The BRld min Lbray
11 0 n"
TITE PEDDLER AND HIS GRANDCHILDREN.
MEnonf Th)way Yfs l CoTa.
"I'LL BE SOMEBODY."
Witl( finAh 11astratina.
BY UNCLE FRANK,
AUTHOR OF "A PEEP AT OUR NJEIGHBOBB," WILLOWW LAU B OUBl,"
THBE DIVING BELL," ETO., TC.
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON & CO.,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON & CO,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
C. W. BENEDICT,
STEREOTYPE AND PRINTER,
201 William st., N. Y.
A BIRD'S-EYE GLANCE,
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING,
THE OTIER SIDE,
DEACON BISSELL, .
THE YOUNGEST BOY,. .
A NOBLE RESOLUTION, .
A TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE,
THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATION,
PATRIOTISM AND POWDER, .
THE GLASS OF GIN, .
LIFE IN A FACTORY, .
A GLANCE AT FREDERICK,
SAMUEL IN BOSTON .
THE FLOUR STORE, l
THE WINDING UP,
THE PEDDLER AND HIS GRANDCHILDREN, (Frontispiece)
VIGNETTE TITLE-PAGE, 1
SAMUEL AND THE SCHOOLMASTER, 52
LOOKING THROUGH THE TELESCOPE, 65
A TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE, 74
THE YOUNG DRUMMER, 93
THE DRUNKARD, WITH HIS FATHER, 128
MR. BISSELL AND HIS CHILDREN, 147
THE PEDDLER'S BOY.
A BIRD'S-EYE GLANCE.
AMONG the many beautiful villages
near Boston, there is one quite as beau-
tiful as any, situated but a few miles
from that busy metropolis, called-but I
must not mention its name; that is of
very little consequence. A few rods
from the Common, the pride of the Bos-
8 A BIRD'S-EYE GLANCE.
tonians, is the depot of the railroad
which passes through this place; and
one has only to jump into the cars, and
in less than fifteen minutes he is there.
Uncle Frank has some dear friends in
this village, and choice spirits they are, in
his estimation. How much this fact has
to do with his opinion of the beauty of
the place, he does not pretend to say.
He has scarcely settled it in his own
mind: Nor is it much matter, as the
story about to be related will neither
lose nor gain much in its interest, by the
good or ill opinion which the reader
may happen to have of the village itself;
A BIRD'S-EYE GLANCE. 9
though I may be pardoned for adding
that I should put rather a' low value
upon the taste of that man, or woman,
or child, who could visit this part of the
country, when Nature has her best dress
on, and not pronounce it one of the most
delightful spots, in his or her opinion,
that the sun or moon ever shone upon.
Among my friends in this charming
village, is one whom, at present, I will
call Mr. Bissell-Mr. Samuel Bissell.
I will call him so for the present, I say.
His real name is no more like Bissell
than yours is-no more like Samuel Bis-
sell than it is like John Smith or George
10 A BIRD'S-EYE GLANCE.
Jones; but I think he will forgive us,
though, for taking such a liberty with his
" good name," should he ever happen to
come across this story, and should it
prove to him a sort of looking-glass, in
which he can see his own features.
When he was a lad, about twelve
years old, his father, who had been pos-
sessed of a handsome property, failed in
business, and as Samuel says, "became
as poor as a church mouse." What
would have taken taken place if Samu-
el's father had been successful in his
business affairs, so that it would not
have been absolutely necessary for the
A BIRD S-EYE GLANCE. 11
lad to work for a living, is more than I
can say. Probably it is more than any-
body can say. Very likely it would not
have been as well for Samuel. It is a
good thing for boys and girls to work.
Idleness is the cause of a great deal of
mischief. I really pity the boy whose
father brings him up without giving him
a chance to learn some trade or profes-
sion. I am always afraid that, in such
cases, the lad will learn a trade c" on his
own hook," and one which will give
him trouble, if his father or guardian
does not himself see that he gets some-
thing better to do.
12 A BIRD'S-EYE GLANCE.
As I was saying, it is impossible to tell
what would have been the history of
Samuel Bissell, if, by his father's failure
in business, he had not been driven to
get a living by his own labor. It is
enough for us to know what his history
actually was in the circumstances in
which he was placed when his father,
by a sudden change of fortune, became
But I must go back a little in my
history. I want you to see and mark
well two or three things, which, though
little in themselves, are very important.
Little things, let me tell you, are not to
A BIRD'S-EYE GLANCE. 13
be despised, because they are little. A
very small stream of water, which you
might easily wade across, can set the
machinery of a whole factory in motion.
Half a dozen marks made with a pen in
as many seconds, are sufficient to send
weeping and death into every family in
an empire. So I must go back a few
years in the history of our young friend,
and see where he was, what he was, and
-what sort of a bringing up he had,
before the time of his father's unfortu-
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING.
I HAVE more than half a mind to
give you a rough sketch of the Yankee
"But I know all about this race of
men already," perhaps you will say.
