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at work her mind was filled with memories and Just as she was thinking of arranging Frank's thoughts of the past. Twelve months ago, how stocking, she was startled by a heavy foot on the different ! Then John was with her; and they had stair, and the sound of her own name shouted gone out together and had made their purchases, lustily; but before she could get to the door it was more even than they could bring home, so that the opened by a stranger with a parcel. grocer's man followed them with a large parcel. Then

Mrs. Ruth Hearn ?" said the young man. on their return the stocking was arranged for Frank, “Yes, that's me; but I'm not expecting any parcel.” and each, unknown to the other, had bought a little “ Can't help that, ma'am : here's one for you." present. It is easy to draw Santa Claus to the house “ I'm sure there must be some mistake, or else it's when there is love in the heart—and money in the one of those firms that send out parcels and then send pocket. What a Christmas day that was ! They were in a bill for them. No, young man, I haven't ordered so happy in their quiet enjoyments, and with the com- anything, and I can't pay for it." pany of three friends of John's to tea-seafaring men Lor, bless you, ma'am, there ain't nothing to pay, like himself, so brave, and strong and gentle. And unless you like to be so good as to give the porter a now he had gone, and they had gone : and there were trifle this Christmas Eve for bringing this 'ere heavy four widows on this Christmas Eve weeping

parcel all the way up these 'ere stairs : for we don't

reckon for to do more than leave 'em at the front “For those who should never come back to the town."

door." They were shipmates, and had left Dundee together Well, I'm sure it's


kind of you, and it's only in May in their whaling ship The Sea Plover for Melville reasonable what you say, so late too as it is, and I Bay, and she had never heard from him. For a long dare say you want to be at home. Come in. Ah ! time she had hoped he would return some day: he yes, sure enough, that's plain, · Mrs. Ruth Hearn,' had been in so many perils and dangers that she and that's quite as plain, * Paid.' Dear me, this is fancied nothing worse in the way of icebergs or frozen very extraordinary! Who can it be? Do you

know seas could happen to him. But when week after where this came from?” week went by and all the whaling ships but his came “Yes, o' course, from Teacher and Normandy, back in September, she gave him up. She pictured Family Grocers and Teamen :' it says so on the label, him suffering so frightfully from cold and hunger, don't it?" that at last it was a positive relief to think of him “Ah! but who paid for it? That's the extralying away in his frozen grave, until the ice as ordinary part.” well as the sea should give up its dead.

“Ah! that's where you beat me. I don't know all The memory of his strong love, and of their happy our regular customers, let alone all our chance ones, married life, was a precious inheritance; but at times, such a day as this. But, perhaps there's a note or in the bitterness of her grief, her heart had asked ticket inside." itself why God had thus dealt with her ? Why were By this time he was quite interested in this nicethey married at all, for her to have her cup of joy speaking woman, and in her pleasant surprise, and thus dashed from her ? She might need punishment, being of a good-natured turn, and anxious to have his but John! there never was a better, truer man. Why curiosity allayed, he volunteered to undo the parcel, was he left alone to perish in such a terrible way, as “the knots was ’ard, and it was a shame to cut when every day she saw worthless lives preserved, such good stout string as this." when she heard of interpositions of providence to Ruth was in no hurry to get rid of her visitor, who rescue those who lived as though there were no God, might still, perhaps, be able to throw some light on and who were in no sense grateful for their mercies. this strange transaction. Setting down the parcel on

Poor Ruth did not welcome such thoughts, and the table, the young man proceeded to undo the knots, when they came she always tried to pray against and to unwrap the two folds of paper in which the their remaining. Sometimes Frank was the giant articles were enclosed. His experience enabled him who conquered them, the spell that exorcised them, to tell the contents of the packages without opening or rather the good angel in whose presence they fled, them, as he rattled them off. “One pound o’ best like spectres before the early dawn. His unques mixed, one ditto best Mocha coffee, one pound candied tioning love, his implicit trust, his entire confidence peel, mixed, I should say," as he put the packet to in her, that she would do the best for him ; his simple his nose; "one tin mixed biscuits, H. & P., two pounds faith in the present, his hopeful outlook on the morrow, o' muscatels, half-pound shelled almonds, box o' bonreproved her. Was she not a child, as little able to bons, one Genoa cake at ten per pound, pound o' understand, as needing to walk by faith? And should currants, ditto sultanas, box o' figs-best-bag o' filshe not have the same unquestioning confidence in berts, box o' cosaques—Punch and Judy-and-and her Father? At any rate, she was able to say :

