A 'iWi-V"Loak 3,
The Baldwin Library
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HOME AND ITS PLEASURES:
STORIES FOR YOUNG
WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY HABLOT K. BROWNE
ADDEY AND CO., 21, OLD BOND STREET.
(LATE CUNDALL AND ADDEY)
THOMPSON AND DAVIDSON,
GREAT ST. HELENS.
THE HOLIDAY 1
THE MAIL TRAIN. 19
WORK AND PLAY 33
GOOD ANGELS 45
MAY DAY AT HOME .. 56
THE FARM SUPPER 70
A SAILOR BOY'S STORY 81
A WINTER'S TALE 90
THE HOLIDAY. 1
THE MAIL TRAIN.. 19
DOING LESSONS 33
THE MORNING BATH 45
SPRING-PLAYING AT MAY DAY. 56
SUMMER-HAY UN-MAKING 70
AUTUMN-FATHER AT DINNER 81
WINTER-A WINTER'S TALE 90
THE little girls who attended Mrs. Page's school in the
village had just been dismissed with the agreeable promise
that, in consequence of their good behaviour and progress
during the last two months, "this day week should be a
holiday." They dispersed in different directions home-
ward in high spirits at the thought, and full of plans as
to the pleasantest way of spending it.
There was one among them, a girl of about twelve, who,
as she went on, was surrounded by a knot of the youngest
children in the school; one clung to her frock, two had
hold of her hands, and three or four capered round and
round her, all asking questions at once.
"What shall you do Emmy Forester? Will your grand.
papa take you out anywhere ?" Should you like best to
go out or stay and play at home ?" Do you think I had
better finish dressing the doll you gave me ?" "Don't you
think I had better dig up my garden again ? you know you
said it was not pretty."
Emmy answered these questions very satisfactorily as it
seemed, for they all parted from her with smiles and kisses,
and she rung at the gate of her own home as full of smiles
as any of them. She knew very well how she should spend
the holiday. Her grandpapa had promised her that on the
first opportunity he would take her to London. It took
only two hours to go there by the train, but'she had never
been there yet. She had lived always, as long as she could
remember anything, alone with her kind old grandpapa
in this quiet village, for she had no papa nor mama, nor
brothers nor sisters. But Emmy had some cousins who
lived in London, and they had told her when they came
to see her about many of the wonderful sights there, about
the many hundreds and thousands of houses, the crowds of
people, the carriages and omnibuses and horses, the river
Thames, the bridges, the steamboats, St. Paul's with its
great dome, the Tower, and above all the Zoological Gar-
dens. The idea that she should see all these things, in-
eluding the real living lions and tigers, and all the animals
and birds and serpents, was delightful. She looked so
joyous when Mary the maid opened the gate, that she
exclaimed Why, Miss Emmy, what has happened ?"
The good news was quickly told to Mary, and very soon
Emmy and her grandpapa were seated at tea talking over
this excursion to London, and considering how to manage
to see as much as possible in one day without spending
more money than they could afford. They talked of
nothing else till bed-time; Emmy could not go to sleep
for thinking, and when she did, she dreamed that she was
on the river Thames, which looked like silver, and there
was an elephant walking on the bank among tall trees, and
she wondered where all the houses and people were. When
she awoke in the morning she said to herself, "only six
days more." She was obliged to try very much to attend
to her lessons at school that day; but try as she would, she
could not help thinking of London, till at last Mrs. Page
said very gravely, "Miss Forester, what can you be thinking
of?" So then she was very sorry and really did attend.
As the time drew nearer she longed more and more for
the happy day. They were to start at seven in the morning
so as to have plenty of time. Mary washed and ironed her
best frock and trimmed her bonnet with new ribbons;
every thing was ready; her grandpapa seemed as pleased
as she was herself; and now the last day of the week had
come, and to-morrow was the holiday. Emmy danced up
the garden walk when she came home in the evening, sung
all the time she was getting ready to go down to tea; then
peeped into the drawer where her frock was, then looked
out at the window once more to see if the setting sun was
red or golden, and to guess from these signs if the weather
would be fine; then she ran merrily down stairs and found
her grandpapa in his arm chair waiting for her with his
A letter lay on the table directed to her. She saw
it was from her dear nurse Susan, who had taken care of
her like a mother when she was a baby and had only left
her rather more than two years ago, to be married to a
gardener who lived in the old town of Winchester. Emmy
loved her very much, and never forgot her, and now she
opened the letter eagerly.
"My dear Young Lady," it began, "I am in great
sorrow, and I would not write to you to make your heart
sad about me if I did not know that you would be grieved
THE HOLIDAY. 5
if trouble had come upon me and I had never told you, so
as to give you time to help me, if help can come to me, and
yet I hardly think any can. My dear young lady, my
husband has had the misfortune to have a leg and an arm
broken by a carriage running over him as he was turning
the corner of a street with his tools over his shoulder. He
was carried home to me in this state a month ago and he
still lies helpless. I know he frets not to be able to work
for us, and this hinders him from getting well. He does
not complain, but is very patient, and yet he suffers terribly.
My sister Jane came home to us the day before our mis-
fortune, so ill she could not stay in her place. It was
too hard for her, and she had got a bad cough there,
and I have a great fear she will go into a decline. But
what is my greatest grief of all is about my pretty baby;
for my husband, please God, will recover-oh, yes! I pray
God, he will recover, and then these hard times will be
over with us, and my sister may get better if you will do
me the kindness I am going to ask of you; but my poor
little boy is pining away and I cannot see how to save him.
"But for my sister Jane, if you, my dear young lady,
will ask your grandpapa, who is always so kind to every-
body, if he will lend us half-a-sovereign, she could go home
" THE HOLIDAY.
to mother, and I think it would do her good, and we would
gratefully repay him when John can go to work again. I
feel sometimes as if my heart would break, and I do long
to see your dear face again, at times, very sorely.
Your loving humble Servant,
The tears had gathered in Emmy's eyes as she read this
Look, grandpapa !" she cried as she handed it to him,
"poor Susan, dear Susan! and the pretty little baby that
she wrote to me about so happily in the spring," and, as
her grandpapa read, she leaned over his shoulder and her
tears fell on the paper.
Poor Susan !" he said with a sigh, I will certainly
lend her the ten shillings. I am very sorry for her."
Emmy continued to lean on the back of his chair with
her face buried in her hands. She thought of the pretty
baby and fancied that perhaps he might die even to-morrow
while she was amusing herself, and that the poor sick man
would be so miserable that he would die to. Then she
felt as if she could not enjoy anything to-morrow. Then
the last words of the letter came into her mind I do long
THE HOLIDAY. "
to see your dear face, at times, very sorely." She wished
she could go to Susan, but she said to herself it was
" impossible "; and yet while she said so, a way to do it
came back again and again to her mind. She could not
bear to think of it, but still it came again. At last she
started up and took hold of her grandpapa's hand, saying as
she looked in his face,
"Is it farther to Winchester than to London, grandpapa?
Would it cost you more to take me there."
No, my child," he replied, "it is not as far nor as
Then let us go there to-morrow instead of to London,"
she said quickly, but as she said so she threw her arms
round his neck and cried bitterly.
"Bless you my child for this wish," he said, "I will
gladly take you to see Susan, and I hope we may be per-
mitted to give her help and comfort."
When Emmy lay down to sleep that night her heart was
glad though all her bright hopes for the morrow were gone,
and though she often had to wipe the tears from her cheeks.
It was a lovely morning, and when Emmy had set out
with her grandpapa, she did not feel unhappy any more.
She thought of nothing but the pleasure of seeing her dear
nurse again, and trying to comfort her, and then she felt as
if her grandpapa would be sure to make them all well. He
could always help everybody, and he was once a doctor,
and knew so well how to manage everything. Oh, she was
sure that they should be able to comfort Susan!
But when at last they found the little street in which
Susan lived, and when they tapped at the door, and a voice
that sounded very sad said Come in," she felt afraid to
look round her, so her grandpapa went first and led her in,
and she saw Susan looking so ill, so changed, she hardly
knew her again; and there was poor John in a little bed
by the wall, and there was a pale girl sitting near the
window at work, and the little, thin, wasted baby lay in his
mother's lap. The room had hardly any furniture, and felt
close and hot. Emmy could only throw her arms round
Susan's neck and sob and kiss her.
But soon she heard Susan's words of surprise and delight
at seeing her, and then she heard her grandpapa talking
cheerfully to them all, and it seemed as if every thing grew
brighter. She looked up.
"Oh yes, let me look at your dear face again," Susan
cried, "how well you look, how you are grown Oh, how
good of you to come to see me; but I might have known
you would with your kind heart that always felt for every-
Very soon Emmy had made acquaintance with the little
boy. He smiled at her, and at last let her take him on her
lap, and her grandpapa looked at him, and asked questions
about him, and then told Susan not to be so fearful about
him for he only wanted change of air and nourishing food.
Emmy looked at him as he said so, and whispered some-
thing to him. Then he smiled and said, that if Susan
would part with him for a time, his little Emmy would
be his nurse and make him well for her, and that if Jane
would come home with them, she could help, and she
would get well too very soon in the pure country air; and
then he told John he must make haste and recover his
strength, for he thought he knew of a good place in the
village where he lived, if he and Susan did not mind
leaving Winchester, and coming there as soon as he was
able to move.
It took a little while to persuade Susan to do all this.
She said, over and over again, that she was very grateful
to Mr. Forester; that it was very good of him; that she
did not know how to bless and thank him enough; but she
looked at her little Johnnie, and then she faltered, and
seemed not able to part with him. But the sick man
raised himself on his pillow, and spoke so strongly and well,
that she felt he was right. He told her Mr. Forester knew
best what was good for them; that it was a blessed prospect
held out to them; that their dear baby would die if he
stayed here, and that he had lost his place by his long
illness, and would gladly go wherever Mr. Forester wished.
So Susan consented.
Now Jane began to get ready, and Susan packed up a
little bundle of clothes for Johnnie, and Emmy saw her
grandpapa give her some money to get all that her husband
wanted, and heard him tell her to keep him very quiet and
to let more air into the room, and keep him cheerful, and
in three weeks he might be well enough to move. Then
they set out homeward. Johnnie did not cry; he seemed
to have become quite fond of Emmy already, and went fast
asleep on her lap as soon as the train started.
