The Baldwin Library
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THE BATTLE. Page 52.
HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
PUBLISHED BY THE
AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
28 CORNHILL, BOSTON.
Entered according to Act of Congres, in the year 12, by
THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
In the Clcrk's Offieo of the District Court for the District of Masachumetts.
GRO. C. RAND & AVERY,
BTBBEOTTPERS AND PRINTERS.
INTRODUCTION,......... :...... 5
1. THE YOUNG CONQUEROR, ......... 0
II. TENDER-HEARTED, ............ 28
III. BUYING THE TRUTH, ............ 38
IV. THE BAD BARGAIN, .............. 40
V. THE CHEERFUL GIVER, ........... 61
VI. SAM SILVER'S THANKSGIVING,...... 71
VII. VICTORY, .................... 2
VIII. LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION,.... 85
IX. ALLAN'S SURPRISE, ............. 95
X. TOM'S TRIAL, .................. 104
XI. THE PRINCE'S FOLLOWER, ....... 116
XII. BOB MERRY'S LETTER, ......... 126
XIII. LITTLE CARLIN, ............. 138
XIV. JOE BENTON'S COAL-YARD, ....... 150
XV. WILLIE'S ANGEL, ............ 159
XVI. SOUNDING BRASS, ............ 163
XVII. THE SLAVES OF KINGFIRE-WATER,. .170
XVIII. DISOBEDIENT HARRY,. ........... 179
XIX. WAITING FOR JESUS, ......... .. 189
XX. THE WILLFUL BOY, ........... 199
XXI. THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM, .204
XXIL THE KING'S ARMY, ........... 213
To my ()ear Young Friends,
IF any of you were going a very long journey
over an untried road, which you had heard was
rough and dangerous, would you not be very glad
to hear that some one had been over it before, and
arrived safely at his journey's end? And when
you started, in your turn, and before many steps
found yourself upon the borders of a great swamp,
where your feet sank, and the blackened waters
spattered your clean garments, would you not be
pleased to see a little notice on a post hard by,
A little further down you will find a board laid
across this swamp, by which I, Tom Masterful, got
safely over" ?
And if, on going a little further, and finding the
sun very hot, you should see a pleasant, shaded
path leading away into the loveliest green fArest,
as you were just turning aside, would you not be
very thankful if your eyes fell upon another no-
Do not enter here I There is a fierce lion back
in these woods! I Joseph Easy, have just escaped
with my life"?
And if, a little further still, when you were very
tired, you should come to a great hill, and should
be so much discouraged that you would say, "I
can not bear this road, with its swamps, and lions,
and hills. I will lie down among these pleasant
flowers and sleep a little while; "-would you not
start, half in terror, half in gratitude, if you saw
another little notice, very plainly written, -
"Whoever sleeps here will never wake again;
for a serpent will creep out of these crimson flow-
ers, and sting him so that he will die. But who-
ever climbs that hill will see from the top the golden
spires of the city which lies at his journey's end;
and while he rests, he will breathe the sweet air
from its gardens of delights"?
And then, if you saw written, just under, -
"I, Sam Sterling, am determined to climb this
hill," and under that, "I, Dick Hardy, ditto,"
wouldn't you straighten up, shoulder your carpet-
bag, and cry, cheerily, -
"If Sam Sterling and Dick Hardy were not
afraid of this hill, I am determined to conquer it,
And now for the application. I hope all my
young readers have either entered, or are striving
to enter, at the strait gate, and are all wishing
to walk in the King's highway, which leads to the
beautiful, golden city. This is the only safe path
for young or old feet; and yet, I must confess, it is
not perfectly smooth, and you may often come upon
very "hard places." But a great many travelers
have passed over this road before you; and I think
it might be some help to you to know how other
boys felt when they came to these "hard places,"
and what they found to be the best way of getting
For this reason I offer you this collection of little
stories. I hope you will be pleased to read of the
boys who were nearly swamped in many evil habits,
and how they got over at last, and left their good
examples, like nice, firm planks, for the help of all
other boys who should come to the sane places;
and of the boy who resisted temptation, when the
wrong path looked so much easier than the right
one, and thus avoided the great enemy who goes
about like a raging lion; and of the boy who con-
quered the big hill of sef, when every stone on the
way was either pride, or anger, or revenge, an
you may know it was very painful to the feet But
when he had at last overcome, how sweet it was to
rest in the light ofGod's smile, and how much
nearer seemed the heavenly city, where a orwn
was awaiting the happy conqueror!
Der young pilgrim, standing doubting and tef-
ful at the foot of some stubborn hill, may God bless
to you these simple records of struggle and victory5
and grant that to many tired feet they may indeed
prove Helps over Hard Places"
HELPS OVER HARD PIECES.
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR.
THE retiring bell had rung in Mr. Avery's
large boarding-school for boys, and one by
one, like the closing of so many little twink-
ling eyes, the lights were extinguished, and
the old gray house seemed fast asleep. But
none of the rooms, flooded with the light
of the full April moon, lay four wakeful boys,
engaged in some eager discussion.
"I say, Hal," cried Bill Massey, exultingly,
"I believe I can beat any boy in school in
running and juniping. And just feel of these
muscles; do you think one of you could
stand up a minute, if this arm said 'go
"I think Hal Gray could," responded Bob
10 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
"Yes, I think he'd have a tough time with
me," cried Hal's cheery voice.
"Well, perhaps so; and we'll try it to-
morrow. But it's a great thing to be strong,
and when I'm a man I shall enter the army.
I shall soon be promoted on account of my
bravery, boys; and then how I'll lead my
company on to battle! We'll be like Napo-
leon's Old Guard. Nothing shall stand before
"But," interrupted Hal, with a shiver,
"don't you think any thing of shooting peo-
ple down, killing them all in a minute? r'm
sure there could be no glory in battle for me,
when I heard the dying men groaning on
every side, and thought of the poor mothers
and' sisters watching, and waiting for friends
they would never see again."
"My dear chicken," replied Bill, "of course
I could not walk right up to a man and shoot
him coolly through the heart. But you see it
will be all excitement,-horses and men all
mixed in together, officers shouting and
urging one on, while the guns and cannons
make roar and noise enough for fifty 'Fourths
of July. Then you know our country's ene-
mies will be before us, and you wouldn't
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR.
want them to beat us. No, indeed so I,
for one, should rush in, dealing blows right
and left; and by and by the battle would be
over, and some proud, rich city would be con-
quered. Then, in a most magnificent car-
riage, I should ride through the streets, while
the crowd hurrahed, and the band played
'See the conquering hero comes!' What do
you think of that, boys?"
"All very well," laughed Hal Gray, "if, in
the first place, you only get promoted, and if,
secondly, you are not killed yourself upon
the field of battle. Two rather important
"Oh, captains are never killed," responded
"Well, I'm going to fight in a safer field,"
said Bob Wilson, "and perhaps I shall have
full as much glory, after all. I'm determined
to be wise. There shall not be one difficult
study that I will not conquer. I'll fight all
the knotty problems. I'll make all the sci-
ences my slaves. I'll lead the languages
captive; and then, when Bill is flourishing
his sword and gun in the midst of danger,
I shall sit quietly in my room, and, with a
few strokes of my pen, conquer a nation.
12 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
Yes, indeed! I intend to be strong, and to
conquer, but I shall be what Mr. Avery calls
an intellectual giant.' I intend that my
name shall be one of the first in the temple
"You've got the best of it, Bob," cried
Hal's clear voice. "I like your way of fight-
ing, and I think you'll stand the best chance
of glory, too. I mean to try as hard as you
for the prize that Mr. Avery has offered."
Boys," said a childish voice, and the pale
face of lame Jemmy Packard was raised from
his cot. "I should like to tell you of some-
thing else you ought to fight against, and, if
you conquer, you will have far greater glory
than any you have spoken of yet."
"What is it?" said the boys, good-naturedly.
"'He that is slow to anger is better than
the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than
he that taketh a city,'" repeated Jemmy, em-
"Oh, you miserable little Puritan! shut
your eyes and go to sleep," cried Bill Massey.
"No," said Hal, "fair play. Jem has as
good a right to speak as any of us, and he
shall tell us all about it. Now, Jemmy," con-
tinued he, laughing, "that would be the hard-
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR.
est kind of a fight for me; do tell us what
reward we would have, after our uncomforta-
ble struggle ?"
"There are so many rewards," cried lame
Jemmy, "that I hardly know where to begin."
"Oh yes," said Bob Wilson, impatiently,
"you've been sick so long, you're always
thinking about these things. All you mean
now is, that people, if they are good, will go
to heaven. But if I should get there some
day, there are so many great angels there
already, that nobody would take any notice
of me. Now Iwant to occupy a high place,
and make my name known."
"I don't think you have quite the right kind
of ambition, Bob," said Jemmy, meekly; but
if you struggle all your life for earthly fame, it
will be nothing compared to the glory given
to the conquerors in this nobler battle."
"Tell us about it," said Hal.
"These are the words of the promise,"
replied Jemmy: "'To him that overcometh
(you know what kind of enemies, boys) will
I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as
I also overcame, and am set down with my
Father in his throne; and I will confess his
name before my Father and before his an-
14 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES
gels.' Oh, Bob, isn't that a greater throne
than any you can reach on earth, and isn't
that a very glorious company to be all listen-
ing when the Saviour speaks your name ?"
"Would he speak my name, my very name
"Why, yes," said Jemmy, with strong
faith. "At least, every one in heaven would
know who you were, and that you were the
S "Are there any more promises?" asked
""Oh, a great many; you must read about
them all. He will give you to eat of the
tree of life which is in the midst of the para-
dise of God. He will give you the 'morning
star,' and you 'shall not be hurt of the second
death.' I can not remember them all, but it's
a very great reward."
"I believe Jemmy is the wisest of us all;
don't you think so, boys?" asked Hal.
But there was no reply, and the low, regu-
lar breathing from that side of the room
proved that they had both fallen asleep.
"Yes, Jemmy," continued Hal; "I know
you are right. It is just as mother has al-
ways taught me; and sometimes I do try to
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR.
rule my spirit. But I get angry so easily,
and when all the blood rushes to my head,
and my heart thumps so fast, I have to do
just the first thing I think of, and that is sure
to be wrong. It isn't because I'm ashamed
or afraid to do right."
