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Croquet. The evening wa* bright with the inoon of May, And the evening was light as though lit by day; From iny window I looked to see croquet. Of mallets and balls the usual display, The hoops all stood in arcb array; I said to myself, “Soon we’ll see croquet. ” Jtot the mallet and bad ball unheeded lay. And the maid and youth, side by side sat they; And I said to myself," Is that croquet t ” Isaw the scamp—it was light as day— Fat his arm ’round her waist in a loving way. And he squeezed her hand. “ Was that croquet f” While the red rover rolled forgotten away, He whispered all that a lover should say, And he kissed her lips. What a queer croquet! Silent they sat ’neath the moon of May ; And I knew by her blushes she said not na v; And 1 thought in my heart, “Now, that’s croquet! ” —Democrat &. Chronicle. HALF AN HOUR OF AGONY. Sir. Th iimblcdirk-K Terrible Predica ment. Yesterday afternoon 31 r. Jasper Thumbledirk, who is forty-three years old and unmarried, dashed into our sanctum and evolved a remark, the intensity of which fairly made our blood curdle. And when he completed the remark, which was neither very long nor remarkably complicated, he picked up a dictiona ry, hurled it at the proof reader with great asperity, and before that good natured and greatly abused angel of the editorial stall" could recover from his emotion and get his umbrella Mr. Thumbledirk was gone. He dashed out of the door, missed the stairway and stepped down the elevator, fall ing a distance of three stories, but he was too mad and excited to get hurt, and we heard him rushing away down the alley, yelling and swearing till he was out of sight and hearing. As he is usually a very severe man, of habitual reserve, very particular and guarded in his language, we were amazed not only at his words, for which his excited manner afforded not the slightest explanation. Dur ing the day, however, we became oseessed of certain facts which may causes of this worthy and respectable citizen's violent and disrespectful manner and language. It appears that about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, Mr. Thumbledirk drop ped in at the Union depot to ask some questions relative to the arrival and departure of trains, and while passing through the ladies’ waiting room, he was accosted by a lady ac quaintance who was going cast on the T. P. & W. at half-past two. She wished to go up town to make some little purchases, but didn’t want to take her baby out in the rain. Would Mr. Thumbledirk please hold it for her until she came back? She wouldn't be gone more than five minutes, and little Earnest was just as good as an angel, and beside, he was sound asleep. Mr. Thumbledirk, with a strange flutterof his feelings, lied, and said he would be only too delighted. Then he took the baby, and the ticket agent, who has two, knew by the manner in which the mau took the baby and looked anxiously from one end of it to the other to see which end the head was on, that he had never handled a human baby before in all his life, and promptly closed his window to shut out the trouble that he knew was on the eve of an eruption. Mr. Thumbledirk is a very tall, dignified man. He was rather an noyed as the mother disappeared through the door to observe that all the women in the waiting room were intently regarding him with various expressions, curiosity predominating. He sat down and bent his arms at the elbows until they resembled in shape two letters V's with the baby lying neck and heels in the angle at the elbows, and he looked, and ho felt that he looked, like the hideous pic tures of Moloch in the old Sunday School book. Mr. Thumbledirk felt keenly that he was an object of curiosity and illy repressed mirth to the women around him. Now a dignified man does not enjoy being a laughing stock for any body, and it is especially humiliating for him to feel that he appears ridic ulous in the eyes of women. This feeling is intensified when the man is a bachelor, and knows he is a little awkward and ill at ease in the pres- ence of women, anyhow. So, as he gazed upon the face of the quiet, sleeping infant, he made an insane effort to appear perfectly easy, and to create the impression that he was a old married man, and the father of twenty-six children, he disengaged one arm, and chocked the baby un der the chin. About such a chuck that you always feel like giving a boy with a “putty blower 1 ' or a “pea shooter.” It knocked the little rose bud of a mouth shot so quick and close the baby couldn’t catch its breath for three minutes, and Mr. Thumbledirk thought, with a strange, terrible sinking of the heart, that it was just possible that he might have overdone the thing. A short, young woman in a kilt skirt and a pretty face, sitting directly opposite him,said, “Oh!” in a mild kind of a shriek, and then giggled ; a tall, thin woman in a black bombazine dress and a gray shawl, and