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Produced by Annie R. McGuire


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Tuesday, December 1, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50
per Year, in Advance.

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"Couldn't you give more'n six pea-nuts for a cent?" was a question asked
by a very small boy with big, staring eyes, of a candy vender at a
circus booth. And as he spoke he looked wistfully at the quantity of
nuts piled high up on the basket, and then at the six, each of which now
looked so small as he held them in his hand.

"Couldn't do it," was the reply of the proprietor of the booth, as he
put the boy's penny carefully away in the drawer.

The little fellow looked for another moment at his purchase, and then
carefully cracked the largest one.

A shade, and a very deep shade it was, of disappointment that passed
over his face, and then looking up anxiously, he asked, "Don't you swap
'em when they're bad?"

The man's face looked as if a smile had been a stranger to it for a
long time; but one did pay it a visit just then, and he tossed the boy
two nuts, and asked him a question at the same time. "What is your

The big brown eyes looked up for an instant, as if to learn whether the
question was asked in good faith, and then their owner said, as he
carefully picked apart another nut, "Toby Tyler."

"Well, that's a queer name."

"Yes, I s'pose so, myself; but, you see, I don't expect that's the name
that belongs to me. But the fellers call me so, an' so does Uncle

"Who is Uncle Daniel?" was the next question. In the absence of any more
profitable customer the man seemed disposed to get as much amusement out
of the boy as possible.

"He hain't my uncle at all; I only call him so because all the boys do,
an' I live with him."

"Where's your father and mother?"

"I don't know," said Toby, rather carelessly. "I don't know much about
'em, an' Uncle Dan'l says they don't know much about me. Here's another
bad nut; goin' to give me two more?"

The two nuts were given him, and he said, as he put them in his pocket,
and turned over and over again those which he held in his hand, "I
shouldn't wonder if all of these was bad. Sposen you give me two for
each one of 'em before I crack 'em, an' then they won't be spoiled so
you can't sell 'em again."

As this offer of barter was made, the man looked amused, and he asked,
as he counted out the number which Toby desired, "If I give you these, I
suppose you'll want me to give you two more for each one, and you'll
keep that kind of a trade going until you get my whole stock?"

"I won't open my head if every one of 'em's bad."

"All right; you can keep what you've got, and I'll give you these
besides; but I don't want you to buy any more, for I don't want to do
that kind of business."

Toby took the nuts offered, not in the least abashed, and seated himself
on a convenient stone to eat them, and at the same time to see all that
was going on around him. The coming of a circus to the little town of
Guilford was an event, and Toby had hardly thought of anything else
since the highly colored posters had first been put up. It was yet quite
early in the morning, and the tents were just being erected by the men.
Toby had followed, with eager eyes, everything that looked as if it
belonged to the circus, from the time the first wagon had entered the
town, until the street parade had been made, and everything was being
prepared for the afternoon's performance.

The man who had made the losing trade in pea-nuts seemed disposed to
question the boy still further, probably owing to the fact that trade
was dull, and he had nothing better to do.

"Who is this Uncle Daniel you say you live with - is he a farmer?"

"No; he's a Deacon, an' he raps me over the head with the hymn-book
whenever I go to sleep in meetin', an' he says I eat four times as much
as I earn. I blame him for hittin' so hard when I go to sleep, but I
s'pose he's right about my eatin'. You see," and here his tone grew both
confidential and mournful, "I am an awful eater, an' I can't seem to
help it. Somehow I'm hungry all the time. I don't seem ever to get
enough till carrot-time comes, an' then I can get all I want without
troubling anybody."

"Didn't you ever have enough to eat?"

"I s'pose I did, but you see Uncle Dan'l he found me one mornin' on his
hay, an' he says I was cryin' for something to eat then, an' I've kept
it up ever since. I tried to get him to give me money enough to go into
the circus with; but he said a cent was all he could spare these hard
times, an' I'd better take that an' buy something to eat with it, for
the show wasn't very good anyway. I wish pea-nuts wasn't but a cent a

"Then you would make yourself sick eating them."

"Yes, I s'pose I should; Uncle Dan'l says I'd eat till I was sick, if I
got the chance; but I'd like to try it once."

