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Judas was intoxicated with delight; almost delirious with the sensation of freedom and masterhood. His eloquence increased as the situation affected his imagination, and his words tumbled forth in torrents. Not less was Ben absorbed and carried away. He was a slave, Judas was his master, .the puppet must wriggle when the owner pulled the strings. He worked furiously. Judas forgot to smoke the pipe, but held it in his hand and made all sorts of gestures with it.
“ Hit dem clods ! Mash 'em fine!” he screamed. “Don' look up, yo’ ole poky tarrypin yo'! Ef yo' does I 'll wommux de hide off 'm yo' blamed ole back faster 'n forty-seben shoemakers kin peg it on ag'in ! Hussle, I tole yo', er I 'll jest wring yo' neck an' tie yo’ years in er hard knot! Yo' heah me now, Ben ?”
This was bad enough, but not the worst, for Judas used many words and phrases not permissible in print. He spared no joint of the master's armor, he left no vulnerable point unassailed. The accumulated riches of a lifetime spent in collecting a picturesque vocabulary, and the stored force of nearly sixty years given to private practice in using it, now served him a full turn. In the thickest shower of the negro's mingled threats, commands, and maledictions, however, Ben quit work, and, leaning on
“ JUDAS! YOU OLD COON!” his hoe, panted rapidly. He gazed up at Judas “ Got de twin ob it down dah in my patch," pathetically and said:
said Judas; “jest es much like it es one bean 's “How that mockin'-bird does tee-diddle an' like anoder bean. Yo' orter come down an' too-doodle!"
see it, Mars Ben.” Judas actually stopped short in the mid- Ben went, and, sure enough, there was a career of his eloquence, and Ben added : melon just the duplicate of his own. Of course,
“ Never see sich signs for feesh a-bitin’; did however, he claimed that he saw some indices you, Jude?"
of inferiority in Judas's fruit, but he could n't The charm was broken, the farce was ended. just point them out — maybe the rind was not A little later the two old men might have been as healthy-looking, he thought, and then the seen, with their bait-cups and fishing-poles in stem appeared to be shriveling. Judas, for his their hands, toddling along down the slope to part, was quite sure that his master's melon the rivulet, the white leading, the black fol- would not "sweeten up” as his would, and lowing. They were both rather abstracted, it that it would be found lacking in that "jawappeared, for each cast in his hook without leeciousness” and that“ fo’-de-Lor'-sake-hand any bacon-rind on it, and sat on the stream's me-some-moreness” so characteristic of those bank all the rest of the forenoon in blissful of his own raising. expectancy of an impossible nibble.
Ben's pride in his melon matured and One good came of the little episode at the ripened at the same time with the maturing melon-patch. The vine around whose roots and ripening of that wonderful globule of racy Ben had plied the hoe with such vigor thrived pulp and juice whose core he longed to see. amazingly, and in due time bore a watermelon After so many failures, here at last was his of huge size, a grand spheroid as green as triumph. There was a certain danger conemerald and as richly soft in surface color as nected with plucking this melon. It was of a the most costly old velvet.
variety locally called "ice-rind" on account of
the thickness of the outer part or shell which the fence he toiled with difficulty, the melon made it very difficult to tell when it was ripe, was so heavy and slippery, then on up the and so Ben dreaded to act. Every evening in path. Once in the shadowy wood, he laid down the latest dusk of twilight he would go out and his burden and wiped his dewy face with his lean over the patch fence to have a darkling sleeve. He did not realize how excited he was; view of his treasure, which thus seen was it was the first time in all his life that he ever mightily magnified.
had stolen anything, even in fun. Every little When the moment of sacrifice had come, sound startled him and made him pant. He Ben actually shrunk from the task of plucking felt as if running as fast as his legs could carry that melon. He leaned on the fence until it him would be the richest of all luxuries. was quite dark and until the moon had begun When again he picked up the melon and to show in the east before he bethought him resumed his way he found his heart fluttering that that night was Judas's birth-night, and and his limbs weak, but he hurried on. Sudthen a bright idea came to him. He would denly he halted, with a black apparition barring take the melon to the old slave's cabin and the path before him. they would have a feast. But when he had “Judas ! you old coon!” climbed over the fence and had stooped above
“ Mars Ben!” the huge, dusky sphere, his heart failed him, They leaned forward and glared at each and at the same time another thought struck other. him with great force. He straightened himself “ Mars Ben! Yo' been er-stealin' my waterup, placed his hands on his hips, and chuckled. million!” Just the thing! The best joke on Judas! He “ Judas! You thievin' old rooster! You ’ve would go to the negro's patch, steal his big stole -—" melon, and then share it with him on the fol- Their voices blended, and such a mixture ! lowing day. His own melon he would keep a The wood resounded. They stood facing each few days longer to be sure that it had ripened. other, as much alike as duplicates in everything A very simple proceeding, without a thought save color, each clasping in his arms the other's of dishonor in it.
