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my room with
“ But tell us, thou bird of the solemn strain,
RECOLLECTIONS OF A DEAF AND DUMB
BY JOE, THE JERSEY MUTE.
A GIRL'S FANCIES.
NE morning before school began I entered
a pen in my hand and sat
down to indite an essay for a newspaper, but “Answer me, burning stars of night, Where is the spirit gone
racked my brains to no purpose.
angry, That past the reach of human sight
and was on the point of throwing away my pen, As a swift breeze hath flown?
when in came a pretty girl, holding in one hand And the stars answered me: "We roll a spelling book, and in the other a small slate. In light and power on high;
As she moved toward me she looked around the But of the never-dying soul
room laughing. She asked me if I was writing Ask that which can not die.'»
a letter, and I told her that the weather had such Other poets may surpass Mrs. Hemans in an effect upon my brains that I could not write boldness of conception and vigor of style, but any thing with spirit. She offered to relieve me none in sweetness of melody and the pathos of of the labor of making out original ideas by tender emotion. She is the sweet companion giving me a chapter of fancies which she said of our pensive hours. Her memory is enshrined she had long ago invented. in the holiest affections of the heart, and though This girl seems to be endowed with a more other names may claim a higher place upon the perfect combination of rare talent and excellent scroll of fame, hers is as enduring as the proud- qualities than fell to the lot of any girl I had est name in English literature. We can not ever taught, although she almost always conbetter close this paper than by subjoining one versed in signs. I could not but accept her of the most perfect in artistic finish of her offer. She seated herself on the table at which
I was writing, and signed on her fingers what “Death found strange beauty on that cherub brow
she had to say, while I translated into writing And dashed it out. There was a tint of rose her remarks verbatim et literatim, et punctuOn cheek and lip—he touched the veins with ice, atim: And the rose faded; forth from those blue eyes “Fun is a detestable thing. It chuckles, There spake a wishful tenderness, a doubt
chuckles, chuckles. It tries all sorts of ways to Whether to grieve or sleep, which innocence
excite laughter, and trifles with the feelings of Alone can wear. With ruthless haste he bound The silken fringes of their curtaining lids
people. Loudly and joyfully it laughs at such Forever; there had been a murmuring sound
defects as it discovers or fancies it discovers, in With which the babe would claim its mother's ear,
our mental or physical system. It whistles, it Charming her even to tears. The spoiler set smiles, it yawns, it mocks at the misfortunes of His seal of silence. But there beamed a smile those to whom nature denies the beauties of So fixed and holy from that marble brow
body and mind. When a person falls headlong Death gazed, and left it there; he dared not steal into a well and is killed, Fun grins, and paints The signet-ring of heaven.”
his falling down and his ghastly corpse in colors
so ludicrous as to excite mirth. Malice-unfeelMY MOTHER'S LETTERS.
ing cruelty is an attribute of its nature.”
“A kiss when it comes from the lips of a I never knew my mother. She died when I little girl, does no harm, but when it is snatched was three years old, that she might be an angel from the lips of a grown one, it is generally atto me all my life. But one day, in after years, tended with serious consequences. Many inturning over a pile of old letters in my father's stances of elopements, and of disappointments study, I found a package of her letters to him, in love, attended with grievous results, go to show beginning with her first acquaintance with him, the truth of my position on this point. I have and coming down into her married life; and as observed with pain many young men marry girls I read those pages, at last I knew my mother. who never look above a butterfly existence. What these letters were to her life, that are the With them the summer of happiness is shorter, four Gospels to the life of Christ. But I remem- and the winter of misery is longer. They marry ber that there was one letter in which she first out of mere curiosity. Bachelors are more subspoke freely and frankly of her love. That, to ject to physical ills, and die sooner than married me, is the Gospel of John. It is God's love- Theirs is a life of rain and sunshine; letter to the world.-H. W. Beecher.
that is to say, it is now clouded with vexations
consequent upon losses in business, then illu- Thus much of the girl's mode of thought. mined with joys consequent upon gains in She was then what is termed “sweet sixteen." business."
