Fun for the Household: A Book of Games by Gray, Emma J.
Fun for the Household.
A BOOK OF GAMES.
EMMA J. GRAY.
PUBLISHED BY THE CHRISTIAN HERALD. LOUIS KLOPSCH, Proprietor, BIBLE HOUSE, NEW YORK.
Copyright 1897 BY LOUIS KLOPSCH.
PAGE Introductory 7 Little Folks 9 Boys and Girls 29 Grown-Ups 102 Special Fêtes 128 Methods of Choosing Partners 184 Tangles and Forfeits 187 In the Adirondacks 204 The Flower Test 220 Hours with the Poets 235 “Thank You!” 239 A Story within a Story 244 Orrin the Bootblack 258 Breakfast Table Decorations 270 How they Planted the Nasturtiums 273 A Garden Party 276 The King’s Children 281 For the Boys 287 I wish I were a General 293 A Hebrew Christian 298 The Baby’s Lesson 305 Parlor Fortune Telling 308 Church Courtesy 314 A Brave Boy 317
When children have passed beyond the rattle age, they reach out their hands for baa-lambs, woolly sheep, cows with bells, cats that meaw, and dogs that say bow-wow.
The next advance in amusement is to play with a toy that goes on wheels, and therefore for a half hour at a time, little folk will be content by drawing around the nursery such toys as trains of cars, horses with long tails, express wagons, etc., etc.; and then follows the period when pretty lady dolls must go out to drive in a pretty carriage accompanied by mistress baby, whose chubby hands push the doll’s carriage ahead, and nurse’s ever vigilant eyes keep watch, so that neither baby nor the baby’s doll, like the historic Jack and Jill, fall down and break their crown. And mechanical dollies are also in demand,—lady dolls that lift their veils, smile and bow; gentlemen dolls that are orchestrian leaders; boy dolls that can turn somersaults and effect other athletic feats. And about this time if nurse is careful to keep sharp eyes on the scissors, colored pictures may be cut out and pasted in scrapbooks, or paper dolls may be arrayed as their youthful mothers desire. Or bright pieces of silk may be sewed together, provided the thread is tied into the needle’s eye, so that it cannot be pulled out. Or wonderful castles may be built with packs of cards, or towers and steeples with building blocks. Noah’s ark will do great service, as will also tops that spin, and hoops that may be rolled or twirled, and drums that may be beat, and whistles and horns that may be blown.
But, notwithstanding all the toys and amusement therefrom, there will be heard the oftentimes plaintive wail, “Play with me, please play with me.” And then it is that the wise mother or nurse will introduce a simple game. Perhaps Puss in the Corner, or Blind Man’s Buff, or perhaps hide behind a large chair or screen and call aloud, “Where am I?” and such a mischievous laugh will follow when the toddling child finds the one who has thus hidden!
From this period game follows game, just as naturally as year follows year, and even when the little tot has grown to womanhood or manhood, the cry is still heard, “Play with me, please play with me,” thus illustrating the trite words, men and women are only children grown up.
Therefore the variety of games within this book: Games suitable for all ages, for all temperaments; games for the house, and games for the field; games for the girls, and, games for the boys; games for the young, and games for the old; games for St. Valentine’s Day, games for Christmas Day,—games for all seasons, games for all climes. Thus may the year be filled with jollity.
Several games in this volume were originally published in the periodicals of Messrs. Harper & Brothers, and are reprinted by their kind permission.
EMMA J. GRAY.
FUN FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
A LITTLE CHILD’S PARTY.
Invite both boys and girls for a short frolic. Between three and five o’clock in the afternoon would be excellent hours.
Provide for their entertainment, flowers, birds, worsted and rubber balls, dolls, tea-services, horses, whips, and music. If you have a music-box it will prove very serviceable. The children will be much interested; some of the shorter ones will stand on tiptoe, the better to discover the way the wheels go around.
Two or more grown people should be present; those who understand little children, and have a knack in amusing them.
The toys will greatly aid in getting the children acquainted. Play ball with the boys, throwing it lightly back and forth. Set out the tea-services. Show off the dollies. Put a small boy on a hobby horse, and start the horse on a trot, and after he has his ride, give another boy his turn. After a while play polkas and waltzes, and then
What a merry rout, See the wee ones dance about!
Change the amusement. Show them flowers, canary birds, butterflies, anything you may have to attract, always remembering the toys and going back to them again and again.
Low chairs and hassocks will make it easier for the little people than to have to climb into the great chairs and sofas used by older folks.
Refreshments should be exceedingly simple, and a souvenir, such as a cornucopia or handful of motto-papers, gayly tinted and full of candy, will be much appreciated.
THE FARMER’S SONG.
_A Motion Game._
As over the field the farmer goes, And grain by grain he sows in the rows, He sings and shouts, Oh, you crows, you crows, Keep away from my rows, away from my rows.
This is the way the glad farmer reaps His wheat, and when it is bunched he keeps An eye on all his workers around, And laughs at their faces, merry and round.
This is the way the glad farmer binds All the ripe sheaves he’s able to find, And when no more wheat is on the ground, He laughs ha, ha, ha, and turns all around.
Hurrah, hurrah for the farmer bold He laughs and is merry e’en when ’tis cold, He shouts ha, ha, on an August day, And gathers his wheat as if ’twas his play.
Oh, who would not be a farmer lad, And clap one’s hands hard and never be sad, And sing, while working all the day long, I’m jolly and happy and brave and strong?
Let all the players form a ring, with a boy in the centre for farmer. After the song is sung through, the farmer must choose two players to clasp their hands and raise them, thus forming an arch. The ring having broken, now forms a long line, and one by one each individual passes under the arch, singing as they go,
Oh, who would not be a farmer lad,
and with the last word of the verse the arch falls, and thus some one is caught, and he or she is now farmer. A ring is then again formed, and the game proceeds as before.
This being a motion game, the words of the song must be acted. Every child has seen farmers sow, reap and bind, and while singing those words they must copy the farmer (the boy in the ring) as nearly as possible, also remember to clap the hands, turn around, etc., at the proper time, indeed lose no opportunity to act the words as well as to sing them. Tune, “Oats, peas, beans, and barley grows.”
THE PIE-MAN’S SONG.
_A Motion Game._
Solo. If a body meet a body, coming to my fire, If a body greet a body, why should I have ire? All the lassies and the laddies Come to me and buy Buns and bread and muffins sweet, And all my jelly pie.
Chorus. This is the way the pie-man takes The roller to smooth the crust he makes; Then putting the crust in a bright tin pan. He fills it with quince and raspberry jam.
This way the pie-man carries bread, Holding the board on top of his head; While to the oven he hurries along, All the time merrily singing his song.
Solo. If a body meet a body, coming to my fire, If a body greet a body, why should I have ire? etc.
Chorus. This is the way we eat the cakes, And pies and buns the pie-man makes, And when we are through we ask yet for more, While we dance on the baker’s clean wood floor.
Then we run as fast as we can, And leave this jolly baker man, While to the oven he hurries along, All the time merrily singing his song.
Solo. If a body meet a body, coming to my fire, If a body greet a body, why should I have ire? etc.
The verses may be sung to the tune, “Pop Goes the Weasel.” The solo is sung by the baker, to the tune, “Coming Through the Rye.”
All the children should sing and imitate the pieman, who illustrates each action that is mentioned.
Very small children would delight in playing Fly South.
All the players should sit around a table, and each having put their right hand on it, the leader should exclaim, “Fly South, Sparrow.” The second that this is said everybody must lift their hand, and then at once put it down as before. Again the leader speaks, perhaps to say, “Fly South, Pigeon,” and instantly the players must act as at the first command.
But if on the contrary something is named that cannot fly, such as, “Fly South, Bear,” or “Fly South, Cat,” the players must keep their hands on the table. All removing them at the wrong time should pay a forfeit.
The leader should speak rapidly, in order to catch all he can.
THREE BLIND MICE.
Ask three small boys to be blindfolded. When this is done, and they each state that they cannot see, even the least little bit, a big sister or mother should say, “You are three blind mice and I am the farmer’s wife, and I am going to run, and as soon as I count three you must run after me. Whoever catches me first shall have a big apple; whoever catches me second shall have two big apples; and when I am caught by the third I shall present that blind mouse with three big apples.”
Having made the above explanation, the farmer’s wife deliberately counts one, two, three, and on the instant three is spoken, the blind mice run.
As soon as the running starts, all others sing,
Three blind mice, see how they run, They all ran after the farmer’s wife.
This may be sung over and over until the blind mice succeed. Having run a few moments, the farmer’s wife should allow herself to be caught, as this game being particularly suited to little children, they would not have the skill in catching known to older people.
If it is not convenient to give apples as reward, substitute something else. Almost any trifling gift would do.
While running is in continuance, be careful the children do not trip.
THE HOLIDAY CALENDAR.
“I have a holiday calendar,” a little boy should say to a little girl.
“Where is it?”
“Here.” And directly he holds up his hand with fingers spread towards her.
“See my five fingers. They stand for our five holidays.” Then touching his thumb he should continue,
“This is for Mayday, so sweet,” and then touching the finger next, “Jolly Fourth, with its noise,” afterwards indicating the middle finger, “Thanksgiving and pumpkin pies,” and touching the next finger, “Christmas, for girls and boys,” and holding up his little finger concludes, “Happy New Year to all.”
THE SEA AND HER CHILDREN.
The players, with the exception of one sent from the room, must be seated in a circle. The person having left will represent the Sea. All others must now decide on an assumed name, which is also the name of a fish; for example, trout, red snapper, pickerel. This done, the Sea returns and walks slowly around the outside of the ring, calling her children, one after another, by the different names they have selected, until all have risen and followed her. Then the Sea must run with a varied motion, sometimes rapid, sometimes slow, exclaiming, “The Sea is troubled! the Sea is troubled!” Suddenly she seats herself, and her example is followed by her children. The unfortunate individual who is unable to secure a chair becomes the Sea, and the game is continued as before.
Every child has heard the pretty story of Cinderella and her glass slipper. Now learn who will have bright enough eyes to find it.
The fairy godmother cannot really let you have Cinderella’s slipper, but she allows any of the children to hunt for a slipper that is made of fur, or trimmed with fur. This slipper should have Cinderella’s card pinned to it, and whoever finds the slipper should be given the card as a souvenir.
Cinderella’s slipper should be well hidden, but not where little people could not reach. While the hunt is in progress, whoever has hidden the slipper should call “Warm, Warmer, Cold, Colder,” as the children get nearer or further away.
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
Have a circle two feet in diameter cut out of plain white paper. At the time the game is to be played some one should pin this on the back of the Lord of Misrule. He must then whistle and caper all about the room, thus attracting attention, and seat himself at the piano, and sing at the top of his lungs,
Girls and boys, come out to play.
As soon as he sings the word _play_, every girl and boy rushes forward and catching each other by the hand, they dance and skip about to the tune played by the Lord of Misrule, while all sing,
Girls and boys come out to play, The moon doth shine as bright as day, Leave your supper and leave your sleep, And meet your playfellows in the street, Come with a whoop and come with a call.
The second the words whoop and call are uttered the most throat-splitting whoops and calls should be given; such as cat calls, wild beast groans, crying, barking, bird notes, etc. The circle disbands during the laughter and confusion, but the game may be played over and over as long as the Man of the Moon shall will.
This is really a game of guess. Shake a small bag full of beans before the children, and ask each to guess how many beans are inside.
It will be amusing to watch the eagerness which all will show, and how far apart the guesses will be.
Whoever comes nearest to the correct number should be presented with the bag of beans. And this gift will immediately afford healthful and jolly entertainment, because the bean-bag should be tossed and caught by one and another until the rosy-cheeked and out-of-breath children call a halt.
Cut out a square of cardboard, six inches wide by six inches long. Put an eyelet in each of the two upper corners and run tape or ribbon through. Cut it of sufficient length to go over a child’s head. The children should wear the cardboard as if it was a breastplate.
You should have twenty-six children, and you will therefore require twenty-six pieces of cardboard. In the centre of each piece, paint a letter of the alphabet. Should you have fewer children, paint two or more letters on each cardboard, for you must use the entire alphabet.
The children should first march up and down in alphabetical order, keeping time to music. They may then join hands in couples and skip or waltz or whatever pleasing movements may be suggested.
After these exercises call for words, being careful which words you will require if you have doubled or trebled the letters. As each word is called, the child wearing the first letter steps forward, then the one wearing the second letter comes and stands by her side, and so on, until the word is spelled.
Very short and simple words should be called if the children are not sufficiently advanced to allow for longer or more difficult ones. Dog, Cat, Bird, will furnish just as much amusement as Prodigy, Yclept, Bask.
Intersperse the word exercises with marches and other movements, such as “Right-about-face,” to be done by a chord, or “wheel to the left,” to be done by another. Form squares and circles. Join hands, thus making a ring. Into this ring the letter A goes, the others skip around her, until she makes a motion like something commencing with A; for example, Apple, which she pretends to eat. One or more of the company guesses what word she represents, and then B enters the ring, and so on as long as the game amuses.
BLINDFOLDED PLATTER TWIRLING.
This game is similar to the old-time favorite.
All players should sit in a circle, and each number themselves in rotation.
Two of the party should be blindfolded. They are then each given a platter, and they enter the ring.
The others call, one, two, three. As soon as three is called, those inside the ring twirl the platters, and at the same moment they each shout a number which corresponds to two of the players in the circle. Should either of the bearers of the numbers catch his platter before it falls, the original twirler must try over again and continue to twirl and call until the platter is not caught.
But should the platter have fallen before the child bearing the number called has caught it, he must not only change places with the one who has twirled the platter, but also pay a forfeit.
Much amusement is derived, not only from catching the platter, but in watching the ridiculous movements of those who are blindfolded.
THE WILD BEAST EXHIBIT.
By the side of a pier-glass stand a lamp, and before both put a screen.
The one in charge stands in front, and having stated that he is ready to exhibit his wild beasts to any one present who will not tell what he has seen, asks who would like to come to the exhibition, all desiring to, please rise. He then takes them in turn, always exacting the promise of secrecy, and asks the name of the animal each would like to see.
On learning the name, the showman describes the animal as funnily as possible, making all manner of sport, and engaging every one’s attention to the individual who is to go to the show. As for example, if the person be a boy, and says he would like to see a lion, when the boy laughs, the showman will say, “And the lion roars _just like you_.” After this he is admitted, and sees himself in the looking-glass.
The tallest player should begin the game.
This person turning to the first right hand player should say “Yes”; to the second, “No”; and so on all around, saying yes or no, as the case may be, to yourself last. Whoever is the last person to whom “No” is said, however, is out of the game, and the one who commenced the game, again goes around the ring. If she has said “Yes” to herself last, then the one to her right hand is now told “No,” and thus “Yes,” “No,” is said all around again and again and so on, until there are but two players. Whichever one is Yes, must then be “It.”
All the players now stand at a given distance from “It,” and a tree or object being selected as a place of safety, they are ready to begin.
“It” calls to the others, “One foot off,” then each player raises one of their feet. “Two feet on,” at which order everybody’s feet are immediately upon the sidewalk. “Two feet off,” may then be called, at which order all rush at their utmost speed, and “It” after them. Should anybody be caught before reaching the tree of safety, that person must change places with “It,” and the game continues as before.
The orders, “One foot off,” “Two feet on,” etc., should be called very rapidly, so that everybody is mixed up and will not suspect when two feet off will be called. Sometimes the orders are repeated over and over, and again, “Two feet off” may be said the first time.
Any boy may start the game, by saying, “I am a greengrocer and I sell O.” All of the children must now guess what the grocer would have for sale that would commence with the letter O.
He means he has onions for sale. Whoever is the first to guess, whether it is a girl or a boy, now becomes the greengrocer and uses the same words as before, only substituting another letter. Perhaps the greengrocer has cucumbers or carrots for sale; in that case he would sell C.
This game is capable of a variety of changes, for example, “I am a milliner, and I am going to put F on your hat.” All the girls must now guess what a milliner could put on a hat that would commence with F, and some one is not long in deciding that the milliner means “Flowers.”
The next milliner may say, “I am a milliner and I am going to put D flowers on your hat.”
And all must think what varieties of flowers commence with the letter D, and in a second some one calls out, “Daisies.”
This being correct, the one who has guessed becomes milliner.
In like manner a boy may say, “I am a New York jeweler, and I sell G,” and all the players must think what a jeweler could offer for sale that would commence with the letter G.
Soon a voice asks, “Is it Gold?” But that is not correct, this jeweler is selling Garnets.
Or the game may be confined to a country. Example: “I am a Japanese merchant and I sell S.”
The players must think what the merchant has for sale that comes from Japan, and that commences with the letter S.
Thus with care this game may be played by a small child with as much success as by an adult.
RUBIES AND EMERALDS.
Two players decide as to which one will represent rubies and which emeralds, without telling the others.
They then join hands to form an arch. All the rest take hold of each other’s jackets or frocks, and while going through the arch they sing,
All of a row, Bend the bow, Shot at a pigeon And killed a crow. The cock doth crow To let you know, If you be well.
The second that the last word is sung, those who have formed the arch drop their arms around the neck of the child just passing under. Then they inquire in a whisper which he would rather have, Rubies or Emeralds. When he decides, he must whisper the answer, and he will then be told to go back of the player that represents that stone.
When all have been caught, those back of the stone that has had the most admirers now hide, while the others seek for them. Should the rubies have precedence, the emeralds are the ones to hunt, or if the emeralds, the rubies are the ones to hunt. Whichever stone is in the minority must seek for the others. Whoever finds the most rubies or emeralds, as the case may be, is counted the richest, as this player possesses the most treasure.
The players who have formed the arch keep watch that all is done fairly.
WHAT THE DANDELIONS SAID
Is the old game familiar to all from babyhood—that of blowing the soft down of the ripened dandelion to learn, “How old am I?” Blow once, one year old; blow twice, two years, and so on, until all the downy stuff has gone. The number of times the blows have been given before the down has altogether disappeared indicates the age.
Or, “What time is it?”
This is indicated in the same way. Blow once, and if all the down is gone, it is one o’clock, twice, two o’clock, and so on.
All the boys and girls should stand in a group, with the exception of one girl, and to her is given a bunch of daisies. She is known as “Daisy Girl.” A tree is selected as a place of safety and the other girls count ten, allowing ten seconds for the count. During the counting, Daisy Girl runs wherever she pleases, but the moment ten is spoken, the boys and girls may race after her. The idea is to tag her while the flowers are in her hand. If she is tagged the girl must then throw the daisies as if they were a ball to the boy or girl tagging her. If they are caught the game proceeds as before, by reversing the players, but if the flowers are not caught, Daisy Girl may try again. She may also demand another chance, if, when fearing she would be tagged, she throws the daisies away, and catches them again before any of the other players. When the game is repeated it commences regularly from the beginning, the players taking the same position as at the start.
This is the English name for Jack-Stones.
Where a number of children are playing together, test who can pick up the greater number without dropping any, within ten minutes.
The oldest child should keep count, and also watch the time, in order that no mistakes occur. The counter should have each of the players’ names written on a slate or piece of paper, with sufficient room for his scores. When a Dibb or Jack-Stone has been dropped, this party must commence afresh. He, however, may yet win; for his opponents may drop many more Dibbs than he. The only score to count is after the last Dibb has been dropped. A player might have reached a score of thirty or more, but having failed to catch his Dibb, it drops and he must now count one, two, and so on without regard to former count.
When the ten minutes have expired, the counter should call “Game,” and the players must stop on the second.
This game is for little children, though it may be played by children of all ages. It is at its best as an out-of-door recreation.
Chalk off a part of a lawn or use a small grass plot. On this put a number of paper-covered packages. Then blindfold one of the children, and, in the sight of all the others, touch a package. When this is done the blindfold may be removed, and the child told he may have all the packages for his own, until he takes the one touched, then he must stop. Sometimes the player is unfortunate enough to pick up the touched package first, if so, he must surrender this also, unless the players vote he may try again. No one may try more than twice.
On the contrary an occasional child may pick up every package before the one touched, when that happens the touched package is also added as a reward.
This game interests all, and when the touched package is picked up, the children scream with laughter. The contents of the packages may be a little candy, inexpensive toys, an apple, pear or other fruits, also nuts. Each present is temptingly wrapped, and as this game is played over and over no one gift should cost beyond a penny or two. It makes great fun to undo the packages, and generous children always divide with the unfortunate.
This is a Scotch game, usually played by girls, but there is no reason why boys should not play also.
Two skipping-ropes are required. Two players turn the pair of ropes, holding the ends of both ropes in one hand precisely the same as if they were turning a single rope, and the third player stands between and jumps. Whoever is jumper cannot be lazy, as that party has to jump twice as rapidly as if jumping in a single rope.
BOYS AND GIRLS.
Place a lighted candle behind a tall screen covered with white linen. The hostess should sit before it and each of the company must in turn pass between the candle and the screen. The game is to guess the person behind the screen by means of their shadow.
The guesser should leave the room while the one to be named is selected, and on returning, he should not look to find out who is missing, but honestly guess from the silhouette.
Sometimes it adds to the fun to use a disguise, as at a masquerade, for example, put on a long skirt, fasten up the hair, etc., in no case cover the face, as it is difficult to give the right name, with every advantage.
Learn what you can do with five pieces of paper. The margin of a newspaper may be utilized if no other paper is convenient. These pieces should be one inch long by half an inch wide. The scheme is to shape them into squares, triangles, etc., the one who wins the game is the one who can accomplish the most with his five pieces.
He need not use the entire five each time, but he cannot add to the number of papers, nor can he mark them with pen, pencil or any other thing.
As a matter of fact the whole alphabet can be formed with them, and so many other unique designs that this game fully merits its name.
To be played by nine people; should there be more present, draw for the players. And, as but one of the party will read, draw to decide which one.
The reader then, having a pencil and paper, writes the parts of speech, as the players in turn whisper to him:
No. 1. An Article.
No. 2. An Adjective.
No. 3. A Noun.
No. 4. A Verb.
No. 5. An Adverb.
No. 6. A Number.
No. 7. An Adjective.
No. 8. A Noun.
These having been written, the sentences must then be read aloud:
No. 1 whispers the article The.
No. 2, the adjective Pink.
No. 3, the noun Hawthorn.
No. 4, the verb Plays.
No. 5, the adverb Prettily.
No. 6, the number Three hundred and three.
No. 7, the adjective Fantastic.
No. 8, the noun Operas.
The sentence to be read, therefore, is, The pink hawthorn plays prettily three hundred and three fantastic operas.
The easiest way to draw will be to provide several slips of paper, of exact size and shape. Some of the papers must be blank, others numbered, 1, 2, 3, and so on, making nine in all. Put these papers on a tray and pass to all in the room. The one drawing the number 9 must be the reader, the other numbers decide whether that individual must whisper an article or an adjective, according to the example given. Those having blank papers do not play.
SING, BIRDIE, SING.
This game provokes laughter from the most solemn individual. The company should be seated in a ring. The one in command enters the ring and makes much ceremony in giving each player the name of a bird; which may be, for example, heron, kingfisher, bluebird, cat-bird, wood-thrush. When each have been named, the commander then whispers something to every person. What he whispers is a motion or sound or both, which he wishes the person to give. When everybody has received their cue, the commander steps to the centre of the ring and calls, “One, two, three.” The moment “Three” is spoken, each of the company rise, and running round the circle of empty chairs, flap their arms in imitation of wings, sing or call as they have been directed. The heron should make a motion as though trying to get little fish out of holes in the bottom of a pond, or he should stand on one leg and appear to be asleep. The kingfisher should brush up his hair, making it rough on the top, and then act as if diving for minnows. The bluebird should warble a sweet song. The cat-bird should appear full of fun and make melodious notes, but he should also add the complaining _mee-aa_; for the cat-bird is sometimes a wonderful songster, but after nesting gives a sound that is decidedly cat-like. The wood-thrush should sing a most tender melody, and the more melancholy the better. Hawks, wood-peckers, chickadees, parrots, screech-owls, ducks, geese and many other birds might be added. The greater variety introduced the better.
SQUIRREL IN THE MIDDLE.
This is a game for boys, and the player is decided by lot.
The easiest way to arrange the lot is to throw as many bits of paper, of similar size and shape, into a hat as there are players. All of these papers are blank excepting one, this has the word “player” written on it. The hat is then passed, and the boy drawing the word “player” immediately sits on the floor, the others stand in a circle around him. Whoever is behind his back, pulls his coat, or gently pulls his hair, taking him unawares. He turns to catch this boy, but while doing so another boy buffets him. As the players dance about the circle, they exclaim, “Squirrel in the middle catch him if you can.”
Finally one of the boys is caught, and he must then change places with the one he has been tormenting.
Form a circle, one of the number going into the ring. Present that person with a tablespoon for each hand, and blindfold him.
Then state that the others will skip around him three times and then stop. As soon as they stop, they will let go hands and stand perfectly still. The party in the ring now moves towards one of the players and must tell who he is by touching him with the spoons only. If his guess is correct, the person caught now exchanges places with the one in the ring; if he is incorrect, he must try again.
This game is not as difficult as it at first appears. Carefully notice the peculiarity of clothing each one has on before you enter the ring, whether, for instance, the frock is trimmed, buttoned, etc., or the scarf is a four-in-hand ornamented with a scarf-pin, or if the scarf is run through a ring or tied in a bow. Note also the wearing of the hair and every detail that may occur to you, and remember that the spoons may be used whichever way one pleases. So, if they touch beads, and there is only one person who is wearing beads that will at once indicate the individual; or if the spoon knocks against a scarf pin and there is only one boy wearing a scarf pin, he will of necessity be recognized, and thus each player is caught.
THE EMPEROR’S COURT.
Put a conspicuously handsome chair in the centre of the room, also an ottoman for the feet. On either side of this put as many ordinary chairs as would accommodate the players.
One of the company now goes to the piano, and plays a march, all of the others, rise, and, with considerable ceremony, escort the tallest boy in the room to the chair of honor.
This boy now becomes an Emperor, and the chair at his disposal, his throne, the rest of the players his court. Immediately the Emperor is seated, the music stops, and the pianist together with the court seat themselves also.
This game consists in copying the Emperor. If he pretends to cry, the court must cry, if he sings, the court must sing. The Emperor should make himself as ridiculous as is possible.
Or he might order one of the court to play the piano and have a dance, or give a set of military tactics.
Should any of the court laugh at a time the Emperor is not laughing, he or she must pay a forfeit.
THREE LITTLE PIGS.
This game is played after the same manner as is Silhouettes, only those taking part should be in costume, representing the words they illustrate. It makes capital sport, and nobody can fail to enjoy it, whether taking part or not. The game is easily understood, and is best described by an example.
One of the company should distinctly say,
Three little pigs went to market.
When this is said, three pigs should appear as if going to market, passing between a candle and a white covered screen, they should grotesquely walk, so adding to the amusement. When these three have hobbled off, the reader then recites,
Three little pigs stayed at home,
which is likewise shown by three others of the company; then in like manner,
Three little pigs have bread and butter,
and so on through the rhyme, illustrating every scene.
Paper will be found all the material necessary to effect a disguise. Cut it in the form of ears, etc., as is needed, and practise effects before producing the game to amuse an audience.
THE FUNNY PRIMA DONNAS.
Three girls should wear ridiculous costumes, making themselves as grotesque as possible. Each one being a prima donna, should try to outdo the other in appearance as also in voice. The hair should be fashioned after the same arrangement as that of a celebrated vocalist, the hands and arms should be covered with evening gloves. The material of the frock need not be costly, but it should be smart and showy; the frock should be made with a train. Each should carry a conspicuous fan, or immense bouquets of large bright flowers, such as full-blown roses, poppies, yellow chrysanthemums, etc. The bouquets should be trimmed elaborately around with white paper lace.
At an appropriate time the hostess will announce the arrival of three celebrated Prima Donnas, and before they appear she will give each of the company a noticeably colored paper flower, or bunch of flowers, such as marigolds, morning glories, scarlet geraniums. Having given the flowers, she will say, “When the artists have concluded their song, let each one do as I do.”
This said, the artists enter, and having promenaded to the front room, gesticulating all the time, they bow and sing a line each, and each in a different key, to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne,” the following:
Young Mousy Mouse Has made a house Out of the farmer’s cheese.
Then in chorus,—
And eats away With friends each day, As jolly as you please.
Then separately the first three lines of the second verse,—
But Mousy Mouse Don’t see her house Soon swallowed up must be.
And with that house Goes that poor mouse As sure as sure can be.
The instant the last word is sung, the hostess, with all her might and main, throws her flower to reach the artist’s feet, and as the company has been told to copy her, there is a perfect rain of flowers. Afterwards they are gathered, and divided between the Prima Donnas, who triumphantly carry them home as souvenirs of their charming reception.
DO YOU HEAR?
This game needs two persons.
Stand at a distance from your confederate who will ask, “Molly, do you hear?” and who will keep up asking the question until some one speaks. Then Molly says she hears and leaves the room.
No sooner out, than her confederate will explain to the company, “I shall hand some one in this room a button, and I shall then ask Molly to tell me who has it.” Having thus explained, he hands the button to the individual who spoke just before Molly left the room. Then the confederate calls, “Molly, who has the button?”
At once Molly replies correctly. The key is very simple, being only to remember the person who spoke as she left the room.
The game when played with a boy, should have the word Johnny substituted for Molly.
Each girl in succession leads a boy to a position to dance a reel.
First girl then says to first boy, “This is my flower to decorate the table,” and she gives him a flower which he puts in his buttonhole.
Second girl to second boy, “This is my flower to decorate the table,” and she gives him a different flower, which he puts in his buttonhole.
Third girl to third boy, “You tread clams for dinner,” and the boy must make the motion of treading clams.
Fourth girl to fourth boy, “You catch trout for dinner,” and the boy makes believe he is a fly-fisherman.
Fifth girl to fifth boy, “You get lamb to roast,” and the boy calls, “Bah! bah!”
Sixth girl to sixth boy, “You get the turkey to roast,” and the boy gives the call of a turkey-gobbler.
Seventh girl to seventh boy, “You shoot the duck for roasting,” and the boy calls, “Quack! Quack!”
Eighth girl to eighth boy, “You are my pigeon to bake in a pie,” and the boy flaps his arms in imitation of wings.
Ninth girl to ninth boy, “You are a baker and must bake our cake,” and this boy pretends to beat eggs.
Tenth girl to tenth boy, “You are the young man who grinds good coffee,” and he makes believe he is turning the crank of a coffee-mill. As soon as the tenth boy responds, a couple of good whistlers whistle Yankee Doodle, all the others dance a reel, repeating their calls and motions while dancing.
Arrange chairs in couples back to back, placing them in different parts of the room, and have one too few for your company.
All the players stand, one behind the other, the one in charge at the head of the line. He leads the party whichever way he pleases. As they march, the leader sings to the tune of, “There were Three Crows sat on a Tree,”
I must be gay This merry day, But game obey I will, I will.
He may march about and sing this verse as often as he wishes, but while singing, “I will, I will,” he must some time fling himself into a chair. As soon as the leader is seated, the others make a bold rush to follow his example. The player for whom there is no seat, now becomes leader, and the rest of the company follow as before.
A boy should put his hands into small stockings and shoes. Then put on a wig of different color from his own hair. He must fasten on a moustache, and put some black sticking plaster over one or two of his front teeth. His coat should be of a different shape and his necktie should be of a different style from that which he usually wears. Indeed, he must be thoroughly disguised. Back of him, another boy must stand, and pass his arm around the first boy’s shoulder.
Curtains must be drawn so that no part of the second boy is seen but his arms.
Put a small table before them, and from the back of this table drop a cloth, so as to conceal the first boy below his waist. The front boy puts his hands dressed in shoes on the table, the boy back of him supplies his arms and hands, and if properly arranged a dwarf from three to four feet tall is thus produced.
Of course, a tiny costume must be made. Little Turkish trousers, a blouse-like coat, a fez, a belt and small sword.
It is well to have an exhibitor who should tell some wonderful tale about the dwarf. And the exhibitor should indicate that the dwarf jokes, sings and dances, an exhibition of which should then follow.
The dwarf should be fully prepared as to what he will say and do. Several spicy jokes should be at his tongue’s end. He should gesticulate violently with his hands and arms, and likewise sing the jolliest of songs and dance the drollest dances.
It requires practice.
A girl enters the ring; all the others take firm hold of the rope. No sooner is she in than they skip about her, keeping the rope in motion. As they skip they sing, to the tune of “Auld Lang-syne,”
Who’ll crown our queen, our merry queen, Who’ll crown our queen to-day? Who’ll crown our queen, our merry queen, Who’ll crown our queen to-day?
When this is sung, the children stop skipping just where they are. And at once one of the boys puts his head under the rope, and, standing by the queen, replies, “I will.” Then raising a crown of wild flowers, he puts it on her head. No sooner is she crowned than she blindfolds the boy, and another girl enters, thus making two girls in the ring. The game is to “tag” the right girl before the other players count nine. When the boy “tags” the girl, he must at once say whether or not she is the queen, and if he makes a mistake he must remain in the ring and try again. The first girl withdraws, the second girl is crowned queen, and the game is repeated. But should he make no mistake, the boy remains in the ring, is crowned king, and the game goes on, only that two boys are in the ring when a girl is blindfolded.
_A Rope Game._
Put a rope on the ground in the form of a circle; in the centre put a stone about the size of a duck’s egg. The players stand backwards around the rope, with their heels touching it. Each one in turn throws a grace-hoop over his right shoulder, with the hope it will encircle the stone. As soon as the hoop is thrown all may turn and see the position. If the hoop encircles the stone the player may try again and again, until he fails, counting one for each time. Then the party to his right tries, and so on all around the rope. Whoever has the largest count wins the game.
This game is also played facing the stone; it is then no longer a game of guess, but a game of skill.
On the floor or ground mark a circle, the diameter of which is two feet.
The easiest way would be to use a hoople of the correct size, and chalk it all around close to the wood. Be careful not to move the hoople while marking. Therefore, one person would better hold the hoople, while another uses the chalk.
Eight players are required, two and two standing together, taking the same positions as if they were to dance a quadrille. The circle must be in the centre of the space around which they stand, and the players should be six feet from the outer edge.
In the circle place four small articles, three without much value, and the other of some little value. As an example, put in three empty bottles, and one filled with inexpensive perfume, or if you use flowers, put three dandelions, and one half-blown rose. All articles must be laid side by side, and as nearly as possible, in the exact centre of the circle.
When all is ready, the host, being at the piano, should play “Pop Goes the Weasel,” and if the game is played out of doors, the same tune should be hummed or whistled. When the music starts, the head couples join hands and skip to the circle and then back, this must be again and again repeated, until the pianist suddenly stops. Those who have been skipping must then bow to each other wherever they happen to be, also unclasp their hands, and neither run nor walk, but skip as rapidly as possible to the circle; sometimes they are fortunate enough to be by it when the music stops; then at once pick up one of the articles, and skip back to the position held at the time the game started.
These movements must be finished before the musician again commences to play. Then, holding the article in one hand and your partner’s hand in the other, you skip twice around the circle, and return to position. The head couple leading, all the others following after the same order, as the march in a quadrille.
The articles are then put where they were at the game’s start, and the side couples repeat what the head couples have already done.
The musician should allow enough time to make it possible for all the players to pick up an article, but he must not allow too much time, or a prominent feature in the game is missed.
Every one is desirous to pick up the valuable article, but if you are not careful the music will start before you have gotten anything: in that case you must be blindfolded and skip all alone four times around the circle. While you are skipping, the spectators are clapping. Whoever is fortunate enough to have picked up the valuable article, may retain it as a favor. This must therefore have a duplicate, as the side couples have equal chances with the heads.
TWO SKIPPING-ROPE GAMES.
Take a skipping-rope whenever you go for a country frolic. One treat will be given through clover blossoms. Each player should gather enough of these sweet-scented flowers to make three fair-sized bouquets, when these are made, put them in a convenient and cool place.
