Hemingford herald. (Hemingford, Box Butte County, Neb.) 1895-190?, December 20, 1895, Image 6

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T was. .1 stormy ;
ClirlBtrnan Evo, and- !
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tho little town of
'Tromsoo was com
pletely enveloped
f. In Iho nrmlno man
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tic of mid-winter.
' Snow hod boon fall-
lnft nil day, and ob
tho night ap
proached Urge- flnkos wero still be
ing drlTcn hlthof nnd thither by tho
furious wind, which howled nnd ronrod
In the Chimneys, Hhook tho carefully
closed wlndowH, nrtd died away In tho
distance "like tho Inst despairing wall
of nMost soul,
In one of tho most miserable houses
of a wretched street, In Clio worst quar
ter of the town, n woman by tho dim
light of a fllckorlog cnndlo watched bo
slde the slck-bcd of her Inst remaining
child. Sho was weeping bitterly, but
Btrovo to stiflo hor sobs for four ot dis
turbing tho fitful clumbers of the sut
foror. As tho furious tempest shook
the dilapidated tenement, sho trombled
bb if $io already felt tho dread presence
of tho Angel of Death. No Christmas
fngot blnzcd on tho miserable hearth,
athc .happy voices of laughing children
-and kind friends line) for hor long been
!'8tlllcdnnd tho cold, sorrow, and pov
erty which reigned within scorned but
n,counterprtrt of. the desolation without.
Bplilnd. tho lowered curtains of tho bed
lf.c6uUt he heard from time to tlmo tho
short cough and labored breathing of
the child, who nt last, suddenly awak
. lug. raised horcolf on her elhow, and
looked across Uio room, where, na In n
vision., she ngaln behold tho Christmas
trees of her writer years, with their
accompaniments of tapers, bon-bons,
toys and golden stars, gloaming amid
tho darkness of that somber room. Sho
wus a young girl of twelve or fourteen
years of age, and tho nwoot, pale face,
although In tho Inst stage of cmucln
tlonK still retained traces of dollcato
youthful bounty.
With hor dying voico sho fltlll con
tinued to talk of tho rote-days of long
ago, whoa sho was a rosy, healthy little
child, and her brothers- and sisters,
Eric. John. Anton, Hilda and Uertha,
crowded around her with their pretty
Christmas offerings; wheu her father
danced her on his knoo, nnd hor mother
sang Bwcet lullabys by her cradle.
Those days scemod far awny. Eric nnd
her father had perished tu a shipwreck;
then, one by one. tho others had fol
lowed, till death had left behind only
tho grim sisters, olcknoss and misery,
as th.9F.al0 companions of tho widow and
her child.
Tho vivid roraombranco of past hap
piness had brought n strango light Into
Groin's eyes, and soon these childish
reminiscences gnvo placo to hopo. Sho
wpoke ot tho spring which would bring
back- tho birds and flowers, nnd In giv
ing life to all else would surely not en
tirely forget hereolf.
"You know, mother, tho doctor said
that, when tho roses camo, my suffer
ings would bo over. Will tho roses
soon be In bloom?"
"I have scon somo already," replied
the bothor; "tho governor's wlfo and
daughter had them In their hair when
I sow them get Into tho carriage but
thosp roses, I think, only grow in ,tho
fiot-homos or tho rich."
There was silence, broken only uy
Grot.rs short cough. All at once, carrlod
away by ono solitary fixed Idea, such
no so often haunts tho brain of tho sick,
she-began to talk again about tho rosoo,
to pine sorrowfully for tholr posses
sion, and by alternate bescoohlng, coax
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ing and commanding she at Inat In
duced her mother to go out in soarch of
somo for her.
Tho poor woman loft tho bcdsldo pos
sessed with tho ono deslro of puclfylng
her child, and traversed tho strcots with
weary steps, debating In hor mind what
excuse sho would make on hor return
for not having procured that which she
folt -wan entirely beyond hor reach.
