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:— whence the room afforded for locomotion Bc acred some of the trunks and other 3BR. aad went back to the academy for class.
?s is* n Jo the studying now and the moneyi^af a me future, and I was to take charge of ir affairs; so we divided the labors. The me in mind of the "lilies of the
irL' sometimes, she took so little thought for
-——af.. I looked out over the roofs (we were
_• a i the world) tired, but tolerably well
w:h the result when my day's work was
Stes it was many days before I felt settled
-tt sew home; before I had curtained off our
Bs. n lie corner, hung up the pictures, and made
nr :•«-.:.£ room as dainty and pretty as I could,
r. -^ere-were constantly new touches to be
j.:ard. and new improvements to be made, Bar
and appreciated and occasionally in the
_-r$ lent a helping hand. That was the use
ai sxk of her; but these were melancholy days
or we when her belongings were scattered more
::js usually far and wide, when "dear Nell" felt
ab ced to sew up various rents and tears lest they
rd^cld never be repaired, and when the last tube
x paint, or the bottle of oil distributed its unwel
come contents over the table-cover, or her dress,
ze any other place that it was not wanted, and
necessitated a frightful amount of work to restore
it^ngs to their normal condition. Barbara was
very sweet, very penitent, and very willing to try
iT)d repair damages; but after she had burnt the
front of her dress with a hot iron trying to take
out a stain, I preferred endeavoring to repair
So, gradually, we became domesticated; our few acquaintances in the city found us out, and the new life began to seem like an old story. Barbara worked ceaselessly, and I fancied sometimes, with a troubled feeling, that her cheeks were losing a little of their roundness, and that some shade of the old color was wanting; but she was Mger and interested, and would not listen to any word of remonstrance, disclaiming the idea that anything she was doing could or would hurt her. Neither did the days pass idly for me; besides the necessary work a thousand little things that had to be done and yet were not calculated for beforehand seemed to take up my time, and left me little leisure for the reading which was my chief delight.
One day we had a visitor from the country, an old man who had been half a friend, half a dependent, of my grandmother's.
"I thought I'd come down and see how you were getting along," he said, and we could not but be glad to see him. He caught Barbara on one of her little "home-runs," as she called them, and with a sigh she concluded that she would have to relinquish going back to the academy, for he had made quite an effort to come and see us. So we sat and talked together of the old times till it suddenly dawned upon me that we had had no lunch or dinner, and that doubtless our old friend expected to be asked to share that repast with us. Here was rather a serious difficulty; we had never had a guest before; I did not relish the idea of doing my cooking and going through the usual routine of work before him. On the other hand, if I shut myself up in my little cupboard kitchen I was in total darkness, and to leave the door open as I usually did was simply to invite inspection. I was totally unprovided with candles or lamps, as I obtained my light by night from the large room, where we had gas. What was I to do? To don my bonnet and go out to purchase a candle seemed to me like suggesting to him to leave, and I called myself all sorts of hard names for being caught thus unprovided. So I left him with Barbara, shut myself in, and by the joint aid of a sort of flambeau, composed sometimes of paper and sometimes of a splinter of wood, and the firelight, managed to make the necessary preparations. I gave myself a fine color, and do not know that I should ever dare to undertake the like again, as it was an enterprise fraught with peril. But I did not set myself or anything else on fire, and I experienced the sensation of satisfaction which comes after one has conquered difficulties, as we at last sat down to our meal. The next day I bought a tin candlestick and some candles.
One day Barbara came rushing up the stairs with more than her usual impetuosity. I could detect a meaning in her footsteps even before she reached me, and gasped put, "Oh, Nell!" unable to proceed further.
"Bab, you must not run up stairs so; don't you know its very bad for you," I began, but my lecture was ruthlessly interrupted.
"Nell, there is a prize offered at the academy for an original picture, and I am going to try for
'it, and—and you had better make up your mind to stand as a model. I don't know what my picture will be yet, but I shall be likely to want you to stand, at any rate."
"I'll do what I can," I said, with assumed cheerfulness, but my heart sank a little. I had tried being her model before, and it had palled upon me frightfully. "Barbara, dear, you must not set your heart on this thing too much; you know you might be disappointed, and some one else get it."
"Yes, yes, I know," she said, half impatiently, "but I will try; and at least it will not be lest time even if I do not win the prize. Hunt up Tennyson, the "Idyls of the King," for me; I shall want to look over them this evening. I think I shall take my picture from that," and with a few more words on the subject she went back to her class. So her evening was spent in searching through various volumes of poetry, and she selected the scene in Elaine where Launcelot pins her favor in his helmet. After that all her spare time at home was devoted to making sketches for her intended picture, during which I was remorselessly ordered away at intervals from my occupation, whatever it might be, and required to pose for Elaine, Launcelot, and even for the horse which she had decided to introduce in her picture.