Do you? Well, then, consider my
sketch as having been made for another
reader, and not for you. The fact is-
for I want to let you into one of my
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING. 15
little secrets, just here, to start with-
the story I am telling is one about a
peddler's boy; and I have got a notion
that it would be a good plan to devote
one chapter, before I have any more to
do with the boy himself, to that famous
class of men who get their living princi-
pally by peddling small wares about the
The peddler-the genuine Massachu-
setts or Connecticut peddler-usually
has a wagon built on purpose for his
business, so fitted up that it will con-
veniently hold all the articles he has for
sale. One who has ever taken a peep
16 PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING.
into a peddler's wagon, will not need to
be told that his assortment comprises a
great many different articles. Tin ware
occupies a large space. In this depart-
ment may be found tin ovens, sauce
pans, milk pans, graters, skimmers, and
things of that sort. Then the genuine
peddler is always provided with two
tin trunks, I believe-trunks which
are large enough to hold about half a
bushel each. These trunks are stored
full of little knick-knacks, "too numer-
ous to mention," as the dealer in dry
goods has it in his advertisement.
The peddler does not often drive his
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING. 17
trade in the city. He finds the country
the best place for him. So you gene-
rally come across him where there are
not many stores, and where the houses
are not very close together. He stops
before the door of a house. I say he
stops; but I ought rather to have said
his horse; for the old nag, who, per-
haps, has been in his service for a quar-
ter of a century, stops of her own ac-
cord at the door of every respectable
looking house on the route. She needs
no hint from her master in relation to
Indeed, I once heard of a peddler's
18 PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING.
mare, who was so well persuaded that it
would be for the interest of her master
to stop at the gate of a certain large and
neat-looking farm-house, which gate the
peddler seemed, for once, disposed to
pass by, that she actually stopped in the
road, and looked round at the man who
had the helm, as if she would say, "My
dear sir, there must be some mistake
about this matter. Are you crazy?
Upon my word, this is one of the
strangest things that has ever turned
up since we've been driving this ped-
We will suppose, now, that the faith-
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING. 19
ful horse, guided by something which,
for want of a better name, people gen-
erally call instinct, but which seems to
me a good deal like reason, has stopped
at the door of a house. The peddler,
taking good care to carry along with
him the tin trunks before mentioned,
leaves the wagon, and goes into the
house, the faithful mare, in the mean-
time, leisurely grazing, if it is summer,
and stamping and kicking, just for ex-
ercise, in order to keep warm, if it is
"Any tin ware to-day, madam ?" the
peddler asks. Perhaps madam does want
20 PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING.
some tin ware, and perhaps she does not.
We will suppose, now, that as far as the
department of tin ware is concerned,
her wants have been entirely supplied.
Then follows a partial enumeration of
the contents of the two trunks. Did
you ever hear a peddler rattle over the
names of these small wares? He does
it as rapidly, almost, as a bobolink goes
through the different notes of his song:
"Any pins, needles, sewing silk, twist,
buttons, tape, jew's harps, hooks and
eyes, scissors, penknives, pocket books,
handkerchiefs, breast pins, ear rings" -
and so he runs on, hardly waiting for
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING. 21
the good lady, who is looking over the
articles by this time, to put in a word
Peddlers, as a class, are set down as
pretty wide awake in driving a bargain.
They have been slandered, I doubt not.
A great deal of unfairness and dishonesty
have been charged to them, of which
they never were guilty. Still, I think
they are apt to be pretty shrewd and
keen, when they are trading. Some-
times, no doubt, though not always, they
are too shrewd and keen to be strictly
honest; for there is a point where
shreivdness and keenness ought to stop.
22 PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING.
When I was a little boy, I lived in
Connecticut. My home was in the very
bosom of the country. It was not often
that anybody from the busy world came
there; and when one did come, he was
sure to make something of a stir, espe-
cially among us little folks. The advent
of a tin peddler's wagon, I recollect, I
hailed as a most remarkable event. It
always seemed to me that a peddler's
head was as full of knowledge as it
could well hold. Such a budget of
news as he always opened! Such smart
things as those which came from his
mouth! Such wonderful good nature
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING. 23
as he showed towards. the children.
Why I don't remember that I ever heard
a peddler speak cross to a boy, though
we used always to tumble over the
nameless notions" in his trunks to our
hearts' content, all the time he stayed in
the house. I hardly know which inte-
rested me more, the driving up to our
door of a peddler's wagon, or the en-
trance into our kitchen of half a dozen
Mohegan Indians, with their squaws and
The age of clock peddlers had not
come then. Wooden clocks are plenty
as backberries now; and you can buy
24 PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING.
one for a song, almost. But Connecticut
clocks were quite unknown in my child-
hood. Now, I suppose, the peddlers
sell more clocks than tin ovens and
sauce pans. But the peddler of clocks
and the peddler of tin ware is, in all im-
portant particulars, one and the same.
