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CHAPTER I. E lived In a little cottage at Brixton, situated In a lane behind the broad highway. At that time there were three of us; Bee croft, Mariner; Mary Beecroft, his wife; and I, Amos, their son. Brixton then was not what Brixton Is now; there was more country ibout, more fields and trees, though :here are pretty bits to be found there :oday, if you search for them. The old jottage stands there still, mellowed by Jge, and prettier by contrast with Its newer fellows that have grown round ibout It; but Beecroft, Mariner's, cheery "Yo, heave, ho!" is no longer heard within or without its walls. For a sufficient reason: he rests In another kind of habitation. His bones lie at the bottom of the Atlantic. But I, Amo3 Beecroft, live there at this day, Burrounded by memorials of Beecroft, Mariner's, love. Now, If you want me to describe our cottage, and to describe it briefly, I can do so in one word: Shells. It seemed to be built almost entirely of shells; they met you whichever way you turned, whichever way you looked. About the mantelpiece, on the walls, in the center of the ceiling (from which sometimes one would drop down with a bang), in frames, under glass shades, and skirting my mother's work-box and the looking-glass in her bedroom. Even the tiny plot of ground in front of our cottage the little plot of garden that was cut off from the footpath by green wooden palings and a green wooden gate even that was decorated with them. The shells that met your yo in every corner of the cottage ha3 been gathered north, south, oast, and west of the globe; and, so that there west, of the globe; and, so that there should bo no mistake as to whose resi dence it was, "Beecroft, Mariner," was woven outside in shells from various shores, directly above the low window which looked into our little front par lor. It may be well understood, there fore, that Beecroft, Mariner's, cottage was pretty well known round about. It served, indeed, as a kind of landmark in the neighborhood, and my father, as I understand, was looked upon as a character. Not by any means as an objectionable character, for everybody had a smile for him, for the simple reason, I expect, that he himself had a smile and a good word for everybody. It was my greatest delight, as a young ster, to walk by his side through the Brixton streets, with my little hand in his big one, and to imitate his walk, the roil of his body, and the very ex pression on his face, to let the people know that I was Beecroft, Mariner's, son. His shells were my delight as a boy; and on some of the few evening3 In the year he spent at home with us, he would take me between his knees, and tell me stories of the sea in con nection with these pets of his. "You, see, my son," he said he al ways addressed me thus, and occasion ally my mother took after him "you see, my son, when I am away your mother can't help but think of me. And why? Because of these shells. She puts one of 'em to her ear, and she says, 'Now I'm on the sea with Bee croft, Mariner, the father of my boy.' She follows me about to different places; that's how it is. And shells have different voices. They tell you almost everything about the sea you'd like to know. Listen to this," and he put a shell to my ear. "Can't you hear a storm brewing? And here's the wind howling through a pitch-black night; and here's a mermaid singing; and .here's the soft flapping of the sails as we lay becalmed, praying for a breeze; and here shut your eyes, my son here we are surrounded by great white ghosts icebergs, my son, with sea voices all about us." I lisened in a kind of rapture to such utterances as these, and saw and heard In the shells all that my father de scribed with rough and eloquent tongue. If he could have found and brought home a shell large enough for us all to live In, I believe he would have been the happiest man alive. Sitting at home with us one evening, he said, half In jest, half in earnest, "I should like to be burled in a shell coffin, In a grave lined with shells." Now, it was a circumstance to be Buperstitiously remembered in after days, that, as he uttered these words In the little parlor at Brixton, a shell fell from the ceiling and grazed his hand. "Oh, my dear!" cried my mother, atarting in a flutter. Beecroft, Mariner, wiped the blood from his hand with a smile, but Im mediately afterward gazed at the de linquent shell with an air which im plied that it had been guilty of a breach of duty, and ought to be condemned to walk the plank. "Oh, my dear!" cried my mother again; "how can you say such things?" "Well, but I should like to be buried in just such a grave," he said, with Ight persistence. "We must be burled some time and somewhere, and that's my fancy." She said nothing in reply; but a shudder passed through her at the m If? L. FARJEON. mere suggestion of my father's death. In a certain way he had his wish, though the pattern of his grave was dif ferent, and nis coffin a morn spacious one than was meant In his expression. He