Take turns turning the rope; as soon as one girl is through skipping, she should exchange with one that has been turning. In that way nobody is tired.
Enter the rope according to height, the shortest player should go first. As soon as the rope is in even motion, all the players excepting the one to skip, should say, “One, two, three,” the moment “Three” is said, whoever is to skip must enter or lose her turn. Should she trip before skipping eight times she must give her successor a bouquet, on the contrary, should she skip five times without a break, her successor must present her with a bouquet. No one may be allowed to skip more than fifteen times, as too much rope skipping is injurious.
These rules must receive strict adherence. When all have had opportunity to skip three times, the game is finished. The winner is the one who has received the most bouquets.
Another game requires ten players, two turning and eight skipping. In this game those who turn cannot be relieved, but must turn until the game is concluded.
This time the tallest player is the first to enter, the others stand according to height, one directly back of the other. As soon as the rope is in steady motion, the first player starts, skips once, runs out and around to a rock or tree previously decided on, where she is safe, the second immediately enters the rope, after the first one runs out, the point being for the second one to tag the first before she can reach her destination. The third player, however, enters the rope as the second has run out, and is trying just as hard to tag the second, as the second is to tag the first, and so on, each rapidly following the one before, and thus this game keeps steadily on until all have been through the rope three times.
Whoever has been tagged is out of the game, and can no longer play; this decides who are the winners.
It now becomes the duty of all who have played, to gather quantities of clover or other field blossoms, enough to trim the rope from one end to the other. In this form the pretty flowers are taken home, and used for dining-room decoration. Festoon the mantel, or wind it around the chandelier, allowing the ends to drop low towards the table.
As only one person can have this rope of flowers, decide which one, by counting out.
RUNNING FOR THE CAP.
The boys must be equally divided; one set is called catchers, the other runners, and these sets must stand fifty yards apart. The catcher’s position is thirty yards from the post, and the runners’ twenty. The call, one, two, three, is given, and on the second three is spoken one boy from each party runs to the post. The runner will naturally get there first, and he has to put the cap on his head, and then replace it. He must do this with the utmost rapidity, as, should the catcher overtake him on his way back to the position which he held before starting to run, the boy becomes the catcher’s prisoner, and can no longer play.
FIRE-ARCH DISCOUNT GAME.
A strip of wood two inches thick, five inches wide, and one yard long will be required. In this cut five arches, making the centre one four inches in width, the others three inches each; stand it up on the floor or on a table, and make the starting-point six feet away. Four marbles may be rolled by each player. When a marble goes through the centre arch it counts sixty, but if, instead, it goes through either of the small arches, thirty is counted off. If a marble fails to pass through either, it is counted out of the game, and must be removed. The next turn around, the player will use only three instead of four marbles. The boy who has the highest tally has won; should there be a tie, they must roll again.
This game requires practice, or some players will find that they have lost more than they have made.
THE BAGATELLE BOARD COUNT GAME.
Chalk a floor or mark a space in exact copy of a bagatelle-board ten feet long by three wide. In the inclosure, at correct distances, mark the numbers; this may be done with chalk, or the numbers may be painted on thin wooden blocks and laid in position. Each player must start his marble at the extreme left-hand corner, and state before starting the number he wishes to roll to. Should the marble go to that number, and not roll on so as to touch another, the player counts the number selected, and can then state another number and play for that, and can so continue for seven minutes, provided his marble always hits the number selected, and though rolling on, does not touch or stop at any other. When his time is up his count is scored, and the next player follows, subject to the same rules. Should the marble stop on the number selected, it is counted double in favor of the player. Again, should the marble, having reached the selected number, still roll on and touch another, no count is allowed, and the player must stop until his turn comes again.
FUNNY QUESTIONS WITH FUNNY ANSWERS.
All the players stand in a circle and join hands.
The tallest one in the room whispers a question to her right-hand neighbor, who answers her in a whisper, and then turns and asks _her_ right-hand neighbor a question, who replies in like manner. When questions and answers have all gone around, the party who commenced states aloud the question her _left_-hand neighbor asked, and the reply her _right_-hand neighbor gave.
Example: Suppose three players.
Second answers, then turns and ask third.
Third answers, and asks the first, who answers.
Then, questions and answers having gone all around, first says aloud, “My left-hand neighbor asked, and my right-hand neighbor answered.”
First Player: What is the brightest idea this season?
Second Player: Your eye, dear (idea).
How many blackbirds were baked in the pie?
Third Player: Four-and-twenty. What was the name of Goliath of Gath’s grandmother’s straw bonnet maker?
First Player: Nobody knows.
When all have played.
First Player, aloud: The question asked me was, “What was the name of Goliath of Gath’s grandmother’s straw bonnet maker?” the answer was, “Your eye, dear (idea).”
Second Player: The question asked me was, “What is the brightest idea this season?” The answer was, “Four-and-twenty!”
Third Player: The question asked was, “How many blackbirds were baked in the pie?” The answer was, “Nobody knows.”
The one whose question has been most appropriately answered aloud, must be entertained by the others, as he desires—by dancing, playing a favorite game, by music, recitations or any other suggested amusement.
JUDGE AND JURY.
Draw lots for a Judge and five Jurymen. Pass six numbered paper slips in a fancy bag. Whoever draws number one is Judge, and the others the Jury. All the other players take the name of a celebrated musician or composer, as Beethoven, De Pachmann, or Schubert, etc.
The Judge now takes a seat at one end of the room. The Jurymen sit at one side in a row, and the rest of the people sit at a distance. The Judge calls one of the other players up to the bar and proceeds to question him or her. The _prisoner_ is bound to answer any question the Judge may see fit to ask, and the business of the Jury is to decide the name of the musician the prisoner has assumed.
Ten questions are all that may be asked. At the end of those the prisoner seats himself and awaits the Jury’s verdict. If the first decision of the Jury is incorrect, the prisoner is released. But if correct, the prisoner takes the place of one of the Jurymen, who must draw to determine which one is relieved. The ex-Juryman then takes his place among the waiting prisoners and assumes a character.
After three trials the Judge must be a Juryman, and one of them must take his place. This, too, is decided by lot.
By so doing all are on duty all the time, and the end of the game is when the players are tired.
THE CARD INTRODUCTION.
When young people are not very well acquainted, play this game, and by the time that it is finished every one will think he must have known everybody else for the last seven years.
Place chairs so as to form a ring, and ask your friends to be seated. Then have a pack of say, authors’ cards in your hand, state that every one must say what you say, and give what you give to his left-hand neighbor. Then lifting up the top card in the pack, you say to your guest at your left, “Here’s my card, Longfellow.” The one who receives it instantly turns to the party at his left and, giving the card, repeats the same words, “Here’s my card, Longfellow.” The next card follows at once in the same manner, repeating whatever its portrait, may be, and so card follows card without a second’s delay, and the laughter and fun that is made causes even the dullest person in the room to wake up and be hale fellow for the next entertainment. Should any card drop, let it go. There will not be enough time to pick it up until the game is ended.
One of the young men must represent the Lord of Misrule, and in fantastic attire he goes from one to the other of the guests and asks each to draw one slip of paper from the basket which he carries.
On each slip are written four lines of any popular or well-known song. Each slip contains a different song.
As soon as the papers are drawn five of the people stand up in a line, and with the Lord of Misrule as director they each sing separately their particular four lines to the correct tune. When each of the five have sung, all sing together as chorus, each carefully keeping his own words and music.
Then another five, and then another, until all have sung. Then for a grand finale, all the guests stand as chorus and in duets, trios, quartettes sing the one stanza through, all joining in the refrain each time.
The harmony will be remarkable.
Chairs are placed to form a circle, and all the players excepting two occupy the chairs.
One of the two players must play a polka or waltz. The other one stands outside of the circle.
The one standing outside dances as soon as the music starts, and continues dancing as long as she pleases, but all of a sudden she stops a second before a chair, and then dances up to the chair. Whoever occupies it instantly rises and dances back to her, and after a while the first dancer waves a backward movement of the hand toward her friend, thus indicating she is not wanted to continue dancing. But she must walk or waltz back to her chair and then sit down.
The first dancer continues dancing, however, and goes to another party in precisely the same way as she did to the first, and when she concludes she has the right one, she dances to that party’s seat and takes it.
The individual then on the floor continues dancing, as did the first one. When she sits down a third party dances, and so on until all have danced.
If any of the company do not dance, they should make a feint of doing so. If the individual is full of fun, much amusement is created.
Make a target of brown wrapping-paper, and put the number 100 on the bull’s eye. Outside of this mark five rings, making the largest one two feet in diameter, the others proportionately smaller. Inside of these rings put the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, the centre as stated being 100. Mark out a space on the ground for a base five feet away; place the target on the ground, blindfold a player, lead him to the base, and turn him around twice, and leave him facing the target. He is now entitled to roll three marbles, and then remove the blindfold. His count will be the added numbers in the rings at which his marbles have stopped. Should any of them stop on a line, he is entitled to the largest number adjoining. No marbles must be moved, and each boy has the privilege of trying the ground once with each marble, before being blindfolded.
THE HUNT FOR THE KEYHOLE.
A tall boy should put on the skirt of a lady’s dress. This skirt should just escape the floor. In his hands he should carry a broom, with the broom end held directly above him, and the broom handle held close in front of him.
A ball to simulate a person’s head should be secured by strong twine to the broom. This ball should have a false face securely fastened to the front of it, while, as a cover for the rest of the ball there should be a lady’s bonnet. This bonnet cannot be too grotesquely trimmed. Long plumes, brilliant flowers, natural or artificial, sunflowers, hollyhocks, cucumber blossoms, etc., would be correct decoration. The bonnet should be tied underneath the false face, being careful to have the bow ends voluminous and the streamers long. The ribbon should be vivid scarlet, or bright orange color.
Just below the bonnet and around the broom fasten a cloak, the bottom of which should reach beyond the boys waist; in this way the boy and the broom are entirely concealed.
The company should be asked to take seats at the rear end of the room, then announce that they are to be entertained by the pantomime entitled “The Hunt for the Keyhole.”
Then the door should be opened, and at once a tall, odd-looking individual enters. His appearance creates roars of laughter, as also his ridiculous actions when having bowed to the audience he turns to the door through which he has come and commences his search. The effect is ridiculous, as the head is bobbed around in every direction whichever way the boy chooses to turn, as also whichever way he chooses to move the broom. When enough amusement has been gotten, the boy again bows and comically waltzes out of the room.
The boy will need an assistant to dress, and this game should be privately practised before showing it to an audience.
This is played by one of the party leaving the room, and on his return acting in such a manner as to indicate to the others a well-known proverb. Example, “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” may be indicated by the one having left the room returning with a round stone in his hand and rolling it on the floor.
This title suggests an amusing _tableau vivant_ for an evening at home.
Two girls should withdraw and put over their pretty dresses queer-looking old shawls, and cover their curls with odd-looking bonnets tied under the chin.
They should sit very close together, and with cups of tea in their hands gaze intently at each other, busily stirring the while. They must nod their heads as though one were telling a bit of scandal.
Suddenly one exclaims in a high-pitched voice, “You don’t say so!” whereupon the hostess should inquire, “Who can tell what these girls represent?”
A number of the company will naturally reply, “Gossip.”
Whoever assumes this character should explain that he has flowers for sale, and that he will try and sell all that he has by putting questions to the persons whom he thinks will buy, and that whoever in answering his questions uses the words _flowers_, _yes_, or _no_ would have to pay a forfeit, and that he will try all that he can to get them to use one of the prohibited words.
Then the Florist should turn to one of the players and ask, “Can I sell you any fresh flowers to-day?”
“I am fully supplied, thank you.” And addressing another, “Do buy my sweet violets.”
“Not to-day, sir.”
“How about carnations?”
“I don’t wish flowers of any kind.”
And in that way a forfeit is incurred.
The questions should be rapidly asked, and as rapidly answered, or the players will not get caught.
MY LADY’S RECEPTION APPAREL.
One of the players should act the part of lady’s maid. Each of the players should take the name of something which a lady would wear to a reception, as an article of clothing or jewelry. Or a player may take the name of an article a lady would use in getting ready for a reception, as a comb and brush.
The lady’s maid should stand at one end of the room, and looking towards the players announce, “My lady is going to a reception to-night, and wishes a handkerchief,” or whatever article she may choose to select. The one named instantly rises, and steps two feet forward, makes a low bow, then suddenly starting up twists about, and turning to her right-hand neighbor says, “Change chairs.”
No sooner said than done. Everybody on the instant rushes for a chair, including the lady’s maid, and the one that is left without a chair becomes the next lady’s maid.
This person may continue the game, as did the previous maid, or she may say, “My lady is going to a reception to-night and wants her salts.”
The moment salts are desired some of the players must sneeze as if the salts were too strong, others should appear to faint, and others wave their hands forward and back as if fanning.
Any second that the lady’s maid may choose she may exclaim, “Change chairs!” and again there is another scramble, with one person left without, and there is therefore a new lady’s maid.
This maid may try yet another way, which will result in getting almost all of the players on their feet before they can change chairs. She asks the players to re-name themselves, and for nearly all of them to select articles of apparel.
Then the maid says, for instance, “My lady desires her white ivory fan.”
The person so named should rise, go two feet forward and, having bowed very low, should stand just where she is until the signal for change chairs is given.
The maid might then say, “My lady desires her white satin gown.” The person named white satin gown rises, and repeats the action of the one going before. And thus the maid continues to call, until having all the requisite articles of apparel. But when she exclaims, “My lady wishes her white kid shoes!” all rush for a seat.
Whoever is left without a chair after this method of playing must rapidly tell the bootblack story.
“As I was going down the street I saw two bootblacks. One was a black bootblack and the other a white bootblack, and both had black boots, as well as blacking and blacking brushes. The black bootblack asked the white bootblack to black his, the black bootblack’s black boot with blacking. The white bootblack consented to black the black boots of the black bootblack with blacking, but when he, the white bootblack had blacked one black boot of the black bootblack with blacking, he the white bootblack refused to black his, the black bootblack’s, other black boot with blacking unless he, the black bootblack, paid him, the white bootblack, the same as what he, the white bootblack, got for blacking other people’s black boots; whereupon, the black bootblack grew still blacker in the face, and called the white bootblack a blackguard, at the same time hitting the white bootblack with the black boot that he, the white bootblack, had already blacked with blacking.”
Should any one not leave his chair he must pay a forfeit.
Should the maid ask for an article that has not been taken for a name, she must pay a forfeit.
In order to be enjoyable this game requires several players, and it is better that they should be both boys and girls, as it then has the added element of a match between the boys and girls.
Put a silver or gold thimble in full view, in any convenient room, into which your friends have not yet entered. It makes the game more difficult if this room is well filled with _bric-à-brac_, hangings, pictures, plants, etc., for the reason that the eye is confused with so much ornament and therefore cannot so easily detect such a small thing as a thimble.
State clearly the following directions before your friends enter. No one can touch anything. Each player must stand until he sees the thimble. Every one may walk about as much as he pleases, but talking is prohibited. Having seen the thimble, immediately sit down. It is a point of honor that no player will give information. When all are seated the game is finished.
Of course the girls want to get ahead of the boys, and the boys ahead of the girls, in locating the thimble. Therefore if a boy sits down first, the girls are sorry; and if a boy sits down last, the boys are sorry.
The one who first sits down is the one to receive honor, and he has the privilege of selecting the next game as well as deciding on the forfeit to be given by the boy or girl who has been the last to sit down. Sometimes the hostess gives the thimble to the one winning the game.
Players must be very cautious, or their eyes will tell what their tongues would not; therefore, having seen the thimble, at once glance in another direction, and you will thus mystify where you would otherwise assist.
THE TOUCH GAME.
This requires an assistant to whom the secret of the game is intrusted. The assistant leaves the room, the other party remains with the company, and states that during the assistant’s absence she will put her hand on some object, person, or thing, and when the assistant returns he will tell what has been touched.
The assistant now being out, the piano stool is touched. On the assistant’s return he is asked, “What did I touch?” at once he replies, “The piano stool.”
Of course this causes great surprise and the assistant is asked to go out again, the company expecting, perhaps, to be able to guess this time. For a change a girl is touched, and on the assistant’s return he is asked, “Whom did I touch?” and he promptly says, “Bessie Brown,” or whatever the girl’s name.
Then the players think there must be some look or gesture given to aid the assistant when he re-enters, and so they are given the privilege of blindfolding him before his return, but all in vain, the assistant is as correct as before and no one is able to guess.
Then the company beg: “Do tell us the secret.” So when all give up they are told that just before the assistant leaves the room, the other player secretly touches some person or thing, or perhaps indicates what the object is with his foot or perhaps sits on it, if it be a chair or stool. Occasionally, to further mystify, it would be well to simply fold one’s arms. This would signify to the confederate, “I am touching myself.” Therefore the assistant, whether blindfolded or not, can answer correctly, because he has received his clue before he went out.
Of course, this game requires an intelligent assistant; indeed, both players must be very careful, as so many eyes are on the constant lookout.
This will be found a satisfactory game for a rainy afternoon in a summer hotel, when the grown people are taking naps and there seems absolutely nothing left for young people to do, and they are tired watching the weather, and saying, “If it would _only_ clear!”
Select a conductor. All others sit before him in a semicircle, and each is given an imaginary musical instrument.
The conductor next directs them to tune their instruments, after which, taking a cane he waves it, as if it were a baton. He also whistles or hums a gay, familiar air. In this all join, imitating by voice and gesture the instruments they are supposed to be playing on, such as the flute, the harp, the hand-organ, the cymbals, violin, cornet, etc.
Suddenly he waves his baton and the music ceases.
The conductor then calls for solos. All the musicians give close attention, and the conductor makes believe he is playing, thus indicating which instrument he wishes to hear.
The player having that instrument must at once obey, imitating both sound and gestures. Should he fail, he must pay a forfeit.
A CURIOUS CAT.
This is a trick to be played only where the people know each other very well.
A tall screen is required, a cat, a saucer of milk, a table and a showman.
The showman is the most important, for on his ready wit and tactful manner the success of the trick depends.
He stands by the screen and says to the audience,
Come behind this screen and you will see A cat with her head where her tail ought to be.
One by one, the guests may go, and each must observe a discreet silence, so that the rest may not guess what the trick is.
As each goes behind the screen, a table is seen on which is a cat with her tail towards a saucer of milk, where, were it not for the showman’s efforts, her head would naturally be. This foolish trick will always cause a hearty laugh.
A BOAT RACE.
Girls who do not care to row should act as umpires. A grand stand may be a massive rock ornamented with a tangle of vines and for a canopy a wide-branched tree.
There should be three races, one between the girls, another between the boys, and a third between the girls and boys together. Two large willows or other trees, conspicuously overhanging the water, and therefore impossible to mistake, should be selected as the points to start and end the race, the prow of the boat should be even with the centre of the tree trunk at starting, and the stern of the boat should be even with the centre of the tree trunk on closing. Only one person should be in the boat at a time, and no person can have a second chance.
As the water is frequently too narrow for all boats to be out at once, it is wiser to try two boats at a time, and then two more should row and so on. After the race is over the victors must row again, two and two, as at the first, and so determine the winners. When the winning girl and the winning boy are known, they should race together, and thus the champion rower will be discovered. Whoever is champion should be rewarded with a wreath of laurel, after the fashion of the great Roman victors; if laurel cannot be found, use oak leaves and tell the hero they are meant for laurel. The wreath must be made and at the grand stand before the race opens. The coronation should take place at the stand.
While gathering the leaves for the crown it would prove a pleasure to gather quantities of wild flowers, with which to decorate the boats. A simple and pretty trimming would be to carpet the boat with moss and edge it around with fern leaves. Another way would be to canopy a boat with apple blossoms; the branches are easily held in place between the narrow strip of wood that forms the border, and the boat itself. But a canopy retards motion, and the rowers must consider speed before they decide on decoration.
THREE LITTLE MAIDS FROM SCHOOL.
Three tall boys should dress as prima donnas, carry bouquets, and sing the popular song, “Three Little Maids from School are we.”
After this they should appear as giants and perform a variety of tricks.
For example: Hold an umbrella over their heads, which is covered with a long cloak. To the top of the umbrella-stick fasten a ball the size of a person’s head, on to this ball put a round hat, and a veil so as to conceal the face. Thus the boys will be of gigantic size, and their very appearance will provoke laughter.
After bowing to their friends, they should dance a few reel figures, then walk about the room and examine the chandeliers, tops of the pictures or frescoing. Then play “Puss in the corner.” When they repeat “Puss, Puss, Puss,” they should use unnatural tones.
It is very funny, and those who are not “little maids” will have almost as much sport as if they were.
THE WAR OF THE ROSES.
This is a pretty, interesting and instructive game, as those engaged in it and not familiar with the period of history to which it refers may be led to study it, and the knowledge received through playing may thus prove beneficial.
It is particularly suited to out-of-door amusement, though it may be played indoors by making a field of battle. This could be done by putting a rug in the centre of a room, and stating, that rug represents the battlefield of Saint Albans, or the battle-field of Towton, or you may have both battles, should you so prefer.
When played out of doors, mark out a piece of lawn in the same way that a tennis court is marked. Or, should there be no lawn, mark an oblong on the ground by means of a sharp-pointed stick.
The battle-field should be five feet one way, and three the other.
Choose two of the largest boys for leaders; one of them will personate Richard the Duke of York, the other the nearest relative of the house of Lancaster, who was the Duke of Somerset.
Then in turn, commencing with the Duke of York, the boys will call their soldiers, which may be (as this is a game) girls as well as boys. As each one’s name is called, he stands in line on the side of his leader. When all are chosen, the Duke of York gives his soldiers, as also himself, the symbol of the Yorkists, which was a white rose, and in like manner the Lancastrians receive their symbol, which was a red one.
Commencing at the foot of the line, the Duke of York will blindfold his soldier, and lead him around for one minute, thus confusing him as to location; but when he stops leading him, he must be six feet from the battlefield, and his face so turned as to make it possible to reach it. Then the leader calls one, two, three, and at once the soldier throws his rose. The blindfold is then removed, and he will see how near the field his charge has reached.
It is now the turn of the house of Lancaster, and the Duke of Somerset will blindfold the soldier at the end of his line, and thus the game proceeds as before. When every one has played, the roses on the battlefield are counted. Whichever side has on the most roses has won. Then all the roses are picked up and presented to the victors by the losing side. Each one of the winners then adorns himself with a red and white rose.
No rose can be counted on the battlefield, unless every part of it is on, including the stem and foliage.
There must be an even number of players.
Every player excepting the boy known as Bear, must twist and knot his handkerchief. The Bear selects a tree as a starting point, and states his object will be to tag the others. Whoever is tagged becomes a Bear, and must return to the tree, pursued and beaten all the way back with the knotted handkerchiefs. The two Bears then join hands, and, starting out, try to tag every one that is possible, and this action is repeated until all the players are Bears. Whenever the chain of Bears is broken, as it sometimes is by an attack from the rear, the Bears again return to the tree.
Give each player a slip of paper on which he must write the birds’ names. Also the number of times the word bird and birds’ names occur.
The correct number to find is seventy-six.
Time allowed is six minutes.
The slip should be headed Bird Test.
One day while walking along a grassy lane conspicuously edged with blackberry bushes, my attention was riveted by the song of a bird, a sort of up and down warble, and in the branches of a maple tree near, I saw a red-eyed viero, and not far off, quietly looking towards the singer, was such a pretty warbler, another greenlet, the white-eyed viero.
Listening to the red-eye, the viero’s warble grew less and less distinct as the distance lengthened between us. The warbler warbled the same sweet song, but my ear was less able to catch the warbling warbler’s notes, and soon the greenlet, the viero, the musical, silver-tongued warbler, warbled for me all in vain.
But as I walked I thought how rarely that we meet people who are indifferent to birds, and how desolate our lanes, woods and gardens would be without them. And how much beauty is added to bushes, flowers, and trees, if a singing bird rests on them long enough for us to listen to his song. And then I named over some favorite birds. The meadow lark, blue jay, Carolina wren, wood thrush, robin, swallow. But suddenly I heard “Me-au, me-au,” as if a cat was near. I stood just where I was, to discover the creature. My thought of birds gave a thought of protection. A moment later and I laughed aloud, for flying over my head was the jolly song-bird, called cat-bird, who has a bad habit of mewing. But the sunshine seemed pleasant company for him; for watching the cat-bird’s movements I saw him alight on a tree close by, and with a hop and a skip go from limb to limb.
Whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will, and again on the alert, my eyes were almost strained, this time in effort to follow the sad cry, looking everywhere for whip-poor-will. When what a pleasant surprise, to learn that whip-poor-will was none other than the brilliantly colored mocking bird, whose fancy had dictated the whip-poor-will’s melancholy notes and now whizzed close to me, to nestle on the blackberry blossoms a few steps beyond.
Then walking on I thought of the many birds about us, the brown thrasher, and white-throated sparrow, the tree sparrow, the bank and barn swallows, and the sociable sparrow, dear little chippy, and of what I had read about fly-catchers and veerys, and the crested titmouse who gleefully shouts in the wildest winds, “T’ sweet here! t’ sweet here!”
My walk by this time was hurried into a run, and I caught my foot into some poor bird’s nest that was hidden in the long grass, and I almost fell, but being glad I had not tripped over a rut-runner, I thought of the quotation, “Runs like the kill-deer up the rut,” and a warbler near sang so cheerily that I forgot my accident and soon reached the creek towards which I was hastening. When who should come first to greet me but a yellow-billed cuckoo. And thus my mind dwelt on other birds that liked creeks and lakes, such as the kingfisher, and on the instant I heard the report of a gun, and sure enough one of these birds had just been shot. I knew this because of the excitement of a group of gunners.
Poor bird! How many birds’ lives end in a similar way. The cardinal grosbeak and the myrtle bird, a greenlet in color, we fancy myrtle suggests greenlet, the snow-buntings, horned larks, golden-crowned kinglet and vesper sparrows, the red-polls and crossbills, the plovers, the golden herons, night-herons, sandpipers, coots, hawks, geese, and swans,—all are marks for the hunter.
And then I thought, Oh, if I could fly over this clapper-rail ahead of me! It is so very stupid to keep my feet on the earth. How jolly to flap my wings to the Lapland long-spur. I would visit the raven and all the rest of the feathered family on the way.
But my walk had ended and such a pretty warbler warmly welcomed me home,—my golden-hued, night-singing canary.
This amusement is sure to interest, and may be played by any number of people, the more the merrier.
Those to have their fortune told should have a slip of paper and a pencil. The one telling the fortune dictates from the book what to write. After all the answers are written, the fortune-teller reads the questions, and the players in turn read the answers aloud, according to what they have written. Suppose the following fortune:
1. Have you a favorite? Yes.
2. What is her name? A girl’s name.
3. What color is her hair? A color.
4. What color are her eyes? A color.
5. Does she wear spectacles? Yes or no.
6. How old is she? A number.
7. How tall is she? A number of feet.
8. Is she pretty? Yes or no.
9. How many teeth has she? A number.
10. How much money has she? An amount of dollars.
11. What shape is her mouth? A shape.
12. What shape is her nose? A shape.
13. How large is her hand? A number of inches.
14. How large are her feet? A number of inches.
15. Is she fond of music? Yes or no.
16. What is her favorite book? The name of a book. 17. Does she dance? Yes or no.
18. Can she sing? Yes or no.
19. Does she recite? Yes or no.
20. What can she cook best? Mention an article of diet.
21. Does she use a chafing dish? Yes or no.
22. Can she make her own hats? Yes or no.
23. What is her greatest virtue? A virtue.
24. What is her greatest fault? A fault.
25. Where does she live? A city.
26. In a handsome house? Yes or no.
27. Does she ride a bicycle? Yes or no.
28. Are you glad you are acquainted with her? Yes or no.
29. Does she like you? Yes or no.
30. Will her father give her a marriage dowry? Yes or no.
31. How many dollars? An amount of money.
32. Where will you be married? A place.
33. Will you be a model husband? Yes or no.
34. How many dollars a year will you give her for housekeeping purposes? An amount of money.
35. Where will you live? A city.
36. Will you entertain much? Yes or no.
37. Will you travel? Yes or no.
38. What city will you first visit? A city.
39. How long will you remain there? A period of time.
40. When will you return home? A period of time.
41. Will your home be happy? Yes or no.
42. Would you be sorry if you were never married? Yes or no.
43. Next to yourself, whom do you like best? A girl’s name.
44. Will your wife be jealous? Yes or no.
45. Will your wife lecture? Yes or no.
46. What is she doing now? Describe a motion.
47. What would you like her to do? Describe a motion.
48. What is your highest ambition? A state of being.
49. Will your life be crowned with success? Yes or no.
Many of the games with which we are familiar in the United States are well known throughout Great Britain and on the Continent. But among the most amusing and most popular of English games is one of which we know little or nothing. It is dignified by the two-lettered name, “It.”
This is altogether suitable for the parlor, and may be played by everybody if we will except the very young people. It creates roars of laughter, on account of the funny mistakes made by the questioners. “It” is a great mystery, and the longer it is played the greater mystery often it becomes. Only those understanding this game may remain in the room. All others must leave; there is no alternative. One of the party, unfamiliar with the game, is then selected to return, and must, by questioning those in the parlor, learn what “it” is. When he knows “it,” he too must remain behind, and some one else is selected to fill his place. In this way the game is carried on, until each one in turn comes in and finds out the secret.
“It” is really the person who sits at your left, but, before this is discovered, usually much amusement is made. The game is played in the following way:
All in the parlor must sit in a circle, and must not change their positions. When the player is called in, he is told to ask a question of whomsoever he may please, and the person must correctly answer. For example—“Is ‘it’ white?” As everybody present is white, the answer is necessarily “Yes.”
The questioner then asks another person. “Is ‘it’ thin?” and if the person thus questioned is thin, the answer is again, “Yes.” Perhaps this question may be repeated, and some one else is asked, “Do you also think ‘it’ is thin?” and if this person has someone for a left-hand neighbor who is very stout, of course he answers, “No.”
And thus the questioner is mystified, and must continue question after question. For a long time he may think “it” is a thing. Therefore a good question to put would be, “Is ‘it’ alive?” And then he might ask, “Is ‘it’ in this room?” Then he might try complexion, and again would be mystified, for if he asked, “Is ‘it’ a brunette?” and the reply being “Yes,” his next question, “Has ‘it’ dark eyes?” would perhaps have for answer, “No,” and, “Has ‘it’ light hair?” “Yes.” And so the secret seems harder than ever.
A good way is to ask the same questions over and over, and try to locate “it” in that way. But the questioner should not easily be discouraged. A few points may be given to him, such as some of the above. The players would better announce “It” as a trick game.
THE CENT HUNT.
Say that a cent is wrapped in tissue-paper and is within sight. The discoverer quietly tells you, and if he is correct, reward him.
Afterwards give a cent, pencil and paper to everybody, and state five minutes are allowed to write what each side of the cent will tell. This game is called, A Penny for your Thoughts.
“Find on one side: A beverage—T. A messenger—one c(s)ent. A piece of armor—shield. A symbol of victory—wreath. A weapon—arrow. A mode of punishment—stripes. A gallant—bow. A sheet of water—C.
“Find on the other side: A portion of a hill—brow. A place of worship—temple. An animal—hare. Youth and old age—18—96. One way of expressing marriage—U. S. A cultivated flower—tulip. An emblem of royalty—crown. Fruit—date.”
A FAGOT PARTY.
This is a very entertaining amusement and suitable for all ages.
As the word fagot means a bundle of twigs, it suggests an open fire. Therefore home and hearth are indispensable environment.
There should be just as many twigs as there are girls and boys. The idea being that each should draw a twig from the bundle as his name is called. And they are called by the hostess according to the letters of the alphabet. Whosever name therefore commences with A, should draw the first twig. Having drawn the twig, A puts it on the open fire and at once commences to tell a story. As long as the twig lasts, A must continue to talk, but when it is burned he must stop, and as twigs are apt to burn very rapidly when toward the end, the story is not infrequently wound up in a jiffy. As soon as A has finished, the next name is called and that person does exactly as did the first one, only he must tell a different story. And so on until everybody has taken his turn.
This very lively game is played by both boys and girls, and the more, of course, the merrier. The hunter must be a boy, and to decide which boy, it is best to count out. Use for counting the old rhyme,
Ana, mana, mona, mike, Bassa, lona, bona, strike, Hare, ware, frown, stack, Halloka, balloka, wee, woe, why, whack.
Whoever is fortunate enough to have the word “whack” counted to him is out, and then the rhyme must be repeated over and over, and finally the hunter is left. It now becomes his duty to name the rest of the company as his equipments as sportsman, and also as his game; for example, pointer, setter—two species of hunting dogs—and shot, belt, powder, gun, powder-flask, rifle, cartridge, rabbit, squirrel, partridge, kingfisher, etc., etc.
Put two rows of chairs back to back. There should be one chair less than there are players. This done, each one of the company except the hunter takes a chair. The hunter, standing before the rest of the players, then sings, to the tune of “I Love a Sixpence,”
I am a hunter, a jolly, jolly hunter; I love hunting as I love my life.
This he may sing over as many times as he likes, but finally stops short in the middle or anywhere, and immediately calls out a name—for instance, “Shot.” The person bearing this name must at once rise, and hurrying towards the hunter, must take hold of the back of his coat or jacket. Then the hunter continues his song, and calls for each one, until all are behind him, each holding firmly to the one in front. When all are in place, the hunter starts running, all of the party following and holding tightly together. He may run around the chairs or wherever he pleases, provided he keeps in the room. For fully two minutes this must keep up, when suddenly he will call, “Bang!” and instantly sit on one of the chairs. Of course there is a great scramble for every one to do likewise, but as one chair is short, some one is necessarily left out, and this person now becomes the hunter.
The game now continues as before, or it may be varied by the hunter having to find something hidden.
Any object may be placed out of sight in the room, and when the hunter nears it, the company may aid him by the usual words, “warm, warmer, hot,” or “cool, very cold, freezing, zero, below zero,” etc. If he finds it within five minutes, he may choose another hunter, but if not he must pay a forfeit, to be determined by the rest of the players.
Or the game may be played in a similar way by the use of nautical instead of hunting terms. Should this be preferred, the hunter becomes the captain, and instead of singing to his company he may blow a few blasts on a horn. He is supposed to be on shipboard, so he must have ship equipment, crew, officers, passengers, cargo. Again the players must be named, only this time call them lifeboat, rope, anchor, sailor, steward, captain’s boy, purser, first-mate, doctor, etc.
Select a boy and hand him a knotted handkerchief. He must throw the handkerchief at a player, and before he can count aloud five the person to whom it is thrown must mention a round thing, such as an apple, a globe. If that person fails, he must change places with the one who has caught him, and throw the handkerchief at another. As no repetitions are allowed it will soon be difficult to find an object that is round.
Every player is seated. Turn to the person at your right and ask, “Will you come to breakfast?” To which the answer is “Yes.” When that question and answer have gone around the room, the first one must ask, “What would you like for breakfast?” Perhaps the reply would be, “Milk;” and he then puts the question to his right-hand neighbor, who perhaps would say “Oatmeal,” and so on, until no sensible answer can be made, for no repetitions can occur in this game also. As the different players fail to respond they must stand.
Give any letter of the alphabet—for example, S—to the company, also some paper and pencils. In five minutes’ time they should write the names of three celebrated men, and also three sensible sentences, one for each man’s name, as, Shakespeare was born in Stratford on the Avon. Forfeits are required for failures.
Cut an equi-triangle out of soft wood or cardboard. It should measure one foot each way, and be one-quarter of an inch or less in thickness. Besides the triangle you will require white celluloid chips, or the game may be played with large-sized white bone buttons.