"No, I knew you were not afraid the first
night you came, when you kneeled down
before us all and said your prayers."
"But, Jemmy, when the boys provoke me,
I can't bear to take it so meekly, and, as the
good people say, 'turn the other cheek,' but
I want to defend myself- show them it
won't do to plague such a boy as I am. As
Bill says, I want to conquer them. I always
thought if ever I were an angel, I should
want to be one of those who 'excel in
"Dear Hal," said Jemmy, "I'm afraid you
have a great many victories to gain before
you could be the poorest kind of an angel.
It is very easy for such a strong boy as you
to have all sorts of triumphs like Bill Mns-
sey's, but can't you see how much nobler and
grander it is to conquer one's self?"
"Yes, I do see it, and I will try. It will
be hard, but I'll have no mercy on myself.
16 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
Down envy down pride down passion!
What beautiful promises to 'him that over-
cometh Pray for me, Jemmy, that I may be
one of the right kind of conquerors, for they
are better, far 'better than the mighty I'"
It was a warm morning in the latter part
of May, and Hal Gray, on his way to chapel,
- arm in arm with lame Jemmy, met Bill
"Good morning, Puritans," said he, with a
kind of wicked smile. "You'll be apt to see
some fun at prayers this morning."
"What do you mean?" asked both together.
"Oh! you two boys are always talking
about being so good, and 'overcoming,' and
all that; perhaps you'll see old Prex over-
come this morning, or come over, just as you
please to take it."
Harry immediately suspected some trick,
and begged Bill not to do any thing to hurt
the feelings of kind Mr. Avery. But he could
draw nothing further from his mischievous
schoolmate, and so went reluctantly on.
As he entered the chapel, he looked hur-
riedly around. Every thing was in its place,
and he felt somewhat reassured. Presently
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR.
Mr. Avery appeared, and walked, with digni-
fled step, to his chair. Hal watched him,
with painful interest; nor were his fears in
vain; for, as the worthy man seated himself,
the chair suddenly gave way, and he was
prostrated on the floor. A few silly boys
laughed, but the hot blood rushed to Hal's
cheeks and brow, especially when he saw
that Mr. Avery had so sprained his foot as
to be unable to rise without the assistance
of an under teacher. The chair was imme-
diately examined, and it was discovered that
one of the back legs had been sawed off.
Mr. Avery turned very sternly to the as-
sembled bbys, and demanded who had dared
perpetrate such a miserable joke.
The most profound silence followed the
question, but as Mr. Avery's keeh eye swept
round the room, it rested on the embarrassed
face of Hal Gray.
"What do you know about it, sir?" he
The crimson grew deeper upon Hal's cheeks;
but he drew himself up a little proudly, as he
firmly replied, "I did not do it, sir."
"Do you know who did?" persisted Mr.
18 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
Harry hesitated, and at last said, faintly,
"I would rather not answer, sir."
"But I command you. Come, I am wait-
ing for the name," said Mr. Avery, with grbw'
Harry hesitated, and a low murmur of diai
approbation ran through the ranks of boy*y
most of whom had imbibed that false ides
of honor which makes it very contemptible
to inform against a schoolfellow, no matter
how deeply he is to blame. Harry had a
vague idea that such a cowardly act oughi
to be punished, but it was so hard to speak;
besides, what proof had he, after all, that Bill
Massey was the rogue ?
"Please excuse me, Sir," pleaded Hal; "1
can not tell that."
Can not? and why? cried Mr. Avery, a
little angrily. But poor Hal could only fe-
peat, "Please excuse me, sir."
"Very well," said Mr. Avery, thoroughly
vexed at what he called Harry's obstinacy,
while the growing pain in his foot tended to
increase an irritability in which he seldom
indulged. "Very wellsir; if yon have both-
ing further to say, we may reasonably c6n-
elude that you are the guilty one youtbelf,
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR.
and will proceed to award your punish-
"I did not do it, Mr. Avery," interposed
Harry; but that gentleman, with a hastiness
he afterwards regretted, proceeded to say,
"Harry Gray is suspended from his classes
for one week, and ordered to remain in his
room during the hours of recreation folithe
same length of time."
Lame Jemmy interposed tearfully, "Will
this prevent him from taking the prize at
the end of this term, sir ?"
"Of course," said Mr. Avery, briefly, and
proceeded with the morning exercises.
This last was too great a blow for Hal.
He had striven so hard for that prize, and
meant so to delight his mother, and now to
lose it all in a minute! It was too much, and
leaning back in the shadow of the chapel pil-
lar, he with difficulty restrained his tears.
And then, too, how hard to have Mr. Avery
think so ill of him. Surely Bill would not
have the heart to leave him in such disgrace,
-he would confess. But no, not a word more
was said upon the subject; and presently the
boys dispersed to their different class rooms,
giving Hal many a look and word of sym-
20 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
pathy as they passed, for he was a great
favorite in the school.
At the hour for morning exercise, Hal
could not resist hurrying down for one min-
ute's talk with Bill Massey. "Bill, Bill," he
cried, as the boy tried to evade him, "surely,
you do not mean to make me lose the prize.
Youkill tell Mr. Avery, won't you? I know
he won't scold very hard, now it's all over;
and you know you can't get the prize, any
way. Won't you tell him, Bill ?"
"I don't think I shall do any thing of the
"You won't tell him?" cried Hal, with
"No," said Bill, doggedly.
The bright color leaped into Hal's cheeks,
and his eyes flashed with anger.
"Well, then, you're a mean-spirited fellow,
and a coward!" cried Hal, his fiery temper
entirely getting the mastery of him.
"No boy shall call me that," said Bill,
coolly rolling up his sleeves.
"Come on," cried Harry, excitedly. "I'm
ready to fight, if that's what you mean."
"Hal, dear Hal," pleaded lame Jemmy, and
his clinging touch was upon the boy's arm.
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR.
Hal's eyes softened a little, as he said, Go
away, please, Jem; I might hurt you."
But Jemmy clung the tighter. "Dearest
Hal, you are not the right kind of a con-
queror now. Oh! think, Hal, 'to him that
overcometh,' the tree of life, the morning
star, the paradise of God. Now is the time
to fight hard,' down passion, down revenge.'
Be a conqueror, Hal, but be sure and strike
in the right place."
Hal's anger rapidly cooled as Jem spoke,
and at last he threw his arms around his lit-
tle friend, exclaiming, "Jemmy, I believe you
are my good angel." Then turning to Bill,
he said, with an effort, "I am sorry I called
you names, but I can not fight with you."
Bill broke into a loud, sneering laugh.
"That's a good way to get out of it, you
miserable sneak. Why don't you say you
don't dare fight, instead of playing good, and
trying to imagine you're a martyr just ready
to be taken out of a wicked world ?"
Hal was about making an indignant reply,
but checked himself just in time, and rushing
to his room, threw himself upon his knees,
repenting bitterly of this outburst,of passion,
and humbly asking help for the future. Harry
22 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
bore the remainder of his week of disgrace
with quiet gentleness and patience, and Mr.
Avery more than once regretted the severity
of his sentence.
A few more weeks passed, and found Hal
still fighting the good fight, with his proud,
young spirit under firm control.
In the long twilight of a lovely June eve-
ning, Hal was walking with Jemmy by the
river, watching Bill Massey, as he taught a
troop of young boys to swim.
"There is one thing troubling me, Jemmy,"
said Hal, at length. "I do not think I feel
.quite right towards Bill Massey yet. I don't
like to have him near me, and I would rather
oblige any boy in school than him."
"Well, it is hard, but I suppose it is another
feeling to be overcome. We must pray for
strength to fight it down."
"I do, Jem," said Hal, with sweet serious-
ness, and I wish you'd pray for me."
"You're not such a bad boy, after all,"
cried Jem, lovingly, looking into Hal's clear,
honest eyes. "I believe if there were some
great service to be done for Bill this minute,
you'd be the first to offer."
"I'm not so sure of that," returned Hal,
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR.
Just then there was a great commotion
among the swimmers, and some little boys
on shore cried out, "Bill Massey is going
down! he has the cramp; he will drown!"
"Ah, that is true!" cried Jem; "and those
little fellows can only keep their own heads
above water. Oh, why did he go out so far ?"
Hal did not stop to think twice, but, pul-
ling off coat and boots, plunged into the
water, and with swift strokes approached
the drowning boy. Bill was a long distance
from shore, and it was almost by superhuman
efforts that Hal managed to reach him as he
was sinking for the last time.
"There, he has him!" shouted the little
boys. "Hurrah!" But Jem's anxieties were
not over. "Poor Hal is so tired," he thought,
"how will he tow in that heavy Bill Massey ?"
Slowly, and with painful effort, carefully
keeping the head of his companion above
water, the brave swimmer struck out for the
shore. At first he came on gallantly, then
his strength seemed to flag, and once or
twice both disappeared from sight.
"Oh, if I were only not quite so helpless,"
groaned Jemmy; "run, call some of the big
boys, quick, or they will both drown!"
24 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
What an endless time it seemed before
help came. Ah! there was Hal's curly head
again, nearer, nearer. "A few more strokes,
dear Hal," cried Jem. "You are almost in."
Here the little boys set up a wild shout, as
two or three of the older students arrived
just in time to draw the exhausted pair from
the water. Part of them then applied them-
selves to the task of reviving Bill Massey,
while the rest crowded around Hal, congrat-
ulating him, and warmly shaking his hand.
Hal smiled faintly, and tried to thank them;
but suddenly he turned deathly pale, a stream
of blood gushed from his mouth, and he fell
fainting in Bob Wilson's arms.
What is it?" cried Jemmy, in terror, as
they'laid him upon the grass.
"Call Mr. Avery, and run for a physician,"
cried Bob, giving quick orders to the little
boys. Jem, in the mean while, knelt down,
and, dreir the dear head upon his breast.
Smpothing back the wet curls, he whispered
anxiously, "How do you feel, darling?"
Hq opened his eyes, and with his own
bright smile, ever mindful of the feelings of
others, replied, "It is nothing; I do not suffer
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR.
But with the exertion of these few words,
the life stream gushed forth so violently that
the boys turned pale, and looked at each
other with a terrible fear.
Presently good Mr. Avery came hurrying
down. "What is this, my dear, dear boy ?"
he cried, as he saw his favorite pupil ex-
tended, apparently lifeless, before him.
