The Youth's Companion - Volume LII, Number 11, Thursday, March 13, 1879
Author: Various
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The Youth's Companion

Volume LII. Number 11 Thursday, March 13, 1879.

Perry Mason & Co., Publishers No. 41 Temple Place Boston

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For the Companion.


By J. T. Trowbridge.

What amused us most at the Lake House last summer was the performance of a bear in the back yard.

He was fastened to a pole by a chain, which gave him a range of a dozen or fifteen feet. It was not very safe for visitors to come within that circle, unless they were prepared for rough handling.

He had a way of suddenly catching you to his bosom, and picking your pockets of peanuts and candy,—if you carried any about you,—in a manner which took your breath away. He stood up to his work on his hind legs in a quite human fashion, and used paw and tongue with amazing skill and vivacity. He was friendly, and didn't mean any harm, but he was a rude playfellow.

I shall never forget the ludicrous adventures of a dandified New Yorker who came out into the yard to feed bruin on seed-cakes, and did not feed him fast enough.

He had approached a trifle too near, when all at once the bear whipped an arm about him, took him to his embrace, and "went through" his pockets in a hurry. The terrified face of the struggling and screaming fop, and the good-natured, businesslike expression of the fumbling and munching beast, offered the funniest sort of contrast.

The one-eyed hostler, who was the bear's especial guardian, lounged leisurely to the spot.

"Keep still, and he won't hurt ye," he said, turning his quid. "That's one of his tricks. Throw out what you've got, and he'll leave ye."

The dandy made haste to help bruin to the last of the seed-cakes, and escaped without injury, but in a ridiculous plight,—his hat smashed, his necktie and linen rumpled, and his watch dangling; but his fright was the most laughable part of all.

The one-eyed hostler made a motion to the beast, who immediately climbed the pole, and looked at us from the cross-piece at the top.

"A bear," said the one-eyed hostler, turning his quid again, "is the best-hearted, knowin'est critter that goes on all-fours. I'm speakin' of our native black bear, you understand. The brown bear aint half so respectable, and the grizzly is one of the ugliest brutes in creation. Come down here, Pomp!"

Pomp slipped down the pole and advanced towards the one-eyed hostler, walking on his hind legs and rattling his chain.

"Playful as a kitten!" said the one-eyed hostler, fondly. "I'll show ye."

He took a wooden bar from a clothes-horse near by, and made a lunge with it at Pomp's breast.

No pugilist or fencing-master could have parried a blow more neatly. Then the one-eyed hostler began to thrust and strike with the bar as if in downright earnest.

"Rather savage play," I remarked. And a friend by my side, who never misses a chance to make a pun, added,—-

"Yes, a decided act of bar-bear-ity."

"Oh, he likes it!" said the one-eyed hostler. "Ye can't hit him."

And indeed it was so. No matter how or where the blow was aimed, a movement of Pomp's paw, quick as a flash of lightning, knocked it aside, and he stood good-humoredly waiting for more.

"Once in a while," said the one-eyed hostler, resting from the exercise and leaning on the bar, while Pomp retired to his pole, "there's a bear of this species that's vicious and blood-thirsty. Generally, you let them alone and they'll let you alone. They won't run from you maybe, but they won't go out of their way to pick a quarrel. They don't swagger round with a chip on their shoulder lookin' for some fool to knock it off."

"Will they eat you?" some one inquired; for there was a ring of spectators around the performers by this time.

"As likely as not, if they are sharp-set, and you lay yourself out to be eaten; but it aint their habit to go for human flesh. Roots, nuts, berries, bugs, and any small game they can pick up, satisfies their humble appetite as a general thing.

"But they're amazin' fond of honey, and there's no end of stingin' they won't stand for the fun of robbin' a bee-nest. They're omnivourous as a hog."

The spectators smiled, while some one remarked,—-

"You mean omnivorous."

The hostler winked his one eye knowingly, and replied.—-

"I mean omnivourous," with a still stronger accent on the wrong syllable. "I found the word in a book, and it means eathin' or devourin' all sorts. That's what a bear does. He likes everything, and a good deal of it. He can't live on suckin' his paws all winter, neither. That's a foolish notion."

"Do you mean to say a bear doesn't hibernate?" I asked.

"He hibernates,—yes. I believe that's what they call it," replied the one-eyed hostler. "He lies curled up kind o' torpid sometimes in winter; but what he really lives on then is his fat.

"Fat is fuel, so ter speak. He lays it up in the fall, and burns it out the the winter. He goes into his cold-weather quarters plump, and comes out lean; but it's only in very cold weather that he keeps so quiet. In mild, open winters he's out foragin' around, and when there comes a warm spell in the toughest winter, you may see him. He likes to walk out and see what's goin' on, anyhow."

The one-eyed hostler leaned against the pole, stroked Pomp's fur affectionately, and continued somewhat in this style:

"Bears are particularly fond of fat, juicy pigs, and once give 'em a taste of human flesh,—why, I shouldn't want my children to be playin' in the woods within a good many miles of their den!

"Which reminds me of Old Two Claws, as they used to call him, a bear that plagued the folks over in Ridgetown, where I was brought up,—wal, as much as forty year ago.

"He got his name from the peculiar shape of his foot, and he got that from trifling with a gun-trap. You know what that is,—a loaded gun set in such a way that a bear or any game that's curious about it, must come up to it the way it p'ints; a bait is hung before the muzzle, and a string runs from that to the trigger.

"He was a cunning fellow, and he put out an investigatin' paw at the piece of pork before trying his jaws on it; so instead of gettin' a bullet in the head, he merely had a bit of his paw shot away. There were but two claws left on that foot, as his bloody tracks showed.

"He got off; but this experience seemed to have soured his disposition. He owed a spite to the settlement.

"One night a great row was heard in my uncle's pig-pen. He and the boys rushed out with pitchforks, a gun and a lantern. They knew what the trouble was, or soon found out.

"A huge black bear had broken down the side of the pen; he had seized a fat porker, and was actually lugging him off in his arms! The pig was kicking and squealing, but the bear had him fast. He did not seem at all inclined to give up his prey, even when attacked. He looked sullen and ugly; but a few jabs from a pitchfork, and a shot in the shoulder, convinced him that he was making a mistake.

"He dropped the pig, and got away before my uncle could load up for another shot. The next morning they examined his tracks. It was Old Two Claws.

"But what sp'ilt him for being a quiet neighbor was something that happened about a year after that.

"There was a roving family of Indians encamped near the settlement, hunting, fishing, and making moccasins and baskets, which they traded with the whites.

"One afternoon the Red-Sky-of-the-Morning, wife of the Water-Snake-with-the-Long-Tail, came over to the settlement with some of their truck for sale. She had a pappoose on her back strapped on a board; another squaw travelled with her, carrying an empty jug.

"Almost within sight of Gorman's grocery, Red-Sky took off her pappoose and hung it on a tree. The fellows around the store had made fun of it when she was there once before, so she preferred to leave it in the woods rather than expose it to the coarse jokes of the boys. The little thing was used to such treatment. Whether carried or hung up, pappoosey never cried.

"The squaws traded off this truck, and bought, with other luxuries of civilization, a gallon of whiskey. They drank out of the jug, and then looked at more goods. Then they drank again, and from being shy and silent, as at first, they giggled and chatted like a couple of silly white girls. They spent a good deal more time and money at Gorman's than they would if it hadn't been for the whiskey, but finally they started to go back through the woods.

"They went chattering and giggling to the tree where the pappoose had been left. Then suddenly their noise stopped. There was no pappoose there!

"This discovery sobered them. They thought at first the fellows around the store had played them a trick by taking it away; but by-and-by the Red-Sky-of-the-Morning set up a shriek.

"She had found the board not far off, but no pappoose strapped to it, only something that told the story of what had happened.

"There were bear tracks around the spot. One of the prints showed only two claws.

"The Red-Sky-of-the-Morning went back to the camp with the news; the other squaw followed with the jug.

"When the Water-Snake-with-the-Long-Tail heard that his pappoose had been eaten by a bear, he felt, I suppose, very much as any white father would have felt under the circumstances. He vowed vengeance against Old Two Claws, but consoled himself with a drink of the fire-water before starting on the hunt.

"The braves with him followed his example. It wasn't in Indian nature to start until they had emptied the jug, so it happened that Old Two Claws got off again. Tipsy braves can't follow a trail worth a cent.

"Not very long after that a woman in a neighboring settlement heard her children scream one day in the woods near the house. She rushed out, and saw a bear actually lugging off her youngest.

"She was a sickly, feeble sort of woman, but such a sight was enough to give her the strength and courage of a man. She ran and caught up an axe. Luckily she had a big dog. They two went at the bear.

