The Baldwin Library
iugl i Jisftt.
"The fading light only served to show the outlines of General
Washington, whose figure was known to me." p 38.
HOME PRINCIPLES CARRIED OU1
gn nh AUTlHO Of "OOBmT DAW0B," "JAIE HRuDON," "MUlm
KEn!," Mn. Ma
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
11= Cnmm=n STuer.
XEma emoording to Act of Congre, in the year Al, by
the Amua Na 8mIDAT-saooL Unoa, in the Clerk's Qae of
the Dstrbit Oourt of the E stern District of Peumne rve.
4P' No books ar pubUled by the Ammaii SUmnaTal4MO
Unmon without the nmeton ofthe Oemmitteea o Publiectio
eondrstbu of furteen member, from the Mllowrin demn minw
tion of Christians, s. v aptit, Methodis, Congregationalist
Epieopl, Presbyterln, nd Relbrmed Dutah. Not more thm
three of the members can be of the ame deombination, *d no
book an be publlbda to whiho sa member of th Conmittee
UioLa HuGH........................................... 7
FIrST WuKx AT UNOLI HUGOH'......... ......... 41
GOING TO 80ooL ...................................... 80
LioN A CADBMr ......................................... 111
PERPLEXM TI ............................................ 127
SCHOOL TzouBLS ......... ............................ 166
A VISIT TO HInW AND AGan ................ 199
COLLEGE Somuxe...................................... 214
"TEBrn'S Uncle Hugh! There he is,
I'm sure!" exclaimed Henry,-his pale,
sorrowful and expecting face suddenly
lighting up, as he saw a wagon stop at
a small house on the opposite side of the
Run, child," said the friendly neigh-
bour at whose house we were, "run and ask
him to come here. He'll find it dull enough
over there, I reckon."
I stood at the window, watching Henry
as he went and delivered his message.
Uncle Hugh patted him on the head. It
8 HUGH FISHER.
"Oh dear!" I sighed, without knowing
it. Uncle Hugh tied his horse to a green
post, and followed Henry to the house
where we were. His heavy tread was soon
heard in the entry. Mrs. French left her
cooking, and went to meet him.
"Well, the poor lady has gone!" she
said,--showing him into the sitting-room,
where Agnes and I were. She thought
a dreadful sight about seeing you before
she died. She said you were the only
relative. There's the two youngest, Hugh
and Agnes. That's Henry," pointing to
my brother. "He is the oldest, and not
very old, either."
My uncle stalked into the room.
That's Hugh, is it ?" fixing his large
gray eyes on me. "He's a stout boy. He
looks as if he could dig potatoes as well as
He took off his coat, and sat down.
HUGH FISHEB. 9
"This is the girl,-the youngest. She
looks dreadfully like her mother. Mrs
Gray wants her,"--drawing Agnes towards
her, and smoothing down her apron.
That's Agnes, is it ? The girl!" said
"I'm seeing to the dinner, so you'll ex-
cuse me," said Mrs. French, at the same
time going towards the kitchen.
My uncle nodded.
Let's see. He's the one that's got my
name," he said, after staring at us all
round, as we sat bolt upright, staring at
aim in return, and pointing at me in par-
ticular, with his hard, horny finger.
"Yes, that's Hugh!" said Henry.
"Well, Hugh, are you a good fellow to
work?" asked he.
"Yes, sir," I whispered.
"Hugh is a good scholar," said Henry,
ready to back me up in the good graces
10 HUGH FISHER.
of my relative. "The master says he
"Humph!" grunted our uncle; "and
what does that amount to ?"
Mr. French now came in, the head of
the household, under whose roof we were,
with whom my uncle presently went out
to look after the horse and wagon.
"Am I named for him?" I whispered
to Henry, as soon as his back was turned,
"with a nosb like that! I want to know?"
In fact, Uncle Hugh had not made a
pleasant first impression upon my mind.
" Is he the one that's to take care of us ?"
I said, looking at Henry. Henry looked
at me. He answered nothing, but turned
and glanced wistfully over to the little
house that had so long been our home,
now deserted and desolate. Tears came
into his eyes.
Let me now tell you our situation. Our
HUGH FISHER. 11
father, a respected schoolmaster,. had been
dead nearly three years, leaving my mo-
ther and her three children, with slender
means and still more slender health, to rear
us up as God-fearing and dutiful children.
By economy and industry, she contrived
to live comfortably, with what aid Henry
and I could occasionally render. Henry
was now twelve, and I had just entered
my eleventh year. In one short week
our mother sickened and died, and (as I
now think) it was through her overtasked
efforts for our support. How kind and
tender-hearted were the neighbours, as
one and another took turns to nurse her
and care for us How many delicate bits
did they bring her, which, being rejected
by her, (for she was too sick to be thus
tempted,) were bestowed upon us! Through
the week we were kept at school, never
dreaming what a sad and dreary Sunday
12 HUGH FISHER.
was in store for us. On Saturiay night
she died, and we were taken to the house
of friendly Mrs. French, where our uncle
met us. He arrived on Tuesday noon, the
day after the funeral.
Mr. Hugh Fisher was the eldest brother
of my father. No great intimacy had
ever subsisted between the brothers, not
for any fault of my father's, but for the
grudge always harboured by Uncle Hugh
against his brother, because he preferred
head-work to hand-work, his books to his
hoe. My father had contrived to gather
together a little learning, sufficient to teach
a grammar-school with much acceptance
to his patrons. His ruddy countenance,
his bright eye and hearty laugh are among
our earliest and pleasantest remembrances.
How it would have been had he lived-
ah! that we cannot tell. Consumption
seized him, and in a few months he was
HUGeH PISHE. 18
gone! Of Uncle Hugh, we, as children,
knew very little. I remember the remark
more than once made by a neighbour--" It
was a shame that Mr. Fisher, well off as he
was, could not do something for his bro-
ther's widow, if it was only just to send down
a barrel of apples or a bag of potatoes "
It is certain no apples or potatoes ever
came, nor did my mother ever complain
of it. "The boys would earn apples and
potatoes, before long," she said.
Finding her end drawing nigh, she de-
termined to send for Mr. Hugh Fisher.
She felt, that if he were not a tender-
hearted man, he was far from being hard-
hearted; and she was willing to feel that
if he had not shown that interest in his
brother's bereaved family that might have
been expected, neither had she, perhaps,
communicated with him as freely and
openly as she might have done.
1t HUGH FISHER.
A letter was despatched, begging him
to come to -.
"To have seen him, to have consulted
with him about the children, to have com-
mitted them to his care,-if she could but
have done this,-then would she die con-
This she was not permitted to do; but
every day of her life, ever since we were
born, she committed us to the merciful
care of our Father in heaven. Over the
sad funeral scenes which followed, and the
desolation which came over me when the
coffin, which contained her dear form, was
lowered into the grave, I will not now
linger. They are fresh in my memory;
and notwithstanding the goodness and
mercy which has crowned my later days,
those scenes are still painful to recall.
After dinner, we went over to the little
half of a tenement which had long been
HUGH FISHER. 15
our happy home, and our uncle began to
look into our mother's affairs. Anxious
to return home as soon as possible, (it be-
ing in the height offspring farm-work,) he
began to despatch business as speedily as
he could. Henry was sent out to ascertain
the amount of any little bills which the
family owed. A small wallet, containing
my mother's "papers," which had always
been sacredly locked up in a trunk kept in
the upper bureau-drawer, was now lying
open on the table, while my uncle had turned
around, and was sitting cross-legged before
the fire, smoking his pipe. I went towards
the table to look at the wallet.
"Let things alone," said my uncle,
marking the movement. "Don't you
know, boys must learn never to touch ?"
Awed and frightened, I shzxmk into the
chair. A knock at the door, and Mr.
Henry (a lawyer sent by Mr. French)
16 HUGH FISHER.
came in. They sat down and talked, while
I crept round by the fire, looking and listen-
ag with a sad and heavy heart.
"A little memorandum here," said my
uncle, turning round to the table. If the
books could be kept, (she writes,) and the
debts paid, she wished them to be equally
divided among the children-humph!"
"Are there many?" asked the lawyer.
"There they are!" and Uncle Hugh
pointed to a small book-case crammed with
"Oh, ay! yes! your brother's, I sup-
pose," said the lawyer, scanning them
where he sat. "He was a reading man,
and a very excellent one. One of our
best schoolmasters, Mr. Fisher."
"Humph!" responded my uncle; "1
have no great opinion of bookish men.
They are never worth a cent Books are
moths, I'm thinking,-moths on our time
HUGH FISHER. 17
Our fathers did not make such a fuss about
books and schools, and who thrived better
Henry now came back with some bills,
and we were sent out of the room.
