Harper’s Young People, December 7, 1880
An Illustrated Monthly
|TOBY TYLER; OR, TEN WEEKS WITH A CIRCUS.|
|SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMONDS.|
|THE HEART OF BRUCE.|
|DECORATIONS FOR CHRISTMAS.|
|W. HOLMAN HUNT’S “FINDING OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE.”|
|THE CAPTAIN’S BOY ON THE PENNY BOAT.|
|PACKAGE NO. 107.|
|WINGY WING FOO.|
|Vol. II.—No. 58.||Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.||Price Four Cents.|
|Tuesday, December 1, 1880.||Copyright, 1880, by Harper & Brothers.||$1.50 per Year, in Advance.|
TOBY TYLER; OR, TEN WEEKS WITH A CIRCUS.
BY JAMES OTIS.
TOBY’S INTRODUCTION TO THE CIRCUS.
“Couldn’t you give more’n six pea-nuts for a cent?” was a question asked by a very small boy with big, staring eyes, of a candy vender at a circus booth. And as he spoke he looked wistfully at the quantity of nuts piled high up on the basket, and then at the six, each of which now looked so small as he held them in his hand.
“Couldn’t do it,” was the reply of the proprietor of the booth, as he put the boy’s penny carefully away in the drawer.
The little fellow looked for another moment at his purchase, and then carefully cracked the largest one.
A shade, and a very deep shade it was, of disappointment that passed over his face, and then looking up anxiously, he asked, “Don’t you swap ’em when they’re bad?”
The man’s face looked as if a smile had been a stranger to it for a long time; but one did pay it a visit just then, and he tossed the boy two nuts, and asked him a question at the same time. “What is your name?”
The big brown eyes looked up for an instant, as if to learn whether the question was asked in good faith, and then their owner said, as he carefully picked apart another nut, “Toby Tyler.”
“Well, that’s a queer name.”
“Yes, I s’pose so, myself; but, you see, I don’t expect that’s the name that belongs to me. But the fellers call me so, an’ so does Uncle Dan’l.”
“Who is Uncle Daniel?” was the next question. In the absence of any more profitable customer the man seemed disposed to get as much amusement out of the boy as possible.
“He hain’t my uncle at all; I only call him so because all the boys do, an’ I live with him.”
“Where’s your father and mother?”
“I don’t know,” said Toby, rather carelessly. “I don’t know much about ’em, an’ Uncle Dan’l says they don’t know much about me. Here’s another bad nut; goin’ to give me two more?”
The two nuts were given him, and he said, as he put them in his pocket, and turned over and over again those which he held in his hand, “I shouldn’t wonder if all of these was bad. Sposen you give me two for each one of ’em before I crack ’em, an’ then they won’t be spoiled so you can’t sell ’em again.”
As this offer of barter was made, the man looked amused, and he asked, as he counted out the number which Toby desired, “If I give you these, I suppose you’ll want me to give you two more for each one, and you’ll keep that kind of a trade going until you get my whole stock?”
“I won’t open my head if every one of ’em’s bad.”
“All right; you can keep what you’ve got, and I’ll give you these besides; but I don’t want you to buy any more, for I don’t want to do that kind of business.”
Toby took the nuts offered, not in the least abashed, and seated himself on a convenient stone to eat them, and at the same time to see all that was going on around him. The coming of a circus to the little town of Guilford was an event, and Toby had hardly thought of anything else since the highly colored posters had first been put up. It was yet quite early in the morning, and the tents were just being erected by the men. Toby had followed, with eager eyes, everything that looked as if it belonged to the circus, from the time the first wagon had entered the town, until the street parade had been made, and everything was being prepared for the afternoon’s performance.
The man who had made the losing trade in pea-nuts seemed disposed to question the boy still further, probably owing to the fact that trade was dull, and he had nothing better to do.
“Who is this Uncle Daniel you say you live with—is he a farmer?”
