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As we cantered away past the stand, sir,
To give the "big swells” all a view, Hardly one of 'em dreamt what 'twould mean, sir,
If the Hillhoxton “ Chocolate and Blue" Were beaten-none guessed that the girl there,
With her beautiful face, worn and thin, Was murmuring a low prayer to Heaven
That her young lover's colors might win. "All ready?”—a beautiful start, sir;
The line was as straight as could be; “They're off!” the shout rang for a moment
Around us, and then seemed to me As dying away in the distance,
While we scudded along the course
To last: so I kept my horse
Then I let the reins loose on her mane.
Lord Rattlington's colt, Sugar Cane.
I had known it for months long back, That all as I need be afraid of
Was the old Baron's fast-flying "crack.” 'Twas a terrible moment for me, sir:
The colt was three good lengths ahead. I whispered a word to the mare, sir;
'Twas enough--she knew what I said. Sweeping on down the hill like a rocket,
She got to the girths of the colt;
I made sure that he'd “shot his bolt.”
His whip swishes fell like rain;
“It's thousands on Sugar Cane.”
Two seconds, and all would be o'er. “Lord Rattlington wins!” No, not yet, though
We're neck, sir, to neck-two strides more.
I saw in the great sea of faces A girl's,-pale, white as the dead.
I cried, “ For her sake, Kissing Cup, now!" 'Twas over--we'd won by a head!
WATER AND RUM. John B. GOUGH. Water! There is no poison in that cup; no fiendish spirit dwells beneath those crystal drops to lure you and me and all of us to ruin ; no spectral shadows play upon its waveless surface; no widows' groans or orphans' tears rise to God from those placid fountains; misery, crime, wretchedness, woe, want, and rags come not within the hallowed precincts where cold water reigns supreme, Pure now as when it left its native heaven, giving vigor to our youth, strength to our manhood, and solace to our old age. Cold water is beautiful and bright and pure everywhere. In the moonlight fountains and the sunny rills; in the warbling brook and the giant river; in the deep tangled wildwood and the cataract's spray; in the hand of beauty or on the lips of manhood, cold water is beautiful everywhere.
Rum! There is a poison in that cup. There is a serpent in that
cup whose sting is madness and whose embrace is death. There dwells beneath that smiling surface a fiendish spirit which for centuries has been wandering over the earth, carrying on a war of desolation and destruction against mankind, blighting and mildewing the noblest affections of the heart, corrupting with its foul breath the tide of human life and changing the glad, green earth into a lazar-house. Gaze on it! But shudder as you gaze! Those sparkling drops are murder in disguise; so quiet now, yet widows' groans and orphans' tears and maniacs' yells are in that cup. The worm that dieth not and the fire that is not quenched are in that cup.
Peace and hope and love and truth dwell not within that fiery circle where dwells that desolating monster which men call rum. Corrupt now as when it left its native hell, giving fire to the eye, madness to the brain, and ruin to the soul. Rum is vile and deadly and accursed everywhere. The poet would liken it in its fiery glow to the flames that flicker around the abode of the damned. The theologian would point you to the drunkard's doom, while the historian would unfold the dark record of the past and point you to the fate of empires and kingdoms lured to ruin by the siren song of the tempter, and sleeping now in cold obscurity, the wrecks of what once were great, grand, and glorious. Yes, rum is corrupt and vile and deadly and accursed everywherefit type and semblance of all earthly corruption !
Base art thou yet as when the wise man warned us of thy power and bade us flee thy enchantment. Vile art. thou yet as when thou first went forth on thy unholy mission, filling earth with desolation and madness, woe and anguish. Deadly art thou yet as when thy envenomed tooth first took fast hold on human hearts, and thy serpent tongue first drank up the warm life-blood of immortal souls. Accursed art thou yet as when the bones of thy first victim rotted in a damp grave, and its shriek echoed along the gloomy caverns of hell. Yes, thou infernal spirit of rum, through all past time hast thou been, as through all coming time thou shalt be, accursed everywhere.
In the fiery fountains of the still; in the seething bubbles of the caldron; in the kingly palace and the drunkard's hovel; in the rich man's cellar and the poor man's closet; in the pestilential vapors of foul dens and in the blaze of gilded saloons; in the hand of beauty and on the lip of manhood,-rum is vile and deadly and accursed everywhere.
Rum, we yield not to thy unhallowed influence, and together we have met to plan thy destruction! And by what new name shall we call thee, and to what shall we liken thee when we speak of thy attributes ? Others may call thee child of perdition, the base-born progeny of sin and Satan, the murderer of mankind and the destroyer of immortal souls; but I will give thee a new name among men and crown thee with a new horror, and that new name shall be the sacramental cup of the Rum-Power, and I will say to all the sons and daughters of earth:
Dash it down! And thou, Rum, shalt be my text in my pilgrimage among men, and not alone shall my tongue utter it, but the groans of orphans in their agony, and the cries of widows in their desolation shall proclaim it the enemy of home, the traducer of childhood, and the destroyer of manhood, whose only antidote is the sacramental cup of temperance, cold water ! !
AN INTERRUPTED PROPOSAL.-Robert C. V. MEYERS."
Wrillen expressly for this Collection.
To-night. * Author of "Jamie,” “If I should die To-night," "Gabe's Christmas Eve," “The Sentinel of Metz." “ The Curtsy," and a score of other excellent recitations in previous Numbers of this series.
She looked so lovely he felt his heart Give such a start He had to hold it with all his might To keep it from jumping away outright. “Oh, Ray,” he said She raised her head. “Richard,” said she, “I think thee's not well." Then every gray shell Shook as the needles turned 'em round. “Oh, Rachel,” he said and she looked at him Till his head began to swim. But sudden he started and said with a vim Quite new to him, “There is a mouse“Oh!” shrieked Rachel. Down went the cloud, Down went the needles clattering loud, And through the house Her voice rang, and Up on a chair That was nearest at hand She jumped, and the air Was filled with her cries, While her skirts she caught In one hand and fought With the other the tribe of little mico Her fancy seemingly had brought Before her startled fearsome eyes. Richard he took A step and mistook, In his affright, The little table That held the light, Caught it, and it Was not able To bear his weight and suddenly split. Down went the lamp on the floor, The light went out and 'twas dark as of yore When the candle went out for Moses. And Ray Cried, “Keep it away!” And Richard cried, “Ray, Listen to me. I merely said There is a mouse“Oh,” shrieked she, “I'll rouso The very dead