AN ILLUSTRATED WEEKLY.]
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VOL. I.--NO. 22. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, March 30, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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[Illustration: A DELUSION AND A SNARE.]
BY MARGARET EYTINGE.
There was one boy in the Merrit Academy who never joined in any of the games; never went skating; never went swimming; never made a snow man or threw snow-balls; never came to the meetings of the debating society, where such questions as, "If a fellow ask a fellow for a bite of a fellow's apple, which is the politer way to give it to a fellow--to bite off a piece yourself, or let a fellow bite for himself?" were debated with much mock gravity and real fun.
He looked with horror on all kinds of fighting; had no admiration for great generals; thought war should be abolished; shuddered at tales of cruelty and suffering; was constitutionally timid and extremely credulous; hated thunder and lightning; liked birds, flowers, pretty verses, and fairy tales; believed in ghosts and supernatural beings; was very fair haired, very blue eyed, tall, slender, and named Harold Lord. But after the first week or two of his attendance at school--he was a day scholar--his real name was never heard, for his school-mates, quickly finding out his peculiar characteristics, skillfully turned it into "Lady Harriet," and Lady Harriet he remained for many a long year. Of course, being so girlish in his appearance, ways, and tastes, and of so reserved and gentle a disposition, the other boys rather looked down upon him, and, after the manner of boys, made him the subject of much chaff and many practical jokes; and so it came about when Charley Bennet and Ned Morningstar and Hen Rowe began on the afternoon of the 31st of March to talk about the 1st of April, they hit upon Lady Harriet as a boy who would make a capital "April-fool."
"We can have no end of fun with him," said Charley. "You know he lives all alone with his grandmother--"
"A Little Red Riding-hood," interrupted Hen Rowe.
"--down by the cedar woods," continued Bennet. "But the question now in order is, what kind of fun shall it be?"
"Dress up like Indians, and pretend you're goin' to scalp him," proposed little Al Smith, who had joined the party--a thing no other small boy in that establishment would have dared to do; but then Alfred, as his aunt called him--and a very cross old aunt she was, too--had no father nor mother, and was such a good-natured, willing, reliable young chap that his older school-mates made quite a pet of him, and allowed him many liberties they would have allowed to no one else in his class.
"Nonsense, Smithey," said Hen Rowe. "Ghosts is the thing;" and striking an attitude, he quoted:
"'I am thy father's spirit; Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night; And, for the day, confined to fast in fires.... I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word Would harrow up thy soul; fre-e-e-eze thy young blood; Make thy--'"
"That's quite enough of that, Rowe," said Bennet. "A band of young desperadoes is my idea. The papers are full of 'em just now--fellows living in caves and other queer places, and robbing right and left (result of reading too many dime novels; heard the Professor say so this morning). Been 'round here too; stole Uncle Jeff's calf day before yesterday; and his grandmother goes to sewing society to-morrow night."
"The calf's grandmother?" asked Hen Rowe.
"Didn't know you had any grandmother," said Bennet.
"Charley's hit on the very thing," declared Ned Morningstar. "We'll let three or four other fellows into the joke, and I'll be captain, and we'll wear masks, and all the old clothes we can beg, borrow, or take, and get ourselves up prime as a No. 1 band of reg'lar young villains. Aha! your money or your life!" making a lunge at small Al.
"But you won't really hurt Lady Harriet?" said the little fellow, an anxious look coming into his soft brown eyes. "He's good to me, and gives me candy, and took me fishin' once."
"Took you fishin'!" repeated Charley Bennet, counterfeiting the greatest astonishment. "If he did, I'll bet he never let you catch a fish. He'd 'a fainted when he saw it a-wriggling on the hook."
"He did too," answered Al, stoutly. "I caught four, and six crabs, and he got eight," adding, frankly, "but he said he didn't like to catch them, only his grandmother said he must."
"Very reprehensible old lady," said Hen Rowe, gravely, "to allow her greediness for fish to trample on the softest feelings of her grandson's head--I mean heart. But don't be afraid, Smallbones"--stroking Al's dark curls--"we won't hurt him, not a bit; make your mind easy about that. He shall live to take you a-fishin' again.
"It does him good to wake him up once in a while," added Ned Morningstar, "he's such a turtle. I think I see his face when we all shout 'April-fool'!"
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At dusk the next evening, after Grandmother Lord had gone to the sewing society, six or seven dreadful-looking objects came splashing through the mud up the road which led to her cottage. They were dressed in uncouth garments of all sizes and colors. Hats, brimless, or with brims very much turned up or very much turned down, two flaming red turbans, and a round handleless basket, through the open wicker-work of which the hair of the wearer straggled in the most outlandish and porcupinish manner, constituted their head-gear. The leader carried a gun. The others were armed with hatchets, knives, and clubs. All their faces were hidden by paper masks painted in various colors. "This is the house," said one of them, in a voice that seemed to come out of the ground beneath his feet, as they ranged themselves on the front porch, and he rapped sharply on the door with the stick he carried. It opened, and there stood Lady Harriet, gazing out with horror-stricken eyes upon the motley gang. "Your money or your life!" demanded he of the gun, at the same time pointing the weapon at the trembling boy.
Lady Harriet turned pale, and shrank back. "I have no money," he said, in a faltering voice.
"Then we must have your life," was the gruff reply, "unless you consent to become one of us. Seize him and search him!"
"_Do_ go away, and leave me alone," implored the boy, falling upon his knees and clasping his hands. "There is no use--making me--join your gang," he continued, with chattering teeth. "I--couldn't be a--a--what you are--to save--my life."
But the young desperadoes paid no attention to his entreaties, and while two of their number rifled his pockets, the others, lighting a couple of lanterns they had brought with them, followed their leader on a tramp through the house, with much noise and deep growling. On the return of the latter, the pocket-searchers presented the captain with half a stick of peppermint candy, a penknife, a dime, a small book (_The Language of Flowers_), and some violets wrapped in a handkerchief.
"Prisoner," said the captain, sternly--that is, as sternly as the pebble he had under his tongue would allow--"if you make an attempt to escape, the consequences be on your own head. Right about face! March!"
And away they went, dragging poor Lady Harriet, begging and imploring to be set free, with them.
"Did you ever see any fellow so scared in all your life?" whispered Charley Bennet to Hen Rowe, as their victim began to cry and scream.
"Never," said Rowe. "I begin to feel sorry for him. But what a baby he is! Why don't he break and run? He can make good time with those long legs when he's a mind to."
"Halt!" cried the captain, when they reached the cedar woods. "This has gone quite far enough. We want no cowards among us. Boy, you are--" And the mouths of his followers simultaneously opened for a tremendous shout, when--
"I perfectly agree with you," interrupted the prisoner, quickly, wresting himself at the same time with a dexterous movement from the grasp of the two boys who had held him; and then he went on in his usual soft voice and slow way: "I mean this joke's gone quite far enough. You came half an hour or so before I expected you, but I think we've all acted our parts first-rate. Good-evening, Captain Morningstar. Good-evening, desperadoes. Farewell, April-fools." And he turned and walked leisurely toward his home again.
"Jiminy!" exclaimed Ned Morningstar, snatching off his mask and pulling a long face. "Somebody has--"
"Blundered," said Hen Rowe.
"Fools to the right of me, Fools to the left of me, Fools ev'ry side of me-- Oh, how they wondered!
"what's the use of being glum about it. I've an idea it serves us right. Three cheers for Lady Harriet. He's not such a fool as he looks."
"As we look, I think," said Roy Wheeler.
And then, like the jolly boys they really were, they gave the cheers with a will, and followed them up with a roar of laughter that wakened all the echoes for miles around.
GENERAL SCHUYLER AND THE TORIES.
BY BENSON J. LOSSING.
The Tories of the Revolution were the most bitter and annoying foes of the patriots who were struggling for their independence. The relation of the Whigs and Tories was that of belligerents in a civil war--cruel and uncompromising.
General Philip Schuyler, whose sleepless vigilance acquired for him the title of "the Eye of the Northern Department," was the terror of the Tories in Northern New York, from Sir John Johnson down to Joe Bettys. Schuyler was, for a long time, commander of the Northern Department. In 1781 he was not in military command. He lived at his country-seat at Saratoga a part of the year, and the rest of the time at his fine mansion situated in the southern suburbs of Albany. The British, under Burgoyne, having destroyed his mansion at Saratoga, and that place being exposed to incursions of the British and Indians, he made his residence permanently at Albany.
Early in August, 1781, an attempt was made by some Tories and Indians to capture him, that he might be used in exchange for some prominent British prisoner, and also to get rid of the watchfulness of that dreaded "Eye." In Saratoga lived a man named Walter Myers, who knew Schuyler well. He had eaten at his table in Albany, and knew the character of his house and its surroundings. Myers had joined the Tory Rangers of Colonel Robert Rodgers--a famous partisan on the northern frontier. The British authorities in Canada employed Myers, who had become a captain under Rodgers, to seize General Schuyler, Governor Clinton, and other prominent patriots in the region of the Hudson River, as far down as Poughkeepsie. Myers was at the head of the party of Tories and Indians above alluded to, who attempted to carry off Schuyler. I will let the General tell the story of that attempt in the following letter to General Washington, dated "Albany, August 8, 1781." I copied it from the original:
"On Saturday, the 29th, while with the commissions for detecting conspiracies, I received information that a certain Captain Myers, of Rodgers's Rangers, from Canada, lurked in the vicinity of this place, with an intent to take or assassinate me. This corroborated intelligence given to General Clinton by a person escaped from Canada. On the Monday following I was informed by a Tory (whose gratitude for favors received surmounted the influence of his principles) that a reward of 200 guineas had been offered by the government in Canada to bring me there.
