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bat she loved me to distraction, and I pitied her. "speak your whole mind; we shall be able to If Bessy ever saw me dragged into a hapless bear the information, whatever it may lead to." marriage, let her not blame me, but blame, as Just to think of that simple-minded child I did, my wretched destiny and a sordid relative. Bessy, talking to me in that style! I was pet
This was the end of the note. As I directed rified. “Bessy,” said I, throwing into my voice the envelope to the New York Hotel, where I all the pathos it was capable of, "did you get knew Bessy was staying, I remembered that my note, and did you betray me?” that too was the abiding-place of Miss Forbes. Here Adeline, who had said nothing so far,
This young lady was in a delightful state of recovered her voice and spoke. “Bessy is my orphanage. She had an old aunt who chape- friend," she said, “Mr. Muddlar, and has done roned her and did her bidding; but she was de- the kindest thing in her power in undeceiving 'pendent and harmless ; such relatives count for me in this manner. Ugly as I am, a perfect nothing in the domestic drama. Adeline was giraffe in crinoline, I have a heart as well as a therefore to all intents and purposes an inde fortune. I do not wish to give one without the pendent female.
other. I believed you were sincere, why I know As early as was proper in the morning I made not, except that I am too credulous, and not a my appearance at the New York Hotel, and re- very good judge of character perhaps. Bessy quested of the obsequious waiters admittance to has undeceived me, and I am eternally grateMiss Forbes's parlor. Under the circumstances ful—” She stopped, and the tears came into this was nothing out of the way, particularly as her eyes. Adeline always saw her company in her own What a mistake I had made! This woman, suit of apartments. I was informed, however, after all, concealed real feeling beneath her unthat Miss Forbes had left word that I was to be inviting exterior, while Bessy, little Bessy, was shown into the public reception-room, and there a viper, a vixen, and a termagant.,
What a accordingly, "chewing the cud of painful med- double fool I had been ! itation," I remained three-quarters of an hour "Thomas Muddlar,” said Bessy, going on, at least. At the end of that time I rose to go and driving the iron still deeper into my soul in search of the waiter who had taken my card, with a malignity perfectly disgusting, “I conwhen I beheld advancing toward me two forms sider your whole behavior in this matter as bewhose appearance and contiguity sent cold chills neath contempt! I never did think much of over me in rapid succession.
you, since the first time I had the pleasure of Here were Bessy Graham and Adeline Forbes, meeting you under your uncle's roof. To eat a arm in arm, talking together, and walking di- person's bread, and then to sneer and scoff at rectly toward me.
the bounty which keeps you alive, is a meanness My first impulse was to take my hat and run ; of which I believe you alone are capable. This my next to see what was the meaning of this second development of character is, therefore, extraordinary conjunction of circumstances, and perfectly in keeping. It was a great restraint whether it bore upon me or not. I still hoped, to listen to you last night in silence; I had a fool that I was! A man with two women in reason for it, however, and my self-control has league against him had better give up the game proved extremely useful to all parties. I never as lost; and the moment they came near enough had the least intention of accepting you for one to show the expression of their faces I saw that moment; your pathetic note, therefore, was enI was their enemy, and that they had made com- tirely thrown away." mon cause against me.
“Then you have been deceiving me in the They shook hands with me, however, with an most shameful manner!” I said, angrily; "and assumed cordiality, and almost leading me into what is more, I do not believe you now, it is all an unoccupied corner, they cach drew up a jealousy!” chair and waited silently, as if for me to begin Miss Forbes looked at me sharply. the conversation. Of course I said nothing. “Mr. Muddlar," said she, “if I believed you What could a man say who had got himself into capable of real love for Bessy I could forgive such a ridiculous position ? I took up my hat you all your sins against me. Heiresses,” and and began to rub it round with my glove, in a she sighed softly, are the natural prey of somost conscious state of confusion, I have no ciety, and must suffer in silence. If,” she adddoubt.