Lay the triangle on a smooth-surfaced table, play in turn, and each player should start at the place. All players must be close enough to the table to watch the game. The point of the game is to make a count of ninety-nine. Whoever first makes that number has won.
The triangle must be placed far enough from the table’s edge to allow freedom of room all around it, and it should be kept firm.
Put a chip or button with its upper edge even with the angle from which you start, and just close enough to make it possible for it to slide and not receive hindrance. The chip should touch the entire sliding length. When all is in correct position, rest the knuckle of the right thumb (unless you are left-handed, in that case your left thumb) on the table, and put the back of the nail of your second finger about half an inch down on the inside of the thumb’s fore-joint. Then push the finger suddenly outward, running its nail along the table, close to the thumb’s point, and finally raising the finger so that its tip is on the table at the exact moment that it has touched the chip. This should result in sending the chip the entire length of the angle’s side. To make a full count the chip must stop with its outer edge even with the next angle; the entire chip, with the exception of the edge, being below it. When this done, score three, and do the same thing with the next side, you then score three more; and again with the third side, making a count of nine in all. Having gone around three sides, stop until your turn is reached again. If however, the chip is not even with the angle, but has not gone _entirely_ beyond it, the player may count one, and may continue playing, the same as if making a full count. But should the chip slide entirely beyond the angle, he cannot count at all, but must withdraw until his turn comes again.
He must not be discouraged, however, but remember that “He laughs best who laughs last.” Very often those who start successfully, become too self-conscious, and make a bad break towards the close of the game.
Every time your turn comes, therefore be as careful as if just commencing. Even numbers are not counted, make one or three. To be entitled to three you must be perfect; short of perfection the count is one or nothing, as the above rules decree.
THE DAILY PAPER.
This game is suitable for either girls or boys, and furnishes amusement at almost any age. The interest will be increased or diminished, according to individual carefulness, for no one need be caught if they give close attention. Therefore, to be often caught indicates lack of interest, which is not complimentary to your leader, or stupidity, which is not complimentary to yourself.
Every player assumes the character of a business man or woman, or they may have a profession. They may be manufacturers or tradespeople, it matters little what, provided there be no duplicates. Choose one for your leader who will assume no trade or profession, but will read the newspaper as will be explained.
All should sit before the leader, so there can be no mistake about seeing each other.
When every person has settled her and his part, the leader takes up any daily paper which is convenient and reads from it; but whenever the leader pauses, and looks at a player, whether the pause and look is intentional or accidental, the one looked at must at once make a suitable remark about his profession, business or trade. There must not be a second’s hesitation, and the more ridiculous such a remark may be, the more amusement is gotten out of the game.
As soon as the player has concluded his observation, the leader continues reading, the same as if his theme had not been interrupted, and in a few seconds, pauses again, and looks at another player. Then this player makes his remark instantaneously about his trade, and thus the game goes on.
In order to better understand, suppose the leader reads, “This is Bunker Hill Day. It is not a legal holiday, but by general consent the banks and stores laid aside,” (here he looks at the dressmaker).
Dressmaker: “The big sleeves and wide skirts are not liked by everybody.”
“The observance of the day by a—”
Marine Artist: “Sale of my painting ‘Off the Rocks at Scarborough.’”
“Is limited to Charlestown district, on one of whose hillslopes stood the Middlesex farmers, the hayseed still in their—”
Butcher: “Marrow bones and spareribs.”
“And in their hands the guns that had been gaining reputation in the shooting of—”
Grocer: “Eggs twenty-five cents a dozen.”
“And wild fowl. How they refused to budge before British regulars, until they had fired all their—”
Confectioner: “Chocolate caramels packed in layers with waxed paper between.”
“Away, and felt the pricks of the enemy’s polished—”
Ironmonger: “Poker and tongs, shovels and spades.”
“The world well knows Charlestown keeps up the remembrance of these—”
Florist: “Water-lily pads, and moss-rose buds.”
“At a lively rate.”
And so on reads the newspaper, making the proper pauses and glances, until everybody has taken part and indeed over and over again taken part. Care should be used as to the selection read, as some paragraphs allow for much more amusement than do others.
When any player fails to at once make a suitable remark he must pay a forfeit, which can only be redeemed by music or recitation.
THE NEW DIXEY’S LAND.
This is an out-of-door game, and may be played on the ground or on the grass, marking the court or lawn with the same material as if arranging a court for tennis.
Form a circle with a diameter of twelve feet, divide the circle into quarters, each quarter representing a section of our country, east, west, north, south, and should be so marked. One letter would represent each word,—E, for east, W, for west, and so on. The oldest boy now becomes the owner of the entire territory, and is named Dixey. This boy must stand directly at the point where the lines unite, the middle of the circle, and as soon as he is in position, any player may run into any quarter of the ground. He must not stand on the line; should he do so, and be tagged on that line, he can no longer play.
But having run into a quarter, he must loudly call, “Dixey, I’m on your North land, now it belongs to me.” Or, “Dixey, I’m on your South land,” etc. He must rightly name the section on which he stands.
Dixey must tag him before he is through stating words above given. Should he fail to do so, the invading player must then run from the part he has claimed, all around the outside of the circle, and then to Dixey’s station, the centre. Dixey, of course, runs after him, trying to tag him before he completes the circuit. Neither may take short cuts by darting across lines, until the run around the circle is completed, and the invader strikes in toward Dixey’s middle ground. Whoever gets there first is now owner of all, and the original Dixey can only get back by earning the position, as the new Dixey has just done.
The winner of the game is the one who has been Dixey the greatest number of times, or should no one be Dixey but once, whoever holds the position at the game’s close.
Therefore the necessity of deciding how long you will play before the game commences.
Any number that can stand on a quarter, may be there at the same time, as only one can be Dixey.
Dixey cannot save himself by failing to leave his post. The first call he hears, he must obey, just as any other landowner would keep off an intruder.
Every rule must be strictly obeyed. Should any one fail, he is no longer a player.
The game is peculiarly adapted to boys, and each one must be careful neither to be rough nor rude. In the straining to get ahead, it will be such an easy thing to knock another boy down, or to prevent him from reaching the goal. First, remember to be honest; second, to be polite.
BATTLE OF FLOWERS.
Why should not boys and girls take the lead in the popular _fête_? All who own pony carts, phaetons, wagons of any sort, or who can borrow them, may enter the parade and battle, and why not interest your Sunday or day school in such an entertainment and secure a large float?
The designs for floats are innumerable; among them might be mentioned Flora and the seasons, America, pagodas, chariots, Daughters of the American Revolution, the Floral Queen. The teachers should have the matter in charge, and one of them should act as chairman, and appoint committees to attend to all the necessary business. The scholars should willingly assist in the gathering of flowers, trimming, or whatever would be required.
All the vehicles must be transformed into moving bowers, and this necessitates considerable work, but it is work that pays; besides, the real jolly boys and girls will only consider that they have had great fun.
Decide on your decorations, and then gather flowers. You will need a great many to make much show. And wire will be found helpful in making the flowers stand upright, or giving the desired twist. Flowers may be tied upon cord, and when a long rope is made, it can be wound around, or fastened to the carriage, but it will take less time, and be less hurtful to the hands, if you cut a piece of wire netting the desired shape, and run the flower stems through the holes, or cut a piece of soft muslin the correct shape, and baste the flowers on. Flowers such as golden-rod, will need to have all the leaves stripped before commencing to decorate. Wreaths the exact size of the wheel hubs will look very handsome, particularly if the spokes are wound about with satin ribbon the same color as the flowers. If you cover the reins, sew two pieces of ribbon lengthwise, through which the reins will slip; put full bows of the same on the harness, and cover the collar with flowers. The same ribbon should also appear in the carriage decoration.
A very pretty effect is gotten from white hydrangeas and yellow satin ribbons, or white hydrangeas tipped with pink and pink satin ribbons. Violet-colored flowers look well in such a parade, and a stylish cut carriage may be trimmed with ears and husks of corn, suspending the ears by the husks. The costume of those inside the carriage must be complementary to the decoration.
The streets through which you pass should look festive and the spectators be dressed in holiday attire. A line of march must be arranged, and, on the counter-march, the battle begins. Then roses and flowers of all sorts are thrown from carriage to carriage, and from the carriages to the people on the street, and from those on the street to the carriages; indeed people throw them with both hands, so excited they become.
Until it is time for the battle, have your baskets full of flowers to throw well hidden. And when the pelting begins have a sufficient supply, so that it will not be necessary to use any of the decorations.
This game is usually played out of doors, but it may be played in large rooms or conservatories, provided you put out of accident’s way all the _bric-à-brac_, potted plants, and palms. Try the game also in an enclosed veranda or sun-parlor, should the time appointed prove stormy, or the grass be soggy from last night’s storm, or there be too high a wind.
Grace hoops require a pole, not as tall as a maypole, but one smooth at the top. The one we lately saw had been a noticeable balsam tree, until cut off five feet from the ground. Its top was stocky, its side branches as healthful and green appearing as ever, notwithstanding the fact that they had been trimmed close enough to allow a small hoop to easily fall over them.
The rings called grace hoops are made of light wood, not dissimilar to embroidery rings, excepting that they are nearly two feet in diameter. To make such a game very pretty, trim the hoops with wild flowers, wintergreen berries or leaves. All the girls should wear gay frocks and flower-dressed, broad-brimmed hats.
If you are playing the game in the spring, suggest spring flowers and colors in your costume. A pretty effect would be gotten from a violet-colored cloth, trimmed with purple velvet, with a glint of gold revealed in the shoulder-bow ribbons and wide sash, the hat being a deep yellow straw flat, massed with single violets. Arbutus, wild roses, lilies of the valley, lilacs and cowslips, as, also, the new green, are all suggestive of spring, and catchy lawn toilets.
Throw the grace hoops over the pole, and there let them hang until the score has counted. You may each throw in turn, as often as has been decided before the game opens. Each time the hoop hangs on the pole it counts one.
Pretty silk badges may be lettered or gold-starred, to denote your score, or you may use plain cardboard, and mark such with a lead pencil. Between each round the score must be marked. After the last round is played distribute rewards, which may assume any character you please, but it is better to give wreaths of flowers, or crown the hero with laurel. The wreath might go to the highest girl scorer, and the laurel to the boy, or give each wreaths, or each bouquets.
A simple grace-hoop game is played by two people. Stand facing each other, ten feet apart, and rapidly toss the hoop from one to the other, catching it on sticks. Try and see how often you can keep it from falling.
AN AMATEUR CIRCUS.
When so many young people are trained in athletic sports, calisthenics, delsarte exercises, etc., why not form an amateur circus company? Limit the number to twenty four, the girls and boys being equal or unequal in number, as seems best. Such a company might easily arrange an attractive entertainment, and invite their friends to an occasional matinée performance, or, should they feel inclined, they could give a performance as a charity benefit.
Musicians, tricksters, clowns, animals and a ring would be required.
The space for the ring would be the most difficult to obtain, but many people have large shady grounds connected with their homes that it would be a pleasure to lend to their young friends.
Outline a ring as you would mark a court, and make it sufficiently large to comfortably give your exhibition. Do not attempt a tent.
Place the seats for your audience six feet back of the ring, as this allows freedom for both performers and spectators. Keep an entrance to the ring free, so that performers do not disarrange the seats.
As nearly as possible, copy the programme of the regular circus; therefore, the first display should be the grand tournament and triumphal _entrée_, when the entire company should march several times around the ring. Every one should look fantastic; some of the girls might go bareheaded, others wear wreaths of artificial flowers, and again others wear jaunty caps, etc. Remember that fancy-colored paper, muslin, gold paper, and spangles, will give showy effect. The clowns should be either very thin or very stout. The thin ones may be made stout by building themselves with cotton batting. A noticeable costume for the clowns might be white muslin, showered with gold and silver stars and spangles, or yellow muslin ornamented with silver or red full moons, circles or polka dots. And their head covering might be white beaver hats or fools’ caps.
Throughout the procession, carry numerous flags and banners. An effective banner might be made of white canton flannel, showered with diamond dust; indeed make the _entrée_ as gay as flowers, color and spangles can produce.
The entire company should be active members, some of them being the drum corps, others musicians; comic songs should be sung by the funny clown, assisted by a chorus.
There should be walking and running matches, three-legged and sack races, jumping, fancy tumbling, sensational feats of all sorts. There could be a mimic football match, and a tennis tournament between those who had never held a racket; indeed anything could be introduced that would give genuine fun. The clowns should tell several jokes, and laughable stories, ride pigs, cows, and make themselves generally ridiculous.
Perhaps some of the company could borrow trained dogs or other trained animals. If so, remember that tricks are always entertaining.
THE STILL HUNT.
Possibly some of the boys’ fathers have been still hunting, and if so they fully understand that it means deer hunting without hounds.
The game still hunt differs from the real hunt in many ways, but possibly the most important one is in the fact that the deer in this case is only the form of a deer. It is better to play it out of doors, but if you have a large enough room it may be played anywhere.
Whoever can draw best should be the individual to outline the deer, and it must be drawn on the ground. The best ground is gravel, though, as in the case of tennis, or other field games, the deer may be designed on the grass.
The deer should be fully grown and have large antlers. After he is distinctly drawn he must be surrounded by a circle, the line of which measures four feet from the nearest point of the deer.
When the game is played out of doors, a smooth round stone about the size of a walnut will be required; but when played inside use a fifty-cent piece, or an old-fashioned cent. And for the indoor drawing use chalk.
The deer circle being now ready, the girls and boys become hunters, and state which part of the deer they want. Some will decide on the antlers, because they will make a useful ornament, and they will have them serve as a rack for a gun or umbrella. Others again want a hoof, because it will make such a fine hunting-knife or paper-cutter handle, and so each part of the deer is divided.
When everybody has selected their part, the tallest hunter takes his stand, with his toes to the outer edge of the circle, and as far from the part he selected as is possible. He then throws the stone. If it rests on any part of the chosen place, he may count ten, but if the stone stops outside of the part, he is marked down five. He then picks up the stone, and hands it to the next player, who is the one next to himself in height. Then this hunter takes his stand at the place furthest from his selected part, and thus the game continues, until all have played in turn. Then the first hunter takes another chance, and so on again all follow. The one counting fifty first has won.
It is necessary to keep an accurate score, as the fives marked against the hunters have to be deducted; indeed if great care is not used, a hunter will be in debt, instead of earning his game. Therefore, the best hunter is he who keeps _still_ and takes accurate aim. If he fails at the first throwing, notice where the fault lies,—it may be less force is required.
It is better to have an umpire; therefore select one before the game begins, and remember to pleasantly abide by his decision.
The stone must be altogether on, to be counted on, and in the case of the antlers the stone must touch some of the antler points.
This is played somewhat like croquet, only twenty-five wickets are used, instead of nine, and they are placed one after another, all around the ground. Beyond each wicket is a small hole, large enough for the ball to enter, and the game is to send the ball through the wicket and into the hole at one shot. When a player fails to do this, he may be allowed three shots to an inning.
Before commencing the game, state the time it will be played.
Decide who is to lead by shooting an arrow from a selected point. Whoever throws the farthest is to go first, the others follow, according to the distance made. In considering space, measure the distance between the starting place and the arrow’s sharp end.
If you want a famous good time give a Lawn Golf Party.
When you do so trim the handles of your golf sticks with gay-colored ribbons, and at the game’s close, give the champions paper-flower rewards.
Exquisite flowers may nowadays be made out of paper, and the making of such afford only pleasure. Roses of all shades are fetching, so also are violets, and some varieties of lilies. Every one who lives in a large city will at once know where to get materials and instruction, and one girl can readily teach another. Those who live in the country or small villages, surely have some kind city friend who can select and send materials, and possibly written directions about the making.
After presenting the rewards, have supper on the lawn, and afterwards other games are in order.
Give every one in the room a number. And when you call for a number announce a letter of the alphabet. The person called must, before you count six, apply the letter to the name of a place and to two things he might see there.
No. 1. Y.
I am going to York to see Youngsters and Yachts.
No. 2. B.
I am going to Baltimore to see Belles and Beaux.
Arrange for it beforehand, and therefore have the requisite slips of paper, and nicely sharpened lead pencils ready for all, but if you are not ready there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that part of the amusement may be in the preparation. In the latter case, have a competition as to who will make the sharpest points on the pencils, or cut the papers the most accurately; when all is prepared, however, give slips of paper and lead pencils to your friends, and ask them to write the words you will name. State that they will have fifteen minutes in which to write a composition, and put into the same every word you have mentioned. No one can look over his neighbor’s paper, and each composition must be signed with the writer’s full name.
When the time has expired, all the compositions are collected and read aloud, votes are taken as to which is the best, and the individual having received the highest number of votes is entitled to a prize.
Example: Wreath, Mausoleum, suicide, farewell, another, conjointly, starred, huntsman’s song, early, queen, historical, many, dramas.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was for _many_ years Poet Laureate. He wrote several poems, descriptive, _historical_, national and otherwise. He also wrote three notable _dramas_, one called Becket, known as Thomas à Becket, Chancellor of England, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, _another_ called _Queen_ Mary, the ill-_starred_ daughter of Henry the Eighth, and Harold, who was Earl of Wessex, afterwards King of England.
_Early_ in life Tennyson wrote several poems, _conjointly_ with his brother Charles. Among these were the _Huntsman’s Song_, The Grave of a _Suicide_, The Fall of Jerusalem, and the Bard’s _Farewell_.
Tennyson’s monument is in that great English _mausoleum_, Westminster Abbey. On the dark stone slab, the visitor may frequently see a _wreath_ of laurel, so placed in grateful memory.
As this game would oftener than otherwise be played informally, the matter of prizes cannot be too simple. If you are in the birch-bark section, why not make a bookmark or a napkin ring out of the bark? Should you be at the seashore make a nest of shells. For example, find a large mussel shell, and next to it put one a size smaller, and so on fit in the others, graduating them evenly, the top one being very small. Or give a curious shell, which may be used as an ornament or receptacle.
INITIAL PLATTER TWIRLING.
This is very amusing, but the players must be on the alert or they will surely be caught.
Before the game commences, every player must tell the initials of his and her name, and to aid memory, slips of paper may be given, on which each one may write his initials.
When the sentence is called by the person twirling the platter, all the company must eagerly listen, or else the platter will fall to the floor before the one who should have run for it, recognizes he is the one called. If the platter is not caught by the proper person before it ceases to whirl, he or she must exchange places with the one who has whirled the platter. As the sentences are impromptu, they are apt to be absurd and ridiculous, but in any case they should be correct, or the one making the error must give a forfeit. Each sentence must have as many words as the initials of the one called, and each word must commence with the right letter. Example: Frank Fraser Phillips might be called French Fried Potatoes. Or Janet Belle Roberts might be June Brings Roses.
This game should cause much merriment. It quickens thought and language, and it is suitable to all ages,—the boys and the girls, or their fathers and mothers.
OVER, OVER, WHOSE HEAD IS IT OVER?
This is a clever trick, and it requires two persons. The idea is for the confederate out of the room to correctly name the individual over whose head the other person is holding a wand.
A person takes a cane, which he carelessly points toward some one; while so doing he is cleverly explaining what he is about to do, asking people to move, in order to further mystify, etc. The confederate notes where the cane is pointing, then goes from the room, and the one holding the wand puts it over several heads, saying “Over,” which the confederate echoes, until finally the question comes, when the wand is over the person before surreptitiously pointed out, “Whose head is it over?” The confederate’s answer is naturally correct.
This may be played by a number of people.
A noun which has two or more meanings is selected. One may be thought of by any of the players, and in describing the same he should use the word “teakettle” instead of the proper name. All meanings of the word must be explained, but not too clearly at the first, else the “teakettle” will be at once guessed. When any of the listeners think they have discovered the word, instead of naming it, he should ask a question regarding the “teakettle” which would indicate to the one describing the same, whether the interrogator was correct. If correct, he too joins in the description, and throws light on the word. This should be continued until all the company show by their conversation that they know the noun selected. Not infrequently it is necessary to talk very plainly, or throw “electric light” on the teakettle before it is guessed.
Example: The teakettle I have in my mind, has been from the creation of the world, and will continue until the world ends. It is also peculiar in being of the most service during the winter, and forms a distinguished position in the homes of all American households at Thanksgiving dinners. My teakettle is cultivated on the farm of many a plain countryman, but graces the table of many a fastidious city millionaire, and the longer it lasts, the shorter it grows. Already somebody is sure they know the word, and says, “Your teakettle may be squandered, may it not?” and another asks, “Wasn’t it Queen Elizabeth who would have given her crown for a diminutive teakettle?” And yet another asks, “Is it not savory, and of great assistance to the poultry cook?” And thus light is thrown, until the teakettle in question is known to be another name for _thyme_, and _time_.
This is a popular game for students young or old.
Some one who understands should have charge.
Give each person the same sized piece of writing paper and a lead pencil. On the piece of paper he must write a familiar quotation, and then pass it to his left-hand neighbor. The one who receives it must add the author’s name, and also his own. If he does not know the author, he must write underneath the quotation the word “Unknown,” and his own name.
Five minutes are allowed in which to write a quotation, and three minutes to affix the name of the author, and the signature of the writer. The papers are then collected by the person in charge, who will then proceed to read aloud the quotations, authors, and signatures.
All persons unable to write a quotation must pay a forfeit. All unable to transcribe the name of the author, must also pay a forfeit.
Should there be a dispute regarding an author, the one in charge must decide.
Bottles and blisters, powders and pills, Catnip, boneset syrup and squills; Drugs and medicines, high and low, I throw them as far as I can throw WILL CARLETON GEORGE JONES.
The hostess should form a ring with herself in the centre, and to make it more comfortable all should have chairs. Number each person, naming yourself last. Number one repeats a quotation, Number two tells the author, Number three gives another quotation, and Number four gives the author, and so on. The person in charge, who is the one in the centre of the ring, keeps the game under proper control and time. No longer than ten seconds should be allowed for each person to respond. Every wrong guess of an author demands a forfeit. Surely, every one can give a quotation.
No. 1, gives,
Old Mother Hubbard Went to the cupboard.
No. 2, Mother Goose.
Between the dark and the daylight, When the night is beginning to lower.
No. 4, Longfellow.
Not a lord in all the country Is so great a lord as he.
No. 6, Tennyson.
This is a spelling game. A person gives a letter, not necessarily having any particular word in mind, his next neighbor must think of a word beginning with this letter, and then say the second letter, the third person must think of a word using the two letters previously given, and add the third and so on, to the end of the word. A person is not a ghost until he is four times caught.
The penalties are to be challenged rightfully, to challenge wrongfully, or to complete a word. The challenging consists in doubting a letter which a player has given. A player may say, “I challenge you,” when a person has added a letter, if he feels sure there is no word spelled in that order. If rightfully challenged, the speaker has one penalty against him as ghost. If, on the contrary, he gives the word which he had in his mind, as he is bound to do when challenged, the challenger is one-fourth of a ghost.
Every word finished makes one-fourth of a ghost, but it is proper to add a letter and thus form a new syllable. If a syllable of a word is a complete word in itself, the one pronouncing the last letter has incurred the penalty. For example, take the word revelry. R-e-v-e have been given, and unless the fifth player can think of n, and change it to revenue, or some other word, he must say l, and thus the word ends.
Whoever is ghost has to keep absolute silence throughout the game.
One member of the company should leave the room, while those who remain determine what celebrated author he is to represent.
On his return, he must in all respects be treated as that author would be were he the guest of the evening. He must be entertained by conversation and questions which would be of interest. Neither the conversation nor the questions may be misleading, but on the contrary helpful to the discovery of himself. He may be Shakespeare or Kirk Monroe, or if a girl she may be Lucy Larcom or Mary E. Wilkins.
Suppose Shakespeare is the distinguished guest. Of course all polite people would rise to receive him, and the hostess would offer him the most comfortable chair; every one’s manner would indicate that they were in the presence of greatness.
The conversation would naturally be of England and the changes that had come to her within the last three hundred years. That the town in which he was born had changed greatly; that the streets once so full of mud and refuse were now not only clean and tidy but almost uncomfortable with too great cleanliness and neatness. That the town owned a very pretty theatre, ornamented with statues of heroes and heroines. That a fine drinking fountain had lately been put there by a philanthropic visitor from Philadelphia, now dead. That the townspeople had been known to express their delight over the fact that he had been so obliging as to be born there.
He might be asked how he liked Queen Elizabeth, and if it was true she was as fond of him as had been expressed, and if so why didn’t he write something In Memoriam of her?
If the company discovers that the person who is personating Shakespeare is not able, after a few minutes of opportunity, to guess who he is, they should then throw on more light, by either asking him more prominent questions, or in connection with each other indicate more clearly. Ask some such question as, How far was the Mermaid Tavern from the home of John Milton? and, Did you meet Ben Jonson there? or did you call for each other and go and dine together?
There is great difference of opinion as to the correct way to spell your name. In the register which marks your birth, we noticed in reading the surname, that the letter E was left out of the first syllable. Do you put it in the last syllable, or is it out of that also? Did the boys ever call you Bill? Isn’t Warwickshire beautiful? What do you think of the river Avon? In what year did Bacon write Hamlet?
Of course, by this time, the celebrated Author would be guessed and some one else would leave the room, another Author be selected, and the game proceed as before.
The players must be seated in a circle, with the understanding that whoever smiles must pay a forfeit. No. 1 turns to his neighbor on the left and sings, while nodding his head,
Are you going to the Arsenal, the Arsenal, And see the animals in Central Park?
The person addressed replies in the same tune, nodding,
Yes, I’m going to the Arsenal, the Arsenal, And see the animals in Central Park.
Then both sing and nod,
Two of us are going to the Arsenal, the Arsenal, And see the animals in Central Park,
No. 2 then turns to No 3, nodding and singing the same question, who replies in the same way, only singing,
Three of us are going to the Arsenal, the Arsenal, And see the animals in Central Park.
And so complete the circle, the chorus being added to by one or more each time.
Ask your audience to be seated, while you talk for a few minutes on the wonders of occult science. Having mystified them as much as possible, you arouse their curiosity by announcing that you are now prepared to state whatever they may choose to draw or write, provided the sentence is a short one, by pressing the words or picture against your forehead, instead of reading with the eye.
You then distribute lead pencils, and equal sized slips of paper to all who wish to try, and take your seat at a table, on which you put a work-basket, with the request that when they are finished, they will fold the papers over once and then drop them in the basket.
When this is done you draw out any paper you may first touch; unfolding it so that you cannot read, you press it against your forehead, being careful to cover the entire paper with the fingers of each hand, which touch each other. You must explain that this contact is necessary for your revelation. After some minutes spent in thought, you read it and immediately draw another paper, laying each one before you, behind the basket.
The trick is simple, and consists in reading any word or sentence which may first occur to you, for the first paper, but reading the words thereon, or noting the picture when you lay it behind the basket. The picture or words on the first paper are read for the second, the second read for the third, and so on, until the last one has been pressed to the forehead, in removing which it is hidden by being crushed in the hand, or in whichever way may prove the easiest at the time, as the last paper is a necessity to make up for the one you falsely read.
It is not often that this trick is detected, unless it is bunglingly shown, and for that there is no excuse, as it is ridiculous to exhibit magic without long and careful practice.
Always change as much as possible the method of exhibition and never show this feat twice in one evening. Remember that diversion is an important feature in all magical entertainment; therefore you should be a capital story-teller, have a fund of funny stories on which you call at a moment’s need, for the attention of your friends must be constantly turned from your nervousness.
Every one understands that they are being deceived. You must be a clever magician or they will discover how.
This game may amuse any number, if those playing will each pleasantly do their part.
The company should be seated in a circle and the one in charge repeats from memory, reads from a book, or makes up a line of poetry. The individual to whom he addresses it, must add a line of the same rhyme and sense.
When the director has given his line, he runs three times around the outside of the circle, or he may spin a large tin platter. The second line of poetry _must_ be added before he completes his third round of the circle, or before the platter has ceased to spin. Should the line fail to be given in time, the one to give it must pay a forfeit. The director then gives another line to another person, the game thus continuing until all have taken part, or the players desire a change.
The director may change any time with any one of the company. Poetry of merit is not expected.
Director, (giving a line),
“Miss Beecher’s class came down the street.”
“And every one looked perfectly sweet.”
“Ring, ring, rosy,”
“I’m your Josy.”
“I wandered by the brook-side.”
“I saw you on my morning ride.”
Another way of playing laughable rhymes, is to give each one of the company a piece of paper and a pencil. Each paper has a verse written on it of the same number of lines in length. But these lines are incomplete, as each line is minus one word. This word may be the last one of a line, or it may be any of the others. Five minutes is a fair time to allow for the completion of these rhymes. Then the papers should be collected and read aloud, the reader indicating the supplied words. All failing to complete their verses within the time allowed must pay a forfeit.
“It fell of itself The lazy ball And you needn’t tell me I let it fall Perhaps it was tired Like me and you And wanted to rest A minute or two.”
Supplied word in parentheses above
(you) “What do think (don’t) I’m sure I know. (tell) Don’t anybody (oh) Oh, no! no! (told) Somebody me (else) That some one said (told) That so and so them (what) You won’t tell I said?”
For older people, try and pique their memories; therefore some familiar poem should be selected, or some sonnet of Shakspeare.
“On either side the river lie Long fields of barley and of rye That clothe the world and meet the sky; And thro’ the field the road runs by To many tower’d Camelot; And up and down the people go Gazing where the lilies blow Round an island there below, The island of Shalott.”
(for) “So oft have I invoked thee my Muse (in) And found such fair assistance my verse (got) As every alien pen hath my use (their) And under thee poesy disperse. (on) Thine eyes that taught the dumb high to sing, (aloft) And heavy ignorance to fly, (the) Have added feathers to learned’s wing (double) And given grace a majesty. (which) Yet be most proud of that I compile, (born) Whose influence is thine and of thee: (mend) In others’ works thou dost but the style, (graces) And arts with thy sweet gracèd be; (and) But thou art all my art dost advance (my) As high as learning rude ignorance.”
MAKING A DICTIONARY.
This game is more suitable for scholars; those who have made a study of biography and definition. It is readily divided in two parts, and each part may be played separately, but it is more satisfactory to unite them. The first part is to guess who is personated, and the second is to write definitions. If everybody understands or is studying French it would be a change to personate a Frenchman, and, in like manner, if every player understands or is studying German, personate a German, perhaps some author, whose book is authority in school.
The leader of the game commences by stating, “I have compiled a dictionary,” and if he is personating a German, before proceeding further he must give that clue. Example: “Ever since the appearance of the vocabulary to my German Reader in 1870, I have been receiving, from various quarters, suggestions and solicitations of a more general German dictionary, to be constructed upon the same plan.” And if he is personating a Frenchman he must be equally helpful.
After this the leader is silent until asked questions, which he must correctly answer. Should he be representing the notable Noah Webster, the following would readily discover him.
“Were you born in the United States?”
“Were you born in the South?”
“In the East?”
“Are you living?”
“Were you very old when you died?”
“Yes, in my eighty-fifth year.”
“What college did you attend?”
“What was your father’s business?”
“He was a farmer and justice of the peace.”
“Tell me about your mother.”
“She was a descendant of William Bradford, the second Governor of Plymouth Colony.”
“Were you married?”
“How many children had you?”
“Six; one son and five daughters.”
By this time any player knowing the biography of Mr. Webster would have guessed him.
The leader now distributes to each person equal sized pieces of paper, on which the same and several words have been written. He also gives them lead pencils. The test is to write the best definitions for these words, which, if honestly done, is without consultation. A minute is allowed for each word, and the papers being signed are then collected, and by the leader read to the audience. With a dictionary for reference there will be no dispute as to who has won.
Test words should be common ones, as they are much more difficult to define. For instance, Defy,—a challenge. Fortieth,—following the thirty-ninth, or preceded by thirty-nine units, things or parts, the quotient of a unit divided by forty. To-morrow,—a day after the present. Wrist,—the joint connecting the hand with the arm. Rather than such as Homing Home,—used specifically of carrier pigeons. Subpœna,—a summons for witnesses. Xanthine,—yellow dyeing matter in certain plants and flowers. Islamism,—the Mohammedan religion.
This game played with the right people, will give a delightful evening.
Make believe that you have heard of people living on a desert island, on which there is absolutely nothing for their comfort or enjoyment.
Distribute an equal number of pieces of wood, and ask your guests to cut out utensils for cooking, furniture, etc. Or give papers, and let each in the game draw articles, or take the papers and fold to shape articles. A limit of time must be named, and in the end, whoever has made or drawn or folded the greatest number of recognizable articles has won the game.
THE BUTTERFLY TEST.
Cut white writing paper in uniform size—eight in width by ten in length. Have as many pieces of paper as the number of painters, also several extra ones, as undoubtedly the butterfly makers would want to try again and yet again. One palette would suffice for a large company, for every one likes to watch the development of his neighbor’s work, almost as much as he does his own. But, of course, more palettes may be used if desired. Oil paints of divers colors must be placed on the palette, having a larger amount of the yellow paint than of any of the others, for not only are there more yellow butterflies, but yellow often conspicuously appears in almost every butterfly. As many palette-knives will be required as palettes. Brushes are not needed.
Put one butterfly on one piece of paper only. Fold the paper you use exactly in half, creasing it the longest way, thus giving it the appearance of an ordinary sheet of letter paper. This done, take the palette-knife and on its point and edge gather a little of the paint, putting the knife into the different portions, and so getting the colors which you desire. It is better to allow the paint to extend about half to two-thirds of an inch along the inside edge of the knife. All the paint you would need would not more than cover a five-cent nickel.
When the paint is on the palette-knife, open your sheet of paper, and in the exact centre of the inside crease, put the paint. This is done by putting the edge of the point of the knife directly in the crease, and pressing downward, and also a trifle towards the right.
Be satisfied with whatever leaves the knife the first time. Do not attempt to pick the paint off, or stick more on. Then carefully remove all paint from the palette-knife. For this you will need a small piece of soft cotton cloth. Where many people are at work several cloths should be in readiness.
The palette-knife now being clean, fold the paper over in the crease first made, being careful that you have folded it even, otherwise, the wings of the butterfly would be out of proportion, one being higher than the other. When the paper is folded you will distinctly see the blotch inside, and in this press heavily with the end of the palette-knife, starting at the crease and form an upward long arch, then press again from the centre towards the right, and arch in the same way, only proportionately shorter. The two arches should meet.
When you have pressed over and over again on the same places, and find that it is impossible to further spread your paint, open the sheet of paper, and inside you will see a butterfly delicately tinted and veined, his wings full spread as if to alight on a white clover, or other sweet-scented wild flower. In pressing out the paint you can more fully control the palette-knife, as well as protect the paper, if you put your fingers close to the paint. Sometimes a perfect butterfly is thus made the first time, but with a little practice any one may make butterflies as they will.
Before painting commences, each artist should draw from a receptacle a small paper, which will bear a number. This paper must be held until the prize is given, as an inexpensive prize would better be awarded to the one painting the most natural butterfly.
When the one in charge calls a number, the one having it at once goes forward and paints a butterfly on a paper bearing the same number as the one he drew. No matter how many butterflies this individual may paint, each paper on which the painting is done must bear the number drawn. As each butterfly is painted it is placed on the top of a large table. When all are through painting, the judge who has hitherto not been in the room, examines all of the butterflies, and decides according to number who is entitled to the prize. Example, No. 23.
Should there be two or more equally well done, those who painted them must each try again. The best of these is then awarded the prize.
A SKATING PARTY.
All taking part should be in costume. The costumes may relate to a special anniversary, such as Lincoln’s or Washington’s Birthday, or a St. Valentine revel. They may also be simply fantastic or pretty, or they may recall the old Knickerbocker days.
The _fête_ would have to be under the direction of patronesses. To their decision is left the programme, time, place, etc. Suppose for example, it is Washington’s Birthday night, some one of the number should represent General Washington. Other characters should be prominent Revolutionary heroes, as John Hancock, General Gates, General Lafayette, etc. Then, too, Mary and Martha Washington should be on skates, and Betty Washington, George Washington’s sister, and other notable women of the Declaration of Independence period. But besides these, there should be Clowns and Dumpies.
