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Dear mother nature, but one glance from thee
Is Spring for us; a smile, and Summer blooms;
Scatters the leaves; then Winter quick entombs
HUMOR AND SARCASM.—It is not SMATTERINGS. -- Learn everything everybody who knows where to joke, or you can. It will come in play. Don't when, or how; and whoever is igno- be frightened away from any pursuit rant of these conditions had better not because you have only a little time to joke at all. A gentleman never at- devote to it. If you can't have anytempts to be humorous at the expense thing more, a smattering is infinitely of people with whom he is but slightly better than nothing. Even a slight acquainted. In fact, it is neither knowledge of the arts and sciences good manners nor wise policy to joke opens up a whole world of thought beat anybody's expense; that is to say, fore us. We appreciate a fine paintmake anybody uncomfortable merely ing better because we have taken a to raise a laugh. Old Æsop, who was few strokes of the pencil and know doubtless the subject of many a gibe something of the difficulties of the on account of his humped back, tells task. Ignorance is restricted to a the whole story in his fable of “The very few pleasures; it is only intelliBoys and the Frogs.” What was jolly gence which delights in all things. for the youngsters was death to the croakers. A jest may cut deeper than
Some men are so constituted We should never in any way conthat they cannot take a friendly joke sent to the ill-treatment of animals, bein good part, and, instead of repaying cause the fear of ridicule, or some other it in the same light coin, will requite it fear, prevents our interfering. As to with contumely and insult. Never there being anything really trifling in banter one of this class, or he will any act of humanity, however slight, brood over your badinage long after it is moral blindness to suppose so. you have forgotten it, and it is not pru- The few moments in the course of each dent to incur any one's enmity for the day which a man absorbed in some purpose of uttering a sharp repartee. worldly pursuit may carelessly expend Ridicule at best is a dangerous weapon. in kind words or trifling charities to Satire, however, when levelled at social those around him, and kindness to an follies and political evils, is not only animal is one of these, are perhaps, in legitimate but commendable. It has the sight of Heaven, the only time shamed down more abuses than were that he has lived to any purpose ever abolished by force of logic. worthy of recording.
THE MONK'S STORY:
With the dusk I was at the little The last words sounded hollow and postern gate in the garden wall, where sepulchral in the arched passage-way a bell-rope hung, barely within reach. which we entered. Up stone steps we I pulled it, and before the dull thump went—there is something chilling and of the brazen tongue had stopped dungeon-like in stone steps—up stone sounding, the professor was before me, steps still we stood in a wide, arched holding ajar the clumsy portal.
corridor. “Come in," said he, “and wait for “Now then," said the professor, takme upon the terrace. This gate seems ing a lamp from a bracket and leading not to have been opened for genera- me into a high, roomy apartment with tions."
a long bookcase and some modernized I walked up the stone pathway, furniture in it. This was the South bordered by orange and lime trees, to Chamber, the professor's study. Books where the shadow of the heavy, high and manuscripts were scattered about it, walls fell upon a battered marble basin. and on a table in the centre were some
Here I waited while a creaking noise curious odds and ends in stone and told that the professor was straining at iron. An unearthed statue from Pomthe reluctant gate. A soft, pale moon peii stood in a corner, an inscribed was in the sky, and its light lay white marble slab from the Sacred Way leaned upon the hard-trodden walk and silvered against the wall; beside the table was the upper boughs of the trees. A low a pile of dark stones from the Catamurmur came on the air from the more combs. crowded parts of the city, mingled with “Be seated," said the professor, the far-off chiming of a bell; but here motioning me to a deep, leather-covered all was solemn, dreamy peace. The chair. I obeyed. Then he lighted a white urns, the broken marble basin, curious bronze lamp, cleared the table, and the tall, sombre structure rising up and placed on it a small iron box. above me, were sad and dreary-looking From this he took, with great care and in the silence. A step upon the path- deliberation, some rolls of parchment. way and the professor came into the They were brown and musty, stained moonlight, dragging a rude step-ladder and blurred by age and neglect; but after him.