died when I was 7 years of age. On a dark night, during a sudden and raging storm, while helping to reef the malntopgallant sail, he lost his hold, and slipped Into the grave of the At lantic. As the wild waves received and closed over him, blotting him out of the world forever and ever, perhaps a vision came upon him of his wife and child in their little cottage at Brixton, brightened by the mementos of his love; and perhaps, In the midst of his brief agony, it brought a spark of com fort to him. I was a sailor before my father's death, and the manner of his death did not frighten me. It was a proper sailor's death, I thought in my childish way, and I was proud of my father for dying it, and proud of myself for being such a sailor's son. Sometimes of a night, when I was abed, I would put a shell to my ear, and, with my eyes closed, I would see my father floating down to the bottom of the sea, where he would lie with a cheery and smiling face, among beautiful sea-weed and coral and shells of pearl. I never in these fancies saw him with any but a cheerful and smiling face. Really, I had been a sailor in my heart from my cradle upward. I do not know whether this came from innate love or from edu cation; but I do know that, whether I was bred or born to it, I loved the sea with a deep and passionate love Never have I forgotten the first time I saw it. It stretched before me calm and vast, and over the water line in the distance lay the wonders which I should one day see. They were hidden from me now, but the time would come. I was silent from joy. That is the world, thought I my world, in which I shall live and be a sailor, like my father. I regarded the land as of the very smallest consequence; it .oc cupied but an insignificant position in the universe according to my reckon ing. CHAPTER II. T is not to be won dered at that I had such ideas, for my inclination for the was fostered and encouraged In every conceivable way. I was the sailor pet of the neighbor hood, and from the time 1 remem bered myself I was alwa dressed sailor fashion. I haven't the slightest doubt, judging from the impressions I gathered, that the children in the neighborhood regarded me as something particularly marvel ous, and that no high-admiral, how ever fine and grand his cocked hat and sword and gold laced clothes might be, would have held a higher position in their estimation than young Amos Bee croft. I could not have been more than 6 years of age when I found myself stand ing on the outskirts of a crowd of peo ple gathered together in a street near that in which I lived. How I came there I do not know; but there I was, a spectator of the scene. It was a vio lent crowd, and loud and angry words were being used. The people were gathered about an open street door, and from what I could understand with my childish mind, a family were being turned out of their house in conse quence of owing some money which they were unable to pay. Their furni ture had been seized and sold, and they were being bundled into the streets. The sympathies of the crowd were with them, as Is invariably the case on such occasions, crowds being always composed of poor people; and oaths and threats were flung at the man to whom the money was owing, and who had In this way enforced his claim. I heard his name. It was Druce. Presently the crowd divided, and by some means I was In the cen ter of it, standing by the two men who played the principal parts. The face of one of these men was white and pinched and livid, as though with fear and malice; the face of the other was convulsed with passion, and blood was trickling down It. Instinctively, child as I was, I knew which was the wronged man, and which the wronger, and their faces became indelibly stamped upon my memory. The name of the wronger, also, would never have been forgotten by me, even if In afterdays I had not cause to remember It. I ran home, in terror of it and him, and told the story to my mother with tears and sobs. Mr. Druce was a money-lender in our neighborhood. When he died, his son Inherited his business. The name was over his office, and I never saw it in my boyish days without its bring ing before me the faces of two men, one white and livid, the other con vulsed with bitter passion, and with the blood trickling down it, and I in variably hated the one and sym pathized with the other. Up to a certain period in my life I met this son but once. He was a man, and I was a man. Perhaps he was three or four years older than I was. I stood with my hand on our little wooden gate, and he came and stood before me. I had no Idea who he was. never having seen him to know him. His shadow falling across my path caused mo to look down upon him. I could do that; I was taller than he. A thin, Inquisitive face was that face of his, with eyes that were bright, bul had no softness in them. He could not have been ashamed of his face, for it was perfectly smoth and hairless. Mine, on the contrary, had plenty of hair upon It. "Good evening, neighbor," said he. That waj a claim to a kinship