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THE TWO RABBIS.'

THE
"HE Rabbi Nathan, twoscore years and ten,

Walked blameless through the evil world, and then,
Just as the almond blossomed in his hair,
Met a temptation all too strong to bear,
And miserably sinned. So, adding not
Falsehood to guilt, he left his seat, and taught
No more among the elders, but went out
From the great congregation girt about
With sackcloth, and with ashes on his head,
Making his gray locks grayer. Long he prayed,
Smiting his breast; then, as the Book he laid
Open before him for the Bath-Col's choice,
Pausing to hear that Daughter of a Voice,
Behold the royal preacher's words : “ A friend
Loveth at all times, yea, unto the end ;
And for the evil day thy brother lives.”
Marvelling, he said: “It is the Lord who gives
Counsel in need. At Ecbatana dwells
Rabbi Ben Isaac, who all men excels
In righteousness and wisdom, as the trees
Of Lebanon the small weeds that the bees
Bow with their weight. I will arise, and lay
My sins before him."

And he went his way
Barefooted, fasting long, with many prayers ;
But even as one who, followed unawares,
Suddenly in the darkness feels a hand
Thrill with its touch his own, and his cheek fanned
By odors subtly sweet, and whispers near
Of words he loathes, yet cannot choose but hear,
So, while the Rabbi journeyed, chanting low
The wail of David's penitential woe,
Before him still the old temptation came,
And mocked him with the motion and the shame
Of such desires that, shuddering, he abhorred
Himself; and, crying mightily to the Lord
To free his soul and cast the demon out,
Smote with his staff the blankness round about.

At length, in the low light of a spent day,
The towers of Ecbatana far away
Rose on the desert's rim ; and Nathan, faint
And footsore, pausing where for some dead saint
The faith of Islam reared a doméd tomb,
Saw some one kneeling in the shadow, whom
He greeted kindly: "May the Holy One
Answer thy prayers, O stranger !” Whereupon

The shape stood up with a loud cry, and then,
Clasped in each other's arms, the two gray men
Wept, praising Him whose gracious providence
Made their paths one. But straightway, as the sense
Of his transgression smote him, Nathan tore
Himself away: “O friend beloved, no more
Worthy am I to touch thee, for I came,
Foul from my sins, to tell thee all my shame.
Haply thy prayers, since naught availeth mine,
May purge my soul, and make it white like thine.
Pity me, O Ben Isaac, I have sinned !”

Awestruck Ben Isaac stood. The desert wind Blew his long mantle backward, laying bare The mournful secret of his shirt of hair. “I too, O friend, if not in act,” he said, “In thought have verily sinned. Hast thou not read, 'Better the eye should see than that desire Should wander ?' Burning with a hidden fire That tears and prayers quench not, I come to thee For pity and for help, as thou to me. Pray for me, O my friend !” But Nathan cried, · Pray thou for me, Ben Isaac !”

66

Side by side In the low sunshine by the turban stone They knelt; each made his brother's woe his own, Forgetting, in the agony and stress Of pitying love, his claim of selfishness; Peace, for his friend besought, his own became; His prayers were answered in another's name; And, when at last they rose up to embrace, Each saw God's pardon in his brother's face !

Long after, when his headstone gathered moss,
Traced on the targum-marge of Onkelos
In Rabbi Nathan's hand these words were read:
Hope not the cure of sin till Self is dead;
Forget it in love's service, and the debt
Thou canst not pay the angels shall forget ;
Heaven's gate is shut to him who comes alone;
Save thou a soul, and it shall save thy own!

KINGS' CROWNS AND FOOLS' CAPS.

“S'him whats and three days later,

are

HE went to the hatter's to buy the concern, to whom Mentor, after

some conversation, presented Miselle when he was caught in a shower, the as “A lady anxious to learn of what hat shrunk an inch in circumference, material, and in what manner, hats are and assumed a pyramidal or monu- .

made." mental appearance, more peculiar than The heads smiled, bowed, and propleasing.

fessed themselves pleased to give all The Baron was naturally dissatisfied, possible information upon the desired Miselle was discomfited, and Caleb was points; and Miselle rushed at once to mildly triumphant.

the great question, propounding it in a “Another of your favorite economies, manner essentially feminine. my dear,” said he. “ You should have “ Felt hats are made of wool, known by the price that this can only they not ?" asked she. be a wool hat, and the inevitable des- The heads smiled benevolently. tiny of wool hats is to terminate like “Not ours," said they. “There are this, - in a cone.”

plenty of wool hats manufactured, but “Wool! why it is a felt hat, and all they are only bought by those who felt is made of wool,” replied Miselle, cannot afford, or do not know enough in a lofty manner.

to choose, fur ones. We do not use a “ Indeed! I was under the impres- fibre of wool in our establishment, but sion that the best felt hats are made of consume, instead, about eighteen thoufur, and never shrink or lose their sand pounds of fur.” shape like this."

