• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Table of Contents
 I
 II
 III
 IV
 X (V)
 VI
 VII
 VIII
 IX
 X
 XI
 XII
 Back Matter
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Uncle Frank's home stories
Title: A peep at our neighbors
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002189/00001
 Material Information
Title: A peep at our neighbors the sequel to The Willow Lane budget
Series Title: Uncle Frank's home stories
Physical Description: 174, <13> p., <1> leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Woodworth, Francis C ( Francis Channing ), 1812-1859
Scribner, Charles, 1821-1871 ( Publisher )
Benedict, Charles W ( Printer , Stereotyper )
Roberts, William, b. ca. 1829 ( Engraver )
Howland, William ( Engraver )
Publisher: Charles Scribner
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: C.W. Benedict, Stereotyper and Printer
Publication Date: 1852, c1851
Copyright Date: 1851
 Subjects
Subject: Neighborhood -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Country life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
City and town life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1852   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1852   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Uncle Frank.
General Note: Added title page, engraved by Howland.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Some illustrations engraved by W. Roberts.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002189
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002240020
oclc - 08837063
notis - ALJ0559
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page 1
    Half Title
        Front page 2
    Frontispiece
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
    Copyright
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    I
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    II
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    III
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    IV
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    X (V)
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
    VI
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    VII
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    VIII
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    IX
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    X
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
    XI
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
    XII
        Page 173
    Back Matter
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
    Back Cover
        Page 186
    Spine
        Page 189
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THE DROWNED GIRL.


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113









A


PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS;


THE SEQUEL TO


THE WILLOW LANE BUDGET.



W1it( Sllnstratinms.


BY UNCLE FRANK,
AUTHOR OF THE ( QUEER OLD MILLER," ETC,





NEW YORK:
CHARLES SCRIBNER, 145 NASSAU STREET.
1852.


























Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by
CHARLES SCRIBNER,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for
the Southern District ot New York.


C. W. BENEDICT,
STEREOTYPE AND PRINTER,
201 William st., N. Y.





















CONTENTS.


PAGS

WHAT I AM' GOING TO DO, 7

A GLANCE AT PARSON DALEY, 16

DOCTOR WINDMAN AND HIS DOSES, 47

HUNTING HENS' NESTS, 63

CLIMBING THE PEACH TREE, 83

THE BALL FAMILY, 90

CHIPS OF THE OLD BLOCK, 105

THE DROWNED GIRL, 113

THE YOUNG TRUTH-TELLER, 118









VI CONTENTS.



THE NEW SKATES, .

LAUGHING BILL,.. .

UNCLE FRANK'S LEAVE-TAKING, .







LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


THE DROWNED GIRL, .

VIGNETTE TITLE-PAGE,

A PEEP AT WILLOW LANE, .

PARSON DALEY AND THE LITTLE GIRL,

HUNTING HENS' NESTS, .


JOE AND HIS VICTIM,

AMANDA AT HER KNITTING WORK,

" OH, DANIEL! FORGIVE ME !" .


Frontispiece

S1

. 13

S26

* 65

S 108

. 119

S. 156


PAGE
140


S159
173


.









A PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


CHAPTER I.

WHAT I AM GOING TO DO.

I SUPPOSE that my friends, the boys
and girls, for whom I make this book,
would like to know at the outset, what
sort of a thing I have got for them, and
how I came to make it. I will tell
them, in as few words as possible.
Not long ago, I spun some yarns, and
wove them together, and sent them off
to the little folks about the country, with






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


this label on them: J Budget of
Willow Lane Stories." I had quite a
liking for these stories myself. That's
natural enough, Uncle Frank"-so I
fancy I hear you say-" because you
made them; and people are apt to like
what they make." Yes, I know that
well enough; and perhaps that is one
reason why I took so kindly to these
stories. But that was not the only rea-
son. It was not the chief reason, I
think. Willow Lane was the place
where I was born, and where I spent
the merriest days of my life.
I said I liked these stories, and that
I liked them because they had so much


8





PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


to do with the bright, and green, and
joyous days of my childhood. But
when I sent the budget out, to be open-
ed and read, I own I was in doubt
whether my friends would be pleased
with the budget or not. But they were
pleased with it. They liked it. I sus-
pect that the very neat and tasteful dress
in which the book appeared, had some-
thing to do with their liking it. It was
beautifully printed, and the pictures in
it were very fine. So that it is due to
Uncle Frank's publisher, Mr. Scribner,
as much, perhaps, as to Uncle Frank
himself, that the budget was so well
thought of.


9






10 PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


Let that be as it may, however--the
stories about matters and things in Wil-
low Lane were read so eagerly, that I
made up my mind to set my thinking
factory going again, and to spin and
weave some more yarns from the same
kind of stuff.
"( What! another entire budget, Uncle
Frank ?"
Yes, another budget.
"But I have not opened the first one
yet."
Haven't you ? Well, you can attend
to that some other time. It will not
make any difference which book you
read first. If you do not read the other





PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


at all-though I hope you will read it
sometime or other-you can understand
this one just as well. The stories in the
first budget are not so woven into the
stories in the second budget, that you
will find it necessary to get hold of the
thread at the very beginning, and to
keep a tight hold of it till you get to the
end. You can do so or not, just as you
like, or just as you find it convenient.
Let me see. What label shall I put
upon the new budget? I have thought
of calling it "./ Peep at our Neighbors."
I guess that name will be just the thing.
While I am peeping at those neighbors,
however, you will not expect me to peep


11






12 PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


at nothing else. We must take some
notice of things as well as of people.
We cannot very well avoid doing so, if
we would; and I do not think it would
be best to do so, if we could. I am
more anxious to weave together a bundle
of stories which will please you, and
which will have something in them of
real value to you, than I am to select
just such facts and incidents, and only
such, as will fit the name I give them.
So you must not shake your head, if
it seems to you that I do, once in a
while, get away a few paces from the
text I have taken. Ministers do not
always stick very closely to their texts,















































P A PEEP AT WILLOW LANE. 13


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PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


you know. They wander a little some-
times. I mean to take the same liberty.
Some boys and girls, when they read
the title of this book, may think, at first,
before they read any of the stories, that
Uncle Frank has turned tattler. But
there is no tattling in the book; nothing
of the kind. What I am going to do,
or what I am going to try to do, may
be expressed in a very few words, and I
design to give you a little picture-a sort
of daguerreotype miniature---of every-
day life in our neighborhood at Willow
Lane.


