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“ Powers of mercy!" cried the deacon, “striking five' It's struck a hundred already."
“ Deacon Burberry!" cried the deacon's better half, who had hastily robed herself, and now came plunging down the staircase in the wildest state of alarm,“ what is the matter of the clock ?"
“Goodness only knows,” replied the old man.
"It's been in the family these hundred years, and never did I know it to carry on so before.”
Whiz! bang! bang! bang! went the clock.
“It 'll burst itself!” cried the old lady, shedding a flood of tears, “and there won't be nothing left of it.”
“It's bewitched,” said the deacon, who retained a leaven of New England superstition in his nature. “Anyhow," he said, after a pause, advancing resolutely toward the clock, "I'll see what's got into it."
“Oh, don't!" cried the daughter, affectionately seizing one of his coat-tails, while his faithful wife hung to the other.
Don't," chorused both the women together. “Let go my raiment !" shouted the deacon; "I ain't afraid of the powers of darkness."
But the women would not let go ; so the deacon slipped off his coat, and while, from the sudden cessation of resistance, they fell heavily on the floor, he darted forward and laid his hand on the door of the clock-case. But no human power could open it. Joe was holding it inside with a deathgrasp. The deacon began to be dreadfully frightened. He gave one more tug. An unearthly vell, as of a fiend in distress, came from the inside, and then the clock-case pitched head foremost on the floor, smashed its face, and wrecked its proportions.
The current of air extinguished the light; the deacon, the old lady, and Sally, fled up stairs, and Joe Mayweed, extricating himself from the clock, effected his retreat in the same way that he had entered. The next day all Appleton was alive with the story of how Deacon Barberry's clock ha.? been bewitched; and though many believed its version, some, and especially Joe Mayweed, affected to discredit the whole affair, hinting that the deacon had been trying the experiment of tasting frozen cider, and that the vagaries of the clock-case existed only in a distempered imagination.
THE OLD SERGEANT.-FORCEYTHE WIlison.
JANUARY 1, 1863.
With which he used to go
That are now beneath the snow.
That overcast the earth,
Still darkens every hearth.
Come up from every mart;
And beating in his heart.
Again he comes along,
In another New Year's song.
For the story, you must know,
By a soldier of Shiloh,-
With his death-wound in his side;
On the same night that he died.
If all should deem it right,
Had happened but last night. • Come a little nearer, doctor,-thank you,—let me take the
сир; Draw your chair up,-draweit closer,-just another little sup! Maybe you may think I'm better; but I'm pretty well used
up, Doctor, you ve done all you could do, but I'm just a-going up! “ Feel my pulse, sir, if you want to, but it ain't much use to
try--" “Never say Chat,” said the surgeon, as he smothered down
a sigh; " It will never do, old comrade, for a soldier to say die!" * What you say will make no difference, doctor, when you
come to die.”
