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But one day he took very sick,
And though I went for the doctor quick,
It warnt no use; peralsis, they said,
And 'fore the doctor came, dear dad was dead.
I was a little chap then,-only four;
That was some eight years ago, more ;
And sister, she was only born
The day Dad died-that very morn;
Poor Mammy grieved as if her heart had broke
When the neighbors told her of that awful stroke.
She couldn't keep the store then, so 'twas sold,
To pay Dad's creditors—so she was told ;
Took everything to settle up, they said,
Nothing left to live on; not even a bed.
The landlord wanted his rent, -wouldn't wait you know,
So's soon as Mammy was well enough we had to go.
Poor Mammy worked at anything she could get.
Hard times !-with us two youngsters ? Well - you bet!
'Twas mighty hard on Mammy to be so poor,
Who always had enough and some to spare before;
But she did not complain-said God was good,
He wouldn't let her want for clothes and food.

So eight years passed; dear Mammy kept up well;
But at last hard work and poor food began to tell:
She got so weak that she could hardly stand,
I was old enough then to see the lay o' the land,
So I just told her she must stay in and rest,
And to help her and sister I would do my very best.
I began by running errands, and only quit
When I'd saved up enough to buy this 'ere kit.
Then I began to black and shine,
And now I'm called the best in the line.
Dear Mammy's getting better every day,
And she sha'n't work so hard again, I say.
There sir, that's done! How do you like the shine?
A dollar-don't want no change! All mine?
Oh, thank you, sir! Now Mammy'll have a treat,
Some tea and lots o' sugar to make it sweet.
Good-bye, sir! God is good to me and mine,
Black your boots ?-Come, have a patent leather shine!

THE LITTLE DIGO GIRL.-ROBERT C. V. MEYERS.*

Written expressly for this Collection.
Her little violin

Under her little chin,
The little Dago girl played drearily,

“ Home sweet home,” the air,

With false notes here and there,
For she sbivered, and she thought of Italy.

Very tired she was,

She had played all day, alas!
And night was near, and cold the winds that swert,

But a dollar must be earned

For the Padre, ere she turned
To the crowded tenement where she slept.

Her fingers had grown numb,

But she had not quite the sum
The Padre would demand and so she played

In the murky crowded street,

To the tramp of hurrying feet,
While bitter winds her ragged garments swayed.

There were hundreds passing by,

But she could not catch an eye-
And she must make up the dollar, or else go

Hungry up to bed,

With blows on back and head,
For the Padre had a heavy hand, you know.

So she played her song of bome,

Still hoping, trusting some
Passing hand would throw a cent or two,

And she thought of Italy,

And the sun there, and the free
And happy childish life that there she knew.

Through the sharp electric light

Came a man with eyes as bright,
Brighter still the fever of his thought;

His palm had caught the itch

Of the passion to be rich, And he saw the way to riches that he sought. *Author of the popular recitation, "Jamie," in No. 23, also, “ If I should Die To-night," "Our C'lumbrix," " The Sentinel of Metz,” “Eunice," " The Masque," &c., in previous Nunibers of this Series.

There was money, not his own,

He might take, and take unknownWas not his reputation more than fair ?

He might build a mansion then,

Be foremost among men,
And enjoy what earth could give, without a care.

He would do it-now-this night!

He clasped his two hands tightHe would do it!-none would know, for none could know!

He felt no bitter cold,

For the fever in him rolled Like lava in the crater's fiery flow.

So he came along the street,

The echo of his feet
Griding in with thousand others, and he laughed

For the joy that lay in store

When care he'd have no more,
And the sparkling cup of pleasure he had quaffed.

When all at once there fell

Upon him a strange spell-
The street was gone, the hurrying crowds, and all;

He was back, years back, in some

Green lane he called his home,
And peace was there and many a song bird's call.

The skies were bright above,

His heart was full of love, And standing in a humble cottage-door

Was a woman, and she sang,

As up the lane he sprang, -
His mother, who grew old, and was no more;

She sang the song of home,

The song of “Home, sweet home,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!"

And she smiled on him, her eyes

With love grown more than wise, And her voice was old, but sang of “Home, sweet Home.*

He cried out “Mother!"—there

In the crowded thoroughfare; And something wet his cheek like a tear.

Then be heard a violin,

And he saw a little thin
Tired, dark-eyed foreign child standing near.

He was in the street again,

The old home faded then,
But he trembled, and the fever was all gone.

“ God bless her!” said he, and

He dropped into her hand Sparkling, jingling coin, and more than one.

That night he asked for strength,

I had come to him at length,
And he slept as he had slept in the old days;

And he dreamed of the old lane,

And the song birds, and again
His mother smiled and sang in the old ways.

With her little violin

Under her shawl so thin,
To the Padre sped the Dago girl with glee;

Gave the money, had a sup

And a crust, and then went up To her bed to dream of home and—Italy.

WOMAN.-ELLA WHEELER Wilcox.
Give us that grand word “woman” once again,
And let's have done with “lady."

One's a term
Full of fine force-strong, beautiful and firm,
Fit for the noblest use of tongue or pen—
And one's a word for lackeys.

One suggests
The mother, wife, and sister; one the dame
Whose costly robe, mayhap, gave her that name,
One word upon its own strength leans and resto;
The other minces, tiptoe.

Who would be The “perfect woman" must grow brave of heart And broad of soul, to play her troubled part Well in life's drama. While each day we see The “perfect lady,” skilled in what to do, And what to say, grace in each tone and act ('Tis taught in schools, but needs serve native tact), Yet narrow in her mind as in her shoe. Give the first place, then, to the nobler phrase, And leave the lesser word for lesser praise.

MR. EISSELDORF AND THE WATER PIPE

“ Hans, dot vater bipe giffs no vater alretty, und you vos petter sent oop dot blumber to vix id vonce more.

This remark was addressed to a highly respected German citizen as he sat in front of his cosy grate. He received the announcement with evident disfavor.

"Vot! Dot vater pipe again? I vas shoost congratulatin' meinself dot de ice vagon comes no more, und dot new hat vos paid for, und dot Christmas vas a long vays ahead-und now von off dose blumbers ! Mein gracious, Gretch en! I got no money for blumbers. I vix. es id myself. Joe!” addressing his ten-year-old son, vere vos dot leak?”

Then Joe proceeded to explain that the leak was under the house, where the stout frame of his worthy ancestor could hardly go.

“Neffer mind, neffer mind. You gets me some bipe und a monkey wrench, und I save dot blumber's bill.

So the next day Joe got the pipe and the monkey wrench, and his father, having divested himself of all surplus garments, entered the hole, pulling the pipe after him. It was a tight squeeze, and after lying on his back to convenience his position, he proceeded to discover the leak. Very little water was now coming from it, as he had taken the precaution to turn off the tap. He hadn't turned it quite tight enough and yelled;

“ Turn off de vater.”
“All righdt, fader," replied Joe.

Joe didn't know his right hand from his left, nor the philosophy of screws, and turned it on.

The old gentleman's mouth was under the leak. He was wedged in. He sputtered and swore and swore and sputtered, but his wild yells to Joe were muffled by the sound of deluging water and Joe was intent on a dogfight across the way, as he sat on an empty nail keg and chewed gum:

He looked over his shoulder and saw the old man with

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