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HOW MR. COVILLE COUNTED THE SHINGLES ON HIS HOUSE—James M. Bailey.
There are men who dispute what they do not understand. Mr. Coville is such a man. When he heard a carpenter say that there were so many shingles on the roof of his house, because the roof contained so many square feet, Coville doubted the figures; and, when the carpenter went away, he determined to test the matter, by going up on the roof and counting them. And he went up there. He squeezed through the scuttle—Coville weighs 230—and then sat down on the roof, and worked his way carefully and deliberately toward the gutter. When he got part way down, he heard a sound between him and the shingles, and became aware that there was an interference, some way, in further locomotion. He tried to turn over and crawl back, but the obstruction held him. Then he tried to move a little, in hopes that the trouble would prove but temporary, but an increased sound convinced him that either a nail or a sliver had hold of his cloth, and that if he would save any of it, he must use caution. His folks were in the house, but he did not make them hear,and besides he didn't want to attract the attention of the neighbors. So he sat there until after dark, and thought. It would have been an excellent opportunity to have counted the shingles, but he neglected to use it. His mind appeared to run in other channels. He sat there an hour after dark, seeing no one he could notify of his position. Then he saw two boys approaching the gate from the house, and reaching there, stop. It was light enough for him to see that one of the two was his son, and although ho objected to having the other boy know of his misfortune, yet he had grown tired of holding on to the roof, and concluded he could bribe the strange boy into silence. With this arrangement mapped out, he took his knife and threw it so that it would strik6 near to the boys and attract their attention. It struck nearer than he anticipated. In fact, it struck so close as to hit the strange boy on the head, and nearly brained him. As soon as he recovered his equilibrium, he turned on Coville's koy, who, he was confident, had attempted to kill him, and introduced some astonishment and bruises in his face. Then he threw him down, and kicked him in the side, and banged him on the head, and drew him over into the gutter, and pounded his legs, and then hauled him back to the walk again, and knocked his head against the gate. And all the while the elder Coville sat on the roof, and screamed for the police, but couldn't get away. And then Mrs. Coville dashed out with a broom, and contributed a few novel features to the affair at the gate, and one of the boarders dashed out with a double-barreled gun, and hearing the cries from the roof^ looked up there, and espying a figure which was undoubtedly a burglar, drove a handful of shut into its legs. With a howl of agony, Coville made a plunge to dodge the missiles, freed himself from the nail, lost his hold to the roof, and went sailing down the shingles with awful velocity, both legs spread out, his hair on end, and his hands making desperate but fruitless efforts to save himself. He was so frightened that he lost his power of speech, and when he passed over the edge of the roof, with twenty feet of tin gutter hitched to him, the boarder gave him the contents of the other barrel, and then drove into the house to load up again. The unfortunate Coville struck into a cherry tree, and thence bounded to the ground, where he was recognized, picked up by the assembled neighbors, and carried into the house. A new doctor is making a good day's wages picking the shot out of his legs. The boarder has gone into the country to spend the summer, and the junior Coville, having sequestered a piece of brick in his handkerchief, is laying low for that other boy. He says, that before the calm of another Sabbath rests on New England, there will be another boy in Danbury who can't wear a cap.
MR. COVILLE'S EASY CHAIR.—James M. Bailey.
Since the unfortunate accident to Mr. Coville while on the roof counting the shingles, he has been obliged to keep pret« ty close to the house. Last Wednesday he went out into the yard for the first time; and on Friday Mrs. Coville got him an easy chair, which proved a great comfort to him. It
Ih one of those chairs that can be moved by the occupant to form almost any position by means of ratchets. Mr. Coville was very much pleased with this new contrivance, and the first forenoon did nothing but sit in it and work it in all ways. He said such a chair as that did more good in this world than a hundred sermons. He had it in his room, the front bed-room up stairs, and there he would sit and look out of the window, and enjoy himself as much as a man can whose legs have been ventilated with shot. Monday afternoon he got in the chair as-usual. Mrs. Coville was out in the back yard hanging up clothes, and the son was across the street drawing a lath along a picket fence. Sitting down, he grasped the sides of the chair with both hands to settle it back, when the whole thing gave way, and Mr. Coville came violently to the floor.
