LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 101
been known to put her to rout at the very first gobble, and a stout house-dog, of moderate capacity, would bring her into subjection merely by a show of his teeth. Her husband and children were her entire world, and in these she ruled more by entreaty and persuasion than by command or argument. There was only one thing that was capable of arousing her, and that provocation came in on the side of her unusually gentle and sympathetic nature ; — anything in the shape of cruelty would throw her into a passion, which was the more alarming and inexplicable in proportion to the general softness of her nature. Generally the most indulgent and easy to be entreated of all mothers, still her boys had a very reverent remembrance of a most vehement chastisement she once bestowed on them, because she found them leagued wTith several graceless boys of the neighborhood, stoning a defenseless kitten.
" I '11 tell you what," Master Bill used to say, " I was scared that time. Mother came at me so that I thought she was crazy, and I was whipped and tumbled off to bed, without any supper, before I could get over wondering what had come about; and, after that, I heard mother crying outside the door, which made me feel worse than all the rest. I '11 tell you what," he 'd say, " we boys never stoned another kitten!"
On the present occasion, Mrs. Bird rose quickly, with very red cheeks, which quite improved her general appearance, and walked up to her husband, with quite a resolute air, and said, in a determined tone, —
" Now, John, I want to know if you think such a law as that is right and Christian ? "
" You won't shoot me, now, Mary, if I say I do! "
" I never could have thought it of you, John; you did n't vote for it ? "
" Even so, my fair politician."
"You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, homeless, houseless creatures ! It's a shameful, wicked, abominable