--but neither smelling nor feeling assisted him to

declare the contents of the last parcel, which was of "'Twas better to have loved and lost,

greater length than any article in which his firm Than never to have loved at all."

dealt. Unfolding the papers, he held up a doll, with And had she not her darling Frank to comfort her ? real hair, and eyes that shut when the doll was laid

In thought of him her needle flew up and down, down. But no note or any ticket fell out, and the and for his sake she would be bright and joyous on mystery was as great as ever. The young man took the morrow, although she had been able to make but occasion to assure Ruth that they did not deal in scant provision in the way of Christmas fare. She dolls, and that, therefore, that article must have been had an orange, a small box of toys, a gun and a whip an enclosure. Ruth cheerfully gave the young man for Frank, and with these he would not much care threepence from her small stock, and, thanking her, what there was for dinner.

he departed.


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Her bewilderment did not paralyse her activity; as he went off to bed with his doll of the friendly she could indulge lier bewilderment when busy as disposition he communicated to him that his real well as in reverie, and she set to work at once to make Şanta Clans wouldn't go anywhere else, but would a pudding for the morrow, her own preparations not stay with them. having included that time-hononred comestible for Next day, after church, Ruth's friends shared her Christmas, · Well,” she said to herself, “ Santa joy, and as they remarked John's appearance, more Claus has not forgotten us, after all, but who sent than one said, -* You have had a real • Santa Claus.'" him, that's the question? Of course God put that into someone's heart, but who is he? Frank would have thought that young man a very commonplacelooking fairy, but then the best fuiries in this life

THE NEW YEAR. come to us in plain clothes. Why, I declare there's

ARK ! thro' the pine-tops the night-winds some one else coming up—visit number two—no,

are sighing, that can't be. Perhaps, after all, it's a mistake.

Hark to the moan of the sea : Hearn isn't such an uncommon name; but how can

Chant they a dirge for the year that is I give back the things now ? Ruth went to the door

dyingand encountered a burly figure enveloped in a dark cap

Dying for ever to me? that almost hid so much of a face as a huge beard had

Louder than they, on the chill breezes swelling, not concealed. She was retreating into her room in

Soothing the ear as tbey fall, fright when a hand was laid on her shoulder, from

Hark to the bells ! in glad melody telling, which she tried to release herself.

“Mercy still rules over all !” “ Ruth!”

Waken, my heart, and unite in their chorus, “Oh! John, can it be you ? " and the weary wife

Pour to thy Father thy praise; turned and fell into the strong, loving arms of her

Lo! tis His hand marks our pathway before us,

“ He is the length of our days." lost husband. She did not faint, her first thought was to provide refreshment for him, but this he said Past is the night, and the morning is breaking, he was in no hurry for; he had taken something on

Breaking o'er mountain and sea ;

Dawns a New Year on a world dimly waking, his way, dreading to find, perhaps, an empty cup

Given, All.gracious, by Thee! board at home. In a few words he told her as much of his story as

Lead Thou me on where Thy wisdom deviseth,

Seek I no further to know; was necessary to explain bis absence and his silence.

Trusting the promise which, star-like, ariseth The Sea I 'lover was unfortunate at the early part of

O'er all Thy children below. her voyage and saw but few whales, and to complete

Thou in the rock-cleft securely shalt hide me, a cargo the captain proceeded farther north than was

Strong though the tempest may be ; his custom. In the northern part of Baffin's Bay the

Onward, still onward, Thy spirit shall guide me-ship met with icebergs, but continued her course,

Onward and upward to Thee !