watermelon. It was a moment of intense surIt was as beautiful and balmy a midsummer prise, of voluble swearing, of picturesque postnight as ever fell upon the world. Ben felt its uring; then followed a sudden collapse and soft influence in his old blood as he toddled down fell both great ripe, luscious spheres with surreptitiously along the path leading through a dull, heavy bump, breaking open on the a little wood to Judas's cabin and patch. He ground and filling the air with a spray of sweet was picturing in his mind how foolish Judas juice and the faint luxuriant aroma so dear would look and how beaten he would feel when to Georgian nostrils. Chawm stepped forward he found out that he had been feasted on his and sniffed idly and indifferently at one of the own big melon. One might have seen by the pieces. A little screech-owl mewed plaintively increasing light of the moon that Ben's trellis- in a bush hard by. Both men, having exhausted work of facial wrinkles could scarcely hold in themselves simultaneously, began to sway and the laughing glee that was in him, and his eyes tremble, their legs slowly giving way under twinkled while his mouth drew itself into a set, them. The spot of moonlight in which they suppressed smile. Chawm trotted along silently stood lent a strange effect to their bent and at Ben's heels, his tail drooping and his ears faltering forms. Judas had been more or less hanging limp. In the distance, amid the hills, a thief all his life, but this was the first time an owl was hooting dolefully, but the little he ever had been caught in the act, therefore wood was as silent as the grave. Suddenly he was as deeply shocked as was Ben. Down Ben heard a footfall coming up the path, and they sank until they sat flat on the ground in he slipped into the bushes just in time to let the path and facing each other, the broken Judas go shuffling by all unaware.
melons between them. Chawm took position “ The blamed old rooster,” he said to him- a little to one side and looked on gravely, as self in a tender, affectionate whisper. “ The if he felt the solemnity of the occasion. blamed old rooster! I wonder what he's a- Judas was first to speak. thinkin' about jest now ? ”
“Well, I jest be 'sentially an’eberlastin’ly —" Chawm slipped out and fell noiselessly behind he began. Judas, following him on towards the mansion. “Shet up!” stormed Ben. Ben chuckled with deep satisfaction as he They looked sheepishly at each other, while climbed over into Judas's patch and laid hands Chawm licked his jaws with perfunctory nonon the negro's large melon. What a typical chalance. After what seemed a very long thief he appeared as he hurried furtively along, silence, Ben said: stooping low with his ill-gotten load, his crooked “ Jude, ax a blessin' afore we eats.” shadow dancing vaguely beside him! Over Judas hesitated.
“ Did you hear what I was a-sayin' for yer mo' harm 'an nothin' fo' us ter steal f'om one to do?" inquired Ben. “Ax a blessin', I say!” ’nudder. Lor’, Mars Ben, I been er-knowin' all The negro bowed his old snow-fleeced head my life 'at I was er-stealin' f’om yo', but I and prayed:
nebber dream 'at it was yo’’at was er-takin' all “ Lor', hab mercy on two ole villyans an'w'at er my bestest watermillions an' t'ings. 'Spec" dey done steal f'om one 'nudder. Spaycially, we's 'bout eben now, Mars Ben. Ef yoʻ's a Lor', forgib Mars Ben, kase he rich an' free an'leetle bit ahead ob me I 's not er-keerin'; hit's he orter hab mo' sense an' mo' honah 'bout all right.” 'im 'an ter steal f'om po' nigger. I use to fink, So they wiped their mouths and parted for Lor', dat Mars Ben's er mighty good man, but the night. seem lak lately he gittin' so on'ry 'at yo' 'll be “Good-night, Mars Ben.” erbleeged ter hannel 'im pooty sabage ef he “ Good-night, Jude." keep on. Dey may be 'nough good lef' in 'im It would be cruel to follow them farther ter
pay fer de trouble ob foolin' 'long wid 'im, down the road of life, for rheumatism came, but hit 's pow'ful doubtful, an' dat 's er fac'. and then the war. Many an afternoon the trio, Lor’, I don't advise yo’ter go much outer yo' Ben, Judas, and Chawm, sat on the old veranda way ter 'commodate sich er outdacious old and listened to the far-off thunder of battle, sneak-t'ief an' sich er —"
not fairly realizing its meaning, but feeling that “Judas!” roared Ben, “ yer jest stop right in some vague way it meant a great deal. now!”
After war, peace. After peace, reconstruction. “An' bress dese watermillions w'at we 's After reconstruction, politics. Somebody took erbout ter receib, amen!” concluded Judas. the trouble to insist upon having Ben Wilson “ Try er piece er dis here solid core, Mars Ben; go to the polls and vote. Of course Judas hit look mighty jawleecious."
went with him. What a curious-looking twain And so there in the space of moonlight they they were, tottering along, almost side by side munched, with many watery mouthings, the now, their limbs trembling and their eyes sweet central hearts of the pilfered fruit. All nearly blind! around them the birds stirred in their sleep, "Got yer ticket, Jude?" inquired Ben. rustling the leaves and letting go a few dreamy “No, sah, dat 's all right. Yo' jest drap one chirps. Overhead a great rift uncovered the in, hit 'll do fo' bofe ob us,” answered Judas. almost purple sky.
