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   Chapter 5 FAUSTA'S STORY.

The Man Without a Country, and Other Tales By Edward Everett Hale Characters: 76224

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:02


Fausta slept late, poor child. I called for her before breakfast. I waited for her after. About ten she appeared, so radiant, so beautiful, and so kind! The trunk had revealed a dress I never saw before, and the sense of rest, and eternal security, and unbroken love had revealed a charm which was never there to see before. She was dressed for walking, and, as she met me, said,-

"Time for constitutional, Mr. Millionnaire."

So we walked again, quite up town, almost to the region of pig-pens and cabbage-gardens which is now the Central Park. And after just the first gush of my enthusiasm, Fausta said, very seriously:-

"I must teach you to be grave. You do not know whom you are asking to be your wife. Excepting Mrs. Mason, No. 27 Thirty-fourth Street, sir, there is no one in the world who is of kin to me, and she does not care for me one straw, Felix," she said, almost sadly now. "You call yourself 'Child of the Public.' I started when you first said so, for that is just what I am.

"I am twenty-two years old. My father died before I was born. My mother, a poor woman, disliked by his relatives and avoided by them, went to live in Hoboken [pg 254] over there, with me. How she lived, God knows, but it happened that of a strange death she died, I in her arms."

After a pause, the poor girl went on:-

"There was a great military review, an encampment. She was tempted out to see it. Of a sudden by some mistake, a ramrod was fired from a careless soldier's gun, and it pierced her through her heart. I tell you, Felix, it pinned my baby frock into the wound, so that they could not part me from her till it was cut away.

"Of course every one was filled with horror. Nobody claimed poor me, the baby. But the battalion, the Montgomery Battalion, it was, which had, by mischance, killed my mother, adopted me as their child. I was voted 'Fille du Regiment.' They paid an assessment annually, which the colonel expended for me. A kind old woman nursed me."

"She was your Betsy Myers," interrupted I.

"And when I was old enough I was sent into Connecticut, to the best of schools. This lasted till I was sixteen. Fortunately for me, perhaps, the Montgomery Battalion then dissolved. I was finding it hard to answer the colonel's annual letters. I had my living to earn,-it was best I should earn it. I declined a proposal to go out as a missionary. I had no call. I answered one of Miss Beecher's appeals for Western teachers. Most of my life since has been a school-ma'am's. It has had ups and downs. But I have always [pg 255] been proud that the Public was my godfather; and, as you know," she said, "I have trusted the Public well. I have never been lonely, wherever I went. I tried to make myself of use. Where I was of use I found society. The ministers have been kind to me. I always offered my services in the Sunday schools and sewing-rooms. The school committees have been kind to me. They are the Public's high chamberlains for poor girls. I have written for the journals. I won one of Sartain's hundred-dollar prizes-"

"And I another," interrupted I.

"When I was very poor, I won the first prize for an essay on bad boys."

"And I the second," answered I.

"I think I know one bad boy better than he knows himself," said she. But she went on. "I watched with this poor Miss Stillingfleet the night she died. This absurd 'distribution' had got hold of her, and she would not be satisfied till she had transferred that strange ticket, No. 2,973, to me, writing the indorsement which you have heard. I had had a longing to visit New York and Hoboken again. This ticket seemed to me to beckon me. I had money enough to come, if I would come cheaply. I wrote to my father's business partner, and enclosed a note to his only sister. She is Mrs. Mason. She asked me, coldly enough, to her house. Old Mr. Grills always liked me,-he offered me escort and passage as far as [pg 256] Troy or Albany. I accepted his proposal, and you know the rest."

When I told Fausta my story, she declared I made it up as I went along. When she believed it,-as she does believe it now,-she agreed with me in declaring that it was not fit that two people thus joined should ever be parted. Nor have we been, ever!

She made a hurried visit at Mrs. Mason's. She prepared there for her wedding. On the 1st of November we went into that same church which was our first home in New York; and that dear old raven-man made us

ONE!

[pg 257]

* * *

THE SKELETON IN THE CLOSET.

BY J. THOMAS DARKAGH (LATE C.C.S.).

[This paper was first published in the "Galaxy," in 1866.]

* * * * *

I see that an old chum of mine is publishing bits of confidential Confederate History in Harper's Magazine. It would seem to be time, then, for the pivots to be disclosed on which some of the wheelwork of the last six years has been moving. The science of history, as I understand it, depends on the timely disclosure of such pivots, which are apt to be kept out of view while things are moving.

I was in the Civil Service at Richmond. Why I was there, or what I did, is nobody's affair. And I do not in this paper propose to tell how it happened that I was in New York in October, 1864, on confidential business. Enough that I was there, and that it was honest business. That business done, as far as it could be with the resources intrusted to me, I prepared to return home. And thereby hangs this tale, and, as it proved, the fate of the Confederacy.

For, of course, I wanted to take presents home to my family. Very little question was there what these presents should be,-for I had no boys nor brothers. [pg 258] The women of the Confederacy had one want, which overtopped all others. They could make coffee out of beans; pins they had from Columbus; straw hats they braided quite well with their own fair hands; snuff we could get better than you could in "the old concern." But we had no hoop-skirts,-skeletons, we used to call them. No ingenuity had made them. No bounties had forced them. The Bat, the Greyhound, the Deer, the Flora, the J.C. Cobb, the Varuna, and the Fore-and-Aft all took in cargoes of them for us in England. But the Bat and the Deer and the Flora were seized by the blockaders, the J.C. Cobb sunk at sea, the Fore-and-Aft and the Greyhound were set fire to by their own crews, and the Varuna (our Varuna) was never heard of. Then the State of Arkansas offered sixteen townships of swamp land to the first manufacturer who would exhibit five gross of a home-manufactured article. But no one ever competed. The first attempts, indeed, were put to an end, when Schofield crossed the Blue Lick, and destroyed the dams on Yellow Branch. The consequence was, that people's crinoline collapsed faster than the Confederacy did, of which that brute of a Grierson said there was never anything of it but the outside.

Of course, then, I put in the bottom of my new large trunk in New York, not a "duplex elliptic," for none were then made, but a "Belmonte," of thirty springs, for my wife. I bought, for her more [pg 259] common wear, a good "Belle-Fontaine." For Sarah and Susy each, I got two "Dumb-Belles." For Aunt Eunice and Aunt Clara, maiden sisters of my wife, who lived with us after Winchester fell the fourth time, I got the "Scotch Harebell," two of each. For my own mother I got one "Belle of the Prairies" and one "Invisible Combination Gossamer." I did not forget good old Mamma Chloe and Mamma Jane. For them I got substantial cages, without names. With these, tied in the shapes of figure eights in the bottom of my trunk, as I said, I put in an assorted cargo of dry-goods above, and, favored by a pass, and Major Mulford's courtesy on the flag-of-truce boat, I arrived safely at Richmond before the autumn closed.

I was received at home with rapture. But when, the next morning, I opened my stores, this became rapture doubly enraptured. Words cannot tell the silent delight with which old and young, black and white, surveyed these fairy-like structures, yet unbroken and unmended.

Perennial summer reigned that autumn day in that reunited family. It reigned the next day, and the next. It would have reigned till now if the Belmontes and the other things would last as long as the advertisements declare; and, what is more, the Confederacy would have reigned till now, President Davis and General Lee! but for that great misery, which all families understand, which culminated in our great misfortune. [pg 260]

I was up in the cedar closet one day, looking for an old parade cap of mine, which I thought, though it was my third best, might look better than my second best, which I had worn ever since my best was lost at the Seven Pines. I say I was standing on the lower shelf of the cedar closet, when, as I stepped along in the darkness, my right foot caught in a bit of wire, my left did not give way in time, and I fell, with a small wooden hat-box in my hand, full on the floor. The corner of the hat-box struck me just below the second frontal sinus, and I fainted away.

