Newspaper Page Text
IN THK FIRKI.IGHT.
The lire upon the hearth Is low. Ami there Is stillness everywhere | Like troubled spirits, here and then The flrellKht shadows fluttering go. And as the shadows round me creep, A childish treble breaks the gloom. And softly frond the further room Comes : “ Now 1 lay me down to sleep." And, somehow, with that little prayer And that sweet treble in my ears, My thought goes back to distant yean And linger* with that dour one there ; And as I hear the child's amen, My mother’s faith comes hack to me t Crouched at her side I seem to be, And molher holds my hands again. Oh. for an hour in that dear place— Oh, tor the peace in that dear time, Oh. for a childish trust sublime. Oh, for a glimpse of mother’s face t Yet, as the shadows round me creep, il do not seem to he alone— Sweet magic of that treble tone And “ Now I lay rxvdown to sleep !’* Fame Versus Love. “It cannot be !” As these words fell from Helen Arm ■ Strong’s lips she arose from her seat—an old overturned boat—and moved slowly toward the water’s edge. For a moment her companion—a man of perhaps twenty-five—hesitated; then he joined her, repeating : “It cannot be, Helen? Surely yon are not in earnest. You love me —have you not said it ? and yet yon refuse to become my wife!” “Edwin, I ” “You did not mean it,” quickly inter rupted Edwin Bennett, adding: “ Come darling, why should we not be happy ?” and he drew her hand witnin his arm. For an instant she let it rest there, then slowly but firmly she loosened his clasp, ns she said : “For two years you and I have been friends. In that lime did you ever know me to change my mind after I had once decided upon anything?” “No, but——” answered her com panion quickly, while she,, unheeding, goes on with : “You know the one great desire of my life is to fame ns an artist. Could I do this as your wife?” “Why not, Helen? Would I not do anything in the world to help you ?” came the proud answer, ns Edwin Ben nett bent his eyes fondly upon the fair face beside him. “No, Edwin ; as a wife I could never -hope to attain fame. Marriage brings to woman so many cares that there is very little time loft over for other work. I should not make you happy. I should be constantly longing for my old, free life. ” “If that is all I am not afraid to risk my happiness, Helen,” answered her lover, a more hopeful look lighting up bis handsome faee. “Think how for five years,” con tinued Helen, “I have worked with the one end in view. My home, you are aware, has not been particularly agree able. Uncle and aunt are kind in their way, and have aways let me have my will about painting, provided it did not cost them anything. As for love or sympathy, you have seen how much they have yielded me.” “ Seen and felt for you, Helen, God knows. And now that I will make your life, if love can do it, one happy dream, you will not; and yet you do not deny your love for me. ” For a second Helen’s eyes rested longingly upon the face of the man who loved her so dearly: then into their dusky depths crept an intense, passion ate longing, as they swept the horizon and noted the glorious splendor of the setting sun, while site exclaimed: “ Oh, Edwin! If I could only repro duce that sunset just as it is. If I only could ?” With an impatient sigh he turned away. “Always her art., never me; perhaps she is right after all. It would always stand between us.” She, not noticing, went on with: “If it would only stay long enough for me to catch those colors, but no, it is fading now.” Turning, Helen found her companion had left her side, and stood a few yards away. “Edwin,” she called. In an instant he was beside her, every thing forgotten, except that she was the woman he loved. “I wanted to tell you how good Mr. Hovey is. It seems he was acquainted with poor papa years ago, when I was a baby, and therefore feels quite inter ested iu me. You have heard how he Upraises tpy work, and lust night he ■proposed !” ™ f exniaimed Edwin Ben nett, hotly. “Why, yon don’t mean to say the old man actually had the au dacity to ask yon to marry him ?" “How ridiculous. How oould you think of such a thing ?” answered Helen, a ripple of laughter escaping from be tween her pretty teeth as she continued: “No; he proposed, if I were willing, to send me to Italy for two years, he, of course, defraying the greater part of the expense. He said when I became famous I could refund him the little amount if I wished. Was it not gen erous of him? Just think, two years at work among the old masters. What could I not do then ? It would be such a help to me. One can live very simply there. My little inoome would do, with care, I think.” “ And yon wonld go ?” As Edwin Bennett asked this question a look of pain crossed his face. “ Why not !” came the reply, os Helen raised her eyes questiouingly to her companion. “You say you love me; and yet you would put the sea between us. Helen, wait; I will work hard aud earn money enough to take us both abroad. Do you think I could deny you anything ? You should paint to your heart s content, from the old masters, or auythiug else you pleased. So long us you were happy, I should be. Perhaps I might turn painter too, some day, with you to inspire me,” he added, smiling slightly. “I do not doubt your love for me, Edwin, but I shall never marry. I in tend to devote my life to art. As a wife it would be impossible for me to do so. I should be hindered and trammelled in a thousand ways. Believe me, I have thought very earnestly of all this, and I ” “Helen, when I came to spend my vacation here at Little Rock, so as to be near you, I said to myself, ‘ Now you can ask the woman you love to be your wife, and know that you have a home to offer her.’ For your sake I wish I were rich; but I am still young, and with the good prospects I have, I do not see why I shall not be able before many years to give my wife all she can wish.” “It is not that, Edwin. I should not love you one bit more if you were a millionaire,” interrupted Helen, glanc ing reproachfully at him. “Helen, my holiday is over to-mor row. I must have my answer to-night.” The words came somewhat sternly from between Edwin Bennett’s lips. Mechanically, with one end of her parasol, Helen Armstrong traced on the glittering yellow sands, “Fame versus Love.” Then, as she became aware of what she had done, she sought to efface them. Too late. Edwin Bennett’s hand stayed hers, as pointing to the letters that stood out, lie said, hoarsely : “ Choose 1” For a second she hesitated ; then, slowly, came the answer : “I accepted Mr. Hovcy’s offer this morning. lam to sail in a week. ” Spurning her hand from him, Edwin Bennett out, passionately: “God forgive you ! I cannot!” Then, without another word, lie turned and left her. A faint cry of “ Edwin ” escaped her lips, as her arms were held out implor ingly toward him. Then they fell to her side, and she, too, turned and went slowly across the sands in the opposite direction. If he had looked back and seen those outstretched arms how differ ent tlieir life might have been ; but no, he plodded angrily along the shore, glancing neither to the right nor the left. Little by little the waves crept up and Love was drowned, while Fame still stood out bold and clear upon the yellow sands. * * • * * Ten years have come and gone since Helen Armstrong aud Edwin Bennett parted on the shore, and during that time they have never met. Helen had won that which she had striven for. She had become an artist of renown. Even royality had been pleased to com pliment her upon her art. For the last month one of Helen Arm strong’s paintings had been on exhibi tion at the Academy of Design, and , crowds had been drawn thither to see this last work of the celebrated artist. The subject was simple, nothing new, yet visitors returned again and again to look at it. It was the last day of its exhibition, when a lady and gentleman, the gentle man leading a little girl of perhaps three years by the hand, passed into the room where the painting hung. “Oh ! isn’t it too bad there is such a crowd ;T wanted so to see it,” exolaimed the lady; to which the gentleman re plied : TBS MIDLAND JOURNAL. “We will look at the other pictures first and come back again ; perhaps there will not be such a crowd then. An hour or so later the lady and gentleman returned ; then the room was almost deserted, except for a few strag glers here and there. It was just about time to close the gallery. For a few moments they stood in silence before the painting ; then a little voice said: “Baby want to see too, papa.” Stooping down the gentleman raised the pretty, daintily-dressed child in his arms. After gravely regarding the picture for a second, the little one asked: “Iz zay mad papa ?” “lam afraid one waa pet,” came the low answer, as Edwin Bennett softly kissed the fair cheek of his little girl. Then his gaze returned to the painting. A stretch of yellow sands, dotted here aud there by huge boulders and piles of snowy pebbles, against which the over hanging cliffs looked almost black. Gentle little baby waves rippling in to ward the shore, while majestic pnrple hued, silver-edged clouds seemed float ing en masse toward the golden crimson barre 1 sun that flooded the sky aud water with its warm light. In the centre of the picture, where the beach formed a curve resembling a horseshoe, was an old boat, turned bot tom upward; some few feet off, the figure of a young man, apparently walk ing hurridly away. Although the face was not visible, the gazer felt that the man suffered ; that the glorious sunset was this day as naught to him. Perhaps it was in the tightly-clasped hand, the veins of which stood out like great cords; or, maybe, in the man’s apparent total disregard of his surroundings. To the right of the picture was a figure of a young girl, trailing a parasol in the sand as she appeared to move slowly in the opposite direction from her com panion. Only a little bit of a delicately shaped ear aud a mass of glossy braids showed from beneath the shade hat, but one could readily believe that the pretty girlish figure belonged in an equally attractive face. About half way between them, traced upon the sands, were the words, “Fame versus Love. ” “Is it not lovely, Edwin ?’’ and Mrs. Bennett laid her hand upon her hus band’s arm as she added : “Yet how sad it somehow seems. I can’t help feeliug sorry for them. I wish I could see their faces. I feel as if I wanted to turn them round.” Clasping the little baud that rested so confidingly upon his arm, Elwin Bennett inwardly thanked God for the gift of his fair young wife, as he said : “Come dear, they are commencing to close up. Babv’s tired, too.” “Ess, me’s tired. Baby wants to tiss mamma,” lisped the child, holding out her tiny arms. Husband and wife failed to nolice a lady who stood near, gazing at a paint ing. As the pretty young mother stooped down to receive her baby’s kisses, which the little one lavished on cheeks, lips and brow, a deep, yearning look gathered in the strange lady’s eyes and sue turned h istily away. “Oh, Edwin!” exclaimed his wife, as they passed the silent figure in black. “ Wouldn’t it be nice if baby should grow up to be a great artist like this Miss Armstrong?” “God forbid, Annie,” came the earnest reply, followed by “let her grow up to be a true, loving woman, that is all I ask. ” The lady’s hand tightened its hold upon the back of a settee os the words reached her ears, but she did not move until they were out of sight. Then lifting her veil sho went and stood before the painting that had won such fame. Tears gathered in her eyes as ilie gazed, aud with the words, “I’ll never look at it agaiu,” she, too, passed out of the building, and in her own handsome carriage was driven home. Scorn alone in her dark eyes as they fell upon the costly works of art scat tered in lavish profusion about her luxuriously furnished apartments. Hastily throwing aside her wraps, she crossed over to a mirror. A very hand some face it reflected. Not looking the thirty years it had known. Helen Armstrong—for it was she —had heard of Edwin Bennett’s marriage; heard that he had succeeded in business beyond his most sanguine expectations ; heard that his wife was one of the loveliest and gentlest of women, aud that Edwin Bennett idolized both wife and child. This day she had seen them. Then came the thought that she might have stood in that wife’s place ; she, too, might have had those baby lips oressed as lovingly to hers; but she had put it from her. Site had chosen Fnme versus Love. If she could only go back to that day on the sands, how differently she would now act. Turning wearily away from the mir ror, she excla med, bitterly : •'Too late, Helen Armstrong. As you have sown, so you must reap." Items of Interest The dryest flour contains from six to seven per cent, of water. At least one ton of gold is buried in the graves of the dead every year. Two Kansas City newspaper men ex posed a medium recently by squirting aniline dye on the face of a materialized spirit. The dye was, of course, found on tho medium after the spirit departed. Frequently when young mocking birds are captured and placed in a cage where the old birds can have access to them, they will feed them for a few | days ; but finding they cannot recover them they will poison the little birds by dropping the berry of the black ash into the cage. A new bird has made its appearance in Oregon with tho head of a pheasant ' and the wing and tail feathers of a ! grouse. A few years ago some Chinese pheasants were let out and they un doubtedly interbred with the nativo grouse. A fruit dealer in Lornlon, rather than have her boy attend school, put him into an orange box, which was safely corded up and shoved under the bed whenever she had occasion to go out. The boy had become nearly demented when ho was found by the agent of a benevolent society. Under the Roman law a mother had no legal inheritance in the property of her minor children ; a child desiring to marry need not obtain her consent; the children were not in the family of the mother, but of the father’. Some of the queerest names hail from the Basque provinces of Spain. Two officials in the Treasury Department at Madrid, who claim Basque descent, call themselves respectively Don Epifanio Mirurzururdundua y Zengotide and Dou Juan Nepomuceno de Burisnago natstorecagoc eaccocclia. The Indians of Mexico have a plan of wetting tlieir blankets to form them into shields in warfare. They are hand woven, and fulled until thick and waterproof. It is found that they even turn aside bullets, either by causing them to glance, or by swaying to the blow, and thus defeating the penetra tive force of the missile. , In Valparaiso the conductors on the street cars are women. During the war, when most of the men were sent to fight Peru, the employment of women in this capacity was found successful, 1 and they have since been kept. They are usually girls from twenty to twenty j five, dressed in a natty