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Wit and Humor of America, The Vol 04

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<SPAN name="Page_604" id="Page_604">[Pg 604]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="A_COMPLAINT_OF_FRIENDS" id="A_COMPLAINT_OF_FRIENDS"></SPAN>A COMPLAINT OF FRIENDS</h2> <h3>BY GAIL HAMILTON</h3> <p>If things would not run into each other so, it would be a thousand times easier and a million times pleasanter to get on in the world. Let the sheepiness be set on one side and the goatiness on the other, and immediately you know where you are. It is not necessary to ask that there be any increase of the one or any diminution of the other, but only that each shall pre&euml;mpt its own territory and stay there. Milk is good, and water is good, but don't set the milk-pail under the pump. Pleasure softens pain, but pain embitters pleasure; and who would not rather have his happiness concentrated into one memorable day, that shall gleam and glow through a lifetime, than have it spread out over a dozen comfortable, commonplace, humdrum forenoons and afternoons, each one as like the others as two peas in a pod? Since the law of compensation obtains, I suppose it is the best law for us; but if it had been left with me, I should have made the clever people rich and handsome, and left poverty and ugliness to the stupid people; because&mdash;don't you see?&mdash;the stupid people won't know they are ugly, and won't care if they are poor, but the clever people will be hampered and tortured. I would have given the good wives to the good husbands, and made drunken men marry drunken women. Then there would have been one family exquisitely happy instead of two struggling against misery. I would have made the rose stem downy, and put all the thorns<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_605" id="Page_605">[Pg 605]</SPAN></span> on the thistles. I would have gouged out the jewel from the toad's head, and given the peacock the nightingale's voice, and not set everything so at half and half.</p> <p>But that is the way it is. We find the world made to our hand. The wise men marry the foolish virgins, and the splendid virgins marry dolts, and matters in general are so mixed up, that the choice lies between nice things about spoiled, and vile things that are not so bad after all, and it is hard to tell sometimes which you like the best, or which you loathe least.</p> <p>I expect to lose every friend I have in the world by the publication of this paper&mdash;except the dunces who are impaled in it. They will never read it, and if they do, will never suspect I mean them; while the sensible and true friends, who do me good and not evil all the days of their lives, will think I am driving at their noble hearts, and will at once fall off and leave me inconsolable. Still I am going to write it. You must open the safety-valve once in a while, even if the steam does whiz and shriek, or there will be an explosion, which is fatal, while the whizzing and shrieking are only disagreeable.</p> <p>Doubtless friendship has its advantages and its pleasures; doubtless hostility has its isolations and its revenges; still, if called upon to choose once for all between friends and foes, I think, on the whole, I should cast my vote for the foes. Twenty enemies will not do you the mischief of one friend. Enemies you always know where to find. They are in fair and square perpetual hostility, and you keep your armor on and your sentinels posted; but with friends you are inveigled into a false security, and, before you know it, your honor, your modesty, your delicacy are scudding before the gales. Moreover, with your friend you can never make reprisals. If your enemy attacks you, you can always strike back and hit hard.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_606" id="Page_606">[Pg 606]</SPAN></span> You are expected to defend yourself against him to the top of your bent. He is your legal opponent in honorable warfare. You can pour hot-shot into him with murderous vigor; and the more he writhes, the better you feel. In fact, it is rather refreshing to measure swords once in a while with such a one. You like to exert your power and keep yourself in practice. You do not rejoice so much in overcoming your enemy as in overcoming. If a marble statue could show fight you would just as soon fight it; but as it can not, you take something that can, and something, besides, that has had the temerity to attack you, and so has made a lawful target of itself. But against your friend your hands are tied. He has injured you. He has disgusted you. He has infuriated you. But it was most Christianly done. You can not hurl a thunderbolt, or pull a trigger, or lisp a syllable against those amiable monsters who, with tenderest fingers, are sticking pins all over you. So you shut fast the doors of your lips, and inwardly sigh for a good, stout, brawny, malignant foe, who, under any and every circumstance, will design you harm, and on whom you can lavish your lusty blows with a hearty will and a clear conscience.</p> <p>Your enemy keeps clear of you. He neither grants nor claims favors. He awards you your rights,&mdash;no more, no less,&mdash;and demands the same from you. Consequently there is no friction. Your friend, on the contrary, is continually getting himself tangled up with you "because he is your friend." I have heard that Shelley was never better pleased than when his associates made free with his coats, boots, and hats for their own use, and that he appropriated their property in the same way. Shelley was a poet, and perhaps idealized his friends. He saw them, probably, in a state of pure intellect. I am not a poet; I look at people in the concrete. The most obvi<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_607" id="Page_607">[Pg 607]</SPAN></span>ous thing about my friends is their avoirdupois; and I prefer that they should wear their own cloaks and suffer me to wear mine. There is no neck in the world that I want my collar to span except my own. It is very exasperating to me to go to my bookcase and miss a book of which I am in immediate and pressing need, because an intimate friend has carried it off without asking leave, on the score of his intimacy. I have not, and do not wish to have, any alliance that shall abrogate the eighth commandment. A great mistake is lying round loose hereabouts,&mdash;a mistake fatal to many friendships that did run well. The common fallacy is that intimacy dispenses with the necessity of politeness. The truth is just the opposite of this. The more points of contact there are, the more danger of friction there is, and the more carefully should people guard against it. If you see a man only once a month, it is not of so vital importance that you do not trench on his rights, tastes, or whims. He can bear to be crossed or annoyed occasionally. If he does not have a very high regard for you, it is comparatively unimportant, because your paths are generally so diverse. But you and the man with whom you dine every day have it in your power to make each other exceedingly uncomfortable. A very little dropping will wear away rock, if it only keep at it. The thing that you would not think of, if it occurred only twice a year, becomes an intolerable burden when it happens twice a day. This is where husbands and wives run aground. They take too much for granted. If they would but see that they have something to gain, something to save, as well as something to enjoy, it would be better for them; but they proceed on the assumption that their love is an inexhaustible tank, and not a fountain depending for its supply on the stream that trickles into it. So, for every little annoying<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_608" id="Page_608">[Pg 608]</SPAN></span> habit, or weakness, or fault, they draw on the tank, without being careful to keep the supply open, till they awake one morning to find the pump dry, and, instead of love, at best, nothing but a cold habit of complacence. On the contrary, the more intimate friends become, whether married or unmarried, the more scrupulously should they strive to repress in themselves everything annoying, and to cherish both in themselves and each other everything pleasing. While each should draw on his love to neutralize the faults of his friend, it is suicidal to draw on his friend's love to neutralize his own faults. Love should be cumulative, since it can not be stationary. If it does not increase, it decreases. Love, like confidence, is a plant of slow growth, and of most exotic fragility. It must be constantly and tenderly cherished. Every noxious and foreign element must be carefully removed from it. All sunshine, and sweet airs, and morning dews, and evening showers must breathe upon it perpetual fragrance, or it dies into a hideous and repulsive deformity, fit only to be cast out and trodden under foot of men, while, properly cultivated, it is a Tree of Life.</p> <p>Your enemy keeps clear of you, not only in business, but in society. If circumstances thrust him into contact with you, he is curt and centrifugal. But your friend breaks in upon your "saintly solitude" with perfect equanimity. He never for a moment harbors a suspicion that he can intrude, "because he is your friend." So he drops in on his way to the office to chat half an hour over the latest news. The half-hour isn't much in itself. If it were after dinner, you wouldn't mind it; but after breakfast every moment "runs itself in golden sands," and the break in your time crashes a worse break in your temper. "Are you busy?" asks the considerate wretch, adding insult to injury. What can you do? Say yes, and wound<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_609" id="Page_609">[Pg 609]</SPAN></span> his self-love forever? But he has a wife and family. You respect their feelings, smile and smile, and are villain enough to be civil with your lips, and hide the poison of asps under your tongue, till you have a chance to relieve your o'ercharged heart by shaking your fist in impotent wrath at his retreating form. You will receive the reward of your hypocrisy, as you richly deserve, for ten to one he will drop in again when he comes back from his office, and arrest you wandering in Dreamland in the beautiful twilight. Delighted to find that you are neither reading nor writing,&mdash;the absurd dolt! as if a man weren't at work unless he be wielding a sledge-hammer!&mdash;he will preach out, and prose out, and twaddle out another hour of your golden eventide, "because he is your friend." You don't care whether he is judge or jury,&mdash;whether he talks sense or nonsense; you don't want him to talk at all. You don't want him there anyway. You want to be alone. If you don't, why are you sitting there in the deepening twilight? If you wanted him, couldn't you send for him? Why don't you go out into the drawing-room, where are music and lights, and gay people? What right have I to suppose, that, because you are not using your eyes, you are not using your brain? What right have I to set myself up as a judge of the value of your time, and so rob you of perhaps the most delicious hour in all your day, on pretense that it is of no use to you?