This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: The Pearl Box Author: A Pastor Release Date: March 15, 2004 [eBook #11595] Language: English Character set encoding: iso-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE PEARL BOX***
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In preparing this volume of stories for young readers, the writer has had in view their instruction, by presenting to them the duties of their station in a familiar and instructive story. Each story contains a moral, and teaches principles by which the youth should be governed in their private, social and public relations in life. In the perusal of these stories, we hope to accomplish our great object, of aiding young persons to pursue the peaceful and pleasant path of duty—to render them more useful in the world, and to grow wiser and happier in the path of life.
A little boy, by the name of Bertie, was taken very ill, and for sometime continued to grow weaker until he died. A few hours before his death he revived up, and his first request was, to be bathed in the river; but his mother persuaded him to be sponged only, as the river water would be too cold for his weak frame. After his mother had sponged him with water, he desired to be dressed; when his mother dressed him in his green coat and white collar, and seated him at the table with all his books and worldly treasures around him. As he sat there, one would have thought that he was about to commence a course of study; and yet in the marble paleness of his features, and in the listless and languid eye, there was evidence that life in the boy was like an expiring taper, flickering in the socket. He soon asked to go out in his little carriage. His grandfather, whom he very much loved, placed him in it, and carefully avoiding every stone, drew him to a spot commanding the entire landscape. The tide was up, and the sun was shining on the deep blue waters, and bathing the distant mountains and the green meadows in liquid gold. The gardens and orchards around were gay in the rich crimson blossoms of the apple tree; the air was filled with the sweet fragrance of flowers, and the birds were singing beautifully, when little Bertie looked for the last time on the scenes of earth. He could not remain long, and was soon taken back to the little parlor, where he sat on the sofa, resting his elbows on the table. It was not long before the little boy died. But he was very happy. Among his last words were these, addressed to his little sister three years old: "Well, Emmie, very ill—me going to Jesus." "Oh, mamma, Emmie loves her Saviour."
A bright eyed boy was sleeping upon a bank of blossoming clover. The cool breeze lifted the curls from his brow, and fanned with downy wings his quiet slumbers, while he lay under the refreshing shade of a large maple tree. The birds sang to him during his happy hours of sleep. By and by he awoke, and a beautiful gold robin sat on the spray, and sung a song of joy. The boy reached out his hands to secure the prize, but the robin spread his golden wings and soared away. He looked after it with a longing gaze, and when it disappeared from his sight, he wept aloud. At this moment, a form of light approached, and took the hands of the child and pointed upwards; and he saw the bird soaring in freedom and the sun shining upon its burnished plumes. Then the shining one said; "Do you love that beautiful bird?" In the midst of his tears the child replied, "Oh, yes." "Then," said the angel, "shall it not wing its flight from flower to flower and be happy, rather than to dwell in a prison with thee?" Then the streams and flowering vales of Elysium, that breathe the pure air of freedom, spake: "Wouldst thou bring her back to thee, and make her a prisoner? Dry up thy tears, and let thy song be, 'Stay not here, but speed thy flight, O bright one, and snuff the mellow air of freedom.' God made the birds to be happy in their short existence, and ought we to deprive them of their own elements of happiness, and take from them the freedom which they enjoy?"
A little girl, by the name of Sarah Dean, was taught the precepts of the Bible by her mother. One day she came to her mother very much delighted, to show her some plums that a friend had given her. The mother said to her: "Your friend was very kind, and has given you a great many." "Yes," replied Sarah, "she was, and she gave me more than these, but I have given some away." The mother asked to whom she had given them; when the child replied: "I gave them to a girl that pushes me off the path, and makes faces at me." Upon being asked why she gave them to her, she answered: "Because I thought that would make her know that I wished to be kind to her, and perhaps she will not be unkind and rude to me again." This was true. The rude girl was afterwards very good to Sarah, and felt very sorry that she had treated her unkindly. How truly did the little girl obey the command, "overcome evil with good."
It was on a Sabbath eve, when at a friend's house, we were all sitting in the piazza, conversing about the efforts which were being made for the poor heathen, and the number of Testaments which were being sent to them.
"Father," said little Harriet, "do the little heathen children wish to learn to read the New Testament?"
"O yes, my child, many of them do," said the father. "But have they all got Testaments if they did know how to read?" "No, my love; few of them have ever heard about the Testament, about God, or about Jesus Christ." "Will half a dollar buy one?" said Harriet. "O yes, my child."
"Then," said Harriet, "may I sell anything I have, if I can get the money?" Her father told her she might.
Now, every child has some favorite toy. Harriet's was a beautiful tame gray squirrel. It would eat from her hands, attend her in her rambles, and sleep on her pillow. She called its name Jenny. It was taken sick, and the little girl nursed it with care, but it at last died in her lap.
Little Harriet wept sadly about it, and her father tried to console her, and told her not to feel so.
"Ah," said she, "you know, father, you told me that I might sell anything I had to buy a Testament for the heathen children, and I was going to sell my pretty squirrel to Mr. Smith, who said he would give me half a dollar for it; but now my Jenny is dead." The Father then put a silver dollar into Harriet's hand, and she dried her tears, rejoicing that Jenny's death would be the means of his little daughter having two or three Testaments instead of one.
A teacher in a Sabbath School promised to supply all the children in his class with a catechism, who had none.
One of the little girls went home from the school after the books were given out and said:—
"Mamma, if I had told a lie to-day, I would have got a catechism."
"I think that very strange, Eliza; for the Sabbath School is no place for lies, and if you could be so wicked, I know your teacher would not have rewarded you for it."
"Mother," said Eliza, "I tell nothing but the truth; and now I will explain it.
"You know I went to school this morning with the other girls. They told me on the way how their mother had bought each of them a new catechism on last market day, and they said, if I once saw how pretty their books were I would not look at my old one any more. Our teacher asked us all, when we went in, if we had any catechisms, and those who said they had not, received one from the teacher as a present. Jane, after all she told me, by the way, denied that she had any, and Lizzy did the same. But when he asked me, I told him I had one at home; but if I had said no, I would have got a new one."
Her mother then told her that she should be rewarded for not telling a lie by giving her a new book and a new Bible.
A poor Arabian of the desert was one day asked, how he came to be assured that there was a God.
"In the same way," he replied, "that I am enabled to tell by a print impressed on the sand, whether it was a man or beast that passed that way."
THANKFULNESS.—Walking along Bishopgate street one morning, I saw two men standing as if amazed at something that had happened.
"Pray, gentlemen," said I, "what is the matter?"
One of them informed me that a genteelly dressed man had hastily come up to him, and tapping him on the shoulder, had said:
"Sir, did you ever thank God for your reason?"
"No," said I, "not particularly."
"Well," said he, "do it now, for I have lost mine;" when he marched off with great speed.
HONESTY.—An honest boy, whose sister was sick and the family in want, found a wallet containing fifty dollars. The temptation was great to use the money; but he resolved to find the owner. He did so; when the owner, learning the circumstances of the family, gave the fifty dollars for their comfort. He took the boy to live with him. That boy is a prosperous merchant in Ohio.
THE BOY AND HIS MARBLES.—One Sunday a lady called to her little boy, who was shooting marbles on the pavement, to come into the house.
"Don't you know you shouldn't be out there, my son? Go into the back yard, if you want to play marbles; it is Sunday."
"Yes, mother; but aint it Sunday in the back yard?"
A little boy who had been out early in the morning playing on the lawn before his father's house, while the dew drops lay on the grass, was soon after seen returning to the spot, and finding them all gone, he sat down to weep. His father asked him why he wept.
"Because," said he, "the beautiful dew drops are gone."
His father tried to soothe him, but he continued weeping. Just then a cloud passed ever, and on the cloud the beautiful rainbow had cast its arch.
"There, see, my son," said the father, "there are all your dew drops; the sun has taken them up only to set them forth in greater brightness in the sky."
"O father, dear father, why pass they away,
The dew drops that sparkled at dawning of day,
That glittered like stars in the light of the moon;
Oh, why are the dew drops dissolving so soon?
Does the sun in his wrath chase their brightness away,
As if nothing that's lovely might live for a day?
The moonlight is faded, the flowers still remain,
But the dew drops have shrunk to their petals again."
"My child," said the father, "look up to the skies,
Behold that bright rainbow, those beautiful dyes,
There, there are the dew drops in glory reset,
Mid the jewels of heaven, they are glittering yet.
Oh, are we not taught by each beautiful ray
To mourn not earth's fair things, though passing away;
For though youth of its beauty and brightness be riven,
All that withers on earth blooms more sweetly in heaven.
Look up," said the father, "look up to the skies,
Hope sits on the wings of those beautiful dyes."
My young readers may have heard about the poor people in London. The following story is a specimen of the hardships of many young girls in that famous city.
"Two young women occupied one small room of about ten feet by eight. They were left orphans, and were obliged to take care of themselves. Many of the articles of furniture left them had been disposed of to supply the calls of urgent want. In the room was an old four post bedstead, with curtains almost worn out, one mattress with two small pillows, a bolster that was almost flat, three old blankets and cotton sheets, of coarse description, three rush-bottom chairs, an old claw table, a chest of draws with a few battered band-boxes on the top of it, a miserable bit of carpet before the fire-place, a wooden box for coals, a little tin fender and an old poker. What there was, however, was kept clean, the floor and yellow paint was clean, and the washing tub which sat in one corner of the room.
"It was a bitter cold night, the wind blew and shook the window, when a young girl of about eighteen sat by the tallow candle, which burned in a tin candlestick, at 12 o'clock at night, finishing a piece of work with the needle which she was to return next morning. Her name was Lettice Arnold. She was naturally of a cheerful, hopeful temper, and though work and disappointment had faded the bright colors of hope, still hope buoyed up her spirits.
"Her sister Myra was delicate, and lay on the mattress on that night, tossing about with suffering, unable to rest. At last Lettice says to her:—
"'Poor Myra, can't you get to sleep?'
"'It is so cold,' was the reply; 'and when will you have done and come to bed?'
"'One quarter of an hour more, Myra, and I shall have finished my work, and then I will throw my clothes over your feet, and I hope you will be a little warmer.'
"Myra sighed, and lifted up her head, and leaning upon her arm watched the progress of her sister as she plied the needle to her work.
"'How slowly,' said Myra, 'you do get along. It is one o'clock, and you have not finished yet.'
"'I cannot work fast, Myra, and neatly too; my hands are not so delicate and nimble as yours.' and smiling a little, she added: 'Such swelled clumsy things, I cannot get over the ground nimbly and well at the same time. You are a fine race horse, and I a drudging pony. But I shall soon be through.'
"Myra once more uttered a sigh and cried:
"'Oh, my feet are dreadful cold.'
"'Take this bit of flannel,' said Lettice, 'and let me wrap them up.'
"'Nay, you will want it,' she replied.
"'Oh, I have only five minutes to sit up, and I can wrap this piece of carpet round mine,' said Lettice.
"And she laid down her work and went to the bed, and wrapped her sister's icy feet in the flannel, and then sat down and finished her task. How glad was Lettice to creep to the mattress and to lay her aching limbs upon it. A hard bed and scanty covering in a cold night are keenly felt. She soon fell asleep, while her sister tossed and murmured on account of the cold.
"Lettice awoke and drew her own little pillow from under her head, and put it under her sister's, and tried every way to make her sister comfortable, and she partly succeeded; and at last Myra, the delicate suffering creature, fell asleep, and Lettice slumbered like a child."
How thankful ought we to be for kind parents, a comfortable home, and a good fire in a cold night. I will tell you in the next story what Lettice did with her work.
Early in the morning, before it was light, and while the twilight gleamed through the curtainless windows, Lettice was up, dressing herself by the aid of the light which gleamed from the street lamp into the window. She combed her hair with modest neatness, then opened the draw with much precaution, lest she should disturb poor Myra, who still slumbered on the hard mattress—drew out a shawl and began to fold it as if to put it on.
"Alas!" said Lettice, "this will not do—it is threadbare, timeworn, and has given way in two places." She turned it, and unfolded it, but it would not do. It was so shabby that she was actually ashamed to be seen with it in the street. She put it aside, and took the liberty of borrowing Myra's, who was now asleep. She knew Myra would be awful cold when she got up, and would need it. But she must go with the work that morning. She thought first of preparing the fire, so that Myra, when she arose, would only have to light the match; but as she went to the box for coal she saw, with terror, how low the little store of fuel was, and she said to herself, "we must have a bushel of coal to-day—better do without meat than fire such weather as this." But she was cheered with the reflection that she should receive a little more for her work that day than what she had from other places. It had been ordered by a benevolent lady who had been to some trouble in getting the poor women supplied with needle work so that they should receive the full price. She had worked for private customers before, and always received more pay from them than from the shops in London, where they would beat down the poor to the last penny.
Poor Lettice went to the old band-box and took out a shabby old bonnet—she looked at it, and sighed, when she thought of the appearance she must make; for she was going to Mrs. Danvers, and her work was some very nice linen for a young lady about to be married.
Just at this moment she thought of the contrast, between all the fine things which that young lady was to have, and her own destitution. But her disposition was such as not to cause her to think hard of others who had plenty while she was poor. She was contented to receive her pay from the wealthy, for her daily needle work. She felt that what they had, was not taken from her, and if she could gain in her little way by receiving her just earnings from the general prosperity of others, she would not complain. And as the thought of the increased pay came into her mind, which she was to receive that day, she brightened up, shook the bonnet, pulled out the ribbons and made it look as tidy as possible, thinking to herself that after buying some fuel she might possibly buy a bit of ribbon and make it look a little more spruce, when she got her money.
Lettice now put on her bonnet, and Myra's shawl, and looking into the little three-penny glass which hung on the wall she thought she might look quite tidy after all. The young lady for whom she made the linen lived about twenty miles from town, but she had come in about this time, and was to set off home at nine o'clock that very morning. The linen was to have been sent in the night before, but Lettice had found it impossible to finish it. This was why she was obliged to start so early in the morning. She now goes to the bed to tell Myra about the fire, and that she had borrowed her shawl, but Myra was sound asleep, so she did not disturb her, but stepped lightly over the floor and down stairs, for it was getting late and she must be gone. Read the next story and you will be deeply interested in the result.
