ALICE AND F, PUPIL.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY;
56, PATERNOSTER ROW; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCI1YARB'
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
ALICE WESTON had been very ill. At one
time her parents feared she would have
died; but God heard their earnest prayers
for her, and did not take their little girl
from them. She was now slowly getting
better, but she was still very weak and thin.
Her cheeks wvere not round and rosy as they
used to be. She could not walk far without
feeling very tired, and all noisy games, such
as playing with a ball or a skipping-rope,
were laid aside because she was not strong
enough for them.
Alice was a patient little girl. She seldom
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
complained, or thought it hard that she
could not run and play about like other
children. She knew that when illness comes
to us, it is God who sends it, and she also
knew that he can tell far better than we can
what is best for us. So, although she wished
to be stronger, she strove not to be fretful
or impatient. And the little text which
she used to say to herself every morning
and which she tried to say with her heart,
as well as with her lips, was, Thy will be
done." If you were ill, or in any trouble,
would you choose such a verse as that ?
Alice was an only child. Her father and
mother loved her dearly, and they were very
anxious that she should get quite well again.
So they asked the doctor what would be
likely to do her most good, and he said that
the only thing he could recommend was
that she should go for several weeks to the
sea-side, and have the benefit of the fine fresh
ALICE AND TIER PUPIL.
It was soon decided that Alice should go.
Her parents were not poor, and they could
afford the expense. They wrote to a friend
who lived by the sea-side, to ask her to find
suitable lodgings for them. And then the
day was fixed for Alice and her mother to
set off by the train to the pretty town of
B---. Ruth, the young housemaid, went
with them, to wait upon them, and to attend
to Alice when her mother was otherwise
Alice's father was obliged to stay at home.
He had business which could not be left,
except for a few days, and these he promised
to spend with his wife and child before they
How pleasant it is to go to the sea-side in
the summer The water looks so beautiful
as it sparkles in the sunshine, and the waves
are a fine sight when the weather is rather
rough. It is very nice to walk on the soft
sands, where you can look for shells and
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
soaweed; but, for little folks, perhaps the
greatest treat of all is to ride on a donkey
along the cliffs, or through the quiet lanes.
At least, this was what Alice most enjoyed.
She generally rode for two or three hours
every day, because she was not so strong as
to be able to walk far, and yet it was needful
for her to be out in the air as much as she
The boy who went with Alice when she
rode out, to mind her donkey, was named
Joe. He was a sunburnt-looking lad, with
shabby, thread-bare clothes, and a face and
hands that were seldom very clean. But
Alice found that he was civil and obliging
to her, and kind to Neddy," the donkey.
He did not beat the poor animal, as some
boys did theirs, but he spoke cheerfully to
it; and then Neddy, grateful, I suppose, for
being so well used, would trot gently along.
Alice soon began, as they went along, to
talk to Joe, and to ask him questions about
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
himself. She found that he could not read
nor write; that his father was dead; and
that his mother was very poor, and almost
as ignorant as himself.
"But you should go to school, and then
you would learn to read," said Alice. I
should be ashamed, if I were such a great
boy as you are, not to know my letters!"
"How can I help it, miss? I have not
time to go to school, for I am out all day
with the donkey; and if I wasn't, mother
could not spare any money to pay for my
learning, for it is as much as she can do to
get us bread to cat, and she can hardly do
Alice was silent for a little while. She
was thinking over a plan that had suddenly
come into her head. In a few minutes, she
beckoned Joe to her side again, and said,
pleasantly, Would you try to learn to
read, Joe, if I were to teach you?"
The boy seemed surprised. He twisted
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
his fingers in his rough hair, half-smiled,
and said, bluntly, I don't know but what
I would, miss, if you did not mind the
trouble; but perhaps the lady might not
like it: and besides, I only have a bit of
the evening to myself."
He meant by "the lady," Alice's mother.
" Oh, I will ask mamma about it first," said
Alice, "though I am almost sure that she
will let me. And if she does, you must
come when it suits you; we shall manage
it very well, I have no doubt. A short
time will be better than none, because if
you only learn two letters a day, you will
get through the alphabet in less than a
fortnight. And it would be such a good
thing, you know, to learn to read."
"Yes, miss, it would," answered Joe.
But I do not think he was so eager about it
as Alice was, because he had never felt the
want of it. He did not know what
pleasure there is in being able to read a
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
book, as you are doing now. Still, he
wished to learn to read, because he had
some idea of being able to take a better
place, where he could earn more money if
he knew how to read and write.
When the ride was ended, and the little
girl was with her mother again, she began
directly to mention her wish about the poor
Mrs. Weston looked rather grave. I do
not know what to say about it, my dear."
Why, mamma ?" asked Alice. Would
you not like me to do it ? "
"Yes, dear, I always like to see you
trying to be useful; but I am doubtful
whether you would persevere in your
attempt. I am afraid that when the novelty
of teaching wore off you would grow tired,
and would not want Joe to come any more."
Oh, no, mamma," said Alice, earnestly;
"if Joe does not get tired, I do not think
I shall. And even if I were tired, I would
10 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
not give up, mamma, because it will be such
a help to him. I shall not be able, I know,
to teach him very long; but if he only
makes a beginning, I feel almost sure that
he will contrive to keep on with it himself,
after we are gone. So, please, mamma,
Well, then, dear, I will say 'yes,' and
you shall arrange with Joe about coming.
Perhaps half an hour every evening, when
we come in from our walk, and when I am
busy writing letters, will be the best time
for him. And that small room in which
Ruth sits will do nicely for your school-
room, Alice; for I shall not want him here
in the parlour, nor do I suppose that the
mistress of the house would like him to
tread on this nice carpet with his rough,
Alice smiled, and thanked her mother;
and the important affair was so far settled.
