Diamonds and Toads.
Uncle's Farm Yard.
TWENTY-FOUR PAGES OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
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FREDERICK WARNE AND
BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
NEW YORK: SCRIBNER, WELFORD AND CO.
THE Publishers of the "AUNT LOUISA's" Toy Books offer a New
Volume to their young readers, containing old and new Stories. It is
hoped that DIAMONDS AND TOADS, and DICK WHITTINGTON, may please in
their new garb; and that LILY SWEETBRIAR and the rural scenes which
render Farm life so delightful to children, may render the book wor thy
of the title of the "Nursery Favourite."
LONDON, BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
DIAMONDS AND TOADS.
DIAMONDS AND TOADS.
NCE upon a time, in the days of the Fairies, there lived, on
the borders of a great wood, a widow who had two daughters.
She was a silly, ill-tempered woman, very proud and disagreeable.
Her elder daughter, who was like her in temper, was her favourite
child; and she spoiled her by constant praise and petting, till the
girl grew so proud and rude, that no one loved her except her mother.
The younger daughter was sweet-tempered, gentle, and kind; but
her foolish mother did not love her, and treated her very unkindly.
She made her live in the kitchen, and work all day with the servants.
One of the girl's tasks was to draw water twice a day from a
fountain, more than a mile and a half distant from the house, in the
midst of the wood. One day, just as she had filled her pitcher,
an old woman came up to her, and asked her to give her a draught
Diamonds and Toads.
"Willingly, Goody," replied the girl. Let me hold the jug for
you, for it is very heavy."
As soon as the old dame had finished drinking, she said to Rose,
"Thank you, my dear; you are so kind, and you speak so
sweetly, that I mean to bestow a gift on you. Every time you speak
there shall drop from your lips a rose, a diamond, and a pearl."
Then the old woman disappeared. She was really a Fairy in
disguise, who had wished to try whether the young girl was civil
When Rose reached her home, her mother met her at the door,
and began to scold her for staying so long at the fountain.
I am very sorry: I beg your pardon, mother," she said meekly,
"for not coming home sooner." And as she spoke there fell from
her lips two pearls, three diamonds, and two roses.
What do I see ? what is this ?" cried the mother; "she drops
diamonds and pearls from her lips! My child "-(this was the first
time that she had ever .called her "my child")-"how did this
Diamonds and Toads.
Then the poor girl told her mother all that had befallen her at
the fountain, dropping pearls and diamonds from her mouth all the
time she was speaking.
How very fortunate!" said the old lady: "I must send my darling
thither directly. Fanny! do you see what falls from your sister's
lips when she speaks ? Should you. not like such a gift ? Well,
you must go to the fountain, and when a poor woman asks you
for water, you must grant her request in the most civil manner."
"Indeed," answered the proud girl, "I shall do no such thing. I
do not choose to be servant to any one."
But you shall go," said her mother; and for once she made her
disobedient child obey her. But Fanny took the best silver tankard,
instead of the brown pitcher.
She had no sooner reached the fountain, than a lady most mag-
nificently dressed came out of the woodland path, and asked Fanny
to give her some water. This was the same Fairy who had before
appeared as a poor old woman; and she came for the same purpose,
'that was, to try whether the young girl was kind and obliging; but
Diamonds and Toads.
lest she should only pretend goodness in order to gain the precious
gift, the Fairy appeared in a different form.
"I did not come here to draw water for strangers," said Fanny,
scornfully; I suppose you think the best silver tankard was brought
on purpose for your ladyship However, you may drink out of it
if you have a fancy."
"You are not very obliging," said the Fairy; "and since you
have behaved with so little civility, I will bestow a gift on you
which shall be your punishment. Every time you speak, there shall
drop from your lips a viper or a toad."
Having said these words she disappeared; and Fanny went home
very sullen and angry. As soon as her mother saw her coming, she
ran to meet her, and exclaimed eagerly,
Well, mother," answered the girl, and two toads and two vipers
dropped from her mouth as she spoke!
"Ah-h-h! what is this?" cried the mother; "it is all your sister's
doing, no doubt. I'll make her suffer for her wickedness!"
Diamonds and Toads.
And she instantly went in search of the poor innocent girl, that
she might beat her severely.
But Rose, in great fear, ran out of the house into the forest, where
she wandered about, weeping very bitterly. Towards evening, the
King's son, who was returning from hunting, came that way, and
seeing a poor girl apparently in great trouble, he alighted from his
horse, and asked her why she wept; for he was very kind and good-
"Alas!" said Rose, sobbing, my mother is so cruel to me that I
have been obliged to leave my home."
