THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING. i N .ae ghostly light I'm sluing musing ui long dead Decem bers, While the flre-clnd NlinncH are fitting In and out among the embers I Ou my hearthstone In mad races, anu .1 marvel, for In seem ing can dimly see the faces and the scenes of which I'm dreaming. irolden Christmas uays of yore! In sweet anticipa tion I lived their Joys for davs before Their glorious realization; And on the dawu Of Christinas morn . My childish heart was Knocking A wild tattoo. As 'twould break through. As I unhung my stocking. Each simple gift that came to hand, How marvelous 1 thought It! A treasure straight from Wouderlaud, For Sun I a Clans had brought It. And at my cries Of giad surprise The others all came flocking To share my glee Aud view with me " The contents of the stotuing. Years sped I left each well-loved scene In Northern wilds to roam, And there, 'mid tossing pine trees green, I made myself a home. We numbered three And blithe were we, At adverse fortune mocking. And Chrlstmastlde By our fireside ' Found hung the baby's stocking. Alas! within our home to-night No sweet youug voice Is ringing. And through Its silent rooms no light. Free, childish step Is springing. The wild winds rave O'er baby's grave Where plumy pines are rocking. And crossed at rest Oji marble breast The hand! that tilled my stocking. With misty eyes hut stondv hand I raise my Christmas chalice: Here's to the children of the laud In cabin or in palace: May each one hold The key of gold The gates of glee unlocking, And hands be found The whale world round To All the Christmas stocking. Ladles' Home Journal. I 1 Sp.lllffiffi.il KIP iTjatfX UNCLE JEWRY'S $ ' ' CHRISTMAS, n NCLE JiiRRV I Foster was too stin gy to live, and every body knew it. But everybody didn't 'ill' know how noor Aunt Betsey, his ad to manage contrive and skimp to get along. She never had the handling of any money. Even the butter and egg mon ey, that most every farmer's wife has for her own use, all went into Uncle Jerry s pockets; and if she wanted a new gown or a bonnet or a pair o' shoes I. hadn't erter say if she wanted 'em, but if she must have 'em, and there wa'u't no possi ble airthly way for him to skin out o' get tin' 'em then Uncle Jerry would go to the store with her and buy 'em and pay for 'em, jest as if she was a child or an . ijiot, and incapable .o' dewin' business ou her own hook. If Auut Betsey hadn't had the best-disposition in the world, she wouldn't stood It all them years. As it was, it wore on her, and told on her fearful. Though Uncle Jerry wns one o' the richest men in town, she might 'a' been the wife o' the poorest and miser'blest, so fur's any out ward' indication was conssrned or in ward indications, either for she was al wers half starved, and wa'nt nothin' but skin and bones, as you might say. Uncle Jerry grew wuss V wuss, and come along towards Christmas he got a bran'-new crochet fer savin' into his head. It was at family devotion one mornin', jest before the rendin', that he divulgated It to his wife. He finds the place in Ne hemiar he alwers read the long chapters In fall and winter and puts his thura' in to keep it, then, drawin' on a long face, he looks at Aunt Betsey over his spe'ta cles, and-says he: "Wife, I are of a notion that this 'ere Christnias business is all foolishness! Seems if it must be a sin in the sight o' the Lord to eat so much one day in the year. 'I don't believe it's necessary to make pigs V gluttons of ourselves in order to have thankful hearts; and if we go to meetin', and so on, why ain't that enough? I reckon we'll sell the turkey this year and have our usual dinner, 'long's ..'there ain't no children eomin' home, nor nothin'." Aunt Betsey set there with her bands In her lap, not exactly thinkin', but kinder wonderin'.and grievin'. And when. they kneeled down to pray she kept on wonder In' more'a ever. She wondered what she had to be thankful for, anyway. ."Now, if Ellen could come home!" Ellen was their daughter, all the child they had in the world, and she lived so far away that she couldn't afford to come home and bring the children bein' she was a wldder and poor but, oh, how her