In the afternoon, when Ruth went out on
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
some errands for her mistress, Alice gave
her twopence, with which she was to buy
some cheap, easy, spelling-book for Joe.
Alice had at first inclined to have a six-
penny one, with nice pictures. But Mrs.
Weston said, "He can have a better one
afterwards, Alice, if he goes on learning;
but this will be good enough to begin with,
because he will not have been taught how to
handle books carefully, and will most likely
soon spoil it with his fingers."
Alice could not deny this, when she
thought of Joe's not over-clean hands; so
she was quite content to have a twopenny
"The school with its one scholar," as
Alice merrily called it, was not to open till
the next day, since Joe could not be invited
to attend until Alice had her morning ride
again. Joe seemed pleased when Alice told
him that he was to come to their lodgings
for his lessons; and he looked so good-
12 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
tempered, that Alice thought she might
venture to give him a hint respecting the
state of his hands. She tried to speak so as
not to give any offence.
"Joe," she said, you will not mind my
asking you to remember to wash your hands
well before you come? because I have got
a nice new spelling-book for you, which is
to be your own; and I should like you to
keep it clean and tidy. The white leaves of
book so soon soil, unless you are very
careful how you touch them."
Joe was not at all offended by this advice.
IHe was only rather doubtful whether books,
if they were so easily injured, were suitable
things for him to meddle with; for he had
never been accustomed to the use of any-
thing that required much care. But he
kept this doubt to himself, for he considered
that hundreds of boys, who were no better
off in any respect than himself, learned to
read; and therefore he wisely thought
ALICE* AND HER rUPIL.
that what others had done, he could also
Exactly at the time which Alice had
named to him, Joe made his appearance at
the house. He was so neat and clean, that
Alice was surprised. His face was quite
bright and shining; for he had put a quan-
lity of soap on it, and then rubbed it dry
with a coarse towel. It was his mother's
washing-day, so the soap-box was full instead
of empty, as it often was, and Joe had
evidently helped himself to a plentiful
supply of it. Hris tangled hair was not
washed: it would have been all the better if
it had been; but it was Bushed smooth, and
pushed more off his forehead than usual, so
that his face was more clearly seen. And a
pleasant, honest, good-humoured face it was.
Mrs. Weston felt, as she looked at it, that
the boy was one who would be likely to
repay any trouble that was taken with him.
Joe's clothes did not look as well as
14 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
himself. They were very old and shabby,
and mended with two or three large patches
of a different pattern, and of another shade
of colour. But they were mended, and that
was a good sign; because it looked as if his
mother did the best that she could for him.
His jacket showed that he must have had
it for a long time, for besides being much
worn, it was too small for him; and when
Alice observed how tight the sleeves were,
she did not wonder that they had burst out
at the elbow. But, altogether, he looked so
much more decent than when he followed
the little girl upon her donkey, that Alice
scarcely saw the dects in his things until
she became more used to the change in him.
Besides, Ali&'s thoughts just now were
full of her new employment. She had never
before been a teacher except to a little baby-
cousin who was once living with them, and
who learned, under Alice's direction, to
pick out from her ivory alphabet, C for Cat,
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
and D for Dog. And then Joe was as tall
as herself, and a boy, too: perhaps boys
were more troublesome to teach than girls.
Alice did not know, and she had forgotten
to ask her mother.
But Alice was a very simple, straight-
forward girl, and she went to work with
Joe as simply and as quietly as if she had
been always accustomed to it. Joe looked
rather shy and awkward when he came in;
and when his shyness wore off, he seemed to
be half-amused with the names and shapes
of the letters; but Alice was so very grave
and steady, that he could not help giving
his whole attention to hblesson, and he got
on very well. Soife of the letters he already
.knew, and the rest were very easy to him;
and he was much pleased when Alice pointed
out to him which letters he must use in
spelling his own name. How strange it
seemed to her that such a great boy should
not know that !
16 ALICE AND IIER PUPIL.
But there are many older persons than
Joe, who are quite as ignorant as he was.
There are men and women to be found in
this highly-favoured country of ours who
are unable to read, and who hardly know of
what use books are to anybody. How
thankful we should feel that we have been
better instructed! How ready we should
be, whenever it is in our power, to teach
others; to help them to get such knowledge
as will do them good !
When Joe had finished his lesson, Alice
gave him a piece of plum-cake. Her mother
had told her before that she might do so.
Alice thought he *ught to have a little
reward like that for coming and for be-
having well; for, although the benefit of
learning was, of course, all his own, yet to
a boy, used as lie was to restless, out-of-door
life, it might be rather tiresome to sit so
still, and pore over the pages of a spelling-
book. Do you not think Alice was a kind
ALICE AND IIER PUPIL.
girl ? If she had been old enough to have
kept a large, real school, she would certainly
have had plenty of scholars, if she had
treated them all as she treated Joe.
Joe liked his lesson very well; but I
must say that he liked the cake more. Yet
he was not a greedy boy, for, as he ran home
eatingg his cake, he broke a piece off it,
nearly half of what he had, and put it in his
pocket for his mother. I should judge from
that, that Joe was a good son to his mother.
In the afternoon of the next day, Alice
and Ruth, her mother's servant, were sitting
quietly on the beach. Their lodgings were
very near to the sea, so that a walk of a few
yards brought them to the beach; and then
Alice could sit there for an hour and breathe
the fresh air from the water, without the
fatigue of moving about; for although she
was better, she was not yet much stronger.
Ruth had her knitting with her, and was
busily working; and Alice held a book in
18 ALICE AND HER 1'UPIL.
her hands, but she was not reading much;
she was watching a group of merry little
children who were playing by the water's
edge, some digging with their tiny spades,
and others running about after shells, and
stones, and seaweed. It is very pleasant to
see children enjoying themselves. But the
little party soon turned homewards; and as
Alice looked after them as they went up the
steps to the Parade, she caught a glimpse of
Joe going along with his donkey, upon
which a very little boy was riding.