I must tell you who were Lettice and Myra. They were the daughters of a clergyman, who held the little vicarage of Castle Rising. But misfortune, which sometimes meets the wise and good, reduced the family to poor circumstances. After the parents' decease, Lettice and Myra located in London, for the purpose of doing needlework for a living.
We said in the last story, that Lettice had entered the street and was on her way with the work she had finished for the young lady. It was a cold morning, the snow blew, and the street was slippery. She could scarcely stand—her face was cold, and her hands so numbed that she could scarcely hold the parcel she carried. The snow beat upon her poor bonnet, but she comforted herself with the idea that she might be supposed to have a better bonnet at home. She cheerfully trudged along, and at last entered Grosvenor Square, where the lamps were just dying away before the splendid houses, while the wind rushed down the Park colder than ever. A few boys were about the only people yet to be seen about, and they laughed at her as she held her bonnet down with one hand, to prevent its giving way before the wind, while she carried her bundle and kept her shawl from flying up with the other.
At last she entered Green street, and came to the house of the kind lady who had furnished her and many others with work; raised the knocker, and gave one humble knock at the door. She had never been at the house before, but she had sometimes had to go to other genteel houses where she had been met with incivility by the domestics.
But "like master, like man," is a stale old proverb and full of truth. The servant came to the door. He was a grave old man about fifty. His countenance was full of kind meaning, and his manners so gentle, that before hearing her errand, observing how cold she looked, bade her come in and warm herself at the hall stove.
"I have come," said Lettice, "with the young lady's work—I had not time to come last night, but I hope I have not put her to any inconvenience—I started before light this morning."
"Well, my dear, I hope not," said the servant, "but it was a pity you could not get it done last night. Mrs. Danvers likes to have people exact to the moment. However, I dare say it will be all right."
As Reynolds, the servant-man, entered the drawing room, Lettice heard a voice, "Is it come at last!" And the young lady, who thus inquired, was Catherine Melvin, who was then making an early breakfast before a noble blazing fire.
"Has the woman brought her bill," asked Mrs. Danvers.
"I will go and ask," said the servant. "Stay, ask her to come up. I should like to inquire how she is getting along this cold weather."
Reynolds obeyed, and soon Lettice found herself in a warm, comfortable breakfast room.
"Good morning," said Mrs. Danvers. "I am sorry you have had such a cold walk this morning. I am sorry you could not come last night. This young lady is just leaving, and there is barely time to put up the things." Catherine (for this was the young lady's name,) had her back turned to the door quietly continuing her breakfast, but when the gentle voice of Lettice replied:
"Indeed, madam, I beg your pardon, I did my very best"—Catherine started, looked up, and rose hastily from her chair—Lettice, advancing a few steps, exclaimed "Catherine."
And Catherine exclaimed—"It is—it is you!" and coming forward and taking her by the hand, she gazed with astonishment at the wan face and the miserable attire of the work-woman. "You," she kept repeating. "Lettice! Lettice Arnold! Good Heavens! Where is your father? your mother? your sister?"
"Gone," said the poor girl, "all gone but poor Myra!"
"And where is she? And you, dear Lettice, how have you come to this?"
Such was the unexpected meeting of these two persons, who were once children of the same village of Castle Rising. Lettice had been working for her school-mate, Catherine Melvin. The result was a happy one, and it was not long before, by the kindness of Catherine, that the two orphan girls were situated pleasantly in life. But as you will wish to know how all this came about, I will give you the circumstances in another story.
Lettice's father was a man of education, a scholar, a gentleman, and had much power in preaching. He received one hundred and ten pounds per year for his services. Her father's illness was long and painful, and the family were dependant on others for assistance.
"We at last closed his eyes," said Lettice, "in deep sorrow." He used to say to himself, "It is a rough road, but it leads to a good place."
After his funeral, the expenses exhausted all that was left of their money—only a few pounds were left when the furniture was sold, and "we were obliged," said Lettice, "to give up the dear little parsonage. It was a sweet little place. The house was covered all over with honeysuckles and jessamines; and there was the flower garden in which I used to work, and which made me so hale and strong, and aunt Montague used to say I was worth a whole bundle of fine ladies.
"It was a sad day when we parted from it. My poor mother! How she kept looking back, striving not to cry, and poor Myra was drowned in tears.
"Then we afterwards came to London. A person whom we knew in the village had a son who was employed in one of the great linen warehouses, and he promised to try to get us needlework. So we came to London, took a small lodging, and furnished it with the remnant of our furniture. Here we worked fourteen hours a day apiece, and we could only gain between three and four shillings each. At last mother died, and then all went; she died, and had a pauper's funeral."
From this room the orphan girls removed soon after their mother's decease, and located among the poor of Marylebone street, where Mrs. Danvers accidentally met with the two sisters, in one of her visits among the poor, and for whom she obtained the work which led to the unexpected meeting related in the previous story.
A horse is a noble animal, and is made for the service of man. No one who has tender feelings can bear to see the horse abused. It is wicked for any one to do so. A horse has a good memory, and he will never forget a kind master. Jonas Carter is one of those boys who likes to take care of a horse. His father gave Jonas the whole care of an excellent animal which he purchased for his own use. Every morning he would go into the stable to feed and water him. As all the horses in the neighborhood had names, Jonas gave one to his, and called him Major. Every time he went into the stable to take care of him, Major would whine and paw, as if his best friend was coming to see him. Jonas kept him very clean and nice, so that he was always ready for use at any time of day. At night he made up his bed of straw, and kept the stable warm in winter and cool in summer. Major soon found that he was in the hands of a kind master, and being well fed, and well cleansed, he would often show how proud and nice he was, by playing with Jonas in the yard. His young master would often let him loose in the yard, and when Jonas started to go in, the horse, Major, would follow him to the door, and when he turned him into the pasture, no one could so well catch him as Jonas; for every time he took him from the pasture, Jonas would give him some oats; so when he saw his master coming for him, he remembered the oats, and would come directly to him. Some horses are very difficult to bridle, but it was not so with Major. When Jonas came with the bridle, Major would hold his head down, and take in his bitts, and appear as docile as a lamb. He well knew that Jonas never drove him hard, but always used him kindly. Jonas was not a selfish boy; he was willing to let his friends ride a short distance; and in the picture, you will see him talking with one of his young friends about his horse.
Now, children, you may be sure that a dumb animal will remember his kind master; and if ever you own a horse, or drive one which belongs to another, be sure and treat him kindly. And you will find this rule to work well among yourselves. Be kind to each other, and to all whom you meet with, and it will help you along the pleasant path of life, and secure to you many friends.
Edward Ford owned a snug little cottage with a small farm situated about a mile from the village. When he was married to Ellen G----, who was said to be one of the best girls in the village, he took her to his nice little home, where he had every thing around very pleasant and comfortable. Ellen was very industrious and remarkable for her prudence and neatness. She spun and churned, and tended her poultry, and would often carry her butter and eggs herself to market, which greatly added to their comfort. She had a beautiful-little girl, and they gave her the name of Lily. Things glided smoothly on until Lily was sixteen. Edward was very fond of the violin and of reading books that were not very useful, and as he was very fond of music, he spent a great deal more time in making music and playing the violin than what his wife thought profitable. Ellen loved music, and was willing to have him read profitable books, but all this while she thought he might be patching up the fences and improving the shed for the better comfort of the cattle. Still she would not complain, hoping all the time that he would see the necessity of being a little more industrious. The winter came, and all through its dreary months he was unable to work, as he was sick. And although Ellen worked hard, yet her husband required so much of her attention, that all her efforts availed not much to keep poverty out of their cottage. When the spring came, Ellen's husband was able to be about again, and she began to hope that Edward would be more industrious, and they would be able by strict economy to repair the loss occasioned by his winter's illness, which had put them so far behindhand. Edward had become lazy or disheartened. Affairs about house continued to grow worse; his farm was ill worked or neglected, and by the fall, his horse and oxen had to go for necessary expenses. Ellen still kept her cows, but it was now very little help she received from her husband. He had been formerly one of the most temperate of men, but now he spent his days from home; and here lay Ellen's deepest sorrow. He was often at the village tavern, wasting in senseless riot the time, health and means that God had given him for other purposes. Ellen felt sad, and in the next story you will see a painful scene in the life of
It was now in the latter part of December—two days more and comes the season of "Merry Christmas." Ellen thought of the dreary prospect before her. As she was thinking over her condition, and how she should manage affairs so as to make home comfortable, the door opened, and in came Edward earlier than usual, a sober man. With a grateful heart Ellen sat about preparing the supper, and made all the evening as pleasant as she could for him.
The next morning earlier than usual Edward was preparing to go out. The weather was bitter cold, and the wood pile was very low. She did not like to ask Edward to split some wood the evening before, as she did not wish to vex him. Of late he had harshly refused her simple requests. She, however, ventured this morning to ask him to split a few logs, and he replied:
"Why did you not ask me when you saw me doing nothing all last evening? You must get along the best way you can until night. I have engaged to work for Squire Davis, and I shall be late unless I go at once."
"To work! Have you?" said Ellen, in a pleased and grateful tone.
"Yes; so don't detain me. I am to have a dollar and a half a day as long as I choose to work."
"How very fortunate!" said Ellen.
After he was gone, Ellen busied herself in making things comfortable for the children. It was market day, and she must carry her heavy basket to the village for the different families who depended upon her for their supply of fresh butter and eggs. A year ago she had a neat little-wagon and a good horse to drive. There was something in the mind of Ellen, what it was she could not tell, a kind of sad presentiment of something, as she was preparing to go to market. I shall tell you in the next story what it was. You will see that Ellen was very kind to her husband, and tried every way to make him happy.
Mrs. Ford had three little children, Lily, Hetty, and a dear little babe. As she was now going to market, she told Lily, her oldest daughter, to take good care of the baby. Lily promised to do so. It was a very cold day. For a time the children got along very well; but soon the wood was all burned, not a stick or chip remained; as their father had gone away in the morning without splitting any, so they were obliged to do the best they could. The baby began to look as if it was cold, and Lily said:
"Come, Hetty, we will go out and see if together we cannot roll in one of those great logs."
Hetty was eleven years old. Lily put the baby in the cradle and then went out with Hetty to roll in the log. They rolled it up to the step, and got it part way into the door, but, alas! they could not get it further. There it stuck in the doorway, and the door was wide open; the wind and snow beat in from without, and the fire gradually settled away in its embers.
Something must now be done. Hetty put on her cloak and hood and set out for her mother; for she told them if anything happened to be sure and come for her. Hetty soon found her mother at the village store, and without stopping to warm herself, she said:
"O mother, come home, for little Eddy is sick, and Lily says it is the croup, and that he is dying. The fire is all out, and the room is full of snow, because the big log we tried to roll in stuck fast in the doorway."
Hetty and her mother hastened home: and as they were crossing the street, there was her husband just entering the tavern. She told him about little Eddy, and he promised to go for a physician, and to come home immediately; and by the time they had gone half way home, Edward, her husband, joined them.
They hurried along, and as they came near the cottage there stood two of the cows, and under the shed was the third, the old "spotted cow," which Hetty thought was in the pond when she left home. To their surprise the log was rolled away from the door, and as Mrs. Ford opened the door with a trembling hand, fearing her baby was dead, there was a young man sitting by a good fire, which he had made while Hetty was gone, with little Eddy folded in his arms. The anxious mother bent over her baby as he lay in the stranger's arms, and seeing his eyes closed, she whispered:
"Is he dead?"
"He is not, he only sleeps," replied the stranger.
This young man came into the house in time to save the baby from the cold chills of death. He was ever after a friend to the family—a means of Edward's reformation, so that with some assistance the mortgage on the farm was paid off, and the farm re-stocked. This stranger became the husband of Lily, the eldest daughter.
FOR HENRY AND EDWARD.
'Tis strange to talk of two mammas!
Well, come and sit by me,
And I will try to tell you how
So strange a thing can be.
Years since you had a dear mamma,
So gentle, good and mild,
Her Father God looked down from heaven,
And loved his humble child.
Thy first mamma died on board of the vessel which took her from Burmah. At parting—
----She kissed her little boys
With white and quivering lip;
And while the tears were falling fast,
They bore her to the ship.
And Abby, Pwen, and Enna went—
Oh! it was sad to be
Thus parted—three upon the land,
And three upon the sea.
Thy first mamma was buried on a distant rocky isle, where none but strangers rest. The vessel passed on her voyage, and—
At length they reached a distant shore,
A beautiful bright land,
And crowds of pitying strangers came,
And took them by the hand.
And Abby found a pleasant home,
And Pwen and Enna too;
But poor papa's sad thoughts turned back
To Burmah and to you.
He told me of his darling boys,
Poor orphans far away,
With no mamma to kiss their lips,
Or teach them how to pray.
And would I be their new mamma,
And join the little band
Of those who, for the Saviour's sake,
Dwell in a heathen land?
Much do I love my darling boys,
And much do they love me;
Our Heavenly Father sent me here,
Your new mamma to be.
And if I closely follow Him,
And hold your little hands,
I hope to lead you up to heaven,
To join the angel bands.
Then with papa and both mammas,
And her who went before,
And Christ, who loves you more than all,
Ye'll dwell for ever more.
There is nothing more pleasant than to see brothers and sisters, lovely in their lives, and in all their plays kind and obliging to each other. Mrs. Jones' three little children were always noted for their good behavior by all the people in the village, and the school teacher said they were the prettiest behaved children she ever saw, and this was saying much in their praise, for her scholars were noted for very good behavior and promptness in their recitations. Mrs. Jones kept her children under a good discipline, but she always gave them time and opportunities for their pleasant plays. She would not allow them to associate with vicious children, because "evil communications corrupt good manners," and she knew her children were as liable to fall into bad habits as any others. There were a few vicious boys in the village where she lived who always took delight in teasing and vexing the other children, and sometimes these boys would try some method to break up the children's play.