Mary was quite surprised to see such a party come home;
and soon got tea ready for them, and then Emmy went up
and helped her to make a little bed for Johnnie, and to
prepare a room next to her own for Jane. Mary wished
to put Johnnie's bed there, but Emmy begged so hard to
have it in hers, that Mary consented. Emmy reminded
her that she could call Jane if he awoke in the night, but
he never did awake: he slept quite quietly. Emmy awoke
at sunrise, and stole softly to him to look at him, and there
he lay fast asleep, so she ventured to give him one kiss and
then crept into bed again. When it was time to get up,
she went to Jane and told her to lie still for she would
wash and dress him. She said she had often seen the
women in the village dress their children, and knew how
to do it; so as soon as he opened his eyes and held out his
arms for his mother, she went to him, played with him,
shewed him some pretty flowers, and gave him a ball to
hold in his hands, and then she took him up, and washed
him and put on his clothes, talking to him all the time,
and amusing him so that he did not cry at all. Then she
carried him out into the garden.
It was a warm bright morning and the birds were singing
merrily. He heard them and turned up his little face to
see where the sound came from. She pointed up to the
trees and said, "hark!" and he pointed up too and made a
sound very like "hark !" He was nearly a year and a half
old, and ought to have been able to run about and talk a
little by this time, only he had been ill for so long he had
never learned. But Emmy soon found he understood her.
She carried him round the garden, stopping to look at all
the bright flowers, and letting him smell them and touch
them, and then she got a large cloak and laid it on the
grass and seated him upon it, and picked some daisies and
gave to him. He was so pleased with them! He examined
them, made them up into little bunches, and held them
out to give to her; then, when the birds sung he held up
his hand and said, "hark !" and dropped the daisies; and
then he had to collect them all again. When grandpapa
came out to take his morning walk, he was quite pleased
to see his little Emmy so employed, and she ran to him
with a face full of happiness. He presently sent out
Johnnie's bread and milk into the garden, and when
Emmy was obliged to go to breakfast that she might be
in time for school, Jane came and fed him.
Emmy was obliged to say to herself, "I must go to
school, and I must attend to my lessons, and not think of
Johnnie;" and she succeeded and Mrs. Page praised her
very much that day. In the evening she was rewarded
by Jane coming to meet her, drawing a little wooden
carriage, that her kind grandpapa had borrowed, with the
little fellow seated in it; and he had already a little colour
in his cheeks and lips. This was the way Emmy went on
for several days. Jane began to look much better, and
Johnnie could crawl about the grass plot, and certainly
said some words. He could say mother" and father;"
at least he made sounds that Emmy said she was sure
meant mother and father.
And now she had another employment that was very
pleasant. There was a common close to the village, and
at one corner of it there was a stile that led into a large
field, with a cottage close to the stile by a large tree. Her
grandpapa had often said he should like to rent this field,
and keep a cow; and now he made up his mind he would
do it; and that he would have the cottage repaired, and
let John and Susan live in it; and John should be his
gardener, and attend to the cow and the hay-making, and
all that had to be done, and Susan could take in washing.
It was a delightful plan.
Every morning and evening, now, Emmy and her grand-
papa went to see how the repairs at the cottage were going
on. It was soon all put to rights, painted, and white-
washed. Then Mary came and scrubbed the floor, and
Jane cleaned the windows, and Emmy tied up the roses on
the porch, and planted some geraniums and fuchsias in the
little garden in front, while Johnnie sat on the door-step,
looking at a picture-book of birds and animals. Every day
he learned something new; he even began to walk; but
they did not tell Susan so in any of their letters. That
was to be a surprise for her. The cottage had a good-
sized kitchen, in which there was a stove and an oven and
boiler; a wash-house at the back, with a copper in it, and
two bed-rooms up stairs. How nice it will be," thought
Emmy to herself, to run across the common, and see dear
Susan ironing at the window. I know she will have it all
so clean. I wish there was a row of plates on those shelves
and a gay-looking tea tray under them. Don't you think,
grandpapa," she said aloud, that it will look very com-
fortable when all the plates and cups and things are put on
the shelves ?"
Her grandpapa answered by placing a sovereign in her
hand. I have always intended, my Emmy," he said, to
give you this money. If we had gone to London we should
have spent it in sight-seeing. Would you like to spend it
in furnishing Susan's shelves ?"
Emmy was in great joy at the thought, and went home
full of importance to consult Mary and Jane what to buy.
Grandpapa meant to give the beds and chairs and tables,
they were not to think of those large things.
Every spare half hour was now spent in the village,
choosing things that should be both cheap and pretty. At
last Emmy had fixed on twelve white plates with blue
edges, and two baking dishes to match; a teapot and set of
tea-things; some jugs of different sizes; several bowls and
basins, and some blue and white mugs, and one little one
with a present for Johnnie," on it, in gold letters. It
seemed as if it had been made on purpose for him. All
these useful things, together, had not cost more than five
shillings. Then she took Mary to the tin shop, and they
chose a kettle, two saucepans, one large the other small, a
gridiron and frying-pan. These things had cost more; she
had only five shillings left. She took two days considering
what to do with this precious five shillings; but at last she
chose a pretty tea-tray and two strong white tablecloths.
All these things were put in her play-room. She set them
out to admire them, and her grandpapa was called in to
look at them. Now that all was ready, she longed to hear
that John was well enough to come. As to little Johnnie,
he was so improved that you could scarcely have known
he was the same little pale boy that she brought home a
few weeks since.
At last, one evening, as Emmy and her companions came
out of school, they met Mr. Forester at the gate, and
found he had come to ask for a holiday for next day for
them all, which Mrs. Page granted.
How shall we spend this holiday, Emmy?" said he, as
they walked away.
"I guess. John and Susan are coming to the cottage
"Yes, and you must be up early to carry in all the
things, and have it ready."
Emmy was up at sunrise. The shelves were soon full;
the tea tray, placed on the table underneath, leaned against
the wall; the bright tin things were ranged on the mantel-
piece; the table cloths, nicely hemmed by Emmy's own
hands, laid in the cupboard. Meanwhile, Mary was busy
at home preparing a good dinner; they were all to dine
together, under the large tree in the field. A boy, called
Tom Andrews, who lived near, was employed to help to
carry plates, knives and forks, and all that was wanted to
lay the cloth, from the house into the field, and when
he had nothing else to do, he climbed the tree to amuse
Johnnie. The fire was lighted in the kitchen, and the
kettle filled and set by the side, but none of Susan's things
were to be used, for she must see everything in its place.
Johnnie was dressed in his best new frock that Emmy had
made for him, and they all sat under the tree, waiting for
Presently, Tom, who had climbed up it, called out that
he thought he saw them coming.
Go and meet them, my darling," said Mr. Forester,
"You deserve the pleasure of placing Johfnie in his
mother's arms once more."
Emmy took up the little boy, and walked fast towards
his father and mother, who had just got over the stile.
What Susan said to her when they met, no one ever knew
but herself, nor what thanks and blessings John poured
out; but when they came to the old tree, and Mr. Forester
held out his hand to them, and they saw Jane looking
nearly well again, and the pretty cottage behind, Susan
sat down on the grass with her child in her arms, and tears
of joy fell down her cheeks. Oh! it is too much happi-
ness," she cried; God will bless you both; I cannot speak
to thank you."
Little Johnny had been gathering all manner of bright
flowers, which he held in his frock, but he let them drop,
clasped his arms tightly round her neck, patted her face,
kissed her, and said, Mother, mother," quite plainly.
Then Emmy gathered up all his flowers again, and told
Susan to put him down, and let him shew them to Jane.
So she put him down, and to her great surprise, he walked
quite firmly to Jane, and then ran back to her. Emmy
stood leaning on her grandpapa's shoulder, looking on,
and John said, he never could have believed such a thing,
unless his own eyes had told him."
Presently, John and Susan had to go into their cottage,
and to see and admire everything. They were more
delighted even than Emmy expected, and that is saying
a great deal. Susan said again and again, it is too much
happiness!" and it was only a beginning of many happy
days. Emmy very often enjoyed the sight she had longed
to see, of Susan ironing at the cottage window; and though
she had not to nurse Johnnie any more, for he grew strong
and healthy, she seldom passed a day without sitting at the
door, or under the old tree, teaching him or playing with
him. She had given up the pleasure of a holiday, but this
happy home repaid her a hundredfold.
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THE MAIL TRAIN.
"Do you think papa will come home soon, mama ?"
"Will papa come to-day ?"
"Will he be home before dinner ?"
SWhen win he come mama ?"
These questions were all asked at once, as nurse opened
the drawing-room door, and Fred, Rose, George, and little
Lucy came in and gathered round their mama. They had
just returned from their walk in the garden and shrubbery.
"I hope he will come very soon, my darlings," she
"But, do you think so ?"
"Yes, I do think so. But I have had a letter from some-
body else that is coming to-day. Guess who is coming."
THE MAIL TRAIN.
A great many guesses were made, but all wrong, till at
last Rose exclaimed, Grandmama!"
On seeing their mama smile, as if they were right at last,
the children began to make great rejoicings and to plan
different games, at which grandmama would play with
them, and think of the stories she would tell them. In the
midst of this talk a little box was brought in, directed to
Master George Herbert." But, under the name was
written, "Not to be opened till I come." It was their
What could be in this box ? They looked at the top
and the bottom and all the four sides. George shook it
and said he heard something rattle; but Rose told him he
must not do that, he might break it; so he declared he
would hide it under an arm-chair and try not to think of
it; and his mama, to help him in his resolution, took out a
book full of pictures, and shewed them to him and Lucy.
As to Fred, he brought in his horse to play with, and Rose
took her doll out of the cradle and dressed her. Fred was,
however, desired to go to the window very often and look
whether grandmama's carriage was in sight. He rode
round several times, but always cried out, "nobody
coming." At last, while he and Rose were employed in
THE MAIL TRAIN.
giving Lady Fanny, the doll, a ride on the horse, a sound of
wheels was heard, and grandmama stopped at the door.