"Look, Ruth," she said; "there is Joe
out again with his donkey." Ruth lifted
up her head for a moment, and then directly
bent over her work again. Sihe did not take
the interest in Joe that Alice did.
"I should know Joe at almost any dis-
tance," continued Alice, "because none of
the other boys has such a light cloth cap as
he wears. I should think it must have been
given to him, for it has been a very good
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
one when it was new. I wonder, Ruth, how
he will get on with his lesson this evening.
He told me this morning that he should be
sure to come, for that he liked learning to
read very much."
"I should think he did," said Ruth;
"it's a fine thing, of course, for a poor boy
like him to be in a carpeted room, where
there are handsome chairs to sit upon, and
to have a young lady with a silk dress on
for his teacher."
Alice laughed. "It's a very old silk,
Ruth; besides, I do not suppose that Joe
knows silk from print. You do not seem to
like his coming."
"Oh, it is not any business of mine, miss,"
replied Ruth; "if mistress does not object
to it, why should I But certainly I have
not been used to see such common boys
made so much of."
"He only comes to learn to read," said
Alice. It is the only opportunity, you
ALICE AND IIER PUPI.
know, that he has; and it would be such
a pity, Ruth, if he grew up to be a man and
could not even say his letters. Just think
how much he would miss. How would you
feel, Ruth, supposing that you were not able
to read? Would you not be very sorry ?
and would you not wish that somebody had
taken the trouble to teach you when you
were a little girl?"
"There is a little difference between me
and a poor donkey-boy, I hope," s:,-d Ruth,
with a slight toss of her head.
Poor Ruth She was a clever, sensible
yonng servant, but she had rather too high
an opinion of herself. Her father and
mother were decent busy people, and they
had brought up their children in as respect-
able a manner as they could. Ruth had
risen from being a little nurse-girl in the
country to the situation of housemaid in a
large town. But instead of being thankful
for her success, she was proud of it; nd
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
she was disposed to look upon poor people
as very much beneath her, and she scarcely
treated them with civility. We must hope
that when she has lived a little longer in
Mrs. Weston's family, she will be a little
wiser in this respect than she is now.
Alice was silent for a minute or two after
Ruth's last speech. She was thinking how
she could best convince Ruth that she had
only compared her to Joe in the same sense
that she would have compared herself to
him; for Alice had been trained by her
mother never to say anything that would
hurt another's feelings. And she also
wanted to explain to her the reasons which
should make us anxious to do all the good
we can to those within. our reach, whether
they are rich, or whether they are poor.
Alice was so full of thought, that she had
not heeded the sound of approaching foot-
steps on the shingle until the words, "Will
you please to buy a pretty little box or
22 ALICE AND HER PUPI,.
pincushion, miss ?" roused her to attention.
Looking round, she saw a poor, thin, ill-
clad woman, with an open basket on her
arm, containing a variety of fancy articles,
made chiefly of small shells. But before
she could answer her, Ruth had shaken her
head at the woman, and told her that they
did not want anything.
The woman, however, did not go at
Ruth's bidding. Perhaps she very much
needed a customer, or perhaps the kind ex-
pression of Alice's face made her stay. She
held out a little needle-book in her hand, and
said earnestly, but quietly, "It is only four-
pence, miss, and it is well worth the money."
"Didn't you hear what was said to you
before?" asked Ruth, crossly; "why don't
you go away when you are told to ?"
"Hush, Ruth," whispered Alice, softly.
Alice had not intended to purchase any-
thing, but she changed her mind now. The
poor woman seemed so very wishful to sell
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
something, and Alice thought that buying
a trifle of her would make up for Ruth's
hasty words. Ruth had not meant to be
uncivil, but she had an idea that it is neces-
sary to speak sharply to such persons.
Alice took the little needle-book and
examined it, and then said that she would
have it. She also chose a round velvet pin-
cushion, which was also ornamented with
shells, and the price of which was sixpence.
As Alice got out her purse to pay for them,
she inquired of the poor woman whether
she depended for her living upon the sale of
those things ?
"Yes, misg, it is all I have to trust to
now. I used to go out to wash and clean
for ladies, at their houses, and then I did
very well; for, besides my money, I
generally had pieces of cold meat and bread
to carry home with me. But the summer
before last, I fell down stairs, and hurt my
back very much; and after that I was laid
24 ALICE AND HER PUPII.
up for several weeks with a bad fever,
which quite took away the little strength
I had left; so that I was obliged to give up
my caring. And then I took to selling
these fancy things to the visitors who come
here for their health, and I made a good
penny by them at first ; but since that time,
other women have done the same, and I do
not get a quarter what I did when I began.
But I am very thankful for what I do get,
for I should be worse off without it."
"And have you no relatives who could
help you ?" asked Alice.
No, miss; I have only two sisters, and
they are as poor as myself. There are one
or two ladies, for whom I used to work, who
have been very kind to us, or else I don't
know how we should have managed it in
the winter; for, you see, miss, it's very
dull here in the winter, on account of the
gentlefolks being gone away."
Alice wondered at the "us," and :he
AICE AND HER PUPIL.
"we," in these sentences, because she per-
ceived, by the widow's cap, that the poor
woman had lost her husband, and she had
fancied, from her remarks, that she had
only herself to care for.
Have you any children ?" she said.
Only one boy, miss, and he is a good
big lad now, and a great comfort, if he is
not much help to me yet. I often say that
I don't believe there is a kinder boy to his
mother in the whole town than my Joe."
Joe. Yes, it was the same name, cer-
tainly; it might, perhaps, belong to the
same boy; Alice thought she would find out
"Does your boy work at anything?" was
her next question.
