E I A
M A R R YA T
The Baldwin Library
Harry trying the ice.-Page 10.
STORIES FOR MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
(DAUGHTER OF THE LATE CAPTAIN MARRYAT.)
GRIFFITH AND FARP AN,
(SucCESSORS TO NEWBERY AND HARRIS,)
CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.
Hallo what's the matter ?"
Get up quickly," said Harry; it's blind-man's-
buff-day, and snap-dragon-day."
Frank was two years older than Harry; he was
nine years of age.
I have been up these five minutes," said Frank.
"Look! I've got my shoes and stockings on."
Harry sat down on the floor to put on his
Oh I've got such chilblains," he said; they
are so bad."
They'll be worse, sir, if you don't make more
haste and get your things on," said Susan, leaving
Harry was not long before he was washed and
dressed, and calling again to his brother,
Frank, I'm going down."
Frank was also dressed, and came in at Harry's
How quick you have been, Harry. I have not
yet said my prayers. Have you said yours ?"
No," Harry answered; but I cannot wait now;
I must go down and warm my chilblains; they ache
You had better say your prayers before you go
down," said Frank.
I'll say them after breakfast," said Harry. "I
can't wait now." And he jumped down the stair-
case three or four steps at a time, and came down
with such a thump on the mat at the bottom of the
stairs, that his papa opened the dining-room door to
see if he was hurt. Harry gladly ran in to the
warm fire and the breakfast-table, and commenced
at once chatting about the snap-dragon and blind-
man's-buff, so that he never remembered when
breakfast was over to go up-stairs again to say his
WHEN breakfast was over, Frank and Harry ran into
the garden to look at the pond. It was slightly
frozen over, and the ducks were in vain trying to
drink, running their bills along the shiny surface
of the ice. Harry laughed at them as they waddled
about and slipped from side to side, and Frank said,
"How cold their feet must be! I wonder the
ducks don't get chilblains."
And Harry laughed again, for he had quite for-
gotten his own.
* Presently Harry tried to walk upon the ice, but
hiis brother called out to him,
4 CHRISTMAS EVE.
Don't; remember, papa told us we mustn't; it
will not bear, Harry."
It will bear me fast enough," said Harry, stand-
ing with both feet on the ice, and then giving a little
jump. Look !"
Still, papa said we must not try it," answered
Frank. Come away, Harry, you had better; let
us go into the garden again."
Harry did not leave the pond at once; he stood
looking at the ice and wishing he might go on it,
and saying to himself, I'm quite sure it will bear
me; papa did not know it was so strong."
He heard Frank calling him, and went away very
unwillingly, all the time thinking of the ice. Little
boy, it is a very bad plan to think of what is wrong;
it is not a safe plan at all.
Frank wanted Harry to look at the barberry-tree
covered with hoarfrost, and asked him if he did not
think it pretty.
Harry answered, No; I don't see anything in
it; I have often seen frost before;" for he was still
thinking of the ice.
Presently a little robin hopped towards them,
chirping, and twittering, and making little bows as
he hopped; and Frank said,
Dear little fellow, I wish I had some crumbs to
give him. Look, Harry, at the little prints of his
feet on the snow. Pretty little robin, come here
and speak to me."
I wish I had some salt to put on his tail," said
Harry, sulkily; I'd put him in a cage, I would."
I don't think you could catch him if you had
salt," answered Frank; for if you could get near
enough to put it on his tail, you would be near
enough to take him in your hand without any salt."
Harry did not know what to answer, so he said,
You don't understand anything about it. I
would not catch him though, if I could. I hate
robins. I shall catch a sparrow some day and teach
him to sing."
"Papa says sparrows can't sing," said Frank.
"I'd make him," said Harry, or I'd wring his
And Harry put his hands in his pockets and
stamped at the robin to frighten him away; but the
robin only settled on the nearest bush and began to
"How can you?" said Frank.
"I don't care for him," said Harry: "nasty pert
little thing, get along," and he shouted at the bird,
which took no notice, but went on singing.
"Let us go and look at the hens," said Frank.
No, I wont," Harry answered; "it's so mise-
rably cold. I shall go in; my chilblains are so bad."
6 CHRISTMAS EVE.
Harry had not thought of his chilblains until this
moment; but now they each minute became worse,
until he could feel pleased with nothing that his
brother proposed; and he left Frank to go and look
at the hens alone.
THE PACKET OF RAISINS.
HARRY went into the house to look for his mamma;
but as it was Christmas time Harry's mamma had
a great deal to do; I think she was making cakes,
or tarts, or something of that kind in the kitchen,
for he could not find her. He called several times
but' heard no answer, so he went into the dining-
room and sat down by the fire. There was no one
there, for his papa had gone out to shoot rabbits.
Harry sat thinking of his chilblains and growing
very cross about them, until he got warm from the
fire; and then he sat thinking of the ice, and wish-
ing that he might make a slide upon it, and won-
dering why his papa said he must not go on it.
Then he got up from the hearth-rug where he
had been seated and walked round the room. On
the sideboard there lay a parcel in grey paper neatly
done up. Harry felt it and tried to guess what it
could be; it was very soft, and looked like a grocer's
parcel. I should like very much to know what is
inside this," said Harry to himself. He opened one
end and looked in; the parcel was full of pudding
raisins. These must be the raisins for the snap-
dragon," thought Harry; "I should like to taste
them; I am so very fond of pudding raisins." As
he spoke, he put one into his mouth.
Harry was now standing in the way of tempta-
tion, what wonder that he fell! He had forgotten
to say that morning, Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil."
When he had tasted one pudding raisin and found
it very nice, he wished for more, and quickly taking
out a handful he thrust them into his pocket. The
parcel did not look so tidy after Harry had closed
it as it had done before; he could not do it up as
the grocer had. He was still looking at it, and
wishing that it did not look so uneven, when he
heard Frank wiping his feet on the door-mat with
a great deal of noise. Harry left the sideboard,
and sat down on the hearth-rug again in front of the
fire. Frank flung the dining-room door very wide
open and looked in.
"I wish you wouldn't let the cold in; I don't
believe you have shut the hall door," said Harry,
8 CHRISTMAS EVE.
"Yes, I have," said Frank. "Hallo, Harry!
what's the matter with you, old fellow? Chilblains
It's all very well," said Harry, half crying; it's
all very well for you to laugh at me, but you've no
idea how bad they are."
And he rocked himself backwards and forwards
on the rug, holding one of his feet against his
breast. Susan came in as he spoke, and said,
"What are you about here, young gentlemen;
you'd better be off into the garden."
I'm sure I shan't," said Harry, rudely. I'm
not going into the cold to please you, Miss Susan,
I can tell you;" while Frank said good-temperedly,
Well, Susan, I have but just come in; I stayed
out till my nose nearly tumbled off; never fear, we
shan't do any mischief."
I'm not afraid of you, Master Frank," said
Susan; "you always do speak and behave like a
young gentleman. Master Harry, you had best
copy your brother, I think; Frank is my boy."
I don't care for you," said Harry; I shan't
copy Frank; I don't care what you think, you
Susan left the room, and presently Harry said
he should go into the garden again.
I thought you found it so cold," said Frank.
CHRISTMAS EVE. 9
"I shall not go again; I shall keep warm till dinner
Harry made no answer, but left the house; he
wanted to be alone. When he came to the garden
he stopped, and looked round him to see that no
one was near, and then took some of the raisins from
his pocket. He had wished very much to be alone that
he might eat them, but now, as he looked at them,
all wish to do so gave way. He grew quite red as
he held them in his hand; they were stolen raisins,
and he felt almost afraid to look at them. He quite
hated them, and instead of putting any of them into
his mouth, he threw them far over the hedge to get
rid of them, The thought passed through Harry's
mind, I wish I had not taken them; after all, they
have done me no good. I could not eat them, I am
sure they would make me quite sick. Oh, I wish
so much I had never taken them, indeed I do," and
he walked on sadly with his eyes upon the ground.
HE went on walking until he stood beside the pond.
The ducks were still trying to drink, as they had
been trying for the last two hours; they could not
yet make out the ice. Harry repeated to himself,
" I am quite sure it will bear my weight; I wish I
might go on it and try," until he left the brink
and stood on the pond. Then he walked some
paces round the edge-the ice felt quite firm. He
did this several times, until he was used to it, and
then he all at once forgot all about his papa's
orders, and walked into the middle of the pond. It
felt so nice and slippery as he ran forward and slid
to the end, with his arms in the air over his head.
Soon everything was forgotten but the pleasure of
the slide. Harry left off keeping near the edge,
which at first he had made up his mind to do, and
ran backwards and forwards all over the pond.
Once he heard a cracking sound as he ran; but
when he came to the end of his slide he looked back,
but could see nothing, so he went on without even
caring if the ice cracked or no. The sun had been
shining very warmly for some time past, and where
the sun fell, the ice looked much more pretty and
glistening than elsewhere, and Harry kept running
to the bright spot upon the pond, which gave a
cracking sound each time he passed over it. He
felt a little frightened at last, as it cracked louder
than ever, and showed a large spray in the ice, and
Harry made up his mind that he would only run
over it once more. He had better have stopped
then instead of trying once more; for in that once
the little spray in the ice spread almost across
the pond; it gave way under his feet, and he
stopped, not knowing which side to go. Had
he gone forward he might have escaped; but he
felt frightened, and rested his whole weight upon
the broken ice. The water oozed and bubbled up
round his ankles; the ice on which he stood swayed
and moved about. Harry tried in vain to leave the
spot on which he stood; each time he moved the
ice broke more, until both his feet went down into
the water-then his ankles, then his knees, and he
remained with his little half-frozen hands upon the
ice in front of him, crying as if his heart would
break. The pond was only made for the ducks, so
happily it was very shallow had it been deeper,
Harry might have been drowned. As it was, he
forgot that it was not deep, and that his feet were
even then at the bottom, and he thought that he
should be drowned before anybody came to him.
