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white hair upon his face and head, or their little lips were pressed to his, the sadness would seem for a moment to fade from his face, though the hands he folded round his darlings-oh, so tenderly, so gently, so lovingly—and the voice in which he spoke to them-oh, so tenderly, so gently, so lovingly-shook and trembled.

On Sundays, Peter was always seen at church, the little ones with him; and the kindly villagers used to look with softened eyes at the three kneeling together, and walking home through the churchyard and the quiet street, hand in hand.

One day with pitying voices the villagers told each other that Peter's children were sick,-sick unto death. With sympathizing hearts, some of the women hastened to Peter's cottage, and they took it in turn to nurse the children. Day by day the little ones grew worse, till it became evident to all-even to poor Peter, who had himself become very weak and very ill—that the end was near at hand. At length, one evening the doctor said that the night which was coming on would see the crisis, that if they lived through the night they would rally. But I do not think he had much hope, for in response to the pleading question in Peter's eyes, he only pressed his hand and said—“God help you, Peter!”

Terribly feeble was Peter now; so worn and aged that no one would have known him for the hearty, genial man he was a year or two before.

The evening wore on into early night, and Peter Adair sat, white and weary, in his chair down stairs. By-andby, he walked feebly up to the sick room, and besought the nurse that he might watch by the bedside of his dying little ones for awhile, alone. And for very pity she left him there while she herself sought rest, understanding he would call her should need arise. Peter fell on his knees by the bedside, and buried his face in his hands. And he prayed. The hours passed, and still he remained alone on his knees in the sick chamber; till at last morning broke over the far-away hills, waking the sleeping earth to life again. When the chamber door was opened, the golden beams were shining through the lattice work of the window, and falling upon the children's white bed.

Peter Adair knelt still beside it, one hand wide outstretched, the little heads that were never to ache again nestled upon his arm. An awful stillness was in the chamber, for in the night the Angel of Death had entered : Peter and his little ones had died together.

And clutched in his other hand they found a locket with a portrait,—the portrait of one they had all known, that of a woman with smiling lips and blue eyes and golden hair.

THE CALIFORNIA FLEA.*--FRED EMERSON BROOKS. The California flea may be termed the insect clown or merry-maker, for although the cause of universal annoyance he is the source of more amusement and laughter than all other insects together. Let one of a company of friends be annoyed by a flea and the fact is immediately discovered by the others from the restless twisting, turning and wriggling, whereupon the langh begins. Even in church, if you shrug a sloulder or catch your sleeve as if to disturb something, everyone happening to notice you knows very well you are troubled by a flea. This mischiuvions little pest, is omnipresent and never quiet except when overfed, or when his feet and legs get tangled in a woolen garment or blanket. The flea is aught between the thumb and forefinger, which have been previously moistened to enable one to hold him, for unless the greatest care is taken he will jump away.

By “Forty Niners" is meant those early pioneers who went to California in the geld excitement of 1849.

A tiny, jumping apple seed,
That doth on saint and sinner feed
With equal relish, equal greed,

Born of assurance,
His appetite beyond his need

And our endurance.

When Eve the famous apple ate,
The seeds began to propagate;
And like a dire, avenging fate,

With instinct human,
Have since that very ancient date

Been eating woman.
This pretty little parasite

Will keep a body in a plight:
*From the "San Francisco News Letter," by permission of the Author.

At first he'll tickle, then he'll bite,

While his relation
Chase round as though their sole delight

Was recreation.
The precious maiden, sweet and fair,
Will twist and wriggle in her chair,
Regardless of the presence there

Of friend or lover;
She grabs the flea, ere he's aware,

And turns him over.
It's little matter where you are,
Tbat hungry flea is always “thar."
E’en while you ride the cable car

He keeps on walking;
He's bound to travel just as far

Beneath your stocking;
A misery that rarely shows,
For you're the only one that knows;
It being just beneath your clothes,

You cannot catch it;
The bite's the least of all your woes-

You dare not scratch it.
While sitting quietly in church
They creep about you in the search
Of ticklish point on which to perch

And then slide back,
As frisky boys with sudden lurch

Slide down a stack.
The pious deacon bows his chin,
Repenting Adam's primal sin;
But ere he fairly can begin

His day's devotion,
This little devil bites his skin

To change his notion.
In church the righteous flea is given
To fasting six days out of seven;
The play-house flea fed every even,

Is not so needy-
Thus man against his will is driven

Where they're less greedy.
A woman is the most abused;
Just when you think she's most amnised

She'll sweetly beg to be excused,

And quick retire
To some apartment then unused,

For vengeance dire.
Although you're very entertaining,
Don't censure her for not remaining;
Some miseries are past explaining;

Wait patiently,
She'll come, her wonted smile regaining

Minus a flea.
No living thing can jump as high ;
Far quicker than a woman's eye;
He's bound to prove an alibi,

And never lingers
To let man catch him, though he try

With moistened fingers.
You'll never catch him in the bed,
Unless, perchance, he's overfed,
Or tangled in the woolen spread;

Mind how you trust him ;
Pinch how you will he's never dead


"bust" him.
Our native flea no better thrives
Than when the “tenderfoot" arrives;
At first the stranger thinks it's hives,

Then grows dejected,
Blaming those bugs that spend their lives

In beds neglected. Next day he's forced to change his mind, Yet dares not look for fear he'll find An insect of a meaner kind,

That's ever toiling The lazy soldier to remind

His shirt needs boiling. These strangers say the strangest things:

Why, your mosquito has no wings !
All through the night he bites and stings

Till early morning,
Yet out of meanness never sings

To give us warning.”
At first all strangers blush with shame
Until they find this doubtful game

Infesting all mankind the same,

Black or Circassian;
How soon small vices lose their name

When they're in fasbion.
As yon policeman be will stray
Around your suburbs night and day,
Stopping betimes where'er he may

To take a “nip,"
But when you seek him he's away-

You've got the slip.
Our lawyers strange emotions trace
Upon the Judge's mobile face,
Believing they bave won their case

In "Common Pleas,"
To find 'twas owing to a brace

Of common fleas.
Our Seal of State: A maiden fair,
Enthroned beside a grizzly bear,
"Eureka " blazoned on the air,

With stars around it,
Which means, as people are aware,

The flea, “ I've found it."
The "Forty-niner" stroked his breast :-
“Contented here my soul shall rest
If this uneasy little pest,

This 'Pioneer',
And 'Native Son of the Golden West,'

Don't interfere!”

E’en now, as certain symptoms show,-
A restless moving to and fro,-
There's something troubling you, I know:

You've got a flea.
If you'll excuse me friends, I'll go-

There's one on me.

How many a mighty mind is shut

Within a fameless germ!
The huge oak lies in the acorn-nut,
And the richest regal robes are cut

From the web of a dusky worm.

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