In the sky-garden

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Material Information

Title:
In the sky-garden
Physical Description:
217 p. : ill., plates ; 20 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Champney, Elizabeth W ( Elizabeth Williams ), 1850-1922
Champney, James Wells, 1843-1903 ( Illustrator )
Lockwood, Brooks, and Company ( Publisher )
Publisher:
Lockwood, Brooks, and company
Place of Publication:
Boston
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Astronomy -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1877   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1877
Genre:
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by Lizzie W. Champney; Illustrated by J. Wells Champney ("Champ").
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001588745
oclc - 02078851
notis - AHL2716
System ID:
UF00047798:00001

Full Text
























































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IN THE SKY-GARDEN.






BY


LIZZIE W. CHAMPNEY.







ILLUST RATED BY J.. WELLS CHAMPNEY.


("CHAMP.")












BOSTON:
LOCKWOOD, BROOKS, AND COMPANY.
1877.









































COPYRIGHT, 1876,

BY LOCKWOOD, BROOKS, & CO.



























Illustrations executed by the Photo-Electrotype Company.
BUSTON.
























TO



PROFESSOR MARIA MITCHELL,


THIS LITTLE BOOK OF FABLES OF ASTRONOMY,


WRITTEN IN THE HOPE OF INTERESTING THE SMALL PEOPLE,
AND LEADING THEM TO A STUDY OF ITS
MORE FASCINATING TRUTHS,


Is Oratefullg anb 3LobingIg Iebicateb


BY HER PUPIL AND SATELLITE,


THE AUTHOR.


























TABLE OF CONTENTS.






PEEP THE FIRST.
TRAINING THE POLE-STAR 13

PART I.-TALES OF THE ZODIAC.
I. ARIES THE GOLDEN FLEECE . 29
II. TAURUS A BULL AND AN UMBRELLA 43
III. GEMINI . ELIJAH'S RAVENS . 55
IV. CANCER CATCHING A CRAB. 65
V. LEO THE GHOST AT THE WHITE LION, 73
VI. VIRGO AND LIBRA . WORTH HER WEIGHT IN GOLD 86

PEEP THE SECOND.
ECLIPSES 103

PART II.- TALES OF THE ZODIAC.
VII. SCORPIO BOBBY'S COMPOSITION . 131
VIII. SAGITTARIUS . THE ARCHERY PARTY . 136
IX. CAPRICORNUS THE TURKISH RUG 148











TABLE OF CONTENTS.


X. AQUARIUS. DADDY WORTHLESS 159
XI. PIECES .. DICK'S FISH STORY . 164

PEEP THE LAST.
THE TAIL OF A COMET.
XII. CLOTH OF GOLD .. 177
XIII. A RIDE ON THE ROCKET STAR . . 187


























"Oh, stars wreathed vinewise round yon heavenly dells,
Or thrust from out the sky in curving sprays,
Or whorled, or looped with pendent flower-bells,
Or bramble-tangled in a brilliant maze,
Or lying like young lilies in a lake
About the great white Lily of the moon,
Or drifting white from where in heaven shake
Star-portraitures of apple-trees in June,
Or lapped as leaves of a great rose of stars,
Or shyly clambering up cloud-lattices,
Or trampled pale in the red path of Mars,
Or trim-set quaint in gardeners' fantasies !"
SIDNEY LANIER.





















PEEP THE FIRST.



TRAINING THE POLE-STAR.





















/1 >

















DIDN'T know that stars
needed trellises," said Joy.
They don't general-
ly," replied Puck; "but,
you see, this is the pole-
star, and I have to tie it
to the pole every night: if
I didn't, it might droop down
or wabble about, and then what
would be the good of the nautical almanac ?"
How dreadful it would be, if you should forget! "
But I never do, you see. I play when I play, and
work when I work. I cut up all manner of capers down
in your foolish world; but up here in the sky-garden I
attend to business. My work is done now, however;
and, if you like, we will take a stroll."
This was all a dream, of course, a queer dream
that Joy Fairchild had, once upon a time. She had
'3








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


rambled about all night in the beautiful sky-garden
overhead; but what she had seen had been so little in
comparison with its whole extent that it was really noth-
ing but a peep, after all.
It was not so very unlike one of our earthly gar-
dens. Angel-children were watering and tending the
star-flowers, which were not all white or colorless, as
seen from the earth, but quivered and flamed with
gorgeous hues like the flashing gem-fruits that grew
in the grotto, in the story of "Aladdin and the Won-
derful Lamp." She saw them hang above her in the
trees, -
"And twinkle and burn and glow
Like brilliant rhombs of Iceland spar
When pierced by the sun's bright bow.
And some were grouped in mystic curves,
And angles and spheres and zones
And prisms that on their axes burn,
As well as glittering cones."

She walked, too, upon a mosaic of them, that in shape
and color resembled the patterns in her kaleidoscope at
home.
There were white ones too, -tiny silver spangles,
14








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


they seemed; but these were the snow-crystals, with
leaves and stems of cut or spun glass, that grow fastest
on the coldest winter nights. Joy did not mistake them
for stars, though they were similar in shape, and some
parts of the sky-garden were filled with them.
She was not surprised to see that the star-flowers were
not all white; for Joy's father was an astronomer, and
had told her of the exquisite colors which some of them
display in the telescope: how the double stars, espe-
cially, loved to show brilliant complementary colors, tak-
ing just the hue that would contrast most charmingly
with that of the star that blossomed nearest, a rose-
colored star beside an emerald one, a deep sapphire-blue
with a pale yellow primrose for a neighbor, white and
ruby, gold and purple, sea-green and orange,-each
enhancing the beauty of the others. She had never
been able to make out these colors for herself before;
but now that she found herself close to them, the tints
were very vivid and distinct.
The strangest thing of all to Joy was, that every thing
here should seem so perfectly familiar, being exactly
what she had expected. It was not a lonely garden, by
any means. She saw people moving about with whom








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

she had long been acquainted in fairy-tales. Dear
North Wind swept by, with "Little Diamond" cling-
ing in her hair. Joy wanted to creep up behind too;
but they passed like a flash, and did not notice her.
The wonderful trunk that kind-hearted Hans Andersen
left behind him sailed along more leisurely; and Joy
could see that it was filled with merry children: indeed,
it was so full that there was no room for her. There
were plenty of people from Mother Goose;" but Joy
had outgrown their society, and could not remember
having ever cared very much for them, they were such a
crazy, nonsensical lot.
A mischievous-looking little boy was training a tall
and slender star-stalk to a staff. Joy watched him at
his work. He did not seem too busy to notice her, for
he nodded good-naturedly as she approached, and an-
swered all her questions as politely as though he were
placed there on purpose to grant information to little
pilgrims from the earth. His name, he told her, was
Puck; and foy gratefully accepted the invitation to walk
with him in this wonderful garden.
"That is Rainbow Bridge, that the spirit is standing
on," said Puck; "and just beneath is Cloudland. Some
16








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


day perhaps we will go there together. It is an inter-
esting country, full of ghosts and goblins, but not nearly
so beautiful as our garden. Do you like bugs ? "
The question was so abrupt that it startled Joy, and
she replied dubiously, "Some kinds."




















"Well, come this way with me: I want to show you
some curious insects that feed on our flowers."
What queer things they were, buzzing about like
17








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

beetles or dragon-flies from flower to flower! When
Joy examined them attentively, she saw strange tubular
antennae protruding from their heads, which they were
continually whisking about in the most eccentric way,
pointing them at the star-flowers, shortening and extend-
ing them, but never quite touching the blossoms. This
made her think that these queer appendages were not, as
she had at first fancied, trunks and tubes through which
they sucked honey, but eyes of similar organism to those
possessed by certain beetles that she had heard Uncle
Briar talk about, insects that could contract or lengthen
them like the tubes of an opera-glass, swelling or flatten-
ing the lenses so as to make magnifying-glasses of differ-
ent powers; just as there are others that concentrate upon
the same point a great number of microscopic eyes.
When Joy mentioned this to Puck, he smiled good-
naturedly. "You are not so stupid as you look," he
remarked, by way of encouragement. "These funny
bugs, as you call them, are scientific men, whose eyes
have become so accustomed to their work that they
shoot out telescopes and microscopes of their own, and
come up here in their dreams to carry on their observa-
tions. That very solemn beetle, watching the comet, is
18









IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


your father. Some of the most remarkable astronomi-
cal discoveries have been made in this way. You see
they get a great deal nearer to the stars here; and, by
looking intently, what they see becomes photographed
upon their eyes, so that when .they next look into a
telescope during their waking hours they see it again;
and as they have forgotten all about their dream, they
fancy they see it for the first time. There is only one
trouble about it. Sometimes, when they have been
observing snow-flakes with their microscopic eyes in
their sleep, they will, when awake, next look at some
heavenly body, and then they are liable to make some
astonishing assertion like this: that 'It is all a vulgar
mistake to suppose that Saturn is now surrounded by
concentric rings, for when last attentively observed by
me they had disappeared, and the planet had assumed
the shape of a hexagonal crystal, with connecting alabas-
ter spars, much resembling one of my wife's patterns
for crocheting a tidy.' Or perhaps it will be a micro-
scopist, who has been using his telescopic eyes at night;
and he writes, in the report which he is to read before
the State Medical Convention, that he believes he is 'the
first to make the very important discovery that the spo-
19