Did you ever hear of the peddler who
sold a load of clocks that would only
keep in order twenty-four hours, and
'hardly that ? It seems that his clocks
were, like Peter Pindar's razors, made to
sell, and not to run. Well, he went a
good way off from home, before he offer-
ed any of his wares for sale. He found
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING. 25
no trouble in selling the clocks, for they
were wonderfully cheap ; and besides,
as he took good care to inform all his
customers, each clock was warranted,
and on his way homeward he would call
at every house where he sold a clock,
when he should take pleasure in ex-
changing all the clocks that did not
perform well. Now it turned out that
his clocks were not worth a farthing.
He sold out the whole load, though-
every clock but one. Then he turned
about, and commenced his journey home-
ward, calling upon all his customers, as
he had agreed to do.
26 PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING.
Well; how did that are clock run
"Run! it didn't run at all. It stop-
ped as still as a gate post before you had
got up Pudding Hill !"
Did it though, raly ?"
"To be sure it did. What on earth
did you sell me such a clock for ?"
"Well, now, you needn't take on in
that style. I'll give you another clock.
I told you I would, when I sold it to
So the cunning peddler gives his cus-
tomer the only clock he has left, and
takes the one he sold him at first, in
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING. 27
place of it. And that is the way the
fellow managed all the way home.
There are a great many stories told
about peddlers, which, I presume, are
not true, and it is sometimes rather diffi-
cult to sift the genuine stuff from the
chaff. I really don't know how much
to believe of the anecdotes of Connecti-
cut peddlers of former times. It is a
matter of history, that they sold wooden
nutmegs, and horn gun flints, and white-
wood cucumber seeds, and white oak
hams. But I should not wonder if these
stories were made out of whole cloth.
The truth is, there have been, first and
28 PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING.
last, a great many false charges made
against the land of steady habits."
It is a common-notion that peddlers
are very apt to make dupes of the ladies.
Perhaps they are. But I know of one
instance in which a peddler got nicely
come up with by a lady. I don't be-
lieve any man could have done it better.
The story is this. A peddler, with a
wagon load of tin ware, drove up to the
door of a house around which quite a
number of children were playing. The
mistress of the house made her appear-
ance, and was urged to trade. She had
no money, she said. That was no mat-
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING. 29
ter, the peddler replied. He would
take anything in pay-rags, old clothes,
worn out tin, anything. But she hadn't
Well," the peddler continued, I'll
take one of your children."
The lady thought a moment. "Very
good," said she, "you may have that
ragged boy yonder for ten dollars, and
I'll take the value of him in tin."
The bargain was struck.
The lady selected the tin ware, and it
was carried into the house. The ped-
dler mounted his seat, with the ragged
urchin by his side, and threatened to
30 PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING.
drive off. "Of course," he thought,
"she will not let me go away with the
boy. She will pay me the money, when
she sees that I am raly going." He
was mistaken, though. He had reck-
oned without his host, this time.
Crack went the whip. "I'm going
now," said he. "I'm off in less than no
"Very well," said the good woman;
" so I supposed."
He actually started, and went a few
rods, slowly, when he stopped, turned
around, and said, "There, now I'm off
PEDDLERS AND PEDDLING. 31
So I heard you say some time ago,"
said the lady.
"But are you willing I should take
off this 'ere boy ?"
"Certainly," said the lady. "We
keep the town's poor here, and this is
the worst fellow in the lot."
The story is that the peddler, when
he found how completely he was outwit-
ted, gave, in money, about as much as
the tin he had parted with was worth,
to. get out of the scrape, or in other
words, to get clear of his young pauper.
THE OTHER SIDE.
IF I should stop here, in my sketch
of the New England peddler, I am not
sure but I should give a false view of
that class of people, and I should be
sorry to do that. I must throw some
lights into the picture, in order to make
it more perfect and truthful.
I have said before, that the peddler
has been charged with a great many sins
THE OTHER SIDE. 33
which probably he never dreamed of,
and certainly never committed. But a
great deal more than this is true of that
large class who make their living by
selling merchandise from house to house.
There are hosts of men engaged in this
business, who are strictly honest and
fair in all their dealings. They never
cheat any one. They have no disposi-
tion to cheat, any more than the mer-
chant who sells his goods in his own
store. Besides, the business, though a
great deal has been done to make it
seem anything but respectable, is well
enough, in itself. There is nothing dis-
34 THE OTHER SIDE.
graceful about it. It is, or may be, an
honest calling; and it is one of, Uncle
Frank's doctrines that any business that
is lawful, and honest, and does nobody
any harm, ought to be considered re-
spectable. Why not ? Why ought not
the boy, even, who brushes my boots,
if he knows as much, and his character
is as good, why ought he not to be re-
spected as much as the one who sets the
types for my daily newspaper ? I can't
see why, and it would puzzle anybody
to see why, I guess.
I know of peddlers, good men and
true, who would as soon part with one
THE OTHER SIDE. 35
of their fingers as to cheat any of their
customers. They want to make good
bargains, when they sell anything. Of
course they do. But they want only
that. They would not take advantage
of a person's ignorance of the price of
an article, and sell him or her that arti-
cle for ten times as much as it is worth,
just because they can do it.
