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.
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
"Very likely," said the editor. " But
you are going east, ain't you ?"
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
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
" 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.
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 [email protected]
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."
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;
-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
-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
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