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The Absurdity of It.
It is ail very well, for the poets to tell,
Ey way of their song adorning!
Of milkmaids who rouse, to manipulate
At live o'clock in the morning;
Anil of moony young mowers who bundle
The charms of their straw-beds scorning
Before break of day, to make love and hay,
At five o'clock in thejuorniug!
But, bet ween me and you, it is all untrue
Believe not a word they utter;
To no milkmaid alive does the finger of five
Bring beaux or even bring butter.
The poorfleepy oows, if told to arouse,
Would do so, perhaps, in a horn-ing;
But the sweet country girls, would they
show their curls,
At five o'clock in the morning?
It may cat be wrong for the man in the
Or the moon if anxious to settle,
To kneel in wet grass, and pop, but, alas !
What if he popped down on a nettle?
For how could he see what was under his
If, in spite of my friendly warning,
lie went out of bed and his house and his
At live o'clock in.the morning?
It is all very well, such stories to tell
Butjif I were, a maid, all forlorn-ing,
And a lover should drop, in the clover, to
At five o'clock'in the morning;
If I liked him, you see, I'd say ' Please call
at three ;r
If not, I'd turn on him with scorning:
" Don't come here, you Hat, with conundrums
At five o'clock in the morning!"
The Moral of the Rosebud.
A rosebud in a garden lay,
Hid all its sweetness from the day;
Its crimson leaves were folded fast,
Though sunbeams softly o'er it cat
Their goMen glory and the breeze
Sang of a thousand sights that please ;
But rijiniing rain at length apart
Drew the green ventures from its heart
Ami left it smiling in the sun,
To life asd love and beauty won.
Trembled the.trccs, the wind waxed high,
Swept a fierce storm across the sky,
The lightning like a sword-blade gleamed.
I' rom the dark cloud a torrent streamed,
And soon the radiant leaves erapearled
Were scattered o'er the weeping world.
True love is like a silver shower
That Ci!s with light the summer hour:
But paion like a tempest sweeps
All loveliness to darksome deeps.
Itright apart of boyhood, ponder long
The meaning of the simple song!
TOf.l DRAKE'S WIFE.
T was?. Tom Drake's nearest friend and
confidant for tAventy years . 1 helped him
when he began business for himself, ten
years ago; 1 assisted him with funds
when ho was embarrassed by hard times ;
I adviSMi with liim when he was ques
tioning himself about Maria Benson; I
.stood up with Iibci when he was married ,
and his nly boy wears my name. How
we cam to be such friends I am not
able to tell . I suppose it was because
we suited each other. Our friendship
had no romantic beginning, but grew
with our kaowledgc of each other.
( cannot point out any distinctive trait
in 'torn that held me to him, and never
supposed him to be more than a com
monplace type of man. Undoubtedly
he could .-ay a;s much of me. As a bu
siness man he was tolerably successful;
he did nut get rich, but he was in a fair
v.-ay of becoming rich, and managed his
business i-arefullv and wisely. 1 am a
plodding lawyer, with a few clients and
fevcr needs. I have neither wife nor
relative, and very few friends. I came
into possession of an ample income
when 1 arrived at lawful age, and that
litis kept me from making any effort for
a -npnf:tion .
When Drake, was married to Maria
Benson , I think I was fully as happy as
he was. I knew Maria before Tom be
came hue rested in her; but when he told
mc that he was in love with her, I be
gan to study her as carefully as if she
were about to become my own partner.
I saw some traits in her character that I
wtis sorry for; but judging her as a
whole, 1 thought she was an excellent
Tom was always open-hearted with
me, and I knew that he was not blind to
her imperfections; but, :is he remark
ed, he did not expect to find perfection.
1 rom the fact that they were totally un
like in many things , 1 took it for granted
that they were made for each other. I
am not sure now, however, that that is
a safe rule to follow. Tom alwtrys ad
mired her piety, and I thought it agood
point myself . No matter how worldly
minded wc men maybe, and careless
as to our own religion, or rather want
of religion, wo are anxious that our
eliildren should be subject to proper re
ligious influence, and we expect them to
obtain it from their mother. Tom was
not a very regular church-goer, and I
may as well confess it neither was I.