&mdash;take a pound of flesh clean out of your heart, and trip on my smiling way as if I had not earned the gallows?</p> <p>And what in Heaven's name is the good of all this ceaseless talk? To what purpose are you wearied, exhausted, dragged out and out to the very extreme of tenuity? A sprightly badinage,&mdash;a running fire of nonsense for half an hour,&mdash;a tramp over unfamiliar ground with<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_610" id="Page_610">[Pg 610]</SPAN></span> a familiar guide,&mdash;a discussion of something with somebody who knows all about it, or who, not knowing, wants to learn from you,&mdash;a pleasant interchange of commonplaces with a circle of friends around the fire, at such hours as you give to society: all this is not only tolerable, but agreeable,&mdash;often positively delightful; but to have an indifferent person, on no score but that of friendship, break into your sacred presence, and suck your blood through indefinite cycles of time, is an abomination. If he clatters on an indifferent subject, you can do well enough for fifteen minutes, buoyed up by the hope that he will presently have a fit, or be sent for, or come to some kind of an end. But when you gradually open to the conviction that <i>vis inerti&aelig;</i> rules the hour, and the thing which has been is that which shall be, you wax listless; your chariot-wheels drive heavily; your end of the pole drags in the mud, and you speedily wallow in unmitigated disgust. If he broaches a subject on which you have a real and deep living interest, you shrink from unbosoming yourself to him. You feel that it would be sacrilege. He feels nothing of the sort. He treads over your heart-strings in his cowhide brogans, and does not see that they are not whip-cords. He pokes his gold-headed cane in among your treasures, blind to the fact that you are clutching both arms around them, that no gleam of flashing gold may reveal their whereabouts to him. You draw yourself up in your shell, projecting a monosyllabic claw occasionally as a sign of continued vitality; but the pachyderm does not withdraw, and you gradually lower into an indignation,&mdash;smothered, fierce, intense.</p> <p>Why, <i>why</i>, <span class="smcap">why</span> will people inundate their unfortunate victims with such "weak, washy, everlasting floods?" Why will they haul everything out into the open day?<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_611" id="Page_611">[Pg 611]</SPAN></span> Why will they make the Holy of Holies common and unclean? Why will they be so ineffably stupid as not to see that there is that which speech profanes? Why will they lower their drag-nets into the unfathomable waters, in the vain attempt to bring up your pearls and gems, whose luster would pale to ashes in the garish light, whose only sparkle is in the deep sea-soundings? <i>Procul, O procul este, profani!</i></p> <p>O, the matchless power of silence! There are words that concentrate in themselves the glory of a lifetime; but there is a silence that is more precious than they. Speech ripples over the surface of life, but silence sinks into its depths. Airy pleasantnesses bubble up in airy, pleasant words. Weak sorrows quaver out their shallow being, and are not. When the heart is cleft to its core, there is no speech nor language.</p> <p>Do not now, Messrs. Bores, think to retrieve your character by coming into my house and sitting mute for two hours. Heaven forbid that your blood should be found on my skirts! but I believe I shall kill you, if you do. The only reason why I have not laid violent hands on you heretofore is that your vapid talk has operated as a wire to conduct my electricity to the receptive and kindly earth; but if you intrude upon my magnetisms without any such life-preserver, your future in this world is not worth a crossed sixpence. Your silence would break the reed that your talk but bruised. The only people with whom it is a joy to sit silent are the people with whom it is a joy to talk. Clear out!</p> <p>Friendship plays the mischief in the false ideas of constancy which are generated and cherished in its name, if not by its agency. Your enemies are intense, but temporary. Time wears off the edge of hostility. It is the alembic in which offenses are dissolved into thin air, and<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_612" id="Page_612">[Pg 612]</SPAN></span> a calm indifference reigns in their stead. But your friends are expected to be a permanent arrangement. They are not only a sore evil, but of long continuance. Adhesiveness seems to be the head and front, the bones and the blood, of their creed. It is not the direction of the quality, but the quality itself, which they swear by. Only stick, it is no matter what you stick to. Fall out with a man, and you can kiss and be friends as soon as you like; the recording angel will set it down on the credit side of his books. Fall in, and you are expected to stay in, <i>ad infinitum, ad nauseam</i>. No matter what combination of laws got you there, there you are, and there you must stay, for better, for worse, till merciful death you do part,&mdash;or you are&mdash;"fickle." You find a man entertaining for an hour, a week, a concert, a journey, and presto! you are saddled with him forever. What preposterous absurdity! Do but look at it calmly. You are thrown into contact with a person, and, as in duty bound, you proceed to fathom him: for every man is a possible revelation. In the deeps of his soul there may lie unknown worlds for you. Consequently you proceed at once to experiment on him. It takes a little while to get your tackle in order. Then the line begins to run off rapidly, and your eager soul cries out, "Ah! what depth! What perpetual calmness must be down below! What rest is here for all my tumult! What a grand, vast nature is this!" Surely, surely, you are on the high seas. Surely, you will not float serenely down the eternities! But by and by there is a kink. You find that, though the line runs off so fast, it does not go down,&mdash;it only floats out. A current has caught it and bears it on horizontally. It does not sink plumb. You have been deceived. Your grand Pacific Ocean is nothing but a shallow little brook, that you can ford all the year round, if it does not utterly<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_613" id="Page_613">[Pg 613]</SPAN></span> dry up in the summer heats, when you want it most; or, at best, it is a fussy little tormenting river, that won't and can't sail a sloop. What are you going to do about it? You are going to wind up your lead and line, shoulder your birch canoe, as the old sea-kings used, and thrid the deep forests, and scale the purple hills, till you come to water again, when you will unroll your lead and line for another essay. Is that fickleness? What else can you do? Must you launch your bark on the unquiet stream, against whose pebbly bottom the keel continually grates and rasps your nerves&mdash;simply that your reputation suffer no detriment? Fickleness? There is no fickleness about it. You were trying an experiment which you had every right to try. As soon as you were satisfied, you stopped. If you had stopped sooner, you would have been unsatisfied. If you had stopped later, you would have been dissatisfied. It is a criminal contempt of the magnificent possibilities of life not to lay hold of "God's occasions floating by." It is an equally criminal perversion of them to cling tenaciously to what was only the <i>simulacrum</i> of an occasion. A man will toil many days and nights among the mountains to find an ingot of gold, which, found, he bears home with infinite pains and just rejoicing; but he would be a fool who should lade his mules with iron-pyrites to justify his labors, however severe.</p> <p>Fickleness! what is it, that we make such an ado about it? And what is constancy, that it commands such usurious interest? The one is a foible only in its relations. The other is only thus a virtue. "Fickle as the winds" is our death-seal upon a man; but should we like our winds unfickle? Would a perpetual northeaster lay us open to perpetual gratitude? or is a soft south gale to be orisoned and vespered forevermore?<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_614" id="Page_614">[Pg 614]</SPAN></span></p> <p>I am tired of this eternal prating of devotion and constancy. It is senseless in itself and harmful in its tendencies. The dictate of reason is to treat men and women as we do oranges. Suck all the juice out and then let them go. Where is the good of keeping the peel and pulp-cells till they get old, dry, and mouldy? Let them go, and they will help feed the earth-worms and bugs and beetles who can hardly find existence a continued banquet, and fertilize the earth, which will have you give before you receive. Thus they will ultimately spring up in new and beautiful shapes. Clung to with constancy, they stain your knife and napkin, impart a bad odor to your dining-room, and degenerate into something that is neither pleasant to the eye nor good for food. I believe in a rotation of crops, morally and socially, as well as agriculturally. When you have taken the measure of a man, when you have sounded him and know that you can not wade in him more than ankle-deep, when you have got out of him all that he has to yield for your soul's sustenance and strength, what is the next thing to be done? Obviously, pass him on; and turn you "to fresh woods and pastures new." Do you work him an injury? By no means. Friends that are simply glued on, and don't grow out of, are little worth. He has nothing more for you, nor you for him; but he may be rich in juices wherewithal to nourish the heart of another man, and their two lives, set together, may have an endosmose and exosmose whose result shall be richness of soil, grandeur of growth, beauty of foliage, and perfectness of fruit, while you and he would only have languished into aridity and a stunted crab-tree.</p> <p>For my part, I desire to sweep off my old friends with the old year, and begin the new with a clean record. It is a measure absolutely necessary. The snake does not<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_615" id="Page_615">[Pg 615]</SPAN></span> put on his new skin over the old one. He sloughs off the first, before he dons the second. He would be a very clumsy serpent, if he did not. One can not have successive layers of friendships any more than the snake has successive layers of skins. One must adopt some system to guard against a congestion of the heart from plethora of loves. I go in for the much-abused, fair-weather, skin-deep, April-shower friends,&mdash;the friends who will drop off, if let alone,&mdash;who must be kept awake to be kept at all,&mdash;who will talk and laugh with you as long as it suits your respective humors and you are prosperous and happy,&mdash;the blessed butterfly-race, who flutter about your June mornings, and when the clouds lower, and the drops patter, and the rains descend, and the winds blow, will spread their gay wings and float gracefully away to sunny, southern lands, where the skies are yet blue and the breezes violet-scented. They are not only agreeable, but deeply wise. So long as a man keeps his streamer flying, his sails set, and his hull above water, it is pleasant to paddle alongside; but when the sails split, the yards crack, and the keel goes staggering down, by all means paddle off. Why should you be submerged in his whirlpool? Will he drown any more easily because you are drowning with him? Lung is lung. He dies from want of air, not from want of sympathy. When a poor fellow sits down among the ashes, the best thing his friends can do is to stand afar off. Job bore the loss of property, children, health, with equanimity. Satan himself found his match there; and for all his buffeting, Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. But Job's three friends must needs make an appointment together to come and mourn with him and to comfort him, and after this Job opened his mouth, and cursed his day,&mdash;and no wonder.