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Group Title: Goldfinch story-books
Title: Willy's country visit
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00000420/00001
 Material Information
Title: Willy's country visit
Series Title: The Goldfinch story-books
Physical Description: 32 p. : col. ill., ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Goldfinch, Bella
Foster, Myles Birket, 1825-1899 ( Illustrator )
Evans, Edmund, 1826-1905 ( Engraver )
Sampson Low, Son & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: Sampson Low, Son, & Co.
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1856
Copyright Date: 1856
 Subjects
Subject: Country life -- Juvenile fiction -- England   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Nature -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' paper bindings (Binding) -- 1856   ( rbbin )
Evans -- Signed bindings (Binding) -- 1856   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1856
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' paper bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Signed bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Bella Goldfinch ; illustrated with eight coloured pictures by Birket Foster.
Citation/Reference: NUC pre-1956, supp.,
Citation/Reference: BM,
General Note: Series statement at head of cover title.
General Note: Half-title.
General Note: Bella Goldfinch is a pseud. according to NUC pre-1956 supp., cited below.
General Note: Chromolithographs with additional coloring by hand or stencil: frontispiece, text illustrations. Illustrations engraved by E. Evans (i.e., Edmund Evans)
General Note: Wood engraving: title-page vignette.
General Note: Colored front and back wrappers designed and signed: E. Evans.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00000420
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA3362
notis - ALK2425
oclc - 12589274
alephbibnum - 002250677

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Half Title
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
    Main
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Back Cover
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
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WILLY'S

COUNTRY VISIT.






WILL Y'S


COUNTRY


VISIT.


BY


BELLA GOLDFINCH.



Illustrated with Eight Coloured Pitures by


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WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT



THERE were two little girls named Hannah and Lucy, who lived
with their father and mother in a small village far from any town.
Hannah was ten years old, and Lucy was six. They were good
girls, and had learned to read and to sew, and Hannah could write
pretty well. Their father, whose name was Carter, worked as
gardener at the Hall, a large house standing in a fine park close to
the village ; and their mother, who had been a servant at the Hall,
helped to maintain her family by sewing and ironing. She was a
.clean and good woman, and she wished to make. Hannah and
Lucy as honest and industrious as herself. Her cottage was
always neat, and the little bit of garden in front of it was gay with
common flowers, and with some new or rare ones, which were
given to Carter by his master, the head-gardener at the Hall. Of
this garden Carter was very proud, and he used to work at it in
the summer evenings, when he had left his master. Thus his
little girls also learned to be fond of flowers. They had a baby
sister, and a dog that was at present a better playfellow than the
baby.
These little girls had never been away from the village; they
thad never seen a larger house than the Hall, which indeed was a
very large house; and they had no idea that the town to which
their father used sometimes to go to buy seeds, or sell the apples






WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT.


which grew in the orchard, was at all different to their own village:
they only supposed there were more houses in it. A broad river
ran close to the village, the green lawn of the park sloped down
to this river, and, when the tide was high, the water washed quite
up to the fine old oaks in the park; and the cows used to gather
together in the shade, and cool themselves by standing in the clear
calm water; while the speckled deer would lie in a shady dell just
by, and when any one went near them, would scamper off among
the trees, and come back again when the passer-by was out of
sight. All this was very pretty, and I dare say our little girls
would have said that it was so if any one had asked them, but they
did not think much about it. Sometimes Hannah used to wonder
where the ships went to when they disappeared behind the hills
and trees; she had heard that they brought corn and wood from
the sea to the town ; but, as she had never seen either town or sea,
she had no more true idea of either than her picture-books had
given her; and, in truth, she thought very little on the matter.
One day Carter came home to dinner with a letter in his hbnd
- this was a great event, for these good people had few letters-
and both Mrs. Carter and the little girls were curious as to what
there was in it. Their father told them that the letter was from a
brother of his, who lived in a large town a great way off, and that
this brother asked him to take a young son, who was just getting
strong after a bad fever; for the doctor said the boy wanted good
air and country exercise.
"* What say you, wife, shall we take the boy? He can go
with me to the gardens sometimes, I can make him useful there,
I dare say."
After a short silence, Mrs. Carter agreed that it would be great
kindness to give the poor boy this chance of getting strong again;
and as her husband's family had once been very civil to her, she
would do all she could to make the boy happy at the cottage. SQ






WILLY S COUNTRY VISIT.