He had called out to his mamma and to Frank,
and Susan and the cook, all in turn, but none of
them heard him; they were all so busy, and his
voice was not loud, because of the cold, and because
he kept sobbing with fear. At length, after a long
time, as it seemed to Harry, he heard his papa's
gun go off-he must be coming home. Harry
recollected that his papa had told him not to go
on the ice because it was not safe, and he began to
cry and sob louder. Still, when he heard him
open the garden gate, he called out to him,
His father came to him at once, and Harry said,
as soon as he was in sight, Oh, papa dear, I've
tumbled in !"
"My poor little boy !" said his papa, laying
down his gun and some rabbits he was carrying,
and walking into the pond after him. The ice, of
course, broke directly under him, and he lifted up
Harry and carried him home. Harry's teeth chat-
tered with the cold, and he kept on sobbing and
drying all the way to the house; but his papa did
not tell him he had been a naughty boy, or say
anything about his disobedience. He did not
scold him at all, but called his mamma as soon
as they were home, and asked her to put Harry
at once into bed, and give him something warm to
drink. So his mamma carried him into her own
bedroom and undressed him and put him between
the blankets; but Harry could not go to sleep for
some time, and when his papa came up to see
how he was, the little boy threw his arms round
his neck and kissed him; but his papa did not say
anything even then.
HARRY ACTS LIKE A COWARD.
SOME time later, Harry awoke by some one coming
into his room; but lie felt very drowsy, and did
not open his eyes or move when his mamma came
and looked at him. She went to the fire, stirred
it, and then sat down-for I am sure she must have
felt tired by that time, she had had so much to do
all day. She sat so for some minutes, when Harry's
papa came in also, and she said to him :-
I have been rather annoyed at something this
And he said, "What is it, dear ?"
She answered, It is a very little thing; but it
is serious. In the morning I left a packet of
raisins on the sideboard, and now, when I went for
them, I find that some one has been eating them.
It is very unpleasant to suspect people of dis-
honesty-I never knew it to happen.before."
"Whom do you suspect ?" he asked.
"No one but Susan has been into the room that
I am aware of."
"But Susan has always been trustworthy, my
dear. Do you think the children- "
Oh, neither of them would be capable of touch-
14 CHRISTMAS EVE.
ing anything of the sort," answered mamma,
quickly. Besides, I asked Frank, and he had not
even noticed that they were there. Both the boys
are honorable, I trust."
Harry grew very red, and felt half inclined
to call out to his mamma, and tell her that
he had taken the raisins; but she had just said
that she felt sure he was honorable, and he did
not dare, so he still kept quiet, and listened,
although his cheeks burned with shame.
His mamma next spoke of him.
"Do you think Harry may come down to-
Why, yes," said papa. I dare say he will be
all right when he wakes up, and it will be such a
terrible disappointment to him, poor little fellow."
I thought you had forbidden him to go upon
So I had; but I had not the heart to scold
him, when I found him crying in the cold. I hope
he has been sufficiently punished to make him re-
collect another time," said Harry's papa, leaving
the room. Harry presently heard his voice down-
stairs, calling Frank; and when Frank answered,
his papa said, I shall take you out with me this
afternoon, and you can carry anything I may shoot
-run and get my powder and shot-quick !" And
CHRISTMAS EVE. 15
Frank's footsteps rattled along the passage to do as
his papa said.
Harry sighed, and the tears rose to his eyes.
"If I had been a good boy, I might have gone
too," he thought, and he crammed the sheet into
his eyes. His mamma came to his bedside, for she
had heard him move, and she said, How do you
feel now, my darling ?"
Harry wished that he had courage to tell her all.
at once; but he waited, and put it off until the time
was gone ; and his mamma saying, Try to go to
sleep again, dear," left the room.
Shortly afterwards Susan the housemaid came in
to make up the fire, and Harry peeped at her from
under the bedclothes. Her eyes were very red and
swollen, for she had been crying about the pudding
A LITTLE before tea-time Susan came and took
Harry out of bed, and dressed him. Every now
and then he looked at her eyes to see if they were
still red ; but she did not speak about the raisins
to him. She only said, It is well for you, Master
Harry, that you have not caught cold, or you
would not have been able to play blind-man's-buff."
Harry had thought a great deal about blind-
man's-buff for a week past; but now half the
pleasure of it seemed gone. He felt unhappy, and
gave no answer to Susan. When he was dressed
he went down to tea.
Come here, my boy," said his papa, lifting him
on to his knee; are you sure you haven't caught
Harry said, No," in q very low voice.
Shall you be ready for blind-man's-buff after
tea ?" asked papa.
Harry wriggled off his papa's lap without
answering, and Frank called out:-
I am sure I have been ready all day, only you
must be blinded first, papa."
Yes, I suppose I am to be the victim," said papa,
Frank did not know the meaning of victim; but
he laughed too, because his papa laughed, and he
felt merry. When tea had been cleared away, the
man-servant John came in again and wheeled off
the table, and turned some of the chairs on to
others, so that their four legs stood up in the air.
Then mamma tied a handkerchief over papa's eyes,
and Frank said he was sure he was not properly
CHRISTMAS EVE. 17
blinded, and that he could see, and he held up his
fingers and made his papa guess, until he was sure
it was all right. Then Frank led papa into the
middle of the room, and asked, How many horses
has your father got ?" and papa said three !" and
Frank asked again, What colours are they ?" and
papa answered, Blue, yellow, and green," at which
Frank laughed so much, that he could hardly say,
"turn round three times, and catch who you
Then papa ran about so fast with his long legs,
and stretched out his arms so far, that both mamma
and Frank screamed with fear lest they should be
caught; but Harry did not seem to care about the
game; he moved slowly away when his papa came
near him, and never laughed or talked.
At last Frank was caught, for he kept running
so near to his papa and pulling at him, that papa
turned quickly round, and seized him by his curly
Guess who it is guess who it is !" cried Frank,
as his papa was about to take the handkerchief from
his eyes, forgetting that his papa would of course
know his voice.
Papa guessed right, and then Frank was blinded
in his turn. After he had turned round three
times, he rushed violently to one end of the room,
and tumbled head foremost into the middle of a pile
of chairs; but his papa picked him up by the belt,
and placed him again on his feet. Next Frank fell
over the coalscuttle, then almost into the fire;
then he pulled his mamma's hair down in trying to
catch her, but she got away. At length he came
upon Harry in a corner, and closed him in, until he
had caught him, and called out his name; but Harry
I wont be blinded; it is not fair. Let me go,
It is quite fair, my dear," said his papa.
Mamma came to him and said, "Do not you
feel well, darling? You don't seem to care
about playing-you do not run about as Frank
Harry looked as if he were going to cry, and his
mamma took him on her lap and kissed him. Then
he remembered his chilblains, and said, My chil-
blains are so bad, they do itch so."
I should have thought that blind-man's-buff
would have been just the thing for chilblains," said
papa, taking off Harry's shoe and stocking; "let's
look at them."
Harry felt rather ashamed when his foot was
bare, and showed such a very small spot of red on
the heel, and his papa began to laugh.
CHRISTMAS EVE. 19
"Is that all ?" said papa. I wouldn't make a
fuss about it, Harry."
Yes, you would, papa, if you had one like this
-you can't think how it hurts."
I think I have had them as bad," said his papa,
gravely; but Harry saw that he was ready to laugh
again, and he got off his mamma's lap, and went to
the other end of the room. So there was no more
blind-man's-buff that day; and soon John came in
with lights, and replaced the furniture, and began
to lay the table for papa's and mamma's dinner.
DURING dinner-time the two children went into the
nursery; but Frank was so impatient for dinner to
be over, that he kept running backwards and for-
wards from the hall, and peeping in at the dining-
room door, and Harry felt so unhappy that he could
not keep still, but was always wandering up and
downstairs. He was very much in John's way, being
generally at the turning of the kitchen staircase as
John was bringing up the tray. Several times he
said, "I wish you would keep in the nursery,
Master Harry; I shall have to tell your mamma,
if you are so troublesome."
20 CHRISTMAS EVE.
Harry said, "I don't care 1" and went to look at
the dishes on the tray.
Leave those alone, sir," said John. I wont
have you meddling with the dishes !" and he took
the cover out of Harry's hand.
But Harry seemed to be always naughty this
Christmas Eve. He tried to snatch the cover again
from John; but the servant caught his wrist, and
told him he was a very bad boy.
I wont have you say I'm a bad boy," cried out
Harry; I will touch the cover, if I choose !" and
he clung to one of John's legs, and kicked him.
There was such a noise, that Harry's papa heard it
and opened the dining-room door.
Why, Harry," said he, what are you doing ?"
"John is so disagreeable, papa," said Harry,
quite breathless; "he wont let me do any-
Papa took Harry by the hand, and led him into
the dining-room. He looked very grave, and Harry
quite expected that he would be angry; but after a
few minutes he said, Go into the nursery, Harry,
until after dinner."
Harry began to sob and cry, and sobbed all the
way upstairs, and sitting down on the nursery
floor, he covered his face with his hands. Frank
asked him what was the matter; but Harry only
sobbed in reply. Susan went and kissed him; but
he sobbed the more. Harry had cried a great deal
through the day. He thought when he went down
after dinner, that his papa would be sure to speak
to. him about kicking John's shins, but he did not
When dessert was over, the candles were put
out, and the snap-dragon brought in. Frank hur-
rayed with delight; but Harry was quite silent.
Soon the lighted raisins were flying about in all
directions, and papa pretended he had burnt his
fingers, to amuse Frank, and mamma was half
afraid of the fire, and I think that almost all the
raisins found their way into Frank's mouth, for he
ate most of those that papa and mamma picked out.
As for Harry, he took no more pleasure in the
snap-dragon than he had in the blind-man's-buff.
He felt as if he could not swallow one of the raisins,
for they reminded him of those he had stolen in the
morning. Once his mamma put some of hers into
his hand; but Harry put them back into the dish
when he was not seen, and stood sadly by, watching
When the snap-dragon was over, papa said,
"Now, shall I give you your Christmas-boxes ?"