mother .did wanter see her! "What did she care about turkey and plum puddin' if Ellen and the children couldn't eat it with her? Yes, the money might as well be put in OLD FATHER TIME RECEIVES THE NEW YEAR. "YM!R WIFE IS A VERY SICK WOMAN. theTJank; she didn't care." Sa she thought on and on, not hardly sensin,' the prajtr;a mite. She went out to her work in the kitch en feelin' all broke up. She didn't -know w-hyshe-should be, 'less she'd, been. kind er secretly hopin' to have Ellen arid the children, Christmas was more than she CHRISTMAS MUSINGS. could bear. There wa'n't nothin' to her, no time, as you might say, and this was the last straw on Ahe camel's back. 'T any rate, all to once she give out and had to go ter bed. The next mornin' she couldn't get up, but Uncle Jerry didn't think much about it, s'posed she'd be up bimeby; but when he come in to dinner, there lay his wife jest the same, as if sb? hadn't no thoughts o' gettin' up. He didn't know what under the sun to do, but he knew he must do somethin', so he het a brick and put to her feet, and was jest making a mustard plaster to put on her somewheres when Mis' Hop kins happened in. She see how it wns with Aunt Betsey in a minute. She's awful cute about some things, Mis' Hopkins is, and she ain't afraid o' no man livin'. 1 "Uncle Jerry," snys she, matter of fact as you please, "your wife's a very sick UNCLE JERRY SET PAt.K AS A STATU. woman, and she's goiu' to die right off, I'm afraid, 'less we hyper round and do somethin', and do it quick. But fust I'd better step over 'n' fetch the doctor." Uncle Jerry was wonderful took down. All of a sudden he realized that his wife was invalooable to him: he felt that he could not get along without her, nohow. He was as anxious to have the doctor as Mis' Hopkins was, and told her to hurry and bring him. , So she went he lived near by and she says to him: "Doctor Cross, now . is your chance to do a deed o' humanity, and put a spoke in Uncle Jerry Foster's wheel for all time! If he's got any heart and feelin's you must find 'em and work on to 'em for his wife's sake. It would be cruel to bring her back to life, 'less you can do somethin' to make .that life endoorable. Don't, I beg on ye, raise her up to live on in the same old skimpy miser'ble way! Better let her die and done with it." They discussed and considered over the matter for a few minutes, then weut to gether to the house. They found Aunt Betsey layin' jist the same only she stopped cryin'. The doctor examined her and diaggernosed her case as well as he could, then he motioned Un cle Jerry out into the other room and shet the door behind him. It seems the doctor took him awful solium and in dead earnest, and says he, to begin with: "Uncle Jerry, do you set high rally on your wife's life?" "High vally on my .wife's life?" says Uncle Jerry, red in tie face." "Of course I dew. What you talkin' about?" "I was here when you fetched her home a bride. I remember how handsome she was; plump as a pa'tridge, fresh as a flower, and as laughin' and chipper a girl as I 'bout ever see. Changed, terribly changed, ain't she?" turnin' to Uncle Jer ry and feelin' in his pocket fer his han' k'chif to wipe away the tears. ."It does beat all how she's changed," says he. "Changed!" says Uncle Jerry, 11 of a fluster, "of course she's changed! Why, we've been married goin' on 25 year! You can't expect a woman to stay 18 all her life!" "I know that farmers' wives grow old pretty fast as a gineral thing; break down young, don't they? But, Uncle Jerry," squarin'" round on him suddenly and look in' him in the eye, "I want to ask you to compare your wife's 'looks with the looks of other women of her age in town, no handsomer, no -healthier than what she was when you- married her, and tell me if you think there's a difference. . Now, they're different from your wife, and why? 1 ask you fair and candid, why shouldn't she look as happy, be as happy and make as good a 'pearance every way as them women? And why is it that she has took to her bed in the orime o' life ! and don't wanter live no longer? For 1 find that's about the way it is with her. When Uncle Jerry came back he went up to the bed and sat down