the letter was .answered, and a day fixed for Carter to meet his
nephew and bring him to the village in the carrier's cart,
The day came, and Willy arrived. He was a pale, thin boy,
about a year older than Hannah, very silent and rather shy.
Hannah, who was an open-hearted little girl, pitied him, and wvias
kind; but Lucy hung about her mother, and seemed jealous )f the
attention given to him. Neither of the little girls knew what to
say or do to their new friend, till their mother said, perhaps he
would like to go with them and see their rabbits. This was
gladly agreed to, and they went to the rabbit-hutch, which was
in one corner of the orchard at the back of the house. Willy was
much pleased at being allowed to handle the little creatures; and,
in answer to Hannah's question whether he had ever seen any
before, he said,-
Yes, many times a man in our street has above two hun-
dred. He keeps them to sell in the market."
Lucy looked up in surprise, and, patting her own little pet,
thought, I will not sell you."
The talk that Willy heard that evening about vegetables, and
spring frosts, and early flowers, and trees bursting, was very
strange to him; at last he ventured to ask some questions, which
showed his cousins that he knew as little about the country as
they did about the town; and Lucy was very happy in thinking
that if she had never seen two hundred rabbits, at least she did
know what a field of turnips was, which Willy had confessed that
he did not.
On the next morning the little girls went to school, and Mrs.
Carter asked Willy if he would go with her to feed some young
calves, Willy said Yes ;" but he was quite surprised when his
aunt gave him a pail of milk to carry to some nice, clean, bright-
looking creatures, very different to the calves he had seen in the
streets of his native town. As soon as the three animals saw


































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Mrs. Carter, they came up to her, rubbing their heads against her,
and smelling at the pail which Willy held, half afraid. But he
soon got courage, and let the calves drink out of the tub he held
to them; and one strong creature, handsomely marked with red
and white, would presently have lapped it all up, had not Mrs.
Carter pushed him away,. to leave some milk for a delicate white
calf that did not seem strong enough to get to the tub by
itself.
The next day Mrs. Carter told Hannah that she wanted her to
take some fine linen to the Hall, and that, as it must be there by a
certain hour, she must give up her morning school and carry it.
Mrs. Carter added that perhaps Willy would like to go with her,
as the day was fine and warm. On Hannah saying something
about going along the river-bank, Willy exclaimed,-
Ah I have read of the river near here, but can we see it ? "
Yes, it is'only at the end of the village, and the park slopes
down to it."
SPray let me go with you, Hannah; I will carry the basket
all the way for you. I never saw a real river."
At this Lucy cried out in great surprise, and Mrs. Carter
wondered how such a thing could be. In answer to her questions,
Willy said that there were many canals in the large busy town
which was his home, but that there was no river; and that, except
when he was whirled along over bridges in the railway train, he
had never seen one, adding,-
"I do so wish to see a fine broad river with real ships sailing
on it, and my father told me I should see one here; besides, I
have learned about it at school."
"What is a canal ?" asked Hannah.
SOh, it is like a straight road of water with walls on each
side; so dirty and dull in the town, and but a little more pleasant
in the country; it is very different to the waters I crossed in





WILLY S COUNTRY VISIT. 9
coming here. But let us go to your river, I shall be so very
pleased to see it."
Hannah and Willy set off on their walk, and the boy's delight
when he first caught sight of the broad blue river, with its high
wooded banks, cannot be described. He lingered behind her,
after stopping to look around him; and at last he asked her if he
might remain by the river-side while she took the basket up to the
Hall. Hannah said to be sure he might, she should know where
to find him if he did not go beyond certain trees that she pointed
out; but that she thought he would like to see the Hall, it was
such a grand house, with so many large windows.
But Willy said he did not care to see a grand house, for he
had seen the Town Hall where he lived every day and he had
rather see the broad flowing river than all' fhe houses in the whole
world. So Hannah left him lying on the grass, gazing intently on
the scene beneath him. Ships and boats of all sizes were passing
and repassing; and presently there came a steamboat full of
people, and some men playing on various instruments. Willy
had often heard music, and good music too ; for his father had
taken him to concerts which cost very little, on purpose for
workmen and their families. But he thought he had never heard
any so sweet as that played by the little band on the steamboat
and perhaps he was right, for it came softly over the water,
sometimes loud and sometimes like a whisper, less and less distinct
till the boat was out of sight behind the trees of the Park. Willy
thought to himself, This is pleasanter than a town," and for the
first time since he left home he was glad that his father had
sent him into the country.
Hannahfound her cousin in the very spot where she had left
him; she could not understand his delight at seeing the ships and
boats, for she had seen them every day since she was born; and
she was still more surprised when he told her that though he had
















