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'11-i; '11; // //,)Pl; t 1
THE BRAVE SPIRIT.
JOHNSTONE AND HUNTER.
lrZID BY JOWUNXI AND 1mEN.
A memoble purchae-An irksome duty-My fathMer
manimn-My firt triumph, .
The school examination-The arithmetic lemom-Om
and cannot-Different ways of getting over dii-
oulties-Another triumph, .
My old ait, and plans for a new-Mr Frenh's shop-
Mr Gilem-The mill-quire Hall' winter wood-
Surprise at home, ..
Choie of a calling-Preprations for leaving h -An-,*
other leon of self-deial-My depertuf ur-
ney-My new home, S
My master and fellow apprentices-How they spent the
Sabbath-" Evil communications"-Their influence-
My Sabbath-letter, and sleigh-ride-A warning-The
Conscience-Help sought and found-Visit to Mr Anson
-Perseverance-My father's death, .100
The city publisher-A little event the turning point in my
history-What happened within a few years, 111
THE BRAVE SPIRIT.
A memorable purchase-An irksome duty-My father's maxims
-My first triumph.
THE most interesting event of our family history,
during my tenth yer, was the purchase of a cow! My
father had a pat Bf land a mile off, large enough
to pasture a cow, d nl he well thought her milk might
Sgfeatly add to the comforts of our frugal table. What
a world of good things come in the wake of a good
cow! Cieam for our coffee, milk for our pudding,
butter for our bread, to say nothing of occasional
cheeses made by my mother in an antiquated cheese-
* press, an heirloom of her family. Next to Cuff, the
6 ROBEBT DAWSON; OB,
cow might have been called the pet, at least in the
esteem of Jane, Mary, and myself.
"And who is going to drive the cow to pasture,
father ?" I asked, as he put her into the yard on the
first evening after her arrival.
You, my son; and his answer imparted to me
a new sense of responsibility: and for some time this
dutywas discharged with great alacrity. The weather
was fine, our cow was still a novelty, and above all
my friend, Charley Frazer, had his cow to drive half a
mile in the same direction. One difference in our cow-
driving duties soon became manifest, and it was not
long before it sorely afflicted me. Charley only drove
his cow in pleasant weather, while I had to drive
mine in all weathers, just as it happened, rain or sun-
shine. Now, Charley was a stout boy, and nearly two
years older than myself, and I did not see any reason
why he should not drive his cow when I could mine.
No: that was not exactly the aspect in which I viewed
it. I began not to see any reason why I should drive
mine, when Charley could not his.
SMother says I shall not go in the rain. My father
THU BBAVn sPIn. 7*
hire a boy for rainy weather. I am not going in
rainy weather. Not I. I do not like to go." So
said Charley, as he lounged idly over the railing.
"Well, I have to go," said I, pitying myself.
"I would not. It is too bad to be obliged to go,
carrying a great heavy umbrella all the way. Mother
says it is enough to walk so far, without having to go
in the rain." So Charley talked; and so much did
it begin to appear like a hard case, that I wondered
whyI had not thought of it sooner, and grmbledmore.
The more I thought of it, the more it troubled me,
until, by-and-by, it looked like a very great hardship.
"Iwonder if father thinks I am tougher than anybody
else? Charley Frazer is older than I am;" and I had a
new fitof brooding over the matter, quite natural tome.
A cold rain came pattering upon the windows one
morning in October. "It rains, and I will not go to
pasture for anybody,-not I;" and down I sank upon
the bed, thrusting my head under the warm elothee.
"Robert!" presently called my father, at the toot
of the stairs. It was his usual summons before going
out to milking.
KOWIET DAWSON; OR,
I am not awake yet, sir," said I to myself, getting
further down, and resolving to deep again. Who
does not know that deep, vigorously wooed, is never
won ? I was wide awake,
After a time, I heard my father's steps returning
from the barn.
"Father has done his part, ought I not to domine?"
was a suggestion that tried to find its way fairly
into my heart, but I answered it with, "No: 'tis
too bad to go a mile in the rain such a morning as
obert, my son, get up; the cow is ready to go
to pasture." No answer.
Robert!" a littlelouder. Robert!" louder yet.
Presently his step was on the stair. It was a slow
and feeble step, for he was an invalid. I began to
breathe heavily; he entered the chamber and took
me by the arm. Come, my son, jump up; you have
over-slept yourself; this is unbusiness-like; there is
work to do; jump up!" All this he said with a
cheerful, inspiring tone.
TM5 WMATS KIMr.
Oh! it rains, father I began to ay, but he was
gone. There was no help for dressing and coming
down stairs; but my disposition to rebel brought an
ugly pout upon my lips.
Come," mid my mother, when I at last appeared;
"Come, Robert, put on your aeot ad thick shoes, aad
take the old umbrella, and se how ft you can trot."
"Nobody can trot fast in all this rain," said I, pet.
tishly; and muttering lower, "I know Chaley's
mother would not let him go out in such a morning;
As could stay at home when he wanted to. This ugly
old umbrella, and these heavy old shoes!" And so
nothing suited me; I lagged and fretted, when, lo
my father entered the kitchen door. I supposed he
"Are you sick this morning, Robert *
"No, father; I am not sick, but it rains. Charley
Fraser does not go to pasture but in pleasant weather,
and none of the other boys go my way." My tone
was deprecating. Somehow or other I expected he
would pity me, and begin to say, "Well, wait a
'bile;" or, You need not go to-day, poor boy;" or,
ROBRT DAWnON; OR,
" The rain is too bad; I will get somebody else to
go." Similar remarks to these I had often heard ad-
dressed to Charley Frazer by his parents, when, hav-
ing pitifully represented his case, he was relieved from
some disagreeable duty. "I wish I was as well off,"
--I said to myself a hundred times when I beheld
Charley at liberty, while I was tugging hard at work.
But it took long years to develop results.
What I expected-I might better have said, what
I wished my father to say, he did not say. No un-
wise or indiscreet condolence came from his lips.
My son, you must meet the shower just as you
must meet all obstacles. It will be only a few drops
at a tif.. Can you not do that, Robert? Make up
your mind, now, and act like a man." His tone was
both courageous and encouraging, and his fine eye
was fixed earnestly upon me. Only afew drops at
atimel" I inwardly repeated it once, and the great,
huge, leviathan shower seemed actually to dwindle
down in an instant to only a fe drop at a tim.
Yes, sir;" I answered briskly, in spite of myself.
The shoes were no longer heavy, nor the umbrella
me BBAVB BartP 11
ugly. Off I walked bravely. Only afew drop at a
time," I said aloud to the pelting rain half a dozen
times, and my walk seemed comparatively a short
one. Passing by Charley's house on my way home,
he cried out, I have but just got up, and you have
been away up to pasture, in the rain. Oh, I would*
not do that!"
Only a fe drop at a tiOe, Charley. Make up
your mind to it, and you will find it is nothing,"
said I, marching by with the agreeable consciousness
of something gained, which I would not have ex-
changed with any boy. I now know that it was the
experience of the great art of grappling with difi-
culties, rather than avoiding them. It is not to
grumble about them and magnify them-no: but td
meet them with a brave heart. Then every moment
would be laden only with its own burden. I have
since learned from the volume of Divine truth, that
this is also a great principle of religion:-That we
know not what shall be on the morrow, but sufficient
unto the day is the evil thereof.
1 Bno2 T DAWUOW; OB,
, T1h smbol szminaolM-The arithuee leonu-Can and asot
-Difent ways of getting over difflalti-Anotrb
WHO does not know the natural reluctance of child-
hood to make steady effort Indeed, is it not the
reluctance of the human heart at all ages Children
indeed, and children in character, are often ready
enough to act from impulse or circumstances, and
make great achievements; but it is the habit of steady,
'*ef-relying, yet humble effort, which accomplishes
all that is truly good and usefuL We are to do with
our might whatsoever our hands find to do. This
habit cannot be begun too early, and it can only be
successfully cultivated in a child, by making him feel
that there is power enough in parental authority to
cowpd obedience. He must understand that fom
Syou mut," there is no appeal
TI MatV PIPtMIT. 13
I was at the head of my arithmetic class. What
boy that has attained this honour under the old sys-
tem of teaching, forgets how great the honour, how
exquisite the satisfaction! What a length and breadth
of proportion one feels! I well remember how I
seemed to fill up the whole school-room with my
little self. By something, that some boys would all
a lucky hit, Charley was next to me. Every month,
ten or twelve test questions" a they were called,
were given to the class, comprising and combining
the principles and rules which we had just been
studying. The committee of examination, on sade
occasions, usually visited the school, and each kohlar
felt desirous of making a creditable appearmae. 0
this occasion I raced home with my slate and pmdi
and, with great alacrity, finished splitting and bing-
ing in my wood before supper, that I might devote
the whole evening to the lesson. How carefully did
I wash and dry the old slate, and out and point my
pencil! I well remember how we a mat by the small
deal table, of those long-gone 2.ys: my mother,
with her darning; my sisters braiing palm-leaf at,
14 BOBERT DAW0ON; OR,
wherewith to add their mite to our family means,
while I was working at my arithmetic, with all the
diligence I was master of. With the first, second,
and third sums, there was no difficulty; nor was
there with the fourth, fifth, and sixth. They were
done, and I could explain them. At the seventh I
made a full stop; the eighth and ninth looked quite
as hard. The tenth I could see how to do.
Oh, I cannot stop all this evening on the seventh!"
said I, impatiently. "Father must tell me." And
I began to play with my sister's palm-leaves.
"But do you not remember," said Jane, "that
father never tells you how to do test examples? He
always says he is ready enough to explain all about
the rules as you go along, but you must learn how to
Ms them. Do you not remember he said so, Robert?"
Oh, it is so hard, I cannot find it out, I know I
cannot! Besides, Jane, you know I am at the head
of my class. Father will help me out of this, I know,"
said I, with a nod and a wink.
Why, Robert, he never does help you in test
sums. He says you can and wmt do them yourself."
TEN BBAVE I2rUT. 15
"And you know father never alters his mind,"
"But I am up at the head now, Mary; father
would rather help me, than let me go down, I should
think; right in the face and eyes of the committee
too; would he not, mother ? "
Would he not be likely to think, if you cannot
maintain your place by yourelf, that you are not
worthy of it? asked my mother, looking up from
her work. This reasoning was so exactly like
father's, that I turned towards the slate, read the
sum to myself; and then read it aloud, and put
the figures on the slate; but all the while I was in-
wardly declaring I would not do it. Of what use is
effort, unless one believes that effort can acoomplish
The sum remained as intricate as ever. In fat, I
would not make the exertion even of rying fairly
and bravely. It began to grow late, and father did
mat come home. Jane and Mary kissed mother,
and went away to bed; I nestled close beside her.
