath School Times tells a pathetic story of that
language of signs which is common all over the world: "Two little
Italians accompanied a man with a harp out of the city along the country
roads, skirted by fields and woods, and here and there was a farmhouse
by the way.
"He played and they sang at every door. Their voices were sweet, and the
words in an unknown tongue.
"The old ladies came out of the door, and held their hands above their
eyes to see what it all meant, and from behind them peered the flaxen
heads of timid children.
"Not knowing how to make themselves understood, the little children,
when they had finished singing, shyly held out their little brown hands
or their aprons to get anything that might be given them and take it to
the dark man out at the gate, who stood ready to receive it.
"One day the dark harpist went to sleep, and the little boy and girl,
becoming tired of waiting for him, went off to a cottage under the hill
an began to sing under the window.
"They sang as sweetly as the voices of birds. Presently the blinds were
opened wide, and they saw by the window a fair lady on a sick bed
"Her eyes shone with a feverish light, and the color of her cheeks was
like a beautiful peach.
"She smiled, and asked them if their feet were tired. They said a few
words softly in their own tongue.
"She said, 'Are the green fields not better than your city?'
"They shook their heads.
"She asked them, 'Have you a mother?'
"They looked perplexed.
"She said, 'What do you think while you walk along the country roads?'
"They thought she asked for another song, so eager was the face, and
they sang at once a song full of sweetness and pity, so sweet the tears
came into her eyes.
"That was a language they had learned; so they sang one sweeter still.
"At this she kissed her hand and waved it to them. Their beautiful faces
kindled, and like a flash the timid hands waved back a kiss.
"She pointed upward to the sky, and sent a kiss up thither.
"At this they sank upon their knees and also pointed thither, as much as
asking, 'Do you also know the good God?'
"A lady leaning by the window, said, 'So tears and kisses belt the
earth, and make the whole world kin.' And the sick one added, 'And God
is over all.'"
RIGHTS IN THE ROAD.
The following statements as to rights in the road may be useful to some
of our readers. It certainly contradicts certain common opinions:
If a farm deed is bounded by, on or upon a road, it usually extends to
the middle of the roadway.
The farmer owns the soil of half the road, and may use the grass, trees,
stones, gravel, sand or anything of value to him, either on the land or
beneath the surface, subject only to the superior rights of the public
to travel over the road, and that of the highway surveyor to use such
materials for the repair of the road; and these materials may be carted
away and used elsewhere on the road.
No other man has a right to feed his cattle there, or cut the grass or
trees, much less deposit his wood, old carts, wagons or other things
The owner of a drove of cattle that stops to feed in front of your land,
or a drove of pigs which root up the soil, is responsible to you at law,
as much as if they did the same thing inside the fence.
Nobody's children have a right to pick up the apples under your trees,
although the same stand wholly outside of your fence.
No private person has a right to cut or lop off the limbs of your trees
in order to move his old barn or other buildings along the highway, and
no traveller can hitch his horse to your trees in the sidewalk without
being liable, if he gnaws the bark or otherwise injures them.
If your wall stands partly on your land and partly outside the fence, no
neighbor can use it except by your permission.
Nay, more; no man has a right to stand in front of your land and insult
you with abusive language without being liable to you for trespassing on
He has a right to pass and repass in an orderly and becoming manner; a
right to use the road, but not to abuse it.
But notwithstanding the farmer owns the soil of the road, even he cannot
use it for any purpose which interferes with the use of it by the public
He cannot put his pig-pen, wagons, cart, wood or other things there, if
the highway surveyor orders them away as obstructing public travel.
If he leaves such things outside his fence, and within the limits of the
highway, as actually laid out, though some distance from the traveled
path, and a traveller runs into them in the night and is injured, the
owner is not only liable to him for private damages, but may also be
indicted and fined for obstructing a public highway.
And if he has a fence or wall along the highway, he must place it all on
his land, and not half on the road, as in case of division fences
But as he owns the soil, if the road is discontinued, or located
elsewhere, the land reverts to him, and he may inclose it to the centre,
and use it as part of his farm.–Judge Bennett.
