A visit to Aunt Agnes

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Material Information

Title:
A visit to Aunt Agnes for very little children
Physical Description:
80 p., <4> leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Giberne, Agnes, 1845-1939
Kronheim & Co ( Lithographer )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain)
Key & Whiting ( Binder )
Publisher:
The Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication:
London
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1864

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Aunts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Country life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1864   ( rbbin )
Key & Whiting -- Binder's tickets (Binding) -- 1864   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1864
Genre:
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Binder's tickets (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London

Notes

Citation/Reference:
BM,
Citation/Reference:
Osborne Coll.,
Citation/Reference:
NUC pre-1956,
General Note:
Authorship attributed by NUC and BM, cited below.
General Note:
Plates chromolithographed by J.M. Kronheim & Co.
General Note:
Date from Osborne, cited below.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
ltqf - AAA4707
notis - ALH0623
oclc - 13783989
alephbibnum - 002230275
System ID:
UF00003443:00001


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VISIT

TO


AUNT


AGNES.


FOR VERY LITTLE CHILDREN.


LONDON:
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY;
66, PATERNOSTER ROW; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
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LONDOX: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWE8 AKD ODNS, TrAMFTORD BrIET
AND CHARINU CROB.
















CHAPTER L


' THERE'S Auntie! there's Auntie !" cried little Willy
and Bertha Green poth at once, as the pony chaise
they were in drove up through the garden of a very
pretty house m the country.
"Yes, I can see her," said little Nelly, who was
sitting behind with nurse.
In a minute more the chaise stopped, and all three
of the little folks were lifted out and kissed by their
kind aunt, who then turned to ask nurse how she
was, and to help her bring in all the parcels and
shawls and umbrellas they had brought with them,
and to tell Thomas, the man, where to take the
boxes.
Now I must tell you that Willy and Bertha and
Nelly lived with their papa and mamma in London,
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* A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


but almost every summer they used to stay a month
with their aunt, Mrs. Bailey, or as they always
called her "Aunt Agnes."
Aunt Agnes had not got any little boys or girls
of her own, but she loved her little nephew and
nieces very much; and they loved her very much
too, and were always glad to go and stay with her
at her house.
I daresay you would like to know what sort of a
place Aunt Agnes lived in. Warleigh was a very
pretty village, it had not very many houses in it,
and scarcely any shops, but round about it were
beautiful green fields and trees, and shady lanes
where wild flowers and blackberries and wild straw-
berries grew. And then there was a wide common
on which you might see donkeys and geese and little
yellow goslings, and sometimes even a pretty brown
rabbit would run across and be out of sight in a
moment.
Aunt Agnes lived in a house very near this com-
mon; it was a pretty house, with white roses and red
roses, and honeysuckles and jessamine and other
flowers growing up the front of it and peeping in at
the windows.
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A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


The window in the parlours were like doors, so
that you could open them and walk out into the


AUNT AGNL8's HOUSIL


garden. I cannot tell you all the flowers that grew
in it. In the spring time there were snowdrops and
crocuses, and yellow primroses and lilac primroses,
and sweet violets almost hidden underneath their
green leaves. In the summer there were roses and
5






SA VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.
lilies, and bright scarlet geraniums and mignonette,
and ever so many more beautiful flowers, yellow and
red and blue, with such long names I am afraid you
would not remember if I were to tell you them. This
pretty garden was in front of the house: behind it
there was a nice large yard, with a stable in it for the
two ponies, Stella and Fanny," and a little house
for the dog "Rover" to live in, ahd a pond for the
ducks to swim about upon, and a house for the hens
and chickens to sleep in at night. Beyond this yard
was another large garden in which grew straw-
berries and currants and gooseberries and peas and
potatoes, and ever s9many other nice fruits and
vegetables. *
On one side of this garden was an orchard with
apple tree's and plum trees in it, and on the other
side was a little field, in which Willy and Bertha used
sometimes to help make hay.
Now I believe you will think, as Willie and Bertha
did, that Aunt Agnes's was a very nice place for
little boys and girls to stay at.
But I must tell you about the first evening after
they got there. When they went into the house
they found Auntie had tea all ready for them, and
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A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


they were very glad of some of her nice bread and
butter and strawberries and sweet milk; for Warleigh
was a long way from London, and they had been
riding first in the train, and then in their aunt's
pony carriage ever since one o'clock, and they were
both tired and hungry.
After tea Willy said, "Please, Auntie, may I go
and see Rover ?"
And I want to go too," said Bertha.
But Auntie said "No, dears, not to-night. I
don't think you know how late it is; the sun has
gone to bed,
'And all the ducks and fowls you know,
They went to bed an hour ago.'
Poor little Nelly is almost asleep I see, and I think
as soon as nurse has finished her tea, I must go up
and help her put you all to bed. You will have
plenty of time to run about to-morrow."
Now Willy and Bertha did not want to go to bed
just then, though they were very tired, but they knew
they must mind what Auntie said, and so they did
not cry, or tease to sit up a little longer, as I have
known some little folks do; but they went np-stairs
willingly and pleasantly with their aunt, who un-
7







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


dressed them while nurse was putting little Nelly to
bed. Just before they knelt down their aunt said to
them, My darlings must not forget to thank God
for taking care of them to-day, and bringing them
safely to see Auntie again."
"No, Auntie, I will thank him," said Bertha.
"And so will I," said Willy.
When they had knelt down, Aunt Agnes kissed
them, and in two minutes, I do believe, they were
fast asleep.


CHAPTER II.
THE next morning, Willy and Bertha did not wake
up very early, neither did Nelly, and Auntie said,
Don't wake them up, nure, let them lie a little
longer, for I daresay they are sleepy because they
went to bed late last night."
At last they all woke up, and first when they
opened their eyes, they wondered where they were,
for the room did not look like their nursery, and
when they looked at the window, they saw blue
sky and green trees instead of the tall houses and
8







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


chimneys they could see out of the nursery window
at home. But, however, by the time their eyes got
quite wide open they remembered the journey
yesterday, and that they had come to stay with dear
Aunt Agnes.
Nurse was sitting by the window, and Bertha
called out-
"Please, nurse, make haste and come and dress
me.
"And me, too," said Willy.
"Me, too," said little Nelly; I want to see Snow-
ball." Now Snowball" was a little kitten belong-
ing to Aunt Agnes. It was quite white all over
like snow, and that was the reason it was called
"Snowball."
When nurse had washed and dressed them all,
they wanted to run out of doors directly, but nurse
said-
No; Auntie had prayers half an hour ago, and
she is waiting for you to go to breakfast. So they
went down-stairs and found Aunt Agnes sitting
at the table waiting for them, and they ran up to
her and gave her two or three kisses.
After breakfast was over, Aunt said, "Now, dears,
9








A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


run and ask nurse to give you your hats, and then
you may go out of doors with me."
The first thing they saw was cook standing at the
back door feeding the chickens with barley, and they
were very much amused to see how fast the chickens
picked up the little grains. Cook let them each
put a hand in her barley bag and take out a hand-
ful to give the chickens.
After that they went to see Rover the dog; and
I think he remembered them and was glad to see
them again, for he wagged his tail, and jumped
about and looked very pleased indeed.
Then Auntie let them peep in at the stable door,
to look at Thomas who was cleaning the ponies,
combing them, and brushing them till their coats
were so smooth and bright they looked like satin.
As they were coming away from the stable, little
Nelly pulled her aunt's hand and said-
"Auntie! Auntie! Some of the little chickens
are going into the water, they'll be drowned!"
But Aunt said, "No, dear, they are not chickens,
but ducks, and ducks like to swim about in the
water, they won't be drowned. Let us go nearer
to the pond and look at them."
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A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


So they went and watched them, and the diuks
seemed to enjoy swimming about very much. Pre-
sently Bertha said-
Please, Auntie, I should like to feed the ducks.as
I used to last summer."
So her Aunt said she might go and ask cook to
give her some little pieces of bread; and when
she came back it was great fun to watch the ducks
swimming after the pieces of bread they threw into
the water to them. But there was one duck that
got more pieces than either of the others, and
gobbled them up so very quickly that Willy said
he thought it was a very greedy duck.
But," said Bertha, the duck doesn't know it is
naughty to be greedy, does it, Auntie ?"
And Auntie said, "No, it doesn't know any
better, so I think we must not be angry with
it."
After they had watched the ducks for some time,
Aunt Agnes told them she wanted to go in doors to
write a letter to tell their papa and mamma they
had got safely to Warleigh, and she asked them if
they would like to send any message.
They all said they wanted to send their love to
11







