The Lincoln independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1895-1896, December 20, 1895, Image 6

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T was a stormy
Christmas Eve, and
tho llttlo town of
1 Tromsoe was com-
pktfly enveloped
', In tlie ermine man
U tlo of mld-wlntnr.
V v.v' 4 Snow had boon rall-
jp' iniT nil 'lay, and ns
tho night ep
proachnd, larpto flahes were etill be
ing driven hithrr and thither by the
furious wind, which howled and roared
in tho chimneys, shook the carefully
closed windows, and died away In tho
dlstanco Uko tho last despairing wail
of a lost soul. ,
In one of the most miserable houses
of a wretched street, In tho worst quar
ter of the town, a woman by the dim
light of a flickering candle watched be
side the sick-bed of her last remaining
child. Sho was weeping bitterly, but
strove to stifle her sobs for fear of dis
turbing tho fitful slumbers of the suf
ferer. As the furious tempest shook
the dilapidated tenement, she trembled
si If she already felt the dread presence
of the Angel of Death. No Christmas
fagot blazed on the miserable hearth,
the hoppy voices of laughing children
and kind friends had for her long been
stilled, and the cold, srrrow, and pov
erty which reigned within seemed but
a counterpart of the desolation without
Behind tho lowered curtains of the bed
cou'd bo heard from time to time the
short cough and labored breathing of
the child, who at last, suddenly awak
ing, raised herself on her elbow, and
looked across the room, where, as In a
vision, she again behcM tho Christmas
trees c" her earlier years, with their
accompaniments of tapers, bon-bons,
toys and golden stars, gleaming amid
the darhness of that somber room. She
was a young girl of twelve or fourteen
years of age, and the sweet, palo face,
although In the Inst stage of emacia
tion, still retained traces of delicate
youthful beauty.
With her dying volco she still con
tinued to talk of the fete-days of long
ago, when she was a rosy, healthy little
child, and her brothers and sisters,
Eric, John, Anton, Hilda and Bertha,
crowded around her with their pretty
Christmas offerings; when her father
danced her on his knee, and her mother
sang sweet lullabys by her cradle.
Those days seemed far away. Eric and
her father had perished In a shipwreck;
then, one by ono, tho others had fol
lowed, till death had left behind only
the grim sisters, sickness and misery,
as the sole companions of the widow and
her child.
The vivid remembrance of past hap
piness had brought a strange light Into
Greta's eyes, and soon these childish
remlulscences gave place to hope. ' Sho
spoke of tho spring which would bring
back the birds and flowers, and In giv
ing life to all else would surely not en
tirely forget herself.
"You know, mother, the doctor said
that, when the roses camo, my suffer
ings would be over. Will the roses
soon be In bloom?"
"I have seep somo already," replied
the mother; "the governor's wlfo and
daughter had them In their hair when
I saw them get Into the carriage, but
those roses, I think, only grow In the
ht-houses of the rich."
There was sllcuco, broken only by
Greta's short cough. AH at once, curried
away by ono solitary fixed Idea, such
as so often haunts the bruin of tho tick,
she began to talk again about the roses,
t pine sorrowfully f r their potsnei-
slon. and by alternate beseeching, coax
rw- 7- J
to 7,7 J
W 4 - X
Ins and commanding she at last In
duced her mother to go out in search of
some for her.
The poor woman left tho bedside pos
sesHOd with tho one desire of pacifying
her child, and traversed the streets with
weary steps, debating In her mind what
excuso she would make on her return
for not having procured that which sho
felt was entirely beyond her reach.
With bowed head and sorrowful heart
she kept repeating to herself tho word3
of the physician, bo full of hope for
Greta: "At tho coining of tho first
roues she would suffer no more;" and
well as she guessed the mournful mean
ing of tho prophecy, taho could not help
being Inspired for an instant by that
spirit of hopo which buoyed up her
child. Qiilclu-aing her steps, sho took
the road as if by a sudden inspiration
toward tho governor's house, hesitated
as sho reached tho brilliantly lighted
mansion, but at last, taking courage,
knocked timidly ct the door, which was
inunediatoly opened by a man-servant.
"What do you want, my good wo
mr.n':" "To speak to Madame Paterson."
"I cannot disturb rnadamo at such an
hour of the night."
