« 前へ次へ »
“Let's call him June. It's the first day of June now.” So they agreed to call him June.
“ Jume? that's not exactly it,” said he to himself, “ but it will do. How I wish Tom was here.
“ Curious !” said the father to the farmer; “ how much this old horse looks like one I once had. The only difference that I can see is that that one had a white spot over his tail."
“ That was Tom,” broke in Jom, eagerly, who heard the last few words.
"I used to ride him when I was a boy ; but he had a bad temper, was a fretful, impatient horse, and we sold him.”
“ 0, then it wasn't Tom," said Jom to himself.
“ Now, please, put me on his back!” cried the oldest ; "and me,” pleaded the next; " and me,'
so old Jom was soon walking round delighted, with the children on his back; and he smelt the sweet grass, and even ventured to put his nose down and nibble a little.
Happy Jom! Poor Tom !
66 and me:
THE VISION OF JOHN THE WATCHMAN.
WHEN the stars are shining on a December night, and that night is the last of the year that runs from Christmas to Christmas, then is the time for new thoughts to be born; everything is transparent, everything that sounds has a clear ring to it. One looks over the country, and the trees seem watching for what the gray dawn may reveal to the world; and if one must walk down city streets, there, too, the very houses stand higher, as if to hear what may be sounding above; and the church spires listen to catch the first note. As twelve o'clock comes on, the stillness deepens; every click upon the pavement sounds like the beating of a stony heart. What will come ? what will be seen and heard when the new year begins on Christmas Day ?
The top of Trinity spire would seem to be the best place for a watchman at such a time. From that dizzy height, he could peer off over the water, or over the land, following the lines
of twinkling lights below, or up into the sky, ready for the first breath of sound or glimpse of heavenly sight; and then from that perch he could make his voice dart down and into the belfry, and down by other voices, till glad hands should pull at the chiming bells to summon all who might be listening and waiting and watching, on Christmas Eve.
But on one memorable Christmas Eve, memorable for our John the Watchman, there was no one thus lifted up above the common streets, or who can say what good news might have been sounded over the city ? and yet — would he have seen what John saw ? Now, John was a watchman -- that was his business. Every night when the gas was lighted, John put on his great watch-coat, pulled his cap well on, kissed the children and Mary his wife, and with a stout brown paper parcel in his pocket, which Mary had stowed there, set off for Church Street, to keep watch over a great warehouse.
How much money there was in that warehouse! not in gold, and silver, and copper, but in stone, which rose, story above story, up toward the sky; and inside, in cloth, and wonderful fabrics of every kind. All day long, scores of clerks went about in it, selling goods; or sat and stood, silently pinned to desks, like
dead butterflies all in a row, as they added up columns of figures, till their heads ached, and found out every day how much money the warehouse was worth; and every day, grayhaired, sharp-eyed old gentlemen sat where they could see the row of butterflies, and looked over their shoulders, and found out how much they owned, — for they owned the warehouse; and then when the gas out-of-doors was lighted, they took the pins out, and the butterfly clerks went home, and the old gentlemen went home, and the porter locked all the doors, and he went home; and then John came, and he stayed, — till the porter came back next morning.
The first thing John the Watchman always did, was to go round to all the doors, and try them, take hold of the handles, and pull and rattle them; and Peter the Inside Watchman
for there was one inside and one out - Peter would hear it, and say to himself, — “Good ! there's John: all right!” Then when John had tried all the doors, he looked at the windows, to see if they were fastened ; and he poked his stick into all the gratings, but that was only because it seemed a safe thing to do, for what could happen about a grating that a stick could poke into? Then he settled into
his great-coat, felt of the bundle in his pocket, and now he was all right for the night, and he began to walk up and down, down and up, round the square, back and forth, always changing his course, so as to turn up unexpectedly everywhere, and be always on the spot, should any one be so bold as to try a door with a false key, or think to take out a light of glass. A quick robber he would be, who came round the corner and did not find John the Watchman at that post.
Now, on this night, John settled himself as usual into his shaggy coat, and began his steady beat over the flagging. There was no snow on the ground. It was a clear, cold night; the bright stars were shining in the heavens, which spanned the earth with a pure blue arch; blue indeed, this night, as any one could see who looked up. The air was still, and every sound that stirred came sharp upon the ear. Broadway, not far off, seemed to be a procession of sounds of every sort and kind, while just about John's walk, it was long before the street was clear, — so many people went briskly by, and carts and omnibuses clattered past. It was a lively evening, and John watched the sights about him, and wondered and wondered, — what this one had in his bas