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EXPERIENCE TEACHESAND OTHERILLUSTRATIVE OF FAMILIAR PROVERBSWITH THIRTT-NINE ILLUSTRATIONSEDINBURGH:WILLIAM P. NIMMO & CO.88o,
EDINBURGH:PRINTED BY LORIMER AND GILLIES,ST. ANDREW SQUARE.
/| CONTENTS/EXPERIENCJ TEACHES,.. 5DO YOUR UTY, COME WHAT WILL,, 31HE LAUGHS WELL WHO LAUGHS LAST, C4No PLEA URE WITHOUT PAIN,. 99
K AMES was nine years of age, andSusan, his sister, ten. They were at thisM moment engaged with their studies at thesame table, under the surveillance of. their mother.As tne children seemed intent on theirj\ ;v lessons, their mother left them. In a. short time, James looked up and said tohis sister, 'After all,what amusement have1 we ? We never get to do what we like.''You're right, James,' said Susan; ifthey only allowed us one day in the week to doanything that pleased us, it would be something.5
6 EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.' One day a week!' said James.'Yes, that's what we should have, I know; butdon't you be frightened, there's not much dangerwe '11 get even that. Mamma would not let us movea step without her; one would think we were onlytwo years old. Indeed, we might well be taken forchildren who had to be held by the hand, or rolledin a perambulator.''What babies we are !' said James in atone of raillery'I think they ought to give us an ivory ring, tiedround our necks, to help in our teething!' said Susan,also in a mocking tone.'At all events,' said James, mamma can't say thatwe have not worked well this week.'' That's true,' said Susan. Oh I '11 tell you whatI have thought of.''What is it ''We'11 ask her, as a recompense for our conductthis week, to give us the remainder of this day toourselves, eh ?''To do anything we please ''Certainly.''I should be afraid.''Why so we can ask her together,' said Susan,who had more courage than her brother.
EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.7'Very well, but you must speak first!''Oh I'm quite satisfied.'Their mother, who had been just outside the door,heard all the conversation, and came in. Decidedly,my children, you have worked well all this week; Iam very much pleased with you both, and only hopethat now as you have begun you will continue.''We will indeed, mamma,' said Susan.'So we intend,' said James, at the same timemaking a sign to his sister; and she in her turn madea sign to him, as much as to say, Keep quiet.''What are you making those signs for I' said theirmother.'Mamma, we want-' said Susan.'Oh yes, mamma, that's what we want,' saidJames.The children hesitated.' What is it you want asked their mother.'To get your permission.''My permission 1''Yes, mamma, in recompense for our good conductthis week.''Oh I see, you want to be rewarded for a thingthat is rio gain to any one but yourselves.''But, mamma, 'tis only to encourage us to be al-
8 EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.ways good; and I think you said when we workedwell we should be well rewarded,' said Susan.'That's quite true, my children, and I will keepmy word.' She continued, Now, tell me how youwould wish to be rewarded. I should like to leavethe choice to yourselves.'The two children looked at each other, but neitherof them replied.'Speak, then,' said she.'But perhaps you are going to refuse,' saidSusan.'Then you are going to ask me for something thatis out of my power to grant i''Not at all, mamma, 'tis the simplest request inthe world.''Oh 'tis very simple,' said James.''Then 'tis granted; but tell me what it is.''Well, mamma, we want our liberty for the rest ofthe day, to do everything we like, absolutely every-thing, until night.'' Yes, everything until night,' said James, astonishedat his courage.Their mother reflected a moment, Susan wasplaying nervously with the corner of her apron, Jameslooked on the ground. 'Then you have my per-a
EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.9mission,' said their mother, 'but your request hastaken me a little by surprise.'' But you are satisfied, dear mamma said Susan,hot a little astonished at gaining her mother's consentso easily.' Without doubt, because I have promised.'The two children clapped their hands with delight'So we may do everything we please cried Susan,who could not believe her ears; and papa will notoppose us when he comes home ?''Your father never says "No" when I say "Yes."But listen, I will not allow the permission I grant to-day to be used until to-morrow.'' Oh mamma,' said Susan in a reproachful tone,'why not to-day i'' My dear children, 'tis that you may have time toinvite your little friends, so that your feast may becomplete.''That's true,' cried both children at once.'I will go myself and ask them in your name,telling them that to-morrow you will be at liberty tohave an entire holiday.''Oh! mamma, how good you are,' said Susan,throwing her arms round her mother's neck.'Yes, mamma, you are verygood,' said James in turn.
Io EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.'I know I am too much so; and I hope you willbear in mind when you are left alone to take care ofyourselves. You must remember that you will haveto answer for all your actions.'' Oh mamma, one would think, to hear you speak,that we were little babies, and that we act withoutsense.''Prove to me the contrary, and I shall be veryhappy indeed.'' You will see,' replied the two children.'To-morrow' was very long in coming to theanxious minds of Susan and James, and the hourfixed (one o'clock) for the arrival of their friendlseemed so very far away!The hour for the assembling of their young guestswas the only thing not left to the discretion of thebrother and sister.Susan and James rose early, went from one roomto another, from the court-yard to the garden,-theycould nowhere contain their joy at being thus left atliberty.At the children's request, and by their mother'sorder, Mary, the servant girl, was entirely at theirservice. They made her play all sorts of tricks withthem, and spent so much time in this way, that when
EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.IIthey came in they found breakfast over, and in con-sequence Susan and James had to content themselveswith bread and milk.They were very angry, and reproached Mary, whovery simply replied that she could not play with themand prepare a nice breakfast at the same timeThey were just finishing their frugal meal whenthey heard joyous shouts in the garden.'Oh !' said Susan with surprise. 'they're come!and we are not dressed yet! Quick let us away.''What am I to say to those ladies and gentlemenwho have arrived V asked Mary.'Desire them to wait a short time,' said Susan,running off with her brother.Susan took the prettiest dress she had, also a newpetticoat and her best boots. She dressed herself aswell as she could, because she would not dare askher mother to help her, for fear she would not allowher to put on the fine clothes she had selected.Susan was determined to be the most gayly attiredof the whole party.James was not very vain-he was content to dresshimself plain enough, but got a moustache on withburned cork that extended to his ears. He attachedan old pair of spurs, belonging to his father, to his
I2 EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.boots, then he managed to find a belt, from whichhe hung a real sword, that time had happily wellblunted. This seemed to displease him very much,but he had either to use it, or meet his visitors with-is.out a sword, and that would not do, for he wishedto astonish them with his military air.Susan and James came from their rooms at thesame time, and when they met they laughed heartilyat each other.'You almost frightened me !' said Susan. 'Ithought I saw the captain of brigands.'James felt highly complimented. 'And I tookyou for a princess,' said he.Susan was not less flattered by his remark.
EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.13'James,' said she, 'I'm afraid my dress is notbuttoned straight'Let me see,' said he, I 'll put it right for you.'James, in painting the moustache on his face, forgothe put one also on his hands, and so left the markof his dirty fingers on Susan's new dress.This little accident did not seem to put him muchabout, and Susan could not see it.They then came down to receive their visitors.When they reached the room they were soon sur-rounded by them all. James excited most attention;they all called him Theugly captain,' and mockedhim.He felt very much humbled; no one thought helooked well.Susan stood by quite displeased that they did notremark her handsome toilet. However, she wasdetermined to act the lady, and as soon as they werea little silent, she said,-'Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am somuch obliged to you for coming on so short an in-vitation.'She had heard her mother say something like this,and she thought she would do the same. Then sheadded,-'We are going to do all we please to-day. Mamma
14 EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.has given permission that we may be our own masters.Then, ladies and gentlemen, we must only think howwe can best amuse ourselves.'They all clapped their hands.'Mary,' cried Susan, who wished to show herauthority.'Here, Miss.''You go and fetch cakes-plenty of cakes.''Yes, if you will be good enough to give me money.''Ask it of mamma.''Your mother told me that anything you requiredshould come from your own purse.''Ah !' said Susan, who never thought of that, butshe could not help it now; her little friends were allthere, and listened to what she said.' Wait a moment then, and I '11 go and get money.'She soon came back and gave Mary a halfsovereign.They could not now say that Susan was greedy; butshe loved her money, and it was no small sacrifice togive it away.'Eh! Susan,' said one of her little friends, 'allyour frock is black behind.''My frock black !' said Susan, a little frightened.'Yes, all down the back.'
EXPERIENcEf TEACHES.I5'Tell me, James, was it you did it ''What matter is it I' said James, who was alreadyplaying with his companions, and cared very little forSusan's dress.'Well, young ladies, how shall we amuse ourselvesTime is passing away, and we must employ it,' saidSusan.'Let us play " The little Merchant,"' said Clara.'Yes, indeed and soil our clothes!' said littleEmma, who seemed to have a very good opinion ofherself.'What a little fool you are,' said Nannie; 'we onlyuse folded paper for butter; will that satisfy you ''But if the paper burst I' replied Emma.'Well, what about it, when there's nothing inside i'"Tis all one-I am not going to soil my clothes;mamma would scold me,' said Emma, obstinately.All her companions began to laugh at her.'Then we will play at "Visiting the Sick;" youshall be the invalid.''You are very good indeed,' said Emma; to makeme drink castor oil, I suppose I I'11 not play at thateither.''But we shall only pretend to give it to you,' saidNannie, shrugging her shoulders.