She has since turned out to be the identical wife Here I interrupted the girl by informing her of her own creation, a kind, affectionate, and that that was exactly the case with married faithful wife, deroted to her husband, heart and
soul. It is cheerful to find in my own pupil the "I pray you, sir,” she exclaimed, “I pray you very wife whom she described. Her conduct not to interrupt me. Hear me ont, please. toward her husband, as of considerable domestic Coquettes play the wasp, stinging men. They | importance, can not pass unnoticed in this congo abroad in the day-time to conquer, and return nection. A few weeks ago her husband called in the night to recount their conquests. Married at my school-room, and quite glad was I to see women are as mindful of their children as some him. In the course of conversation he let slip a birds are of their little ones. This they show bit of a story about the partner of his bosom, by occasionally whipping their children, sending of which I shall give a translation, premising them to bed after supper, kissing them one after that the order of expression in the sign-language the other the next morning when they get up, is inverted—the subject before the quality, the and so forth. When it thunders, they make object before the action, and generally the thing their children sit in the four corners of the room modified before the modifier. Said he, “Saturand look as serions as possible. They teach day afternoon I was laid up with neuralgia; their daughters to bake, milk, etc."
could not go out for a walk, and had to forego “ Taverns and theaters are holes of hell, in the pleasure of walking the streets, arm in arm tended to insnare people. Steamboats are trav- with my wife, as is my wont. While I was lying elers on water, and engine-cars are travelers on in bed, smarting with the stings of a headache, land. Babies are chips of our block. The a thing of a man came to me and insisted on grave will become our chamber, and the coffin my paying his debt on the spot. The debt did our bed. We are born to make ourselves devils not amount to much, but he said he was in want or angels according to our inclinations. The of funds. I handed him a five-dollar note, Sabbath is a Fourth-of-July day, which is cele- which, however, he refused, on the ground that brated by all denominations of Christians, as the he had no change. That's the rub,' thought I. day in which the spiritual independence of the But, thank goodness, my wife can accomplish world was announced by the rising from death what I, in my present condition, can not do; she of Jesus Christ. Heaven is the resort of just can go shopping and get some change with men; and hell, of unjust men. Churches and which to liquidate the debt.' I need not say Sunday schools are the fields of God, where seeds that my wife—she is charged with being a deof virtue are sown. Sin is a quack medicine, scendant of the celebrated Indian chief Logan, which, though it tastes sweet, is sure to destroy. not so much on account of her dark complexion Virtue is a flower that spreads its fragrance as because she is a native of the county in among the thorns around it."
which Logan flourished—my wife, I repeat, was “A true wife is a true, reliable, never-flinch- not long in paying the debt, which, I confess, ing friend of the man she weds; the sworn bore heavily on my mind. Nor is this all. She friend of her husband in prosperity and advers- blacked my boots this morning at the peep ty; an invincible opposer, first and last, of of dawn before I got up. May the God of Ruth rum-suckers, gamblers, and all that sort of thing; bless her!" the defender of her husband's rights, and the
INDIANS' NEWSPAPER. preserver of his virtues; a know-nothing, * keeping to herself the faults, moral and otherwise, In November, 1857, an Indian established a of her husband, shutting them up in her breast, weekly newspaper at Philadelphia, called the and burying them in her grave; an equal with Conestoga Chief." I bought a copy of the her husband, fully sharing his joys and sorrows, Chief for the double purpose of reading the telling him every thing she knows, and learning thoughts of the red men, as expressed in the from him in return every thing he knows; a columns of that paper, and of showing it to my co-laborer with her husband in making money; class, which was then, as now, composed wholly a careful housekeeper, wasting nothing, saving of boys. They were thrown in considerable exevery thing deemed useful.”
citement at sight of the word “Chief” printed in
such large characters, not exactly knowing that * The girl uses "know-nothing" in the sense of
it was a “real, genuine, no mistake" newspaper. one who keeps a secret without “letting the cat out They were in hot water, some declaring that of the bag."