A few hurried words explained the whole
"What can be done for him?" he cried,
as the physician made his appearance. "Dr.
Brown, you must save this noble boy."
The doctor knelt beside him a moment,
with a very grave face. "He has broken a
blood-vessel," he whispered to Mr. Avery.
"I'm afraid he will live but a few minutes."
"Oh, do not say that," groaned Mr. Avery.
" Make every exertion for his life leave no
Just then Hal opened his eyes, dreamily,
and seeing the pale, grave face of his teacher
bending over him, he said, anxiously, "Do you
still think I did it, sir ?"
Bill Massey broke through the crowd, and,
in a tone full of anguish and remorse, cried
out, "Oh, Mr. Avery, if he means the chair,
26 HBLPS OVER HARD PLACES.
I did it, I did it. Oh, Hal, you must, you
must forgive me."
A look of satisfaction passed over Hal's
pale face, and he turned smilingly to Mr.
"Is it all right now, sir ?"
Oh, my darling child I" sobbed Mr. Avery,
and could say no more.
All remedies were in vain, and the young
life ebbed fast.
"What is it, dear Hal?" wept Jemmy, put-
ting his ear close to those loved lips, to catch
an almost inarticulate murmur.
The morning star," whispered Hal, faintly;
"the tree of life in the midst of the paradise
"'To him that overcometh,' to you, dear
Hal; but ah! cried lame Jemmy, with a sud-
den burst of anguish, "will you leave me
behind, 0 Hall"
Harry Gray did not seem to heed those
once tbniliar tones, but, opening his clear
eyes once more, he gazed lovingly around the
weeping ,circle, gave one last, bright smile,
nd Le last enemy was destroyed, even
Tht night, as Bob and Jemmy watched
THE YOUNG CONQUEROR. 27
in the room where the young conqueror slept
peacefully after the battle of life, the door
softly opened, and Bill Massey stole in.
Jemmy half shuddered when he saw him,
but the boy was so changed, so pale and
broken-hearted, Jemmy could not say a word
to reproach him. For a while he mourned
and wept bitterly, then, drawing forth a
wreath of laurel, he laid it reverently upon
Hal's soft, bright curls.
"He is a greater conqueror than ever I
shall be," he sobbed, as he rushed from the
"Yes," added Bob, "and he has won a
greater prize than I have ever striven for."
"And I believe," cried Jemmy, almost with
exultation, as he kissed the fair brow, "I be-
lieve God has made him an angel, excelling in
TENDER-HEARTED, FORGIVING ONE
IN the sweet June twilight, Willy Carter
came slowly through the clover-scented fields,
carrying very carefully a little willow basket,
with the cover tied fast. A very satisfied
smile was tugging at the corners of Willy's
red mouth, and happy thoughts were dancing
like fie-flies in the twilight of his great gray
eyes. It was so pleasant walking there so
quietly, with the red sunset still burning in
the west, and the birds crooning so sleepily
from tPe trees; and then when, once in a
while; he took a delighted peep through the
crevices of the basket, how could he help
smiling more and more ?
But suddenly, as he lifted his eyes, he saw
Jack ]awkins standing by the stile at the
end of the meadow. Now Willy was quite
afraid pf Jack, who was rather a mischievous
boy, loving to tease his companions, and so
he turned quietly to go in another direction.
" i r'
But Jack saw the intention, and called loud-
"Here, Will Carter, you little blockhead,
where are you going so fast, and what have
you got in your basket?"
Willy knew it would do no good to run,
and so he thought he would just try to be
very pleasant and polite, and perhaps he
would have no trouble. So he went for-
ward as cheerfully as he could, saying, -
"Oh! Jack, what do you think! I have
been over to grandmother's, and she has
given me the most beautiful kitten in the
"Let's see her," said Jack.
Will lifted the cover cautiously, saying,
"She's so lively, she'd be out in a minute,
if you didn't take care. Now did you ever
see such a beauty?"
Jack peered in curiously. "She is pretty,
that's a fact -just as white as snow."
"There isn't a black hair on her, any-
where," cried Will, with enthusiasm; "and
I'm trying to think what name to give her.
Pearl is good, and Snowball, but grandmother
called her Lily, and I guess I will, too. Oh!
you ought to see her run after a string. She
30 HELPs OVER HARD PLACES.
rolls over and over, just like. a little ball of
"What will you take for her?" asked Jack.
"Oh, I don't want to sell her," said Will,
with great apprehension, sliding the cover
over the basket.
"I'll give you my top."
"No, I don't want it."
"I've got one of my own."
"Well," urged Jack, "what if I should give
you my knife with two blades?"
"Ah," said Willy, thoughtfully, "maybe
you'd want it back again; and, any way, I
think I'd rather keep the kitten."
"You're a mean, stingy fellow cried
Jack, angrily, "and I've a good mind to
take it away from you this minute."
"Jack," pleaded Willy, "you wouldn't like
to give me your little dog, Spot, would you ? "
"No, indeed; I love him as well as I do
"Then, why won't you let me keep my
"Well, you're such a girl-baby, you don't
know half the funny things you can do with
"Why, what are they?"
"Let me take her a minute, and I'll show
Willy didn't dare refuse, and tremblingly
handed out his little pet.
"Well," said Jack, "in the first place, you
can play hand-organ with her. You just
take her by the back of the neck, this way,
and then take her tail and turn it round and
round -just so. There," said he, laughing
loudly, "do you hear the mew-sic ?"
The poor kitten stretched out her little
velvet paws, and mewed piteously, while the
tears started to Will's eyes.
That's too cruel, Jack; you will twist her
"Well, then she'll be better off; for sup-
.pose my dog, Spot, chases her, and she runs
for some hole, and just has time to squeeze
in, won't she be a great deal happier if she
don't have her tail to look after ? and Jack
laughed loudly at this poor attempt at wit.
Poor Will now begged very hard that Jack
would put the kitten back in the basket, but
all in vain; and he was just ready to despair,
when he. saw the school-teacher, tood Mr.
Hope, who was taking his evening walk
32 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
through the fields. This gentleman, who
had heard the latter part of the conversa-
tion, now stepped up quickly, and ordered
Jack to restore the kitten, while he gave him
a severe reprimand for his cruelty. Jack col-
ored with rage and shame, and whispering to
Will, "I'll pay you for this, some day," he
darted across the fields, and Will hastened
home to his mother. You may be sure he
had a long story to pour into her sympathiz-
ing ears; but at last, as he finished, saying,
"Now, mother, did you ever know such a
hateful boy ? I declare, I can't bear him;
and I almost wish somebody would cut off
Spot's tail," his mother looked very sad, and
"My dear, dear son, you do not know what
you are saying. I am afraid qur great Father
in heaven sees very little difference in the
hearts of Willy Carter and Jack Dawkins.
I am sure Willy has been a sinful child to-
day. He has been cross, thoughtless, diso-
bliging, selfish, and has cherished many un-
kind thoughts. Oh! how very sad it would
be if God should'remember my little son's
morning prayer,' Forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,'
and should say,'I will forgive Willy Carter
just as he forgives Jack Dawkins.'"
"Oh mother," said poor Will, with stream-
ing eyes, "I never thought of that. Do kneel
down with me, and ask God to forgive me,
and help me to forgive Jack."
So they prayed a long time; and when, at
last, they rose from their knees, Willy looked
as if he were at peace with all the world.
Then his mother kissed him, and said, -
"I have a little Bible verse which I wish
my son to learn and always remember. It is
this: 'And be kind one to another, tender-
hearted forgiving one another, even as God
for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Willy learned it perfectly, and then, before
going to bed, went out to find a good place
in the barn where Lily might lodge for the
night. As he left her nicely curled in the
straw, he heard a slight noise, and thought
he saw, through a knothole, the envious eyes
of Jack Dawkins. But they were gone in a
minute, and he concluded it was a mistake.
The next morning he rose early, and ran
out to have a scamper with Lily before break-
fast; but, to his surprise, she was 'not in the
barn. A hasty search through the garden
84 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
and kitchen was equally unsuccessful; and so
he ran very swiftly across the fields to grand-
mother's, to see if the kitten had grown
homesick and run back to her brothers and
sisters. But no, she had not been seen since
they squeezed her little white back under the
cover of Willy's basket. 'Poor Will came
back slowly and heavily, had no appetite for
his breakfast, and sat down to his lessons
with a very sad heart.
In the afternoon a small box was left at
the door for Will. The little boy tore off
the wrapper, and read, printed on the box in
straggling letters, "A pond Lily for MisBe
Willy Carter." He opened the box with a
queer choking in his throat, and a vague sus-
pioion that all was not right; and there, in-
deed, lay his little white kitten, with filmy
eyes, draggled, dripping, drowned/ Willy
gave one look, and threw himself, sobbing,
into his mother's arms. He could not speak
for a long time; but at last exclaimed, pas-
"Oh, Jack, Jack how could you be so
cruel ? It's too mean, too mean/"
"Tender-hearted" whispered his mother,
"forgiving one another."
"Oh, I can't now," sobbed Will, "but I'll
try by and by."
And he did try very hard, and, going to
his own little room, he prayed so earnestly
for help, that God gave him a "tender heart,"
and took away all anger and desire of revenge.
l[hat night, as Will stood sadly in the gar-
den, over the spot where he had buried his
kitten, he heard a sudden cry of fire! Soon
men came hurrying past, and little Will,
carried away by excitement, joined them.
"Where is it?" cried one. "Neighbor Daw-
kins' barn, and he away at town," was the
It was almost dark, and Will stood gazing
at the flames, with mingled fear and delight,
when he heard the melancholy howl of a
dog, and it flashed across his mind that poor
Spo, was chained in the barn, and Jack had
gone off with his father.
"Ahl how terribly Jack will feel to have
Spot -blrnt up!" thought Will. "I wonder
where the poor dog is."
He ran hastily around the other side of
the barn, and caught a glimpse of Spot,
Jumping furiously the length of his chain,
and then giving a long, despairing howl.
G3 HELPS OVFR HARD PLACES.
The sympathy in Will's great, big heart
drove out every thought of fear, and, seeing
that that part of the barn was not yet in
flames, he sprang through an opening, into
the midst of the smoke, unchained the trem-
bling little Spot, and escaped safely into the
"Why, boy, are you crazy?" cried the
stout fireman, catching him up. "It was
only a dog."