4 VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


dear papa and mamma, "and twenty kisses," said
little Nelly.
Before Aunt Agnes left them, she said nurse was
going to take her work into the orchard and sit on
the seat under the large apple tree, and that they
might go into the orchard, too, and play till dinner
time.
When Bertha and Willy and Nelly were out of
doors in London they couldn't run about as they
liked, but they had to keep quite close to nurse for
fear they should lose their way or get run over; and
so they enjoyed playing about in their aunt's orchard
or meadow all the more, and some famous games
they had.
After dinner they wanted to go out again, and
Aunt said they might do so, if nurse was not tired of
being out of doors, for she was going to see a lady
who was ill, and should not be able to have them
with her.
Nurse said, Oh! no, ma'am, I used to live in the
country when I was a young girl, and it is quite
a treat to me to be in the country, after living
shut up in London so long."
After tea Aunt Agnes always liked to have her
12






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


little nephew and nieces stay with her. Sometimes
they would sing pretty hymns with her; sometimes
she told them a tale; and almost always she taught
them a short verse out of the Bible. I think they
generally liked this quiet time with Aunt Agnes as
well as their play.
After tea this evening, Auntie said, Now, dears, 1
want you to come and sit by me, and learn a little
verse." So Willy brought a tiny chair, that had
belonged to Aunt Agnes when she was a little
girl-he said Nelly might sit in that; then he got
a stool for himself, and Bertha got another, and
they came and sat down quite close to Auntie.
Should you like to know how they learned their
verse? I will tell you; first, Auntie said it over,
and they repeated it after her two or three times,
and then they tried to say it by themselves all
together; after that, each one said it separately,
first Willy, then Bertha, and then Nelly, and by that
time they all knew it quite well. The verse to-night
was, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of
God." When they had learned it, Willy said,
"Auntie, we do love one another."
"Yes, dear, I am sure we all love one another
13


1







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


dearly; but I chose this verse," said Aunt Agnes,
because I have known little children sometimes
forget to show that they love each other. What was
Nelly crying about just before tea ?"
When Auntie asked this question, Bertha and
Willy looked at one another, and Willy's face
grew quite red all over; but they neither of them
spoke, and little Nelly looked as if she was going
to cry again.
Aunt Agnes asked once more, "What was my
little girl crying about, before tea?"
"Willy broke my doll," said Nelly.
But I did not mean to; only Nelly pushed me,
and I fell down," said Willy.
Auntie said, "I was looking out of my bedroom
window, and I think I can tell how it all happened.
Willy forgot that Jesus likes to see little children
kind and loving to each other, and so he thought
it would be fine fun to take Nelly's doll away, and
pretend to throw it over the hedge to tease Nelly."
"But I didn't mean to hurt the doll, Auntie."
"No, dear, I dare say not; but it was not
kind to make Nelly think you did: and then I am
afraid Nelly got angry, and instead of saying,
14






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


' Please, Willy, give me my doll,' she pushed against
and pulled him very roughly, and so his foot slipped,
and Willy and poor dolly came down together."
"Yes, Auntie, and dolly's arm is broken," said
Nelly.
"Is it, dear ? Auntie must try and mend it for
you.
"Now, when Willy feels inclined to tease his little
sister next time, and when Nelly feels the naughty
tempers coming that make Jesus sorry, will they
try to think of this little verse out of God's book,
'Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of
God?'
"Now let us sing a hymn together, and then
nurse must come and take you all to bed, or you
will not be ready to get up to-morrow morning
again."
Before Willy went to bed, he put his arm round
his little sister's neck, and told her he was sorry for
breaking her doll, and that he would not tease her
any more. Nelly said she was sorry for pushing
him and throwing him down.
Oh! never mind that, Nelly dear," said Willy;
"I was not hurt a bit."
15







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


Then they kissed each other, and when they knelt
down, they asked God to make them always kind
and loving.


CHAPTER III.
1 THINK you would like to know how Willy and
Bertha, and Nelly spent their Sundays, when they
stayed with Aunt Agnes. I shall tell you about
one of them.
They had breakfast rather earlier than they did
on other days, because Aunt Agnes used to go to a
Sunday School, before church in the morning.
After bYeakfast Auntie kissed them and said, If
Willy goes up-stairs, and looks on my dressing-table,
he will find a large book; please bring it down."
So Willy ran up-stairs and brought down the
book, and Aunitie said, "Now put it on the table
and draw up some chairs quite close; Willy can sit
because he is the tallest, but Bertha and Nelly must
kneel upon their chairs, or they will not be able to
see nicely. Now, Willy, you come in the middle and
show all these pretty pictures to Bertha and Nelly.
16







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


Auntie must run away, or she will have all her little
girls at the Sunday School waiting for her, and that
would never do.
When the book was opened, they found it was almost
full of pretty coloured pictures. There was a picture
of the baby Moses, laid in his little cradle of bulrushes
by the water-side; there was a picture of David the
shepherd-boy, who was afterwards king; there was
a picture of Jesus, when he was a baby lying on
his mother's lap, in the stable at Bethlehem; and
there was a picture of Jesus, putting his hands on
the little children and blessing them. And there
were ever so many pretty pictures beside. Willy
and Bertha, and even little Nelly knew what a great
many of the pictures meant, because their mamma
often told them stories from the Bible, and those
they did not understand, they said they must ask
Auntie about by-and-by.
They had not quite finished looking at them,
when their kind nurse came to the door, and said,
"Now, dears; it is quite time to get ready for
church."
I want to look at the pictures," said Nelly.
"We must go to nurse now, dear," said Willy.
o 17







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


"I dare say Aunt will let us have the book
again."
So they shut the book up carefully, and all ran off
to nurse, and were soon ready to start. Willy and


-G--- 1 C
GufNG U) C'IWBCH.


Bertha took hold of each other's hands and walked in
front, and little Nelly walked behind with nurse and
one of the other servants, who each took hold of a
hand to help her along, for it was rather a long way
18







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


to go, and Nelly was only a very little girl, you
know.
When they got to the house of God, they found
Auntie already in the pew. Willy sat on one side of her,
and Bertha on the other. Little Nelly sat by nurse.
They all tried to sit very still, for Auntie had talked
to them the evening before about trying to behave
well in God's house. She said to them, "I dare
say you will feel tired, because you will not be able
to understand very much, perhaps, of what is said;
but, if you listen, Mr. Stanley (that is the clergyman's
name) almost always says something that even little
boys and girls like you can remember, if they try:
and you will like to hear the singing; and when we
all kneel down to pray, you can whisper in your
hearts a prayer to the Lord Jesus to ask Him to love
you, and bless you, and help you to be good
children all the week."
And Auntie said, too, "When little people do not
behave well at church or chapel themselves, they
make other people fidgetty and uncomfortable, and
instead of thinking about what the minister is saying,
or joining in the prayers, they are thinking to
themselves, Oh, what a naughty little boy that is
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A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


in the next pew, I wish his mamma had left him at
home.'"
When Aunt Agnes said this, Willy and Bertha
both thought they should not like anybody to wish
they had stayed at home; and they all promised to
be very still. They all tried to be so, though they
began to get tired of sitting before the service was
quite over. However, when Auntie got home, she
kissed them, and said they had been very good
children indeed.
After dinner, Nelly asked her Aunt to show them
the nice picture-book again, and tell them some
stories about the pictures. But Aunt said, No,
darling, I cannot just now, for I am going to church
again; perhaps nurse will tell you about some of
them, if you ask her. Should you like to take the
book out into the garden, and look at it there?
Nurse can sit on the seat, under the walnut tree, and
hold the book on her lap, and you can carry your
little stools out to sit on."
O yes! that will be very nice," they all cried.
In the evening Bertha said-
Are you going to church again, Auntie ?"
Aunt Agnes said, "No, I am going to stay with
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A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


you, dear; and we will sing some hymns and talk
together. What hymn would you like to sing first ?"
Willy said he should like to sing, I think when 1
read that sweet story of old." But Bertha and Nelly
wanted to have, Glory, glory;" and so Willy said
they would have that first, and they could have his
hymn afterwards.
Auntie went to the piano, and they all sung
together that pretty hymn, beginning-
Around the throne of God in heaven,
Thousands of children stand,
Whose sins are all through Christ forgiven,
A holy, happy band.
Singing, Glory, glory, glory !"