What to do with the children was the
most perplexing question of all, and was
pretty nearly settled by evening. Mrs.
Gray, a friend of my mother's, asked for
Agnes. She loved the child, and the
child loved her. Agnes then was carried
"home." "This is your home, now," said
Henry, as we stopped at the front-gate, and
looked up to Mrs. Gray's house.
"And your's and Hugh's," added Agnes.
"No; I am going to stay at Mr.
French's, close by, you know; and Hugh
is going to Uncle Hugh's house. He's
going in the wagon, to have a ride," said
Henry, in a half-coaxing, half-soothing
18 HUGH FISHER.
"No! no!" cried Agnes, looking dis-
tressed. "Mother ha3 gone, and now
Hugh goes, and you go, too! I will stay
at Mrs. French's, too. I don't want to
stay here alone-I don't !"
"When Mrs. Gray loves you so!" said
Henry. "Little girls can't do without
mothers, and Mrs. Gray will be your mo-
ther. She will get you a little chair,--and
don't you remember the dear little cup
she said she had got for you?"
The soothing tones of Henry's voice,
with the image of the little cup and chair,
had a quieting effect upon the child's
mind, who was very docile, and always
ready to be pleased.
Thursday morning, Uncle Hugh was
going to set out for home. Henry and I
slept together at Mrs. Gray's, so as to
eat supper and breakfast with Agnes. I
awoke in the morning with a dull, heavy
HUGH FISHER. 19
sense of something formidable and dis-
agreeable weighing upon me. In the dim
morning light, Mrs. Gray's white counter-
pane and the picture of St. John, over the
mantelpiece, quite puzzled me. "Where
am I I exclaimed, starting up ani rub-
bing my eyes.
"Where are we?" asked Henry, who
was already wide awake; indeed, he had
not slept, for the sad thoughts of our ap-
proaching separation. "Where are we?
Why, here we are!" It was true enough,
but not very satisfactory. Yes; here we
were, in Mrs. Gray's best chamber; and
here was I, having just slept through my
last night with Henry.
Oh, dear !" I sighed, sliding down into
bed, and covering up my head with the
"I think as much," added Henry, with
a sigh Oh, how happy we used to be I
20 HUGH FISHER.
Who would have thought of this, two weeks
ago! All three of us in different places !"
"All four," said I,-" mother, you
"She-down in the earth!" Henry
choked; then, plunging his head into the
pillow, he cried outright. It was the first
time he had fairly cried. He had looked
pale-very pale and sorrowful, but he had
tried all he could to comfort Agnes and
me, telling us how mother had gone to
heaven; how God wanted her, and how
glad she would be to be with Jesus Christ.
But the last breaking up,-it was too much
for the poor fellow, and he gav way to
an uncontrollable burst of sorrow.
"Henry! dear Hen!" I cried, throw-
ing my arms around him, myself now
turning comforter,-" don't you know
what you've said? Let us be men. We've
got to be ourselves, now! Dear Hen, God
HUGH FISHER. zI
will not leave us. Dont you remember
'what mother used to say, how He who
hears the young ravens will not turn a
deaf ear to the cry of the young orphans!"
Henry still sobbed. The chamber-door
gently opened. Agnes, in her night-gown,
peeped in, then ran laughing towards the
I came to wake you up. Mrs. Gray
said I might," she said,-olimbing up the
side of the bed. Agnes nestled down be-
tween us-Henry with his face plunged
into the pillow, and I sitting bolt upright,
trying to be a man. Agnes put her face
down by Henry's, and stroked his hair.
I think I'm the one to feel the worst,"
I said, feeling very pitifully. I am sure
I am. I must go a long way off, and you
are both going to stay with those you
know. I love Mrs. Gray and the Frenches,
but Uncle Hugh"-
22 HUGH FISHER.
"Hugh, you will write to me often,
won't you?" said Henry, rolling over and
wiping his eyes with his shirt-sleeves.
"What are you going there for, Hugh?"
asked Agnes. "Mrs. Gray will let you
stay here. I'll ask her if she won't."
"It is kind in uncle, to give Hugh a
home, Agnes. You know we've got no
home now," said Henry, with a quivering
"Sha'n't we ever have our own home
again-ever ?" asked the child, with a sad
wondering, as if she thought it was a
strange world she had been born into.
"Yes, Agnes!" I exclaimed; "when I
get my education; when I am a man-a
minister, may-be,-then we shall have our
own home again."
"That's a great way off," said Henry
sadly; "a great way off Poor little
fellow! He never lived to see the day.
There we all sat, our arms around each
other, not speaking for some minutes.
*' Hugh," said the eldest, at last breaking
the silence, "I hope you will remember
one thing-that God is at Uncle Hugh's
as well as here. You must keep his com-
mandments," he added, in a tone of deep
solemnity. You must pray, every night
and morning, just as we always used to do
at home. It makes no difference where
we are, about such things as these. You
know, Hugh, God has been our heavenly
Father for a great while, and now he'll
have to be father and mother too."
"I know it," I answered, "and I mean
to pray there. I am sure I would not
leave it off on any account. Don't you
remember how mother used to pray, and
what she used to say about it to us ?"
That is just what I was thinking of,"
24 HUGH FISHER.
And I shall pray, too," added Agnes.
"Jesus said, Suffer little children to come
unto me,-and I am a little child, a'n't I,
Mrs. Gray now tapped at the door, and
putting in her kind, motherly face, told us
to jump up and dress ourselves, for break-
fast was almost ready.
At seven o'clock, Uncle Hugh's wagon
drove up to the door. Breakfast was not
quite over, but I had finished all but my
half-tumbler of milk.
Yes, Hugh; and you must come down
at Thanksgiving," said Mrs. Gray, in a
cheerful tone, seeing Henry go towards
the back-window, with a tear in his eye.
We will write to you, and you must write
to us. Agnes shall learn to write, also,-
won't you, Agnes? And here is a nice
bit of something to take in your pocket,
for a luncheon by the way. You will be
HUGH FISHER. zO
hungry by-and-by." And so she talked,
leaving us no time to dwell upon the parting.
"Oh, Mrs. Gray, do ask Uncle Hugh
if he may come down to Thanksgiving,"
whispered Henry, twitching Mrs. Gray by
the sleeve. "Please, do. He'll mind it
more from you. Then we can count when
to see Hugh again."
Meanwhile, I drank my milk, pocketed
the luncheon, shouldered my bundle,-all
my effects having been reduced to so small
a compass as to be carried in a handker-
chief,--and marched out at the door.
Mrs. Gray ran down the steps, to bargain
"'May-be, may-be!" answered Uncle
Hugh, seeing he's a pretty smart boy."
"Hugh is smart," said Henry, in an
under-tone; "so I have no doubt he'll
come, if it depends on that;" and his
countenance lighted up.
26 HUGH FISHER.
The bundle was hoisted into the wagon,
which I soon followed, after kissing all
round with considerably more courage than
I expected. The prospect of a ride took
something from the pain of parting.
" Good-by, Henry! Good-by, Agnes!
Good-by, dear, good Mrs. Gray !"
Uncle Hugh whipped up his horse, and
we set off at a rapid rate. The brisk air
of a cool June morning was reviving to
the spirits, and gave an elastic thrill to
the whole system; so that, as we passed
by one familiar object and another,-the
mill, the bridge, the tan-yard and the
cove,-the good-by glances did not touch
my heart as they might have done. I was
curious to know what we should see in the
different towns through which we should
pass. My uncle named them, and bade
me keep a good look-out. Uncle Hugh
was not inclined to be sociable. Mile
HUGH FISHER. XZ
after mile we rode on, and not a word was
spoken. At last we reached the outskirts
of a village, where a tall sign-post marked
a tavern-stand of no mean dimensions.
My uncle reined in his horse.
"Cool morning!" said a burly-looking
man, standing in the door.
Cool enough for June, I'm thinking,"
was the reply, and Uncle Hugh jumped
out. "Your can stretch your legs here,
if you like, my boy," he said, addressing
me, "or stay in the wagon." Glad of an
opportunity of stretching my legs, I was
over the side of the wagon in a second.
After watering and tying his horse, he
entered the tavern, and called for a glass
Though grog-drinking was more com-
mon then than now-a-days, my mother
brought us up according to strict temper-
ance ruies; and the idea of grog-drink
28 HUGH FISHER.
mg was associated, in my mind, with what.
ever was vulgar, as well as wrong. A very
wretched shop, in the street where we
lived, served to illustrate, in a very lively
manner, all our mother's reasoning upon
the subject. I remember feeling a sense
of mortification, on seeing Uncle Hugh
stirring his toddy and raising the glass tc
his lips. I turned my back, and went out on
the portico before the door. After finish-
ing my luncheon and drinking some clear,
sparkling water from the nose of the
pump, we were ready to start again; nor
had we gone far, before my uncle gra-
"Well, Hugh, have you ever cast about
in your mind what you mean to do when
you get bigger ?"
