SHOWING THE RESULT OF GOOD TREATMENT TO
ANIMALS, GROWN PEOPLE, AND CHILDREN.
BY THE AUTHOR OP
"BE PATIENT," "BE TRUE," ETC.
PUBLISHED BY CARLTON & PORTER,
aUNDAY SCHOOL UNION, 91n MULRKRRY-4TRlBr.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 180, by
LANE & SCOTT,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern
District of New-York.
IN illustrating the benign principle
of kindness, we have merely glanced
at the history of two families, relating
a few incidents as descriptive of their
common bearing toward each other.
Memory would have furnished us
with.many more; but we deem these
sufficient to show that the principle
of kindness, which, in its perfection,
embraces all the "fruits of the Spi-
rit," is equal to the wants of the
soul It is a balm for every wound,
and, more than this, its continual
dropping will wear a stone. That
heart must be forsaken of God, and
given over to its hardness, which is
impervious to patient, long-suffering
THE TRAVELER-BEST THING FOR A HUNGRY
CHILD-THE PROPHECY-DISCUSSION Page 9
EARLY START-GOOD-NATURED BOY-PENITENT
CAT-GOOD-MORyING-YELLOW HOUSE-THE BLACK
HOUSE-RUDE CHILDREN-SICK CAT AND SHAGGY
DOG-GOOD CHILDREN'S MISSION ..... .16
FIRST NIGHT-CHILDREN'S PRAYER-THE OLD
AND NEW HOME-STIRRING UP OF THE PLANT-
FREQUENT ANNOYANCES . . .21
GOOD FOR EVIL-LITTLE ALICE-THE FLOWER-
BEDS-GAP IN THE FENCE-LAW OF RIGHT, AND
LAW OF KINDNESS-ANGRY FEELINGS-THE QUAR.
REL . . .. ...... 26
THE DEW-DROPS-THE DAY ALONE-Afl*S
PRAYER. . ... '..
-1. ;~ .~
RAINY DAY-Two HOMES-A CONTRAST Page 50
WRETCHED MAN-UNWONTED TEARS-THE YOKE
OF CHRIST-THE MYSTERY-ANXIOUS THOUGHTS-
THE GREAT TROUBLE-THE MARSH-THE NEIGH-
BOR . . . . .61
POWER OF KINDNESS .. ... .74
TAvzRN-DEATH FUNERAL BURIAL- RESUR-
ECTION . ... . .82
THE GRAVE-YARD-SICK MAN-WICKED HEART
CHANGED-TENDER CARE-RESULTS OF KINDNESS
-GooD DAYS-BEST AMMUNITION .. 90
"That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me."
IT was a cold night for the season, quite
cold enough for a fire, though it was only
the early part of the month of September.
The landlady of the Eagle Hotel" was
not willing that the spruce-bushes, orna-
mented with paper flowers, should be taken
from the parlor fire-place; for notwithstand-
ing the present cold, she judged from past
experience that warm weather was not
utterly gone as yet; and the travelers
seemed only as common people, who would
not take it amiss if asked to warm them-
selves by the kitchen fire.
A family moving is no strange thing.ih
New-England, and there was nothing very
striking in the appearance of the people
who had "put up" for the night at the
....... ... ....
Eagle Hotel. They had neither mules,
dromedaries, nor camels. Their large load
of substantial and carefully used furniture
was drawn by four sleek, well-fed oxen.
These oxen had a sociable, good-natured
appearance, as though on the best of terms
with the world at large. The man who
drove the team showed a brotherly feeling
towards the oxen, and though he carried a
long goad, pointed with a very decided
looking brad," it was evidently more as a
S badge of office, than an instrument of tor-
ture. The family rode in a large double
vagon, covered with clean sail-cloth, and
this vehicle was drawn by two red horses,
who looked fat, good-natured, and full of
faith in their driver, as did the oxen.
A very large family came out of the wa-
I gon, and the landlady made a remark which
Ssilly people are very apt to make, namely,
that "poor folks, with such a host of chil-
ren, were to be pitied." Such nonsense!
; ~4l ough our heavenly Father didn't know
What would best keep the heart from sink-
ing. Blessed be his name for little chil-
S dren, as well as for lily flowers, though they
~~)HIv~ ~~rrlrv~l rv
neither toil nor spin So say we, and so
thought the father and mother, as they stood
smilingly beside the great wagon until it
The mother heard the landlady deploring
the necessity of taking away her spruce-
bushes, and very kindly offered to take the
children to the kitchen fire, until their bed-
time. The landlady was pleased with this
offer, but she could not refrain from whis-
pering to Lucy, that these people were "no
great," or they 'would not be so accommo-
The children sat down upon the long
"settle," which stood in the chimney cor-
ner, laughing much among themselves that
they made so long a row. Here they jos-
tled and squeezed each other, until the
smallest of them, who was called "Bub,"
made an outbreak in the following manner:
Bub was a short little fellow, not quite
two years old; and when his mother we
out to look after some things in the w
he fixed his round eyes upon the door
mind was soon made up that she would
never come back again, so he swelled up
------- .~lp_r~. ~ ~
like a little frog, and at last broke out into
a great roar. The little sisters surrounded
Bub, and told him that mother would come
back, and the brothers brought jack-knives
and various other treasures from their
pockets; but the short boy had no faith in
things like these, he only roared the louder.
"Hush !" said the landlady; "I wish.you
were my boy, just for three minutes."
Stop your noise!" said Lucy, the maid.
Just at that moment the mother came in,
and Bub held up his short arms, screaming,
"Tate me! Tate me!"
"A rod would be a good thing for that
youngster," said the landlady. But the mo-
7- their judged rightly that food and rest would
be a better thing; so she asked for some
milk, and folding the tired little boy close
to her bosom, she sat down in the corner.
The milk came, and in swallowing the last
S drop, poor Bub fell asleep.
elly, one of the little girls upon the set-
ow went out, and brought in her pussy,
oble black and white cat, with a pink
ribbon around her neck. Miss pussy had
showed some disposition to elope and seek'
--- liLYs~prei ~bilieSi~i~Li-5 -~~.ru~. .,
her own fortune, and Nelly was therefore
obliged to keep her in close confinement;
but vie wish that all poor prisoners were
as well tended. Many a farmer's family
upon the road had been applied to for milk
for this happy prisoner; and now she came
out of her basket, looking so very penitent
for her bad behavior, that Nelly must needs
kiss her many times over; but Nelly, with
the other little brothers and sisters, was
tired and sleepy. -The watchful mother
saw that a simple supper was soon prepared
for them, and they then followed Bub" to
"Nodder's Island." The children all quietly
in bed, the father and mother sat down
with the family to their own supper.
"You are from Connecticut ?" said the
landlord; "do you think of settling any-
where in these parts ?"
"Not more than fifteen miles from here,"
replied the gentleman.
"It must be," said the landlady, "that .
this is the man who has bought the '
The gentleman nodded assent.
"Well," said the landlord, "that place
14 BE KIND.
could not have been sold to a man this
side of the 'Connecticut river' for no mo-
"Why ?" asked the gentleman.
"For no reason upon earth, that I know
of," replied the landlord; only on account
of the next-door neighbor there."
The gentleman now looked at his wife,
,and smiled; so the. landlady asked if they
knew the Wisp family-and knew what a
hornet's nest they were going into ?"
The lady said that they had heard of
then; but hoped to live peaceably beside
i "If you do," said the landlady, "I will
never prophecy again. I lived a neighbor
t the Wisps six months and one week,
which' was seven days longer than anybody
ever lived there yet. We had a quarrel
every day of that time, (Sundays not ex-
cepted.) So did Mr. Jacobs' family, and
S e Groveners, and widow Morely. All of
as peaceable people as you will find
onnecticut, or any other place; and
pi if folks are religious, they can't get
ag t~tre, anyhow. Mr. Page, the min.
'^~~~~aP~Li~r~u;-~i ''\1~L \-~~L~tCh~~ -~~
BE KIND. 15
ister, took the place for a while, and thought
'he would see hoiv it would work to bear
"And didn't that work well ?" asked the
"No better than anything else," replied
the landlord. "Mr. Page said that the pa-
tience of Job could not stand it more than
six months., That is why I said that no
man this side the Connecticut would have
bought the place; and if I were you, sir,
I would sell to the first Connecticut man
that I could. You'll have to go. I jknow
you won't stand it."
"You can't," said the landlady; "they
would kill you before a year."
"Perhaps," said the gentleman, we may
contrive to kill them, and save our own
The landlord looked puzzled at this. He
stared first at the man, and then at his wife;
but seeing nothing in their appearance that
savored of murderous intent, he took it all
as a joke. So did not Lucy, the maid. In
less than five minutes she had told the bar-
keeper" the man had said that if he ever
lived to get to the Giles place, he would
kill Wisp and his whole family. And in
less than one week Wisp heard that his new
neighbor swore that he would kill him the
first chance he could get. "H. B. Liscome"
was written upon many boxes and parcels
belonging to the travelers; and after they
had retired to their room, the landlord dis-
cussed the probability of their belonging to
the Liscome family, who lived unmolested
by the Indians when they were attacking
every other family for miles round.
"'Tis well to walk with a cheerful heart,
Where'er our fortunes call;
With a friendly glance, and an open hand,
And a gentle word for all.
Since life is a thorny and difficult path,
Where toil is the portion of man,
We should all endeavor, while passing along,
To make it as smooth as we can."