Afterwards they sung Willy's favourite.
When they had done singing, Aunt Agnes said,
"I wonder if either of you can remember anything
Mr. Stanley said in his sermon ?"
I can," said Bertha; he said that verse mamma
taught us, 'Suffer little children to come unto me,
and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of
heaven.' "
"So he did, darling; now, I wonder if anybody
can remember the text ?"
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A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


What is the text, Auntie ?" asked Willy.
Aunt Agnes replied, "When a minister preaches,
he generally reads one or two verses from the Bible,
and these verses are called the text; afterwards, he
tries to teach us what the verses mean; why they
were written; and what God wants us to learn from
them. The text this morning was this verse, Him
that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.'
Now, shall we say it over and over together, till you
all know it ?"
And Willy and Bertha, and even little Nelly very
soon learnt to say it quite by themselves.
"Do you know who said those words?" asked
Aunt Agnes.
"Was it Jesus, Auntie ?" said Bertha.
Yes, dear;.they mean that we may always go to
Jesus, however naughty we have been, and ask Him
to forgive us, and love us, and make us better.
Jesus will never send us away, or be angry with us
for coming to Him. How can little children go to
Jesus now ?"
"Oh! I know," said Willy; "dear mamma told
us; she said we could not see Jesus now, as the little
children could who went to Him when He was on
22







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


earth, but that He can see and hear us just as well
as he could then; and she said that when we pray to.
Jesus out of our hearts, that is going to Him ?"
"Yes," said Bertha, "and mamma told us that
Jesus will love us and bless us quite as much as He.
did them, if we ask him ?"
"Yes, darling, that is quite true," said Auntie;
"and there is another happy thing to remember,
Jesus can listen to us always; sometimes when you
want to say something, mamma or aunt is obliged
to say, 1 cannot attend to you just now, dear; I am
busy;' and sometimes we are away from you, and-
you cannot run to us, to ask us to help you; but
Jesus is always ready to listen, when little children
pray. And now shall we sing another hymn ?"
"Please, Auntie."
I will tell you two verses of the hymn they
sung-
Jesus little children blesses,
Oh! how he loves !
Fondly he each lamb caresses,
Oh I how he loves!
Would you wish to go to heaven ?
Ask, and have your sins forgiven;
None from him were ever driven,
Oh I how he loves I
28






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


He will listen to your prayer,
Oh! how he loves I
Although feeble, if sincere,
Oh how he loves !
lie became a child to sever,
Man from sin and Satan ever;
Those who come he'll cast out never,
Oh! how he loves !"




CHAPTER IV.

"WHO would like to go with me to Stanfield ?" said
Aunt Agnes, one fine morning.
Stanfield was the name of a town, near which
Aunt Agnes lived'.
"I should, please Auntie," said Willie. "And I,"
said Bertha. "'Please, Auntie, take me," said little
Nelly.
"Very well, dears, I'll try to take you all," said
Aunt Agnes. Run away to nurse, and ask her to get
you ready, if she pleases; and tell her that 1 should
like her to go, too."
So away they ran, and they were ready for the
ride before Auntie was; however, they had not to
24






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


wait long for her, and Thomas soon brought the
chaise round to the door.
Aunt Agnes said that Willy and Bertha might
ride in front with her; nurse sat behind and took
care of Nelly, and a very pleasant ride they had;
the ponies trotted along merrily, as if they liked it.
When they got to Stanfield, Aunt Agnes took
the chaise to an inn and had the ponies taken out,
and then the children and nurse walked about with
her. She had a great deal of shopping to do; for
you know there were hardly any shops at Warleigh,
and once or twice a week she was obliged to ride
over to Stanfield to buy things she wanted. I
cannot tell you all the places they called at this
morning; they went to the butcher's, and the
baker's, and the draper's, and the grocer's, and to
several other places, and at last they all began to
feel rather tired and hungry, and Bertha said,
"Auntie, are you going to many more shops?"
No, dear, I've nearly done my shopping, now;
I shouldn't wonder if some little folks I know are
getting hungry; suppose we go and get some
luncheon, the next thing ?"
And so kind Aunt Agnes took them into a pastry-
25







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


cook's, and they all had some buns and lemonade,
and sat down to rest. Afterwards Auntie said she
had one more shop to go to, and they might either
stay where they were, with nurse, till she came
back, or go with her, which they liked best: they
said they would rather go with her to the shop.
They found that on one side of it were sold books,
and paper, and envelopes, and pens and ink; but on
the other side were toys-hoops, and balls, and dolls,
and little carts and wheelbarrows.
Bertha and Nelly and Willy thought it was a
very nice shop, indeed.
When Aunt Agnes had bought the envelopes she
wanted, she came to the other side of the shop, and
Nelly said, Oh, look, Auntie; what a dear little
doll! just like a real little baby."
Auntie smiled and said, I was going to buy
something for you,.and if you like that doll so much
you may have it to take home."
"Thank you, dear Auntie," said Nelly, and she
put up her lips to give her aunt a kiss.
Now," said Aunt Agnes, Willy and Bertha may
each choose a ball."
They were rather a long time choosing, but at last
26






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


Willy fixed on a black ball; it was not very pretty,
but it was made of India rubber, and Willy said
he liked it best because it bounced up so nicely
when he threw it down. Bertha's ball was covered
with red leather, she chose it because she thought
it looked so bright and pretty.
When they all got back to the inn, the chaise
was so full of parcels that Willy and Bertha thought
they should never be able to get in; however, the
parcels were all safely packed away in time, and
off they started home to Warleigh.
In the afternoon Aunt Agnes called Willy and
Bertha to her and said, I want you both to remem-
ber one thing; those balls I gave you this morning
are to play with out of doors. I cannot have them
thrown about in the house for fear you should do
some mischief with them."
Then she kissed them, and told them she was
going out but did not expect to be late, and that
they might ask nurse to let them stay up till she
came home in the evening.
After Aunt Agnes was gone, I am sorry to say
the little folks were disobedient and got into trouble.
When Auntie got home, as she walked up the
27






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


garden path, Nelly ran to meet her, but she did not
see anything of Willy and Bertha, and wondered
where they were. But when she went into the
dining-room, she saw them standing together by the
table hanging down their heads, and she could see
they had been crying sadly; so she went up to
them and said, "Why, what is the matter ? what
makes these little eyes so red, I wonder ?"
And then Willy said, "Oh, Auntie, we have
broken your pretty little rose tree !"
"Yes, Auntie, and we are so sorry," sobbed
Bertha.
"What, my pretty white rose! I am very sorry,
too," said Aunt Agnes. "Ah yes, I see all three
of the buds are broken off, and it will be a long time
before it looks so pretty again. How did the acci-
dent happen ?"
"My ball knocked it down, Auntie."
"But I thought I told you not to play with your
balls in-doors ?" said their aunt.
"Yes, Auntie, but after you were gone we forgot.
Bertha and I were playing with my ball in here, and
it bounced against your rose and threw it over on
the floor, and then we remembered what you said."
28






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.
"Well, Willy, I am very sorry my poor little
rose is broken, and I am very sorry you and Bertha
did not remember what I said to you, but there
is one thing 1 am glad of."
"What is that, Auntie ?"
"I am glad you told me yourselves all about this
accident. Now call Nelly, I think you will have
time to learn a verse before bed-time."
The verse Aunt Agnes taught them to-night was
this, Confess your faults one to another."
"What does confess mean, Auntie ?" said Willy.
"When you and Bertha told me just now that
you had been disobedient and had broken my
flower with your ball, that was confessing your
fault, telling me that you had done wrong."
"Auntie, we didn't like to tell you, we thought
you would be so angry with us," said Bertha.
"Do you think you would have gone to bed
and to sleep happily if you had not told me, dear ?"
"No, Auntie, I am sure we should not."
"And I am sure you would not. I want you
always to remember that the best and bravest and
happiest way, when you have done wrong is to
confess it at once, as you have done to-night Now
29






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


I have something pleasant to tell you. I called
on Mrs. Stanley when I was out this afternoon,
and I asked her to let Mary and Harry come to
spend the day with you to-morrow."
"Thank you, dear Auntie," they all cried.
"Here comes nurse," said Bertha.
"Yes, my darlings; it is past bed-time. Good-
night."


CHAPTER V.

WHEN the morning came, Willy and Bertha and
Nelly were in high glee at the thought of the visit
of their little friends, and it seemed a very long time
indeed to wait until eleven o'clock, at which time
Harry and Mary Stanley were to come. At last
Aunt Agnes proposed that they should all go and
help her to pick some strawberries, and they were sur-
prised to find how much more quickly the time
seemed to pass when they were busy than it did
while they were only looking out of window and say-
ing, Oh, I wish they would come!" or "What
o'clock is it now, Auntie ?"
80






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


Just as they came in from the garden, Mr. Stan-
ley's carriage drove up to the door, and Mary and
Harry got out.
Harry was about the same age as Willy, and
Mary was a year older.
When Aunt Agnes had kissed them and asked
them how they were, she said, "Now Willy and
Bertha, you must try and amuse your little friends
till dinner time. After dinner I think the grass
will be all cut in the field, and you may go there and
help make it into hay; but I do not wish you to go
to the field, remember, until I can go with you in the
afternoon."
Away they all went together, but I cannot tell
you all the things they did that pleasant morning;
they had a game at ball the first thing, and Nelly
showed Mary the pretty doll her aunt had bought
for her at Stanfield the day before, and' Mary told
Nelly about her dolls and baby house; then they
went into the orchard, where Aunt Aghes had had a
swing put up for them. A very nice little one it
was, with a square seat and bars all round so that
they could not well fall out of it.
When they had all had a good swing, they went
31






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


to look at the chickens and ducks, and Nelly tried to
find Snowball, the kitten, to show Mary, but Miss
Pussy had hidden herself somewhere, and was not to


THE SWING-CHAIR IN THE ORCHARD.


be found just then. Harry said they had a kitten
at home that was quite black all over, and that it
was called Topsy."
What a funny name!" said Bertha.


