The Baldwin Library
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SEE PAGE 94.
21 0torg for
LITTLE AND GROWN-UP CHILDREN.
BY MRS. MAXWELL.
EDITED BY DANIEL P. KIDDER
PUBLISHED BY CARLTON & PHILLIPS,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by
LANE & SCOTT.
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern
District of New-York.
PERHAPS some of my readers will
think it unnecessary that I should
write a whole book merely to illus-
trate two such little words as, Be
True "-only six letters in the whole.
But, my dear young friends, if words
are to be valued in proportion to the
number of letters which they con-
tain, some of our native Indian
words would be almost invaluable.
You will not admit this; nor will you
admit that some of the hard, inco~
prehensible words, which many use in
the illustration of simple truths, are
the best chosen.
I like that minister," said a little
boy, who recently came, for the first
time, into the chapel; "I like that
minister, father; won't you please
buy a pew, and let me go there.
Little boys can understand what that
I will acknowledge that "Be True"
are two very small words-but how
much they mean! Why they mean
(some of my readers will say) that
we must always speak the truth.
Certainly. But they mean more than
that; they mean that we should live,
and think, and act, the truth. Many
people, who would on no account
speak an untruth, seem to think it no
wrong to act a lie. But Be True"
means that we must not wrong any
one in ang way-either in our words,
or thoughts, or acts; neither must we
wrong our own consciences, for in
so doing we wrong our God. If we
act only from worldly policy, we
shall always find that honesty is the
best policy. But we would have all
who read this book act from a higher
motive than this-act not only for
time, but for eternity.
You will see, in reading the story
of Laura, how truth at last triumph-
ed over falsehood. Not always do
we see, as in this case, the reward
of fidelity; but "truth is mighty,"
and its triumph is ure.
COUNTRY TOWN- OLD CHURCa -PasONAGB--
THE BURYING-GROUND-IMPROVEMENTS SUGGESTED
-PRINCIPAL STREET-TAVERN-SHOPS-MR. WIN-
GATE'S STOR-MRS. WINGAT .... Page 11
LIFE'S CHANGES-DEATH-THE LITTLE MOURNER
-THE LOVING FRIEND-THE BALM-MINISTERING
ANGELS ........ .. .. .... 18
THE COVERT-THE TRIAL-THE TRUE OF HEART
-THE STORM-CLOUD-SYMPATHY . .. 24
THE REVELATION-THE RESULT-SOFTENING RE-
COLLECTIONS-THE GOSsIP . 36
THE NEW MOTHER-THE STEP-SISTERS-FINE NO-
TIONS-GREAT ALTERATIONS-SUDDEN DEATH 42
THE SHORN LAMB-THE VOICE OF DEATH-TACT
-THE WELCOME LETTER . .. .51
LABORIOUS DUTIES-ILLNESS-THE NEW FRIEND
-THE DISCOVERY-TRUTH TRIUMPHANT 67
COUNTRY TOWN-OLD CHURCH-PARSONAGE
GESTED-PRINCIPAL STREET- TAVERN-
SHOPS-MR. WINGATE'S STORE-MRS. WIN-
THE town of F- in the state of
M- is a very pleasant town; so
thought the inhabitants, and at the
time even of which we write, they
were neither "few nor far between."
This was especially true of the Mid-
dle of the town, the name by which
the village was generally known.
Here was the "meeting-house," a
dark-looking, old-fashioned building,
with two long rows of windows, and
a steeple that claimed acquaintance
with the sky. Here, too, was a "bury-
ing-ground," where old people had
come, after a long life of toil, and
laid their snowy heads beneath the
green earth's sod. And there were
others, too-others besides the aged
and weary-who had come to sleep
in the long shadow of the old meet-
ing-house. Other heads than those
frosted by scores of years droop in
death, and find its long repose;
others than those who have borne
the burden and heat of many sum-
mer days. Thus was it in the old
burying-ground at F- It was a
healthy town; yet even there bright
eyes had closed in a dreamless sleep,
and soft flowing tresses moldered
in the damp of the grave. Little
children too, many, many were sleep-
ing there, with white flowers bloom-
ing upon their small green beds,
and dark old trees waving solemnly
above. Back of the church-yard, on
a narrow, shady street, that ran with-
out stopping anywhere, was the par-
sonage; or, as it Was there called, the
minister's house. A sweet, retired
place, was this: trees and water in
front, and the silent resting-place of
Jhe dead behind. It looked like the
Christian returning from the dimness
and the shadow of death to the fresh-
ness and verdure of elysian fields.
A fitting place, truly, for one who
stands between the living and the :
Tries each art, reproves each dull delay,
Allures to brighter worlds, and leads the way. .
And is this the town of F---?"
* inquires some little bustling Yaskee
boy. "If so, it is not t1e place f
me. Old meetinghouses, and bury-
ing-grounds, and solitary, shady
streets! I would soon make things
look up, or I wouldn't stay. That
old meeting-house! I would make
a factory of it, and build a snug, trim
church, painting it white, with green
blinds, green-as green can be. Folks
must have burying-grounds in every
place; but I would put them up t%
having white stones, and iron rail-
ings, and a new picket fence. As
for the water near the minister's, it
would be a good mill privilege, no
doubt, and the grove a good wood
There is nothing new under the
sun, my dear boy, and the very
thoughts which have been passing
through your wise little head, have
passed through other heads before.
The old meeting-house, the burying-
gr d, the solitary street-all now
are among the things that were.
are there now-the white church, the"'
new stones, the iron rails, the picket
fence, the factory, the mill-all are
there. But it is of other days r
would write; will you'listen ?
I had not -told you of the lopg
%street running through the Middle gf \
the town, where was the tavern, with
its sign of a gilded globe; of the shops
-shoemaker's, joiner's, and cabinet
maker's; and, more than all, of the
store, that place of places, which was
furnished with much more than the
mind could at once conceivaf Ifr.
Wingate was the sole prop~ :pof
this bewildering variety of all t~is
under the sun; an easy, Oinaturqd
man, who loved nothing. s' much
as rest This, in a country store, can
easily be obtained; and thoughjr.
SWingate had no boys of his own, it
cannot be supposed that, with his
raisin casks and sugar barrels all
, open, he should want for any little
helps that boys can give.
Any persorf who could have seen
Mr. Wingate, of a summer day, sit-
tiig in his arm-chair, at the store,.
door, his short pipe, "for ever burn-
ing, yet unconsumed," stuck into a
corer of his mouth, with boys of all
sizes waiting with him for a custo-
mer, would have felt with us, that
there is rest even here.
Just beyond the store, and on the
.ppqI side of the street, was Mr.
Wifate's house, rathermore modern
in its appearance than most houses
in F--,, yet leaving on the mind
of the beholder an impression that it
wastot originally so. Within doors
the modernizing process had been
more successful; here were things
intended for a standing wonder, and
among these I beg leave to reckon
the lady of the house herself. If
Mrs. Wingate had thought it proper
to make herself into a sign for her
husband's store, one better adapted
could not have been found. The rus-
tics marveled at the country school-
master, wondering greatly how one
small head could carry all he knew.
The wonder was not less among the
good people of F-, with respect 4
to Mrs. W., but with this difference;
they marveled not at what she knew,
but at what she wore. How one
small head could carry artificial flow-
ers, lace, and curls, amply suffeient
for a milliner's show-case, was a mys-.
tery, which, though often discussed,
was as yet unraveled.
LIFE'S CHANGES-DEATH-LITTLE MOURNER
-THE LOVING FRIEND-THE BALM-MINIS-
THINGs were not always thus in the
Middle of the town of F- Did
you ever hear of a town where they
were? But we have all heard of
life's changes; we have seen and
felt there~ too.
Year after year the seasons roll,
Change after change comes o'er the soul;
Life's brilliant dream
Becomes a shadow of the past,
And death unfolds his shroud at last,
To close the scene.
Time was when the house of Mr.
Wingate was an antique-looking do-
micl. Vbices, many voices, which
had been hushed in death for years,
had echoed through those sombre
rooms, and up and down the garden
walks. The oldest inhabitant re-
membered Mr. Wingate's grandfa-
ther; others, less advanced in life's
journey, remembered his father, and
himself as a little boy. But with his
youth and manhood many were ac-
quainted. His first marriage was
well remembered; noi'had the me-
mory of the amiable woman whose
smile was once the sunshine of that
old mansion faded from the minds,
even of the young. But she was
dead-dead! Ah! how much of
earthly sorrow is garnered up in that
one little word! The wife-the mo-
ther-the friend-dead! What a
world is ours! Thanks for a light
upon Us darkness; a light from that
Change finds no pathway,
Memory no dark trace.
Such was the language of many a
heart, as the loving and beloved for-
mer Mrs. Wingate was laid in her
narrow grave. How kind she was!
said her neighbors; How good! re-
sponded the poor; How true! whis-
pered the hearts of all-true to her
family, to hdefriends, to her Christian
profession, and to her God. Well
may it be said of such, How can I
give thee up!" But let selfish grief be
silent. Blessed, blessed are the dead
who die in the Lord.
Who turns from his farm, or his
merchandise, at the voice of death ?
Man pauses a moment, till assured
that he is not the present mark of
the unerring archer, and then he
plunges into life's tide anew, to float
with its hurrying current, or struggle
for the pebbles on the shore.
A few months passed on, and
even the husband forgot, in a mea-
sure, that he had been a prey to the
spoiler. But there was one heart
that grieved as it is not good to grieve.
One little heart that, night after night,
beat upon the cold sod, and poured
out its grief like water. It was the
daughter's heart. Poor little stricken
heart! poor Laura Wingate! The
neighbors feared that the child would
die; and good Mrs. Page (the pas-
tor's wife) prevailed on the father,
who, though it was lonely for him,
at last consented that Laura should
go for a time to the parsonage. The
warm sympathy of a heart that loved
the mother, was now poured upon
the child. Hour after hour would
the kind woman hold the little girl
in her arms, talking to her of the
path, rough and uneven, full of
thorns, whose sting must be borne,
watered with tears which mortals
must ever shed, but leading the true
of heart to the better country. With
a mother's tenderness she would
watch the child, who was bent on
a nightly visit to the church-yard;
sometimes allowing her to go, but
following her soon, weeping with
her awhile. Then with a hymn of
praise, or the hallowed tones of pray-
er, she would soothe the heart's ago-
ny, and thus succeed in leading little
The beautiful summer months thus
spent with her kind friend, brought
to Laura's heart, if not the careless
gladness of other days, at least the
gift of peace. Not that the memory
of her mother became less precious,
but with that memory, now chasten-
ed and made holy, there were sweet
and pleasant associations. What she
had been on earth, what she was
now in heaven-all these thoughts
became to her like the rustling of
angels' wings; and we love to think,
as Laura bowed her young head in
prayer, that this was more than a
fanciful dream. "Are they not all
ministering spirits ?"
THE COVERT THE TRIAL THE TRUE OP
Around our couch at midnight
Their forms flit slowly by,
And in olden tones they speak to us
Ere they fade into the sky.
At twilight, when the dew falls,
They walk with us and sing,
And their voice is like the murmuring
Of swallows on the wing.-Songs of t Dead.
OUR friend Laura was still a little
girl; but the mind does not always
measure its growth by the flight of
years. A brief day of sorrow may
teach us what long years of sunshine
would not; yet we love the sun-
shine. Our hearts quail with terror
in view of the gathering storm, and
when the first rude blast sweeps
over us, we cling to some earthly
reed; another follows, and our hold
BE TRUE. 25
is broken; another, and another, till,
distrusting all earthly help, we fly to
Christ, and hide ourselves in his
My Beloved, safely hide me,
In the drear and cloudy day;
Ere the wintry storm hath tried me,
Hide my trembling soul, I pray.
Such, I am happy to say, was
Laura's prayer; for, young as she was,
the first rude blast of sorrow hact
made her apprehensive of more to
She is changed, greatly changed,"
said the neighbors, as they looked
into her sweet, pensive face; but
they knew not what sorrow was do-
ing for that young heart, nor how
necessary was that work in a prepa-
ration for future trials.
"I am sure that mother has not
forsaken me," the -little girl would
say; I can almost hear her voice as
in other days."
Laura was getting to be quite a
capable little house-keeper for her
father. And that father! how much
he thought of Laura-so like her
mother, so true! "I could trust her
with the wealth of the Indies," he
would say; "I would take Laura's
word against a thousand." And so
thought the neighbors.
"Laura, my dear," said Mr. Win-
gate, one evening, as he sat down by
the clean hearth and glowing fire,
"do you remember that splendid
shop which you admired so much
the last time we were at P---?"
"O yes!" replied the little girl,
smiling faintly; "I remember how
dear mother reasoned me out of buy-
ing a great many of the foolish things
that I saw there: and, papa, I'm
afraid that the woman who kept that
shop was not true."
"Why ?" said Mr. W.
"Why, pa, when mother was look-
ing at the bonnets, she showed me
again the very things that mother
was not willing for me to buy; and
she told me in a low voice, that if I
wanted them very much, my mother
would let me take them. That was
not right, father."
," said Mr. Wingate, hitching
his chair round a little, "she only
wanted to please you; perhaps, too,
it was not the mistress of the shop,
but one of the girls."
"We were talking of the shop,
and the goods, and the woman who
waited on us," said Laura. "I know
nothing of her, papa, whether she
were the mistress of the shop, or not;
but I should know her again, if I
were to meet her anywhere. She
was a large, fleshy woman, with a
wart on her right cheek; she wore
glasses, a very large turban trimmed
with lace, and such a mountain of
curls! I remember thinking at the
time that perhaps all her drawers,
and shelves, and bandboxes, being
full, she had nowhere to put the rest
of her finery but on her head."
Mr. Wingate knocked the ashes
from his pipe, and, in a tone less
kind than usual,, bade Laura hasten
the supper. The little girl saw that
all was not right, but she did not
dream of being herself the cause.
" Father is thinking of something un-
pleasant; I will get him a nice sup-
per," thought Laura, "and he will feel
better." But, though the little girl
walked briskly about, drew out the
table, opened the. leaves, spread the
cloth, ran forth and back to the clo-
set, up and down cellar, the father
did not look at her with a pleasant
smile, as he was wont to do; and
when at last she put her arms around
his neck, and whispered in his ear,
" Supper is ready," he did not catch
her in his arms, and playfully bite
her cheek, as he had done before:
but he got slowly up, sat down to
the table, and took his tea in silence.
This done, he took a newspaper
from his hat, and seating himself by
the light-stand, pretended to read.
But Laura, who was putting away
the tea things, saw that this was
mere pretense; he was looking over
the top of his paper, and gazing
moodily into the fire.
"Are you sick, papa?" said the
little girl, sitting down in a low chair,
and looking up affectionately into his
"No!" was the short reply.
Laura was silent for a short time,
and then began, "( You look-" but
noticing a shade of impatience flit-
ting over her father's face, she stop-
ped short, and burst into tears.
Mr. Wingate laid by his paper, and
drew her upon his knee. "Laura,"
said he, "I wanted to talk with you
this evening about something par-
ticular; but I find that you have a
foolish prejudice against a person of
whom you know nothing."
Who is it, papa ?" inquired the
little girl, with astonishment.
"Why," said Mr. Wingate, impa-
tiently, "of whom have we been
Nobody," replied she, "except-
ing that fat woman with ..-"
"Well, well," interrupted her fa-
ther, "that is the person. You know
nothing of her."
No matter if I never do, papa," re.
plied Laura; "I have no prejudice
against her. Perhaps she never had
good instruction; and as to herjinery,
why if she chooses to wear a cart-
load, it is no concern of mine."
Mr. Wingate had sometimes heard
his little daughter complained of as
being too plain spoken; but this had
given him no concern. He always
admired the truthfulness of her mo-
ther's character, and was glad that
Laura possessed the same. But,
somehow, to-night he was in a dif-
ferent humor: Laura's truthfulness
interfered with some opinions that
he was striving to cherish. He felt
dissatisfied; but whether it were with
his daughter or himself, he could hard
ly tell The entrance of a neighbor
changed the conversation; but to
Laura the evening passed sadly
away, and long after she had lain
her head upon her pillow, she pon-
dered over and over again the words
which her father had spoken, and,
above all, his cold and altered man-
ner. She sobbed herself to sleep, and
dreamed of her mother; dreamed that
she came to her in the dim twilight,
and folded her in her shadowy arms.
Then her heart ceased to beat; a
balm like the breath of heaven came
over her spirit, and she was at rest.
The next morning Mr. Wingate
spoke kindly to his little daughter;
but he looked thoughtful, and made
no reference to the last evening's
conversation. That day Laura call-
ed on her friend and adopted mother,
good Mrs. Page. Every grief of her
young heart, since the death of her
mother, had been poured into the ear
of this faithful friend, and it cannot
be supposed that the bitter one- of
the last evening was withheld. Mrs
Page listened with evident anxiety,
and as Laura spoke of her father's
altered manner, she sighed heavily,
and a tear rose to her eye.
"My dear Laura," said she, "I
think that I understand it all; but
I cannot tell* you at present. You
need strength, my child, for a new
trial: all that you need will be
given; ask, Laura, and you shall re
My dear Mrs. Page," exclaimed
the little girl, throwing herself upon
her knees, and grasping the hand of
her friend, "tell me, I entreat you,
what you mean: do you believe that
my father --"
"Yes, my dear," interrupted Mrs.
Page, with as much calmness as she
could assume, "there is no doubt
but that your father intends to fur-
nish you with a mother."
A mother!" gasped the child, as
she sunk, almost fainting, upon the
floor; O if I could only go where
my mother is gone!"
Mrs. Page made no effort that
night to reason Laura into a feeling
of resignation. She knew the wo-
man who was destined to take the
BE TRUE. 3b
place of her departed friend, aqd her
own feelings were not widely differ-
ent from those of the child. But
after a few days had made the dread-
ful thought more familiar, she ven-
tured to give the little girl some
"Do not fear, my dear Laura,"
said she, after a long conversation;
"be as you have ever been. Be true,
my child, and though father and mo-
ther forsake you, the Lord will take
THE REVELATION-THE RESULT-SOFTENING
Shall a mother's arms caress them
Shall a mother's kindness bless them ?
HAPPY for little Laura that she knew
the way to Him who still bears our
griefs, and carries our sorrows, and
strengthens by his grace. She pa-
tiently submitted to his will. Mr.
Wingate tried for weeks to nerve him-
self to bear the grief which he sup-
posed his little daughter would feel,
when she should be informed of his
decision. He thought of many plans,
but at last fixed on the following:-
He would assume an austerity of
manner, that would awe his child
into silent submission.
"Laura," said he one night, as he
came in from the store, "I shallsend
Mrs. Crocker, on the morrow, to
clean the house. I would have eve-
rything in perfect order by the last
of the week, as I intend to go to P-
on Friday, and on Saturday return
with Mrs. Brass, whom you will, for
the future, respect as your mother:
and I expect, too, that you will treat
her two daughters as sisters."
"Mrs. Brass!" thought Laura: the
name sounded queerly, and then as-
sociated with the recollection of the
lady herself, the head-load of curls
that had haunted her dreams for
many a night, with the broad, deter-
mined-looking face, that reminded her
of a church clock and steeple, all gave
a comical propriety to the name. Mrs.
Brass! thought Laura; and glancing
at her father, she wondered if he were
not trying to be brass too. Altogether
it was too much for Laura's nerves;
in spite of herself, she burst into a fit
Her father was astonished, but not
exactly pleased: people can very
well bear to be laughed at, if they
are not conscious of being ridicu-
lous; but who can bear merited ri-
"You are greatly improving in
your manners," said Mr. Wingate, in
a tone of bitter irony.
"I beg your pardon, papa," said
the little girl, blushing deeply, and
hurrying to her own room.
Mr. Wingate sat down, and thought
for a moment; his conscience ac-
cused him of unkindness: he thought
of Laura's mother; of the eye almost
dim in death, but resting with an
earnest gaze on him; of the hand,
cold and feeble, but fondly grasping
his own; of the words falling from
lips on which death was setting his
seal-those words of solemn im-
port; the promise given to the spirit
which waited only to hear, that as
she had been loved and cherished,
so should the daughter be.
I will see Laura before I go," said
Mr. Wingate; "I will soothe the poor
child, and renew the promise made
to her mother."
He went to the room. The heart-
stricken child was telling all her
griefs and sorrows to her heavenly
Father; she was asking for grace
sufficient for her, and strength equal
to her day." Mr. Wingate entered
softly, and knelt by her side. In few
words he commended his little girl
to God, pressed her tremblingly to
his heart, kissed her tearful cheek,
and left the house.
The next day Mrs. Crocker came;
a gossiping old woman, whose
tongue could outrun a dozen brooms
and mop handles. To her idle and
impertinent clatter, poor Laura was
obliged, through the day, to listen.
But thankful was she at nightfall to
see good Mrs. Page coming across
"1O Iam glad you have come," said
Laura, throwing her arms around the
neck of her friend, as she entered and
seated herself by the open window.
Mrs. Crocker was gathering up her
things to depart. "Laura," said the
old woman, thrusting her head
through the half-open door, "be sure
that you say nothing about what
I've said to you. I aint a kind o'per-
son to talk about folks, and more
'specially neighbors; and I spose
Madam Brass is going to be a neigh-
bor. I don't want you to make trou-
ble between me and your mother
that is to be."
Laura assured the old woman that
she had no cause for anxiety, as she
remembered nothing of all that had
been said. The remainder of the
summer evening passed pleasantly
away; and as Laura retired, she
thanked God that the good were still
upon the earth, and that happiness
might yet be the portion of the pa-
tient and true.
THE NEW MOTHER-THE STEP-SISTERS-FINE
NOTIONS GREAT ALTERATIONS-SUDDEN
TIME passes: the human heart may
be sad or joyful; life's current may
rush wildly to the great ocean; or it
may glide gently along. Time pass-
es: earthly joys and earthly sorrows
will soon mingle with those waters
where all is forgotten. Mrs. Brass,
now Mrs. Wingate,) with her two
daughters, Helen Ann Janette Maria
and Martha Jane Amelia Brass-
seven names, it is true, but only two
daughters-were comfortably esta-
blished in the old domicil. Com-
fortably! What has comfort to do
with three fine, city-bred ladies, like
the Brasses ? The old house of Mr.
Wingate was horrid; gloomy as a
tomb: everything about it was un-
endurable, and for six months the
sound of the hammer echoed from
garret to cellar. The old house put
on different airs; but, like other fine-
ly dressed old people, it had a way of
looking (I don't know how) some-
how as though it were not new, but
only an old house "fixed up." Re-
pairs at length came to an end, and
Mrs. Wingate had other improve-
ments to suggest.
Laura, the straightforward, truth-
telling Laura-how she interfered
with the fashionable deceit which
her mother and step-sisters well un-
derstood, and were not slow to prac-
tice! Poor Laura, she was only keep-
ing the golden rule. "If," thought
she, "I had so bad a memory as
mamma and the sisters, I should be
obliged to any one who would set
me right" But Laura did not know
how difficult the task would be of
setting people right who chose to be
Perhaps some of my readers will
wonder how little Laura could be
counted an enemy, because she told
the truth; but such was the fact. In
our large cities, or even in our vil-
lages, at the present day, Laura's
truthfulness would have been con-
sidered ridiculous. But in the good,
steady town of F--, fashionable
lying was yet unknown. If a lady
there should say that she was "out,"
when she was at home; if she ap-
peared greatly to admire persons
when they were present, and ridi-
culed them in their absence, she
would be called a very deceitful per-
son, and unworthy the confidence of
society, and little Laura was like the
people generally, only, perhaps, a lit-
tle more sincere.
It was a hard lesson for Laura to
learn, that of interpreting everything
by contraries. How should she know
that "I am rejoiced to see you,"
meant, You must be a fool to call at
such an hour, I wish you were at
home; or that, "You have a love of
a bonnet, that color is beautiful, and
so becoming!" meant, You have a
horrid taste; blue! for a swarthy, mid-
This was the kind of language
used by the sisters, (we will not take
time to write their names,) but to
Laura it was incomprehensible: and
no wonder, if in her ignorance, or
rather, as they called it, want of tact,
she should commit egregious blun-
ders. This was not unfrequently
In our day of general information,
on such points, these mistakes would
have been no interruption to the
world's friendship; but in the town
of F-- it was otherwise. People
began to look suspiciously upon the
new Mrs. Wingate and her two
daughters, and some old members
of the church questioned the pro-
priety of admitting liars and back-
biters to its communion. Strange
proceedings, indeed, with people
who had, for some time, been very
worthy members of a city church!
With the ladies themselves, these
things were all placed to the account
of country ignorance; people knew
no better, and they determined to
show their contempt by a dignified
silence. In appearance they would
care nothing about it; but appear-
ance and the heart had been too long
at variance to unite here. It cannot
be denied that, at heart, they were
deeply mortified and chagrined, nor
can it be supposed that Laura, whom
they looked upon as the sole cause,
could escape their resentment.
The little girl found her home fast
becoming anything but desirable.
Mr. Wingate had become moody and
taciturn; he seemed never at home
excepting in his store, and there he
spent the greater part of his time.
The little room belonging to Laura,
and which, in the general alterations,
had remained untouched, was now
her chosen place of resort. From its
narrow window she could see the
white stone that stood like an angel
sentinel by her mother's grave. Just
beyond was the parsonage, where
another heart beat for her; a heart
hardly less warm than a mother's,
and not yet cold in death. Beside
the window was Laura's little table,
and the hymn-book in which was
written her mother's name, and,
above all, her Bible, that precious
Bible which tells us that Jesus is the
resurrection and the life, and that he
that believeth in him, though he
were dead, yet shall he live.
With these pleasant companions,
and her work-box, Laura would sit
for hours. It is true that her heart
yearned for human love, as all affec-
tionate hearts do; and much she
wondered why, with all her kind de-
sires to please and oblige her mamma
and sisters, she could not succeed.
This would not have been so great an
affliction if her father had remained
unchanged; but it was seldom now
that Mr. Wingate smiled on his little
daughter as in other days. He spoke
kindly, sometimes looked sadly into
her pale face; but he often seemed
troubled by her presence. This was
natural enough; people are not often
at ease in the society of those whom
they have injured. Thus was little
Laura called to bear the yoke of sor-
row in her youth; but she was not
left comfortless. Laura was true of
heart, and such have a peace which
the world cannot take away.
Whom the Lord loveth he chast-
eneth, and Laura was soon called to
endure a sudden and almost over-
50 BE TRUE.
whelming trial. Mr. Wingate, in an
unlooked-for hour, was called to an-
other world. With scarcely time to
open his eyes upon the realities of
his situation, he was called to close
them in the sleep of death. Sudden
to all was this stroke of divine Pro-
vidence. What then must it have
been to the little girl who was now
left an orphan in a world like ours ?
THE SHORN LAMB-THE VOICE OF DEATH-
TACT-THE WELCOME LETTER.
GOD tempers the wind to the shorn
lamb; and for several months after
her husband's death, Mrs. Wingate
treated the little girl with more kind-
ness than formerly. There is a
solemn power in death, and few are
the human hearts that do not feel
that power. As the dark gateway
of the tomb opens, a light from the
world beyond falls upon those who
thus far follow the spirit in its flight.
The most thoughtless are sometimes
conscious of this solemn revelation.
Upon the Christian this light falls
with a soft and balmy sweetness,
gently blending with the light with-
in. To the sinner's heart it is the
lightning flash of wrath, awing the
spirit to momentary submission and
fleeting resolves. The few broken
sentences which fell with the death
gasp from the husband's lips com-
mending his child to her maternal
care; the voice which seemed to
come from the dark depths of the
mother's grave, as the father was laid
by her side; these, for a time, dwelt
in Mrs. Wingate's memory, and in-
fluenced her conduct toward the
But, alas for human nature-alas
for the unsanctified heart! Laura's
truthfulness might seem, in the eyes
of worldly wisdom, a sore misfortune;
and strange indeed was it to the in-
nocent child, that truth should stand
between her and human love.
Mrs. Wingate, who, from long prac-
tice, was an adept in store-keeping,
and who, from a close examination
into her husband's affairs, found it
necessary to engage in some busi-
ness, decided that the better way
would be to keep open the old store,
adding thereto a more extensive va-
riety of fancy goods, which were to
be tastefully arranged on a side re-
mote from the tea, coffee, sugar, mo-
lasses, nails, crackers, jack-knives,
&c., &c. The two young ladies, He-
len Ann Janette Maria and Martha
Jane Amelia, were to superintend
this department; the other was to be
under Mrs. Wingate's supervision;
the drudgery of both was to be per-
formed by Laura.
This, to our little girl, was a new
and severe trial; not that she was
averse to labor, but her want of a
certain tact, which her mother con-
sidered indispensable to trade, sub-
jected her to continual censure.
"I only tell the truth," said the
poor child, one evening, to her friend,
Mrs Page. This good lady had en-
tered the store and found Laura
weeping, alone; she insisted on know-
ing the cause of her tears. "Why,
that calico," sobbed the girl; mother
said that it had been injured, and
would scarcely hold together to mea-
sure. Widow Jenkins was going to
buy nearly the whole piece for her
children's dresses-but, dear Mrs.
Page, she is poor, she has no money
to throw away, and when she asked
me if I knew anything of the colors,
what could I say? Amelia had an
apron from it, and the colors all
faded at the first washing, and in less
than a fortnight it was torn to shreds.
Could I tell a lie, Mrs. Page?"
"No, my love," replied her friend.
"Be true; never, to gain a momenta-
ry smile, be other than what you are,
my own true Laura."
"I told mamma," said Laura, "that
I had never spoken anything but the
truth, and that I was afraid to tell a
lie. She said that nobody wished
me to tell a lie; but the truth was
not to be spoken at all times, and if
I was too stupid and obstinate to
learn a little tact, she should be
obliged to turn me out of doors. I
wish, dear Mrs. Page," continued the
little girl, "that you would tell me
what tact means. My mother and
sisters often use that word, and if I
could learn it, why perhaps I could
My dear child," replied Mrs. Page,
"you need not be anxious about
learning what the world calls tact.
Be kind and obliging; be patient and
faithful; but never fear to be true:
do right, my Laura, and fear nothing."
Poor child! thought the "good wo-
man, how gladly would I adopt her
as my own! But this thought was
vain. Mrs. Wingate, notwithstand-
ing Laura's want of tact, could on no
account be prevailed on to part with
her. The faithful services of such a
child were of no small importance
in an establishment like hers. She
knew that Laura could be trusted
where her own daughters could not.
Laura was not often permitted to
spend an evening at home; it was
her nightly task to remain at the store
till the last tardy customer had taken
his departure; then, putting every-
thing in order for the morning, to
"shut up" for the night, and often at
a late hour for a child like her, Lau-
ra would seek her little chamber, and
in her weariness forget her lonely
Returning one night earlier than
usual, she heard loud voices of dis-
pute in the room occupied by her
sisters, which was adjoining her own.
They were contesting the privilege
of going to the city for the newest
fashions. Suddenly their mother en-
tered the room, exclaiming, "Come,
come, girls, stop your quarreling, and
listen to this letter; it is from that
rich Mrs. Elmore, who has always
been so gracious and patronizing to-
ward us; I never thought of being
"MY DEAR AIRS. WINGATE,-I know
your kind heart; I know how deep-
lyyou will sympathize with me when
I tell you that my darling niece, my
sweet Amelia, is dead. You know,
dear madam, how I doted on that
child: but how unfortunate I have
been. Scarcely a bride, before I was
a widow; how long I sought for my
only sister, who, on account of an
imprudent marriage, was discarded
by my father; fated at last to learn
that my poor sister was in her grave.
It was no small solace to my sorrow-
ing heart, that she had left as a pre-
cious legacy to me, her young and
beautiful daughter. You know, as
no one else knows, how I loved that
child. Wealth was nothing to me
only as it afforded the means of
making my idol as accomplished as
BE TRUE. 59
she was beautiful: but she is dead!
and what is wealth or all the world
to me now ?
"1My friends urge the necessity of
my mingling again in scenes of gay-
ety, and thus dissipate the dreadful
gloom that hangs over my spirit
But this I cannot do; my greatest
need is solitude and repose. I have
heard that the place where you live
is calm and beautiful as the dreams
of other days. I have thought, my
dear madam, of spending the ensu-
ing summer with you. The society
of your sprightly daughters (of your
youngest, the namesake of my dear
Amelia, I have thought much) will
be cheering and pleasant to me;
while your own heart, my dear'
madam, so recently stricken by sor-
row, will feel the right sympathy for
one whose dearest treasure is in the
grave. Write at your earliest con-
venience, as I have already made
arrangements for a summer's resi-
dence with you.
"Yours, dear madam, in deepest
sympathy, L. ELMORE."
She seems to take it for granted,"
said Maria, "that she can come."
"Of course," replied her mother,
"wealth like hers gives the right to
command. She understands that it
will be taken as a favor, and all things
considered, it most certainly is: she
thinks more of friendship than mo-
ney: she has thought a great deal of
Amelia; just think of that!"
More now," answered Maria, tes-
tily, "than she will after a further ac-
"Amelia Jane can play her cards
well," replied the.mother, "and of
course she will see that it is for her
interest to do so; she has natural
tact, and now is her time to em-
"Tact!" thought Laura, laying
down her Testament, from which
she conscientiously read a chapter
every night, "I know now what it
means; mother thinks that Amelia
has tact enough to deceive Mrs. El-
more:" and, kneeling down, the little
girl thanked God that she had no tact.
A few weeks later, on returning
home from the store at evening, and
passing the parlor, Laura saw a mid-
dle-aged lady, dressed in mourning,
and judged rightly that it was Mrs.
Elmore, whose arrival had been ex-
pected for several days.
That night the little girl lay awake,
thinking much of life's uncertainty
and its dreary changes; she thought
of the beautiful niece that the poor
sorrowing lady had so recently laid
in the grave; then her thoughts na-
turally reverted to the sad changes
in her own short life; of the dear
mother whose image still lived in
her memory; of the once kind father
who now slept in his narrow house.
Laura's heart swelled, and the tears
gushed from her eyes. But then
she thought of that land where the
weary will find rest; of the little
space between her and those who
had gone before; of the conditions
on which mortals will be permitted
to enter the better country. I will
try," thought the little girl, "I will be
good and true:" and with the peace
of heart which ever follows good re-
solutions, made in the strength of
almighty grace, Laura was sinking
sweetly to rest, when the voices of
the sisters, who had just entered their
chamber, roused her again from
"How charmingly," said Jane,
"mother affects the mourner! Guess
Mrs. Elmore would laugh if she knew
what was the most afflictive part of
Mr. Wingate's death. To marry a
country codger for the sake of his
money, and then to be left a widow
with only an old ark of a house, a
few acres of land, and a store full
of twine, clay pipes, and tobacco-
boxes, must need, as mother says,
'heavenly patience' to endure."
And then, to think," rejoined Ma-
ria, "that we must go into full mourn-
ing again, just to carry out this sham
horrification of mother's, it is abomi-
"It will be only for this summer,"
said Jane; "I will wear scarlet, and
a white feather, next winter, if all the
old men in Christendom die. But I
will tell you what, Maria, that Mrs. El-
more likes me; and perhaps for once
it is best to take mother's advice, and
play my cards well: somehow there
is something searching in Mrs. El-
more's eye; I don't like that."
"I never knew a hypocrite that
ever did like a searching eye," said
"And I never knew a vixen like
you, that was ever pleased with any-
thing," retorted Jane Amelia. "If I
could gain a fortune for you, by act-
ing the hypocrite, I rather think
you would have no objection to the
"Better get your fortune before you
play patron," yawned Maria; "with
all your tact, you will find it no easy
task to impose on the keen-eyed Mrs.
Elmore, especially with that little
blunt imp of a Laura about the
O," said Jane, "I can easily dis-
pose of her; Mrs. Elmore loves flat-
tery too well to be pleased with such
a little truth-telling fool. Mrs. El-
more looks shockingly now, don't
you thii she does ?"
"To be sure," replied Maria, "she
will die of consumption before a
year; but I know she would be
terrified out of her senses at the
thoughts of death. What a mon-
strous 'whopper' was that of mo-
their's, when she told Mrs. Elmore that
she looked as young and healthy as
she did ten years ago."
"Ha! ha !" laughed Jane Amelia,
"and how much good the lie did the
poor creature: but Laura, if she ever
dares to speak to Mrs. Elmore, will
say, You look as my dear mamma
did just before she died-I can make
her say that, and I am sure Mrs. El-
more will never wish to set eyes on
Then I shall not say it," thought
Laura, "for I don't want p distress
any one; but," and the littTe girl co-
vered her head, "they think that I
am asleep. I ought not to be listen-
ing to anything like this," and with a
desperate effort she fixed her thoughts
upon other themes, and soon sunk
into a quiet slumber.
BB TR E.
LABORIOUS DUTIES-ILLNESS-NEW FRIEND
-THE DISCOVERY-TRUTH TRIUMPHANT.
CONFINEI almost constantly to the
store, Laura had little or no opportu-
nity of seeing the stranger lady. It
was the little girl's task to open the
store in the morning, to wait till the
young ladies had breakfasted, and
were ready to take her place for the
few hurried moments which were
allowed her for taking her morning
meal; and thus was her dinner
eaten, alone and in haste.
Mrs. Elmore had seen, occasional-
ly, a pale, pretty looking child, pass-
ing the door and the open window.
At first she thought her a neighbor's
child; but meeting her once or twice
in the entry, and upon the stairs, she
came to the conclusion that it must
be a little domestic about the house.
Mrs. Elmore had selected a rw*.
on the first floor, and directly under
the one occupied by Laura The
little girl, from frequent exposure to
the evening air, had been seized with
a violent cough. During most of
the night her restless hack, hack,
grated upon the lady's nerves; not
that it was sufficiently loud to dis-
turb her sleep, but the heart, natural-
ly kind, was touched with pity for
the poor little sufferer. She men-
tioned the thing to Mrs. Wingate at
the breakfast table, and that lady re-
gretted exceedingly that Mrs. Elmore
had been disturbed. The child, she
said, must be removed immediately
to some other apartment.
"By no means," replied Mrs. El-
; "it is not on my own account,
~in'account of the child, that I
spoken. I supposed you igno-
rant of the fact of her having such a
dreadful cough: I knew, my dear
Mrs. Wingate, that you would agree
with me in the sentiment, that the
health and happiness even of our
domestics should be a portion of our
Mrs. Wingate's first impulse was
to correct this mistake; but-feeling,
notwithstanding Mrs. Elmore's polite
way of managing her reproof, that it
was really intended for a reproof-to
confess that Laura was not a domes-
tic, that she was her husband's child,
intrusted by a most solemn cove-
nant to her motherly care, was a
thing which she hesitated to do: she
sat a moment silent and embarrass-
ed; but a glance at her daughterj4
cided her to let it pass. The- youg
ladies thought it a lucky mis
Mrs Elmore would be less likely t
talk with the child, and thus Laura,
with her unfortunate truth-telling pro-
pensity, would be less liable to thwart
On retiring that night, Mrs. Elmore
insisted that Laura should not be re-
moved from her room, saying, that
"she should rest no better with the
child away, until her cough was
"How vexatious r' exclaimed Mrs.
Wingate, as the lady left the room;
" I must spend the whole evening in
making the preparation which she
"I should do no such thing," said
Maria; "something else will do as
b anid she need kuow nothing
S.Accordingly the prescription given
'by Mrs. Elmore was not attended to.
"Jane Amelia," said Mrs. Win-
gate, as she rose to retire, "carry
this cup to Laura, and be sure that
you call it by the name which Mrs.
Elmore called her wonderful cough
Jane Amelia took the draught and
carried it to her chamber; but, soon
absorbed in a letter just received
from the city, she forgot the cup,
leaving it for the night upon her
Little Laura coughed as before,
until Mrs. Elmore, unable to endure
it any longer, bethought her of a
simple remedy in her own posses-
sion. She rose, and, taking a lamp,
groped her way up the back sta
to the child's apartment
"My poor child," said she, approach
ing the bed where Laura lay tossing
in feverish restlessness, "here is some-
thing for you to take."
The little girl started from her pil-
low, gazed a moment as if seized
with sudden terror, and then sinking
back, exclaimed, It is, it is my own
"Don't be frightened," said the
lady, "it is Mrs. Elmore; I heard you
cough, dear, and couldn't sleep."
"You are very kind," said Laura,
now wide awake, and her cheeks
glowing with fever and excitement,
and again she fixed her eyes, full of
incredulous wonder, upon the lady.
"You are not afraid of me ?" said
"No, no," replied Laura, bursting
into tears; but you look so much
like my--" Here she recollected
the conversation between the sisters,
"Whom do I look so much like ?"
inquired Mrs. Elmore.
"I beg your pardon," said Laura,
"but-but I wouldn't hurt your feel-
ings; if you please, I will say no
more about it."
Mrs. Elmore, supposing the child
was not fairly awake, after having
administered the medicine, adjusted
her pillow, bathed her feverish fore-
head, and then descended to her own
apartment. But it was in vain she
"Why is it," thought she, "that I
have ever felt so strange an interest
in that child? I have never looked
at her without thinking of my dear
cousin Helen: how strangely per-
verse was I to break off a friendship
so important to myself, merely be-
cause I could not bear the truth!"
And full of these feelings of self-
accusation, Mrs. Elmore once more
arose from her bed.
I cannot sleep to-night," said she,
as she put on a dressing-gown, and
seated herself at a small table on
which stood an elegant box; I can-
not sleep to-night, and I may as well
let conscience speak until it is wea-
ried with its own importunity; I will
read Helen's last letter." So say-
ing, she unlocked the box, and drew
forth a package of letters: beneath
these lay a small case which she
likewise opened, displaying a minia-
ture likeness of a young lady.
"Dear Helen !" exclaimed Ms. El-
more, "if I had but answered your
last letter," and drawing one from
the package, she read-
MY DEAR LAuRA,-Once more I
entreat you to bear with and forgive
your cousin Helen-forgive me if I
have been too harsh in my expres-
sions of truth; for truth it is, dear
Laura, and to gain the friendship of
a world I could say no less. Think,
my dearest cousin, of our long and
sisterly intimacy, our pure, devoted
friendship, which until now has
never been interrupted by the unfor-
tunate bluntness of your friend. We
have shared each other's sorrows,
Laura, when poor Caroline, discard-
ed by her father, left her home and
kindred for a stranger's love: how
was the anguish of that parting ren-
dered less poignant to both of us by
the thought that each remained to
the other! and after your removal to
the city, dear Laura, though a higher
path in the world's devious ways was
yours, yet you thought not of our
childhood's love as a thing less dear
to your heart.
How often have the sweet silvan
scenes of-your native village, the
quiet regularity of your uncle's farm-
house, been pronounced dearer to
you than all the heartless etiquette of
the flattering throng! I say nothing
of myself here, though I had flattered
myself that your plain-spoken cousin
Helen was not among the least of
the attractions there: nor do I forget
the hearty welcome ever given to the
country cousin by yourself and fami-
ly; how glad you seemed when, for
weeks at a time, I was permitted to
move in the gay circles, when the
trait in my character called by my
uncle's family truthfulneu often re-
ceived the harsher name of jmpu-
My dear Laura, I conjure you by
all these sweet and sad recollections
of the past, be not angry with me
because I tell you the truth. You
know me, Laura; I will not sacrifice
my sense of right; I must be true:
and in reply to your earnest (I
will not call it a harsher name) de-
fense, I must repeat what I have
before said. It were useless to tell
me of the wealth, the high connec-
tions, the beautiful person, possess-
ed by the faithless Elmore. Can I
think of him, Laura, and forget the
friend of our youth, the sweet, con-
fiding Ella More? What if he were
deceived? Ella did not deceive him.
How should she dream that it was
not herself but her imaginary gold,
to which he offered idolatrous hom-
age? How should a heart like hers
imagine that like the wealth once
her own, the love of Elmore should
take to itself wings and fly away ?
"You call me unforgiving; but
where is penitence for this dreadful
wrong? It is true, as you say, that
Ella does not complain. Would you,
Laura ? You have a woman's heart,
and can answer that question. Ella
need not complain; the narrow grave,
and the green earth's sod, will soon
tell the tale which seldom falls from
woman's lips. Elmore says that no
engagement subsisted between Ella
and himslf-.miserable subtetfuge!
Laura, I saw Elmore as he stood by
the dying bed of Widow More; I saw
the poor gasping mother place the
hand of her almost orphan child
within that of him who had long and
earnestly solicited that hand. El-
more was the only son of a dearly
loved friend, and though the mother
feared somewhat the fashionable man
of wealth, she knew that he had won
the young, confiding heart of her
child, and with her dying lips she
blessed them as husband and wife.
"You say that he did not there
promise to marry the beautiful Ella.
But, Laura, tell me, is there no pro-
mise but that which falls from the
lip; is there no falsehood but that
which drops from the perjured
tongue? Elmore's manner at that
awful hour was a promise-to my
mind a promise more sacred than
words; thus was it to the dear sor-
rowing girl, to the dying mother, to
the angel who waited for the flut-
tering spirit, and, Laura, (who can
doubt?) by Him who weighs, not
only every word, but every thought
and act, in the unerring balances of
justice and truth.
"My dear cousin, I will not in-
crease your resentment by saying
more. You who know Ella so well,
are not so vain as to think that un-
der similar circumstances the same
fate would not be yours. With this
warning before you, if misery is
yours, it will not be an involuntary
choice. I have, told you my heart,
dear Laura; if I must sacrifice your
friendship, let me at least have the
consolation of knowing that I have
acted honestly and faithfully as a
"Perhaps you will not (with your
present feelings) be interested to
know that I am about to become a
wife. I shall unite my destinies with
an honest man, whom, notwithstand-
ing the new and different views of the
world generally, I still insist on con-
sidering "the noblest work of God."
My home is to be in the distant state
of M- Farewell, my Laura; in
after years you will think of Helen,
and no longer count her your enemy
because she told you the truth.
"As ever, your faithful and affec-
"And that time has come," said
Mrs. Elmore, leaning her head sor-
rowfully upon her hand; "experience
has taught me what the faithful voice
of friendship could not. How I r1-
gret the past! but life is not yet spent.
Glad am I, even at this late hour,
that truth has triumphed, and fraud
and falsehood have shown to me their
It was late before Mrs. Elmore
retired to rest, and the next morn-
ing she appeared at the breakfast
table looking rather pale and dispi-
My dear madam," said Mrs. Win-
gate, with one of her blandest smiles,
"your kind heart is an enemy to
your health; I cannot allow that poor
child to disturb you so. I should
have taken her to my own room last
night, but for your earnest request
that she should remain."
"I am surprised," replied Mrs. El-
more, "that my prescription was with-
out effect; I did not expect an im-
mediate cure, but I have never before
known it to afford no present relief;
the child coughed more last night
than heretofore. You forgot none of
the ingredients, Mrs. Wingate ?"
"No, no," replied Mrs. Wingate;
and she hurriedly ran over the articles
contained in the receipt, and added,
" Maria was indisposed last night, and
retired early; but I gave Amelia the
draught, and charged her to make
Laura drink it all. You were par-
ticular in this, Amelia ?"
"0 yes, mamma," said Jane Ame-
lia; "the poor little thing was very
unwilling, but by coaxing and hiring,
I succeeded in making her swallow
"Did you say," inquired Mrs. El-
more, "that Maria was indisposed ?"
"She was last evening," replied
Mrs. Wingate; "but this'morning she
has taken Laura's place at the store,
as I can on no account allow the
child to go out until she is better."
The fact was, the young ladies, as
well as their mother, saw the neces-
sity of doing something to remove
the unfavorable opinion which they
feared Mrs. Elmore had formed of
"Benevolence is her foible," said
Mrs. Wingate: "it is as easy for us
to appear affectionate to please her,
as to do a thousand other things not
natural to us."
Immediately after breakfast, Mrs.
Wingate and Jane Amelia went to
the store. while Maria returned home.
Mrs. Elmore was in her own room
busily occupied with the thoughts
which drove sleep from her pillow
the night before. Presently she heard
a light foot-fall, and reflected in the
large mirror which hung directly be-
fore her, she saw the pale face of lit-
tle Laura looking in at the door. She
turned hastily round, and the child
darted away as if conscious of com-
mitting a crime.
Come in, my dear," said Mrs. El-
more, in an encouraging tone, "come
in; I want to see you this morning."
Laura obeyed; but her cheek was
flushed with crimson, and her voice
trembled, as she said, "I hope you
will pardon me for peeping into your
room, Mrs. Elmore; but I did so
want to know if it were only a
"What a dream, my dear?" in-
quired Mrs. Elmore.
Why," said the child, she said it
was you; but it did look so much
like her- "
"Like whom, my child ?" said the
lady, sorely puzzled to know what
she could mean. She recollected the
conversation the evening before, and
began to feel really curious to know
who it was that she so much resem-
bled, and whom the child was so
loath to name. I want you to tell
me," said Mrs. Elmore, passing her
arm around Laura, and drawing her
close to her side, "who you thought
me to be, when I went into your
During this conversation, Laura
had not once raised her eyes to the
lady's face, but she now looked timid-
ly up, started, colored, and burst into
Laura!" said the lady, sternly, "I
shall be angry with you, if you do
not answer my question."
"(0 don't!" said the little girl, im-
ploringly; "I never could bear to
have my dear mamma angry with
me, and you look so much like--"
Like her ?" inquired Mrs. Elmore.
"Yes," sighed Laura.
"And why," inquired the lady,
"would you not tell me before ? Your
mother was not a wicked woman ?"
"O no! no!" exclaimed Laura,
almost indignantly; "my own dear
mamma, she was too good for this
sad world: Mr. Page said that for
her 'to live was Christ, and to die
was gain.' But, Mrs. Elmore, I must
now tell you all, for I would not have
* BE TRWE.
you angry with me. Jane Amelia
thought that it would liurt your feel-
ings if I were to tell you that you
looked like my pale, sick mother."
It was very considerate in Jane
Amelia," said Mrs. Elmore, entirely
mistaking the case, "but I must teach
my feelings a better lesson than to
shrink from the truth."
Laura was now about to retire;
but feeling a deep interest for the
child, and perceiving that she was
really ill, Mrs. Elmore determined on
keeping her that day, and trying her
own skill as a physician.
Maria, my dear," said she, open-
ing the dining-room door, where the
young lady was taking her breakfast,
"I suppose your mother prepared
more medicine than she gave Laura
last evening. I have great confidence
in that prescription, and have a no-
tion of turning nurse to-day; if you
or Amelia will come back and tell
me where the preparation is, I shall
be greatly obliged."
"I rather think," said Maria, un-
guardedly, "that our rattle-brained
Amelia forgot the medicine last night.
The cup is now upon the table in our
Maria knew nothing about the de-
ception. After giving her advice,
(which she had forgotten, and which
she did not at the time suppose her
mother dare follow,) she had retired
to rest, being, as Mrs. Wingate had
said, somewhat indisposed. Mrs. El-
more sent Laura up stairs for the
"I 'm sure it must be what ma in-
tended for Laura," said Maria; "for
when Jane Amelia came into the
room last night, I thought she had a
potion for me: I hate medicine, and
declared positively I would not take
it; but she told me not to put myself
into a fever, for it was Mrs. Elmore's
'cough curer,' for Laura."
Mrs. Elmore took the cup, and, go-
ing to her room, raised it for the se-
cond time to her lips: "Is it possi-
ble," thought she, "that Mrs. Wingate
could deceive me so; this is nothing
but herb tea!" She was unwilling to
believe that people in whom she had
reposed so much confidence should
prove themselves hypocrites. "Lau-
ra," said she, anxious that the child
should contradict her suspicions,
"did Amelia carry you anything to
take, last night ?"
"No, ma'am," replied Laura, "no-
BE TRUE. 91
body came to my room but my--
I mean you, Mrs Elmore."
Are you sure now ?" said Mrs. El-
more; "think again, Laura-didn't
Amelia offer you something very dis-
agreeable, something that she had to
coax and hire you to take ? think now,
you need not be afraid to tell the
Afraid to tell the truth!" exclaim-
ed Laura, with surprise; "you mean,
ma'am, afraid to tell a lie; why
should any one be afraid to tell the
"No, my dear," replied the lady,
"I don't mean that you must not be
afraid to tell a lie-from my heart I
am glad if you are: then you have
no recollection of Amelia, with a
cup of unpleasant drink ?"
"No, ma'am," said Laura, smiling;
92 BE TRUE.
"but if she had coaxed and hired, I
think that I shoa~u have remember-
ed it wa long time." -
Mrs. Elmore looked at Laura, and
to her surprise saw in her counte-
nance an expression of pleasant sar-
casm, which again forcibly remind-
ed her of her early friend. Laura was
silent for a few moments, and then
said, "I would not mind taking un-
pleasant medicine if I could be well,
and I would do anything else that
was right, without being coaxed or
"I believe you, dear," replied Mrs.
Elmore, "and I will try to get you
well; you are a good, true little girl,
and I love you for that."
"Do you love me because I am
true?" said Laura; "that is why
people generally dislike me; every-
BE TItEE. 9 93
body, excepting dear Mrs. Page, calls
me Laura blunt."
How much like my dear Helen !"
exclaimed Mrs. Elmore, almost un-
"That was my mother's name,"
Mrs. Elmore, absorbed in her own
thoughts, did not notice the remark;
but that evening, as she went out for
her usual walk, she invited the little
girl to accompany her.
"Have you ever walked in our
church-yard?" inquired Laura.
Never," was the reply; but there
was something that whispered this
question to her heart, "Would it not
be well for one like you to converse
sometimes with death ?"
"My mamma," said Laura, "loved
to walk in the church-yard: when
94 B BE TRUE.
she began to look pale, and sick like
-- I mean when she grew sick,
she went oftener; but at last she
couldn't walk, and they soon carried
her there to stay."
"We will go to your mother's
grave," said Mrs. Elmore, strangely
affected by the child's words.
Laura thanked her, and turned up
the narrow street, almost embower-
ed by the broad, sweeping elms: a
few steps brought them to the church-
yard. "That tree," said Laura, point-
ing to a distant willow, "that tree
hangs over my father and mother's
Mrs. Elmore walked to the spot,
and cast her eye at first carelessly-
upon the stone, with its inscription;
but suddenly, and with an energy
that almost startled the child, she
BE TRUE. 95
seized Laura's hand-" Tell me," said
she, "for what is that L? Helen L-?"
"Landon," replied the child; "my
mother's name was Helen Landon."
Mrs. Elmore sat down upon the
turf, and so deadly pale was her face,
that Laura pressed to her side, and
begged to know if she felt sick.
"My dear child," said Mrs. Elmore,
"your mother was my cousin, and
my truest friend."
Everybody says that my mother
was true," said Laura, her eyes spark-
ling with joy.
Yes," thought Mrs. Elmore, and
forgiving too, or she would not have
named her only child after me."
"Tell me, my dear," she exclaimed,
"how came your mother so poor?
was she left a widow ?"
"No!" said Laura, with surprise, and
96 # BE TRUE.
pointing at the tomb-stones again;
"you see that mother died first: we
were not very poor, ma'am."
Mrs. Elmore had read only as far
as Helen L. She now commenced
HELEN L., WIFE OF CHARLES WINGATE, ESQ.
THE DEVOTED WIFE-TRE AFFECTIONATE MOTHER-
THE FAITHFUL FRIEND-THE TRUE OF HEART.
"SHE IS NOT DEAD, BUT BLEEPETH."
"And so, my Laura," said Mrs. El-
more, "Madam Brass is your step-
The little girl, who had never
heard that name in connection with
Mrs. Wingate, without a disposition
to smile, tried several times to an-
swer that question, but unable to do
so, burst into a laugh. Mrs. Elmore
snatched her to her bosom and laugh-
ed too, until the tears ran down her
cheeks like rain. "So like her mo-
ther," thought she; "with hearts to
love, she will be just another Helen,
frank as truth itself, but merry and
keen as steel."
For a moment Laura lay in the
arms of her new friend, in perfect
abandonment to mirth; but sudden-
ly recollecting herself, she started up
and burst into tears.
"I did not forget where we were,"
said Mrs. Elmore, wiping away her
tears; "I did not forget, my dear child,
that we were in the church-yard and
seated upon your mother's grave;
but I cannot doubt, Laura, but that
her happy spirit rejoices over us both
at this hour. I will be a mother to
you, Laura. You shall go with me
to my home, and shall be educated
as my daughter."
And I'm sure," said Laura, that
I shall love you, you are so like my
I will try to be like her," replied
Mrs. Elmore; "I will try, my dear, to
live as your mother lived, that I may
die as she died."
That night Mrs. Elmore held a long
private conference with Mrs. Win-
gate. Several times during the tete-a-
tete there was something that sound-
ed much like the voice of a very
angry woman. We are not prepared
to say by what influence Mrs. Elmore
was able to control the outpourings
of wrath, but it is certain that the
next morning found Mrs. Wingate
and her daughters quite as obse-
quious as ever.
To the villagers generally Mrs.
Elmore was quite unknown; she