THE landlord and his lady were surprised
to see that, notwithstanding their gloomy
prophecies of the night before, the travelers
showed themselves in the morning bright
and early, with no appearance of disquietude
or sad forebodings. The mother moved
pleasantly about among her host" of chil-
dren, seeing that they were all comfortable
and ready for a start. Bub came up, good-
natured and laughing, as pleasant a young-
ster as those who are whipped to sleep;
and Nelly, not doubting but that pussy had
reformed, prepared to carry her the remain-
der of the journey in her arms. Pussy shut
her eyes, and looked very grateful for this
arrangement. The landlord and lady whis-
pered a few more suggestions as to the best
way of managing the "Wisp family;" and
with many pleasant "good mornings," the
travelers moved off. They had left a plea-
sant home in Connecticut, not with a
speculative desire to increase wealth, which
was already sufficient for their moderate
wants, nor from a restless love of change
and novelty. They had left their home,
and the home of their fathers, because Pro-
vidence, in his wise arrangements, seemed
to order. it thus. They doubted not but
that there were other pleasant places upon
this broad green earth, beside the sweet
valleys of Connecticut. The sun was still
high when the yellow house upon a sloping
hill, and the straight tall poplars of the
Giles place, appeared in view. The fields
had been shorn of their summer grass, and
the apple-trees looked as though they had
been robbed of much fruit; but it was, after
all, rather a pleasant, home-like looking
place, so said the mother, cheerfully; and
the father said that it would look like home
when she was there with the children. The
hired man said that the place had been
sadly neglected, but was capable of being
made one of the finest in the State; and
Reuben, the eldest boy, thought that father
and mother would make every place as
beautiful as it could possibly be made. All
looked at the black, dingy-looking house
which scowled at them from behind two
crab-apple trees. It was uncomfortably
near the yellow house, especially as there
was so much space all around.
Who lives there ?" asked the children
of their father.
"Mr. Wisp," replied Mr. Liscome.
I hope that there are a great many little
Wisp children," said Lotty; "don't you,
The mother answered, Yes;" and this
was true. She believed that every little
child is a redeeming spirit in any household;
and she hoped, through these little spirits,
to reach and bless the parents.
"The Wisp children have a very sick-
looking Kitty," said little Nelly; and she
hugged her own fine-looking cat closer to
her bosom, and with a pitying sigh pointed
to the wretched animal which was slowly
dragging herself through the stone wall, but
which, on seeing the strangers, darted back
as though her life -depended on using what
little strength she had. A shaggy dog now
came out, barking and snapping at Reuben's
"Jowler," who had just alighted from the
wagon, and wat walking thoughtfully up
the hill. For a time Jowler paid no atten-
tion to this ill-bred dog; but as he seemed
determined on a quarrel, Jowler stopped at
last, and was preparing to chastise this im-
pudence:-" Jowler! Jowler !" said Reuben;
"for shame, sir; that dog is smaller than
you." Jowler lopped his ears, looking sadly
mortified that so manifest a thing should
have been overlooked,-and then walked
quietly along. Two boys now appeared upon
the fence, staring boldly at the strangers as
they passed, and throwing several stones at
the horses and oxen.* A little girl, too, with
her hair streaming over her face, and dress-
ed in a long tattered green gown, was
swinging upon the gate. The poor sick-
looking cat appeared again, and the little
girl caught her tail between the gate and
post, holding her there, writhing and scream-
ing, until Nelly covered her face with her
hands, and the children in the wagon turned
away their heads. Opposite the house was
a little white-headed, sun-burnt boy, but a
very little larger than Bub," running with
a long stick after some hens, and threaten-
ing to pull every "fedder" out of them.
The children looked at their father and
(" Dear papa," said Nelly, these children
are not kind."
Then," said the father, "Nelly may know
why God sent her here. Little children
0 See Frontispiece.
who have learned to be kind and good,
must teach others. That is the way little
boys and girls can do good in the world,
and lay up treasure in heaven."
"The wide-spreading pond, and the mill which stood by it,
The bridge and the rock where the cataract fell;
The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it,
And e'en the rude bucket which hung in the well."
IT was the first evening of the family at
their new home. The sun was down, and
the moon shining brightly on the trees, which
were already putting on their dress of rus-
set hue. The father was still busy with
Nicholas, the man, in making things com-
fortable for his cattle. The mother had
much to do, but thought it wisest to give
the little ones their supper, and put them to
bed, before they were provoked to impa-
tience by weariness and hunger. All this
was done. Each had said an evening
prayer, and mother had prayed with and
for them all. No wonder, then, that they
slept so sweetly. These little children be-
lived that when they sang together, Lord,
keep us safe this night," angels were sent
to guard them while they slept; and so
they slept sweetly, and dreamed of each
other, of father and mother, and sometimes
of the little ones who always behold the
face of their Father in heaven.
"I will not weary myself," said Mrs. Lis-
come, "any more to-night; for I shall look
sad -and dispirited if I do." So she took a
chair, and sitting down by the open door,
tried to trace out some resemblance be-
tween her old and new homes. There were
two tall elms in front of the house: that was
homelike, and she felt thankful for them;
but here the resemblance ended. Things
about her now wore a wild, crabbed ap-
pearance. There seemed to be a want of
fellowship among the trees; they leaned
away from ead other, and twisting round
their limbs, looked at their neighbor askance.
The vines and plants looked as though they
had been seared and down-trodden by
something rougher than an early frost. So
they lay selfishly in each other's path,
caIing for nothing but their own conve-
nience. That was not homelike. The
trees, the plants, the clinging vines, like
little children, must be trained to loving
and gentle acquaintance with each other.
Mrs. Liscome belonged to a kind family.
Nothing that could make the home of child-
hood more pleasant and inviting had been
allowed to die through neglect. The kind-
ness of a pure heart does not confine itself
to the beings of its own race. We know
that it is a great thing to love all, as God
our Father has loved us; and to some it
might seem that love like this were suffi-
cient for a human heart. But it is not so.
The fountain of love in the heart pours it-
self outa beautiful rills of kindness. These
never flow in a narrow, pent-up channel.
Their waters are free-free for the cattle
upon a thousand hills, and for the flowers
in a thousand dewy meads. The little girl
who loves her parents, and brothers and
sisters, should let this beautiful love flow
out in words and deeds of kindness. Then
the heart will expand, and send out a broader
stream of pure affection. Then the meanest
thing of God's great creation will be an
object of kind regard. It is kindness that
pities and relieves the poor and suffering
of our own race; but true kindness stops
not here; its hand is extended, and its
heart yearns towards the suffering animal.
The little bird, the tiny insect, and even
the crushed flower, and broken vine, urge
a successful claim upon its power to relieve.
These were the lessons which Mrs. Lis-
come had learned at home; and who won-
ders that it should be a green, happy home
where such lessons were taught, and learn-
ed, and practiced. But now she vas far
away from that home. She felt like a bird
which had wandered from its warm sunny
nest. But she smiled at this thought, and
said to herself, My mate and my birdlings
are here, and, better than all, God is still
with us. Kindness will make this nest
green and warm, like the one we have left.
So she kindled a bright fire in the large old
fireplace, and spread the table for their
As Mrs. Liscome was walking nimbly
about in preparing her supper, she noticed
that a long stick was occasionally thrust
_ __ ___. __ L
into a choice plant, which was placed by
the window. A pane of the glass was broken,
and through this the stick appeared at inter-
vals, scattering the leaves and blossoms,
and then drawing hastily away. She went
to the door, and saw the shadow of a boy
plunging through a gap in the Wisp fence;"
then there was a low giggling on the other
side, which at last burst into a loud laugh.
Mrs. Liscome moved the plant from the
window, and closing the door, made ready
her supper. Nothing was said about the stick
and the plant when Mr. Liscome and Nicho-
las came in. They sat down cheerfully to the
table, and after supper sang and prayed, as
they had been accustomed to do in other days.
The "Wisp family were not forgotten in
this evening prayer, and both Mrs. Liscome
and Nicholas responded a fervent Amen"
to the petition offered for them. As days
and weeks passed on, petty annoyances,
of which the stirring up of the plant was
only a commencement, had become very
frequent'and daring: but of these little no-
tice was taken. The children were not
encouraged to talk of them to each other;
26 BE KIND.
and at last, as the winter snow came on,
and the Wisp children, who were very
poorly clad, were obliged to keep within
doors, these troubles were well nigh for-
To be good is to be happy: angels
Are happier than we, because they're better.
Guilt is the source of sorrow; 'tis the fiend
That follows us behind with whips and stings.
4, AND if we can always be kind to the Wisp
children, let them do what they will to us,
that will be right, that will be good-won't
it, father ?" This question was asked by
Alice, one of the little sisters in the Lis-
This little Alice was, in some respects,
different from her brothers or sisters. There
was no fault in her mind. God had given
her a very good understanding, and she
knew much better than some children of
her age what was right and wrong-but
passion sometimes gained a victory over
reason. She was more easily provoked
than was Nelly, or Lotty, or Reuben, or
even Jowler, Reuben's sensible dog. This
is true of other little girls besides Alice. So
no one need think that she was a sinner
above all other children. There are many,
very many, of all sizes, who have not half
the forbearance of a well-trained animal;
but this is their own fault. We ought to
be forbearing and forgiving towards one
another for His sake who suffered long, and
is kind to us. Alice meant to be kind,
and she was kind to those who did not vex
her and cross her plans. God, our heavenly
Father, is kind to the unthankful and the
unholy; and those who would be good, must
be so too: but poor little Alice! her father
and mother had given her "line upon line,
and precept upon precept," of this kind; but
still she had not learned to do good to those
who hated her, and to pray for those who
despitefully used her.
kt length the winter snow was gone, and
the little girls, Lotty, and Alice, and Nelly,
were making beds in the moist earth for
their flower-roots. Two little brothers,
(whose names we have not yet mentioned,)
George and Jesse, were out with their
spades and hoes, helping their sisters with
"We must have a row of sweet-pea
blossoms next the road," said Nelly, "and
'sweet-williams' will look well on the other
side; but what had we better have this side
of Mr. Wisp's fence ?"
"A row of balsams," whispered Alice,
"that would grow into a thick hedge, and
keep those naughty children away from
our flowers, would be a good thing."
"Why, no," said Jesse; "if the Wisp chil-
dren learn to love flowers, they will be
kind. I think that we had better plant some
beside their fence, that will grow tall, and
look over at them." So thought Lotty, and
George, and Nelly, and they went cheer-
fully to work, happy that by so small a
thing they might bless their neighbors. Now
it happened that in this same fence there
was a wide gap, and considering the cjia-
racter of the neighbors on the other side, it
was a most undesirable thing.
