ri r ok
. .' -,.- -,. .. .."* ., .. .
ALEXANDER HISLOP & CO.
MURRAY AND GIBB, EDINBURGH,
PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.
I. PLEASANT GROVE, 7
II. ON THE BALCONY, 15
III. UNCLE STUART'S STORIES, 22
IV. THE STRAWBERRY PARTY, 30
V. HARRY'S VERSE AND QUESTIONS, 36
VI. AUNT NABBY, 48
VII. HARRY'S ROOM, 58
VIII. THE MISSION SCHOOL, 66
IX. GEORGIE'S TROUBLES, 73
X. AT THE SEA-SIDE, 81
XI. ON THE BEACH, 91
XII. A STRANGE NAME, 102
XIII. A BROKEN PROMISE, 113
[- --,' ,. "--" c-.- -2s .^ ."' :7 ".,
FEW miles from the city of L-
there is situated one of the plea-
santest places in the world to
have a home in. The hum and dust of the
city there give place to- the songs of the
breeze and the birds, to rich green grass
and shady groves. No wonder that Mr.
Bruce, when he bought it, in the delight of
his heart, called it Pleasant Grove, for it
had not the drawback inseparable from
so many country seats-that of too great
monotony. Connected with the near city
by rail, it was also in the midst of a sub-
urban village where gentlemen of wealth
resided, going into the city to attend to
8 PLEASANT GROVE.
their business. This village, combining thus
some of the best characteristics of both city
and country, is called Maysville.
Most people thought that such a charm-
ing place as Pleasant Grove should have a
large, handsome house upon it; but Mr.
Bruce knew better than that: so he built
just such a house as he knew his family
would be comfortable in, with ample room
for a friend or two now and then. And
when his neighbours saw what a neat,
pretty, home-like place it was, they had at
least the grace to be silent about a wisdom
which it was easier for them to commend
than to follow. If they are thankful that
their houses are so much finer, they do still
envy the home-likeness of their neighbour's
Sometimes such,beautiful country seats
are owned by most disagreeable people,
who never can make a real home anywhere;
but the Grove is more fortunate. Mr. and
Mrs. Bruce and their five children are
healthy and good. Harry is the oldest;
Bessie comes next; then Nellie and George;
and finally Charlie, who is just beginning
to toddle about and to make funny little
words of his own. George, who is eight
years old, feels himself quite a man beside
his baby brother; but Henry thinks Georgie
himself quite a small man. And so I sup-
pose we all judge of things by a standard
of our own, and that is why the same
thing often looks so differently to different
When I said that these young people
are good, I did not intend to say that they
never do wrong, but only that they try to
do what is right, and to conquer whatever
faults they have. I think that you would
like to know them, to hear what they say,
and to find out what they do, and so I pro-
pose to tell you what they have said and
done; for I am sure you may learn some
lessons from both that you will be glad to
We will choose a bright summer day for
making their acquaintance. The door was
thrown open in the parlour to let in the
warm June air, with the sweet breath of
roses and violets from the garden at the
side of the house. Georgie had set his
chair quite outside the door on the bal-
cony. Just within the door sat Mrs. Bruce
in her favourite easy-chair. Nurse had
gone to the city ; so Charlie was there too,
io PLEASANT GROVE.
but fast asleep on the hearth-rug. Nellie
was also on the balcony. Not a sound was
heard, save the little breeze-songs, as Nellie
and George were studying their books.
The others were at school, and it would be
a full hour before their return.
Both the children were always anxious
to have all lessons well learned and said
before this return; for they found it much
more tiresome to study lazily two hours,
one of which might have been given to
some pleasure with Harry and Bessy, than
to study heartily for one hour, and then be
free. Indeed, I think it is much easier to
do even a disagreeable thing heartily, if it
must be done at all, than to increase our
discomfort by being longer about it than is
necessary. I have marked that for one of
my rules in life, and you would do well to
mark it also. 'Whatsoever thy hand findeth
to do, do it with thy might.'
But Georgie, meanwhile,was puzzling over
his spelling-book, evidently having found
something which he did not understand.
He would not pass it over, however; he
must have it made clear; and so, looking
up from his book to his mother's face, he
asked, in a low voice, so as not to wake
Charlie, 'What kind of a bonnet is that,
Mrs. Bruce thought that his mind had
strayed very far away from his spelling-
lesson. But no; there he was holding up
his book to her, and with his little chubby
finger pointing to a word. After all, it was
his lesson that he was thinking about; and
wondering herself what was the strange
kind of bonnet that had attracted his
attention, she looked and saw the word
falsehood divided into its two syllables,
thus : 'False-hood.' Now, George knew
very well what a hood was, but he did won-
der what kind of a hood a false one was.
Why, that means a lie,' said his mother.
George knew very well what a lie was;
but he looked extremely puzzled as he
urged, 'But this says a false hood, and that's
Mrs. Bruce could have explained that
the word had no reference to a bonnet, but
she wished to teach George from his own
thoughts; so she said-
'Hood means a bonnet only when it is a
word by itself. This is falsehood, divided
into syllables to help you to spell it.'
'So a falsehood is a lie,' said George,
12 PLEASANT GROVE.
thoughtfully. I rather think that I like
the word falsehood best.'
'So do I,' exclaimed Nellie. Lie is the
worst word I know, except liar.'
'When we do wrong,' said Mrs. Bruce,
'it is much more pleasant to call our sin by
a smooth, soft name; but don't you think
that it would be really better for us to call
it by the harsh, unlovely name, which will
make us feel how wicked we have been ?'
Yes, mother,' said Nellie; 'if I had said
what was not true, I am sure I should feel
a great deal more wicked to call it a lie;
and so I should be more likely to repent,
and do better afterwards.'
'But I should not like to be called a
liar,' said George, earnestly.
Yet I think that it would do you good,
if you had really been such a bad boy. I
know it would be hard to bear; but after
you had been called so a few times, I am
sure you would so hate the ugly name that
you would get rid of it as soon as possible,
and be careful all the rest of your life to
tell the truth, so as never to be called by
such an odious name again. I should feel
so unhappy to have you deserve such a
name! But if you do ever deserve it, my
son, though no one else knows it but God,
call yourself a liar whenever you think of
your sin, that you may learn to hate it.'
I'll tell the truth, and so get rid of both
the ugly words,' said Nellie.
'And do you know what God says about
liars-those who think that their sin is
hidden?' asked Mrs. Bruce. 'If you will
turn to the twenty-first chapter of Revela-
tion, and read the eighth verse, you will
see that it is something very awful indeed.'
Nellie brought the family Bible from the
little stand in the corner, and, finding the
place, read slowly and solemnly-
'"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and
the abominable, and murderers, and sor-
cerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall
have their part in the lake which burneth
with fire and brimstone, which is the second
'Now, if you will read the last verse, you
will find*what it says about heaven.'
Nellie read : "' And there shall in no wise
enter into it anything that defileth, neither
whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh
a lie; but they which are written in the
Lamb's book of life."'
I never shall forget about a falsehood,
and I never will use one,' said George, very,
earnestly, when Nellie had finished reading;
and Nellie said, 'It's very, very dreadful!
I never thought before how dreadful it
I hope you will never forget it,' said
Mrs. Bruce. 'But, now, are you ready to
repeat your lessons ?' Nellie gave a hasty
glance at her book, then brought it to her
mother. I am glad to say that her lesson
was perfect, as was George's also, who
spelled that word falsehood with peculiar
pleasure, because now he so well under-
stood its meaning.
When Harry and Bessie came home from
school, they all had a game at croquet, till
Mrs. Bruce called them to sit on the balcony
and rest till supper should be ready. Then
Nellie and George had a fine time explain-
ing to the others what a falsehood was, and
the others seemed quite as interested as
they were. Nellie went again and"brought
the Bible to read God's solemn words of
ON THE BALCONY.
MEAN to be good; I won't do a
single naughty thing to-day, for I
,want to go to heaven, and only
the good go there,' said Nellie, as, bright
and early, she bounded out upon the
green, and made a miniature shower by
shaking the dew from the honeysuckle,
which every day crept higher and higher
up the trellis, promising ample shield when
in July and August the sun's glances should
be too fierce. Going out there had recalled
the conversation of the preceding afternoon,
and that'had suggested the thought which,
perhaps because she was of a social turn,
she said aloud, though she knew very well
that she was alone.
Her mother heard the remark, however;
but she was then too busy to reply to it.
When the long summer twilight came,-a
16 PLEASANT GROVE.
time which the children considered especi-
ally theirs,-then, finding Nellie and George
as usual waiting the summons to bed, she
asked Nellie how she had succeeded in
keeping her resolution.
'I have been some good, but more
naughty,' she replied.
Have you not tried to be good?' her
'Yes, mother; but sometimes I forgot,
and sometimes the bad was too strong for
But you said that only the good go to
heaven; must you, then, lose heaven ?'
I don't think I can be real good all the
time,' said Nellie, the tears starting in her
Even could you besgood all the rest of
your life, what could you do for all the
wrong you have already done ?' asked her
This was a new difficulty; and as Nellie
thought of her past sins, and how impos-
sible she had found it to do perfectly right,
even for one day, she was full of fear and
Sorrow, and asked, 'Can I never, never go
to heaven ?'
Not if you must earn it by good works;
ON THE BALCONY
for God has told us, The soul that sinneth,
it shall die;" and He says, "There is none
that doeth good; no, not one."'
. 'Then,' asked Nellie, 'how can any one
go to heaven ? You said last night that .
bad people could go if they would be good;
but if they can't be good ?'
'I did not say that they could make
themselves good, Nellie. I am very glad
that you have found out that you cannot
do it, even for one day.'
'But what can I do, if I cannot make
myself good ?'
'Jesus Christ died so that He might be
able to help you. He knew very well that
only good people go to heaven, and equally
well that none of us can make ourselves
good; so, out of his infinite love, He came
to die for us; and now, He says, if we are
sorry for our sins, and will try to do right
to please Him, He will forgive us and help
us to be good. If you are truly sorry for
your sins, you will go to Him, and ask Him
to forgive you, and help you to do what
is right. He has promised to do this if
you will ask Him; and then, while you live
you can serve Him, and when you die He
will take you to heaven.'
18 PLEASANT GROVE.
Mother, I wish that you would explain
to us about the zmscles to-night,' said
Bessie, as she and Harry now came up the
steps from a walk. My lesson to-morrow
is about them, and I do not quite under-
stand what the physiology says.'
