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THE ROME CIRCLE.
SPEAK NO ILL. Nay, speak no ill; a gentle word Can never leave a sting behind: And, oh! to breathe each tale we've heard Is far beneath a noble mind. Full oft a better seed is sown, JY choosing thus the-kinder plan; For if but little good be knownwi Still let us speak the best we can. Give me the heart that fain would hide W~ould iain another's faults efface; How can it pleasure human pride To prove humanity but base ? Now let us reach a higher mood A noble tstimate of man; lie earnest in the search for good, And speak of all the best we can. Then speak no ill, but lenient be To other's failings as your own; If you're the first a fault to see, lie not the first to make it known. For life is but a passing day; No lips may tell how brief its span; Then, oh! the little time we stay, Let's speak of all the best we can. ABOUT JOKES. lr. Hall says: "Joke" is not slang, but a respectable word honestly descended from the Latin jocus, and reproduced in the French jeu. And a joke is not a vulgar or coarse thing, nor a thing itrherently bad, but has its place in the economy of human lite, and only becomes a bore or a nuisance when out of place. The organization of the human face provides for laughter; for it will not be alleged, we presume, that the effort to laugh developed the muscular capacity, any more than the effort to articulate made the organs of speech. The first and best arena for the joke is the family, everyone is known and trusted, and every member is or ought to be at home with a budget of fun collected from the ridiculous side of blunman nature during the day. Family life has many dark and cloudy days from toil, sickness, losses, bereave nients. apprehensions. It is entitled to its sunshiine and its hours of gladness; The play of wit, the unexpected turn, the gro tesque collection of words, or ideas, and the .absurd suggestion, are in order. Like the wild flowers of the green, without arrange ment, and without labor, they give a simple pleasure that costs nothing, and does no harm in any direction. If men would only take the pains to "make fun" for the "folks at home" that they sometimes take to 'make the table ring" abroad, they would acdd no little to the stun of human happi uness. But even the grave business of life may be helped on by a joke. Alind works on mind sometimes as iron on iron. Friction, sparks and abraision follow. The lubricat ing oil of a timely witticism prevents these ill consequences. Unpalatable truths can be sweetened by a good saccharine witti cism; and insipid communications can be made palatable by a sprinkling of " Attic salt." President Lincoln, with a strong, original and shrewd mind, grew up among fresh and original combinations, and in his varied contact with men noticed much which he remembered. He knew well that an an ecdote, a droll saying, or even a common saying made droll by manner, will persuade many, when a cogent argument would be wilder, irritate or repel'them. It is proba ble that he is, and will be, credited with far more "stories" than lie ever told; for the echoes of voices in such high places are many, fitful, and far resounding. Dean Swift, Sidney Smith, and other mejn like them, get credit for more thaut they ever said. But even allowing for all this, it is certain that he made many a happy hit, which had all the value of a blow without the hurt, through "stories," incidents, and quaint speeehes of which he was "remind ed." That his own mind rested, in some degree, while thus disporting itself, and wass thus helped to bear the weight of, care, is an ingenious theory ; but it is far from being certain. There was, all through, a chain of grave purpose. The "funny" things were but flowers thrown around it. It is more nearly true to say that Lincoln a remarkable man at the outset, with a re markable training, such as only western public life could give-"brought forth fruit after his kind," and did his persuasion in his own way because he could do it, and h:ad found it efectise. . Joke is a useful instrumen t in a public address. Men listen better after the facial muscles have been exercised. O course wit is as various in its kind as the races of men; but, as with the races, it has common underlying properties, for there are jokes current to-day, and new, so many, which are at least 2,000 years old, and which have passed through all the nations of his toric Europe. There is English wit which Scotchmen do not appreciate; and there is a "sly, pawky" Scottish wit which takes best in Scotland, hut is not without the power to enlist out siders, as one may see in Sir Walter Scott, or in Norman McLeod, or in the genial au thor of Rab and his Friends. There is an Irish wit which Carlton, Lever and Lover have illustrated, though one must live in Ireland to get it in perfection, just as one must go to the lands that grow them to get oranges at their best. It is marked at once by abandon, ingenuity and shrewdness, and often owes something, as does " Yankee " humor, to the tones in which it is embalm ed, and to that natural dramatic power which many Oriental races possess. How often the prefatory "Ah, thin, yir honor" relaxes the muscles that work in laughter, and-like a good introduction to a speech brings you to a receptive frame of mind for what's coming. When you are sure that the droll or quaint or humorous turn is part of the man-like his voice or his accent-you are not to blame him ,even when the oddity turns up "in