Слике страница

by earthquakes, with thunder and lightning.” Then he jots down this postscript from his wandering mind to cover accidents: “But it is possible that the programme may be wholly changed in the meantime.”

Yes, one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it. There is only one thing certain about it, you are certain there is going to be plenty of weather. A perfect grand review; but you never can tell which end of the procession is going to move first. You fix up for the drought; you leave your umbrella in the house and sally out with your sprinkling-pot, and ten to one you get drowned. You make up your mind that the earthquake is due; you stand from under and take hold of something to steady yourself, and the first thing you know you get struck by lightning. These are great disappointments; but they can't be helped. The lightning there is peculiar; it is so convincing when it strikes a thing it doesn't leave enough of that behind for you to tell whether-well, you'd think it was something valuable, and a Congressman had been there.

And the thunder. When the thunder commences merely to tune up, and scrape and saw and key up the instruments for the performance, strangers say, “Why, what awful thunder you have here!” But when the baton is raised and the real concert begins, you'll find that stranger down in the cellar, with his head in the ash barrel.

Now as to the size of the weather in New England-lengthways J mean. It is utterly disproportionate to the size of that little country. Half the time when it is packed as full as it can stick, you will see that New England weather sticking out beyond the edges and projecting around hundreds and hundreds of miles over the neighboring States. She can't hold a tenth part of her weather. You can see cracks all about, where she has strained herself trying to do it.

I could speak volumes about the inhuman perversity of the New England weather, but I will give but a single speci

I like to hear rain on a tin roof, so I covered part of my roof with tin, with an eye to that luxury. Well, sir, do you think it ever rains on the tin? No, sir; skips it every time.

Mind, in the speech, I have been trying merely to do honor to the New England weather; no language could do it


justice. But after all there are at least one or two things about that weather, (or, if you please, effects produced by it) which we residents would not like to part with. If we had not our bewitching autumn foliage, we should still have to credit the weather with one feature which compensates for all its bullying vagaries-the ice storm-when a leafless tree is clothed with ice from the bottom to the top-ice that is as bright and clear as crystal; every bough and twig is strung with ice-beads, frozen dew-drops, and the whole tree sparkles, cold and white like the Shah of Persia's diamond plume. Then the wind waves the branches and the sun comes out and turns ail those myriads of beads and drops to prisms, that glow and hum and flash with all inanner of colored fires, which change and change again with inconceivable rapidity, froin blue to red, from red green, and green to gold; the tree becomes a sparkling fountain, a very explosion of dazzling jewels, and it stands there the acme, the climax, the supremest possibility in art or nature of bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence! One cannot make the words too strong.

Month after month I lay up hate and grudge against the New England weather; but when the ice storm comes at last, I say, “There, I forgive you now; the books are square between us; you don't owe me a cent; go and sin no more; your little faults and foibles count for nothing; you are the most enchanting weather in the world.


sunny beam ?

What tents gleam on the green hill-side, like snow in the What gloomy warriors gather there, like a surly mountain

stream? These, for Bernardo's vengeance, have come like a stormy

blast, The rage of their long cherished hate on a cruel king to cast. "Smiters of tyranny!” cries their chief,“ see yonder slavish

host, We shall drench the field with their craven blood, or free

dom's hopes are lost; You know I come for a father's death, my filial vow to pay, Then let the 'Murdered Suucho!' be your battle cry to-day. angry brow.

with gore,


On, on! for the death of the tyrant king!” “Hurrah!” was

the answering cry; We follow thee to victory, or follow thee to die!" The battle-field — the charge — the shock, the quivering

struggle nowThe rout-the shout!-while lightnings flash frota Bernardo's The chieftain's arm has need of rest, his brand drips red But one last sacrifice remains cre his work of toil is o'er. The king, who looked for victory, from his large and well

trained host, Now flies for safety from the field, where all his hopes are

lost; But full in front, with blood-red sword, a warrior appears, And the war-cry, “Murdered Sancho!” rings in the tyrant's Ha! noble king, have we met at last ?” with scornful lip