"IIe goes out with one of the donkeys,
miss; and though he does not earn much at
present, he is to have more by and by, if he
goes on with it. His wages are not bad as
it is, considering his age; but then, like all
growing boye, he wants a great deal to cat,
26 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
and he wears out such a lot of shoe-leather.
But he never spends a penny on himself,
miss; he brings every farthing of it to me."
Alice said she was glad to hear it: and
then the poor woman thought, I suppose,
that she had talked long enough to the
young lady about herself and her son. She
again thanked Alice for her custom, and
was walking slowly away, when Ruth called
her back, and said that she would take one
of the round pincushions of her. This made
sixpence more for the poor woman. If she
could have kept on like that all day through
the summer, she would soon have got rich.
"It is a charity to help a decent woman
like that," said Ruth, when she was out of
hearing "for you can tell by her looks
that she is not one who will spend what she
gets in drink. But do you not think she
must be Joe's mother, miss ?"
"Yes," said Alice, "I have not the least
doubt about it."
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
Then why did you not tell her that you
knew her boy?" asked Ruth, "and that he
was coming to you to learn to read ? I was
just going to mention it, as a matter of
course, when I thought that, perhaps, you
might not wish it named."
"Thank you," said Alice; I should not
mind her knowing some other time; indeed,
I dare say mamma will go and see her; but
if I had told her now, it would have seemed
as if I wanted her to praise me for it."
"Well, and why shouldn't she?" said
Ruth, bluntly. "It is very kind of you,
I am sure, to trouble yourself about an
ignorant boy like Joe."
Oh, Ruth, how very little I do for him!
And it is really a pleasure to me to teach
him; so that I don't deserve any credit for
it. Besides, mamma says we must be very
careful not to do right things just for the
purpose of making other people think well
of us. She says it is so easy to imagine
28 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
that we are acting from the best motive,
when we are all the while secretly influenced
by something else."
"And what is the best motive?" said
"I think you know as well as I do,"
replied Alice, with a pleasant smile. Love
to Jesus,' would be my answer, Ruth."
Ruth was silent-this would not have
been her answer. In her whole life she had
never done a single thing from love to
Jesus; she had never even thought of such
a motive--it was quite strange to her. She
could not tell how it was that Miss Alice
and her mistress had such different feelings
from what she had. She was sure there was
no love to Jesus in her heart; but they
spoke of the Saviour as if he were the best
and dearest friend that they had, and as if
it were a delight to them to please him in
every way that they could.
Joe was punctual again to his time in the
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
evening; and he not only took pains with
his lesson, but he correctly remembered the
one he had already had. This is more than
can be said of some scholars.
Alice told him before he went away that,
as he was not able to read the Bible himself,
she should read a few verses to him, and
teach him one short text, which he was to
repeat to his mother at home. The text
which Alice had selected was this: "I am
the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd
giveth his life for the sheep." John x. 11.
When Joe could say the words without
missing one, Alice asked him some ques-
tions, that she might see whether he under-
stood their meaning. Her mother had
always done so with her. But she was both
sorry and surprised to discover from his
answers that he scarcely knew anything
about the Saviour, and had never even
heard of Abraham, or Joseph, or David!
How sad it was that Joe should have lived
30 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
till now in such ignorance of the God who
had made him, and of the Saviour who had
redeemed him! In her own warm and
loving manner, Alice hastened to talk to
him about Jesus, and about his love for
sinners; how he died for them, and how
willing he is to save and bless them. And
Joe listened to her, as one who hears for the
first time a wonderful story. Ah, it is a
wonderful story, my reader; only you have
heard it so often, and so heedlessly, that it
makes but little impression on your heart.
Alice did not grow tired of teaching Joe
to read; and it was a nice employment for
her a little while of an evening, when she
could not go out, and had not much to
occupy her indoors. The doctor had said
that she was not to continue her own studies
until she was quite strong and well again;
so Alice gave lessons to others, instead of
learning them herself. It is a good rule to
)e always either "giving," or getting."
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
Joe was an excellent scholar. He tried
to do his very best; he minded all that was
said to him, and he did not forget what he
had once learned. lie really liked his
lessons, so he got on much more rapidly
than Alice had at first expected. She was
very much encouraged, and so was he. He
had not cared a great deal about learning to
read when he was invited to begin; but,
now that he had begun, he would not have
given it up on any account. There was such
a pleasure in feeling that he was every day
becoming wiser. Joe looked forward each
morning, with eager interest, to his evening
Nor was it only the reading and spelling
which attracted him. Joe was very fond of
the Scripture stories which Alice had told
him; he never seemed weary of hearing
them, and he would often ask for a favourite
one to be repeated again and again, until he
knew it almost as well as Alice herself did.
32 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
Iis daily text also helped to store his mind
with Bible truths; andAlice tried to teach him
how such truths should be carried out in our
lives. It is not enough to have them in our
heads, we must try to put them in practice.
I wish you could have listened to Alice
and Joe at these times, for the speaking was
not all on one side. Joe talked as well as
Alice; he had many questions to ask, for he
never seemed satisfied unless he thoroughly
understood what was told him. And to the
questions which Alice asked of him, he
always returned a ready answer of some
kind. It was often correct, and, even when
wrong, it generally showed a good deal of
Thought. Joe's shyness had all worn off by
this time, and, as he was naturally frank and
open, he had no difficulty in speaking freely
to Alice. But the boy was never rude, nor
too free; he always kept his place, and
behaved with respect.
Alice was very happy with her one pupil:
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
she loved to tell him the precious things
which she had gathered for herself out of
God's holy word. Alice loved Jesus, and
she longed that Joe should love him also;
and therefore she talked to him about the
Saviour, and, in her own simple but winning
manner, described his goodness, his wisdom,
and his power. Joe drank in her words,
just as the thirsty ground drinks in the
little raindrops. Do you recollect the text
which says, My doctrine shall drop as the
rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as
the small rain on the tender herb, and as the
showers upon the grass ?" Deut. xxxii. 2.