ed, with much dignity, “want of money is the * I was not aware,” said I, at last casting a only bar between you two say so at once; I have dagger-like glance at Bessy, " that you and Miss influence, and can get some position for you, if Forbes were friends."
that is the only difficulty in the way. I am Bessy smiled a wicked, contemptuous smile. entirely above petty enmity in a matter like
“Yes, we are the best of friends,” she said ; this.” "her aunt is also an aunt of mine, so we may "Well, I am not,” said Bessy, quickly. "I be said to be almost related. That is not the despise such characters from the bottom of my point, however, Tommy Muddlar. You have heart; and as to marrying Mr. Muddlar, I would offered yourself last night to two young women, not do it if he were like a Hindoo idol, incrusted and naturally they feel somewhat curious to in gold. I abhor fortune-hunters, and heiressknow which offer you mean to stand by. Don't seekers, and men who live on other people's be afraid, my dear Sir,” she added, blandly; money. The man I marry must be honorable
*. Are you going to marry my uncle, Bessy Slooking place in the basement. Now for a
and independent as the day. Sneaks and para- Of course the women would have nothing sites I detest!"
more to say to me, and the men were glad to Bessy looked as angry as I ever saw a wo- have an opportunity to laugh and sneer. But man when she said this, but so handsome that I it did not make so much difference after all. forgot every thing else as I looked at her. Adeline Forbes, in an unobtrusive way, got me
"Where will you find this paragon ?" said I, a lucrative position in a friend's banking-house, with a sneer.
which has rendered me for some years independ“I have found him!” said she, abruptly, ent of my uncle and Bessy. My business this stopped and added with a smile that lit up her summer will take me abroad for a year or two, whole face like an illumination, “he is your and when I return, if Adeline Forbes is still uncle!"
unmarried (she has refused Staples I know), Here was a death-blow. My beart died with who can tell, after all, what may be the upshot in me as I thought of my allowance; however, of Mr. Muddlar's Mistake? there was no use in compromising myself farther. I only said, hoping for a brief moment that it might be a hoax :
A STUDY OF LEGS.
IX Graham? I do not believe it."
" It is quite true, and your uncle is not very little refreshment. I'll pop down here a mofar off, and will confirm the statement if neces- ment. “Coffee and toast, my lad, as quick as sary, also my friend Adeline.”
luck.” I wish this stool had a back. I'd give a I turned to Miss Forbes, but not for farther dollar to lie down a quarter of an hour. What, information; I felt that that was useless. Legs—all Legs! People on the sidewalk above
“I owe.you a humble apology, Miss Forbes,” me, all hurrying along Broadway, are nothing I said, taking my hat and preparing for depart- to me but legs. Brown legs, blue legs, gray ure. “Bessy has nothing to complain of in me legs, and black legs; big legs, little legs, long that her vindictive nature has not been fully legs, short legs—all kinds of legs. I see noable to revenge ; but to you I feel, and ever thing of their bodies or arms from my seat, but shall feel, grateful. You have a heart, and in I seem to make out the whole of each man. this trying moment you have neither reproached What nonsense! What I see is only shaking nor contemned me. I only wish I could prove trowsers of various hues and dimensions. But to you how much more attractive your kindness there are limbs in each, and in each limb a makes you appear in my eyes than any external thousand pulses and a thousand nerves. advantages.”
There goes a leg. It is gone. My hat upon “It is no matter,” said she, drawing away it
, that leg is after the doctor. It moved with from my offered hand; "your opinions now can an indescribable anxiety and urgency. There not influence me, and should never have done was a tongue higher up thronged with unspokso. I have been weak, short-sighted, and I en words of announcement and appeal. The blame myself more than I do you; but you heart that was pumping the blood into that leg have been unkind, most unkind !”
was leaping with burdensome solicitude. А “I know it, and you most generous; but for- wife was dying. I see her. She knows she is give me, Adeline, I will never trouble you again; to go. The doctor said as much days ago. let us part as friends."
