Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/185

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67
THE READING-CLUB.

Upon their hind legs to and fro!
Now every year on the wedding-day
The boys and girls come out to play,
And scramble for cherries as they may.
With a cheer for this and the other bear,
And a cheer for Sir Nicholas, free and fair,
And a cheer for Cis, of the tossy hair—
With one cheer more (if you will wait)
For every girl with a curly pate,
Who keeps her hair in a proper state.
Sing bear's grease! curling- irons to sell!
Sing combs and brushes! sing tortoise-shell!
Oh, yes! ding-dong! the crier, the bell!
Isn't this a pretty tale to tell?

Lilliput Levee.

A HOWL IN ROME.

It had been a day of triumph in Capua. Lentulus, returning with victorious eagles, had amused the populace with the sports of the amphitheatre to an extent hitherto unknown, even in that luxurious city. A large number of people from the rural districts had taken advantage of half-rates on the railroad, and had been in town watching the conflict in the arena, listening to the infirm, decrepit ring-joke, and viewing the bogus sacred elephant.

The shouts of revelry had died away. The last loiterer had retired from the free-lunch counter, and the lights in the palace of the victor were extinguished. The restless hyena in the Roman menagerie had sunk to rest, and the Numidian lion at the stock-yards had taken out his false teeth for the night. The moon, piercing the tissue of fleecy clouds, tipped the dark waters of the Tiber with a wavy, tremulous light. The dark-browed Roman soldier moved on his homeward way, the sidewalk flipping up occasionally, and hitting him in the small of the back. No sound was heard, save the low sob of some retiring wave as it told its story to the smooth pebbles on the beach, or the unrelenting boot-jack as it struck the high board fence in the back yard, just missing the Roman tomcat in its mad flight; and then all was still as the breast when the spirit has departed. Anon the half-stifled Roman snore would steal in upon its deathly