The Baldwin Libary
MR. AIKEN'S RETURN FROM THE FIRE.
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WHO ARE HAPPIEST?
BY T. S. ARTHUR.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS BY CROOME.
LIPPINCOTT, GRAMBO & CO.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
IJPPINOOTT, GRAMBO & CO.
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of
STEREOTYPED BY L. JOHN0ON & CO.
WHO ARE HAPPIEST? ................................................. 9
DICK LAWSON AND THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD... 21
THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT................................... 60
MAN'S JUDGMENT................................................ 72
WHAT FIVE DOLLARS PAID................................. 89
LOOK AT T OTHER SIDE........................................... 97
THIN SHOES.......................................................... 115
THE UNRULY MEMBER......................................... 131
THE RICH AND THE POOR................................... 149
IN this volume, the stories are not illustrative
of childish experiences. Most of the actors are
men and women,-and the trials and temptations
to which they are subjected, such as are experi-
enced in mature life. Their object is to fix in the
young mind, by familiar illustrations, principles
of action for the future. While several of the
volumes in this series will be addressed to children
as children, others, like this one, will be addressed
to them as our future men and women, toward
which estate they are rapidly progressing, and in
which they will need for their guidance all things
good and true that can be stored up in their
WHO ARE HAPPIEST?
"J HAT troubles you, William?" said
SMrs. Aiken, speaking in a tone of
kind concern to her husband, who sat silent
and moody, with his eyes now fixed upon
the floor, and now following the forms of
his plainly-clad children as they sported,
full of health and spirits, about the room.
It was evening, and Mr. Aiken, a man
who earned his bread by the sweat of his
brow, had, a little while before, returned
from his daily labour.
No answer was made to the wife's ques-
tion. A few minutes went by, and then
she spoke again:
"Is any thing wrong with you, Wil-
10 WHO ARE HAPPIEST?
Nothing more than usual," was replied.
"There's always something wrong. The
fact is, I'm out of heart."
Mrs. Aiken came and stood beside her
husband, and laid her hana gently upon
The evil spirit of envy and discontent
was in the poor man's heart,-this his wife
understood right well. She had often be-
fore seen him in this frame of mind.
"I'm as good as Freeman; am I not ?"
"Yes, and a great deal better, I hope,"
replied Mrs. Aiken.
"And yet he is rolling in wealth, while
I, though compelled to toil early and late,
can scarcely keep soul and body together."
"Hush, William! Don't talk so. It
does you no good. We have a comfortable
home, with food and raiment,-let us there-
with be contented and thankful."
Thankful for this mean hut! Thank-
ful for hard labour, poor fare, and coarse
WHO ARE HAPPIEST? 11
"None are so happy as those who la-
bour; none enjoy better health than they
who have only the plainest food. Do you
ever go hungry to bed, William ?"
No, of course not."
Do you or your children shiver in the
cold of winter for lack of warm clothing ?"
"William! Do not look past your real
comforts in envy of the blessings God has
given to others. Depend upon it, we re-
ceive all of this world's goods the kind Fa-
ther above sees best for us to have. With
more, we might not be so happy as we
"I'll take all that risk," said Mr. Aiken.
"Give me plenty of money, and I'll find a
way to largely increase the bounds of en-
The largest amount of happiness, I be-
lieve, is ever to be found in that condition
wherein God had placed us."
Then every poor man should willingly
12 WHO ARE HAPPIEST?
"I did not say that, William: I think
every man should seek earnestly to im-
prove his worldly affairs-yet, be contented
with his lot at all times; for, only in con-
tentment is there happiness, and this is a
blessing the poor may share equally with the
rich. Indeed, I believe the poor have this
blessing in larger store. You, for instance,
are a happier man than Mr. Freeman."
I'm not so sure of that."
I am, then. Look at his face. Doesn't
that tell the story? Would you exchange
with him in every respect ?"
"No, not in every respect. I would like
to have his money."
"Ah, William! William!" Mrs. Aiken
shook her head. "You are giving place
in your heart for the entrance of bad
spirits. Try to enjoy, fully, what you
have, and you will be a far happier man
than Mr. Freeman. Your sleep is sound
I know. A man who labours as hard
as I do, can't help sleeping soundly."
WHO ARE HAPPIEST? 18
"Then labour is a blessing, if for no-
thing else. I took home, to-day, a couple
of aprons made for Mrs. Freeman. She
looked pale and troubled, and I asked her
if she were not well."
"' Not very,' she replied. 'I've lost so
much rest of late, that I'm almost worn
"I did not ask why this was; but, after
remaining silent for a few moments, she
"'Mr. Freeman has got himself so ex-
cited about business, that he sleeps scarcely
three hours in the twenty-four. He cares
neither for eating nor drinking; and, if I
did not watch him, would scarcely appear
abroad in decent apparel. Hardly a day
passes that something does not go wrong.
Workmen fail in their contracts, prices fall
below what he expected them to be, and
agents prove unfaithful; in fact, a hundred
things occur to interfere with his expecta-
tions, and to cloud his mind with disap-
pointment. We were far happier when we
WHO ARE HAPPIEST ?
were poor, Mrs. Aiken. There was a time
when we enjoyed this life. Bright days!
-how well are they remembered! Mr.
Freeman's income was twelve dollars a
week; we lived in two rooms, and I did
all our own work. I had fewer wants then
than I have ever had since, and was far
happier than I ever expect to be again on
this side of the grave.'"
Just then a cry was heard in the street.
Hark !" exclaimed Mr. Aiken.
Fire! Fire! Fire!" The startling sound
rose clear and shrill upon the air.
Mr. Aiken sprang to the window and
threw it open.
Mr. Freeman's new building, as I live !"
Mr. Aiken dropped the window, and
catching up his hat, hurriedly left the
It was an hour ere he returned. Mean-
while the fire raged furiously, and from
her window, where she was safe from harm,
Mrs. Aiken saw the large new factory,
which the rich man had just erected, en-
witO ARE HAPPIEST? 15
tirely consumed by tte fierce, devouring
element. All in vain was it that the intre-
pid firemen wrought almost miracles of
daring, in their efforts to save the building.
Story after story were successively wrapped
in flames, until, at length, over fifty thou-
sand dollars worth of property lay a heap
of black and smouldering ruins.
Wet to the skin, and covered with cin-
ders, was Mr. Aiken when he returned to
his humble abode, after having worked
manfully, in his unselfish efforts to rescue
a portion of his neighbour's property from
"Poor Freeman! I pity him from my
very heart!" was his generous, sympathis-
ing exclamation, as soon as he met his wife.
"He is insured, is he not?" inquired
"Partially. But even a full insurance
would' be a poor compensation for such a
loss. In less than two weeks, this new
factory, with all its perfect and beautiful
machinery, would have been in operation.
WHO ARE HAPPIEST?
The price of goods is now high, and Mr.
Freeman would have cleared a handsome
sum of money on the first season's product
of his mill. It is a terrible disappointment
for him. I never saw a man so much
Poor man! His sleep will not be so
sound as yours, to-night, William."
"Indeed it will not."
Nor, rich as he is, will he be as happy
as you, to-morrow."
"If I were as rich as he is," said Mr.
Aiken, "I would not fret myself to death
for this loss. I would, rather, be thankful
for the wealth still left in my possession."
Mrs. Aiken shook her head.
No, William, the same spirit that makes
you restless and discontented now, would
be with you, no matter how greatly im-
proved might be your external condition.
Mr. Freeman was once as poor as you are.
Do you think him happier for his riches ?
Does he enjoy life more? Has wealth
brought a greater freedom from care? Has
WHO ARE HAPPIEST? 17
it made his sleep sweeter? Far, very far
from it. Riches have but increased the
sources of discontent."
This is not a necessary consequence. If
Mr. Freeman turn a blessing into a curse,
that is a defect in his particular case."
"And few, in this fallen and evil world,
are free from this same defect, William.
If wealth were sought for unselfish ends,
then it would make its possessor happy.
But how few so seek riches! It is here,
believe me, that the evil lies."