</p> <p>Your friends have an intimate knowledge of you that<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_616" id="Page_616">[Pg 616]</SPAN></span> is astonishing to contemplate. It is not that they know your affairs, which he who runs may read, but they know you. From a bit of bone, Cuvier could predicate a whole animal, even to the hide and hair. Such moral naturalists are your dear five hundred friends. It seems to yourself that you are immeasurably reticent. You know, of a certainty, that you project only the smallest possible fragment of yourself. You yield your universality to the bond of common brotherhood; but your individualism&mdash;what it is that makes you you&mdash;withdraws itself naturally, involuntarily, inevitably into the background,&mdash;the dim distance which their eyes can not penetrate. But, from the fraction which you do project, they construct another you, call it by your name, and pass it around for the real, the actual you. You bristle with jest and laughter and wild whims, to keep them at a distance; and they fancy this to be your every-day equipment. They think your life holds constant carnival. It is astonishing what ideas spring up in the heads of sensible people. There are those who assume that a person can never have had any grief, unless somebody has died, or he has been disappointed in love,&mdash;not knowing that every avenue of joy lies open to the tramp of pain. They see the flashing coronet on the queen's brow, and they infer a diamond woman, not recking of the human heart that throbs wildly out of sight. They see the foam-crest on the wave, and picture an Atlantic Ocean of froth, and not the solemn sea that stands below in eternal equipoise. You turn to them the luminous crescent of your life, and they call it the whole round globe; and so they love you with a love that is agate, not pearl, because what they love in you is something infinitely below the highest. They love you level: they have never scaled your heights nor fathomed your depths. And when they talk of you<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_617" id="Page_617">[Pg 617]</SPAN></span> as familiarly as if they had taken out your auricles and ventricles, and turned them inside out, and wrung them, and shaken them,&mdash;when they prate of your transparency and openness, the abandonment with which you draw aside the curtain and reveal the inmost thoughts of your heart,&mdash;you, who are to yourself a miracle and a mystery, you smile inwardly, and are content. They are on the wrong scent, and you may pursue your plans in peace. They are indiscriminate and satisfied. They do not know the relation of what appears to what is. If they chance to skirt along the coasts of your Purple Island, it will be only chance, and they will not know it. You may close your port-holes, lower your drawbridge, and make merry, for they will never come within gunshot of the "round tower of your heart."</p> <p>There is no such thing as knowing a man intimately. Every soul is, for the greater part of its mortal life, isolated from every other. Whether it dwell in the Garden of Eden or the Desert of Sahara, it dwells alone. Not only do we jostle against the street crowd unknowing and unknown, but we go out and come in, we lie down and rise up, with strangers. Jupiter and Neptune sweep the heavens not more unfamiliar to us than the worlds that circle our own hearthstone. Day after day, and year after year a person moves by your side; he sits at the same table; he reads the same books; he kneels in the same church. You know every hair of his head, every trick of his lips, every tone of his voice; you can tell him far off by his gait. Without seeing him, you recognize his step, his knock, his laugh. "Know him? Yes, I have known him these twenty years." No, you don't know him. You know his gait, and hair, and voice. You know what preacher he hears, what ticket he voted, and what were his last year's expenses; but you don't know him.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_618" id="Page_618">[Pg 618]</SPAN></span> He sits quietly in his chair, but he is in the temple. You speak to him; his soul comes out into the vestibule to answer you, and returns,&mdash;and the gates are shut; therein you can not enter. You were discussing the state of the country; but when you ceased, he opened a postern-gate, went down a bank, and launched on a sea over whose waters you have no boat to sail, no star to guide. You have loved and reverenced him. He has been your concrete of truth and nobleness. Unwittingly you touch a secret spring, and a Blue-Beard chamber stands revealed. You give no sign; you meet and part as usual; but a Dead Sea rolls between you two forevermore.</p> <p>It must be so. Not even to the nearest and dearest can one unveil the secret place where his soul abideth, so that there shall be no more any winding ways or hidden chambers; but to your indifferent neighbor, what blind alleys, and deep caverns, and inaccessible mountains! To him who "touches the electric chain wherewith you're darkly bound," your soul sends back an answering thrill. One little window is opened, and there is short parley. Your ships speak each other now and then in welcome, though imperfect communication; but immediately you strike out again into the great, shoreless sea, over which you must sail forever alone. You may shrink from the far-reaching solitudes of your heart, but no other foot than yours can tread them, save those</p> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"That, eighteen hundred years ago, were nailed,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For our advantage, to the bitter cross."<br /></span> </div></div> <p>Be thankful that it is so,&mdash;that only His eye sees whose hand formed. If we could look in, we should be appalled at the vision. The worlds that glide around us are mysteries too high for us. We can not attain to them. The naked soul is a sight too awful for man to look at<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_619" id="Page_619">[Pg 619]</SPAN></span> and live. There are individuals whose topography we would like to know a little better, and there is danger that we crash against each other while roaming around in the dark; but for all that, would we not have the constitution broken up. Somebody says, "In Heaven there will be no secrets," which, it seems to me, would be intolerable. (If that were a revelation from the King of Heaven, of course I would not speak flippantly of it; but though towards Heaven we look with reverence and humble hope, I do not know that Tom, Dick and Harry's notions of it have any special claim to our respect.) Such publicity would destroy all individuality, and undermine the foundations of society. Clairvoyance&mdash;if there be any such thing&mdash;always seemed to me a stupid impertinence. When people pay visits to me, I wish them to come to the front door, and ring the bell, and send up their names. I don't wish them to climb in at the window, or creep through the pantry, or, worst of all, float through the key-hole, and catch me in undress. So I believe that in all worlds thoughts will be the subjects of volition,&mdash;more accurately expressed when expression is desired, but just as entirely suppressed when we will suppression.</p> <p>After all, perhaps the chief trouble arises from a prevalent confusion of ideas as to what constitutes a man your friend. Friendship may stand for that peaceful complacence which you feel towards all well-behaved people who wear clean collars and use tolerable grammar. This is a very good meaning, if everybody will subscribe to it. But sundry of these well-behaved people will mistake your civility and complacence for a recognition of special affinity, and proceed at once to frame an alliance offensive and defensive while the sun and the moon shall endure. O, the barnacles that cling to your keel in such waters! The<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_620" id="Page_620">[Pg 620]</SPAN></span> inevitable result is, that they win your intense rancor. You would feel a genial kindliness toward them, if they would be satisfied with that; but they lay out to be your specialty. They infer your innocent little inch to be the standard-bearer of twenty ells, and goad you to frenzy. I mean you, you desperate little horror, who nearly dethroned my reason six years ago! I always meant to have my revenge, and here I impale you before the public. For three months, you fastened yourself upon me, and I could not shake you off. What availed it me, that you were an honest and excellent man? Did I not, twenty times a day, wish you had been a villain, who had insulted me, and I a Kentucky giant, that I might have the unspeakable satisfaction of knocking you down? But you added to your crimes virtue. Villainy had no part or lot in you. You were a member of a church, in good and regular standing; you had graduated with all the honors worth mentioning; you had not a sin, a vice, or a fault that I knew of; and you were so thoroughly good and repulsive that you were a great grief to me. Do you think, you dear, disinterested wretch, that I have forgotten how you were continually putting yourself to horrible inconveniences on my account? Do you think I am not now filled with remorse for the aversion that rooted itself ineradicably in my soul, and which now gloats over you, as you stand in the pillory where my own hands have fastened you? But can nature be crushed forever? Did I not ruin my nerves, and seriously injure my temper, by the overpowering pressure I laid upon them to keep them quiet when you were by? Could I not, by the sense of coming ill through all my quivering frame, presage your advent as exactly as the barometer heralds the approaching storm? Those three months of agony are little atoned for by this late vengeance; but go in peace!<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_621" id="Page_621">[Pg 621]</SPAN></span></p> <p>Mysterious are the ways of friendship. It is not a matter of reason or of choice, but of magnetisms. You can not always give the premises nor the argument, but the conclusion is a palpable and stubborn fact. Abana and Pharpar may be broad, and deep, and blue, and grand; but only in Jordan shall your soul wash and be clean. A thousand brooks are born of the sunshine and the mountains: very, very few are they whose flow can mingle with yours, and not disturb, but only deepen and broaden the current.