DEACON BIssELL-Deacon Abijah Bis-
sell, was a peddler of this sort. I should
not wonder if some of my readers had
heard of the deacon. He is in heaven
now, I doubt not. But his fame, which,
while he was living, had spread over
quite a large section of country in the
commonwealth of Massachusetts, is not
dead yet. I dare say scores and scores
DEACON BISSELL. 37
of housewives are now on the stage,
within a good deal less than a hundred
miles of Boston, who could show you
milk pans still on duty in their cheese
room, which came from Deacon Bissell's
Deacon Abijah Bissell-Buysell a
great many people had it-occupied a
snug little house, with ever so many
flowers in the door yard, and ever so
many tufts of moss on its old shingles.
He did not spend more than half his
time at home. The rest was devoted
to peddling. No wandering Arab ever
moved oftener from place to place than
38 DEACON BISSELL.
Deacon Bissell. Still he had his orbit,
and he traveled in it as regularly as the
moon, and Jupiter, and our own planet,
travel in their orbits. Every family he
visited knew almost the exact day of his
arrival. The deacon had a great deal
of method in everything he did. He
was one of the most punctual and pre-
cise men you ever met. An anecdote at
this moment occurs to me, which goes to
show what a value he placed upon punc-
Patty Bissell, his eldest daughter, was
to ride over to Boston with the old gen-
tleman. She had been wanting to go to
DEACON BISSELL. 39
the city for a long time, and she was de-
lighted when her father invited her to
"Patty, how long will it take you to
get ready ?" asked the deacon.
"Half an hour," the girl replied.
"Well, say an hour," said the deacon.
"But don't fail to be ready at the mo-
ment. I want you to learn to be punc-
tual, my dear."
"Oh, I shall be ready in an hour,
father, and in less time, too."
The hour passed. The deacon was
in his wagon, ready to start. "Well,
40 DEACON BISSELL.
Patty," he shouted, so that his daughter
could hear him in the room where she
was busy putting herself in a trim for
the city. She was not quite ready. I
think she had forgotten where her
gloves were, and was ransacking every
drawer in her bureau for them. The
deacon spoke again.
In one minute," said Patty.
The deacon waited one minute more,
a very long minute, according to his
watch-and off he started for Boston.
Poor Patty! The disappointment was
a sore one for her. But it taught her a
lesson in punctuality which was worth
DEACON BISSELL. 41
more to her than a quarter's schooling at
the Roundhill Academy.
Mr. Bissell, you will please to take
notice, was a real deacon. In the coun-
try, it is a very common thing, I pre-
sume you are aware, for almost all the
folks to have some handle or another
fixed to their names; and very often
the handle is put on, nobody knows how,
or why, or when, or where. One man
is known as a military officer, a captain,
perhaps, or a general. But when you
come to inquire into hi history, you find
that he never rose to a higher rank than
that of a corporal in the militia, and
4a DEACON BISSELL.
possibly not quite so high as that. An-
other man is a squire. But how he
came to be one, and, indeed, what is
meant by the title in his case, are ques-
tions which would puzzle the wisest
heads in the neighborhood. There are,
also, in almost every part of the country,
sundry men whom everybody calls uncle.
Each one of them is everybody's uncle in
general, and nobody's uncle in particu-
lar. Deacons, too, scores of them, may
be found, who have no other claim to
the title than this-that they are called
so, by nearly all the men, women and
children in the parish.
DEACON BISSELL. 43
But Mr. Bissell, as I said before, was
a real deacon. The title had been given
to him by the little church in his native
parish. And he was a good man, too.
Some people make up their religion into
a sort of a cloak, which they regard as
too nice for every day use. They put
it on and wear it every Sunday, and
take it off every Monday morning, and
keep it off until Saturday night. You
never get a sight of their religion, when
they are about their business. They
wear long faces, to be sure. But a face
as long as a broom handle is not worth
much to Uncle Frank, as a sign of a
44 DEACON BISSELL.
man's piety. People may say what they
will about religion-and in this country,
especially, where everybody can think
for himself, and very few get other folks
to think for them, there must be a great
many different notions as to what reli-
gion is-but people may say what they
will about it, I think more of actions
than I do of words. I don't care if a
man's creed reaches as far as from the
Battery to Grace Church. If he is not
fair in his dealings, and a good neighbor,
in every respect, I don't think much of
The piety of Deacon Bissell did not
DEACON BISSELL. 45
all fly off in words, as a glass of soda
water flies off in foam. He was a good
man on Saturdays and Mondays, as well
as on Sundays, at home as well as at
church, in his worldly business as well as
out of it.
Deacon Bissell had a brother, who did
a large business in Boston, and was sup-
posed to be very rich. Rich people,
however, sometimes get a little cramped
in their business, and find it hard to get
along. Deacon Bissell's brother hap-
pened, at one time, to need some thou-
sands of dollars more than he had at
command. He knew that the deacon
46 DEACON BISSELL.
had saved quite a snug sum from the
profits of his small trading, and so he
went to him, and asked him if he would
put his name to a note of some ten or
twelve thousand dollars. The deacon
had never done anything of the kind be-
fore. But supposing his brother would
be able to pay the note when it was
due, and always being anxious to oblige
everybody, when he could, he put his
name to the note.
