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While reconnoitering in Westmoreland County, Virginia, one of General
Washington's officers chanced upon a fine team of horses driven before a
plow by a burly slave. Finer animals he had never seen. When his eyes
had feasted on their beauty he cried to the driver: "Hello good fellow!
I must have those horses. They are just such animals as I have been
looking for."

The black man grinned, rolled up the whites of his eyes, put the lash to
the horses' flanks and turned up another furrow in the rich soil.

The officer waited until he had finished the row; then throwing back his
cavalier cloak the ensign of the rank dazzled the slave's eyes.

"Better see missus! Better see missus!" he cried waving his hand to the
south, where above the cedar growth rose the towers of a fine old
Virginia mansion.

The officer turned up the carriage road and soon was rapping the great
brass knocker of the front door.

Quickly the door swung upon its ponderous hinges and a grave,
majestic-looking woman confronted the visitor with an air of inquiry.

"Madam," said the officer doffing his cap and overcome by her dignity,
"I have come to claim your horses in the name of the Government."

"My horses?" said she, bending upon him a pair of eyes born to command.
"Sir, you cannot have them. My crops are out and I need my horses in the
field."

"I am sorry," said the officer, "but I must have them, madam. Such are
the orders of my chief."

"Your chief? Who is your chief, pray?" she demanded with restrained
warmth.

"The commander of the American army, General George Washington," replied
the other, squaring his shoulders and swelling his pride.

A smile of triumph softened the sternness of the woman's features. "You
go and tell General George Washington for me," said she, "that his
mother says he cannot have her horses."


The wagons of "the greatest show on earth" passed up the avenue at
daybreak. Their incessant rumbling soon awakened ten-year-old Billie and
five-year-old brother Robert. Their mother feigned sleep as the two
white-robed figures crept past her bed into the hall, on the way to
investigate. Robert struggled manfully with the unaccustomed task of
putting on his clothes. "Wait for me, Billie," his mother heard him beg.
"You'll get ahead of me."

"Get mother to help you," counseled Billie, who was having troubles of
his own.

Mother started to the rescue, and then paused as she heard the voice of
her younger, guarded but anxious and insistent.

"_You_ ask her, Billie. You've known her longer than I have."


A little girl, being punished by her mother flew, white with rage, to
her desk, wrote on a piece of paper, and then going out in the yard she
dug a hole in the ground, put the paper in it and covered it over. The
mother, being interested in her child's doings, went out after the
little girl had gone away, dug up the paper and read:

_Dear Devil_:
Please come and take my mamma away.


One morning a little girl hung about the kitchen bothering the busy cook
to death. The cook lost patience finally. "Clear out o' here, ye sassy
little brat!" she shouted, thumping the table with a rolling-pin.

The little girl gave the cook a haughty look. "I never allow any one but
my mother to speak to me like that," she said.


The public-spirited lady met the little boy on the street. Something
about his appearance halted her. She stared at him in her near-sighted
way.

THE LADY--"Little boy, haven't you any home?"

THE LITTLE BOY--"Oh, yes'm; I've got a home."

THE LADY--"And loving parents?"

THE LITTLE BOY--"Yes'm."

THE LADY--"I'm afraid you do not know what love really is. Do your
parents look after your moral welfare?"

THE LITTLE BOY--"Yes'm."

THE LADY--"Are they bringing you up to be a good and helpful citizen?"

THE LITTLE BOY--"Yes'm."

THE LADY--"Will you ask your mother to come and hear me talk on 'When
Does a Mother's Duty to Her Child Begin?' next Saturday afternoon, at
three o'clock, at Lyceum Hall?"

THE LITTLE BOY (explosively)--"What's th' matter with you ma! Don't you
know me? I'm your little boy!"


Here's to the happiest hours of my life--
Spent in the arms of another man's wife:
My mother!


Happy he
With such a mother! faith in womankind
Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high
Comes easy to him, and though he trip and fall,
He shall not blind his soul with clay.

--_Tennyson_.


Women know
The way to rear up children (to be just);
They know a simple, merry, tender knack
Of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes,
And stringing pretty words that make no sense,
And kissing full sense into empty words;
Which things are corals to cut life upon,
Although such trifles.

--_E. B. Browning_





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