THE TALKATIVE WIG
With Illustrations by Billings and others
THE OLD GARRET.
"Pray, dear Mother," said the boys, "tell us what else you heard in
the old garret."
"You know," said she, "it was on a rainy Sunday when my mother sent
me up there with my book, Pilgrim's Progress. This book always
delighted me, and set my fancy to work in some way or other.
After reading a while, I began to look at the queer old things in
the garret. Pussy began to purr louder and louder, and at last I
fell again into the same dreamy sleep that I was in at first.
Presently I heard the same confused sound which I heard before when
the old tenants of the garret began to speak. There seemed also to
be a slight motion among them, and a sort of mysterious appearance
came over the whole apartment, as if they were all living, though
very shadowy beings. Presently I heard the creak of the curling
tongs, and he uttered these words:—
"I think we have all been wronged by our friend the wig; he approved
of our all relating our own histories, and promised that, after we
had done so, he would give us his, frankly and truly, as we have
done; instead of that he, as well as the rest of us, fell asleep
when our friend spinning wheel related her story; and, when we all
waked up, he did not fulfil his promise. I move that he be requested
now to give us a faithful account of his whole life, till he was
consigned with us to this dark, gloomy old place. I probably have
been more intimately acquainted with him than any one present; for
once or twice I have assisted in smoothing, or rather frizzing, his
ruffled hairs, and making him fit for company; and, with your leave,
my friends, I urge him in your name to relate his history." A sort
of hum of approbation sounded through the long, dark old garret, and
then the wig spoke.
"Friend Frizzle is right: I did agree to relate my adventures, but I
said I would wait till all had told their stories; now, here are two
of this brilliant company that have not said one word of themselves,
that comical coat and that old cloak; after they have related their
history I will relate mine. The wig hitched a little on his block,
and was silent.
"I am ready," said the coat, "to tell all I know of myself, and I
shall not keep you long, I trust. My friend the baize gown and I had
the same origin on the back of a sheep, only I was of a nicer
texture, and had, from my earliest days, a more refined character;
and, of course, was used for higher purposes. Major Sword there may
know perhaps that I had as much to do with making the major of
Cadets as he had, only I did not make people run when they looked at
me, as he says he did.
I was originally of the most delicate white, and I was made into one
of the very first coats that ever appeared on the parade as one of
the Governor's guards. I think I did more to make the major than my
Lord Sword did. Think of a major without a coat! He would not be a
major, for a moment. He would be hooted at. Now, even were he
without a sword, and had me, such as I once was, on his back, he
would still be known as a major of the Cadets."
"Self-glorification! Come to your story," cried the musket, with a
"I will," said the coat. "I was, as I have told you, the major's
military coat, admired by all who looked at me; and I appeared often
on parade days till he gave up his office, and left this country,
when I was left hanging up in his dressing room, and all my glory
As the major's boys grew bigger, they would often beg their mother
to allow them to put me on. The rogues were so short then that I
trailed on the ground. I was even so far abused as to be worn by
girls. This tried my feelings sorely, but I was forced to submit.
Once I was so far disgraced as to be worn by one of the girls while
she danced with her brother who was dressed like a monkey, with a
tail over a yard long; and this was not all, she pulled the monkey's
tail too hard, it came off, and then the monkey boy seized the tail
and beat me with it, meaning to beat his sister, but I got the worst
of it. So I lived to be made fun of, and lived for nothing else.
At last, the major's wife, our dear mistress, took me one day into
her gentle hands, and after examining me carefully and making up her
mind to the act, deliberately took her scissors, ripped me up into
pieces, and sent me to the dyer's, to be colored brown. This was too
horrid—I was soused into the vilest mixture you can imagine, and
suffered every thing abominable, such as being stretched within an
inch of my life, and then almost burned to death. At last, I came
out with the color you now see me, not a handsome brown, but a real
sickish rhubarb color. My dear mistress laughed when she looked at
me. "This is a dose," said she, "but it will do for an every day
coat for Jonathan, and I can make it myself, with Keziah Vose's aid;
so I will not grieve about it. So Keziah was sent for and set to
Now Jonathan was a white-haired, chubby boy, and this was his first
coat. Keziah went by her eye altogether. She took no measures except
for the sleeves, and these she said she would make large and long,
to allow for Jonathan's growing. She made me so broad behind that
one brass button could not see the other, although they were, as you
see, almost as large as a small plate; the skirts came down so as to
hide the calves of his legs, and were so full as nearly to meet
before. My sleeves had a regular slouch. There was no hollow in the
back, and I looked as if I was made for one of the boys' snow men,
not for a human being.
When I was finished and put on for the first time, all the children
and their mother were present, as it happened. My droll looks and
rhubarb color, the comical expression of Jonathan's face,—for he
was a great rogue,—and his sun-bleached hair, half hidden by my
high, stiff collar, set them all into a gale of laughter. He took
hold of my full skirts, one on each side, and began to dance; and
even his mother and Keziah laughed too. Nothing was to be done. A
few times, the mother of Jonathan tried to induce him to wear me at
home, for she could not afford, she said, to lose all I had cost
her; but it was all in vain—giggle, giggle, went all the children
when they saw me, and I had to be hung up, as you see me now.
Whenever they wanted a comical dress in any of their plays, I was
brought out, and that little girl asleep there, and her brothers
still amuse themselves with my comical looks. Alas! I am of no other
use in this world.
The young people used to amuse themselves by acting little plays, or
some other nonsense; and when they wanted to make a very ridiculous
figure, I noticed they came for me. I always observed that whoever
had me on talked through his nose, with an ugly drawl, and used
vulgar words and expressions, such as "Now you don't! Do tell!
Once they put me on a dancing bear. This was insulting. I don't like
to think of it. I try to forget it.
In short, every one laughs when I am present, for some reason or
other; and I suppose I have been kept on account of the merriment I
have afforded the family. After all, my friends, I am not sure that
he who adds to the innocent gayety of people is not as valuable a
person as one who has more dignity, and who never made any one laugh
in his life.
I have done, my friends—the old cloak is a more serious, dignified
person than I, and will now, I trust, give us her history."
The old cloak began to speak in a different tone from that of the
coat. I cannot say the tone was gloomy, though it was very serious.
It was a kindly, affectionate tone, that made you not unhappy, but
thoughtful. "I agree," said she, "with my neighbor who has just
spoken, that no one deserves better of society than he who promotes
its innocent merriment. No bad person can know what true gayety of
heart is. Goodness and cheerfulness are like substance and shadow;
where the one is, the other will always follow.