"Oh! I could not bear to see him burn
up; and then Jack loves him so dearly."
Just then Jack came rushing up. "Where's
Spot?" he cried, in a trembling voice. "Did
nobody unchain Spot?"
"Here," said a man, "this little fellow per-
iled his life to save him for you. He must
think a heap of you."
Jack turned crimson, and took the dog
without a word, while Willy ran home.
An hour afterwards, as Willy still lingered
upon the piazza, talking with his mother, Jack
came suddenly running up the steps, and
threw his arms around his neck.
"Dear, good Will," he sobbed, "can you
ever forgive me? See, I have brought you
Spot. He is more yours than mine. Oh,
will you be my friend, and help me to be a
better boy ?"
"I've forgiven you long ago, Jack," said
little Will, giving him a kiss of peace; "but I
do not want Spot. I could never feel happy
to take your own little dog you have loved
But Jack could hardly be comforted, till
Willy's mother, taking his hand, talked kindly
to him a long time, and taught him Willy's
sweet verse. Jack went home that night
with some new thoughts in his head, and he
made a firm resolve, with God's help, to lead
a different life. The next morning lie walked
two miles to get another kitten for Will; and
I am happy to say that these two boys did
'become so kind, so tender-hearted, so forgiv-
ing to one another and to all others, that we
have every reason to believe that God, for
Christ's sake, has fully forgiven them.
BUYING THE TRUTH.
"WHAT are you doing, Bob?" cried a
cheery voice, one pleasant Saturday after-
noon; and down the neat gravel walk tripped
a sunny-faced little girl of about seven years.
Brother Bob lay under the great elm tree, at
the foot of the garden, with a little book
open before him, and a very puzzled look in'
his usually happy face.
"Don't trouble me, Katie," said he, rather
shortly; "I've such a long lesson to learn
"Oh, Bob," said she, coaxingly, "let's learn
"Why, you little simpleton!" cried Bob,
laughing with such a funny face, that Katie,
although somewhat grieved, was obliged to
laugh too. For when Bob had a merry
thought, it was not content with stretching
his rather large mouth, but it ran all over
his face, twinkled in his eyes, jerked up the
BUYING TIE TRUTH.
corner of his eyebrows, and finally played
hide and seek in two or three curious little
holes which mamma called dimples, but where
Katie contended the good angels had touched
him when he was a baby.
"Now, Bob," said she, rather reproachfully,
when he was through laughing "all over,"
"now, Bob, what did I do ? "
SWhy, pet," said Bob, you haven't known
ihow to read long, and hate to spell all the
h`ud words, now; you wouldn't be any help
"But perhaps," persisted Katie, "if you'd
.read the lesson, I could explain some of it,
fo\mother and I have such long talks to-
Sgther while you are away at school."
Bob shouted again, and said, -
"Just to think of your explaining any
ithiing to me, when I am four years older,
and a boy besides !"
,- Katie turned away with eyes like violets
after a shower.
S "Well, well, come back, little sister," cried
Bob, half sorry that he had grieved her.
S"Come back; I should like to ask your opin-
ion on something."
Katie paused, with a doubtful face.
40 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
"What does this mean ?" said he "Buy
the truth, and sell it not?"
"Why," said Katie, twisting her small fin-
gers nervously, "what do you think, brother
"I don't think," said Bob; "that's just the
trouble. I suppose I know what truth is, but
I didn't know any body kept it to sell, and I
don't know how much I'd have to pay for it.
If I could find it I'd buy a great deal, and
wouldn't sell it very soon, either; for Mr.
West told me last Sunday that a boy couldn't
have too much of it;"' and Bob laughed, for-
getting his own perplexity in watching his
little sister's anxious face.
"Bob," said Katie at length, "I believe
you are half making fun of me. Nobody
keeps truth to sell just as Mrs. Mills does
oranges and candy; but I think it is something
God keeps, and when we ask Him for it, we
don't pay for it with money, but, but" -
"But but "- repeated little teasing Bob.
"But," continued Katie, laughing away her
momentary vexation, "we will go and ask
Mrs. Lane was just starting upon a walk to
visit some poor neighbors, who lived more
BUYING THE TRUTH.
than a mile away, but when she heard the
eager questions of her children, she permitted
them to accompany her across the fields, that
they might talk the whole matter over to-
"Katie is right," said mamma, after listen-
ing to the little girl's statement of the case.
"We must go to God for truth."
"Do you mean," asked Bob, "that we must
ask-God to help us to speak the truth? "
"Yes, that is part of it; but there is a
wider meaning," said his mother. When
weask God for truth- when we pray, Lead
us m thy truth,' we pray that God would
make us Christians -would make us pure
and holy like himself; for he is perfect truth."
"Then, mother, if he gives us all this
when we ask him, how can we pay him? "
"My dear Bob, you could never pay him
for all he has done for you. The greatest
angel in heaven could not pay God; but he
offers the greatest blessings without money
and without price.'"
"How can we buy truth, then?" said Bob,
with a dissatisfied air.
"Ah," said his mother, "I see your trouble
now. The nmwlning of that little verse is
42 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
only that we must be willing to give up
every thing for the truth be willing to give
up all earthly happiness, if God is only our
friend. This would be no pay, after all;
but we should be willing to make any sacri-
fice to show our gratitude to God."
"What must we give him?" asked Katie,
earnestly. "What could Igive him?"
"A great deal," said her mother. "You
can say,' Here, Father, take my hands. They
are small now, but they are ready for any
work thou hast for them to do. I give
thee my feet. They shall never grow tired
in thy service. I give thee my tongue. Oh I
let it never say any thing to displease thee.
Open thou my lips, and my mouth shall
show forth thy praise. And, above all, I give
thee my heart. Fill it with thyself, fill it
with thy truth.'"
"Why, mother, you will give me most all
away," cried Katie.
"That's a great deal to give," said Bob.
"No, very little," replied Mrs. Lane.
"Hundreds of people have given up friends,
money, their native land, and even their
lives. They thought nothing too precious
to be given for the truth."
BUYING THE TRUTH.
"Tell us about those people," said Bob.
"But a short time ago," continued his
mother, "in some countries Christians were
so cruelly persecuted, that they were not
sure of their lives from one day to another.
They could not stay in their pleasant homes
as we do, but were forced to wander among
the mountains, and live in dreary caves.
Many perished from hunger and cold; but
that was better than dying by the hands of
their cruel enemies. Sometimes, on the holy
Sabbath day, they would meet very secretly
\ in the depth of some forest, and try to have
a little service together. But often, while
they were in the midst of singing and pray-
ing, an alarm would be given that the sol-
diers were coming, and the little band would
hastily break up and run to hide themselves.
And often the attack was so sudden, that
many of the weak, frightened people could
not run fast enough; and the rough soldiers
would come thundering along on their strong
horses, and catching the poor hunted crea-
tures, they would carry them back into the
"What happened to them then?" said
Bob, with reddening cheeks.
44 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
"Oh, they were taken before a cruel com-
pany of men, and asked if they would give
up their religion; that is, if they would sell
the truth. Then, if they nobly and bravely
refused, they were taken into a room of tor-
ture, and made to suffer most terrible agony'.
"What was done to them?" asked Bob,
"Sometimes their thumbs were put into a
screw that pinched them tighter and tighter,
till they were completely crushed. Some-
times their bare feet were roasted upon a
fire; and a great many other cruel things
were done, which I will not tell you now,"
said Mrs. Lane, as she saw Katie quietly cry-
ing to herself.
"Well, didn't any of them ever give up ?"
. "Yes," said his mother; "sometimes the
agony was too great, especially for the young
and tender ones. But they were very few
in number, compared with those who were
'faithful unto death.' Some children, not a
great deal older than you, boldly confessed
that they had 'bought the truth,' and no
torture could make them sell it. One little
word could have saved them from being
BUYING THE TRUTH.
burned alive, but they would not say it.
So their poor bodies were surrounded with
wood, the cruel flames rose around, and the
little martyrs were wrapped in fire."
Oh, mother! didn't they cry out then?"
said little Katie, vividly remembering the
pain of a recently-burned finger.
"Why, I have heard," replied her mother,
"that many of them were so happy that
they did not seem to feel the pain of the
body, but sang the most triumphant songs,
as if the wreaths of fire were only crowns
of glory. They sang, 'Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy
rod and thy staff they comfort me.' And
though it was a fearful path, they knew it
led to heaven. It was only a little while to
suffer, and their. enemies could not hurt their
souls". Qh, what a glorious moment it must
have been, when the soul at last struggled
from the poor blackened body, and, soaring
above all the taunts and torments of its per-
secutors, exchanged the sufferings of earth
for the sweet peace of heaven. One mo-
ment writhing in the cruel fire, the next,
reposing in the green pastures, and beside
46 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
the still waters of God's love. Ah, how
happy they must have been when they stood
before the great God, saying, 'I have kept
the truth I'"
They had now reached the home of poor
sick Mrs. Brown, and Bob and Katie waited
at the door until their mother came out
again. When they were once more on the
way home, Bob said,-
"Mother, Imean to buy the truth."
"I am very glad," she replied; "and are
you willing to give up every thing to God?"
4 People are not burned now, are they ?"
"No, but still it is not an easy thing to
keep the truth. There are so many little
temptations every day and every hour, that
you will need as much firmness and courage
as to bear one great trial. You must strug-
"Well, I think I can do it," said Bob, with
a great deal of self-confidence. "If I had
been one of those children, I should never
have given up, I know."
His mother looked a little sad, and said,
"I would rather see my little son more hum-
ble. I remember when his fingers were ac-
cidentally pinched in the.door, there was
BUYING THE TRUTH.
great outcry. If he could not bear pain
more patiently than that, I'm afraid he would
make rather a poor martyr."
Bob blushed, and said, more humbly, "I'm
afraid I couldn't be a martyr, after all. If
my thumb was pinched much harder, I'm
afraid I should say any thing just to get it
"I hope my son will never be put to any
uOch trial; but if he is, he must ask God to
give him strength to speak the truth. There
is nothing so mean and despicable as to tell a
lie. It is so cowardly to sell the truth for
9 little transient ease and self-indulgence.
Whatever may be the present relief, misery
i sure to follow."
