Little cross-bearers and other stories

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Material Information

Title:
Little cross-bearers and other stories
Series Title:
Stories with a purpose
Alternate Title:
Little cross bearers
Physical Description:
61 p. : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher:
Thomas Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication:
London
New York
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Animal welfare -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1881   ( rbgenr )
Baldwin -- 1881
Genre:
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York

Notes

Content Advice:
Little cross-bearers--God'll show me the way--The dangerous door--A talk about birds.
General Note:
Imprint also notes publisher's location in Edinburgh.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001627607
oclc - 25485083
notis - AHQ2331
System ID:
UF00026227:00001

Full Text
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The Baldwin LibraryLJ:.`fl nor"i


'< 'LITTLE CIROSS-BEAIRERS.. c^^ ^ ^.~Oh


UNHAPPY LITTLE FREO


LITTLECROSS-BEARERSANDthitr Stories.LONDON: THOMAS NELSON AND SONS.EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.1881.


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LITTLE OROSS-BEARERS, ... ... .. ..."GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY," ... ... ... 19THE DANGEROUS DOOR, ... ... ... ... 34A TALK ABOOT BIRD, ... ... ... ... 47


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LITTLECROSS-BEARERS.T was a rosy morning in June, andthe sun, who had gone to bed.very unwillingly the night before,"cliniging to the hill-tops with his long redfingers, some time after his honest face haddisappeared, $was back again bright andearly, and seemed to be full of business.He pricked the eyelids of the young robinswith fine golden needles, till they awoke,and chirped so shrilly for their breakfast,that the poor mother bird had to stop shortin a beautiful little prayer she was just set-ting to music, and hurry down to see ifthere were any fresh worms in the bird


8 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS.market. Then he poured a shower bath oflight on the heads of the sleepy flowers, notforgetting to creep under broad leaves, andtouch the shy little violets, so that the mostmodest blossoms-Cinderellas among flowers-nodded their heads to one another in gladsurprise at their new golden crowns, andwhispered, " So we are to be princesses, after iall."Then creeping out again, he met two orthree little girls in the road, and, kissingthem right in the eyes, said:--"So this is the day for your picnic. Iwas in the woods all day yesterday makingready for you. You'll find a path allemerald and gold, dry and soft as the par-lour carpet, and I've hung the rocks withmoss and flowers; and I looked so hard atthe wild strawberries that the foolish littlethings turned red, but you won't like themany the less for that."The little girls laughed merrily, and,


LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 9hurrying home, packed their dinner basketsin such haste, that Carrie and Jenny Bellhad hardly finished their breakfasts whenthe whole eager party arrived at the gardengate."Why, girls," cried Susy Wright, "notready yet ? Do hurry, for it is a long walk,and we want to get into the woods beforeit grows much warmer.""It won't take me two minutes," criedCarrie, but Jeany stood irresolute."I'm afraid we oughtn't to go.""Why not, pray ?" cried Carrie sharply."Why, you know mamma has one of herbad headaches coming on, and there's Walterand Fred to be taken care of.""Well, and there's Sally to do it," saidCarrie." But you know Sally's sister is very sick,and mamma has given her leave to go hometo-day.""How provoking," said Carrie, fretfully.


10 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS.Then she added, after a pause, " But I don'tbelieve mamma's head is very bad, and I'msure Fred will be good, and Walter wouldhelp to amuse him."" Walter is almost a baby himself," saidJenny; "and Fred frets almost all the timesince he's been getting his teeth, poor littlefellow !""Fred will be good enough if you're nothere to spoil him," cried Carrie, "and I'lljust go and ask mamma if she can't getalong without us. It would be too bad tokeep us in, in such a lovely day."Carrie was back in a few minutes witha radiant face. "Mamma says we may go.She can spare us if we are going to enjoyourselves so much."Jenny hesitated. The woods in the dis-tance looked so misty and pleasant, andFred's fretful little cry jarred upon her ear,while she thought how hard it would be toamuse him, and keep Walter quiet and


LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 11happy through all that warm day. Butwould it be any easier for her mother, leftall alone with her aching head ? "No,"thought Jenny, "I cannot be so selfish. Ishould not enjoy myself at all.""What are you thinking about so long?"asked Carrie impatiently. " Come, let's getour baskets ready.""I believe I won't go," faltered Jenny."Why not?" cried two or three disap-pointed voices."I can't bear to leave mamma so sick.""What a mean girl you are, Jenny Bell,"whispered Carrie angrily. "You want tomake all the girls think you are such asaint, and I am so selfish. That's all you'redoing it for-just to show off.""No, indeed, Carrie," said Jenny, colour-ing deeply; and turning to the girls, sheadded,-"One of us can go just as well as not,and, of course, as Carrie is the oldest, she


12 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS.has the best right; and, indeed, I do notbelieve I care half as much about it as shedoes, for she has been talking about it allthe week."No persuasions could move Jenny, whoonly shook her head cheerfully, and insistedthat she did not feel badly at all, and atlast the impatient little party moved on.After watching them down the road withglistening eyes, for it was really a verygreat trial to be left behind, Jenny wentback to the nursery, where her mother satbathing her head with camphor, and tryingto amuse the little complaining Fred withsome pictures. A look of glad surprisecame over her flushed face as she heardJenny's step." I thought you were gone to the woods."" No, mother," said Jenny, trying to speakcarelessly. "I thought I would like toplay housekeeper to-day, and first I amgoing to put you to bed with your dreadful


LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 13headache; and then Walter and Fred andI are going to have a nice time out in thearbour."The happy tears came into Mrs. Bell'seyes as her kind daughter arranged the pil-lows under her throbbing head, and, dark-ening the room, stole softly out with Fredand Walter.But it was no small task that Jenny hadundertaken. Poor baby Fred bit his fingerswith his hot, swollen gums; but as that didnot make matters any better, he threw away,one after another, flowers, books, and play-things which patient Jenny brought, andwas quite determined to be a very unhappylittle baby. Then Walter was full of mis-chief, and could only be kept still withstories, which poor Jenny told industriously,walking up and down the garden walk,carrying baby Fred till she thought herarms would drop off.Once in a while a vision crossed her of


14 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS.the happy party seated in the shady woods,making crowns, and eating wild strawberries;but she pushed it bravely aside, and kepton her tiresome walk, only thinking to her-self that if mother was having a nice rest,she could bear it a little longer.The sun grew very hot, but little tyrantFred would not be carried into the house,and as poor Jenny, turning in the path, wasjust beginning her seventh story, she saw agentleman at the garden-gate."Could you give me a glass of water,little lady ?" said he pleasantly; and Jenny,encumbered by the clinging Fred, soonbrought a cool, brimming supply."You look tired," said the gentlemankindly, as he thanked her; and before sheknew it-drawn on by his sympathizingquestions-she had told him all the storyof the morning's trials and disappointments,though, for some reason she hardly under-stood herself, she never told him she had a


LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 15sister Carrie who had gone to the woods.They had quite a pleasant talk together,and at last, when the gentleman was goingaway, he said,-"I like you so much, little Jenny, that Idon't want you to forget me;" and drawingfrom his pocket a small book, he begged herto keep it in memory of his visit, and with"a bright, kind smile, he was gone.The day wore on. At noon Jenny made"a nice cup of tea for mother, and after feed-ing baby with his bread and milk, and giv-ing busy Walter his dinner, to her greatjoy, both children, overcome with heat andfatigue, fell fast asleep.Now she had time to examine her littlebook, which she found very strange andinteresting. It told about some pilgrims,going on a long journey, with heavy crosseson their backs. They had a great manytrials, and often their way lay through hot,sandy deserts, so that some of them grew


16 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS.very tired and sad; and some tried to throwaway their crosses, but others went on verypatiently, always looking as if they sawsomething so beautiful just a little waybefore them, that they forgot all presentsorrow and trouble. So the story went on,till the pilgrims all came to a very darkvalley, through which they all must pass.Then some of them trembled and grew pale;but others went in singing, and some of thewords of their song were, "Though I walkthrough the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for thou art with me;"and suddenly, while they were singing, theheavy crosses fell from their backs, and intheir stead angels brought them shiningcrowns. And there came a voice, "Father,I will that these whom thou hast given me,be with me where I am, that they may be-hold my glory." Then the whole valleywas filled with light, the angels shouted,"They shall see the King in his beauty,"E! J


LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 17and the happy pilgrims passed through theeverlasting gates into the golden city.Jenny's tears fell fast as she finished thestrange little book, which she could notquite understand."My sweet little daughter," said a voice;and looking up, she saw her mother comingin at the door, and knew from her eyes thatthe bad headache was quite gone. "You havemade me very happy," continued Mrs. Bell,kissing Jenny's round cheeks. "You havebeen so self-sacrificing and patient to-day,that I am sure my prayers have been heard,and that one of my little daughters is learningto take up her cross daily, and follow Christ.""Mother," said Jenny eagerly, "do youmean that I am a cross-bearer ?""You certainly have been to-day," saidher mother, with an affectionate smile.Jenny burst into happy tears, and heldout her little book. They read it over to-gether, and Jenny's mother explained it.E 2


18 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS."And will all that ever happen to me ?"said Jenny."Yes, if you take up your cross daily,and bear it patiently for Christ's sake, you,too, shall see the King in his beauty."Carrie came home very cross that night.She knew she had been selfish, and nothinghad gone right all day, while there satJenny, looking so wonderfully happy. Whatcould be the reason ? Was she doing it justto be provoking?The little party stopping at the gatewere very voluble, telling Jenny of thepleasures of the day. "They never beforehad had such a splendid time, and had neverseen the woods so beautiful, and so full ofbirds and flowers." But not one of* tlittle party was so happy as the patientlittle cross-bearer; for the angels were sing-ing, "She shall see the King in his beauty,and the land that is very far off."


