Harper's Young People, January 27, 1880 An Illustrated Weekly

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Excerpt THE DANCE IN THE KITCHEN. Oh, that winter afternoon,Such a merry, merry tuneAs the jolly, fat tea-kettle chose its singing to begin!'Twas a lilting Scottish air,And it seemed, I do declare,As though bagpipe played by fairy was forever joining in.Then the bagpipe ceased to play,And another tune straightwaySang the kettle, louder, louder, till its voice grew very big;And the feet of laughing girls(Girls with shamrock in their curls)You could almost hear a-keeping time to that old Irish jig.Darling, smiling, cunning BessGrasped with tiny hands her dress,And a pretty courtesy making, while the kettle made a bow,"I'll your partner be," said she;"Forward, backward, one, two, three;"And pussy cried, "Bravo! my dears," in one immense me-ow.And they danced right merrilyTill 'twas nearly time for tea,The kettle tilting this way and then that way—oh, what fun!And its hat bobbed up and downOn its moist and steamy crown,With a clatter falling off at last, and then the dance was done. THE OLD MAN OF MONTROSE. There was an old man of MontroseWho had a remarkable nose,So long and so thin,And so far from his chin,'Twas always in danger of blows.One day the old man of MontroseWent out without muffling his nose;And it grieves me to tellThat this organ of smellAs stiff as an icicle froze.Soon after, in sneezing, "ker-choo,"His nose into smithereens flew,And left but a stump,A ridiculous lump,That even in summer looked blue.The frost-bitten man of MontroseUsed words that were equal to blows;And so great his disgrace,He soon quitted the place,And where he has gone no one knows. "THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE." In the small but strongly fortified town of Saar-Louis, on what was then the borders of France, in Rhenish Prussia, there was born, a little more than a hundred years ago, a child whose future intrepid career earned for him the title of "the bravest of the brave." His father's trade was nothing more warlike than that of a cooper; his home life and training were not different from those of many of his playmates; and yet before he was sixteen years old he had entered a regiment of hussars, or light cavalry, and before he was thirty had attained the high rank of general of division. But those were warlike days; the French Revolution had just begun; all Europe was echoing with the clash and tread of such armies as the world had never before seen; and living as he did in the shadow of fortifications constructed by France's greatest military engineer, Vauban, it is not so strange that the youth became filled with an intense desire to taste the glory and share the danger of a soldier's life. Michael Ney, Marshal of France, Duke of Elchingen, Prince of Moskwa—for by all these titles, commemorative of some one or other of his numerous victories, was he known—early rose in the confidence and estimation of the great Napoleon, and was by him intrusted with the most responsible commands in Switzerland, Prussia, Austria, and Spain; and it was not until he met Wellington at Torres Vedras, in the Peninsula, that he met his superior in the art of war; and even then, by a happy mixture of courage and skill, Ney was enabled to mitigate to a great extent the bitterness of defeat....
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