He was a very small boy, with a round head covered with short red
hair, a face as speckled as any turkey's egg, but thoroughly
good-natured-looking, and as he sat there on the rather sharp point of
the rock, swaying his body to and fro as he hugged his knees with his
hands, and kept his eyes fastened on the tempting display of good things
before him, it would have been a very hard-hearted man who would not
have given him something. But Mr. Job Lord, the proprietor of the booth,
was a hard-hearted man, and he did not make the slightest advance toward
offering the little fellow anything.

Toby rocked himself silently for a moment, and then he said,
hesitatingly, "I don't suppose you'd like to sell me some things, an'
let me pay you when I get older, would you?"

Mr. Lord shook his head decidedly at this proposition.

"I didn't s'pose you would," said Toby, quickly; "but you didn't seem to
be selling anything, an' I thought I'd just see what you'd say about
it." And then he appeared suddenly to see something wonderfully
interesting behind him, which served as an excuse to turn his reddening
face away.

"I suppose your uncle Daniel makes you work for your living, don't he?"
asked Mr. Lord, after he had re-arranged his stock of candy, and had
added a couple of slices of lemon peel to what was popularly supposed to
be lemonade.

"That's what I think; but he says that all the work I do wouldn't pay
for the meal that one chicken would eat, an' I s'pose it's so, for I
don't like to work as well as a feller without any father and mother
ought to. I don't know why it is, but I guess it's because I take up so
much time eatin' that it kinder tires me out. I s'pose you go into the
circus whenever you want to, don't you?"

"Oh yes; I'm there at every performance, for I keep the stand under the
big canvas as well as this one out here."

There was a great big sigh from out Toby's little round stomach, as he
thought what bliss it must be to own all those good things, and to see
the circus wherever it went. "It must be nice," he said, as he faced the
booth and its hard-visaged proprietor once more.

"How would you like it?" asked Mr. Lord, patronizingly, as he looked
Toby over in a business way, very much as if he contemplated purchasing

"Like it!" echoed Toby; "why, I'd grow fat on it."

"I don't know as that would be any advantage," continued Mr. Lord,
reflectively, "for it strikes me that you're about as fat now as a boy
of your age ought to be. But I've a great mind to give you a chance."

"What!" cried Toby, in amazement, and his eyes opened to their widest
extent, as this possible opportunity of leading a delightful life
presented itself.

"Yes, I've a great mind to give you the chance. You see," and now it was
Mr. Lord's turn to grow confidential, "I've had a boy with me this
season, but he cleared out at the last town, and I'm running the
business alone now."

Toby's face expressed all the contempt he felt for the boy who would run
away from such a glorious life as Mr. Lord's assistant must lead; but he
said not a word, waiting in breathless expectation for the offer which
he now felt certain would be made him.

"Now I ain't hard on a boy," continued Mr. Lord, still confidentially,
"and yet that one seemed to think that he was treated worse and made to
work harder than any boy in the world."

"He ought to live with Uncle Dan'l a week," said Toby, eagerly.

"Here I was just like a father to him," said Mr. Lord, paying no
attention to the interruption, "and I gave him his board and lodging,
and a dollar a week besides."

"Could he do what he wanted to with the dollar?"

"Of course he could. I never checked him, no matter how extravagant he
was, an' yet I've seen him spend his whole week's wages at this very
stand in one afternoon. And even after his money had all gone that way,
I've paid for peppermint and ginger out of my own pocket just to cure
his stomach-ache."

Toby shook his head mournfully, as if deploring that depravity which
could cause a boy to run away from such a tender-hearted employer, and
from such a desirable position. But even as he shook his head so sadly,
he looked wistfully at the pea-nuts, and Mr. Lord observed the look.

It may have been that Mr. Job Lord was the tender-hearted man he prided
himself upon being, or it may have been that he wished to purchase
Toby's sympathy; but, at all events, he gave him a large handful of
nuts, and Toby never bothered his little round head as to what motive
prompted the gift. Now he could listen to the story of the boy's
treachery and eat at the same time, therefore he was an attentive

"All in the world that boy had to do," continued Mr. Lord, in the same
injured tone he had previously used, "was to help me set things to
rights when we struck a town in the morning, and then tend to the
counter till we left the town at night, and all the rest of the time he
had to himself. Yet that boy was ungrateful enough to run away."