~ ~







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


"Yes," Mary said, "it was called 'Topsy' after
a little black girl mamma read about."
Was the little girl's name Topsy ?'" asked Willy.
"Yes; she was a very funny little girl mamma
told us, and at first she was naughty, for she had no
one to love her, or to try to teach her to be good;
but afterwards she found kind friends, and she learnt
to love Jesus, and grew up to be a good woman.
Mamma said I might read the book that has the
story in it some day."
And now nurse came in sight, saying, "Now,
Master Willy, come, my dears, it is almost dinner
time, you must have your hands washed directly,
and not keep Auntie waiting."
Very soon after dinner they all went into the
hay-field, Aunt Agnes and nurse and all the chil
dren.
They found Thomas the man had been so kind as
to look out some pieces of stick the right shape
to make them some little hay forks: there was one
ready for each of them, and they soon set to work
turning over the hay; indeed they worked quite
hard for a good while.
When they were tired they came and sat down by
D 33







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


Aunt Agnes and nurse to rest. After they were
rested they had some fine fun, covering each other
up in the hay, and at last they all tried to cover up
Aunt Agnes; they tried for a long while before they
could manage it, but at last they persuaded her
to sit very still, and got her covered quite up.
After this game, Auntie asked them how they
would like to have tea in the hay-field.
Oh, it would be nice !" they all cried.
Very well then," said Aunt Agnes, suppose you
come with nurse and me, and we will all help
bring the things for tea out here. Thomas must
bring us out a little table, and a chair for me and
another for. nurse. Please, nurse, you must have
tea with us to-day, and help me take care of these
little folks."
Then they all went to the house and helped
bring the tea out into the field. There was Susan
with the cups and saucers, and cook with the tea-pot
and the bread and butter, nurse with something
else, Auntie with the milk. Bertha was trusted with
the cake, Willy with the biscuits, Harry with the
sugar basin, and Mary and Nelly wanted to help
too, and so they carried a basket of strawberries


__






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


between them. When they got to the hay-field
again, the children made themselves up seats in
the hay, nurse and Auntie sat on chairs, and a
merry merry party they were.
After tea they had more games, and they could
scarcely believe it was seven o'clock when Susan
came to say that Mrs. Stanley's nurse had come
to fetch Mary and Harry home.
Auntie said she would not keep them longer,
for she feared there would be a thunder-storm
by-and-by later in the evening, and Mrs. Stanley
would be anxious in that case if they were' not
safely at home.
So Willy and Bertha and Nelly went in-doors
with them while they were got ready to go home,
then they bid them good-night, and stood at the
door watching the carriage they were in, till it was
quite out of sight.
Aunt Agnes came up to them while they were
standing there, and Willy said, "Please, Auntie,
may we sit up a little longer, we are not at all
sleepy ?"
So Auntie said that nurse might come for them
in half an hour, and that they might stay with her
D 2 35


r








A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


till then. However, before nurse came it began to
thunder and lighten, as Aunt had thought it would,
and Bertha and Willy said they did not like it,
and almost began to cry.
"Oh, I like it! I am not frightened, I like the
music and shining!" said little Nelly-she always
called thunder and lightning music and shining."
Auntie called them all from the window, and
made them sit by her and said, "My children
know who sends the thunder and lightning, don't
they ?"
"Yes, Auntie, God does," they answered.
"And who takes care of us always, every day and
every night ?'
"God, Auntie."
"Yes, darlings; and God can take care of us just
as well and as easily in the storm as he can when
the sky is blue and the sun is shining, and if God
takes care of us nothing can hurt us. Should you
like Auntie to tell you a little tale ?"
Oh! yes, please," they said.
"Well, there was a lady once who went to sea
in a ship with her husband who was an officer, and
a dreadful storm came, much worse than this one
36







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


to-night; the wind blew too, and the big waves
rose up till it seemed as if the ship would be lost
and everybody in it drowned. The poor lady was
very frightened, and she said to her husband, 'Are
not you frightened ?' At first he did not answer
her question. Do you know what a sword is,
Willy ?"
"Yes, Auntie, Uncle Edward wears one hanging
at his side sometimes; it is a thing like a large,
sharp, bright knife, isn't it ?"
"Yes, dear; well, this gentleman reached his
sword, and taking it out of its case, he held. the
point of it close to his wife, just as if he was going
to run it into her and kill her; she only smiled,
and he asked her, Are you not frightened ?' She
said 'No.' He then asked her why she was not
frightened. Because I know you will not hurt me
with it.' 'And I am not frightened at the storm,'
he said, because I know that my Father in heaven
holds it in his hand, and can keep it from hurting
me.'"
"And did they get safely to land, Auntie ?"
"Yes, dear, God took care of them; and God has
taken care of us, you see, for the storm is going
87







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


away now; I' think it will soon be over. Shall we
say over a verse together, or are you too tired
to-night to learn one ?"
"Oh, no, Auntie."
Then let it be this pretty one-' I will both lay
me down in peace and sleep; for thou, Lord, only
makest me dwell in safety.'"




CHAPTER VI.
ONE day it was very wet. Patter, patter, came the
rain against the windows, when Willy and Bertha
and Nelly opened their eyes in the morning. Patter,
patter, all breakfast time. Auntie said perhaps
it would soon leave off raining and be a fine day
after all: but no; patter, patter, down it came,
and it did not seem at all inclined to leave off.
The children were very disappointed, for Aunt
Agnes had promised to take them for a ride in the
pony chaise that morning, and now it was so wet
they certainly could not go. Bertha and Nelly ran
to the window every two or three minutes to see
38






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


if it had left off raining, or if they could see a little
bit of blue sky, and Willy ran about singing-
Rain, rain, go away,
And come again another day."

But it was very clear the rain meant to come down
to-day. So Auntie said, "I think we must make
up our minds to stay at home, and we must try
to be merry and pleasant, notwithstanding our dis-
appointment."
"Are not you sorry it rains, Auntie?" asked
Bertha.
"Yes, dear, I am sorry because you are obliged to
lose your ride, but I am glad, too."
Why are you glad, Auntie ?"
My poor little flowers looked so thirsty yester-
day, and this nice rain will do them good; yesterday
they were hanging down their heads and looking
as if they were going to die, and now I can see from
the windows how fresh and beautiful they are."
"But," said Willy, presently, "what shall we do
this morning as we can't go out ?"
"Should you like to have some picture books
to look at ? or would you like Auntie to lend you a
39






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


little pair of scales and then you might play at
keeping shop ?"
They all said they should like to play at keeping
shop best. So Aunt Agnes found a nice little pair
of scales, and she gave them some biscuits and some
lump sugar and some coffee berries, and some plums
to put in their shop. They made a counter with
two chairs. Willy kept shop first, and Bertha and
Nelly pretended to come to buy; afterwards
Bertha was shopwoman and her brother and sister
were the customers. By-and-by Auntie came up to
the counter, and they all laughed very much when
she said, Good-morning, Mrs. Green; I want a
pound of coffee this morning, if you please."
They did not get tired of playing at shop-keeping
all the morning, and almost forgot to look whether
it rained or not.
But still, at dinner time, patter, patter came the
rain; and Auntie asked-
"Well, what are my little folks going to do this
afternoon, I wonder ?"
Willy said, "Auntie, do you remember you
promised to show us inside your little black cup-
board ? May we see it to-day, please ?"
40



































































