For the Companion.
O deep grave eyes! that long have seemed to gaze
On our low level from far loftier days,
O grand gray head! an aureole seemed to grind,
Drawn from the spirit's pure, immaculate rays!
At length death's signal sounds! From weary eyes
Pass the pale phantoms of our earth and skies;
The gray head droops; the museful lips are closed
On life's vain questionings and more vain replies!
Like some gaunt oak wert thou, that lonely stands
'Mid fallen trunks in outworn, desert lands;
Still sound at core, with rhythmic leaves that stir
To soft swift touches of aerial hands.
Ah! long we viewed thee thus, forlornly free,
In that dead grove the sole unravished tree;
Lo! the dark axeman smites! the oak lies low
That towered in lonely calm o'er land and sea!
LORD LORNE AND THE RAT.
While at school at Eton, Lord Lorne, the present Governor of Canada, had
one scrape which exhibited him in a light that boys will appreciate. He
was standing on the steps of Upper School one morning, waiting for
eleven o'clock school, when one Campbell, a namesake of his, but no
relative, asked him to hold a pet rat for a moment, while he–the owner
of the beast–ran back to his dame's to fetch a book which he had
On receiving the assurance that the rat was perfectly tame, and would
not even bite a kitten, Lorne put him into the pocket of his jacket, and
told the owner to make haste, but just at that moment the masters came
out of "Chambers" and ascended the staircase, so Lorne was obliged to go
into school with the brute.
All went well for five minutes, but soon the rat, indifferent to the
honor of inhabiting a marquis' pocket, crept out and jumped on to the
Some boys saw it and set up a titter, which excited the attention of the
form-master, Mr. Y——, nicknamed "Stiggins," a strict disciplinarian.
"Who brought that rat into school?" he asked.
Lorne confessed that he was the culprit.
"Well, make haste to catch him and carry him out, or I shall complain of
you," said Mr. Y——.
My lord laid down his Homer, but to catch the rat was not easy. Seeing
himself an object of general attention, the animal darted under the
scarlet curtain which separated one division from another, and, rushing
amid a new lot of boys, provoked an uproar.
In a minute all the boys in the upper school-room, some two hundred and
odd, were on their feet shouting, laughing, hooting, and preparing to
throw their books at the rat, who, however, spared them this trouble by
ducking down a hole, where he disappeared for good and a'.
Lorne had to come back, red and breathless, declaring that his game had
eluded pursuit, whereupon Mr. Y——, who disliked riots, proceeded to
make out a "bill" which consigned his lordship after school to the care
of the Sixth Form Præposter.
Luckily Dr. Goodford took a merciful view of the affair, and, as Lorne
had not yet had "first fault," absolved him from kneeling on the block.
It is to be noted that Lorne might easily have exonerated himself by
explaining under what circumstances he had taken charge of the rat; but
he was not the kind of boy to back out of a scrape by betraying a
friend, and if Dr. Goodford had refused him the benefit of a first
fault, he would certainly have taken his flogging without a murmur.
The singular fact that a man who has lost his way always travels in a
circle is vividly illustrated by the following narrative, told by a
Montana paper, of a heroic mail-carrier:
Casey carried the mail, carried by a two-wheeled sulky. He started in a
blinding snow storm, and the track across the prairie was lost.
As he did not reach the end of his drive at the appointed time, it was
assumed that he had lost his way. Mr. William Rowe, informed of the
circumstance, set forth, and in due time found a dim track where Casey
had left the main road. Following this, Casey was found, sitting in his
cart, which the horse was drawing slowly and painfully along.
He was in a doze, and Mr. Rowe shouted to him once or twice before he
was roused to consciousness. It was then found that his right foot and
leg were frozen nearly to the knee, and that his left foot was in the
It is believed that his injuries are not serious, and that he will not
suffer the loss of either limb.
His story was soon told. The driver had been wandering over that
trackless prairie for ten days and nights, without food or shelter, and
with a temperature never above zero.