beside his wife and looked at her. She was asleep, and Mis' Hopkins thought he must 'a' seen him draw his band acrost his eyes two or three times on the sly. Bimeby he got up and went out to Mis' Hopkins, and, says he: "What was the doctor's orders? What can I do to help ye?" "He ordered nourishin' food, and wine, and so on," she says, "and 1 guess the fust thing you may kill a chicken, if you're minter, and git it ready fer the broth; then go over to Jim Jackson's and buy a quart or so of that oldest grape wine o' his'n. She'll be . awake by the time you get backwith it, I guess." Uncle Jerry didn't so much as wink at mention of the chicken, but when she spoke o' the wine so offhand and matter ! o' course he drawed in his breath once or twice kinder spasmodicky, but he never opened his head. When the broth wns ready Uncle Jer ry asked if he might take it in; so Mis' Hopkins filled one of the chiuy bowls that was Aunt Betsey's mar's and set it in a plate with a cracker or two, and he took 'em along. The broth was good and strong, and when Aunt Betsey tasted on't she looked at her husband real kinder seairt, and, says she: "Where did this 'ore come from?" And he 'aughed and snys: "It's made out o' one of our best Plymouth Rocks; is it good?" A wonderin', quiverin' smile hovered for n minute on to her poor face; she didn't know what to make on't. But when he lugged in the jug o' wine and poured out a hull half a tumbler full and handed it to her, her eyes fairly rtuck out of her head with astonishment. "Drink it; it'll do you good," says he. "It's Jim Jackson's oldest grape wine you've heard tell on." "Why why,-husband!" she whispered, "didn't it cost an awful sight o' money?" "Only $3 a gallon," he answered, tryin' to smile, but lookin' rather ghastly. She sipped it slow, eyein' him over the top o' the tumbler as she done so; but pretty soon she set it down and spoke again, awful meachin', and 'pealin', her lips tremblin' as if she was going to cry. "I'm sorry to put you to so much ex pense, husband. I'm afraid I'm afraid it ain't wuth while!" He got up and blowed his nose with all his might and main. "I want you to get well, Betsey. I want you to get well!" he managed to say. The strangest expression come into her face you ever see in any creature's. Then, as if struck by somethin' in his looks, she seemed to get a dim idee that he was dif ferent, and she tried to make out how it was, but couldn't, and, bein' too tired and weak to think much, she jest shet her eyes and give it all up. That night Uncle Jerry harnessed the old mare and went over and got Mary Buell to came V stay with 'em a spell. Mary's an excellent good hand in cases o' sickness, and bein' an old maid, she's always ready to go and dew fer the neigh bors. She's a prime nuss and housekeep er, and she's good company, too jest the kind o' person to cheer Aunt Betsey up, you know. Wall, it come along the day TN TKOOPKD A PARChI, (V CHI LORE T. 'fore Christmas, and Aunt Betsey lay back in her easy chair in the cheerful Bit tin' room. A pitcher full of late fall flow ers stood on the mantelshelf; a cracklin' fire was burnin' in the open fireplace, and the old tabby cat lay before it on the rug, purrin' for all she was wuth a perfect pictur' of content. . , The door was open into the kitchen, and she could see Mary steppin' round about her work, gettin' ready for to-morrer. She could smell the stuiiin' for the turkey, and the plum puddin' bakin' in the oven. She knew there was a hull shelf full o' pies in the pantry she see 'em yesterday six mince, six punkin, three apple an' three cranb'ry tart. She thought it was too many to make at once; and seemed so strange. She sighed and laid her head back, with the old look on her face. She was thinkin' of Ellen and the children. She sat there, blamin' herself and think in' what a poor, weak kind of a mother she was, till the tears rolled down her cheeks. . Then, all at once, she heard a noise outside, , I OS 1 f Bcotoe bt Christmas boljy out pall llje doors Wbtrc ttjeuiufer jun&lji o,a f lood ot dory poor j Hap fbeCprisfmai roses cufry&jhtre uedi), , Urfljfuj faaljel&tlr soetf souls iol&efaarfoffOai?. iCU Torhf hme (5rj6r-Cr)ildoro ro