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bridge of Jena, it being the memorial
of the battle which had prostrated their


NOT noble are my heroines, though of an
old family, held in high esteem in other
times and climes, especially under the
ancient republics. In the great square of
Corinth, once stood the bronze statue of a
member of this family, honoured as the
emblem of liberty. The Egyptian branch,
called Maniculate, became royal favourites,
companions of a Pharaoh and a Ramesis,
and were venerated, as possessing mysterious
powers of divination; they were placed
on the systrum during religious rites; and
after death were accorded costly embalmment
and sepulture in the high temple at
Bubastos. Indeed, the family could boast
a goddess of their own, called Sancta
Bubastis. Horapollo says that, in the great
Temple of the Sun, at Heliopolis, stood a
statue of some representative of this
favoured race. Cambyses is said to have
taken Thebes by placing in the front of
the Persian army a corps formed of
members of a family so venerated by the
Egyptians. Later, one of the race was a favourite
of Mohammed, and accompanied him to

The English branch of the great family
emigrated from Cyprus. They were at first
so highly esteemed that royal edicts for
their protection were issued; but, under
new conditions of society, they declined in
dignity as a race, though they occasionally
rose to distinction as individuals.
Shakespeare makes mention of one of them, in
Macbeth. One appears in the history of
the Tower of London as the useful friend
of a distinguished prisoner of state. One,
for eminent services, had his arms quartered
with those of a high London official.
One, accounted a base pretender to the
family name, entered the Royal Navy, but
won no honour. In striking contrast to
this pretender, who boasted as many appendages
as a Spanish prince of the blood to
his name, is the Manx representative of the
family, with no appendage to speak of. Of
the Celtic branch, several members became
renowned in song and story, at Kilkenny,

To be brief, the grand family name of
this ancient raceis not to put too fine a
point upon itthe cat. So it follows that,
quite in the order of nature, my five little
sisters are kittens. I have been thus
particular in tracing their descent, because
being a republican, this matter of pedigree
is of grave importance to me.

Three months of a late summer and
autumn we passed, deep in a lovely green
dale, in one of the middle states of America,
at a farm-house, quite beyond the
"sound of the church-going bell." The
rush of the express train was unheard
there, and the shriek of the steam-whistle
scarce offended the breathless quiet of
summer noons. Indeed, so tame and
attenuated did it become ere it reached our ears,
that a young Shanghai cock on the
premisesa fowl with such surprisingly long
bare legs and such an insufficiency of tail,
that he looked like a workhouse boy who
had outgrown his charity suitcould crow
it down in two seconds. The farm-house
was a quaint stone structure, a century
old, more like an English farm-house than
anything I had seen since I looked my last
on the dear old mother-isle, fifteen long
years before. It was mantled by ivy and
climbing roses, and sentinelled by a
gigantic pear-tree. Very green and stately
was this tree, but old and spent. That
season it was so overweighted with fruit
that one still August day it fell with a
sharp groan, and lay upon the lawn. On
the other side of the house we had a
charming little lawn, shaded by maples
and lindens, and made very fragrant and
bright by choice flowers. Beyond this
stretched green meadows and golden grain
fields, skirted by a cool, inviting wood.

But how, after all this introductory pomp
and circumstance, am I to bring in my five
little kittens? I wish I could bring them, as
they were brought to us, from the stable,
by the children, in a little torn basket,
which they quite overflowed in heads, tails,
and limp little legs.

Alice, our one daughter, has a tenderness,
which I must confess she comes
honestly by, for cats. On her first day at
the farm-house she had been greatly
excited by observing a grave, grey, portly
Uncle Thomas strolling down one of the
garden walks. Hardly had she made
acquaintance with himwho received her
advances with a stately and lazy condescension
which only cats, babies, and potentates
can assumewhen she caught sight
of a pretty, graceful Grimalkin, evidently
a young matron, who came from the direction
of the barn, and timidly applied at the
kitchen-door for rations. To her, the child
made polite overtures, but she was shy, or