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?; MJS? PlLLY'S FOURTH.
Did eT?r you hear of Mifla Polly^bannon, Who nearly goes mad at the light of a caniwii ? J ust omeide of Biistpl she lives alrsicne, And haan't bo much&a a cat of her own ! While dreading the thought of the Fourth of July, She said to hei?elf, * I shall certainly fly I" Then suddenly there popped in her head the way Moet sejrenely to ?pend our National Day. At evening, sbe'-plagged all the key-holea with wax, v , And oyer each wiudow hung blanket* from tacks ; Then, filling her ewrs full of^pink cotton-batting, 8he tied on her ni^ht-cap, all ruftles and tatting, And t<ai4 to herself, " Now we'll see if that cannon At four in the morning will rouse Polly Shannon !" The Mayor of Bris tol, however, was sick, At d evem so low aj to mind the dock's tick ; And, therefore, th-t Council made haste to proclaim, By means of great powers, in letters of lUme : J' Because ok His UOnou tiie Mayor's Con DITION, ; Pronounced very critical by thevphysician, To-morrow no cracger, gun, cannon or pistol Shall once be shot c ff In the city of Bristol. Police are instructed, jmd will, without fail, Moet promptly remand all oflenders to jail." Just think of the griei' of those poor Bristol boys When leading this placard which vetoed their joys ! But P0H7 slept "sweetly, for no thunderous ic'^r Of cannon terrific awoke her at four ! Twas late when she rose, with supreme satisfac ' tion, Preparing herself for a day of inaction ; For how could she work ? the bonne dark as a pocket, And mefcury going*'way up like a rocket? But whefc perspiration meant peace and protection, She felt she could stand it with little objection. So all th* day long in the darkness and heat She sweltered and wor/ied, while outs'de the sweet Ripe fragrance of summer pervaded the air, The bird* gave their concert*, all nature was fair, While never a gun, % torpedo, nor pistol, The ghcefof a sound Wxike in solemn old Bristol 1 The next paorniDg came With a sense of release Which filled her whole *oul with contentment and peace, 8he toaaed wax and cottjn far out ot her sight, Threw wide doors and-windows, and gazed with delight ! Her 1 eigbbor, Dick Jot-ts, came and lounged on her gate : "Good mornin' ! How are ye? You're up rather late I thonght^you was sick, 'twas ho sort of shut up ! Too bad oil the boys, th^r 'are bill they put up !" "What btll?". M Ain't ye heard?" Tfcet's why ['twas so. still t ? They put oft the Fourth -'cause the Mayor's so ill." " And didn't they ahoot^ft the cannon .at all ?" Cried Poller, amazed.' ' Not a gun great or small ; There ain't been a day, us I know on, this year So dead level > till as tW&a yesterday here!"' Miss Polly said only, "Well, there 1 I declare!" Tten slammed to the door, and dropped into a tfhair; * 1 With lookvery sheepish, and manner lers curt, She thought, "After t&is I won't cry till I'm hurt " : Wide Awake, .? ? how tHE British; 3eat 'phrastus " 'N' she says I wha'u't Bpend one oent for crackers cor torpydoea/aer go down to see the p'rade, nejr any of the boys. She says I've got to stay hum and keep still this Fourth." The pro|pect was evidently dire toTheophras tus Wilson, but the ]>er$c>n to whom he poured out his woes only twinkled a pair of merry eyes. Haivey Harris was several years older than 'Phrastus, but he listened with an interest very comforting to the smallof boy. "She says I kin take the old hoss-pistle, 'n' fire it oft once down behind the barn. 'N' I kin tie dad's old flag 'o a broomstick, acd wa*e it about all 1 wanter. Who want* an old broom stick 'round aDy^ay f T-hat aint no Fourth of July." 'Phrasjtts sniffed? he s almost sniveled. His hearer laughed outright. "Say, 'phrastus, what; under the canopy did you do la*-; Fourth that n akes Aunt 'Scilla set tle down on you like this'^ ' "Nothing" said 'Phra^sus sullenly. "Oh pabaw ! , I know ^ ou , and I know Aunt Pri8cilla. "She'd never corner you up so close without some reason. Hofcest, now, out with it, and I'll see what I can dc tor you." "There was the cat,*' said 'Phrastus, digging his toes into the ground k \ " What about the cat ?*? "She toid me to givo h'm his dinner, 'n' I put a fir?-oraoker under the p^p. It didn't hurt him none, but he never camn fer a week; and he won't teoh' codfish senc.e ' " Oh, ha ! What elss ?v\ "The setiin' hen," suid JPhrastus, soratchlng his right ear. " I knowe^-she wanted her broke up, 'n' I bet & couple o( cfaokers'd do it " 11 Well, did they?" - ^ "Guess vou'd a thought so! They set the W '? ' s' ? 