She tells her husband not to seek the physician. I put out my hand again, and she took it, and But is there no hope? She might be saved if let me hold hers a moment with a most lover- the doctor would hurry. She might die before like pressure. I really believe if that confound- he could return. What anguish in his hesita-' ed giggling Bessy had not been looking on Ition! A kiss and an embrace, passionate to should have carried the day after all! I really violence, and he goes. “Don't leave me, John!" loved Adeline Forbes in my heart at that mo- John's answer is a choking sob and a burst of ment, and with nobody standing by I could tears as he rushes to the crowded and heedless have made her believe it; but no, the Fates were street to fight a way through the throng with against me. Two gentlemen entered together those poor aching legs I saw. Oh, John, turn at the moment and greeted us with many smiles backand much boisterous warmth. My uncle and There goes a leg of substance. There is Mr. Staples.
good rich fat in those pantaloons. Tenderloins I am quite certain that the latter had been rare, fine old Madeira, with now and then a nip within hearing of the best part of the conver- or so of the pure vinum adustum straight from sation, for Bessy, I think, would not have told the Custom-house-all have a say in it. That and Adeline dared not; but any way it was all leg is on its way to a carriage. It was in favor over town the next day, and my chance of a of every forward movement of the Army of the rich marriage was gone completely.
Potomac, regardless of loss of life. It was not This is the story of my great mistake ; and as a leg to be daunted while substitutes averaged every body has joked me about it until all shame $600 and railroad stock was high. That was a was lost on the subject, I determined to tell the loyal leg, and, with the blessings of Providence whole truth of the case, and so make an end and a lucky turn in the Stock Exchange, it staid of it forever.
loyal throughout the war.
There is a blue leg-two of them, though not years past, man, is that you would not cheat well matched. I see whose they are. They the world out of its honors. But then if you are carrying a soldier to his agent for the fifti- had done so, by this time you would have been eth time to inquire whether the Pension-office found out. Jog on, long leg. The French has placed him on the roll. The last time he Academicians are talking about you now, a litinquired a letter from the Commissioner was tle, though they know nothing about your name shown him to the effect that the sworn affida- or person. Prepare yourself, old glum, with vits of three respectable soldiers who saw him some babies and a fireside. Without an Aurobayoneted did not prove any thing, but he must ra the fogs of your long night will hover over get the captain or some other officer he served your coming noon; but she would shine them under to certify to the facts “on his honor." away, and give you a morning for the long and He is thinking now whether his agent wrote to cheerful day which will come for you yet. But the Commissioner what he told him to say, viz.: he is gone to his star-gazing. That one of his officers was a man of honor, There's a leg that does me good. It is clothed and would not certify because he did not per- in coarse and dirty cloth, but comes to a neat, sonally witness the wounding; and the other, fair fit. It is rapid, yet I see by the passive inwho did, refused the favor of a certificate. And step that it is fatigued. It is going home to he told him to say, moreover, that the oath of a sweet kisses and a hot supper. It has bustled private soldier was better than the word of hon about a shop all day, and was glad when the six or of an officer. But, poor fellow! what do you o'clock bell rang. The industrious and skillful know of law? You had better give up looking mechanic always adjusts his clothes, washes his for your pension. Every body knows you were hands, and presents a respectable mien when he hurt in battle, but you are an unpopular fellow goes home. He knows where little Kitty will with your officers, and you can not get your meet him, how Neddy will run, and the baby pension without them.
