OCR Interpretation


Ashtabula weekly telegraph. (Ashtabula, Ohio) 1880-1886, December 24, 1880, Image 7

Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078581/1880-12-24/ed-1/seq-7/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for

JAMBS REP.n ft BON, Prop'r.
asiitaiiula i I OHIO.
ST. NICHOLAS.
41 IIo I niP.nR at tlie wU-kot, who pounclf-ftttbo
unor
Such ndtii In Olympus wai no'or board be
for
I would i-rp fjrt ye frono I'm iilltnr, l'a
Hick.
What Um (leu'-e tliero iiguln who ! calling
oiiiiii .-v.tjKr
' Arotiao vi Arnmn vi It'a rinwntiii-niriiin
Hie atiir tlint oin-o hcHin-U over itutliltihum's
ptnin
The lnr oMho Mnftl. that about nn the morn
M hen ciirih'M "lea ud 3uviuur(lheClutait:lilld
Wllrt bOi 111"
"Hot Ho! In It no? Then I'll up nnrt nwny
Ah booh ih t lie Uublins vuii haniusa uiy
Hlcih."
Then he rnnrd such a laugh iw he fprnng out
It startled Hit- wtnvn In the kv overhead.
And thy winked at each other us much as to
HI IV,
There is Hnmp'liing gone wron.- and Old Mck
in to pay.
It tiok lint a moment to Jump In his boot.
To wrap hitrrtell up In the hem of fur aiutn,
To run to th- cio-cl wild dnw out hi tm-k.
Which lie mvmiR with u chuckle atTott; his
titnnri liiir-U
Then of) to tlio -nttble he dallied through the
miow,
Where tho reindeer were prancing, all ready
Ml uu.
He win uii In n jiff v. and rrnckin-f hi whin.
With a -Mil. there I my hcurUcs!" he let the
runs sup.
Straight down through the welkin they sped
like i ho liht
Without pitMHe or turn to the left or the right:
The cloud druugei tJiulr nklitn to gut oil of
the tr.u k,
Tho wind Nhrunk alarmed nil quite taken
aH'-k ;
E'en the u.oon drew In h.isie a veil over her
fiu-e
fio qui k cracked the whip and so fast was tho
pace ;
And he peuled out u lough so Jocund and truy
That Aurora woke up 1 n be.oi'o ll wiwd-iy;
Oh, never such ttielgn-rldc was ndden heioie
As Mint of St. Nick with his rich L'hrlatmutt
store!
Far down in tlio distance Kurth rolled fast
Hbleen.
Dark nUht having wrapped it in silence so
rt. p
That tlio rh ddren, tucked close in their snug
Whence noihina peeped out save their eheru
him he kih.
Were dreuiningoifaries, of frolic on'l fun,
And other stern tacts of u life Just b gun.
It was three by tho clock, when out on the
row
The tinkle of lelah-bells and tans of a hoof
Made their it'tle hearts bound and Hushed
round the Kurt 1 1
A sinllo Hiich us woicomed the Lamb at Its
i lr it :
Tut they wokp not. Oh, no! OM Nick lusosiy
He fastens a pudiouk on each piyinjo.
With a "M inn, there, my pretties," he stops
with a ierk,
Light b his pipe, swings his pack, then away to
Over stable and house-tops, In windows,
d m n iliioi.
80 fleet, you would think he hud win?s to his
noes,
In pantnes he peeps and through bedrooms
he whirls,
Now kissing tho babies, now pinching the
Filling up all their stockings with goodies and
Nor forgetti'ng the switch, always left for bad
JOYS.
Then on through the play rooms to plant
Which giow iIoIiIds and' drums with such ex
quisltce-su.
What ft jolly fat fellow ! so little and spry,
With round dimpled cheeks und u line hash
liii. m-ii.
Hair Jeweled with hailstone, and such a rod
It lights up the pathway wherever he goes!
Then hi ri'-h, merry iuugh uh 1 never, I fear,
V ill miifcic so swe.-t again gluddcnihe yeurl
But time flies anaeo. Even now n fnlnti mv
fiu-ug.es up through the fcaot astholloruldof
OUY
The winds wako in protest and scatter tho
HTIOW ;
Now, listen ! the signal ! I hear tho cock crow.
"Ho, hoi" rHas Old. Nick, with his cheeriest
'Merry Chn.Htmua to all, and to all a good
Edxaard C, Hancock.
THE BELLS OF CONNYVILLE.
A CHRISTMAS STORY.
a afternoon, more
than liny years uf.ro, the good people of
vonnyviiie tiling a chime 01 bells In the ivv-
ni-inlku belfry of ht. John's Church; and
after the good purUh minister I Kid pre iched
a sermon appropriate to the occasion, It was
voted, us liieir sexton was growing feeble,
that Ezra INitts should in future be in
trusted w ith the euro of the little church and
me ringing r U' ne musical bells that hud
just been hung in the belfry. So Kra rolls
was made t-exton, and though thirty years
had punned away since the dav the cliimes
were hung, yet he still performed the simple
duties of his long-continued olliee.
He hud grown to be nearly liftv-nlnc years
wiu, ami inuugu ms mint nair was 11 hired
with silver, his stp was firm und light
and hi strong frame was still unbent, lie
was a sturdy fellow, this K-zra Potts, with a
broad, smooth, genial face a good und
merry heart will muooUi over a sight of
wrinkles and his eves were us brimful of
mirth as they could be. In fact, this Kzra
x una wua nn kuou a man as you onen meet,
and the children all loved him dearly and
called biin Father Potts, and the older folks
all loved bin), too, and would shake the hon
est hand and speak to him a Brother Potts.
Yes, he was nearly fiflv-nine the Christ
mas eve he lighted his lantern and left his
osy cottage to go up the hill through the
now to chime the bells, as was the custom
on every Christ mas eve Mince the bells iirst
oame to Connyvillo. He was vory happy
that night as he walked up tho village sirctit,
past the shop windows gay whh tow and
bric-a-brac, and merry with the groups of
children gathered 'round to feast their eves
and chatter with their boisterous tonguas,
for he had In mind the hupplness abroad
that night and the Joy that would be awak
ened with the children in the morning, lie
sideB, he bad bought his wife a new gown
and a large-print Bible, which he knew
would please her very much, and a little
lame girl down the street would find a well
filled stocking beside ber bed In the morn
ing, and she would guess that Father Potts
put It there.
But amidst all this gavety and bis own
happiness there wassomethingthattroublcd
him, and a sigh escaped his lips, and invol
untarily he walked slower us he ascended the
hill to ring Ht. John's bell; and as he wend
ed on bis busy thoughts were drifting ten
years back, when his daughter Kitty wus
seventeen a bright, pretty girl sho was, pe
tite in figure, and with a fascinating grace
In manner that made her a favorite with all
the good people of Connyvillo. He, Kzra,
loved that girl with all his great might and
mind; she was such a winsome creature It
would have been hard, Indeed, for anybody
to do otherwise: but If lid loved her too
fondly he was rebuked, God knows, and bit
terly, too.