All this time he had moved in an almost perfect circle, and had picketed
his horse and camped every night in almost the same spot.
More remarkable still, he had daily passed within a mile and a half of
the Twenty-eight Mile House, which was his destination.
All this time, amid sufferings that would have crushed an ordinary man,
Bob Casey had only one thought, that he must stay with the mail and get
it through, whatever befell him.
And he did; not a single package was lost. Starving, half-frozen, and
dazed by exposure and privation, it was not of himself he thought. His
duty was still uppermost in his mind.
Here was heroic stuff. How many such can the postal service boast?
During all these terrible days and nights, the only thing that passed
his lips was tobacco and snow.
He had with him a goodly supply of the former article at the start, and
as day wore into night, and night into day, he began hoarding it with as
much avidity as ever did a miser his gold.
PRINCE OF WALES' HOME.
A writer thus describes the country house of the Prince of Wales at
Sandringham, which is a model of comfort:
The large hall which you enter on arriving is fitted up as a
dining-room, with a pianoforte, easy-chairs and two large
writing-tables. Behind the piano are a quantity of toys for the children
to amuse themselves with at the "children's hour" after tea.
Here at five o'clock the tea-table is placed in the centre of the hall,
and is presided over by the princess in the loveliest of tea-gowns.
It is a pretty sight to see her surrounded by her three little girls,
who look like tiny fairies, and who run about to put "papa's" letters in
the large pillar-post box at one end of the hall. There are generally
four or five large dogs to add to the circle.
At Christmas the hall looks like a large bazaar, being then filled with
the most costly and beautiful tables, with a large Christmas tree in the
centre and objects all around the sides of the hall full of presents for
the household and visitors.
Their royal highnesses arrange these presents all themselves, and no one
is permitted to enter till the evening.
The drawing-room is a particularly pretty room, full of furniture, and
every available corner is filled with gigantic flower-glasses full of
Pampas grass and evergreens.
Out of the drawing-room, on the opposite side of the dining-room, is a
small sitting-room, fitted with book-cases. Beyond this is the prince's
own room, quite full of beautiful things.
Here he and the princess always breakfast, and here on the ninth of
November and the first of December are laid out all the numerous birth
Of the princess's private apartments up stairs it will suffice to say
that a prettier room than her royal highness's own boudoir, or
sitting-room, was never seen. All the visitors' rooms are perfect, nor
are the servants' comforts neglected.
CAUGHT WITH FENCE-RAIL LATIN.
It requires no extraordinary shrewdness in a person of capable
intelligence to expose a pretender,–especially a quack, who appears in
the "borrowed feathers" of assumed learning. Lawyers have so much of
this stripping work to do that it forms their cheapest fun; but it is
fun, nevertheless. The Louisville Courier-Journal says:
Judge Black, of Pennsylvania, tells a comical story of a trial in which
a German doctor appeared for the defence in a case for damages brought
against a client of his by the object of his assault.
The eminent jurist soon recognized in his witness, who was produced as a
medical expert, a laboring man who some years before, and in another
part of the country, had been engaged by him as a builder of post and
rail fences. With this cue he opened his examination. "You say, doctor,"
he began, with great diffidence and suavity, "that you operated upon Mr.
——'s head after it was cut by Mr. ——?"
"Oh, yaw," replied the ex-fence builder; "me do dat; yaw, yaw."
"Was the wound a very severe one, doctor?"
"Enough to kill him if I not save his life."
"Well, doctor, what did you do for him?"
"Did you perform the Caesarean operation?"
"Oh, yaw, yaw; if me not do dat he die."
"Did you decapitate him?"
"Yaw, yaw, me do dat, too."
"Did you hold a post mortem examination?"
"Oh, to be schure, Schudge! Me always do dat."
"Well, now, doctor," and here the judge bent over in a friendly,
familiar way, "tell us whether you submitted your patient to the process
known among medical men as the post and rail fenciorum?"
