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The early history of Damascus is shrouded in the hoary mists of antiquity. Leave the matters written of it in the first eleven chapters of the Old Testament out, and no recorded event had occurred in the whole to show that Damascus was in existence to receive it. Go back as far as you will into the vague past, there was always a Damascus. In the writings of every country for more than four thousand years, its name has been mentioned and its praises sung. To Damascus years are only moments: decades, only flitting trifles of time. She measures time not by days and months, but by the empires she has seen rise and prosper, then crumble to ruin. She is a type of immortality. She saw the foundation of Baalbec and Thebes and Ephesus laid; she saw them grow into mighty cities, and amaze the world with their grandeur, and she has lived to see them desolate, deserted, and given to the owls and the bats. She saw the Israelitish empire exalted and she saw it annihilated. She saw Greece rise and fourish for two thousand years, and die. In her old age she saw Rome built; she saw it overshadow the world with its power; she saw it perish. The few hundred years of Genoese and Venetian might and splendor were, to grave old Damascus, only a scintillation hardly worth remembering. Damascus has seen all that has occurred on earth and still lives. She has looked upon the dry bones of a thousand empires, and she will live to see the tomb of a thousand more before she dies. Though another claims the name, old Damascus is, by right, the Eternal City.
THE CHINESE EXCELSIOR.
That nightee teem he come chop-chop
Insidee house he can see light,
Top-side Galah! T'hat young man die : one large dog see Too muchee bobbly findee he, He hand b’long coldee, all same like ice, He holdee flag, with chop so nice
Low in the troubled west,
Storm clouds are trailing,
Night birds are wailing.
On my breast lying,
Or daylight dying,--
Waking or sleeping,
Safe in my keeping.
AT THE LAST.-Mrs. J. M. Winton. "Man goeth forth unto his work, and to his labor, until the evening.–PIALN cv: 23.
The stream is calmest when it nears the tide,
THE TWO BEGGARS.
A beggar stood at the rich man's door-
And the thronging poor, and untaught mass,
TWO ABSENT-MINDED MEN. Several passengers were sitting in the waiting-room of tho railroad station one evening. Two of them were men who did not appear to be acquainted with any one, and who were sitting apart, each busily engaged with his own thoughts. Both of them happening to look up at the same time, they caught each other's glances. A look of mutual recognition immediately followed, and they rose and shook hands.
“How are you?” anxiously inquired No. 1.
“Pretty good. How are you?” said No. 2, in a tone of solicitude. “ Pretty good. Waiting for the train ?”
Yes, Are you ?" “Yes."
Then they both sat down, and in a moment were again absorbed in their respective thoughts. In a moment they caught each other's glance again. A look of recognition fol. lowed. Both rose and grasped hands. “How are you ? inquired No.1, with considerable anxiety. Pretty good. How are you ?” asked No. 2, anxiously. Pretty good. Waiting for the train ?” “ Yes. Are you ?" “ Yes."
This matter having been settled to the satisfaction of both, they sank back in their seats, and again fastened their gaze abstractedly on the floor between them. With that appreciation of every trivial circumstance peculiar to people waiting for a train, the companions of the two took especial notice of the first recognition. On the second performance, they stared with all-absorbing avidity at the performers, and exchanged glances among themselves, while two or three of them significantly tapped their foreheads and looked meaningly at the two acquaintances. This caused considerable uneasiness among the others, and one very nervous woman
got up and went out on the platform. The objects of this sentiment, oblivious to it, sat gazing intently at the floor. Finally one of them raised his eyes, and they rested on the other. He looked quite hard at him. Then the other raised his eyes, and the glances of both met. A look of recognition stole into the faces of the two men. Impulsively they rose to their feet, and grasped each other by the hand. “ How are you?” asked No. 1, with deep interest.
“Pretty good. How are you?" inquired No. 2, with intense anxiety.
“Pretty good. Waiting for the train ?”
This last exhibition had such a marvelous effect on the other people that No. 1 was prompted to issue an extra to the regular edition in the shape of:
“ Has the train come ?"
As soon as they rose to shake hands for the third time, a woman with two children hastily transferred them to the outside platform. She was immediately followed by a heavy woman with a band-box, who had a sharp struggle at the door, as to precedence, with a short, slim, pale man carrying a valise ; but owing to her preponderance of weight, got the victory. They were promptly followed by a weak-looking couple who had been industriously nursing each other's hands. The last in number was a large man with a pair of pompous side whiskers. He was at first disposed to maintain his ground, but weakened at the last moment and skipped out as lightly as the others, and made a compromise with his dignity by stationing himself at the window, where he could peer in upon the lunatics. Left alone, the two acquaintances sank back in their seats and fell to staring at the floor before them as abstractedly as before. Thus they remained until the train approached, when, both lifting their eyes, they impulsively rose to their feet, a movement which prompted the large man at the window to excitedly exclaim:
“ They are at it again, by Jove !"
It subsequently transpired that the two men were prominent residents down the road, and both of them noted for their absent-mindedness, which probably explains the singularity of their conduct.