"GOD'LL SHOW METHE WAY."" ES, sir," said the man, running hishand through his shaggy locks,his harsh face showing the marksof unusual intelligence, "mining in thisregion be a hard life, but I think we've allbeen better since little Pinky went away.""And who was little Pinky ?" asked thegentleman, while the dark eyes of theyoung lady at his side sparkled in anticipa-tion of a story."Well, you see-it be something of atell-and if ye'd move further on to theshade of the old oak yonder, it'll mayhap


20 " GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY."be pleasanter for the young miss, for thesun be hot."The lady and gentleman followed thebrown and weather-beaten man to the coolshadow of the oak, and finding a seat forthe young lady on a convenient root thatcame squarely up from the ground, theminer began, with his customary preface:-"You see-Pinky were the son of JessePinkam, a young man, and a regular goodone, as the saying goes. I reckon Pinkamwas the only man of us as ever said theLord's Prayer, or any other prayer. Hewere a nice young fellow, that's the fact!But we're a rude set, sir, we of the mines,and 'specially in this place; we didn't likeanything that was what we call 'pious.'Sundays, sir, used to be the regular-well,I might say, devil's-day, with us. It wasnothing but drinking and dancing, pitching,and cards, and swearing."Well, sir, you see, Jesse he got married


" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 21to a regular lady-like girl, sir, and it turnedout a pious one. They didn't none of 'em-that is, Pinkam, his wife, and old mother-jine us in our merry-makings on aSabbath, but sometimes the young man andBessy-that's his wife, sir-would walkfive miles to hear a parson preach. Wewas all down upon Jesse, sir-you see thereal thing was, he made us ashamed of our-selves by his goodness, and I was worsethan the rest, trying my best all the timeto pick up a quarrel with him. Well, sir,one Saturday night what did we see but anotice stuck up on this very tree, thatthere'd be a parson from Frankstown on themorrow to preach to us! We didn't likethe news, and we could tell pretty wellwhere the move come from, 'cause you seewe knew Jesse was pious. So we deter-mined, the greater part of us, that wewouldn't have no psalm-singing-no cant-ing-praying-no reading out of the Bible.


22 "OD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY."" Well, the minister came, and he founda Babel. We all got together, and weraved, and laughed, and pitched quoits, andmade such a noise that the parson had togive it up. He tried agin and agin, andcame right among us-he was plucky, Itell ye-but we hooted in his ears, andthrew mud on his bettermost clothes, andso he was fairly driven off-'cause you seewe had liquor enough in us to set us allcrazy."Poor Jesse !-how we jeered him afterthat --but he bore it meek, sir, and I wasoften ashamed of myself, though I'd diedafore I'd confessed it. But I'm sorry enoughfor my part of it; for one day there came arumbling, heavy noise, shaking the earth,and then a crash like rattling thunderbeneath our feet, and we knew that some-body was buried alive. It was in theworking shaft where Jesse was, and theredidn't happen to be a soul in the place


" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 23except him, poor fellow! They'd all goneinto another shaft, where he didn't like tofollow 'em 'cause they was such a wickedset; and as they was eating their dinnersand he his, the accident happened."We dug him out, sir! He was awfulcrushed-all but his face-that lookedsmiling and peaceful-like, and we couldn'tbear the sight; it made us think how we'da-treated him. So we carried him hometo Bessy. She didn't cry and take on, asmost of the men's wives do when an acci-dent happens, but it were awful to see howstill and white she were! Awful, sir; andI never want to see a sight like it agin !"We all felt bad-for poor Jesse hadn'tnever said a harsh word to one of us, andhe'd borne many an insult."We couldn't see through it when hewere living, but used to call him 'weakheaded,' and a 'tame cove;' but as he laythere in his coffin, there came a differentL;


24 "GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY."feeling over me, sir, yonf may depend uponit. Oh! if I'd a heard then the lessonthat was given to me, if I'd only listenedthen to the voice of God, speaking as itwere from the lips of that crushed deadbody, I'd a saved myself many a day ofsufferin'-many an hour of torment. But Ididn't."We all walked to the grave, and I tellye it touched even hard fellows like us, tosee that young widder with her little childin her arms foller close to the coffin-nevercrying, only holding her head down as if itwere too heavy bowed with her sorrow tokeep it up." Well, we had a talk at the grave by thesame parson as we'd treated so badly. Idon't know what his good words would a-done in after days, if I hadn't been a leaderin wickedness, a hater of pious people, andeverything that had to do with religion,-awicked, swearing, worthless sinner! I say


"GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 25it to my shame; I don't boast, sir,-God for-bid. I wish I could shut out of my thoughtall the years of my life that I ain't spentpiously. But God, I hope, 'll be mercifulto me."Well, sir-his wife-the poor youngthing! took the death sadly to heart. Theysaid the shock had been too sudden-driedup all her tears, like. She never cried onc't-only languished and pined, grew thinnerand whiter, and died just three monthsafter poor Jesse. That was how the littleboy-Jesse's little boy-came to be anorphan, sir."Well, we were all determined to takecare of the little one, so we cast lots everymonth to see which should have the main-tainin' of him. It used to come to mepretty often, but I done it willingly, sir,because I considered I'd been hard to theman-very hard to poor dead Jesse."The boy was pretty, sir, but he didn't


26 "GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY."grow much. You see he had no mother-loveto thrive on. The women, they thoughtthey did well by him, but they sort o'hustled him, and he wanted somethingdifferent, coming of a delicate stock. Idon't s'pose nothing, sir, can give a childthat feel, that having somebody to love andcall mother does-no, not all the cossettin'in the world by strangers."Well, the years passed, and the littlefellow began to be handy in the mine. Itseemed a pity to see him beginning thathard sort o' life, but then we're not able evento take care of one more helpless hand, andthere was plenty young as he down there.But he were so different from all the rest ofthe children. He looked for all the world,before he got the grim in his face, like agentleman's child, sir. His skin was likethe shells you sometimes see with a leetlered tinge on 'em, and he had his mother'large brown eyes, and his father's curly


" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 27hair, and then he was so slim-like andgirlish. But he had spirit beyond hisstrength, and gloried in work." Things was going on about as usual, exceptthat I was harder down on religion thanever. The soft feeling wore off my heart,and I think I hated what was pious worsenor before. Our Sundays was training-days-nothing good-everything evil, justas evil as could be." Well, sir-one day that little feller wason my beat, and he had done up his workquick and airly,-so he stood some timebeside me talking. He was queer at talk-ing-I never heard such strange things ashe'd say. So says he, as I was fixingmy tools-says he: Keene'-that's myname, sir--' where'd all this coal comefrom ?'"'Come from the earth,' I said."'Yes, but what made it ?'"I prided myself on my little larnin,' so


28 "GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY."says I, 'Why, nater made it, Pinky;'-weused to call him Pink, and Pinky."'Well, what made nater, Keene?' hestill kept askin'."'Why-why-nater made itself!' I said."' Oh, no!' he cried; and with a solemnlook as ever I seed on any face-and hisvoice somehow seemed strange, and deep,like a voice of warnin'-I don't know why,but I never heared anything like it; sayshe, 'God made everything; God is downhere in the dark!'" I declare it was as nigh as if a man hadstruck me as could be. Says I, 'Pinky,where'd you get that from ?'" Says he, 'The good man told me.'"' What good man ?' I asked, and anugly feeling came over me."' What preached at mammy's funeral,'said he."' And where'd you see him ?' I sort o'growled, like.


" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 29"'Out in the road yesterday. I seedhim on a horse, and he took me up andrided me ever so far and back, and he toldme all the good things.'" I was silent-I tell ye. I didn't knowwhat to say; but I was mad. Just then,in moving up quick, my lamp went out.Now that's a thing that don't happen but afew times in a good many years, and Iknew I'd have to wait and holler till some-body come-for the pit was full of holes-and so I said, 'Don't be afraid, Pinky,they'll be here soon;' but I was shaky, forwe was in a dangerous part of the pit."Says he, 'I don't feel afraid, Keene;don't you s'pose God's close to us ?'"I declare I felt my blood trickle cold,and every wind that come down the shaft-way I thought was His breath-the breathof God!"Well, the hours passed, and nobodycome. Presently says little Pinky, 'I'll go


30 " GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY."for you, God will show me the way;' and Iheard his little feet patting along themdangerous places. It was awful! The sweatstarted out on me thick, and it seemed likeI couldn't breathe. But when I called himback, he shouted with his little voice,' God'llshow me the way."It almost makes me tremble when Ithink on't, sir-the boy went over theworst road in the pit, full of sunk shafts anddangerous places, without no lamp! Oh!sir, when they came for me with plenty oflight-I couldn't believe it, sir, 1 couldn't;and though they kept telling me that Pinkywas safe, I tell you, sir, I thought it was alie, till I seed him, and heard him cry out,'I am safe, Keene-God showed me theway!'"Well, sir, you mayn't think this lookstrue; but 'tis. Oh! 'tis as true as wonder-ful, sir; and I tell you, I was a differentman after that. Not that I grew good at


" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 31once-no, I didn't know the way then, sir.I didn't feel like little Pinky; I didn't feelsure that God'd show me, but he did." One day, after Pinky had been workinghard, he said he was dry and his headached. Well, we always expected some-thing'd be ailing him-so that night Icarried him home in my arms and laid himon his bed, and he never, sir,"-the minerchoked for a moment, drew one rough handacross his eyes, turned away for a briefsecond, then said, hurriedly-" he never gotup from it of himself agin. Every night Icame home he was worse and worse, and Itell ye I felt as if all the light I ever seewas going out !" One morning he asked me in his weakvoice-' Wouldn't I send for the good manthat preached for his mammy ?' I didn'tsay no-'twan't in my heart to do thatthing, and before long the parson was there,talking and praying. That seemed to do


32 " GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY."the child good And as the miners droppedin, with their black faces, and the littlelamps in their hands, he'd smile round atem so sweet, sir, it would a done yourheart good to a seen it."The man paused again, overcome by therecollection of the scene. The musclesround his firm lips quivered, and over hisgreat bronzed face there swept an expressionof an almost womanly tenderness."Did he die then? " The question wassoftly asked, and the dark eyes of the ladywere full of tears." Oh, my dear miss-yes, yes, he diedthen! He grew very bright and lively,though, and we'd all set our hearts on hisgetting well, when there was another change,and the colour left his face-and his littlehands hadn't no strength in 'em. Theminister came again, and as he stoopeddown, says he,-' My dear child, are youafraid to go ?'


" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 33"And what do you think, sir-what doyou think, miss-he said ? Oh, how itwent through me!"' God'll show me the way!'"And he showed him the way, sir. Inever see anything like that dying, sir-never. He held my hand,-he said,' Keene,you love God, too!' He gave a gasp andthen a smile, and then there came a brightglory-light over his white face that made itshine all over-O sir-I-I-can't-tellit."The man held his head down and sobbedlike a child, and his were not the onlytears. The next morning was the Sabbath.A near bell was heard; a plain whitemeeting-house stood in sight. The strangerand his daughter met the miner, who, point-ing to the heavenward spire, exclaimed, as asmile broke over his face,-" You see, sir, God shows us all the way."E 3


THEDANGEROUS DOOR." OUSIN WILL, cousin Will, tell usa story Do please. There'sjust time before the school-bellrings;" and Harry, Kate, Bob, and little"Peace," a rosy battalion, surrounded hischair, and, at Bob's word of command,"Present arms," embraced his knees, clungaround his neck, and otherwise made sucha vigorous attack, that cousin Will sued formercy, and declared himself quite ready tosurrender." Well, what shall it be, little Peace ?"said he, taking the plump hand of favourite


THE DANGEROUS DOOR 35Lucy, who had obtained the name of"Peace," or "Peace-maker," on account ofher gentle disposition. For never could shehear angry words, or see an unloving lookpass between her little friends, or brothersand sisters, without doing everything in herpower to smooth over the trouble, and getthem to "kiss and make up.""Well, little Peace, what shall it be ?""Something true this time," said Peace;"for I'm getting tired of dragons and fairies.""Very well," said cousin Will. "I'veonly five minutes, and must be short. I'mgoing to tell you about some very danger-ous doors I've seen.""Oh! that's good," exclaimed Bob."Were they all iron, with heavy bars, andif one passed through would they shut witha great snap, and keep him there for ever?"" No," replied cousin Will, " the doors Imean are very pleasant to look upon. Theyare pink or scarlet, like sea-shell; and when


36 THE DANGEROUS DOOR.they are open, you can see a row of littleservants standing all in white, and just be-hind them is a little lady dressed in crimson.""Why, that's splendid !" cried Kate; "Ishould like to go in myself.""Ah, it is what comes out of those doorsthat makes them so dangerous. It is alwaysbest to have a strong guard on each side, orelse there is great trouble and misery.""Why, what comes out?" said littlePeace with wondering eyes."Well, I've never seen very clearly," saidcousin Will, "but sometimes when theguards were away, I've known something tocome out sharper than arrows, or stings ofbees, and make some terrible wounds. In-deed, quite lately I saw two very prettylittle doors close together, and when oneopened, the little crimson lady began to talkvery fast, and said something like this:'Oh! did you see Lucy Waters to-day?What a proud, stuck-up thing she is; but


THE DANGEROUS DOOR. 37that dress she thinks so much of is madeout of her sister's old one.'-' Oh yes,' saidthe little crimson lady, looking out of theother door; 'and did you ever see such afunny turn-up nose as she has ? Why, Ithink she'd try to keep it out of sight morethan she does, if she only knew how itlooked.' Then poor Lucy Waters, who wasonly round the corner of the house, felt asharp little sting in her heart, and ran hometo cry all the pleasant summer evening.""I know what you mean, cousin Will,"cried Kate, colouring violently, " but I don'tthink it was at all right for you to standaround listening.""Oh! do you mean our mouths are thedoors," exclaimed Harry, "and the littlecrimson lady is Miss Tongue ?""Even so," said cousin Will."Well, who form the guard, and wheredo they come from ?" asked Bob"Why, you have to ask the Great King,


38 THE DANGEROUS DOOR.and this is what you must say: 'Set awatch, 0 Lord, upon my lips, keep thedoor of my mouth.' Then he will sendPatience and Love to stand on one side ofthe door, and Truth and Humility on theother, and the sharp, bitter, stinging littlewords won't dare to come out.""I shall ask the Great King," said littlePeace thoughtfully.Cousin Will kissed her, and repeated theverse till each one could say it. " Now runto school," cried he cheerily, " and when youcome home, I will tell you the minute Ilook at the four little doors whether theKing's guard has been there all day."So the children trooped away with theirdinner baskets and books, and Love cer-tainly guarded the doors all the way to theschool-house. Even impulsive Kate thoughtdeeply on cousin Will's gentle reproof, andmade good resolutions for the future. Dur-ing the morning great peace and harmony


THE DANGEROUS DOOR. 39reigned throughout the school; but as theday advanced, it became very warm. Everyround cheek became flushed, and the restlesslittle figures seemed examples of perpetualmotion."Oh, I never did see such flies!" saidJenny Wood fretfully, waving her handaround her head." Why, Jenny Wood," cried Susy Waters,almost aloud, "You've knocked my elbow,and shook ink all over my copy. You're acareless, hateful girl! ""Susan," said Miss Saunders, the teacher," are you whispering ?""No, ma'am," replied Susy promptly.Peace looked up with such surprise inher innocent eyes, that Miss Saunders turnedand asked, "Lucy, who was whispering inyour part of the room ?"Susy and Jenny both turned upon herwith a very threatening look, and littlePeace, colouring painfully, burst into tears.