The mock doctor drew himself up indignantly. "Scherry Plack," says he,
"I always know'd you vas a jayhawk lawyer, an' now I know you for a mean
Oil and Vinegar. – "Remember," said a trading Quaker to his son, "in
making thy way in the world, a spoonful of oil will go farther than a
quart of vinegar."
For the Companion.
THE WOMAN IN THE MOON.
I've often heard of the man in the moon;
And his profile often have seen
In the almanac, drawn on the side of a lune,
Just so–with a smile serene.
But I guessed the secret the other night,
As the clouds were clearing away;
And what do you think was the wondrous sight
Which the mystery did betray?
I fancied I saw in the crescent, half hid,
Fair Luna herself reclining;
Not a man in the moon, but a woman instead,
From the sky was brightly shining.
For the Companion.
She had such an honest, hearty, round little face, with two brown eyes,
a dot of a nose, and such chubby, hard, red cheeks that Aunt Gussie
named her "Chubby Wubby" as soon as she saw her.
Her real name was Fanny, although mamma called her "Blossom," sometimes,
and papa declared she was his little "Boy," while grandma had a whole
host of pet names beside.
Aunt Gussie thought "Chubby Wubby" seemed to suit her the best of all,
she was so round and plump and rosy.
Miss Chubby was cross one day, and among other things, she took it into
her head that she wouldn't be called by any of her pet names. When mamma
said to her, "Blossom, come and get your hat on," she shrugged her
shoulders; and she answered, "Agh!" when Aunt Gussie made a rush at her
for half-a-dozen kisses when she came in off the lawn, with such
tempting cheeks that it was impossible not to want to bite them.
When Aunt Gussie said, "Come here, quick, you sweet little Chubby
Wubby!" Fanny just kicked out one of her bare, plump little knees, and
Now that was a very dreadful thing for her to call her auntie, for Fanny
thought pigs were very horrid sort of beasts, and it was the worst name
she knew, and beside, she said it in a naughty, wicked tone.
"O Chubby," cried Aunt Gussie, laughing, "we haven't got any pigs in
here, and we don't want any colts either, and if you are going to kick
that way, we shall have to put you out in the stable."
Chubby didn't feel a bit like laughing at this, but said again, very
loudly, "Pig, Pig, PIG!"
Mamma heard her from the other room then, and she called out, "Come in
here to me, Fanny; I want to look at your tongue." Fanny kicked up her
heels and ran in to her mamma, and stuck out her little coral-tinted
tongue. "Wha' fo', mamma?" she asked, thinking perhaps some little sweet
pellets might follow.
"I wanted to see the naughty spot on it," answered mamma, "I heard it
call auntie a name just now, and I wanted to tell you if I ever heard
it call any one that again, I should put something on the spot to cure
Little Fanny shut her lips very tight then, only opening them to say
very earnestly, "Never no more, mamma."
"Well," replied mamma, "I hope you won't forget, for I shall not; now
kiss auntie, and run out on the lawn and play until luncheon."
Then little Chubby Wubby went in and threw her arms around Aunt Gussie's
neck, and all was forgiven.
Somehow "never no more" happened to be a very short time, for not very
long afterward, when Annie, her nurse, called, "Come, Fanny, bread and
milk is all ready," she ran away off down by the brook and answered,
"No, I don't wan' to tum."
"But mamma says you must come in right away," and Annie ran after her.
"Pig, Pig, PIG," again cried Fanny, in an angry tone.
Mamma heard her, and came to the door. "Pick her right up, Annie, and
bring her to me. I am going to cure her of that habit directly," and so
poor little naughty Chubby Wubby was borne into the house, kicking and
"Stop your crying and put out your tongue," said mamma. "I'm going to
put some pepper right on to the naughty spot, and burn out the name you
have called auntie and Annie to-day."
"No, mamma, no, no, never no more," sobbed little Chubby Wubby, her eyes
and round red cheeks all wet with tears.
"Well, if Aunt Gussie and Annie say so, I will let you off this time,"
said mamma, with the little pinch of pepper in her hand all ready.