I spoke just now of Alice and her one
pupil, but I think she really had two. How
was that ?" you will say. Why, there was
Ruth, the young servant, for another. Ruth
always sat in the little parlour during the
time that Joe was there. With her knitting
or her needlework in her hand, she took a
chair at the other end of the room, where
34 ALICE AND HER P'PIL.
she was not in the teacher's way, but where,
if she chose to do so, she could, of course,
hear all that went on. And this was the
way in which she likewise became a scholar.
But could not Ruth already read very
well ? Oh, yes, when Ruth was a little girl
she went for some years to a good day-school.
She could read, and write, and cipher, and
she had learned a little of grammar, and
geography, and history. But it was better
knowledge than all this that Ruth gained
from Miss Alice. It was the knowledge of
Jesus Christ as the Saviour of sinners.
But had not Ruth known this also before ?
In one sense she had. If any one had asked
her what was the greatest proof that God
had given to us of his love, she might have
answered, in the beautiful language of
Scripture, "God so loved the world, that lie
gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever
oelieveth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting l;'." John iii. 16. But Ruth
ALICE AND IIER PUPIL.
had never really entered into the meaning
of these words; she had never felt how true
and how delightful are the tidings which
they convey. Now, as she heard them from
Alice's lips, she understood them better, and
she began to take an interest in them. Had
Alice's remarks been directly addressed to
herself, Ruth would have been offended, and
she would not have paid any attention to them;
but, knowing that they were not intended
for her, she had not shut her heart against
them, and they fell like seeds into softened
ground; and, one day, they brought forth
much fruit. I am not writing Ruth's
history, so I shall not say any more upon
this part, except to tell you that in after life
Ruth often looked back with gratitude to the
hours that were passed in Joe's school-room.
Joe had not been many times to Miss
Alice before he asked leave to take home
his spelling-book, that he might let his
mother see how much he had learned.
36 ALICE AND HER PUPI' .
"How much !" repeated Alice, as she
gave him the book, with a smile: "don't
you think, Joe, that you should have id
how little? "
No, miss," said Joe, honestly; "I think
I have learned a good bit in such a short
Joe's mother thought the same as he did,
when he pointed out to her the exact spot
which he had reached in the pages of his
"Why, you have got on bravely, lad,"
she said, as Joe repeated to her his last
lesson; "you'll make a fine scholar if you
keep on long enough. I always thought
you'd be clever at it, if you ever had an
opportunity of learning; but I had no idea
that you would pick it up as fast as this."
Joe's mother was proud of her son's
success, and she rather foolishly boasted of
it to her neighbours; and their boys did
not like to hear Joe's praises, for twc or
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
three of them were donkey-boys too, and
they were on the same stand with him, and
accustomed both to work and to play
together. They teased Joe sadly about his
lessons. They said they supposed he was
going to be a grand gentleman, and have
a large house, and a lot of servants to wait
upon him; and one of them would call out,
"I say, Joe, tell us how to spell goose, will
you ?" Another would ask, very gravely,
"How many canings have you had for not
knowing your A, B, C?" "Oh, no," a
third would cry ; "it's sugar-plums he has,
because he is such a good boy "
Joe bore it all very patiently. It was not
pleasant to be so laughed at; but, as Jee
said to himself, it did not break any bones,
and it would not last very long, for they
would soon get tired of making fun of him
when they found that he did not care for
it. Some boys in his situation would have
been ashamed to go when they were thus
38 ALICE AND IIER PUPIL.
ridiculed by their companions; but these
are not the sort of boys that will make
their way in the world, or that can be
trusted in the path of duty. Joe had too
much sense to throw away the good that he
was getting, just because others had so little
sense as to tease him about it.
Alice had not yet been to see Joe's mother.
She had told Joe that she would do so before
they left the sea-side, because she should
want to buy some of the pretty shell boxes
and baskets that his mother had to sell.
Joe wondered how she knew that his mother
sold them, for he was sure that he had not
then mentioned it.
It was, perhaps, as well that Alice delayed
her promised visit till towards the close of
their stay, for she was thus likely to see
Joe's home in a better state than if she had
taken an earlier peep at it; for, to tell you
the truth, Joe's mother was neither very
clean nor very tidy in her house. She
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
was an easy, quiet-tempered woman, not
inclined to trouble herself more than sho
could possibly help about anything, and so
used to her disorderly, dismal-looking room,
that she sat down in it as contentedly as if
it had been a palace.
But, through being so often with Alice,
Joe got some new ideas about home-comfort
into his head. The room in which they sat
was so light and pretty, the carpet was so
bright, the curtains hung so gracefully, and
the few ornaments were so nicely arranged
that Joe was charmed; and although he did
not of course imagine that such things would
be suitable for him and his mother, they led
him to think whether his home might not
be made rather more cheerful than it was at
present; and the first step to improvement,
lie thought, was to have it a little cleaned.
He hardly liked to say as much to his
mother. It was not a son's place to find
fault with his mother, so Joe hit upon a
40 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
better plan. One wet afternoon, when there
were no customers for donkey-rides, and his
mother -as nursing a child for the grocer's
wife close by, and would not return for some
time, Joe set to work in good earnest. lie
brushed the fire-place, and cleared the heap
of ashes that were regularly left under the
grate; then he scrubbed the floor, and
after that he dusted the mantel-shelf and
its contents, and cleaned the small window.
The room looked so different, that when Joe's
mother came back she scarcely knew it for
her own. If the old furniture had not been
so familiar to her, I think she would have
fancied that, by mistake, she had opened
the wrong door.
Whatever have you been doing, Joe? '
she cried, as she glanced around her with
"Only making the place a bit decent for
to-morrow," answered Joe. I knew yon
would be too tired for work when you got
ALICE AND HIER PUPIL.
home again; besides, you really have not
strength enough to fetch the dirt off these
black boards. I had to rub so hard, and they
arc only half done now."
