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Harper's Young People, May 25, 1880   By:

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[Illustration: HARPER'S




Tuesday, May 25, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.




BY M. M.

Blue violets open their saintly eyes, Red columbines bend and sway, White star flowers twinkle in beds of moss, And, blooming, they seem to say, "We bring you the red and the white and the blue To welcome Memorial day."

So gather them, children, at earliest dawn, While yet they are fresh with dew, And we'll scatter them over the sacred mounds Where slumber our soldiers true; For we'll give them only the colors they loved The red and the white and the blue.



"Hurrah! hurrah! Now for a long play day; the school master's a witch, and we are free;" and some twenty boys came flocking and tumbling out of the school house door, and went swarming up the street. Not much like the boys of to day, except for the noise, were these twenty youngsters of nearly two centuries ago, who skipped and ran up the streets of Boston, dressed in their long square skirted coats, small clothes, long stockings, and low shoes with their cherished buckles of silver or brass. And very different from to day were the streets through which they passed as they flocked homeward talking of the master.

"He'll have naught to do but learn of the Black Man now; they do say he rides his ferule and bunch of twigs high up in the air, like Mistress Hibbins used her broom stick," cried William Bartholomew, the sneak of the school.

"He best have been switching thee with it, then," cried Jonathan Winthrop. "Thou never hast thy share of the whippings does he, mates?" and frank faced Jonathan turned to his companions.

"Truly thou and I, Jonathan, need not complain that we have not our share of the fun and the twigs," laughed Christopher Corwin, as he laid his arm on Jonathan's, and shrugged his shoulders at the thought of numerous beatings. For Jonathan Winthrop and Christopher Corwin, with their plots and pranks, were enough to make poor Master Halleck sell his soul to the Evil One, as report said he had done.

"His ferule was sharp as a knife," said overgrown Jo Tucker, the butt of the school.

"Truly," cried William Bartholomew, "sharper than thy wits, we doubt not; or thy knife either, for that was never known to cut aught."

"Keep thy tongue in thy head, Billy Mew; none ever said that was not sharp enough," put in Christopher Corwin.

"I do not believe he is a witch," said Samuel Shaddoe, a quiet boy, dressed in very plain drab clothes, and a wider brimmed hat than the others.

"Oh, doesn't thee?" cried several.

"Thou art but a Quaker thyself, and a Quaker's as bad as a witch any day," shouted Robert Pike.

"There, muddle thy stockings in yon mud puddle for that speech, thou water loving Baptist," cried Christopher Corwin, as he jostled Baptist Bob in some water by the way.

"Hurrah for the witch, and a long play day!" cried the boys.

"Peace! peace! ye noisy urchins!" said Magistrate Sewall, as he stepped suddenly from a doorway. "The master has imps of the earth as well as the air, I see. Get ye home less noisily, or we must needs put ye in yonder prison with the master."

The awe of the magistrate's presence had the desired effect, and the crowd broke up in groups of two or three, and each took his way homeward quietly.

"Jonathan, doest thou believe the master dotted his i's and crossed his t's when he signed his name in the Black Man's book in the forest yonder?" said Christopher, as the two boys walked home together.

"Nay, I know not," said Jonathan, absently.

"Verily, I hope the Black Man cracked him across his knuckles, if he did not," said Christopher; and he thought of his own often aching fists... Continue reading book >>

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