-\ -? -
The Arrival.-p. 20.
THE COUNTRY MINISTER'S WIFE.
REVISED BT THE COXMITTER OF PUBLICATION.
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
No. 146 CHLSNUTI STREET.
Nzw YOBE, No. 147 Nassau Strt.....BoTON, No. 9 amMI.
LOwIBm. L, No. 103 bFurt St d,
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1851, by the
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
in the Clerk's Ofce of the District Court of the Eastern District of
AGB No books are published by the AM EICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNIOx
without the sanction of the Committee of Publication, consisting of four-
teen members, from the following denominations of Christians, viz. Bap-
tist, Aethodist, Congregationalist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and
Reformed Dutch. Not more than three of the members can be of the same
denomination, and no book can be published to which any member of the
Committee shall objd.
THE scene of the incidents in this volume
lies in New England; and many of the terms
which occur in it, as well as many of the cus-
toms to which allusion is made, have a local
significance, which we presume will be readily
understood. The present edition has been re-
vised and enlarged by the Author.
CHAP. I.-THE PASTOR ELECT......................... 9
II.-THE NEW HOME.............................. 15
III.-THE BREAKFAST-CHAT...................... 24
IV.-THE MINISTER'S COMPANY................. 33
V.-DEMAND AND EFFORT....................... 38
VI.-PERPLEXITIES AND PURPOSES.............. 48
VII.-THE COMPROMISE............................. 54
VIII.-VISIT TO BOSTON............................ 58
X.-IIARD TIMES................................. 77
XI.-GOING TO COLLEGE........................... 81
XII.-THE PACKING.................................. 87
CHAP. XIV.--IPING ON............................. 101
XV.-THE FIRST WELCOME HOME......... 104
XVI.-THE OLD PLAID CLOAK............... 107
XVII.-THE BROADCLOTH CLOAK............ 118
XVIII.-THE LETTER HOME................... 124
XIX.-THE SECOND WELCOME HOME....... 131
XX.-AN UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL.......... 138
XXI.-THE WEDDING-FEE.................... 144
XXII.-THE SACRIFICE.......................... 153
XXIII.-TROUBLE WITH GEORGE............. 166
XXIV.-HENRY'S Box.......................... 172
XXV.-THE RETROSPECT...................... 183
XXVI.-THE REWARD.......................... 1. 9
THE PASTOR ELECT.
ONE pleasant summer afternoon, Mr. Ed-
wards, a young clergyman, rode over from
Lynnfield to Weston. These are two quiet
villages in New England. He rode alone, for
his friend, Miss Emily Harding, could not be
persuaded to accompany him at this time. He
had received an invitation from the church in
Weston to become their pastor, and was to be
ordained on the following day.
The drive was a delightful one. Much of it
took him through still pine woods. The horse's
feet fell softly, as if on velvet, and the summer-
flies buzzed drowsily, and now and then a squir-
l1 THE SUNNY SIDE.
rel chirped, or a bird sang a pleasant song.
Our young minister was very thoughtful. To
his excited mind, the road over which he was
passing seemed like a rainbow bridge, which was
linking two parts of his life together-his life
of preparation and his life of service. Of the
one he was now taking his leave; on the ether
he was about to enter. His thoughts and affec-
tions would linger around past scenes, and he
could not bid them adieu without regret; yet the
future beckoned him on invitingly. In his heart
he was glad to go to work, though he thought-
he knew-his work would be one of great
care and toil. Hope buckled upon him shining
armour. He was full of youthful zeal, and he
said, "I am ready for the conflict-Through
Christ strengthening me, I can do all things."
Then he thought of his people; of what they
seemed most to need in the way of instruction;
of the plans for their improvement which would
be most likely to be successful. His mind was
fertile in projects; and his imagination, taking
the reins, soon drove on to results. Beneath
his fostering care, his charge grew in wisdom
and grace. He would make the most of him-
self, for their sakes ; and his affections warmed
towards them, and he thanked God that lHe had
THE PASTOR ELECT. 11
given him such a work to do, and prayed that
he might be faithful unto the end.
Then she who was to share his labour and
joy recalled him to present practical domestic
arrangements. On the next day he was to be
ordained-a very important event surely; but
on the week following he anticipated one
scarcely less important. He began to wonder
if they had not made a mistake in the order of
these events. Could he do full justice to his
first sermon, with that event in such immediate
prospect ? As if to speed the time a little, he
drew his whip across his pony's ears, who,
feeling insulted by so smart a blow, started
off at a round trot, and soon brought his driver
out of the still woods into the village of
He had not been in Weston before, since his
acceptance of the call. With what different
eyes he now beheld it! How was its beauty
and importance increased! With what real
interest he looked on the thriving farms Pony,
as if to give him plenty of time for his survey,
fell back into his sober jog. Several indivi-
duals recognized Mr. Edwards. The school-
children climbed a stone wall, and gave a
"hurrah for the new minister." He rode by
12 THE SUNNY SIDE.
them smilingly, with his hat off, and made them
his firm friends.
Pony was now climbing a hill, near the top
of which stood the church; so he must needs
walk-a liberty which his driver scarcely no-
ticed. He was thinking of other things. Away
on his right, there was the handsomest house in
Weston, and the richest man lived in it: his
name was Dodge. But, alas! Mr. Edwards
had already heard that he was miserly. A
sermon on the privilege of self-denial occurred
to him. He decided to preach it in due time.
Now he was passing a demure-looking dwell-
ing, and instantly this sermon vanished from
his mind, for it was there Deacon* Jones lived,
and at the thought of him our young friend's
brow clouded. His slight acquaintance with
him had quite confirmed the common report
that he was a peculiar man. A good man he
was generally believed to be, yet no one liked
him. There seemed to be some curious twist
in his make, which nothing would fit. If the
church started any movement, it was almost
morally certain he would oppose it. He helped
along no plan which did not originate with
himself. Notwithstanding his goodness, he
made so much trouble for the church at Weston,
An officer of the Congregational or Independent Church.
THE PASTOR ELECT. 18
that in a fit of desperation they chose him to
the deaconship, thinking this would enlist his
energies on the side of good order. It was
"jumping out of the frying-pan into the fire."
He so "magnified his office," that the Weston
pulpit went for some time begging. Yet, after
all, there was no one in the parish who was so
kind to the poor, so attentive to the sick, lived so
simply and gave away so generously, as Deacon
Jones. It seemed as if the church could neither
do without him nor with him.
"Ah me!" sighed Mr. Edwards, "I am
afraid I shall find the thorn there." His last
conversation with one of his elderly friends oc-
curred to him. Said he, as he followed him to
the door, and bade him good-by, "Now, when
you are settled, if you find a crooked stick in
your parish in the shape of an unruly deacon,
don't hope to get rid of the trouble by running
away: you will find one everywhere."
Pony now had left the demure house quite
behind him, and was approaching pleasanter
objects. There was the church, with its hand-
some spire, and pleasant green blinds all freshly
painted-as pretty a church as a man could
desire; and nearly opposite was the dear little
parsonage, with its liberal yard and new fence
14 THE SUNNY SIDE.
and thriving-shade trees. "There we shal.
live," thought Mr. Edwards. Then the clock
in the church-steeple struck six. This was
Deacon Emery's tea-hour; so pony could linger
no longer at the parsonage, however much he
might be inclined to do so.
THE NEW HOME. 15
THE NEW HOME.
THOUGH an ordination was no new thing at
Weston, yet it made quite a stir. At an early
hour, people came riding in from the neighbour-
ing villages, and the church was filled to over-
flowing. A very liberal dinner was provided
at the tavern-a measure which, by the way,
was something new, and was proposed by Dea-
The ordination services, as a whole, were
unusually interesting; and the new minister
pleased every one. For the admiration of the
ladies, he was undoubtedly indebted much to
his personal appearance. His countenance
was one which readily betrayed feeling, and
he appeared to great advantage. His manner
also was warm-hearted and cordial, and this
won the regard of the older people.
After the services, a few with whom Mr.
Edwards had become somewhat familiar crowded
around him to inquire about his health and his
16 THE SUNNY SIDE.
plans. Said an old man to him, We want you to
bring your wife now, and settle down, for we
hear you have got one picked out. On six
hundred dollars, we think you can live pretty
snug with us."
Mr. Edwards smiled, and told him that he
intended to do so, and should be absent the
next week on his wedding tour. After his
ordination, he had no time to think of the
weighty cares of his new office; for the Sab-
bath was fast approaching, and the first ser-
mons for the occasion pressed him hard. He
wrote night and day. He did not wish to dis-
appoint his people: he was determined to do
his best, but he could not satisfy himself. He
wrote and re-wrote, till the bell tolled, and
then entered his pulpit dissatisfied. After so
much excitement, Monday morning found him
of course quite exhausted. Then came pre-
parations for his wedding-then the wedding
itself-and the journey-and the visit home to
introduce to his widowed mother the chosen
wife of her only son-then the exchange on
the following Sabbath. So, to say the least,
he was scarcely rested when he arrived at Wes-
ton on the Tuesday following with his bride.
For a particular account of their reception
THE NEW HOME. 17
we are indebted to Mrs. Edwards's private jour-
nal; and from the same source we must draw
our most interesting accounts of the domestic
history of this minister's family.
(FROM THE JOURNAL.)
We reached my father's, on our return from
our wedding tour, about noon. He and mother
were as delighted to see me as if I had returned
from Europe. I have never been away from
them much. After dinner, we left home and
started for Weston. Home I suppose I must
not say that any more. Father, by the way,
had made us a present of a fine horse and buggy.
We shall take a world of comfort in it. How
my pen lingers around the old spot! If I do
not hurry, I shall never get to Weston.
It was a beautiful ride there. Prince took
us over in about four hours. How grateful I
am that we are to live so near home, (there it
is again.) It seems to me my "cup runneth
over" with mercies; I hope my heart acknow-
ledges my heavenly Father's care in it all;
indeed, I think I do love to acknowledge this.