The King's son was astonished to see roses, pearls, and diamonds
fall from her lips as she spoke, and asked her the reason of such a
wonder. The girl then related all that had befallen her at the
fountain. The Prince was charmed with her innocence and gentle-
ness, and fell in love with her. He saw that, although she was only
a poor girl, she possessed a valuable gift which would make him
Sand his people very rich; so he took her back to the palace of the
SKing his father, who, anxious to have such a daughter-in-law, im-
Diamonds and Toads.
mediately gave his consent to their marriage, and the gentle Rose
became a great Queen.
As for her sister, the toads and vipers she dropped were so dreadful,
that her selfish and cruel mother soon grew tired of having her in
the house, and turned her out of doors. As she had not improved,
but was worse tempered than ever, no one would take her in, and be
troubled with toads and vipers. So she was obliged to wander about
in the woods, all alone; and there she soon died of grief and hunger.
Kind words are as precious as pearls and diamonds, and as sweet
as roses. Cross, unkind words are as bad as toads and vipers.
THE OLD BALLAD
MERCHANT once upon a time, who had great store of
Among his household placed a youth sore pinch'd by want and cold;
No father or no mother watched with love o'er this poor boy,
Whose dearest treasure was a Cat, his pet and only joy,
That came to him beseechingly when death was at the door,
And kindly to relieve her wants he shared his little store.
A grateful Cat! no mice might live where she put up to dwell,
And Whittington could calmly sleep, while Puss watched o'er his
That once o'erran with vermin so, no rest had he by night,
Placed in this garret vile to please a cruel woman's spite.
Alice advises him to send his Cat.
Now on the Thames a gallant ship lay ready to set sail,
When spoke the Merchant, "Ho! prepare to catch the favoring
And each who will his fortune try, haste, get your goods on board,
The gains ye all shall share with me, whatever they may afford;
From distant lands where precious musks and jewels rare are
What joy to waft across the seas their spoils to English ground!"
So hasted then each one on board, with what he best could find,
Before the ship for Afric's land flew swiftly with the wind.
The little boy he was so poor, no goods had he to try,
And as he stood and saw the ship, a tear bedimm'd his eye,
To think how Fortune smiled on all except on his sad lot-
As if he were by gracious Heaven neglected and forgot!
The Merchant and his daughter too, fair Alice, mark'd his grief,
And with a gentle woman's heart, intent on kind relief,
She bade him bring his Cat to try her fortune o'er the sea;
"Who knows," she said, "what she may catch in gratitude to
With weeping and with sore lament he brought poor Puss on board;
And now the ship stood out for sea, with England's produce
And as she sped far out of sight, his heart was like to break;
His friend had gone that shared his crust, far sweeter for her sake.
Humble his lot the Merchant knew, but knew not that the Cook
With blows and cuffs the boy assailed, and surly word and look;
Until his life a burden seemed, too grievous to be borne,
Though Alice oft would pity him, so lowly and forlorn.
Now musing long, the thought arose his plight could scarce be
And forth he rush'd into the fields, regardless of his course.
The cutting winds blew bleak and cold upon his shiv'ring breast,
His naked feet were pierced with thorns, on every side distressed;
He sank, overpowered with grief and pain, upon a wayside stone,
Bethinking there to end his days, with none to make him moan:
And calling upon God for aid in this last hour of need-
On God, who never yet refused to hear the wretched plead.
And now the bells sound loud and clear, as thus he lay forlorn,
Seeming to say, "0 Whittington, thou foolish boy, return!
Lord Mayor of London thou shalt be, Dick Whittington, if thou,
Wilt turn again, and meet thy lot with bold and manly brow.":
The six bells of Bow Church rung, and seemed to say to him:
"Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London;
Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London."
The Return of the Ship.
Up sprang the boy to hear such sounds, so cheerful and so
He felt no more the piercing winds, the thorns beneath his feet,
But raising up his eyes to Heaven, he prayed for strength to
Whatever in His wisdom God might please to make him share.
And now his steps retracing fast, good news he quickly hears,
How that a richly-laden ship, amid ten thousand cheers,
Had entered port from distant climes full freighted with their
y traffic gained for English wares in honest barter sold.
ith shout and song the crew rejoiced not less the folk on
old of adventures strange and rare among the blackamoor;
id how their King was glad to see our English sailors bold,
o sat and ate and drank with him from cups of purest gold.
ce on a day, amid their cheer, when health went gaily round,
were the crew amazed to see, in swarms upon the ground,
umber'd rats and mice rush forth and seize the goodly
ile stood the wondering guests aloof, overwhelmed with dread
Oat at Banquet Killing Rats.