I was made of German wool; and, in my country, the people all laugh
and sing. They keep still a saying of old Martin Luther, which runs,
if I remember rightly,—
"Wo man singt, leg' ich mich freilich nieder. Bose Menschen haben
"Keep to plain English, you Hushan!" shouted the musket with a kick.
"I am sorry to hurt your feelings, my old soldier," said the good
natured cloak. "I think, however, it is rather hard of you to keep
the name of Hessian as a term of reproach forever, just because a
few poor miserable fellows once came over here to fight you. Was it
not enough to have treated them as you say you did in the Jerseys?
For the benefit of you and those less prejudiced, I will translate
"Where I singing hear,
I lay me, free from fear.
Men intent on wrong
Never have a song."
I was a singer myself once during the short time when I was
connected with one of dame spinning wheel's relatives. I am not even
a laugher now. Still I am contented and cheerful, and I remember
past trials without any bitterness. I went through all processes of
carding, spinning, weaving, dyeing, stretching, dressing, &c., and
was at last placed in a shop for sale. A beautiful young girl
purchased me for her bridal pelisse. Never did a happier heart beat
than did hers on the Sunday after she was married, when she wore me
to the church, holding by her husband's arm. I could not but partake
of the pleasure which she received from the gentle pressure of his
arm when she put hers within his, saying, "I am glad, dear, you like
my pelisse so much."
O, how happy we all were! How proud my mistress was of me! How proud
I was of her! I hate to pass hastily over these happy days, but I
suppose the history of them would not be very interesting to any of
my hearers; for one day was very much like another. Never did any
garment cover a more innocent, joyful heart than that of my
I lasted well for some years, but my sleeves, at last, became
threadbare; soon after, there were actual holes in them, and holes
also in my waist; I was, I must confess, a shabby-looking pelisse.
My dear mistress took me into her hands one day, and, after
examining me all over, said, with a sigh, "I cannot wear it any
longer; I must give it up." At last, her expression brightened and
she added, "I can give it to cousin Jane; I am very tall, and she is
very short. The skirt is good, and she can make a cloak of it; and
so my precious pelisse will still be where I can see it."
Forthwith I was sent to cousin Jane, with a very pretty note
explaining to her the reasons why her cousin took the liberty of
offering her the old pelisse. Cousin Jane wanted a cloak, and could
not afford to buy one; so I was carefully ripped up and turned, and
made into a very respectable garment.
Cousin Jane was a dressmaker; and, in her service, I learned
something of what dressmakers have to endure. She had not been long
engaged in her trade; and, at first, she would put me on in the
morning with a brisk, vigorous manner, but in the evening, when she
returned home, how differently she took me up! how differently she
threw me over her weary shoulders!
Soon she ceased to put me on in the morning in the same strong,
elastic manner, but took me up languidly, and as if she dreaded the
day, and, when she went into the air, wrapped me very closely about
her, just as if I was her only comfort, and pressed me to her heart,
as if in hopes it would ache less.
Poor dear cousin Jane, my heart aches to think of her. Day after
day, from morning till night, and often till the next day began, she
toiled and toiled, stooping over her work, sewing, sewing, hour
after hour, and day after day, stooping all the time, till her eyes
lost their brightness, her step all its elasticity, till her
shoulders grew round, and her health failed.
O, had those for whom she labored, for her small day's wages, but
observed how the lamp of life was gradually going out, they would
not have allowed her so to work without any respite; they would have
made her take better care of her own health; they would have sent
her home early; they would not have allowed her to work thirteen or
fourteen hours a day in their service.
There was one family in which she worked where the master and
mistress insisted that at one o'clock Jane should lay aside her
work, and walk till two, when they dined. Then they insisted upon
her dining at their own table, and tried to make her meal a social
and pleasant one.
O, these were white days for poor Jane. Could I not tell when she
was going to work in this family by the way she threw me over her
shoulders? Did I not feel her gentle heart beating with unwonted
warmth as she came home from this family before eight o'clock,
accompanied by the truly good man of the house or some trusty
person? When she hung me up in her small bed room, did I not notice
her grateful, happy smile? She felt that she was recognized by these
good people as a sister and friend, and that the words which we hear
at church and read in the Bible, "All men are brethren," were not
mere words with them.
These evenings she would make her small fire, and sometimes indulge
herself in reading a little while; she would go to bed early, and
did not look so pale in the morning.
Had all the customers of cousin Jane been as kind and considerate as
these good people were, she might have lived; and I should, perhaps,
have continued in her possession; but life was too hard for her,—she
struggled with it for many years, and then her sweet spirit turned
wearily away from it; she grew weaker and weaker, the color grew
brighter and brighter on her cheek, and the light in her eye; she
looked like a spirit; and, ere long, she was one.
My first owner came, as soon as she heard how ill Jane was, and took
her home to this house in the country. Here our good mistress nursed
her poor cousin, and made the last days as happy as she could; but
Jane was weary of this life, and longed for a better one. She passed
away as gently and sweetly as a summer evening cloud or a dying
Our mistress said to her husband, "All Jane's clothes, except this
dear cloak, I have given to the poor. This I must keep myself; for
it was one of my wedding garments, and dear Jane has made it all the
dearer to me. I shall keep it to lend to friends who are caught here
in the rain; it shall be called the friend's cloak, and shall always
be kept in the closet in the hall, close at hand."
Now, I suppose every one knows of how much use such a cloak is in a
family. Never was a cloak more employed than I, and for all sorts of
things. I was used to play dumb orator. I was at every one's
service. I don't know how they ever did without me.
Don't be astonished that I did not wear out; my lining was strong,
and I tell you an old cloak has a charmed life; you cannot wear it
out; like charity, it suffereth long and is kind.
As my dear mistress's children grew up, I was treated very much as
you all have been; that is to say, with no respect at all. What a
different life was mine from that which I led with dear, gentle
cousin Jane. Peace be with her sweet spirit!
One prank which the boys played some years after Jane's death, I
must relate, and then I have done. The eldest, whose name was
Willie, took me, the evening before thanksgiving day, and, having
dressed himself up in some of the cook's dirty old clothes, and hung
a basket on his arm, put me over his shoulders, and I went begging
of all the neighbors for something to keep thanksgiving with. He
disguised his voice by putting cotton wool in his mouth, and I
wonder myself how I came to know him. Two or three boys of his
acquaintance went with him, all dressed as beggars; and a grand
frolic they had.