I shall not soon forget this ride. Henry
and I talked with each other more freely about
our feelings and plans, our hopes and fears,
18 THE SUNNY SIDE.
than we had ever yet done. I ventured to tell
him what anxieties had harassed me; how
often I had trembled when I thought of what
Swas before me; how totally unfitted it seemed
to me I was for a minister's wife. I felt that I
could love his people-I could love any one
who loved him, but to take the lead among
them would be painful to me. To be an object
of notice, to be looked upon as a model-poor
I! who needed myself so much to be taught
and led He told me to banish all such need-
less anxieties, and comforted me by making
the path a little plain before me. Said he:
" Just act yourself, Emily, without any regard
to what others will expect or think. Let your
own conscience be your guide in the new cir-
cumstances in which you will be placed; satisfy
that, and you need nothing more." I know I
have a sincere desire to do what in all things
will be best for his people; but my mind is in
some confusion as to what exactly a minister's
wife should aim to be. I have before me a
very good, very proper, very thankful kind of
a lady, dressed in a straw bonnet trimmed with
green ribbon, but this does not help me much.
I am very long in getting to Weston-longer
than Prince was. It seemed to me we had
THE NEW HOME. 19
but just started when Henry pointed with his
whip to a tall spire, which showed finely on a
background of blue clouds--"There is my
church, Emily." Were we really so near?
I began to tremble-he laughed at me a little
-I wished the introduction over. Said he,
" We will ride quietly into our own yard, and
perhaps see no one till to-morrow." I suppose
he did half believe it, but only half. Soon we
turned into Elm street. To my astonishment,
it was filled with people dressed in their Sun-
day best, who seemed to be all hurrying in one
"What does it mean ?" said I.
"I don't know, I am sure, unless they are
going to pay their respects to the bride."
I felt that my time had come, and I must
meet it in a manner worthy of his bride. I
tried to quiet myself, but by this time it was
difficult, for we were recognized, and though
every one owed to him, I felt that they looked
at me. So many bright faces I had never seen
at once. I looked at Henry. His speaking
eye told me plainly how much he was pleased.
I struggled still more to regain my composure,
20 THE SUNNY SIDE.
that I might meet his people as he would wish
me to meet them.
We drove up to our own house, but I had no
time then to notice it. It seemed to be filled
with people, and doors and windows were all
opened. Prince stopped at the little white gate.
Deacon and Mrs. Emery stood there, and cor-
dially welcomed us to Weston. Deacon Emery
offered me his arm, and with faltering steps I
went up the path. Deacon and Mrs. Jones
received us at the door, and as cordially wel-
comed us to our new home. My hat and shawl
were taken off by some one, and I was ushered
into a parlour already filled. I looked around
timidly for Mr. Edwards, but I could scarcely
find him. I was introduced, and introduced.
I shook hands with all who came, and tried to
look pleased, but, to tell the truth, I was both
frightened and bewildered. The rooms were
oppressively warm: I was tired: I was afraid I
should fall. I leaned against a chair for sup-
port; the buzzing became more and more in-
distinct; I really did not know what I said or
did. Mrs. Jones was the first to observe my
embarrassment, and she quietly took me out of
the room, and led me round to the back-stairs.
"You look very tired," said she; "just slip
THE NEW HOME. 21
up into that room and lock yourself in. I will
call you when tea is ready."
"Tea!" thought I, "am I to serve, or to be
served?" Whatever was yet to be done, I was
in need enough of present quiet. A few minutes
more of that heat and excitement, and I think I
should have fainted. Now I threw myself
into a chair, shut my eyes, and tried to rally
my scattered senses. Soon I heard a step I
well knew, and a tap at the door. "Are you
able to go down to tea?" asked Henry, when
"Oh, yes," said I, "I am rested now. I
will brush off the dust a little. I feel much
We were met on the stairs by Deacon Jones,
who with some formality ushered us into the
tea-room. Tables were set here, loaded with
niceties. Hot tea and coffee had been prepared,
and were handed round by the young ladies.
All seemed to be enjoying themselves. When
tea was over, there was some bustle among the
young men. A line was formed, and an ori-
ginal hymn was well sung. This was their wel-
come to the new pastor. Henry felt it, and replied
to it eloquently; then he made the closing
prayer. After this came shaking of hands,
22 THE SUNNY SIDE.
and shaking of hands, and invitations to call-
call-call. But with due consideration for us,
by eight o'clock Henry and I were alone in
"Emily"-said he, pretty soon-"are you
too tired to look over the house to-night?" I
was very impatient to do so, for as yet I had
really seen nothing. My furniture had been
sent the week before, and I knew that some of
the people were to unpack it for us. They had
not only done this, but had made the carpets
and arranged every thing.
Our first visit was to the study. Here we found
a handsome book-case, presented, it seemed, by
the young men. Henry's books had been taken
from his box, and nearly filled it. I thought
we had quite a little library to begin with.
Henry was inclined to stop and laugh a while
at the order in which the books had been placed,
but I shut the door and would not let him. We
went back to the parlour. How nice and new
and pretty it looked-simple as was my furni-
ture! Here we found a handsome rocking-chair
and some mantel-lamps, placed there by the
young ladies. In the chamber over this was
an album-bedquilt made by the children; and
indeed in every room we found some testimonial
THE NEW HOME. 23
of the good-will of the people. They had
manifested so much in our reception, that it
seemed to me I already loved them. They
were our first "people," and this was our first
home. I felt as if nothing was wanting. Henry
had been called to the pleasantest parish in
New England, was a well-beloved minister, and
I was his wife.
After our survey, we returned to the parlour.
As I placed the light on a little stand, I found
one present had been overlooked. It was a
small English Bible, well bound, given by Mr.
Dodge. Henry smiled, when he saw from
whom it came-I did not know why. This
Bible was of a convenient size and good print,
and Henry proposed that we should use it for
a family Bible. I hesitated a little, thinking
it almost too handsome, but we at length de-
cided to do so. I drew up the stand to the
sofa, we sat down together, he read a portion
of the Scriptures, and we kneeled, side by side,
in prayer. His heart seemed to overflow with
gratitude to God, and with simple and earnest
petitions for God's blessing upon our new home
and our family altar.
24 THE SUNNY SIDE.
PASSING over the first few months of begin-
ning house-keeping at the parsonage, we meet
our friends again at the breakfast-table, on a
pleasant September morning. The windows of
the little sitting-room were open, and a strag-
gling branch of morning-glory, full of blue star-
blossoms, had fallen in upon the white sill. The
table, so neatly laid for two, with its simple
white crockery, was cozy enough, and the lady
with rosy cheeks, who presided, looked around
her with much satisfaction. The breakfast
was all of her own cooking-she had been up
a couple of hours, working like a bee.
"How are you going to get along without
help?" asked Mr. Edwards.
"Beautifully," replied his wife. "I do not
need any one. Is not this a nice breakfast?
Taste my biscuit. Do you not think that by
and by I shall make them almost as well as
your mother ?"
I never tasted better," replied he, and was
THE BREAKFAST-CHAT. 25
silent. Mrs. Edwards felt it. Her eye in-
stantly glanced over her table, but she could
detect nothing wrong there. Still Mr. Ed-
wards was silent, and sipped his coffee. At
length he spoke suddenly, as if just aroused:
"Emily, I doubt whether it is best to try to
get along so."
Get along how ?" she inquired anxiously.
"Why, without any help. You have to
work too hard; and I know you have never
been used to it, and it troubles me."
"Is that all?" said Mrs. Edwards, smiling.
"I was afraid something was wrong in the
breakfast. You need not have one moment's
anxiety on that point. I have not been so free
from headaches, for years, as since we have
been at house-keeping and I have done the
work. I think it suits me. Besides, Henry,
I love to do it. While I am busy I fancy it
is all for you, and that I am saving some of
the salary for you, which can go towards fill-
ing up the book-case. Don't I make a nice
little housekeeper?" said she, laughing and
lifting up her bright eyes to him, hoping to
dispel the cloud which still lingered there.
"The best in the world," replied he; "but
'o tell the truth, this salary business is begin-
20 THE SUNNY SIDE.
ning to trouble me. I find now that I did not
fully understand it at the time of my settle-
ment. The people have never yet raised over
five hundred dollars; they have depended on a
few voluntary contributions to make out the
amount. Sometimes they get it, and sometimes
they do not; there is no dependence to be
placed upon it; indeed, I doubt whether they
will raise it even the first year. Our house-
rent is ninety dollars. I am seriously afraid
we cannot live here."
Don't you think we can make it out?"
said Mrs. Edwards. "It seems to me that
four hundred dollars, well managed, will do a
great deal. It will be two or three years
before I shall need any thing, and you have a
pretty good stock of clothing. Then here is
our garden, and we can live mostly on the
vegetables we raise. I really would prefer not
to have a girl; and I don't see, Henry, what
we do want money for. We might lay up our
salary for a 'rainy day.' "
She could not make him smile.
have no fears for myself," said he gravely.
"I expect to work, and work hard, and I trust
I am willing to do so. I have motive enough
in the nature of my work to sustain me; but I
THE BREAKFAST-CHAT. 27
see plainly that all the drudgery and petty
cares inseparable from such a situation must
fall upon you."
"And have I no motive to sustain me?"
asked she, with tears in her eyes. "You do
not know how much my heart is in the work of
a minister's wife. You have not tried me long
"I think I do know," replied the young
minister with returning cheerfulness, for anxiety
and distrust were fast vanishing before such a
spirit of hope and love.
"I begin to find out one thing," said he at
length, for now he was becoming sociable:
"I begin to find out that I must have a settled
plan about my studies. I must look over the
whole field, make up my mind as to what I
ought to do, what I can do, what I will do.
It will never answer for me to depend upon the
impulses and necessities of the hour for intel-
lectual effort. I must do more than simply
meet the wants of this people week by week.
I must not narrow myself down to the actual
demand upon me: and I feel that I am in some
danger of it. I see what is attainable, and
Shave many enthusiastic aspirations for it; but
when it comes to going into my study day after
28 THE SUNNY SIDE.
day, inclined or disinclined, convenient or in-
convenient, and toiling my way along, step by
step, so slowly, my enthusiasm vanishes, my
spirits flag, and if I am ready for the Sabbath,
I am very apt to find excuses for leaving my
study-table. Yes," said he, with a laugh,
"I am fully convinced that I should make a
great man if it could only be done by one
tremendous effort. It is daily, patient toil,
that disheartens me. Now, Emily, I must,
from the first, keep a jealous eye on this
tendency of mine, and you must help me."
"Tell me how I can help you."
By feeling yourself, and by often reminding
me, that it is my business to be in my study
every forenoon; and in order to accomplish
any thing there, I must have an uninterrupted
morning. This, I foresee, will throw all the
ordinary business and social calls on you: what
.do you say to this ?"