</p> <p>Your friend! Who shall describe him, or worthily paint what he is to you? No merchant, nor lawyer, nor farmer, nor statesman claims your suffrage, but a kingly soul. He comes to you from God,&mdash;a prophet, a seer, a revealer. He has a clear vision. His love is reverence. He goes into the <i>penetralia</i> of your life,&mdash;not presumptuously, but with uncovered head, unsandaled feet, and pours libations at the innermost shrine. His incense is grateful. For him the sunlight brightens, the skies grow rosy, and all the days are Junes. Wrapped in his love, you float in a delicious rest, rocked in the bosom of purple, scented waves. Nameless melodies sing themselves through your heart. A golden glow suffices your atmosphere. A vague, fine ecstasy thrills to the sources of life, and earth lays hold on Heaven. Such friendship is worship. It elevates the most trifling services into rites. The humblest offices are sanctified. All things are baptized into a new name. Duty is lost in joy. Care veils itself in caresses. Drudgery becomes delight. There is no longer anything menial, small, or servile. All is transformed</p> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Into something rich and strange."<br /></span> </div></div> <p>The homely household-ways lead through beds of spices<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_622" id="Page_622">[Pg 622]</SPAN></span> and orchards of pomegranates. The daily toil among your parsnips and carrots is plucking May violets with the dew upon them to meet the eyes you love upon their first awaking. In the burden and heat of the day you hear the rustling of summer showers and the whispering of summer winds. Everything is lifted up from the plane of labor to the plane of love, and a glory spans your life. With your friend, speech and silence are one; for a communion mysterious and intangible reaches across from heart to heart. The many dig and delve in your nature with fruitless toil to find the spring of living water: he only raises his wand, and, obedient to the hidden power, it bends at once to your secret. Your friendship, though independent of language, gives to it life and light. The mystic spirit stirs even in commonplaces, and the merest question is an endearment. You are quiet because your heart is over-full. You talk because it is pleasant, not because you have anything to say. You weary of terms that are already love-laden, and you go out into the highways and hedges, and gather up the rough, wild, wilful words, heavy with the hatreds of men, and fill them to the brim with honey-dew. All things great and small, grand or humble, you press into your service, force them to do soldier's duty, and your banner over them is love.</p> <p>With such a friendship, presence alone is happiness; nor is absence wholly void,&mdash;for memories, and hopes, and pleasing fancies, sparkle through the hours, and you know the sunshine will come back.</p> <p>For such friendship one is grateful. No matter that it comes unsought, and comes not for the seeking. You do not discuss the reasonableness of your gratitude. You only know that your whole being bows with humility and utter thankfulness to him who thus crowns you monarch of all realms.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_623" id="Page_623">[Pg 623]</SPAN></span></p> <p>And the kingdom is everlasting. A weak love dies weakly with the occasion that gave it birth; but such friendship is born of the gods, and immortal. Clouds and darkness may sweep around it, but within the cloud the glory lives undimmed. Death has no power over it. Time can not diminish, nor even dishonor annul it. Its direction may have been earthly, but itself is divine. You go back into your solitudes: all is silent as aforetime, but you can not forget that a Voice once resounded there. A Presence filled the valleys and gilded the mountain-tops,&mdash;breathed upon the plains, and they sprang up in lilies and roses,&mdash;flashed upon the waters, and they flowed to spheral melody,&mdash;swept through the forests, and they, too, trembled into song. And though now the warmth has faded out, though the ruddy tints and amber clearness have paled to ashen hues, though the murmuring melodies are dead, and forest, vale, and hill look hard and angular in the sharp air, you know that it is not death. The fire is unquenched beneath. You go your way not disconsolate. There needs but the Victorious Voice. At the touch of the prince's lips, life shall rise again and be perfected forevermore.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_624" id="Page_624">[Pg 624]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="PONCHUS_PILUT" id="PONCHUS_PILUT"></SPAN>PONCHUS PILUT</h2> <h3>BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Ponchus Pilut <i>used</i> to be<br /></span> <span class="i0">1st a <i>Slave</i>, an' now he's <i>free</i>.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Slaves wuz on'y ist before<br /></span> <span class="i0">The War wuz&mdash;an' <i>ain't</i> no more.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">He works on our place fer us,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' comes here&mdash;<i>sometimes</i> he does.<br /></span> <span class="i0">He shocks corn an' shucks it.&mdash;An'<br /></span> <span class="i0">He makes hominy "by han'!"&mdash;<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Wunst he bringed us some, one trip,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Tied up in a piller-slip:<br /></span> <span class="i0">Pa says, when Ma cooked it, "MY!<br /></span> <span class="i0">This-here's gooder'n you <i>buy</i>!"<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Ponchus <i>pats</i> fer me an' sings;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' he says most <i>funny</i> things!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Ponchus calls a dish a "<i>deesh</i>"&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Yes, an' <i>he</i> calls fishes "<i>feesh</i>"!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">When Ma want him eat wiv us<br /></span> <span class="i0">He says, "'Skuse me&mdash;'deed you mus'!&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Ponchus know good manners, Miss.&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">He aint eat wher' White-folks is!"<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_625" id="Page_625">[Pg 625]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">'Lindy takes <i>his</i> dinner out<br /></span> <span class="i0">Wher' he's workin'&mdash;roun' about.&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Wunst he et his dinner, spread<br /></span> <span class="i0">In our ole wheel-borry-bed.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0"><i>Ponchus Pilut</i> says "<i>'at's</i> not<br /></span> <span class="i0">His <i>right</i> name,&mdash;an' done fergot<br /></span> <span class="i0">What his <i>sho'-nuff</i> name is now&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' don' matter none <i>no</i>how!"<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Yes, an' Ponchus he'ps Pa, too,<br /></span> <span class="i0">When our <i>butcherin's</i> to do,<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' scalds hogs&mdash;an' says "Take care<br /></span> <span class="i0">'Bout it, er you'll <i>set the hair</i>!"<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Yes, an' out in our back-yard<br /></span> <span class="i0">He he'ps 'Lindy rendur lard;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An', wite in the fire there, he<br /></span> <span class="i0">Roast' a pig-tail wunst fer me.&mdash;<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">An' ist nen th'ole tavurn-bell<br /></span> <span class="i0">Rung, down town, an' he says "Well!&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Hear dat! <i>Lan' o' Canaan</i>, Son,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Aint dat bell say '<i>Pig-tail done!</i>'<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i2">&mdash;'<i>Pig-tail done!</i><br /></span> <span class="i4"><i>Go call Son!&mdash;</i><br /></span> <span class="i6"><i>Tell dat</i><br /></span> <span class="i6"><i>Chile dat</i><br /></span> <span class="i4"><i>Pig-tail done!</i>'"<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_626" id="Page_626">[Pg 626]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_WOLF_AT_SUSANS_DOOR" id="THE_WOLF_AT_SUSANS_DOOR"></SPAN>THE WOLF AT SUSAN'S DOOR</h2> <h3>BY ANNE WARNER</h3> <p>"Well, Lucy has got Hiram!"</p> <p>There was such a strong inflection of triumphant joy in Miss Clegg's voice as she called the momentous news to her friend that it would have been at once&mdash;and most truthfully&mdash;surmised that the getting of Hiram had been a more than slight labor.</p> <p>Mrs. Lathrop was waiting by the fence, impatience written with a wandering reflection all over the serenity of her every-day expression. Susan only waited to lay aside her bonnet and mitts and then hastened to the fence herself.</p> <p>"Mrs. Lathrop, you never saw nor heard the like of this weddin' day in all your own days to be or to come, and I don't suppose there ever will be anything like it again, for Lucy Dill didn't cut no figger in her own weddin' a-<i>tall</i>,&mdash;the whole thing was Gran'ma Mullins first, last and forever hereafter. I tell you it looked once or twice as if it wouldn't be a earthly possibility to marry Hiram away from his mother, and now that it's all over people can't do anything but say as after all Lucy ought to consider herself very lucky as things turned out, for if things hadn't turned out as they did turn out I don't believe anything on earth could have unhooked that son, and I'm willin' to swear that anywhere to any one.</p> <p>"Do you know, Mrs. Lathrop, that Gran'ma Mullins was so bad off last night as they had to put a mustard plaster onto her while Hiram went to see Lucy for the<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_627" id="Page_627">[Pg 627]</SPAN></span> last time, an' Mrs. Macy says as she never hear the beat o' her memory, for she says she'll take her Bible oath as Gran'ma Mullins told her what Hiram said and done every minute o' his life while he was gone to see Lucy Dill. And she cried, too, and took on the whole time she was talkin' an' said Heaven help her, for nobody else could, an' she just knowed Lucy'd get tired o' Hiram's story an' he can't be happy a whole day without he tells it, an' she's most sure Lucy won't like his singin' 'Marchin' Through Georgia' after the first month or two, an' it's the only tune as Hiram has ever really took to. Mrs. Macy says she soon found she couldn't do nothin' to stem the tide except to drink tea an' listen, so she drank an' listened till Hiram come home about eleven. Oh, my, but she says they had the time then! Gran'ma Mullins let him in herself, and just as soon as he was in she bu'st into floods of tears an' wouldn't let him loose under no consideration. She says Hiram managed to get his back to the wall for a brace 'cause Gran'ma Mullins nigh to upset him every fresh time as Lucy come over her, an' Mrs. Macy says she couldn't but wonder what the end was goin' to be when, toward midnight, Hiram just lost patience and dodged out under her arm and run up the ladder to the roof-room an' they couldn't get him to come down again. She says when Gran'ma Mullins realized as he wouldn't come down she most went mad over the notion of her only son's spendin' the Christmas Eve to his own weddin' sleepin' on the floor o' the attic and she wanted to poke the cot up to him but Mrs. Macy says she drew the line at cot-pokin' when the cot was all she'd have to sleep on herself, and in the end they poked quilts up, an' pillows an' doughnuts an' cider an' blankets, an' Hiram made a bed on the floor an' they all got to sleep about three o'clock.