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WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT.


never seen any boat but a canal-boat, he knew the names of all
those kinds which he had just seen. He had noticed prints of
them at the shop-windows and in books.
When this was told at home, Willy rose very much in the
opinion of his uncle and aunt even Lucy began to think that he
might know some clever things which she did not. Carter, too,
became fond of the boy, who was useful to him in many ways.
Willy went to the gardens every day, and when his uncle planted
out the vegetables, he could reckon how many would be wanted
to fill a certain space, and thus save tho trouble of taking up more
than were required at once. He also reckoned the quantity of
gravel that must be brought from the pit for the kitchen-garden
walks this was as useful to Carter as helping him to dig it
would have been, and Willy was not yet strong enough to do that.
Thus the spring passed away; Willy began to think that a
field of fine green corn, with the wind blowing over it, was a very
beautiful sight; though not so beautiful as the river; and he
hoped that his father would not send for him until the green corn
had become golden; he wished to stay till harvest was over, for
Lucy said everybody was merry at harvest-time.
Before harvest came hay-time, which the girls enjoyed also.
It was nice pastime to make hay ; but Hannah could not explain
to her cousin why tossing the hay about was called making it;
she only knew that it was good fun to cover themselves up with
the sweet hay. Willy thought so too, and he enjoyed hay-
making as much as any of his companions did. And there were
now so many pretty flowers in the hedge-banks ; there was the
pink dog-rose, and the white rose, and the honeysuckle twining
among the stubborn hawthorn-branches; ;and there were the sweet
tufts of May and the broad white heads of the elder-flower; and
then on the bank itself was the silvery saxifrage, and the sky-blue
veronica, and the bright red herb Robert, with its disagreeable






WILLY S COUNTRY VISIT.


scent. All this the boy enjoyed very much, and he thought the
wild flowers which he gathered every day fresh, to adorn Mrs.
Carter's room, were quite as beautiful as the rare bits of strange
plants which the head gardener sometimes gave his uncle.
Perhaps Willy was right, though his cousins wondered at his
taste.
Willy had a great deal to learn in the country, and his kind
friends were quite willing to teach him, in return for which he
made himself useful to his aunt in various ways. His father was
a carpenter, and he had taught his son to handle tools when he
was quite a little boy, so Willy could do many things that were
required to make the cottage comfortable, and save his aunt the
expense of sending for the village carpenter. Even Lucy
began to be glad that her cousin had come to the village.
She had been very proud of teaching him the names of wild
flowers and birds; and she had many little secrets which she
found great fun in teasing Willy with. She would foretell rain,
without letting Willy know that the little shepherd's weather-glass
was closely shut up, and she would guess that it was noon by the
flowers of the goat's-beard being closed. But Willy was be-
ginning to be as wise as Lucy was about these things; and the
little girl soon found more pleasure in hearing her cousin tell of
what he had seen in the town, than in showing off her own
knowledge of country things.
Willy was also very useful to Lucy. He made a little bed-
stead for her doll of some nice white wood that the carpenter at
the Hall was so kind as to give him; the posts of it were very
grand, for his friend the carpenter allowed him to turn them in
the workshop. While this was going on, Lucy really felt vexed
that she could not understand or remember the names by which
he called the different parts of his work, nor even his tools; but
she was very grateful to him when she saw the smart little bed-


12






WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT.