When I came to myself I was in the blue chamber; I had vinegar on a brown paper on my forehead; the room was dark, and I found mother sitting by me, glad enough indeed to hear my voice, and to know that I knew her. It was some time before I fully understood what had happened. Then she brought me a cup of tea, and I, quite refreshed, said I must go to the office.

"Office, my child!" said she. "Your leg is broken above the ankle; you will not move these six weeks. Where do you suppose you are?"

Till then I had no notion that it was five minutes since I went into the closet. When she told me the time, five in the afternoon, I groaned in the lowest depths. For, in my breast pocket in that innocent coat, which I could now see lying on the window-seat, were the duplicate despatches to Mr. Mason, for which, late the night before, I had got the Secretary's signature. [pg 261] They were to go at ten that morning to Wilmington, by the Navy Department's special messenger. I had taken them to insure care and certainty. I had worked on them till midnight, and they had not been signed till near one o'clock. Heavens and earth, and here it was five o'clock! The man must be half-way to Wilmington by this time. I sent the doctor for Lafarge, my clerk. Lafarge did his prettiest in rushing to the telegraph. But no! A freshet on the Chowan River, or a raid by Foster, or something, or nothing, had smashed the telegraph wire for that night. And before that despatch ever reached Wilmington the navy agent was in the offing in the Sea Maid.

"But perhaps the duplicate got through?" No, breathless reader, the duplicate did not get through. The duplicate was taken by Faucon, in the Ino. I saw it last week in Dr. Lieber's hands, in Washington. Well, all I know is, that if the duplicate had got through, the Confederate government would have had in March a chance at eighty-three thousand two hundred and eleven muskets, which, as it was, never left Belgium. So much for my treading into that blessed piece of wire on the shelf of the cedar closet, up stairs.

"What was the bit of wire?"

Well, it was not telegraph wire. If it had been, it would have broken when it was not wanted to. Don't you know what it was? Go up in your own cedar closet, and step about in the dark, and see what brings up round your ankles. Julia, poor child, cried [pg 262] her eyes out about it. When I got well enough to sit up, and as soon as I could talk and plan with her, she brought down seven of these old things, antiquated Belmontes and Simplex Elliptics, and horrors without a name, and she made a pile of them in the bedroom, and asked me in the most penitent way what she should do with them.

"You can't burn them" said she; "fire won't touch them. If you bury them in the garden, they come up at the second raking. If you give them to the servants, they say, 'Thank-e, missus,' and throw them in the back passage. If you give them to the poor, they throw them into the street in front, and do not say, 'Thank-e,' Sarah sent seventeen over to the sword factory, and the foreman swore at the boy, and told him he would flog him within an inch of his life if he brought any more of his sauce there; and so-and so," sobbed the poor child, "I just rolled up these wretched things, and laid them in the cedar closet, hoping, you know, that some day the government would want something, and would advertise for them. You know what a good thing; I made out of the bottle corks."

In fact, she had sold our bottle corks for four thousand two hundred and sixteen dollars of the first issue. We afterward bought two umbrellas and a corkscrew with the money.

Well, I did not scold Julia. It was certainly no fault of hers that I was walking on the lower shelf of [pg 263] her cedar closet. I told her to make a parcel of the things, and the first time we went to drive I hove the whole shapeless heap into the river, without saying mass for them.

But let no man think, or no woman, that this was the end of troubles. As I look back on that winter, and on the spring of 1865 (I do not mean the steel spring), it seems to me only the beginning. I got out on crutches at last; I had the office transferred to my house, so that Lafarge and Hepburn could work there nights, and communicate with me when I could not go out; but mornings I hobbled up to the Department, and sat with the Chief, and took his orders. Ah me! shall I soon forget that damp winter morning, when we all had such hope at the office. One or two of the army fellows looked in at the window as they ran by, and we knew that they felt well; and though I would not ask Old Wick, as we had nick-named the Chief, what was in the wind, I knew the time had come, and that the lion meant to break the net this time. I made an excuse to go home earlier than usual; rode down to the house in the Major's ambulance, I remember; and hopped in, to surprise Julia with the good news, only to find that the whole house was in that quiet uproar which shows that something bad has happened of a sudden.

"What is it, Chloe?" said I, as the old wench rushed by me with a bucket of water.

"Poor Mr. George, I 'fraid he's dead, sah!" [pg 264]

And there he really was,-dear handsome, bright George Schaff,-the delight of all the nicest girls of Richmond; he lay there on Aunt Eunice's bed on the ground floor, where they had brought him in. He was not dead,-and he did not die. He is making cotton in Texas now. But he looked mighty near it then. "The deep cut in his head" was the worst I then had ever seen, and the blow confused everything. When McGregor got round, he said it was not hopeless; but we were all turned out of the room, and with one thing and another he got the boy out of the swoon, and somehow it proved his head was not broken.

No, but poor George swears to this day it were better it had been, if it could only have been broken the right way and on the right field. For that evening we heard that everything had gone wrong in the surprise. There we had been waiting for one of those early fogs, and at last the fog had come. And Jubal Early had, that morning, pushed out every man he had, that could stand; and they lay hid for three mortal hours, within I don't know how near the picket line at Fort Powhatan, only waiting for the shot which John Streight's party were to fire at Wilson's Wharf, as soon as somebody on our left centre advanced in force on the enemy's line above Turkey Island stretching across to Nansemond. I am not in the War Department, and I forget whether he was to advance en barbette or by échelon of infantry. But he was to advance somehow, and he knew how; and when he advanced, [pg 265] you see, that other man lower down was to rush in, and as soon as Early heard him he was to surprise Powhatan, you see; and then, if you have understood me, Grant and Butler and the whole rig of them would have been cut off from their supplies, would have had to fight a battle for which they were not prepared, with their right made into a new left, and their old left unexpectedly advanced at an oblique angle from their centre, and would not that have been the end of them?

Well, that never happened. And the reason it never happened was, that poor George Schaff, with the last fatal order for this man whose name I forget (the same who was afterward killed the day before High Bridge), undertook to save time by cutting across behind my house, from Franklin to Green Streets. You know how much time he saved,-they waited all day for that order. George told me afterwards that the last thing he remembered was kissing his hand to Julia, who sat at her bedroom window. He said he thought she might be the last woman he ever saw this side of heaven. Just after that, it must have been,-his horse-that white Messenger colt old Williams bred-went over like a log, and poor George was pitched fifteen feet head-foremost against a stake there was in that lot. Julia saw the whole. She rushed out with all the women, and had just brought him in when I got home. And that was the reason that the great promised combination of December, 1864, never came off at all. [pg 266]

I walked out in the lot, after McGregor turned me out of the chamber, to see what they had done with the horse. There he lay, as dead as old Messenger himself. His neck was broken. And do you think, I looked to see what had tripped him. I supposed it was one of the boys' bandy holes. It was no such thing. The poor wretch had tangled his hind legs in one of those infernal hoop-wires that Chloe had thrown out in the piece when I gave her her new ones. Though I did not know it then, those fatal scraps of rusty steel had broken the neck that day of Robert Lee's army.

That time I made a row about it. I felt too badly to go into a passion. But before the women went to bed,-they were all in the sitting-room together,-I talked to them like a father. I did not swear. I had got over that for a while, in that six weeks on my back. But I did say the old wires were infernal things, and that the house and premises must be made rid of them. The aunts laughed,-though I was so serious,-and tipped a wink to the girls. The girls wanted to laugh, but were afraid to. And then it came out that the aunts had sold their old hoops, tied as tight as they could tie them, in a great mass of rags. They had made a fortune by the sale,-I am sorry to say it was in other rags, but the rags they got were new instead of old,-it was a real Aladdin bargain. The new rags had blue backs, and were numbered, some as high as fifty dollars. The rag-man had been in a [pg 267] hurry, and had not known what made the things so heavy. I frowned at the swindle, but they said all was fair with a pedler,-and I own I was glad the things were well out of Richmond. But when I said I thought it was a mean trick, Lizzie and Sarah looked demure, and asked what in the world I would have them do with the old things. Did I expect them to walk down to the bridge themselves with great parcels to throw into the river, as I had done by Julia's? Of course it ended, as such things always do, by my taking the work on my own shoulders. I told them to tie up all they had in as small a parcel as they could, and bring them to me.