"Oh, I shall find it pleasant, I have no
doubt; but is this all I can do to aid you?"
"There is one little thing in our domestic
arrangements that I see will be important-it is
regularity about our meals. I ought to be ready
by seven o'clock, the year round, to go into
my study. But we cannot do much at this,
THE BREAKFAST-CHAT. 29
with all your interruptions, until we have
"We can try," said his wife. I was trained
by the clock, and regularity is habit with me."
After a pause, she said in a gentler tone, "You
don't know, Henry, how happy it makes me to
feel that God is giving me something to do.
I hope you will tell me whenever I can do any
thing which will be of any use to you or your
people. I have no ambition for great deeds,
as you know, but it is a comfort to me to have
some duties distinctly before me. I can then
work on cheerfully, day by day, improving
every opportunity for accomplishing them
which God gives me."
"And this very spirit of cheerfulness and
hope will be invaluable to me. Many a time
it will raise a drooping wing, for I am some-
what easily dispirited."
Emily gave him a look full of affection, and
the young minister felt that, with her at his
side, he ought to do his work well.
"One thing more," said he, "now while I
think of it. I wish you would learn to be an
impartial hearer of my preaching. Pass your
judgment on my sermons as candidly as you
would on those of another man. It will do me
30 THE SUNNY SIDE.
good. If you think every thing I write
smart, I shall soon be of the same opinion
"Ah! now you give me something to do
which is not easy," replied she; "you must
make allowances for what your wife thinks."
Mr. Edwards had now talked himself into
good spirits. This salary business," said he,
"will do me good in one way."
"How so ?"
"Why, if we are to live on nothing, we
shall have nothing of course to lay up for old
age-so it will not do to have any old age."
"What do you mean ?"
"I have an idea that if the same amount
of time and energy which it requires to save
money were expended in disciplining our brains,
they would hold out to earn our bread as long
as we should want it. Now, I have no prospect
of having any capital to retire upon. I must,
probably, if God gives me health, work while I
live. This is an additional inducement to me
to form studious and industrious habits now.
If I allow myself easy work in the morning,
where shall I find the strength to toil at
"I do not think you are in any danger of
THE BREAKFAST-CHAT. 51
being indolent," replied his wife. My great-
est fear is, that you will over-work and break
down, as so many young ministers do."
"It will not do to preach that doctrine to
me, Emily. I am in no such danger. Hard
work and steady at it,' is the only thing which
will make me successful. Now, I foresee that
you will be expected to supply all my deficien-
cies. You will have to visit, and to be visited,
and to attend all sorts of societies. I do not
feel, either, that the people have any claim
upon you for such an outlay of time and
strength; but I see, that wherever there is a
gap where good may be done, you will be sure
to enter it. How you are to meet all these
claims, and have so much to do at home besides,
I confess, troubles me. I fear it will be taxing
you beyond your powers."
"My dear Henry," said she, "it is but to
take one thing at a time, and it will all come
easily. If God continues to me my health,
I need have no fears that I cannot do all he
would have me do. Let us trust the future
The blue stars on that straggling branch of
morning-glory folded their silken leaves, for
32 THE SUNNY SIDE.
the sun was already high. When this long
breakfast-chat was concluded, it was too late
for our minister to do much in his study before
dinner, that day.
THE MINISTER'S COMPANY. 88
THE MINISTER'S COMPANY.
* WHAT a busy time I have had
of it! We have entertained at our table no
less than forty people this week, and every
meal has been prepared by my own hands. It
is well for me it does not happen so very often.
Yesterday afternoon, we had been alone for the
first time, about two hours, and were really
enjoying it, when I chanced to look out of the
window, and saw an old gentleman in a yellow
gig, with a dusty trunk strapped on behind,
just driving into the yard.
To tell the truth, I was not glad. I was
tired, and Henry and I had promised ourselves
so pleasant an evening together. I looked at
him and saw him bite his lips. He was disap-
pointed too. The old gentleman got out, slowly
ascended the steps, and knocked. Mr. Edwards
did not seem inclined to answer the call. I
felt that I must make the effort. He is old
and feeble," said I, hurriedly, trying to smile,
34 THE SUNNY SIDE.
"let us take care of him." I invited him in.
He was a good old minister, and was on his
way to a distant town, to bring home a sick
child who was in a. decline. He intended to
stay with us over night. He seemed very
much fatigued, and sat down at once by the
fire. Mr. Edwards accordingly went out and
put up his horse. This made seven horses
which we had housed and fed in one week. I
must confess, it annoyed me. I did not like to
have Henry's time taken up with it: indeed I
did not think it exactly proper that he should
turn hostler so often; but I have tried to put
it out of my thoughts. I brightened up the
fire, and gave the old gentleman a pair of
slippers, and made him as comfortable as
I could, and he looked so pleased and con-
tented that I went cheerfully to prepare his
tea. He retired very early, so that, after all,
Henry and I had the evening quite to ourselves.
Perhaps the consciousness that we had made a
great effort to entertain the stranger added to
We had then a long talk about this visiting
"We cannot live at this rate, Emily," said
he; "that is a settled matter. You look now
THE MINISTER'S COMPANY. 85
completely worn out, and I have made up my
mind not to have it go on so any longer. We
must have help. You can at least have a little
girl, to save you steps. As for myself, I will
not be hostler any longer. Now for this whole
week I have not been able to go into my study
until after ten, because I have had horses to
harness and visitors to see off. We must either
give up entertaining horses, or sell Prince, for,
to say nothing of the trouble, we cannot afford
to keep both. If the people do not make up
the salary this year, we shall run in debt; and
once in debt, I see no hope of ever getting
"I have been thinking," said I, "that we
had better tell our friends plainly that we cannot
conveniently keep their horses. The tavern is
near by, and they can drive over there. I am
not willing to have you troubled with it; neither
do I think it is exactly proper that you should
attend to it. But to our house and our table,
Henry, let us make these poor ministers wel-
come, and share with them what we have."
After a few minutes' serious thought, he
said gravely, "A minister's salary ought to
be large enough to enable him to travel when
he needs it, and put up at a hotel as other men
36 THE SUNNY SIDE.
do. lie ought not to be obliged to stop at a
brother minister's house to save himself a
"But if we cannot make their salaries
larger ?"-said I.
"Then," replied he, "we must entertain
them just as you have done; and may they
never get worse fare." I received an expres-
sion of approbation which quite repaid me for
The next morning our visitor rose before we
had thought of stirring, and I heard him go
down into the parlour and build a fire. Sup-
posing he was anxious to be on his way, I
immediately rose, kindled my kitchen-fire, and
set the table. The morning was dark and
cold; it was almost an hour earlier than I
was accustomed to rise, so that I really made
a good deal of effort, for me. I prepared as
nice a breakfast as I could for our old friend.
I baked hot biscuit and made an extra cup of
coffee-for that dying child was much in my
mind, and it seemed as if any little attention
to the father was a kindness to her; so I felt
quite happy as I stepped briskly about. I
shaved down some dried beef which my mother
had sent me, cut a plate of cheese, and soon
THE MINISTER'S COMPANY. 87
my breakfast was smoking on the table. A
blessing was asked and the covers lifted. The
old man looked first at one thing and then at
another, and seemed dissatisfied. At length
he asked, Haven't you a bit of fresh meat in
the house, you could let me have?" I had; so
I went and cooked it for him. At first, I had
a little struggle with myself to feel just right,
but it was soon over. Now I am glad I went,
for I believe he is truly a good man, and I may
never have an opportunity to do any thing
more for him.
We have had so much company that Mr.
Edwards has not half-finished his first sermon.
Ah! this is the worst of it. Now he must
exchange, or preach an old one; and I do not
feel willing to have him do either. What can
I do to save his time? I do not know but
I had better keep a little girl. She can bring
in wood and water, and that will save him some
88 THE SUNNY SIDE.
DEMAND AND EFFORT.
Monday.-I feel weary to-night, and not
much like writing. Mr. Edwards looks jaded
out. He sat up half of Saturday night, to
finish his sermon, and then preached three
times yesterday. I heard that Deacon Jones
began to complain because he had no more
I have a little girl, Jane, who works for
board and clothing, and I hire a washerwoman
besides. She is a member of our church, and
almost excellent woman. I like to hear her
talk. The first day she came to work for me,
I did not know exactly what to do. I did not
know whether I should be expected to ask her
to sit down to the table with us, or not; so I
stepped softly into the study, for I thought it
"Henry," said I, "shall I ask her to eat
"Who?" said he, looking up.
DEMAND AND EFFORT. 6Y
"Why, the washerwoman. I want to do just
the right thing; now, what shall I do?"
He burst out laughing, and told me, "I could
judge as well as he-he knew nothing about
He did not help me at all. I determined I
would keep on the safe side; so when Jane and
I had dinner all ready, I went to her and
invited her to sit down with us.
"No, I thank ye," said she pleasantly, "I
am all wet and dirty, and I had rather eat
with Jane in the kitchen." I respected her
for her good sense.
Jane is a nice little girl, and I find she can
save me a great many steps. To-day I tried
to wash the paint in the parlour, and while I
was about it, I had four calls. I wiped the
suds from my hands, and sat down. The calls
were mostly on business. I was informed of
my appointment to the office of First Directress
in the Sewing Circle, and also of the female
prayer-meetings which are to commence on the
first Wednesday of next month. Henry wan-
ders about the house to-day, as if he felt indis-
posed even to read a newspaper.
Tuesday.-Some one came this morning for
Mr. Elwards. Widow Green had a stroke of
40 THE SUNNY SIDE.
the palsy in the night. She is quite old, and
has been feeble a long time; but as it is pro-
bable she will linger in this state for some
weeks, I thought I would not disturb him. It
seemed to me very necessary that he should
have his mornings, this week; so I decided to
go myself. Now, she lives a mile and a quarter
from us. This is something of a walk for
me; however, I took it, for I would not call
Henry down to harness the horse. I wish Jane
and I could learn to harness Prince; it would
be very convenient in an emergency.
I found Widow Green's daughter much dis-
tressed. She met me at the door, seized my
hand, and burst into tears. I was quite un-
prepared for this, the old lady was so far
advanced in years; but I should have reme.
bered that we never see the time when we feei
as if we could part with a mother. I tried to
comfort her, but, to tell the truth, I did not
know what to say. I found myself wholly
unequal to it. I could only sympathize with
She soon led me up-stairs into a pleasant
little chamber, which looked towards the set-
ting sun. There in bed, bolstered up, lay the
old lady. One arm had fallen powerless at her
DEMAND AND EFFORT. 41
side, and one corner of her mouth was drawn
down slightly-not enough, however, to injure
the expression, for she looked calm and happy.
