Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/123

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117
THE SISTER YEARS.

her arm. She greeted the disconsolate Old Year with great affection, and sat down beside her on the steps of the City Hall, waiting for the signal to begin her rambles through the world. The two were own sisters, being both grand-daughters of Time; and though one looked so much older than the other, it was rather owing to hardships and trouble than to age, since there was but a twelvemonth's difference between them.

'Well, my dear sister,' said the New Year, after the first salutations, 'you look almost tired to death. What have you been about during your sojourn in this part of Infinite Space?'

'Oh, I have it all recorded here in my Book of Chronicles,' answered the Old Year, in a heavy tone. 'There is nothing that would amuse you; and you will soon get sufficient knowledge of such matters from your own personal experience. It is but tiresome reading.'

Nevertheless, she turned over the leaves of the folio, and glanced at them by the light of the moon, feeling an irresistible spell of interest in her own biography, although its incidents were remembered without pleasure. The volume, though she termed it her Book of Chronicles, seemed to be neither more nor less than the Salem Gazette for 1838; in the accuracy of which journal this sagacious Old Year had so much confidence, that she deemed it needless to record her history with her own pen.

'What have you been doing in the political way?' asked the New Year.

'Why, my course here in the United States,' said the Old Year—'though perhaps I ought to blush at the confession—my political course, I must acknowl-