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Produced by Annie R. McGuire


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Tuesday, March 15, 1881. Copyright, 1881, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50
per Year, in Advance.

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[Illustration: THE FIRST LESSON.]

[Begun in No. 58 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, December 7.]






When Toby got within sight of the ring, he was astonished at what he
saw. A horse with a broad wooden saddle was being led slowly around the
ring; Mr. Castle was standing on one side, with a long whip in his hand,
and on the tent pole, which stood in the centre of the ring, was a long
arm, from which dangled a leathern belt on a long rope that was carried
through the end of the arm, and run down to the base of the pole.

Toby knew well enough why the horse, the whip, and the man were there,
but this wooden projection from the tent pole, which looked so much like
a gallows, he could not understand at all.

"Come, now," said Mr. Castle, cracking his whip ominously as Toby came
in sight, "why weren't you here before?"

"Mr. Lord just sent me in," said Toby, not expecting that his excuse
would be received, for they never had been since he had arrived at the
height of his ambition by joining the circus.

"Then I'll make Mr. Job understand that I am to have my full hour of
your time, and if I don't get it, there'll be trouble between us."

It would have pleased Toby very well to have had Mr. Castle go out with
his long whip just then and make trouble for Mr. Lord; but Mr. Castle
had not the time to spare, because of the trouble which he was about to
make for Toby, and that he commenced on at once.

"Well, get in here, and don't waste any more time," he said, sharply.

Toby looked around curiously for a moment, and not understanding exactly
what he was expected to get in and do, asked, "What shall I do?"

"Pull off your boots, coat, and vest."

Since there was no other course than to learn to ride, Toby wisely
concluded that the best thing he could do would be to obey this new
master without question; and he began to take his clothes off with as
much alacrity as if learning to ride was the one thing upon which he had
long set his heart.

Mr. Castle was evidently accustomed to prompt obedience, for he not only
took it as a matter of course, but endeavored to hurry Toby in his work
of undressing.

With his desire to please, and urged by Mr. Castle's words and the
ominous shaking of his whip, Toby's preparations were soon made, and he
stood before his instructor clad only in his shirt, trousers, and

The horse was led around to where he stood, and when Mr. Castle held out
his hand to help him to mount, Toby jumped up quickly without aid,
thereby making a good impression at the start as a willing lad.

"Now," said the instructor, as he pulled down the leathern belt which
hung from the rope, and fastened it around Toby's waist, "stand up in
the saddle, and try to stand there. You can't fall, because the rope
will keep you up, even if the horse goes out from under you; but it
isn't hard work to keep on if you mind what you are about, and if you
don't, this whip will help you. Now stand up."

Toby did as he was bidden, and as the horse was led at a walk, and as he
had the long bridle to aid him in keeping his footing, he had no
difficulty in standing during the time that the horse went once around
the ring; but that was all.

Mr. Castle seemed to think that this was preparation enough for the boy
to be able to understand how to ride, and he started the horse into a
canter. As might have been expected, Toby lost his balance, the horse
went on ahead, and he was left dangling at the end of the rope, very
much like a crab that has just been caught by the means of a pole and

Toby kicked, waved his hands, and floundered about generally, but all to
no purpose, until the horse came round again, and then he made frantic
efforts to regain his footing, which efforts were aided - or perhaps it
would be more proper to say retarded - by the long lash of Mr. Castle's
whip, that played around his legs with merciless severity.

"Stand up! stand up!" cried his instructor, as Toby reeled first to one
side and then to the other, now standing erect in the saddle, and now
dangling at the end of the rope, with the horse almost out from under

This command seemed almost needless, as it was exactly what Toby was
trying to do; but as it was given, he struggled all the harder, until it
seemed to him that the more he tried, the less did he succeed.

And this first lesson progressed in about the same way until the hour
was over, save that now and then Mr. Castle would give him some good
advice, but oftener he would twist the long lash of that whip around the
boy's legs with such force that Toby believed the skin had been taken
entirely off.