She raised her other hand, and tried to bid me
welcome, but her tongue refused to obey, and,
after one or two indistinct sounds, she gave it
up, but her eye wandered to the Bible on the
shelf, and I understood that she wished to hear
me read. I did so, and then spoke a few
words of comfort and sympathy to her and her
weeping daughter; promised them Mr. Edwards
should call in the afternoon, and took my leave.
How humbled I felt, as I walked back; how
utterly unfit I am to stand by the bedside of
It was quite late when I reached home. I
found dinner all ready, and Henry waiting
impatiently for me, and claiming the credit of
I think a great deal about the prayer-meet-
ing. I cannot keep it out of my mind. It is
my duty to go, I know, and I cannot excuse
myself, without throwing a "stumbling block"
in the way of others. I believe these little
praying circles are often blessed, and that my
influence must go towards their support. But
what shall I do? I have never in my life
42 THE SUNNY SIDE.
prayed in the hearing of another; and to go
for the first time before so many, most of them
much older than myself, and so much more
advanced in their Christian course-I am dis-
tressed when I think of it. I sometimes say,
"I cannot do it." May I not plead that I am
"slow of speech ?" Will God accept this plea?
Ah! I fear not. If he gives me, then, this
cross to bear, shall I seek to escape from it ?
No-I must take it. I must go. I must do
the best I can. Perhaps he will "strengthen
me in the hour of need." Do I not know that
"he will not try me above what I am able to
Wednesday.-This is an important day to
me, and Iwish to record its mercies. Through
the morning I felt sad; I could not forget the
trial before me. Once or twice I retired to
pray for Divine assistance. When the ap-
pointed hour arrived, I became much agitated.
I believe I had dreaded it so much that my
nervous system was affected. With trembling
hands I tied on my bonnet and went softly out.
I did not wish even to have Henry speak to me.
I walked rapidly to Deacon Emery's. I was
early; there were only two ladies there. This
relieved me a little, for we chatted on indif-
DEMAND AND EFFORT. 43
ferent matters until more assembled. Mrs.
Emery then read a selected portion of the
Scriptures and called upon an old lady to lead
in prayer. She offered an excellent prayer.
I was quieted by it; it almost seemed as if God
had directed her what to say for my comfort.
After this they sang, and I tried to join them,
but found I could not, my voice trembled so
much. At the close of the singing, Mrs.
Emery said they would like to join with me
in prayer. My heart beat violently-I could
scarcely breathe; but I did not hesitate. I
had made up my mind before I came what it
was my duty to do. I kneeled; I attempted to
speak-my lips quivered, but I could not utter
a sound. There was a deathlike stillness for a
few seconds; then I burst into a flood of tears
and wept violently. I heard others weeping
around me. No one rose. Once more I sum-
moned all my resolution, and this time my
voice obeyed me; and God gave me thoughts
and feelings and language. It seemed to me
I felt his presence and blessing as I had never
done before; and when I concluded the effort,
I felt that this struggle was all over. A sweet
peace fell upon my heart. How can I be grate-
ful enough to my heavenly Father that he did
44 THE SUNNY SIDE.
not leave me to follow my own sinful inclina-
tions in regard to this matter! Now I can
tell Henry about it. How different are my
feelings to-night from those of last night!
Thursday.-I have had a very happy day;
I hardly know why, either, for nothing unusual
has happened. Mr. Edwards went punctually
to his study at seven, and this always starts
the day right. Mother and Martha drove over
this morning, to go with me to the society. I
mean to make a business of being punctual, and
I was there at the appointed minute. This is
one of the little virtues, the cultivation of
which I shall be glad to help along by my
example. Henry will not let me be directress:
he thinks that some lady who has less demand
upon her time should take it. He is right, I
suppose, as he generally is, for it would require
much time to fit all the work-more than I,
situated as I am, can command; and I would
much rather not hold the office at all, than to
hold it nominally. The ladies were disap-
pointed, and some, I fancied, dissatisfied by
my refusal, but I cannot help it: I must be
guided by my own conscience. I mean to go
right on and do what seems to me right, and
bear the consequences. I hope by and by I
DEMAND AND EFFORT. 45
shall be able so to secure their confidence, that
they will be willing to trust me to form my own
judgment as to what is right and proper for
me to do. For one thing, now, I mean to
attend the society meetings always, if I can.
I think, for their social results, it is highly im-
portant they should be sustained. Mr. Ed-
wards thought it would be a good plan to have
reading during a part of the afternoon. The
ladies accede to it, because the pastor proposes
it, I imagine; but I fear that this plan will not
succeed. There is so much work going on,
and so many things wanted, that a reader
must be constantly interrupted. Yet I should
like to try it; it would give a little more cha-
racter to our meetings. I suppose I shall be
expected to furnish books, and I am sure I
shall be puzzled what to select. Light reading
it will not do for me to carry, and serious read-
ing will not interest them, and I have not a
very extensive library to select from. How-
ever, I will do my best, and if I bear it in
mind, little interesting items may fall in my
way. I can glean something by the wayside.
I found, the other day, a very interesting
account of Franklin's early life, in an old
newspaper which mother sent me around a
46 THE SUNNY SIDE.
ham. I cut it out and put it away carefully in
my society box.
Friday.-No studying going on to-day.
Henry had to go out, right after breakfast,
about five miles, to see a dying man; and this
afternoon he was called three miles in another
direction, to marry a couple. It seems as if
he could not spare a day, so near the close of
he week. We heard yesterday that Deacon
Jones was dissatisfied because he visited so
little, and made some sharp remarks about it.
I hope Deacon Jones is a good man: I believe
he is, but it would make a great change in him
if he could be a country minister one year.
When he returned to his deaconship, I am
quite sure he would be more considerate. It
seems to me that Mr. Edwards is labouring
hard and faithfully. He has the best good of
his people near at heart, and does not spare
himself. I wish they understood how much
it would be for their interest not to disturb
him in the morning. Such a day as this
troubles me. Sermon-writing now must come
late into Saturday night, and then for haggard
looks and low spirits, Monday.
Saturday.-About ten this morning, Rev.
Mr. Jones, with his wife and child, came to
DEMAND AND EFFORT. 47
spend the Sabbath with us. I was embarrassed
when I met him, but soon I told him frankly
that if he would excuse it, I would not call
Mr. Edwards down, as he had had a broken
week, and was not quite ready for the Sabbath.
I must confess I was relieved when Mr. Jones
told me that he was obliged to give up preach-
ing himself for a while, on account of throat
troubles. Not that I was glad he was ill, of
course, but I was glad Henry would not have
to invite him into the pulpit. He has had
more help of late than Deacon Jones and
Miss Cribby like. I do not know, but I am
too sensitive about what the people say, but I
do want them to love him; for if they do not,
he can do them no good. Miss Cribby is a
most excellent woman, but she is peculiar. I
hope that some time we shall understand each
other better; and yet I find I can get along
more easily with her than I did at first. I am
sometimes a little surprised to see how much I
am interested in this people-how ready I am
Sto excuse their faults and admire their virtues.
They seem like a part of our family
48 THE SUNNY SIDE.
PERPLEXITIES AND PURPOSES.
SOME years from the last date, we meet our
friends again in those quiet woods which over-
shadow a part of the road between Lynnfield
and Weston. They were now riding in a
buggy-wagon, which Prince seemed to carry
with as much ease as he had carried the chaise
-for his additional load was but a slight one.
Master Harry, though stout, was but a two-
year-old, and baby Emma's weight was too
trifling to be noticed. Mr. and Mrs. Edwards
looked somewhat older and graver than when
we last saw them here, on their wedding tour.
"I wish," said Mr. Edwards, "that I could
go to Boston, this fall, to the meeting of the
Why don't you?" replied his wife. "I had
thought of the plan, myself. I really want
you to go; it would do you good. You have
scarcely been away now for three years. You
need the change, and would enjoy those mieet-
ings very much."
PERPLEXITIES AND PURPOSES. 49
"I know that, love; but where am I to get
the money to go with ?"
"Why, Prince will carry you, and you would
put up with my uncle. You would scarcely
need any money."
"I have not a dollar I could spare to pay
for having my horse kept, after I got there.
I declare!" said he, cracking his whip, "this
is what I call being poor."
Mrs. Edwards smiled, but looked in vain for
an answering smile.
"We could get along beautifully," said she,
"if they would only pay us what is really due;
don't you think so, Henry?"
It would be small enough at best," replied
he; "but the people are so backward in their
payments, it is impossible to get along at all.
Quarter-day comes-no salary ready-I must
take an order on the stores, or nothing. We
must buy even the salt for our porridge at a
disadvantage, and I must be always in debt.
I really feel ashamed to face some of my own
people who have claims on me. They are
honest debts, and ought to be paid; but, time
after time, I must put them off with the same
old story. To tell the truth, I have not a
dollar of my own in the world. I have a bank-
50 THE SUNNY SIDE.
note which I borrowed of Deacon Emery just
to keep in my pocket-book for an emergency.
Things have been in this state now for several
months. There is always an excuse for not
paying me. I have not bought a book since
the first year I was settled. How in the
world, Emily, you struggle along and keep so
cheerful, with all your care and sickness, I
cannot imagine. If it had not been for you, I
should have given up long ago, in despair."
"Why, Henry," replied she, "indeed it is
really wonderful to see how God has provided
for us. Through all our sickness, we had one
of the very best physicians, and he, you know,
never would take a cent of pay, either for
attendance or medicine. Then our children
are healthy, and Jane has proved a real
treasure; she does almost as much work as a
woman. Mother and the girls have quite
clothed her, so that she has cost us almost
nothing, and I have been able to teach her,
evenings. Really, Henry, I have almost every
thing I want. For myself, I do not mind the
salary troubles; it is only on your account I
"It is not right," said he,-bursting out like
a torrent long pent up,-" it is morally wrong
PERPLEXITIES AND PURPOSES. 51
for the people to be so remiss in this matter.
I would rather, to-day, receive one-half the
amount in ready money, which they give me
now in orders; it would be worth more to me.