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_628" id="Page_628">[Pg 628]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"Well, Mrs. Lathrop, what do you think? What <i>do</i> you think? They was so awful tired that none of 'em woke till Mrs. Sperrit come at eleven next day to take 'em to the weddin'! Mrs. Macy says she hopes she'll be put forward all her back-slidin's if she ever gets such a start again. She says when she peeked out between the blinds an' see Mrs. Sperrit's Sunday bonnet an' realized her own state she nearly had a fit. Mrs. Sperrit had to come in an' be explained to, an' the worst of it was as Hiram couldn't be woke nohow. He'd pulled the ladder up after him an' put the lid on the hole so's to feel safe, an' there he was snug as a bug in a rug an' where no human bein' could get at him. They hollered an' banged doors an' sharpened the carvin' knife an' poured grease on the stove an' did anything they could think of, but he never budged. Mrs. Macy says she never was so close beside herself in all her life before, for Gran'ma Mullins cried worse 'n ever each minute an' Hiram seemed like the very dead couldn't wake him.</p> <p>"They was all hoppin' around half crazy when Mr. Sperrit come along on his way to the weddin' an' his wife run out an' told him what was the matter an' he come right in an' looked up at the matter. It didn't take long for him to unsettle Hiram, Mrs. Macy says. He got a sulphur candle an' tied it to a stick an' h'isted the lid with another stick, an' in less 'n two minutes they could all hear Hiram sneezin' an' comin' to. An' Mrs. Macy says when they hollered what time it was she wishes the whole town might have been there to see Hiram Mullins come down to earth. Mr. Sperrit didn't hardly have time to get out o' the way an' he didn't give his mother no show for one single grab,&mdash;he just bounced into his room and you could have heard him gettin' dressed on the far side o' the far bridge.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_629" id="Page_629">[Pg 629]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"O' course, us at Lucy's didn't know anythin' a-<i>tall</i> about Mrs. Macy's troubles. We had our own, Heaven help us, an' they was enough, for the very first thing of all Mr. Dill caught his pocket on the corner of Mrs. Dill an' come within a ace of pullin' her off her easel. That would have been a pretty beginnin' to Lucy's weddin' day if her father had smashed her mother to bits, I guess, but it couldn't have made Lucy any worse; for I will say, Mrs. Lathrop, as I never see no one in all my born life act foolisher than Lucy Dill this day. First she'd laugh an' then she'd cry an' then she'd lose suthin' as we'd got to have to work with. An' when it come to dressin' her!&mdash;well, if she'd known as Hiram was sleepin' a sleep as next to knowed no wakin' she couldn't have put on more things wrong side out an' hind side before! She wasn't dressed till most every one was there an' I was gettin' pretty anxious, for Hiram wasn't there neither, an' the more fidgety people got the more they caught their corners on Mrs. Dill. I just saved her from Mr. Kimball, an' Amelia saw her goin' as a result o' Judge Fitch an' hardly had time for a jump. The minister himself was beginnin' to cough when, all of a sudden, some one cried as the Sperrits was there.</p> <p>"Well, we all squeezed to the window, an' such a sight you never saw. They was gettin' Gran'ma Mullins out an' Hiram was tryin' to keep her from runnin' the color of his cravat all down his shirt while she was sobbin' 'Hi-i-i-i-ram, Hi-i-i-i-i-ram,' in a voice as would wring your very heart dry. They got her out an' got her in an' got her upstairs, an' we all sat down an' begin to get ready while Amelia played 'Lead, Kindly Light' and 'The Joyous Farmer' alternate, 'cause she'd mislaid her Weddin' March.</p> <p>"Well, Mrs. Lathrop, you never knowed nothin' like<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_630" id="Page_630">[Pg 630]</SPAN></span> it!&mdash;we waited, <i>an'</i> we waited, <i>an'</i> we waited, an' the minister most coughed himself into consumption, an' Mrs. Dill got caught on so often that Mr. Kimball told Ed to stand back of her an' hold her to the easel every minute. Amelia was just beginning over again for the seventeenth time when at last we heard 'em bumpin' along downstairs. Seems as all the delay come from Lucy's idea o' wantin' to walk with her father an' have a weddin' procession, instid o' her an' Hiram comin' in together like Christians an' lettin' Mr. Dill hold Gran'ma Mullins up anywhere. Polly says she never see such a time as they had of it; she says fightin' wolves was layin' lambs beside the way they talked. Hiram said frank an' open as the reason he didn't want to walk in with his mother was he was sure she wouldn't let him out to get married, but Lucy was dead set on the procession idea. So in the end they done it so, an' Gran'ma Mullins's sobs fairly shook the house as they come through the dinin'-room door. Lucy was first with her father an' they both had their heads turned backward lookin' at Hiram an' his mother.</p> <p>"Well, Mrs. Lathrop, it was certainly a sight worth seem'! The way that Gran'ma Mullins was glued on! All I can say is as octopuses has got their backs turned in comparison to the way that Hiram seemed to be all wrapped up in her. It looked like wild horses, not to speak of Lucy Dill, wouldn't never be able to get him loose enough to marry him. The minister was scared; we was all scared. I never see a worse situation to be in.</p> <p>"They come along through the back parlor, Lucy lookin' back, Mr. Dill white as a sheet, an' Hiram walkin' like a snow-plough as isn't sure how long it can keep on makin' it. It seemed like a month as they was under way before they finally got stopped in front o' the minister. An' then come <i>the</i> time! Hiram had to step beside Lucy<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_631" id="Page_631">[Pg 631]</SPAN></span> an' take her hand an' he couldn't! We all just gasped. There was Hiram tryin' to get loose and Mr. Dill tryin' to help him. Gran'ma Mullins's tears dripped till you could hear 'em, but she hung on to Hiram like he'd paid for it. They worked like Trojan beavers, but as fast as they'd get one side of him uncovered she'd take a fresh wind-round. I tell you, we all just held our breath, and I bet Lucy was sorry she persisted in havin' a procession when she see the perspiration runnin' off her father an' Hiram.</p> <p>"Finally Polly got frightened and begun to cry, an' at that the deacon put his arm around her an' give her a hug, an' Gran'ma Mullins looked up just in time to see the arm an' the hug. It seemed like it was the last hay in the donkey, for she give a weak screech an' went right over on Mr. Dill. She had such a grip on Hiram that if it hadn't been for Lucy he'd have gone over, too, but Lucy just hung on herself that time, an' Hiram was rescued without nothin' worse than his hair mussed an' one sleeve a little tore. Mr. Sperrit an' Mr. Jilkins carried Gran'ma Mullins into the dinin'-room, an' I said to just leave her fainted till after we'd got Hiram well an' truly married; so they did.</p> <p>"I never see the minister rattle nothin' through like that marriage-service. Every one was on whole papers of pins an' needles, an' the minute it was over every one just felt like sittin' right straight down.</p> <p>"Mrs. Macy an' me went up an' watered Gran'ma Mullins till we brought her to, and when she learned as it was all done she picked up wonderful and felt as hungry as any one, an' come downstairs an' kissed Lucy an' caught a corner on Mrs. Dill just like she'd never been no trouble to no one from first to last. I never seen such a sudden change in all my life; it was like some miracle had come<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_632" id="Page_632">[Pg 632]</SPAN></span> out all over her and there wasn't no one there as wasn't rejoiced to death over the change.</p> <p>"We all went out in the dinin'-room and the sun shone in and every one laughed over nothin' a-<i>tall</i>. Mrs. Sperrit pinned Hiram up from inside so his tear didn't show, and Lucy and he set side by side and looked like no one was ever goin' to ever be married again. Polly an' the deacon set opposite and the minister an' his wife an' Mr. Dill an' Gran'ma Mullins made up the table. The rest stood around, and we was all as lively as words can tell. The cake was one o' the handsomest as I ever see, two pigeons peckin' a bell on top and Hiram an' Lucy runnin' around below in pink. There was a dime inside an' a ring, an' I got the dime, an' they must have forgot to put in the ring for no one got it."</p> <p>Susan paused and panted.</p> <p>"It was&mdash;" commented Mrs. Lathrop, thoughtfully.</p> <p>"Nice that I got the dime?&mdash;yes, I should say. There certainly wasn't no one there as needed it worse, an', although I'd never be one to call a dime a fortune, still it <i>is</i> a dime, an' no one can't deny it the honor, no matter how they feel. But, Mrs. Lathrop, what you'd ought to have seen was Hiram and Lucy ready to go off. I bet no one knows they're brides&mdash;I bet no one knows <i>what</i> they are,&mdash;you never saw the like in all your worst dreams. Hiram wore spectacles an' carpet-slippers an' that old umbrella as Mr. Shores keeps at the store to keep from bein' stole, and Lucy wore clothes she'd found in trunks an' her hair in curl-papers, an' her cold-cream gloves. They certainly was a sight, an' Gran'ma Mullins laughed as hard as any one over them. Mr. Sperrit drove 'em to the train, an' Hiram says he's goin' to spend two dollars a day right along till he comes back; so I guess Lucy'll have a good time for once in her life. An' Gran'ma Mullins walked<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_633" id="Page_633">[Pg 633]</SPAN></span> back with me an' not one word o' Hiram did she speak. She was all Polly an' the deacon. She said it wa'n't in reason as Polly could imagine him with hair, an' she said she was thinkin' very seriously o' givin' her a piece o' his hair as she's got, for a weddin' present. She said Polly 'd never know what he was like the night he give her that hair. She said the moon was shinin' an' the frogs were croakin', an' she kind o' choked; she says she can't smell a marsh to this day without seein' the deacon givin' her that piece of hair. I cheered her up all I could&mdash;I told her anyhow he couldn't give Polly a piece of his hair if he died for it. She smiled a weak smile an' went on up to Mrs. Brown's. Mrs. Brown asked her to stay with her a day or two. Mrs. Brown has her faults, but nobody can't deny as she's got a good heart,&mdash;in fact, sometimes I think Mrs. Brown's good heart is about the worst fault she's got. I've knowed it lead her to do very foolish things time an' again&mdash;things as I thank my star I'd never think o' doin'&mdash;not in this world."