4. nest afire, and most burnt up the chioken houae." 'Phrastus aotually grinned. " Ah, ha ! Go ahead ; that wasn't all. What put on the finishing touch?" "I a'poBe 'twas the new wash-Viler." said 'Phra?tus, frowniDg. "We tuk it out behind the barn to light a buaoh in. My, didn't they pop 1 Then we forgot it teetotal, and come wash day nobody knowed where the b'iler was." " And when they found it ?" "Sathin' had step on it !" muttered 'Phrastus. "But I don't think folks ought to hold things a hull year." Harvey threw his head baok, and laughed so heartily that 'Phrastus stopped frowning and giggled. "Now look here," paid Harvey, when he had had bis laugh out, " I haven't forgotten how you found Frowpy for me last aummer, and if you'll promise not to use them around the house or the barn, or anywhere where they'll disturb Aunt 'Spilla, I'll put half a dozen packs under the big atone behind the barn for you Fourth of July morning." "It'a awfnl good of you!" 'Phraatos's oheeka grew shiniDg red "There aha'n't no body hear 'em 'cept me ; I'll take 'em down to the woods. And s*y, 111 hunt your dog every time he gets kst ? don't you give any other fel ler the job. What they got in that wagon ?" "It must be the English ram Mr. Tamer's been buying," said llarvey, as he turned to look. "Gave two hundred dollars for him. I guess I'll walk down and see him when they take him out." "Two ? hundred ? dollars for a she^p !" 'Phr*stus hopped over the fence and trotted along by his friend's side "What a pile of money lor one sheep ! Say, Harvey, 'd you jest aa lief put in a box of matohesand a fi' cent flag 'Btead of two o' them bunches ?" "Just exactly." The wagon turned into Mr. Turner's barn yard, and the boys followed it "I bet I'd never pay' them old British two hundred dollars for a steep," said 'Phrastus, thrusting his hands deep into hia pockets as he watched the men carefully lower the Cotawold ram, " King George XII.," to the ground. " Wbat d j you know about the British, Bub?" asked one of the men. "I know we whipped 'em twiot ? Fourth of July," said 'Phrastns. "Well, it seems they oan beat us on sheep," laughed the man "I 'spect if Mr. Turner had looked round he'd got jest as good a one in 'Meriker for ten dollars !" cried 'Phrastus. "They can't beat us on an>thing !" HaviDg reached the ground safely, King George stamped his royal foot, and shook his curved horns. Then, as Mr. Turner entered the yard by a side gate, the ram dashed forward with unexpected quickness, knooked his new owner's feet from under him, and laid him flat on his back. "He's got a good smart temper," remarked one of the assistants, as King George appeared ready to charge the entire force. "Serves Mr. Turner rit>ht for spending so much money on an old British sheep," 'Phrastus whimpered to Harvey. * # * Aunt Priscilla notioed with surprise that 'Phrastus neither whined nor pleaded when she reannounced her Fourth of J aly edict. She re peated the command in order to keep her own resolution firm, for she dearly loved the mother less boy, misohievous as he was. " You haint been giviDg him money for fire crackers or dossying him up, have ye, Ben?" she lr quired of her husband. "No, I aint," responded Uncle Ben. "But jest think on't, Percilla 1 The heft of a boy's livin' is rumpas, and to choke him off on the Fonrth ! It's? well, it's plaguy cruel 1 He'll bust." "No, he won't 1 You jest let him alone, Ben jamin Arbuokle. It's time he learned that oats and wash b'ilers and other folks hfcd some rights on the Fourth of July 's well 's boys." * * * "Where you going, 'Phrastus?" she de manded, when the Fourth at last arrived, as quiet in their immediate vicinity as if it bad befn a Sunday. " Djwn to Mr. Turner's wood lot to sail my boats." He had the boats conspicuously tucked under his arm. Aunt 'Scllla regarded him with a mix ture of remorse and suspicion. " You aint fired off your pistol yet?" "No'm; don't wanter. Once aint notMn'. It'd sound as if it'd lost itself." "Your pa's flag is in there on the table." "That's had too much rowder a'ready." 'Phrattus had carefully studied up this smart speech in advance. "Huml" Aunt Priscilla sniffed "Well, go 'long, then. If you go to that p'rade, sir, you know what you'll get." "Aint goin'." 11 And if I hear of your hanging round any of the other boys' houses, you'll oatoh it 1" " Yes'm." 