"It will be best," said Nicholas, as the
family were at supper, "it will be best to
mend that fence right off." Mr. Liscome
thought so too. "It is no farther for our
neighbors to go through their gate for water,
than to cross our flower-garden," said he.
But Mrs. Liscome thought it a trifle far-
tler, and they may attach some importance
to tne trifle.
Nicholas laughed, and said, that if it
were a half mile farther, Mr. Liscome had
a right to mend the fence, and no one
would blame him for it; but Mr. Liscome
thought that Christians should not make
the law of kindness void, by enforcing the
law of right. Their crossing the garden
will be a small inconvenience to us," said he.
"Very slight, indeed," replied his wife;
" and it may do them good." So the breach
in the fence was nbt healed, and the Wisp
children trailed across the garden to the
pump, (never turning aside for the flower-
beds, which were now covered with pro-
mising shoots,) and giving much cause for
wonder how so much water could be
used without wasting a drop upon dirty
faces and clothes. All the children belong-
ing to the Liscome family, excepting little
Alice, were in perfect sympathy with their
30 BE KIND.
parents' plan of killing the Wisp family with
kindness; so they patiently endured the
evil, and watched to do them good. All
but Alice; she found it hard to see her
flowers trampled down, and keep her tem-
per. Her' mother told her that as she had
so little self-control, the better way would be
not to trust herself with looking at the Wisp
children as they crossed the garden; but
Alice found it almost impossible to keep
this advice. She felt as though she must
peep through the window, or through a
crack of the door, and watch their insulting
motions. This desire to know all about
the injury they were doing her, was an evil
temptation; and Alice found the truth of
this, for her feelings grew more and more
bitter towards her unkind neighbors. When
she saw Peggy Wisp (whom the parents
and brothers called Peg) walking leisurely
over her vines and plants, and then looking
impudently up to the window, her blood was
up; she felt as though she could tear the
tattered green gown from her shoulders,
and push her headlong through the gap.
One morning, as Alice was weeding her
garden, Peggy came as usual, and seemed
pleased that it was Alice instead of Nelly
or Lot.y. There was a very good reason
for this. It is tiresome for people to try
hard and long to get up a quarrel without
success. A body must be very persevering
to continue such efforts long after they ap-
pear hopeless. Now, though Peggy was in
nowise wanting in perseverance in seeking a
quarrel, it must be confessed that she began
to consider Reuben, George, and Jesse,
with their sisters, Lotty and Nelly, hopeless
cases. She had tried each by turn, but
without success; and for a few days she
had turned all her attention to Alice. It is
true that little Alice had as yet said nothing;
but still Peggy was full of hope that she
should have the great pleasure of quarrel-
ing with her. She had seen keen fiery
glances coming from the window of Alice's
room, and thus had read in her eyes the
anger that was drying up the fountain of
kindness in her heart. No wonder, then,
that she was glad to find Alice in the gar-
den alone, and took considerable pains to
go out of her way to trample down her
flowers. Now it happened that Alice had
been unwisely musing upon her wrongs all
the morning. She almost wished that her pa-
rents were like the Wisps," just for a little
time, so that she could scold, and scratch,
and bite, as much as she wanted to; and
she was just thinking how much good such
a license would do her, when she looked
up, and saw Peggy's impudent performances
upon her flower-bed. Alice said afterward,
that to save her life she couldn't help speak-
ing, and we really believe the little girl.
We have no power of ourselves to resist
evil, and Alice had been talking with a
spirit that never helps us in doing right. It
is not strange, then, that she angrily ordered
the rude girl away.
"I wont go," said Peggy; "I don't care for
you. Father don't care for you; he says he
don't, no more than he cares for a wisp of rye
straw, if Liscome has threatened to kill him."
Saying this, Peggy took a wide sweep
over the flower-bed, and ran away to the
pump. When she came back, she sat
down her pail in the walk, and prepared for
another cnper that would be broader and
--- .-.- ...~.
ALICE AND PEGGY.
S more provoking still. Alice saw her inten-
tions, and, overcome with anger, snatched
the pail of water, and threw the most of it
in her face. Peggy now darted upon her
like a tiger, -and they were soon rolling in
the dust. Mr. Liscome was standing in
the barn-door, and saw the whole affray.
In a moment more he was on the spot, and
lifting Alice from the ground, bade her go
and fill Peggy's pail with water. Alice
burst into tears when she saw her father;
and Peggy, though she had boasted of not
caring for any of them, looked very much
frightened, and started to run; but Mr.
Liscome took hold of her arm, and told
her to wait for Alice to bring the water; he
Save her his handkerchief to wipe her face,
and bade her not be afraid. If, said he,
little -children have never been told that it
is wicked to quarrel and injure each other,
,,they should not be punished for doing so.
Alice knows all about it; and if your mo-
ther will let you come in and see us, we will
tell you all about it; and I think that you
S will be a better girl than to want to quarrel,
after you know that it is wrong.
Alice now came back with the water,
feeling too much ashamed to look her father'
in the face. He did not speak harshly to
Alice, but only told her to go up stairs, and
stay in her little room until she was called.
"See the shining dew-drops
On the flowers strew'd,
Proving as they sparkle,
God is ever good."
THE bright dew-drops were gone from the
early flowers; for the sun jad looked upon
them, and they had passed away. Little
Alice was alone-all alone in her room with
its one small window, and there, though
the sun was almost over head, she sat, doing
nothing. Reuben was in the field with
Nicholas and his father. George and Jesse
were at work in the garden, and very kindly
allowing little Bub to help. Nelly and Lotty
were helping mother, but Alice was doing
nothing. Did we say nothing? Alice was
crying; but that was nothing of any good
use. Right kind of tears do us good some-
times; they relieve the heart when it is
burdened with sin for which we are peni-
tent; and it is often good to weep for the
sins and sorrows of others. Thus a pious
poet has said,-
0 give me tears for others' woes,
And patience for my own."
But there are tears which are bad for the
heart. They are like the scorching lava
which the volcano pours upon the green
grass. Such are tears of passion; sinful
tears, such as are shed, night without day,
in that sad place,-
"Where there are groans that ever groan,
And sighs that ever sigh;
And tears that ever weep and fall,
But not in Mercy's sight."
Poor little Alice! her father sent her to
her little room that she might be alone,
and think. He wanted her to remem-
ber what he had so often told her, of
the "spirit" which even little children
must possess before they are meet for hea-
ven. He hoped that his little girl would
remember how the kindness of her heavenly
Father had manifested itself in great long-
suffering towards her; how she had always
been a rebellious child, unthankful and un-
holy; but God had not taken away hei
home, her parents, and brothers and sisters,
as he might justly have done. He had not
taken her life, as he had power to do, and
sent her, wicked and unfit to die, into eter-
But of what did Alice think ? For a time
she thought only of its being a hard case
that she must stay alohe so long; her father
was a very cruel man; she would never
call him a kind father again; ne'r while
she lived; few little girls were ued like
her; Lotty and Nelly never were. Then
she looked out upon her pretty flower-bed,
all trampled and disfigured by that rude
Peggy Wisp, and those hot angry tears
came to her eyes again. "I couldn't help
throwing the water at Peggy," thought she,
"and father ought not to shut me up here
for doing what I couldn't help."
Such thoughts as these did Alice no good;
her heart grew harder every hour; and
when she saw her father coming home to
his dinner, she felt angry that through the
whole forenoon she had been obliged to
stay in her dull little room alone. If she
were called to dinner, she meant to do just
as she pleased about going; and if she did
go, one thing was certain, she wouldn't
speak, nor look at her father through the
whole meal. Alice waited some time, and
at last thought she was to be kept without
her dinner, and was just beginning to cry
over this arrangement, when she heard a
step upon the stairs. "It is Lotty or Nelly
coming to call me to dinner," thought Alice,
and she put on as sour a face as she knew
how to make, and determined that she would
Snot go down until she was coaxed a long
time: But Alice was disappointed; it was
not Lotty or Nelly, but her fatlvl,,.that
opened the door. The little girl tried' to
modify her sour face a little, and bring it
to an expression of great suffering and con-
scious abuse. But she was obliged to give
that up; for when she looked at her father,
conscience told her that if any one was
abused, it was he. It was Alice who was
abusing her father, abusing his love and
tender care for her.
"Have you been here all the forenoon ?"
asked her father.
Yes, sir," said Alice, and the tears came
"And of what have you )been thinking
all this time ?"
Alice was not willing to answer this
question; but her father sat down beside
her, and said, I must insist on knowing what
your thoughts have been this forenoon, and
how you' now feel about your conduct
Alice knew full well that her father was
a very decided man; and it must be con-
fessed that; with all her faults, she was an
honest little girl. She thought it not best
to hesitate longer, so she said, "I have been
thinking, father, that it was very cruel in
you to shut me up here for a whole long
forenoon, just for throwing water upon
such a girl as Peggy Wisp."
"Then you think it a small thing," said
her father, to indulge angry feelings until
they grow to threatening words, and at last
to blows ?"
"No, father," said Alice, "but Peggy"-
Here her father laid his hand upon her
mouth. "You know very well," said he,
"that Peggy's behavior is no excuse for
you It makes you more guilty, Alice, as
you will see, when you are willing to see,
and confess the truth. I am sorry that you
have wasted a whole forenoon; but it may
be that God, in his great goodness, will
give you the afternoon. He is very long-
suffering, my daughter, so you, will, no
doubt, have time for repentance. I hope
that you will improve the time, for it mny
be short." Saying this, Mr. Liscome left
the room, and Alice threw herself upon her
bed, and burst into a fresh torrent of tears.
Nelly came up with a plate of dinner. "I
wont eat it," said Alice; "I wont taste a
mouthful." "O do!" said Nelly, sitting
down upon the side of the bed; get up,
Alice, and wash your face; your poor eyes
are red as a beet; bathe them with cold wa-
ter, and then eat your dinner. Father will
let you come down as soon as you are
good." "He won't, either," said Alice.