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

radic germs of certain contagious diseases are lighted
by seven suns, of which the principal one is indigo
blue, the secondary orange, three minor ones white,
and two exceedingly minute ones like little ruby eyes.'
And this, you know, sounds like nonsense to some
people."
Joy was a little tired of Puck's talk about the scientific
beetles. It seemed to her that he was making fun of
her; and she was on the point of resenting his assertion,
that one of those strange insects could be her father,
when her attention was attracted by some beautiful cob-
webs suspended from some of the star-trees. They were
gemmed with dewdrops, and resembled the very finest
lace-work; they were so beautiful that Joy could not
help wishing that the old woman in Mother Goose,"
whose business it was to sweep the cobwebs out of the
sky," would not find them.
Puck saw her admiring them. "Your father would
call those gauzy things 'nebulae,"' he said. "How
would you like one of them for a lace shawl?"
Then Joy remembered all that her father had ever
said about the nebule, how the resolution of these
fancifully shaped hazy clouds into clusters of stars was
20









IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


one of the most interesting problems of the day. He
had showed her a space in the heavens filled with this
irresolvable star-dust and stars mixed. The nebula
formed an irregular lace whose pattern was marked out
by the stars; and she had spoken then of the beautiful
bridal veil it would make. Then her father had showed
her pictures of the fantastic forms of many of Lord
Ross's and of Herschel's nebulae; the dumb-bell, the crab,
the horse-shoe, the grotesque face in Ursa Major, and
the nebula in Berenice's hair which only needed the
addition of a comb or a few hair-pins to bear a marked
resemblance to a switch. Joy wondered what could
have been the unlucky accident that hung it in the sky-
garden, so far from the head of the hapless Berenice.
Perhaps she was playing croquet the night of the great
meteoric shower, and lost it in her excited chase after
the fiery balls. She had heard, too, of the beautiful
nebula in the Southern Cross, composed of one hundred
and ten stars, of which eight of the more conspicuous
ones being colored various shades of red, green, and
blue, the whole had the appearance of a rich piece of
jewelry, more dazzling than the crosses that emperors
sometimes wear as decorations in their buttonholes. It
21








IN THE SKY-GARDEN,


was all so wonderfully beautiful, whether they seemed
to float in the sky -

Like pale rose chaplets or like sapphire mist, -
Or hang or droop along the heavenly ways
Like scarves of amethyst!"

"Come," said Puck, as Joy seemed inclined to waste
too much time over the cobwebs. "At this rate of
getting along, we shall never see the animals."
"What do you mean?" asked Joy. "Is the sky-
garden like the Zoblogical in London? do you keep
wild beasts here? "
Look and see," replied Puck; and Joy uttered a
scream of fright as she saw coiling toward her an im-
mense sea-serpent, while bears, lions, leopards, lynxes,
bulls, dragons, and other monsters followed in its
wake.
Don't be afraid," said Puck: "they are only the con-
stellations. And here we are at the zodiac; this is the
Most interesting part of the garden, because each of
these great flower-beds has a fascinating mythological
story connected with it, which I will tell you, if you
choose, as we walk through. They were fhe fairy-stories
22








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


of the Greeks. I have no doubt Alcibiades had them
told to him when he was a little boy. Some of the
legends are a great deal older still. I should not wonder
if Pharaoh's daughter, when she wished to steal away
the heart of her little adopted son, told them -

Mongst the bulrushes to little Moses
Way down on the banks of the Nile;'

for the Egyptians gave the names to the constellations
of the zodiac, twenty-five hundred years before the birth
of Christ."
Joy knew the names: her father had taught them to
her by means of a very old rhyme, which she now
repeated: -

"The ram, the bull, the heavenly twins,
And next the crab the lion shines,
The virgin and the scales,
The scorpion, archer, and the goat,
The man who holds the watering-pot,
The fish with glittering tails."

As she approached nearer, she was surprised and pleased
to find that they were not live animals, after all, but
23








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

only flower-beds laid out in these varied shapes; and
the star-flowers that grew in them were quite similar to
those in the other parts of the sky-garden. Joy asked
their names, and was told that they were sunflowers.
She was a little surprised at this; for they did not in the
least resemble the sunflowers on her grandfather's farm
in Vermont. She was very anxious to have Puck begin
his fairy-tales; and, after some urging, he did commence
one on the constellation of the ram, which promised to
be very interesting; when she felt her mother shaking
her vigorously by the shoulder, and heard her say that
every one had finished breakfast, that Bobby Copernicus
had eaten up all the waffles, and if she did not hurry she
would be late to school. Joy burst into tears: she could
have borne the loss of the waffles, but she had lost the
stories too. Night after night, she hoped and longed
that Puck would come again; but he did not. And
when she sat in the evening with her father and Uncle
Briar, on the observatory roof, the stars looked far away
and mysterious: all their brilliant coloring seemed to
have faded out. The constellations were not distinct, as
they were in the sky-garden, but had some way jumbled
themselves together; so that it was hard to tell where
24








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


one began and another left off. Uncle Briar had studied
in Germany and in Paris, and now her father was trying
to make an astronomer of him. Joy liked him very
much, he was so gay and kind; and she wondered if he
knew the stories of the zodiac. She felt sure that, if he
did, he would tell them to her. And so one night when
he was sitting up in the observatory waiting for an
eclipse which would not be on for an hour or two, and
Cousin Myrtle had gone up to keep him from being
lonely, Joy woke Bobby Copernicus; and the two crept
up the narrow stair in their nightgowns, and ran to
where their pet uncle and cousin were sitting.
"You bad children! what did you come here for?"
said Cousin Myrtle, taking them both in her lap, and
wrapping them warmly in her soft gray shawl.
Then Joy told her dream, and how much she wanted
to hear the stories of the zodiac. When she spoke of its
all seeming so much plainer and more natural in the sky-
garden than here upon the earth, Cousin Myrtle repeated
softly, -
And the wonder of wonders is to me,
That the stars should nightly seem
Only a mystery in fact, -
A reality in dream "
25








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


"I should love dearly to please you, children," said
Uncle Briar; "and if you can get mamma's permission
to listen to them, I think Cousin Myrtle and I can tell
you some tales of the zodiac which will perhaps interest
you as much as those that your little friend Puck would
have told. We will have one every evening. The first
shall be for Joy; and Joy, I know, would like a romance
best, something about brave knight and lady fair and
the Crusades; would she not ?"
But can I have my choice? asked Joy.
These stories shall be made to order," replied Uncle
Briar. "And, since Joy does not object, we will begin
the first one."












26



















PART I.



TALES OF THE ZODIAC.







"1*












Yxl,C:






:I-n
1.
3:


















ri!
,



















HE cluster of stars called
the Constellation of the
Ram was so named by
Sthe Greeks,
from the old
fable of the
Golden Fleece.
S'T/ The ancients
S believed that
I far away in the
I land of Col-
chis the fleece
7 of this ram was
hung upon a
tree guarded by a dragon. Jason went in search of it
in a ship called the "Argo;" and, being helped by the
daughter of the king of the island, the beautiful Medea,
z9








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.
:-_m-

he killed the dragon and carried away not only the golden
fleece, but Medea too.
In the fourteenth century, when so many chivalric
organizations were formed, one of the orders of knight-
hood was that of the Toison d'Or, or Golden Fleece.
There stands now in France, not very far from Paris, an
old chateau built by a knight of this order, after he
returned from fighting the infidels in the Holy Land.
His portrait hangs in the great hall, and over it a
coat-of-mail which they say was worn by the old crusa-
der. The chateau is called the Falcon's Nest. There.
are magnificent avenues running through the hunting-
grounds, a beautiful gate of forged iron, and a deep moat.
In the family chapel the light falls through glorious old
stained windows, the vivid violet and scarlet flaming on
the damp stone pavement until they almost warm it. The
saints in these gorgeous robes have, for the most part,
faces cracked and patched and time-discolored, and are
not very beautiful; but if you half close your eyes, so as
not to see the forms, but only the color, the effect is.very
brilliant. The whole furnishing of the chateau resem-
bled the chapel in that it was very magnificent and old
and uncomfortable. It was filled with staircases, short
30








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


and narrow: there was no handsome flight that ran from
hall to roof, but every room seemed built at a different
elevation from the ground, and you could not pass from
one to the other without stumbling up or down a few
steps. There were no carpets; the dark hardwood floors
were waxed till they reflected all the long slender legs of
the furniture, and until it was a difficult matter to walk
upon them. The hall that contained the portrait of
Toison d'Or, as the servants called the old knight, was
seventy feet square, and was meagrely furnished with
chairs and tables and mirrors placed against the wall,
while the centre of the room was left vacant, as though
cleared for a dance or for a funeral. The only homelike
spot in it was the oriel window, where Madame sat with
a crimson Turkey rug under her feet, a table filled with
bright house-plants at one side, and a basket of many-
colored worsteds at the other, from which she continually
embroidered fire-screens and chair-covers of nondescript
and hideous pattern, sometimes of no pattern at all,
-mere dashes and splashes of pleasantly contrasting
hues. She called them church windows; and their effect
was similar to that which I have described in the old
chapel. A bright, pleasant little woman was Madame,
31








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

with her very black eyes under her very white hair. She
would have been a very happy woman, if it had not been
for Gaston. Gaston was her only child, and the pride
and torment of her life. In the first place, since he' had
come of age he insisted on living in Paris, and only
came to the chateau in the hunting season, with some of
his wild companions. Madame did not care to live in
Paris; besides, Gaston did not need her there, and the
old place did. Her thrifty oversight took the place of
a man of affairs. There was a large farm connected
with the chateau, and from it and the forest came the
revenues of the family. They would have been ample
too, but living in Paris was so expensive, and all the
money went to Gaston: nothing was left for improve-
ments, new tools and buildings and animals; and so the
magnificent place was gradually going to decay, and it
no longer brought in as much money as in former years.
There was a great mortgage on it, too, which there was
no hope of ever paying; and Madame prayed that the
settlement might only not come in her day: Gaston
would not very much care if the old place did go out of
the name. But Gaston did care more than his mother
knew. He was kind and noble at heart; but his good
32