15













CHAPTER II.

A GLANCE AT PARSON DALEY.

OUR minister was one of the most de-
voted and exemplary men it has ever
been my lot to know. Everybody loved
Parson Daley. It was not so easy, per-
haps, to get acquainted with ministers
when I was a little boy, as it is now.
There was something about them, which
inspired us little folks with great reve-
rence, amounting, at times, almost to






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


terror. Their very dress had something
of the awful about it to us.
I have often heard my father tell what
a time he used to have, in the days of
his boyhood, when he met the minister
who then preached in the old brick
meeting-house. That was a little while
after the revolutionary war; and as long
ago as that time the children must have
been almost frightened, when they came
across a real, live minister out of the
pulpit, and had to look him in the face,
and speak to him. My father said that
when he was in the street, and saw the
minister, though ever so far off, coming
right toward him, jogging along leisurely


17






18 PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


upon the back of his white mare, with
his short clothes on, and his knee
buckles so finely polished, he began to
make preparations for his bow. His hat
was off in a moment. He stopped still,
as if he had been petrified, and waited
for the great man to come up. When
the meeting took place, the bow was got
off as if the life of the bower depended
on the character of his bow.
There was not quite so much venera-
tion for the minister when I was a boy,
though there was much more than there
is now. Now there may be too little-
then there might have been too much.
. Parson Daley was not an old man, at






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


the time I am writing of. Still he
was an old-fashioned man-so we boys
thought. He wore short clothes and
knee buckles; and his hair hung down
behind, and was sometimes fastened in
a cue.
When he walked out, there was not a
boy or girl in the street, that he did not
stop to speak to. There was some stiff-
ness about him-something which always
seemed to me to warn me against coming
too near him, until I was spoken to, and
until he held out his hand toward me, as
king Ahasuerus held out the golden scep-
tre toward Esther. But I do not think
he really courted such outward respect as


19






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


everybody paid him. He received it-
expected it-would have been displeased
at the absence of it-because it was cus-
tomary for the flock to render it to the
shepherd. But when the ceremony of
receiving him was gone through with-
when you had got through the crust of
ministerial dignity, if I may say so,
which covered the person of the min-
ister from head to foot, and seemed to
render him almost too sacred to be used
except on Sundays, fast days, and
thanksgiving days-when you got into
the heart of the man, you saw at a
glance that he was one of the last per-
sons in the wide world to be afraid of.






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


How often, when he reined his old
sorrel horse up to our house, and hitched
her to the fence near the door, and came
in, slowly and gravely, with an air so
dignified, have I wished I might bavee
leave to get into the farthest corner of
the garret, and to remain there among:i
the rats and cobwebs, until that.)grea t
man should remount his little pacersm and
how often, too, after L had spoken tor V tSy
good pastor, and. he had spoWei to me,,
and kindly patted rie on- my.head, ardl,,
told me some iicee story, with: a good
moral tacked to the end: of it, have--i.
wished, when .halve heard; hi.m calllfoQrP
hi ,.hat, avdsay:e ast :go, :that;. heis


21





PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


would stay until sundown, at which time
it was customary to post me and my
brother off to the trundle bed.
It was a great day when Parson Daley
visited the district school. Then we all
had our Sunday clothes on, and did our
very best. Then the schoolmaster made
us read, and spell, and recite our lessons,
and parse, and do long sums out of Da-
boll's arithmetic, to show the minister
what a bright set of boys and girls we
were. Then-my heart throbs now,
when I think of it-then the minister
asked us questions in geography and
grammar, with his own mouth. When
we had gone through with all the rest of






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


the exercises, the minister got the
Primer, and heard us say all the West-
minster catechism, from the "chief end
of man" to the last of those very long
answers, over which I had to rack my
poor little brains so much.
He never left the school without giv-
ing us some psalm or hymn to learn, and
telling us that he would hear us say it
when he came to see us again. Many
of the hymns I learned at that time, and
by that dear man's request, are as fresh
in my mind at this moment, as if I-had
committed them to memory but an hour
ago.
I have said that Parson Daley always


23






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


stopped to speak to the children he met
when he was walking out. I remember
hearing Mary Frasier tell how kind and
good-natured he was to her, one day,
when she was quite small.
She was going to one of the neigh-
bor's-this was Mary's story-with a
pitcher in her hand, after something for
her mother, when she met Mr. Daley.
"Good morning, my dear," said the
minister, with a sweet smile shining
from his face. "Good morning, Mary.
How do you do ? and how are they all
at home ?"
Mary said she was almost afraid to
speak to him, at first; but she supposed


24














































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PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


she must have taken courage when she
looked up and saw the sunshine in his
face; for she soon found herself talking
with the minister as fast as if he had
been one of her own playmates. "Oh,
dear!" said she, ""how sorry I was,
when he took my hand, and said 'good
bye.' I am not sure but I cried. I felt
sad enough to cry, I know. Again and
again, even after the dear man had got
a great distance from the place where he
met me, I turned around to take another
-look at him, before he was quite out of
sight."
And that reminds me of another story
I have heard about him. A little girl-