"Oh! I implore you, let mc see her!"
Tho servant repulsed the poor
mother, and was about to shut tho door
In her faco when Madame Paterson and
her daughter, with ro;ies "... their hair
and on their bosoms, urosscu tho hall,
paused to question the servant, and
then approached the widow, who briefly
and tearfully told her pathetic story.
"0, madamc! 0, mademoiselle! I
Imnlore you to give wo cne rose, only
one. for my dying child! God, who gave
His .ion for the redemption of the
world, will reward you."
Madame Paterson shrugged her
shoulders with a mocking laugh, and
parsed on. Her daughter, the brilliant
Edcle, remarked that her father did not
buy roses for their weight In gold, to
throw them away upon street beggars.
Thcvdoor cloned, and the woman
turnef toward her homo. On passing
the Church of Salnte-Drltta, she per
ceived tho clergyman's wife laying
largo bouqtiet3 c" roses on the altar, full
blown blooms of rich red, as well as
branches of exquisite buds of blush,
orange and pink,
Tho lady formed' a sweet picture as
sho bent over and arranged tho floral
treasures sent her by a rich parishioner
of her husband's. Her blue eye? spar
kled with delight, and her voice was
soft and silvery. Sho was tho mother of
six lovely children, and the widow felt
that sho would surely pity her In her
bitter grief. Full of these hopeful
thoughts, she entered the church, ap
proached tho altar, nr l preferred her
modest request for ono rose wherewith
to gladden the eyes of her dying child.
Madamo Nells, although by no means
devoid of kindly feeling, was proud In
her own way, and had determined that
Salnte-Iirltta should bo tho best deco
rated church In the town, la what she
mistook for pious enthusiasm, she for
got that tho only true templo of God Is
tho human heart- that a charitable
action Is more precious In his sight than
the costili'st earthy offerings which can
ln laid on bis material altar. In the
ardor of her outward devotion, she for
got that Christ had himself de lared."ln
BRmnch ns ye havo dime it unio ore of
tho least of these my brethren, ye h?ve
done It unto," and In her mistaken
zeul she, avowed that It would !n lit Je
los than sacrilege to rob the alinr of
Go! of even one fair bliMxotn. I'pon nr
m a
great and Joyful a festival as Christ
mas, it showed, she added, a lamentable.
lack of religious feeling to prefer 6uch
a request. She pointed out that pov
erty, sickness and death were sent by
God himself, and that the true Chris
tian should submit to them, not merely
without a murmur, but joyfully, kissing
tho rod In remembrance of the gracious
declaration, "As many as I love I re
buke and chasten." She offered to
call on the following day for the pur
poeo of exhorting Creta to submit to
tho will of God with entire resignation.
Tho mother had now lost all hope,
and was returning to her borne in a
still more desponding frame of mind
than that in which she had quitted It.
She walked on as in a dream, scarcely
noticing the far.t falling snow, while
longing with an intensity bordering on
agony that she might have been able
to procure even a few common flowers
for her Greta. But none wore to be
found. Even the snowdrops hid them
selves In the bosom of the earth, and no
primrose nor violet would bo seen for
months. Thus sorrowfully musing,
sho continued her walk, and In a few
minutes would have reached her mis
erable home, when by the light of her
lantern she saw a few green leaves
peeping from tho foot of a hedge which
enclosed a garden In tho neighborhood.
Stooping down, she scraped away tho
snow with her hand. Yes, thero were
leaves, largo and lustroun, tinder which
she found a few green blossoms, somo
full blown, others in bud, but all pale,
1 small and without color, perfume or
"Ah!" though she, "as there were no
roses to be procured, theso little llowers
have been sent that ray child may be
spared the pain of knowing that thero
are hearts so cold and hard that no
woes of others can soften" thern, and
who care for no sorrows except their
As sho hastened onward, the deep
toned bell struck tho hour of midnight
and the Joyous Christmas chlme3 broke
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iim iftaemoajtrind -mis tm7,
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Era vvncnaji inc. ?yNor-icAVtn - '1
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Th AT 4E.0UR DEADUipfe
l forfeit smouldrfi ftvsp'
on her ear. Kneeling reverently on tne
snowy ground, tho mother's heart went
up In gratitude, and she prayed tho All-
Merciful One to look with inlying eyes
on her sweet and cherished Greta,
pressing the humble flowers to her
bosom, "in another moment, she naa
risen nnd passed onward with her
As she drew back the curtain to offer
the dark leaves and lilt! green blos
soms to her darling, she nude a discov
ery which Stan led her. They had
given place to 1 rge, exquisite white
blooms tinged with u delicate pink.
