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Pullman herald. (Pullman, W.T. [Wash.]) 1888-1989, December 22, 1888, Image 5

Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085488/1888-12-22/ed-1/seq-5/

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placed so near the summit ot tlie lull, mrc so
it is, and all bat a few of the farmers around
about have to toil upwards in order to reach
the half docen stores there and the three
churches, l'erhaps tho original settlers of
western Massachusetts had an eye, or two,
for the beat iiful, for there is not a habita
tion in Berkshire county that commands a
more extensive or picturesque view. The
natives of Tilbury seldom mention the scen
ery, but not many years ago it attracted the
admiration of wealthy people from a dis
tance, and they set up their summer hornet
there. It made a marked change in the vil
lage, the more because a portion of the new
comers found it pleasureable to remain
through the winter. It was thus that evil
eijjlfred and brought unhappiness to Heze
kiah Martin.
My mind wanders back to that time when
as a child I listened to his stentorian tenor
voice leading the singing from tho choir loft
of>the ancient Congregationalist church.
Thl^yo were two long services every Sunday
then, and I recall that when the new preacher
joined in the movement toabolish the after- j
noon sermon Hezekian was one of those who
stood hardest for the old custom, and when
the inevitable reform was finally accom
plished, the, sturdy chorister never looked
upon his minister in the same light that ho
had before. He was more faithful than ever
and sung a!l the louder as if to make up in
fervor for lack of opportunity; but when the
daring divine finally went his way, and an-
Other preacher took the pulpit, the chorister
felt as if a great burden had been lifted; as
If tho parish had escaped a most dangerous
The years turned steadily along and Heze
kiah overcame every difficulty that choir
leaders are subject to. He pacified the jealous
sopranos, raised up new bassos, sung four
consecutive Sundays all alone when the
choir deserted him in high dudgeon because
he rtfused to approve of a new anthem book,
and in many other ways demonstrated his
fitness for the work until prosperity in the
shape of summer visitors fell upon Tilbury.
Then began a quiet, insidious trouble, as im
perceptible at first as the approach of old
N»g?,tliat eventually overcame him.
tWfirsi manifestation of revolution came
in a division of opinion in the parish over
the choice of a new preacher, for old Mr.
Spoouer had begun to feel that he was some
how in the way, and he resigned before the
people were fully aware that they wanted to
Lear a new voice. There were two leading
candidates for his place, a young andelo
auent reach) and a zealous worker, and an
elderly man against whom not a word could
be said The newcomers in Tilbury, joining
Mnds'with the younger members of the
Kurch elected the young man mid as the
contest had not been long or determined.
there was a speedy healing of differences and
no lack of harmony. Even then llezekiah
felt a vague presentiment that all would not
he well with turn, but several months passed
'Wore ho received any direct intimation that
' the parish would appreciate a change in the
choir loft The first he hoard of it was in a
discussion among his singers at a Saturday
evening rehearsal. It was not meant that
Should bear, but he entered the vestry un
expectedly. Sam Ilinckley, one of those
—rybassos who had been patiently trained
by the chorister, was saying:
••Wall 1 shall be sorry to see the old man's
' feelings 'hurt, but ho can't expect to lead
cin^in" forever."
And pretty Maria Jasper, tacitly under
stood to bo "Sam's sweetheart, responded
"Sit i think it's just too mean, and if
,iah has to go I follow. That's all:''
And then they all saw the chorister coming
down the aisle, and a painful bush fell upon
them Hezekiah bowed gravely as ho ap-
,-u-hed the group and said: -^ was the
l-::;-, neighbors." That was the
■' ho always addressed the choir at re
hearsal*, ' Perhaps be avoided a greeting to
!vfrT, individual from fear of arousing jeal
ousy by seeming partiality. At all events I
,":-,. beard of his varying th« formula. He
'continued, as he referred to a small slip of
rtefiev in his hand:
"When the Lord wills we will all go, and
not till then. It is not our part to meddle
" it s w fcit is in His hands. The minister has
ohosen hymn 907 for the first piece. We will
sine it to'the tune of 'Cambridge.'
