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HOW GRANDMA DANCED.
Grandma told me all about it, -
Long ago ;
Now she sits there rocking, rocking,
Modern ways are quite alarming,
Long ago ?
With the minuet in fashion,
—Daughters of America.
THE KING'S FAVORITE.
Far in the bright East, so the story says,
There lived a fair slave once who loved a king ; Who followed soft, like music on his
Honors he heaped upon that loving one,
Faded, and left the heart shorn of its sun.
The face of her who all too freely gave, He cried unto her suddenly, “ One dear
And precious gift hast thou withheld, O slave." “Name it, О master," answered she full low, “For love hath left me beggared." Then straightway,
Smiling, he asked, “Wilt thou yield life and go
For love of me among the dead to-day ?”
Since lesser gifts I gave thee, now shall I
Happy thy slave is at thy feet to die."
So runs the story of old days. And now
While we sit here, and heaven shines blue above,
I think of her whom once you used to love.
Hers was a noble nature to forego
Free in the sun, because she loved you so.
And breathe the old vows over unto me,
She passed into the great immensity.
Life's sweetest joys are poisoned. When you speak,
Whisper soft speeches, kiss my fevered cheek,
- Elvira S. Miller.
THE CHARIOT RACE.
(FROM BEN HUR.]
The trumpet sounded short and sharp. The gate-keepers threw the stalls open. First came the mounted attendants of the charioteers, five in all, Ben Hur having rejected the service. The chalk line was lowered to let them pass, then raised again. keepers called their men. Instantly the ushers on the balcony
waved their hands, and shouted with all their strength,—“Down! Down!”
As well have whistled to stay a storm.
Forth from each stall, like missiles a volley from so many guns, rushed the six fours; and up the vast assemblage rose, electrified and irrepressible, and, leaping upon the benches, filled the circus and the air above it with yells and screams. The competitors were now under full view from nearly every part of the circus, yet the race was not begun; they had first to make successfully the chalk line.
The arena swam in a dazzle of light; yet each driver looked first for the rope, then for the coveted inner line. So, all six aiming at the same point and speeding furiously, a collision seemed inevitable. Quick the eye, steady the hand, and unerring the judgment required.
The competitors have started, each on the shortest line, for the position near the wall. The fours neared the rope together. Then the trumpeter blew vigorously a signal. The judges dropped the rope, and not an instant too soon, for the hoof of one of Messala’s horses struck it as it fell. Nothing daunted, the Roman shook out his long lash, loosed the reins, leaned forward, and, with a triumphant shout, took the wall.
“ Jove with us ! Jove with us!” yelled all the Roman faction in a frenzy of delight.
On swept the Corinthian, on the Byzantine, on the Sidonian.
Ben Hur was to the front, coursing freely forward along with the Roman.
The race was on, the souls of the racers were in it; over them bent the myriads. When the race began Ben Hur was on the extreme left of the six. When not half
he saw that Messala's rush would, if there was no collision and the rope fell, give him the wall.
The rope fell, and all the fours but Ben Hur's sprang into the course under urgency of voice and lash. Ben Hur drew to the right, and darted across the trails of his opponents, swept around and took the course on the outside, neck and neck with Messala. The two neared the second goal. Viewed from the west, was a
stone wall in the form of a half-circle. A successful turn at this point was the most telling test of the charioteer. A hush fell over all the circus. At this critical moment, Messala, whirling his lash with practised hand, caught the Arabs of Ben Hur a cut the like of which they had never known, simultaneously shouting,—"Down, Eros! up, Mars ! ”
Involuntarily, down from the balcony, as thunder falls, burst the indignant cry of the spectators.
Forward sprang the affrighted Arabs as with one impulse, and forward leaped the car. No hand had ever been laid
them except in love.
Where obtained Ben Hur the large hand and mighty grip which helped him now so well? Where but from the oar with which so long he fought the sea! And what was the spring of the floor under his feet, to the dizzy, eccentric lurch with which, in old times, the trembling ship yielded to the beat of the staggering billows, drunk with power? So he kept his place, and gave the four free rein, and, calling to them in soothing voice, tried merely to guide them round the dangerous turn; and before the fever of the people began to abate, he had back the mastery. On approaching the first goal, he was again side by side with Messala.
Gradually the speed had been quickened ; gradually the blood of the competitors warmed with the work. Men and beasts seemed to know alike that the final crisis was near. Messala throws loose the rein, while Ben Hur throws all his weight on the bits. One ball and one dolphin remained on the entablature, and all the people drew a long breath, for the beginning of the end was at hand. • Ben Hur!” “Ben Hur !” shout the throng. “Speed thee, Jew! Take the wall now—now or never!" At the second goal there was still no change.
And now to make the turn, Messala began to draw in his left hand steeds. On the three pillars, only six hundred feet away, were fame, increase of fortune, and a triumph ineffably sweet by hate, all in store for him.
Ben Hur leaned over his Arabs and gave them the reins. Out flew the many folded lash in his hand, and over the backs of the startled steeds it writhed and hissed, and hissed and writhed, again and again ; though it fell not, there were both sting and menace in its quick report. Instantly, not one, but this four as one, answered