Well, you have worked wonders, I am
sure," said his mother; I had no idea they
would come as clean as that; I always
thought they had grown dingy with age.
And the window is as bright as a looking-
glass, I declare Dear me, Joe, you will be
wanting a white curtain for it next "
You are right, mother," said Joe;
" that is just the very thing I was thinking
of. Wouldn't it look nice ?"
Too nice for us, Joe," replied his mother,
in a serious tone, as if such an article as that
far beyond their reach. But before
any weeks had passed there was actually
short white curtain to be seen at that
very window. I suppose Joe managed it
somehow; for the old proverb says that
"Where there is a will there is a way;"
42 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
and that Joe had the will, you can have
Joe's example was not lost upon his
mother. It stirred her up to be more active
and tidy. She could not go on seeing him
do the work which she felt was really hers.
To be sure she thought, and said too, that
he had grown to be uncommon particular "
since he went to Miss Alice to learn to read.
Hardly anything seemed to be nice enough
for him now; but still she tried to suit him
by keeping their room in more order, and
by having the things in it cleaner and
brighter ; and then, as Joe washed his hands
and face when he went out and when he
came home, and brushed his jacket and
trousers so carefully, that they might look
their best, his mother could do no less than
mend her ragged gown and comb her hair
smoothly under her cap.
So, little by little-for you must not
suppose that it happened in a day or two, or
ALICE AND HER rUPIT.
in a week-there was a great change for the
better to be seen in Joe's poor home, and
also some improvement in the appearance
both of himself and his mother. Although
she was not yet aware of this, Alice had done
more for Joe than simply taught him to read.
It was Sunday morning. The sun was
shining brightly; the bells were ringing
merrily; and rich people and poor people
were walking through the quiet streets to
the house of God. Joe stood idly at the
window, watching them as they went along.
His mother was washing the breakfast
things. Their meal was only just over;
for, like many persons, they were in the
habit of lying in bed later on a Sunday than
upon any other day.
"What lots of folks there are going past!"
cried Joe, presently; and dressed out so
fine, too I They are most of them going to
church, or chapel, I suppose. I say, mother,
why don't you ever go ?"
What in the world should I go for ?"
returned his mother.
What do other people go for ?" akcd
Oh, they have plenty of time," was the
reply; "they have got nothing else to do,
and can as easily go as not. But it's very
different with poor folks like us, who work
as hard as slaves all the week, and are
thankful to have a bit of rest when Sunday
"Mrs. Perkins and her husband work
just as hard as we do, mother; and yet they
always go, as regularly as clockwork; they
wouldn't miss on any account."
"Well, I don't know how they manage it,
with their family," said his mother; but
then, you see, they make a point of it,
because they profess to be so very religious.
I don't like such a fuss about these things;
it is not suitable for working people."
"Working people have souls, though, I
ALICE AND HER PII'II..
suppose," said Joe, half to himself, and half
to his mother.
"How strangely you talk, Joe Of course
they have; but they can be saved, I hope,
without our setting ourselves up as being so
much better than our neighbours. God is
merciful, and there is not so much expected
from the poor as from the rich if we are
honest and industrious, that is enough for
"No," said Joe; "Miss Alice says it is
not enough: she says-"
"What does she know about it ?" inter-
rupted his mother; as if she could be a
judge of what is proper for poor people."
"It does not signify, mother; she says,
whether we are rich or poor, there is only
one way in which anybody can be saved, and
that is by trusting in Jesus as our Saviour."
Well," said his mother, "and we do all
trust him, to be sure."
Al ?" repeated Joe, in an inquiring tone.
46 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
"All but very bad, wicked people,"
answered his mother, confidently.
"I don't, for one," said Joe; "I don't
even understand what it really means."
Neither, it seemed, did Joe's mother; for
she did not offer to explain it to him. She
hastily cleared the table, and went upstairs
to make her bed, in order to avoid any more
of Joe's remarks on this subject. "That
young lady has quite turned the boy's head
with her talk," she muttered to herself.
" However, she won't be here much longer,
and he will soon forget it when she is gone."
In a few minutes Joe called out, "Mother,
shall you want me for anything this morn-
ing ? if not, I am off till dinner time."
No, I shall not want you, Joe; only be
home against the meat comes from the bake-
house." She supposed he was going for a
ramble with some boys; she never concerned
herself about what sort of companions he
had, nor yet how they employed themselves.
ALICE AND HER PUPIL
But Joe did not call, as usual, for the boys
with whom he generally went. Whither do
you think he bent his steps that morning ?
Why, to no other place than the house of
God! Are you not glad? Alice was, I can
assure you; for, as she was coming slowly
out, after the service was over, she saw Joe
descending the gallery stairs. Joe had one
of her brightest smiles as a reward for going,
if he had nothing else. But I think he had
also the pleasant feeling that he had been
acting rightly, and the hope that if he thus
sought God in the way which he has himself
appointed, he should at length find him.
When Joe reached home, his mother was
indeed surprised to learn where he had been.
But she did not find any fault with him, nor
yet laugh at him for going. She was always
willing that he should please himself; and
she thought that if he went to church instead
of going into the woods, it would save some
wear and tear of his clothes, and it would
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
give him a respectable character the
opinion of their neighbours; so she raised
no objection to it. Poor woman what low
ideas she had of God's service.
During the stay of Alice and her mother
at the sea-side, the little girl's birthday
came. IHer mamma had long promised that
when it returned, she would buy her a nice
work-box for a present on that important
occasion. She did not forget her promise: a
day or two before the birthday she mentioned
it to Alice. "You shall go with me it
choose it, Alice," she said; "for there
some very good shops here, where we can
procure one as easily as if we were at home."