"Mother, I wish, when you were a girl, you had
ROMW3P DAWB0N" 036
studied this arithmetic, so that you could tell me,"
I said,-looking up into her face, and wondering that
she, who knew so much, should not know how to
work out my sums.
"I am very sorry my dear boy prefers being told,
to studying out it himself," she answered, soberly.
"Mother, I cannot declared I, knocking my
heavy cow-hide shoes against the legs of her chair.
"Cannot is a lasy drone," said she.
"And what is cn, mother ?" I merrily said.
"A smart, brisk, persevering creature, that stands
on his own legs, and does not need to use other peo-
ple's." Alas! how many bright prospects and fair
hopes has that same kay drone overcast and blasted !
How may have met some battering temptation, and
when reason and conscience have cried oat-ResistI
Flee !-they have drawled out a languid Ionot l"
and given themselves up to the influence of the
wicked one! How many have been urged and almost
persuaded to choose the straight and narrow path
that leads to life eternal, who, at the first sight of a
creas to be bone, or a darling sin to be forsaken, or
TX BaarVs PIIT. 17
a bad habit tobe broken, have shrink back with that
irresolute and cowardly "I eamn /"
"I like o, best; I will try to be like a;" mad
my slate and pencil began to be in motion again.
Hark I the front door opened, and my fathersstep
was heard in the entry.
"What, my son, up still!" be exclaimed on enter-
ing; "I hope the lesson is well learned. I suppose
it must be by this time."
I am waiting for you to help me, father;" and I
would have given much not to have been obliged to
say it. He put on his slippers and at down by the re.
Well, Bobert," said he, kindly, what are your
difficulties ? Let us hear them!" Then he looked
at the sum and heard all I had to say;-"that I
wanted him to help me, because I was at the head,
and he would not wish to have me go down; aad how
hard the lesson was; and that I had tried and tried,
and could not do it." Again he looked at the sum,
then at my slate,nd then at me. With watanxiety
did I watch his face: Sohard" I muttered every
ow and then in any thing but a manly tne
--- _ _ 1 _ -- i 1n i -
., -.. --. .~ -, .. -- -:7---
18 ROBERT DAWSON; OR,
Then he gave the slate back to me, and said, slowly,
* No, my son; I cannot help you. This is a work
you can do, if you fairly try. Besides, you must
support your present position in the class by your own
eartioun, or you are not worthy of it."
"Oh, father 1 I exclaimed bitterly.
"It is late, now, my dear," he said, patting my
head. Go to bed, now, and rise early. Make up
yor mind to do ht um, and thedoit. Iwantto
see you sustain yourself Aoouraby."
As I trudged off with my little lamp, I felt angry
and disappointed, yet I could not say, Father never
helps me;" for I could remember evening after even-
ing, which he had devoted to my studies. Sleep
soon came, and I forgot the seventh sum and every
other vexation until the cock crowed the next morning.
Do you suppose I awoke refreshed and grateful, and
longing to begin study 0, no although I enjoyed
a sleep so sweet, and awoke in the bright, early
dawn, as soon as I thought of my arithmetic, I began
to kick the clothes and toes about in bed, and to
declare I did not feel like looking at my slate at
TiM BRAVE PIB r. 19
all. "The sum wa so hard, I was sure I could
not do it;" and It was just like father, not to help
Ungrateful boy! I forgot my prayers and all
good thoughts, while I lay there dreading and
shrinking from duty. The consequence was, that the
sun was high up in the east before the cow was in
the pasture, and I was on my way home again.
"A pretty plight Iam in!" I saidtomyselfagain
and again; "but I know what Illdo. I mean to
make it just as late as I can, before I get home from
pasture, and then there will not be a minute to study
before school begins, and then-and then"-and I
chuckled at the thought-" father will have to give
me an excuse, and so I shall get off."
To carry out my resolution, I began to climb
fences, and gather flowers, and knock apples off the
trees with stones. I fully succeeded in whiling
away the time, and did not get home until within
half an hour of school-time.
But, ah! I did not feel like showing myself to my
parents, nor did I feel as keen an appetite for break-
20 ROBERT DAWSON; OR,
fast, as usual. I feared they would penetrate my de-
signs, and I was a coward. My bowl of nice bread
and milk, set aside for me, was hastily swallowed.
Then I followed my father into the wood-house.
" Father," (I began with some exertion), "father, will
you please to give me an excuse t I have just got
home from pasture, and have had no time to get my
sums done." He stopped his work and looked at me.
My eyes fell, and were fixed on a chip at my foot.
Do you honestly think you deserve one, Robert "
he asked, seriously.
"I have not got my lesson, and cannot get it;"
my eyes being still fixed on the chip.
And that is your conclusion, after a fair, resolute
trial; is it, my son ?"
Yes," I would have said, but the effort died in
my throat He still rested from his work, his eyes
fixed on mine, and mine fixed on the chip.
"No, father," I faintly articulated; for I well
knew there was no such thing as deceiving him in
such a matter.
I am very glad to see you dealing honestly with
THE BBaVZ sPIm. 21
yourself, Robert. We can understand each other in
no other way. People sometimes make miserable
shifts to get along easy, but it is in vain. I cannot
honestly give you an excuse, because I think your
lesson can be learned, and I do not think you have
taken that time to study this morning which you
ought to have taken, and which you might easily have
done, had you really tried. Make up your mind to
do any thing, and you can do it."
Knowing it was in vain to argue the ase, I escaped
from the wood-house.
"I hate the school, and my arithmetic, and every
thing !" cried I, aloud, when fairly beyond the hear-
ing of my father. And what poor, lazy, inefficient
youth does not indulge in the same foolish feelings!
It is not he who has conquered difficulties, but he
who has been conquered by them, that is unhappy,
discontented, and unreasonable.
I went into the kitchen for my books, where my
pitiful and complaining look and tone wrought upon
the sympathies of my sister Mary. Oh, mother!
poor Robert will get down, he will, I know; and the
22 BOBEBT DAWSON; OR,
school committee will be there, too. Oh, mother do
ask father to write him an excuse. Do, mother." I
was touched by this kindness; my little blue-spotted
handkerchief was at my face.
Mother, do!" added Jane.
"You are in trouble, Robert, I know," said my
mother, feelingly; but try and meet it like a man."
Then I wiped my face, and sorrowfully left them.
On my way to school I met one and another of the
boys, and sympathy enough did I find. Joe Hill's
mother had given him an excuse, and in consequence
he had been on the playground full an hour and a
half. Samuel Jones had an excuse. William Farley
declared flatly, he knew he could not do the lesson,
and would not even try. Charley Frazer, where is he
Soon we espied Charley bounding over the green,
approaching the school-house upon the full run.
"Your arithmetic lesson, Charley,-how is it
You look as if you had done it, but I do not believe
you have," cried Farley.
"Yes; rve done it. Why, it's easy enough, I'm
sure," declared Charley, with a most satisfied air.
TH BAVB IPIMBT.
Easy enough!" scornfully repeated Bill Farley;
"I don't know where the easy is, for my part.
I knew the committee were coming in, and I did
not mean to let the master mortify me before them,
so I got an excuse; now I am ready for play," cried
Sam Jones, flourishing his bat.
Il join you. Come, who's for a game of bat
and ball ?" shouted Charley.
"Charley Fraser thinks the lesson easy enough,
and I could not do it!" The idea fastened itself on
me. In truth, I had entertained no very high opi-
nion of Charley's abilities, but now they rose much
in my estimation.
"Now, Charley, do tell me how you did the
seventh," said I, taking him by the arm, just as he
Swas going to join the game of ball. He pulled his
arm away, violently.
"Oh! you know what I did for you yesterday,
Charley. Come, now," I besought him; "come,
and I will lend you my new knife just when you
want it-my best knife." He unwillingly suffered
himself to be dragged into the school-room, and even
24 Bnona DAWsON; on,
to our seats, where we sat down together. He took
up his slate, found out, and began to explain the
The seventh, the seventh, Charley. I know well
enough about the sixth," I cried, impatiently.
"Well, the seventh," added Charley, good-natur-
edly; "there, Robert, you may copy it yourself;
here it is."
"But just tell me all the hows and whys," I said,
enviously reading over his figures.
"I do not believe I can explain it, Robert," said
Charley, looking much puzzled.
"But it's just nothing at all, unless we can ex-
That is just what I cannot do," whispered Char-
ley; "for my father did all the hard ones for me,
and I copied them off; and then, when he tried to
explain them to me, I was so sleepy I did not know
one word he said. Was he not kind to do them
For mother said it was too bad I should get down in
my ela, just because I could not do them." Now,
do not you tell, will you, Robert "
THe aBav SPIRIT. 25
Why, we do not go down for any thing ese, ex-
cept for not doing them," said I, bluntly. My respect
for Charley's abilities declined u rapidly u it had
While I was picking up my pencil, which had
dropped at my feet, Charley vanished from my side,
and I heard his halloo on the green. "Poh!" I in-
wardly exclaimed, "people do make miserable shifts
to get along easy, as father say. I will try, and
then, if I do it,I shall know how to explain it. I
will make up my mind to meet this hard old seventh
like a man, and I will master him."
And now I began to work i earnest. I read over
the example, and meant to understand it. I began
to cipher, and meant to work it out. Father says
I can, and I must; now let me see," I said, with an
honest desire to do all that I could. Oh, what price-
les value there is in an honest desire to do what we
can It would save multitudes from present use-
leness and from eternal suffering.
"Bob, Bob! come out here; come! we have a
plan on foot!" cried Sam Jones, opening the school.
26 ROBERT DAWbON; OB,
room door, and beckoning me thither. I looked up
and shook my head.
"Come!" shouted Charley, peeping over his
shoulder. "We cannot do without you. Come,
Robert, never mind about your seventh."
"No; business before pleasure, I answered, keep-
ing my pencil moving, and my eye fixed upon the
column of figures.
"Business!" they shouted, merrily; "business!
I guess he is Mr Robert Dawson, with his great big
ledger." And they took off their hats to bow, with
a mock gravity. Then away they ran to the play-
By-and-by the school-bell rang. The master ap-
peared, and the boys began to crowd in at the door.