" He wants me to be sorry for throwing wa-
ter upon Peggy Wisp; but I ain't, not a
bit, and shan't be. It is a good thing to
throw water upon folks when they are so
dirty." At this thought Alice began to
laugh. She rolled upon her pillow, and
laughed so loud, that Nelly was afraid she
would be heard down stairs. So she said,
" I can't stay with you any longer, Alice.
I may get to laughing too; and you know
that it is a dreadful thing to laugh at sin.
Father says that people must be very bold
to laugh when God frowns." Long after
Nlly left the room, Alice lay upon the bed.
She felt very wretched. As for laughing
any more, that was out of the question,-and
her tears were well-nigh dried up. There
was a hard, stony feeling at her heart, and
there were whispers there that she didn't
want to hear-it was conscience speaking.
It had waited patiently till the storm of pas.
sion had spent its fury, and now in the hush
of the tempest it began to speak. Happy
for little Alice, happy for us all, if we would
bear the pain which conscience sometimes
inflicts. But Alice was not willing to hear
its accusations, though this faithful monitor
never accuses falsely. Alice thought she
____ ^ _I __ ____~__/ ~_____~__~
w ,ul/ walk about the room, and divert
bhrseU, in some way, if possible, when, to
her g;, at joy, she found that pussy," who
had followed Nelly up stairs, had been left
in tl e room, and was now lying upon the
floor fast asleep. "Bless you!" said Alice,
"no' v I can get through the afternoon very
well." So she took a little ivory ball from
a box, and began rolling it over the floor.
Pui.sy lifted up her head, and stretched her-
self lazily. Alice ran after the ball, and
rolled it between her paws; then puw-
began to play, and they were soon in a high
ncrsy frolic. Presently the mother came
up stairs, and as she opened the door, pussy
darted out, and ran down. "0, mamma,"
said Alice, don't let her go; I want her to
play with me."
"Do you feel like playing ?" asked her
"Why," said Alice, I don't feel like stay-
ing here alone, and doing nothing."
"No," said her mother, but you have a
great work to do this morning, my daugh-
ter; is it all done ?"
Alice understood her mother; but she
only said, "I think that throwing wate:
upon Peggy Wisp is a very small thing to
shut me up for a whole day."
The mother looked very sad when Alice
said this. "I see," said she, that no part
of your great work is done, and the day is
far spent. I must leave you alone, Alice,
for your time is very precious now."
So saying, she went out, and shut the
"It beats all," said Alice to herself, that
I gust be obliged to think when I don't
want to; and why not let me forget it, if
I can ? I won't think; for the more I think,
the worse I feel." So Alice threw herself
upon the bed again, and after awhile fell
asleep. When she awoke, there was a
dusky light in her little room; and as she
rubbed her eyes and went to the window, she
saw that long shadows were stretching them-
selves towards the east, and Jesse was
driving the cows home from the pasture.
"It is night," thought Alice, and she sat
down sadly by the window.
God came down and talked w th Adam
and Eve in the "cool of the day." This
must have been a blessed time to them,
when as yet they were free from guilt and
shame; but not so on the night of their
transgression. They hid themselves, for
they were afraid. The Spirit of God comes
to us in the cool of the day.
We may grieve that Spirit in the morn-
ing by committing sinful acts. We may
turn away from its warnings at noon, and,
like.Alice, refuse to think; but with long-
suffering kindness it comes back to us in
the "cool of the day." It is God our hea-
venly Father who comes to talk with us
then; and though we may be guilty and
ashamed, let us remember that we cannot
hide ourselves from his presence.
Alice had complained all day of being
alone; but when the sun went down, and
the pale moon came up and looked mourn-
fully into her little window, she felt alone
-alone with God, and she ivas afraid.
Alice saw her father shutting the great
barn doors, and she watched with a beating
heart as he turned towards the house. Now
he opened the little gate which led into
the back garden.
Father !" said Alice, very softly, as she
leaned from the window.
He looked up, and nodded his head, but
Alice sat down again, and in a few mo-
ments heard his step upon the stairs. Alice
ran to the door to meet him; and as he
took both her hands and sat down, she
nestled close to his side, as though much
afraid of being left alone again.
"I had not forgotten you," said her fa-
ther; "I have thought of you a great
many times to-day, and should like to know
if you have thought of me with kinder feel-
ings than you did this forenoon ?"
"I am not angry with you now," said
Alice; but I must tell you the truth, papa.
I haven't been thinking much to-day: I
mean that I have not been thinking much
about my doing wrong, and I wouldn't say
to myself that I had done wrong until it
grew dark, and I felt afraid."
It was quite dark now, and Alice did not
see how sad her father looked when he
heard these strange words from a little girl
who had been so carefully taught. But she
-- --~~ 11~i --~- -~- --
heard him sigh, and her voice trembled
some, as she added, "I don't understand,
papa, why Peggy's provoking behavior is
no excuse for me. You said that it made
me more guilty."
Alice," said her father, we often hear
of the sufferings of those noble men and
women who have taken their lives in their
hands, and gone to teach the gospel to hea-
then nations. What if at some time report
should reach us that these devoted mrssion-
aries, overcome by the insults of a wicked,
ignorant people, had taken up arms against
them, and were fighting for their rights ?"
I think," said Alice, that we should be
long in believing such a report. It would
be so absurd, papa; for if the people were
not ignorant and wicked, there would be no
need of going to them at all. It is because
they are so bad that good people pity them,
and are so kind to bear with them, and
teach them what is right."
"Then you understand," said her father,
"that ignorance and wickedness have a claim
upon our sympathy ?"
Yes," replied Alice, in heathen lands.'
"My dear child," said he, "sin is the
same the world over; it is the accursed
thing over which Jesus wept, and for which
he shed his blood. Think of this, Alice
If God has sent your father and mother
into a place where people have not his feai
before their eyes, he has given them a por-
tion of the same work committed to his
servants in heathen lands. Christians should
understand that if they would do their Sa-
viour's work, they must possess his Spirit,
and love and pity the rude and ignorant as
he did. What if a person were to throw
a little child into the street, and leave it
there to perish of neglect; would it be con-
S sidered a good excuse to say that the child
was diseased, and therefore very trouble-
"No," said Alice, "it would show them
more guilty: they should nurse and tend it
all the more for being sick."
Yes," said her father, "and the sins of
others will add to our guilt, if we suffer
them to make us angry instead of moving
us to pity and help them. Your mother
and I feel this now as we have never done
before. We want to see what the law of
love will do for our neighbors. But Alice
has broken that law, and in a measure
frustrated our plans."
It was wrong; I shall not do it again,"
said Alice. "I am sorry that I have made
it harder for you and mamma to get along
with the Wisp family."
Her father waited awhile, and hoped that
she would say more.
"Then," said he, "you are only sorry on
our account. Is that all, Alice ?"
Yes, papa," said Alice, "that is all; if
it were not for grieving you and mother, I
should like to throw water upon Peggy
Wisp every day."
Mr. Liscome was silent for some time.
He then said, "Well, Alice, I must leave
you with God."
"0, not alone, papa," cried Alice, cling-
ing to his arm in great terror.
"No," said her father, "not here; you
may leave this room with me; but first let
me pray for you-let me ask God not to
leave you, though you are so desirous of
hiding yourself from him."
Alice knelt beside her father while he
prayed for her, and then followed him down
stairs, having spent a miserable day to but
very little profit.
Thus on the heavenly hills
The saints are bless'd above,
Where joy like morning dew distils,
And all the air is love."
THE day following the one described in our
last chapter was rainy. With some, a rainy
day is a dismal thing; but it is not thus
with a kind family, who are often glad
when a storm interferes with their usual
work, and gives them leisure to devote to
It means to rain to-day," said Reuben,
as he stood at the window after breakfast.
That is meaning very well," replied his
father; "but we must be thinking what we
mean to do to-day. Nicholas is the best
carpenter; he must make some shelves for
your mother, and put her dairy in fine order
That I will, sir," said Nicholas. When
I have a wife, sir, I shall see that she is not
obliged to make brick without straw, or
butter without a dairy-room."
Mr. Liscome laughed, and thought this
a very good resolution. He then called the
children into a room, which was piled full
of old boxes and various kinds of lumber.
You see," said he, that this room has
been used as a kind of shop. It is strange
that people living here did not make the
discovery of its being the most pleasant
room in the house. It shall be your task
to-day to make it as nice as a parlor. The
boys may carry all this old lumber into the
shed, and the little girls may sweep and
dust, and make curtains for the windows,
which I will mend."
The mother now looked in, and said
that she had some paper, very pretty paper
indeed, and would help them to put it upon
So they all went to work, Nicholas upon
the shelves, father upon the windows, mo-
ther trimming paper; the boys carrying
out the lumber, and the girls sweeping,
dusting, washing, and making curtains.
Bub had a hand in all this work, and was
allowed to think himself a great help every-
where. The rain fell in a ceaseless patter
upon the roof, and was sometimes driven
by fitful gusts upon the windows. The
dark clouds cast a sombre hue upon the
walls of the.farm-house; but there was no
gloom or sadness there. The warmth of
love, the beautiful light of kindness, will
make earth's storms not only endurable,
but pleasant. The happy family went on
with their work, talking cheerfully, and
sometimes laughing merrily. Occasionally
the father breaks out all unconsciously, and
sings; mother takes up the strain, and
Nicholas, from his room under ground, sends
up a deep, but harmonious bass. Thus the
rainy day, like days of sunshine, is passing
away. But before it is gone, let us creep
through that gap in the Wisp fence; let us
crawl stealthily under the stinted branches
of the crab-apple trees, now dripping with
moisture, as though angels had wept upon
them, and they were shaking off their tears.
