THF ROWERS COUKTKJN
Dedicated to a Lady note residing in Atlanta.
A strange, strange world is ours, God wot,
And passing hard and cold 1 trow;
Who that knows Queen Angela’s lot
Can doubt that fortune is her foe ?
All scepterless her band so fair,
Upon her brow no diadem;
Her children sweet her subjects are
And tendexly she ruleth them.
Her palace is but small 1 ween;
Each morn I ..ass it on my way,
And from the vine-clad porch the queen
Smilingly brightens all my day.
From morn to eve, from eve to morn,
A weary, weary life she leads,
As if to toil she had been born,
And nursed no thought above her needs.
Too proud to pine, too strong to weep,
Right royally her lot she bears;
She sighs not even in her sleep.
And scarce complains she in her prayers.
Bnt ol'timee when her scorn of wrong
Or meanness cannot be represt,
A queenly nature high and strong.
Asserts its power within her breast,
Then lames her sea blue eye in wrath,
Then doth her regal form dilate;
What majesty of mein she hath,
What lire, what beauty and what state 1
Her arm puissant then might sway
Wore legions than The Cesars I' d,
Her voice commanding then might say
A word would wake them from the dead-
Anon her tones are like the lute.
And sweeter than the cooing dove.
So sweet that even when they are mute
Her lips attuned seem to love.
No wond- r when she walks the street
Afen tnrn about to gaze at her;
The wonder is. that at her feet
They do not fail and worship her,
No -wonder when at church, or hall,
She moves serenely to her place.
The envious women one and all
Would barter diamonds lor her grace.
So spins the world aronnd the sun.
So strange is life, so passing strange,
In heaven the life that's here begun,
Shall have a better, brighter range.
ot> Angt-m . Bwcei ALge .. .
Many are blind, hut one can see.
* Tne world knows not nor doth it care—
A very queen thou art to me.
THE SHOE GIRL,
— OR —
OUT OF TROUBLE.
' bonnet nj on her head. Con
siderably troubled and excit-
, ed, Esther attempted to rem
ove it. Her hurried motion
, fluttered the folds of the curt
ain into the gas jet, and in an
, instant the drapery, the bon
net, and her own sleeve were
• In a blaze.
j A shriek rang through the
workshop as the flames burst
; forth. Esther Deems stood
speechless, paralyzed, fore
seeing in a breath’s space the
consequences of the calamity.
She then felt herself wrapped
and crushed in a rug which
lay upon the floor. She was
dimly conscious of Selma's
1 call for water, of the sound
; of its hiss and dash into the
‘You are somewhat burned,
1 I fear,’ a man’s voice said at
length. * Shall I call a physi
cian, or should you prefer to
i go home ? I have a carriage at
I at the door, and will take you
! if yon will allow me.’
Esther looked vacantly at
the speaker. It was the gent
leman whose entrance had
called her from the shop, and
had caused the disaster, and
who, by his promptness and
self-possession, had saved her
life. Selma stood near her,
: sober enough now. And a
j few crisp and blackened
t shreds remained of the curt
ain and Clare Ellet’s tur
j ‘ You had better carry her
I home, sir,’ said Selma, with
bitter quiet. ‘Madame would
•! not like the messing with cot-
I ton and oil among the silks.’
| ‘Very well; perhaps you
: c an go with her-’
* Some of the others will.
! ‘Some one must tell Ma-
i ‘I will do that. The blame
was mine,’ said Selma.
I ‘ Perhads so. But I set the
j curtain afire.’