Bob looked uneasy, and said, half trying
to change the subject, "You ought to hear
Jim Price talk, mother. He tells stories all
the time; and some of the other boys are so
bad, you never know when to believe them."
Then my son should be noble and brave
enough to set them a better example; and
he can always ask help of God, who is the
great, the eternal Truth. Your friends may
S deceive you; they may seem to loye you one
day, and be very unkind to you the next;
48 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
but God is always the same, yesterday, to.
day, and forever, without even the shadoto
of turning. Think of what it must be to
have such a friend, to be always sure of
finding him the same the one true God."
Bob felt much softened as he reached
home, in the quiet summer twilight; and
taking Katie aside, he proposed that they
should both go to God that night, and, giv-
ing themselves to him, should ask him for
"But what if I should sell it ?" said timid
"Oh, we must ask God to help* us, ai
mother said; and then, Katie, ll keep an
eye on you," said Bob, with that dangerous i
self-confidence creeping back into'his heart.
"Well," said humble little Katie, "then I'll
God will help both of these little children,
when they ask him; but I think Bob, par-
ticularly, will have great need to constantly
* watch and pray."
Sr THE BAD BARGAIN.
L. ROBERT," said Mr. Lane to his son, one
y, as they rose from the dinner table, "I
wish you to take this basket immediately to
Sold Mrs. Brown. The poor old woman has
been much worse, and I fear she often lacks
good and nourishing food. Your mother has
Sdcked some fruit and several dainties, which
t lhink will please her, and at the bottom is
a Little money, which Katie has put in in
some curious way. You must tell her little
| grand-daughter to buy whatever she needs
Oh, Bob," cried Katie, with a radiant
face, "you would never guess where the
money is. It was all in silver, and mother
' let me put it in two little cookies; and I
Want you to tell Mrs. Brown thatthe cakes
are a little heavy, but I'm sure they'll agree
p with her;" and Katie laughed contagiously.
S"Now be sure and tell us just what she says,
50 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
Bob, and come back soon. I'll wait for yot
under the old elm tree. Hurry, Bob, won't
"Yes, Robin," said Bob, kissing his sweet-
voiced sister, "I'll tell you all about it;" and
waving his hat to father and mother, he
sprang down the walk, cleared the low fence
with a flying leap, and was out of sight
before Katie's admiring "Oh!" had fairly
escaped her lips. .
At first he made rapid progress, but soon
the heat of the mid-day sun caused him
to slacken his pace. Presently the basket"
seemed to grow heavy. "Dear me," thought ]
Bob, as he lifted it from one side to the
other, "how very warm and tired I aml I
don't believe Granny Brown will suffer if I
rest a few minutes;" and down he sat uponi
the green bank.
Presently there was a sound of busy,
tramping feet and merry voices, and around
the corner of the lane came a dozen or more
boys. "Oh, there's. Bob Lane!" cried one.
"The very boy we want. Come, Bob, you
must go with us."
"Where?" said Bob.
"Oh, we are going on the water. We
TIE BAD BARGAIN.
Sbve two boats, and we're going to have a
Vaval battle," said Jim Price, the leader of
the company. "Those boys there with red
tpe on their arms are the British, and we
With the peacock feathers are Americans.
We've all got our pop-guns, and one or two
)bws and arrows, and two whole bunches of
S'e crackers for cannon. Whenever a boy
ip.hit three times, he's out of the play; and
whichever boat loses the most men, that
company will have to buy cakes: and candy,
st Mrs. Mills', to treat the whole party. Then
we're all going to Picnic Island to have a
L W celebration."
SrBob's eyes shone with delight.
T e "Come, will you go ?" said Jim.
i The question recalled Bob to his senses.
'A shade of vexation crossed his face. "Oh
dear, no, I can't. I must carry this basket
to old Mrs. Brown."
"You can do that afterwards. When we
come home will be time enough," said Jim.
"But what will I do with the basket?"
"Oh, we'll just set it in the eid of the
boat. It will be safe enough there."
"But you will be gone so long."
"No, we won't; and besides, if you are in
52 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
such a hurry, you can go after the battle, and
not stay to the picnic."
Bob still hesitated. "But mother always
wishes me to ask her permission when I go
on the water."
"Oh, you girl baby," sneered Jim. You
will be gone such a little while, you need not
tell your mother any thing about it."
This advice to deceive his mother ought to
have shown Bob that these were not good
boys, and he should have resolutely gone on
his way. But although he knew very well
that his mother would disapprove of his going
anywhere with Jim Price, still the pleasure
of the sail, and the delightful novelty of the
mimic battle, proved too great temptations
for poor, weak Bob, and, after a few moments
of perplexity, he said, hastily, -
"I believe I ill go for a little while."
Then the boys gave three cheers, and
appointed him first mate on the American
ship, "North Star." So the boys went on
in high spirits, and, rowing out into the mid-
dle of the river, the battle was prosecuted
with much vigor. Soon, however, they be-
came more excited; and the little North
Star pitched and rolled dangerously, .and
THE BAD BARGAIN.
ftce was so near capsizing that Bob thought
he was gone, and clung desperately to the
'seat. The little boat righted itself again;
,bat as Bob, with a pale face, entreated to be
set on shore, he noticed, with great conster-
nation, that his basket was gone. A search
through the boat was of no avail. "It
must have gone over in that last squall,"
laughed Jim; but it was no joke to Bob.
All the extent of his disobedience and mis-
fortune suddenly burst upon him, and he
thought himself the most miserable boy in
"Do look at the baby," cried Jim, directing
the boys' attention to Bob's unhappy coun-
tenance. "I believe it's going to cry. Let's
put it on shore, so it can run to its mamma;"
and Jim began to row hastily in.
Bob was very indignant, but he knew he
'deserved it all, and his heart was too full to
"Now don't go home with that face," said
Jim, as he left him. "Just tell your mother
that you took the things, and thd old woman
was very thankful, and all that, and I don't
believe it will ever come out."
Bob walked slowly and sadly home. How
54 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
could he tell his mother and dear little Katie
how wicked he had been! He had never
told a lie before, but would it be so very
bad just this once? He would tell the truth
some time, perhaps in the morning; but he
could'nt now. Poor Katie would be so dis-
appointed, and his mother so sad. It would
be so easy just to say what Jim Price told
him. Why, the other boys wouldn't think
any thing of telling just one story, and this
should be the first and last time. While he
was yet undecided, he came in sight of home,
and laughing little Katie bounded to meet
"Oh, you have been gone so long! What
did she say? Tell every thing. Was she
Bob turned away his head, and, with burn-
ing cheeks, replied, "Oh, yes, she was very
glad. She thanked us all a thousand times."
"Did she try the cakes ?"
"Yes," said Bob, desperately, "and she
said it was the best fruit cake she ever ate."
Again came Katie's ringing laugh. "Well,
how is she, Bob?"
"Better, this afternoon."
"Ah, that's good. But how very warm
THE BAD BARGAIN.
and tired you are. Are you sick?" said
.Katie, anxiously, kissing the rough, brown
hand she held in her own.
"No," almost groaned Bob, snatching his
hand away. "But I am tired. Leave me a
little while to rest under the tree."
Katie ran to tell her mother all the pleas-
ant news, and miserable Bob, with closed
eyes, thought over the events of the after-
"I have sold the truth," he groaned to
himself. "I, who was going to watch over
dear, good Katie, I have told a lie!" He
shivered and opened his eyes. Every thing
seemed changed. Iis old friends-the trees
--seemed to be shaking their heads at him,
as the wind sighed through the branches,
.and the beautiful crimson sunset, at which
Katie had been gazing in admiration, only
looked red and angry to him. He had read,
in a little German fairy story, how the flow-
ers knew bad children, and faded and shrank
away when they tried to pick them; so now
he stretched forth his hand very carefully to
touch a little blue violet growing near. To
his momentary relief, the flower remained
just the same.
56 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
"The violets don't know," said Bob, with a
long breath. But oh, how wretched he was!
Perhaps poor Mrs. Brown would die, because
she had no money to buy medicine. What
should he do? Oh, if he were only a bird
singing so happily up in the trees.
Presently the children were called in to
tea, and as there were visitors present, Bob
avoided farther questioning, and his unhappy
looks and loss of appetite escaped the notice
of his mother.
He went to bed early, hoping to sleep, but
never was he more mistaken. There was no
rest for that heavy heart. How angrily the
wind blew. Oh, what if old Mrs. Brown
should die, wouldn't he be hung for a mur-
derer? Oh, what if God should send his
angel that night to take his life! He re-
membered Ananias and Sapphira, and shud-
dered. Suddenly there came a blinding
flash of light, and Bob almost shrieked with
terror, as it was followed by a heavy peal
"The lightning knows it," cried Bob, wildly,
"the lightning knows it, and will look through
and through me." Then came another flash;
and, hastily jumping out of bed, Bob ran to
THE BAD BABRAIN.
hide himself in a dark closet. But no sooner
was he crouched upon the floor, than a little
verse came into his mind, as if somebody
whispered it, "Thou, God, seest me."
"It is of no use," sobbed Bob, coming out
again; "I can'tMide."
"Bob," said a sweet voice, "are you fright-
ened ?" and a flash revealed the calm face of
little Katie peeping in at the door.
"Yes," sobbed Bob, "I am."
"Why, you never used to be. Don't you
remember mother says God always takes
care of us ? Shall I say some verses to you ? "
Bob made no reply, and Katie began:
"Though I walk through the valley of"-
"No, no, not that, Katie," almost shrieked
Bob. "That is what the martyrs said; but
Oh, Katie, Katie, I have sold the truth!"
"What for?" said Katie, in blank surprise.
"Oh, Katie, I've sold it, and instead of
being any better ofl; I'm the most miserable
boy in the world. I've sold all my pleasant
and happy thoughts, and now I'm only wicked
"That's a very bad bargain," said Katie, in
her wise simplicity.
"I should think it was," groaned Bob; and
58 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
then he could contain himself no longer, but
poured the whole story into Katie's sympa-
thizing ears. "Now I suppose you perfectly
des'se me," said Bob, as he heard her low
sob "You can never love me again." Ka-
tie could not speak, but, thawing her arms
around his neck, kissed him hastily, and ran
out of the room.
"Even Katie will not stay with me,"
thought Bob, despairingly, as he threw him-
self on the bed. "I wonder how it will ever
end. Will I ever be happy again?"