W. H. GROSER. hoping that Barrow Straits would be clearer. Here, however, they met with ice-floes, and were surrounded with masses of foating ice, from which they were

CORRESPONDENCE. unable to ext: icate the ship. All the efforts of the crew were directed to keeping the ship clear of the floating ice, which sometimes seemed as if it would WANTED :- Kind Words, vols. II. and III. Must be clean

and cheap. Address, Emma Scott, St. Oswin's, Tynemouth. overwhelm the vessel and crush her to pieces. They UN GAROON.-1. We think you will find what you want in a drifted down the Gulf of Boothia, where the ship series of papers which appeared in YOUNG ENGLAND not long stuck fast, for all hope of retracing their course north

ago, commencing with Part 52 (24th December, 1880) entitled,

All about the Magic-Lantern." We adverted to these ward was gone, as it was now October, by which articles in our November correspondence. 2. From the sketch time all wualers had made their way home. The you send, we should say the coin is a Greek one, and the head crew remaiued in the ship for some time, when,

is that of George I., “ King of the Hellenes," who was elected

in March, 1863. 3. These are both healthy works of fiction, finding that their only hope of escape was reaching standard books which every lad ought to read ; this sort of the mainland, they constructed rude sledges, and light literature, however, ought not to he exclusively indulged after some weeks they reached the Hudson Bay Terri

in, but read for recreation. 4. Shakespeare usually heads the

list of English poets because his genius was greater, more tory. They met some of the Company's traders, who versatile, and more expansive than the rest. Every lad ought helped them to the Labrador Coast, whence after DECLINED WITH THANKS. —"Heaven,” by H. M. (rhythm,

to know that. a time they found a ship which took them to England. irregular); “Slander," by E. L. H.'; “The Love of Christ," Before he had time to finish his narrative he saw the

by H. E. T. door opening slowly, and in walked a little white

OUR NEEDLEWORK COMPETITION. figure, inquiring, “Has Santa come, mother? I heard

A LETTER FROM Miss SHARMAN. some ore and thought it must be him."

Miss Sharman, Principal of the Orphan Home, Southwark, In an instant John seized him in his arms, and to whom we sent the children's nightgowns made by our seemed to bury him in a deluge of kisses, and a forest young lady competitors for the Needlework Competition, thus of beard ; and when the little fellow was released from acknowledges the receipt of our present:

“The nice parcel of pretty and neatly-made night-dresses the embrace, he looked up into his father's face and has reached me safely, and I heartily thank both you and said, “ This is better than Santa Claus, isn't it, your contributors for the useful gift. I am so glad you mother?”

encourage the womanly art of needlework, and combine with In a little while, however, he thought that his it the sacred privilege of ministering to the needs of the father must after all be the good Santa as well, as

poor. Wishing you every blessing on your good work,

“I am, yours faithfully, John produced the toys he had bought for him ; but


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HE wise King of Israel said,

“ He that regardeth the
clouds shall not reap,” and
if the farmer were always

watching the weather so intently as to stay his hand from sowing for fear of a shower, he would deserve to lose his harvest. Yet there is a “ regarding” of the clouds which is far from being unwise, and the references in the Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (as in the Book of Job) are sufficient to show that the writers of these ancient compositions were close observers of the sky.

On a clear day in winter, or even one that is not very clear, we may

Cirrus, or Curl Cloud. add to our ideas by looking upward at the changing purities in the atmosphere above, makes up the horrid clouds. It is the mingling of air with moisture in yellow fogs of London. the regions above us, where tides and currents are as These forms of clouds combine so as to form cirroconstant as in Old Ocean, that gives rise to the end-cumulus, cirro-stratus, cumula-stratus, and so on, and · less panoramas of cloudland. Our four diagrams an eye for the beautiful may find delight in watching represent as many forms of cloud, and the originals their constant changes of shape and colour. may soon be discovered by observant eyes. No. 1 is

THE WORK OF CLOUDS. the CIRRUS or curl cloud, which is here hardly made “ curly" enough. It is the first cloud that appears in God works in Nature wondrously, often so quietly fine weather, and is always high up. It begins as a that we need the teachings of science to help us to few motionless white threads flecking the blue sky, realise the stupendous nature of the forces engaged, and often lasts but a short time. It is a fair weather and the marvellous effects produced. Here is a calcloud, and therefore popular with most of us. culation :-An inch of rain falling on an acre of land,

The CUMULUS or Stacken cloud is shown in No. 2. if collected, would weigh over 100 tons. There are It is a day cloud, has a dense compact appearance, 640 acres in a square mile, so that an inch of rain on and moves with the wind. It seems as if formed by a square mile would, if collected, weigh over 64,000 masses of vapour piled or “stacked ” up, one above tons. The area of England, Wales, and Scotland is another, and it accompanies and foretells fine 89,643 square miles. Assuming the whole of this weather.