It may have been a relief to Mr. Castle when that first lesson was
concluded, and it certainly was to Toby, for he had had all the teaching
in horsemanship that he wanted, and he thought, with deepest sorrow,
that this would be of daily occurrence during all the time he remained
with the circus.

As he went out of the tent he stopped to speak with his friend the old
monkey, and his troubles seemed to have increased when he stood in front
of the cage calling "Mr. Stubbs! Mr. Stubbs!" and the old fellow would
not even come down from off the lofty perch where he was engaged in
monkey gymnastics with several younger companions. It seemed to him, as
he afterward told Ben, "as if Mr. Stubbs had gone back on him because he
knew that he was in trouble."

When he went toward the booth, Mr. Lord looked at him around the corner
of the canvas - for it seemed to Toby that his employer could look around
a square corner with much greater ease than he could straight
ahead - with a disagreeable leer in his eye, as though he enjoyed the
misery which he knew his little clerk had just undergone.

"Can you ride yet?" he asked, mockingly, as Toby stepped behind the
counter to attend to his regular line of business.

Toby made no reply, for he knew that the question was only asked
sarcastically, and not through any desire for information. In a few
moments Mr. Lord left him to attend to the booth alone, and went into
the tent, where Toby rightly conjectured he had gone to question Mr.
Castle upon the result of the lesson just given.

That night old Ben asked him how he had got on while under the teaching
of Mr. Castle, and Toby, knowing that the question was asked because of
the real interest which Ben had in his welfare, replied,

"If I was tryin' to learn how to swing round the ring, strapped to a
rope, I should say that I got along first-rate; but I don't know much
about the horse, for I was only on his back a little while at a time."

"You'll get over that soon," said old Ben, patronizingly, as he patted
him on the back. "You remember my words, now; I say that you've got it
in you, an' if you've a mind to take hold an' try to learn, you'll come
out on the top of the heap yet, an' be one of the smartest riders
they've got in this show."

"I don't want to be a rider," said Toby, sadly: "I only want to get back
home once more, an' then you'll see how much it'll take to get me away

"Well," said Ben, quietly, "be that as it may, while you're here the
best thing you can do is to take hold an' get ahead just as fast as you
can; it'll make it a mighty sight easier for you while you're with the
show, and it won't spoil any of your chances for runnin' away whenever
the time comes."

Toby fully appreciated the truth of that remark, and he assured Ben that
he should do all in his power to profit by the instruction given, and to
please this new master who had been placed over him.

And with this promise, he lay back on the seat and went to sleep, not to
awaken until the preparations were being made for the entrée into the
next town, and Mr. Lord's harsh voice had cried out his name, with no
gentle tone, several times.

Toby's first lesson with Mr. Castle was the most pleasant one he had;
for after the boy had once been into the ring, his master seemed to
expect that he could do everything which he was told to do, and when he
failed in any little particular, the long lash of the whip would go
curling around his legs or arms, until the little fellow's body and
limbs were nearly covered with the blue and black stripes.

For three lessons only was the wooden upright used to keep him from
falling; after that he was forced to ride standing erect on the broad
wooden saddle, or pad, as it is properly called, and whenever he lost
his balance and fell, there was no question asked as to whether or not
he had hurt himself, but he was mercilessly cut with the whip.

Messrs. Lord and Jacobs gained very much by comparison with Mr. Castle
in Toby's mind. He had thought that his lot could not be harder than it
was with them; but when he had experienced the pains of two or three of
Mr. Castle's lessons in horsemanship, he thought that he would stay with
the candy venders all the season cheerfully rather than take six more
lessons of Mr. Castle.

Night after night he fell asleep from the sheer exhaustion of crying, as
he had been pouring out his woes in the old monkey's ears, and laying
his plans to run away. Now, more than ever, was he anxious to get away,
and yet each day was taking him farther from home, and consequently
necessitating a larger amount of money with which to start. As old Ben
did not give him as much sympathy as Toby thought he ought to give - for
the old man, while he would not allow Mr. Job Lord to strike the boy if
he was near, thought it a necessary portion of the education for Mr.
Castle to lash him all he had a mind to - he poured out all his troubles
in the old monkey's ears, and kept him with him from the time he ceased
work at night until he was obliged to commence again in the morning.