1- 11-1~ _=- _II- _


TH' l' ,ABI'ET







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


Yes, I think I do remember promising to show
you the pretty things in my cabinet some day; and
you shall see them this afternoon if you like; only
Auntie will be busy writing letters till about four
o'clock; so suppose after dinner you run away to
nurse till then, if Auntie is quite quiet, she will get
her writing done the sooner, perhaps."
I have not told you before anything about Uncle
Edward, the husband of Aunt Agnes. He was the
captain of a large ship, and he often went away
long long voyages over the sea.
Willy and Bertha remembered him quite well, for
once or twice he was at home when they came to
stay with Aunt Agnes. And they loved him dearly,
for he was very good, and very kind, and very
merry;-he had such famous games of play with
them, and told them such funny stories; and they
were very sorry he was not at home this time.
Little Nelly could not remember him at all, for she
was such a very little girl when he last went away.
Once when Uncle Edward came home from India,
he brought for Aunt Agnes a beautiful Indian
cabinet; this was what Willy called her "black cup-
board." It was black, but it had curious gilt
41


I







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


pictures on its outside. Inside it was very much
like a cupboard, it had little shelves and drawers in
it. And in this cabinet Aunt Agnes kept a great
many pretty things.
Almost every time Uncle Edward came home, he
brought with him something curious or beautiful,
and these things were, most of them, put safely
away in the cabinet. Willy and Bertha had never
seen half that was inside it; it was always kept
locked up, for Auntie was afraid to trust anybody's
fingers there but her own; lest something should get
spoiled or broken.
When four o'clock came, Aunt Agnes had quite
finished her letters; and so when Willy tapped at
the door, she said, "Come in, dears; I am quite
ready for you."
I am sure I cannot tell you all that was inside
that wonderful "black cupboard." There were a
great many beautiful shells, some large heavy ones,
smooth as ivory inside, and of a beautiful pink or
buff colour; then there were some smaller ones,
white and violet, almost as thin as paper. Auntie
was afraid to let the children handle these, so she
held them up to show them; and there were some
42






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


boxes of little tiny shells, scarcely larger than a pin's
head, but of such pretty shapes and colours, that
Willy said he was sure no one but God could niake
such beautiful little things.
"No," said Auntie; when I see how beautifully
God has made the trees, and flowers, and shells, and
many many other things, I often think of those
words in the Bible, And God saw everything that
he had made, and behold it was very good.' "
Besides the shells there were seaweeds and corals.
Auntie told the children that coral was made by
little insects who worked away under the sea.
Presently, Bertha spied a little pair of shoes, "0,
what funny little shoes, Auntie! I should think
they would fit Nelly !"
Yes," said Aunt Agnes, they came from China;
the ladies there think that small feet are very pretty,
and so the poor little girls have their feet tied, and
squeezed up so tightly, that they have not room to
grow; and when they themselves grow up to be
women, they have little feet, it is true, for they are
so small they can hardly walk about on them."
But, Auntie, do grown-up ladies in China, wear
such funny little shoes as these ?"
4R







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


"Yes, dear."
After the shoes, Aunt Agnes showed them a great
many pretty things-some came from India, some
from China, and some from other places. By-and-
by, she opened a little door inside the cabinet, and
Nelly cried, "0, Auntie, what an ugly doll!"
"It is ugly," said Bertha, "and it has got four
arms instead of two; where did it come from,
Auntie ?"
"It came from India, dear; but it is not a doll.
I do not think you would ever guess what it was
made for. Do you know, a great many people in
India, thousands and thousands of them, do not love
God, a great number of them have never heard of
Jesus, and instead of praying to Him, they make
ugly images and pray to them."
But they cannot hear them, Auntie."
"No, darling i but these poor people think they
can, and so they pray to them and bring them
presents. The images are not all made alike, some
people pray to one kind of image and some to
another; this ugly one is called the goddess Kalec,
and the poor people in India think she is very cruel,
and is pleased when animals, and even when people
44







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


are killed. Besides the images, many of these poor
heathen pray to rivers, and trees, and other things;
is it not sad to think of their doing so ?"
Yes, Auntie," said Willy; but don't they know
any better ?"
A great many of them do not, but good people
in England have sent out ministers to tell them
about God, and Jesus, and how they may get to
heaven; and a great many Bibles have been given
to them."
Yes, Auntie; mamma has got a box at home,
with a little hole at the top, and she says it .is
to put money in to buy Bibles for the poor people
over the seas, who have not got any. I put a
penny in one day, and so did Bertha, and so did
Nelly."
"That was very pleasant, I should think," said
Auntie. "And now, my darlings, I think you
have seen all you want to see here, have you not ?"
I should like to see the things again some day,
Auntie," said Nelly. "And so should we," said
Willy and Bertha.
Very well, so you shall, if all is well," said Aunt
Agnes.
46







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


After tea Auntie went to the piano, and the
children sung with her several pretty hymns.
The sun peeped out from behind the clouds just
before it went to bed, and Auntie said she thought
it would be fine to-morrow. They all said they
hoped it would. But Willy put his arm round
his aunt's neck when he bid her good-night, and
said it had been a very happy day though it had
been wet.


CHAPTER VII.
"I WANT you all three to go into the garden with
me directly after breakfast," said Aunt Agnes to the
children one morning.
"Are you going to pick fruit, Auntie ?" asked
Bertha.
"No, dear."
Do you want us to hold the string while you tie
up the roses, as you did yesterday, Auntie ?"
But Aunt Agnes said no, she did not want them
for that.
Then Nelly tried to guess, and said, Oh, I know;
you are going to gather some nosegays, Auntie ?"
46






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


But Auntie laughed and shook her head, saying,
"You must all have patience till after breakfast, and
then you will see."
So as soon as they had finished, Willy said, May
we go now ?"
"Yes, dear; get your hats, and ask nurse to give
you mine, too."
Aunt Agnes led them round to the side of the
house where there was a nice little flower-bed, and
she said, Now I am going to give you this piece of
garden for your own."
"But is it for our very own, and may we pick the
flowers ?" asked Willy.
"Yes, darling."
"Oh, thank you! thank you very much! dear
Auntie," they all said.
In this little garden there was a pretty rose busn
and some pinks and some mignonette and several
other flowers, and Auntie promised to ask Thomas
presently if he could find a scarlet geranium or two
to make it look gay. The children thought it was
very pretty already.
When they had looked at it a good while
Auntie said, Now suppose you go and peep under
47







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.
that large laurel and bring me word what you see
there."
So they all ran to the laurel and lifted up the
boughs and peeped under. What do you think was
hidden there ? A pretty little spade and rake and
water-pot.
"Oh, Auntie, are these for us ?" they cried.
"Why I thought if you had a garden you would
want some gardening tools," said Auntie; the spade
is for Willy, the rake for Bertha, and the water-
pot for Nelly; but you must each lend to the other,
and I think when you go away they had better be
left with me to take care of till you come again."
Thank you, Auntie," said Willy and Bertha; and
httle Nelly whispered, "I do think you are the
kindest Auntie in the world."
Just then Thomas came by, so Aunt Agnes asked
him about the geraniums, and said "I think you
must be kind enough to show these little people how
to take care of their garden."
Thomas touched his cap and said, Yes, ma'am,"
and went away, but he soon returned, bringing with
him two geraniums covered with bright scarlet
blossoms.
48






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


When they had fixed where to plant them, Willy
dug two little holes with his spade, Thomas put
the flowers in, and helped Bertha rake the ground
round them smooth and tidy again, and afterwards
Nelly watered them from her water-pot. Then
they all ran away to tell nurse about the new
garden, and to fetch her to see it.
In the afternoon as the children were running
across the hall, they met Aunt Agnes coming out
of the store-room with her bonnet on, and a basket
in her hand.
Bertha said, "Auntie, are you going out? and
may we come with you ?"
"Yes, dear, I was coming to look for you. I am
going to see Nurse Brown, and a poor little boy who
is ill, and you may all come with me."
Now the children were always pleased to go and
see Nurse Brown, for she had nursed their papa
when he was a very little boy, and sometimes she
would tell them tales of what he used to do and say.
She was a very old woman now, and she would have
been very poor, but that Mr. Green often sent her a
little money, and Aunt Agnes frequently gave her
other things.
K 49






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


But N ure Brown was always cheerful and happy
,though she was old and poor, and sometimes suffered
a great deal of pain and could scarcely walk about
at all. She was happy because she loved God, and
felt that he loved her; she knew that he would
take care of her while she lived, and that she was
very soon going to be with Jesus in heaven.
Aunt Agnes and the children did not stay long
with her this afternoon, for she was very poorly
and hardly able to talk with them; though she
smiled and said it did her good to see their dear
little faces, and that Master Willy grew more like his
papa every time she saw him.
Aunt Agnes opened her basket and took out a
little parcel of tea and another of sugar, before she
left, for Nurse Brown, who thanked her very much,
and said'the tea was just what she wanted for she
had not any in the house.
And now Aunt Agnes took them all into another
cottage where a poor little boy was lying all by
himself. His face was very white and thin, and
so were his hands and arms, and he did not look
any bigger than Willy, though Auntie had said
that he was nearly twelve years old.