They all went to welcome her and bring her in, and
while she was talking to their mama, and having her cloak
and bonnet taken off, George crept under the chair and put
the box on the table, so that as soon as she had taken her
seat she saw it, took it up, and opened it. Inside, there
was a railway train, nicely packed in silver paper. It had
an engine, a tender, a luggage van, and a whole set of
carriages; and out of the chimney of the engine there
came some soft white cotton for smoke. The carriages were
all lying in the box separate from one another, but each
had hooks and little rings to fasten them together, and
when they were all joined and set on the floor, with the
engine in front, they looked very nice and pretty. George
was very much pleased with them, and thanked his grand-
mama for her present. Then he began to pull the train up
and down the room.
Suppose, George," said Fred, we play at being driver
and guard, and going to Southampton, and stop at the
stations where they stopped when we went to the Isle of
"Oh, yes," cried Rose, "let grandmama's stool be the
THE MAIL TRAIN.
Waterloo Station, and when the train gets to mama's
chair that can be Vauxhall."
George agreed to this plan, and began to set about
placing his train in order.
Now Rose," cried Fred, "you must be a lady with a
little girl, going by the train; lady Fanny is the little girl;
and Lucy must sit on the floor, behind the stool, and be
the man that takes the money."
"And, grandmama," added Rose, "will you be the
policeman that makes the signals."
Oh! yes," said George, we must have signals. And
then some one must call out the names of the stations.
Will you be the man that calls the names besides making
the signals, grandmama ?"
Their grandmama said she certainly would, but she did
not know how to make the signals. Fred, however, soon
explained to her what she was to do. If there was danger
she must hold up a red flag, and if the line was clear she
must hold up a white one. Rose ran away to find a red
handkerchief and soon returned with one; mama lent hers
for the white flag. Both were laid before grandmama, and
Fred put the picture-book on the floor, and told her that
if, for instance, the train seemed likely to run into it, she
THE MAIL TRAIN.
was to hold up the red flag, because that was to be called
a train standing at a station, and the driver of their train
must be warned of it. She promised to attend to this.
And please, grandmama," said George, do not forget
that when we get behind mama's chair, that is Vauxhall,
and you must call out."
"And when they come to the chimney piece,"' said Rose,
"that must be Basingstoke, must it not, Fred, and you
must call that out."
"Now let us go on," cried George.
"Stop a minute," said Fred; "The lady and the little
girl have not taken their tickets yet. Now, Lucy."
"What sal I say? Sal I say gid me the money?"
Yes, that will do very well, and you must give them
these two pieces of paper for tickets. Now, Ma'am, if you
please, the train is going to start in two minutes."
"But now I have pretended to get in, I may stand by
grandmama and look," said Rose.
Suppose," said their mama, you play at carrying the
overland mail, and then you can pretend to cross in the
steam-boat and go through France."
Oh, but then," answered Fred, "we should not know
THE MAIL TRAIN.
what names to call out; I should rather stay in England:
should not you, George ?"
Yes, we had better stay in England. Hold up the
white flag, grandmama. Now the bell rings-ting a ting.
Be ready, grandmama, we shall soon be at Vauxhall."
When they reached the chair grandmama called out
"Vauxhall! Vauxhall! very loudly and quite as they
wished, and when they came to the chimney piece she cried
"Basingstoke!" Here the train had to stop ten minutes.
Take care, guard, and fasten all your doors well," said
she. Think of the little girl you have with you, and re-
member the dreadful accident that happened lately to a
baby by a door opening.
Do tell us about it, grandmama," said Rose, and the
driver and guard agreed, that while the train stopped, they
might come and hear it; so she began:-
A lady set off on a journey, lately, in a train, with a
baby in her arms."
Is it true ?" asked Fred.
"Yes, quite true. Well, the train was going very fast,
when the door of the carriage opened and the baby fell out
of her arms to the ground. On went the train. In a
moment the baby was left far, far behind. The poor
THE MAIL TRAIN.
mother screamed out, but could not make the guard hear,
and the train went on to the next station."
Oh! poor little baby, poor dear little baby, left lying
all alone on the ground," said Rose.
"When the mother told what a terrible thing had hap-
pened," continued grandmama, "they sent her back imme-
diately in a carriage with an engine attached to it, to the
spot where the baby fell out. She dreaded to find him
crushed to death by the heavy wheels; but there he lay
quite safe on the ground, not hurt at all. You may think
how happily she jumped out and took him in her
The children liked this story very much. George com-
menced questioning whether the baby had moved at all,
and Rose wanted to know whether he was crying when his
mother found him; but Fred reminded them that time
was up and the bell ringing, so they returned to the train
and arrived safely, first at Winchester, then at grandmama's
chair, and that was Southampton.
"Now, suppose," said Rose, "we pretend to drive the
mail train from Edinburgh to London, as papa will come."
"Oh, yes!" cried George. "Now then, Lucy, be the
man again, to take the money,.and grandmama, be ready,
THE MAIL TRAIN.
please. But you always hold up the white flag. Be
sure to look out for danger, will you, please, grand-
But I don't know the names of the stations," said
"Dunbar first, I think," said his mama, "then Ayton,
and Berwick; and you have such a long journey to make
that you must go three times round the room at least."
Grandmama called out the names very well, but George
complained again that she always held up the white flag;
so she took the red one at Berwick, and the train went
very slowly, but no danger occurred. Rose, however,
declared that she was sure there was a stop here, and that
there would be time for another story.
"Do you know," said grandmama, as they all came
round her, "how long it will take your papa to come from
Ten hours," said Fred.
"And do you know how long it took my father, when I
was a little girl as young as Rose is now, to come from
Edinburgh to London ?"
"How long, grandmama ?"
THE MAIL TRAIN.
"Twelve days!" said Fred, "but, then he stopped a
long time by the way."
"No, he wished so much to travel quickly that he chose
to come by the public coach, which advertised that it
would make the journey, if no accident befel it, in ten days
in summer, and twelve in winter. I think he said it was
drawn by six horses."
"But what made them be so long ?" asked George.
"There were no railways then. No such things had
been heard of, and if any one had said that carriages could
be drawn by steam instead of horses, people would have
laughed and cried 'nonsense !' Indeed, I believe even
your mama can recollect, when she was very young, hearing
some gentlemen declare it was quite impossible."
"Yes, that I can," said their mama.
"But, besides that there were no railways," continued
grandmama, "the roads were so bad, that you cannot
imagine what they were like. Sometimes you may have
seen a cart road across the fields, with deep ruts that the
wheels have made in rainy weather; all the roads were
like those. The coach went slowly and heavily, jolting
along all day, and at night it stopped at some inn, and the
passengers slept there and went on again in the morning.
THE MAIL TRAIN.
One morning they found that the ruts were full of water,
for there had been rain in the night; and as the coach was
going on with one wheel deep down among the water, it
suddenly came upon a heap of large stones, that had been
thrown in to fill up the rut. Over went the coach on its
side, and all the people with it. Nobody was much hurt,
however, for those that were outside fell into some briars
and thick holly-bushes, by the roadside, and those that
were inside, all tumbled over one another, but only got
some bruises, only they did not know how they were to
get out, for one door was under them, and the other up
over their heads. At last, the outside passengers and the
coachman came scrambling out of the bushes, with their
faces and hands scratched, and their clothes torn, and
pulled them out of the coach window. I remember my
father often making me laugh by telling me how nearly he
stuck fast in the narrow window, and that he had to pull
off his coat, hat, and wig, before he could get through it."
The children laughed too, at this idea, and then grand-
mama told them that all the gentlemen had to help to
get the coach upright again; as to the horses, they stood
quite still; they were very glad to be quiet a little while.
And then the coach went so slowly all day, for fear of
THE MAIL TRAIN.
coming on more stones under the water, that it grew dark
before they could reach the inn; so they were obliged to
stop at a poor little ale-house by the road side, and all the
passengers slept in the barn on some clean straw; but they
were very comfortable. This adventure, however, made
them a day longer on the journey than they would have
Well!" cried Fred, I am very glad there are railways
now, and that papa can come in ten hours instead of taking
twelve days, and being overturned in ruts."
"I can remember when the first railway was made," said
his mama. "It was made between Liverpool and Man-
chester, when I was a little girl. Come here, and I will
shew you on the map where it was."
They went to her and saw the place on the map, and
then she told them she could remember, a few years after-
wards, their grandmama taking her on the Birmingham
railway, when it was opened only as far as Boxmoor.
"You know where that is ?" she said.
"Oh yes, to be sure we do," answered Fred, "because
it is only four miles off, and we always go there to catch
A great many people came there from London at that
THE MAIL TRAIN.
time for pleasure, and thought it wonderful to get to the
green fields and trees so quickly; and there was a tent
near, in which they were taking refreshments. I little
thought I should live so near it some day."
SAll this time," cried Fred, starting up, "that train is
stopping at Berwick. Make haste, driver."
I don't want to come all the way with it," said George,
it is too far; let us pretend it is going to arrive at Box-
moor, where papa will get out. He will, mama, don't you
think so ?"
His mama said, certainly she thought he would; so the
train once more started. It came on at full speed; the
line was not clear; right across where the rails must be-
if there really had been rails-lay the large book of pic-
tures, which, by general agreement was to be an empty
train standing at a station, yet grandmama never held out
the red flag. She really had been so used to hold up the
white one, that she quite forgot. The mail train ran into
the empty one, and every carriage was upset.
Here is a dreadful accident!" cried Fred.
All owing to the man forgetting to hold up the signal
of danger," said grandmama.
George looked very mischievous; he knew quite well
THE MAIL TRAIN.
what he was doing at the time, and only did it for fun,
but he called for help, and pretended to be in a great
fright. Little Lucy looked over the stool at the confusion,
and was rather troubled about it.
I think," said their mama, that while the train is set
to rights, Fred might be the postman and bring the letter
bag to the post-office in the village."
So I will," cried he. Here's my horse, and here is
See if you have got all the letters safe before you ride
off," said his mama.
Fred looked in for fun, but called out, "there really is a
"Look who it is to," said his mama.