"Oh!" said the King, "what sums I'd give to rid me of these
Detested rats, whose ravages our bed and board defile!"
Now hearing this, the sailors straight bethought them of the
And said, "0 King, we'll quickly rid your palace of each rat."
"Indeed!" the King delighted said; "go fetch her, quick as
For such a treasure, many a year, I've long and vainly sought;
And should she prove as ye have said, your ship shall loaded be
With gold in heaps, so rich a prize I deem your Cat to be."
nd now the Cat did soon perform such feats as ne'er were
h, how the scampering, mangled rats amused the King and
ich treasures now for Whittington were sent on board the ship,
t, laden with a golden freight, did let her cables slip,
d stood for England, while the breeze a fav'ring impulse
if for sake of Whittington both ship and breeze were sent.
soon again the bells rang forth a loud and merry strain,
..wealth and honours crowded now on Whittington amain:
With gentle Alice for his bride, he stands before the priest,
And after holy rites and vows comes next the wedding feast.
The poor were feasted well, I ween, upon that happy day,
And never from his door did go the poor uncheer'd away.
"Lord Mayor of London" spoke the bells-they spoke both well
And still the stone is pointed out unto the traveller's view,
Where Whittington, in prayer to God, cast all his fears aside,
And rose and braced him for the strife, whatever might betide.
LILY SWEETBRIAR'S BIRTHDAY.
HAVE known many dear little people,
And numerous the charms they possess'd;
But bright little Lily Sweetbriar
I ever loved dearest and best.
A child fond of frolic and sunshine,
A wee, winsome, mischievous elf;
Yet gentle, and loving, and kindly,
She thought very little of self.
She came when the snowdrops were nodding
O'er violets timid and sweet;
When pert little crocus looked daring,
And laughed at the cold driving sleet.
Dear reader, you've oft seen a sunbeam
Glide into a dark dingy room,
And spread light and warmth by its presence,
Where all had been chillness and gloom ?
Thus a child with a bright cheerful spirit
Sheds pleasure and gladness around,
In the home of the peer or the peasant,
Wherever its light may be found.
Papa was quite proud of his Lily;
And when her next birthday drew near,
Told Mamma to invite a large party,
For music, and games, and good cheer.
Lily's eyes shone like two little planets
When she heard the resolve of Papa,
And off to the nurs'ry she scamper'd,
To relate the consent of Mamma.
Papa then produced a neat inkstand,
Mamma brought a golden-nibbed pen;
Lily sat down to write invitations,
"Tea at six, and the supper at ten."
Old Time cannot run any faster
For our birthdays, wish it as we may;
He has too many matters to settle,
In his twelve working hours per day.
But at last dawned the longed-for morning,
And Lily woke up in delight;
The first thing that entered her wise head
Was "My birthday, and party to-night!"
The first to arrive was Aunt Susan,
Pale, pensive, and quiet, and fair;
She brought a pearl locket for Lily;
Inside was a piece of her hair.
And while she bestowed it, dear Auntie
Breath'd over her darling a pray'r,
"The Pearl of Great Price might be Lily's,
To keep her soul spotless and fair."
The next was Aunt Florence, the widow,
So calm and so sweetly resigned;
To know her was surely to love her,
So cheerful, so thoughtful, so kind.
A warm kiss she gave to dear Lily,
With a book bound in crimson and gold,
And murmured a pray'r that her darling
Might be good, both when young and when old.
And then Cousin Hector, the soldier,
All bombast, moustachios, and scent,
With a speech wherein nonsense abounded,
Presented a watch made by Dent.
And young Cousin Emma, the orphan,
Gave a purse made of blue silk and beads,
With a hope its contents might be always
Spent on kindly and generous deeds.
Next, pale Cousin Edward, the poet,
Brought a rose and a most melting lay,
Written all about Truth, Love, and Beauty;
Just fit for the child and the day.
Now, brave Cousin Hal, the young sailor,
Just returned from the perilous sea,
Had jotted before in his "Log-book,"
"Cousin Lily" and "Music and tea."
He brought two green birds from Australia,
A curious box from Japan,
A queer little idol from China,
And a lovely carved ivory fan.
