PROGRESSIVE FARMER AND COTTON PLANT.
Tuesday, August 22, 100;
THE HOME CIRCLE
The year draws near "ts golden-hearted prime,
Fulfilled of grandeur, rounded into grace ;
We seem to hear sweet notes of joyance chime
From elfin throats through many a greenwood
The sovereign summer, robed and garlanded,
Looks, steeped in verdure, up the enchanted
A crown, sun-woven, round her royal head.
And love's warm languor in her dreamy eyes.
We quaff our fill of beauty, peace, delight;
But 'mid the entrancing scene a still voice
"If earth, heaven's shadow, shows a face so bright,
What of God's summer past the straits of
' Paul Hamilton Hayne.
The Big Rock.
A genuine rock it is and as rocky a rock as
you ever saw. It looks as if it had been split
unevenly from its ancient setting and flint bul
lets fired into it. And ever since creation the
forces of nature have seemingly been arrayed
against it: the rain has dashed upon it; the hail
has pounded it; the frost has bitten it; the winds
have scoured it; the sun's furnace has baked it;
the constant river has gnawed at its base ; yet as
the only signs of incessant war its surface is pit
ted as by small pox and scarred as by sword-cut.
But it is a big rock only in name. It is not
large enough for a house-seat; in fact, ten steps
would carry you across it. It is not high enough
. to insure against the freshets; for eight or nine
feet downward would bring you to the river-level.
Above it towers a stone neighbor in the hill point
just beyond the river. Only boy-high is its cliff
face and porch-wide is the bench beside it jutting
out into the stream. There are but three or four
lesser rocks that lift their heads above water in
obeisance. A hundred yards westward the river
comes into view laughing over a shoal: a hundred
yards eastward it curves gracefully out of sight.
By it ran the public road and directly across it
lay the foot-path. A miniature sand-ridge con
nects it with the junction of branch and river.
-Humble indeed is its station, tree-shaded, shrub
fringed, and mainly moss-covered, lying in ob
scurity at the depth of the valley.
And yet while the cliff across the way is higher
and the boulder up the hollow is larger and the
Rock-House at the old mill place is more impos
ing, this alone is the Big Rock in name and in as
sociation. Work time.
The sun broiling, the air still, the corn-field
grassy, the plow and the hoe getting heavier and
heavier, every muscle weary and every pore active
how welcome the mid-morning and mid-afternoon
rest-time! Then out of the near-by acres
to the old Big Rock: and right down flat a-back
on the moss, or seated on the bluff edge, or thrust
ing bare feet in the crystal water and splashing
Restful Big Rock!
Breezeless and sultry the morning ; cloud-capped
- the old Granfather; at noon the "thunder
heads" come up in the western sky.
"It is going to rain!" shouts one farm boy glee-
fully to another as they return to work.
Three o'clock, xmd the shower marches across
hill and valley, to weary boys more musical than
Sousa's band, and so heavy that mountains right
by you are hidden from view.
"The ground is too wet to work." So we are
free for to-day!
The rived is reddened. Out then with fish-roles
and out with writhing worms and off to the Big
Rock! Then fish and fish and fish. Sometimes
a wriggling eel, a big-mouthed cat-fish, or a
, "horney-head," and sometimes never a bite! But
s.uch is fishing, and happy were the patient, aspir
Sportful Big Rock!
From east or south come the clouds and keep
coming day after day from the "rain country" of
This is the third In a series of "Home-acre Sketches"
which Mr. Moore Is writing for The Progrkssivk Farmkr.
The former articles were entitled "The Big Poplar" and "The
Graveyard Hill." Others will follow at Irregular Intervals.
the Atlantic or the Gulf. Down, comes the ram
shower after shower, or day-long and night-long.
Dripping the trees and sobby the earth and fran
tic the streamlets. And the river colors and swells
and surges,- rising higher and higher till s it over
leaps its banks and rushes madly down the valley.
Away now to the Big Rock and see the river
demon foaming. The edge of a fertile field torn
off up-valley and mingling in the waters ; rails
snatched from fences ; . oat-bundles, corn-stalks,
and new-mown hay; logs stolen from the saw-miL
yard; water-gates and foot-logs; uprooted bushes
and trees; chunks and dead branches innumerable;
all being devoured and borne onward by the
freshet. Andy ou can see it all from the serene,
immovable Big Rock !
Spectacular Big Rock!
10 p. m.
The debate at the Academy is over, it is 10
o'clock, and the last half-mile homeward must be
traveled alone. No moon in the heavens, and the
star-shine is too feeble to penetrate the deeper
valleys. Dark was the road around the bend of
the river by the overshadowing hill ; it was enough
to make a boyish heart beat faster for who could
tell but that right here he might meet a murder
ous robber, a prowling mad dog, a cannibal bear,
or a deathful ghost? If only he can reach the
Big Rock, he is safe!
Alas, just as swift-walking feet touch the rock
there is a snarl in the bushes by the foot-way. It
is a. hungry opossum on his night-search for food,
and absolutely no harm is meant or possible. But
never mind: a little quicker step would not hurt,
then a little faster and still faster till after a dead
run the home gate is entered, shut, and latched.
Then, halt: and the stars twinkle down a mis
chievous smile, and the river ripples with laugh
ter! Scary Big Rock!
The work of the week is over and preparations
for the Sabbath are in order. Off then to the Big
Rock, and off with sweaty, dust-inwrought appa
rel, and head foremost in the sun-warmed river!