Soon all became quiet. Books were laid aside. A
chapter was read in the Bible, and the master offered
up the morning prayer. I was attentive to this ser-
vice, and yet I was surprised to find how slight an
interruption all this proved to be; and I now see
that it was just because my mind was fixed, and
easily returned to its task. The resolute do not suf-
THE BRAVE sPIBIT.
fer from the slight interruptions which disturb others.
Thirty-five minutes after school began, beheld me
labouring upon the memorable seventh, and it wea
don I yes, done; and I could explain every step of
the process. How grateful to my mind was the plea-
sure of achievement! As I stood in the clam that
day, I knew I had earned my position. I had bought
it with the price of effort, and I valued it accord-
ingly. Ah! my father understood how fine a thing
it is to make us rely properly upon ourselves.
Poor Charley had hard work to maintain his
ground. He blushed, and stammered, and made
some droll blunders, until, at length, he was obliged
to confess that he knew nothing about his sum, and
thus lost his standing in the class.
I thought young Hill and Jones belonged to this
class" said Squire Hall, one of the committee, at
the same time looking around to see where they were.
Their parents wish them to be excused from the
recitation," answered the master.
"They are not where they ought to be, then. We
want to see every boy at his post in his class," aid
28 BOBEBT DAWION; OR,
the Squire, who kept his eye upon the standing and
character of every boy in the school. The Squire's
good opinion was worth having, for it was generally
formed upon true grounds, and his estimate of cha-
racter was almost invariably correct. Jones and Hill
hung down their heads when his eye searched them
Some of the boys have done themselves great
credit," remarked the Squire, when the class was dis-
missed. They seem to understand what they are
about; it is not parrot-talk." He certainly looked
very much gratified, and so did those of us who had
earned the commendation.
I will not study arithmetic-I declare I will not !"
exclaimed Charley, in a pet, as we went out of school
"Charley, if you would only do your examples
yourself, you would like it. There is nothing like
helping one's self, depend upon it;" said I, feeling
strong, manly, and self-relying, from the morning's
victory over myself. How different was our training I
THR BRAVE mPIBRI. 29
My old suit, and plans for a new-Mr French' shop-Mr Gies
-The mill-Squire Hall' winter wood-Surprie at hIo.
ALTHOUGH our family always contained to make a de-
cent, and even respectable appearance, we were poor.
In his best days, my father had been a sea-captain,
in which business he gained enough to buy a small
farm in the country, the object of his fondest desires.
Not long after his removal to our new abode, his
health began to fail, and he was unable to engage,
to any great extent, in out-door ooupations. A
small sum, invested in some city stocks, was lost;
and his three eldest boys died in childhood. So that
the earliest remembrance of my parents is associated
in my mind with traces of sorrow. I was the child
of their mourning days, and yet to me what happy
days they were L I soon felt the necessity of doing
what lite I could to add to the family stock. School-
ROBERT DAWSON; OB,
boy as I was, sometimes by cutting wood, or going to
mill, or planting, or harvesting for our neighbours,
I picked up a little money now and then, or perhaps
I earned a bushel of corn, or half a bushel of wheat.
One morning, as I lay in bed, with my best jacket
and trousers hanging up on a ppg upon the wall be-
fore me, it struck me how very shabby and thread-
bare they looked. I well knew the sleeves of my
jacket had long since refused to approach my wrists,
and that the bottoms of my trousers had dropped all
acquaintance with my ankles.. And now that win-
ter was drawing near, I needed a new, warm suit.
" Mother would get me one if she could, and so would
father; but I am sure they could not, for father wants
a new outside coat as much as I do, and he does not
get it. It must be because he has no money to buy
one. I wish I was rich; but then it is of no use to
wish. I wish fairy days would come back again, and
a good fairy would come and touch with her wand
my old clothes, so that in an instant they would be
new-all new and handsome. Then I could give
her Jane's bonnet to touch, and all mother's old
THE BRAVE sPIBri. 31
shoes, and her old red shawl. Then it might be as
handsome as father says it was when he brought i
home from sea. Yes; and I would give her the old
bellows, too; then I would not have such a fuss
building the fire, mornings. I would give her a good
assortment of things if she could come."
"Who come "
"Poh! There are no such things as fairies; and
father says,' What is the use in brooding over what
cannot be Yes, what is the use ?"
"Well, I cannot have a fairy, good or bad, I am
sure; but why cannot I have a new suit? That is not
impossible. Then, if I ask mother, she will say, Yes,
Robert, I know you want a new suit;' and then she
will look aorry because she cannot get them. Now,
I wonder if I could not earn me a whole suit? Me
earn! Yes, I could-I know I could. Now, I will
make up my mind to it, as father says, and then I will
do it,-I will earn me a new suit. Earn the money,
sad then take it to mother, and ask her to buy the
S deh. Won't her eyes twinkle?'
32 BOBERT DAWSON; OB,
O, well do I remember how delightfully the thought
struck me! In very joy I seized my small pillow,
threw it up in the air, and caught it. Then jumping
out of bed, I hopped round the room, playing curious
antics all by myself, while engaged in the more
serious occupation of dressing. How to earn the de-
sired sum began to engage my attention. "Yes,
how? That is th question." Imused on "how?"
" I cannot braid palm leaf-that is Mary's and Jane's
work. Mr Jones' harvesting is about over. I do
not know of anybody that wants wood cut. If I
could go into the woods and dig up and sell sassafras
roots,-now that would be something; but they do
not buy them here. Jim Crout says they sell them
to druggists, and I am sure we have no such people
here." I took down my clothes from the peg, and
held them up before me. They are shorter than ever.
They grow shorter every week, it seems to me." A
very natural result by the way. Il have me a
new pair; Ill arn them, too. 'Where there is a will,
there is a way.' That is often said, and I belive
TBs rAvTrr IBIf. S3
Such were the beginnings of the new purpose which
I resolved to accomplish.
On the way to school that morning, Samuel Jones
"I sy, Bobert, did you know Charles French is very
sik with a fever? He is, and he had the doctor last
"I am sorry for it. Poor Charles had a headache
the very last time I saw him, when I bought some
tea there for mother."
"But whom has Mr French got to attend the shop f
I added, quickly.
Samuel did not know; and what was his surprise
to behold me posting off in an opposite direction from
school, without saying one word more. For nearly a
mile did I continue my trot, until quite out of breath.
Coming to a corner where two roads met, I approach-
ed what was always called The Shop." There was
but one shop in that part of the village where we
resded, and it waskept by Mr French, at the
And a variety shop it was, truly; for who could
ROBBnT DAWSON; Oa,
enumerate the contents of his shelves ?-Brooms,
brushes, crockery, tea, coffee, pipes, candy, scythes,
rakes,-indeed, every article that the neighbourhood
for ten miles round could want. My speed declined
as I approached the shop, and I began to consider
what I was about to do. Two waggons were at the
door, and as I looked into the shop, my eye caught
several people at the counters. "Who is waiting
upon them, I wonder?"
I stole in, and sat down upon a box near the door.
No one but Mr French himself was behind the coun-
ter, and he looked very sad. He had his hands full
of work, supplying one and then another.
I wonder if Mr French has got any body yet 9"
I said to myself. "I wonder if he will have me?
Will he think I know enough to help him?"
As the customers became supplied, they went out,
even to the last. My heart beat quickly.
"Well, my boy, what do you want?" asked Mr
French. I arose from the box, and taking off my
hat, approached where he stood. I trembled and
feared to peak.
TEM BanE BPIBIT. 35
Why, this is Robert Dawson! said he. Ah,
I did not know you with your cap over your face so.
How is your father?"
"I heard Charles was sick, sir," at last I sum-
moned resolution to say; "and so I thought you
might be wanting help in the shop. I came to
see if you would not take me in till he gets well
again." I dared not lift my eyes from the weights
on the counter, and a suffocating sensation arose in
"If you had offered yourself half an hour before,
Bobert, I do not know but I should have taken you,
for you seem to be a smart little fellow. But I have
sent for my nephew, Charles Emery, at Orange, to
come and stay with me till Charles gets better. You
go to school, do you not, Robert?" .
"Yes, sir; but I thought if I could hire myself
out a little while, it would not be so much matter; I
can write and cipher in the evenings with my father."
And as I ventured to look up into Mr French's thin
kind face, as he stood leaning against the shelves with
his thumb caught in the armhole of his waistoost, how
36 ROBERT DAWSON; OB,
sorry did I feel that I had not come half an hour
sooner. "I came just as I heard of it," thought I;
and indeed there was nothing to regret.
"Is Charles quite sick, sir?" I asked.
"Well, I am afraid so! I am afraid so!" answered
Mr French, sorrowfully. "There comes the door's
gig now;" and at that moment the horse stopped at
one of the posts before the door.
"I should like to have employed you, Robert,
though I suppose it would have been new business to
you; but--. By this time he met the doctor, and
they went round together to the door which opened
into his house adjoining the shop.
"Well," I sighed, as I walked away,-" keeping
shop is not the only business. Poor Charles I am
sorry he is sick. I remember now that he said, when
he weighed out the tea, that he had such a headache
he could hardly see how to do it."
I did not reach the schoolhouse till a quarter of
an hour after school had begun. The master took no
notice of my lateness, however. Sam Jones asked me
if I was taken with a running fit when I left him in
TH BMTa a PIB. 37
such a hurry. And this was the end of my first at-
tempt to get a new suit.
Two or three days afterwards, as I was digging
potatoes in our garden, I heard a neighbour, Mr Giles,
ay to his wife, "I cannot go to mill to-day, or to-
morrow, or next day, that is certain."
"Well,butwe must have some meal," said Mrs Giles.
"I suppose so, and I must try and get somebody
to go, I suppose; but everybody is so busy just now."
"Ill go," thought I, throwing down my spade.
"I am just the one to go!" And pushing through
a little opening at the bottom of the garden, I soon
found myself with Mr Giles in his dooryard.
There is Robert Dawson, send him;" cried Mrs
Giles, espying me as I issued forth from behind the
woodpile. She could not have made a more grateful
suggestion to my ear.
Robert," said Mr Giles, turning round, an you
go to mill for me this morning f "
"Yes, sir; just as soon as I have finished my dig-
ging potatoes," answered I, with cheerful alserity.
"I should like to go."
38 ROBERT DAWSON; OB,
"You can take the horse and waggon, and Ill put
in the corn- ."
