« السابقةمتابعة »
his share of eoolness and self-possession, and, although it eost him a eonsiderable effort, he managed to introduee topies of eonversation and to talk pretty freely, although the talking was nearly all on his own side, Miss Herbert maintaining a eold reserve, and answering entirely in monosyllables.
For about a quarter of an hour, Andy endured the ordeal, wondering why this partieular young lady should happen to be alone in the parlor of
Mrs. T , and wondering still more why Miss
Areher did not make ber appearanee. Just as he began to feel a little exeited and uneasy, the door opened, and in walked another young maiden whom he had reason to remember—a Miss Mary Harper. She was also one of his old flames. She appeared surprised at seeing him, and greeted him with eoldness. Andy tried to say some sprightly things to Miss Harper; but he was far from being in as good eondition as at first . The effort to entertain Miss Herbert had somowhat exhausted his reservoir of spirits, and his attempts to draw farther thereon were not very sueeessful. The two young ladies drow together on the sofa, and maintained a mutual reserve towards Andy that soon began to be painfully emharrassing.
"What does all this mean V Andy had just asked himself, for he was beginning to feel puzzled, when the sound of light feet along the passage was again heard, and, the door opening, his eyes rested upon the form of Caroline Gray, to whom he had onee paid his addresses. Very partieular reasons had Andy Cavender for not wishing to meet Caroline on that partieular oeeasion; for he had eommitted himself to her more direetly than to any other young lady in Woodland, having, on one oeeasion, aetually written and sent to her a love-letter. The preeise eontents of that epistle he did not remember; but often, when he thought of it, he had doubts as to the extent to whieh he had eommitted himself therein, that were not very eomfortable.
Soon another and another entered, and, strange to say, eaeh was an old flame, until there were present not less than six fair, rebuking spirits. Silent, Andy sat in the midst of these—silent, beeause the pressure on his feelings had beeome insufferably great—for nearly a quarter of an hour. It was a soeial party of a most novel eharaeter, and one that he has never forgotten.
About the time that Andy's feelings were in as uneomfortable a state as eould well be imagined, and he was beginning to wish himself at the North Pole, Kate Areher and her friend Jenny entered the room slowly, the former with an open letter in her hand, upon whieh the eyes of both were resting.
In an instant, it flashed upon Andy Cavendor that he was to be vietimized by the eity belle. No sooner had this thought erossed his mind than, rising abruptly, ho bowed to hia fair tormentors, saying—
"Exeuse me, ladies." And beat a hasty retreat.
But, ere he had passed beyond the street door, there reaehed him a gush of merry laughter from the musieal throat of Kate, in whieh other voiees mingled.
On the next day, he reeeived a letter direeted in a delieate hand. It inelosed the one he had written to Kate, and aeeompanying it was a note in these words—
"There is, it is presumed, a mistake in the direetion of this. It was prohably meant for Caroline Gray, Mary Harper, Naney Herbert, or Jenny Green. In order that it may reeeive its proper destination, it is returned to the writer."
The village flirt was a ehanged man after that. He had played with edged tools until he eut himself, and the wound, in healing, left an ugly sear. Poor Andy Cavender! All this happened years ago, and be is a haehelor still, notwithstanding several subsequent attempts to make a favorable impression on the hearts of eertain pretty maidens.
The story of his punishment at Mrs. T 's flow
over the village in a fow hours, and, after that, no fair denizen of Woodland for a moment thought of regarding any attention from Andy Cavender as more than a pieee of idle pastime; and, on the fow oeeasions that he ventured to talk of love, the merry witehes laughed him in the faee.
THE GOOD ANGEL.
BY MRS. HA LI,
Ansels, sent as witnesses,
Wateh us evervwhere; Sheltered by their shining wings,
Seeming folds of air, Gentle maiden, one is near,
List'ning for thy prayer I
Offerings of the pure in heart
Upward, flame-like, tend;
Angel guards deseend!
Thus together blend.
Lovely as the lonely flower
In the desert blown,
But to an^el known:
Where its light is thrown.