Cornet solo, followed by bugle call. Enter General Washington on skates, followed by two valets.
Fifteen minutes of general skating in costume.
A sleigh race between the most prominent generals, and their wives.
Fifteen minutes of general skating in costume.
A musical match between the clowns and dumpies.
Fifteen minutes of general skating in costume.
Then all skate, the onlookers and those taking part, General Washington leading.
LINCOLN’S BIRTHDAY AMUSEMENTS.
Give a sleighing party. Start immediately after a mid-day dinner and get home before the sun sets.
Every one should attach a knot of tri-colored ribbon to his coat or jacket. The horses, sleighs and whips must be decked with flags and streamers.
When on the road sing songs of freedom. “John Brown’s body lies mouldering in the grave.” “In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,” etc.
Have a snowball game. Choose sides and decide who can pitch the farthest.
Balance a snowball on the end of a cane, and note which boy can longest keep it from falling.
Try a snowshoe race by picked players.
Make an immense snowball. When it can be made no larger, let three persons stand on the top. The tallest should stand in the centre and wave the flag. One of the party should take a snap shot at that moment, for future amusement.
Arrange a skating party the day before, and test each one’s skill on the ice—who can skate the most rapidly,—who can exhibit the most figures, etc.
Give an up-to-date military tournament on skates. Example, America and Spain.
* * * * *
If there is neither snow, nor ice, have a bicycle match. Trim the bicycle with red, white and blue. Each rider should wear the same colors. The match may be simply a question of speed. In that case be careful to indicate the distance. Competent judges should witness the start and close of the race.
All difficult questions must be decided by an umpire.
ST. VALENTINE GAMES.
_A Valentine Hunt._
This should be given early in the evening, as it removes shyness and establishes good fellowship.
Hide as many small valentines as there are children, and give five minutes to hunt for them. Those finding more than one should put the extra ones on a table, and the children not finding any are then blindfolded and allowed to draw one each.
Present a large rose and let each child guess how many petals it contains. When all have guessed, pick the petals off, counting them as they fall. The nearest guesser receives a prize. An appropriate prize would be a bonbon box filled with candied rose leaves.
_Rose Bowl Game._
Put on a small table, a mat of pink crinkled tissue paper, and in the centre stand a cut-glass rose-bowl. The bowl should be covered with huge pink rose petals, made of paper, inverted as though the rose were held in the bowl, the petals all meeting in the green calyx, which covers the opening of the bowl. Through the calyx, narrow green ribbons representing rose stems should appear. Each child, at a signal, should come to the table and draw one of the “stems.” On the end of each will be found a pink candy heart, and to one of these hearts will be fastened a tiny love-knot ring.
_The Walnut’s Fortune._
Open a quantity of walnuts in half. Into each walnut slip a narrow piece of paper which will predict the future. Slip a small elastic over each nut, which will prevent them from reopening. The boys’ walnuts should be put in one basket, and the girls’ in another. The girls’ basket should be offered first. As each girl holds her hand over the basket she should repeat:
“Steady, good fairy, I am wary, Pray let my hand make no mistake; I would only the right nut take.”
Then she puts her hand down, lifts up a nut, removes the elastic, and taking out the paper, reads her future aloud. Example, “You will travel around the world. At the age of twenty-three you will sing before two thousand people.” And thus the future is predicted in similar style for other players.
_Naming the Roses._
All the young people should personate favorite roses. Therefore, there should be many varieties. The parlors should have arches or wide doorways, through which a procession may readily move.
The musicians are advised to play something between a march and a reel, and immediately each boy signals out the girl that matches his rose. If more than one match, he asks the girl he prefers. Then, all keeping time to the music, they walk through the first arch or doorway, and so on to the second, thus in rotation going through all. The couples should keep about two feet back of each other.
When all have passed through the last arch, they join hands, thus forming a circle, and commencing with the first couple, enter the ring two by two. Two only being in at a time, when they come out, the two that followed them in the march enter, and so on. When in the circle the boy should ask the girl, “Which rose are you?” She answers, “Tell me, and I’ll tell you.” Very often his answer will be, “I don’t know,” though once in a while he will make a perfect guess. When his answer is right, he asks the girl the language of her rose; but if he has made a mistake, he is obliged to leave the girl in the ring, and stand under one of the arches. If the girl cannot answer his question, she must stand under an arch. If the boy leaves the ring before inquiring the rose’s language, those forming the ring put the same question, and if the girl does not properly reply, she has to pay the same penalty as when not replying to the boy.
When both questions are answered correctly, the boy and girl again join the hands of the others forming the circle. When each couple has been in and left the ring the game is concluded.
Among the rosebuds and their meaning are: White rose-bud, girlhood; red rose-bud, loveliness; white and red together, unity.
Put a small table behind a screen. On this table place thirty different articles, including pulverized spices, small bottles of liquid, books, etc. Each player is allowed ten seconds in which to familiarize himself or herself with the things on the table. Then each person writes a list of the things, titles of books, etc., from memory. The boy and girl whose lists are nearest perfection receive valentines as prizes.
Present a pink silk bag to each of the young ladies, and ask them to take out what they first touch. Each will then draw a small pink box, inside of which will be her fortune written on ordinary sized note paper.
When the young ladies have finished drawing, pass a red silk bag, filled with red boxes of a similar size, to the young men. Each paper in the pink boxes should be numbered one, two, etc. and the same with the red. The following are the examples of the fortunes.
Whereso’er I am, below or else above you, Whereso’er you are, my heart shall truly love you. My name is John.
You will married be At the age of thirty-eight, Or else I’ve made a mistake, And the date is far too late.
Now you must guess my name Or this fortune’s very tame.
Or ask questions, to be followed with appropriate answers.
“Shall I marry Sue?”
“There’s a rival in the case. A very rich and stupid fellow.”
_The Prophetic Rose._
In an archway hang a huge rose made of tissue-paper of a deep red color, the petals being dark at the centre. The players are told that the darker petals belong to the boys, and the girls should visit the rose first. Each girl in turn should step toward the rose, and break off a petal. On the reverse side she may read her fortune; for delicately pasted to the rose petal will be a white one, and on this the girls fortune will be written. Everybody reads their fortune aloud, for all are as interested to learn the future of their friends as their own. When the girls finish, the boys follow in a similar way. Some of the fortunes might be:
“Thou drawest a perfect lot.”
“You will be wondrous happy.”
“Mistress of the Manse.”
“A curate—never slack in duty.”
_Make a Valentine._
This will create much merriment and prove equally suitable for grown-ups or boys and girls.
Before the guests arrive, have ready even-sized pieces of water-color paper. The hostess should distribute these and explain just what should be done. Have water-color paints, brushes, etc., conveniently near every one, also a few well-sharpened lead-pencils might not prove amiss. Either have the people seated at one long table or at several small ones, as would be convenient. Ring a bell when it is time to commence. In thirty minutes ring again, when all must stop.
As the designs should be original, no one must look over his neighbor’s shoulder. The fact that some would not know how to paint would have nothing to do with it, as the entertainment is only a bit of fun and every one should do his part. Valentines allow of such diversity in decoration, from the extreme of the grotesque to the æsthetic and beautiful, that every one should be glad to try. Remember, a line of prose or verse would be an added compliment. For instance,
Prithee tell me, Dimple chin, At what age does love begin?
might be written under the dainty portrait of some winsome wee thing; or,
My love is like a red, red rose,
might be added to the picture of a flaming red cabbage rose.
When the valentines are finished they should be numbered, each painter retaining his number on a slip of paper. This done, gather the valentines and submit them to the judgment of three people to decide as to their merit. The painter of the best valentine should receive a prize.
Then jumble together slips of paper on which are written numbers corresponding to the numbers of the valentines. Let each guest draw a slip, and present him or her with the corresponding valentine, which may be retained as a souvenir.
_The Court of the King of Hearts._
Decide who will be king. He may get his costume from a costumer’s or wear a home-made robe of gold color, decorated all over with hearts cut out of crimson velvet, six inches long and in correct proportion. He should wear a gold crown ornamented with Rhine stones, and carry a sceptre. There should be a throne, which may be a large chair placed on a raised platform. The throne and platform should be covered with gold paper, sprinkled with diamond dust.
All the decorations should suggest St. Valentine’s evening. Therefore, pink or rose should be the color effect, and such devices as Cupid’s arrows, hearts, valentines should appear. Ask the young ladies to gown themselves to represent roses. Therefore some would wear pink; others, white, etc. The gowns might further suggest the scheme by being trimmed with roses. The young gentlemen should wear rose boutonnières.
All the guests compose the court.
The entertainment may be opened by the minuet, danced by red and white roses, after which the entire court enter, marching two by two. As they march they sing in honor of their king. When the first couple reaches the throne, the leaders separate right and left and turn facing each other. The others do likewise, keeping the distance between regular. Last of all comes the king followed by two pages representing Cupids. The king marches between the columns, and finally reaches his throne. When there he looks smilingly over his court, and then seats himself. The pages stand to his right and left.
Then the court, at a motion of the king’s sceptre, waltz, after which the entire evening is spent amusing the king. He likes songs, and they become Singing Roses. He likes recitations, and the roses recite. All the songs and recitations must be of the heart. Among the recitations may be “The Garden of Love,” William Shakspeare; “The Day-Dream,” Alfred Tennyson; “Telepathy,” James Russell Lowell.
At the close of a song the king rises, and waving his wand, the company cease entertaining, and the Cupids, leaving the throne, walk side by side, and finally stop at a huge blackboard. Then in colored crayons they each draw a valentine. After which the King of Hearts asks each one of the company to do likewise. This affords much amusement, as many of the valentines will be exceedingly grotesque.
When all have finished drawing, the Cupids return to the throne, and the king signals for a dance. And now a surprise. Eight dancers appear in heart and valentine dominoes. Each heart dances with a valentine, and thus the king continues to be amused. The first eight who have drawn valentines quietly absent themselves, and thus they are ready at the desired time. The dominoes are made out of white cheese-cloth, the valentines and hearts are basted thickly over them.
After the dance the king should rise and thank the court for what has been done for his entertainment, after which the recession of the court should follow. The columns leading to the throne must be again formed, the king rises, and proceeds through the lines followed by his pages, and then the two nearest to the throne go next, and so on until all disappear.
WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY ENTERTAINMENT.
If the hostess is a girl, she should be costumed as Lady Washington; if she has a brother, his dress should be a faithful copy of General Washington’s. The mother of the young people may take the character of Mary Washington, mother of George. Ask your friends to wear an appropriate costume excepting that of the Washington household; that family excluded, they are fancy free. Decorate the house with flags and bunting; also give an eagle prominent position. For evergreens use holly, and whatever flowers may be peculiar to the State of Virginia. Suggest red, white, and blue in the supper-room. Example: Cover the dining-table with blue silk or bunting, and on it stand cakes frosted with red and white icing, mottoes in red and white papers, etc. Serve strawberry and vanilla ice-cream in blue dishes. Have all the confectionery red and white in color, and served from a blue-covered stand. Should you not have blue china suitable for the confectionery, deftly cover white china with blue crinkled paper, and so preserve the colors.
Open the evening with the flag dance. This is any square dance you may please. Immediately before it starts, present the dancers with a tiny American flag, and whenever a bow occurs, let the flags be triumphantly whirled. They may be retained as souvenirs. After the dance some one previously selected should come into the parlor. He must be entirely enveloped in tricolor, which may be done by the use of a large flag, and if necessary a smaller one may cover the head. The question now is to guess, Who is this distinguished visitor? whether it is some one of the Revolutionary period or of the present, of our own country, or of another. When the domino is removed, across his chest will be his name. It is George the Third, who did not feel very comfortable at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He should wear a crown, which is easily made from pasteboard, cover it with gold paper, and for precious stones glue on rounded buttons covered to suit whichever gem you may please-jasper, sapphire, diamonds, or what not. Whoever makes a correct guess should receive a gift suggestive of the occasion. A book about a Revolutionary hero would do, or any article of jewelry, suggestive of Washington’s time. There are stickpins which may be used for scarfs also, that have the flag in colored enamel. After this, another dance would be in place, and follow that with games and patriotic songs.
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” in march time, would be appropriate to use as the march to supper.
APRIL FOOL GAMES AND TRICKS.
It is always a question whether these games should or should not be played. Therefore I offer them with this preface as also a few words of advice. Be good natured and do not take offence over other people’s amusement at your expense.
Never play a practical joke.
Example, Mr. M—— died last night.
Mr. M—— was an intimate friend of a party present, and as the word pronounced dyed is capable of two different meanings, one of the guests interpreted it in its saddest sense, and immediately fainted. Wholesome fun promotes laughter and good-fellowship; indulge in it all you will, and so help your little world to be the merrier.
On a pure white tidy write in distinct letters upside down, the words, “April Fool,” and get some boy to lean back against them. When he walks about the room afterwards, his black jacket is decorated.
If you have an old cane-bottom chair, cut the seat out, but not too close to the frame. Fit this nicely in and offer the seat to any of the larger boys or girls. Instantly this individual finds himself slipping down, but is more frightened than hurt.
Upholster a long low box to represent a divan. The top should consist of neatly tacked down stiff brown paper, and over this throw a long thin rug. Suggest to two or three of your liveliest friends that they sit together on this divan. In a few moments the room will resound with shrieks of laughter, for they will be seated on the floor.
Give a florist’s box temptingly covered with tissue paper and tied up with gold cord to one of the guests. He will unfasten the cord, take off the paper, and lift the cover only to find _nothing_ within.
Should your mother or sister be expecting a new spring bonnet, beguile the milliner into letting you have one of her nicest hat boxes, into which you should put your three years’ old Derby, and then watch the result.
A questionable joke would be to send a party invitation to your old friend, inviting him to an equally old friend’s house, and wait around to see him enter.
Tell John or Mary there is an oat for them at Mr. Blank’s. They thinking you have said “a note” immediately go to get it, and fully comprehend your meaning when they are handed a tiny package of tissue paper which serves as a covering to one oat and the words “April Fool.”
Arrange portières so they may be drawn on either side of a long mirror, as window curtains are drawn from the centre of a window. Before this make an effective group of a number of boys and girls. The rear ones should stand, the ones immediately in front should be seated on the floor. Above them should be written on a mirror these words, “April Fools.” When every one is in place, a boy standing on the left and right of the mirror should draw the portières.
A part of the refreshments for such an evening should be cakes frosted with salt and others stuffed with cotton, oranges filled with sawdust, tiny blocks of wood and small balls of cotton, covered with chocolate, so simulating chocolate caramels and creams. Have also motto papers deftly covering little pebbles, and iced coffee, which will be found to be the most acid of iced vinegar. But do not let your refreshments end with such a menu, or good nature even with the jolliest would cease to be a virtue; when a little fun is gotten, serve a delicious supper.
The time for Easter amusement is during the week which follows Easter Day, and it would be a pretty idea at such a season to give a short tableau entertainment in connection with music and games, the tableaux indicating the superstitions of various countries.
When the tableau is shown, announce what it is intended to represent; for example, in Russia the Easter festival might almost be termed the “kissing festival,” for beginning with the Emperor, who on Easter Day kisses various generals and even privates in his army, the singular contagion spreads throughout the empire, apparently affecting both aristocrat and plebeian.
_Tableau._—A boy representing the Russian Emperor kissing a member of the army.
In the olden days of France it was the custom for a Christian to give a Jew an Easter box.
_Tableau._—Two boys, one representing the Christian; the other, the Jew. The Christian must be in the act of boxing the Jew’s ear.
Follow this with the France of to-day.
_Tableau._—An interior of a church, extravagantly trimmed with flowers, and brilliant with lighted candles. It should be crowded with boys and girls, mothers and fathers, all in brand-new clothes.
Show Spain as a dark-haired girl, with a mantilla over her head, kneeling in a church before a mammoth candle—the Paschal candle, nine feet long. In order to make it seem taller, stand it on a marble pedestal.
Rome, with a procession of gayly attired children, and a boy representing the Pope, in the most elegant of robes, carried in a crimson chair, over which is a canopy. This chair must be preceded by two boys, each carrying white ostrich-feather fans.
Germany, with a group of dancing girls and boys, the girls wearing small, close-fitting white caps, full white aprons over dark gold-braided skirts and white sleeves; the boys with knee-breeches, white stockings, showy vests and gold buttons. Or show a hare running from a nest filled with colored eggs, before which two little children kneel. The nest should be placed under a bush, and one of the children should wear a laughing face, for she holds up an egg.
England, with a crowd of boys and girls returning from Hampton Court, Kew Gardens, or Stoke Pogis with their arms literally filled with willow-boughs and branches of blossoms—yellow, pink, and white—with which they will decorate the church for Easter Sunday.
Switzerland, with a band of musicians carrying guitars, and going from house to house singing some sweet carol, their hats and caps wreathed with flowers.
A very pretty way to amuse children of all ages is to hide eggs in the grass or under bushes, and then have an egg-hunt. All eggs found may, of course, be carried home. Give five minutes for the hunt, and it will prove great sport for lookers-on also.
For another game, raise a tent decorated with flags, cheese-cloth streamers, or ribbons. Opposite the tent in which the guests are to be seated, and ten feet distant, is a post or tree on which to put a prize. At the base of the post put a basket of thin china eggs or glass balls, and also one at the tent door, only fill this basket with excelsior. The game is to find the person that will throw the largest number of eggs from one of the baskets into the other and not break them. Whoever wins is rewarded by the prize.
For little children, form a ring, and pitch to the centre of the ring a hard-boiled egg, and let them scramble for it. For larger children, let them pair off, a boy and a girl; thus alternating, they form a ring. Then start thirteen china or glass eggs, one after the other, from hand to hand, taking the egg in the right hand, passing it to the left, and so on round the ring. If an egg drops, it must stay where it falls until the other eggs have gone around the ring three times. It may chance by that time that all the eggs have dropped. When the third time around is complete, immediately a grand chain is formed, and the children dance, and go back to position, picking up the eggs as they dance. If the egg is not picked up, keeping time to the music which is being played throughout the game, that person cannot retain it, but must give it to the one following. Sometimes no eggs fall, then the game is kept up until all the eggs have passed rapidly around three times. But when dropped and picked up, they must then go around once, and after this final circuit the game is concluded.
Boil a dozen or more eggs in logwood of different strengths of dye; they will then be colored violet or purple. Give these eggs, with a large pin or pen-knife, to young people to decorate. Offer a prize for the best decorations within fifteen minutes.
Still another game is to knock eggs. Hold an egg so that the small end is shown between the forefinger and the thumb. Sit or stand opposite to the person with whom you are playing. Then knock each other’s eggs. The knock should be swift and hard, and whoever’s egg is the first to crack must now be given to the opponent. When starting, each should have an equal number. Whoever has the most eggs after playing ten minutes has won.
_Finding the Hare._
The hare is nothing more nor less than a box made in exact copy of a hare, about six inches long. When opened it shall be found full of rose-colored and rose-flavored confectionery.
The company are told that a hare is hidden and whoever finds it is the owner. It is a bewitching sight to see the merry hunt and great sport for those engaged.
_The Parlor Egg Hunt._
Buy confectioners’ eggs, which come in all sizes, from the ostrich size to a humming bird’s, made of chocolate or icing, and trimmed with flowers or tiny ribbons. Hide the small eggs, and state in which rooms they are hidden. Allow five minutes for the hunt, each striving to find the most. Ring a bell to start and end the game.
_Ostrich Egg Search._
This is played exactly like the thimble game. Put a confectioner’s ostrich egg in full sight, and at a signal every one begins to look for it. When it is seen, the finder signifies the fact by sitting down, and this continues until all are either seated or give up. The hostess inquires of the first one who sat down where the egg is, and the answer is given in a whisper. If correct, it may be retained as a favor, if not, the egg must be drawn for.
The hiding must be cleverly managed, so that while the egg is in sight, it is, however, in an unexpected spot, and where it cannot be handled. Then, too, there should be a bogus egg, made from tissue paper, closely resembling the confectioners egg. Many will mistake the egg.
Put two baskets at the end of a room, each basket lined with wadding, and containing a dozen of eggs. Opposite these baskets on the other side of the room, have two empty ones lined in a similar manner. Two persons step forward, and at the ringing of a bell start to put the dozen of eggs, without cracking, into the empty basket, the one who succeeds first being victor.
_The Game of Cluck._
Perhaps this is the jolliest game of all, and it is essentially for boys. Whoever gives the party should ask each of his friends to bring a chicken—a real live chicken—and if he is sure he would not recognize her when with a barnyard of others, he must tie a ribbon around her neck; he must also bring some hard-boiled eggs. The court used should be surrounded with a high netting, and the centre of the court marked with a cross.
At a signal all the players, each with his fowl in his arms, must enter the court, and the host, going to the centre, now becomes auctioneer, and taking each offered fowl in turn, he loudly calls, “How many eggs am I bid for this chicken?”—two eggs, three, or whatever the number may be; no one must bid what he cannot pay, and the chicken is given to the boy offering the largest number, and the eggs are given to the previous owner of the chicken. He may put them wherever he pleases, only they must be somewhere within the netting.
The sale being over, the “cluck” commences, for it is now each one’s aim to recover his chicken, which can only be done by finding the requisite number of eggs given for her. This is much easier said than done, for the boys will have hidden them in their pockets and other peculiar places. Meanwhile the chickens, running in every direction, are very apt to “cluck” loudly.
_The Bird’s Nest._
Put a bird’s nest in a room; hunt for it as you “Hunt the slipper,” only, instead of saying “warm, warmer,” and so on, you cluck, cluck, cluck soft or loud as the party goes towards or from the nest. Only one person hunts at a time; everybody else clucks.
A May-Queen party is conducted in a variety of ways. Very simply you may say: “I am arranging for a Maying party; will you come? I shall be so glad to have you.” And without further form than the above invitation, only mentioning the time, place of meeting, luncheon, etc., everything for a day’s outdoor frolic is adjusted.
But the correct fashion is vastly different. The invitation is of the same character as that given for any other party. The paper on which the invitation is engraved should be decorated. The decoration should be suggestive of the occasion—a trimmed May-pole, a throne for the Queen, or the Queen herself. Also, in the left-hand corner of the invitation, state the time when the tally-ho or carriages will start: they start from the house of the giver of the party. A good hour is ten o’clock, and the guests should be there ten minutes earlier.
All Maying parties should be in charge of a chaperone, not only for Madame Grundy’s sake, who would do a great deal of talking, but because there is then some one older than yourself to consult with in case of need, as also some one to superintend those who would arrange the refreshment table. And as this party must
fall upon a day In the merry month of May.
everybody should wear holiday attire, as,
In the days when we went gypsying, A long time ago, The lads and lassies in their best Were dressed from top to toe.
In France this day was dedicated to the Virgin, and the most popular girl was called the “Lady of the May.” She was always crowned and adorned with flowers, and sat in state on a miniature throne made of flowers and branches, while her maids of honor begged for money from all who passed that way, to be spent on the religious feast held later.
And our May-Queen can have her white frock too, as dainty and pretty as that of any Parisian maiden, if she will only wear warm flannels underneath it. Remember, that though May days are oftentimes warm and sunny even to uncomfortableness, their temperature cannot be depended upon.
The May-Queen should be arranged for by the giver of the party, and also her six maids of honor. The Queen only wears white. The maids should wear frocks of different hue, and each represent a woodland flower or fern. For example, rose pink garlanded with pink rose-buds and roses; baby-blue and forget-me-nots; pale violet and violets; cowslip yellow and cowslips; Nile-green and maidenhair-fern, etc. The guests should wear flowers, and may or may not represent flowers, as they choose. Only they must wear gay attire. The boys might dress as gentlemen of the court, adopting the fashion of princes, lords, pages; and do not forget the fool, with his cap and bells, to amuse the Queen. Or all may wear grotesque apparel—it is go-as-you-please fashion—only if the grotesque is decided upon, all should adopt it; the Queen could personate Maid Marian, with gilt crown on her head, and one of the boys assume the character of Robin Hood.
It would be a delight could all of these occasions have a May-pole, wound about with gay color, and long ribbon streamers firmly fastened at the top, which during the dances should be braided and unbraided again and again. It requires a tall straight tree, which should be firmly set in the ground, after the order of a flag-staff. The tallest May-pole ever set up in England was on the Strand, London, and was one hundred and thirty-four feet high. A pole twelve feet from the ground, however, will give just as much pleasure at the ordinary May-Queen party. Around it join hands, and sing any familiar English ballads, or songs from the opera of _Robin Hood_. It might be well to have a rehearsal of two or three songs beforehand, if you should be particular about your music at the time of the party. As for dances, they should be intermingled with the songs, waltzes, mazourkas, schottisches—any dance that you may know. Besides this, play one and another ring game, even if you are ever such big boys and girls. Always remember to pay homage to your Queen, being sure that she is leading.
Whoever gives the party is of course responsible for refreshments, which are usually served picnic fashion on long tables in the woods, near to the place where the games are played. The provisions should be carried in a separate wagon, and be kept out of sight until it is time for lunch. The tables may be made very attractive by means of mosses, wild flowers, and grasses. One such table was of exquisite beauty, its only adornment being ferns. A border of them was pinned or basted all around the cloth, made higher at the corners. A large cut-glass bowl stood in the centre of the table, filled with maiden-hair, and two tall slender vases, one shorter than the other and filled with fine ferns and vines stood at irregular distances. When the refreshments are ready, the hostess must escort the Queen, and lead her to the position of honor. Next to follow should be the maids of honor, and the rest as they will. In every instance the Queen must be served first; indeed, she should be shown every consideration.
The Queen’s throne should be erected near the May-pole. It is generally made in a sort of bower of bushes. Sometimes a large stone has to form the seat; cover this with flowers, so that your Queen is really sitting in a floral chair. Make her crown before leaving home; it can be cut out of pasteboard, and covered with gilt paper, and when you get to the fields twine flowers around it; or you may assimilate a crown with a wreath of wild flowers. In either case present it to her with great formality. Having led her near the throne, two of the boys should stand on either side of her, and suspend the crown between them, immediately above her head. While they are in this position, the hostess must step towards the Queen and say, “In the name of this court, we crown you Queen of May.” The boy standing at her right then leads her to the throne; when she is seated, the other boy presents her sceptre, and her entire court sing a chorus previously decided.
The girls might all carry wooden hoops, and having wound flowers around them, take them to some poor child or sick mother or sister on their return home, and so have the pleasantest sort of an ending to the May-Queen party. In our joy and gladness under the cloudless sky, on a moss-covered walk, with violets and other wild flowers at our feet, we should not forget the many more to whom such a party would seem almost as a day in Paradise.
FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION.
Every boy, to properly celebrate Independence Day, should be well stocked with torpedoes, large and small, fire-crackers, cannon, and gunpowder. He should know that the starry flag flutters from his home, and that the red, white, and blue is a part of his attire.
Early in the day a battalion of patriotic boys should march and countermarch up and down the principal streets, while all the while martial music is heard, and the shrill bugle call answers the exultant drum beat. A banner should lead such a procession, and the Star-spangled Banner should triumphantly wave throughout the entire line.
Jolly fun may be had in the after part of the day, by setting an old barn on fire.
Very often the boys’ fathers or uncles own a barn that they would rather have out of the way than not, and the Fourth of July is the most appropriate time in the entire year for a conflagration. When a barn is to be fired, be sure that it is carefully prepared beforehand, with a coating of tar and long wisps of tarred paper, and the boys cannot be too cautious not to get on fire themselves.
Should boys not be successful in finding a barn to burn up, perhaps they could find a dead tree on a friend’s vacant lot. A tree would make a perfect tower of flame, and could be seen for miles around. It, too, will blaze all the fiercer if you apply a coating of pitch. Those engaged in this sport should wear their oldest clothing, in order not to make themselves a nuisance to their mothers and sisters or thoughtlessly waste their fathers’ money.
Perhaps some of the boys would like a receipt for a powerful noise. It is simple enough—nothing but chlorate of potash and sulphur mixed; you should put several pieces of paper around it, though, and hammer it down as heavy as you can.
HALLOWE’EN GAMES AND TRICKS.
_The Nut Trick._
The shell must be prepared before the performance. Remove the kernel by boring a hole, or opening the nut at one end. Take out the contents by the aid of a lady’s hat-pin, and instead of the kernel, slip in a short piece of scarlet-colored baby-width ribbon. Then putty or wax the opening over, and color the putty or wax with a dye, crayon, or paint, the exact shade of the nut. The nut being thus prepared, you may now lay it on the table before your friends, and present a bunch of many-colored ribbons of the same width and length to them. Ask that some one select any piece he chooses; you must have a don’t-care air, as though it didn’t make any difference to you which piece was chosen. While, on the contrary, you care so much, that should a wrong selection be made you must at once tell an interesting story, which will help your friends to forget that the ribbon has already been selected, and you should make use of this opportunity to offer the ribbons over again. This time the selection will likely be correct. It would be wise to have the majority of pieces of ribbon the color of the piece in the nut, as that color would catch the eye first and stand a better chance of being taken.
The right ribbon now being chosen, make a great point of looking at it; hold it up at arm’s length, so that all the audience may see it. Then ask the party who made the selection to put it back in the bunch with the others and mix them all up to please himself. When he has finished, face the bunch of ribbons, and loudly repeat, three times over, “Ribbon, go into the nut.” Then ask your friend to go forward and take the little hammer which he will find on the table and crack the nut open. When the nut is opened, sure enough inside is a scarlet ribbon.
_Burn a Lady’s Handkerchief, but Return it Whole Again._
This requires a tin cylinder about eight inches in diameter and twelve inches in height. Into this put a perfectly fitting tin vessel, which is divided strictly in half. When this vessel is slid inside of the cylinder the whole does not look unlike a canister with a cover at each end. Having the handkerchief, hold it so that everybody sees it, and talk fluently, keeping the body constantly in motion; indeed, making so many motions that no one has noticed that you have packed this handkerchief in the upper division of the tin vessel, and that, as you are walking towards the candle, you have turned the cylinder upside down, and that also the handkerchief you are now holding is really not a handkerchief at all, but a thin piece of muslin you have prepared to simulate a handkerchief. Pour on it a few drops of alcohol, which will help it to burn even more rapidly; tear it, if you think it more effective. When the owner thinks that her handkerchief is forever destroyed, cleverly manage to invert the cylinder, take out the handkerchief, shake it well, holding it so that all the audience sees that it is not even scorched, and then return it to the lady.
_The Bowl Trick._
Fill a tiny tumbler with water and cover it with a bowl. Then state you will drink the water in the tumbler underneath without moving the bowl.
Of course the company do not believe you, and you ask all to turn their backs, or close their eyes, if they will promise not to look, until one of the party counts ten. Immediately they have turned their backs, or closed their eyes, you pick up another glass of water and hastily swallow a few mouthfuls. They hear the sound, but no one can look until ten is counted. By that time the glass from which you drank is hidden again, and the company catch you wiping your moist lips. Undoubtedly one of the number will be so suspicious that he will lift the bowl to see, and then is your opportunity, for you at once pick up the glass and drink, saying, as you put it down, “_I_ didn’t touch the bowl.”
_An Impossible Jump._
Take a gentleman’s hat, and, turning it around so that every one sees it, ask your friends whether, if you put it on the floor, they could jump over it. Of course they will answer, “Yes.” Then stand it close to the wall, and tell them not to all try at once, but take their turn to jump.
_Turn a Goblet Upside Down Without Spilling the Water._
Fill a glass goblet so as not to allow any water to drop over the edge. Cover the top with a piece of paper; on the paper put your hand, and turn the goblet rapidly over; then remove the hand. The upward pressure of the air will prevent the water from spilling.
_The Hat Omelet._
Everybody who enjoys tricks is no doubt familiar with this. It is very easy to do.
First state that you are about to make an omelet. Then break three eggs into the hat, and appear to add a little milk and flour, after which shake all together and hold the hat over a lighted lamp, candle, or gas. After a few moments lift out the hot flaky omelet and pass it to your friends; otherwise they will think they have been deceived.
The secret is, the omelet was cooked on the range, and was in the hat when you commenced to exhibit the trick, the hat being held too high for the audience to see inside. The eggs were not full, only the shells, the contents having been previously drawn through a tiny aperture at one end. Laugh and talk a great deal and it will not be noticed that you do not put in the cornstarch and milk; also let a real egg drop, as if by accident, on a plate standing on the table before you, or let a tablespoon or knife fall. This will attract all eyes and further prevent discovery. As in other tricks, you should practise it before showing it to your friends.
_The Wonderful Carafe._
An empty carafe is brought by your confederate. This you should rinse and drain in the presence of your audience, in order to satisfy them that there is really no mistake, that the carafe is positively empty. After it has well drained, dry it, wiping it around with the greatest care. In the towel which your confederate brought you he also brought a bladder, in which was a weak preparation made up of spirits of wine, sugar, and water. In this way the carafe is filled without the audience detecting. The glasses are already in position, and in each one has been put a drop or two of flavoring extract, such as pineapple, lemonade, orange, peppermint. The magician then inquires if any one would like a glass of lemonade, and being answered in the affirmative, he pours the same from the carafe by filling the glass in which the drops of lemonade extract have been placed. In like manner he will give a glass of orangeade, or whatever drink corresponds to the extract in the glasses.
_The Vanishing Ten-cent Piece._
Put this coin in the palm of your hand and take pains to let everybody see it. Then state that if any one of the audience will call out, “Vanish,” it will disappear.
The reason why is because the nail of your middle finger is covered with white wax, and closing the hand forcibly the coin instantly fastens itself to it. You must then open the hand wide and show that the ten-cent piece has really gone.
The tricks now being over, the audience rose to congratulate their young entertainers and also to exchange a few words with one another, and in so doing many of them did not discover that refreshments were about to be served until they were asked to take seats at the small tables that had most mysteriously appeared.
The refreshments were very simple, being only vanilla and strawberry rolled wafers and delicious tea. The tea was, of course, poured into the prettiest of Japanese cups, and carried on richly decorated trays, on which were laid divers colored Japanese napkins, while the graceful, cordial, Japanese-robed young girls added an indescribable charm.
And thus closed this dainty, interesting entertainment amid the pleasant chatter of the happily seated, congenial company.
Should you be in the country on All Hallowe’en, one of the party should be blindfolded and sent into the kitchen garden, of course using every security against accident. The person sent must pull up a vegetable, and without shaking off the dirt from the roots, bring it back with him. Should it have a great quantity of mould hanging to its roots, that is a sure sign whoever has it will make a wealthy marriage. If, on the contrary, there is but little mould, he will make a poor marriage. If the vegetable is tall and well shapen, this proves he will marry a tall, beautiful girl. If, however, the vegetable is short and crooked, he will marry a short and homely girl. If a vegetable is brought in without any roots, the person bringing it will be a bachelor or old maid.
Care should be taken in the playing of this game to prevent the house and clothing from getting dirty; therefore be watchful and hold the vegetable you bring at arm’s length.
The best place to decide the vegetable’s shape, mould, etc., would be in the kitchen, or on the piazza. If the latter is enclosed, lamps could be carried out there, if not, possibly the light from the windows and hall way would be sufficient; or try a lantern.
_The Divining Mirror._
Hold an unpeeled apple in the right hand and a lighted candle in the left, while you stand in an empty, unlighted room before a mirror.
Then you must eat the apple and watch sharp, for you are to see your future husband’s or wife’s face in the mirror. The face will appear over your left shoulder.
This game is also part trick, as fairy folk are apt to be famous tricksters and therefore not very trustworthy, especially if it is after dark.
One of the boys will likely have stolen back of you, disguised with a false face. He has reached you on his hands and knees, and when all of a sudden he rises, you will be so startled that it will be an easy matter for him to escape without detection. Or a girl could do the same as a boy.
