Newspaper Page Text
THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE: WASHINGTON, D. 0., THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21, 1882.
OUR WEEKLY MUSTER
The Editor's Familiar Chat with the
"Iam perfectly delighted with Tite Tr.m
T7JCE. It is just what the soldier needs, and
it ought to he in the hands of every one who
wore tho blue. If you will send me a dozen or
two copies, I will distribute thcin to tho boys
of our Post, and I think wc can make a good
club here." Ira Creetch, Post Adjutant, O. P.
Morton Post, No. 11, Joplin, Mo. Thanks,
comrade. Tho copies will ho sent you, and
when you distribulo them, ask tho boys to let
the editor of The Tiuroke know what thcy
think of it. "We arc going to plant a Grand
Army Po5t in every town where there aro
uough living vetorans to organize one.
' Wo always want Sunday to come so that we
tan read your valuable paper. 1 hope it may
oon find its way to every soldier's home."
Jlrs. N. A. Rice, Xenia, 111. The writer of tho
Joregoing is the daughter of a soldier and tho
wife of a soldier, and, like many other daugh
ters and wives of soldiers, can't understand
why it is that Congress doesn't pass the pend
ing pension and bounty hills. Well, one of tho
reasons is, that our ex-soldiers have never
hitherto united in supporting a newspaper
which had tho ability to champion their cause
before Congress. Wo look to the wives and
daughters of our ex -soldiers to aid in tho work
of building up The Tkiijune's circulation, and
in that way strengthen the influence of the sol
dier in Congress. "I received a copy of The
Tbibune, and it gave mo great comfort to read
it. I belong to A. W Chapman Post, No. 21,
and I spoke to our commander about a club for
it. He advised mo to canvass, and I shall do
bo. I consider it my duty to do all in my
power to assist in the cause." Wm. Redmond,
St. Josoph, Mich. Mr. Redmond was paralyzed
in the battle of Nashville, and writes with dif
ficulty, but, as his letter shows, ho is good for
another campaign for The Tkibune.
"After reading Commissioner Dudley's circular
to tho clerks in his office, I must rise to nomi
nate him to the presidency. If I can get a sec
ond to my motion, I will mako another motion,
nd that is that The National Tbibune call
a convention of old soldiers to meet iu Chicago
in 1SS-1 to nominate a candidate for President.
I do not see a word in President Arthur's mes
gage about the poor, down-trodden soldier." E.
Handy, Topeka, Kan. Our correspondent
means well, but has it ever occurred to him
that after all it is to Congress that the soldier
must look for relief? Nominate tho right sort
of men for Congress, and then make sure to
elect them. That is tho way to mako the in
fluence of tli soldier tell. "Please accept
tho heartfelt thanks of a constant reader of your
valuable paper for tho manly fight which it is
making in behalf of the battle-scarred veterans
of the late war. How any of our surviving sol
diers and sailors can.mauage to get along with
out its weekly visit is a mystery." Charles
Pherius, Camden, N. J. Can any of our readers
eolve the conundrum? For our part, we givo
it up! Mary E. Coatcs, Utopia, N. Y., writes
that her father, although his health was ruined
in the war, and he was impoverished thereby,
Eteadily refused, until a year ago, to apply for
a pension. She expresses the hope that he will
obtain it before he dies. Wo hope so, too. The
Tbibune is doing all in its power to bring
about a speedy sett lenient of all ponsion claims,
and wo are glad to know that our correspond
ent, as she says, is going to get some new sub
scribers for it. That is the way to strengthen
its influence. We have received a sketch,
signed "Tela," entitled "Experience and Ro
mance of an Andersonville Prisoner," for which
we are unable at present to find room in The
Tbibune. If "Tela" will send her address,
we will return the manuscript. Comrade
August Kissel, of Theresa, N. Y., sends us four
teen new subscribers, making thirty-four in all
that he has obtained for The Tbibune. He
lays: "If any of the readers of The Tbibune
sould give me any information as to thewhere
bouts of the ex-confederate soldier that helped
e to make my escape from Salisbury prison,
N. C, such information would be thankfully
received. He formerly belonged to Capt. Free
man's battalion, Alabama. His name is Albert
Gillos." Comrade Kissel also seuds us a poem,
entitled "Will You Leave Us Hero to Die?"
the prayer of a prisoner at Andersonville
which we would gladly print were the pressure
on our columns not so great. As it is, column
after column of interesting matter is crowded
out every week. Comrade Henry Smith, of
Lansing, Mich., himself an ex-Union prisoner,
writes a long account of his experiences, and
eays that no language can do justice to the hor
rors of the Southern prison-pens. His is but
one out of hundreds of similar letters that we
tire constantly receiving, all bearing the im-
Eress of truth. Comrade D. P. Roud, of
artford, Kan., writes us that he was confined
at lyier prison, Texas, for one year, and still
recalls with horror the cruelties of that pen.
On one occasion one of the guards amused him
self for a whole hour by drawing a bead on him
with his gun. We shall have something to say
about Tyler prison in future numbers of The
Tbibune. Comrade E. G. Coulson, Peuns
ville, O., writes us that such is the magic power
of The Tribune's Gatling gun that while it
brings joy to the heart of every true soldier, it
Btrikes terror into the ranks of his enemies.
"If we can succeed," he says, "in properly or
ganizing tho loyal -soldier clement of the
country and arousing the latent fires of patriot
ism, we shall soon break down all opposition to
the just claims of the soldier. Com
rades, -let us say to the noble editor of The
Tbibune as we did to our martyr President
Lincoln: 'We are coming, Father Abraham,
three hundred thousand more.' " Now you're
talking, comrade but hurry up the re-enforcements!
Here is another ex-Andersonvillc
prisoner W. T. Willhoite, of Windsor, 111.,
with five new subscribers for The Tbibune.
He was one of " Butler's men," captured and
sent to Andersonville m the spring of 1861,,
aim ue enuorscs an mat "Jittie lieu (Jap" Las
said of the extra harsh treatment which they
received. Edmund Peale. of Laramie, Wy
oming Territory, remarks in the expressive
language of the far West that ho doesn't see
how any soldier who has passed through
Hades can refuse to take The Tbibune after
looking it over." Our ex-soldiers did have a
pretty warm time of it between '01 and 'Ho,
that's a fact. In pending us five new sub
scribers, D. H. Davies, of Wild Rose, Wisconsin,
mentions that he w:is a prisoner at Lihby, and
that no tongue can tell what the inmates suf
fered. Superintendent Martin, of the Nash
ville National Cemetery, who but recently
saw for tho first time a copy of The
Tbibune, gives it as his opinion that
its earnest advocacy of ex-soldiers' claims
enoujd alone recommend it to
soldier in the country, and by way of proving
that proposition incloses his own subscription.
