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is sensitive and intelligent — breathing, moving, stomachs take charge of our food and deal it about thinking; man with his wonderful body continually to our wearing bodies; our ears hear, our eyes reconstructing itself; so infinitely delicate in me- enable us to see, and our brains carry on a worid chanism that a pin's point of deviation from the of business. Which of us has a misfitted joint, or proper arrangement gives anguish; so wonderfully a badly made bit of machinery, or finds anything constructed that it moves in all its complicated at all wrong or out of place in his whole body? ways without effort and without pain; — who is Why, not one of us; not one of us, though I am to put such a creature together?”
not so brisk a runner as I once was not a soul of And the three lads answered, “ God."
us! And whom have we to thank ? Put on your “Now, suppose I put this steam-engine together, hats, boys; the air outside, too, is clear and and make it run smoothly,” inquired Great-grand- bright; we shall not spend Thanksgiving mornfather Pritchet, eying the bag, “what will you do ing fitting steam-engines together when we have for your part, Johannes; for the steam-engine is not thanked God that we are in comfortable workyours?"
ing order ourselves. Be quick now, and fly about!” “I shall thank you very much, sir.”
And Great-grandfather Pritchet stamped hard Great-grandfather Pritchet stamped his foot with on the floor with his spry, bebuckled foot, till its buckled shoe, and Johannes knew that he had the boys started for their hats; and the boys made the right answer.
whisked about as though trying their joints, and “There are four of us here whom God has put Great-grandfather Pritchet hung the hempen bag together. All our joints work; all our hearts pump; on a nail, while he and the three younger Pritchets our lungs take in the air and puff it out; our went to give thanks.
BY JOHN VANCE CHENEY.
LAZY clouds, so slowly floating,
MANY queer things you must spy,
very benevolent boy. Oho!
A very benevolent boy!
With every nice candy and toy!
This exceedingly generous boy! And my Christmas dollar ? O pshaw! don't i'll have to keep that to buy candy for me! This very benevolent boy!
CHRISTMAS BEFORE LAST;
Or, The Fruit of the Fragile Palm.
BY FRANK R. STOCKTON.
THE HORN O' PLENTY” was a fine, big, old married son, and the port on the east was another fashioned ship, very high in the bow, very high in city in which he had a married daughter. In each the stern, with a quarter-deck always carpeted family he had several grandchildren; and, consein fine weather, because her captain could quently, it was a great joy to the jolly old sailor to not see why one should not make himself com- arrive at either port. The Captain was very parfortable at sea as well as
Covajos ticular about his cargo, and the “ Horn o' Plenty" Maroots was her captain, and a fine, jolly, was generally laden with good things to eat, or old-fashioned, elderly sailor he was. “ The Horn sweet things to smell, or fine things to wear, or o' Plenty" always sailed upon one sea, and always beautiful things to look at. Once a merchant between two ports, one on the west side of the sea, brought to him some boxes of bitter aloes, and and one on the east. The port on the west was mustard plasters, but Captain Covajos refused to quite a large city, in which Captain Covajos had a take them into his ship.
“I know,” said he, “that such things are very sometimes, when the wind did blow, it came from useful and necessary at times, but you'd better the wrong direction, and it 's my belief that the send them over in some other vessel. The “ Horn ship sailed backward.” o Plenty" has never carried anything that to look “That was very bad management,” said the at, to taste, or to smell, did not delight the souls Captain. “The chief mate should have seen to of old and young. I am sure you can not say that it that the sails were turned in such a manner that of these commodities. If I were to put such things the ship could not go backward. If that sort of on board my ship, it would break the spell which thing happened often, it would become quite a more than fifty savory voyages have thrown around serious affair.” it.”
“But what is done can't be helped," said the There were sailors who sailed upon that sea who boatswain, "and I don't see how you are ever used to say that sometimes, when the weather was going to get into port before Christmas.” hazy and they could not see far, they would know “Nor I either," said the Captain, gazing out they were about to meet the “Horn o’ Plenty" over the sea. before she came in sight; her planks and timbers, “It would give me a sad turn, sir," said Barand even her sails and masts had gradually become agat, “ to see you spend Christmas at sea; a thing so filled with the odor of good things that the you never did before, nor ever shall do, if I can winds that blew over her were filled with an agree- help it. If you 'll take my advice, sir, you 'll turn able fragrance.
around, and go back. It 's a shorter distance to There was another thing about which Captain the port we started from than to the one we are Covajos was very particular; he always liked to going to, and if we turn back now, I am sure we arrive at one of his ports a few days before Christ- all shall be on shore before the holidays." mas. Never, in the course of his long life, had “Go back to my son's house _” exclaimed the old sailor spent a Christmas at sea; and now Captain Covajos, “ where I was last winter! Why, that he had his fine grandchildren to help make that would be like spending last Christmas over the holidays merry, it would have grieved him very again ! ” much if he had been unable to reach one of his “But that would be better than having none at ports in good season. His jolly old vessel was all, sir,” said the boatswain, “and a Christmas at generally heavily laden, and very slow, and there sea would be about equal to none." were many days of calms on that sea when she did “Good !” exclaimed the Captain. “I will give not sail at all, so that her voyages were usually up the coming Christmas with my daughter and very, very long. But the Captain fixed the days her children, and go back and spend last Christof sailing so as to give himself plenty of time to mas over again with my son and his dear boys and get to the other end of his course before Christ- girls. Have the ship turned around immediately, mas came around.