I6 EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.'But the very thought of it would turn mystomach.''Ah! what a pest you are-you understandnothing.''Then we '11 play "Ladies,"' said Clara.'Just so,' said Susan, I '11 be a lady in my drawing-room, and you will all come to visit me, and speakabout your naughty children and your insupportableservants.''I '11 not go; because my dress is not good enoughto be a lady's,' said Emma, objecting again, fornothing seemed to please her.'Well, then, you can stay where you stand, andplay at the little girl who holds herself -straight,' said Nannie, quite impatient J_X XThey all laughed at Emma's expense, and she satdown and began to cry.
EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.I7Playing ladies is a very favourite amusement withlittle girls-they never seem to tire of it. So Susanand her companions were soon all ladies.But it occurred to them that it would be better toplay at something that was not an everyday gamewith them, so they held a consultation to decide whatit should be.James and his companions had not been losinga minute, they were acting robbers, he the chief.Thinkifg themselves attacked by some enemy, intheir flight they had trampled all the borders of anewly made bed in the garden. Then they proposedto assail a travelling coach, in which was to be aprincess, along with her waiting maids, a nurse, andseveral children, who were to cry when they saw themtaking off their mother.To put this grand idea into practice, they harnessedthree robbers to a little car, who were to act as horsesfor the time being. The carriage and horses werefound; nowy they must have the travellers.James cast his eyes on the group of little girls whowere busy discussing what they should do. It was agood thought, so he went over at once and asked ifthey would come and play with his company, tellingthem what they proposed doing. The girls did notB
I8 EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.seem very much pleased with the idea of beingattacked by robbers, but told him that they werethinking of playing 'fairies,' and if they chose, heand his companions might join them.James was most anxious to be a robber, for hethought that was the only way he could show hisacts of bravery; however, he gave way to the girls.Then they decided on playing Blue Beard.''I'll be Blue Beard,' said James, 'and Susanwill be a fairy that I am always pursuing for herlife.'Then Susan was placed in the little car. She wasa fairy queen, and had a large pole in her hand fora sceptre. All was nearly ready when Mary an-nounced to her young mistress that luncheon was onthe table.The little girls and boys shouted with joy, andran pell-mell into the dining-room. Mary executedSusan's orders, and so had bought plenty of cakes,cherry tarts, bon-bons of all kinds, and three bottlesof refreshing cordial.Susan and James forgot their duty of host andhostess when they saw all the fine things before them,and sat down first to the table and ate and drankwithout ever thinking of anyone else.
EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.I9However, their guests were bold enough to assistthemselves.We shall not say anything further/IJ A Sregarding the repast, of which each onepartook greedily, even the sulky littleEmma. We may state, however, that each and allleft the table not being able to eat or drink anymore, and with all their clothes stained.'Let us play now,' said James, his mouth still halffull. Susan was again placed in her car, and her youngfriends seated round her on a piece of wood.Four little boys were harnessed, and two put be-hind as footmen.James, in his garb of Blue Beard' (a man whohad plenty of gold and silver), finding it very humiliat-ing to be on foot, mounted a wheel-barrow, sword inhand-the unfortunate sword which no art couldbring out of its scabbard. Two robbers still re
20 EXPERIENCE TEA CES.mained, and these were to be Blue Beard's horses.James gave a signal to start, the fairy was to goa few paces in advance, and off they set withher at a grand gallop through the garden, breakingthe branches off the bushes, and trampling all theflowers.'Blue Beard is coming!' cried suddenly a voicenear the car.The fairy raised her eyes and said, 'Haste, haste,my friends, or he will kill me !''Blue Beard is coming!' again rang through theair, and the fairy said once more,' Haste, more haste,or my life will be in danger !'The horses, obedient to their mistress, ran hard,so hard that they slipped and fell with the car, thefairy, and all her attendants.The little girls rolled over each other, and fairySusan got her nose all cut.Blue Beard, without the least feeling, thought tocapture the fairy, and so profit by this accident, butthe horses regained their footing, and commencedanew their gallop.Blue Beard remounted his barrow, and the pursuitbegan afresh.There is at the end of every large garden a pit,
EXPERIENCE TEACHES.2Iwhich is reserved to dispose of bad roots, witheredleaves, broken branches, and such things.It was towards this pit they were now approaching,and here the pretended murder was to take place.But they could not continue long at the rate theywere going at without exposing themselves to danger.The horses again slipped, and the fairy and her cornpanions were in a few seconds thrown into a bed ofnettles, while Blue Beard was pitched, sitting swordin hand, into the middle of a thorn bush.
22 EXPERIENCE TE CHES.One would think that the Fates had given the wordfor the catastrophe, as all came down together.All the children cried bitterly, poor Blue Beardlouder than any, for he was pricked to the quick bythe thorns.The horses were the least injured, and soon con-trived to rescue the illustrious travellers. Blue Beardrequired the aid of all to extricate him from the thornbush, for the thorns penetrated his very flesh, fromwhich the blood oozed, causing him the most ex-cruciating pain.The fairy left half her pretty dress on the shaft ofthe car, and to add to their misfortunes-they had alleaten so much-the continued jolting had upset theirstomachs and made them deadly sick.This put a full stop to their amusements.' I really believe they put castor-oil in the cakes,'said little Emma.'I 'm very sure they did,' said Nannie; and if Iwere you, I would go and bring the confectioner toorder.'It was getting dark, and a thick rain was beginningto fall.'We must take shelter in the pavilion,' said Susan,a little recovered from her emotion.
EXPERIENCE TEA CHES. 23They all ran, James alone excepted, who couldneither run nor sit without the most intense pain;but two of the horses returned for him, and he draggedhimself along with their help.There were a great many seats in the pavilionwhere they rested (James again excepted). Theywatched the rain falling, and this amused them fora while, but poor James did not even smile.He forgot everything. The captain of the robbers,Blue Beard, his sword and moustache, were all ofno account to him now.His companions laughed at him.' One would think that Blue Beard had broken hissword,' said one.'No,' said another, 'he broke the thorn bush.''I suppose he will never be able to sit again,' saida third.The little girls laughed heartily at these jokes madeat poor James's expense.' If you do not leave me alone Iwill strike you,' saidJames, whose accident had made him very irritable.' Hold your tongues; you must say no more to him,'said Susan.His naughty companions then left him, imitatingthe way he tried to walk.
24 EXPERIENCE TEACHES.Children as they were, they could not contentthemselves for a few minutes, but began to run in andout of their place of shelter, each trying to beat theother by remaining longest under the rain; and theend of it was that they all got wet from head to foot.There was a pond near the pavilion, and one ofthe boys, more courageous than the others, got up onthe edge and began to dance round it; but he verysoon danced into the middle of it, which excited ashout of laughter from his comrades. James evencould not help laughing, and his only regret was thathe could not at this moment prove himself to be thebravest of the brave.The boy's example was likely to be largely followed,for another was getting on the brink, when Mrs. Laurie,who had been watching them from the window, sentMary to make them cease such dangerous tricks.'Come, ladies and gentlemen,' said Mary, Punchhas arrived, and mistress says you must all come inat once.'The children ran towards the house; their clotheswere in such a state that they looked like so manygipsies.James had to take Mary's arm. 'What has hap.penedto you,_Master James she asked.
QoWhat has happened to you, Master James ? Page 24.
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EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.27'I have hurt my foot,' said he.The showman had erected his little theatre in acorer of the drawing-room; all his puppets wereready, waiting for the audience.The sight of this new attraction threw the childreninto great admiration; but at the same time that theywere shouting with enthusiasm, they were answeredby a cry of astonishment.'See what a state they're in!' said all theirmothers, who had come to be present at therepresentation, and to spend the evening.'Wet to thevery skin!' said Mrs. Laurie,feeling them.'And you, Andrew,' said the mother of the little'boy who had fallen into the pond, 'the water isactually dripping off you.''I'm afraid they'll all get ill,' said Mrs. Laurie.'Mary, come quick and undress those children andput them all to bed, and see that they are kept warm.''Oh! mamma,' said Susan, 'let us see Punch andJudy.''Certainly, that you may all take fever-no, no, tobed at once, and a good basin of porridge for yoursupper is all you shall have.'The children went away in tears, looking back at thetheatre which had promised them so much pleasure.
28 EXPERIENCE TEACHES.'There's no use in crying now, the evil is done;you might have been more rational in your choice ofamusements.'Beds were made for the boys in the dining-room,and for the little girls in the drawing-room.Their mothers had work enough getting them un-dressed, well rubbed, and then rolled in blankets.Mrs. Laurie's house was more like an infirmarythan anything else.The little imprudent guests were taken home thatnight in their mothers' arms, or by their nurses.They were all inconsolable at not having seenPunch and Judy.The showman had to be well paid, although henever opened his mouth.When the visitors had all dispersed, Mrs. Lauriewent to see how Susan and James were, and foundthem both very sad indeed.'Well, my children,' said she, 'are you satisfiednow ?'They never spoke a word.'That is not all, we must settle our little bills. Ihave made out an account of your expenses.'The children looked at each other with astonish-ment.