» At iiat rehearsal and during service next
lN^«*vth!ii!l went as usual, but report of
aJ' Ik that Hezekiah had heard new about
t? 8 Srish quickly, and not a few remarked
!. h chorister looked unusually grave.
**.*! J»l'late » remarked Mr. Davis, the sheep
a i from Rani's Hill, to his wife as they
't^nonTe after meeting; "I collate 'Kiah
°r0 !„ fnels his years a growing on him; hay r
M^ ?d I caTlaW, Philander Davis," returned
, n.vis with significant emphasis, "that
%%tso much his lateral years he feels as
thffl° Uarthy! n he naiu't lost no friends,
'Kiah hain't; I think jes' 's much of him '»
ever I did, an" yit I'm 'bleeged to admit that
when a man gits along in years it's time for
him to let stouter men hold the plough.
Hayr
Now, the fact was that Philander Davi3
was one of the few among the older heads in
the parish who sided with the reforming ele
ment. Mr. Davis was ambitious for Tilbury
and all in it, and he prided himself somewhat
on being able to entertain new ideas after
having passed the age of 50. At the last
church meeting his support had been recog
nized by his election to membership of the
parish committee, and he, therefore, was well
informed on the restlessness of the younger
members regarding the matter of music. It
was the one point of serious difference be
tween him and his wife, and she was not to
be hoodwinked by his sophistry.
"Don't tell me. Philander," she replied in
answer to his last expression, "'I know just
how you feel. You want to pleasj 'he smart
folks on the hill, and I haven't got a word to
say against them, cept it does seem's if they
needn't come to Tilbury and expect to run
things in city style. They want a quartet,
now, don't they; and they want to interduce
new music, don't the} 1? and not let the congre
gation join in, 'cept on one hymn, don't they?
and they're goin' to try to make Hezekiah
step down on account of his age, and he been
chorister tor fifty years, don't they? aint
they, I should say!' 1
"Git up, there, Jim, g'loag with ye!'' ex
claimed Al;\ Davis. "You're putty sharp,
Marthy; »i you was to look through the hole
in one of my millstones and see the other a
grinduV you'd think you saw clean through
both, wouldn't ye! hay! but I don't think
you'd make much of a hand to run a church,
Marthy. Hayf
And so, with good-natured obstinacy the
discussion was continued until Mr. Davis
helped his wife out and led the horse into the
barn to unhitch.
Now that tho chorister knew that there
was a feeling that his services were not re
quired, the parish committee, hoped that he
would relievo them of discomfort by resign
ing voluntarily; but weeks passed and Heze
kiah retained his place without a word. So
at last it was determined that he must be
approached in a Christian, neighborly spirit,
and induced to consider the matter in the
right light. As the oldest member of the
committee, Philander Davis was deputed to
do the talking, but though he had accepted
the appointment with a cheerful sense of its
importance, his confidence failed him when
he faced the old chorister one October even
ing in Hezekiah*B little parlor. The other
members of the committee sat looking at
their hats while Mr. Davis coughed awk
tvardly and began:
'•l-'eelin' tolerable well these days,'Kiah?
Hay's"
"I've been enjoyiu' good health all sum
mer, Mr. Davis," "responded Hezekiah with
dignified asperity.
"Wall," said Mr. Davis, "after a wretched
pause and another cough, "we've come up to
talk about the music."
Jlr. Davis waited for the chorister to lead
the way to what must follow, but Hezekiah
kept silent. So the spokesman continued:
"You see, 'Kiah, the parish thinks they'd
ought to be something of a change."
Hezekiah could hold out no longer.