27






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


I don't remember her name-met Mr.
Daley, as she was going to school.
He did not stop, but he spoke to her,
and said, "How do you do, little dear ?"
or something of the sort. I suppose he
was in a hurry. He was always in a
hurry, when he was on his way to the
post office, and very likely he was going
to the post office then.
The little girl was not satisfied with so
short a conference with her minister.
She wanted to hear him talk longer.
Mr. Daley," she said, faintly.
He stopped, and turned around.
" Well, my dear ?"
I-is the meeting--I mean-when






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


do the children have another meeting ?"
She alluded to Mr. Daley's custom of
meeting the children once in a while, at
the school house, on Saturday afternoon,
at which time he made a point to get
acquainted with them, and sang hymns
with them, and talked kindly with them.
Next week," said the minister,
kindly, and passed on.
Another girl, who was also going to
school, and was only a little way behind,
heard all that was said.
"Why, you knew when the meeting
was going to be," said she, as well as
Mr. Daley did. He told us last Sunday,
in the pulpit."


29






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


"I know it," said the other.
"Well, what did you ask him for ?"
"Because I wanted to hear him talk
to me."
That was the honest truth. She
wanted to hear him talk to her. It
did her good to hear the sound of his
voice. And she spoke the mind of
many a child in our neighborhood, I
doubt not.
Mr. Daley could do well one very de-
sirable thing which so many ministers
are unable to do at all, and so many
others can do but poorly. He could
talk to the children of his parish in their
own language.


30






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


81


Why is it-if I may stop a moment
here, to drop a hint where it may possi-
bly be picked up by some one in the
ministerial office-why is it that such
multitudes of our best clergymen fail
utterly in this department ? Why is it,
that though it can almost be said of them
that they "speak with the tongues of
men and of angels, and have the gift of
prophecy, and understand all mysteries
and all knowledge," they are dumb, or
might as well be dumb, when they at-
tempt to address the little lambs of their
flock ? If they don't understand the
language of children, why don't they
study it? "They don't understand the






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


language of children !" Why don't they
drill themselves in the use of it, then,
day in and day out, if it is necessary ?
Why they can speak Latin and Greek;
aye, and Hebrew and Arabic, for ought
I know. But when they get up to talk
to an audience of bright-eyed boys and
girls, they are as dull, and dry, and
prosy, and tedious, as if they had eaten
one of their old dusty folio volumes for
breakfast. There are words enough in
the English tongue which the little folks
can understand, and there are ways
enough of putting them together, so
that the ideas one wants to express-or
certainly the ideas to which he ought to


32






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


confine himself-are as plain as A B C,
to the young mind. Why don't such
men learn these words, if they never
have learned them, and learn the mode
of stringing them together for their
young hearers ?
But the faculty of interesting chil-
dren is natural to some people. Nature
don't give it to everybody. It doesn't
come natural to me."
Nonsense. Neither does your Latin
come natural to you, nor your Greek,
nor your Hebrew. I don't believe you
was born with either of these languages
flowing very glibly from your tongue.
The fact is, you must come down-not
3


33






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


descend, but come down-to the dear
young lambs of your flock. See what
interests them. Watch their counte-
nances, at the domestic hearth, while
you are trying the effect upon them of
different topics and different modes of
presenting these topics. Break your
sentences to pieces. Cut them up.
Lay aside your words of Latin and
Greek derivation. "You can't do it?"
Yes, you can. "It's an art." Very
well, learn the art. Make yourself per-
fect in it. Don't be afraid that you will
spoil your style for other uses. If you
should mix up a great deal more Anglo-
Saxon in your sermons than you now do,


34






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


it would not hurt them. They would be
the better for it.
But, a little urchin who has been look-
ing over my shoulder, for the last ten or
fifteen minutes, pulls the sleeve of my
gown, and asks me if it is not almost
time for Uncle Frank to go back to
" Our Neighbors," and see about Parson
Daley and the Willow Lane youngsters.
The little fellow's hint is a good one. I
must not throw it away because it came
from the brain of a child.
I was saying that Parson Daley could
talk well to children in their own lan-
guage. He could make things very
plain to their minds. He did not try


35






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


to teach them everything. But what he
did try to do, he did, and did well. I
don't remember ever hearing him dis-
course to us about the "determination
of the will," much less of "volition." I
am quite sure he never tried to enlighten
us in the mysteries of innate ideas," or
the vicarious nature of Christ's sacri-
fice," or "retributive justice," or the
" divine essence."
What could we have understood of
these things, if he had talked about them
until he made himself hoarse? Why
should children be expected to under-
stand such things, any better than they
could the differential and integral cal-


36






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


culus," or the precessionn of the equi-
noxes ?"
I will give you a specimen of the kind
of things our minister talked about to the
younger members of his flock, and the
kind of words and sentences he used.
One morning, as he was taking an
early walk, he happened to pass by
Doctor Osborne's garden. He looked
over the fence, and there he saw the
Doctor's three boys, George, Henry and
Frank, very busily engaged weeding
the flower beds. The little gardeners
stopped work when they saw him
coming, and went to the garden gate
to teet him.


37






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


"Good morning, my children," said
Mr. Daley.
Good morning, Mr. Daley," said
each of the boys; and they invited him
to come into the garden, and see the
flowers.
The good man was very much at home
among all the people in his parish. So
he opened the gate, and went into the
garden. He was delighted with the
flowers, especially with some white lilies
which had just opened; and Henry
broke off a cluster of them, and gave
them to him. He remarked, as he took
them, that "even Solomon in all his
glory was not arrayed like one of these."