EXPERIENCE TEA CHES.29Mrs. Laurie then read over the following items:-'To cakes and cordial,.. o. o c,, eight days' work to put the garden inorder,. o 6,, repairing a little carriage (of which thesprings are broken),. o c,, an Indian muslin frock (torn to ribbons), I o1 c,, new French kid boots (soles completelyoff), .. 15 cJames's trousers (quite useless), o 15 cThis makes in all, 65 6 o-and half of this sum each of you must pay me.Susan has already given a half-sovereign to Mary foicakes, etc., which will be deducted from her share;'The children began to cry bitterly.'But, mamma,' said Susan, you never told us-''What? That you would do so many absurdthings? I could never have thought such a thing,my dear children.'' Not that,' said James, but that we would haveto pay for everything out of our own money.'' Do $u really think then that we can afford tolose 5, 6s. in one day, just to give you a few hours'liberty ? and not only that, but also what I had topay the showman, who could not come to the countrywith his theatre to please you for nothing.'
30. EXPERIENCE : T CES.'We knew nothing about the showman,' saidSusan. -'Then doyou think you can guide yourselvesfrom this time forward I''Here, mamma, take my money-I have only asmuch as would buy Cook's Voyages round the World,that I was so anxious to get,' said James, withoutanswering his mother directly.'And I cannot get the last volume of my bookeither,' said Susan, after paying her share.' You should have thought of all that before, mychildren, and calculated the consequences of yourconduct.''If we had only known,' said the children.'You know now, and you have paid dearly foryour lesson; but remember that only"Experience teaches."'&
.4~~~~~.. -' A o RR 4 q!n e-- -h z-~ I, IOHN and George got associ-ated in the suburbs of London,where their parents were in thehabit of going every summer.John could not live withoutGeorge, nor George withoutJohn-'t was all their happinessto be together.; and when their lessons were done,they lost no time in going to their. meeting-place ;-they used each to come half-way along the road thatseparated their two houses.Their friendship had also extended itself to theother members of their families.81
3-2DO YOUR DUTYJulia, John's sister, also shared in the amusementsof the two friends, when their play was suitable fora girl.More frequently the two boys went alone into thelarge public park, where they might vary their amuse-ments as they pleased.They sometimes happened to meet with a rabbitor a hare, to which Neptune-a fine dog who alwaysaccompanied the boys-gave chase, but never suc-i ceeded in catching.Then they would say, Oh if we only had a gun,'to console themselves.
COME WHAT WILL33John's father was a doctor, and his large practicecalled him every day to the city. He left his countryhouse in the morning about seven o'clock, and seldomreturned before the same hour at night. This pre-vented him joining, but rarely, the two children intheir walks.George's father had no settled occupation, so hetook them often for a row on the river; he himselfbeing very fond of boating.George, trained by his father, could swim like afish. As to John, he could never succeed in makingtwo strokes; fear paralyzed his movements in thewater. But for all that, his taste for swimming andboating was something most singular.Summer and part of autumn had passed awaythus, and they were soon at the end of vacation.Of the two friends, George only was attendingSchool. John, who was a little delicate in health,always remained at home. However, his fatherthought that the regular life of a college or schoolwould improve both his health and studies.John, to whom this was made known, asked to besent to the same school as George; and to this hisfather readily consented.The joy the two friends was very great at thisc
.66 YouR DuTy34news; and they only thought of the pleasure theywould have in not being separated.The establishment to which they were sent wasneither a college nor yet an ordinary school. It wasan institution, a few miles out of the city, where boyswere taken at a very high premium, and where greatattention was paid to them; the number of pupilsbeing quite reserved.John and George now studied together, playedtogether, slept together-if not in the same bed, atleast in the same chamber.No one would have thought that this kind offriendship was so soon to cease.John, as we have already said, had never beforeleft home; and he had been accustomed to receivethere far too indulgent treatment for his own good.Consequently, the discipline and routine of school-life at first surprised, and afterwards disgusted him.There were six things connected with it which hefound insupportable.ist. He was obliged to rise every morning at sixo'clock.2d. He wasonlyallowed a quarter of anhourtodress.3d. He had to do his exercises well, under pain ofbeing deprived of recreation.
COMIE WHA T WILL.354th. The time allowed for play was too short.5th. His companions often laughed at him.6th. He found the food not quite to his taste.John would not venture to complain of the rulesto his companions, for they all seemed pleasedenough, but he used to go to the master and com-plain of his companions; one insulted him, anotherlaughed at him, etc.The master on such occasions would only say,' Nonsense that will all help to form your character.'John, quite furious, determined to tell his mother;he knew well he was sure of consolation from her,and that he would likely be taken home, but he wouldnot do anything until he had first told George.One night, when they were preparing to go to bed,John found courage to say,-
:136 DO YOUR DUTY'George, do you not find this custom of rising andgoing to bed at stated times most tiresome X To beforced to work at our lessons when one would ratherjump and run in the garden Not to be allowed tospeak a word during study under pain of getting fivehundred lines to write; to have to eat what you don'trelish, and, in fine, to live with a lot of fools who donothing but annoy you !'' What is it you want ?-this is school-life.'' And if it is, is it nothing to you ''Not at all, I don't mind it; and besides, I havebeen accustomed to it for two years.''And do you like it?' asked John, with a sigh.'Indeed I do,' said George; 'and I assure you-Iam never sorry when vacation is over, to come backto school again.''I would not believe that.''Well then, you may; and besides, you know wemust all go through our school life.''Yes, but one might study in some more amusingmanner, and if you will only-' John hesitated.'If I would what ''Well, listen, we can easily find some means ofgetting away from here.''Yes, but only to get into some other school,
COME WHAT WILL. 37where we should likely not be half so happy,' saidGeorge.'No,-but to study at home.''Fine study we would have there,' replied George,laughing. 'When I leave this, 'twill be to go to ahigher school.'Then I will get away as soon as I can.''You are talking nonsense-let us go to sleep;that will do you some good,' replied George, who infive minutes after slept soundly.At six o'clock next morning, the terrible clockwoke the two friends.'Good morning, John,' said George gaily.'Good morning, George,' replied John very coldly.'Are you really angry with me, my old friend I''Yes; and that because you are very selfish.''Me!' said George, with surprise.'Yes indeed; you are pleased to stay here, and't is only for this that you want me to remain.'"T is that we may be together.''Were we not together before V''Yes, in the country, but not in the city.''Well, then, and might we not have the same tutorat home ? We could go one week to your house andthe next at mine. We could play when our work is
38DO YOUR DUTYdone without always having a master to watch us, andyou know that we should get far better things to eatthan we do here.''Now you are speaking like a gormandizer,' repliedGeorge, laughing.'For all that you are as fond of nice food as I am.''I daresay I am.''Well then, why not do as I ask ''And what is it you really want me to do?''To tell our parents that we are badly treated here,and you to pretend that you are sick as well as me,then we shall be sure to be taken home.''You know well, John, that I will not tell a lie.''I don't think it such a difficult thing to do.''That depends entirely on your disposition,' saidGeorge.'Listen, and I will whisper what you need do,' saidJohn, playfully....'If it were only that, I could do it as well alone-but I would blush ten times for every lie-and youknow papa would very soon guess all.'' Well, then, I '11 speak, and you will have nothing todo but to make signs of approval with your head.''Be like a piece of wood,' said George, mockinghim. '-No, no, my dear John, papa always told me
COME WHAT WILL. 39that lying, either by word or action, was a vile, sinfulpractice, that it was denying one's self, and I knowwhat he says is true. The best thing for you is tohave a little patience, and you will very soon becomeaccustomed to school life and its duties, and I doubtnot you will come to like it just as well as I do.'The bell rang for class and interrupted their con-versation.John, seeing that his friend refused to act as hisaccomplice, changed his battery, and the very sameday wrote the following private letter to his mother:-' MY DEAR MOTHER,-I did not wish to give youAny pain by telling you how unhappy I have beensince I left you, but I am so much so now that Icannot keep silent any longer; above all to you, whoare always so kind and loving.'All went on well enough for a few days after Icame here, and I regretted nothing, excepting, ofcourse, the being separated from you and papa, alsoJulia. George and I were constantly speaking ofyou, and that consoled me a little. But all at oncethings began to change. My companions all turnedagainst me, and I cannot imagine what for. Theybegan to call me all sorts of names, such as MasterPill, Master the Sick, etc., etc. Even George, who
40DO YOUR DUTYup to this had taken my part, turned on their side,and I must tell you he is now the bitterest of themall. He even wakes me during the night, and attacksme, although he knows right well how much loss ofsleep tells on my health.'Then, mamma, the food here is very bad alwaysrice, and nasty puddings; and they put salt in every-thing in place of butter, which gives me the mostfearful pains in my stomach.' You know very well how particular papa was intelling me to take my pills regularly, and when I askthem of the housekeeper, she always says, "Howannoying you are, child, with your pills." 'Twas fromher that the boys got the nickname of " Master Pill."If this sort of work goes on, I'm sure I shall turn ill again.'I beg of you, dear mamma, to come and makethem cease, only do not say a word about this letter,not even to George, for they would all annoy mestill more if they knew. You will say everything youthink fit, only never a word about my writing.-Your respectful and devoted son, JOHN.'John's letter, as may be seen, was a written liefrom beginning to end. However, it had the de.sired effect, for his mother arrived next day.