“ What sort of fur?” inquired MiAnd Caleb, picking up the unfortu- selle, somewhat hurriedly. nate subject of discussion, set it lightly “ Several sorts, or rather several vaupon the head of the Venus, whose rieties of one sort,” replied the heads. marble neck seemed to curve anew at “For although it is all, in point of fact, the indignity. The Baron forgot his rabbits' fur, the highest quality is called woes, and laughed outright; but Mi- Russia hares’ fur, and the lower grades selle insisted upon calling the question. Scotch and French cony. Then we

" Oh! Felt made of fur! I never occasionally get a small quantity of heard of such a thing, and I don't be- domestic rabbits’ fur, brought mostly lieve it,” said she.

from the South ; and some nutria, a fur “ Seeing is believing,” tranquilly re- obtained from the coypou, a smaller plied Caleb. “Mentor was speaking species of beaver.” of hats to-day, and professed an inten- “Do you get any genuine beaver tion of visiting a factory in Boston. I now ?” inquired Mentor. will get him to take you over it, and “ Sometimes. But beaver fur is you 'shall afterward convince me, if worth fifty dollars the pound to-day, you choose, that you are, as usual, in while the best Russia and German the right, and that all felt is made of hares' fur commands only five, and the wool.”

Scotch and French cony from tivo to "I am not always in the right,” four dollars. We will show you some magnanimously conceded Miselle, but specimens of the principal grades." I should like to visit the hat-factory." Some square paper packages, accom

Mentor proved willing to make good panied by a subterraneous odor, were his sobriquet, and a few days later con- here brought in, and laid upon the table. ducted Miselle to a large establishment “ This is Russia A. H.,” said one of in Boston.

the heads, unfastening the whity-brown They were received by the heads of foreign-looking envelope, and display

you see?

ing a pile of pretty little fleeces, as one accident of death should transform a might call them, of a golden brown German rabbit into a Russian hare I color, so carefully cut from the skin as do not understand.” to leave them quite whole, although “ Besides these varieties of fur," pronot adhesive enough to admit of hand- ceeded the head, “the felt contains ling

another ingredient called 'roundings.' “ This is from the back of the ani- This substance is the trimmings of the mal. The fur of the other portions of hats cut off in the finishing-room, the body is considered inferior. All pieces of felt, in fact, ground and picked this is carotted fur,” said one of the fine again. The effect of this roundings heads.

is to give a softer and finer finish to the " What is carotted fur ? " inquired completed work, as in the process of Miselle of Mentor, who of course re- felting; its tendency is to work up to plied,

the surface, and closely connect the “Did you never hear of carroty hair? cruder fibres of the new fur. Too large This is the fur of a carroted hare, don't a proportion of roundings, however,

would have a tendency to weaken the Without deigning reply, Miselle re- consistency of the felt.” peated her question aloud, and was “In what proportions do you mix informed that the carotted fur had been the different varieties of fur, and the subjected to a mercurial or quicksilver roundings ?” inquired Mentor. bath, the effect of which process was to

“ That depends altogether upon the facilitate the subsequent amalgamation style of work we have in hand,” replied of the fibre.

the head. “For men's felt hats we use "This effect, however,” explained the about equal proportions of the whole. head, “is obtained at the expense of For ladies' hats, which are thinner, a certain amount of strength. A felt smaller, and not so high-priced, we use made entirely of carotted fur would less of the hare's fur, and also less of have very little consistence; but, with- the roundings, making them principally out a certain proportion of it, the raw of the medium grades. White hats, as fur would not felt at all.