That note ruined Deacon Bissell. His
brother could not pay it. He failed,
and his failure swept away nearly every
dollar which the deacon had been laying
DEACON BISSELL. 47
up for thirty years. This loss tried him
very much. He wept over it-not be-
cause he needed or wanted the lost
money for himself, but because, as he
used to remark, it was one of his darling
schemes to give all his children a good
setting out" in the world. It seemed a
terrible loss to him. "If I were a young
man," said he, "I might hope to get up
again. But I am old. I am almost
worn out. A few more years, I am
afraid, will finish what there is left of
THE YOUNGEST BOY.
THE deacon had several children. At
the time of his failure two or three were
married, and of those that still remained
at home, Samuel was the youngest. It
is natural enough for you to suppose that
this Samuel, as I am giving you such a
long story about him, was a remarkable
child, a sort of prodigy. But such is not
the fact, I believe. As to his cradle
THE YOUNGEST BOY. 49
life, I profess not to know much. I
have not much doubt, however, that he
was very like other infants-that he had
his share of little troubles, and cried
lustily over them; that he laughed, and
frolicked, and clapped his hands, like
most babies; that he went into raptures
over a tin whistle and a rattle box; and
that, in short, he was as wise as most
people are, at that interesting age when
the nursery seems to them to comprise the
greater portion of the habitable globe.
One of the first anecdotes I ever heard
about Samuel-one which, though it
does not make him out a prodigy, shows
50 THE YOUNGEST BOY.
pretty clearly what sort of stuff he was
made of, as straws show which way
the wind blows-is something like this:
When Samuel was quite a small boy,
and before he had made much progress
in his studies at school, there came to
board at his father's, for a few weeks,
the teacher of the district school. This
man was fond of children, and took quite
a fancy to little Samuel. "Samuel,"
said he, one night, when the boy was
playing with a new ball, did you know
the world was round, like your ball ?"
No, he had never dreamed of such a
thing, he said. He had thought it was
SAMUEL AND THE SCHOOLMASTER.
THE YOUNGEST BOY. 53
as flat as a pancake. "Well, it is
round," the teacher said, "almost as
round as a ball or a marble." The little
fellow was so much interested in what
the good man told him, that he left his
play, and said he wanted to hear all
about the world. So the teacher had to
get his globe, and talk to him about it,
until he was hoarse.
I have heard another anecdote about
the lad. There was a company of some
half a dozen boys and girls at the dea-
con's one day, and they were all as busy
as they could be. Shall I tell you what
they were busy about? They were at
04 THE YOUNGEST BOY.
play. They were playing with all their
might. Among their plays were "blind
man's buff," "tag," puss, puss in the
corner," "hide and seek," who's got
the button ?" and I don't know how
many other plays, which almost every
child is familiar with.
While they were busy chasing each
other round the yard, all of them as
merry as the birds that were having a
concert on the branches, over their
heads, a wagon drove up, and Captain
Lovechild got out of it, and went into
the house. This gentleman lived in
Boston. He was quite a rich man, hav-
THE YOUNGEST BOY. 55
ing made a great deal of money by
going to sea. The captain was a rela-
tive of Deacon Bissell, and often came
to see him and his family, taking good
care, generally, in his visits, to bring
something with him to please the little&4
It was almost sunset when the chil-
dren were called into the house. Sup-
per was nearly ready, and a very nice
supper it was to be, for Mrs. Bissell al-
ways took great pains to make the chil-
dren happy when they visited at her
Captain Lovechild, as usual, w"s glad
aO THE YOUNGEST BOY.
to see the children, and the children
were quite as glad to see him. -They
all liked him. Why they liked him, I
suppose, not having thought on that sub-
ject much, they would hardly have been
able to tell. But I mistrust-I give it
as a sort of a guess-that the nice things
he was so sure to have ready for them,
when he met them, had a little to do
with their affection. I remember-if
you will allow Uncle Frank to travel out
of his road a few paces--I remember a
lesson which was once beaten into my
d4 b.y y Jlittle niece. I was going
mi i~me---to Boston, perhaps-
THE YOUNGEST BOY. 57
when I called the little girl to me, and
"Well, Mary, I'm going away, to be
gone, a long, long time."
0 O, don't go, uncle," she said; "I
don't want you to go away."
But I must go, dear."
I shall cry if you do."
"Not a great deal, I guess."
"0, yes, I shall; I shall feel very
"Well, Mary, I can't stay at home;
I shall have to go to Boston; and I pre-
sume you will feel sorry to have me go;
but suppose I should bring you some-
58 THE YOUNGEST BOY.
thing nice when I come back-a little
rabbit, or something of the kind ?"
"0, then you may go, uncle," said
Mary, clapping her hands, as a certain
lord of the barn yard does his wings,
'just before crowing, and dancing up and
down, as if she saw the little white rab-
bit, with his long ears and red eyes,
actually munching his clover and bean
pods on the carpet.