"My son Robert," said a sad voice, and
Bob knew that Katie had sent his mother;
but he could not answer a word.
"Did my little Bob tell a lie?"
Bob could restrain himself no longer. "Oh,
mother, will you hate me?" he cried. "Can
you never forgive me, nor trust me again?"
Then he rapidly poured forth a full history
of all his temptation and sin, and ended with
again imploring his mother's forgiveness.
"Remember, Bob," said she, "that you
have offended against a Higher Power."
"Oh, I know it," said Bob. "Can he ever
forgive me? Did he ever forgive any one
who sold the truth?"
THE BAD BARGAIN.
"Yes," replied Mrs. Lane. "Peter denied
him thrice, and yet he was forgiven, and
lived to be a noble servant of God. He
must have repented deeply, for don't you
remember that when Jesus looked on him
with such pity and sadness, Peter went out
and wept bitterly."
"Oh, mother, I think he has looked on
me," wept poor, unhappy Bob. "I'm sure I
repent, but I don't see how I can be for-
given, I have been so wicked."
"If our hearts condemn us, God is greater
than our hearts," said Mrs. Lane, gently; and
with many other sweet Bible words she com-
forted her truly repentant little son, until he
became more composed, and was able to seek
peace and forgiveness where only it can be
The next morning, although every one
knew of his disgrace, Bob was much hap-
pier than the evening before. His father
had intended to take him to the city that
day, on a long-promised excursion; but he
thought it only right to tell Bob he had
forfeited that pleasure. Bob accepted the
sentence without a murmur, although the
tears stood in Katie's eyes. And after break-
60 HELPS OVEB HARD PLACES.
fast, when Katie and mamma started with
another basket for old Mrs. Brown, Bob felt
it keenly that he was not asked to accom-
pany them. He tried vainly to Atudy while
they were gone, and at the first flutter of
Katie's blue ribbons he was at the gate.
"How is she?" he cried, breathlessly.
"Better," said smiling Katie.
Bob turned away to hide his tears, as he
said to himself, "How good God is to me."
Bob worked in the garden a couple of
hours every night after school, for several
weeks, till he bad earned all the money he
had lost, and faithfully, at the end of every
week, he carried the little sum to old Mrs.
Brown, who, to his great joy, improved
Bob is so truthful now, that all the family
seem to have forgotten that he ever told a
lie; but he himself will remember through
life the night of misery, when he reaped the
bitter fruit of his "bad bargain."
THE CHEERFUL GIVER.
FATHER had been gone to the city, on busi-
ness, for more than a week. Mother had
just stepped into old Aunt Margery's, to ask
after her rheumatism, and little Dick Merrill,
carefully peeping in at the dining-room door,
reported that "Cousin Joe," as usual, was
"making a library of his head, and cram-
ming in the biggest book he ever saw in all
So Fred and Jenny, and Will and Katy
Peyton, holding eager council before the
roaring kitchen fire, with their little neigh-
bor visitors, Dick and Lizzy Merrill, declared
there could not be a more propitious time for
the fascinating game of "Blind Man's Buff"
The decision was hailed with great applause,
and the cheery old fire blazed and crackled,
and sent merry little lights and shadows
dancing over the wall and the bright, yel-
62 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
low-painted floor, as much as to say, "I'm
with you, little ones; let's all play together."
So at it they all went, and had the mad-
dest, merriest time imaginable. Oh, such
hair-breadth escapes, such shrieks, and peals
of half-suffocating laughter To Ue sure,
Cousin Joe groaned audibly, and shut his
book in despair, and once got up hastily,
determined to put each little Bedlamite into
a straight-jacket, woven out of a half dozen
very sharp, cross words. But he could not
help relenting as he looked upon the dancing
eyes and red cheeks, and saw little Katy's
crimson dress hastily vanishing under the
kitchen table, its little owner in a perfect
tremor of terror and delight at the immi-
nent danger she had escaped. Why, Cousin
Joe was a boy himself once, and not so very
long ago, either; and he laughed as heartily
as any of them, when little Dick Merrill,
eluding his pursuer by a most surprising
somersault, cried out to Fred Peyton, -
"Isn't it lucky my head isn't as full as
'Cousin Joe's?' I guess a few ideas would
have been smashed in that turn-over."
"No trouble of that kind with your head,"
TUE CIIEERFUL GIVER.
"No," said Dick, good-naturedly. "I only
keep one or two ideas, and I've trained them
so they're just like the figure 8; it don't make
the least difference whether they're upside
down or not."
A shout of laughter greeted the announce-
ment of Dick's convenient mental arrange-
ments, and Cousin Joe retreated to his own fire.
But presently the busy feet grew weary;
the laughter was not so boisterous, and soon
the little panting group dropped, one by one,
in a cosy ring before the fire. There would
now have been a few moments of silence, had
not the winter wind taken advantage of the
pause to raise a most dismal wail at the win-
dows, and rattle the door-latch as if it had
just arrived on very important business.
"It feels pretty bad, don't it?" said Dick
Merrill, with a comical shrug. "But don't try
to squeeze in here, old fellow," he continued;
"your room is better than your company."
"You've hurt his feelings; he's crying,"
said Jenny Peyton, as a gust of rain and
sleet beat upon the windows.
"Yes," rejoined Dick; "and if I try to go
home to-night, I'm afraid he'll take me for a
64 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
The children laughed, and Will said, -
"What if there should really be some poor
old man out in the storm, hungry and wet
and tired? Would you let him in if he came
to the door?"
Why, of course, Will," said Jenny, in a
reproving tone, but glancing apprehensively
over her shoulder at the door.
"Yes, we ought always to be kind to the
poor," said Fred, a little pompously. "Now
suppose we all tell what we'll do if a poor
man really should come to the door."
"You begin," cried the children.
"Well, I should invite him in very pleas-
antly, and give him a seat by the fire, and
take off his wet hat and coat, and get him
some old things of father's to put on while
hip were getting dry, and- Oh, well, I'd do
a great deal more. I haven't time to tell
everything. Go on, Jenny."
Jenny continued,-"Ishould ask him if he
was hungry, and go down cellar, and get him
a nice piece of bread and meat."
Fred laughed loudly. "That's a good joke,
Jenny; when you're so afraid of your own
shadow, you won't go into the next room
alone, after dark."
THE CHEERFUL GIVER.
Jenny was ready with an angry reply, but
Dick hastily interposed, -
"Well, I don't exactly know what I'd do,
but I might give the old fellow my mittens;"
and he looked affectionately at a bright scar-
let pair his mother had just finished. "On
the whole," said he, with a merry laugh, "I
believe I won't either. I can't spare 'em."
"How selfish," cried Fred, contemptuously,
while Jenny gave a disdainful shrug.
Then Will and Lizzy went on to enumerate
their gifts, and soon all were done but Katy.
"What will you give, Dot?" cried Dick.
Katy shook her head in great perplexity.
She had nothing to give.
There's Peggy," suggested Dick, mischiev-
ously, referring to an old wooden doll, which
was Katy's chosen friend and confidant, and
shared her bed at night. Katy opened her
large eyes in such dire dismay at this pro-
posal, that the old kitchen shook with a
merry chorus of laughter. When they again
recovered themselves, they began to talk of
"Oh, boys," said Dick, "I've had such a
streak of luck! What do you think? Uncle
Simeon called me into his office last Wednes-
66 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
day, asked me how old I was, and when I
told him I was eleven that very day, he took
out his pocket-book, and actually gave me a
dollar. Think of it, boys, a real, bright,
What are you going to do with it? cried
Will and Jenny, in great admiration of the
shining coin he took from his pocket.
Oh, you can do almost any thing with a
dollar. Dolls and work-boxes for Lizzy, and'
balls, marbles, kites Oh, any thing I want.
I haven't quite decided, for-"
Here there came such a startling knock at
the .door, that "six small hearts beat like so
many trip-hammers. Jenny turned pale, and,
hurrying across the floor, hastily slid the bolt.
The wailing wind and driving rain filled up a
short pause, then came another knock.
"Call Cousin Joe," said Fred, trying to
appear very careless and indifferent. But
Cousin Joe was not to be found.
"He must have gone out when we made
such a noise," said Will.
Another loud knock.
"Who's there ?" cried Dick Merrill.
"A poor old man," faltered a voice with-
THE CHEERFUL GIVER.
"Don't believe him; it's a robber!" shrieked
"Dear children," faltered the voice, "I'm
very cold, and wet, and tired. Please let
Dick looked around inquiringly.
"Let the poor old man come in," said little
Lizzy and Katy, whose hearts seemed more
full of faith and sweet pity than those of the
older ones, -I do not know why, unless, as
some old writer says, "little children are
nearest God, as the little planets are nearest
So Dick bravely drew back the bolt, and a
poor, ragged, old beggar tottered in. Fred
entirely forgot the part he intended to pet-
form, and stood sullenly with his hands in his
pockets, grumbling audibly, -
"How provoking! This spoils all our fun."
So Dick had to help him to a seat, and hang
up his dripping old hat before the fire.
"I'm very hungry," said the beggar.
"Jenny," cried Dick, "where's your bread
and meat ?"
Jenny shook her head in terror. "Oh, I
wouldn't go down cellar for all the world
Something might catch my feet!"
68 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
Why, Jenny Peyton," said Will, blushing,
"I'm ashamed of you;" and he went clatter-
ing down the stairs, without waiting for a
light. While the old beggar ate his bread
and meat, the children stood curiously around,
watching him. What a queer bundle of rags,
he was, to be sure!
"Will," whispered Dick, "just look in the
closet and see if the rag-bag's all safe. I be-
lieve it's taken to itself legs and walked out."
The old beggar was taken with quite a
spasm of coughing and shaking, and it was
some time before he could recover himself
sufficiently to finish his meal. Little Katy
stood by with eyes full of pitying tears.
She looked at his worn boots, full of such
wretched holes, and communed with her in-
nocent little heart. She had two more pairs
of shoes, a little black pair, and some lovely
red ones. She could spare those she had on
just as well as not; and in a few moments
they were off her little fat feet, and secretly
offered to the poor old man. He returned a
smothered "thank you," and then went on
to tell a most miserable story. He had no
home, no fire, no light, and he was often so
hungry that he could almost eat the boards
THE CHEERFUL GIVER.
off the fences. He was so old, no one would
give him work. He had not enough clothes
to keep him warm-he'd frozen his fingers
already, and he expected he'd freeze entirely
before morning, and be found dead on the
Out came Dick's red mittens, and changed
owners at the mere mention of frozen fingers,
and Will felt nervously of his new tippet.