38






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


Mr. Daley told them how good and
kind God was, in making these beautiful
flowers, and in teaching them to bloom
all around us. He told them that every-
body ought to love the Creator, for all
the gifts he bestows upon us. Then he
asked them, what was God's greatest
gift to men. They told him, it was the
gift of his Son, who came into the world
to die for his enemies. And he con-
versed with them a good deal about
Jesus Christ.
Then something like this dialogue oc-
curred between them:
F. I wonder if there are any flowers
in heaven, where mother is now. Mr.
3


39






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


Daley, if God is so good, I do not see
why he took dear mother away from us.
I shall never be so happy again as I
was before they put her into the grave
yonder.
D. My dear child, your mother has
gone to heaven, has she not ?
F. I hope so, sir.
D. Well, then, she is happier than
she was before ?
F. Oh yes, sir.
D. Then you don't think God was
unkind to her, do you?
F. No, sir.
D. Was he unkind to you ?
F. It seems as if he was.


40






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


D. My dear child, did you love your
mother while she was living ?
F. Yes, sir, very much. We all
loved her.
D. Why did you love her ?
H. Because she was so good.
F. And because she was so kind to
us.
D. She was a very good mother. I
knew her very well. No wonder you
loved her. But was she not sometimes
unkind to you?
ALL. No, sir.
D. Did she not punish you once in a
while ?
G. Yes, sir. But it was only when


41






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


we had done wrong. She did not pun-
ish us if we were good children.
D. That may be. But did she not
hurt you and make you cry sometimes?
G. Yes, sir, sometimes she did.
D. And did she not mean to do it ?
G. I suppose she did.
D. Well, was that kind in her, to
make her children feel bad and cry?
G. Yes, sir. She did not do it be-
cause she loved to see us cry, but she
wanted to make us better.
D. Well, is it not possible that God
took your mother from you to make you
better ?
H. Perhaps so; but I should not


42






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


think he would take that way to make
us better.
D. Why not?
H. Because it made us very unhappy.
F. I lie awake nights now, when I
think how she was taken away from us.
G. I shouldn't think God would wish
to make us cry.
D. But did not your mother make you
cry?
F. She did so, to make us better chil-
dren. I don't see how God can do us
any good, in taking away those we love.
D. What is the great business of life ?
F. To prepare to die, and to be with
God in heaven.


43







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


D. To be sure it is. Well, if you
were perfectly happy here, and your
friends did not die, do you think you
that you would care much about God
and about heaven ?
F. Perhaps not.
D. Does not heaven seem a much
more pleasant place since your mother
died ?
ALL. Yes, sir.
D. Does this world seem as pleasant
as it did before ?
H. No, sir; it never will again.
D. Well, can you not see how this
sorrow may do you some good, then?
The Bible says, "Set your affections on


44






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


things above, and not on things on the
earth;" and if anything that God does
tends to make us love heavenly things
more, I am sure it ought to make us
better, and in the end happier, too.
F. I never thought of that before.
H. Nor I.
G. Well, I am sure I never did. I
see now how God is kind to us all the
time.
D. Certainly he is. Don't you re-
member that the Bible says, "Whom
the Lord loveth, he chasteneth ?"
H. I see it all now.
Then the good minister, after express-
ing a desire that the children would all


45






46 PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.

love God, and endeavor to please him,
bade them good morning, and went on
with his walk.













CHAPTER III.

DOCTOR WINDMAN AND HIS DOSES.

I SHALL not attempt to describe our
doctor to you, and for this reason, if for
no other, that he was a perfect nonde-
script. The most that I shall attempt in
the way of a description, will be just to
give you a bird's-eye glance at him; and
while I have my hand in, I will tell you
something of the way in which he cured
us when we were sick.






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


Doctor Windman seemed always to
have his head as full of learning as his
saddle-bags were of medicines. He was
in the constant habit of using, even on
the most common occasions, the longest
and most out-of-the-way words, and of
tying them together into the hardest and
most fantastic knots. A perfect volcano
of Latin and Greek would issue from his
mouth at times.
A most extraordinary person was this
Doctor Windman. He was small, so far
as his physical structure-borrowing, for
the occasion, a couple of words from the
doctor-was concerned. But his mind!
to the youngsters in Willow Lane it ap-


48






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


peared to have no bounds. To them it
" floated large o'er many a rood," like
the arch fiend in Milton's "Paradise
Lost;" and in the rather one-sided
vision of these juvenile observers, it
seemed to have no bottom, any more
than the fabled deep hole in the middle
of the mill pond.
I have seen all the boys and girls in
school, when he passed by the school
house, during the recess at noon, stop in
the midst of their play, and gaze at the
doctor, as if he were something a little
more than human, until he was fairly out
of sight. Nor would they resume their
sports, they were so spell-bound by his
4


49






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


learning, even then, but kept looking
toward the spot where he had disappear-
ed from view.
"And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
That one small head should carry all he knew."
I should judge that disease, at the
time and in the neighborhood of which
I am speaking, was considered as a sort of
a demon, that must be cast out of a poor
man at all hazards. The doctor went
to work at his patient, as a priest of a
darker age would go to work at one sup-
posed to be possessed of a devil. To
get at the monster, and drive him out, it
was often necessary, in their view of the
case, to torment the patient with the


50






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


cannonading of a whole regiment of
bottles, quite as much as he was tor-
mented by the disease. Their aim was
to get rid of the enemy-to get rid of
him at any rate. If they could turn out
the evil spirit of disease so as not to
turn out the spirit of the man at the
same time, all the better. But they
considered themselves bound to storm the
strong-holds of the disease, and to drive
drive him out, at all events. Our doctor
seldom entered anybody's house but his
own, unless disease had gone in at the
door, and he was summoned to turn him
out, when he made his appearance, in the
shortest possible space of time, with his