The wooden latch of that old door is
broken; a half hour's work would mend it,
and make that dreary room appear more
comfortable. But comfort is a stranger
here. The rain comes down through the
broken ceiling, and makes dirty pools upon
the floor; it even falls upon the coarse
blanket that covers the poor blue-looking
babe in the cradle. That pale man, with
black shaggy hair, is Mr. Wisp. He is
reading a political newspaper, whose words
of bitterness and wrath find a response in
his own heart of gall; and there is a wo-
man with uncombed hair and untidy dres's.
Is it anger, or sorrow, or pain, that has
worn furrows in her cheek ? That is Mrs.
Wisp. She is the mother of those two
great boys who are quarreling over the
skin which they have taken from the body
of a cat. And where is Peggy ? She is
standing by the window, and longing to go
out and trample the flower-bed again. What
is the matter there ? Why is that home
so uninviting, and that family so unlovely ?
It is unkindness-that is the great root of
all their evils. The boys are becoming
boisterous over their cat-skin, and now
Mr. Wisp rises, and deals to each a heavy
blow. This rouses the poor baby, who
begins to cry. The mother wishes that
she could have some peace of her life, and
calls Peggy to take the child. Peggy re-
fuses to obey, and escapes a rap on the
head by running out into the rain.
"Worse children never lived," says the
A worse mother never died," says
The woman looks daggers, but is restrain-
ed (not by affection, but by prudence dearly
bought) from saying more. The night is
now closing in, and we gladly return to the
"Come, boys;" says Mr. Liscome, "come
out, and shut th: door, while mother and
sisters give the finishing touch to our new
The boys sat patiently in the kitchen
with father and Nicholas. It seemed a
long time, but a door was opened at last, and
a long stream of ruddy light shot through
the dark entry.
"Come!" said mother; and what a sight
.-r- Ix:T*~--r*a-~*. --
BE KIND. 55
was there for a dull, rainy evening! a fire
in that grate, so rusty in the morning, but
now shining as brightly as the mirror which
hangs upon the glowing wall. There, too,
is father and mother's portrait, smiling so
life-like upon the children. The old stuff-
ed chairs brought from Connecticut were
there, and the boys were glad to see them;
for since their coming to the Giles place,"
no situation quite good enough had been
found for them; so they had remained in
dignified seclusion until this happy night.
The white curtains were neatly folded over
the windows, and a large family Bible,
known as "grandfather's legacy," was lying
upon the stand beneath the mirror. The
ruddy grate, the nicely papered walls, the
white curtains, the curious old chairs, the
brilliant home-made carpet, all received
their share of admiration; and then a new
wonder appeared, the table standing in the
centre was uncovered, and there was-sup.
per, very neatly spread, and a little extra,
because the children had worked hard, and
it had been a rainy day.
I have had no share in fitting up this
pretty room," said Nicholas. But Mr.
Liscome told him not to be disquieted, some-
thing remained to be done. A nice case
for books must be made on the next rainy day,
and that honor should be conferred on him.
This room," said the father, (after tea
was over, and they were sitting round the
fire,) "belongs to the children. It is their
study, where they must spend a part of each
day. We are far from any school; but
this will be no excuse for ignorance. We
have books and heads of our own; and if
we are not as wise as Solomon, it will be
because we don't consider it necessary."
But who is to be our teacher ?" inquired
"We will appoint your mother principal,"
said Mr. Liscome, "and master Reuben
and his sister Lotty teachers."
Nicholas offered his services as teacher
of vocal music, which was gladly accepted.
"Perhaps," said Jesse, the Wisp chil-
dren would like to attend our school ?"
I don't think we shall like to have them,"
"Why ?" asked her father.
-- i -- ..~ -i. --
They are so rude and vulgar," said
Alice; "they are not fit to come into our
pretty room, papa."
The evenings were short, for it was still
summer time, though that night the air was
damp and cold. A chapter from "grand-
father's legacy" was read. It was the four-
teenth chapter of St. John, commencing
with, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye
believe in God, believe also in me. In my
Father's house are many mansions; if it
were not so, I would have told you. I go
to prepare a place for you," &c.
The children were very attentive while
the father read this beautiful chapter; and
when it was through, Jesse could not help
saying, "I suppose, papa, that the mansions
which Jesus has gone to prepare are much
prettier than this room, which you and mo-
ther have fitted up so nicely for us ?"
0, yes !" said his father. Eye hath not
seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered
into the heart of man, what God hath pre-
pared for them that love him."
Well," said George, we shall not know
in this world whether we love God well
enough to have a place in his beautiful
house, or not."
"0, yes!" replied his father; "we, may
know. We show our love to God by loving
our neighbor. It is folly for us to say that
we love God whom we have not seen, if
we love not our brother whom we have
seen: The Lord Jesus Christ was brother
to the whole human family; so must his
followers be. Others will not be found fit
to enter his beautiful house."
Nelly, as her father finished talking, had
lifted the curtain, and was now gazing ear-
nestly from the window. The rain was
over, and the full round moon shone upon
something very mysterious in its appear-
ance, which lay partly in the moonlight,
and partly in the shadow of the Wisp
fence. Father saw that Nelly was absorbed
in something beside family worship; so he
waited a moment; but the little girl still
held the curtain aside, and strained her
eyes to look at this curious object.
"Nelly, my daughter!" said the father.
Please, papa," said Nelly, "may I go
and see what that is under the Wisp fence ?"
~iL^-- -- ..~-- --' .. ~a--L+u. -I.;--su;ri~
Mr. Liscome was a judicious as well as a
kind father. So he said "Yes;" and away
Nelly ran, but came back presently, sobbing
as though her heart would break. "What
is the matter ?" said they all together; but
Nelly only pressed her hands to her eyes,
and cried harder still. "Nelly," said Mr.
Liscome, "come here, and tell me what you
have seen." Nelly now went close to her
father, and, after some time, got out the sad
news that her dear Pussy was skinned.
"Skinned !" exclaimed all the children, and
they started to their feet. Mother waved
her hand, and they sat down again. Are
you sure it was your Pussy, Nelly?" in-
quired Nicholas; "perhaps it is the Wisp
cat." "0, no!" said Nelly; it is my kitty.
She has been gone all day, and I have felt
worried about her. If the skin were taken
from the Wisp cat there would be nothing
left, poor thing. It is my Pussy, my nice,
Here Nelly burst into a fresh torrent of
tears, and father went 'ut to see the poor
cat. It was Nelly's, there could be no doubt.
Mr. Liscome saw the Wisp cat scrambling
60 BE KIND.
over the wall, with a chicken in her mouth.
"I am sorry for you, my little daughter,"
said the father, as he went back into the
house, and took little Nelly upon his knee.
" I did love her so," said the little girl, turn-
ing to Nicholas, who was not acquainted
with Pussy's history. "She was an orphan
kitty, you see. Her mother died when she
was the tiniest bit of a kitty, and aunt
Mary gave her to me. I used to get up
nights and warm milk for her." Then Nelly
began to cry again, and Nicholas said he
had a mind to load his gun and shoot the
Wisp cat. Nelly shook her head. "It was
a cruel, wicked thing," said her father.
"Shall we pray for them, Nelly ?" "Yes,"
murmured Nelly, and she grew resigned and
happy as her father prayed for those who
had despitefully used her.
~-- --~--: 1- ---------
"Without the Spirit of thy Son,
We nothing good can do."
IT was on the same night when Nelly found
her Pussy dead under the fence, that Mr.
Wisp went out to see if the clouds were
really clearing away. Another wretched
day had been added to his wretched life.
Fresh words of bitterness and deeds of
unkindness had been scored upon that dark
account which he seemed doomed soon to
meet. There was a death-like paleness upon
his cheek, and a fire at his heart that was
eating up his vitals. He stood leaning upon
the broken fence, while the moonbeams came ,
through the dark-leaved trees, and the soft
wind stirred his black, shaggy hair. Ife
heard the door open when Nelly came out,,
and through a crevice in the wall saw the
little creature creep along, and with eyes
almost starting fr6m their sockets, gaze at
her dead cat. At first there was a fiend-
like joy in his heart. He waited with
pleased expectation to hear a cry of anger
62 BE KIND.
and loud words of complaint. But he was
disappointed. He only saw the rosy cheek
grow suddenly pale, and tears of grief burst-
ing from bright, laughing eyes. He waited
there and saw the father come out. "Now
if he will only appear vexed," said Wisp to
himself. But no. He was not indifferent;
that was plain. He was not angry; that
was plainer still. Wisp waited longer still.
There was a dreadful feeling pressing upon
his heart. What a relief would it have been
to see that door open again, with eager heads
thrust out, and many tongues uttering words
of retaliation and revenge! But no such
relief came. The moon shone upon those
curtained windows like the clear approving
light of Heaven, and though Wisp waited
ing, he heard nothing save a low murmur,
like the voice of prayer; then he rushed
into the house. A few pine knots were
smoldering upon the dirty hearth. Mrs. Wisp
wvs trying, by the flickering light of a tallow
candle, to mend an old jacket; and now
and then she touched the cradle with her
foot, where the poor baby lay, starting and
moaning as if in pain.
.. . ..... .... ... ... II I ...... ...- l.. -- .... __
BE KIND. # 63
"Put away your infernal old rags," said
Mr. Wisp, and take that poor brat to bed;
I want the candle to finish reading my
Mr. Wisp had no idea that this very po-
site request would be complied with. It
was made to set his wife to talking. It may
seem strange, but is nevertheless true, the
poor man thought that a good quarrel would
help his bad feelings. But for once, in this
respect, he was disappointed, contrary to all
previous custom. Mrs. Wisp took the baby
from the cradle, looked sorrowfully, and with
something of a mother's anxiety, into its
pale little face, and then slowly retired.
Wisp looked after her with unfeigned asto-
nishment, and, as the door closed, said to
himself, "Well, this is a pretty fix. I am
alone now, and feel as though I should die
before 'morning." He pushed the tallow
candle to the farther end of the table, and
laid his head upon his arm. The still small
voice is whispering to poor Wisp; let us
leave him awhile. The mother has laid her
sick baby upon the bed, and is now sitting
by the window, weeping bitterly. What is
64 ., BE KIND.
the matter with Mrs. Wisp? She could
not tell us, if she would. It had been a long
time-years almost-since she had wept so.