As the modest little belle of that quiet vil
lage, Kitty had many suitors, for the right
eort of a girl will turn the heads of half the
awalns In any village; but tho most favored
one was Kphruim Hates, a reputable young
farmer of sterling quaiaies, whom Kzra
loved as be would have loved his son, and
after a varied courtship of little ups-and-downs,
for they had their quarrels and
reconciliations which go to make up the
spley sum of human love affairs, be. In the
early spring-time, in his bashful, awkward
way, asked for her hand, which she she
loved to tease the fellow granted him, of
ter keeping him in agoifY for a month wait
ing for her answer, when she could have
told him on the spot he might have it if he
wanted. They were very happy till June
came, with its bulmy air and frugrant blos
soms, for with it came a wild, handsome
fellow up from the city down by the sea to
while away his time among the hills and
trout brooks of Connyville, Now he found
Kitty out and made her aenuaiiiUne.o; and a
brilliant, well-mannered fellow such as he
was lust the tort to turn the head of a iim.
file-hearted girl like Kitty, who knew but
Ittle of the life beyond her native village, or
01 tne amtices or handsome, reek nm nwn.
Kzra noticed the change In her with pained
anxietv. nut no neid intt tonviitt. inn nu tha
vounir man would soon unit the and
hat Kitty would as soon forirot him.
JKpbralm was madly jealous of such ardent
i devotion to his betrothed, and one evening
I when he bad come down from his farm on
I the hill to call on Kitty he said, In bis blunt
I Way, "Kitty, thlsyounsf nnii from the j-lty
I)
O-oh,
to
growing too familiar with you. I must In
sist on having It Htopped."
" What a sllty, nointenilral boy you are,"
laughed Kilty in the gayest manner psnni
ble, as though It was the very funniest thing
In the world.
"Mkj'Iio I am," ha said with a sorrowful
sigh. "Hut you are not treating me an I
ought to be treated, as you would want to be
treated."
"How do you want to be treated V she
akrd, coaxliurlv.
'Must as you would want me to treat
you," he replied, "ow suimhihp." and he
fixed hluiM'lf a If he was about making a
great and valid point, 'I hould run hnlf
niy time witti mimio I'heios or bally lirown,
how would you like lluitr
"Mow would I like that" she cried.
laughing in the heartiest and most provoking
manner, "un, 1 should enjoy that so much
And ft would be such fun I And obtdeur!
Kphraini Ifutfs and Hude Phelps. Hut.
Kph " she was very sober and very ironical
'you couldn't do such a thing were you to
try a life-time. Iain the only pretty "girl,"
aim she tossed her head and looked rery
vain, "who over had a particle of sympathy
for overgrown Kphralm Hates."
Kphraim was slung deeply by thee words,
ior inoy were cruel worus mr ner to speak
Besides, he, like other men, had some con
celt, and he believed he could have wooed
and won old 'Squire Phelps's daughter as
sucecMtfully as be had wooed and won Kitty
run.
"KiHy," he sold, harshly, "after engag
Ing yourself to me 1 am sure you have n
rluht to allow any gentleman to be so do
voted to you as this strange fellow fs. Again
must Insist on lis being stopped."
Kitty knew as well as anybody he was
right, and It galled her to be told of It.
especially by Kphraim. But for tho world
she wouldn't let him know It galled her.
'Oh, what a uueer bov vou are. Fuh !" sh
answered, pleasantly, and then added, with
a hern louen or sarcasm. ' Don't vou know.
Honnio, that if I were confined exclusively to
you ior mate society 1 should iret so sick and
so tired of you 1 hhould never, never want
to see you again as ionic as 1 live?"
Had Kphraim been a shrewd observer of
character, especially of female character, he
would not have allowed himself to be greatly
aggrav ated, for he would have known that it
ulea-ed Kittv best to have him so.
"Kitty," he said, sharply, "you don't
love me you can't love me if you speak as
you nunK. '
"Oh. dear!" cried ICittv. bursting into an
other tit of laughing, "what a silly, silly boy 1
IM1 1 ever tell vou, (ltd I ever tell anybody.
loved vou? Now be honest, r;in. aid 1
" Didn't you promise you would marry
me?" he asked, sternly.
"No, I didn't." she retorted, sharnlv
may have told vou something I presume 1
did that led you to believe I might, some
time, do such n foolish thing, hut never in
mv life have 1 told you I loved you. Hut
what has that to do with it. anvvavr"
' What has that to do with it?" he cried,
fiercely. " Does not that promise imply you
lave mer
"Oh, dear, no!" she retorted, with a lan
guid unconcern. "It don't imply anything,
only that 1 promised a silly fellow something
hadn't ougut to. 1 hat's all."
"Are you in earnest?" he cried.
' Never was more so," she attswerod.
' Then we will break our enga'em?nt, and
vou, Kitty Potts, will rue the day it was
broken."
"Suit yourself," she said, carelessly, and
tossing their engagement ring to t lie noor,
Kphraim picked it up ami left the house.
Poor Kittv burt Into tears when he had
gone, for she never supposed their quarrel
would result in Mien a manner, suethouubt
however, like ull previous quarrels, it would
end happilr : so sho soon cheered up and
gave herself no further trouble, but flirted
more boldly with her wild und handsome
suitor.
In the past Kphraim had been in the habit
or walking witu her to cnurcn on the pleas-
nnt Sabbath evening! and ever before they
had reconciled their little diltt ul ie on that
day. Sunday came, but Kphraim came not
with It, und the scalding tears started from
her eve-, und sho reproached hersell bitterly
for her cruel words, und would have fallen
at his feet and pleaded for his forgiveness
for she loved him with all her sorrowing
neart.
She walked to church alone that night,
where sho saw Kphraim with 'Souire
Phelps's pretty daughter Susie, and, poor
oolisn girl 1 sue swore revenge on kphraim
Hates, and tne next nig tit it was executed
In the morning it was 4iled abroad that
Kittv 1'otts bad gone away with the wild.
imiidiiome fellow, and wan marriod to him
in the city out by the sea.
It wus near a dcuth-hlow to Kzra, For
days and weeks he lingered between life and
death with a raging fever In his head. Hut
he mended slowly, und when he could go
uliout his work ugain he seemed almost us
su. u.' as he was In other days, but bis heart
uu, nol l he great wound wus not healed
vet. From that terrible, day he never spoke
her name, und every villager forbore to
mention it In his presence. She hud written
him for forgiveness; but some things there
ure men aro not divine enough to forgive,
und Kzra set his heart hard against lorgiv
ing the cruel wrong Kitty hud done her fam
ily and her betrothed. She never wrote him
after thai; but more than a year afterward
ho heard that her reckless liu-baud, tiring of
her charms and beautv, had abandoned her
und left her ulone und friendless in the great
umuerciiui cuy uownaj me sea.