"But, Bab," I remonstrated, "I don't see how you can manage the horse; you certainly cannot use me throughout, and where can you get one?"
"You will see," was her serene and confident reply.
One afternoon I heard her coming up the stairs, but there were other footsteps accompanying hers, and I laid down my book to listen. In a moment more what was my dismay when a tall young man was ushered into the room. "Mr. Ruthven, my sister." He was rather good-looking, I noted, but he seemed as little prepared for encountering me as I had been to meet him. "Barbara!" I said, in a slightly reproachful tone.
"He is good enough to be my model for Launcelot," she said, by way of explanation, as she went forward to the room she called the studio, motioning him to follow. I stood at the door and watched them for a few minutes, wondering whether my duties as duenna required that I should take up my station in the room; but it was small and crowded, and there really seemed no place for me. She said very little, and he almost nothing, but he evidently posed to her satisfac-' tion, and she went to work.
"Barbara, where did you pick him up, and who is he?" I said, when he at last departed. "I don't think it was exactly the thing for you to bring him here, especially without telling me."
"He is a friend of one of the students, and loves art, though he does not paint himself, and his face suited the character. Don't you think it does? So I asked him to come, and he came," she replied, unconcernedly. I gave a groan, and picked up my discarded volume. What was to be done with this sister of mine?
Day after day passed by, and day after day the faithful lover of art took his stand as model. I was a little skeptical. Did he really love art so much, or did he admire Barbara? My sister scouted the faintest suggestion of the latter idea; and, truth to tell, I rather kept my cogitations on the subject to myself. But I had little to build my surmises upon; she always spoke of him in professional terms, and he, it seemed to me, spoke not at all. I was certain he had never addressed five consecutive words to me, and though occasionally, when I was in the other room, I heard a faint murmur of voices, when I was actually present he was almost, if not absolutely silent. I wondered if she thought he was entertaining; but did not venture to ask. The next advance was when they went off into the country to take sketches of and study horses. Whether he caught them and persuaded them to remain quiet, or whether she, so to speak, took "them on the fly," I never knew, for I did not join these expeditions. Sometimes I stood for the Elaine, sometimes a hired model was introduced. When I stood I generally retired decorated in some part of my raiment with a touch of paint from the tip of one of Barbara's brushes, which she would occasionally use thoughtlessly, to indicate a position she wished me to take. Meanwhile the picture grew apace, and I felt sure that it was not mere sisterly vanity which told me it was a beautiful piece of work, both in design and execution. The girl's face was very fair, and her figure very graceful as she stood out against the shadowy background. Launcelot seemed indeed the noble knight, and the horse, even as he stood quietly beside his master, was full of spirit. There was just a suggestion of the models that had stood for Barbara, but she ad jdealized them-wonderfully
So at last the day came that it was actually finished and sent to the committee who were to decide upon the respective merits of the pictures submitted to them; then, as the time of waiting and suspense passed by, it seemed to me as if Barbara's large, bright eyes grew larger, and her face thin and pale with anxiety. I was alone one afternoon, looking for her return from the academy—her return, perhaps, with the verdict, and I felt restless and excited, and could not fix my mind on the book in my hand. Presently I heard footsteps, and Mr. Ruthven's tall form filled up the doorway.
"Your sister told me the great question was probably to be decided to-day, so I thought I would come and learn the issue." He spoke very quietly, but there was a look in his eyes that made me feel as if he too regarded it as a matter of some importance. Then he took a seat beside me and talked, actually talked, to me for nearly half an hour. I had not thought that he could talk so much or so well, and he spoke with so much appreciation of Barbara, of her talents, her beauty and her sweetness that my heart for the first time quite warmed toward him. Then the quick, impetuous footsteps sounded on the stair, and she came almost flying into the room. It needed no word to tell me that she had won the prize. Then a sudden pallor came over her face, and she would have fallen. But it was other arms than mine that caught her, and another voice that cried, "My darling!"
So she won the prize, and he won Barbara. If he loved art, I think he loved the artist more; but he was very proud of her talent, and laid no obstacles in her path. At first I yielded her up very unwillingly; she had been all mine for so long it seemed to me that I could not readily agree to share her with another; but as I learned to know him and appreciate him, as I did in time, the sacrifice became easier. We all went to Europe when they were married, where she had an opportunity both to study and see some of the finest paintings; an opportunity which she both enjoyed and profited by. Only one thing I observe, and it gives me a little wicked satisfaction sometimes, that my brother-in-law frequently has paint on his previously immaculate cuffs, and other portions of his garments also occasionally suffer; but it never seems to disturb him.