Accordingly, the next day, I found a handsome brown paper parcel, not so very large, considering, and strangely square, considering, which the minxes had put together and left on my office table. They had a great frolic over it. They had not spared red tape nor red wax. Very official it looked, indeed, and on the left-hand corner, in Sarah's boldest and most contorted hand, was written, "Secret service." We had a great laugh over their success. And, indeed, I should have taken it with me the next time I went down to the Tredegar, but that I happened to dine one evening with young Norton of our gallant little navy, and a very curious thing he told us.

We were talking about the disappointment of the combined land attack. I did not tell what upset poor Schaff's horse; indeed, I do not think those navy men [pg 268] knew the details of the disappointment. O'Brien had told me, in confidence, what I have written down probably for the first time now. But we were speaking, in a general way, of the disappointment. Norton finished his cigar rather thoughtfully, and then said: "Well, fellows, it is not worth while to put in the newspapers, but what do you suppose upset our grand naval attack, the day the Yankee gunboats skittled down the river so handsomely?"

"Why," said Allen, who is Norton's best-beloved friend, "they say that you ran away from them as fast as they did from you."

"Do they?" said Norton, grimly. "If you say that, I'll break your head for you. Seriously, men," continued he, "that was a most extraordinary thing. You know I was on the ram. But why she stopped when she stopped I knew as little as this wineglass does; and Callender himself knew no more than I. We had not been hit. We were all right as a trivet for all we knew, when, skree! she began blowing off steam, and we stopped dead, and began to drift down under those batteries. Callender had to telegraph to the little Mosquito, or whatever Walter called his boat, and the spunky little thing ran down and got us out of the scrape. Walter did it right well; if he had had a monitor under him he could not have done better. Of course we all rushed to the engine-room. What in thunder were they at there? All they knew was they could get no water into her boiler. [pg 269]

"Now, fellows, this is the end of the story. As soon as the boilers cooled off they worked all right on those supply pumps. May I be hanged if they had not sucked in, somehow, a long string of yarn, and cloth, and, if you will believe me, a wire of some woman's crinoline. And that French folly of a sham Empress cut short that day the victory of the Confederate navy, and old Davis himself can't tell when we shall have such a chance again!"

Some of the men thought Norton lied. But I never was with him when he did not tell the truth. I did not mention, however, what I had thrown into the water the last time I had gone over to Manchester. And I changed my mind about Sarah's "secret-service" parcel. It remained on my table.

That was the last dinner our old club had at the Spotswood, I believe. The spring came on, and the plot thickened. We did our work in the office as well as we could; I can speak for mine, and if other people-but no matter for that! The 3d of April came, and the fire, and the right wing of Grant's army. I remember I was glad then that I had moved the office down to the house, for we were out of the way there. Everybody had run away from the Department; and so, when the powers that be took possession, my little sub-bureau was unmolested for some days. I improved those days as well as I could,-burning carefully what was to be burned, and hiding carefully what was to be hidden. One thing that [pg 270] happened then belongs to this story. As I was at work on the private bureau,-it was really a bureau, as it happened, one I had made Aunt Eunice give up when I broke my leg,-I came, to my horror, on a neat parcel of coast-survey maps of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. They were not the same Maury stole when he left the National Observatory, but they were like them. Now I was perfectly sure that on that fatal Sunday of the flight I had sent Lafarge for these, that the President might use them, if necessary, in his escape. When I found them, I hopped out and called for Julia, and asked her if she did not remember his coming for them. "Certainly," she said, "it was the first I knew of the danger. Lafarge came, asked for the key of the office, told me all was up, walked in, and in a moment was gone."

And here, on the file of April 3d, was Lafarge's line to me:-

"I got the secret-service parcel myself, and have put it in the President's own hands. I marked it, 'Gulf coast,' as you bade me."

What could Lafarge have given to the President? Not the soundings of Hatteras Bar. Not the working-drawings of the first monitor. I had all these under my hand. Could it be,-"Julia, what did we do with that stuff of Sarah's that she marked secret service?"

As I live, we had sent the girls' old hoops to the President in his flight.

And when the next day we read how he used them, [pg 271] and how Pritchard arrested him, we thought if he had only had the right parcel he would have found the way to Florida.

That is really the end of this memoir. But I should not have written it, but for something that happened just now on the piazza. You must know, some of us wrecks are up here at the Berkeley baths. My uncle has a place near here. Here came to-day John Sisson, whom I have not seen since Memminger ran and took the clerks with him. Here we had before, both the Richards brothers, the great paper men, you know, who started the Edgerly Works in Prince George's County, just after the war began. After dinner, Sisson and they met on the piazza. Queerly enough, they had never seen each other before, though they had used reams of Richards's paper in correspondence with each other, and the treasury had used tons of it in the printing of bonds and bank-bills. Of course we all fell to talking of old times,-old they seem now, though it is not a year ago. "Richards," said Sisson at last, "what became of that last order of ours for water-lined, pure linen government-callendered paper of sureté? We never got it, and I never knew why."

"Did you think Kilpatrick got it?" said Richards, rather gruffly.

"None of your chaff, Richards. Just tell where the paper went, for in the loss of that lot of paper, as it proved, the bottom dropped out of the Treasury [pg 272] tub. On that paper was to have been printed our new issue of ten per cent, convertible, you know, and secured on that up-country cotton, which Kirby Smith had above the Big Raft. I had the printers ready for near a month waiting for that paper. The plates were really very handsome. I'll show you a proof when we go up stairs. Wholly new they were, made by some Frenchmen we got, who had worked for the Bank of France. I was so anxious to have the thing well done, that I waited three weeks for that paper, and, by Jove, I waited just too long. We never got one of the bonds off, and that was why we had no money in March."

Richards threw his cigar away. I will not say he swore between his teeth, but he twirled his chair round, brought it down on all fours, both his elbows on his knees and his chin in both hands.

"Mr. Sisson," said he, "if the Confederacy had lived, I would have died before I ever told what became of that order of yours. But now I have no secrets, I believe, and I care for nothing. I do not know now how it happened. We knew it was an extra nice job. And we had it on an elegant little new French Fourdrinier, which cost us more than we shall ever pay. The pretty thing ran like oil the day before. That day, I thought all the devils were in it. The more power we put on the more the rollers screamed; and the less we put on, the more sulkily the jade stopped. I tried it myself every way; back current; I tried; forward current; high feed; low [pg 273] freed, I tried it on old stock, I tried it on new; and, Mr. Sisson, I would have made better paper in a coffee-mill! We drained off every drop of water. We washed the tubs free from size. Then my brother, there, worked all night with the machinists, taking down the frame and the rollers. You would not believe it, sir, but that little bit of wire,"-and he took out of his pocket a piece of this hateful steel, which poor I knew so well by this time,-"that little bit of wire had passed in from some hoop-skirt, passed the pickers, passed the screens, through all the troughs, up and down through what we call the lacerators, and had got itself wrought in, where, if you know a Fourdrinier machine, you may have noticed a brass ring riveted to the cross-bar, and there this cursed little knife-for you see it was a knife, by that time-had been cutting to pieces the endless wire web every time the machine was started. You lost your bonds, Mr. Sisson, because some Yankee woman cheated one of my rag-men."

On that story I came up stairs. Poor Aunt Eunice! She was the reason I got no salary on the 1st of April. I thought I would warn other women by writing down the story.

That fatal present of mine, in those harmless hour-glass parcels, was the ruin of the Confederate navy, army, ordnance, and treasury; and it led to the capture of the poor President too.

But, Heaven be praised, no one shall say that my office did not do its duty!

[pg 274]

* * *

CHRISTMAS WAITS IN BOSTON.

FROM THE INGHAM PAPERS.

[When my friends of the Boston Daily Advertiser asked me last year to contribute to their Christmas number, I was very glad to recall this scrap of Mr. Ingham's memoirs.