A good grist of it too, Mr Giles: so it will last;
and then I shall not be plagued again very soon,"
added Mrs Giles, setting down her pail on the door-
step and looking round.
"How long will it be before you will get your
work done ?" said my employer.
"In about three quarters of an hour."
"I' have the hores put in, and be here ready for
you; and I will put in six bushels of corn-three
bags full. The miller will take his toll, and you may
have yours. You can have yours ground there, and
bring home the meal for your folks, or not, just
as you have a mind." 8o said Mr Giles, as he threw
the meal bags into the bottom of the waggon.
How much corn will be due to me, do you think,
Apeck, I suppose. Will you have it ground with
the rest, and then take it home, or will you take it
out in corn before you start for the mill "
"I think I will carry it all," I answered; for I had
TB BEALV SPIBI. 39
not had time to think just how I should dispose of
my corn, in order to turn it into ready money.
"That is right; bring home the meal to your
mother;" and with that I vanished through the hole
in the garden-fence and returned to my digging.
And now fancy me on the way to the mill. I was
fairly in business, and not losing my studies either;
for I should have said that the master had been called
home by a sudden death in his father's family, and
we were enjoying a few days' vacation.
Now, how shall I sell my corn? was the next
question that occupied my mind. Shall I ask Mr
French to buy it, or shall Isell it to the miller The
miller once before had taken my oorn. Perhaps he will
now;" and to offer it to him was the final conclusion.
Arriving at the mill, a snug establishment in a
hollow, where a deep and narrow stream ran over a
sort of natural fall, three waggons were before me,
and the mill was at work merrily. The old miller
was no favourite with the customers of the mill, and
I heartly wished that I might not have to transact
my business with him. He was a hard man for a
BOBEUT DAWION; OR,
bargain." o said the people round; while the
miller's son was a general favourite. I stopped my
horse, and tying him, went in to find the men.
Greatly relieved was I to behold the son, Tom by
name, standing by the hopper. Now, although Tom
must have numbered twenty-five years of his life, he
still was known to all the country simply as Tom;
and a better fellow could not have been found.
"Well," said I; "will you grind my corn-six
"Try to," answered Tom; who is it for?"
"It's Mr Giles's corn, and he is going to pay me
a peck for bringing it. Now I want to sell it; do
you not want to buy it?"
answered Tom, stirring round the corn in the hopper
with his hand; "how much will you take for it
"I do not know what corn is worth now."
"How much are you going to sell?" asked a man,
who was walking in and out.
"A peck," answered I.
"No great sale," remarked the man.
TIM BRAVS BPIIr.
"He only wants enough to get a pipe and tobsaco."
Tom meant to be droll.
"No," said I; "I am going to earn me a new suit
of clothes, and the money for my corn is going to.
wards it. I hope I shall get enough before the cold
weather sets in."
How much have you now asked Tom.
"Nothing yet. I am in hopes I shall take my
first earnings to-day; so I offered to do this errand for
Mr Giles," aid L
"Why, you are quite a little business fellow,"
exclaimed the man, appearing from behind a post.
" If you do not take the corn, Tom, I will."
Oh! I'll take it," said Tom; "I would take all
Robert's corn, whether I took anybody's else or not."
And his large mouth widened into a pleasant smile.
By-and-by the corn was duly measured out; a
part to the miller for grinding, a pat to me for
carrying, which was added to the miller's heap, and
the rest was poured into the hopper. Then I went
away to look about the pleasant precincts of the mill.
There was the water dashing over the orsggy rocks;
42 ROBERT DAWSON; OR,
here the white foam; there the whirling eddy; and,
farther on, the dark, glassy surface. I threw dry
leaves into the stream, and watched their motion
till they were swallowed up in the miniature vortex.
I leaped from rock to rock, and bathed my bare feet
in the little pools warmed by the clear sunshine.
Then I wound my way up a narrow path among the
pines on the hill-side, and sat down on the smooth
underbrush to eat my bread and cheese.
"What I meant to be when I was a man,"-was
a subject that frequently occupied my fancies. Now,
I thought, how pleasant to be a miller, and live by
the side of a little river; but, after all, father says it
is not so much matter what one's business is, if one
does what one has to do, and does it right. Even if
I should live to be a man, my ideas about such things
may change very much. I am sure this world is not
to be my home. I am to live for ever in another
and very different world, and perhaps I am much
nearer to it than I suppose. God is my Creator.
He has given me a mind and heart, and has placed
me here to love and obey Him. I am to learn His
THE BBRAV BPIRIT. 43
will from the Bible. He there tells me what He
would have me to do, and He there promises to give
me all the grace and strength I need to do it. He
tells me of a Saviour, who died that I might live,
and .that for His sake He will freely give me all
things. These were my sober thoughts, and the
quiet loneliness of the place naturally led to them.
The conclusion of the whole matter was, that I would
try to do my duty, day by day; and, thinking that
my corn must, by this time, be nearly or quite ground,
I hastened back to the mill.
That evening I reached home the happy possessor
"What are you going to do with it, Robert "
asked my father.
"Keep it for the present, sir."
"Well, when you spend it, spend it usefully,"
said he. Remember that a little spent wisely is
better than a thousand misused." I at once put my
little fortune into a small tin box which was carefully
kept in the upper drawer of my mother's bureau.
The money already earned was but a small part
44 ROBERT DAWSON; 6,
of that which was necessary for my purpose; and I
began to look about for something else to do.
Some of the boys (myself among the number)
were stretched out, at noon, during the interval
of school, on the sunny side of the school-house.
This noted building was situated at one end of a
long plain, through which ran the village street. It
was truly tiU street; for the village had but one.
On this, at long intervals from each other, stood the
principal houses, among which the school-house and
the church were, of course, regarded as the most
"Therb goes Squire Hall's winter wood," re-
Smarked Charley Frazer. "He has got a neat yoke
of oxen there; not another like them in our village
A discussion of this question, about Squire Hall's
oxen, followed. Some of the boys supported the
claims of a pair that Major Brooks owned, but they
made a feeble stand against the acknowledged merits
of Squire Halls.
"I wish I could help to pile that wood," thought
mTH BQltU uPr.
I. "Squire Hall hua got one man le than he used
to have. I wonder if he would not employ met
One can never know till one trim, father says; so
When school dosed in the afternoon, I determined
to go over to the Squire's; and so I joined the boys
whose homes were below his house. The great gate
of his wood-yard was open, and several of us went
in. Every thing about the premises was in perfect
order. We looked about, and in a short time my
companions departed. The wood-pile attracted my
attention-or rather, the wood to be piled.
"I must find work here,"-was the uppermost
thought in my mind. Mr Merry, Squire Hall's chief
workman, just then came along from the field.
"Mr Merry," said I; "do you not think Squire
Hall will let me help to pile his wood t"
"You! How much could you pile, Iwonder "
he asked, in a surly tone.
u Try me, and see."
"I do not want any boys about me. They are
more plague than proAt," growled Mr Merry, as he
46 BOBERT DAWSON; O0,
turned his back upon me. But I was resolved not to
"I can just ask the Squire himself," thought I.
"There can be no harm in asking; and father says
we must not let little obstacles frighten us."
So, putting my hands in my coat pockets, I walked
out of the yard.
As I passed the front of the house, I looked up at
every window, wondering whether the Squire was in,
and whether, after all, it was best to ask him. Per-
haps it will be of no use, if I should. Try," father
always says, when he would urge my courage on.
I sat down upon the stone wall on the other side of
Shis house, revolving the subject in my mind. The
chills of an October sunset began to creep over me.
"If I am to have a new, warm suit, I must try for
it. Suppose I go in and ask Square Hall, and then the
matter is settled." And I slowly approached the
front gate. "Perhaps Mr Merry will not let me
help him," and at that moment I espied the Squire
turning round a lane, and coming towards his house.
"Here is a good chance. Iwillrun andaskhimiow!"
TRn BAVT sEPIm 47
What a magio there is in that little word no !
"Nobody is near!" So I hastened to meet him.
As I drew near, I pulled off my cap and made a re-
spetful bow. He stopped.
Will you please to let me help to pile your wood,
sir" said I, blushing to the very eyebrows.
"What is your name? I see you often!" And
he looked searchingly at me.
obert Dawson, sir."
"Hem! ah, yes; Robert-Robert Dawson. I
know you. Well, you want to pile my wood, do
"Can you pile wood as well as you can cipher,
Robert?" he asked. "I remember you at the
school. Does Mr Merry want you? He's the man
"No, sir," answered I, with great simplicity; "he
does not want me."
"You are after employment, then, Robert; and
you do not go to school, now, I suppose." He spoke
48 ROMnr DAWBON; O0,
Yes, ir; I go to school. But I wanted to get
something to do out of school-hours;" aid I, poking
the dirt about with my toes.
You cannot do much in these short days," he sad.
"I can TRY!"
"Yes, Tar; that is right. And if Mr Merry
wanted you, I should like to employ you very well.
But Mr Merry manages these things pretty much in
his own way." And he began to move on.
He must have seen my disappointment, for he
added-" We will see, Bobert! we will see! But
Mr Merry has got to be consulted in all these things."
And he left me with a hurried step. I stood still a
few moments, in busy thought. Then crossing the
street, I raced home over the dry leaves and short
turf, on the other side of the road.
At night I bethought myself what new applications
I could make.
On the afternoon of the third day, my mother sent
me on an errand to the corner.
"Halloo, there I" some one shouted. "Halloo,
boy I" It came from Squire Hall's yard.
BB BBVaN rPIBIT. 49
"Come over here."
I looked up, and there was Mr Merry, beckonig to
You're the boy that wants some work, are you "
said he, as I scampered over to him.
"Well, if you will pile as fast as I cut and split,
you may come. But you will have to work, I tell
you. All this wood must be housed within a week.
So you can come as soon as you like."
Then I went upon my errand with great glee.
"Work to do! work to do!" was all I could say.
The early morning and the late evening found me
striving to keep up with Mr Merry's saw and axe.