Mr. Lord paused as if expecting some expression of sympathy from his
listener; but Toby was so busily engaged with his unexpected feast, and
his mouth was so full, that it did not seem even possible for him to
shake his head.

"Now what should you say if I told you that you looked to me like a boy
that was made especially to help run a candy counter at a circus, and if
I offered the place to you?"

Toby made one frantic effort to swallow the very large mouthful, and in
a choking voice he answered, quickly, "I should say I'd go with you, an'
be mighty glad of the chance."

"Then it's a bargain, my boy, and you shall leave town with me



A recent report from the Cape of Good Hope states that a diamond
weighing 225 carats has been found at the Du Toits Pan mine, and a very
fine white stone of 115 carats in Jagersfontein mine, in the Free State.

The lucky finders of these stones are vastly richer than they were a few
weeks ago, for if these diamonds are of the best quality, they will be
worth thousands upon thousands of dollars.

It is only ten years ago that all the world was taken by surprise at
hearing that some of these precious stones had been found in the African
colony; and this is how it came about. A little boy, the son of a Dutch
farmer living near Hope Town, of the name of Jacobs, had been amusing
himself in collecting pebbles. One of these was sufficiently bright to
attract the keen eye of his mother; but she regarded it simply as a
curious stone, and it was thrown down outside the house. Some time
afterward she mentioned it to a neighbor, who, on seeing it, offered to
buy it. The good woman laughed at the idea of selling a common bright
pebble, and at once gave it to him, and he intrusted it to a friend, to
find out its value; and Dr. Atherstone, of Graham's Town, was the first
to pronounce it a _diamond_. It was then sent to Cape Town, forwarded to
the Paris Exhibition, and it was afterward purchased by the Governor of
the colony, Sir Philip Wodehouse, for £500.

This discovery of the _first_ Cape diamond was soon followed by others,
and led to the development of the great diamond fields of South Africa.



Beside Dumbarton's castled steep the Bruce lay down to die;
Great Highland chiefs and belted earls stood sad and silent nigh.
The warm June breezes filled the room, all sweet with flowers and hay,
The warm June sunshine flecked the couch on which the monarch lay.

The mailed men like statues stood; under their bated breath
The prostrate priests prayed solemnly within the room of death;
While through the open casements came the evening song of birds,
The distant cries of kye and sheep, the lowing of the herds.

And so they kept their long, last watch till shades of evening fell;
Then strong and clear King Robert spoke: "Dear brother knights, farewell!
Come to me, Douglas - take my hand. Wilt thou, for my poor sake,
Redeem my vow, and fight my fight, lest I my promise break?

"I ne'er shall see Christ's sepulchre, nor tread the Holy Land;
I ne'er shall lift my good broadsword against the Paynim band;
Yet I was vowed to Palestine: therefore take thou my heart,
And with far purer hands than mine play thou the Bruce's part."

Then Douglas, weeping, kissed the King, and said: "While I have breath
The vow thou made I will fulfill - yea, even unto death:
Where'er I go thy heart shall go; it shall be first in fight.
Ten thousand thanks for such a trust! Douglas is Bruce's knight."

They laid the King in Dunfermline - not yet his heart could rest;
For it hung within a priceless case upon the Douglas' breast.
And many a chief with Douglas stood: it was a noble line
Set sail to fight the Infidel in holy Palestine.

Their vessel touched at fair Seville. They heard upon that day
How Christian Leon and Castile before the Moslem lay,
Then Douglas said, "O heart of Bruce! thy fortune still is great,
For, ere half done thy pilgrimage, the foe for thee doth wait."

Dark Osmyn came; the Christians heard his long yell, "Allah hu!"
The brave Earl Douglas led the van as they to battle flew;
Sir William Sinclair on his left, the Logans on his right,
St. Andrew's blood-red cross above upon its field of white.

Then Douglas took the Bruce's heart, and flung it far before.
"_Pass onward first_, O noble heart, as in the days of yore!
For Holy Rood and Christian Faith make thou a path, and we
With loyal hearts and flashing swords will gladly follow thee."