"Roses! nines'." cried Greta, "0,
mother, who gave them to you?"
It was a ClirUimas prcti-nt," replied
the nKtonifhcd mother.
At tho sight of tliexe lovely Christmas
roiiv. Mie Uyitig r;n bowea ier,
mid softly Mwd each precious blos
som. J lien mio n u mien on uer piuow
with a Klch. "The light that was never
on land or sen" camo Into the beauti
ful Imifl ee, nt:d her I'pa half-opened
with a radiant rrnlle. The prophecy of
the du tor n fulfilled. Tho ro had
a;icind. and lur sunYrltiM ero
rndd. Hit pcre jimiiu upltit had
liwii iiptt.tfd In one ecst.itlj Lurt of
'me M I'tsnknglvlnn.
tilnt-0 that Unio (!ns SR") the fHnt
sh!c' ithim un It the Ite.lKi-i, iicnnta
the Kiiuy ef wlnttr, ha roiUiimed to
prol'c l)t iti.'iil hit b!itif!ii4 and
r- .t - I thf win of "The c; rixttu u
Ui imV wiil.h (ivn ta It ly
Wa liar Copied the Custom of Non
Chrlttlan Countrle.
Among the votaries of the early
Druids there was a superstition that
the houses should be decoratad with
evergreens In December, in order that
the Sylvan spirits might eater them
and thus bo kept free from the blast
of the cold North wind and tho frost,
until a milder season renew tho foliage
of their usual haunts. Tho Christmas
tree Is really from Egypt, where tho
palm tree puts forth a branch every
Month, and where a spray of this tree
with twelve shoots on it, was tided in
Egypt at ho time of the Winter sol
stice, as a symbol of the year com
pleted. ".Yho doss not know tho poem be
The mistletoe hung In tho ea:;tlo hall,
The holly branch shone on tha old oak
Years ago over every man's door In
England hung a sprig of miatlctoo at
this season. There still hovers a mys
tic charm about the mistletoe, and
many a girl now, with a thrill of ex
pectancy, places a branch of It under
tho chandelier or over the door. Ac
cording to a former belief, when a
girl Is caught and kissed under a
mistletoe a berry must bo picked oil
with cac'A kiss, and when the berries
havo all been plucked the privilege
Among the ancient Britons the
mistletoe that grows on the oak tree
was the kind held in favor. Because of
its heathen origin it is not used often
In church decorations, a fact which is
referred to by Washington Irving in his
"Bracebrldge Hall," where ho has tho
learned parson rebuke tho unlearned
clerk for this very thing.
In Germany and Scandinavia tho
holly or holy tree is called Christ's
thorn, because it puts forth Its berries
at Christmas tlrne, and therefore Is es
pecially fitted for church decorations.
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With Its glosy. dark leaves and bright.
red berries, It Is an attractive decora'
tion for the house.
The Jews used to decorate at their
Feast of Tabernacles with evergreens
and flowers
The laurel was used at the earliest
times of the Romans as a decoration for
all Joyful occasions, and Is significant
of peace and victory.
In some places It U customary to
throw branches of latin 1 on the Christ
mas fue attd wntch fur omens while the
leaves curl and crackle In the heat und
The evergreen tree Is a symbol tiej
as tlir lif vat 01 mature, wnini
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tranomlcnlly Flfrnliirs the return of th
Run. Hung with liKhta and offerings
the tiv has for utiiiie been one of
the principal characteristics of Christ
tli Triii llirlatniH.
"ll.ia," .nld Mr. I A-gue, wiping her
tinr-dSnimrd e
i t... l in i!i morn h
I.eltin. n 1 loj h'! "
"IM n. ide a m'iuke In 'l"' '
repllej f i'.-n I Hi' ' if al a !