"On Sunday last, Major McKinstry wrote me by express from Saratoga that a party under Captain Jones had ambushed some time about Saratoga, that he had certain intelligence that I was their object, and that another party was down here with the same intentions. I took every precaution, except that of requesting a guard from General Clinton.
"Last night, about nine o'clock, Myers, with about twenty others, made the attempt. He forced the gate of a close court-yard, and afterward my kitchen door, from which servants, who had taken alarm, flew to their arms, and by a gallant opposition at the door of my house, afforded me time to retire out of my hall, where I was at supper, to my bedroom, where I kept my arms. After having made prisoners of two of the white men, wounded a third, and obliged the other to make his escape out of the house, some surrounded it, and others entered it. Those in the quarter exposed to my fire immediately retired. Those who had got up into the saloon to attempt, I suppose, the room I was in, retreated with precipitation as soon as they heard me call, '_Come on, my lads! surround the house; the villains are in it._' This I did to make them believe that succor was at hand, and it had the desired effect. They carried off two of my men, and part of my plate. The militia from the town and some of the troops ran to my assistance, and pursued the enemy, but too late to overtake them."
Thirty years ago, Mrs. C. V. R. Cochrane, of Oswego, the youngest child of General Schuyler, told me the story substantially as it is told here. Her father also related that when the family fled up stairs from the hall, in affright, the baby was left behind in the cradle. Mrs. Schuyler was about to rush down stairs for the child, when the General interposed, saying, "_Your_ life is more valuable." Her daughter Margaret, then about twelve years of age, hearing this, ran down for the baby, snatched it from the cradle, and started up the stairs with it. An Indian threw a tomahawk at her. It grazed the infant's head, cut a hole in Margaret's dress, and lodged in the mahogany stair rail. That infant became Mrs. Cochrane, and Margaret became the wife of Stephen Van Rensselaer, the Patroon, at Albany. The mansion yet stands; and well up the stairway may be seen the scar made by the keen blade of the tomahawk in the rail.
YOUNG DIAMOND MERCHANTS.
A noted traveller, who wrote about the diamond mines of India a very long time ago, describes the work done by the children. In speaking of a visit to the principal mine of Golconda, he says:
"A very pretty sight is that presented every morning by the children of the master-miners and of other inhabitants of the district. The boys--the eldest of whom is not yet over sixteen, or the youngest under ten years of age--assemble, and sit under a large tree in the public square of the village. Each has his diamond weight in a bag, hung on one side of his girdle, and on the other a purse, containing sometimes as much as five or six hundred pagodas.
"Here they wait for such persons as have diamonds to sell, either from the vicinity or from any other mine. When a diamond is brought to them, it is immediately handed to the eldest boy, who is tacitly acknowledged as the head of this little band. By him it is carefully examined, and then passed to his next neighbor, who, having also inspected it, gives it to the next boy. The diamond is thus passed from hand to hand, amidst unbroken silence, until it returns to that of the eldest, who then asks the price, and makes the bargain. If the eldest boy is thought by his comrades to have given too high a price, he must keep the stone on his own account.
"In the evening the children take an account of their stock, examine their purchases, and class the diamonds according to their water, size, and purity, putting on each stone the price they expect to get for it. These children are so perfectly acquainted with the value of all sorts of gems, that if one of them, after buying a stone, is willing to lose one-half per cent, upon it, a companion is always ready to take it."
The diamond mines of Brazil were discovered by a curious circumstance in 1730. Some miners in searching for gold found some curious pebbles, which they carried home to their masters as curiosities. Not being considered of any value, they were given to the children to play with. An officer who had spent some years in the East Indies saw these pebbles, and sent a handful to a friend in Lisbon to be examined. They proved to be diamonds. A few were collected and sent to Holland, and were pronounced to be equal to those of Golconda. The news soon reached Brazil, and those who possessed any of the "pebbles" soon realized large sums of money. The Portuguese government laid a claim upon all diamonds that might be found thereafter, a search was made, and mines were discovered.
[Begun in No. 19 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, March 9.]
ACROSS THE OCEAN; OR, A BOY'S FIRST VOYAGE.
A True Story.
BY J. O. DAVIDSON.
A DARING FEAT.
Luckily for our hero, Mr. Hawkins, the first officer, was a shrewd, clear-headed man, and had his own opinion of Master Monkey. The latter told his tale confidently enough, but a few pointed questions confused him at once: he stammered, contradicted himself, and was finally turned out in disgrace. Austin then gave _his_ version, and the officer, after questioning him closely, appeared satisfied.
"Here, my lad," said he, writing a few lines on a slip of paper, "take that to the chief engineer--you'll find him in his bunk, I reckon."
In his bunk, sure enough, lay the "chief," groaning dismally. He was a tall, fine-looking fellow, with bright blue eyes, and an arm like a blacksmith's; but when a man is on his back from seasickness, how _can_ he look heroic?
"So, my boy, you've run away to sea, eh? Humph! that's just what _I_ did when I was your age--and much good I've got by it! It was all through reading those precious sea-stories, which made me think I'd only to start to be made a captain at once. Wish I'd never learned to read--ugh!"
Here came a terrible spasm of sickness, to the great amazement of Frank, who had never dreamed of such a thing as a seasick sailor. Such cases, however, are not uncommon; and Nelson himself, one of the greatest sailors on record, never got over this weakness at all.
"This is how _I_ am for the first week of every voyage," resumed the engineer; "and I always vow that every cruise shall be my last; but when I get ashore, I can't be happy till I'm afloat again--ugh! oh!"
And another spasm followed, worse than the first.
Frank said nothing, but his pitying face spoke for him; and the sick man, evidently touched by it, went on in a cheerer tone:
"Well, youngster, you're lucky not to be sick like me. Your name's Frank Austin, eh? Well, go and tell Mr. Harris to give you some work in the engine-room."
This promotion was the beginning of a new life for our hero. Now, at last, there was a chance of learning something; and the men, in whose estimation he had risen greatly since his defeat of Monkey, were always ready to answer his eager questions. He was never weary of admiring the huge machine which did with one smooth and regular movement the work of hundreds of strong men, obeying the slightest turn of a tiny wheel, yet capable of tearing the whole ship to pieces should its irresistible strength ever break loose.
And now, as they began to enter the tropics, everything grew warm and bright. Flannels were doffed, and an awning spread over the after-deck. The wind, though it still blew strongly, was now in their favor; and foretopsail and mainsail, jib and spanker, were set to catch it, till the ship staggered under her press of canvas, and careened as if about to dip her very yards.
So passed several days, during which nothing special occurred; for by this time everything had got "shaken into its place," and the routine of the ship's duties proceeded as regularly as clock-work. Frank, now restored to his place at the mess table, and high in favor with the crew (who henceforth reserved for Monkey the cuffs and jeers formerly bestowed upon our hero), was beginning to feel quite at home in his new life, when it was suddenly broken by a very startling adventure.
One evening about dusk the machinery slackened suddenly, and an unusual bustle was heard on deck. A man running past thrust an oil-can into Frank's hand, and bade him carry it to one of the engineers upon the starboard (right-hand) paddle-box. On deck all was confusion. Men were rushing hurriedly to and fro, while the paddle-box itself was occupied by an excited group of officers and engineers; and it was some time before Frank could make out what was the matter.
An obstruction of some kind had impeded the turning of the shaft in the "outboard bearing," which had grown dangerously hot. It was this that had caused the "slowing down" of the engine, which could not be set working again till the impediment was removed, and the "bearing" oiled.
Looking over the side, Austin saw a man hanging by a rope on the outer face of the paddle-box, like a spider on its thread, and laboring stoutly, with hammer and oil-can, to set matters to rights. Suddenly the ship plunged, and the man disappeared into a surging wave. He rose again, vanished a second time, reappeared once more, and again the blows of his hammer were heard, and again the boiling whirl of foam swallowed him up. At every plunge Death seemed to gape for him; but drenched, gasping, and half stifled as he was, he still worked bravely on.
On the deck all was now deadly still; and in that grim silence the hard breathing of the excited crew could be heard as they watched the solitary man at his fearful task. Would it _never_ be over? Crash after crash the cruel waves came bursting upon him, and all could see that his strength was beginning to fail.
But the work is nearly done! A few more hammer strokes and he is safe. Already the anxious crew are beginning to breathe more freely, and even to greet their hero with encouraging shouts, when suddenly a mountain wave is seen coming right down upon him.
"Look out, Allen!" roar the sailors, with one voice.
Allen casts one glance up at the overhanging mass, and then twines his arms and limbs around the "open-work" of the paddle-box with the strength of desperation. The next moment there comes a stunning shock and a deafening crash, and all is one whirl of blinding spray and seething foam, amid which nothing can be heard and nothing seen. But when the rush passes, the brave man is still there.
A shout of joy arises, but is instantly followed by a terrible cry. _The safety-line around Allen's body has parted!_
"Grapple him with boat-hooks, some o' ye!" roars the boatswain. "Fling him a rope!--quick! or he's lost."