One afternoon, there being no school, Mrs. Jones gave her little children permission to go into the lower back-room and spend awhile in play. Away they jumped and skipped along down stairs to the play room, with merry hearts and smiling faces. They had not been there a long time before they heard a very singular noise, which they did not know what to make of. But they soon forgot it, and continued playing with the same cheerfulness; very soon again they heard the same noise, which sounded like somebody's voice. The children began to be a little frightened, and you will see them in the picture standing "stock still," while little Susy stretches her hand out to take hold of the post, and is in the act of running away. Molly and Anna put their fingers to their lips, and listened again to know what the noise could mean. Soon the noise was repeated, and away they flew to their mother's arms in such a tremor that she felt at the moment alarmed herself. They told their mother what had happened, and all that night the children could not sleep.
It was ascertained the next day that one of the bad boys crept along in the back part of the yard where the children were playing, and by an unnatural sound of his voice made the noise that so alarmed the three little children. Susy, who was the youngest, did not forget it for sometime; and all of them were afraid to go alone into the lower room for many weeks.
This was very wrong in the bad boy; he might have injured the children at play so they would never have recovered from it. I have known young children to be so frightened as never to forget the impression all their life-time. How much better for the boy to have been like these good children, and joined with them in their pleasant pastimes. Never do any thing that will give sorrow and pain to others, but live and act towards each other while in youth, so as to enable you to review your life with pleasure, and to meet with the approbation of your Heavenly Father.
One summer day little William was sitting in the garden chair beside his mother, under the shade of a large cherry tree which stood on the grass plot in front of the house. He was reading in a little book. After he had been reading sometime, he looked up to his mother, and said:
"Mother, will you tell me what is the meaning of 'you must return good for evil?'"
His mother replied: "I will tell you a story that will explain it.
"I knew a little boy," she said, "whose name was Arthur Scott; he lived with his grandmamma, who loved him very much, and who wished that he might grow up to be a good man. Little Arthur had a garden of his own, and in it grew an apple tree, which was then very small, but to his great joy had upon it two fine rosy-cheeked apples, the first ones it had produced. Arthur wished to taste of them very much to know if they were sweet or sour; but he was not a selfish boy, and he says to his grandmother one morning:
"'I think I shall leave my apples on the tree till my birthday, then papa and mamma and sister Fanny will come and see me, and we will eat them together.'
"'A very good thought,' said his grandmother; 'and you shall gather them yourself.'
"It seemed a long time for him to wait; but the birthday came at last, and in the morning as soon as he was dressed he ran into his garden to gather his apples; but lo! they were gone. A naughty boy who saw them hanging on the tree, had climbed over the garden wall and stolen them.
"Arthur felt very sorry about losing his apples, and he began to cry, but he soon wiped his eyes, and said to his grandmother:
"'It is hard to lose my nice apples, but it was much worse for that naughty boy to commit so great a sin as to steal them. I am sure God must be very angry with him; and I will go and kneel down and ask God to forgive him.'
"So he went and prayed for the boy who had stolen his apples. Now, William, do you not think that was returning good for evil?"
"O, yes," said William; "and I thank you, mother, for your pretty story. I now understand what my new book means." Little Arthur grew to be a man, and always bore a good name.
There were two men who were neighbors to each other, living in a distant country where they had to labor hard for the support of their families. One of them was greatly troubled to know who would take care of his children if he should die. But the other man was not so troubled, and was always very cheerful, saying to his neighbor: "Never distrust Providence."
One day as the sorrowful man was laboring in the fields, sad and cast down, he saw some little birds enter a bush, go out and then return again. He went towards the bush, and saw two nests side by side, and in both nests some little birds, newly hatched and still without feathers. He saw the old birds go in a number of times, and they carried in their bills food to give their little ones.
At one time, as one of the mothers returned with her beak full, a large vulture seized her and carried her away; and the poor mother, struggling vainly under its talons, uttered piercing cries. He thought the little young birds must certainly die, as they had now no mother to take care of them. He felt so bad about them that he did not sleep any that night. The next day, on returning to the fields, he said to himself: "I will see the little ones of this poor mother, some without doubt have already perished."
He went up to the bush, and saw that the little ones in both nests were all alive and well. He was very much surprised at this, and he hid himself behind the bush to see what would happen. After a little time he heard a crying of the birds, and soon the second mother came flying into the bush with her beak full of food, and distributed it all among the little birds in both nests. He now saw that the orphan birds were as well provided for as when their own mother was living.
In the evening he related the whole story to his neighbor, and said to him:
"I will never distress myself again about who will take care of my children, if I should die before them."
His neighbor replied: "Let us always believe, hope, love, and pursue our course in peace. If you die before me, I take care of your children, and if I die before you, you will be a father to mine; and if we are both taken away before our children are able to provide for themselves, there is a Father in heaven."
I will tell you a true story about a robber. A gentleman was once travelling through a very unfrequented road, alone in a chaise, in the latter part of the day. There was no house nor a sign of a human being there. It was a very lonely road. Presently at a sudden turn in the road, directly towards his horse's head, a man came out of the woods. The gentleman was convinced by his appearance that he came for no good purpose. He immediately stopped his horse, and asked the stranger to get in and ride. The man hesitated a moment, and then stepped into the chaise. The gentleman commenced talking with him about the loneliness of the road, and observed that it would be an admirable place for a robbery if any one was so disposed. He proceeded to speak of robbery and criminals, and how he thought they should be sought out and instructed, and if possible reformed; and that we ought to try to convert and reform them; and then he began to tell him what course he should take with a man who should attempt to rob him. He told him that he should give him all his money first, and then begin to talk kindly to him, and show the evil consequences of his course of life. He then said:
"Yes, I would die on the spot rather than to injure a hair of his head."
They soon came to another road, when the man, who had silently listened to all the gentleman had said, desired to get out, saying that his home lay in that direction. The gentleman stopped his horse, and the man got out, took his adviser by the hand, saying:
"I thank you, sir, for this ride and for all you have said to me; I shall never forget any part of it. When I met you, it was my intention to rob you. I could easily have done so, but your kind act and your kind words put better thoughts into my heart. I think I never shall be guilty of the crime you have saved me from committing this afternoon. I thank God for having met you; you have made me a better man."
One day, says a Persian poet, I saw a bunch of roses, and in the midst of them grew a tuft of grass.
"How," I cried to the grass, "does a poor plant like you dare to be found in the company of roses?"
And I ran to tear away the tuft, when the grass replied:
"Spare me! It is true, I am not a rose; but you will perceive from my perfume that I have been among the roses."
This is a very pretty fable for young people. It makes us recollect one of the proverbs of Solomon: "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." Young people like to have companions, and it is proper that they should have them. If we had no one to associate with, we should be unhappy. We need friends that we may confide in, and that we may tell them what we feel and what we think. But we must take care as to the choice of friends; for just as the grass in the fable imbibed the scent of the roses, so we become like those with whom we associate.
A very little boy by the name of "Bertie," kept a box in which he deposited his little treasures. After he died his mother took the key and opened it. It was full of all sorts of things. There were specimens of stones, and shells, and moss, and grass, and dried flowers. There were, also, curious flies, found dead; but they were not destroyed by him, as he would never sacrifice a short sunny existence for self gratification. There were a number of books and small ornamental toys which had been given him—a drawing slate with pencils, colored chalks, a small box of colors, some little plates which he had colored in his own untaught style—a commenced copy of the hymn, "I know that my Redeemer liveth"—an unfinished letter to his grandpapa, and some torn leaves which he had found with passages of scripture upon them—a copy of the "lines on the death of an only son." Also a number of sketches of missionary stations, chapels and schools, which he had cut out and colored. His mother once asked him why he cut them out, saying, that there might be some reading on the back of the pieces worth saving. "Oh no, mamma," he replied, "I looked carefully at the backs first." In the box was a purse containing three shillings.
Such were the treasures which this little lamb had left when he died. And as you will be pleased to know what was done with the box of treasures, I will tell you. "The thought struck me," says his mother, "that after he was gone, I should not know what to do with Bertie's Box of treasures; I therefore asked him what I should do with them." He replied, "Oh, give half to God and half to the children, and be sure to divide them fairly." The money in the box was devoted to the purchase of the Bible—and a collecting box made in the form of a Bible; for, said he, "when my friends come and give money to the children, then hold Bertie's box for Bertie's share." This is a good example for all children. Your little treasures may serve a good purpose when you die.
The Atheist in his garden stood,
At twilight's pensive hour,
His little daughter by his side,
Was gazing on a flower.
"Oh, pick that little blossom, Pa,"
The little prattler said,
"It is the fairest one that blooms
Within that lowly bed."
The father plucked the chosen flower,
And gave it to his child;
With parted lips and sparkling eye,
She seized the gift and smiled.
"O Pa—who made this pretty flower,
This little violet blue;
Who gave it such a fragrant smell,
And such a lovely hue?"
A change came o'er the father's brow,
His eye grew strangely wild,
New thoughts within him had been stirred
By that sweet artless child.
The truth flashed on the father's mind,
The truth in all its power,
"There is a God, my child," said he,
"Who made that little flower."
Anne was the daughter of a wealthy farmer. She had a good New England school education, and was well bred and well taught at home in the virtues and manners that constitute domestic social life. Her father died a year before her marriage. He left a will dividing his property equally between his son and daughter, giving to the son the homestead with all its accumulated riches, and to the daughter the largest share of the personal property, amounting to 6 or 7000 dollars. This little fortune became at Anne's marriage the property of her husband. It would seem that the property of a woman received from her father should be her's. But the laws of a barbarous age fix it otherwise.
Anne married John Warren, who was the youngest child, daintily bred by his parents. He opened a dry goods store in a small town in the vicinity of B----, where he invested Anne's property. He was a farmer, and did not think of the qualifications necessary to a successful merchant. For five or six years he went on tolerably, living genteelly and recklessly, expecting that every year's gain would make up the excess of the past. When sixteen years of their married life had passed, they were living in a single room in the crowded street of R----. Every penny of the inheritance was gone—three children had died—three survived; a girl of fifteen years, whom the mother was educating to be a teacher—boy of twelve who was living at home, and Jessy, a pale, delicate, little struggler for life, three years old.
Mrs. W---- was much changed in these sixteen years. Her round blooming cheek was pale and sunken, her dark chestnut hair had become thin and gray, her bright eyes, over-tasked by use and watching, were faded, and her whole person shrunken. Yet she had gained a great victory. Yes, it was a precious pearl. And you will wish to know what it was. It was a gentle submission and resignation—a patience under all her afflictions. But learn a lesson. Take care to whom you give your hand in marriage.
Two little orphan boys, whose parents died in a foreign land, were put on board a vessel to be taken home to their relatives and friends. On a bitter cold night, when the north-east winds sang through the shrouds of the vessel, the little boys were crouched on deck behind a bale of goods, to sleep for the night. The eldest boy wrapt around his younger brother his little cloak, to shield him from the surf and sleet, and then drew him close to his side and said to him, "the night will not be long, and as the wind blows we shall the sooner reach our home and see the peet fire glow." So he tried to cheer his little brother, and told him to go to sleep and forget the cold night and think about the morning that would come. They both soon sank to sleep on the cold deck, huddled close to each other, and locked close in each other's arms. The steerage passengers were all down below, snugly stowed away in their warm berths, and forgot all about the cold wind and the frost. When the morning came the land appeared, and the passengers began to pace the deck, and as the vessel moved along they tried some well known spot to trace.
Only the orphans do not stir,
Of all this bustling train;
They reached their home, this very night,
They will not stir again!
The winter's breath proved kind to them,
And ended all their pain.
But in their deep and freezing sleep,
Clasped rigid to each other,
In dreams they cried, "the bright morn breaks,
Home! home! is here, my brother.
The angel death, has been our friend,
We come! dear father, mother!"
A little boy went to sea with his father to learn to be a sailor. One day, his father said to him, "Come, my boy, you will never be a sailor if you don't learn to climb."
The boy was very ambitious, and soon scrambled up to the top of the rigging; but when he saw at what a height he was he began to be frightened, and called out, "Oh, father, I shall fall, what shall I do?"
"Look up—look up, my son," said his father; "if you look down you will be giddy; but if you keep looking up to the flag at the top of the mast you will descend safely." The boy followed his father's advice, and soon came down to the deck of the vessel in safety. You may learn from this story, to look up to Jesus, as the highest example, and as the Saviour of mankind.
"What beautiful things flowers are," said one of the party of little girls who were arranging the flowers they had gathered in the pleasant fields. "Which flower would you rather be like, Helen?"
"Just as if there would be any choice," said Laura. "I like the Rose. I should like to be queen of flowers, or none." Laura was naturally very proud.
For my part, observed Helen, I should like to resemble the Rhododendron; when any one touches it, or shakes it roughly, it scatters a shower of honey dew from its roseate cups, teaching us to shower blessings upon our enemies. Oh, who does not wish to be as meek as this flower? It is very difficult, I know, said Helen; but we are taught to possess a meek and lowly spirit.
"It is difficult, I know," said Lucy, "if we trust to our own strength. It is only when my father looks at me in his kind manner, that I have any control of myself. What a pity it is that we cannot always remember that the eye of our Heavenly Father is upon us." "I wish I could," said Helen.
"Now, Clara, we are waiting for you," said Laura. Clara smiled; and immediately chose the pale woodbine, or convolvulus, which so carelessly winds in and out among the bushes—this is an emblem of loving tenderness.
"Now what says Lucy?" exclaimed Helen.
"I think I can guess," said Clara; "either a violet, or a heart's ease. Am I right?"
"Not quite," said Lucy, "although both the flowers you have mentioned, are great favorites of mine. But I think I should like to resemble the daisy, most, because it is always looking upward."
Certainly Lucy made a wise choice. What more do we require for happiness, than to be able, let the cloud be ever so dark, to look upward with trusting faith in God.
There's a moral, my child,
In the wayside flower;
There's an emblem of life
In its short-lived hour.
It smiles in the sunshine
And weeps in the shower,
And the footstep falls
On the wayside flower.
Now see, my dear child,
In the wayside flower,
The joys and the sorrows
Of life's passing hour.
The footsteps of Time
Hasten on in its power;
And soon we must fall
Like the wayside flower.