But Falher I'otts cheered himself up and
Wended his way up the hill, and opened the
great door of St. John's, and climbed the
belfry stairs, and chimed tho fine musical
bells that sounded merrier and more music
al than ever, for it seemed to Kzra und it
seemeu to ull the villagers, that the bells
rang swteter in the Christinas times. Hut
hearts are gayer then, and life is brighter
then, and the star glimmers in tho Kast
again and makes Heaven seem nearer and
dearer.
Presently Father Potts put on bis coat,
shut the belfry door, came down the stairs
aud opened the great door to go out into tho
street: but just as he was aiiottt stepping
from the threshold the light from the lun-
teru fell upon a bundle lying on the topmost
Biep,
"Oh, myl" he cried, holding his lantern
above his head and bending down that ho
might more distinctly see the object, "Oh,
mv! what uow? A present inavbe for mv
wife, ho, ho, or forme, bo, hof Who'd a
uiuugni mat rzra runs, sexton, 'd lind a
present on old St. John's steps? Nobody I
swearl Here I've boen attending this old
stone church for niore'n thirty years, and to
night I've a present for me or for my wife,
ho, ho!" And Kzra laughed and shook
himself, and bent close to and laid his baud
on the bundle.
"A hristmaa turkey," he cried, slapping
his sides, "Oh, a good fat Christmas turkey,
bo, ho! A tine fat turkey for Christmas, ha,
ua! Wou't my wife oh, won't mv wife be
glad when she sees this !"und he laid hold of
the bundle, and stepping back into the
church ho placed It on a cushion and began
undoing It. He first unwrapped a course,
heavy shawl, wondering who would send a
turkey done up In such a fashion, and then
he unrolled a blanket tine und white, and
then ho Jumped half out his souses aud
cried:
'Oh, Lord I Oh, my Lord !" and then he
gasped for want of breath, and put his hands
together und looked half frightened, half
leased, as he stood beside the bundle that
io supposed held ouly a flue, fut Christmas
turkey.
"Oh!, ray gooduessl oh, my soul! It's a
baby t a little livo baby, as sure us I'm b'irn.
my, my oh, mv Lord!" and Kzra
Potts held his dim light very close to the
sleeping Infant's fuce.and bent his faee very
close to It, that he might not be mistaken
and find It a turkey after all.
"It's a real live baby!" he cried arafn.
"Oh, my soul! oh. my wife! won't she, oh,
ifonY she bo glud? Won't Kzra Potts be
glad, too f Won't Ezra Potts and wife be
glad together? Oh, dearl a real tine baby.
Oh, dear! O-oh dear!" And Father Potts
fell upon his knees, half laughing, half cry
ing, as ho bent very close to the babe.
"Oh, my wife, mv beloved wife, our
daughter's come back to us jut us she came
tons ainrsii 011 lunstmart-cve. too. Oh.
my! to Kzra Pot ta and wife a daughter, ho,
hoi" And Kzra shook himself very hard
again, and his eves glistened with tears, al
though he tried hard to push them back.
"The good Iordsent her !" he cried, wind
ing the fine white flannel around the babe.
les. the good Lord sent her. and He
knowed just where to Bond hcT lileMj 111,
rae and ILzr. t'oltg una wife tfbu'n't ui,-
ppolnt the Lord. uelthT. Oil. mv soul I
what a Chrifitmaw present 1 preMMU Ntru!rht
Kzra Pott and wife from the Lord. Oh.
what a next on in Lzra Potu! what a hlertsed
sexton, what a lucky anxlon I ToKzral'ottg
and wife "and he luuKhrd so bard auin he
couldn't for his life huveadded 'dai!Khter;"
and tying tip t)i coiirief heavy sliawl he
pniiKUtlip his luiuem and scrambled up the
belfry stairs, and rang the bells uiruin liku Hve
great furies.
' 1'raise tne Loral" ne oriea. tuealne on
ndurfth forever. To ICtra Pott, sexton.
d ttorolhyj his wife oh, my will 1" and
he pulled more madly than before, which
brought the (trave-iligifer, who lived In the
small red bouse Just behind the nburch, Info
the belfry. There Isn't a bit of doubt that be
believed the sexton crary, for, besides rlng
Imk tho bolls like mad, his oust and hat were
off and his long gray hair was flying over his
head and faee,
" 1'ral.e the Ixird ! yelled Kzra. ' I'ralse
the Lord to Kzra Potts, sexton of old Ht.
John's, and lorothy, his beloved wife, a
(laughter. " And on went the mad, musinal
bells, and speecnless stood the grave-digger,
as be watehed the sexton while he rang
the ;hristiuss chimes as they had never rung
before.
" A daughter, I tell you, f'ornevl A little
live daughter to Kzra Potts, sexton, anil
Dorothy, bis wlfel" and letting go the ropes
he donned his eoat and hat In an Instant, and
grasping the grave-digger's hand he hurried
1 ira dow n the stairs at a great ratfl.
"Mee that, C'orney see that there I" cried
Kzra, when he had unrolled the Infant.
"Ain't that a Christmas present, Cornev,
nln't It, though!"' and he slapped the grave
digger hard on the back, who looked more
stupehnl than ever.
' To Uzra Potts and wife, I tell you, Cor
nev I tell you a live daughter I" Ue put
his hands on Cornev's shoulder and sh ok
him with all his strength, will, h aroused the
grave-digger so much ho bent over a trille
that he might more plainly sec the sweet,
placid face of the sleeping Infant.
Corney was a very slow fellow. His busi
ness was a slow one, for, as the people of
Connrville were usually a long-lived,
tenacious set, grave-digging was not a driv
ing buslnese at any time, liut, finding bis
pctrilied tongue, he said,
"Wa'al, Idudeclar'l What did you cum
by that air chickr"
" To Kra and Dorothy Potts from the
Lord," olemnlv answered the sexton.
"'Tis, befgbr" said Cornev. "Wa'al, I
kinder reckon as how I wouldn't want the
Lord to bring manyslch critters to me."
" Ah, " said Kra, shaking his lingers, and
taking his bundle tenderly In his arm,
"don't be scared, Cornev, He knows Into
what fold to send His lllife lost Umbs. Oh,
my soul, yes! Ho knows where to wend 'em
to Kra Potts und wife, ho, ho!" And
locking the grout door he hurried off into
the villuge.
"Here comes Father Potts," cried a band
of youngsters on a street corner, as Kra
came in sight. "Have you got anything for
uV" they shouted.
" Ho, bo!" ho cried, merrily, "not a thing
it's a taiy ior mv wire."