But Maria was constant in her attend
ance and observance of churchly duties .
fndecd skc was one of the foremost
among the young ladies of the church.
She taught a class in Sabbath-school.
another in mission school , and was on
nearly every church committee that re.
quired a woman's presence.
Tom and I discussed this phase in her
character until we were both agreed
that it wa- just what a wife's ought to
Maria was very fond of parties, hops,
picnics, sleigh rides, and all that man
ner of enjoyments that seem to come
under me neaii or "innocent. ' l am
sure 1 don't know why they are thus
called. I am not responsible for the
classification. If I were to decide from
recollections of my youth, I should say
there was as much deviltry in everv
thing as one carried there, and no more
E have listened to excellent sermons
preached by actors on a stage, and have
seen some very good (and bad) acting
done in pulpits. I have seen people
warm-hearted and neighborly to each
other at dances, and heard some vicious
back-biting at church sociables. But I
do not pretend to be posted in these
matters nowadays, and know that Ma
ria looked upon round dances as sinful.
I do not know why it should be so,
but I believe it is a rule that wives do
not endorse their husband's friends.
Maria did not quite do me justice from
the first. 1 think she would have been
glad to create a rupture between Tom
and me, but she soon found that an im
possibility and she desisted. But she
never quite forgave Tom for confiding
in me to the extent he did, and I am
sure I did not blame her. I tried to
persuade Tom not to open his heart to
me on matters that concerned only him-
'self and his wife, but he insisted on tell
ing me every thing, as he had always
I am confident now that Maria under
estimated Tom before she married him.
"Women arc not apt to give business
men too much credit. Most of their
ideas of business arc derived from the
army of young clerks with whom they
mingle, and certainly one cannot blame
them for having a somewhat peculiar
opinion of buiness. A young lawyer,
or doctor, is a being of a different or
der. If he has but a small stock of
brains, he is apt to have conceit enough
to make up the deficiency; and what he
icks in thought he furnishes in tongue.
Tom was a good specimen of the busi
ness men of the city. lie was well post
ed in the events of the day, an earnest
advocate of such measures as he ap
proved of, but a man who could not, or
would nut, talk when he had nothing to
say. His idea of being sociable was to
take a hearty interest in the personal
welfare of his company, and not in chat
tering like a magpie.
As I said before, I was Tom's "best
man ' when they were married, and
when their boy was christened he had
my name tacked on for a handle. Up
to this time, and for a few vears after
ward, I think they were as happy as the
iverage among married people: but
there gradually came a change over
I'om that 1 could not account for, until
ic informed me, one day, that every
thing was not quite as it should be at
I can't remember now whether 1 was
surprised or not . 1 dan; say L was not.
There are too many eases of marital ttn
happine.ss upon every court calendar,
for a lawyer to be surprised at hearing
of one more. 1 think I putted away at
my cigar vigorously and kept a wise
silence. Tom was silent too for some
time after his disclosure; at last lie
turned to me with a question.
"What would you do, Ed?"'
"Do vour best to remove the trou
ble." "I've been doing mv best for over a
worst; all the
"You are sure vou are not fighting a
creature of vour own imagination?''
" I can't advise you, Tom."
We sat and smoked quite a while long
er, but neither spoke until Tom threw
away his cigar with a sigh, and bade
me good-night. He had not given me
any clew to his troubles, and I was glad
of it. I think I congratulated myself
upon the fact that I had no wife, and
then dismissed the subject from my mind
as much as I could.
Seeing Tom during the next
few days, I carefully avoid
ed all allusion to his home
matters, and so did he. I might have
put it down to some trilling misunder
standing between them, but I had a call
from Maria, and the trouble at once be
came a real thing. She was ill at ease,
and I did not help her to become less
so . At last she asked if I had been talk
ing with Tom lately. I replied that E
had seen about as much of him as
"Have you had any confidential talk
with him?" she asked.
"All our talk is confidential," I an
"Did he say any thing of home
"lie has given me no partieulars of
"But he told you. that we were not
"He said something that gave me
the impression that you were not quite
"But he did not tell you the cause of
our tin happiness?"