an angular woman in a calico dress and a sun bonnet, gasp ed, “ Why! ” in a startled duet, a fat woman with a small herd of children and a market basket, shouted,“Well!” and then immediatly clapped her plump hands over her mouth as though the exclamation had been startled from her, and a tall, raw boned woman who wore horned spec tacles and talked bass, said, “The poor lamb !” in such sepulchral tones that everybody else laughed, and Mr. Thumbledirk, who didn’t know just exactly whether she meant him or the baby, blushed scarlet and felt his face grow so hot that he smelt his hair. And his soul was filled with such gloomy forebodings that all the future looked dark to him. The baby opened its blue eyes wider than any man who never own ed a baby would have believed it possible, and started at Mr. Thumble dirk with an expression of alarm, and a general lack of confidence that boded a distressing want of harmony in all further proceedings. Mr. Thumbledirk viewing these signs of carelessness witli inward alarm, con ceived the happy idea that the baby needed a change of position. So he stood it upon its feet. It is unnecessary to tell any mother of a family that by the execution of very simple move menu,” uft; uniuiij>|>y thread of the baby’s clothes around its neck in an instant. A general but suppressed giggle went around the room. Mr. Thumbledirk blushed, redder and hotter than ever, and the aston ished baby, after one horrified look at its strange guardian whimpered uneasily. Mr. Thumbledirk, not daring to risk the sound of his own voice, would have danced the baby up and down, but its little legs bent them selves into such appalling crescents the first time he let the cherub’s weight upon them, that the wretched man knew in his heart of hearts that he had forever and eternally most hope lessly “bowed” them, and felt that he could never again look a bow-legged man in the face without a spasm of remorse. As for meeting the father of this beautiful boy, whose life he had blighted with a pair of crooked legs—never, he would lace death itself first. And in coming years whenever he met this boy waddling to school on a pair of legs like ice tongs, he would gaze upon them as his own guilty work, and would tremble lest the wrath of the avenging gods should fall upon him. . Alarmed at the gloomy shadows which these distressing thoughts cast over Mr. Thumbledirk’s face the baby drew itself up into a knot and wailed. Mr. Thumbledirk balanced it carefully on his hands and dandled it, lor all the world as he would “heft” a watermelon. Instantly the baby straightened itself out with such alarming celerity that the tortured dry nurse caught it by the heels just in time to save it from falling to the flooi* “He’ll kill that child yet,” said the gloomy woman who talked bass, and Mr. Thumbledirk felt the blood curdle in cold waves in his veins. By this time the baby was screaming like a calliope, and the noise added inex pressibly to Thumbledirk’s confusion and distress. He'would have trotted the baby on his knee, hut the attempt occasioned too much comment. The fat woman with the market basket said; “ Oh-h, the little dear!” And the short pretty woman snap ped her eyes and said :* TIIE FLORIDA AGRICULTURIST. “ Oh-h-h, 1 how cruel ?” ) || fj< And the woman in the black bom bazine, and the woman in the sun bonnet said: < - “ Oh-h-h,! jnfit look at him !” And the woman who talked bass said, in her most sepulchral and pen etrating accents: “ The man’s a fool. ” And the baby itself, utterly ignor ing the fact that Mr. Thumbledirk was laboring in its own interest, threw all the obstruction it could in the way of further proceedings by alternately straightening itself out into an abnor mal condition pf such appalling rigid ity that Mr. TWmbledirk was obliged to hold its head tightly in one hand and its heels in the other, and then suddenly doubling itself up into so small a knot that the poor man had to hold his two hands close together, like a bowl, and hold the baby as he would a pint of sand, and these tran sitions from one extreme to the other were made with such startling rapidity and appalling suddenness, that Mr. Thumbledirk had to be constantly on the alert, and his arms ached so, and he exhibited such signs of tatigu#and distress that the depot policeman looked in to say to him that if lie was tired out, he would send in. a section hand or the steam shovel to give him a spell. It seemed to Mr. Thumbledirk that he never heard so much noise come from so small a baby in his life. The more he turned it around and tossed it about more its cloak and dress, and skirts and things become entan gled aronpd its neck, and now and theu the mass ot drapery would get over the I£> y’s face and stifle its cries for a sefjlHl, but the noise would come odPtiwonger than ever when the tossing ntfle hands would tear away the obstruction. And the louder the baby steamed the faster the vigor ous, fa* legs flew, kicking in every crazy fly wheels with the Sometimes Mr. Thum bledirk made as high as a hundred and eighty grabs a minute at those legs and never touched one of them. He was hot, blind and wild with ter ror and confusion. Once he tried to sing to the baby, but when he quaver ed out a “ Hootcliy, pootchy, puddin’ and piegftlio women laughed, all but talked bass —sh' l UlUjJjllJ.*' in lie gave" the baby his pearl handled knife, aud the innocent threw it into the stove. He gave it his gold watch, ami it dashed it on the floor. He gave it his emerald scarf pin, and the baby put it into its mouth. The pretty woman screamed. The sad woman in the bombazine shrieked. The angular woman in the sun bon net yelled, “Oh, mercy on us!” The fat woman with the market basket called wildly for a doctor. The gloomy woman who talked bass shouted hoarsely: “ He's killed it!” And Mr. Thumbledirk hooked his finger into that child’s mouth and choked it until its face was purple and black, trying to fiud that pin.— Aud Mr. Thumbledirk couldn’t hear even the chattering woman. It beat the air with its clenched fist, and thrashed and kicked with its fat bare legs, and wailed and howled and choked and screamed and doubled up and straightened out until Mr. Thumbledirk, steeling his nerves to the awful effort, clasped the scream ing babv in his arms and arose to his feet. lie Avas going to go out and throw himself and the baby under the first train that came along. The baby’s mother sprang in through the door like an angle of mercy. She took the baby in her arms and w ith one slight motion of one hand, had its raiments straightened out so exquisitely smooth that there Avasn't a Avrinkle in it. The baby lay in her arms as placid, quiet, flexible, graceful and content as a dream of Paradise. The mother thanked Mr. Thumble dirk for the agony and torture he had endured so patiently for her. This Avas the Avay she thanked him. She did not look at him. She looked straight out of the-window Avith a stony glare, and said, in a tone that made the themometer shiver: “Mr. Thumbledirk isn’t a very good nurse, is he baby ?” All the Avomen smiled, except the gloomy Avoman who talked bass. She [ nodded approvingly. 11 The baby looked up into Mr. Thum blodirk’s lace And laughed aloud. What Mr. Thumbledirk said when he dashed in at the sanctum last even ing was this: “By the avenging daughters of Night, the everlasting, snake haired Erynnes, the terror haunted shades never knew the horrors that haunt the soul of a sensible single man that tries to take care of some other fool’s howling squalling, squirming baby !”—Burlington Hawkeye. BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM A Century Ago. To begin with the lady: Her locks were strained .upwards over an immense cushion that eat like an in cubus on her head, and plastered over with pomatum, and then sprinkled over with a shower of white pow der. The height of this tower was somewhat over a loot. One siugle white rosebud lay on its top like an eagle on a haystack. Over her neck and bosom was folded a lace hand kerchief, fastened in front by a bosom pin rather larger than a copper cent, containing her grandfather’s minature set in virgin gold. Her airy form was braced up in a satin dress, tbe sleeves as tight as the natural skin of the arm, with a waist formed by a bodice, worn outside, whence the skirt flowed off, and was distended at the top by an ample hoop. Shoes of white kid. with peaked toes, and heels of two or three inches elevation enclosed her leet, and glittered with spangles. Now for the swain: His hair was sleeked back and plentifully beflowered, while his queue projected like the handle of a skillet, llis coat was a sky blue silk, lined with yel low ; his long vest of white satin, embroidered with gold lace; his breeches of the same material, and tied at the knee with pink ribbon. White silk stockings and pumps with laces, and ties of the same hue, com pleted the habiliments of his nether limbs. Lace ruffles clustered round his wrist, and a portentions frill, worked in corresponding style, and bearing the minature of his beloved, finished his appearance. sn of \ “ Mary Jane,” said tfie ftaher’of Estella Montmorenci de St. Claire j the female Hercula, “ Mary Jane is unquestionably one of the most draw ing attractions billed with any show. That act where while swinging by the toeß she lifts the members of the company in succession with her teeth is a marvel of .esthetic grace and culture.” “Yes,” says the mother, proudly, “but I fear that we must soon give up our darling child.” “ Why ? I have noticed nothing.” “Perhaps you have not, but a mother’s eye—Mary Jane is in love with Gennario Gonzales, the cata clysm of California. Any one with half an eye can see that at a glance. Every night during her present en gagement and at the Saturday mati nees I have observed that when she lifts the members of the company with her teeth she keeps him sus pended by