For in most modern Christmas stories I have observed that the rich wake up of a sudden to befriend the poor, and that the moral is educed from such compassion. The incidents in this story show, what all life shows, that the poor befriend the rich as truly as the rich the poor: that, in the Christian life, each needs all.

I have been asked a dozen times how far the story is true. Of course no such series of incidents has ever taken place in this order in four or five hours. But there is nothing told here which has not parallels perfectly fair in my experience or in that of any working minister.]

* * * * *

I always give myself a Christmas present.

And on this particular year the present was a carol party, which is about as good fun, all things consenting kindly, as a man can have.

Many things must consent, as will appear. First of all, there must be good sleighing; and second, a fine night for Christmas eve. Ours are not the carollings [pg 275] of your poor shivering little East Angles or South Mercians, where they have to plod round afoot in countries which do not know what a sleigh-ride is.

I had asked Harry to have sixteen of the best voices in the chapel school to be trained to five or six good carols, without knowing why. We did not care to disappoint them if a February thaw setting in on the 24th of December should break up the spree before it began. Then I had told Howland that he must reserve for me a span of good horses, and a sleigh that I could pack sixteen small children into, tight-stowed. Howland is always good about such things, knew what the sleigh was for, having done the same in other years, and made the span four horses of his own accord, because the children would like it better, and "it would be no difference to him." Sunday night, as the weather nymphs ordered, the wind hauled round to the northwest and everything froze hard. Monday night, things moderated and the snow began to fall steadily,-so steadily; and so Tuesday night the Metropolitan people gave up their unequal contest, all good men and angels rejoicing at their discomfiture, and only a few of the people in the very lowest Bolgie being ill-natured enough to grieve. And thus it was, that by Thursday evening was one hard compact roadway from Copp's Hill to the Bone-burner's Gehenna, fit for good men and angels to ride over, without jar, without noise, and without fatigue to horse or man. So it was that when I came down with Lycidas [pg 276] to the chapel at seven o'clock, I found Harry had gathered there his eight pretty girls and his eight jolly boys, and had them practising for the last time,

"Carol, carol, Christians,

Carol joyfully;

Carol for the coming

Of Christ's nativity."

I think the children had got inkling of what was coming, or perhaps Harry had hinted it to their mothers. Certainly they were warmly dressed, and when, fifteen minutes afterwards, Howland came round himself with the sleigh, he had put in as many rugs and bear-skins as if he thought the children were to be taken new-born from their respective cradles. Great was the rejoicing as the bells of the horses rang beneath the chapel windows, and Harry did not get his last da capo for his last carol. Not much matter indeed, for they were perfect enough in it before midnight.

Lycidas and I tumbled in on the back seat, each with a child in his lap to keep us warm; I flanked by Sam Perry, and he by John Rich, both of the mercurial age, and therefore good to do errands. Harry was in front somewhere flanked in like wise, and the other children lay in miscellaneously between, like sardines when you have first opened the box I had invited Lycidas, because, besides being my best friend, he is the best fellow in the world, and so deserves the best Christmas eve can give him. Under [pg 277] the full moon, on the still white snow, with sixteen children at the happiest, and with the blessed memories of the best the world has ever had, there can be nothing better than two or three such hours.

"First, driver, out on Commonwealth Avenue. That will tone down the horses. Stop on the left after you have passed Fairfield Street." So we dashed up to the front of Haliburton's palace, where he was keeping his first Christmas tide. And the children, whom Harry had hushed down for a square or two, broke forth with good full voice under his strong lead in

"Shepherd of tender sheep,"

singing with all that unconscious pathos with which children do sing, and starting the tears in your eyes in the midst of your gladness. The instant the horses' bells stopped their voices began. In an instant more we saw Haliburton and Anna run to the window and pull up the shades, and in a minute more faces at all the windows. And so the children sung through Clement's old hymn. Little did Clement think of bells and snow, as he taught it in his Sunday school there in Alexandria. But perhaps to-day, as they pin up the laurels and the palm in the chapel at Alexandria, they are humming the words, not thinking of Clement more than he thought of us. As the children closed with

"Swell the triumphant song

To Christ, our King."

[pg 278] Haliburton came running out, and begged me to bring them in. But I told him, "No," as soon as I could hush their shouts of "Merry Christmas"; that we had a long journey before us, and must not alight by the way. And the children broke out with

"Hail to the night,

Hail to the day,"

rather a favorite,-quicker and more to the childish taste perhaps than the other,-and with another "Merry Christmas" we were off again.

Off, the length of Commonwealth Avenue, to where it crosses the Brookline branch of the Mill-Dam, dashing along with the gayest of the sleighing-parties as we came back into town, up Chestnut Street, through Louisburg Square; ran the sleigh into a bank on the slope of Pinckney Street in front of Walter's house; and, before they suspected there that any one had come, the children were singing

"Carol, carol, Christians,

Carol joyfully."

Kisses flung from the window; kisses flung back from the street. "Merry Christmas" again with a good-will, and then one of the girls began,

"When Anna took the baby,

And pressed his lips to hers,"

and all of them fell in so cheerily. O dear me! it is a scrap of old Ephrem the Syrian, if they did but know it! And when, after this, Harry would fain have driven [pg 279] on, because two carols at one house was the rule, how the little witches begged that they might sing just one song more there, because Mrs. Alexander had been so kind to them, when she showed them about the German stitches. And then up the hill and over to the North End, and as far as we could get the horses up into Moon Court, that they might sing to the Italian image-man who gave Lucy the boy and dog in plaster, when she was sick in the spring. For the children had, you know, the choice of where they would go, and they select their best friends, and will be more apt to remember the Italian image-man than Chrysostom himself, though Chrysostom should have "made a few remarks" to them seventeen times in the chapel. Then the Italian image-man heard for the first time in his life

"Now is the time of Christmas come,"

and

"Jesus in his babes abiding."

And then we came up Hanover Street and stopped under Mr. Gerry's chapel, where they were dressing the walls with their evergreens, and gave them

"Hail to the night,

Hail to the day,"

and so down State Street and stopped at the Advertiser office, because, when the boys gave their "Literary Entertainment," Mr. Hale put in their advertisement for nothing, and up in the old attic there the compositors were relieved to hear [pg 280]

"Nor war nor battle sound,"

and

"The waiting world was still;"

so that even the leading editor relaxed from his gravity, and the "In-General" man from his more serious views, and the Daily the next morning wished everybody a merry Christmas with even more unction, and resolved that in coming years it would have a supplement, large enough to contain all the good wishes. So away again to the houses of confectioners who had given the children candy,-to Miss Simonds's house, because she had been so good to them in school,-to the palaces of millionnaires who had prayed for these children with tears if the children only knew it,-to Dr. Frothingham's in Summer Street, I remember, where we stopped because the Boston Association of Ministers met here,-and out on Dover Street Bridge, that the poor chair-mender might hear our carols sung once more before he heard them better sung in an other world where nothing needs mending.

"King of glory, king of peace!"

"Hear the song, and see the Star!"

"Welcome be thou, heavenly King!"

"Was not Christ our Saviour?"

and all the others, rung out with order or without order, breaking the hush directly as the horses' bells were stilled, thrown into the air with all the gladness of childhood, selected sometimes as Harry happened to think best for the hearer

s, but more [pg 281] often as the jubilant and uncontrolled enthusiasm of the children bade them break out in the most joyous, least studied, and purely lyrical of all. O, we went to twenty places that night, I suppose! We went to the grandest places in Boston, and we went to the meanest. Everywhere they wished us a merry Christmas, and we them. Everywhere a little crowd gathered round us, and then we dashed away far enough to gather quite another crowd; and then back, perhaps, not sorry to double on our steps if need were, and leaving every crowd with a happy thought of

"The star, the manger, and the Child!"