"He did not."
There was silence between us for sev
eral moments. At last she seemed to
have braced herself for the purpose of
her visit .
"We arc not suited to each other,"
she said, with spasmodic energy. ' 'Wo
ought never to have married."
She looked at me as if waiting for a
question, but I remained silent.
""We are unlike in every thing," she
continued. "I feel as if I was being
dragged down into nothingness. Tom
eats, and sleeps, and works. He takes
me to nothing scarcely, and when he
does he goes to sleep in a corner; until
T waken him to bring me home. I am
sick of nvy life, and 1 want to change
Still I made no suggestion.
"Tom thinks a woman ought to feel
herself in Paradise if she has but a child
to care for. I sometimes think 1 hate
the boy. I know that he is exactly like
his father, and I do not care for him."
She stopped, as if expecting me to'.. , ' , . , " , . , "
, , , , i thus was done betook ui) his dreary life;
say something; but as I did not, she
went on again.
"Tom can have his boy. and T want
to go back to my father's. I have
spoken to him and he will take me."
She stopped again . I neither encour
aged her to continue or to be silent.
' 'I want you to speak to Tom," she
"I decline to do any thing of the
kind," I answered, emphatically.
"You think me entirely to blame?"
he remarked, questioningly.
"I think you are entirely to blame,"
You never thought me good enough
r Tom," she said, rather sneeringlv.
"Whatever I mav have thought Fs of j
no consequence; but I am sure now that
you are not 'good enough for Tom." "
"Well," said she; "that point is not
worth disputing over. I have made up
my mind to separate from him, and I
thought he Avould rather hear of it from
you than through another. If you de
cline to tell him, I must send some one
else to him."
' ' I do decline to be the bearer of any
such intelligence," I. ausAvered. "1
see you have made up your mind in re
gard to your future, and I do not take it
upon me to advise or warn you : but, as
I believe there is a just Cod in Heaven,
so I be!ie'e the time Avill come Avhen you
will beg on your bended knees, and
Avith a broken heart, to have these days
blotted out of your life, and your pra
crs Aviil only mock you with your mis
ery." Her face grew pale as 1. Avent on, and
1 Avas almost sorry that I had allowed
myself to speak as I had done, but I felt
that 1 AA'ould be unfaithful to one of
the truest friends that (Jod ever gave to
man, if 1 remained silent, or le.-s earn
est. "I think you Avill be sorry for this
Avhen you know all ," Avas her remark,
and she A-ent out of the room.
How the Fates blind us! Walk
ing up and down my room Avhen
Avas alone, I recalled the pic
tures that Tom had drawn of
Avhat his married life Avas to be;
of the sAveet content his Avifc Avas to
bring him; of the joyous years Avherein
children Avere to gladden his life. Blind,
blind, blind! The pictures Avert; but de
lusions: the castles had dungeons be
neath them. His Avife Avas to be an an
gel, glorified into womanhood! She
AvasaAvoman, pulled down by petty,
selfish fancies, and a creature of com
I Avould have gi'cn all that I had
rather than see his life thus broken; but
I could do nothing. He came tome
that night, and 1 saAv that he knew the
Avorst. But men do not cut their faces
and pour ashes on their heads, because
their hearts are bursting. They do not
mourn through the higlnvavs and bv
Avays, calling attention to their Avretch
edness. They merely live and suffer,
lie helped himself to a cigar, lit it,
and then sat doAvn in his customary
manner. After a few puffs ;it the cigar
he said: "Maria Avas here to-day,
' ' I'm to haA-c the boy, you know?"
' 'It's pretty hard on Maria."
1 did not answer.
' ' I am afraid she will be very unhap
py Avithout the boy."
It Avas like him to feel sorry for her,
and it never entered his head thtit she
should dislike her own child .
"I feel like an old man, Ed, since
her father told me. I know I must
have been to blame, and yet I tried to
do all that man could do to make her
If I had said anv thing it would have
bean highly uncomplimentary to Maria,
so I kept silent .