"No, sir; not exactly. I want to get
an education first: then I can tell bet*
HUGH FISHER. .u
Humph! An education! And what
does that mean ?"
I looked up, to see what he meant.
Could it be Uncle Hugh who did not knhw
what getting an education is!
Humph Yes," he presently repeated,
"what does getting an education mean?
-that's the question!"
I saw he meant it for me to answer.
"Why, finding out what other people
know; getting all sorts of knowledge from
books; filling up the mind with useful
things. Mother says, knowledge is what
people can't take from us."
"Humph! All fol-de-rol, in my opi-
nion !" at the same time violently jerking
I looked up, surprised, if not alarmed,
and simply said, "Sir?"
"Fol-de-rol, in my opinion," persisted
my uncle, m a sharp tone. "All fol-de.
80 HUGH FISHER,
rol! Your father might have been worth
something, if it hadn't been for his edu-
cation. It never did him no good. It
shortened his days. Now, my father was
a perfectly healthy man, and when he died,
it was of an epidemic fever. It's all
fudge-making so much ado for the sake
of a little learning. There's Squire Kelly,
all run out! There's our minister-sickly,
puling fellow!--can't hoe a dozen hills
of corn without a pain or something.
There was your father-a likely boy as
need be, till he took a notion for books,-
never good for any thing after that! I'd
as soon one of my boys took to as
to learning. Bless my stars, they don't!
They take after me, in that !"
He did not say what he had rather his
boys would take to, and I could not, from
his tone and manner, think of any thing
bad enough. I well remember looking at
HUGH FISHER. 01
him earnestly, from top to toe, to see what
manner of man he was-his nose began
to look very red-for it was the first time
I ever heard such opinions advanced.
My mother had taken great pains to
foster in us a taste for reading. Reading,
she said-reading, of course, good books-
was a great safeguard for youth. She al-
ways sympathized with us in our studies;
and so strong was my own early relish for
reading and study, that I hardly remem-
ber the time when I did not suppose a
good education one of the most desirable
things in the world, next to a good con-
science, or, perhaps I should say, next to
becoming a sincere Christian. Our mo-
ther always taught us the indispensable-
ness of a new heart and a right spirit, in
order to become the real children of God,
or that we may have a good hope of reach.
ing heaven at last. My father had de-
82 HUGH FISHEt.
lighted in my early taste for books, and,
before his death, I had made some pro-
gress in the Latin grammar.
"Hugh must have an education," had
always been a sort of settled thing in the
Family. After my father's death, my mo-
ther always spoke hopefully of the matter,
ever declaring that there were more ways
than one to bring about a desirable object.
In this light, one may well suppose that
the opinions advanced by Uncle Hugh
were particularly distasteful. In fact, I
was not quite sure how to take them.
Was he not talking for fun? For fun!
there was nothing in his hard, brown, cold
face that looked like fun. After scanning
him sideways a good while and looking at
the horse's head, I was about asking him
whether there were no schools up his way,
when another village came in sight, and
he reined in at another tavern.
HUGH FISHER. tSB
The remainder of the ride was long and
dull. The exhilarating morning air had
given place to a warm, noonday sun. I
was tired with the long ride,-the longest
I had ever taken,-and to the ever-length-
ening distance from all I knew and loved,
was added an uneasiness in my mind about
the new and strange way of thinking Un-
cle Hugh had.
I wished I was out of the jolting wagon.
Any thing but riding with such a red pug-
nose! This was the way of venting my
spleen upon my uncle. I felt angry and
provoked. Just as if my parents did not
know as well as he!
It was two o'clock before we reached
Springville. My uncle's farm was a bor-
der farm, between Springville and Loudon/
off the main road, east of the village. It
was the homestead farm, and was the spot
where my father was born, which accounted
84 HUGH FISHER.
for my greater readiness to accompany
Uncle Hugh. He had often told us about
it, and we had often wished to see it,
especially the pond and Pilot Mountain,
where he used to go with the boys. I
must confess, I was a little disappointed
on coming in sight of a black, two-story
house, which Uncle Hugh pointed out with
his whip as "the place." Two large
barns, both newer and better-looking than
the house, were behind it; a well, with its
long pole and iron-bound bucket, were
prominent in the yard, which was full of
logs, wood, brush, harrows, and I know
not what. Two dogs came running out to
meet us. A woman, with gray hair, fat
and sun-burnt, stood in the door, staring
hard at me, and we drove into the yard.
"Well! yer come back, and fetched
one with yer."
"I guess so."
HUGH FISHER. 86
"Well! what's the youngster's name?"
T had jumped out of the wagon, and
was taking out my bundle.
My name is Hugh," said I, seeing my
uncle left me to announce myself.
"Well! that's lucky."
Ah! I was not so sure of that.
"You look a sight like your father.
Well! come in and get something to eat."
I followed my aunt into the house with
a dull, heavy pain about my heart. I shall
pass over dinner and supper, and my intro-
duction to Nat and Bill, my cousins, of
fifteen and seventeen years. Oh, that
long, lonely afternoon! There were the
dogs and the pigs, the barn and barn-yard,
the hens and the geese,-the bee-hives, too,
in a sunny knoll behind the corn-house.
These, under other circumstances, would
have been subjects of deep interest to me;
but, somehow or other, I found myself
86 HUGH FISHER.
creeping down by the stone-wall, and look-
ing wistfully down the road whence we
came, straining my eyes for-I hardly
knew what. Then I wandered down be-
hind the barn, and threw myself on the
sweet, green turf, and thought of my dear
mother, who now lay beneath it,-oh! and
I really wished I was there, too, by her
side. Nobody loving, nobody caring for
me, here! "What shall I do ?" I passion-
ately exclaimed. "What shall I do? I
cannot live here! It is not like my home!
'Tis not like Mrs. Gray's, nor Mrs.
French's!" and I burst into a flood of
Bed-time brought some relief. "Where
is the boy to sleep ?" asked my uncle.
"With Jem, to be sure," answered my
aunt. "Where else would anybody ex-
pect him to sleep ?"
"Ay, ay!" answered Uncle Hugh; and,
HUGH FISHER. N7
bundle in hand, I followed my aunt to
the chamber-a large, airy, rough-looking
room, over the wood-house.
"Who is Jem?" I asked, timidly. "Am,
I going to sleep with him ?"
"Jem's the man that lives here. He'll
be home to-morrow. You are going to
sleep with him. I don't know whether he
likes boys, or not; but, I guess, he won't
I wanted to ask more, but was afraid;
when, after smoothing down the bed, she
pointed to a red chest of drawers, and told
me to "put my clothes away in the low-
est-any time, not to-night,"-then, bid-
ding me sleep like a porpoise and be a
good boy, she left the chamber.
"Sleep like a porpoise! I wonder if
she knows how porpoises sleep!" I mut-
tered to myself, as her steps were lost in
the distance. On casting my eyes around
38 HUGH FISHER.
the room, I spied several coarse pictures
pasted up on one side of the partition;
I hastened to make them out; but the
fading light only served to show the out-
lines of General Washington, whose figure
was well known to me, by two pictures
which I had already seen of him. The
pictures somehow gave me great delight;
they seemed home-like, and I set about
wondering who pasted them up. Oh, if
it's only Jem !" and the very thought gave
me a fellow-feeling for him.
At first I did not like to lie down in
the strange, old wood-house chamber, all
alone, and so far off from the rest of the
family. I contrasted it with the night
before,--only the night before,-in Mrs.
Gray's best chamber, under her beautiful
white counterpane, with the beautiful face
of St. John looking down upon Henry and
me, like a good angel watching over us.
HUGH FISHER. U
"What is to become of me ?" I cried
aloud. I wanted to scream "Mother!
Father! Henry! Agnes!" Oh! could not
some of them,-could not one of them hear
me? The scalding tears would come:
they came thick and fast. "What shall
I do? What shall I do ?" I cried aloud,
tumbling on to the bed. After a little
while, I got up again and kneeled down
to pray. Henry's words in the morning
came forcibly upon me. "I will mind
Henry," I said; "Henry is such a good
boy,-and it will be minding mother,
After this duty was done-a duty al-
ways enjoined by our mother, both by her
example and instructions-I again jumped
upon the bed; and, although it seemed as
if I had no heart to sleep, sleep came un-
awares; and before long, I dare say, I
was fairly, though unwittingly obeying
40 HUGH FISHER.
the injunction of my aunt; though,
whether she did really know how por-
poises slept, I never was able satisfactorily
HUGH FISHER. 41
THE next forenoon, my uncle gave me
my choice, to go down into the field with
the men and boys, or stay and do chores
about the house, and get acquainted with
matters and things. Upon the whole, I
chose the latter.