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

qualities were crusted over by idleness and bad compan-
ionship. Down at the Grange the farmer and his family
believed in Gaston. They took good care of his hounds
that he loved so dearly; and Fifine, the farmer's daugh-
ter, said again and again, that all would be right if only
M. Gaston could be persuaded to give up Paris, and
live at the chateau.
One morning Baptiste, the house-servant, came down
in a great hurry. Fifine was needed at the chateau; for
there was to be company, among the rest some ladies,
and Fifine must act as maid while they remained.
The company was all in honor of the youngest guest,
-a golden-haired American girl, Miss Beatrice Rich,
familiarly called. Betty, whose acquaintance Gaston had
made in Paris. Papa and Mamma Rich had been much
pleased with the young man; and when an invitation
came from Madame (at Gaston's request), to visit at the
chateau during the hunting-season, they complied with
a pleasure not unmixed with some curiosity, and half-
formed ambitious plans for Beatrice. Fifine was de-
lighted with the young lady who rode so well, and whose
beautiful blonde hair floated in that semi-savage Ameri-
can way, below her slender waist. M. Gaston had chosen
33







IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


a wife worthy of himself; and Fifine yielded her the
homage of a true feudal vassal. One day the two girls
stood alone before the portrait of Toison d'Or. How
much he resembles your master!" said Betty. "Do tell
me who he was."
He was one of M. Gaston's ancestors," replied Fifine,
"a knight of the Golden Fleece. He killed four hundred
Turks for the honor of the dear Christ and the Toison
d'Or. M. Gaston is like him in character too; for I
think he would do any thing for the Golden Fleece."
Miss Betty's brow clouded. "Do you mean," she
asked, "that he would do any thing for money?"
"Ah, no, mademoiselle," said the girl impulsively.
"I meant that mademoiselle's beautiful hair was like a
golden fleece, and that M. Gaston would perform prodi-
gies of valor for it, and I wish I might say it; but
no: that would be too bold."
"What was it you wished to say? You have begun
with such a pretty compliment that I could forgive
almost any thing now."
"I only meant that M. Gaston would do any thing
mademoiselle wished; and if she would persuade him
to give up his absinthe and his wild companions, and
34








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


live all the year at the chateau, mademoiselle would
make madame his mother and all of us very happy."
Betty Rich did not reply. She had often seen the
young Frenchman seated at one of the little open-air
tables in front of a fashionable restaurant in Paris,
toying with a tall glass of whity-green absinthe,-a
liquor very much in vogue in Paris, but worse in its
effects than the vilest whiskey. They had tastes in com-
mon, which it would be very easy to cultivate together
in this romantic spot. What if she could persuade him
to give up idling on the boulevards, and devote his life
to nobler purposes?
She had a long, serious talk with him that evening,
as they rambled in the park. He was willing to leave
Paris, he said, willing to live anywhere in the wide
world, if only Betty would be his wife, and live there
with him; but he could not see any harm in wine, and
Betty seemed to him very unreasonable and fanatical to
wish him to give it up. Well, if I cannot make you
see it as I do, Gaston," she had said at last, with tears
in her eyes, will you not give it up simply for love of
me, granted that it is all right enough? Can you not
deny yourself just a little because I wish it?"
35








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


Gaston was on the point of yielding; but he took her
hand, and asked, "And you will not marry me if I
refuse ?"
Betty's lip quivered; but she answered firmly, No,
Gaston."
This was certainly a very different young lady from
any he had ever met before. And Gaston's crooked
European brain placed the situation before him in this
way: here was a girl who preferred her own will to his
pleasure, and was even willing to sacrifice her love
for him, simply for the sake of having her own way.
Then you cannot love me very much, Betty," he
replied; and they entered the chateau with a great
cloud of uncertainty and misunderstanding between
them. The next day Gaston passed hunting with Mr.
Rich; and in the evening there was a grand dinner, a
number of his friends having driven out from Paris, and
several of the neighboring families having been invited
to share in the hospitalities of the mansion. The table
was spread in the great hall; and Beatrice sat opposite
Gaston and the portrait of Toison d'Or, which loomed
above him, dim and mysterious, into the gloom of the
upper part of the high vaulted room; for the candles
36









IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


were all clustered in many-branched candelabra upon
the table. The resources of the cellars of Falcon's
Nest seemed inexhaustible; for, between the many
courses, bottle after bottle of costly wines, with illustri-
ous names, and corks bearing dates farther back than
the Riches could trace their pedigree, were opened, and
filled the variously shaped glasses that were grouped
about the plate of each guest. Every gem with which
Betty was familiar, except the blue-tinted ones, was rep-
resented: there was deep amber, rosy ruby, pale straw-
colored topaz; liquors flashing and colorless as diamond,
and deeply purple as amethyst. Baptiste filled her
glasses once; and, though he was sent to her frequently
with some rare old bottle reposing carefully in its
wicker reclining-chair, he always found the glasses as
he had left them,-full. Gaston noticed this circum-
stance from across the table. "You do not like our
European wines, Mile. Beatrice?" he asked. "Ah,
well, you shall have something to remind you of
home,-a drink which some Americans introduced to
our club last winter, and which I am ashamed not
to have already offered you. It is ponch au rkum, a
very aristocratic beverage, so they tell me, in your
37









IN THE SKY-GARDEN,


country.- Baptiste, bring me a decanter of the best
old rum."
Beatrice hardly knew whether to be amused at the
droll change of name which rum-punch had undergone
in its passage across the ocean, or to be indignant at
the assertion that it was a fashionable drink in America,
when she was struck by something peculiar in Baptiste's
behavior. The valet shrugged his shoulders, and de-
clared that it was impossible.
How impossible ?" asked Gaston. Do you mean
to tell me that that barrel of rum is gone already?"
No, m'sieu," replied Baptiste meekly; but the cellars
have been wet ever since the inundations, and we keep
the wine now in the family tomb in the park. Since
all of m'sieu's ancestors are removed to the cemetery,
it seemed too bad not to make the stone vault of use;
but though there are no longer any dead people there,
m'sieu knows that to-morrow is the 7our des Morts, and
that to-morrow is already here, for it is now past mid-
night. The dead are out; and, very like, some of them,
being so used to the old tomb, may mistake their way
home. I brought up all the wines that I thought could
be used this afternoon; for I would not go to the
38








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


vault no, not if m'sieu would give me all that it
contains."
Gaston laughed, and the company followed his exam-
ple; but Beatrice thought she discovered beneath the
noisy merriment an under-current of nervousness. your
des Morts was All Saints' Day: the evening before cor-
responded with our Halloween; and the French are
very superstitious in their observance of it.
It is a fine joke," said Gaston, after the laughter had
subsided; "for the wine which we are drinking now is
an old acquaintance of my grandfather, the last who was
laid to rest in the old tomb. He kissed the girls at its
vintage, I have not a doubt. And the first for whom the
sepulchre was reared, the chevalier whose portrait hangs
above my head, regarded every flagon as a holy grail.
They were all deep drinkers, all generous hosts: they
ought to make a company of choice spirits. Gentlemen,
I rise to propose their healths.--And now, Baptiste, give
me the keys, and I will go for the liquor myself. As a
family, we have doubtless many darker sins; but there is
not a taint of cowardice in the whole line."
Beatrice smiled at this rather grandiloquent address,
and rose from the table at the same time with Gaston,
39







IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


endeavoring to dissuade him from his freak. But the
young man's pride was aroused, and he set out with a
great appearance of courage. A half-hour, an hour
passed; and still he did not return. After another inter-
val, some of the bravest of the company, headed by Mr.
Rich, went in search of him. They found him stretched
in a fit upon the floor of the vault; and the next morn-
ing the young man related a wild ghost-story of how the
bottles greeted him as he entered, saying that they con-
tained the spirits of his forefathers; and, when he pooh-
poohed at such nonsense, explained it philosophically,
saying that lovers in this world become so completely
identified as to exchange not their hearts alone, but their
souls; that the process of assimilation was carried on by
mind, as well as body; souls grew good by absorption,
and the mind took its tint from the body's food. "And
so," added the ghosts, "we gained our daily inspiration
and mental force from the bottle; and now, instead of
spirits of rectitude, we are all turned into rectified spirits
of wine."
Mr. Rich shook his head gravely when he heard the
account. He was not a man of strict habits himself;
but a son-in-law with a tendency toward delirium tremens
40








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


was not to be desired. He gave the young man a long
and earnest talk, which, in the light of the event of the
past night, had more effect upon Gaston's mind than
Betty's arguments. He was the first to broach the sub-
ject when next they met, professing himself ready to
make any promise that she wished. They were stand-
ing before the portrait of old Toison d'Or; a sheet of
paper lay on a writing-table just beneath; and, seating
herself beside it, Betty drew up a new oath of knight-
errantry such as the new crusade in our own country
battled for; and, when she left the room, it was with a
temperance-pledge bearing Gaston's name in her pocket,
and a betrothal ring upon her finger.
Betty's fortune repaired the old chatteau, and put the
farm into fine working order; but it was Gaston's talent,
energy, and faithfulness to his pledge, that carried it
forward so successfully, and inspired so much confidence
in him in the minds of his neighbors, that, the next time
he visited Paris, it was as member of the Corps Legis-
latif.
The old green dragon of absinthe was slain, and the
Golden Fleece was won.