Frank said Yes," and papa took from his
pocket two story-books, full of pictures, and gave
one to Frank and one to Harry. Frank said
" thank you," a great many times, for he was very
much pleased with his present; but Harry coloured
very red, and said thank you" so low that it could
hardly be heard. Then mamma gave each of the
little boys a pair of skates, and said, I think we
are going to have a cold winter, so we shall have
plenty of ice, and papa will teach you to skate."
Oh, mamma," said Frank, this is the very
thing of all that I have been longing for. Oh, I
am so glad. I am so very glad. Are not you glad,
Harry ?" But Harry gave no answer, but moved
away towards the fire, with the skates in one hand
and the story-book in the other.
HARRY sat down upon a footstool, and threw his
presents beside him on the rug. Papa and mamma
both came and sat down by the fire, and Frank lay on
the ground with his head against his mamma's knee.
No one spoke for some minutes, and then Frank said,
What a happy day this has been, mamma."
Harry gave a sob. His papa placed his hand on the
little boy's head as he heard it, but did not speak to
him, and Harry bent his head upon his hands and cried
out loud. Still papa kept his hand upon the little boy's
head, while Frank looked at his brother in surprise,
and his mamma looked sorrowfully at Harry.
"I must tell you, papa," at last said Harry,
through his crying. "I must tell you, but you
will think me so bad."
Come and tell me," said papa; and Harry
climbed on his papa's knee, and put his arms
round his neck, and his head upon his shoulder,
I have been so very naughty; all day long I
have been naughty. I went on the ice and tumbled
in when you told me not, papa; and oh! I took the
raisins, and mamma thought it was Susan: and I
kicked John's legs, and got into a passion. I
have been so miserable all day, papa; I couldn't
play blind-man's-buff or snap-dragon because of the
raisins; and I never told when I heard mamma say
she thought it was Susan. Oh, please, papa dear,
forgive me !-please ask mamma to forgive me !"
Harry's papa did not interrupt him until he had
finished speaking, and then he unclasped his arms
from round his neck and seated him on his knee;
and when Harry had left off sobbing, he said,
You should ask Another than mamma or I to
forgive you, dear."
24 CHRISTMAS EVE.
Papa," said Harry, his eyes again filling with
tears, I forgot to say my prayers this morning."
And do not you think that may be the reason
of all these unhappy things taking place, my child ?"
Please, mamma, I'll say my prayers now," said
Harry. "I don't want to be naughty; I would
much rather be good."
And Harry knelt down upon the hearth-rug by
his mamma's knees, and said his prayers before
going to bed; and his mamma taught him to say a
new prayer which she thought of at the moment,
in which Harry asked God to forgive him for his
naughtiness for that day, for Jesus Christ's sake.
Then the two little boys went to bed, but be-
fore Susan left the room Harry called to her, and
Susan, I want to beg your pardon for calling
you 'a nasty thing,' and for getting you scolded.
It was I who took the pudding raisins-I have
been a very naughty little boy."
And Susan lifted him up in the bed and kissed
The next day was quite as cold and frosty as this
day had been, but Harry was as happy and merry
as Frank, and I do not think once during the whole
day remembered his chilblains.
"WHAT'S that, mamma? Do let me see ?"
And Harriett stood on tiptoe to try and reach
her mamma's hand, wherein was a little note of
Her mamma laughed and held the note still
higher, telling Harriett to guess. But Harriett
could not guess, although she tried several times;
so mamma said-
It concerns you also as well as me. It is an
invitation; now be still; do not be impatient," for
the little girl was again jumping to try and reach
the note. It is an invitation," said Mrs. Leigh,
"to a picnic at Sorrel Wood to-morrow. I shall
not be able to go, for I shall be engaged; but I
shall allow you to go, for Mrs. Archer kindly pro-
mises to take care of you."
May I wear my new pink frock, mamma?"
"No, my dear, I think not," said Mrs. Leigh.
"Your new frock will very likely get dirty in the
wood; I would rather you should wear one that
Harriett looked cross for a few minutes, but she
soon remembered the pleasure of the picnic, and
she began questioning her mamma.
"Who do you think will be there ?"
I suppose you mean what children will be
there?" said Mrs. Leigh, smiling. I know that
Henry and Emily Duncan are asked, and Frank
Lawley, and, of course, all the little Archers will
I hope that troublesome Baby Archer will be
left at home," said Harriett.
That is not kind of you, Harriett. I dare say
poor little Baby Archer would be very sorry were
she left at home, and will enjoy the picnic quite as
much as yourself."
But you can have no idea, mamma, what a little
plague she is; she gets tired after she has run about
for ten minutes, and then she will always keep ask-
ing questions when other people are talking. I
would not mind so much if all the Archers did not
make such a fuss about her, and think her so
The Archers show themselves to be very kind
children, kinder than you, Harriett; I do not
like to hear you speak so," and Mrs. Leigh left the
Harriett had been reading until her mamma came
in, but now she could read no longer. She could
think of nothing but the picnic at Sorrel Wood.
How delightful t would be, to play about the whole
day and then to have dinner out of doors, and not
come home till quite late in the evening. Who
would be there besides those whom her mamma
had mentioned ? She wondered if Lucy and Maria
Hall would be there, because if so, it would be great
fun. Lucy Hall always made such jokes about
the Archers. She wished mamma would let her
wear her new pink frock; perhaps she would be
able to coax her into doing so; she would try.
Harriett Leigh does not seem a very amiable
little girl, does she ?
Next she wondered whether to-morrow would be
a fine day; it would be very vexing indeed were it
to rain. She went to look at the weather-glass in
the hall, and tapped upon it; the hand stood at
" Fair." That was good. Then she came back
and sat down again, and once more thought of the
picnic, and once more hoped that Baby Archer
would be kept at home. What a pity it was that
Harriett could not think of the picnic without
thinking unkindly of others.
And meanwhile at the Archers' house poor little
Baby Archer was dancing all over the nursery floor,
and clapping her little fat hands with delight, be-
cause she was going to the picnic to-morrow.
HARRIETT jumped out of bed the minute that Mary
called her, for she remembered the picnic as soon
as she awoke; and Mary said-
"There ought to be a picnic every day, Miss
Harriett, to make you get up quickly."
Harriett had coaxed and teased her mamma until
she had said that she might put on her new pink frock;
and now she was very pleased with herself as she
stood ready to start, dressed for the picnic. Mary
was to take her to Mrs. Archer's house, and they
were all to go together to Sorrel Wood.
When they reached the door there were already
several carriages there, and there was such a noise
coming from the house, that Harriett felt sure a
great many people had arrived.
In the dining-room were Mr. and Mrs. Archer
and all the children, Lucy and Maria Hall, and the
two Duncans. Everybody came forward to say
"How do you do" to Harriett; and Mary, saying
she would come and fetch her in the evening, went
Mrs. Archer, after asking Harriett about her
mamma, said to her-
"I am sorry, my dear, that you have dressed
yourself in such a pretty frock, for we shall have a
regular scramble in the Wood; a washing frock
would have been better."
Harriett looked cross, and turned away to speak
to her friend Lucy Hall.
"Is that Baby going, do you know ?" she asked.
Lucy said yes; and Harriett then made an un-
kind remark about the Archers' sun-bonnets, and
both the ill-natured little girls laughed' together
and made faces.
Next there came in two or three grown-up people,
for the picnic was not for children only; and then
Frank Lawley and his cousins Fanny and Sophy.
Harriett saw that all the little girls were dressed in
gingham frocks, and all the boys in holland blouses,
and she every moment felt more pleased that she
was smarter than anybody else.
When everybody was arrived Mr. Archer pro-
posed starting. First in the Archers' carriage were
placed Mrs. Archer, Emily Duncan, Fanny, and
Sophy, and Baby Archer; on the box were Henry
Duncan and Herbert Archer-for they were driven
by a postillion-and in the rumble Harriett and
Mr. Archer drove a gig with Maria Hall, then
followed a phaeton in which were two more Archers
and two others. Frank Lawley rode a rough little
pony by the side of the carriage, and Tom Archer
was on another.
Harriett was with the worst companion she could
have been with, for Lucy Hall busied herself the
whole time they were driving to Sorrel Wood in
making unkind remarks about the other children.
It was a beautiful day with a bright sun, and
every one was glad when they arrived at the Wood
to get into the shade. The hampers were taken
down from the carriages and placed amongst the
trees, and the carriages all drove away again. The
elders of the party walked away in different direc-
tions, and the children all gathered together in a
ring to decide upon what games they should
" I VOTE for hide and seek," said Frank Lawley,
speaking the first; this would be such a glorious
place for hiding."
"Yes; that would be capital," said Henry Dun-
can. "What say you all ?"
Harriett thought of her new pink frock, and
remembered that it might get injured in running or
hiding amongst the trees; and she said-
No, not hide and seek; let us play at some-
"What then ?" asked Frank, good-humouredly.
Let us play at paying visits," said Harriett.
What an idea! Oh no; that would be very
dull," said several of the children at once.
Soldiers!" suggested Herbert.
Most of your company would be in petticoats,
Captain Archer; that would not look well," answered
I say hide and seek," called out Baby.
Then it shall be hide and seek, as Baby likes it
best," said Frank.
Only you must not run too fast and catch me,
Fwank," said Baby.
Harriett was put out at not having her own
way; but she did not like to refuse to play, for she
thought she would be dull alone; so hide and seek
Frank made every one laugh; he ran after Baby
on all fours that he might not catch her too easily.