I. il lit" ii'-i tn n-i
I. t. ... 4 I. AM 1
RiHRham apron. "tbU h t'l-aunls. rnry i.Kt? ! VAl VA" 'M' It CM! . " -.Vj-
of tho day r W William .Stp-aml fcfM'V VI ' W t 1 V;.r ' .: - .
from ...Mr.Bft.r iei"im,udd him ;V ,! ' ti l -is'M ' V. .'V - '
Ve.." ei-cufd h.r hu.MJ. Khar,,- - ) V "i J 7 u f V'. " . ... f
enlet; t!. .arur l-f P -tory to T71 t '-- AvT Vv'-. ' V."'"''
e,-.t..4 aluly l.rnv. tt.rk.y. "It M J.Zyu-h -A A.,-
tx.y in 4M lie lie -nt ' J?-,: 1 ..;'' V.'l ',! V" '''. 'S' "V ''
ami a itl-ut J .-..u...'. i " i;i ' ' 5 it 7 V .' I W v:" ' f '
Hut don't )... thlnU )-i -r 1 V' U .V.V.V . ' j '' At '.! . i A
Utile Imrl on hi. u. ,'H' K-.ii.nly, . ,'f, ' . J liKit
I I1!
Vy 4 Ji?
s -w.i - "mwv. J ft i J , - Si 1 h
Aunt So Xmas Day is your birthday, Harold. What ore you going to havet
Harold Well, mamma raid I can have either a party or a Xmas-tree.
Aunt And which did you choose?
Harold Oh, a pr.rty, of course because I can't hang girls on a tree.
rk! Some one has entered the gate.
It lsit is our son Wl li.:m! A molher's
instinct is never wrong. Yes I recog
nize hia footsteps. Oh, we shall have a
real merry Christmas ence more!"
And Mrs. Ulogue, treinLling like an
spen, sprang from her scat and quickly
opened the door. A rough-bearded
seedy-looking man stood on the thresh
"Oh, William, my son," cried Mrs.
Ulogue, throwing her arms around the
stranger and almost dragging him into
tho house, "you have come home at last.
I knew you would. This is indeed a
merry Christmas."
1 'Scuse me, ma'am," returned tho.
stranger, struggling to free himself
from the affectionate embrace of the
woman. "Me name's not William, an'
I ain't nobody's eon. My parents passed
la their checks afore I had time to got
on speakin' terms with 'em, an' I'm a
wanderin' horphan.
"Mo name's Henry Tennyson Naggs,
but me pards call me 'Skinny the
Tramp for short. But I sees how
you've got a vacant cheer at the festive
board, an' I don't mind bcin' your son
pro tern, as the Latin t;harps srz, spe
cially as I left home without dhiin'."
"Here, Tigft!" called Silas, opening a
door leading Into the kitchen; and as a
doi? as largo as a now-born calf sprang
Into the room, Skinny the Vramp made
a hu"ty exit. As he passed through the
yard he absent-mindedly picked up a
new hatchet, which he soiJ at the next
villac.e for the price of five beers.
So the tramp had a merry Christmas
after all.
TnbhT'n Chrlatmn.
It was car.'y Christmas morning, and
the streets were empty. A boy with a
big turkey knocked at the kitchen door
of a large, pleasant house, end while j
ho was talking with the cook, cold,
homeless little Tabby Tiptoes slipped In
between his heels so softly that nobody
saw her. "Good!" she thought. "Now
I can get warm!"
She patted lightly up-stairs on her lit
tle velvet paws, and found herself in a
snug and eor.y room. A bright fire
snapped In tho grate, and beside it hung
a small stocking, ciamnicd full from
top to toe.
Tabby was so pleased with her warm
quarters that she turned a somersault
on tho soft rug. Then she played that
the toe of the stocking was a mouse.
Sho caught it with her sharp claws, and
gavo It a little pull.
But tho stocking was overloaded al
ready, and down it came on tho hearth.
Tho checkers and dominoes and sugar
plums rolled to every-slde.
Poor Tabby had time to hide In
the empty shocking before Neddy
rushed Into the room.
"Why, mamma!" he celled, "Santa
Claus must h.tve dropped my stacking!"
Then he put his hand into it. "A live
kitten!" he shouted again. "Oh, how
did Santa Clans know! That wa3 Just
what I wanted!"
