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DE sugar-cane stands so proud an' smart,
BY GWILYM GRIFFITH
FICKLE, faithless; trusty, true,
Lily-fair and lily-frail;
Dauntless when the mountains quail; Heart of oak and heart of snowThere was never any so!
Heart of oak against the blast,
Heart of snow when storm is past, Quick to melt in gentle tears
When love's sunshine once appears;
Sage and sibyl, little child; Thunder-bold and soft as dewThere was never one like you!
THE PRONUNCIATION OF
BY WALTER BAILEY APTHORPE
A STORY is told of a thrifty American woman in Dresden who, on being presented at court, received the compliment from the Queen of Saxony of being addressed in English. She made the mistake of responding in German, and, on being upbraided by friends for this faux pas, said very calmly, "I never lose any opportunity to improve my German."
The same frame of mind actuated an American lady, whom we will call Mrs. C, with whom we were fellow-members of Madame F--'s pension near the Arc de l'Etoile, in Paris. She was bent on acquiring knowledge at all hazards, and as she had come to the pension to learn French, she was very impatient with those of us who for rest and refreshment occasionally lapsed into our mother-tongue. After a while this foible, at first a subject of good-natured remark, became a considerable bore to the rest of us. Mrs. C was constantly airing her newly acquired knowledge, and as she was somewhat in advance of the other boarders, it was sometimes rather exasperating.
During the period of greatest tension it chanced that Mr. X- and his wife were invited to an evening company at which they met the savant M. Bruntière, member of the French Academy, whom they already knew. In the course of conversation he asked them what part of France they had seen besides Paris, and they spoke of Rouen. "Ah," he said, "what noble churches they have!" "Yes," replied Mr. X-; adding that he had very much enjoyed the cathedral, but that, on the whole, he preferred the beauty of the church of St. Ouen, pronounc ing the word to rhyme with Rouen itself.
M. Bruntière said: "I dare say you are right. I remember it with great pleasure. But I hope you will permit me to tell you that the name of the church is pronounced not 'St. Ouen,' but to rhyme with 'vin,' and," he repeated, "as if it were spelled 'St. Ouin.' "That is odd," said Mr. X
"Yes," was the reply; "but it is not merely a localism. Every cultivated French person pronounces it with the flat sound."
Mr. X thanked the savant for setting him right and promised never to make that error again.
On his way home it occurred to Mr. X- that here was an opportunity to be of use to his fellow-sufferers at the pension. Relying upon the fact that his hostess was a lady of very charming speech and cultivation, he arranged, with a little malice,in the circumstances not, perhaps, to be too severely condemned,-a trap for his exacting and punctilious countrywoman.
The next night at dinner the conversation was adroitly brought about to the subject of French church architecture, and Mrs. Xtook occasion to ask Mrs. C whether she had ever been in Rouen. It seems she had, and she was enthusiastic over the cathedral. Whereupon Mrs. X-remarked her preference for the architecture of St. Ouen, giving it the correct and, as far as we were concerned, the latest pronunciation. "What church did you say?" said Mrs.
"Do you not mean St. Ouen?" "Oh, no; I mean St. Ouin."
"But there cannot be two churches in Rouen with such similar names."
"Oh, no, there is only one prominent church that could be called a rival to the cathedral, and that is St. Ouin."
"Oh, but, my dear Mrs. X-, you certainly do not mean to pronounce it in that way. You certainly mean St. Ouen."
"Not at all, my dear Mrs. C—; I am speaking of St. Ouin.'
"It is spelled like Rouen; is it not so pronounced?"
"Oh, not at all, not at all; that would never do; that would be a solecism of the most pronounced sort."
"But I think you must be mistaken, my dear Mrs. X
"I think not, Mrs. C. No cultivated person would pronounce it with the broad sound. Let us ask Madame."
Madame, having her attention diverted from her intimate duties as hostess, and the attention of the whole table being now concentrated upon the subject, was confidently appealed to by Mrs. C. Of course she sided with the French Academy; and for once new-found knowledge was confounded by new-found knowledge. After that we had no further annoyance from the humble Mrs. C
Drawn by J. Conacher
A PALPABLE HIT
Oh, dear me ! I assure you, I did n't mean to hit your cow. FARMER: Well, young man, I'm mighty glad 't was n't me you did n't mean to hit.
"SHE MUST N'T SEE YOU IN THAT SUIT, IF WE HAVE TO SWIM ALL NIGHT
THE DE VINNE PRESS, NEW YORK