G. S. Moore, ono of our subscribers at
New Lisbon, O., calls our attention to a recent
editorial in the New York Tribune denouncing
the arears of pension act, aud says: "When
such papers as the New York Tribune go back
on our old soldiers it is high time for them to
write for their own protection. Thev should
support The National Tribune, the only
fast friend, it seems, that wo have." Pass it
along the line, comrades! Hear what a
subscriber not a soldier has to say on tho same
subject: "Have been taking your paper but a
Short time; yet am very greatly pleased with
it; am not a soldier myself, hut think it an
important duty for each aud every soldier to
take a paper devoted to his interests. What I
have seen of your paper makes me wonder that
Boldiers aro so backward in coming to tho fr 1
il jouiuj as Liiougu mey were not wide aw.:.-.
Wonder if they were so backward in fighting
for their country's preservation as they are in
caring for their own interests now?" O. A. Mil
ler, Buffalo Mills Station, Pa. Comrade
Babb, of Walden, Mas., renews his subscription,
and expresses the hope that The Tribune
"maynevi-r be found in the rear tor we in
arrears until our final mustering ouL" No ;
you can count on that, comrade. J. B. Lan
caster, of Fife Lake, Mich., writes us: "I take
fifteen other papers aud magazines, hut The
National Tbibune is tho only ono I read all
Virough, I have never found ono article in it
that I could not read with interest." The
wife of a sick soldier at Port Elizabeth, N. J.,
sends us a dollar, "earned at the wash tub," in
order that her husband may have The Tbibune
to real. Miss Shmc M Carr, the fourteen-
year-old daughter of a soldier who left an arm
at Appomattox, sends us a club of six subscribers
from Longmont, Col., and in a very pretty note
tells us that she is learning more history from
TilE Tribune than from her school books.
E. L. Rose seuds a club of seven new subscri
bers from Holton, Kan., and says he shall con
tinue to say that The Tbibune is tho best
soldier's paper published. "I received two
sample copies from you last week and gave them
to two old soldiers" You ought to see them go
down in their pockets for their small change."
This from comrade Lancrcy, of Fieldon, HI.
Laconic, but expressive, isn't it? Such let
ters as the following encourage us to believe
that after all The Tbibune is pretty thoroughly
appreciated : " I will just say that I am willing,
as one of your subscribers, to do all I can to in
crease the circulation of The Tbibune. I have
read a great many papers in the past ; it suits
me better than any of them. It is the soldier's
friend, indeed." In proof of which the writer,
C. W. Fleming, of Northern Illinois, sends us
five new subscribers in addition to ten sent the
week previous. Comrade E. S. Puff, of Bull-
ville, N. Y., tells us that wo need not ask him
to renew his subscription, as ho will bo a
Ripporter of The Tribune as long as it
keeps up its fire on the men who think that a
soldier has no rights, and he backs up that asser-
tion by sending us three now subscribers.
Comrade C. M. Hall, of Union City, Michigan,
tells us in a recent letter how he went to work
to organize a G. A. R. Post at that place. Ho
wrote to Comrade IJ. R. Pierce, of Grand Rapids,
for a blank application, and on receiving it
made a personal canvass among his fellow ex
soldiers until he had procured forty-five signa
tures, when ho notified Department Com
mander Pierce, and t be Post wa& duly mustered,
and is now very prosperous.. That is the right
way to go about it, and we think Comrade 1 hill's
example will be widely followed. Jeremiah
Fisher, of West Roylston, Mass., who entered
the army in lbtil, and who had three brothers
in the service, writes us: "If I ever longed for
any paper to read, it is The National Tktjj
une, and when it comes it is a rich trait for
all my family as well as myself. I cannot see
how any Union soldier can do without it,
whether he served four months or four years."
This is the same old conundrum, and wo again
shall have to give it up. Thos. J. Sergeant,
of Salem, Mass., fears that ho is not a good
canvasser, but declares his intention to do the
best he can for tho Tbibune, and wo infer
from the tone of his letter that his "best" will
amount to a great deal. He adds: "TnE Trib
une's manly straightforwardness should com
mend it to the approbation of all who read it.
It is truly the soldier's friend, and would bo a
valuable acquisition to any family. The ear
nestness with which you advocate the soldier's
interest gives ample evidence of your sincerity,
and shows that you have put your hand to tho
plow and do not believe in turning back."
Comrade P. T. Payne, of Kent, Conn., sends
tho following stirring appeal to our ex-soldiers:
" A great journal with a great circula
tion will have moro influence in Congress than
anything else can have, and a great circulation
for so sound a journal as The National Trib
une can easily bo obtained. Comrades, wc
who are subscribers must set the wheel in mo
tion. I propose that each one of us get one or
moro new subscribers before the 1st of January.
We can do it if wc try, and by so doing doublo
its influence in Congress in less than one
month. Let us rally to a man and charge for
subscribers to tho soldier's strongest advocate.
You may rest assured I shall not be hindmost
in said charge, but will do all I can for its suc
cess." A. J. R., of Hatboro, Pa., who par
ticipated in the battle of Bull Run when only
seventeen years of age, calls our attention to
an article in the Philadelphia Times headed
"Givo the Public tho Pension List," and says
the editor has named almost every way of
hunting down the pensioned soldier except
hunting him down with bloodhounds and the
rifle. We quite agree with our correspondent
that it is high time our ex-soldiers drew the
line between friend and foe. Comrade J. L.
Chase, of Whitesville, N. Y., sends us a club of
thirteen new subscribers and asks us to send
him the book entitled " Capturing a Locomo
tive," which he has agreed to let every mem
ber of the club read a capital idea. After
mentioning the fact that all who take The
National Tbibune like it very much, he
says: "I believe your paper is destined to
have the largest circulation of any paper in
the United States, and if such journals as tho
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and New
York Herald, Sun and Tribune want their circu
lation to grow beautifully less, let them con
tinue to heap abuse on the pensioner. I have
friends who were not soldiers that take those
journals, and I can influence them to let them
alone and take The National Tribune, while
other ex-soldiers can do the same, and we can
fight it out on this line if it talces what
is left of our wrecked constitutions."
