Monthly Archives: February 2010


In Manchester, New Hampshire, a little fellow just past his first decade stepped into his father’s office, and said to one of the clerks, “I shall get my company full pretty soon; I have sworn in three to-day.”

“Sworn in,” said the clerk; “how did you do it?”

“I made them hold up their hands and say, ‘Glory to God,'” said the incipient Captain.

The following is a counterpart for the above story. A six-year old Boston boy, who had become deeply imbued with the martial spirit, undertook to act as commander of a diminutive company in a New Hampshire town, where he was spending his vacation. He somewhat “astonished the natives” by the following order, given in a very excited tone: “Company! Enemy’s coming! Forward, march! Amen!”

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THE dark jaguar was abroad in the land;
His strength and his fierceness what foe could withstand?
The breath of his anger was hot on the air.
And the white lamb of peace he had dragged to his lair.

Then up rose the farmer; he summoned his sons:
“Now saddle your horses, now look to your guns!”
And he called to his hound, as he sprang from the ground
To the back of his black pawing steed with a bound.

O, their hearts, at the word, how they tingled and stirred!
They followed, all belted, and booted, and spurred.
“Buckle tight, boys!” said he, “for who gallops with me,
Such a hunt as was never before shall he see.

“This traitor, we know him! for when he was younger,
We flattered him, patted him, fed his fierce hunger:
But now far too long we have borne with the wrong,
For each morsel we tossed makes him savage and strong.”

Then said one, “He must die!” And they took up the cry,
“For this last crime of his he must die! he must die!”
But the slow eldest-born sauntered sad and forlorn,
For his heart was at home on that fair hunting-morn.

“I remember,” he said, “how this fine cub we track
Has carried me many a time on his back!”
And he called to his brothers, “Fight gently! be kind!”
And he kept the dread hound, Retribution, behind.

The dark jaguar, on a bough in the brake,
Crouched, silent and wily, and lithe as a snake:
They spied not their game, but, as onward they came,
Through the dense leafage gleamed two red eyeballs of flame.

Black-spotted, and grettled, and whiskered, and grim,
White-bellied, and yellow, he lay on the limb,
And so still that you saw but one tawny paw
Lightly reach through the leaves, and as softly withdraw.

Then shrilled his fierce cry, as the riders drew nigh,
And he shot from the bough like a bolt from the sky:
In the foremost he fastened his fangs as he fell,
While all the black jungle re-echoed his yell.

O, then there was carnage by field and by flood!
The green sod was crimsoned, the rivers ran blood,
The cornfields were trampled, and all in their track
The beautiful valley lay blasted and black.

Now the din of the conflict swells deadly and loud,
And the dust of the tumult rolls up like a cloud:
Then afar down the slope of the Southland recedes
The wild rapid clatter of galloping steeds.

With wide nostrils smoking, and flanks dripping gore,
The black stallion bore his bold rider before,
As onward they thundered through forest and glen,
A-hunting the stark jaguar to his den.

In April, sweet April, the chase was begun;
It was April again when the hunting was done;
The snows of four winters and four summers green
Lay red-streaked and trodden, and blighted between.

Then the monster stretched all his grim length on the ground;
His life-blood was wasting from many a wound;
Ferocious and gory, and snarling he lay,
Amid heaps of the whitening bones of his prey.

Then up spoke the slow eldest son, and he said,
“All he needs now is just to be fostered and fed!
Give over the strife! Brothers, put up the knife!
We will tame him, reclaim him, but not take his life!”

But the farmer flung back the false words in his face:
“He is none of my race who gives counsel so base!
Now let loose the hound!” And the hound was unbound,
And the lightning the heart of the traitor he found.

“So rapine and treason forever shall cease!”
And they wash the stained fleece of the pale lamb of peace;
When, lo! a strong angel stands winged and white
In a wondering raiment of ravishing light!

Peace is raised from the dead! In the radiance shed
By the halo of glory that shines round her head,
Fair gardens shall bloom where the black jungle grew,
And all the glad valley shall blossom anew!