NOTES AND QUERIES.
I find the following from Dr. Draper, which goes far to redeem the memory of those old precursors of science, the alchemists, from the contempt hitherto heaped upon them. I have always regarded with wonder, not unmixed with admiration, the patient toil, the courage and religious devotion of these men who endeavored to penetrate the arcana of Nature, despite of the persecutions to which they were exposed by an ignorant priesthood. The Church from the earliest ages confounded the labors of the alchemists with a diabolic association with the powers of evil, hence arose a belief in sorcery and witchcraft, brought down from the Mosaic dispensation, and intensified as the ecclesiastical power gained the ascendency, in all subsequent ages.
Science took her keynote from alchemy, and it is well in her to help redeem the memory of those who made way for her. In our day scientific laborers are honored even at the expense of the more spiritual seekers after ideas of truth; but the time has been when the fires of the chemist were concealed with watchful vigilance, and the results and combinations hidden from sight at the risk of the life of the discoverer. Secluding themselves in high towers or deep caves, the old alchemist lived a life of danger, dread and persecution, and was in turn an object of dread and abhorrence to his ignorant contemporaries.
It will be remembered that the great Kepler, in the stress of his own devotion to science, for seven long years was barely able to preserve his honored mother from the flames on a charge of witchcraft. A superior woman was regarded with suspicion by the "weak and uninformed, and very likely to fall under the ban of the Church, which punished with torture, fire and sword, all who failed to submit to her dogmas.
It is doubtful if Montaigne, whose essays were exposed to the expurgation of the Holy See, would have escaped severe punishment but for the fact that he had been secretary to that monster in the shape of woman, Catharine de Medici, the devoted servant of Rome.
No one can fail to honor Dr. Draper for the candor of his admissions. Should the time arrive when metals will be transmuted into each other, and the dreams of alchemy become the facts of science, the greed for gold will cease to be the ignoble passion it seems even to us; for it will be not only base, but useless and foolish. But here is the extract:
"It has long been the custom of literary men, who are commonly profoundly ignorant of anything like exact science, to
hold up the maxims of alchemy to popular derision. But we have seen much more unlikely expectations realized, and unquestionably the present tendency of chemistry lends support to its views. Of sixty elementary substances more than forty are metals, and many of them are so nearly alike that expert chemists are oiten puzzled to tell the difference between them. Does any man who has a proper appreciatioi} of the universal simplicity of nature suppose that God has made so many elements that are indistinguishable? Is there anything laughable or unphilosophical in supposing that they are either modifications of one another, or perhaps all compounds of two or three more primitive forms? It requires some little degree of moral courage to present the facts as they actually are, and stem the derision of the conceited and ignorant; but the metals will one day be transmuted into one another, and the dreams of the alchemists all realized."
I have often heard of a famous philosophical puzzle called the Syllogismus Crocodilus, but have never seen it stated. Could you kindly give it, you would probably oblige others beside
New Haven, Conn. Student.
The ancient problem, the Syllogismus Crocodilus, is framed with wonderful ingenuity, the acuteness displayed in its construction being remarkable. It may be thus stated: An infant, while playing on the bank of a river, was seized by a crocodile. The mother, hearing its cries, rushed to its assistance, and by her tearful entreaties obtained a promise from the crocodile (who was obviously of the highest intelligence) that he would give it to her back if she would tell him truly what would happen to it. On this, the mother rashly asserted, " You will not give it back!" The crocodile answered to this, " If you have spoken truly I cannot give back the child without destroying the truth of your assertion; if you have spoken falsely I cannot give back the child, because you have not fulfilled the agreement, therefore I cannot give it back whether you have spoken truly or falsely." The mother then retorted thus, " If I have spoken truly you must give back the child by virtue of your agreement; if I have spoken falsely, that can only be when you have given back the child; so that whether I have spoken truly or falsely, the child must be given back." History is silent as to the issue of this remarkable dispute.
Has it yet been definitely established who it was that acted the part of executioner of Charles I.? Historicus.
San Francisco, Cal.