"A baby for your wife I" they all shouted
witu boisterous glee. baby for your
wife. Hurrah for Father Potts' baby!"
Hut none of them could believe that Fat her
Potts really had a baby in the queer-looking
uunuie tie was currying.
"Can't we please see your baby!" asked a
little girl, shyly.
Why, bless your heart bless mv heart
bless everybody's heart ! come right along
and have a look all of you come aud have a
iook. iiiy noun come anu have a look, all
of you." And they all scampered along and
hurrahed for Falher Potts and his baby, and
ior m omer rotis ana ner oaoy; ana every
fresh reenilt that Joined the merry rabble
hurrahed as loud and became as wild as any
oi tncm. irauesmen icrt tneir snous ami
customers to see what under the sun the
matter was, and customers rushed to the
doors that they, too, might see the goings
,on; and all the quiet village knew good
Father Potts had found ababv ou the granite
Hteps or out M. John's, and all the quiet vil
latre went wild with Father Potts.
Uy the time he bad reached the door of his
cozy cottage the Infant had awakened and
began crying, which made tho children
nhout the louder, for bevond a doubt
rather Potts had a real live baby; and Mrs
I'otU, hearing nuch an uncommon racket,
hastened to the door to discover its cause.
Oh. mv beloved!" cried Kzra. ' Mv
wife and happiness! I've such a present for
you w-on sucu a present :" anu a tne score
of children came trooping In, Mrs. Potts
thought her husband and half the village
had lost their beads, aud sho was so aston
ished at such strange proceedings that for
a minute sue couiu not uave ULtoreu a woru
to save herelf.
"What have you got, Kzra?" she cried,
when sho cyuld find ber tongue.
"A baby, a baby, a live baby I" shouted
me nine raoino.
" What babv whose babv?" she asked
looking tirst at one and then at another of
tho group, and scarce believing ber own
eurs.
" Ours 1" shouted Enra. " Te Ezra Po ts,
sexton, ana uorotnv, nis neioveu wile, i
daughter." And lie luuirhed. andthechil
dreu laughed, und Mrs. Potts luuirhed In
spite of herself, and undoing the bundle she
took out the nicest, sweetest little baby any
body ever did see, which made the children
laugn ami clan their hands and think that
Father J'otts had found the most wonderful
child in the world.
"Oh, deur!" said Mrs. Potts, " what a
why, what a dour little creature! Whose can
it ue, Hsrar'
Ouri!" answered Kzra, solemnly.
"Yours!" cried the children, who had
gathered close around it, as children always
gather around when there is anything to be
seen.
"How, Ezra? Tell me something any
thing that will relieve me, for the suspense
In really awful."
He told tho children H was best they
ruouiu go away anu come again on tne mor
row, when tliev could sec the babe a much
as they liked; so they scampered happily
away, hurrahing for "the new-found baby
anu ine rouses, aiki men r aiuer I oils re
lated to his imxiouM wife how he bad dicov
cred the child, and how ho was very sure it
was a Cli r is tin as present sent them from the
joru. nirs. roits was as joyous as her ex
uherunt husband, and she lunched and chat
ted away to the little mite of humanity as
gayiy as a young moitier would nave done.
And then they discovered, tied around its
neck with a piece of ribbon, and hidden in
Its snowv bosom, a rumpled note, stained
with tears, maybe, which Kra, after puttiug
on inn giuBse., reuu as louovta:
" If you only knew how miserable, bow
wretehed, I am. Instead of showering curses
upon me you would have pity forme such
pity as you never had before. If you only
anew how hard oh, how hardl it Is for me
to part with mv darling babe, so much dear
er to me than life ever was, then I know
yen would pity me, you would love my poor
innocent babe as fondly as you would your
own. Oh! I pray you for my suke, I prav
you ior t Drisi s siiko, io take my utile nelp
lens child. 1 beseech vou with all mv broken
heart, 1 beseech you with these scalding
tears to keep my" babe, to watch and tend
and cure ior it lust as you would vour own.
lust as vou did the little life thut blussed
you once, that made you happy once, long
ago,
' Ezra, what fs it she says about our little
Daue r Jteuu thut part over again."
"I beHoech you with all my broken heart.
I beseech you with these scalding tears to
keep my babe, to watch and tend aud care
for it lust as you would your own. Just as
you uiu me iituo me mat uicssea you once,
that made you so happy once, long uiro. "
" Just as you did tho little life thut blessed
you once, that made you so happy once,
long ago," repented Mrs. Potts, bending low
io uiuo me tailing tears, "ssov go on, iuzra,
and finish."
"There are others richer In purse than
you with whom I might have left my child;
but your great richness of heart, your Kin
der sympathies, your love of God and man
are riches I prize for my babe above the
wicked, fascinating wealth of the world,
which- is so alluring, but oh! so unsatisfy
ing. Oh, Uodl If iny wretched life had
been as spoties as yours ; if the bleak winds
of temptation had been as gen lo to me as
they have been to yeu ; If Christ bad tended
me with that unfaltering care He tends the
I n' siiarrow. mv babe mitrlit be calmlv
s e -ping oow on this breast, so torn and tor
tured with ceaaeless agony. Again 1 be
seech you to keep my innocent darling, to
ejire for It a you would, as you did your
own; and though Its parents may have sunk
low down in the cruel eyes of this cold, win
try world, remember' how He, born In a
Bethlehem manger, gave you that blessed
hope nt redemption which makes your life
so bright und glorious and this little babe
may grow to bless and oo in fort you when
your years are many and your feet are
trembling near the grave. Watch over her,
I beseech you; guide her aright, I beseech
you, and may CbrUt bless you; may Christ
bless my baby as He has not blessed its
"SUFFKHIXl JIlOrilKH."
It was a verv fortuuate t hi ner for Ezra
Potts and wife that, ut as he bud nnUbed
reading, the babe began to worry and re
quire the combined attention of the two Joy
ful Pott sen, for it would have been a mont
dilllcult mutter foi-citbcr of them to speak
because of the tears that filled their eyes and
tlie great lump thut had risen in their
throats. In a few minutes, however, sweet
looking Mrs, Potts, In her neat gray droits,
frilled cap, and spectacles, aud whose dispo
sition, by tha way, waa every bit as amlaule
.L-., T,, yftfy y,.., , ,
'I have thought, Kzra, ever tinm yon
earns In, that may be maybe It waa her child
our Kitty's baby."
"Pflbaw!" cried Kzra, striking his foot
vary hard upon the floor and looking as sav
agely at bin beloved wife Iorothy as it was
pO'Nlhle for him to do. " Never tall sueh
no men us again. I wouldn't stand It; no.
indeed, I wouldn't!"
"Perhaps I was wrong In speaking my
mind, Kzra, but, somehow, I couldn't blp
It: and, Kzra, don't you think the baby looks
a little 1iit a little as she did when ih
wax small f"
" Nonii-nse again!" cried the sirtn, hit
ting the floor inch a second rap with his foot
that It fnirlv frightened the Hit le creature lo
his wlfe'ti lap half out of all It little wn.