Mrs. Aiken spoke earnestly, and some-
thing of the truth that was in her mind,
shed its beams upon the mind of her hus-
"You remember," said she smiling, "the
anecdote of the rich man of New York,
who aked a person who gave utterance to
words of envy towards himself--' Would
you,' said he, 'take all the care and anxie-
ty attendant upon the management of my
large estates and extensive business opera-
tions, merely for your victuals and clothes?'
18 WHO ARE HAPPIEST ?
'No, indeed, I would not,' was the quick
answer. Iget no more,' said the rich man,
gravely. And it was the truth, William.
They who get rich in this world, pass up
through incessant toil and anxiety; and,
while they seem to enjoy all the good things
of life, in reality enjoy but little. They get
only their victuals and clothes. I have
worked for many rich ladies, and I do not
remember one who appeared to be happier
than I am. And I am mistaken if your
experience is not very much like my own."
One evening, a few days after this time,
Aiken came home from his work. As
he entered the room where his wife and
children sat, the former looked up to him
with a cheerful smile of welcome, and the
latter gathered around him, filling his ears
with the music of their happy voices. The
father drew an arm around one and an-
other, and, as he sat in their midst, his
heart swelled in his bosom, and warmed
with a glow of happiness.
Soon the evening meal was served-
WHO ARE HAPPIEST? 19
served by the hands of his wife-the good
angel of his humble home. William Aiken,
as he looked around upon his smiling chil-
dren, and their true-hearted, even-tempered,
cheerful mother, felt that he had many
blessings for which he should be thankful.
"I saw something, a little while ago,
that I shall not soon forget," said he, when
alone with his wife.
"What was that, William ?"
"I had occasion to call at the house of
Mr. Elder, on some business, as I came
home this evening. Mr. Elder is rich, and
I have often envied him; but I shall do so
no more. I found him in his sitting-room,
alone, walking the floor with a troubled
look on his face. He glanced at me with
an impatient expression as I entered. I
mentioned my business, when he said ab-
ruptly and rudely-
S' I've no time to think of that now.'
"As I was turning away, a door of the
room opened, and Mrs. Elder and two chil-
II.-2 B 2
20 WHO ARE HAPPIEST?
"' I wish you would send those children
up to the nursery,' he exclaimed, in a fret-
ful half-angry voice. 'I'm in no humour
to be troubled with them now.'
"The look cast upon their father by
those two innocent little children, as their
mother pushed them from the room, I shall
not soon forget. I remembered, as I left
the house, that there had been a large fail-
ure in Market street, and that Mr. Elder
was said to be the loser by some ten thou-
sand dollars-less than a twentieth part
of what he is worth. I am happier than
he is to-night, Mary."
"And happier you may ever be, Wil-
liam," returned his wife, if you but stoop
to the humble flowers that spring up along
your pathway, and, like the bee, take the
honey they contain. God knows what, in
external things, is best for us; and he will
make either poverty or riches, whichsoever
comes, a blessing, if we are humble, patient
AND THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
"I want a young mocking-bird. Can't
you get me one ?"
"I d'no, sir."
"Don't you think you could try ?"
"I d'no, sir. P'r'aps I might."
"Well, see if you can't. I'll give you
half a dollar for one."
"Will you? Then I'll try."
And off Dick started for the woods, with-
out stopping for any further words on the
The two individuals introduced are a
DICK LAWSON, AND
good-natured farmer in easy circumstances,
and a bright boy, the son of a poor woman
in the neighbourhood.
As Dick Lawson was hurrying away for
the woods, his mind all intent upon finding
a nest of young mocking-birds, and de-
spoiling it, he met a juvenile companion,
named Henry Jones.
"Come, Harry," said he, in an animated
voice, I want you to go with me."
"Where are you going?" asked the
"I am going to look for a mocking-
To get a young one. Mr. Acres said
he would give me half a dollar for a young
Yes, he did so!" was the animated reply.
"But don't he know that it's wrong to
rob bird's nests !"
If it had been wrong, Harry, Mr. Acres
wouldn't have asked me to get him a bird.
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
He knows what is right and wrong, as well
as anybody about here."
"And so does Mr. Milman, our Sunday-
school teacher; and he says that it is
wicked to rob bird's nests. You know he
has told us that a good many times."
"But Mr. Acres knows what is right as
well as Mr. Milman, and if it had been
wrong, he'd never have asked me to get him
a bird. And then, you know, he says he
will give me half a dollar for a single one."
I wouldn't touch a bird's nest for ten
dollars," rejoined Henry Jones, warmly.
I would then," replied Dick, from whose
mind the promised reward had, for the
time, completely dispelled every tender
impression received both from his mother,
who had been very careful of her child,
and his teacher at the Sunday-school.
But come," he added, "you'll go with me,
"Not, if you are going to rob a bird's
nest," firmly responded Henry. "It is
wicked to do so."
DICK LAWSON, AND
Wicked! I don't see any thing so very
wicked about it. Mr. Acres is a good man,
so everybody says, and I know he wouldn't
tell me to do a wicked thing."
I'm sure it is wicked," persevered Hen-
ry Jones, for isn't it taking the poor little
birds from their mother? Don't you think
it would be wicked for some great giant to
come and carry your little sister away off
where you could never find her, and shut
her up in a cage, and keep her there all
No, but birds aie not little children.
It's a very different thing. But you
needn't talk, Harry; for it's no use: If
you'll go along, you shall have half the
money I get for the bird-if not, why, I'll
go myself and keep the whole of it."
"I wouldn't go with you for a hundred
dollars," said Harry half-indignantly, turn-
"Then I'll go myself," was Dick Law-
son's sneering reply, as he sprang forward
and hurried off to the woods.
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
He did not, however, feel very easy in
mind, although he attempted first to whistle
gayly, and then to sing. The remonstrance
of Henry Jones had its effect in calling
back previous better feelings, awakened by
the precepts of a good mother and the in-
structions of a judicious Sabbath-school
teacher. To oppose these, however, were
the direct sanction of Mr. Acres, towards
whom he had always been taught to look
with respect, and the stimulating hope of
a liberal reward. These were powerful in-
centives-but they could not hush the in-
ward voice of disapprobation, that seemed
to speak in a louder and sterner tone with
every advancing step. Still, this voice,
loud as it was, could not make him pause
or hesitate. Onward he pursued his way,
and soon entered the woods and old fields
he had fixed in his mind as the scene of
An hour's diligent search ended in the
discovery of a nest, in which were two
young ones, with the mother bird feeding
DICK LAWSON, AND
them. This sight softened Dick's heart for
a moment, but the strong desire, instantly
awakened, to possess the prize for which he
had been seeking, caused him to drive off
the old bird, who commenced fluttering
about the spot, uttering cries and showing
signs of deep distress. These, although he
could not help feeling them, did not cause
him to desist. In a few moments he had
one of the birds safely in his possession,
with which he bounded off in great delight.
SWell, Dick, have you got my bird?"
said Mr. Acres, as Dick came puffing and
blowing into his presence.
Yes, indeed!" returned Dick with a
broad smile of pleasure, presenting the bird
he had abstracted from its warm, soft nest.
"You are a fine smart boy, Dick, and
will make a man one of these days!" said
Mr. Acres, patting Dick on the head en-
couragingly. Then, taking the bird, he
toyed with it for a while fondly-fed it,
and finally placed it in a cage. The pro-
mised half-dollar, which was promptly paid
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD. 27
to the lad, made him feel rich. As he was
about leaving the house of Mr. Acres, the
latter called to him:
Look here, Dick, my fine fellow, don't
you want a dog? Here's Rover, the very
chap for you."
"May I have Rover?" eagerly asked
Dick, his eyes glistening with delight.
Yes. I've more dogs now than I want."
"He fights well!" ejaculated Dick, sur-
veying the dog proudly. As he did so, the
animal, seeing himself noticed, walked up
to Dick, and rubbed himself against the lad
"He'll whip any dog in the neighbour-
hood," said Mr. Acres.
And you'll give him to me ?"
"Oh, yes. I've got too many dogs now."
"Here, Rover! Here, Rover! Here!
Here! Here!" cried Dick in an animated
tone, starting off. The dog followed quick-
ly, and in a few moments both were out of
"A smart chap that," remarked Mr.