At nine we brought up at my house, D Street, three doors from the corner, and the children picked their very best for Polly and my six little girls to hear, and then for the first time we let them jump out and run in. Polly had some hot oysters for them, so that the frolic was crowned with a treat. There was a Christmas cake cut into sixteen pieces, which they took home to dream upon; and then hoods and muffs on again, and by ten o'clock, or a little after, we had all the girls and all the little ones at their homes. Four of the big boys, our two flankers and Harry's right and left hand men, begged that they might stay till the last moment. They could walk back from the stable, and "rather walk than not, indeed." To which we assented, having gained parental permission, as we left younger sisters in their respective homes. [pg 282]

II.

Lycidas and I both thought, as we went into these modest houses, to leave the children, to say they had been good and to wish a "Merry Christmas" ourselves to fathers, mothers, and to guardian aunts, that the welcome of those homes was perhaps the best part of it all. Here was the great stout sailor-boy whom we had not seen since he came back from sea. He was a mere child when he left our school years on years ago, for the East, on board Perry's vessel, and had been round the world. Here was brave Mrs. Masury. I had not seen her since her mother died. "Indeed, Mr. Ingham, I got so used to watching then, that I cannot sleep well yet o' nights; I wish you knew some poor creature that wanted me to-night, if it were only in memory of Bethlehem." "You take a deal of trouble for the children," said Campbell, as he crushed my hand in his; "but you know they love you, and you know I would do as much for you and yours,"-which I knew was true. "What can I send to your children?" said Dalton, who was finishing sword-blades. (Ill wind was Fort Sumter, but it blew good to poor Dalton, whom it set up in the world with his sword-factory.) "Here's an old-fashioned tape-measure for the girl, and a Sheffield wimble for the boy. What, there is no boy? Let one of the girls have it then; it will count one more present for her." And so he pressed his brown-paper [pg 283] parcel into my hand. From every house, though it were the humblest, a word of love, as sweet, in truth, as if we could have heard the voice of angels singing in the sky.

I bade Harry good night; took Lycidas to his lodgings, and gave his wife my Christmas wishes and good night; and, coming down to the sleigh again, gave way to the feeling which I think you will all understand, that this was not the time to stop, but just the time to begin. For the streets were stiller now, and the moon brighter than ever, if possible, and the blessings of these simple people and of the grand people, and of the very angels in heaven, who are not bound to the misery of using words when they have anything worth saying,-all these wishes and blessings were round me, all the purity of the still winter night, and I didn't want to lose it all by going to bed to sleep. So I put the boys all together, where they could chatter, took one more brisk turn on the two avenues, and then, passing through Charles Street, I believe I was even thinking of Cambridge, I noticed the lights in Woodhull's house, and, seeing they were up, thought I would make Fanny a midnight call. She came to the door herself. I asked if she were waiting for Santa Claus, but saw in a moment that I must not joke with her. She said she had hoped I was her husband. In a minute was one of those contrasts which make life, life. God puts us into the world that we may try them and be tried by them. [pg 284]

Poor Fanny's mother had been blocked up on the Springfield train as she was coming on to Christmas. The old lady had been chilled through, and was here in bed now with pneumonia. Both Fanny's children had been ailing when she came, and this morning the doctor had pronounced it scarlet fever. Fanny had not undressed herself since Monday, nor slept, I thought, in the same time. So while we had been singing carols and wishing merry Christmas, the poor child had been waiting, and hoping that her husband or Edward, both of whom were on the tramp, would find for her and bring to her the model nurse, who had not yet appeared. But at midnight this unknown sister had not arrived, nor had either of the men returned. When I rang, Fanny had hoped I was one of them. Professional paragons, dear reader, are shy of scarlet fever. I told the poor child that it was better as it was. I wrote a line for Sam Perry to take to his aunt, Mrs. Masury, in which I simply said: "Dear mamma, I have found the poor creature who wants you to-night. Come back in this carriage." I bade him take a hack at Gates's, where they were all up waiting for the assembly to be done at Papanti's. I sent him over to Albany Street; and really as I sat there trying to soothe Fanny, it seemed to me less time than it has taken to dictate this little story about her, before Mrs. Masury rang gently, and I left them, having made Fanny promise that she would consecrate the day, which at that moment was born, by trusting [pg 285] God, by going to bed and going to sleep, knowing that her children were in much better hands than hers. As I passed out of the hall, the gas-light fell on a print of Correggio's Adoration, where Woodhull had himself written years before,

"Ut appareat iis qui in tenebris et umbra mortis positi sunt."

"Darkness and the shadow of death" indeed, and what light like the light and comfort such a woman as my Mary Masury brings!

And so, but for one of the accidents, as we call them, I should have dropped the boys at the corner of Dover Street, and gone home with my Christmas lesson.

But it happened, as we irreverently say,-it happened as we crossed Park Square, so called from its being an irregular pentagon of which one of the sides has been taken away, that I recognized a tall man, plodding across in the snow, head down, round-shouldered, stooping forward in walking, with his right shoulder higher than his left; and by these tokens I knew Tom Coram, prince among Boston princes. Not Thomas Coram that built the Foundling Hospital, though he was of Boston too; but he was longer ago. You must look for him in Addison's contribution to a supplement to the Spectator,-the old Spectator, I mean, not the Thursday Spectator, which is more recent. Not Thomas Coram, I say, but Tom Coram, who would build a hospital to-morrow, if you [pg 286] showed him the need, without waiting to die first, and always helps forward, as a prince should, whatever is princely, be it a statue at home, a school in Richmond, a newspaper in Florida, a church in Exeter, a steam-line to Liverpool, or a widow who wants a hundred dollars. I wished him a merry Christmas, and Mr. Howland, by a fine instinct, drew up the horses as I spoke. Coram shook hands; and, as it seldom happens that I have an empty carriage while he is on foot, I asked him if I might not see him home. He was glad to get in. We wrapped him up with spoils of the bear, the fox, and the bison, turned the horses' heads again,-five hours now since they started on this entangled errand of theirs,-and gave him his ride. "I was thinking of you at the moment," said Coram,-"thinking of old college times, of the mystery of language as unfolded by the Abbé Faria to Edmond Dantes in the depths of the Chateau d'If. I was wondering if you could teach me Japanese, if I asked you to a Christmas dinner." I laughed. Japan was really a novelty then, and I asked him since when he had been in correspondence with the sealed country. It seemed that their house at Shanghae had just sent across there their agents for establishing the first house in Edomo, in Japan, under the new treaty. Everything looked promising, and the beginnings were made for the branch which has since become Dot and Trevilyan there. Of this he had the first tidings in his letters by the mail of that afternoon. John Coram, his [pg 287] brother, had written to him, and had said that he enclosed for his amusement the Japanese bill of particulars, as it had been drawn out, on which they had founded their orders for the first assorted cargo ever to be sent from America to Edomo. Bill of particulars there was, stretching down the long tissue-paper in exquisite chirography. But by some freak of the "total depravity of things," the translated order for the assorted cargo was not there. John Coram, in his care to fold up the Japanese writing nicely, had left on his own desk at Shanghae the more intelligible English. "And so I must wait," said Tom philosophically, "till the next East India mail for my orders, certain that seven English houses have had less enthusiastic and philological correspondents than my brother."

I said I did not see that. That I could not teach him to speak the Taghalian dialects so well, that he could read them with facility before Saturday. But I could do a good deal better. Did he remember writing a note to old Jack Percival for me five years ago? No, he remembered no such thing; he knew Jack Percival, but never wrote a note to him in his life. Did he remember giving me fifty dollars, because I had taken a delicate boy, whom I was going to send to sea, and I was not quite satisfied with the government outfit? No, he did not remember that, which was not strange, for that was a thing he was doing every day, "Well, I don't care how much you remember, but the boy about whom you wrote to Jack [pg 288] Percival, for whose mother's ease of mind you provided the half-hundred, is back again,-strong, straight, and well; what is more to the point, he had the whole charge of Perry's commissariat on shore at Yokohama, was honorably discharged out there, reads Japanese better than you read English; and if it will help you at all, he shall be here at your house at breakfast." For as I spoke we stopped at Coram's door. "Ingham," said Coram, "if you were not a parson, I should say you were romancing." "My child," said I, "I sometimes write a parable for the Atlantic; but the words of my lips are verity, as all those of the Sandemanians. Go to bed; do not even dream of the Taghalian dialects; be sure that the Japanese interpreter will breakfast with you, and the next time you are in a scrape send for the nearest minister. George, tell your brother Ezra that Mr. Coram wishes him to breakfast here to-morrow morning at eight o'clock; don't forget the number, Pemberton Square, you know." "Yes, sir," said George; and Thomas Coram laughed, said "Merry Christmas," and we parted.

