Some things to consider

No doubt, termites can be a pain in the neck when it comes to ruining documents that I think in earlier times in lieu of plastics people could’ve preserved those documents in metallic and ceramic containers, which would’ve been similarly effective against termites to some extent. That’s if they put a seal on it to ensure more safety, even if that may not always be true.

No doubt, termites can be really annoying to people who love those documents a lot that I think those of earlier times they could’ve put those belongings in vases and if it’s not effective enough, in metal chests for double safety. That’s how I feel they could’ve protected those documents that way, even if that may not always be the case.

(Memorising stuff by memory does have its advantages in those days.)

American Illustrated Magazine, Volume 60

Fra Angelico – Page 203books.google.com.ph › books

Convent of San Marco, Florence Entrusted to Dominicans of Fiesole on January 21, 1436, by Pope Eugenius iv, … 104-7, cats. 69-72, 95-ion (Work progressed from the cells to the cloister; from the chapter room (finished 1442) to the church …
John T. Spike, ‎Angelico (fra) – 1996 – ‎Snippet view

Things You Don’t Know about Cats – Page 151books.google.com.ph › books

Cats, fat ones and lean ones ; the lazy and the lively, the dreamy and contemplative ; Cats with tails and Cats without them. … There they lay, the tabbies of the cloister, sunning themselves in the rich grass of spring ; shading themselves under the boughs of the … and left that happy family purring in concert, is there anybody or anything in the whole wide world more comfortable than these convent Cats?
Charles Platt – 191? – ‎Snippet view

American Illustrated Magazine, Volume 60

THE CAT AND THE COUNTESS

BY MRS WILSON WOODROW

kHE gray stone walls of the old French convent, St. Elizabeth of the Roses, were austere and forbidding enough viewed from the narrow, lane-like Street of All Angels ; but behind the iron gates a quaint and delicious garden dreamed in the mellow, October sunshine. Beneath the blue of the sky there were quaint alleys, gnarled old trees, the green of the velvet grass and the scarlets, pur ples and yellows of the late summer flowers. At a distance from the main building there arose from a sweep of smooth lawn an old stone tower of purest Gothic archi tecture. Upon the outside a flight of worn steps ascended to its summit and within its lofty, ivy-crowned belfry there swung two bells, affectionately called ” Le Grand” and ” La Petite,” which rang the hours of service; but should they peal forth at other times or during the night, it would mean a summons to the village for help in danger.

In the shadow of the tower and up and down the gleaming paths of white gravel paced Sister Victorine and Beren- geria Smith, of Milwaukee, the latter hav ing been for a year past a pupil of the school. But ” Bcrengeria, ” imperious and majestic, had long been softened to “Angel,” a name dating from the young woman’s white and gold babyhood, and indicative of her appearance rather than her disposition. A pace or two behind them walked Sister Victorine ‘s familiar, the convent cat, — the pampered, the petulant Lulu.

Lulu was not convent-bred; she was of the lawless, intriguing breed of the cats of Paris, and her eyes still retained the ex

pression of the boulcvardicr, — a glance at once alert and indifferent, but occasionally this merely casual gaze scintillated with malice.

“It is well, my child, that we put thee in St. Joseph this year” (the rooms at the convent bore the names of saints in stead of numbers), prattled Sister Victor ine. “We thought of St. Francis for thee, but bats had nested therein. Ah, how happy thou wilt be here with thy studies and thy young companionship.”

She waved her hand toward a group of girls, a German Grafin, buxom and rosy, two Russian princesses, lithe and blonde, a dark daughter of the Spanish nobility, a vivacious, angular, French countess, and two pink and white English honorables. Oh, very cosmopolitan and very select was St. Elizabeth of the Roses.

“And Lulu, — Mon Dicu, how Lulu loves thee!” continued Sister Victorine. “This morning I called her long, but she came not. Then I ran, I flew down the cloister, and before thy door she slept. A sleep so calm and peaceful that it melted my heart.”

Lulu yawned, and then licking her sleek jaws with scarlet and furtive tongue, un sheathed her claws and essayed the texture of “Angel” Smith’s gown.

‘ ‘ She drank my chocolate at breakfast this morning,” grumbled the supposed object of Lulu’s adoration.

“Oh, la, la! What then? Lulu also is hungry. You must be resigned. It is the will of God.”

Perhaps it was not strange that ” Angel ‘ ‘ Smith was blind to Lulu’s intellect and indifferent to her charms. This was “Angel’s ” second year of unwilling exile,

373

374 LESLIE’S MONTHLY MAGAZINE

Lulu was not con vent bred, but of the lawless, intrigu ing breed of cats.

of the irritating realization of encompassing walls whose open sesame she was not to know. To be thrust into a convent for falling in love a few years in advance of the date decided upon by parents and guardians, is a very passive situation in fiction; but when such a thing occurs in real life, it is so rococo as to be extremely ridiculous. This “Angel” felt keenly. She was seventeen years of age and the heroine of a very old drama which she could not believe had ever been played before. But her mother, a gentle and ob stinate piece of Dresden china, and ” Ralph’s” guardians, who dwelt in a legal and musty world, entirely failed to appre ciate the situation when they suddenly found themselves to be an unsuspecting and undesircd audience.

The condition which confronted

” Angel” then was not to be evaded nor ignored. She was, as she expressed it, “mewed up in a convent” for two years, and death was preferable; but death, fas cinating as a weapon of revenge, is final. It would mean the ringing down of the curtain on the first act, and “Angel” could not forego the contemplation of the last act, presenting the tableau of reunion.

She would have regarded her lot as un relieved tragedy were it not that Ralph’s twenty-first birthday occurred at the be ginning of her second year of seclusion, and he had promised that on the day fol lowing the attainment of his majority he would set sail for France and rescue his captive princess.

The languor then with which “Angel” Smith accepted her surroundings, the lack luster eye with which she viewed Lulu, may be set down to the fact that it was October and she was, as yet, unrescued.

There was much time for reflection at St. Elizabeth’s of the Roses. For one thing, morning slumber was evidently deemed one of the temptations of the flesh. Le Grand and La Petite began their solos and duets in the cool, gray dawn and continued them until “Angel ” pulled aside the curtain to let in the sun shine. Then ensued long hours when she bent over the organ, the drawing-board, the embroidery frame. These were broken by the interlude of luncheon, and often as “Angel” entered the refectory, Lulu would leap hastily from the table and seek ing an obscure corner would sit apart, licking with scarlet and furtive tongue her sleek jaws. Occasionally “Angel” would trace in her butter the trail of claws or the marks of tiny teeth. Sometimes she complained to Sister Victorine of these evidences of Lulu’s wanton disregard of life’s little decencies, but Victorine would only regard Lulu with a fatuous and mater nal smile.

” Oh, la-la!” airily, reprovingly. “‘Tis but Lulu.”

But “Angel” found the recreation hours compensating. Then she and the princesses, the grafin, the seftorita, and the miladis walked together in the gar den and discussed affairs of the heart, and “Angel” Smith, plain daughter of the democracy, spoke oracularly, ex cathedra, and was listened to with ador ing, breathless interest by the flowers of

HE CAT AND THE COUNTESS 375

European nobility. On these occasions Sister Victorine took her siesta upon a rus tic seat beneath an old pear tree, and Lulu, like Satan, walked to and fro upon the earth, now strolling sedately by the side of the young ladies, now torturing an innocent grasshopper or sniffing contempt uously at the flowers.

This monotonous existence was not des tined to be of long duration, however. One evening, as the girls sat in the long, bare refectory eating their blameless sup per of bread and cheese and stewed pears and gazing at the black texts upon the walls which urged them to abstain from frivolous conversation, there was a sound without as of the running of many feet, and Rosine, the wooden maid who served the table, burst into the room.

” Ma’mselles, are you all present ?” she asked in her coarse, deep voice.

‘ ‘ Yes, ‘ ‘ replied Sister Victorine. ‘ ‘ What agitates thee, Rosine?”

“The gates and all doors have been ordered locked,” in a repressed, ominous voice.

The flowers of European nobility and American democracy gazed at each other in silent apprehension. Before their men tal vision floated pictures of a sacked con vent, where pale nuns clung to the altar, while rough soldiery despoiled the chapel.

” Mon Dieti,” exclaimed Sister Victor

ine, upraising her hands and casting heavenward her eyes. “And it may be that Lulu is without.” With that she hur ried from the room.

While the possibilities of fire and riot were still being breathlessly discussed, she returned smiling.

” Tiens, I feared for Lulu; but I sought her in thy room, my ‘Angel,’ and there she reposed, the lamb, upon thy pillow. ‘ ‘

” But what was it ? ” cried the girls in chorus, ” that so alarmed the convent?”

She crossed herself. ‘ ‘ I should not tell thee, children,” in a low voice. “It might disturb thy slumbers; but ’twas this. The good Rosine glanced from the window of the buttery and saw, walking up and down the Street of All Angels, — a man. He meditated evil, for he scanned the con vent closely. Then Rosine hastened to inform the Mother Superior who ordered the gates locked at once. But, — oh, mon Dieu ! — my heart grew small for fear that Lulu might be without. “

While Sister Victorine spoke ‘ ‘ Angel ‘ ‘ Smith’s eyes had dilated curiously. Her face was pale and on her lips lay a vivid smile.

“It was some low, drunken fellow, was it not, Sister?” she asked.

“Nay, child. Rosine said tall and young, with gray clothes, brown eyes and light hair. But la-la, I should not be talking thus. “

A stone wrapped in while paper struck Lulu /airly and squarely.

376 LESLIE’S MONTHLY MAGAZINE

The smile deepened in “Angel’s” eyes and there was holiday in her heart. Ralph was within her horizon and that knowledge brought with it the sweet assur ance that something would happen soon.

The next afternoon in the freedom of the garden “Angel” confided her hopes to her schoolmates. “Do you think,” she said superbly, ‘ ‘ that Ralph would be dis concerted by a few old ladies making a ceremony of locking up the convent ? Hm-m? You don’t know him!”

The daughters of European nobility grew pale. They swayed as if in a strong gust of wind. Such daring sentiments! Such heart devastating emotions.

But the times were pregnant with events. Just as they reached the far end of the garden, a stone wrapped in white paper whizzed over the ivy-grown wall and struck Lulu very fairly and squarely, so that the air resounded with her loud cries. For tunately, these failed to arouse Sister Vic- torine and Lulu was presently soothed.

Then “Angel,” surrounded by her breathless and excited companions, read the scrawl. It assured her of undying love and certain rescue, even if it were necessary to dynamite the convent. It begged that as the evening grew dusk, she climb the tree which leaned against the southwest wall and there he, mounted upon a ladder, would meet and assist her down the other side. Her sister was in the vil lage and would witness their marriage and then they would fly to Paris to win the for giveness of her mother.

The European nobility gasped with joy. ” Write back at once that you will,” they commanded, supplying a pencil.

“Angei” obeyed and sent the white- wrapped stone flying back over the wall. Having acted, she paused to think. ” Now that I have said I would, how can I?” she asked dejectedly. “You know that we are not allowed in the garden after dark. ‘ ‘

‘ ‘ Intrigue will be necessary, ” said the Countess firmly.

” Mon Dieu ; yes!” agreed the others.

“But how can I elope in these old clothes?” objected “Angel, “despondently.

“It is hard indeed,” replied the Count ess, ‘ ‘ but it is a sacrifice you must make for love. When one has the grande pas sion, one heeds nothing else. A moment ! I have an inspiration !”

She rolled her eyes wildly and clutched

her curly, black head. ” Ah ! Listen then! We will keep Lulu among us all afternoon. During study hours, I can slip away a moment. I will bear her to a tree by the southwest wall and tie her there by a cord fastened to her collar. Just at the close of supper we will tell Victorine that she has escaped. Victorine will express distress, consternation; and you, mon Ange, must demand the privilege of searching for her. Once without, rush straight for the tree, cut Lulu’s cord, and over the wall. Is not that simple ?”

“What mind ! What intellect !’ ‘ chorused the nobility.

Fate herself seemed to aid that daugh ter of a quick witted race, in playing dcus ex machina. Lulu’s cord was sufficiently long to permit her to spend several happy hours in an exciting chase after some scold ing and vociferous birds. At the proper moment, she was discovered missing. Vic torine’ s agitation was as great as had been hoped, and “Angel” Smith’s offers of service were gladly accepted. Like an arrow from the bow the young woman sped through the sweet, dark night to the dis tant tree. Lulu greeted her purringly, for she had grown weary of the chase. The tree was easy to climb, — but a step from one bough to the next higher and the wall’s summit was gained, — and there was Ralph.

Once more they were together in the bright world of youth and love. For a moment they were so happy that they could have laughed at the gods. A soft breeze swept through the tree tops, a tiny crescent moon rose over the convent, the flowers dreamed of the dawn.

Then a sound ! A hideous noise which could only be the result of Black Art, filled the air, — piercing, rasping, nerve-agitating! The voice of Lulu !

She clung to the branch above them, her mouth stretched wide and the night echoed to her witch-calls.

“Lulu, my dove, where art thou?” called a fat and anxious voice. The rays of a lantern held high in the air sud denly irradiated the scene, which was sur veyed by Sister Victorine and the Mother Superior.

At this unexpected sight, “Angel” broke from Ralph’s restraining arm, and scrambled hastily down the tree.

Pale, pensive, commanding, was the Mother Superior. A stately figure and

THE CAT AND THE COUNTESS

BY MRS WILSON WOODROW

kHE gray stone walls of the old French convent, St. Elizabeth of the Roses, were austere and forbidding enough viewed from the narrow, lane-like Street of All Angels ; but behind the iron gates a quaint and delicious garden dreamed in the mellow, October sunshine. Beneath the blue of the sky there were quaint alleys, gnarled old trees, the green of the velvet grass and the scarlets, pur ples and yellows of the late summer flowers. At a distance from the main building there arose from a sweep of smooth lawn an old stone tower of purest Gothic archi tecture. Upon the outside a flight of worn steps ascended to its summit and within its lofty, ivy-crowned belfry there swung two bells, affectionately called ” Le Grand” and ” La Petite,” which rang the hours of service; but should they peal forth at other times or during the night, it would mean a summons to the village for help in danger.