meeting." The man who was converted "in spots," according to his account of him self, was not open to common censure. It is out of place when it is plainly "pre pared for the occasion ;" when you are dragged by a long, circuitous route in order to get the witty thing forward, and when the point of the thing needs to be explained. A good joke is like a mathematical axiom. It shines in its own light. It is its own in terpreter, and nothing is sadder, in its way, than to see a poor tyro in wit tioundering through an explanation of his abortion of a joke. It is as if somebody lit a candle to show you his fire-works! FARMERS' DAUGHTERS. I was talking to a farmer's daughter the other day, and naturally, it seems, dropped into complainings, and we each revealed the fact that she was discontented. I asked her what she intended to do for a living, and she answered :-" Oh, I don't know; I wAnt to get away and make money some how. If I could go to school a little more I could teach; but they can't spare me." I knew that all her life had been one round ofrcooking, and milking, and churn ing; of washing and scrubbing and ironing. I knew that her father was a wealthy farm er, a granger and a leading church member. He has a good farm and a cozy barn-such a cozy barn !-and money in bank. And when I looked at the ugly old farm house, with its black doors and small windows, its calves and pigs and chickens running in undisturbed ir:nqui'ity over the yard, I did not wonder that she found it unattractive, and that she wanted to "get away." The finer sensibilities of her woman nature were awakening, and they called for something better. I, for one, do not blame the farmer's daughter for being dissatisfied. I know how much they have to make them so. When will these learn that the "life is more than meat, and the body than raiment ?" When will they cease considering it a waste of time to send their children to school, or a waste of money to pay for magazines and books? Why will they spend their money giving the heathen a chance to be lost, when their daughters are actually sufiering for I something to read? They toil and sweat, wasting the soul's best earnings in provid ing for the poor trail body that, were it not I that it is the temple of the soul, would be , worth no: more to us than a piece of wood t or a stone. They reverse the positlous and t make the rightful master servant. Their time is wholly occupied in providing for temporal wants. Holland tells us that farmers are afraid to be educated or refined, or cultivate the beau i ties of nature, lest they be thought "stuck up." HI says that their liner nature, being t neglected,, becomes sluggish and dormant. 1 When they go. to sleep they merely go "to roost;" when they eat they "tuck away grub,"' that they surpsise their backs with clean shirts," and when they marry they Ii "hitch on." In all this we iecognize more I of truth than poetry. Perhaps it is true f the world Is what we make it; but the sad t part of the truth is, that some of us cannot i make it what it ought to be, or what we I wish it to be. If the natures that are given I us with the existence that is thrust upon us I are sluggish and stolid, we must suffer the F consequences throughout time and eternity. I No matter what we may do to eradicate f the baser part, we can never attain the f higher standard we might have reached if I loving and considerate parents had helped I to prepare the way for us. We hear a great i deal said about the dignity and nobility of labor; we see the truth of this in the results of the lives of such men as Hugh Miller, Agassiz, and our old time patriots. But labor having no good end in view; labor that is merely muscular expansion and con traction for the sake of making and keeping money, is only a method of soul-murder. We need never be afraid of labor, provided we work with the right spirit. Anna Dick enson used to clean street crossings to earn money to pay for books.-Nikil, in Indiana Farmer. HOW A MAN TAKES CARE OF HIS BABY. in spite of all the statements to the con trary, there are men who help take care of their children. They are the kindest and best husbands in the world. They do not wish to see their wives overburdened with care and worry, and they intend to help them a great deal, and actually do. Yet it cannot be denied that their opinion concern ing the value of their services and their wives' opinion on the same subject do not exactly coincide. One of these good hus bands will help dress the children for break fast, and speak of it with a grandly virtuous air, while the fact is that he only washed the face of one while his wife washed and dressed the other three. He helps get the children ready for church; that is, he but tons up Dick's boots, and helps Jenny put on her gloves after he has leisurely and comfortably dressed himself, while his wife ties sashes, and hunts up odd gloves, and puts on colars, and curls one child's hair and washes another's hands, and in the in tervals "does up" her own hair, and saves the baby from the razor, and Jenny's best bonnet from the baby. He stands patiently (?) in the hall as the bells begin to toll, and mildly calls, " It is getting late, Maria." Which fact Maria knows as well as he does, for her hands are trembling so with nerv ousness and haste that she can hardly put a single pin in its right place. Just as the last strokes of the bell are sounding, they hurry off to church, losing entirely the calming influence which comes from a leis l urely walk on