Esther’s senses did not
inllv return till she found herself being driven i through the weary round of drudgery and sell-
hke courage sprang up in her I swered. ‘You need some tonic, something to
heart for the first time. Then ' brace you up a little, but you don’t need me any
she was foolish enough to more. In fact, I did not come in it professional
color at his look, or gesture, way to-day. Mrs. Mayne has a little plan which
or something—she could not she meant to make known to you herself, but
have told what. Dr. Mayne i she is not very well—she has a cold. And so
was not handsome, not j she sent me with her message. She wants you
young, but there was an in- to come over and pay us a little visit next week.’
finite pity towards all suffer- [ Dr. Mayne stretched his hand out—it was a
ing, a longing to aid all firm, white, shapely hand, bis only beauty—
struggle, a profound belief j and rested it lightly on Esther’s, the one which
in human worth, stamped on j had been burnt.
his expression. A lonely man ! She got up hastily, to free herself from his
he looked, too, as though j touch.
his ministry did all bnt satis- j ‘Mrs. Mayne is very kind,’ she said, hurried
ly, and yet did not quite ; lv. ‘ She is too kind, to invite me, whom she
si tisfy what his nature j has clothed and fed, into her house as her guest,
craved. | I cannot accept any more favors.’
Esther's illness threatened j ‘ What a nonsensical little speech she has
made now,’said the doctor undisturbed. ‘Well,’
he continued, rising, ‘ It she will not visit us,
perhaps the plan caD be carried out without.
But, Miss Deems, have I any right to ask a favor
of you ?’
‘ I think you have, certainly,’ she replied.
‘ You see I am not so much afraid of accepting
favors as you.’
‘It will be a luxury to be able to grant one,
where I have received so many. But I cannot
to prove long. Inflammation
prevented her burned arm j
from healing. Her system, !
overtaxed by protracted ef- I
fort, was in a low feverish
condition; and while Madame i
Ton hung a still more costly j
curtain in place of the one J
which was destroyed, and j
Miss EUet’s turquoise-colored
bonnet was replaced by one j think of any favor I can possibly confer on you.’
on which the milliner made
still high j rolit, she lay
prostrate, idle and dejected.
It was well she had friends,
or it might have been worse.
Mrs. Mayne secured the ser
vices of a little girl who lived
in the same house to wait
upon her. Kind - hearted
Genia stepped in morning
and night. Reckless Selma
spent her first week's earn-
Esther sank at Dr. Mavn^s feet.—(See next paoer.
BY W. H. P.
Very little of the romance Gf life seemed to be
on Esther’s side of the curtain. It was a grace
ful lace curtain, looped with silk cords over
bine brocatelle it divided Madame Ton’s work
shop from the alcove where she ‘received’ her
customer. When yon consider that it was only
a curtain, it is surprising to think how effectual
a division it made—like a great gulf separating
the women who worked from these who came to
Esther’s place was on the workshop side. A
cold, worn-out oil-cloth on the floor; tall, cur
tainless windows which let in a bleaa light, and
in contrast such lovely materials,lustrous satins,
deep-toned velvets, laces, feathers, flowers ol
fabulous beauty, from which weary fingers pro
duced, under Madame Ton’s supervision, tri
umphs of skill and fashion day by day.
It had been a busy day in the establishment.
A line of carriages had stood before the doors
ail through the shopping hours. Madame Ton,
in a sumptuous toilet, had taken orders, advis
ed, invented, till, as she said, her “head was a
rack;” and, contrary to her custom, she left
about five o’clock, to restore her powers of cal
culation and invention with a cup of tea.
‘If any one comes in, Miss Deems, will you be
in attendance T asked she.
‘Yes, Madame,’ said Esther, without raising
her eyes from the bonnet she was trimming—u
velvet of turquoise blue with a mazy garniture
of fringe and lace.
’ ‘How well that would become you, Esther,’
said .Selma Town©, resting upon her elbows as
the door closed upon madame. ‘Try it on.’
‘I have no curiosity to see its effect upon me,
Selma. It would not accord very well with my
delaine dress and the present arrangement of
my hair. ’
•I’ll dress your hair—I’m famous at it. Ah,
what hair you’ve got ! See here, one of you
girls, just open that upper drawer and take out
Miss Mary’s India shawl. I want to drape Es
ther when I get her hair arranged, and then
we ll try on Clara Ellet’s bonnet.'