It was time we were all in bed, especially these boys. But glad enough am I as I write these words that the meeting of Coram set us back that dropped-stitch in our night's journey. There was one more delay. We were sweeping by the Old State House, the boys singing again, "Carol, carol, Christians," as we dashed along the still streets, when I caught sight of Adams [pg 289] Todd, and he recognized me. He had heard us singing when we were at the Advertiser office. Todd is an old fellow-apprentice of mine,-and he is now, or rather was that night, chief pressman in the Argus office. I like the Argus people,-it was there that I was South American Editor, now many years ago,-and they befriend me to this hour. Todd hailed me, and once more I stopped. "What sent you out from your warm steam-boiler?" "Steam-boiler, indeed," said Todd. "Two rivets loose,-steam-room full of steam,-police frightened,-neighborhood in a row,-and we had to put out the fire. She would have run a week without hurting a fly,-only a little puff in the street sometimes. But there we are, Ingham. We shall lose the early mail as it stands. Seventy-eight tokens to be worked now." They always talked largely of their edition at the Argus. Saw it with many eyes, perhaps; but this time, I am sure, Todd spoke true. I caught his idea at once. In younger and more muscular times, Todd and I had worked the Adams press by that fly-wheel for full five minutes at a time, as a test of strength; and in my mind's eye, I saw that he was printing his paper at this moment with relays of grinding stevedores. He said it was so. "But think of it to-night," said he. "It is Christmas eve, and not an Irishman to be hired, though one paid him ingots. Not a man can stand the grind ten minutes." I knew that very well from old experience, and I thanked him inwardly [pg 290] for not saying "the demnition grind," with Mantihni. "We cannot run the press half the time," said he; "and the men we have are giving out now. We shall lose all our carrier delivery." "Todd," said I, "is this a night to be talking of ingots, or hiring, or losing, or gaining? When will you learn that Love rules the court, the camp, and the Argus office." And I wrote on the back of a letter to Campbell: "Come to the Argus office, No. 2 Dassett's Alley, with seven men not afraid to work"; and I gave it to John and Sam, bade Howland take the boys to Campbell's house,-walked down with Todd to his office,-challenged him to take five minutes at the wheel, in memory of old times,-made the tired relays laugh as they saw us take hold; and then,-when I had cooled off, and put on my Cardigan,-met Campbell, with his seven sons of Anak, tumbling down the stairs, wondering what round of mercy the parson had found for them this time. I started home, knowing I should now have my Argus with my coffee.

III.

And so I walked home. Better so, perhaps, after all, than in the lively sleigh, with the tinkling bells.

"It was a calm and silent night!-

Seven hundred years and fifty-three

Had Rome been growing up to might,

And now was queen of land and sea!

[pg 291] No sound was heard of clashing wars,-

Peace brooded o'er the hushed domain;

Apollo, Pallas, Jove, and Mars

Held undisturbed their ancient reign

In the solemn midnight,

Centuries ago!"

What an eternity it seemed since I started with those children singing carols. Bethlehem, Nazareth, Calvary, Rome, Roman senators, Tiberius, Paul, Nero, Clement, Ephrem, Ambrose, and all the singers,-Vincent de Paul, and all the loving wonderworkers, Milton and Herbert and all the carol-writers, Luther and Knox and all the prophets,-what a world of people had been keeping Christmas with Sam Perry and Lycidas and Harry and me; and here were Yokohama and the Japanese, the Daily Argus and its ten million tokens and their readers,-poor Fanny Woodhull and her sick mother there, keeping Christmas too! For a finite world, these are a good many "waits" to be singing in one poor fellow's ears on one Christmas-tide.

"'Twas in the calm and silent night!-

The senator of haughty Rome,

Impatient urged his chariot's flight,

From lordly revel, roiling home.

Triumphal arches gleaming swell

His breast, with thoughts of boundless sway

What recked the Roman what befell

A paltry province far away,

In the solemn midnight,

Centuries ago!

[pg 292]

"Within that province far away

Went plodding home a weary boor;

A streak of light before him lay,

Fallen through a half-shut stable door

Across his path. He passed,-for naught

Told what was going on within;

How keen the stars, his only thought,

The air how calm and cold and thin,

In the solemn midnight,

Centuries ago!"

"Streak of light"-Is there a light in Lycidas's room? They not in bed! That is making a night of it! Well, there are few hours of the day or night when I have not been in Lycidas's room, so I let myself in by the night-key he gave me, ran up the stairs,-it is a horrid seven-storied, first-class lodging-house. For my part, I had as lief live in a steeple. Two flights I ran up, two steps at a time,-I was younger then than I am now,-pushed open the door which was ajar, and saw such a scene of confusion as I never saw in Mary's over-nice parlor before. Queer! I remember the first thing that I saw was wrong was a great ball of white German worsted on the floor. Her basket was upset. A great Christmas-tree lay across the rug, quite too high for the room; a large sharp-pointed Spanish clasp-knife was by it, with which they had been lopping it; there were two immense baskets of white papered presents, both upset; but what frightened me most was the centre-table. Three or four handkerchiefs on it,-towels, napkins, I know not what,-all brown and red and [pg 293] almost black with blood! I turned, heart-sick, to look into the bedroom,-and I really had a sense of relief when I saw somebody. Bad enough it was, however. Lycidas, but just now so strong and well, lay pale and exhausted on the bloody bed, with the clothing removed from his right thigh and leg, while over him bent Mary and Morton. I learned afterwards that poor Lycidas, while trimming the Christmas-tree, and talking merrily with Mary and Morton,-who, by good luck, had brought round his presents late, and was staying to tie on glass balls and apples,-had given himself a deep and dangerous wound with the point of the unlucky knife, and had lost a great deal of blood before the hemorrhage could be controlled. Just before I entered, the stick tourniquet which Morton had improvised had slipped in poor Mary's unpractised hand, at the moment he was about to secure the bleeding artery, and the blood followed in such a gush as compelled him to give his whole attention to stopping its flow. He only knew my entrance by the "Ah, Mr. Ingham," of the frightened Irish girl, who stood useless behind the head of the bed.

"O Fred," said Morton, without looking up, "I am glad you are here."

"And what can I do for you?"

"Some whiskey,-first of all."

"There are two bottles," said Mary, who was holding the candle,-"in the cupboard behind his dressing-glass." [pg 294]

I took Bridget with me, struck a light in the dressing-room (how she blundered about the match), and found the cupboard door locked! Key doubtless in Mary's pocket,-probably in pocket of "another dress." I did not ask. Took my own bunch, willed tremendously that my account-book drawer key should govern the lock, and it did. If it had not, I should have put my fist through the panels. Bottle of bedbug poison; bottle marked "bay rum"; another bottle with no mark; two bottles of Saratoga water. "Set them all on the floor, Bridget." A tall bottle of Cologne. Bottle marked in MS. What in the world is it? "Bring that candle, Bridget." "Eau destillée. Marron, Montreal." What in the world did Lycidas bring distilled water from Montreal for? And then Morton's clear voice in the other room, "As quick as you can, Fred." "Yes! in one moment. Put all these on the floor, Bridget." Here they are at last. "Bourbon whiskey." "Corkscrew, Bridget."