Yet know, my dear child,
That the wayside flower
Will revive in its season
And bloom its brief hour;
That again we shall blossom
In beauty and power,
Where the foot never falls
On the wayside flower.
The Farmer ploughs and sows his seed,
'Tis all that he can do;
He cannot make the dry seed grow,
Nor give it rain and dew.
God sends the sunshine, dew and rain,
And covers it with snow;
Then let us thank Him for the gift,—
To Him our bread we owe.
Whene'er we view the waving grain,
Or eat our daily food,
Let grateful thoughts to God arise,
Praise Him, for He is good.
The youthful mind is like a field;
Our teachers sow the seed;
But when instruction's work is done,
There's something more we need.
Then let us pray that God may add
His blessing to their toil;
Then our young minds and hearts will prove
A rich, productive soil.
All hail the bright, the rosy morn,
The first of blushing May,
While fragrant flowers the fields adorn.
And Nature smiles so gay.
Oh, what a joyous festival
To all the young and fair,
Who love to rove through verdant fields
And breathe the balmy air.
With rosy checks, and laughing eyes,
They hie to Nature's bowers,
While birds trill forth their sweetest lay,
To pluck the fairest flowers.
Now some have strayed to sit beneath
A grove of maples grey,
To twine their flowers into a wreath,
Or cull a sweet bouquet.
While one small group is seated round
A florid, mossy knoll,
And laughing lisp that they have found
The sweetest flowers of all.
With bouquets sweet, and garlands gay,
They homeward then repair,
In haste to join without delay
The pic-nic or the fair.
For times are not as they were wont
To be in years gone by,
When on the rural village green
They reared the May-pole high;
While gathered round a merry group
Of youths and maidens gay,
To crown some rosy rustic maid
The smiling Queen of May.
MATT. VI. 28.
Behold the lilies of the field,
In thousand colors drest;
They toil not, neither do they spin,
Yet God the flowers hath blest.
Then toil not for the things of earth,
But seek your God to please;
For Solomon, in all his pride,
Was not arrayed like these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass
And flowers, that fade and die,
Will he not much more care for you,
And all your wants supply?
Why will ye, O ye faithless ones,
Distrust your Father's care?
Are ye not better than the flowers?
Will he not hear your prayer?
Your Father knoweth what ye need;
Fear not, but watch and pray;
And let your light shine more and more
Unto the perfect day.
My father's house was indeed a pleasant home; and father was the supreme guide of his own household. He was gentle, but he could be firm and resolute when the case demanded. Mother was the sunshine of our little garden of love; her talents and energy gave her influence; and united to a man like father, she was all that is lovable in the character of woman.
But the dear old home, where I grew from infancy to boyhood, and from boyhood to youth, I shall never forget. It was a large house on the slope of a hill, just high enough to overlook several miles of our level country, and smooth enough with its soft grassy carpet for us to roll down from the summit to the foot of the hill. At the back of the house was another hill, where we used to roll under the shade of the old elm, and where Miles and I would sit whole afternoons and fly the kite, each taking turns in holding the string. This was a happy place for us, and especially in the spring time, when the happy looking cows grazed along the pathway which winds around the elm to the stream where Kate and I used to sail my little boat. All summer long this place was vocal with the songs of birds, which built their nests in safety among the tall trees of the grove in the rear of the farm. We had also the music of the running brook, and the pleasant hum of my father's cotton mill, which brought us in our daily bread. Haying time was always a happy season for us boys. Father's two horses, "Dick" and "Bony" would take off the farm as large a load of hay as any in the village.
Years past on, and we were a happy band of brothers and sisters. After Kate, came the twins, Margaret and Herbert, and last of all came the youngest darling, blue eyed Dora. We had a happy childhood. Our station in the world was high enough to enable us to have all the harmless pleasures and studies that were useful and actually necessary to boys and girls of our station. Father always thought that it was better in early youth not to force the boys to too hard study, and mother loved best to see Kate and Margaret using the fingers in fabricating garments, than in playing the harp. We were free, happy, roving children on father's farm, unchained by the forms of fashionable life. We had no costly dresses to spoil, and were permitted to play in the green fields without a servant's eye, and to bathe in the clear shallow stream without fear of drowning. As I have said before, these were happy days; and when I think of them gone, I often express my regret that we did not improve them more for the cultivation of the mind and the affections. In the next story you will see that there were some passing clouds in our early summer days.
In a large family there are often diversity of character and varieties of mood and temper, which bring some clouds of sorrow. In our little Eden of innocence there were storms now and then. Miles was a little wild and headstrong from his babyhood, and Margaret, though very beautiful, was often wilful and vain. For five years the twins had grown up together the same in beauty and health. One day an accident befell Herbert, and the dear child rose from his bed of sickness a pale and crippled boy. His twin sister grew up tall and blooming. The twins loved each other very much, and it was a pleasant sight to see how the deformed boy was cherished and protected by his sister Margaret. She would often leave us in the midst of our plays to go and sit by Herbert, who could not share with us in them.
We had our yearly festivals, our cowslip gatherings, our blackberry huntings, our hay makings, and all the delights so pleasant to country children. Our five birthdays were each signalized by simple presents and evening parties, in the garden or the house, as the season permitted. Herbert and Margaret's birthdays came in the sunny time of May, when there were double rejoicings to be made. They were always set up in their chairs in the bower, decorated with flowers and crowned with wreaths. I now think of Margaret smiling under her brilliant garland, while poor Herbert looked up to her with his pale sweet face. I heard him once say to her when we had all gone away to pluck flowers:
"How beautiful you are to-day, Margaret, with your rosy cheeks and brown hair."
"But that does not make me any better or prettier than you, because I am strong and you are not, or that my cheeks are red and yours are pale."
Miles was just carrying little Dora over the steeping stones at the brook, when Herbert cried:
"O, if I could only run and leap like Miles; but I am very helpless."
To which Margaret replied: "Never mind, brother; I will love you and take care of you all your life," and she said these words with a sister's love, as she put her arms around the neck of her helpless brother. She loved him the more, and aimed to please him by reading books to him which were his delight. This was a pleasant sight, and the brothers always admired Margaret for her attention to their helpless brother.
Young children like to have a small piece of land for a garden which they can call their own. And it is very pleasant to dig the ground, sow the seed, and watch the little green plants which peep out of the earth, and to see the beautiful buds and fresh blossoms.
Every boy and girl has a bit of garden, and we are told in the good book to take good care of it, and see that the weeds of vice do not spread over it, and to be sure and have it covered over with plants of goodness. This garden is the HEART. Such things as anger, sloth, lying and cheating, are noxious weeds. But if you are active and industrious, and keep cultivating this little garden, and keep out all the bad weeds, God will help you to make a good garden, full of pleasant plants, and flowers of virtue. I have seen some gardens which look very bad, covered with briars and weeds, the grass growing in the paths, and the knotty weeds choking the few puny flowers that are drooping and dying out. Every thing seems to say—"How idle the owner of this garden is." But I have seen other gardens where there were scarcely any weeds. The walks look tidy, the flowers in blossom, the trees are laden with fruit, and every thing says, "How busy the owner is." Happy are you, dear children, if you are working earnestly in the garden of your hearts. Your garden will be clean, pleasant, and fruitful—a credit and comfort to you all your days.
I will tell you an anecdote about Mrs. Hannah More, when she was eighty years old. A widow and her little son paid a visit to Mrs. More, at Barley Wood. When they were about to leave, Mrs. M. stooped to kiss the little boy, not as a mere compliment, as old maidens usually kiss children, but she took his smiling face between her two hands, and looked upon it a moment as a mother would, then kissed it fondly more than once. "Now when you are a man, my child, will you remember me?" The little boy had just been eating some cake which she gave him, and he, instead of giving her any answer, glanced his eyes on the remnants of the cake which lay on the table. "Well," said Mrs. M., "you will remember the cake at Barley Wood, wont you?" "Yes," said the boy, "It was nice cake, and you are so kind that I will remember both." "That is right," she replied, "I like to have the young remember me for being kind—then you will remember old Mrs. Hannah More?"
"Always, ma'am, I'll try to remember you always." "What a good child," said she, after his mother was gone, "and of good stock; that child will be true as steel. It was so much more natural that the child should remember the cake than an old woman, that I love his sincerity." She died on the 7th of Sept., 1833, aged eighty-eight. She was buried in Wrighton churchyard, beneath an old tree which is still flourishing.
You have perhaps heard of Benjamin West, the celebrated artist. I will tell you about his first effort in drawing.
One of his sisters, who had been married some time, came with her babe to spend a few days at her father's. When the child was asleep in the cradle, Mrs. West invited her daughter to gather flowers in the garden, and told Benjamin to take care of the little child while they were gone; and gave him a fan to flap away the flies from his little charge. After some time the child appeared to smile in its sleep, and it attracted young Benny's attention. He was so pleased with the smiling, sleeping, babe that he thought he would see what he could do at drawing a portrait of it. He was only in his seventh year; he got some paper, pens, and some red and black ink, and commenced his work, and soon drew the picture of the babe.
Hearing his mother and sister coming in from the garden, he hid his picture; but his mother seeing he was confused, asked him what he was about, and requested him to show her the paper. He obeyed, and entreated her not to be angry. Mrs. West, after looking some time, with much pleasure, said to her daughter, "I declare, he has made a likeness of little Sally," and kissed him with evident satisfaction. This gave him much encouragement, and he would often draw pictures of flowers which she held in her hand. Here the instinct of his great genius was first awakened. This circumstance occurred in the midst of a Pennsylvania forest, a hundred and four years ago. At the age of eighteen he was fairly established in the city of Philadelphia as an artist.
In the valley between "Longbrigg" and "Highclose," in the fertile little dale on the left, stands an old cottage, which is truly "a nest in a green place." The sun shines on the diamond paned windows all through the long afternoons of a summer's day. It is very large and roomy. Around it is a trim little garden with pleasant flower borders under the low windows. From the cottage is a bright lookout into a distant scene of much variety.
Some years ago it was more desolate, as it was so isolated from the world. Now the children's voices blend with the song of the wood birds, and they have a garden there of dandelions, daisies, and flowers. The roof and walls are now covered with stone crop and moss, and traveller's joy, which gives it a variety of color. The currant bushes are pruned, and the long rose branches are trimmed, and present a blooming appearance. This house, with forty acres of land, some rocky and sterile, and some rich meadow and peat, formed the possessions of the Prestons in Westmoreland. For two hundred years this land had been theirs. Mr. Preston and his wife were industrious and respectable people. They had two children, Martha and John. The sister was eight years older than her brother and acted a motherly part towards him. As her mother had to go to market, to see to the cows and dairy, and to look after the sheep on the fell, Martha took most of the care of little Johnny.
It is said that a very active mother does not always make a very active daughter, and that is because she does things herself, and has but little patience with the awkward and slow efforts of a learner. Mrs. Preston said that Martha was too long in going to market with the butter, and she made the bread too thick, and did not press all the water out of the butter, and she folded up the fleeces the wrong way, and therefore she did all herself. Hence Martha was left to take the whole care of Johnny, and to roam about in the woods. When she was about fifteen her mother died, so that Martha was left her mother's place in the house, which she filled beyond the expectation of all the neighbors. Her father died when Johnny was sixteen, and his last advice to his daughter was, to take care of her brother, to look after his worldly affairs, and above all to bear his soul in prayer to heaven, where he hoped to meet the household once more. The share of her father's property when he died, was eighty pounds. Here Martha spent her days, frugal, industrious and benevolent. And it is said, there will not be a grave in Grasmere churchyard, more decked with flowers, more visited with respect, regret, and tears, and faithful trust, than that of Martha Preston when she dies. In the next story you will be interested in what happened at the Grey Cottage.
One winter's night when the evening had shut in very early, owing to the black snow clouds that hung close around the horizon, Martha sat looking into the fire. Her old sheep dog, Fly, lay at her feet. The cows were foddered for the night, and the sheep were penned up in the yard. Fly was a faithful dog, and for some reason, this evening, he was very restless. Why he pricked up his ears, and went snuffing to the door, and pacing about the room, was more than Martha could tell.
"Lie down, Fly,—good dog—lie down," she said; but Fly would not mind her, which was an unusual thing. She was certain something was the matter, and she felt she must go up to the fell; and with the foresight common to the Dale's people, who knew what mountain storms are, she took under her cloak a small vial of gin, which was kept in case of any accident, and set out with the dog Fly. The snow fell fast, the wind blew, and the drifts lay thick. She had great confidence in Fly, that if any thing was the matter he would find it out. He ran straight up the little steep path which led through the woods. On she followed, her cloak white with snow, until she came into the more open ground, where she lost sight of Fly, and for a time stood bewildered, until he should return and guide her. The birds and beasts had gone to rest, and the stillness of the moors was awful. It was night, and dark. Suddenly she heard a child's feeble voice, and in an instant she pressed on towards the spot from which the sound came; soon she heard Fly's loud howl for aid. At last she reached the spot, and found a little boy half asleep, a kind of drowsiness which precedes death. He could not speak; he could only moan. She moistened his lips with the gin, and poured a little down his throat. She then raised him up and carried him a short distance down the hill; then she stopped to rest awhile; and then she got as far as the woods, where the winds were not so cold. Again she gave him a few drops from her vial, and now he was able to walk a few steps; then Martha put up a fervent prayer to God for assistance, as she dragged the lost boy to her cottage. She now laid him down to the warm fire, while Fly snuffed around him in great joy. She took off his wet clothes, and wrapped him in her woollen cloak. He soon recovered and was able to tell his story.
His father had sent him up to the fells for a sheep that was missing. The dog left him, and night and snow came on, and he got lost on the fells. The family had lately come to live near Rydal, and the lad did not know all the landmarks. Martha took the best of care of the boy till the morning, when his mother came, with a grateful heart towards God for the means which had guided Martha to her lost boy.
(In three Stories.)
In one of our western cities was a poor woman, in the garret of a lonely house, who was very sick, and near dying. She had two children, a brother and sister, who knelt beside her bed to catch her dying words. "Annie, my daughter," said the mother, "soon, and your young brother will have no earthly friend but you; will you, my daughter, be to him a faithful sister?"