In friendliness. "Good evening," satd . I, scarcely looking at him. "A fine evening," was his next ob servation. It happened not to be a fine evening, and I remarked that he talked like a barber. He accepted my correction good humoredly. "Not being a sailor," said he, "I don't know the signs of the weather as well as you." "You know when it rains, I sup pose," I said, with a wave of my hand, for a slight mist was falling. "Ah, yes, Indeed," he replied, in a tone of surprise, looking up as though he were only now aware of the fall ing mist. "You have been a long time away." I had been absent on a long voyage, and had been home but a few days. I nodded, "Yes, a long time," and would have left him, but that he seem ed to have something more he wished to say. "You have been to Africa, I hear?" "Yes, to Africa, and other coasts." "I've read," said he, "that gold is dug up there by the savages." "That's so." "And feathers, worth their weight in gold?" "I don't know about their value. Feathers are got there." "And pearls in other places, and coral?" , "That's so." "And you've been to those places." "Ay." His bright eyes that had no softness In them gleamed still more brightly and eagerly, but still it was In a hesi tating tone as though he were sus Dlcious I should take advantage of him that he continued his question ing: "Have you got any?" asked he. "Any what?" "Feathers and bits of coral and that like." I laughed at him. "I've enough to do," said I, "without bothering my head about such things. Besides, they're out of my reach." "Out of your reach!" he repeated. "Ay. It takes money to buy them." He chuckled, and rubbed his hands. "And you've no money?" "Not more than I know what to do with. Have you?" At this question of mine he gave his body such a remarkable screw, that it appeared to me as though all in one moment he was buttoning himself up from top to toe. "I've got a little," said he, with a slow twisting of his fingers, "and I'm fond of turning it over turning it over." "Well," said I, with another laugh, "turn it over." "In trade, I mean. I'd like to bu some of them pearls and feathers and coral." ' "Easily enough done If you're so flush f money. Go out there." "I can't spare the time. Couldn't you bring home some?" "I'll tell you what I could bring home." "Yes, yes; what?" "What do you say to a mermaid?" "A mermaid!" he cried, excitedly "It would do to exhibit. Can you ge one?" (TO BS COXTfMCBU.) MUSICIANS' WHIMS. Most of Thfm Are Diift About Sonit Things. I am tickled to know that Wagner was an exact and expensive dresser, and that Beethoven was a sloven with an old coat and slippers trodden down at the heels, says the Contemporary Review. It interests me to hear that raganini always carried a shirt In his fiddle case because he sweated so pro fusely over his solos that he had to change between his parts if he played twice. I even care to learn that Men delssohn was a perfect child about pastry, which he could never resist and which he always ate (especially cherry pie) and which always disagreed with him, that Schumann injured his third linger by- tying It back to his wrist with a string because he hoped to make it more supple It ended, how ever, in his almost losing the use of it; that Bulow got up in the night to play over passages which he thought he was likely to play inaccurately at his prodigious recitals. When Thral berg was at the height of his fame he wouldn't even carry an umbrella for fear of it cramping the muscles of his hand; Mallbran loved nothing so much as romping with Mocheles' chil dren on the floor; Paganint was so stingy that he would stand up under shelter in the rain and keep a whole opera house full waiting sooner than call a cab. Prof. Ela told me he found him one day crouching under the Arcade in Regent street and that he gave this artless explanation. "Hack ney coaches," he said, "in London wcro so expensive!" and th'.s when he had doubled the prices at the opera house where he played aud was rolling in money. In Kentucky tnvtlers sny a general store Is usually kopt by a colonel. This is true In the major portion of the state, if private information ran be re lied upon. Soinervillc Journal. TALMAGE'S SERMON. 'FRIENDSHIP UNFAILING," LAST SUNDAY'S SUBJECT. From the Following Text: "Ami She Went and Came and Gleuned In the Field After the Reapers; and Her Hup Was to LlRht." Kuth 3 I 3. HE time that Ruth and Naomi arrived at Bethlehem la hardest time. It was the custom when a sheaf fell from a load in the harvest field for the reapers to re fuse to gather It up; that was to be left for the poor who might happen to come along that way. If there were handfuls of gra n scattered across the field after the main harvest had been reaped, instead of raking It, as farmers do now, it was, by the custom of the land, left In its place, so that the poor coming along that way might glean it, and get their bread. But, you say, "What is the use of all these harvest fields to Ruth and Naomi? Naomi is too old and feeble to go out and toil in the sun; and can you expect