51






52 PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.

saddle-bags stuffed with all sorts of me-
dicines, the very thought of any of which
would bring on a turn of nausea, were I
to name it to you.
He was a very good man in a sick
room. That is-for this statement must
be taken with a trifling limitation-he
was patient, kind, watchful, a capital
nurse, and always on the alert to see
that the disease did not get the upper
hand of his patient. As to the way he
dosed and drugged the folks, that is an-
other thing. The least that can be said
of the quality and quantity of his reme-
dies, is that they were not such as the
homeopathic doctors would have ap-






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


proved, if there had been such doctors
in Willow Lane. To my certain know-
ledge, Doctor Windman did not deal in
the high dilutions," when he practiced
upon me for the whooping cough and
maladies of that class and order.
0 what oceans of rhubarb, and mag-
nesia, and glauber salts, and senna, were
distributed to the invalids of Willow
Lane, in the course of a year! But our
doctor was, perhaps, not more generous in
dealing out nauseous doses than his bro-
ther physicians were. It was the fashion
to punish a poor follow so severely for get-
ting sick, that he would be pretty sure not
to get sick again if he could help it.


53






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


Now I don't profess to know much
about the theory of disease, or the best
way to get it out of a man, when it gets
into him. I belong to no particular
school. It would puzzle me, possibly,
to tell to which of the numerous pathies
of the present age I most incline. But I
must say, with all proper respect for
science, that we Willow Lane folks were
most unmercifully overdosed. Why,
when one of us was taken with ever so
slight an ailment, and the doctor was
sent for, the chances were that before we
got out of his hands, he tried the con-
tents of half the vials in his saddle-bags
on us, to say nothing of the blood which


54






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


flowed from our veins at the tap of his
lancet.
We children got in the habit of dislik-
ing the doctor, on account of the medi-
cines he gave us and our friends. In
spite of all our judgment, we could not
help looking upon him as a most cruel
and unfeeling man, with all his learning.
We did not love him. We stood in as
much fear of him, almost, as we did of
that ideal bear whose portrait appeared
in Webster's spelling book, and whose
aspect, grim at the best, was rendered a
shade or two more frightful by the art-
or rather the want of art-exhibited by
the engraver.
4


55






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


Doctor Windman did not deserve our
dislike, though. There was scarcely a
more clever man-I use this adjective in
the Willow Lane sense-in the neighbor-
hood. He meant well, certainly. Still,
I could not bear the sight of him. I
remembered too well that affair of the
measles; or if I had forgotten that, I
retained too distinct a recollection of the
vile compounds he made for my little
sister when she had the canker-rash.
And all the children had much the same
notions about him that had crept into my
head. We did not like him at all. It
was on this account that when we heard
of a certain odd and rather serious acci-


56






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


dent that had happened to him and his
medicine bag, a universal titter went
through our ranks.
I must tell you about that accident.
The doctor was visiting a sick girl.
The girl .was not very much unwell.
There was some trouble about her throat.
She had taken a little cold, I believe.
The pulse having been learnedly and
solemnly felt, the tongue carefully and
mysteriously examined, and the whole
catalogue of questions used in such cases
gravely and leisurely put, the doctor was
beginning to rummage his saddle-bags
for the necessary medicines. He had
the heavily-loaded magazine on his knee.


57






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


"Madam," he said to the mother of the
child, "this is a very complicated affec-
tion. The mucous membrane which
lines the interior of the epiglottis--"
Just at this point a pinch of snuff was
taken, and the sentence which the doc-
tor had commenced, which I have no
doubt would have been extremely lu-
minous, if it had been completed, was
left awhile quite obscured in a fog-bank;
for it was the practice of the good doc-
tor to take his time when he went
through the process of snuff-taking.
It was one of the hottest days of sum-
mer. The doors of the house had all
been thrown open, to admit of the freest


58






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


possible circulation of air. Even the
cellar door, near which the doctor sat,
with his saddle-bags on his knee, stood
wide open. The snuff-taking operation
was drawing to a close. The great red
bandanna handkerchief, with diamond-
shaped spots of dingy white, had been
withdrawn from its place of deposit,
and was doing important service, when a
huge turkey stalked into the room, and
marched fiercely up to the doctor.
The saucy fellow! he ought to have
been served up at the Thanksgiving that
occurred the previous autumn. What a
pity he was spared. He had formed a
habit, it afterward appeared in evidence,


59







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


of showing his dislike of any red color,
by rushing boldly up to any one who
happened to have any red about him.
He never harmed anybody. He gobbled
lustily, and threatened to do all sorts of
malicious things; but that was the end
of the matter.
The doctor, however, not being ac-
quainted with the true state of the case,
and being terribly scared by the turkey's
sudden attack, got up in a hurry, with
the intention of making a retreat. He
started for the cellar door, thinking, it
was presumed, that if he could once get
into the cellar, and have the door closed
after him, his life would be saved.


60






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


He succeeded in reaching the cellar
stairway. But he had no sooner set his
foot on the top stair (which was slippery
at the time, owing to some soft soap
having been spilled upon it) than he
slipped, and fell headlong, with his
whole assortment of bottles, to the cellar
floor.
Strange enough, he was not very badly
Shurt; but the damage done to the con-
tents of the magazine was immense.
Such a smashing of small bottles was
never known before in those parts, and
has never, to my knowledge, been
known since.
I don't know that a vote of thanks to


61






62 PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.

that ill-natured turkey was ever proposed
among the boys and girls in Willow
Lane; but, such was our defective
standard of judgment, that I am certain
the vote would have been unanimous, if
it had been proposed.