"To Fred, Rose, George, and Lucy, from their papa."
"Oh! what does he say ?" "Read it Freddy." Leed
papa's letter, Feddy," cried one after another.
He opened and read-" Edinburgh, Tuesday."
"My dear children, I shall be at Boxmoor to-morrow."
"Why, that is to-day!" exclaimed Rose.
"So it is, so it is," cried Fred, and the letter fell on the
floor, for he started off his horse in his joy, and began to
clap his hands. Rose threw her arms round her mama,
THE MAIL TRAIN.
Lucy jumped up on her lap and kissed her, and George
began to dance.
Read on, read more," cried Rose.
"I shall be at Boxmoor to-morrow, by the train at five
o'clock, and you must all come with mama, in the carriage,
to meet me."
"What o'clock is it now ?" cried Fred.
"Four," said his mama, and here comes the carriage
round. Make haste and get ready."
Away they scampered, calling for nurse, caps, bonnets,
and cloaks. Mama was ready in a minute. Grandmama
engaged to put the mail train safely in its box while they
were gone. Off they drove, and we may be sure they had
a very happy meeting.
,~Ll i -.-
? i s~L';f 3 ;I
WORK AND PLAY.
THERE were three little boys, named Edmund, Alfred, and
Tommy, who led a very happy life, because their mama
used to teach them, and play with them, and walk out with
them every day, and when their papa came home in the
evening, they all sat together talking over what had hap-
pened in the day, round the fire if it was winter, or enjoy-
ing themselves in the garden if it was summer. These
little boys were very fond of play, but they liked their
lessons too, because their mama taught them so pleasantly.
Edmund once said that he really should like his lessons
very much, if only he had time for them."
There were two or three reasons why he had so little time.
The first was, because he and his little brothers were very
WORK AND PLAY.
fond of pets and had several, and it took a long while to
attend to them. Even Tommy, who was only two years
and a half old, had two kids, a bantam cock and hen, and
a jackdaw. Edmund and Alfred had two goats, the father
and mother of Tommy's kids; they had also six hens and a
cock; a Shetland pony called Shag, with a very long mane
and tail; and two pigeons that were so tame they would
eat out of their hands. Then there was Turk the dog,
who was loved by the whole family; and there was mama's
parrot; and, besides, they went very often with Luke, the
gardener, to take the cow her hay or mangel-wurzel.
They had each a little garden, also, but their gardens
fared rather badly, for, though they could work in them
when Luke overlooked them, or helped them; yet they
could not manage well by themselves, and liked better to
work in the great garden with Luke, at whatever he was
about. Sometimes, indeed, when they saw a great many
weeds in their own, they would dig them up, and make
alterations, and move the plants from one place to another,
but, generally, Luke had to come and put all to rights at
last, and then they were left till they grew very weedy
Then they had a great many playthings, and they had
WORK AND PLAY.
invented so many games to play at with them, that even if
it rained they had no more time than on the finest days.
Night and bed-time always came before they had finished
half they meant to do.
The first thing they always did when they ran out into
the garden, before breakfast, was to rush round the walks
with their hoops, with Turk barking and bounding by their
sides, calling for Luke to come and help them to feed the
goats. Tommy tottered along after his brothers with his,
which was a very small one, for it was the wheel of an old
cart. He tumbled over it very often, and generally ended
by carrying it.
The goats slept in a little shed. They had hay given them
in the evening, in case they should be hungry in the night,
but in the morning they had some chaff and water, before
they were turned out in the field. Luke went with the
little boys to feed them, because the father goat, who was
called Blackbeard, was apt to be troublesome. He was not
ill-natured, but his way of playing was very rough; he
would rush at you with his hard forehead, and when you
slipped away, he would dance on his hind legs and give a
spring sideways at you, that looked very funny at a little
distance, but might have knocked you down if you had
WORK AND PLAY.
been too near; indeed he did knock Alfred down once.
But Luke could manage him quite well; he only said
gruffly, I won't have it, Sir! Blackbeard! you know
I won't have it!" and Blackbeard went on quite quietly
with his chaff. The mother's name was Snowy; she was
very pretty and very gentle. The two kids were called
Lily and Frolic; they were now old enough to draw
Tommy in a little carriage; one was quite white, the
other brown and white. They had gay harness and red
bows at their ears, and looked very pretty so. Tommy
soon got tired of looking at them feeding, and used to ask
Luke to open the tool-house, where his jackdaw slept. As
soon as he opened the door, Jack used to cry Craw!
craw !" in his loud hoarse way, hop down off his perch
and walk out into the yard; Tommy meant to catch him
and carry him out, but he never would wait; then Tommy
used to run in to the cook, and as soon as she saw him she
knew what he wanted, and gave him a little plate with
some bits of meat on it, saying to him, now Master
Tommy, be sure you bring back the plate after you've
fed him, and ask Luke to wash your fingers at the pump."
When Jack saw the plate, he came running up with his
wings spread, making a great noise, and ate the pieces of
WORK AND PLAY.
meat in a minute as Tommy threw them to him; but the
plate and fingers would almost always have been forgotten,
if it had not been for Edmund; as for Jack, he was allowed
to go about the yard all day, just as he liked.
The goats took such a time chewing their chaff, that the
boys generally left it to Luke to turn them out into the
field, and went to see after the hens. By this time they
were all wandering over the field, picking up what they
could find; but when they heard their little masters call
" chuck, chuck, chuck," they came running in all direc-
tions, for they knew they should get some barley. Tommy
always wanted to feed his own bantams himself; he used
to run quite close, that he might be sure to throw the
barley near them; indeed he generally threw it at them.
This frightened.them; they ran away and the large ones
who were more bold, got it. Tommy was vexed about
it, and said the large ones had no right to eat the barley
he threw. It was in vain Edmund and Alfred tried to
teach him not to run so close. However, they always
took care that the bantams should have enough. The
bantams were very pretty, and their names were Prince
Albert and Beauty. By this time breakfast was ready, but,
before they went to it, they looked for the eggs in the
WORK AND PLAY.
nests of the hen-house and carried them in; Tommy
liked to have one in each hand, and he never tumbled
down and broke them but once.
At breakfast they took care to keep some bread and
milk for Turk, who sat all the time looking up in their
faces, with his red tongue hanging out, and also for the
parrot; and after breakfast, they helped to clean her cage,
and took it by turns to fill her little tin. She was named
Polly, as all parrots are, nearly; and she was very clever.
She could say all their names quite plainly in a funny
voice, like an old woman speaking through her nose;
also, "How d'ye do?" "Very well, thank you," and
"Turk, poor little fellow!" Besides these things she
went on with a great deal of chattering, and sometimes
gave very loud screams. Once she made such a noise at
dinner time that they hung Tommy's warm coat over her
cage. She was quite quiet in the dark, but when they
took it off, they found that she had picked all the buttons
off it with her sharp beak, and when they scolded her,
she only climbed about her perches and cried, "Ha!
he! ha!" as if she was laughing.
Turk was very clever too. He could fetch and carry,
jump through a hoop, sit up and beg, keep a piece of
WORK AND PLAY.
bread on his nose for five minutes, and never attempt to
eat it till one of them cried, "fire!" then he threw it
up in the air and caught it in his mouth as it fell. If
Edmund and Alfred shewed him a ball or a stone, and
told him to look at it well, and then carried him to
the bottom of the garden and said, "Fetch it, sir!"
he would run back into the house for it aid bring it.
Lately, they had taught him a new trick. This was to
hold Alfred's book in his mouth for him to learn his
When his young masters went to garden with Luke,
Turk took the opportunity to have a quiet nap on the
door mat. If Luke was digging, Edmund and Alfred took
their little spades and'dug too, and Tommy carried hand-
fuls to the barrow. They held his nails, shreds, and
hammer for him, if he was training the trees; and tied
up the carnations to sticks as well as they could, if that
was what he was about. He often had to do their work
over again, but still they liked it better than working in
their own gardens. Mama generally came out while they
were all very busy, and helped a little, or romped on the
grass with them, or made them help her to pick fresh
flowers, or to go with Luke to cut the vegetables for
WORK AND PLAY.
dinner. If there were peas to pick they liked that very
much, and also liked shelling them, but they usually grew
tired before they had finished and took them to the
The time for work was eleven o'clock; but they took
care to be in the school-room a few minutes before, that
they might set their own scholars to work, for they pre-
tended to keep a school of their own, and liked to set
the scholars to learn while they were doing their lessons,
that they might be ready when the proper time came.
Their eldest scholar was a donkey with panniers on his
back, who usually carried an old doll called Margery, to
market; but now he was studying astronomy, and had to
look well at the celestial globe. The next was a pig on
wheels, who was learning music, and was to stand quietly
and stare at a music-book; the youngest was a shepherdess
out of a box of sheep, who had never been taught when
she was little, so now she was placed on a large book to
learn to read. Mama allowed them to leave their scholars
in their places, because they were never inattentive nor
thought of play while they were at work; but she was
obliged to tell Alfred that Turk must not hold his book
any more, because Tommy could not help laughing at him.
WORK AND PLAY.
and this made Edmund look up from his writing'; besides
Alfred was not steady. He played with his garden roller,
took off one shoe, and did not learn well.
When lessons were over on the day that this had hap-
pened, they resolved that Turk should come to school with
the donkey, the pig, and the shepherdess, and his lesson
should be to sit up with the book in his mouth till he was
told to move. So there he sat very patiently. They went
to dinner and shut him in, quite forgetting him, for they
did not intend to leave him so. Well, after dinner, when
his plate, full of bones and scraps, was ready for him, he
was nowhere to be found. They were to go out for a long
expedition with their mama; Tommy in the goat carriage,
and Shag to carry Edmund and Alfred by turns, till they
came to a beautiful open heath that there was some miles
off; then mama was to sit down in the shade, and let the
kids and Shag graze, while they scampered about till it was
time to go home. They often managed so. Of course Turk
must go with them. They looked for him in the kitchen,
in the garden, and up stairs. At last they went to the
school-room, and there sat the poor fellow with his book
in his mouth, just as they had left him. They patted
and praised him; they kissed him and called him all
WORK AND PLAY.
sorts of kind names, while he whined and barked for
joy, and jumped higher than their heads, then rushed
off to the dining-room, cleared his plate in half a minute,
and bounded off to the front door, where, after start-
ling Shag, and almost making Frolic and Lily run away
with the carriage, he at last stood quiet till they were
ready to go.