"Yes, mother, I will" said the daughter, as she wiped away her tears.
And then she laid her hand upon the head of her son, and said, "Be a good boy, Willy, and mind your sister; she is but three years older than yourself, but as far as her knowledge goes, she will be a guide for you; and she and you have a Father in Heaven who will never leave you. Will you promise to do as she wishes?"
Willy raised his eyes to his mother, and bowed his head in token of assent, and then burst into tears. The mother was a Christian, and putting her arm around the neck of Willy, and with the other hand clasping her daughter, she calmly said to them, "Weep not, dear children, you will find friends; God is the father of the fatherless. Keep in mind that his eye is upon you; be honest and virtuous, faithful and believing, and all things will work together for your good."
The dying mother could say no more; her breath grew short, and stretching out her arms, she cried, "My dear children, I must leave you: let me kiss you—God bless and keep—"
Her arms fell from around them, the words died away on her lips, and her weary soul departed.
After the funeral of this mother, the moon shone brightly into the desolate chamber, and revealed a beautiful scene, that of a sister's love.
Anna sat near the window, and little Willy lay his weary head in her lap. They were now without father or mother. Sleep had stolen upon the weary eyes of Willy. Anna smoothed back the dark hair which hung over his brow, then carefully raised his slender frame in her arms and laid him upon his bed. Then seating herself beside him she thought of her mother's last request to take care of Willy.
"Yes," she exclaimed, "I must begin to-morrow. I will go out and try to get some work, for poor Willy must remain at school. Dear boy," she exclaimed, "I will never see him suffer." You will, in the next story, find
It was a wearisome day to poor Anna, as she walked from square to square, calling at the houses for employment. Some received her kindly, and patronised her themselves, and promised to interest their friends in her behalf, while others, alleging that she could not earn as much as a woman, endeavored to beat her down a few shillings in her price. But among all, Anna found means of subsistence for many months. But soon her constitution began to grow weak, and her friends thought it best for Willy to give up his school awhile, and to obtain some place as errand boy, and for Anna to pursue a more active life.
Soon Anna found herself in a new home, doing the work of a family which devolved on her. She kept a diary, and she would often go away in her own little room, and scribble a few lines in her book. Here is an extract from her writings:—
"To-day I am very tired, and yet but very little has been accomplished. I know I could do well enough if I was allowed to regulate my work, or if there was only order in the arrangement. There is certainly a great want of system in this family; I am never allowed to finish one piece of work before I am called off to another, and then blamed because I did not do the first in time.
"One wants me to put the dough in the pans, and before I get my hands clean, another calls me to go and get some wood; another tells me to go to the store for some thread; another cries out, Anna! Anna! and away I am sent to the third story after a book. Do they think a girl like me is never tired? Ah, me! I must seek another place. I love little children, and I think I should do for a child's nurse; I will advertise."
And she did advertise, and it was not long before she was answered by a request to call at Number 4, Elm street, at three o'clock on Wednesday. In the next story we shall find
Anna, having obtained leave of her mistress, soon found herself at the door of Mrs. West. The servant girl came to the door, and Anna followed her into the sitting-room, where every thing was nicely arranged. Soon a gentle looking lady came into the room, with a babe in her arms, and asked her, in a pleasant voice, "if she was the girl who advertised? You look hardly strong enough to handle such a boy as this," said she, as she placed on her lap a plump, black-eyed little fellow of eight months old. "Let me see if you can lift him easily."
Anna gave the little fellow a hug and a kiss, and then playfully tossed him up a few times, but he was so heavy that she soon placed him on her knee, saying, "I am not used to holding children, but think I shall soon get accustomed to it." The lady agreed to have Anna come and enter upon her duties the next week.
Weeks rolled away, and Anna's face looked joyous, for peace was in her heart. She loved her mistress because she was so thoughtful and would not even let her carry the babe half so much as she wished, but would tell her to amuse him on the floor. Mrs. West would often bring her work and sit with Anna in the nursery, and talk with her about her mother and Willy. Oh, how Anna loved Mrs. West!
Willy was now learning a trade with an honest carpenter, who gave him permission to visit his sister once a week, and many happy hours did they pass together in the nursery with the little pet Charley.
As the summer months came on, Mrs. West prepared to visit her mother, who lived a few miles in the country. Anna went with her. Charley was now old enough to go into the woods and run about, while Anna gathered flowers, chased butterflies, and amused him with infant stories. Little Charley would often fall asleep to the sweet tones of Anna's voice, and then she would take him up and bear him to the house.
Three years passed away, and Charley needed no other nurse than his mother, and Anna's heart ached at the thought of leaving Mrs. West and little Charley. She had been so happy there that she dreaded to go out among strangers to look for a new place.
Mrs. West made arrangements for Anna to live with her parents, who in a short time made her their adopted child. It was a beautiful country home, and she became as a dear child to Mr. and Mrs. Warren.
On a summer's evening, about half an hour after bed time, as three little brothers lay talking together they heard a gentle footstep on the stairs. It was their sister Lucy. "Are you asleep," she asked.
"No, we are not asleep," cried the boys.
"I have brought something to show you," said Lucy, and going into the darkest corner of the room, she opened her hand and the boys saw something sparkle like a diamond or a star.
"What is it," cried little Frank, jumping out of bed and running to look. Lucy held out her hand, but told him not to touch it.
"Oh, it moves! It moves!" said he. "It must be something alive."
"Ah!" said John, "it is a glow worm. I saw one last summer on a bank in Sand Lee."
"Take care," said Frank, "that it does not burn the counterpane." The two elder brothers laughed; but Lucy reminded them that they would most likely have fallen into the same mistake, if they had not been taught that the glow worm's light, though it shines so brightly, does not burn. To convince Frank she told him to hold out his hand. The little boy felt afraid, but as he knew that Lucy never deceived him, he put out his hand, and soon, to his great delight, the harmless glow worm lay in his hand. Lucy promised to tell him something about the glow worm another time. Frank went back to his bed, and Lucy bid her brothers good night, promising to put the prize under a glass on the lawn.
So night after night, for weeks, the three boys saw the twinkling light of the glow worm on the dewy grass. One evening they began to quarrel about it, and none but little Frank was willing to give up his claim to it. It grieved him to hear his brothers quarrelling and saying unkind words to each other; and he also thought that the poor glow worm ought not to be kept a prisoner under the glass, instead of flying over the green turf or the mossy bank. But when he tried to bring John and Robert to the same opinion, they would not hear to him. So Lucy, who was a kind sister, when she found that the pleasure she had procured for them was the occasion of their naughty conduct, sat down by the window and told them to remember that God, who made the glow worm and caused its light to shine, could see them in their chamber, and hear every sinful word. John and Robert felt the force of their sister's words, and settled their quarrel without delay, and they gave Frank permission to go early in the morning and let the imprisoned glow worm creep away.
In the suburbs of the city of B. stands the beautiful residence of Mr. James. It was a rural spot, as it was surrounded with all the beauties of nature. There were rippling streams, and winding paths through the green fields and woods, sunny hills and mossy rocks. Emily, the only daughter of Mr. J., had all these pleasant scenes to enjoy, and every thing to make her home happy. Her father owned a noble pair of grays and a very fine carriage, and she had the pleasure of riding with her father whenever she chose. But Emily did not live altogether for her own happiness; she was accustomed to go and see the people in the neighborhood of her home, and if any were poor or sick she would always try to benefit them.
Her mother had to put up many a bundle of nice things for her to take to some poor family in need. She was also fond of the works of nature, and would frequently spend an hour in walking alone in the shady and rural places in her town. One day, as the beautiful spring had just unfolded its loveliness, Emily thought she would walk out and breathe the delicious air. With a heart laden with good thoughts and with a quick step she passed along the gravelled street and by the cultivated grounds and fine houses, until she reached the green turf and wooded slopes, and here paused awhile under the large old trees, and thought of the wisdom, goodness, and love of God in giving us such a beautiful earth.
On her route, where the river curved around the foot of a gentle sloping hill in the shadows of old forest trees, was made a rural cemetery; so pleasant were its quiet paths and its cool shades in summer, that the living loved to wander there. Friends came there to plant flowers upon the graves of dear ones they had lost.
Through a low ivy covered gateway of stone, Emily entered the quiet place. There were no massive railings, and lofty monuments, and no costly devices, but God had made this place very beautiful—flowers were blooming along the well trodden paths, and around the last resting places of the dead. Here and there arose a simple shaft or a light column, and the graves of the household were bordered by a green hedge or surrounded by shadowing trees.
As Emily passed through the familiar walks, she came suddenly to a grave in the remote corner of the cemetery, beside which sat a solitary mourner. A small white slab lay upon the centre of the green mound and at its head grew a rose bush in bloom, bending, till its weight of white buds and blossoms touched the long bright grass upon the grave. Emily was attracted by its simple beauty, and drawing near, she stooped down and read upon the marble slab, "Dear Mina." Her young eyes filled instantly with tears, for she knew that it was the darling child of a lady who to her was a stranger. As she turned away from the spot she met a lady approaching, who passed her and kneeled down beside the grave. She thought she would speak to the lady, and with tender sympathy she asked, "Was it your child?"
The lady, who was deep in thought, looked up at the sound of Emily's earnest voice, and answered, softly, "Yes; 'Dear Mina' was my only child." This interview led Emily to an acquaintance with the sorrowing mother, which caused her never to forget her morning ramble. She was a good woman, and at the decease of Emily's mother became her Christian companion and instructor.
I doubt whether he will find the way to heaven who desires to go there alone: all heavenly hearts are charitable: enlightened souls cannot but diffuse their rays. I will, if I can, do something for others and for heaven; not to merit by it, but to express my gratitude. Though I cannot do what I would, I will labor to do what I can.—Feltham.
Flying the kite is a pleasant amusement for boys, and when we see the kites flying high in the air, we are always reminded of a kite whose history we heard when a little child, and which we give our readers. Shortly after the close of the Revolutionary war, there was a little boy whose parents had left their home and friends in England on account of their sympathy with the struggle of freedom for their rights in America. Their first home was in Norfolk, Va.
This little boy was very much delighted with the American eagle, and he determined to make a kite as much like his favorite bird as he could. He had a friend who was a painter and gilder, and a person of great ingenuity. Together they contrived a beautiful kite, representing an eagle of gigantic size. It was painted and gilded in the most beautiful manner, and a small but very brilliant lantern was attached to it just below the breast.
They kept their secret very carefully, never suffering any one to enter the room while it was making.
On a dark, cloudy, windy night, the kite was flown. Its mechanism was so perfect that it sailed very beautifully. The lantern illuminated every part, and it made a very brilliant appearance. Crowds of people thronged the streets, wondering what the strange visitor was. Some were alarmed, and thought it was an omen of fearful events.
Great was their admiration when they discovered that the wonderful bird was the ingenious contrivance of a little boy; and they could scarcely be convinced that what looked so much like a real bird was only an ingenious combination of sticks and painted paper.
There are a great many novel sights in the streets of London, for the cheap entertainment of the people. The family circle of different animals and birds is an admirable illustration of the peace which should pervade among families. The proprietor of this novel menagerie calls it, "The Happy Family." The house in which they are kept is a simple constructed cage. It is a large square hen-coop, placed on a low hand-cart, which a man draws about from one street to another, and gets a few pennys a day from those who stop to look at the domestic happiness of his family. Perhaps the first thing you will see, is a large cat, washing her face, with a number of large rats nestling around her, like kittens, whilst others are climbing up her back and playing with her whiskers. In another corner of the room a dove and a hawk are setting on the head of a dog which is resting across the neck of a rabbit. The floor is covered with the oddest social circles imaginable—weazles and Guinea pigs, and peeping chickens, are putting their noses together, caressingly. The perches above are covered with birds whose natural antipathies have been subdued into mutual affection by the law of kindness. The grave owl is sitting upright, and meditating in the sun, with a keen-sighted sparrow perched between his ears trying to open the eyes of the sleepy owl with its sharp bill.
Children stop to look at this scene, and Mr. Burritt thinks they may carry away lessons which will do them good. They will think on it on their way to school, and at home too, when any thing crosses their will in family or on the play ground.
A poor sick man might go to the door of some rich person's house and ask relief for himself and not be able to obtain admittance; but if he brought in his hand a paper written by the son of the master of the house, whom he had met with in a distant land, and in his name asked for the relief, his request would be granted for the sake of the master's son.
Now we all need friends and every one tries to get and keep a few friends. Children will love a little dog, or a lamb, or a dove, or a bird. The little boy will talk to his top, and the little girl will talk to her doll, which shows that they want a friend; and if the top and the doll could talk and love them, they would feel happier.
Some years ago there was an Indian in the State of Maine, who for his very good conduct had a large farm given him by the State. He built his little house on his land, and there lived. The white people about him did not treat him so kindly as they ought. His only child was taken sick and died, and none of the whites went to comfort him, or to assist him in burying his little child. Soon after, he went to the white people, and said to them—"When white man's child die, Indian may be sorry—he help bury him—when my child die, no one speak to me—I make his grave alone. I can no live here, for I have no friend to love me."
The poor Indian gave up his farm, dug up the body of his child, and carried it with him 200 miles through the forest, to join the Canada Indians.
The Indian loved his child, and he wanted friends. So you children will need a friend to look to every day. When we are sick, in distress, or about to die, we want a friend in whom we may trust and be happy.
Wherefore did God create passions within us, pleasures round about us, but that these, rightly tempered, are the very ingredients of virtue.—Milton.
