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have been switched, both of them. That gal ought to have had a sensible maiden aunt to bring her up right. Now, I don't believe in gettin' married anyhow; but if you do, to wait till you are nearer my age, then you'll have some discretion, and know what you're about. I shouldn't wonder if her husband drinks and beats her, even if he thinks people don't know it. I'll fix him, though; I'll manage to let people find him out.
"Sakes alive! See how she smiles at that driver! And her husband's back turned! How does he know she don't smile on every man that way! How does he know she ain't got a lover somewhere? The impudent chit! If she were my daughter, now I Well, all I've got to say is, he'd better watch her; she may make him no end of trouble. Oh, how he'll rue the day he ever married her! How I blush for my sex, that they're so weak! I guess, as a neighborly kindness, I'd better advise Mrs. Hoskins not to let her daughters get too intimate with her; you*can't touch pitch without being defiled."
Meanwhile the object of this scrutiny worked on, happily unconscious of it all. Merry enough were Dick and his sister over their housekeeping escapade. Blithely they tacked down their mattings, hung up their pictures, and arranged their light furniture, their tongues running nimbly all the while.
"Next week," said May, "we'll have Will and Clara out. Week after, when pa and ma get back from the seashore, they must come. As to Joe, I guess he'll be out often."
"Wonder what the old maid will think of it all," remarked her brother; "she'll think it very extravagant in us to have so much company. And, May, what will she think when she finds out you've got a beau?"
May's cheeks burned, and she felt like boxing Dick's ears. She only said, "I guess she'll wish she had one herself."
Unconscious innocent! Little did she suspect what the lady in question really would think.
Two evenings later:
"Well, I declare!" commented Miss Priscilla, "there's a man knocking at the door! I wonder if he's his brother? No, he don't look a bit like him—Mr. Lindley's rather small, with light hair and mustache—this fellow's large, with dark beard. Maybe he's her brother. No, he don't look like her, either. Well, whoever he is, I hope he's
respectable. I don't want anybody of doubtful moral character about my premises. There! she's letting him in. How provoking! If she had stayed at the door just a second, I could have seen whether she had the same white dress on or tarp.. I believe it's all she's got.
"Ho! ho! Here they come out again, pronenading round the ground, arm in arm. Might! affectionate, that! Wonder where her husband !•; does he allow such goings on? Like as not he's walked down the village. Strange I should lure missed seeing him. He must be rather soft, or he'd keep an eye on her.
"Heavens! the fellow's kissing her I Oh, how my heart aches for that poor deceived young rain1 Why don't somebody tell him he's married a whited sepulchre? It would be somebody's Christian duty to open his eyes. If I didn't pity him too much now; if I didn't feel a delicacy about it, whjl might wound him for his own good.
"They're sitting down under the arbor mighty confidential. I wonder if they would see me if I were to steal softly behind the rose-bushes? Not that I want to be inquisitive; but I might overhear enough to convince me, in my own mind, that she really was unfaithful to her husband; for it would be a pretty thing if I were to tell him so with no more proof than I've got. I don't believe in accusing a fellow-creature unless you're* sure; its best to be on the safe side."
And seeking to insure herself against making t. mistake, Miss Priscilla quietly wended her way through the shrubbery in her own backyard, slipped out the gate, and scrambled through a broken panel in the fence belonging to the «djoining house. Noiselessly as a cat she picked her way behind the lilac-bushes until she stood immediately back of the arbor in which the unsuspecting lovers. She heard, however, for her pains, just one word, spoken in a deep, bass voice— "Darling!"
"Merciful goodness!" ejaculated the spy, lifting her hands in holy horror, "does he not fear that the earth will open and swallow him up for daring to speak so to another man's wife? WhK in the world are we all coming to? Oh, how to* I am! Yes; I must sacrifice my feelings at ri* call of duty; I must tell that poor, wronged laband that he has warmed a viper in his bosom I"
Just then Dick appeared on the piazza. trust was his surprise, as he stood there, gazing teflf before him, his hands in his pockets, to feel himself clutched by the elbow, while a strange voice whispered tragically in his ear:
"Come," it said, "come, I will show you a sight which will astonish you."
"Why, what's the matter?" he demanded, shaking off the grasp, and looking hard to determine who the assailant was.
"You're in danger I" Miss Priscilla continued, in sepulchral tones; "there's a pair of vipen in that arbor."
"Nonsense!" declared Dick, incredulously; "we've nothing worse than garter-snakes in this climate."