' If you talk any more such infernal stuff Pil
Hltng that bundle plumb Into the street
mind vou, plumb into the street. "
" Why, Kra!" cried hit wife, "you know
you wouldn't, would ho, baby?" And "he
kfrd it a half dozen times, aud fondled it,
and made a sight over It, and then held It up
for Kzra to klis, whW-h the old fellow did.
' Well, Dorothy, you must make up yeur
mind."
"My mind, Ezra?" she cried. "Make up
mind about whatr"
" About keeping It," he anwerM, point
ing at the baby, with a very gruve face,
though he didn't feel (crave not a bit, good,
clever obi soul,
" Lord blaia us!" cried Dorothy. "Tt was
nil mads up Just the minute you came In, for
the Lord knew well enough where thin little
thing ought to oome of courne He did. "
"Oh, my Kord 1" cried Kzra. "Oh, mr
soul, what a woman! My soul, what a wife
and what a ba-beel Yes, to Kzra PottM,
sexton, and Dorothy, his wife a daughter
praitte the Kord, a daughter." And Kzra
laughed and shook hlniHHf, and laiurhed
and shook the cottage walln, and set Mrs.
PotU to laughing; which, In pite of all thev
could do, set the tears a-rolling down their
cheeks.
They must have been the happiest, JolIIost
folks in Connyville that night or anvwhere
else, in fact. Hut by und by Mrs. Potts put
the biby away to bed and made Kzra go and
sleep in tho company chamber, lest he would
forget himself and crmti tho little creature.
And, Mrs. Potts's word for It, be curae to
visit the bed no less than four times In the
night to make hiuiHelf sure the child had not
been surreptitiously spirited away while his
good wife slept.
When the itmrnlntr rmArrnnr1n,taa n-tint
m morning that is to be remembered ! It was
sueh a time as was never known before or
since In that how. In the first plaee, the
good old parish minister came clattering in
before they had eaten breakfast and begged
they would excuse bU haste and the absence
of his neckerchief, but he must see that
child. Sake alive! they'd excuse anything
or turn mat morning, and he must needs
day and have some breakfast and offer
thanks afterward, for Ezra said that on that
occasion thanks muUbe offered by one more
thorough In the buslnoss than himself; he
wanted it done up brown, he Bald the curi
ous fellow.
Then came the children trooping back
again, bringing little presents and things;
and soon afterward came all sorts of older
people bringing larger presents and other
things; and they ull made so much of the
babe und declared it was the most wonder
ful little creature anybody ever did see In
that psrt of the world, or anywhere eNe.
And the good minister over in the corner
said It all reminded him of that beautiful
scene In the stable of Hethlehem, when the
wine men came and gave their gifts to our
new-born Christ. He wanted to know, too,
if all ofthem could tench by example tho
great lesson of forgiveness He taught; if all
could forgive their repentant debtors as Ho
forgives us our debts. And Ezra, laving his
bund on tho good minister's, said, with
streaming eyes, "Praise the Lord, yes!"
liut such presents! Hnttlcboxes, whistles,
all sorts of dolls, wooden horpos and candv
dog-, and a red soldier with a blue gun, and
a real gem of a cradle from old Isaac's, the
cabinet-maker, and Squire Phelps gave it a
hundred dollars in sterling silver. Every
body was so happy, too. If each resident of
Connyville bad hud Just such a baby given
theiu'tliey wouldn't have been one bit hap
pier. No, indod!
After all had looked at the baby, and taken
It In tholr arms and kissed and talked to it
to their heart's content the baby, by the
way, being in the bent of humor and seeming
to enloy it all it was taken up to old M,
John's Church to be christened. That
church had never known such a festival like
that before. The village girls had brought
all the flowers the town afforded, and fairly
tilled the chancel full; the evergreens were
so profuse It seemed as If one had somehow
straved into a fairy's grove; aud the bells
chimed their merriest, and the organ peuled
Its lo ndos t, and thechoirsung theirsweetest,
and it was surely a Joyful ( hristmus morn
ing for ull the happy village foik.
What do you think they named that little
girll Christmas! Funny, wasn't It?
though ever afterward she was known us
Crissy.
When the service was fuirly over with the
good parish minister took Kzra off one sido
and asked of him he wanted to make sure
of it if his heart was really full of unfeigned
forgiveness for all who bad done evil against
him, and if be had ppaco and good-will iu
bis heart fT everybody, which brought the
tears to Ezra's eyes "and made his voice
tremble as be cried, Yes, yes, Lord helping
me!"
"Can you forgive even your wayward
Kitty j" the minister asked, the tears spring
ing to his eyes und his voice trembling, too.
Kzra broke right down at this ami so'ibed
at though the flood-gates of bis heart were
broken, as though he was sobbing for Joy
instead of anguish. If ho would forgive the
wayward, repentant girl und stretch out his
arms und bid her come home ugain, how
much more Christ-like would be the great
ness of his heart, how much happier would
be his Christmas-day!
"Everything," Ezra murmured, In a brok
en voice; " 1 can forgive everything."
"Amen!" cried the minister. " What a
merry Christmas this is going to be!" And
be hud to wipe his eyes verv hard again to
keep the tears froin rolling down his checks.
Aud then the minister led Father Polls,
and good Mother Potts with little Crissy, in
to tlie vestry where yes, their daughter
Kitty fs in there, aud they must be left aloue
a little while.
Poor repentant, wayward child! she hag,
come to be taken back into the fold again.
The rugged mountain paths of life are vory
bleak and dreary, and home Is warm and
bright and loving, and Bhe wandered back
again to be sheltered, and loved, and for
given. Iu a little while they all came out of the
vestry, and, gcttlug Into '.Squire Phelps's
great, comfortable siolgh that was waiting
for them at the door, they went straight up
to his large, well-furnished house and had
the greatest Jollification that was ever heard
of iu that town. Aud such a Christmas din
ner! Well, you may be sure it wus a big
one, for when the company was all mustered
Mrs. Phelps must needs send over to neigh
bor lirown's and borrow Just a dozen plates
to make up tho sixty thut were needed to
set tho table with,
Kphraim Bates I Oh, yes, he was there,
clear, honest follow! He had forgiven Kitty
long ugo. and was biding his time with pa
tience when she would come home again he
knew she would ere long, and he could wait
and when thoir love would be made new
and more enduring, for tho great crucible
through which it had passed had cloaused
and purified It.
Hut Ezra Potta was happiest of them all.
Ah, If on each CbriuUnns morning men
would forgive all thoir repentant debtors us
He forgives us our debts, how much bright
er, merrier the day would be, not only to
him who is forgiven, but aUo to him 'who
forgives I Kzra Potts will tell you that, and
Kza Pot is knows.