"Dear me," muttered Fred, sullenly. "Hasn't
h. gct enough? Shuffle the old fellow off."
The old man rose, in a broken-hearted sort
of way; but Dick, fingering in his jacket
pocket, cried, hastily, -
Wait a minute."
"Not your gold dollar, Dick?" whispered
Will. "Work-boxes, dolls, marbles, kites-"
"I can't help it," said Dick, nervously.
"Here, poor old man, if this will do you any
good, you're welcome."
"And please," said little Katy, advancing
with a great effort, carrying a curious wood-
en monstrosity, -"please, would you like
To the child's great surprise and terror, she
was caught up in the old beggar's arms, and
tossed high in the air, while he kissed her
* 70 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
again and again. While the rest looked on
in astonishment, the old gray wig and tat-
tered cloak fell off and Cousin Joe" burst
simultaneously from six pairs of lips.
Yes; it was Cousin Joe, who had heard
the conversation, and wanted to see which
of all the children was the most sincere, and
had the warmest heart.
Fred and Jenny stood covered with confu-
sion, while Cousin Joe thanked Will, returned
the dollar and mittens, the dear shoes and
invaluable old Peggy, and distributed among
his favorites a liberal donation of nuts and
I do not say it was quite right in Cousin
Joe so to impose upon these little children,
but it was a lesson that Fred and Jenny
never forgot; and that night, it must have
been very sweet to be either little Dick or
Katy, because "God loveth the cheerful giver."
SAM SILVER'S THANKSGIVING.
IT was the day before Thanksgiving, and
the whole household at Sunny Hill was in a
state of the happiest confusion imaginable.
There was a roaring fire in the old-fashioned
brick oven, and the kitchen table was a per-
fect chaos of sugar, raisins, eggs, flour and
spices. But when mamma with her snowy
apron flitted hither and thither, with busy
white fingers, -and black Dinah, with her
gay turban very much on one side, stretched
out her arms like the ebony wands of some
kindly disposed old fairy,- every thing flew
together as if by magic, and in a little while
the whole house was fragrant with steaming
mince and pumpkin pies, and the odor of rich
brown doughnuts and crullers.
Without, it was very cold and dismal.
The trees were shivering and stretching out
their arms, like so many poor old beggars,
72 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
whose clothes had gone to tatters and were
falling oftl and the heavy, gray clouds drooped
low to tell them to be patient, for they were
bringing them a suit of ermine which would
make them look like princes.
A cold wind rushed around the corners of
the house, trying to find some way to get in,
but the little children at the window laughed
at the vain attempts, and talked merrily in
the pauses of the gale.
"I wonder if they'll all come," cried Susy
Gray, gleefully. "What fun we'll have!"
It's a great thing to have so many cousins
and aunts and uncles," said Fred. And what
a capital dinner they'll have roast turkey,
chicken pie "-
"Ah," said the golden-haired Dolly, with a
half regret dawning in her wide-open eyes,
"do you know I think the old black hen
misses her chickens, and has been calling all
day for Speckle and Graybeard? How she
would feel if she could see them now, without
a single feather on their backs, and their poor,
cold legs tied tight together."
Oh pshaw r Dolly; don't be a goose; she'll
never know the difference. Let's talk about
to-morrow. There'll be Mary and Fanny
SAM SILVER'S THANKSGIVING. 73
Tyler, and Charley and Carrie Burton, and, bet-
ter than all, Sam Silver. He's just the funni-
est and best-natured of all the cousins, though
I'm sure I don't see how he can be, either,
when he lives with that terribly cross old
grandfather, who scolds him every day within
an inch of his life."
That's coming pretty close," cried Charley
with a shrug.
"Poor Sam," sighed Golden Hair,-"no
father nor mother to love him."
"Well," cried Fred; "he shall have a good
time to-morrow. He shall be king, and
choose all the games, and he shall have the
brownest doughnuts, and the biggest piece of
"And the turkey wishbone," added Dolly,
who always considered its bestowal a mark
of honorable distinction.
"He may possibly come to-day," said
Charley; and, shading his eyes, he peered
anxiously down the gray line of the road.
But we can see what Charley couldn't, and
six miles away stands little Sam Silver, in
great coat, tippet and mittens, talking eagerly
with his grandfather.
"You see, sir, if I go now, I shall get there
74 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
just at dark, but if I wait till to-morrow,,
morning, I'll be too late to go to church with
all the cousins."
"All folly," said Grandfather Silver, as a
twinge of rheumatism made, him feel more
impatient than ever. "You must finish your
usual day's work before you go."
I'll do twice as much when I come back,"
"It must be done to-day," said the old man,
firmly; and Sam, patiently pulling off his mit-
tens, went into the back yard.
The short autumn afternoon had far ad,
vanced when he at last had permission to
"Six miles before dark," said Sam to him-
self; "I shall have to take the express train."
And he looked down with cheerful confidence
at the stout pair of feet clattering nimbly over
the frozen ground.
"Perhaps I had better take a short cut
through the woods, for I won't have time to
go around by the road;" and in a few minutes
his bright scarlet comforter might be seen
bobbing in and out between the dark. pine
trees, and his cheery whistle pleasantly awoke
the little echoes that had sobbed themselves
SAM SILVER'S THANKSGIVING. 75
to sleep over the sad stories of the cold No-
But presently, as the early evening began
to close in, and he still in the midst of the
thick woods, his merry whistle ceased, and
he said, half aloud, "It would be a poor joke
if I should happen to lose my way. Grand-
father might have let me start before. How
cross he was to-day. Now to-morrow is
Thanksgiving, and I really don't see that
I've a great deal to be thankful about. If
I were only Charley or Fred Gray, I'd feel
a little more like it. What pleasant lives
they do lead, to be sure. Mother and father
ready to do any thing for them, dear little
sisters to love them, and scarcely any thing to
Sdo but just study their lessons. Now, when
I go home, grandfather will have something
cross to say the minute I put my head in the
door, and will call out, To work, to work,
you lazy dog; you've had a long play spell;'
and then, when I have worked hard all day,
there's no kind mother to say, as Aunt Gray
does to her boys, Come here, Sam, my dear
son; you look cold and tired. Come sit by
the fire and rest your head on my lap.' But
grandfather will just call out, -'To bed, to
7- HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
bed, if you're tired; and mind you're up with *
the" larks.' No, no," said Sam, growing
more and more discontented as his thoughts
ran on, "I don't think I've much to be thank-
ful for, and I believe I won't go to church to-
He walked a few minutes in silence, then,
looking uneasily around, continued his solilo-
quy. "How gloomy it has grown. Shouldn't
wonder if Ihad lost my way, after all. I can't
see the least sign of the path,. There, that
looks a little more like an opening;" and Sam
sprang anxiously forward. A few hasty steps
through the thick undergrowth, and his foot-
ing suddenly gave way. The little gray mit-
tens flew up in the air, and clutched despe-
rately at 'an overhanging tree, but it was too
late. In the uncertain light he had come
suddenly upon the edge of a deep ravine,
and now he rolled helplessly over and over,
clutching vainly at every bush and twig,
and only stopping when he lay bruised and
breathless at the bottom. Tears sprang in-
voluntarily to his eyes, but he brushed them
off and looked quickly around to see if there
had been any spectators of his mishap. But
no; there were only the tall old pine trees
SAM SILVER'S THANKSGIVING. 77
looking over the edge of the ravine, and nod-
ding their heads in a sort of solemn wonder,
as much as to say, Why, Sam Silver, how in
the world came you down there?"
But Sam found that he could neither stand
nor walk without the greatest difficulty. He
had sprained one foot very badly, and after
toiling on for some time, trying to find a
good place to climb up again, he was forced
to sit down and think what in the world he
should do next. Gloom gathered fast in the
deep ravine, and he soon perceived that he
would have to spend the night where he was.
Striving manfully against some queer thoughts
that would set his heart beating unpleasantly
fast, poor Sam gathered a large pile of with-
ered leaves under an overhanging rock, and
laid himself carefully down. It was not a
very pleasant bed for such a bundle of bruises,
and Sam could not help remembering the soft
feathers and nice warm blankets at home,
for, after all, Grandfather Silver was kind in
Shis rough way, and wished Sam to have every
"That was a nice bed, sure enough," sighed
Nothing in the world to be thankful
78 HELPS OVER HARD PLAOES.
for," a voice seemed to whisper close in his
Sam started and blushed crimson; then, not
liking to pursue such a train of thought, he
tucked his head under his comforter, and tried
to go to sleep. But again and again he would
start up, trembling, as the wind rustled the
dry leaves, till they sounded like the stealthy
tread of some wild animal. He would listen
for a long time with a sick heart and staring
eyes, till, gradually conquering his fears, he
would sink into a troubled sleep. At last he
thought he heard some one calling him. "Sam,
Sam, Sam!" "All right," cried he, cheerily;
"here I am." But, alas! it was only a couple
of crows bidding each other good morning,
for the day had begun to dawn.
Sam sat up, though the tears came in his
eyes, as he tried to bend his stiff limbs. He
made an effort to walk, but it was worse than
the night before. He could not bear his
weight on one foot without almost screaming
with pain. He tried to crawl along, but the.
ground was so uneven, and his foot so stiffly
that he began to feel very faint, and laid down
Just then a vision of nice hot cakes and
sAM SILVER'S THANKSGIVING. 79
b coffee came temptingly before him. "What
nice breakfasts we used to have every morn-
S'ing," murmured Sam.
r "Nothing in the world to be thankful for,"
'laid the voice, and Sam blushed again. He
began to be afraid he had been very ungrate-
'"Ial. Grandfather really was very kind, though
^'he did scold a little now and then. He gave
":him 'his nice warm clothes; he sent him to
shool, and was proud when he did well. And
'Af he only knew that Sam was sick and sore
"'down in that lonely ravine, how quickly he
'would send some one to get him out. But
S.ow who would ever find him? He might die
S2 efore any body missed him.
S'''I have been very wicked," sighed Sam;
and, with the gray mittens pressed over his
0 Meyes, he sat and thought remorsefully, while
i'; e hours rolled on, and the snow began to fall.