[Illustration: MAN OVERBOARD!]
But before any of the hands stretched toward the doomed man could reach him, his stiffened fingers lost their hold. For one moment he was seen balanced in mid-air, with his imploring glance cast upward at the stanch comrades who were powerless to save him, and then down he went into the roaring sea.
There was an instant rush to the life-boat; but it was barely half way to the water when a huge sea dashed it against the ship's side, crushing it like an egg-shell. This was the last chance. An arm tossing wildly through the foam of a distant wave, a faint cry borne past on the wind, and poor Allen was gone forever.
Then, amid the dismal silence, was heard, clear and strong, the firm voice of the captain:
"Lads, I won't _order_ any of you to run such a risk; but this job must be done somehow, or we shall all go to the bottom together. Fifty dollars to any man who'll volunteer!"
A dozen men sprang forward at once; but quick as they were, there was _one_ before them--and that one was Frank Austin. Unnoticed by all, he had knotted a rope around his waist, fastened the other end to an iron stanchion, and before any one could stop him, down he slid to the perilous spot, escaping, as if by miracle, several heavy seas which came rolling in, one upon another.
[Illustration: OILING THE OUTBOARD BEARINGS.]
For a moment the whole ship's company stood as if thunder-struck; and then one of the sailors, muttering, "Guess he'll want _them_, anyhow," lowered a hammer and oil-can, which Frank dexterously caught. The work was so nearly done that a few blows of the hammer sufficed to complete it; and a deafening cheer greeted the young hero as he prepared to climb up again.
"Smart, now, lad!" shouted half a dozen voices; "here's another sea comin'."
But Frank saw at once that the wave would be upon him before he could reach the deck, and that there was only one way of escape. Thrusting his slim figure between the beams of the open-work, where no full-grown man could have passed, he held on with all his strength. Crash came the great billow against the side, making the whole ship quiver from stem to stern; but Austin remained unhurt. The next moment he was safe on deck.
And now came a scene that might have served any painter for a study of Horatius among the Romans after his defense of the bridge. Frank was snatched up and carried shoulder-high to the forecastle by the cheering crew, who kept shouting the news of his exploit to all that had not seen it. His hands were shaken till they tingled, and his shoulder-blades ached with friendly slaps on the back from the sledge-hammer fists of his admirers. Every one was eager to give something to the hero of the hour. Offers of pipes, clasp-knives, tobacco, etc., rained upon him from the very men who had cuffed and kicked him like a dog but a few days before; and even his refusal of these gifts, which would formerly have been set down to conceit and "uppishness," was now taken in perfectly good part. In fact, that one deed of promptitude and courage had raised him from the last to one of the first among the whole crew. So true is it that they who succeed best are not always the bravest, or the wisest, or the strongest, but simply those who keep their wits about them, and never miss a chance of doing something.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
A STRANGE FELLOW-VOYAGER.
I've had many a queer voyage in my time, said Captain M----, but the queerest I ever had was one that I made (somewhat unexpectedly, as you will see), upon the Great Fish River, in South Africa, on my way back from a hunting excursion.
As I neared the bank I saw that the river was in full flood, more than twice its usual breadth, and running like a mill-race. I knew at once that I should have a very tough job to get across, for a flooded African river is no joke, I can tell you. But I knew also that my wife would be terribly anxious if I didn't come back on the day I had fixed--South Africa being a place where a good many things may happen to a man--and so I determined to chance it.
Just at the water's edge I found an old Bushman that I knew well, who had a boat of his own; so I hailed him at once:
"Well, Kaloomi, what will you take to put me across the river?"
"No go fifty dollar this time, baas" (master), said the old fellow, in his half-Dutch, half-English jargon. "Boat no get 'cross to-day; water groed" (great).
And never a bit could I persuade him, although I offered him money enough to make any ordinary Bushman jump head-first down a precipice. Money was good, he said, but it would be no use to him when he was drowned; and in short he wouldn't budge.
"Well, if you won't put me across," said I at last, "lend me your boat, and I'll just do the job for myself; I can't very well take my horse with me, so I'll just leave him here in pledge that I'll pay for the boat when I come back."
"Keep horse for you, master, quite willing; but s'pose you try cross to-day, you never come back to ask for him."
He spoke so positively that, although I'm not easily frightened, I certainly did feel rather uncomfortable. However, when you've got to do a thing of that sort, the less you think of it the better, so I jumped into the boat and shoved off.
I had barely got clear of the shore when I found that the old fellow was right, for the boat shot down the stream like an arrow. I saw in a moment that there was no hope of paddling her across, and that all I could do was just to keep her head straight. But I hadn't the chance of doing even that very long, for just then a big tree came driving along, and hitting my boat full on the quarter, smashed her like an egg-shell. I had just time to clutch the projecting roots, and whisk myself up on to them, and then tree and I went away down stream together, at I don't know how many miles an hour.
At first I was so rejoiced at escaping just when all seemed over with me, that I didn't think much of what was to come next; but before long I got something to think about with a vengeance. The tree, as I've said, was a large one, and the branch end (the opposite one to where I sat) was all one mass of green leaves. All at once, just as I was shifting myself to a safer place among the roots, the leaves suddenly shook and parted, and out popped the great yellow head and fierce eyes of an enormous lion.
I don't think I ever got such a fright in my life. My gun had gone to the bottom along with the boat, and the only weapon I had left was a short hunting knife, which against such a beast as that would be of no more use than a bodkin. I fairly gave myself up for lost, making sure that in another moment he'd spring forward and tear me to bits.
But whether it was that he had already gorged himself with prey, or whether (as I suspect) he was really frightened at finding himself in such a scrape, he showed no disposition to attack me, so long at least as I remained still. The instant I made any movement, however, he would begin roaring and lashing his tail, as if he were going to fall on me at once. So, to avoid provoking him, I was forced to remain stock-still, although sitting so long in one position cramped me dreadfully.
There we sat, Mr. Lion and I, staring at each other with all our might--a very picturesque group, no doubt, if there had been anybody there to see it. Down, down the stream we went, the banks seeming to race past us as if we were going by train, while all around broken timber, wagon wheels, trees, bushes, and the carcasses of drowned horses and cattle, went whirling past us upon the thick brown water.
All at once I noticed that the lion seemed to be getting strangely restless, turning his great head from side to side in a nervous kind of way, as if he saw or heard something that he didn't like. At first I couldn't imagine what on earth was the matter with him, but presently I caught a sound which scared me much worse than it had done the lion. Far in the distance I could hear a dull, booming roar, which I had heard too often not to recognize at once: we were nearing a water-fall!
I had seen the Great Falls of the Fish River more than once, and the bare thought of being carried over those tremendous precipices made my very blood run cold. Yet being devoured by a lion would hardly be much of an improvement; and as I hadn't the ghost of a chance of being able to swim ashore, there really seemed to be no other alternative.
Faster and faster we went; louder and louder grew the roar of the cataract. The lion seemed to have quite given himself up for lost, and crouched down among the leaves, only uttering a low moaning whine every now and then. I was fairly at my wits' end what to do, when all of a sudden I caught sight of something that gave me a gleam of hope.
A little way ahead of us the river narrowed suddenly, and a rocky headland thrust itself out a good way into the stream. On one of the lowest points of it grew a thick clump of trees, whose boughs overhung the water; and it struck me that if we only passed near enough, I might manage to catch hold of one of the branches, and swing myself up on to the rock.
No sooner said than done. I started up, hardly caring whether the lion attacked me or not, and planted myself firmly upon one of the biggest roots, where I could take a good spring when the time came. I knew that this would be my last chance, for by this time we were so near the precipice that I could see quite plainly, a little way ahead, the great cloud of spray and vapor that hovered over the great water-fall. Even at the best it was a desperate venture, and I can tell you that I felt my heart beginning to thump like a sledge-hammer as we came closer and closer to the point, and I thought of what would happen if I missed my leap.
Just as we neared it, it happened, by the special mercy of God, that our tree struck against something, and turned fairly crosswise to the current, the end with the lion on it swinging out into mid-stream, while my end was driven close to the rock on which the clump of trees grew.
Now or never! I made one spring (I don't think I ever made such another before or since), and just clutched the lowest bough; and as I dragged myself on to it I heard the last roar of the doomed lion mingling with the thunder of the water-fall, as he vanished into the cloud of mist that overhung the precipice.
As for me, it was late enough that night before I got home, and I found my poor wife in a fine fright about me; so I thought it just as well, on the whole, to keep my adventure to myself, and it wasn't till nearly a year later that she heard a word about my strange fellow-voyager.
The delightful science of botany treats of the forms and habits of plants.
This study leads the steps away from the busy town to the quiet woods and hills, giving a charm to every stroll, and making for each young student hosts of friends whose sweet faces will greet him through life with unaltering truth and beauty.
Gathering wild flowers is a pleasure too well known to need dwelling upon, but studying plants botanically involves more than this, as the student will soon find out. And there are difficulties, such as hard Latin words of many syllables which must be pronounced, and, worse still, _spelled_--a trying process even to the experienced. Care must also be taken to write down everything distinctly, and there must be patience, faithfulness, and resolute perseverance. But the reward comes, and one feels paid for his trouble when he is able to pick a flower, to sit down and _find it out_, and give to it its hard botanical name.