"Neighbors," ho said with a trembling
voice, "1 can't make no change. I've stood
up in the loft there more'n fifty years and
haven't missed but two Sundays. I've Bung
the good old music that you and I, Philander,
was brought up on, and I can't sing much
else, I've kept the choir together for you,
and if the money stood in the way (Hezekiah
received $50 a year) I'd keep it up for noth
ing. Xo, don't say 'taint money; I know
that; I know you want a high toned quartet
and that you're willing to pay. But—l've
do'.w my best, neighbors. "
Tho old chorister bowed his head upon his
bands, and the parish committeemen wished
they had not come. Mr. Davis rubbed the
back of his head and his colleagues looked
sternly at him.
"We hate worse*!! thunder to hurt your
feelin's, 'Kiah, hay?" he began again, when
the chorister stood up and interrupted him.
"I know," he said; "you don't want to tell
mePmtoo old. But, praise tho Lord! I'il
not stand in tiie way of the parish's good. I
resign right here."
But the committee was not wholly lacking
in human sympathy, and it was agreed that
Hezekiah should sing until tho ci.d of tho
year, and the chorister consented, though
with less appreciation of the favor extended
to him than most of tho committee had ex
pected.
"Blessed if I didn't feel sorry for the old
man," said young Deacon Goodspeed, speak
ing of the matter several days later. Bo did
a good many others, but as the end of the
year approached the sympathy lost its keen
ad in the same degree the ambition of
the younger members increased, so that
eventually the desire tohave a big display of
music on Christinas led to another call on
Hezekiuh, the result of which was that the
old chorister yielded his place at once with
out a word of protest.
The celebration of tho kindly festival be
gan with a musical service on Christmas eve.
The new quartet was in place and Hezekiah
sat with the audience. In deference to old
time custom some of the hymns were suug by
the entire congregation. The old chorister
tried to sing with the others, but after a few
bars the tears somehow got entangled in his
voice, and, as ho could not siug and weep
too, he stopped singing. When it was all
over several of his neighbors approached him
to say that they didn't think there'd been
any improvement, and Hezekiah shook each
one by the hand and answered nothing.
The last gossiping couple had left the
church, the sexton had blown out the lights
and locked the heavy doors behind him.
bleigh bells jingled faintly away out of hear
ing, and the slow footsteps of the sexton
crunching on the half trodden snow mingled
with the tones of the clock in the high tower
striking ten. Then a door inside the vestry
opened, and out of a closet where brooms
and dust pans were kept an old man came
hesitatingly. He made his way very slowly
up the broad stairs to the runin meeting
room. At the door leading to the- choir loft
ho paused a moment. His hand was on the
knob, but he turned it not. More slowly than
before he went down the aislo and dropped
into a pew. He sat there in the darkness a
long time, his head sunk forward en his
breast. A half hour, may be, passed, before he
rose and marched with determined step to the
choir door, and up the stairs to the
familial- loft. He found a match in his
pocket and lit the lamp that hung
near the bench, whero Hezekiah for more
than fifty years hail sung God's praises and
carried the voices and spirits of the congrega
tion with him. The dim yellow ray threw
gloomy shadows of the pew backs into relief,
just disclosed the pulpit at the further end of
the church, gave fuiut hints of evergreen fes
toons on the walls, and here and thei-e the
laurel worked words "Emanuel," ''Glory to
God in the highest," and so on, that had been
placed tliero with great toil by the young
men and women of the parish in honor of the
day so near at hand; but had you been there
you would have seen only the patriarchal
form of the chorister with a sadly bitter look
on his face gazing at the gloom about the
pulpit. Was he thinking how often ho had
stood solemnly thus while tho minister was
praying? Perhaps so, for after a moment
his "lips parted, and a tremulous "Amen!''
ottered softly on a high note, sung to the
evergreens and the shadows.
Then Hezekiah looked about tho bench in
front of him Ho picked up one of the new
anthem books brought in by the quartet He
glanced at the cover and let it fall. Taking
the lamp from its socket lie held it so that he
could sec. and presently drew forth the an
cient collection of anthems, every tune in
which ho knew by heart, so sacred to him,
and yet so speedily hidden away where it
should serve nobody. Ho replaced the lamp
and turned the pages to "Coronation,"' the
first piece sung by a choir under b^3 direc
tion more than a lifetime ago. Fondly he
looked at the familiar notes and then, his
chest thrown out and his head held up, he
sung the grand old tune and its magnificent
words with all the fervor and all tho power
that his voice ever had commanded. From
beginning to end tho hymn rang through the
deserted gloomy church, and Dr. Williams,
driving by in haste to attend the ills of a far
off patient, wondered that the rehearsal
should have been continued so late. When
the last note had ceased Hezekiah stood with
tho book still open and his head still up, but
the tears were coursing down his) face in
steady streams.