Here we are; we must buy at just such a store,
at any price they please to set, and often take
a thing which is not what we want, because
we can get no other. Then I do not, even in
this way, receive all which they agreed to give
me. There is scarcely a family in Weston who
live on such small means as we have, and yet
we entertain more company than all of them
put together. Now I suffer from this. I go
into my study disheartened. Often when I
take up my pen to write, I think of you down-
stairs, toiling so patiently and cheerfully from
morning to night, with your children in your
arms, and I feel that it is my business to re-
lieve you myself, if I cannot afford you relief
in any other way. Then when company comes,
I sometimes look out and see them driving in,
and feel that we have scarcely the bread to
give them, and you certainly have neither time
nor strength to spend on their entertainment.
I confess it unmans me. I often lay down my
pen and weep. Any thing is better than such
a life as this, and I will live so no longer-on
52 THE SUNNY SIDE.
that I am determined. My usefulness is des-
troyed. I can do more good, digging by the
highway. I have made up my mind to ask for
a dismission this week."
Mrs. Edwards looked up in amazement. She
had received no intimation before of any ap-
proach to such a crisis. She hardly knew
what to say.
What could you do," she asked at length,
quietly, "if you were dismissed ?"
"First, I would sell off every thing and
raise a little ready money, and then I would
take you and the babies home to my mother's
farm. I can earn your living there, and have
time to look about me a little for other employ-
ment. Live we must, and if I cannot do it by
preaching, I must try teaching. Thank God,
'Every labourer is worthy of his hire.' "
They rode on some time in silence; at length
Mrs. Edwards asked in a gentle tone:
Had we better make so important a move
It would not be a hasty move," was his reply.
"I have thought it all over many and many a
time, and looked it through, from beginning to
end, and my duty now seems to me clear, and
my path plain. My resolution is formed. I
PERPLEXITIES AND PURPOSES. 53
am not, on the whole, sorry that I settled here,
for I have learned many things by experience,
which will be of great use to me hereafter; but
it seems to me that my work here is done.
As our family expenses increase, our perplexi-
ties increase; and I have to spend so much
energy in providing the needful to eat and
drink and wear, that I have little left for pro-
fessional duties. My enthusiasm has vanished,
my spirits flag, my sermons drag, and what I
write with little interest the people hear with
as little. It would be wrong for me to continue
this course any longer."
Prince now of his own accord stopped at the
door of his old home. Grandmother took the
baby, and aunty the laughing Harry. Mrs.
Edwards looked pleased, but a close observer
could have detected now and then a sigh. She
was thinking of the future. The next morning
our friends returned to Weston.
54 THE SUNNY SIDE.
WESTON was taken entirely by surprise when
their pastor asked a dismission; and there was
a great excitement about it. They could not
understand what the difficulty was; for they
were quite sure they were satisfied with him.
It did not seem to occur to them, that he
could be dissatisfied with them! A few ven-
tured to come to head-quarters for some
light on this dark subject. They were
frankly told that Mr. Edwards had said all
to his people on the subject of their pecu-
niary remissness which he deemed it proper to
say, and that he could not consent to remain
where he must perpetually dun his people for
Those whose counsel was sought investigated
the matter thoroughly. The result was, that
they censured the people in very plain terms,
and were decidedly against a dismission of the
minister. With this the people were not of-
THE COMPROMISE. 55
fended, for they were really much attached to
both their minister and his wife, and by no
means willing to part with them. They saw
also, that, having been so long without any
settled pastor, they had really fallen into loose
ways of doing business. No one had brought
them up to the mark. Now they came forward,
and, of their own accord, entered into a written
agreement, that the salary-five hundred dollars
a year, in ready money-should be in the hands
of the treasurer, on such a day, subject to Mr.
Edwards's order. In addition to this, they
would agree to raise another hundred, by
voluntary contributions, if they could; and in
case they could not, they would yearly give a
donation party. This affair brought out warm
expressions of attachment, even from Miss
Cribby and Deacon Jones; but, notwithstand-
ing this, it cost Mr. Edwards a struggle to
consent to remain. He was convinced, that
nine times out of ten, when a minister has
asked a dismission, it is best that he should
go; and he also felt that even now, his salary
would be too small to meet his necessary ex-
penses. He did not, however, see his way
quite clear to renew his application.
"Well, Emily," said he that evening, "I do
56 THE SUNNY SIDE.
not see but that we must stay, for the present
at least. One good will come from the move-
we shall know what to depend upon, though,
at the best, we shall have a hard time of it."
"Perhaps we can meet it as well as any
one," replied she. Some one must live here.
There are souls in Weston as precious as
I know that," replied he, "and if I had
only myself to care for, I would cheerfully
labour here till I die. But I must provide for
my family. How are we to educate our children?
Why, our shoemaker, over the way, earns more
than I do."
"I never allow myself an uneasy thought
about the children," replied she. "If God
spares them to us, and they wish for an educa-
tion, some way will be provided, I have no
doubt. Would it be right to leave what, all
things considered, seems a post of duty, to
provide for an uncertain future? Would it
rot seem like a distrust of God's care of us ?"
"You preach like a minister," said Mr.
Edwards, with a smile.
"Oh, Henry," replied she, as the colour
deepened a little in her cheeks, "indeed I did
THE COMPROMISE. 57
not mean to preach. I was only saying to you
just what came into my heart."
"Well, love, here we will stay, unless some
new door should be opened, so long as the peo-
ple will keep to their agreement. We will
cheerfully trust our children, ourselves, and the
future, in God's hands."
68 THE SUNNY SIDE.
VISIT TO BOSTON.
THE new order of things made a most re-
markable change in the minister's family.
With an unlocked for consideration, Mr.
Dodge himself called with the money, on the
morning of the day on which the salary was
due. Now they could pay as they went along,
and they contracted no more debts. There
was no more borrowing money to fill an empty
pocket-book. Sometimes they had an oppor-
tunity to send to Boston, and they always
improved it, for they could purchase at an
advantage there, procuring a nicer article for
the same price. At the close of the year, it
seemed as if one dollar had gone as far as three
had formerly done, when taken in "orders."
The donation-party-as it was called-was
also some help, though it was far from being
as good for them as the hundred dollars would
iave been in money. They received many
things which they would not have bought.
Then, it was not exactly pleasant to take as
VISIT TO BOSTON. 69
a gift what was in fact their due. However,
the more intelligent part of the people regarded
the thing in the right light, i. e. as a favour,
to be allowed to pay a part of the salary in
this manner; and felt that they were the party
under obligation. Those who did not regard
it thus, Mrs. Edwards found it quite easy to
get along with. Indeed, she seemed to get along
with every body,-even with Miss Cribby.
The new order of things was felt by the
society also. Their minister came to them
no longer with a troubled countenance, neither
did he write for them despondingly. His peo-
ple said he had never preached better; and
this was true.
The two ends of the year now met so well,
that on the ensuing spring Mr. Edwards again
entertained the idea of going to Boston. He
had not taken a journey with his wife since
their marriage, and he felt that the change
and relief from care would be of great service
to her. She, however, objected to going,
assigning various reasons, and concealing the
main one which was in her mind,-the ad-
ditional expense of taking her. Mr. Edwards
overruled all these objections, pressed his point,
and she consented to accompany him.
60 THE SUNNY SIDE.
Then followed the "getting ready,"-a small
affair for him, but a great one for her. She
had not purchased a nice dress for herself since
her marriage. Now the relatives with whom
she was to stay in Boston were fashionable
people, and she found she had a little feeling
about appearing there in such an antiquated
dress. The old remark, about coming out of
Noah's ark," would find its way into her mind.
After a few struggles with herself, she had
about made up her mind to go with the best
she had, and to feel satisfied with it, when she
received very unexpectedly, from the ladies of
the parish, a new black silk dress. They, also,
had some feeling about their minister's wife,
and wished her to appear as well as others.
With the dress was a little note, enclosing two
dollars, with which they asked her to buy a
new ribbon for her straw bonnet. This was a
well-timed present, and Mrs. Edwards was
touched by the kind interest which the ladies
manifested. She was also comforted by it, for
she had been a little afraid that her sensitive-
ness about her dress was not altogether right.
Her mother and Martha came over from
Lynnfield on so important an occasion as the
making of a silk dress, and it was soon done
VISIT TO BOSTON. 61
up in good style. The old Dunstable-straw
was sewed over yet once more; it was newly
bleached to the last degree of faintness, and
trimmed with a fresh, modest, green ribbon.
Mrs. Jones brought in, one evening, a little
parcel, which she kept tucked under her apron
till just as she was going away-then she slipped
it under the table-cover. Martha laughingly
opened it, and found a nice new green veil.
So our traveller seemed to be all equipped.
The children returned with grandmother to
Lynnfield, and every thing being ready, the
day was fixed for their start. At an early
hour, Prince, in shining harness, stood waiting
at the door, and quite a party of interested
friends called to see them off. It was a cheer-
ful and pleasant group on the steps of the
parsonage; and in the midst, quietly and
sweetly, stood the minister's wife. Was she
not the fac-simile of that image she long
ago had in mind? Was she not "very good"
and "very thankful," and dressed even in the
straw bonnet, with "green ribbons?"
Indeed, her new attire was so becoming, and
she appeared so pretty, that her husband
looked at her with beaming eyes, which well
expressed his pleasure at her improved ap-
62 THE SUNNY SIDE.
pearance. The ladies smiled at one another,
and felt repaid for all they had done.
No one, who has not once in a life-time taken
such a patiently-earned journey, can fully un-
derstand how much Mr. and Mrs. Edwards
enjoyed. They seemed almost to have entered
a new world. Every thing interested them;
the light and shade, the waving trees, the
ever-changing landscape, rocks and birds and
flowers, farms and fruit-orchards, alike attracted
their attention. They talked incessantly; time
flew, and before they were ready for it, Prince
had brought them within sight of the dome
of the State House at Boston. Soon they were
making their way through the narrow streets,
and then were at Mr. Iargrave's door. So
quickly had they come, it seemed almost like
a dream, yet how easily it had all been accom-
With some trepidation, Mrs. Edwards fol-
lowed her husband up those large granite
steps, which, as well as the house itself, seemed
very imposing. Their ring was immediately
answered, and they were ushered into a hand-
some drawing-room. Mr. and Mrs. Hargrave
met their niece so cordially that it re-assured
her, and, quite at her ease again, in her simple,
VISIT TO BOSTON. 63
natural way, she introduced Mr. Edwards to
Their hospitable relatives did every thing
in their power to make them feel at home.