that Ruth, the young and the beautiful, should tan her cheeks and blister her hands in the harvest field? Boaz owns a large farm, and he goes out to see the reapers gather in the grain. Coming there, right behind the swarthy, sun-browned reapers, he be holds a beautiful woman gleaning a woman more fit to bend to a harp or sit upon a throne than to stoop among the sheaves. Ah, that was an eventful day! It was love at first sight. Boaz forms an attachment for the womanly gleaner an attachment full of undy ing interest to the church of God in all ages; while Ruth, with an ephah, or nearly a bushel of barley, goes homo to Naomi to toll her of the successes and adventures of the day. That Ruth, who left her native land of Moab in darkness, and traveled through an un dying affection for her mother-lu-law, is in the harvest field of Boaz, is affi anced to one of the best families In Judah, and becomes in after time the ancestress of Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory! Out of so dark a night did there ever dawn so bright a morn ing? I learn, in the first place, from this subject, how trouble develops charact er. It was bereavement, poverty and exile that developed, illustrated, and announced to all ages the sublimity of Ruth's character. That is a very un fortunate man who has no trouble. It was sorrow that made John Bunyan the better dreamer, and Doctor Young the better poet, and O'Connell the bet ter orator, and Bishop Hall the better preacher, and Havelock the better sol dier, and Kltto the better encyclopae dist, and Ruth the better daughter-in-law. I once asked an aged man In regard to his pastor, who was a very brilliant man, "Why is it that your pastor, so very brilliant, seems to have so little heart and tenderness in his sermons?" "Well," he replied, "the reason Is, our pastor has never had any trouble. When misfortune comes upon him his style will be different." After a while the Lord took a child out of the pas tor's house; and though the preacher was just as brilliant as he was before, oh, the warmth, the tenderness of his discourses! The fact is, that trouble is a great educator. You see sometimes a musician sit down at an instrument and his execution is cold and formal and unfeeling. The reason is that all his life he has been prospered. But let misfortune or bereavement come to that man, and he sits down to the In strument, and you discover the pathos in the first sweep of the keys. Misfortunes and trials are great ed ucators. A young doctor comes Into a sick room where there is a fylng child. Perhaps he is very rough In his prescription, and very rough in his manner, and rough in the feeling of the pulse, and rough in his answer to the mother's anxious question; but years roll on, and there has been one dead in his own house; and now he comes into the sick room, and with tearful eye he looks at the dying child, and he 6ays, "Oh, how this reminds me of my Charlie!" Trouble, the great educator. Sorrow I see its touch in the grandest painting; I hear its trem or in the sweetest song; I feel its power in the mightiest argument. Grecian mythology said that the foundation of Hippocrene was struck out by the foot of the winged horse Pegasus. I have often noticed in life that the brightest and most beautiful fountains of Christian comfort and spiritual life have been struck out by the Iron shod hoof of disaster and calamity. I see Daniel's courage best by the flash of Nebuchadnezzar's fur nace. I see Paul's prowess best when I find him on the foundering ship under the glare of the lightning in the breakers of Melita. God crowns his children amid the howling of wild beasts and the chopping of blood- splashed guillotine and the crackling fires of martyrdom. It took the per secutions of Marcus Aurellus to de velop Polycarp and Justin Martyr. It took all the hostilities against Scotch Covenanters and the fury of Lord Claverhouse to develop James Renwiek and Andrew Melville, and James Mc Kail, the glorious martyrs of Scotch history. It took the stormy sea, and the December blast, and the desolate New England coast, and the warwhoop of swages to show forth the prowess of the Pilgrim Fathers. When amid the storms they sang, And the stars heard, and the sea; And the sounding aisles of the dim' wood Rang to the anthems of the free. Life often seems to bo a mere gamo, where the successful player pulls don all the other men into his own lap. Let suspicion arise about a man's character, and he becomes like a bank In a panic, and all the imputations rush on him and break down In a day that character which In due time would have had strength to defend itself. There are reputations that have been half a century in building, which go down under one push, as a vast temple is consumed by the touch of a sulphur ous match. A hog can uproot a cen tury plant. In this world, so full of heartless ness and hypocrisy, how thrilling It 13 to find some friend as faithful in days of adversity as in days of prosperity? David had such a friend In Hushal; the Jews had such a friend In Morde