What are muscles ?' asked Nellie.
'Muscles,' replied Mrs. Bruce, 'are the
fleshy parts of the body. If it were not for
the muscles fastened to the bones, like wire
or strings, we could not move.'
'Then there must be a great many of
them,' said Harry ; 'unless one muscle gives
us a great many motions.'
'There are over five hundred, named
and described by modern writers,' said his
mother. 'Every muscle has its opposite,
and they act, like two sawyers in a pit, by
pulling against each other. If you bend
and then straighten your finger, you will
contract two separate muscles.'
'What do you mean by contract?' asked
Mrs. Bruce took a thread, and laying it
along the inside -of Nellie's finger, said,
'Now the thread is just as long as your
finger. See how it will be when you bend
it.' Nellie did so ; but then the thread lay
ON THE BALCONY.
loose, and seemed much longer than before.
While her finger was still bent, Mrs. Bruce
held the thread lightly over the top of it;
but when Nellie straightened her finger
again, the thread was loose.
'You see,' said her mother, turning to
Bessie, 'that we want the muscles which
help us to bend our fingers to be of differ-
ent lengths at different times, so as never
to be too tight or too loose, like this string.
The muscles have the power of contracting
-that is, of growing shorter-when it is
'Just like elastic cord,' said Harry; 'if
you had tried that, it would have been
better than the thread.'
'Not quite like the cord. That adjusts
itself to its place by growing longer, and
then contracting again; but the muscles
are made of full length, and then, when too
long, they contract. This power of con-
traction seems to me a very kind and curi-
ous provision which God .has made for our
comfort and convenience. As we study the
way in which God has fitted our muscles to
act, we cannot fail to see how intent He
seems to have been to give us just what
we need. "The Lord is good to all; and
20 PLEASANT GROVE.
his tender mercies are over all his works."
Truly, "we are fearfully and wonderfully
'Why would it not have been as well if
the muscles had stretched like elastic, in-
stead of contracting?' asked Harry.
'Open your hand, now,' replied his
mother. Harry did so, and his mother
said, 'That is the way we naturally keep
our hands when open; but do you not see
that it is not fully open-that your fingers
are not quite in a straight line ?' Harry
opened it fully, but found it tiresome to
keep it so long. 'That will show you,'
said his mother, 'how soon our fingers, or in-
deed any part of our body, would get tired if
the muscles moved by stretching, instead of
by contracting. But notice another thing :
the muscles which close the hand are more
powerful than those which open it, as if
God did not intend to give us any power
to be wasted; for the use which we wish
to make of our hand, when more or less
bent, often requires much power, as when
we grasp hold of anything; but we do not
need nearly so much to enable us to open
it, or for any use that we may make of our
ON THE BALCONY. 21
'So God fixed it just as He saw that we
needed it,' said Harry. 'How kind, how
thoughtful, and how very wise He must be
to get everything so just and right !'
'And I hope that you will not forget to
be very grateful for this loving-kindness.
We have scarcely begun to talk about the
muscles yet; but how much we have seen
of God's goodness! how much to shame
our ingratitude! Try, as you study more
about them, to learn still more of Him
"who doeth marvellous things without
It was now bed-time for Nellie and
George, and though they were not sure
but something more that would instruct
them might be said, yet they were too well
.taught even to ask to sit up longer. Mrs.
Bruce, however, had a letter to write, and
went to her own room ; while Bessie, with
fresh hope and interest, began to study her
UNCLE STUART'S STORIES.
NCLE STUART was a great fa-
vourite with all his nephews and
nieces. Indeed, for that matter,
I think that he was a favourite with every-
body. It was not so much that he was
a young gentleman of good education,
polished manners, and fine appearance;
for many gentlemen, young and old, are
that, and nothing more, so that they are not
at all favourites with any one. Nellie and
George never could decide exactly what
did make them like this uncle so very much.
George thought of a great many things;
but Nellie contested them all stoutly, as
not being the one particular thing.
Harry was sure that he knew. 'He is
always trying to -do something to make
other people happy; he never seems to
think of himself,' he said.
UNCLE STUART'S STORIES. 23
'Yes,' said Bessie, to whom Harry con-
fided this opinion. 'I do believe that Uncle
Stuart has not one particle of selfishness.'
So sure was Bessie of this, that one day,
when he had especially excited her admira-
tion, she assured him of her opinion. He
grew very sober all at once, and then he
said, 'If that were true, Bessie, it would
be the highest compliment that I ever re-
ceived. If it were only true!'-and then
he went up stairs to his own room. Bessie's
faith was, however, in no wise shaken by
her uncle's incredulity.
Of course, standing thus high in their
estimation, the young people liked to be
with him, and his visits were greatly anti-
cipated and enjoyed. In the evening they
always claimed his attention to what had
transpired during the day, and then, as a
reward for what they imparted, they ex-
pected a story; and he never seemed to
regard either the confidence or the request
as troublesome. It was about this time
that Mr. Stuart Bruce made one of his
visits, and the children were not slow to
remind him of their expectation.
SAn allegory instead of a story to-night,
please,' said Nellie, one evening, when,
24 PLEA SA NT GR 0 VE.
having given the usual account of the day's
events, she expected the usual return.
'Why an allegory, Nellie?' asked her
'Oh, I have been reading The Shadow
of the Cross, and I like it so much better
than my other story-books! Mother says
it is an allegory ; so I want you to tell me
an allegory, and then tell me what it means.'
'Very well, then,' said Mr. Stuart; 'see
if you can find the moral of this story.
There is a small insect in America called
the ant-lion. With its little flat head and
one of its fore-legs, it digs in the sand a
funnel-shaped hole, having very steep sides,
often an inch in depth. When this is all
carefully prepared, the little lion crawls
under the sand at the bottom of his funnel,
so that even the top of his head is scarcely
seen, and quietly waits till some unfortunate
ant comes that way, who, perhaps intent
upon the load she is bearing to her home,
does not notice the deep pit before her till
her little feet are upon the edge, when the
sand gives way under her weight, and,
falling to the bottom, she is instantly
seized by her cunning but cruel enemy,
and dragged under the sand, where he feeds
UNCLE STUART'S STORIES. 25
upon her vitals. Afterwards he throws out
the skin, repairs his trap, and waits for
Nellie looked very eager, and as her
uncle paused, she said, The ant-lion is
like Satan, who lays traps for us, and we
are like the little ants, who fall into them.'
'Yes, Nellie; the Bible says that Satan
is like a "roaring lion, going about seeking
whom he may devour." Like the ant-lion,
it is our vital part for which he lays his
snares,-for it is our souls that he would
destroy; and often he succeeds, because,
like the unfortunate ant, we are thinking
of our labours and pleasures, and not of
the way we are treading. When you came
to breakfast this morning, Nellie, you were
thinking of your studies and your play,
but not of the pitfalls which Satan would
place in your way-the temptations you
would have to do wrong; and so it has
happened that you have been fretful several
times to-day. Now I think you would not
have been had you been watching against
temptation. The ant fell into the trap,
because she was not thinking what was
before her in the path; and we often do
wrong, and some even lose their souls, by
26 PLEASANT GRO VE.
not stopping to think. Beware of falling
into these traps, that you may not at last
be condemned with the tempter to the
I like that story. Won't you, please,
now tell me another one just like it ?' said
Nellie, too well pleased to think that she
had heard enough.
'What! another ?' said her uncle. 'Sec,
then, if you can find the difference between
the moral of this story and of the last one.
In the cold country of Kamtschatka, there
is an animal called the glutton, which hunts
the fallow deer. Climbing a tree, the-glut-
ton takes with him a particular kind of
moss, of which the deer are very fond, and
when he sees one approaching he drops it.
If the deer stops to eat the moss, the glut-
ton springs upon his back, and, firmly fix-
ing himself, proceeds to tear out the eyes
of his poor victim, who, frantic with pain,
and perhaps hoping to unseat his tormentor,
knocks his head against the tree till he falls
'It was not because he did not think of
what was in the path,' said Nellie, as Mr.
Stuart waited for her to give the moral.
No; but because he did not think of it
UNCLE STUART'S STORIES. 27
in the right way. He thought how very
sweet the moss would be; but he did not
think of the danger to which a taste of it
would expose him. He looked down, but
not up, or he would have seen his treacher-
ous foe. If, when we are tempted, we
would think of the consequences which
must follow the promised pleasure, it would
seem less attractive. Learn, Nellie, from
the fate of the inconsiderate ant, not to be
led into evil by living thoughtless of the
temptations which surround you; and from
the fate of the fallow deer, not to be led
by the pleasures which allure you to forget
the dangers to which they may expose
There was a few moments' pause. Nellie
was considering her two allegories, to be
sure that she had them securely fixed in her
memory. That process being completed,
she was about to ask for still another one,
when her uncle interrupted her by asking,
'Nellie, do you remember to pray every
'Oh, yes! I always say the Lord's Prayer,
and two others,' was the quick reply,
But do you really pray, or only say your
prayers?' Nellie's perplexed look asked
28 PLEASANT GROVE.
for an explanation. 'You know it is very
easy to get into the habit of saying over a
form of words without thinking much of
their meaning,-that is saying prayers; but
when you really pray, you think of every
word that you say, and really wish for what
'I am afraid I only say my prayers,' said
'Then,' said Mr. Stuart, 'you have knelt
down every night to ask the great God to
hear you say a form of words with your
lips, while your heart has been thinking of
something else. Are you not afraid that
you have mocked Him ?'
After a few moments' thought, Nellie said,
'I am sure I did not mean to mock God.
If I could make a prayer of my own, I
should have to think of what I say; but I
don't know how to do that.'
Have you nothing for which to thank
'Oh, yes! a great many things,' Nellie
said, for she was a grateful little girl, and
had been taught to consider every blessing
as the gift of God, often exclaiming, 'How
good God is to make me so happy!'
'Is there nothing you wish to ask God
UNCLE STUART'S STORIES. 29
for, if He sees best to give it you ?' asked
'Oh yes, indeed!'
'Don't you wish to ask God to bless your
little friends, and make them Christlike ?
Have you no faults that you need the help
of God's Spirit to overcome ?-no sin that
you wish forgiven for Christ's sake ?'
'Oh, how much I have to ask from God!'
exclaimed Nellie, in surprise. 'I don't
think I shall ever just say my prayers again ;
I shall pray them. But can't I say other
prayers, too ?'