In the shadow of the tower and up and down the gleaming paths of white gravel paced Sister Victorine and Beren- geria Smith, of Milwaukee, the latter hav ing been for a year past a pupil of the school. But ” Bcrengeria, ” imperious and majestic, had long been softened to “Angel,” a name dating from the young woman’s white and gold babyhood, and indicative of her appearance rather than her disposition. A pace or two behind them walked Sister Victorine ‘s familiar, the convent cat, — the pampered, the petulant Lulu.

Lulu was not convent-bred; she was of the lawless, intriguing breed of the cats of Paris, and her eyes still retained the ex

pression of the boulcvardicr, — a glance at once alert and indifferent, but occasionally this merely casual gaze scintillated with malice.

“It is well, my child, that we put thee in St. Joseph this year” (the rooms at the convent bore the names of saints in stead of numbers), prattled Sister Victor ine. “We thought of St. Francis for thee, but bats had nested therein. Ah, how happy thou wilt be here with thy studies and thy young companionship.”

She waved her hand toward a group of girls, a German Grafin, buxom and rosy, two Russian princesses, lithe and blonde, a dark daughter of the Spanish nobility, a vivacious, angular, French countess, and two pink and white English honorables. Oh, very cosmopolitan and very select was St. Elizabeth of the Roses.

“And Lulu, — Mon Dicu, how Lulu loves thee!” continued Sister Victorine. “This morning I called her long, but she came not. Then I ran, I flew down the cloister, and before thy door she slept. A sleep so calm and peaceful that it melted my heart.”

Lulu yawned, and then licking her sleek jaws with scarlet and furtive tongue, un sheathed her claws and essayed the texture of “Angel” Smith’s gown.

‘ ‘ She drank my chocolate at breakfast this morning,” grumbled the supposed object of Lulu’s adoration.

“Oh, la, la! What then? Lulu also is hungry. You must be resigned. It is the will of God.”

Perhaps it was not strange that ” Angel ‘ ‘ Smith was blind to Lulu’s intellect and indifferent to her charms. This was “Angel’s ” second year of unwilling exile,

373

374 LESLIE’S MONTHLY MAGAZINE

Lulu was not con vent bred, but of the lawless, intrigu ing breed of cats.

of the irritating realization of encompassing walls whose open sesame she was not to know. To be thrust into a convent for falling in love a few years in advance of the date decided upon by parents and guardians, is a very passive situation in fiction; but when such a thing occurs in real life, it is so rococo as to be extremely ridiculous. This “Angel” felt keenly. She was seventeen years of age and the heroine of a very old drama which she could not believe had ever been played before. But her mother, a gentle and ob stinate piece of Dresden china, and ” Ralph’s” guardians, who dwelt in a legal and musty world, entirely failed to appre ciate the situation when they suddenly found themselves to be an unsuspecting and undesircd audience.

The condition which confronted

” Angel” then was not to be evaded nor ignored. She was, as she expressed it, “mewed up in a convent” for two years, and death was preferable; but death, fas cinating as a weapon of revenge, is final. It would mean the ringing down of the curtain on the first act, and “Angel” could not forego the contemplation of the last act, presenting the tableau of reunion.

She would have regarded her lot as un relieved tragedy were it not that Ralph’s twenty-first birthday occurred at the be ginning of her second year of seclusion, and he had promised that on the day fol lowing the attainment of his majority he would set sail for France and rescue his captive princess.

The languor then with which “Angel” Smith accepted her surroundings, the lack luster eye with which she viewed Lulu, may be set down to the fact that it was October and she was, as yet, unrescued.

There was much time for reflection at St. Elizabeth’s of the Roses. For one thing, morning slumber was evidently deemed one of the temptations of the flesh. Le Grand and La Petite began their solos and duets in the cool, gray dawn and continued them until “Angel ” pulled aside the curtain to let in the sun shine. Then ensued long hours when she bent over the organ, the drawing-board, the embroidery frame. These were broken by the interlude of luncheon, and often as “Angel” entered the refectory, Lulu would leap hastily from the table and seek ing an obscure corner would sit apart, licking with scarlet and furtive tongue her sleek jaws. Occasionally “Angel” would trace in her butter the trail of claws or the marks of tiny teeth. Sometimes she complained to Sister Victorine of these evidences of Lulu’s wanton disregard of life’s little decencies, but Victorine would only regard Lulu with a fatuous and mater nal smile.

” Oh, la-la!” airily, reprovingly. “‘Tis but Lulu.”

But “Angel” found the recreation hours compensating. Then she and the princesses, the grafin, the seftorita, and the miladis walked together in the gar den and discussed affairs of the heart, and “Angel” Smith, plain daughter of the democracy, spoke oracularly, ex cathedra, and was listened to with ador ing, breathless interest by the flowers of

THE CAT AND THE COUNTESS 375

European nobility. On these occasions Sister Victorine took her siesta upon a rus tic seat beneath an old pear tree, and Lulu, like Satan, walked to and fro upon the earth, now strolling sedately by the side of the young ladies, now torturing an innocent grasshopper or sniffing contempt uously at the flowers.

This monotonous existence was not des tined to be of long duration, however. One evening, as the girls sat in the long, bare refectory eating their blameless sup per of bread and cheese and stewed pears and gazing at the black texts upon the walls which urged them to abstain from frivolous conversation, there was a sound without as of the running of many feet, and Rosine, the wooden maid who served the table, burst into the room.

” Ma’mselles, are you all present ?” she asked in her coarse, deep voice.

‘ ‘ Yes, ‘ ‘ replied Sister Victorine. ‘ ‘ What agitates thee, Rosine?”

“The gates and all doors have been ordered locked,” in a repressed, ominous voice.

The flowers of European nobility and American democracy gazed at each other in silent apprehension. Before their men tal vision floated pictures of a sacked con vent, where pale nuns clung to the altar, while rough soldiery despoiled the chapel.

” Mon Dieti,” exclaimed Sister Victor

ine, upraising her hands and casting heavenward her eyes. “And it may be that Lulu is without.” With that she hur ried from the room.

While the possibilities of fire and riot were still being breathlessly discussed, she returned smiling.

” Tiens, I feared for Lulu; but I sought her in thy room, my ‘Angel,’ and there she reposed, the lamb, upon thy pillow. ‘ ‘

” But what was it ? ” cried the girls in chorus, ” that so alarmed the convent?”

She crossed herself. ‘ ‘ I should not tell thee, children,” in a low voice. “It might disturb thy slumbers; but ’twas this. The good Rosine glanced from the window of the buttery and saw, walking up and down the Street of All Angels, — a man. He meditated evil, for he scanned the con vent closely. Then Rosine hastened to inform the Mother Superior who ordered the gates locked at once. But, — oh, mon Dieu ! — my heart grew small for fear that Lulu might be without. “

While Sister Victorine spoke ‘ ‘ Angel ‘ ‘ Smith’s eyes had dilated curiously. Her face was pale and on her lips lay a vivid smile.

“It was some low, drunken fellow, was it not, Sister?” she asked.

“Nay, child. Rosine said tall and young, with gray clothes, brown eyes and light hair. But la-la, I should not be talking thus. “

A stone wrapped in while paper struck Lulu /airly and squarely.

376 LESLIE’S MONTHLY MAGAZINE

The smile deepened in “Angel’s” eyes and there was holiday in her heart. Ralph was within her horizon and that knowledge brought with it the sweet assur ance that something would happen soon.

The next afternoon in the freedom of the garden “Angel” confided her hopes to her schoolmates. “Do you think,” she said superbly, ‘ ‘ that Ralph would be dis concerted by a few old ladies making a ceremony of locking up the convent ? Hm-m? You don’t know him!”

The daughters of European nobility grew pale. They swayed as if in a strong gust of wind. Such daring sentiments! Such heart devastating emotions.

But the times were pregnant with events. Just as they reached the far end of the garden, a stone wrapped in white paper whizzed over the ivy-grown wall and struck Lulu very fairly and squarely, so that the air resounded with her loud cries. For tunately, these failed to arouse Sister Vic- torine and Lulu was presently soothed.

Then “Angel,” surrounded by her breathless and excited companions, read the scrawl. It assured her of undying love and certain rescue, even if it were necessary to dynamite the convent. It begged that as the evening grew dusk, she climb the tree which leaned against the southwest wall and there he, mounted upon a ladder, would meet and assist her down the other side. Her sister was in the vil lage and would witness their marriage and then they would fly to Paris to win the for giveness of her mother.

The European nobility gasped with joy. ” Write back at once that you will,” they commanded, supplying a pencil.

“Angei” obeyed and sent the white- wrapped stone flying back over the wall. Having acted, she paused to think. ” Now that I have said I would, how can I?” she asked dejectedly. “You know that we are not allowed in the garden after dark. ‘ ‘

‘ ‘ Intrigue will be necessary, ” said the Countess firmly.

” Mon Dieu ; yes!” agreed the others.

“But how can I elope in these old clothes?” objected “Angel, “despondently.

“It is hard indeed,” replied the Count ess, ‘ ‘ but it is a sacrifice you must make for love. When one has the grande pas sion, one heeds nothing else. A moment ! I have an inspiration !”

She rolled her eyes wildly and clutched

her curly, black head. ” Ah ! Listen then! We will keep Lulu among us all afternoon. During study hours, I can slip away a moment. I will bear her to a tree by the southwest wall and tie her there by a cord fastened to her collar. Just at the close of supper we will tell Victorine that she has escaped. Victorine will express distress, consternation; and you, mon Ange, must demand the privilege of searching for her. Once without, rush straight for the tree, cut Lulu’s cord, and over the wall. Is not that simple ?”

“What mind ! What intellect !’ ‘ chorused the nobility.

Fate herself seemed to aid that daugh ter of a quick witted race, in playing dcus ex machina. Lulu’s cord was sufficiently long to permit her to spend several happy hours in an exciting chase after some scold ing and vociferous birds. At the proper moment, she was discovered missing. Vic torine’ s agitation was as great as had been hoped, and “Angel” Smith’s offers of service were gladly accepted. Like an arrow from the bow the young woman sped through the sweet, dark night to the dis tant tree. Lulu greeted her purringly, for she had grown weary of the chase. The tree was easy to climb, — but a step from one bough to the next higher and the wall’s summit was gained, — and there was Ralph.

Once more they were together in the bright world of youth and love. For a moment they were so happy that they could have laughed at the gods. A soft breeze swept through the tree tops, a tiny crescent moon rose over the convent, the flowers dreamed of the dawn.

Then a sound ! A hideous noise which could only be the result of Black Art, filled the air, — piercing, rasping, nerve-agitating! The voice of Lulu !

She clung to the branch above them, her mouth stretched wide and the night echoed to her witch-calls.

“Lulu, my dove, where art thou?” called a fat and anxious voice. The rays of a lantern held high in the air sud denly irradiated the scene, which was sur veyed by Sister Victorine and the Mother Superior.

At this unexpected sight, “Angel” broke from Ralph’s restraining arm, and scrambled hastily down the tree.

Pale, pensive, commanding, was the Mother Superior. A stately figure and

THE CAT AND THE COUNTESS 377

still young. Her glance of steel traveled from “Angel” Smith’s head to her feet; and then she turned to Victorine who wept silently into Lulu’ s black fur.

“Sister Victorine,” negligently, icily, “it behooves thee to increase thy vigi lance. “

For the next few days, “Angel” Smith could have defined very accurately the meaning of the word “limitations.” Al though her liberty was not, to the outer eye, curtail ed, it was never theless thoroughly and conscientious ly environed. Sis ter Victorine re garded her former siestas beneath the pear tree as a temp tation to be re sisted and some what toilsomely ac companied her charges in their romps about the garden.

The young ladies were manifestly subdued, with the exception of the Countess, who bore the undismayed mien of the baffled but not foiled con spirator.

One afternoon, about a week after ” Angel’s ” undig nified scramble from Olympus to Avernus, she and the Countess walk ed together, Vic torine panting in the rear and Lulu stepping sedately before them.

‘ ‘ See you the devilish one, ‘ ‘ said the Countess vindictively. ” She is so proud of the mischief she has wrought that she must constantly exhibit herself. I fear her unspeakably ; but I dare not show it. ‘ ‘

They had paused beneath the belfry tower at Sister Victorine’ s request in order that she might gain breath and also scan

The Countess cast her through the aperture.

the rest of her flock; but “Angel” viewed one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Europe with a lack-luster and disdainful eye.

“Hateful old belfry! Hateful old con vent!” She scoffed bitterly. The Count ess gazed at her with a sympathetic com prehension of her mood ; then, suddenly, the impersonal commiseration of her eyes merged into a trance-like, unsee ing gaze, which, with her, ever be tokened a stupen dous activity of the brain.

” (J ng grande conception I ‘ ‘ she murmured. ” If the good God will but let us fulfil it. Listen, mon Ange. If le Grand and la Petite, now peace- ful ly reposing in yonder tower, should suddenly peal out, dost thou not know that the entire village would be immediately upon the spot?”

“What of it?” asked ” Angel.”

“Why Stupide, thus thou couldst escape. If now Monsieur Ralph were informed as to the moment the bells would ring — ‘ ‘ “Deaf old Jac ques would never ring the bells ex cept for service.”

“True, true,” replied the Count ess patiently; ” but,” with deep meaning, “if some one else pulled the rope ?’ ‘

” Who?” demanded “Angel ” bluntly. Lulu rolled her black, silken body before them in the gravel.