For an instant the unfortunate gentleman was benumbed by the suddenness of the shock, the next he was aroused by acute pain in each arm, and the great drops of sweat oozed from his forehead when he found that the little finger of each hand had caught in the little ratchets and was as firmly held as in a vice. There he lay on his back with the end of a round sticking in his side, and both hands perfectly powerless. The least move of his body aggravated the pain which was chasing up his arms. He screamed for help, but Mrs. Coville was in the back yard telling Mrs. Coney, next door, mat she didn't know what Coville would do without that chair, and so she didn't hear him. He pounded the floor with his stockinged feet, but the younger Coville was still drawing emotion from the fence across the way, and all other sounds were rapidly sinking into insignificance. Besides, Mr. Coville's legs were not sufficiently recovered from the late accident to permit their being profitably used as mallets.
How he did despise that offspring, and how fervently he did wish the owner of that fence would light on that boy and reduce him to powder! Then he screamed again and howled and shouted " Maria'" But there was no response. What if he should die alone there in that awful shape! The perspiration started afresh, and the pain in his arms assumed an awful magnitude. Again he shrieked "Maria!" but the matinee across the way only grew in volume, and the unconscious wife had gone into Mrs. Coney's and was trying on that lady's redingote. Then he prayed, and howled, and coughed, and swore, and then apologized for it, and prayed and howled again, and screamed at the top of his voice the awfullest things he would do to that boy if heaven would only spare him and show him an axe.
Then he opened his mouth for one final shriek, when the door opened and Mrs. Coville appeared with a smile on her face, and Mrs. Coney's redingote on her back. In one glance she saw that something awful had happened to Joseph, and with wonderful presence of mind she screamed for help, and then fainted away, and ploughed headlong into his stomach. Fortunately the blow deprived him of speech, else he might have said something that he would over have regretted, and before he could regain his senses Mrs. Coney dashed in and removed the grief-stricken wife. But it required a blacksmith to cut Coville loose. He is again back in bed, with his mutilated fingers resting on pillows, and there he lies all day concocting new forms of death for the inventor of that chair, and hoping nothing will happen to his sou until ha
can get well enough to administer it himself.
William was holding in his hand
The likeness of his wife,
With beauty, grace, and life.
He almost thought it spoke—he gazed
Upon the treasure still;
He viewed the artist's skill.
"This picture is yourself, dear Jane,
Tis drawn to nature true;
It is so much like you."
"And has it kissed you back, my dear?"
"Why, no, my love," said he. "Then,'William, it is very clear,
'Tit not at all like me."
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.
It was a laboring bark that slowly held its way,
And on the deck a lady sat who looked with tearful gaze
The breeze comes forth—she's there alone upon the wide,
The scene was changed. It was an eve of raw and surly
And in a turret-chamber high of ancient Holyrood
The touch of care had blanched her cheeks, her smile was
The weight of royalty had lain too heavy on her brow;
She thought of all her blighted hopes, the dreams of youth's
And summoned Rizzio with his lute, and bade the minstrHl
The songs she loved in early years, the songs of gay Navarre,
They won her thoughts from bigot zeal and fierce domestio
But hark, the tramp of armed men? the Douglas' battle-cry! They come, they come! and lo I the scowl of Ruthven's hollow eye!
Around an unarmed man they crowd—Ruthven in mail complete,
George Douglas, Ker of Fawdonside, and Rizzio at their feet! With rapiers drawn and pistols bent they seized their wretched prey,
Wrenched Mary's garments from his grasp, and stabbed him
I saw George D.mglas raise his arm, I saw his dagger gleam;