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FRENCH BALLOON "LE
page 773 to
illustrations of the recent perilous balloon adventure of M. Nadar, the French
aeronaut, who has made himself famous by his ascents in his balloon Le Geant. He
had already made a voyage of several hundred miles in his balloon, and landed
his party, consisting of twelve men and one lady—the Princess de la Tour
d'Auvergne—safely in Germany. On this latter occasion he was accompanied by
several gentlemen, and his wife, Madame Nadar. While crossing the line into
Germany, at an altitude of 1000 yards, a storm struck the balloon and drove it
forward at the rate of 200 miles an hour. The aeronauts tried to descend, but
the balloon's course could not be checked. It knocked down chimneys, trees,
whatever it encountered in its headlong course, and it seemed certain that death
would be the fate of the intrepid voyagers. Sometimes it struck the ground,
then, springing upward, it would rise into the clouds, with the apparent
velocity of a rocket, dashing its occupants from side to side with fearful
force. At length, near Newburg, in Hanover, the gas had escaped sufficiently to
enable the travelers to grapple some trees in a forest against which their
vehicle had been driven. Here, with the exception of some violent flapping from
side to side, it remained stationary long enough to let the travelers descend by
means of the cordage. During the process the car upset, and caught Madame Nadar
under one of its edges. She was with difficulty rescued from this perilous
situation; and the wounded, almost crippled travelers, were at length enabled to
go home—wiser and sorer people.
We all remember the balloon mania
in this country—the voyages of Wise, Lamountain, and others; and just now are
not inclined to further experiments in that line.
LIKE TO AID THE SOLDIERS.
I'D like to aid the soldiers,
Yes, I'd like to knit and sew;
But in all the army's rank and
There's nobody I know,
There's nobody I know;
For Willie Warner got exempt,
And Peter wouldn't go.
I'd like to aid the soldiers,
But I have no time at all;
For what is left of other things
Is too exceeding small—
'Tis too exceeding small
To do the soldiers any good,
And then—I want it all.
I'd like to aid the soldiers,
But there's nothing I can spare;
I've things that might make
But nothing I can't wear,
No—nothing I can't wear;
And pray why should I fret
I have nobody there.
I'd like to aid the soldiers,
But my purse is very lean
And with all my furbelows to buy—
You'd know just what I mean,
You'd know just what I mean;
It costs so much to live in
And dress one to be seen.
I'd like to aid the soldiers,
If I could as well as not;
And I'm willing every body else
Should give them all they've got—
Yes, give them all they've got;
And I'd send them my good wishes—
'Tis really all I ought.
FARMER HAYDEN'S THANKSGIVING-DAY.
THE cars stopped at a little
station on the Vermont Central Railroad. Twenty or more persons stepped out upon
the platform, and proceeded to fill the stage which was drawn up just behind the
depot. As the latter was the only building in sight, the road to it winding
among forest trees that stretched their gaunt limbs, despoiled of summer
foliage, so as in some instances to form an arch over the narrow avenue, it was
only natural to wonder how the depot came to be located in such an
out-of-the-way place. On this point it can only be said that railroad
corporations are occasionally guilty of little eccentricities, and like to
accommodate the public in their own way.
Among the twenty-odd passengers
there was one who stood apart from the rest—a stout, sun-burnt young man—who
appeared to have no acquaintance among his fellow-travelers. Occasionally a
glance of curiosity was directed toward him, but no one recognized him.
"I think I'll get up and ride on
the seat with you," be said, addressing Abner, the driver.
"All right, Sir—plenty of room,"
was the reply.
The young man mounted to his
"Ever been this way before?"
asked Abner, with a side-glance in which he took a mental inventory of the
"Yes, some time since," was the
"Know many people in Carleton?"
"Not many. I suppose there have
been some changes within—say the last half-dozen years."
"Well, a few," said Abner,
reflectively. "Sam Hastings has been to California and come home with a pile of
"Indeed!" commented the young
man, indifferently. "I think I remember him. He lived near Farmer Hayden's,
"Yes; and speaking of changes,
there's been changes in that family."
"Eh?" said the young man,
sharply. Then, in a more moderate tone, "What changes do you refer to?"
"Well, he's lost his property,
for one thing."
"Doesn't he still live on the
farm?" demanded the passenger, hastily.
"Yes; but he isn't like to live
on it long."
"How is that?"