They went to one house where a man lived that made great pretensions
to religion and goodness, but who the boys strongly suspected was
not very compassionate to the poor.
"Please," said Willie, "give us a little flour and raisins for our
mother to make a thanksgiving pudding with to-morrow." His answer
was a slam of the door in his face.
"Let us go to Granny Horton's," said one of the boys; "she has not
gone to bed yet."
"O," said Willie, "you know she has nothing but what mother sends
her, or some of the neighbors. It would be a shame. I carried her a
pair of chickens this morning, and some flour and raisins; and it is
a shame to beg of her, she is so kind. But won't it be funny if she
gives us something, when Squire Marsh would not; at any rate, she'll
not slam the door in our faces. Come, let's go quickly, before she
puts out her little light and goes to bed. I bet she'll give us one
of her chickens. But let us take whatever she gives us, just for the
fun, and for fear we should be found out."
Willie was to be the spokesman. He felt rather queerly at first; but
the fun of the thing was too tempting, so he agreed to speak. He was
dressed as a girl, and wrapped me closely about him, as if he was
very cold. He had on an old straw bonnet, and his face was painted,
so that she could not recognize him, he knew.
They knocked at Granny Horton's door, and she, in a kind, gentle
voice, replied, "Come in!" Willie, pretending to be a girl, told how
she and her brother and sister had come from the farther part of the
town, where they lived in the woods with a mother who was very old,
and had hardly any thing to eat; and how they wanted something good
to carry to her for thanksgiving day—a little flour, or a chicken,
or any thing; that it was too hard for his dear mother to have
nothing but beans on that day; that beans were what they lived on
He looked so mournful, and spoke in such a mournful tone that the
dear old woman, after thinking one moment, said to him, "I have two
chickens, a quart of flour, and two pounds of raisins, sent to me by
a good lady this morning, and brought to me by a real good little
boy called Willie. I can't ask their leave, but I guess they would
not scold me for giving your mother half of what he brought me; so
you shall have it, dear. 'It's more blessed to give than to
receive.' 'The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be His
While she was saying over these blessed words, she was busy dividing
the flour and the raisins, and putting them and the chicken into the
basket which Willie gave her.
They all thanked the old woman very kindly, and went off with her
flour and chicken.
"What shall we do with it all?" said they, as soon as they were out
of the house.
"Let us," said Willie, "beg all we can every where, and get our
basket full, and carry it back to her, and, when she is asleep, get
into her house again, and put it on her hearth. I know how to open
the window on the outside when she thinks it fast."
This was a good joke for the boys; so they went from house to house,
and, except at the squire's and one other place, got something from
every one, till, at last, their basket was full. Then they went
home, and got a peck of apples from their mother.
Willie then led the way to Granny Horton's again. They looked in at
the window, and, by the light of the few embers still burning, saw
the good woman asleep in her great, old-fashioned chair, with her
spectacles on, and by her side a little stand on which lay her Bible
open at the place where she had been reading.
"I can get in," said Willie, "and put the basket down by her side
before she wakes."
Accordingly, he went to a little window in the back part of the
house, climbed in, came softly into the room where she was, and set
the baskets, all running over with good things, down on the hearth.
Willie had hardly got back to the window, when the good woman waked
up; and there, directly before her eyes, stood the baskets. She took
them up, and looked at them for some minutes before she took any
thing out. At last, she began to examine their contents. When she
came to her chicken and flour and raisins, in the very papers in
which she had wrapped them; she looked up and clasped her hands with
such astonishment, with such a look of wonder and gratitude, that
the boys, in their glee, laughed outright, and so loud that she
She ran to the window, but they were gone; and she never knew how it
was that her chicken and flour brought her back seven fold.
When next the cook went to see her, with me on,—I was every body's
cloak,—the old lady told her the whole story of finding the chicken
and flour, and so many other good things with them. The secret was
kept; and it was Granny Horton's firm faith that it was the wings of
angels she heard when she went to the window. Indeed she thought she
had seen the wings, for as Willie turned to run, he forgot to hold
me tight, and the wind blew me up so as to hide him entirely, and
she took me for great dark wings.
I fear you may be weary of my story. I have much more that I could
relate, but I have already been too long.
I am, as you see, ragged and worn, but the dear family have an
affection for me still, as well as for all the rest of us; and so I
am allowed to remain here in this most respectable company. I trust
the wig will now give us his history for which we have waited so
"There is time enough before eight o'clock for the story of the
wig," said Frank, "if you can remember it, Mother. He ought to tell
his story now, as he promised."
"As the wig began to speak," said their mother, "he gave a slight
hitch on one side, just as if some one pushed him up a little, and
then, after a short pause, began thus: "You will be astonished,
perhaps, to know that it is more than a hundred years since I first
saw the light. None of you have lived so long, or seen as much as I
have. I cannot tell all I have seen or known. It would take too
long, and weary you too much. I can only give a slight sketch of my
In the year seventeen hundred and fifty, the baby head upon which I
grew came into this strange world in which we live. O, how happy was
the mother who saw me for the first time! How full was her joy when
she stroked the small head of her little girl, and exclaimed, "How
beautiful and soft her hair is! softer than velvet or satin." Even
then, every one said, "What a beautiful head of hair! What a lovely
The little girl whose head I adorned was the daughter of a poor
vicar who lived with his wife in an obscure country town in England.
Alice was their fifth child, but their only daughter. She was very
beautiful, and, I may say it surely without vanity now, I was her
greatest ornament. I was of a beautiful auburn color, and fell in
thick clusters all over her happy, gentle head, and shaded her
laughter-loving face. After a day of hard work, how fond her mother
was of taking her little pet in her lap, and twisting up every curl
in nice order under her white linen night-cap, before putting her to
bed! Her father, too, would wind my ringlets around his great
fingers, made hard and rough with toil in the garden, and would kiss
every one of them, and pray God to bless the young head on which
As the dear head grew larger, I grew larger and thicker. Every one
who saw me noticed me. One would say, "It looks like a pot of
hyacinths"; another, "It has caught the sunshine and kept it."
What a pleasant life I led! When Alice grew a large girl, she became
something of a romp, and one of her favorite amusements was to go to
the top of a hill near her father's house, when there was a high
wind, and let it blow through her curls, and sing and shout and
dance from the fulness of her joy. When she came home, she would say
"Mother, the wind has been combing my hair."