CHAPTER IV.

HUNTING HENS' NESTS.

THERE was no task so pleasant to me,
while I lived on a farm, as hunting hens'
nests. Feeding the chickens, and taking
care of the cosset lambs, gave me almost
as much pleasure, but not quite, I think.
There was something exciting about the
business of exploring the barn, the wood
house, and the entire premises, in fact,
and being rewarded, after a noisy out-







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


burst of cackling, by a whole hatful of
eggs.
In these explorations, I was generally
attended by my brother, only a little
younger than myself, who relished the
sport quite as much as I did myself.
There is a story of rather a tragic na-
ture connected with one of these hunting
excursions, which I have a mind to tell
you. There is a little bit of wisdom
wrapped up in the tale, which, when the
tale is unfolded, I hope you will find and
profit by. I say I hope you will profit
by it; for, after all, what is wisdom
worth, even if you should get your head
as full of it as Solomon's was, if you do


64






























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HUNTING HENS' NESTS.


p '
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65







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


not make some use of it ? Not much, I
am sure. Dogs and cats, rats and mice,
squirrels and rabbits, geese and ducks-
all these animals, though they do not get
hold of so much knowledge as we have,
generally use what little knowledge they
do get. They make the most of it.
When they have learned a good lesson,
they remember it. It is not necessary,
in most cases, to keep teaching the same
lesson, over and over again, to the same
dog, for instance, after he has once got it
by heart. Even the goose, whom we
are in the habit of calling a very stupid
creature, when she has learned a lesson,
generally keeps it in mind, and practices


67







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


it. I knew of a whole flock of geese
once, who got as drunk as fools, eating
cherries that had been soaked in rum.
But nobody could ever make a single
goose in that flock eat such things after
that. They had been drunk once.
That was sufficient for them. What a
pity that all the members of the human
family did not profit by what they learn,
as these geese did by their knowledge.
But I am getting off on this "wild
goose chase" too far, and I must come
straight back to the story.
The interior of our barn-and I am
not sure but the same could be said of all
the barns in our neighborhood-had on


68






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


each side of the wide open space, called
the "barn floor," two high beams, run-
ning horizontally, the whole length of
the building. These beams were some
twenty feet, perhaps, from the floor.
When the hay was all in, the mows on
each side of the barn floor reached as
high as these great beams, though, as the
hay was generally taken away during the
winter, of course the distance from the
hay mow to the beams increased. In
the middle of the winter, I recollect, it
always seemed a great feat to jump from
the high beam to the mow, as Peter, my
father's hired man, used sometimes to
do, for the amusement, he said, of the


69







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


"little shavers." Some loose pieces of
timber were placed on the high beams,
in the fall of the year, reaching across
the barn floor, from one beam to the
other. These timbers formed a tempo-
rary scaffold, on which they placed
bundles of rye and oats, before they
were threshed.
You will readily see that this scaffold
was not a safe place for boys. Besides
the danger of sliding off, there was also
danger that the timbers would spread
apart, so as to let a person through. We
boys were cautioned, again and again, of
the danger of that scaffold, and forbidden
to go there on any account whatever.


70






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


While hunting for hens' nests in the
barn, it used, nevertheless, to seem a
great pity to me, that we could not pur-
sue our researches on that forbidden
ground.* "What a host of eggs there
must be on the scaffold," I thought.
One day, when we were not so suc%
cessful in our hunting excursion as usual,
a very meagre collection of eggs having
resulted from a search of a couple of
hours, my thoughts were drawn so
strongly toward the scaffold, that I could
hardly turn them in any other direction.
"I wonder how many eggs there are
on the scaffold ?" I inquired of my
brother.


71







72 PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.

"I guess about a hatful," was the
answer.
"A hatful!" I exclaimed; "pooh!
more likely half a bushel." I was
rather a sanguine boy.
"But there's no use talking about
the scaffold," my brother said. "We
couldn't go there, you know, if the
whole scaffold was covered with eggs."
I thought otherwise. I don't be-
lieve the folks know what lots of eggs
there are among those bundles of rye," I
said.
But," said my brother, I shouldn't
wonder if they knew one thing about
that scaffold, better than we do."






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


"( What's that ?" I asked.
They know that it is rather a dan-
gerous place," was the reply.
But Peter goes there," said I.
"Peter is a man," said my brother.
At that remark I remember I laughed.
I laughed to think that Peter could per-
form any feat in the way of climbing,
which I dared not attempt. Boys have
often great confidence in themselves.
As they grow older, and gradually draw
nearer the period of manhood, they are
apt to think less and less of themselves.
My confidence in myself, o0 this occa-
sion, was not courage. It was not hero-
ism. It was nothing of the kind. It


73







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


was something for which I deserved a
great deal more censure than praise.
I finally reasoned my brother into the
conclusion that, on the whole, it was best
to climb up to the scaffold; or, rather, I
talked to him till he had used up all his
arguments, for I hardly think he was
altogether convinced that I was right.
We arranged everything in our own
minds, so that our parents would never
know that we had climbed the scaffold.
They would wonder, we knew, where
we got such a large quantity of eggs.
But we were going to deal out our infor-
mation as physicians of a certain school
deal out medicines to their patients-in


74






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


very small doses. That matter was all
arranged.
The next step was to mount the lad-
der. It was thought best, by all means,
to take up two hats. One hat, we
thought, would be hardly sufficient to
hold all the eggs. So up I started,
holding on tight to the rounds of the
ladder with both hands, and as tight to
the brims of both hats with my teeth.
In spite of myself, somehow or other,
I felt my courage oozing out of my fin-
gers and toes, as I went up the ladder.
I trembled a little, I guess. But I went
on. I had no notion of being scared out
of an expedition which promised a peck