DICK LAWSON, AND
Acres to himself, as Dick bounded away.
"He'll make something before he dies, I'll
The possession of the dog and half-dollar,
especially the latter, were strongly objected
to by Dick's mother.
How could you, my son, think of rob-
bing a poor bird of her little young ones ?"
said she seriously and reprovingly.
"But, mother, Mr. Acres wanted me to
get him a bird, and of course I could not
say 'no.' What would he have thought
"You never should do wrong for any
"But if it had been so very wrong, Mr.
Acres never would have asked me to do it,
I know," urged Dick.
Mrs. Lawson would have compelled her
son to take back the money he had re-
ceived, if almost any other person in the
village but Mr. Acres had been concerned.
But he was well off, and influential; and,
moreover, was her landlord; and, though
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
she was behindhand with her rent, he
never took the trouble to ask for it. The
dog, too, would have been sent back if any
one but Mr. Acres had given it to her son.
As it was, she contented herself with
merely reprimanding Dick for robbing the
bird's nest, and enjoining on him not to
be guilty of so cruel an act again.
About three days after this event, Dick,
accompanied by Rover-now his insepa-
rable companion-met his young friend,
Henry Jones, who had with him his fa-
ther's large house-dog, Bose.
Whose dog is that ?" asked Henry.
"He's mine," replied Dick.
"Be sure he is."
Why that is Mr. Acres' Rover."
Not now he isn't. Mr. Acres gave him
What did he give him to you for ?"
For getting him a young mocking-bird."
"I thought he promised you half-a-
DICK LAWSON, AND
So he did; and what is more, gave it
to me, and Rover into the bargain."
Well, I wouldn't have robbed a bird's
nest for a dozen Rovers," said Henry Jones,
Wouldn't you, indeed?" returned Dick,
with a sneer.
No, I would not. It's wicked."
Oh, you're very pious! But Rover can
whip your Bose, anyhow."
No, he can't, though," replied Henry
quickly, who could not bear to hear his
father's faithful and favourite old dog's
courage called in question.
"Yes, but he can, ten times a day.
There, Rover! There, 8ck!--sck!---sketch
him!" At the same time pushing Rover
Both dogs growled low, and showed their
teeth, but that was all.
Rover's afraid to touch him!" said Hen-
ry, a good deal excited.
No, he is not, though!" returned Dick,
his face glowing with interest; and, lifting
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD. 81
up the forefeet of Rover, he threw him
full against old Bose, who received the on-
set with a deep growl and a strong im-
pression of his teeth on Rover.
This brought on the battle. Bose was
nine or ten years old, and somewhat worn
down by age and hard service, while Rover
had numbered but two years, and was full
of fire and vigor. Still the victory was not
soon decided. During the fight, each of
the boys entered into the spirit of the con-
test almost as much as the dogs. First
one would interfere to secure for his fa,
vourite the victory, and then the other, un-
til, at last, Dick struck Henry; and then
they went at it likewise, and fought nearly
as long, and certainly with as much desire
to injure each other, as did the dogs them-
selves. The result was that both Henry
and Bose had to yield, and then the parties
separated, indulging against each other
bitter and angry feelings. But with Dick
there was an emotion of cruel delight at
having triumphed over his friend. As he
DICK LAWSON, AND
was crossing a field, on his way home, he
met Mr. Acres.
Why, what's the matter with you and
Rover ?" the farmer asked.
Rover's had a fight," replied Dick.
"Ah! Who with ?"
Mr. Jones's Bose."
Well, which whipped ?"
Rover, of course," replied Dick, with a
smile of triumph; and I can make him
whip any thing."
"You're a keen chap, Dick," said Mr.
Acres, patting the boy on the head, "and
are going to make a man one of these days,
I see plainly enough. So Rover whipped.
I knew there was prime stuff in him."
"There isn't another such a fellow in
these 'ere parts," was Dick's proud answer.
"But you look a little the worse for
wear, as well as Rover. Have you been
fighting, too ?"
Dick held down his head for a moment,
and then looking up into Mr. Acres's face,
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
"Yes, sir," in rather a sheepish way.
"Ah! well, who have you been fight-
With Harry Jones. He didn't want to
give Rover fair play; and once, when he
had Bose down, he kicked him."
"And then you kicked him for kicking
That was right. Never permit a friend
to be imposed upon. And after that you
had a regular fight ?"
I gave him a bloody nose; and shouldn't
wonder if he had a black eye into the bar-
gain. And what is more, made him cry
That was right. Never fight but in a
good cause, and then be sure to whip your
"It'll take a smarter boy than Harry
Jones to whip me," said Dick proudly.
86 DICK LAWSON, AND
"And you think Rover can whip any
thing about here?"
"Yes, indeed. And I'm going to make
him do it, too."
You'd better not try him against Mark-
land's old Nero."
He'll whip him in ten minutes."
I'm not so sure of that. Nero is a great
deal bigger and stronger."
"I don't care if he is. I'm learning
Rover a trick that'll make him whip a dog
twice his size."
What is that ?"
Dick called Rover, and the dog came up
to him wagging his tail.
"Give us your paw," said the boy, in a
tone of authority.
The dog instantly lifted one of his fore-
feet, which Dick took in his hand, and be-
gan to squeeze gently at first, and then, by
degrees, harder and harder, ejaculating all
the while, in a quick distinct tone-"Leg
him! leg him! leg him!" until the dog,
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD. 87
from first indicating signs of pain, began to
whine, and then to yell out as if in agony.
At this, Dick dropped the foot, and looked
up into the farmer's face.
"Well, Dick, what does all that mean?"
asked Mr. Acres.
I'm learning him to catch hold of the
foot," replied the boy.
The mischief you are!"
Yes, sir. And when he's fairly up to
it, he can whip any dog, if he's as big as
But can you learn him ?"
I made him catch Jones's Bose by the
foot this morning, and it would have done
your heart good to have heard him yell.
If he isn't lame for a month, then I don't
know any thing about it."
There's no fear of you, I see," was Mr.
Acres's encouraging reply to this, again
patting Dick on the head.
In about two weeks from that time it
was pretty well known through the neigh-
bourhood that Dick Lawson had given out
DICK LAWSON, AND
that he could make his Rover whip Mark-
land's Nero, a noble animal that had never
been matched by any dog around. Mark-
land's son felt his pride in his dog touched
at this, and challenged Dick to a battle.
The time was set, and the place, a neigh-
bouring field, chosen. Old and young
seemed to take an interest in the matter,
and when the time arrived, and Dick ap-
peared on the ground with his dog, there
were assembled, men and boys, at least one
hundred persons, and among the rest, Mr.
Acres, who began to feel somewhat drawn
towards his protege Dick.
The two dogs were brought forward by
the two lads, whose parents knew nothing
of the affair, and by pushing them against,
and throwing them upon each other, irri-
tated and angered them until they finally
went to work in real earnest, greatly to
the delight of the lookers-on. Rover fought
bravely, but he was evidently no match for
his larger and stronger antagonist, who
tore him savagely, while he seemed unable
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD. 89
to penetrate Nero's thick yielding skin.
The shouts that arose from the group
around were all in favour of Nero, who was
a general favourite-as he was one of those
large, peaceable, benevolent fellows, belieing
his name, whom all liked, while there was
something of the churl and savage about
Rover, that caused him to have but few
The contest had waged about ten mi-
nutes, fiercely, and Rover was evidently
getting worsted," when Dick, who had
been constantly encouraging his dog, stooped
close to his ear, and spoke something in a
low, quick, energetic tone.
Instantly Rover crouched down, and
darting forward, seized the forepaw of Nero
in his mouth, and commenced gnawing it
eagerly. The noble animal, thus unex-
pectedly and basely assailed, found the
pain to which he was suddenly subjected
so great as to take away all power of resist-
ance. He would not utter a cry, but sat
down, and permitted the other dog to gnaw
DICK LAWSON, AND
away at his tender foot without a single
sign of suffering. As the cry of pain, the
dog's "enough," was to terminate the battle,
the fine fellow was permitted thus to suffer
for several minutes, before the bystanders
came forward and pulled Dick Lawson's
dog off. Nero would have died before a
sound could have been extorted from him.
