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-------.....--READINGS FOR…


READINGS FOR THE YOUNG. JUST BE GLAD. o heart of mine, we shouldn't Worry so! What we've missed of calm we couldn't Have, you kno w! What we've met of stormy pain, And of sorrow's driving rain, We can better meet again If it blow. We have erred in that dark hour We have known, When the tears fell with the shower, All alone- Were not shine and shower blent As the gracious Master meant? Let us temper our content With His own. For we know, not every morrow Can be sad So, forgetting all the sorrow We have had, Let us fold away our fears, J And put by our foolish tears. I And through all the coming years ( Just be glad. WHEN BULLETS ARE FLYING. What are the feelings of an officer when, for the first time he leads his men into battle ? (asks a writer in Chums). This is a question which the soldier him- self alone can answer, and we suspect that a good many would be unwilling to go too closely into the subject. "he hum of a rifle bullet, the shriek of a shell, the rush of a cannon shot must be, and always has been, extremely trying to the inexperienced warrior. A certain officer, who prefers on this occasion to be nameless, has frankly described his first experience in battle. We were advancing to the scene of opera- tions (he says). On entering a strip of wood it occurred to me that my men, being raw recruits, would not fight well on horseback, and so I ordered them to dismount. This, of course, stopped the whole body of the army behind the regiment. While the men were leisurely tying their horses, an officer came up at a furious gait and asked peremptorily: What have you stopped here for, and blocked up the whole road ?" I saw the point in a moment, and bade my men move out of the wood. In the mean- time my scrabbard got itself hopelessly entangled in a bush, and the more I tried to get it loose, the more it stack the faster." So I told my men to form at the edge of the wood aid wait for me. Then I cut the straps and left my broken scabbard in the bush, while, with naked blade flashing in my hand, I rushed to the front. Not a man could I find. They were anxious to see the fun, and had run over the brow of the hill, and scattered along the whole length of the line. After infinite difficulty, many words and more temper, I got theui together again. We were barely in position when I heard a distant cannon, and at the same instant saw the ball high in the air. As near as I could calculate, it was going to strike ex- actly where I stood, and I dismounted with remark- able agility, only to see the missile of war pass 60ft. overhead. I felt rather foolish as I looked at my men, but a good deal relieved when I saw they, too, had all squatted on the ground and were none of them looking at me. I quickly mounted again and commanded them to stand up." We were ordered to charge soon after, and the enemy easily gave way before us, for which I was:most devoutly thankful. We passed some dead and wounded, the first sad results of real war that I had ever seen. At night black clouds overspread the sky, the rain fell in torrents, not even a camp-fire could be kept to light up the impenetrable gloom. I stretched myself upon the soaked ground. The pale, rigid faces that I had seen turned up to the evening sun appeared before me, as I tried in vain to shield my own from the driving rain, and as the big foot of a comrade, blundering round in the darkness, splashed my eyes full of mud, I closed them in my first sleep upon a battlefield. 1"1: AS PLAYED IN CHINA. The Chinese are about the last people in the world one would expect to play football, yet in Northern China there are quite a number of football teams (says a writer in Chums). Of course the game as played by the Celestials is very different from the British form of the past'me. For instance, a sort of wickerwork basket takes the place of the ball, and instead of being played in a field the match is fought out in the streets, the rival teams consisting of 50 a side. The two goals are formed by the two ends of the town, and the object of the game is to carry the ball, or rather the basket, into the opponent's end. Very little business is done in the town while the match is being played, for the proceedings are of an exceedingly rough and rapid kind. A certain number of players are posted in all the principal streets. Meantime the townsfolk at their windows watch the play with as much interest as the spectators of a Rugby game in this country. The scrimmages are simply terrific. For once John Chinaman dis- penses with his fan and his grumpish manners, and plays the game like a Trojan. Every player is pro- vided with a whistle to call the assistance of his friends from adjoining streets, and when the players are called together for a big scrum in some par- ticular street, the uninformed onlooker would suppose Chinese Bedlam had broken loose. Such howling and hooting, such tumbling and charging and hustling—a British scrimmage is tame beside it. There is no umpire, no method, and practically no code of rules. It is rough and tumble and go as you please," and the game often lasts for days. PRBAKS INDULGED IN BY BOYS. There is no limit to what a boy will do, once he has made up his mind (says a writer in Chums) and some Of the freaks of youngsters during the last few years are so remarkable that if they were de- scribed in stories they would hardly be believed. It is only a few months ago, for instance, that four boys at Dover alarmed the police during the night by boarding a steam yacht in the harbour. The youths, having managed to get aboard the craft, burst open the door of the engine-room, got up steam, and set the vessel in motion, tripping round and round the harbour. Fortunately, they were discovered before it was too late, or, according to experts who saw the boiler immediately after the boys were detected, a very serious explosion might have occurred. It is a curious fact that the sea appeals more than anything to boys of this turn of mind. There have been many instances of the kind within the last few years. Not so very many months ago some Liverpool boys were stopped on the Mersey as they were setting out for a voyage in a small boat which they had loosed from its moorings and a year or two since a number of London boys, having got possession of a rather large sum of money, stocked a boat with eat- ables and were about to set out on a voyage round the world when they were surprised by the appear- ance of a policeman on the scene. The boat had been well filled with provisions, which the boys had ob- tained in small quantities so as not to excite suspi- cion, and had they not been interfered with it seems probable that they might have existed at sea for months. A boy of 18, named Schreiber, managed to outwit the Vienna police on the occasion of the Austrian Emperor's last birthday by climbing up the steeple of St. Stephen's church and fixing a black- and-yellow flag on the top. Four other persons had been prevented from attempting to perform this feat, but Schreiber succeeded in reaching the summit with- out being noticed, though he was stopped on coming down, and was compelled to go to the police-station. PAID WITH HIS LIRA. ■ A remarkable story is told by a writer in Chums of a Californian boy, who was killed while fighting in the American army at Manila. In a moment of weakness his father embezzled some public funds, and this so worked upon the sensitive mind of the boy that he determined never to rest until he had atoned for his parent's crime. The stolen money amounted to a very large sum, £ 10,000 in fact; but he set before himself the task of working until he could repay it. He determined at first to become a merchant; but when the war with Spain broke out a new idea occurred to him. This was that he should enter the army. If he was killed, he thought, the sacrifice of his life would be atonement. If he sur- vived, he might live to pay back the debt. So be en- listed, and met his death in battle, thus showing a spirit not only of bravery, but of heroic self-sacrifice. SHOOTING STARS. In the course of an article on shooting-stars in Littk Folks the author says: "Then think of a meteor which, rushing at that speed through space, meets the covering of our earth, and you will under- stand, perhaps, how a very great heat is made. Now, think of hundreds and hundreds of small bodies wandering round the sun on this pathway, then think of a shoal of herrings in the ocean, think of a huge. flock of birds, or of a swarm of locusts and it will help you to see how the meteors travel in a vast body, and yet how each separate one must finish its own' journey of thousands and thousands of miles once in 33 years, for, of course, unlike the fish, the birds, or the locusts, the meteors must keep on a certain track. For the greater part of the vear we see almost no meteors, but once in each year the earth crosses their track, and that is in November.*

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