they would be tomahawked, burnt alive, and all
BY VIRGINIA F. TOWNSEND.
that sort of thing, and others that they would THE OLD BELL PEAR-TREE. arm themselves with axes, knives, and the like, and stand with a strong front before the red face rather than submit to the Indian mode of burn- YRANDMA! " ing alive, of which they had heard so much. As might be expected, all the school and the the wide old kitchen, in the pantry and the milkpaper were together by the ears. I had consid- room, and up in the kitchen chamber, where the erable difficulty in restoring order in the school great loom which had woven fifty rag carpets," room. I explained to the excited boys that the and the spinning-wheel which had filled the “ Chief” was got up for the purpose of giving great oaken chests with linen, stood side by side, information, the same as the other papers of and where the two old muskets which had done which the pale-faces had charge. They were brave service under General Purnam in the convinced of their error, and had the magna- French war and at Bunker Hill, were laid like pimity to own it up. They insisted upon know old veterans asleep on the great brown beams, ing more of the Indians as they now exist, since and around which clustered a world of old tales I was thus placed in possession of a medium of and legends of Indian warwhoop and scalpingcommunication with them. I marked three knife, and in later times of the days of the Rev. articles for recitation; namely, “An Eye for an olution, of “red-coat” and Tory, and of trueEye; or, an Indian Justice," "The Indians," hearted patriots, who left their fields and their and "Harper's Mill,” which, in my opinion, were
harvests and laid down every thing that was preworth the price of the number. As I read these cious and pleasant to them for the rights of their articles by signs, I never saw a more attentive country and the freedom of their homes. audience in all my life, a fact which shows that And these old legends and stories were like even mnte children of tender years regard the precious jewels strung across the dark faces of red face with lively interest, and ever wish to see the winter evenings, when we sat around the more of it. One of my boys told me that the great fireplace at grandma's listening to her most beautiful girl he ever saw was a young words, and watching the flames leap around the squaw residing in the neighborhood of his home, great“ back log" and "fore stick." and he said further that he wished to marry “Grandma! grandma!" I shouted the name ber.
louder the second time, standing in the back My boys particularly wished to see Indian door that bright October morning, whose mists girls, they said. Shame, shame on them for were like torn ribbons on the hills, and whose their partiality! But since they were then quite pulses were full of the slumber and sweetness
, of the years, let their weakness in this respect be Why, Josephine
, where did you come from?" winked at.
called the cheerful voice of the old lady as she came around the corner of the house, her face
shaded by a blue sun-bonnet, while she held a HABITS.
large wooden bowl of peppers in both hands. THERE are habits, not only of drinking, swear- " It's vacation, grandma, and I've come to ing, and lying, and of some other things which spend the day here; and such a search I've had are commonly acknowledged to be habits, but for you." of every modification of action, speech, and “Wall, I'd gone back o' the barn to lay out a thonight. Man is a bundle of habits. There few yards for bleachin', and then I thought I are habits of industry, attention, vigilance, ad- might as well take to-day to pickle my peppers, vertency; of a prompt obedience to the judg. so I kept on to the vines." ment occurring, or of yielding to the first im- I wish that you could have known my grandpnlses of passion; of extending our views to mother Morris. She was such a dear old lady, the future, or of resting upon the present; of with a smile which kindled up her pale, wrinkled apprehending, methodizing, reasoning; of in- face into almost the glow and freshness of youth, dolence, dilatoriness; of vanity, self-conceit, with a heart that was full of kindness and symmelancholy, partiality; of fretfulness, suspicion, pathy to every human being, and a memory that captiousness, censoriousness; of pride, ambition, was like a pleasant book full of pictures and covetousness; of overreaching, intriguing, pro- stories of the past. I think that that kind, lov jecting; in a word, there is not a quality or ing heart was like a stream of ever-flowing function, either of body or mind, which does not waters, which kept her life fresh and green when feel the influence of this great law of animated her head had blossomed into the snows of old nature.
you give me?