Suddenly he heard the sound of the sweet
rh'rchh bells, and knew it was time for the
~'P;orning service. He thought of the happy,
.-*,right cousins, sitting in a row in the family
b ew, and the sweet voice of his favorite
Golden Hair," singing "We praise thee, 0
God And he might have been sitting by
B..ktheir side. Then again sounded in his ears,
80 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
"Nothing in the world to be thankful for;"
and, with tears streaming down his cheeks,
Sam again confessed, "I have been very
wicked and ungrateful, but oh, forgive me,
dear Father in heaven, and do not leave me
to die in-these lonely woods."
Then every thing became confused. He
thought he was falling again down, down,
down, and he knew no more till he opened
his eyes and found himself lying in bed, in a
pleasant warm room, with Aunt Gray bending
tenderly over him.
"He's alive I" cried Golden Hair, eagerly,
peeping around mamma's dress; and from the
tender-hearted little cousins outside the door
burst a smothered "Hurrah I"
"Let them in," pleaded Sam; and they
stole in on tiptoe, kissed his pale lips, and
stood lovingly around the bed, telling him,'
with eager, subdued voices, how they won-
dered he didn't come, -how they sent for
him, and how John never would have found
him if it hadn't been for Carlo; and a great
deal more, which we haven't time to repeat.
"You have had rather a sad Thanksgiving,
dear child," said Aunt Gray, bending over to
S SAM SILVER'S THANKSGIVING. 81
- Oh, no," cried Sam, quickly; "I've a great
deal to be thankful for."
Come, children," called Uncle Gray at the
door. Old Sleep has been waiting an hour
.to. carry you into Dreamland."
"Let's sing a Thanksgiving hymn before
we go," urged Golden Hair.
And as the children joined in full chorus,
a. d and sweet above them all rose the clear
voice of grateful Sam Silver,-
"Praise God, from whom all blessings flow."
SILKEN banners fluttered gayly, fluttered
proudly through the air,
There were festive wreaths and arches freshly
There were strains of martial music, and amid
the joy-bell's ring,
Ever rose the cry triumphantly, "All hail!
O brave young king."
And the king rode by so haughtily, in won-
Like the gold and crimson fringing on the
skirts of dying day,
And the jewels in his priceless crown out-
shone like tongues of flame,
For, from battle with his enemies, a conqueror
But, alas I the air was heavy with the sighing
of the slain,
And the sweet, green fields were fainting
neathh a fearful crimson rain;
Ahl the heaps of dead and dying, 'twas a
cruel sight to see I
:Twas a sight for bitter tears, but ah! men
called it "victory "
Far away from strife and tumult, neathh the
.'`,; peaceful evening sky,
Faint and helpless lay a dying boy, with calm
Sfi, and fearless eye;
Faint and helpless,-you would scarcely
! L.think a conqueror lay there,
Though the sunset light made haste to crown
the floating, golden hair.
Ati the struggle had been weary thus to
fight with sin and pride, -
With the foes who strove to charm him from
'the loving Saviour's side;
Sthe bitter taunts and mockings! but the
cruel strife was past,
IAd the brave young hero joyfully was com-
ing home at last.
84 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
Oh, the shining crown immortal! Oh, sweet
flowers of Paradise!
Do ye gaze no more on things of earth, ye
lovely, fading eyes?
"This is death," the trembling mother sobs,
and weepeth bitterly,
But the sweet-voiced angels shout for joy,
and call it "Fictory /"
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.
IT was only the Friday before Christmas,
and as Ally Campbell rose from the breakfast
table with a very pompous air, and never an-
swered when Aunt Nancy and mother both
aske him a question, sister Bertie, standing
on.tip-toe, knocked vigorously upon his curly
heol4and cried, What's the matter up in the
The fact is, that the "garret" as teasing
Bertie always called her brother's brain, was
quite a reception-room this morning, and had
'a many pleasant thought guests as it could
well hold. Indeed, they rather jostled against
ea other; and, as Allan walked briskly down
to i employer's store, they all tried to speak
at: once, though in the most good-natured
manner possible. And this is the way they
-"ow very kind in Mr. Maybrook to pay
your quarter's salary before Christmas. To
86 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
be sure, twelve dollars and a half isn't so very
much, but it will buy a great many things,
after all. Now Bertie shall have that crimson
scarf she has been wishing for so long; and
Aunt Nancy shall find on her table the pret-
tiest reticule in the city; and mother, dear
mother, shall have the beautiful books she has
spoken of so very often, and would not buy,
because it took so much to pay the doctor's
bill, after Bertie was sick so long in the fall."
"But," said another thought, "what are
you going to do about your coat, with your
wrists coming down half a foot beyond the
sleeves, and such dreadful patches on the el-
"You can get a splendid warm coat," cried
another thought, "for seven or eight dollars,
and then you'll have money enough left to
buy your presents. Mr. Maybrook will pay
you to-morrow night. Monday you will buy
all you want, and Tuesday, Oh!"-But there
he was at the store, and as he entered with
his pleasant, glowing face, Mr. Maybrook
kindly put his hand on his shoulder, and
"Good morning, 'Young America;' did
you slide down on a sunbeam ?"
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION. 87
The day passed happily, as busy ones al-
most always do, and Ally's active feet scarcely
knew a moment's rest. They sold so much
that day. Beautiful sets of China, vases, and
pitchers. Ally guessed, from the pleasant
faces of the buyers, that they were intending
to make some presents, too, and were thinking
of the delightful surprises they should give
So the day wore on till tea-time, and it so
happened that Mr. Maybrook and all the clerks
were out at once, leaving Allan alone in the
store. As he walked up and down, still busily
engaged with his pleasant thoughts, he noticed
that one of the very expensive vases had been
left carelessly on the floor.
He drew near to look at it. How beautiful
it was, with its delicate flower wreaths floating
and dissolving in the almost transparent China.
He heard Mr. Maybrook telling a gentleman
the price of it that very day, and it was more
than he earned in the whole year. What if
it should be broken! It ought to be on the
shelf; and Ally, taking it up carefully, almost
reverently, began ascending a little ladder to
put it in a place of safety. Alas! in some way
the ladder was not firm it tottered, slipped;
88 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
and Ally, in an involuntary effort to save him-
self dropped the precious vase I There was
a crash which made his heart stand still.
Then, looking down in a bewildered way, he
saw only a heap of worthless bits of China in
place of the exquisite vase. He closed his
eyes to shut out the sight. "It can not, can
not be," he thought passionately to himself.
A moment before the beautiful vase stood
before him all perfect, and now it could not
be possible that such a terrible misfortune had
happened to him. He had been dreaming.
He would open his eyes and see it there yet,
all glowing with its violets and roses, looking
as if they were twined around moonlight..
But oh he opened his eyes, and it was too
Now succeeded another conflict in his
troubled mind. How should he ever dare
tell Mr. Maybrook, who, kind as he generally
was, had never been known to excuse what
he called careessness. Indeed, to teach his
young clerks good habits, he often made some
deduction from their wages, in proportion to
the value of the article broken.
Ally knew, with a despairing heart, that this
loss would be greatly felt by Mr. Maybrook,
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION. 89
and perhaps his whole quarter's salary would
"It would be too hard, just at this time,"
said Ally, unconsciously speaking aloud. "I
can not, can not give up all the presents I have
thought of so long. What a very sad Christ-
mas it would be! Oh, couldn't I say that
Snap ran against it, after John left it on the
Snap heard his name, and coming up,
rubbed himself affectionately against Ally.
"No, no, Snap; I won't say any thing against
youpoor dog," cried Ally, almost with a sob.
"But John really did leave it on the floor,
and he ought to bear half the blame. I sup-
pose it would just break his heart to get in
trouble with Mr. Maybrook, for he's weak and
sickly yet after that hard fever. No, I won't
tell of him; but oh, what shall I do? I be-
lieve," he continued, after a few moments of
painful thought, "I believe I won't say any
thing at all about it. Perhaps it will never
be missed;" and, with nervous haste, Ally
began to gather the pieces, and throw them
into an old box under the counter. It was
bat just accomplished when Mr. Maybrook
90 HELPS OVER HARD PLACES.
"You may go to your tea, Allan," said he,
not noticing his flushed, anxious face; and
Ally, snatching his cap, rushed from the store.
He had walked but a few steps, when he
heard a voice behind him. "Al, Ally Camp-
bell !" and turning, he saw Jasper Adams, a
boy he greatly disliked. "I say, Al," cried
the boy, "we want you to-night, after the
store is shut up. We're going to have such
a time changing people's signs, and carrying
off door-mats, to say nothing of leaving a note
for that dreadfully good old maid, Miss Gas-
ton, telling her that a poor man has broken
his leg, the other end of thp city, and they
want her to come right down. How her
righteous old bones will creak over these slip-
pery sidewalks. It'll be great fun!"
"No fun at all!" cried Ally, indignantly.
" Do you think I'd do such a mean thing? I
won't go, and you mustn't either."
"You'd better preach to me, Allan Camp-
bell," cried Jasper, angrily. "I know some-
thing about you, and you're no better than
"What can he mean ?" thought Ally, as he
hastened on, his guilty conscience sending the
blood rushing to his throbbing head. "I'm
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION. 01
sure I try to do right; and I never take plea-
sure in such shameful things as -
"Think of the broken vase," cried conscience.
"You are meaning to deceive Mr. Maybrook;
and, if he asks any questions, you intend to
tell a lie. The vase is just as much lost as if
you had stolen it and taken it home. The
least you can do is to confess your misfortune
and make what reparation you can."
* "Oh, I can not tell him," groaned Ally; and
although the night was very cold, his breath
came so quick and hard that he unbuttoned
his overcoat and threw it back. At last he
reached his home, but he had no appetite for
tea; and Bertie's clear voice, singing a Christ-
mas hymn, made him very wretched indeed.
He hurried to bed, that he might not hear
kind Aunt Nancy saying, "lie gets too tired,
poor child," but he could not sleep, and the
next morning could eat no breakfast.
All day long he trembled for fear something
would be said about the vase; artd conscience
cept continually saying, "You're just as bad as
% thief; you're a thief!" "To-night I shall
get my money," thought Ally; and next week
perhaps I'll tell him." Then conscience not
only called him a thief, but a coward too. Oh,