COIME WdAT WILL.4IShe first asked for the head master, and found outfrom him how he was pleased with her son; if hishealth was good, offering at the same time to payextra that he might be supplied with delicacies notgiven to the other boys. Then she next begged thathe would see that John's companions did not tormenthim, and, in fine, that he would not ask him to worktoo hard at his tasks, on account of his delicatehealth.The master promised all she wished, and she lefthim perfectly satisfied.John and George were then sent to her. Sheembraced the two friends, and begged them to loveeach other, and never to quarrel-in a word, to live,as they should, like brothers.She was accompanied by a servant, who broughtwith her a large box filled with the choicest sweet-meats. She desired that John would distribute themat play-time among his companions.'T is superfluous to add how well such a gift wasreceived by all the children, and they even went asfar as to cry, Long live John three cheers for him.'His excellent mother wished thus to gain for himthe friendship of his little companions.She next saw the housekeeper, to whom she gave
42DO. YOUR DUTYa sovereign, begging of her to be very attentive toher little son, and to continue to give him his pillsregularly.Then she took leave of John and George, em-bracing them affectionately.John was very much disappointed, and he resolved,come what would, that he should betaken home. He accordingly began fto think of some other plan to arrive at his wished-for end.Three weeks 'passed, during which time John didlittle else than cry and fret.He ate scarcely anything, so that they might thinkhe was ill. He did all his exercises badly, underpretence that his fearful headache prevented himpreparing them properly.They could not speak a word to him, either in
COME WHAT WILL.43affection or indifference, without being answered bya flood of tears, which led one almost to believe thathe had a flood-gate in his head which he could openat will.He became quite ridiculous, and his impatiencetowards his masters and companions gained for hima new name, The Weeping Pill.'The children continued to laugh at him duringrecreation, although they had been often punishedfor doing so. George did all in his power to makethem leave his friend alone, but 't was of no use; theywould not stop laughing at him.John went one day, with tears in his eyes, andmade a sad complaint to the head master, who, to/please him, deprived the boys of their play-hour foitwo days.From this forward, John was hated by all; he wasthe black sheep with every one, excepting George,who, in his good nature, never guessing that he wasplaying the hypocrite, pitied him sincerely, and feltvery much to see him such a butt for all his school-fellows.John, faithful to his new system, did not say a wordto his friend.In a few days from this time, John's mother
44DO YOUR DUTYarrived again at the school, and without listening toa word of explanation from any one, took her sonaway.George knew nothing of John's departure for sometime after he had left. The poor child was as sur-prised as he was inconsolable.This was the letter which caused John's mother toact as she did:-' M DEAR MAMMA,-YOU were so kind to everyone when you came here to see me, that I thoughtthey would have given me some peace.'But far from that, they continued to laugh atme again the very night you left-saying that I wasan ugly tell-tale, who had complained of them to mymother, and made her come here with sweetmeats tobuy their friendship for me-and that they detestedme now more than ever. As I felt very much painedat what they said, I could not restrain my tears.Then they called me " Flood-gate," and "Valley ofTears." They turned me out of their plays at recrea-tion, and tormented me in every way they couldimagine.' The master being there, I begged him to deliverme from their coarse jests. He came to my assistance.
COME WHA T fWILL.45and deprived them of any play-hour for two daysThis only increased their fury against me. Georgeshared the- same fate as the rest. 'Tis he has ahorrid disposition. I would never have believed thathe could act as he has done towards me. He saidhe would have me expelled from the:_________ school, because he hated me. He-Cwf ^told them too that my sister was alittle goose, and that papa was a quack-doctor. Hesaid all this because he is so much stronger than me,and he knew that I could have no revenge.'All these annoyances give me such violent head-aches, that I am not able to do anything. Theygive me my pills, but they do not cure the dreadfulpains in my chest and stomach, on account of thehorrid food we get.'You will see mamma, that I am not well talencare of here, and that I am far from being happy. But.
46DO YOUR DUT'no matter-I will try to accustom myself to every-thing, as papa is so anxious that I should remain.-Believe me, my dear mamma, your devoted son,'JOHN.'The day after, George received a visit from hisfather, at the school. He came, he said, to get anexplanation of the two letters he held in his hand-giving them, at the same time, to his son for perusal.George read them attentively, and, 'tis needless toadd, with much surprise. He looked at his fatherwith tears in his eyes. Did he really write suchthings 1 and on the very paper I gave him.''Then there is no truth in all this V' said his father.' Certainly not, papa,''I thought so, and said as much.'George then told his father all that had passedbetween John and himself; and his story had not aword of falsehood in it, and showed plainly enoughthe motive of John's conduct.George's father knew well how much his son fearedto tell a lie. "Tis all right now, George,' said he,' your word is quite sufficient for me.''But, papa, is the friendship between John and meto be broken like this 1'
X COME WHAT WIZL..47. 'You need never regret losing thLfriendship of abad companion,' replied his father.'I suppose his father, mother, and sister will notspeak to me either ?''We shall see; however, remember well what Ihave often told you-Do your duty, come what will.'Tis the best rule of conduct to follow through life,for man as well as child; 't is the only way we shallenjoy a peaceful conscience.'When the father and son went to pay a visit toJohn's mother, to explain the matter, she simply senther servant to say that she was not at home forvisitors.''Come away, we are entirely cut,' said George'sfather; 'but no matter, we owed her this visit, andnow they may act as they please.'The two families ceased to see each other, withoutany explanation.Summer had again come round-and all who couldafford it went to enjoy the repose of country life forthe season.John was again at the same place with his parents,not far from George's house.When the two former friends happened to meeton their walks, John, whose conscience always re-
48DO YOUR DUTY Xproached him, invariably tried to avoid George, andturned some other way.This was his first punishment.George always remembered with pleasure the happydays they had spent together last summer; and re-gretted very much the breach that now existedbetween them.'At all events, I have nothing to reproach myselfwith,' said he to himself.One day while George was lying alone on the banksof the river, where they had formerly spent so manypleasant hours together, his thoughts running on thepast-sad at heart to have been so falsely spoken of,and by one for whom he had such a sincere friend-ship,-his day-dream was disturbed by the noise of aboat approaching. He looked up the river, and therehe saw John and Julia in a little boat. The brotherand-sister were allowing themselves to float on with' the current, which was drawing, them under the treesthat overhung the banks of the river. 'Twas veryeasily seen that they were afraid that some one mightfollow them from home, for they spoke in whispers.George hid himself, but continued to watch themwith the greatest attention. He soon heard John sayto his sister, 'Do you see that place which the
COME WHA T WILL.49branches of that old tree are hiding-well, there areplenty of fish in a hole there.''T was the very same tree behind whose massivetrunk George was lying.'I wonder what they are going to do ?' said he tohimself.A few seconds later John, by aid of a gaff, gotunder the tree, and said to his sister-' Now, let youhold the gaff well, and I will fish here with the basket.I'm sure I shall get at least a hundred. How aston-ished mamma will be to see all the white fish in ouraquariums.''You must not tell her anything, and she will thinkthat the gold fish have all turned white,' said Julia, gaily.'Yes, but we must hurry,' said John.'That's true,' replied Julia;' mamma might miss us,and you know how strictly she forbade us to leavethe house.''Don't mind that now-you hold firm by the tree,and then she will not ever find us.'George felt it his duty to warn them of the dangerthey were running into; but, on the other hand, hewas so close to them he was afraid to move lest heshould startle them.John dipped his basket down, and leaned soD
:t50 DO YOUR DUTEYheavily out of the boat that Julia lost her footing andtumbled, gaff and all, into the water.She immediately sank. Three piercing screamswere heard in a minute. The first from John, thesecond from his mother, who had just seen them froma distance and heard the splash. The third fromGeorge, who, without the least hesitation, leapedclothes and all into the river. He soon reappeared,pushing before him Julia, who had not time to loseher senses, and brought her safe and sound to hermother's arms, whose fear was dreadful to behold.She threw herself on her knees, and rubbed herdaughter until she got her warm.During this time John was so frightened at whathad happened that he forgot himself, and was float-ing away in the middle of the river.George again went to the rescue, and succeeded inbringing the boat to the shore.John, more dead than alive from fright, fell themoment he got on the bank.'You disobedient children !' said the poor mother,'what evil spirit tempted you to commit such an act VShe then raised her eyes towards George, whom upto this she had neither recognised nor thanked,-shewas so much put about.