cal, who never forgot their cause; Paul had such a friend In Onesiphorus, who visited him in Jail; Christ had such In the Marys, who adhered to Him on the Cross; Naomi had such a one In Ruth, who cried out, "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee, for whither thou goest, I will go; and whither thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou dlest will I die, and there will I bo burled; the Lord do so to me, and more also, If aught but death part thee and me." Again, I learn from this subject that paths which open In hardship and dark ness often come out In places of joy. When Ruth started from Moab toward Jerusalem, to go along with her mother-in-law, I supposa the people said: "Oh, what a foolish creature to go away from her father's house, to go off with a poor old woman toward the land of Judah! They won't live to get across the desert. They will be drowned in the sea, or the jackals of the wilder ness will destroy them." It was a very dark morning when Ruth started off with Naomi: but behold her in my text in the harvest field of Boaz, to be affianced to one of the lords of the land, and become one of the grand mothers of Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. And so it often Is that a path which often starts very darkly ends very brightly. When you started out for heaven, oh, how dark was the hour of conviction how Slnal thundered, and devils tor mented, and the darkness thickened! All the sins of your life pounced upon you, and it was the darkest hour you ever saw when you first found out your sins. After awhile you went into the harvest Held of God's mercy: you be gan to glean in the fields of divine promise, and you had more sheaves than you could carry, as the voice of God addressed you, saying: "Blessed is the man whose transgressions are forgiven and whose sins are covered." A very dark starting in conviction, a very bright ending in the pardon and the hope and the triumph of the Gos pel! So, very often in our worldly busi ness or in our spiritual career, we start off on a very dark path. We must go. The flesh may shrink back, but there is a voice within, or a voice from above, saying, "You must go;" and we have to drink the gall, and we have to carry the cross, and we have to traverse the desert and we are pounded and flailed of misrepresentation and abuse, and we have to urge our way through ten thousand obstacles that have been slain by our own right arm. We have to ford the river, we have to climb the mountain, we have to storm the castle; but, blessed be God, the day of rest and reward will come. On the tip-top of the captured battlements we will shout the victory; if not in this world, then in that world where there is no gall to drink, no burdens to carry, no bat ties to fight. How do I know it? Know it! I know it because God says so "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat, for the Lamb which is In the midst of the throne shall lead them to living foun tains of water, and God shall wipe all tears from their eyes." It was very hard for Noah to endure the scoffing of the people in his day, while he was trying to build the ark, and was every morning quizzed about his old boat that would never be of any practical use; but when the deluge came, and' the tops of the mountains disappeared like the backs of sea mon sters, and the elements, lashed up in fury, clapped their hands over a drowned world, then Noah in the ark rejoiced in his own safety and in the safety of his family, and looked out on the wreck of a ruined earth. ' Christ, hounded of persecutors, de nied a pillow, worse maltreated than the thieves on either side of the cross, human hate smacking its lips in sat isfaction after it had been draining his last drop of blood, the sheeted dead bursting from the sepulchres at hl3 crucifixion. Tell me, O Gethsemane and Golgotha, were there ver darker times than those? Like the booming of the midnight sea against the rock, the surges of Christ's anguish beat against the gates of eternity, to be echoed back by all the thrones of heaven and all the dungeons of hell. But the day of reward comes for Christ; all the pomp and dominion of this world are to be hung on his throne, erowned heads are to bow be fore him on whose head are many crowns, and all the celestial worship is to come up at his feet, like the hum ming of the forest, like the rushing of the waters, like the thundering of the seas, while all heaven, rising on their thrones, beat time with their sceptres: "Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipo tent reigneth." That song of love, now low and far. Ere loss shall swell from star to star; That light, the breaking day which tips The golden-spired Apocalypse. Madame tie Stael did a world of work in her time, and one day, while she wa.