"The old fellow had no notion of losing his dinner just for a woman and a mongrel cur. But she struck him a tremendous blow on the back; at the same time the pup got him by the leg. He dropped the young one to defend himself. She caught it up and ran, leaving the two beasts to have it out together.

"The bear made short work with the cur, but instead of following the woman and child, he skulked off into the woods.

"The settlers got together for a grand hunt; but Old Two Claws—for the tracks showed that he was the scoundrel—escaped into the mountains, and lived to make more trouble another day.

"The child? Oh, the child was scarcely hurt! It had got squeezed and scratched a little in the final tussle; that was all.

"As to the bear, he was next heard of in our settlement."

The hostler hesitated, winked his one eye with an odd expression, put a fresh quid into his cheek, and finally resumed,—-

"A brother-in-law of my uncle, a man of the name of Rush, was one day chopping in the woods about half a mile from his house, when his wife went out to carry him his luncheon.

"She left two children at home, a boy about five years old, and a baby just big enough to toddle around.

"The boy had often been told that if he strayed into the woods with his brother a bear might carry them off, and she charged him again that forenoon not to go away from the house; but he was an enterprising little fellow, and when the sun shone so pleasant, and the woods looked so inviting, he wasn't one to be afraid of bears.

"The woman stopped to see her husband fall a big beech he was cutting, and then went back to the house; but just before she got there, she saw the oldest boy coming out of the woods on the other side. He was alone. He was white as a sheet, and so frightened at first that he couldn't speak.

"'Johnny,' says she, catching hold of him, 'what is the matter?'

"'A bear!' he gasped out at last.

"'Where is your little brother?' was her next question.

"'I don't know,' said he, too much frightened to know anything just then.

"'Where did you leave him?' says she.

"Then he seemed to have gotten his wits together a little. 'A bear took him!' said he.

"You can guess what sort of an agony the mother was in.

"'O Johnny, tell me true! Think! Where was it?'

"'In the woods,' he said. 'Bear come along,—I run.'

"She caught him up and hurried with him into the woods. She begged him to show her where he was with his little brother when the bear came along. He pointed out two or three places. In one of them the earth was soft. There were fresh tracks crossing it,—bear tracks. There was no doubt about it.

"It was a terrible situation for a poor woman. Whether to follow the bear and try to recover her child, or go at once for her husband, or alarm the neighbors, what to do with Johnny meanwhile,—all that would have been hard enough for her to decide even if she had had her wits about her.

"She hardly knew what she did, but just followed her instinct, and ran with Johnny in her arms, or dragging him after her, to where her husband was chopping.

"Well," continued the one-eyed hostler, "I needn't try to describe what followed. They went back to the house, and Rush took his rifle and started on the track of the bear, vowing that he would not come back without either the child or the bear's hide.

"The news went like wildfire through the settlement. In an hour half-a-dozen men with their dogs were on the track with Rush. It was so much trouble for him to follow the trail that they soon overtook him with the help of the dogs.

"But in spite of them the bear got into the mountains. Two of the dogs came up with him, and one, the only one that could follow a scent, had his back broken by a stroke of his paw. After that it was almost impossible to track him, and one after another the hunters gave up and returned home.

"At last Rush was left alone; but nothing could induce him to turn back. He shot some small game in the mountains, which he cooked for his supper, slept on the ground, and started on the trail again in the morning.

"Along in the forenoon he came in sight of the bear as he was crossing a stream. He had a good shot at him as he was climbing the bank on the other side.

"The bear kept on, but it was easier tracking him after that by his blood.

"That evening a hunter, haggard, his clothes all in tatters, found his way to a backwoodsman's hut over in White's Valley. It was Rush. He told his story in a few words as he rested on a stool. He had found no traces of his child, but he had killed the bear. It was Old Two Claws. He had left him on the hills, and came to the settlement for help.

"The hunt had taken him a round-about course, and he was then not more than seven miles from home. The next day, gun in hand, with the bear-skin strapped to his back,—the carcass had been given to his friend the backwoods-man,—he started to return by an easier way through the woods.

"It was a sad revenge he had had, but there was a grim sort of satisfaction in lugging home the hide of the terrible Old Two Claws.

"As he came in sight of his log-house, out ran his wife to meet him, with—what do you suppose?—little Johnny dragging at her skirts, and the lost child in her arms.

"Then, for the first time, the man dropped; but he didn't get down any further than his knees. He clung to his wife and baby, and thanked God for the miracle.

"But it wasn't much of a miracle, after all.

"Little Johnny had been playing around the door, and lost sight of the baby, and maybe forgotten all about him, when he strayed into the woods and saw the bear. Then he remembered all that he had heard of the danger of being carried off and eaten, and of course he had a terrible fright. When asked about his little brother, he didn't know anything about him, and I suppose really imagined that the bear had got him.

"But the baby had crawled into a snug place under the side of the rain-trough, and there he was fast asleep all the while. Then he woke up two or three hours after, and the mother heard him cry; her husband was far away on the hunt.

"True,—this story I've told you?" added the one-eyed hostler, as some one questioned him. "Every word of it!"

"But your name is Rush, isn't it?" I said.

The one eye twinkled humorously.

"My name is Rush. My uncle's brother-in-law was my own father."

"And you?" exclaimed a bystander.

"I," said the one-eyed hostler, "am the very man who warn't eaten by the bear when I was a baby!"

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We crown the unconscious brew with wreath of bays We press in pulseless hands the sweetest flowers. When all unneeded any grace of ours We find a voice for all the loving praise For which, perhaps, through weary, unblessed days The heart had hungered. We are slow to prove The tenderness we feel, till some dark day We can do naught but bow our head and pray That Heaven may teach us how to show our love. May it not be that on the other side They wait for us, and, like us, long to make The sad wrongs right, ready to give and take The hand-clasps and the kisses here denied? Carlotta Perry.

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For the Companion. CUSPADORES.

There is probably no human weakness that awakens more derisive contempt than a false assumption of superior knowledge. The vanity of young people frequently leads them into ludicrous positions, and sometimes even into serious difficulties, through a pretence of knowing things of which they are really ignorant. The experience of one of my young friends is a case in point.

Silvia Morden is a girl of sixteen. She is both bright and pretty. Her worst fault was the one I have mentioned,—a most ridiculous mania for wishing to appear well acquainted with all subjects.

The flattery of her companions at Miss Hall's "Young Ladies' Academy" no doubt had something to do with this folly; for she was generous, end a great favorite with her schoolmates. It often led her into difficulties, as falsehood in any form always does, and Silvia was really becoming a confirmed liar when the little episode I am about to relate, checked her on the very brink of the precipice.

The craze for "high art decorations" had spread from the great city centres to the country town of Atwood, where Silvia's parents lived. Of course every one understands that "high art" becomes very much diluted in its country progress, and when it appears in out-of-the-way places, where the people are neither wealthy nor well read, it is apt to degenerate into very low art, indeed.

But the Atwood girls did what they could to follow the fashions. Old ginger-jars were dragged down, covered with paint, and pasted over with beetles, and birds, and flowers, in utter disregard of the unities. Here Egyptian scarabaei were perched on an Alpine mountain; there a clay amphora, of the shape of the Greeks or Romans, was adorned with gaudy plates cut out of fashion magazines.

The merchants in Atwood, taking advantage of this furore, sent for all shapes of pottery, but they could not import the taste to decorate it. Atwood, however, was satisfied with its own style of art, and that was sufficient.

Silvia's decorations were rather better than those of her acquaintances. She read everything she could on the subject, but, with her usual self-conceit, refused to ask any questions of those who might have enlightened her, and in fact, set herself up as an oracle on art decorations.

One day, she saw in a city paper a list of articles for decoration, among which were "cuspadores."

"What on earth is a 'cuspadore'?" she asked herself.

Of course, something lovely, she judged, from the name. It was high-sounding, and seemed classical. She concluded it must be one of those lovely vases she had read descriptions of, and she determined to buy one that very evening, for of course Morris had them among his new lot of potteries.

She went to school that morning with her head full of cuspadores. She missed all her lessons, and got a bad mark for inattention, but the thought of a cuspadore kept her from worrying over her misfortunes.

"I do hope Miss Hall isn't going to keep us all the afternoon bothering over that rhetoric," she said to her friend Anna Lee. "I want to go up town this evening, and must go, if it's dark when I get home."

"What are you so crazy to go up town for?" asked Anna.

"Oh, I want to go to Morris's store to get a cuspadore."

"Cuspa—-what?" inquired her amazed companion. "What on earth is that?"

"You'll see when I get it," was the evasive answer.

"Oh, bother your mysteries! You needn't make a secret of it, Just tell me what it is and what it's for."