'Julia tumbled, gaff and all, into the water.' Page So.
52 DO YOUR DUTY'How! is it you, George, that saved the life of mylittle Julia and she embraced him with a mother'saffection. 'You might have been drowned yourself,my poor child, in trying to save her.''I can swim,' replied George, modestly; 'and,besides, papa always told me, "Do your duty, comewhat will."'John's mother turned round and looked on her son,and said, 'Is this the friend you have painted sowicked i'George said nothing.'Oh! mamma,' cried John, 'forgive me; what Isaid was a lie-a terrible lie from beginning to end-all I wanted was to get away from school.''0 John You acted very wrongly to have thuscalumniated your friend and deceived your mother-your conduct is unpardonable.'' Madam, forgive him, it was not the dictation of abad heart, 't was more the promptings of a greedystomach,' said George, laughing.'I cannot forgive him,' said the mother;' I blushfor him.''I beg, madam, here and now, that you will for.give and forget as I do,' said George, throwing hisarms round John's neck.
COME WHA T WILL.'Well, George, in gratitude to you, I do so; andmay God grant that the lesson of nobility of disposi-tion you have this day shown him, may not be loston my erring son! If the like should ever occuragain, he would be an object of contempt to me.''Oh mamma, I will promise you faithfully.'-'And I trust, sir, you will keep your word, for Ifeel humbled at your conduct.'That night John's parents went and made theirexcuses to George's father and mother, and beggedthey would favour them with their presence at a feastthey had prepared in gratitude to George forhis bravery.They consented, and on arriving they found thegarden brilliantly illuminated, and between two treesmight be read in variegated lights this wise proverb-'Do your duty, come what will.'f 6 '~~~
f,- -%-VI I0TcOhe g1aufotll Woba jaunts last>3')r9I- O LIVER, my dear child. 't is all verywell to laugh, but laughing always atanother's expense, I warn you, nevercomes to good.'' Oh papa, but 't was so funny.''To you it may appear so, but tome, I tell you seriously, it gives a greatdeal of pain to be listening every day tofresh complaints of your conduct. Andthen what is the meaning of it Goingin to a grocer, and asking him for apound of rice, and when he gives it to you, laughingin his face, saying, "Put this aside, 'tis the kind5'a.
HE LAUGHS WELL, ETC. 55without dust I want." Then, at another time, tying abone to the handle of a bell, so that all the dogsmight pull it when passing, and, perhaps, disturbsome poor man who only seeks to live at peace withhimself and the world. This kind of lame tricks,and many others that I have neither time nor inclina-tion to mention, may make you laugh, but suchnonsensical trash must be put a stop to, for the very,next time I hear of anything like this, I will take youmyself, and let the party you have offended revengehimself by boxing your ears.'Oliver'was a fine boy about thirteen years of age,who never could keep his love of tricks and humourwithin proper bounds. However, after the foregoinglecture, he faithfully promised his father to be better,for he had never been spoken to so seriously be-fore. The promise was honestly kept for severaldays, but when the first opportunity offered, he soonfell, as will be seen, from his newly-formed resolu-tion.Mr. Hardy, Oliver's father, was a plain countrygentleman, and lived in a little village some six milesout of the city, whither he had retired after the deathof his wife. His motive for choosing this retreatwas that Oliver's health might be benefited by the
56 eH1E LA UGHS WELLcountry air, and also that he might attend an un-usually good school a short distance out of the village,in which he might get a great deal of that early edu-cation which is now more than ever indispensable toevery one.Oliver was a day pupil, and his walk to and fromschool was a great boon to him.He was the leader in mischief of some eight or tenlittle boys who served him well.The little band was released from school everyevening at four o'clock, winter as well as summer, andnearly every day they planned some new project,which was no sooner thought of than carried outThe first time that Oliver broke out, after hispromise, was some five days after his father repri-manded him. He and his companions were re-turning from school, when they thought it would begreat fun to ring furiously the bell of a house whichthey had to pass, and then hide themselves.In this house lived a very learned gentleman andhis housekeeper. He studied, among other things,the science of astronomy very minutely, and thecountry folks used to say he could speak to the stars.The little mischief-makers advanced in a line, Oliverat their head, passed close by the garden wall, and
WHO LA UGHS LAST.57when they reached the garden gate, they rangviolently, and all ran off as quick as they could.The housekeeper lost no time in answering thesummons, and looked on all sides, but could see noone. She then went in, muttering between herteeth, 'Some fools, I suppose.'The little boys, well hidden, laughed heartily attheir success. Once begun, they did not find iteasy to stop. A poor man passed them who wasterribly deformed, and a nervous twitching which hehad in his face made him look very ugly.'Oh! oh cried Oliver, beginning to imitate thepoor man. The other boys soon followed his ex-ample, and they all tried to make game of the
58 HE LAUGHS WELLafflicted man, who looked at them with surprise.He no sooner stopped than the boys did the same.He walked on again, but so rapidly that they couldnot keep pace with him. However, they followedhim all the same, and this exasperated the poor manbeyond measure. He raised his cane and gave thosehe succeeded in catching a good whipping. Theothers ran off laughing.A short distance further on theymet a travelling mer-chant in a little cart, which was drawn by a donkey.He was selling sundry articles of apparel, and as hecried and sold his goods at the same time, he drew agreat number round his little shop. Come, ladies,buy my fine stockings, fine socks, handkerchiefs, allselling cheap. Come buy, and you will be able togive an agreeable surprise to your husbands. I havenight-caps that need only to be put on, and sleepwill come directly, even if it be at mid-day, when thesun is at his height. Come I ladies, profit by mysale.''What a noisy wretch,' said Oliver; 'no matter, letus have a laugh at his expense.'The little band, full of confidence in their leader,asked for no explanation, but followed him into themiddle of the crowd
WHO LA UGHS LASST59'Well, indeed, I have been promising my nurse apresent this long time, and I will buy now from thisman a dozen of handkerchiefs,' said Oliver in a loudvoice. The merchant heard the words, and maderoom for Oliver to come nearer. 'Come, my younggentleman, here are superb ones, 'tis not often thatI have them so very good, but I bought this lot forthe wife of a banker, who has become insolvent since,so they have remained on my hands.''Coloured handkerchiefs for a banker's wife !' saidOliver, laughing.'Aye, sir, but she took snuff.''Oh! that makes a great difference-my nursedoes not.''Then, sir, if you wish for white, here are admir-able ones,' said the merchant, handing him a package.'Those are a little too coarse,' said Oliver, afterhaving examined them with great attention.'Then here are finer ones.''Are these the best you can give me V askedOliver.' I have others, in cambric, for very delicate noses,'said the merchant.' Let us have a look at them,' said Oliver, gravely.'Yes, provided you don't mind the price,' and the
60HE LA UGHS WELLmerchant went to the very end of his van and pro-duced a dozen of fine handkerchiefs, which he had inreserve for very particular customers.'Those are really good,' said Oliver, unfoldingthem.' You may say that, for they are only fit to be usedat a ball,' replied the poor merchant.'That's true,' said Oliver, blowing his nose in themiddle of one, and then he threw the whole lot inthe merchant's face, and fled off with all speed, fol-lowed by his companions.All who surrounded the poor man laughed at the
WHO LA UGHS LAST. 61trick, and he was stupefied and humbled to have beenmade such a dupe of. He was crimson with rage,and would willingly have gone after Oliver had hebeen at liberty to leave his little shop, but he knewif he left his cart that it would be only too easy forthe bystanders to take anything that tempted them,so he had to content himself with having the will,though not the means, for revenge, but hoped heshould have an opportunity of meeting Oliver soonagain.Our mischievous boys were by this time all in theirrespective homes, quite innocent of the evil that wasin store for them.The next day, they meditated the same trick oiringing the bell on their way home from school, butseeing a heap of stones and lime outside the gate,evidently intended for some repairs inside, Oliversaid, 'Wait a while, we shall make some change inamusements to-day; and as we have to do with aphilosopher, we must invent a more ingenious trickthan merely ringing his bell.'The garden gate was at the end of an enclosure,and the wall was about ten feet high. It was neces-sary to pass through this gate to get to the house.Olver and his companions blocked up the gate with
62HE LA UGHS WELLthe stones to the very top. They only regretted thatthey had no prepared lime to cement their work.With this expression of regret, they rang the bell asbefore, and then hid themselves as near at hand asthey possibly could, to see what kind of look thehousekeeper would give when she saw what they hadbeen doing.They soon heard her steps coming along the garden
WHO LA UGHS LASST63walk. 'Here she comes,' said they to each other,trembling with joy and impatience. In a minutemore they heard the key turn in the lock, then shepressed her knee hard against the gate, thinking thatthe lock was unusually stiff, but 't was no use. Shethen cried as loud as she could, 'What is the mean-ing of this Master, master, there is a wall herebuilt up against the gate.'Our young mischief-makers, well hidden, wereroaring with laughter.The philosopher, attracted by the voice of hishousekeeper, soon came out.'What's wrong, Catherine, that you make such anoise ?''Come here, sir, and you will soon see a nicebusiness.'' What's the meaning of this said the philosopher,'they have walled us up, Catherine; this is a prettytrick indeed.' ,'Do you really think this is to play a trick on us,sir?' said Catherine.' Indeed it is, here we are in prison, condemned todie of hunger and thirst !''Oh sir, are we really to die of starvation ''Now, Catherine, hold your tongue; there is no
64HE LA UGHS WELIuse losing your temper for a bit, till we know the result.;,'? Give me that pair of tongs you are holding carelessly.in your hand.' The philosopher, with this utensil,managed in a few minutes to throw the stones down,that had cost Oliver and his companions so muchwosk to buildThe boysdiA.r wait long enough to see the laststone down; -they ran'off for fear they might be giveninto the hands of the polce.Catherine was not at all satisfied that the culpritshad escaped her so easily.'Now, Catherine,' said the philosophers' was thereany necessity to make such a row? I>:Ir t havebeen a trick played by some little school-boys.'- 'The young villains! let them take-care, I will: -a emake their ears hot enough for this yet.'.'Your idea is not bad, Catherine, butiyou forgetthat their ears have better legs than yours.' .i :'You will see, sir; I must have some satisfaction.''Oh I won't prevent you.''Now, sir, this is the second time that theyjbroughtmed from the kitchen to the door, and jut at thedinner hour too. Oh that reminds me-that theturkey will be burnt.' So saying, off she ra.n as fastas possible to the kitchen. ; ...
