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he'd climb out there, an' shake 'm off'n that ruff. He hadn't reely no notion o' doin' it, likely, but we everlastingly dogged him, an' bullyragged him, an' 'lowed he'd allers bragged heow he wouldn't take a dare, an' so on, till bimeby he jist histed the winder, an' lo and behold you! he wentwent exactly as he was-nothin' on but his shirt. You ought to a seen him! You ought to seen him creepin' over that ice, an' diggin' his toe nails an' finger nails in, fur to keep him from slippin'; and, 'bove all, you ought to seen that shirt a flappin' in the wind, and them long ridicklous shanks of his'n a glistenin' in the moonlight.
Them comp'ny folks was down there under the eaves, an' the whole squad of 'em under that ornery shed o' dead Wash'ton Bower vines-all settin' reound two dozzen sassers o' bilin' hot candy, which they'd sot in the snow to cool. And they was laughin' an' talkin' lively; but, bless you, they didn't know nothin' 'bout the panorammy that was goin' on over their heads.
Wall, Jim, he jist went a sneakin' an' a sneakin' up unbeknowns to them tomcats-they was a swishin' their tails, and yow-yowin' an' threatnin' to clinch, you know, an' not payin' any attention-he went a sneakin' an' a sneakin' right up to the comb of the ruff, till he got 'in a foot an' a half of 'em, an' then all of a suddin he made a grab fur the yaller cat! But, by gosh, he missed fire, an' slipped his holt, an' his heels flew up, an' he flopped on his back, and shot off'n that ruff jist like a dart!--went a smashin' and a crashin' deown thro' them old rusty vines, and landid right in the dead centre of all them comp'ny people!-sot deown jist like a yearthquake in them two dozzen sassers of redhot candy, and let off a howl that was hark from the tomb! Them gals-wall, they left, you know. They see he warn't dressed for comp'ny, an' so they left-vamoosed. All done in a second; it was jist one little war-whoop and a whish of their dresses, and blame the one of 'em was in sight anywhere!
Jim, he war a sight. He war gormed with the bilin' hot molasses candy clean deown to his heels, an' more busted sassers hangin' to him than if he was a Injun princess--an' he came a prancin' up stairs jist a whoopin' an' a cussin', an'
every jump he gin he shed some sassers, an' every squirm he fetched he dripped some candy! An' blistered! why, bless your soul, that pore creetur couldn't reely set deown comfortable fur as much as four weeks.
THE FIRE-BELL'S STORY.-GEORGE L. CATLIN.
Dong-Dong-the bells rang out
Over the housetops; and then a shout
Came mingled with clatter of engine wheel
The sound goes ringing out over the town;
From the brazen throat of the iron-tongued bell,
Up in yon tenement, where the glare
Through dingy windows; where flame and smoke
See the affrighted ones look out
In helpless terror, in horrible doubt,
The ladders, by arms so strong and bold,
Are reared; like squirrels the brave men climb
Yet nerved to strength by her deep woe's power,
She screamed in accents sorrowful, wild.
Up the ladders, a dozen men
Rushed in generous rivalry then,
Bravely facing a terrible fate.
Are watching him now; and with eager cries
Ah! ye who mourn
A CHRISTMAS HYMN.
Written in the Chapel of the Manger, in the Convent Church of Bethlehem, Palestine:
In the fields where, long ago,
Dropping tears, amid the leaves,
Still the reapers shout and sing.
Ring from angel lips afar,
While, o'er every glade and glen,
Broke the light of Bethlehem's star.
Star of hope to souls in night,
To the Babe of Bethlehem.
Not Judea's hills alone
Have earth's weary gleaners trod,
Is it given to "reign with God."
By each love-watched cradle-bed,
For the Hebrew mother's Child.
And that inner temple fair
May be holier ground than this,
Where our holiest longings are,
THE TEMPERANCE PLEDGE.-THOS. F. MARSHALL.
Sir, if there be within this hall an individual man who thinks that his vast dignity and importance would be lowered, the laurels which he has heretofore won be tarnished, his glowing and all-conquering popularity at home be lessened, by an act designed to redeem any portion of his colleagues or fellow-men from ruin and shame, all I can say is, that he and I put a very different estimate upon the matter. I should say, sir, that the act was not only the most benevolent, but, in the present state of opinion, the most politic, the most popular, the very wisest thing he ever did in his life.
Think not, sir, think not that I feel myself in a ridiculous situation, and, like the fox in the fable, wish to divide it with others, by converting deformity into fashion. Not so; my honor as a gentleman, not so! I was not what I was represented to be. I had, and I have shown that I had, full power over myself. But the pledge I have taken renders me secure forever from a fate inevitably following habits like mine--a fate more terrible than death. That pledge, though confined to myself alone, and with reference to its effect upon me only, my mind, my heart, my body, I would not exchange for all earth holds of brightest and best. No, no, sir; let the banner of this temperance cause go forward or backward-let the world be rescued from its degrading and ruinous bondage to alcohol or not-I for one shall never, never repent what I have done. I have often said this, and I feel it every moment of my existence, waking or sleeping.
Sir, I would not exchange the physical sensations-the mere sense of animal being which belongs to a man who totally refrains from all that can intoxicate his brain or derange his nervous structure-the elasticity with which he bounds from his couch in the morning--the sweet repose it yields him at night-the feeling with which he drinks in. through his clear eyes, the beauty and grandeur of surrounding nature;—I say, sir, I would not exchange my conscious being as a strictly temperate man-the sense of renovated youth-the glad play with which my pulses now beat healthful music-the bounding vivacity with which the life-blood courses its exulting way through every fibre of my framethe communion high which my healthful ear and eye now hold with all the gorgeous universe of God-the splendors of the morning, the softness of the evening sky-the bloom, the beauty, the verdure of earth, the music of the air and the waters-with all the grand associations of external nature reopened to the fine avenues of sense;--no, sir, though poverty dogged me-though scorn pointed its slow finger at me as I passed-though want and destitution and every element of earthly misery, save only crime, met my waking eye from day to day ;--not for the brightest and the noblest wreath that ever encircled a statesman's brow-not, if some angel commissioned by heaven, or some demon,