O the horrid combing that I had to endure every morning! One must be
a head of curly hair to know how terrible is a comb.
If you will not think me too long, I must talk a little more about
the dear Alice, and tell you what I witnessed till I was separated
"Go ahead," said the old musket.
"I must tell you how her sweetness and goodness once saved the house
from robbery. It was the custom of her father and mother, on Sunday,
to lock up the house, while they went to church. A pot of pork and
beans, and a pudding of Indian meal was put in the oven to bake for
One Sunday, as Alice had a heavy cold, they left her at home. She
was then fourteen years old, and felt herself quite equal to taking
charge of the house.
It was generally known that the curate's house was locked up on
Sunday; and a poor, foolish, as well as wicked fellow, determined to
take that opportunity to help himself to the good curate's silver,
or any other valuable, he could find in the house. It happened that
the man took the Sunday when Alice was left at home for his wicked
When he came to the door which he intended to break open, he was
admitted by Alice, who saw him coming. She asked him to come in and
sit down, then inquired if he had travelled far, and set before him
some bread and butter and cold water.
"My father is a minister," she said, "and always asks travellers to
stay. We have some dinner in the oven, and we shall all of us like
to have you stay and dine. You look pale and tired; you had better
These words Alice said with such a sweet, confiding earnestness,
that the wicked purpose died away from the heart of the intended
thief. He felt as if he was in the presence of an angel. He looked
at her in wonder. All the evil in him seemed to depart.
"You are very good," he said. "Do you take care of the house all
alone by yourself?"
"O yes," she replied; "it does not take much trouble. There is no
one to harm us. Would you like a book to read till papa and mamma
come home; here is my Testament; or would you like I should read to
"Read to me," said the man.
As Alice read from the history of Jesus, the tears ran down the
robber's cheeks; he said nothing.
When the curate came home, he repeated Alice's invitation to dine.
The man accepted it. After dinner, when he thanked Alice and her
father for their kindness to him, he said to the curate, "Your
daughter is an angel, and has saved me from sin. I go away a better
man than I came."
He then confessed the evil intentions with which he had entered the
house, told how Alice's trusting, gentle kindness had disarmed him,
and promised the curate that he would henceforward be a better man.
I do not mean to say that Alice never did any wrong thing. She was,
however, so sorry for a fault, she repented so soon, and then did
all she could to repair it, that no one could help forgiving her.
She had a trick of squinting now and then. Her mother thought that
my curls perplexed the bright eyes under them; and, to prevent the
evil, drew up all the pretty locks in a bunch, tied them together,
and said, "Now, Alice, your hair is all out of the way, and you will
Alice was annoyed by this; she was a little vain of my beauty, and
the disregard of her looks, which she thought these words indicated,
Her father saw this, and, to make the tying less disagreeable, said
to her, one day, "Alice, I see you don't like to have your hair tied
up; you don't think it reasonable. Come now, bear it patiently for a
month; and, at the end of that time, I will give you the little work
box I am ornamenting with straw."
Alice agreed, and promised to be patient, and to keep her hair tied
During the month, it happened that Alice was invited to a little
party of girls at her aunt's.
Alice hoped that her father and mother would absolve her from the
promise, that afternoon; but no, her mother only tied up her hair
with a new ribbon for the occasion. I, with all my beautiful curls,
was drawn away from her dear face as far as possible. Alice found
this hard to bear.
As she was on the way to the party, she could hardly keep from
"What is the matter?" said her father.
"Nothing, father," said Alice, "only a little headache; mother has
tied my hair too tight."
"Loosen it," said her father.
Alice did loosen it, so that the string was just ready to come off.
When she arrived at her aunt's, where her father left her, I was
just escaping from my hateful confinement, and her aunt took hold of
the hair as the string fell on the floor.
"Shall I tie it on again, Alice, or shall your pretty hair go just
so? I don't see the use of tying it, but, if you really wish it, my
dear, just step up stairs, and Jane will do it for you very nicely.
Perhaps your mother would choose it to be tied; she is very
particular. It is a pity to confine such beautiful curls, but, if it
must be so, we can't help it. Will you go up stairs? Here is the
string; it dropped on the floor."
"No," said Alice, "it is of no consequence;" and she put the string
into her pocket.
Again I fell upon her beautiful forehead, and kissed her rosy
cheeks; and every one admired my beauty.
Alice tried to forget that she was breaking her promise, and enjoyed
herself pretty well.
When she went home, her mother said, "Why, Alice, your hair is all
over your face; how comes that?"
"The string was nearly off when I went in, and then it fell on the
floor, and aunt said I looked better without it. Here is the string,
which she picked up."
"I should have thought your aunt would have let you go up to Jane,
and have it tied properly; you should have asked her leave."
"I suppose," said the father, "that Alice felt too shy. It is no
matter for one day. Alice, I dare say, kept her promise as well as
she could; and, next week, she shall have her box; a right pretty
one it is."
Alice kissed her father and mother, and went to bed; but there was a
little cloud between her and the all-pure Being to whom she prayed
that night, and her precious tears wetted my locks, ere she went to
Alice felt that she had not been true to her promise, and her
parents' entire trust was the most severe reproach. Still she could
not quite make up her mind to say so; and she tried not to think so.
She had set her heart upon the little work box made and ornamented
by her father whom she loved dearly. One day after another passed
away, and every day it became harder to confess her fault. How often
I heard her sigh during these days! Nothing makes a perfectly light
heart but entire uprightness.
One day, her father called her to him, and said, "Come, Alice, and
tell me which color I shall use to ornament the border of your
box—blue or green?"
"Just which you please, Father."
"But you know it is for you, and I want to know what you like best."
"If it should ever be mine, Father, I like blue best."
"Blue it shall be," said her father. "It will be finished to-morrow,
and then your month for keeping your hair tied will end. I think
your eyes are better, and you have learned also that you can keep a
promise. You are my good child."
Alice could not speak. She ran out of doors into her garden where
her father had made her a little arbor, and there, all alone, she
struggled with herself, till courage and truth prevailed. Then she
went back into her father's study where she found him still at work
on her box.
"Almost done, Alice," said he; "see how pretty it is." "It must not
be mine, Father," said Alice, very quietly, for she was determined
to command herself. "I have not kept my promise, Father. I have
deceived you and mother. I don't deserve the box. Give it to my
cousin." Then she told her father the whole story, just as it was.
