Imágenes de páginas



calling to each other in the orchard, and an enterprising hen in the barn is giving assurance of an egg. Somehow the earth in such a morning looks as if it were just finished, the coloring not dry, the moldings not " set,” and without a grave or a grief in it.

It is a good day for haying. Forth to the meadows go the farmer, with his workmen and the boys. A young barefooted commissary brings up the rear with earthern jug and bright tin pail. Much talk of wide swaths and "mowing round," with laugh and jest beguile the journey through the pasture to the field of labor. Coats and jackets are thrown off, and on moves the phalanx, with the steady step and sweep, amid the tall, damp grass. One bends to the scythe as if it were an oar, and pants on in the rear of his fellows Another walks erect and boldly up to the grass, the glittering blade the while curving freely and easily about his feet. The fellow in Kentucky jean expended his strength in boasting while on the way to the field, and labors like a ship in a heavy sea, while the quiet chap in tow, that never said a word, is the pioneer of the field. On they move toward the tremulous woods in the distance. One pauses, raises his scythe, and you can hear the tink-a-tink of the rifle as it sharpens the edge of Time's symbol. Another wipes the beaded drops from his brow, and then the swath-notes blend again in full orchestra.

Ten o'clock, and a cloudless sky! The birds and the maples are silent and still; not a flutter or twitter in woodland or fallow. Far up in the blue a solitary hawk is slowly swinging in airy circles over the farm. Far down in the breathless pond sweeps his shadowy fellow. The long, yellow ribbon of road leading to the village is a quiver with heat. “ Brindle” and “ Red” stand dozing in the marsh ; the sheep are panting in the angles of the fences; the horses are grouped beneath the old oaks ; “ Lock,” the faithful guardian of the night, has crawled under the wagon for its shadow, and now and then snaps in his sleep at the flies that hum around his pendent ears ; the cat has crept into the leafy butternut, and stretched herself at length upon a limb to sleep; and even the butterflies, weary of flickering in the sunshine, rest, like full-blown exotics, on the reeds.

The children of a neighboring school came bounding down the slope in couples, the old red pail swinging between them; and the clatter of the windlass betokens “the old oaken bucket,” already dripping up into the sun, with its brimming wealth of water. Twelve o'clock, and a breathless noon! The corn fairly curls in the steady blaze. The sun has driven the shadows around under the north

[blocks in formation]

walls; it has reached the noon-mark on the threshold, and pours

its broad beams into the hall; the morning-glories have “ struck” their colors. The horn winds for dinner, but its welcome note surprises the mowers in the midst of the meadow, and they'll cut their way out like good soldiers, despite the signal.

Back we are again to the field ; aye, and back, too, upon the threshold of childhood. The angry hum of the bees just thrown out of house and home ; and the whistling quail, as she whirled timidly away before the steady sweep of the whetted scythes; and the shout of the boys, as the next stroke laid open her summer's hopes to the day; and the bell-tones of the Bob-o-links, swinging upon the wil. lows in the “ hollow”–don't you remember them all ?



URELY one of the best rules in conversation, is never to say

a thing which any of the company can reasonably wish we had left unsaid.—Swift.

Conversation must and ought to grow out of materials on which men can agree, not upon subjects which try the passions.—Sydney Smith.

A companion that feasts the company with wit and mirth, and leaves out the sin which is usually mixed with them, he is the man; and let me tell you, good company and good discourse are the very sinews of virtue.-Izaak Walton.

It is a secret known but to few, yet of no small use in the conduct of life, that when you fall into a man's conversation, the first thing that you

should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you

should hear him.-Sleele. Conversation is a traffic ; and if you enter into it without some stock of knowledge to balance the account perpetually betwixt you, the trade drops at once.—Sterne.

The most necessary talent in a man of conversation, is a good judgment.--Steele.

The wit of conversation consists more in finding it in others, than, in showing a great deal yourself; he who goes

your conversation pleased with himself and his own wit, is perfectly well pleased with you.- La Bruyère.