“No; he’s a Deacon, an’ he raps me over the head with the hymn-book whenever I go to sleep in meetin’, an’ he says I eat four times as much as I earn. I blame him for hittin’ so hard when I go to sleep, but I s’pose he’s right about my eatin’. You see,” and here his tone grew both confidential and mournful, “I am an awful eater, an’ I can’t seem to help it. Somehow I’m hungry all the time. I don’t seem ever to get enough till carrot-time comes, an’ then I can get all I want without troubling anybody.”
“Didn’t you ever have enough to eat?”
“I s’pose I did, but you see Uncle Dan’l he found me one mornin’ on his hay, an’ he says I was cryin’ for something to eat then, an’ I’ve kept it up ever since. I tried to get him to give me money enough to go into the circus with; but he said a cent was all he could spare these hard times, an’ I’d better take that an’ buy something to eat with it, for the show wasn’t very good anyway. I wish pea-nuts wasn’t but a cent a bushel.”
“Then you would make yourself sick eating them.”
“Yes, I s’pose I should; Uncle Dan’l says I’d eat till I was sick, if I got the chance; but I’d like to try it once.”
He was a very small boy, with a round head covered with short red hair, a face as speckled as any turkey’s egg, but thoroughly good-natured-looking, and as he sat there on the rather sharp point of the rock, swaying his body to and fro as he hugged his knees with his hands, and kept his eyes fastened on the tempting display of good things before him, it would have been a very hard-hearted man who would not have given him something. But Mr. Job Lord, the proprietor of the booth, was a hard-hearted man, and he did not make the slightest advance toward offering the little fellow anything.
Toby rocked himself silently for a moment, and then he said, hesitatingly, “I don’t suppose you’d like to sell me some things, an’ let me pay you when I get older, would you?”
Mr. Lord shook his head decidedly at this proposition.
“I didn’t s’pose you would,” said Toby, quickly; “but you didn’t seem to be selling anything, an’ I thought I’d just see what you’d say about it.” And then he appeared suddenly to see something wonderfully interesting behind him, which served as an excuse to turn his reddening face away.
“I suppose your uncle Daniel makes you work for your living, don’t he?” asked Mr. Lord, after he had re-arranged his stock of candy, and had added a couple of slices of lemon peel to what was popularly supposed to be lemonade.
“That’s what I think; but he says that all the work I do wouldn’t pay for the meal that one chicken would eat, an’ I s’pose it’s so, for I don’t like to work as well as a feller without any father and mother ought to. I don’t know why it is, but I guess it’s because I take up so much time eatin’ that it kinder tires me out. I s’pose you go into the circus whenever you want to, don’t you?”
“Oh yes; I’m there at every performance, for I keep the stand under the big canvas as well as this one out here.”
There was a great big sigh from out Toby’s little round stomach, as he thought what bliss it must be to own all those good things, and to see the circus wherever it went. “It must be nice,” he said, as he faced the booth and its hard-visaged proprietor once more.
“How would you like it?” asked Mr. Lord, patronizingly, as he looked Toby over in a business way, very much as if he contemplated purchasing him.
“Like it!” echoed Toby; “why, I’d grow fat on it.”
“I don’t know as that would be any advantage,” continued Mr. Lord, reflectively, “for it strikes me that you’re about as fat now as a boy of your age ought to be. But I’ve a great mind to give you a chance.”
“What!” cried Toby, in amazement, and his eyes opened to their widest extent, as this possible opportunity of leading a delightful life presented itself.
“Yes, I’ve a great mind to give you the chance. You see,” and now it was Mr. Lord’s turn to grow confidential, “I’ve had a boy with me this season, but he cleared out at the last town, and I’m running the business alone now.”
Toby’s face expressed all the contempt he felt for the boy who would run away from such a glorious life as Mr. Lord’s assistant must lead; but he said not a word, waiting in breathless expectation for the offer which he now felt certain would be made him.
“Now I ain’t hard on a boy,” continued Mr. Lord, still confidentially, “and yet that one seemed to think that he was treated worse and made to work harder than any boy in the world.”