In the evening they told their papa this wonderful thing
about Turk. All the time, Turk was lying on the rug
in the midst of them, and knew quite well he was
being praised, for he kept wagging his tail and looking
very happy and proud. After his master had patted him
and called him a good dog, he told Edmund and Alfred
to come and sit on each knee; Tommy was already in
mama's lap, and then he told them a curious story about
a dog, which he had found, he said, in an amusing book
he had read lately.* This was the story he told.
There was a gentleman who had a Newfoundland dog,
that would go back long distances to find anything that
he was ordered to fetch. One day, this gentleman, riding
with a friend, put a mark upon a shilling so that he might
*Chambers' Useful and Entertaining Tracts.
WORK AND PLAY.
know it again, shewed it to his dog, then placed it under
a large stone by the roadside, and rode on for three miles;
then he told the dog to go and fetch the shilling. Back
ran the dog, but he never returned all that day.
Next morning early, however, what was the gentleman's
surprise to see his dog come home, bringing a pair of cloth
trousers in his mouth. He felt in the pocket; there he
found a watch and money, and among it was the marked
shilling! Very soon there was an advertisement put in
the papers, offering a reward to whoever would bring back
this property; so the gentleman took back the trousers,
watch, and money, and then he heard how it all happened.
Another gentleman had passed on horse-back by the same
way he had travelled the day he left the shilling, and had
found a dog howling and scratching at a large stone by the
road, but it was so heavy he could not raise it; so this
gentleman got off his horse, raised the stone, and seeing
the shilling-which he never imagined was what the dog
wanted--put it in his trousers pocket. He remembered
that the dog followed him all the way he rode, and he
went twenty miles, but he never observed that he went
up into his bedroom at night; however, it was certain he
must have done so, and hidden under the bed till all was
44 WORK AND PLAY.
quiet, and then have jumped out of the window-which
was left open because it was very hot-carrying off his
They all thought this story was very curious and very
amusing, and asked their papa to tell them some more
anecdotes of dogs; but bed time was come, so he promised
he would another evening.
: ~ --' / '\
- ~ : *, -" A ^ ^r ? 1- '
..~~ ~~ '-^ ^^
VERY few of us have not some relations or friends in India,
that great country, eight thousand miles distant from
England, where the sun beams down fierce heat, and palm
trees grow, and elephants roam in the wild forests; where
there are the highest mountains in the world and great
rivers; where the natives are of a dusky colour, and the
English, though masters of the soil, feel like strangers.
Their children never thrive in that distant land; but as
soon as they reach five or six years of age, they grow weak
and thin, and must be sent to England. This is a great
grief to their parents. It is sad to send their dear little
boys and girls so far, far away; and the poor children
themselves can seldom find as happy a home as that where
they were born, and where they have lived during the first
years of their lives. Very often, too, they are not so well
managed among strangers as they would have been in their
own homes, and many faults in their characters are owing
to their losing the influence of their mother's love so
Louisa and Clara Seymour were twin sisters, who were
sent away from India when they were five years old. They
had a black nurse to take care of them on the voyage. She
was very fond of them and very indulgent to them, and
she had a great deal to do to comfort them at first, after
parting from their dear papa and mama. They cried very
bitterly; but they were only five years old and soon forgot
their grief. Their ayah, as these black nurses are called,
petted them, flattered them, humoured all their whims and
fancies, and at last, when they reached England, they were
very like spoiled children.
Clara was so gentle in her nature that she did not suffer
so much from the ayah's indulgence as Louisa, who was
passionate and wilful in character. They went to live with
a kind old aunt of their mama's, who had never been used
to children, and did not know how to manage them. She
could not bear to hear Louisa cry; so, whenever she was
out of humour or unreasonable, she did something like the
ayah, she petted and flattered her. Clara loved her sister
so much that she gave up to her in everything, and one
nurse was turned away after another, because she did not
like them. Still, though every one tried to please her, she
might be heard crying and complaining many times a-day,
-"I don't like it!" "I will have it!" "I won't do it!"
"Naughty nurse!"-these were the words continually
sounding through the house.
When these little girls were eight years old their mama
came home from India, because her own health required
the change, bringing with her a little sister called Blanche,
who had been born after they left her. How happy she
was to fold her dear children in her arms, and how happy
they were to be once more with her. They had almost
forgotten her face, but it soon seemed familiar to them,
and they were enchanted with their pretty little sister.
"Will Blanche love me ?" asked Louisa.
"Will you deserve Blanche's love, dear child?" answered
her mama. "Will you be a good sister to her, bear pa-
tiently with her if she troubles you, cherish and care for
her as a sister should? These are the questions for you
But these were new questions to Louisa. She had never
thought of loving Clara so.
Louisa went on very well for a few days. She was
happy, and the change pleased her and amused her; she
forgot herself, and ceased to be peevish and troublesome.
In a little while, however, contentions between her and her
maid began, and especially in the morning when she and
Clara went into their bath.
I don't like it, I won't bathe this morning," she cried,
about a week after her mama's return; "I don't care what
you say, Clara, I will not bathe."
Yet she had always been used to bathe; she did not
really dislike it, and only felt capricious. She shook off
Clara's hand as she spoke, and turning round, saw her
mama standing beside her. Louisa was ashamed, and
blushed a little, then stammered out, "let Blanche come
in and have her bath first, and then I will."
"No," said her mama, I cannot bring her in while you
are here; she has never seen disobedience, and I would
not have her taught it."
Louisa was struck by these words, and felt shocked;
she went into the water, but her pride was hurt, and she
felt out of humour with every one.
"I do so long to go out in the garden this morning,"
said Clara, as they dressed; you will come, Louisa ?"
No I will not," she replied, I want to stay and play in
the breakfast-room; you know very well I want you to
stay there and play."
"Very well, dear," answered Clara, but with rather a
Again Louisa saw her mama's grave and sad eyes fixed
on her, and something in her heart reproached her, but
this time she had not courage to resist the spirit of pride
which forbade her to give up her point. She was, how-
ever, peevish at play, and nothing pleased her because she
was displeased with herself.
In the afternoon they all went out to walk with their
mama. It was a beautiful place, with a large garden and
sloping lawn. Blanche was so merry and so pretty, that
both her sisters were charmed with her; she was very
fair and as pale as a white lily, with curling golden
hair and blue eyes full of joy and love. Louisa, who
generally became tired and fretful in a short time when
out walking, quite forgot her peevish fancies, as she
and Clara led this sweet little creature between them.
She had a large ball and presently began to play with
Blanche, and to throw it while the little girl ran to
Mrs. Seymour sat down on a garden chair to watch
them, and Clara stood by her mama with one hand
in hers; Louisa threw the ball first in one direction,
then in another, and faster and faster ran the little girl
Not that way! Do not throw it down the bank,"
cried her mama.
But Louisa never obeyed any one at once; she always
said why ?"-or why not ?" She threw the ball; away
ran Blanche down the steep bank, lost her footing, and
rolled down, unable to stop herself, till she fell into a
piece of water overshadowed with weeping willows which
bounded that portion of the lawn.
Louisa shrieked; Mrs. Seymour rushed to the water,
plunged in, caught the little child by the clothes before
she sank, and raised her in her arms. Clara, trembling
with fear and with tears streaming down her cheeks, held
out her hands to help her up the slippery bank, and then
walked by her to the house, trying-as well as she could
command her voice-to assist in comforting the shivering,
terrified little Blanche.
Louisa had thrown herself on the grass on her face,
crying bitterly. She lay so for a long while.
Come in darling," said Clara's gentle, tender voice at
last; come with me. You did not mean, you could not
help it; Blanche is laid in her warm bed. Come in to
Louisa rose slowly. "I do not want to see mama,"
"But she wants you," and Clara threw her arms round
her sister's neck and tried gently to raise her from the
grass; and Louisa said to herself, "I will be obedient,"
and went with her slowly and mournfully.
This had been a terrible lesson to her. Her heart said
within her, I ought to have known mama had a reason
for saying 'not that way.' I have done very wrong;
Blanche might have been drowned."
When she went with Clara to her mama's room, where
Blanche lay in her little bed, her mama looked in her face
as if to read her thoughts and feelings there, then took her
in her arms and kissed her without speaking. All Louisa's
shame and sorrow burst forth at once.
"Oh, mama! mama! Will Blanche be very ill? Have
I made her very ill? Have I made you very unhappy ?
She might have been drowned! Oh, mama, if she had
been drowned !"
We say in our daily prayer, 'Thy will be done.' These
words must be not only words, my child; we must feel
them in heart and spirit."
Thoughts quite new to Louisa were passing through
Remember who it was that said 'not my will, but
thine be done.' You are only eight years old, yet you
may think of those words till they become to you like a
No one spoke for a long while. The sisters had each
taken a hand of their mama, while she sat anxiously
watching little Blanche, who lay in a troubled sleep,
This day of anxiety was only the first of many. Blanche
was very delicate, and the shock had been too severe for
her. She was very ill, and for one day her life was in
danger. During her whole illness, her sisters waited on
her and their mama constantly. They never spoke above
a whisper; they never thought of play; they watched their
mama's eyes to see if she wanted anything, and the only
strife was who should go for it. Sometimes they persuaded
her to lie down and sleep while they sat by Blanche, and
she said she could trust to their love better than to any
other person's eye or care.
When at last their little darling began to recover, they
brought her play-things and flowers, they showed her pic-
tures; they amused her so well that she never had to
suffer from dullness or weariness, and their niama could
take the rest she wanted so much, without any anxiety.
What had become of Louisa's fretfulness and selfishness ?
While she feared that her little sister would die, she had
no trouble to drive them away; she never thought of her-
self at all, and the habit of being useful, of thinking and
feeling for others, even for that short time, was a help to
her. It was when danger was over that she began to be
tempted to be troublesome, to want people to attend to
her, to fret and complain because things were not done
exactly according to her will. It was then that the words
her mama had said to her came to her mind. She began
to think Is this the feeling mama wanted me to have ?