Ilis wife is not waiting for him, for There's a leg that will win. It is a long leg, I see by that leg that I am thinking about the with a bad piece of old dry-goods on it. It is right man. She will look at the clock, and then not springy, agile, or quick; yet not sluggish, bring in the tea, because she knows just when nerveless, and insensible. It carries an unhap- he will come. This evening she allows fifteen py man, who has always been worsted, but who minutes later, because George is to go to a booknever stays whipped. He takes long, camel- store over on Grand Street for a copy of a new like strides, putting his foot here and there ir- book of the rudiments of science for children, regularly, but always—just like that now and to-see a sick woman over on the Bowery. with a dogged conclusiveness and a fair, flat She feels pleased, for she has good news to tell emphasis. He is all head and feet when he him. She has just been told by the agent that walks, the rest of him taking all adventitious the landlord (mirabile dictu!) has lowered the rent shapes, but these two extremities being ever in consideration of their careful tenancy, and consistent with each other, like opposite poles agreed for another year at a handsome abateof a battery. His voice is unmusical—I can ment. With this difference George is to buy see it in the crook of his knee now—and his drawing materials for Jane, some additional manners undignified. His clothes are decent, furniture for the parlor, and pay for photographs for he is too unaffected to dress in ostentatious for distribution among kindred and friends, berags, and too negligent of social favor to dress sides an increase in the amount of the customgenteelly; and as barely decent, he is never ary charities, and have yet a smart sum for the looked at except when he unconsciously pro- savings-bank. Go on, George! You are the vokes derision by acting as if he were some- typical citizen. On you and your likes rest all body. He never can comprehend how he should the glories of nations and peoples. From firebe so strangely misunderstood by all the world; sides such as yours emanate all the institutes of and now, at forty, he begins to feel as if he public order, public good, and public will. Let did not care.
He does not see his way clearly all the learned, the great, and the rich pass away, through the world, but plods on. He will not and you would still be a nation, great as ever, a conform to the world, and does not dream of society perfect as ever, a people mighty as ever. the world conforming to him. He does not Go home, George, where you belong. care much about it. His ambition died with That leg, now, is a brisk one. Pretty as a his youth, and he is a lonely bachelor. That patent medicine bottle, it comes down into the leg has length of days and invincible tenacity. neatest little boot of all the world, and pats Other men will be declining when his strength along with a thousand supernumerary little will be at its height. Go, old fellow, and mar- jerks, as if, like an echo, it would die if it ry! Forty is only a little too old for you. For stopped, or as if, like the dancing moon in the the world will shortly take a turn that will give water, it had so many motions that it did not you some hand in its affairs. Such a leg as know what to do with them.
That is a young that never got cold since the world was made leg. Its nerves are strung at the golden thumbwithout a great fuss being made over it by the screws by the rosy fingers of Hope, who trails king, the bishop, and the biographer, unless her shining gossamers, thick as hair on the casualty locked its pulse before old age. The head, through the soul of that youngster, and reason you have not been famous for twenty shuts out all winds but the breeze of her own
impalpable wand with which she shakes the having—as those legs unmistakably have on shining delusion into infinite complexions for all occasions-self-possession enough about him his rapture. Is she a deceiver? No. He de- to know how to escape. Yet those legs are delceives her. He abjures conscience and reason icately moulded--I see by the knee-pan-but and devolves upon Hope the responsibility for muscular, I see by the calf. The instep is flathis happiness through life. She is doing as best tened by the habit of gait, but its mobility in the she may. But, young man, hold still a mo- air shows its high arch, an unerring mark of
Listen! If only you could keep your manhood, of nerve, and of daring. This cowlegs still, your head would soon reckon up your ard was born to no weakness but a humane hor.
Whose boots are those ? Whose ror of the brutal and sanguinary, and an exquiwatch is that? Whose money is in your pock- site sense of outward contact, spiritual or phys. et?
“Necessities to a gentleman.” Eh? No-ical. That he should shrink from violence thing is necessary that is not right. “Trifles should have but exalted the courage to which easy to reimburse.” Yes, but to whom easy? he was born. But the vulgar notion of courNot to the poor, and the rich are those who age—that is, a love of fighting, he never thought have, not those who expect riches. I see you, of questioning; for what priest, or poet, or hislong years hence, in situations too terrible to de- torian ever did ? and as he was most distinctly scribe to you.