“If,” continued the Countess in a rapid undertone, ” if to-morrow afternoon when we walk in the garden, Victorine’ s atten tion should be so distracted that some one

THE CAT AND THE COUNTESS

BY MRS WILSON WOODROW

kHE gray stone walls of the old French convent, St. Elizabeth of the Roses, were austere and forbidding enough viewed from the narrow, lane-like Street of All Angels ; but behind the iron gates a quaint and delicious garden dreamed in the mellow, October sunshine. Beneath the blue of the sky there were quaint alleys, gnarled old trees, the green of the velvet grass and the scarlets, pur ples and yellows of the late summer flowers. At a distance from the main building there arose from a sweep of smooth lawn an old stone tower of purest Gothic archi tecture. Upon the outside a flight of worn steps ascended to its summit and within its lofty, ivy-crowned belfry there swung two bells, affectionately called ” Le Grand” and ” La Petite,” which rang the hours of service; but should they peal forth at other times or during the night, it would mean a summons to the village for help in danger.

In the shadow of the tower and up and down the gleaming paths of white gravel paced Sister Victorine and Beren- geria Smith, of Milwaukee, the latter hav ing been for a year past a pupil of the school. But ” Bcrengeria, ” imperious and majestic, had long been softened to “Angel,” a name dating from the young woman’s white and gold babyhood, and indicative of her appearance rather than her disposition. A pace or two behind them walked Sister Victorine ‘s familiar, the convent cat, — the pampered, the petulant Lulu.

Lulu was not convent-bred; she was of the lawless, intriguing breed of the cats of Paris, and her eyes still retained the ex

pression of the boulcvardicr, — a glance at once alert and indifferent, but occasionally this merely casual gaze scintillated with malice.

“It is well, my child, that we put thee in St. Joseph this year” (the rooms at the convent bore the names of saints in stead of numbers), prattled Sister Victor ine. “We thought of St. Francis for thee, but bats had nested therein. Ah, how happy thou wilt be here with thy studies and thy young companionship.”

She waved her hand toward a group of girls, a German Grafin, buxom and rosy, two Russian princesses, lithe and blonde, a dark daughter of the Spanish nobility, a vivacious, angular, French countess, and two pink and white English honorables. Oh, very cosmopolitan and very select was St. Elizabeth of the Roses.

“And Lulu, — Mon Dicu, how Lulu loves thee!” continued Sister Victorine. “This morning I called her long, but she came not. Then I ran, I flew down the cloister, and before thy door she slept. A sleep so calm and peaceful that it melted my heart.”

Lulu yawned, and then licking her sleek jaws with scarlet and furtive tongue, un sheathed her claws and essayed the texture of “Angel” Smith’s gown.

‘ ‘ She drank my chocolate at breakfast this morning,” grumbled the supposed object of Lulu’s adoration.

“Oh, la, la! What then? Lulu also is hungry. You must be resigned. It is the will of God.”

Perhaps it was not strange that ” Angel ‘ ‘ Smith was blind to Lulu’s intellect and indifferent to her charms. This was “Angel’s ” second year of unwilling exile,

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374 LESLIE’S MONTHLY MAGAZINE

Lulu was not con vent bred, but of the lawless, intrigu ing breed of cats.

of the irritating realization of encompassing walls whose open sesame she was not to know. To be thrust into a convent for falling in love a few years in advance of the date decided upon by parents and guardians, is a very passive situation in fiction; but when such a thing occurs in real life, it is so rococo as to be extremely ridiculous. This “Angel” felt keenly. She was seventeen years of age and the heroine of a very old drama which she could not believe had ever been played before. But her mother, a gentle and ob stinate piece of Dresden china, and ” Ralph’s” guardians, who dwelt in a legal and musty world, entirely failed to appre ciate the situation when they suddenly found themselves to be an unsuspecting and undesircd audience.

The condition which confronted

” Angel” then was not to be evaded nor ignored. She was, as she expressed it, “mewed up in a convent” for two years, and death was preferable; but death, fas cinating as a weapon of revenge, is final. It would mean the ringing down of the curtain on the first act, and “Angel” could not forego the contemplation of the last act, presenting the tableau of reunion.

She would have regarded her lot as un relieved tragedy were it not that Ralph’s twenty-first birthday occurred at the be ginning of her second year of seclusion, and he had promised that on the day fol lowing the attainment of his majority he would set sail for France and rescue his captive princess.

The languor then with which “Angel” Smith accepted her surroundings, the lack luster eye with which she viewed Lulu, may be set down to the fact that it was October and she was, as yet, unrescued.

There was much time for reflection at St. Elizabeth’s of the Roses. For one thing, morning slumber was evidently deemed one of the temptations of the flesh. Le Grand and La Petite began their solos and duets in the cool, gray dawn and continued them until “Angel ” pulled aside the curtain to let in the sun shine. Then ensued long hours when she bent over the organ, the drawing-board, the embroidery frame. These were broken by the interlude of luncheon, and often as “Angel” entered the refectory, Lulu would leap hastily from the table and seek ing an obscure corner would sit apart, licking with scarlet and furtive tongue her sleek jaws. Occasionally “Angel” would trace in her butter the trail of claws or the marks of tiny teeth. Sometimes she complained to Sister Victorine of these evidences of Lulu’s wanton disregard of life’s little decencies, but Victorine would only regard Lulu with a fatuous and mater nal smile.

” Oh, la-la!” airily, reprovingly. “‘Tis but Lulu.”

But “Angel” found the recreation hours compensating. Then she and the princesses, the grafin, the seftorita, and the miladis walked together in the gar den and discussed affairs of the heart, and “Angel” Smith, plain daughter of the democracy, spoke oracularly, ex cathedra, and was listened to with ador ing, breathless interest by the flowers of

THE CAT AND THE COUNTESS 375

European nobility. On these occasions Sister Victorine took her siesta upon a rus tic seat beneath an old pear tree, and Lulu, like Satan, walked to and fro upon the earth, now strolling sedately by the side of the young ladies, now torturing an innocent grasshopper or sniffing contempt uously at the flowers.

This monotonous existence was not des tined to be of long duration, however. One evening, as the girls sat in the long, bare refectory eating their blameless sup per of bread and cheese and stewed pears and gazing at the black texts upon the walls which urged them to abstain from frivolous conversation, there was a sound without as of the running of many feet, and Rosine, the wooden maid who served the table, burst into the room.

” Ma’mselles, are you all present ?” she asked in her coarse, deep voice.

‘ ‘ Yes, ‘ ‘ replied Sister Victorine. ‘ ‘ What agitates thee, Rosine?”

“The gates and all doors have been ordered locked,” in a repressed, ominous voice.

The flowers of European nobility and American democracy gazed at each other in silent apprehension. Before their men tal vision floated pictures of a sacked con vent, where pale nuns clung to the altar, while rough soldiery despoiled the chapel.

” Mon Dieti,” exclaimed Sister Victor

ine, upraising her hands and casting heavenward her eyes. “And it may be that Lulu is without.” With that she hur ried from the room.

While the possibilities of fire and riot were still being breathlessly discussed, she returned smiling.

” Tiens, I feared for Lulu; but I sought her in thy room, my ‘Angel,’ and there she reposed, the lamb, upon thy pillow. ‘ ‘

” But what was it ? ” cried the girls in chorus, ” that so alarmed the convent?”

She crossed herself. ‘ ‘ I should not tell thee, children,” in a low voice. “It might disturb thy slumbers; but ’twas this. The good Rosine glanced from the window of the buttery and saw, walking up and down the Street of All Angels, — a man. He meditated evil, for he scanned the con vent closely. Then Rosine hastened to inform the Mother Superior who ordered the gates locked at once. But, — oh, mon Dieu ! — my heart grew small for fear that Lulu might be without. “

While Sister Victorine spoke ‘ ‘ Angel ‘ ‘ Smith’s eyes had dilated curiously. Her face was pale and on her lips lay a vivid smile.

“It was some low, drunken fellow, was it not, Sister?” she asked.

“Nay, child. Rosine said tall and young, with gray clothes, brown eyes and light hair. But la-la, I should not be talking thus. “

A stone wrapped in while paper struck Lulu /airly and squarely.

376 LESLIE’S MONTHLY MAGAZINE

The smile deepened in “Angel’s” eyes and there was holiday in her heart. Ralph was within her horizon and that knowledge brought with it the sweet assur ance that something would happen soon.

The next afternoon in the freedom of the garden “Angel” confided her hopes to her schoolmates. “Do you think,” she said superbly, ‘ ‘ that Ralph would be dis concerted by a few old ladies making a ceremony of locking up the convent ? Hm-m? You don’t know him!”

The daughters of European nobility grew pale. They swayed as if in a strong gust of wind. Such daring sentiments! Such heart devastating emotions.

But the times were pregnant with events. Just as they reached the far end of the garden, a stone wrapped in white paper whizzed over the ivy-grown wall and struck Lulu very fairly and squarely, so that the air resounded with her loud cries. For tunately, these failed to arouse Sister Vic- torine and Lulu was presently soothed.

Then “Angel,” surrounded by her breathless and excited companions, read the scrawl. It assured her of undying love and certain rescue, even if it were necessary to dynamite the convent. It begged that as the evening grew dusk, she climb the tree which leaned against the southwest wall and there he, mounted upon a ladder, would meet and assist her down the other side. Her sister was in the vil lage and would witness their marriage and then they would fly to Paris to win the for giveness of her mother.

The European nobility gasped with joy. ” Write back at once that you will,” they commanded, supplying a pencil.

“Angei” obeyed and sent the white- wrapped stone flying back over the wall. Having acted, she paused to think. ” Now that I have said I would, how can I?” she asked dejectedly. “You know that we are not allowed in the garden after dark. ‘ ‘

‘ ‘ Intrigue will be necessary, ” said the Countess firmly.

” Mon Dieu ; yes!” agreed the others.

“But how can I elope in these old clothes?” objected “Angel, “despondently.

“It is hard indeed,” replied the Count ess, ‘ ‘ but it is a sacrifice you must make for love. When one has the grande pas sion, one heeds nothing else. A moment ! I have an inspiration !”

She rolled her eyes wildly and clutched

her curly, black head. ” Ah ! Listen then! We will keep Lulu among us all afternoon. During study hours, I can slip away a moment. I will bear her to a tree by the southwest wall and tie her there by a cord fastened to her collar. Just at the close of supper we will tell Victorine that she has escaped. Victorine will express distress, consternation; and you, mon Ange, must demand the privilege of searching for her. Once without, rush straight for the tree, cut Lulu’s cord, and over the wall. Is not that simple ?”

“What mind ! What intellect !’ ‘ chorused the nobility.

Fate herself seemed to aid that daugh ter of a quick witted race, in playing dcus ex machina. Lulu’s cord was sufficiently long to permit her to spend several happy hours in an exciting chase after some scold ing and vociferous birds. At the proper moment, she was discovered missing. Vic torine’ s agitation was as great as had been hoped, and “Angel” Smith’s offers of service were gladly accepted. Like an arrow from the bow the young woman sped through the sweet, dark night to the dis tant tree. Lulu greeted her purringly, for she had grown weary of the chase. The tree was easy to climb, — but a step from one bough to the next higher and the wall’s summit was gained, — and there was Ralph.

Once more they were together in the bright world of youth and love. For a moment they were so happy that they could have laughed at the gods. A soft breeze swept through the tree tops, a tiny crescent moon rose over the convent, the flowers dreamed of the dawn.

Then a sound ! A hideous noise which could only be the result of Black Art, filled the air, — piercing, rasping, nerve-agitating! The voice of Lulu !

She clung to the branch above them, her mouth stretched wide and the night echoed to her witch-calls.

“Lulu, my dove, where art thou?” called a fat and anxious voice. The rays of a lantern held high in the air sud denly irradiated the scene, which was sur veyed by Sister Victorine and the Mother Superior.

At this unexpected sight, “Angel” broke from Ralph’s restraining arm, and scrambled hastily down the tree.

Pale, pensive, commanding, was the Mother Superior. A stately figure and

THE CAT AND THE COUNTESS 377

still young. Her glance of steel traveled from “Angel” Smith’s head to her feet; and then she turned to Victorine who wept silently into Lulu’ s black fur.

“Sister Victorine,” negligently, icily, “it behooves thee to increase thy vigi lance. “

For the next few days, “Angel” Smith could have defined very accurately the meaning of the word “limitations.” Al though her liberty was not, to the outer eye, curtail ed, it was never theless thoroughly and conscientious ly environed. Sis ter Victorine re garded her former siestas beneath the pear tree as a temp tation to be re sisted and some what toilsomely ac companied her charges in their romps about the garden.

The young ladies were manifestly subdued, with the exception of the Countess, who bore the undismayed mien of the baffled but not foiled con spirator.

One afternoon, about a week after ” Angel’s ” undig nified scramble from Olympus to Avernus, she and the Countess walk ed together, Vic torine panting in the rear and Lulu stepping sedately before them.

‘ ‘ See you the devilish one, ‘ ‘ said the Countess vindictively. ” She is so proud of the mischief she has wrought that she must constantly exhibit herself. I fear her unspeakably ; but I dare not show it. ‘ ‘

They had paused beneath the belfry tower at Sister Victorine’ s request in order that she might gain breath and also scan

The Countess cast her through the aperture.

the rest of her flock; but “Angel” viewed one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Europe with a lack-luster and disdainful eye.

“Hateful old belfry! Hateful old con vent!” She scoffed bitterly. The Count ess gazed at her with a sympathetic com prehension of her mood ; then, suddenly, the impersonal commiseration of her eyes merged into a trance-like, unsee ing gaze, which, with her, ever be tokened a stupen dous activity of the brain.