'Phrastus slouohed oil with an air of deep* seated melancholy till the barn was between himself and Aunt 'Soilla's remorseful eyes. Harvey had more than kept bis promise, and 'Phrattus exeouted the final steps of a war dance. " Aint he good, though! I'll hunt dogs for for him all day. Look at these two big fellers ! They'll do for Long Toms on the 'Chesapeake It was Dot yet nine o'olook, but there was ev ery promise of a hot dav. The leaves hung mo tionless ; the cattle were already seeking shade. 'Phrastus rubbed his arm across his perspiring face. " Wonder why it's always so awful hot on the Fourth ? May be 'cause there's so muoh fire ev erywhere. Wouldn't it be fan to have a snow fort?" He beguiled the way by a delightful fsncy of flying snowballs, eaoh carrying a lighted fire craoker, until the olimbing of the last fence brought him into the edge of the woods. Through the pond, a shallow drinking place for sheep, a small brook flowed. 'Phrastus sat down under a tree, and paddled his bare toes in the water with a sigh of oontent "If there was only jest one other feller with me, wouldn't it be prime? But then he'd have to be the British and get beat, 'canse I'm bound to be 'Merican." 'Phrastus had planned a naval engagement which should reverse a faot of history. One of Uncle Ben's favorite ttories was of the ship "Chesapeake," when the Eoglish ship "Leop ard " forced her to strike her oolors in a time of peace. Uncle Ben's grandfather had been a sailor on the American vessel, and the story Uncle Bjn loved to lbten to as a child, he loved to tell to 'Phrastus.,. But 'Phrastus had determined that those ships should mpet again on Mr. Turner's pond with a very different result He began hia preparations. The five cent flag rendered the "Chesapeake" top-heavy; so he stuck it in the bank behind her. Truth com pels me to confess that 'Phrastus showed very little generosity toward his imaginary foes. The "Chesapeake " was a full- rigged sohooner* at least eighteen inches long, with two rows of fire-oraoker guns on either side. The English ship was only a third as large? a block of wood whittled roughly into the semblance of a boat, with one croDked, wobbling mast. Her comple ment of guns was a meager half-dozen ? three on a side. "For you're bound to be blowed skyer-higher anyway, you old Britbher," said 'Phrastus. The two big fire-crackers were placed Jn posi tion at the " Chesapeake's" bow and stern, aDd the commodore, joyfully striking a match, stooped down to fire his guns. Whack ! 'Phrastus shot out into the pond, turning a somersault, and scattering matches as he went. His line of motion was directly aoross the "Chesapeake." Bjth her slender masts snapped, and the stately vessel careened till her who!e armament slid oft into the water. 'Phrastus's first thought, as he emerged puf fiog and sputtering, was that the heat had ex ploded the fire crackers all at once. But when he got the water out of his eyes, he saw that the British had received unexpected reinforcements. King George X1L, arriving unperceived from the rear, had disposed of the American oommo dore and now turned his attention to the Stars and S Gripes, which he jammed into the bank with repeated blows of his woolly head. The patriotic blood of 'Phrastus boiled. "Git ont of that, you old British ram 1 Le' my flag alone I I'll hit you with a rock, I will 1" He dug vainly about with bis fingers In the muddy bed of the pond, but found nothing larger than a small pebble. Meantime King George's pointed feet were tramping his ammu nition deep into the soil, 'phrastus lifted up his voice in reproach and lamentation. "You're the meanest, meanest old sheep that ever was 1 We did beat you, we did, we did ! Oh, my flag ? boo ? m'f'r'-crackers ? hoo ? he's a sp'ilin' every last one I I wish they'd bust and turn him wrong-side ouon-out." The howl drew King George's attention to the pond. He stood a moment with lowered horns, and then pluDged threateningly forward, draw ing back, however, as his feet touched the wa ter. At the forward movement 'Phrastus turned and ran. He reached the shore as King George came galloping around the curve. Up the nearest tree scrambled the small Amer ican. It was not a very large one, and received a blow from King George's head which almost shook the olimber loose before he reaohed a place of safety in the crotch. For some time? 