'I hope that you will say them every
day of your life; but be careful not to say
them with your lips only.'
'And will God be just as willing to hear
me as if I were older ?' asked Nellie.
The Saviour said, "Suffer little children
to come unto me,"' replied Mr. Stuart.
'Try Him, Nellie, by praying from the
heart, and see if He is not willing to bless
you.' Nellie promised to try.
'-"- 7 , .^ "- -..L -' ...., ,-.'
l- ,,-I-.- .
THE STRAWBERRY PARTY.
NE day, shortly after Uncle Stuart
arrived, it was determined to have
a strawberry party, and several
young friends were to be invited. Uncle
promised to be present, and to tell them
some stories. The day arrived, and when
Mr. Stuart made his appearance, the chil-
dren gathered around him eagerly-their
first timidity quickly dispelled by his
evident friendliness. They were not, how-
ever, to be his only listeners, for Lottie
drew her father to a good seat by her side;
and the other children, not to be outdone,
followed her example, till Mr. Stuart found
that the group of young people around him
was encircled by a chain of older ones,
pleased in their children's pleasure, and
waiting as intently as they for him to com-
THE STRA WIBERRY PARTY. 31
'It was to the children that I promised
my stories,' said Mr. Stuart; 'and I can
scarcely hope that they will interest others.
My only chance of success, even with them,
lies in addressing myself directly to them.
I think to-day I will tell you some stories
to illustrate true bravery ; therefore that
shall be the chain by which we will connect
them all. Perhaps the girls may think that
I have chosen a subject much better adapted
for the boys than for them; but they will
see very soon that they need to be brave as
well as their brothers. There are several
kinds of bravery, as I will show you. Boys
very naturally think first of the dauntless
spirit of the true soldier, and my first ex-
ample shall be warlike. Some hundreds of
years ago the great army of Persia went
forth to conquer Greece. Four years had
King Xerxes spent in preparation; and,
having then a larger army than the world
had ever before seen, he felt sure of con-
quest. Little hope did there seem that
the Greeks could resist such overwhelming
numbers; but they determined, as brave
soldiers, faithfully to do their duty, and
patiently wait the result. One famous deed
shows their spirit. A narrow mountain-
32 PLEASANT GROVE.
pass guards the way to Athens. There
Leonidas, with his brave "three hundred,"
repelled the grand army of Xerxes for two
days with terrible slaughter; and when at
last the pass was won, these brave men had
all given their lives for their country-not
vainly, for their example fired all Greece.
Theirs was the bravery of the true soldier,
fighting, dying for liberty. May our coun-
try ever find in her hour of peril defenders
as heroic as these! The Greeks dearly
loved liberty, and the spirit of these deter-
mined freemen, thus aroused, was triumph-
antly successful against the greatly superior
numbers of their enemy. Xerxes was forced
back to Persia with the remnant of his de-
feated army, and his dissatisfied subjects
soon after assassinated him.
But, as I said, there are many kinds of
bravery; and all the other kinds we require
even in times of peace. The bravery which
can bear suffering without a murmur-that
is one of the most sublime kinds of hero-
ism. In England there are men, women,
and children who, when the American war
began, were thrown out of work, because
they could not get any cotton for their
mills. But they suffered, even starved,
THE STRAWBERRY PARTY. 33
patiently, rather than say one word to in-
duce their Government to hinder the cause
of freedom in that country.
'There is a boy in Boston, who, for more
than one long year, has added many a
needed comfort to his sick-room by the
ingenious articles that he has carved, lean-
ing painfully on his elbow in his bed ; yet
he never complains. Think of it. He is
sick, he is poor: is it not hard enough for
him to lie quietly, patiently there ? Could
you do so ? He can't even sit up supported
by a pillow; but, leaning there painfully
on one elbow, he works on many beautiful
things, requiring much care and labour,
which are to be sold to whoever will pity
and buy. And yet he never complains. Is
it not a brave spirit that meets trouble
cheerfully because God sends it? Ah this
is a heroism that we shall all need.
'I saw in Canada some soldiers who were
very brave, for they had added to all other
kinds of bravery the noblest kind of all,
which we call moral courage. In England
there is but one church established by law,
and that is the Episcopal, which the soldiers
must attend. These soldiers were Pres-
byterians, and wished to attend their own
34 PLEASANT GROVE.
church. So they sent to ask the Queen's
permission. The Queen, as we all know,
is a kind and pious lady, and she at once
consented. The soldiers were all called on
to the parade-ground, when an officer read
the Queen's letter to them ; but he added,
"No loyal soldier will think of accepting
this permission ;" by which he meant that
it would be considered disloyal for any sol-
dier to decline to attend the Queen's church,
and choose another.
He then ordered all those who wished
to attend the Presbyterian Church to step
from the ranks. This was a trying moment
for the poor soldiers. They loved their
good Queen; they wished not even to
seem disloyal,-for it is a terrible crime,
you know, to be disloyal; but above all
did they prize what they thought right.
To the astonishment of the commanding
officer, about three hundred at once stepped
forward. Among them was an officer, who
respectfully replied for himself and com-
rades: "If we are loyal to our heavenly
Sovereign, we shall be more likely to be
faithful to our earthly sovereign." I saw
them afterwards at church, and each had
his Bible. I love to call these men "the
THE STRA WBERR Y PARTY. 35
brave three hundred ;" for though I am
not a Presbyterian, I liked to see them
firm in what they thought right. They
had the highest kind of bravery-moral
My young friends, always do what you
think God would have you do, no matter
what it may cost. And then, though you
have no chance to win the glory of a
patriot soldier, you may have the nobler
glory which crowns moral heroism.'
f\ ^ <
HARRY'S VERSE AND QUESTIONS.
MUST hunt up a verse to say at
the church soiree to-night. What
would you choose, uncle?' asked
Harry, turning over the leaves of his Bible
one Sabbath afternoon.
Your question carries me back to our
little school in Cumberland,' returned Mr.
Stuart. 'It recalls one verse which I heard
given there ; it was short, but full of mean-
ing, and given under such circumstances
that I never shall forget it. If you like I
will tell you the story, and perhaps you
will choose that verse.'
If you will be so kind,' replied Harry,
'I shall be very glad to hear it.'
Entering our little schoolroom in Cum-
berland one evening before the hour for
the Sabbath school to commence,' said his
uncle, 'I found several of the scholars com-
paring the verses which they had selected
for the usual recitation.
'"What is your verse, Edward?" asked
James. Edward pointed it out in his open
'"Oh!" laughed James; "what a short
'"Yes; but it means a great deal!" was
the emphatic reply.
Perhaps any verse which Edward might
have selected that night would have at-
tracted more than my usual attention, as
indicating the direction of his thoughts;
for within a few days he had told me that
he had given his heart to the Saviour. But
now more than ever, after that earnest
answer, did I wonder what precious text*
had taken that strong hold upon his young
heart which his tone indicated. I remem-
bered the past. I recalled, with the creep-
ing shudder it always brought to me, the
answer he had given, for a long year and
more, to my often repeated question, "Can
you not decide to be a Christian to-night,
'It was ever the same: "I don't know,"
which rang through my heart like the death-
knell of a soul; for I greatly feared it would
38 PLEASANT GROVE.
Sseal his eternal doom. The half-despond-
/ ing tone in which he used to say it sounded
so cheerless, that I often thought it was
useless to say more. But that answer
haunted me. I too had a precious pro-
mise: In due season ye shall reap, if ye
faint not;' and I resolved never to cease
my efforts while life left hope. And God
heard our prayers : his mother's prayers,
breathed first around his cradle, then as he
knelt by her side, and often, very often,
when he knew it not. And so one night,
when I again asked, "Can you not go to
Christ as a poor sinner to-night, Edward ?"
his earnest Yes," in that firm tone I under-
stood so well, sent a rush of joy through my
heart, that made me tremble from the very
fulness of hope and greatness of blessing.
Carefully was I watching for the fruits of
his decision, and so I listened with a peculiar
interest as, in his turn, he gave his verse:
"If God be for us, who can be against us "
'Truly that verse did mean a great deal.
And it meant something, I hoped, that thus
early in his Christian life he had so taken
the blessed promise into his heart. If in
the future he would remember it, it would
surely make him strong for the conflict;
HARRY Y'S VERSE.
and often have my prayers for him taken
the form, Lord, make it ever mean a great
deal to him !"
Often also has this precious promise, put
thus in the strong light of a question, with
the emphasis of his earnest tone, come to
me in times of trial, full of strong support.
Yes, it does mean a great deal. It is all
that a Christian needs to nerve him for the
conflict with sin; for it gives the assurance
of victory. But, alas! this is not all. It has
a fearful fulness of meaning for those who
are not in the ranks of the Lord's hosts. It
means too much for such. We shall do well
earnestly to ask ourselves, Does it mean for
us a great deal of comfort, or a great deal
Mr. Stuart waited a moment, and then
added: 'I do not know that I can give you
a better text, whether you wish it to repeat
to-night, or as a word to nerve you to meet
all the perils of the way.'
It is very good; it does mean a great
deal; and I will take it for to-night, and
for life also,' replied Harry. I shall not
say that verse quite so carelessly as I am
afraid I often say them. I wish I could
have some story like that to make me con-
40 PLEASE NT GRO VE.
sider every one of them. And now, uncle,
if you are at liberty, I have a question, or
rather two, that I would like to have you
answer for me.'
'I am quite at liberty, and will do
my best to satisfy you,' returned Mr.
'I wish to know more about the origin
of the names "Sunday," "Sabbath," and
"Lord's Day;" and which you think the
most appropriate for us to use.'
The answer to the first question will
assist us in replying to the second one.
" Sabbath" came earliest into use; it is of
Hebrew origin, and means "rest." The re-
ligious observance of one day in seven, you
know, dates back to the creation, when God
hallowed the seventh day in commemora-
tion of his ceasing from his labours when
the work of creation was ended. Probably
the name then given to it signified rest. If,
as some propose, the Hebrew is essentially
the original language, then undoubtedly it
was that very word Sabbath ;" but if, as
is far more probable, Hebrew is not the
original language, then "Sabbath" seems
to be a translation into the Hebrew of the
meaning of that last name.'