With all her heart, Silvia wished that she could answer that question. Thinking she could not be very far wrong, she ventured to say,—

"It's a lovely antique vase. I'm going to put a running border of roses and pansies on it,—the sweetest pictures you ever saw,—and I'll put it on the mantel for flowers."

"I never heard of them before," persisted Anna. "Where did you see them, Sil?"

Another falsehood was required.

"I saw a great many pretty things when I was in the city last March, and cuspadores were among them."

"Well, I'll wait and see yours," answered unsuspicious Anna. "If I like it, I'll get one too. Now mind you show it to me first when you've finished it."

As soon as school was dismissed, Silvia hurried through Atwood to the store of Mr. Morris.

The clerk who came bowing to her was a young man for whom she had a special dislike,—"a conceited idiot," she called him to her companions, "with an offensive familiarity of manner." In reality, Tom Jordan was a well-meaning young man, though rather silly, but his vanity and conceit happened to jar upon the same marked characteristics in Miss Silvia.

"What shall I show you this evening, Miss Silvia?" rubbing his hands and smiling blandly.

"Are none of the other clerks disengaged?" she asked, loftily.

The young man's smile faded away. "I'm afraid, Miss Morden, they're all busy. Can I show you anything?"

"Have you any cuspadores among your new pottery?"

"What did you say?" asked Tom.

"I said cuspadores. I presume you know what they are."

Now Jordan didn't know any better than she what cuspadores are. But he, too, had a reputation to support for knowing everything in his line of business. He was not going to peril it at a counter full of gaping customers by acknowledging his ignorance.

He would question her a little, to find out what it was.

He put his finger to his forehead, and shut his eyes, as if trying to remember where the cuspadores were placed.

"What style do you wish? The fact is, there are so many different shapes in vogue now."

"Oh, the most antique, of course. I doat on those queer antique things."

His head in a whirl, Tom rushed into the back room, leaving Silvia conversing with some acquaintances who had come in. From the back room he ran into an office where the book-keeper, who was lately from Philadelphia, was absorbed over a column of figures.

"Ralston, what under the sun is a cuspadore?" he cried.

"It's a spittoon,—a spit-box,—you ninny! If you interrupt me again, I'll shy mine at your head!"

"Whew!" whistled Tom. "Who'd have thought that 'toploftical' young miss, with her airs and graces, used tobacco? I s'pose she rubs, or maybe she smokes. One never knows, Ralston, what girls are up to."

"But I know what I'll be up to if you don't clear out!" cried the angry book-keeper.

Tom rummaged the warehouse, and found a common earthenware spittoon, which he dragged out in triumph.

"I wonder if she thinks she can buy spittoons by a new-fangled name," he muttered, "and nobody know what she wants 'em for? I'll let her know she can't put her finger in my eye. That's why she wanted another clerk."

With a flourish and a smirk, Tom deposited the spittoon on the counter under Silvia's astonished eyes.

"Here's a cuspadore, Miss Morden; not the very finest article, but it serves every purpose. Cleans easy, too, and that's the great thing, after all. Shall I send you a pair?"

Utterly astonished and struck dumb, Silvia stood gazing at the hideous thing.

"And look here, Miss Morden," dropping his voice to a confidential whisper, "we've got the finest lot of tobacco and the best snuff you ever used. Oh, I know,—I'll not mention it. Young ladies, of course, have their little secrets,—I understand that, and I'll be upon honor, 'pon my word I will."

"You insulting creature!" Silvia gasped.

Her look and tone caused Tom to back, and bump his head so violently against a shelf that, for a minute, he was blind. When he recovered his sight, Silvia had left the store, and the people at the counter were gazing with wide-open eyes on the scene.

"What did you say to Miss Morden, that she flew off in such a rage?" asked a tall, gaunt, spectacled old maid,—Miss James,—who was the terror of the town for her ill-natured gossip and interfering ways.

"Upon my word, ma'am, I said nothing insulting," replied the angered clerk. "Miss Silvia asked for a spittoon, and I showed her one. Of course people do not want spittoons unless they use tobacco, do they? I am sure I meant no harm. I only wanted to accommodate a customer."

"Of course, of course," said his grim listener. "Judge Morden and her ma don't dream of their daughter's goings-on, I'm sure of that. I'm a friend, and they'll know it before I'm an hour older."

She stalked out of the store, and down to Judge Morden's house. Without ringing, she marched into the sitting-room, where Mrs. Morden was at work.

"Clara Morden," she said, in her sharpest tones, for she was an old acquaintance of the lady, "how have you brought up your daughter, that she's disgracing you?"

"Disgracing! Are you talking of Silvia?"

Gentle Mrs. Morden's face was pale as she turned her startled eyes on her visitor.

"Who else? Don't you think it a disgrace for a girl to use tobacco? and that's what Sil does, and goes and buys a spittoon before the whole town! I'd tobacco her! But everybody knows it by this time, and whether she gives it up or not, people will keep on thinking she uses it. You always did give that girl too much head, I've told you so time and again, and now you see you'd better have taken my advice."

Mrs. Morden had regained her calmness by this time.

"There is certainly some mistake," she said, coolly. "I will ask Silvia about it when she comes in."

"You'll find it no mistake," said her visitor. "At least half-a-dozen people were in Morris's this evening when she asked for the spittoon, and then got mad with the clerk about something."

The explanation Silvia was compelled to make that evening, though it acquitted her of the first charge, left a most painful impression upon her mother that the habit of falsehood had grown upon her daughter.

"I will not add to your punishment by re-proof," she said, gravely, "because I foresee the mortification that this is going to bring to you. No explanation will convince half the gossips in town that you have not the filthy habit of using tobacco, and the story will cling to you for years."

"That's harsh and unjust!" Silvia cried, hotly. "It was a mistake anybody might have made."

"Yes, anybody who pretends to know what you are ignorant of. There is a strong likeness in the family of lies, and it is neither hard nor unjust that we should be punished for them. Your humiliation I hope may prove a salutary lesson."

It did. Silvia is rarely tempted now to her old pretences of superior knowledge. The cuspadore story brought her such pain and mortifition that the scars remain yet.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For the Companion.

IN THE BACKWOODS. In Five Chapters.—Chap. I.

By C. A. Stephens.

We were boiling down "salts" that winter in Black Ash Swamp,—not epsom salts, but an extract from the lye of wood ashes. The ashes were boiled much as maple sap is boiled in order to obtain sugar.

I do not know whether the reader ever heard of such a thing. It was one of many ventures which Edward Martin, Vet Chase and myself made when we were boys up in the Maine backwoods in order to obtain a little money.

Black Ash Swamp was four or five miles up Mud Stream, a small tributary of the Penobscot. It was situated on "wild" land, as it was called, and was full of yellow ash, black ash and elm.

We had gone there early in November. Our first work was to fell the great ash-trees and cut them up so that the wood could be burned in ricks. Many of the trees were very old, nearly lifeless, and punky at the heart; but they made an abundance of ashes.

There is no wood in the world from which such quantities of ashes can be secured; and that is the reason, I suppose, why the tree is called ash. Nor is there another tree whose ashes make so strong a lye. It was for this reason that we came here to make "salts."

We brought up on our raft twenty old flour-barrels, to be used as leach-tubs. These were set up in a semi-circle round our boiling-place, which was a long stone "arch." A pole and lumber-shed served us as a camp.

We used to sit there evenings, and by the light of the fire under the boiling kettles of lye, try to read Aesop's fables in Latin, and I never to this day take up my old Latin reader without seeming to hear the steady drip-drop of those twenty leach-tubs.

Making salts was hard work for us, though not much harder than translating some of those fables; but one needs to work to keep warm in Northern Maine in December.

In the forenoons we would all three cut and split the ash into fire-wood, then burn it and boil the ashes. Sometimes we burned eight or ten cords in a single rick, which made from seven to ten barrels of ashes. Then we poured water into the barrels, and set earthen pans or pots underneath to catch the lye as it drained through.

When our four iron kettles,—hung with "hooks" to a long pole over our arch,—were all boiling, there was a strong odor, and the steam made our eyes smart. It took a lively fire, and we made a good many ashes in the arch.

When boiled away, the lye leaves a residuum, which, in color and general appearance, resembles brown sugar. This was the "salts." It is very strong. Compared with lye, it is like the oil of peppermint compared with peppermint tea.

We had been promised six cents a pound for salts delivered at Bangor, to be refined into soda. When we met with no interruptions, we obtained from forty to fifty pounds of salts in a day. Not a very rapid way of getting rich, yet better than nothing for boys who were determined to earn something so that we could prepare for college.