It was lold afterward bow the good parish
mlnisur bless his dear old heart I brought
all this happiness about; how be brought
Kitty aad her babe up from the great city by
the sea; how be had her bundle tho little
creature uu and lav it on the itranite steps
of old St. John's, that Ezra might find It
there wtien ne naa cbimrdibe merry pens oi
Yule Ezra did not know that she had a
babe, though tho old fellow knew the min
ute he put his eyes on It that It wus Kitty's,
the likeness was so uerfect for the uarlnh
minister and bless bis heart again 1 had
strong faith the little child would lead them
back, and in vory pleasant piaces. too.
Uujfalo ExpresB,
A littli dausrbter of a man in Port
land, Me., while combing ber bair be
fore a mirror, the other day, brushed a
gas-jet with her hand. In an instant
the celluloid comb was in flames, and
the child's band and check were se
verely burned. The comb wa con
sumed as quickly as a piece of paper
would have been.
The annual crop of flax-seed in this
country is estimated at 3,000,000 busk
-TI-
More Help on the Farm.
The faot that thousands of farmers
are troubled at the eud of the seaaon to
find money to pay hired help is not con
clusive proof that titer bare hired too
much. One fact in farming is never
conclusive of anything, it needs to be
compared witn many others before we
can begin to decide what it means. In
the case of farmers who can not provide
money to pay hired help, the fact may,
and In many cases does, mean that they
have hired too little. It used to be the
rule that the successful farmer must do
most of the work on bis farm, cither
directly himself or by the unpaid help
of bis sons, ilenjamin Franklin put
this idea very tersely in the well-known
couplet of poor Kichard,
He who by the plow wonli thrlv.
Himself must ruber bold or drtta."
The saying is still true, with this addi
tion : No farmer ever achieves great
success by his own labor alone. The
ability U mike profitable use of the
labor of others is quite as Important for
a farmer as for the manager of any
other kind of bus in ens.
The farm is really a workshop. Iu
gains are less than those of other man
ufacturinK industries, because It is ex
ported to fewer risks of loss. The farm
requires more careful management; but
the principles necessary for success are
tho same as in other vocations. By
those principles production must be
pushed just so long as it can be done at
a prolit. The farmers who usually
make the most money are market gar
deners, and one reason is that they em
ploy moat labor. There is little profit
in tho kind of farming that noeds little
labor. Usually the man who goes at
farming with the intention of doing
nothing except what his own hands can
accomplish will not make more than a
bare living, and the larger the farm the
worse position he will be in. Profit
does not come from the number of acres ;
but from capital and labur applied to
them. In mont cases the labor of the
owner of land Is vastly more important
in directing the labor of others than for
what he himself can do. If a farmer
finds this not to be the case, it is pretty
good evidence that he has mistakes bis
calling.
There are on every farm many odd
fobs Irft undone from year to year for
lack of money or lack of help, the doing
of which would give more profit than
all the ordinary farm work done in a
year. Sometimes it will be a piece of
underdraining, sometimes the improve
ment of waste ground covered by bushes
or weeds. The ordinary rule among good
farmers is that underdraining will pay
for itself in three crops often two. Vet
men who call themselves farmers neg
lect or decline investments that will pay
thirty-three to fifty per ceut., because
they are afraid to hire the necessary la
bor. Or if they do the work, they do it
gradually, extending it over a scries of
years, and suffering from poor crops
when they should be rejoicing in good
ones. No good business man would de
cline a safe investment paying thirty
three per cent, yearly profit; and a
farmer who does this is clearly not a
good business man.
It requires a good deal of executive
ability to manage a large farm, and di
rect a large force of laborers; and it is
the lack of this which causes so much
disappointment in farming. The great
secret of success is to be always even
with or ahead of work, and never to
leave work undone that will pay a profit
for doing. This requires capital as well
as labor, and lack of capital is the most
common cause of failure. Most farmers
are more or less in debt, and this pre
vents them from hiring needed help, aud
from doing many things that it would
pay them well to do. The farmers who
nave money succeed in making more.
Those who are in dobt lose more than
the interest they have to pay, because
unable to command ready capital or to
do the things which most conduce to
profitable farming. Wm. J. FuwUr, in
Examiner arid Chronicle.
Fresh Air in the Bed-Room.
How much air can be safely admitted
Into a sleeping or living-room is a com
mon question. Kathur, it should be
considered, how rapidly air can be ad
mitted, without injury or ri-k, and at
how low a temperature. We can not
have too much iresh air, so long as we
are warm enough, and are not exposed
to draughts. What is a draught? It is
a swift current of air, at a temperature
lower than the body, which robs either
the whole body, or an exposed part, of
its heat, so rapidly as to disturb the
equilibrium of our circulation and give
us cold. Young and healthy persons
can habituate themselves to sleeping in
even a strong draught, as from an open
window, if they cover themselves, io
cold weather, with an abundance of
bedclothes. But those who have been
long accustomed to being sheltered from
the outer air by sleeping in warmed and
nearly or quite shut-up rooms, are too
susceptible to cold to bear a direct
draught of cold air. Persons over sev
enty years of age, moreover, with lower
vitality than in their youth, will not
bear a low temperature, even in the air
they breathe. Like hot-house plants,
they mav be killed by a winter night's
chill and must be protected by warmth
at all times. As a rule we may say that,
except for the most robust, the air
which enters at nigbt into a sleeping
chamber should, in cold weather, be
admitted gradually only by cracks or
moderate openings ; or should have its
force broken by some interposed obsta
cle, as a curtain, etc., to avert Us blow
ing immediately upon a sleeper in his
bed. The ancient fashion, however, of
of having bed-curtaius, which exclude
almost all the air, has rightly become
almost obsolete. No wonder that people
dream horrid dreams, and wake in the
moruing wearied rather than refreshed,
when they sleep in rooms sealed up
tightly on every side; breathing over
and over again their own breaths, which
grow more poisonous with every hour
of the night. American Health rrimer.
Watch Out for Dry Murrain.
The danger to which cattle are sub
ject when tirst taken from green feed
and turned into a field of cornstalks dy
ing from dry murrain should not be lost
sight of, as the present severe weather
the most favorable possible to pro
duce death from such cause. The sud
den change from moderate autumn to
cold winter weather, and a hasty filling
of the stomach with dry husks when the
digestive organs have only been accus
tomed to deal with green food, and the
dread which cattle have of drinking, un
til they become accustomed to it, ioe
cold water in sufficient quantity to thor
oughly moisten the mass, is the cause of
an occasional victim of this severe and
generally fatal ailment.
All danger of this sort may be avoid
ed by allowing the cattle the run of the
corn-field but part of the day at a timo,
giving them as much salt as they will
take in order to provoke thirst, aud free
access to plenty of water, to be kept up
until they are accustomed to the sur
jvundings iurlitrn Uawkitje.