[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

THE accompanying engraving represents a singular animal found

on the island of Madagascar. It belongs to the quadrumanous family, such as the baboon and monkey tribes, which it so much resembles in some characteristics that it has been designated as the Fox-nosed Monkey. Its feet have about the same similarity to the hands of a man as those of the monkey, but its intelligence is far less than those animals, and it is also without their prying, mischievous disposition. This species is very numerous, and appears to replace the monkey tribe in its native island. Some of them are known by the name of the “ Great Galago."

The general form of the body of these animals is slender and WANT OF CONFIDENCE.


elongated, with a head shaped somewhat like that of a fox. Their average size is about that of a large cat, but they have longer limbs, and very long tails. They subsist on fruits, insects, and small birds. They are nocturnal, or twilight animals, sleeping by day, in a balllike figure, perched on a branch of a tree. During the night they delight in active motion, climbing and hopping from bough to bough, with the dexterity of a squirrel.

These animals are gentle in disposition, and easily tamed. They are exceedingly frolicsome, and when tamed are very fond of being petted. Their ordinary voice is a low grunt, or clucking, but they often break forth into an abrupt, hoarse roar, which produces a startling effect. It is said that in their native forests they give roaring concerts, when several Lemurs break forth with their loudest voices at once, thus producing an astonishing volume of noise.


[ocr errors]

N excellent story is told of a Frenchman who loaned five thou

sand dollars to a wealthy merchant when the times were good, which happily illustrates the want of confidence and its consequences when hard times cause men to fail in business.

One day the Frenchman called at the counting-house of the merchant to whom he loaned his money, and manifested much agitation. “How do you do?" inquired the merchant.

Sick, ver sick,” replied the Frenchman. “ What is the matter ?" asked the merchant. “ De times is de matter." De times? what disease is that ?" “ De maladie vat breaks all de merchants, ver much."

"Ah, the times, eh?" replied the merchant ; " well, they are bad, very bad, sure enough ; but how do they affect you ?”

“ Vy, monsieur, I lose de confidence.”
“ In whom ?”
"In every body."
“ Not in me, I hope ?"

“Pardonnez moi, monsieur (pardon me, sir), but I do not know who to trust when all de merchants break several times, all to pieces."




“ Then I presume you want your money ?" “Oui, monsieur (yes, sir), I starve for want of l'argent (money).” “ Can't you do without it?"

No, monsieur, I must have him.” “ You must ?”

“Oui, monsieur," said the little Frenchman, turning pale with apprehension for the safety of his money."

" And can't you do without it?"
No, monsieur, not von leetle moment longare.”

The merchant took his bank-book, drew a check for the amount on the good old Chemical Bank, and handed it to his visitor.

“ Vat is'dis, monsieur ?"

“ A check for five thousand dollars which you loaned me, with the interest."

“ Is it bon (good) ?" said the Frenchman, with amazement.
“ Certainly."
“ Have you de l'argent (the money) in de bank ?"
“ Yes."
“ And it is perfectly convenient to pay de sum ?”
“ Undoubtedly. What astonishes you ?"
Vy, dat you have got him in deese times.”

Oh, yes, and I have plenty more. I owe nothing that I can not pay at a moment's notice."

The Frenchman was perplexed, for he did not want to use the money, and now that he found it to be safe in the hands of the merchant, he wished him to keep it. Turning to the merchant again, he said, “ Monsieur, you shall do me one little favor, eh ?”

“ With all my heart.”

“ Vell, monsieur, you shall keep de l'argent for me some little year longare.”

• Why, I thought you wanted it."

“I no want de l'argent ; I vant de grand confidence. Suppose you no got de money, den I vant him ver much. Suppose you got him, den I no vant him at all. Vous comprenez (do you understand), eh ?"

After some further conference the little Frenchman prevailed upon the merchant to retain the money, and left the counting-house with a light heart, and a countenance very different from the one he wore when he entered it.

This little sketch has a moral which the sagacity of the reader will enable him very easily to understand.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »