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"Darling! adored !" I murmured, mad with passion,.'* I accept the trial."
"No," she answered, "not now; to-morrow I will listen."
I caught her to my bosom in an agony of love, desperation, and delight, and pressed a shower of kisses upon the smooth white forehead, the quivering lips, the tear-wet eyes; then, whispering in her ear a last good-night, rushed from the garden.
(Conclusion next month.)
LIGHT IN DARKNESS.
BY J. BRAIYRRD MORQAX.
Ose eve in summer, long ago,
There sat a fair and youthful maid, "With bowed-down head and heart of woo,
Beneath an aged elm-tree's shade; The arrows of the setting sua
Had lodged amid her Auburn hair, While sunny brow and cheek upon
Did play the ambient evening air.
Feb hooded not that zephyrs mild
Danced o'er her face v, I gentle tread, Or that bright Sunbeam sweetly smiled
In golden radiance -round her head; The fragrant flowers, that kissed her feet.
Did sadly seem to grieve with her; They missed the pleasant smiles they 'd meet
Ever from their almost worshipper.
A heavy sorrow, dark and drear,
Upon her heart that day had come, Which her young spirit scarce could bear,
Filling with gloom her once bright home; For a fond mother's loving eyes
Had sadly closed in death's long sleep, And there beneath the calm blue skies
In solitude she *d come to weep.
Shrouded in gloom her life all sremed
A dreary, dark, aud lonely way; No golden sunlight o'er her beamod,
To cheer her with its^beauteous ray; A mother's voice in non sage.
Or cheering words, she'd no more hear, Her tears sorrows to assuage,
Or make the path of duty clear.
And what though other friends should come
Arouud ber in that trying hour, And strive to cheer her lonely home
With friendship's true and teuder poTcr; Yet to could hope o'er to efface
The sorrow from her heart so long? OU, who can ever All the place
Of a fond mother lost and gone?
Bat while upon her heart there lay
Dark sorrow, grief, and pain. So deep it soem'd that not one ray
Of light could gild her path again; A loving voice so sweet and mild,
In tender tones she seemed to hear, A* soft it whisper'd: "Mourning child,
Oh do not yield to dark despair! TOL LXIV.—12
"Be not dismayed, though life seems dreary,
And thy young heart is filled with woe; Confide in me, thy life I '11 cheer,
The yawning waves shall not o'erflnw— Through all the world thy steps I *11 guide,
Thy friend and comforter will be, And though thy loved ouo now has died,
She ever Hvos and reigns with me."
Dark sorrow's tide then ceased to roll,
Though tears still trembled in her eyes; A heavenly calmness o'er her stole,
While sweet hopo pointed to the skies; And though upon this earth below
She misses off a mother's love,
She '11 moot and rest with her above.
BY KATE J. BOYD.
Talk as you will, proud Percy,
Talk as you will of me, Diiina forget, proud Percy,
When you offered yourself to me; Remember the eye that you sought ine
At the cottage by Hawthorne Dell— The note, denying your presence,
Delivered by little Nell.
The flowers, the gifts you sent me,
You know we're nothing to me; And attentions equally tender
Wore over repulsed by me; And now a demon of passion,
A monster, selfish and mean, You 'd turn a midnight assassin,
And murder for love, I ween.
Beware how you trifle, proud Perev,
With all that a woman holds dear* You may rue the day that you sought her,
And beg for your life through fear. Tfan talk if you will, proud Percy,
Yes, talk if you will of me, But diuna forget, proud Percy,
That you otferci yourself to me.
BT WILMS WARE.
Gentle words—gentle words,
How ye linger in the mind, Like the songs of happy birds
Swelling in the summer wind; Like the peal of merry bells
Hoard across some sunny plain, O'or the brooks, and through the dells
Softly sweet, then loud again. Gentlo words—gentle words,
Ye ar*» powers sent to bless— Richer gems than diadems—
Treasures which we all possess; Yo aro tones from brighter a
Angel voices soothing pain, Thrilling echoes that for years
In the heart resound again!
HOW FIVE BACHELORS KEPT HOUSE.
BT MART CLABRE.
It was a warm evening in early June, and in
the parlor of a pleasant house in street,
in the handsome city of Philadelphia, a merry party of young folks were holding a warm laughing discussion.
Susy Arnold, the young hostess, who kept house for her two brothers, Harry and George, took one side of the question, while three other gentlemen, beside her tall brothers, opposed her. Charley Grey, a blue-eyed, curly-headed man, whose fair round face and boyish air formed an apparent contradiction to the assertion he made of having five years before attained his majority; Joe Morris, who from a Spanish mother inherited jetty hair and eyes, and a pale complexion, and from his father a tall, fine figure and a frank, ingenuous expression; and Milton Dacres, whose small figure and bashful ways accounted fully for his nickname Minnie; these three, with the masters of the house, waged playful war upon the little browneyed maiden who sat so demurely upon the sofa.