40 THE DANGEROUS DOOR." Never mind," said Miss Saunders kindly;"I did not think it was you, but Susan maysit a while upon the recitation bench."Susy looked very black, and as shepassed little Peace, she gave the child sucha violent pinch, that she could scarcely keepfrom screaming."You're a cruel, wicked girl!" beganMiss Tongue, but Love and Patience keptthe little red door tightly shut, and Susy didnot hear a word. Little Peace cried quietlyto herself a long time, but nobody seemedto notice it till the school was out, whensister Kate flew up to Susy Waters." Well, Susy, you certainly are the ugliestgirl; and more than that, you're a coward-for I've heard my father say that onlycowards hurt people who are smaller andweaker than themselves."Now Love, Humility, and Patience hadall tried to keep guard, and to whisper,"Poor Susy, she was very tired and warm,


THE DANGEROUS DOOR. 41and nobody speaks kindly to her. Try toforgive her." But no; the door flew open,and little Miss Tongue threw all those hardstones at Susy's heart.Now Susy was very passionate, and shestamped her feet, and grew crimson withrage, and said such very hard things, thatJenny Wood and most of the other girlstook sides with Kate, and there was soonsuch a Babel of tongues, that the boys lefttheir game of ball and came to see whatwas the matter." What is it, Peace? " cried Harry Graham,taking his little frightened sister from Kate'sneck.-" Why, Katie, you look as mad aspoor puss when Towser had chased her foran hour. I wonder what cousin Williamwould say to that mouth."Kate looked a little ashamed; and FredWaters, taking his sister by the arm, ledher away home, bitterly telling over wrongsin his sympathizing ear. So the little party


42 THE DANGEROUS DOOR.separated, and Kate, too, ran home with herflushed cheeks, taking good care to keep outof cousin Will's way.Immediately after tea Jenny Wood cameinto the garden. " 0 Kate," she cried, "Imust tell you what John is going to do.You know he dislikes that hateful SusyWaters as much as we do, and he says thathe will pay her to-night for all that she hasdone.""What will he do?" cried Kate eagerly."Why, he, with one of the other boys, isgoing there after dark to get that whitekitten she thinks so much of, and cut off itstail!"Kate looked shocked somewhat, and said," Oh I'm afraid that won't be just right."But Jenny talked so fast, and recalled somany ugly things that she had said anddone, that Kate's scruples were almosthushed. But Peace, who stood by, withsad, troubled eyes, immediately resolved in


THE DANGEROUS DOOR. 43hergenerous little heart to try to give Susywarning. Finding Bob, she hastily toldhim the whole story, and that she must goto Susy's, but she'd run all the way, andbe back before dark.It was a long walk for the tired littlegirl, but the patient feet started bravely ontheir errand of love. The sun set-theshadows lengthened-all the little birdssang their sweet good-night, and put theirheads under their wings, but no little Peacecame back! Soon there were inquiries onevery side, and great shouting and calling,but no sweet echoing voice returned. Ser-vants were despatched in every direction,but all in vain. Soon the family becamemuch alarmed, and little Bob was awakenedto be asked if he knew anything of hissister. He told all the story; and Kate,colouring under cousin Will's reproachfulgaze, burst into bitter weeping. But noone had time to comfort her; for father,


44 THE DANGEROUS DOOR.mother, cousin Will, and all, started forthwith lanterns to find the pet of the house-hold."I suppose she is blessed wherever sheis," said little Bob confidently, "because she'sa peace-maker."" Oh, perhaps," groaned Kate, " she's goneaway from us all, to be one of the childrenof God."All night long they searched for littlePeace, but she had not been at Susy's, norcould she anywhere be found. When themorning dawned, all her little schoolmateswith solemn faces joined in the search.Susy Waters, who had heard the wholestory of the dear heart of little Peace, cameup to Kate, with a pale, tear-stained face." 0 Kate, I shall never be happy again.How cruel I was to your sweet little sister!Can you ever forgive me ?"Humility opened the door, and Kate saidsoftly "I am just as bad as you. If I had


THE DANGEROUS DOOR 45only been as kind as Peace, you would havebeen different. I shall never forgive myself."Just then Bob cried, "Here's a part ofher dress on the fence!" Cousin Willsprang forward, and, climbing over, lookedeagerly around.Suddenly Farmer Waters cried, " There'san old half-choked well by the fence in thenext field. Could the little one have losther way, and fallen into that ?"Cousin Will rushed forward, followed bythe whole company. Yes, the rotten oldboards which had covered it for years werebroken, and there was another piece of thelittle blue dress!Cousin Will shuddered, and threw him-self down to look over the brink. Thencame a wild, triumphant cry. The old wellwas nearly filled up with rubbish. She hadfallen only a little way, and there, bathedin the rosy morning light, the eager eyes,looking over, saw the fair hair and the sweet,


46 THE DANGEROUS DOOR.calm eyes of little Peace. Each boy's captook a turn in the air, and a clear, ringing"hurrah!" carried the good news to everyhouse in the place.Then followed warm embraces and happytears, as the child was passed from friendto friend. Then, while Susy, Jenny, andKate knelt hand in hand, the good oldminister, with his hand on the head of littlePeace, offered up a fervent thanksgiving.And after praying that the little lambsmight never forget the lesson of the night,but that God would teach them that lifeand death are in the power of the tongue,and that he would always keep the doorsof all those tender mouths, he added rever-ently :-" Lord, open Thou our lips, and ourmouths shall shew forth thy praise." Andall the children said, " Amen."


A TALK ABOUT BIRDS.NE bright morning, when the yellowdandelions were shining out likeso many golden guineas in thegreen grass, and the brooks were chatteringand purling to one another, and small eye-brights were looking up from the turf likeflocks of little white sheep, a boy, whom weshall call Jamie, found, all of a sudden, thathis school had stopped, and that he hadcome to the first day of his vacation.So says Jamie to himself, " What shall Ido all day long ?" After a while he thoughthe would take a basket, and go over into aneighbouring field, and gather some eye-


48 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS.brights and violets, to dress flower-vases forhis mamma.Well, over the fence he went, andwandered far off into the field; and therehe met two strange boys, larger than he,whose names were Will Drake and CharlesJones." Hollo!" said one of the boys to him;" come along with us-we are going to havefun. We have got our pockets full of stones,and we are going to kill birds with them;it's the best fun in the world."Now, Jamie was a thoughtless littlefellow, and when another boy asked himto do a thing, at it he went at once, with-out so much as thinking whether it wasright or not; so he filled his pockets withstones, and began running and shoutingwith the other boys."Hollo! there's a bird chirping," saidone; "I'll hit him."" Look at that robin !" bawled another;


A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 49"send a stone at him. Oh, there's a blue-bird now for him !"I am happy to say that these boys missedtheir aim generally; for they had muchworse intentions than they had skill toexecute.While they were thus running about, anice white cat came stepping along the topof a fence, putting down her paws as daintilyas any lady. " Hollo! there's a cat; nowfor fun," shouted Will Drake, as he let flya stone, and then dashed after the cat.Puss was frightened, and scampered offwith all her might; and all the three boysjoined chase after her, and came tumbling,one after another, over the back-yard fenceof the place where Jamie lived.Now, Jamie's mother had been sitting ather window watching the whole affair; andshe stood up, and called in a very quiet way,"Jamie, come up here; I have something toshow you."E 4


50 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS.The other two boys slunk away a little.Jamie went up into his mother's room, allpanting and hot, and began-" Mamma,what do you want to show me?" Shewashed his heated face and hands, and thentook from a drawer a small black box, whichshe wound up with a key like a watch-key.As soon as the box was set down, it beganto play a most beautiful tune, and Jamiewas astonished and delighted." What a curious box !" said he. " Whodid make it ?""I do not know," said his mother; "butwhy do you think it is curious ?""Why, it is curious to see a musicalinstrument shut up in such a little box.Why, I could carry this about in my pocket.I wish it were mine; I'd set it agoing, andput it in my pocket some day, and then Icould make the boys stare."" But," said his mother, "if you think itstrange to see a musical instrument put in


A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 51a little box, what would you think if Icould tell you of one which was put in abird's throat ?"" In a bird's throat! " said Jamie; "whoever heard of such a thing ?"" Well," answered his mother, "there is aboy in this room who has been listeningthis morning to a little instrument which isinside of a bird's throat, and which canmake sweeter music than this box, and yethe did not seem to wonder at it at all "Jamie looked wonderingly at his mother." When you went into the field, did younot hear robins and blue-birds playing onlittle instruments in their throats, and mak-ing all sorts of sweet sounds ? Look nowat your little canary-bird hanging in thewindow, and see, when he sings, how histhroat trembles."" Oh, I know what you mean now!" saidJamie; "you mean my little canary-bird islike a music-box. Well, but what sort of


52 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS.an instrument has he got in his throat?I'm sure I don't know.""Why, he has a little, fine, soft flute, thatcan play as many notes as a piano.""A flute in his throat!" said Jamie,laughing. "What a funny idea!""It is even so," said his mother. "Thelittle pipe through which the canary-birdplays his tunes is more curiously made thanany flute which any instrument-maker everformed-it is so small, yet so perfect. Itfits into his throat so easily as never tointerrupt his eating or breathing; and itturns whichever way he bends his head.Now, did you ever hear of any musicalinstrument that was as curious as this ?""Well, it is strange," said Jamie. "Imight have heard a bird sing a month, andnever have thought of all this; but now Ido think of it, it seems very curious. But,mother, what is the little flute made of ?""It is made of little elastic rings."