But it was shocking work for the hands, handling the lye and these "salts." Round our finger nails the skin was eaten off, and the nails themselves were warped and yellowed. Often the blood followed a single accidental slop of the "juice" which settled at the bottom of the "salts." I once heard a man who used to make salts say that he spoiled a horse by carrying a bagful of the nearly dry extract thrown across the saddle. Some of the juice trickled out, and going under the saddle, not only took the hair off, but made terrible sores, which it was found well-nigh impossible to heal. The liquid corroded our iron kettles very rapidly.

All through November, December and January we worked industriously, and studied our Latin. In summer the swamp would have been unhealthy and dangerous to life; but in winter, with the mud and water-holes frozen solidly, it was a warm, comfortable location, for it lay in a great valley, inclosed by high mountain ridges, that were covered by dense growths of pine and spruce. It fairly seemed as if the great fires which we built every afternoon warmed up the whole swamp.

Our smoke would often almost hide the sun when the weather was calm. Very little wind at any time found its way into our sheltered valley. The winter fortunately was a mild one. The snow was not more than a foot deep, and rains occasionally fell, leaving an icy crust.

One of these rain storms came during the last days of January. It thawed for two days, and then became cold on the following night. Next morning, while we were getting breakfast, boiling potatoes and baking biscuits in our tin baker, we heard out in the woods, to the east of our camp, sounds as if some animal was walking on the snow and breaking through the crust.

We listened. The sounds came nearer, and pretty soon we saw through the tree trunks that they were made by a bear. Probably the warm rain had roused him out of his winter den, or else he was starved out, for he looked surly and fierce, as if he felt cross.

He walked leisurely until he was within seven or eight rods of us. Then he stopped and looked at us a minute, but started forward again, and would probably have gone on civilly, had not Ed took our gun, which we kept loaded, and ran after him.

Hearing Ed coming, the bear turned round and ran towards him.

Ed stopped and took aim. The bear at once rose on his hind legs, and fanned the air with his paws.

Ed fired, and fortunately killed him with a single charge of buck-shot.

But I never saw a poorer bear. His hair was rusty, and he was evidently not in good health. The meat we could not eat; the very crows would have passed it by.

We wanted, however, candles to study by, and thought we could obtain grease enough from poor bruin to serve this purpose.

So we cut the body up, hair and all,—for his hide absolutely stuck to his bones,—and that night cleared out one of the kettles, and commenced trying out our bear's grease.

The contents of the kettle sizzled there all the evening, giving off anything but an agreeable odor. We were translating the fable of "The Mouse and the Peasant" that night, and nihil Mehurcule is still mixed up in my mind with the odor of that old bear.

By nine o'clock the oil was fried out. We throw the scraps into the fire, and these made, if possible, a still more disagreeable odor as they burned. The whole swamp was full of it.

The hot fat was then poured off into a tin pail, and hung in a little spotted maple near one end of our camp-shed. We used to hang all our tin dishes and ladles here, for the maple had low limbs, which we had cut off so as to leave the stubs for pegs.

Underneath this tree was the great box—an old grain-box from a logging-camp—in which we stored our "salts" as it was made.

In the night.—it must have been after midnight, for the fire was out—I was roused from sleep by Ed, who was moving about the shed. I thought at first that he was walking in his sleep,—for he was a somnambulist,—and gave him a shake.

"Sh!" whispered he. "There's something sniffing round the arch."

We both peered sharply, but it was so dark that we could see nothing.

"It's the mate to that old bear, I guess," Ed whispered. "He's lonely, and wants company."

"More likely he has smelled the fat," said I, "and intends to steal it."

"Perhaps so," said Ed. "I thought we should draw some beast or other to us. Sh! I believe I can see him. Keep still! I'll teach him not to steal from his neighbors."

Ed reached for the gun, which at night always lay loaded at the head of our bunk.

Cocking the gun, he took aim and fired.

There was a yell almost as loud as the report, and it startled me a good deal worse. I once heard a vicious hound when shot make almost just such a noise. It was really a blood-curdling sound.

Vet had been sound asleep. The gun and the yell brought him suddenly to his feet.

"What is it?" he screamed. "What's the matter?"

"Matter?" exclaimed Ed; "that was a wolf! An ugly customer, too."

The creature had ran yelping away, and now the whole swamp resounded to its cries, as it crossed the frozen stream and ran for the mountain-side. What we took for the echoes at first, came back amazingly distinct from the mountains all about us. "Why," cried Vet, "those cries are other wolves answering him!"

It is strange what a distance the smell of burned bones and scraps will be carried to the noses of carnivorous beasts. A hunter in the woods better not burn such refuse unless he wants to draw dangerous game about him. It may be a wild opinion, but I haven't a doubt that the odor of those bones drew wolves twenty-five miles off to us that night.

As soon as Vet spoke, Ed and I both knew there must be other wolves howling. It made us feel almost frightened, there, in the dead of night, for we soon found that the creatures were drawing together and coming nearer, large numbers of them. Ed loaded the gun again.

"But what good will that do if there's a pack of 'em?" Vet exclaimed.

If we had had a log camp with a door, we shouldn't have felt uneasy; but our open shed would not afford us safety. There was no time to be lost, for the wolves were racing and scurrying about the swamp, not half a mile away.

"I'm going into that old stooping hemlock!" said Vet, and he ran for it.

This large mossy hemlock was a few yards to the right of our camp. It leaned down and rested partly in a great elm that stood on the bank of the stream.

Any one could make a run and scramble up the trunk of this tree to the first limbs, twelve or fourteen feet. Ed and I only waited to place two big stones from the arch upon our pork cask, and also to throw our flour-bag and meal-bag upon the roof of the shed. Then we scrambled after Vet.

We got amongst the green boughs, and perched ourselves as comfortably as we could. There was no wind, and the temperature could not have been below freezing, much.

We had but just got into the hemlock when two or three wolves ran by, and were soon scurrying about our "arch" and camp,—going and coming, here and there, uttering, now and then, a quick, eager yelp, like hounds hunting a track.

Though it was pretty dark, we could distinguish their dusky forms. We could hear them eating, too, the bones, scraps and offal we hand thrown out,—quarrelling, snapping and fighting with one another.

Several times, one or more of them were on the shed-roof. They dragged off the meal-bag, and tugged at the cloths, and dragged the bag about the ground. Then they began to jump into the little spotted maple. This was so near that we could see them better. They tore down the tin dishes, and still kept leaping up.

"Good-by, candles!" muttered Ed. "They're after that pail of bear's grease."

Pretty soon, we heard the pail go down, thump! into the box of "salts," that was, as I have said, underneath it. Then there was a great rush and snapping of the whole pack—twenty to thirty of them, we thought—as they licked it up from among the salts.

They hurried hither and thither around the camp for ten or fifteen minutes longer, then dropped off, one after another, in response to howlings further down the stream.

The next morning, we saw where they had upset the bear-fat into the "salts." The oil had not cooled, and of course it soaked down into the loose salts. In their eagerness to get the warm grease, the rabid brutes had eaten grease and salts together.

"Well," said Ed, "some of 'em will be troubled with dyspepsia after this, that's certain."

This was Wednesday. Friday morning, Vet and I set off to go to the settlement. We followed down Mud Stream five miles, to where it entered the Penobscot. Here there was, or had recently been, open water, now only partly frozen over.

We could not get upon the river at the forks, and had to follow up the bank thirty or forty rods. We had gone only a few steps when we came upon a dead wolf, lying close down to the water's edge, among brush and drift-stuff.

"Here's one of our friends!" cried Vet, laughing.

We hauled the carcass up to the top of the bank. It was a good-sized wolf, as large as a fox-hound. We felt pretty happy, for the State then paid a bounty of eight dollars on wolf-scalps; and the hide—if we could get it off—would bring two or three dollars more.

Well, we had not gone four rods further when we came upon another wolf, curled up, dead, near the water. And—to cut the story short—we found eight dead wolves lying along that strip of open water.

The "salts" had proved a fatal meal for them.

We were not long going for Ed, and then we skinned the lot. But it was a tough job. We could not help cutting the hides considerably, and in consequence of this, we obtained but eleven dollars for these. We got seventy-six dollars in all, however, and this was a large amount for us in those hard, self-denying days.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For the Companion. IN THE MINING REGIONS.

At the Station.

The cars stopped at a rude station. A little girl standing by a cow was the only human being to be seen. The girl was barefoot; her white hair looked as if it had not been touched by any comb for a week.

Grandly the hills stretched out, summit after summit. Here and there could be seen a little home, plain enough and poor enough, but made beautiful by its emerald setting.

"Do you work in the mills?" I asked the child with the white head. She stuck her forefinger in her mouth, looked shyly down, and shook her head.

Aunt Sally.

"Is that your cow?" was the next question. She nodded this time, and looked up at us with pleasant blue eyes.