His identity has, we believe, never been thoroughly established. In his History of his Life and Times, Lilly, the famous English astrologer of the seventeenth century, when examined before the first Parliament of Charles II. as to the visored executioner of Charles I., said that the next Sunday but one after Charles I. was beheaded, Robert Spavin, Cromwell's secretary, and others dined with him, when the chief subject of conversation was who had beheaded the king. One said it was the common hangman, others Hugh Peters, but no one spoke with certainty. After dinner, however, Spavin privately confessed to Lilly that the executioner was Colonel Joyce. "I was in the room," he said, "when he fitted himself for the work; stood behind him when he did it; when done went in with him again. There is no man knows this but my master (Cromwell)." On the other hand, William Hulett, alias Howlett, was tried and convicted of having struck the fatal blow. But there was very strong evidence that he was not the man, and ground for belief that his conviction mainly arose out of a determination to fasten the guilt somewhere. One of the witnesses for his defence said, "When my Lord Capell, the Duke of Hamilton, and the Earl of Holland were beheaded in the palace yard, Westminster, my Lord Capell asked the common hangman, ' Did you cut off my master's head?' * Yes,' saith he. 'Where is the instrument that did it?' He then brought the axe. 'Is this the same axe, are you sure ?' said my lord. 'Yes, my lord,' said the hangman, ' I am very sure it is the same.' My Lord Capell took the axe and kissed it, and gave him five pieces of gold. I heard him say,' Sirrah, wert thou not afraid?' Saith the hangman, ' They made me cut it off, and I had ^30 for my pains.'" One Walker, who died as late as 1700, also labored under a suspicion of having done the deed, and also one Henry Porter; but the real identity seems likely to remain forever a mystery.
In answer to your correspondent, "Curious," in March Number of your Monthly, I would inform him that the expression "fat as grease," is to be found in the Bible, Ps. cxix. 70. And now I would like to ask where in the Bible can be found the expression "escaped with the skin of my teeth?" Dorr.
Passaic, N. J.
You will find it in Job xix. 20: " My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth."
"J. H. H., New York City."—The cryptogram was received and referred to a gentleman who is an expert in solving cryptograms. He returns us the following solution: "He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord."
Please inform me as to what is the true signification of the word levee, and whether it is properly used, as is generally the case, to signify an evening party? R. R. R.
This word has always been greatly misused among us. Unless the party holding a levee gets out of bed in the evening, in the midst of his company, it is improperly used. The word is derived from the Court of France, at which it was the duty of certain noblemen to attend the king at his
getting up, and hand him his clothes, one presenting his stockings, another his shirt, etc. The name levee was given to these assemblages, from the verb lever, to get up. In the evening they again attended to assist him to undress. These gatherings were called couchie, from coucher, to go to bed. The President might with more propriety invite to his couchees than to his levees.
What Vice-President of the United States, if any, having failed to receive a majority of the electoral votes, was elected to the position by the United States Senate, the candidate for President at the same election being elected by the electoral vote? Quintus.
In 1836 none of the candidates for Vice-President having received a majority of the votes of the electoral college, the Senate elected Richard M. Johnson by a vote of thirty-three to sixteen in favor of his opponent, Francis Granger. President Van Buren, however, was elected by the vote of the college.
Benjamin Rush.—In a late examination of the records of the Town Council of Edinburgh, there was found the following interesting entry: "4th March, 1767. The Council admit and receive Richard Stockton, Esquire, of New Jersey, Councillour at Law, and Benjamin Rush, Esquire, of Philadelphia, to be burgesses and gild brethren of this city in the most ample form."
C. G. J. wishes information as to the present ownership of the Great Eastern steamship, to what use she is now put, her dimensions, and what year she came to the United States.
The Great Eastern was designed by Mr. J. K. Brunei, and built by Messrs. Scott, Russell & Co., at Millwall, on the Thames. She is 692 feet long, 83 feet beam, and has paddle engines of 1,000 and screw of 1,600 horse power. She was commenced May 1st, 1854, and launched January 31st, 1858. Displacemtnt, 680 by 86; tonnage, 22,500. Her present owners are the International Telegram Construction and Maintenance Company, who are, it is said, refitting her with a view to transporting in her immense cargoes of beef or cattle from Texas to the English markets. Several mints of money have been consumed in constructing and maintaining this marine elephant. An English paper says that "between 1853 and 1869 one million sterling had been lost upon her." She made her first trip to this country in 1859.
"W. N. R.," Honesdale, Pa.—The "dark day" you refer to occurred on the 19th day of May, 1780, and is so called on account of a remarkable darkness that then overspread all New England. In some places persons could not see to read common print in the open air for several hours together. Birds sang their evening song, disappeared and became silent; fowls went to roost, cattle sought the barnyard, and candles were lighted. The oscultation began about ten o'clock in the morning, and continued until the middle of the next night. The true cause of the remarkable phenomenon is unknown.