"Oh, it's a long story, but the
upshot of it is that he signed for his brother-in-law and had to pay. So he was
obliged to mortgage the farm. Sam Hastings had just come home from California
with plenty of cash, and came forward very generously, as every body thought,
and offered to lend the money on mortgage, promising to let it stand as long as
Farmer Hayden liked. His offer was very thankfully accepted. A little while
after Sam began to pay attentions to Mary Hayden—the sweetest girl in all
Carleton, as every body knows."
"How did Mary—I mean Miss
Hayden—receive his attentions?" asked the young man.
"She would not receive them at
all. She never liked Sam, and though she didn't say so outright, she gave him to
understand it in plenty of other ways."
"How did he take it?"
"Badly enough. If you ever knew
Sam, you know he's got plenty of 'grit;' and he no sooner found that Mary
wouldn't have any thing to say to him than he vowed that she should. You see he
had an advantage over her in the hold he had upon her father."
"Was there any particular reason
for Miss Hayden's not liking young Hastings?"
"I surmise there was, though I'm
not sure. You see there used to be a young man in Carleton that she took a
"His name was John Patten. I
remember him as a bright boy, but full of mischief. He used to help Farmer
Hayden on the farm. But he never liked farming; and one day he packed up his
things and left the village, saying that he was going to sea. I don't think he's
been heard of since. Most likely he got shipwrecked on some foreign coast and
lost his life."
"And what reason have you for
thinking that Miss Hayden liked him?"
"She was about sixteen when he
went off; he about two years older. Let me see—it must be five years ago. After
he left she seemed sort of lonely, and didn't look like herself for some time."
"She hasn't heard from him during
that time," repeated the young man, in a low tone—"that is strange!"
"She may have heard from him, but
I guess not. Look out for that limb, Sir, or it'll take off your hat!"
"You were speaking of this young
man Hastings—how he took her coldness."
"Oh yes. Well, he no sooner found
that Mary would not marry him than he determined to persecute her father by
foreclosing the mortgage. To make it worse, he means to do it to-morrow—that is,
Thanksgiving-day. So unless Farmer Hayden has the money ready for him to-morrow
he must leave the farm."
"Isn't there any one willing to
lend the amount to an old man," exclaimed the passenger, indignantly, "and thus
aid in frustrating this scoundrel's knavery?"
"Well, there's many that would
like to do it," said the driver, whipping up his horses; "but there isn't much
ready money in our village. There's old Slack is able enough, but you know he's
nothing but a miser."
"Then Farmer Hayden has been
unable to raise this money?"
"He hadn't this morning."
"How does he bear it?"
"It makes the old man sorrowful
enough. He's even been so far as to implore Hastings to be merciful. But the
mean skunk won't budge an inch. It will be a sad day for the whole village when
the Hayden farm falls into his hands. But here we are, Sir! That's the spire of
the orthodox church rising above the trees. Where will you stop?"
"I shall stop at the tavern. I
feel quite interested in your story. So the mortgage is to be foreclosed
With a flourish of his whip Abner
drew up the stage in front of the tavern. It was a long, two-story building,
with a piazza extending along the front. Half the population of the village
seemed to be standing on the piazza waiting for the stage, whose regular arrival
with the mail was the great event of the day. The near approach of Thanksgiving,
with its expected guests, made the assemblage to-night larger than usual.
Abner took the mail-bag from a
nest of trunks and bandboxes on the top of the stage, and dropped it into the
hands of a small boy who was waiting to receive it. The passengers, cramped by
their ride, got out and stretched their limbs. Hearty greetings were exchanged
with friends who were present to meet them. Trunks and bandboxes were
transferred to waiting carriages; and one party after another disappeared to
find a hospitable welcome in one or another of the neat but unpretending
dwellings of Carleton.
But for the young man in whom we
feel the greatest interest there was no one in waiting. He had his luggage
conveyed to a quiet chamber in the tavern, and after a short interval came down
to supper. He said little, and dropped no hint of the business which called him
to Carleton at a season which most persons like to spend among friends and
Three quarters of a mile from the
tavern was the Hayden farm. It comprised about fifty acres, a part only being
arable land. The wants of the occupants being few and simple, Farmer Hayden had
been able to make a comfortable living from it till compelled to raise money on
mortgage. Though fifteen hundred dollars may seem a small sum to
many the interest was felt as a
heavy burden by the farmer, and compelled him to the closest economy. As for
laying up money to pay it off that was out of the question. But he had hoped
that something might turn up to enable him to retain possession of the homestead
in which he and his father before him had first opened their eyes to the light.