On Bachelor Ben, the rich Uncle,
Red and portly, and brim-full of fun,
Ev'ry face in the room beam'd a welcome;
Mamma said, "So glad you are come!"
After answering all the kind greetings,
He held up his arm in the air,
And begg'd those who were present to notice
That not one sleeve-button was there!
Then he called aloud 'for Niece Lily,
And declared he'd his darling disown
If she did not the very next minute
SSew the buttons, now wanting, all on.
"Oh, Uncle," said poor little Lily,
"You can't be in earnest, I know!
'T is my birthday; I haven't my work-box;
You surely don't want me to sew ?"
"Come hither, you pert little monkey,"
He said with a shake of his head,
And drew out a beautiful housewife,
Full of buttons, and needles, and thread.
Poor Lily could hardly help crying;
But she knew that she must not be rude,
So at once did her best by complying
With her Uncle Ben's whimsical mood.
Hal's blue eyes then opened still wider,-
He thought her a fairy outright;
But I think both the soldier and poet
Were a "leetle bit" shocked at the sight.
Uncle Ben gave her cheek a sly pinching,
And then a good warm hearty kiss;
And Lily's sweet smile gave assurance
His joke was not taken amiss.
At last Uncle John, the young curate,
Came in, looking pale and careworn;
He had worked for the service of others
Till eve from the earliest morn.
And now he had come from a night-school;
It had once been a mere robbers' den;
Where he tried hard to turn boyish vagrants
Into honest and hard-working men.
He said he need not, for late coming,
Apology make, he well knew;
Then smilingly, from his coat-pocket,
A purple-bound volume he drew.
He said, with a look at dear Lily,
"Dont fear, I am not going to preach;
My gift if you ponder it duly,
Your duty, my darling, will teach.
"Take this book, my dear girl, for your guide,
Companion, and counsellor sweet;
May its honey still sweeten your life,
Its lamp be a light to your feet.
"Drink often at Wisdom's pure fountain,
Weigh all in her balance of gold;
She has rubies and treasures to give you,
Whose value have never been told.
"Seek her early, and she will be with you,
Imparting a beauty divine;
For they only who walk in her footsteps,
In true and pure loveliness shine." .
Now came supper, and afterwards parting,
Warm wraps, and looks out at the sky;
Little laughs, kisses sweet, and good wishes;
And then the last cab, and "good bye."
And then little Lily, quite tired,
Was left to her presents and dreams,
In which green birds changed into squirrels,
Her rose into cakes and ice creams.
They talk of the gifts of the Fairies,
The presents Queen Mab often brings;
But, to me, aunts, uncles, and cousins,
Are by far the more sensible things.
I fear that some dear little reader
Is now very likely to cry,
"I am not in the least like your Lily,-
No presents for me my friends buy."
Come here, lay your head on my bosom;
This is but one day in a life;
For twenty of feasting and pleasure,
There are hundreds of struggle and strife.
We are not inade only for pleasure:
Our life is a nursery, a school,
Where presents and parties come seldom,
And happiness is not the rule.
Strive first to be useful, then happy,-
I know that the roses will bloom;
But there must be labour and waiting
Ere the ripe sheaves are carried safe home.
UNCLE'S FARM YARD.
H T was on a fine sunshiny afternoon, that Mary, and I (Harry
Pitt) and little Annie, arrived at Uncle John's Farm, on ou
long visit. I think it would noit be possible to find a prettier house
than Clayfield is. It is very old; there are great beams of wood i
the brickwork of the walls outside, which I never saw in any other
walls; but then I have not been much out of London-only a few
times to the sea-side, and never before the time I am going to tell
you about at the Farm. As I have said, the sun shone brightly thatI
day, and there were all sorts of sweet scents on the air, from the
honeysuckle, and sweetbriar, and the fresh grass, and the bean-fields.
The leaves were of such a lovely tender green," Mamma said; and
there were pleasant sounds of lowing cows, and bleating sheep, and.
the hum of the bees in the bean flowers. Uncle and Aunt Pitt
were very glad to see us, and told us we must turn farmers now,
and run about in the fields. We had a very nice dinner-a country
one, Aunt Pitt said; I thought it much better than a town one, for
the chickens were very nice, and the gooseberry-fool and cream
A FTER dinner, Aunt Pitt said to Cousin George, "I think, my
dear, your cousin would like to run about a little while before
bed-time. Should you like to see the cows milked, Harry?"
"Yes, Aunt, very much indeed," said I.