surface to be covered with snow to the depth of one No. 3, on the contrary, is seldom welcome, except foot, and that a foot of snow is equal to one inch of to farmers—the NIMBUS or rain cloud, dark and lower- rain, the amazing result follows that there must have ing, but sometimes lightened up and glorified by the been discharged from the heavens in the form of snow varied beauties of the rainbow.

a weight of water of 5,737,152,000 tons !-over five No. 4 is the STRATUS or fall cloud, lying low on the thousand millions of tons. Of course, the whole of earth or water, and occurs chiefly towards nightfall. this enormous mass has been previously lifted into It is the “raw material” which, mingled with im- the clouds in the shape of vapour by the “arch

chemic sun," and will be so again —again to fall, once more to rise, and so on through the rolling ages.

It is impossible to convey accurate ideas by mere figures, but as, an illustration, assume the shipping of the whole world to be capable of carrying 20,000,000 of tons, and that it was requisite to convey the whole weight to the other side of the globe, it follows that the vessels would have to perform 286 voyages before it could be carried across,

ANIMAL LIFE IN JANUARY. Coming down again to earth, let

145 look about us. It is the New Cumulus.

Year, and when Father Christmas



has departed, though we are sorry to lose him, we find that Dame Nature is already pre

“ Jack" is a long-liver. An paring for another course of

extract before me tells of one lectures on things general and

who, at the time of writing, particular.

had attained the age of thirBirds begin to sing in

teen years and a half-a patriJanuary, even as they did of

arch of daws. “I took to the old, “when the pie was

bird and fed it with crumbs opened," and this is about the

from my window. He came order of their solos (a young

regularly for his food. For naturalist ought to note these

several years this pet mated facts in his diary) :-Wren,

with the wild birds. One he Redbreast, Common Bunting,

selected, and I believe kept Marsh Titmouse, Hedge

to all through ; I know it Sparrow, Cole Titmouse, Sky

from the drooping habit of lark, Great Titmouse, Missel

its wings. Their nest was in Thrush, Song Thrush. And

a hole in an ash tree close by. about the end of the month

Many a lump of bread did Starlings resort to our build

Jack carry away from my ings, preparatory to their

window to feed his family building. (N.B.-It is more

year after year in that hole. interesting in the end, and

Besides his mate, Jack has a perhaps not less rational, to

great number of relations and watch the habits of birds,

followers or friends, who come with eye and ear, than to

Nimbus, or Rain Cloud.

to my window in hard times. “chuck a stone" at the first

Jack is blind of one eye, the one which appears in view.)

result no doubt of defending his nest in the hollow The STARLING is a bird well worth studying. It is tree. He also has a crooked leg, but, considering his widely distributed, and, except in the extreme north age, he is in fairly good plumage, and comes for bis and west, is common in our own Island. Mr. Harting soft bread regularly. He does not like crust. Conincludes it, of course, in the “Birds of Middlesex," sidering the enormous number of young birds which and many a one have I watched in my own suburban are reared every year, the death-rate among

the garden, extracting worms and beetles from my grass- feathered tribes must necessarily be a very high one, plot. The fact is, we might see plenty of birds in and few can survive to the good old age of the bird the neighbourhood of great cities and towns, were it mentioned above. During a hard winter many sorts not for thoughtless boys and far more culpable of birds find subsistence difficult, and their number " sportsmen.”

becomes greatly reduced, but a few mild seasons and Mr. Harting says the Starling is fond of bathing abundant food soon restore about their average itself by the banks of streams, giving itself“ douche number.” and shower-baths in the intervals of eating. It is a

BRITISH REPTILES. friend to man by devouring his insect foes. It may also be taught to talk ; but of that accomplishment, I have referred, more than once, to our native perhaps, we have quite enough among human kind. Reptiles, and reminded my readers, last month, that, Dear old Gilbert White seems to say little about the with the exception of the Viper, none were venomous ; Starling, though he records in his “ Calendar," as or, to put it more strongly, all were harmless. I may early (some years) as January 25, that “ Jackdaws now add, that all are interesting; and, as the whole resort to churches !”

group of “natives” is small, it is an easy matter, “ While many remarked, as his deeds they saw, comparatively, to become acquainted with all that They never had known such a pious Jackdaw!" inhabit the land and the fresh-water. Perhaps my

young friends may not be sorry to have a complete list.