4t








IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

I don't call that much of a story," said Bobby Coper-
nicus contemptuously, as Uncle Briar ended his recital.
" It may do well enough for girls; but it isn't a bit the
style that boys like. Love-stories just make me sick.
I want something about fighting Injuns or bears or
something, or a regular staving good story about pirates
and snakes and things. I should think you might tell
a story on purpose for me this time. Come, now: won't
you?"
"A fighting spirit is a very good one," said Uncle
Briar, provided you fight for something worth fighting
for. We have need of warriors and heroes nowadays;
and as our next constellation is that of the bull, and
seems to suggest something belligerent, I will try to
tell Bobby a story to-morrow night, of something that
happened in Spain. It is the story of a boy with tastes
somewhat like Bobby's.





42



























4 AID AN
















T was not at all like your father's umbrella, with
the carved ivory handle, respectable black silk
cover, and neat oilskin case; nor a dainty little
en tout cas like the one at Maud's silver chate-
laine; nor a huge white canvas sketching-umbrella
such as Cousin Fred, the artist, takes with him to
the Adirondacks. Neither was it exactly like
Grandfather Prendergast's blue gingham, nor the
bamboo affair with which Wah Lee the Chinese
laundryman protects his pigtail upon state occa-
sions. Father Zenobe's was claret-color, bordered with
five white lines. It was considered a very sober and
steady-going affair; for in Spain the priests, who love
bright colors as much as other Spaniards, make up for
their black robes by the gayest possible umbrellas.
Father Zenobe's was only a rich, dark dahlia, compared
to the gorgeous tropical flowers which blossomed over
the heads of some of his brother-priests. Father Igna-
tius could be seen of an afternoon, strolling along the
43








IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

seashore, laughing and chatting with all he met, under a
bright yellow one with pale blue lining. Father Pedro's
was rose-color lined with yellow; and when standing on
the town-wall, with the setting sun behind him, he
looked like a picture of one of the old saints with
a glory about his head. Father Sebastian generally
appeared with an assortment of walking-sticks and
umbrellas under his arm, so that he presented a striking
resemblance to his patron saint in the church paintings,
--all bristling with arrows. They were all priests,
cures at the church of Fontarabia, just over the bor-
der-line from France, the most northern seaport town
of Spain, -picturesque old Fontarabia, as seen from
French territory, with its crumbling walls from twenty
to thirty feet in thickness, its ruined castle, and church
with beautiful semi-Moorish cupola. It stands upon a
promontory, the sandy shoals of the Bidassoa in front,
and the sea shimmering away to the west, seemingly an
enchanted isle. Nor is a walk in the streets of the old
town less bewitching. They are very narrow, and the
houses very high, a balcony running along the front of
each story. Sometimes these balconies have balustrades
of forged iron in beautiful lace-like tracery; sometimes
44








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


they are of carved wood: whatever the material, they
are always brilliant with color, pots and boxes of gay
flowers, bird-cages, rugs, and strips of bright carpeting
hung over the railing, dark-eyed ladies in still more
dazzling costumes; and, as if this were not bright
enough, the very walls of the houses painted in stripes,
drab and pink, white and green, and deep red. The
most interesting spot in this most interesting town is
the old church. It is one of the few fortified churches
to be found in Europe. As you enter the door, you are
startled: you almost think you have lost your way; for,
instead of shrine or confessional, you find yourself con-
fronted by the grim loop-holes of a stone barricade.
In this church, with its walls covered with rich maroon
and gilding tarnished to the right degree of artistic
dinginess, Father Zenobe said the masses for the dead,
and heard the boys say their catechism. He loved the
boys, though he had small cause to do so; for a dirtier
or more idle set, except where mischief was concerned,
could not be found in all Spain, playing their pranks
even in the old church, and on Father Zenobe himself.
Nor was the other part of his vocation a cheerful one;
and yet the happy old priest preferred his duties to those
45








IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

of any of his brothers. He would never have exchanged
them with Father Sebastian, who did the christening;
for his bright street boys were so much more interesting
than the blinking, spasmy babies, who shuddered and
shrieked in such heretic fashion when the Church re-
ceived them into its bosom; or with Father Pedro, who
performed the marriage ceremony. It was always a
severe trial for Father Zenobe, when, as it sometimes
happened, away on the church's business, he was called
upon to do this: the sweet, flushed faces of the brides
recalled to memory an early hope laid on the altar of
Mother Church. Not for worlds would he have heard
the confessions, like Father Ignatius (the recitals of
sin and frailty were too heart-rending); or administered
the last communion and visited the sick, like Father
Francisco. It was all very well, rather cheerful than
otherwise, he would have told you, to do what he could
to rest people's souls after they were 'dead; but he had
a sympathetic heart, and the sight of human suffering
and death wrung it sorely. A genial, easy-going man
at this time was Father Zenobe. He used to say of
himself, that he resembled Spain's greatest painter in
two things: he loved the Madonna and ragged street-
46








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


boys. Wilder and more ragged than any gamin that
Murillo. ever painted, was Fadrique Zuloaga. He was
Father Zenobe's favorite, for he was brighter and gayer
than the others, though he was always foremost in
scrapes, and determined to learn as little as possible of
the catechism, for the simple reason that his parents had
destined him to the Church; and Fadrique had deter-
mined in his rebellious little heart that he would be as
wicked as ever he could, so as not to be fit for a priest.
Father Zenobe taught the boys to sing, as well as to
repeat the catechism; and on state occasions, robed in
pretty lace overskirts and scarlet dresses, they would
roar out the church canticles while they held the candles
and banners, censers and crucifixes. Fadrique was
always grimacing and joking on such occasions; but
he sang with the rest because he had an ear for music,
and some way the song would roll out in spite of him.
Sometimes he liked the words too, they were so odd
and quaint. I will give you an almost literal transla-
tion of some of the verses of a Christmas carol which
was one of Fadrique's favorites, because it was always
acted in pantomime, and Fadrique loved acting even
better than singing: -
47










IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


" He was born in a hovel
Of spider-webs full:
Beside Him there grovel
An ox and a mule;
And King Melchior bade,
To honor the day,
And that none might be sad,
The musicians should play.


"I'm a poor little gypsy
From over the sea:
I bring him a chicken
That cries quir-i-qui;'
For each of us, sure,
Should offer his part:
Be you ever so poor,
You can give him your heart.


"Good night, Father Joseph !
Madonna so mild,
We leave with regret
Your adorable child,
With the crown on his locks,
The symbol of rule:
Sleep in peace, Sefior Ox!
God bless you, Sir Mule !"

48








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


Fadrique loved the good priest; and so, despite his
hatred of the Church, he remained with him, studying
and singing, until he was nearly old enough to take
clerical orders. Then one day he suddenly disappeared;
and his father came to Father Zenobe with the intelli-
gence that Fadrique had run away with a company of
torreros, or bull-fighters.
The old man looked grave; for the news made him
sore at heart. "This is because we were trying to
force him into the Church," said he. If you want to
serve God with a child, you must let him become what
God has fitted him to be. Now, Fadrique is no more
fitted to be a bull-fighter than he is to be a priest: he
has always wanted to be a sailor. And you know,
we Basques have a proverb, 'If a man does not know
how to pray, let him go to sea, and the storms will
teach him.'"
All that may be very true," said Fadrique's father;
"and I had certainly rather that my son should be a
sailor than the most skilful picador that ever worried a
bull. But you should have told me this before: it seems
to me that it is too late now."
"Perhaps not," said Father Zenobe.
49







IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

After this occurrence the good priest developed a
strange taste for bull-fighting. He sat long in the little
tobacco-shops, reading the newspapers; and he never
seemed to read any thing but notices of entertainments
of this kind. He bought all the bills and programmes
that were offered him, no matter at what place the
combat was to take place. He had long conversations
with people who made it their business to bet on the
event of such combats; and altogether one would have
thought that the reverend gentleman was developing
very unclerical tastes. It was about a year after this,
that a bull-fight was announced for the festival of St.
Ignatius at Loyola. As this is one of the principal
religious fete-days in Spain, Father Zenobe obtained
permission to attend, without difficulty. It was not
a very singular thing to see priests at bull-fights. At
Loyola was situated one of the most magnificent con-
vents in all Spain; and the entertainments held here
on the festival of St. Ignatius were always under the
especial patronage of the Church. Among the gayly
dressed banderilleros who exposed their lives that day
in the arena, was a slender boy, dressed in a tightly
fitting suit of delicate green satin, with flesh-colored
5o








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


stockings, gold ornaments, and a rose-colored sash.
Father Zenobe knew him by his curly head, and the
dash and bravado of his bearing. He was the youngest
combatant, and seemed to be a special favorite with
the audience and with the troupe ; for the former
showered down cigars and bouquets at each daring
exploit, and the latter shielded him as much as possi-
ble, keeping him away from the more dangerous parts
of the field. Father Zenobe had taken one of the high-
priced seats usually reserved for the "fancy," or pro-
fessional connoisseurs at bull-fights, in the front row.
The awning that covered the audience in the higher
tiers did not shade him, and he sat exposed to the rays
of the summer sun. At first he had cautiously raised
his beloved umbrella; but he had been obliged to close
it instantly, some of the audience objecting even to his
long, skiff-shaped, black hat, as too much obstructing the
view. The spectacle, with all its horror of blood and
brutality, had gone on for some time; and now the
moment had arrived for Fadrique's feat. Seated in a
chair in the centre of the arena, he was to fix a little dart
in each side of the bull's neck as it charged toward him.
The animal was a huge creature, black as a coal, with a
5I