Is this doing the will of my Father, as I pray to do ?"
Then she said to herself, "Not my will but Thine!" These
words became to her a guide and help; something like a
good angel, as her mama had said.
When Blanche was once more well, joy and gladness
seemed to fill the house. Clara, who had always loved
Louisa dearly though she was often made unhappy by her,
felt as if a new life had begun for her; and Louisa was
like a new creature. The good old aunt who had suffered
so much from her fretfulness came to see them, and was
"Why what have you done to her ?" she said to Mrs.
Seymour, "It's like magic. I never saw a child so im-
proved! Well, it is wonderful."
Everything went on smoothly now. At the morning
bath, there was no longer a contention as to when or how
Miss Louisa would bathe," or whether she would at all.
She jumped in full of health and spirits, and all her thought
was whether she should be in time to amuse Blanche with
her play-things while her mama poured the cool refreshing
water over her; and Clara stood by telling funny stories,
and saying things to make her laugh.
One day when Louisa had laid down a very interesting
book that her aunt had given her, to help Clara with
some work which she was anxious to finish, her mama
said to her fondly, "I see the good angel is always
GOOD ANGELS. 55
Louisa's eyes beamed with joy as she said softly, Dear
We have good angels in many forms, my child. Some-
times they come to us in tears and sorrow, and we do not
know them at first. The grief I had to suffer when little
Blanche was so ill, has been a good angel to me."
SHow, dear mama ?"
"That good angel gave me a sweet little Louisa. She
was always dear to me, but now she is as sweet as she is
MAY DAY AT HOME.
MR. FIELDING'S pretty cottage was situated in a beautiful
part of Devonshire. A fine river flowed through the valley
near it, and, on the hill beyond, there were the ruins of an
old castle among thick woods.
Everything about the cottage looked cheerful. It was a
pleasant little home, and there was always something lively
going on in it, for there was a large family of all ages from
sixteen down to four. The cottage had all manner of
corners and angles; bow windows and square windows;
balconies, porches, and verandas; and under the thatch
there were several little lattice windows with roses peeping
in at them, and swallows' nests in the corners, and early on
the summer mornings bright faces would peep out to see if
MAY DAY AT HOME.
the little swallows were poking their heads out of their
nests, and if the old ones were coming with food.
It was impossible to be lazy in the morning there, for,
besides the twittering of the swallows in the summer, the
sparrows kept up a continual fuss in the thatch all the year
round, and the larks, thrushes, and blackbirds began to
sing at the first light of dawn, Before six o'clock, there-
fore, Margaret, the eldest of the sisters, was sure to call
up all the younger ones, and the whole family was soon
Behind the cottage there was an orchard full of apple,
and pear and plum trees, and several cherry trees too.
These were lovely in spring with their blossoms white and
pink, and the pleasure of eating the fruit was only a small
part of the good things of the orchard. There was, besides,
all the pleasure of gathering it, climbing the ladder, holding
the baskets, carrying presents to the neighbours, storing
away what would keep, and helping to preserve what
would not. As to the cherries, the birds ate so many,
that all that could be done was to eat in company with
them, and it was no easy matter to get anything like a fair
share. One spring it was resolved to try and persuade the
little thieves to keep to one tree, and Charles put up a
MAY DAY AT HOME.
board in it, on which he wrote, in large letters, "Birds may
eat cherries here ;" and at the same time he tied up flags,
and mounted old hats, and ragged coats, and worn out
brooms in the others; but it was all of no use. The birds
hopped about, looking out of one eye at these odd looking
things for half an hour or so, but very soon found out that
there was no harm in them, and began eating faster than
Near the garden gate that led into the field, was an old
walnut tree, with a seat under it. This was a favourite
place for play, and generally you might see dolls, hoops,
and other playthings lying about there. It was great fun
to thrash down the walnuts in autumn, and very pleasant
to crack them in winter by the fire. There was also an
old mulberry tree on the lawn, that bore an immense crop
of fruit every year, and in October the children generally
had crimson tips to their fingers, and very red lips, because
their eldest brothers used to climb the tree, and lower
down basket after basket full of ripe mulberries to them.
In the front of the cottage door was a thorn tree, that
stood there before Mr. Fielding was born. Indeed, he said
he believed it was planted by his grandfather, but it still
put forth its little round green buds every spring, though
MAY DAY AT HOME.
it was so ancient and venerable, and in May it was covered
with its silvery flowers. In winter it bore quantities of
red berries, and made quite a store-house for the birds
when the snow was on the ground. The cottage was never
without music, for the robins who sing in cold weather as
well as warm, were always there-two or three of them-
with waistcoats as red as the berries. They were looking
out for crumbs, and sang as loud as possible to put the
children in mind to bring them some.
This good old thorn tree, besides providing beauty,
music, and food, affordedN delightful shade all summer,
and not only were there seats placed under it, on the soft
mossy grass, but its twisted branches made the pleasantest
resting places in all directions. Some of them swept the
ground, others spread upwards after making a curve down.
wards; so that it was easy to climb to its very top, and
Charles and Willie, the two eldest boys generally did,
and sat there perched like two great birds, when all the
family collected about it in the warm evenings. Mr. and
Mrs. Fielding, and Margaret and Laura would sit on the
garden chairs. There was a low branch with ivy twisted
round it, that was called Alice's seat," and there sat little
Alice, the youngest of the family, with cheeks as red as
MAY DAY AT HOME.
ripe cherries. A stage higher in the tree, Albert and
Florence took their station, and up above them were Willie
and Charles. Fido, the dog, was sure to be of the party,
and lay stretched on the grass fast asleep, but ready for
anything that might be going on.
One evening in spring, when the little green buds were
beginning to swell, and to give promise that they would
deserve their pretty name this year, and burst into flower
by the first of May, Mr. Fielding began to tell how May-
day used to be kept in England in the old times, when the
ruined castle was a grand place, and its lords inhabited it.
He told them that kings and queens kept their May-day
then. Henry the Eighth went out Maying with a
great train of courtiers; and so did Queen Elizabeth, and
in all the country places the squire and his dame, and the
lord and lady of the castle went to see the sports of the
villagers. He told them how early in the morning the
boys and girls went to gather branches of May in the
hedges, and flowers in the woods; and how there was
a May-pole set up in some pleasant green nook, covered
with garlands and streamers, and how they all danced
round it. One of the village girls was chosen Queen of
the May; some country lad dressed up in green and carry-
MAY DAY AT HOME.
ing a bow and arrow was to act Robin Hood, and some
pretty lass was Maid Marian. Then they had several
characters to make sport and fun. One would stuff his
smock frock that he might look portly, and call himself
Friar Tuck; another would tie on a horse's tail and a
painted head, and act the hobby-horse," by prancing and
kicking; and another dressed up to look like* a dreadful
dragon would flounder about and run after the timid ones.
Altogether, May-day was one of the merriest and pleasantest
of the old holidays, he said.
"Why should we not keep May-day?" cried Charles
from his high perch.
"To be sure; do let us keep May-day," was echoed
from all parts of the tree, "and Charles shall be Robin
Hood, and carry his bow and arrows," added Florence.
And I want to be Maid Marian," said little Alice, who
thought the name sounded pretty.
So you shall," resumed Charles, "and Florence shall be
Pretty little Florence was a favourite with every one,
and perhaps they rather spoiled her, but she was so affec-
tionate and good-hearted they really could not help it.
Mrs. Fielding reminded them that the only reason
MAY DAY AT HOME.
against the plan was that she and their papa were going
from home, and were going to take Laura, Charles, Willie,
and Annie with them, leaving Margaret to take care of the
little ones; and suppose they should not come home before
the first of May ?
However, they decided that this was not likely; that in
short they must come home by the first, and that all the
preparations should be made to keep the day.
Accordingly, while the rest of the family were away,
Margaret and the three youngest were busily employed in
getting the things ready for May-day. The May-pole was
a very tall one. It was the entire trunk of a poplar tree
that had been cut down the Autumn before, and Margaret
made a long pink streamer which was fastened to the very
top, and smaller green and white flags that were fastened
lower down on it. On the last day of April they went
into the woods and fields and gathered immense bunches
of wild flowers. Baskets and baskets full of primroses,
violets, cowslips, harebells, anemones, and all the other
spring flowers they brought in. The may must not be
gathered till the morning; and they had plenty to do
making wreaths and garlands. Margaret showed them
how to plait rushes for the wreaths, and to fix the
MAY DAY AT HOME.
flowers in so that the stalks could lie in water all night.
Every minute they listened for the sound of wheels.
At last a letter was brought in ; they gathered round
Margaret. It brought sad news; their papa and mama
were detained longer than they had expected, and could
not return, they feared, for a few days
Florence threw down the wreath she was making, and
burst into tears.
"Oh let all the flowers fade then," she cried; all we
have done is of no use. I don't care for anything."
"Don't cry so, darling Flory! don't cry," said the little
ones, kissing her.
"Go and pull the flags off the May-pole," sobbed Florence.
"Florence, dear," said Margaret kneeling beside her,
"dry your tears and try to listen to me. If papa or
mama were ill, you might cry so bitterly, but they will
be home safe and well soon, I hope; meanwhile, let us try
to make the best of it we can. Our wreaths will fade and
be wasted, if we do not use them, and little Alice and
Albert will be sadly disappointed. Let us play at May-day
as well as we can by ourselves to-morrow, and let us gather
fresh flowers before they come home, to make the rooms
gay and pretty for them."
MAY DAY AT HOME.
After some time poor Florence listened to these com-
forting words. She dried her tears, and said that if it was
a lovely May morning, she would go with Albert and Alice
to gather the boughs, and would try to be happy if she
It was a lovely May morning; the sun shone bright, the
birds sang; so Margaret gave them their breakfast very
early, and sent them off into the woods. They resolved
that they would take a long ramble, and gather plenty of
flowers besides the may-boughs, that they might pass the
time and not think of mama and all of them too much.
Fido went with them, as he always did.