A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


He too was very glad to see his visitors; evety
one was pleased to see Aunt Agnes, for she smiled
so kindly and spoke so pleasantly always.


SUB8B BhtOWN'S WrrAGL


Well, Charles," said she to the little boy who
was ill, "how are you to-day ?"
"Rather better than I have been, thank you.
ma am.
E 2 51








A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


"You see I have brought my little nieces and
nephew to see you to-day."
"Yes, ma'am, thank you; I am very glad you
came this afternoon, for mother has been obliged
to be out at work nearly all day."
"And so you began to feel lonely ?"
"Yes, ma'am, I did rather."
"But it is a happy thing to remember, dear, that
those who love Jesus are never alone, for he has
promised to be with them always."
"Yes, ma'am, I am very glad to think of
that."
Now, Willy," said Aunt Agnes, bring me my
basket from the table, and let us see what we can
find there for Charles."
First, some nice fresh eggs were taken out, then a
little sponge cake, and then a nice large bunch of
grapes.
Charles said, "Thank you, ma'am; how kind
you are!"
"I think you would like to have a few of the
grapes now, would you not ?"
If you please, ma'am," said Charles.
The poor boy often had to bear a great deal of
62





























































N.


'l'T 1i V*Ii jI '


Y







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


pain, which made him very hot and thirsty, so he
was very glad of some nice cool fruit to eat.
Aunt Agnes gave him some of the grapes, then
she said, I have brought a very pretty hymn with
me, shall I read it to you ?"
Oh! yes, ma'am, if you please."
So Aunt Agnes read that beautiful hymn, begin-
ning-
There's a rest for little children,
Above the bright blue sky;
Who love the blessed Saviour,
And Abba Father' cry.
A rest from every turmoil,
From sin and danger free,
Where every little pilgrim,
Shall rest eternally."

Charles liked the hymn very much indeed, and
said he should like to learn it; so Aunt Agnes gave
him the copy she brought with her, saying she
thought she had another at home.
After they had left the cottage Willy said, "Do
you think that little boy will ever get well, Auntie ?"
I don't think he will, dear, I think he gets worse
rather than better; but I am sure that he loves
Jesus, and so if Jesus calls him to go to him in
53
1_________________







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


heaven, he will not be afraid, but will be ready and
willing to go."
"Does he always have to lie still, Auntie, as
he did this afternoon ?"
"Yes, dear, when he was a very little boy, not
so old as Nelly, he had a bad fall and hurt his back,
and he has not been able to run about since then."
"Auntie," said Bertha, presently, "when I am
a wwnan, I shall go to see poor people and have a
basket like yours, and take them things."
"I hope you will be kind to the poor when you
grow up, Bertha, but I do not think you need wait
till then before you begin."
"But, Auntie," said Willy, "we have not got any
tea or cakes; or anything nice to give them."
"No, darling, but still I think even little children
like you, may often do something to make other
people happy. When you all tried to be very quiet
this afternoon, and to speak very softly to each other,
and to shut the door quietly because Nurse Brown
was ill, that was one way of being kind, and I can
think of something you might give to poor Charles
that he would be very pleased with."
"Oh, Auntie, can you! what is it '
54







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


"A little bunch of flowers from your garden."
Would he like them, Auntie ? and may we go
and take him some to-morrow ?" asked Willy-and
Bertha.
To-morrow or next day you may, my dears, and
I am sure he would like them for he is very fond of
flowers indeed."
The verse Aunt Agnes chose for the children
to learn in the evening was, "Inasmuch as ye have
done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done
it unto me."
"Why, Auntie," said Willy, that is what Nurse
Brown said to you this afternoon, but I did' not
know it was a verse out of the Bible. What does it
mean "
"You know that Jesus could take care of his poor
people himself if he liked without our helping him,
because he can do everything; but he thought if we
loved him we should want to do something for him,
and so he lets us help him by going to see them,
and giving them things they want, and he says in
this verse that being kind to them; is just the same
thing as being kind to him. Do you understand,
Willy ?"
55







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


"Yes, Auntie, I think I do."
"Don't you think it is very kind of Jesus to let us
help him ?"
"Yes, Auntie."
"Now let me hear you say the verse over once
more all together, that I may be quite sure you
know it. That will do nicely, my darlings."



CHAPTER VIII.

ONE Sunday evening Aunt Agnes said, "When
I saw Mrs. Stanley this morning, she asked me to go
and spend the day with her on Tuesday, and to take
you all with me, should you like to go ?"
"Oh, yes, Auntie, please!" cried Willy, Bertha,
and Nelly all together.
"Are you going, Auntie, and will you take us?"
said Willy.
Yes, darling, I hope to be able to go myself and
to take you too. All the little boys and girls in
the Warleigh Schools are to have tea on Mr. Stan-
ley's lawn in the afternoon."
56


C







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


"Are they, Auntie? I wish to-morrow was
Tuesday," said Bertha.
Ah, but you know," said Aunt Agnes, "you will
have a whole day to think of the pleasure that is
coming; do not you like to look forward to pleasant
things ?"
"Yes, Auntie, but it seems a long time to wait
till Tuesday."
Oh, no! the time will soon pass; Tuesday is
only the day after to-morrow."
"It will be when I get up again and again," said
little Nelly.
They all laughed at Nelly's speech, for the little
girl had a very funny way of reckoning time when
she expected anything to happen in a day or two,
she always counted how many times she would have
to go to bed or to get up again first.
Willy, Bertha, and Nelly found plenty of pleasant
things to employ themselves about on Monday, and
it did not seem a long day after all.
In the morning they went to Stanfield with their
aunt, who drove over to buy a number of toys to
give away to the school children on Tuesday. In
the afternoon they picked a nosegay for Charles, the
57







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.
poor little boy who was ill, and nurse took them to
see him. You should have seen how pleased his
poor little pale face looked when he saw the flowers!
The children had been to the cottage twice since the
first time they went with Aunt Agnes, and each
time they had taken him some flowers from their
own garden.
In the evening Bertha said, "Do you think it will
be a fine day to-morrow, Auntie ?"
Yes, darling, I think it will."
And a fine day it was. Directly after breakfast,
Thomas brought the pony carriage round to the
door. All were soon ready to start, Bertha and Nelly
sat with Aunt Agnes in front, Willy sat with Thomas
behind. Thomas was to take the carriage back, and
to come with it in the evening to fetch them.
When they got to Mr. Stanley's, they found Mary
and Harry watching for them; they took charge of
their little visitors at once, and after they had taken
them in-doors to speak to Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, they
carried them off to see all their pets. There was the
kitten Topsy and the dog Skye to be looked
at, and some pretty tame rabbits as well. Then they
went to see Mary's garden and Harry's, for they each
58







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.

had a little piece of ground to call their own.
Afterwards they all went into one of Mr. Stanley's
meadows and had some donkey rides, which they
liked very much indeed; at least, they all liked
them but Nelly, she was rather afraid, poor little
girl, of tumbling, off; so Mary Stanley very kindly
said she would take her in-doors to look at her
dolls and doll's house, while the others had their
rides.
Nelly was delighted with one doll of Mary's;
it was a very large one, almost too big for Nelly
to carry about. It had dark hair, eyes that would
open and shut, and waxen arms and feet. Mary said
it was called Beatrice," after the little princess.
Then the doll's house! Nelly thought she had
never seen anything so beautiful. There were six
little rooms in it, two parlours, three bed-rooms and
a kitchen all furnished completely, the parlours with
sofas, chairs and tables; the bed-rooms with bed-
steads, washing-stands and looking-glasses, and 1
can scarcely tell you all the things there were in the
kitchen; little plates and dishes, brooms and brushes,
saucepans and kettles. Altogether it was just like
a real little house, and Nelly was quite sorry when
50






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


the dinner-bell rang, she thought she should like to
have looked at it all day.
Soon after dinner the school children came, they
walked together two and two, several of them carry-
ing flags, and almost all of them having little
bunches of flowers either in their button-holes or in
their hands. It was quite a pretty sight to watch
them winding along the road that led to the
rectory. Some of their teachers came with them,
and the others arrived during the afternoon, as well
as a good many other ladies and gentlemen.
The children had a merry afternoon; they played
at all sorts of games, in several of which Willy,
Bertha, and Nelly joined. Then there were swings in
the orchard, donkeys to ride in one field, and bats
and balls for cricket playing in another. At five
o'clock one of the gentlemen blew a very loud
whistle, on hearing which, the children all came to
the lawn, round which were placed forms for
them to sit on.
When all were gathered together Mr. Stanley
said grace, and then tea and cake were given to all
the school children. Mary and Harry Stanley and
Willy and Bertha helped to hand the cake round,
60