'Phrastus afterward said "the hull mornin'," but he was in no oondition to judge? King George butted the tree, ferfbging down upon himself fresh explosion* of tearful wrath, and all the breakable branches 'Phrastus oonld reach. Afterward h? nibbled abont in the vicinity, returning at iatftvals to ren?w the as sault, and never going far enough away to per mit the escape of hi? prisoner. Annt 'Soilla's dinner was late, for Unole Ban went to the parade ; but it was an exceptionally good one, and there was a puffy little turnover at 'Phrastus's place. Aunt 'Soilla rang the lit tle bell, and Unole Ben rang the big bell, with out bringing any small nephew forward to eat it. "After all I've said," declared Aunt Prisollla, her lips growing ominously thin and tight, "that boy's been and gone to the p'rade 1" "'Taint agin nature if he has," said Unole Ben. "When you stretoh string too tight, it'll snap." " Something'U snap," said Aunt 'Soilla. Her eyes did. " I've got to train up that boy in the way he should go, and I mean to do it. Don't you dast say a word, Benjamin Arbnokle ! If he don't learn to go straight now, he'll go orooked all his life." After dinner, she out two long lilao sprouts, and trimmed them with ostentatious oare. While she was washing dishes in the kitohen, Unole Ben slyly out tiny slashes along the whole length of eaoh switch. It was the middle of the afternoon, when a boy with a dirty, tear marked face and mud stained olothes shuffled into the house. Under his arm he oarried a dismasted toy lohooner, and a dilapidated, fire oent American flag. "80, Theophrastus Wilson," greeted Aunt 'Soilla, "you've been to the p'rade, after all. Very well, sir, you're going to remember this Fourth of July as long you live. Come straight here." She flourished one of the switohes, and it fell to pieoes in her astonished hands. "Guess I shell 'member it," whined 'Phras tus. "Ihaintbeen t' the p'rade? I haint. I stuok up in a tree this hull everlastin' Fourth, with Turner's old ram a buttin' at it tryin' to shake me down. I'd had to s'ayed there all night, too, likely, if Mr. Turner's Pete hadn't come along. You jest ast him." When Harvey II Arris he*rd of it, he could not resist say lug, "So the British beat, eh, 'Pbras tus?" "Just that onoe !" said 'Phrastus. ? Mr*. Frank Lit, in Youth's Companion. FRED S FOURTH OF JUi-Y. He scarce could wait in patient state While the laggard days went by, Our little Fred with nat-brown bead, For the grand old Fourth of J uly. He thought that noise for girls and boys Was eDjoyment great and high, And noise will be in sway, said he, On the grand old Fourth of July. It came at length, in heat and strength, The day that bade thraldom die ; The boy he rose and donned his clothes At dawn on the Fourth of July, He stamped the floors, he slaurmed tie doors, He uttered a joyous cry, And shewed his joys by din and noise At threshold of Fourth of J uly. At noon of day the fiery ray Made earth all parohed and dry, And Fred grew ill, he had his fill Of the grand old Fourth of July. His mamma's bed for little Fred, Where he might softly lie, Was found the bast, with sl'ep and rest, For the ending of Fourth of July. Enjoy the day with noise and play, And let the loud crackers fly, And celebrate with pomp and state The grand old Fourth of July. Avoid Fred's way, let this plan sway As the lustrous time draws nigh : O mle jourself, my little elf, On the grand eld Fourth of July. Anna D Walker , in Christian Work. OUR COUNTRY'S WEALTH. A bulletin issued by the Census Bureau gives us the figures. The "true valuation", or sell ing price, of all property in this country, exclu sive of Alaska? real estate, live stock, farm im plements, mines snd quarries, gold and silver, machinery, mill products on band, railroads, telegraphs, telephones, ah'ps, canals, with other things too numerous to mention? in 1890 was $65,037,091,197. The gain during the preceding deoade was at least fifty per oent , and probably more. The average for every man, woman and child in the country is now over $1,COO Among the states New York ranks first in wealth ; then in order come Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Mas sachusetts. California stands sixth. Nearly one1Uiird of the entire wealth of the country is found in the New England states, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Ours is "a goodly heritage"? particularly this northeast ern oorner of it.? Seltcted. ! "It is worth a thousand pounds a year to have the habit of looking on the bright side of ' things."