As she went on, she grew braver, and felt happier; so that she was
able to look up into her father's face, and say, very calmly, "I
could not take any pleasure in your pretty box, for I know I do not
deserve it. Please, dear Father, to tell Mother all about it, and
put away the box, if you choose not to give it to some one else. It
is very pretty, but it is not to be my box."
The tears began to come in her eyes, and she turned to go out of the
room. Her father stopped her. "Come here, my Child," he said. "You
did wrong, but you have done all you could to repair your fault. You
will never again, I think, be guilty of falsehood. At the end of
another month, if you feel sure of yourself, come to me for your
"No, Father, that would seem like being paid for speaking the truth.
I should never ask for the box."
"Would you rather I should give it to your cousin?"
"If you please, I should;" and then the tears ran fast down her
cheeks. "You know my cousin Edith has very few pretty things. I
should like her to have it."
"Take it, Alice, and give it to her yourself."
"As your present, Father, not as mine. You know it is not, and
cannot be mine. I have been so unhappy at my untruth, that I think I
shall never commit such a fault again."
Alice never did again, in the slightest thing, depart from the
strictest truth and uprightness, in action as well as in word. It
was common for her friends to say when there was a question about
any thing that had occurred, "We will ask Alice. She always tells
the exact truth."
At last, Alice was a woman; and I, of course, led a more sober life,
as she became more serious. I grew so long and thick that, when she
took out her comb, and shook her head slightly, I fell in curls all
around her neck and shoulders, like a golden veil, and you could but
just see her laughing blue eyes, and white teeth through me.
You may readily guess that the pretty Alice was beloved by all who
knew her; and, ere long, the son of the village apothecary won her
heart. He was a good-hearted fellow, but never fitted himself to be
of much use in the world. He took Alice to a distant village, where,
with his father's assistance, he set up as an apothecary, on rather
a small scale, of course; but Alice was used to simple fare and to
All would have been well with them but for one thing—the husband
became a drunkard; not immediately—his love for his wife kept him
sober for some time. Nothing was more beautiful than the way they
lived for a year or two; but the habit of drinking a little, a habit
which he had formed in his father's shop, and which he intended to
cure, returned. The wretched man had not strength to resist it.
He became fretful, and Alice, for the first time in her life, became
unhappy. She had never before heard any but the voice of kindness;
and now, from him she loved best in the world she received sometimes
sharp and disagreeable words. He was very sorry afterwards, and all
would seem well again, but he did not really reform, and, many a
time, my locks, falling over her innocent round cheek, were wetted
with her tears.
Alice was good as an angel. She forgave her husband, believed him
when he promised to leave off drinking, and never said a harsh word
to him. James kept his promise for a month or two, but fell again,
and then more hopelessly; for, after he had drunk a little, he
feared his wife would know what he had done, and felt so unhappy
that he drank more to drown his feelings; and, for the first time,
he was brought home to his wife dead drunk.
Alice tended her husband as if he were only a sick man; she had him
put into a nice bed, she washed and mended his soiled and torn
clothes, she was near him to catch his first word when he recovered
his senses, she never reproached him, she tried, by love, to win him
back to sobriety and duty, she wept, she prayed for him.
He suffered all that man can from shame; he could not look her in
the face; he had destroyed the charm and glory of life; he was
unable, or rather he thought he was, to conquer his enemy; and,
before six years were at an end, partly from broken and ruined
health, and partly from utter misery, he fell into a rapid decline,
Alice loved her husband; and never was sick man nursed with more
loving, cheerful patience than was he. He wept over his sins; he
asked her, with every returning and every setting sun, to forgive
him and to pray God to pardon him.
She was an angel of pity and mercy to him, to the end. When she
leaned over him to kiss him, he would pull her beautiful hair—for
I was still beautiful—over his face which he was ashamed to show
when he thought of his folly and wickedness. Many a time have I felt
his hot tears of contrition as he pressed me against his sunken
cheeks, and to his parched lips.
After her husband's death, the vicar of the parish came to see
Alice, and did all he could to comfort and aid her.
She found that her husband had died largely in debt; that, when all
the stock in his shop was sold, and the creditors paid, there would
be nothing left for herself and two children.
She did not want to go back to her old father's house, and burden
him with care and expense, and she resolved to open a little school
for small children in the cottage in which she lived.
She had one spare room which she could let to an old lady who wanted
just such a home as Alice could give her.
With a strong and hopeful heart, did Alice dedicate herself to the
work before her, of supporting and educating her two orphan
children. Alice's strict honesty had made her give up to her
husband's creditors every thing she had, except the barest
necessaries; and, now that she wanted to commence her school, she
felt very much the want of a little cash to buy a few indispensable
The grocer and butcher had offered to supply her on credit, till her
first payment from her scholars and boarder should come in. Still a
little ready money was essential to her to begin. She would not
borrow it, and was one day thinking what she should do, when her
eye, wandering over a newspaper which the vicar had kindly lent her,
fell on an advertisement offering a high price for handsome hair
long and thick enough to make wigs.
Alice heard the good curate say that he was going to London on
business in a day or two, and her determination was made in a
I said that Alice had kept nothing that she could do without; she
had, however, kept the white muslin gown she wore when she was
married. She thought she could not give this up. "I shall never wear
a white muslin gown again," she said, as she ripped out one of the
breadths and made herself two or three plain caps of it.
The next day she rose early before the children were awake, and,
standing before a very small looking glass which she had kept to
dress her hair, she looked at me curling all over her precious head,
and hanging down upon her shoulders.
"He loved these locks," said she, "and, for his sake, I would keep
them; but they had better be devoted to the good of our children.
Some school books will be worth more than all these golden locks. I
am glad the children are asleep, for they love to play with my hair,
and it would grieve them to see me cut it off."
The good Alice took her scissors, and cut off lock after lock, till
all were gone, save a few which she left around her forehead. Then
she put on her simple muslin cap and tied it with a muslin string
under her chin.
Just then, her boy awoke. Alice had laid him down on his bed, and
the first sight the little fellow saw, when he awoke, was his
mother's hair which almost covered him up.
"Why, Mother, how could you do so? How could you cut off your pretty
hair, and put on that ugly cap? What would father say? You said we
must do what we thought would please him. It would not please him to
have you cut off your pretty hair;" and the child burst into an
agony of tears.
"Would it not please him that you should have a spelling book and a
slate to write on, William? With this hair I can buy them for you. I
have no other riches now."