Their house was filled with guests, and Mrs.
Edwards soon found that her very retired life
had in some respects been a disadvantage to
her. She was embarrassed in general society.
She had been out of it so long, that she had
almost forgotten how to act. Among their
own people, where she was so much looked up
to, she was quite at her ease, and could talk;
but to be among strangers, in a mixed party,
placed her in such new relations as to embar-
rass her. It must be said, however, that these
new circumstances, though they made her silent,
yet did not make her awkward, for she was
truly modest, and assumed nothing on the
ground of being a minister's wife. When she
did converse, there was something in her
manner which was winning and gentle, and
which made friends. As to those customs of
fashionable life to which she had been so long
unused, she met them in a quiet, observant
way, which shielded her alike from blunder or
That she was too silent, is, however, only
64 THE SUNNY SIDE.
partially true. When. religious topics were
introduced, she expressed thoughts and opinions,
and showed more of general information and
cultivation than one would have been led to
expect. True, since her marriage, she had
found but little time to read, but she had made
the most of what she had read. She never
forgot any thing worth remembering, and
seemed to deposit what she learned in its
right place, and appropriate it to its proper
subject. The truth was, when she read, it
was for the people as well as herself. She
made a point of studying her Bible daily-and
who can do this without intellectual, as well as
spiritual improvement? Her practice of jour-
nalizing and writing occasionally had contri-
buted also to give her command of language.
Mr. Edwards was at home at once, among
the ministers. He was interested and excited
through the whole week. It was enough to do
one's heart good to see how much our friends
enjoyed. They attended the meetings-they
shopped together-they stepped into book-
stores. Here, after turning it all over in
their minds, they purchased a few, a very few
books. How rich they felt with their treasure,
all tied in a paper parcel, which Mr. Edwards
VISIT TO BOSTON. 65
easily carried under his arm! After a little
more good planning, Mr. Edwards decided to
subscribe for a Theological Review. He felt
the necessity of keeping abreast with the lite-
rary and religious world, as he had not done
before since his settlement.
The week in Boston seemed to fly. The
religious meetings came to a close, and Mr.
and Mrs. Edwards, refreshed in body and
mind,-rich with news and their few purchases
-all important to them-turned their faces
homeward. Not a cloud came over the sky-
the air was mild and balmy-nature seemed to
sympathize with their quiet joys. Prince was
in fine order; indeed, like his master, he seemed
to have grown young again. He was not long
in leaving the old State House far behind him;
and, in time for an early tea, he stopped at
the door of the parsonage in Weston.
Do THE SUNNY SIDE.
FROM THE JOURNAL.
Nov.-This morning Mr. Dodge stopped
here. He did not get out of the sleigh, but
rapped on the fence with his whip-handle. I
sent Jane out to him.
"Tell your folks," said he, "if they will
send a basket up to my house, I will give them
I was quite pleased, for it is a long time
since I had seen a sweet-potato. I sent Jane,
but took good care to select the smallest basket
I had, which was at all suitable. Mr. Edwards
laughed out when I gave it to her.
"I don't wish him to rob himself," said I,
half apologetically. I received no reply. Mr.
Edwards returned to his newspaper, though I
could easily see a curious smile lurking still
around the corners of his mouth. Jane was
gone only a few minutes, as Mr. Dodge lives
quite near us. When I saw her returning, I
went out to meet her in the entry. I thought
perhaps it would be as well to take the potatoes
quietly into the kitchen, and let Mr. Edwards
finish his paper; but he called out to her, to
"bring them in." The basket was but half-
filled, and most of those were specked!
Mr. Edwards looked a little angry. I laughed.
"You see," said I, "I was right in the selec-
tion of my basket; but here is enough to give
us a little taste. You may take them out, Jane."
Mr. Edwards was a little angry. He is very
sensitive about receiving presents. I do not
think our donation-parties are altogether agreea-
ble to him. He does not like to be put under
obligation for what is justly his due. I wish
the people would feel as if they could dispense
with them, and raise the money: it would be
so much better for us. If Mr. Dodge would
only do his duty, they could raise it easily-
but money comes hard from him. I do not
mean to complain of our people, for I think
they have been exceedingly generous and
attentive to us. They do the best they can,
and for the most part cheerfully, I think. I
do not remember having my feelings pained
but once. Before Harry's birth, I had many
little things sent in to me. I was calling on a
68 THE SUNNY SIDE.
lady, one day, and I spoke of the presents
which I had received, of their value to me, and
of my appreciation of the kindness which
prompted it. She replied, suddenly, and to
me it seemed sharply, "Well, I didn't send
you nothing, Miss Edwards. I think, charity
begins at home-and it is my duty to see first
that my own children have clothes." I was so
taken by surprise, I did not know what to say.
My feelings were hurt. It was with difficulty
I could restrain my tears. If I had known
that she had sent nothing, of course I should
not have spoken; but I had attributed some
anonymous presents to her, and wished to
notice them in this way. However, she is a
good woman, and I don't suppose she meant
to hurt my feelings.
April.-How long it is since I have written
in my journal! We have had a very trying
winter. God has seen fit to send sickness
among us. In January, our dear little Kate
was born. We had been at so much expense,
previously, that I dismissed my nurse earlier
than I am used to doing, and I think I over-
exerted myself before I got my strength up,
for my work had run behind-hand, and there
was a great deal to be done. I must have
taken some cold, also, for I had a severe ill-
ness, and was co my room two months.
I am now but juaB sit up and do a little
light work in my ch Henry, dear boy,
is a great comfort to me. He is a mother-boy.
I hardly know how I could get along without
him. He is but little more than six years old,
but he does the work of a boy of ten. He
brings in all my wood, and builds the fires,
and looks after the little ones. Dear little
fellow! I have had to keep him out of school,
now, for a month: I regret it very much, but
it cannot be helped. Hle leads Emma and
George every morning, and goes for them at
night, and he tends the baby. I think little
Kate begins to know him already. He tends
her almost as well as I do. It is curious to see
him sitting in his little rocking-chair, singing
to her. How much we have to be grateful for!
True, we are poor, as this world goes, but we
are rich in our children. God has given us a
world of comfort and hope now in Henry.
Then there is Emma, her father's child, noisy,
and talkative, and lively, doing all she can to
keep us in good cheer. George seems to be
more quiet and gentle. In the midst of my
sickness, they all had the measles. Mr. Ed-
70 THE SUNNY SIDE.
wards took them into the td and took care
of them himself.
May.-It is so d eh hi morning, I
think I shall venturd'Y. ie out (with little
Kate. Prince is so gentle, it will be no trouble
to drive him. I will not let Mr. Edwards go
with me, as he has been much disturbed of late.
His habits of study have been broken up, and
I see he finds it difficult to resume them. A
great deal of miscellaneous business has accu-
mulated on his hands. His people have been
considerate, and certainly very kind. Mrs.
Jones, in particular, insisted upon sitting up
night after night. I used to think then, that
I could overlook all the deacon's faults for her
sake; but how little we know of our own hearts!
Now it was only last week that I lost my
patience wholly with him. He came in one
evening, after we were beginning to look up a
little, and gave Mr. Edwards a regular scolding.
He told him "his church was in a cold state,
they were almost dead, and something must be
done to get up a revival, or they should all go
down." He is unfortunate in his manner of
expressing himself. Even when he does not
mean to be unamiable, he appears quarrelsome
Miss Cribby keeps Mrs. Edwards informed of all which
goes wrong in the parish.-p. 73.
After these private interviews, Mr. Edwards
is often silent: last week he was quite de-
pressed; he began to think there must be some
general dissatisfaction in the congregation, and
that Deacon Jones's call was not entirely on
his own account. But I think if this was the
case, I should certainly hear of it from Miss
Cribby, for she keeps me duly informed of all
which goes wrong; so I have made up my
mind not to be troubled about it. When God
disables us by sickness, it is wrong to fret
because we cannot be "up and doing." I will
go out to enjoy this beautiful day. It will do
little Kate good.
June.-This afternoon, Deacon Emery called.
His benevolent, pleasant, good face, is a real
cordial. I feel, when I am by him, that I am
near a friend; and a true friend he has indeed
been to us. I love him with my whole heart.
He made us a pleasant call. I saw he had a
bundle under each arm, which, as he rose to
go, he put down on the table. "I noticed,
sir," said he to Mr. Edwards, "that you had
no standard works of history in your library,
and as your children are getting to be readers
now, you may find these useful." He had
brought a complete set of Hume and Smollett.
74 THE SUNNY SIDE.
Mr. Edwards was very much pleased, and so
was I. We fancied, and rightly I imagine,
that he had, in some way, heard of Deacon
Jones's fault-finding call, and wished to do
away any wrong impressions which he might
have made, for he spoke with unusual cheerful-
ness and warmth about the prosperity of the
church, and took special pains to specify indi-
vidual cases where attention had been awakened
by some particular sermons. The tears came
into my eyes, and I could not refrain from
thanking him by a warm pressure of the
Just before Deacon Emery came in, Mr. Ed-
wards had been talking about leaving Weston.
Said he: "I have now been here ten years,
and I do not know but I have done my work
for this people. A new order of things, per-
haps, would give them a new start."
I think it has been a cherished opinion of
his, that ten years is about as long as a man
ought to stay in one place.
"Would you seek for a larger place?" I
inquired. I was sorry I had asked the ques-
tion. He did not immediately reply. He
walked the room silently, and when he did
speak, it was in a sorrowful tone.
"I do not know that I could fill a more im-
portant place, Emily. I know that I have not
advanced, as ten years ago I meant to do. I
have fallen below my mark. Too much energy
and time have been spent simply in contriving
how to live year by year. I have not been
able to buy books, or to travel about and find
out what other men are doing, and I have had
very little to excite my ambition for study.
Then my people have required a great deal of
pastoral duty, and they would have it even if it
interfered with the preaching; so here I am.
I am yet in the prime of life; but my habits
of study and thought are now formed, and have
been formed under such circumstances as these,
and I have no reason to think I shall ever do,
or be, much more than I am now. No,-when
we leave Weston, if I am wise, I shall seek
only another retired field of labour."