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


and they thought it was very pleasant work indeed.
When the children had finished, they went away to
their games again, and the teachers and Mr. and
Mrs. Stanley's other visitors took their tea together
in the drawing-room. Harry and Mary, with Willy,
Bertha, and Nelly, and some other little folks who
were present, had a small tea-table all to themselves,
and a very merry party they were.
At half-past seven the whistle sounded once more,
and every one went on the lawn again, the children
taking their seats as before. Mr. Stanley came
and stood in the middle of them and said, Well,
dear children, have you all had a happy after-
noon ?"
"Oh, yes, sir! yes, sir, thank you," sounded on
all sides.
"We must not forget to thank God who sends us
every good and pleasant thing; I should like to hear
you sing the Evening Hymn, and then let us
together thank him for his goodness."
So the children all rose up and sung-
Glory to thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light;
Keep me, oh I keep me, King of kings,
Beneath thine own almighty wings."
61







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


They sang the hymn very nicely; when they had
finished, Mr. Stanley prayed a short prayer, asking
God to bless all who were there, to make each one
holy and happy, and thanking him for his love and
care that day, and every day.
When they had taken their seats again, each child
had a bun and some ripe fruit given to it for supper,
and afterwards a little present. The elder boys and
girls had books, small work-boxes, knives or scissors,
and the little ones, tops, marbles, or dolls; and then
it was almost time for them to go home.
One of the gentlemen then stepped forward
and said, "I am sure you would all like to thank
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley for their great kindness to you
to-day, arid the ladies and gentlemen too, who have
given you these pretty presents. Now, it would
take rather too long for you each to go up to them
saying, 'Thank you, I am much obliged.' So
suppose you give three cheers for Mr. and Mrs.
Stanley, and three more for Mrs. Bailey and your
other kind friends."
In a minute hats were off and pocket handker-
chiefs waving, and there were such peals of Hip!
hip! hurrah!" that poor little Nelly was almost
62






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


fi'ightened at first; but she got braver before they
were over though; and as for Willy and Harry, I
believe they managed to make as much noise as any
little boys there of the same age.
The very rooks in the elm trees overhead who
were getting very sleepy, and thinking about putting
their heads under their wings and going to bed,
woke up, and peeped over to see what was the
matter.
Still the children did not seem inclined to go
home, though they knew that doing so could not
be put off much longer. And some of them were
whispering and wishing they might sing one more
hymn together for the last; so Mr. Lewis, the
gentleman who had spoken before, said, "I think so
many little English boys and girls should not meet
together and part at such a happy time without
singing God save the Queen.' Those who would
like to sing it, hold up their hands."
Such a number of hands were held up And God
save the Queen" was sung so heartily and lovingly
by the two hundred little voices there, that I am
quite sure the Queen would like to have listened
to them.
63






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


After this'the school children went home under the
care of their teachers and mothers and fathers, many
of whom had come up to the rectory to fetch them.
Willy, Bertha, and Nelly stayed behind a little
while with Aunt Agnes, and then they rode home
together. The tiny glow-worms shining by the road-
side, and the stars twinkling, twinkling in the
summer sky.


CHAPTER IX.
THE Friday after the school treat at Mr. Stanley's
was Aunt Agnes' birthday; and I must tell you of
the pretty presents she had from her little nephew
and nieces.
On Thursday morning, nurse had a letter from the
children's mamma, and in the course of the day
a box came directed to her. Willy saw the carrier
bring it to the door, and he ran in-doors crying out,
"Nurse! nurse! there is a box come for you."
"Is there, Master Willy ?" said nurse.
"Oh, yes! it is at the door; don't you want to
open it and see what there is inside ?"







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


But nurse did not seem in any hurry to do so, and
Willy went off into the garden again, to tell Bertha
about it. They both wondered ever so many times
in the day what there was in nurse's box, but nurse
only smiled when they asked her, and promised
if they were good children that she would let them
peep into it as soon as they were dressed to-
morrow morning. With this promise they were
obliged to be content, for Aunt Agnes was not
any wiser than they were on the subject, and she
told them, too, that it was not at all polite to ask
questions about another person's parcels.
When the children went to bed, they asked nurse
to be sure and wake them early in the morning, for
they wanted to gather a bunch of their prettiest
flowers ready for Auntie when she came downstairs,
because it would be her birthday. So about half an
hour earlier than usual, nurse said, Come, dears, it
is time for little folks to be waking who want to be
up in good time."
So up they jumped, and they did all they could
to help nurse to dress them quickly. When they
were quite ready to go downstairs, nurse said, Who
wants to look into the box ?' and going to the cup-
F 5B


__







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


board, she brought it out and put it on a chair. It
was not yet unpacked, but nurse soon undid the
paper and string that were round it and began very
carefully to take out several little parcels. There was
one parcel directed to Aunt Agnes in their papa's
writing, and another wee packet sealed up with
mamma's seal.
The children sadly wanted to know what was
inside these; nurse said they must not be undone, but
that Willy and Bertha might put them on the table
ready for Auntie when she came to breakfast. There
were three parcels besides, that nurse said might
be unpacked. When the soft wrapping papers were
taken off the first one, it was found to contain a
pretty write flower vase. To this was tied with
blue ribbon a little card on which was written, For
dearest 'Auntie, with Willy's love." The second
parcel was a glove box, and the third a beautiful
little scent bottle. The card in the glove box said,
"For dear Aunt Agnes, from Bertha," and that on
the scent bottle, For dear Auntie, from her little
Nelly."
"Oh how pretty!" they all cried, as the pack-
ages one after another were undone. Nurse told
66







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


them that their kind papa and mamma had sent
them these things from London, because they
thought their little boy and little girls would like
very much to give Auntie something on her birthday.
And now there was a fresh difficulty; Willy
wanted to put the presents on the table with their
papa's and mamma's, but Bertha wished to run
with them to Auntie's room directly, and so did
Nelly. At last it was decided as Bertha and her
little sister wished, and they went to Auntie's
dressing-room door and tapped; "Come in, my
darlings," said Aunt Agnes. Then they kissed her,
wishing her many, many happy returns of the
day," and giving her their little birthday gifts.
"Thank you, thank you," said Auntie, "they
are pretty presents indeed, and I shall always love to
look at them because you gave them to me."
"Auntie, are you not coming downstairs ?" asked
Bertha.
"Yes, dear, almost directly. Run away, you
little sprites," added she, laughing, and pretending
to drive them out as they danced about the room.
" Auntie will be able to finish dressing more quickly
if you run out of her way."
F 2 67







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


And now they all remembered the posy from their
garden "had yet to be gathered. They came in
with it just as Aunt Agnes got to the bottom of the
stairs. She kissed and thanked them for it, and said
that after breakfast she would put it into her new
vase.
When Auntie came to the breakfast table after
prayers, she spied the other two parcels put there
for her.
"What, more presents!" said she, taking up the
larger one. "I am growing rich indeed; this must
be from dear papa, I think; what can it be, I
wonder ?"
When the paper was taken off, it proved to be
a green mdrocco album, inside it were likenesses of
each of the children, and of their papa and mamma
as well. The small parcel contained a golden locket,
in which was placed some of Willy's, Bertha's, and
Nelly's hair.
Before breakfast was quite over, the postman came
to the door with his loud "Tat-tat."
"May I get the letters, Auntie ?" asked Nelly.
Yes, dear."
There was a letter for Aunt Agnes from the






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.
children's papa, and enclosed in it was one for them,
printed in such large plain letters that Willy could
read it quite by himself. There was a long letter for
Auntie, too, from Uncle Edward, saying that he was
soon coming home again.
Will uncle be home before we go away ?" said
Willy.
"I am afraid not quite so soon as that, dear, but
how should you like him to come and see you in
London and to bring me with him ?"
I should like it very, very much," said Willy.
About ten o'clock, Aunt Agnes called the little
folks to her and said, I think we must try to do
something very pleasant to-day as it is my birthday.
Suppose we go for a nice long ride; please to ask
nurse to put on her bonnet and your hats, and
we will start almost directly."
They were soon all seated in the carriage. Room
had to be made, too, for a good-sized basket. When
Willy saw it, he asked, "Are you going to see any
poor people, Auntie ?"
"I do not intend to call on any, dear. You arc
wondering what the basket is for, I suppose ? You
will soon fipd out, I dare say."