At "last he sank into a chair, and with a
great pang at the heart ho saw upon the
bench beside the volume of newfangled tunes
a little book of manuscript music. When he
was a young man of not more than 50 Heze
kiah had taken it ii;'o his head that he would
write music, and the several anthems that ho
had composed in pure, harmony, but with
crude progressions, had been laboriously
copied into books, and had been used oc
casionally ever since in church service.
What had they been doing with his music?
■Was it, not enough that they should discard
him in his old age, and his ways and his
books, without hunting up his feeble but
earnest eom;«>sit ions to laugh at them? That
could not i« forgiven! With melancholy
fingers he turned the leaves. His inspection
stopped at an anthem for Christmas, com
posed on words taken literally from the
Scriptures. There it was, with its introduc
tory recitative for bass, and a double fugue,
as he called it, when tho angels' chorus was
reached. His wife had sung the trebles be
fore sho left the choir, and when with patient
resignation he had laid her in the grave, his
daughter had performed her part, and since
she married and moved away the anthem
had not been sung. With what grand emo
tion he had heard the voices begin the first
fugal movement:
And now it was all held up for the smiles o£
a modern quartet!
The old chorister's head sank upon the
bench, and his rears blurred the notes on the
ancient page.
"Gracious massyl Hezekiah, wake up!
wake up'lCiah; you'll ketch your death of
cold;' Come!"
It was Peter Stone, the sexton, dtan
fouuded by surprise, shaking; the old chor
ister violently by tho shoulder. Painfully
Hezekiah raised his head.
"Merry Christmas, Peter; I'd rather stay
here," ho said feebly when he saw where he
was.
Peter laughed almost hysterically and
tugged away persistently at the old man's
shoulders.
"Come down to th»- fire," he exclaimed;
<;the choir will be here right away to re
hearse for tho service."
■■Yes, I'll go," answered Hezekiah, and
with great difficulty he dragged his stiffened
limbs down the stairs into the vestry, where
tho furnace was already roaring with a
freshly made fire. Ho submitted to be
rubbed and slapped by Peter to induce a
quicker cireulat iou of his blood, but he gave
no clear answer to tho wondering inquiries
as to how be came to bo locked into tho
church over night.
Presently the organ upstairs began to
sound. Hezekiah shivered and Peter rubbed
him tho harder. Then tho voice of the bass
in the new quartet was heard reciting:
"And there were shepherds abiding in the
field."
The old chorister listened with staring
eyes. Could it be? The long recitative came
to an end, and then all the voices took up in
proper order tho angels' chorus.
'•■What does tbat mean, Peter!" exclaimed
Hezekiah, starting up.
'twas meant as a Christmas sur
'rise in your honor. They're, goin' to sing
.our piece."
The old chorister broke away from the
sexton and hojjbled up the stairs. When ho
reached the organ loft they were singing
"And on earth peace, good will to men."
Hezekiah waited uutil they were done, and
then in a low. grave tone that startled the
singers, he said:
■■1 wish you all a merry Christmas, neigh
bors. I've had hard feelings against 3-ou,
mid I pray that God will forgive me and
cause you not to look unkindly on an old
man. This is more than I deserve."
F. R. Buhtox.
THE FIR TREE.