"Indade, sir, and where is it?" "Where? I don't know. Run down as quick as you can, and bring it. His wife cannot leave him." So Bridget ran, and the first I heard was the rattle as she pitched down the last six stairs of the first flight headlong. Let us hope she has not broken her leg. I meanwhile am driving a silver pronged fork into the Bourbon corks, and the blade of my own penknife on the other side.

"Now, Fred," from George within. (We all call [pg 295] Morton "George.") "Yes, in one moment," I replied. Penknife blade breaks off, fork pulls right out, two crumbs of cork come with it. Will that girl never come?

I turned round; I found a goblet on the wash-stand; I took Lycidas's heavy clothes-brush, and knocked off the neck of the bottle. Did you ever do it, reader, with one of those pressed glass bottles they make now? It smashed like a Prince Rupert's drop in my hand, crumbled into seventy pieces,-a nasty smell of whiskey on the floor,-and I, holding just the hard bottom of the thing with two large spikes running worthless up into the air. But I seized the goblet, poured into it what was left in the bottom, and carried it in to Morton as quietly as I could. He bade me give Lycidas as much as he could swallow; then showed me how to substitute my thumb for his, and compress the great artery. When he was satisfied that he could trust me, he began his work again, silently; just speaking what must be said to that brave Mary, who seemed to have three hands because he needed them. When all was secure, he glanced at the ghastly white face, with beads of perspiration on the forehead and upper lip, laid his finger on the pulse, and said: "We will have a little more whiskey. No, Mary, you are overdone already; let Fred bring it." The truth was that poor Mary was almost as white as Lycidas. She would not faint,-that was the only reason she did not,-and at the moment I wondered [pg 296] that she did not fall. I believe George and I were both expecting it, now the excitement was over. He called her Mary and me Fred, because we were all together every day of our lives. Bridget, you see, was still nowhere.

So I retired for my whiskey again,-to attack that other bottle. George whispered quickly as I went, "Bring enough,-bring the bottle." Did he want the bottle corked? Would that Kelt ever come up stairs? I passed the bell-rope as I went into the dressing-room, and rang as hard as I could ring. I took the other bottle, and bit steadily with my teeth at the cork, only, of course, to wrench the end of it off. George called me, and I stepped back. "No," said he, "bring your whiskey."

Mary had just rolled gently back on the floor. I went again in despair. But I heard Bridget's step this time. First flight, first passage; second flight, second passage. She ran in in triumph at length, with a screw-driver!

"No!" I whispered,-"no. The crooked thing you draw corks with," and I showed her the bottle again. "Find one somewhere and don't come back without it." So she vanished for the second time.

"Frederic!" said Morton. I think he never called me so before. Should I risk the clothes-brush again? I opened Lycidas's own drawers,-papers, boxes, everything in order,-not a sign of a tool.

"Frederic!" "Yes," I said. But why did I [pg 297] say "Yes"? "Father of Mercy, tell me what to do."

And my mazed eyes, dim with tears,-did you ever shed tears from excitement?-fell on an old razor-strop of those days of shaving, made by C. WHITTAKER, SHEFFIELD. The "Sheffield" stood in black letters out from the rest like a vision. They make cork screws in Sheffield too. If this Whittaker had only made a corkscrew! And what is a "Sheffield wimble?"

Hand in my pocket,-brown paper parcel.

"Where are you, Frederic?" "Yes," said I, for the last time. Twine off! brown paper off. And I learned that the "Sheffield wimble" was one of those things whose name you never heard before, which people sell you in Thames Tunnel, where a hoof-cleaner, a gimlet, a screw-driver, and a corkscrew fold into one handle.

"Yes," said I, again. "Pop," said the cork "Bubble, bubble, bubble," said the whiskey. Bottle in one hand, full tumbler in the other, I walked in. George poured half a tumblerful down Lycidas's throat that time. Nor do I dare say how much he poured down afterwards. I found that there was need of it, from what he said of the pulse, when it was all over. I guess Mary had some, too.

This was the turning-point. He was exceedingly weak, and we sat by him in turn through the night, giving, at short intervals, stimulants and such food as [pg 298] he could swallow easily; for I remember Morton was very particular not to raise his head more than we could help. But there was no real danger after this.

As we turned away from the house on Christmas morning,-I to preach and he to visit his patients,-he said to me, "Did you make that whiskey?"

"No," said I, "but poor Dod* Dalton had to furnish the corkscrew."

And I went down to the chapel to preach. The sermon had been lying ready at home on my desk,-and Polly had brought it round to me,-for there had been no time for me to go from Lycidas's home to D Street and to return. There was the text, all as it was the day before:-

"They helped every one his neighbor, and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil."

And there were the pat illustrations, as I had finished them yesterday; of the comfort Mary Magdalen gave Joanna, the court lady; and the comfort the court lady gave Mary Magdalen, after the mediator of a new covenant had mediated between them; how Simon the Cyrenian, and Joseph of Arimathea, and the beggar Bartimeus comforted each other, gave each other strength, common force, com-fort, when the One Life flowed in all their veins; how on board the ship the Tent-Maker proved to be Captain, and the Centurion learned his duty from his [pg 299] Prisoner, and how they "All came safe to shore," because the New Life was there. But as I preached, I caught Frye's eye. Frye is always critical; and I said to myself, "Frye would not take his illustrations from eighteen hundred years ago." And I saw dear old Dod Dalton trying to keep awake, and Campbell hard asleep after trying, and Jane Masury looking round to see if her mother did not come in; and Ezra Sheppard, looking, not so much at me, as at the window beside me, as if his thoughts were the other side of the world. And I said to them all, "O, if I could tell you, my friends, what every twelve hours of my life tells me,-of the way in which woman helps woman, and man helps man, when only the ice is broken,-how we are all rich so soon as we find out that we are all brothers, and how we are all in want, unless we can call at any moment for a brother's hand,-then I could make you understand something, in the lives you lead every day, of what the New Covenant, the New Commonwealth, the New Kingdom is to be."

But I did not dare tell Dod Dalton what Campbell had been doing for Todd, nor did I dare tell Campbell by what unconscious arts old Dod had been helping Lycidas. Perhaps the sermon would have been better had I done so.

But, when we had our tree in the evening at home, I did tell all this story to Polly and the bairns, and I gave Alice her measuring-tape,-precious with a spot of Lycidas's blood,-and Bertha her Sheffield wimble. [pg 300] "Papa," said old Clara, who is the next child, "all the people gave presents, did not they, as they did in the picture in your study?"

"Yes," said I, "though they did not all know they were giving them."

"Why do they not give such presents every day?" said Clara.

"O child," I said, "it is only for thirty-six hours of the three hundred and sixty-five days, that all people remember that they are all brothers and sisters, and those are the hours that we call, therefore, Christmas eve and Christmas day."

"And when they always remember it," said Bertha, "it will be Christmas all the time! What fun!"

"What fun, to be sure; but Clara, what is in the picture?"

"Why, an old woman has brought eggs to the baby in the manger, and an old man has brought a sheep. I suppose they all brought what they had."

"I suppose those who came from Sharon brought roses," said Bertha. And Alice, who is eleven, and goes to the Lincoln School, and therefore knows everything, said, "Yes, and the Damascus people brought Damascus wimbles."

"This is certain," said Polly, "that nobody tried to give a straw, but the straw, if he really gave it, carried a blessing."

[pg 301]

* * *

EDWARD E. HALE'S WRITINGS.

THE GOOD TIME COMING; or, Our New Crusade.

Square 18mo. Paper, 50 cents; cloth, $1.00

"It has all the characteristics of its brilliant author,-unflagging entertainment, helpfulness, suggestive, practical hints, and a contagious vitality that sets one's blood tingling. Whoever has read 'Ten Times One is Ten' will know just what we mean. We predict that the new volume, as being a more charming story, will have quite as great a parish of readers. The gist of the book is to show how possible it is for the best spirits of a community, through wise organization, to form themselves into a lever by means of which the whole tone of the social status may be elevated, and the good and highest happiness of the helpless many be attained through the self-denying exertions of the powerful few."-Southern Churchman.