In order to more fully cover one’s tracks, it would be well for the tricking player to blow out the candle as he appears over the shoulder. This, too, will partly conceal the features, for puckered lips and eyes fixed steadily on the flame will not look natural.
_The Tumbler Test._
Fill three tumblers with water. One must hold blue water, such as the laundress uses for clothes, another must hold soapy water, and another clear water, while still another must be empty. These tumblers should stand on a table directly before the individual who is to be blindfolded. After he is blindfolded, change the position of the glasses, placing one where the other one stood, and so on. Then instruct the party to dip his fingers into one of the tumblers. Having felt around, his fingers are dipped into the clear water, and thus he learns that he is to marry a beautiful rich girl. Had he dipped into the soapy water, it would have meant that he would marry a poor widow; if in the blue water, he would be a noted author; if in the empty glass, he would die a bachelor. This game is played in the same way with the girls, only, of course, changing the sex, as, for example, marrying a rich, handsome man.
_The Penknife Trick._
Before leaving the room state that while you are away any one may place a pen-knife where he may please, and without any word being spoken you will find it.
Of course you have a confederate, who remains behind and notices where the knife has been put.
When you enter, walk towards one of the corners in the room; if your confederate is looking up, you will know you are in the right corner, but if he is looking down you must try another. If you notice he is not looking up when you have tried all the corners, then walk towards the centre of the room, and between the corners; at one of these points he will raise his eyes. In this way, you will get the location. You must then diligently search, and when your confederate lets something drop on the floor you will know you are _very close_ to the penknife. Sometimes it is in a person’s pocket; for that reason watch just the moment when your friend has given you the clue. Possibly your hand may be on some one’s shoulder; this would indicate to search that person.
A girl must take a ball of rose-colored worsted and toss it out in the garden as far as she can. She must be careful, however, not to lose hold of the end of the worsted. Then she should walk up and down the parlor or piazza, winding the worsted up; as she walks she sings,
Who holds my thread? Who holds my clue? For he loves me and I him too.
All of a sudden, if the game is properly played, the worsted will refuse to come. If the worsted breaks in her exertion to wind it, she will never marry; but she should keep firm hold and wind slowly, and in time will thus surely reach the person who has caught the other end. This individual is to be her future husband. Generally the “husband” part is a trick, for some one will hold the worsted that she would never marry; for example, a boy many years her junior, or her old grandfather, or brother. This game being played for the same reason as many another, “only for fun.”
_The Fortune Apple._
On several pieces of wood, thin as paper, write, in ink or paint, girls’ names. Slip each name into an apple. This set will do for the boys; make similar ones for the girls. Fill three portable tubs with water, and set an even number of apples floating in each tub. Fasten the arms of three boys securely back, and cover them entirely with water-proof cloaks. Lead each boy to a tub and ask him to repeat distinctly,
Witches and wizards and birds of the air, Goblins and brownies, all lend me your care, Now to choose wisely for once and for all, And ever your names in praise loudly I’ll call.
Then each boy must put his head down and try to catch in his teeth an apple. In it he’ll find the name of one of the girls present, and she will be his fate. If the name is a strange one, there will even then be teasing enough for him. After the boys have all tried the game, then it is time for the girls.
Lead a girl up to a tub and blindfold her; lead her around while she repeats the rhyme, and with the words “loudly I call,” she must bend down and try to catch in one hand an apple or, if she prefers, she may try to spear an apple with a fork. If the latter way, only one drop of the fork will be allowed. If it sticks far enough in an apple not to fall altogether, her fate is sure.
This is one of the large number of trick games, and like all the others it is very easy when you know how. It is played by two people, both of whom understand the trick, and it should be the effort of the company to discover as soon as is possible what that trick is. When the trick is discovered the game is simple. To prove that you know it, you should take the place of one of the players. If the game then goes on satisfactorily you are out, but the others remain in until they either give up or learn the secret also.
The money-maker leaves the room and on his return his confederate will ask him questions. His answer will prove to the company that he understands which business, trade or profession they have decided he must enter in order to make money.
The secret is easy to discover if you are on the alert; it is the first business named after a question which has commenced with the letter O or which contains the exclamation oh! Example:
The company have decided that the one who has left the room must be a publisher.
“Will you be an organ grinder?”
“No, I thank you.”
“Will you be a physician?”
“I would not like night work.”
“How would you like farming?”
“Not at all.”
“Oh, I know! you’d like to be a tailor.”
“But I know I wouldn’t.”
“Well, will you be a publisher?”
“Just the thing.”
_The Yule Log._
Young people should costume themselves in grotesque apparel. They may be Twelfth Night characters, Viola, Olivia, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Sir Toby, Sebastian, sea-captains, lords, priests, officers, musicians, etc., or assume any disguise indicative of Christmas.
Early in the evening, several of the company should disappear, but with great hilarity return, drawing in the Yule log. This is nothing more or less than a rugged log. Knotted at each end with long strong ropes, by which it is pulled. As the young people draw it they should sing,
Welcome be ye that are here, Welcome all and make good cheer; Welcome all another year, Welcome Yule.
This verse should be sung over and over until the Yule log lies on the hearthstone.
Two people, each wearing interesting costume, and with masked faces, walk in, rolling before them on a wheelbarrow an enormous pie. It is made after the fashion of a Jack Horner pie, being in a deep dish covered with diamond-dusted white paper, with tiny ribbons exposed.
The first performance is to roll the pie all around the room, and then to the centre, where they will sing,
Who’ll have a bird from this Christmas pie? Whoever guesses me may answer I.
For a few minutes all the company keep quite still, then the guessing commences; when the correct names are mentioned, the couple unmask, and at once the correct guesser draws a ribbon. He will find on the end of it a candy bird,—perhaps a robin redbreast made of candy and stuffed with sugarplums. As soon as the bird is drawn, one of the parties who has rolled in the wheelbarrow imitates a bird-song on a harmonica. This is easily effected without discovery, as everybody’s attention is directed to what has been drawn.
A catchy tableau series would be Mother Goose and her children celebrating Christmas.
_Tableau First._—Mother Goose in her tall, cone-shaped hat, riding on an enormous goose. Copy her and all the other costumes from Mother Goose’s book.
_Tableau Second._—Her children faithfully charactered. Little Jack Horner should be sitting in a corner, eating his Christmas pie. The King in his parlor should be dressed to represent a king. Simple Simon should meet a pieman going to the fair, etc.
_Tableau Third._—A sleeping apartment, Mother Goose and her family in bed. Great prominence must be shown to Mother Goose, whose bed is in front, and near her some of her more notable children. This scene may be readily arranged by putting small cots on the stage; the children can lie down dressed, the coverlets hiding their clothing. Near each bed put that which would indicate their character, as example, the big pie for the pieman.
_Tableau Fourth._—Santa Claus at home about time to start. Interior of a room, simply packed with all sorts of hobby-horses, dolls—big and little, dressed and undressed—musical birds, woolly sheep, sleighs, drums, tenpins, everything in the toy line that could be imagined or described; while in a large easy-chair before the lighted grate-fire sits old Santa himself, as gray-bearded, fat, and jolly as ever.
_Tableau Fifth._—Little Bo-Peep fell fast asleep and dreamed—
Show Santa Claus again, this time out-of-doors, on his sled drawn by swift reindeer; but the reindeer have stopped, for Bo-Peep stands before them, her shepherd’s crook leaning over her shoulder, her sheep all around, and they, as also Bo-Peep, gazing at the presents—sled, Santa Claus’s pack, at hat, beard, miniature tree, full stockings, and all. Bo-Peep wears a regular shepherdess costume, the sheep are toy sheep on wheels. The bells should jingle loudly until Bo-Peep appears.
_Tableau Sixth._—The Christmas tree.
A large tree filled with toys; leaning against it is a ladder, which Mother Goose climbs, and then unfastens the various gifts. Her children are all grouped around the bottom, and impatiently await the arrival of their presents.
_Tableau Seventh._—The Christmas dance.
Mother Goose and her children dance around the Christmas tree. Waltz music is played; they dance once around, when the curtain is drawn.
_Tableau Eighth._—Mother Goose’s children eating their Christmas supper. A long table covered with a white cloth, and decorated with lighted candelabra, flowers, bonbons, fancy cakes, china, silver, and cut glass. All the children are seated around, Mother Goose at the head, and to her right her son Jack, then Jack’s wife, then a boy, then a girl, and so on around. Each child is in the act of eating, drinking, lifting a cup, a candy, or indicating some natural movement at a supper table; their heads should be turned as though they were in conversation.
_Tableau Ninth._—Mother Goose and her family in a well-arranged group now stand and sing a jolly good-night song. This song may be acted by those on the stage, but the singing is done by an unseen chorus.
Follow this with two tableaux, opposite in meaning.
_Tableau One._—The empty stocking. A poverty-stricken looking room—bare floor, a hard-wood chair and table (on the table stand a few pieces of cheap china), a window with a broken pane, in which a bunch of paper or canton matting is stuffed to keep out the snow; a small kerosene lamp, the light from which comes dimly. A poorly clad and as poorly fed appearing little girl; one of her thin hands rests on the table, while the other holds an empty stocking, on which the child sadly gazes.
_Tableau Two._—Bless you honey-bugs! Yo’ feels gay.
This also is a plainly furnished room, but it is trimmed with Christmas greens, a large star and tree being particularly conspicuous. There are several colored children running around, some dancing, with toys in one hand and a full stocking in the other, others taking things off a little tree, others again eating sugarplums, or striding across the bare floor in eager pursuit of a dropped cornucopia or cinnamon cake. Their dusky-faced mammies, meanwhile, laugh at them through the half-open doorway.
And thus tableau might be described after tableau. But a few hints may be helpful.
Carefully study scenic effect. “How beautiful!” is so often the exclamation regarding a well-dressed stage, even before any person appears or one word is spoken. Remember to use harmonizing colors, and to throw on different-colored lights. The latter may cost a little money, but it will repay a hundredfold. A white light changing to pink, again to yellow, rose or green, as the scenery may require. In every way catch the eye.
Remember, the tableau is but for a minute; let that minute be perfection.
Sometimes, for example, let a fountain play in the large grounds or garden. This can be easily arranged by the proper management of a hose. You can surely place a piece of oilcloth under the moss over which the water flows, and have sponges conveniently near.
Be careful to select pretty and noticeable toilettes. If you are taking the character of a queen at a drawing-room, dress as the queen, not as her maid; but should you be a maid, wear jaunty, gay attire, and do not costume yourself in a severely cut brown-cloth tailor suit.
Use all the accessories possible—music, song, recitation, as either may be given off the stage as an accompaniment to a tableau. Be sure there is no catch in the stage curtain, and that the prompter understands all his duties. Every one should be punctual at rehearsals; and the night of the entertainment all the cast should be ready thirty minutes ahead of time, as that will prevent worry and nervousness. And if everybody is calm, and understands his part, there is no question as to success.
“The Birds’ Christmas Carol” would make a pleasing tableau.
The angel greets the Virgin mild; Hail, Mary, full of grace! thy child The Son of God shall be.
This tableau represents an interior: the room has a deep frieze drapery over the mantel, before which Mary kneels on a low cushion; to her left, and considerably before her, is a large jardinière filled with ascension lilies; and directly before her is a table, on which is a roll of parchment partly unfastened. By the table stands the angel with hands outstretched towards her.
_Tableau Second._—The shepherds see the angels bright.
Scene out of doors, with shepherds in their usual costume, each shepherd holding a crook, while back of them, huddled close together, stand the herds of sheep. Before the shepherds, and a trifle to their right, is the angel, with outstretched hands, indicating the way.
_A Birthday Picnic._
A pleasant number is twenty. Ten girls and ten boys.
Be driven to the destination in large market or hay wagons made festive with flags. Each girl should bring luncheon enough for herself and one of the boys. And the boys should be responsible for the outfit for games, such as ropes, archery, grace hoops, tennis net, balls and racquets.
If you are not going to a regular picnic ground, you will require tables. Therefore borrow five cutting tables from your mothers and these can be folded and put in the bottom of the wagon, and four persons can easily sit at each. The boys can arrange the seats, which might be the wagon seats built to the requisite height by supporting each end on a pile of stones, or convenient rocks may be chosen, or take the rails from the post-and-rail fence adjoining. Only in that case, remember to put them back again.
Use plated spoons, forks, etc., so as to save worry, and Japanese napkins, which may do double duty, as they make pretty tablecloths, and there is no fuss about having to carry them home. If you take sandwiches, wrap them neatly in white tissue or waxed paper. Use thin wooden platters instead of china, and no one will be afraid of chipping them; besides they are so light, and after luncheon they, as also the napkins and tablecloths, may be burned up, if you are careful not to set the woods on fire.
You might find it pleasant to put the lunches, wraps, etc., in one wagon, and have all the picnickers in the other. Trusty drivers for both wagons will be necessary.
After the lunch is over and cleared away, games and races will be the order of the day.
But don’t forget you must be home by sundown. When all have bundled into the wagons to return, let song follow song. One of the big boys might act as director of the chorus.
_A Birthday Floral Ball._
The entire house, including the halls, should be trimmed with asparagus and Japanese lanterns. From the drawing-room ceilings suspend inverted cones of asparagus, and as pendants from these fasten Japanese lanterns. String evergreens around the stair banisters and halls. Indeed, make of your house, including the dining-room, a sort of fairy bower, on which the Japanese lanterns at happy intervals, cast light and color.
The orchestra should be hidden in a tiny forest, and their music should be jolly, light and pretty. Among the numbers have the “Dance of the Flowers,” by Tschaikowsky. Follow this with several flower dances. Example, “The Sweet Peas Waltz.” The girls’ costume should be white tarletan, effectively trimmed with sweet peas. The boys should have sweet pea boutonnières.
The Pansy Cotillion. For this dance wear crêpe lisse, tarletan,—indeed any flimsy material you choose, but it must be of one of the pansy colors; and as the pansy has so many shades of brown, yellow, purple, deep rose, etc., the variety which would mingle, as the several figures are given, would result in a kaleidoscopic effect of color and beauty.
Perhaps a few solo dances could be arranged. If so have a Cowslip dance, when the little maiden should be frocked in pale yellow, or the Heliotrope, with a frock of lilacs. Another might dance the Forget-me-not, and wear a gown of blue.
While still another dance might be termed the Water-Lily, which would necessitate a frock of white and gold, as the blue and pink water-lilies are comparatively rare. Whichever flower is represented should be worn, either on the hair or dress.
Then should come the Wild Flower Minuet when daisies, buttercups, clover, chicory, violets, honeysuckle, and other wild flowers could vie with each other in the stately graceful movements. Follow the minuet with the Butterfly promenade and dance. In this a large number should engage, as it is quite proper there should be butterflies flitting from flower to flower. Any dance may be appropriated to the butterflies, but they should select their own partners from any of the flowers they please. The butterflies will wear almost as many colors as the pansies, and silver, gold or other butterflies should be fastened on the shoulders or on other parts of their costume.
_A Birthday Matinée._
The afternoon may be made perfectly fascinating by giving a birthday matinée. A young lady should costume herself as Little Buttercup of _Pinafore_ fame. Wear a large hat, grotesquely ornamented, short parti-colored skirts, and above all things carry a well-filled market basket. She should sing Little Buttercup’s song, and also act and dance. As the whole thing is a burlesque, it need not be correctly done, only be sure to get some graceful girl to take the part, and one who will bring out the laughter by her bits of humor here and there. If the party is for children, the basket should contain inexpensive toys, and when singing, “I’ve ribbons and laces, to set off your faces,” waltz up to a group of children and distribute the toys. Continue this when singing the chorus, as also during the playing of the interludes, until each child has a gift. Should the party be for older people, instead of toys give suggestive presents. Example, a whip to a horsewoman, or a tiny pair of oars to a rower. The music is from the opera _Pinafore_ and can be purchased or mailed from almost any bookstore. When people are through laughing over this part of the programme, tell them that confectioners’ buttercups are hidden in the drawing-room, library and hall; that they are in three colors,—violet, white, and pink,—and that all of the guests are expected to hunt for them; that a bell will be rung as a signal to commence the hunt, and in like manner to close it; that five minutes time will be allowed. Three prizes will be awarded; the first to be given to the finder of the most pink buttercups, the second to the one finding the greatest number of buttercups adding all the colors together, the third to the one finding the fewest. Should any one be so unfortunate as not to find any, his penalty will be to pay a forfeit. If this individual is a musician, his forfeit should be a song or an instrumental solo, or should he be a recitationist, he must read or recite, if neither of these, require him to put himself through a key-hole. This is done by writing the word “himself” on a small piece of paper, rolling it over until still smaller and slipping it through the key-hole. You will require two pounds of buttercups, dividing that amount in the colors mentioned. Roll each candy separately in tissue paper, corresponding in color, and hide with care. If for a children’s party, place _bric-à-brac_ and all breakable articles beyond their reach, and direct the little people so as to avoid accidents.
Group the children so that they look pretty. They could wear green clothes to represent stalk and leaves, and have large, colored-paper petals fastened to their waists, and with wire shaped and bent upward they would look like veritable tulips. Then a few others could, in a previous tableau, show the act of planting tulip bulbs and watering some growing tulips.
Eight girls and boys should be dressed in Knickerbocker attire, and stand as if ready for the first figure of the Cotillon.
This tableau should be set in a drawing-room.
_Flitting Fairies and Butterflies._
Gay music is heard and in come the fairies dancing, followed by a train of dancing butterflies, costumed in red, yellow, and white.
The wings may be of tinted crêpe paper or tarletan held in place by stiff wire.
The fairies should wear short fluffy gowns of airy gossamer, heavily covered with spangles and diamond dust. With each movement they must glimmer and glisten.
The scene may be set in any pretty drawing room, but more properly with a background of palms and potted plants.
METHODS OF CHOOSING PARTNERS.
Pass baskets of flowers to the ladies. Enough bunches have been prepared and laid in the baskets for each one of the ladies. On a tray are bunches of leaves and vines; pass these to the men.
The leaves will match the flowers, as a bunch of pansies will have a corresponding bunch of pansy leaves, a bunch of lilies of the valley its bunch of lily leaves, etc., etc. Where roses are used, a bud matching the rose may be put with the leaves, or better, the ribbon tying a bunch of rose leaves, might match the rose it is supposed to go with. Of course, the pansy-leaf man will hunt out the lady with pansies; and the lily-leaf man, the maid with the lilies.
Take bristol-board and cut it in small pieces, the size and shape of large rose petals. Tint these pink with a bit of yellow on the narrow end, where the petal is supposed to have left the rose. Write in gilt paint on each of them a word, any noun, verb, adjective, etc. Then bend and twist in the fingers until they look like veritable Katherine Mermet or La France petals. Have enough so that each girl invited may have one.
Take more bristol-board and make deep red petals; on these write with gilt paint a part of speech, noun, verb, adverb, etc. Make enough to supply each man.
These at the time of entertainment should be passed just before you wish the partners chosen. Then the man whose petal reads _adverb_ will seek among the pink-petaled girls until he finds an adverb.
Of course, in a large company there will be several nouns and several adverbs. But the noun man will of course offer his arm to the first pink noun he finds. Be sure to have the petals match. If you must have five red petals reading _verb_, be sure to have an equal number of pink verb petals, e. g. pink petals reading _play_, _dance_, _sing_, _run_, _talk_.
Have two baskets, one knotted with pink ribbon and the other with red. These baskets should each contain paper hearts, about three inches long, and wide in proportion. The hearts may be suspended by means of narrow pink satin ribbons, and each heart is slightly decorated with water-color paints. In the same basket no two hearts are alike, but their duplicates are found in the other basket. When the duplicates are found, partners are decided.
* * * * *
Have two bags of walnuts. One is to be passed to the girls, the other to the boys. To each walnut a tiny slip of paper has been glued, on which half of a familiar quotation is written. One half of the quotations are in the girls’ bag, the other half in the boys.’ The girls’ bag is passed first. When the boy is able to complete his quotation, he discovers his partner.
* * * * *
When an equal number of boys and girls are present, for example, ten each, mark ten slips of paper according to the numerals, 1, 2, and so on. Then throw them into a bag and jostle them together. After which pass to the girls. They should each draw one paper.
When the girls have drawn, offer slips of paper in the same manner to the boys, who will draw likewise. Corresponding numbers are partners.
TANGLES AND FORFEITS.
1. When I go gunning I’m very bright. And it’s my delight To keep good sight. When I go fishing I like to hook, And when I sift A pretty book, I help our seamstress and our cook, Then all around the room I look And think of all I’ve undertook.
I’m beating America, So folks say, As through the air My horses tear, And snap, snap, snap, I cannot hold them back.
Black and sweeping, Swimming and weeping, So wet, so tender, Sometimes the scorning of’t Others the sorrow of’t, Lifting so joyfully, Drooping so coyly.
2. My first shouts freely in, My second’s a pretty letter, My third a valiant instrument. But my fourth, alas, Just has to pass, As wound and scar, From beauty’s law it doth debar, For it doth seal and hurt and mar.
3. My first comes over the sea, And delicious it is to me, My second of use to draw, And of variety score upon score, My whole has letters six, And while the clock ticks, ticks, I am sure you’ll guess my name, For I’ve told you very plain.
4. I am a word of five letters, And a torment to my betters, My first and last are alike they say, My second and fourth the same trick play. My three middle letters Come every one’s way And make a brief stay, On all alike, Just before night.
1. Cover no sin. 2. Tim N. may gain. 3. Go nurse. 4. Train on time. 5. Claim a part, G. 6. A mad girl. 7. ’Tis veteran Mylo, D. 8. A rude song. 9. Any one can. 10. Thomas rap again.
1. My first is in saddle, but not in pony; My second is in spaghetti, but not macaroni; My third is in water, but not in sand; My fourth is in Indian, but not in command; My fifth is in plank, but not in board; My sixth is in saving, but not in hoard; My seventh is in make, but not in lose; My eighth is in gaiters, but not in shoes; My ninth is in candle, but not in light; My tenth is in horses, but not in bite; My eleventh is in inch, but not in measure; My twelfth is in satin, but not in treasure; My thirteenth is in coke, but not in ton. My whole is a useful invention.
2. My first is in silent, but not in loud; My second is in alone, but not in crowd; My third is in example, but not in talk; My fourth is in buying, but not in bought; My fifth is in fancy, but not in reality; My sixth is in brains, but not in vanity; My seventh is in angels, but not in ghosts; My eighth is in goodness, but not in hoax; My ninth is in religion, but not in cant. My whole is the name of a useful plant.
3. My first is in lamb, but not in beef; My second is in mouth, but not in teeth; My third is in Neptune, but not in sea; My fourth is in steward, but not in me; My fifth is in slow, but not in fast; My sixth is in never, but not in last. My whole is a great city.
4. In house not in lawn, In take not in form, In lark not in sky, In toil not in try, In borrow not in lend, In tatters not in mend, In draught not in buy, In loaf not in pie, In page not in book, In novel not in took. My whole is a flower.
1. I am composed of five letters. My 3, 2, 5, shows hindrance. My 4, 1, a part of speech. My whole is a Spartan title.
2. I am composed of twenty-seven letters. My 20, 16, 17, is a condition of atmosphere. My 14, 13, 26, 18, was a rich woman. My 1, 9, 25, 11, 10, is indicative of knowledge. My 6, 23, 24, 22, relative to curvature. My 8, 3, 4, 12, shows docility. My 19, 15, 7, 21, is a girl’s name. My 2, 27,—5, Insert a letter in the blank space and you’ll have the end. My whole is a proverb.
3. I am composed of nine letters. My 4, 2, 6, 5, is a space. My 3, 8, 1, is a quick inclination. My 7, 9, with one of the letters doubled indicates comfort. My whole is a flower.
4. I am composed of eight letters. My 7, 4, 5, 3, is a kind of skin. My 6, 2, 8, represents a number. My 1 is a part of speech. My whole is an animal.
1. Behead a stream of water, and leave a bird like a crow, behead a carpenter’s tool and leave a passage, behead a section of a carriage and leave the hind part of a section of the body, behead an edible fish and leave a multitude.
2. Behead a supplication and leave light, behead a short time and leave a hide, behead a covering and leave relations, behead a relative and leave something different.
3. Behead a wading bird and leave a wooer, behead to charge and leave one that is unsound, behead a dance and leave a fish, behead an officer and leave a verb.
4. Behead a weapon of war and leave a fruit, behead an ensign and leave a unit, behead a low, flat-built vessel, and leave a narrow passage, behead a ruminating animal and leave a plant and its seed.
1. -h- w-s -u-h -u-e -o -o-z? 2. -h- w-l-e- o- e-r-h, -h- t-l-e- o- e-r-h, -h- r-b-k-d - m-n -o- s-n; -h-’s -o- o- e-r-h, -h-’s -o- i- h-a-e-, -o- l-k-l- t- g-t -n. 3. -h- d-d -d-m -i-e -h- a-p-e -v- g-v- h-m? 4. -h-t -i- a-a- f-r-t -e- i- t-e -a-d-n -f -d-n? 5. -h- a-e -d-m -n- e-e -n -n-m-l- i- g-a-m-r? 6. -o- d-d -o-h -r-s- h-s -a-r -n -h- a-k?
1. M-K- H-Y -H-L- T-E -U- S-I-E-. 2. -a-l- -o -e- -n- -a-l- -o -i-e, -a-e- -e- -e-l-h-, -e-l-h-, -n- -i-e. 3. -o -o -h- -n- -ho- -luggar-, -onside- -e- -ay- -n- -e -is-. 4. -i-t-e -l-n- i- h-p-i-e-s -e-o-.
OPENING LINES OF FAMILIAR SONG.
1. Ho odtn’ uyo eeerrmmb twese eclai ebblton, Etswe claei ihwt iahr os rnbwo; Esh pwte tiwh gdtheil hwne uoy aevg ehr a eimls Dan lteredmb hiwt aefr ta uyro wrfno.
2. Hte peehtnla own esog urdon, Eht dnba gsiben ot aypl, Teh ybso aer daunor hte ykmeno gcea, U’oyd treebt ekpe ywaa.
3. I aeddr eht yad u’yllo gftore em grreeiamtu Nda lilst i okwn ti oosn lwli ecmo, Het iteesvf aecdn, eht ihcr teh yga, Os fetfrdnei rmof rou emho umeegairrt.
ANSWERS TO CHARADES, ANAGRAMS, ETC.
1. Eyelash. 2. Independent. 3. Teapot. 4. Level.
1. Conversion. 2. Magnanimity. 3. Surgeon. 4. Termination. 5. Pragmatical. 6. Madrigal. 7. Demonstratively. 8. Dangerous. 9. Annoyance. 10. Phantasmagoria.
1. Sewing-machine. 2. Saxifrage. 3. London. 4. Heliotrope.
1. Helot. 2. A soft answer turneth away wrath. 3. Dandelion. 4. Antelope.
1. Brook, rook; 2, plane, lane; 3, wheel, heel, trout, rout. 2. Pray, ray; 2, spell, pell; 3, skin, kin; 4, mother, other. 3. 1, plover, lover; 2, blame, lame; 3, reel, eel; 4, mate, ate. 4. 1. Spear, pear. 2. Mace, ace. 3. Galley, alley. 4. Goats, oats.
_Drop Letter Riddles._
1. Why was Ruth rude to Boaz? Because she trod on his corns, and pulled his ears. 2. She walked on earth, She talked on earth, She rebuked a man for sin; She’s not on earth, She’s not in heaven, Nor likely to get in. Balaam’s Ass.
3. Why did Adam bite the apple Eve gave him? Because he had no knife.
4. What did Adam first set in the Garden of Eden? His foot.
5. Why are Adam and Eve an anomaly in grammar? Because they are two relatives without an antecedent.
6. How did Noah dress his hair in the Ark? With the fox’s brush and the cock’s comb.
_Drop Letter Puzzles._
1. Make hay while the sun shines. 2. Early to bed and early to rise, makes men healthy, wealthy, and wise. 3. Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise. 4. Virtue alone is happiness below.
_The Opening Lines of Familiar Songs._
1. “Oh! don’t you remember sweet Alice, Ben Bolt, Sweet Alice, with hair so brown; She wept with delight when you gave her a smile, And trembled with fear at your frown.”
2. “The elephant now goes round, The band begins to play, The boys are around the monkey cage, You’d better keep away.”
3. “I dread the day you’ll forget me, Marguerite, And still I know it soon will come. The festive dance, the rich, the gay, So different from our home, Marguerite.”
The exacting of forfeits for tardiness or failure in the playing of games will usually lead to as much amusement as the games themselves.
Those who subject themselves to forfeiture may give a trivial article just as satisfactorily as an expensive one, or they may simply write their names on a slip of paper, and hand that to the person in charge. Each player is bound to redeem his name.
At the conclusion of the game the host, or any individual he may appoint (provided that person has no forfeits), collects all and puts them out of sight of the audience, and commencing with the one at his right, he takes the players in turn.
That party now sits down and the one in charge holding over his head one of the trinkets or whatever the object may be, says: “What a jolly thing! What a smart, pretty thing! What will the owner do?”
The party in the chair inquires, “Does it belong to a lady, or to a gentleman?” He is at once answered correctly and then responds by advising a difficult or ridiculous performance. The individual who owns the forfeit must now perform what has been advised. As soon as the party has redeemed his pledge, another forfeit is redeemed after the same method, and so on, one by one, until all articles are returned to their owners. Each forfeit is naturally redeemed amid peals of laughter.
The following may prove helpful to those who have to declare penalties.
1. Fold a piece of note-paper in the shape of a fish.
2. Say, Quizzical Quiz, sister Smith, five times running without drawing a breath.
3. Count twenty backwards without smiling.
4. Mention five synonyms for the word, Jabber.
(Chatter, gabble, mumble, prate, prattle.)
5. Repeat three times without a mistake:—
David Daldron dreamed he drove a dragon, Did David Daldron dream he drove a dragon? If David Daldron dreamed he drove a dragon, Where’s the dragon David Daldron dreamed he drove?
6. Repeat the following lines twice,
Oliver Ogilvie ogled an olive and oyster, Did Oliver Ogilvie ogle an olive and oyster? If Oliver Ogilvie ogled an olive and oyster Where is the olive and oyster Oliver Ogilvie ogled?
7. Touch the features while you solemnly recite,
Here sits the Lord Mayor, forehead. Here sit his two men, eyes. Here sits the cock, right cheek. Here sits the hen, left cheek. Here sits the little chickens, tip of nose. Here they run in, the mouth. Chinchopper, chinchopper, chinchopper, chin! Chuck the chin.
8. Repeat the alphabet similar to example.
A was an archer, and shot at a frog, B was a butcher, and had a great dog. C was a captain, all covered with lace, D was a dunce with a very sad face. E was an esquire, with pride on his brow, F was a farmer and followed the plow. G was a gamester who had but ill luck, H was a hunter and hunted a buck. I was an innkeeper, who lov’d to house, J was a joiner, and built up a house. K was a king, so mighty and grand, L was a lady who had a white hand. M was a miser who hoarded up gold, N was a nobleman, gallant and bold. O was an oysterman, and went about town, P was a parson, and wore a black gown. Q was a quack with a wonderful pill, R was a robber, who wanted to kill. S was a sailor, and spent all he got, T was a tinker, and mended a pot. U was a usurer, a miserable elf, V was a vintner, who drank all himself. W was a watchman and guarded the door, X was expensive, and so became poor. Y was a youth, that did not love school, Z was a Zan, a poor, harmless fool.
9. Sing to the tune of “Oats, Pease, Beans and Barley grows.”
Tom he was a piper’s son, He learned to play when he was young; But all the tune that he could play, Was “Over the hills and far away.” Now Tom with his pipe made such a noise, That he pleased both the girls and the boys, And they all stopped to hear him play Over the hills and far away. Tom with his pipe did play with such skill, That those who heard him could never stand still; Whenever they heard him they began to dance, Even pigs on their hind legs would after him prance. He met old Dame Trot with a basket of eggs, He used his pipe and she used her legs; She danced about till the eggs were all broke, She began to fret, but he laughed at the joke. He saw a cross fellow was beating an ass, Heavy laden with pots, pans, dishes and glass; He took out his pipe and played them a tune, And the jackass’s load was lightened full soon.
10. Blow out a candle.
The candle is rapidly flashed before the person to blow it out. If passed to and fro quick enough, it will afford much laughter before it is blown out.
11. Stand on a chair and do just as you are bidden without laughing.
12. Put a cord on the floor where you cannot step over it.
(Put it against the wall.)
13. Put two chairs back to back and take off your shoes and jump over them.
This is only a trick, you take off your shoes and jump over _them_, not over the chairs.
14. Act the part of a dumb servant. If it is a lady who is redeeming the forfeit, she must apply to a gentleman for a place, and if a gentleman, he applies to a lady. Whoever is engaging the servant asks seven questions, all of which are answered by dumb motions. Example: How do you dust? How do you sew? How do you open the hall door? How do you blacken boots? etc.
15. Ask a question that cannot be answered in the negative.
(The question is “What does Y E S spell?”)
16. Give a conundrum unfamiliar to all.
17. Dot and carry one.
(Hold your ankle while you walk across the room.)
18. Imitate a banjo player.
19. Dance a blind lanciers.
(Try this when a number of forfeits have to be redeemed. Eight people are blindfolded and led to position. Another of the company plays the lanciers. As those who are blindfolded will surely make ridiculous errors, everybody will heartily laugh. This forfeit creates much merriment.)
20. Make a three-minute address, in which every word commences with the same letter.
21. Tell who wrote the Star Spangled Banner.
(Francis Scott Key.)
22. Tell who wrote Home Sweet Home.
(John Howard Payne.)
23. Tell who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
(Julia Ward Howe.)
24. Walk out of the room with two legs but walk back with six.
(When you return, bring a chair with you.)
25. Give numerical poetry.
Any verse that is familiar counting as example:
Shuffle-Shoon (one) and (two) Amber-Locks (three) Sit (four) together (five) building (six) blocks (seven) Shuffle-Shoon (eight) is (nine) old (ten) and (eleven) gray (twelve) Amber-Locks (thirteen) a (fourteen) little (fifteen) child (sixteen) But (seventeen) together (eighteen) at (nineteen) their (twenty) play (twenty-one) Age (twenty-two) and (twenty-three) youth (twenty-four) are (twenty-five) reconciled (twenty-six) And (twenty-seven) with (twenty-eight) sympathetic (twenty-nine) glee (thirty) Build (thirty-one) their (thirty-two) castles (thirty-three) fair (thirty-four) to (thirty-five) see (thirty-six).
26. Spread out a newspaper and stand two persons on it, so that they cannot possibly touch each other.
(To accomplish this put the newspaper on the floor, half on one side of the door, and half on the other. A person stands on each piece, and the door is shut between them.)
27. Sing one of the topical songs.
28. Sing the scale backwards.
29. Draw a picture of a bicycle race.
30. Build a house with cards.
31. Sew a hem.
32. Repeat rapidly either of the following tongue twisters.
Susan shineth shoes and socks; socks and shoes shines Susan. She ceaseth shining shoes and socks, for shoes and socks shock Susan.
Strict, strong Stephen Stringer snared six sickly silky snakes.
Swan swam over the sea; swim, swan, swim; swan swam back again; well swum swan.
Six thick thistle sticks.
Flesh of freshly fried flying fish.
Give Grimes Jim’s great gilt gig whip.
IN THE ADIRONDACKS.
It was the last week of July, and the guests of a certain hotel, located amidst the pine and balsam of the famed Adirondack wilderness, were thrown into a flutter of excitement.
It had been steadily raining for three days and nights, and now that the fourth day was nearing its close a golden light appeared in the west. The mirror-like surface of the lake before the hotel rapidly revealed the many shades of crimson red and deep gold, while fleecy clouds of pink and white merged into deeper tints.