uniform of blue j flannel, with jaunty Panama hats and | pinafores. Colored people are more successfully photographed, as a rule, than white people are, says an experienced photo grapher, the medium mulatto making the finest photograph in the world. Light complexions are hardest to take, and light-colored clothing does not look well in pictures. In taking pictures of animals the instantaneous process is best Cats are the best sitters. The gypsies are averse to alliances outside their own race, and when one of their young women married the Englishman, Isaac Jowles, who after ward was known as king of the gypsies, I her two daughters, very beautiful girls, I refused to be married except to gypsy '■ men. Their children were in every I respect like gypsies; the introduction i of alien blood seemed to have no appre ciable effect The founder of the sect called Shakers, : was Anna Lee, who taught that all i marriage was sinful. She was born in | England, but settled near Albany, N. | Y., anti soon had a number of followers there. She died in 1784, in tier fiftieth year. The Shakers, in s' ite of tlieir strange doctrine, are usually very hos pitable and friendly. Hats are now being male in the j United States with an asbestos lining to | the crown. Asbestos is so well known j as a non-conductor of heat that the ad vantage of its use foi this purpose will be readily seen. Very rash—A boy with measles. Pseeti®. A trim ankle is as pretty a hose corri* age as we want to see. Some ministers only “ stand high " in the commu.iity when they are up in the pulpit Henry Ward Beeohor is in favor of high license nnd he wants it propor tionately broad. Any wood butcher con nail up a coun ter, but it tikes a detective to nail n counterfitter. Be a young woman ever so modest, it is perfectly proper for her to woo the drowsy god. The seasick man who casts his bread upon the wuters will not find it after many days. Clergymen nre like railway brakemen in one particular. They do a great deal of cou ling. There is a Keokuk girl with such a good-sized mouth that she has to be measured for her toothbrushes. A drummer seldom blushes, but yon can catch him with a bob-tail flush once in a while if you care to cull and see him. STRIKING IT RICH. “Have you called on the Browns yet?” she asked as the new minister was about to take his leave after making a call. “I’m just going,” he replied. It’s the third house from the coiner, I believe ?” “Yes—third house. They are very, very nice people, and I know you’ll like 'em. ” When the minister rang the bell there was some delay in answering it. Mean while the screen doors premitted him to hear from the interior. Brown, who seemed to be up stairs, called over the banisters : “Say, Helen, where in thunder is that old vest I spoke of ?” “Who you talking to ?” demanded a voice from below. “To you, of course ! If you were any sort of wife you’d put tilings where they could lie found.” “ Solomon Brown, don’t yon cast any slurs on me. If I don’t know more | about housekeeping tliau all the Browns on earth I’ll commit suieide.” “You do, eh? What did the pauper Smiths have to keep house on ?” “ Solomon, you are a vile wretch!” “Much obliged, but it’s living with you that’s done it!” At this juncture the minister was ushered in, and Mrs. Brown soon entered the parlor, extended both hands and gayly exclaimed : “Ah! I’m so glad! Solomon and I both wanted to see you so much ! Sol omon—Solly, dear, hurry up and come down—our new preacher is here!” And Solomon came down, painted a grin on his face, and greeted the good man with : “Well! well! but this is good of you ! Wifey and I were just wishing you’d call. We want to see if an effort can’t be made to increase the interest in the Thursday evening prayer meet ings !” HE SAW HIS FATHER. “ Father, ” lie began, after taking the old man out hack of the barn. “Your years are many. ” “Yes, my son.” * “You have toiled early and late, and by the sweat of your brow you have amassed this big farm.” “That’s so, William.” “It has pained me more than I can tell to see you, at your age, troubling yourself with the cares of life. Father, your declining days should be spent iu the old armchair in the chimney cor ner. ” “Yes, William, they should.” “Now, father, being you are old and feeble and helpless, give me a deed of the farm and you and mother live out your few remaining days with me and Sally." “William,” said the old man, ns he pushed back his sleeves, “I think I see the drift o’them remarks. When I'm ready to start for the poor house I’ll play fool and hand over the deed! William !” “Yes, sir.” “In order to dispel any delusion on your part that I’m old and feeble and helpless, I’m going to knock down half an acre of cornstalks with your heels !’’ And when convention finally ad journed, William crawled to the near est hay stack and cautiously whispered to himself: “And Sally wms to broach the same tliiug to mn at the same time ! I won der if she’s mortally injured,' or only crippled for life !" 3