"Oh, you don't believe me," she went on; "I thought you wouldn't. Only my great pity for you could have induced me to tell you. But far better your blood should curdle while there is yet time than that you should be devoured alive."
"Well, I declare!" cried the puzzled fellow, "are you so much afraid of a couple of harmless snakes? Wait till I get a club and a few stones, and I'll soon despatch them if you would feel easier to have me kill them,"' and he stepped down off the piazza as though he meant business.
"Young man, you misunderstand me," said Miss Priscilla. "You cannot kill these serpents; you can only leave them to the justice of that God whose laws they have outraged. But come with me, come 1 Better you should be undeceived at once."
And wondering if she were not crazy, the bewildered youth followed where Miss Priscilla led. Cautiously she took him through the bowery bushes until they stood back of the arbor, and themselves invisible, could peep through its leafy screen. And overwhelmed with amazement Dick looked and saw—only Joe and May seated in affectionate position and confidential chat, their backs towards their audience.
"Do you not see?" whispered Miss Priscilla.
"See what?" bluntly demanded Dick.
"See what!" repeated the detective, "Your wife in the embraces of that scoundrel!"
Terrific silence. Then Dick did precisely what Miss Priscilla had expected he would—executed a performance in the wickedest kind of swearing. May and Joe sprang to their feet as if startled by a sudden earthquake shock, and the very picture Vol. XV.—35
of consternation, stood confronting Dick and his strange companion. Oh, what a rare triumph for Miss Priscilla!
"Yes, you whited sepulchre, you may well look I" she exclaimed, shaking her finger at startled May.
"And so may you, you deceitful villain !" looking at poor Joe. "As for you, young man," turning to Dick, "I pity you from the bottom of my heart; and I am only thankful that I was able to undeceive you!"
Horrors I Dick turned upon her as though consideration for her sex was the only thing that prevented him from tearing her to pieces.
"You meddlesome old cat!" he roared, "Get out of here!"
"What! This to me; when I out of pure disinterestedness revealed to you what a false, perjured wife you have!"
"May!" cried Dick, with an air of terrible, savage humor, "Come here and kiss me!"
"Oh!" declared Miss Priscilla. "That's the kind of people you are, is it? I've had all my pains for nothing."
"If you'd only minded your business, now," said Dick, "we might have had some respect for you; but as it is, you stand before us all convicted as a scandal-monger."
Miss Priscilla began to whimper. "Will you insult a lady on her own premises?" she began.
"You had no call to be on these premises," enunciated the terrible Dick, "I have paid my rent in advance for them, consequently I expected no trespassing. But, here is your key! We'll leave the place to-morrow," and he-<ook the key from his pocket, and flung it at her with savage energy. "And now, before we part, let me introduce my sister, Miss May Lindley, and her intended husband, Mr Joseph Montfort, to whom she is to be married in three months. Goodnight; and farewell, forever."
"Yes," said the men in the store, before the week was out, "we told him, but he wouldn't believe us. Nice young fellow, that Mr. Lindley; but the angel Gabriel himself couldn't live in Miss Priscilla's house. He thought he could, but he went away sooner than anybody—odd, though, that he wouldn't say what for! Well, one thing, she'll never rent it again."
And she never did. The beautiful cottage went to rack and ruin.
~HE£ VALUE OF A HOLIDAY.
-y Rota. T. Ceps.
all to the very class of persons who ,seed a hcLiimost, namely, those who cannot co=ts=pl*ie irr kind of change without aversion, and who, while they feel unequal to their work, feel std more unequal to leaving it and attempting the so-called enjoyments which are held out to them as a substitute for work. So long as there is a healthy desire for something which promises the needful change of stimulus, it is easy enough, free with but narrow means, to choose the kind of bcL'i:-. which will come nearest to gratifying that desire. But when the desire itself has utterly £cled, then even the largest means will be of cots para;; reir little use in furnishing what is needed, and ye: this is just the case where the need is greatest
But even in this case, if you dwell no: so uracil on the hope of amusing a man who has not the belief left in amusement which is necessary to its having any amusing effect, as on the hope of recreating his interest in his work, the thing may often be successfully»roanaged without pcttice the blank prospect of repulsive enjoyments,—if we may be excused the paradox,—too glaringly before the mind. What a man in this condition of overwork requires is to be tempted into charge under the disguise, if necessary, of fitting himself to do some part of his work better. Mr. Pickwick's cab-horse would, it was said, have dropped if he had been taken out of the shafts. It was the habit of being in the shafts which kept him up to his work. It is not unfrequently the same with an overworked man. He might become totally apathetic if he thought he had no work to do, and might sink into a sort of indifference which is just the very worst thing for him. But persuade him that the very work which has overdone him requires him to vary his occupation, to go somewhere and see something entirely new, and yet something new which will interfere with the conI itself is losing its tinuance of the overwork, and you may succeed i „ Mk bow has lost -in just relaxing the over-stretched string gradually
_ j*r too-long smw8 ,k„„M I - u »~ v.-i« :• »- ——.— :»- »—
-a* Hence, while we should
enough to help it to recover its tone.