How early was the word "Sabbath"
Mr. Stuart took up a concordance, and
finally a Bible, which lay on the table, and
in a few moments replied: 'The first use
of the word is in Exodus xvi. 23, where it
reads, "This is that which the Lord had
said, To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sab-
bath unto the Lord;" and in the twentieth
chapter He says, Remember the Sabbath-
day, to keep it holy;" the use of the word in
both verses plainly showing that the name
was already in common use, and therefore
needed not to be explained.'
I think I understand about that word;
and now Lord's Day comes next in turn,
does it not?'
'Yes; and it seems to have been intro-
duced, not from any dissatisfaction with
the old word, but from necessity. The
apostles and early Christians used to at-
tend the synagogue service on the Sab-
bath, partly because they had always been
accustomed to do so, and partly because it
afforded them such excellent opportunities
to preach the gospel to the Jews. Do
you know what day the Jews observed as
42 PLEASANT GROVE.
'Saturday, the seventh day.'
'Yes; that was the original appointment
The Christians, however, found an import-
ant thing lacking in the service of the syna-
gogue. There was no acknowledgment of
Christ as the Messiah of Israel. Messiah's
coming was always referred to as yet in the
future, and the great atonement for sin
already made by their Divine Master was
not recognized. God could be acknow-
ledged and worshipped in the synagogue;
but, to satisfy the craving of their hearts
to honour Christ as their Redeemer, they
must take another time and place. Accord-
ingly, we read that they met "on the first
day of the week," in some upper chamber."
It seems to have been in the evening, after
the day's work was done; for most of the
early Christians, especially those in Jeru-
salem, were dependent upon their labour,
and some of them even upon the gifts of
richer brethren, for support. This day, at
first referred to as the "first day of the
week," soon began among them to be called
the Lord's Day;" a name appropriate, not
only because thus set apart for his worship,
but as the day consecrated by his resurrec-
HARR Y'S VERSE. 43
'The name "Sabbath" is never applied
to this first day of the week in the Bible, I
believe,' said Harry.
'No,' returned his uncle; 'that name
was so universally applied to Saturday by
the Jews, that to call any other day by that
name would have introduced great con-
fusion. As I said, it was necessity rather
than choice which probably gave rise to
the new name. When Christianity became
dominant and Judaism declined, the Chris-
tians ceased to observe the Jewish Sab-
bath, but hallowed the whole of the Lord's
Day, resuming also the old name, to a
greater or less extent, when a return to it
would no longer lead to any confusion.'
But, uncle, why was it right to change
It is possible that they had some divine
intimation to that effect. At least they
would be strongly attached to the day as
that of the resurrection, and one so long
devoted, in times of fierce persecution, to
Christian worship. Sunday, thus conse-
crated, probably seemed to them crowded
with more tender memories-a more sacred
day than the Sabbath. Christ himself
had especially honoured it by his repeated
44 PLEASANT GROVE.
appearance to them after the resurrection.
It was also on that day that the Holy
Spirit descended upon them. The apostles,
divinely appointed to guide the church,
sanctioned it. And it was a most appro-
priate change; for the finished work of
Christ transcended in sublimity even the
work of creation. Indeed, it would be im-
possible for us now to discover what is really
the seventh day from the creation. More-
over, as it is day in one part of the world
while it is night in the opposite part, the
same precise time cannot be observed every-
where, which shows that it is not a matter
of absolute importance, only that such a
portion of time should be thus dedicated
'And now, about Sunday, uncle.'
'That came from our Saxon ancestors,
who devoted the first day of the week to
the worship of the sun. It is therefore of
'And which is it better to use ? Sab-
bath has always seemed to me unchristian;
Lord's Day" most appropriate, but, not
being common, rather pharisaical ; and
Sunday downright heathenish.'
'" Sunday would have been heathenish
HARRY'S VERSE. 45
in those old days when its use would seem
to sanction idolatry; but now it has lost
such signification, the majority of people
not knowing its derivation, and those who
do, rarely thinking of it. It is not synony-
mous with Sabbath," as we mean one day
when we speak of the Jewish Sabbath, and
another when we speak of the Christian
Sabbath. If you discard "Sunday," you
have not only to suggest a synonym adap-
ted to common use-as the double word,
"Lord's Day," is not, from its length,-but
you must also find a substitute for the other
names; for Monday gets its name from
the Moon, Tuesday from Tiw, Wednesday
from Woden, Thursday from Thor, Friday
from Frig, and Saturday from Saeter,-
all, you see, Saxon gods or goddesses.'
'Well,' said Harry, ruefully, 'it would be
hard work to make mankind change now,
and that it has lost its old signification to
modern ears, makes it all right; but I
cannot help wishing very much that our
names for the days had not originated- in
'Some, considering Sunday as dedicated
to the honour of Him whom the prophet
calls the "Sun of Righteousness," give to
46 PLEASANT GRO VE.
the word a Christian signification. If you
like, you can take it in that way. Sab-
bath" is not unchristian, if you mean by
that, antichristian. The day, as an insti-
tution, was one of the good things which
Judaism and Christianity both found in the
world, and needed not to change. Why,
when we retain the institution, should we
discard the name, especially as it is impos-
sible to go further back and.get the original
name ? Sabbath-" rest "-it is a beautiful
word, given to the world as a prophecy of
the sublime truths which Judaism, and then
Christianity, were to unfold as the world
was prepared to receive them, shadowing
forth on earth what shall have its full frui-
tion in heaven. "There remaineth there-
fore a rest for the people of God." I do not
wonder that Christians wished to resume
that beautiful name, though it was not done
in primitive times.'
'I was afraid that you might think my
second question foolish,' said Harry; 'but
I am glad I asked it, for now the words
seem so different to me. Sabbath-" rest"
-yes, Christianity has indeed the truest
right to the word, giving it its best interpre-
tation. It will be very dear to me now.
But Lord's Day also seems full of tender
'It does indeed; and I wish it had not
fallen so much into disuse. But since it
has, it does sound a little pharisaical, per-
haps; and if its use should be so misjudged,
it would be better to remember the rule,
"Let not your good be evil spoken of."
In our hearts, at least, with deepest love
and veneration for the Crucified, we may
tenderly name it the "Lord's Day."'
'Long live the art of asking questions!
You have told me much of which I shall
like to think, and I thank you heartily,'
HAT did the German sceptic mean,
father, when he said, "I demand
a religion of the five fingers?"'
asked Bessie, looking up from her book.
'He meant that he could not accept a
religion, the reason of which he could not
see as plainly as he could see his hand.
Do you see why such a religion could not
be from God?'
After a little thinking, Bessie said, 'We
cannot expect to see the reason of all that
God tells us about himself. He would
not be God if we could fully comprehend
'The sceptic,' said Mr. Bruce, 'would be
puzzled as he studied the very hand so
plainly before him. How then could he
comprehend God, whose wisdom and power
created it ? If we understand not the
AUNT NABBY. 49
works He places before us, how can we ex-
pect to understand his character, thoughts,
and purposes ?'
It's like trying to get a great measure
into a small one, to try to get God's thoughts
into our minds, only vastly more absurd,'
'Think what the German infidel might
have learned of God by studying his hand,'
said her father. 'The wisdom of God in
that very thing is far beyond our compre-
hension. We cannot explain how our will
acts upon the muscles to move our fingers,
or how they grow,-tiny particles being
added to tiny particles. And, then, note
God's love for man, and care for his com-
fort, in giving him the most useful hand
possible. He has given joints to our fingers,
that they may bend; nails to their tips to
protect them, and that we may pick up
small things. For this reason, also, the
fingers are of unequal length; yet the
muscles are so made, that when they are
bent they are of equal length. Most of
the muscles that move the hand are placed
in the arm, connecting with the hand by
cords; so that we have a small, nimble
hand, and yet one that is very strong.
56 PLEASANT GROVE.
When our nails get broken, unlike the rest
of the body they grow again; and they are
broken without pain. Then look, again, at
the joints. Unlike those we make, while
they play easily, they will support them-
selves at any angle as we bend them. How
many points to be all skilfully arranged to
produce a perfect hand A religion of the
five fingers! If the sceptic had studied
them, he would have seen ample proof of
God's loving, wonderful work; and that in
his works, as in his word,-" his ways are
past finding out." He did not refuse to
use his hands because he did not under-
stand them; why should he refuse the re-
ligion of the Bible because it told him some
things beyond his comprehension ? We
reverence God the more, because his work-
ings in our body are too wonderful for us
fully to trace; let us also reverence Him
the more, because He is so great that
we cannot comprehend the fulness of his
thoughts. Is it not wonderful that such a
God should stoop to teach us the way of
life, and even to die for us ? And shall we
proudly demand, before we will be saved,
that He make us equal to himself, that we
may know all his ways ?'
AUNT NABB Y.
Bessie turned again to her book, but
soon throwing it aside, asked, 'Haven't
you some errand you wish done some-
where, mother ? I would like a walk; and
it is always pleasanter to have some object
'I was going myself to call upon Aunt
Nabby. Would you like to go with me?'
returned her mother.
Now Aunt Nabby was aunt to all Mays-
ville, and Bessie replied at once, Yes,
indeed; that is just the place: only I could
not think myself where it was that I wanted
to go. What will you take ? Is it ready?'
Not quite. We will carry some peaches,
and some other things which cook will give
you. You can put them in the baskets. I
think we can carry them ourselves.'
Bessie got the baskets, lined each with a
napkin, and then proceeded to place in the
first a small loaf of fresh cake, and in the
other a small covered dish which contained
two pats of butter, filling up the remaining
space in each basket with peaches. When
this was done, she carried them to her
mother, saying, 'There, they are good
weight; but the heavier we find them,
the heavier Aunt Nabby will find them. I
52 PLEASANT GROVE.
wish they were of double weight, for her
Mrs. Bruce was nearly ready, and they
soon set forth. It was a pleasant walk, for
the way was shaded by large, overhanging
trees. A cordial welcome awaited them,
when, in answer to their knock, they ac-
cepted the invitation to 'come in,' given
to them from Aunt Nabby's chair, because
the good woman was a little lame, and
somewhat feeble; so that she was accus-
tomed in the warm summer days to place
her outer door wide open, trundle her chair
to a shady window, and thence admit her
visitors. Her granddaughter lived with her,
taking good care of her, but often neces-
sarily away; for she was a busy maid, whose
nimble fingers were in great request in the
neighborhood. Thus Aunt" Nabby was
I will take the things out of the basket
for you,' said Bessie, eagerly, when they
had been duly presented and gratefully ac-
cepted. 'How nice Patty always keeps
things!' she exclaimed, as, opening the
door for some dishes, the neat little closet
was exposed to view.