Swimming forward, backward, and aside; diving
downward for sand and forward for distance;
floating on the surface or sinking flat on the bot
tom; racing with, "ducking," or having splash
battles with comrades; chasing melons or apples
in current and eddy; treading in the water or
measuring its depth, descending full length with
up-stretched hand; and finally soaping and scrub
bing and plunging and emerging as clean as
Naaman from Jordan!
Cleansing Big Rock ! v
But, alas, the former glory of the Big Rock is
gone. There is now barely enough sand and dirt
in its hollows and crevices to support a bit of
Japan clover, a bunch of poison oak, and a few
shrubs of sycamore, black willow, poplar, and the
like. Its old-time mantle of earth has been torn
aside by its assailants, and now it lies here on
the left bank of the river naked to sunlight and
storm. The big ants and the lizards crawl over it
unmolested. The old spruce which shaded it has
died and its decaying form is the temporary
tombstone of a past that is gone forever. The
road has forsaken it and fled to the hillside edg
ing the valley. The Big Branch has leaped from
its alder-lined bed and now unhindered it saucily
gores the side of the Big Rock before it joins th?
river a few yards below. The river itself, form
erly deep and dignified, used to pass slowly by and
always in a beautiful eddy made a deferential bow
to the Big Rock, but now it has sacrificed depth
for swiftness, and so hurries almost irreverently
by. "No beaten path leads to it, weeds have taken
the place of trees, and things are not as they
Things are not as they were ; but whatever they
are, they were. And So thank God for the Big
HIGHT C. MOORE.
Raleigh, IT. C.
The Most Useful Usefulness.
It is not easy for a young woman to decide
what sort of accomplishments and possessions
will be really useful to her in life. For example,
the ability to work out a problem in algebra, skill
in playing accompaniments on the piano, a knowl
edge of cooking, an appreciation of great poetry,
may dispute with one another for place in her
When it comes to her choice of things, who
shall help her settle the claims of a set of Shakes
peare as against a new gown, or a good photo-
iapu ux uiit3 uxouiiiw iic co aaiuai, u dic
tionary, or a piano as compared with a summer
at ap. expensive seaside hotel?
The young woman may well address herself to
distinguishing the really useful from the really
useless in life. Whatever makes her days and
those of her family richer and fuller is useful.
If the piano makes attractive the center of th,.
home life in winter evenings it is worth ten tim.
the joys of a summer hotel. If a love for Word
worth's sonnets comes into her life to allay per
plexity, over the adapting of household ext ent
to income, Wordsworth is more "useful'' ev u
than more money would be. The enlarged income
might again be reduced, but the deep sense would
remain of Wordsworth's truthfulness when 1,
The world is too much with us.
It may at first sight seem a paradox, but it h
nevertheless true that of all the useful navings f
a woman, the most useful is an ideal. Youth'
Companion. Economy and Luxuries.
Economy may be hard to practice, but for
most persons it is a necessity. It is foolish to
live beyond one's income. It is also sinful. We
are defrauding others when we spend that which
we do not earn, or cannot pay back, huxurirs
are desirable, but they can be dispensed with.
The fine house, the gay equipage, the rich dain
ties, the fine apparel and the generous living have
their place where the ample purse warrants the
expenditure, but they are most reprehonible
when they are procured at the sacrifice of char
acter and at the expense of others. Extravagant
living is one of the crying sins of the day. Amer
icans, generally, live too fast, and run too much
in debt. Sooner or later he who spends more
money than he makes pays the penalty in broken
furniture, in ruined reputation, in wrecked life
and in family disaster. The Presbyterian.
Moral : Never Gamble.
The story of the catch wager is an old one, but
never so much so that it does not bear repeating.
You may have forgotten it.
Two men wagered that one could not answer
"yes" to three questions the other man would ask.
The money is up; they're off.
First: "If you were driving along a lonely road
in a forest full of wild animals, snakes, etc., and
met a child walking to town, and she would ask
you to let her ride, would you refuse the request f
Second: "Suppose you fell heir to a million
dollars, and a poor starving woman asked you for
ten cents to buy bread to keep her from dying,
would you refuse to give the ten cents?"
Third: "If I lose this bet, will you pay it f
"All right, then, that equals horse and horse.
Give me two tens for a five, and we will be
Willing to Pay for his Contempt.
The following anecdote is told of Gen. (Jilman
Marston, a once famous New Hampshire lawyer,
says the Boston Herald.
General Marston was attending court at Dover,
when a young attorney made a motion that was
denied by the court. The young man remonstrat
ed against what he thought was the wrong ruling
of the judge. So vehemently did he remonstrate
that he was fined $10 for contempt of court. An
older attorney took the matter up, and he was
fined a similar sum. Still another, who thought
he stood a little better with the judge, endeavor
ed to straighten the matter out, but, he too, en
riched the coffers of the State by paying a "ten
spot" for contempt. ...
General Marston was then seen to rise in u
seat and advance to the clerk's desk. Taking ni
long pocketbook from his pocket he took out tw
$10 bills and laid them on the desk.
"What is that for," asked the court.
"I want you to distinctly understand." said w
general, "that I have just twice as much ronf -m
for this blankety court as any man here, aim A
am paying for it."
The life that has not known and accepted sor
row is strangely crude and untaught. Cl
neither help nor teach, for it has never learne
The life that has spurned the lesson of ?orroV.
failed to read it arifrht. is cold and hard. " :
the life that has been disciplined by sorroJ
courageous and full of gentle and holv lu
Anna Robertson Brown.
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