It was a sorrowful group that
gathered about the fire-place in the family room on Thanksgiving-eve. Farmer
Hayden sat in a straight-backed chair deep in thought, his eyes fixed mournfully
upon the logs that crackled in the wide fire-place. He was a tall man of sixty,
but so bowed with a life of labor that he looked older. His hair had whitened
rapidly since his troubles commenced, and this too added to his apparent age. At
the opposite side of the hearth sat his wife, gentle Martha Hayden, with her
mild benevolent face. To-night, indeed, a shadow reflected from her husband's
face dimmed the light that beamed from her serious eyes. She was "toeing off" a
stocking for her husband, but it was easy to see that her knitting was
mechanical, and her heart was not in her work.
Mary Hayden sat at the white deal
table that stood in the centre of the room, with her head resting upon her hand.
She too was occupied with sorrowful thoughts. She was a trim comely maiden with
a clear complexion and cheeks like a peach. There was not a rustic beau within
ten miles that did not admire her fresh beauty, and would not have accounted
himself a fortunate man had her choice fallen upon him.
None of the trio seemed inclined
to speak. At length Farmer Hayden lifted up his head wearily, and said, "This
will be a sad Thanksgiving-day for us, Martha."
"Sad indeed, Benjamin," returned
the wife; "I can hardly realize that this is the last day we are to spend in the
"I've lived in it man and boy
sixty-one years come next August," said the farmer, meditatively. "We were very
happy here till—till the trouble came."
"It's the Lord's will, Benjamin;
we must try to receive it with submissive hearts."
"Yes, Martha, but it will be a
hard trial. Thirty-two years ago I brought you here. Here all our children have
been born. Here, too, they have all died—all but Mary."
The girl at the table sobbed
"No other place will seem like
home to us. In our old age we must break the many ties that bind us to the dear
old homestead, and go forth as strangers. I had hoped that when see left it, it
would be for that narrow house which is appointed for all the living."
"Don't think of it, Benjamin, any
more than you can help," said Martha. "He that sendeth trials will send us
strength to bear them."
Slowly Mary rose from her seat,
and approaching her father, said, with an uncertain voice, "Father, till
to-night I did not know how hard it would be to leave the old homestead. I have
no right to exact such a sacrifice from you. All the memories of a lifetime
cluster for you beneath this roof. Ought I to pluck them up, and send forth
homeless into the cold world those who from my infancy have sheltered and
"What do you mean, Mary?" asked
Farmer Hayden, lifting his head quickly and bending a questioning glance upon
Mary paused a moment to recover
resolution. "I mean this, father, that if Mr. Hastings will not forego his cruel
purpose on any other condition than that I become his wife, I am ready to
The temptation was a strong one.
For a moment reviving hope lighted up the old man's eye, but for a moment only.
"No, Mary, not with my consent.
Better that we wander homeless but united in affection than give you as wife to
this man. The thought that you had sacrificed yourself to him would embitter my
existence. No, much as I value the old homestead, let it go, so that I keep my
He was not a demonstrative man.
It is the New England fashion to keep the impulses of family affection under
strict control. Thus it is only when a great joy or a great sorrow throws down
the barriers of habit that we have revealed in all its intensity the deep
affection which lies concealed under a reserved exterior. Farmer Hayden had
never offered to kiss his daughter since she was of an age to sit on his knee,
but to-night a great affliction unsealed the fountains of his love, and he
opened his arms. With a low cry Mary sprang into his embrace, and leaning her
head against his shoulder, gave vent to her tears. But not for long. They were
interrupted by a loud summons struck by the old-fashioned knocker, which for
many a year had hung, a formidable appendage, upon the outer door.
The farmer gently put Mary away,
and, rising, took the tallow-candle, and shielding it with one hand lest a
current of air should extinguish it, walked to the front door. When it was
opened he was somewhat surprised at seeing a stranger. In obedience to the
dictates of politeness he invited him in. As there was a fire only in the family
room, he at once led him into the presence of his wife and daughter. These he
introduced simply. The visitor bowed.
"I am afraid, Mr. Hayden," he
said, turning toward the farmer, "you must look upon my visit as an intrusion."
"Not at all, Sir," said the
"You will pardon me for asking—I
have only reached the village this evening—whether it is true, as I have heard,
that you are about to be ejected from the farm which you have so long occupied?"
"I have lived here always, Sir.
Yes, it is unhappily true. This is the last night we shall pass in the old
"And where shall you go?"
"I—we have not made our
arrangements. A neighbor has kindly offered to accommodate us for a few days
till we have time to look around a little.
It has come upon us all very
suddenly, so that we are hardly determined upon our plans for the future."
"It must be a great grief to you
all. Is there no way of averting this calamity?"
"None. None, at least, that is
"It is the foreclosure of a
mortgage, is it not? May I ask for what amount?"