With bowed head and sorrowful heart
sho kept repeating to herself tho words
of tho physician, so full ot hopo for
Greta: "At the coming ot tho first
roccs sho would surtor no moro;" nnd
well no oho guessed tho mournful moan
ing of tho prophecy, she could not help
being Inspired for nn Instant by that
spirit ot hopo which buoyed up her
child, Quickening her stops, sho toou
tho road as if by n sudden, Inspiration
townrd the governor's house, hesitated
ns sho reached tho brilliantly lighted
mansion, but at last, taking courage
knocked timidly at tho door, which was
immediately opened by a man-servant,
"What do you want, my good wo-
"To speak to Mnddme PntcrEon."
"I cannot disturb madamo at such an
hour of tho night."
"Oh 1 1 Imploro you. let mo see her!"
Tho servant repulsed tho poor
mother, and Was aboijt to shut tho door
In her face wjien Mndamo PnterBon nnd
her daughter, with roses In their hair
hnd on tholr bosoms, crossed the hnll,
paused to question tho servant, nnd
then approached tho widow, who briefly
and toai'firtly told her pnthetlc story.
"0, madamo! 0 mademolsello! I
Imploro you to give me ono rose, only
ono, for my dying child! God, who gave
His eon for tho redemption of the
world, will mward you."
Madamo Patorson shrugged her
shoulders with a mocking laugh, and
pneocd on. Her daughter, the brilliant
Edelo, remarked that hor father did not
buy roses for their weight in gold, to
throw them away upon strcot beggars.
The door closed, and tho woman
Utrnod toward her homo. On passing
tho Church of Salnto-Drltta, bIio per
ceived tho clergyman's wlfo laying
large bouquets of roses on tho nltar, full
blown blooms of rich red, as woll ns
branches of oxqulslto buds of blush,
orange and pink.
Tho lady formed a sweet picture n3
oho bent over nnd arranged tho floral
treasures cent her by a rich parishioner
of her husband's. Hor bluo eyes spar
kled with delight, and her voice was
soft and sllvory. Sho was tho mother of
six lovely children, nnd tho widow felt
thnt sho would suroly pity her In her
bitter gVlef. Full of theso hopeful
thoughts, sho entered tho church, ap
proached tho nltar, nr 1 preferred her
modest request for ono roso wherewith
to gladden tho eyes of her dying child.
Madamo NcIIb, although by no means
devoid of kindly feeling, was proud In
her own way, and had determined thnt
Salnto-Drltta should bo tho best deco
rated church In tho town. In what sho
mistook for pious enthuslnsm, she for
got that tho only true tcmplo of God Is
tho human licart that a charitable
action Is more precious In his sight than
tho cost: lest oarthy offerings which can
bo laid on his raaterlnl altar. In tho
ardor ot her outward devotion, sho for
got that Christ had himself doclared,"In
asmuch as yo have done It unto ono of
tho least of theso ray brethron, yo have
donq It unto me," and In her mistaken
zeal she avowed that It would bo little
less than eacrllogo to rob tho altar of
God ot evon one fair blossom. Upon bo
.'1111 11 i
I H I I HJ . " .1 llll II .
(great nnd Joyful a festival iw, L'fhf -mas,
It showed, oho added, a lamontnblo
lack of rollglous feeling to prefor euoh
a request, Sho pointed' out that pov
oi'ty, sickness nnd doath woro -sent by
God himself, and that tho true Chris
tian should submit to thorn, not merely
without a murmur, but Joyfully, klsnlng
the rod In romombranco of tho gracious
declaration, "As many ns I lovo I ro
buko nnd chasten." Sho offorod to
call on tho following day for the pur
poso of exporting Grota to submit to
tho will of God with ontlro resignation.
Tho mother had now lost all hope,
nnd was reluming to hor homo In n
still moro doaponding frame of mind
than that in which alio had "quitted it
Sho walked on ns in a dream, scarcely
noticing the fast falling snow, while
longing with on lntonslty.bordcrlng on
agony that sho might liavo been nblo
to procuro oven a fow common flowers
for her Greta. But none were to bo
found. Even tho snowdrops hid them
selves In tho bosom of tho earth, and no
primrose nor violet would bo seen for
months. Thus sorrowfully musing,
she continued her walk, and In a fow
minutes would have reached her mis
erable homo, when 'by tho light of hor
lantern sho saw a few green leaves
peeping from tho foot ot a hedgo which
enclosed a garden In tho neighborhood.