D. Reeder, of Maunsvillc, Pa., who is not a
subscriber to The Tribune but expects to be
come one, writes us a strong letter advocating
me passage oi tne $-4U pension bill. lie very
truthfully remarks: "Soldiers at the end of the
war could not enter into any business, for they
had not the money, aud consequently they have
lived a miserable life ever since tho close of the
war a hand-to-hand fight with poverty and su f
fering. Corporations and individuals would not
employ them, for the reason that they could
get able-bodied men who could render moro
service." Comrade J. S. Randall, of Benton
Harbor, Mich., is of the opinion that "if those
who think that this 'old soldier business' is
played out were obliged to live as we did at
Andersonville for a few days, they would
change their minds." Quite likely, "bur cor
respondent could enlighten them as to the sort
ot tare which they would be compelled to suit
sist on, for ho had a taste of Wirz's cruelly
mmseii. inaeeu, iie ventures to question the
accuracy of ono of " Little Red Cap's " state
ments, in which, however, as he will sec when
the hitter's narrative is a littlo farther ad
vanced, he is himself mistaken. Comrade
Isaac Smith, of Palmer, Mo., does not "pre
tend to cauvass;" when ho has a " trump" he
leads it, as an earnest of which ho seuds us two
new subscribers. He quotes the parable of tho
sower, but points out that in tho case of The
Tribune the seed all falls on good ground and
will increase a hundred fold. Comrade S.
duller, of bandwich, 111., says he has written
not only to his Representative in Congress, but
to Senator Beck also, and we quite agree with
him that if ex-soldiers would write good, sensi
ble letters to our Senators and Representatives
it might have a beneficial effect. Comrade
R. R. Norton, of Georgetown, N. Y., writes at
length of tho contrast between tho condition of
the country to-day and twenty years ago, and
says: "If I had but the eloquence of Demos
thenes, I would address you in words of living
fire as an expression of my heartfelt thanks."
President W. W. Lowdermilk, of the Illi
nois State Association of Union Prisoners of
War, sends us this hearty endorsement of The
Tribune: "lam a subscriber to your excel
lent paper, and consider it ono of tho best,
papers published in the interest of the common
soldier and pensioner. It gives me pleasure to
commend this excellent paper to my comrades.
I wish you success." W. J. Wheeler, of
Olney, 111., states that a ease similar to that of
the soldier who was left to die in the Provi
dence poor-house, in Luzerne county, Ta.,
occurred at the Rockland county, HI., alms
house, and he asks: "Will the Government
ever learn that the soldier is fast passing away,
and now is the time they need help?" That
depends upon whether our veterans aro wise
enough to unite in support of a newspaper
which (tan compel Congress to listen to their
demands. Comrado Spalding, of Laramie
City, Wyoming, writes: "We old soldiers in
the Rockies are going to give you eastern boys
a good reception at the Denver Encampment
next August. May wo expect The Tribune
to bo represented there ? " Yes, The Tribune
will bo represented there, notwithstanding that
Denver is a Jong distanco from our base of
supplies. We are indebted to M. D. Wells, of
Junction, N. J., for a thoughtful letter on tho in
consistencies of the pension system, and regret
that we cannot make room for its publication.
This is the way one resoluto subscriber
went to work : " I started out Monday to ' drum
up' soldiers in regard to tho internal-rovcnuo
tax, pension, bounty matters, soldiers' rights,
&c, and to a man they were of your mind in
thoso matters. As a result of my effort, 1 se
cured twenty names to my Mtor to Hon. John
I nil, M. V. from this distrh a 1 took a country
drive to do ii. 1 al.-o got c, . nt from enough
ex -soldiers to get a G. A. II. To-.t est abashed, but
could not explain details io them as to what it
would cost each man per year, or what the
memuersiiip ice would be. will you write out
particulars, and forward to mo at Boonton, N.
J., as I have given my Tribunes away and
have no guide to go by." Abraham Leach,
Montville, N. J. Read the editorial in this
number entitled "Hail to the Chief" and tin;
interview with Commander-in-Chief YanDcr
voort. They contain the information you de
sire. ltlu'iunafihiii Positively ('tired."
Write for free -10-page pamphlet to R. K.
Helphenstine, Druggist and Chemist, Wash
ington, D. C.
A WAR LIBRARY
Presented to the Soldiers' Horao at Bath, N. Y.
Tho Donor's Speech.
Special Correspondence National Tribune.
Bath, N. Y, Dec. IS. In 1SS0 the Grand
Army of the Republic, at their semi-annual
Encampment, appointed a committee to prepare
and present to the Hon. John H. Starin a testi
monial in recognition of many kindnesses he
has extended to veteran soldiers and sailors.
At Mr. Starin's request, however, tho money
appropriated for the purpose ($500) was devoted
to the purchase of 400 volumes of books relating
to tho rebellion and a suitable case for contain
ing them. The presentation ceremonies took
place in tho chapel in the presence of fifty
guests and inmates of the Home, and were pre
sided over by Gen. Slocum, president of the
Board of Trustees, who referred in a most com
plimentary manner to Mr. Starin's action in
diverting the testimonial from himself to tho
uses of the old soldiers, and said that the library
would add greatly to the attractions of the
Home, and be a great comfort to the veterans in
their declining years. The inmates approved
these remarks with loud applause.
Gen. Henry A. Barnum, of New York, chair
man of the Grand Army of the Republic Testi
monial Committee, gave the history of tho
library project, and spoke in most enthusiastic
turms ot Mr. Starin s many acts of kindness to
soldiers aud the families of dead soldiers, and
said ho was most justly called tho soldier's
friend. His remarks were loudly applauded.
Sir. Starin then presented the library to the
home in the following speech :
"It is not my purpose, as it is certainly not
my forte, to make a speech. 1 desire only in
briefest form to state tho reasous which sug
gested to me the idea of this library. It had
come to my knowledgo that the Grand Army
of tho Republic of our State was about to offer
me a testimonial of their appreciation. The
intimation of such an intention on the part of
so large, so influential, and so rcspcctablo a
body could not be other than gratifying to mo.