The poor boy still wept. The hair was more to him, at that time,
than all learning. He could not then have believed that the time
would come, when he would remember with gratitude his mother's
sacrifice for him and his little sister.
Alice gathered the locks, took from a drawer her last bit of blue
ribbon, and tied them, saying, "This is the way he liked to see my
hair tied when I was at my father's cottage. I shall never tie it so
When the good vicar came to see Alice, as he did every day, she met
him with me all nicely done up in a paper in her hands, and asked
him if he would be so good as to take me to the hair dresser who had
advertised for hair, make the best bargain he could for her, and,
with the proceeds, get the few necessaries for commencing her small
school. The good man cheerfully promised to do so, took the parcel
from Alice, and carried it to his own house.
And so I bade farewell to dear Alice, and her neat cottage, and her
sweet children. I was parted forever from that innocent head that
had cherished only good and pure thoughts. I was no longer to be
dressed by her dear hands. I was never again to shade and adorn her
lovely face, nor fall in ringlets around her sloping shoulders, nor
ever tremble again with the beatings of her gay and generous heart,
as I often had when she let me fall over her neck and shoulders.
Nothing that ever had life in it could be insensible to such a
sorrow as this. How I envied the few locks she kept around her
precious forehead! How I wished that scissors had never been
The good curate, faithful to his promise, took me to the hair
dresser in London, according to the direction in the advertisement;
and, before opening the paper which contained me, told him the story
of Alice, of her trials, and of her excellent character and conduct,
of her present need, and of her purpose to support and educate her
children by her own efforts. He told him that there never was such a
beautiful head of hair, and that he hoped he would be willing to
give something handsome for it.
When the old clergyman opened the paper, and exhibited me to the
hair dresser, he took me out as fondly as if I had been a baby, and
shook me so as to make the ringlets curl again, but they would not.
I felt the difference between the old man's hard fingers, and rough
shake, and the soft touch of the dear Alice.
"Is it not beautiful?" said the old man.
"It is well enough," said the dealer. "I shall have to make a man's
wig of it. The curls will all boil out."
You may imagine my horror at these words; and, as for the poor
vicar, he seemed thunderstruck.
"If I had any money to spare," said he, "I would buy this beautiful
hair myself, and have it framed with a glass over it, and hang it up
in my best parlor, with that blue ribbon that looks so like her;
it's as handsome as a picture; and then her dear children should
have it at my death."
Whether it was that the hair dresser was afraid of losing me, or
that his heart was slightly touched with compassion for Alice and
her orphan children, I know not; but he offered the good curate a
sum for me which satisfied him.
As the curate gave me up, he untied the blue ribbon, folded it up
nicely, and put it into his pocket; and I think he dropped a tear as
he did so.
The wig maker examined me again when he was by himself. "A fine head
of hair it really is," said he. "It will make a good wig for a
youngish sort of a man; and the curls will make it work easier."
Then he tied me up with a piece of twine, and tossed me into a large
drawer with great bunches of hair of all colors and fineness.
Here I remained for I know not how long, without air or light, in
this disagreeable company. At last, one day we were all taken out,
and what we were made to endure I now shudder to think of. We were
boiled, we were pulled and mauled and greased; in short, I wonder we
had a whole hair left; but, after undergoing every thing you can
imagine, I found myself on a pole in the shape of a gentleman's wig,
covered with high-scented pomatum and powder.
No one would have recognized me as the same beautiful hair that had
adorned the head of Alice. There were a number of poles with wigs on
them close by me, and I knew, as a matter of course, that I must
look just like them. They looked perfectly hateful to me, and I felt
disgusted with myself, because I knew I resembled them.
It is now a puzzle to me how men could have ever been so foolish as
to make such a thing as I am, to put on their heads; these great
unmeaning curls, this ugly club, as they called it, hanging down
behind, and this horrid grease and powder too.
Most of my life, of course, has been passed in this horrid shape in
which you now see me; but the remembrance of my early days clings to
me, and the love of freedom, and the sense of beauty which I
acquired when the wind played through my natural curls as they
covered the head of my dear Alice, have never forsaken me. It was
then only that I truly lived. But, forgive me—I have the weakness
of old age, and love to talk of youthful pleasures.
One morning, in the year seventeen hundred and seventy-eight, when I
was just twenty-eight years old, a gentleman of middle age came into
the hair dresser's shop, and asked to look at his wigs. I was shown
to him with some others. After examining us all, and trying on
several, he chose me, because, he said, he thought I was made of the
"This," said he, "will visit the American colonies, and probably
remain there, for that will, I think, be my home."
I rejoiced to hear this, for I was weary of my present life, and
longed for some variety.
The good gentleman who purchased me seemed well satisfied with my
looks; but, when I saw myself in the glass, upon his long, narrow
face, with his great bottle nose, and cheeks like the sides of a
sulky, and all my pretty curls and my bright color gone, I wonder
that each hair did not stand on end with fright; most likely it
would have stood up, but for weight of pomatum and powder.
Soon after my owner purchased me, he set sail for America. As I was
his new and best wig, I was packed carefully in a box, and knew
nothing till he arrived here, and was settled in his place of
The first time I was taken out of my box was on Sunday, when I was
carefully adjusted on the Squire's head. I call him Squire, for I
soon found that Squire was the title every one gave him, as he was
the most important personage in the town in which he lived. I was as
well pleased as a wig could be with the appearance of things in and
around the house I was to inhabit. It was in a village about thirty
miles from Boston, and was like an English country gentleman's
house. A wide hall passed through the middle of it, with a grand
staircase. From the doors at either end of the hall ran rows of elm
trees. One led to the high road, the other up a gentle hill, on the
top of which was a pretty burying ground with a path through it
leading to a small church.
The Squire had a black man whom he called his boy, and who was, in
fact, his slave, but whom he treated like a friend and brother.
Some years after, when slavery was abolished in Massachusetts, the
Squire called Cato to him, and said, "Cato, you are no longer my
slave; you are free."
"But, massa, you will not sell me."
"No, Cato, you are a freeman; I have no right to sell you. I don't
think I ever had any right to sell you; but now the law of the land
makes you free, and I am glad of it."
"Then I can stay with you of my own free will, massa."
"Yes, Cato, you can stay or go, just as you please."
"Then, massa, I stay with you for love, and not cause I am your
slave. Now I your friend." And Cato never left the Squire till the
day of his death. But to return to my story.