It pained me very much to hear him speak
in this manner. I knew that he was unjust to
himself; for he had been a faithful, hard-working
"Perhaps," said I, "in the course which you
marked out for yourself, there may have been
an unsanctified ambition which God would not
accept; and though you may not have accomn
76 THE SUNNY SIDE.
polished your own plans, you may have done
more for Him in the way he has led you."
"And there it must rest," said he. "Cer-
tainly, the way has never yet been opened for
me to leave Weston, though the small salary
here has been a great disadvantage to me every
way. Why, you see how much of my time it
takes to teach my boys. I cannot afford to
send them away to school; and if they are ever
fitted for college, I must fit them. We must
give them an education; it is all we can do for
them." Here, as I have already written, Dea-
con Emery called. After he had left the par-
lour, Mr. Edwards asked him into the study,
and had a long talk with him.
August.-The question has once more been
agitated, whether to go or stay. Mr. Edwards
finds now that he has taken such deep root in
the hearts of the people, that he cannot tear
himself away, without violence. Probably, he
will never again attempt it. He has made up
his mind now to live, and labour, and die here,
if God sees best. I am content. I love Wes-
ton-I love our people. Here have all my
children been born; no other spot could be so
HARD TIMES. 77
SEVEVAL years later in the history of our
minister'o family, we find them at a period of
their greatest pressure. Now, there are seven
children-four boys and three girls, to be fed,
clothed, and educated on five hundred a year
Mr. Edwards, with great perseverance and at
some professional sacrifice, had managed to fit
the two eldest boys for college. Henry was
nearly sixteen,-an ambitious boy and a good
scholar. He had not as yet given any evidence
of piety. Next in order to him was Emma, a
discreet, amiable, matronly girl, who was a great
help to her mother. She had been kept at the
Weston High-school, which was sometimes well
and sometimes badly managed; and in addition
to this, her father had encouraged her studying
with her brothers, so that she had thus far been
well educated. Next to her came George, who
seemed to like any thing better than study.
78 THE SUNNY SIDE.
Then followed the sprightly and beautiful Kate,
then Susan, who was mother all over again;
then John, who was about like other boys, and
Jamie the baby and pet-all these to be pro-
vided for, with the short, scanty purse.
It was wonderful to see how it held out.
They never went hungry. True, neither tea,
nor coffee, nor sugar was seen on their table;
but there was plenty of fresh, sweet milk. Meat
was a rarity; but there was no lack of hasty-
pudding and bean-porridge, pea-soup, and pota-
toes. Poultry in abundance, too, at Thanks-
giving, and a fine pig killed about Christmas.
The little farm, which the stout boys helped
work, furnished their vegetables and fed the
horse, while their fruit-trees sometimes brought
them in a little money. Of cakes, pies amn
preserves, they seldom tasted; notwithstanding
which, their cheeks were as rosy and their com-
plexion as fair as those who fared sumptuously
every day. In their dress, however, their nar-
row income was more perceptible. Garments
were handed down from one to another-turned
upside down and inside out-patched and re-
patched, and worn as long as they could be
made tidily to hold together. Homely and out
of fashion their clothing necessarily was, often,
HARD TIMES. 79
-but never ragged or dirty. It took so much
cloth to cover them, and both boys and girls
grew so fast, that what was purchased was gene-
rally of cheap material. Sometimes, Mrs. Ed-
wards wished that, for their sakes, she could
afford to dress them a little better; but then
again, true to her confidence in God, she felt
quite convinced that God had given them every
thing which it was best for them to have.
To make the most of this, however, she toiled
incessantly. She turned her hand to every
thing. Often she felt obliged to steal time
from sleep, and she would sit up late, cutting
and contriving, making and fitting.
An old coat, perhaps, of Mr. Edwards's, must
make a Sunday jacket, "good as new," for one
of the boys, or a dress of aunty's must be made
over for the third or fourth time, now, for the
baby. While thus occupied, particularly if
alone, it was her habit to sing in a low, sweet
voice, her favourite hymns, one of which was,
While thee I seek, protecting Power," &c.
To her family, she always appeared quiet and
happy, and they never were conscious how con-
stantly she exerted herself. Notwithstanding
OU THE SUNNY SIDE.
her home cares, her social duties were not ne-
glected. Her place was seldom vacant at the
prayer-meetings, and she seemed always ready
to answer a call of poverty or sickness. It
was wonderful how much she accomplished, with
feeble health, too; and yet she did her work so
quietly and naturally, that her labours were ap-
preciated only in their results.
GOING TO COLLEGE. 81
GOING TO COLLEGE.
THE time came when our minister's family
was to be broken in upon, and the nestlings
must scatter. Henry was about to enter col-
lege. Every nerve had been strained to fit him
out. At their last donation-party, one little
thing had occurred, which Mrs. Edwards loved
to regard as a special providence. It was this:
a whole piece of cotton cloth had been given
them, for the first time, and it exactly met their
One afternoon, while Mrs. Edwards, Emma,
and Kate were sewing busily, making it up into
shirts, Miss Cribby called.
"Always find you at work, here," said she.
"Wish some folks in the parish would take pat-
tern by ye. They'd be better off."
"We are fitting Henry out," said Mrs. Ed-
wards, smiling. "He enters college, this
"Enters college! Why, bless me! Isn't he
OS THE SUNNY SIDE.
"No; he is about sixteen."
"Sixteen! Well, Inever! How time does fly
away with one. It seems but yesterday that
he was born. How pretty he looked the first
time I saw him. Little toad! I felt as if I
wanted to give him a good shaking."
Kate, by this time, had unloaded the rocking-
chair; and, placing it by the window, she in-
vited Miss Cribby to sit down.
"Well, I don't care if I do,". was the reply.
"How much have you got to do, Mrs. Edwards,
to fix him off?"
We have just commenced on his shirts; but
I intend to keep Emma and Kate at home for
a little while, and I think we shall get along
Dear me Why on earth, now, can't some
of the folks come in and give you a lift?
They might, just as well as not. I do wonder
why nobody ever seems to think of such things
but me. I'd take hold, myself, if I had any
"I think we shall get through in season."
"Now, that is because you are always afraid
of troubling other people, Mrs. Edwards. I
don't see any sense in it."
Miss Cribby soon rose, made rather an awk-
GOING TO COLLEGE. 83
ward apology for her short call, and took her
leave. Miss Cribby had a notion in her head.
First, she went to Deacon Emery's to tell the
Henry Edwards was going to college in a
fortnight, and Mrs. Edwards had a world of
sewing to do, to get him fixed out; and for her
part, she thought it was a sin and a shame -for
them to stand by and see her working herself
to death, and never offer to give her a lift."
Thus went Miss Cribby from house to house,
scolding some, coaxing others, and inviting all
to a Sewing Bee the next afternoon, at the
minister's, giving them as a last charge, "Mind
ye, now, and bring your own victuals."
Miss Cribby's Bee was a very large one, and
was really a great help. Particularly so was it
to little Kate, for a great part of the fine
stitching was done. This she had intended to
do herself. Dear child! She meant to stitch
Henry's linen everywhere where it was suitable;
for she felt as if nothing could be too nice for
him to go to college with.
Mrs. Edwards was so very careful never to
seem to demand assistance from their people,
that it was cheerfully offered. This is not al-
84 THE SUNNY SIDE.
ways the case. Sometimes assistance is given
reluctantly. The ladies who are pressed with
their own sewing, feel that it is rather hard
they should be called upon to sew for the minis-
ter's wife. Do not yield to these feelings, my
friend. Go and help her gladly, and be sure
this act will find a place in that golden line
with the "cup of cold water." You do not
know how much she has to do with her time,
and never will, unless you are a faithful minis-
ter's wife yourself. Assist her all you can.
You may still feel that you receive quite as much
as you give-though you may not always trace
it directly to her.
Were you comforted and strengthened by the
sermon, last Sabbath morning? Had not your
minister's wife left all her Saturday's mending,
and gone in and sat down five different times
with persons who called, it would not have been
Did you enjoy much at the last prayer-meet-
ing, because your minister was there, with all
his heart in it? Had not his wife stayed at
home, and, after a hard day's work, rocked and
nursed and walked about with the teething
child, he could not have been present. If you
think your minister's wife has an easy life of
GOING TO COLLEGE. 85
it, you are mistaken. If you think, with all
its toils, she finds much to enjoy in it, you are
But to return to our story.
Miss Cribby, not satisfied with her Bee, went
to work to see what else she could do. Going
about from one to another, and finally ending
with Mr. Dodge, with whom she had a regular
siege, she accomplished her object, and collected
ten dollars in money.
One morning she came to the parsonage at
breakfast-time, but entered without ceremony,
as usual. She seemed embarrassed-something
new for her. Mr. Edwards asked her to sit
"No, she couldn't stop; she only wanted to
know how they all were, and how they got
along, and if they were almost through, and if
they didn't want some more help about the
She was duly informed on these points, and
then there was a pause.
"I may as well tell on't first as last," said
Miss Cribby, trying to keep back some awkward
tears. May be this'll help you some at this
pull; and if it does, I'm paid, that's all." She
laid the roll of bills on Mr. Edwards's plate,
86 THE SUNNY SIDE.
walked out of the room as fast as she could go,
and in the gladness of her heart cried all the
Ten dollars! Ten dollar The children
crowded around to look at it.
Only think, Henry," cried Kate, "ten dol-
lars! why, it will almost carry you through
This was indeed timely aid; and when the
minister and his family kneeled in prayer, both
gift and giver were remembered with grati-
THE PACKING. 6 ,
HENRY'S first new suit of broadcloth, which
was to be paid for at some future time, arrived.
He put it on and walked proudly about. His
father and mother looked at him, but were si-
lent. It seemed as if they now realized, for
the first time, that he was getting on, into man-
hood-that he was to leave them-that he was
very dear to them. The children, noisy in
their love, gathered about him,-all but George,
who, now beginning to think himself almost a
man, stood at a distance, to pass his judgment
"I think," said he, "it's pretty well done
for a country tailor. You'll pass muster, I
guess, Harry. You'll be dressed as well as
any of them, at any rate."
Kate looked upon him with her sparkling,
blue eyes. "He will be the handsomest fellow
in all college,-I know that."
"Kate, don't be silly," said Emma; "you'll
50 THE SUNNY SIDE.
make him vain, if you tell him so; 'handsome
is that handsome does.' "
"I hope he will be the best man in college,"
said his father, "whoever may be the hand-
"Have you nothing to say, mother?'" in-
quired Henry, turning to her.