As the fragranee from the flower
Rlseth morn and even,
Joy and grief are given
Ineense forth for heaven— Angels for this off'ring wait
Every mora and even.
"Heaven proteet me from single
Alone she sits in the old homestead,
And dim her faded eye;
Two seore and a half have gone by.
Of the old house eloek, that rings
Borne off on the night's dark wings.
From the lightest step an eeho fulls
Like the earth-elod in a grave— • On all things lies a sullen gloom,
Beep as a funeral wave.
And thronging memories eome
To people that old home.
The father in his old arm-ehair
The mother's voiee again,
As musie's lingering strain:
The light and joy it brings,
Like the rush of waving wings.
And kindred spirits hover near,
As in the fairest youth,
Is ehanged to eold, eold truth.
Affeetion's dowy flower*,
Fur want of eare of ours!
When gone forever, no fond eye
E'er glanees to our own:
Unloved, and e'er alone t
And love and joy are gone—
7b I iv-: and die alone!
Ah! there she sits—but in her eye
Of dark expressive hue, Is a soft light of kindliness
Forever melting through:
The golden elusters there;
Exelude eorroding eare!
Her voiee—with eheerful, happy tone,
but not from single blessedness.*'
Is like glad eehoes in the heart,
The grateful heart it thrills:
But not so fair as now;
And lights her sunny brow.
Onee faney painted visions bright
Of sweet domestie bliss;
She trusted not to this.
And sweet young voiees ring—
Like gushings of a spring.
In her kind home, how blest arc all
Who feel its genial sway—
What sweet reposo and stay—
As light-winged time goes by,
Or dimming yet the eyel
Oh 1 who may not be always blest,
Encireled with life's flowers,
And kind acts on the hours.
The heart may find its home:
There happiness will eomel
TO SIGNORA B * * t *
BT FANNY sT. AtlBTN.
Ah! say not thou 'rt exiled long
From "sunny 1 talie!"
Warm hearts have weleomed thee;
Thriee weleome to our own bright land,
Whoso ehords are swept with thrilling hand—
But wake the soul's deep mystery
With burning song of Itallel
Oh! wake thy lute's soft notes a!min,
We listen for the thrilling strain
Oh! wake its gushing minstrelsy
To song of thine own Italiel
EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN IN CITIES.
No. I. — THE MINT COIN ADJUSTERS.
BT ALICB B. nIAL.
Purlie opmion would seem to have deeided that but two elasses of employment are legitimate to our sex—teaehing and the needle.
"In the first plaee," says that exeellent authority, "women are not intended to be oeeupied out of the domestie eirele. The eares of the household are her proper sphere, while man bears abroad 'the burden and heat of the day.' Our mothers, our sisters, our wives, how mueh we owe to them! We love them all the more for their beautiful dependenee. We pity those who have been deprived of their natural proteetors, and are obliged to labor for themselves. How fortunate that to them two sueh \ avenues are open! Teaehing is at onee so respeetable and proper; the needle, to those who are not qualified for the sehool-room, is a eertain and never-failing support." And so publie opinion turns to the diseussion of some now theme, with folded hands and a satisfied eonseienee.
Visit our publie sehools, and you will see hundreds of bright ehildish faees, who will soon take the plaee of older sisters, now toiling in part, perhaps, for their support. Go through our erowded eourts and swarming alleys, and you find as many more, who have never been gathered into the fold of this instruetion. All these human souls are to have some aim in life, some provision for the natural wants of their existenee. They must be elothed and fed; they erave their small share of eomforts, and luxury even. It is rare that you find among them a strong, well-trained spirit, that is self-reliant and self-denying thus early in life. They must have oeeupation as the means to an end, as well as to prevent the rust of natural ahilities. Life-long labor for a seanty fee is not in itself attraetive, and therefore marriage is set before them ns the end and objeet of their existenee. Even when the higher nature has been developed by partial mental training, this one false motive is suffered to take root.