A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 53"Elastic what is that ?" said Jamie."Why, like india-rubber-springy, andeasily bent; and its being made of so manylittle elastic rings is the reason why he canturn and bend his throat without any in-convenience, which he could not do if itwere a straight stiff pipe, like a flute." But," continued his mother, " these littlebright eyes that your bird has are morewonderful than anything I have yet toldyou of, though the contrivance is so verycomplicated that I do not think I can makeyou understand it.""What is complicated ? " said Jamie."The machinery in the inside of mywatch is complicated; that is, it is made upof a great many parts which answer manydifferent purposes. And there is a machineryinside of one of those little birds' eyes that ismore complicated still.""What! that little dot of an eye, notbigger than a pin's head ?"


54 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS."Well, let me tell you. Inside of thatlittle eye is a contrivance by which, whenthe bird is looking at you, an exact pictureof you is painted on the back of his eye.""It must be a very small picture," saidJamie." Of course it is," said his mother; " butstill it is a picture exactly like you; every lineand every colour in your face are paintedexactly on the back of that little eye.""Pray how is it done?" said Jamie."That, my dear boy, is the machinerywhich I told you was so complicated-I cannot hope to make you understand it.There is a contrivance just like it in yourown eye, and in the eye of every animal;but it is more curious in a bird's eye, be-cause it is so very small."" What do we all have pictures paintedon the back of our eyes? Is that the waywe see ?""Yes, that is the way; and when you


A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 58are older you will be able to understandthe wonderful and beautiful contrivance bywhich this is done. It has cost learnedmen much study to find it out, and theyhave discovered that the way in which theeye of a bird is made is in some respectsmore curious than that of our own.""Well, mamma," said Jamie, "you haveconvinced me of one thing; and that is,that there is a great deal more to be learnedabout a little bird than I ever supposed.""But, Jamie, I have not yet told youhalf. Every bone in this little bird's bodyis as carefully made and finished as if thatbone were the only thing the Creator hadto make; and the joints of them are curi-ously contrived, so that the little fellow canhop, and spring, and turn all day, and yetnothing grates or gets out of order. Theyall are so springy and easy, that I doubtwhether he ever thought that he had a jointin his body at all. Then he has contriv-


56 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS.ances in his little stomach for dissolving hisfood and turning it into blood, and he hasblood-vessels to carry it all over his body,and he has nerves to feel with, and musclesto move with."" Now, mother, I don't know what nervesand muscles are," said Jamie."Nerves are what you feel with. Youeat, and the nerves of your mouth give youyour taste. The nerves of your nose giveyou smell. The nerves of your eyes see,and the nerves of your ears enable you tohear, and the nerves that cover your wholebody enable you to feel. These nerves allcome from a very large nerve that runsdown through the middle of your back-bone,and which is commonly called the spinalmarrow; and they go through the wholebody, dividing and branching out, till theyform a network covering over the whole ofit, so that you cannot put the point of a pinanywhere without touching a nerve."


A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 57" Mother, has a bird just such nerves ?""Very much the same.""And what are muscles ?""Did you never pull a piece of lean meatinto little strings ?" said his mother." Yes," said Jamie." Well, a muscle is a bundle of such littlestrings; and these strings generally end in astrong tough cord, called a tendon. Thismuscle has the power of shrinking up short,like india-rubber; and when it shrinks itpulls the tendon, and the tendon pulls what-ever it is fastened to. I can show you sometendons in a moment. Feel the back of yourhand; don't you find that there is a tough,hard cord runs down from every finger?These are tendons. Now take hold tightround your arm, and shut up your hand."Jamie did so, and exclaimed, " Oh, mother,when I shut up my hand I feel somethingmove up here by my elbow !""That is the muscle," said his mother.


58 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS."You feel it drawing up short, and it pullsthe tendons, and these tendons pull downyour fingers."Jamie amused himself some time withopening and shutting his hand, and then hesaid, "Well, are all the movements that wemake done in the same way, by muscles andtendons ?""Yes," said his mother; "and all themotions of the animals. There are dozensand dozens of muscles, shrinking, andstretching, and pulling about in little Cherryevery few moments, and yet none of themwear out, or break, or get out of order, orgive him the least trouble.""I imagine Cherry doesn't think muchabout them," said Jamie, as he watchedthe little fellow hopping about in hiscage."Poor little Cherry!" said his mother;"he cannot understand how much God hasdone for him, with what watchful care he


A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 59has made his little body, how carefully hehas guarded it from all kinds of suffering,and how many beautiful contrivances thereare in it to make him happy."" No, indeed," said Jamie; "if he did, hewould love God.""Well, Jamie," said his mother, "howshould you feel, if you had contrived somecurious and beautiful little play-thing, andjust as you had it all nicely finished off,some boy should come along with a greatstick, and knock it all to pieces ? ""Feel!" said Jamie; " why I should bemad enough."" And suppose that some gentleman shouldinvite you and two or three other boys tohis house, and should show you into a largehall full of most beautiful pictures, andlooking-glasses, and flowers, and every kindof beautiful things, and you should amuseyourselveswith breaking his looking-glasses,and beating down his flowers, and pulling


60 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS.to pieces all his curious and beautiful things;how do you think he would feel ?"" Why, I should think he would feel veryangry, to be sure.""Well, Jamie, when little boys go outinto the woods and fields, which God hasfilled with beautiful trees and flowers, andwith hundreds of little happy birds, all socuriously and beautifully made, and amusethemselves only with throwing stones atthem, and killing them, must not God bedispleased ?""Certainly, I should think he must," saidJamie. After a few minutes, he added,"And it is a great deal worse to kill littlebirds than it is to break looking-glasses,and such things; because little birds canfeel you know.""Yes," said his mother; "and the carewith which God has made them shows howmuch he has thought about them, and howcareful he has been to do all he can to make


A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 61them happy. The Bible says, his tendermercies are over all his works; he is notmerely good to everything, but he is tenderand careful in all he does, as a mother istender in taking care of a little helplessinfant."


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20 GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." be pleasanter for the young miss, for the sun be hot." The lady and gentleman followed the brown and weather-beaten man to the cool shadow of the oak, and finding a seat for the young lady on a convenient root that came squarely up from the ground, the miner began, with his customary preface:"You see-Pinky were the son of Jesse Pinkam, a young man, and a regular good one, as the saying goes. I reckon Pinkam was the only man of us as ever said the Lord's Prayer, or any other prayer. He were a nice young fellow, that's the fact! But we're a rude set, sir, we of the mines, and 'specially in this place; we didn't like anything that was what we call 'pious.' Sundays, sir, used to be the regular-well, I might say, devil's-day, with us. It was nothing but drinking and dancing, pitching, and cards, and swearing. "Well, sir, you see, Jesse he got married



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" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 21 to a regular lady-like girl, sir, and it turned out a pious one. They didn't none of 'em -that is, Pinkam, his wife, and old mother -jine us in our merry-makings on a Sabbath, but sometimes the young man and Bessy-that's his wife, sir-would walk five miles to hear a parson preach. We was all down upon Jesse, sir-you see the real thing was, he made us ashamed of ourselves by his goodness, and I was worse than the rest, trying my best all the time to pick up a quarrel with him. Well, sir, one Saturday night what did we see but a notice stuck up on this very tree, that there'd be a parson from Frankstown on the morrow to preach to us! We didn't like the news, and we could tell pretty well where the move come from, 'cause you see we knew Jesse was pious. So we determined, the greater part of us, that we wouldn't have no psalm-singing-no canting-praying-no reading out of the Bible.



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18 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. "And will all that ever happen to me ?" said Jenny. "Yes, if you take up your cross daily, and bear it patiently for Christ's sake, you, too, shall see the King in his beauty." Carrie came home very cross that night. She knew she had been selfish, and nothing had gone right all day, while there sat Jenny, looking so wonderfully happy. What could be the reason ? Was she doing it just to be provoking? The little party stopping at the gate were very voluble, telling Jenny of the pleasures of the day. "They never before had had such a splendid time, and had never seen the woods so beautiful, and so full of birds and flowers." But not one of* t little party was so happy as the patient little cross-bearer; for the angels were singing, "She shall see the King in his beauty, and the land that is very far off."