Far down in the forest, where the warm
sun and the fresh air made a sweet resting
place, grew a pretty little fir tree; and yet it
was not happy, it wished so much to be tall
like its companions, the pines and firs which
grew around it. The sun shone and the soft
air fluttered its leaves, and the little peasant
children passed by prattling merrily, Lut the
flr tree- heeded them not. As it grew it
complained, ''Oh! how I wish I were as tall
us the other trees,
then I would spread
out my brandies on
every side and my
top would overlook
tin wide world. I
should have the
birds building their
nests on m y
boughs, and when
the wind blew I
should bow with
stately dignity like
my tall compan
ions." Two win
ters passed. In the
autumn, as usual,
t li c w oodcut
tei's came and cut
"HOW I WISH 1 WERE
AS TALL AS OTHER
TKEKS!"
down several 'if the tallest trees, and the
young fir tree, which was now grown to its
full height, shuddered as the noble trees fell
to the earth with a crash. After the branches
were lopped off, the trunks looked so slender
and bare that they could scarcely be recog
nized. Then they were placed upon wagons
and drawn by horses out of the forest.
"Where were they going! What would be
come of them f The young fir tree wished
very much to know. So in the spring, when
the swallows and the storks came, it asked,
"Do you know where those, trees were taken:
Did you in: et them.'' 1
The swallows knew nothing; but the stork,
after a little reflection, nodded his head and
said, "Yes, 1 think I do. I met several new
ships when I (lc-w from Egypt, and they had
fine masts that smelt like fir. I think these
must have been the tree 3; I assure you they
were stately, very stately.''
"Oh, how I wish 1 were tall enough to go
on the sea," said the fir tree. ''What is this
sea and what does it look likef
'•It would take too much time to explain,"
said the stork, Hying quickly away.
"Rejoice in thy youth," said the sunbeam;
"rejoice in thy fresh growth and the young
life that is in thee."
And tho wind kw.-ed tiio tre.? and the dew
watered it with tears, but the fir tree regarded
th":n nut.
C'hrisi tnas time drew near and many young
trees werecut down, some even smaller and
younger than this fir tree, who enjoyed
neither rest nor peace with longing to leave
its forest home. These young trees, which
were chosen far their beauty, kept their
branches and were also laid on wagons and
drawn by horses out of the forest.
'•Where ar ■ I ;.■■> goingf asked the fir tree.
"They are uoi taller ihan I am; ini'e d one is
much loss; and why are the branches not cut
oil.' Where arc they going?'
•■We know, we know," sang the spar
rows. "We have looked in at the
windows of the houses in tho town, and we
know what is dona
with them. They are
dressed up iuthi most
splendid manner. *>Vc.
have seen them stand
ing in tbc middle of
a warm room, and
adorned with all sorts
'of beautiful things
honey cakes, gilded
apples, playth ings,
and many hundreds
of wax tapers."
IT Was the first TO "And then," asked
* fall. the fir tree, trembling
through all its branches, "and then what
happens?"'
'•We did not see any more," said the spar
rows; "but this was enough for us."
"I wonder whether anything so brilliant
will ever happen to me," thought the fir
tree.
Rejoice with us," said the air and the sun
light. "Er-.joy thine own bright life in fresh
air."
But the tree would not rejoice, though it
grew taller every day, and winter and sum
cer its dark green foliajro might be seen in
the forest, while passers by would say, "What
a beautiful tree!' 1
A short time before Christmas the discon
tented fir tree was the first to fall. As the
ax cut through the stem and divided the
pith the tree fell with a groan to the earth,
conscious of pain and faintness, and forget
ting all its anticipations of happiness, in sor
row at leaving its home in the forest. It
knew that it should never again see its dear
old companions, tho trees, nor the little
bushes and many colored flowers that had
grown by its side; perhaps not even the
birds. Neither was the journey at all pleas
ant. The tree first recovered itself while
being unpacked in the courtyard of a house,
with several other trees; and it beard a man
say, "We only want one, and this isthe pret
tiest."
Then came two servants in grand livery and
carried tho fir tree into a large and beautiful
apartment. On the walls bnng pictures, and
near the great stove stood great china vases,
with lions on tho lids. There were rocking
chairs, silken sofas, large tables, covered witb
pictures, books and playthings, worth a great
deal of money—at least the children said so.