After bringing in some brush, to kindle
a fire in the oven, setting out the milk-
pans to dry in the sun, and feeding the
four little pigs, I strayed away into the
sitting-room, in hope to get sight of a
book. There was an ostrich egg-shell
under the glass, and two peacocks' fea-
thers waving over the top of it, which
served to interest me for a while, recalling
42 HUGH FISHER.
all I had read about ostriches and pea-
cocks, and making a little talk between
my aunt and myself. Ostrich egg-shells
and peacocks' feathers, but nothing like a
book met the eye. Then I strolled into
the barns, climbed up the hay-mow, ex-
amined the stalls, wishing, all the time, in
my heart, for Henry. "If Henry were
only here! If Henry were only here !"
While striving hard to drive away dull
thoughts, by swinging on a beam in the
new barn, a man stalked in wth two flails
on his shoulder. He stopped on seeing
me, and asked, "Who is this?"
"Hugh Fisher," I answered.
"Not old Hugh Fisher," he said, his
lips puckering with a smile.
"He's my uncle. I came to stay with
him. My mother is-dead !" It was hard
to say it.
"Shake hands, Hugh, then," he said,
HUGH FISHER. 48
in a friendly tone. "I know something
how to feel for you. I lost my mother,
about your age;" and seizing my hand, he
gave it a feeling grip. From that mo-
ment, I felt that I had a friend, though
who the man was, or where he came from,
I could not tell. His coarse, blue, home-
spun shirt covered a tall, lean, awkward
body, with a face pitted by the small-pox,
and shaded by long, grizzly hair. In spite
of a personal appearance which was any
thing but prepossessing on first sight, there
was a friendly expression in his eye and
around his mouth, which showed that he
had a heart, and a large one, too.
"This is not like where you came from,
is it ?" he said, flinging his flails upon a
rail. "How do you think you shall like
to be a farmer's boy ?"
I don't know," I said; it don't seem
like home, here."
44 HUGH FISHER.
Most likely not," he answered. You
must take time for that. It will take a
little while to get used to things; but we
have got a plenty of sweet air, and good,
"But it seems so different!" I sighed.
"You'll get used to it. Only make up
your mind to be contented. That's it."
"I can't make up my mind to any
such thing. I know I can't !" and the
hot tears gushed from my eyes. I was
ashamed of it, and turned to go out at
"Oh, yes, you can!" he said, sooth-
ingly. "Oh, yes, you can!-This a'n't
the worst place that ever was. Would
you not rather be here than be a soldier
going to battle ?"
I had just as lief be Washington, or
some such as he," answered I.
But where there is one Washington,
HUGH PISHnE. 45
there's a thousand who have to do the
dirty work; so that a thousand chances to
one you'd be among the men, and not
among the officers."
"You've read about him?" I said
And heard about him, too. My father
served under him."
I looked at the man with curiosity and
Suppose you go down in the field with
me," said he, looking for his hoe. "I
must go to work."
We set out together, talking as we went.
On reaching the edge of the potato-field,
I said, I wished I could live at his house;
"but, may-be, I can come down and see
you sometimes, if I knew where you lived,
and what is your name."
"My name is Jem," said the man.
"Are you the Jem I am going to sleep
46 HUGH FISHER.
with ?" I cried, with a pleased surprise.
"The Jem that lives here ?"
"Exactly so," answered he.
"Why!" I exclaimed. "Why!"
Then the sun, which had not seemed to
shine for many days, gleamed through the
clouds of my heart.
The family rose early, and went to bed
early. When bedtime came, I began to
wonder if I could say my prayers before
Jem. I felt uneasy and anxious, and tried
if I could not contrive to get up-stairs
and get all through before he came up.
So, taking time by the forelock, as soon as
supper was over I scampered off, and bolted
into my chamber like a locomotive. But,
lo! Jem was already there, undressing.
"I am dreadful tired," said Jem. I
did not speak, but stood, perplexed, on the
spot where I had suddenly stopped, not
knowing what to do.
HUGH FISHER. 47
Any thing the matter ?" asked Jem,
who could not help noticing my puzzled
Nothing particular," said I, going out
"Hallo!" cried Jem. "Something's
on your mind. Out with it! You'll feel
all the better for it."
"Nothing particular," I persisted, turn-
ing round and coming back. I was
tempted to give up my prayers that night.
I was sure I could not say them before
Jem. He a man, and I nothing but a
boy! I began also to undress, and, for
the first time since I could remember, was
tempted to lie down upon my bed without
prayer. I turned down the sheet, then
sat down on the bedside, then went to the
window. A severe conflict was going on
within my heart. To pray, or not to pray?
"The fear of man, which bringeth a
48 HUGH FISHER.
snare," sorely and strongly tempted me,
for once, to forego my accustomed devo-
tional duty. Boy as I was, there was the
world, sin and the devil on one side; my
conscience, my known and understood
duty, my obligations to God, on the other.
I as thoroughly understood what my duty
was in the matter, at that age, as I do
now. In neglecting it, I should have
done it deliberately, and with a full know-
ledge of the guilt. In doing so, I should,
in fact, have denied God; I should have
been ashamed to own him before men. It
was the sin and shame of Peter, when he
was afraid to own an acquaintance with
Jesus, his Master, on account of what
people would say. So was I, at that mo-
ment, ashamed of owning that I held
intercourse with my heavenly Friend,
my God and Father. Ashamed of
HUGH FISBAR. 49
Ashamed of Jesus I that dear Friend
On whom our hopes of heaven depend I"
Nobody, who had seen me at that mo-
ment, would have supposed that I was do-
ing a great wrong to my soul,-the great-
est wrong that can be done to the soul.
I was not stealing, I was not swearing, or
telling a lie, or drinking, or playing cards,
-no, none of these things, which people
could see, and say, "How wicked it is !"
It was a heart-sin: not less a sin for that.
It was not 4 sin against man: it was a sin
against God; and God looketh at the
heart. It was a moment full of tremen-
dous issues. It was the forming period
of my life. I was called, earlier than
most boys, to take a stand by myself, for
or against the principles in which I had
been educated. Should I now abandon
those religious habits in which I had been
reared from infancy, or should I abide by
50 HUGH FISHER.
them ? Should I carry them out, or throw
them asiae ? If they were important for
me at home, how much more important, as
safeguards and means of religious improve-
ment, away from home. I tremble when
I think of it. I tremble for other boys
in similar situations, because their future
commonly depends upon what they do and
think while they are boys. Think of that,
boys; and when you go away from home,
do not, in a cowardly way, abandon the
good home-principles in which you have
-been brought up.
Jem got into bed. He asked me what
I was looking out of the window at, and
why I did not come to bed. I told him
I was watching the fire-flies, which was
the truth, though not the whole truth.
Presently, he began to breathe hard: then
I knew he was asleep, and then I kneeled
iown and prayed, and afterwards crept
HUGaI FISHER. 61
into bed; but a voice seemed speaking in
my ear, and it said, Coward !" I turned
over and over, fixed my pillow and fixed
it again; but it still kept saying, Cow-
ard !" Coward! yes; something within
answered that it was but too true-too
As any one might see, this secret way
of getting over with my devotional duties,
well as it might serve for one night, could
not answer for every night, nor, indeed,
for the second. Was this sneaking strug-
gle to go on every bedtime? Ah! how
much better to be honest and true in the
first place! Remember that.
Well, the second night came. I meant
to be sure and go up first this time, and
finish my duty by the time Jem came up.
But, somehow or other, again he got the
start of me. I felt worse the second
night than I did the first. Cowardly, 1
62 HUGH FISHER.
knew I was, but the tempter kept saying,
"No matter; say your prayers after you
get into bed. God can hear you in the
bed as well as out of it." But I remem-
bered our mother had settled that point
a long while before, when I once asked
her about it. Hugh," she said, "if you
wanted to ask a great favour of a great
king, upon whom your life, your goods,
your friends, your happiness all depended,
would you dare approach him in a care-
less, thoughtless way? Would you not
choose the most respectful, decorous and
becoming manner, such as would befit
your dependent situation? You would
not come carelessly and indifferently to
God, the King of kings!"
Tumbling into bed and praying, when I
was not sick, looked too much like care-
lessness, and I was afraid to do it.