As Nero had not cried "enough," Bob
Markland contended afterwards that his
dog had not been whipped, to settle which
difference of opinion he and Dick had se-
veral hard battles, in which the latter, like
his dog, always came off the victor. The
upshot of all these contests was, the expul-
sion of Dick from the Sabbath-school, into
which he carried the bickerings engendered
through the week. Another reason for his
expulsion was the frequency with which
he played truant, and of his having, in se-
veral instances, enticed other boys away
from the school for the same purpose.
Except Mr. Acres, nearly every man,
woman and child in the neighbourhood
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
sincerely disliked, and some actually hated
Dick Lawson, for there was hardly a fa-
mily some member of which had not been
annoyed by him in one form or another.
But Mr. Acres liked the spirit of the lad,
as well as his thorough independence in
regard to the opinion of others.
This man, who had first thrown tempta-
tion into the lad's way, and encouraged
him to persevere in a conduct which nearly
all condemned, was not a wilfully bad man.
By most people he was called a good-
hearted, benevolent person. The truth was,
he was not a wise man. When young,
he had indulged in such amusements as
catching young birds, fighting dogs and
cocks, and attending horse-races, and all
the exciting scenes to which he could get
access. But none of these things corrupted
him so far as to make him a decidedly bad
man in the community. As he grew up, he
gradually laid aside his boyish follies; saved
up his money; bought himself a small
farm, and, in time, became quite a sub-
DICK LAWSON, AND
stantial man, so far as worldly goods were
Contrasted with himself were several
lads whose parents had been exceedingly
strict with them, and who had, as they grew
up, shaken off the trammels of childhood
and youth, run into wild extravagances
of conduct, and some into wicked and vi-
cious habits, from which they were never
reclaimed. Comparing his own case with
theirs, his short-sighted conclusion was
that boys ought to be allowed as much
freedom as possible, and this was why he
encouraged Dick, who was an exceedingly
bright lad, in the course he had been so
willing to pursue. He knew nothing at
all of the different hereditary tendencies to
evil that exist in the mind. His observa-
tion had never-led him to see how two
persons, raised in precisely the same man-
ner, would turn out very differently-the
one proving a good, and the other a bad
citizen. His knowledge of human nature,
therefore, never for a moment caused him
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
to suspect, that in encouraging a feeling of
cruelty in Dick Lawson, he might be only
putting blood upon the tongue of a young
lion-that there might be in his mind he-
reditary tendencies to evil, which encou-
ragement to rob a bird's nest, or to set two
dogs to fighting, by one occupying his posi-
tion and influence, might cause to become
so active as to ultimately make him a
curse to society.
And such, in a year or two, Dick seemed
becoming. He had in that time, although
but fourteen years of age, got almost be-
yond his mother's control. His dog and
himself were the terror of nearly all the
dogs and boys in the neighbourhood, for
both were surly, quarrelsome, and tyran-
nical. Even Mr. Acres had found it ne-
cessary to forbid him to appear on his pre-
mises. Rover having temporarily lamed,
time after time, every one of his dogs, and
Dick having twice beaten two of his black
boys, farm-hands, because of some slight
offence. To be revenged on him for this,
44 DICK LAWSON, AND
he robbed a fine apricotrtree of all its fruit,
both green and ripe, on the very night be-
fore Mr. Acres had promised to send a
basket full, the first produced in the neigh-
bourhood that spring, to a friend who was
very much esteemed by him.
Though he strongly suspected Dick, yet
he had no proof of the fact, and so made
no attempt to have him punished.
Shortly after, the boy was apprenticed
to a tanner and currier, a severe man,
chosen as his master in the hope that his
rigid discipline might do something to-
wards reclaiming him. As the tanner had
as many dogs as he wanted, he objected to
the reception into his yard of Dick's ill-
natured cur. But Dick told his mother
that, unless Rover were allowed to go with
him, he would not go to the trade selected
for him. He was resolute in this, and at
last Mrs. Lawson persuaded Mr. Skivers,
the tanner, to take him, dog and all.
In his new place he did not get along,
except for a very short time, without
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
trouble. At the end of the third month,
for neglect of work, bad language, and in-
solence, but particularly for cruelties prac-
tised upon a dog that had gotten the mas-
tery over Rover, Mr. Skivers gave him a
most tremendous beating. Dick resisted,
and fought with might and main, but he
was but a boy, and in the hands of a strong
and determined man. For a time this
cowed Dick, but in the same ratio that his
courage fell when he thought of resisting
his master single-handed, rose his bitter
hate against him. Skivers was a man
who, if he had reason to dislike any one
about him, could not let his feelings remain
quiescent. He must be doing something
all the while to let the victim of his dis-
pleasure feel that he was no favourite.
Towards Dick, he therefore maintained the
most offensive demeanour, and was con-
stantly saying or doing something to chafe
the boy's feelings. This was borne as pa-
tiently as possible, for he did not again
wish to enter into a contention in which
DICK LAWSON, AND
he must inevitably get severely beaten.
Skivers was not long in perceiving that
the way to punish Dick the most severely
was to abuse his dog; and he, therefore,
commenced a systematic process of wor-
rying Rover. This Dick could illy bear.
Every time his master would drive Rover
from the yard, or throw sticks or stones at
him, the boy would make a new and more
bitter vow of retaliation in some form.
One day, Rover and a large dog belong-
ing to Skivers got into a fight about some-
thing. Dick's interest in his dog brought
him at once to the scene of action. His
master, seeing this, ordered him, in a harsh,
angry tone, to clear out and mind his own
business. As he did so, he took a large
club, and commenced beating Rover in a
most cruel manner. Dick could not stand
this. His blood was up to fever heat in
an instant. Seizing a long, heavy pole,
used for turning and adjusting hides in the
vats, he sprang towards Skivers, and giving
it a rapid sweep, brought it with tremen-
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
dous force against his head, knocking him
into a vat half-full of a strong infusion of
astringent bark, to the bottom of which he
So incensed did the lad feel, that he
made not the slightest attempt to extricate
his master from a situation in which death
must have inevitably ensued in a few mi-
nutes, but walked away to another part
of the yard. Two or three journeymen,
however, who witnessed the whole affair,
were on the spot in a moment, and took
out the body of Skivers. He was com-
pletely insensible. There was the bloody
mark of a large wound on his head. A
physician was immediately called, who
bled him profusely. This brought him back
to consciousness. In a day or two he was
out again, and apparently as well as ever.
In the mean time, both Dick and his inse-
parable companion, Rover, had disappeared,
and gone no one knew whither. No effort
was made to discover the place to which
the boy had fled, as every one was too
48 DICK LAWSON, AND
much rejoiced that he had left the village,
to care about getting him back. About
twelve months after, his mother died-her
gray hairs brought down to the grave in
sorrow. Year after year then passed away,
and the memory of the lad was gradually
effaced from the minds of all, or retained
only among the dim recollections of the
Mr. Acres, who had first placed tempta-
tion in the way of Dick Lawson, continued
to prosper in all external things, and to
hold his position of influence and respecta-
bility in the neighbourhood. He, perhaps,
more than others, thought about the lad
in whom he had once felt a good deal of
pride and interest, as exhibiting a fair pro-
mise for the future. But he never felt
exactly easy in mind when he did think
of him. Something whispered that, per-
haps, he had been to blame in encouraging
his wild habits. But, then, how could he
have dreamed, he would argue, that the
boy had in him so strong a tendency to
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD. 49
evil as the result had proved. He had
once been just as fond as Dick had shown
himself to be of bird's-nesting, dog-fighting,
&c., but then, as soon as he had sown a
few wild oats, he sobered down into a
steady and thrifty farmer of regular habits.
And he of course expected to see Dick
Lawson do the same.
And who knows but that he has ?" he
would sometimes say, in an effort at self-
It was some five or six years from
the time Dick left the village, that Mr.