The woman of the world, surrounded by all of wealth and eleganee, edueates her beautiful daughters to the one end of marrying for an establishment. It is for this that every natural graee is heightened, every warm heart-impulse subdued, every aeeomplishment is sought. The simple strength of love, the union of reeiproeal tastes and exeellent qualities, the "divine self-abuegation" to the will and eomfort of those around them, the training for the oow position, and the thousand responsihilities of wife and mother, the mistress of a household, the Rol. Xlv.—11
leader of soeiety, have no part nor lot in the mat ter. And, if this is undeniably so in the light of high intelleetual eultivation, what wonder that the daughters of the poor man look upon marriage, from earliest girlhood, as the goal of all hopes and aims, the emaneipation from the restraints of the pinehed and meagre household arrangements, a eessation from the wearying routine of the needle, their sole dependenee? Thus marriages of eonvenienee are not eonfined alone to those homes whero human hearts are saerifieed that their eleganee need not be diminished. The apple of diseord is sometimes other than golden fruit; and the home that should have been so bright, a haven of rest and eontentment, is darkened with eontention and angry reproaeh: whenee eome the sins of negleet, intemperanee, and perhaps ahandonment .
How different would all home influenoe be, if young girls were taught to reverenee, rather than make a jest of this holiest emotion of the heart, and to wait, in quiet and serene eontentment, until sueh a time as they should meet and reeognize sueh qualities of mind and soul as would insure sympathy, strength, and forbearanee in the nearest and dearest assoeiation of life?
The restless mind, so busy with idle and faneiful dreams, would be trained by aetive employment; the self-respeet of independenee would forhid any saerifiee of truth or honest feeling.
But others remain to be provided for. The daughters of those who havo been affluent, but are suddenly redueed to the neeessity of labor; the young widow, reared in eomfort, who finds herself alone in the world, with her ehildren to be reared and edueated. This is no small elass of eommunity to be provided for, and one whose wants are most diffieult to meet. "Work they eannot, to beg they aro ashamed," and may live on, eating the hitter bread of dependenee; for thoy had wasted the instruetions of the sehool-room, save in those aeeomplishments that fitted them to shine in soeiety, but are useless now, and their physieal strength, as well as manual skill, will avail very little in the eontest with daily want. All these must bo eared for, or their sufferings, it may be said, rest upon the very publie opinion whieh washes its righteous hands so innoeently of the matter. And why? Beeause it has guarded so many avenues of employment; beeause it has shut out all ehoiee and variety: "so far shalt thou eome, and no farther," in the broad world of
human effort and ingenuity, is the voiee that has eondemned every effort to a wider range of theught and aetion.
Not that we would enter into the eontest of the present, and soil our lips with the war-ery for " female emaneipation;" we elaim for our sisters only liberty to use the proportion of strength, both of body and mind, with whieh Heaven has seen 6t to endow them. Every woman whe eomes beforo the world as a publie teaeher or leador seems to us to lose a part of her hirthright of purity and delieaey. The pen ean send forth its gentle influenee from the retirement of the heme eirele; but we ask no plaeo in the leeture-room or the arena of politieal strife— nothing that eould disturb
"That stillness whieh best beeomes a woman—
Wo are, in a measure, dealing with past traditions; very reeently, the aspeet of sooiety in this respeet is somewhat ehanged, perhaps in no eity more sueeessfully than our own; and we have theught a glanee at some of these sourees of industry and eontent might not be uninteresting to the readers of a publieation devoted to the interests of our sex, whilo resulting perhaps in still further progress. And, first of all, we seleet, for its novelty, uuparalleled sueeess, and general interest, the weighing or adjusting of the United States Mint.
You are fond of eroeheting, fair ladies; you like the graeo of the silken purse, the shining glitter of its well-filled eompartments. The golden dollars slip softly through your pretty hands; you admire the purity of the silver eoin; nay, are not ashamed to eonfess to the early ehildish gratifieation of a bright new u eopper," with the smiling head of Liberty, and the distinet "one Eenv" on the reverse, one of the first spelling lessons to whieh you gave earnest heed. But have you any more idea of tho manufaeture of this ringing eoin than you have of the weaving of the delieate laee or the rieh silks for whieh it is given in exehange? Not unless you have visited our eity and gone through with its lions, for prominent among them stands the pure marble edifiee known as the Mint. But, if you have never aeeomplished the established routine of sight-seeing, allow us to bo your ehaperono fur the morning, and we shall find what part our sex plays in the produetion of our eountry's eoinage.