It is now spring, and the tears and smiles of April will quickly awaken the sleeping wild flowers. Let me urge the young people to take up the study of these "darlings of the forest." Gray's _First Lessons in Botany_ will help along beginners, and before the flowers come we will tell them where to find them.
Let each one have a ruled blank book of _good size_ to write down the botanical and common name of every flower. How many flowers do you think you can find in April? and who will find the most?
BY V. G. SMITH.
Those of you who have studied French can translate this motto, and those who have not may perhaps guess that it means "nobility obliges"; but it is a favorite expression with so many different people, and it seems to mean such different things to different persons, that perhaps it may be worth while to tell a few anecdotes about what nobility has been supposed to oblige us to do.
When James I. of England was a little boy in Scotland, he had an extremely clever tutor, George Buchanan. Now Buchanan was a great Latin scholar. He wrote verses, and was called the Scotch Virgil. Of course he was very ambitious that his royal pupil should be a good Latin scholar too, and the books say he "_whipped_ so much knowledge into him" that James was called the "British Solomon." This was the approved way in Great Britain at that time to educate boys. But there is a fact about which most of the books are silent: Buchanan and his friends reasoned that though it was quite true that James could never learn Latin unless some one was whipped, it would be a dreadful thing to strike a boy of the blood royal, and so they arranged that another boy should live at court, who should be whipped every time James failed in his declensions and conjugations.
This seems to have been a very satisfactory arrangement, and you see, in this case, "nobility obliged" somebody else to be punished when the "nobility" had done wrong.
This is the sense in which a great many splendid and magnificent people, with crowns on their heads and sceptres in their hands, have understood the motto.
Tradition does not say what James himself thought about it. Perhaps he worked all the harder with his lessons, and felt that "nobility obliged" him not to let any one else suffer for his faults. If that was so, it was not a bad plan, after all.
There is a better sense in which some have understood the motto. Perhaps some of you have read the touching letter of the Prince Imperial before he went to the fatal Zululand, where he was so cruelly murdered. The poor boy felt as if he had no object in England. He thought of the great deeds of the other Napoleons, and was stung at his own inaction. There seemed to be no duty left for him to do, in the way of fighting; but fight he must, to show he was as brave as the rest of his family. They say he was a gentle, affectionate, noble-spirited boy, and it seems as if he thought others would suppose he was weak unless he did some deed of daring. _His_ nobility obliged him to be foremost in the most desperate places; and so he died, and the world mourned for him.
I think, as you read history more and more, you will believe, as I do, that men, and even children, of high birth, are surer to be brave and courageous than those in more obscure station. They may have other faults--dreadful ones--but it seems as if they dare not be cowards, because their whole race is looking at them, and expecting them to be noble. In this country, where we know so little about our ancestors, we need a still higher courage to make us do as grand things from yet higher motives.
For, much as I pity and admire the little Prince, I think there is even a better way than his to understand the old motto.
Perhaps you have been reading lately some account of the wedding festivities of the young King Alfonso of Spain; but it is not very long since he was married to his first wife, sweet little Princess Mercedes, who died within a few months after her marriage. Indeed, their nobility often obliges kings who lose their wives to be married again very soon.
It is of Queen Mercedes I wish to tell you. When she was about thirteen or fourteen years old she was sent to school to a convent in France. The convent was full of lovely and noble ladies, who had gone there because they had met with misfortunes of one kind or another. These ladies taught the young girls under their care very gently; still, there were certain light punishments for those who were careless or idle. I think one of these was that the offender should stand in a corner for a certain length of time.
Although most of the girls were of high birth, the little Princess, soon to be Queen, was of higher rank than any of the others. Her seat was a little apart from theirs, and by various small tokens of this kind her position was recognized.
Now one day it happened that Mercedes committed some fault. Perhaps she was late in rising, or failed in some other way to carry out the convent rules. The fault was not serious, and the Sisters did not think it necessary to enforce the punishment; but Mercedes, blushing very much, went of her own accord to the corner where she knew she ought to stand, and staid the appointed time. You see she felt that if she was of too high rank to receive punishment from others, the duty of inflicting it upon herself was her own. _Noblesse oblige._
Although the illustrations I have given you have all been from royal families, where, I suppose, the motto originated, I am sure you will be able to apply it to hundreds of other cases, and will believe that nobility of character obliges us with still more force to do the best things always, though we are bound by no outward law.
THE SUN AT MIDNIGHT.
There are portions of our globe, away toward either pole, where the sun remains above the horizon for about two months of the year, making one long day. During this period the pleasant alternations of morning, day, evening, and night, are unknown in those regions; and there is also a long season of night, when the sun is not seen at all. This must be still more unpleasant, because it is winter-time. The pale cold moon sheds a chilling light at times over the snow and ice, and the aurora borealis flashes its splendors through the heavens. The cold is so great that old chroniclers, writing about the arctic regions, pretended that when the inhabitants tried to speak, their very words froze in coming out of their mouths, and did not thaw out till spring. It is not safe to believe all that old chroniclers tell us, and perhaps in this case they only tried, in an extravagant way, to make their readers understand how very cold it was in that Northern land.
Our next picture shows the pleasanter side of arctic life, when the sun is above the horizon most of the time, and disappears from sight for short periods only. Many travellers have gone as far as the famous North Cape, in Norway, for the sake of seeing the sun at midnight. Among them is Du Chaillu, whom many of our readers know through his interesting books about Africa. He stood on the very edge of the cape one July midnight--that is, it was midnight by the clock--and saw the sun descend nearly to the horizon, and then begin to rise again. Far to the northward stretched the deep blue waters of the Arctic Ocean; close around him was a bleak, dreary, desolate landscape. A few blades of grass sprouted at the edge of the cape. Further back, in places sheltered from the winds, the ground was clothed in rich verdure, and adorned with flowers. Still further inland were little patches of dwarf birch, scarcely a foot high, crouching close to the ground to escape being torn away by the furious winds that sweep over the land. There was none of the abundant life that we see around us in our fields and woods. A spider, a bumble-bee, and a poor little wanderer of a bird, were the only living things Du Chaillu saw.
But he beheld the sun at midnight. As the hour of twelve approached, the pale orb sank almost to the horizon, the line of which it seemed to follow for a few moments, as it shone serenely over the lonely sea and desolate land. It was a sight never to be forgotten by one who had travelled hundreds of miles to witness it.
Sailors and explorers in the far Northern regions find it hard at first to accustom themselves to the long arctic day; and animals carried on board ship from lower latitudes are entirely at a loss when to go to sleep. There is a curious story of an English rooster that seemed to be utterly bewildered because it never came night. He appeared to think it unnatural to sleep while the sun was shining, and staggered about until he fell down from exhaustion. After a while he got into regular habits, but was apparently so disgusted to wake up in broad daylight, instead of the gray dawn to which he was accustomed, that he discontinued crowing. Perhaps he thought he had over-slept himself, and was ashamed to crow so late.
It seems almost incredible that the dreary regions of which our pictures afford a glimpse enjoyed, ages ago, a climate even warmer than our own. The chilling waves that dash against the base of the dreary North Cape once washed shores clothed in luxuriant vegetation. Stately forests stood where now only stunted shrubs struggle a few inches above ground. The mammoth, and other animals that require a warm climate, roamed in multitudes through those regions. Their bones, found in great abundance when the banks of the lakes and rivers thaw out and crumble away in the spring, form an important article of traffic.
The people who live in the dreary regions of the far North are, generally speaking, industrious, sober, simple-minded, and contented. They have few pleasures, and their lives are toilsome. But in whatever region we find them--in the fishing villages of the northernmost coast of Norway or Lapland, and even in Greenland--they fondly believe their country to be the best and most favored part of the world. We must beg leave to differ with them. We love our changing seasons, that gradually come and go, the sweet succession of day and night, the joyous life that fills our fields and woods, and the comforts, luxuries, and all the advantages of civilization. But it is a great blessing to mankind that, wherever our lot may be cast in this great and wonderful world,
"Our first, best country ever is at home."
A BOARDING-SCHOOL CLUB.
BY ELINOR ELLIOTT.
"Well, Mildred, what does she say?" asked Dr. Clifford of his pretty eldest daughter, as she came to the end of her long letter; and the shower of questions following showed how eager were all at the breakfast table to hear from the sister away at boarding-school.
"She says so much," laughs Mildred, "that I will read it to you."
ELM BANK, ---- 13, 1880.
DEAR MILLY,--I am rejoiced to know your first party was a success, and that you were spared the ignominious fate of "full many a flower born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the"--ball-room wall.
Your dress must have been a beauty, but I do not envy you. "Fine clo'" I have forsworn, and I would not exchange my jolly school-days for all your festive parties.
Tell papa I must have some new boots--very thick, with broad soles and low heels--and entreat him not to send them C. O. D., for I truly can't pay the expressage.
We girls have formed a club for the "Abolition and Extirpation of Grotesque Idiotic Style."
Our initials, A, E, G, I, S, as you see, spell "Aegis," which is to be our shield (its literal meaning) from aristocratic scorn. I dare say I shall not be received in polite circles when I go home, but when I look at my ring, on which is engraved A E G I S, I shall gain such invulnerability that all sneers will glance aside ineffective.