"I am afraid you were hard on Ma-
ria, to-day, Kd : her father says you
were. You ought not to blame her.
She has tried to be contented, and is
not to blame because she cannot change
I want vou to look after
' ' I won't," I broke in savagely; ' 'I
will not have any tiling to do with this
"I am sorry you feel that way, Ed.
I wanted to have you feel differently.
Come home with me; Maria has gone
fo her father's."
I went home with him, and could
hardly keep my eyes dry at the picture
of desolation that reigned there, lwas
glad to get away in the morning, and
began to plan how his life might be
brightened. I was unable to do any
thing for him. He and the boy were
comfortable as they were, he said, and
he could not change.
In a few days a formal separation was
drawn up between himself and his wife,
and he settled upon her a sum that was
! much too liberal, I thought, but he
dreary but for his little boy
our custom to take a stroll down the
main street of the city, when the boy
was sent to bed, and we started out one
night at a slow pace as was usual with
us; but before Ave had gone many
squares, Ave began to hurry with others
towards a bright light that was ahead
of us. A handsome mansion Avas on
lire. The owner had filled his house
Avith invited guests, and the orders of
mc (laiiemg-masier nau neen ninety m-
terrupted by the servants' cries that the
house Avas on fire.
High breeding is not much different
from no breeding Avhen life is in dan-
ger. The upper-ten in the parlors Avere
not less selfishly anxious for number
one, than Avere the sen-nuts in kitchens
and halls. The lire had broken out in
the lower rooms, and the stairways Avere
first to be choked Avith flames. From
tin; second story the people Ave re re
leased by ladders until the fire had be
come, master there. A few people Avere
still in the upper rooms Avhen Ave readi
ed the .scene, and a long ladder
was raised to them. One
after another they Avere helped
doAvn until there Avere but two
to come, and just as they Ave re prepar
ing to step on the ladder it AA'as licked
by the llames, and in a breath Avas burn
ed in two.
A great shout Avent up from the
throng, and Ae looked for some one to
go to the women's assistance, with the
expectancy that some one in the croAvd
AA'ould surely be equal to the occasion,
.lust then a man came near us avIio
seemed to know the women. 1 caught
the names, and hoped Tom did not:
but he had. He turned to me : "My
Cod, Ed! it's Maria!"
Before I could say a Avord, he had
thrown his coat into my arms and AA'as
lost in the crowd. 1 heard a cheer, and
saAV him climbing up the Avater-.-pout at
the corner to leeward of the fire. Cod!
IIoav I Avatched him! Hoav I prayed
forhim! Up , up , up he Avent ; reached
the Uoor the Avomcn Avere on; dashed
into the smoke, and flames; reappeared
at another Avindow; disappeared in the
smoke again, and then Avas seen with
the Avomen ! How the eroAvd cheered!
But I could not cheer I could only
pray. The lire A-as very near them .
Tom lowered a small string he had car
ried up with him, and Avith it raised a
strong rope. They had to climb to an
other part of the house, and then I saAv
Maria being loAA'ered. She Avas landed
safely and the rope AA'ent back again.
The tAVo up in the flames had to eraAvl
up on the roof, and Tom arranged the
rope around the chimney, and then the
other Avoman Avas landed in safety. I
saAv that much though I AA'as some dis
tance from the lire. I had taken charge
of Maria for Tom's sake. She av:us in a
deathly faint, and 1 Avas helping the
physician to bring her out of it as Ave
drove her to her father's.
It Avas late in the night before her
father Avould permit me to go to my
room , and he was after me tit a very
early hour in the morning. I bought a
paper as aa'c rode along, and my heart
nearly stopped its beating as I read of
the last night's Avork. 1 had no time to
talk of the newsAvith her father, as I had
but read it Avhen Ave reached his house,
and he Avas impatient for me to go to
She Avas in bed, and her eyes AA-ero
bright with the excitement she had so
lately gone through. She took my
hand and clasped it in both of hers for
seA-cral minutes in silence, and then she
"You have been a true friead to us
' both ; you knew I was not worthy of
him: be a friend now to me. Give me
i back nay husband, and mv bov. Oh.
forget all my unworthiness, and nve
I me a chance to show him how I love
Ihim. Help me! help me!" she cried.
j I could not pity her. What was she
that my friend's life should have been
1 but a plaything in her hands? She had
sown; now she should reap. Perhaps
she saw this in my face.