Ha! ha ha The lesson Uncle
Frank learned then was, that the love
of children sometimes lies on the surface
of the heart, and does not reach quite to
the bottom of it. However, I suppose
THE YOUNGEST BOY. 59
the same is true of grown people, too,
sometimes, though they are usually more
careful as to what they say, so that they
do not let the cat out of the bag.
But I shall be taken up as a vagrant,
if I go wandering about in this style.
A NOBLE RESOLUTION.
As I said, the children all liked the
good old gentleman, for some reason or
other. Now I think of it, I guess the
reason of their liking him might have
been hid away in some sly place, as was
the reason of Mr. Somebody for not
liking Doctor Fell. This Mr. Somebody
used to say, as you probably have heard,
"I do not like you, Doctor Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell."
A NOBLE RESOLUTION. 61
If the children had put their thoughts
into rhyme, as Mr. Somebody did, when
he gave vent to his feelings in the Doc-
tor Fell affair, no doubt they would have
said this, or something like it:
"I love you, sir, I love you well;
The reason why I cannot tell."
When supper was over that evening at
Deacon Bissell's, the sun had been down
some time. The stars were beginning
to peep out of their hiding places, and
the moon, who had shown her face a
little before the sun took his leave, had
now grown bolder, and shone out brightly
62 A NOBLE RESOLUTION.
and clearly, as if she were not afraid of
anybody, and as if she had some sort of
a notion that she had got to be mistress.
"Well, children," said Captain Love-
child, what are you going to drive at
Mrs. Bissell remarked that she thought
it was almost time for them to drive
towards home, but said that she guessed
the captain had something to show them,
and that they might stay just half an
Of course all the boys and girls flocked
around the captain; and, sure enough,
he went into another room, and showed
A NOBLE RESOLUTION. 63
them one of the most curious looking in-
struments, they all thought, that they
had ever seen in their lives.
Oh, what is that, Captain Lovechild,
and what is it for ?" So the children all
asked, in nearly the same breath.
I suppose, indeed, I hope, that you
are so much interested in my story, that
you have already had the same questions
pass through your mind; and I will an-
swer your questions as the captain an-
swered those of his little friends. The
instrument which the kind old gentle-
man had brought with him all the way
from Boston, on purpose to please and
64 A NOBLE RESOLUTION.
instruct these children, was called a
telescope. A telescope is a long, hol-
low cylinder, with glasses in it. It is so
made that when you look through it, at
anything a great way off, like the moon
and the stars, they appear a great deal
larger. It seems to bring them near to
you. You can see them much more dis-
tinctly, and as you look at them, you
can find out many wonderful things
As soon as the captain had got the
instrument in order, he took it out into
the yard, and pointed one end of the
long tube towards the moon.
,, ,;. ., ..., .. ,. .. .. ... .* ... . ....-*. .. ... *** .;. ;,. .. .' C *.., -- ':*. "... V. f ^
,,.| : ,.*. .. ... ^ ^ ^ ..':; . ../ * '* '
*" ' "'' L ,' -* ** '. .
LOOKJN-G THROUGH THIE TELBSCOPS.
A NOBLE RESOLUTION. 67
"Now, then," said he, "just take a
peep at the moon. You'll see some-
thing up there, which will make you
wonder, or Im very much mistaken.
One at a time."
And the children, who did not need
to be urged much, gathered around the
lower end of the telescope, first one, and
then another, until they had all got a
peep at the wonderful things in the
moon. I can't tell you how much they
were delighted. It would fill a small
volume, if I should set down all their
"ohs," and their "ahs," and everything
else which came rattling out of their
68 A NOBLE RESOLUTION.
mouths, while they were looking through
the telescope. But I will tell you what
Samuel Bissell said, though. I will tell
you one thing he said, at all events
After he had looked through the instru-
ment, and had listened to what the old
gentleman said about the moon, and the
planets, and the fixed stars, I declare,"
said he, I don't know anything. I'll
be somebody, I'll know something and
do something, if I live."
Samuel, as you will perceive, had his
little head so full of the wonders of the
heavens, and had such a strong desire to
add to his stock of knowledge, that he
A NOBLE RESOLUTION. 69
used pretty bold language. He did not
say, "I'll try to be somebody," as he
might have said, if he had studied his
speech a little. His head was full, so
that his words burst out from his mouth
as the water would burst out of a hole in
the dam. Yes, and his heart spoke, too,
as well as his head. More sincere and
honest words never dropped from his
A new light dawned on that youth's
mind, that evening. From the moment
that he uttered the resolution that he
would "be somebody," he labored to
gather a large harvest of knowledge; to
70 A NOBLE RESOLUTION.
be something more than a mere cipher
in the world; to act his part well.