They took such a long ramble that it was almost noon
when they returned loaded with their flowers and boughs, so
they were very glad to see Margaret waiting for them under
the walnut tree. She had brought some bread and milk
to refresh them; and when they had rested, she said she
would dress them up there, ready to go in procession to the
Albert said he did not know how to be Robin Hood or
Friar Tuck, and would rather be a drummer, and beat his
drum before the queen. He had left it lying there under
the tree, so he slung it on, and Margaret put a feather in
MAY DAY AT HOME.
his cap and tied a red scarf on him. Alice still wished to
be Maid Marian, so Margaret thought her straw hat would
do very well with some flowers in it, which she would
fasten on presently, but meanwhile she must put on the
queen's crown. It was made entirely of May flowers, and
she had her green scarf, and was to have large bunches of
flowers besides on her sleeves and in her sash. Albert stood
looking on and admiring, but Alice was busy dressing up
Fido, who must have a wreath on too. When all were ready
they kissed their kind sister Margaret, and chose out the
most beautiful fresh primroses and violets they had, for her
bouquet, and put a wreath round her pretty curling hair.
Then to make a better procession they resolved that
Albert's horse should be dragged with them as hobby-
horse, and that Alice's coach should bring the doll, who
might be the lady of the castle. They put the coachman
and footman in their places, but the lady had to sit on the
top because she was too large to get in.
They now moved forward; Margaret walked first; then
Alice, drawing the carriage; then Albert, drumming and
pulling the horse, which was fastened by a string to one
elbow; last of all the queen. Fido was intended to walk be
hind her, and generally he was an obedient dog, but to-day he
MAY DAY AT HOME.
would rush on, barking, wagging his tail, and bounding
about. When they came in sight of the thorn tree they
saw it hung with garlands. Margaret had decorated it
beautifully, and the May-pole was fastened in the middle of
it and stood high up above it, with the flags; they thought
The queen took her seat in great state under the tree,
and Margaret placed her sceptre in her hand; it was a
white wand covered with every different kind of flower
that could be collected. At the same moment a bunch of
cowslips as large as her head fell into her lap, another of
primroses at her feet; a great bouquet of lilacs on one side,
and as she raised her face to see where they came from, a
shower of violets almost blinded her. But she saw through
the shower very plainly the merry faces peeping down
out of the tree, every one crowned with a wreath. They
were all there, Laura, Charles, Willie, and Annie, and at
the moment when she was going to exclaim, But papa
and mama!" they appeared at the cottage door.
The queen forgot all her dignity. She started from
There were rejoicings and kisses and all manner of
explanations, how it was that suddenly papa found they
MAY DAY AT HOME.
could go home after all; and how when they arrived they
found Margaret dressing up the tree and determined to
surprise Florence and the little ones; and how they had
gathered all those flowers as they came through the
country. Oh! it was delightful. It was impossible to
help dancing for joy. They all joined hands. Mama
began to sing, they sang in chorus and danced. round the
May-pole with all their hearts. They went on dancing,
singing, and playing games for a long time. They cer-
tainly had dinner, for they felt very strong and comfortable
as evening drew on, but they scarcely knew how they
managed to go in and eat it.
Suddenly, when the games were at their height,:Ala"
unexpected misfortune occurred. The sky became black
with clouds, and pelting rain began to fall. It was of
no use to crowd under the tree and hope it would soon
be over; it dripped fast through the leaves in three
minutes. They were obliged to hurry in. But before
any one had time to begin lamenting, Margaret's voice
"Let us clear the school-room and dance there."
"To be sure-what fun !-clear all the things."
In a minute, globes, maps, desks, slates, books disappeared,
MAY DAY AT HOME.
and there was a good large room for them; but it looked
rather empty. Away ran Charles and Willie, heedless of
wet jackets, and brought in the garlands, and Margaret
and Laura made festoons of them round the walls; then
the green boughs and May boughs, and they made a com-
plete arbour at one end to take rest in when they were
tired. It looked like a ball-room at once.
As they put the finishing strokes a carriage stopped at
the door. It looked, as they saw in at its window through
the rain, as if it were full of flowers, but presently it was
discovered that these were only decorations on the heads
of all the eight cousins, that lived some miles off, and had
come very closely packed, to keep May-day with them.
It was mama's thought, as she passed their home that
morning. Here was another joyful surprise; and who
should they have brought on the box but Joseph Waller,
the fiddler, who was employed at all the dances and merry-
makings in the country. The sound of his fiddle set
everyone dancing again, and they kept it up joyously; no
matter how the rain pelted outside, they were too merry
to mind. But before the sun set, the clouds dispersed, a
golden light was shed through the air, and they opened
the windows. A delicious scent of the spring lilacs, and
MAY DAY AT HOME. 69
of the young leaves of the birch trees, filled the room, and
the old thorn,, with his flags fluttering above, sent in his
sweet message with the rest.
They stopped dancing, to enjoy the delicious freshness,
and Mrs. Fielding took the opportunity to call them into
the dining room, where supper was ready. The happy
party took their places round the large table, and it was
agreed by everyone, that, however grand the pageants
might be in old times, they could not be more merry
and pleasant than their May-day at home.
THE FARM SUPPER.
THERE was going to be a great supper at Farmer Bright's,
at his hay harvest home. All the haymakers that had been
employed in the fields were to be at it, with their wives
and husbands; or if they were not married, they might
bring a brother or sister. All the regular farm servants
were to be there, and each to bring one friend; two or
three neighbours were coming to share the feast also, and
among others, Mr. Bright's niece, Nancy; cousin Nancy,
as the children called her.
Nancy was a great favourite with the children. She
was not little, like them; she was quite old, for she was
eighteen. But then she was so merry, and so goodnatured.
~ I~1 9 cu r' 3
ro__i igl ii~lt~l N p
THE FARM SUPPER.
When she came they were sure to have fun, and never to
feel dull for a minute.
The farmer had thought of nothing but his hay for
several weeks. Even the maids that generally helped the
the mistress, as Mrs. Bright was called, had been out at
work in the fields all the time they could spare. The
children had helped too; Jenny and Harry .could rake
and fork pretty well, and even little Jack and Dick did
It was a fine crop, and the farmer was in good spirits
about it. Two immense stacks were finished, and the last
would be finished by evening; so Mrs. Bright was very busy
in doors getting supper ready.
It was an old fashioned farm house, with a great kitchen
that had a long oak table down the middle of it, and a
great chimney, with an oak mantel-piece and a blazing
wood fire; but though it was summer time it did not feel
too hot, for it was so very high, and long, and wide.
Everything in the house looked very clean and bright,
and like holiday time. The children ran in and out, often
getting in their mother's way, and hardly knowing what to
be about. Sometimes they tried to help-and they really
were a little useful-when she was laying the cloth. What
THE FARM SUPPER.
a number of knives and forks, and plates she put round the
table! Whenever she went to the larder, they went after
her and peeped in; they did not care much about the
great hams and joints of meat; what they thought looked
nicest, was the row of cherry pies.
At last they ran off to the gate to watch for Nancy, and
Jack climbed up and sat astride on the top.
Here comes a chaise !" he cried.
"But it's only Mr. Bolt from the mill," said Jenny.
"Ah, but there's somebody behind; it looks like Nancy."
And it was Nancy. There she was, with her merry black
eyes and rosy cheeks. They ran by the side of the chaise,
up to the door, capering for joy, and when she got out
they almost pulled her down with their hearty welcome.
Now, Nancy, my girl," said Mrs. Bright, as soon as she
had shaken hands with her, you cannot do a better turn
for me, than to take the children into the field till near
supper time, and keep them out of my way."
There was nothing the children could have liked better.
Away they ran to the field with Nancy, who seemed quite
as pleased as they were.
I Now then, let us have some fun," cried Harry, "there's
a famous hay-cock."
THE FARM SUPPER.
"So it is! said Nancy, very quietly, and in a moment
he was buried under it.
Keep him down!" cried Jenny, but down she went
herself by his side.
On came Jack to pile more hay, but in a minute Nancy
had laid him between them and thrown Dick on the top of
all. They scrambled out, first one, then another, but
she caught one by the foot, another by the frock, and
smothered them all again. They laughed, they shouted,
they cried "pull her down," but she was too quick for them,
they never could catch her. They made such a noise
that the haymakers could not help stopping to look
at them, and a baby, that one of the labourer's wives
had in her arms, kept kicking and crowing, and staring at
At last, as Nancy was running after Jack, she caught her
foot in the long grass and down she went close to a large
haycock. She caught Jack by the leg, but he got away and
came back to help Jenny and Harry, who had got arms
full of hay to pile on her. Then came Dick with a
bundle as large as himself. She could not get away
this time. They covered her entirely over. Not a
morsel even of her gown could be seen, and they were
THE FARM SUPPER.
sure she could not see out, so they ran and hid behind a
Every minute they expected that she would jump up,
find them, and tumble the haycock over them, but they
sat crouched up as quiet as mice.
Here she comes!" cried Jenny.
No, it was only the labourer's wife with the baby.
"Don't tell Nancy where we are," said they.
After her came the waggon full of hay up the field.
"Don't tell cousin Nancy where we are," they said
to the carter.
They peeped round the haycock, first one, then the
other. The heap where they left her did not move. How
very quiet she was! They crept softly along towards her,
starting back every instant with the thought that she
would jump up and catch them, but she did not. They
went to the very place, began to move the hay, peeped
under it, poked down their hands into it; felt down to the
She was not there! She was gone!
Where could she be gone? Perhaps this was not the
place where' they left her ? Yes it was, they were sure
it was, for there was Jack's shoe that he lost while they
THE FARM SUPPER.
were flinging the hay at her. They looked all round,
she was nowhere to be seen.
They ran about peeping into every bush and behind
every hedge. They asked the haymakers if they had seen
her; but nobody had. They met the empty waggon coming
down the field, and asked the carter; but he did not seem
to hear, and went whistling on.
While they were wandering about in this way, their
mother called them in to get ready for supper.
"Oh, mother !" cried Dick, almost crying, "we have
smothered Nancy, and we can't find her anywhere."
Here's a pretty piece of business," said she; "but it
cannot be helped. You must come in and get ready. See
what figures you are! hay stuck all over your hair, and
such dirty faces !"