” (J ng grande conception I ‘ ‘ she murmured. ” If the good God will but let us fulfil it. Listen, mon Ange. If le Grand and la Petite, now peace- ful ly reposing in yonder tower, should suddenly peal out, dost thou not know that the entire village would be immediately upon the spot?”

“What of it?” asked ” Angel.”

“Why Stupide, thus thou couldst escape. If now Monsieur Ralph were informed as to the moment the bells would ring — ‘ ‘ “Deaf old Jac ques would never ring the bells ex cept for service.”

“True, true,” replied the Count ess patiently; ” but,” with deep meaning, “if some one else pulled the rope ?’ ‘

” Who?” demanded “Angel ” bluntly. Lulu rolled her black, silken body before them in the gravel.

“If,” continued the Countess in a rapid undertone, ” if to-morrow afternoon when we walk in the garden, Victorine’ s atten tion should be so distracted that some one

378 LESLIE’S MONTHLY MAGAZINE

might run lightly up the belfry steps and cast that evil cat down upon the ropes, think you the bells would not ring as she climbed down them ? ‘ ‘

“But,” began “Angel.”

“Fret me not with ‘ buts, ‘ ” urged the Countess petulantly. ” Thou knowcst that I can ever manage details. Thou hast so small, — oh, so piteous an understanding of intrigue. Write thy letter to Monsieur Ralph and I will give Jacques a sou to de liver it. The rest, I will manage. ‘ ‘

The Countess was one of those marvels of executive ability for whom the events planned always seem to move in unison with the clock-work of her brain. By the following day all her preliminaries were accomplished and at last the moment ar rived when her plot was to be tested.

The blossoms of lofty genealogical trees were all in the secret, but such is the pride of race and the training of generations in the art of concealing emotions, that their girlish faces were sufficiently unconscious, their demeanor placid enough to deceive the intuitive eye of the Mother Superior.

Yet now that the psychological moment had come a ripple of excitement swept through these high-born maidens. The most thrilling episode of their lives was at hand. The Countess, slightly pale, but wearing that expression of indomitable and unflinch ing courage which had distinguished her ancestors at Crecy and Poitiers, stood be fore the belfry.

At that instant the pinkest and whitest of the English honorables turned her ankle and sank to the ground with a cry of pain.

Victorine, all sympathy, waddled hastily toward her.

Seizing the unsuspecting Lulu from “Angel” Smith’s arms, the Countess flew up the steps of the tower and cast her through a Gothic aperture. “There, de mon one,” she murmured the while, “into thy cell and do penance for thy sins. ‘ ‘ Then she sped down again, unheeded, unnoticed.

“Lulu, my lamb,” presently called the fatuous voice of Sister Victorine, the rose- and-lily honorable having recovered her self sufficiently to rest on the stone bench beneath the pear tree.

” Lulu chases butterflies amid the shrub bery, dear Sister,” said the Countess.

Scarcely were the words out of her mouth when from the tower, le Grand and la Petite pealed forth a terrible summons.

In a moment the cries of the alarmed nuns were lost in the hub-bub of many voices, for the whole village poured through the open gates.

‘ ‘ Angel ‘ ‘ Smith turned a pale face on the Countess. “Fly!” cried that Napoleon of the heart, ” this is thy opportunity.”

“Angel ” Smith fled into the wind-swept Street of AH Angels and almost into the embrace of a pair of gray arms.

For a moment she hid her happy face in his tweed coal. “It is Lulu !’ ‘ she cried, ” the adorable, incomparable Lulu ! “

Then she stayed his hurrying feet to look back a moment at the Convent. ” Adieu, dear Sister Victorine. Adieu best le Grand, kind la Petite. Adieu, Lulu. I am going back to the world. “

The Royal readers. (Roy. sch. ser.). Ser.3. No.1,2 [2 eds.], 4, Volume 3 (Google Books)

The Saint Bernard dog is very large and strong, with a large head, long hair, and a bushy tail. He is a noble-looking dog, and he is as noble and intelligent* as he looks.

His home is among the Alps,—high mountains in Switzerland. There are several very steep and narrow roads, called “Passes,” which lead over these mountains into Italy.

There are snow-storms on these mountains even in summer; but in the long winter season they are extremely violent,* and the passes are then very dangerous.* These storms sometimes come on very suddenly,—often after a bright and pleasant morning. The snow falls so thickly, that in a few hours the traveller is buried beneath the drifts.* THE LOST CHILD.

Hundreds of persons have lost their lives in trying to pass over these mountains during the winter season. But many lives have been saved by the sagacity* and kindness of the Saint Bernard dogs.

These clogs take their name from the Convent of Saint Bernard, where they are kept. This house is situated far up in the pass of the Grand Saint Bernard,—one of the most dangerous of the Alpine* passes.

Here devoted monks live all the year, for the purpose of aiding travellers; and, with the help of their dogs, they are able to save many lives.

The dogs are trained to look for lost travellers; and every day in winter they are sent out, generally in pairs. One has a basket of food and a flask of wine or -brandy strapped to his neck; the other has a cloak strapped upon his back. Thus any poor fainting man whom they may find may be at once supplied with food and clothing.

If the man can walk, they lead him towards the convent, barking loudly all the way for help, and to let the monks know that they are coming back. If the man is so faint and benumbed* that he cannot move, they go back to fetch the monks, and guide them to the spot where he is lying.

Sometimes the traveller is buried deep in the snow. If the monks were alone, they could never find him; but the keen scent of the dogs discovers* him; and they scratch up the snow with their feet, and they bark and howl till the monks come to the spot.

One dog is said to have saved in this way as many as forty-two lives! Its name was Barry, and it was as ingenious* as it was brave. Once a woman, who was going up the mountain with her little son, was carried away by a snow-slip. Barry found the little boy unhurt, but cold and stiff. He managed, however, to get him on his back; and thus carried him to the door of the convent, where he was taken good care of by the monks.

Questions. —What are the narrow roads over the Alps called? What makes them very dangerous in winter? How are many jicrsons saved in these mountains? Why is the Saint Bernard dog so called? Who live at the Convent of Saint Bernard? What do the dogs carry with them, when they go out to look for travellers? What do they do if they find a man who can walk? What, if the man cannot walk? How are travellers discovered under the snow? How many lives did Barry save? What did he do with the little boy he found?

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
Craved, begged; asked. I Snow-wreath, a bank of drifted

Head-long, rapidly; without delay. | snow.

I.

It was a clear, cold, winter night,

The heavens were brightly starred,
When on St. Bernard’s snowy height

The good monks kept their guard.

And round their hearth, that night, they told

To one, who shelter craved,”
How the brave dog, he thought so old,

Full forty lives had saved;

When suddenly, with kindling eye,

Up sprang the old dog there,
As from afar a child’s shrill cry

Bang through the frosty air.

In haste the monks unbarred the door,

Rugs round the mastiffs threw;
And as they bounded forth once more,

Called, ” Blessings be with you I”

II.

They hurried headlong* down the hill,

Past many a snow-wreath* wild,
Until the older dog stood still

Beside a sleeping child.

He licked the little icy hand

With his rough, kindly tongue;
With his warm breath he gently fanned

The tresses fair and long.

The child looked up, with eyes of blue,

As if the whole he guessed;
His arms around the clog he threw,

And sunk again to rest.

Once more he woke, and wrapped him fast

In the warm covering sent:
The dogs then with their charge, at last,

Up the steep mountain went.

II.

The fire glowed bright with heaped-up logs,
Each monk brought forth a light;
“Good dogs!” they cried, ” good dogs, good dogs!
Whom bring you here to-night?”

In with a joyous bound they come—
The boy awoke and smiled:
“Ah me!” the stranger cried, ” some home
Mourneth for thee, fair child!”

With morning light the monks and boy

Sought where the village lay—
I dare not try to paint the joy

Their coming gave that day.

Questions.—What were the monks telling the stranger? What made the old dog spring up? What did the monks throw round the mastiffs? What did they call after them? What did the older dog find in the snow? What did the child do when he awoke the first time? And the second time? What did the stranger say when the boy was brought in? What did the monks do next morning?

Landseer’s Dogs and Their Stories

Landseer’s Dogs and Their Stories

There she is, a great, not over-comely, and somewhat uncouth dog, but loyal and loving to the heart’s core—as considerate as a dog can be—full of a great trust in and an absolute submission to her master, who is her lord and king, and in her master’s absence to his family and representatives. She is so strong that she can afford to dispense with bullying, and is meek in her strength and mild in her power.

She sits to the artist, full of the anxiety and desire which you can read in a thousand signs—by her wide-apart legs, the one foot slightly raised, as on tiptoe—by the head bent in the attitude of intent listening—by the fixed eyes, a little mournful, as deeply-loving eyes are apt to be—by the hair rising on the crest of the back—by the very squat of the haunches, and the utterly flat and flaccid condition of the great tail laid at rest on the floor; for you will please to observe that Flora, though hearkening with all her ears, does not catch the faintest murmur of sound. It is the dog’s instinct and affection—whatever she has for a mind—that is on the rack, and not her nerves or her senses. She remains perfectly still and silent—a monument of watching and hope, which are not undashed with fear and doubt, almost despair; for the dog is capable of very keen and constant attachment, and she has little knowledge wherewith to lighten the apprehensions and solace the pangs of devotion put on its hardest trial. But should Flora’s hope deferred sink in the end into fathomless despondency, the dog will still contain herself. She will be no burden to anybody. She will not add to the grief of others, who have a better right than she has to mourn. She will wear a decent veil of reserve[68] over her anguish. What is she that she should cry out against destiny? She will go about her usual avocations, and even faintly wag her tail and make a formal show of joy at her friends’ advances, or on any occasion of hilarity. There will be no idle baying at the moon, or wild howling in the dead of night, causing the blood of other watchers to curdle, in Flora’s case; she knows how to suffer and be silent, nay, to put the best face on suffering. Only the old dog’s tread will grow heavier and heavier, in proportion to the increasing heaviness of her heart, as she stalks about her business. She will get ever gaunter, without attracting much notice to her spectral condition, until one day she will be found stretched stark and still on some spot, hallowed by association, where her master was wont to whistle her to his side to start for the day’s sport—where he cleaned his gun on their return, and she, after lapping the cold tea which his care provided for her refreshment, sat and looked on, not too tired to enter with interest and admiration into the operation. Or she will be discovered on the mat by the closed door—opening no more—of his room; dying without complaint, and seeking to cause no trouble in her death, as she had tried to give as little as possible in her life.

Flora was brought up in a middle station of life to that of Prince or of Carlo. She was not the next thing to an outcast, neither was she a pampered dog of high degree. She was one of a litter of puppies that arrived at a country parsonage, when there was no great need of such an addition to the family. Neither was she, nor her mother before her, particularly precious for purity or excellence of breed, though they were members of a race of stout serviceable dogs which[69] could be turned to account in various ways, and could be trained to prove of considerable use, both as setters and retrievers, among the turnips and clover, and in the young plantations. But the perpetual curate who was master of the parsonage was an elderly man, and no great sportsman, and one dog was quite enough for him and his friends.

Flora was sentenced to death along with her brothers and sisters, and if it had not been for Master Harry her history would have been of the briefest. He was not the sole hope of the house, like De Vaux; neither had he any honours beyond an honest name to succeed to. But he was the youngest born of his family. He was growing up in a healthy, hardy, happy boyhood, after the elder members had gone out into the world, and were married and settled in households of their own. Master Harry was the last young bird that kept the parent nest tenanted by more than the old pair. He was the Benjamin of their mature years, and therefore it was difficult to deny him a small request—not that Harry’s father and mother did not strive to do their duty by him, in contradicting and correcting him, as they had dealt by their elder children, in order to bring him up in the way he should go. His mother, who was a tall gaunt woman, as gaunt as Flora became in later days, and yet as active and managing as if she had been one of your little boneless, tireless women, and the apple of whose eye Harry was, especially laboured conscientiously to mortify her own inclinations and hold her youngest son in check. Even in the matter of Flora, though she yielded to let the dog be reared, it was always under protest and with reservations—if the dog proved a thoroughly good dog, and was in every respect well conducted from her[70] puppyhood; if Mrs. Bloomfield saw no reason to change her mind at any point of Flora’s career, and cause the dog to be consigned, after all, to the water-hole in the furze quarry, by common consent—the grave of all the criminal, mangy, forsaken dogs in the parish of Rushbrook.

As the best of dogs, like the best of men, are fallible, Flora may be said to have grown up under a sentence of death, and was only spared by a succession of reprieves from the execution of the warrant. Once or twice she made very narrow escapes, and perhaps her rescue was due to more than Harry’s powers of piteous pleading. She had been gradually, by the pertinacious efforts of her master, introduced into the house, instead of living at the stables with her mother, according to Mrs. Bloomfield’s original decree, and so had established a claim of familiarity on the regard of the stern censor herself.

Two marked instances of Flora’s rubbing shoulders with that eminence above the water-hole in the quarry, which may be compared to the Tarpeian Rock, are on record.

Mrs. Bloomfield, who prided herself on her success in her poultry yard, had to listen at one period to various mysterious and doleful accounts from her cook and boy-of-all-work on the inexplicable disappearance of new-laid eggs and newly-fledged chickens. As there were no disreputable characters about, and neither fox nor hawk in the vicinity, and as the innocence of Flora’s mother was as well established as the incorruptibility of the parsonage servants who brought the reports, a grave suspicion attached from the beginning to Flora as the depredator. But in the absence of positive proof, and in the face of Harry’s indignant denial, the dark[71] suggestion only hovered in the light of a suspicion, and did not settle in the form of a conviction in people’s minds.