The skeleton and his wife thought Toby's lot a hard one, and tried by
every means in their power to cheer the poor boy. Neither one of them
could say to Mr. Castle what they had said to Mr. Lord, for the rider
was a far different sort of a person, and one whom they would not be
allowed to interfere with in any way. Therefore poor Toby was obliged to
bear his troubles and his whippings as best he might, with only the
thought to cheer him of the time when he could leave them all by running

But despite all his troubles, Toby learned to ride faster than his
teacher had expected he would, and in three weeks he found little or no
difficulty in standing erect while his horse went around the ring at his
fastest gait. After that had been accomplished, his progress was more
rapid, and he gave promise of becoming a very good rider - a fact which
pleased both Mr. Castle and Mr. Lord very much, as they fancied that in
another year Toby would be the source of a very good income to them.

The proprietor of the circus took considerable interest in Toby's
instruction, and promised Mr. Castle that Mademoiselle Jeannette and
Toby should do an act together in the performance just as soon as the
latter was sufficiently advanced. The boy's costume had been changed
after he could ride without falling off, and now while he was in the
ring he wore the same as that used by the regular performers.

The little girl had, after it was announced that she and Toby were to
perform together, been an attentive observer during the hour that Toby
was under Mr. Castle's direction, and she gave him many suggestions that
were far more valuable, and quicker to be acted upon, than those given
by the teacher himself.

"To-morrow you two will go through the exercise together," said Mr.
Castle to Toby and Ella, at the close of one of Toby's lessons, after he
had become so skillful that he could stand with ease on the pad, and
even advanced so far that he could jump through a hoop without falling
more than twice out of three times.

The little girl appeared highly delighted by this information, and
expressed her joy.

"It will be real nice," she said to Toby, after Mr. Castle had left them
alone. "I can help you lots, and it won't be very long before we can do
an act all by ourselves in the performance, and then won't the people
clap their hands when we come in?"

"It'll be better for you to-morrow than it will for me," said Toby,
rubbing his legs sorrowfully, still feeling the sting of the whip. "You
see, Mr. Castle won't dare to whip you, an' he'll make it all count on
me, 'cause he knows Mr. Lord likes to have him whip me."

"But I sha'n't make any mistake," said Ella, confidently, "and so you
won't have to be whipped on my account, and while I am on the horse you
can't be whipped, for he couldn't do it without whipping me, so you see
you won't get only half as much."

Toby brightened up a little under the influence of this argument; but
his countenance fell again, as he thought that his chances for getting
away from the circus were growing less each day.

"You see, I want to get back to Uncle Dan'l an' Guilford," he said,
confidentially; "I don't want to stay here a single minute."

Ella opened her eyes wide in astonishment, as she cried: "Don't want to
stay here? Why don't you go home, then?"

"'Cause Job Lord won't let me," said Toby, wondering if it was possible
that his little companion did not know exactly what sort of a man his
master was.

Then he told her, after making her give him all kinds of promises,
including the ceremony of crossing her throat, that she would never tell
a single soul, that he had had many thoughts, and had formed all kinds
of plans for running away. He told her about losing his money, about his
friendship for the skeleton and the fat lady, and at last he confided in
her that he was intending to take the old monkey with him when he should
make the attempt.

She listened with the closest attention, and when he told her that his
little hoard had now reached the sum of seven dollars and ten cents,
almost as much as he had before, she said, eagerly: "I've got three
little gold dollars in my trunk, an' you shall have them all; they're my
very own, for mamma gave them to me to do just what I wanted to with
them. But I don't see how you can take Mr. Stubbs with you, for that
would be stealing."

"No, it wouldn't, neither," said Toby, stoutly. "Wasn't he give to me to
do just as I wanted to with? an' didn't the boss say he was all mine?"

