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PARTIALITY OF SANTA CLAUS.-FROM KARL KRINKEN.
1. WHEREVER Santa Claus lives, and in whatever spot of the Universe he harnesses his reindeer and loads
his sleigh, one thing is certain—he never yet put anything in that sleigh for little Carl Krinken. Indeed it may be noted as a fact that the Christmas of poor children has but little of his
2. Now and then a cast-off frock or an extra mince-pie slips into the load as it were accidentally; but in general Santa Claus strikes at higher game,--gilt books, and sugarplums, and fur tippets, and new hoods, and crying babies, and rocking horses, and guns and drums and trumpets ;-and what have poor
children to do with these? 3. Not but they might have something to do with themit is a singular fact that poor children cut their teeth quite as early as the rich,—even that sweet tooth, which is destined to be an unsatisfied tooth all the days of its life, unless its owner should perchance grow up to be a sugar
refiner. 4. It is also remarkable, that though poor children can bear a great deal of cold, they can also enjoy being warm-whether by means of a new dress or a load of firing; and the glow of a bright blaze looks just as comfortable upon little cheeks that are generally blue, as when little cheeks that are generally red; while not even dirt will hinder the kindly heat of a bed of coals from rejoicing little shivering fingers that are held over it. 5. I say all this is strange—for nobody knows much about
and how can they? When a little girl once went down Broadway with her muff and her doll, the hand outside the muff told the hand within that he had no idea what a cold day it was. And the hand inside said that for his part he
to be warmer. 6. But with all this Santa Claus never troubled his head he was too full of business, and wrapped up in buffalo skins besides; and though he sometimes thought of little Carl, as a goodnatured little fellow who talked as much about him as if
Santa Claus had given him half the world—yet it ended with a thought, for his hands were indeed well occupied.
7. It was no trifle to fill half a million of rich little stockings, and then-how many poor children had any to fill? or if one chanced to be found it might have holes in it; and if the sugarplums came rolling down upon such a floor!
To be sure the children wouldn't mind that, but Santa Claus would.
8. Nevertheless, little Carl always hung up his stocking, and generally had it filled—though not from any sleigh load of wonderful things ; and he often amused himself Christmas eve with dreaming that he had made himself sick eating candy, and that they had a stack of mince pies as high as the house. So altogether, what with dreams and realities, Carl enjoyed that time of year very much, and thought it was a great pity Christmas did not come every day.
9. He was always contented too with what he found in his stocking; while some of his rich neighbors had theirs filled only to their heart's discontent, and fretted because they had what they did, or because they hadn't what they didn't have. It was a woful thing if a top was painted the wrong color, or if the mane of a rocking-horse was too short, or if his bridle was black leather instead of red.
10. But when Carl found in his stocking a little board nailed upon four spools for wheels, and with no better tongue than a long piece of twine : his little tongue ran as fast as the spools, and he had brought his mother a very small load of chips in less than five minutes. And a small cake of maple sugar which somehow once found its way to the depending toe, was a treasure quite too great to be weighed; though it measured only an inch and a half across, and though the maple trees had grown about a foot since it was made.
OLD MORTALITY.-WALTER SCOTT.
1. “ONE summer evening, as, in a stroll such as I have described, I approached this deserted mansion of the dead, I was somewhat surprised to hear sounds distinct from those which usually soothe its solitude, the gentle chiding, namely, of the brook, and the sighing of the wind in the boughs of three gigantic ash trees, which mark the cemetery. The clink of a hammer was, upon this occasion, distinctly heard ; and I entertained some alarm that a march-dike, long meditated by the two proprietors whose estates were divided by my favorite brook, was about to be drawn up the glen, in order to substitute its rectilinear deformity for the graceful winding of the natural boundary. As I approached I was agreeably undeceived. An old man was seated upon the monument of the slaughtered Presbyterians; and busily employed in deepening, with his chisel, the letters of the inscription, which announcing, in scriptural language, the promised blessings of futurity to be the lot of the slain, anathematized the murderers with corresponding violence. A blue bonnet of unusual dimensions covered the gray hairs of the pious workman.
2. His dress was a large old-fashioned coat, of the coarse cloth called hoddingrey, usually worn by the elder peasants, with waistcoat and breeches of the same; and the whole suit, though still in decent repair, had obviously seen a train of long service. Strong clouted shoes, studded with hob-nails, and gramoches or leggins made of thick black cloth, completed his equipment. Beside him, fed among the graves, a pony, the companion of his journey, whose extreme whiteness, as well as its projecting bones and hollow eyes, indicated its antiquity. It was harnessed in the most simple manner, with a pair of branks, and hair tether, or halter, and a sunk, or cushion of straw, instead of bridle and saddle. A canvas pouch hung round the neck of the animal, for the purpose, probably, of containing the rider's tools, and anything else he might have occasion to carry with him. Although I had never seen the old man before, yet, from the singularity of his employment, and the style of his equipage, I had no difficulty in recognizing a religious itinerant whom I had often heard talked of, and who was known in various parts of Scotland by the name of Old Mortality.
3. Where this man was born, or what was his real name, I have never been able to learn, nor are the motives which made him desert his home, and adopt the erratic mode of life which he pursued, known to me except very generally. He is said to have held, at one period of his life, a small moorland farm; but, whether from pecuniary losses, or domestic misfortune, he had long renounced that and every other gainful calling. In the language of Scripture, he left his house, his home, and his kindred, and wandered about until the day of his death—a period, it is said, of nearly thirty years.
4. During this long pilgrimage, the pious enthusiast regulated his circuit so as annually to visit the graves of the unfortunate Covenanters, who suffered by the sword, or by the executioner, during the reigns of the two last monarchs of the Stuart line. These tombs are often apart from all human habitation, in the remote moors and wilds to which the wanderers had fled for concealment. But wherever they existed, Old Mortality was sure to visit them, when his annual round brought them within his reach. In the most lonely recesses of the mountains, the moorfowl shooter has been often surprised to find him busied in cleaning the moss from the gray stones, renewing with his chisel the half-defaced inscriptions, and repairing the emblems of death with which these simple monuments are usually adorned.
5. As the wanderer was usually to be seen bent on this pious task within the precincts of some country churchyard, or reclined on the solitary tombstone among the heath, disturbing the plover and the blackcock with the clink of his chisel and mallet, with his old white pony grazing by his side, he acquired, from his converse among the dead, the popular appellation of Old Mortality.
MY SISTER JANE.
1. My sister Jane is quite a blue,
She's read Lord Byron through and through ;
2. My sister Jane has had in print
A poem which would melt a flint;
3. My sister Jane an album keeps,
For which she many a stanza reaps,