As good or ill luck would have it, Harry had a half-holiday, and proposed gallantly to escort his mother round the offices, offering her his arm for the purpose. The two proceeded, chatting easily, the best of friends, past the kitchen garden, the paddock where the Guernsey cow and her calf fed, the shed where the pony phaeton stood, and the stable which held the curate’s cob, and his wife and Harry’s ponies. The pair came in course of time opposite the door of the well-ordered hen-house, or the hennery, as some ladies of Mrs. Bloomfield’s acquaintance, ambitious of euphemism, preferred to term it. There was an unusual commotion about the place; the door, with its crescent hole for hens to enter or issue at pleasure, had been forced ajar, and at the very moment when Mrs. Bloomfield and her son appeared on the scene it was driven still more violently open. There rushed out a loudly protesting, terrified hen-mother, with all her black feathers ruffled, and some of them half pulled out, hanging by the tips of the pens. Behind her tore along Flora, not subdued and decorous, as we have seen her, but inflamed with riot and in hot pursuit. Her jaws were dripping yellow with the yolks of eggs, to which was added, in horrid significance, a fringe of the fluffy down which is the covering of recently hatched chickens.

The sight struck Mrs. Bloomfield and Harry dumb. She had too much feeling for her son, as the master of Flora, to say a word to him at first. He could not bring forward a syllable in defence of the dog, caught red-handed, or yellow and feathery jawed—which came to the same thing—in this instance.

[72]

Though Mrs. Bloomfield said nothing, she let her hand, which had been resting lightly on Harry’s jacket sleeve, tighten its grasp. Thus she marched the boy to the house. Flora, who had taken guilt to herself, stopped short in her headlong career, let the plundered and insulted hen go, and slunk at a safe distance after the mother and son to the parsonage.

“Now, Harry, what have you to say for yourself and that brute of yours?” asked Mrs. Bloomfield, in the tone of a righteous and relentless judge.

“I had nothing to do with it, mother,” cried Harry in desperation; “and Flo is only a dog.”

“Flo is only a dog,” echoed his mother severely; “and those who should know better, and keep her to the injury of poor helpless fowls, and the destruction of as fine a brood of chickens as cook ever set, have the more to answer for. Harry, Flora goes this very night.”

“Mother, it is the first time,” pled Harry faintly.

“The first and the last,” said his mother. “I have heard that a taste for eggs, not to say chickens, is never eradicated in a dog.”

“Oh no, mother, you are wrong there,” cried Harry eagerly. “Tom Cartright’s Juno was as destructive a beast to turkeys and geese, even to lambs, when he was half-grown——”

“Hold your tongue, Harry, and don’t contradict your mother.”

Harry was cut short in his argument, and submitted more unresistingly than usual.

“I cannot have the dog about the place for another night,”[73] went on Mrs. Bloomfield, in a high authoritative key. “Hoppus,” naming the gardener, “will take her away quietly, and put an end to her without any unnecessary pain. It must be done, Harry; there is no help for it, and you must bear it like a man. You know I have often told you, when you would insist on keeping pets, that you must be prepared for their coming to grief, and causing you to suffer in your turn.”

“I don’t mind my own sufferings,” muttered Harry indignantly; “but I’ll tell you what, mother, if Flo is to be killed, I—I’ll kill her myself,” he said, with quivering lips and a husky voice, but making a manful fight to keep down his feelings. “I have a right to be let do it. Nobody will care so much that she shall not suffer as I will. And Flo will do anything for me. She will even jump over the quarry when I tell her, and not believe her senses that it can hurt her, because it is I who bid her do it,” he ended, unable to restrain a sob.

Mrs. Bloomfield hesitated, while she was conscious of some troublesome moisture in her eyes. It was true what Harry urged, that he had a right—and she was the last woman to deny a right, if he claimed it—to save Flora from pain, and make her death as inconceivable to her to the last moment as was possible. But could she condemn her boy to such a task? She would consult his father.

The curate, like his wife, shrank from making Harry his dog’s executioner. Harry stood firm. The matter was argued, and the fulfilment of the sentence delayed, till at last it was commuted to a sound whipping, and that Harry consented to relegate to the hands of the gardener. So faithfully did[74] Hoppus discharge his mission, and so susceptible was Flora, from these early days, to reason—whether it was conveyed in kind careful instruction or wholesome chastisement—that from that hour she respected the poultry yard, and always looked another way when she had to pass a nest, or when a chicken crossed her path. So magnanimous did she become in her age, that she has been known to allow a daring young cock, or stolid middle-aged hen, to advance and peck at the bone beside which she lay reposing.

The next perilous crisis through which Flora passed occurred later in time, and in Harry’s absence from home—which proved, nevertheless, a fortunate circumstance. Flora was grown, and had her first litter of puppies, which were taken from her and destroyed. Ill, sad—missing Harry as well as her puppies—the ordinarily quiet, well-behaved dog fretted herself into a very frenzy of destructiveness, under the influence of which she roamed in secret all over the house, gratifying her gnawing and tearing propensities. She got possession of a visitor’s ermine boa, and rent it in fragments. She was found ensconced in a spare bedroom, and established in the bed, the Marseilles quilt of which she had chewed till it was riddled with holes. Finally, she managed to secure a bandbox, containing two maid-servants’ Sunday bonnets, and made short work with the pink ribbons and the artificial flowers.

Mrs. Bloomfield replaced the wholesale wreck; but she could stand such conduct no longer, though she was too well-informed a woman to fall into a panic, under the impression that the dog was mad. In reference to the right in Flora stringently asserted by Harry when he was a mere boy, she[75] could not—now that her son was a big lad—do more than order the dog to be tied up, while she waited word from Harry in answer to her inquiry as to how his protegée was to be disposed of. It happened to be the end of the week, when Harry frequently returned home from his public school to remain over the Sunday. And it had been noticed before that the dog was cognizant of these stated visits, and looked eagerly out for the arrival of her master.

In the season allowed to Flora for cooling down and contrition, while she had the knowledge forced upon her that she could no longer rush to greet Harry with an open face and a clear conscience, but must be sought out by the lad, smarting under a fellow-feeling with her disgrace, Flora became so overpowered by the consequences of her previous self-indulgence of restless grief and longing, that she cast to the winds the silent endurance which had been from her youth a marked feature in the big, brave dog’s character. She refused to eat and sleep, and expressed her poignant regret and repentance, in a mode most unlike herself, by filling the air with her howls and moans.

At the end of two days and nights Flora had howled herself perfectly hoarse, until Mrs. Bloomfield’s—not to say the curate’s—ears and hearts ached with the dog’s husky distress. In sheer self-defence they sent instructions to loose her, but to detain her a prisoner on parole, banished from their presence.

But Flora did not understand anything about parole, or reservations in pardon. With a succession of joyous bounds at her release, she spurned all efforts to detain her, and never stopped till she had pushed her way, worn and dishevelled as[76] she was with unrest, hunger, and the constant agitation of eight-and-forty hours, into her offended judge’s august presence, leaping upon her and the curate—up to their very shoulders and heads—in her fond gladness, licking the hem of Mrs. Bloomfield’s garment, falling grovelling at her feet, whining in a very passion of gratitude and delight.

What was to be done? It was not in hearts which were not steel to resist such unbounded dependence on their regard and their goodness. Mrs. Bloomfield professed to frown and pull away her gown from the dog’s touch; Mr. Bloomfield pshawed and read on at his paper; but I believe both secretly caressed the confiding culprit. Certainly no more notice was taken of her misdemeanours. As for Master Harry, on his return he had the coolness to take high ground, and maintain that the accidents were all owing to the ignorance and carelessness of the dog’s keepers, and that if he had been at home, and had Flora in charge, not a single misadventure would have happened.

Soon after this escapade, changes occurred in the curate’s family which established Flora’s position there so firmly that nothing short of a capital crime could have dislodged her. Flora’s character was far removed from a capital crime; she was an honest, worthy dog, noble and sterling in her unaffected humility and steadfast attachment. She had laid aside her youthful indiscretions—whether the probations and penalties of these days had anything to do with the peculiar staidness and propriety which ultimately, except on rare and exceptional occasions, distinguished her bearing. The dog, that was at first permitted to live as a favour, and brought up under protest, reached at last to as high honour as ever dog attained.

[77]

However, it was long previous to this climax that Flora had many happy days with Harry, attending him sedulously, and assisting him with all her ability in his raids on rabbits, hares, pheasants, wild ducks, or rats in the barn. Flora was not particular; any game came right to her, which was one advantage of her mixed descent. Harry averred that she would have gone at a deer had she got the chance of deer-stalking. He was proud of her skill in pointing and in bringing him the game, though he was free to admit that she was not probably just such a dog as that which the poet Earl of Surrey—with the true poetic insight into animal nature, and power of drawing forth and tutoring animal gifts—first taught to point.

I don’t know whether Harry or Flora enjoyed most those early autumn mornings, when the silvery white mist drew a bridal veil over the orange and tawny woodlands, when the young man’s foot crushed out the aromatic fragrance from the thyme and mint in the pasture; or those winter and spring afternoons, when the sunset reddened the prevailing gray, and the two crouched, stiff but staunch, among the frozen sedges by the silent brook, and trudged home content—although they had got but a single green-necked duck, or were empty-handed—in the gathering darkness, with the stars coming out and twinkling over their heads. The two were excellent company, and in room of speech Harry whistled—oh! with what untiring wind, and how cheerily—in a way that it would have done Lady Margaret’s heart good to hear, leaving echoes which rang pathetically in other hearts throughout the long years.

The first great change which made good Flora’s footing in the curate’s family, was Harry’s ultimate choice of the[78] navy for a profession. He had delayed his resolve out of a regard to his father and mother’s reluctance to grant their consent. They were quite elderly people, and were loath to agree to the son of their old age following a rough and dangerous vocation, which, at the best, would take him far from those who had not much time left to spend on earth. But Harry’s bent was too strong, and his father and mother were too wise and kind long to resist the clear inclination, or to call on their son to sacrifice it, with its inspiration of hearty liking, to the growing timidity of their years, and the very clinging love they bore him.

It was not the less a trial, which so broke down even the younger and stronger of the two, that Mrs. Bloomfield, who had been known as a highly practical woman, actually took to discoursing to Flora on the subject, doubtless since she could not trust herself to speak to more responsive auditors—least of all to her equally interested old husband. “We’ll miss him, Flora. Ay, you need not wag your tail; there will be few waggings of the tail in the dull days that are coming. I thought you had more sense, old dog. But perhaps you mean that he’ll serve his Maker and his fellow-men as well in a ship as in an office, even as in a church, where I would fain have seen my Harry—only Providence has settled it otherwise, and Providence knows best. We are following unerring guidance; that is one thing to be thankful for. Some old sailor—I daresay Harry could tell me his name and all about him—said he was as near heaven on sea as on land, and so it will be with my boy.”

It was after the wrench of Harry’s departure, for many months, that Flora was first seen to assume that attitude of[79] supreme watching and expectation in which she has been painted. She had been shut up to keep her from running off to the railway station—just as I have known another faithful dog go regularly and take up his position at a particular hour, in order to be present on the arrival of a coach by which his master had been wont to return home. The dog was under the impression that the man would make his appearance in the old accustomed fashion, and, although he was doomed to disappointment night after night, he kept up the bootless practice for weeks.

The attitude expressive of suspense became frequent, almost habitual, with Flora. In the early days of Harry’s service, he happened to have tolerably frequent opportunities of coming home, so that his dog grew familiar with arrivals and departures. And Harry’s father and mother, now cherishing Flora as a relic of their absent son, were fain to allege that she showed marvellous, certainly superhuman, if not supernatural, discrimination in detecting the most distant signs of her master’s approach; and that they were often made aware of Harry’s unexpected nearness, before they could otherwise have known it, simply by the actions of the dog.

In addition, Flora had her susceptibilities keenly alive to any trace of Harry, or any association with him, so that on the sight of some article which had belonged to him, such as his cap or his old overcoat, or even on her catching the distant sound of the sportsmen’s dropping shots on the first of September, Flora would fall into an expectant position, and sit motionless and listening for hours. The last expression of her remembrance unquestionably detracted from the correctness of her premonitions of Harry’s reappearance; but his[80] father and mother argued that there was a perceptible difference between Flora’s air when she sat thus waiting for her master, without any hope of seeing him, and her whole gait and manner when she flung up her bent head triumphantly before she made a bolt at the door or the open window, crying as plainly as if she had made the remark in so many words—“Ah! don’t you know Master Harry is at the gate?” Either expression was clear to Harry’s father and mother, who had a sympathy with the dog, and whose own dim eyes showed a reflection of the aimless wistfulness which was creeping into Flora’s brighter orbs.

A sore test was in store for all Harry’s friends, human and canine. In the course of honourable promotion he became a person of importance, and his absences were much longer, his returns briefer and less unfailing. At last there came a day when he had the pride of showing a lieutenant’s uniform; but as a qualification to the satisfaction, where his friends were concerned, he sailed for a distant station, from which he could not return for a period of years.

Slowly the days passed in the quiet parsonage, where the snows of winter had gathered thickly on the old curate’s head, and he was seldom fit to totter up the stairs to his pulpit, and where Mrs. Bloomfield had at last to avail herself of spectacles; and to own to a touch of rheumatism, so that she had to employ young deputies to do the entire decorations of the church at Christmas, and even to teach in the Sunday school, and undertake, under the old lady’s superintendence, her district visiting. Flora herself, by far the youngest of the household, was neither so young nor so active as she had been.

But whatever powers of seeing, hearing, and discharging[81] professional duties were passing away from the members of the little party, there was one thing they were still fit for—to count the hours and look out for the appointed time of Harry’s return.

Alas! the hours were counted in vain. Although the long-desired season came duly round, it did not herald the event which was to have rendered it illustrious in one remote spot in Great Britain. Harry did not walk into the old house and rouse its slumberous inmates. His cutter was not even heard of; it had not been reported for many months.

Gradually misgivings and apprehensions, the sickness of hope deferred, the agony of the worst forebodings, gathered and darkened over the parsonage.