stead finished, and ready for some gay curtains which her mother
gave her.
Lucy was generally a good little girl, but she had not been a
healthy child; and having required much care while very young,
she had been a little spoiled afterwards. Hannah was strong and
active ; she could help her mother in keeping the house clean, and
she sewed neatly enough to work for the housekeeper at the Hall.
So she was often sent there by her mother; but Lucy was not
strong enough to walk so far in the heat of the day or in a hurry
so she was obliged to be content with her doll or her favourite
playfellow the dog.
Lion, for so the dog was called, was a little creature with a
smooth white coat. I cannot think who could give him such a
grand name, for he was not the least like a lion; somebody must
have been laughing at him when he was named so. But, though
he was not wild like a lion, he was very fierce if strangers came
into the cottage-garden, and would not let even a neighbour touch
anything in it. Sometimes he went with Carter and Willy to the
gardens to work, and then he would lie on his master's coat in the
tool-house till it was time to go home to dinner; and Lion
seemed to know dinner-time as well as the gardeners did, for he
would whine and be restless if his master was later than usual.
He was a clever fellow; his master had taught him to know,
by the manner in which he put on his coat after breakfast; whether
he was to go to the gardens or not; and if Carter said, Shall
Lion go?" he would run to his master wagging his tail, and
looking up in his face, as if to say "t Pray let me go." Dogs may
be taught a great many things. The shepherd's dog often knows
every sheep in his master's flock, and he will take care that not
one strays away when going out to the field. This is very useful,
for in Scotland, and in some English counties, the sheep go out to
feed on open moors, where the grass does not grow thick, as in






WILLY S COUNTRY VISIT,


our meadows, and where there are no hedges to prevent the sheep
straying; but the poor things are scattered about, glad to roam
over the hills in search of the sweet grass, which grows so
sparingly. When the shepherd comes to take them home, his
dog will find out every straggler, and drive it to the rest of the
flock; and when he sees that they are all safe, he looks up into
his master's face, as if to ask which way they are to go. In a
part of the country where there are fields and hedges, the shep-
herd's dog has less to attend to.
Lucy and Lion were good friends. Lucy used to tie her doll
upon Lion's back and make him run about the garden; but
very often this sport ended in the doll's frock being torn, and
sometimes Lion would drag it along the dirtiest part of the
garden. Then Hannah was so kind as to mend the frock, and
her mother washed it; so Lucy was really a little spoiled, but we
must hope that as she grows stronger she will get rid of her faults.
One of these faults was selfishness, and this was much tried
by the strong friendship which grew up between Willy and Lion.
It was not strange that the dog should like better to play and run
races with a strong boy than to carry about a little girl's doll, or
be made to lie by her side in a corner while she dressed and
undressed her baby; but Lucy was too young to see this, and she
was rather jealous. One day Lion caused her great crying and
unhappiness, thus: the gardener at the Hall wanted to send to the
market-town for some seeds that were ordered, and Willy begged
that he might go. He had often wished he were on board the
steamer that went past the village twice a-day; he used to watch
it as it went out on the broad water towards the sea, for from one
hill in the village it might be seen some miles off; and still more
he used to watch it round the wooded hill in the Park, for there
the slope on the other side of the river was dotted with gentlemen's
houses, and farms almost hidden by fine trees. So he was very


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thankful when the head-gardener gave him leave to go to the
town, and said, that as the weather was warm, he had better go by
the steamer at noon, and walk home in the cool of the evening, it
being about five miles. Mrs. Carter doubted whether Willy was
strong enough for this, but, on condition that he walked slowly,
she agreed to his going.
Now Lion was so constantly Willy's companion, that he
supposed he was to go with him on this day also; and though
Willy looked at him, saying, No, I cannot take Lion to-day,"
the dog still wagged his tail, and looked wistfully at Willy, as if to
say, "What a pleasant companion I shall be in your walk home !"
Lucy said she could not spare her dog, and that he would be lost
if he went; but her father said, that if Willy did not mind the
trouble of him on the steamer he might be of use on his return, as
Willy had never been on that road, and there were some cross-
ways, and a short cut through the Park, which the dog knew
much better than Willy could learn by description. So it was
settled that Lion should go. Lucy dared not say anything more,
but she got leave to go to the river-side with the travellers, and
there she had a bitter crying fit when a man took the dog up into
the boat that was to take them to the steamer, as it passed in the
middle of the wide river. She called, Lion! Lion !" and
almost hoped he would jump into the water, and swim to her;
but he lay quietly at Willy's feet, only wagging his tail with joy.
Still Lucy did not give him up, but waited to see him safe on
board the steamboat and after nodding her head a hundred times
to him, as he stood on a bench looking very wise and very happy,
she turned away, still crying, and walked slowly home.
That was a sad, lonely day to Lucy. Her mother pitied her,
and said nothing to vex her; but when Lucy sobbed out, He
ought not to love Willy better than me," Mrs. Carter was
obliged to reprove her, and show her how wretched such jealousy





WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT.