Our Young Folks.
Our Young Folks. MY TREE.
Wntrit
Anwori
Is tt Urn -t
lr th- W
Is it the) -rtiHt
for
I lit- jrrao
Or tlie r
twayt
: ftr and
U It th ( , ntf '
with lu x . . set
Ah. nol Th ,rm xnmt I Vrvm tmt,
t Uwl an.) i4.uia nut wlibih rst,
Ni umiiiiir Run on Its fnill ha-4 nm-lind,
hut h rind mi.tw are nrounfl it pilfd;
but -till it will bloom a 1 1-1 I r fruti for me,
My wiu ter btooinerl my CbritHrnttiHre!
lis MrpMoms am eandlm. all shining ray,
And It U.int It fruit In th- ourest wajl
All tied by rft.txmft to ereryrh n,
I.iir and liltl, atvl litth- mi 'J lug-.
I'mls and trumitets, ami Imiis an-1 bat,
HorM and m .nki ya, and no ami otta,
JiriKrm and hintl a, and m" and wQipa,
f rvinir Imnw and Hying eulns;
M Ty potirf'ivitt.ie kind of box.
With ull crm-''ivah. iliclo or lock:
1 iicrs and -Ufb.:ntti Rwirijrin in air,
Hitiifiilur fruit for a tr- to t;ir.
bin so it bl"onjs ami tKam fruit for m.
My winter bloomer! my Cbnatinjtreal
Kim and linden may b th b fair,
liut th'-y have no -i-,bfint nwimrlnff In air
Anh ar.d inMplf may rrajfftiliy rr.w.
Hut tbey ha e no tile nor whittles Uj blow:
'I he on may le king of the for! wide,
liut be hu oo parcel with ribbon tind.
No sunn, no rnttHrn, no books, no OoaU,
N pitr. no lion, no cows, no gout.
No dohs. no cradlm, no stem, no topa,
Nor uruntr-s. i.aii'ly, or lolllp .p;
Nothing that's pretty, and notbinirthat'l rood,
liut ioave and uronn, and irark and wotd.
So the tree of all others iht'B brt to me
1 my winter bloomer, my Cbrtat mas. reel
sLouu p'. HuJtanU. in l'ouUt' Cmpuiu"t,
TONI'S CHRISTMAS.
"Now, TEftDiK, bo a good boy,
there's a darling, and, little Clover,
don't tease Daisy. I'leaae let mamma
po away to church and know that you
uro all hweet and lovely and clean as
new little pennies to-night."
Spluah wc-nt one liuie body into the
bath-tub. and aplash went another, and
a'ain a third; and then, like ao many
rosea alter a shower, out they came
dripping, and laughing and screaming
with gU-e. The little mother was kept
buny enough, for it was Christmas-eve,
and the caiols and anthems were to be
n heareed for the lan time, and Mrs.
Morton's clear soprano voi'.-e could not
be spared. Indeed, her voice was all
that kept Ted iie and Clover and Daisy
in their neat little box of a house, for
their fatln r, a brave fireman, hsd been
killed more than two ears before at a
fearful fire, nud since then their mother
had striven hard to maintain her little
family by Bewing and sinking, and do
in w"haf ever work her slender hands
could accomplish which wotiid bring in
food and clothing for her children.
13e dood, Teddie," re eattd Daisy,
after her mother, as she sho jk out her
little wot curls at him, and C'iover sol-
cmnly raised his linger at his bigger
brother, with the warning:
' ltemember Santa Claus comes to-
night."
Yes, and the stockings must be
hung up," said Ted, who forthwith
proceeded to attend to that important
dutl. ...
"Jnerci how ao they look? one
brown, that's mine; one blue, that's
Clover's; and one red, that's Daisy's."
They were pinned fast to the fender
with many pins and much care.
"But, marama," said Clover, "the
stove's in the way. Santa Claus can't
get down with that big black thing
slopping the chimney."
"Oh, the tiro will go out by and by,
and then he may creep through the
stove-pipe and out of the door."
" He'll be awful dirty, then," said
Daisy.
"Well, 'he was dressed all In fur
from his bead to his foot, and his clothes
were all tarnished witii ahes and soot,'
so that is to be expected. But really,
dear children, you must jump into your
beds, anil let me tuck you up; it is time
for me to go."
Very quickly the rosy little faces were
nestling in the pillows, and Mrs. Mor
ton, after kiss;ng them, put out the
lamp and left them to their slumbers.
Hastily putting on her cloak and bon
net, she paused at the door of her sit
ting room to sie if the lire was s;ife.
The room was dark but for the gleam
iug stove, the chairs and table were all
in order, and in oue corner, under a
covering of paper, was the little tri e
she had decked in odd moments to de
light the eyes of her children. She
could not allord wax candles, so the
morning was to bring the tree as well
as the other gifts. Sure that all was iu
readiness, she tripped down the stairs,
locked Iter door aud sped over the snow
to the church, the two tall towers of
wiiich stood out against the starry sky.
As she entered tho church, her mind
full of her duties and her heart teDdcr
with thoughts of her children, she
thought she saw a dusky little object
crouching in tho angle made by the
towers; but she was already late, aud
had no time to linger. Up she went to
the choir, which was full of light, but
the body of the church was dark.
Without any words, she took up her
sheet of music and began to sing.
Never had tho carols and anthems
seemed so sweet to her. and her voice
rose clear and pure as a bird's. The
organist paused to listen, and her cora-
I 'anions turned satisfied glances upon
ter; but she went on unconsciously, as
a bird does until the burden of its
theme is finished, and its exultant
strains are lost in silence. They went
over the whole Church service, the glo
rious 2'e Dtum, the Beneiirtus and the
anthem for the day, " Unto us a Child
is born, unto us a Son is given," and
every delicate chord and fugue had to
be repeated until the desired perfection
of harmony was attained. It was really
a very long and arduous study; but of
all days Christmas demands good
music, and they were willing to do their
best. At last all were satisfied and
somewhat tired; but the organist
turned to Mrs. Morton, and asked her
if she would sing one hymn for him
alone, as he especially desired to hear
her voice in this one tune. Of course
she could not refuse, and to an exqui
sitely harmonious air she began.
"Calm on the listening car of ntg-ht
I'ome Heaven s ini'lmlious strdiua.
Where wllil . I uii,va rtretobes fur
Her stlvetmtinllcd plums.
ML!aM on thy billa. Jerusuleui!
'1 he Suvlnr mw Is born!
And bright, on Uethlehein's joyous plains,
llreuks tho Urst Cttrtslinaa luuru."
Onlv the first and last verses of that
exquisite hymn; but like "angels with
their sparkling lyres, ner voice seemeu
te have lost its earthliuess, and soared,
as if it were winded, up to the verv
gate of Heaven. When she ceased
singing, there was a nusn upon alt, as
if thev hid been carried near to the ce
lcstial portals.