He caught Mary Archer by the sun-bonnet; but
she cleverly untied it and left it in his hand, and ran
away laughing. Then, when it was his turn to be
caught, he whisked round corners, and jumped round
trees, and slipped about like an eel, so that it seemed
quite impossible to catch him. And he would call
out I spy I" so many times, and run about and
change his hiding place; so that he gave a great
deal of trouble. Every one laughed very much,
although there was not much to laugh at; but the
children were in high spirits and easily amused-it
is so pleasant to play when every one is in good
When it came to the turn of Harriett to seek,
she ran away so slowly that she was caught every
time; so that Henry Duncan said-
"I wish you would run faster; there is no fun
in chasing you-cannot you step out ?"
"I cannot run faster; for my dress, as you see,
is rather long, and I might tear it."
Herbert and Henry made faces at each other, and
Frank took off his cap, with a bow.
But the next time Harriett had to run, she tripped
over the stump of a tree, and before she could save
herself, down she fell upon her face amongst the
bushes. Her foot went through the front of her
new pink frock, and she covered the frock all over
with damp green stains. Herbert, who was run-
ning after her nimbly, picked her up again, and
hoped she was not hurt; but all Harriett's pleasure
in playing was gone. She burst into tears at the
sight of her torn and dirty frock, and said she could
not bear hide and seek, that it was a vulgar boy's
game, and that she would not play any more.
It would have been so much better if you had
put on a common frock," said Mary, gently.
I did not choose to put on a common frock,"
said Harriett; and I think you are all very cross
It was Harriett who was cross and disagreeable
herself; not the others.
"Well; shall we go on playing ?" asked Tom.
Perhaps," said Emily, we had best play some
other game, as Harriett does not like hide and
I shall not play with you at all; I don't care
what game you play," said Harriett, crying again.
I think you are making yourself very un-
pleasant," said Tom.
Don't be cross to her, Tom," said Emily; per-
haps we can play some quieter game."
Oh, yes," Frank answered, good naturedly;
" we have had enough of I spy I;' let us play at
visiting, as Harriett likes that."
I wish to sit still-I wont play with any of
you," said Harriett; so the children left her to
walk by herself.
Harriett called to Lucy Hall to come and sit with
her and talk; but Lucy wished rather to play with
the others, and said she could not. So Harriett's
chief friend would not deny herself in order to
oblige her; because Harriett was now dull, and
Lucy Hall did not like dull people.
HARRIETT sat alone for some time, crying and feel-
ing cross, until two of the grown people of the
party passed that way-they were Captain Leslie
and Miss Arden. Of course they were surprised at
finding a little girl sitting alone; and Miss Arden
asked Harriett kindly what was the matter. She
began to sob again at being spoken to, and then
answered, that all her companions were unkind to
her, and had gone off to play alone. So Miss
Arden allowed her to walk with her and Captain
Leslie, and so passed the morning-until Captain
Leslie looked at his watch, and said it must be
dinner-time. They made haste towards the place
where the hampers had been set down; but before
they arrived there, they were met by Baby Archer,
running very fast, and crying very bitterly.
"Why, what is the matter, little one?" asked
Captain Leslie, catching her up in his arms.
Baby, as well as she could for crying, said she
had lost all the others.
Well, never mind; we will soon find them again,"
said Miss Arden; then turning to Harriett, she
added, You two little ones walk on in front."
Harriett did not like this; she had been walking
by Miss Arden's side and hearing all that she and
Captain Leslie said, and she thought herself much
too old to walk with Baby Archer.
The little child incessantly asked questions, which
Harriett answered crossly, or not at all; so that by
the time all the other children came running forward
in search of Baby, the poor little thing was quite
in low spirits; and going up to her brother Herbert,
she said, with a miserable little voice-
Harriett is so cross to me; she wont speak."
Herbert looked very angry indeed, and said to
Harriett, "What do you mean by being cross 1
Baby, you disagreeable little girl. I wish you had
never come to-day to the picnic."
"Oh, Herbert dear," said Mary, "how very rude
of you to say so; I am sure mamma would be sorry
to hear you."
She has no right to be ill-tempered to Baby,
though," said Tom Archer.
No more she has; but you should not be rude,"
Well," said Herbert, I am sorry I was rude;
I beg your pardon, Harriett."
But Harriett gave him no answer; she only
walked towards the spot where the servants were
laying the cloth for dinner.
The table-cloth was spread upon the grass, and
stones were placed at the corners to keep it from
being blown away by the wind. Then Mr. Archer
unpacked the hampers and allowed the children to
carry the things and lay them out upon the table-
cloth. First there was a veal-pie; then some cold
roast fowls and a ham; then some cold lamb and
salad, several fruit tarts, a quantity of jam tartlets,
a large plum-cake, several baskets full of fruit,
besides other things, such as almonds and raisins
Then it took a long time to lay all the knives
and forks, and spoons, and the plates, and the salt -
cellars, and glasses. Frank acted footman capitally;
he went about with a napkin under his arm like a
waiter, and changed the plates so quickly. The
first thing Baby did, when they had all sat down to
dinner, was to turn her plate over into her lap, and
then look up with such a surprised face that every
one laughed; but Frank soon set her to rights,
and got another plate with some more dinner for
You will not get much dinner yourself, my little
man, if you do nothing but look after others," said
Captain Leslie to Frank, who ran to change his
Oh, never mind, sir. I like waiting on others
a great deal better than anything else."
Captain Leslie turned to Mrs. Archer, who sat
next to him, and said-
That's a very fine little fellow-so kind-hearted
and good-natured;" and Mrs. Archer nodded and
Harriett's new pink frock suffered again at dinner-
time. Some one in passing her dropped some straw-
berries upon it, and the next time Henry Duncan
passed, he trode upon the strawberries and crushed
them all. Harriett felt inclined to cry again, but
she was ashamed before so many people to do so;
so she looked cross, and called Henry an awkward,
rude boy." But Henry did not see the strawberries,
and had trodden upon them quite by mistake.
Mr. and Mrs. Archer saw all Harriett's cross
looks and heard her cross words, and thought her a
very naughty child; and so did several of the other
ladies and gentlemen who were at the table. Her
friend Lucy Hall would not come near her,for she en-
joyed playing with the rest of them better than being
alone with Harriett; and when dinner was over, and
they all rose to play again till tea-time, Lucy ran
away with the others. Frank came back after a
few minutes, and said to Harriett-
Would not you like to come and play now; we
shall not play hide and seek."
Harriett said No; she preferred not playing.
Then Mary came and asked her; and next Henry
and Emily, but she would only give cross answers.
Mrs. Archer had seen all this, and she went up to
Harriett and said-
What is the matter, my dear, that you will not
play with the rest ?"
Harriett gave no answer.
"Do you not feel well ?"
Harriett burst into tears. I would rather go
home," she said; every one is so disagreeable."
"You cannot go home now," said Mrs. Archer;
"for the carriage will not come until seven o'clock.
Cannot you try to play and be happy ?"
"No," said Harriett.
"Are you ill, my dear ?" asked Mrs. Archer, kindly.
Yes," Harriett answered.
Now this was not true; Harriett was quite well;
but Mrs. Archer, not thinking she could be so
wicked as to tell a falsehood, believed her, and said-
Then you had better sit quiet, perhaps, until
tea-time; if you feel inclined a little later to play,
go and join the others."
So Harriett was left alone with her own crossness,
and hearing the voices and the laughter of the others
in the distance.
Beforetea-time came, Mr.Archerand CaptainLeslie,
and several others, went and played all sorts of games
with the children, and then they laughed louder
than ever, and Harriett would have given anything
to go and join them; but it was too late then.
She went as near as she could to them to watch
their play; but as no one took any notice of her for
some time, and as no one asked her to join, she
heard Captain Leslie at one time say-
Will not that little girl like to play also ?"
But Mrs. Archer answered-
No; do not tease her; she is not well."
BY tea-time Harriett felt so miserable that she
could not eat anything, and was really unwell. You
know crying and ill-temper make us feel ill. Poor
little Baby Archer was so sorry to see her look un-
happy, that she quite forgot Harriett's crossness to
her, and begged her to eat her cake; and Frank
and all the others were very kind to her, so that
Harriett felt quite ashamed. She was very glad
when the carriages arrived and it was time to go
home. There was a great deal of fun in packing up
the plates and dishes again in the hampers, and a
great deal of merry talking and laughing all the way
home; but Harriett could take no part in any of it.
She had quite spoilt for herself the pleasant picnic
which the others had enjoyed so much; and all by
her bad temper; and she knew that everybody there
thought her a disagreeable little girl.
By the time they got home, Baby Archer was
asleep in Captain Leslie's lap.
Mrs. Archer would not let Harriett walk home,
although Mary the maid was waiting for her, but
sent her home in the gig.
Harriett did not say anything to her mamma
about her own ill-temper during the day ; but she
complained of all the children, and said she had not
enjoyed herself at all.
Of course her mamma was very much annoyed at
her new frock being so spoiled.
Some weeks afterwards, when Harriett had for-
gotten the spoilt frock and her own crossness, and
remembered only how pleasant it is to dine and play
in the woods, she was walking with Mary the nurse-
maid in a lane, when she heard a great noise of
laughing and talking. It came more and more near,
until Mr. Archer's carriage turned the corner fol-
lowed by several other carriages. There were Cap-
tain Leslie, and all the Archers; there were Henry
and Emily Duncan; then came Frank Lawley on
his pony, racing with Tom Archer upon his. It
was the way to Sorrel Wood, and Harriett knew
well that they were going there, for the carriage
was piled with hampers. She drew aside as they
went by, and hid herself behind a tree; for she
could not bear that they should see her; and after
they were all gone, and she could no longer hear the
voices, and the merry noise of laughter, and the
horses' feet, Harriett thought how, if she had been
good-tempered and kind at the last picnic, and had
made herself agreeable, she might have been going
with them to-day; and now they would have such
42 THE PICNIC.
pleasure amongst the woods, and be so merry over
their dinner ; and Captain Leslie and the other
gentlemen would play with them again, and she was
left at home. Mrs. Archer had not chosen to ask
her because she had been a naughty girl.
And Harriett sat down by the side of the road,
and burst into tears. Let us hope they were tears of
repentance, and that she resolved to try to become
more kind and amiable in her conduct, and then we
are sure she would become a much happier girl.