But I see you, at the best, long conscious of an unspeakable horror of a fight, years hence, in shabby and threadbare clothes, he never undertook to withstand danger like with cast-down countenance, wasted form, and others, until, in course of time, he acquired a feeble step, soliciting humble but honest employ- habit of living in a state of apprehension, which ment, with a real desire to begin a new life. made it the principal business of his life to foreBut your heart will be too heavy with its burden sce and escape danger from every thing. Come, of bitter regrets. Gentlemen's clothes, watches, man, don't be afraid ; you are young yet-put and pocket-money you will not have. That leg down your foot like a man, walk with your legs, I see now, so elastic and elegant, will be trem- swing your arms, look straight ahead, fill your bling and languid, awkward with shame and lungs and allow your abdomen to go about its ugly with premature age. Why not put off the business. There's pluck enough in you for a fine things now? Think what you would make terrier; though your wife don't believe a word by it. All prepossessions in your favor, years of it, and never did, poor girl! She found out of industry and opportunity before you, and all your imagination, your taste, your love of exthe blessings and powers of youth still yours-cellence, and, especially, your love for her. what should you care for boots, watches, and But that you concealed three years for fear Bob pocket-money with that leg I see on you now? Davis, a rival, would knock you down. Now Take the habiliments and lose the legs, or throw i'll give you a definition of bravery. You go aside the habiliments for a while and save both home and ask your wife whether it is satisfacthem and the legs. Save your legs, did I say? tory. If she says so, all right. Act on it. Say Your honor—your soul, boy! Save it. But he this: A brave man is one who will not desist don't hear me.
from a just purpose in consequence of peril to More legs—that is a coward's. His knees his person. If you stick to that your neighbors are listed high at each step, while the lower leg will find you as brave as themselves. And if and foot dangle, and the latter slaps the ground you stick faithfully to it you will, as any manlike a shingle. He walks with his abdominal but particularly the great murderers of history muscles and helps them with his shoulders, would have been—be pretty sure to get to the which he does by relaxing the breast mascles end of life without one single fight. But slap, and turning his elbows outward. The step is slap goes the poor fellow's feet on the sidewalk, heavy and decisive once made, because the and other men's legs thicken the throng. creature has not courage enough to qualify it. Here is a leg to write a book on. That is a Poor coward! The scorn of women, the sport thing of power. It is long, sinewy, and easy in of wags, the tool of tyrants. Cowards are not motion, but with a marching precision that always born so, as it is certain that the brave wastes not a fibre's tension. The foot is plantwere not always born to intrepidity. Will no- ed so firmly and regularly that the ground seems body speak a word for this worst punished of all always to smooth itself where this man walks. offenders ? Shrinking sensibility in childhood No inequality in the pavement disconcerts the can be turned into cowardice by calling it by so perfect action of the limb; and there is a conshameful a name. The child does not doubt sciousness of power in the gait that inspires an that it is really natural irresolution; and to be instinctive action in all the neighboring legs to lieve you have not the courage to do it, is saying get out of the way. The person moves fast, but that you are afraid to do it. These legy in all the legs do not seem to be quick because they their life, perhaps, have encountered no danger measure the time and space, and fit both without but what it was possible to fly from; and they any jerking. That man is a born leader. Among fled, of course, because their owner, believing all mankind he is most certain to find his level. himself a born coward, had sense enough not to Men, however proud, delight in being proud of expose himself. That his passion of resistance some greater object than themselves. What is is moderate argues not against his capacity for voluntarily conceded is not so great as what can iron firmness, but conclusively in favor of his l oblige concession. Greater self-confidence than
mine obliges me to concede leadership to you, ty-four, on the fifth twenty-five, on the sixth Iron-leg. Arrogance is your greatness — and thirty, and on the seventh thirty-one worms. great it is as the world goes; for by that you These quantities, however, seemed to be insufhave the most skillful, the strongest, the most , ficient, and, as the bird appeared to be losing gifted hands in the community where you re- plumpness and weight, the Professor began to side to turn your grindstone. Imputed talents weigh both the bird and its food, and to tabushow in you fruits like real ones do in others, late the results of these weighings. By this because you conduct a kind of presidency over : table it appears that though the food was inthe riches of other minds, and even claim that creased to forty worms, weighing twenty pennydoing so is exercising the highest talent of all. weights, on the eleventh day the weight of the Grant you, Iron-leg, it is the talent of kings and bird rather fell off, and it was not until the rulers; but you will never get a presidency over fourteenth day when the bird ate sixty-eight the intellectual progeny of the tramping old star- worms, weighing thirty-four pennyweights, that gazing bachelor, whose legs I saw a while ago, his weight began to increase. On this day the. nor over the poet's song, the painter's pencil, or weight of the bird was twenty-four pennyweights ; the philosopher's microscope. You
he therefore ate forty-one per cent. more than Bless me! Here is my coffee and toast, cold his own weight in twelve hours; weighing aftas a dog's nose! Now I must be after my own er it twenty-nine pennyweights, or fifteen per legs.