Acres was awakened one night from sleep
by a dream that some one had opened the
door of the chamber where he slept. So
distinct was the impression on his mind
that some one had entered, that he lay
perfectly still, with his eyes peering into
the darkness around, in order to detect the
presence of any one, should the impression
on his mind really be true. He had lain
thus, with every sense acutely active, for
only a moment or two, when a sound, as
DICK LAWSON, AND
of a stealthy footstep, came distinctly upon
his ear, and at the same moment, a dark
body seemed to move before his eyes, as if
crossing the room towards that part of it
where stood a large secretary, in which
was usually contained considerable sums
Mr. Acres was a brave man, but thus
suddenly awakened from sleep to find him-
self placed in such an emergency, made
him tremble. He continued to lie very
still, straining his eyes upon the dark
moving object intently, until the figure of
a man became perfectly distinct. The
robber, for such the intruder evidently was,
had now reached the secretary, where he
stood for a few moments, quietly endea-
vouring to open it. Finding it locked, he
moved off, and passed around the room,
feeling every chair and table that came in his
way. This Mr. Acres could now distinctly
perceive, as his eyes had become used to
the feeble light reflected from the starry
sky without. At last his hands came in
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
contact with a chair upon which the farmer
had laid his clothes on disrobing himself
for bed. These seemed to be the objects
of his search, for he paused with a quick
eager movement, and commenced searching
the ample pockets of a large waistcoat.
The slight jingle of the farmer's bunch of
keys soon explained the movement. Be-
fore the robber had fairly gotten back to
the secretary, Mr. Acres's courage had re-
turned, and with it no small share of in-
dignation. He rose up silently, but, unfor-
tunately, as his foot touched the floor, it
came in contact with a chair, which was
thrown over with a loud noise. Before he
could reach a large cane, for which he was
making, a heavy blow from the robber laid
When again conscious, Mr. Acres found
himself still in total darkness. On at-
tempting to move, there was an instant,
almost intolerable pain in his head, as if
from a violent blow. On lifting his hand
and placing it upon the spot where the
52 DICK LAWSON, AND
pain seemed most severe, it came in contact
with a cold, slimy mass of what he at once
knew to be blood. His first effort to rise
was accompanied by a feeling of faintness,
that caused him to stretch himself again
upon the floor, where he lay for some time
endeavouring to collect his scattered senses.
After he had fully comprehended the
meaning of his alarming situation, he made
another and more successful effort to rise.
Sitting up in the middle of the room, and
straining his eyes into the darkness, he
began to see more and more distinctly each
moment. He was soon satisfied that he
was alone. It did not take long after this
to arouse the whole house. An examina-
tion resulted in ascertaining the fact that
his secretary had been robbed of five
hundred dollars in gold.
By daylight, the whole neighbourhood
was aroused, and some twenty or thirty
men were in hot pursuit of the robber, who
was arrested about twenty miles away
from the village and brought back. The
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
money taken from the secretary of Mr.
Acres, was found upon his person, and
fully. identified. The man proved to be
quite young, seeming to have passed but
recently beyond the limit of minority. But
even young as he was, there was a look of
cruel and hardened villany about him, and
an expression of settled defiance of all con-
sequences. IHe gave his name as Frede-
rick Hildich. A brief examination resulted
in his committal to await the result of a
trial for burglary at the next court.
The day of trial at length came. The
action of the court was brief, as no defence
was set up, and the proof of the crime
clear and to the point. During the pro-
gress of the trial, the prisoner seemed to
take little interest in what was going on
around him, but sat in the bar, with his
head down, seemingly lost in deep abstrac-
tion of mind. At the conclusion of the
proceedings, when the court asked what he
had to say why the sentence of the law
should not be pronounced upon him, the
54 DICK LAWSON, AND
prisoner slowly arose to his feet, lifted his
head, glanced calmly around for a few mo-
ments, until his eyes rested upon Mr. Acres,
whom he regarded for some time with
a fixed, penetrating, and meaning look.
Then, turning to the Bench, he said in a
firm, distinct voice:
"YOUR HoNoUR-Although I have no-
thing to urge against the execution of the
laws by which I am condemned, I would
yet crave the privilege of making a few
remarks, which may, perhaps, be useful.
The principal witness against me is Mr.
Acres,-and upon his testimony, mainly, so
far as positive proof goes, I am convicted
of a crime, the commission of which I have
no particular reason for wishing to deny.
But, if I have wronged him, how far more
deeply has he wronged me. If I have
robbed him of a few paltry dollars, he has
robbed me of that which he can never
restore, either here or hereafter. In a
word, your honour, I stand here, in the
presence of this court, and the people of
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD.
this town, and charge upon that man
(pointing to Acres) the cause of my present
condition. My real name is Richard Law-
As he said this, the prisoner's voice failed
him, and he paused for a few moments,
overcome with emotion. A universal ex-
clamation of surprise passed through the
court-room, and there was scarcely an in-
dividual present who did not wonder why
he had not discovered this fact for himself
long before. For, sure enough, it was Dick
Lawson, and no one else, who stood there
humbled under the iron hand of the law.
As for Mr. Acres, he became instantly
pale and agitated-and when the prisoner
again looked up and fixed his eyes upon
him, his own fell to the floor, as if he were
To that man," resumed the individual,
at the bar, pointing steadily toward the
farmer," as I just said, am I indebted for
my ruin. A wild, but innocent boy, he
first led me into conscious wrong, by
DICK LAWSON, AND
tempting me with money to rob a bird's
nest. The young mocking-bird was pro-
cured for him, but at the expense of a vio-
lated conscience; for a voice within me
spoke loudly against the act of cruelty
about to be practised upon the mother-
bird and her young. But I stifled that in-
ward monitor, and stilled the voice that
urged me to depart not from the path of
innocence. I saw that the act was a cruel
one, and felt that it was a cruel one-but
to be asked to do even a wrong act by
a man to whom I looked up, as I then did
to Mr. Acres, was to rob the wrong act of
more than half of its apparent evil-and
so I performed the cruel deed, small as it
was, deliberately. From the moment I took
the young bird in my hand, all my scruples
were gone, and after that it was one of my
greatest pleasures to rob birds' nests, and
to kill the older birds with stones. My
dog Rover, who is no doubt as well re-
membered as myself, was given me by Mr.
Acres, and I was, moreover, encouraged by
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD. 57
that individual to make Rover fight, and
to fight myself, whenever it came in the
way. Had he discouraged this in me; had
he told me that fighting was wrong, his
precept for good would have been as power-
ful as his precept for evil. He was kind
r to me, and had gained my entire confi-
dence, and could have made almost any
thing of me. My cruel, tyrannizing -tem-
per, thus encouraged, grew rapidly, until
at last I took no delight in any good. Fi-
nally expelled from the Sabbath-school,
and persecuted for my ill-behaviour and
annoyance of almost every one, I became
reckless, and finally left this neighbour-
hood. Five or six years of evil brought me
at last into a strait. I could not gain even
a common livelihood. I must starve or
beg. In this state I thought of my cor-
rupter-of the man who had been the
cause of my wretchedness, and I resolved
that he should, at least, pay some small
penalty for what he had done. In a word,
I resolved to rob him-and did so. And
DICK LAWSON, AND
now I stand here to await the sentence of
the law for this crime."
The prisoner then suffered his head to
fall upon his bosom, and sank slowly into
the seat from which he had arisen. A
profound and oppressive silence reigned
through the court-room, broken at last by
the judge, who said-
"Richard Lawson, alias Frederick Hil-
dich, stand up, and receive the sentence of
The prisoner arose, and looked the judge
steadily in the face, while a sentence of
imprisonment in the penitentiary for three
years was pronounced upon him in a voice
of assumed sternness.
When the unfortunate man was removed
by an officer, the crowd slowly withdrew,
conversing in low, subdued voices, and Mr.
Acres turned his step homeward, the un-
happiest man of all who had stood that
day in the presence of offended justice.
And here we must leave the parties
most concerned in the events of our brief
THE YOUNG MOCKING-BIRD. 59
story-Richard Lawson to fill up the term
of his imprisonment in the penitentiary;
and Mr. Acres to muse, in painful abstrac-
tion, over the ruin his thoughtlessness had
wrought-the ruin of an immortal soul-
the corruption of a fellow creature, born to
become an angel of heaven, but changed
by his agency into a fit subject for the
abodes of evil spirits in hell.
THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT.
ONE of the most successful merchants of
his day was Mr. Alexander. In trade
he had amassed a large fortune, and now,
in the sixtieth year of his age, he concluded
that it was time to cease getting and begin
the work of enjoying. Wealth had always
been regarded by him as a means of happi-
ness; but, so fully had his mind been oc-
cupied in business, that, until the present
time, he had never felt himself at leisure
to make a right use of the means in his
So Mr. Alexander retired from business
in favour of his son and son-in-law. And
now was to come the reward of his long
"OH! I WISH I HAD A DOLLAR."
i i I
THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT. 63
years of labour. Now were to come repose,
enjoyment, and the calm delights of which
he had so often dreamed. But it so hap-
pened, that the current of thought and
affection which had flowed on so long and
steadily, was little disposed to widen into
a placid lake. The retired merchant must
yet have some occupation. His had been
a life of purposes, and plans for their ac-
complishment: and he could not change
the nature of this life. His heart was still
the seat of desire, and his thought obeyed,
instintively, the heart's affection.
So Mr. Alexander used a portion of his
wealth in various ways, in order to satisfy
the ever-active desire of his heart for
something beyond what he had in posses-
sion. But, it so happened, that the mo-
ment an end was gained-the moment the
bright ideal became a fixed and present
fact, its power to delight the mind was
Mr. Alexander had some taste for the
arts. Many fine pictures already hung
64 THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT.
upon his walls. Knowing this, a certain
picture-broker threw himself in his way,
and, by adroit management and skilful
flattery, succeeded in turning the pentrup
and struggling current of the old gentle-
man's feelings and thoughts in this direc-
tion. The picture-dealer soon found that
he had opened a new and profitable mine.
Mr. Alexander had only to see a fine work
of art to desire its possession; and to de-
sire was to have. It was not long before
his house was a gallery of pictures.
Was he any happier? Did these pic-
tures afford him a pure and perennial
source of enjoyment ? ,No; for, in reality,
Mr. Alexander's taste for the arts was not
a passion of his mind. He did not love the
beautiful for its own sake. The delight he
experienced when he looked upon a fine
painting was mainly the desire of posses-
sion; and satiety soon followed possession.
One morning Mr. Alexander repaired
alone to his library, where, on the day be-
fore, had been placed a new painting,
THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT.
recently imported by his friend the picture-
dealer. It was exquisite as a work of art,
and the bidding for its had been high.
But he succeeded in securing it for the
sum of two thousand dollars. Before he
was certain of getting this picture, Mr.
Alexander would linger before it, and study
out its beauties with a delighted apprecia-
tion. Nothing in his collection was deemed
comparable therewith. Strangely enough,
after it was hung upon the walls of his
library, he did not stand before it for as
long a space as five minutes; and then his
thoughts were not upon its beauties. Dur-
ing the evening that followed, the mind of
Mr. Alexander was less in repose than
usual. After having completed his pur-
chase of the picture, he had overheard two
persons, who were considered good judges
of art, speaking of its defects, which were
minutely indicated. They likewise gave
it as their opinion that the painting was
not worth a thousand dollars. This was
throwing cold water on his enthusiasm. It
66 THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT.
seemed as if a vail had suddenly been
drawn from before his eyes. Now, with a
clearer vision, he could see faults, where
before every defect was thrown into sha-
dow by an all-obscuring beauty.
On the next morning, as we have said,
Mr. Alexander entered his library, to take
another look at his purchase. He did not
feel very happy. Many thousands of dollars
had he spent in order to secure the means
of self-gratification; but the end was not
A glance at the new picture sufficed, and
then Mr. Alexander turned from it with
an involuntary sigh. Was it to look at
other pictures? No. He crossed his hands
behind him, bent his eyes upon the floor,
and, for the period of half an hour, walked
slowly backwards and forwards in his li-
brary. There was a pressure on his feel-
ings-he knew not why; a sense of disap-
pointment and dissatisfaction.
No purpose was in the mind of Mr.
Alexander when he turned from his library,
THE MEANS O -ENJOYMENT. 67
and, drawing on his overcoat, passed forth
to the street. It was a bleak winter morn-
ing, and the muffled passengers hurried
shivering on their way.
Oh! I.wish I had a dollar."
These words, in the voice of a child, and
spoken with impressive earnestness, fell
suddenly upon the ears of Mr. Alexander,
as he moved along the pavement. Some-
thing in the tone reached the old man's
feelings, and he partly turned himself to
look at the speaker. She was a little girl,
not over eleven years of age, and in com-
pany with a lad some year or two older.
Both were coarsely clad.
What would you do with a dollar, sis ?"
replied the boy.
I'd buy brother William a pair of nice
gloves, and a comforter, and a pair of rub-
ber shoes. That's what I'd do with it. He
has to go away so early, in the cold, every
morning; and he's 'most perished, I know,
sometimes. Last night his feet were soak-
ing with wet. His shoes are not good;
68 THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT.
and mother says she hasn't money to buy
him a new pair just now. Oh, I wish I had
a dollar !"
Instinctively Mr. Alexander's hand was
in his pocket, and a moment after, a round,
bright silver dollar glittered in that of the
But little farther did Mr. Alexander ex-
tend his walk. As if by magic, the hue of
his feelings had changed. The pressure
on his heart was gone, and its fuller pulses
sent the blood bounding and frolicking along
every expanding artery. He thought not
of pictures nor possessions. All else was
obscured by the bright face of the child, as
she lifted to his her innocent eyes, brim-
ming with grateful tears.
One dollar spent unselfishly brought
more real pleasure than thousands parted
with in the pursuit of merely selfish grati-
cation. And the pleasure did not fade
with the hour, nor the day. That one
truly benevolent act, impulsive as it had
been, touched a sealed spring of enjoyment,
THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT.
and the waters that gushed instantly forth
continued to flow unceasingly.
Homeward the old man returned, and
again he entered his library. Choice works
of art were all around him, purchased as
a means of enjoyment. They had cost
thousands,-yet did not afford him a tithe
of the pleasure he had secured by the ex-
penditure of a single dollar. He could turn
from them with a feeling of satiety; not so
from the image of the happy child whose
earnestly expressed wish he had gratified.
And not alone on the pleasure of the
child did the thoughts of Mr. Alexander
linger. There came before his imagination
another picture. He saw a poorly furnished
room, in which were an humble, toiling
widow, and her children. It is keen and
frosty without; and her eldest boy has
just come home from his work, shivering
with cold. While he is warming himself
by the fire, his little sister presents him
with the comforter, the thick gloves, and
the overshoes, which his benevolence had
70 THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT.
enabled her to buy. What surprise and
pleasure beam in the lad's face! How
happy looks the sister! How full of a
subdued and thankful pleasure is the mo-
And for weeks and months did Mr.
Alexander gaze, at times, upon this pic-
ture, and always with a warmth and light-
ness of heart unfelt when other images
arose in his mind and obscured it.
And for a single dollar was all this ob-
tained, while thousands and thousands were
spent in the fruitless effort to buy hap-
Strange as it may seem, Mr. Alexander
did not profit by this lesson-grew no wiser
by this experience. The love of self wd
too strong for him to seek the good of
others--to bless both himself and his fellows
by a wise and generous use of the ample
means which Providence had given into
his hands. He still buys pictures and
works of art, but the picture in his imagi-
nation, which cost but a single dollar, is
THE MEANS OF ENJOYMENT.' 71
gazed at with a far purer and higher plea-
sure than he receives from his entire galle-
ry of paintings and statues.
If Mr. Alexander will not drink from
the sweet spring of true delight that has
gushed forth at his feet, and in whose clear
waters the sun of heavenly love is mir-
rored, we hoped that others, wiser than he,
will bend to its overflowing brim, and take
of its treasures freely. Some one has beau-
tifully said-" We only possess what we
have bestowed." Something of the mean-
ing of this will be understood by such of
our young readers as have perused this
story thoughtfully. Benevolent actions
ever bring their own reward. Far more
happiness is gained in seeking to bless
others, than ever comes from efforts to se-
cure merely our own good. God, who is
infinitely good and wise, and from whom
comes all true happiness, is ever seeking to
bless others. If we would truly enjoy life,
we must be like Him.