"I like your clothes, my son-they fit well."
"Well, mustn't he be good, to pay for it,
mother ?" said John.
"Yes," said his mother, as she approached
Henry and kissed him fondly. Henry knew
her well enough to understand that her heart
was full, and that her chief desire for him she
would not express at so noisy a time.
At length, all Henry's sewing was finished.
Mrs. Edwards rejoiced on Kate's account, for
it seemed as if the child would make herself ill.
She would sit there, near the window, by the
hour together, with her sampler in her lap,
stitching in, on one thread, on all the linen,
"Henry Edwards," in full. She had an idea
that college was a bad place, and he might pos-
sibly lose some of his precious property, if it
were not well marked.
Then came the packing. Now the old trunk,
which Mr. Edwards himself had carried to col-
90 THE SUNNY SIDE.
slippers, stitching in the leaves and flowers,
Emma filled a box with good substantial dough-
nuts. George owned a portfolio, a birthday
gift-this he cheerfully placed by the other
presents. A new penknife was there, too, from
his father, but nothing there from his mother yet.
The last article was in, and no excuse offered
for lingering longer over the packing. Kate
had smoothed each article, even to her own sa-
tisfaction, and Emma was quite convinced that
no book could rub the new suit now.
"Come, children," said Mr. Edwards, "it is
now quite late; we will have prayers. Henry
must be off bright and early, you know." The
children followed him into the sitting-room.
"Father," said Emma, "may we sing
'The voice of free grace'
"Yes, do, father," said Kate, "that's Henry's
"It will be pleasant to sing it all together,
once more," said Mrs. Edwards.
All sang, and yet, among so many voices,
there was one, harmonious, yet clear and dis-
tinct from the others; it was to this chiefly the
mother listened, for it was Henry's.
THE PACKING. 91
After the singing, they kneeled in prayer.
Henry did not always seem to join in prayer,
but this night he did not lose a single word.
His father prayed for him. Henry was startled
by the earnestness with which he seemed to
wrestle with God for a blessing on his son.
How he prayed that God would keep watch
over him, and preserve him in the midst of the
temptations and dangers to which he would be
exposed Henry seemed, for the first time, to
feel that he needed other strength than his own
to "keep him from the evil," and he sincerely
wished that God would be his friend.
At the close, his father briefly alluded to this
first family separation. Henry heard a stifled
sob from Kate, who was kneeling by him, and
it required a very manly effort to control his
own feelings. They rose, exchanged a good
night and kiss. "I shall be up-and I," said
one and another-so they would not now bid
each other good-by.
Henry slept alone in the little bedroom
which opened into the kitchen. After he had
retired and extinguished his light, he heard the
latch of his door gently lifted, and his mother
entered with a lamp.
Henry," said she, "are you asleep ?"
yU THE SUNNY SIDE.
She came and sat on the side of his bed.
"My son," said she, "I have not given you
my present yet; I wished to wait until you
were alone. Here it is, Henry; it is the best
of all books which I have chosen, and I have
written your name in it, and also a verse which
expresses my heart's desire for you. Will you
read this Bible every day, Henry, for your mo-
ther's sake ?"
He could not immediately reply.
"I bought as handsome a copy as I could,
Henry. I did not know but it would be more
pleasant for you to have it lie on your study-
table, if it were well bound. It is an English
Bible. See-do you like it ?"
Henry held it under the candle, and turned
it over and over, but he could not speak a
"My dear child," said she, throwing her
arms affectionately around him, "I feel as if
I must tell you, before you leave me, what a
comfort you have always been to me; you may
like to think of it when you are away. I have
depended upon you a great deal, Henry. You
are my first-born; and, from your babyhood
until now, you have always been dutiful and
THE PACKING. U3
considerate towards your mother. You have
been a good son. I do not think I have ever
felt impatient with you more than once or twice
in your life; but I want you to forget that.
And now, my boy, if you were a Christian, it
seems to me I should have no wish ungratified
about you. In the excitement of your college
life, you will not forget the wish which lies
nearest your mother's heart-will you?"
Henry dared not speak.
"Mother will miss you sadly, son'y boy; but
then it is all right," said she, speaking quickly
and cheerfully. "Vacation will soon be here,
and then we shall have you at home again.
Good night! I will put the Bible in your
trunk. Good night! Go to sleep, as quick as
She closed the door. Henry could control
himself no longer. He buried his head in the
bedclothes and wept like a child. His mother's
farewell had unmanned him-he was still his
mother's boy, if he was fitted for college.
Gradually, however, he became more quiet,
and began to form plans for the future. He
determined that he would sweep all before him
in college-that he would graduate with the
highest honours-that he would have his mo-
94 THE SUNNY SIDE.
other there,-so proud of him, and so happy.
Then he would rise fast in his profession, and
make money fast-he would be a rich man, and
his mother should ride in her carriage, and
have plenty of servants-and then, soothed
by his golden visions, he fell asleep.
He had quite lost sight of the wish which
lay nearest his mother's heart. In his plans
for making her happy, he had already left out
the only thing which could do so--hi conver-
sion to God.
GEORGE gave his parents anxiety. He was
restless, fond of wild freaks, and not of his
books. After Henry's departure, most of the
chores about home fell to him, and for the first
time his mother had trouble in getting them
properly attended to. George began also to
complain of Weston. "It was a dull, stupid
place; he wished he could go out and see a
little of the world." His father proposed that
he should give up study, and go into a store;
but this proposal did not please him. He
wished to go through college, and study medi-
cine. "Nothing," he said, "would tempt him
to be a minister: he had seen enough of that
One evening his father and mother were
kept up quite late, waiting for him. He had
been absent all day, ard no one knew where
'he had gone.
96 THE SUNNY SIDE.
"What shall we do with him?" said Mr.
Edwards, as he paced the room. "I never
shall dare to send him to college-he is so
easily led astray; and yet he is so bent on
going, I am afraid he will never do any thing
"I have been thinking, lately," replied Mrs.
Edwards, "that perhaps the child really needs
some change. He has lived here all his life,
and gone the same round, year after year, and
his restless, active temperament finds little
vent here. I wish we could send him away for
six months or a year; it would almost be the
saving of the boy."
"I know that," said Mr. Edwards; "it is
just what he needs, but just what we cannot
do. We are straining every nerve, now, to
keep Henry along."
"Yes, that is true, but I have thought it all
over, and I cannot help hoping and expecting,
that if it is necessary the dear child should go,
God will in some way open a door for us. We
can be on the look-out for opportunities which
he may throw in our way."
After this conversation, Mr. Edwards, bear-
ing the thing in mind, made inquiries about
the neighboring schools, and expressed his
wishes to one or two of his brother minis-
It was not long before he received a letter
from an old classmate, who was then principal
of an academy, and who had a son in delicate
health, whom he wished to send out into the
country, where he could study a little, and
work in the open air as his strength would
allow. He proposed to Mr. Edwards that
they should make an exchange of boys.
Mrs. Edwards's hopeful spirit was prophetic.
This was just the chance for George, and it
seemed provided at the right time. They de-
termined immediately to accept it. Then he
must be fitted out. But here a new trouble
arose; there was nothing to fit him out with.
The clothing which he had, though clean and
whole, was not suitable to be worn among well-
dressed boys in a large village-academy. His
mother knew that he would be mortified and
made unhappy by it. She thought about it
day and night-she devised plan after plan-
none would succeed without money, and money
she had not. She went again and again to her
closets-hoping some article might have been
overlooked; but no, they had been too
thoroughly ransacked before. Not a coat
98 THE SUNNY SIDE.
nor a pair of pants was left to be made over;
even the last old stock-frame had been re-
covered for Henry.
We cannot do it," said she with a sigh,-
"unless we run in debt, or deprive the other
children of necessary clothing."
It must indeed be a desperate case which
you give up," said Mr. Edwards. "You have
dressed your boys so long out of nothing, that
I never thought of this proving a serious ob-
stacle. I am sorry indeed, but, fortunately, I
have not told George, so that he will not be
disappointed. I will write Mr. Hardy that we
cannot make it out this year."
He did not wish him to come until spring ?"
said Mrs. Edwards.
"Can we not, then, defer giving a definite
answer until the first of March ?"
"Oh, yes; but we should be no better off
"I do not know," said Mrs. Edwards; "I
cannot help hoping something will turn up;
we may save him one suit, by that time, out
of something. Our donation-party is yet to
come, and you remember our cotton-cloth last
year. That really seemed like a special pro-
"Well," said Mr. Edwards with a smile,
"it is, 'Hope on, hope ever,' with you; it shall
be as you wish. I will write Mr. Hardy that
we like the plan exceedingly, and if we can
make it out, will let him know definitely, early
in the spring. In the mean time, I think we
had better be careful not to let George hear
In due time came the somewhat anxiously
expected donation-party. What was given
proved to be rather less in value than it had
previously been. Some might have remem-
bered that Miss Cribby had called upon them
in the autumn. After the party, Mrs. Ed-
wards went anxiously round to examine the
gifts. Alas! there was nothing to help her
about George-nothing at all. Not a dollar
in money had been given. She felt disap-
pointed; for she had depended upon aid from
this source. She sighed as she came to the
conclusion that, from their already contracted
expenses, one suit of clothes more must be
In the mean time, they heard often from
Henry. He soon recovered from his home-
100 THE sUNNY SIDE.
sickness, and wrote in high spirits. He was
full of ambitious hopes, and, from his own
account, seemed to be hard at work. During
the term, his tutor wrote once to Mr. Edwards,
and spoke of Henry in the highest terms. He
had taken the first rank in his class.
HOPI~, ON. IVI
IT has cost me a struggle to feel reconciled
to my disappointment about George. He is a
bright boy, I trust with good principles and a
kind heart; yet he is wild and restless, and
easily led astray. He wants firmness of cha-
racter. Mr. Hardy made us a fine offer; it
seemed to me just the place for him, but we
have not a dollar to spend on his outfit. It
takes all we can spare to keep Henry along, as
we wish to run in debt as little as possible. It
seems to me I never was so conscious as I now
am, that we are poor. After my disappoint-
ment about the donation-party, I found myself
often wondering if we could not find a place to
live where they would give a better salary. We
are seeing our hardest times; if we ever need
money, it is now, while we are educating our
children. Perhaps, earlier in life I ought to
have acceded to Mr. Edwards's desire to leave