There is a curious fact about our club and motto. Like the old English Cabal, we have five members whose initials form the name, viz.,
Anna Clifford, Enid Evans, Gertrude Wood, Ida Langford, Sallie Peterson.
I have given up curling my hair, and braid it. Of course it isn't becoming, but we Aegises stoop not to vanity. I have gained five pounds since Christmas; so when my spring suit is made, tell the dress-maker to put the extra material into the waist, and not waste it (a pun, but very poor) in puffs and paniers, for we have abolished them. We try to get along with the bare necessities of life.
I'd give a good deal to see you all, but I'm not the least bit homesick.
Good-by. Give my double-and-twisted love to everybody, and kiss the dear pink of a baby a hundred times for me.
Lovingly, ANNA I. CLIFFORD.
P.S.--When you send the boots, perhaps if you put them in a fair-sized box, there'll be room for a cooky or two.
A. I. C.
"Isn't that a happy letter!"
"Think of our dainty, exquisite Anna so independent! her pretty brown curls straightened out in a braid, and her dresses shorn of puffs and ruffles!"
"That's the kind of 'society' for school-girls to form," says papa. "I'll order the thickest boots I can find to be sent up; also a chicken for Bridget to roast; and as she has given us so delicate a hint, perhaps you can find something else to put in the box."
Afternoon finds the Clifford family again assembled in the dining-room, intent upon packing the boots and "cookies"; and from the size of the box on the table one would infer that the boots must be No. 17's, and the cookies as large as cheeses, or, more correctly, that something more is to be added.
"Wouldn't it be fine to send five things for the club individually?" asks one.
"Capital!" "Good!" "Just the thing!" cry all.
"And have their initials spell Aegis."
"What shall the first be?"
"A--Apples!" sounds a full chorus.
"It is a vote. And the next?"
"E--Eels," suggests fourteen-year-old Dick, whose suggestions are apt to be more ludicrous than elegant.
"Eggs; hard-boiled eggs are always dear to my heart in the scenes of my childhood."
"Bridget, put on a dozen eggs, to boil ten minutes."
"Gum-arabic," from Dick.
It takes so long to decide this important point that Dr. Clifford calls out the fourth letter:
A hush falls upon them, but, as Dick would say, made no noise, and did no damage in falling. No one can think of anything but ice-cream. And I challenge you: put your hand over your eyes, and name two other edibles beginning with "I."
At last Dick, in an ecstasy of inspiration, starts up, and cries, "Inch-worms!"
A peal of laughter, and each one suggests some impossible or awful article; and then the dauntless Richard again: "A few _I_deas."
"If we had them to spare," says papa, dryly.
"Irish potatoes would be like coals at Newcastle."
"I feel it in my bones that Bridget would suggest '_I_sters.'"
"Apropos of that," says Milly, "I think we shall have to adopt the sound, and send Inglish walnuts, as Anna loves them dearly."
"Now for the last letter."
The things are collected, and stowed away in the box; it is sent off by express, and in a few days the following letter announces its arrival.
ELM BANK, ---- 16, 1880.
DEAR, DEAR, DEAR FAMILY,--I know I can't show you my delight better than by telling you all about it.
Yesterday we Aegises were out walking all the afternoon, and when we came home, hungry as wolves, were cheered by a chorus from the piazza:
"A Clifford box, a Wood box-- A Clifford box, a Wood box."
Perhaps you have no appetizing association with a wood-box, but the news quickened our steps, and inspired us with the elasticity of a quintette of rubber balls as we bounded up the steps, and fell upon our boxes with all the love of a father upon a returned prodigal.
I sat down on my box, and Gertie on hers, and there we sat, as happy as two enthroned queens, with serfs and vassals standing near. How every girl in school idolized us last night!
"George has driven Madame over to town, and won't be back till late," said Enid, coming from her expedition to the basement in search of George. (George is the man-servant who "does the chores" and "plays hero" for the school.)
"How can we ever get these up stairs?" asks Gertie.
"Carry them ourselves," cried a brawny girl; "we'll all help."
So, with a girl at each corner of each box, we struggled up stairs. Mine was not very heavy, but Gertie's was; and one girl let her corner slip, which threw us all into confusion, and in the midst of the hurly-burly we became aware of a majestic presence at the head of the stairs, and there stood--Miss Coningham, the first assistant. Our hearts stood still, for we had not asked permission; but Sallie, whom nothing overcomes, saved us.
"Oh, Miss Coningham," she called, "_do_ come and help us;" and she actually stepped down and caught it as the girls were losing control of it, and engineered it into our sitting-room.
You know we five Aegises have one sitting-room, with three bedrooms opening out of it. As she turned to go, I thought I saw in her face a longing to stay, and be a girl with the rest of us, and I said,
"Don't go, Miss Coningham; stay and see what is in the boxes."
"Thank you; I know you will enjoy yourselves more alone. Madame told me to give you five young ladies permission to have supper in your own room to-night."
"Why?" we all cried. "What made her?"
"Because it is Miss Wood's birthday."
"My birthday!" cried Gertie, in amaze. "I didn't once think of it;" while the girls flew at her ears.
"I don't see how any one could forget such a thing--do you, Miss Coningham?" I asked, as she stood in the door.
"No; I could not forget mine," she said. "This is mine too."
When I told the girls it was Miss Coningham's birthday too, they unanimously proposed to give her a present, and ran to their rooms for their purses.
"There are just ten of us," said Enid, counting.
"Pass round a hat," said Ida.
"This will do," cried Sallie, seizing an India rubber shoe, and taking up the collection. "If you have little, give little, but if you've got a lot, give a good deal. Six dollars and ninety cents," said Sallie, counting it. "Now what shall we get?"
"Flowers? They fade so quickly."
"Let's get something she can keep."
"A gold thimble. You know hers rolled down the register, and was lost."
We agreed upon the thimble. Then Enid went to Miss Coningham, and gained permission for us to go down to the jeweller's. So the five other girls left the selection of the thimble to us, and went down stairs.
"Wasn't 'Cony' good?" said Sallie. "Little did she suspect our object."
"Would it be a bad idea to ask her to feast with us to-night?"
"Not at all bad. Do you believe she'll come?"
"Very doubtful. Who will ask Madame if we may have the feast?"
"I," said Sallie; "my life for my country."
We bought a beautiful gold thimble for six dollars, and spent the rest for flowers; then hurried home to open the boxes, and get everything ready before study hour.
"What shall we do for a table-cloth?"
"Take a fresh sheet," said Sallie.
"Isn't there anything better?" asks Ida.
"Positively nothing," answered Sallie, throwing a sheet at her. "Take this, and be thankful it isn't sheet lightning that strikes you. Now I start for my interview with Madame."
"Good luck attend you! Enid, put the flowers in the centre, with a lemon pie at one side and a mince at the other."
"Here is a roast chicken," I cried. "Ida, put it at one end."
"Enid," called Gertie, "here's a duck in my box; put him opposite the chicken."
"'Dido _et dux_,'" said Enid.
"Well," answered Gertie, "I'm glad she didn't eat them all."
Here Sallie came in, triumphant.
"I showed her the thimble, girls, and told her all about everything, and she says we five and the other five and Miss Coningham--Elsie, she called her--can come up here right after prayers, and stay till ten o'clock."
"Could anything be jollier?"
"She says Elsie was our age when she first came here, and was as full of fun as we are."
Then I found your note, saying there were _A_pples for Anna, _E_ggs for Enid, _G_rapes for Gertie, _I_nglish walnuts for Ida, and _S_ardines for Sallie. We saw how hard up you were for I's, but we'd rather have the nuts than anything.
We had just got everything in order when the study bell rang. You can scarcely mention a "goody" that was not in one of those boxes. Gertie had a birthday cake with fifteen tapers on it, which we lighted.
I can't begin to tell you what a jolly time we had when we came back up stairs. All our invitations were accepted. Miss Coningham was charmed with the thimble. We "toasted" all you good people at home who were the cause of our joy, and sent the flowers to Madame when our revelry was o'er.
By-the-way, the boots are exactly right. Now, with the love and thanks of all the Aegises, I must close, for I haven't touched a lesson for to-morrow.
Lovingly, gratefully, and thankfully yours, ANNA I. CLIFFORD.
THE BABY ELEPHANT.
On the 10th of this month an event occurred in Philadelphia that has aroused universal curiosity and interest. It was the birth of a baby elephant, which immediately became famous as being the first of his kind, so far as is known, ever born in captivity. All other elephants brought to this country for exhibition, or used in Eastern countries as beasts of burden, have been captured and tamed, and it has heretofore been regarded as an unquestioned fact that they would not breed in captivity.
The mother of the cunning little fellow who is attracting so much attention is a large black Asiatic elephant named Hebe, and belongs to the Great London Circus. She is acknowledged by all the other elephants of the circus as their queen, and they are all loyally devoted to her. She and six other large elephants have been spending the winter in a stable at the corner of Twenty-third Street and Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia. Here the elephants stand in a large room, each with their hind-legs chained to posts.
[Illustration: THE EXCITED ELEPHANTS.]