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


So away- the ponies trotted; away over the
common where the harebells were nodding their
pretty heads in the gentle wind, and where the


heather bloom was beginning to open its tiny pink
buds. Away through the shady lanes where the
birds were singing so sweetly, that once or twice they
stopped to listen to them. At last they came to a
70






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


pretty little village: here they all got out of the
chaise, and left it to be taken care of at a little inn.
Aunt Agnes said, "Now I think we will have a
little walk for a change. Please, nurse, to come
with us, and to bring the basket with you."
So they walked on a short way, and turned into a
wood where the trees and bushes grew so closely
together, that it seemed almost dark after the bright
sunlight outside, and there was only a very narrow
path for them to walk in.
After they got through the wood, they came
to a very large and pretty field, from which they
could see churches and houses that were miles away.
Then they sat down under a large tree, and Auntie
said, Should you like this field to be our dining-room
to-day?"
"But, Auntie, we have not got any dinner."
Have we not? Let us see what that basket
says about it, nurse."
So the basket was opened, and inside it was a
large parcel of sandwiches, besides bread and cheese,
tarts and fruit.
Oh, Auntie, this is nice !" said Willy; I thought
we were only going for a ride."






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.

After dinner, Willy, Bertha, and Nelly ran about
and picked a large bunch of wild flowers; they saw
some little rabbits too, and tried to catch them, but the
rabbits ran faster than they could. As they walked
back to the inn where they had left the chaise, they
saw a little girl sitting by the road side, crying.
What is the matter, little girl ?" asked Aunt
Agnes.
I am so hungry, ma'am," she sobbed out.
Have you not had any dinner?"
"No, ma'am, only a little piece of bread mother
gave me before she went out to work, and she won'c
be home for ever so long."
"Auntie," whispered Nelly, "we did not eat up
all the sandwiches, did we ?"
No, dear, and you shall give those that are left
to this poor little girl. Don't cry any more, poor
child," continued Aunt Agnes, turning to her, I
think we can find you something to eat."
Nelly then gave her all the food that was left in
the basket.
She was very grateful, and ran home with it in
her apron, saying, she had a little brother who was
hungry too, and she would give some of it to him.
72






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


In the evening when the children were gathered
round Aunt Agnes to learn their verse and to have
their evening talk, Willy said-
"Auntie, have you had a happy birthday ?"
"Yes, darling, a very happy one."
"It has been a very happy day for us," said
Bertha. I think all our days are happy, Auntie."
"Yes," said Willy, so do I, except- -
Except when, dear ?" asked Aunt Agnes.
SExcept when we are naughty."
SAnd so my little boy has found out for himself
that the way to be always happy, is to be always
good ?"
Yes, Auntie, and I want to be good always, but
sometimes it seems as if I couldn't."
I think when Willy feels as if he could not be
good, it must be when he forgets to ask the Lord
Jesus to help him. Neither you nor Auntie nor any
one else can be good of themselves; but Jesus is
always ready to help us to do what is right if we ask
him."
"Yes, Auntie," said Willy.
The verse Aunt Agnes taught the children this
evening was, My grace is sufficient for thee." When
73







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


they knew it quite well, she said these words mean that
Jesus is always ready and able to help us do or bear
whatever God wants us to do, or to bear. So when
Bertha is cross or angry, she should say in her heart,
"Lord Jesus, help me to send away my naughty
temper, and to be kind and loving and gentle.
Or when Willy does not want to do as he is bid,
he must ask Jesus to make him obedient as he him-
self was when he was a little child. It is when we for-
get to ask Jesus to help us that we cannot be good.
And now," said Auntie, if you little folks are
going to sit up to supper with me to-night, I think
it is quite time we had it brought in; please to
ring the bell."



CHAPTER X.
AND now the time was almost come for Willy, Bertha,
and Nelly to go home again. They had been stay-
ing with Aunt Agnes more than five weeks. Papa
and mamma were to come down into the country for
a few days, and then they were all to return together.
Dearly as the children loved their Aunt Agnes,
74






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES
they were very happy at the thought of seeing their
own dear papa and mamma once more; and they
were beginning to think, too, how nice it would be
to see their little London friends, and to tell them
about the pleasant things they had been seeing and
doing while they had been away.
All the flowers in their garden were to be gathered
the last thing to take to a little girl who lived next
door to them, and with whom they often played
when they were at home. Nurse Brown had
promised Nelly a very pretty little kitten for her
own, if her mamma did not object to her having it.
But on the morning of the day when Mr.. and
Mrs. Green were expected at Warleigh, Aunt Agnes
had a letter at breakfast time which made her look
very grave indeed. The children did not notice it
at first, for they were busy with their breakfasts, and
were chattering away to one another very fast be-
sides. Presently Willy looked up, however, and saw
the tears in her eyes; so he crept round to her side
and said, "Auntie, what makes you look so sorry ?"
And then Aunt Agnes told them that she had
just had a letter from their mamma, and that poor
papa was very ill indeed.
75






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


"Won't he be able to come to-day ?" asked Nelly.
"No, darling, he is obliged to lie in bed and to be
very, very quiet, and so mamma has written, asking
me to take care of her dear little girl and boys
for a short time longer."
"But, Auntie," said Bertha, "I want to see dear
papa; we would be very quiet and not make any
noise if we went home."
"Yes, dear child," said Auntie, "but if you and
Willy and little sister went home, mamma would
have you to take care of, and just now she wants to
have nothing to do but to think of dear papa and to
wait on him; and she knows that Auntie will take
care of you for her. So don't you think it will be
best for you to-try and be happy here a little longer ?"
"Yes, Auntie, but I do want to see poor papa, so
badly."
I am afraid he is too ill for you to be with him,
dear, even if you were at home."
Auntie, do you think he will soon get well,"
asked Willy.
I hope so, dear, but only God knows about it.
There is one thing my darlings can do for papa,
though they are far away from him."
76






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


Yes, Auntie," said little Nelly, we can pray to
God to make him better."
"I am sure," said Aunt Agnes, "you will -not
either of you forget to do so."
The verse the children learnt that evening was,
" Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver
thee."
Willy said, "This has been our day of trouble,
Auntie, because dear papa is so ill."
Yes, darling; but is it not a happy thing that no
trouble can happen to us so bad, that God cannot
either take it away from us or help us to bear it ?
Shall we kneel down together to-night and ask him
to help us ?"
"Yes, Auntie, please," they all said.
In the morning there was another letter from
mamma, saying, that their papa was no better,
although it was hoped that he was not any worse.
I thought, Auntie," said Bertha, "you told us if
we prayed to God to make dear papa better, he
would be sure to hear us ?"
God always hears his children when they pray to
him, my darling, but sometimes he sees it is not best
to give them what they ask for; and sometimes he
77







A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


does not send 'the answer to their prayers directly,
but keeps them praying and waiting for a while
first. One thing we may be quite sure of, God will
never be unkind to us, because he loves us so well,
and he never can make mistakes about what is really
best, because he is so wise. Now shall Auntie tell
you a little story ?"
"Please, Auntie," said they all.
Once when Jesus lived on earth, a poor woman
came to him, asking him to make her daughter well.
At first Jesus did not seem to take any notice of
her or even to hear what she said. Still she kept
on praying to him. The disciples who were with
him wanted to send her away, they did not like her
crying after them, they said."
"They wanted to send the little children away
from Jesus too, did they not, Auntie ?" said Willy.
"Yes, dear, the disciples sometimes were unkind,
but Jesus never was. This poor woman still kept
close to him and knelt to him, saying, 'Lord, help
me!' Jesus seemed at first to answer her rather
roughly. Still she would not go away, and then
Jesus spoke kindly to her, saying, woman, great
is thy faith, be it unto thee even as thou wilt.' And
78






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES


he made her daughter well directly, so that when
she got home she found her quite cured."
That is a nice story, Auntie," said Willy; "then
we may keep on praying to God to make dear papa
well ?"
"Yes, my darling."
The following morning came another letter, for
Mrs. Green wrote every day, and this time the news
was that their papa was a little better.
God is beginning to make him well, as we asked
him, Auntie."
Yes, dear, I hope so."
And so it proved, for the next day the letter'said
that he was a great deal better, and at the end of
another week, it was thought that the children might
come home.
Aunt Agnes was to go with them, for she was to
meet Uncle Edward in London, and then as soon as
papa was well enough to be moved, uncle and aunt,
papa, mamma, and all the children were to go to the
sea-side together.
"Oh, Auntie, how very nice that will be!" said
the children, when they were told of the altered
plans.
79






A VISIT TO AUNT AGNES.


And now everybody was quite busy for a day
or two. Auntie and nurse found plenty to do
in the way of packing clothes, books and toys.. The
children had to say "good-bye" to Mary and Harry
Stanley, to Charles the sick boy, and to Nurse
Brown. There was a basket of flowers to be put
carefully up for mamma, and another of grapes and
peaches for papa.
At last one fine morning a carriage came from
Stanfield to take them all to the railway station.
Willy, Bertha, and Nelly again said good-bye to
Warleigh, and they were soon once more in their
own happy home.







*r




8 _


I .