“He ought to live with Uncle Dan’l a week,” said Toby, eagerly.
“Here I was just like a father to him,” said Mr. Lord, paying no attention to the interruption, “and I gave him his board and lodging, and a dollar a week besides.”
“Could he do what he wanted to with the dollar?”
“Of course he could. I never checked him, no matter how extravagant he was, an’ yet I’ve seen him spend his whole week’s wages at this very stand in one afternoon. And even after his money had all gone that way, I’ve paid for peppermint and ginger out of my own pocket just to cure his stomach-ache.”
Toby shook his head mournfully, as if deploring that depravity which could cause a boy to run away from such a tender-hearted employer, and from such a desirable position. But even as he shook his head so sadly, he looked wistfully at the pea-nuts, and Mr. Lord observed the look.
It may have been that Mr. Job Lord was the tender-hearted man he prided himself upon being, or it may have been that he wished to purchase Toby’s sympathy; but, at all events, he gave him a large handful of nuts, and Toby never bothered his little round head as to what motive prompted the gift. Now he could listen to the story of the boy’s treachery and eat at the same time, therefore he was an attentive listener.
“All in the world that boy had to do,” continued Mr. Lord, in the same injured tone he had previously used, “was to help me set things to rights when we struck a town in the morning, and then tend to the counter till we left the town at night, and all the rest of the time he had to himself. Yet that boy was ungrateful enough to run away.”
Mr. Lord paused as if expecting some expression of sympathy from his listener; but Toby was so busily engaged with his unexpected feast, and his mouth was so full, that it did not seem even possible for him to shake his head.
“Now what should you say if I told you that you looked to me like a boy that was made especially to help run a candy counter at a circus, and if I offered the place to you?”
Toby made one frantic effort to swallow the very large mouthful, and in a choking voice he answered, quickly, “I should say I’d go with you, an’ be mighty glad of the chance.”
“Then it’s a bargain, my boy, and you shall leave town with me to-night.”
[to be continued.]
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMONDS.
A recent report from the Cape of Good Hope states that a diamond weighing 225 carats has been found at the Du Toits Pan mine, and a very fine white stone of 115 carats in Jagersfontein mine, in the Free State.
The lucky finders of these stones are vastly richer than they were a few weeks ago, for if these diamonds are of the best quality, they will be worth thousands upon thousands of dollars.
It is only ten years ago that all the world was taken by surprise at hearing that some of these precious stones had been found in the African colony; and this is how it came about. A little boy, the son of a Dutch farmer living near Hope Town, of the name of Jacobs, had been amusing himself in collecting pebbles. One of these was sufficiently bright to attract the keen eye of his mother; but she regarded it simply as a curious stone, and it was thrown down outside the house. Some time afterward she mentioned it to a neighbor, who, on seeing it, offered to buy it. The good woman laughed at the idea of selling a common bright pebble, and at once gave it to him, and he intrusted it to a friend, to find out its value; and Dr. Atherstone, of Graham’s Town, was the first to pronounce it a diamond. It was then sent to Cape Town, forwarded to the Paris Exhibition, and it was afterward purchased by the Governor of the colony, Sir Philip Wodehouse, for £500.
This discovery of the first Cape diamond was soon followed by others, and led to the development of the great diamond fields of South Africa.
THE HEART OF BRUCE.
BY LILLIE E. BARR.
Beside Dumbarton’s castled steep the Bruce lay down to die;
Great Highland chiefs and belted earls stood sad and silent nigh.
The warm June breezes filled the room, all sweet with flowers and hay,
The warm June sunshine flecked the couch on which the monarch lay.
The mailed men like statues stood; under their bated breath
The prostrate priests prayed solemnly within the room of death;
While through the open casements came the evening song of birds,
The distant cries of kye and sheep, the lowing of the herds.
And so they kept their long, last watch till shades of evening fell;
Then strong and clear King Robert spoke: “Dear brother knights, farewell!
Come to me, Douglas—take my hand. Wilt thou, for my poor sake,
Redeem my vow, and fight my fight, lest I my promise break?