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

small fiery eye. A garnet ribbon, which indicated to
whose drove he belonged, was fastened to one horn,
and ran trickling down the middle of his forehead like
a rill of blood. He advanced slowly toward Fadrique, as
though curious to know why he was sitting. When he
had reached the proper distance, Fadrique raised both
arms, and threw the darts with all his force into the bull's
flesh; then the creature, maddened by the pain, lunged
suddenly forward; and something was tossed again and
again from his horns into the air. It was only the chair;
for Fadrique had saved himself by an agile leap to one
side, and was now standing in a statuesque attitude with
folded arms, seemingly indifferent to the plaudits that
rang around the arena. But he was too careless: the
bull discovered in a moment that the chair was not his
real enemy, and tossed Fadrique just as, off his guard,
he was replying to the audience with a graceful bow.
He fell heavily, not far from the spot where Father
Zenobe was sitting. There happened to be no attend-
ants in this part of the field, and the bull was
approaching with lowered horns. Fadrique lay com-
pletely in his power, when a red meteor shot through
the air, and diverted the animal's attention. It was
52








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

Father Zenobe's great claret-colored umbrella, which he,
with remarkable presence of mind and exactitude of
aim, had thrown before the eyes of the angry bull.
When, after the sport, it was handed to him again, two
springs were broken, and its rich claret cover was
stained with an angrier hue: thank Heaven it was not
human blood! for in that brief interval some of the
assistants had had time to drag Fadrique out of the
bull's reach. His life was saved; but a leg was broken,
and it would be necessary for him to give up his new
profession for a long time. Father Zenobe had him
carried carefully back to Fontarabia, and nursed him
with true paternal care through his long convalescence.
At length, when it was evident that he had almost
recovered, and would soon have the use of his limb as
before, he bade him good-by. "I shall not be able to
attend every bull-fight," said he; "but I shall pray to Our
Lady to shield you from all danger."
Fadrique's eyes filled with tears: I have had enough
of bull-fighting," he said; and if you wish it I will be
a priest."
"I do not wish it," replied the wise old man; "but I
have your father's permission for you to go to sea: you
53








,IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


will have nobler opportunities for daring there than
in the bull-ring, and can, if you choose, serve God as
truly as in the cloister."
And so Fadrique became a sailor on the stormiest
of waters, -a fisherman of the Bay of Biscay. On his
return from his first voyage he hung as a votive offer-
ing, before the picture of Christ walking upon the sea,
in the old church of Fontarabia, a model of his ship;
such as are common in Spanish churches, as mementos
of rescues from shipwreck, and which sway like pendu-
lums from long cords attached to the ceiling. Father
Zenobe was right: he did not know how to pray, but
the storms had taught him. They have taught him
more; for, in the most terrible gales that drive the surf
high upon this formidable coast, there is no one more
active in fitting out the life-boat for the rescue of those
in distress than Fadrique. He is as reckless as ever,
and counts his life as little worth, if only he may lay it
down in a cause that is really worthy.

54


























ELIJASRVN

















HE raven, though an unclean
bird, brought food to Elijah."
S The words were those of the
celebrated missionary, Dr. Wil-
liam Goodell. Sallie had heard
Miss Dibbs read them long
ago; but they came back to her with
new force to-day. "If ebber dar war
a prophet ob de Lord," she muttered to
herself, "Miss Dibbs is dat ar. An' if
ebber dar war two ornery brack crows,
dem ar's Praise an' me."
Praise was Sallie's twin brother. Their mother a
very pious old negress, who did Miss Dibbs's washing
- had named her children Praise and Salvation; and,
dying a few years before the beginning of this story,
had left them both, twelve years of age, as a legacy to
Miss Dibbs. Sallie's mother had experienced so many
55








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


kindnesses from Miss Dibbs's hand, that she was not to
blame for thinking her the possessor of considerable
wealth; but she was, in reality, an industrious, economi-
cal little old lady, who found it hard work enough to
make her accounts square on each Saturday night. She
had a tiny room in the upper story of a second-class
boarding-house, on a shady street in New York City.
It was up so high that the sun could peep in and cheer
up the cosey little apartment, with the geraniums in the
window, the canary in its cage, and the old-fashioned
painted tea-set on the rack against the wall. There were
many bright spots of color in. the room, which rendered
it remarkably cheery, and gave it a right to the name
of Cherith, which Miss Dibbs had conferred upon it
one day when she was particularly lonesome, and could
compare herself to no one but Elijah in the desert.
And now the ravens had come too. Miss Dibbs
would not have known what to do with them if
she had not received that very day another legacy of
several thousand dollars from an early friend. There
was no excuse for her now. She was quite independent,
and could live comfortably on the income of her money:
no need to make pincushions and tidies for the fancy-
56








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


stores any longer; and she accepted both legacies with
thankfulness. She determined to devote her leisure
time to instructing Sallie in sewing and in the line of
work which she had herself pursued, hoping thus to
make the child self-supporting. But what to do with
Praise? This was indeed a problem. She had visions
of giving him a theological education, and sending him
as a missionary to christianize Africa. But Praise soon
showed her that, in spite of his name, he was a most
irreligious youth. He occupied Miss Dibbs's coal-closet
with great delight at night, and by day roamed the
streets with the utmost freedom. I will consult the
child's taste," said Miss Dibbs to herself, "and try to
help him forward in any career in life which he may
have chosen for himself." And Praise, when asked what
he would like to be when he grew up, replied, with
intense enthusiasm, "A brakeman!"
Miss Dibbs had just invested her money in railway
shares, and listened to the boy's preference with more
leniency than she otherwise might. By dint of many
calls at offices, she obtained for him the position of night
sub-porter, on a train leaving New York at ten o'clock,
and arriving at Grimy Junction early in the morning.
57







IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

He had charge of the boot-blacking department, and
was generally the slave of stalwart Mose, who wore the
silver label on his cap that proclaimed him the proper
person to receive fees from passengers for this same
boot-blacking and other services executed by Praise.
At Grimy Junction, Praise swallowed a cup of coffee,
and sprang on board a returning freight-train, reaching
New York about noon, and at once coiled himself up
to sleep in Miss Dibbs's coal-closet.
Once Miss Dibbs took a trip on the owl-train. I
shall feel perfectly safe," were her good-night words to
Praise, as she carefully held the curtains together
beneath her nose, -" I shall feel perfectly safe, because
you have charge of the train."
Praise perched himself on the wood-box, with his
arms hugging his knees, and waited for the conductor
to make his last round. It was a perfect night, and he
meant to spend it upon the rear platform; but he knew
that if the conductor found him there he would kick
him; and so he sagaciously bided his time. He loved
to sit there, with his eyes fixed upon the brilliant crim-
son lantern. To Praise, it was a glorious ruby pendent
from the ear of his lady-love; for he had learned to
58








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


love the owl-train, and its swift dashing through the
night.
Praise had dozed upon the platform for several hours,
when he woke suddenly to a consciousness of something
wrong. He was slow of thought, but it came to him at
last, -the lantern was gone! The train was running
along the river-bank, on piles that carried the track out
over the water. A fog had come up from the river,
hiding every object; and the danger-signal was not in
its place: it had probably been insecurely fastened, and
dropped off. His first impulse was to go and tell Mose,
when straight out of the blackness there blazed upon
him a sun, -the head-light of a rapidly approaching
locomotive. Praise danced and shrieked in terror, but
the engineer neither saw nor heard; and the next sensa-
tion that he experienced was that of flying rapidly
through the air, and landing suddenly in the soft mud,
covered with yellow water-lilies, on the landward side of
the track. He picked himself up entirely uninjured, and
waded back to the train. The last car lay upon its side
in the water. Number six," said he to himself, count-
ing the windows, and bursting in the blinds of one of
them by frequent applications of his head in the style of
59








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

a battering-ram. Through this opening he drew out
little Miss Dibbs fainting with pain, and sadly injured.
He staggered with her to shore, and sat holding her in
his arms until the relief-train was made up to convey the
wounded to the city. The physician who waited on the
gentle lady the next morning said that she would never
walk again, never stand or sit erect; for her spine was
incurably injured. She did not suffer very much, but
lay with a cheerful smile on her sweet face; and Sallie
waited and tended upon her most devotedly.
It isn't as bad as it might be," said the uncomplain-
ing little lady. I can afford to be sick. My income
comes every month, without any exertion on my part.
I am one of God's broken-winged sparrows; and he
always takes care of them."
It was now, too, that Miss Dibbs took real comfort
in her other legacy, the twins. To her many thanks
Sallie's unfailing reply was, "Clar to goodness, Miss
Dibbs, I only wish I could do mo'."
Her wish was gratified sooner than she thought. Late
one night, after extra work at the bank, Mr. St. Ledger,
the pleasant-faced old gentleman who usually brought
Miss Dibbs her crisp new bills in a great yellow envelope,
6o








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

appeared before the astonished child, and with a dis-
tressed look, and a nervous rubbing of his hands, in-
quired for her mistress.
Her back powerful bad to-day, sah, and she done
gone to bed," replied Sallie.
Perhaps you can communicate the news as well,"
said the old gentleman, with a start of relief. "The
company in which Miss Dibbs's funds were invested
has utterly failed. I have been able to save nothing,
absolutely nothing. You will please tell her how much
it pains me to be the bearer of such tidings." And, with
a bow, the little old gentleman was gone.
Sallie entered her mistress's room. How peacefully
she slept! As she watched her, the tears welled up into
her great eyes. She turned, and sat down upon the rug
before the grate, holding her head between her hands,
gripping savagely into her woolly hair as she rocked to
and fro. She was thinking out a plan of her own.
"She sha'n't nebber know it. Praise and me'll fix it."
And so they did; for the next morning Sallie went the
rounds of the fancy-stores where Miss Dibbs had been
known, and obtained a quantity of dolls to dress for the
approaching holidays, together with orders for needle-
61