I7


would make her if she indulged in it, and how wrong it was to
feel unkindly even towards a dog. Lucy promised to try not to
be jealous any more, and her mother proposed that she and
Hannah should go as far as the Park-stile in the evening to meet
her cousin.
We must now look back to Willy; but we cannot describe
his delight when he found himself gliding along the smooth, clear
river, with the lovely country on each side of him, the trees almost
dipping into the water, and the snug farmhouses and fields of
waving corn. After enjoying all this for an hour, the scene
changed, and became more familiar to Willy ; for he landed among
busy people, and soon found himself in the town. He and Lion
went to the seedsman, and having got his parcel he started off
to walk home. His aunt had provided him with some bread
and cheese, which he sat down to eat as soon as he had left the
town. The evening shadows were getting longer and longer as
the travellers entered the Park; they had still two miles to walk,
and Willy began to be tired. Lion, too, did not gambol about so
much as when they set off, but ran on before his master at a
steady pace, as if he, too, should be glad to see the village. When
they entered the Park, Willy had cause to rejoice that he had the
dog with him, for there were so many tracks in all directions that
he was uncertain which to choose. Lion, however, knew the
right path, and ran forward without stopping, so Willy thought he
might trust him. A dog may always be trusted thus, and so may
a horse. We have seen a horse very unwilling to take a wrong
road, when his driver, who had forgotten the way, obliged him to
it; and when the mistake was found out, he turned round so
gladly, and trotted off briskly in the right road when his master
was wise enough to trust to him.
Thus Lion and Willy found their way across the Park, and
seated on the stile next the village they saw the two little girls.
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WILLY S COUNTRY VISIT.


Lion! Lion !" cried Lucy; come here, good dog I
am so glad to see you again."
Lion seemed equally glad to see his young mistress, and he
jumped up, licking her face and hands.
What have you seen, Willy ?" asked Hannah.
A great deal: the nursery garden to which I was sent is a
beautiful place, indeed ; there are many fine hot-houses filled with
rare plants 9 and such lovely flowers, Hannah !"
But the houses and the streets, I mean?" said his cousin.
For Hannah's curiosity about the busy world had been much
roused by the tales of it that she had heard him tell Lucyi and
she had listened also to the talk between her father and cousin, as
they spoke of Willy's birthplace. Hannah began to understand
that the village in which she lived, though very pretty, was not the
only place in the world worth seeing.
The town is an old and dirty one," replied Willy. Of
course I did not walk about it; but as I went through to the
garden, I could see that the streets are narrow and the churches
are old. They are very different to those in the place I come
from, but they look grand, and I dare say many persons would
admire them for being old, as one gentleman on the steamboat
said he did."
I should like to go there," said Hannah, thoughtfully.
"Would you, indeed ? I fancied you thought nothing could
be good out of your own village."
Oh, no, no, Willy At least, I do not think so now.
I hear you tell Lucy of many things that I should like to see,-
your fine railway, and the high bridges you talk of: I never saw a
bridge, except the wooden one on the meadow."
Willy could not help smiling, as he compared the foot-bridge of
a couple of planks with the beautiful one on which the railway
passes near his native town; but he remembered how strange it
B2





WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT.


seemed to Hannah, four months ago, that he should never have
seen a turnip-field, and did not know wheat from barley, except
by the ear. So he said nothing but,-
There are many wonders in the world, Hannah; and I dare
say you would like to see them all as well as I should." You
must ask my aunt to take you to town one day."
Here they were met by Mrs. Carter, and Hannah was just
preparing her request to go with her mother to the town the next
time she went, when the latter said,-
There are to be grand doings at the village next week.
What do you think ? One of the ladies at the Hall is going to be
married, and there is to be a great deal of company. Besides,
I hear that some men are coming from London to make the
rooms very smart for a grand ball there."
This was great news, indeed ; and the girls, who had not
heard of it before, asked their mother many more questions than
she could answer.
All I know at present is, that Mrs. Wills has brought me
work enough to last a fortnight, and it must be done in ten days;
so you and I must not think anything about the doings at the
Hall, but work very hard indeed to finish what there is to be
done."
Hannah promised industry, and then ventured to say she
should like to go to the town the next time her mother went.
Well, well, we shall see," replied Mrs. Carter. C I may not
go for a long time, for the day always tires me; but be a good
girl, and I do not say No. Eat your supper, Willy, and go to
bed; I dare say you are tired."
Willy was very glad of his supper, and still more glad of his
bed ; and he went to sleep directly, too much fatigued even to
dream of his voyage, or of the lovely new flowers he had seen.
When Carter and Willy went to the Hall gardens the next