'Yes, she does,' replied the old lady, well
AUNT NABB Y.
pleased to hear her praised. 'And those
peaches are just as fine as they can be,' she
added, when Bessie had them all piled upon
a plate. 'Won't you please to say that
you hope Patty will enjoy some of them ?
because, if you don't, she will insist that
you meant them all for me, and I shall not
be able to persuade her to touch one of
them. I tell her that she is doing all she
can to make me grow selfish, which is the
great fault I have to guard against, seeing
I used to think, when I was young, that it
was the failing peculiar to old age.'
'Yes, indeed; tell Patty we especially
protest against her spoiling you by making
you selfish,' returned Mrs. Bruce, with a
smile. 'But do you really consider that
the peculiar temptation of age ?'
'So it seems to me, though I must con-
fess that inconsiderateness, which is the
fault so general with young people, often
looks to me now as very selfish. I think
both lean to selfishness; though young
people do so, probably, very much from
thoughtlessness. Children are noisy beings,
always liking a change; they are too impa-
tient of the bodily and mental infirmities
of the aged, which make them studious of
54 PLEASANT GROVE.
quiet, and opposed to change. Neither
party duly consider and bear with the
other, and by both, I suppose, the other is
sometimes justly, sometimes unjustly, called
selfish. I try to remember how I judged
when I was young, and young people would
do well to imagine, as well as they can, how
old people feel. Miss Bessie, I am noting
that nice cake. And what had you in the
'Butter,' answered Bessie; 'and I will
place it in the cellar, where it will be cool.
I know the way.'
Bless the child !' said Aunt Nabby, fer-
vently; 'she is as handy now about here
as Patty herself. Bessie,' she said, as Bessie
reappeared, 'see what I have got since you
were here last;' and she held up a good-
sized scrap-book,,quite as large, indeed, as
her weak hands could well lift. Isn't it a
beauty ? Mrs. Blake sent it down to me
from the city by her nephew John.'
Every one who knew Aunt Nabby, knew
her fondness for collecting bits of sacred
poetry, religious stories, and articles. She
would sit there the whole day long, finding
great comfort in collecting, arranging, and
reading them. It was a comfort so great
AUNT NABB .
that she was anxious to share it with others;
and seldom did she have a caller to whom
she did not hand one of her treasures. Yet
her discretion was so much superior to that
of most who have a hobby, that her mode-
rate infliction was rarely felt to be a burden.
Aunt Nabby's gleaming face bespoke her
own satisfaction with the entertainment she
was providing, and it was not in one's heart
to meet it unsympathetically; especially
when, as often, it was evidently selected
and held in reserve for one's coming. So
Bessie was not surprised to have something
handed to her now.
Read it aloud,' said Mrs. Bruce, to her
old friend's delight; and Bessie read--
'In one of England's great cathedrals is
the tomb of one whose inscription, accord-
ing to his own directions, is but the single
word Miserrimus,"-most miserable.
In the catacombs of Rome, one tablet
has, in rude letters, the simple words, In
Little as these brief records at first seem
to tell us, a moment's thought shows them
full of disclosures. The first was a man of
wealth and position, or his sepulchre had
never been in the great cathedral. He had
it in his power, not only in common with
others, to find for himself the blessedness
of God's faithful children, but more than
some to bless the world in those extended
ways which the rich and powerful can
especially command. He had the offer
of life in vain. He was honest enough to
acknowledge his misery. He could not
cheat himself; he would not cheat others;
indeed, he warned them. There, in that
old cathedral, among the tombstones of
other men,-where the rich and high-born,
gifted like himself with noble opportuni-
ties, would surely come to read his record,
-there it should be an imperishable stone,
with no name nor worldly titles to tell of
outward prosperity, or divert attention from
the one terrible truth. It should stand alone
in its awful simplicity-Most miserable; life
a failure; the future a terror.
The other lived in the fearful days of
persecution, when the hunted Christians
fled to the catacombs, finding their only
safe retreat in the caves where they buried
the martyrs. The outward life of the un-
known sleeper must have been full of
gloom. A child of poverty by birth, or
from that love to the Master which chose
to be poor with his people rather than en-
joy the pleasures of sin, he was despised
and persecuted. Yet the record of that
life was full of blessedness. All things had
been counted dross for the love of Christ.
Life was a success ; the future, glory.
In the records of heaven, if not on every
tombstone, must not the verdict stand for
each life, either, Most miserable, or, In
peace ? Which shall be mine ?'
'Now, when you go home,' said Aunt
Nabby, after Bessie had finished reading,
'I want you to take this other one to
Harry, and tell him I picked it out ex-
pressly for him.'
'He will be much obliged to you for your
kindness in remembering him,' said Mrs.
Bruce. 'And now, Bessie, I think that we
must return home.'
_-. --r -. -
S Bessie entered the house, upon
her return home, she met Harry
going to his own room. Remem-
bering her message, she at once said, 'Wait
a moment, Harry, and take this piece.
Aunt Nabby sent it, and I was to say that
she selected it especially for you.'
Harry took it and passed on. He was
in a hurry at the time, and laid it upon the
table, where it again attracted his attention
when he went there at night. He then took
it up and read-
TIE SOLDIER'S PLEA.
How am I to know that you are, as
you claim, a returned soldier ?" asked a
gentleman of one seeking relief.
'"By my wounds," was the prompt
He pointed not to his military dress,-
HARR Y'S ROOM.
impostors wore the same; he told not of
battle scenes; but he pointed to his wounds
as the proof of good service, as almost an
order on demand for the help he needed.
What significance in these words How
are you to know that Christ, the Mighty
God, loves you, and will save you ? Jesus
points to his pierced hands and feet, to his
bleeding head and open side. He has not
merely pitied you, He has suffered for you.
Can any rend from his hands the reward
of his agony unto death, the free salvation
which He offers to "whosoever will ?" Have
you stood in doubt of his love ? He points
to no uncertain proof: "By my wounds."
Is not that enough ? What depth of mean-
ing in this reply : authority for your trust,
reproach for any lingering fear, tenderness
for your weakness, love beyond measure !
'By what can you prove your love and
faithfulness to such a Saviour ? Not they
who merely bear his name, and boast of
their many wonderful works," have the
unchangeable test which Christ himself
gave : "Remember the word that I said
unto you, The servant is not greater than
his lord. If they have persecuted me, they
will also persecute you. If ye were of the
60 PLEASANT GROVE.
world, the world would love his own ; but I
have chosen you out of the world; therefore
the world hateth you." Looking with pro-
phetic eye into the last days, Paul could em-
phatically exclaim, "Yea, and all that will
live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer perse-
cution." It may come in the form of death,
of reproach ; but in some form it will surely
come, if you are faithful. Lift your eyes
and see the faithful around you, still par-
takers of Christ's sufferings. Not yet is
the warfare ended.
Take, then, the word of cheer: If ye be
reproached for the name of Christ, happy
are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God
resteth upon you." If we suffer, we shall
also reign with Him."
What wounds have I, not self-inflicted,
not rashly provoked, but gained in the wise
and earnest discharge of duty ? What does
my religion cost me ?'
'It is pretty certain,' thought Harry to
himself, as he laid it down, 'that our religion
ought to cost us something,-in fact, that
if it does not, we cannot have much, if any,
of it. It will make us different from what
we were, and different from those around us
HARR Y'S ROOM.
who are not pious. I thank Aunt Nabby
for reminding me of it. I have met a little
reproach, a little ridicule, that I don't think I
brought on myself by my own rashness. But
if I were more in earnest to live a Christian
life, I suppose I should have more to bear.
"By my wounds,"-what a proof that is!'
And when he knelt to pray, he asked
God to help him to be a faithful Christian;
and if, in consequence, he should indeed be
counted worthy to suffer for Christ, that he
might be strengthened to bear it all with
a truly Christ-like spirit; and he finally
fell asleep, considering how he might more
zealously serve his Saviour.
Harry's room was, as most rooms are in
some respects, the outward expression of
his own character; for though he had
neither chosen nor arranged the furniture
as a whole, yet there were particular con-
veniences, arrangements, and ornaments
which took their form as the natural out-
workings of his character.
First, there were his curtains, rolled up
to the extreme point, that, without even an
inch of hindrance,
-' All the outer glories might
Shine within, from the star-lit night.'
62 PLEASANT GROVE.
That spoke his love of the beautiful. One
would not like to think that he could
stolidly shut such glories out, and lose all
the sweet, subduing influence which, as he
lay there looking out into the night and
thinking, should surely, though impercep-
tibly, tone down asperities of character, and
lead him gently from 'nature to nature's
God.' The young man too coarse to be
affected by such influences, loses much of
noblest strength as well as gentle culture.
A beautiful picture hung above his study
table, which, with its array of books and
writing materials, stood between the win-
dows. Below it was a square of white
paper in a rustic frame, on which'Harry
had written, in a plain hand, some quota-
tions of his own choosing, and placed them
where they would daily attract his eye.
Thus they admonished him:
'HE WHO LIVES FOR HIMSELF ALONE, LIVES FOR A
'NWv YOU MUST WORK FOR YOURSELF OR FOR OTHERS ;
TAKE YOUR CHOICE.'
'WERE WE TO THANK GOD FOR EVERY BLESSING, WE
SHOULD HAVE NO TIME TO COMPLAIN OF MISFORTUNE.'
'A STRAIGHT LINE IS THE SHORTEST IN MORALS, AS
WELL AS IN GEOMETRY.'
HARR YS ROOM.
'THINK THAT TO-DAY SHALL NEVER DAWN AGAIN.'
'I DARE DO ALL THAT MAY BECOME A MAN; WHO
DARES DO MORE, IS NONE.'
'GOD WILL HAVE ALL THOU HAST; THY MIND, THY
WILL, THY THOUGHTS, THY WORDS, THY WORKS.'
'Now, if I could only be true to the
teaching of my seven, what a noble man I
should become !' exclaimed Harry, as he
hung them under the shadow of the pic-
ture. And 'My Seven,' as he always called
them, did seem to influence him, being often
his mental, if not unspoken, reply to evil
He had, indeed, one more motto, not in-
cluded in the 'seven.' It was written, with
many a fine flourish, upon a scroll, which
also hung on the wall:
'The path of duty is the way to glory.'