"For fifteen hundred dollars.
Besides this there is accrued interest to the amount of forty-five dollars."
"And for the lack of this you are
to be ejected? Have you no friend who will lend you the money?"
"There are many who have the
will, but not the power. We country farmers do not often have much money, Sir."
"Then I must come to your rescue.
Mr. Hayden, you need be under no farther concern about this matter. I will lend
you the money to cancel the mortgage, and you will remain, for many years I
trust, in possession of the old Hayden farm."
Mrs. Hayden and Mary fixed their
eyes in grateful surprise on the visitor. The farmer could hardly credit his
"Do I understand you?" he said,
slowly. "Do you mean that you will lend me the money to redeem my farm?"
"I will, Mr. Hayden," said the
young man, quietly. "I have the money with me; and if you will be good enough to
write a note for the amount, I will place it in your hands at once."
Farmer Hayden rose and grasped
the stranger's hand. "How can I thank you sufficiently?" he said, in a tone
tremulous with strong emotion. "You have given me new life and hope. How could I
expect such kindness from an utter stranger?"
"Am I an utter stranger?" asked
the young man, fixing his clear eyes upon the farmer. "Have you wholly forgotten
the boy who for three years worked at your side and ate at your table?"
Mary started, and, half rising,
looked eagerly at the visitor's face. The old man drew him hastily into the full
light. "Yes, yes; it is John Patten!" he exclaimed. "Welcome home, John! I
always liked you, and now I like you better than ever."
There were two more who greeted
John Patten heartily. Mary turned red and white by turns, and shyly drew her
hand away from his fervent pressure.
"But why haven't you written to
us, John?" asked Mrs. Hayden.
He briefly told his story. He had
embarked on board a merchant-ship, in which he visited various parts of the
world. Once or twice he had written by a passing vessel, but for some reason the
letters had miscarried. Three years passed in this way had given him a thorough
knowledge of seamanship, but put little money into his purse. To remedy this,
however, on a voyage to China he had the good fortune to save the life of an
only child, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. The father, in testimony of his
gratitude, had pressed upon him a large sum of money, which he had been unable
to refuse. He landed at New York, determined to come at once to Carleton to
visit his old friends. But the rebellion had already broken out. The great and
rapid enlargement of the navy created a demand for competent officers. To John
Patten the path of duty was clear. He offered his services to the Government,
and was at once appointed sailing-master of a new vessel just ready for sea.
Since then he had been on constant service in the blockading squadron, during
which he had become entitled to a large amount of prize-money. At present
injuries to the vessel to which he was attached had brought it to the
Charlestown Navy-yard for repairs; and, for the first time since he entered the
service, he was allowed a
furlough. How he had improved it they could see. As to
the money which he had offered, he had twice as much more, and could spare it
"In that case, I will accept your
generous offer without hesitation," said the farmer.
"But I must make one condition,"
said the young man. "You must have a good old-fashionen Thanksgiving dinner, and
invite me to sit down with you."
"You shall be heartily welcome,"
returned the farmer. "Have you made any preparations for Thanksgiving, Martha?"
"No, Benjamin; you know we didn't
expect to stay here."
"Then there is no time to be
lost. Early in the morning I will ride over to the village, and get a turkey and
every thing you will need."
"And the apples for the pies
shall be pared tonight," said Mary, briskly.
"Right, daughter!" said the
farmer, approvingly. "The time is short; but we'll have a merry Thanksgiving
dinner yet. You'll stay with us tonight, John?"
''No, Mr. Hayden. I have engaged
a bed at the tavern. By-the-way, when will Mr. Hastings come for his money?"
"At eleven o'clock."
"Then I should like to be within
hearing. I will walk up quietly just before."
The next day was a busy one at
Hayden Farm. Mrs. Hayden and Mary were up before light, engaged in those
multifarious culinary preparations which Thanksgiving-day brings in its train.
By noon a row of pies, crisp and brown, stood on the dresser. A delightful odor
from the turkey roasting before the fire pervaded the room, and the pudding in
the oven was baking beautifully.
In the midst of these culinary
preparations Mr. Hastings knocked. He was ushered into the parlor, where Farmer
Hayden awaited his coming. In the next room, with the door ajar, sat John
Farmer Hayden greeted his visitor
with polite composure. The latter, however, seemed ill at ease, and became each
moment more embarrassed, perceiving that the farmer did not choose to allude
first to the business which brought him thither.
"I suppose, Mr. Hayden," he said,
at last, awkwardly enough, "you know my errand."
"You come to foreclose the
mortgage, and eject me from the farm."