"But remember, if I ever hear your tongue call any one 'Pig' again, I
shall put the pepper on it and burn out the naughty spot."
Chubby Wubby sobbed over and over again, "Never no more, mamma," and
Aunt Gussie and Annie were very glad to say they would not like to have
their darling punished "this time," and Aunt Gussie whispered to little
Fanny's mamma, "I feel half to blame myself, for I suppose she thinks if
I call her a name, she may call me one," and after that day little
Fanny never called anybody "Pig," and Aunt Gussie stopped calling Fanny
For the Companion.
"Guten morgen! Guten morgen!" *
Sounded at my door,
Eager footsteps in the entry
Outside, and before
I could answer, on the threshold,
Happiest in the land,
Stood my little German neighbor,
Bowing, hat in hand!
But I scarcely knew my Rudolph.
What do you suppose
Changed him so? He laughed and shouted,
"Don't you see my clothes?
I'm a boy at last! And even
If my hair does curl,
Folks won't ever dare to call me
Any more, a girl,–
"Will they?" "No," I said, half sadly,
You're a big boy now!
"I shall miss my baby Rudolph."
Such a saucy bow
As he gave me! But his sweet face,
Brimming o'er with joy,
Made me glad we'd changed our baby
To a noisy boy.
For the Companion.
Pinky was a white mouse that a friend of mine bought when it was very
young, and so small that when it was more than two months old it would
amuse itself by running back and forth through her finger ring, as she
held it on the table like a hoop; and he seemed to like his plaything so
well, that when he got too large to get through, his mistress let him
wear it round his neck as a collar. But soon he outgrew it, and then
Pinky had to give up his little gold toy altogether, and made friends
with a spool of cotton, which he would get out of the work-basket, stand
up on the end and sit upon and then with his tiny paws unwind the
cotton, twirling the spool round on the polished table, and so giving
himself a ride, and looking very cunning perched up there.
Sometimes his mistress would hold a knitting needle over the table, and
he would put his fore paws over it, and dance up and down the whole
length of the needle until he was tired.
He had a little red cloak with a hood, and he would stand quite still to
have it put on, and then scamper off to a little block house the
children had, and would peep out of one of the windows, looking for all
the world like a little "Red Riding Hood."
There is always danger in letting our playful pets play too much, and
one day poor Pinky laid in his kind mistress' hand, seemed tired and
sick, and the next day in her hand he died.
The moral of this true story is,–always let your pets, whether puppies,
or kittens, or anything else, have plenty of time to rest and sleep.
For the Companion.
IN THE DARK.
I know it is dark, my darling,
And fearful the darkness seems;
But shut your eyes! in a moment
The night will be bright with dreams;
Or, better, you'll sleep so sound all night
It will seem but a moment till morning light.
There is only one kind of darkness
That need to trouble us, dear;
Only the night of temptation,
And then we must all of us fear.
Yet even then, if we are but brave,
There is ONE who is ever at hand to save.
We have only to ask Him to help us,
And He will keep us from harm;
Only to whisper, "Jesus!"–
His Name is a holy charm:
"Jesus, save me!" we need but say,
And the night of temptation will flee away.
How can He be always near us?
Near all of us, everywhere?
Ah! that is beyond our knowing;
But there is no bound to His care,
And dear as the whole big world in His sight,
Is the little child that He bids good-night.
For the Companion.
PATTY'S FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL.
Patty was only four years old, but she was just crazy to go to school.
Her three older brothers and sisters all went, and why couldn't she? So,
as much to quiet her teasing as anything, her mother fixed her off to
school with the rest, one winter morning more than thirty years ago.
Miss Dobbs, the teacher, was very strict and made the scholars learn
well, but I'm afraid they did not love her as much as if she had been
more gentle with them. But it was the fashion in those days for teachers
to be severe, and whip the scholars whenever they needed it.
The school-room was a new place to little Patty's round eyes, and for
the first hour she kept very still, looking about in wonder at all she
saw and heard. She sat with her oldest sister, Anna, and felt very well
pleased with everything.