"Can you show as where the mine is?"

"Yes, I can," she said, brightening at the small bit of money I held out, "It's yenter,—coom an' I'll tell ye."

We followed her to a fissure in the side of the hill, a place of rough beams, and bare of verdure. It seemed singularly deserted, for it wanted nearly half an hour to working time. We looked into the shaft with a shudder. It led in a slanting direction into the deep earth, and it seemed like going into a grave to enter it.

"Poppy goes down ther," said the girl. "He an' the other men are mad 'cause they have to stay there so long."

"Could we got a breakfast round hers, anywhere?" my friend asked of the child.

"Oh, yes, Aunt Sally, down there;" stud she pointed to a little clearing, dazzlingly white amidst the pretty garden spots. The girl volunteered to go with us.

The child led us into a small clean room, where were milk-pans, shining like silver.

Aunt Sally was a small, tidy body, with a bright English face of the best type, straight as an arrow, and with an eye that meant business.

"Them miners is a hard set," she said, as she bustled about us, getting bread and coffee. "You see, there's so many nations mixed. There's Irish, and German, and Swiss, and patience knows what else, and they get among themselves if they think things don't go right, and talk and talk, and git discontented and ugly.

"I'll 'low it's a hard life, 'specially for the women and children, though there aint but few o' them work about here. But then, though they work a good while, yet they have a good bit of daylight, after all. The men as don't drink are, as a general rule, the easiest to git along with. There go some of 'em now."

The Murdered Miner.

A group of low-browed, sturdy follows passed the door, laughing and talking, seemingly contented, and after breaking our fast, we followed them.

A woman was walking ahead of us, with, a child in her arms, a little girl of six or seven years tugging at her skirt. They were a very quiet trio.

I noticed that the woman wore a bit of black crape on her hat, and there was something in her face that inclined me to stop and speak to her.

"You look young to have two children," I said.

"Yes'm; I aint twenty yet," she said, shifting the great boy to the other arm.

"And you are in mourning."

"Yes'm. I've lost Jim. He was a good husband, a real steady man; never drunk nor nothin'. Him and me'd knowed each other ever sence we were little uns. We was raised in Edinburgh, miss, and come over when we was married. Then Jim got sick, and it cost all we brought to cure him. So we came up here a year ago, and was doing quite well, miss."

"Was it an accident in the mines?" I ventured to ask.

"Oh, no, miss, it was a cruel murder; he was killed by them Molly Maguires!" and her lips trembled, and the tears started to her eyes.

I was sorry I had asked her, and was silent from sympathy.

"They're all very good to me about here. They've give me something to do, and Ruby, here, takes care of the baby like a little woman while I'm in the mine at work."

"Why, what can you possibly do?"

"Oh, a good many little odd jobs,—throwing the lumps out of the passages, and doing whatever comes to hand,—helping to load sometimes. I'm very glad to get it.

"They talk of raising me some money to buy a bit shanty," she added. "I can pick up a little to do, perhaps, then, that'll keep me out of the mine. It don't seem to be a woman's place, somehow. Not but what they're all very respectful and kind."

"Are there other women there?"

"Not many in this mine. Over on the hill where the men struck once or twice, there's a-many, and some of 'em do men's work; but a woman had better be home if she's got a home."

The sentiment found an echo in my heart as I looked on the pale, sorrowful face, so commonplace, yet so interesting, from its very sadness.

Down in the Mines.

"Wouldn't you like to go in?" she asked. "Ladies do, sometimes."

She placed the child in the arms of the girl,—a quiet little thing, and I followed her into the side of the hill, already thickly covered with working men, with the star of light burning on their foreheads, so faint and blue in the sunshine, so bright in the darkness.

I shall never forget the sensations of that hour. In and on, with a sense of continually descending; on each side, the great glistening black walls of anthracite; here and there small streams of water trickling down; now and then a dull thud of pick; a muffled, low roar, ringing in one's ears wherever there was a passage in which people were at work.

There were great hollows that looked like caves on one hand, and precipitous banks on the other; little bursts of sound, coming upon one suddenly, of miners talking or laughing below the mule tracks; patient mules, laboring on in the darkness; patient or impatient men, toiling from morning till night; even women denied the fair sunshine of the outer world.

Here were carts being loaded. Here were men making great fissures in the coal; the air was filled with a shimmering dust, oddly gleaming in plates as the light struck it. It filled the nostrils and the throat, and I wondered how the miners dared open their months to talk.

"You can't think how bright it all seems outside, after I get through," said the young woman, whose name, I learned, was Matilda Vernon. "Sometimes I think it's almost worth while to be shut up, things look so different. You live in two worlds like."

I had a terrible sensation of dread in going out,—more palpably felt than when I entered. What if these horrible jagged masses should fall on or in front of me, obstructing my path! I could see myself flying before me, and my breath grew so short that it was something like agony as I toiled up and up, led by a miner so bulky that he almost filled the passage at times.

I could have shouted for joy when at last I saw the faint far glimmer of the beautiful glad light,—the light of the blessed sun. I could not wonder that the miners asked for the boon of the eight hours law. It certainly seems long enough, and too long, to be imprisoned in the bowels of the earth.

Back again to the station, ready for the journey West,—I could hardly believe that it was not yet ten o'clock in the morning. GARRY MOSS.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


England's pride in her colonies and dependencies has some serious drawbacks. To have planted her flags in every quarter of the globe, to be able to say that she is the mistress of an empire "upon which the sun never sets," to have ports in every sea, and fortresses on every continent, are surely things of which the little islands of Britain may well be proud.

But this glory and power are expensive, and the cause of not only many anxieties and perplexities, but of frequent wars, costly in men and money. Many of the English colonies, in lands far distant from the seat of empire, are still feeble, and still need the aid of the mother country; besides, England is almost constantly acquiring and settling new colonies, which must be defended.

Australia, Canada, and a few of her colonies have now grown large enough to take care of themselves. They ask for little or no aid, either in soldiers or money, from the Queen. This is not the case, however, with a majority of her dependencies.

England has held India for more than a century; and that great oriental empire has been throughout a source of enormous cost and trouble to her. It is still so, as may be seen by the fact that England has risked war with Russia, and is even now at war with Afghanistan in order to protect India. This object, indeed, is at the bottom of the English share in the Eastern Question, and her alliance with the Sultan of Turkey.

Another dependency which has been very expensive, and very difficult to maintain, has been that of what is called the Cape Colony. This colony is situated at the extreme southern end of the continent of Africa, ending at time Cape of Good Hope. It was first established by the English, early in the present century, having before been settled by Dutch emigrants. In 1833, the Dutch possessions which still remained there were finally ceded to England; since which year, the latter country has exercised complete rule over the region.

But the original Cape Colony has been gradually extended in the march of time. Adjoining tribes and districts have been gradually added. As the barbarous Caffres, a name given to all the South Africans on the borders of the colony, have become troublesome, their countries have been conquered and annexed.

The Dutch settlers, moreover (who are called "Boors"), are dissatisfied with English rule, and have withdrawn into the interior, and there formed little governments of their own. But the English have, in one or two cases, followed them up, and have absorbed them also.

Now the English are having trouble with a fierce and warlike Caffre tribe on the East coast, just north of Natal, called the Zulus. The despot of this tribe, Catewayo, has long been preparing to attack the colony by raising and drilling an army of no less than forty thousand men.

Recently, Catewayo had a dispute with Sir Bartle Frere, the English Governor, about the boundary between Zululand and Natal. The Governor at last yielded, but demanded that Catewayo should disband his army. This the barbaric king would not do; and the English troops entered his territory under Lord Chelmsford, whose first encounter with the brave and savage Zulus resulted in a bloody and over-whelming disaster to the English.

There is little doubt, however, that sooner or later the English must overcome Catewayo. The natural result of this would be the annexation of Zululand to the Cape Colony. Thus its dimensions are ever increasing.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The clouds, which rise with thunder, slake Our thirsty souls with rain: The blow most dreaded falls to break From off our limbs a chain; And wrongs of man to man but make The love of God more plain: As through the shadowy lens of even The eye looks farthest into heaven. On gleams of star and depths of blue The glaring sunshine never knew! WHITTIER.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Compared with the annual convening of the American Congress, the opening of the Dominion Parliament is an imposing event. This year additional interest has been given it for Canadians, because over it not only presided a new and popular Governor-General, and a new ministry, but the Princess Louise, wife of the Governor-General, and daughter of Queen Victoria.

In Canada an American observer is struck by the close connection between political and social affairs; a union that is probably caused by the fact, that "society" is there formed by men, while in the United States it is almost, if not wholly, formed by women.