cac year'. ' of Him meeK analoulv inth. -maiwr lit. flnct1)e sfarof Promise 'mfjefortfaSKy. ' caffer loucand kindness evayatynat (an! Qloty befo(joi arji0MctivdQooiw)l toward wan t A I' i, if The stage had stopped, and there was the sound o' voices talkin' and laughin', and of feet hurryin' .up the steps. Then the door opened no, it was burst open and in trooped a parcel o' children, and behind 'em, not fur behind, with her hands stretched out and the happy tears stream in' down her pretty face, come her daugh ter Ellen! . . How them two kissed and clung to one V other, till the children got out o' pa tience and wouldn't wait no longer for tfteir turn ! Then Uncle Jerry came to the resky and says, betwixt laughin' and cry in': "There, there, children! I guess that'll dew! It's my turn now," and he took her to the lounge whe-e she could lay and rest and still be with 'em all. She pulled him down to her and kissed him aud whispered: "Oh, husband, how good you be! You've made me the happiest woman in the world!" Uncle Jerry got away as quick as he could, and went out to the barn and set down on tbe hay cutter and laughed and wiped his eyes till he was some calmer. Then; he fell on his knees and thanked God reverently for nhowin' him before he died what true happiness wuz, and how to get it for himself by bestowin' it on others. New York Tribune. Another Year Is Dawning. Another year Is dawning! Dear Master, let It be. In working or In waiting, Another year with Thee, Another year Is leaning, Upon Thy loving breast Ox ever-deepening trustfulness. Of quiet, happy rest. Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace; Another year of gladness, In the shining of Thy face. Another year of progress. Another year of praise; Another year of proving Thy presence all the days. Another year of service, Of witness for Thy love; Another year of training For holler works above. Another year Is dawning! ' Dear Master, let It be On heaven or else In heaven. Another year for Thee. Don'ts About Gifts. Don't above all things ask the giver whether you may exchange her gift. Don't forget that it is the inward spirit that makes the real value of the offering. Don't express dissatisfaction with a gift, no matter how great your disappoint; ment. ' Don't above all things be guilty of mak ing a list of articles you desire. This is a species of polite blackmail. Don't, even in your innermost self, spec ulate as to whether your gift will bring a return, and above all a return in mone tary value. ". Don't forget that the chief charm of a gift is essentially the surprise. Don't, therefore, barter with a friend as to re ciprocal gifts. . , 1 Don'.t, if you have neglected to remem ber a friend, wound her pride by sending a New Year's gift in exchange for her Christmas present. The motive is too ap parent. Another Altered Will. . Little Alice Mamma says 'she ain't go ing to give you anything for Christmas this year. 1 Papa's Maiden Sister Oh, she isn't, eh? Why not? Little Alice 'Cause the present she give you last year was worth twice as much as what you give us. Will Receive Culls. "Do yod expect to receive calls on New Year's day?" asked Willie Hicollar. "Yes," answered Mamie Hollerton; "I'll have to. The telephone exchange where I work wouldn't give me the day off. Isn't it mean?" Washington Star. A Clincher. 1 Mrs. Cobwigger You are to ask only one more question the whole evening. Freddie Then, ma, if Santa Claus really brings the presents why am I not to look out of the window if an express wagon drives up to the door? Judge. A Definition of Christmas. Sunday School Teacher Johnny, what does Christmas mean? Johnny My pa says Christmas means swapping a lot o' things you can't afford for a lot o' things you don't want. Life. Whate'er the facts or fancies of onr creed. They are divine If they but serve our needs: I 4nd hence the brightness of that glorious That st! 11 Is called "The Star of Bethle. hem" A Star, beyond all other stars, designed; To shed a purer lustre on mankind, And through the various lenses of the soul To warm and cheer and elevate the whole, And what, although Its broad supernal beams May be but concentrations of the gleams That lit up