We need not be daunted by the eard that eonfronts us at the portal, u No admittanee after twelve o'eloek;" we have a friend at eourt, whese name is a talisman to the porter, and we are ushered through the paved hall into his neat offiee, little differing from an ordinary eounting-room; here we await the arrival of our guide, no other than the director of the department in whieh is situated the u Mint eage of Canaries," as some one has pleasantly entitled the apartment whieh is the prineipal objeet of our visit.
They are opening small paekages of the raw material in the room opposite the sub-treasurer's offiee, as we leave it, These brown-paper pareels, So earefully tied, and sealed, and direeted, arrived in yesterday's steamer from the Garden Gate. We saw it announeed in huge eapitals, ineluded in that indefinite quantity, "$300,000 In Vhe Hanns Op Vhe Rassenoeas!" They are so suggestive, these small leathern hags, seareely larger than the longest finger of a gentleman's glove, filled with the fine shining dust and flakes, that are now lying upon the seale that will soon mark their aetual value. It tells of " perils by flood and field," separation from heme and friends, days of weary toil, and nights of restless anxiety. It may be a 't widow's mite," all that has returned to her for the love and proteetion that were given up for the fatal seareh; it may bo an orphan's only portion; or perhaps the weleome remittanee, eome in the heur of need, to avert threatened want or beggary.
However this may stand, it will soon be fused in the glowing mass that prepares the labor of the eoiner.
We are too late for the melting; hut that we have little to do with. We know that the assayed and refined gold is at length eost into hars, of perhaps half a yard in length—we will take the largest gold eoin, the double eagle, at whieh they work to-day—and from this the bright eirele, with its elear impressions, is to bo formed.
Now we are in a room filled with swarthy men and elanking maehinery. It is lighted by the red glow of the annealing furnaee, and the hiss of steam mingles with the eonfused eherus of sounds. The iron ehain, elosed against all intruders, is thrown down at our appearanee, and, as we enter the eentral door, we find near us one of these iron frames that minister to the diseord. Beside it is a wooden table or tray, helding a bundle of long thin strips of gold; the har has already been subjeeted to various proeesses, and has gained several inehes in length for the lost thiekness. See, in the press beforo us, as it passes through the proeess, whieh must still be repeated, the pressure bearing greater until the requisite thiekness is attained. When thus drawn, the strip is passed beneath yonder die, striking with the utmost preeision and regularity, as the grave-faeed workman draws it outward with a slightly oseillating motion, the round eounters of gold falling into a reeeptaele beneath; and the thin har of metal, remaining penetrated at equal distanees, is laid aside to be remelted and reeast, for nothing is wasted here.
"As the trimmings of puff paste are kneaded again," says our guide, by way of illustration to our femiuine ears, whieh suggests to us a eomparison for the strips themselves: a thin layer of eake or hiseuit dough, when the eireular eutter has passed over it, etehing out the eakes at regular intervals.
And this is all it is neeessary for us to see juat 127
THE MINT COIN ADJUSTERS.
now; so wo leave the jar and eonfusion, following our eieerone up an outer stairease, of the hellowsquare or parallelogram, whieh the buildings form; and, entering a small passage, are ushered at onee into the room appropriated to these whe adjust the eoin to its exaet standard weight before it ean he finished. What a ehango! The only sound is the ehattering of merry voiees, or bursts of girlish laughter, subdned a little, but by no means hushed, at the approaeh of visitors. The apartment is large and airy, long ranges of windows on eaeh side, and a skylight in the eentre, seeuring ample ventilation. Through its width extend three long tables, and on eaeh side are plaeed the young girls, busy with this monotonous, but agreeablo employment. Not all young girls; for here and there we meet a more eareworn faee, aeting as a halanee, perhaps, to the light spirits of these around. It reminded us at
first of the large drawing-hall of the Seminary:
there were the same gayety and eheerfulness, and the seales before eaeh workwoman filled the plaee of our easels. Walking about from group to group, with a sweet and serious mien, was a lady in deep mourning, not unlike our favorite teaeher, as she would eome, with some word of eneouragement or advioe, to wat«h the progress of the drawing; but her presenoo was no arhitrary restraint, and the work went on as rapidly, for all the jest and laughter. Some were standing, the height of the tables making it eonvenient for them to do so; others had made themselves eomfortable with foot-stools, or were leaning over their work. Hands and arms were in eonstant motion; indeed, the whele upper part of the figure is exeroised mueh more than in ic wing, or even drawing, by the reaehing and filing.