the nape of the neck twice as long as any of the others. She does not conceal her preference, and thus strive to be in his company as much as possible. Her heart has spoken.” Nick Names of the States. Arkansas, Toothpicks ; California, Gold Hunters; Connecticut, Wooden Nutmegs'; Delaware, Muskrats; Flor ida, Fly-up-the-Creeks; Illinois, Suck ers ; Indiana, Hoosiers; lowa, Hawk eyes; Kansas. Jayhawkers; Ken tucky, Corn Crackers; Louisiana, Creeowls or Creoles; Maine, Foxes; Massachusetts, Bay Staters; Michigan, Wolverines; Mississippi, Tadpoles; New Hampshire, Granite Boys; New York, Knickerbockers; North Caro lina, Tuckoes, Tar Boilers, or Tar Heels; Ohio, Buckeyes ; Pennsylva nia, Leatherheads, or Pennamites; Rhode Island, Gun Flints; South Carolina, Weasels; Tennessee, Cot ton Maines; Texas, Beetheads ; Ver mont, Green Mountain Boys; Virgin ia, Beadies or Beagles; Wisconsin, Badgers; Alabama, Lizards ; Colora do, Rovers; Georgia, Buzzards; M ary land, Craw-thumpers; Minnesota, Gophers; Missouri, Pukes ; Nebraska, Bug Eaters; Nevada, Sage Hens, New Jersey, Blues or Clam Catch ers; Oregon, W ebfeet. RECIPES. Ginger Pop. —Five pounds of loaf sugar to five gallons of cold water, four lemons, two ounces white root ginger, four ounces cream tarter; boil the sugar and giuger (previously pound the latter;) when it has boiled fifteen minutes strain it through * flannel cloth into a large crock, put it the cream tarter, slice also the lemoc into it; let it stand until milk warm, then add a teacup of yeast; 'let it stand a little then bottle it tightly in stone bottles; in three days it will be fit for use. Oranges Filled with dell;/. —Take some very fine oranges, and with the point of a knife cut out from the top of each a round hole about the size of a two cent piece ; then with a spoon, empty them entirely, taking care not to break the rinds. Throw the rinds into cold water and make jelly of the juice, which must be well pressed from the pulp and strained as dear as possible. Color one half red with prepared cochineal and leave the other very pale: wheu the jelly is nearly cold, drain and wipe the rinds, and fill them with alternate stripes of the jellies; when they are perfectly cold, cut them in quarters, and dispose them tastefully in a dish, with a few bunches of myrtle between them.—• Different blanc-mange may be used to fill the rinds ; the color should con trast as much as possible. Cream Cake. —Four cupfuls flour, three cupfuls sugar, one of cream, five eggs, one teaspoonful soda. Jumbles. —One cupful butter, two cupfuls sugar, one cupful sour milk, one egg, soda, nutmeg, flour enough to mold. Peach Marmalade. —Peaches 100 ripe for preserving answer for mar malade. Pare and quarter them, al lowing three quarters of a pound of sugar to each pound of fruit, and half a pint of water to each pound ot sugar. Boil one hour and ahalf, stir ring constantly. Baked Peach Pudding. —Line a jdeep pudding dish with puff paste; put in' a lHyer of peaches, pared anti. sliced, then sprinkle with sugar, and add a few bits of butter and a little com starch ; then peaches and so on until the dish is nearly full. Add a teacupful or more—according to youi dish, of hot water, and cover the whole with the paste; prick well with a fork and bake one hour. Peach Pudding. —Pare and quar ter nice, ripe peaches and line the bottom of a deep dish; sift three tablespoonfuls of pulverized sugar over them. Take one pint of milk, two tablespoonfuls corn starch, yolks of three eggs, one cup sugar, and make a boiled custard; pour one half of the custard over the peaches; ther. another layer of peaches and sugar, and the rest of the custard. Beat the whites of the eggs to a froth, flavor with lemou, and cover the top of the pudding; set into the oven to brown. Patching. —A Massachusetts wo man gives the following useful hints on patching. “ A round or ‘crooked" patch will inevitable thrust itself into notice, as it is impossible to match the threads. Then a patch should never be ‘laid on,’ but always ‘set in.’ To this end first cut away carefully by a thread all that is in the least worn, and turn back and bast down an even seam all around. The cor ners may be slashed slightly in a di agonal direction to keep them square. Then to this opening fit the patch ex actly, with the edges turned and hasted; and sew it ‘over and over’ on the wrong side with thread of the precise shade and very fine, sewing alternate opposite sides to avoid trouble with the corners. The extra thickness caused by the folded corners of the patch itself should be cut out after sewing, and a little fine darning added to keep them secure. Now alightly dampen and press on the wrong side, and you have a neat piece of mending which cannot be seen a few feet away. Figures and stripedj goods must of course be carefully matched; heavy woolen fabrics, such as men and boys wear, need not have seams turned, the clean cut edge be ing strong enough to hold.