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" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 23 except him, poor fellow! They'd all gone into another shaft, where he didn't like to follow 'em 'cause they was such a wicked set; and as they was eating their dinners and he his, the accident happened. "We dug him out, sir! He was awful crushed-all but his face-that looked smiling and peaceful-like, and we couldn't bear the sight; it made us think how we'd a-treated him. So we carried him home to Bessy. She didn't cry and take on, as most of the men's wives do when an accident happens, but it were awful to see how still and white she were! Awful, sir; and I never want to see a sight like it agin "We all felt bad-for poor Jesse hadn't never said a harsh word to one of us, and he'd borne many an insult. "We couldn't see through it when he were living, but used to call him 'weak headed,' and a 'tame cove;' but as he lay there in his coffin, there came a different L;



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52 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. an instrument has he got in his throat? I'm sure I don't know." "Why, he has a little, fine, soft flute, that can play as many notes as a piano." "A flute in his throat!" said Jamie, laughing. "What a funny idea!" "It is even so," said his mother. "The little pipe through which the canary-bird plays his tunes is more curiously made than any flute which any instrument-maker ever formed-it is so small, yet so perfect. It fits into his throat so easily as never to interrupt his eating or breathing; and it turns whichever way he bends his head. Now, did you ever hear of any musical instrument that was as curious as this ?" "Well, it is strange," said Jamie. "I might have heard a bird sing a month, and never have thought of all this; but now I do think of it, it seems very curious. But, mother, what is the little flute made of ?" "It is made of little elastic rings."



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LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 11 happy through all that warm day. But would it be any easier for her mother, left all alone with her aching head ? "No," thought Jenny, "I cannot be so selfish. I should not enjoy myself at all." "What are you thinking about so long?" asked Carrie impatiently. Come, let's get our baskets ready." "I believe I won't go," faltered Jenny. "Why not?" cried two or three disappointed voices. "I can't bear to leave mamma so sick." "What a mean girl you are, Jenny Bell," whispered Carrie angrily. "You want to make all the girls think you are such a saint, and I am so selfish. That's all you're doing it for-just to show off." "No, indeed, Carrie," said Jenny, colouring deeply; and turning to the girls, she added,"One of us can go just as well as not, and, of course, as Carrie is the oldest, she



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LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. T was a rosy morning in June, and the sun, who had gone to bed .very unwillingly the night before, "cliniging to the hill-tops with his long red fingers, some time after his honest face had disappeared, $was back again bright and early, and seemed to be full of business. He pricked the eyelids of the young robins with fine golden needles, till they awoke, and chirped so shrilly for their breakfast, that the poor mother bird had to stop short in a beautiful little prayer she was just setting to music, and hurry down to see if there were any fresh worms in the bird



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LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 17 and the happy pilgrims passed through the everlasting gates into the golden city. Jenny's tears fell fast as she finished the strange little book, which she could not quite understand. "My sweet little daughter," said a voice; and looking up, she saw her mother coming in at the door, and knew from her eyes that the bad headache was quite gone. "You have made me very happy," continued Mrs. Bell, kissing Jenny's round cheeks. "You have been so self-sacrificing and patient to-day, that I am sure my prayers have been heard, and that one of my little daughters is learning to take up her cross daily, and follow Christ." "Mother," said Jenny eagerly, "do you mean that I am a cross-bearer ?" "You certainly have been to-day," said her mother, with an affectionate smile. Jenny burst into happy tears, and held out her little book. They read it over together, and Jenny's mother explained it. E 2



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32 GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." the child good And as the miners dropped in, with their black faces, and the little lamps in their hands, he'd smile round at em so sweet, sir, it would a done your heart good to a seen it." The man paused again, overcome by the recollection of the scene. The muscles round his firm lips quivered, and over his great bronzed face there swept an expression of an almost womanly tenderness. "Did he die then? The question was softly asked, and the dark eyes of the lady were full of tears. Oh, my dear miss-yes, yes, he died then! He grew very bright and lively, though, and we'd all set our hearts on his getting well, when there was another change, and the colour left his face-and his little hands hadn't no strength in 'em. The minister came again, and as he stooped down, says he,-' My dear child, are you afraid to go ?'



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24 "GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." feeling over me, sir, yonf may depend upon it. Oh! if I'd a heard then the lesson that was given to me, if I'd only listened then to the voice of God, speaking as it were from the lips of that crushed dead body, I'd a saved myself many a day of sufferin'-many an hour of torment. But I didn't. "We all walked to the grave, and I tell ye it touched even hard fellows like us, to see that young widder with her little child in her arms foller close to the coffin-never crying, only holding her head down as if it were too heavy bowed with her sorrow to keep it up. Well, we had a talk at the grave by the same parson as we'd treated so badly. I don't know what his good words would adone in after days, if I hadn't been a leader in wickedness, a hater of pious people, and everything that had to do with religion,-a wicked, swearing, worthless sinner! I say



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A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. NE bright morning, when the yellow dandelions were shining out like so many golden guineas in the green grass, and the brooks were chattering and purling to one another, and small eyebrights were looking up from the turf like flocks of little white sheep, a boy, whom we shall call Jamie, found, all of a sudden, that his school had stopped, and that he had come to the first day of his vacation. So says Jamie to himself, What shall I do all day long ?" After a while he thought he would take a basket, and go over into a neighbouring field, and gather some eye-



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LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 13 headache; and then Walter and Fred and I are going to have a nice time out in the arbour." The happy tears came into Mrs. Bell's eyes as her kind daughter arranged the pillows under her throbbing head, and, darkening the room, stole softly out with Fred and Walter. But it was no small task that Jenny had undertaken. Poor baby Fred bit his fingers with his hot, swollen gums; but as that did not make matters any better, he threw away, one after another, flowers, books, and playthings which patient Jenny brought, and was quite determined to be a very unhappy little baby. Then Walter was full of mischief, and could only be kept still with stories, which poor Jenny told industriously, walking up and down the garden walk, carrying baby Fred till she thought her arms would drop off. Once in a while a vision crossed her of





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THE DANGEROUS DOOR 35 Lucy, who had obtained the name of "Peace," or "Peace-maker," on account of her gentle disposition. For never could she hear angry words, or see an unloving look pass between her little friends, or brothers and sisters, without doing everything in her power to smooth over the trouble, and get them to "kiss and make up." "Well, little Peace, what shall it be ?" "Something true this time," said Peace; "for I'm getting tired of dragons and fairies." "Very well," said cousin Will. "I've only five minutes, and must be short. I'm going to tell you about some very dangerous doors I've seen." "Oh! that's good," exclaimed Bob. "Were they all iron, with heavy bars, and if one passed through would they shut with a great snap, and keep him there for ever?" No," replied cousin Will, the doors I mean are very pleasant to look upon. They are pink or scarlet, like sea-shell; and when



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8 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. market. Then he poured a shower bath of light on the heads of the sleepy flowers, not forgetting to creep under broad leaves, and touch the shy little violets, so that the most modest blossoms-Cinderellas among flowers -nodded their heads to one another in glad surprise at their new golden crowns, and whispered, So we are to be princesses, after i all." Then creeping out again, he met two or three little girls in the road, and, kissing them right in the eyes, said:-"So this is the day for your picnic. I was in the woods all day yesterday making ready for you. You'll find a path all emerald and gold, dry and soft as the parlour carpet, and I've hung the rocks with moss and flowers; and I looked so hard at the wild strawberries that the foolish little things turned red, but you won't like them any the less for that." The little girls laughed merrily, and,



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LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 9 hurrying home, packed their dinner baskets in such haste, that Carrie and Jenny Bell had hardly finished their breakfasts when the whole eager party arrived at the garden gate. "Why, girls," cried Susy Wright, "not ready yet ? Do hurry, for it is a long walk, and we want to get into the woods before it grows much warmer." "It won't take me two minutes," cried Carrie, but Jeany stood irresolute. "I'm afraid we oughtn't to go." "Why not, pray ?" cried Carrie sharply. "Why, you know mamma has one of her bad headaches coming on, and there's Walter and Fred to be taken care of." "Well, and there's Sally to do it," said Carrie. But you know Sally's sister is very sick, and mamma has given her leave to go home to-day." "How provoking," said Carrie, fretfully.