PLAYING AT ROBINSON CRUSOE.
LEFT TO THEMSELVES.
MR. and MRS. HAMILTON lived in a very pretty
house close to the border of a lake. It was not in
England, where you and I live; but a long way off,
across the Atlantic Ocean, in America. They did
not go there because they liked America better
than England, but they were not rich, and they had
several little children, so they thought it better to
leave dear old England for a few years, and hoped,
if God spared their lives, to return after a time and
be once more at home. There are beautiful lakes in
America, with lovely scenery all round. It was by
one of these lakes that Mr. Hamilton lived. At a
short distance off, there was an island on the lake,
and Mr. Hamilton kept. a boat, so that very often he
would row the children backwards and forwards, or
when there was enough wind, they would put up a
sail; and when the boat had the sail on and a union-
jack flag flying at the top, you cannot think how
pretty she looked. The boat was called "The
Pretty Polly," and when she had just had a new
coat of paint, I am sure she quite deserved the
Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton had four children. First
there was Archibald; he was always called Archy
for short. Next came Frederick. Archy was ten
years old, and Fred was nine. Then came a little
girl called Margaret or Marjy, who was between six
and seven; and the baby, who could only just run
alone; and half the times he tumbled down and had
to be picked up again; but he was a good little fel-
low, and did not often cry. He and Moustaches, the
,Skye terrier, were great friends; but I think Mous-
taches was friends with all the children. They
would none of them begin to play without him, and
he quite understood how to play hide and seek,"
and would not begin to bark until some one called
out I spy I," when he would run after the chil-
dren to catch them, and quite enjoy the fun.
Moustaches was such a hairy little dog; you
could scarcely see his eyes. I dare say you will
find a portrait of him somewhere in this book.
Everybody called him "Mousy," because Mous-
taches was such a troublesome word to say.
One lovely morning in July, Mr. Hamilton said
to the children, "Come here all of you; I have
something to tell you."
He placed Archy, Fred, and Margaret in a row,
and baby climbed upon his lap, and Mousy came up
to listen also, as if he thought himself one of the
Then papa said-
Mamma and I are going away from home for a
few days; we are going to New York. You must
be sure and be very good children all the while we
I wish I might go too."
And baby said-
You must mind everything that Jane tells you,'
The children all nodded.
And you mustn't tumble into the water."
And you mustn't tumble out of the window."
And you mustn't tumble into the kitchen fire."
Archy laughed, and they all promised that they
"And now run away, for I am going to be
The children and Moustaches all ran off; and
half-an-hour later the car came round, and they
assembled again to see papa and mamma set off.
Dobbin, the horse, would not stand still; he kept
running after Fred and Archy to ask for pieces of
bread, because the boys were used to feed him.
Then the carpet-bags had to be placed in the car
by James the man, and James' face got as red as
scarlet with stooping under the seat to stow them
away, so that when he rose again, Archibald laughed,
at which James said, It is very rude of you, sir,
to laugh in that manner." And so it was.
At length Moustaches was so tired of waiting for
the car to set off, and of running backwards and
forwards to see if Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton were
coming, that he yawned quite loudly to show every
one that he was tired; but then we do not expect
little dogs to be polite, as we do little boys.
When papa and mamma came out, all the chil-
dren had to say good-bye, which took some little
time more. However, at length they drove away,
leaving three of the children dancing fancy steps
upon the gravel, and Archy running after the car
and clinging on until papa called out in fun, Whip
behind;" and Mousy barking with delight, without
knowing what he was delighted at.
The carriage was out of sight, and Archy re-
turned to the house. Moustaches was again quiet,
when the children looked at one and the other and
"Now what shall we do ? "
As soon as Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton were gone, Jane
went into the kitchen, and Cook said to her-
"I will tell you what I think of doing; there
will be no dinner to serve to-day except the chil-
dren's, and you can do that; I shall just go down
to Neighbour Cole's, and drink tea comfortably
there. Mr. James is going to drive the van to the
city, and I am sure he will drop me on the road;
wont you, Mr. James ?"
James said Yes, of course, and Jane answered-
Very well, Cook; only don't stop away longer
than you can help, for you know I am strange here.
Mind and come back this evening."
Jane had only lately come from some distance off,
and scarcely knew the place yet.
"Well, I will come back to-night, if I can; at
least, if I am not over-persuaded to stay."
So Cook set off for her friend's house with James,
and Jane began to prepare the children's dinner.
Now it so happened that, what with dancing
about and playing, Fred became very hungry, and
running into the kitchen, he asked Jane to give him
something to eat. Jane was in a great hurry, for
dinner-time was drawing near, and she told him to
go away and not to tease her; so Fred seized a
piece of bread which lay upon the kitchen table,
and began to eat it; but he soon found that he was
not bread-hungry, so he thrust it into his pocket,
thinking that it would do for Mousy, and then ran
back into the garden.
As he went he heard Archy calling to him-
"Fred, come here, I say; such fun! We are
going to play at Robinson Crusoe;' make haste."
Fred ran as quickly as he could, while Archy con-
I am Robinson Crusoe of course. Who'll be
Marjy said she would be Friday; but Fred ob-
jected to that, because of her long light hair, and
he would be Friday, and Marjy and the baby were
to be the savages, and were to keep dancing on the
bank of the lake while Robinson and he shot at
them from behind the bushes-Mousy was to act
But after a time Marjy and the baby got tired of
acting savages and dancing on the strand while
Crusoe and Friday sat comfortably in their cave
and discussed what to do, or went backwards and
forwards with the goat to watch their movements;
and they said they thought it Archy's and Fred's
turn to play savages; so Archy proposed that Marjy
should be the English captain come to the island to
He ran to untie the boat which was fastened up
in the boat-house, that Marjy might jump in to
make it look more real.
Baby would have climbed in also, but Archy said
he would never sit still, and therefore had best re-
main on the shore as a savage.
Mousy was already in the boat, and Robinson
Crusoe embraced the English Captain, and then in
a loud voice said good-bye to the island. Then call-
ing to Friday to follow, Fred got in also, and the
boat floated away.
Farther and farther away, farther and farther
.from home, with no means of getting back again,
for Archy had forgotten to put in the oars, and
every moment the little boat floated more into the
middle of the lake. Mousy gave a short bark, for
he did not half like it. Archy and Fred looked at
each other but did not speak. After a time Fred
We are going straight towards the island; the
current sets that way."
All right 1" said Archy; we will land upon
the island; that will be Robinson Crusoe in earnest."
The sun was very hot and high in the heavens,
and Marjy had forgotten to put on her sun-bonnet
before she began to play, so that she felt very glad
when the boat touched the opposite shore and all the
children jumped on to the land with such force that
the poor little boat danced away again and went
into the middle of the lake.
PooR little baby stood upon the shore gazing after
the boat in which were his brothers and his sister,
until he became frightened and began to cry. He
did not like playing savage all by himself. Then he
ran back to the house crying quite loudly, until
Jane heard him and came out to see what was the
matter. But baby could not speak much; and when
Jane asked him where the others were, he could
only say "Gar," which meant gone.
"Gone !-where ?" said Jane.
Baby did not know how to answer, and Jane
felt very frightened, and ran to the spot where she
had last seen the children.
She did not know anything about the boat-house
or the boat, for she had been at the house only a
few days; so, not finding the children, she thought
they must have gone into the country, and hoped
they would come back before long. But the dinner-
time came and went, and of course they did not
come back, for they were on the island; and the
afternoon passed, and evening came on, and Jane
became very frightened. She did not like to leave
baby alone that she might go and look for them,
for she did not know whether he would be safe;
and baby, not knowing what was the matter, but
missing his brothers and sister and Mousy, kept
fretting all the day through, and could not amuse
himself and would not eat his dinner. And neither
Cook nor James came back during the day. I sup-
pose Cook's friends over-persuaded her, as she had
said they very likely would.
At first, when the children landed upon the island,
they ran backwards and forwards shouting with
delight; but after a short time they became tired
of that, and walked more quietly and began to talk.
What shall we do ?" asked Fred.
"Why," Archy answered, "we are still playing
Robinson Crusoe, you know. Here, this little patch
of grass amongst the bushes shall be our cave; we
can believe it is a cave. We must begin by collect-
ing firewood and making a fire."
"How can we make a fire ?" said Marjy. "We
have not any candle to light it with."
"Nor any lucifers," said Fred.
Robinson Crusoe struck a light by rubbing two
sticks together," said Archibald; we will do the
same, only first collect the faggots."
Marjy and Fred gathered all the sticks within
their reach and carried them to the cave, and after
they had carefully laid the fire, Archibald chose two
very dry sticks and began rubbing them together.
He rubbed for some time, but they did not catch
alight; then Fred took them and rubbed; and then
Marjy tried, but they would not light. At last
Archibald said, with a sigh-
"I am afraid we must do without a fire; never
mind, it is much too hot a day for one; we will be-
lieve that it is burning."
I am so hungry," said Marjy.
"It must be a great deal past dinner-time," said
I am sure we might find something to eat if
we look for it," Archibald answered. Let us all
go in different directions and search the island; we
will meet again at this spot."
Marjy said she was afraid to go alone; Fred felt
much the same, but he was ashamed to say so; so
at last it was agreed that they should all go
They tied one of their pocket handkerchiefs to a
bush near the cave, and then started on their march.
They had not gone far when Archy picked up a
thick heavy stick, which he shouldered in case they
should be attacked by any dangerous beast.
I think they must have wandered nearly a mile,
and they had not found anything to eat, excepting
a few berries. When first they set off they had
chattered together, but after a very short time
they became quite silent, and walked with their
eyes on the ground; they had quite left off playing
SUDDENLY Mousy began to bark. Marjy gave a cry,
thinking that the dog had seen a wild beast, for
nothing would persuade her that there were not
lions on the island, and all the children stopped
short. Mousy barked more and more, and kept
running to a spot in the long grass, and making
bites and snaps in the air.