And Indeed, of all his pretty presents,
Neddy liked little pussy best.
A Hint.
I ftlsh you a merry Christmas!
Let's try wl lie we're repeating
The dear ol I-fa-hlor ,ed gr cilng.
To add a kind. uns.l.l!.h at.
And make the wish a bbwod fact.
Hid M ir.
Upon the nisht's black Mem, ueholj
A million .-.bluing buds unfold
And llr,ht her gard-n's tuure lawn
W'hcrn walks the nioun frtia dark to
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Tint Chrlitmm Tree.
Only a star! a shining star!
More glorious than our plane's are,
But watched by wistful eyes and bright.
And longing hearts, that wondrous
Only a manger, shadow-throi.ged.
That to some public inn belonged,
Where sweet breathed cattle quietly
For midnight slumber bent the knea
Only the light of tapers small,
That on two tender faces fall,
Two tender faces one divine-
That Etill through all the centuries
From palace walls, from thrones ct
From churches, shrines, cathedrals old,
Where the grand masters of their art
Wrought faithfully with hand ana
Only a babe! In whose email hand
Is seen no sceptre of command,
But at whose name, with Freedom's
Move the great arrnic3 of the Lord.
Only a cross! but oh, what light
Ehiiicn from God's throne on Calvary's
His birth, His, life, tho angels see,
Written on every Christmas tree.
M. A. Dentean.
; The Yol
A custom at one time prevalent la
England, and still observed In some ot
the northern districts of the old coun
try, is that of placing an lmmen&e loj
of wood sometimes the root of a great
tree in the wide chimney-place. Th!u
log Is often called the yule log, and it,
was on Christmas Eve that It was put;
on the wide hearth. Around it would
gather the entire family, and its en
trance was the occasion of a great deal
of ceremony. There was music and re
joicing, while the one authorized te
light it was obliged to have cleaa
It was always lighten a brand"
left over from the log of the previous (
year, which bad been carefully pre-"
nmiiirt1 tft ih A rillfUflCrt A TtfUit tit 11 fI nfl
it In this way:
With tho last yeore's br?.nd
JIglll. U10 UUW UlUCil, B1KI
For good success in hU spending.
On your paaltrlcs play,
That sweet luck may
Come while the leg 13 a teendiog.
The Yule log was supposed to, be a
protection against evil spirits, and it
was considered a bad omen If the fira
went out before the evening was over.'
The family and guests used to seat
themselves in front of the brightly
burning fire, and many a story and mer
ry jest went round the happy group.
Merry ( lirUtma.
Christmas ought to be the merriest
day of the year. Fnm the busy maa ta
tho little child, let the cheerful greets'
ing, "Merry Christmas," ring out gladly
to all. Chrl.itinas is the time when,
after weeka of expectancy, Santa Clans
. 1 1 . VII 1 .. F. 1 . t .
.';I)'.uh ii) iu ue. ii l aiu.i ..ii. hid u.nn
has como for tho hanging iid of stool
Ing. and mnny bright eyes will Ioj ?!
on Christinas mom tin the chimney
a glimpse of Santa CIau;i "and his ef I
liny reindeer." The days will coV,
nben belief in the beautiful myth
I'.infl Mint titll lull Inl
last k,o lm.g n-i It ran nnd gladilin t!.3V
hearts of happy childhood.
!Si.n4 jmt vf Titi:r.o.
ii, ri "i iiin.
On Chrln n tiimlt(t I joo hT,
with ft VI- iiip tl", in b' lrt.
Tb t'H b ' b'l''4 ''',
Ai d r I I! ! Vlfi.lly -. t.
t t "!.( nl, t',-rf .rt,
III '.,. a; ! H IU h i' l' t'n !f ,
I; in 1 1 i li i! A i l i . n f r,
Ali ( i',.'. 4 f. .:!Ki t !f.
tlli.sin If thl tti.iV
'H i) Ue . bul I ha t. "i
our l cr.t 'y l.t W
:-s? y-tJ.
.la. (hlo " fh st tit 1 1 iniii!s
t,, Ii' t r ft i.U -.4 '-d I tn!
p il riia plat oc I') '?",
j I . . ie lie 1M M -
- i , .-flu iu. -. i.' t , 'Tw