The Squire, as I said, put me on very carefully, and then as carefully
put over me his three-cornered hat, and took his gold-headed cane, and,
with Cato behind him, walked reverently up the hill to church.
I was accustomed to the Episcopal church, where dear Alice went
every Sunday; but this was a Presbyterian church, and I had never
been in one before.
As I said, had not my hairs lost their power of motion by what I had
endured from the scissors, and the vile process of making me into my
present shape, every one of them would have risen up against the
so-called music in this church; but my misfortunes and pomatum kept me
The sermon was at least two hours long, and many a hitch did the
Squire give me before it was over; that was the beginning of the
little trick, which you see I have now, of jerking up a little on
one side occasionally.
The Squire had brought with him from England a complete set of
furniture for his house; and, after some time, the things reached
our abode which was about thirty miles from the sea coast.
What all these fine things were for was soon explained. The Squire,
one day, put me into my nice box, putting on an old wig which he
wore on week days. I soon found that we were in some kind of a
vehicle, and, ere long, we arrived at a hotel in Boston. But we did
not stay there long. The Squire was going to be married, and, as I
was his best wig, I, of course, adorned his head at the wedding.
Who would have believed that I was the same hair that covered the
head of dear Alice when she was a bride? Then curling like
hyacinths, and glowing like sunshine, now stiff, dull and dead;
looking, as I thought then, and think now, like nothing human or
It was the second time the Squire had been married, so he was very
sedate in his happiness. He brought home his bride in a few days,
and there, at his excellent, delightful country house, all was soon
arranged in the most orderly way possible.
The lady had a proper pole arranged for my accommodation, and made
the Squire a nice velvet cap to wear in the evenings, when they were
alone, and he wished to be relieved of my weight.
The relations of the Squire and his wife often visited them, and
always in parties, English fashion, and remained some days; and then
what feasting and merriment there was!
The house was surrounded by beautiful woods, and near by was a
lovely pond; and young and gay hearts were often there to wake the
echoes with their cheerful, laughing voices. Cato played on the
violin, and, when the evenings were chilly or rainy, the young
people danced till the small hours of the night.
All this I witnessed, for the Squire was a gentleman of the old
school, was always in his best clothes for his company, and gave no
sign of weariness till they retired to bed.
I should mention that the Squire was a justice of the peace. As he
lived in a remote and very quiet country town, he had not many
culprits brought before him. But occasionally he was called upon to
decide upon the proper punishment of some young rogue, and now and
then he had to marry a couple.
At these times, I was always smoothed and new pomatumed with the
greatest care, then put on very carefully, and examined in the
looking glass two or three times, and readjusted over and over, till
I was as even as justice itself, before the Squire took his
gold-headed cane, and proceeded to consider the case.
Once a boy was brought before him for stealing chestnuts. Now there
was such an abundance of chestnuts in the town that they were almost
thought common property. It happened, however, that the Squire had
some fine chestnuts himself, and he wished it to be considered an
unpardonable thing to steal chestnuts. So he condemned the boy's
father to pay a very good price for those his son had stolen,
leaving it to the man from whom the chestnuts had been taken to say
how large the quantity was.
This unjust decision made the man and his son very angry. But my
master was the Squire; and, in those old times, we retained a great
deal of the English reverence for a country gentleman.
The son of this man, however, had not much reverence for any thing,
and was determined to be revenged upon the Squire, as you will see.
I, however, was the greatest sufferer. It so happened that the pew
in which the boy sat at church was directly behind the Squire's. The
boy carried a piece of shoemaker's wax to meeting with him, and
when, as was usually the case, the Squire's queue came over the edge
of the pew, the young rascal took the opportunity, when no one was
looking, to stick the short queue fast with the wax to the side of
When the Squire stood up, his wig was nearly jerked off his head,
and would have been quite off, but for the boy's father who, seeing
the good gentleman's danger, caught hold of me, tore off the horrid
wax, and then pushed me back into my place.
All the foolish children in the church giggled at my expense. The
simple Squire, thinking it was a nail or a hook, thanked the man who
had aided him in his distress, and advised him to take out the
troublesome hook. Cato, however, shook his black head and said,
"Guess naughty Pickaninny did de queue of Massa's wig. Neber mind,
Cato no make trouble; queue no feelins; I smood him up. Dem
chestnuts in his gizzard, spoze."
Not long after this, the poor Squire lost his wife. Her health had
always been very delicate, and he had been a most devoted husband.
The Squire was a good man, and tried to find consolation in the only
way it may be found, in the religious performance of duty. He became
the benefactor of the village. He was the friend of all who needed
Now, my friends, I must pass over the next ten years. What I have
just related to you of the Squire passed in the year seventeen
hundred and eighty. Now follow me to the year seventeen hundred and
The Americans, by their wisdom and bravery, had won their
The Squire had done his part for his country by furnishing money,
and by making his large retired mansion an asylum for all his
friends who were in want of it.
He was now seventy years old; and a haler, heartier, more serene old
man was never seen. His house was the summer rendezvous of all his
young and his old friends.
Well do I remember one beautiful afternoon, just before sunset, the
Squire's going to the glass, and adjusting me nicely, and then going
to the door, and looking up through the avenue of elms which were
young trees when I was first carried there, and saying, "It is time
my niece and her husband and children were here."
In a few minutes, a carriage appeared with a lady and her son and
daughter in it. That little girl, then five years old, was
afterwards the mother of our little friend asleep yonder.
Never was there a more cordial welcome given to friends than the
good Squire gave them, and never was welcome more acceptable.
There were other friends in the house, and such frolicking and
laughing and dancing on the lawn you seldom see nowadays.
For many years, the nieces and nephews and their children and
children's children came in this way to refresh body and soul at
their good uncle's; till childhood blossomed into youth, and youth
began to strengthen into maturity, and maturity to fade away into
age. Years gathered around the old man's head, but his vigor
You need not bounce in that way, my friend musket, and you, Messrs.
tea-kettle and pitcher, need not try to turn up the noses you have
lost, at my using these flowery expressions. Remember that, for more
than half a century, I dwelt upon a human head. It is natural that I
should have gained something from it, and that I should speak
somewhat as human beings speak.
I hope you will pardon my talkativeness; and, even if you think me
prosy, let me go on after my own fashion, and finish my story in my
own way, for I am very old, and can speak in no other way. Remember,
too, I shall never speak to you again."
