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Of the cunning of cats one or two old
stories may be newer than the newest to
most readers. A cat in a monastery knew
that there was never dinner to be had until
the bell had been twice rung. She always
answered the bell promptly; but, one day
when, at noon, the welcome chime was heard,
found herself accidentally shut up in a cell.
Left, perforce, dinnerless until the tenant of
the cell came back from the refectory, she
went as soon as she did escape to look
for her allowance. There was nothing
left for her. In the course of the afternoon
the monks were startled by a pertinacious
sounding of their dinner-bell. Pussy
swung on the bell-rope, ringing for her

One day, the cook in another monastery,
when he laid the dinner, found one brother's
portion of meat missing. He supposed that
he had miscalculated, made good the
deficiency, and thought of it no more till the
next day, when he had again too little at
dinner-time by one monk's commons. He
suspected knavery, and resolved to watch for
the thief. On the third day he was quite
sure that he had his meat cut into the right
number of portions, and was about to dish
up, when he was called off by a ring of the
bell at the outer gate. When he came back
there was again a monk's allowance gone.
Next day he again paid special heed to his
calculations, and, when he was on the point
of dishing up, again there was a ring at the
gate to draw him from the kitchen. He went
no farther than the outside of the kitchen
door, whence he saw that the cat jumped in
at the window, and was out again in an
instant with a piece of meat. Another day's
watching showed that it was the cat also
who, by leaping up at it, set the bell ringing
with her paws; and thus having, as she
supposed, pulled the cook out of the kitchen,
made the coast clear for her own piratical
proceedings. The monks then settled it in
conclave that their cat should be left thus to
earn for the remainder of her days double
rations, while they spread abroad the story
of her cunning. So they obtained many
visitors, who paid money for good places
from which to see the little comedy, and
they grew the richer for the thief they
had amongst them.

The story is more generally known of the
discomfiture of M. de la Croix, who put a
cat under an air-pump, and tried to exhaust
the receiver. When pussy began to feel
uncomfortable, and found how the air was
going, she put one of her paws on the hole
through which it was being sucked away.
The experimenter let the air run back, and
the cat took away her paw directly; but the
moment he began again to suck the air away
she stopped the hole.

Mahometans hold cats in great esteem, for
it is said that Mahomet was fond of them.
Once when he was studying, and his cat lay
asleep on the sleeve of his robe, the hour of
public prayer arrived, and the cat still was
sleeping. Rather than disturb her, he cut
off the sleeve on which she lay.


    Two leaflets, long since wither'd, that give birth
        To no green memories of faded spring,
     I keep; as one would treasure gems of worth,
        Though sometimes an unwilling tear they bring,
     And fill my heart with griefs and longings wild.
        Scoff if you will! I stole those leaves away,
     Like kisses, from the bed of a fair child,
        Whose little life has dawn'd into eternal day.

     He chain'd my wayward love; but never knew
         I loved him; never thought I was his friend,
     And held him in my heart among the few
         For whom my life and powers I fain would spend,
    As a lone cloud loving a group of flowers
        Might linger o'er them in its trackless way,
    To empty all its hoarded wealth of showers,
        That so, in blessing them, itself might waste away.

    Angels! ye loved that little pearl too well,
        And gently lifted it from life's rough sea
    To Heaven's ocean; where not e'en a shell
        Speaks, in the ear, of storms that cannot be.
    Angels! ye took that bud, so rich in love,
        Kept fresh with our wet tears ; ye bore it far,
    And set it in the summer-land above,
       Where, some time, I shall find it, ope'd into a star.



IN declaring, positively, that the boy
whom she had seen digging on the moor had
followed her uncle and herself to the post-
town of Porthgenna, Sarah had asserted the
literal truth. Jacob had tracked them to the
inn, had waited a little while about the door,
to ascertain if there was any likelihood of
their continuing their journey that evening,
and had then returned to Porthgenna Tower
to make his report, and to claim his promised

The same night, the housekeeper and the
steward devoted themselves to the joint
production of a letter to Mrs. Frankland,
informing her of all that had taken place, from
the time when the visitors first made their
appearance, to the time when the gardener's
boy had followed them to the door of the inn.
The composition was plentifully garnished
throughout with the flowers of Mr. Munder's
rhetoric, and was, by a necessary consequence,
inordinately long as a narrative, and
hopelessly confused as a statement of facts.

It is unnecessary to say that the letter,
with all its faults and absurdities, was read
by Mrs. Frankland with the deepest interest.
Her husband and Mr. Orridge, to both
of whom she communicated its contents, were
as much amazed and perplexed by it as she
was herself. Although the discovery of
Mrs. Jazeph's departure for Cornwall had led
them to consider it within the range of

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