75







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


of hens' eggs, at the least, and possibly
half a bushel.
Yes, I went on. But when I got to
the top of the ladder, which rested on
the great beam, I began to think that
our Peter was a brave fellow, and that
the feat I had undertaken was probably
the greatest on record. I hesitated, and
then climbed, as boldly as I could, in
the circumstances, upon the great beam,
from which I stepped to the scaffold.
I looked down. Oh, how high that
scaffold seemed! What a distance to
the barn floor! From the moment my
eye fell upon the place where my
brother was standing, fear took the en-


76






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


tire control of me, and knocked every
other thought and idea out of my head.
The hats-so I was told afterward,
though I could not have been sensible
of it at the time-fell to the floor, at the
moment that I turned to look down-
ward.
My memory of what took place after
I stepped upon the scaffold, is very con-
fused and misty. I remember looking
down. I remember, too, that I felt
sick; that everything began to go round
and round, and that I-went round and
round with everything; that sometimes I
was on the floor, sometimes on the mow,
sometimes on the scaffold, and sometimes


77







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


among the wasps' nests, where the raf-
ters came together; that I wondered
how the barn came to tumble over, and
how it came to stand up again, and how
the bundles of rye could stay on the scaf-
fold, and why I could stay on myself-
and-
It was very hazy after that, very hazy
indeed.
The next thing I remember now, the
next thing I remembered then, was that
I was lying on a bed, and a strange-look-
ing man, with a strange-looking pen-
knife, was sitting close to me and pinch-
ing my wrist. I don't know exactly
how a cat in a strange garret feels. I


78






79


PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


don't know that anybody knows, though
it is a very common thing to hear people
talk about feeling "as queer as a cat in
a strange garret." I don't pretend to
determine the precise nature of the sen-
sations that fill Puss' bosom, when she
suddenly finds herself in an upper apart-
ment where she has never been before.
But I can say, and I will say, that if she
is any more bewildered at such a time
than I was when I saw Doctor Wind-
man-for it turned out that it was the
doctor-sitting there with his lancet in
one hand, and my wrist in the other,-if
she is any more bewildered than I was,
I pity her.







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


And my head ached, too. How hap-
pened that? And my arm was lame.
What did that mean ? Had I hurt it?
I tried to turn over in the bed. I
couldn't do anything of the kind. I
seemed to have been put into a barrel
and pounded, as Amanda Lounsbury
pounded the clothes, in the process of
washing. What did all this mean ?
I found out what it all meant-not im-
mediately, but after a while. I found
out that I had fallen from the scaffold
down to the floor; that I was badly hurt
by the fall; that my brother had alarmed
the folks in the house; that they had
carried me into the kitchen, and made up


80






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


a bed for me there; that Doctor Wind-
man had been sent for; that he had
come and bled me; that everybody was
alarmed; that the doctor had not said
much, but that he looked as if he was a
good deal worried about me-alas! I
knew that; I saw that look-and had
shaken his head when my father asked
him how badly I was hurt; that Peter
had gone to Northville for another doc-
tor; and, in short, that I was likely to
have a pretty severe time of it.
I leave you to judge how I felt, when
I learned all this. The pain in my head
and limbs was not all the pain I suffer-
ed-no, not by a good deal. There was


81







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


something in my breast which seemed to
say: This is what you get by disobe-
dience. You deserve it all, and more."
Oh, how that thought tortured me!
It was a long time-I do not remem-
ber how long, but it seemed an age,
and I believe it was some two or three
months-before I could walk in the door
yard; and for some time after that, I
had to hobble about, like an old horse
who has got the spring halt.
From the day of that unfortunate fall,
until I became almost as large as Peter,
the territory in which I hunted for hens'
nests never embraced the high scaffold.














CHAPTER X.

CLIMBING THE PEACH TREE.

MY friend Laura was in my room a
day or two after I had written the story
of my sad adventure in the barn at Wil-
low Lane; and she took up the manu-
script which was lying on my table, and
read it.
"How much this story makes me
think of a little incident in my own ex-
rience," said she. And then she told







PEEP AT O.UR NEIGHBORS,


me how, when she was a little girl, there
was a peach tree near the school house;
that the man who owned the tree al-
lowed the children to pick up the
peaches that dropped on the ground,
but that he did not permit them to climb
the tree, or to knock off any of the
peaches; that the good school mistress
told the children what the rules were,
but that the mischievous Laura disobeyed
them, and paid, as children are so apt to
do, very dearly for her disobedience.
Laura," I said, "let me have the
story for my book."
"Why, you have got one of your own
very nearly like it," said she.
..
i '"j


84






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


"True," I replied, "but my story is
for the boys. I'm afraid some of the
girls who read my book, will not learn
the lesson there is in it, but will shift it
off upon the boys."
"But," said Laura, "my story has
nothing to do with Willow Lane, or any
of the Willow Lane people."
"Never mind that,!' said I; "you
write the story, and I'll settle the rest
with the boys and girls."
Well, Laura consented, for fear the
girls would not profit enough by my
story, to write down this little incident
in her experience. So she seated her-
self at my table, and in the course of an


85








86


PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


hour she surprised me not a little by
reading her tale in verse. Here it is.
Read it, girls, and learn the lesson which
it teaches:



THE MAIDEN'S WARNING.

Oh list, ye maidens, one and all,
Take warning by-my luckless fall;
Take warning from this aching head,
And from this slow and limping tread.

Take warning from my gown all rent,
And from my locks in tangles blent;
Take warning from these tearful eyes,
And from these sad repentant sighs.