The neat seales aro plaeed direetly before them, at jnst a eonvenient distanee apart; a file and a round brush, like that of a heuse painter, are their only implements. A pile of the unfinished eoin is plaeed before eaeh, whieh is to be halaneed by the exaet standard weight. The eoin is plaeed in the opposite seale, and is required to be preeisely the same; if it varies ever so little, the index in the eentre is true to the fault. It moves like the hand of a eloek, butwith a pendulum motion, upon a tiny white dial-plate, and the praetised eye ean diseover the instant, and to us almost impereeptible movement. If too heavy, the file separates a few tiny partieles from the rough edge; or, if too light, the pieee is rejeeted altogether. A round and square ean of tin stands before eaeh, for the different pieees. These that are of just weight are now ready to bo milled, the others aro reweighed, and, if found to vary moro than the eighth of a grain, are eonsidered altogether too light, and are melted and cast again. All this is done with astonishing rapidity and preeision. The eye is fixed upon the register, and the busy hands move almost meehanieally from pile to file, and to the open-mouthed reeeptaele. The partieles are suffered to fall upon the sheets of
stiff brown paper that eover the tables; but think not their eseape is permitted. It is for this reason that no eurrent of air is admitted, the room being ventilated by lowering the upper sash.
But hew are they gathered?
We shall see, as soon as this present weight of ooin is finished; they are already near its eompletion. One by one they eease from the quiek routine, and wateh their less industrious neighbors, or ehat among themselves; as seheol-girls antieipate an approaehing reeess. "But why are they not supplied with work at onee ?" we ask, to be told that eaeh pareel is weighed in the offiee of the ohief eoiner before it is brought to the room, and must be weighed again by itself. Now the tin eans are beginning to gather on one of the smaller tables, where a workman from below is preparing their eontents for removal.
This is an animated seene; every workwoman has risen, and is busily plying her brush. Her own dress, apron, and sleeves aro dusted, then the table before her, the seales, and all the partieles brushed down together. We essay to lift the ean of filings thus gathered from the morning's employment; it is about half full of the dull yellow and brown partieles; but, as if they eoneealed a magie weight, our wrists are so strained that we are fain to replaee it upon the table of the lady direetress. We are told, to our amazement, that the value of the very sweepings alone will average from twelve to fourteen hnndred dollars!
But still more, the water in whieh their hands are now washed has also its preeious deposit. More than two hundred dollars was saved in this way in ten months.
"Is it possible V we say. "Then the very dust of the floor must be valuable V And wo are told, with a quiet smile, that no sweeping from the whele building is thrown away. It is first "purified by fire," and its yearly yield is almost equal to a California elaim!
"That is the dressing-room," says our guide, pointing to a largo sereen, eutting off about onesixth of the room. "The sereen opposito shields the kitehen and dining-room."
"A kitehen in the Mint!" This was eertainly an nnexpeeted novelty; and we are told that the employees do not leave the building through the ten heurs, whieh is their daily limit. Very different from the twelve and fourteen of the seamstress; for every one knows that the last two or four heurs drag heavily enough, when the mind and body aro exhausted. The girls themselves prefer the regulation, work eommeneing at six during the summer season, and seven in the winter, whieh gives them a long evening; time enough, after four, for sowing, walking, or study. They are eertainly the gainers by the noon heur thus being saved; whenee the neeessity for the kitehen and dining-room. With kind permission, we venture to intrude behind the