Oue by one they pressed her hand in
quiet congratulation, and with a "Mer
ry Christinas" bade her goud-night.
Mrs. Morton was a little excited with
hor unusual elVorts, and while the old
organist was locking up, thought she
would run down nnd warm herself in
the church. As she hastened toward
the great beater, she tripped ovorsome
thinir, which, to her great surprise and
I
i
I
j
I
!
j
!
!
be a great bundle was la reality sleep
ing child.
Yes. a child, and a little one a bor
of not more than seven year, with elf
ish brown locks, and eyelashes which
Swept the olive tint of Ida cheek. All
curl.'d up in a heap, in clothes which a
mu might have worn, so bigand shape
less were they, with one arm nnder hie
head for a pillow, and the other tightly
grasping a violin. Far had he wan
dered in the eold wintry air, until, at
tracted by the light ana warmth of tha
great church, he had stolen In for shel
ter, and then as his little ears drank in
the melody of the rehearsing choir, and
tf, him, lie fell fast
"i. ha '. dt sing now of the
ir.:i sunny luxi ui his binht olive
tid or,l..rJt, mirple clusters of
:. i rn ids. dii.keys laden with
o.ari ;t i. "upd rhr, i,'-ie sky of Itaplee
sinning out the bine bay. Then, la
1 ii: dn tit i nngrtl came floating down
( it oi ''urM'efr, waiting sweet
T 'I'lrv . t'.i ft ' wings, ana sine
ing-
-t!ii
iL' oh: ust jii:i,:nly strains!-
Lu little soul in i ;;.;d with joy; for the
f.ngid seorueil to on his mother who had
'lu d, rnd her kmd oice a?ain saluted
Iiiin and i,s anw .;ic 1 softly, "Madre
ni a!"
"Pier cUM'" fai l Mrs. Morton, soft
iy, "it seems a pity to waken him, but
we must do it; he cannot stay here all
night." The old organist touched him;
but his sleep was too sound for a touch
to arouse him, and Mrs. Morton had to
again and again lift his head and stroke
his little brown hand, before, with
amazed and widely fearful looks, he an
swered them.
"Who are you, child, and what are
you doing here?" asked the organist.
"I'm Tuni, Toni," was the answer,
and he began to cry. "Oh, please let
me po: the Padrone will kill me."
"Why will he kill you, and why are
you here?"
"He will kill me because I have no
money. I have lost, also, my way."
"Have yon no home, no mother?"
asked Mrs. Morton, gently.
"No. signora, no, madame, no moth
er. We all live, liaptisteaml Vincenzo
and I, with the Padrone. We play the
harp and the violin; but I was tired,
and i could not keep with the others,
and they scolded me, oh, so sharply!
and I was weary and cold, and crept in
here where the angels sing, and it was
so beautiful I could not go awav."
The organist mutter-jd, "Po'ico," at
which the child again sobbed violently.
"Yes. to the station house, ef course,
he must go."
But Mrs. Morton remembered the
three faces asleep on their pillows at
home, and as she looked at this tear
stained, dirty little gypsy, she said to
the organist, "I will take care of him
to-night." So, under the stars, the
Christmas stars, gleaming so brightly,
sue led the little wanderer home.
All was still and safe in the little
house. " Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse." The tire still
gleamed in the kitchen and the sitting
room, and it was the work of only a
few moments to divest the little musi
cian of his uucouth garments, to pop
him into the tub of hot suds, to scrub
h m well, until his lean little body
shone like bronze, to slip him into a
night-gown, to give him a slice of bread
and butter, and then to tuck him up on
the cozy lounge.
The children slept like tops, and the
tired little mother was glad to say her
prayers, and lie down beside them.
The stars were still shining when she
awoke; for Christmas day would be a
busy one, and there were no moments
to lose. Already the milkman was at
door, and the hands of the kitchen
clock pointed to six.
Hark! what was that?
A long, low, sweet sound, like a voice
calling her. She listened, and again it
came. "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth pea"e, good will toward
men," so it seemed to breathe. Then
it rose in a gay carol, a sweet gushing
thanksgiving, and the children came
tumbling down in their nightgowns;
they rushed to the door of the sitting
room, and there beside his improvised
bed stood the young musician, playing
on his violin as if all the world were his
audience. His brown eyes Hashed now
with light, and then grew dark and
tender, as he drew the sweet sounds
out. The children gaze 1 in wonder
ment: where had this child come from?
had he dropped from the stars? had an
angel come among them? He played
on, and on, until, from 6heer fatigue,
he put his instrument down. Then
Teddie and (.'lover and Daisy came
about him; they touched his hands, his
curly locks, his violin, to see if all were
real. Then they whirled round the
room in a mad dance of deiight, for the
mother bad uncovered the tree, and it
was really Christmas morning.
Ah, what a happy day for poor little
Toni! How nice be looked in Teddie's
clothes! how gentle he was with Daisy!
bow he frolicked with Clover! and
when Mrs. Morton came from church,
how softly he played all his pretty
melodies for her! It was a day of feast
and gladness; and when, to her surprise
and pleasure, a committee of church
people waited upon Mrs. Morton to
give her a purse through the mesaes of
which glittered gold pieces, she said
then and there that Toni should never
go to the harsh and cruel Padrone
ugain.
Perhaps some time as vou listen to a
sweet voice singing to the accompani
ment of a violin vou may thins: of Mrs,
Morton and Tom, and be glad that the
world bestows its applause and its gifts
upon them, and that the vision of his
mother and her love that came to Toni
on that Christmas-eve has been made
to him a reality. Harpcr't Young
People.
The First Wrong Button.
"Dbar me!" said little Janet, "I
buttoned just one button wrong, and
that made all the rest go wrong; ' and
Janet fretted as if the buttons were
quite at fault for her trouble.
"Patience!" said mamma, smiling at
the little fretful face, "and next time
look out for the tirst wrong button, and
then you'll keep all the rest right.
And," added mamma, as the last button
was put in its place and the scowling
face was smooth once more, " look out
for the first wrong deed of any kind,
for another is sure to follow "
Janet remembered how, one day not
long ago, she struck baby Alice; that
was the tirst wrong deed. Then she
denied having done it, and that was an
other. Then she was unhappy and
cross all that day because she
had told a lie. What a lung list of
buttons fastened wrong just because
one went wrong because her naughty
little hand struck baby. The best thing
she could do to make it right again was
to tcil mamma how naughty she had
been and ask her to forgive ber, but
that was much harder than just to do
the buttons again.
Janet thought it all over, and be
tweeu the buttons aud her very unhap
py day, I think she learned never
airain to forcet to look out for the first
-V uilM,lTiSHVMMnS.MI"

xml | txt