Harper's Young People, May 18, 1880 online

. (page 1 of 5)
Online LibraryVariousHarper's Young People, May 18, 1880 → online text (page 1 of 5)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Produced by Annie McGuire

[Illustration: HARPER'S



* * * * *


Tuesday, May 18, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per
Year, in Advance.

* * * * *


[Begun in No. 19 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, March 9.]


A True Story.




They found the city one blaze of lanterns, banners, and many-colored
fire-works. All the ships in the harbor were gay with brilliant bunting,
and the air echoed with the boom of cannon and the snapping of
firecrackers, in honor of the Chinese New-Year. In fact, it was quite a
Fourth-of-July celebration; and at night there began such a burst of
sky-rockets and fire-balloons that the whole town seemed to be in

Early next morning the _Arizona_ opened her ports to receive cargo; and
Frank, being told off to assist, saw for the first time one of the most
picturesque sights in the world - a gang of coolies at work. On the other
side of the "entering port," beside which he was posted, stood a Parsee
merchant, whose long white robe, dark face, and high black cap made him
look very much like a cigar wrapped in paper. Along the quivering line
of sunlight that streamed through the port came filing, like figures in
a magic lantern, an endless procession of tall, sinewy, fierce-looking
Malays, and yellow, narrow-eyed, doll-faced Chinamen, carrying blocks of
tin, rice sacks, opium chests, or pepper bags, and all moving in time to
a dismal tune, suggestive of a dog shut out on a cold night.

Each man shouted his name in passing, and the merchant then handed Frank
a short piece of cane. These canes were the "tally sticks," their
different colors indicating the nature of the articles counted. At every
tenth entry the Parsee cried, "Tally," and Austin, reckoning the sticks
in his hand, and finding them correct, answered, "Tally."

Our hero soon found that these were not the _only_ sticks employed. A
rice sack burst suddenly, and all the coolies stopped their work to pick
it up to the last grain, it being thought far too sacred to be wasted.
They were not quite brisk enough about it, however, to please the worthy
merchant, who, seizing a stout bamboo, with a shrill yell of "Bree!
bree!" (hurry up) laid about him as if he were beating a carpet, till
the hold echoed again.

"You take 'tick too; give 'em whack-whack," cried he, offering Austin
another bamboo. "Dey no work proper widout 'tick; dat 'courage 'em."

"Hum!" thought Frank; "I don't think it would encourage _me_ much."

The remedy seemed to answer, however, for the coolies at once quickened
their movements, grinning as if the whole thing was a capital joke. But
it was not long before Frank had to exercise _his_ stick upon a fellow
whom he caught in the act of dropping a package overboard, to be fished
up and rifled later on - a common trick with the natives, who are most
expert thieves. What with all this, and what with the constant counting,
he found it very tiring work, and was not sorry when the gang "knocked
off," and he went to hand in his accounts to the Captain.

"Very good, my boy; you've done capitally for a first trial. After this
I'll rate you as supercargo, and give you a state-room on the officers'

This was promotion indeed, and our hero, tired as he was, "turned in"
with a light heart.

Next morning the work began again. Bags, boxes, chests, crowded so fast
upon each other that Frank and the Parsee were soon forced to shift to
one of the six huge barges that lay alongside, piled high with spices,
pepper, and bundles of rattan. Two native servants stood by to fan them,
while two others shielded them from the burning sun with huge umbrellas;
and this group, together with the long file of black or yellow skinned
figures below, pouring into the ship with their burdens like a stream of
ants, and still chanting their strange, monotonous song, made a very
curious picture.

About two o'clock (the sailors' dinner hour) the gang had a short rest,
which the Malays employed in squatting about in groups, and chewing
betel-nut. A piece of the nut was folded between two green leaves, and
munched vigorously, the result being to cover their mouths with a red
froth, which, as Frank thought, made them all look as if they had just
had two or three teeth out.