20





WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT.


day, they heard all about the wedding plans. There was to be a
grand ball in the evening for the ladies and gentlemen ; and the
next day all the persons employed by the Squire, and many of his
farmers, were to have tea in the village schoolroom; and then all
persons who chose it might go into a part of the Park nearest the
village and play at games, and amuse themselves till it was dark.
Of course this made everybody very busy; the gardeners were
at work early and late in making the lawns and paths neat, and
the flower-beds gay and tidy. A great many new and beautiful
plants were sent from the nursery garden to which Willy had
been, and he was pleased to see some among them that he had
particularly admired. But these beautiful plants were more new
to the head-gardener and Carter than to Willy, for the latter had
seen many of them at a gentleman's house near his native town.
In that country plants do not grow well in the gardens, for the
smoke from chimneys is very thick and heavy ; and as coal is
cheap, every person who has space enough builds a hothouse,
and has what are called stove-plants.
Just before the wedding-day the head-gardener told Carter
he was in great trouble, and on the latter inquiring the cause the
man replied,-
You know our orange-trees are to stand in a row on the
front terrace, and I wish to place pink flowers between them;
I cannot find plants enough that I dare put into pots, and I wish
to know if you, or rather Willy, will lend me your two oleanders.
I know the young lady is very fond of them, as she has seen them
growing wild in foreign countries."
Carter hesitated a minute, for the plants belonged to Willy,
who had nursed them up to carry home to his mother, as they
would bear smoke pretty well. However, he said he would ask
his nephew, and as the gardener had been very kind he had no
doubt he might have the oleanders. Willy consented of course ;


21





WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT.


and both he and Carter were very proud of them, when their
master praised them, saying that they must have been well tended
to have grown so finely since he gave them to Willy.
Green boughs, also, and flowers were required to dress the
schoolroom, and the little girls were happy in sending their best
and sweetest for the purpose. So altogether there was a great
bustle, and a great deal to be done. Willy obtained leave through
his friend the carpenter to help the London men in decking the
entrance-hall and staircase, and thus he learned how to go to work
at the schoolroom, which Carter was desired to attend to. But
Carter had never seen a room decked with flowers, and, being no
carpenter, he would not have been able to make it look half so
well as it did, had not Willy got many useful hints from the
London men.
The wedding-day came, and everything was ready in time.
Lucy had been pleased and proud at being allowed to help her
mother, and Lion and the doll were for once not thought of by
her. The sun shone brightly, and all passed off well. The
company admired the gardens and the flowers, and the bride
noticed Willy's oleanders. The Hall was brilliantly lighted up
at night, and the lights sparkled prettily through the trees till it
was almost daylight, for the dancing was kept up very late; and
as they went away, the guests might hear the lark and thrush
singing their morning song of rejoicing at another day. But
I think they were too tired and sleepy to listen to the sweet song
of the birds.
Lucy's first question the next morning when her mother called
her, was, Is it fine weather, mother?" and both the little girls
were glad to hear that the sun shone as clear as it had done on the
day before. Many other persons in the village, and all the little
boys and girls, were anxious for a fine day too, and they had their
wish. The tea-party in the schoolroom went off very well; all


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WILLY S COUNTRY VISIT.


the company admired the tasteful manner in which it was adorned;
and Hannah and Lucy, who had cut their best flowers for the
purpose, were especially pleased with its gay appearance. At tea
the Squire and his lady paid the party a visit, and they too
expressed their admiration. *
After tea the folks went into the Park, where they were joined
by the rest of the villagers; the old people sat on the grass, or
walked about; the young people played at ball or cricket; and the
children had their own games. Noisy ones they were; for to
make a noise seemed to be one of the greatest pleasures of the day
to them. They ran about till they were quite tired, and then
there were buns and milk in the schoolroom for the very little
ones.. The corer of the Park where all this took place was by
the river side, and level with it; doubtless it was a pretty sight
from the steamboat that passed in the evening, and I dare say the
passengers wondered what it meant; perhaps some of them who
had come a long voyage would have enjoyed being of the party.
As twilight came on, the sleepy children went home to bed, and
the villagers dropped off, till the Park was left silent and quiet to
the deer who gathered in the thick grove for the night. This
party could not stay till the lark and thrush began their morning
song; they must sleep while the birds slept, that they might be
ready to rise with them and go to their daily work with renewed
strength.
Harvest time was now drawing near; the corn which while it
was green used to wave so gracefully in the summer breeze, was
now golden; it had lost much of its elegance and beauty to the
eye, but the yellow fields of ripened grain' promised plenty, and
healthful food for the winter. How rich and beautiful is a field of
corn just before it is cut And how blank the country looks after
it is cut, when only the bristling stubble remains ) Harvest time
.s joyous for man; he has sown and weeded, and seen the corn