"Say what you please," said Susy, "you will never convince me of the superiority of man in the capacity of housekeeper."
"But I maintain," cried Joe, "that men can keep house without women, but that women cannot do so, unless we will assist them."
"For instance," said Harry, "when your Biddy was sick last winter, Sue, how would such B mite as you are have brought up coal, kept up the furnace fire, and lifted about wood unless your two brothers had gallantly relieved you of the care?"
"Not to mention that the furnace fire went out three"—
"A truce!" said George, laughing. "That was my fault; but 'accidents will sometimes happen in the best regulated families,' as— somebody, name forgotten, once wisely remarked."
"I only wish you could keep house; lor I would accept Aunt Jane's invitation to travel with her this summer, were it not for leaving
"I have an idea," here cried Charley Grey— "an idea which, if you will agree to act upon it, shall fully cure the women of the insane notion of their indispenaability—ahem! that word nearly choked me."
"The ungallant sentence should have quite strangled you," said Susy.
"Present company always excepted," was the reply.
"The idea! let's have the idea!"
"Suppose we keep house here, while Miss Susy travels."
"Here !" cried Susy, aghast.
"Yes, why not V
"But," said Susy, "I'm sure Jenny would not stay."
"We don't want her; we want no women."
Visions of muddy boots on her parlof sofas, cigars in the flower-vases, pipes on the centretables, spittoons in the best bedroom, and frying-pans in the library, flitted through, the young lady's mind; but before she could remonstrate, Harry said—
"So be it! Hurra for bachelor's hall. Pack up your trunk, Susy!"
"Glorious !" cried Charley, "not a petticoat within the doors for a month."
"But"—again said poor Susy.
"No fusses about tobacco smoke in the curtains," chimed in George.
"Won't it be gay ?" said Minnie.
"Gay!" groaned the little housekeeper.
"Lay in a supply of cigars, George," suggested Joe. "When do yon go, Miss Susy ?*'
"Monday! Aunt Jane's letter said Monday !'' said Harry.
"Monday, then! <We will come, bag and baggage, on Monday morning."
"On an express stipulation that not a woman performs a stroke of work for us for a month." '
With many a flourish, amidst the-gayest jests, George wrote out a solemn contract, by which they bound themselves to ask no service of any kind at woman's hand for one month from the date of the following Monday, June —, I860, and all put their signatures to the important document.
Busy, seeing that her brothers really were in earnest, tried to think she was glad to go, and added her laughing directions to the many schemes proposed. At a later hour, the conclave broke up, and Susy retired with a head full of plans, and a heart full of sore misgivings.
Monday morning rose fair and clear. Six
o'clock saw Susy drive away from the door in a carriage, the trunk strapped behind, the lady's pretty travelling-dress, and the shawl of her cousin and cavalier all bespeaking travel. Seven saw the servant depart, to spend a mouth with ber mother in the country.
Nine o'clock witnessed the meeting of the merry young bachelors.
"Now then," said George, after the first greetings were over, ""I, as the eldest host, will take the charge to-day. As Susy says, 'wheu are you going down town ?'"
"I have nothing to do to-day, so I 'll stay to assist you," said Minnie. "Thank you I"
"What's for dinner?" said Joe, trying to look like the head of it respectable family, and failing most deplorably in the attempt. "You 'll see at three o'clock." "Is that the heart" "Yes 1"
"Remember," said George, "I wait for no one. 'Punctuality is the soul of dinner,' as somebody once said before I mentioned the fact."
Having seen the others off, George and Minnie went into the library for a smoke, to prepare them for the Herculean task before them.
"See," said George, producing a cook-book; "we are safe." "Mrs. Hale! that'sa woman!" cried Minnie. "Whew! never once thought of that. We will stick to the contract. My dear madam, I am sorry to appear rude, but I must show you back to the book-case." "What's for dinner ?" said Minnie. "Roast lamb, potatoes, green peas, 'asparagus, and strawberries."
"That 'll do. Don't "you have to shell peas or something t" "Yes, that's easy enough." "It 's awfully hot," said Minnie, after a short silence. "Horrid!"
"Suppose we shell the peas up here. It's cooler here than in the kitchen. I suppose there 's a fire there?" "Of course." "I 'll go bring them up." "They 're in a basket on the table. Just leave the rest of the things down there."
