Imatges de pÓgina


who cling about her, with open mouth and great round eyes, wonder that anybody should ever be so old; or that Aunt Kindly ever had a mother to kiss her mouth. To them she is coeval with the sun, and, like that, an institution of the country. At Christmas they think she is the wife of Saini Nicholas himself, such an advent of blessings is there from her hand. She has helped to lay a blessing in many a poor man's crib.

Now these things are passed by. N), they are not passed by; they are remembered in the memory of the dear God, and every good deed she has done is treasured in her own heart. The bulb shuts up the summer in its breast which in winter will come out a fragrant hyacinth. Stratum after stratum her good works are laid up, imperishable in the geology of her character.

It is near noon. She is alone. She has been thoughtful all day, talking inwardly to herself. The family notice it, and say nothing. In a chamber, from a private drawer, she takes a little casket, and from thence a book, gilt-edged and clasped; but the clasp is worn, the gilding is old, the binding is faded by long use.

Her hands tremble as she opens it. First she reads her own name on the fly-leaf; only her Christian name, “Agnes,” and the date. Sixty-eight years ago this day it was written there, in a clear,youthful, clerkly hand-with a little tremble in it, as if the heart beat over it quick. It is a very well-worn, dear old Bible. It opens of its own accord at the fourteenth chapter of John. There is a little folded piece of paper there; it touches the first verse and the twenty-seventh. She sees neither; she reads both out of her soul; “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God; believe also in me.” “Peace I leave with you. My peace give I unto you. Not as the world giveth give I unto you.” She opens the paper. There is a little brown dust in it; perhaps the remnant of a flower. She takes the precious relic in her hand, made cold by emotion. She drops a tear on it, and the dust is transfigured before her eyes; it is a red rose of the spring, not quite half-blown, dewy, fresh. She is old no longer. It is not Aunt Kindly now; it is sweet Agnes, as the maiden of eighteen was eightand-sixty years ago, one day in May, when all natare was


koosome and winning, and every flower-bell rung in the marriage of the year. Her lover had just put that red rose of the spring into her hand, and the good God another in her cheek, not quite half-blown, dewy, fresh. The young man's arm is round her; her brown curls fall on his shoulder; she feels his breath on her face, his cheek on hers; their lips join, and, like two morning dew-drops in that rose, their two loves rush into one. But the youth must wander to a far land. They will think of each other as they look at the North Star. She bids him take her Bible. He saw the North Star hang over the turrets of many a foreign town. His soul went to God—there is as straight a road from India as from any other spot-and his Bible came back to her;—the divine love in it, without the human lover; the leaf turned down at the blessed words of John, first and twenty-seventh of the fourteenth chapter. She put the rose there to note the spot; what marks the thought holds now the symbol of their youthful love. Now to-day her soul is with him, her maiden soul with his angel soul; and one day the two, like two dew-drops, will rush into one immortal wedlock, and the old age of earth shall become eternal youth in the kingdom of heaven.



'Twas a hard case that which happened in Lynn!
Haven't heard of it, eh? Well, then, to begin,
There's a Jew down there whom they call “Old Mose,”
Who travels about and buys old clothes.
Now Mose--which the same is short for Moses-
Had one of the biggest kind of noses;
It had a sort of an instep in it,
And he fed it with snuff about once a minute.
One day he got in a bit of a row
With a German chap who had kissed his frau,
And trying to punch him, a la Mace,
Had his nose cut off close up to his face.
He picked it up from off the ground
And quickly back in its place 'twas bound,
Keeping the bandage upon his face
Until it had fairly healed in place.


Alas for Mose! 'Twas a sad mistake
Which he in his haste that day did make;
For, to add still more to his bitter cup,
He found he had placed it wrong side up.
“There's no great loss without some gain,"
And Moses says, in a jocular vein,
He arranged it so for taking snuff,
As he never before could get enough.
One thing, by the way, he forgets to add,
Which makes the arrangement rather bad, -
Although he can take his snuff with ease,
He has to stand on his head to sneeze.

A BILL OF ITEMS. The following curious account for restoring a chapel was engraved in French on a watch-crystal in the Swiss department of the Vienna Exposition. The whole was placed on a scroll less than an inch square. A painter had been em ployed to repair a nuinber of pictures in a convent, and presented his bill in gross to the curate, who refused payment, saying that the committee would require details. The painter produced it as follows:

Corrected and revised the Ten Commandments, 5 francs and 12 centimes; embellished and renewed Pontius Pilate, and put a new ribbon in his bonnet, 3 frarcs 6 centimes; put a new tail on the rooster of St. Peter, and mended his comb, 3 francs 20 centimes; replumed and gilded the left wing of the Guardian Angel, 4 francs 17 centimes; washed the servant of the High-Priest, and put carmine on his cheeks, 5 francs 12 centimes; renewed Heaven, adjusted two Stars, gilded the Sun, and renewed the Moon, 7 francs 14 centimes; re-animated the Flames of Purgatory, and restored some Souls, 6 francs 6 centimes; revived the Flames of Hell, put a new tail on the Devil, mended his left hoof, and did several jobs for the Damned, 4 francs 10 centimes; put new spatterdashes on the Son of Tobias, and dressing on his back, 2 francs; cleaned the ears of Balaam's Ass, and shod him, 3 francs 7 centimes; put ear-rings in the ears of Sarah, 2 francs 4 centimes; rebordered the robe of Herod, and re-adjusted his wig, 4 francs 4 centimes; put a new stone in David's sling, enlarged the head of Goliath, and extended his legs, 3 francs 2 centimes; decorated Noah's Ark, 3 francs: mended the shirt of the Prodigal Son, and cleaned the Pigs, 4 francs 9 centimes. Total, 59 francs 1] centimes.

THE IRON GATE.-O. W. HOLMES. At the breakfast given in Boston by the proprietors of the "Atlantic Monthly," in bonor of the 70th birthday of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mr. U. 0. Hough. ton proposed the toast, ". The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,' 0 King! Live Forever." Dr. Holmes respunded by reading the following poom: Where is this patriarch you are kindly greeting?

Not unfamiliar to my ear his name,
Nor yet unknown to many a joyous meeting

In days long vanished, -is he still the same?
Or changed by years, forgotten and forgetting,

Dull-eared, dim-sighted, slow of speech and thought; Still o'er the sad, degenerate present fretting,

Where all goes wrong, and nothing as it ought? Old age-the graybeard-well indeed I know him,

Shrunk, tottering, bent, of aches and ills the prey, In sermon, story, fable, picture, poem

Oft have I met him from my earliest day.
In my old Æsop, toiling with his bundle,

His load of sticks, politely asking Death-
Who comes when called for-would he lug or trundle

His fagot for him? He was scant of breath.
And sad “ Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher,"

Has he not stamped the image on my soul
In that last chapter, where the worn-out teacher

Sighs o'er the loosened cord—the broken bowl?
Yes, long indeed I've known him, at a distance;

And now my lifted door-latch shows him here; I take his shriveled hand without resistance,

And find him smiling as his step draws near. What though of gilded baubles he bereaves us,

Dear to the heart of youth, to manhood's prime, Think of the calm he brings, the wealth he leaves us,

The hoarded spoils, the legacies of time. Altars once flaming, still with incense fragrant,

Passion's uneasy nurslings rocked asleep, Hope's anchor faster, wild desire less vagrant,

Life's flow less noisy, but the stream-how deep! Still, as the silver cord gets worn and slender,

Its lightened task-work tugs with lessening strain; Hands get more helpful, voices grow more tender

Soothe with their softened tones the slumbering brain. Youth longs and manhood strives, but age remembers

Sits by the ruked-up ashes of the past;

Spreads its thin hands above the whitening embers

That warm its creeping life-blood till the last. Dear to its heart is every loving token

That comes unbidden ere its pulse grows cold;
Ere the last lingering ties of life are broken,

Its labors ended and its story told.
Ah! when around us rosy youth rejoices,

For us the sorrow-laden breezes sigh,
And through the chorus of its jocund voices

Throbs the sharp note of misery's hopeless cry.
As on the gauzy wings of fancy, flying

From some far orb I track our watery sphereHome of the struggling, suffering, doubting, dying

The silvered globule seems a glistening tear. But nature lends her mirror of illusion

To win from saddening scenes our age-dimmed eyes, And inisty day-dreams blend in sweet confusion

The wintry landscape and the summer skies.
So when the iron portal shuts behind us,

And life forgets us in its noise and whirl,
Visions that shunned the glaring noonday find us,

And glimmering starlight shows the gates of pearl.
I come not here your morning hour to sadden,

A limping pilgrim leaning on his staff-
I, who have never deemed it sin to gladden

This vale of sorrows with a wholesome laugh.
If word of mine another's gloom has brightened,

Through my dumb lips the heaven-sent message came; If hand of mine another's task has lightened,

It felt the guidance that it dares not claim. But O my gentle sisters! O my brothers!

These thick-sown snow-flakes hint of toil's release; These feebler pulses bid me leave to others

The tasks once welcome,-evening asks for peace. Time claims his tribute; silence now is golden;

Let me not vex the too long-suffering lyre;
Thongh to your love untiring still beholden,

The curfew tells me--cover up the fire.
And now, with grateful smile and accents cheerful,

And warmer heart than look or word can tell,
In simplest phrase-these traitorous eyes are tearful-

Thanks-brothers, sisters, children-and farewell.

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