"Jem! was called from the bottom
HUGH FISHER. 58
of the stairs. "Jem!" It was my uncle's
voice. Jem drew on his trousers, and
went down. "How lucky!" I chuckled.
Seizing my little Testament, and hastily
reading over a few verses by the fast-
fading twilight, I threw myself on my
knees and prayed. Having yet scarcely
composed my mind for the solemn duty,
Jem was heard returning to the chamber.
My first impulse was to jump up. The
awful question, "Are you ashamed of
Jesus Christ, your only Friend, now your
father and mother are gone ?" came point-
edly to my conscience. I pressed my hand
against my eyes: fear, doubt, shame, duty,
conscience-all spoke together. That in-
stant was a turning-point. I kept kneel-
ing! The door opened, and I kept kneel-
Ing God be praised, he gave me strength
to confess him before the world,-for Jem
and the wood-house chamber were all the
64 HUGH FISHER.
world to me. Jem stopped, as he opened
the door and saw me on my knees. It
was very, very still. My heart beat vio-
lently, as, in a low and almost inarticulate
tone, I continued before my God in prayer.
How different were my feelings, when I
at last arose, from 'what they had before
been. A quiet, peaceful feeling came over
me, and it did not seem as if mother-
dear mother-was very far off. Perhaps
she was then one of those ministering
spirits, which the Bible says are some-
times sent on errands of love to this world
Jem and I both went to bed without
saying any thing. I was almost asleep,
when he turned over, and, laying his
brawny arm on my shoulder, said, Hugh,
who taught you to pray ?"
"My mother," answered I.
"So mine did me."
HUGH FISHER. 56
"Do you?" I asked.
"Ay, that's a master question, and put
by a boy like you, too, Hugh. Do I? I
ought to. I hold to people's praying, if
it's no more than civil; and I think folks
ought to pray in their families; that would
teach the young folks. If the old folks
don't, what can you expect?"
Because old folks don't, it's no reason
young folks shouldn't, though-is it, Jem?"
I asked. Having done my duty, I felt
"Hugh," said Jem; "Hugh, my boy!
I say, Hugh, you've got what I call pluck
-and it's worth more to anybody, my
father used to say, than all the silver and
gold in the world." With this, Jem rolled
over again to his side. Alas, how little
he knew me!
Sunday morning came. It was very
beautiful. I arose early, carefully wash.
66 HUGH FISHER.
ing and dressing before any one was
Jem was all the while in a deep sleep,
When he awoke, he started up, rubbing
his eyes, and asked what time it was. I
did not know, but told him nobody was up.
"Late enough, though, I'll be bound,"
said Jem, bestirring himself.
"Do we walk or ride to church, or
how?" I asked.
"How, I guess,"- answered Jem.
"That's the way they generally go.
Your uncle's folks are not much of go-to-
meeting hands-that's the long and short
"Don't they go at all?" I asked
"Pretty much so-so," answered Jem
"It's not as I was brought up."
"Nor I," I added. "No, indeed! we
always went to meeting, in all sorts of
HUGH FISHER. ST
weather: and I think it is wicked to stay
at home. It is not keeping the Sabbath
day holy, to stay at home when you can
go to church."
Good doctrine," said Jem, leaving the
When we met at breakfast, how dirty
and lazy did everybody look--sleepy and
listless, too! There was none of the busy
activity of week-days, except in my aunt,
who was getting a rich breakfast of pan-
cakes and fried pork and potatoes. When
the breakfast-horn sounded, my uncle was
whittling on a log in the yard; Nat was
playing with the dog, and Bill was fixing
his fishing -tackle.
"Is this Sunday ?" I asked myself.
After breakfast, I whispered to Nat,
and asked what time we went to meet-
"That is according to how you go."
58 HUGH FISHER.
"How shall you go ? How do you
commonly go ?"
"We are not much of going-to-meeting
folks," answered Nat.
"If you don't go, what do you do ?" I
asked impatiently, perhaps.
Do ? why, whatever we have a mind
to! Go a-fishing, or over to Pilot Moun-
tain, or over to the village-enough to do.
Bill says he's going trouting. I guess I
shall go, too; and, Hugh, have you not a
mind to join us ? At any rate, I want
just to borrow that nice little rod of your's,
that shuts in so snugly."
Nat said this in a more friendly tone
than I thought he could use. Nat and
Bill were no great talkers. They gene-
rally went about their business-they mind-
ing nobo ly, and nobody minding them.
Going trouting! How my father used
to tell us about going trouting, and how I
HUGH FISHER. 59
should like to go! Of all things, what
would be pleasanter than going trouting
Trouting where my father used to go, and
following up the little babbling brooks!
Then, too, I had his rod. It was the
only thing I took, besides my Bible and my
clothes. My mother gave it to me, soon
after he died. She said, Here, Hugh,
this shall be your's; keep it for your
Father used to love to go out, and sit on
the quiet banks and under shady trees, or
follow up the streams, on pleasant Satur.
day afternoons. Henry and I often used
to go with him. The rod was composed
of many pieces, to be lengthened and
shortened at pleasure. I had shown it to
Nat as my choice treasure, though, as yet,
I had never fished; and this was the only
time my cousins seemed to take any special
interest in me, or any thing pertaining to
60 HUJH FISHER.
me. I was a sorrowful little orphan then.
The idea of trying to comfort, or make
another happy, I do not suppose ever en-
tered their minds. They went upon the
maxim, that each must take care of one.
But now Nat wanted torborrow my rod to
go trouting, and he wanted me to go, too-
but-it was Sunday!
If you are going," said Nat, supposing
he saw "yes" in my earnest, glowing face,
"get off your best clothes,-mother won't
allow that !-and run, bring down your
rod,-be quick !"
"Why, it is Sunday !" I said, at length.
"What of that ?" asked my cousin.
"What are you talking about ?" asked
Bill, issuing from the wood-house with his
fishing-tackle. "You are going with us,
a'n't you, Hugh ?"
"Why, it is Sunday," I again said,-my
heart beating quickly.
HUGH FISHER. 61
"What of that, I say?" cried Nat, in
a vexed tone.
"I dare say, Hugh thinks we must do
nothing but sing psalms," said Bill, with
a tone of voice which I did not relish.
"No such thing !" I answered excitedly;
"but I do think Sunday is no day to go
fishing in. Doing so is not keeping it as
the Bible says, I am sure."
"Bible says ? What do you know about
what the Bible says ?" asked Bill.
"I think as much," joined Nat.
"I know it says, 'Remember the Sab-
bath-day, to keep it holy: in it thou shalt
do no work.'"
"No work!" exclaimed Nat; "that's
my doctrine. I don't go for work, except
when the hay or grain must be got in."
But you do trout," said Bill, giggling.
"Yes; so do I; and Hugh will be ready
enough tU let his rod go and do the work.
62 HUGH FISHER.
and he'll be glad enough to eat the trout,
if we'll catch 'em. That's the way with
these Sunday-folks, father says. There's
Squire Jones: he himself goes to meeting,
while he don't mind starting his men off
with a drove of cattle Sunday morning,
"Well, Hugh a'n't a man. So,-are
you going, or not going ?" cried Nat, with
an impatient jerk of his shoulders. "No-
body will mind or care, I guess, whether
you go or not."
"No; I should like, of all things, to
go trouting," I answered, "but I cannot
go on Sunday. My mother would not be
willing, I am very sure."
Bill muttered, "I wonder what sh8
knows about it now," while Nat said,
"Well, you won't object to lending me
your rod, and I'll pay you in fish to-night,
when I get home."
HUGH FISHER. 06
Oh, dear! what a perplexity presented
itself to my mind! How could I dare not
lend it to him ? How could I dare refuse
him? I certainly had just as lief lend it
to him on any other day, and I should
have been glad if I possessed any thing
of interest to my cousins, and glad of any
way of obliging them,-but letting out my
rod for Sunday-work: that was the rub!
I put my hands into my pocket, and pulled
them out again. I kicked the chips, and
ground the heel of my Sunday shoe into
Whatin the world said Nat impatiently,
are you thinking of? I want your fish-
The Sabbath, and the various ways of
desecrating it, had been much canvassed
in the town where we used to live, and it
so happened that my parents had entered
with a deep, intelligent interest into the
64 HUGH FISHER.
subject; and young as we were, Henry
and I had been thoroughly instructed on
the Sabbath-keeping side of the argument.
How little they thought that, as a boy, I
ever should be called to stand up alone
and test the principles in which they in-
structed me. The point now was, that I
should not only not break the Sabbath
myself, but should in no way aid or abet
others in so doing, remotely or directly,
nor knowingly and willingly let my pro-
perty violate the Sabbath.