Stooping down, sho scraped away tho
snow with her hand. Yes, thoro were
leayes, largo and lUBtr'olts, under which
sho fpund a tow green blossoms, some
full blown, others In bud, but all. pale,
small and without color, porfumo or
"Ah,!" though she, "ns thoro wore no
roses to bo procured, these Uttlo llowora
have been sent thai my child may bo
Spared tho path of knbwlng that there
are hearts so cold and hard thnt no
woes of othorfl can soften them, and
who care for no sorrows exCopt their
As sho hastened onward, tho deep
toneil bell struck tho bout1 of midnight
nnd tlio Joyous Christmas chimes broko
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on her oar. Kneeling reverently on tho
snowy ground, tho mother's heart wont
up In gratitude, and she prayed tho All
Mcrclful Ono to look with pitying eyes
on her sweet and chorlshed Greta,
pressing the humblo flowers to her
bosom. In nnothor moment, she had
rlson and passed onward 'with her
As sho drew back tho curtain to offer
tho dark loaves and Httlo greon blos
soms to her darling, she made a dlscov
ory which startled her. Thoy had
glvon placo to large, oxqulslto white
blooms tinged with a dollcato pink.
"Hoses! roses!" cried Greta, "0,
mother, who gavo them to you?"
"It was a Christmas presont," ropllod
tho astonished mothor.
At tho sight of theso lovo'.y Christmas
roses, the dying girl bowed hor head,
and softly kissed each precious blos
som. Then she fell back on hor pillow
with a sigh. "Tho light that was never
on land or sea" cam into tho beauti
ful bluo oyes, and h'.'r lips half-oponed
with a radiant smile. Tho prophecy of
the doctor wus fulfilled. The roses had
appeared, nnd her sufferings were
ended. , Hor pure young spirit had
passed upward In ono ecstatic burst ot
lovo and thanksgiving.
Slnee that- tlmo (long ago) tho plant
which growg under tho hodgos, beuoath
the anows of winter, has continued to
produce beautiful white blossoms and
retalnad the name of "The Christmas
Row," whloh was glvon to It by the
good womon ot Tromsoe.
Tliu rata ot u GUr.
On Christmas morning I gavo her,
With a reckless Impulse, my heart
Tho sift had a loving eavor,
And sho took It In kindly part.
But It was a present and, therefore,
I'm afraid it lle3 on the shelf;
It was Bomothing she didn't caro tor.
And something I wanted myself.
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Chrlttlnn Count rlc.
Among tho votaries of flic early
Druids thoro was a superstition that
tho Iiousob should bo decorated with
evergreens In December. In order that!
tho Sylvan spirits might cater thorn
and thus bo kept freo from tho blast
of tho cold North wind nnd tho frost,
until a milder season renew tho fqllago
of tholr usual haunts. Tho Chrlstmoa
troo Is really from Egypt, where tho
palm tree puts forth a branch every
month, nnd whore a spray of thla treo
with twelve shoots on It, was used in
Egypt at the time of tho Winter sol
stlqo, as a symbol of the year com
pleted. Who doe3 not kViow tho poem be
ginning Tho mistletoe hung In tho caetle hall,
Tho holly branch shono on the old oak
wall. ;
Years ago over every man's door In
England hung a sprig of mistletoe at
thlB season. Thcro still hovers a mys
tic charm about the mistletoe, and
many a girl now, with a thrill ot 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
mistlotoo a berry must bo picked off
with cnc'A'klss, and when tho berries
havo all been plucked the privilege
Among tho ancient Britons the
mlstletoo that grows on tho oak treo
was tho 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
"Brncobrldgo Hall," whore he has tho
learned parson robuko tho unlearned
clerk for Uils very thing.