Actuated by a genuine regard for the veterans,
I had in a quiet way given some excursions to
those who were within reach of the Metropo
lis and to the representatives from the State at
large. In Congress I had taken pleasure in
looking after the pensions of deserving appli
cants, especially thoso whose age. or necessities
entitled them to a speedy adjustment of their
claims. In all my acts I have endeavored to
givo expression to what is still my firm, though,
I fear, my not quite fashionable, belief, that
the men who fought to maintain tho Govern
ment are worthy of more honor than those who
sought to destroy it. And that, other things
being equal, those who can show tho scars of
battle deserve a preference over thoso who have
never suffered for their country. Some years
ago a handsome testimonial was presented to
me by tho soldiers and sailors who had partici
pated in the veterans' excursions. I then re
marked that I should have preferred to see tho
money that it had cost invested for tho poor
widow or orphan children of a soldier. I ac
cepted it, however, for tho kindly feeling it
expressed, and to-day it is an ornament of my
horue of which I am justly proud. When tills
second offer camo from tho entire Grand Army
of the Republic of tho State, it occurred to mo
that I might accept the honor, and still donate
tho gift so that the soldiers should themselves
got the benefit of every dollar of it. My sug
gestion that tho amount intended for a testi
monial to me should bo invested in a library
devoted to the literature of the war, to be placed
in this home of the bravo of New York, met
with the approval of your committee. Subse
quent appropriations have swelled the original
gift until to-day it is my good fortune to pre
sent to you a case of books that does credit to
the donors, and yet is. 1 trust, only the nucleus
of a much larger library to bo secured in the
future. It will recall tho scenes in which you
have nobly played your part. It embalms the
memories of the heroes Avhom you cherish.
The transfer of it to yon gives me more pleasure
than 1 can tell. More pleasure than to bo tho
recipient of any similar gift intended solely for
myself. One word more and I have done. I
thank the representatives of the Grand Army
of the Republic for their many expressions of
regard for mo. They liave honored me with
the title of the 'Soldier's Friend.' I trust I
may always do all in my power to deservo so
proud a designation."
Admirable speeches were then made by Col.
Willard Bullard, of Now York; Gen. W. F.
Rogers, of Buffalo; Gen. J. B. Murray, of
Seneca Falls; tho Rev. S. Nichols, of Bath, and
tho Rc-v. I. M. Foster, of Waterloo, which were
received witli enthusiasm. At tho conclusion
of the ceremonies Gen. Slocum, on the part of
the Board of Trustees, invited the assembled
guests to a collation, which was spread in the
library room. On motion of Gen J. B. Murray
tho assembled members expressed their most
cordial approval of tho Board of Trustees of
the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, and thanks for
the generous reception of their representatives.
Mr. Starin and other guests then made a tour
of the homo buildings with Gen. Slocum, and
they expressed themselves greatly pleaded.
I'ennsylrnnia Tcfcrnns Ifencivlntj tho Friendships
of tho Field.
A complimentary hop was given by the Third
regiment at its armory.
The Ono Hundred and Fourteenth regiment,
Pennsylvania volunteers, held a Reunion at
The Reunion of tho Ono Hundred and Nine
teenth regiment, which was held at Laubor's,
Broad street and Columbia avenue, was the first
held by the regiment since the war.
Tho Survivors' Association of tho Seventy
second Regiment (the Philadelphia Fire Zou
aves) held a banquet at Mosebach's, Thirteenth
and Girard avenue. The members assembled
at tho hall of tho Anna M. Ross Post, and went
to tho banqueting place in a body.
The Reunion of the survivors of the Nine
teenth and Ninetieth regiments, Pennsylvania
volunteers, was their first, and was held at
Gallop's restaurant, Fifth and Walnut streets.
President Jacob M. Davis was in tho chair. Ho
reminded the members that twenty years ago,
on the 13th of December, the command was en
gaged in tho carnage at Fredericksburg.
A number of regimental Reunions wero held
in Philadelphia on the l.'Jth inst. The surviv
ing members of the One Hundred and Twenty
first and the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth
regiments held a joint Reunion, celebrating tho
anniversary of the battle of Fredericksburg.
Ex-Governor Curtin, Genertil Samuel W. Craw
ford, and others, were present. There was
music by the Frankford Cornet Band and tho
Pennsylvania Reserve Fife and Drum Corp3.
The One Hundred and Sixth regiment, Penn
sylvania volunteers, held its Reunion at the
rooms of Post 1, G. A. R.
On the same day, at Easton, Pa., tho surviv
ing members of the. Fifty-third regiment, Penn
sylvania volunteers, held a Reunion. At 10:30
o'clock tho resident members marched to tho
depot and met their comrades from Norristown,
Lewibburg, and other places. Thoy were es
corted to North Third street, where a parade
was formed of members of the regiment, tho
Lafayette Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of
Easton, and J. G. Tolmie Post, of Phillipsburg.
On account of rain the parado was shortened.
At twelve o'clock a collation, gotten up by tho
lady friends of the regiment, was served in
Abie's Hall, at which over three hundred sat
down. Lx-Govornor Hartranft was called to
the chair, and responded in a neat speech to an
address of welcoino delivered by General Frank
Reeder. In the afternoon tho society con
nected with tho regiment held a meeting, at
which thirty now members were elected. Gen
eral W. J. Bolton, though insisting on declin
ing, was re-elected president amid considerable
enthusiasm. Lieutenant John Genther, of
Easton, was elected vice-president: Colonel
Edward Scball, of Norristown, secretary, and
Captain W. W. Owen, of Norristown, treasurer.
It was resolved to hold tho next Reunion at
Norristown on September 1, 388:$. In the
evening the veterans and their friends assem
bled in the Opera House, Gen. Bolton presiding.
Prayer was offered by Rev. E. McMinn. It. E.
James delivered an address of welcome, to
which Adjutant Schoch, of Lewisbnrg, respond
ed. Lieutenant Charles F. Chidsey, of Easton,
of tho One Hundred and Twenty-ninth regi
ment, delivered an oration on Fredericksburg,
and H. C. Gordon, of Norristown, read a poem.
The speaking was interspersed with orchestral
Boom for all : " Perhaps I haven't lecn so
lucky as some," remarked Brown, "but, for all
that, there's lots of people who would like to
stand in my shoes." "And no doubt, they
could all do it," said Fogg, with a glance at
Brown's thirtoens. Boston Transcript.