"Oh, dear!" cries the Sabbath-keeping
owner of stock in a Sabbath-breaking
railway, "how can it be expected of me
to be accountable for what my property
does ? If I am squeamish, others won't
be-So the cars will run, whether or no."
"Oh, dear !" sighed poor I to myself;
"am I responsible for what my fishing-
rod does? If I am squeamish, Nat and
HUGH FISHER. 65
B'll will go and break the Sabbath, whether
"Yes, but you are responsible for what
you knowingly and willingly let your pro-
perty do," exclaims conscience; "you cer-
tainly are. Your property is a talent for
you to use aright. It is an influence by
which you show what your principles are,
or whether you have any settled principles
at all: you have no business, according
to Bible principles, to let your store for a
gambling-saloon, or loan your money for
the liquor-trade, or let your horses and
carriages to Sabbath pleasure-parties, or
keep your shares in Sabbath-breaking cor-
porations. I can't control corporations,'
you may say. No, you cannot, perhaps;
but as far as your example and authority
go, you can lift up your voice and example
against Sabbath-breaking, by quitting
them. If all men who respect the Sab
00 HUGH FISHER.
bath will stand up and do their duty in
this respect, a healthy public opinion will
be created, which will in the end stop
Sabbath desecration altogether. But I
am wandering from my subject.
There I stood alone,-I and my pro-
perty,-the nice little fishing-rod on one
side, and the world, with its dull, blunted
moral perceptions, in the shape of my cou-
sins Nat and Bill, on the other. I had
decided against trouting, and in favour of
Sabbath-keeping, I, my personal self; but
my fishing-rod, should I let that go ? All
the varied emotions swung to and fro
through my bosom much quicker than they
could be written.
"Hugh! I say," again exclaimed Nat,
"I say I want your fishing-rod. Go and
get it, I say."
Can't let my fishing-rod on the Sab-
bath-day," at last I had courage to say.
HUGH FISHER. 67
" You may have it whenever you wish on
It was out! My stand was taken! My
principles were declared Nor had I time
to notice Nat's angry and astonished look,
or to mind the awful curse which issued
from his mouth, for my aunt at that mo-
ment screamed from the pantry window-
Well, Hugh, I suppose by your looks
you want to go to meeting."
Yes, ma'am; I never stay at home."
"Well, your uncle has got a little busi-
ness to see to, in the morning. He'll take
the wagon, and we'll go. Bill, tell Jem
to wash the wagon-wheels."
Meanwhile I turned upon my heel and
hied away to the wood-house chamber.
The church was nearly three miles off,
up at "the Corner," as it was called. As
the people were scattered far and wide, and
often came from the distance of two, three,
68 HUGH FISHER.
and four miles, they remained in and
about the'church during the intermission,
which lasted not quite an hour. Sunday-
schools had not then been established
there. The Sabbath passed off more Sab-
bath-like than the morning promised, and
by half-past three in the afternoon we
reached home again. Home! But it did
not seem much like home to me. On
driving into the yard, we spied Bill and
Nat coming in an opposite direction, after
a seemingly successful day's operation.
"Hallo, mother!" shouted Nat, "we
must have these trout for supper."
"Cooking! cooking!" complained my
aunt; "I should think to-morrow morning
might do as well." The boys declared they
should be cooked-trout they'd have for
supper, anyhow. My uncle chimed in,
"Cook 'em, cook 'em, and not make afuss."
Jumping out of the wagon, I looked
HUGH FISHER. 69
wistfully round for Jem, but he was no-
where to be seen. Left to myself, what a
hungry desire did I feel for a book!
"Aunt," I asked, "are there no books
here?" following her as she went to pick
up some chips to kindle the fire.
"Books, child! you've asked me that
question a dozen times. Books! what do
you want of books ?"
She was warm, and that, perhaps, made
her fretful. I turned off through a side-
door in the wood-house, and bent my way
across the field to an old apple-tree, under
which I sat down-and wept. When the
horn sounded for supper, I went into the
house and took my seat at table, though
with but little appetite for food. Two
trout were lying on my plate.
Hugh likes trout," said Bill, slyly.
Hugh likes trout, if they a'n't caught
Sunday I said to myself eying the two
70 HUGH FISHER.
fishes. After eating a slice of bread and
butter, I laid down my knife and leaned
back in my chair. In fact, I had no heart
to eat at all.
Why don't you eat, child?" asked my
aunt; "you must needs be hungry. Taste
of the trout, they are proper good."
"I don't think he deserves any," ex-
claimed Nat, in any thing but an undertone.
"I don't know why he does not, I am
sure," answered the mother.
"I do," said Nat, scowling at me.
"Hugh don't like Sunday trout; he's
for having trout, fishing-tackle, and every
thing else keep the Sabbath, sing psalms
and do all such things," said Bill.
"And there he is in the right of it,"
replied my aunt, keeping on my side.
"What's all this talk about?" at last
asked my uncle roughly, looking round on
HUGH FISHER. 71
"Hugh is setting himself up for law and
gospel," exclaimed Nat.
"He won't eat a trout that is caught on
Sunday," said Bill.
"How is that, Hugh?" asked my
I am not hungry, sir."
"How is it about the trout, I say?"
he asked in a testy tone. "What right
have you, I should like to know, to set
yourself up for law and gospel here, in
I looked up at him, surprised.
"How is it about the trout? Why
don't you eat what is put on your plate ?"
"I am not hungry, sir," I answered
"Not hungry That's not the point"
His nose began to look very red.
"What, I say, are you and the boys
12 HUGH FISHER.
I did not know we were wrangling,
What does all this amount to ?" asked
my aunt, beginning to look disturbed, and
casting an anxious glance towards her
husband. In fact, Uncle Hugh of one
time was not the uncle Hugh of another.
"If Hugh has done his supper, that is
"But 1 want an answer. What is it
about the trouting, I say ?" looking at me
"Hugh would not let me have his fish-
ing-rod to go trouting, because 'tis Sun-
day," said Nat with a sneer.
And he wouldn't go with us, because
it's Sunday," added Bill.
"No, nor eat a trout, because they
broke the Sabbath by being caught,'
shouted Nat, with a loud, boisterous laugh.
"Is that so ?" asked Uncle Hugh, set-
HUGH FISHER. 78
tling his eye on me. "Are you such a
fellow as all that comes to ? Is it so ?"
I was afraid to answer.
"Hugh, I say, are you all that ?"
At last, I tremblingly answered, "Yea,
sir, I am just what Nat and Bill said. I
was brought up to think so."
Odds! bobs!" exclaimed my uncle ex-
citedly, I don't stand that from any boy.
Get out of my sight," looking angrily at
me, and raising his voice to a high key.
"Odds! bobs! you set yourself up here
for law and gospel!"
Hush, hush," said my aunt. What is
all this noise about Hugh has said or
done no harm. He was asked his opinion,
and he honestly gave it."
Meanwhile, I left the table.
"Who does the boy set. himself up to
be ?" said my uncle in an angry tone, as I
went out into the pantry. "The lazy,
74 HUGH FISHER.
snivelling dog! He has not earned the
salt of his porridge since he's been here!
My word for it, he'll never be any thing!
No use to nobody! The lazy, snivelling
My uncle's morning business had not
gone according to his mind. Indeed, every
thing seemed to have gone wrong with him
since our return from meeting, until the
dark clouds which had been gathering
over his spirit burst upon my poor head
with all fury. As I afterwards learned,
such storms were not infrequent; but this
first one which I had witnessed chilled and
frightened me. Straying out into the
yard, the first object which caught my
eye, sitting on the large flat stone before
the door, was Jem, who caught me by the
hand, jerking it up and down with a know-
ing and approving nod.
"Pluck !" whispered Jem, in a low, em-
HUGH FISHER. 76
phatic tone. Then catching up the two unge
milkpails that stood beside him, he set off
full speed to the cow-yard. I followed him.
"Oh! this a'n't like my own home," I
said pitifully, squatting down by Jem's
side, as he sat milking old Whiteface. I
don't know what I shall do? I almost
wish I was a trout, swimming beautifully
about in some lonely little brook. Uncle
is dreadfully angry with me."
"Supposing you was a trout, maybe
Ned might catch you. So you see every
stick has its crook. There's never any use
in wishing. You've got to take things as
they come, bitter or sweet," said Jem,
milking with all his might.
Jem's suggestion cured me of ever wish-
ing to be a trout. "But uncle's dreadfully
angry with me," I added; "and I don't
know exactly what for, either, nor how he
came to be."
7b HUGH FISHER.
"He has such spells," whispered Jem.
"It is a ba. spirit. He most commonly
keeps it corked up, but once in a while he
lets it fly, and then, says I, there's a storm
for somebody. It will leave him to-night,
and he'll be Uncle Hugh again to-morrow."
