friends,” exclaimed Kildare,
“Behold my bride, the fair and fearless,
Who broke my chain, and brought me here,
In truth, in love, and beauty, peerless.
Here, at the bridge of Tenachelle,
Amid the friends I love so well,
I swear that until life depart,
She’ll rule my home, my soul, my heart!”
BY WILLIAM THOMSON.
Said Michael Flynn,
the lab’ring man,
“Yis, sorr, although oi’m poor,
Sooner than live on charity
I’d beg from door to door.”
A NIGHT WITH A STORK.
BY WILLIAM G. WILCOX.
Four individuals—namely, my wife, my infant son, my maid-of-all-work, and myself, occupy one of a row of very small houses in the suburbs of London. I am a thoroughly domesticated man, and notwithstanding that my occupation necessitates absence from my dwelling between the hours of 9 A.M. and 5 P.M., my heart is usually at home with my diminutive household. My wife and I love regularity and quiet above all things; and although, since the arrival of my son and heir, we have not enjoyed that perfect peace which was ours during the first years of our married life, yet his powerful little lungs, I am bound to say, have failed to make ours a noisy house.
Up to the time when the incident occurred which I am going to tell you about our regularity had remained undisturbed, and we got up, went to bed, dined, breakfasted, and took tea at the same time, day after day. Well, as I say, we had been going on in this clockwork fashion for a considerable time, when the other morning the postman brought a letter to our door, and on looking at the direction, I found that it came from an old, rich, and very eccentric uncle of mine, with whom—hem! for certain reasons, we wished to remain on the best of terms.
“What can Uncle Martin have to write about?” was our simultaneous exclamation. “The present for baby at last, I do believe, James,” added my wife; “a cheque, perhaps, or——” I opened the letter and read:—
“DEAR NEPHEW,—You may perhaps have heard that I am forming an aviary here. A friend in Rotterdam has written to me to say that he has sent by the boat, which will arrive in London to-morrow afternoon, a very intelligent parrot and a fine stork. As the vessel arrives too late for them to be sent on the same night, I shall be obliged by your taking the birds home, and forwarding them to me the next morning. With my respects to your good lady,
“Your affectionate Uncle,
We looked at each other for a moment in silence, and then my wife said, “James, what is a stork?”
“A stork, my dear, is a—a—sort of ostrich, I think.”
“An ostrich! why that’s an enormous——”