Baragat, and tell the chief mate I do not wish to One spring, however, he started too late, and sail backward if it can possibly be avoided.” when he was about the middle of his voyage, he For a week or more the “ Horn o' Plenty" sailed called to him Baragat Bean, his old boatswain. back upon her track toward the city where dwelt This venerable sailor had been with the Captain the Captain's son. The weather was fine, the ever since he had commanded the “ Horn o' carpet was never taken up from the quarter-deck, Plenty,” and on important occasions he was always and everything was going on very well, when a consulted in preference to the other officers, none man, who happened to have an errand at one of of whom had served under Captain Covajos more the topmasts, came down, and reported that, far than fifteen or twenty years.
away to the north, he had seen a little open boat “Baragat," said the Captain, “ we have just with some people in it. passed the Isle of Guinea-Hens. You can see its “Ah me!” said Captain Covajos, “it must be one mountain standing up against the sky to the some poor fellows who are shipwrecked. It will north.”
take us out of our course, but we must not leave "Aye, aye, sir,” said old Baragat; “there she them to their fate. Have the ship turned about, stands, the same as usual."
so that it will sail northward." “That makes it plain,” said the Captain, “that It was not very long before they came up with we are not yet half-way across, and I am very the boat; and, much to the Captain's surprise, he much afraid that I shall not be able to reach my saw that it was filled with boys. dear daughter's house before Christmas.”
“Who are you?" he cried as soon as he was " That would be doleful, indeed," said Baragat, near enough. “And where do you come from?" “but I 've been afraid of something of the kind, “We are the First Class in Long Division," for we 've had calms nearly every other day, and said the oldest boy, “and we are cast away. Have
you anything to eat that you can spare us? We Now, the chief mate had not the least idea in are almost famished.”
the world where Apple Island was, but he did not “We have plenty of everything," said the Cap- like to ask, because that would be confessing his tain. “Come on board instantly, and all your ignorance; so he steered his vessel toward a point wants shall be supplied.”
where he believed he had once seen an island, “How long have you been without food ?” he which, probably, was the one in question. The asked, when the boys were on the deck of the “ Horn o’ Plenty " sailed in this direction all night, vessel.
and when day broke, and there was no island in “We have had nothing to eat since breakfast,” sight, she took another course; and so sailed this
way and that for six or seven days, without ever seeing a sign of land. All this time, the First Class in Long Division was as happy as it could be, for it was having a perfect holiday; fishing off the sides of the vessel, climbing up the ladders and ropes, and helping the sailors whistle for wind. But the Captain now began to grow a little impatient, for he felt he was losing time; so he sent for the chief mate, and said to him mildly but firmly:
“I know it is out of the line of your duty to search for island schools, but, if you really think that you do not know where Apple Island lies, I wish
you to say so, frankly and openly." “IT MUST BE SOME POOR FELLOWS WHO ARE SHIPWRECKED!' SAID CAPTAIN COVAJos.” Frankly and openly," answered
the mate, “I don't think I do." said one of them ; " and it is now late in the after- “Very well,” said the Captain. “Now, that noon. Some of us are nearly dead from starvation.” is a basis to work upon, and we know where we
“ It is very hard for boys to go so long without stand. You can take a little rest, and let the seceating,” said the good Captain. And leading ond mate find the island. But I can only give them below, he soon set them to work upon a him three days in which to do it. We really have bountiful meal.
no time to spare.” Not until their hunger was fully satisfied did he The second mate was very proud of the responask them how they came to be cast away.
sibility placed upon him, and immediately ordered “ You see, sir,” said the oldest boy, “that we the vessel to be steered due south. and the Multiplication Class had a holiday to-day, “One is just as likely,” he said, “ to find a toand each class took a boat and determined to have tally unknown place by going straight ahead in a a race, so as to settle, once for all, which was the certain direction, as by sailing here, there, and highest branch of arithmetic, multiplication or everywhere. In this way, you really get over more long division. Our class rowed so hard that we water, and there is less wear and tear of the ship entirely lost sight of the Multiplicationers, and and rigging." were out of sight of everything ; so that, at last, we So he sailed due south for two days, and at the did not know which was the way back, and thus end of that time they came in sight of land. This we became castaways."
was quite a large island, and when they approached “Where is your school ?” asked the Captain. near enough, they saw upon its shores a very
“ It is on Apple Island,” said the boy; "and, handsome city. although it is a long way off for a small boat with “ Is this Apple Island ? ” said Captain Covajos only four oars for nine boys, it can't be very far to the oldest boy. for a ship.”
“Well, sir,” answered the youth, “I am not “ That is quite likely,” said the Captain, “and sure I can say with certainty that I truly believe we shall take you home. Baragat, tell the chief that it is; but, I think, if we were to go on shore, mate to have the vessel turned toward Apple the people there would be able to tell us how to go Island, that we may restore these boys to their to Apple Island.” parents and guardians."
“ Very likely,” said the good Captain ; “and we