"Grandma, what makes you always so busy?'' "'I do n't know, Dobbin,' he said. "Come, I said, as she came into the kitchen, and, taking now, do n't get into any fresh mischief,' and be up a skein of blue woolen yarn, slipped it over pulled my ear playfully, for I had caught my à chair and commenced winding it, while she fingers in the net. made some inquiries respecting my parents and “"What'll you give me if I'll tell you?' jumpour family.
ing up and down before him. "I expect it's in the blood o' the Morrises, "I can't tell you, Rosanna, till I hear what it my child," she said, with her old mellow laugh. is you 've found.' “You never found one o' them with idle hands “I've found four pears on the new tree.' so long as they'd strength to use 'em or there “My father laid down his net. "What, not was work for 'em to do."
the little bell pear-tree among the quinces!' “You must be a genuine Morris, then, grand “Yes, that very one. Now, father, what will ma," I said, and then I lifted up the cover of a willow basket which I carried. "See what “I'll take you along with me this afternoon, mother sent you to-day.”
for I'm going down the river fishing.' I did not wonder the old lady's eye brightened “I clapped my hands for joy, but here mother at the sight of the pears which lay there like interposed. great gold and emerald goblets. She took up “0, Sam'wel, how can you say that? She's one of the largest by its slender stem, and sur-such a harum-scarum thing she 'll be sure to fall veyed it admiringly.
into the water.' “It's the real, old-fashioned bell-pear. Dear "Do n't be afraid, Rachel, I'll keep a good me! There's nothing takes me back threescore eye on her.' o' years quicker than the sight of one.”
"I can't tell what answer mother would have 'Why does it, grandma ?''
made to all this, but just at that moment there " Because~no matter—it's a long story, my was a rap at the kitchen door, and I opened it, child."
and a little boy was standing there. I can see "But I like to hear long stories, you know.” him now," said my grandmother, closing her She looked at me thoughtfully a moment. eyes and speaking softly." "He wore an old “Now, do tell me, grandma."
straw hat and a blue homespun snit, and he “Well, I'll get at seedin' these peppers first," looked sad and worn out, but he had a bright, removing her sun-bonnet and hurrying into the intelligent face, with large, clear, hazel eyes. pantry for a great, yellow earthen bowl.
Can you tell me, little girl, if there's any 0, I can see that old kitchen as we sat body here wants to hire a hand ?' he asked. together in it that autumn morning with the "You come in and see.' Somehow I felt pleasant sunshine dimpling it all over, fluttering sorry for the boy. in the corners, and asleep on the ceiling, and I "I stood on one side, a deeply-interested audistill hear my grandmother's voice, and see her tor, while my father surveyed and questioned him knife glance quickly through the white core of in his matter-of-fact way, and mother stopped
carding her wool to listen. “I was the first that discovered them the “He told a plain, straightforward story. He four pears on the little tree that stood among said that his home was in Woodford, a town the quinces at the bottom of our garden. My about ten miles from our village; that his father father had set it ont three years before, and was drowned at sea when he was a babe; and we'd had a good deal of trouble with it, for that afterward his mother had supported herself somehow pears did n't appear to do well on our and son by plain sewing, till suddenly she, too, soil.
sickened and died. “Peaches and apples had always flourished “The boy—and he was only twelve-was left nicely, but ill luck seemed to wait on our plums homeless and friendless in the world, and the and pear-trees, and I knew my father 'd taken neighbors were about to bind bim out to the extra pains with the one he'd set out among the owner of his mother's cottage, whom she had quince-trees; so I started up to the house quite often called a 'hard and grasping man,' and he proud of the discovery which I had made. knew she would rather her son should be lying "Father, guess what I've found ?'
by her side, covered up by the same grasses “I was the youngest of the family, and a which were growing green over her head rather great pet with my father, who always called me than be in the power of one who had so often the child of his old age.' He was mending his taken advantage of her widowhood and honesty. seine-net by the window, and mother was card- So two days before he had run away, and applied ing some wool for spinning in one corner. for work at the bouses along the turnpike for
more than six miles, but nobody had wanted British troops passed through our village in the him.