I looked inquiringly at him. What did
he mean ? He said no more, but went on
milking. They are all angry with me:
Bill and Nat too. My aunt is not. But,
Jem," I said, "I could not do otherwise,
nohow; it is just as mother would like me
to do." And the thought of my mother's
kind and gentle face was like to break my
heart. "Oh!" I sighed, "what am I to
come to! and what will become of me,
"Don't feel bad," said Jem, turning
round and smiling on me, "don't feel
bad, Hugh. You'll come out well enough
if you keep on as you've begun, honouring
HUGH FISHER. 77
your parents and obeying God. God
himself will take care of you. Only have
pluck, Hugh, only have pluck; and all
will be well. Only think of Daniel's
pluck! He wasn't going to mind the king
and fall down to worship the image, if 'twas
made of gold. No, he said he wouldn't
no-how, so. the king put him into the lions'
den. Did the lions eat him up ? No, in-
deed! God took care of Daniel because he
minded him rather than the king. Daniel
walked straight in among the lions. He
was not afraid. No, Hugh, he had pluck!
That's it, Hugh! Stand up like a man,
and hold to your principles till you see
they are wrong."
Jem's words comforted me very much,
so I said, You've been to meeting to-day,
Jem, I know."
"Yes," answered Jem, "I always cal-
culate to go; but I don't go to that great
78 HUGH FISHER.
white meeting-house at the Corner: our
meetings are held in a little brick school-
house, off by Pilot Mountain."
Oh, my! How I wanted to go to his
meeting-Jem's meeting, in a little brick
school-house by Pilot Mountain.
"Mayn't I? Mayn't I go with you to
your meeting, Jem ?" I asked. earnestly,
for I seemed to feel that his meeting must
be like my mother's meeting; Jem talked
so good, and so much like her.
"That's as the folks say," answered
Jem. Maybe they'll let you, sometimes."
Here was a bright spot.
The first thing I did the next morning
was to get out my fishing-rod.
"What's that for?" asked Jem, who
Going to offer it to Nat."
"Do you think Nat deserves it, when
he tried to mike a difficulty?" asked Jem
HUGH FISHER. 7.9
Oh, dear! I lay thinking of that very
thing in the night. I did not feel like
offering it to him, but my mother used to
say show yourself a friend, if people are
ever so unfriendly. It was not because I
did not want to lend my rod, but I did
not want it to be used on Sunday: so, as I
wanted Nat to understand how it was,
I thought I ought to offer it to him on
I saw Nat by the well, and hurried down
to him, rod in hand. "Here's my rod,"
I said, timidly holding it out to him. I'd
just as lief you would have it as not."
What did Nat do but snatch it from my
hand, and throw it'with all violence across
I don't want your old fishing-rod!" he
Such was the state of affairs in my Uncle
*dung to runnl.
DURING the summer, all the boys whose
labour was worth any thing on the farm
were kept at home; so I did not go to
school until winter. When the winter-
school began, I attended also. The school-
house was quite two miles from my uncle's,
over by Pilot Mountain,-the very same
little brick school-house where Jem went
to meeting! It was a very pleasant walk in
summer, but a very bleak and cold one in
winter. I was thankful to go to school
again. My books looked very precious
to me, and I took hold of my studies with
the best appetite in the world. The mas-
ter, a young man from college, was kind-
hearted and intelligent. He loved the
HUGH FISHER. 81
boys, and the boys loved him. There is no
lack of real desire to improve, nor of earn-
est, thorough study, in a country winter-
school. Opportunities for improvement
are few and far between. The older
youth having the opportunity to attend
school not more than three or four months
in a year, those months are diligently
heeded while they do last.
The class in which I was placed was
composed of nearly twenty boys and girls,
most of them older than myself. The
class, as a class, made a very poor figure
in grammar and spelling, which deter-
mined the master to offer a prize of a
silver pencil-case to the one who made
the greatest improvement in those two
branches. As he held up the silver pen-
cil-case, oh, how it glistened! A beauti-
ful, new, silver pencil-case for our own!
Now grammar had never been one of my
82 HUGH FISHER.
favourite studies. Indeed, I used to wish
I was a king, just to make a bonfire of all
the grammars in the world. I wished the
pencil could be given to the best arithme-
tic scholars, or the best in geography, or
something more interesting than gram-
mar: but grammar and spelling were the
branches for which the prize was to be
given, so there was nothing for us to do
but to study. The worst of it, with me,
was, I had not the book which the other
One morning, towards the last of De-
cember, Jem said he guessed there would
be no school that day, at least for me.
The fine snow was already falling, and
every now and then a gust of wind whirled
it in eddies through the air. I always got
up with Jem, whose first duty was to make
a roaring fire in the great kitchen fire-
place. By the light of it I used, some.
HUGH FISHER. 88
times, to get an hour's study before day-
My uncle was then from home. After
breakfast, the boys, Nat and Bill, con-
cluded it was of no use to go into the
woods that day. On pleasant winter-days,
the men all went to the forest to cut down
and chop up wood. They meant to keep
snug by the fire that day, they said, and
play checkers or fox-and-geese. I put on
my great-coat,-rather tight and short for
me, for it was its third winter, and I had,
of late, begun to grow very fast.
Hugh, I don't think you'd better go
to school, to-day," said my aunt; "the
wind howls dreadfully, and it's a long way
"The master wanted us never to miss,
and he's going to explain all about verbs
to-day" I said. "I was afraid, once, I
should ne-rer understand about active-
84 HUGH FISHER.
transitive and active-intransitive verbs;
but now I am determined to try,-besides,
I haven't the book they study in. I learn
out of Joe Price's."
"What nonsense !" exclaimed Bill, who
was fixing some corn to parch. "What
good will it ever do ? I'd never bother
my head with it, and I used to tell the
It helps us to talk and write properly,"
I wonder how much wiser Hugh will
ever be for it?" added Nat.
"It will do me good to try, though,-
won't it? Mother used to say there is as
much in trying to overcome difficulties, as
there is in actually getting the thing we
Oh, your ears !" said my aunt; "you
must tie them up, or they'll freeze;" and
she pulled an old silk pocket-handkerchief
HUGH FISHER. 85
out of her pocket, which she put over my
head, and tied it under the chin.
He a'n't warm enough yet," said Jem,
who just then came in with an armful of
wood. "It is nipping cold. It is my ad-
vice to Hugh not to go to school to-day."
"But, Jem, to-day's the day the mas-
ter's going to explain something; and if
he can go there and explain, I'm sure the
boys ought to go and hear."
My aunt just then thought of a blue
frock, which Bill had outgrown while it
was yet as good as new, and this she went
"That's it I" said Jem, "that's it!" So
over my plaid coat, shrunk on all sides,
she threw the coarse blue frock, which
came over my knees, and fell loosely over
the body. Thus armed and equipped, I
set forth for my two miles walk.
"Better stay at home and snap corn
86 HUGH FISHER.
with us," said Bill, as I went out at the
"I wish, with all my heart, he would!"
added my aunt. Jem went out of the gate
with me, and followed me with his eye until
I made the turn towards Pilot Mountain.
What a blusterer met me at the turn!
The north wind hurled troops of snow-
flakes right into my eyes, nose and mouth,
and, for a few moments, I was almost
blinded. "Oh!" I cried, bending to the
blast; "but General Washington's sol-
diers had a worse time than this,-they
had not warm clothes on;" and my heart
kept warm with thankfulness for the blue
frock and silk kerchief. "I've got no-
thing but the wind and snow to fight with;
they had an enemy-a real enemy; wind
and snow are not enemies-not real ene-
mies!" although, just at that moment, I
could not see clearly that they were real
HUGH FISHER. 87
friends. On I went, until I came to a
piece of woods, which partially sheltered
me from the driving blast. Here I stopped
to take breath. No living thing was in
sight: no boy, no man, no sleigh. At
other times, this was a much-travelled
road; now, the snow was fast drifting
into heaps. The pine-trees cracked and
groaned under the storm, and every thing
wore a wild and dreary look.
"If I only had Joe Price's book at
home, I don't believe I should have come,"
I began to say, my face smarting with the
cold. I almost dreaded to emerge from
the shelter of the woods. Whenever we
were disposed to find fault, be discontented
or grow faint-hearted, my mother used to
cite us or by contrasting our situation
with that of those who were worse off than
ourselves. "Well," (1 now remember
saying to myself,) this a'n't so bad as
88 HUGH FISHER.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the
fiery furnace. God took care of them, and
he will take care of me. It isn't so bad
as Napoleon going over the Alps, when
the avalanches came tumbling down the
mountain-side, burying up his men. 'Tis
not so bad as being at sea and the ship
going to pieces !" And with these exam-
ples, I summoned up my flagging courage
and went on my way. It was tough
"If I only had Joe Price's book, I
don't believe I should have come. Oh,
dear! but I have not Joe Price's book,
nor any book that they learn the parsing
and spelling lessons in! Uncle Hugh
might get me one-oh, dear!" and with
this I sank down behind the stone-wall to
take breath. I thought of my mother.