</p> <p>Mrs. Lathrop shifted her elbows a little; Susan withdrew at once from the fence.</p> <p>"I must go in," she said, "to-morrow is goin' to be a more 'n full day. There's Polly's weddin' an' then in the evenin' Mr. Weskin is comin' up. You needn't look surprised, Mrs. Lathrop, because I've thought the subject over up an' down an' hind end foremost an' there ain't nothin' left for me to do. I can't sell nothin' else an' I've got to have money, so I'm goin' to let go of one of those bonds as father left me. There ain't no way out of it; I told Mr. Weskin I'd expect him at sharp eight on sharp business an' he'll come. An' I must go as a consequence. Good night."</p> <hr style='width: 45%;' /> <p>Polly Allen's wedding took place the next day, and<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_634" id="Page_634">[Pg 634]</SPAN></span> Mrs. Lathrop came out on her front piazza about half past five to wait for her share in the event.</p> <p>The sight of Mrs. Brown going by with her head bound up in a white cloth, accompanied by Gran'ma Mullins with both hands similarly treated, was the first inkling the stay-at-home had that strange doings had been lately done.</p> <p>Susan came next and Susan was a sight!</p> <p>Not only did her ears stand up with a size and conspicuousness never inherited from either her father or her mother, but also her right eye was completely closed and she walked lame.</p> <p>"The Lord have mercy!" cried Mrs. Lathrop, when the full force of her friend's affliction effected its complete entrance into her brain,&mdash;"Why, Susan, what&mdash;"</p> <p>"Mrs. Lathrop," said Miss Clegg, "all I can say is I come out better than the most of 'em, an' if you could see Sam Duruy or Mr. Kimball or the minister you'd know I spoke the truth. The deacon an' Polly is both in bed an' can't see how each other looks, an' them as has a eye is goin' to tend them as can't see at all, an' God help 'em all if young Dr. Brown an' the mud run dry!" with which pious ejaculation Susan painfully mounted the steps and sat down with exceeding gentleness upon a chair.</p> <p>Mrs. Lathrop stared at her in dumb and wholly bewildered amazement. After a while Miss Clegg continued.</p> <p>"It was all the deacon's fault. Him an' Polly was so dead set on bein' fashionable an' bein' a contrast to Hiram an' Lucy, an' I hope to-night as they lay there all puffed up as they'll reflect on their folly an' think a little on how the rest of us as didn't care rhyme or reason for folly is got no choice but to puff up, too. Mrs. Jilkins is awful mad; she says Mr. Jilkins wanted to wear his<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_635" id="Page_635">[Pg 635]</SPAN></span> straw hat anyhow and, she says she always has hated his silk hat 'cause it reminds her o' when she was young and foolish enough to be willin' to go and marry into a family as was foolish enough to marry into Deacon White. Mrs. Jilkins is extra hot because she got one in the neck, but my own idea is as Polly Allen's weddin' was the silliest doin's as I ever see from the beginnin', an' the end wan't no more than might o' been expected&mdash;all things considered.</p> <p>"When I got to the church, what do you think was the first thing as I see, Mrs. Lathrop? Well, you'd never guess till kingdom come, so I may as well tell you. It was Ed an' Sam Duruy an' Henry Ward Beecher an' Johnny standin' there waitin' to show us to our pews like we didn't know our own pews after sittin' in 'em for all our life-times! I just shook my head an' walked to my pew, an' there, if it wasn't looped shut with a daisy-chain! Well, Mrs. Lathrop, I wish you could have been there to have felt for me, for I may remark as a cyclone is a caterpillar wove up in hisself beside my face when I see myself daisy-chained out o' my own pew by Polly Allen. Ed was behind me an' he whispered 'That's reserved for the family.' I give him one look an' I will state, Mrs. Lathrop, as he wilted. It didn't take me long to break that daisy-chain an' sit down in that pew, an' I can assure you as no one asked me to get up again. Mrs. Jilkins's cousins from Meadville come an' looked at me sittin' there, but I give them jus' one look back an' they went an' sat with Mrs. Macy themselves. A good many other folks was as surprised as me over where they had to sit, but we soon had other surprises as took the taste o' the first clean out o' our mouths.</p> <p>"Just as Mrs. Davison begin to play the organ, Ed an' Johnny come down with two clothes-lines wound<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_636" id="Page_636">[Pg 636]</SPAN></span> 'round with clematis an' tied us all in where we sat. Then they went back an' we all stayed still an' couldn't but wonder what under the sun was to be done to us next. But we didn't have long to wait, an' I will say as anythin' to beat Polly's ideas I never see&mdash;no&mdash;nor no one else neither.</p> <p>"'Long down the aisle, two an' two, an' hand in hand, like they thought they was suthin' pretty to look at, come Ed an' Johnny an' Henry Ward Beecher an' Sam Duruy, an' I vow an' declare, Mrs. Lathrop, I never was so nigh to laughin' in church in all my life. They knowed they was funny, too, an' their mouths an' eyes was tight set sober, but some one in the back just <i>had</i> to giggle, an' when we heard it we knew as things as wasn't much any other day would use us up this day, sure. They stopped in front an' lined up, two on a side, an' then, for all the world like it was a machine-play, the little door opened an' out come the minister an' solemnly walked down to between them. I must say we was all more than a little disappointed at its only bein' the minister, an' he must have felt our feelin's, for he began to cough an' clear up his throat an' his little desk all at once. Then Mrs. Davison jerked out the loud stop an' began to play for all she was worth, an' the door behind banged an' every one turned aroun' to see.</p> <p>"Well, Mrs. Lathrop, we saw,&mdash;an' I will in truth remark as such a sawin' we'll never probably get a chance to do again! Mrs. Sweet says they practised it over four times at the church, so they can't deny as they meant it all, an' you might lay me crossways an' cut me into chipped beef an' still I would declare as I wouldn't have the face to own to havin' had any hand in plannin' any such weddin'.</p> <p>"First come 'Liza Em'ly an' Rachel Rebecca hand in<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_637" id="Page_637">[Pg 637]</SPAN></span> hand carryin' daisies&mdash;of all things in the world to take to a weddin'&mdash;an' then come Brunhilde Susan, with a daisy-chain around her neck an' her belt stuck full o' daisies an'&mdash;you can believe me or not, jus' as you please, Mrs. Lathrop, an' still it won't help matters any&mdash;an' a daisy stuck in every button down her back, an' daisies tangled up in her hair, an' a bunch o' daisies under one arm.</p> <p>"Well, we was nigh to overcome by Brunhilde Susan, but we drawed some fresh breath an' kept on lookin', an' next come Polly an' Mr. Allen. I will say for Mr. Allen as he seemed to feel the ridiculousness of it all, for a redder man I never see, nor one as looked more uncomfortable. He was daisied, too&mdash;had three in his button-hole;&mdash;but what took us all was the way him an' Polly walked. I bet no people gettin' married ever zig-zagged like that before, an' Mrs. Sweet says they practised it by countin' two an' then swingin' out to one side, an' then countin' two an' swingin' out to the other&mdash;she watched 'em out of her attic window down through the broke blind to the church. Well, all I can say is, that to my order o' thinkin' countin' an' swingin' is a pretty frame o' mind to get a husband in, but so it was, an' we was all starin' our eyes off to beat the band when the little door opened an', to crown everythin' else, out come the deacon an' Mr. Jilkins, each with a daisy an' a silk hat, an' I will remark, Mrs. Lathrop, as new-born kittens is blood-red murderers compared to how innocent that hat o' Mr. Jilkins' looked. Any one could see as it wasn't new, but he wasn't new either, as far as that goes, an' that was what struck me in particular about the whole thing&mdash;nothin' an' nobody wasn't any different only for Polly's foolishness and the daisies.</p> <p>"Well, they sorted out an' begun to get married, an'<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_638" id="Page_638">[Pg 638]</SPAN></span> us all sittin' lookin' on an' no more guessin' what was comin' next than a ant looks for a mornin' paper. The minister was gettin' most through an' the deacon was gettin' out the ring, an' we was lookin' to get up an' out pretty quick, when&mdash;my heavens alive, Mrs. Lathrop, I never will forget that minute&mdash;when Mr. Jilkins&mdash;poor man, he's sufferin' enough for it, Lord knows!&mdash;when Mr. Jilkins dropped his hat!</p> <p>"That very next second him an' Ed an' Brunhilde Susan all hopped an' yelled at once, an' the next thing we see was the minister droppin' his book an' grabbin' his arm an' the deacon tryin' madly to do hisself up in Polly's veil. We would 'a' all been glum petrified at such goin's on any other day, only by that time the last one of us was feelin' to hop and grab an' yell on his own account. Gran'ma Mullins was tryin' to slap herself with the seat cushion, an' the way the daisies flew as folks went over an' under that clematis rope was a caution. I got out as quick as I&mdash;"</p> <p>"But what&mdash;" interrupted Mrs. Lathrop, her eyes fairly marble-like in their redundant curiosity.</p> <p>"It was wasps!" said Susan, "it was a young wasps' nest in Mr. Jilkins's hat. Seems they carried their hats to church in their hands 'cause Polly didn't want no red rings around 'em, an' so he never suspected nothin' till he dropped it. An' oh, poor little Brunhilde Susan in them short skirts of hers&mdash;she might as well have wore a bee hive as to be like she is now. I got off easy, an' you can look at me an' figure on what them as got it hard has got on them. Young Dr. Brown went right to work with mud an' Polly's veil an' plastered 'em over as fast as they could get into Mrs. Sweet's. Mrs. Sweet was mighty obligin' an' turned two flower-beds inside out an' let every one scoop with her kitchen spoons, besides run<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_639" id="Page_639">[Pg 639]</SPAN></span>nin' aroun' herself like she was a slave gettin' paid. They took the deacon an' Polly right to their own house. They can't see one another anyhow, an' they was most all married anyway, so it didn't seem worth while to wait till the minister gets the use of his upper lip again."</p> <p>"Why&mdash;" interrogated Mrs. Lathrop.</p> <p>"Young Dr. Brown wanted to," said Susan, "he wanted to fill my ears with mud, an' my eye, too, but I didn't feel to have it done. You can't die o' wasps' bills, an' you can o' young Dr. Brown's&mdash;leastways when you ain't got no money to pay 'em, like I ain't got just at present."