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“ By any reasonable plan
I'll make you happy if I can;
My own convenience counts as nil;
It is my duty, and I will."
Then up and answered William Lee
(The kindly captain's coxswain he,
A nervous, shy, low-spoken man);
He cleared his throat and thus began:
"You have a daughter, Captain Reece,
Ten female cousins and a niece.
A ma, if what I'm told is true,
Six sisters, and an aunt or two.
“Now, somehow, sir, it seems to me
More friendly-like we all should be,
If you united of 'em to
Unmarried members of the crew.
"If you'd ameliorate our life,
Let each select from them a wife;
And as for nervous me, old pal,
Give me your own enchanting gal!"
Good Captain Reece, that worthy man,
Debated on his coxswain's plan.
"I quite agree,” he said, “ O Bill !
It is my duty, and I will.
“My daughter, that enchanting girl,
Has just been promised to an earl,
And all my other familee
To peers of various degree.
“But what are dukes and viscounts to
The happiness of all my crew ?
The word I gave you I'll fulfill;
It is my duty, and I will.
"As you desire, it shall befall;
I'll settle thousands on you all;
And I shall be, despite my hoard,
The only bachelor on board.”
The boatswain of the Mantlepiece,
He blushed, and spoke to Captain Reece,
“I beg your honor's leave,” he said,
“If you would wish to go and wed,
“I have a widowed mother, who
Would be the very thing for you;
She long has loved you from afar-
She washes for you, Captain R."
The captain saw the dame that day,
Addressed her in his playful way:
“And did it want a wedding ring ?
It was a tempting ickle sing!
"Well, well, the chaplain I will seek;
We'll all be married this day week
At yonder church upon the hill;
It is my duty, and I will !”
The sisters, cousins, aunts, and niece,
And widowed ma of Captain Reece
Attended there, as they were bid;
It was their duty, and they did.
I am not old-I can not be old,
Though three-score years and ten
Have wasted away like a tale that is told,
The lives of other men.
I am not old-though friends and foes
Alike have gone to their graves;
And left me alone to my joys or my woes,
As a rock in the midst of the waves.
I am not old-I can not be old,
Though tottering, wrinkled, and gray;
Though my eyes are dim, and my marrow is cold,
Call me not old to-day!
For early memories round me throng,
Of times, and manners, and men;
As I look behind on my journey so long,
Of three-score miles and ten.
I look behind and am once more young,
Buoyant, and brave, and bold;
And my heart can sing, as of yore it sung
Before they called me old.
I do not see her--the old wife there-
Shriveled, and haggard, and gray;
But I look on her blooming, soft, and fair,
As she was on her wedding-day.
I do not see you, daughters and sons,
In the likeness of women and men;
But I kiss you now as I kissed you once,
My fond little chi' Iren then.
And as my own grandson rides on my knee,
Or plays with his hoop or kite,
I can well recollect I was merry as he,
The bright-eyed little wight!
'Tis not long since—it can not be long,
My years so soon were spent,
Since I was a boy, both straight and strong,
But now I am feeble and bent.
A dream, a dream-it is all a dream!
A strange, sad dream, good sooth;
For old as I am, and old as I seem,
My heart is full of youth.
Eye hath not seen, tongue hath not told,
And ear hath not heard it sung,
How buoyant and bold, though it seem to grow old
Is the heart forever young!
Forever young-though life's old age
Hath every nerve unstrung;
The heart, the heart is a heritage,
That keeps the old man young!
COMING ROUND.--PHBe Cary.
Tis all right, as I knew it would be by and by ;
We have kissed and made up again, Archie and I;
And that quarrel, or nonsense, whatever you will,
I think makes us love more devotedly still.
The trouble was all upon my side, you know;
I'm exacting sometimes, rather foolishly so;
And let any one tell me the veriest lie
About Archie, I'm sure to get angry and cry.
Things will go on between us again just the same,
For as he explains matters he wasn't to blame;
But 'tis useless to tell you; I can't make you see
How it was, quite as plainly as he has made me.
You thought“I would make him come round when we met !"
You thought “there were slights I could never forget !"
Oh, you did! let me tell you, my dear, to your face,
That your thinking these things doesn't alter the case !
You“ can tell what I said ?" I don't wish you to tell!
You know what a temper I have, very well;
That I'm sometimes unjust to my friends who are best;
But you've turned against Archie the same as the rest!
“Why hasn't he written? what kept him so still ?”—
His silence was sorely against his own will;
He has faults, that I own; but he wouldn't deceive;
He was ill or was busy,—was both, I believe!
“Did he flirt with that lady?” I s'pose I should say,
Why, yes,—when she threw herself right in the way;
He was led off, was foolish, but that is the worst,
And she was to blame for it all, from the first.
And he's so glad to come back again, and to find
A woman once more with a heart and a mind;
For though others may please and amuse for an hour,
I hold all his future-his life-in my power!
And now, if things don't go persistently wrong,
Our destinies cannot be parted for long;
For he said he would give me his fortune and name,
Not those words, but he told me what meant just the same,
So what could I do, after all, at the last,
But just ask him to pardon my doubts in the past ;
For though he had been wrong, I should still, all the same,
Rather take it myself than let him bear the blame.
And, poor fellow! he felt so bad, I could not bear
To drive him by cruelty quite to despair;
And so, to confess the whole truth, when I found
He was willing to do so himself, I came round!
THE MULE AND THE BEES.-LOCK MELONE.
I was visiting a gentleman who lived in the vicinity of Los Angeles. The morning was beautiful. The plash of little cascades about the grounds, the buzz of bees, and the gentle moving of the foliage of the pepper-trees in the scarce
ly-perceptible ocean-breeze, made up a picture which I thought was complete. It was not. A mule wandered on the
The scene, I thought, could have got along without him. He took a different view.
Of course mules were not allowed on the grounds. That is what he knew. That was his reason for being there.
I recognized him. Had met him. His lower lip hung down. He looked disgusted. It seemed he didn't like being a mule.
A day or two before, while I was trying to pick up a little child who had got too near this mule's heels, he kicked me two or three times before I could tell from which way I was hit. I might have avoided some of the kicking, but in my confusion I began to kick at the mule. I didn't kick with him long. He outnumbered me.
He browsed along on the choice shrubbery. I forgot the beauty of the morning. Remembered a black-and-blue spot on my leg. It looked like the print of a mule's hoof. There was another on my right hip. Where my suspenders crossed were two more, as I have been informed. They were side by side-twin blue spots-and seemed to be about the same age.
I thought of revenge. I didn't want to kick with him any more. No. But thought, if I had him tied down good and fast, so he could not move his heels, how like sweet incense it would be to first saw his ears and tail smooih off, then put out his eyes with a red-hot poker, then skin him alive, then run him through a threshing-machine.
While I was thus thinking and getting madder and madder the mule, which had wandered up close to a large beehive, got stung. His eyes lighted up, as if that was just what he was looking for. He turned on the bee-hive and took aim. He fired. In ten seconds the only piece of bee-hive I could see was about the size a man feels when he has told a joke that falls on the company like a piece of sad news. This piece was in the air. It was being kicked at.
The bees swarmed. They swarmed a good deal. They lit on that mule earnestly. After he had kicked the last bit of bee-hive so high that he could not reach it any more he stopped for an instant. He seemed trying to ascertain