old war and broke into neighbor Parson's house " And what can you do, my lad?' asked my and insulted the old lady, who was bedridden, father.
splittin' up her arm.chair and breaking the “I can do all the chores round a farm, sir; crockery; but though that was long afore my only I 'm not strong enough to plow and cut day, I've seen his face settle down sometimes hay.'
into a white rigidness, and his voice take on a "I seem to have hands enough just now low, deep tone that fairly made me catch my
“My mother interposed here. 'O, Sam'wel, breath. you know it 's pretty near harvest time, and "It did now as he said, 'I wish I could catch you 'll want more help then. You'd better take the rascal who stole those pears. I'd make him the boy and try him,' for his story had touched feel the weight of this about his shoulders,' and her mother heart.
he snapped the great ox whip which he carried. " • That's like you, Rachel, for all the world,' “At last he started to go out of the kitchen, said my father; but it was like him, too, for and then he turned back as though a new when I pulled his sleeve and whispered, ‘Do, thought had struck him. please take him, father,' he answered, “Yes, “ 'Rosanna, you tell the boys and girls round pussy, I'll try him, and see if he's a good, hon here that I'll give a silver dollar to the one that est, industrious boy.'
can tell me who stole the bell-pears from my "You look tired and hungry,' said my mother tree.' to the young stranger.
"And if I find out, father?" "I've walked seven miles, ma'am, and I "I'll give you the dollar then, my child.' have n't had any thing to eat but some apples I “ It was not more than a week afterward when, found on the way.'
on going to bed one night at eight o'clock, I “Dear me!' and my mother bustled off to the stopped a moment at the window to look out; for pantry.
it was a still, beautiful night, and the moonlight “After this Richard Sears was like one of our lay like a thin sheet of freshly-fallen snow all own family. He was a bright, likely, active boy, over the earth. I can see jest how it glistened and we all grew much attached to him.
on the spire of the old stone meetin'-house, and “He and I were the best of friends, for he silvered the tops of the trees, and lay like white was only two years my senior, and we went off lace-work on the great meadow opposite our into the woods berrying together, and over to house. the meadows for fresh mint. He caught and “And as I stood looking there I saw our back tamed a gray squirrel for me, he put me up a gate open and a small figure come into the swing in the old barn, and at last my father said, garden and approach the house, and then sud'I think I shall send Richard to the district denly it turned about and went down among the school this winter with Rosanna. He can take quince-trees, and then I saw it panse before the her over the hills in his sled when it snows, and bell pear-tree. My first impulse was to call my he's such a likely boy it's a pity he can't have father, but I thought of the dollar he had proma good eddication.'
ised me, and I was always a brave child, so I " • That 's jest what I 've been thinking, jest slipped down the back stairs and out into Sam'wel,' answered my mother; and so it was the yard. I stole softly through the grass and settled that Richard Sears should remain in our past the quinces close up to the bell pear-tree. family.
"Who 's there ? called a quick voice. I “Somebody 's been at that bell pear-tree, knew it. Rachel,' said my father, coming into the house “0, Richard Sears! It was all I said. one afternoon where my mother sat stringing “He held both the pears in his hand; one of quarters of apples, which she was preparing to them was half eaten. dry for the winter.
“I saw the blood steal up into his cheeks. “Why, father, you do n't mean so ?'
'What brought you out here, Rosanna ?' ** Yes, I do; two on 'em 's gone. I thought "0. Richard, what would father say! I'd stop and see if they was doin' well as I came “' I only did it for a little fun, Rosanna,' and up with the last load of corn.'
he offered me the other pear. I drew back. “I knew my father was very angry, and be "I would n't touch it for a thousand dollars. canse he was generally so kind and cheerful like, "Dear me, what a girl you are!' his anger was terrible. I've heard my mother “And what a boy you are to be a thief!' say she never saw him thoroughly ‘riled' but “He blushed deeper under the name, and I once in her life, and that was when some o' the turned toward the house. He sprang before me.