4 STORY IN RHYlfE
The Widow Brows Christmas and
a Little Misunderstanding.
By J. T. Trowbridge.
His window is over the factory flume;
And Elkmmh there, In his counting-room,
tiits bugging a littered tabic.
Ilia beard is white us the foam, nnd his check
Is weather-benten and withered nnd bleak
As the old brown factory cable.
Christmas Is near ; and he, it is clear,
Is tquuring accounts with tho parting yc&$
Setting forth, in column nnd row,
Whatever a penny of pain can show
Mortgages, dividends, and rents,
City bonds and gover'ments,
A factory here ami a tannery there.
Good bank stock and railroad bhare
As fust as his busy brain can count,
Or his busy pen indite 'cm.
Figuring prolit and gross amount,
And adding item to item.
Thinks he : " It's a good round sum I mako;
Don't seem much like I was goin' to break! "
And ho looked again, at he poised his pen
To fillip the drop of ink off.
But just us he gave the pen a shake,
He said "Ho! ho!" at a strange mistake
He found himself on the brink of:
He said "llnl Ha!" ami bis lips drew in
With a hard, dry, leathery kind of grin,
As much like the smile of a crocod'J
As anything you can think of.
"I declare! there's Widow Brown
In tho cottage over in Tannery Town !
The family had the house rent free
As long as her husband worked for mo.
A good, smart, faithful chap was Jim
Wish I hud forty as good as him !
But he died one day, and left her there;
And I put the place in the parson's." care
For the only man in tho town I dure
To trust is Parson Emery
To see that tho house don't run away,
And collect the rent she agreed to pay.
111 write a letter this very day,
To jog the good man's memory."
The letter was straightway penned nnd sent;
And it preached hard times to a dreary extent:
" For money is tight at ten per cent.;
Often no sooner got than spent;
The poor man finds it a heavy stent
To earn his mess of pottage;
And so," concluded the argument,
"You may, if you please, remit the rent
Jim's widder owes for the cottage."
In two days' time the answer came.
"The parson is prompt. But what in the name! "
He cried, as he opened aud read tho same:
How extremely odd it sounded!
"Hear, noble, generous, honored friend "
"Wero terms he couldn't well comprehend;
And when ho had struggled on to the end,
He was utterly astounded.
Ho gasped and gurgled, and then burst out:
" What 'n thunder's the oV fool ravin' about?
He's crazy, without a shudder o' doubt!
A-writin' to mo as if I was u saint!
AVu'al. innbby I be, and then mabby I nin't.
An' what's his nrgyment? why, to be sure,
That I'm a marciful man to the poor,
An' feel for thesulTcrin' brother,
An' stay tho widder whose stall' is gone;
And so he continners n-luyiu' it on,
An' be ain't sarcasticul, nuther.
" Blamed ol' blunderhead ! couldn't be seo
"P tho poor 1 was merciful tu meant me
But here he goes on, iu u gushin' mood,
To tell o' the woman's gratitude,
Because I've been so exceedingly good
As to pit; h-r sad condition,
An? give him the blessed authority tu.
licmitIlKZUTthc rent that is due.
Why don't he remit, then ? wish I knew!
'Stid o' that, here's moro of his hulluhalcw,
To thank me for the remission !
" Remission remit. Oh, drat the dunce I "
And ho rushed for a dictionary';
It having occurred to him all at once
That tho meanings sometimes vary
Of even the simplest words wc write;
And that a projy old parson might
Use ono, aud a man of business quite
Finger nnd eye ran down the page :
" Ha, Iti:" ho was (lushed with rage:
" ltfoUEMBim HKiiiND Rj:jut ! "at lost
The terrible talon had it fast,
"With the definition against it set:
il Send back," he rend; but, lower yet.
" Tordease, to forgive, as a sin or a debt!"
Ah, through that mesh in the treacherous net
Had slipt the widow's pittance !
"Twnsbo! 'twas strange! 'twus very absurb,
juat thus lroni a phrase, or a smglo word,
"With equal reason could be inferred
Collection of debt, or quittauco!
Words have their forks, hko highways, whence
To left and right run tho roads of sense;
And, taking the wrong derivative,
The heedless old puison hud come to give
liemisston instead of remittance.
Elkanab glared for n moment, and then,
With a snort at the book, and a scoff at the men
Who invented the language, seized his pen,
'Pore one lettert and wrote again,
Protruding Ins chin, while the hard dry grin
Grew terriblly savage and sinister;
Till, too impatient to brook delay,
He quite forgot it was Christmas-day,
Swung on his ulster, and swooimh! away
Toward Tannary Town and tho Widow Brown
And the good old blundering minister.
As out by the forenoon train he went,
Ho had ample time to consider:
"To be soft-soaped to sich an extent
Cracked up like a spavined boss that's meant
To be sold to the highest bidder
It's pooty dumbed rough on a plain old gent
That never was known to give a cent,
Say nuthui o' seventy dollars rout,
To anybody's widder!
An' I ain't one o' the kind that cares
To be boosted up in a woman's payers
For a favor I never did her.
"Yet she might pray for mo all her days,
An' I wouldn't object to the parson's praise,
Which he spread so thick in his tetter;
But though ho believes it himseV, aud though
Other folks may think it's all jes' so,
The plague is, I know better!
He'll wonder what sort of a beast 1 bo,
When I tell him squaie out how it seemed to me,
Whut a blamed, riUiokulous, fool's idee
That i should lorgivo a debtor! "
Quick moist flushes, strange hot streaks,
Shot down to his shins and up to his cheeks.
Ho loosened his collar, and wondered whut
In time made cm kei p the cars go hot.
Still, as he thought of the interview
He was going to seek, tho warmer he grew.
Ami he said to himself, with a leer, " Must be
I'm fond of parsons' s'ciety!
For what else under tho canopy
I'm niakin' the trip fori can't see,
Scnco a letter or tu would as soon uiidu
The snarl he's got mc inter,
Save railroad faro, an' the wear an' tear
Of a journey in midwinter.
"It's an awk'ard mess, I du declare !
Tho widder she'll cry, an' the parson he'll stare,
An' like enough somebody el-ie will swear
Wish I was back iu my otlioo chair!