24





WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT.


grow while the rain and sun have nourished it and now he is
thankful that a full crop is granted to him. Harvest time is a busy
time for others besides the farmer. The cottagers' wives, and all
the children who are old enough, go to glean; that is, after each
field is cut they go in and gather uip the loose ears, which they
carry to the mill to be ground and thus some families obtain a
good quantity of sweet new flour to make into bread. While the
women and elder children go to glean, the younger children and
infants are taken care of by some woman appointed for the pur-
pose; it is a strange sight to see twenty or thirty little children
together in a large room; a few of them six years old, but the
greater part of them much younger. The mothers take little beds
there for the infants, who sleep as soundly as if they were in
their own homes.
Willy's father and mother had often written to him that they
thought he had been long enough in the country to get quite
strong; and indeed this was true, for hwas now a stout, tall lad;
and instead of being pale as when he first came, he was almost as
sunburnt as Carter himself. But Willy was in no hurry to go
back, and his uncle and aunt did not wish to part with him, so
they wrote to his father and told him they should like to keep him
a little while longer.
Oh pray stay with us till after harvest," said Lucy; you
must go gleaning; and we shall want you to dress up the last load,
for you know how to do such things so smartly."
What do you mean ?" asked Willy.
"We always get as many gay handkerchiefs and bright
ribands as we can, and fasten them to the forks and sticks on the
top of the last load; and we dress ourselves up with flowers,
and shout, and make as much noise as we can, as we go home
with the waggon. You must not go away before harvest," said
Hannah.


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I am quite willing to stay," replied Willy; and as I amr
earning money at the Hall, I think my father will not insist on
my going home yet. Indeed, I wish I could be a gardener all my
life, instead of going back to live in that crowded, smoky town."
"Perhaps it may be so," said Mrs. Carter, who found Willy
so very useful, that she did not like to part with him; besides
which, she and her husband had both become attached to him.
So the letter was written, and an answer was received, giving
leave for Willy to stay at the village till after harvest.
There was a great deal of work to be done at the gardens just
at this time. The Hall was full of company, so the beds and
walks must be kept very neat, and both Carter and Wiilly worked
very hard. There was a great quantity of fruit to be gathered
also, and Lucy was afraid that, after all, Willy would have no
time allowed him to go with her to glean. However, at last he
had one half-day given him, and the three cousins set off after
dinner to the field. There they found nearly half the village, and
,among them were two of the young ladies from the Hall, who
seemed to enjoy themselves at their work. Willy was awkward
at first, and Lucy felt inclined to laugh at him, but she recollected
how clever he had been at many things that even her father could
4not do; so she patiently showed him how to gather up the loose
corn, saying, with a smile, 1 I can guess that there are no corn-
fields where you live, Willy."
No, indeed; unless corn would grow on coal, there can be
.none."'
Coal what do you mean ?" cried Lucy, stopping from her
work, and almost letting her bundle of ears fall.
SI ought not quite to say what I did; but one part of the
country near our town is almost all coal, and nothing will grow
there of course."
How very odd, and how ugly !" exclaimed Lucy,


27






28 WILLY S COUNTRY VIS1 .
Indeed it is; but that coal is very valuable, and if you ever
come to see us, Lucy, I will show you what a great many things
are done by help of it. Oh, dear! this gleaning is warm work,
it tires me as much as digging does." So saying, he threw him-
self down under the hedge, and the little girls, who were tired also,
sat down too.
What say you to gathering some blackberries ? I see plenty
over the stile," said Hannah.
"They will be so refreshing," cried Lucy, jumping up.
Willy agreed to go too, and they were joined by some com-
panions as heated and tired as themselves. How delicious the
ripe blackberries were! Lucy was so sorry that Lion was -not
with them, as he was fond of blackberries; but of course she had
been obliged to leave him at home; dogs must not go into a
harvest-field.
The children gathered plenty of blackberries to eat with their
bread, and then it was proposed to pluck some to carry home, as,
mixed with apples, they make an excellent pudding. So they
gathered enough for a pudding, and then went back to finish
gleaning, much refreshed.
At length harvest was finished, the last load was carried home,
decked with boughs, and ribands, and flowers. The fields lay
bare and brown, and the partridges that had made their nests
among the corn, were fortunate if they did not see their young
oics carried off by the reapers. The autumn winds began to
rustle through the oaks in the Park, tearing off the rich brown
leaves ; the holly-berries began to turn red; and the long, trailing
branches of the Traveller's Joy were covered with bunches of
feathery seeds. The delicate green of the lime-trees was turned
into gold colour; and the deer in the Park were obliged to take
shelter under the dark firs and shining hollies, instead of gam-
bolling about in the open glades. The swallows were gone to a