The boys vainly tempted me to the play-ground,
and I was at home only to perform my accustomed
A grand nutting party, long talked of among the
boys, was at length appointed to take place this
week. The boys in our dirict were going to join
district number four, and visit the great nutting re-
gion, about ten miles of. The plan was, to go in
50 ROBrBT DAWMON; r3,
waggons and spend the day, carrying our dinners to
eat among the trees. We were to take a teakettle
and other cooking utensils, and live in true camp
Heavy frosts had already cracked the bark of the
nuts, and a warm day in the early part of November
promised to give us the finest weather for our excur-
sion. How much had I thought of it I Boys in the
country have so few excitements of the kind, that a
nutting party possesses uncommon interest. I be-
lieve I dreamed about it for nearly a week together:
and it was now come! The day had been actually
appointed! andI, what was I to do? Go, ornotgo?
Charley Fraser, and Sam Jones, and all the boys
whom I saw, talked of my going as a thing of oourse.
I was to go in Sam Jones's waggon. The evening be-
fore, I made a few preparations. My bread, and cheese,
and pies were laid aside, ready to be rolled up; and
I borrowed a large basket of neighbour Gils for my
Then you will go, will you not? sdd Jane,
TH= BUATB BNmU.
I shall not be sure till to-morrow morning," sid
I, between fear and hope. "I can tell better when
I see Mr Merry again."
Do go!" added Mary. Do go, Bobert!"
My parents offered no advice in the cae.
I had piled up all the out wood that evening. My
work had been done clean. Meaning to reach the
wood-pile the next morning before Mr Merry, I could
ask him to let me go with great safety, because it
would appear that there was nothing then to do, and
I could promise to work the faster on the next day.
No man was harder to deal with than Mr Merry.
At early sunrise I was up and dressed, brimful of
delightful anticipations from the day's excursion. It
was a wonderfully fine day in the Indian summer,-
days that are like a smile on the stern and grave face
of November. I did not for a moment doubt, that
within two hours we should be on our winding way
to the nutting forest.
"I will be sure and go over to seeMr Merry first
and away were my steps bent towards the Squire's.
But he will not be there: I hall have to wait.
52 BOBBT DAWSON; OR,
As I approached the gate, I heard the sound saw-
saw-saw: Who is up so early ?" I opened the
gate and went in, and who should be there but Mr
Merry himself, and another man, with wood enough
sawed and split to employ me for two hours, at least!
" What shall I dot" thought I. What dan Ido?"
Work enough! work enough!" cried Mr Merry.
"It is time for lazy boys to be at their work. Come!
take hold! or you will lose the bargain."
There was a sly and wicked expression in his tone
and manner, which he usually wore when he had
outwitted or overreached any of the boys with whom
he had any thing to do. The truth is, Mr Merry did
not like boys.
With a heavy heart, indeed, did I begin my work.
"I have a great mind to run off, and have nothing
more to do with such a man. He knew I wanted to
go nutting." Such were my first thoughts.
"I will give up the nutting rather than give up
the work; for if I go now, Mr Merry will never let
me come back again." These were my second
Trn BRAVE PIB"I. 53
By-and-by the gate opened, and in rushed Charley
Fraser, Sam Jones, and two or three others, into the
"Where are you?" shouted Charley. "I havebeen
hunting everywhere after you! Your father said he
supposed you were here. Come! make ready! We
are off directly I"
Come, Robert! we ought not to lose the time!"
echoed Sam. "A jolly day we shall have of it.
Come! hurry! hurry I"
"What a noise!" snarled Mr Merry.
"I cannot go," said I at last; for I have taken
this piece of work, and I must do it."
Oh I Mr Merry will let you off just one day,--
will you not, Mr Merry? said Charley. "Just to
have Robert go with us nutting."
Go if he likes II can get somebody else, easy
enough." Saw-saw-saw-and so he sawed up and
down as if he heard nothing.
"Come! go, Robert! Why you musrt" cried
"Come out here! said I, drawing them outside
5OBuT DAWION; OR,
the gate, just to get away from the presence of Mr
A noisy discussion followed.
"No, Charley, I am not going. I have taken the
task, and I mean to go straight through it. Father
says, We must not back out for small things.'" Such
was my settled, yet painful conclusion.
"It is too bad!-Pile wood all day!" criedone.
"That great pile!"
"Only stick by stick, said I, courageously. If
we make up our minds to it, we can then do it."
Well do I remember how hard it was to act out
A great deal was said, but my purpose was fbed.
They went away, and I turned to re-enter the gate.
I gave one peep at the departing boys before I shut
the gate. "Oh! what good times they will have!"
1 sighed, in spite of myself; and in spite of myself
I felt that something would turn up, that I should
go, after all. I did not believe it oud be, that I
should not go,-I, who had helped so much to plan
all about it!
IZ BsnAVT SPIRT.
When I went bock to my work, I was sure that
Mr Merry would say something about the affair.
Not a word did he speak. It was only-saw-saw
Time was passing; and if I were going, should
I not be pushing my preparations? I expected some
of the boys back; and perhaps, should they come
again, Mr Merry might tell me to go. If Squire
Hall would only happen to be out in the yard, and
the boys here too! then I was sure Squire Hall
would bid me go, and let me complete the work
when I could.
My ears were open to every sound I worked
with a quick, excited movement, as if I were on the
eve of a rescue. My heart beat violently. The
nutting fields never seemed so charming-the ex-
cursion never appeared so interesting, now that I
was just about to lose it; now that my going de-
pended upon what some would call mere good luck.
Alas! Mr Merry never condescended to uttet a
syllable! Squire Hall did not make his ppearanoe
at the door; nor did the boys return I
66 BOBERT DAW80N; OB,
By-and-by the sound of waggon-wheels, with merry
shouts, broke upon the still morning air. One,-
two,-three,-four waggons went by I counted
them all! I heard the cracking of their whips, and
the voices of their drivers-five-six I
I mounted the wood-pile, and beheld them. There
they went! gallop! trot speed away! speed away!
-full of animation and joyful anticipation! and I-
I was actually left behind
Nothing happened to relieve me from my duties.
Tears of bitter disappointment rushed to my eyes,
and blinded the sight of the distant waggons. I
jumped down and made the best of my way into the
great barn, which was near, to hide my uncontrolla-
ble emotion from the eye of my master. I remember
how I ascended a ladder to the hay-mow, and
gathering myself up in a corner where I could fling
myself on the sweet hay, I actually cried.
"It is too bad! too bad I" was my bitter exclsma-
tion. Mr Merry might have aid, Go, Robert!
and do your work after you get home.' He ougt to
have said so." Then I wiped my eyes, and bitter
THn M3va UmTrr. 57
thoughts began to pervade my mind. "It's of no
use, now!" I said aloud, and mournfully. "It's of
no use at all! They're gone, and I told them to go
without me But I did not expect it,-that's a fact.
I thought surely something would turn up. But I
remember father says we must not hang our good
fortune on turn-ups,' as he says a great many peo-
ple do; for they will certainly fail us. Yes; I know
that. He says,' Have an object in view, and keep
to it until you accomplish it,-woBK rr ouT.' Yes;
and I hace an object in view,-I want a new suit of
clothes, and I have taken a job on purpose to get
them,-now let me woiR rr our I I wonder how
far they have got ? Oh 'tis such a pleasant day to
go into the woods-Oh! oh!"
Elections of this nature came and went like lights
and shadows seroes my spirit, as I lay on the hay-
"It's of no use!" I exclaimed again, springing
upon my feet. I must make up my mind, and do
Again I wiped away every trace of feeling, and
68 ROBERT DAWSON; On,
began to descend the ladder, struggling (and it was
indeed a struggle) to feel calm and manly. Almost
any boy's father can get him a jacket, but mine can-
not. 8o there is some reason why I should work
and they play !" and I came out into the sunshine,
and approached the wood-pile.
Come now, then! go at it! said I; "it is only
stick by stick, and a new suit to pay for it !" o did
I put my reluctant hands to their duty.
Herein do I exercise (or exert) myself, said the
great Apostle Paul, "to have always a conscience
void of offence towards God and man." To obtain
this peace of conscience we must not only do our
duty with a cheerful and steadfast heart, but we
must repair to the Fountain which has been opened
for the washing away of all sin and uncleanness.
This is the atoning blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We may be crossed, and disappointed, and mortied
in a thousand ways in our passage through the world,
but if our sins have been forgiven and our souls re-
newed, our rejoicing will be the testimony of a
good onience, that in simplicity and godly sin-
Tim BRA n S mN. 59
eerity, not by leshly wisdom, but by the grace of
God, we have our conversation in the world.
Cheerful calmness gradually stole over me, and
I soon began to work with an alacrity which sur-
prised even myself; nor yet was it surprising, as I
have since learned. I was in the way of duty. The
bitterness of the struggle was in the dishppoiktment.
That must soon pass away before the light of an
approving heart. Ah it is a violated since
which carries the sharp and bitter sting. All things
else are but shadows, flitting across the sunshine of
our path. They go and leave us serene as the sum-
A long, long time did I pursue my work, without
any interruption, until I found I gained rapidly on
Mr Merry; and by ten o'clock I was quite out of
business. How many wheel-barrows full I carried
to the inner wood-house and piled up I know not,
but I had plenty of work for three hours. I had
just brought back the barrow, and there was not
enough to ill it.
Mr Merry stopped his saw and looked up
60 ROBZET DAWSON; OR,
"You may be off and rest ye," he said in a
pleasanter tone than was usual for him. They were
the first words he had spoken, and most promptly
were they obeyed. In a few moments I was in my
"Is that you, Robert? said my mother in surprise.
"Why, Robert!" exclaimed Jane and Mary at
once. "Have you not gone ?
"We saw your bread, and cheese, and pie in the
closet, and we did not know what it all meant; but
we missed your bag. Why, Robert, tell us how it is
that you did not go!"
I stated the case. Jane and Mary had many
comments to make. In turn they blamed Mr Merry,
the boys, and myself.
"Mr Merry might have told you to go, the surly
fellow!" cried Jane.
And the boys might have called again, I think,
in their waggons; and then Mr Merry could not
have helped himself," said Mary.
"At any rate I would have gone, work or no
work!" added Jane.
Tn BBaMavUZ Prr. 61
"Robert decided the matter himself, and acted
accordingly. I do not see that any one is to be
blamed," said my mother, taking off her spectacles,
and wiping the glasses with the corner of her apron.
Meanwhile I was eating a piece of pie with great
relish, and in silence. This being done, I went back
to work. Another man, with his saw, was in the
yard, and the business went forward rapidly.
At dinner my sisters again discussed my day's
"Do you not think, father, Robert might have
gone just as well as not?" asked Jane.
"I think, my dear, that Robert acted like a boy
who has business that he means to do. He had an
object in view, and he resolved to accomplish it?"