There must be something alive there," said
Archy, shouldering his stick.
Marjy drew close to Fred and trembled. It was
not long before they learnt the cause of Mousy's
anger. There was a movement in the long grass,
a rustling noise, and then there came out, hissing
and writhing forward, a snake.
Marjy shrieked and threw her arms round Fred,
sobbing with terror, while Archy made a violent
attack upon the animal, beating at it with his thick
stick, blow after blow, while Mousy barked louder
than ever. It was a very strong snake; it took a
long time to kill; but it was killed at last, and
Archy stopped beating the place and panted with
When Marjy could speak, she said-
I think it must be a rattlesnake."
But Fred said-
"No; it is a cobra."
I do not think it was either the one or the other,
for it looked very small when it was dead; but Archi-
bald might have been St. George after having killed
the dragon, by the way he walked away from the
^They resumed their search for something to
but without finding anything. By this time
right sky had become overcast, and the wind
d amongst the trees, and the air felt cold, so
poor little Marjy in her thin chintz frock
shivered as she walked.
"I think we are going to have a storm," said
Archibald; perhaps we had better go back to the
They returned sadly to the place where they had
tied the handkerchief, and sat down on the ground
The wind rose higher and whistled more loudly
through the trees, and large drops fell every now
and then, so that the children looked about for some
more sheltered place to shield them from the coming
storm. They had scarcely reached a thicker part of
the island, when the thunder burst upon them, and
the lightning divided the dark sky, in such fearful
flashes, that Marjy screamed and threw herself upon
her face upon the ground.
Thunder and lightning storms are much more
dreadful than in England out in the Far West,
where those children lived. Had Archy and Fred
been a little older, they would have known that they
were running into more danger by taking shelter
under the trees, for trees attract lightning; but they,
did not think of that. Yet in all this danger in
which they had placed themselves, the light
did not strike them. How was that ? Bec-
the God who made the lightning was taking c
them through all the day. You have heard tha a
little sparrow cannot fall on the ground without
God seeing it, and God loves little children a great
deal more than sparrows.
AT length the storm passed off; the lightning and
the thunder ceased, and the rain left off falling, but
still Marjy lay upon the ground and did not speak.
Poor Mousy also crouched down in terror at the
noise, and whined every now and then. Archy
went to his sister and raised her from the ground.
Her little frock was drenched with the rain, her
tangled hair was fallen over her face, and her eyes
were swollen with crying. Both Archy and Fred
tried to comfort her, but she still cried and
I am so cold and so hungry; let me lie there,
.I had rather : oh I wish we had never come; I
wish we were at home again; I am sure it was very
wicked of us to get into the boat without leave, and
n1w we shall be starved and die on the island. Oh,
pa and mamma, I wish you would come !
And still she cried and sobbed, and Archy and
Fred could not comfort her.
If I only had something to give her to eat,"
said Fred ; I would not so much care for myself."
Suddenly he remembered, and placing his hand
in his pocket drew out the piece of bread which he
had put.there in the morning, with an exclamation
of joy, and gave it to his little sister. Marjy would
have shared it with her brothers, but they, like good
little fellows, hungry as they were, insisted on her
eating it herself, and walked away a little distance
that they might not look at the bread too much.
It is such little boys who make noble-hearted
It was past their tea-time, and the sun was going
down. With all the grief and the fear of the day,
Marjy was getting sleepy.
Darker and darker it grew; the sun went quite
down, and Archy sighed as he saw him disappear,
for they thought they should feel more lonely in the
dark. They chose a sheltered place where the rain
had not reached, and Archy made his little sister lie
down and try to sleep. He told Mousy to do the,
same, that he might keep Marjy warm; and the
child threw her arms round the little dog, and they
went to bed together. Still Marjy could not sleep,
She kept sobbing quietly to herself, and thinking
of her mamma, and wishing she were at home.
FRED sat on the ground near his sister, and now his
head nodded forward and his eyes closed, and Archy
was left watching alone. Then in the darkness
there came back to him the words that Marjy had
I think we were very wicked to get into the
boat without leave; and now we shall be starved
and die on the island."
It was Archy who had proposed getting into the
A~rchy' watching. -Page b8.
boat, and who had unfastened it, and pushed it off.
He had led his younger brother and sister into the
mischief. Now he could remember that something
had checked him when first he thought of it, for he
knew his papa would not approve of their going, but
he had not chosen to listen to that something."
And now supposing little Marjy died of cold and
Archy was greatly distressed; he feared a return
of the storm ; he feared that more snakes might be
hidden in the grass; he feared the darkness which
was coming on. Fred and Marjy were now both
asleep and he was quite alone.
He buried his face in his hands to think what
amidst all these fears should he do ? He did what
I hope you will do, little children, when you have
done wrong and are sorry for it, and when you are
frightened and sad; he did what all good boys and
all good men will do in such a case; he raised his
head, rose, and then knelt to pray to God, to pray
for help and for safety.
Then Archy took off his jacket and laid it over
his little sister and Fred, and sat down again, for
he did not like to go to sleep lest any more snakes
You have heard, I dare say, that a boat will
drift different ways in the water according to the
tide, and that the tide will change morning and
evening. Salt water has always a tide, but all
fresh water has not. Now the change of wind
turned the tide of the lake, and in the afternoon
the boat, which had been tossing about in the middle
of the water, tossed back again to the bank of Mr.
Hamilton's garden, and there lay rubbing close up
to the side.
ARCHY was still sitting looking towards home, and
Marjy and Fred still slept. The night grew more
and more dark, so that the little boy held his breath
to listen to every sound, and started each time the
wind moved the trees and bushes near him.
At length the moon came out from behind a
cloud, and threw a broad light upon the water.
Archy saw a dark object rocking to and fro, and he
remembered how the boat had drifted back into the
middle of the lake, and thought that it must be she.
But a little later he heard noises coming nearer and
nearer, and then a grating sound, and then footsteps
quite close. He did not know what it might be;
the darkness and the strange place and the long
tiring day together overcame him; he felt frightened,
and he cried aloud.
The cry woke up Fred and Marjy, who started to
their feet; and little Moustaches, who began to bark;
and the next moment the bushes were parted, and
in the moonlight there stood before all the children
their own papa.
At the very moment that Archy was asking God
to send help to them Mr. Hamilton returned home.
Only think how distressed both he and Mrs. Hamil-
ton must have been when they heard from Jane
that she could not find the children. Papa ran at
once into the garden, saw the boat unmoored from
the boat-house and guessed the truth. Oh, how
anxiously he got into another boat! how quickly he
pulled to the island, and how eagerly he jumped on
You may be sure that none of the children were
silent when they saw him. Marjy sprang into his
arms, and Fred and Archy clung to him, and they
made all the haste they could to get back to the
boat. Mamma was waiting for them on the home
side, and carried Marjy up to the house, where there
was a bright fire to warm and dry them, and some-
thing was ready for them to eat.
The next day, when all their cold and hunger
and griefs were forgotten, Mr. Hamilton told Archy
62 THE ISLAND.
as they stood in the boat-house, that he was now of
an age to know right from wrong without requiring
every special thing to be mentioned, and that that
" something" which had warned him the day before
not to get into the boat was Conscience; and that
if he would be a happy boy, and afterwards a happy
man, Conscience must be obeyed.
WALTER AND BASIL;
KEEP YOUR TEMPER.
" No, I did not. I tell you I did not, you dis-
agreeable boy !" said Walter, with a very red face,
to his little brother, Basil.
"Walter," said mamma, who was seated at the
other end of the room, writing letters, "Walter,
be more gentle; take care; do not contradict your
Well, but, mamma, I didn't. He says I broke
his hoop, and I am sure I didn't."
Then say so gently, my child; there is no need
for so much excitement."
After a few minutes, mamma said, I am writing
to papa; what shall I say ?"
64 WALTER AND BASIL.
"Oh, my love," said Walter.
"And mine," said Basil.
"And tell him to come home soon, for I want to
see him," said Walter again.
Small I tell him that you are trying to be a
good little boy, and to overcome your passionate
temper, my darling ?" said mamma, placing her
arm round him.
Yes, mamma; and say that I mean to overcome
it, and that I mean to be quite a good boy by the
time he comes back from India."
With God's help, Walter."
Yes, mamma, of course. Basil, leave my marbles
alone, will you? I wont have my marbles touched."
And again Walter spoke in a quick angry way, and
his face became quite red.
Mamma sighed, and went on with her letter.
Why did she sigh? Because Walter so quickly
forgot his wish to be a good boy. I think Walter
made poor mamma sigh very often. The drawing-
room where mamma was writing and the little boys
were playing had a glass door which opened on to
the garden, so that Walter and Basil could run in
and out as they played. Basil was quite a little
fellow, who still wore a frock; he was not more than
five years old; but Walter was three or four years
older, and had been lately put into a jacket; so that,
- l. il 'I
I 'I I
P III ',!" !!!^
illIII I!lll Ill
WALTER AND BASIL. 65
being older, he should have set his little brother a
good example-for you know small children always
copy those who are older than themselves. We
should always think of that when we play with little
children. I am afraid that Walter was often very
rude in the way in which he played with little
Basil, for he was so quick and violent in all his
movements, and he did not often stop to think.
Both the children were tired of playing in the
drawing-room after a short time, and they ran out
into the garden, across the lawn, into the shrub-
beries, and out into the paddock; so that they were
quite out of mamma's sight, and beyond her hear-
ing. So she went on quietly writing at the table,
and finished her letter to papa in India.
Walter and Basil began to play in the paddock.
They wheeled about a wheelbarrow for some time;
then they piled together all the rubbish they could
find; then they threw stones at the palings, which
made a great noise and dust; for, whatever rude thing
Walter did, Basil did the same. At length Walter
proposed that they should collect together all the
piecesof stickanddead leaves,and make a fire of them.