All day the fiercest battle raged just where that heart did fall,
For round it stood the Scottish lords, a fierce and living wall.
Douglas was slain, with many a knight; yet died they not in vain,
For past that wall of hearts and steel the Moslem never came.

The Bruce's heart and Douglas' corse went back to Scotland's land,
Borne by the wounded remnant of that brave and pious band.
Fair Melrose Abbey the great heart in quiet rest doth keep,
And Douglas in the Douglas' church hath sweet and honored sleep.

In pillared marble Scotland tells her love, and grief, and pride.
Vain is the stone: all Scottish hearts the Bruce and Douglas hide.
The "gentle Sir James Douglas" and "the Bruce of Bannockburn"
Are names forever sweet and fresh for years untold to learn.


[1] See Kerr's _History of Scotland_, Vol. II., p. 499.



In the large island of Australia - an island so vast as to be ranked as a
continent - nature has produced a singular menagerie.

The first discoverers of this country must have stared in amazement at
the strange sights which met their eyes. There were wildernesses of
luxuriant and curious vegetable growths, inhabited by large quadrupeds
which appeared as bipeds; queer little beasts with bills like a duck,
ostriches covered with hair instead of feathers, and legions of odd
birds, while the whole woods were noisy with the screeching and prating
of thousands of paroquets and cockatoos.


The largest and oddest Australian quadruped is the kangaroo, a member of
that strange family, the Marsupialia, which are provided with a pouch,
or bag, in which they carry their little ones until they are strong
enough to scamper about and take care of themselves.

The delicately formed head of this strange creature, and its short
fore-legs, are out of all proportion to the lower part of its body,
which is furnished with a very long tail, and its hind-legs, which are
large and very strong. It stands erect as tall as a man, and moves by a
succession of rapid jumps, propelled by its hind-feet, its fore-paws
meanwhile being folded across its breast. A large kangaroo will weigh
fully two hundred pounds, and will cover as much as sixteen feet at one

The body of this beast is covered with thick, soft, woolly fur of a
grayish-brown color. It is very harmless and inoffensive, and it is a
very pretty sight to see a little group of kangaroos feeding quietly in
a forest clearing. Their diet is entirely vegetable. They nibble grass
or leaves, or eat certain kinds of roots, the stout, long claws of their
hind-feet serving them as a convenient pickaxe to dig with.

The kangaroo is a very tender and affectionate mother. When the baby is
born it is the most helpless creature imaginable, blind, and not much
bigger than a new-born kitten. But the mother lifts it carefully with
her lips, and gently deposits it in her pocket, where it cuddles down
and begins to grow. This pocket is its home for six or seven months,
until it becomes strong and wise enough to fight its own battles in the
woodland world. While living in its mother's pocket it is very lively.
It is very funny to see a little head emerging all of a sudden from the
soft fur of the mother's breast, with bright eyes peeping about to see
what is going on in the outside world; or perhaps nothing is visible but
a little tail wagging contentedly, while its baby owner is hidden from

The largest kangaroos are called menuahs or boomers by the Australian
natives, and their flesh is considered a great delicacy, in flavor
something like young venison. For this reason these harmless creatures
are hunted and killed in large numbers. They are very shy, and not very
easy to catch; but the cunning bushmen hide themselves in the thicket,
and when their unsuspecting prey approaches, they hurl a lance into its
body. The wounded kangaroo springs off with tremendous leaps, but soon
becomes exhausted, and falls on the turf.

If brought to bay, this gentle beast will defend itself vigorously. With
its back planted firmly against a tree, it has been known to keep off an
army of dogs for hours, by dealing them terrible blows with its strong
hind-feet, until the arrival of the hunter with his gun put an end to
the contest. At other times the kangaroo, being an expert swimmer, will
rush into the water, and if a venturesome dog dares to follow, it will
seize him, and hold his head under water till he is drowned.

Kangaroos are often brought to zoological gardens, and are contented in
captivity, so long as they have plenty of corn, roots, and fresh hay to



A great variety of material abounds in our woods that can be utilized
for Christmas decorations.