Oh, hearken always to the rule;
Pare not to slight the law of school,







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.

Else, oft, like me, you'll shun the light,
When caught in such a woful plight.

This morn, when first my feet took way,
To spend at school the pleasant day,
How smoothly combed my chestnut hair !
How shone my dress with Betty's care !

My apron and my kerchief too,
Were trim as could be found on you;
Yet now you scarce can smiles restrain,
To see them almost torn in twain.

Command how oft dear teacher laid
" Ne'er climb the tree, a single maid;"
Unhappy, I first gave offence-
Mark well the direful consequence.

As neathh a peach tree tall I stood,
And mused upon the fruit so good,
One fairer than the rest I spied,
With ruddy cheeks upon its side.


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PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.

" It shall be mine," methought; but, oh !
The branch was high, my stature low;
'Twas formed above my humble reach,
The much desired, the downy peach.

" But let me bring it here ;" and quick
I threw up many a stone and stick;
Which now and then, as they came down,
Would glance upon my luckless crown.

All vain, unharmed by stone or wood,
The tempting fruit in glory stood;
" I'll scale the tree; the branch I'll clasp;
No more shall it elude my grasp."

"Forbear," cried Conscience, in mine ear,
"Forbear, you'll danger see," cried Fear:
I heeded not, but took in count
The easiest way thereon to mount.

Gaining by little or no toil,
The branch which held the tempting spoil,







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS. 89

'Twas surely mine as 'twere a gem,
I reached to pluck it from the stem.

Yet now a serious ill forbode;
My foothold trembled neathh its load-
The tottering branchlet broke and fell-
My saddened mien the rest can tell.

Oh list ye maidens, one and all;
Take warning from my luckless fall;
Beware, and break not e'en one rule,
That helps to form the code of school.
6














CHAPTER VI.

THE BALL FAMILY.

CAPTAIN BALL was a notorious charac-
ter among us, and his family were noto-
rious, too. We will have a peep at
them, if you please. The captain lived
on the hill-not the hill on which the
school house stood, recollect, but the
high one on the other side of the great
brook. I believe it went by the name
of Breakneck Hill, among the older






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


people, because it was so frightfully
steep.
You will think that all the folks in
Willow Lane had their names spliced
with some sort of title or other. And
you will think pretty nearly right. I
can hardly remember one full grown
man that had not some handle to his
name. How some of the men came by
the title they were so generally known
by, is much more than I can tell, and
probably more than anybody can tell.
Jonathan Ball, however, had a good right
to his title. He was the commander-
in-chief of the Willow Lane militia,
and led that valiant band on training







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


days. That is to say, he led those
soldiers as well as anybody could lead
them. They were a little awkward, and
not under perfect discipline.
Shall I tell you an anecdote, just here,
of one of Captain Ball's desperate efforts
in drilling his soldiers ? The "Penny-
royal Guard"-so the company was
known out of Willow Lane, in that sec-
tion of the country-were drawn up on
the green, in front of the old brick
meeting house, and there were a good
many people looking on. Captain Ball
was a little proud of his company, and
he wanted they should do their very
best at this time. "( Willow Lane ex-


92







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


pects every man to do his duty to-day,"
he said.
Form a line!" he roared out. That
was not quite so easy a matter. They
got into a perfect hard knot, at last; and
it was a great deal more than the captain,
with the aid of all his corporals, could do
to get the knot untied. Poor man! he
was humbled and vexed; and again he
thundered, as if his military honor was
all staked on that one last order, Form
a line! every man form a line !"
If you will promise me one thing, I
will let you into a secret, little friend.
Promise that you will try to profit by the
lessons you learn from this sketch of the


93







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


Ball Family, and I will tell you just
what Captain Ball's faults were; for
he had faults, and they were such as
everybody ought to try hard to keep
clear of.
He was not a bad man. He never
took to drinking, as I am sorry to say too
many of the farmers in Willow Lane did.
He was temperate. There was not a
better neighbor in the place than Jona-
than Ball. His great faults were that he
was lazy, and that he did not stick to
one thing. Now, though I am not sure
that he ever would have made a very
good militia captain, at the best, if he had
tried ever so hard and so long, yet he


94







PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


would have done much better, if he had
taken pains to drill himself before he
undertook to drill his men.
He was a farmer. He had a pretty
good farm, for Willow Lane. But he
was always behind hand in his work.
He did not get to ploughing in the
spring, until most of his neighbors had
done. To be sure, he had excuses for
his delay, a plenty of them. He was
never in want of excuses. When he
came to harvest his corn, and rye, and
potatoes, of course he found that his
crops had not turned out so well as they
would have done, if his affairs had been
managed correctly. The fact is, he was






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


always unfortunate. Let him attempt to
do what he might, he had "bad luck,"
to use his own words, though I do not
like them, and never did.
I have known the captain in haying
time, when the weather was very hot,
sit under a tree in the meadow, and
smoke a pipe for more than half an hour,
when there was a thunder shower coming
on, and he must have known that it was
quite as much as he and his men could do
to get the hay raked up before the rain
began to pour down, even if they had all
worked like beavers every moment of
the time.
He was almost-not quite, I confess-


96






PEEP AT OUR NEIGHBORS.


as lazy as the man I heard of down east.
That man was very fond of fishing. He
liked the sport, but was too lazy to pull
the fish out of the water. So he used to
go down to the water, with his horse and
wagon; and when he got to the place
where the large black fish lived, he
would back up his wagon as near as he
could to the water's edge, and throw
over his line. When the black fish took
hold of his hook, he would whip up, and
let his horse draw the fish out of the
water.
Captain Ball never did that. At least,
I never heard of his doing it. But I will
tell you what he did do once. Mr.


97




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