Both the boys ran about and gathered all they could
find, and placed them in a heap, ready for a fire.
"Now for the lucifers," said Walter; "run in,
Basil, and ask for them."
66 WALTER AND BASIL.
But when Basil ran and asked the cook for some
lucifers, she wished to know what they were for.
Basil said they were for lighting a fire in the pad-
dock. Then the cook told him that she should not
give him any, for he would be setting his frock
alight, or otherwise getting into mischief; so Basil
had to run back to his brother without the lucifers.
At this, Walter became very angry, and going into
the kitchen (I am sorry to say) he called the cook
a "nasty old thing," besides other names. But
cook went on with the pie she was making for
dinner, and did not seem to care much, at which
Walter got more angry still.
As he glanced round the kitchen, he caught sight
of a box of lucifers lying on the dresser, and he
seized them and ran away with them. Cook's hands
were covered with flour, so that she could not follow
Walter; but she called out after him as he left the
Master Walter, bring back those matches; you
will be doing some mischief I am sure. You must not
light the sticks for a fire. I am sure your mamma
would be very vexed if she knew what you were
But Walter was far out of hearing of cook's
speech, with the box of lucifers in his hand; he ran
through the yard, and back into the paddock, where
WALTER AND BASIL.
stood little Basil, still piling up pieces of stick and
waiting for him to come back.
"You have not got them-have you ? I thought
cook said we must not light the fire," was what
Basil said when his brother joined him.
Who cares for cook I should like to know,"
answered Walter, angrily, and he commenced putting
a light to the heap of sticks.
I would rather not do it," said Basil, drawing
Rather not do what ? you little stupid."
Why," said Basil, stammering, mamma says
we must do as we are told; and cook told us not to
light the fire. I would rather not do it."
Come here at once, you ridiculous little boy,"
said Walter. His face grew red again, for he was
very angry; because he knew that he was wrong,
and his younger brother right.
I'll make you light the fire-that I will."
Basil shook his head, and sat down on a stone.
Will you come here ?"
Poor little Basil was half frightened at Walter's
WALTER AND BASIL.
angry face and angry voice, and his face quivered as
if he were going to cry; but still he kept his seat
upon the stone.
Are you coming?"
No," said Basil; it is wrong."
How dare you tell me that ?" said Walter.
"How dare you not come when I tell you ?"
Walter played with a stone as he spoke-a stone
which he had picked up from the paddock.
Basil arose, for he was afraid to remain alone
with his brother, and was going towards the gate.
'" Stop here !" screamed Walter; stop here. I
will not have you going to tell mamma: stop this
moment, or I will make you."
He was almost breathless with anger by this
time; and he could scarcely speak at all plainly.
How sadly he had forgotten his promise to his
mamma; how sad for his papa in India.
I Basil had stopped where he stood when Walter
called : he had turned very pale, but he did not cry.
"Will you come?" asked Walter again, in the
Basil shook his head.
And the arm of Walter was raised; and he struck
his little brother. He could not have remembered
that he had the stone in his hand: he must have
WALTER AND BASIL. 69
Basil gave a scream, and fell forward upon the
grass ; and there lay, screaming.
When cook ran out from the kitchen,-for the
screams were so loud that she heard them even
there,-Basil was still lying upon the grass.
And Walter? Walter was standing over his
little brother ; all the anger and the redness of his
face gone; all the brightness of his eyes gone; all
the fury of his voice gone: with his hands clasped
together; his eyes streaming with tears, and crying
in a sorrowful tone of voice,
Oh I did not mean to do it: I did not mean
to hurt you, Basil."
Yet he had struck Basil purposely; because of his
wicked temper. We never know what we may be
led to do when we give way to temper..
Cook lifted Basil from the ground, and carried
him to the house. He still continued to scream;
and there was a great pool of blood left upon the
grass where he had lain: and Walter also screamed
with horror, when he saw that Basil's face was a
mass of blood.
Poor mamma came running to meet them as they
left the paddock, with her face very pale; for she
had heard Basil's screams: and it became paler still,
when she saw all the blood, which had now fallen
down the child's frock, and stained cook's gown also.
70 WALTER AND BASIL.
No one noticed Walter, or even saw him, as he
walked after his mamma, crying silently, and with
a very heavy heart; for they were all thinking of
little Basil only.
When they came to the house, cook laid the
little boy upon the sofa; he turned his face away
from the light, and tried to hide it. Then, when
his mamma wished him to speak, he only said,
I am so bad : it pains me so; please leave me
So his mamma drew down the blind of the room,
and sent at once for the doctor.
WALTER crouched into a corner of the room, away
from his mamma, in the darkness; while poor
little Basil lay on the sofa, groaning every now and
then, with his hot hand in his mamma's. Walter
did not cry now; he felt too much frightened to do
that; he could only listen to Basil's groans, and
wish that the doctor would come.
After some time, he heard his step in the hall;
and the door opened, and he came in. Then
Walter crouched closer into the darkness, for he
WALTER AND BASIL. 71
feared that the doctor might guess what a very
naughty little boy he had been.
The first thing the doctor did was to call for a
basin and warm water and a sponge; and the next
to walk to the window and draw up the blind; but
he never noticed Walter. He then washed Basil's
forehead from the blood, which made him cry again
at being touched; but the doctor told him that he
must submit to have his face looked at, or he could
not tell what was the matter with him. Walter
could not take his eyes from his mamma's face,
while the doctor examined Basil; for she looked so
pale and so sad. The little boy's face was very
much cut with the stone, which had caused the
quantity of blood: but that was not the worst part
of it. His eye was so badly hurt, that the doctor
looked very grave when he saw it; and that it was
which had made Basil scream so loudly.
The doctor plastered the cuts, and bathed the
eye and bound it up; and said he would send some
lotion that evening; and then he turned to mamma,
How did it happen?"
Walter trembled lest he should be asked; but
mamma did not know he was in the room, and she
only answered sadly,
I have not inquired yet: I fancy he fell down."
72 WALTER AND BASIL.
Walter sobbed from the corner where he sat; but
the doctor was speaking again; so he was not
"We must keep him quiet," said the doctor,
"for there may be fever; his pulse is very rapid
And the doctor took his hat, and softly left the
Walter saw his mamma kneel down by the sofa
where Basil was lying, and pray to God; and as
she did so, the tears ran down her cheeks, for she
was very much frightened about her little son. It
grew darker and darker. Everybody seemed to have
forgotten Walter; for it was past tea-time. The
servant came in to ask mamma if she would not
have tea; but she said, No, not yet." At length,
the nursemaid came to ask where Walter was; and
then he had to get up, and his mamma saw him.
. He could not bear that she should kiss him, and
speak to him so kindly; and when the maid remem-
bered that he had not had any tea, he said he did
not want any, and would rather go to bed. He
undressed himself quickly, and was left alone; but
he could not sleep. He could think of nothing but
Basil screaming, with his face covered with blood,
and poor mamma's sad face; so he got out of bed
again, and softly went down stairs until he reached
WALTER AND BASIL.
the drawing-room. The door was half open, and
his mamma was sitting with her back towards him,
looking at Basil. Walter crept in, without making
any noise, for his feet were bare, and once more in
the darkness he sat down; for he could not bear to
be alone. Basil kept moving restlessly from side
to side, moaning with pain, and talking every now
and then; for he was very feverish. He had been
undressed, and a bed made up for him upon the
sofa. What a wretched night Walter passed, lis-
tening to his little brother's moans; and sometimes
falling asleep for a few minutes, and then waking
again, to feel cold and unhappy. He had been the
cause of all this by his wicked temper. He had
been afraid to say his prayers, for he felt such a
very naughty boy. He was wrong there ; for being
a naughty boy, he had the more need to ask God to
forgive him; and as he was sorry, God would have
forgiven him for Christ's sake.
WALTER 'S REPENTANCE.
IN the morning Walter was discovered cold and
shivering in his nightgown, and his mamma called
WALTER AND BASIL.
him a kind affectionate little boy to be so sorry for
his brother. Walter burst into tears and sobbed;
and his mamma kissed him and soothed him, and
sent him upstairs to be combed and dressed, and
have his breakfast.
For several days the doctor came to see Basil;
he always looked at his eye, but said nothing.
The cuts were quite healed, and the plasters
were taken off. Walter would linger about the
door when the doctor was in the room, wishing to
know how Basil was; and the doctor would pat
him on the head as he came out, and say-
"Well, my little man-that's right! I like to
see little boys fond of one another."
Basil's fever was quite gone, and he could play
now about the room, with his eye still bound up;
but the doctor continued to visit him. One day he
told mamma plainly that it was as he had feared
from the first. The blow had so hurt little Basil's
eye that the sight was gone-he would never see
again with it.
Everybody in the house was speaking of it, and
Walter heard it also, as he was sitting upon the
stairs, waiting to get into his mamma's room. He
started up and waited no longer for her to call him
in; he threw the door open quickly. Mamma was
WALTER AND BASIL.
looking very unhappy-as she had since the day of
Basil being hurt.
"Mamma, I did it," said Walter, running to
her. She did not answer him, but held out her
hands towards him.
Walter sobbed out passionately-
I have been more wicked than you can think,
mamma; I struck Basil with a stone, though I
forgot the stone was in my hand; but I meant to
strike him. I was in one of my passions. Oh,
mamma, I am so sorry-I would give all I have to
save Basil's eye again Mamma, do not turn away
so; do not hate me. I am sure you must hate
me. Oh I am so miserable."
His mamma put both her arms round him and
drew him to her, saying-
I have known this many days past, my child;
but I waited for you to tell me. You have been
very wicked, Walter."
What will papa say when you write to him in
India, that I have blinded Basil's eye. Mamma,
what will he say ?" sobbed Walter.
He will think what a sad thing it is that his
little boy should have no control over his temper.
What can we say to him, Walter ?"
Walter hung his head. When he spoke again,
WALTER AND BASIL.