•Selma, what has come over you ? Are you
crazy ?’ said Esther, standing up to hold her
aloof. ‘Madame would never lorgive suoh a
joke. Besides, it isn’t the right thing to do.
We are wasting time.’
‘What nonsense ! I’ve taken a notion to dress
you for this once, and I’m going to do it. Why
shouldn’t we know how it would seem to wear
the things we handle ? Are those who do wear
them any better than we
Selma Towue stood before Esther angry and
excited. She was a bold, handsome girl, and
generally managed to have own way.
‘Senna,’ said Esther, composedly , ‘you know
that you und I are the forewomen, and expected
to control in madaaie’s absence; Xnm£ what
you are doing.’
‘You needn’t preach, Miss Deems. I am go
ing to have a bit cf inn. Sit down,' and she
laid her strong hand on Esther’s shoulder, ‘and
let me dress you up.’
•I shall not, Selma. Girls, I appeal to yon.’
At that moment the outer door opened, an
nouncing a customer. Esther laid tne bonnet,
which she had been holding at arm s length in
a box, and proceeded towards the alcove. Selma
snatched it and followed. Just as Esther parted
the curtains to pass through, Selma placed the
j towards home.
; ‘ l’lease set me down at the nearest phvsi-
cian’s, where my arm can be dressed,’ she
; • 111 drive you to my brother, Dr. Mayne’s.
He will treat you with skill and care.’
j ‘ Thank you.’
I It was only nine o’clock when Esther found
. herself back in her own room alone. Genia had
made a tire in the little stove, lit the lamp, and
made her tea for her before she left. With the
tea upon the stand at her elbow, Esther sat still,
her head laid wearily against her chair, her eyes
closed, realizing, enduring her disaster.
It was no common calamity that had come to
j her. It meant more than the loss of her place
I and the suffering from her burn. It meant the
| defeat of her life purpose, the dissipation of the 1
’ hope which had sustained her through the I
hardship and trial of five years.
She and Selma each had saved money. Be- !
I tween them they would have to matte up
j madame’s loss—that was not to be gainsayed,
i for Madame was a hard creditor. Perhaps it
[ did not occur to either of the two girls but that
j they ought to pay. Selma would wince, with
j very loud talk, would do without the finery she
indulged in for some months to come, and
i would forget all about it.
But for Esther there would be no forgetting,
j What this loss marred conld never be remade.
| The plan of her life was altered. She must give
j up what seemed sweet and pleasant, and accept
! what was bitter and dreary, and all because of
| Selma Towne’s joke.
j After a while she drank her tea and ate her
j cold toast. Then with one hand she set away
the cup and plate, and opened the drawer of
the stand and took out June's last letter.
June was only ten years old, but what a long,
long letter she had written to her sister Esther;
it told the whole story of their prospects.
‘You ask me if I play with my big doll much.
Well, not such a great deal. Mrs. Baker gives
me lots of things to do out of school hours, and
when I have a little time to myself, I run off to
look at the old home, which we are going to have
again when you have saved the money to pay
the mortgage. It looks so pleasant to me, Essie,
I can hardly wait. Didn’t my doll cost ten
shillings ? I almost wish you had saved it
towards paying the mortgage. I have sewed
ever so many balls of carpet rags, and am
making a tidy, and I saved larkspur seed and
momiDg-glory seed and feDnel—Mrs. Baker let
me, so they’ll be ready to plant early in the
spring. You think it will be in the spring,
don’t yon, Essie ?’
Yes, she had thought that it would be in the
spring until to-night. How she had worked
for five years to purchase independence for her
denial for another five years?
Pain and thought rendered sltep impossible.
She went shivering to bed late at night, and
morning found her burning with fever.
Selma stopped on her way to the shop.