Shelling peas was rapid work even for unaccustomed fingers, but it is a matter of taste whether the thorough smoking they had from two actively-puffed cigars improved their flavor. "Now, what do you do with them?" said
Minnie. "There ain't many," he added, as he looked at the little green balls rolling about at the bottom of the huge market basket, and then eyed the large pile of shells on the floor.
"You boil them, of course," was George's answer.
"Oh! Suppose we go down."
"Well, come along," said George, taking up the basket.
The fire burned brightly; Jennie had left all in good order, and the prospect was not bad for the amateur cooks.
"What do you boil them in, George?"
"But where is it?"
"In some of the closets, I guess!"
Susy would certainly have fainted could she have seen the overhauling of her neatly arranged closets that followed.
"This?" Minnie dragged forth a pot large enough to boil about twenty pounds of meat in.
In they went, unwashed.
"Hot water, oroold?"
"All right; that's done."
"Now the asparagus. How do you fix it?"
"I wonder if you roast mutton in this thing?" said George, holding up a large pudding-dish.
"I guess so. Put it on in the oven, don't you?"
"Y-e-e-s." George determined to find a book on cookery, written by a man, the very next day.
"You boil asparagus, don't you, George?"
"Yes; here 's a tin thing that's long and shallow; I guess that's for such things." And a dripping-pan came forth from the closet.
The asparagus fitted in like a charm, as both men deolared, and water was added and all set on the range.
The mutton next went, on the pudding-dish, into the oven.
"Come, let's go upstairs again; it's fearfully hot here," said George.
"But the dinner?"
"Oh, that's got nothing to do but cook till three o'clock."
"Oh, George, here 's the potatoes!"
Another pot was produced, and the potatoes, with about two gallons of water to the half peck of Murphies, put on the fire.
Smoking, chatting, reading, and a little practice on the violin filled up the morning, though George declared it was "horrid slow," and Minnie wondered what oil earth women did with themselves.
Half past two brought home three hungry men to dinner.
Leaving the cooks to "dish up," they all adjourned to the parlor to cool themselves. That it was rather dusty there was not noticed. Jennie had made the beds before she left, but dusting the parlors was Susy's work, and her early start had prevented her from doing it.
"George"—Minnie's voice was rather doleful.
"The fire's out!"
"I wonder if anything 'a cooked!" "The asparagus is burnt fast to the pan." , " So is the meat!" "The potatoes V
"Broken all to pieces, and floating about in
"These peas are all mushy, Minnie!" "Punctuality is the soul of dinner," cried
Joe, from the parlor; "it's ten minutes past
"Go set the table," growled George.
It was unique in its arrangements, that table, as the gentlemen sat down to dinner. The meat figured on an enormous dish, with an ocean of white china surrounding its shrunken proportions. The potatoes, in little lumps, unskinned, were piled in a fruit dish; the green mass which Minnie had with infinite difficulty fished from the big meat pot, was served on a red earthen plate, and the stalks of asparagus were in the salad-bowl. The table-cloth was awry, and the napkins were omitted altogether.
"Where's the gravy I" was Joe's first question.
"There wasn't any."
"The meat's burned," cried one voice.
"It is stone cold," said another.
"What's this?" said a third, digging into the pile of peas.
"Faugh!" followed a daring attempt to eat some asparagus.
"Never mind," said Joe. "Rome was not built in a day. Give us some bread and butter, and pickles, George."
"No, not pickles, preserves," said Charley.
"Susy looked both up," cried Harry, laughing. "She declared a woman put them up, and that if we wanted them we must prepare them for ourselves."
Minnie produced the strawberries, and some sugar, and the gentlemen declared they had dined superbly.
"You fellows clear away," said Minnie; "We 're tired."
"You wash up, don't you?" queried Joe.
"Where's the water?"
Away went Joe on a voyage of investigation, and returned soon with a tin dish full of cold water. The "leavings," as Harry termed the remains of the sumptuous dinner, were thrown from the window into Susy's flower-beds, and, armed with a bar of soap and a fine damask table napkin, Joe began to "wash up."
"How the grease sticks!"
Perspiration streaming from every pore, he rubbed manfully at the greasy plates and dishes, and if the water was cold, he certainly was not.
"I've wet my shirt front!" Splash No. 1.
"Good for white pants!" Splash No. 2.
"That went in my eyes; somebody wipe them; my hands are wet. Don't rub them out, Hal!"
"Come, some of you, wipe up!"
The table was cleared at last. Five damp, greasy napkins, thrown into a corner of the room, testified that the dishes were washed and wiped. The water followed the "leavings," and the quintet sat down to "cool off." (Do cigars assist that operation ?)
Spite of the superb dinner, five "inner men" called, like Oliver Twist, for more, at about seven o'clock.
"What's for tea?" Somebody started the question.