Then the fir tree was placed in a large tub,
full of sand; but green baize hung all round
it, so that no one could see it was a tub, and
it stood on a very handsome carpet. How
the fir tree trembled I "What was going to
happen to him now?' 1 Some youug ladies
came, and the servants helped them to adorn
tho tree. On one branch they hung little
bags cut out of colored paper, and each bag
was tilkd with sweetmeats; from other
branches bnsg gilded apples and walnuts, as
if they had grown there; and above, and all
rcund, were hundreds of red, blue and white
tapers, which were fastened on the branches.
Dolls, exactly like real babies, were placed
under the green leaves—tho tree had never
Been such things before—and at the very top
was fastened a glittering star, made of tinsel.
Oh, it was very beautiful!
At last the tapers were lighted, and then
what a glistening blaze of li^ht the tree pre
sented! And now the folding doors were
thrown open, and a troop of children rushed
in as if they intended to upset the tree; they
were followed more slowly by their elders.
For a moment the little ones stood silent with
astonishment, and then they shouted for joy,
till the room rang, and they danced merrily
round the tree, while one present after an
other wns taken from it.
'■What are they do
ing? What will hap
pen next;"' thought the
lir. At last the candles
burnt down to the
branches and were put
out. Then the children
re cci v ed
permission
to plunder
the tree.
Oh, how they
rushed upon it, till
the branches crack
ed, and had it not what will bappxh
been fastened with next?
tho glistening star to the ceiling, it must have
been thrown down. The children then danced
about with their pretty toys, and no one
noticed the tree, except the children's maid,
who came and peeped among the branches to
see if an apple or a fig had been forgotten.
'•A story, a story," cried the children, pull
ing a little fat man toward the tree.
"Now we shall be in the green shade," said
the man, as he seated himself under it, "and
the. tree will have the. pleasure of hearing
also, but I shall only relate one story; what
shall it be! Ivede-Avede, or Humpty
Dumpty, who fell down stairs, but soon got
up again, and at last married a princess."
""Ivede-Avede," cried some. "Humpty
Dompty,™ cried others, and there was a fine
shouting and crying out. But the fir tree re
mained quito still, and thought to himself,
"Shall I have anything to do with all this?"
but ho had already amused them as much as
they wished. Then the old man told them
the story of Humpty Dumpty, how ho fell
down stairs, and was raised up again, and
married a princess. And the children clap
ped their hands and cried, "Tell another, tell
another," for they wanted to hear the story of
"Ivedy-Avede;" but they only had "Humpty
Dumpty." After this the fir tree became
quite silent and thoughtful: never had the
birds in the forest told such tales as "Hum; ty
Dumpty," who fell down stairs, and yet mar
ried a princess.
"Ah! yes, so it happens in the -world,"
thought the fir tree; he believed it all, be
cause it was related by a such a nice man.
"Ah! well," ho thought, "who knows? per
haps • I may fall down too, and marry a
princess;" and he looked forward joyfully to
the next evening, expecting to bo again
decked out with lights and playthings, gold
and fruit. "To-morrow I will not tremble,"
thought he; "I will enjoy all my splendor,
and I shall hear the story of Humpty Dumpty
again, and perhaps Ivede-Avede." And the
tree remained quiet and thoughtful all night.
In the morning the servants and the house
maid came in. "Now," thought the fir, "all
my splendor is going to begin again." But
they dragged him out of the room and up
stairs to the garret, and threw him on the
floor, in a dark corner, where no daylight
shone, and there they left him. "What does
this mean?" thought the tree. "What am 1
to do here? lean hear nothing in a place
like, this," and he leant against the wall, and
thought and thought. And ho had time
enough to think, for days and nights passed
and iio one came near him, and when at last
somebody did come, it was only to put away
large boxes in a corner. So the tree was
completely hidden from sight as if it had
never existed, "It is winter, now," thought
the tree, "the ground is hard and covered
with snow, so that people cannot plant me.