Alice thanked her mother; but she did
not seem quite satisfied. "Mamma," she
said, I have rather changed my mind
about a work-box."
"'Have you, dear ? Well, what else would
you like ? a writing-desk, perhaps ?"
"No, mamma," Alice replied, with a little
ALICE AND IIER PUPIL.
hesitation; "if you do not mind, I would
rather have the money to spend as I please."
"And how do you want to spend it,
Alice ?" asked Mrs. Wcston, with a smile;
" or is that a secret at present ?"
"Oh, no, mamma, it is not a secret at all.
I have been thinking how nice it would be
if I could buy a new jacket for Joe to wear.
IIe has only one, and it is so very old and
shabby-not at all fit for him to go out
But, Alice, it will be a long while before
another birthday comes; and you so much
wished for a larger work-box."
"Yes, mamma; but I can do without it
for another year. The work-box that I have
holds all that is really necessary for use;
and it is not half so much worn out as Joe's
old jacket is. His mother cannot afford to get
another for him; and now that lie goes to
the Sunday-school and to church, mammn,
he ought to be a little better dressed. It is
50 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
very good of him to go as he is; some boys
would have been ashamed to do so."
"Yes, they would," said Mrs. Weston,
"and Joe certainly deserves to be encouraged;
so if you choose to spend the money for him,
Alice, you shall have it for that purpose;
only I cannot give you the money and a
work-box as well; you must choose between
them, my dear."
I have chosen, mamma, thank you," said
Alice; "and now, how shall we manage
about the jacket ? Because if we were to
buy one without his trying it on, it would
very likely not fit him; and yet it would
hardly do to let him have the money to take
home with him, since his mother might be
tempted to use it for something else. There,
mamma, I have thought of the difficulties;
will you help me to get rid of them ?"
Yes, Alice," said Mrs. Weston, smiling;
we will call at a shop where boys' clothes
are sold, and ask the master to send two or
ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
three jackets, suitable for a lad of Joe's age
and size, to our lodgings this evening. We
can name the price that we have fixed to
give for one. Then, when Joe comes for his
lesson, he can have the one which fits him
best, or which, for any other reason, he
happens to prefer."
Alice at once agreed to this plan, and she
did not rest until her mamma went with her
on the important errand.
In the evening Joe came to his reading.
Hie had no idea that he also came to try on
a new jacket. I think I must leave you to
imagine how delighted he was with so hand-
some and so unexpected a gift. It was the
first new jacket that he had ever had; for
since he had been big enough to wear jackets,
the best that his mother had ever been able
to procure for him had been a cheap second-
hand one, and it was only by long and care-
ful saving that she could obtain that.
Alice was as pleased as Joe was. She
52 ALICE AND HER PUPIL.
thought lie looked so nice in his new jacket.
She did not tell Joe so, lest it should make
him vain; but as Joe caught a glimpse of
himself in the large looking-glass over the
mantel-shelf, an idea of the same kind cer-
tainly crossed his mind.
Alice felt no regret, either then or after-
wards, that she had given up her work-box.
The happiness which she found in helping
Joe quite made up to her for its loss. Our
Saviour has himself said that it is more
blessed to give than to receive;" and if you
have never enjoyed, my young reader, the
blessedness which arises from giving" to
others what they need, I am sorry for you,
for you have deprived yourself of a very
Joe ran home with his treasure, a
happy," he said to himself, "as a king."
Ah, many a king with a grand crown upon
his head might have envied the light heart,
and simple, innocent joy of the poor donkey-
ALICE AND IIEI PrPIL.
boy. You may be sure that Joe's mother
shared in his gladness. She had often sighed
\.ver his threadbare garments, and had vainly
-'hed that their scanty earnings were not so
soon swallowed up in rent, and food, and
living; for though she did not much care
what her own dress was, she had all a
mother's pride in seeing her son look decent
and respectable. She admired the new jacket
very much, and felt as if she could hardly
be thankfid enough to Miss Alice and her
mamma for it. She had not yet learned
to look higher than that; she did not
see that every good gift cometh from
"Now, mother," said Joe, as the jacket
was at length laid aside, I want to make L
bargain with 3 ou."
Well, lad, what is it P" said his mother,
"Why, that the first time I wear my new
jacket, which will be on Sunday you know,
54 ALICE AND) IHE PUPIL.
mother, you will walk with me when I have
it on to the house of God."
Joe's mother at first refused, but the boy
would not be contented until she promised to
go. It was a foolish promise to make, she
said, for she could not understand anything
if she went; but she knew there would be no
peace unless she gave way to him, for he
never liked to be disappointed after he had
once set his mind upon anything; so she
would go just to please him.
But she went afterwards from a better
motive than that. For although that was
the first time for many years that she had
been inside a church, it was not the last.
She got good by going. God opened her
heart as he did that of Lydia, so that she
attended to the things that were spoken, and
was able to say with the psalmist, "Lord, I
have loved the habitation of thy house, and
the place where thine honour dwelleth."
Ps. xxvi. 8.
ALICE AND HER PU
And is this all that I have to tell you
about the donkey-boy? Yes, Joe is not
a "donkey-boy" now. He has got a
situation in a grocer's shop, where he is
learning the business, having good wages,
and giving great satisfaction to his master.
So Joe has already risen in the world, and
he bids fair to make still further progress;
for he is honest, and steady, and diligent,
and has the fear of God ever before his eyes.
Joe gratefully says that he owes all his
success to Miss Alice; for if she had not
offered to teach him to read, he should most
likely never have made a beginning, nor
have had the wish to go on improving him-
self. But after she left the sea-side, he went
to an evening school, and there he learned
writing and arithmetic, in addition to his
other lessons, and thus fitted himself for
better work than that of running after don-
keys all day long.