“Doctor, what has been the matter ?” “You were very faint,
they say; You must try to get some sleep now." “ Doctor, have I been
away?” Not that anybody knows of!" “Doctor,-doctor, please
to stay! There is something I must tell you, and you won't have long
to stay! I have got my marching orders, and I'm ready now to go; Doctor, did you say I fainted ?--but it couldn't ha' been so,For as sure as I'm a sergeant, and was wounded at Shiloh, I've this very night been back there, on the old field of
Shiloh! “This is all that I remember! The last time the lighter
came, And the lights had all been lowered, and the noises much He had not been gone five minutes before something called
my name: ORDERLY SERGEANT-ROBERT BURTON !' just that way it called
iny name. "And I wondered who could call me so distinctly and so slow, Knew it couldn't be the lighter, he could not have spoken so, And I tried to answer, ‘Here, sir!' but I couldn't make it go! For I couldn't move a muscle, and I couldn't make it go! “Then I thought: 'It's all a nightmare, all a humbug and a
bore; Just another foolish grape-vine,-and it won't come any more’; But it came, sir, not withistanding, just the same way as before: "ORDERLY SERGEANT-Robert Burton ! even plainer than
before. “That is all that I remember, till a sudden burst of light, And I stood beside the river, where we stood that Sunday
night, Waiting to be ferried over to the dark bluffs opposite, When the river was perdition and all hell was opposite ! "And the same old palpitation came again in all its power, And I heard a bugle sounding, as from some celestial tower; And the same mysterious voice said : ‘IT IS THE ELEVENTH
HOUR! ORDERLY SERGEANT— ROBERT BURTON,--IT IS THE ELEVENTU
HOUR! " Doctor Austin! what day is this?” “It is Wednesday night, "Yes,-to-morrow will be New Year's, and a rigbt good time What time is it, Doctor Austin ?” “Nearly twelve." "Then
don't you go! Can it be that all this happened-all this-not an hour ago? “There was where the gunboats opened on the dark rebel
lious host; And where Webster semicircled his last guns upon the coast; There were still the two log-houses, just the same, or else
their ghost! And the same old transport came and took me over,-or its
ghost ! "And the old field lay before me all deserted far and wide; There was where they fell on Prentiss,-there McClernand
inet the tide ; There was where stern Sherman rallied, and where Hurlbut's
heroes died, Lower down where Wallace charged them, and kept charg.
ing till he died. “There was where Lew Wallace showed them he was of the
canny kin; There was where old Nelson thundered, and where Rousseau
waded in; There McCook sent’em to breakfast, and we all began to win;There was where the grape-shot took me, just as we began
to win. “Now a shroud of snow and silence over everything was
spread; And but for this old blue mantle and the old hat on my head, I should not have even doubted, to this moment, I was dead, For my footsteps were as silent as the snow upon the dead! “Death and silence !-death and silence! all around me as I
sped! And behold a mighty tower, as if builded to the dead, To the heaven of the heavens, lifted up its mighty head, Till the stars and stripes of heaven all seemed waving from
its head! "Round and mighty-based it towered,-up into the infinite -And I knew no mortal mason could have built a shaft so
bright; For it shone like solid sunshine; and a winding star of light Wound around it aud around it till it wound clear out oi
sight! "And, behold, as I approached it, with a rapt and dazzled
stare,-Thinking that I saw old comrades just ascending the great
Suddenly the solemn challenge broke of—'Halt, and who
goes there? 'I'm a friend,' J said, “if you are.' 'Then advance, sir, to
the stair!' “I advanced !-That sentry, doctor, was Elijah Ballantyne ! First of all to fall on Monday, after we had formed the line! *Welcome, my old sergeant, welcome! Welcome by that
countersign! And he pointed to the scar there, under this old cloak of
mine! “As he grasped my hand, I shuddered, thinking only of the
grave; But he smiled and pointed upward with a bright and blood
less glaive; “That's the way, sir, to head-quarters! What head-quar
ters?' 'Of the brave ! But the great tower?' 'That,' he answered, “is the way, sir,
of the brave !' "Then a sudden shame came o'er me at his uniform of light; At my own so old and tattered, and at his so new and bright. 'Ah!' said he, 'you have forgotten the new uniform to
night, Hurry back, for you must be here at just twelve o'clock to
night! “And the next thing I remember, you were sitting there,
and 1Doctor,--did you hear a footstep? Hark!-God bless you all!
Good-by! Doctor, please to give my musket and my knapsack, when To my son-my son that 's coming-he won't get here till
I die! "Tell him his old father blessed him as he never did before, And to carry that old musket—" Hark! a knock is at the
door“Till the Union—" See! it opens!- “Father! Father!
speak once more !"“Bless you !” gasped the old gray sergeant,-and he lay and
said no more!
HUMANITY.-COWPER. I would not enter on my list of friends (Though graced with polished manners and fine sense, Yet wanting sensibility) the man Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.