In Germany and Scandinavia the
holly or holy tree is called Christ's
thorn, because it puts forth Us berries
nt Christmas time, and therefore is es
pecially fitted, for church decorations.
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With Its glossy, dark leaves and bright,
red berries. It is an attractlvo decora
tion for the houso.
Tho Jews used to decorate nt their
Feast ot Tabernacles with evergreens
and flowers.
Tho laurel was used at tho earliest
times ot the Romans na a decoration for
all Joyful occasions, and Is significant
of peace and victory.
In somo places it Is customary to
throw branches of laurel on the Christ
mas firo and watch for onions while tho
loaves curl and crackle In tho heat and
Tho evergreen treo Is a symbol used
as the Revival of Nature, which as
tronomically signifies the return of the
Sun. Hung with lights and offerings,
tho troo has for centuries been ono ot
the principal characteristics of Chrlst
mastide. Tho Tramp's ClirUtmns.
"Silas," said Mrs. Uloguo, wiping her
toar-dimmed eye with tho corner of her
gingham apron, "thla is tho anniversary
of the day our Bon William disappeared
from homo after you reprimanded him
for staying out lato o" nights playing
pool or something."
"Yos," assented hor huBband, sharp
ening tho carver preparatory to dls-
octlng a nicely browned turkey. "It la
oxactly ten years since ho went away,
and without Just cause, too."
"But don't you think you wero a
Httlo hard on him. Silas? It was only
3 o'clock In the morning when ho came
homo, and boys will bo boys."
"Ho made a mlBtake in goln' away,"
replied Silas, cupping on a wing: "an'
I gness no one knows that better than
William by this time."
"Maybe so, but I had a strange dream
about our absent boy last night, and
something tells mo that ho la coming
home, like tho pro Jgal son. and I have
put an extra plate on tho table, at the
placo where he Jways sa . But
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Aunt So Xmas Day is your blrthdayr Harold. What are you going to havo ?i
Harold Well, mamma said I can have either a party Or a Xmaa-treeCi
Aunt And which did you choose?
Harold Oh, a party, of course because I can't hang girls oa a tree;
harkL Somo ono has entered the gate.
It Js-ft Is our on WI Hamt A mother's
Instinct Is nover Wrong. Yes I recog
nize, Ills footBteps. Oh, yo shall havo a
real merry Christmas bnco more!"
And Mrs. tllogne, trembling llko an
nspen, sprang from her seat and quickly
opened tho door. A rough-bearded
seedy-looking man stood on the thresh
old. "Oh, William, my Bon' cried Mrs.
Ulogue, throwing her arms around tho
stranger and almost dragging him Into
tho house, "you have come home at last.
I knew you would. Tills is indeed a
merry Christmas."
" 'Scuse mo, ma'am," returned tho
stranger, struggling to free himself
from tho affectionate embrace of the
woman. "Mo name's not William, an'
I nin't nobody's son. My parents passed
In their checks afore I had time to ge1
on speakln' terms with 'em, an' I'm a
wandcrin horphan.
"Mo name's Henry Tennyson Naggs,
but me pards call mo 'Skinny tho
Tramp for short. But I sees how
you'vo got a" vacant cheer at the festlvo
board, an' I don't mind bein' your son
pro tcm, n3 the Latin sharps sez, spe
cially as I left home without dlnln'."
"Here, Tlge!" called Silas, opening a
dpor leading Into tho kitchen; and as a
dog as large as a now-born calf sprang
Into the room, Skinny tho Tramp made
a hasty exit As ho passed through tho
yard ho absent-mindedly picked up a
new hatchet, which ho Bold at the next
vlllngo for tho prlco of five beers.
So tho tramp had a merry Christmas
af tor all.
Tubbr's Chrlatmnn.
It was early Christmas morning, and
the streots wero empty. A boy with a
big turkoy knocked at the kitchen door
of n Inrg'J. pleasant house, and while
he was talking with tho cook, cold,
homeless Uttlo Tabby Tiptoes slipped In
between his heels so softly that nobody
saw her. "Good!" sho thought. "Now
I can get warm!"