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36 THE DANGEROUS DOOR. they are open, you can see a row of little servants standing all in white, and just behind them is a little lady dressed in crimson." "Why, that's splendid !" cried Kate; "I should like to go in myself." "Ah, it is what comes out of those doors that makes them so dangerous. It is always best to have a strong guard on each side, or else there is great trouble and misery." "Why, what comes out?" said little Peace with wondering eyes. "Well, I've never seen very clearly," said cousin Will, "but sometimes when the guards were away, I've known something to come out sharper than arrows, or stings of bees, and make some terrible wounds. Indeed, quite lately I saw two very pretty little doors close together, and when one opened, the little crimson lady began to talk very fast, and said something like this: 'Oh! did you see Lucy Waters to-day? What a proud, stuck-up thing she is; but



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44 THE DANGEROUS DOOR. mother, cousin Will, and all, started forth with lanterns to find the pet of the household. "I suppose she is blessed wherever she is," said little Bob confidently, "because she's a peace-maker." Oh, perhaps," groaned Kate, she's gone away from us all, to be one of the children of God." All night long they searched for little Peace, but she had not been at Susy's, nor could she anywhere be found. When the morning dawned, all her little schoolmates with solemn faces joined in the search. Susy Waters, who had heard the whole story of the dear heart of little Peace, came up to Kate, with a pale, tear-stained face. 0 Kate, I shall never be happy again. How cruel I was to your sweet little sister! Can you ever forgive me ?" Humility opened the door, and Kate said softly "I am just as bad as you. If I had



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'< ' LITTLE CIROSS-BEAIRERS. .c^^ ^ ^.~Oh



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46 THE DANGEROUS DOOR. calm eyes of little Peace. Each boy's cap took a turn in the air, and a clear, ringing "hurrah!" carried the good news to every house in the place. Then followed warm embraces and happy tears, as the child was passed from friend to friend. Then, while Susy, Jenny, and Kate knelt hand in hand, the good old minister, with his hand on the head of little Peace, offered up a fervent thanksgiving. And after praying that the little lambs might never forget the lesson of the night, but that God would teach them that life and death are in the power of the tongue, and that he would always keep the doors of all those tender mouths, he added reverently :" Lord, open Thou our lips, and our mouths shall shew forth thy praise." And all the children said, Amen."



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"GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 25 it to my shame; I don't boast, sir,-God forbid. I wish I could shut out of my thought all the years of my life that I ain't spent piously. But God, I hope, 'll be merciful to me. "Well, sir-his wife-the poor young thing! took the death sadly to heart. They said the shock had been too sudden-dried up all her tears, like. She never cried onc't -only languished and pined, grew thinner and whiter, and died just three months after poor Jesse. That was how the little boy-Jesse's little boy-came to be an orphan, sir. "Well, we were all determined to take care of the little one, so we cast lots every month to see which should have the maintainin' of him. It used to come to me pretty often, but I done it willingly, sir, because I considered I'd been hard to the man-very hard to poor dead Jesse. "The boy was pretty, sir, but he didn't



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A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 57 Mother, has a bird just such nerves ?" "Very much the same." "And what are muscles ?" "Did you never pull a piece of lean meat into little strings ?" said his mother. Yes," said Jamie. Well, a muscle is a bundle of such little strings; and these strings generally end in a strong tough cord, called a tendon. This muscle has the power of shrinking up short, like india-rubber; and when it shrinks it pulls the tendon, and the tendon pulls whatever it is fastened to. I can show you some tendons in a moment. Feel the back of your hand; don't you find that there is a tough, hard cord runs down from every finger? These are tendons. Now take hold tight round your arm, and shut up your hand." Jamie did so, and exclaimed, Oh, mother, when I shut up my hand I feel something move up here by my elbow !" "That is the muscle," said his mother.



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A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 61 them happy. The Bible says, his tender mercies are over all his works; he is not merely good to everything, but he is tender and careful in all he does, as a mother is tender in taking care of a little helpless infant."



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42 THE DANGEROUS DOOR. separated, and Kate, too, ran home with her flushed cheeks, taking good care to keep out of cousin Will's way. Immediately after tea Jenny Wood came into the garden. 0 Kate," she cried, "I must tell you what John is going to do. You know he dislikes that hateful Susy Waters as much as we do, and he says that he will pay her to-night for all that she has done." "What will he do?" cried Kate eagerly. "Why, he, with one of the other boys, is going there after dark to get that white kitten she thinks so much of, and cut off its tail!" Kate looked shocked somewhat, and said, Oh I'm afraid that won't be just right." But Jenny talked so fast, and recalled so many ugly things that she had said and done, that Kate's scruples were almost hushed. But Peace, who stood by, with sad, troubled eyes, immediately resolved in



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A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 51 a little box, what would you think if I could tell you of one which was put in a bird's throat ?" In a bird's throat! said Jamie; "who ever heard of such a thing ?" Well," answered his mother, "there is a boy in this room who has been listening this morning to a little instrument which is inside of a bird's throat, and which can make sweeter music than this box, and yet he did not seem to wonder at it at all Jamie looked wonderingly at his mother. When you went into the field, did you not hear robins and blue-birds playing on little instruments in their throats, and making all sorts of sweet sounds ? Look now at your little canary-bird hanging in the window, and see, when he sings, how his throat trembles." Oh, I know what you mean now!" said Jamie; "you mean my little canary-bird is like a music-box. Well, but what sort of



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48 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. brights and violets, to dress flower-vases for his mamma. Well, over the fence he went, and wandered far off into the field; and there he met two strange boys, larger than he, whose names were Will Drake and Charles Jones. Hollo!" said one of the boys to him; come along with us-we are going to have fun. We have got our pockets full of stones, and we are going to kill birds with them; it's the best fun in the world." Now, Jamie was a thoughtless little fellow, and when another boy asked him to do a thing, at it he went at once, without so much as thinking whether it was right or not; so he filled his pockets with stones, and began running and shouting with the other boys. "Hollo! there's a bird chirping," said one; "I'll hit him." Look at that robin !" bawled another;



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22 "OD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." Well, the minister came, and he found a Babel. We all got together, and we raved, and laughed, and pitched quoits, and made such a noise that the parson had to give it up. He tried agin and agin, and came right among us-he was plucky, I tell ye-but we hooted in his ears, and threw mud on his bettermost clothes, and so he was fairly driven off-'cause you see we had liquor enough in us to set us all crazy. "Poor Jesse !-how we jeered him after that --but he bore it meek, sir, and I was often ashamed of myself, though I'd died afore I'd confessed it. But I'm sorry enough for my part of it; for one day there came a rumbling, heavy noise, shaking the earth, and then a crash like rattling thunder beneath our feet, and we knew that somebody was buried alive. It was in the working shaft where Jesse was, and there didn't happen to be a soul in the place



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" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 29 "'Out in the road yesterday. I seed him on a horse, and he took me up and rided me ever so far and back, and he told me all the good things.' I was silent-I tell ye. I didn't know what to say; but I was mad. Just then, in moving up quick, my lamp went out. Now that's a thing that don't happen but a few times in a good many years, and I knew I'd have to wait and holler till somebody come-for the pit was full of holesand so I said, 'Don't be afraid, Pinky, they'll be here soon;' but I was shaky, for we was in a dangerous part of the pit. "Says he, 'I don't feel afraid, Keene; don't you s'pose God's close to us ?' "I declare I felt my blood trickle cold, and every wind that come down the shaftway I thought was His breath-the breath of God! "Well, the hours passed, and nobody come. Presently says little Pinky, 'I'll go



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THE DANGEROUS DOOR. 39 reigned throughout the school; but as the day advanced, it became very warm. Every round cheek became flushed, and the restless little figures seemed examples of perpetual motion. "Oh, I never did see such flies!" said Jenny Wood fretfully, waving her hand around her head. Why, Jenny Wood," cried Susy Waters, almost aloud, "You've knocked my elbow, and shook ink all over my copy. You're a careless, hateful girl! "Susan," said Miss Saunders, the teacher, are you whispering ?" "No, ma'am," replied Susy promptly. Peace looked up with such surprise in her innocent eyes, that Miss Saunders turned and asked, "Lucy, who was whispering in your part of the room ?" Susy and Jenny both turned upon her with a very threatening look, and little Peace, colouring painfully, burst into tears.