And did he succeed ?" you are
ready to ask. I should have to get
ahead of my story to answer the ques-
tion. But one thing I will say here:
that if a boy makes up his mind, delib-
erately and firmly, that he will climb up
to some high point on the hill of science,
and that he will be respected and hon-
ored among his fellows-if he brings his
hands, and his head, and his heart to the
task, and goes ahead, through thick and
thin, not turning out of his path, how-
ever he may be tempted to do so, he is
A NOBLE RESOLUTION. I1
almost sure to succeed in reaching what
he aims at; that is, if his life is spared
and his health does not give out. I
have great faith in a strong will, a clear
head, right principles, a good stock of
patience, and a steady disposition to go
ahead. Some boys, when you talk to
them about doing something and being
something, always throw a bucket of
cold water over you by saying, "There
are so many difficulties," or, If I were
only in uuch a boy's place !" Well, you
may always be sure that such cowards
will never do anything or be anything
worth mentioning; for it is not very
72 A NOBLE RESOLUTION.
common for people to accomplish much
by accident, and these little chaps, should
they ever succeed at all, would have to
blunder into their success.
After hearing this anecdote of Samuel,
you will not wonder that, some years
after this resolution was made, when he
heard of his father's loss, he played the
part of a hero. I will tell you about
that in another chapter.
'6 WHAT WILL BECOME OF YOU ?.
A TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE.
SAMUEL," said his father, a few days
after he learned that he was a bankrupt,
( I don't know what is to become of
you. I've lost all the property I had.
I'm not worth a red cent."
"I guess I can take care of myself,
father," said the lad. "Don't worry
"( Why, what can you do, Samuel ?"
76 A TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE.
"Not much of anything now, I sup-
pose-anything which will put dollars
and cents into my pocket-but I can
learn, if I can get a chance."
And what would you like to do for
a living ?"
There are a good many things which
I would like to do," said Samuel, "and
may be I shall do them some day; but
I've been thinking that just now, I had
better go to work in the factory."
What! in the cotton factory ?"
"Yes, sir, Mr. Mason's."
"But would you like that kind of
A TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE. 77
I don't know, sir, I'm sure; I should
like to try, at any rate. I should like to
He did try. That very week, Samuel
got a place in Mr. Mason's factory. His
wages were not great, at first. But he
earned more than enough to pay for his
board at once, and in a month or two he
did much better than that. Samuel had
to work hard, though. The factory bell
rang at day-break, and he was obliged
to get up and work an hour or more be-
fore breakfast. All day long, from early
morning till evening, and in the winter
season, till nine o'clock at night, he was
78 A TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE.
required to be at work, with the excep-
tion of the time-and that was rather
brief-allotted to meals. It was a very
rare thing that the boys in the factory
had a holiday. Sunday, to be sure-
they had that to themselves. But most
of the boys, it is to be hoped, were too
well brought up and too conscientious to
devote any part of that day to play and
Once in a great while, however, like
angels' visits, few and far between,"
came a holiday. They have a great
time, you know, in every part of the
good old commonwealth of Massachu-
A TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE. 79
setts, when the day of the annual thanks-
giving comes. Very few people, old or
young, think of doing much business on
THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATION.
WELL, in process of time, that long
looked for festival arrived. No boy in
Meadville had to sleep with an eye open
that morning, for fear he would not hear
the first accent of the tongue of the fac-
tory bell. The bell slept; and the boys
slept, too, until they were called to
Samuel had not become very intimate
THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATION. 81
with many of the factory boys. Indeed,
among them all, there was only one that
he cared a great deal about associating
with; and this one he loved as a brother.
The name of this boy-or rather, the
name by which I prefer to call him in
this narrative-was Frederick Noble.
Frederick and Samuel, when they were
not in the factory, were half their time
together. I hardly know what made
them so much attached to each other;
though probably one reason was that the
circumstances of the two were somewhat
similar. Frederick's father, as well as
Samuel's, had once been a man of pro-
82 THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATIOiS.
perty, but, like Mr. Bissell, had become
comparatively poor. There's no ac-
counting for likes and dislikes, though.
Samuel and Frederick were fond of each
other, and I presume it would have puz-
zled either of them to tell the reason for
These two boys, according to an ar-
rangement which had been made a long
time beforehand, were companions on
thanksgiving day. If I remember aright,
the governor's proclamation for thanks-
giving, at the time when Frederick and
Samuel were boys together, used to have
these words tacked to the last end of it:
THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATION. 83
"All servile labor and vain recreation
on said day are by law forbidden."
Still, parents and guardians allowed con-
siderable latitude to the children in their
amusements, if the governor did not. It
was pretty generally understood that the
young folks were to have a good time of
it, on thanksgiving day.
It very often happens, that when we
enjoy ourselves most-when we come
nearest to being perfectly happy-we
encounter the strongest temptations, or,
what amounts to the same thing, we are
induced to yield to temptation.
Several times during the day, these
84 THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATION.
two boys came very near doing some-
thing which they would have been
ashamed of and heartily sorry for after-
wards. They met some boys playing
cards for small sums of money, and were
urged to "try their luck." At first,
they thought they would, just for fun."
But they finally concluded that fun of
that sort was rather too dangerous-that
it would cost more than it would come
to-and so they passed on.