Sho pattod lightly up-Btalrs on her lit
tle velvet paws, and found herself in a
snug and cozy room. A bright fire
snapped In the grate, and besld.o It hung
a small stocking, crammed full from
top to toe.
Tabby was so pleased with her warm
quarters that sho turned a somersault
on tho soft rug. Then she played that
tho too of the stocking was n mouse.
She caught It with her sharp claws, and
gavo It a little pull.
But the stocking was overloaded al
ready, and down It camo on tho hearth.
Tho checkers and dominoes and sugar
plums rolled to cvery-sido.
Poor Tabby Just had time to hide In
tho empty stocking before Neddy
rushed Into tho room.
"Why, mamma!" he called. "Santa
Glaus must havo dropped my stocking!"
Then ho put his hand Into it. "A llvo
kitten!" ho shoutod again. "Oh, how
did Santa ClauB know! That was Just
what I wanted!"
And indeed, of all nls protty presents,
Neddy liked little pussy best.
A Hint.
I wish you a merry Christmas!
Let's try while wo'ro repeating
The dear old-fashioned greeting,
To -add a kind, unselfish act.
And mako the wish a blessed fact.
The StniM.
Upon the night's black stem, behold
A million shining buds unfold
And light hor garden's azure lawn
Where walks tho moon from dusk to
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The Clirljlmn Tree.
Only a. star! a shining start
More glorious than our planets are.
But, watched by wistful eyes and bright
And longing- henrts, that vondrouil
Only a manger, shadow-thronged,
That to somo public Inn belonged,
Where sweet breathed cattle quietly
For midnight slumber bent tho knee.
Only tho light of tapers small,
That on two tender faces fall,
Two tender faces one divine
That still through all tho centuries
From palaco walls, from, thrones ot
From churchosr shrlnc3f cathedrals old.
Where the grand masters of tholr art
Wrought faithfully with. hand, and
Only a babe! In whoso small hand
Is seen no Bceptrowf command,
But at whose name, with Freedom's
sword, i
Move tho great armies of the Lord.
Only a cross! but oh, what light
Shines from God's throne on Calvary's
His birth, His, life, the angols see,
Written on every Christmas tree.
M. A. DcnlEon.
; Tho Vuio r.os.
A custom at ono time prevalent-
England, and still observed In some J
tho northern districts of tho old cour
try, la that of placing an immense loij
of wood sometimes the root of a great
tree In tho wide chlmncy-placo. This
log Is often called the yule log, and It
was on Christmas Evo that It was put
on tho wido hearth. Around It would
gather tho entire family, and its en
trance wan tho occasion of a great deal
of ceremony. There was music and re
joicing, whtlo tho ono authorized to
light It was obliged to have clean
It was always lighted "wlthabran"d
left over from tho log of the previous
year, which had been carefully pre
served for tho purpose. A poet sings of
it in this way:
With tho last yeere's brand
Light the now block, and
For good success In his spendlhg,
On your psaltrlea play,
That Bwcot luck may
Come while tho log 13 a teendlng;
Tho Yulo log was supposed to be a
protection againBt evil spirits, and It
was conslderod a bad omen If tho fire
went out before tho evening was over.
The family nnd guests used to seat
themselves in front of the brightly
burning Arc, and many a story and mer
ry Jest went round tho happy group.
A.X" j
Blerry Chrlstma.. j j.
Christmas ought to be tho merries?. r.
uuy 01 mu yuhi, riuiu iuo uusy iuuu 10J?J
tho little child, let tho cheerful greet-'-lug,
"Merry Christmas," ring out gladly
to all. Christmas is tho time when,
after weeks of expectancy, Santa Claus
appears to the dear children. Tho time
has come for the hanging up of stock
ings, and many bright eyes will look
on Chrfstmao morn up the chimney for
a glimpse ot Santa Claus "and his eight
tiny reindeer." The days will como
when belief in tho beautiful myth of
Santa Claus will disappear, but let It
last eorlong as It can and gladden the
hearts of happy childhood.
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