Everybody in the parish shook his or her head, and commiserated the bereaved parents: surely they were bereaved, though it was natural in them to cling to the last chance, and refuse to give up hope. Still, it would be better for them if they could resign their son, with his messmates, to an unknown death and a nameless grave.

Harry had been a favourite in the parish, and there was sincere mourning for his untimely fate, as well as real sympathy with his aged father and mother, even when their grief took a trying phase, and they shut themselves up—not to say refusing to be comforted, but declining to believe in their loss. “We won’t give him up so soon, old dog,” Mrs. Bloomfield was heard to say to Flora. “You still look out for him; don’t you? You would teach people, who ought to know better, greater confidence in God and His mercy, and more fidelity to their friends, instead of calling us afflicted, whom God has not afflicted.” And she refused to put on mourning.

Then people began to say it was a bad example from those[82] who should be the first to show resignation to the Divine will, and that Mrs. Bloomfield was guilty of lamentable weakness and superstitious folly in paying heed to Harry’s dog and its ways. It was the grossest absurdity to suppose that a dumb animal could be aware whether its master had perished, or was sailing in strange waters, or had been cast away on a virgin island. It was well known that the Admiralty had given up the cutter. The speakers would not have expected such inconsistency in poor old Mrs. Bloomfield, who had been a clever, sensible woman in her day, though she was breaking up fast.

Harry’s mother got all the blame with reason, since the curate had grown so feeble in mind, as well as in body, that he was only able to take in what his wife told him; and if she had assured him that Harry had never been away at all, but had been all this while in the cricket-ground, or off with his gun and Flora, he would have called for his hat and stick, and claimed her arm, to go out and chide the boy for his thoughtless delay.

The elder sons and daughters of the family, middle-aged people, with growing-up children of their own, put themselves about to come from various distances to condole and remonstrate gently with their mother, until poor Mrs. Bloomfield’s forlorn hope was at its last tremulous gasp. Even Flora threatened to fail her, for the old dog began, not so much to sit listening, as to crouch down, it seemed in despair.

But one April day, when the country air was full of the scent of blossoming furze bushes and the songs of birds, awakening to the knowledge that summer was at hand, Flora pricked her ears, started up, and pawed eagerly at the door.

[83]

“There! I told you; there is Harry at last,” cried a shrill quavering voice, and then Mrs. Bloomfield fell back in a dead faint; for, even as she had spoken, she had recognised that it was only the postman who was advancing to give his accustomed rap, and her strained nerves and breaking heart could not stand the bitter disappointment.

“This delusion will kill my mother,” said one of the daughters, hurrying to attend to Mrs. Bloomfield, while one of the sons received the letters. “That wretched dog of poor Harry’s must be taken away from the place.”

“Yes, Conty,” said her brother hastily; “but this is very like—it cannot be—good Heavens! it is Harry’s handwriting, and see”—pointing to the end of a letter he had torn open—“here is his signature. Could the brute have scented it a hundred yards off?”

“Oh! never mind, if dear Harry be only alive and well. Find out all about it, that we may tell mamma the first thing after she knows what we are saying. There, the red is coming into her poor lips again; but I am sure nothing will bring her back like such good news. No, Jem, I have no fear for the shock; it is sorrow and not joy which drains the blood from the heart; and the knowledge that she and Flora have been proved right, and all the rest of us wrong, will help to steady her. Don’t you know so much of human nature?” demanded the half-laughing, half-crying, middle-aged daughter.

Harry’s story was one not altogether strange to men’s experience, and which occurs once and again in a generation, but when it happens is always regarded as a marvel with the attributes of a romance.

The cutter had been lost in a stormy night on a coral reef[84] in the southern seas; but a boat’s-load of the crew, among whom was the junior lieutenant, had managed to land on an uninhabited island, and make good a living there for four dreary months. “If I had only got Flora with me,” Harry wrote in the letter—in which he was at last able to announce his rescue, and in which he sought to make light of the hardships he and his companions had undergone—to his father and mother, “the old lass would have found plenty to do among the rabbits and a kind of partridge. She would have been invaluable, if her very value had not proved the ruin of her, and if she had not fallen a victim to her general gaminess, as other poor beggars were like to do; but that is all over now.”

When the castaway men were at last taken off the island, it was by a foreign ship that carried them thousands of miles out of their track; but the sufferers had been treated with every attention and kindness by good Samaritans in the guise of Brazilian sailors, and by the time Harry’s letter should reach the parsonage, to disperse any little anxiety that might be entertained there, the writer would be far on his way home.

Mrs. Bloomfield had enough spirit to undertake a journey to Portsmouth, in order to be the first of all the friends who accompanied her to greet her son. Her husband was not able to escort her; he waited placidly with Flora, satisfied to be taken to the railway station to meet the appointed train.

I need not say that the old dog was an object of great interest, while she comported herself with her own exemplary sobriety. If she had an intuition that her master was on the road, she did not betray it on this occasion. She had no call to announce to the idle world of Rushbrook—and it was[85] rather an idle holiday world, with a marked inclination to congregate at the railway station on another fine spring morning—that Master Harry was coming. Withal, Flora’s sagacity and devotion could hardly be expected to compass the fact that late events had intensified the importance of such information. She submitted to have a sailor’s blue ribbon tied round her neck, in honour of the day and her master; but she wore the decoration rather with imperturbability than with conscious pride, and she took no notice of the flags and evergreens which were displayed with kindly zeal.

When the train steamed into the station, and a brown face appeared at the window of a carriage, crowded with brothers and sisters, in addition to an old mother, Flora did strain violently at the chain by which Hoppus, for greater precaution, held her, and it was with difficulty that she was induced to have the grace to permit Harry to pay his respects first to his father—who, as by an involuntary motion, uncovered his white head to receive his lost son—before she sprang upon her master in a rapture of welcome, which Harry’s “Hold on, old dog; don’t worry me outright!” only raised to a higher pitch of ecstasy.

But Flora was not naturally a demonstrative, far less a forward dog. She soon controlled herself, and recalled the superior claims of others, falling respectfully, and with a shadow of shamefacedness for her late unwonted ebullition, to heel, and following decorously, for the rest of the way, in the little procession.

Only one trouble occurred with the dog. It had been arranged that the reunited family, with their friends and the[86] parishioners present, should proceed first to the church, in order to join together in a solemn service of thanksgiving for a great act of mercy vouchsafed by Almighty God to some of His children—a ceremony which is touching in proportion to its rarity in this world of care and discontent.

Flora, who had never been to church before, and who was, as I said, walking in her place in the procession just behind Harry, who was between his father and mother, showed no sign of stopping short in the porch.

There was considerable hesitation in the breasts of the brothers and sisters, who noticed the dog’s proceedings, and in the mind of Hoppus, who considered that he had her particularly in charge. Indeed, that consequential functionary had been giving himself sundry airs on account of the guardianship, seeing that if Master Harry were the hero of the day, Master Harry’s dog, which had never ceased to look out for him, might surely be regarded as playing second fiddle to her master, reflecting glory on her keeper for the next twelve hours at least. But what would become of the glory if Flora were let get into a scrape? The official spirits of the clerk, beadle, and pew-opener were also sensibly stirred by the contretemps.

Was the harmony to be broken, and a disturbance to be created, by the forcible arrest and expulsion of the dog?—no easy task if Flora made up her mind to stick closely to her newly-found master. Would a scandal be created if a dog were suffered to make one of the congregation in a thanksgiving service?

The matter settled itself. As the principals concerned walked unconsciously within the sacred walls, and Harry took[87] the old place he had occupied when a boy in the family pew, Flora did not wait till the objectors had formed a resolution; she advanced steadily in her line of march in the rear of her master, and lay down in her festival blue ribbon at his feet, with the coolness of unchallengeable right. It would have been impossible to dislodge her then. As it was, she soon stilled the alarm she had raised, by remaining perfectly quiet, and behaving as if she had attended church every Sunday from her puppyhood; like Scotch collies that wait discreetly on the diets of worship in pastoral Presbyterian kirks. But I am bound to confess that was the first and last occasion on which Flora went to church.

Turning to kids’ literature

When it comes to adults reading young adult fiction, there are cases where they do become lifelong fans of those stories but also the possibility of many other things. Some adult might stumble upon an interesting children’s book and find it curiously interesting, since it’s something they never grew up and curious enough to check it out.

Then comes the power of nostalgia where an adult buys or finds children’s books similar to the things they grew up or find the same things in a different collection or medium as to relive a childhood experience and be curious in their pasts again. Then again I could be speaking from experience, even if I never read stuff like Harry Potter but this might be similar to some readers checking out children’s literature.

Maybe the latter

Supposing if the original Caillou stories were informed by child psychology, perhaps there were television writers that got this and did their homework and there are some who didn’t and couldn’t pull it off well and then the grey area depending on skill and familiarity with the subject matter.

Perhaps this might be the case with any other adaptation where there are writers who do familiarise themselves with the source material, doing their homework and respecting it enough and the writers who don’t bother to. So I think it could be both nitpicking and not doing the research well enough’s why some stories aren’t as good as they should be when it comes to adaptations.

The pebble boy

Upon watching some episodes of the cartoon episode, I’d say there were instances where Caillou (the protagonist) wasn’t that whiny or at least not too high-pitched in whining (actually in the Japanese dub, his voice isn’t that high) either they’re nitpicking or even if the writers aren’t always perfect, sometimes it’s not always their fault either.

If you believe some sources, the character Caillou may not’ve started out as such at least in his original book presentation by his earlier authors (who were into child psychology) that I think it’s likely/possible some television writers didn’t get it right with him. Some writers did get it right, some don’t given Caillou the programme usually had more than one writer but the earlier stories were overseen by a few.

Either I’m inclined to think people are nitpicking or if the telly writers didn’t always do a good job conveying his original personality (maybe that’s why one author hated that).

American Primary Teacher, Volumes 14-15 (Google Books)

THE STORY OF ST. VALENTINE.

BY KATE L. BROWN.

IC and Van were prowling about the house seeking opportunities for entertainment or mischief.

It was a rainy day in February, and a hoarse north wind moaned in the corners or dashed the naked boughs against the veranda roof.

The twins were “low in their minds,” and their usual pleasures palled. It was two wistful faces that peeped into the library where Uncle Clement sat reading by the fire.

“Halloa, chickens!” he cried cheerily, throwing down his book; “what’s the matter? Why, what yard-long countenances.”

“We’re mizzerbul,” said Vic eagerly, running across the floor and perching on one arm of his chair. “We don’t know what to do.”

“I thought you were deep in valentine-making, missy.”

“Well, we’re tired, and things don’t go right,” said Van. “We spilled the mucilage, and then Vic painted my nose with it ‘n’ I put some on her hair ‘n’ we shined up our old rubber boots V then it was all gone.”

“Yes,” chimed in Vic, “‘n’ we think we’d like a story. Do tell us a story ’bout St. Valentine’s day.”

“Yes, do,” coaxed Van on the other side. “We’ll feel so much better ‘n’ not half so sticky.”

‘Til tell you about St. Valentine himself, then; no bears nor lions, Van, no griffins nor fairy godmothers, Vic, just a plain, simple story of a plain, simple man.”

“We like plain, simple men like you, uncle,” said Vic encouragingly, giving him a little hug.

“Once upon a time,” began Uncle Clement, “there lived in a monastery across the sea a humble monk called Valentine. He was often sad and discouraged because he was so humble. Every brother save himself seemed to have some special gift.

“Now, there was Brother Angelo, who was an artist, and painted such wonderful Madonnas that it seemed as if the holy mother must step down from the frame and bless her children.

“Brother Vittorio had a wonderful voice, and on saints’ days the monastery chapel would be crowded with visitors, who came from far and near just to listen to that wonderful voice as it soared up among the dim old arches.

“Brother Anselmo was a doctor, and knew the virtues of all roots, herbs, and drugs, and was kept very busy going about among the sick, followed. by their tearful, grateful blessings.

“Brother Johannes was skilled in illuminating, and Valentine often watched the page grow under his clever hand. How beautiful would then be the gospel story in brightly colored letters, with dainty flowers, bright-winged butterflies, and downy nestling birds about the borders!

“Brother Paul was a great teacher in the monastery school, and even learned scholars came to consult him. Friar John ruled the affairs of the little monastery world with wisdom and prudence. Indeed, out of the whole number only Valentine seemed without special talent.

“The poor man felt it keenly. He longed to do some great thing. ‘Why did not the good God give me a voice like Vittorio or a skilled hand like Angelo?’ he would often inquired of himself bitterly. One day as he sat sadly musing on these things, a voice within him said clearly and earnestly, ‘Do the little things, Valentine; there the blessing lies.’ ‘What are the little things?’ asked Valentine, much perplexed. But no answer came to this question. Like everyone else, Valentine had to find his work himself.

“He had a little plot where he loved to work, and the other monks said that Valentine’s pinks, lilies, and violets were larger and brighter than any raised in the whole monastery garden.

“He used to gather bunches of his flowers and drop them into the chubby hands of children as they trotted to school under the gray monastery walls. Many a happy village bride wore his roses on her way to the altar. Scarcely a coffin .was taken to the cemetery but Valentine’s lilies or violets filled the silent hands.

“He got to know the birthday of every child in the village, and was fond of hanging on the cottage door some little gift his loving hand had made. He could mend a child’s broken windmill and carve quaint faces from walnut shells. He made beautiful crosses of silvery gray lichens, and pressed mosses and rosy weeds from the seashore. The same tender hands were ready to pick up a fallen baby or carry the waterbucket for some weary mother.

“Everybody learned to love the good Brother Valentine. The children clung to his long, gray skirts, and the babies crept out on the streets to receive his pat on their shining hair. Even the cats and dogs rubbed against him, and the little birds fluttered near him unafraid.