"Oh, I'd forgotten that," said Ella, thoughtfully; "I suppose you can
take him; but he'll be awfully in the way, won't he?"

"No," said Toby, anxious to say a good word for his pet; "he always does
just as I want him to, an' when I tell him what I'm tryin' to do, he'll
be as good as anything. But I can't take your dollars."

"Why not?"

"'Cause that wouldn't be right for a boy to let a girl littler than
himself help him; I'll wait till I get money enough of my own, an' then
I'll go."

"But I want you to take my money too; I want you to have it."

"No, I can't take it," said Toby, shaking his head resolutely, as he put
the golden temptation from him, and then, as a happy thought occurred to
him, he said, quickly: "I tell you what to do with your dollars: you
keep them till you grow up to be a woman, an' when I'm a man I'll come,
an' then we'll buy a circus of our own. I think, perhaps, I'd like to
be with a circus if I owned one myself. We'll have lots of money then,
an' we can do just what we want to."

This idea seemed to please the little girl, and the two began to lay all
sorts of plans for that time when they should be man and woman, have
lots of money, and be able to do just as they wanted to.

They had been sitting on the edge of the newly made ring while they were
talking, and before they had half finished making plans for the future
one of the attendants came in to put things to order, and they were
obliged to leave their seats, she going to the hotel to get ready for
the afternoon's performance, and Toby to try to do such work as Mr. Job
Lord had laid out for him.

Just ten weeks from the time Toby had first joined the circus, Mr.
Castle informed him and Ella that they were to appear in public on the
following day. They had been practicing daily, and Toby had become so
skillful that both Mr. Castle and Mr. Lord saw that the time had come
when he could be made to earn some money for them.





Mauricio Dengremont, whose portrait is here given, is only fourteen
years old; but he has been playing the violin for eight years or more,
and is now one of the best violinists living. He knew the A B C of music
at an age when most boys have hardly had a glimpse at the A B C in their
spelling-book. His musical talent, like that of many famous musicians,
showed itself early in his life. Mozart, we are told, struck correct
chords on the clavichord - as they called the pianos used in his
days - when he was two years old, and when he was four, he wrote little
melodies which sound very prettily. Mauricio Dengremont's fondness for
music was observed at the same early age. His father led an orchestra in
Rio de Janeiro, and played the violin, and when he was playing at home,
little Mauricio, who was four years old, would sit at his feet and
listen, and he could not be induced to join in the sports of other
children as long as his father was practicing. Then already he asked to
be taught, but he was laughed at, and told he was too young to learn.
But he would not be put off, and kept coming to his father and asking
for lessons on the violin. At last, when he was six years old - the same
age at which Mendelssohn began to learn the piano - his father bought him
a toy violin for twenty cents, and thought he would give him a lesson,
just to see if he was in earnest. Before that, however, he told him how
hard he would have to work if he wanted to be a musician. But Mauricio
said he didn't mind working, he wanted to learn the violin just as soon
as he could. Fancy the father's surprise when he found during the first
lesson that Mauricio played his notes correctly and clearly.

The boy made such wonderful progress that after a few lessons a larger
violin was bought for him. In a few weeks he could play the scales, and
in ten months he was practicing difficult pieces, one of which he
performed in public fourteen months after his first lesson. Soon
afterward he travelled with his father in South America, giving
concerts. In Montevideo and Buenos Ayres he played so well that the
orchestras there presented him each with a gold medal. These youthful
triumphs were very much like those of Mozart; and in the midst of them,
Mauricio, like Mozart, remained a child in his feelings and behavior.
Mozart was so innocent that after one of his performances at court, when
he slipped on the polished floor, and was lifted up by the Empress Maria
Theresa of Austria, he said that he would marry her as soon as he was
old enough. In the same way Mauricio's manners remained unchanged,
though he was brought before the public when so young. Off the concert
stage he remained a child, playing with children, and sharing in their
pastime when he was not practicing. Only a short time ago, immediately
after his arrival here, his first appearance had to be postponed because
he had caught cold playing with snow-balls; and again he was prevented
from being at a concert because he had been eating too much candy.