I could trace some familiar characters “The mischief take all rust,” said on them quite distinctly, and could he. “It lies thick on anything here judge from the script that the writings that ever touched metal. What with must have been at least fifteen hundred unwieldy furniture and inaccessible years old. These were the antique rooms one's temper is sorely tried." scriptures he had found in the old
abbey, and which we had
had come had restored what had been lost for together to restore and translate.
ages. Some epic, perhaps, or curious “Now to work,” said the professor commentary, I thought; for as yet we sententiously. I took up the pen he had not translated it. But the prohanded me, prepared to act as his fessor cut my conjectures short. amanuensis and commit to nineteenth “It is a curious story," said he, century paper the writings of the third. looking at the pile of parchment.
Many an hour we passed over those “What is?” I asked. musty parchments. The yellow light “The story of Felix of Amanæa." of the lamp streaming upon the strange “And who was Felix, pray ?” shapes the room contained, and the “ The author of these writings." bald, massy head of the professor, bent “Then it is not an epic, or a history, in deep study above his antique treas-or” ures, to this day come into my memory “No, only a monkish chronicle. at times as a curious but familiar pict- Still I do not regret my trouble in reure. Sometimes we were nonplussed storing it. It tells a curious tale by some illegible word or figure; and a very curious tale,” he said musingly. then the professor would readjust his I admit that I was disappointed, I spectacles, stare straight at the lamp, fancied that I was colaborer in a work and frown grandly till his active mind which would be famed ere long and had fairly grasped and conquered the make me famous too. But nowa difficulty. I came evening after even- monkish chronicle forsooth—my idol ing to the South Chamber, and sat down had indeed fallen into small pieces. amidst a pile of discarded books of ref- When the professor translated the writerence and obsolete lexicons, while ings, so piqued was I that I only glancthe professor resurrected word by word ed over his version. For years it has and caused me to transfer them to lain in our old escritoire unread. A paper. At length one evening when childish hand prying among the wilderthe iron box was opened only one rag- ness of manuscript and print but a litged sheet of parchment remained. tle time since brought it out again. Soon we had its contents on paper, and The professor was right. It is a curithen the work was over. The pro- ous tale, and here I give it as it was fessor had performed his task. He given to me.
THE STORY OF FELIX.
“I, Felix, the Abbot of the Congre-, upon the years I have consumed in the gation of Hætus, awaiting my end in the pursuit of pleasures and upon the trust of the Lord, write what has befall- crimes and excesses of my early life, I en me throughout a changeful life, to turn my eyes to earth for shame. I the end that those who come after me cannot raise my face to heaven, for the may learn therefrom the mercies of sight of the past appalls me, and I Christ God Almighty. As I look back tremble as I think of it. For two score years have I striven to serve the two strangers seated on the ruin of an Lord; as long have I mingled my tears old fountain. The water from the with the dust; in fasting and prayer springs of Eslon bubbled up through have I spent my days; my vigils the broken stones, and among the fallen through the night have been passed in marbles made a pool where cattle came communion with the spirit.
to drink. Below us, through a passage “I am at peace with men, and my in the hills, gleamed the sea. A vessel trust is in Christ who saved us. But was at anchor near the beach. the past is not appeased. It rises still “As we stopped to look at the stranto trouble and confound me. In my gers one of them beckoned us to him. slumbers come the rushing sound of He was a large, dark man in a saffronsteeds, the clank of iron armor, the colored mantle clasped with shining crash of heavy swords through yielding brooches. He wore no sandals on his bone, the thud of fallen bosoms trampled feet, but a bracelet of purest gold encirunder foot. Pale faces come before me cled his ankles. His companion was too,, pale faces streaked with gaping a small, meanly-attired person, who lines of red, but grand and clear and gave us no attention. noble. And then there sounds into “Pretty boys,' said the stranger, mine ears the dragging of heavy chains what brings you here ?' o'er floors of stone. The fetid odors “We come, noble sir,'I answered of the dungeon pollute my nostrils, and him, "to bring away the newly-ripened there is a smell of fire. My brain grapes and taste the scented waters of burns, my heart is bursting, and I wake Eslon. Perchance too we may kill a to fall upon my knees and call for serpent in the marshes of Emnos.? solace to my anguish. Grovelling in “By Hercules ! a gentle mission for my cell do I pray the Lord to grant such children,' said the stranger, but me peace of soul.