Alice went home with rosy cheeks and
56 AlICE AND 111' PUPIL.
strong healthy limbs. She could take long
walks now without being in the least tired.
She had gained benefit from her visit to the
sea-side, and she had been the means of
benefit to others-two things for which to be
thankful. As she grew older, Alice learned
to do good in many ways; but she always
looked back with pleasant feelings to the
happy hours which she spent, when a little
girl, in teaching poor Joe, the donkey-boy,
A FOOLISH FEAR.
A FOOLISH FEAR;
OR, THE DEATII-W:
" Oi, mamma, I am so sorry about that
death-watch. Do you think it is really
What do you mean, Annie ? I do not
"Oh, did you not know, mamma, that
there's a death-watch in the nursery? And
we hear it every night, and Jane says it
did come true in the last place that she
lived at, for the eldest young lady died
before the year was ended."
"What did come true, Annie ?"
"The sign that the death-watch gave woa
a true one, I mean."
A FOOLISH FEAR;
"Do you know what the death-watch is,
"It is a strange sound, mamma."
But you know there must always be
some cause for a sound. It is either pro-
duced by some living creature, or caused
by the action of the air upon some object
not living; as, for instance, the rustling of
the leaves, or the noise that is made upon
the window when a cart passes the house."
Then is the death-watch sound made
by anything that is alive, mamma ?"
Yes, it is, my dear."
"I should like to hear all about it very
much, and to see it too, if I could; though I
think I could not help disliking it, because
it brings such a gloomy message."
"That would not be quite right, to dis-
like the messenger because of the message
-would it? But now, first of all, tell me
what is this sad message which has dis-
tressed my little girl ?"
OR, THE DEATI-.WATC1H.
"Oh, mamma, Jane says that whenever
the death-watch is heard in any house, it is
a sign that some one belonging to that
house will die before the end of the year."
Let me explain to you the cause of this
noise. It is made by a little insect-a kind
of beetle-which makes its home the
walls of old houses; and this ticking sound,
which has brought so much terror to many
a mind, is only the call which this little
beetle gives to its companion, and which it
keeps repeating till the companion answers
in the same manner. I am afraid I shall
not be able to give you an opportunity of
looking at one, because these insects love to
live inside walls. A long time ago, some
people who could not see anything to cause
this ticking, and who did not understand
much of the habits and nature of insects,
said that this unusual sound must be the
sign of something dreadful, and concluded
it w.. come to tell them that there was
4 FOOLISH FEAR;
soon to be a death in that house; and there
was a death there before many months had
passed away, and so it came to be believed
that this sound was always the sign of a
death in the place where it was heard; and
Ihus the insect which caused it got the name
of the 'death-watch.' And even now,
though people are not so superstitious as
they used to be, yet many alarm themselves
very much when they hear this sound; and
yet the same people can hear the true word
of God, saying, 'Ye know neither the day
nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometb'
and feel unmoved.
But I will tell you the history of a poor
girl whose illness was greatly increased, if
not brought on, by such a fright. Ier
name was Esther Lilly. She was a scullery
maid in a gentleman's house; and one dav,
when the call of the little beetle was heard,
the other servants foolishly talked about it,
and wondered what was going to happen,
OR, TIE DE.TH-WATCIH.
and who was going to die; and then they
forgot all about it. But it was not so with
poor Esther; she kept on thinking of this
strange noise, till she made herself quite ill.
She had never had strong health, and now
she grew daily more pale and sickly, and
more quiet and reserved ; for the one dread-
ful thought would still come to her mind,
that very likely she might be the one who
would have to die so soon. Poor Esther
had not come to the Lord Jesus Christ for
the pardon of her sins; for if she had, she
need not have felt alarmed at the prospect
"Nobody knew what it was that troubled
Esther; and it was not till she lay upon her
death-bed that she told one of her fellow-
servants how frightened she had been at the
thought of death. I am sorry I cannot tell
you that there was hope in her end. The
alarm had not the effect of rousing Esther's
concern about her soul, but she seemed to
A FOOLISH FEAR;
care only for getting better, that she might
enjoy the things of the world. But you see,
dear Annie, how needlessly we may alarm
'selves. I do not say that Esther Lilly
would not have died had she not been so
frightened; but the ticking of the beetle
might have been heard, and no one have
died for a long, long time in that house.
I know myself a house in which it is heard
every spring, and there has not been a
death in that household for years. I am
glad you have given me an opportunity of
explaining this to you, and I hope you will
not now feel so distressed when you hear
the ticking of the little insect in the
nursery. I must tell Jane about it too;
and I must desire her not to alarm foolish
people by talking so ignorantly on this
subject. It is, indeed, very wrong and
dinful for servants to fill the minds of
children in a family with such superstitious
OR, THE DEATH-WATCH.
We know not the day nor the hour
when God shall see fit to call our souls
away from this world. He has not thought
it needful for us to know, and it is in kind-
ness to us that he has hidden from our eyes
the things that shall come to pass. But we
must not forget what he has told us-to be
ready. May we all be made ready through
grace, and may we be washed in Jesus'
blood, and clothed in his righteousness;
that whenever death shall come, it may be
to convey us home to God. But I do not
think that little ticking of the beetle has
anything to do with teaching us God's will:
that he teaches us by his holy word."
Annie was comforted by her mamma's
explanation about the death-watch; but
before she slept that night, she prayed
earnestly to God that all her sins might be
forgiven, and that she, and every one
that house, might be made ready to go
whenever God's voice should call them;
A FOOLISH FE.
and it was not till many years after that
death visited that dwelling. And then two
dear ones were called to die; but they had
been warned before, not by the sound of the
jeath-watch, as the little beetle is called,
but by God's own word. They had fled to
Jesus; so they gladly heard his voice call-
ing them away from a world of sin unto his
bright and holy home.
:i.do B. Pardon and Son, Printers, Paternfoter-row.