And I knew, by my father's tone and manner, that
he was satisfied with my conduct. But he did not
know any thing about my struggles on the hay-
About the middle of a cold Saturday afternoon, a
few days afterwards, the ten cords of Squire Halrs
wood were sawed, split, and neatly piled up in the
62 ROBERT DAWON; OR,
wood-house, ready for winter use. An agreeable
sight it was to look upon. After laying the last
stick, I got down and stood surveying every put
of it with deep interest. There was a degree of
satisfaction in thinking how it had arisen by my
own industry. I thought how long the work seemed
to be when I laid the Arst stick; but, even stick
by stick, how fast the work went on; and now it
was completed! And that even with Mr Merry's
approval too; for he came in with his saw just
You have done your part wea, boy," said he;
and they were remarkable words for Mr Merry to
use; for he seldom chose to be pleased with any
thing a boy did or could do. He filed his saw, and
busied himself about something, while I lingered in
sight, hoping to hear something of my pay.
"My pay! my pay! I wonder if he remembers
At length, when his saw hung upon its accustomed
peg, he said, "Well, I suppose you expect some
wages, Robert "
THI MRATv SPIRIT.
Then he went about some other work. I knew it
would not do to hasten him, so I busied myself in
picking up some nail that bad fallen from an over-
Half an hour pased. Mr Merry finished a second
small job, and then at down on a wood-block. He
then very deliberately took out his pocket-book, and
turned over carefully some money-my heart beat
It was more money than I was accustomed to se,
much less to handle. I sat down upon a log, looking
intently at him.
Robert, Ilike you. You are not like other boys.
You know what you are about; and that is more than
some men do. I will give you eightpence a oord-
here I take six shillings and eightpence, and be offl"
and he put the whole into my hand.
"Thank you, sir!" said I, eagerly. "Thankyou,
sirl" And offI ran with my precious earnings.
Six killings and eightpene! Isix shillings and
eightps oe, and I hadteapeno beforeI I tried to
BOBERT DAWSON; OB,
put them together, but could not,--s tumultuous
were my feelings. But I will-I will know whether I
have got my new suit or not, before I go a step far-
ther;" and I skipped over the stone wall like a
squirrel, and sat down by the other side, to calculate
the amount of my means. There I drew the cap
over my eyes, and bent my head towards my knees,
and strove to calm myself for the counting. Six
shillings and eightpence-and tenpenoe-(a shilling
all but twopence)-is seven shillings and sixpence."
I remember it as if it were but yesterday.
A new suit! a new suit! Mother said it would
cost, at most, eight and sixpence; and I have got it
allbut a shilling. Yes; and I have aredit myself,
too!" And then, after turning something like a
somerset over the stone wall, I went home with a new
notion of myself.
In the evening I meant to open the subject of a new
At an early hour on Saturday evening, all work
was put aside. Our parents felt that holy time was
at hand, and the evening was usually passed with our
vnTH BnavE sPIm 65
catechism or Bible, or in quiet and serious convers-
Mother I" I whispered, when she had washed up
the tea-things and sat down near me-" Mother, I
must have a new suit of clothes by the Sabbath after
next: mine are so cold!"
I know they are cold," she answered, in rather a
"Will you buy me a pair, mother" .I asked-
laughing at the corners of my mouth.
"I would if I could, Robert," said she.
"But you cn, mother," said I.
She gravely shook her head-" We want a great
many things for winter, Robert."
Well, mother, will you buy me a pair if I will
give you the money "
You give mother the money!" cried Jane, who
had drawn up towards us. "I wonder where you
could get so much Robert grows very fast; does
he not, mother ?" said she, with a significant smile.
"He will son be able to earn it, I hope, said my
mother, looking kindly upon me.
68 BOBERT DAWBON; OB,
My hand had been in my pocket for some time,
grasping the money, carefully wrapped up in a piece
of paper; and now I drew it forth. Unfolding it
slowly, I placed it on my mother's knee, saying
"There, mother; there is the money to get my
clothes. I earned it with my own hands. Yes;
there it is!"
"Oh!" exclaimed Jane.
"Oh!" echoed Mary, peeping over Jane's shoulder.
My father looked up from the book he was read-
Here is the money Robert has been earning for
a new suit! said my mother, handing it to him with
Ah! that was a glad hour to me.
"I am glad to see you accompliahing something,
my son; working out wise and useful purposes, and
then executing them with your own haond. And when
you begin, resolve never to give up, if it is good and
right to succeed. Put your hand to the plough and
look not back. If you make up your mind to do
THE B3VAE nPIIT. 67
any thing, do it. Oftentimes it is only through much
suffering that we can achieve a noble work; and the
very conflict and trial give us new strength and new
courage for the next duty."
In short emphatic sayings like these did my father
imprint great truths upon us by the earnestness and
force with which he uttered them. Their value and
wisdom we gradually experienced as we obeyed them.
Was I not then tasting some of the satisfaction of
achievement? And did not I feel an increasing
strength for the new duties that might be before me?
Ia due time the cloth was bought and made up.
And with what hearty interest did I watch every
stitch which my mother took before me; and how
many times didI go and examine the quality of the
cloth with quite a business-like air I
That blue jacket and trousers-how pleasant is
their memory to me! The finest broadoloths of my
later days can never possess the charm which invested
them. It was the first successful prosecution, by
myself, of my father's principles, so carefully taught
-o work out, us rikimly, my on good purpou.
68 ROBET DAWSOW; OB,
Then I laid the foundation of a habit to which I owe
all my success,-I PERBEVERD. Then I first began
to feel the value of steady, manly, self-relying toil.
The jacket I kept in my trunk many years after I
had ceased to wear it. And when I was far away
from the spot where it figured in its original comeli-
nes-faded, threadbare, mended and darned as it
was-this old jacket was a precious relic of my boy-
hood, and often seemed to inspire my flagging ener-
gies, and excite me to the successful prosecution of
greater and better enterprises.
TIM BUTSN mImy. 69
Chole of a cling-Prepmaramo for leaving home-Aaot~e
Imeo of se-detd -My departure and Journey-My new
A ranw years more passed away, and I was reaching
the most important period of my life-A4 oAo ofw
a cally. My father could do nothing for me. Of
rich relations we could not boast. Upon myself,
then, with the blessing of God, must I alone depend.
After long deliberation, and several different unsuo-
easful applications, a situation in a printing-offie, in
a town some fifty miles off, was obtained. Printing
was my choice, without, indeed, ever having seen the
inside of a printing-offie.
The time was drawing near, and it was my first
departure from home. What mingled emotions of
hope and fear and expectation filled my bosom!
70 ROBUT DAWSON; O,
Often have I kept awake during the night, wonder-
ing how it would all seem in my future residence;
planning how I should get there, and who would
meet me, and what kind of a man my new master
would be. The October frosts became more frequent.
The leaves already began to cover the ground, and
my preparations must be hastened, for I had engaged
to be there by the 5th of November.
With what interest do I look back upon that last
month at home, where, every evening, our little
family assembled around the kitchen fire, happy in
each other's love, and busy for the one who was soon
to leave it. At one corner sat my father in his great
arm-chair, his pipe on the oven-shelf beside him (for
he smoked), and Cuff sleeping at his feet. And
there, too, were the crane and hooks, and the tea-
kettle ever hanging on its own long hook, and the
old iron tongs, too, with which my father diverted
himself in laying and relaying the brands, when any
thing occurred to discompose his mind.
This autumn found my father increasingly feeble:
his cough grew harder, and the hectic bickered
TnzI BRabv PrrT. 71
brightly upon his check. His voice was low and
hollow, and yet there was so much of cheerfulness in
all his intercourse with us, that no one but the family
realized how fast he was travelling towards the grave.
The fifth of November, as I said, was the appointed
time of my departure. One day, as Jane was study-
ing the almanac, she at once exclaimed, "Oh, Robert!
I have discovered something-a piece of good news
for you-oh!" And she gave several mysterious
nods, quite peculiar to her.
"What is it ?" we all asked.
It is only for Robert;" and she took me by the
hand and led me into the bed-room, closing the door.
Oh, Robert! it is only three weeks from Thanks-
giving,* that you go. Now you must not go until
after Thanksgiving. Why, everybody stys till after
Thanksgiving. I am in earnest. You--"
I must stay until after Thanksgiving, I am sure I
must," I replied. "I know Mr Simpson will not
want me before,-it would not be Thanksgiving
Thankqegri for hartv, an annual feWval in the New
72 ROMaT DAWBON; Oa,
away from home,-no, indeed, it would not I But
father,"-I added, after a pause-"father, what will
he say to it, Jane?"
Why, in the evening, when we are all sitting
together, you ask him, and we will all join in." Such
was the plan of my sisters,-for Mary was soon let
into the secret revealed by the almanac.
I know we can bring it about," said the sanguine
Jane; and no less sure was I.
That day, on going towards the corner, who should
clap me on the shoulder and give me a boisterous
welcome, but Charley Fraser. Charley and I lived
no longer side by side. His father had removed into
his new house, situated in a different part of the vil-
lage. I was very glad to see Charley. Six months
before that he had left town, to become a clerk in a
shop at C--.
But, Charley, what are you at home for I in-
"Oh! I came.home to spend Thanksgiving; but
I do not know that I shall go back again,-the work
is so hard there."
THa nATs aY mTrr. 73
"I thought a clerk's work was easy."
"No; I do not call it easy to be on your feet from
morning till night. Besides, Mr Jones says, if I take
so many vacations, he does not think I shall do for
him; just as if one could work all the time."
But people must stick to their business, Charley,"
sid L That is what my father always ays."
"What all the time, and have no fun Mother
says it is too bad to tie up boys so. Icame of so
long before Thanksgiving, I suppose he will have to
get somebody to help him. For my part I am glad
to get rid of work; and I do not care snap whether
I go back again or not."
I looked at Charley, in his new suit of blue broad-
cloth, with a bright and animated mile upon his face,
and with a freedom and joyousness of manner, that
could not fail to strike any one. I think a faint
emotion of envy, at least of regret, sprung up within
me, at the contrast of our situations. Charley was
rich, and could do. as he pleased. I was poor, and
must stoutly work for my living.
And you will not go until after Thanksgiving,
74 ROBERT DAWSON; OR,
will you, Robert ? Well, then, I am for having some
capital fun--some first-rate times,-will we not?"
And he threw his arm around my shoulder as he used
to do when we were younger.