cent. less than the food he had eaten in that
time. On the fifteenth day a small quantity of THE FOOD OF BIRDS.
raw meat was offered to the bird, and it be
ing found that this was readily eaten it was OW rich our Lord God must be !" says afterward employed to the gradual exclusion of
Martin Luther in his Table-Talk; “I do verily believe that to feed the sparrows in As an offset to the objection that the earthGermany costs Him more than all the revenue worm contains but a small amount of solid nuof the King of France."
tritious matter, the bird was fed upon the twen. What do all the birds eat? Where do they ty-seventh day exclusively on clear beef, in quanall find food enough to support their own lives tity twenty-three pennyweights; at night the bird and the lives of their young ? These are ques- weighed fifty-two pennyweights, this being but tions which are continually coming up in every little more than twice the amount of flesh conday life, together with that other set of reproach- sumed during the day, no account being taken ful queries as to why the birds don't eat up the of the water, earth, and gravel, of which large caterpillars and canker-worms, and let alone quantities were daily swallowed. This presents cherries and strawberries. In view of the very a wonderful contrast with the amount of food general interest which attaches to the matter, required by the cold-blooded vertebrates, fishes, and of the frequency with which the above- and reptiles, many of which can live for months mentioned questions are asked, it seems strange without food, and also with that required by that so small an amount of organized knowledge mammalia. A man at this rate should eat about bearing upon this subject has as yet been col- seventy pounds of flesh per day, and drink five lected.
or six gallons of water. As to the large amount of food which some With regard to the question, how can this imbirds are capable of absorbing there is a set of mense amount of food required by the young thoroughly scientific experiments by Professor birds be supplied by the parents ? Professor Treadwell, of Cambridge, upon the young of Treadwell enters into the following computation : the American robin. A couple of vigorous, Suppose a pair of old robins with the usual numhalf-grown birds having been selected in the ber of four young ones, these would daily reearly part of June, the Professor began to feed quire, according to the consumption of the bird them with earth-worms, giving three of these subjected to experiment, two hundred and fifty to each bird the first night; next day he gave worms, or their equivalent in insects or other them ten worms each, which they ate ravenous-food; suppose the parents to work ten hours, or ly; but thinking this quantity of food to be six hundred minutes, to procure this supply; greater than that which could naturally be sup- this would be a worm in every two and four plied by their parents he limited the birds to this tenth's minutes; or each parent must procure allowance On the third day he gave to each a worm or its equivalent in less than five minbird eight worms in the forenoon; but in the utes during ten hours, in addition to the food afternoon he found one of them becoming feeble, required for its own support. But after all the and soon after it refused food and died; on Professor is compelled to confess his inability to opening it, he found the crop, gizzard, and in- reconcile the calculation with actual observation testines entirely empty, and concluded therefore of robins, which he has never seen return to that it had died from want of sufficient food, their nests oftener than once in ten minutes the effect of hunger being perhaps increased by The bird experimented upon by Professor cold, as the thermometer was only about 60°. Treadwell attained its full size on the thirtyThe other bird, still vigorous, he put in a warm- second day after having been captured, after er place, and increased its food, giving it the which time it ceased to increase in weight; its third day fifteen worms, on the fourth day twen- diet from this time on amounted on the average