Let the literary man be sent on a mission to do
something, not too laborious, which he thinks of
. nr the physical | the first importance to the work he has in hand.
v„ * TM answer at Let the historian be reminded of the duty of add that H* B TM°
verifying for himself the localities of some distant battle-field. Let the artist be encouraged to study the foreign school which is most essential to the development of his own powers. Let the politician be persuaded to survey the country where he can learn most concerning other solutions of the problem with which he has to deal. Let the antiquary betake himself to any accessible antiquities on which he has a theory of his own; the architect to the cathedrals and State buildings of other countries; while the conchologist, geologist, and naturalist have of course no need of such extraneous attractions, having permanent sources of curiosity always at work to persuade them to visit new scenes. And even the least of a specialist among all head-workers may interest himself better, we believe, by setting himself the task of verifying the scenery of one of his favorite novels,—one of Sir Walter Scott's many graphic stories, or one of Fielding's, or Thackeray's, or Dickens's, or even of Miss Austen's or Mrs. Gaskell's,— than by going away from work without any object at all in which he can feel or feign a definite interest. For after all, it is not so much the real activity of the motive you accept fiy such a purpose as this, as the definiteness and aspect of method which it gives to your plans, which is the useful thing.
The difficulty with a man who feels that he could go on in the old groove, but that he is lost if he sets himself merely to try hap-hazard change for which he has no desire, is this,—that so long as his object is mere amusement, there is nothing which he expects to find amusing, so that nothing shapes itself to his vacant imagination; and if he finds his first effort a failure, he is in danger of being more hurt by his holiday than profited. But with any sort of definitely shaped plan before him, however artificial at first the thread of interest may be, there is something definite which, through the mere influence of method become habitual on his mind, draws him on, till at last he either finds a real pleasure in its execution, or else, perhaps, in something else quite different from his first object, which it has, nevertheless, suggested to him. For a greatly overworked man, nothing is more likely to fail than the mere chance pursuit of pleasure. But any plan which involves something of a method, something that has to be regularly followed out, almost as if it were the appointed task of working-days, lends a certain mild tonic of its own to the otherwise indifferent will, which
starts it fairly on a way in which it is very likely to find or pick up a real interest.
To all who have the renewal of energy for their object, it is clear enough at least that no needless risk should be run of taking more out of oneself in holiday-making than the same or a much longer time of steady labor would take out of oneself. Yet many an Alpine climber actually does spend more nervous strength on his holiday than all the year is likely to restore. Of course, we are not speaking of mere physical fatigue, which, except under very extraordinary conditions, is often advantageous rather than otherwise to the full restoration of nervous tone, but of the moral excitement of serious danger and anxiety for others which accompanies the more perilous expeditions. And again, if a holiday is to be spent in true recreation of energies exhausted in the year's work, the opportunity should be taken not only to get a physical stimulus to the general health, not only to get some sort of exercise for the mental interests kept in abeyance in the ordinary field of labor, but also to get a fresh store of that trust in a source of light outside us which the weariness of continuous labor is so apt to exhaust, simply because it leaves us in ourselves weak and dry.
We believe that a great many holidays are deprived of their value by being so exhaustively mapped out as to leave no chance of true spiritual rest, no freedom from the sense of absolute engagements to be here or there at certain times and seasons, no interval that is not parcelled away into journeyings, or excursions, or sights, or even fixed spiritual exercises in which you take a given part that leaves little room for true rest,—because true rest does not mean hectic flushes of emotion, or fits and starts of aspiration, or abrupt resolves to do better in the future than you have done in the past, but rather the escape from all these struggles within your life, and from the profound sense of nothingness which they are apt to produce, into the strength of perfect acquiescence in a divine purpose and repose on the everlasting will.
One great part of the weariness of life is the necessary punctuality and punctiliousness of its engagements. There are people who say, with the Quakers, that even in worship, the multiplicity of observances, the kncelings and risings, the recitations and chauntings, make a transaction of