WHO LAUGHS LAST.65The philosopher did not go in until he had put allthe stones in their former place.Oliver and his companions were on the look-outfor some other source of amusement.On their road home they had to pass some verypretty little white-washed cottages; in one of themlived a woman, well known to all her neighbours ashaving a most violent temper-in fine, she was a truevirago; not a week did she let pass without havingsundry rows with those-who had the misfortune tohave anything to do with her. Only the day beforeshe turned out .her servant, but not before giving hersome severe blows.Oliver was passing at the time, and saw all, and sohe knew that to-day Mrs. Lawrence (that was hername) was all alone, and an idea occurred to himthat he would be only acting with justice in havingsome little revenge on her for her treatment of otherpeople. He was planning some trick, when a littledog came up to him. That's a pretty little animal,'said Oliver, who idolized pets. He took the dog inhis arms, and the little beast began at once to lickhis face and hands. How pretty he is 1' repeatedOliver. I tell you, boys, what we will do-I havea grand trick-come, all follow me.'
66HE LA UGHS WELLOliver, followed by the troop, then directed hissteps towards Mrs. Lawrence's house, but he nevertold them what he was going to do. He still heldthe little dog most tenderly in his arms.'Madam, madam,' cried Oliver, stopping at thelittle cottage.She did not answer.' Madam, madam !' he repeated in a most excitedvoice.'What is it you want, my dears said Mrs.Lawrence, at last appearing at the window up-stairs.'We have something to tell you, madam, of thegreatest importance. Will you be so kind as to openthe door
WHO LA UGHS LAST.67'Tell me what it is, for I have no servant to openthe door, and I cannot go myself until I have finishedmy toilet''Oh madam, do not refuse, I beg of you to comeat once.''Then wait a minute until I put something on myhead.' 'Well, my little friends, what have yougot to tell me in such haste V' said she, appearing atthe window down stairs.:' Oh I madam, one of my little friends has becomesuddenly very ill;' and Oliver pointed at the onei.ext him, who had cheeks as red as roses.' What that great healthy boy !''Yes, madam; and as we are very far from home,we should feel obliged if you would-'' Give him a glass of water,' said the virago, whowas possessed of a very generous heart.'No, madam, we would not ask you for so much.'' What is it you want then, my children 1'Oliver assumed a very serious air and tone. 'Heis quite faint, madam, and very nervous.''How is it then he looks so very strong T''It is not him at all, 't is Fido.''And which is Fido V''My little dog, madam; and he wishes to know
68HE LAUGHS WELLif you would prefer taking him in or sending himnext door.'His little friends were not prepared for this jest, soit amused them the more, and they all began tolaugh.Mrs. Lawrence, full of indignation, said-'Youyoung wretches wait, and I will soon correct yourimpudence.'But, as of yore, our little rascals were soon inadvance-thanks to the agility of their young legs.They might surely have been satisfied with themischief they had done for one day, but the oppor-tunities to do wrong are, alas, too frequent in thisworld; and whenever a fresh one presented itself tothem, they were only too glad to take advantageof it.Two carters, who were engaged in driving stonesfrom a quarry, had just stopped at a public-house-as much to refresh themselves, as to give a fewminutes' rest to their horses, when the boys came up.Oliver, who had very keen sight, saw that therewas a long rope trailing after the second cart,-and'>that close by was a cobbler's stall, which was on fourwheels. He thought it would be capital fun to attachthe rope to the stall, so that when the cart went off
WHO LAUGHS LAST 69the stall would follow. He communicated this newproject to his companions, who all pronounced it anexcellent idea. The execution of this work wasmore difficult than the conception-because thecobbler was in his stall, and if he saw all the boysabout it, he would be almost sure to suspect thatthey were going to play some trick upon him. Thecarters were less to be feared, for they forgot every-thing when they began to drink. Oliver calculatedthe for and against-and as he was a most determinedcharacter, he resolved to do the best he could alone.He accordingly made his companions go on a little,and keep a look-out, but to appear as if they weredoing nothing.These precautions taken, Oliver stole like a catafter a mouse, and glided gently between the cartand the stall.The cobbler was singing and keeping time withhis hammer on the heel of a shoe; but it must besaid, in passing, that his notes were very false.'Wait, wait, my man-I '11 soon make you sing inbetter tune,' said Oliver to himself, just finishingfastening the rope to the stall.The cobbler was so much pleased with himself,that he took no notice whatever of the child.
70oHE LA UGHS WELLOliver, when all was done, hastened to rejoin hiscompanions.'Well, is it all right ?' they asked.'Certainly; and I assure you it is well done.'"T will be great fun to see the stall taking off theunconscious proprietor.'' How astonished he will be, besides; perhaps hewas never drawn by a horse before,' said Oliver.'I suppose not; he is only a cobbler.''Then he will get a good ride for nothing,' repliedOliver; but we must not remain here until the carterscome out, for they would very soon find us out.'There was a little plantation a short distance on,where the villagers used to go to play ball and otheigames, so in here our little band ran under pretext ofhaving a game at four corers.'Their play, as may be supposed, wanted animation,for their eyes were constantly turned towards thepublic-house.The two carters at last appeared, smacking theirlips, and gave the signal to the horses to move on.Don't stop playing,' said Oliver to his companions,who had all turned at the sound of the whip.The horses were soon in motion.Suddenly, they saw people running from all sides,
WHO LAUGHS LAST.?Iand clapping their hands. They saw also the stall ofMr. Martin moving away, but it did not go far whenitfell on the pavement with a loud crash.The carters did not notice it at first, on account ofthe noise made by their own carts, but continuedtheir way without ever knowing what had happened,still less that they were the involuntary cause of it.When Oliver and his companions saw about adozen persons round the cobbler's stall trying to liftit up, they ran too to take part in the scene, whichthey presumed would be very diverting. And in thishey were not mistaken.The stall was on its wheels again, the door wideopen, but they looked in vain for the cobbler, thoughthey had heard him singing a few minutes before.'There's no one here,' said a voice.'I tell you I heard him singing not ten minutesago,' said another.' That's true, for 'tis not half an hour since he gaveme my child's boots; let us look better for him-seewhat is this V'They found under a lot of sundry articles, thoughof course old boots and shoes were predominant, twoliving feet, to all appearance mixed up with the otherthings.