But there had been a strange feeling at her
heart for several days. It had come on by
degrees, and was somehow connected with
the Liscome family. She had heard them
talking together as she crossed the garden
for water, and saw that on their tongues
was the law of kindness. She had glanced
in at the open door, and, knowing that Mrs.
Liscome had a much larger family than her-
self, had wondered how she looked so lady-
like and tidy; why her children were never
tattered in their dress, or ungentle in their
manners; why her house looked so clean
and inviting, and, above all, why her pre-
sence was a perpetual sunshine to her dwell-
ing. She had often heard Mrs. Liscome
singing as she went briskly about her house.
One verse of her favorite hymn had become
quite familiar to poor Mrs. Wisp. It was
"Bless'd is the man whose shoulders take
My yoke, and bear it with delight;
My yoke is easy to his neck;
My grace shall make the burden light."
BE KIND. 65
Still Mrs. Wisp, having eyes, saw not,
and, having ears, heard not, neither did she
understand by what might or power her
neighbor did these things.
"She has a kind husband," murmured the
poor woman to herself. "She is not dis-
couraged and broken down by living with
those who hate her, and the whole world
besides." God pity thee, poor Mrs. Wisp!
his grace could make even this burden light.
"That gap in the fence," said Mr. Wisp
to himself, as he sat by the pine-knot fire
that night. "It is strange that they don't
mend it. That has always been the signal
for war, and has put me in face to fight.
I am sure that Peg and the boys have done
mischief enough in their garden to make a
good excuse for them. If they would mend
the gap, why I could punch it through, and
then we should come to words, if nothing
more. Then I could tell them to keep their
distance, and let them know that I would
shoot everything that was found on my
The gap in the fence became a great
source of trouble to Mr. Wisp. Not only on
this night, but many days after, did the in-
quiry haunt him, Why don't Liscome mend
that place in the fence ? and at last he could
not refrain from asking his wife's opinion
"I think," said she, "that they are very
religious sort of folks." "Religious !" said
Mr. Wisp. "So was Page. Don't you
know how he came over here, and blazed
away to me about going to perdition, with
my family, and called us ungodly wretches ?
He said that he had borne everything, but
was roused at last to holy indignation; the
'cutest of the whole was, that he should
threaten to pray for us, and then, in the
same breath, threaten to take the law of me
for letting the old white horse into his mow-
ing-lot. That was law and gospel both.
Now," continued Wisp, from what I heard
of Liscome before he came, I had no doubt
we should be about a match. They said
he swore he'd kill me, you know." "He
don't swear, I know," said Mrs. Wisp; and
if he said anything about killing you, he
meant something besides taking your life."
"Well," said Wisp, "I don't care anything
about what he means; but it is provoking
that he won't do nothing. If he is reli-
gious I should think he would come over
and preach to us, as Page did; then I could
say what I should like to about these right-
eous folks. I'd scare the fellow to death,
with his Bibles and sermons, and give him
a piece of my mind about professors being
a pack of hypocrites. But Liscome won't
do anything in that way. He turns the
horse out of the mowing as carefully as if
he was made of gold; his boy drives my
hogs out of his pasture, and my turkeys out
of his corn, without throwing a single stone,
or calling them names. You see he won't
quarrel nor preach; he won't do anything
but Here Wisp stopped short. He
was vastly troubled at what his neighbors
did not do; but there was one simple thing
which he did, and this troubled poor Mr.
Wisp more than all the rest. If we have
injured our neighbor, it is much more com-
fortable to have him stand for his own right,
than to submit the case to God. It would
have been a great relief to Wisp if Mr. Lis-
come would have talked more, and prayed
68 BE KIND.
less. Now it so happened that there was a
low, marshy piece of land running across a
wood-lot jointly owned by Messrs. Liscome
and Wisp. After the rains of autumn, and
during the first snows of winter, this marsh
was little better than a complete slough.
We cannot say of this as was said of Bun-
yan's Slough of Despond, that twenty thou-
sand cart-loads of good instruction had been
there swallowed up; but we may venture to
say that as many thousand angry words had
there been thrown away, and it was the
"Wisp Slough" still. It would not have
been a hard matter to have built a cause-
way here; but as such a convenience would
equally. benefit both families, and Mr. Wisp
obstinately refused to do his part, the own-
ers of the Giles place had hitherto preferred
to run the risk of breaking their sleds and
injuring their oxen rather than to humor
their cross-grained neighbor. As for Mr.
Wisp, he had been content to sink his lolt
there, day after day, and' then stand for an
hour beating his poor panting oxen, and
putting himself into an agony of excitement,
just to show his neighbors what was suffi-
ciently evident, namely, that he would have
his own way. It was after a long spell of
rainy weather that Nicholas found himself
"well established" in one of these deep
bogs. He soon found that only a reasonable
application of his goad would not extricate
himn; and Nicholas was not an unreasona-
ble man, even with cattle. He saw that
Mr. Wisp's oxen were in the barn-yard; so
he sent Reuben to beg their help just for a
minute. This request was proffered by
Reuben, in a very respectful and gentle-
manly manner, and he received this very
courteous answer from Mr. Wisp:-
"Go and tell your father's man that my
cattle have work enough at home." .
"Well," said Nicholas, as Reuben deli-
vered this friendly message, "I guess they'll
always have, and Wisp too, for 'as a man
soweth so shall he reap.' "
After partly unloading his team, and spur-
ring his oxen, Nicholas succeeding in getting
out, he immediately unyoked the tired ani-
mals, and told Reuben to drive them home,
declaring that they should do nothing more
Neither Nicholas nor Reuben said any-
thing of this matter at home; for it was well
understood there that such things had better
not be talked of. The next day Mr. Lis-
come and Nicholas were plowing, and,
stopping a moment to take breath, heard a
great uproar in the vicinity of the marsh.
I rather think," said Nicholas, that Mr.
Wisp is in a slough. I had a dreadful time
there yesterday myself."
"Did you?" said Mr. Liscome. "We'll
take the oxen and go to his help; it will
detain us but a little."
Mr. Wisp saw them coming down the
hill, and bestirred himself more than ever.
He shouted and swore, and exhausted him-
self with plying his goad, hoping to get out
before they should arrive; but it was all in
vain. The poor oxen cringed, and shut
their eyes, as though resigned to their fate.
"They shan't help me," said Wisp to him-
self. "I'll tell them right off that I don't
want their help."
But it so happened that Nicholas did not
ask whether his help was wanted or not.
He came up, and, fastening his chain, with-
NICHOLAS HELPING MR. WISY.
--'i __ -
BE KIND. 73
out saying a word, set the whole concern on
terra firma. Mr. Wisp felt awkward. Ht
took off his hat, and wiped the large drops of
sweat from his pale face. At last he mut-
tered, almost below his breath, "I am
obleeged to you."
"Not at all," said Nicholas, without ap-
pearing to notice the effort which this small
courtesy had cost him. "It is a dreadful
bad place; but we mean to mend it right
Saying this Nicholas started off. Mr.
Wisp stood a moment, and then called after
"I say, when do you mean to go about
this ere slough ?"
"Next week, Monday," said Nicholas, "if
"Bless'd are the sons of peace,
Whose hopes and aims are one;
Whose kind desires to serve and please
Through all their actions run."
MONDAY of next week came, and Reuben,
George, and Jesse were required to 'help
their father and Nicholas in building the
causeway. When they came home to din-
ner Mrs. Liscome said, I should think that
you were having a merry time at work in
the mud to-day; you all look very good-
The boys winked at each other and
laughed, and the father said that mud need
not be at all in the way of being good-na-
tured. As they went out from dinner Mr.
Liscome said to his wife, "Come here a
moment, Mary." She followed him to the
door, and he whispered something in her
ear. You don't say so, dear," she ex-
claimed, with joyful surprise. "What, all
day ? Yes," he replied; "he was there
as soon as we were this morning, and has
worked steadily the whole forenoon."
"WWhat 9i you suppose it means?" asked
Mr:'. Ll:come. "I suppose," replied her
husband, "that it means nothing less than
that our God heareth prayer, and will bless
the means of his own appointment."
Mrs. Liscome smiled tearfully as her hus-
band left the house, and then went to in-
quire of the Lord what more he would have
her do. His holy will, in this respect, was
soon revealed to her. Mrs. Wisp had been
greatly astonished by a report from one of
the boys that their father had gone to work
with Mr. Liscome and Nicholas upon the
causeway. She could not at first believe
it; for she had heard him often vow that
if all the cattle in town went to the bottom
of that bog, he would never lift his finger to
mend it. She judged the report incredible;
but she felt too much interested to be quiet,
and, going stealthily out upon the brow of
the hill, saw, to her amazement, that it was
true. The poor woman felt really glad.
The innate principle of womanly kindness,
not yet dead in her heart, but long sleeping,
was revived, and with it a new hope strug-
gled into life. She felt almost sure thi her
husband was a partaker in her new and
strange feelings. "Who knows," thought she,
" but that he may come to love these neigh-
bors of ours, and then I can be different
from what I am, and make him love me and
the children." The very thought was inspir-
ing, and she went home with a desire to help
on this good work. When Mr. Wisp came
home to dinner she had the good sense to
appear not to suspect where he had been.
He was silent, but not so cross as usual, and
noticed, though he did not seem to, that
there had been a little more attention to his
taste than was common.
We are not able to trace the course of
reflection which resulted in sending Mr.
Wisp to help his neighbors. Things which
astonish us, weak and short-sighted as we
are, are all plain to Him who searches the
heart. Mr. Wisp went to work in the morn-
ing alone. His boys would have been a
great help; but he was as yet too much
ashamed of doing right to allow his family
to know anything about it. He kept his
own side of the marsh, and, during the whole
forenoon, exchanged not a single word with
his neighbors. t
"What say you to my being Mr. Wisp's
boy just for this afternoon ?" said Jesse to
his father. "There is such a company of
us, and he is quite alone."