And it was done. They did not converse while they were eat- They died a year ago. Their graves are side ing, but when the repast was ended Judas apol- by side, and so close together that a single slab ogized and explained in their joint behalf: might serve to cover them. If I were rich it
“Yo' see, Mars Ben, I 's yo' nigger an' yo''s should be an imperishable monument, inscribed my marster. W'at 's yo's is mine, an’ w'at 's simply: Ben and Judas, Æt. 70 years, one mine 's yo's, don' yo' see? an' hit ain't no month, and fourteen days.
PHRYNE IN HADES.
Spake, with rude lips, a phantom at her side:
Who in thy memory doth last abide
Swayed the fair head, and seemed to ponder long
For these with laughter wooed me, those with song,
Yet who gave most, most quickly was forgot ;
And him who praised me I remember not ;
IN visiting Europe some family my comfort in the whole of my tour
years since with the defi- largely depended. But sitting one day in the nite purpose of traveling drawing-room with the astronomer royal, I for study, I accepted what- looked out upon the beautiful country around ever letters were offered and asked, “What is this charming region me to aid me in my efforts. called ?” He replied, “ Blackheath"; and I Among others, one of my awoke to the consciousness that I was talking
scientific friends sent me with the “Bear." half a dozen letters of introduction, and then My acquaintance with the Herschels came in a private note said, “I dare not give you through the Airys. a letter to the · Bear of Blackheath.' ” Many The little that is known of the ancestors of times while crossing the Atlantic I found my- the Herschels is honorable. Abraham, Isaac, self wondering who the “Bear of Blackheath” and Jacob, as the representatives of three genmight be. One of the first friends I made in erations were called, were sound Protestants, London was Mr. Airy, the astronomer royal in days when and in places where Protestantism at Greenwich. I was adopted at once as one was a reproach. Abraham Herschel, the greatof the household, and upon the care of that great-grandfather of John, was expelled from
1 See “ The Three Herschels,” in this magazine for Mahren, his place of residence, on account of June, 1885.
his Protestantism. Isaac, his son, was a farmer
near Leipsic. Jacob, son of Isaac, declined made him tolerant of all and rendered him agricultural pursuits, and gave expression to beloved as well as honored by those who knew the family aptitude for music by making it his him. profession, by bringing up his sons to the same Workers in physical science have genercalling, and by developing musical ability in ally been long-lived, perhaps because only all his ten children. Among the sons was the with length of years can anything be done in astronomer, Frederick William, who was born science. Perhaps, too, scientific studies are at Hanover in 1738, and came to England at health-promoting, for if it is hour after hour one-and-twenty as a professional musician, but over books, it is also hour after hour alone with caring even more for something else than for nature. music - metaphysics. To the end of his life, The Herschels worked a great many years. when he was known all over the world for his Sir William Herschel's papers, published in astronomical discoveries, his chief delight was various scientific journals, stretch through a in metaphysical study and argumentation. Per- period of forty years. Sir John Herschel's reach haps we may ascribe to this taste, prevailing in through a period of fifty-seven years — about the little household at Slough, the tendency of twice the average length of life. Sir William his scientific son, John, to diverge into meta- Herschel died at eighty-three, Sir John at physical criticism whenever his theme, or any seventy-eight; and, as if to show that a woman interruption of it, afforded occasion in the can live and work even longer than a man, course of composition.
Caroline, the sister of Sir William, died at ninetyJohn Herschel was born in the well-known eight. house at Slough, where strangers were by that time coming from far-distant lands to see the wonderful machine by which great news had already descended out of the sky. Most astronomers
to astronomy through mathematics, or come to mathematics through astronomy. The Herschels were a musical family; music was their vocation; science was their recreation. Although of Jacob Herschel's children Sir William and Caroline are the only ones who are known to science, it is evident that the taste for science belonged to the whole family, as Caroline Herschel in her autobiography speaks of lying awake and listening to discussions between the father and the elder brothers in which the names of Newton, Leibnitz, and Euler frequently occurred.
William Herschel considered himself very fortunate when he was engaged as musician to an English regiment. Growing in reputation, he was appointed organist in a church, studied Italian, Latin, and Greek by himself, and read mathematical works on music. Thus music led him to mathematics, thence to optics, to astronomy, to discoveries, to reputation. He became known to George III., was pensioned, gave himself wholly to astronomy, was knighted, and soon became a member of all the learned MARIA MITCHELL'S OBSERVATORY AT LYNN, MASS. societies of Europe.
Sir William and Sir John were remarkable Is it worth while to talk about the unhealthifor the variety of their acquirements. Starting ness of “night air " when that class of people with a love of science, they followed where who are most exposed to its influence, whose it led, into the trackless regions of space and calling keeps them breathing it, are so longamong remote nebulæ, into those tangled ways lived ? — for the work of the practical astronowhere metaphysical and mathematical sciences mer is mainly out-of-doors and in good night seem to mingle, touching the margin of that air, instead of indoors in bad air. think it is debatable land where theology and science Florence Nightingale who asks what air can meet without recognition, yet keeping, espe- any one breathe in the night except night air. cially in Sir John's case, the equanimity of the It is scarcely possible to understand nature philosopher and a kindliness of heart which as the Herschels did without knowing some