“So Valentine grew old, loving and beloved, never dreaming that he had found his great thing. When the simple monk died the whole countryside mourned, and hundreds came to look for the last time on the quiet face in the rude coffin.

“A great duke walked bare-headed after that coffin, and one of the most noted brothers of the church spoke the last words of blessing to the weeping people.

“After they saw him no more, it was remembered how sweet had been his little gifts, and the villagers said: ‘Let us, too, give gifts to our friends on the good Valentine’s birthday.’ So ever since has the pretty custom been carried out, and on St. Valentine’s day we send our friends little tokens of remembrance to say we love them.”

“That’s a beautiful story,” said Vic, climbing down on the floor.

“It’s first-rate,” declared Van, following her example.

Vic suddenly remembered how she had pulled her mamma’s top drawer out and left it on the floor when she went to get an old soft handkerchief to tie up a finger cut with Van’s new knife. So she ran up stairs to fix it. while Van tore in a dozen pieces the comic valentine he had intended giving Biddy, the cook, and wondered if it wouldn’t be a good plan to buy her a fine new one with his shining silver ten-cent piece.

“Poor Robin Redbreast, look where he comes; Let him in to feel your fire, and toss him of your crumbs.”

CARE OF THE EYES.

jYOPIA and astigmatism are so rapidly increasing that parents, teachers, and pupils should be alert to care for these organs of vision.

If reading, do not look too long at a white page, closely printed, but occasionally lift the eyes to rest for a few seconds on some plain, dark surface.

If on a boat and the sun shines on the water, turn your back to the sun. The dancing of the glistening waves is all that you ought to stand at once, and a few seconds of steady looking in the boat, away from both sun and water, will rest them.

For a long sleigh-ride on a bright day, with sparkling snow on either side, blue or green glasses or veil will modify the effect of the general glare and glisten.

If reading, turn the back or side—preferably the left—to the window or other light. If reading by artificial light of any kind, insist upon a shade, and avoid a lamp set on a red table-spread. Cover the spread with a newspaper or white towel, if you can do no better. Eed is a specially bad reflector of light.

Sleep in a dark room, and if there are no blinds nor dark shades to the windows, hang up something extra. Eyes that have not been used to the dark in sleep give out early in life. A certain amount of sleep is absolutely necessary for good eyesight; and even the mere closing of the eyes half a minute at a time, as frequently as possible all day, is a wonderful help.

Cleanliness is necessary for the eyes, and cold water is “freshening.” Hot water is restful, and cloths wrung from it and lightly laid on the eyes will reduce pains, aches, inflammation, swelling, and nervousness.

If you need glasses, wear them! But by all means have them fitted! Don’t let anyone but a “specialist” test or fit your eyes any quicker than you’d let a blacksmith repair your watch.

A flax seed will dislodge dirt, cinders, or other foreign matter without pain, trouble, or expense. Put it right into the eye. under the lid, and it will chase and expel the intruder.

Do not get in the habit of stooping to accommodate your eyes. Bring up your work, if necessary.

Do not read while in motion—rocking, walking, or riding. The constantly changing focus is exceedingly injurious.

Never look steadily at a bright light. If obliged to do it at all, look off as much as possible.

A plain diet will help toward good eyesight. So will common sense. In fact, common sense is at a premium almost everywhere in the department of physical culture.

Crying is bad for the eyes; but as everybody cries, it is well to know that an application of very hot water, applied gently, will alleviate the bad effects.— Adapted from School News.

The Friend, Volume 66 (Google Books)

A Cat and Wrerw.—In the mountain districts of Pennsylvania two wrens had built their nest under the eaves of an old farm house, and there they reared a small and interesting family. Among the attachés of the farmer’s household was a white cat, and when the wrens became so tame that they used to hop around the piazza in search of bread crumbs the cat would lie in wait for them,and several times came within an ace of catching the adult birds. When the farmer noticed this he kicked the cat, and she finally learned that it was dangerous to fool with the wrens.

\Vhen the baby wrens grew larger, one ofthem one day fell out of the nest, and being too weak to run and unable to fly, lay helpless on the grass. The cat saw the accident and ran rapidly to seize the bird, but, seeming to remember the lesson taught her, when she reached the helpless little thing, she only touched it daintily with her paw and then lay down and watched it. Presently there came a black and yellow garden snake toward the fluttering birdling. The cat was dozing and was awakened by the fluttering of the bird. Instantly she rose and struck at the reptile with her paw. This was an enemy the snake did not appreciate, but it was hungry, so it darted forward and attempted to sieze the bird under the very shelter of the cat’s head.

Like a flash the cat seized the snake just back of the head and killed it with one bite. When the farmer happened along in the afternoon he found the cat crouching in the grass sheltering the bird, and ten feet away was the dead snake. This made it clear that the cat had carried the bird away from the snake, and the young adven tu rer was soon restored to its anxious parents. -—Brand0n Buckaaw.

An American Friend an the New Quaker Methods. —“ I do not think that the difliculty in reference to pastors arises so much from assisting a minister who feels a concern about settling in a small meeting, as that may be adjusted within apostolic limitations; but in this country, especially in Iowa Yearly Meeting (and to a very considerable extent elsewhere), the attempt to put,—in some instances without the wish of many of the members,—a pastor over old settled meetings, has resulted in totally changin the organization ofthe church ; and creates a heads ip in each meeting. which I esteem quite contrary to the apostolic ideal, and certainly very contrary to the views of our early Friends. It has transformed the whole church in Iowa into a bed simply like the other protestant churches aroun , and to a great extent done away with many of our distinguishing views. Very little silence, if any, is allowed in the meetings, and it is looked upon as burdensome.

The Virginia School Journal, Volume 3 (Google Books)

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[From publications Boston School Supply Co.]

THE CURATE AND HIS CONVENT.

ACURATE in the south of France received word that his bishop intended shortly to come and dine with him. The messenger went on to say that the curate was by no means to get ready a costly dinner. When the bishop came he was rather offended to find his order had not been obeyed, but a luxurious meal had been cooked for him. He rebuked the curate, telling him it was foolish to spend almost his whole year’s income on a single dinner. The curate replied that he had not spent a penny of his income as curate on this dinner; he always gave it to the poor. “Then,” said the bishop, “may I ask haw you have managed to prepare this meal forme?” “I have a convent of young ladies,” replied the curate, who supply me with everything.”

u.

“Indeed!” exclaimed the bishop; “I had no idea there was a convent near here.” The curate said he would take him to see it when dinner was over. When they had finished, he led the bishop into a large garden, round the sides of which were a number of beehives. “This is my convent,” he said, “and these are my nuns. They bring me in ninety pounds every year; and so I live comfortably without spending a penny of the money belonging to the curacy on myself.” The bishop was delighted, and afterwards whenever a poor curate asked to be promoted to a better living, he would tell him to be content, and to keep bees.

THE ARTFUL CAT AND THE OLD MOUSE.

A handsome tortoise-shell cat, which was an excellent mouser, had killed so many of the mice in the house where she lived that they liecame extremely cautious. Some days passed without her caU’hing a single mouse. So she hit upon a plan for cheating them. She crossed her hind legs over a peg in the wall and hung straight down, as if she were dead. She thought they would believe it and come near to rejoice over her death ; and she would then spring upon them and eat them up. But she hung there so long without any success that her legs grew quite tired and sore.

u.

She was just thinking of coming down from the peg, when she saw an aged mouse put his nose out from his hole. She hung perfectly still, watching him out of the corner of one of her eyes. But the mouse did not venture out; he only stood at the door of his hole and smiled. Then he said quietly, “My dear madam, please do not tire yourself by hanging any longer in that uncomfortable position. I know perfectly well that you are no more dead than I am; and let me tell you this, that even though you were dead as a door-nail, I wouldn’t come within ten yards of you. You had better give it up and comedown.” The cat took his advice.

“What we leam in our youth grows up with us, and in time becomes a part of ourselves.”

“They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts.”

“The practice of memorizing the choice thoughts of oar best writers should be made a prominent feature in school work.”

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

—Pope.

LOVE OF OOD.

Like a cradle, rocking, rocking,

Silent, peaceful, to and fro—
Like a mother’s sweet looks dropping
. On the little face below—
Hangs the green earth, swinging, turning,

Jarless, noiseless, safe and slow,
Falls the light of God’s face, bending,

Down and watching us below.

And as feeble babes that suffer,

Toss, and cry, and will not rest, Are the ones the tender mother

Holds the closest, loves the best— So, when we are weak and wretched,

By our sins weighed down, distress’d, Then it is that God’s great patience

Holds us closest, loves us best.

—Helen II. Jachoti.

TO A SKYLARK.

Hail, to thee, blithe spirit!

Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,

Pourest thy full heart
In profuse streams of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher

From the earth thou springest Like a cloud of fire; The blue deep thou wingest And singing still doth soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,
O’er which clouds are brightening,
Thou dost float and run;
Like an unbodied joy whose race has just begun.

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know, Such harmonious madness From my lips would flow, The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

Percy B. ScheUeyWhat the Editors Say.

The heaviest school tax of this age is paid by the school children in the shape of impaired vision. Cohn’s Hygiene of the Eye in Schools says that any type which is smaller than 1.5 millimeters, say nonpareil type, is injurious to the eyes. The author, who is a specialist, writes: In future I would have all school authorities with measuring rod in hand, place upon the “Index Libroruin Prohibitorum” all school books which do not conform to the fol

lowing measurements:

m. m.

Height of the smallest n must be at least 1.5

Least width between the lines 2.5

Least thickness of n 25

Shortest distance between the letters 75

Greatest length of text line 100.

Number of letters on a line must not exceed 80.

—Pennsylvania Journal. An institute conductor some months ago placed on the board before his institute a long list of books on pedagogy, and told his teachers they ought to own and read every one of them. Such a dose, if conscientiously taken, is sufficient to arrest forever the growth of the ordinary county teacher, and extinguish the last spark of living fire in his school. If that conductor had marked oft’ all the books of his list but about one, and had diluted that with a good list of books of general literature, the dose would have had a good tonic eftect. What the district teacher needs most is scholarship—enlargement and enrichment of mind. Something to impart first, then how to impart it. The sticking quality of the teacher is breadth. Teaching is an inspiration. Pupils imbibe the scholarly spirit from the scholarly man. Any mechanized system of instruction that is not inspired with a generous love of letters, is a well-preserved mummy. Mere mechanical skill in fire-making may suffice for the summer, but when the weather grows cold one wants a liberal supply of fuel.—Tennessee Journal.

Walking rs. learning to Walk.—Everybody walks. We all learn to walk, but we learn differently. I have noticed the ways and means of six little people while learning to walk. One of these never did any creeping, content to sit quietly until he could stand beside a chair and walk with it. He did some slight moving about, but none of any account. One would always “sit himself along” in a way peculiarly his own and never did any creeping. One did his creeping backwards. One went upon his hands and toes, while two only indulged in the square baby act of creeping straight forward on hands and knees. But all of them were walking by the time they were eighteen month’s old, and they walked in the same way as though they had all come to it by the conventional creeping act.

The whole household is interested in the learning to walk, the first creeping, the first standing upon the feet, the first walking by the aid of a chair, and especially the first independent steps, but there is no help given. Aside

from the giving of opportunity and providing the conditions through short dresses, shoes, etc., the little one learns to walk in his own way and in his own time. Our interest therein is little more than a bit of curiosity, for it all vanishes as soon as he walks.

But it is the walking and not the learning to walk upon which all the importance of the act centers. As soon as the child walks it is of no concern whether he crept or not, whether it was forward or backward, or whether he did the “sitting along act,” for no one can tell by the way he walks how he learned to do it. In this there is a lesson for the teacher. There is much school work that we enjoy from much the same curiosity that we enjoy the way the child learns to walk. There are things that the child is as sure to know in this enlightened age as he is sure to walk.

If we afford opportunities and provide conditions, the child will know many things that some of us in our zeal are trying to teach him, and that we delight in showing off’ as accomplishments.—Aw England Journal.

Superintendents’ Reports.

Physical Culture.—The systematic training in physical culture that has been prescrilwd for the primary, grammar and high school pupils is under the care of twentyfive special teachers who visit the schools once a week and give s|>ecial instruction to the teachers and pupils. The teachers are becoming familiar with the manual of the exercises and are enabled to continue them every day. Careful observation and investigation show that the children need this kind of training to overcome the tendency to the stooping posture in studying, and physical weakness that is the outgrowth of the habits of a city and school life. It has been demonstrated that under proper systematic physical training, good health and a well-developed physical form can )>e cultivated. The only aids thus far used in the development of the (Jerman system of physical training are the wand and the dumb bells. The good results observed include letter breathing on the part of the pupils, more erect forms, and the tetter command of the body in recitation and movement.—A. G. Lane, Chicago.

Music.—One of the most admirable features in our public school system is the teaching of vocal music. Two thoroughly prepared teachers have charge of this department, who give two lessons a week to each grade. The pupils are taught to read and sing by note, to beat musical time, and to train and care for their voices. After three vears’ test of the advantages and possibilities of music in public schools, I am prepared to endorse it as a means of discipline, having a softening and harmonizing effect upon school children, as a rest and recreation from the harder and more serious studies of the school room, as a means of modulating and cultivating the voice. The special teachers of music give most of the instruction and advance the pupils upon each visit. The regular teachers are required to give at least ten minutes each day to a review of the work of the special teachers and to the practice of such school songs as are required to be learned. I am glad to report that, while all the teachers of the city schools do not understand music nor sing, consequently all cannot teach music, yet each one does his best to learn the peculiar system of instruction and contribute to the success of this enterprise in our schools. For the past several months the normal class of white teachers has been diligently engaged upon instruction in music, led by the special teachers in this department.—Latvian B. Evans.

Worth ffcmembeFing.