‘Madame has been awful—perfectly awful,’
she said. ‘Money could not repay her, but as
far as it could, she should hold us responsi
‘How much damage was done?’ inquired
‘Unluckily, there was a box of lace barbes
burnt, which I did not notice last night. She
calls it a hundred pounds. 1 had ten, which
I threw on the floor and left her.’
A chill ran through Esther’s frame. A hun
dred pounds ! Then it would take all she had
to make the loss good.
‘Is there anything T can do for yon ?’ asked
Selma, with her hand on the door-knob.
The poor girl could not ask Selma to do her
! a favor. She shook her head. When she was
j alone she hid her face and cried. It was a raw,
| rainy, November day. The room was cold,
j comfortless, in disorder, and all such things
try us severely when we are suffering.
Esther lay therq alone, hysterical, her arm
very painful, till near noon, when she was sur
prised by a knocK on the door, and lifted her
self feebly to say :
It was Dr. Mayne who entered. A lady fol
lowed him—one of these gracious, high-bred,
noble women—whose presence soothes where
that of another would irritate.
‘This is Mrs. Mayne, Miss Deems,’ said the
doctor; ‘she was very much pained to hear of
your accident last evening, and wished me to
bring her round to see yon this morning. We
understood that you were a stranger here.’
‘Yes, I am a stranger, although I have lived
here five years.’
Mrs. Mayne was quietly unpacking the little
basket sue had brought in her hand. -By the
time the doctor bad finished his examination of
his patient, sh« found a wine-glass in which to
place a tiny bouquet, consisting of a tea-rose
and geranium leaves; she had spread a napkin
over the stand, and placed thereon a tumbler
of jelly, half of a broiled cuieken, and a roll.
‘Now, doctor, if we only had a fire, Miss
Deem might have some tea with her lunoh,’
she said, ignoring tin- evidence that the invalid
had as y6t no breakfast. ‘ Mr. Mayne feels as
though he was in a manner the cause of your
misfortune,’ she said, going up to the bedside
while the doctor filled the stove and set the
wood a-light, ‘and we shall all feel better if you
will let us do what we can to alleviate your suf
'I am iD no condition, madame. to refuse—
charity,’ said Esther, proudly. ‘ Mr. Mayne is
not, of course, in the most remote degree ac-
‘Can you not?’
His eyes kindled as it caught hers. A woman
less experienced than Esther might have read
its language. Then something like coldness or
self-control came to him quickly.
‘ What I meant to ask was that you should re
main at borne here next Monday—all day.’
‘I shall probably do so of necessity.’
‘Very well—that is all, then,’ and he went
away without another word—went away for the
last time, as Esther said, without even a good-by.
But it was best so. The quicker and farther
ings in hot-house grapes, ! they were parted the better,
which, she left without any ! ‘ What I said about remaining at home was no
token at the door, and every \ promise,’ Esther reflected. ‘ I am glad that I
morning brought Doctor ; was spared making and breaking one, for I
Mayne’s brief, comforting j must have broken it. I must never see him
visit. ; again. That is the only way I can repay them.
So comforting ! Esther felt | I might, not seem too ungrateful, to make some
her heart tremble with fright j explanation to Mrs. Mayne. But what conld I
■ o . « ;x •«•.»<> tr t-o -*n« A, v | exohi.ii'? I'will fold mv miserable discovery to
as his step receuPa on tne . my i>e- rt, anu j *i ......-r m -• » .
stairs, that these visits must ( could slip out of life as well! Would that they
some day cease. j had let me die!’