My time is fixed to go on the 5th of November;
but since Thanksgiving-day is so near, Jane and
Mary say I ought to stay, and I think so, too."
What does your father say?"
I have not said any thing to him yet," I replied,
with many misgivings as to the result of such an
"Oh! well, you shall not go. Why, it will be
too bad! Of course your father will let you
stay. It cannot make much difference-indeed, it
cannot make any difference that I see. Only two
weeks Ask your father this very evening,-I
would." We parted, and I resolved to do as Charley
Evening came, and we were sitting, as usual, around
the kitchen fireplace.
Mother, only think-it is but two weeks before
Thanksgiving, that I am to go." So I opened the
TIH BIAvT "MBrm. 75
matter with some palpitation of heart, feeling that
something very agreeable was at stake.
I thought of it when Mr Simpson's letter was
read," answered my mother.
"Thought of it, and said nothing!-that is unfa-
vourable," I said to myself. So it seemed, and I had
not courage to go on.
Yes, mother; I am sure he ought not to go until
after Thanksgiving. There is no need of it. Robert
could not learn much in two weeks." So Jane took
up the matter.
Boys are always at home Thanksgiving," added
Mary. "Poor Robert, how lonely he would be,
thinking of us all day, away from home !"
Charley Fraser has come home. I saw him to-
day," said L
My father continued to smoke his pipe, and my
mother to ply her needle. Not a word from either.
Mother, don't you think it would be plesanter
to have Robert here asked Jane.
"A great deal pleasanter," answered my mother,
76 BOBM T DAWSON; OR,
Then he ought to stay, I think. It is only a fort-
night! It will pass away very soon," said Mary.
"And perhaps we may never be all together again,"
As I looked at my father, I felt that there was little
reason to expect a long continuance of the family
circle unbroken. Oh, that I might stay!
At that moment we heard footsteps at the door,
and Charley entered. A hearty shaking of hands
followed, for he was a great favourite at our house.
I want you to let Robert stay until after Thanks-
giving, sir," he said, turning his fine, fair face towards
my father. "It is too bad he should go before! Be-
sides, a fortnight cannot make much difference."
Difference in what, Charles asked my father,
pleasantly surveying him.
Why, sir, in what he can learn, or any thing he
could do for Mr Simpson," he answered.
"It would certainly make a great difference in his
promptnes and punctuality to his engagement," con-
tinued my father; "and as to his use-perhaps that
will be likely to depend upon what kind of a boy
TMHB BuaTv amn 77
Robert means to be. Mr Simpson wrote expressly
to have him come by the 6th, and it is to be pre-
sumed he knows his business-wants better than we
can know them." He paused, and there was a gene-
ral silence, interrupted only bythesnapping of there.
"It would certainly be agreeable for Robert to
stay with us," resumed my father; "very agreeable;
but it is an important question, how far we shall let
our feelings of pleasure interfere in matters of duty.
We have had some difficulty in getting Robert a
situation, and by this delay he might lose it Jae
says it is just as well for him to stay. I do not know
how we-can undertake to decide that point exactly.
In my own experience, I never saw that it was 'just
as well' to give up a duty for the sake ofsecuring a
pleasure; and I believe it is ner 'just as well' If
we do it once, we may do it twice; and who can tell
how many times afterwards? Robert is now com-
mncing business. He will And, in the business
world, a great many difficult and disagreeable ir-
ummtance. Now, the true way to get rid of them
is nt to turn about and run away, but to/M. them;
BOBERT DAWSON; OR,
tonight through them; to meet them with a true, manly
heart. What you have got to do, do, and do it with-
out shrinking or complaining. That is the only
true way, Charley-the only true way, Robert. Re-
member it, boys. It is so in the business world. It
is just so in the Christian life. The Christian life is
called a fight, a warfare, a race. Does the brave sol-
dier shrink, and turn back, and flee, when diffiulties
are to be encountered, or dangers are to be met
Does he fight the good fight of faith, who shuns trials,
and seeks his own ease and pleasure, rather than to
do and suffer the will of God with meekness and pa-
tience ? And in the common business of life, do we
find that man successful and prosperous who cries out
at the sight of obstacles and crosses,-'It in too bad!
It is really too bad!' No, boys; such is the language
of drones and sluggards. We must wake up to the
true business of life,-to serve God and our genera-
tion day by day, and humbly hope for a blessed rest
through Jesus Christ our Lord, beyond the grave.
Robert must go at the appointed time, and go with
a firm, self-relying heart."
Tan BmavU PIBI. 79
Charley looked into the fire, and listened. To him
this was, indeed, a new leson. The question was
decided, and the pleasures of a "Thanksgiving at
home," must be given up.
The fifth of November came apace. The morn-
ing was grey and cold. I pulled the bed-clothes
over my head, and should have enjoyed one more
nap. But no; I must up and do my work; and
"Up! up!" I cried to myself. But the flesh is
very weak. I arose, dressed, and went into the
wood-shed to get some kindling-wood. There lay
the old axe-so long and faithfully used. "The
last time," did I exclaim, with pain, swinging it high
in the air. Then the green sled, hanging upon its
summer peg, caught my eye. I took it down and
examined the iron on the runners-" all right,"-
and then I dashed away the unbidden tear, crying
inwardly, I must behave like a man." I flew into
the kitchen with my kindling-wood. When the
flames grew bright, my mother came down, and we
had pleasant words together.
I sat down in the chimney-corner, to make the
80 B OBBT DAWOI ; on,
holes and put some leather strings into my new
cow-hide shoes. Every now and then did I follow
my mother with a loving look, as she ground the
coffee, or set the table, or baked the cakes for break-
Breakfast was a sad season, though my father
spoke cheerfully. The family altar was surrounded.
My father's voice trembled and broke, as he prayed
for me. Tears flowed freely, and hearts were full of
sympathy and strong emotion.
I was to depart on foot-a bundle in my hand,
containing a change of clothes and a Bible, and half
a crown in my pocket. A baggage-waggon, belong-
ing to a neighboring town, was to take my trunk a
week later. Some dough-nuts and cheese my kind
mother put up, and slipped into my pocket, to eat
by the way, Robert, said she, smiling through her
Here, Bobert," aid my father; here isa walk-
ing-stiek to help you on,-a stout one, too.'
I had noticed how carefully he had smoothed and
fashioned it, a few days before.
TH BEM ATB aPIrIT. 81
Jane looked out at the window sorrowfully. Cuff
was whining in the cellar, where e was fastened,
to prevent his accompanying me on my pilgrimage.
How long, after I was ready, did I make believe I
was not ready! This little thing, and that, was still
to be seen to, until I could find no excuse to do
more. I stood up by the re and buttoned up my
coat. Ah! the last good-byl-I will not describe it.
I ran from the door down the road, without look-
ing back, echoing my fther's words, A stout
heart, Robert! a stoutheart!" Oh! the long, wary
miles of that first day from home!
At the close of the second day, I reached B--.
Where is Mr John Simpson's?" I asked of a boy
about my own age.
He pointed me far down the street, to a small
yellow house, with a bookshop and printing-oice on
the other side of it. The sight of my future home
hastened me forward, in spite of the cold, the dust,
and the weariness which penetrated every part of me.
Arriving at the gate, I knocked at a side door,
and was soon ushered into a large kitchen, where mat
82 naona DAWBON; on,
two apprentices. I was glad it was dark, so that I
could escape their staring scrutiny. But a tallow
candle blazed in our faces from the mantlepiece, fully
revealed me to my companions.
Are you the new hand?" at length asked the
I have come to work in Mr Simpson's office."
A loud bell then rang.
Supper! supper!" shouted the two apprentices,
starting up. My new master now entered.
Robert, is this you? I am glad to see that you
are as good as your word. We are full of work, and
want all the little help a new hand can give us."
And I followed him into a long, narrow dining-room.
I see it was best for me to come-he is hurried;"
I said to myself. This, indeed, gave me satisfaction.
But I felt little appetite, and stupidly did I answer
the few questions they put to me. My heart was
almost as heavy as my eyelids.
After supper Mr Simpson and his men hastened
back to the office. I escaped into the yard, in order
to avoid the conversation of the family. Wearily
THE BBAVE 8PIRT.
did I sit down upon the side of a trough near the
well, with nothing like a definite impression upon
my mind, until my left hand was carelessly thrust
into my pocket, and out came a small quarter of the
Oh, home! home! home!" I sighed piteously,
as the old kitchen fire, with its beloved circle, came
up vividly before me, in the darkness of that evening.
There is Charley Frazer at his home. I wish I
ws Charley; I do, indeed! What an easy lot is i*-
and mine, how hard!" So I soliloquized over the
last crumb of my last dough-nut.
A stout heart, Robert!" I seemed to hear my
father say; and all his wise and encouraging words
came up to my remembrance with a reawakening
power. Let me not put my hand to the plough
and look back. I will make up my mind to do what
is before me cheerfully." And I arose up from the
side of the trough with a compressed lip and a coura-
geous heart. I hope I offered a sincere prayer to the
Giver of all good, that He would give me graee and
strength to do His will.
84 ROBRT DAWSON; OB,
My mutar ad fellow spprentleo-How they spoet the Bbbath
-"UEil oommuncstioM'-Thir inlaenoo-My Sabbat
letter ad sleigh-A-A wMaing-The struggle.
THERE were trials, obstacles. and much embarra-
mejt to contend with in the new scenes which opegg
upth me at Mr Simpson's house and office. New in-
fluences, new companions, and new ideas, came fast
around me. I tried to go straight on my way, doing
diligently, and with all mymight, whatsoever my hands
found to do. My father had always taught me not
to be afraid of work, nor grumble, nor complain, nor
compare myself with others more advantageously situ-
ated than I Was; but to look at my own duties. and
to do them cheerfully and faithfully, And I had
afterwards abundant reason to rejoice that I followed
The moral atmosphere of my new home was alto-
tha t Si" aPIMr 85 1
gether unlike the one I had left. My parents were
strictly religious. They always acted upon con-
slentious Christian principles in all their walk and
oeavesation. Although it was not then a very com-
mon thing to address children upon the subject of
pemonal piety, yet the light of their example was con-
tantly before us, and we children could not remain
ikmant of our duty or our responsibility to God our
Mr Simpson was an honest and an industrious
Iaa; but the fear of God was not in his healhor
before his eyes. In pleasant weather, he attended
public worship with his family; but a rainy Sabbath
was a choice day to examine his accounts, and study
his ledger; Three apprentices lived with hini, and
we were all permitted to pass the Sabbath M we
pleased, provided we interfered with none of the pro-
prieties of the house. How different was all this
from my own home, where the Sabbath was a day
remembered and kept holy, and yet never irksome
to me; for my patent always secured for us a pleas-
lIg variety in its duties I
ROBIRT DAWSON; OB,
James, Thomas, and myself (the three appren-
tices), occupied the same chamber; and how did we
pass the Sabbath ? James usually dressed and went
out, after breakfast, seeking companions of his own
age, with whom he walked, talked, or rode. To
him it was a day of recreation and amusemAt.