Every one was on the piazza, called there by an enthusiast to witness the beauty of it all. Every face smiled because the long storm was over at last, and there seemed a promise of radiant sunshine for to-morrow.
Suddenly a voice from the north piazza called to a young gentleman who had been walking about with a rather dissatisfied air, “I hear wheels. Now for the excitement of an arrival.”
It was only the waiting of a few moments, and two bay horses, much bespattered with mud and mire, drew the heavily built two-seated surrey to the hotel steps.
Guests stood about by twos and threes, most of them with half-averted faces, not willing to openly show the inquisitive feeling that each possessed. However, many furtive glances were cast. Perhaps among the most searching, were those given by the dissatisfied young man.
“Permit me, madam.” It was the proprietor’s voice, as he aided a tall, fair-skinned, stern and aristocratic-looking matron to alight, assisting her meanwhile to unfasten her travelling cloak, which had caught on a nail in the end of a seat. The lady slowly remarked, as her feet touched the horse block. “That nail has been rather too much in evidence.”
By the matron’s side a young lady had sat. This fact had been observed by all the guests, before they had turned their heads away, and now that she too had left the carriage, her golden hair and soft hazel eyes were mentally remarked, as also her graceful carriage and elegant tailor-made gown.
The proprietor, lifting one of the hand-satchels, leaving the umbrellas and other small luggage for the porter, led the way to the office.
Then they hastily entered, and a few minutes later walked through the dimly-lighted corridor, for it was not yet dark enough to illuminate.
“I reckon that girl has never been in the woods before,” said the dissatisfied man to his friend. For now, side by side, he and a young fellow about thirty strode slowly up and down, exchanging confidences and chatting in a desultory fashion.
“She does not seem to the manner born, that’s a fact,” said the other, “but she’s an interesting type, and probably an addition to our house party.” He turned an interested face towards his friend and said: “There’s far more the flavor of Narragansett Pier or Bar Harbor about her than of the woods, or she may have come from Saratoga. We’ll not have to wait long to see, or I’m not a correct judge, but her mother may prove a formidable chaperon.”
The mother and daughter, for their relationship was at once identified, some one having accommodatingly referred to the register, and reported information to the others, were not long in reappearing, and the young men, still walking back and forth, were not surprised to discover that their prediction was correct.
“Maud, dear, how shall you exist here?” were the half-petulant words overheard as the mother languidly seated herself.
“It will not be Saratoga, I confess. But isn’t that lake enchanting?” The girl’s face was very fair and bewitchingly amiable.
“Yes, it is pretty. But shall you ever forget our trip to this hotel? Such roads!”
Maud met her mother’s questioning eyes, then noting a middle-aged woman approaching them, with face full of kindly greeting, waited.
“You are strangers,” were this lady’s first words, adding as she reached forth her hand: “I fear you will feel lonely and tired, after the long drive.”
The mother at once extended her hand. Then the lady asked the girl, “Have you ever been in the woods before?”
“Never, and my mother fears I shall not like it. It did seem lonely, the last drive through the pines,” and the sensitive mouth quivered ever so slightly, as she explained. “The drive up was so long, the roads so thickly wooded, and here,” with a half-frightened glance about, as though she feared a fox or a bear would cross the walk before her, “you have only the lake.”
Without a word the lady laughed merrily, but hastily checked herself. “I promise you that if you will only join in our sports you will find that there is much here besides the lake. Though,” coyly scanning her, “the lake has its amusements, fishing, boating. Oh, the gentlemen here will be delighted to introduce you to it.”
Maud’s mother looked both surprised and confused. The lady continued, as though she noted her not. “You will find the camps about the lake quite as entertaining as Saratoga’s Floral Fête, or indeed any fashionable watering-place amusement.”
“Camps? I don’t quite understand,” Maud’s mother remarked, with a touch of bitterness in her tone, for the darkening wood about, now that night was coming fast, made her slow to relent. It was strange she had chosen to come to such a spot.
“I think one has to visit these camps to understand,” the lady explained. “But you will always find them hospitable, furnishing afternoon tea every day you care to call. And some days there are special _fêtes_, full of pleasant surprises, when amusements such as the thimble game and proverbs are played, at which prizes are sometimes offered as an added incentive. Last season the hostess of one of the camps gave a children’s party. There happened to be a few here that year, for children are a rarity in the Adirondacks. Of course their parents, uncles, aunts and cousins came, too. That entertainment has been talked about ever since. The party opened with the wild flower hunt. Small bouquets had been hidden among the balsam boughs, low enough for the little ones to reach; others were behind bushes or rocks. These bouquets were made up of clover, daisies and wild roses. Whichever child found the most wild roses received a prize.
“This amusement was followed by the hunt for Cinderella’s Slipper. The successful one at this game also received a prize. After this, the hostess invited all the children into the balsam-covered lean-to, and told them a story about the old man of Humbug Mountain. Humbug Mountain towers just behind, you notice the tallest mountain over there, don’t you?” and the lady motioned to the left, as they faced the lake.
“Yes, but what has reddened the trees so? Why, mother, did you ever see anything as beautiful?” and while pronouncing the word “beautiful,” Maud’s countenance was full of delight.
“That is the afterglow,” the lady replied, but not waiting for further remark, she continued: “I was telling you about the old man of Humbug Mountain. The hostess explained to the children that sometimes he visited her camp, and when he did so he whistled, and that if he should whistle that afternoon, she would take the children back of the lean-to to see him. At that very moment a whistle clear and shrill was heard, and the children, already enamoured with the story, could scarcely be sufficiently restrained to allow the hostess to proceed. When the laughing, curious children ran behind the lean-to, sure enough, as had been promised, there was an old man. He was standing on a table. It was a dwarf skilfully arranged by two people.”
“Oh that was it?” Maud interrupted, for she had listened intently, and was apparently as eager to discover the identity of the old man of Humbug Mountain, as had been the children of the party, and then she added: “I happen to know about that, for I was part of a dwarf once,” and with a wise little shake of her head explained, “It is arranged by two people.”
“Yes, and is it not capital?”
“Fine, when it is well done,” and Maud who was already feeling at home with her companion, added: “And of course the dwarf from the mountain would be well done.”
“Indeed he was. He told short, witty stories, laughed, danced and capered to the children’s great delight. They would clap their hands for joy. It was a rare sight for the grown-ups to watch the color come and go in their expressive faces, their fluffy curls and tangle of waves and braids tumbling about as the little girls shook with laughter, and some of the boys were even more amusing than the girls, because they looked so earnest, even solemn, in their efforts to find an explanation for the old man. One little chap said he would get his father to carry his rifle now all the time, because they might meet the old man sometimes when he wouldn’t feel as jolly, and what then? In fact he was about certain he had seen the old man one day stealing away behind a big stump, and even some of the children laughed when he explained: ‘It was the very same day, that I almost saw a black bear. I could hear him growl. I tell you I ran! Like as not there was a fox too, or a wild cat?”
“Well, after the dwarf exhibition, there were refreshments at which the children toasted marshmallows and popped corn.”
“Why, after all, Maud,” said her mother, thawing out suddenly, “I fancy you may like it here. There seem to be things going on.”
“_Like_ it,” quoted the lady. “No one ever wants to go home when she once gets a taste of Adirondack life. It is like the hounds following the deer. People take to the woods.”
Suddenly there sounded through the hall the first measures of an orchestra.
“The music has begun, and I must dress,” said Miss Friend-in-Need, noting the questioning glance between mother and daughter. “That music is a signal to-night. A few of us give a part of the Midsummer Night’s Dream this evening, in the parlor, and we are to costume ourselves as far as possible before supper.
“What fun we’ve had getting the affair up! You may not know that it has simply poured here for days and days, but we’ve laughed until we’ve cried at our rehearsals, and so have scarcely been troubled by rain.
“You’ll surely come to the first and last performance of this wonderful company, will you not?” and walking away, the lady looked over her shoulder for an answer. And having won a reply in the affirmative, the lady rapidly hurried to her room.
After supper, as Maud’s mother took her seat, to which she was shown by a young man acting as usher, she noticed the parlor had been lavishly trimmed with boughs of green. There was also a tiny wood adjoining the stage, made of small balsam trees.
“I suppose,” she remarked to her daughter, “they went out between the drops and gathered them.” And then both ladies interestedly noticed the guests, as one after the other, with an air of expectancy, entered.
Programmes were passed and eagerly scanned.
It was indeed a gala night. Had Maud and her mother known the various performers, it would have greatly added to their entertainment, but as it was, they could not help adding their applause to that of the others. Even though Maud was a stranger, the joyous shouts of laughter proved too contagious to be altogether resisted, and indeed before the performance was over, close contact with these merry people made Maud feel as though she was one of them, so quickly does one touch of nature make the whole world kin.
As the programme indicated the different characters, they were carefully read, and many ejaculations were overheard, such as: “Oh, that’s Isabel’s character,” and “Why, Carl Adams will be a sight, he’s such a swell, you know. How did such an exquisite ever consent to humble himself in this way?”
To Maud and her mother, however, all were strangers, with the one exception of the proprietor of the hotel, but they very soon learned the names of the people about them. Besides, as Maud’s mother very truly said, “Without it I am not positive that I could remember who the different ones are in the piece, as it is a long time since I have read the Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Therefore, while waiting for the first scene, they read:
THESEUS, Duke of Athens, _Proprietor of the hotel_.
EGEUS, Father to Hermia, _Mr. A——_.
LYSANDER, } DEMETRIUS,} in love with Hermia, _Mr. C—— and Mr. H——_.
PHILOSTRATE, Master of the revels to Theseus, _Mr. T——_.
QUINCE, a carpenter, _Master Carl Adams_.
SNUG, a joiner, _Master John Jones_.
BOTTOM, a weaver, _Mr. Sam S——_.
FLUTE, a bellows-mender, _Mr. Ralph R——_.
SNOUT, a tinker, _Master Diedrick Delk_.
STARVELING, a tailor, _Mr. Percy P——_.
HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus, _Miss Genevieve B——_.
HERMIA, daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander, _Mrs. Ralph R——_.
HELENA, in love with Demetrius, _Mrs. Sam S——_.
OBERON, King of the fairies, _Mr. James D——_.
TITANIA, Queen of the fairies, _Miss Isabel M——_.
PUCK, or Robin Goodfellow, _Master Alexander Marvin_.
PEASEBLOSSOM,} COBWEB, } Fairies, MOTH, } MUSTARDSEED, } _The Misses Wilson, Bruce, Sim, Conger._
Other fairies attending their King and Queen, _Misses Kate W——, Fanny T——, Eva M——_.
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta, _Masters Goodwin, Bartlett, Carrington and Scott._
As Maud’s mother inquired when in the seclusion of their own apartments, “Did you really like it so very much?”
Maud answered laughing, “More than I can express.”
The following morning it was a question, “What would be the proper costume for breakfast?”
From one of their windows they had a partial view of the lake, but from the other nothing but tall trees met their eyes. Pines were in abundance, but there was an occasional hemlock, spruce, birch and maple.
“It is summer. Would you think that this white organdy would do?” asked Maud, and the frock, apparently only a cloud of Valenciennes lace, was held towards her mother.
“Do? I am sure I don’t know what is considered correct for such a wilderness, but you might not be warm enough. I fancy it is cold outdoors.”
“I’ll tell you what I’ll wear,” said the young lady presently, for she had a wonderful conception of color values, and knew what would look best with her dark eyes, and also what would produce the most fetching effect, should she be able to induce her mother to walk among the trees after breakfast. “I am going to put on my crimson piqué, bodice and all,” for she had several waists that could be worn with the same skirt, and as her quick eyes looked over the guests at breakfast, she was not sorry the decision had been against the organdy.
“All night my dreams were of the entertainment,” said Maud, as, sitting opposite her mother, she tried to pour the cream into her coffee. “It is almost too thick to stir. Did you ever see such cream?” she said.
“I never saw thicker. And this trout is delicious. It would be singular indeed if I were won to this place. But, Maud, tell me about your dream, dear.”
“Oh, I dreamed of Titania and Oberon, Queen and King of the fairies, you know. I could see the airy things moving over the green. It was Midsummer-Night’s Dream truly, for I dreamed of the pretty piece, and isn’t this Midsummer?”
“Why, Maud! I fancy you slept well. Perhaps you’ll be surprised to learn that I too dreamed of our evening’s pleasure.”
“Surprised! Yes, indeed!” and Maud’s eyes sought her mother’s. “What part did you dream about?”
“I think it is the opening of the second act, when the fairy replies to Puck,
Over hill, over dale, Thorough bush, thorough brier, Over park, over pale, Thorough flood, thorough fire, I do wander everywhere.
You remember how it goes, don’t you?”
“Perfectly; and didn’t that fairy look lovely? I am sure I shall be glad to know her. But Puck I am not as sure about.”
“Could you pass me the rolls, Maud?”
“Certainly, take that one,” and Maud turned the plate so that her mother could have a temptingly brown roll.
“And now,” continued her mother, as she contentedly broke the roll open, “tell me more about your dream.”
“You know towards the close, Oberon and Titania entered with their train.”
“Do you mean where Oberon sings,
Though the house gives glimmering light, By the dead and drowsy fire, Every elf and fairy sprite,
And so on?”
“Yes, those are the very words. And didn’t Titania have a sweet voice? I hope she’ll sing often. I am sure everybody must enjoy listening to her. I thought this beautiful:
First rehearse your song by rote, To each word a warbling note. Hand in hand with fairy grace, Will we sing and bless this place.”
As Maud said, “bless this place,” the lady who had welcomed Maud and her mother the evening before was walking past their table, and having overheard the words, she stopped.
“Just what I like to hear.” Then mischievously looking at Maud’s mother. “But I did not expect the woods to have won so much enthusiasm already, did you?”
“No, I did not,” and the mother’s lip unbent into a sunny smile. “But there is no telling what we may both say yet.”
“This fish breakfast has been delicious, and besides everybody looks rested and cheery.”
“That is just the point; no one can help being rested, because midnight-oil is unknown here and how can people help being cheery, when this bracing air is a tonic; And besides we have so many delightful sports. There are to be charades, and rollicking games, such as Twirl the Platter, and Going to Jerusalem, this evening, and to-day there are several things on hand. One is a driving and riding party. All the young people, with two chaperones, are going over to the next hotel to dinner. By the way, do you ride?”
And Maud, whose face was flushed with the memory of her many pleasant hours on horseback, answered, “I could ride almost forever.”
“Then you are the very young lady we want,” and turning to Maud’s mother, “I’m to be one of the chaperones. I’ll promise to bring her home safe. There is a fine saddle-horse waiting to be ridden, and——a fine young man, who is in despair because every one but himself has a riding companion. He is a New York lawyer. May I introduce him?” were her words, as the trio left the breakfast-room together.
The answer must have been “Yes,” because, an hour later, one dowager said to another, “Did you hear that new girl, that airish creature with the golden hair, and sleepy-looking dark eyes, who came just before supper last evening, has gone off horseback riding with the one we called ‘the dissatisfied young man?’ He seems to be perfectly satisfied now. I suppose neither of our daughters was good enough for him.”
The postman rapped at my door, and presently the trim little maid brought me a big square letter on a tray. I knew that hand. Nobody but Penelope writes in that scraggly style, plain, too, as a pikestaff, and easy to read. “Darling Gertrude,” she began, “I am about to plead for a visit. It seems a little bit of forever since I saw you and I want you here in my country house where we’ll have time to enjoy one another, talk of the past and present tenses to our hearts’ content, and perhaps plan a happy future.
“Let me tell you whom you’ll meet: Mr. and Mrs. Burkhardt,—you remember that sweet little girl bride who succeeded so well in blinding us—at first; dear old General Bolton, and his youngest brother, who paints almost as well as he talks; pretty Elsie Sterling and my cousin Bob. You see I put them together, but so would you if you could look out of my window and see them now. Bob has just mounted Elsie on White Baron, and now as I write the words he’s up on Caper and off they go. Well—we’ll borrow White Baron and Caper later on, you and I, and perhaps as we canter along side by side we may feel ourselves back again,—back—how many years? Never mind, we’ll not count. The years have been happy to us both, I hope.
“But you’ll come—you must not say _no_, remember. Cordially your friend,
“Penelope T. Gerard.”
Indeed I would not say “No.” I would arrange and rearrange my summer plans to meet Penelope once more.
It was scarce three years since I last saw her. She was then a bride of but two months and I spent three days with her just as I was leaving for Germany. During the interval our letters were more or less frequent, and so in a way we each kept track of the other and felt as close friends as we had been since our childhood.
So it was with infinite pleasure I wrote an acceptance.
“The Maples” is an unpretending rambling sort of a house, with piazzas, and “corners,” and nooks where one would least expect them. There is no rhyme or reason to the architecture, and an architect would shake his head in sad consternation. However, if he were told that three generations of Gerards had idled their summers happily away within and without its walls, and that each owner had added his share to the original pile, perhaps the exact architect would turn his critical smile to one of content and count himself fortunate to be allowed to enter this abode of happiness.
It was a sunny day when I first drove up the long maple-lined driveway and there on the lawn, close to the entrance, was Penelope making tea and laughing one of her old merry laughs as the General stood before her. I suppose he was telling her one of his funny stories. I don’t know, for of course I only saw them a moment before the carriage stopped, and once more Penelope and I were together.
The General had known us both as girls, and soon we were talking over old faces and scenes, and it seemed as though we had never been parted. The rest of the party had gone for a long drive and would not be back until seven o’clock. So we three talked on and on.
“Oh, it does seem so good to be here, Pen,” I said, and added, “As I came up the driveway, the first thing I heard was your laugh. You know how mamma used to like to hear you laugh.”
“Yes, I remember how irrepressible I was. But, Trudy, you too would have laughed if you’d heard the General hang me.”
“Why, yes. Don’t you know the game?” Then seeing my bewilderment, she went on. “You must learn it. It’s fine for two people. Especially when one gets short of subjects to talk about.”
Here General Bolton threw back his head and laughed heartily. “Short of subjects to talk about! I guess Trudy would as soon believe the Atlantic had gone dry as to think your nimble tongue was ever still. No, indeed! On the contrary, Trudy, she was bound she would make me let out a secret, and I, old fool, would probably have fallen into her trap, only she warned me by—but never mind how she warned me, or even that will fail me next time. So I hung her. Yes, I caught her well.” Then with a chuckle. “Tell her how, Pen, you know best how, for you know you were _hung_, and well hung.” And again he laughed.
“That’s true. But try me again sometime, or rather, I’ll try you and we’ll see who does the _hanging_. No, not now, you need not look so eager.”
“Bah, you’re afraid.”
“No, indeed I am not. Just now however I mean to take Gertrude and show her where her room is. She has been ever so patient.”
“But, my dear, please explain first about the _hanging_. It sounds so sanguinary.”
“Well, it is. Now listen and I’ll explain, and then we’ll go indoors. ‘To hang a person with a word,’ is the name of the game. You take any word you like in your mind and simply mention the number of letters it has. The other party has to guess, by letters, without making twelve misses. If she fails to guess without twelve wrong guesses, she is _hung_ as I was. That doesn’t seem very clear to you, I suppose.”
“Well, not exactly.”
“I’ll take a word and show you. Now, General, I did not mean to give you your battle now. But you may have it if you’re ready.”
“All right.” Then she whispered to me the word “Eyelet.”
“Well, I’ll hang you, General Bolton, with a word of six letters.”
“Bah, that’s easy. First, I’ll guess L.”
“Right. It has fourth place.” Then she explained to me, “You have to tell the position of the letter.”
“Wrong. That’s one. You help me keep count, Trudy. Remember, twelve wrong guesses and I’ve hung him.”
“Wrong. That makes two.”
“Right. First place.”
“Wrong. You see he’s trying the vowels. How many does that make?”
“Oh, you girls need not look so jubilant; four doesn’t make much. I’ll guess U, next.”
“Five,” we both shouted.
“Right, and sixth place.”
“An e, an l, and a t. Let me see. Any n’s in it?”
“No. That makes six. Oh, we have you, General, that is half the number.”
“The battle is not won yet; no, nor lost yet. Well, I’ll guess G.”
He looked down at the grass and drummed his fingers on his knee, then said, “D.”
“An e, an l, and a t. That’s a queer combination when all the other vowels are out. Holloa! Is there another e?”
“Yes. Third place.”
“Oh, and another l?”
“I hope this word is in the English language?”
“Oh, yes. It is English and it is used to-day, but a generation back it was used more frequently.”
“A generation back! Bah!” and he straightened himself and rising strode back and forth with his hands clasped back of him. “I have it! That is, I am pretty certain. Has a y, hasn’t it?”
“Eyelet!” he shouted. “Bah, you thought you had me. Well, you almost did. Those pesky vowels were at fault.”
“Never mind, I’ll hang you yet. I have another word in mind. But not to-day. Come, Gertrude. You see it all now, I guess, and we must hurry in, or Will and the others will be back before we are ready for dinner. Good-bye for a time, General. Look to your guns. I shall be after you again.”
Breakfast was more than half over, some mornings later, when in came Bob and Irving Bolton. A chorus of “Fie, fie,” greeted them, and Elsie Sterling shook her fingers threateningly as Bob explained, “Pen, don’t be hard on a fellow. Irving and I talked too late, I suppose, last night. At any rate I know I should never have turned up this morning only that he yelled across to me that lunch was most ready. And then he loitered to help me share the blame of our lateness. Hey, old fellow?” and he looked across at Irving as he slid into the vacant place between Elsie and Mrs. Burkhardt.
“You are both rascals, both of you,” growled the General. “Burkhardt and I have been up hours and have planned the finest sort of a day for the rest of you ungrateful ones. Shall we tell them, Burkhardt?”
Before Mr. Burkhardt had a chance to reply, Penelope interposed, “Let me try and guess.”
“All right, Mrs. Gerard, but you’ll have to try twenty questions or some such game or you’ll not hit it. It’s a fine scheme.” And Ned Burkhardt nodded triumphantly while he put a piece of buttered toast on his wife’s plate.
“I’ll guess just once, and without the help of twenty questions either. It’s a picnic.”
“Bah!” exclaimed the General. “You overheard, or somebody told you.”
“Perhaps I did, or perhaps that omnipresent ‘little bird’ chirped it in my ear. But, at any rate, it’s a fine idea. What say the rest of you?”
“Just the thing. Fine,” was the reply.
“How shall we go, Will, and where?”
“Oh, let’s go to Sylvan Grove. It is only ten miles. Let me see. Two of you can ride horseback.
“Will you and Irving ride, Gertrude? And, Burkhardt, you and madame and Elsie and Bob might take the buckboard, and we three old fogies—pardon me, General,—will follow on with the provisions. Will that suit, Penel?”
“All right. And now let’s get ready. Can you all start in three quarters of an hour?”
Promptly we all sallied forth, and it was a merry party. The air was perfect, and Irving, Bolton and I cantered on ahead, and finding ourselves far in advance, we turned and rode across country for a few miles.
It was a perfect day, and the picnic was a perfect success. At dinner that night we voted it as the best day yet.
“Well, to-morrow is the golf tournament, you know,” said Will, and turning to his wife, he added, “Didn’t you say there was a dinner on too?”
“Oh, yes. I nearly forgot. Dear old Mrs. Preston asked us all to dinner.” Turning towards me she said, “You remember at our tea, the day after you came, a white-haired lady accompanied by her granddaughter?”
“Yes, indeed I do. I think you said she lives in that gray stone house we passed to-day.”
“Yes, that is the one. It’s a lovely house too—and such china! Why, Mrs. Burkhardt, she has a willow set that would make your mouth water. Perhaps we’ll see it.”
Then turning swiftly, for dinner was over and we were just leaving the room, “Listen, all of you, please. To-morrow night at Mrs. Preston’s, and next night nowhere. It is Gertrude’s last night here and let’s spend it all alone,” and having made her little speech she slipped her arm around my waist and we went out together.
We passed through one of the French windows, out on the piazza, and sat there late into the night. Snatches of conversation came to us again and again, and Mrs. Burkhardt’s sweet soprano as she and Elsie sang together, while Irving accompanied on the mandoline. But we, Penelope and I, remained alone, each happy in the other.
The last night came, as all “last nights” must, and with it, “in sympathy with our mood,” was the General’s courteous construction, came a heavy, moaning storm. Will poked the fire and piled on the logs as though a blizzard were raging without. Finally, he paused and said, “I guess, Pen, dear, you may have your wish. No one will disturb our family serenity this night.”
How cosy it seemed and how happy all appeared. Elsie and Mrs. Burkhardt, Irving and Bob were playing checkers in the next room. Ned and Penelope were talking about dogs and horses and comparing their relative intelligence. The General was looking over some foreign photographs, while Will and I bestowed our attention on the fire.
“Truly,” spoke General Bolton, “did you ever get up early enough to see Covent Garden Market in its glory!”
“Oh, General, do you mean to infer absolute laziness, or do you mean that the gray gloom of London would forbid an early awakening?”
“Never mind what I inferred. Did you ever go to the market—early?”
“Strange as it may seem to you, I did. I went one morning to Covent Garden Market, and early, about six o’clock, with an English girl. It was a wonderful sight.”
“See,” he interrupted, “it was this picture of a costermonger with the palms and ferns that made me ask you.”
“It is very natural—the little donkey, the barrow and all. And how very cheap the plants and flowers are—why that morning I bought for sixpence as many moss roses and buds as I could carry.”
“Gertrude, did you ever see that?” And Will gave me a printed slip that he had been searching for in his pocketbook. It was called the Floral Test.
“No, but isn’t it good? Let’s ask the others the questions and see who can answer the most.”
“Come, all you people,” called Will, and he stepped over to the next room. “Aren’t you tired of checkers? Gertrude has a new game.”
When all were seated around expectantly he said: “Now, Gertrude, you ask the questions and we’ll reply. It is called,” he explained, “the Floral Test. She’ll ask questions and we’ll give answers in the names of flowers.”
“Tell me the name of a maiden, and the color of her hair.”
“Maria-gold,” shouted Irving.
“Good for you, old fellow. How did you know?” questioned Bob.
“O here,” and young Bolton tapped his forehead significantly.
“What adjective fitted her and what was her brother’s name?”
All were silent until Mrs. Burkhardt timidly said, “Is it Sweet-William?”
“That’s right. Now try this,—What was his favorite sport in winter?”
“That’s easy. Snowball,” and Bob threw his handkerchief at Will, who sharply returned it.
“Ned, what was his favorite instrument?”
“Is it the trumpet?”
“That is right. Can you tell me, Elsie, at what hour he awoke his father by playing on it?”
“Yes, and what did his father apply to him?”
“A golden-rod,” two or three shouted.
“What office did his father occupy in the church?”
All seemed puzzled. Finally Elsie said, “Was it elder?”
“Right. What was the young man’s name, and what did he write it with?”
“That is a poser, Trudy. You’ll have to tell them, I guess,” suggested Will.
“Jonquil, don’t you see?”
“Bah!” exclaimed the General, while the others laughed.
“Irving, what candy do you usually buy?”
“He doesn’t know,” said Will, “but wait a moment and I’ll show you some,” and he went to a closet and brought back a box of buttercups.
“Well, what did John do when he popped the question?”
“Aster,” yelled the General.
“That is correct, General. See if you can tell what ghastly trophy he offered her.”
“Oh, that is easy. A bleeding heart.”
“Well, what did she say as John knelt before her?”
“Why, Johnny-jump-up, of course.”
“That’s right. You are fine at this game, General. Can you tell me what minister married them?”
“Oh, Jack-in-the-Pulpit,” exclaimed Penelope.
“What did she wear in her hair?”
“What flowers bloomed in her cheeks?”
“What did John say when obliged to leave her for a time?”
“That is all. It is a fine game, Will. Where did you find it?”
“Oh, I came across it in a paper, and I know Pen likes that sort of thing, so I cut it out. But I forgot all about it until you two were talking over Covent Garden and the early market.”
“I think I can add one to that list of questions,” and Penelope arose and, drawing me up by the hand, said, “What flower should we put in the candle tray at night?”
“Poppy,” came the quick reply, and Bob quoted,
The Rock-a-bye lady From Hush-a-bye street, The poppies they hang From her head to her feet.
“—— oh, I say, Pen,” he called, as we were on the stairs, “what shall we all do when Gertrude leaves us?”
“Do you mean that as a Floral Test question?”
“I know what I’ll do, but I don’t know any flower or plant to describe it.”
“Why, Penelope, we’ll all balsam.”
HOURS WITH THE POETS.
“Felicia Hemans was an American, born ‘down East’ somewhere; I think in the same section Nora Perry hails from,” was the startling announcement uttered in my hearing, by a “sweet girl graduate” of so short time ago as June, 1892.
“Pardon contradiction,” I called from my end of the library, “but Felicia Hemans was an Englishwoman, and her birthplace was Liverpool.”
The surprise the above incident created caused my own thought to revert to the honored and beloved poets who have so lately left us, as well as to the mighty revered army, from Chaucer down, who have more or less an abiding-place in our hearts.
And then followed another thought,—would it not be a wise use of time for some of us to study the lives and works of these poets, the minor as well as the more prominent ones, and so save ourselves from similar ludicrous blunders as the one above given?
And particularly do I appeal to the young girls just out; but even the busy schoolgirl would have the opportunity if she would only systematically arrange her work. Afternoon classes might be formed, or evening ones if preferred; the latter would have the advantages, as then the big brothers might come. Simple refreshments, too, would not jar on harmony, but rather tend to sociability. These could be provided by the hostess, for the girls should take turns in having the class meet at each house. It would also be found to be a benefit to have a president and secretary for such a class, or, if an old person could be gotten, popular and wise enough to take charge, that would prove still more satisfactory.
It is quite the fashion now to be a member of a dancing class, why not be a member of a poets’ class, and so take care of your head as well as your heels? Indeed, classes are the “order of the day,” for language, music, riding, cooking, wood-carving, needlework, indeed everything, and the young girls or boys who may read this sketch certainly want to be into things as well as their fellows.
In these hours with the poets, take a different poet for each time the class meets. Before the close of one meeting decide on who will be the next one taken up. For example, will it be Keats, Saxe, Bayard Taylor, or Jean Ingelow? That settled, name who will be the one to give a biographical sketch of the poet. This may be in the form of an original paper, or read directly from an encyclopedia. Also name two or more members to read or recite poems from the poet under consideration. Discussion and criticism should be freely allowed, and unanswerable questions should be always answered at the next meeting before entering on the new poet. It would save time to have the hostess answer the questions left from the week before, as she could have numerous books at hand, and of necessity would be present.
Do not say this is too difficult a task. Nothing is too difficult for those who try.
And do not think such study and hours are unnecessary. If you do, find out how many of your classmates can at once answer whom Ben Jonson adopted as his poetical son? He was a pastoral lyrist, and left behind him thirteen hundred poems. He was a bachelor, though he lived to be eighty-four years of age. He was born at Cheapside, London, in 1591, and died in 1674, at Dean Prior, which living was presented to him, for at times he was very poor. His name was Robert Herrick.
Or does my reader know that Thomas Gray was a close student of Dryden, or that the author of the first important body of English sonnets was the romantic hero, Sir Philip Sidney, and that he died when but thirty-two years of age, having been conspicuous at the court of Elizabeth, was a soldier of great promise, a leading statesman, and has a prominent place in history?
“I sent her a basket of fruit for Christmas. The basket was of the finest Chinese straw, and decorated with handsome pale green satin ribbon; and the fruit, Bartlett pears, mandarins, and white grapes; but she has not acknowledged it by either verbal or written thanks.”
“Perhaps she never received it,” was the reply.
“I know that she did, for my daughter called one day and recognized the basket, which stood on the table in the hall through which she passed.”
“Well, but you know she is a very busy woman.”
“That is no excuse. People may be ever so busy, but they should not forget decent courtesy. Indeed, my experience has been that the busy people are, oftener than otherwise, the most polite people. My theory is, they do not allow themselves to rust in any direction; duty should be done, and is done. If an individual cannot take time to thank a friend for a Christmas gift, next year that friend may not take time to give one. I am sure it is not the question of time; it is the question of knowledge or carelessness. There are people who really don’t know enough to be polite; and others know, but are too indifferent to take the trouble, forgetting that their conduct reflects most disagreeably upon themselves. One would think a kind heart might dictate, if common-sense did not. But I suppose some people have neither common-sense nor kindness of heart.”
Overhearing the above conversation, the listener was reminded of a similar instance lately experienced in her own life. A letter had been written, which had honorably adjusted a money complication that concerned the gentleman to whom she wrote and a society which he represented, but did not concern or reflect upon the writer in the smallest degree excepting for the goodwill she bore her friend, and yet for this same letter she did not receive one word of thanks—not even the acknowledgment of its ever having been received. That it _was_ received was later proved by a printed report that it would have been impossible to set in order without it.
The examples given are by no means rare and peculiar, but may be duplicated over and over by every intelligent person. And in this age of letters, when printed matter was never so reasonable, and when teachers and schools may be really had “without money and without price,” when lectures on all topics are inexpensively if not, indeed, freely given, where is the excuse for knowledge not to be the power of all? It would almost seem as if even those indifferently educated could not help but have learned to say “thank you,” or to acknowledge by pen or voice any accommodation, help, or present.
Blood is sure to tell, and with Emerson we say that “man is physically as well as metaphysically a thing of shreds and patches, borrowed unequally from good and bad ancestors.” To those of gentle blood, rudeness would be impossible. If there are partial lapses of manner with those looked upon as the refined, the question is asked, “Where does she get that trait?” and possibly the answer may be, “Her great-grandmother.” For thus are the sins visited upon the children of even the third and fourth generations. The deportment of the real gentleman or woman can never be unpleasantly criticised. They could not be ungracious, no matter how hard they should try. If there is ever a question about how far politeness should extend, err on the side of too much rather than that of too little. Have too much manner rather than not enough. Be too profuse in thanks rather than too scant and meagre.
When a gift has been received or a courtesy of any kind shown you, at once acknowledge it, unless you are too ill so to do, or a positively important matter prevents. If it is impossible to write to the one you are indebted to that day, do it the next. But as it is so easy for most of us to have good intentions, do not put off for to-morrow what should be done to-day.
The note should not be long, but heartily and pleasantly worded. Some people might reflect, “I would not tell a falsehood, and how can I say I like a thing if I do not?” Or, as happened lately, two boxes of wild flowers were sent me from California by two little boys, with a note in one of the boxes containing the words, “Which flowers got to you best, Pierre’s or mine?” and I was obliged to at once put both boxes in the fire. Should I write of the sweetness of the blossoms and the purity and beauty of their coloring? By no means. But I would not wound the childish hearts by telling of the condition of the flowers at the time they were received. Remember the thought that prompted the gift. Dwell on that altogether if you will. Send a loving message to the donors, and they will never dream you did not like their offering in the one case or were obliged to burn it in the other.
After all, remembrance is the sweetest of all earthly gifts. When the dear ones with whom we journey are no longer here, we will miss their gentle ministry. May not any one of us then know the bitterness of remorse, but rather let us hasten to send abundant, hearty thanks to those who have taken time to think and care for us!
A STORY WITHIN A STORY
It was the time when lilies blow, And clouds are highest up in air,
that four young people were vivaciously talking on the front piazza at Aunt Mary’s.
Aunt Mary was everybody’s friend, but particularly beloved by the nephews and nieces, of whom this story tells. And her home, “just the jolliest kind of a place to visit,” Jo said, as he described beforehand the expected good times his sister Madeline with their cousins, Madge and Ernest, were to have in the week’s vacation given them for recuperation after the half-yearly examination.