Two little girls went into the fields to gather flowers. Buttercups, violets, and many other blossoms were in abundance. One of the girls was pleased with every thing, and began to pick such flowers as came in her way. In a short time she collected a great quantity of flowers, and though some of them were not very handsome, yet they made a very beautiful bunch. The other child was more dainty and determined to get her none but those which were very beautiful. The buttercups were all of one color and did not strike her fancy—the blue violets were too common, and so the little pair wandered on through the fields till they were about to return home. By this time the dainty child, seeing that her sister had a fine collection of flowers while she had none, began to think it best to pick such as she could get. But now the flowers were scarce; not even a dandelion nor a flower was to be found. The little girl at length begged of her sister a single dandelion, and thus they returned home. The children told their story, and their mother addressed them thus—"My dear children, let this event teach you a lesson. Jane has acted the wisest part. Content with such flowers as came in her way, and not aiming at what was beyond her reach, she has been successful in her pursuit. But Laura wanted something more beautiful than could be found, collected nothing from the field, and was finally obliged to beg a simple flower from her sister. So it is, children, in passing through life—gather what is good and pleasant along your path, and you will, day by day, collect enough to make you contented and happy. But if you scorn those blessings which are common, and reach after those which are more rare and difficult to be obtained, you will meet with frequent difficulties, and at last be dependant on others. So gather the flowers as you go along the pathway of life."
Think not all is well within when all is well without; or that thy being pleased is a sign that God is pleased: but suspect every thing that is prosperous, unless it promotes piety, and charity, and humility.—Taylor.
God hath given to man a short time here upon earth, and yet upon this short time eternity depends.—Taylor.
It is a mark of a good scholar to be prompt and studious. Such were the habits of little Jane Sumner. She was the youngest of three sisters, and from her first being able to read, she was very fond of reading; and at school her teacher became much interested in little Jane on account of her interest in study, and the promptness she manifested in reciting her lessons. Jane had a quiet little home and was allowed considerable time for study, although she had to devote some time in assisting her mother about house.
There was a very fine garden attached to Mrs. Sumner's residence, where she took much pleasure in cultivating the flowers. In the centre of the garden was built a summer house all covered over with grape vine. The broad leaves of the vine made a refreshing shade to it, and thereby shielded the warm sun from persons under it. This little summer house Jane frequently occupied for her study. In the picture you see her with book in hand getting her lesson. She arose very early in the morning, and by this means gained much time.
Up in the morning early,
By daylight's earliest ray,
With our books prepared to study
The lessons of the day.
Little Jane, for her industry and good scholarship, obtained quite a number of "rewards of merit," which her schoolmates said she justly deserved. There is one of them with these lines:
For conduct good and lessons learned,
Your teacher can commend;
Good scholarship has richly earned
This tribute from your friend.
On one day, she came running home very much pleased with her card, which her teacher gave herself and her little sister Emma, for their good conduct and attention to their studies. The card contained these lines:
See, Father! mother, see!
To my sister and me,
Has our teacher given a card,
To show that we have studied hard.
To you we think it must be pleasant,
To see us both with such a present.
Every good boy and girl will be rewarded, and all such as are studious, and respectful to their teachers, will always get a reward.
God never allowed any man to do nothing. How miserable is the condition of those men who spend their time as if it were given them, and not lent.—Bishop Hall.
Now the golden ear wants the reaper's hand,
Banish every fear, plenty fills the land.
Joyful raise songs of praise,
Goodness, goodness, crowns our days.
Yet again swell the strain,
He who feeds the birds that fly,
Will our daily wants supply.
As the manna lay, on the desert ground,
So from day to day, mercies flow around.
As a father's love gives his children bread,
So our God above grants, and we are fed.
Think in the morning what thou hast to do this day, and at night what thou hast done; and do nothing upon which thou mayest not boldly ask God's blessing; nor nothing for which thou shalt need to ask his pardon.—Anon.
There is a company of girls met together, and what can they be talking about. Hark! "Now I will tell you something, if you'll promise never to tell," says Jane. "I will, certainly," replied Anne. "And will you promise never to tell a single living creature as long as you live?" The same reply is given, "I will never tell."
Now Jane tells the secret, and what is it? It turns out to be just nothing at all, and there is no good reason why every body should'nt know it. It is this—"Lizzy Smith is going to have a new bonnet, trimmed with pink ribbon and flowers inside." Anna thinks no more of her solemn promise, and the first school-mate she meets, she opens the secret, with a solemn injunction for her not to tell. By and by the secret is all out among the girls—the promises are all broken. Now, children, remember your word—keep it true, and never make a promise which you do not intend to keep, and always avoid telling foolish secrets.
One brilliant Christmas day, two little girls were walking towards a neighboring village, when they observed a little creature walking about the road. "Surely," said Mary, "it is a large mouse;" and it did not seem to be afraid, so they thought from its tameness, it must be hungry. "Poor little thing," said Agnes, "I wish I had something to give you." She took a few almonds from her pocket and went gently along towards the mouse and put it close by its side. The mouse began to nibble, and soon finished it. Agnes then put down two or three more, and left the mouse to eat its Christmas dinner. I think you would have enjoyed seeing the mouse eating the almonds. I hope you will always be kind to poor dumb animals. I have seen children who were cruel to dumb animals. This is very wrong, and such children will never be respected, nor can they expect to be befriended.
A few summers ago I was sitting on a garden seat, beneath a fruit tree, where the works of nature look very beautiful. Very soon I heard a strange noise among the highest branches of the tree over my head. The sound was very curious, and I began to look for the cause. I shook one of the lower branches within my reach, and very soon I discovered two birds engaged in fighting; and they seemed to gradually descend towards the ground. They came down lower and lower, tumbling over one another, and fighting with each other. They soon reached the lowest branch, and at last came to the ground very near me. It was with some difficulty that I parted them; and when I held one of them in each of my hands, they tried to get away, not because they were afraid of me but because they would resume the conflict. They were two young robins, and I never before thought that the robin had such a bad spirit in its breast. Lest they should get to fighting again, I let one go, and kept the other housed up for several days, so that they would not have much chance of coming together again.
Now, children, these two little robins woke in the morning very cheerful, and appeared very happy as they sat on the branch of the tree, singing their morning songs. But how soon they changed their notes. You would have been sorry to have seen the birds trying to hurt each other.
If children quarrel, or in any degree show an unkind temper, they appear very unlovely, and forget that God, who made them, and gives them many blessings, disapproves of their conduct. Never quarrel, but remember how pleasant it is for children to love each other, and to try to do each other good.
Every hour is worth at least a good thought, a good wish, a good endeavor.—Clarendon.
Down by the sea-coast is the pleasant town of Saco, where Mr. Aimes has resided for many years. Once a year he had all his little nephews and nieces visit him. It was their holiday, and they would think and talk about the visit for a long time previous to going there. Their uncle took much pleasure in making them happy as possible while they were with him. He owned a pleasure sail boat which he always kept in good order. On this occasion he had it all clean and prepared for the young friends, as he knew they lotted much on having a sail. As his boat was small, he took part of them at a time and went out with them himself, a short distance, and sailed around the island, and returned. In the picture you see them just going out, with their uncle at the helm, while three of the nephews are on the beach enjoying the scene.
But I must tell you children to be very careful when you go on the water to sail. There are some things which it is necessary for you to know, as a great many accidents occur on the water for the want of right management. When you go to sail, be sure and have persons with you who understand all about a boat, and how to manage in the time of a squall. Always keep your seats in the boat, and not be running about in it. Never get to rocking a boat in the water. A great many people have lost their lives by so doing. Sailing on the water may be very pleasant and agreeable to you if you go with those who understand all about the harbor, and are skilled in guiding the boat on the dangerous sea.
Yarmouth is the principal trade seaport town in the county of Norfolk. Fishermen reside in the towns and villages around, and among the number was a poor man and his wife; they had an only son, and when ten years old his father died. The poor widow, in the death of her husband, lost the means of support. After some time she said to her boy, "Johnny, I do not see how I shall support you." "Then, mother, I will go to sea," he replied. His mother was loth to part with Johnny, for he was a good son and was very kind to her. But she at last consented on his going to sea.
John began to make preparations. One day he went down to the beach hoping to find a chance among some of the captains to sail. He went to the owner of one and asked if he wanted a boy. "No," he abruptly replied, "I have boys enough." He tried a second but without success. John now began to weep. After some time he saw on the quay the captain of a trading vessel to St. Petersburg, and John asked him if "a boy was wanted." "Oh, yes," said the captain, "but I never take a boy or a man without a character." John had a Testament among his things, which he took out and said to the captain, "I suppose this won't do." The captain took it, and on opening the first page, saw written, "John Read, given as a reward for his good behavior and diligence in learning, at the Sabbath School." The captain said, "Yes, my boy, this will do; I would rather have this recommendation than any other," adding, "you may go on board directly." John's heart leaped for joy, as, with his bundle under his arm, he jumped on board the vessel.
The vessel was soon under weigh, and for some time the sky was bright, and the wind was fair. When they reached the Baltic Sea a storm came on, the wind raged furiously, all hands were employed to save the vessel. But the storm increased, and the captain thought all would be lost. While things were in this state the little sailor boy was missing. One of the crew told the captain he was down in the cabin. When sent for he came up with his Testament in his hand and asked the captain if he might read. His request was granted. He then knelt down and read the sixtieth and sixty-first Psalms. While he was reading the wind began to abate, (the storms in the Baltic abate as suddenly as they come on.) The captain was much moved, and said he believed the boy's reading was heard in Heaven.
At St. Petersburg, the birth day of any of the royal family is observed as a time of great festivity, by all kinds of diversions. When the vessel in which John Read shipped arrived, he was allowed to go on shore to see the sport on that occasion. In one of the sleighs was a lady, who at the moment of passing him lost a bracelet from her arm, which fell on the snow. John hastened forward to pick it up, at the same time calling after the lady, who was beyond the sound of his voice. He then put the bracelet into his pocket, and when he had seen enough of the sport, went back to the ship.
John told the captain all about it, showing him the prize which he had found.
"Well, Jack," said the captain, "you are fortunate enough—these are all diamonds of great value—when we get to the next port I will sell it for you." "But," said John, "It's not mine, it belongs to the lady, and I cannot sell it." The captain replied "O, you cannot find the lady, and you picked it up. It is your own." But John persisted it was not his. "Nonsense, my boy," said the captain, "it belongs to you." John then replied—"But if we have another storm in the Baltic," (see story preceding.) "Ah me," said the Captain, "I forgot all about that, Jack. I will go on shore with you to-morrow and try to find the owner." They did so; and after much trouble, found it belonged to a nobleman's, lady, and as a reward for the boy's honesty, she gave him eighty pounds English money. John's next difficulty was what to do with it. The captain advised him to lay it out in hides, which would be valuable in England. He did so, and on arriving at Hull, they brought one hundred and fifty pounds.
John had not forgotten his mother. The captain gave him leave of absence for a time, and taking a portion of his money with him, he started for his native village. When he arrived there, he made his way to her house with a beating heart. Each object told him it was home, and brought bygone days to his mind. On coming to the house he saw it was closed. He thought she might be dead; and as he slowly opened the gate and walked up the path and looked about, his heart was ready to break. A neighbor seeing him, said, "Ah, John, is that you?" and quickly told him that his mother still lived—but as she had no means of support, she had gone to the poor house. John went to the place, found his mother, and soon made her comfortable in her own cottage. The sailor boy afterwards became mate of the same vessel in which he first left the quay at Yarmouth.
"Little boy, will you help a poor old man up the hill with this load?" said an old man, who was drawing a hand cart with a bag of corn for the mill.
"I can't," said the boy, "I am in a hurry to be at school."
As the old man sat on the stone, resting himself, he thought of his youthful days, and of his friends now in the grave; the tears began to fall, when John Wilson came along, and said,—"Shall I help you up the hill with your load, sir?" The old man brushed his eyes with his coat sleeve, and replied, "I should be glad to have you." He arose and took the tongue of his cart, while John pushed behind. When they ascended the top of the hill, the old man thanked the lad for his kindness. In consequence of this John was ten minutes too late at school. It was unusual for him to be late, as he was known to be punctual and prompt; but as he said nothing to the teacher about the cause of his being late, he was marked for not being in season.
After school, Hanson, the first boy, said to John, "I suppose you stopped to help old Stevenson up the hill with his corn."
"Yes," replied John, "the old man was tired and I thought I would give him a lift."
"Well, did you get your pay for it?" said Hanson, "for I don't work for nothing."
"Nor do I," said John; "I didn't help him, expecting pay."
"Well, why did you do it? You knew you would be late to school."
"Because I thought I ought to help the poor old man," said John.
"Well," replied Hanson, "if you will work for nothing, you may. No pay, no work, is my motto."
"To be kind and obliging, is mine," said John.
Here, children, is a good example. John did not perform this act of kindness for nothing. He had the approbation of a good conscience—the pleasure of doing good to the old man—and the respect and gratitude of his friends. Even the small act of benevolence is like giving a cup of cold water to the needy, which will not pass unnoticed. Does any body work for nothing when he does good? Think of this, and do likewise.
"Mary," said George, "next summer I will not have a garden. Our pretty tree is dying, and I won't love another tree as long as I live. I will have a bird next summer, and that will stay all winter."
"George, don't you remember my beautiful canary bird? It died in the middle of the summer, and we planted bright flowers in the ground where we buried it. My bird did not live as long as the tree."
"Well, I don't see as we can love anything. Dear little brother died before the bird, and I loved him better than any bird, or tree or flower. Oh! I wish we could have something to love that wouldn't die."
The day passed. During the school hours, George and Mary had almost forgotten that their tree was dying; but at evening, as they drew their chairs to the table where their mother was sitting, and began to arrange the seeds they had been gathering, the remembrance of the tree came upon them.
"Mother," said Mary, "you may give these seeds to cousin John; I never want another garden."
"Yes," added George, pushing the papers in which he had carefully folded them towards his mother, "you may give them all away. If I could find some seeds of a tree that would never fade, I should like then to have a garden. I wonder, mother, if there ever was such a garden?"
"Yes, George, I have read of a garden where the trees never die."
"A real garden, mother?"
"Yes, my son. In the middle of the garden, I have been told, there runs a pure river of water, clear as crystal, and on each side of the river is the tree of life,—a tree that never fades. That garden is heaven. There you may love and love for ever. There will be no death—no fading there. Let your treasure be in the tree of life, and you will have something to which your young hearts can cling, without fear, and without disappointment. Love the Saviour here, and he will prepare you to dwell in those green pastures, and beside those still waters."
Every neglected opportunity draws after it an irreparable loss, which will go into eternity with you.—Doddridge.
