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A BEE STORY BY BRICKTOP.
I HAD an improved back yard. I went through a seed store and bought a sample of everything that would grow in this climate. The result was a perfect tangle of flowers and things, from an overgrown sunflower to a forget-me-not. Mrs. Bricko is very proud of, our garden, and while gushing over it the other morning, a happy thought worked its way under her back hair: “What a delightful thin it would be to have a hive of bees, an raise our own honey, as well as everything else!” I have always thought that woman inspired ever since she convinced me that I couldn’t do better than to marry her. This was an original, bold idea; a happy thought. I promised her a hive of bees, and went to business with a lighter heart, and firmer belief in the genuinemess of home comforts and amusements.
I bought a hive, of honey-bees and brought it home with me that very night. It was one of those patent hydrostatic, back-action hives, in which the bees have peculiar accommodations and all the modern improvements. It was a nice little hive, none of your old-fashioned barn-size affairs. It even had windows in it, so that the bees could look out and see what was going on, and enjoy themselves. Both myself and Mrs. B. were delighted; and before dark I arranged a stand for the hive in the garden, and opened the bay-windows so that the bees could take an early start and get to business by sunrise next morning. Mrs. B. called me honey several times during the ions: and such sweet dreams as we
We intended to be up early next morning to see how our little birds took to our flowers; but a good half-hour before we probably should have done so we were awakened by the unearthly yells of a cat. Mrs. B. leaped from her downy couch, exclaiming, “What can be the matter with our yellow Billy?” The yells of anguish convinced us that something more than ordinary was the matter with him, and so we hurried into our toilets. We rushed out into our back yard, and, oh, what a sight met our astonished gazel The sight consisted of a yellow cat that appeared to be doing its best to make a pin-wheel of itself. He was rolling over
and over in the grass, bounding up and down, anon darting through the bushes and foliage, standing on his head, and then trying to drive his tail into the ground, and all the while keeping up #. most confounded yowling that was ever heard. “The cat is mad,” said Mrs. B., affrighted. “Why shouldn't he be? the bees are stinging him,” said I, comprehending the trouble. , Mrs. B. flew to the rescue of her cat, and the cat flew at her. So did the bees. One of them drove his drill into her nose, another vaccinated her on the chin, while another began to lay out his work near her eye. Then she howled, and began to act almost as bad as the cat. It was quite an animated scene. She cried murder, and the neighbors looked out from their back windows and cried out for the police, and asked where the fire was. This being a trifle too much I threw a towel over my head and rushe to her rescue. In doing so, I ran over and knocked her down, trod upon the cat, and made matters no better. Mrs. B. is no child on a wrestle, and she soon had me under her, and was tenderly stamping down the garden-walk with my head, using my ears for handles. Then I yelled, and some of the bees came to her assistance, and stung me all over the face. In the mean time the neighbors were shouting, and getting awfully excited over the show, while our servant, .. ing us fighting, opened the basement door and admitted a policeman, who at once o to go between man and wife. he bees hadn't got at Mrs. B.'s tongue yet, and she proceeded to show the policeman that I had abused her in the most shameful manner, and that I had bought a hive of bees on P." to torment her into the grave. I tried to explain; but just then a bee stung the officer on the nose, and he understood it all in less than a minute. He got mad and actually lost his temper. He rubbed his nose and did some official cussing. But as this didn't help matters any, he drew his club and roceeded to demolish that patent beeive. The bees failed to recognize his badge of office, and just swarmed on him. They stung him wherever he had no clothing, and in some places where he did have it. Then he howled, and commenced acting after the manner of the cat and its mistress. He rolled on the ground for a moment, and then got up and made for the street, shouting “fire.” Then the bees turned to the people who had climbed upon the fence to see the fun. Then they had some fun. Windows went down, and some of the neighbors acted as though they thought a twenty-inch shell was about to explode. By this time a fire-engine had arrived, and a line of hose was taken through the house into the back yard. One of the hosemen asked where the fire was; but just then one of the bees bit him behind the ear, and he knew. They turned a stream upon that half-wrecked bee-hive, and began to “play away” with one hand and fight bees with the other. But the water had the desired effect, and those bees were soon among the things that were. A terrible crowd had gathered in the mean time in front of the house, but a large portion of it followed the flying policeman, who was rubbing his affectedarts, and making tracks for the stationouse and a surgeon. This little adventure somehow dam}. our enthusiasm regarding the deight of making our own honey. During the next week we wore milk-and-water poultices pretty ardently, but not a word was said about honey; and now Mrs. B. has gone to stay a week with her mother, leaving me and the convalescent cat and the tickled neighbors to enjoy our own felicity. J. B. Collin.
