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

ad Î

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.


A FARMER's lease contain’d a flaw;
To mend it, he appeal’d to law.
Dear-bought experience told him plain,
That law without a fee was vain;
And that, to clear his counsel's tone, he
Must bribe him or with meat or money.
One morn he calls his clown in chief,
‘Here, take this pig to Lawyer Brief.'
The clown (unlike his wife, they say)
Could both be silent, and obey:
The pig, secured within a sack,
At ease hung dangling from his back;
Thus loaded, straight to town he went,
With many an awkward compliment.
A half-way house convenient stood,
Where host was kind, and ale was good:
In steps the clown, and calls to Cecil—
“A quart of stout, to wet my whistle !’
Eased of his load, he takes a chair,
And quaffs oblivion to all care.
Three artful wags accost the clown,

And ask his errand up to town.
With potent ale his heart grows warm,
Which, drunk or sober, meant no harm :
He tells them plainly whence he came;
His master, and the lawyer's name;
And, ere the circling mug was drain'd,
Show’d what the prostrate sack contain'd.
Whilst two the witless clown amuse,
With merry tales, and mournful news,
A third removes the sack unseen,
And soon sets free the guest within:
But, lest our clown the trick should trace,
A well-fed cur supplies the place.
The point clear'd up of what's to pay,
Our clown in peace pursued his way.
Arrived, he makes his awkward bow,
With many a Wherefore, and As how.
• Heaven bless your honour many a year!
Look what a pig I’ve brought you here.'
The sack untied without demur,
Forthwith out gently crept the cur.
Both stood aghast with eager eyes,
And both, no doubt, look'd wondrous wise.
The clown, who saw the lawyer foam,
Swore 'twas a pig when brought from home:
And, wondering at the queer disaster,
In haste return'd to tell his master.
Well pleased to see him take the bait,
The wags his quick return await.
What peals of noisy mirth prevail,
To hear him tell the mystic tale !
The devil is in't, they all agree,
And seem to wonder more than he.
From them to Cecil he repairs,
To her the strange event declares:
Meantime the wags, to end the joke,
Replace the pig within its poke.
The rustic soon resumes his load,
And, whistling, plods along the road.
Th’ impatient farmer hails the clown,
And asks, “What news from London town 2
The pig was liked; they made you drink?"—
‘Nay, master! master | What d'ye think?
The pig (or I'm a stupid log)
Is changed into a puppy dog’—
“A dog!”—“Nay, since my word you doubt,
See here; I'll fairly turn him out.'
No sooner was the sack untied,
Than a loud grunt his word belied:
“Death,’ cries the farmer, “tell me whence
Proceeds this daring insolence?
Make haste, take back this pig again you
Presuming elf; or, zounds ! I'll brain you!"
The clown of patient soul and blood,
Awhile in silent wonder stood;
Then briefly cried, with phiz demure—
“Yon lawyer is a witch for sure
How hoarse his voice! his face how griml
What's pig with us is dog with him:
Heaven shield my future days from evil!
For, as I live, I’ve seen the devil.”

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[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,
And * drouthy neibors, neibors meet;
As market days are wearing late,
An' folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bowsing at the nappy,
An' getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scets miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

This truth fand honest TAM O'SHANTER,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter:
(Auld Ayr, whom ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men aud bonnie lasses).

O Tam had'st thou but been sae wise,
As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice l
She tauld thee weel thou was a 3 skellum,
A bletherin, blusterin, drunken “blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was na sober;
That ilka "melder wi' the Miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That ev'ry naig was ca'd a shoe on
The Smith and thee gat roarin fou on;
That at the L–d's house, ev'n on Sunday,
Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till Monday.
She prophesied, that, late or soon,
Thou wad be found, deep drown'd in Doom,
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk.

1 Tradesmen.

* 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,
Tam had got planted unco right,
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi’ reaming "swats, that drank divinely;
And at his elbow, Souter Johnny,
His ancient, trusty, *drouthy crony:
Tam lo'ed him like a very brither;
They had been fou for weeks thegither.
The night drave on wi' sangs an' clatter;
And ay the ale was growing better:
The Landlady and Tam grew gracious,
Wi’ favors secret, sweet and precious:
The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
The Landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.

Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E’en drown'd himsel amang the nappy.
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious,
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious!

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white—then melts forever;
Or like the Borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.
Nae man can tether time nor tide,
The hour approaches Tam maun ride—
That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour Tam mounts his beast in;
And sic a night he took the road in,
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd;
Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd :
That night, a child might understand,
The deil had business on his hand.

Weel mounted on his grey mare Meg,
A better never lifted leg,
Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire,
Despising wind, and rain, and fire;
* Whiles holding fast his gude blue bonnet,
Whiles crooning o'er an auld Scots sonnet,

Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares;
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Where ghaists and *houlets nightly cry.

By this time he was cross the ford,
Where in the snaw the chapman “smoor'd;
And past the birks and "meikle stane,
Where drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane;
And thro' the whins, and by the cairn,
Where hunters fand the murder'd bairn,
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Where Mungo's mither hang'd hersel.
Before him Doon pours all his floods,
The doubling storm roars thro' the woods,
The lightnings flash frae pole to pole,
Near and more near the thunders roll,
When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem’d in a bleeze,
Thro' ilka s bore the beams were glancing,
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.

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Warlocks and witches in a dance:
Nae cotillon, brent new frne France,
But horn-pipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
A winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And (by some devilish cantraip sleight)
Each in its cauld hand held a light,
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murderer's banes, in gibbet-airns;
Twn span-lang, wee, unchristen’d bairns;
A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi' blude red-rusted;
Five scymitars, wi' murder crusted;
A garter, which a babe had strangled;
A knife a father's throat had mangled,

* Ale.

* Weep.
* Sometimes.

* Thirsty chum.

5 Owls. * Smothered.
* Hole, * Ale,

7 Large.
10 Fraction.

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