Immediately upon the birth of the little elephant the others seemed to become crazy with joy. They had been very quiet, but they now set up the most tremendous bellowing and trumpeting imaginable. Some of them broke their chains, and danced about in the most grotesque manner, besides performing all the tricks they had been taught in the circus ring. The general excitement communicated itself to Hebe, and in a moment she became the most frantic of them all. Snapping the chains that bound her to the posts as though they were threads, and apparently becoming, for the first time, aware of the presence of her baby, she seized him with her trunk and threw him with great force, twenty yards or more, to the opposite side of the room. He fell close beside a large stove, around which was a railing of heavy timbers. Rushing after him, his crazy mother beat down this railing, threw over the stove, and in her madness would probably have killed her baby, had not her keeper, who had fled for his life upon the first outbreak, returned with help, and attracted her attention. With considerable difficulty she was secured and again chained to the posts, and the other animals were also quieted. During all the confusion the baby had stood motionless in the place to which his mother had flung him, and had regarded the whole scene with a look of wise solemnity such as only a baby can assume.
When quiet was restored, he became very frisky, and was willing to make friends with everybody. He ran about with his mouth wide open, and his little trunk pointing upward in the funniest way possible. He blundered about here and there, running against all sorts of things, and finally seemed overjoyed to be taken back to his mother, who has ever since shown the greatest fondness for him. He is thirty-five inches high, and weighs 214 pounds, so that he is about the size of a large Newfoundland dog. He is fed by means of a nursing-bottle made of a yard of rubber hose and a large funnel. One end of the hose is put in his mouth, and the other is attached to the funnel, into which the keepers pour warm milk until the baby shows that he has had enough by throwing down his end of the tube.
BY FRANK BELLEW.
As a general rule, practical jokes are a kind of fun that should not be encouraged; but there are a few harmless ones which may be made the means of a good deal of innocent merriment.
Tom Hood, who was one of the most kindly and genial of men, as well as one of the greatest of poets, was very fond of playing little practical jokes on members of his own family and immediate circle of intimate friends. On one occasion, when his wife had made a magnificent English plum-pudding, as a Christmas present for some German friends, Hood surreptitiously got hold of it, and filled it with wooden skewers, which he ran through in every direction, and in this condition it was sent by the unsuspicious Mrs. Hood to her friends in Germany, who no doubt thought English cookery a most eccentric art.
On another occasion he wrote as follows, from London, to an intimate friend, one Lieutenant Franck, of the Prussian army:
"I also send for yourself an imitation gold-fish. It appears that there is something in the color or taste of the gold-fish which renders it irresistible to other fish as a bait. They are quite mad after it. It appears to be intended to be sunk with a weight, and pulled about under water, or else to float on the top; but they say it is taken in anyway."
[Illustration: Fig. 1.]
This wonderful bait was made of wood, and painted yellow, or covered with gilt paper, and presented an appearance like the annexed engraving.
[Illustration: Fig. 2.]
But under this innocent exterior lurked Tom Hood's joke. The fish was made of two pieces of wood, like Fig. 2, glued or gummed together, only one of which was attached to the line, and on this piece was burned, with a red-hot knitting-needle, the words, "_O, you April fool!_" Of course, after the sportsman had dragged this about in the water for some time, the glue melted, the loose half of the bait floated away, and when he hauled in his line to see how things were getting along, he discovered the inscription, and at the same time that he had been made a _fool_ of, whether it happened to be April or not.
THE CLOCK BEWITCHED.
I was once at one of those little social gatherings which the Scotch call a "cooky-shine," and the English a "tea-fight," where two young ladies appeared escorted by a rustic beau (for be it known this was in the country), who, like many beaux from both city and country, had a very well-developed opinion of his own shrewdness and sagacity, of which opinion he gave several rather obtrusive illustrations during the course of the evening. This peculiarity, added to the fact that, quite early in the festivities, he displayed an anxiety to hurry the young ladies home in the midst of their enjoyment, made him anything but popular. The fact was that the young man, having exhausted his limited stock of conversation, grew bored and sleepy, and wanted to go home himself. Not being able to accomplish this, he seated himself in an obscure corner of the room, where he soon dropped off into a doze. Now among the company was a little imp of a boy, a son of the hostess, who seemed to feel himself called upon to amuse the rest of the guests. He whispered a few words in his sister's ear, and then left the room. In about fifteen minutes the drowsy beau woke up with a start, and asked what o'clock it was.
"I really don't know," responded one of the ladies. "What time was it when you went to sleep?"
"Sleep--sleep! I haven't been to sleep--'wake all the time."
"Indeed you have," chorussed the party; "nearly two hours, and saying all sorts of things."
[Illustration: WHAT TIME IS IT?]
The youth looked blank, and rather frightened, but tried to brave it out. "Oh, pshaw! two hours. Sleep!--why, I haven't been to sleep ten--that's to say, I've been awake the whole time. Now we'll see." And he arose and walked into the next room, which was rather dimly lighted, to look at the clock. He remained there a long time, shuffling about, and emitting sundry whiffs and snorts, and then rejoined the company, rubbing his eyes, and rumpling his hair all over his head, with an expression of bewilderment on his countenance which set every one present tittering.
"All right," he said. "Guess't's 'bout time to start home."
"Oh no, not yet," answered the hostess. "We are going to have some cider and doughnuts."
The cider and doughnuts were brought in and handed round, the sleepy beau receiving his last. He took a good Irish bite. A pause. Something was the matter. He pulled, he gnawed, he wrestled, he grunted, he struggled: it was no use; that doughnut was too much for him. Suddenly, with a quick motion worthy of the late lamented Mr. Grimaldi, he whipped the doughnut out of his mouth and into his pocket. He thought he was unobserved, but a roar of rustic laughter from all sides of the room soon undeceived him. We will draw a veil over the scene, etc., etc., as the novels say. In a few seconds his two fair charges, in charity, proposed to go home; and they went.
Now what was this all about? I will tell you. When the young imp left the room, as before mentioned, he slipped into the back parlor, turned down the lights, and carried the clock off into the kitchen, where with some Indian ink and a brush he marked on its face half a dozen extra hands. He then replaced the clock on the mantelpiece in the parlor, and returning to the kitchen, procured two small balls of cotton batting, which he soaked in some batter the cook was using for doughnuts, and these he fried till they exactly resembled the genuine article the cook had just made. He had previously let the ladies into the secret, so that when the sleepy beau went into the back parlor to look at the clock, as they took care he should, they perfectly knew the bewildered frame of mind he was in while trying to find out the time. The sister, too, while handing round the doughnuts, managed to reserve the cotton ones for the same gentleman.
The next day our hostess received a polite note from the discomfited escort, thanking her for the gift of the doughnut, which he said had been of infinite value to him, as he had given it to a neighbor's dog which kept him awake all night, and the dog had since died. So he took it good-naturedly, after all.
THE JOLLY DOG'S PRACTICAL JOKE.
'Twas near dinner-time, and the pudding was hot, Nelly, her cheeks all aglow (The master liked icy-cold pudding), ran out, And popped the dish into the snow.
For though on that morn smiling April was born, A snow-heap that March left behind, When he hastened away, in a dark corner lay Of the garden, blown there by the wind.
Singing merrily, back to the kitchen went Nell, When a jolly dog came up the lane. "Aha! something good!" and he stopped and he sniffed, Looked around, cocked his ears, sniffed again.
Then, the gate being open, he boldly walked in, Going straight to the snowy spot where The dish sat a-cooling--three great gulps he gave, And a pudding no longer was there.
Down the stoop flew the maid. "I must now take it in, For I'm sure by this time it is cool." Said the dog, running off, "Pray don't trouble yourself; _I_ have taken it in--April-fool!"
[Illustration: OUR POST-OFFICE BOX.]
I wonder if the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE know how delightful the climate and surroundings of Chattanooga are. Near the base of Lookout Mountain, which has grown historical since the war, the views in all directions are magnificent, that from the point on the mountain being the grandest, where one can see places in seven different States. Chattanooga is an Indian word, meaning eagle's nest.
PAUL DWIGHT MOROSS.
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TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN.
I live in a lonesome country, but it is very beautiful in the summer. We have nice lakes and woods, and all kinds of birds. There is a little bird which builds such a queer nest. It is like a hanging cup, and so small you scarcely notice it. There are five white eggs, with black spots on the ends, in it. The bird is blackish color, with a round white spot in the middle of each wing. There is a bird here called grosbeak. It is very handsome, and a splendid singer. You can hear its clear note in the morning above all the rest. My sister Julia found a nest, and took out a male bird. It had hardly any feathers. She brought it up on bread and milk, and it was so tame it would sit on her finger; but one morning it flew away, and never came back. Perhaps some of the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE have tamed the little yellow-birds. Julia tamed one, and it was a great pet. I have a pet dove named Philip. He will follow me about in the woods. When he misses me, he hunts till he finds me. When we are eating dinner, if the door is open, I often hear a pat-pat on the step, and in comes Philip, nodding his head from side to side, and lights on my shoulder, for me to give him his dinner. He is now two years old. I will send you his portrait. I think Bertie Brown drew a first-rate picture.
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TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN.
The first hepaticas (liverwort) that I saw this year were picked the first day of March. Has any one living in the same latitude found them earlier? The arbutus is nearly in bloom. When we were out in the woods the other day we saw a beautiful gray fox.
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COLLEGE GROVE, TENNESSEE, _March 1, 1880_.