After night-fall the work went on by lamp-light, and a very picturesque
sight it was. Tired as they were, the men worked with a will, and by
midnight the last package was stowed, the last receipt signed, and the
_Arizona_ all ready to sail the next day.

After his hard day's work, Frank slept like a top; but he was aroused
soon after sunrise by a knock at his door, and in came a venerable old
native in a long white robe, crimson girdle, and hat exactly like a
stove-pipe, minus the rim. Shutting the door as carefully as if he were
about to confess a murder, he opened a small silk bag, and flashed upon
Frank's astonished eyes a perfect heap of precious stones of all sorts
and sizes; then holding up the fingers of both hands several times in
succession, he uttered the one word "Rupees."[1]

But the price, though low, was far beyond Austin's means. He shook his
head, and the old gentleman bowed himself out as politely as if Frank
had purchased his entire stock. Five minutes later came a second tap,
and another native entered, with a basket of delicious fruits, answering
our hero's "How much?" by pointing to a pair of worn-out shoes, and
saying, "Can do." Before Austin could recover from his amazement at the
idea of a country where men preferred old shoes to hard dollars, the
fruit merchant had made his "salam" (bow), and departed with his prize.

He was hardly gone, when a third trader turned up, with a splendid
collection of shells and coral, and the same scene was repeated. This
time the "Can do" referred to some ragged old flannel shirts and pants
that hung on the wall, in exchange for which the dealer handed over the
entire contents of his basket. Frank, more puzzled than ever, went to
old Herrick for an explanation.

"Well, lad," said the veteran, "these _natyve_ fellers, d'ye see, are
divided into so many 'castes,' one above t'other, like men and officers
aboard ship, and the lower castes have got to pay toll to the higher
'uns. Now the high-caste crowd are too great swells to touch a
furriner's clothes or shoes, though they'll touch his _money_ fast
enough; so them two chaps'll be able to keep all you gave 'em, whereas
if you'd paid 'em in dollars, they'd ha' had to go halves with the
'upper crust.'"



[1] The rupee is the standard coin of British India, and worth
about fifty cents.



May brings so many wild flowers that the mere _names_ would easily fill
all the space I can have.

But the young flower-hunter must get an idea of some of the flowers sure
to appear in May, and those who will notice the habits of plants will
soon discover where these fair friends dwell, and will learn which
selects the valley, which the hill-side, finding that as a general thing
they may be looked for with the certainty of being found in their
favorite haunts.

Botanical authorities have arranged all known plants in _families_, and
each plant belongs to some floral family, the members of which possess
certain qualities in common, making it suitable to class them together;
for instance, all the buttercups, anemones, clematis, hepaticas,
larkspur, columbine, and many others, belong to the _Crowfoot_ family - a
large family, all possessing a colorless but acrid juice, which is, in
some of them, a narcotic poison, as hellebore, aconite, larkspur, and
monk's-hood. Others are quite harmless, as the marsh-marigold, so well
known as cowslips, or the "greens" of early spring. Others have a
delicate beauty, as the anemones, hepaticas, and others.

Another family, the _Poppy_ family, takes in all the poppies, the
bloodroot, celandine, and others. These have a milky or colored juice,
often used medicinally, and from one species of poppy opium is made.

The _Crucifers_, or _Mustard_ family, have cross-shaped flowers, and
abound in a pungent, biting juice, with which we are familiar; and thus
we could go on enumerating the distinctive qualities of one hundred and
thirty families.

In every month are to be found some peculiarly rare and interesting
plants, and May can show a fair array. In cold bogs and swamps of New
England the genial airs awaken many a blossom that seems too lovely for
such dismal surroundings. But bogs and swamps and wet pastures are well
worth exploring, and are justly dear to the botanical heart; for here,
springing from a bed of soft black mud, may be seen the pink Arethusa,
fair as a rose leaf, the rare Calypso, the singular trilliums, the
graceful adder's-tongue, and several species of the remarkable
Cypripediums, or lady's-slipper. The beautiful spring orchis, the only
orchis blossoming early, of most delicate white and purple tints,
flourishes in damp, rich woods, and the Cornus, or dogwood, lights up
the shady nooks with level sheets of bloom.