They went up and put on their best clothes, washed
their faces and hands, and smoothed their hair; con-
stantly looking out of the window to see if Nancy was
Presently they saw the strangest looking old woman
hobbling up to the house. She came leaning on her stick,
and muttering to herself. She had a very brown face and
long black hair hanging down on each side, and wore a red
THE FARM SUPPER.
cloak and blue petticoat, and an old black bonnet that
shaded her eyes, and by the look of her mouth, you would
have said she had no teeth. When she reached the door,
she began to sing a strange sort of song, in a very sweet
The children ran down to see this gypsy woman
"Well, my little dears," said she in a squeaking voice, as
they came to the door, I think I have some presents for
you in my bag. A friend of yours down there under the
hay gave them to me for you."
Oh, then you have seen Nancy," cried Jenny. "Tell
us where she is!"
But surely you will let me give you a pretty new doll,
and a top and whip and ball for these good little boys."
No, no, we don't want them till she comes back," said
Harry. I want Nancy," said Dick sturdily.
Well, at any rate let me tell you a story first," persisted
"No, no, we want Nancy," said one after another.
"Why, how came this old gypsy here?" said the farmer
who had just come in.
If you will please to let me have some of your good
THE FARM SUPPER.
supper, your honour," said she, "I will sing you some good
But find Nancy first," said Dick.
By this time several of the haymakers had come in ready
for supper, all dressed in their Sunday clothes, looking so
clean and nice you could hardly have known them; and
some of the girls who had helped too. They gathered
round the gypsy, and some of them asked her to tell their
By and bye; all in good time," she said, "when these
little dears have had their presents."
I tell you," said Jenny, we will not have them till
Nancy can give them to us herself."
"Since nothing else will satisfy you then," said the
gypsy, let me see! How had you best set about finding
her ? You must go into the yard, one walking slowly after
the other, and look in every waggon there. If she's in none
of them, you must look in every corner of the barn; and,
if you do not find her there, you must search the calves'
pen. If you still cannot see her, go to the great hay-stack,
and look whether they have thrown her up to the top of it
with the hay."
The children did exactly as the gypsy told them. Nancy
THE FARM SUPPER.
was neither in the waggons, the barn, nor among the
calves; so they walked one after another to the great
hay-stack, and there she was sitting at the top.
They were enchanted to see their dear Nancy once more,
and the moment she had clambered down the ladder
they seized hold of her, two holding by each hand. They
were so afraid lest she should escape them again, that they
thought of nothing so much as leading her safe in to the
house, though they wanted to ask her twenty questions;
so they hurried her in to come to supper and see the funny
old gypsy woman that told them where to find her. But
when they got in the gypsy was gone. She would go,
their mother said, just after they went out.
Now came all the bustle of sitting down to supper. It
was a capital supper, and every one enjoyed it. They had
such appetites! The farmer sat at one end of the table and
the mistress at the other, and carved for the company, and
nothing was heard but the clatter of knives and forks for a
long time. At last they had leisure to talk and laugh a
little, and then they got very merry. After supper the
farmer sang a good song; then two or three haymakers;
then Nancy was called upon.
Nancy sang very sweetly and merrily. As she went on
THE FARM SUPPER.
Jenny began to look very knowing and to smile to her-
self, and when the song was over she went round to
Nancy, touched her blue gown and said, Ah! Nancy;
what have you done with your red cloak? I've found
Ah! ah Nancy," said Harry, I know you were the
gypsy. What have you done with your bag ?" .
You have not so far to go to look for it as in the
calves' pen," said she. "What is this hanging behind
The bag was opened, and in it they found the doll and
top and whip and ball. After the first pleasure of looking
at these nice things was over, they all began asking, "How
did you get away?" "when did you come out of the
field?" and all manner of questions. But the table was
cleared away and dancing began, and there was no time to
talk. There was a very happy dance, and the children had
a great deal of fun, but every now and then Dick and Jack
looked very grave and began pondering over Nancy's
strange escape from the hay. So she called them to her,
and told them to go and ask Jem the carter how it was.
They ran to him and listened attentively to his story, and
then shook their heads at Nancy and said, It was too bad
80 THE FARM SUPPER.
to play them such a trick as to creep out and get into the
Never mind, never mind," cried she. Come and have
a dance with me all hands round and make it up."
At last it was time to leave off dancing. The farm
supper was over, and all the guests as they went, said they
never spent a merrier evening, and they hoped the farmer
would have as good a harvest next year, and many more of
1 ,~~YY~ V~& t-~
n co rJ'
vL1i iU r
A SAILOR BOY'S STORY.
FAR out at sea an emigrant ship sailed on her course to
Australia. It was seven days since the crew saw the last
point of the white cliffs of England. The sun was getting
low and cast a golden track of light across the dark blue
water. The passengers who had till then been mostly below
suffering from sea-sickness, had many of them come up to
enjoy the fresh air, and walked up and down the deck or
sat watching the waves.
The sailors gathered in the fore part of the ship were
enjoying a little rest, for the light wind was steady, the
sails were set, and there was little work to be done.
They had fallen into chat about home and old stories,
and an old man among them had given a history of his
A SAILOR BOY'S STORY.
long life of hard work and struggle, while the rest smoked
their pipes and listened. When he had ended he clapped
a sailor boy, who sat beside him, on the shoulder and told
him it was his turn now.
I am sure you have seen more than your share of
troubles," said he, in your short life. You often look as
full of care as an old man, and when I told my sorrows you
sighed so hard, it seemed as if you knew what sorrow was."
The others pressed the boy to tell his story, so he began.
"When first I can remember anything, I lived in my
father's little cottage on a hill side in Scotland. There
was father and mother, and four brothers of us, and one
little sister. Oh it was a pleasant place. The wind blew
so fresh up the bank, and a clear burn, that's what you
call a stream, ran among the pebbles down below, and the
sheep came cropping the grass up to the very door stane,
when we sat supping our porridge in the mornings. It
was a real neat cottage. Two rooms, one o' them the
kitchen, and a door in the middle. I think I hear father's
step as he went out to his work in the mornings, and
mother going through the house as we put on our clothes.
"But the pleasant 'time was when father came home
in the evenings, and supper was ready, and we sat
A SAILOR BOY'S STORY.
watching to see him coming over the fields, and ran to
meet him. Sandy and little Jemmy would come toddling
after me, but Robbie that was oldest met him first and
got the spade to carry, and mother was at the door with
the bairn in her arms, and the cheerful light shining out of
the window. Oh! we didna mind how the wind blew, or
the rain and snow fell when once he was in.
But what was best of all, was when he came home on
the Saturday night, for then the next day was the Sabbath,
and he would rest from his work. He would sit with
us round the fire and patch the shoes; and the mother
would be mending the clean clothes, and laying them out
for the morning, and then he would take down the Bible
and read; perhaps he read on other evenings, but it was
the Saturday's reading I liked best.
"Then on Sabbath morning, what a work there was
washing and combing us all; and how grand we felt
in our best clothes; and there was the father in his
Sunday coat, and his waistcoat striped with blue and
yellow; and the mother in her best cotton gown, and a
red plaid that she put on over her white cap. Then we
shut the door and followed father, he going first, and all
of us following one by one after him through the corn-
A SAILOR BOY'S STORY.
fields, by the path that led to the kirk; the yellow corn
on either hand-higher than my head-and father and
Robbie going along the way before me.
"But there came a sad time soon. There was a talk
of new ways going to begin, and all the cottages to be
pulled down, and the small farms to be turned into a
few large ones. Our cottage was to go with the rest.
We had to cart away the beds and presses, and all we
had, and follow the cart along the dusty road, and we
went to live in a row of houses close to the farm yard,
where all the other labourers lived too. They pulled
down our cottage-so they told us, for I never went to
see the place-and the plough went over the ground
where it stood, and all the pleasant hill side.
I think I have never had a light heart since that day
we followed the cart along the dusty, road. We were
always sickly in our new house; it had but one room for
us all, with a small press bed in it, and we four boys slept
on the wooden top of it on a mattress, with the ceiling
close upon our faces. We missed the light that used to
come in at the window in the morning, when we woke,
and never ate our porridge as we used, sitting on the
door stane. Our door opened into a yard, and was
A SAILOR BOY'S STORY.
wet and slushy often. Then the fever got among us; it
began in a house near, where there were seven children,
all in one room like us-with their father and mother-
and swept away five of them; it came to us next. Little
Jem was stricken first, and died; and they carried him
away and buried him, and I can remember father's pale
face, and mother sitting sobbing with the apron thrown
over her head. It was a terrible time. I escaped some
way, but all the others were taken; and I was left the
only child in the house.
"Whether it was that father was broken down with
grief, or that he had the fever too, he was laid up and
could not go to work for a fortnight; so another man got
his place, and we had to move again. We went into a
large town, that was not very far off; we lived in a
dreary, empty room, in a dark dirty court. Then it was
I learned the pain of hunger and thirst. Father wandered
about all day seeking work, and found none. No more
pleasant Sabbaths for us; one day was like another; our
clothes were in rags, and we should have been ashamed
to be seen among other folk.
At last mother and I got work in a factory; I believe
it was through the master that father had served so long
A SAILOR BOY'S STORY.
in the farm speaking for us; and it was a proud day
for me when I brought home my first week's wages. We
got a better room, and there was bread in the house once
more; but father could get nothing to do. There was no
opening for him anywhere, and he looked like a broken
man. He said he could not live on the labour of his
wife and child, he that had brought up his family decent
and respectable till they turned him out of his cottage,
and sickness and death came upon him; and all that
mother could beg or pray of him, he would go to sea.
He had served his time in a merchantman when he was
"He went, and we worked on. We could maintain
ourselves, and I liked the factory pretty well. It was not
like the bad times, when little children were worked
twelve and fourteen hours a day. Since the new law,
we that were only nine years old, did not work more
than eight and often six, and there was a good school we
all went tq. But the work was too hard for mother, and
two years passed and then three years, and there was no
news of father. So she took a bad cough, and grew weaker
and weaker, and I lost her and was left alone."
The poor boy could not speak for a good while, and