'That's my political motto,' Harry said,
when he brought his mother to see it. And
when he thought he detected a smile on
her face, he added, 'It won't be so very
long before I shall be a voter, a member of
"the great body politic,"-having to dis-
charge the duties of citizen. Perhaps the
people will want to make me a Member
64 PLEASANT GROVE.
of Parliament, and that is to be my
'And a very good one it is, for us all,
even in the lowliest work of life,' returned
his mother. 'The path of duty for us may
be a very humble one; but still there only,
yet there surely, lies for us the way to glory,
-such glory as eye hath not seen, nor ear
heard, neither hath entered into the heart
of man." They are noble words, my son.
Be true to them; or, as Shakespere has
"To thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night to day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
One cannot be really true to his own self,
without first being true to God.'
Beside these decorations, Harry had
two other small but choice engravings,
which, hanging upon opposite sides of
the room, completed the ornamental de-
partment. With the exception of some
shells upon the mantelpiece, which would
have to be seen rather than described in
order to be appreciated, and a steam-engine
on its stand in the corner, this is all, per-
haps, which would be likely to attract the
attention of a casual visitor; though Harry
HARR 'S ROOM.
might think otherwise. But these surely
would afford one some insight into Harry's
character, thoughts, and occupation; and
therefore, as bringing us suggestions, it
should not be time ill spent that we have
given to our hasty glance.
THE MISSION SCHOOL.
R. BRUCE waited till the first Sab-
bath in August, and then, taking
Harry with him, he went to visit
the Mission School in their own home.
He had come to return their visit, he said,
though he hardly thought he should be
content with coming once, but hoped he
might have the pleasure again, as he wanted
the school to get acquainted with him, and
he wanted to get acquainted with them.
They had seen him printing something in
large letters on the blackboard, and had
spelled out the triple word, Christ-Cross
-Row, which they did not understand at
all. They were full of curiosity, therefore,
when he said that he was going to talk to
them about it, and if they listened very
quietly, his son had some little papers-
one of which he held up in his hand to
THE MISSION SCHOOL. 67
show them-which he would give to them
if they would come to the desk after the
school was dismissed. So Mr. Bruce had
a very quiet room when, pointing to the
-strange words that he had printed, he said-
'How many of you know what that
means ? A long, hard word it looks to
some of you, perhaps; but it is not quite
so hard as it looks. You kn6w who Christ
is-our blessed Saviour; and what a cross
is, for you were told long ago that our
blessed Saviour died on a cross to save us.
I suppose you also know what a row is.
Now, looking at the long word, don't you
think it means some kind of a row, with a
cross before it ?
Yes, you are right; and now, don't for-
get always to try to think things out for
yourself. It will do you a great deal of
good, and help you through many a hard
place in the world. I would rather show
you how to think for yourself, than to do a
great deal of wiser thinking for you.
'But you don't know yet what the word
means? No; but you know more than
you did before you thought at all, and, as
I think you need a little help about it, I
will tell you. It is right, when you have
68 PLEASANT GROVE.
done the very best you can-mind, the
very best-for you to have help.
When the people who lived before you
or I were born printed the alphabet,-
what you younger ones call the letters, A,
B, C,-they used to print before it a pic-
ture of a cross, like that upon which Christ
died. So the alphabet was often called
'I like the name; for I love to think
that these good people told their children
that the greatest blessing of learning to
read was, that they might read the Holy
God does not give us this blessing with-
out expecting that it will help us to serve
Him better. Don't forget then, when you
are in school, that if you would please God,
you must do your best to learn your les-
sons; and since you have read and heard
so much about the blessed Saviour, you
should be very good children. Some
people have learned to read, not that they
might read books and papers, but only
that they might read the Bible. It was
hard work for some of them; and if they
had thought of anything but the Bible,
they would have been discouraged; but it-
THE MISSION SCHOOL. 69
was not enough to hear others read it,
they wanted to read it themselves, and
they worked hard till they could. Do
you think, then, that they ever forget to
read it every day ? Do you forget it?
Thank God that you know the Christ-
cross-row, and have got a Bible which
you can read; and show you are grateful
to God for all these blessings, by trying to
please Him, and by being very quiet and
orderly when you come here. Before we
part I want to hear you sing again; and,
if you please, I would like to have,
There is a happy land."'
After the singing the school was dis-
missed, and rather a tumultuous crowd
gathered around Harry,-Mr. Bruce find-
ing it necessary to remind them that if
they were not quiet they could not have
the papers. Harry had planned thus to
pick out his young friend Mike; but there
was no need of such waiting. Mike had
recognized him as soon as he entered the
room, and, keeping his eye fixed upon him,
had soon attracted his attention, by that
strange influence which always turns one
to meet a steady gaze. He considered
Harry as belonging much more to him
70 PLEASANT GROVE.
than to the rest of the school, and, feeling
the full dignity of such especial claim, he
conducted himself during all the exercises
with. marked propriety, and felt himself
greatly honoured and fully rewarded by
Harry's appreciative smile.
He was, however, to be still more distin-
guished. When his turn came to get his
paper, Harry said, as he passed it to him,
' Stand up here by me, Mike; I want to see
you when I get through this business." He
even handed Mike some of the papers to
help in the distribution; and Mike was scru-
pulously exact in heeding the order, 'One
a-piece, remember.' Not the dearest friend
could tempt him to the slightest partiality.
'Well now, Mike, we're through!' ex-
claimed Harry, when the last claimant was
satisfied. 'How is it? do you know how
to mind, now ?'
I rather think I do!' returned Mike,
full of conscious virtue.
'The first time ?'
'Without being made to ?'
'I hope so,' replied Mike, with as much
disdain of a contrary course as if he had
always been thus exemplary.
THE MISSION SCHOOL. 71
'That's right. I think exceedingly well
of you, Mike,' responded Harry, heartily.
'And now, if I were to give you a pocket-
comb, that you could always carry about
with you, don't you think that you could
keep your hair smooth all the time ? And
would you take care not to break it ?'
'That I would !' said Mike, eagerly.
'And you could keep your face and
hands clean all the time, of course; for if
they are all dirt, it wouldn't signify about
Mike did not know what' wouldn't sig-
nify' meant, but was sure that it threatened
danger to his getting the comb; and he
replied promptly and anxiously, with an
ashamed glance at his hands, 'Just try me,
and see if I won't!'
Because I think that a boy eight years
old, who is sharp, not only ought to mind
the first time that he's spoken to, without
being made, but he ought to keep himself
clean, and his hair smooth.'
'See if I won't!' repeated Mike, ear-
Then if you will come down to Pleasant
Grove to-morrow night after school of
course your hands and face will be clean-
72' PLEASANT GROVE.
I will have it all ready for you. You must
not let the boys see it, or they will get it
away from you.'
'No, they don't!' said Mike, emphati-
cally; 'I'll keep it.'
T is so very, very hard to be good !'
said Georgie mournfully, holding
his hot cheeks in his little, fat,
'Yes, it is very hard indeed,' said his
mother, in a sympathizing tone ; 'I think
I should get discouraged myself if God had
not promised to help me when I ask Him.'
'But God is so far off!' said George,
though in a tone less sad. And now he
rested those feverish cheeks in his mother's
'Yes, so far off that He is present in the
most distant star of night; but so near, so
very near, Georgie, that He is by your side
to know your most secret thoughts.'
'But it cannot be so hard for grown-up
people to do right. Why cannot I wait.till
I am older ?'
74 PLEASANT GROVE.
'Why, Georgie!' interrupted Mrs. Bruce,
'you forgot to change your shoes!'
George hung his head. 'Why, you see,
mother, I have got so much into the habit
of not changing them, that I forgot, though
I do try to remember.'
From this, then, you see why it is very
important for you to get into the habit of
doing right when you are a little boy, or it
will be very hard for you to begin to do
right when you are a man.'
I never thought of that,' said George,
eagerly; 'so it may be harder for a man
to do right than for me.'
Yes; but remember, if you get into the
habit of doing right now, it will be easier
for you to do right when you are a man.'
'So it will!' exclaimed George, with
delight; 'and I will try.'
'But, besides this, you must not think
that you will have less temptations when
you are older. You do little things to help
me now, because you are a little boy;
when you are larger, and do more, your
work will not seem harder to you than it
does now, for you will have more strength
to do it. So now it seems to you that
you have great temptations, and little
GEORGIE'S TROUBLES. 75
strength to meet them; when you are older,
you will have greater temptations, and
greater strength to meet them.'
'But, mother,' and George hesitated, 'it
does not seem as if God knew how very
hard it is for such a little boy to do right.'
'Who is Jesus Christ?'
'The Son of God.'
'And Jesus Christ was once a little boy
in Nazareth; and knew all a little boy's
troubles. He knew what it was to have
his playmates sometimes ill-natured and
selfish, and therefore just how hard you
find it always to be kind and generous.
He probably knew also what it was to see
the clouds slowly gather over the moun-
tains, foretelling a stormy day, when, at
sunsetting, He looked eagerly for the sign
of a pleasant morrow for some promised
pleasure. Think, then, when you are
troubled and tempted, that we are told,
'He was tempted in all points like as we
are,' that He might help us when tempted;
and that He knows just how hard a little
boy like you finds it to do right. Ask for
help, for the sake of the holy child Jesus.'
And I, too, can think,' said Harry, that
He was once a young man in Galilee. You,
76 PLEASANT GROVE.
dear mother, good and kind as you are,
cannot know all a young man's trials and
temptations; but 7esus Christ does. Thank
you for this thought. Oh, how it will
strengthen me to think of Jesus Christ, not
only as the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the
Son of God, but as the young man who
was pure and holy, not only in his country
life among the hills of Galilee, but in the
stronger enticements of the proud city of
Jerusalem! Thank God! not only that
He died for men, but that He lived
among them. Thank God! for his boy-
hood and youth, as well as for his busy
'"For verily He took not on Him the
nature of angels, but He took on Him the
seed of Abraham : wherefore in all things
it behoved Him to be made like unto his
brethren, that He might be a merciful and
faithful high priest,"' repeated Mrs. Bruce.
Harry sat for a long time after this,
thinking, not of the book upon which his
eye rested absently, but of those mighty
and most glorious truths which are such
strong consolation to every struggling heart.