THE PIG IN A POKE. A TALE.
A FARMER's lease contain’d a flaw;
And ask his errand up to town.
[Robert BURNs, the great lyric poet of Scotland, was born 25th January, 1759, in a small cottage near Ayr. His father, then a nursery gardener, and afterwards the occupant of a small farm, had to struggle all his life with poverty and misfortune, but made every exertion to give his children a good education; and the young poet enjoyed an amount of instruction and miscellaneous reading which, to those unacquainted with the habits of the Scottish peasantry, would seem incompatible with the straitened circumstances and early toil which were his lot. About his sixteenth year, he began composing verses in the Scottish dialect, which attracted notice in the vicinity, and extendéd the circle of his acquaintance; and thus he became exposed to temptations which, acting on an extremely sociable and passionate disposition, broke in upon the previous sobriety and correctness of his life. A small farm, on which he had entered with his brother in 1781, proved far from a prosperous undertaking; and being harassed and imbittered by other misfortunes—the result of imprudence—he resolved to leave his native land, and go to Jamaica. Partly to procure the means of paying his passage, he published a collection of his poems at Kilmarnock in 1786. The reception these met with was highly favorable, and his genius was recognized in quarters where he had not looked for notice. While preparing to embark, he received a letter encouraging him to go to Edinburgh, and issue a new edition. This was the turning point of his life. During his stay in the Scottish metropolis, he associated with all that was eminent in letters, rank, and fashion, and his conversational powers excited little less admiration than his poetry. The profits of the publication were considerable, and enabled him to take the farm of Ellisland, near Dumfries, where he settled in 1788, having publicly ratified his marriage with Jean Armour. With his farm he conjoined the office of an exciseman; but, after three or four years, he was obliged to give up farming, and from that time lived in Dumfries, dependent on his salary from the excise, which, at first only £50, never rose above £70. The striking contrasts in the lot of the rich and the poor with which his residence in Edinburgh had impressed him, made him hail the French revolution with enthusiasm; and some imprudent expressions of his having been reported to the authorities, destroyed his prospects of promotion in the service, and only the interference of an influential friend prevented him from losing his office. Such was then the terror of innovation, and the hatred of everything like liberal opinions, that many of
the better classes, who had feted the poet, now shunned the “Jacobin,” as they stigmatized him. Imbittered by | what he felt to be injustice, he recklessly allowed those habits of dissipation to grow upon him which made the more respectable of all classes look coldly on him; and the remorse thus occasioned in his calmer moments aggravated that tendency to melancholy which the gloom and toil of his early years had probably implanted in his constitution. Broken in health, he died 21st of July, 1796.]
[In order to facilitate the reading of Burns, for those unfamiliar with the Scottish dialect, we have, where necessary, placed the English equivalent in note form at the bottom of the page.]
[This is a west of Scotland legend embellished by Genius-no other poem in our language displays such a variety of power in the same number of lines. “In the inimitable tale of Tam O'Shanter,” says Scott, “Burns has left us evidence of his ability to combine the ludicrous with the awful. No poet, with the exception of Shakespeare, ever possessed the power of exciting the most varied and discordant emotions with such rapid transitions."]
When 'chapman billies leave the street,
This truth fand honest TAM O'SHANTER,
O Tam had'st thou but been sae wise,
* Thirsty. 3 Fool.
T * Quarreller. * Settlement.
Ah, gentle dames' it gars me 1 greet, To think how mony counsels sweet, How mony lengthen'd, sage advices, The husband frae the wife despises!
But to our tale:—Ae market-night,
Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
But pleasures are like poppies spread,
The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
Weel mounted on his grey mare Meg,
Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares,
By this time he was cross the ford,
Warlocks and witches in a dance:
* Thirsty chum.
5 Owls. * Smothered.