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sweetly magnificent than the gesture and movement with which my Lady Bountiful, without turning her rough little head, gently pushed back the change-laden hand and went swiftly on her way. The tender, joyous pride of it was enough to give one hysterics, between laughing and crying.
But, fortunately doubtless, our sensibility to mere spectacle in life rarely so far overcomes us; and as for me, on this occasion, I only hurried on to catch a glimpse of Lady Bountiful's face, but I never caught it. In a moment she plunged into a little crowd gathered about something - I don't know what — in the street; and the last I saw of her, she — still eating her apple was gallantly working her way to its front with a zeal and courage I could not imitate.
Not long ago I watched from my window a more complex case of infantine charity. A much-disheveled, shabby woman had come along and seated herself in a doorway opposite. Mine is not a neighborhood too fine to let many of its children play in the street, and soon there gathered about the sorry wayfarer a curious group of them. I suppose they soon might have been pelting her with stones, but I find the fact that they became very differently occupied illustrative not only of the plasticity of children, but of the impressionability of the race. This “drunk lady," as they doubtless called her, despite the lingering disqualifications of the intoxication from which she was plainly but just emerging, had even now a genius for managing mankind. She had so far come to herself as to desire a respectable appearance. It was to attain this laudable ambition and some others that she engaged the children's assistance. She took
off her hat, let down her hair, drew from her pocket a folded white apron, which she shook out carefully and laid on a fold of her dress beside her, and all the time she held her growing audience in what must have been fascinating conversation. I wish I could have heard it. The existence of her charm was further attested in three minutes by the eagerness with which competing messengers sped upon her errands. One came back with a wet handkerchief; another with a comb (!); another, though the drunk lady had furnished no pennies, with a bunch of radishes, obtained, as I saw, at the corner grocery. She at once sent another child for salt, as the event proved; then wiped her face and hands well with the handkerchief, and gave her attention to reshaping her battered hat and fastening properly its trimmings, getting pins from sympathetic boys as well as girls.
When the salt came, she made a modest meal, sharing it with no one; but those children hung around her, not familiarly, but with a touch of awe, while she ate, as if the sight were in some occult way a feast for their souls. She needed more pins than they could furnish on the spot, and when, her radishes eaten, she returned to the care of her toilet, raiders on the domestic stock of various homes brought them to her, and hairpins as well. The ardor and devotion of her ministers did not flag during the half-hour she stayed among them; and when, finally, vastly changed in appearance, she took herself off, I had not a doubt that the change helped her incalculably to make her peace with whomsoever she wished to conciliate. The children followed her to the corner, where, evidently at a word from her thrown over her shoulder,
and without further pantomime of leave-taking, they stopped, and watched her out of sight.
I was glad and grateful when she gave that word, “Thus far and no farther,” for I had made up my mind that she was the last incarnation of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and that if she would, she might leave us with not a little girl or boy to bless ourselves with for blocks around.
BY JOHN KENDRICK BANGS
TO-DAY, whatever may annoy,
The joy of life;
And lavish gifts divine upon our way.
PAN THE FALLEN
BY WILLIAM WILFRED CAMPBELL
HE wandered into the market
The Pan he was they knew him,
He swelled his pipes and thrilled them,