The secondary schools of the United States, taken as a whole, do not exist for the purpose of preparing boys and girls for colleges. Only an insignificant percentage of the graduates of these schools go to colleges or scientific schools.—Pre*. Chat. W. Eliot.

The training of “observation, memory, expression and reasoning” (inductive) is a very important part of education, but is not all of education. The imagination, deductive reasoning, the rich possibilities of emotional life, the education of the will through ethical ideas and correct habit, all are to be considered in a scheme of learning.— Pres. Jos. H. Baker.

I would introduce physical science in the lowest schools by the study of geography, which in its earliest stages should be strictly limited to the observation of the simpliest natural phenomena.—E. J. Houston, Central High School, Philadelphia.

No one thing exceeds in importance the selection of suitable teachers for our schools. The character of the teacher powerfully effects the character of the school.— Supt. W. F. Fox, Bichmond.

The lesson of obedience lies behind and beneath all other lessons.—Sttpt. J. C. Neill, Kansas City.

Educational Jleujs.

VIRGINIA.

Miss Celestia Parrish, professor of mathematics in the Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and principal of the training school connected with this institution, has recently been offered a large salary to take charge of a school in Canada, but has decided to remain in her present position.

The public school of Charlottesville began regular work in its new building about the 1st of December. This new public school building reflects credit upon the city. Together with furniture, etc., it cost more than $20,000. Some 650 pupils are in attendance. Mr. J. W. Lane is principal of the school.

Numlier of students at the University of Virginia, 522. One lady (Miss Mead, of Charlottesville) is taking a course this session.

The Hon. W. A. Fentress made a happy hit in securing Dr. Curry to address the Finance Committee of the House of Delegates in supjxirt of the bill (of which Mr. Fentress is patron) appropriating $2,500 annually for the establishment and maintenance of institutes or summer normal schools. Though called to Richmond on another mission, the Doctor gladly complied with the request to appear before the committee, as he never fails to avail himself of an opportunity for up-lifting the public school system. Following his graceful introduction of Dr. Curry, Mr. Fentress made a telling appeal for his bill. Dr. Curry’s fine address made a most favorable impression on the committee. Suj>erintciident Massey advocated this measure before the House committees on Schools and Colleges and Finance. Under the able leadership of Mr. Fentress, the bill was favorably reported by the former committee.

Mr. Fentress has introduced a bill in the House to amend section 150(i of the Code with reference to school funds. The purpose of the bill is to enable counties or school districts to increase their taxes for school purposes

if they so desire. It provides that if the county school board of any county or the district board of any district shall certify to the board of supervisors that in their opinion the funds available for school purposes are insufficient for the needs of the schools in the county or district, as the case may be, the lioard of supervisors shall, if they deem it wise and expedient, order an election to be held in said county or in said district on the question whether the school taxes in said county or district shall be increased to a sum named by the hoard of supervisors. At such election, if a majority of the voters, including a majority of the freeholders then voting, vote in favor of such increase, the board of supervisors shall include it in their levy. It is provided that neither the county tax nor the district tax for this purpose shall exceed fifty cents on the hundred dollars.

Mr. Fentress also offered the following in the form of a joint resolution:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Delegates (the Senate concurring) that there should be erected in the vard of or upon every schoolhouse in the Commonwealth a flag staff” on which the flag of the United States and of the State of Virginia should be hoisted every morning, except Sunday, and from which lowered every afternoon by the scholars of the school acting under the superintendence of, and rules established by, the princidal thereof.

Resolved further, That the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Board of Education are hereby urged to endeavor to secure the co-operation of the United States Government and of the city, county, and district school boards of this State, and to establish such nilef and regulations from time to time as will ultimately result in carrying the aforesaid object into effect.

The bill authorizing the Superintendent of Public Instruction to issue license to teach to graduates of Virginia State normal schools and scholarship graduates of the Peabody Normal College, under regulations to lie pn”scribed by the State Board of Education, passed the House, but was defeated in the Senate.

The House Committee on Schools and Colleges deci>ied by a vote of 5 to 4 to make an unfavorable report on the bill to admit women to the University. This measure was advocated licfore the committee by Superintendent Massey and Mr. Fentress, and opposed by Professors Thornton and Garnett of the University.

The Senate bill designed to facilitate the payment of teachers’ salaries is still l>efore the Committee on Public Institutions and Education.

GENERAL.

One-third of the teachers of this country are men. Massachusetts is still without a State superintendent. Inspector Hughes, of Toronto, endorses vertical writingin India the multiplication table goes to forty times forty.

San Francisco teachers are elected on a two years probation.

Ten women are taking the law course at the University of Michigan.

In California the college men ” figure” at every State association of teachers.

Colorado has enrolled herself among the States gruniing the right of suffrage to women.

The Texans claim that they are the livest people in the South on matters educational. Is it true?

Editor E. O. Vaile, of the Chicago Intelligence, is pr>paring a series of copy-books on the vertical system.

President Charles K. Adams, of the Wisconsin UniveJsity, formerly of Cornell, is a warm advocate of physial culture.

Supt. W. N. Hailmann, of La Porte, Indiana, has beei appointed Supervisor of Indian schools by the President. The selection is looked upon as eminently wise bytli! educational fraternity.

Official Department.

JOHN E. MASSEY, Superintendent Public Instruction, Editor.

The Journal is sent regularly to County and City Superintendents and District Clerks, and mu3t be carefully preserved by them as public property, and transmitted to their successors in office.

Extracts from Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the School Years 18Dl-‘9:i nnd 189.i-’03.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REVIEW AND SUGGESTIONS.

Teachbr-training. (Continued.)

ASCHOLARSHIP is good for two years and is worth $100 a year and the student’s railroad fare to and from Nashville. Scholarships are awarded on the results of competitive examinations held by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, or are assigned, upon recommendation of the president of the college, to meritorious students who have attended the college for a period at their own expense. I made the following appointments to fill vacancies which occurred during the school years of 1891-’92 and 1892-’93:

1892. —George L. P>row,n, Jr., Rockingham county; Mag. Campbell, King William county; Hawes Campbell, King William county; Annie E. Farrow, Goochland county; Mattie A. Hopkins, Shenandoah county; Clara S. Kennedy, Orange county; William W. Matthews, Franklin county; John Ross, Fauquier county; M. Laura Sheppe, Staunton; David I. Suter, Rockingham county.

1893. —Mary P. Dasheill, Richmond city; Elise B. Friend, Richmond city; Cornelius J. Heatwole, Rockingham county; John L. Hilliard, Middlesex county; Samuel L. Hoover, Roanoke city; Samuel D. Shackleford, Fauquier county; William C. Wampler, Rockingham county,

The establishment of normal schools in Virginia marked an era of progress. While but a small per cent, of the teachers working in the schools to day have had the benefit of regular normal-school training, these schools are annually turning out a class of professionally trained teachers, and the infusion of this element into the system has already exerted a most wholesome and elevating influence upon the schools—an influence which is constantly extending, and the effect of which will be even more apparent in the future than it is now. Of necessity, the sphere of the normal school is circuniscril>ed. Invaluable as this institution is, it cannot open its doors to the great body of teachers now engaged in the schools. The improvement of these teachers is a necessity of the times. Experience and observation show that this want can be best supplied through the agency of

Teachers’ Institutes Or Summer Normal Schools.

Dr. Curry, in the address hereinbefore referred to, says: “Virginia has not been remiss within t >e last few years

in establishing normal schools for the training of teachers.

While stress is laid upon the principles and methods of

instruction, and a paramount object is to teach how to teach, yet it should never be forgotten that this implies general culture along with technical training. Training in educational psychology, in methods drawn from experience and the study of mind evolution, is to be accompanied by and associated with thorough discipline of the mental powers and thorough acquaintance with what is to be taught. Discipline of power, a broad outlook, ample stores of knowledge can be utilized and made practical by the professional teacher. As few can avail themselves of normal schools, a useful expedient has been devised for those who have not had such advantages. Teachers’ institutes have been found to lie not substitutes for regular, thorough normal training, but most valuable adjuncts; and the growing opinion now is that attendance on them by the teachers should be compulsory. To make this just, the pay should lie continued during the session of the institutes. The instruction in the institutes has been defective because lacking in system, continuity and thoroughness. During the interval between the sessions there should be prescribed general and professional courses of reading; and subsequent sessions, by examinations or lectures, should be based upon this preparatory study, as in nothing has there been more progress than in the art, the methods—not to say the science—of teaching. Limited licenses to teach and institutes serve to tone up the work of the lower grades and to stimulate and aid all in higher acquisitions. Scarcely anything is more needed than to create in the minds of teachers new conceptions of the possibilities of the profession, and to give to them and the general public higher and better ideas of the dignity of their work. Why should not the teacher stand on a common plane with the doctor, the lawyer, the preacher?”

Virginia is among the few States that have failed to engraft the institute upon the school system. The results attending the continuous application of Peabody aid to this object are evident in the improved condition of our schools. From these institutes teachers have derived practical instruction in the branches taught; they have acquired better methods of teaching; they have been led to a higher and broader conception of duty. These attainments not only qualify the teacher for better work in the school-room, but they also ennoble and strengthen his influence and give new zest to his employment. None better know the value of institutes than teachers themselves. Despite short terms, meager salaries, and other unfavorable conditions, goodly numbers of teachers have eagerly grasped the opportunities annually afforded them by the Peabody institutes.

At the last annual meeting of the State Teachers’ Association and at each of the institutes held during the past summer, resolutions were unanimously adopted expressing high appreciation of the liberality of the agent of the Peabody fund in furnishing the means for institutes for years past; expressing the sense of the teachers as to the importance—the indispensableness—of these institutes to the cause of education in Virginia, and urging the General Assembly to make an annual appropriation of $5,000 for their continuance and improvement.

Such improvements as experience and observation have suggested have been made from time to time in these institutes. The adoption of a graded course of instruction has introduced thoroughness and progressiveness in the work. The organization, in the summer of 1892, of

THE SCHOOL OF METHODS

was another forward movement. This school embraced a department in which the best methods of teaching were given, and in which the philosophy of education received a large share of attention. In addition, an academic department provided instruction in the branches required in the public schools, and in those which it is deemed well to add, as well as in subjects beyond the range of elementary schools, but so necessary for that general culture and thorough intellectual discipline which should be expected of all teachers, even those of the elementary district schools.

In this school were engaged the very educators that have made the best institutes of the North and West famous. If the course taught by these skillful institute workers, together with the various others conducted by successful teachere selected from our own schools, could be continued, and several more schools of similar character organized, the good effects on our schools would be incalculable. Reports of the two sessions of the School of Methods, by Superintendent E. C. Glass, conductor, with other institute reports, will be found in Part III. of this report. The intelligence and skill displayed by Mr. Glass in organizing and directing the School of Methods, with the unremitting efforts of himself and his associates in this special work, are worthy of the highest praise.

In my judgment the most pressing question now before us is,

SHALL THIS WORK BE CONTINUED?

Helping those who help themselves is the rule of action which governs the application of l’eabody aid. The wisdom of this course has been fully vindicated by the success attending the extension of aid to common and normal schools. Is it fair or just to presume that the custodians of this fund will continue to lend their help to an agency not recognized by the State? Will not indifference on the part of the State seem to suggest that this aid is a superfluity?

I earnestly urge that a liberal appropriation be made to continue this work, that it may be made permanent, and that its benefits may be made widespread.

TnE VIRGINIA SCHOOL JOURNAL.

stands for:

1. Better salaries for teachere, and prompt payment.

2. A longer school term for children, and more effective teaching.

3. Life diplomas issued by the State and worthily wen.

4. A deliverance from annual examinations, after competency has once been established.

5. A teachers’ reading circle, with no fees attached.

6. A Virginia Chautauqua, with a permanent home.

7. Closer supervision, with salaries that justify it.

It is impossible to estimate the value of a strong, vigorous school journal. I am gratified to be able to say that we have such an one in Virginia. Conversant with the conditions and needs of our schools, it is especially adapted to the needs of our school workers. Furthe-more, it is a potent instrumentality for stimulating a desire and appreciation of education among the people. This journal is doing useful, indeed, indispensable work. If it could l>e placed in the hands of every teacher and school officer in the State, teachers would receive fresh inspiration for their work, and new life and vigor would be infused into the school system. I have endeavored to impress this view upon teachers and school officers as I have had opportunity. Probably six times as many Virginia teachers are now reading a school journal as ever before in the history of the schools—a very gratifying evidence of the interest felt by teachers in their work.

EXAMINATION AND CERTIFICATION OF TEACHERS.

While it is yet too early to estimate the full value of uniform examinations for teachers’ certificates, there is general concurrence in the opinion that this important movement has produced good results in Virginia. Its tendency is to diminish the number of incompetent teachers, and to stimulate to higher attainments many who are already proficient. No one claims that the system is perfect. But, in my judgment, with all its imperfections, it is vastly superior to the methods heretofore pursued. I hope to see the system fully introduced during the coming year, when the cause of some objections now urged against it will be removed.

The act ion of the Board of Education last year, looking to the improvement of teachers by a revision of the regulations governing the licensing of applicants for teacher*’ positions, has already had a good effect. The regulations provide for the issuance by county and city superintendents of schools of three grades of certificates—first, second, and third. The first grade certificate continue? in force for u term of three years, and may be renewed for any period not exceeding two years; the second grade continues in force for a term of two years, and the thin] grade for one year. The subjects embraced in the examination are: orthography, reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, history, physiology and hygiene, and for a first and second grade certificate the theory and practice of teaching also. In case an applicant desires to apply for a school in which the higher branches have been, or will be, introduced, he must be examined on such higher branches also. No certificate or permission to teach can be issued to any person who is under eighteen years of age, and no first-grade certificate can be issued to any person who is under twenty years of age, and who has not taught successfully ten school months.

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