" WOULDN'T give much for his chance
Sof heaven!" was the remark of a man,
whose coarse, well-worn garments con-
trasted strongly with the dark, rich broad-
cloth of the person to whom he referred.
In the tones of the individual who uttered
this sentence was a clearly apparent satis-
faction at the thought of his rich neigh-
bour's doubtful chance of admission into
heaven. It was on the Sabbath, and both
had just passed forth from the sacred edi-
fice, to which each had that morning gone
up for the avowed object of worship.
Why do you say that?" asked the friend
to whom the remark was addressed.
MAN'S JUDGMENT. 73
"You know the Scriptures," was the
confident answer. 'How hardly shall they
who have riches enter the kingdom of
"You believe, then, that the mere fact
of possessing riches will keep a man out
of heaven ?"
"No; I wouldn't just like to say that.
But, riches harden the heart, and make
men unfit for heaven."
"I doubt if riches harden the heart
more than poverty," was replied.
"How can you say so ?" was warmly ob-
jected. Isn't the promise everywhere to
the poor? To whom was the gospel sent ?" ,
"The rich and poor spoken of in the
word of God," said the friend, do not, it
is plain, mean simply those in the world
who possess natural riches, or who are in
natural poverty. Remember, that the Bible
is a revelation of heavenly truth, for man's
eternal salvation; and that its teachings
must have primary regard to what is spiri-
tual, and refer to man's internal state
rather than to his mere wordly condition.
Remember, that the Lord, while on earth,
said, Blessed are the poor in spirit, (not the
poor in this world's goods,) for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven. And we may, without
violence to even the letter of the word,
conclude that when He speaks of its being
hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of
heaven, that only the proud in spirit,
those who rested self-confident on the riches
of their worldly and natural wisdom, were
meant. That it would be easier for a camel
to go through the eye of a needle than for
such rich men to enter heaven, is plain
from our Lord's words when he set a child
in the midst of his disciples, and told them
that, unless they became as that little child,
they could not enter the kingdom ofheaven.
Not externally and naturally as that child,
for that was impossible; but poor in spirit,
teachable, and innocent as a child."
The first speaker, whose name was Max-
well, tossed his head, and slightly curled
his lip as. he replied-
I believe just what the Bible says. As
for your forced meanings, I never go to
them. A plain matter-of-fact man, I under-
stand what is written in a plain, matter-of-
fact way. The Bible says that they who
have riches shall hardly enter the king-
dom of heaven. And I can see how true
the saying is. As for Clinton, of whom I
spoke just now, I repeat that I wouldn't
give much for his chance. It is well that
there is a just God in heaven, and that
there will come a day of retribution. The
Diveses have their good things in this life;.
but our turn will come afterwards. We
sha'n't be always poor. Lazarus went, a
beggar, from the rich man's door, and was
received into Abraham's bosom."
What has made you so bitter against
Clinton, just now ?" inquired the friend.
"I'm not bitter against him in parti-
cular-I speak of rich men as a class. They
are all selfish, unfeeling, and oppressive.
Look. at the good Clinton might do, as a
steward of God's bounty, if he chose. He
might make our wilderness blossom as the
rose. But settlement-day will come, ere
long, and then a sorry account of his
stewardship will he have to render."
"How do you know that the account
will not be approved in heaven?" was
asked in a quiet voice.
"Approved? How do I know?" ejacu-
lated Maxwell, impatiently. "Any man
can, see that he is an unfaithful, hard-
hearted, and oppressive steward."
Has he oppressed you ?"
Ah! I was not aware of that. I didn't
know that you had any claims upon him
as an almoner of heaven."
"My claims are those of common hu-
manity. But you shall know all, and
judge for yourself. I am a poor man"-
With a wife and four children, whom
I love as tenderly as Clinton, or any other
purse-proud oppressor of the poor can pos-
sibly love his wife and children. They are
MAN'S JUDGMENT. 77
dependent for daily bread upon my daily
labour. With the sweat of my brow, I keep
hunger from my door, and cold from enter-
"An independent man," said the other.
"Yes, an independent man; as inde-
pendent as any nabob in the land."
Do let the nabobs alone," was smiling-
ly answered to this. "If you are inde-
pendent, why care for them ? Why permit
yourself to be fretted because others are
blessed by Providence with a greater abun-
dance of worldly goods? There is danger,
in this thing, of going beyond the nabobs,
and arraigning the wisdom of Him who
setteth up whom he will, and whose bounty
feeds even the young ravens. So go on with
your story. What is the crime that Mr.
Clinton has committed against you and
I am a poor man, as I said."
I know you are; a hard-working, in-
dustrious, but poor man."
And as such, entitled to some consider-
"Entitled to a fair return for your la-
bour, in all cases."
Of course I am; and to some favour,
in the distribution of employment, when
I present equal capacity with those who
are less needy than myself."
What do you mean by that ?"
A plain story makes all plain. Well:
you are aware that Mr. Clinton is about
building a new dam for his mills ?"
"And that he asked for proposals ?"
"I tried to get the contract."
"You!" There was more surprise in this
ejaculation than the friend had meant to
"Certainly! Why not ?" was petulantly
"Of course you had a perfect right to
Of course I had; and of course my bid,
though the lowest, was thrown out, and
the bid of Jackson, who manages to mono-
polize every thing in the village, taken.
He and Clinton are league together, and
the offer for proposals was only a sham."
"That's assuming a good deal, friend
"No, it isn't. It's the truth, and nothing
else but the truth. He's the jackall, and
Clinton's the lion."
You speak without reflection," said the
"I'm not blind. I see how things are
You say your bid was lower than Jack-
son's ? How do you know this? I thought
his bid was not publicly known."
I knew it; and, in fact, knew what it
was to be before I sent in my proposals,
and was, therefore, able to go below it.
The truth is, I managed, between you and
I, to find out just what every man was
going to bid, and then struck a mark below
them all, to make sure of the job. I wanted
a chance, and was determined to have it at
I hardly think your mode of procedure
was fair," said the friend; "but waiving
that, could you have made any thing by
the job, at your bidding ?"
"Oh, yes, I'd have made something-
more, a good deal, than I can make by day's
work. The fact is, I set my heart on that
job as a stepping stone to contract work;
and am bitterly disappointed at its loss.
Much good may it do both Jackson and
Clinton. I shouldn't be much sorry to see
the new dam swept away by the next
Why, Maxwell! This is not the spirit
of a Christian man. Envy, malice-these
are what the Bible condemns in the plainest
terms; and for these sins, the. poor have
quite as much to answer for as the rich-
and perhaps more. If you go from church
on the Sabbath with no better thoughts
than these, I fear you are quite as far from
MAN'S JUDGMENT. 81
the Kingdom of Heaven as you have sup-
posed Mr. Clinton to be."
Good day," said Maxwell, turning off
abruptly from his friend, and taking a path
that led by a nearer course than the one in
which they were walking, to his home.
A few weeks later, the person with whom
Maxwell thus conversed, had occasion to
transact some business with Mr. Clinton.
He had rendered him a bill for work done,
and called to receive payment.
"You've made a mistake in your bill,
Mr. Lee," said Clinton.
"Ah? Are you certain ?"
"You can examine for yourself. I find
an error of twenty dollars in the additions."
Then you only owe me sixty dollars?"
said Lee, with a disappointment in his tones
that he could not conceal.
Rather say that I owe you a hundred,
for the mistake is in your favour. The
first column in the bill adds up fifty, in-
stead of thirty dollars."
Let me examine it." Lee took the bill,
82 MAN'S JUDGMENT.
and added up the column three times be-
fore he felt entirely satisfied. Then he
So it does! Well, I should never have
been the wiser if you had only paid me
the eighty dollars called for by the bill.
You might have retained your advantage
with perfect safety."
Lee said this on the impulse of the mo-
ment. He instantly saw a change in Mr.
Clinton's countenance, as if he were slightly
"Oh, no; not with safety," was gravely
I never should have found it out."