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In making the surveys for the intrenchments to be made on the northern and eastern sides of the city of Washington, the engineer officers came to a lovely spot near Bladensburg. A pretty cottage stood on the brow of the hill, surrounded on all sides by shrubbery, grapevines, orchards, shade trees, a superb lawn, a beautiful flower garden, &c. It was, indeed, a little paradise. It was the residence of a lady and her daughters, whose husband was now away fighting in the service of his country. The line of the intrenchments, as surveyed, passed directly over this spot. The hill commands the surrounding country for miles, and therefore is the proper spot for a battery. But the officers saw at a glance that if a battery was erected there, it would be necessary to cut down every tree in the orchard, to clear away all the shrubbery, and to make the ditch for the parapet in the flower garden. In a word, the military works would completely demolish the place, and render it a desert. The officers made several surveys, in hopes of finding some way in which to avoid the necessity of occupying this property at all. But in vain. There was no other hill in the neighborhood that possessed the necessary military qualifications. Calling upon the lady, therefore, the officers explained, in the most delicate manner, the object of their visit, and the military necessity which doomed her beautiful grounds to destruction. The lady listened in silence. Tears rose to her eyes. She arose, walked to the open window, looked for a moment upon the lovely scene, and then, turning to the officers, said: “If it must be so, take it freely. I hoped to live here in peace and quiet, and never to leave this sweet spot, which my husband has beautified for years past. But if my country demands it, take it freely. You have my consent.” Then offering refreshments to the officers, she said no more on the subject. In the war of he revolution, in 1777, a lady of South Carolina brought to General Marion the arrows with which to set fire to her own house. But surely the devoted patriotism of this Maryland lady is deserving of no less praise.—Washington Letter.

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The members of the Mackerel Brigade, says the inimitable Orpheus C. Kerr, now stationed on Arlington Heights, to watch the movements of the Potomac, which is expected to rise shortly, desire me to thank the ladies of America for supplies of havelocks and other delicacies of the season just received. The havelocks, my boy, are rather roomy, and we took them for shirts at first; and the shirts are so narrow-minded that we took them for havelocks. If the women of America could manage to get a little less linen into the collars of the latter, and a little more into the other department of the graceful “garmint,” there would be fewer colds in this division of the Grand Army. The havelocks, as I have said before, are roomy–very roomy, my boy. Villiam Brown, of company G, put one on last night when he went on sentry duty, and looked like a broomstick in a pillow-case, for all the world. When the officer came round, and caught sight of Villiam in his havelock, he was struck dumb with admiration for a moment. Then he ejaculated:

“What a splendid moonbeam!”

Villiam made a movement, and the Sergeant came up.

“What’s that white object?” says the officer to the Sergeant. “Thunder!” roared the officer; “tell him to go to his tent, and take off that nightgown.”

“You’re mistaken,” says the Sergeant; “the sentry is Villiam Brown, in his havelock, which was made by the women of America.”

The officer was so justly exasperated at his mistake, that he went immediately to his headquarters and took the oath three times running, with a little sugar.

The oath is very popular, my boy, and comes in bottles. I take it medicinally myself.

The shirts made by the ladies of America are noble articles, as far down as the collar, but would not do to use as an only garment. Captain Mortimer de Montague, of the skirmish squad, put one on when he went to the President’s reception, and the collar stood up so high that he couldn’t put his cap on, while the other department didn’t reach quite to his waist. His appearance at the White House was picturesque and interesting, and as he entered the drawing-room, General Scott remarked very feelingly:

“Ah! here comes one of the wounded heroes.”

“He’s not wounded, General,” remarked an officer standing by.

“Then why is his head bandaged up so?” asked the venerable veteran.

“O,” says the officer, “that’s only one of the shirts made by the patriotic women of America.”

In about five minutes after his conversation I saw the venerable veteran and the wounded hero at the office taking the oath together.

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