He had recently taken upon himself the
vows of a Christian life, and he was tho-
GEORGIE'S TROUBLES. 77
Roughly in earnest to 'grow in grace, and
in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour
Georgie, not much given to continuous
thought, had already commenced a grand
piece of fun with Rover, who had planned
very differently from his little master, but
was destined to be disturbed as soon as
ever he had laid himself down to dignified
repose upon the grass, it being the fate of
dogs to be at beck and call, and the trait
of good-natured Newfoundlands especially
to humour young masters with a truly
Meanwhile Mrs. Bruce had unlocked and
opened a little square box, which she had
brought from her own room, and now began
to examine some letters which it contained.
Presently she took up a little note, worn
and yellow with age. It was written in
a very even, plain hand; and, after read-
ing it herself, she handed it to Nellie, who
had brought her sewing to her mother's
That is a little note which I received
from my Sabbath-school teacher when I
was about as old as you are now. I
had been kept in the house for a week,
78 PLEASANT GROVE.
from some slight sickness,' said Mrs.
'A note which you had when you were
a little girl? How funny! You would not
think then that you would be giving it to
me to read !' George had been attracted
to what seemed to the children such a very
old letter, written not only before they were
born, but even when their mother herself
was a child, and he wanted to hear it. So
Nellie read it aloud; and this was what
M DEAR LIZZIE,-I hear that you are
sick, and if I had not been unusually busy,
I should certainly have called to see you
before now. Fearing that I may not be
able to do so this week, I send you this
little note to show you that I am very far
from forgetting you. .We have missed you
in the class very much. As you are not, I
hear, very ill, I hope that you are able to
learn the lessons with us, though you can-
not attend school. We have been learning
about sin at school, while God has been
teaching you at home something of the evil
of sin; for, you know, if you were not a
sinner, you would never be sick. May you
GEORGIE'S TROUBLES. 79
come early to love the Saviour of sinners.
But I must not write more now. God bless
you.-Very truly yours,
'Why, she called you a sinner, mother!
You are not a sinner, are you ?' exclaimed
George, in indignant astonishment.
'Yes, my dear, we are all sinners,' said
his mother. 'Even when we try to do
right, as I hope I do, we still find that we
have very wicked hearts.'
'I know I do wrong sometimes, mother,'
said Nellie; 'and I know that I have a
wicked heart, because you showed me once
that the Bible said we all had; and so, of
course, I am a sinner.'
'Several years ago I read a story of a
little boy who told his mother that he had
to try very hard to be good, but that he
could be bad without trying at all,' replied
'Yes,' said George, eagerly, 'it is easy
enough to be bad; but to be good is very
hard, I know.'
'That is the way we all find it, and that
is enough to prove that we have wicked
hearts. If they were not bad, it would be
80 PLEASANT GROVE.
just as easy for us to do right as to do
wrong; and if they were good, it would be
easier to do right than to do wrong. So in
this way we can tell what kind of hearts
we have. It is as Christ said, "Ye shall
know them by their fruits Every good
tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt
tree bringeth forth evil fruit."'
Yes; now I see that my heart is wicked,'
said Nellie. 'I do more than know it; I
see it. I heard a man say the other day
that he knew his heart was not wicked;
but I don't believe he ever stopped to think
that it was so easy to do wrong, and so
hard to do right; and that this proved that
his heart was bad. I don't think I'll ever
forget this, mother; for I have wondered
how it could be that I had such a wicked
heart. I could not see it at all.'
'May you indeed never forget it,' said
Mrs. Bruce; 'and may it for ever keep
you from being one of that deluded class
against whom Luke says Christ spoke
one of his parables. They were "certain
which trusted in themselves that they were
AT THE SEA-SIDE.
0 go to Aunt Mary's-what could
be more delightful, unless, indeed,
to go there with Uncle Stuart ?
Nellie did not know how to express her joy.
It was always pleasant to visit Aunt Mary;
but, now that she had moved to the coast,
and. going there was to go to the beach, to
see the great ocean, get shells and moss,
and, in fine, see wonders, and have pleasures
at whose bare mention she had held her
breath,-it was really too much to believe.
And yet it was quite true. The invitation
had come and been accepted; her trunk was
actually packed ; and the next morning, for
the first time in her life, without her mother,
she was to start upon a journey to make a
But that was not all. Humdrum life
seemed to Nellie to be on the eve of ending
82 PLEASANT GROVE.
for ever, and a life of adventure to be fairly
commencing; for, only think! when she
returned home she was to go to school.
What an unknown world, full of enchant-
ment, school was to Nellie, few girls of her
age can imagine; for very few like her
have for so many years the advantage of
home instruction, while they dream golden
dreams of school-life, as they catch glimpses
of its glories through the lively reports of
older brothers and sisters who have already
entered upon the grand career to which
they look forward, with a little genuine
timidity withal mingled with the hearty
longing. Nellie thought that she was just
as happy as she could be.
The adventures of the journey were not
remarkable. Nellie and her uncle did not
reach their resting-place till after dark-too
late, Aunt Mary said, to go out upon the
sands that night. Indeed, Nellie was glad
enough to go to bed as soon as she had
eaten her supper, having made absolutely
but two discoveries. One was, that her
cousin Bertie had grown wonderfully tall,
that is, he was at least a full head taller
than herself, though only six months her
senior; the other was still more important
AT THE SEA-SIDE.
-the sea roared. She heard' it till she fell
fast asleep, wondering, yet half fearing to
know, what was the meaning of that deep,
solemn song which the sea seemed ever
chanting,-never stopping, Bertie told her,
but repeating the same old story, which
to-night was a mere hush-a-by to what it
was when the breakers on some stormy
night came thundering in: till she heard
that, Bertie said, she could not fairly say
that she had heard the ocean roar.
Uncle Stuart had made his -visit here
before he went to Pleasant Grove ; so, after
an early breakfast the next morning, he
bade them all good-bye, and was soon
'And now,' said Bertie to Nellie, 'I must
show you that old Ocean can do something
more than roar,-that he can throw us up
from his caverns, fathoms and fathoms under
water, heaps of pretty things; you will see
that they are really in heaps at high-water
'What is a fathom?' asked Nellie, as
they walked down to this wonderful sea.
A fathom is six feet. When the sailors
want to measure how deep the water is,
they dlrop a line with a plummet, that is, a
84 PLEASANT GROVE.
piece of lead, on the end of it, to make it
sink straight down. When they find that
the plummet has touched the bottom, they
draw it in, and the length of rope tells how
deep it is. They always give it in fathoms;
so, if they say it is five fathoms, they mean
that it is thirty feet deep.'
And thirty feet is how far ?' asked
Oh, I don't know exactly,' replied Bertie;
'but your father is six feet high. You
know he is taller than Uncle Stuart. Now,
put four men, one above the other, on top
of his head, and that would make five
fathoms, or thirty feet.'
Nellie laughed at such a strange way of
reckoning, and Bertie laughed too, and then
added: 'In other words, it is deep enough
to drown a man as tall as Uncle James five
times over. But come, here we are; see
here,' and, stooping to the heaps of matted
sea-weed which lay at their feet, Bertie
began to pull out of it strange things, which
filled his cousin with delight and great
astonishment. There were sea animals, so
wonderful that Nellie could scarcely leave
off looking at them, and asking questions
about their fine pretty teeth and 'curious
AT THE SEA-SIDE.
spines, and sea-eggs which were quite as
wonderful. And then the star-fish! But
Bertie was impatient to show her all that
was to be seen; and before she was half
ready to proceed to other discoveries, had
persuaded her onward.
She saw a little lobster dart from under
the shelter of an overhanging rock, first
out, but more swiftly back again, far out of
view, when he caught sight of them. Then
there were crabs, with their strange side-
way motion; and the king-crabs, which
Bertie called horse-shoes ; and shrimps,
which did not look such delectable articles
of food as some of them are called. Also
on the beach Bertie pointed out a sun-fish;
found delicate sponge and rattles, and some
shells; and even, strangest of all, the dark
polished egg of the dog-fish-a species of
shark--an egg which looked not at all like
an egg, and which Nellie could not receive
as such till Aunt Mary confirmed the ~tate-
Hermit crabs, in the snug cockle shells
which they had appropriated to themselves,
they found in abundance. Indeed, Nellie
was completely bewildered by such wealth
of wonders as the sea had washed to her
86 PLEASANT GROVE.
feet. She was glad when she saw her
aunt beckoning them to come to her; she
wanted to rest a little from seeing and
Aunt Mary had chosen a nice seat for
herself on a ledge of rock. Nellie and
Bertie found places for themselves, and sat
for a while looking out to sea,-so far off
that Nellie could see nothing but water.
She watched the breakers as they rose far
out, and, coming nearer and nearer, curled
and whitened at the top, and then broke
upon the sands. It was all so new and
strange, this grey old ocean, older than the
firm land itself. But Nellie had seen the
firm land ever since she could remember,
but not this old ocean; and so to her it
seemed a new, strange thing which had
suddenly claimed its place in the world.
Nellie's limited world seemed to her the
great wide world; and many older people
fall seriously into the same mistake.
But Bertie was impatient of longer in-
action. He brought the pretty sea-weed
to float in the little pools of water left by
the tide in the crevices of the rock,-little
pools which the warm, bright sun would
not have time to draw up into the fleecy
AT THE SEA-SIDE. 87
clouds before the waves would dash over
Oh, how beautiful! how beautiful!' ex-
claimed Nellie, in astonishment, as the moss
unfolded in rich variety ; bright leaves,
veined with a deeper red, or touched with
pure white; hair-like knots, black, white,
green, yellow, orange,-new varieties con-
stantly appearing as new portions were
thrown into the pool.
We will take some of it home with us,'
said her aunt. 'But you see that all is not
fine and delicate like this;' and Nellie
noticed then the long, ribbon-like strips,
and the huge leaves, some of them looking
like the bottom of a sieve, they were so full
of little holes.
Several years ago,' said Aunt Mary,
'quite a sensation was produced by a
statement that the peasantry in the west
of Ireland were forced to live mainly on
sea-weed for some months in the year. It
is made into bread, or laver-cake, and on
the Gower coast is a somewhat popular
article of food. At Swansea, the women
attend market with baskets of this sea-weed
bread, selling it for one penny or twopence
a cake. This sea-weed is gathered at low-
88 PLEASANT GROVE.
water mark, and is an excellent ingredient"
in sauce for mutton. After boiling twelve
hours, it is seasoned with salt. In winter
it needs to be boiled only two hours. It
is renewed every other spring-tide, and
grows rapidly, except in winter. It is
called "sloke," or "sloakan," in several parts
of the Scottish coast and islands, where
also it is used.'