Could she ever go back into J While Esther lay in bed numerous contribu-
the life she led before she j tion had brightened her plain, bare little cham-
knew these people? Her heart j her. Mrs. Mayne one morning brought a small
had warped through those J picture of ‘Evangeline ’—a lovely inspiration—
five years of toil and saving. I and hung it with a heavy crimson cord at the
Suddenly it rebounded with large thrills. I foot ot the bed. From Mr. Mayne had come
She felt the delight of sympathy, the ecstacy of i two flowering plants, a rosebush and a earn a-
being understood. j tion, which persisted in blooming under the
Madame Ton had valued her for hc-r dexterity j adverse circumstances of a spasmodic lire,
and taste. Dr. and Mrs. Mayne discovered and ; Genia, in a leisure hour, had cushioned an
understood what was finer and more precious—- j old chair with red chintz, and upon the little
her quiet heroism, her delicacy, her unselfish- j stand, in whose drawer were June’s letters, was
ness. i a pile of papers and magazines, and a worn copy
Selma happened to come in one day during j of Whittier, which the doctor had left in conse-
the doctor’s visit. j quence of having made this quotation:
*Dr. Mayne,’ said she in her blunt fashion, ‘if j “ Ah, well! the world is discreet,
it had not been for me, this would never have I _ There are plenty to pause and wait;
happened to Esther. Do you suppose anything
But here was ti man who net his feet
Somewhat in advance of fate;
1 c d.\ n d ° w f iH ever compensate her? . and Esther having remarked that she had never
Tee doctor looked at his patient—one or those t °
unconscious looks which, despite herself, al-) • , . - .,
ways brought the color to her cheeks. | ‘ ^ LS . J tl ^, , v , , e
•rw -la W« their re- i afternoon of the day when the doctor had made
‘Oar worst trials do sometimes have their re- ‘
ward,’ he said, and went away abruptly.
Selma, pressing her face against the window
pane, peered down from it;
his last visit. She was astonished to find how
sacred they were to her, what a keeE longing
they awoke for the little accidents of a home.
height into the , . . . , ,
street, and saw him drive away. She turned | bhe wl8 - hed sb ? . had not owned and enjoyed
suddenly to Esther, after the brief silence.
•Dr. Mayne is in love with you,’ she said, in
her crisp, quick wav. ‘and you are in love with ' - >aL , , .,
i ■ >ii • ,i i i, | taken. She would slip quietly away from these
him, lengthening the last words, fixing her . , , . J ,.r .. ,
° ° ° ■ lodgings, where she had known alike tne keen
est pleasure and the Keenest pain. She would
sever herself from association she had no right
them. It would be so hard now to leave them
and do without them.
But she must leave them. Her resolve was
great black eyes on Esther’s face.
‘Selma, how dare you?’ Dr. Mayne is a mar
ried man. How dare you say such things to
and June. It was five years since her lather . ,, , . . , , , . , ,
died, leaving his girls penniless except lor the co °° table * or wbat b a PP bne( U bn. tha. need
little cottage house and plot of ground in their m ,y gratitude. I am ^ quite helpless.
for Madame Ton has th9 first claim upon what
money I have saved. If she had not’—and
Esther burst into tears of weakness she could
not repress—‘ I think I should suffer all but
death before I oould be induced to spend it
This half-confession brought out the whole
story. It was Esther’s salvation to have this
venl for her trouble.
* _ i | ‘Well, well,’said Dr. Mayne, when she had
. . , | ea . r ^ 8 ®yed, the interest had been \ told them briefly about her life and plans, ‘we
^ rir, 01 * 8 ^ due. She expected shan’t stop to offer any good advice this morn-
in the spring to go back to home, to iudepen- ! j D g. You must have good care, and get well
tone , o pp ness, and to June. And now 1 with all speed. Then you will have courage, I
native town, with the mortgage of a hundred
pounds upon it.
To pay this mortgage, to take June back home
to live— this had been the Burn of Esther's am
bition. But they could not live on nothing
Of course not. Esther had versatile talents.
She had her own plans about income when once
this formidable debt should be paid. So had
worked on cheerfully single handed. The
At one blow her hopes were dead, her plans de
feated. Could she begin again? could she go
know for whatever offers.
She looked up into his face, and something
The girl shrugged her shoulders and rose.