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

books, pincushions, and tidies, enough to keep her at
work for a whole year. But Sallie did not intend to do
a stitch of this work. She knew plenty of needy girls
and women out of employment, who would be glad to do
it for her at a less price than the shopkeepers had
offered. Her next work was to visit the fashionable
dressmakers, and for a trifling price buy up pieces and
remnants of silk and other goods, which she distributed
among her workwomen. Her scheme progressed finely.
Miss Dibbs imagined that Sallie was attending school;
and as she only went out in the afternoon, when Praise
could take her place, her mistress did not lack for atten-
tion. The boy helped with his earnings too; and at
the close of the month, when they counted them over in
the coal-closet, they found they had a few pennies more
than Miss Dibbs's monthly income.
Praise took a little heap of currency, and had it
changed into larger and newer bills. Then he bought
an envelope like Mr. St. Ledger's; and, when Sallie pre-
sented it to her mistress, the good lady had no idea but
that it was her rightful due.
This went on throughout the winter; but, when the
stifling summer came, Miss Dibbs grew tired of her
62








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


upper room with its continual glare, and made the an-
nouncement to the horrified Sallie that she intended to
pass a month at Saratoga. "I find that I can board
there as cheaply as here," she said. I shall buy a great
reclining-chair: you can wheel me about, and perhaps
the water will do me good. I will write a note to
Mr. St. Ledger to send my remittances there."
There was nothing to be said. Sallie explained her
work to Praise, and asked him to carry it on during her
absence. The boy did his best; but he was not as
successful as Sallie, and at the close of the month he
lacked several dollars of the required amount. He
walked bravely to the bank, and asked Mr. St. Ledger to
lend him the sum. Deeply touched by this simple story
of love and devotion, Mr. St. Ledger made out a check,
and, enclosing with it a short business note, addressed
the whole in his well-known hand to Miss Dibbs.
After this, come to me every month, my boy," said he.
Let me make it up whenever it falls short, and bring
it regularly as I used to."
Mr. St. Ledger came, but not as he used to. His
visits were more frequent than business required; and
as he sat in pleasant room "Cherith," watching the
63




L.








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


sweet-faced woman reclining on the crimson couch, her
silvery curls peeping from under a dainty cap with fresh
lavender ribbons, his sympathy grew more and more
unbounded. And so it happened that the minister came
with him one evening, and Miss Dibbs was changed to
Mrs. St. Ledger. Little room Cherith" spread itself
out into an entire flat, about which Sallie wheeled her
mistress with infinite delight. Mr. St. Ledger often
says in joke, that he married his wife for her money;
and she retorts pleasantly, that he shall never have a
penny of it, for she intends to leave it all to the twins.
She means it too, good lady; for to this day she believes
herself independent in fortune, and does not know how
for many months she was supported by "Elijah's
Ravens."








64




















FnrcrP;






























'1;
^c-=












-C"4F`11:
















O you wish one of my war ex-
periences (said Uncle Briar to
the children the next evening).
As it happens, there was one
which might have happened
under the constellation of the
Crab. It was in the month of
June, 1861, that Gen. Butler sent a
party from Fortress Monroe to for-
tify a point called Newport News at the mouth of the
James River. I formed one of the expedition. We
had remained here for some time, when my command-
ing officer thought it necessary to communicate with
Gen. Butler, and despatched me with written documents
to Fortress Monroe. I started alone, and on foot. The
attempt was a hazardous one; and I came very near
falling into the hands of a troop of Confederate cavalry)
But evening found me safe at the little town of Hamp-
ton,(overlooked by the frowning walls of the fortress.
65








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


SIts population had been so disloyal that out of a
thousand inhabitants there now remained but one hun-
dred who avowed themselves Unionists, and claimed
Gen. Butler's protection.
I had intended to go directly on; but the night
promised to be a stormy one, and I concluded to pass it
at Hampton. The hotel was closed; and selecting a
large hospitable-appearing mansion, I asked if I could
obtain shelter for the night. A tall, brilliant-appearing
Southern girl heard my request, and saying, I will see,"
gave me a seat in the hall, and vanished. I was not its
only occupant. A ragged little darkey sat upon the
lower step of the grand staircase, amusing himself by
training a crab. He held in his hand a ball of kite-
twine, the end of which was attached to one of the
creature's claws. (As he unrolled this, the crab ambled
briskly down the hall, guided in its movements by
sundry twitches and tugs at the line, accompanied by
such exclamations as, "Gee Whoa dar Keep de road,
sinnah! Go for true, dar. Keep a steady trot. We
don't want no 'lopin' nor canterin' on dis yere race-
course.5)
In spite of my weariness, I found myself much inter-
66








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.
-4-*- A
ested in his queer performance. What is your name,
my boy? I asked.
Gen. Lee Beauregard Jefferson Davis," he re-
plied.
That is a suspicious name," I thought, "for an occu-
pant of a Union family."
"Crabs is mighty knownn'" continued the boy. I
let dis one hab de whole run of dis yere ball ob twine,
and den I winds him up again. (One day when I began
to wind, it didn't come easy; an' de next minute my
marm done pumped him out ob de cistern. Clar to
goodness, massa, if dis yere crab hadn't clomb up de
chimney, slumped 'long de roof into de eaves-spout,
flop down into de cistern, an den come up tru de
pump. If you don't believe me, just look at dat knot in
my kite-string; dat's where I bust it befo' I ebber got
it straightened out."
I had not time to object to the improbability of the
story; for) the young lady whom I had before seen
now appeared, and introduced her mother, a dignified,
handsome woman, who welcomed me cordially to the
hospitalities of the mansion. At the supper-table, the
younger lady appeared remarkably nervous and excited,
67








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

(starting at the least sound, eating nothing, and taking
no part in the conversation) Even her mother, although
perfectly polite, seemed a trifle absent-minded.
Suddenly there was a heavy tread upon the veranda,
and a loud, familiar knock at the door. The daughter
sprang from her seat,(overturning it) and sped away into
the hall, closing the door behind her. My hostess made
no remark at the conduct of her daughter, and enter-
tained me agreeably throughout the meal, (with only a
little spot of heightened color on either cheek to tell of
any agitation she might have felt) Nothing remarkable
happened during the evening; and I was shown into a
spacious chamber opening upon a hall(that branched in
two directions, and was well lighted by large windows
through which the moonlight streamed; for the threaten-
ing storm had cleared away, and I had a vague feeling
that perhaps I ought even now to continue my-journey.
But tired nature prevailed, and I was soon fast asleep.
I was awakened by a scratching and shuffling noise in
my room, for which I was for some time at a loss to
account. I sat up in bed, and looked and listened, and
at length discovered a small object (on the uncarpeted
floor, just passing over the door-sill into the hall. It
68








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

was Gen. Lee Beauregard Stoiewall-JacksonS s crab.
" I will throw that nuisance out of the window!" I
exclaimed, and sprang from my bed. The creature
was out of my room; and I made a hasty half-toilet
before following it. (There it was at some distance
down the hall;) but, before reaching it, I heard some
one mounting the staircase, and(under the impulse of
the moment) I stepped into a room which,(through its
open door) I saw to be unoccupied. (From behind this
door, I could have, unobserved, a view of the hall) It
was the General himself, who had come up the stairs,
and who now intruded his woolly head into my chamber.
He iade some strong expression of surprise, that)was
interrupted by the falling of a hand upon his collar, and
a sudden facing about to meet the angry looks of his
mistress, who) with her daughter,(had come up from the
other end of the hall
"What do you mean by looking into a gentleman's
room ?" she exclaimed,(in a stage whisper, shaking the
boy violently with both hands)
"I was looking' for my crab, missus," gasped the
boy.
"You know that is not the truth," replied the lady.
69








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

"Go down to the kitchen; (and to-morrow you shall
have sueh a whipping! )
Yes, missus," replied the boy submissively. (But, the
instant that he was released, he exclaimed, Dar's my
crab now! sprang by my door, pocketed his property,
and then obeyed his mistress's orders)
Mother and daughter walked down the hall,(and stood
together by the great window near the door behind
which I was concealed.
It is almost time they were here," said the mother:
"(' it does not usually take so long to go and come from
Little Bethel.',
Father said he would ride as fast as he could,"
replied the girl, and bring back enough of the soldiers
to secure his capture. Father thinks he may be the
bearer of important despatches."
"We can only wait, my dear," replied the lady:
"let us go down into the parlor. (I have locked his
door on this side; you may have the key to give to
your papa, if you wish
After they had gone, I found myself in a new dilem-
ma. How was I to descend and leave the house, when
the ladies were in a room commanding a view of the
70








IN THE SKY-GARDEN,

only staircase with which I was acquainted? While
I stood hesitating in the hall, my foot struck a small
white object; and, stooping, I found that I had the
General's ball of kite-twine. Its end was probably at-
tached to the crab. I walked slowly along, winding the
ball as I went, and following the thread(which stretched
on before me, round an angle, through a narrower and
more dimly lighted passage, and down a winding and
uneven staircase)which led me to a rear entrance to the
house. The door was open; and the twine still led on
to where, at the foot of the garden, the General was
swinging on the gate.
Here is your ball," I said to him, as his eyes pro-
truded to their utmost in recognizing me.
As I passed on towards the shore, I heard some one
running behind me. It was the General.
Clar to goodness, massa!" said he, my crab done
lighted out for de salt water: shouldn't wonder if he
foun' him in Pete's boat; he allers did like to go a-fishin'
with Pete. He'd sit up on de side ob de boat, an' help
him claw in de lines. I'll go an' fotch Pete."
Pete, a stalwart fisherman, readily agreed to take me
across to the fortress in his boat.
71




L








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

I' 11 go wid yer," said the General: shouldn't won-
der if my crab war ober dar: don't see him nowhar
'bout dis yere boat."
And a tacit agreement was immediately instituted
between us, whereby the General became my faithful
follower through the entire war,(at the close of which
he entered a school for freedmen, and is himself now a
teacher of his race, remarkable for his integrity and love
of truth.)
Established in our new quarters at the fortress, as
I poured out the water for my morning ablutions, I
found the General's crab in my wash-basin.
"Done tole yer so, massa," said the boy. "Dis yere
crab done swum across de bay: mose likely he was
up dar at headquarters, an' hearn tell jus' whar he
should find us."
General, General! I said, if you are to stay with
me, you must speak the truth." And so he did; for
I never knew him to prevaricate in any instance,
except when it concerned his crab.