Thomas preferred his bed. A large part of the day
was given to sleep; the remainder was pau*o %
some church or in the kitchen, where he made mea1
with the dog, kittens, and children. And as for *,
I fond my way into the gallery of a church, where
principles were inculcated kindred to my father's,
and for several Sabbaths was a constant attendant
there. The daily influences which were around me
began, at length, to operate unfavourably upon my
conduct. In pleasant weather I read my Bible has-
tily, if at all, and preferred a walk on Sabbath after-
noon, to "being pent up in church," as my associates
described the exercises of worship. My scruples
about reading religious books, or none, upon the
Lord's day, became weaker. I at last read even
The Forty Thieves" during the interval of worship
THE BRAVE a ITrr. 87
without any serious compunction of conscience. I
could laugh at low jokes, and even crack them myself.
Although I was seldom alone, yet was I often lonely.
"Home! home! home!" was the burden of my
ise sigh. "What is Jane, or Mary, or father, or
iAber doing?" was my frequent inquiry, while
h_-et at my work; and I longed for the tranquil
Pit" of my native village.
" ~In the last letter I received from home, Jane
asked, Can you print yet, Bobert?" Now, I was
desirous of showing her some specimens of my new
employment, although, as yet, I had scarcely begun
to learn its first principles.
I will print Jane a letter," was the happy thought;
but "when and how shall I do it ?"
After breakfast, one Sabbath morning, I went into
the office to look about and find some type that would
not be wanted for some days, at least.
I will work until the bell rings, and then go to
church." Such was the decision; but so interested
did I become in setting the type, that the bell made
little impression upon my ear, and less on my mind.
ROBEBT DAWSON; OB,
I did not heed it, and worked on in something like a
very bungling manner, I am quite sure. But the
little metallic letters arranged themselves, with my
help, into syllables, words, and lines; and I pled
myself in thinking how pleased Jane would be. .
"There is no more harm in doing this than i
writing a letter. What is the difference t And I
am sure everybody here writes letters on Sabb l!"
In this way I answered the question that would co
tinually force itself upon me,-" Are you doing
"I have no time any other day, and it will please
them at home so much, to see my own printing.
And, besides, I shall go to church when the bell
Unfortunately I began this, my first work, from
type that lay in disorder; and of course it sadly
puzzled me to find the letters, and greatly prolonged
my labour. On I worked, nor was I aroused until
the house-bell called me to dinner. I started
"What day is it?" I asked, almost bewildered.
"Sabbath! It is Sabbath and a great feu stole
Tam uana sPlftr. 89
over me, as I looked at my work, and again aid," It
is Sabbath I! I looked out at the window. It was
a dear, warm, sunny day in February, when the snow
melaed on the tops of the houses, and came down
from the eaves like a shower of rain.
How pleasant to go to church!"
In no very peaceful state of mind did I leave the
offee and go to dinner. I elt afrid--not certainly
of my master-fot I but copied his example; not of
Tom nor James, but of myself: of the sense of wrong-
doing which began to oppress my heart.
"Iwill goto church yes, Iwill" firmlydid Iresolve.
Mr Simpson had been at church, and talked about
the sermon. James and Thomas had been there too.
Where have you been asked Thomas, who sat
next me at table.
"Been about here, all alone," answered I, in a
surly tone, to forbid farther inquiry.
"B obert, you had better go to church," said Mr
I hung down my head and said nothing.
Some time before the second bell rang in the after-
90 aowUT DAWSON; OR,
noon, I sallied forth towards the church. It was, as
I said, a beautiful winter's day, but not beautiful to
me, for my heart was ill at ease.
The sound of sleigh-bells was behind me, swiftly
coming up the street.
"Halloo!" shouted a voice.
"Come, Bob! come, now, get in!" It was Tom,
and the sleigh was beside my very footsteps.
"Where are you going ? said L
"Oh! only a little way; come, jump in with us."
His companion was a lad for whom little respect
was felt by the more sober part of his acquaintances.
"No, no; I cannot go!" I said; "I must show
myself inside some church, to-day,-it is so plea-
"So pleasant for riding, Bob! Come, we have no
time for it in the week-days. Come! we shall not be
They urged, and I willingly heard them. Sud-
denly, even to myself, I jumped in beside them.
Crack went the whip, and away we sped like light-
ning. The bells, the bracing air, the winter beauties
THE BBVe SPIRIT. 91
of the scene, dazzled and excited me; and to drown
rejection, I strove to become the merriest of the
Tom drove; and he drove, scarcely knowing whi-
ther. On-on--on we went, until the spires of a
town, ten miles distant, were in sight.
"We must have supper here," exclaimed Tom.
"Oh, no! do let us go back!" said "Weshall
be so late-ten miles to return!" and I wished my-
self anywhere but there. The sun was declining,
and the chills of evening came rapidly on.
A supper," with a profane oath, exclaimed our
Tom drew up to a tavern door.
"I say, let us go back. Mr Simpson will expect
us back to supper." And, alas; there was no money
in my pocket to buy one elsewhere.
My companions rushed into the house, and planted
themselves at the bar. Gin sling!-hot gin sling!"
No; brandy and water!-I take brandy!" voci-
ferated the other.
J9 sOBsBT DAW80N; OR,
Several men were in the bar-room, I looked
around, and they were tavern loungers, with bloated
cheeks, red noses, and thread-worn garments. The
fumes of strong drink filled the room, and the fire-
place was covered with tobaooo. Oaths mingled with
every sentence that caught my ear. Tom and Curtia
were drinking and rejoicing over their oups.
"Is this the evening of Sabbath day I asked
myself with deep emotion.
Come, Bob; come, my good fellow; take drink "
cried Curtis, beckoning to me to oome towards the
bar; "it will warm you up "
What they both urged I can now scarcely remem-
ber. I only know that I refused to drink. They sat
down by the fire, smoked cigars and drank again.
Their swaggering, boisterous manner disgusted me,
and for the first time I was heartily ashamed of my
Where do you go to church sneeringly asked
an old man, of Curtis Hare.
Oh! I do my own preaching," answered Ourtia.
"I am satisfied-that is enough."
THe BBvaE SpMIT.
A general laugh followed. Then the fiery cup be-
gan to show its effects on Curtis's brain. Astonished
and mortified to hear the profaneness of his language,
I arose and went out into the piazza. The sun was
just setting. The sky had a wan and mellow appear-
anee. A deep and solemn stillness was in the air. I
took two or three turns in the piaza, without know-
ing what to do. If we stay longer, they might not
be able to get home; certainly not soberly, even if
we went now; and how could I ride with such brutish
companions, on a still Sabbath twilight! I felt as if
we should be known and marked, in spite of all I
Presently out they came, declaring their intention
to return home.
"I think it is high time," aid I, gravely,
"Time, eh! time! time! high, higher, highest!-
high time, eh! eh! Master Bob, eh!" Such were
the senseless gibberings of the maddened youths.
Tom was disgusting-my soul loathed him. We
hastened into the sleigh. Tom struck his foot and
tumbled in, muttering oaths as he fell. In attempt-
94 BOBEBT DAWSON; OB,
ing to take the reins, he pulled this way and that,
until the fierce and spirited horse grew restive under
the unsteady guidance.
Give me the reins, Tom! said I.
"No, my boy;-but you will not have the reins-
not you." Again another lurch of the sleigh. Our
limbs, if not our lives, were at stake. Seizing the
reins with a strong hand, I pushed Tom aside; and
putting the horse's head in the direction we were to
go, we went on at a brisk rate. Curtis sank down
on the buffalo skin, and was soon insensible, even to
the repeated kicks given him by Tom, whenever he
encroached upon his feet.
My companions were drunk! yes; absolutely
Sabbath evening! thank heaven, my parents do
not know of this!" was almost the only definite
thought I had, aside from the care and anxiety of
getting safely home.
Towards the middle of the evening, the lights of
home became visible, and how relieved was I to be-
hold them! The cold air and the long ride had
THE BsAVE SaPIrr.
sobered Tom. He aroused Curtis, who by the time
we reached his father's stable, was able to sit up, and
even to connect his sentences with some degree of
sense. As we at last drove into the stable-yard, his
father came angrily forth to learn where he had been,
and what was the matter. I threw down the reins,
and jumping from the sleigh, hastened from the
group. Angry words, with many oaths, between fa-
ther and son, echoed on the still air, until I ran from
their sound, down through an opposite street. Cold,
hungry, and disquieted, I hardly knew whither I was
Oh, that I was at home! Oh, that I had never
left home!" I was ashamed to pass by the lights
that streamed from the windows, so self-condemned
did I feel.
Sabbath! And this has been my Sabbath!"
I shuddered to think how the day had been spent.
Making a turn in the street, I came to the church
where I had attended public worship. It was lighted,
and there was a service. It was a relief even to go
in, and I hastened up the steps. I took a seat far
96 ROBErT DAWOON; O,
back in the gallery. Young man, pause thy step
are tending down, down, down in the broad way that
leads to death!-Arise and return!" These words
of the preacher broke with fearful distinctness upon
"What is he speaking to me?" My heart beat
quickly. I leaned my bead against the railing to
conceal my face. It seemed as if I was marked, and
that all eyes must be turned towards me. No; he
neither knew nor eared for me; why should I think
he means me ? Then he spoke of broken Sabbaths;
of bad companions; the wine-cup; the gaming-table;
how gradually, yet surely, after Sabbath desecration,
steals on every evil habit. It is for me! Itis for
me! Can he know what I have been doing and
I involuntarily looked up to see who it was that was
portraying my case with such boldness. He was a
stranger. It was hard to bear it, but I heard the
sermon through,-yea, every word of it.
On leaving the church, I knew not where to go.
I did not eare to meet Mr Simpson's family; nor did
I wish to retire to my ehamber if Tom were there.