For why should I go twelve mile or so
An lose my time an' my dinner,
To prove to their faces, beyond n doubt,
'T i ain't no saint, :u thoy make out,
Hut u hardened sort of a sinner? "
Somp such thoughts perplexed his brain,
ah up u uicsiuiiou roucu me iram.
With slackening suced and brakes t.crcwcd down,
And the brakesmen bawled out, "Tannerv
"Wa'al, here I be! " With gathering frown
And firm-set teeth, old Elkanab straight
Took his way to tho parson's gate;
No longer inclined to turn about,
In a tlurry of confusion.
And like a coward retrace his route,
But grimly resolved to carry out
Hid original resolution.
Though, after nil, ho approached the spot,
Outwardly cold and inwardly hot.
As a brave man goes to be hanged or shot,
Or whatever else he thinks is not
The thing for his constitution.
And when this answer he ivceived,
" Parson ain't to hum "will it lie believed?
He felt like tho very same man reprieved
At the moment of execution.
Wa'al, no, he wouldn't go in and wait:
He stood in tho snow at the parsonage gate:
No train back till half past one,
And the village bells had just begun
To ring for noon : for a minute or two
Ho stood, uncurtain what to do,
Looking doubtfully up and down
The dreary streets of Tannery Town,
Aud thought of his money and Mrs. Brown;
i nen tins is what he did do
He turned his feet up the snowy street,
And went to call on the widow.
'Twas Olu-istmas-timc, n.s I said before;
And when, arrived at the cottage door,
Ho reached for the old bell handle,
He paused a moment, amazed and grim.
For ho heard snob a racket as seemed to him,
In the home of tho late lamented Jim,
Sufficient cause for scandal.
A short, sharp ring, then a hurried noise
Of whispering, scampering girls and boys,
And tho door was opened a littlo space,
Through which peered out, with a bashful grace,
A surprisingly pretty-looking,
Timidly smiling, bright young blonde;
Anil Elknuah caught, from tho room beyond,
A savory sniff", a wonderful whiff,
Of most delicious cooking.
He sees a table, with neat cloth spread,
Steaming dishes, and cream white bread,
Cranberry sauce, and thiok squash pies,
And the curly brown pates nnd wondering eyea
Of the imps tlint had made the clatter;
Then the mother just bringing in, to crown
Her banquet, a beautiful, golden-brown,
Great roasted goose on a platter,
A crabbed old man, to whom the sight
Of happp children gave small delight;
A hungry man, who had come so far
To a feast bis presence could only mar;
An iron-fisted miser,
"Who would seldom afford himself a fat,
Delectable Christmas goose like that,
Or indulge in anything half so good
Confronting the widow, there he stood,
Glowering under his visor ;
And it certainly seemed that his presence would
To say the least surprise her.
For he said to himself, " Her means are spent,
An' she hasn't a penny to pay her rent,
While this is the way she gorges
Her ravenous tribe on the fat ot the land!
I'll let her know that I understand
Whose money pays for the orgies I"
But, seeing the old man standing there,
Tho widow, seemingly unaware
CiChis brow's severe contraction,
PcrceijS ig only his thin white hair,
And Iik? almost venerable air,
Wiped her fingers, aud placed a chair,
With a charmingly natural action;
Welcoming him with never a trace
Of guile iu her smiling and grateful face;
Accounting this visit the crowning grace
Of his noble benefaction.
" Oh, sir," she began, " I am glad you are here"
With a quivering lip and a starting tear
io see what happiness" (this was gall
To the stingy old wretch) "you have given us all!
Since you were so good " " Not I," he cried ;
"I never was good! " But she replied,
"With gentle, sweet insistence :
" It seems but a trifle to you, no doubt;
Such kindness as yours " Here he burst out,
"I tell ye, woman, ye're talking about
A thing that has no existence."
"Ah, you may say that, since you have shown
A goodness which you are too good to own !
But I could never, with what I know,
Permit another to wrong you so."
Then up spoke one of the younger crew:
"You may bet your dollars on that ! it's true ;
For only yesterday, I tell you,
Ha.vn'J she in high dudgeon,
Just hearing you called by Deacon Shaw
The keenest old skinflint ever he saw !
He said he would sooner have hoped to draw
Sap from a hatchet or blood from a straw
Than money that wasn't allowed by law
From such an old curmudgeon.
"Well, what have I said?" "Hush, Jamie, hush!"
Cries the mother, in consternation;
While Elkanab starts, with an angry flush
And a vigorous exclamation.
"Did he say that? say that of me?
He's tighter himself than the bark of a tree."
" He has more heart than he lets folks see :
A little like you in that," saye she.
"Ho! ho! wa'al, wa'al! that's a queer idee !
That's a curi's ca'calation !"
"But he, when at last he understood
Whatafriendyou had been, how cxceedlnglygood,
To my poor orphans," she went on,
"And mc-for the soke of him that is gone
He was humbled; he took it quite to heart;
Declared you had acted a noblo part.
And expressed sincere repentance
For having misjudged you so till now.
But your example" "Example ! I vow,
Mis' Brown," snarls Elkanab ; but somehow
He couldn't complete the sentence.
"Your Christian example!" the widow cries,
" Who wants proof of it, there it lies"
With u glance of pride at the great squash pics,
And the gooce superbly basted.
"The deacon was here at half-nont one:
And at half-past two the proof had begun :
The goose was brought by the deacon's son,
And then it seemed ns if every one
Must do as the deacon and you had done."
"Yes, sir," says Jamie ; and wasn't it fun!
It was ring, ring, ring! it was run, run, run!
Squashes that weighed pretty nigh a ton !
Such ifpples you never tasted!"
" It camo to us in our sorest need,"
The widow resumed; "nnd all are agreed
'Twos a harvest of which you sowed the seed.
You sec your charity was, indeed,
An example that wasn't wasted."
'"My charity!" Elkanab groaned. "Well, well!"
" 'Twus more of a blessing than I can tell "
She choked a little and wiped a tear
" For we have been dreadfully poor this year.
'Tis a hard, hard struggle to provide
For my five littlo ones since he died.
Faithfully, every day I meant
To save a little to pay my rent ;
I stinted and planned, but still I found.
As often as Saturday night came round,
I had spared, when they were patched and fed,
Hardly enough for Sunday's bread.
Such constant weariness, want, and care
Seemed often more than a life could bear.