_Violets_, more than twenty varieties, come on in April, May, and June;
but I can specify but one - a charming species of pansy-like beauty,
found at Farmington, Connecticut, with the two upper petals of the
finest violet tint, and of velvet softness. In moist woodlands in
Western Connecticut the staphylea, or bladder-nut, attracts attention by
its drooping racemes of white flowers, and later in the season the rich
brown seed-vessels are as handsome as the flowers in the spring. All
around on the rocky road-side banks and in dry fields the airy wild
columbine and pretty corydalis blossoms nod in every breeze, and the
ravines on the hills are fringed with the softest frills of exquisite
leaves and odd flowers of the Dutchman's-breeches and squirrel-corn,
whitish and pinkish, and with the scent of hyacinths.

One other must not be forgotten, though so well known as hardly needing
to be named. Who has not searched in dim New England woods, under solemn
pines, for the sweet, shy, waxen clusters of this dearest of all the
flowery train, hiding under old rusty leaves, but betraying itself by
that indescribably delicious fragrance which perfumes the wood paths?
Surely all the young hands have been filled with the pilgrim's-flower,
the epig├Ža, the trailing arbutus, the beloved May-flower of olden and of
modern time.

In the Middle States many plants are found which New England does not
furnish. New Jersey is famed for woodland treasures; not only Orange
Mountains, but the pine-barrens, show many a charming blossom, and the
dweller at the West finds on the flower-tinted prairies a profusion
which the Eastern fields can not approach. On the hills of Pennsylvania
may be seen the brilliant flame-colored azalea and the North American
papaw - a relative of the tropical custard-apple - and the pink blossoms
of the Judas-tree, and several varieties of larkspur, and in low
thickets are found the white adder's-tongue and the dwarf white
trillium. At the West, the interesting anemone called Easter or Pasque
flower, from its blossoming near Easter; and another beautiful Western
flower is the American cowslip, called also the shooting-star, which is
found in Pennsylvania as well as on Western prairies. The following is a
list of _some_ of the flowers of May, with the localities in which they
are most abundant:



Adder's-tongue Bluish-white Thickets, banks; N. Y., Pa.,
Adder's-tongue Light yellow Low copses and fields; New
American cowslip Pink, white,
violet Rich woods; Pa., Western
Arbutus, May-flower Pink, white Rocky banks, under pines; New
Arethusa Bright rose Cold bogs; Maine, N. J., South.
Azalea Flame-colored Pennsylvania mountains, and
Azure larkspur Uplands; Pa. and West.
Barberry Yellow Open fields, dry banks; New
Bellwort Pale yellow Damp woods; New England, West.
Bladder-nut White Western Conn.; woods. Rare.
Blue cohosh Deep, rich woods; West.
Bulbous buttercup. Bright yellow Pastures, meadows; New England
and elsewhere.
Calypso Purple, pink,
yellow Swamps, bogs; Northern New
England. Rare.
Chickweed White Fields, door-yards; everywhere.
Columbine Scarlet, yellow Dry, sunny, rocky banks. Common.
Common buttercup Golden yellow Hills, fields. Common everywhere.
Dandelion Bright yellow Fields, road-sides; everywhere.
Dark purple clematis Rich soil; Middle States,
Dwarf trillium White Shaded woods; West. Rare.
Easter flower Pale purple Western prairies.
Flowering dogwood White Rocky, open woods; Middle States.
Fly honeysuckle Greenish-yellow Rocky woods; Mass., Pa.
Gay wings Rose purple Light soil; New England and
Golden corydalis Rocky banks; Vt., Pa. Rare.
Gold-thread White Bogs; throughout the States.
Green hellebore Green Damp places; Long Island. Rare.
Ivory plum Bright white Cold bogs; Maine woods. Rare.
Jack-in-pulpit Stripes of green
and white Rich woods; North and South.
Jersey tea, red-root White Woods and groves; N. J. and
Judas-tree, redbud Purplish-red Rich woods; N. Y., Pa., and
Lady's-slipper Greenish-white Bogs and swamps; N. Y., Pa.
Large climbing
clematis Light purple Rocky New England hills. Rare.
Meadow-rue Yellowish Fields and woods; Northward.
Mountain heath Drooping purple Rocky hills; White Mountains, Vt.
Mountain holly White Damp, cold woods; North and West.
Mount. honeysuckle Yellowish Mountain woods and bogs; Mass.,
N. American papaw Lurid purple Banks of streams; Pa. and South.
Pepper-root White Rich woods; Middle States. Rare.
Puccoon Yellow Shady woods; N. Y. and West.
Red bane-berry Rocky woods. Common Northward.
Red sandwort Sandy fields; sea-coast. Common.
Rheumatism-root White Low woods; Middle States, West.
Rhodora Rose-color Damp, cold New England woods.
Scarlet corydalis Dry woods and fields; Northeast
and West. Common.
Sea sandwort White Atlantic coast, N. J. to
Small buttercup White Under water; Maine to Texas.
Small honeysuckle Dull purple Rocky banks; Northward.
Spring beauty Pink with deeper
lines Sheltered fields; Middle States.
Spring orchis White, purple Rich woods; New Eng., West,
Squirrel-corn White, purplish Rocky woods; Canada to Ky.
Star flower White Damp, shady New England woods.
Straw lily Straw-color Cold swamps; Me. to Pa. Common.
Sweet viburnum White Cold swamps; New England woods.
Trillium Dull purple Rich woods; Northward. Common.
Tulip-tree Yellow, green Southern New England, Middle
States, West.
Umbrella-leaf White Wet pastures; West and South.
Violets (many) Blue, white,
yellow Fields, meadows, hills; Me. to
Wayfaring-tree White Cold swamps; New England woods.
White bane-berry Rich soil; North and West.
Wild pink Red, with white
spots Sandy plains; N. J., West, and
Wild hyacinth Pale blue River-banks, moist prairies;
Withe-rod White Cold swamps; New England woods.
Wood-rush Straw-color and
brown Dry fields and woods. Common.
Wild strawberry White Fields, meadows; Maine to Texas.
Yellowish clematis River-banks; Pa., N. Y. Rare.
Yellow-root Dark purple River-banks; N. Y., Pa., and



BY S. B.

Little Ruth looked at her dolly one day,
Said: "Dolly, they wish me to give you away;
They say you are old, and I know it's quite true;
But, dolly, dear dolly, I can't part from you.

"Your color has faded, your nose is quite gone,
Yet I love you as well as the day you were born;
You've great cracks on your face, and scarcely a hair,
Yet, dolly, my dear, to me you are fair.

"Though you're hurt, darling dolly, too often, I fear,
But you are so brave that you won't shed a tear;
And although you've one arm, one leg, and no nose,
You're dearer to me because of your woes.

"But what was the hardest and cruelest sting
Was that father once called you a horrid old thing:
He said, 'What a battered and wretched old fright!
Do take her away, pray, out of my sight.'

"And, dolly, he said that a new doll he'd buy;
To find me a nice one he really would try;
She should have two legs, and more than one arm:
I am sure that papa did not mean any harm.

"Pray what would they all say if I asked mamma
To go out and buy me a nice new papa,
Because father dear is old, bald, and gray?
I should like very much to hear what _he'd_ say."

[Begun in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE No. 24, April 18.]