I have made so many promises, mamma, that I
And only the last time I wrote to him, on that
unhappy day, you made fresh promises. Walter, I
think you must have quite forgotten whose help
you were to have asked."
Walter coloured, and was silent; for he had quite
Basil had been standing by all the while, looking
at his brother, and now he came up to him, and
kissing him, said-
"Do not cry any more about it, Walter ; my eye
does not hurt me much now. I do not mind about
it very much."
Walter began to cry again when Basil said so;
for he thought that his little brother was such a
much better boy than he.
When papa came home from India, it was very
sad for Walter to see him look at Basil and sigh;
although he did not seem so angry as he was sorry
And many years after, throughout his life, Walter
would feel sad for Basil when he remembered how
he had put out his eye and disfigured his face.
You see how doing a wrong thing may give un-
happiness for a whole life.
WALTER AND BASIL. 77
Walter thought so, even after he was grown to be
a man, and he was always more afraid of his violent
temper than of anything else. This was a fear
which would make him try to cure it-a fear which
was very right.
THE LITTLE BOY WHO DIED,
THE LITTLE SICK BOY.
CHARLIE WYATT lay on his little plain bed very
sick indeed. The little boy was so thin that his
cheeks were no longer round, as once they had
been; but they fell in quite hollow; and he was so
pale that his whole face was as white as the sheets
of his bed. His eyes looked very large and bright,
and his little hands were as weak as a baby's, and
quite clear through.
His mother had placed the bed close to the win-
dow, that Charlie might see any one who passed
by; and he had been watching his little friends
running by on their way to school, and wishing
that he could be with them, and wondering if he
should ever be strong again. All his schoolfellows
looked in at the window and nodded as they passed,
for they were sorry that Charlie should be so ill.
Hour after hour he lay there; too weak to read,
too weak to play with the little toys which lay upon
his quilt, too weak even to turn himself in his bed
when he was weary of lying on one side.
He watched the light fade out of the sky; he
heard the little boys run back from school, beating
their hands to keep them warm, laughing and call-
ing to each other as they went. He watched the
lamplighter set alight all the lamps down the street,
and then, when there was nothing more to look for,
he turned his eyes away from the window and looked
into the fire.
Charlie had been ill like this for ten long months.
For ten long months he had not run about with his
little friends; he had not left that room, he had
not seen the sun but through the window. During
the fresh spring, when he knew that every place
was beautiful, he had lain there; all through the
hot summer, when birds were singing in the green
trees, he had lain there; all through the glorious
autumn, when all the other little boys were gather-
ing nuts in the woods, he had lain there; and now
the winter was almost past, and still he was lying
there, more ill than ever.
He thought of this as the light went out of the
sky and he turned his eyes to the fire. He felt so
very tired of being ill, that the tears trickled down
his cheeks and wetted the sheets.
His mother now saw that lie was crying, and she
went to him, and stroked his head, and kissed him,
and called him her poor little darling boy." And
"Oh, mother, when shall I get well? Do pray
do something for me. I am so weary of lying here.
I wish I could get well."
And Charlie put his arms round his mother's
neck and cried bitterly.
But what could she do ? She could not make him
well. Had she had her wish, Charlie would have
been well at once; but she could only be sorry for
him; she could only beg him not to cry, and hope
he would be well again in the spring.
When Charlie saw his mother cry, he was sorry
that he had vexed her; and he dried his eyes and
tried not to think much of his illness, and before
long, Charlie's father came home. Charlie's father
was a carpenter. He came in with a basket full of
tools, which he had to unsling from his shoulder
before he could go and kiss his little boy. Then
father had to change his dirty boots and wash his
hands and face : and all the while he kept talking
82 CHARLIE WYATT.
so as to amuse Charlie, telling him all that he had
done and all that he had seen during the day, so
that by the time the tea was on the table, and the
table wheeled to the little boy's bedside, and the
kettle was boiling and the tea made, Charlie was in
good spirits, and had almost forgotten for the time
that he was a poor little sick child who could not
move out of his bed. i
THE CUT FINGER.
A FEW doors from the house where Charlie Wyatt
lived, there was another little boy of the same age,
named Laurence. He was not a poor child like
Charlie; his papa was a gentleman, not a carpenter,
and Laurence had every comfort that a little boy
could wish. He was in strong good health; he
could play and jump about; could run after his
hoop, and slide upon the ice or make snowballs.
Do you not think Laurence ought to have been
very happy, when there was a little boy near him ill
like Charlie ? We shall see if he was.
Master Laurence, your breakfast is getting quite
cold; it has been ready for you a long time; make
haste and come down."
This was said by Fanny the nurse.
CHARLIE WYATT. 83
I shan't make haste, I'm sure," grumbled Lau-
rence. "I don't want breakfast; I don't care if it
does get cold neither."
And he went on dressing himself very slowly.
When he got downstairs, of course his breakfast
was quite cold.
I am not going to eat that stuff, I can tell you,
so you may as well clear it away," said Laurence,
It is nearly time for you to go to school, sir,"
I don't think it is," said Laurence. I hate
going to school; it is so cold; I wish I could stop
at home. I shall go and ask papa."
And Laurence ran down stairs and flung open
the door of his papa's study.
"Mayr I stop at home to-day ? I hate going to
school: it is so cold and disagreeable; and my
gloves have got holes in them; and I can't bear
"I do not think that any of your reasons are
strong enough to keep you at'home, my boy," said
papa. No, Laurence; you must go to school, and
go at once, like a good child."
Laurence left the study without saying more;
84 CHARLIE WYATT.
but he kicked each step as he went upstairs, and
when he got into the nursery he began to cry like
a baby, "because," he said, "everything was so
Only fancy, Laurence was eight years old. I
wonder he was not ashamed.
How glad poor little Charlie would have been if
he could have run that morning along the street, in
the bright frosty air, on his way to school.
Laurence came home to dinner; and by that time
he was very hungry, as you may think; for he had
not eaten any breakfast.
Laurence had not any mamma; she had died
some years ago.
He took his dinner at the same time his papa
had luncheon. He was always very happy all din-
ner time, for his papa let him talk as much as he
liked. Laurence had often been told not to play
with knives; but he seemed to forget very often.
Now as he was twirling about a large knife he cut
his finger, and the blood ran down on the table-
His papa took him into his bedroom, and bound
his finger up in plaster; but Laurence made a great
fuss about it, and asked his papa if he might not
stay away from school that afternoon.
What, for a cut finger ? said papa, laughing.
CHARLIE WYATT. 85
But, papa, you cannot think how it pains me;
it throbs so; indeed it is very bad."
I dare say, my dear; but you must learn to bear
a little pain. There are worse things than cut
But Laurence thought his papa quite unkind to
send him to school with a cut finger; and I think
you would have laughed had you seen him walk
along the streets holding the hand that had the
cut in his other hand, like a poor wounded soldier.
So Laurence walked on upon his road to school
very slowly, until he stopped before the window of
THE CUT IS BETTER.
WHY did he stop there? Because at the window
he had seen a little thin, pale face looking out at
him, and when he had looked in return, the pale
face had smiled and nodded to him.
Laurence was still standing, when the door opened
and Charlie's mother asked him if he would not
come in, as her little boy would like very much to
see him. Laurence, still holding his cut finger, went
into the cottage.
He felt very much surprised at first when he saw
a little boy no older than himself lying in the day-
time in a bed, and also that he should look so very
pale and thin; and he asked him why he did not
get up ?
"Because I am ill," Charlie said; "I have been
ill a long time."
"Does it hurt you to be ill? asked Laurence.
"Do you like being ill?"
No I should be so glad to be well again; I
am so tired of being ill; it pains me all over lying
all day in bed."
Laurence dropped the hand with his cut finger;
he felt quite ashamed of holding it and of having
made such a fuss about it, when poor little Charlie
ached all over.
What do you do all day ? asked Laurence, after
Nothing," said Charlie, wearily. Whatever I
try to do tires me, and makes me cough; I wish I
could do something; I wish I could go to school;
but I cannot: or play in the streets ; but I cannot."
And he sighed, and his eyes filled with tears.
I said to-day I did not like to go to school,"
said Laurence; "but I would sooner go to school
all day than lie there."
Laurence could not stay very long because it was
schooltime, so he wished Charlie good-bye, and said
he would come another day.
In the evening, after tea, when Laurence was sit-
ting in the drawing-room, he told his papa all about
little Charlie Wyatt, and asked when he might go
to see him again; and his papa said that he would
himself take him.
Next day Laurence did not grumble when he was
told to make haste down stairs; and he got his
breakfast at once, and got ready to go to school,
without running first to his papa to beg to be
allowed to stay at home. He had not mentioned
his cut finger since the morning before, and would
have been ashamed to nurse his hand and make a
fuss about it, although I dare say it may have hurt
him a little still. Perhaps he thought of Charlie
lying all day long, and every day, upon his bed,
looking out of a dull window. Laurence looked up
at the window as he went to and came from school,
but to-day le did not catch a glimpse of the little
thin, pale face.
THE reason that he had not seen him looking from
the window was that Charlie was a great deal worse.
Two days afterwards Laurence and his papa went
to the cottage, and when they knocked at the door
Mrs. Wyatt opened it; and they could see that she
had been crying very much, for her eyes were red.
She had been crying because Charlie was so much
As Laurence and his papa walked into the room
they saw that there was a gentleman sitting by
Charlie's bedside, and they stopped instead of going
to the bed at once, bemuse the gentleman was
He was saying to Charlie-
Are you sorry, my little boy, to hear that you
And Charlie answered-
I am sorry to leave father and mother and my
schoolfellows; oh, yes I am so sorry;" and the tears
fell down his cheeks.
"Your father and mother will go to you some
day, and there you will never see poor mother cry
as she is crying now; and you will never see father
tired, and sad, and sorry."
And I am sorry to leave the green fields, and
the flowers, and the little birds," sobbed Charlie.
" I cannot bear to think I shall never see them
again; I have so hoped to see them."
There will be more beautiful fields, and flowers,