Aunt Mary’s house was in New Jersey; of course, it was on a farm, for whoever would think of looking for such fun and frolic anywhere else? And as all the cousins came from city homes, and Jo and his sister from a small flat of a large apartment house, the freedom of space which the country had given, added to the bracing air and sunny, cheerful atmosphere, was a delightful contrast. But no one would have thought, though, that Madeline was seventeen years of age, or that Madge was called “Miss Propriety” at home, for they would race over the farm, playing the wildest of games “like a couple of tomboys,” their brothers said. But Aunt Mary let them do exactly as they pleased, and would always sigh when she would talk of their shut-in city life, and point to their red cheeks with great pride, which she assured them came from living with her. And the boys, too, had seemed wonderfully benefited by their running, racing, riding, ball and tennis playing. Even the hallooing “got plenty of fresh air in their lungs,” Ernest said, which, with other things too many to mention, had been done in this brief holiday.
To-morrow they must start homeward; and just because they were exhausted with one and another game, they are, at the commencement of our story, resting and talking on Aunt Mary’s front piazza.
Ernest is rubbing his right arm meanwhile, for he says, “It has pained me dreadfully ever since that last catch at the ball.”
And Aunt Mary has just joined them, carrying with her a big tin waiter on which is a large molasses cake, so fresh that it is yet hot from the oven, and a four-quart pitcher of milk, which Bessie, the brown-eyed Alderney, had given at the morning milking hour. At sight of their aunt thus laden, three cheers were laughingly and loudly given, for if there is one way quicker than another to young people’s hearts, perhaps it is by the way of hot molasses cake and ice-cold fresh milk, as rich as many city folks have their cream.
Jo, who was eighteen years old on his last birthday, is considered the young man of the party. He has always been a gentleman, and he at once rushed to the sitting-room for his aunt’s favorite rocking-chair. As Ernest has already disposed of the tray by putting it on a spruce-bark covered table which stands for all sorts of convenient purposes on the piazza, Aunt Mary is comfortably placed in her easy-chair before she realizes that Jo had gone for it. “Oh, what delicious cake!” “How kind you are!” “I must have another glass of that milk.” “Isn’t this lots better than being in school?” etc., were the pleasing comments and ejaculations which any stranger might have heard passing on the other side of the road from the house, or, indeed, a quarter of a mile beyond it.
After awhile, however, the eating and drinking were over, and “What shall we do now?” was the question. “I’m tired out, for one,” said Ernest, and “I for another,” continued Madge; “still, these are our last hours and we must do something; we cannot afford to lose a moment. Aunt Mary, you tell us what to do.”
“Will you promise to do what I tell you?”
“We will,” answered Madeline. “Of course we will,” continued Ernest; “a likely thing we could say no, now, of all times, after the way this cake and milk have disappeared.”
“Well, it’s agreed, then,” said Aunt Mary. “I want you to entertain me awhile by telling a story.”
“A story! How? We don’t exactly understand, do we?” asked Jo, looking at one and another perplexed face.
“The story,” answered Aunt Mary, “must be altogether, ‘made up,’ as Madge would say. It must be divided in four chapters or parts, as nearly equal in length as is possible. Jo can begin it, and, after talking, say for two minutes, Madge must follow, then Ernest and Madeline will close.”
These words were followed with whistles from the boys, and “Oh, my!” from the girls, to all of which Aunt Mary said, “You promised, and of course you will do it. And when the story is told, we will all drive over to Bear’s Gulch, and that will take the remainder of the afternoon.”
These words were followed by a halt and sighs. “But it would be a burning shame,” said Madeline, “not to please Aunt Mary; besides, of course, we can do it. We can do anything, if we try.”
“So say we all of us; so say we all,” sang Ernest.
And Aunt Mary laughingly replied, “The sooner the story is started, the sooner it is through, and the sooner it is through, the sooner we have the drive.”
“Well, as I’m the starter, here goes!” said Jo.
“And,” interrupted his aunt, “when your time is up I’ll call Madge’s name, and so on. Don’t let us have any breaks. Tell me a story just as smoothly as if you were reading it from a book. Now, Jo.”
“My title is, ‘The Adventures of an Irish Setter.’ When Ned Armstrong was so small a boy that he yet wore knickerbockers, he received a short visit from his cousin William Adams. He, too, was a little boy and was often called ‘Sweet William,’ on account of his sunny disposition, for, notwithstanding he was sole heir to great wealth, being the only child of rich parents, rich enough to count their wealth by many millions of dollars,—he was neither selfish, exacting, nor in any way disagreeable, thereby an example to some grown-up people we have met. When William came on this visit, he brought with him a large, well-trained dog. He was a magnificent fellow, and Ned, his cousin, was as amazed as he was pleased to find that the dog was a present to himself from William’s father, his Uncle Ned, after whom he was named. This uncle had long known he must sometime part with Moselle; he had been his own from the time Moselle was a puppy but two months old. The reason for the separation of master and dog was the giving up of housekeeping for life in a hotel, as Aunt Cornelia, Uncle Ned’s wife, was now too much of an invalid to continue caring for a house, even with the assistance of a housekeeper, of whom she had tried many, and dogs are among the ‘not allowed’ in hotels. So, Uncle Ned, remembering his little nephew in the country, and knowing how he would prize and kindly treat his old pet and friend, sent Moselle by his son William to him. This gift made Ned, however, nearly crazy with delight, and the old gardener often feared the results to his flower beds after the races which Ned and Moselle would take over them. Indeed the dog was not to blame if he forgot many of his well-trained ways, country life with the little boy was so ungoverned by comparison with what it had been with his staid, but kind old master.
“One day, five months after Moselle had changed his home, Ned was missing. No one knew where the child had gone. He did not have a regular nurse; but an old colored servant called Tamar had been in the family many years, and she, with other duties, was supposed to keep an eye on this child. But Tamar had been negligent this time. Ned was missing. The big garden was searched everywhere, thinking possibly he had fallen asleep under some of the rose or berry bushes, but Ned was not in the garden. Strangely enough, as the boy and dog were counted inseparable, Moselle was all right and contentedly sunning himself on a pansy bed, which was a favorite place of his, though often scolded and chased away for thus flattening the beautiful flowers——”
“Madge, it is your time.”
“As Ned was not found in the garden, the next place to look was all over the house, while the cry of ‘Ned! Ned!’ was heard in every room and from several windows, for as one after another looked they would throw up a window-sash, thinking Ned must be somewhere outside in the grounds and would surely hear them call, and they would hear his voice in answer, even if they did not see him. But it was all in vain. Ned could neither be seen nor heard, and his mother and sister Mary, a girl of twelve years old, who were the only ones of the family then at home, finally cried with fright and anxiety. But their fright was of short duration, for, before an hour had passed, Ned was back perfectly safe, without scratch or injury, and having the rested dewy look to his eyes which all children have who have lately woke from sleep.
“It was Isaac, the stableman, who found him. No one ever could really explain why Moselle was not with him at the time, but the child had wandered alone into the stable, and the man passing in and out had not noticed him, who, probably tired with play, had fallen asleep on the hay. While thus asleep, Isaac had closed the stable door and fastened it, preparatory to a three miles’ drive to the flour mill. On his return with the meal, the clatter connected with the moving of the stable door and getting the horses back had wakened the child, who came hurriedly out, rubbing his eyes as he ran, and calling at the top of his lungs for Moselle, not knowing others had as loudly been calling for him. But Moselle did not answer. There was no running, jumping and wagging of the tail from his dog-friend, for Moselle was now the missing one. In the gladness of Ned’s being found, neither Mrs. Armstrong, nor Mary, nor, indeed, any of the servants, had given the dog a thought, and it was not until Ned refused to be comforted that one of the help slowly said, ‘There was a poor old soldier here this morning, just at the time Isaac came home with the meal. I thought, perhaps, Isaac had given him a lift up. He asked for a cup of coffee, but I had none made, and didn’t want to take the trouble to make any, so I gave him a couple of slices of bread with apple-sauce between. I reckon he’s made way with the dog, the mean, contemptible wretch!’
“And he had. Moselle was already miles away from the house of little Ned Armstrong, and his companion was the same poorly-clad half-sick looking soldier that the housemaid had given the apple-sauce sandwich to that morning. The dog was prevented from running home by a strong cord fastened around his neck at one end and the other end firmly clutched by the man’s hand, and both dog and man had had several helps over the road, as their rested-looking condition proved. That night, in the city of Wilmington, North Carolina, the soldier sold the dog for twenty-three dollars to a handsome young army officer, at present stationed at Old Point Comfort, but who had a three days’ leave of absence to visit a sick relative at Wilmington. The dog and his new master had already started for ‘Old Point’ when the officer suddenly remembered—”
“Ernest, your time now.”
“That he had forgotten to ask the dog’s name, and, as he could not take time to hunt the man up from whom he had bought the dog, he decided to christen him Duke.
“It was the month of March, and the Hygeia Hotel was a gay scene of life and beauty. Among the guests was a charming young woman, talented and rich, but also very lame. She could not walk without the aid of a crutch; but, notwithstanding this detraction, she fascinated everybody by her lovely manner and cheerful, sunny disposition. The gentleman who had bought Moselle, now called Duke, daily dined at the Hygeia, and in a particularly fortunate time was presented to the lame lady. He was, therefore, the envy of all the unmarried army officers who, with every one else, would delight in thinking of her as their friend. The young lady admired Duke very much, and often petted and caressed him, and the dog seemed proud and pleased to be in her company. However, the time came for the lame lady to return to her home in New York, and the dog was left alone with his master, though I might add, not alone, for everybody living at the ‘Point’ seemed to know Duke and would always praise his beauty. One old gentleman offered two hundred dollars for him once, but it was refused, his owner saying, ‘I will never sell Duke, though some day I may be tempted to give him away.’ Duke was taught many tricks while at the Fortress, among others, to carry letters. These he would hold in his mouth, but would neither tear them with his teeth, nor wet them with his tongue. He was also taught to ‘say his prayers,’ which he always did kneeling on a wooden chair, with his head resting with closed eyes on the back. When ‘Amen’ was said this was the signal to jump over the chair-back and shake himself as if pleased to have prayer-time over. One day, as the mail was being distributed, Duke, as was his wont, was standing near, and one of the officers putting a letter in the dog’s mouth, said: ‘Take that to your master. It’s from his friend, the lame lady.’ This the officer meant for a joke, but it was really true, and, as the letter concerned Duke, we will insert it here:
“‘DEAR MR. G——:
“‘According to promise, I write you the result of the operation, which I am sure you will be glad to learn is a complete success. My physicians say if I will have patience for another month I will then walk as well as anybody. Please give Duke an extra pat on my account, and whenever you feel constrained to part with him, remember
“‘Your friend “‘PAULINE JEROME.’
“That settles it!” exclaimed Duke’s master. ‘I learned last night I was soon to be sent to California, and I at once decided my good dog and I must separate. And now that he can have so kind a mistress, and I have this opportunity to win the gratitude of my lovely friend, what a fool I would be to hesitate longer. On my way to California, I will arrange to pass through New York City, and will then personally give my dog to Miss Jerome.’”
“Madeline, will you finish the story?”
“Six months have now passed since Duke exchanged his home at Fortress Monroe for the luxurious apartments of his beautiful mistress. The dog is constantly tended with the greatest care, groomed as tenderly as if made of human flesh. He sleeps in my lady’s room and seems truly aristocratic with his lordly bearing. His baby-blue satin ribbon bow, knotted into the solid gold collar, which bears his name and address, a Christmas gift from his mistress, causes him to appear what indeed he has become—almost spoiled with good fortune.
“But what a change a few short hours can make! That night there was a cry of ‘Fire!’ My! the alarm and panic it raised! for the fire was not noticed until there was so much flame and smoke that it was with the utmost difficulty the inmates of the house escaped with their lives. Nothing else was saved. Miss Jerome calling to a fireman, said: ‘Take care of my dog, and I will pay you well.’ The man, catching the dog harshly by the collar, fairly dragged him out of the burning building, for Duke seemed dazed with smoke and fright. But, on reaching the street, the dog was entirely beyond control, and, with wonderful strength freed himself from the man’s grasp, strong as it was, and dashed down the street. Miss Jerome offered at different times large rewards for his return; but it was useless, Duke and his mistress were never again to meet, he was as lost to her as if he had never existed. Several months passed, after the fire, and the dog once more found friends, a home, and his old name, Moselle. Peculiar events happen in life, and few more so than the following. Mr. and Mrs. Adams of whom this story first told, had gone to the South of France, hoping to recover the health of Mrs. Adams, on whose account it will be remembered the valued dog had to be parted with. They were accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong and their children, Ned and May. The older people of this party were one morning talking on the lawn connected with the Hôtel de Grace, when Ned and May suddenly burst upon them accompanied by a large dog, who was jumping and tearing around as if wild with joy. Seeing Mr. Adams, he left the children, and, jumping on his lap, laid his head on his shoulder and moaned and actually seemed to weep with gladness. ‘This is Moselle, Moselle!’ shouted Ned; ‘we saw him with an old fiddler out here on the road. I thought he looked like my dear old dog, though he is so thin and starved looking, and I called “Moselle,” and you should have seen him run. Those long legs of his fairly raced to reach me. Indeed, he knocked me down. He was too happy to behave, wasn’t you, Moselle?’ and Ned tenderly smoothed his beautiful head, which he yet kept on his old master’s shoulder, as though they must never be separated again, while his tender brown eyes seemed to speak of affectionate content. The family never again parted with Moselle until he died, which sad event occurred towards the close of the same year. The dog’s exposures and privations after the fire, during his varied life, seemed to have weakened and injured him to such an extent that, though tender care was constantly lavished, it came too late. All that Mr. Adams ever learned of Moselle’s history, he heard from the fiddler, who had bought him from an old woman, who said he belonged to her son, and that they had had nothing but bad luck since the dog was theirs, and she would be glad to get rid of him at any price. The fiddler thought the son had stolen the dog, and, as he was himself having bad fortune, he determined to leave America and return to his own country, and had brought the dog over the sea, thinking in that way if there was any wrong dealing connected with the dog he would never be discovered. ‘But,’ said the old fiddler, gravely shaking his head, ‘I’ve always heard “wrong will out,” and I’m thankful to dispose of him for so liberal a compensation as you have so kindly made me.’ With these words, the fiddler folded his money over, thrust it in his pocket and walked away.”
“Thank you for such an entertaining story,” said Aunt Mary; “and now we will have our promised drive.”
ORRIN THE BOOTBLACK.
“Shine, shine, shine!” the cry was as earnest as it was pitiful. I rose from my seat in the cabin of the Fulton Ferry boat, for I was crossing from Brooklyn to New York at the time, and found the boy; one glance into his honest blue eyes did the rest.
I at once gave him my boots to blacken, regardless of the opinion of my man Dennis, that he had put on them an extra polish that morning, and, while the almost baby hand continued to shine them into as dazzling a glare as blackened boots could reach, I asked him his name, and, giving him my card, told him to call on me that evening at seven o’clock.
“Mr. Adams, you surely do not mean me to understand that your protégé, who to-night delivered the valedictory address in this honored college, and the bootblack are one and the same?”
The above conversation was between the President of the college and the senior member of the Board of Trustees.
“Yes; he is the same, and yet not the same, because then he was such a sad little fellow, and now he is full of jokes and wholesome pranks, a merry wit that gladdens my old days, and almost makes a boy of me again. At one time, though, I thought he would never laugh; it was such an apology for a smile that I first saw cross his prematurely wizened face. But how long ago it now seems! Let me see,” thoughtfully counting one, two, three on his fingers, “why, it must be twelve years since then. How time flies!”
“Yes, time always does fly, when we are busy and happy. But are you aware that your Orrin is one of our youngest men? He gave his age as twenty-two!”
“Well, I am confounded at your information. I am as curious as I am interested. Would you mind some time telling me the rest of the boy’s story?”
“Not at all; why not spend to-morrow evening with me? You know we sail Saturday for the continent, and after that our movements are uncertain. Orrin has worked hard, and I have promised him this treat, and, though he does not know it, I am contemplating leaving him at Oxford for a year or two. By the way, I would like your opinion as to that. But one thing is sure—if he stays in England, I stay too. I could not put the ocean between us. You cannot imagine how my heart holds that boy; so, if you really want to hear my chap’s story, you would better come to-morrow night.”
“I will come.”
It was evening, and, when the two men were comfortably seated in Mr. Adams’ library, the following was told.
Mr. Adams prefaced the recital with the words: “I will photograph Orrin as he first appeared in my home, and then, as nearly as my memory can recall our conversation, I will give it. Twelve years ago, about seven o’clock in the evening, a maid told me that a small poorly-clad lad, with a box under his arm, was asking to see me. He had entered by the lower door. I directed her to bring him to me, and, strangely enough, in my comfortable lounging-chair, with the evening paper for companion, I had entirely forgotten the engagement I had made, but the girl’s words instantly recalled all, and, a few moments later, I was addressing him. His manner was neither shy nor bold. He appeared neither surprised nor bewildered. I did not note the confused air, which I could reasonably expect. He met my gaze with the honest, frank look that I first noticed, but he seemed sad, even painfully. He was such a small boy. He evidently was what is so rarely found—a gentleman. I almost exclaimed as he stood in the doorway, for I noticed the way he held his cap; Beau Brummell in his most happy days could not have done better, and the bow with which he answered my ‘good evening,’ as well as the response to my asking him to take a chair, made me say to myself, ‘Adams, you must look out, or this little bootblack will leave you leagues rearward in the manner question!’ His hair was dark, very glossy, and slightly curly. His face and hands almost shone with cleanliness. I especially noticed his nails, and, knowing his business, was surprised to find that they, also, were quite clean. His height was decidedly small for his age (he did not really seem to grow much until he was about seventeen years old, and then how he shot up! he is just six feet tall now); his clothes were not patched, but threadbare and ragged. The material was fine. His trousers only came to his knees, and both shoes and stockings were visibly the worse for wear. He was not a pretty boy, but a manly-looking little fellow. His complexion was fair, but pallid; indeed, the boy wore a starved, pinched look. His jacket, which was buttoned with brass buttons to the neck, hung on him, as if he had grown thinner since it was made. So much for my photograph. Now for our conversation, which will give you a better idea of the boy, than if only using my own words.
“‘Good evening, my little man.’
“‘Good evening, sir.’
“‘You blackened my boots so well this morning, I thought I would like to talk with you about your business to-night.’
“‘Thank you, sir.’
“‘How long have you been a bootblack?’
“‘Have you made much money?’
“‘I make more now than at first, sir.’
“‘How much is the most you have made a week?’
“‘Last week, sir, I made ninety-five cents.’
“‘How much is the least you ever made?’
“‘Fifteen, sir; that was my first week, when I was new in the business.’
“‘You live with your parents, I suppose?’
“‘Don’t live with your parents? Whom do you live with?’
“‘You, a little midget like you, live by yourself! Where do you sleep?’
“‘Wherever I can find a place.’
“‘Where did you sleep last night?’
“‘You won’t tell, sir, if I tell you?’
“‘Well, I’ve slept for three nights, now, in a covered wagon. It has been left outside, and, some way, no one has ever seen me crawl into it. Please don’t tell any one, sir. I really don’t hurt the wagon.’
“‘But why don’t you go home? Do your parents drink?’
“‘I have no home, sir; my parents are dead; they are both in heaven.’ And then the little hands hastily undid the few top buttons of his jacket, and untied a black shoe lace which served as a chain. Then, stepping nervously towards me, he said; ‘Would you like to see mamma’s picture?’
“I tell you what, sir, this action, united to the boy’s words, unmanned me. ‘John Adams,’ I asked myself, ‘you’ll befriend this boy?’ And John Adams answered, ‘I will.’
“The picture was painted on porcelain, a medallion resting on dark blue velvet; the whole was framed in a band of narrow gold. The woman was a blonde, delicate looking, but very beautiful. She had an intellectual face, and seemed of good birth. In age about twenty-five years.
“‘Has your mother been dead long?’ I next asked.
“‘She died when I was born, and I am ten years old. Papa gave me her picture, and I always wear it. I would starve, sir, but I would never part from it.’ I am sure the boy has it on now, but I would not like to ask him to show it to you. He is sensitive, and I would not risk hurting him.”
“No, indeed, I would not have you, if you were ever so willing. And what more, Mr. Adams? It is well I did not know of this while he was in college; I am afraid I should have spoiled him.”
“Well, I asked him if he had brothers or sisters. His reply was—
“‘I had one brother; he died a year ago.’
“‘How long since your father died?’
“‘Eight weeks, sir.’
“‘And you started at the boot-blacking business one week later?’
“‘What was your father’s business?’
“‘When he was in business, he was a stockbroker.’
“‘A stockbroker!’ I exclaimed, although I was positive before, judging from his mother’s picture, that he was born above his present position. ‘And you say there was a time when your father was not in business. How long ago was that?’
“‘The last two years of his life, after he became blind.’
“‘Tell me all about it, my good boy.’
“‘My father, sir, must have made a great deal of money; we lived in such a handsome house.’
“‘As handsome as this?’
“Looking around before he replied,—
“‘Oh, yes, sir.’
“‘You say your mother was dead. Who, then, kept house for you?’
“‘Mrs. Prentiss, our housekeeper. I had a nurse first, Nurse Ann, and when I got to be a big boy, I had a governess. She taught me to read, write, and all I know. I have never been to school. We had several servants, and my father kept horses. It was the house in which mamma died, and everything, papa said, must be as she kept house. But, one day, I know not how it happened, my father lost a great deal of money, and a lot of strange people came to the house, and almost all of our beautiful things were sold. All the servants left but one, and my governess. Papa and I lived then in a few rooms. I used to hear papa talk about his eyes, at that time, and one day he went to see a doctor about them. When he came back he told me: ‘My son, I am going to be blind,’ and then explained to me exactly what that meant. He told me that the reason he would be blind was because he had used too much tobacco. My father smoked a great many cigars every day, and sometimes a pipe. He chewed tobacco too. I felt frightened when I heard all of this, and I remember I cried and papa comforted me. He afterwards asked me to repeat these words after him. ‘My papa was blind. His optic nerves were hurt because he used too much tobacco. I will never smoke or chew.’ My papa had me repeat these words until I knew them perfectly, and then I said them once every day to him until he died. I say them every day to myself now. My papa became blind very soon after we left our home, and about six months before he died he was sick most of the time. My governess left one day, and then I had no more lessons. And almost every day our things would be sold, until, when papa died, we had most nothing left. About a week after he was buried, some men came to our rooms, and then our girl left, and the men told me I must go too. I could not live there any more. They gave me my clothes, and one of the men gave me a dollar. I cried so hard that another man said he would take me home with him, and I could stay two or three nights at his house until I could get some work and make money for myself. That was why I became a bootblack. This man told me it was a good business, and, because I was so little and did not know what to do, the man and his wife made me a present of my outfit and told me to watch other bootblacks and cry out: “Shine, shine,” and so get business. The man gave me his boots to black while I stopped at the house and that taught me the way, for I never had blackened boots before. I stayed with these kind people for one week, and since then I have taken care of myself.’
“‘Have you no relations?’
“‘None I have ever seen. The day before papa died, he told me I was soon to be all alone in the world, that I had no relatives, and then he said: “Your relatives are all dead, my son, or dead to you.” That is all I know, sir.’
“My heart ached for the child as he finished, and I thought, let the consequence be what it would, he should not leave my house that night. I asked him his name.
“‘Orrin Thorndyke,’ was the reply.
“I told him he was to remain overnight with me, and that to-morrow I would investigate his story. This he readily did. He seemed to be satisfied to do exactly as he was told; he had evidently not yet gotten away from the manner of obeying his father. I think I told you he was prematurely old; his strange life had made him so. That night I scarcely slept, so full of plans was I for the future. As you know, I have always been a bachelor with plenty of money and no relatives who will ever need help through me. Before morning I decided that, if on investigation I found the bootblack’s story correct, I would at once adopt him and do for him as I would for an only son. This I have conscientiously tried to do, and, coming in and out of this house as the friend you are, I trust you think I have done right.”
“You certainly have.”
“I have noticed your admiration for my boy, and I have been very glad of it; and how well I remember the first time you saw him! You said I was to be congratulated in having for my protégé such a manly little fellow, and then you added, ‘Blood is sure, Adams, and I give up judging forever after, if good blood is not in this boy’s veins.’ Of course, when the child became mine, I wanted him to bear my name, but you never knew before that the Orrin Thorndyke part was his own. Some way, I could not ask him to part with it altogether, and so I had mine simply added.”
“Oh, what a man you are; it takes time to know you, Adams. And at last, I have found out why you so suddenly gave up smoking.”
“That is a fact. How could I smoke with that child’s story running not only in my ears, but through my heart? But what do you think of Orrin smoking three cigars every day!”
“Surely, you are joking!”
“No; I will tell you how he does it. When he was fourteen years of age, I gave him a monthly allowance, because I wished him to early learn the management of money. One day, shortly after, he came to me with the question, would I permit him to set aside the value of three five-cent cigars a day, and when the amount would reach five dollars he desired to put it in the bank and so open a smoking account. He also said he would regularly add to this amount as he could accumulate five dollars, and that he would not withdraw the money, but allow it to increase both principal and interest until he was thirty years of age, at which time he and I could decide what would be done with it. This I readily agreed to do. And now that he has been ‘smoking,’ as he puts it, three five-cent cigars every day for eight years, the amount already in the bank, at four per cent. interest, is not a small one. Why, in the first year, without interest, he saved nearly fifty-five dollars!”
“If only I had tried that scheme when I was fourteen years old, I would be a rich man now,” replied the President; “however, it is not yet too late to start the plan with my grandchildren.”
“Come to breakfast, dearie.” The call was given through the wide lattice which opened on the garden. And at once the little girl obeyed the summons.
And what a charming picture was given when the child presented herself in the half-open doorway, with her big blue eyes, the blue of the sky overhead, cheeks that rivalled the peach blossom’s rich redness, and lips wide parted, with the merry laugh that rippled over and over the upturned face; for at that moment she was bubbling beyond control with mischief and sparkle, partly on account of the buoyancy of the early morning atmosphere, but mostly because of the raid she had made on the morning-glory vines, as her laden hands and arms could testify.
“I haven’t struck the right combination yet,” were her mother’s words, at the same time touching a majolica dish of flowers that served as ornament for the breakfast-table.
“Well, _I have_! An idea has just sprung on me, seized me, as it were! Stand still where you are, little sister, until Tom comes back again,” and then away the boy flew, in his clumsy energy tripping over an ottoman that was always at Mabel’s place at table, because she was not yet tall enough to put her feet on the floor.
It seemed but a second when he returned with a cut-glass bowl in his hands, filled within one-third of the top with fresh, cold water; and with an air of triumph he removed the majolica dish, depositing the bowl in its stead.
Then, going to the little girl, who had stood motionless in obedience to her big brother’s command, and with the words, “Let Tom have some of your pretty flowers,” he took first one and then another. The color values, as she held the morning-glories, appealed to him, there was such richness of reds, purples, lavenders and white, with their many intermediate shades, which blended softly with the green leaves, vines and tendrils. When he had taken enough to fill, not crowd the bowl, there were many exclamations of satisfaction, for all was harmony. The white tablecloth was a fitting background to the variety of color, and the delicate, graceful flowers gave such a pleasant welcome at this first meal of the new day.
Morning-glories should be oftener used for the breakfast-table. Try what you can do with them, boys and girls, and thus give a pleasant surprise to your mother. Another pretty table decoration would be to plant woodland vines, and also ferns, oxalis, and pretty wild grasses in an ornamental piece of earthenware, one that would add beauty to the dinner-table.
Take such a piece to the country with you, and remember to fill it with forest mould before you put in the woodland plants; it will be most pleasing, and prove a joy all winter if you will properly water it; that is, keep it wet, not soggy.
HOW THEY PLANTED THE NASTURTIUMS.
Such a clamor of voices reached grandma’s ears that her first thought was that the children must have the garden, at the very least, half filled with their schoolmates. But when the old lady rose from her big armchair to take a sharp look around from the window, she was amazed to learn that all the confusion was made by her two happy, healthy grandchildren Margaret and Marshall, and they were as busy as could be, planting and fussing over nasturtium plants.
“See us, grandma,” were the pleasant if imperative words when they saw their grandmother with her head stretched out as far as possible, looking first one way and then another.
“See you? Well, I should say I did, and what are you doing with that old umbrella frame, Marshall?” was the questioning response.
“Getting ready for our nasturtiums,” and the boy tossed his head laughingly towards a large quantity of the golden brown blossoms, digging energetically all the while, though, as if moments were more precious than he could tell.
As grandma was anxious to learn all about the planting, first Marshall and then Margaret told her just what they were about to do. The gardener at the Jenkins place explained what he did. “And I never saw nasturtiums look as pretty before,” said Margaret, with a sedate shake of her head. “Besides, it is an altogether new idea, not the old sort of a thing that everybody knows. It commences by planting an umbrella frame, putting the handle deep enough down not to break off with the first strong wind, or with the weight of vines, either, in case they should grow a trifle heavier on one side than the other, though, of course, this we will try to prevent. The umbrella should not be put in a corner, but in an open bed, where people can walk all around it. This frame of ours has eight sticks, and at each one we will plant a root. And we are going to plant two at the handle, one on either side, and not close enough to crowd each other. As the vines grow, they will be trained up the handle and along the sticks, making the effect of a diminutive tent, and while this old frame is rather an ungainly sight at present, in a few weeks the bed will be simply gorgeous.
“Oh, they are so pretty!” Margaret continued, lightly and fondly touching the bright flowers, “such a variety of shades, yellow, orange, even to a deep brown, and the vine is willing to wind any way we will; it is naturally graceful, with just enough foliage and not too much. Why, the old frame will be the prettiest thing in all the country around.”
“I only hope our neighbors will not watch and try the same thing for themselves,” was Marshall’s interjection.
“They probably will not before next summer,” was grandma’s assuring comment, “and then your nasturtium umbrella would be one year old.”
A GARDEN PARTY.
Dinners, receptions, and concerts have been attended through the winter until everybody is tired of the old routine; but entertainment which is associated with trees, flowers, gorgeous sunsets, out-of-door life, touches the heart and makes of every such occasion a real joy.
How shall we give a _fête champêtre_?
A lawn is a necessity, and should the trees not prove sufficiently exclusive, surround the grounds with canvas. The canvas may be concealed with boughs of green, running vines, flags, banners, or anything that will lessen its ugliness. The entire grounds must be decorated. Japanese lanterns might be used freely; several hundreds of them will be required, as they should be liberally scattered everywhere—not only in the grounds, on the trees or canvas serving as fence, but on the piazzas of the house.
A good orchestra should be hidden behind a clump of balsam or other bushy trees. The leader should be untiring in his efforts to give enough and desirable music. If ballads are sung, the orchestra leader is responsible for the accompaniment, and he is equally responsible for the dances, should such be given. The air should be filled with music, but to the pleasure and not the annoyance of guests.
Conversation and music are always important factors of entertainment; but to these an extravaganza may be added, or a play—for example, the whole or part of _As You Like It_, or _A Midsummer Night’s Dream_.
Should _As You Like It_ be given, screen a section of the lawn to represent the Duke’s palace. A conversation-room may readily be arranged. Remove one or more screens and see a room, the ceiling of which would be the sky; the side walls folding screens, which may be adjusted to any shape and size; the floor would be the grass covered with rugs. On these rugs stand a few chairs, a couch, and a small table. With such surroundings, altogether at home would Celia seem, while she would say:
“Why, cousin; why Rosalind;— Cupid have mercy!—Not a word?”
The many songs, especially “Under the Greenwood tree” and “What shall He have that killed the Deer?” would prove very appropriate in the forest of Arden environment, and the trees would be quite in place for the love-verses of Orlando.
Or the guests might be served with a literary salad. Paste or draw pictures on cards to illustrate the title of a book, and give one to each person. Whoever shall make a correct guess without assistance within fifteen minutes may be presented with a wreath of laurel. This may be worn on the head or carried on the arm.
Sometimes a _fête champêtre_ is given for sweet charity. It then assumes a different phase, as booths, chalets, or tents are erected, within which saleable articles are offered. An effective fête might be given in athletic grounds, which should be noticeably gay with streamers of bunting and little and big flags. At such a fête a large orchestra should play the entire afternoon.
It would be very attractive if those in charge of the chalets would represent milkmaids, as this allows picturesque apparel. The young ladies might go bareheaded, or wear a gay handkerchief coquettishly knotted under their braids or curls, or cover their heads altogether by donning the new lawn sunbonnet, which is such a dainty feature of this summer’s outing.
The chalets should be small lean-tos, their roofs tilting towards the back and resting on four poles, one at each corner. These chalets should be festively trimmed, and contain such products as milk, cream, cheese, and eggs. As these are all necessities in housekeeping, the financial result should be quite large.
Gowns and hats, flounces and ribbons, form a conspicuous part of a _fête champêtre_. Sheer grenadines, nets, and gauzes, clouds of Valenciennes lace, beflowered organdies, any of the effective summer costumes, the more fetching the combination the more satisfactory the attire. The color contrasts are allowed to a greater extreme than for street apparel, and brilliant colors produce a smart effect on the lawn; and yet the dainty white, yellow, pink, or blue fabrics may be always afterwards worn to advantage, they are so fresh and youthful.
The smart costume requires the broad-brimmed hat coquettishly rolled, and massed with lilacs, morning-glories, sweet-pease, roses, or carnations, and the often added long ribbon streamers. But the flower toque, and the parasol of white mousseline de soie trimmed with flowers and a flounce of lace, and the pretty or quaint fan, aid the charming gown in producing an artistic effect.
The guests arrive in pony carriages, high carts, or victorias, and the closed brougham, like an old friend, is always admissible. The host and the hostess seem especially cordial, standing, as they do, under the broad branches of a tall tree. Indeed, stern Madam Propriety would deem such warmth of welcome scarcely permissible under a lighted chandelier. But if, as it has been known to happen, the day of the fête should also be the day of the worst storm of the entire season, the guests are received, if possible, on the piazza, and all aid in making merry and helping the hostess to such an extent that people forget that a _fête champêtre_ was ever considered, and that it was not meant to be a house party from the beginning. Of course no one should allude to the weather; that would be decidedly out of form, and be very unkind to the hostess, who certainly cannot stop the storm.
In such a shaping of events refreshments are served in-doors, if possible using the same little tables intended for the lawn, the cloths, which are edged about with ferns and field-flowers in variety, added to the pretty china and cut glass used in serving the menu, lend the charm of beauty.
The menu for such a function may be the same as that given at an evening reception, or it may be the simple refreshment provided for an afternoon tea, with an added salad or ice. But as an afternoon spent in the open air gives good appetite, liberal refreshment will be in order.
THE KING’S CHILDREN.
It was a woman’s shrill voice that fiercely shrieked the name out into the morning air.
We were homeward bound from the Old Red Spring in Saratoga, when we were arrested by her screams. The sun shone brightly, the robins and other song birds were trilling out their sweetest melodies, the air was heavily scented with white clover blossoms and sweetbrier. It was a rarely beautiful July morning. All the world to us was melody, save the jar made by this thin, haggard, unkempt woman. In her effort to be heard she travelled along the road in the direction she thought Pearly must have gone, crushing the daisies and buttercups down before her.
Two Sabbaths before we had sat at the communion table, and then felt a kinship to all, that our brothers and sisters were not only those of our very own by ties of blood, but were close to us the round world over. The Sabbath before, as the clergyman said, “freely ye have received, freely give,” we thought more of the giving of ourselves than of our money, more of letting others have a share of the good gifts that had been our lot, joy, music, loving-kindness generally, than of offering our filthy lucre. Indeed, it seemed a great descent, for we had been taken up on the moment by our pastor’s tender words, and now must remember Vanity Fair and the necessity for money in this worldly world. And so thinking, this woman with the wild, disagreeable voice, stopped us; and should we not do something to help her, was the question put to ourselves.