72HE LAUGHS WELL'We must pull him by the legs to get out the restof his body,' said a fat countryman.His advice was soon taken, and they at last suc-ceeded in bringing to view the poor cobbler, whosehead was covered with a large zinc house-bucket, thecontents of which must have been emptied on him.All the spectators shouted with loud laughter.'We must take off his hat,' said a fat woman, atthe same time suiting the action to the word.I1 " ,," ,"They could now see the face of the poor cobbler,which was most pitiful and ridiculous, and made the
WHO LAUGHS LAST.73crowd redouble their laughter. Oliver and his com-panions laughed louder than all the others.'For heaven's sake, what has happened Theremust have been an earthquake said the cobbler,drawing a long breath.' There must have been two,' said Oliver, a greatand a small one.''You are right, and if we are going to have earth-quakes just now,' said the cobbler, who was con-templating the havoc it had made on his little shop,'why, the world must be coming to an end.''One would think that the earth opened just underyour stall,' said Oliver with a very serious face andtone.'"Tis quite true,' replied the cobbler, still verymuch puzzled.' Tell me how you felt first,' said the woman whohelped to take the bucket off his head.'Well, I will. First, Mrs. Boffin, I was workingaway and practising a song for the new year, when,suddenly, I felt a great jolt that made me fall for-ward, and then another which pitched me back, myhead going into the bucket which was full of water,which I keep to steep my leather. Then after threeor four more jolts my head got so completely
74HE LAUGHS WELLburied that I was like to be smothered, and I thought'twas the end of the world. There's what I felt,Mrs. Boffin, and if it is agreeable to you to know,'t is not so to me.'The cobbler's speech only added to the mirth ofhis hearers.As it was getting late, Oliver and his companionshad now to hasten home. They left the cobbler,quite happy to have had so much amusement at hisexpense, and at their own ingenuity in leaving it tothe rest of the crowd to replace the cobbler and hisstall.The boys separated, saying, as they did every day,We will have more fun to-morrow.'They were determined that the philosopher andhis housekeeper should come first on their list asusual.The next morning Oliver rose earlier than was hiswont, and employed his time in preparing a new sur-prise for the good woman; a surprise which, he told hiscompanions, would make more noise than all theothers put together.He refused to tell them any more about it, butsaid that time would prove his words true.The moment of action had arrived, and their steps
, WHO LAUGHS LAST.75were directed towards the philosopher's house. Theyhalted half way to the gate, and rested under a fineItalian poplar tree.'Now,' said Oliver, 'as this is the third day wehave played our trick here at the same hour, it isvery likely the housekeeper will be on her guard; Imust make sure of this before we attempt anything.'He climbed half way up the tree, from where hecould see distinctly into the garden.'She's there,' cried he, delighted to have guessedso well.'Who they asked.'The housekeeper; she is ready for an attack behind the door; we will have fine fun.''If she catches us, it won't be so amusing,' said one.'No fear of that; however it will be better for youall to stay here.''Why so? asked the bravest of the band.'Because you would hinder me in what I want todo. You will be best off up here, so climb the treeas far as you can, and then you can tell me after.wards what you saw. Come, be quick! and keepvery quiet; before five minutes pass I will join you.'Oliver, after seeing his little followers lodged in thetree, went off. He went straight to the place where
C. HE LAUGHS WELLthe housekeeper was hiding. The sun was setting,and shed his rays sostrongly that the goodwoman never saw Oiver japproach.'Everything is in myfavour,' thought he.Then drawing from his pocketa little pistol, he loaded it anddischarged its contents in the air,and then ran off as fast as he could.The shot was fired within a fewyards of the housekeeper's ear.The unfortunate woman gave agreat scream, and then fell on theground, crying 'I'm dead! I'mdead! the villain'skilled me.'Oliver had by thistime rejoined his N _companions, who,having heard the re-port, guessed thatthis was the trick hehad taken so much ?-
*WHO LAUGHS LASI: 77trouble to conceal from them. The incorrigiblechild was up the tree just at the moment when thephilosopher, attracted by the shot, had come to helpthe housekeeper to her feet.'Oh master, master, I'm dead, the little murderershave killed me,' she cried on perceiving him.' Get up, get up, you are no more dead than I am,and more's the pity, for if you were, you would notmake such a noise.''Really, sir, it is not fair of you to laugh at melike that,' said Catherine, very indignant' Did I not tell you yesterday that your old legswould never enable you to warm their ears ?''Then, sir, I'11 leave them to you, and see if youcan manag, to catch them so easily.''Very well, I will try, Catherine.''We shall see how well you will succeed.'' I '11 only have to use my head and eyes, Catherine;but I wish to show you, in the meantime, a sight thatwill interest you alittle; come with me.'The old servant followed her master, and he ledher into the house, then up-stairs. Now, Catherine,put on your spectacles, draw back the curtain, andlook attentively at the large poplar tree that you seeat the right-hand side of our gate. What do you see I'
*78 HE LAUGHS WELL'Nothing at all, sir.''Wait a little.''Ah sir, I see now a half dozen young profligatescoming down.''Well, 'tis those young profligates who amusethemselves at your expense.''Have you seen them, sir ''No, only I guess it must be them.'The housekeeper looked at him with surprise.He answered her: Nothing is more simple; theythought they would watch their opportunity, and bidetheir own time to play you another trick, and as theycould not find out whether you were in ambush oinot, they climbed that tree, it being the only placefrom which they could obtain a view of our garden.Then they perceived you behind the door waitingtheir approach, as they had expected, and one ofthem, bolder than the rest, descended and came tothe gate and fired a pistol near your ears.''Sir, 'twas a cannon shot-I '11 swear to that, forno pistol could make such a report.''Be it so-he knew well that your terror wouldprevent you from running after him; so he returnedimmediately to his friends to learn what had passedat the other side of the wall.'
,WHO LA UGHS LAST.79'Ah I sir, they are finished vagabonds.''No, Catherine, they are only children that needto be corrected, and I will undertake to do that afterto-morrow.'' Ah I Why not to-morrow, sir ''Because to-morrow is a holiday with school-boysand it is to be hoped they will leave us alone.''You think of everything, sir.''If you would go now and think of my dinner, Iwould willingly take it.'The philosopher was mistaken in his surmises ofthe next day. He was hardly out of bed and dressedwhen Catherine, who had just returned from the vil-lage, where she had been for some provisions, cameand told him that she had seen Oliver and his com-panions going towards a little wood that was situatednot far from their house, and she felt sure that theywould not pass without trying on some other trick.'Well, then, I will make ready for them to-day,--tell me if you hear any one just now.'' No, sir, no one is near yet.''All right then, leave them to me.''Ah, sir, every one in the village is complaining ofthem; they do the same wicked tricks there, and willstop at nothing.'
80oHE LA UGHS WELL' Go and mind your own business now, Catherine,I have something to attend to also.''And don't you want me to help you to punishthem, sir ''No, Catherine, when I give a lesson, I give italone-I require no second party.'The housekeeper left the room very curious toknow what sort of punishment her master was goingto inflict on her tormentors.She came back in a few minutes, running at all herspeed, and saying, 'Master, Master, there they are,and you have not had time to be prepared for them.'' You are mistaken, Catherine, I have time for all Iundertake to do.''Then are you not going down to them I''There is no hurry.''When I saw them, sir, from my window, they werevery close to the gate.'' That may be true, but you must give them a littletime; besides, the ringing of the bell will be my signal'' And do you think, sir, if you wait to hear that, youwill have time to catch them afterwards V'They'll wait on me, Catherine.''Oh if 't is on that you count, sir, you will nevercatch one of them,' said the housekeeper impatiently.
WHO LA UGHS LAST'Well, 't is on that I depend,' replied the philo-sopher, very gravely.A violent pull at the bell, followed by a piercingscream, interrupted the conversation.' Well, I have one prisoner, at all events,' said thephilosopher, laughing.Catherine looked at her master with profoundastonishment.' Let us go now and see,' said he.When they opened the garden gate, they perceivedOliver stretched on his back. Hiscompanions fled in terror. -The housekeeper looked at the ~child, and thought she was in a dream.The old man lifted him in his arms, and took himto a garden seat, where the boy very soon revived.'Well, my little mischief-maker,' said the philo-
82HE LA UGHS WELLsopher, 'you did not expect to be caught like this.But trick for trick this time; and I daresay you willallow yourself that mine was not a very bad one.''Oh sir, sir,' said poor Oliver, full of confusion.'You have an inventive mind, my young friend.The built-up gate and the pistol-shot were not badlyconceived, and were very well wrought out. I amglad to make your acquaintance-only your tricks arerather too much for my housekeeper; they are injuringher nervous system. My cooking also has suffereda little. I had my roast all burned the other day onyour account; so I wish to put a stop to any furtherdamage. Promise me then, before I release you, thatyou will never do the like again.''Oh! sir, let me go, and I'11 promise you any-thing,' replied Oliver.'You will do well, my child, to give up suchamusements; for a well-bred boy should never showa want of respect for the aged; and 't is treatingthem with supreme contempt to amuse yourself attheir expense. Besides, if you attempt to pull mybell again, instead of throwing you down, it mightbreak your arm; because I have given it the strictestorders on this subject, and it is bound to obey me.''You mean to say, sir, that you will give me a
WHO LA UGHS LAS T83stronger electric shock the next time,' replied Oliver,smiling.'Ah ah I see you have learned a little of physics,'said the philosopher.'Yes, sir, I have.''Then, my child, you should continue to study it;it will do you more good than inventing tricks totorment every one you come across-people, too, whonever did you any harm. Such amusements oughtto be very far beneath the notice of a fine intelligentboy, such as you seem to be. Now, I will allow youto go away. Try to be more reasonable in future.'These last words were accompanied by a familiarfriendly-tap on Oliver's cheek.Oliver retired, saluting politely the philosopherand his housekeeper. The latter acknowledged hissalute with a low bow, which might have been thefashion some fifty years ago.'Well, he is a nice boy indeed, sir,' the house-keeper could not help saying, after Oliver had left.'And you would have wished to cut off his prettyears-savage that you are ''Ah I sir, it was the only way I could have anysatisfaction for the tricks he played on me. I havenot the gift of.chimique like you, sir.'