many an eastern Buddha's breast. To shed erewhlle their radiance o'er the west? , Whate'er the grade or color of the flame. In essence, light and love are all the same. Both myth and mystery must to all things cling, Else Progress has no source from whence to spring. Here none superior knowledge may assume, As mind and matter are conceived In gloon.; Nor has a Veda or Apocalypse Dispelled one cloud of the profound ecllpsa. But see! amid onr happy homes we stand. With peace and joy widespread throughout the land, While merry little household Chrlsts ar born Of every song and smile this Christmas morn. Then let our inmost souls ascend In praise To that mysterious power who guides our ways; And let us truly thank him, one and all, For all his Chrlsts and Vedas, great and small But, oh, alas! that we should only see His love and care In full prosperity! Or that discomfort for a single hour Should prompt us to deny his fostering power! Oh! when shall It be clearly understood That evil's but the darkest shade of good; That In some great equation may be blent Darkness as though 'twere light's true com plement? But now that we are all assembled here On this glad day, the white stone of the year As on this elevated plane we stand, Let us give those below a helping hand. Let each produce what treasures'he has got From any lore he loves no matter what; But all the Christian needs, on his account. Will simply be "the Sermon on the Mount. Jenness-Mlller MontHly. A FLORIDA CHRISTMAS. How the Happy Day Is Celebrated in a Fair Southern City. HRISTMAS in Florida is a novel ex perience to North erners. There the manner of observing this holiday is more like a Fourth of July celebration than anything else. The incessant firing of torpedoes and fire crackers in the mid- g die of the day and T the display of pyro technics in the even ing rob the' day of much of its mythol ogical and sacred significance. A stroll through a typical town in the realm of fruits and flowers gives a person from the North some startling ideas. The show windows are full of firecrackers, Koman candles, sky rockets, packages of torpedoes and other fireworks. The July weather is present, aquatic and field sports are carried out in accordance with a regular picnic program, and the sight of thousands in holiday attire on a race track, the borders of some pretty lake or a baseball park, gives little hint of a cele bration which at the North is attended with sleighing, skating and Chrisynas trees. '.-... Only in the churches is the commemo ration suggestive and familiar. In some of these a great Christmas ship, with evergreen-trimmed masts, is displayed. Bright little lads and pretty maids dress ed in white and carrying tinsel wands distribute presents to everybody. In the negro quarters, too, the real yuletide fer vor is shown. No one loves a holiday better than a negro, and the eating, drink ing and singing in the rough, boarded huts is engaged in with ardent zeal. Through latticed windows and open doors may be seen the smoking turkey and 'possum, hoe cake, pumpkin pies and ' watermelons. The patriarchal colored preacher summons all his dusky clientele to the rickety frame church in the after noon or evening, fixing the minds of his auditors on the sin of chicken stealing and wandering in the white folks' orange groves after midnight. Then all hands join in the chorus of the old Chxistinaf song: Shin' on, shin' on; . Doan' git weary, chillun! Shin' on, shin' on Oh, Jerusalem! The weird chanting, accompanied by the regular tapping of the feet of the singers on the pine floor, is followed by an adjournment to some large barn, where the music from the negro orchestra's vio lins and banjos for hours keep up the dance, between fragments of "All de darkies am a weepin', Massa's in de cold,, cold groun,' " and "Suwanee River," the plaintive strains being wafted sweetly through the swaying pines. ' "Well?" - Need Not Interfere. "I don't see your mistletoe," said he, glancing up at the chandelier. "Is it real ly necessary?" replied she, archly. It wasn't. Judge. The Flirt. The mistletoe she keeps In view. And though she says she won't. She's angry with you If you do. And cuts yon if you don't.