You gave read of that remarkable man, Mr. Usher, who was Archbishop of Armagh. I will tell you something about his early childhood. He was born in Dublin, in the year 1580, and when a little boy he was fond of reading. He lived with his two aunts who were born blind, and who acquired much knowledge of the Scriptures by hearing others read the Scriptures and other good books. At seven years of age he was sent to school in Dublin; at the end of five years he was superior in study to any of his school fellows, and was thought fully qualified to enter the college at Dublin.
While he was at college he learned to play at cards, and he was so much taken up with this amusement that both his learning and piety were much endangered. He saw the evil tendency of playing at cards, and at once relinquished the practice entirely. When he was nine years old, he heard a sermon preached which made a deep impression on his mind. From that time he was accustomed to habits of devotion. He loved to pray, and he felt that he could not sleep quietly without first commending himself to the care of his Heavenly Father for protection. You see him in the picture kneeling by his bed side, alone with God. When he was fourteen years old, he began to think about partaking of the Lord's supper. He thought this act to be a very solemn and important one, and required a thorough preparation. On the afternoon previous to the communion, he would retire to some private place for self examination and prayer. When he was but sixteen years of age, he obtained such a knowledge of chronology as to have commenced the annals of the Old and New Testaments, which were published many years after, and are now a general standard of reference.
When his father died, he being the eldest son, the paternal estate was left to him to manage. But as he feared that it would occupy too much of his time and attention, he gave it entirely to his brother and sisters, reserving only enough for his books and college expenses. At the age of twenty he entered the ministry, and seven years after was chosen a professor in the University of Dublin. In 1640, he visited England at the time of the commencement of the rebellion; all his goods were seized by the popish party, except some furniture in his house, and his library at Drogheda, which was afterwards sent to London. He bore his loss with submission, but he never returned to Ireland. He had many trials to endure on account of the troublous times in England, (it being the time of the civil wars.) In 1646 he received a kind invitation from the Countess of Peterborough to reside in one of her houses, which proposal he accepted and lived in one of them till his death, in 1665. By the direction of Cromwell he was buried in Westminster Abby.
A man was going from Norwich to New London with a loaded team; on attempting to ascend a hill where an Indian lived he found his team could not draw the load. He went for the Indian to assist him. After he had got up the hill he asked the Indian what was to pay. The Indian told him to do as much for somebody else.
Some time afterward the Indian wanted a canoe. He went up Shetucket river, found a tree, and made him one. When he had finished it he could not get it to the river; accordingly he went to a man and offered to pay him if he would go and draw it to the river for him. The man set about it immediately, and after getting it to the river, the Indian offered to pay him. "No," said the man; "don't you recollect, so long ago, helping a man with a team up the hill by the side of your house?" "Yes." "Well, I am the man; take your canoe and go home."
The sparrows often build their nests under the eaves of houses and barns. A young lad saw one of the sparrows conveying materials for her nest, which she was building under the eaves of a cottage adjoining his father's house. He was told not to disturb it. But birds' eggs form a temptation to many boys. At a favorable opportunity the lad climbed up to the roof of the cottage and carried away the nest with the eggs in it. Among the materials of which the nest was composed was a piece of paper with some printed verses on it. The boy pulled it out and found it to be a page of one of Dr. Watts' hymns, which had been picked up in the yard by the poor bird for strengthening her nest. The boy unfolded the paper and read:—
"Why should I deprive my neighbor
Of his goods against his will?
Hands were made for honest labor.
Not to plunder nor to steal."
The lad says, in his after years, "I never forgot the lesson presented to me by that leaf of paper which had been fixed to the nest of the poor sparrow." Let young people remember that when they do wrong they will get reproved, and it may be by the means of a bird.
Little Charles knew nothing about an echo. As he was playing by himself in the field, he cried out, "Ho, hop!" and immediately a voice from the woods near by answered, "ho, hop!" Being surprised at this, he called out, "who be you?" The voice answered, "who be you?" Charles thought this very strange, and cried out "you're a stupid fellow," and "stupid fellow," was the reply from the woods.
Charles began to be much displeased, and called several abusive names, and every name he called, came back to him. "I never met with such insolence," said he, "but I'll revenge myself;" and he ran up and down among the trees, trying to find the supposed offender, but he could see no one. Vexed and disappointed, he hastened home and told his mother that a bad boy had hidden in the woods and called him all sorts of names.
His mother smiled and shook her head. "Now you have been angry at yourself, Charles, for you must know that you heard nothing but your own words repeated. As you have seen your own face reflected in the water, so you have now heard your own voice echoed." Had Charles spoke kind words he would have heard kind words in return. It is often true that the behavior we meet with from others, is but an echo of our own. If we speak kind words we shall have kind words in return.
I wish to relate to you a very affecting story about a good girl who died when she was thirteen years old. She was an interesting young girl, and possessed great intellectual powers. She was also very fond of the works of nature, especially of flowers, and would often say, "How good God is to make these beautiful flowers for us to enjoy." Soon it was very evident to her friends that disease was preying on her delicate constitution. She bore all her sickness with calm submission, and when she died she appeared to all who knew her to be prepared for heaven. While she was sick, her parents did every thing to make her comfortable and happy. They had a dog which Lizzy set a great deal by, and with him she used to play in the house and in the garden. When Lizzy was so sick that she could not play with him, he would come and lay himself down at her bed side, and appeared to be very sad on her account. When she died and was buried, the dog followed with the parents in the funeral, to the grave yard where Lizzy was laid away. One day, about five months afterwards, I went with her father to see the grave of Lizzy. As we went into the grave yard, we walked slowly along, reading the names of persons buried there, while the dog followed us. We soon missed the dog, supposing he had wandered into some other part of the cemetery. But when we came within a few yards of Lizzy's grave we saw him sitting at its head, leaning against the stone which was erected in memory of the lovely daughter. It was a very affecting scene—the attachment of the dog, as well as the power of his memory. Dogs are faithful creatures, and we can never bear to see them abused. Be kind to them and they will be kind to you.
It was a beautiful June day, just at the sun's setting, when Julia Easworth went to visit the resting place of a dear grandmother. While she was in the grave-yard, meditating on the loss of one of her best earthly friends, she saw a lady dressed in mourning busily engaged in doing something near a rose bush that grew at the foot of a little mound, at a short distance from where she stood. Julia walked along and came near where she was, and laid her hand gently upon the woman and said, "Madam, is this your little mound?"
"Oh, no, my child; it is my dear Elise's grave."
"And is it long since you laid her here, ma'am," said Julia.
"Only a few weeks," was the reply; "there were buds on this rose bush when I brought it here."
"And was it her's," asked Julia, as she stooped down to inhale the rich fragrance of the beautiful flower.
"Yes, my child, it was a dear treasure to her. My Elise was a good child, she was my Idol, but my Heavenly Father has seen best to remove her from me. I only cared to live that I might be useful to her in giving her such instructions as might be a blessing to her. I almost adored her, but she is gone from me, and I am alone. I know she is happy, because she was good."
"And have you always lived here in our town," asked Julia.
"Oh, no! I am from Italy. When my child was but two years old, I left my native shores, and with my only relative, my father, followed my young husband, who is an American, to his own land. We settled in the State of Virginia, and a short time ago he died and left me with a charge to take care of our dear Elise. She had her father's hair and complexion, and inherited his delicate constitution. We were poor and I labored hard, but I cared not, if I could only make my child comfortable and happy. She was not like me—her mind was full of thoughts of beauty—she would often talk of things with which I could not sympathize—the world seemed to her to be full of voices, and she would often say 'How beautiful heaven must be.' Her nature was purer and gentler than mine, and I felt that she was a fit companion of the angels. But she is now gone to be with them, and I hope soon to meet her."
Julia bid the lady good bye and went towards her home. As she walked slowly along, she thought to herself, "Elise with the angels!" and she dwelt on the theme till her mother, seeing her rather different in her conduct, asked her the cause, when she replied, "Oh, mother! I want to dwell with the angels."
"And was there never a portrait of your beautiful child," said Anne Jones to a lady whom she met at the grave where her child had been lain a few weeks.
"Oh, yes! but I may never have it," replied the woman, as she stood weeping at the grave.
Anna did not understand the mother's tears, but in a few moments she became calm, and continued to explain.
"Not many weeks before my child's illness, as we were walking together in the city, an artist observed my daughter and followed us to our humble home. He praised her countenance to me, and said her beauty was rare. In all his life he had never seen face to compare with it, nor an eye so full of soul—and begged to have me consent to his drawing her portrait. After many urgent entreaties, my dear child consented. For several mornings I went with Flora to the artist's room, though I could ill afford the time, for our daily bread was to be earned. When he was finishing the picture, Flora went alone. One day she returned, and flinging into my lap her little green purse, she said:—'The picture does not need me any more, and I am very glad, for my head aches badly. They say the portrait is very like me, mother.'
"I resolved to go and see it the day following, but when the time came that I first looked upon it, my dear child began to fade in my arms, until she died. And here she is buried. Since then I go to the artist's room to see her portrait, and there, full of life and beauty, she stands before me, and I have permission to see it every day.
"But I am about to leave this country for our native land. My aged father has long wished to return to his own country, and we shall soon sail with our friends for Italy. I must leave the dear child here. But if I can purchase the picture of the artist, I shall be happy. We are poor; but by the sale of some little articles, we have raised money enough to buy the picture, at the price which the artist demands for a similar picture.
"When I went to buy it, you know not how I felt, when the artist, notwithstanding all my pleadings, denied my request. His apology was, that he had taken it for some purpose of his own—some great exhibition of paintings—what, I could not fully comprehend. He would not sell it. Day after day I have been to him, but in vain. And now the time of our departure will soon come, and duty demands that I must go with my father, and I must leave my dear Flora, and portrait too."
She then laid her face upon the grave and wept. Anna's eyes were filled with tears, and for some moments she did not speak. At last she thought—"I know the artist." And then touching the mother, who was almost insensible, she said, "Madam, it may be that I can do something for you—describe to me the picture. I think I must have seen it at this same artist's room."
The mother then gave the description, and after Anna had gathered from the mother all needful information, her name, and residence, and time of sailing, then giving her own address, and speaking to her words of consolation and hope, she arose and left the stranger at the grave of her child. The next story will tell you how the picture was obtained.
Anna started for her home, and when she had arrived, she slowly ascended to her room, flung herself upon her couch, and buried her face in its cushions.
"Edgar," (for that was the artist's name, and Anna knew him,) "Edgar is cold hearted." She did not meet the family at tea that evening, but when her mother came to inquire if she was ill, she related all the sad story of the childless mother, and asked what could be done. The next morning, Anna and her father went to see the artist. He was not in attendance, but one to whom they were well known brought forward the picture, at Anna's request, and which she had before seen. While they were looking at it, the artist came in.
"Pardon me, sir," said Anna's father, "for examining your beautiful picture during your absence, but my daughter has a very earnest desire to possess it. Is it for sale?"
Edgar replied, "I have painted this picture for the coming artist's exhibition, and, therefore, I have made no design as to its disposal, but it would be an honor to me to have you and Miss Anna its purchasers. I would wish, however, previously to its being given up, that it might be exhibited, according to my intention, at the rooms, which open on Monday next."
Mr. H. hesitated—the vessel, which was to carry away the sorrowing mother, was to sail in a little more than two weeks—they must have the picture at that time, if ever; and he said to the artist, "I am aware that this is a beautiful painting, and I will pay you your price, but I must be allowed to take it at the expiration of ten days, if at all."
Edgar reflected a few moments, and being well aware that, in the mansion of Mr. Hastings, his elegant picture would be seen by persons of the most accomplished manners, and of excellent taste, concluded to sell the picture. The bargain was made and Anna and her father departed, leaving the artist somewhat elated at the thought of having Mr. H. the owner of his picture.
That night Edgar dreamed that Flora, who had been buried a few weeks, and of whose image his picture was the exact resemblance, stood before him, pleading him to have pity on her lonely mother—he dreamed her hand clasped his, and he awoke trembling.
He raised himself upon his elbow, and pressed to his lips some flowers which were left on his table, and then rejoiced that the ocean would soon lie between him and the wearisome old woman who had so long annoyed him about the picture.
The Monday morning came, and with it the portrait of Flora, which had been admired at the exhibition rooms the previous week. A simple frame had been prepared for it, and for a few moments Anna gazed on the picture, and with a love for the buried stranger, looked for the last time into the deep dark eyes which beamed on the canvas.
The ship Viola, bound for the port of Naples, lay at the wharf, the passengers were all hurrying on board, the flags were flying, and all wore the joyous aspect of a vessel outward bound. A carriage drawn by a pair of horses came down to the vessel. Mr. Hastings and Anna alighted, and were followed by a servant, who took the safely cased portrait in his arms, and accompanied them on board the ship. They soon met the mother of Flora, and Anna took the picture and presented it to her, and promised to care for the rose buds which bloomed at Flora's grave. Mr. H received from the gallant captain a promise to take special charge of the Italian widow, and her aged father, and to care for the valued picture of Flora. Thanks and farewells closed the scene, when Anna, with her father, returned home. There she found a note from Edgar, the artist, requesting permission to call on Anna that evening. She wrote a reply, saying that a previous engagement would forbid her complying with his request, at the same time enclosing a check for $200, saying, "My father requests me to forward this check to you, in payment for the portrait of Flora Revere"
We've no abiding city here:
This may distress the worldling's mind,
But should not cost the saint a tear,
Who hopes a better rest to find.
We've no abiding city here;
We seek a city out of sight,
Zion its name: the Lord is there:
It shines with everlasting light.
Hush, my soul, nor dare repine;
The time my God appoints is best;
While here to do his will be mine,
And his to fix my time of rest.
Mrs. Savage was the eldest sister of Matthew Henry. When she was a child she had a great many advantages for the improvement of her mind. When only seven years of age, she could translate the Hebrew language, and when ten years old, she would write out her father's sermons. She possessed a very amiable disposition, and was very kind and benevolent to all who needed the comforts of life. She was a Christian, and when she became a mother she began the work of educating her children herself. She had a large family of nine children, and as she had treasured up in her memory many hymns and verses which she had learned when a child, she was able to teach the same to her children. She was so kind and affectionate that every body loved her. Her children took much pleasure in hearing their mother repeat to them the hymns and texts of Scripture which she had learned.