By-and-by she wanted something else to do, and spoke up promptly, in her
sharp little voice, "Anna, I want to see the pictures in your Dogathy!"
Of course all the scholars laughed.
Miss Dobbs rapped on the desk sharply with her rule. "Silence!" The
house became quiet.
"You must not speak out loud in school again," she said, sternly, to
Patty. "I shall punish you if you do."
Patty was very angry. "What right had Miss Dobbs to speak so to her?"
She began to be afraid of Miss Dobbs, but she was sure Anna would not
let any harm come to her little sister. She slipped down quietly off the
seat, and sat down on the floor under the big desk. There Miss Dobbs
could not see her, and she could free her mind. So again her clear voice
rang out, "Miss Dobbs is drefful cross, isn't she, Anna?"
The scholars laughed again, but Miss Dobbs walked quickly up to the
desk, pulled out little Patty, and boxed her ears soundly. Then sitting
her down hard on the seat, she left her with a stern "Now see if you can
Patty was too scared to cry. She found Miss Dobbs was to be minded, and
for the rest of the winter she went to school and was as good a little
girl as you could wish to see.
Enigmas, Charades, Puzzles, &c.
A WATER BIRD.
Though my nest you may find swinging high in the trees,
While I rock on my greenish-blue eggs in the breeze,
Yet I fish for a living, and love water more
Than land, though I'm careful to keep near the shore.
Transposed, I'm a river, you'll see at a glance,
In Switzerland starting, and running through France.
[Express exactly in the fewest words; then transpose your definition
into a word or words equivalent to the definition given under the
This symbol literally expressed is Cat on I. Transpose these letters,
and you have action, which is equivalent to "A deed."
In this way, find the answer to above symbols: 1, Is an animal. 2, A
race. 3, Young ladies. 4, Immense. 5, Settled. 6, A fanatic. J. P. B.
THE THREE BOYS.
[Fill blanks with words to rhyme with the termination of the first
A two-letter boy, whose name was Ed,
And a three letter boy, whose nickname was —,
Were joined by their four-letter brother, named —,
One boy was quite spunky–the hair on his —
Was of a bright auburn, in fact it was —,
And fat too, he was, by being well —.
Another had eyes dull and heavy as —,
And his nose was so broad that often 'twas —.
It nearly all over his visage was —,
The third boy was lazy; he walked with a —
That made it appear that he had a great —
Of working sufficient to pay for the —
Which he ate, when he hadn't some meat in its —.
One cold winter day these boys got a —,
Which they found snug and dry out under a —,
And, like the bad boys of which you have —,
Without their parents' permission they —
To the high coasting hill; soon downward they —,
But upset on the way, and one made his —
In a deep drift of snow which wet every —
Of his new suit of clothes. Another one —
So much at the nose he thought himself —,
The third one, unhurt, the way homeward —,
Where for parents' forgiveness each one humbly —.
My first is a word which signifies advantage; prefix a letter and my
second is the name of a river; prefix again, and my third is an excess;
again, and my fourth is synonymous with one meaning of my third; once
more, and my fifth is synonymous with a second meaning of my third.
Answers to Puzzles in Last Number.
Handel. Haydn, melody, tenor, bass–MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY.
||(Central also in "Faust.") |
||(James Russell Lowell.) |
D, an, red, earl, dread, save, Dee, D. D., s.
It is a serious (cereous) matter, and a wicked work brought to light.
He is making light of a serious (cereous) matter.
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The courts have decided that all subscribers to newspapers are held
responsible until arrearages are paid, and their papers are ordered to
Letters to Publishers should be addressed to PERRY MASON & CO., Youth's
Companion, Boston, Mass.
A STARVING RACE.
It is believed by some persons that the Anglo-American race in this
country is tending rapidly to extinction. Both the birth-rate and the
mother's power to nurse her children seem to be steadily diminishing.
Many persons refer the cause to our climate; others to the overaction of
the brain and nerves in childhood and youth by our schools, and by the
exhaustive excitements of social and fashionable life.