- seated amid instruments of music, all of which she had mastered, and amid manuscript books which she had writ ten, some one said to her: "How do you find time to attend to all those things?" "Oh," she replied, "these are not the things I am proud of. My chief boast is in the fact that I have seven teen trades, hy any one of which I could make a livelihood if necessary." And If in secular spheres there Is so much to bo done, in spiritual work how vast the field-! How many dying all around about us without one word of comfort! We want more Abigails, more Han nahs, more Rebeccas, more Marys, more Deborahs consecrated body, mind and soul, to the Lord who bought them. Once more I learn from my subject the value of gleaning. Ruth going Into that harvest field might have said: "There is a straw, and there is a straw, but what is a straw? I can't get any barley for my self or my mother-in-law out of these separate straws." Not so said beautiful Ruth. She gathered two straws, and she put them together, and more straws, until she got enough to make a sheaf. Putting that down, she went and gathered more straws, until she had another sheaf, and another, and another, and another, and then she brought them altogether, and she threshed them out, and she had an ephah of barley, nigh a bushel. Oh, that we might all be gleaners! Elihu Burritt learned many things while toiling in a blacksmith's shop. Abercrcmble, the world-renowned phi losopher, was a philosopher in Scot land, and he got his philosophy, or the chief part of it, while, as a physician, he was waiting for the door of the sick room to open. Yet how many there are in this day who say they are so busy they have no time for mental or spiritual improvement; the great duties of life cross the field like strong reapers, and carry off all the hours, and there Is only here and there a fragment left, that Is not worth glean ing. Ah, my friends, yon could go Into the busiest day and busiest week of your life and find golden opportunities, which, gathered, might at last mako a whole sheaf for the Lord's garner. It is the stray opportunities and the stray privileges which, taken up and bound together and beaten out, will at last fill you with much joy. Thero are a few moments left worth the gleaning. Now, Ruth to the field! May each one have a measure full and running over! Oh, you gleaners, to the field! And If there be In your house;4 hold an tged one or a sick relative that is not strong enough to come forth and toil in this field, then let Ruth take home to feeble Naomi this sheaf of gleaning: "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." May the Lord God of Ruth and Naomi be our portion forever! Tho Dragon-Fly. One of the most useful of insects is, owing to the ignorance of the public, forever being killed. It is known as the dragon-fly, the needle-case and the devil's darning-needle. Says a writer of authority: In its larval state it subsists almost entirely on those small squirming threads which can be seen darting about in any still water, and which hatch out into sweet-singing mosquito. As soon as the dragoon-fiy leaves its watery nursing-ground, and climbing some friendly reed, throws away the old shell and flies away, it is helping man again. Its quarry now is the house-fly. Not long ago the. writer saw one of these insects knocked down in a veranda, where It had been doing yeoman's service, and the children and women seemed delighted, although they shrank back from the poor.wound ed dragon-fly. They all thought it had an awful sting at the end of its long body; a cruel injustice. When the writer took the insect up there va3 general wonderment, which was in creased when a captured fly was offer ed it aud it ate greedily. The boys of the household will never harm a dragon-fly again. Ouitc a DIITereine. All disciples of Izaak Walton wilt appreciate the story which is going the rounds, concerning Mr. Andrew Lang, the English critic and essayist. An ex change publishes the anecdote which one of Mr. Lang's literary friends tells: It happened to me to spend a few days last summer in an English village. Hav ing noticed a pleasant river which seemed to promise excellent fishing, I spoke of it to my landlady. "Oh yes. sir," she said, "there is very good fish ing here many people come here for fishing." "What kind of people come here?" I asked. "Literary gentlemen come here very often, sir. We had Mr. Andrew Lang staying here." "Oh, really! does he fish? Is he a good fish erman?" "Yes, sir, he fishes beauti fully." "Really! does he catch much?"' "Oh no, sir, he never catches anything, but he fishes beautifully." A Characteristic Reply. The Incorruptibility of General Waik- er, late president of the MassachusettJ Institute of Technology, was above all suspicion. A characteristic anecdote U told of him by J. J. Spencer in the Review of Reviews: At one time.when General Walker held a government po sition, a place shared in a measure by another, he was approached with the suggestion that, since the who!e de partment was under their control, by working in harmony they could have whatever they desired. "I have no de sires, said General Walker. "But. general," said his coadjutor, "do you not see that we can push forward our friends and relatives Into good places?" "I have no friends," was the reply.