he cries; "Don Sancho's son would speak with you once more before

he dies; Your kindness to my sainted sire is graven on my heart, And I would show my gratitude once more before we part. Draw! for the last of Sancho's race is ready for your sword ;Bernardo's blood should flow by him by whom his sire's

was perired! What wait you for, vile, craven wretch ? it was not thus you

stood When laying out your fiendish plans to spill my father's

blood. Draw! for I will not learn froin you the assassin's coward

trade, I scorn the lesson you have taught-unsheathe your murder

ous blade !" Roused by Bernardo's fiery taunts, the king at length en

gaged: He fought for life, but all in vain; unequal strife he waged! Bernardo's sword has pierced his side-the tyrant's reign is

o'er“ Father I have fulfilled my vow, I thirst for blood no more.”

[ocr errors]


'Twas a moonlight night, the trapper began,

As we lay by the bright camp fire, --
Come, fill up your pipes, and pile on the brands,

And draw a little nigher,-

'Twas a moonlight night when Bet and I,

Bet-she's the old inare, you know,-
Started for camp on our lonely route

O'er the dreary waste of snow.
I had been to the “clearing” that afternoon,

For powder and ball, and whiskey, too,
For game was plenty, furs in demand,

And plenty of hunting and trapping to do. I had no fear of the danger that lurked

In the region through which my journey lay, Till Bet of a sudden pricked up her ears,

And sniffed the air in a curious way. I knew at once what the danger was,

As Bet struck out at a 'forty gait; 'Twas life or death for the mare and me,

And all I could do was to trust to fate.
Wolves on our track, ten miles from home!

A pleasant prospect that, eh, boys?
I could see them skulking among the trees,

And the woods re-echoed their hideous noise. At last, as their number began to swell,

They bolder grew and pressed us close;
So“Old Pill Driver" I brought to bear,

And gave the leader a leaden dose.
Now you must know, if you draw the blood

On one of the sneaking, ravenous crew,
The rest will turn on the double-quick,

And eat him up without more ado. This gave me time to load my gun,

With just a chance to breathe and rest, When on they came! a-gaining fast,

Thoughi Bet was doing her level best. I began to think it was getting hot;

“Pill-Driver” says I"ibis will never do; Talk to 'em again!” You bet she did;

And right in his tracks lay number two.
Well boys, to make a long story short,

I picked them off till but one was left;
But he was a whopper, you'd better believe-

A reg’lar mammoth in size and heft.
Yes, he was the last of the savage pack,

For as they had followed the nat'ral law, They had eaten each other as fast as they fell,

Till all were condensed in his spacious maw.


Thomas K. BEECHER. I was to preach for Brother Anderson. He was a good pastor. Almost the last time I saw him he had just called upon a lamb of his flock to ask after her spiritual welfare and for fifty cents towards his salary.

Punctual to the hour Brother Anderson came rolling across the street, and up to the door, and we went in together. After the usual songs and prayers, I took for my text, Paul's counsel to the Corinthians as to their disorderly meetings and meaningless noises. The sermon was, in the main, a reading of the fourteenth of Paul's first letter with comments and application interspersed.

I spoke half an hour, and while showing consideration for the noisy ways of my audience, exhorted them to cultivate intelligence as well as passion. When you feel the glory of God in you let it out, of course. Shout, Glory! Clap your bands, and all that, but stop now and then and let some wise elder stand up and tell you what it all means. Men and boys hang around your windows and laugh at you and your religion, because they don't understand you. Some men have religion all in the head, clear, sharp, dry, and dead; others all in the heart, they feel it all in their bones. Now I want you to have religion in your heads and hearts too. Let all things be done decently and in order. I was well satisfied with my effort, at the time it seemed

As I sat down Brother Anderson got up and stood on the pulpit step and gave out a hymn

“Let saints below in concert sing." I am not sure that he could read, for he stood book in hand, and seemingly from memory gave the words of the hymn, he repeated the first and second stanzas with a deep gruwing feeling. Of the third he read three lines :

"One army ob de libbin God

To thy commands we bow;
Part of de hos' hab crossed de flood,

And --" There he stopped and after swallowing one or two chokes, went on to say:

a success.

« ПретходнаНастави »