84HE LAUGHS WELL'Phy ics, you mean, Catherine.''Oh yes, sir-that was what you put on the bell,eh --how it threw him on his back, the poor littlefellow.''I will explain that to you some other time per-haps, but let it be sufficient for you to know just nowthat I could cut your body in two any day that youspoil my dinner.'' Are you a wizard, sir, or a sorcerer, th? you cando all that I'I have a power, Catherine, that I can use at will,so mind that well in future, and go away now.'Oliver's companions, ashamed of their cowardice.at last stopped running, and came to the conclusionthat they ought to retrace their steps, and see whathelp they could give to their chief, but they had notgone far when they perceived Oliver.'There he comes,' they cried, and all ran to meethim, as they were eager to know what had happened.Oliver told them everything, and finished his storyby saying that the old philosopher was a charmingperson, and that he would be very sorry indeed todo anything again to annoy him or any one likehim.The little band returned to the village in very
WHO LA UGHS LAST 85good humour, and did sot trouble themselves to playany more tricks that day.Next day our little fr.ends told their companionsin class of the trick they had played on the cobbler,and when they went home they told it to the ser-vants, and it was soon known through all the villagewho were the authors of it.As is the custom in such a case, all those whohad had any trick played on themselves before con-cluded that it must have been done by the samelittle urchins, and each determined to punish them.Three persons specially undertook to correct them,and whenever the little boys were seen together in thestreet, theywere sure to hear from some quarter, 'Shameon the little wicked boys-three hisses for them!'and the hisses would begin like so many serpents.The children always clung to Oliver for protection-he was brave, and never abandoned his littlefriends. He ,did not mind for himself, so long asthey suffered no insult; he knew they had adver-saries now, and his first care was to decide upon thebest course of action. The three men had deter-mined to give the boys their first punishment thisday; one placed himself at each end of the street,and the third in the middle.
86HE LA UGHS WELL'Now, boys,' said Oliver,' there are three men outto-day who expect to teach us a moral with cracks ofa whip, but we will show them some fight before welearn our lesson.'While he was talking, he saw an old birch broomlying before a door, and he hastened to make it hisown. Then assuming the posture of a soldier ondrill, he said to his companions, 'If we go forward,we shall have two to fight, so let us return and trywhat foe we have to encounter. Follow me. You canplay at leap frog until you see me taken by therustic who, I see, is waiting for rS:' Saying this,Oliver marched straight to meet his foe, brandishinghis weapon.The child had really something very heroic as wellas noble in his disposition.At the approach of the little band, the rustic, agreat clumsy fellow about eighteen years of age,cracked his whip as if he wished to make sure hecould use it well.'Oh you great coward, waiting there to fight littlechildren !' said Oliver.' Fine children you are too! doing mischief toevery one in the country,' and the rustic accompaniedhis words with a crack of his whip which touched
WHO LA UGHS LAST.87Oliver's shins, and he pretended he was very muchhurt.'You will get a great deal more besides that much,you young urchin.''And you also,you big clumsywretch; just lookbehind, there'spapa coming with his gun.'The rustic turned round, for he got suddenlyfrightened atwhat Oliver said, though it was not true.Oliver improved the opportunity to have somerevenge, and gave the lad a blow of his broom acrossthe face. The broom was full of mud, which gotinto the rustic's eyes and mouth, and almost blindedas well as stifled him.'Save yourselves! save yourselves! my friends,'cried Oliver to his companions, and he gave anotherblow to his now prostrate enemy.
88HE LAUGHS WELLThe friends of the conqrieror, delighted at hissuccess, ran in their turn and deprived the rustic ofhis whip, and all fled off laughing and snouting.' One already conquered,' said Oliver, 'we'll leave himnow to recover and clean himself, and see wbat wecan do with the other two.'The second was a little distance away, and did notknow the fate of his ally; he was anxiously waitingfor the little troop, and when he saw them coming soboldly towards him, he cracked his whip too, in orderto intimidate them.'Do you know, boys,' said Oliver, 'this fellowseems more determined than the first-but he mustlet us pass. I suppose I shall have to endure thepain of his whip. It is more ,r the humiliation ofbeing struck by such vulgar fellows, than for the paintheir blows give me, I care. What a fine brave manthe old philosopher is! He had his revenge on usin a more gentlemanly manner than by taking a whip,as if we were so many wild beasts. However, wewill not give in to them so very easily. I wish I hadsome other weapon to defend myself with instead ofthis old broom; but I can't help that now.''We are going to have a fight, us two,' said hissecond adversary-a man about thirty years of age.
WHO LA UGHS LAST:89'What is it you want to do to me asked thechild bravely.'I want to teach you, impudent brat, that it doesnot always do to laugh and mock at your neigh-bours.'' You cannot teach me much, big fool, for you seemto know precious little yourself. Your education can-not have cost much money.''Do you know whom you are insulting just now ''Yes, I rather think I do-a great fool, who hasbeen waiting there for the last hour to have thepleasure of fighting with a little boy I''Yes; I'm going to make your bones ache alittle, my young friend-and this is how I '11 do it.'So saying, he advanced towards Oliver with his whipuplifted; but Oliver warded off his blow, and gavehim one, well aimed, with his birch broom, right inthe face, which stunned and felled him.Then Oliver laid hold of an empty wheel-barrowwhich was on the road, and rolled it over the poorman's legs so violently, that he made a spring tocatch him, but Oliver, being quicker in his move-ments, rolled the barrow between his legs, andthrew him backwards into a deep pool of stagnantwater.
9oHE LA UGHS WELL'Two down,' said Oliver-who at a great riskstooped to pick up his broom. 'Wit is sometimesbetter than strength,' continued he. 'I hope youboth will improve your tempers.'Emboldened by this second triumph, he ran offlaughing to meet his third enemy, who was no otherthan Mr. Martin the cobbler, whose stall he hadturned into a car. The cobbler had only learned9f__ MINNE.that morning to whom he was indebted for the earth-quake that troubled him so much; and he promisedhimself to be revenged. His impatience to giveOliver a good kicking was now at its full height.W
WHO LA UGHS LAST.91When the child found himself about six paces apartfrom him, he said gaily, Good-day, Mr. Martin; areyou afraid of another earthquake that you have leftyour establishment to-day i'' Ah! you young wretch, you are making fun ofme, are you ?-wait a little,' and the cobbler bran-dished his sling at Oliver.' Eh What kind of weapon is that, Mr. Martin 1you should take care or you'll hurt yourself seri-ously.'' You beggar,' said the enraged cobbler, who made aspring to catch Oliver; but for every step the cobbleltook, Oliver gave a spring backwards to escape him,holding out his broom to defend himself.'I tell you, you can't use your weapon; do youhear, Mr. Martin I but perhaps you are deaf.''You will pay dearly for your fun when I catchyou.''Very well; but you must first throw away yoursling, it is preventing you from running; you knowyou can't run very well at best, for your trade makesa complete cripple of you; you were practising apretty song when the earthquake alarmed you; per-haps you would not mind letting me hear it again,Mr. Martin.'
'Oliver gave a spring backwards to escape him, holding out his broom to defend himself.' Page 9r.
HE LA UGHS WELL, ETC.93The cobbler was getting every moment more en-raged; his eyes were glistening with fury; he madeanother attack, and ran after Oliver until he was com-pletely out of breath, and so lost all chance of catchinghis tormentor. Oliver threw the man's broom at hislegs, over which he stumbled and fell, muttering curses.The child now finding a clear passage, boundedto the other side and gained the road.Once again at liberty he turned to the unfortunatecobbler (who was now entirely out of countenanceboth with himself and Oliver) and said, Good bye,Mr. Martin, don't forget to bathe your wounds wellwith brandy and water-it's a capital cure for soreshins,-and take my advice not to believe again soinnocently in earthquakes; you should have moresense now-you are old enough at all events. Good-bye to you; we may soon have some more battlestogether.'But, alas I like the cock in the fable, Oliver sanghis victory too soon, for he had scarcely finishedspeaking when two herculean arms laid a firm holdof him behind. The child tried hard to resist, but astrength incomparably superior to his soon placedhim on his face and tied both his arms and legs withlong pieces of cloth.
94HE LA UGHS WELL'Ah ah my little man, I have you at last, andyou'll see you shan't escape me this time,' said acoarse voice.When Oliver was turned round, he recognised thetravelling merchant, who had just happened to bepassing at the time, and seeing him escape thecobbler, thought that he would try to have somebetter revenge than had attended the other suf-ferers.'Now, will you come again and blow your nose inmy pocket-handkerchiefs like an ill-bred little boy,and laugh at my expense before all my customers I'' We shall see,' said Oliver, if you let me go awayjust now; my dinner will be ready.'' Oh not quite so fast, my young friend, it cannotalways be your turn to amuse yourself; I must havea share now as well as my injured neighbours, butnever fear, I will doyou no harm. We are only goingto have a little trip together.''Here, merchant, I have money enough in mypocket to pay for your handkerchiefs; how much doyou wantl''My handkerchiefs it's many days ago since Isold them; you did not damage them very much, I'11make no charge.'