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QUR VISITOR, AND WHAT HE CAME FOR. He came in with an interrogation-point in one eye, and a stick in one hand. One eye was covered with a handkerchief and one arm in a sling. His bearing was that of a man with a settled purpose in vier.
"I want to see,” said he, “the man that puts things into this paper.”
We intimated that several of us earned a frugal livelihood in that way.
"Well, I want to see the man which cribs things out of the other papers. The fellow who writes mostly with shears, you understand.”
We explained to him that there were seasons when the most gifted among us, driven to frenzy by the scarcity of ideas and events, and by the clamcrous demands of an insatiable public, in moments of emotional insanity plunged the glittering shears into our exchanges. He went on calmly, but in a voice tremulous with suppressed feeling, and indistinct through the recent loss of half a dozen or so of his front teeth,“ Just so.
I presume so. I don't know much about this business; but I want to see a man, the man that printed that little piece about pouring cold water down a drunken man's spine of his back, and making himn instantly sober. If you please, I want to see that man. I would like to talk with him.”
Then he leaned his stick against our desk and spit on his serviceable hand, and resumed his hold on the stick as though he were weighing it. After studying the stick a minute, he added, in a somewhat louder tone,
“ Mister, I came here to see that 'ere man. I want to set him bad."
We told him that particular man was not in.
“ Just so. I presume so. They told me before I come that the man I wanted to see wouldn't be anywhere. I'll wait for him. I live up north, and I walked seven miles to converse with that man. I guess I'll sit down and wait."
He sat down by the door, and reflectively pounded the foor with his stick, but his feelings would not allow him to keep still.
“ I suppose none of you didn't ever pour much cold water down any drunken man's back to make him instantly sober, perhaps?"
None of us in the office had ever tried the experiment.
“Just so. I thought just as like as not you had not. Well, mister, I have. I tried it yesterday, and I have come seven miles on foot to see the man that printed that piece. It wasn't much of a piece, I don't think; but I want to see the man that printed it, just for a few minutes. You see, John Smith, he lives next door to my house, when I'm to home, and he gets how-come-you-so every little period. Now, when he's sober, he's all right, if you keep out of his way; but when he's drunk, he goes home and breaks dishes, and tips over the stove, and throws the hardware around, and makes it inconvenient for his wife; and sometimes he gets his gun and goes out calling on his neighbors, and it ain't pleasant.
“Not that I want to say any thing about Smith; but me and my wife don't think he ought to do so. He came home drunk yesterday, and broke all the kitchen windows out of his house, and followed his wife around with the carving knife, talking about her liver, and after awhile he lay down by my fence and went to sleep. I had been reading that little piece: it wasn't much of a piece; and I thought if I could polir some water down his spine, on his back, and make him sober, it would be more comfortable for his wife and a square thing to do all around. So I poured a bucket of spring-water down John Smith's spine of his back.”
“Well," said we, as our visitor paused,“ did it make him sober?” Our visitor took a firmer hold of his stick and replied with increased emotion,“Just so.
I suppose it did make him as sober as a judge in less time than you could say Jack Robinson; but, mister, it made him mad. It made him the maddest man I ever see; and, mister, John Smith is a bigger man than me and stouter. Bla-bless him, I never knew he was half so stout till yesterday; and he's handy with his fists too. I should suppose he's the handiest man with bis fists I ever saw.”
Then he went for you, did he?" we asked innocently. “Just so. Exactly. I suppose he went for me about the bust he knew; but I don't hold no grudge against John Smith! I suppose he ain't a good man to hold a grudge against, only I want to see the man that printed that piece. I want to see him bad. I feel as though it would soothe me to see that man. I want to show him how a drunken man acts when you pour cold water down the spine of his back. That's what I come for.”.
Our visitor, who had poured water down the spine of a drunken man's back, remained until about six o'clock in the evening, and then went up-street to find the man that printed that little piece. The man he is looking for started for Alaska last evening for a summer vacation, and will not be back before September of next year.
THE LOST BABIES.
Come, my wife, put down the Bible,
Lay your glasses on your book ;
Backward, mother, let us look!
Where I brought you long ago,
That is now like winter's snow.
As we sit here all alone,
How we lost them one by one.
Came to us one winter's night,-
Long before he saw the light.
Filled, the transept and the nave,
Watch the silken hangings wave;
With the altar at his back--
Could be our own little Jack?
Used to climb upon my knee,
Ruling at the age of three,
With the years there came a wedding
How your fond heart swelled with pride
Chose your baby for his bride!
And the form reclining there-
Could be our own little Clare?
I can hear him prattling now-
With his broad and honest brow.
Ah! I see your trembling lip:
Captain of a royal ship.
Hear the voice of stern command-
To his mother's gentle hand!
Ours so long and ours alone;
Stately men and woman grown.
Yes, a bitter tear-drop starts,
Lonely hearth and lonely hearts.
They'll stop long enough one day
Then they'll each go on their way.
THE PHILOSOPHER'S SCALES.-JANE TAYLOR,
A monk, when his rites sacerdotal were o'er,