72
















LIEO
















------ --- ---
--
---= iier PP
=C=-





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a( %i


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I
I --
---. r

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---
Jt

--- -
9;
















LEASE, Cousin Myrtle,
there isn't any such
Sting as ghosts, is
"there ?" asked Bobby
Copernicus, one evening.
." That depends," replied Myr-
tie.
/ "Coz I told Joy I was going
to tease for a ghost-story to-
night, -a regular scarer; like
the kind the snark told, you
know, -
'Till each man's blood
Up on end it stood,
And the hair ran cold in their veins.'

And Joy said she didn't want that kind: she's 'fraid of
'em."
"Only people who do wrong need be afraid of
ghosts," said Cousin Myrtle; "and it is very seldom
73








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


that other people see them. If you ever do any thing
mean or shameful, you may be sure that it will haunt
you all your life; and you will never need a candle to
see it in the darkest night. But good people can almost
always sleep soundly, even after a supper of strawberry
shortcake, and never see one of the hobble-de-goblins;
and, even if they do, there are no lions in the way,
that can hurt Mr. Greatheart. By the way, our con-
stellation to-night is that of the Lion. Bobby shall
have his wish; for I do not think Joy would have been
a bit frightened by

THE GHOST AT THE WHITE LION.
In the little village of Pudsey-in-the-Mud, England,
stands the comfortable, old-fashioned inn of the White
Lion. It was a hostelry of style and importance, with
no lack of patronage, when the London stage-line swept
through Pudsey; but the new railroad had left the little
town several miles one side, and there was now little in
its appearance to suggest its former state. Only chance
travellers stopped here now, strangers visiting Pudsey
for the first time; for in spite of its large, airy chambers,
its cosey sitting-room with the carved, fireplace and red
74








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

window-curtains, its garden overgrown with sweet, old-
fashioned flowers, its cook noted for making the most
melting pastry in the shire, its obliging landlord and
low charges, the White Lion was shunned by summer
boarders, and by all who knew its history; for no one,
even in incredulous England, liked to stop at a haunted
house; and the inn was haunted, not by one ghost
alone, but by many. It seemed as if it was the house
spoken of in the Scriptures, found empty, swept and
garnished, by the evil spirit, who immediately filled it
with a variety of occupants as evil as himself; for none
of the ghosts told of by the lodgers at the White Lion
bore any great resemblance to each other.
The landlord was not a man to be frightened out of
his wits by such stories: he had never seen any ghosts
in the house, and, if he had, he would not have cared
very much, if they had only paid their bills like respect-
able boarders. But they were now so deeply in his
debt, and had kept away more lucrative lodgers so long,
that the thing was growing unbearable; and, as a last
resort, he had asked the sheriff to serve them with a
notice to quit. This he had neatly framed, and hung
in the haunted chamber. It was the pleasantest room
75








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


in the front part of the house, with a very large square
window filled with very small diamond-shaped panes.
A small brass rod ran across the lower part of this
window, and from it hung a ruffled muslin curtain; but
the upper and larger part was not covered by blind or
curtain or screen of any kind, and allowed the sunlight
or moonlight to fall in a broad band upon the well-
scoured floor. Outside the window, a narrow balcony
ran; but it had only been for ornament in its best days,
as the window was not made to open; and now no
human being could have walked across it; for the floor
was gone, and nothing was left but the cast-iron railing.
Over the balcony hung the sign of the house, a wooden
lion in a defiant attitude, with his paws raised as though
for a trial of skill in boxing, and a very long curly tail
twisted into several impossible knots. The lion was
suspended from an iron rod fastened into the house
above the window, and for several years had bid defi-
ance to the ghosts, and beckoned passing travellers in
vain.
The last lodger who had seen an apparition here was
a queer old gentleman from London. He seemed very
rich, but was much out of health, and was accompanied
76








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

by a servant and a nurse who put him to bed as soon
as he arrived. At midnight he aroused the house by
ringing his bell violently. When the landlord entered
the room, he lay in a fit with his back to the window;
and, when he came out of it, could not be persuaded
to look in that direction. He said that he had seen a
spirit, a white lady, who glided along the floorless
balcony, and peered into the window. The nurse and
landlord could see nothing remarkable; but the vision
had made such a strong impression on the old gentle-
man's mind, that the next day he sent for a lawyer, and
made a new will. The greater part of my fortune,"
he said, "belonged to my cousin Helen. I was her
guardian. It was all invested in a company that failed
dishonestly; but I had been shrewd enough to with-
draw the money before the failure. No one knew of
this, however; for the company's books were burned by
a member of the firm, and Helen believed that her
fortune was lost. She is dead now. She lived all her
life in poverty, while I have been very rich. It was she
who came last night; she beckoned to me. I cannot
give her back her property, but I can leave all, hers and
mine, to her children; and this is why I wish to make
77



L








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

a new will." The old gentleman felt that his cousin
would come again the next night, and that when he saw
her he would die. But she did not appear: the night
was a rainy one, and I believe no one ever saw a ghost
with an umbrella; and the next day the old gentleman
was so much better that he went back to London. He
did not die for many. years afterward, but he sought out
his cousin's children, and made ample restitution. In
spite of his great wrong, they grew to love him very
tenderly, living with him and caring for him until he
died.
This was the last ghost that had been seen at the
White Lion, when one afternoon a traveller arrived
who was to deliver a lecture that evening at the town-
hall. To honor his guest, the landlord and his wife
attended the lecture. It was a great piece of nonsense;
for the poor man tried to prove that the Bible was not
true, that there were no angels, no future life, no God.
He gave many quotations from the Scriptures to prove
their absurdity. He scoffed at the visions of Daniel, at
the winged lion, at the beast with ten horns, and made a
great many jokes about the creatures in the Revelation,
especially those that. were like horses prepared for
78








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


battle, with crowns of gold on their heads, men's faces,
women's hair, the teeth of lions, and tails like scorpions
with terrible stings, and were commanded to hurt only
those men who had not the seal of God in their fore-
heads.
When he returned to the inn, the landlord shook
hands with him warmly. "You are just the person
I have been wanting to see," he said. I have a room
in my house that they say is haunted. If you do not
believe in the supernatural, you will not object to sleep-
ing there; and it will be a great thing for me if you can
assert afterward that the ghosts are all humbug."
The lecturer professed himself perfectly willing to
make the experiment; but he showed the landlord a
brace of loaded pistols, and warned him that if he
saw any thing unusual during the night he should
certainly fire at it. Then he ate a hearty supper of
dumpling and Welsh rarebit, washed down with strong
ale, and went to bed. It was a moonlight night, -
just such a one as the ghost of the White Lion pre-
ferred for its rambles; and the landlord was not much
surprised at being awakened, when the night was half
over, by the rapid firing of his guest's pistols. After
79








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


the shots, all was silent for a few moments; and then
the lecturer came tumbling down the winding stairs,
his face colorless with fright. I take it all back!"
he shrieked. "I will nail my recantation to the
church doors, only let me off this time! let me off
this time!"
What's the matter? asked the landlord, who was
standing at the foot of the stairs with a lighted candle
in his hand.
"I have seen it!" said the frightened man, trem-
bling violently, and clutching his host's arm.
"Seen what? "
The beast! "
"The fiddlesticks! you've been dreaming; you've
had the nightmare; you are not awake yet. If you
saw any beast, it was the ghost of that Welsh rare-
bit."
"I have not been asleep at all. The Prince of the
Power of the Air has been banging every shutter
about this ruinous old house, and yelling down the
chimneys, in a way that would have made it impossible
for any one to sleep, even if he had not believed in
demons, and had supposed it was only the wind, as I
8o








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


did. Let me go into your tap-room, and lock the
door well, and I will tell you all about it."
And the lecturer told how he had grown so ner-
vous, what with the hearty supper and the wind, that
he found it impossible to sleep; and finally sat up in
bed, wondering if it really was the wind that made
all that noise. Suddenly something flew slowly across
the window: it was a dark object, and might have been
a bat, if it had not been of such great size. He
looked again, and the object returned, this time clearly
defining its shape, that of a lion; but who had ever
Seen a lion fly in this way between heaven and earth ?
Suddenly he remembered the winged lion of Daniel,
and the creature of the Revelation that he had so
Derided. Yes, this answered the description perfectly,
even to the flowing feminine tresses, and the tail with
the terrible stings. The beast seemed to be trying the
window-sash; for it rattled fearfully as his claws ap-
proached now the upper and now the lower portion,
now the right and now the left side. The lecturer
aimed his pistols at the animal's head, and fired them
together, shivering the glass. But the ghostly thing
did not seem in the least troubled by the shots: it
8x