a fine Sunday morning. He I takes the opportunity to remark, with just I a shade of reproof in his gentle tones, "1 can't understand why it takes you so long to get ready. It really does seem as it with I as much as I do to help you, we need not 1 be obliged to hurry so at the last minute. I don't like to see you go up the aisle with your face as red as a lobster,'} which of course is very soothing to Maria's irritated e nerves. The father cares for the baby at night in very much the same fashion. The mother has litted the child into her own bed' and back into its cradle again, in the vain hope that in one place or the other he will go to sleep, has brought "drinks of water" for him, rocked the cradle and sung to Its un easy occupant softly and sieepily for an hour, till finally she thinks that it she is to be in this semi-amphibious stvae, half out of bed and half in, the air from the open win dow is too cool for her. She knows # she tries to shut it herself the little tyrant will instantly miss her presence anilobe ten times wider awake than ever, and all the hour's singing and rocking will be labor lost- So, with much regret, she softly asks John to get up and close the window. He has lain remarkably still and breathed rather heavily,. and is somewhat difreult to arouse for a man who afterward declares he was wide awake all the time. But like the good hs-. lend he is, he cheerfully closes the window,. and gets an extra blanket for the baby, axi pleasantly asks as he settles down into the pillows again, " What makes the haby s& uneasy to-night ?" He manifests a strange indiffierence to his wife'i reply, and in fact nothing more !6 heard from han tinl moris ing, while his wife sleepily and painfully works away for another hour longer. But at breakfast, with what calm complacency does he speak of the trouble the baby.made us last night, with an "us" fairly editorial in its comprehensiveness. The next night he goes into a room by himself to sleep. Hle can't " stand it to have his rest broken so," but adds generously, "4i'll take care of him the next night." And so he does till about twelve o'clock, when the baby wakes and cries. For ten minutes he tries faith fully to get him to sleep again, and then ignominiously retreats and calls for mam ma."-Mary Blake, in Scribner. WE ALL KNOW HIM. The editor was sitting in his sanctum when a man, laboring under considerable apparent excitement, walked in with the paper in his hand, and, pointing to a small paragraph, read : " The genial Col. Mum-. blechock thinks of taking an eastern jour ney soon. May he enjoy a pleasant trip is the wish of his many friends." " Now, sir," said the excited man, " I am Col. Mumblechock, and I have called to In quire by what authority you make use of' my name in your paper?" " First time I ever saw it," replied the - editor, "but I suppose it it all right. My local editor is quite enterprising In his purr I suit of news." "But I never gave him permission to use i my name in this manner," persisted the colonel. "Very likely," said the editor. " But you are going east, ain't you ?" " Certainly." t " And you haven't any objection to your - friends wishing you a pleasant trip." - "That is all right, but I don't want my s name in the paper, and in the future you 1 will oblige me by leaving it out. I " Of course," said the editor, "if you do e sire it," and the colonel bowed hitslt stiffly out. t " John," said the editor to the office-boy, I "follow that man and see 'where he goes, e and come back and report." d John did as he was requested, and.. ,r after he came back and reported that O., i- Mumblechock went to the counti o s and bouglit twenty-five papers which, , t marking something in them, be ordered `; y in wrappers, and was busy ia dfrectt g I them. " Cin'innatl is chock full of Col. M11 Ue , chocks. They profess to be highly it} - nant if their names appear in some trling' t item-wonder how the reporter got hi ti a of it, and bluster about terribly, yet' thbf r are secretly delighted at seeing their eat.t e in print, and invest heavily in papers' t. i- send to friends. The only way to rt llli e offend them is not to mention them at all. ,t THE following Is told of a young gang g man who was passing. an examinatiQ* tn physics.., He was as&ked: " What plant. were known to the ancients f11 Re respcpnd-. ed, " Well, sir, there were Venus and Jnvay! ter, and'" after a pause-" I thiuk tha Earth, but I am not btite certain." Otm oltr friend Pickerhig'says that be ha@ know ladies In which the instinct of dCeoIa tion was so strong that in they were told they must be hanged in the presence of twenty thousand persons to-morrow, thelft first thought would be, " Oh, dear ! anid! haven't a dress fit to be hung in." GOLDEN SHEAVES. Sweet ure the bells that memory rings in val; To call the past with all its vanished ho .. -Dilligence commands success. -Every couple is not always a pair. -Debt is the worst kind of poverty. -Dependence is a poor trudn to follow.. -Loud threatenings make men stubborn: -Selt-denial is the most exalted pleasur and the conquests ot. evil habits the moat; glorious triumph.. -As welt might the toad swell to, an et, pliant. a sheep acq are the courage of a lion,. or a tiger the hmarlessness of a hu h,,as an insolent man become brave, noble,. ant1 dignified. -Virtue is-llke a.tilh. stone, best,,plainet.. This is the best part of beauty which a pie. ture cannot express., Beauty is as. summer. fruits, whist" are easy t. corrupt and.i cwir ueL last..