"Go on, go on," cried the old coat, cloak, and baize gown.
The rest made no objection, and so the wig continued. "I assure you
it was a very interesting thing to me to witness the changes that
were going on among the Squire's visitors. I saw that child's mother
come, first as a young lady, then as a bride, then as a mother; and
then she came, first with one, then with two, and then with three
children; and then, each year, I saw that these children had grown
bigger, and it was pleasant, as I sat so quietly upon the old
Squire's head, to see them jump out of the carriage each year, run
up to the old man to receive his welcome, and then scamper off into
the garden and fields like so many young animals; it was pleasant to
watch their gleeful faces at his hospitable board, and to hear their
merry shouts; it was pleasant, on Sunday, to see them, with their
father and mother, follow the old gentleman respectfully at a
distance, through the avenue of elms to church, with their small,
solemn faces, just now and then slightly nodding to a buttercup and
snatching it up; while he, with me and his three-cornered hat on his
head, and his gold-headed cane in his hand, and his light drab suit
of clothes, all his dress of the same cloth, and his shoes with gold
buckles, strode along, while Cato, dressed in some of the Squire's
old clothes, walked close behind him like his shadow. You would have
thought my master forty instead of eighty.
Year after year I witnessed this, till, as I said, the children were
youths, and their parents no longer young. Then the good Squire
began to be, as I am now, a little garrulous; he loved to tell old
stories more than once. But who was there that would not, with
patient love, listen to them for many a time?
It was affecting to observe how all his dates were from the year
fifty. No matter what story he told, or when it really did happen,
he always finished by adding, "and that happened in the year fifty."
All his furniture and plate were purchased in the year fifty. It was
to him the beginning of the world.
"Uncle," said one of his nieces one day to him, "let me try to dress
your wig; I think it wants it."
"My dear, this wig was bought in the year fifty, and looks well now.
It has done me good service."
"How beautiful this avenue of elms is!"
"Yes, they were set out in the year fifty."
"You have a good housekeeper, uncle."
"Yes, my dear, she came to me in the year fifty."
And so on with every thing in and about his house, and so it was
with every event which had made an abiding mark on his memory.
There was but one thing about which the good Squire showed the real
childishness of his old age, and that was his fruit. He had bushels
and bushels of apples and pears and peaches, but he never thought
them fit to eat till they were at least half rotten.
His nephews and nieces were of a decidedly different opinion, but
did not like to debate the subject with him; so they had recourse to
a little trick. I don't think it was quite right. The Squire was in
the habit every day of gathering the ripe fruit in baskets, and
putting it in what he called especially his room; it was a sort of
half dressing, half business room. Here it was that he kept the pole
upon which he placed me at night. These baskets of fruit, if the
good man had had his own way, would have remained there till they
were all rotten like the heaps of windfalls which was the fruit he
told the family, and the children especially, they might eat.
Now it was the custom of two or three roguish boys and girls, who
visited him, to gather baskets of this rotten fruit, and when the
good man had gone to bed, to carry them into this room, and put them
in the place of the baskets of sound ripe fruit, which they took for
themselves and others to eat.
In a day or two, the good Squire would look at his baskets, and,
finding the fruit decaying, would call it fit to eat, bring it into
the parlor, and then call in the children, and say to them, "Here,
boys and girls, here is nice ripe fruit for you; you can just cut
out the rotten with your penknives;" and then he would distribute it
The little monkeys, of course, could scarce repress their giggles.
I can make no apology for their cheat, except that, upon this point,
the good man was really childish; and, as he did not eat the fruit
himself, or sell it, or do any thing with it, but give to the pigs
what was not eaten in the family, no one was wronged by the trick.
It was, in fact, a piece of sport.
As you see, I had the benefit of being present at the whole of the
fun; and I can hear now, it seems to me, as plainly as I did then,
the suppressed laughter of these roguish children when they came
into the room where I was, to exchange baskets of rotten for baskets
of sound fruit.
In his eighty-seventh year, the old man ran a race with one of these
children, and contrived, by an artifice, to win it. She got before
him; when, fearing he would hurt himself, she stopped to look after
him; he came up to her; and then, just pushing her back a little,
got before her to the goal, which was very near them. How he did
shout, as though he were only twenty, and what a hitch he gave me on
In his ninety-seventh year he died. It was a pity he did not live to
be a hundred. The night before he died, he went into his room to put
me on my accustomed pole. He did not see clearly, and let me fall on
"Ah!" said he, "the old head will fall too, before long. No matter;
it is time it should go. Here, Cato, help your old master."
Cato was at hand, picked me up, put me in my place, and helped his
master to bed.
I never saw the dear old man again.
The next thing that I remember, is being put into a box and carried
I knew not whither.
The first light I saw was the dim light of this garret.
The mother of that little girl took me out; and as she put me on my
pole, which she had caused to be brought here also, "People may
laugh at me," said she, "but I will keep the dear old man's wig. It
seems to me a part of him, and is a memorial of the happy hours I
have passed under his hospitable roof."
It is now one hundred and six years since I was born into this
world. For twenty-eight years I flourished on the beautiful head of
dear Alice. Ever since then, I have been only a wig. I am now
falling into utter decay. If any one were to shake me, I should fall
to pieces. I have, like many of you, my friends, since inhabiting
this garret, been abused and made fun of, by children. I was once
put upon the head of a donkey, while a boy with a fool's cap on his
head rode him, and took a love letter to a young man. I was also put
upon the head of a great monkey brought to the house for exhibition,
who took me off his head and threw me at the boys. Once, as you
know, I was made to play the mock judge on the head of a dog. Once
that little girl who sleeps there, used me to keep a litter of
kittens warm in, on a cold winter night. This nearly killed me, and
from that moment the children were forbidden to touch me.
"I have now," concluded the wig, "only to ask your pardon, my
friends, for the impatience with which I have listened to your
stories when I thought them too long, and for the truly human vanity
and inconsistency which made me tell the longest story myself. But I
knew that no one waited for me. I shall certainly never speak more.
These are my last words. Farewell."
Just at these words, it seemed to me as if the wig gradually
dissolved into a bright halo. Then suddenly it fell into golden
ringlets all so soft and graceful and beautiful; while I looked,
they seemed to shade such a lovely, innocent face, that I knew it
must be that of dear Alice looking like an angel in heaven.
I awoke very happy. There was every thing in the old garret just as
I first described it, and all as quiet and still as if nothing had