WILLY'S COUNTRY VISIT.


warmer country, and one by one the more hardy birds had ceased
their song. But the robin never is silent; when the snow lies
deep on the ground, and the trees are clothed with glittering frost
instead of leaves, the robin still sings. Up on the highest branch
of the tall elm he sits; and as the sunlight glances on his bright
feathers, you may stand below, and watch, and listen to as sweet a
song as any you can hear in a summer evening.
Willy did not go home yet; he stayed at the village till
winter was almost over and, though there was not much work to
do at the gardens, he found employment, for the carpenter was
glad of his help in his shop. The weather was sharp, and the
ground covered with snow; the poor sheep looked dirty and
ragged, and the cattle seemed very miserable as they crowded
together under the leafless trees. The river was not frozen, but
it looked black and rough, and the steamboat toiled heavily along
with a few passengers, but without its gay flag and noisy band.
Still the scene was lovely : every tree had its own dress of snow,
the long branches of the firs were bent down by it, and swept the
ground like a lady's train while the varnished hollies were only
speckled with white, and their red berries shone out, a ready
food for the birds when the insects were all snug in their winter
holes.
The children had great pleasure in giving the birds crumbs of
bread, and they had often quite a little flock of different kinds
around them. Of all birds the robin was the boldest; it has
been called the friend of man, and indeed it is a very com-
panionable little creature.
'" See how the birds come to be fed, as if they knew our time
for breakfast," said Lucy one morning, as a robin tapped with
his beak at the cottage window.
"I think they do know it all dumb creatures have a good idea
of time," said her father.


29





WILLY S COUNTRY VISIT,


SThey shall be rewarded," said Hannah, taking a plate of
crumbs to the door. "* No, Lucy, do not throw them all down;
the linnets and robins will not let the poor sparrows get one, if
oun do."
Are the linnets so bold then ? asked Willy.
4" Yes, they will even beat the robins away. I have seen
one green linnet peck at a robin till he was obliged to fly off;
then the linnet would come and eat a little, turning round at
every pick to see if his rival were daring enough to come back
again. Oh! we see such battles sometimes; and the poor ugly
sparrows are always the worst off. See how that robin struts
about as if he were king of the place."
Here is a troop of sparrows, now for a fight," cried Lucy;
bur no, not a sparrow dared alight on the ground while the robin
was there but when he had satisfied his hunger, they all came
down and soon cleared away every crumb.
At last Willy must go home to the smoky close town, that he
mwuld never wish to see again, did not his parents and his little
brothers and sisters live there. He was very sorry, indeed, to leave
the village, even though it was dreary winter time; and Mrs.
Carter told him she should expect him back soon; while his uncle
sai1 he was sure his help would be required in the gardens as soon
as the frost broke up. Lucy was as much grieved to part with
her cousin as she had been sorry to receive him when he first
came; and Hannah felt that she had learned to think of many new
places and things that were quite as well worth knowing about
as her own secluded village.
On his part, too, Willy had learned a great deal during these
months of country life; and not merely the names of trees and
birds and plants, but he had learned to admire and feel the works
of God, and to be thankful for the bounty which provided for
every living creature.


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He had learned, too, that while every living creature is provided
for by its Maker, and while each is taught by instinct how to
obtain the food suited to its nature, yet that each must seek that
food for itself. None of God's meaner creatures are idle. The
bright king-fisher which he had watched as he lay on the river
bank, must hover long over the water, often with tired wing, ere
it can seize its tiny prey with its long bill; the woodpecker must
tap long and patiently on the hollow tree, before the insect on
which it feeds comes forth. And man, too, must toil, if he would
live happily.


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