But there is coming a day, with every
man, when the secrets of his heart will
stand revealed. If not now, it would then
appear that I had wronged you out of
True! true! But all men don't think
No one is more fully aware of that than
I am. It is for me, however, to live in the
present so as not to burden my future with
shame and repentance. Knowingly, Mr.
Lee, I would not wrong any man out of a
single dollar. I may err, and do err, like
other men; for, to err is human."
After the expression of such sentiments,
Lee felt curious to know what Mr. Clinton
thought of, and how he felt towards Max-
well. So he said, after referring to the new
mill-dam in the process of erection-
You didn't take the lowest bid for its
I took the lowest competent bid."
Then you do not think Maxwell com-
petent to do the work ?"
I do not think him a man to be trusted,
and, therefore, would not have given him
the contract for such a piece of work at
any price. You are aware that the giving
way of that dam would almost inevitably
involve a serious loss of life and property
among the poor people who live along the
course of the stream below. I must regard
their safety before any pecuniary advan-
84 MAN'S JUDGMENT.
tage to myself; and have given Mr. Jack-
son, who has the contract, positive instruc-
tions to exceed his estimates, if necessary,
in order to put the question of safety be-
yond a doubt. I know him to be a man
whom I can trust. But I have no con-
fidence in Maxwell."
A good reason why you declined giving
him the job."
"I think so."
Maxwell was greatly disappointed."
I know he has spoken very hard against
me. But that avails nothing. My prin-
ciple of action is to do right, and let
others think and say what they please.
No man is my judge. Maxwell is not, pro-
bably, aware that I know him thoroughly,
and that I have thrown as much in his
way as I could safely do. He is not, of
course, aware, that one of my sons over-
heard him, in reference to this very mill-
dam, say-' I'm bound to have that con-
tract whether or no. I have learned the
lowest bid, and have put in a bid still
MAN'S JUDGMENT. 85
lower.' 'How did you learn this?' was
asked of him. 'No matter,' he answered,
'I have learned it.' 'You can't go lower
and build the dam safely,' was said. To
which he replied-' I can build the dam, and
make a good profit. As to the safety, I'll
leave that in the hands of Providence.
He'll take care of the poor people below.'
Mr. Lee! I felt an inward shudder when
this was repeated to me. I could not have
believed the man so void of common ho-
nesty and common humanity. Was I not
right to withhold from him such a con-
You would have been no better than
Maxwell, if you had given it to him," was
answered. "And yet, this same man
speaks against the rich, and thinks their
chance of heaven a poor one."
Simply because they are rich."
"Or, it might with more truth be said,
because they will not yield to his covetous
and envious spirit. He is not content with
the equivalent society renders back to him
for the benefit he confers, but wants to
share what of right belongs to others."
"That spirit I have often seen him ma-
nifest," was replied. Well, if simple riches
are a bar to man's entrance into heaven,
how much more so are discontent, envy,
malice, hatred, and a selfish disregard for
the rights and well-being of others. The
rich have their temptations, and so have
the poor, and neither will enter heaven,
unless they overcome in temptation, and
receive a purified love of their neighbour.
This at least is my doctrine."
Of the two, I would rather take Clin-
ton's chance of heaven," said Lee to him-
self, as he went musing away, "even if he
is a rich man."
ANOTHER DEBT PAID.
WHAT FIVE DOLLARS PAID.
SR. HERRIOT was sitting in his offiec,
one day, when a lad entered, and
handed him a small slip of paper. It was a
bill for five dollars, due to his shoemaker, a
poor man who lived in the next square.
"Tell Mr. Grant that I will settle this
soon. It isn't just convenient to-day."
The boy retired.
Now, Mr. Herriot had a five-dollar bill
in his pocket; but, he felt as if he couldn't
part with it. He didn't like to be entirely
out of money. So, acting from this im-
pulse, he had sent the boy away. Very
still sat Mr. Herriot for the next five mi-
nutes; yet his thoughts were busy. He
9) WHAT FIVE DOLLARS PAID.
was not altogether satisfied with himself.
The shoemaker was a poor man, and
needed his money as soon as earned-he
was not unadvised of this fact.
I wish I had sent him the five dollars,"
said Mr. Herriot, at length, half-audibly.
"He wants it worse than I do."
He mused still further.
"The fact is," he at length exclaimed,
starting up, "it is Grant's money, and
not mine; and what is more, he shall
So saying, Herriot took up his hat and
left his office.
Did you get the money, Charles," said
Grant, as his boy entered the shop. There
was a good deal of earnestness in the shoe-
"No, sir," replied the lad.
"Didn't get the money !"
"Wasn't Mr. Herriot in ?"
"Yes, sir; but he said it wasn't con-
WHAT FIVE DOLLARS PAID.
Oh, dear! I'm sorry !" came from the
shoemaker, in a depressed voice.
A woman was sitting in Grant's shop
when the boy came in; she had now risen,
and was leaning on the counter; a look of
disappointment was in her face.
"It can't be helped, Mrs. Lee," said
Grant. "I was sure of getting the money
from him. He never disappointed me be-
fore. Call in to-morrow, and I will try and
have it for you."
The woman looked troubled as well as
disappointed. Slowly she turned away and
left the shop. A few minutes after her de-
parture, Herriot came in, and, after some
words of apology, paid the bill.
"Run and get this note changed into
silver for me," said the shoemaker to his
boy, the moment his customer had de-
Now," said he, so soon as the silver
was placed in his hands, "take two dollars
to Mrs. Lee, and three to Mr. Weaver across
the street. Tell Mr. Weaver that I am
92 WHAT FIVE DOLLARS PAID.
obliged to him for having loaned me the
money this morning, and sorry that I
hadn't as much in the house when he sent
for it an hour ago."
"I wish I had it, Mrs. Elder. But, I
assure you that I have not," said Mr. Wea-
ver, the tailor. I paid out the last dollar
just before you came in. But call in to-
morrow, and you shall have the money to
"But what I am to do to-day? I haven't
a cent to bless myself with; and I owe so
much at the grocer's, where I deal, that he
won't trust me for any thing more."
The tailor looked troubled, and the
woman lingered. Just at this moment the
shoemaker's boy entered.
"Here are the three dollars Mr. Grant
borrowed of you this morning," said the lad.
" He says he's sorry he hadn't the money
when you sent for it awhile ago.'
How the faces of the tailor and his
needlewoman brightened instantly, as if a
gleam of sunshine had penetrated the room.
WHAT FIVE DOLLARS PAID.
"Here is just the money I owe you,"
said the former, in a cheerful voice, and he
handed the woman the three dollars he had
received. A moment after and he was
alone, but with the glad face of the poor
woman, whose need he had been able to
supply, distinct before him.
Of the three dollars received by the
needlewoman two went to the grocer, on
account of her debt to him, half a dollar
was paid to an old and needy coloured
woman who had earned it by scrubbing,
and who was waiting for Mrs. Weaver's re-
turn from the tailor's to get her due, and
thus be able to provide an evening's and a
morning's meal for herself and children.
The other half-dollar was paid to the baker
when he called towards evening to leave
the accustomed loaf. Thus the poor needle-
woman had been able to discharge four
debts, and, at the same time re-establish
her credit with the grocer and baker, from
whom came the largest portion of the food
consumed in her little family.
WHAT FIVE DOLLARS PAID.
And now let us follow Mrs. Lee. On her
arrival at home empty-handed, from her
visit to the shoemaker, who owed her two
dollars for work, she found a young girl, in
whose pale face were many marks of suf-
fering and care, awaiting her return.
The girl's countenance brightened as
she came in; but there was no answering
brightness in the countenance of Mrs. Lee,
who immediately said-
"I'm very sorry, Harriet, but Mr. Grant
put me off until to-morrow. He said he
hadn't a dollar in the house."
The'girl's disappointment was very great,
for the smile she had forced into life in-
stantly faded, and was succeeded by a look
of deep distress.
Do you want the money very badly ?"
asked Mrs. Lee, in a low, half-choked voice,
for the sudden change in the girl's manner
had affected her.
"Oh, yes, ma'am, very badly. I left
Mary wrapped up in my thick shawl, and
a blanket wound all %around her feet to