Some children are very careless, and indifferent to their parents' advice; such ones will regret it in their riper years. But Mrs. Savage's little boys and girls loved their mother, and were very obedient to her commands. When evening came, before they retired to bed she would call her little children around her (as you see in the picture,) and they would kneel down and say their evening prayer. A pleasant sight, indeed, to see our dear children remembering their Creator in the days of their youth. Mrs. S. was "useful, beloved, meek, humble, and charitable." She lived a happy, cheerful life; she was an ornament to her Christian profession, a "good mother." She died suddenly at the good old age of eighty-eight.
"Will you please teach me my verse, mamma, and then kiss me and bid me good night," said little Roger, as he opened the door and peeped into the chamber of his sick mother. "I am very sleepy, but no one has heard me say my prayers." Mrs. L. was very ill, and her friends believed her to be dying. She sat propped up with pillows and struggling for breath, her eyes were growing dim, and her strength was failing very fast. She was a widow, and little Roger was her only darling child. He had been in the habit of coming into her room every night, and sitting in her lap, or kneeling by her side, while she repeated some Scripture passages to him or related a story of wise and good people. She always loved to hear Roger's verse and prayer.
"Hush! hush!" said the lady who was watching beside the couch. "Your dear mamma is too ill to hear you to night." And as she said this, she came forward and laid her hand gently upon his arm as if she would lead him from the room. "I cannot go to bed to night," said the little boy, "without saying my prayers—I cannot."
Roger's dying mother heard his voice, and his sobs, and although she had been nearly insensible to everything around her, yet she requested the attendant lady to bring the boy and lay him near her side. Her request was granted, and the child's rosy cheek nestled in the bosom of his dying mother.
"Now you may repeat this verse after me," said his mother, "and never forget it: 'When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.'" The child repeated it three times—then he kissed the pale cheek of his mother, and went quietly to his little couch.
The next morning he sought as usual for his mother, but she was now cold and motionless. She died soon after little Roger retired to his bed. That was her last lesson to her darling boy—he did not forget it. He has grown to be a man and occupies a high post of honor in Massachusetts. I never can look upon him without thinking about the faith so beautifully exhibited by his dying mother. It was a good lesson.
A teacher once asked a child, "If you had a golden crown, what would you do with it?" The child replied, "I would give it to my father to keep till I was a man." He asked another. "I would buy a coach and horses with it," was the reply. He asked a third. "Oh," said the little girl to whom he spoke, "I would do with it the same as the people in heaven do with their crowns. I would cast it at the Saviour's feet."
One Sabbath evening a teacher was walking up and down in the porch before his house, in one of the South Sea Islands. The sun was setting behind the waves of the ocean, and the labors of the day were over. In that cool, quiet hour, the teacher was in prayer, asking a blessing on his people, his scholars, and himself. As he heard the leaves of the Mimosa tree rustling, he thought the breeze was springing up—and continued his walk. Again he heard the leaves rattle, and he felt sure that it could not be the wind. So he pushed aside the long leafy branches of the trees, and passed beneath. And what did he find there? Three little boys. Two were fast asleep in each other's arms, but the third was awake.
"What are you doing there, my children?" asked the teacher. "We have come to sleep here," said the boy. "And why do you sleep here; have you no home?" "Oh, yes," said the lad, "but if we sleep here, we are sure to be ready when the school bell rings in the morning." "And do your parents know about it?" "Mine do," said the lad, "but these little boys have no parents; they are orphans."
You know the nights in the South Sea Islands are not cold and damp like ours, but as the teacher thought a heavy rain would fall in the night, he roused the orphans, and led the three little boys into the large porch of the house, where they might rest in safety. He was happy to find that they were some of his scholars, and that they loved their school. What would these little Islanders think if they could look from their distant homes into some of our schools and see how many late comers there are!
Two boys were one day on their way from school, and as they were passing a cornfield, in which there were some plum trees, full of nice ripe fruit, Henry said to Thomas, "Let us jump over and get some plums. Nobody will see us, and we can scud along through the corn and come out on the other side."
Thomas said, "I cannot. It is wrong to do so. I would rather not have the plums, than to steal them, and I think I will run along home."
"You are a coward," said Henry, "I always knew you were a coward, and if you don't want any plums you may go without them, but I shall have some very quick."
Just as Henry was climbing the fence, the owner of the field rose up from the other side of the wall, and Henry jumped back, and ran away. Thomas had no reason to be afraid, so he stood still, and the owner of the field, who had heard the conversation between the boys, told him that he was very glad to see that he was not willing to be a thief. He then told Thomas that he might step over the fence and help himself to as many plums as he wished. The boy was pleased with the invitation, and soon filled his pockets with plums which he could call his own. Honesty will always get its reward.
George had a large and noble dog.
With hair as soft as silk;
A few black spots upon his back,
The rest as white as milk.
And many a happy hour they had,
In dull or shining weather;
For, in the house, or in the fields,
They always were together.
The faithful creature knew full well
When Master wished to ride;
And he would kneel down on the grass,
While Georgy climbed his side
They both were playing in the field.
When all at once they saw
A little squirrel on a stump,
With an acorn in his paw
The dog still looked with eager eye,
And George could plainly see,
It was as much as he could do
To let the squirrel be.
The timid creature would have feared
The dog so bold and strong,
But he seemed to know the little boy
Would let him do no wrong.
He felt a spirit of pure love
Around the gentle boy,
As if good angels, hovering there,
Watched over him in joy.
And true it is that angels oft
Good little George have led;
They're with him in his happy play.
They guard his little bed;
They keep his heart so kind and true,
They make his eye so mild,
For dearly do the angels love,
A gentle little child.
I will tell you an affecting story about a young lad by the name of Emerson Terry, who lived in Hartford, Ct. He was very kind to the poor, and could never see the suffering of his fellow beings without making an effort for their relief. Here is one instance of his kindness and liberality.
While he resided in Bristol, his father, Dr. Terry, took little Emerson with him to ride into Hartford that he might see the city. Emerson had one dollar, and it was the first dollar he ever earned. He took the dollar with him, thinking to buy something with it in the city. While they were riding along on the way, they overtook a poor fugitive slave seeking his freedom in the North. Mr. Terry kindly took the wayfaring man into his carriage when the poor man related to him his sufferings and poverty, and also his trust in God. Young Emerson's heart was touched, when, of his own accord, he drew out his first and only dollar and gave it to the poor fugitive. When he returned home he told his mother what he had done, with a satisfaction that indicated his pleasure in being able to relieve a suffering stranger. How noble was this act. He felt willing to forego the pleasure of spending his dollar for himself, for any pleasing toys, that he might help a poor wanderer on the earth. When he was fifteen years of age, he was drowned in the Connecticut River. He was beloved and respected by a large circle of acquaintance. He was noted for his kind disposition, tender feelings, and lovely spirit. He sleeps in peace, and we all hope to meet him in heaven.
A poor shepherd, living among the Alps, the father of a large family, for whose wants he provided with great difficulty, purchased an old Bible from a dealer in old cloths and furniture. On Sunday evening, as he was turning over the leaves, he noticed several of them were pasted together. He immediately began to separate the pasted leaves with great care. Inside of these leaves he found carefully enclosed a bank bill of five hundred dollars. On the margin of one of the pages was written these words: "I gathered together money with very great difficulty, but having no natural heirs but those who have absolutely need of nothing, I make thee, whosoever shall read this Bible, my natural heir."
We cannot promise our young friends that they will find money in the leaves of their Bibles, but you may be assured that if you study its pages, and follow its precepts, you will find wisdom, which is better than silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
Ye favored lands, rejoice,
Where God reveals his word:
We are not left to nature's voice
To bid us know the Lord.
His statutes and commands
Are set before our eyes;
He puts the gospel in our hands,
Where our salvation lies.
His laws are just and pure,
His truth without deceit;
His promise is for ever sure,
And his rewards are great.
There are many plays in which children may amuse themselves so as to benefit both the mind and body. Exercise is very essential to the health, and all children should accustom themselves to such exercise as will give elasticity to all the muscles of the body. Some children often play too hard, and others, before they get through playing, get to quarrelling. Children never appear so badly as when they quarrel with each other. Joseph and William, Jane and little Susan, are out in the garden playing "hide and seek," around the summer house, as you see in the picture. William became a little contrary, because every thing in the play did not suit him, and declared he would run away. And you see how cross he looks at Jane, as he turns round to run away. Children should never let anger rise in their bosoms because of some small mistake on the part of others. They should always overlook all mistakes, forgive all injuries, and learn to love each other when at play, as well as when at school. Good children will play together, without getting angry, and it is a pretty sight to see such children all happy in each other's society, and enjoying their pleasant pastimes, with cheerful and happy hearts.
Our evil actions spring like trees,
From small and hidden seeds;
We think, or wish some wicked thing,
And then do wicked deeds.
Whoever dares to tell a lie,
Whoever steals a pin,
Whoever strikes an angry blow,
Has done a deed of sin.
Little George Ames went with his Aunt to attend a missionary meeting. After the minister had ended his sermon, as he sat in the pew he whispered to his aunt, saying, "I wish you would lend me a guinea and I will give it to you again when we get home." His aunt asked him what he wanted of his guinea; he told her he wished to put it in the box when it came round, to assist in sending the gospel to the heathen children. She replied, "a guinea is a great deal of money, George; you had better ask your mother, first." As George's mother lived very near the church, he went home immediately, and said, "Mother, will you let me have my guinea to give to the mission." George's mother saw that he was very much interested for the heathen children, and says to him, "supposing you give half of it." "No," said George, "I want to give it all."
"Well, my dear, you will remember you cannot give it and have it too." She then gave him a one pound note, and a shilling. But George said he would rather have a guinea. "Why," said his mother, "what difference can it make? it is just the same amount." "Yes," said George, "but that one pound will seem so much for a little boy to give. If I had a guinea, I could put it in between two half-pence and nobody would know any thing about it." His mother was pleased with his proposal, and George having got his guinea returned to the church and put it in the box as he intended.
Little George is now dead, and there is no danger of his being puffed up by what he has done. You may learn from this act of George, how to do some good to poor heathen children. You should be willing to deny yourselves some pleasures in order that you may benefit others. And if you do good out of a pure motive you will be blessed in the deed.
A Jew came to this country from London, many years ago, and brought with him all his property. He had a lovely daughter of seventeen; with her he settled in a charming retreat on the fruitful banks of the Ohio, in the Western part of Virginia. He had buried his wife before he left Europe, and he knew no comfort but the company of his beloved daughter. She possessed an amiable disposition, and was well educated; she could speak several languages, and her manners pleased all who knew her. Being a Jew, he brought up his daughter in the strictest principles of his faith.
It was not long after that his daughter was taken sick. The rose faded from her cheek, her strength failed, and it was certain that she could not live long. Her father was deeply affected. He tried to talk with her, but could seldom speak without weeping. He spared no expense to have her get well. One day he was walking in the wood near his house when he was sent for by his dying daughter. With a heavy heart he entered the door of her room, and he saw that he was now to take the last farewell of his daughter.
"My father," said the child, "do you love me?" "Yes," he replied, "you know that I love you." "I know, father, you have ever loved me. You have been a kind father, and I tenderly love you. Grant me my dying request."
"What is it, my child? ask what you will, though it take every farthing of my property, it shall be granted. I will grant your request."
"My dear father, I now beg of you never again to speak lightly of Jesus of Nazareth; I know that he is a Saviour, and that he has made himself known to me, since I have been sick, even for the salvation of my soul. I entreat you to obtain a Testament that tells of him and that you may bestow on him the love that was formerly mine." She now ceased speaking, her father left the room, when her soul took its flight to God who gave it. After her decease the parent purchased a Testament and read about Jesus of Nazareth, and is now a devoted Christian. Good children may be made blessings to their parents and friends.
TRUE BENEFICENCE.—Mark Antony, when very much depressed, and at the ebb of his fortune, cried out, "I have lost all, except what I have given away."
WASHINGTON AND THE SOLDIER.—A British soldier said, "It was once in my power to shoot Gen. Washington." "Why, then," said an American, "did you not do it?" "Because," he replied, "the death of Washington would not have been for our benefit, for we depended upon him to treat our prisoners kindly."
YES AND NO.—John Randolph, in one of his letters to a young relative, says: "You must expect unreasonable requests to be preferred to you every day of your life; and you must endeavor to say no with as much facility and kindness as you would say yes."
OSCEOLA.—It is said that the name of Osceola was given to that famous chief by an old lady in a frontier village, who had newly arrived in the country, and had never seen an Indian. When she saw him she burst forth in utter astonishment—"Oh see! Oh la! What a curious looking man!"
SIGISMOND.—This Emperor was once reproached by some courtiers for being favorable to his foes—to whom he replied, "Do I not effectually destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"
What is told in the ear is often heard a hundred miles.
Riches come better after poverty, than poverty after riches.
Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; who aims at mediocrity will fall short of it.
No remedies can revive old age and faded flowers.
A truly great man never puts away the simplicity of a child.
He who toils with pain will eat with pleasure.
A wise man forgets old grudges.
Those that dare lose a day are dangerously prodigal; those that dare mis-spend it, desperate.—Bishop Hall.
Truth enters into the heart of man when it is empty, and clean and still: but when the mind is shaken with passion as with a storm, you can never hear the voice of the charmer, though he charm never so wisely.
In the picture you see a true emblem of a temperate and virtuous life. Let me here give you a few maxims to commit to memory:—
Avoid and shun the sources of misery.
Be sure not to indulge your appetite.
Strong drink excites a person to do wrong.
Remember you are never out of temptation.
A life of virtue and temperance will secure to you money and time; will give you health, and prosperity, peace, character, respect, and usefulness.
Our hands and our hearts we give
To the temperance pledge, declaring,
That long as on earth we live,
All its bountiful blessings sharing,
We will taste not and touch not the bowl
That burns with intoxication,
And will lend our assistance to roll
The temperance ball through the nation.
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