A lady in the United States, as a rule, makes her social position. If she has the qualities of a society leader, she becomes one, independent of her husband's position, unless that should be exceptionally bad.

In Canada the conditions are reversed. A young girl, when she marries, accepts the place and station in society which her husband has always occupied. Social circles are graded entirely upon an official basis. A woman may have lived a life of retirement and obscurity until the day her husband is appointed or elected to some high office, when she at once comes prominently forward, and has an acknowledged place in fashionable society.

But we are wandering from our subject. For several weeks the Canadian Senate Chamber had been undergoing thorough renovation. The dais upon which has always stood one chair, known as "the throne," because there the representative of royalty presides over this Chamber, has been enlarged. Because the wife of the Marquis of Lorne is a member of the royal family, two chairs were placed upon it, and on state occasions the Princess Louise is to sit beside her husband.

The Senate Chamber at the opening presented a brilliant appearance. The floor had been given up to the ladies, who were in full evening dress. At the hour appointed the doors behind the throne were opened to admit the suite from Rideau Hall. The ladies were still dressed in deep mourning for the Princess Alice, but the gentlemen were in full court dress. A few minutes later the Marquis of Lorne and the Princess Louise entered, and—every one else standing—seated themselves.

The Marquis, owing to his fair hair and florid complexion, is very youthful in appearance; but he carries his honors with real dignity.

The Princess, like the ladies of her household, was dressed in black satin, with low neck and short sleeves, and wore magnificent diamonds in her hair, around her throat, and studding the bosom of her dress.

Almost immediately after they had taken their places the Speaker of the Senate approached the throne, and after bowing very low, waited to know the wishes of the new Governor-General.

The Marquis expressed his readiness to receive the members of the House of Commons, and formally open the first session of the fourth Parliament. Accordingly the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod was sent, and soon a knocking was heard at the door of the Senate Chamber, and the Governor was informed that the members waited without.

The door was opened, and headed by their newly-elected Speaker, Dr. Blanchet, they advanced to the bar of the Senate. Then, after salutations had been exchanged between the Governor and his Parliament, Dr. Blanchet announced that he had been chosen by his brother members as their Speaker for the present Parliament, and as such was prepared to receive instructions from the throne, and know the pleasure of the Governor.

This short address was first delivered in English, and afterwards in French, and the reply was also given in both languages.

This reply, or "Speech of the Throne," as it is called, is in character similar to the "President's Message," only very much shorter. It is a review of the leading events of the time which has elapsed since Parliament last assembled, and an outline of the work which the present session is expected to accomplish. Although given by the Governor-General, it is in reality but the expression of his ministry.

The entire ceremony of opening Parliament occupies about half an hour, and by four o'clock the Senate Chamber was empty.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


A good deal of excitement was produced lately in an Ohio village, when an old and reverend deacon in the church, a model in good words and works, was attacked with what appeared to be delirium tremens. The attack was renewed again and again, and finally the deacon died.

The disease really was, as stated by the physicians, similar to mania-a-potu, but had been produced by the excessive use of tobacco, which had slowly but thoroughly penetrated his nervous system.

The superintendent of the Pennsylvania Insane Hospital, in his last annual report, states that he has carefully tabulated for many years the causes of insanity in his patients, and finds intemperance the highest on the list. First, intemperance in the use of liquor, secondly, of tobacco, and thirdly, of opium and chloral.

"The earlier in life," he says, "that boys begin to use tobacco, the more strongly marked are its effects upon the nerves and brain.

"Statistics obtained from European schools show that lads whose standing had been good in their classes before they began to smoke or chew, were invariably found, after they became addicted to either habit, to fall below the school average."

If young men would at least refrain from the use of tobacco until after the age of twenty-five, they would probably never acquire the habit of using it; or, if they did, it would not gain so secure or deadly a hold upon them, because their constitutions would be better able to resist it.

There is no temptation to young girls in tobacco, but the use of narcotics, anodynes, "drops" and chloral, to which many woman are becoming addicted, is even more perilous to body and mind.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Charles Langheimer, a white-haired old German, of seventy years of age, presented himself, a few weeks ago, at the door of the Eastern Penitentiary, in Pennsylvania, and asked to be given a cell in charity, and allowed to end his days there.

This Langheimer has a singular history. He was a convict in this prison when Charles Dickens visited it during his first visit to this country.

The rule of the institution is solitary confinement. The genial novelist's heart was so wrung with pity for the poor creatures he saw there condemned to years of absolute silence and loneliness, that he protested vehemently against the system in his "American Notes." He took the case of this wretched German as his text. Probably thousands of kind eyes, all over the world, have filled with tears at the story of Langheimer.

The authorities of the prison and the defenders of the system, however, tell with great gusto the sequel of the story. It seems that Langheimer, as soon as he was released for one offence, committed another, and has been brought back again and again, until forty years of his life have been passed within these walls. Finally, not being under any charge, he voluntarily came back and begged for admission.

An impartial observer would be apt to think that Dickens was right, and that the system cannot be the best one that fits a man to commit more crimes, or which made poor Langheimer unable to find a home in society outside of a jail.

The American people are only beginning to learn that the use of prisons is to reform wicked men as well as to punish them.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Daniel Webster is credited with one of the most vivid figures in the rhetoric of American eloquence. The orator was eulogizing the financial genius of Hamilton, and startled the audience by the sentence, uttered in his impressive tone,—-

"He touched the dead corpse of Public Credit, and it sprung upon its feet."

The audience rose to their feet,—it was a public dinner,—and greeted the sentiment with three rousing cheers.

The figure, Mr. Webster said, was an impromptu, suggested by a napkin on the dinner-table. He had paused, in his usual deliberate way, after the sentence, itself containing a figure beautiful in its appropriateness. "He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth." His eye fell upon a folded napkin; that suggested a corpse in its winding-sheet, and the figure was in his mind.

Grand as this rhetoric is, it is almost paralleled in vividness, while exceeded in wit, by a figure which Seargent S. Prentiss, of Mississippi, once used.

A Southern statesman, noted as a political tactician, had written a letter on the annexation of Texas. As public opinion in the South favored the measure, while in the North it was opposed, the tactician, whose object was to gain votes for his party, published two editions of his letter. The edition intended for the South was bold in its advocacy of annexation; but that designed for Northern circulation was remarkable for its ambiguity.

Mr. Prentiss denounced the trick on the "stump." Grasping the two letters, he threw them under his feet, saying,—

"I wonder that, like the acid and the alkali, they do not effervesce as they touch each other!"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


A genial observer of our public men is amused at the political dexterity of those anxious to serve as presidential candidates. If he is a veteran, as well as a genial observer, he smiles as he compares these 'prentice hands with the master of political adroitness, Martin Van Buren.

Looking upon politics as a game, Mr. Van Buren played it with forecast and sagacity, and with the utmost good-nature.

"He was the mildest manner'd man That ever scuttled"

a Whig ship, or cut off a politician's head. No excitement quickened his moderation. Even the most biting of personal sarcasms failed to ruffle a temper that seemed incapable of being disturbed.

Once, while Mr. Van Buren, being the Vice-President, was presiding over the Senate, Henry Clay attacked him in a speech freighted with sarcasm and invective.

Mr. Van Buren sat in the chair, with a quiet smile upon his face, as placidly as though he was listening to the complimentary remarks of a friend.

The moment Mr. Clay resumed his seat, a page handed him Mr. Van Buren's snuff-box, with the remark,—

"The Vice-President sends his compliments to you, sir."

The Senate laughed at the coolness of the man who was "up to snuff." The great orator, seeing that his effort had been in vain, shook his finger good-naturedly at his imperturbable opponent, and taking a large pinch of snuff, returned the box to the boy, saying,—

"Give my compliments to the Vice-President, and say that I like his snuff much better than his politics."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


At the last total eclipse of the sun, many astronomers busied themselves chiefly with observing the corona which had excited so much interest and speculation at previous eclipses. This is the name given to the bright light seen outside of the moon's disk when the body of the sun is completely hidden by it.

Opinions were divided as to its cause; some observers thinking it proceeded from the sun's atmosphere, or from luminous gases which shot far above its surface; while others imagined it separated from the sun altogether, and due to other causes in the depths of space.

From the observations made, and from photographs taken, it is now believed to be simply the reflected light of the sun. This reflection is supposed to be due to immense numbers of meteorites, or possibly, systems of meteorites, like the rings of Saturn, revolving about the sun. The existence of such meteorites has long been suspected, and observations now seem to justify a belief in their existence. Their constant falling into the sun is thought to be one of the methods by which its heat is maintained without loss.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Mr. A. T. Stewart is not the only distinguished man whose remains have not been suffered to lie undisturbed in the tomb. John Wickliffe's bones were exhumed and burned, and Oliver Cromwell's body was taken up and beheaded. That the remains of the great Milton were subjected to such barbarous sacrilege is not so generally known. From an ancient London magazine, the Portland Transcript extracts an account of this outrage. When the old church of St. Giles, Cripplegate (the place of Milton's grave), was repaired about a hundred years ago, the great poet's coffin was brought to light and officially identified, with a view to placing a monument over the remains. In the night a party of men entered and forcibly opened it, plundering the hair and several of the bones to sell for relics.