Then came, oh, sir, your gracious gift,
Which all of a sudden seemed to lift
The burden whioh weighed me to the ground ;
And all these other good friends came round;
And so, in our joy and thankfujness,
It seemed to mo I could do no less
Than make a feast," she said with a smile.
"Be patient! be quiet!" For all the while
Tho hungry children clamored.
And climbed the chairs and peeped at the pies,
And ogled the goose with wistful eyes.
"'Tis a favor,-" said she, " I should greatly prize,
If you would sit by and not despise
The bounty which Heaven through you supplies."
"Hem ! wa'al ! ye take me by surprise.
Don't know," the old man stammered.
She smilingly reached for his coat nnd hat.
And the goose was fragrant, the goose wnfl fat.
"I think you will stay." ' Wa'al, as to that,
I don't dino out very often ;
I colled to explain but never mind,
Fact is, Mis' Brown, I havenH dined ;
And if you insist sencc you air so kind "
Ilcwni rather surprised himself to find
His heart beginning to soften.
" Don't care 'f I du." And down he sat.
The goose leas fragrant, the goose teas fat.
Tho old man did the carving;
The sauce was dished, the gravy poured.
And the plates all round that little board
Were filled in a manner that didn't afford
The slightest hint of starving.
Not in all that dreary year
Had her cottage known such cheer.
With hope, and her happy children near,
The widow smiled contented.
Even old Elkanab ceased to be
Greatly scandalized to see
Cheerful faces and childish glee
In the home of the late lamented.
Nature's ways ore wise and kind :
Clouds p:iss, dawn breaks, and ever behind
Each dark sea hollow swells a wave ;
Aud fresh grass grows on the new-made grave;
And softly over tho broken heart.
And its sorrowful recollections,
Tho leaves of another hope will start,
And tender new affections.
The widow talked and told her plans:
What n dutiful child was Nancfi!
The parson, hnd got bar boys a chance
To blow the organ the coming year:
"Fo there will be twenty dollars elcnr
The girls'will help me more and more
I'll sew; tond often, ns heretofore,
Earn broad for the morrow while they sleep;
And so I have hopes that I yet may keep
My little flock together
With Heaven so kind and friends so good
Send them to school and provide them food
And shelter them from the weather.
" But oh, what a charge for them and mc!
How different now it all would be.
If my dear husband" Mrs. Brown
Here, for some reason, qnite broke down;
Ami even old ElkAnah's sight grew weak;
You might havo observed In his withered cheek
Somo unaccustomed twitches.
And in his voice, when he tHed to speak.
Some very unusual hitches ;
For, seeing how long she yet must strain
Her utmost energies, juat to gain
Bread for bar babes perhaps in vain
He had some twinges of shame aud pain,
And n curious feeling I can't explain
At the thought of his hoarded riches.
"ncm! wa'al, Mis' Brown! it's a
Ho made n motion ns if to plnco
His hand in his pocket, but diew it bnck.
" Though I must say, you've got a knock !
You're gittin' nlong, an' I'm drcflle gludl
No more, no, thank'eo, ma'am ! I hain't had
Sich a dinner as this, I don' know when I"
Down w:nt the uncertain hnnd again.
"Your children'ure well, an growin';
Few years, your boys '11 be rich men
Mabby they will, no knowin' "
Ho merely pushed back his empty plate,
Then tugged at his watch. "Ha! is it so
I'd no rileo on't! tram won't wait;
Guess I'll baf ter he goin' ! "
"Must you, indeed! How tho timo has flown! "
The lonely old man had never known
So grateful a soul, a look and tone
So gentle and so caressing;
And while she handed his hat and coat,
Arrnngcd the collar about his throat,
Smoothed tho creases, and brushed his arm,
He felt a strange, bewildering charm,
The very touch of her hand shed such
Unconscious love and blessing!
"I thought there was something he came to say,
To explain!" cries Jamie. "Ah, yes! by-the-woy!"
Says Elkanab, slightly flurried;
"A leetle mistake but that's all right!
The parson, he didn't toke in, not quite.
My full intent regardin' the rent:
Don't bo tho least mite worried
" 'Bout that for sartin another year.
B1C63 mo! I b'lieve it's the train I hear!
Good-day ! " And off he hurried.
Ho seemed surrounded and pursued
By spirits of joy and gratitude!
And he said to himself, "I must conclude,
Although the ol' parson wa'n't very shrewd,,
'Twos a lucky mistake o' his'n ! "
And ho felt some most surprising things,
Strange perturbations and fluttcrings,
As of something within him spreading wings
The angel within now-risen 1
" I'm beat if there ain't the parson now ! " -With
eager stride and radiant brow
The minister crossed a steep by-street
Through ridges of snow leg-deep, to greet
The friend of the widow and fatherless,
Who growled to himself, "Good thing, I guess
For some of the fatherless folks we know,
Me and him didn't meet an hour ago
Good thing nil round, shouldn't wonder!"
The parson came panting up the hill,
Hands out, with a greeting of warm good-will;
All smiles; serenely unconscious -till
Of his most amazing blunder.
A soul as simple as rills that run
Joyous and clear in the summer sun!
Not one who had chosen his work, but one
The Lord Himself had chosen:
A child of faith, and u shepherd indeed!
Not one of those whose formal creed
Has the tinklfhg sound and the hollow look
Of ice left over a shrunken brook
Shrunken away from the living day,
Leaving its surface frozen.
Under the leafless village elms
The parson waylays ami o erwhclms
With more felicitation
Of the late epistolary sort
The impatient old man. who cuts him short
With a quaint gesticulation.
"No more o' that, pleae understand;
I've seen Jim's widder." This time the hand
Dives into the pocket, and brinars out
A bright bank-note: "Guess the' ain't no doubt
But what we'd oughter give her a lift ;
An' here's a trifle, a Christmas gift,
I was pooty nigh forgittin'.
Remit her rent the comin' yc-r ;
And I'd like to remit to her now this 'ere.
By-the-woy ! " drawls he, with a sidelong leer,
" Did j'ever notice it's kind o' queer
There's tew way's o' romiltin't',
Harper's for January.
Christmas Then anil Now.
By Mrs. M. P. Handy.
Wo used to hang up our stocking3,
When I was a child, dear me;
Nor ever thought for a moment
Of having an X-mcs tree.