Then go, my dears, and tell Phoebe, the milkmaid, to give you
each a glass of fresh warm milk."
Away we all ran, and George took us into a beautiful meadow, all
golden with buttercups, in which were seven cows, and a pretty little
calf, which was lying down close to its mother, under the shade of
a great beech tree. Phoebe was milking one cow, and Tom, the farm
man, another. The poor things stood quite still to be milked, and
looked very kind and gentle. But that foolish little Annie was
afraid to go into the field; and as we could not leave her, we waited
at the gate, and looked on till the milking was over. Then George
gave Phoebe his mother's message, and she bade us follow her to
the dairy, where she gave us each a large cup-full of milk, which
tasted quite different from London cows' milk, I assure you; and
Phoebe promised us a cup next morning at milking-time.
FROM the pasture, as the green meadow where cows feed is
called, we went to the poultry-yard, which Mary said she liked a
great deal better than the meadow, and, indeed, it was very amusing.
There was an old turkey-cock which strutted about as if he were
king of the yard, and gobbled, and tried to frighten me. But
George had told me that the old fellow was not really as brave
as the cock, so I did not run away, but drove him off. I said to
Cousin George, that I thought poultry must be very much like us in
some things; for I have noticed that boys who are bullies are gene-
rally cowards, like the turkey-cock; while really brave boys are
almost always kind and gentle, as the cock seemed to be to the hens
and chickens. The geese and ducks, too, were handsome birds. George
says a goose ought not to be thought stupid: it is a very sensible
creature. One of their geese is quite tame, and follows him about
like a dog; whenever he speaks to it, it answers quack, quack !" I
told him what I had read about the geese which saved the Capitol
of Rome from being taken by the Gauls, and he liked the story.
He says he knows more about animals than books.
j ARY and Annie went out gathering wild flowers the next day,
and met the Shepherd driving all the pretty sheep, which
were on the meadow next the house, down to the brook. He stopped
Would you like to see the sheep-shearing ?"
"Oh, yes," said Mary, "very much." So they went with him,
and soon afterwards George called me, and said that he was going
to take the horses to water, and would I like to go also ? I could
not manage it just then, because Uncle was showing me the glass
beehives, but I said I would follow him soon. By the time I reached
the brook, a great many of the poor sheep had lost their wool, and
were running and jumping about, looking very bare and naked. But
the shearer told Mary that they were glad to be relieved from their
heavy coats, which would make them very uncomfortable as the
weather grew warmer.
The wool will be sold, and made into cloth, and linseys, and blankets.
I do not know what we should do for warm clothes in the winter, if
sheep were never sheared.
B UT the greatest fun of our visit to Uncle's Farm was the hay-
making. How we tossed about the fresh sweet grass with
our prongs and forks, and heaped it up in pretty little piles or hay-
cocks! and then we buried each other under it. Mary would not
be buried; but while she sat gravely on a haycock, we stole softly
behind her, and pulled the hay gently away at the back, and in she
sank! Then we tossed it all over her; but she jumped up and
shook it off (laughing very good-temperedly, I must say), and threw
heaps of it back at us again, and we had a race all over the field,
pelting each other. When the hay was quite dry and well made,
the men came and carted it, and that was great fun for us boys.
The girls and Mamma sat down on the haycocks, and watched us;
but they often had to give up their seats and get fresh ones, while
we climbed to the top of the load, and helped take up the cocks,
and pack them at the top of it, till the waggon was as full as
C OUSIN George can use a reaping-hook very cleverly, quite as
well as the men. Uncle would not let me try to reap for fear
of accidents; but I helped to carry beer to the reapers, and we dined
in the field, which was very delightful. Mary and Annie helped
the old people glean, and when the last load was carried, we crowned
little Annie with a wreath of poppies and blue corn-flowers, tied
together with ears of golden wheat, and lifted her on the top of the
load, and there George sat and held her quite safely as Queen of
the Harvest Home. Uncle kept the feast the next day, not that
same evening, and we all went to church, and thanked God for
"crowning the year with His goodness," as the Psalm says. The
church was decked with flowers and wheat-ears, and looked very
pretty, and all the reapers were there with their families, dressed in
their Sunday clothes, and looking so happy. After church there was
a dinner spread in the meadow under the trees, for the reapers,
their wives, and children-roast beef and plum pudding, of course.
And they sang songs, and drank health in Uncle's home-brewed
ale, and were very merry.
With the Harvest Home our visit ended; but we hope it will
not be long before we go again to stay at my Uncle's Farm.