We have no doubt that the latter cause, especially, has much to do with
it. But, besides this, we are inclined to attribute it, to a large
extent, to a lack of proper nourishment.
We are the only nation that prides itself on the whitest of white bread.
Our housekeeping is based on this, and our tastes and the tastes of our
children have become conformed to it.
The fine white bread we use is far enough from being "the staff of
life." The elements that feed the brain, and nerves, and bones, and even
the muscles, have been almost wholly eliminated from it. What is left is
little more than starch, which only supplies heat. It should be
remembered that on pure starch a man can starve to death as truly as on
pure water. And it is this slow starving process that, as a people, we
seem to be undergoing.
Our only alternative is to return to the bread which nature has
provided,–that made from the unbolted grain,–in which there are about
twenty different elements, and each element is essential to the vigor
and health of our physical system.
A MOUNTAIN LION.
A Montana journal tells the story of a hunter who killed a mountain
sheep, and then shot a mountain lion that claimed the game:
Mr. Wesley Curnutt took his gun and started to hunt the horses. About
three or four miles from the White Sulphur Springs he discovered a band
of mountain sheep, and as soon as he gained a proper location, he fired
upon the game.
At the crack of the gun one of the largest mountain lions we have ever
seen (you can imagine how large he appeared to the bold hunter) sprang
from a cliff of rocks, and landed not over thirty feet from Curnutt, in
an attitude looking anything but friendly, and ready to contest titles
to the game in question.
Mr. C——, being an old mountaineer and an experienced hunter, took in
the situation at a glance, and saw there was no time to lose, as his
antagonist meant business; so he immediately drew bead on the gentleman,
and let him have a bullet before he concluded to give way, and as he ran
he received a number of shots, which he carried but a short distance.
Mr. Curnutt, after dressing his sheep, which was a very large one, the
head and horns weighing thirty-seven and a half pounds, returned to the
battle-ground and found his antagonist dead.
Mr. C——, having procured the assistance of Col. Kent, brought the
lion to camp, where they weighed and measured him, finding him to weigh
two hundred and fifty pounds, and measure nine foot eight inches from
the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, which the colonel (though a
bear-hunter in the Rockys for many a year) acknowledges to be the "boss"
of the mountains.
"E PLURIBUS UNUM."
A correspondent of the Philadelphia Press tells the history of the
Latin motto, E Pluribus Unum (from many, one). "The origin of the
motto is ascribed to Col. Reed, of Uxbridge, Mass. It first appeared on
a copper coin, struck at Newburg, New York State, where there was a
private mint. The pieces struck are dated 1786.
"In 1787 the motto appeared on several types of the New Jersey coppers,
also on a very curious gold doubloon, or sixteen-dollar piece, coined by
a goldsmith named Brasher. It was there put 'Unum E Pluribus.' Only
four of these pieces are known to be extant, and they are very valuable.
One of them, in possession of the mint, is supposed to be worth over a
"When Kentucky was admitted, in 1791, it is said copper coins were
struck with 'E Pluribus Unum.' They were made in England. The act of
Congress of 1792, authorizing the establishment of a mint, and the
coinage of gold, silver and copper, did not prescribe this motto, nor
was it over legalized.
"It was placed on gold coins in 1796, and on silver coins in 1798. It
was constantly used thereafter until 1831, when it was withdrawn from
the quarter-dollar of new device. In 1834 it was dropped from gold coins
to mark the change in the standard fineness of the coin.
"In 1837 it was dropped from the silver coins, marking the era of the
revised mint code. It has been thought proper to restore it recently to
our new silver dollar without any special sanction of law, although the
expression is one very proper for our coins."
WHAT "B. C." MEANT.
A smart boy, who carried his point, forms the topic for a paragraph in
the Boston Transcript. A distinguished Bostonian, whom his city and
State have delighted to honor, bethought him lately to buy a new
A bargain offered in the shape of a buggy, which a friend was ready to
dispose of at a fair price. It was "second hand," to be sure, but it was
a good buggy, had been made "'pon honor," had seen but little service,
and bore upon its panels the initials of the original owner, "B. C."