Yes," replied his father; "he may have
both you and George, if he likes."
The little boys now crossed the marsh,
and told Mr. Wisp that. they had come to
be his boys.
"Well," said he, "I don't think much of
boys' work; if I did, I should have taken
Peter and Nat."
This was not a very warm welcome; but
the little boys thought it not best to be
offended. They went zealously to work,
talking together, and occasionally making
such good-natured remarks to Mr. Wisp
that, before he was aware, he was talking
too, and once or twice, to his own astonish-
ment, he laughed outright. The next morn-
ing he took Nat and Peter; so that Mrs.
Wisp was left alone with Peggy and the
baby. Thus left alone, Mrs. Wisp, after a
long deliberation, concluded to make her
new neighbor a call. She told Peggy to
wash her face, and put on her best gown,
and, performing the same unwonted ceremo-
ny over her own person, they emerged from
the gap, and stood before the neighbor's
door. Mrs. Liscome professed herself glad
to see them, as she really was. She took
the poor babe affectionately into her arms,
and told Mrs. Wisp about a little one of
hers, who was of the same age, and died
while they were in Connecticut. Tears
came to the mother's eyes as she talked
thus, and held the pale-looking Wisp baby
close to her bosom, and Mrs. Wisp suddenly
forgot some ceremonious things that she had
prepared to say. She began to tell Mrs.
Liscome what she had felt and feared about
her own child. Peggy was invited into the
study, where the little girls were, drawing
maps; and so her mother, left alone with
her kind neighbor, talked freely, and felt her
heart grow softer at every word. The sin-
cere warmth and sympathy of Mrs. Lis-
come's manner was like the home voice of
childhood. It made the poor woman think
of her mother who was in her grave, of sis-
ters who were dead, and far away, and of
friends who had loved her in brighter days
of the past. The strange feelings which had.
long oppressed her passed away, and, in
their place, feelings which she had thought
dead-seared and dried up by the breath of
unkindness-now burst from her heart, like
waters from the smitten rock. Scarcely an
hour had passed away before she had told
Mrs. Liscome what she had long thought
was sealed in her own memory until the
day of final account:-How she was the
child of praying parents, who had gone to
heaven; how she had promised to meet
them there, and had once almost given her
heart to Christ, but had married about that
time, and her husband, being wronged out
of his property, grew very strange-seemed
to owe spite to the whole world. She might
have made things better; but it was too
late now. She had for years been a worth-
less creature, and knew it; but had cared
for nothing, having neither hope nor fear.
It was now Mrs. Liscome's turn to talk,
to strive with all her faith and hope to make
her neighbor believe it was not too late.
On going home Peggy told her mother that
she had a dreadful good time, and said that
the little girls had invited her to come to their
Sunday-school; and the next day Lotty and
Nelly returned her call, and, in their mo-
ther's name, repeated the invitation.
"I wish you could go," said Mrs. Wisp;
but she felt afraid to say anything to her
husband about it. She meant, however, in
her own case to make an effort to do better;
to be to her family what she had never yet
been, namely, a kind, faithful mother. Pe-
ter, who was a warm-hearted boy, had be.
come really attached to George and Jesse,
and had been struck with the love which
they bore their mother. "Well," thought
Peter, I could love my mother, if she would
let me; but perhaps she can't love me. I
have tried to plague her ever since I can
remember." So Peter thought awhile, and
then walked into the house. His mother
looked very tired; she was trying hard to
clean her house; but the baby cried, and
Peggy cared but little about pleasing him.
Peter went deliberately to the cradle, and
offered to take him up; but this Peggy
BE KIND. 81
would not allow. She pushed him against
the wall, and the mother, little guessing his
motives, told him to go off out door, and not
make any more trouble.
Mrs. Liscome don't say so to her boys,"
said Peter, "when they want to help."
"Why did you want to help ?" said his
mother, looking up pleasantly.
"Jesse and George," replied Peter, "love
to help their mother, and she has three girls
a deal better than Peggy. I should love
to help you, if you would let me."
This was a pleasant surprise to poor Mrs.
Wisp. She could hardly keep back her
tears, as she stroked the little boy's hair, and
told him that he should help his mother as
much as he wanted to. From that hour a
strong friendship sprang up between Peter
and his mother, and each felt how delightful
it is to be beloved.
IT was not from any principle of fellow-
feeling that Mr. Wisp frequented the tavern
which stood where four roads met, and was
about a mile and a half from his own house;
yet the bar-room of that tavern received
him as an almost daily visitor. Yet Wisp
never talked with the talkers -there, and
never drank, as most of the loungers did.
There was an old upright seat, partly behind
the door, where he usually placed himself,
not to talk, but to listen. There he might
have been seen, night after night, his sharp
eyes peering through the fog, and he looking
pale and weary as a man can look. There
was no hope of inducing him to drink. The
landlord said that he was too contrary for
that; still he came, night after night, and
Mrs. Wisp was left alone.
It had been so for a long time. The poor
man went to the tavern to while away some
of his unhappy hours. The thought of enjoy-
ing an evening at home had not entered his
head for years, and in the political gossip of
BE KIND. 83
the bar-room he had learned a kind of enjoy-
ment. It is true that he had noticed an
effort at improvement on the part of his
wife; but as yet this was no comfort. His
heart of bitterness longed to vent itself in
fits of spleen and words of unkindness to-
ward his family; but since Mr. Liscome's
kindness and forbearance had awakened a
kind of shame in his bosom, he rather de-
sired an excuse for being what he was. Ill
temper and unfaithfulness in his wife would,
as he thought, give some show of reason for
his ill treatment; so would disobedience in his
children. But these most desirable excuses
seemed failing him. Mrs. Wisp, with the
good example and cheering encouragement
of her neighbor, was fast becoming a much
better woman. Peter and Nathaniel, both
Bright and naturally good-natured boys, now
helped on by Reuben, George, and Jesse,
were becoming studious and affectionate;
and Peggy, though her evil habits were not
to be broken in a day, was beginning to show
a sincere desire to be like the little Liscome
girls. It was a pleasant proof of Alice's
power over herself, that she took Peggy
84 BE KIND.
under her especial care, taught her to sew,
and, with her own money, purchased a Tes-
tament for her, which present made them
good friends. It is true that poor Mrs.
Wisp was sometimes nearly discouraged:
she felt as though her efforts were lost, and
had it not been for the tender sympathy and
kind advice of her friend, would, no doubt,
have relapsed into her former state of sloth
and wretchedness; for Mrs. Liscome had
not yet succeeded in drawing the poor wo-
man to Him whose strength, in this hour of
struggle, was so much needed; but was it
really so ? It is well for the weak to call
upon their God in the day of trouble; but
who can doubt but that strength, unsought,
is sometimes afforded those who "toil and
strive ?" Would they not otherwise grow
weary and faint in well-doing?
It was a cold night, late in the fall. The
sick baby had been growing worse for many
weeks, and now the last hour of its pain
was drawing near. Mrs. Liscome watched
beside the cradle with the weeping mother.
The father was absent, as usual, and the
children had stolen from their beds to see
BE KIND. 85
their little brother die. Breath after breath
came shorter and shorter. The little hands
which had been clinched in agony now fell
by its side, and over the features, so dis-
turbed with pain, a calm, soft light seemed
"The baby is laughing now," said Peter;
and at that moment Mrs. Liscome laid her
hand upon its open eyes, and whispered to
Mrs. Wisp, You have a child in heaven
now." A deep but low cry of anguish was
the only reply. Peter put his arms around
his mother's neck. Heaven is a pretty
place, ain't it, Mrs. Liscome ?" said Peter.
"They love little babies there, and will take
good care of them, won't they ?"
Yes," said Mrs. Liscome; "little bro-
ther will not be sick any more there, and he
will never be a wicked boy; and if you are
good children you will, one day, go to see
him, and live there forever."
"So don't cry, mother," said Peter; "you
see there's nothing to cry for. Baby has
gone to live with such kind folks."
Mr. Wisp had never taken much notice
af his babe, excepting to wish it dead; and
as he came home that night, feeling more
than ever the agony of an aching void with-
in, he was startled and almost overcome at
the sight of his child, a corpse. He cast a
hasty glance around the room, and then re-
tired. Mrs. Liscome prevailed on the chil-
dren to go to their beds, and, sitting down
by the mother, spent the remainder of the
night in pointing her to the path of peace.
With deep brokenness of spirit, and with a
trembling faith, the poor woman struggled
for the hope of the gospel; and, as the day
dawned, Mrs. Liscome believed that the
long night of that spirit's darkness was pass-
ing away, and that the day of her salvation
was near. Advising her to take a little rest,
she prepared to return, and, in passing the
door of their sleeping-room, which was ajar,
saw, to her surprise, that Mr. Wisp had not
retired. He was sitting by the window,
with his head upon his hand. The convic-
tion that he had heard the conversation of
the night, had heard the broken petitions
offered by his wife, and her own earnest
prayers in her behalf, gave her a momentary
uneasiness; but she cast this care upon the
1-_ I _~ ~~~~ ~~~~~~~~_~ ~~_ _~~ ~g~~~
BE KIND. 87
Lord, knowing that his power was equal to
restraining the wrath of man. The next
day Mrs. Wisp ventured to ask her husband
if it would be best to send for Mr. Page.
Mr. and Mrs. Liscome had arranged every-
thing for a decent funeral, and Mr. Page
was the only minister for many miles. A
dark frown gathered upon Mr. Wisp's brow
at the mention of Mr. Page, and his wife
repented that she had said anything about
"What do you want of that fellow ?" said
"Why," replied his wife, bursting into
tears, "I thought we couldn't put our poor
baby into the ground without a word of
prayer; and he is all the minister in these
parts, you know."
The fierce expression of Mr. Wisp's face
changed at these words, and in a tone quite
unusual, he replied:-
"I don't like Page, Sally; you know I
aon't. If Mr. Liscome has a mind to make
a prayer, I've no objection. I guess he's as
used to praying as Page iF, if he is a min-
88 BE KIND.
Poor Mrs. Wisp was greatly cheered by
this unlooked-for preference. She went
into the next room, where Mr. Liscome was
tenderly placing the baby in his little coffin,
and told him what her husband had said.