‘Don’t get excited. I know how men act in
love and out of love. What brought me here !
to-day, Esther, was about this shawl,’drawing it j
from under her water-proof. ‘I don’t need it a j
bit. And it will be nice for you to throw over j
your shoulders, now that you are getting about.’ j
‘I can’t take your shawl, Selma.’
‘I suppose notr’ You’re too proud to take
things from such as I am. I shall leave it all the j
‘I wish you not to, Selma.’
‘Oh, very well. If what I was saying troubles |
you, why, you know you are nearly well enough j
to do without a doctor’s visit.”
As she took herself away, half wilfully glad, j
and half generously sorry at having implanted j
.such a sting.
Such a sting, indeed ! Esther cowered away j
from her own self at thought of the accusation.
She was ashamed of it, afraid of it. But, after j
to harbor; she would lose herself to those whose
Kindness she would not abuse by continuing to
Nothing is easier than for a friendless, penni
less woman to lose herself in a great city. She
wonld find remote lodgings and some sort of
wors. The Maynes would seex for her, specu
late about her, and forget her. And she would
taae up her life burden with its added weight
with the best courage she might. It was a
dreary reverie in the lonely room tor the sad-
It tooK her several days to maKe the brief ex
cursions necessary to arrange for her removal.
She conld have no assistance, for her plUns
most be Kept secret from all. At length she had
hired a little room, engaged woik at low wages,
having no references; and at last she sat in her
new home—if home it could be called—wishing
that the day was over and the time come when
the necessity for exertion should at least divert
her thoughts from herself.
ii v. i , trai„,„ i She had left behind the few treasures she pos-
all, she was brave enough to contront it. Selma , . , . , . ,,
had K'iven up her cue; she was well enough to ! not dar ( ,n « to trust herself to own them,
se with Dr. Mayne’s visits-getting so j and s , ecmed to b9r that h u er Mure ™ as bare
well, in fact, that in a week or two she would be
able to go to work. And at the thought it seemed
as if the trial she had undergone was small
compared with that which was to come.
All the next day she waited in a fever of im
patience for the doctor’s visit. She sat by the
window watching, framing the words with
which to dismiss him.
The day passed, and he did not come. Then
she tormented herself with fancies. Could Sel
ma have seen him ? Could she have sent her
poisoned hint in his ear ? Could she have told
him, as he had her, that she was in love with
him ? And it seemed to Esther she should die
of shame at the bare suspicion.
The next morning came his well-known step
on the stairs. Esther was calmer, better pre
pared than on the previous day.
‘Did you miss me yesterday ?’ asked the doc
tor, taking a seat, which was rare for him to io.
• I could not help missing yon,’ Esther an
swered, simply. * But I must learn to miss ycu
now. I am well, and I have trespassed on your
generosity and goodness longer than I ought,
Ho had laid his finger on her pulse, which
fluttered as he touched it
■Yes, you axe pretty well, pretty well,’ ho an-
and forlorn as the room she occupied, with its
fireless stove and guttering candle, the lumpy
bed with its dingy quiet, and the worn strips
carpeting across the floor, and the hard chair
in which she sat.
She had one more sacrifice to complete. She
had to raise some money. It had tauen the last
shilling she possessed to pay her wet k’s rent in
advance. She must have a few shillings for
wood and bread, and such necessaries, to last
till her wages came due. She had Selma to
thanK for the suggestion by which she was able
to raise the needed sum. In thinaing overall
the circumstances of the burning curtain, she
remembered Selma's exclamation: ‘What hair
you’ve got! You could sell it if ever you needed
How,absurd the idea had seemed then. How
soon the time had come when she was obliged
to put it into practice. She needed money, and
she was going to sell her hair.
She tied her hood on, wrapped her shawl
closer, blew out her candle and went out.
Her magnificent brown hair brought her ten
shillings. Her feelings were so benumbed that
she took the first offer, and felt the snip of the
great shears without a pang.
[CGNCnunVKD MEiT WSBB. ]