</p> <p>"It's&mdash;" said Mrs. Lathrop.</p> <p>"Yes," said Susan, "it struck me that way, too. This seems to be a very unlucky town. Anything as comes seems to catch us all in a bunch. The cow most lamed the whole community an' the automobile most broke its back; time'll tell what'll be the result o' these wasps, but there won't be no church Sunday for one thing, I know.</p> <p>"An' it ain't the least o' my woes, Mrs. Lathrop, to think as I've got to sit an' smile on Mr. Weskin to-night from between two such ears as I've got, for a man is a man, an' it can't be denied as a woman as is mainly ears ain't beguilin'. Besides, I may in confidence state to you, Mrs. Lathrop, as the one as buzzed aroun' my head wan't really no wasp a-<i>tall</i> in comparison to the one as got under my skirts."</p> <p>Mrs. Lathrop's eyes were full of sincere condolence; she did not even imagine a smile as she gazed upon her afflicted friend.</p> <p>"I must go," said the latter, rising with a groan, "seems like I never will reach the bottom o' my troubles this year. I keep thinkin' there's nothin' left an' then I<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_640" id="Page_640">[Pg 640]</SPAN></span> get a wasp at each end at once. Well, I'll come over when Mr. Weskin goes&mdash;if I have strength."</p> <p>Then she limped home.</p> <hr style='width: 45%;' /> <p>It was about nine that night that she returned and pounded vigorously on her friend's window-pane. Mrs. Lathrop woke from her rocker-nap, went to the window and opened it. Susan stood below and the moon illuminated her smile and her ears with its most silvery beams.</p> <p>"He's just gone!" she announced.</p> <p>"Yes," said Mrs. Lathrop, rubbing her eyes.</p> <p>"He's gone; I come over to tell you."</p> <p>"What&mdash;" said Mrs. Lathrop.</p> <p>"I wouldn't care if my ears was as big as a elephant's now."</p> <p>"Why&mdash;" asked Mrs. Lathrop.</p> <p>"Mrs. Lathrop, you know as I took them bonds straight after father died an' locked 'em up an' I ain't never unlocked 'em since?"</p> <p>Mrs. Lathrop assented with a single rapt nod.</p> <p>"Well, when I explained to Mr. Weskin as I'd got to have money an' how was the best way to sell a bond, he just looked at me, an' what do you think he said&mdash;what <i>do</i> you think he said, Mrs. Lathrop?"</p> <p>Mrs. Lathrop hung far out over the window-sill&mdash;her gaze was the gaze of the ever earnest and interested.</p> <p>Susan stood below. Her face was aglow with the joy of the affluent&mdash;her very voice might have been for once entitled as silvery.</p> <p>"He said, Mrs. Lathrop, he said, 'Miss Clegg, why don't you go down to the bank and cut your coupons?'"<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_641" id="Page_641">[Pg 641]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_TWO_PRISONERS" id="THE_TWO_PRISONERS"></SPAN>THE TWO PRISONERS</h2> <h3>BY CAROLYN WELLS</h3> <p>Once upon a time there were two Prisoners at the bar, who endeavored to plead for themselves with Tact and Wisdom.</p> <p>One concealed certain Facts prejudicial to his Cause; upon which the Judge said: "If you had Confessed the Truth it would have Biased me in your Favor; as it is, I Condemn you to Punishment."</p> <p>The other stated his Case with absolute Truth and Sincerity, concealing Nothing; and the result was that he was Condemned for his Misdemeanors.</p> <h3>MORALS:</h3> <p>This Fable teaches that Honesty is the Best Policy, and that the Truth should not Be spoken at All Times.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_642" id="Page_642">[Pg 642]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="A_MODERN_ADVANTAGE" id="A_MODERN_ADVANTAGE"></SPAN>A MODERN ADVANTAGE</h2> <h3>BY CHARLOTTE BECKER</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">One morning, when the sun shone bright<br /></span> <span class="i2">And all the earth was fair,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I met a little city child,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Whose ravings rent the air.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"I lucidly can penetrate<br /></span> <span class="i2">The Which," I heard him say,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">"The How is, wonderfully, come<br /></span> <span class="i2">To clear the limpid way.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"The sentence, rarely, rose and fell<br /></span> <span class="i2">From ceiling to the floor;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Her words were spotlessly arranged,<br /></span> <span class="i2">She gave me, strangely, more."<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"What troubles you, my little man?"<br /></span> <span class="i2">I dared to ask him then,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">He fixed me with a subtle stare,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And said, "Most clearly, when<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"You see I'm occupied, it's rude<br /></span> <span class="i2">To question of my aims&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm going to the adverb school<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of Mr. Henry James!"<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_643" id="Page_643">[Pg 643]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_RAGGEDY_MAN" id="THE_RAGGEDY_MAN"></SPAN>THE RAGGEDY MAN</h2> <h3>BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">O the Raggedy Man! He works fer Pa;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' he's the goodest man ever you saw!<br /></span> <span class="i0">He comes to our house every day,<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' waters the horses, an' feeds 'em hay;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' he opens the shed&mdash;an' we all ist laugh<br /></span> <span class="i0">When he drives out our little old wobble-ly calf;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' nen&mdash;ef our hired girl says he can&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">He milks the cow fer 'Lizabuth Ann.&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Aint he a' awful good Raggedy Man?<br /></span> <span class="i4">Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i2">W'y, The Raggedy Man&mdash;he's ist so good<br /></span> <span class="i0">He splits the kindlin' an' chops the wood;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' nen he spades in our garden, too,<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' does most things 'at <i>boys</i> can't do!&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">He clumbed clean up in our big tree<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' shooked a' apple down fer me&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' nother'n, too, fer 'Lizabuth Ann&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' nother'n, too, fer The Raggedy Man.&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Aint he a' awful kind Raggedy Man?<br /></span> <span class="i4">Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">An' The Raggedy Man, he knows most rhymes<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' tells 'em, ef I be good, sometimes:<br /></span> <span class="i0">Knows 'bout Giunts, an' Griffuns, an' Elves,<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' the Squidgicum-Squees 'at swallers therselves!<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_644" id="Page_644">[Pg 644]</SPAN></span> <span class="i0">An', wite by the pump in our pasture-lot,<br /></span> <span class="i0">He showed me the hole 'at the Wunks is got,<br /></span> <span class="i0">'At lives 'way deep in the ground, an' can<br /></span> <span class="i0">Turn into me, er 'Lizabuth Ann!<br /></span> <span class="i2">Aint he a funny old Raggedy Man?<br /></span> <span class="i4">Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The Raggedy Man&mdash;one time when he<br /></span> <span class="i0">Wuz makin' a little bow-'n'-orry fer me,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Says "When <i>you're</i> big like your Pa is,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Air you go' to keep a fine store like his&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' be a rich merchunt&mdash;an' wear fine clothes?&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Er what <i>air</i> you go' to be, goodness knows!"<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' nen he laughed at 'Lizabuth Ann,<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' I says "'M go' to be a Raggedy Man!&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">I'm ist go' to be a nice Raggedy Man!"<br /></span> <span class="i4">Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_645" id="Page_645">[Pg 645]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="A_MODERN_ECLOGUE" id="A_MODERN_ECLOGUE"></SPAN>A MODERN ECLOGUE</h2> <h3>BY BLISS CARMAN</h3> <h3><span class="smcap">She</span></h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">If you were ferryman at Charon's ford,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And I came down the bank and called to you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Waved you my hand and asked to come aboard,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And threw you kisses there, what would you do?<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Would there be such a crowd of other girls,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Pleading and pale and lonely as the sea,<br /></span> <span class="i0">You'd growl in your old beard, and shake your curls,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And say there was no room for little me?<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Would you remember each of them in turn?<br /></span> <span class="i0">Put all your faded fancies in the bow,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And all the rest before you in the stern,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And row them out with panic on your brow?<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">If I came down and offered you my fare<br /></span> <span class="i0">And more beside, could you refuse me there?<br /></span> </div></div> <h3><span class="smcap">He</span></h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">If I were ferryman in Charon's place,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And ran that crazy scow with perilous skill,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I should be so worn out with keeping trace<br /></span> <span class="i0">Of gibbering ghosts and bidding them sit still,<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_646" id="Page_646">[Pg 646]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">If you should come with daisies in your hands,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Strewing their petals on the sombre stream,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">"He will come," and "He won't come," down the lands<br /></span> <span class="i0">Of pallid reverie and ghostly dream,&mdash;<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I would let every clamouring shape stand there,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And give its shadowy lungs free vent in vain,<br /></span> <span class="i0">While you with earthly roses in your hair,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And I grown young at sight of you again,<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Went down the stream once more at half-past seven<br /></span> <span class="i0">To find some brand-new continent of heaven.