"What's for tea?" Four voices echoed it. "Let's have coffee; I can make coffee," said George.
"And a steak; I can cook it," said Joe.
"There's bread and butter," said Harry.
George went for the- steak; Minnie undertook to make the fire; Harry cut the bread; Joe set the table; while Charley "cleared the kitchen" by sweeping the pots and pans used at dinner into a closet, washing being omittqd in the operation.
Minnie, blowing and puffing making the fire, was saluted with—
"How it smokes!"
"What ails the fire, Min?"
Harry discovered the cause, pulled out the damper, and a merry blaze repaid him. The coffee boiled, the steak sputtered in the pan, and the men panted, perspired, whistled,.and used improper words over the heat.
It was a good supper, and, piling up the dishes which it was "too hot to wash," the five bachelors returned to the parlor.
It was involuntary, but each pair of eyes rested for a moment on the seat Susy was wont to occupy. A little music, more talk, and still more smoking filled the time till midnight, when each one yawned himself off to bed. Harry, who was always the one to "lock up," stayed the latest. The kitchen looked dreary; no fire, greasy frying-pan placed as a helmet over the coffee-pot, bits of bread lying about loose, dirty pots Here, and dirty dishes there. The parlor was in disorder; chairs stood in forlorn confusion; smoke hung over all. The diniug-room, with its piles of dirty cups, saucers, and plates, its unswept floor, greasy napkins, and smoky atmosphere, was worst of all, and Harry inwardly admitted that "somehow, the house didn't look as usual."
There was fun the next morning making up beds. The milkman and baker had vainly knocked for admittance, and finally "retired in disgust," and the bachelors breakfasted off the stale bread left from the night's feast, and coffee black aud sweet.
"Every man clear up his own room."
The order given, each started to obey. Joe pulled off all the clothes from his bed, and, having laid the bolster and pillow on, proceeded to put on first a blanket, next a spread, and finally the two sheets, finishing off the whole by putting himself on top to rest from his toils. Minnie, after pulling all the clothes off one side in trying to tuck them in on the other, and then correcting the mistake by tucking them in on the other side, and pulling them off the first, put his bolster on over the pillow, and concluded it "would do." Charley merely smoothed his down, sagely observing that if he pulled the things off, he never could put them on again. Harry and George, who shared the same room, having followed Charley's plan, put on an extra touch by sweeping their room, and leaving the pile of dust in the entry. "Excelsior I"
I Three days' experience convinced them that bachelors' cookery was slow starvation. Steaks and coffee for breakfast were followed by coffee and steaks for dinner, and both for tea. Charley suggested that they should have their meals sent from a restaurant.
"All men cooks, so we stick to the contract," was bis final observation.
Tli« motion was seconded, and carried by unanimous vote.
By this time every dish, plate, napkin, pot, and pan in the house was dirty, and, joyfully concluding that they wouldn't want them any more, the gentlemen piled them up in the
kitchen sink, on the floor and tables, and left them.
"Harry"—it was George's voice—"I haven't got a clean shirt."
"I've got one."
"Nor a haudkerchief, nor a collar, nor a pair of stockings, nor—"
"Stop! Two weeks since Susy went, and no washing-day."
There was a dead silence.
"Who knows how to wash?"
"I—I 've seen it done," said one faint voice, owned by Charley. "You soap the things and rub 'em on a board."
"Can anybody iron?"
They all thought they could manage that part.
The kitchen was opened for the first time for ten days. One cry burst from five lips. Tables, chairs, floor, dresser, sink, were one mass of roaches, collected by the piles of greasy dishes. They overran every place.
"Shut the door. Now for it," cried George, and dashed at the invaders. Bedlam seemed to have broken loose. In reaching after one of the "critters," Charley upset the table. Crash went the crockery. Screams of laughter, cries of disgust, blows thick as hail, comments on the heat, jokes, warnings flew about for an hour, and then the panting party ceased from their labors, and viewed sternly the "cold corpuses" of their foes. A scream from Minnie—
"There's one down my back!"
George cried—"Joe, there's one on your hair!"
"Don't mention it. Look at the fellow on your shirt sleeve."
A general stampede for the liath-room followed.
"Let's wash up here."
No sooner said than done. The soiled clothes were collected from all the rooms, and the boards and soap brought up from the kitchen.
Joe and Harry washed, blistering hands and streaming foreheads testifying to their efforts. Cold water required a great deal of rubbing, and somehow the things had a yellow tinge after all, as George remarked as he wrung them out. Minnie, objecting to going into the yard, hang them over the chairs in the dining-room and the banisters in the entry as fast as George and Charley wrung them out. Dinner time came, and found them still at work. Dinner