I send you a violet, and also the earliest wild flower of this section, _Erigenia_, or "daughter of the early spring" [a species of groundsel]. We have had crocuses and daffodils ever since Christmas. I have lots of pets. We have nine cats. One is fourteen years old. And we have a shepherd dog that has a great deal of sense. I have three white hens--one top-knot, one plain, and one with pantalets. I have a chicken grave-yard, and we have funerals. The red and blue birds, wrens, jays, and woodpeckers, staid with us all winter. I found a nest of hatched partridge eggs, and the large ends were all picked round even, and opened like box-tops. We live in the woods, and I see many pretty things.
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I am twelve years old. I live on the border of a large lake in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. Though so far north, our winters are often mild and pleasant. Father says it is because we are not far from the sea. I have been ill with acute rheumatism for six months past, and the weekly visits of YOUNG PEOPLE are a great comfort and pleasure to me, as I am mostly confined to the house. I found some willow "pussies" three days ago (March 4), and I send a few, to let you see what New Brunswick can do in this way.
W. SCOTT BUTLER, Jun.
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I see so many little folks writing to you, I thought I would write too. I am eight years old, and I live where the sun goes down. I never saw a railroad in my life, and never went to school. Mamma teaches us at home. I have a cream-colored pony, and sister Grace has a pet lamb. She had to get a baby's nursing-bottle to raise the lamb with, and it is just too funny to see her feed it. It sucks away at the bottle as hard as ever it can, and wags its little tail ever so fast. We have learned nearly all we know from HARPER'S MAGAZINE and the BAZAR and WEEKLY, for papa and mamma have taken them all our lives. We could not do without the pictures. I wish you could see our stacks and heaps of the MONTHLY and the papers. When we want a good old time, we get them all out, and they are as good as new. We think there never was such a splendid paper as YOUNG PEOPLE. My sister Grace wanted to write to you too, but mamma said one nuisance was enough at a time.
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I borrowed HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE of one of my neighbors, and I like it so much I intend to take it as soon as I can earn money enough to pay for it. I am a cripple boy. I have no feet. One was cut off below and one above the knee, and when I move round I have to go on my hands. I want a pair of Newfoundland dogs for a team, but I can not find where I can get them. I knit a pair of mittens, and sold them to help pay for YOUNG PEOPLE, and now I am mending grain bags to earn the rest of the money. I am fond of reading, and feel lonesome without books and papers.
ELMER R. BLANCHARD.
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SALT LAKE, UTAH TERRITORY.
Father wants me to tell you that he made me a telescope of sheet-iron as you described in the first number of YOUNG PEOPLE, and although my object-glass is only one and one-quarter inches in diameter, we can plainly see Jupiter's four moons. Jupiter itself appears as big as a nickel five-cent piece. We can also see the rings of Saturn. But when we look at anything on the earth, it is turned upside down. This glass gives us a great deal of pleasure.
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My uncle caught two young gray squirrels in the woods, and brought them home in a cage. We gave them walnuts and chestnuts, but they were so cross they bit each other's tails, which when they were little looked more like rats' tails than squirrels'. When we let them out of the cage, they soon learned to go into my uncle's pockets after nuts. Then they would sit on his head or shoulder and eat them. When we gave them more than they could eat, they would hide them on the ground, and cover them with leaves and dry grass. They did it so neatly that even when we saw where they put them, we would have to hunt a long time to find them. When it came warm weather, they went back to the woods. What do squirrels live on in summer before the nuts are ripe?
ANGIE B. BALDWIN.
Squirrels eat all kinds of berries, the tender twigs and bark of certain trees, and grain. Corn fields are feasting grounds for them, as the fresh tender stalks are as delicious food as the fully formed kernels.
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I want to tell you about a ride I had the other day with papa and mamma. We drove out about four miles from here, to a prairie-dog town, where we saw hundreds of these little animals playing about in the sunshine. The prairie-dogs are very curious little creatures. They dig their holes, throwing out the earth so as to make quite a mound. They look very cunning from a distance, standing on their hind-legs. Some were near their holes, ready to jump in as soon as we drove near. Others, which were a good way off from their homes, scampered back as fast as they could. Their town covered about a section of land, so you can see they have quite a large city.
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BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
Last spring we had a pretty pair of canaries, and we raised five little birds. They were dear little things, and before we gave any of them away it was great fun to watch them play together. One was very light yellow, nearly white, another was dark yellow, two were spotted with green, and one was all very dark green. The green one was the prettiest of all, but it always fought for the best place in the cage, and pecked at all the others; but if they fought, they always made up after it. The yellow one was very tame, and would come right to our hands to eat. The lightest one died, and the others we gave away, but we were very sorry to part with them.
The following was written in big printed letters:
If you put Froggie's letter in your paper, I hope you will put mine in. I can't write as he can, because I am only five years old. I like your paper very much. Froggie reads it to me, and I read the pictures myself. I like that picture of the pussy.
FROGGIE'S LITTLE BROTHER.
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We were very glad to see that story of Colonel Gregg in No. 19, for he was one of our ancestors. We have a parrot from the Isle of Pines, which seems to be a very smart bird. I would like to know if there is any particular way by which we can teach it to talk.
DAVID M. GREGG.
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I live on the prairie between the Arkansas and Smoky Hill rivers. My nearest playmate is a mile and a half away, and I am very glad when YOUNG PEOPLE comes. Can you tell me who has been considered the most famous man in the world?
LULU A. G.
There have been so many "famous men," that it would be difficult to place any one among them at the head of the list.
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I am ten years old, and I live in Dickinson County, Kansas. We have three dogs--Queen, Cetchum, and Custer--and we have use for them all. Pa uses Queen to hunt prairie-chickens with, and Queen and Cetchum hunt rabbits by themselves. We have gray rabbits and jack rabbits. The jack rabbits are very large, and have long ears. Pa says they are very much like the English hare. We have a great many peaches and grapes and water-melons, and there are bad men and boys that sometimes steal them. In the summer I tie Queen in the peach orchard every night. If she hears anything, she barks very loud, and then Custer runs to help her. If any man is there, he is sure to be bitten. Custer is an English bull-dog, and a great fighter. He can whip a wolf. We have a great many wolves here, and they are so bold that if we did not keep dogs, they would come round the house in the daytime, and steal young pigs and lambs and chickens.
SIDNEY B. PRAY.
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I like YOUNG PEOPLE very much. It gives a great deal of instruction. I live on the banks of the San Gabriel River, which has some very large fish in it. I read all the letters in the Post-office Box. I liked Gertrude Balch's letter very much, and I like to draw the "Wiggles."
J. L. PAXTON.
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FAIRFIELD (STONE P. O.), PICKENS COUNTY, ALABAMA.
I would like very much to exchange some of our native flower seeds for flower seeds of other localities with any of the "Young People."
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Will any little girl press me some specimens of Eastern flowers? If she will, I will press her some of our floral beauties here in California, and send them to her.
If Genevieve will send her full address, no doubt some little girl in the Eastern States will be glad to exchange pressed flowers with her.
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Can you tell me the longest word in the English language?
Valetudinarianism is a long word. Can any correspondent find a longer one?
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BUFFALO PAPER-MILL, NORTH CAROLINA.
Would you kindly give a description of the animal called drill. I would like to know the country of its nativity, and any other information in regard to it. I have tried to find something about it, and have failed.
The drill (_Papio leucophæus_) is a large baboon, and one of the ugliest of its family. It has a heavy thick body covered with coarse grayish-brown hair, a large head with a hideous black face, stout clumsy legs, and a short stubbed tail. It lives in the woods and rocky regions along the west coast of Africa. In Guinea it is so abundant as to be a terror to man and beast, as its ferocity and strength render it a dangerous foe. Great herds of the drill, when driven by hunger, sometimes attack the negro villages, and have been known to kill women and children. Specimens of this savage creature have been captured and placed in zoological gardens in France and England, but all efforts to tame it have been in vain.
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REBECCA H.--Your puzzle was not noticed, because you failed to send the answer. Meanwhile, one with the same solution has been received, and has already been printed. It is, therefore, too late to make any use of yours, which was very pretty, and neatly constructed.
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C. B. F.--Grinnell Land is within the arctic circle, and is not claimed by any nation.
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S. H. M.--The letters in the corners of English postage stamps indicate the year when the stamp was printed.
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J. M. T.--Full directions for boat-building would occupy too much space in our Post-office Box, but if you go to any good boat-builder, he will no doubt give you the desired information.
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F. S.--The custom of Easter eggs is very ancient, and it is not known when it first arose. There are many pretty legends in regard to it, but all are without foundation.
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Favors are acknowledged from Allie B. W., Hermann H. Davis, Emily W. Berry, Mamie W. Howe, Florence C., Minnie Shepard, Henry B. Teal, J. D. Burroughs, Charles H. MacHenry, Fannie Wright, Ella Warren, George B. Wendell, Lily Jones, Edith, Fannie C. Shuford, Stella and Fannie, W. K. Grier, Mira K. Abbott, George Russell, J. A. P., Josie B., Eddie Hunter, Daisy Brainard, F. W. Fenner, Harry Robertson, Willie Hughes, "Silly," Vinie Summy, Herbert Meacham, Willie H. C., Willie Ellis, "Subscriber," Lizzie L., Arthur Brumbach, Arthur E. T., Arthur Walcott, "Little Agnes," Frankie Pratt, Louis C. S., G. R. A., Bessie Saunders.
