was of the right kind; it always preceded her undertaking. She had such a 'wholesome fear of consequences,' that she never played truant, as one whom I could mention did. Indeed, antecedents and consequents were always associated in her mind. She never risked any thing for herself or any one else.... Of course, she is still Miss Nancy, (I am 'Aunt Molly' to all my friends' children,) though it is said that she might have been Mrs.——. Mr.——, a widower of some six months' standing, thinking it time to commence his probation—the engagement preparatory to being received into the full matrimonial connection—made some advances toward Miss Nancy, she being the nearest one verging on 'an uncertain age,' (you know widowers always go the rounds of the old maids.) Though, in a worldly point of view, he was an eligible match, she, from her fixed habits of caution, half-hesitated as to whether it was best to receive his attentions—he got in a hurry (you know widowers are always in a hurry) and married some one else.... I don't think Miss Nancy would venture to love any man before marriage—engagements are as liable to be broken as thin ice, and it isn't best to throw away love. As for her giving it unasked!... How peacefully her life flows along—or rather, it hardly flows at all, about as much as a mill-pond—with such a small bit of heaven and earth reflected in it. Oh! that placidity!—better have some great, heavy, splashing sorrow thrown into it than that ever calm surface.... As for me—it was a good thing that I was a girl—rash, never counting the cost, without caution, it is well that I have to tread the quiet paths of domestic life. Had I been a boy, thrown out into the rough, dangerous world, I'd have rushed over the first precipice, breaking my moral, or physical neck, or both. As it is, had I been like Miss Nancy, I would have been spared many an agony, and—many an exquisite joy.
You may be sure that I have well learned all of caution's maxims; they have, all my life, been dinged into my ears. Now I hate most maxims. Though generally considered epitomes of wisdom, they should, almost all of them, be received with a qualification. What is true in one case is not true in another; what is good for one, is not good for another. You, as far as you are concerned, in exactly the same manner draw two lines, one on a plane, the other on a sphere; one line will be straight, the other curved. So does every truth, even, make a different mark on different minds. This is one reason that I hate most maxims, they never accommodate themselves to circumstances or individuals. The maxim that would make one man a careful economist, would make another a miser. 'One man's meat is another man's poison;' one man's truth is another man's falsehood.
But how many mistaken ideas have been embodied in maxims—fossilized, I may say! It would have been better to let them die the natural death of falsehood, and they might have sprung up in new forms of truth—truth that never dies. What a vitality it has—a vitality that can not be dried out by time, nor crushed out by violence. You know how in old mummy-cases have been found grains of wheat, which, being sown, sprang up, and bore a harvest like that which waved in the breeze on the banks of the Nile. You know how God's truth—all truth is God's truth—was shut up in that old mummy-case, the monastery, and how, when found by one Luther, and sown broadcast, it sprang up, and now there is hardly an island, or a river's bank, on which it has not fallen and does not bear abundant fruit. The 'heel of despotism' could not crush out its life; ages hence it will be said of it: 'It still lives.'
And still lives, yours,
'THAT LAST DITCH.'
Many reasons have been assigned for the Chivalry's determining to die in that last ditch. One William Shakspeare puts into the mouth of Enobarbus, in Antony and Cleopatra, the best reason we have yet seen. 'Tis thus:
'I will go seek
Some ditch wherein to die: the foul best fits
My latter part of life.'
HOPEFUL TACKETT—HIS MARK.
BY RICHARD WOLCOTT, 'TENTH ILLINOIS.'
'An' the Star-Spangle' Banger in triump' shall wave
O! the lan dov the free-e-e, an' the ho mov the brave.'
Thus sang Hopeful Tackett, as he sat on his little bench in the little shop of Herr Kordwäner, the village shoemaker. Thus he sang, not artistically, but with much fervor and unction, keeping time with his hammer, as he hammered away at an immense 'stoga.' And as he sang, the prophetic words rose upon the air, and were wafted, together with an odor of new leather and paste-pot, out of the window, and fell upon the ear of a ragged urchin with an armful of hand-bills.
'Would you lose a leg for it, Hope?' he asked, bringing to bear upon Hopeful a pair of crossed eyes, a full complement of white teeth, and a face promiscuously spotted with its kindred dust.
'For the Banger?' replied Hopeful; 'guess I would. Both on 'em—an' a head, too.'
'Well, here's a chance for you.' And he tossed him a hand-bill.
Hopeful laid aside his hammer and his work, and picked up the hand-bill; and while he is reading it, let us briefly describe him. Hopeful is not a beauty, and he knows it; and though some of the rustic wits call him 'Beaut,' he is well aware that they intend it for irony. His countenance runs too much to nose—rude, amorphous nose at that—to be classic, and is withal rugged in general outline and pimply in spots. His hair is decidedly too dingy a red to be called, even by the utmost stretch of courtesy, auburn; dry, coarse, and pertinaciously obstinate in its resistance to the civilizing efforts of comb and brush. But there is a great deal of big bone and muscle in him, and he may yet work out a noble destiny. Let us see.
By the time he had spelled out the hand-bill, and found that Lieutenant —— was in town and wished to enlist recruits for Company ——, —— Regiment, it was nearly sunset; and he took off his apron, washed his hands, looked at himself in the piece of looking-glass that stuck in the window—a defiant look, that said that he was not afraid of all that nose—took his hat down from its peg behind the door, and in spite of the bristling resistance of his hair, crowded it down over his head, and started for his supper. And as he walked he mused aloud, as was his custom, addressing himself in the second person, 'Hopeful, what do you think of it? They want more soldiers, eh? Guess them fights at Donelson and Pittsburg Lannen 'bout used up some o' them ridgiments. By Jing!' (Hopeful had been piously brought up, and his emphatic exclamations took a mild form.) 'Hopeful, 'xpect you'll have to go an' stan' in some poor feller's shoes. 'Twon't do for them there blasted Seceshers to be killin' off our boys, an' no one there to pay 'em back. It's time this here thing was busted! Hopeful, you an't pretty, an' you an't smart; but you used to be a mighty nasty hand with a shot-gun. Guess you'll have to try your hand on old Borey's [Beauregard's] chaps; an' if you ever git a bead on one, he'll enter his land mighty shortly. What do you say to goin'? You wanted to go last year, but mother was sick, an' you couldn't; and now mother's gone to glory, why, show your grit an' go. Think about it, any how.'
And Hopeful did think about it—thought till late at night of the insulted flag, of the fierce fights and glorious victories, of the