'This white moss,' added Mrs. Russ,
picking some out from the rest, is better
for blanc-mange than the Iceland moss
which we buy at the shops.'
Bertie now brought an oyster fastened
to a bit of stone. Nellie was afraid to
touch it, for it was beginning to shut itself
up tightly within its shell. Even Bertie,
who tried to keep the shell open, began to
fear that his fingers would get nipped be-
tween those strong valves; so he laid it
upon the rock.
Why does he shut himself up?' asked
'Because he is afraid that Bertie will
hurt him,' said her aunt 'That is the
way God gave him to protect himself from
danger. In the water, if anything enters
his shell, he suddenly and forcibly squirts
AT THE SEA-SIDE.
out water to repulse it. Put him in this
pool, where the water will just cover him,
and you will see.' The children tried it,
though Nellie took a bit of the sea-weed
instead of her finger.
I should get tired of being fastened to
this stone so that I could not move,' said
'Not if you were an oyster,' said his
mother. 'That is another way in which
God provides for his safety. Dashed by
the storms against these rocks, even his
stout shell would get broken if he could
not throw out a kind of glue, by which he
cements himself so firmly to the rock that
you can as soon break his shell as unfasten
him. In hot climates they often hang in
clusters, like apples, to branches of trees
that dip into the water.' Bertie thought
this very strange; but his wonder grew as
his mother continued: 'The Abbe Dicque-
mare has proved that the oyster knows
enough not only to remember, but even to
plan against unusual dangers. If they are
removed from the sea, they naturally open
their shells, as usual. Thus they lose their
water, and die in a few days. But if placed
where the tide covers them part of the time,
90 PLEA SANT GR 0 VE.
they learn to keep their shells closed till
the tide returns again. The same God
who cares so kindly for us, cares also for
them. He has made them curiously, pro-
viding many ways to keep them from
danger and make them happy.'
You look tired,' answered her aunt.
'Even pleasure, you see, is fatiguing. I
think that we will return to the house now.'
So Bertie picked up the sea-weed that he
had selected, and Nellie looked to the
safety of the few things which her cousin
had given her time to collect, and then
both accompanied Mrs. Russ home, where,
in truth, Nellie was glad to rest till after
dinner. Then she ventured out alone to
make discoveries 'and collections by her-
self, as her cousin was obliged to go in
another direction for his mother.
When night came, Nellie concluded that
this first day at the beach had been one of
the happiest, if not the very happiest, of
her whole life. But she was so weary that
she scarcely heard the sea roar a moment,
after she laid her head upon her pillow.
,, C- .- .
ON THE BEACH.
ARLY the next morning Bertie and
Nellie were again on the beach,
searching eagerly for what the sea
had brought up in the night. As Nellie
was hunting among the rocks, she found
in a little pool what seemed to her to be
very fine sea-moss, of a delicate wood-
colour; but as she reached down her hand
to get it, it strangely eluded her grasp.
Thus baffled, she stopped to look at it, and
her surprise was greatly increased to find
it gradually disappearing.
'It's sinking,' she thought; 'and I must
reach down far enough to get hold of the
thick part of it.' As it happened not to be
attached to the rock, she succeeded in doing
so; but it was no soft moss around which
her fingers clasped, but something much
more substantial,-a mussel, she concluded,
92 PLEASANT GROVE.
to which the moss was moored, as she had
seen one tightly clasped by the roots of
some stout kelp on the previous day.
But no, it was alive ; and if she had not
been more fearless than some girls of her
age, she would instinctively have dropped
it. Being fearless as well as curious, she
kept fast though gentle hold, and watched
the brown moss disappear in a most re-
markable manner into the interior of what,
when it was quite gone, looked like a potato
partly decayed. At least that was the way
in which she described it to Bertie, when,
dropping it, she went to report to him.
'It must have been a sea-anemone, I
think,' said Bertie. 'I'll go and see it.'
But as Nellie had gone some little distance
to find Bertie, who had wandered down
nearer the water, she could not find the
place again; or, if they did find it, the
strange creature, much to their disappoint-
ment, refused to appear and identify it, or
satisfy their laudable curiosity.
Did you ever see an anemone ?' asked
Yes, once; but it was a very small one,
clinging close under the rock. I tried to
get it off, but I found it held on so tightly
ON THE BEACH.
that I should have to tear it all to pieces
to do it; so I had to leave it. They are
not very common on this beach. I always
keep on the look-out for them when I am
among the rocks; but I have never seen
'Is it here that you go in bathing ? Aunt
Mary said we should go to-day.'
'No, indeed, I should think not!' answered
Bertie, with emphasis. There is a strong
under-current here, which, it is more than
likely, would carry you out to sea. It's
very dangerous here, and several have been
drowned. They ought to have known
enough, when on a strange coast, to inquire
where the safe bathing-places were; but I
suppose they were far-in-shore people, and
thought because sea-bathing was healthful,
that it would do to go in anywhere.'
What is an under-current ?' asked Nellie,
considering that, as a girl, and one from
far-in-shore also, such ignorance on her
part was excusable.
'Why, here,' said Bertie, 'the shore is
very sloping, and that makes two currents,
the upper one, which sends the waves in,-
that's the tide which is best for bathing;
and an under-current, which we cannot see,
94 PLEASANT GROVE.
that is wonderfully strong to suck things
out. The more shelving the shore, the
stronger the current. Now, a stranger
coming here cannot know just how steep
the beach runs under the water, but, seeing
that the tide is coming in, thinks, even
should he go a little too far out, that it will
bring him in again. But the treacherous
under-current, long before he is in danger
from the depth of water, proves too strong
for him, and carries him out to sea; and
not till he has lost his life does it throw
him up, perhaps on some far-off coast. But
where we bathe there is not the least danger.
You saw yesterday how level the beach
was below the head; so that at low-w'ater
mark it is very wide. There is no percep-
tible under-current there ; and now it is
high time that we should try it. The tide
is at half flood now.'
Nellie knew very well that her aunt
would not take them where there was any
danger, and so, after having a merry laugh,
first at her own grotesque appearance when
arrayed in her bathing-dress, and then at
that of Aunt Mary and Bertie, who were
similarly dressed, she had a grand frolic in
the waves, being reluctant to leave them,
ON THE BEA CH.
even when her aunt said that she had stayed
as long as was prudent.
During the heat of the day Mrs. Russ
thought that it was better for Nellie to stay
in the house. It was no hardship, however;
for her aunt brought out the mosses which
Bertie had brought home the day before,
and showed her how to arrange and press
them. Bertie had rinsed them from the
sand in the sea-water; and now Mrs. Russ
took up a very tiny bit of them, and threw
it into a bowl of water. They unfolded,
looking much larger than when they had
been dry, and very handsome. Mrs. Russ
next poured a little water upon a plate,
which she placed before Nellie, saying-
I want you to press some of these
mosses for yourself. Here are some square
pieces of white paper. Put one of them
wholly under the water-so. Now, this
piece of moss you must arrange in its place
carefully upon the paper.' Saying this,
she took a bit of it from the bowl, and lay-
ing it upon the paper, showed Nellie how
to arrange it gracefully. When this was
done, she carefully slipped the paper from
the plate, and then put it between paper,
under a heavy weight, to press.
Several papers having been thus prepared,
Mrs. Russ said that it was then cool enough
for a walk in the woods, and sent Bertie
and Nellie in search of wood-moss, charging
them to bring home as great a variety as
they could. They returned with a bounti-
ful supply; some gathered from the trunks
of old trees, some from stone walls, and
some from damp ground. Mrs. Russ
brought the pressed sea-mosses, and that
which still remained in the bowl, and made
both Nellie and Bertie notice the similarity
of structure in these children of the sea
and of the woods. They were strangely
alike, and yet so different in appearance,
that, till such comparison, one would not
suspect any resemblance. Nellie thought
this one of the greatest wonders of all that
she had seen.
'What will you give us for supper to-
night ?' asked Bertie. 'I feel very hungry.'
'Lobster,' replied Mrs Russ.
Bertie disappeared, closely followed by
Nellie, quite intent to see all that was to
be seen. He was not long silent 'Mother,
this lobster's claws are not alike ; one is a
great deal larger than the other,' he said,
reappearing from the kitchen, whither he
ON THE BEACH.
had gone to see the strange-looking creature
It is not at all uncommon to find them
so,' replied Mrs. Russ, as, leaving her work,
she joined the children.
'Then he is not a poor little deformed
lobster for all other ill-natured lobsters to
-pick at; so I'll save my pity,' said Bertie.
' But I thought-' he hesitated, scarcely
knowing how to express it.
'Thought that order and symmetry al-
ways marked the handiwork of God,' said
his mother. 'You are right; and the rea-
son that this lobster seems an exception
is, because he has been fighting.'
Bertie looked almost incredulous; but
he only asked, 'How could you possibly
know that, mother ?'
'By that claw, so much smaller than its
mate. To you it seems an exception to
the beautiful order of nature, as if the Great
Creator had been unmindful of this humble
creature. It is rather a wonderful proof of
his peculiar and tender care. Clothed in
his hard case, the lobster is a terror to
other animals, and secure from the attack
of all except those of his own kind. But
at some seasons of the year it is said that
these animals never meet without a contest,
when, to lose a leg or even a claw, is no
great calamity; for while the victor retires
to feast upon his spoil, the other has no
sadder lot than to retreat till a new claw
can grow. While this is small and tender,
the lobster is put upon his good behaviour;
but it grows so rapidly that the truce is not
necessarily a long one, for in three weeks
it is almost as large and strong as the old
one. Some say that it never reaches the
full size again. Is it not a wonderful pro-
vision which thus gives new limbs when
they are needed ?'
'It seems to me, mother, that God is
always showing us how He loves and pro-
vides for what He has made,' exclaimed
Bertie. 'So this claw betrayed our lobster!
If lobsters ever think, it must constantly 4
have reminded him of his combat.'
'And is that all about him?' asked
Nellie, who dearly loved such stories.
'No,' replied her aunt, with an encour-
aging smile; 'he has been through other
dangers. When he first came into the
world, he was obliged to seek the smallest
clefts of rock, and crevices at the bottom
of the sea, where the narrow entrance could