“I ne’er shall see Christ’s sepulchre, nor tread the Holy Land;
I ne’er shall lift my good broadsword against the Paynim band;
Yet I was vowed to Palestine: therefore take thou my heart,
And with far purer hands than mine play thou the Bruce’s part.”
Then Douglas, weeping, kissed the King, and said: “While I have breath
The vow thou made I will fulfill—yea, even unto death:
Where’er I go thy heart shall go; it shall be first in fight.
Ten thousand thanks for such a trust! Douglas is Bruce’s knight.”
They laid the King in Dunfermline—not yet his heart could rest;
For it hung within a priceless case upon the Douglas’ breast.
And many a chief with Douglas stood: it was a noble line
Set sail to fight the Infidel in holy Palestine.
Their vessel touched at fair Seville. They heard upon that day
How Christian Leon and Castile before the Moslem lay,
Then Douglas said, “O heart of Bruce! thy fortune still is great,
For, ere half done thy pilgrimage, the foe for thee doth wait.”
Dark Osmyn came; the Christians heard his long yell, “Allah hu!”
The brave Earl Douglas led the van as they to battle flew;
Sir William Sinclair on his left, the Logans on his right,
St. Andrew’s blood-red cross above upon its field of white.
Then Douglas took the Bruce’s heart, and flung it far before.
“Pass onward first, O noble heart, as in the days of yore!
For Holy Rood and Christian Faith make thou a path, and we
With loyal hearts and flashing swords will gladly follow thee.”
All day the fiercest battle raged just where that heart did fall,
For round it stood the Scottish lords, a fierce and living wall.
Douglas was slain, with many a knight; yet died they not in vain,
For past that wall of hearts and steel the Moslem never came.
The Bruce’s heart and Douglas’ corse went back to Scotland’s land,
Borne by the wounded remnant of that brave and pious band.
Fair Melrose Abbey the great heart in quiet rest doth keep,
And Douglas in the Douglas’ church hath sweet and honored sleep.
In pillared marble Scotland tells her love, and grief, and pride.
Vain is the stone: all Scottish hearts the Bruce and Douglas hide.
The “gentle Sir James Douglas” and “the Bruce of Bannockburn”
Are names forever sweet and fresh for years untold to learn.
In the large island of Australia—an island so vast as to be ranked as a continent—nature has produced a singular menagerie.
The first discoverers of this country must have stared in amazement at the strange sights which met their eyes. There were wildernesses of luxuriant and curious vegetable growths, inhabited by large quadrupeds which appeared as bipeds; queer little beasts with bills like a duck, ostriches covered with hair instead of feathers, and legions of odd birds, while the whole woods were noisy with the screeching and prating of thousands of paroquets and cockatoos.
The largest and oddest Australian quadruped is the kangaroo, a member of that strange family, the Marsupialia, which are provided with a pouch, or bag, in which they carry their little ones until they are strong enough to scamper about and take care of themselves.
The delicately formed head of this strange creature, and its short fore-legs, are out of all proportion to the lower part of its body, which is furnished with a very long tail, and its hind-legs, which are large and very strong. It stands erect as tall as a man, and moves by a succession of rapid jumps, propelled by its hind-feet, its fore-paws meanwhile being folded across its breast. A large kangaroo will weigh fully two hundred pounds, and will cover as much as sixteen feet at one jump.
The body of this beast is covered with thick, soft, woolly fur of a grayish-brown color. It is very harmless and inoffensive, and it is a very pretty sight to see a little group of kangaroos feeding quietly in a forest clearing. Their diet is entirely vegetable. They nibble grass or leaves, or eat certain kinds of roots, the stout, long claws of their hind-feet serving them as a convenient pickaxe to dig with.
The kangaroo is a very tender and affectionate mother. When the baby is born it is the most helpless creature imaginable, blind, and not much bigger than a new-born kitten. But the mother lifts it carefully with her lips, and gently deposits it in her poc