About a hundred rods from the vil-
lage, in an orchard, our two friends came
across a company of larger boys, who
were playing ball. Here they encoun-
THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATION. 85
tered another temptation. The ball-
players were treating themselves to a
kind of liquor, which, in those parts,
bore the name of egg-nog. Some of the
boys and girls who read this story, or
hear it read, will no doubt laugh at this
unmusical and out-of-the-way name;
and I confess the -word looked to me
so strange and barbarous, after I had
written it down, that I had a great mind
to dash my pen across it, and hunt up
some other name for it. However, I
concluded I would go straight to Web-
ster's large dictionary, and see whether
he had taken notice of the word. I
86 THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATION.
made up my mind that, if I found it in
the dictionary, I would hold on to it,
and that if it were missing there, I would
let it stay in the society where it was
born, christened and brought up. I
went to the dictionary, and there I
found the word, looking, for all the
world, as if it were vastly at home.
Egg-nog," says Doctor Webster, ( a
drink used in America, consisting of the
yelks of eggs beaten up with sugar, and
the whites of eggs whipped, with the
addition of wine or spirits." The ad-
dition which Webster speaks of, and
which consisted of spirits when I was
THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATION. 87
a boy, and not of wine, you will please
to take notice, was considered a very
important addition, without which the
liquor would be worthless.
Well, Samuel and Frederick, though
they were strongly urged to "taste of
the nice egg-nog," and though they
almost wished that they. might so far
gratify their curiosity as to taste of it, suc-
ceeded in resisting the temptation, and
letting the stuff alone. Neither of them
drank a drop of it; though I should not
wonder if they found it rather hard work
My young friend, perhaps you think
88 THANKSGIVING AND TEMPTATION.
these facts are hardly worth noticing.
But I look upon them in a very differ-
ent light. These boys, in my opinion,
gained great victories that day-vic-
tories quite as worthy of praise and
honor as those of Alexander and Caesar.
They had the courage to do right, when
they were tempted to do wrong. They
did right. And they had their reward,
no doubt, when they heard the voice of
conscience in their own bosoms, whis-
pering, "Well done."
PATRIOTISM AND POWDER.
IT was more than six months after the
than giving festival, before the factory
boys had another holiday. Time, who
never stands still a moment, went on,
and by and by, the Fourth of July came
round. Samuel and Frederick were com-
panions on that day, as well as on the
preceding thanksgiving festival. The
first thing they did, after they got up in
90 PATRIOTISM AND POWDER.
the morning-for they were wakened
very early by the ringing of all the bells
in Meadville, not excepting the one on
the factory, which was keyed on a very
high note, and was cracked in the bar-
gain, though it made up in zeal and
earnestness what it lacked in depth and
sweetness-the first thing they did was
to climb the hill that overlooked the vil-
lage, where the men were firing a salute
in honor of the day. There seems to be
something in the smell of gunpowder,
and the sound of a huge-mouthed can-
non, which wakes up a good deal of pa-
triot feeling in the breast of a child.
PATRIOTISM AND POWDER. 91
How my little heart, when it was not
much bigger than a chipping squirrel's,
used to throb with patriotism-or some-
thing else, for I am not so sure that it
was patriotism, after all-while I heard
the rusty old cannon that did duty at
Willow Lane, booming out its sentiments
about matters and things in general, and
the declaration of American independ-
ence in particular. As long ago as I
can remember, I know the sound of a
drum almost overturned the little sense I
had. Oh, what a quantity of martial
spirit was set in motion in my brain,
when, as it sometimes happened, I got a
92 PATRIOTISM AND POWDER.
chance to beat on that drum myself-to
beat on it with both hands, "like, a
trainer." It was one of the proudest
achievements of my childhood, I do be-
lieve-that performance on the drum-
the real drum, the identical one which
the "trainers" used.,
It is not quite so with me, now-a-days.
You may wonder why. I almost won-
der .why myself. But so it is. The
deafening roar of cannon, the racket of
a thousand muskets, the clatter of junior
drums, and the thunder of senior ones,
have not such a moving effect on me as
they used to have. They move me out
WJIN YOUNG DRUMMER.
PATRIOTISM AND POWDER. 95
of the way now. That is about all. I
suppose, if the truth was known, I dis-
like war more than I did when I was a
child. War seems a terrible thing to
me, whenever I think of it. I cannot
bear the thought that hostile men should
meet each other on the field of battle,
and use all the art they are masters of,
in trying to kill each other.
But enough of this. Children, as I
was saying, love to hear the noise of the
cannon. It stirs up the embers of their
patriotism, or fills them with some other
kind of fire. We will not stop now to
inquire very particularly as to the nature
96 PATRIOTISM AND POWDER.
of the blaze. Our two friends felt as
if there was a young Vesuvius burning in
their bosoms, as they listened to the
sound of the cannon. Frederick espe-
cially, was quite beside himself. War
had completely turned his head. Oh,
how he longed to be a soldier. I am
not sure but he almost wished some na-
tion or other would pick a quarrel with
us, so that he might have a chance to
shoulder his musket, and start right off,
and fight the battles of his country.
Like a great. many other children, he
saw only one side of war, and that was
its bright side. He heard no groans