All this seems to have been done without any attempt at concealment, as to public exhibitions of portions of the body would indicate. The oft-quoted inscription over Shakespeare's tomb at Stratford-on-Avon would have been especially appropriate over both that of Milton and of Stewart:

"Blesse be ye man yt spares thes stones, And cvrst be he yt moves my bones."

The crime of robbing the dead is one of the most revolting to every natural feeling. It is a singular fact, having almost a suggestion of retributive justice in it, that the bones of Nathan Hale, the gallant patriot spy of the Revolution, lay in the earth that was dug out and carried away to make room for the foundations of one of Mr. Stewart's immense New York buildings.

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First Comptroller Porter, of the Treasury at Washington, has lead a novel case presented to him for decision:

A wealthy Scotch gentleman, while travelling by rail in his native country in 1876 lost his portmanteau, containing five hundred thousand dollars in bonds of various nations, among which were five thousand dollars in United States six per cent coupon bonds. Some time ago the police of Scotland arrested two men and one woman upon suspicion of having stolen the portmanteau.

Upon being arraigned they confessed the theft, and related a singular story about the disposition of the property.

They explained that, not being able to read, they were not aware of the value of the papers, and fearing to retain them, they were burned.

A relative of the Scotchman residing in this country now comes forward with an application for the issue of duplicates for the bonds stolen, a full description of which is given.

Similar applications to European Governments whose bonds were among those alleged to have been burned have been granted.

A transcript from the record of the Scotch courts sets forth these facts, and attests the respectability of the gentleman who lost the bonds.

The First Comptroller has intimated that if, upon a thorough examination, the facts are found to be as stated, he will approve the application.

Should the duplicates be issued, they will have to be deposited in trust with the United States Treasurer in order to secure the Government against loss.

When those particular bonds are called for redemption the amount will be paid the owner, and in the meantime he can regularly draw the interest.

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A French paper in New York, the Courier des Etats-Unis, published the following instance of brave self-sacrifice by a Belgian comic singer named Martens, who at one time was in this country, and gave entertainments in the "Empire City." The scene in which he figures here as the hero is laid in Bucharest, the half-oriental capital of Wallachia, at the farther end of Europe:

M. Martens, says the Bucharest Chronicle, lived with his family near a house wherein broke out a fire at one o'clock in the morning. Half-dressed, he ran out to help his neighbors, and found a woman crying wildly, "My children!"

"How many have you got?" he said.


"Which room?"

"Up stairs, third story."

"Why, that's where the fire broke out!" cried Martens, and went up the staircase in a hurry. In a few minutes he came down with his arms full.

"There they are," said he; "but there's only two."

"Merciful Heaven! I forgot to tell you that the other was in the back room."

"Well,—yes; you might have mentioned that before. You see the timbers are falling, and—I've got three children myself. However"—-

Up he went again, four steps at a time. Pretty soon he came back, a blackamoor with smoke; but he had the baby safe and sound, and gave it to its mother. Next day when he came to sing at the Muller Gardens, the audience glorified him.

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That there really is a sea-serpent, scientific men now have little doubt; but many people have not seen it who thought they did. One curious deception of this sort is thus related by an English writer:

One morning in October, 1869, I was standing with a group of passengers on the deck of time ill-fated P. and G. steamship Rangoon, then steaming up the Straits of Malacca to Singapore.

One of the party suddenly pointed out an object on the port-bow, perhaps half a mile off, and drew from us the simultaneous exclamation of "The sea-serpent!"

And there it was, to the naked eye a genuine serpent, speeding through the sea, with its head raised on a slender curved neck, now almost buried in the water, and anon reared just above its surface. There was the mane, and there were the well-known undulating coils stretching yards behind.

But for an opera-glass, probably all our party on board the Rangoon would have been personal witnesses to the existence of a great sea-serpent. But, alas for romance! One glance through the lenses, and the reptile was resolved into a bamboo, root upwards, anchored in some manner to the bottom,—a "snag," in fact.

Swayed up and down by the rapid current, a series of waves undulated beyond it, bearing on their crests dark-colored weeds of grass that had been caught by the bamboo stem.

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PUNISHED BY CONSCIENCE.—A writer in the Boston Transcript calls attention to the fact that a man may escape the law, and yet be held by his conscience. He says:

Many years ago, a young man in this city was guilty of an offence against the law, an offence which brought social ruin upon himself and his family. The span and his offence are forgotten by the public, yet he lives, and lives here in Boston. But from the day his offence was discovered,—although, having escaped the law, he is free to come and go as he pleases,—he has never been seen outside of his own home in the daytime.

Sometimes, under the cover of night, he walks abroad to take an airing and note the changes that thirty years have wrought, but an ever-active conscience makes him shun the light of day and the faces of men, and he walks apart, a stranger in the midst of those among whom he has always lived.

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A writer in the Boston Transcript notices the fact that even men eminent in literature are not above borrowing from each other, and sometimes display the borrowed article as their own:

When Tennyson's "In Memoriam" appeared, a certain poet was standing in the Old Corner Bookstore, turning over the leaves of the freshly-printed volume, when up stepped a literary friend, of rare taste and learning in poetry, saying to the poet,—-

"Have you read it?"

"Indeed I have!" was the answer; "and do you know it seems to me that, in this delightful book, Tennyson has done for friendship what Petrarch did for love."

This was too neat a mot for the literary friend to forget. That afternoon, he called upon a lady on Beacon Hill, and noticing a copy of "In Memoriam" on her table, saw his opportunity.

After the usual greetings, he took up the book. "Have you read it?" he asked.

"Yes," said the lady, "and I have enjoyed it greatly."

"So have I," said her visitor, "and do you know that it seems to me that in this charming poem Tennyson has done for friendship what Petrarch did for love."

"Indeed," rejoined the lady, adding, with a mischievous smile, "Mr. ———" (naming a well-known essayist and critic) "called this morning, and said the same thing."

Who it was that originated the apt comparison remains an unsolved mystery to this day.

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The Paris Figaro reports a conversation between an optician and a customer of an inquiring mind:

A near-sighted friend went to an optician the other day to change the glasses of his spectacles, which had become too weak. He was given the next number lower.

"After this number, what will I take?" he asked.


"And after that?"


"And then?" asked the myope, with an anxious air.

"Then," said the dealer, "I think a small and sagacious dog, with a string attached, will be about the thing."

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Sydney Smith, in the following paragraph, suggests the moral basis of good manners:

Manners are the shadows of virtues; the momentary display of those qualities which our fellow-creatures love and respect. If we strive to become, then, what we strive to appear, manners may often be rendered useful guides to the performance of our duties.

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To every purchaser of our Holly Scroll Saw we give free full-sized Designs, Blades, Drill Points, Manual, &c., which would cost, if bought separately at the stores, over $2. The GENUINE Holly Scroll Saw, with this rare offer, is to be had only of Perry Mason & Co., who were the first to place it in the market. Get the best. The GENUINE HOLLY is the best.


We do not need to represent it as worth $23 or $30. We do say that it is the best saw in the world for the price. The hundreds who have purchased it at our office are surprised that it can be made so well and sold so cheap. It is easy to operate, almost noiseless, very strong, all iron and elegantly ornamented. It has a powerful Drill always in motion; a Tilting Table that can be adjusted in a moment by a thumb screw. It is the greatest mechanical invention in the art of Bracket Sawing ever produced. Any boy with a little mechanical skill can earn one or more dollars per day, and thus pay for his machine in a little time. We cannot praise the Holly Scroll Saw too much.

ON RECEIPT OF $3, which is the price of the Holly Scroll Saw with the Drill, we will give free the following valuable list of articles. With this Saw and these splendid Designs any boy or girl ought to make enough money to clothe themselves for a year, besides filling their homes with beautiful articles for ornament and use.

1 Design for a $5 Queen Anne Clock. 1 Design for a $2.50 Princess Wall-Pocket. 1 Design for a $3 Eastlake Book-Shelf. 1 Design for a $2 Eastlake Foot-Rest. 1 Design for a $1.15 Eastlake Bracket. 1 Design for a $2 Slipper Holder. Designs for $50 worth of Brackets. 200 Miniature Designs. 5 Silhouette Designs. 1 Sheet Impression Paper. 12 Best Steel Saw Blades. 2 Best Drill Points. 1 Illustrated Manual of Fret Sawing and Wood Carving.