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

paused an instant, and regarded him with two luminous
eyes that he had not noticed before, and then made a
sudden swoop toward the broken casement, he did not
stop to see with what success, for he knew that he had
not the seal of God in his forehead.
It was a singular story, and reminded the landlord of
the one told by an occupant of the room several months
before. He was a suspicious-looking character, who
carried a small black valise of which he was particularly
watchful. Very early the next morning, he had awak-
ened the landlord by shaking him roughly by the
shoulder, and saying, Here is the money for my night's
lodging. If a man by the name of Green calls for me
in a few days, give him that valise; if not, here is an
address to which you may send it. I am off. I suppose
I hardly need tell you that your room is haunted. I lay
with my back to the window; and in the bright space
on the wall opposite, I kept seeing shadow-pictures like
those they throw on a sheet from a magic-lantern; only
I had the same picture all night long, and that not a
very agreeable one,- a man hanging from a gallows-
tree. I concluded at last it might be a warning, and I
mean to profit by it." The next day a man who gave
8a








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

his name as Detective Green did arrive, looking, as he
said, for a burglar who had recently made away with a
quantity of silver. He opened the black valise that
had been 'left for him, and found every missing article.
How very unlike the different ghosts had been!
the white lady, the demon in the shape of a dragon,
and the shadow of the gallows. And, not long after,
an apparition was seen that was stranger still. The
landlord hired a new hostler, a cruel boy, coarse and
rough, with apparently no sensibilities to be troubled
by spirits, and lodged him in the fated chamber.
He woke the house with terrific yells, screaming that
the ghost of a great yellow cat he had burned to
death was coming to carry him off. The landlord felt
that there was but a step from the sublime to the
ridiculous, and that the boy had taken it. Cats could
not have ghosts: that was too absurd. The thing
must be explained. These stories and all the others
that had been told, of clanking chains, creaking hinges
to invisible doors, mysterious knocking, and other
strange noises, must either be lies, or else there was
some natural cause.
The next guests that came to his house were a
83


h.,








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

minister and his little daughter. The landlord told
them the history of the room. It is the best I have
in the house," he said; but I am afraid to give it to
this young lady, lest she should see something that
would frighten her. It is a pity, too; for just across the
hall is another large room which would do very nicely
for you, sir."
"Let me sleep there, papa," pleaded the little girl.
" If there are ghosts, I do not think that any of them
will harm me. All these people seem to have been
frightened by something wrong they had done. I
wonder what I shall see."
The night passed without alarm of any kind. When
the landlord served their breakfast, he could not restrain
his curiosity, and asked the little girl what she had seen.
" Nothing strange," said she. I woke up once, and
saw the moon shining on a white figure gently swaying
back and forward before the window. I thought at first
it was an angel; but when I got out of bed, and went to
the window, I saw it was only the sign of the inn, the
white wooden lion that hangs in front of the house."
On examination, it seemed most probable that this
was all that the others had seen. The noises were occa-
84








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


signed by the creaking of its rusty hinges; and guilty
imaginations had created from this simple object all the
varied visions that had been seen in the room. The
story became known: other people were found brave
and innocent enough to sleep there. No more ghosts
were seen; and the White Lion is now as prosperous
an inn as you can find in any village in England. The
Sunday after the little girl and her father stopped there,
he preached a sermon from the text, Conscience is
a terror to the wicked, but a comfort to good men."












85

















VIRCO
IT













HAT an old-fashioned,
clumsy, rusty pair of
l scales they were! And
l* I how many queer things
-- l" were weighed upon them
in that dingy little country store!
S, If they could have talked, they
Might have told you the likings
of every family in the village; for
they were in the habit of giving
S... people just what they called for.
"\ And the weights were so familiar
with the duty expected of them, that each prepared
to skip into the scales when his particular customer
entered the door,-from the brass thimble that clicked
impatiently to weigh out Miss Tibb's cent's worth of
snuff, to the great hollow projectile that Cousin Jack
sent home from the war, and was used for the heavier
commodities, such as flour, sugar, shot, and nails. The
set of weights had been complete once; but they had
87


*a








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


gradually been lost in the course of years, Dr. Stockstill
having carried off the largest one to fasten to his horse's
hitching-strap, and Aunt Snip taken the big flat one
to keep the pork under the brine. Tommy Billings had
stolen the cunningest one of all to make a sinker for his
fish-line; and so by degrees the regular weights had
been replaced by rather queer equivalents. Hepsy
knew them all by heart; for she had helped her grand-
father keep store ever since she was a very little girl.
When she began going to school, and the teacher
assigned her the tables of apothecary's and avoirdupois
weight for an arithmetic lesson, she glanced at the
title with a contemptuous "Guess I ought to know
that;" and, when the class recited, astonished her
teacher by the glib announcement that -

4 brass thimbles make . i big pewter button.
5 of grandfather's pewter buttons make i glass door-knob.
6 glass door-knobs make the little flat-iron.
The little flat-iron, and 2 glass door-
knobs, and the brass extinguisher,
make i pound.
The big white stone, and a stove-lid,
make pounds.
Cousin Jack's bombshell is 20 pounds.
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IN THE SKY-GARDEN.

Hepsy kept the two brass plates that belonged to
the scales so well scoured that they shone like Ossian's
shield. They were magic mirrors, which reflected the
codfish or beeswax, horse-powders or tobacco, laid within
them, and told by the alternating quantities of yarn and
dye-stuff, or quinine and liver-pills, that went down to
Aunt Tirzah's, whether the family were afflicted with
the chills, or in good working condition; told, too, some-
thing of the moral condition of the community, as the
quantity of opium for old Deacon Feeblemind lessened,
and the rate of tea, butter, eggs, spice, sugar, and soap
for the family, with maple-sugar and hoarhound for the
youngsters, increased. And they could have told how
lazy Lem's weekly expenditure in spruce-gum and gin-
ger-pop ceased, and he invested instead in garden-seeds
after his father gave him that half-acre of meadow to
cultivate for his very own. They could have told
something of the love-affairs of half the academy girls:
for Hepsy's grandfather kept the post-office; and those
great yellow business-envelopes that came regularly
every week, and oftener, were frequently so bulky as to
need extra postage, and were thrown into the scales
for the brass thimbles to tell how many more stamps
89








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


were required. Not only did the scales tell of the
health, the morals, the wealth, and the love, of the com-
munity: they had their influence also in the intellectual
world; for Miss Squibbs's MS. was duly weighed in them
before being sent to the editor of The Enlightener;"
while the parson, who was caught at the store during a
thunder-storm, was observed to gaze attentively and
abstractedly at them during his entire stay; and his
next sabbath's sermon, the best of the whole year, was
from the text, Thou art weighed in the balance, and
found wanting." Babies were often brought in triumph,
and laid upon the shining trays. Hepsy had herself
been weighed here, she could not exactly remember
when; but grandfather said she was the least of the lot,
and only weighed seven and a half pounds. When
Jack's bombshell came home from the war, it was
hollow and empty; and as it happened to come on one
of the anniversaries of Hepsy's birthday, and hap-
pened, on investigation, to contain just seven and
a half pounds of shot, grandfather filled and plugged
the aperture in order, as he said, "that in future
years she might know to a bullet just how little
she amounted to when she first came on the stage,
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IN THE SKY-GARDEN,


and that it might take all pride and vain conceit out
of her."
It would have been hard to find a girl with less
pride than Hepsy. She was so gentle, so good-
humored, and so serviceable, that her grandfather
used often to say that she was worth her weight in
gold. But even this compliment did not spoil her.
"He would never have said so, you know," she
thought, if I had not weighed so little when I was a
baby."
As the years went by, Hepsy went to the academy,
and only tended store out of school-hours. Before
she finished her course, her grandfather died, and a
stranger bought the shop and its contents, all but the
scales: these the old gentleman left in his will to Hepsy,
with his blessing. The two bequests were inseparable:
if she ever gave up the scales, the blessing would go too.
The scales lay in a box, with the weights, up in the
attic: for, since the stranger had taken possession of the
store, Hepsy had given up her clerkship, and devoted
her entire attention to her studies. Her grandfather
had been something of an apothecary. She had liked
best to see him weigh out and compound drugs; and
91








IN THE SKY-GARDEN.


she had often wept foolish little tears because she was
not a boy, and could not be a doctor.
It was examination week at the academy. Hepsy's
class was to graduate. The programmes were out, and
she saw her name in print for the first time,-- Hephzi-
bah Smith. No one had called her Hephzibah but
grandfather, and he always added the signification of the
name, My delight is in her," and said that if ever a
child was rightly called, Hepsy was; so that the name
was a very sweet and precious one to her. The exami-
nation was looked forward to with more than ordinary
interest by the graduating class this year. For Mr.
DeClercq, the great man of the place, had been ap-
pointed to a foreign consulship, and was intending to
sail for Europe soon after, with his family. He had
been one of the school committee-men, and he knew
well each member of Hepsy's class, and had announced,
as soon as he received his appointment, that he would
offer the position of governess for his children to the
young lady graduating at the head of the class. This
news had created intense rivalry among the girls; they
were nearly all poor and ambitious. To go to Europe,
to go to Europe! It seemed the most delectable thing
92