we before mentioned, are made altoThis next package is Scotch cony. gether of white cony. It is entirely white, you perceive, and “ And now, having shown you the is used for ladies' white hats without material in all its varieties, we will requiring any bleaching process. This proceed to the first process of its manother is French cony, dark-colored, like ufacture into hats.” the Russia, but not as glossy or heavy. So saying the heads led the way Here is a package of German fur very from their comfortable office to a large like the Russia; in fact it generally upper room containing boxes and bales goes by that name among the trade, of fur and trimmings waiting to be although not in reality so valuable ; for ground into roundings, and several as a general rule the richest furs come large machines. One of these was a from the coldest climates."

picker much like those used in woolMiselle took up the label dropped factories. Into this the mixed fur is from this German package, and read: introduced by means of an endless

leathern apron and feed rollers, is next “Carotted Haresfur

passed between two sets of toothed Manufactured by W. Kugler Zim.

rollers revolving with great rapidity, Offenbach, near Frankfort, %."

and finally escapes through a square “Frankfort on the Main,” translated opening into a large closet, where it Mentor, looking over her shoulder. lies in a soft pearly heap. “Yes, there are large warrens near “From this picker the fur goes diFrankfort, where rabbits are bred ex- rectly to the blower," said one of the pressly for this trade. But why the heads, shutting the door upon the

heap, and leading the way to a curi- pied in preventing her limbs and draous machine about twenty feet long, peries from coming to hopeless grief and seven or eight high, furnished among the machinery. with little windows all along its sides, “What makes all that smoke inand altogether extremely like a second- side ? ” inquired she, after several moclass railway car ; a resemblance aided ments of breathless contemplation. by the whir of steam-driven wheels “ That smoke is the fur, or rather and bands, and the heated smell of oily the lightest portions of it," replied the machinery.

head; and Miselle, looking again, tried “ This,” explained the head, “is hard to believe that the graceful and the blower; and the fur, after passing fantastic cloud-wreaths floating through through the picker, is placed upon this the dome-roofed chamber of the blowendless apron at the end of the blower, er could be anything so substantial as and fed in between these rollers to a even the downiest of down. toothed cylinder just beyond. This “Here is some of the siftings,” said cylinder, revolving at the rate of thirty- the head, taking up a handful of the five hundred times in a minute, seizes accumulation beneath the blower, and the fur, and, while tossing the lighter showing that it consisted principally of part violently upward and forward, car- the hair, so soft and glossy upon the ries the heavier hairs, and the bits of pelt original pelt, but so harsh, wiry, and or dirt which may still remain among unmanageable when separated from it. it, downward through the opening in This hair, so far as ascertained, is not which it revolves. The heavier portion adapted to any use, and offers a wide of the remainder falls presently upon and untrodden field for Yankee inventhe grated or sieve-like floor of the tion and speculation. blower, to which floor a constant jar- From the eighth chamber the fur, ring motion is imparted by the ma- now thoroughly separated from every chinery, so that most of the refuse is impurity, issues between a pair of rollshaken through. The rest, with the ers like those which carry it into the finer portions still floating in the air, is blower, and falls into a box. It now blown forward to the next set of roll- looks and feels very like eider-down, ers, the next cylinder, and the next and is ready for use. sieve, and so on. In this blower there “ The next process,” pursued one of are eight compartments thus divided. the obliging heads, “is to weigh out In that other one, used for coarser work, the fur into quantities sufficient for one there are only four compartments.” hat, and then to carry it to the forming

“Why should not the fur for coarse machine. For men's felt hats, upon hats be as well blown as that for nice which we are at present running, the ones ? " asked Miselle.

weight of fur is six ounces; for the “ Because in each compartment it bodies of silk hats it is often no more loses weight, and the quantity suffi- than three, and for ladies' and chilcient for a hat, after passing through dren's hats it varies from two to four compartments, would only be half four.” enough after passing eight," said the Revolving this information, Miselle head, as patiently as if the question followed her conductors to a lower had been a wiser one.

room, where she was presently introThe process thus explained, the duced to the “Wells's Patent Hat-Formblower was set in motion, and Miselle ing Machine," and assured that the was invited to look through the little specimens before her were the only glass windows, and watch its opera- ones to be found in Massachusetts. tions. This she did so eagerly, that, " And a very pretty specimen of while one head kindly shouted expla- American ingenuity it is,” said one of nations and information into her ear, the heads, contemplating the machine the other, with Mentor, was fully occu- with affectionate interest; and, so soon

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