She was one of the resident Saratogians. Cross, possibly, because she was tired; haggard, because she had no time for rest. To her the Spring waters were as a myth, and the dry, bracing air little considered in her work-a-day existence. We, therefore, turning in the direction in which this woman went, commenced our search for the little girl, for such we decided she was, but all in vain. Whether Pearly, familiar to the harsh voice and recognizing extra work or disagreeable duty as a result of coming to the front, had hidden behind the large clumps of elderberry bushes which grew thickly around, or had run off to the woods for protection, we know not; we only know that we had to leave the woman to conclude her search alone. But the words, “Pearly! Pearly!” now and again caught our ear, though indistinctly, as the distance widened between us, and later we lost the sound altogether. Then it was that another Pearly came into our thought.
She had been baptized Margaret; but the old-fashioned long name had been shortened during her babyhood to the beautiful name, “Pearl.” She has always been loving and lovable, and always seemed consecrated, even from her cradle. Many of the wise people have often gravely said of her, “That child can never live to grow up. She is too good.” But she has lived to grow up, and, nothing happening, in a year or two more she will be graduated from one of our most respected women’s colleges. She, even as a little child, never had to be punished. “Pearl, that is wrong; you should not act or speak that way,” was the most serious chiding she ever needed to receive; for when told she had done wrong, she would immediately say, “I will try never to do that again.” And she invariably would keep her promise.
As a schoolgirl she is a general favorite, being popular enough to receive the unanimous vote for class president, for Pearl is a sunny, bright, sympathetic girl. The truly good are always the truly happy. Her religion is of the character to attract, not to repel. And possibly there are nowhere to be found keener or more severe critics than schoolgirls are of one another. The long-faced piety, as it is sometimes called, would receive from them only ridicule and contempt. The abandon of youth is not slow in exposing what they consider trustless and wrong.
But my story would be too long to tell many incidents in the life of Pearl; to tell the many ways she has helped all with whom her short life of eighteen years has brought her in contact; to tell of her sympathetic words, helpful handclasp, feet swift to run on deeds of kindness, voice raised in song, thus aiding others in the schoolroom, the prayer-meeting or the home. Indeed, Pearl was constantly forming new ties, thus binding the hearts of all who met her to herself.
The incident of which I would particularly write is her work as a King’s Daughter. She was one of the earliest to join this organization, and the first band she formed was to pay for the education of a young girl in the same school as herself. This young girl was the only child of a rich father, but it was the old story—a dishonest partner used the firm’s money for speculating purposes, and in an evil hour all was gone; not only money, but reputation also, and Elsie, the only child, must now leave school, it seemed, forever. Then it was Pearl came to the rescue; and first binding her ten to secrecy, because it would wound Elsie to ever know, it was arranged with the President and officers of the school that this band should pay for Elsie’s schooling; and she will graduate with Pearl, all unconscious of the one to whom she is indebted.
Elsie’s father was notified by the school President that his daughter was too much beloved not to have an opportunity to finish her education. If he was ever able to refund the money, all right, if not, it was still all right; and this is all Elsie or her father know.
Since then Pearl has started nine other bands, each doing noble work for Christ and humanity. With only one of these is she herself connected. It every year supports ten poor, aged women, who otherwise would be obliged to go to the almshouse. By the help of this King’s Daughters’ Band these women remain in their own little homes, passing the hours as their desires dictate, and not feeling the pain which Will Carleton so vividly describes in his poem, “Over the Hills to the Poorhouse.” No wonder that these poor old women frequently ask God’s blessing on these young girls, for they are so comfortable and happy as they thus quietly wait for the summons to the other home whose builder and maker is God. And no wonder that Pearl wears a happy face, for the face indicates the heart within. The good she has done, and may yet do, will never be known here, nor is it necessary. Sufficient for Pearl will be the words which we hope will also be ours some day, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
FOR THE BOYS.
Why should not the boys be as busy and helpful as the girls?
Why should not the boys form their “Try Bands,” “Working Circles” and “King’s Sons’ Societies?”
There is no reason. Will not, therefore, the willing, manly boys who read this enlist their friends to help at least one of their heathen brothers to a Christian education? It is work that will give abundant reward.
American boys know how much care is taken for their education. Not only are their teachers, but their mothers, fathers, brothers sisters and other relatives, their constant instructors. The greatest culture and opportunity surround them; valuable libraries are ever at their disposal. There are numberless free schools, art rooms and museums. Beside the private academies, institutes, and colleges, there are Young Men’s Christian Association rooms, Christian Endeavor Societies, churches and Sunday-schools, all open and giving hearty welcome. Not so are the privileges of the boys in India, China and Japan. For though the Bible and our missionaries have done a great deal to help the heathen boy, his surroundings are dark indeed, in contrast with those of children in Christian lands. Indeed, it is rare that a heathen boy is not a castaway by his family when he confesses Christ. Instead of relatives being a help to his life, they are among his greatest sorrows.
Boys ought to be willing to give other boys a chance, especially when they stand alone. If ten boys would form a band, they could easily collect thirty dollars a year, and thirty dollars would pay all the yearly expenses of a boy in a mission school or academy. This academy prepares boys for the theological seminary, and the seminary fits them for the ministry. Indeed, when in the academy, boys often go out to talk and sing to those who do not know of Christ. They feel sure that their heathen friends are missing so much in not knowing Jesus, that they cannot wait until they have completed their studies; but as soon as they know about Jesus themselves they are impatient to tell others. They can talk to their friends with greater effect than missionaries from this country, because they understand their customs and ways. Besides, the terrible heat in India does not affect them as it does people who go from this country. Very often our missionaries and their families have to return to America on account of their health.
Some of the boys in India are very bright. I will tell you of one who is about fifteen years of age, and is a student in the Arcot Academy, India. His name is Joseph, son of the catechist Israel; his mother’s name is Rachel. You will notice they are all Bible names. This family were once heathen, but now all know and love Christ, and are happy in working for Him. I lately had the pleasure of reading a letter written and composed by Joseph, without any aid from his instructors. I wish it were possible for my boy readers to see his penmanship; it seemed nearly as perfect as copperplate. Each letter was very distinct and prettily shaded. Every word was spelled correctly, and while his composition had not the exact style we would use, it was very direct and intelligible. I doubt if many American boys of Joseph’s age could do better with a French or German letter, or in writing in any other language than their own. Thinking you might be interested in hearing from Joseph, particularly as he tells of what he does on the Sabbath, and of his school life, I will quote directly from his letter:
“MADRAS PRESIDENCY, Ranipet, India.
“MOST RESPECTED AND KIND MADAM:
“My superiors, teachers and fellow-students are doing well up to this time by the grace of our Almighty, hoping the same for you....
“I solicit you, dear madam, pray for me that I may obey my superiors; I don’t like to have the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in vain. But I want to publish His name.
“Every Sunday we all go over the country and preach about the Gospel. Many of the heathen become Christians.
“There are eight bands in the school. When we are going to preach, each band will take three or four lyrics, some tracts, a cymbal, and a jalar or tambourine. When we are singing many men and women and children will come to hear us.
“After our preaching is over we take account of the men, women and children who come to hear our preaching. Most of them will ask questions, and we will answer them. Many of them will abuse the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though they abused Him, we won’t leave these men, since they don’t understand what Christ has done for the world. We have meeting every Friday evening, and in that meeting we will give our reports of the men who heard the Word of Christ.”
Referring to his studies, he writes:
“Now there are four classes, viz., matriculation class, the fifth class, the lower secondary class, and the lower fourth class. There are five teachers, including our manager. Each class changes its lessons after one hour. Our manager teaches general English for the four classes, and also takes English history for the fifth class, and science, physics and chemistry for the sixth class. He shows many good examples and gives us good games. He is very kind toward us. We have many sorts of games. Tennis and football and cricket and gymnasium exercises. Our manager teaches us cricket every evening.”
As this boy is writing to the one who supports him, he closes in the following manner:
“I thank the Lord for having given me a supporter. I render my warm and delightful obeisance to respected and dear madam. I remain your most obedient
“PONNOR ISAAC JOSEPH.”
After reading this letter, which is not a fancy sketch, picture in your mind Joseph, his surroundings, a young Hindoo boy, whose dark-skinned face glows enthusiastically with his love for Christ and with his ardent desire to tell others of his love, writing in a strange tongue to a lady whom he has never seen. He has her photograph, and has received letters from her, but her voice and manner are only conjectures in his mind. He is writing to this lady, who has been the means of his salvation, of freeing him from his yoke borne by his countrymen. Try to picture this, and then see if in your own heart there is not a strong desire to free more than one boy in that dark land. In freeing one, you free others: do not forget that.
“I WISH I WERE A GENERAL.”
“If wishes were horses, Beggars might ride.”
“Have you ever heard that, Jo?”
“_Heard_ it, what kind of a bringing up has a fellow had, do you think? You know well enough that ever since I was in knickerbockers, that immortal rhyme has been drilled into me. I’m sick and tired of sermonizing, and all I have to say is, if you don’t wish for something grand, something beyond you, you never will amount to anything.”
“That is true, Jo, but wishing without action will not accomplish much. I’ve heard you make at least twenty wishes this morning. One, ‘I wish I was rich!’ just as though that were anything new; all boys wish that. Then you wished you were somebody great, somebody famous, like Cæsar or the Czar of Russia, or the President of the United States. Then you wished your father could only let you have a college education so that you might be a lawyer. And then, to go on to smaller matters, you wished it was Christmas, so that you might have vacation. And lastly, you wished you were a fine bicycle rider, so that you might win the prize in the coming race. I tell you, old fellow, I long ago learned such a wholesome lesson on the wishing point, that it made me over new, so to speak.”
“How so, John? now I am interested, for I thought you had been perfect from your youth up.”
“Well, to begin with the beginning and make an out-and-out confession, I’ll have to introduce you to my Uncle Charles. I wish you knew General Journay; I know you would like him even if he is an odd-looking man; he was once very handsome. He is too sensible to think he is handsome now, though, for there is no denying that he’s fat. He says it is constitutional, and maybe it is. I notice he is very uncomfortable, short of breath, you know; gets a red face in climbing up the stairs to the elevated road, and all that, but he’s jolly and good, and says he wants me to be a manly man, and I am going to try my best to please him. You know I am not as rich in relations as you are, for my parents died when I was a baby, and I never had either brothers or sisters; perhaps that’s one reason I think so much of you, Jo. Well, to go on with my story, when I was about twelve years old I went to visit for a week at my Uncle Charles’ home. He was delighted to have me with him, and I never tired of his companionship, or of looking at his soldier’s uniform, his sword and his medals. One day I said to him, ‘Oh, Uncle, I wish I were a General,’ and he replied, ‘There is no reason why you cannot be one, my boy, if the right material is only in you.’”
“‘What do you mean by right material, Uncle?’ I inquired.
“‘Why, humility, obedience, courage, honesty, truthfulness.’
“‘I did not know that soldiers were ever humble.’
“‘You must be humble enough to enter the lowest ranks, obedient enough to follow orders, courageous enough to face any emergency, honest enough to submit to pain rather than to steal, and truthful enough never to soil your lips or conscience with a lie.’
“Then my uncle told me of his own boyhood, of his poverty, his hindrances, his temptations; and I saw that the rank of General did not come by wishing, but by the greatest endurance, study, and hard work. I tell you what, Jo, as I listened to his story I felt so ashamed, and so small, I thought I would like to crawl away in a hole, anywhere almost, if I could only hide, for you know my uncle is such a noble, grand man. Then, too, my uncle told me of our great inventors, officers, rulers, whom the world is delighted to honor, and I saw that wishing had but little to do with their achievements and successes. I saw I had to buckle on my own armor and go to work.
“That night I could scarcely sleep; I kept thinking how insignificant uncle must think me, for I knew I had often wished for this, that and the other thing in his presence, and so when I did sleep I dreamed that I was in the woods, and I thought that all the bushes and trees were waving, and one big branch seemed like a long, bare arm beckoning to me. I felt an awesome, queer, uncanny feeling, and I was sure I was losing my way. I saw one and another path, but which one to take I knew not, when suddenly I heard a laugh; this frightened me so much that I jumped; then a voice said, ‘You little goosey-gander, what a brave soldier you would make, to be sure, afraid of a little laugh;’ and then I heard ha! ha! ha! and what seemed to me to be the most uproarious laughter, the shout of a hundred fairies. Soon a tiny old woman approached me saying, ‘I am a fairy queen. Ask for whatever you may wish while you are in my domain?’
“At once I exclaimed: ‘I wish to be the oldest General living.’ And there I was, a general in very truth, but so old I could scarcely see, so deaf I could scarcely hear; and I was dressed in a costume similar to my uncle’s. My hands were wrinkled, a long beard hung over my breast, but it was as white as snow. My mouth felt so queer that I lifted my hand to discover the reason, and alas! my teeth were all gone. I tried to walk, but I was so stiff I could scarcely place one foot before the other. ‘Oh, what a fool I have been,’ I thought. ‘If only I were a boy again? Oh, Uncle Charles, Uncle Charles!’ I screamed.
“‘Why, my boy, what is the matter, you were groaning and moaning so in your sleep, I thought something must be wrong?’ were his words.
“Wasn’t I grateful, though, to find it was only a dream. It seemed too good to be true, to learn that I was really a boy again, that life was before, and not behind, me. I tell you, Jo, I could scarcely wait for day to come, to get at positive work. And since that horrible nightmare, which taught me the silliness of wishing, I have been a changed boy, and I do not think I will ever fall into that purposeless talk again. But you don’t like sermons, excuse me, Jo.”
“You are a good fellow, John; I should not be worthy of friendship such as yours, if I did not benefit by what you have told me. I will try to follow your example. What do you say to our both being manly men?”
“Those words have the right ring.” And so saying the two friends walked off arm in arm.
A HEBREW CHRISTIAN.
Sydney Arnheim was a Jew. I say was, because he has thrown off the yoke of the Jewish faith, and this little story will tell you how it all came about.
Sydney is an only child; his parents are rich; his father, a famous Wall Street broker, is a power among his kind; his mother also belongs to a wealthy Hebrew family, and her refined taste and education show clearly in her surroundings. Anything that appeals to her exquisite judgment is purchased, so that Sydney’s home shows everywhere the touch of elegance, as well as the fitness of perfection. Sydney’s own room bears the print of her careful taste, and yet prominent among the rich hangings and delicate furnishing you see a Winchester rifle, a trout pole, also a buck’s antlers, a blue crane, a kingfisher, and several other well-known birds, all so skilfully prepared by the taxidermist that you could scarcely be blamed if you thought them yet alive. Yes, Sydney is a regular boy, and loves to keep trophies of his sport in sight, as well as his gun and trout pole. He says at times, “It makes it seem as if I’m in the Adirondack woods whenever I look at them, and simply lifting my rod recalls some experiences with papa in the boat with our guide, or else wading the streams with my tutor and drawing out big fish.” So Sydney’s mother, knowing the comfort these recollections bring, allows her son to place his sporting equipments just where and as he pleases. Thus the room has an odd, menagerie style of appearance. And thus the home of this Israelitish family everywhere tells of comfort and luxury.
Sydney, from his babyhood, was carefully trained in the customs and belief of his people. His mother, so frequently his companion, constantly talked about the greatness of his lineage, and told him of the patriarchs, legislators, warriors, singers and prophets which were among the Hebrew people. She also told him of Abraham and Moses, and of the covenant with Abraham at Jehovah-jireh, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,” and also what the Lord said to Jacob at Bethel, “The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.” And she daily urged her son to walk in the footsteps and keep the covenants of his people, and always to serve the Lord God of Israel. The rabbi also would frequently visit their home, and Sydney was accustomed to talk to him, as well as to receive the old man’s instruction and blessing. Sydney loved to hear from him the stories of Moses, Aaron and Joshua; of the Tishbite and his servant Elisha; of Solomon and the temple; of the son of Jesse, David, the sweet singer, and of the promise of the Messiah to come.
And so it was when Sydney had attained his seventeenth year that when asked what he would most like for his birthday-gift he replied, “The education that will fit me the most thoroughly to preach, not alone to my people, but to win many erring ones, believers in the ‘false Christ’ to turn to the true faith.” He was at this time, therefore, and for seven anxious, wearisome months afterwards, the _Jewest_ of all Jews, a devoted follower of Moses, but not of the Lamb.
About the time of the birthday above alluded to, there came for a visit of three months a cousin of Sydney, a little girl about three years his junior. She, young as she was, however, was a Christian, and had the Easter previous publicly confessed Christ, and united with the same church her parents had long attended.
The question might readily be asked, “Since she was Sydney’s cousin, how was it that she was not also a believer in the Hebrew faith?” The reason is this. Her mother was Sydney’s father’s sister, and when very young, only seventeen years of age, had surprised and grieved her family by stating she was about to marry a gentleman who was not of her religion. Many words regarding the matter were exchanged at the time, but they were useless in preventing the marriage, and a year later she saddened her parents yet more by renouncing her Hebrew faith, and connecting herself with the church of her husband. He was a most exemplary gentleman, however, and, notwithstanding his religion, his wife’s people could not fail to have a most profound respect for him. So, in time, the families visited back and forth, but the topic of religion was never introduced. Sydney’s father would sometimes sigh wearily, when talking of his sister, and say his hope was that she would yet return to the belief of her forefathers, and that in time all must be well.
So now the little Edith was to spend many weeks with her Jewish relations, but she had been told to be careful about her attendance at church, and ever watchful of her conduct, indeed to act in every way as the child of the dear Christ whom she loved so well. Her mother, however, before consigning her to her brother’s care, simply said to her, “I will pray for you, dear, that your faith fail not,” and “Have no fear, mamma,” was the sweet reply. “Jesus will be with me in Uncle Nathan’s home, as well as in my own. Perhaps He will even have work for me to do there. You know Dr. M—— last Sabbath morning talked to us on the subject of missions, and said there were many kinds, and while we should pray and work for the foreign and domestic fields, we must also remember those of our own household, indeed, all everywhere, who do not love the Saviour.” So Edith’s mother had no fear for her child, and into the uncle’s home there came a blessing, the measure of which cannot be counted by any earthly rule or computation, for who can measure the joy of even one soul turned to the Saviour?
Edith and Sydney were now great friends, for while they had known each other always, the constant companionship led to the warmest friendship, and they were therefore as good comrades as a boy and girl cousin could well be. Neither religion nor any topic bearing on it was ever discussed before Edith. She never attended their church, nor they hers. When the Sabbath came she would always be accompanied to the church door, and when the service was out some member of the family would be found without waiting to walk home with her, and during her entire visit neither by word or action was she allowed to feel she stood apart from her Jewish relations, and therefore the time passed all too rapidly onward. She remembered her promise to her mother, and most earnestly she prayed to God to direct and help her. She also prayed for her uncle and aunt, imploring the Father in heaven to lead them into the light; but particularly she prayed for her cousin Sydney. They were such comrades, so nearly of an age, and yet she felt there was a great gulf fixed, and therefore she constantly plead that he might learn of the Christ, the Saviour.
One day, just after a most fervent prayer for Sydney, her cousin approached her unobserved while she was reading from the New Testament. He exclaimed, on seeing the title, “Why, Edith, I never had a copy of that book in my hands. I should like to read yours sometime, if you don’t mind.”
“Mind! why no, Sydney. Take it along with you now.”
And he did. When her cousin left, Edith prayed as she never had before, beseeching the Father to let the scales drop from his eyes and show unto him the Christ. And God did open the boy’s eyes. He did not read through a glass darkly, but with clearest vision. The brightest light fell on the divine Word, the light which later led to his giving up his old Hebrew faith, and his acceptance of Jesus.
All did not come at once. At the first reading he was troubled, anxious, but not satisfied. He had many old questions to settle; he had much pride to put aside; he spent many hours, and at times away into the night in prayer. But peace at last came, the peace which he feels will endure until the day when he will see the King in His beauty.
And now Sydney longs for the conversion of his parents, and of all of his people. His wish is to preach Christ, and so do all in his power to lead his brethren, the Jews, unto the everlasting joy of the New Jerusalem.
THE BABY’S LESSON.
It was blossom-time, and in the quiet of the early May morning the church bells rung out their loving call. “Come, come, come!” they seemed to say, and, accepting the invitation, we shortly found ourselves sitting, with other strangers, in the Episcopal church of a favorite resort.
It was during the Scripture lesson that a little maiden of about four years of age quietly walked up the long aisle, looking to right and left, scanning the faces in every pew, until she had reached the chancel. The clergyman’s voice was no doubt familiar to her, for she showed no timidity. Not seeing the one she sought, she turned and tripped down the aisle again. But on nearing the door she put out her hands and extended her arms in a pleading baby fashion, as if to say, “I do not want to go away. I cannot find my papa or mamma, but will not some one lift me up? I came to church to stay.” And a kind-hearted man, seeing the gesture, took up the baby beside him.
The little one reverently entered into the worship of the hour. As prayer followed prayer, the blue eyes closed tight, and the wavy golden hair fell forward over the bent head. At the time of singing she rose with others, and her voice carolled out the tune, though her words were those of her own devising. One little hand tightly clasped a penny, and as the collection-plate was passed she eagerly dropped in her contribution.
It was time to go home, and as nearly all present were strangers, many watched to see what the baby girl would do. A mother by my side said to her, “I have a little girl at home, about as big as you. I would not want her to be lost, and if you will tell me where you live I will take you home.” Then a quiet dignity seemed to possess the wee maiden, as with courteous action she pointed to a large white house about one hundred feet away. Lifting the blue eyes to the lady’s face, she replied, “I live there. I love to come to church, and I thought I should find papa; he always goes, but”—gravely shaking her curls—“I couldn’t find him this morning. But I can go home by my own self.” And then, child fashion, she ran on, as though to satisfy us that she knew the way.
Walking under the apple boughs back to the hotel, we thought of the sermon this child’s presence had preached. And the question came, Why do not all parents so train their little ones that they love God’s house? This little girl had given the congregation a lesson which should make a children’s day of every Sabbath the year around. The Bible says, “Their angels do always behold the face of the Father,” and “Unless ye become as a little child, ye cannot enter the kingdom.”
Where young children sit side by side with their parents in church, and so learn to “remember the Sabbath day,” they will early wish to consecrate their lives to Christ. They will not enter heaven “so as by fire,” but “as kings crowned,” for they will not wait to work for the Master until the time when the “grinders shall cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,” but will use the hours of every day as in God’s sight, and in the companionship of Him who is invisible.
Nothing so much lends enchantment to the hours or wings them to merry flight as fortune-telling. And particularly fascinating is the art of foretelling the future through the medium of palm-reading. When a bright girl who has the faculty of revealing character and prophesying the future by inspecting the hand is in a drawing-room, the hostess need not fear for the pleasure of her guests, for the fair magician will take care of beaux and belles alike, leading them on to happy marriages and boundless wealth (for no real fortune-teller ever forgets matrimony and money). Nor will the young people alone be anxious to learn what is written in the palms of their hands, for more or less superstition lingers with us all. And what if there has been a small error regarding character-reading, or a trifling discrepancy relative to past events, one happy guess will cause all such mistakes to be forgotten: and besides, the necessity for verification is seldom urgent. Palmistry is not altogether pastime, any more than divination is altogether jugglery, for no hand is exactly like another hand; the intersection of the lines, the stars, the mounts, the texture, really do supply a guide to the character of the owner. And if, added to the knowledge of hand-reading, you are a student of the face—and every one is more or less a physiognomist—you will arrive at fairly correct conclusions.
Palmistry is linked with astrology: the first finger belongs to Jupiter, the middle to Saturn, the third to the Sun, the small finger to Mercury; Venus is in the thick part below the thumb, the plain of Mars is directly under the mount of Mercury, the moon controls all beneath the kingdom of Mars. This link between the planets and the hand was arbitrary; astronomers distributed deities among the planets, and the planets were supposed to partake of the nature of the gods and to influence life.
Palmistry also depends on analogy and symbolism. Every mark on the hand has some mystical meaning. A star denotes success, barred lines indicate obstacles; where several parallel lines are formed instead of one, they show a variety of pursuits, instead of force only in one direction. If lines are long, gently curved, and red, they indicate a gentle disposition; if you have a special talent, there will surely be a perpendicular line from the base of the hand toward the fingers; this line is sometimes doubled. Long tapering fingers indicate high mental qualities, a love of the arts, a thirst for knowledge, and strength of memory, while the contrary shows a tendency to rapid progress at first, only to be followed by failure in all intellectual undertakings. People with short fingers are apt to be impulsive, if they are very short, they indicate lack of tact. Long-fingered people go into detail, and are punctiliously careful about trifles. Twisted fingers with short nails show tyranny and a worrying temperament. If the fingers fit closely together, their owner is apt to be avaricious; if smooth, they indicate indiscretion and talkativeness. But if twisted and showing spaces between, the person is sympathetic and generous. Sensitiveness is shown by the small fleshy protuberances, which stand out from the curved surface of the finger-tips. If your fingers are broad, you will love things for their practical uses; your taste will be for industries, mechanics, commerce. If your finger-tips are square, you will be fond of literature, logic, language, you will be inclined to theorize, and you will have respect for authority. The joints of the fingers have an importance, so they too must be carefully examined. Indeed, no one part of the hand can be taken alone; a joint or a line or a mount may so change the meaning of what you have already observed, as to greatly modify your conclusions. Conic fingers show a love for the beautiful, the ideal and romantic, but the well-developed joints may add moral force, as also does a large thumb. Hands that are always white, regardless of temperature, tell of selfishness and conceit, lack of sympathy for the sorrows of others. Soft hands tell of a lazy, lethargic temperament; hard hands show a love of exercise and labor. Soft hands indicate tenderness rather than fidelity, while hard hands indicate true love, but not much tenderness or passion. Smoothness of the hands shows delicacy of mind. A wrinkled hand, if soft, shows sensitiveness; if hard, irritability. Pale lines in a hand show a phlegmatic disposition, in a man amounting to effeminacy.
Each mount is of as much import as are the indications found on the fingers. On the mount of Jupiter you will learn of honor, ambition, religion. If it is very large it shows tyranny and ostentation; if small, idleness, egoism, vulgarity. A cross found on this mount will tell of a happy marriage; if a star is found as well, the marriage will be wealthy and satisfactory to the highest degree. A spot on this mount shows ignominy and dishonor.
The mount of Saturn, which is at the base of the second finger, tells of caution, credulousness, timidity. If very large, the individual will be melancholy, quiet, and morbid. A solitary line on this mount indicates bad fortune.
The mount of the Sun, when prominent, insures success, genius, pride, eloquence. If the mount is extremely large, wealth extravagance, luxury. A single line on this mount means glory.
Below the little finger on the outside of the hand we look for the mount of Mercury, and there learn of invention, speculation, agility. Excess of this mount indicates cunning, treachery, and falsehood.
Below this mount we find Mars, which if very prominent, shows the owner to be brusque and violent; if it is small, look out for cowardice and meanness.
The mount of the Moon, which is found lower still, denotes a love of the mysterious; those possessing this mount to a high degree are also inclined to revery, as well as to idleness. They are likewise capricious, changeful, and irritable. In hard hands you will also read discontent and fanaticism.
The most important of all the lines on the hand is the line of life. If long, clear, and straight, it shows long life and good character; if pale and broad, the indications are ill health and a weak disposition; if thick and red, the owner is apt to be violent to brutality; if varying in thickness, this will show a fitful and high temper.
The greatest caution must be used by any reader of the hand, and before even a pretension is made to judge character or to foretell the future, much careful study of the many books on this subject should be given. The student must learn from different authorities, as well as by thoughtful study and comparison for himself. Many rules must be applied, and there are many conflicting forces to harmonize. The hand is of the utmost importance in human economy. Aristotle denominated it “the organ of the organs.” After the murder of Cicero at Caieta, not only his head but also his hands were exhibited in the Roman Forum. The homologies have been traced between the human hand and the paws of the brute creation, and it has been proved that to man alone was the perfect hand given, exquisite in beauty as well as paramount in usefulness.
Palmistry is an old science. As early as the year 1504 there was a book published in the city of London on _The Art of Foretelling the Future Events by Inspection of the Hand_. It has been asserted that Homer wrote on the lines of the hand. Probably most people are familiar with the verse assigned by the superstitions as Scriptural warrant for indulging in this popular art: Job xxxvii. 7, “He sealeth the hand of every man, that all may know his work.”
It was only a smile as the Hymn-book and Psalter were offered; it did not cost the young man anything, but it gave us, the recipients of his courtesy, pleasant satisfaction. We did not feel as if the books were grudgingly given, but rather that a sympathetic bond had united us, that we would like to know this cordial generous young fellow, and thought if this were a sample of the people in that church, we would like to make it our home. The entire service was so heightened by the incident that we scarcely missed our old familiar surroundings, and really had almost forgotten that we were strangers, so one with us the people appeared; and when the preacher later gave for his text the words, “The greatest of these is Love,” it seemed only natural that this should have been the thought selected.
By contrast, we felt severely the difference which the following Sabbath brought. It was again the early service, and we sat strangers in another city church. The opening hymn, which was not a familiar one, was announced, and an old man sitting in a pew behind gave us his book. Two young men occupying the seat with him each had a hymn-book with notes, but instead of looking on the same book, so having one to spare, they each selfishly kept their own, neither offering one to the old gentleman who, I later learned, had gone without for our sake, nor giving a book to two ladies who were in the pew with me, and were strangers like ourselves. As a result, we all felt uncomfortable; the clergyman’s sermon, excellent though it was, did not meet with proper response. Our thoughts were divided, the atmosphere was unpleasant, we claimed that the church seemed very cheerless, that even the lighting of it was not satisfactory, and, indeed, we were so unhappy by the ungracious action of the two young men back of us that we were glad when the benediction was pronounced, and we could, borrowing an illustration from the time of the Apostles, shake the dust off our feet, and turn toward home.
The question is sometimes asked, Why are there so many vacant pews in our churches? And the blame is laid on the hard-working minister. Well, his shoulders are broad and accustomed to carrying burdens. All the sorrows and annoyances of the people become a part of his daily load. But stop. Let us put the answer to this question where it belongs, not on the minister, but nine-tenths of the time on the congregation. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers,” are the words of the Bible, and we cannot go to a better book for advice. “Be courteous,” are also two words found there.
A young man, not a church-goer, once said to me, “I wandered into Dr. L.’s church the other morning, and I was shown into one of the very best pews. Later the family came, and they gave me every attention. When the service was over, the gentleman who sat at the head of the pew allowed his family to pass out, and waited for me. Then offering his hand, said he was very glad I had been put in his pew, and he hoped I would come to church again very soon, every Sunday if I would, and then he added, ‘Young man, don’t ask an usher for a seat, come right in here with me any time.’
“Now,” continued this young gentleman, “that’s what I call business. I enjoyed the service that morning, was not made to feel as if I was an offscourer, but as if I was welcome. I’ll go again soon; that’s the right kind of a church. The singing was beautiful, and I’m fond of music; the sermon, too, touched the right place, but I think what had more to do with it than anything else, was that courteous family and the hearty hand-shake afterwards.”
We, neither of us, can weigh the influence we have on our neighbor. Perhaps it is better for our own peace we cannot. But we must remember a smile may save a soul. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”
A BRAVE BOY.
“How shall our class raise one hundred dollars for the benefit of the church-debt fund?” was a question recently put to eight young girls by their Sunday-school teacher.
“Have a fair in the early fall; we will work for it all summer,” was the first answer.
“No; that might interfere with the ladies’ fair, which comes during December. It is to be a mammoth one this year, and we must not anticipate the event nor risk retarding its prosperity, but rather do our part to push it forward.”
“Suppose, then, we have a cake sale,” was the suggestion by the eldest one of the party. That was at once vetoed, as more properly belonging to our mothers and grandmothers.
“I tell you what, girls!” ejaculated Jessie, “let us make candy; get all the orders we can and supply our customers. We can make lots of money that way.”
“Yes, if we can get the customers,” added Hattie, “_I_ thought maybe we could get up an entertainment, and so I brought a book containing a colloquy in three parts, which will just take in all of us. There are eight characters, so it would fit exactly.”
“Good for you, Hattie,” was the quick reply, and the bright eyes and excited manner of each of the scholars showed that such enthusiasm could not fall to result in success.
Later a satisfactory programme was arranged, consisting of music, recitations, tableaux and the above-mentioned colloquy. The entertainment was to be given in the parlors of one of the scholars, and the tickets for young and old were to be offered for the sum of twenty-five cents each.
My! how the girls worked, not alone in the necessary preparation for their part of the programme, but in the sale of tickets, which were disposed of rapidly.
At last the much-looked-for night had come, and never did stars seem more brilliant, or moonlight more beautiful. Such a crowd! Long before the time for showing the tableaux, which were to open the entertainment, the parlors and halls and even the stairs were full. A man was stationed at the door to receive the tickets and any money which might be offered.
But was it any wonder that little Theodore Vandervoort, who is connected with one of the younger classes of the Sunday-school, found himself surrounded by so many bigger and older people, that he was not seen? or that the money he had expected to give at the door should not be taken?
What a temptation this now presented! His father and mother would never know. The twenty-five cents would buy a great deal of candy, or the new ball he wanted so much, or a box of figs, or several bananas, of which he was very fond. But no, Theodore was an honest boy and would therefore scorn to use money which was not his own. This twenty-five cents had been given to him to pay for the entertainment he was now enjoying, and he would not expend it for any other purpose. So the following morning, before he entered school, he paid his debt, personally going to the house of the teacher who had charge of the entertainment and, with a few words of explanation, leaving the money.
And so Theodore Vandervoort proved himself a hero, an example to many an older boy, as well as to many fathers and mothers.
Even in a small boy we see the future man, and if God wills that Theodore Vandervoort shall grow to manhood, we are not afraid to predict great things of him, to prophesy that he will be a man above reproach, a king among his fellows.
May the boys who read this story beware of falling into temptation, or doing the first dishonest act; but rather let them be brave, noble and upright, as was little Theodore, and so receive not only peace of conscience in the present life, but the joy which is eternal.
As for the entertainment, it met with the success that generally attends zeal and hard work, and so overflowing was the treasury that the girls scarcely needed the added twenty-five cents. Yet honest Theodore, in taking his first opportunity to get out of debt, which is out of danger also, had set for all who read these words an excellent example.
* * * * *
Obvious punctuation errors repaired. Varied hyphenation retained.
Page 18, “carboard” changed to “cardboard” (a square of cardboard)
Page 23, “varities” changed to “varieties” (think what varieties of)
Pages 25, 149 “where-ever” split over two lines was changed to “wherever” (Girl runs wherever) (may put them wherever)
Page 57, “though” changed to “through” (through which he has)
Page 57, “andthis” changed to “and this” (and this game should)
Page 91, “fete” changed to “fête” (the popular _fête_)
Page 96, “matinee” changed to “matinée” (occasional matinée performance)
Page 97, “mad” changed to “made” (be made of white)
Page 162, “fastents” changed to “fastens” (instantly fastens itself)
Page 184, “couse” changed to “course” (course, the pansy-leaf)
Page 189, “maccaroni” changed to “macaroni” (but not macaroni)
Page 194, “urdona” changed to “urdon” (own esog urdon)
Page 194, “Mda” changed to “Nda” (Nda lilst i okwn)
Page 194, “aec dn” changed to “aecdn” (Het iteesvf aecdn)
Page 194, “f’tfrdnei” changed to “fetfrdnei” (Os fetfrdnei rmof)
Page 196, “eyes” changed to “hair” (hair was so brown)
Page 199, “tlp” changed to “tip” (tip of nose)
Page 199, “smilar” changed to “similar” (similar to example)
Page 200, “wth” changed to “with” (with pots, pans, dishes)
Page 235, “similiar” changed to “similar” (similar ludicrous blunders)
Page 240, split across two lines, “forget-getting” changed to “forgetting” (the trouble, forgetting)
Page 249, “the” changed to “this” (negligent this time)
Page 255, “immates” changed to “inmates” (difficulty the inmates of)
Page 316, paragraph break introduced after the line ending, “with me anytime” as the quotation pattern seemed to suggest it.
Page 319, “eharge” changed to “charge” (charge of the entertainment)