THE INGHAM PAPERS, 16mo. $1.25.

"But it is not alone for their wit and ingenuity we prize Mr. Hale's stories, but for the serious thought, the moral, or practical suggestion underlying all of them. They are not written simply to amuse, but have a graver purpose. Of the stories in the present volume, the best to our thinking is 'The Rag Man and Rag Woman.'"-Boston Transcript.

HOW TO DO IT 16mo. $1.00

"Good sense, very practical suggestions, telling illustrations (in words), lively fancy, and delightful humor combine to make Mr. Hale's hints exceedingly taking and stimulating, and we do not see how either sex can fail, after reading his pages, to know How to Talk, How to Write, How to Read, How to go into Society, and How to Travel. These, with Life at School, Life in Vacation, Life Alone, Habits in Church, Life with Children, Life with your Elders, Habits of Reading, and Getting Ready, are the several topics of the more than as many chapters, and make the volume one which should find its way to the hands of every boy and girl. To this end we would like to see it in every Sabbath-school library in the land."-Congregationalist.

CRUSOE IN NEW YORK, and other Stories, 16mo. $1.00

"If one desires something unique, full of wit, a veiled sarcasm that is rich in the extreme, it will all be found in this charming little book. The air of perfect sincerity with which they are told, the diction, reminding one of 'The Vicar of Wakefield,' and the ludicrous improbability of the tales, give them a power rarely met with in 'short stories.' There is many a lesson to be learned from the quiet little volume." [pg 302]

HIS LEVEL BEST. 16mo. $1.25.

"We like Mr. Hale's style. He is fresh, frank, pungent, straightforward, and pointed. The first story is the one that gives the book its title, and it is related in a dignified manner, showing peculiar genius and humorous talent. The contents are, 'His Level Best,' 'The Brick Moon,' 'Water Talk,' 'Mouse and Lion,' 'The Modern Sinbad,' 'A Tale of a Salamander,'"-Philadelphia Exchange.

GONE TO TEXAS; or, The Wonderful Adventures of a Pullman, 16mo. $1.00.

"There are few books of travel which combine in a romance of true love so many touches of the real life of many people, in glimpses of happy homes, in pictures of scenery and sunset, as the beautiful panorama unrolled before us from the windows of this Pullman car. The book is crisp and bright, and has a pleasant flavor; and whatever is lovely in the spirit of its author, or of good report in his name, one may look here and find promise of both fulfilled."-Exchange.

WHAT CAREER? or, The Choice of a Vocation and the Use of Time. 16mo. $1.25.

"'What Career?' is a book which will do anybody good to read; especially is it a profitable book for young men to 'read, mark, and inwardly digest.' Mr. Hale seems to know what young men need, and here he gives them the result of his large experience and careful observation. A list of the subjects treated in this little volume will sufficiently indicate its scope: (1) The Leaders Lead; (2) The Specialties; (3) Noblesse Oblige; (4) The Mind's Maximum; (5) A Theological Seminary; (6) Character; (7) Responsibilities of Young Men; (8) Study Outside School; (9) The Training of Men; (10) Exercise."-Watchman.

UPS AND DOWNS. An Every-Day Novel, 16mo. $1.50.

"This book is certainly very enjoyable. It delineates American life so graphically that we feel as if Mr. Hale must have seen every rood of ground he describes, and must have known personally every character he so cleverly depicts. In his hearty fellowship with young people lies his great power. The story is permeated with a spirit of glad-heartedness and elasticity which in this hurried, anxious, money-making age it is most refreshing to meet with in any one out of his teens; and the author's sympathy with, and respect for, the little romances of his young friends is most fraternal."-New Church Magazine.

* * * * *

Sold everywhere. Mailed, post-paid, on receipt of price, by the Publishers,

ROBERTS BROTHERS, BOSTON.

* * *

Notes

1.

After Chapman.

2.

After Cowper and Pope. Long after!

3.

Iliad, vi.

4.

Iliad, vi-POPE.

5.

Iliad, xii., after Sotheby.

6.

I do not know that this explanation is at all clear. Let me, as the mathematicians say, give an instance which will illustrate the importance of this profession. It is now a few months since I received the following note from a distinguished member of the Cabinet:-

"WASHINGTON, January --, 1842.

"DEAR SIR:-We are in a little trouble about a little thing. There are now in this city no less than three gentlemen bearing credentials to government as Chargés from the Republic of Oronoco. They are, of course, accredited from three several home governments. The President signified, when the first arrived, that he would receive the Chargé from that government, on the 2d proximo, but none of us know who the right Chargé is. The newspapers tell nothing satisfactory about it. I suppose you know: can you write me word be fore the 2d?

"The gentlemen are: Dr. Estremadura, accredited from the 'Constitutional Government,'-his credentials are dated the 2d of November; Don Paulo Vibeira, of the 'Friends of the People,' 5th of November; M. Antonio de Vesga, 'Constitution of 1823,' October 27th. They attach great importance to our decision, each having scrip to sell. In haste, truly yours."

To this letter I returned the following reply:-

"SIR:-Our latest dates from Oronoco are to the 13th ultimo. The 'Constitution of '23' was then in full power. If, however, the policy of our government be to recognize the gentlemen whose principals shall be in office on the 2d proximo, it is a very different affair.

"You may not be acquainted with the formulas for ascertaining the duration of any given modern revolution. I now use the following, which I find almost exactly correct.

"Multiply the age of the President by the number of statute miles from the equator, divide by the number of pages in the given Constitution; the result will be the length of the outbreak, in days. This formula includes, as you will see, an allowance for the heat of the climate, the zeal of the leader, and the verbosity of the theorists. The Constitution of 1823 was reproclaimed on the 25th of October last If you will give the above formula into the hands of any of your clerks, the calculation from it will show that that government will go out of power on the 1st of February, at 25 minutes after 1, P.M. Your choice, on the 2d, must be therefore between Vibeira and Estremadura; here you will have no difficulty. Bobádil (Vibeira's principal) was on the 13th ultimo confined under sentence of death, at such a distance from the capital that he cannot possibly escape and get into power before the 2d of February. The 'Friends of the People,' in Oronoco, have always moved slowly; they never got up an insurrection in less than nineteen days' canvassing; that was in 1839. Generally they are even longer. Of course, Estremadura will be your man.

"Believe me, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

"GEORGE HACKMATACK"

The Cabinet had the good sense to act on my advice. My information proved nearly correct, the only error being one of seven minutes in the downfall of the 1823 Constitution. This arose from my making no allowance for difference of longitude between Piaut, where their government was established, and Opee, where it was crushed. The difference of time between those places is six minutes and fifty-three seconds, as the reader may see on a globe.

Estremadura was, of course, presented to the President, and sold his scrip.]

7.

Newspaper men of 1868 will be amused to think that half past one was late in 1836. At that time the "Great Western Mail" was due in Boston at 6 P.M., and there was no later news except "local," or an occasional horse express.

8.

The reader will observe the Arcadian habits of 1836, when the German was yet unknown.

9.

Anno Christi, 60.

10.

Tacit. Annal., xiv. 9

11.

Anno Christi, 60. See Neander, P. & T., B. iii. ch. x

12.

This correspondence, as preserved in the collections of fragments, has too much the aspect of a school-boy exercise to claim much credit, though high authorities support it as genuine. But the probability that there was such a correspondence, though now lost, is very strong.

13.

The Fire Alarm is the invention of Dr. William F. Channing:

"A wizard of such dreaded fame,

That when in Salamanca's cave,

Him listed his magic wand to wave,

The bells would ring in Notre Dame"

14.

I am proud to say that such suggestions have had so much weight, that in 1868 the alarm strikes the number of the box which first telegraphs danger, six-four, six-four, &c., six being the district number, and four the box number in that district.

15.

Tetrao lagopus.

16.

Which means, "In the thirteenth century," my dear little bell and coral reader. You have rightly guessed that the question means "What is the history of the Reformation in Hungary?"

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