If you desire to know more about it before purchasing, please send us two three-cent stamps and the names of four persons who you think will be interested in Bracket Sawing, and we will send full description and 10 full size, new and elegant Bracket Designs.

DESCRIPTION.—It is 33 inches high, and has 18 inches swing. Speed from 800 to 1000 strokes per minute, and has a two-inch stroke. The Saw has as great power as any high cost machine. It is fully warranted by us.

The Holly Saw can be sent either by freight or express. It is packed in a case 3 feel long, 15 inches wide and 4 inches deep, and weighs about 30 pounds. All New York and Western orders will be filled from our storehouse in Rochester, N.Y. Price, $3. Address

Perry Mason & Co., 41 Temple Place, Boston, Mass.

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The Greatest Musical Success of the Day is


It has attracted large audiences, night after night, and week after week, in all the principal cities, and, having easy music, and needing but simple scenery, is being extensively rehearsed by amateurs everywhere. This success is merited by its perfectly innocent wit, its lively words and good music. Try it while it is new, in every village!

Elegant copies, with Music, Words and Libretto, mailed for $1 00. Per dozen, $9.00.


Emerson & Tilden's HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR . . . . $1 00 LAUREL WREATH, by W. O. Perkins . . . . . . . 1 00 C. Everest's SCHOOL SONG BOOK . . . . . . . . . 60 are three of the very best books for Seminaries, Normal and High Schools, &c.



A splendid stock of these on hand, cost but 6 to 10 cts. each, and each contains a favorite Anthem, Glee, Oratorio, or ether Chorus, Quartet or Part-Song. They are much used by Choirs and Societies for occasional singing. Try a dozen. Send for list, or send 10 cts. for our full Book Catalogue.


Invest 6 cts. for one Musical Record, or $2 for a year.



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NANCY LEE, Whoa, Emma! A Warrior Bold, We'd Better Bide Awee, Janet's Choice, Letter in the Candle, Home, Sweet Home, Killarney, You and I, Good-bye Sweetheart, Helter Skelter Galop, Blue Danube Waltzes (3 nos.), Cecilia March, Black Key Mazurka, Merry Party Waltz, Speak to Me, When the Corn is Waving Annie Dear, Katy's Letter, Temperance Battle Cry. Popular music. Each 5 cts.; any 6 for 25c.; or 13 for 50c. Postage stamps taken. Wm. H. BONER & Co., Agts, No. 1102 Chestnut St., Phila.

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We will, during THIS MONTH, dispose of 100 PIANOS & ORGANS, at EXTRAORDINARY LOW prices for cash. SPLENDID ORGANS 2 3-5 sets of reeds $70 3 sets with Sub Bass and Coupler $85, 2 sets $55, 1 do. $40. 7 Octave all ROSEWOOD PIANOS $130, 7 1-3 do. $140, do. $150, warranted SIX years. AGENTS WANTED. Illustrated catalogues mailed. Music at half price. HORACE WATERS & SONS, Manf'rs and Dealers, 40 East 14th St., N. Y.

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FREE - I WILL SEND FREE a magnificent Piano or Cabinet Organ, with handsome Instruction Book, boxed and shipped on board cars, all freight paid. I am the largest establishment of this kind on this continent. New Pianos, $125. New Organs, $65 and upwards. Beware of imitators. DANIEL F. BEATTY, Washington, N. J.

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Much Sickness, Undoubtedly, with Children, attributed to other causes, is occasioned by Worms. BROWN'S VERMIFUGE COMFITS or Worm Lozenges, although effectual in destroying worms, can do no possible injury to the most delicate child. This valuable combination has been successfully used by physicians, and found to be absolutely sure in eradicating worms, so hurtful to children. Sold by all druggists. 25 cents a box.

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Any of above goods sent by mail, postage paid, on receipt of list price. Send for Descriptive Circular. Permanent and profitable employment for ladies. Exclusive territory given. CAUTION.—All Corsets manufactured by me have the stamp and Trade Mark inside. Reliable information any infringements sent to my address will be suitably rewarded. For Descriptive Circular address main office. MADAME GRISWOLD, 921 and 923 Broadway, N. Y. Branch office, 32 Winter St., Arcade Building, Boston, Mass, Mention this paper.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For Beauty of Polish, Saving Labor, Cleanliness, Durability & Cheapness, unequaled. MORSE BROS., Prop'rs, Canton. Mass.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

10 VARIETIES Foreign Copper Coins, and 125 Foreign Stamps, with Circulars, for 25c and stamp. ACME STAMP CO., Montpelier, Vt.

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For the Companion


My boy, do you know the boy I love? I fancy I see him now; His forehead bare in the sweet spring air, With the wind of hope in his waving hair, The sunrise on his brow.

He is something near your height, may be; And just about your years; Timid as you; but his will is strong, And his love of right and his hate of wrong Are mightier than his fears.

He has the courage of simple truth. The trial that he must bear, The peril, the ghost that frights him most, He faces boldly, and like a ghost It vanishes in air.

As wildfowl take, by river and lake, The sunshine and the rain. With cheerful, constant hardihood He meets the bad luck and the good, The pleasure and the pain.

Come friends in need? With heart and deed He gives himself to them. He has the grace which reverence lends,— Reverence, the crowning flower that bends The upright lily-stem.

Though deep end strong his sense of wrong, Fiery his blood and young, His spirit is gentle, his heart is great, He is swift to pardon and slow to hate; And master of his tongue.

Fond of his sports? No merrier lad's Sweet laughter ever rang! But he is so generous and so frank, His wildest wit or his maddest prank Can never cause a pang.

His own sweet ease, all things that please, He loves, like any boy; But fosters a prudent fortitude; Nor will he squander a future good To buy a fleeting joy.

Face brown or fair? I little care, Whatever the hue may be, Or whether his eyes are dark or light; If his tongue be true and his honor bright, He is still the boy for me.

Where does he dwell? I cannot tell; Nor do I know his name. Or poor, or rich? I don't mind which; Or learning Latin, or digging ditch; I love him all the same.

With high, brave heart perform your part, Be noble and kind as he, Then, some fair morning, when you pass, Fresh from glad dreams, before your glass, His likeness you may see.

You are puzzled? What! you think there is not A boy like him,—surmise That he is only a bright ideal? But you have power to make him real, And clothe him to our eyes.

You have rightly guessed: in each pure breast Is his abiding-place. Then let your own true life portray His beauty, and blossom day by day With something of his grace. J. T. Trowbridge.

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For the Companion.


A few years ago a couple of good women living together near one of our great cities took two or three orphan children into their home.

As time passed, other helpless, friendless little ones came to them, until they had thirty under their care. Their own means they gave to the last dollar, and for the rest they trusted God, living from week to week on the contributions of the charitable, but making it a rule to ask help of nobody but Him who has promised to be a father to the fatherless.

Last winter one of their friends published a short account of this little home, and happening to meet that day a gentleman well known as a financier all over the country, handed it to him.

"This Home is but a mile or two from your house, Mr. C———," he said.

"Yes," said Mr. C———, carelessly; "I have heard of it. Kept up by prayer and faith, eh?"

"Yes. A bad capital for business, I fancy."

Mr. C——— thrust the paper in his pocket, and thought no more about it. That night at about eleven o'clock he was sitting toasting his feet before going to bed, when there was a tap at his door, and his daughter came in with the paper in her hand and her cheeks burning with excitement.

"Father, I've been reading about this Orphan Home. We never have done anything for it"—-

"And you wish to help the orphans, do you? Very well, we will look into the matter to-morrow."

She hesitated. "Father, I want to do it to-night."

It was a bitter night in December; the snow lay upon the ground. "The horses and coachman are asleep long ago. Nonsense, my dear; wait until morning."

"Something tells me we ought to go now," she pleaded, with tears in her eyes.

Mr. C——— yielded; he even caught the infection of her excitement, and while she called the servants and heaped the carriage with bundles of bedding, clothes and baskets of provisions, he inclosed a hundred-dollar bill in a blank envelope.

In the meantime the guardians of the orphans had on that day spent their last dollar. "We had," said the matron, "actually nothing to give the children for breakfast."

The two women went to their knees that night, God only knows with what meaning in their cries for daily bread.

While they were yet praying, a carriage drove to the door, and without a word, the clothes, provisions and money were handed out by an unknown lady inside.

They knew God had sent her in answer to their prayers.

If we all could bring our absolute, simple faith in Him into our daily lives, what a solid foundation we would lay under all change of fortune, disease, or of circumstance! We should have then a house indeed founded on a rock.

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