1.- LIZARDS :1. Viviparous Lizard. The common lizard of our heaths and commons.

2. Sand Lizard. Larger and less frequent, and “ stouter built" than No. 1.

3. Green Lizard. A great rarity. Well-known in Guernsey.

4. Blindworm. A legless lizard, common, and interesting as a pet.

5. Common Snake.

6. Smooth Snake, Local; found Stratus, or Fall Cloud.

at Bournemouth, &c.



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7. Viper or Adder. This and the foregoing species not, nor a mouse either, and that for a very good have a row of black marks running down the back. reason-dragon-flies have no stings. But errors of The Common Snake has only small spots. The Viper this kind are generally based on some fragments of

truth, so let us try to account for this one. Dragon-flies derive their name from their rapid flight and apparently fierce movements; the prefix "horse" is a popular title to denote anything larger than common,

“ horse - chesnut,” “ horse-bean ;" hence "horse-fly," or “ horse dragon-fly,” is applied to the larger species. There are flies (true flies, with only two wings a-piece), which do sting horses most cruelly, as travellers driving through the New Forest in Hampshire have found to their cost. Dragon-flies are not flies at all, since they have four wings, as every one knows; but a neighbouring tribe (the bees, wasps, &c.) have four wings also, and do sting. But now compare a dragon-fly's wing with that of a bee, and you will observe that whereas the former is netted with

cross bars," the latter has. nerves, which spread out like the branches of a tree. There lies the difference; the net-veined insects with four wings have no stings, but the four-winged insects with branching veins have stings, and can use them too. The former con

stitute the order NEUROPTERA (nerve The Starling.

wings); the latter the HYMENOPTERA

(membrane vings), and you may as likes dry places, the Snake moist ones.

well learn to call them by these class-names. III.-AMPHIBIANS :8. Common Frog. Very amusing in Vivariuin;

LAND SHELLS. feeds on worms and insects.

9. Edible Frog. Found in Cambridgeshire fens ; Shells are of two kinds,” says Mr. Grant Allen, greenish or reddish.

calcareous (limy) and horny. Both of them require 10. Common Toad. Very amusing in Vivarium.

more or less lime or other mineral matters, though 11. Natterjack. Found on heaths in Surrey, &c.

in varying proportions. In most limestone districts 12. Greater Water Newt. Rough-skinned, and

you will find that snails with calcareous shells prelarger than 13.

dominate. But if you go into a granite or sand13. Common Newt (figured in our last paper). stone tract you will see that horny shells have it all 14. Palmate Newt. Locally distributed.

Very their own way." Here is material for further obpretty.

servation-for instance, which class of shells pre15. Gray's Banded Newt. Rare ; found near dominates in a clayey district ? Some snails are London.

remarkably attached to chalky localities. The This list is worth studying, but those who would pretty Cyclostoma elegans, or elegant Circle-shell, like some further acquaintance with the subject is one easily recognised. It is about the size of a should consult Dr. Cooke's “ Our Reptiles," a capital periwinkle, but more spiral, like a small whelk. Its little book, published by Mr. Bogue, of Charing surface is delicately chased, and a round lid exactly cross.

fits the mouth of the shell-an important feature. Next month we will give a cut of the Natterjack, Now, I looked for this mollusk some years ago near a really handsome reptile ; in colour, greenish yellow, Dartford, as soon as I found myself on chalky soil, with a bright saffron-coloured stripe running along the and discovered it almost directly. Two or three back. This will distinguish it from its brother the summers back I was at Beer Head in Devonshire, Toad. It frequents Cobham, Coombe Warren, Mit- where the last white chalk cliff shines out to cham, and similar heathy spots. It also occurs in travellers voyaging westward. I knew Cyclostoma Scotland, and in Ireland also, in spite of St. Patrick ! ought to be there, and in five minutes I turned out “ HORSE STINGERS."

several living specimens. This, by way of a practical A young correspondent wants to know if a “horse hint to young collectors, You will not find Cyclostoma dragon-fly can sting a horse to death ?" Certainly elegans on sand or clay.

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