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_647" id="Page_647">[Pg 647]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="A_CABLE-CAR_PREACHER" id="A_CABLE-CAR_PREACHER"></SPAN>A CABLE-CAR PREACHER</h2> <h3>BY SAM WALTER FOSS</h3> <h3>I</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"'Tis strange how thoughtless people are,"<br /></span> <span class="i2">A man said in a cable-car,<br /></span> <span class="i0">"How careless and how thoughtless," said<br /></span> <span class="i2">The Loud Man in the cable-car;<br /></span> <span class="i2">And then the Man with One Lame Leg<br /></span> <span class="i2">Said softly, "Pardon me, I beg,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For your valise is on my knee;<br /></span> <span class="i2">It's sore," said he of One Lame Leg.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>II</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i2">A woman then came in with twins<br /></span> <span class="i2">And stumbled o'er the Loud Man's shins;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And she was tired half to death,<br /></span> <span class="i2">This Woman Who Came in with Twins;<br /></span> <span class="i2">And then the Man with One Lame Leg<br /></span> <span class="i2">Said, "Madam, take my seat, I beg."<br /></span> <span class="i0">She sat, with her vociferant Twins,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And thanked the man of One Lame Leg.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_648" id="Page_648">[Pg 648]</SPAN></span></div></div> <h3>III</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i2">"'Tis strange how selfish people are,<br /></span> <span class="i2">They carry boorishness so far;<br /></span> <span class="i0">How selfish, careless, thoughtless," said<br /></span> <span class="i2">The Loud Man of the cable-car.<br /></span> <span class="i2">A Man then with the Lung Complaint<br /></span> <span class="i2">Grew dizzy and began to faint;<br /></span> <span class="i0">He reeled and swayed from side to side,<br /></span> <span class="i2">This poor Man with the Lung Complaint.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>IV</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i2">The Woman Who Came in with Twins<br /></span> <span class="i2">Said, "You can hardly keep your pins;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Pray, take my seat." He sat, and thanked<br /></span> <span class="i2">The Woman Who Came in with Twins.<br /></span> <span class="i2">The Loud Man once again began<br /></span> <span class="i2">To curse the selfishness of man;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Our lack of manners he bewailed<br /></span> <span class="i2">With vigor, did this Loud, Loud Man.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>V</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i2">But still the Loud Man kept his seat;<br /></span> <span class="i2">A Blind Man stumbled o'er his feet;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Loud Man preached on selfishness,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And preached, and preached, and kept his seat.<br /></span> <span class="i2">The poor Man with the Lung Complaint<br /></span> <span class="i2">Stood up&mdash;a brave, heroic saint&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And to the Blind Man, "Take my seat,"<br /></span> <span class="i2">Said he who had the Lung Complaint.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_649" id="Page_649">[Pg 649]</SPAN></span></div></div> <h3>VI</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i2">The Loud Man preached on selfish sins;<br /></span> <span class="i2">The Woman Who Came in with Twins;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The poor Man with the Lung Complaint,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Stood, while he preached on selfish sins.<br /></span> <span class="i2">And still the Man with One Lame Leg<br /></span> <span class="i2">Stood there on his imperfect peg<br /></span> <span class="i0">And heard the screed on selfish sins&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">This patient Man with One Lame Leg.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>VII</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i2">The Loud Man of the cable-car<br /></span> <span class="i2">Sat still and preached and traveled far;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Blind Man spake no word unto<br /></span> <span class="i2">The Loud Man of the cable-car.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Lame-Legged Man looked reconciled,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And she with Twins her grief beguiled,<br /></span> <span class="i0">The poor Man with the Lung Complaint&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">All stood, and sweetly, sadly smiled.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_650" id="Page_650">[Pg 650]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="HOW_TO_KNOW_THE_WILD_ANIMALS" id="HOW_TO_KNOW_THE_WILD_ANIMALS"></SPAN>HOW TO KNOW THE WILD ANIMALS</h2> <h3>BY CAROLYN WELLS</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">If ever you should go by chance<br /></span> <span class="i2">To jungles in the East,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And if there should to you advance<br /></span> <span class="i2">A large and tawny beast&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">If he roar at you as you're dyin',<br /></span> <span class="i2">You'll know it is the Asian Lion.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">If, when in India loafing round,<br /></span> <span class="i2">A noble wild beast meets you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">With dark stripes on a yellow ground,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Just notice if he eats you.<br /></span> <span class="i0">This simple rule may help you learn<br /></span> <span class="i2">The Bengal Tiger to discern.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">When strolling forth, a beast you view<br /></span> <span class="i2">Whose hide with spots is peppered;<br /></span> <span class="i0">As soon as it has leapt on you,<br /></span> <span class="i2">You'll know it is the Leopard.<br /></span> <span class="i0">'T will do no good to roar with pain,<br /></span> <span class="i2">He'll only lep and lep again.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">If you are sauntering round your yard,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And meet a creature there<br /></span> <span class="i0">Who hugs you very, very hard,<br /></span> <span class="i2">You'll know it is the Bear.<br /></span> <span class="i0">If you have any doubt, I guess<br /></span> <span class="i2">He'll give you just one more caress.<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_651" id="Page_651">[Pg 651]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Whene'er a quadruped you view<br /></span> <span class="i2">Attached to any tree,<br /></span> <span class="i0">It may be 'tis the Wanderoo,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Or yet the Chimpanzee.<br /></span> <span class="i0">If right side up it may be both,<br /></span> <span class="i2">If upside down it is the Sloth.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Though to distinguish beasts of prey<br /></span> <span class="i2">A novice might nonplus;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Yet from the Crocodile you may<br /></span> <span class="i2">Tell the Hyena, thus:<br /></span> <span class="i0">'Tis the Hyena if it smile;<br /></span> <span class="i2">If weeping, 'tis the Crocodile.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The true Chameleon is small&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">A lizard sort of thing;<br /></span> <span class="i0">He hasn't any ears at all<br /></span> <span class="i2">And not a single wing.<br /></span> <span class="i0">If there is nothing on the tree<br /></span> <span class="i2">'Tis the Chameleon you see.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_652" id="Page_652">[Pg 652]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="I_REMEMBER_I_REMEMBER" id="I_REMEMBER_I_REMEMBER"></SPAN>I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER</h2> <h3>BY PH&OElig;BE CARY</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I remember, I remember,<br /></span> <span class="i2">The house where I was wed,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And the little room from which that night,<br /></span> <span class="i2">My smiling bride was led.<br /></span> <span class="i0">She didn't come a wink too soon,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Nor make too long a stay;<br /></span> <span class="i0">But now I often wish her folks<br /></span> <span class="i2">Had kept the girl away!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I remember, I remember,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Her dresses, red and white,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Her bonnets and her caps and cloaks,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">They cost an awful sight!<br /></span> <span class="i0">The "corner lot" on which I built,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And where my brother met<br /></span> <span class="i0">At first my wife, one washing-day,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">That man is single yet!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I remember, I remember,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Where I was used to court,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And thought that all of married life<br /></span> <span class="i2">Was just such pleasant sport:&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">My spirit flew in feathers then,<br /></span> <span class="i2">No care was on my brow;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I scarce could wait to shut the gate,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">I'm not so anxious now!<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_653" id="Page_653">[Pg 653]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I remember, I remember,<br /></span> <span class="i2">My dear one's smile and sigh;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I used to think her tender heart<br /></span> <span class="i2">Was close against the sky.<br /></span> <span class="i0">It was a childish ignorance,<br /></span> <span class="i2">But now it soothes me not<br /></span> <span class="i0">To know I'm farther off from Heaven<br /></span> <span class="i2">Then when she wasn't got.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'>
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