tell me, boy, you who are the largest," “I was born in Amanæa, a town of speaking to me- could you carry Thessaly, in the first year of the reign for me a skin of water to the beach.' of Probus, Plautus being prætor of
“I could well do it, sir,' I said, the province.
advancing to him, and so can any “My father was a vintner, and I, a of my comrades.' wilful, sanguine boy, repined at such an 66 Wait then for those you see aphumble lot and shirked the drudgery proaching,' he said, pointing to a of the vineyard. I spent the time in number of men who came up through play with my companions, the sons of the passage in the hills, bearing waterwealthier neighbors, and took a pride skins between them. Then, motioning in making them look up to me as their toward the vessel on the beach, 'Help leader in all dangerous sports and reck- them to carry the water of this pool less feats. For I was strong of limb to it and these shall be yours.' As he and full of daring.
spoke he took a handful of glittering “One day, while wandering with my coin from his girdle and held them comrades among the hills which rose toward us. on either side the town, we came upon
“Elated with the prospect of such gain
we eased the dark seamen of a couple : “My valor made me noted. I became of skins, and were bearing a decurion. them down to the beach, laughing “Then came the news of the south merrily as we went. The stranger German revolt, and we marched against followed us and often spoke a word of them. In this campaign I met Antonius kindness or encouragement.
Marcus Antonius. How remembrance At length we reached the shore, and stirs me at the name. Its mention clambered
ир the plank-way to the makes the torpid blood flow faster vessel, bearing the skin above us. For through my veins. There is a weight
moment we stood marvelling at that presses on my heart. A band of everything we saw, for most of us had pain is on my forehead.
My cheeks never been upon a vessel's deck be- are white and furrowed, but they flush fore. But soon wonder gave way to with shame and mortification. Antofear; for the stranger on reaching the nius! oh, could I live the past again! deck had drawn the plank-way after Could I redeem the precious moments him and now was ordering the others with my life! Even now there comes to make sail without noticing us. At a memory of his presence to my aching once I knew that we were being carried brain. He was noble and gracious of away, and with the thought I sprang to mien. Upon his open brow sat candor, the vessel's side to leap into the sea. and the lustre of a hundred manly But the stranger caught and drew me virtues shone upon him. Every one back; and then, smiling cruelly, he held loved him and he in turn was kind me there till the ship had left the shore. and affable to all. “I never saw Amanæa more.
“I can now recall the moment when sold at Cyprus to a merchant who I met him first. It was in an engagebrought me to Rome and presented ment with the barbarians. Our legion me as a slave to his friend, the tribune was hard beset. A thousand adverÆmilianus. He was a rough soldier saries were before us; as many harassbut a good master, and when he freed ed us on flank and rear. me I joined a Roman legion and “We strove against the foe; but it went with Maximian to Germany. was as forest-trees that raise their height The life of a legionary was not without against the tempest's fury and are at its pleasures. The changing scenes, length swept down like stubble in the the march, the battle, victory, pillage, blast. We formed a phalanx after the riot, all served to make the soldier's manner of legionary tactics and charged calling grateful to me. I was a favorite the foe. But all in vain. with my comrades, although I far sur- “Baffled and despairing we were passed them all in strength as well as driven back. Defeat and death imin courage. In the conflict it was I who pended and our hearts sank within us, struck the stoutest blows and hurled when suddenly we heard the cry "The the most unerring javelin. I revelled Theban legion! the Theban legion in blood. In the frenzy of battle I come.' And upon the barbarian host raged like a fury and fell upon our the gallant band swept like a whirlwind. foes as one gone mad.
In vain the Germans gathered into