Mr. Liscome did not think best to excuse
himself. So, with his own family present,
he addressed a few words to the children,
telling them of the happy land where the
innocent babe was gone; of the Lord Jesus
Christ, who was once in this world, and
when here loved little children, and invited
them to him; and how those who accept
this kind invitation are made good and fit
to live with the holy in heaven. Then he
told them how this same Jesus is the resur-
rection and the life, whose spirit, if dwelling
in our hearts here, will raise us up at the last
day. Then, with a full heart, Mr. Liscome
prayed for that family. The mother and
the children wept much. Mr. Wisp turned
his face to the wall, and when the prayer
was ended, rose, and hastily pulled his hat
over his eyes. His cheek was ghastly pale,
and his hand trembled as he led his wife
from the room to take a farewell look of the
little one, now resting upon its bier. The
sun was going down as they lowered the
coffin into its narrow grave. Peter was
sobbing upon Jesse's neck, and there they
stood alone. It was a country town, and
it was known for miles around that Mr.
Wisp had lost a child; nor did the neigh-
bors wait for the ceremony of an invitation
to funerals in that place. It was a bitter
proof of the small esteem felt for the Wisp
family, that they were thus left to mourn
alone. They felt it as such, and knew well
that the Liscomes were the only neighbors
who were true to the name. How greatly
was their kindness enhanced by this one
thought. God has not made our hearts of
steel; but he well knew that we could thus
harden them; so he provided a remedy.
What heart so hard that it may not own,
"Love conquers even me?"
The smafi Ianeral procession walked
slowly around the little grave, each looking
down into the house appointed for all living;
then they turned away, and Nicholas put
the cold earth-clods upon the baby's new
bed, covered it with turf, found some smooth
stones, and placed them at the head and
foot. The stones bore no name; but it
matters not. Angels watch the little graves,
and not one of them will be lost.
"God, my Redeemer, lives,
And ever from the skies
Looks down and watches all my dust,
Till he shall bid it rise,"
Here where, 'mid light, and song, and flowers,
The priceless soul in ruin lies-
Lost-dead to all those better powers,
Which link a fallen world to ours."
ALICE had been deeply affected by the scene
of death which she had been called to wit-
ness; but more still by the remarks made
to the children. We have before remarked
that Alice had great power over herself.
She loved her father and mother, and from
the day of her quarrel with Peggy resolved
that she would not wound their feelings in
that way again. She meant, in her out-
ward manner, to conform to the "law of
kindness," which was the governing law of
the household. Like her brothers and sis-
ters, she put on a winning manner toward the
little Wisps, and even went beyond them in a
show of good-humor and readiness to oblige.
That was right; and as Alice acted from
the very good motive of pleasing her parents,
it may seem strange that she should have be-
come unhappy about it. The case was this:
Alice knew that her first and highest motive
for doing right should have been a desire
to please God. Yet she was continually
obliged to own to herself that this desire
formed no part of her motives for action.
She often indulged herself in thinking what
she would do, and how she would behave
toward such provoking people if left to her-
self. It is true that, since the gift of the
Testament, Peggy had appeared very fond
of her; but Alice felt rather degraded by
such a friendship. Peggy was such an
uncouth, ignorant girl! She sometimes
hated to have her so near; yet she encour-
aged her to come, and was quite as patient
in teaching her as were Lotty and Nelly,
who both loved the neglected little girl with
92 BE KIND.
something of the kind, pitying love which
Jesus felt for us.
Alice had all along taken great credit to
herself for courage and self-denial; but on
the day of the funeral, when her father spoke
of the Spirit-which raised up Jesus from the
dead,. which must also be in us if we would
live. together with him, a new light burst
upon her mind, and in this light she saw
that her heart was deceitful and desperately
wicked. No wonder, then, that Alice became
unhappy, She felt herself a sinner above
all others; but for several days said nothing
to father and mother. The little baby's
grave became Alice's favorite place of re-
sort; and one evening, just before sunset,
as she was sitting there alone, and weeping
on account of her wicked heart, Mr. Wisp
came into the grave-yard. He was almost
close to the baby's grave before they saw
each other, and Alice, was frightened. He
looked pale and wretched; but he spoke
kindly, and asked her what she was crying
for. The little girl was almost afraid to tell;
at last she said, "I was thinking, sir, that
the little baby would rise to immortality;
but I have not the Spirit which raised up
Jesus Christ from the dead. I have a very
wicked heart, sir."
"You!" said Mr. Wisp. "I thought that
all you folks were good."
"They are," said Alice, "all but me. I
have hated you, sir, and your whole family,
ever since you have been here; you have
made us so much trouble, sir."
"Well," said Mr. Wisp, "I suppose you
couldn't help it."
"Ah, es !" replied Alice, "I could. The
rest of bur family help such bad feelings.
They have the Spirit of Jesus Christ; and
the Bible tells us, Mr. Wisp, that folks who
haven't the Spirit of Christ will come forth
from their graves to shame and everlasting
"Why," said Mr. Wisp, "you are Alice."
"Yes, sir," replied the little girl.
"Well," continued he, Peggy thinks that
you are very kind to her. You gave her a
Testament, didn't you ?"
"Yes, sir," said Alice; "I gave her a
Testament, and I have taught her a great
many things; but it was to please my father
and mother. I never prayed for any cf you,
and I have sometimes felt vexed when father
did. You see, sir, that my heart is not
Well," said Mr. Wisp, I have had such
feelings for years, only ten times worse.
I've hated everybody, and my own wretched
life worse than anything else; but it's almost
over, I think. As for this coming up out
of the grave, I don't think anybody knows
about it, for certain."
"O, Mr. Wisp!" said Alice, "we shall
live again. God's book says so. Your little
baby will live again, Mr. Wisp; and if you
will begin to be good now, you may live
with it forever."
"Begin !" said Mr. Wisp; I should think
it was late in the day for me to begin any-
"No," said Alice; "the hymn says,-
"' While the lamp holds out to burn,
The vilest sinner may return.'
So you see, sir, it is not too late for you.
Your lamp may be almost out; but it is
burning to-night. The lamp of life, I mean.
I don't want your lamp to go out, sir, and
leave you in the dark forever."
"But," said Mr. Wisp, "I thought that
you hated me."
"0, not enough for that !" replied Alice.
" I couldn't bear the thought, sir."
And yet," said Mr. Wisp, "you wouldn't
pray for me."
I think," replied the little girl, "that I
could now, if it would be of any use; but
you see I am wicked; perhaps God would t
Not many days from this time poor Mr
Wisp was confined by sickness to his bed.
It was generally believed that his life was
drawing to a close, and, save in his own
family and Mr. Liscome's, the termination
ofsuch a life was looked upon as a matter
of small regret. His own thoughts, as usual,
were locked up in his own bosom, and
though he seemed perfectly conscious, there
were days together when he could not be
prevailed upon to speak. Week after week
did his wife watch beside his bed, with the
tenderest care. His children went softly
about the house, doing all that they could
in assisting their mother. Mr. Liscome and
Nicholas kept the night-watch by turns, while
Mrs. Liscome and the little girls relieved
the day-watchers, and allowed them time
for other duties. One morning, as the gray
light was just appearing, Mrs. Wisp came
to take Nicholas' place beside her husband's
bed. "He has slept better than usual,"
," said Mrs. Wisp, "if I could believe
that he would, after all, be raised from this
sick-bed, how happy I should be! I would
be resigned to the will of God; but every
breath is a prayer for his life,"
This was said in a whisper; but it did not
escape the ear of her husband, who was
lying as if in deep sleep. That day, as little
Alice Liscome was sitting beside his bed,
Mr. Wisp opened his eyes, and said, in a
weak voice, Have you got so that you can
pray for me yet, Alice ?"
"0, yes !" replied the little girl, joyfully
"I can, and love to; and do you know that
this is how I found out that God had given
me a new, kind heart ?"
The sick man was silent for some time, and
then he said, How should I know it, Alice,
supposing God should give me a new heart ?"
0!" said Alice, you would forgive folks
that have treated you bad; you would feel
kind, feel as though you could pray for
"It will be a long time," said Mr. Wisp,
"before I shall feel so."
Yes," said Alice; we never can feel so
with a wicked heart; but God can give us
a new one, when we ask for it." -
In a few more days Mr. Wisp was evi-
dently better. He could be bolstered in an
easy-chair, for half an hour at a time, and,
in spite of himself, was affected by the sin-
cere joy of his family. His children, once
so rude and apparently destitute of all natu-
ral kindness, now watched every motion of
their sick father, and anticipated his every
want. His wife sat beside him, with a tear-
ful gratitude which he'saw was too deep for
words. His kind neighbors showed more
by actions, than by studied phrases, how
much they rejoiced in his recovery, till, at
last, the pride of his heart was melted like
wax, and the bitter waters which had long
been turning that heart to stone, flowed out
in copious tears. He confessed himself
unworthy such tenderness and care, and, in
touching language, declared that, God being
his helper, he would be a different man.
It was a new era in the memory of many
in that town, when Mr. Wisp went up to
the house of God to keep holy-day with his
family; but nobody saw any reason why
their minister, Mr. Page, should appear agi-
tated at the sight of his old neighbor. No-
body had ever thought of blaming Mr. Page.
Most people wondered how he had stood it
so long as he did; but, if our hearts condemn
us, it matters little for man to justify us.
God is greater than our hearts, and know-
eth all things. It was doubtless this convic-
tion that induced Mr. Page to call on his
former neighbor, and, with true Christian
honesty, confess that, in their former ac-
quaintance, he had showed but little fidelity
to his holy profession. This course of con-
duct removed a great stumbling-block out
of the way of Mr. Wisp. He saw that
though the spirit of religion might not al-
ways bring forth fruit unto perfection, in the