You see we were old-fashioned children,
Not wise littlo women and men ;
St. Nicholas came down the chimney
We had wide-open tire-places then.
We went to bed in the twilight.
To awaken ere yet it was dawn.
And empty with trembling fingers
The stockings on X-mas morn.
But now the tree with its tapers'
Is lit on the Eve instead,
And hugging their X-ma presents
The little ones go to heel.
But then, pray where is the stocking
Could hold half the wonderful things
The triumphs of human invention
The modern Saint Nicholas brings ?
Now i earn takes the place of his reindeer,
Those fleet, fairy coursers of yore;
And since we have closed up the chimneys
He needs must come in at the door.
Some Day. " -'
By TsdbtUa Grant Meredith. '"
Some day I shall be dead.
Some day this tired head,
With nil the anxious thoughts it now doth know,
Shall be laid low.
This body, pain-racked, ill,
Shall lie at length, and still.
Under the clover and the wind-swept grass,
Nor hear you pass.
That were, indeed, strange sleep,
When even you might weep.
And come and go even yon unheard of me,
As bird or bee.
Nay, sweetheart, nay! believe
Here ;s no cause to grieve.
One so wayworn, of trouble so opprest.
Is glad of rest.
Perchance, when that release
Hath wrought its spell of peace,
O'er this unquiet heart, long vexed with woe,
Heart's-ease may grow.
"Who loves me will not weep
When that I lie asleep,
But rather joy to think such sorrow may
Have end some day.
Harper's Magazine for December.
By the author oj " John Halifax, Gentleman."
" Mother-efhimtb me a pair of wings, '
Likf Jhef Chript-cbild's adorning ; '
Blio as tli skywijh a- gold star-eye
yl VearbTcna oa.'Chrisimns morning."
The-muiher worked with a careless heart,
All through that merry morning:
Happy aud blind, nor saw behind
The shadow UiHt give no warning.
He struck and over the little facs
A sudden change cat.ir oiveping:
Twelve struggling hours aunut Death's fierce
powers, ; sc-. "
And then he hap left herslcnnimr; '
Strange sleep which no mothr r.rkiv can wake!
Eay her pretty wins b.-u'd.-h-r :
Strew white flowers Mvcot mi hr han!s and foct,
Ami under the white snow hide her.
For the Christ-child onilcd her out of her play,
And, thus our earth- life scorning,
Sho went away. Wnat. dead, wesay?
She was bom that Christens ju- mspr.
December Wide Aieahe.
A NEW CANTATRICE.
An American Girl's Operatic Debut at Florence,
Tho newspapers of Florence, Italy, contain,
glowing accounts of the debut of a new Am .r
ican cantatrice in Donezetti's beautiful opeva,
Linda di Chamounix, at the Koyal Niccolini
Theatre in that city. The debutante was Ida
-Morena or Ida Myers, as she is known in
Baltimore, where her diildhood was passed and
where her family reside aud the role which
sho essayed was the title role of the opera.
The Florence Teleferis, in its criticism on hoi
first appearance, compares her to the famon(
divas of the Italian stage, and says: "One onlj
has to hear her iu the second part of her cav
atina, in the final air of the second act, in tht
duo Avith the buffo, and in that with the con
tralto, to see that the beauty of her voice, hei
admirable accent, her extraordinary agility and
her unique attack, presage in her the future oJ
a great artist." AnoJier critic says: "Hoi
lithe and girlish figure, the fresh beauty, sweet
ness and power of her voice, trained in ever?
finesse of song, called forth the most raptur
ous applause, frequently interrupted with
shouts of bravu! brava! She was enthusiasti
cally encored after the beautiful duo with Pil
rot. In the mad scene, at the end of the second
act, the exquisite modulation and sweetness of
her voice in no! non e ver mentirouo, brought;
tears to the eyes of many. Hero tho enthu
siasm of her hearers culminated in a perfect
ovation, and at one of tiic succeeding repre
sentations tho young artiste was literally cov
ered with flowers in her numerous recalls
before the footlights." Another paper Fiera
mosca says of her: "Signorina Moreua is a
soprano witli an agilo tmd harmonious voice
trained in every fiuese of song. From tho
rendering of the first aria, which excited
stormy applause, the publie baptized her as
artiste elite. She wab made to repeat the duet
with Pierotto, and that with tho Marchese in
the second act was loudly applauded." ".Tho
second representation," says the same journal,
" not only confirmed the success of the first, bat;
even far surpassed it, and excited a perfect;
enthusiasm from the first note to the last. Hor
homogenious and genuine soprano voice and
her faultless method of singing, mako of Sig
norina Moreua a most succesfull protagonist
(una 2rolagoni'ta fdidiiinvi). Constantly intcr
ruptcd by applause, she was called out fivt
times at the end of the second act, in which shi"
acted and sang like a lini.-dicd artist the stupem
dous scene Avith the father, and tho final de
lirium. In short, sho interpreted this emi
nently dramatic pieco as tho development ot
tho plot aud tho philosophic music of Honui
zcti demand." Tho most distinguished musical
critics of Florence, such as Hiaggi, Consolo
Vanucini, agree in their commendations of
Miss Moiena, who sang the opera October 22d,
for the fourth time, to a croAvded and exceed
ingly enthusiastic house.
Information Avanted: "Look here," said tha
Governor to a high State ollicial, " when aro
you goiug to pay me that ten dollars ?" " Upon
my houor, Governor, I don't knoAv." " Why,
sir, the other day Avhen I mentioned tho fact ot
your indebtedness, you asked me AA-here I avouIi!
bo Tuesday." " Yes, iir." " Well, Avasn't that
a promise that you would pay me Tuesday?"
" No, sir." " Vviiy, then, did you Avant in know
Avhere I Avould bo Tuesday?" "Because I
AA'anted to know AA'horc you'd be, so I could
mako arrangements to be sonieA'here else."
An Incident In Virginia.
Our old friend, Mr.Wm. Claugliton, of Ileaths
ville, sheriff ot Northumberland county, Yju,
says: "Wo have many good nu'diciues in ohr
parts, but nothing Avhich equal.-. St. Jacdbs Oil,
tho Great German Eemedy. My family keen
the Oil iu tho house at all times and uso it for
almost everything that a medicine can be used
for. They claim that it is unequal ed for rheu
matism and all bodily pains. Tawahannod:
(Va.) Tide Water Index.