I shall bo sheltered here, I daresay, until
Bprin ; comes."
"Squeak, squeak," said a little, mouse,
creeping cautiously towards the tree; then
came another, and they both sniffed at the
fir tree and crept between the branches.
"Oh, it is very cold," said tho littlo mouse,
"or else we should be so comfortable, here,
shouldn't we, you old fir tree?"
"I am not old," said the fir tree, "there are
many who ore older than I am."
"Where do you come from, and what do
you know!" asked the mice, who were full of
curiosity. "Have you seen tho most beauti
ful places in the world, and can you tell us all
about them? and have you been in the store
room, where cheeses lie on the shelf, and
hams hang from the ceiling? One can run
about on tallow candles, there, and go in thin
and come out fat."
"I know nothing of that place," said the
fir tree, ''but I know the wood.where the sun
shines ami the- birds sing:" Ami then tU»
tree told the little mice all about its youth.
They bad M*ef heard such an account in
their lives; ami after they had listened to Uf
attentively, they said: "What a number of
things you huvo seeu! you must have beeu
very happy."
One morning people came to clear out the
garret, the boxes were packed away, and
the tree was nulled out of the corner, and
thrown roughly
on the garret
floor; then tha
servant dragged
it out upon tha
staircase where
the daylight
shone. "2J o w
life is beginning
again," said tha
tree, rejoicing
in the sunshine
and fresh air.
Then it was
carried down
stairs and taken,
into the court
yard so quickly
TOLD THE MICE ALL ABOUT ITS YOUTH.
that it forgot to think of itself, and could
only look about, there was so much to he
seen. The. court was close to a garden,
where everything looked blooming. Fresh
and fragrant rosed hung over the little pal
ings. The linden trees were in blossom;
while the swallows flew here and there, cry
ing: "Twit, twit, twit, my mate is coming,™
but it was not the fir tree they meant. "Now
I shall live," cried the tree, Joyfully, spread
ing out its branches; but, alas! they were all
withered and yellow, and it lay in a corner
amongst weeds and nettles. The star of gold
paper still stuck in the top of the tree, and
glittered in the sunshine. In the same court
yard two of the merry children were playing
who had danced round the tree at Christmas,
and had been GO happy. The youngest saw
tlie gili led star, and ran and pulled it off the
tree. "Look what is sticking to the ugly old
fir tree," said the child treading on tha
branches till they crackled under his boots.
And the tree saw all the fresh, bright
flowers in the garden, and then
looked at itself and wished it had
remained in the dark corner of the garret.
Then a lad came and chopped the tree into
small pieces, till a large bundle lay in a heap
on tho ground. The f ieces were placed in a
(ire under tho copper, and they quickly
blazed up brightly, while the tree sighed so
deeply tiiat each sigh was like a little pistol
shot. Then the children, who wi. eat play,
came and seated themselves in front of tho
lire, and looked at it, and cried, "Pop, pop."
But at each '•pop," which was a 'eep sigh,
the tree was thinking of a summer day in tha
forest or of some winter night there, when
the stars shone brightly, and of Christmas
evening. Now all was past; tho tree's life
was past, and the story also—for all stories
must come to an end at last. —Adapted from
Hans Christian Anderson.
CHRISTMAS SERVICES.
The village church on Christmas Day
Holds kindly hearts and pleasant faces
And some are seen to sing and pray
Who seldom go to such like places."
THE FRONT I'EW.
But if f6r only once a year
Their hearts are touched, it makes them tetter;
Arid he who feels his conscience clear
Must own himself the season's debtor.
Enter hero botli rich and poor.
tome in simple hope arid faitli;
Leave behind you at the door
Lovo of life lind diead of death.
THE FREE SEATS.
Come ou this the day of dnj-s.
Humbly pray on bended knee;
Sing the fervid song of praise,
AH the seats in lieav'n are free.
Christinas in a Restaurant.
town) Waiter, for gracious sake bring naa
something to break up this turkey with.
Waiter—Wct'll yer bare, dynamite or
an ax?

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