The trade was made, and the buyer congratulated himself not a little on
having got a good thing at a low price. But there was one member of his
family who was not altogether pleased.
The son, a dapper young man, wanted a little more "style," and would
have preferred a new vehicle of fashionable build. He said so much about
it that his father at length lost all patience, and told him seriously
that he was tired of his talk, and would hear no more about it.
"But, father," said time young man, "don't you think we had better have
that 'B. C.' painted out?"
"I tell you," said his father, "that I will not hear another word from
you about it."
"All right, sir," said the son, dutifully; "you know best, of course,
but I thought that perhaps people might think that was when it was
The father surrendered.
A writer in Scribner's Magazine asserts that the farmer, having the
most sane and natural occupation, ought to find life pleasant.
He alone, strictly speaking, has a home. How can a man take root and
thrive without land? He writes his history upon his field.
How many ties, how many resources, he has; his friendships with his
cattle, his team, his dog, his trees, the satisfaction in his growing
crops, in his improved fields; his intimacy with nature, with bird and
beast, and with the quickening elemental forces; his co-operations with
the cloud, the sun, the seasons, heat, wind, rain, frost.
Nothing will take the various social distempers which the city and
artificial life breed, out of a man like farming, like direct and loving
contact with the soil. It draws out the poison. It humbles him. Teaches
him patience and reverence, and restores the proper tone to his system.
Cling to the farm, make much of it, put yourself into it, bestow your
heart and your brain upon it, so that it shall savor of you and radiate
your virtue after your day's work is done.
WHAT IS MADE OUT OF PIT-COAL.
Once mankind saw nothing in mineral coal but a kind of black stone, and
the person who first found out by accident that it would burn, and
talked of it as fuel, was laughed at. Now it is not only our most useful
fuel, but its products are used largely in the arts. A few of them are
- An excellent oil to supply lighthouses, equal to the best sperm oil,
at lower cost.
- Benzole–a light sort of ethereal fluid, which evaporates easily,
and, combined with vapor or moist air, is used for the purpose of
portable gas lamps, so-called.
- Naphtha–a heavy fluid, useful to dissolve gutta percha, india
- An excellent oil for lubricating purposes.
- Asphaltum–which is a black, solid substance, used in making
varnishes, covering roofs, and covering over vaults.
- Paraffine–a white, crystalline substance, resembling white wax,
which can be made into beautiful wax candles; it melts at a
temperature of one hundred and ten degrees, and affords an excellent
light. All these substances are now made from soft coal.
SMOOTHING HIS FATHER'S WRINKLES.
Children are very observing, and they apply their observations in funny
ways sometimes. "A six-year-old genius who lives out West rejoices in
the name of Henry. One day his mother was ironing out some
"Henry stood by and intently watched the facility with which the
wrinkles disappeared upon the advent of the flatiron. From time to time
he glanced uneasily at his somewhat elderly papa, who lay recumbent upon
a sofa, dreaming the happy hours away.
"The youth gazed with sorrow upon the furrows that remorseless time had
ploughed upon the once smooth brow of his father, and then was the
future voter seized with a brilliant idea.
"During a temporary absence of his mother, he seized a flatiron, and
tiptoeing softly to his father's side, began industriously smoothing and
ironing out the wrinkles from that gentleman's forehead. The father
dreamed that he was standing on his head in the centre of Vesuvius
during an eruption. We hope the boy will smooth his father's
care-wrinkles in a less painful and more effectual way when he grows
The meanest paymaster in the universe is Satan. He never yet employed a
hand that he didn't cheat. Young man, engage your service to a better
"Is THAT the second bell?" inquired a gentleman of a colored porter.
"No, sah," answered the porter, "dat am the second ringin' of de fust
bell. We hab but one bell in dis establishment."
"SPEAKING of the different kind of taxes," queried the teacher,
"what-kind is it where Whiskey is taxed?" "I know," said one boy,
holding up his hand. "Well, what is it?" "Sin-tax!" shouted the young