The success of Mauricio's concerts in South America attracted the notice
of Dom Pedro, the Emperor of Brazil, and he was asked to play before his
Imperial Highness. Dom Pedro was so pleased with the boy's performance
that he gave him a beautiful medal, and promised to give him a good sum
of money every year, so that he could go to Paris and take lessons of
the famous violin-player Léonard. Dengremont's father accepted the
offer, and soon afterward he took the boy to Europe. Mauricio staid in
Paris until two or three years ago, when he began to travel and give
concerts. Everywhere he played he met with great success. People came to
his concerts in great crowds, and applauded him loudly; for he won their
hearts with his beautiful playing and modest behavior. In one of the
German cities he played a piece by Spohr when the composer's widow was
one of the listeners. Spohr himself was a very famous violinist, but the
widow said that Dengremont played the piece better than her husband
could have done, and gave him a piece of music in her husband's

Dengremont has been in this country only a short time, but he has
already made a good name for himself. Almost every one who has heard him
admires the rapidity and delicacy of his playing, and the grace with
which he handles the bow. All this he does in a manner which would be
remarkable for a man of great talent, who had been studying the violin
ever since he was able to hold the instrument, and yet he is not at all
conceited. He does not think he has nothing more to learn. On the
contrary, he will go to Paris in the spring, and study again with
Léonard for six months. After that he will give concerts in Russia.

To young people Mauricio Dengremont's career is a fine example. Of
course he has greater talent for music than hundreds of others. But it
is not his talent only to which he owes his early fame. It is owing as
well to his devotion to his art, his willingness to work, and his
modesty, which makes him feel that there is still room for him to



A very young frog - very young indeed, scarcely out of tails (that is to
say, out of tadpolehood) - with a very great ambition and ordinary
ability, set out one morning with the purpose of seeing the world, and
by night-fall bringing back something to astonish the pool. "For," said
he to himself, "I am such a close observer, that I shall be sure to
observe and bring back correct reports of many strange things passed by
in stupid indifference by these commonplace old speckle-backs, who, no
doubt, neglect daily golden opportunities for storing their minds with
useful information, but who see nothing and know nothing but worms,
ants, beetles, and other insects and small animals to put in their ample

So saying, he leaped away gayly, but with eyes open and on the sharp
look-out, almost at the very start. "For," said he, "the most common
things possess a new interest when shown in a new light by the hand of
genius, and the ordinary things of one locality become objects of
curiosity in another where they are not found. Thus I could astonish
vain man, could I speak his jargon, with accounts of many things
familiar to my sight by daily contact in the bottom of the pool, but
which seldom or never meet his eyes."

So he journeyed on, well pleased with himself and what he thought his
life's mission, carefully eying every object in his way, lest some one
of interest should escape his notice. At length a great thistle came
within his gaze. "There," said he, "is something worth investigating."
After looking at it attentively at a little distance, that he might fix
all its _points_ in his mind, he approached for a closer study. Said he,
"I must not forget to ascertain if this strange plant - for plant it
undoubtedly is - has any peculiar odor; for that is very important." Thus
saying, he thrust his inquisitive nose against the prickers, which
brought him to the conclusion that he had carried the investigation
quite far enough; and storing this experience away in his memory for
future use, he went on his way, a little wiser, but no happier, for it
does not add to happiness to have our conceit pricked out, as it were,
by sharp experience.

Now a half-brick partly buried in the mud caught his curious eye.
"That's a singular rock," said he. "What a remarkable color it has! so
regular, too, in its form; it has also a peculiar texture" - as he put
his hand-like forepaw upon it.

Just at this moment he thought he heard something behind him, and
turning to see what, his terrified eye caught the dread form of an idle,
barefooted boy, also in search of adventure, though not for the

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Online LibraryVariousHarper's Young People, March 15, 1881 → online text (page 1 of 4)