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The lady's cheek grew pale with ire,
The chieftain's eyes flashed sadden fire;
He drew a pistol from his breast,
Took aim,—then dropped it, sore distressed.

"I might have slain my babe instead.
Come, Evan, come," the father said,
And through his heart a tremor ran;
"We'll fight our quarrel man to man."

"Wrong unavenged I've never borne,"
Said Evan, speaking loud in scorn;
"You've heard my answer, proud Maclaine:
I will not fight you,—think again."

The lady stood in mute despair.
With freezing blood and stiffening hair;
She moved no limb, she spoke no word;—
She could but look upon her lord.

He saw the quivering of her eye,
Pale lips and speechless agony,—
And, doing battle with his pride,
"Give back the boy,—I yield." he cried.

A storm of passions shook his mind—
Anger and shame and love combined;
But love prevailed, and bending low,
He bared his shoulders to the blow.

"I smite you," said the clansman true;
"Forgive me, chief, the deed I do!
For by yon Heaven that hears me speak,
My dirk in Evan's heart shall reek!"

But Evan's face beamed hate and joy;
Close to his breast he hugged the boy:
"Revenge is just, revenge is sweet,
And mine, Lochbuy, shall be complete."

Ere hand could stir, with sudden shock.
He threw the infant o'er the rock,
Then followed with a desperate leap,
Down fifty fathoms to the deep.

They found their bodies in the tide;
And never till the day she died
Was that sad mother known to smile—
The Niobe of Mulla's isle.

They dragged false Evan from the sea,
And hanged him on a gallows tree;
And ravens fattened on his brain,
To sate the vengeance of Maclaine.


That first baby was a great institution. As soon as he came into this " breathing world," as the late W. Shakespeare has it, he took command in our house. Everything was subservient to him. He regulated the temperature, he regulated the servants, he regulated me.

For the first six months of that precious baby's existence he had me up, on an average, six times a night.

"Mr. Blif kins," said my wife, " bring a light, do; the baby looks strangely; I'm afraid it will have a fit."

Of course the lamp was brought, and of course the baby lay sucking his fist, like a little white bear as he was.

"Mr. Blif kins," says my wife, "I think I feel a draft of air; I wish you would get up and see if the window is not open a little, because baby might get sick."

Nothing was the matter with the window, as I knew very well.

"Mr. Blif kins," said my wife, just as I was going to sleep again," that lamp, as you have placed it, shines directly in baby's eyes—strange that you have no more consideration."

I arranged the light and went to bed again. Just as I was dropping to sleep—

"Mr. Blif kins," said my wife, " did you think to buy that broma, to-day, for the baby?"

"My dear," said I, will you do me the injustice to believe that I could overlook a matter so essential to the comfort of that inestimable child?"

She apologized very handsomely, but made her anxiety the Bcapegoat. I forgave her, and without saying a word to her I addressed myself to sleep.

"Mr. Blifkins," said my wife, shaking me, " you must not snore so—you will wake the baby."

"Jest so—jest so," said I, half asleep, thinking I was Solon Shingle.

"Mr. Blifkins," said my wife, will you get up and hand mo that warm gruel from the nurse-lamp for baby?—the dear child! if it wasn't for his mother I don't know what he would do. How can you sleep so, Mr. Blifkins?"

■ I suspect my dear," said I, " that it is because I'm tired."

"Oh, it's very well for you men to talk about being tired," said my wife, " I don't know what you would say if you had to toil and drudge like a poor woman with a baby."

I tried to soothe her by telling her she had no patience and got up for the posset. Having aided in answering to the baby's requirements, I stepped into bed again, with ihe hope of sleeping.

"Oh, dear!" said that inestimable woman, in great apparent anguish, " how can a man, who has arrived at the honor of a live baby of his own, sleep when he don't know that the dear creature will live till morning?"

I remained silent, and after awhile, deeming that Mrs. Blifkins had gone to sleep, I stretched my limbs for re}iose. How long I slept I don't know, but I was awakened by a furious jab in the forehead from some sharp instrument. I started up, and Mrs. Blifkins was sitting up in bed, adjust ing some portions of the baby's dress. She had, in a state of semi-somnolence, mistaken my head for the pillow, whioi she customarily used for a nocturnal pincushion. I protested against such treatment in somewhat round terms, pointing to several perforations in my forehead. She told me I should willingly bear such trifling ills for the sake of the baby. I insisted upon it that I didn't think my duty as a parent to the immortal required the surrender of my forehead as a pincushion.

This was one of the many nights passed in this way. Th« truth was that baby was what every man's first jaby is—an autocrat, absolute and unlimited.

Such was the story of Blifkins, as he related it to us the other day. It is a little exaggerated picture of almost every man's experience. Gleason's Monthly.


Twas but a breath—
And yet a woman's fair fame wilted,
And friends once fond grew cold and stilted;
And life was worse than death.

One venomed word,
That struck its coward, poisoned blow,
In craven whispers, hushed and low,—
And yet the wide world heard.

Twas but one whisper—one—.
That muttered low, for very shame,
That thing the slanderer dare not name,—
And yet its work was done.

'A hint so slight, And yet so mighty in its power,— A human soul in one short hour,

Lies crushed beneath its blight.


I had an uncle once—a man
Of threescore years and three ;—

And when my reason's dawn began,
He'd take me on his knee;

And often talk, whole winter nights,
Things that seemed strange to me.

He was a man of gloomy mood,
And few his converse sought;

But, it was said, in solitude

His conscience with him wrought;

And there, before his mental eye,
Some hideous vision brought.

There was not one in all the house
Who did not fear his frown,

Save I, a little careless child,
Who gamboled up and down,

And often peeped into his room,
And plucked him by the gown.

I was an orphan and alone,—
My lather was his brother.

And all their lives I knew that they
Had fondly loved each other;

And in my uncle's room there hung
The picture of my mother.

There was a curtain over it,—
Twas in a darkened place,
And few or none had ever looked

Upon my mother's face,
Or seen her pale expressive smile
Of melancholy grace.

One night—I do remember well,
The wind was howling high,

And through the ancient corridors
It sounded drearily—

I sat and read in that old hall;
My uncle sat close by.

I read—but little understood

The words upon the book; For with a sidelong glance I marked

My uncle's fearful look, And saw how all his quivering frame

In strong convulsions shook.

A silent terror o'er me stole,

A strange, unusual dread;
His lips were white as bone—his eyes

Sunk far down in his head;
He gazed on me, but 'twas the gaze

Of the unconscious dead.

Then suddenly he turned him round,

And drew aside the veil
That hung before my mother's face;

Perchance my eyes might fail,
But ne'er before that face to me

Had seemed so ghastly pale.

"Come hither, boy!" my uncle said,—

I started at the sound; Twas choked and stifled in his throat,

And hardly utterance found:— "Come hither, boy!" then fearfully

He cast his eyes around.

"That lady was thy mother once,
Thou wert her only child;

0 God! I've seen her when she held Thee in her arms and smiled,—

She smiled upon thy father, boy,
Twas that which "drove me wild!

"He was my brother, but his form
Was fairer far than mine;

1 grudged not that;—he was the prop Of our ancestral line,

And manly beauty was of him
A token and a sign.

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