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Correct answers to puzzles are received from Eddie D. Raymond, Marion E. Norcross, Birdie A. R., Robbie Reynolds, Harry Van A., S. G. Rosenbaum, Alfie Welden, R. W. Dawson, William and Mary L., H. K. P., Louise Nichols, A. H. Ellard, Angie Baldwin, Fannie Reeves, Alfred Opdyke, Alma, Stella B., Sarah Zelnicker, "North Star," Istalina Beach, Minnie Williams, Paul Beardsley, C. B. Howard, B. L. Townsend, Florence Stilwell, S. Birdie D., Daisy, Walter Crull, G. C. MacIntosh, G. Vasa Edwards, Cass Shelby, Alex and Lewis Mack, Mabel H. B., L. Fobes.
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PUZZLES FROM YOUNG CONTRIBUTORS.
My first is in left, but not in came. My second is in fire, but not in flame. My third is in flour, but not in lard. My fourth is in soft, but not in hard. My fifth is in blue, but not in pink. My sixth is in water, but not in ink. My seventh is in wren, but not in bird. My whole is a game of which you have heard.
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To wither. A proper name. A house of entertainment. Something every city is full of. Annually. Answer--Two flowers.
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First, crystallized vapor. Second, an appellation. Third, a foreboding. Fourth, a part of the verb to go.
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I am composed of 13 letters. My 10, 8, 4, 7 is a manner of walking. My 3, 6, 5, 2, 1 is a fruit. My 10, 12, 11, 13, 9 is a color. My whole is a common Latin phrase. Also the name of a flowering plant.
W. F. B.
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A vowel. An insect. A violent passion. A useful plant. A consonant.
H. N. T.
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My first is in wrong, but not in right. My second is in nymph, but not in sprite. My third is in Willie, but not in Ann. My fourth is in tin, but not in can. My fifth is in tinkle, but not in bell. My sixth is in ill, but not in well. My seventh is in see, but not in look. My eighth is in read, but not in book. My whole is the name of a poet.
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ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN NO. 19.
R ea M A die U P reache R H agga I A lcoho L E ar L L ared O
W A R M A R E A R E A L M A L E
Trifles often lead to serious results.
S U T E S T O R K E R A K
Charade on page 248--Offend.
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We have received numerous letters from correspondents about the Soapboxticon. Some report great success in making it, while others have been unable to make it work right. To the unsuccessful ones we would say that you probably do not remove your lens box far enough from the muslin screen, your outer box not being quite long enough. In this case, you can move the lens box out of the other box as far back as you please. The lens we use is about two and a half inches in diameter, but the size is of little consequence. The main conditions are to keep the light well to one side, that no direct rays pass through the lens to illuminate the screen, and to concentrate as bright a light as possible on the picture, and on that alone. There should be no other light in the room when the experiment is tried, and the picture should be very clear and distinct. Two double convex lenses placed one at each end of a tube of card-board will act better than one lens alone.
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at the following rates--_payable in advance, postage free_:
SINGLE COPIES $0.04 ONE SUBSCRIPTION, _one year_ 1.50 FIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS, _one year_ 7.00
Subscriptions may begin with any Number. When no time is specified, it will be understood that the subscriber desires to commence with the Number issued after the receipt of order.
Remittances should be made by POST-OFFICE MONEY ORDER or DRAFT, to avoid risk of loss.
The extent and character of the circulation of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will render it a first-class medium for advertising. A limited number of approved advertisements will be inserted on two inside pages at 75 cents per line.
Address HARPER & BROTHERS, Franklin Square, N. Y.
Send one, two, three, or five dollars for a sample box, by express, of the best Candies in America, put up elegantly and strictly pure. Refers to all Chicago. Address
C. F. GUNTHER, Confectioner, 78 MADISON STREET, CHICAGO.
=KEEP YOUR BIRD= IN HEALTH AND SONG by using =SINGER'S PATENT GRAVEL PAPER=. Sold by Druggists and Bird Dealers.
Depot, 582 Hudson St., N. Y.
FOR 1880. JUST OUT.
[Illustration: SPALDING'S BASE BALL GUIDE]
The highest authority on Base Ball. The only book published containing the official =League Playing Rules=, under which every club in America plays; also players' averages, illustrations on curve pitching, batting, &c. Every lover of base ball should have a copy. Mailed, postpaid, upon receipt of 10c. =A. G. SPALDING & BROS., Publishers, Chicago, Ill.=
OUR CHILDREN'S SONGS.
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Our Children's Songs. Illustrated. 8vo, Ornamental Cover, $1.00.
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The best compilation of songs for the children that we have ever seen.--_New Bedford Mercury._
This is a large collection of songs for the nursery, for childhood, for boys and for girls, and sacred songs for all. The range of subjects is a wide one, and the book is handsomely illustrated.--_Philadelphia Ledger._
It contains some of the most beautiful thoughts for children that ever found vent in poesy, and beautiful "pictures to match."--_Chicago Evening Journal._
An excellent anthology of juvenile poetry, covering the whole range of English and American literature.--_Independent_, N. Y.
Songs for the nursery, songs for childhood, for girlhood, boyhood, and sacred songs--the whole melody of childhood and youth bound in one cover. Full of lovely pictures; sweet mother and baby faces; charming bits of scenery, and the dear old Bible story-telling pictures.--_Churchman_, N. Y.
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Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
HARPER & BROTHERS _will send the above work by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price_.
Square 4to, about 300 pages each, beautifully printed on Tinted Paper, embellished with many Illustrations, bound in Cloth, $1.50 per volume.
The Children's Picture-Book of Sagacity of Animals.
With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Bible Picture-Book.
With Eighty Illustrations, from Designs by STEINLE, OVERBECK, VEIT, SCHNORR, &c.
The Children's Picture Fable-Book.
Containing One Hundred and Sixty Fables. With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Picture-Book of Birds.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
The Children's Picture-Book of Quadrupeds and other Mammalia.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
_Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price._
Old Books for Young Readers.
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Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
The Thousand and One Nights; or, The Arabian Nights' Entertainments. Translated and Arranged for Family Reading, with Explanatory Notes, by E. W. LANE. 600 Illustrations by Harvey. 2 vols., 12mo, Cloth, $3.50.
The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner. By DANIEL DEFOE. With a Biographical Account of Defoe. Illustrated by Adams. Complete Edition. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.
The Swiss Family Robinson.
The Swiss Family Robinson; or, Adventures of a Father and Mother and Four Sons on a Desert Island. Illustrated. 2 vols., 18mo, Cloth, $1.50.
The Swiss Family Robinson--Continued: being a Sequel to the Foregoing. 2 vols., 18mo, Cloth, $1.50.
Sandford and Merton.
The History of Sandford and Merton. By THOMAS DAY. 18mo, Half Bound, 75 cents.
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Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
_Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price._
[Illustration: Fig. 1.]
[Illustration: Fig. 2.]
[Illustration: Fig. 3.]
Bob has discovered another amusement. The other evening he suddenly commanded me to "draw a head" on a piece of paper that he placed before me.
"Don't let me see it, nor anybody. Now fold it back, and leave a little bit of the neck showing. Now I'll draw the body."
Which he did, and again folded the paper.
"Now, papa, you draw the legs."
Papa obediently took the pencil, and had his turn at the paper.
"Now, Mamie, you name it. Call it after somebody you know, if you like."
So Mamie named it Miss Foot, in honor of her school-teacher, the most stately of maiden ladies. Then Bob unfolded the paper, and displayed to us a most comical mixture of flesh and fowl.
"More like a _misfit_, than _Miss Foot_," said papa.
"There! that's what I'll call 'em," exclaimed Bob--"_misfits_. That's just what they are, you know--misfits."
"She's a duck, anyway," said Mamie.
"Looks more like a goose," said Bob.
We afterward tried another, in which Mamie had a hand with the pencil. I named it after myself, and was rewarded for my vanity by finding "Nelly" a more ungainly object than even "Miss Foot."
In making "Misfits" you must remember to leave a small piece of one picture projecting into the other, in order to have them join properly. You will also find it better to draw them on a larger scale than the pictures we give.
A nimble spring, a noiseless tread, A playful poise of the restless head, A sleepy song of sweet content, While slyly on schemes of mischief bent-- 'Tis thus the days of my _first_ are spent.
To do my _second_ is surely human; They say the fault was first with a woman. 'Tis a little word, but its power was great, To change the course of a happy fate.
My _third_ is seen in many a land, Where ancient temples ruined stand, Like a grim sentry, placed before, To guard an open palace door.
My _whole_, with slow and measured grace, Among the lowly takes its place: Nor dreams its future yet shall be A wondrous thing of mystery.
SOLUTION OF CHICKEN PUZZLE.
The Chicken Puzzle given on page 216 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, No. 17, has proved too difficult for any of our readers to solve, and not a single correct answer to it has been sent us. The puzzle was to make a chicken out of an orange with four cuts of the scissors and the prick of a pin. In Fig. 1 of the above diagram the dotted lines on the stalk and the white lines on the orange show where the cuts with the scissors are to be made, and Fig. 2 shows the pieces put together, and the chicken complete.
[Illustration: LITTLE TOMMY'S NIGHTMARE, AFTER SPENDING AN UNUSUALLY BUSY DAY KITE-FLYING.]