The private life of Washington was very simple. He was very fond of
farming, and studied it carefully, as he seems to have studied
everything that he took in hand. Some of his letters to Arthur Young, a
great English traveller, who was also a writer on farming, are very
interesting. In reading them it is easy to forget the General and the
public man, and to think only of the painstaking planter, eager to know
what was the best way to plant his various crops, or to plough his
different fields. He liked shade trees greatly, and had a great many
kinds of them at Mount Vernon, set out under his own direction, and some
of them with his own hand. Some of my readers may yet see them on the
pleasant sloping banks of the Potomac, below the city of Washington.
Even among the cares of the camp and the battle-field Washington found
time nearly every week to write minute directions to his superintendent,
who had charge of his farm, telling him just what work to do each day,
and how to do it. When he got back to his home, he took up the task of
seeing to things himself with the greatest enjoyment. Every morning
after breakfast he mounted his horse and rode about his ample fields,
and he seldom let anything prevent his doing so - neither bad weather,
nor the claims of visitors, of whom he had a host, nor anything else. He
laid out his time on an exact system. Each morning he arose before
sunrise to write letters and to read, and on his return from his ride
over his estate he again went to his study, and staid there attending to
business until three o'clock in the afternoon. At three he dined, and
gave the rest of the day and evening to his family and his guests. At
ten he went to bed.

But he was not to enjoy this happy, peaceful life very long. His
countrymen needed him as much in peace as in war, and soon called him
again to public life. After the American States had cut loose from Great
Britain, they found that their common affairs did not get on very well.
They had borrowed a good deal of money to carry on the war, and the only
way to pay it was by each State giving its part. But the people of the
various States were jealous of each other, and quarrelled over the
amount they ought to pay. There was danger that the States would divide
from each other, and then be much less able to defend themselves against
foreign governments. Washington dreaded such a thing. He believed that
the only means by which the States could keep the freedom they had won
was by uniting closely. He wished to see a national government formed,
with power to raise money by equal taxes, to pay the common debts, and
to make war if need be. He wrote on this subject to many of his friends,
who agreed with him.

After a while, by general consent, each State chose some of its ablest
men to come together at Philadelphia and make a plan for a national
government which should take charge of all public affairs not belonging
to any one State by itself. This was done, and a plan was formed in the
year 1787, and adopted by the people of all the States. This was called
the Constitution of the United States. It set up a government of three
parts. First, there was Congress, made up of men chosen, in one way or
another, by the people. Congress was to make the laws. Second, there was
the President, chosen by the people, who was to see that the laws were
carried out and obeyed. The President was to be aided by a large number
of officers of various kinds, whom he was to choose, with the consent of
a part of Congress called the Senate. Finally, there were the Judges,
who were to decide any disputes that might come up about the meaning of
the laws. The Judges were also chosen by the President, with the help
and consent of the Senate.

Of course the one man in the government who had more to do with it than
any other was the President. As soon as it was seen that the new
Constitution would be taken by the people, every one turned to General
Washington as sure to make the best President. He had shown himself so
wise and true in war, how could he be otherwise in peace? People knew
that he would try to do his whole duty, and serve the country at any
cost to himself. It was the same feeling the boys in school had had
forty years before, when they chose him to be their captain, and left
all their quarrels to him to settle. So Washington was elected
President, and though he disliked to leave his tranquil home, his
fields, and his trees and his horses, he felt that it was his duty to do
so, and promptly accepted the office.




He was all by himself in as pretty a patch of sunny green meadow-land as
you could wish to see, yet he had plenty of company. To say nothing of
the birds chattering on the fence, the tall thick grass was as full of
hopping, fluttering, and creeping things as a wheat beard is of grain.
These tiny little creatures seemed to find life so pleasant and
comfortable, and the glisten and "swish" of John Goodnow's scythe so
very odd and amusing, that they kept only a little out of his way as he
mowed, and when he stopped to whet his scythe they flocked around and

1 3 4 5

Online LibraryVariousHarper's Young People, May 18, 1880 → online text (page 1 of 5)