She was in the cold ground, and I almost
wished I was by her side. How lonely
HUGH FISHER. 89
and desolate I felt How cold and frown-
ing.was every thing!
At last, the brick school-house appeared
in sight. I straightened up and began to
run; but my hands were too much be-
numbed to hold up my blue frock, and
down I tumbled into a drift. "It is not
an avalanche," I said, scrambling up and
making my way as fast as I could, until I
reached the school-house door. How glad
was I at the sight of it! I seized the
latch! It was fastened, and the snow was
drifting against it. "Oh, mercy!" I
cried,-and well might I have cried for
mercy,-for my strength and warmth were
now completely exhausted. The school-
house locked and empty! The storm was
now getting into my soul, when the door
was opened from within, and the round,
warm face of Joe Price himself peeped
through the open crack.
90 HUGH FISHER.
"It's Hugh!" he cried in a friendly
tone,--" Hugh Fisher,-and he can't but
just get out- of the bank. We locked the
door because the wind forced it open.
Oh! Hugh is as cold as he can be."
"The master soon appeared. My poor
boy!" he said, drawing me in and helping
off my outside gear. I could scarcely
move nor speak. But the fire sparkled,
the flames swept up the broad chimney's
throat. The master spoke kind and com-
forting words to me. The scholars all
looked glad to see me. Oh, how good and
delightful did that school-room seem to
me! The storm without appeared to die
away as the pleasant warmth stole through
my limbs. It came from friendly faces as
well as the friendly fire.
The school was quite small in numbers :
instead of fifty, there were twenty-one,
and those mostly from the neighboring
HUGH FISHER. 91
farms. Of our own class, there were nine.
The master soon gave us a recess, for 1
found my walk had consumed far more
time than usual. After the boys had col-
lected around me, and then dispersed out
of doors for a frolic among the drifts, he
came and sat down beside me. I still kept
the first chair I sank into on reaching the
room. "Well, Hugh," said the master,
"there is no boy here who came as far as
you did. You are a courageous fellow!
What made you venture so, in a day like
Oh, sir," I answered, I did not want
to miss hearing about the verbs. Then,
'tis not as though I had a book of my own
to study the parsing-lessons out of, at
home. I haven't got a book-I told Un-
cle Hugh. I study out of Joe Price's
book-he lets me. I have to study when
I get the best chance, you see."
UW HUGH FISHER.
"What did your Uncle Hugh say, when
you asked him ?"
"He said, Odds bobs! I might take
Nat's and Bill's books, or go without.'
They have not got this book; so I do the
best I can."
I can never forget the very tender look
which the master bestowed upon me.
And you are an orphan ?" he said.
"Yes, sir," I answered. I suppose I
have got to make my way in the world
alone. I always wanted to get an educa-
tion. My father and mother both meant
me to have one--but"-
"But what, Hugh?" asked the master.
"Things are so altered now, sir!" I
suppose I said it mournfully, for the
thought of it always made me sad, in
spite of myself. Uncle Hugh thinks it
is worse than folly to get an education.
He never will hear to a word of it. I ex-
HUGH FISHER. U
pect; but I am willing to work for it, )r
shift almost any way."
"Well, my boy," said the master, pat-
ting me on the head as he arose to call
the school to order, "well, Hugh, where
there's a will, there's a way."
We had a very pleasant school that day.
Joe Price and I studied together. The
master made us understand about transi-
tive verbs as clear as day, and new light
was thrown upon my mind about decimal
fractions. There were fewer of us there,
and when the class went to recite, there
was time to ask the master a great many
more questions. Ever after that, I under-
stood decimal fractions and transitive
verbs. Oh, it was so pleasant to study!
I did not mind that dreadful walk. It
cost much less than it was worth. I
learned a great deal that stormy day.
Then, somehow or other, the friendly feel-
94 HUGH FISHER.
ings of the boys did me good. Uncle
Hugh's family were not a very kindly-
spoken family, although, perhaps, they
were quite willing to do for each other
when worse came to worst. They were
very different from my father's family.
But the day wore away, and fast enough,
too, and as the early shades came on in
the afternoon, I began to think what a
tough job it would be to get home again.
After school was dismissed and the boys
were scrambling for tippets, caps and
coats, and Joe Price was urging me to go
to his house, which I never thought for a
moment I could do, the master came up,
and laying his hand on my shoulder, said,
"Hugh, you must come home with me
to-night. I cannot think of letting you
go home such a tempestuous night as this:
-you would, in all probability, lose your
way and perish,-it is very much drifted."
HUGH FISHER. 95
Could I? Should I I was sure I should
like to do it.
"Will they not scold at me for not corn
"I'll see to that," said the master.
"No, they shall not scold at you."
So I was going home with the master.
As we all walked out together into the
still stormy air, how thankful I was that
the long, lonely walk to Uncle Hugh's
was not before me. Joe Price and I kept
a little while together, then he stopped,
and I went on to the next house, where
the master boarded. He took me into
the kitchen, where the family were,-Mr.
Drew and Mrs. Drew, and two or three
daughters, and a married son and his
wife and the baby. He told them I was
Hugh Fisher, and how I braved the storm
and came to school, and how, when I had
reached the school-house, I sank, almost
96 HUGH FISHER.
exhausted, into a snow-drift by the door
And then Mrs. Drew took me by the
hand, and said she was very glad the
master brought me to their house, and
placed a little green chair by the fire, for
me to sit down in and warm my feet.
Dear Mrs. Drew! she seemed to speak
like my mother. Then Mr. Drew said,
"Ah, yes; I remember this little fellow's
father: he was as brave as a lion. He's
just like him-got the turn of his eye.
Well, Hugh, I hope you'll be as good a
man as your father. Your father, when
he was a boy, was one of the best boys
Oh, what good words were those! No-
body here had ever spoken so of my father
before. Uncle and Aunt Hugh had spoken
of him, but in such a way that I would
rather they had not spoken.
I could not help drawing my chair close
HI uH FISHER. V1
by Mr. Drew, and asking him to tell me
more about my father.
After a good supper, on which we sought
God's blessing, the great family Bible was
laid upon the table before Mr. Drew, who
put it before the master to read. The
master read a chapter, a hymn was sung,
and then we all kneeled down and good
Mr. Drew led in prayer. How he thanked
God for his mercies, and how he prayed
for any poor wanderers who might be out
on a night like this! I could not help
being afraid somebody was in those pine-
woods that were groaning and cracking in
the storm. When we were seated, Miss
Clara Drew came and said, in a low voice,
" My dear, is any thing the matter with
you? Do you feel quite well ?"
Until that moment, I was scarcely con-
scious of the tears on my cheeks. Oh!"
I answered, trying to suppress a sob.
98 HUGH FISHER.
"oh! no; I am very well--only it seems
so much like home here."
This was the first time I had seen
family-worship since my mother's death.
It was like a soft south wind to my soul.
Then Mr. Drew asked me to come and
sit by him, and he talked to me a good
while about my father, and asked all about
our family,-my mother, Henry and Ag-
nes. It was so pleasant to talk about
them and not feel afraid.
I do not know what time in the evening
it was, when Cato, the watch-dog in the
wood-house, set up a terrible barking.
Somebody's coming !" said Mr. Drew,
starting and looking round. "Joshua, had
you not better go and see what the matter
Joshua was his married son. He put
his book quickly down, and was going to
100 HUGH FISHER.
"Thank God!" exclaimed Jem, "alive
and well, too!" Jem looked like the storm-
king himself. He was on horseback, a
buffalo-skin tied round his body, and his
seal-skin cap drawn all over his ears. His
horse was prancing and panting, kicking
the drift that was making against the door
in every direction, while the flakes and
the wind swept around Jem, whirling and
eddying in the wildest manner possible.
"Come in! Come in!" called out Mrs.
Drew from the kitchen.
"No, thank ye," answered Jem. "Well,
Hugh, you're alive and well! When you
didn't come, and I went a long piece hal-
looing, to meet you and help you along,
and when your aunt began to be fidgety, the
boys said they guessed you had got snug
quarters somewhere; but we couldn't be
sure of that,-says I: I can't go to bed
and not know but Hugh is in a snow-bank.