All trees, shrubs, mosses, and lichens that are evergreen during the
winter months, such as holly, ink-berry, laurels, hemlocks, cedars,
spruces, arbor vitæ, are used at Christmas-time for in-door
ornamentation. Then come the club-mosses (_Lycopodiums_), particularly
the one known as "bouquet-green," and ground-pine, which are useful for
the more delicate and smaller designs. Again, we have the wood mosses
and wood lichens, pressed native ferns and autumn leaves; and, if the
woods are not accessible, from our own gardens many cultivated
evergreens can be obtained, such as box, arbor vitæ, rhododendron, ivy,
juniper, etc.

Where it is desirable to use bright colors to lighten up the sombreness
of some of the greens, our native berries can be used to great
advantage. In the woods are to be found the partridge-berries,
bitter-sweet, rose-berries, black alder, holly-berries, cedar-berries,
cranberries, and sumac. Dried grasses and everlasting-flowers can be
pressed into service. For very brilliant effects gold-leaf, gold paper,
and frosting (obtainable at paint stores) are used.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

Fig. 1 represents a simple wreath of holly leaves and berries, sewn on
to a circular piece of pasteboard, which was first coated with calcimine
of a delicate light blue, on which, before the glue contained in the
calcimine dried, a coating of white frosting was dusted. The monogram
XMS is drawn on drawing-paper highly illuminated with gold-leaf and
brilliant colors, after which it is cut out, and fastened in position.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

Fig. 2 consists of a foundation of pasteboard, shaped as shown in the
illustration. The four outside curves are perforated with a
darning-needle. These perforations are desirable when the bouquet-green
is to be fastened on in raised compact masses. The four crescent-shaped
pieces of board are colored white, and coated with white frosting. On
the crescents are sewn sprays of ivy and bunches of bright red berries.
From the outer edge of the crescents radiate branches of hemlock or
fronds of dried ferns. For the legend in the centre the monogram
I.H.S.,[2] or "A merry Christmas to all," cut out in gold paper, looks

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

Fig. 3 consists of a combination of branches of apple wood, or other
wood of rich colors and texture, neatly joined together so as to form
the letters M and X. (In selecting the wood always choose that which has
the heaviest growth of lichens and mosses.)

For the ornamentation of the rustic monogram I use wood and rock
lichens, fungi, Spanish moss, and pressed climbing fern. Holes are bored
into the rustic letters, into which are inserted small branches of holly
in full berry. By trimming the monogram on both sides it looks very
effective when hung between the folding-doors of a parlor, where the
climbing fern may be trained out (on fine wires or green threads) in all
directions, so as to form a triumphal archway. By using large fungi for
the feet of the letters M and X (as shown in the illustration), the
monogram can be used as a mantel-piece ornament, training fern and ivy
from it and over picture-frames. The letter S in the monogram is
composed of immortelles.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Fig. 4 consists of a narrow strip of white muslin, on which is first
drawn with a pencil in outline the design to be worked in evergreens.
For this purpose only the finer and lighter evergreens can be used, as
the intention of this design is to form a bordering for the angle formed
by the wall and ceiling. This wall drapery is heavily trimmed with
berries, to cause it to hang close to the wall, and at the same time to
obtain richer effects of color. The evergreens and berries are fastened
to the muslin with thread and needle.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

Fig. 5 is composed of a strip of card-board covered with gold paper on
which the evergreens are sewed. This style of ornamentation is used for
covering the frames of pictures.

Natural flowers formed into groups can be made to produce very beautiful
effects for the mantel-piece and corner brackets of a room. The pots
should be hidden by covering them with evergreens, or the wood moss that
grows on the trunks of trees. For mounting berries fine wire will be
found very useful. I have always used, and with good effect, the rich
brown cones of evergreens and birches for Christmas decorations.

Very rich and heavy effects of color can be produced by using dry colors
for backgrounds in the following manner. On the face of the pasteboard
on which you intend to work the evergreen design lay a thin coating of
hot glue; before the glue dries or chills dust on dry ultramarine blue,
or any of the lakes, or chrome greens. As soon as the glue has set, blow
off the remaining loose color, and the result will be a field of rich

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Online LibraryVariousHarper's Young People, December 7, 1880 → online text (page 1 of 4)