"Oh, do not turn from me," she
cried . ' ' You cannot imagine all that L
will do for him to make him happy.
My Cod, have pity on me, have pity!
Say that you will help me!"
" It is too late," I answered.
"No, no," she cried, "it cannot be
too late. Bring him to me. and let me
J revive some of his old love for me."
"It is too late for that," was all t
j ;i :im sure ne loves me vet."
j Ah! men die for such women as this,
j One dav all hate, the next all love. I
i bad no pity for her. I loved my friend .
.Jut then her father entered. His face
"Have you told her?" he asked.
" I was just about to do it," I an
"Something has happened to Tom!"
she exclaimed. "What is it? Take
me to him!"
"You cannot help him. He lost his
life in saving yours." IF. . Maker t
in Locke's Xational Monthly.
The Crooked Streets of Canton.
A Xew YorkiifCHiTZPosJcorrespond
ent Avrites : The sights of a Chinese
street are a marvelous mixture of incon
gruities , and every thing appears ennvd-
i ed up together, as though people scarce-
Jv h:ul ,.()om to move or j)reathc. The
j tores are r:inge(i thickly on both sides
j ;uul rL.semble great booths or stalls, be-
entirely open in front and having
: substantial counters and chairs and
I shelves. Their goods are ranged on the
shelves around the three sides of the
room , or else in shoAV-eases , so that a
passer-by may see at a glance all that
the shop contains. EA'ery store has its
own little "god-house," or sacred table
and inscription, in a prominent place
high up on the Avail, and before these
tapers are continually burning and in
cense is offered . Another little shrine,
with tablet to tin; "God of Wealth," i
also placed at the entrance, and before
this taper ami joss-paper are burned
each eAvning, just as the shutters are
put up in front of the shop. By far the
most striking effect in the street is caus
ed bv long sign-boards, whieh hang
down from iron brackets, and are o
thick that you can only see a short dis
tance ahead. These boards arc colored
green, blue and red, and are inscribed
Avith hetiA'y gilt letters, or the names
are carved and the alternate characters
are colored differently, so that with
all its A'ariety of hues the eroArded
causcAvay has a very gaudy appear
ance. The Canton streets arc cele
brated for their cleanliness, but. of
their odors on a Avarm day I will not
speak . They are all paA'ed with granite,
slabs, Avorn smooth and slippery by the
tread of generations. These fllabs arc
very long and about a foot wide, and
they lie crosswise over the road. Di-
rectly under them are the seAvers, which
open up to the air through the numer
ous crevices of the paA'ement. The at
mosphere is not usually unpleasant,
though, and there is always so much
incense burning, so many firc-crackcrs
exploding, such quantities of eandal
Avood, spiee, fruit, sugar-cane and oth
er odoriferous substances exposed for
sale, that it takes a long time to dis
criminate between the scents that please
and those that do not. It must be re-
niembered, also, that most of the
! streets here many of them main streets
j are scarcely as Avide as the gideAA'alk
in front of an American's house; and if
'. one can imagine miles of such lanes, in-
tersected at regular intervals by similar
crooked and twisting crosspaths, an
idea mav be gained of Avhat a labyrinth
Canton is made up. This system is
utterly perplexing to a new comer, and
one could not possibly liud one's Avay
around without an experienced guide,
for there are no parks or open spaces
Avhence a general vieAv of the situation
may be obtained. Nothing can bo seen
above but a strip of sky betAvoen the
projecting eaves of the houses, and even
this opening is not unfrequently corered
Avith boards or matting.
It is seldom easy to sec the hidden
benefaction in that Avhich is an apparent
affliction. A boy avIio av:is "confound
ing" the mosquito was told by his pas
tor that "doubtless the insects are made
Avith a good end in view," Avhen the
young scamp replied, "I can't sec it
Avhether it is in view or not. At any
rate I don't like the end I feel ."