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38 THE DANGEROUS DOOR. and this is what you must say: 'Set a watch, 0 Lord, upon my lips, keep the door of my mouth.' Then he will send Patience and Love to stand on one side of the door, and Truth and Humility on the other, and the sharp, bitter, stinging little words won't dare to come out." "I shall ask the Great King," said little Peace thoughtfully. Cousin Will kissed her, and repeated the verse till each one could say it. Now run to school," cried he cheerily, and when you come home, I will tell you the minute I look at the four little doors whether the King's guard has been there all day." So the children trooped away with their dinner baskets and books, and Love certainly guarded the doors all the way to the school-house. Even impulsive Kate thought deeply on cousin Will's gentle reproof, and made good resolutions for the future. During the morning great peace and harmony



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"GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." ES, sir," said the man, running his hand through his shaggy locks, his harsh face showing the marks of unusual intelligence, "mining in this region be a hard life, but I think we've all been better since little Pinky went away." "And who was little Pinky ?" asked the gentleman, while the dark eyes of the young lady at his side sparkled in anticipation of a story. "Well, you see-it be something of a tell-and if ye'd move further on to the shade of the old oak yonder, it'll mayhap



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50 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. The other two boys slunk away a little. Jamie went up into his mother's room, all panting and hot, and began-" Mamma, what do you want to show me?" She washed his heated face and hands, and then took from a drawer a small black box, which she wound up with a key like a watch-key. As soon as the box was set down, it began to play a most beautiful tune, and Jamie was astonished and delighted. What a curious box !" said he. Who did make it ?" "I do not know," said his mother; "but why do you think it is curious ?" "Why, it is curious to see a musical instrument shut up in such a little box. Why, I could carry this about in my pocket. I wish it were mine; I'd set it agoing, and put it in my pocket some day, and then I could make the boys stare." But," said his mother, "if you think it strange to see a musical instrument put in



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40 THE DANGEROUS DOOR. Never mind," said Miss Saunders kindly; "I did not think it was you, but Susan may sit a while upon the recitation bench." Susy looked very black, and as she passed little Peace, she gave the child such a violent pinch, that she could scarcely keep from screaming. "You're a cruel, wicked girl!" began Miss Tongue, but Love and Patience kept the little red door tightly shut, and Susy did not hear a word. Little Peace cried quietly to herself a long time, but nobody seemed to notice it till the school was out, when sister Kate flew up to Susy Waters. Well, Susy, you certainly are the ugliest girl; and more than that, you're a coward -for I've heard my father say that only cowards hurt people who are smaller and weaker than themselves." Now Love, Humility, and Patience had all tried to keep guard, and to whisper, "Poor Susy, she was very tired and warm,



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" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 31 once-no, I didn't know the way then, sir. I didn't feel like little Pinky; I didn't feel sure that God'd show me, but he did. One day, after Pinky had been working hard, he said he was dry and his head ached. Well, we always expected something'd be ailing him-so that night I carried him home in my arms and laid him on his bed, and he never, sir,"-the miner choked for a moment, drew one rough hand across his eyes, turned away for a brief second, then said, hurriedly-" he never got up from it of himself agin. Every night I came home he was worse and worse, and I tell ye I felt as if all the light I ever see was going out One morning he asked me in his weak voice-' Wouldn't I send for the good man that preached for his mammy ?' I didn't say no-'twan't in my heart to do that thing, and before long the parson was there, talking and praying. That seemed to do



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LITTLE OROSS-BEARERS, ... ... .. ... "GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY," ... ... ... 19 THE DANGEROUS DOOR, ... ... ... ... 34 A TALK ABOOT BIRD, ... ... ... ... 47



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A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 58 are older you will be able to understand the wonderful and beautiful contrivance by which this is done. It has cost learned men much study to find it out, and they have discovered that the way in which the eye of a bird is made is in some respects more curious than that of our own." "Well, mamma," said Jamie, "you have convinced me of one thing; and that is, that there is a great deal more to be learned about a little bird than I ever supposed." "But, Jamie, I have not yet told you half. Every bone in this little bird's body is as carefully made and finished as if that bone were the only thing the Creator had to make; and the joints of them are curiously contrived, so that the little fellow can hop, and spring, and turn all day, and yet nothing grates or gets out of order. They all are so springy and easy, that I doubt whether he ever thought that he had a joint in his body at all. Then he has contriv-



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LE '


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LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS AND thitr Stories. LONDON: THOMAS NELSON AND SONS. EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK. 1881.



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30 GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." for you, God will show me the way;' and I heard his little feet patting along them dangerous places. It was awful! The sweat started out on me thick, and it seemed like I couldn't breathe. But when I called him back, he shouted with his little voice,' God'll show me the way. "It almost makes me tremble when I think on't, sir-the boy went over the worst road in the pit, full of sunk shafts and dangerous places, without no lamp! Oh! sir, when they came for me with plenty of light-I couldn't believe it, sir, 1 couldn't; and though they kept telling me that Pinky was safe, I tell you, sir, I thought it was a lie, till I seed him, and heard him cry out, 'I am safe, Keene-God showed me the way!' "Well, sir, you mayn't think this looks true; but 'tis. Oh! 'tis as true as wonderful, sir; and I tell you, I was a different man after that. Not that I grew good at



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14 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. the happy party seated in the shady woods, making crowns, and eating wild strawberries; but she pushed it bravely aside, and kept on her tiresome walk, only thinking to herself that if mother was having a nice rest, she could bear it a little longer. The sun grew very hot, but little tyrant Fred would not be carried into the house, and as poor Jenny, turning in the path, was just beginning her seventh story, she saw a gentleman at the garden-gate. "Could you give me a glass of water, little lady ?" said he pleasantly; and Jenny, encumbered by the clinging Fred, soon brought a cool, brimming supply. "You look tired," said the gentleman kindly, as he thanked her; and before she knew it-drawn on by his sympathizing questions-she had told him all the story of the morning's trials and disappointments, though, for some reason she hardly understood herself, she never told him she had a



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54 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. "Well, let me tell you. Inside of that little eye is a contrivance by which, when the bird is looking at you, an exact picture of you is painted on the back of his eye." "It must be a very small picture," said Jamie. Of course it is," said his mother; but still it is a picture exactly like you; every line and every colour in your face are painted exactly on the back of that little eye." "Pray how is it done?" said Jamie. "That, my dear boy, is the machinery which I told you was so complicatedI cannot hope to make you understand it. There is a contrivance just like it in your own eye, and in the eye of every animal; but it is more curious in a bird's eye, because it is so very small." What do we all have pictures painted on the back of our eyes? Is that the way we see ?" "Yes, that is the way; and when you



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THE DANGEROUS DOOR. 37 that dress she thinks so much of is made out of her sister's old one.'-' Oh yes,' said the little crimson lady, looking out of the other door; 'and did you ever see such a funny turn-up nose as she has ? Why, I think she'd try to keep it out of sight more than she does, if she only knew how it looked.' Then poor Lucy Waters, who was only round the corner of the house, felt a sharp little sting in her heart, and ran home to cry all the pleasant summer evening." "I know what you mean, cousin Will," cried Kate, colouring violently, but I don't think it was at all right for you to stand around listening." "Oh! do you mean our mouths are the doors," exclaimed Harry, "and the little crimson lady is Miss Tongue ?" "Even so," said cousin Will. "Well, who form the guard, and where do they come from ?" asked Bob "Why, you have to ask the Great King,



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LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. 15 sister Carrie who had gone to the woods. They had quite a pleasant talk together, and at last, when the gentleman was going away, he said,"I like you so much, little Jenny, that I don't want you to forget me;" and drawing from his pocket a small book, he begged her to keep it in memory of his visit, and with "a bright, kind smile, he was gone. The day wore on. At noon Jenny made "a nice cup of tea for mother, and after feeding baby with his bread and milk, and giving busy Walter his dinner, to her great joy, both children, overcome with heat and fatigue, fell fast asleep. Now she had time to examine her little book, which she found very strange and interesting. It told about some pilgrims, going on a long journey, with heavy crosses on their backs. They had a great many trials, and often their way lay through hot, sandy deserts, so that some of them grew



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THE DANGEROUS DOOR. OUSIN WILL, cousin Will, tell us a story Do please. There's just time before the school-bell rings;" and Harry, Kate, Bob, and little "Peace," a rosy battalion, surrounded his chair, and, at Bob's word of command, "Present arms," embraced his knees, clung around his neck, and otherwise made such a vigorous attack, that cousin Will sued for mercy, and declared himself quite ready to surrender. Well, what shall it be, little Peace ?" said he, taking the plump hand of favourite





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60 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. to pieces all his curious and beautiful things; how do you think he would feel ?" Why, I should think he would feel very angry, to be sure." "Well, Jamie, when little boys go out into the woods and fields, which God has filled with beautiful trees and flowers, and with hundreds of little happy birds, all so curiously and beautifully made, and amuse themselves only with throwing stones at them, and killing them, must not God be displeased ?" "Certainly, I should think he must," said Jamie. After a few minutes, he added, "And it is a great deal worse to kill little birds than it is to break looking-glasses, and such things; because little birds can feel you know." "Yes," said his mother; "and the care with which God has made them shows how much he has thought about them, and how careful he has been to do all he can to make



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THE DANGEROUS DOOR. 41 and nobody speaks kindly to her. Try to forgive her." But no; the door flew open, and little Miss Tongue threw all those hard stones at Susy's heart. Now Susy was very passionate, and she stamped her feet, and grew crimson with rage, and said such very hard things, that Jenny Wood and most of the other girls took sides with Kate, and there was soon such a Babel of tongues, that the boys left their game of ball and came to see what was the matter. What is it, Peace? cried Harry Graham, taking his little frightened sister from Kate's neck.-" Why, Katie, you look as mad as poor puss when Towser had chased her for an hour. I wonder what cousin William would say to that mouth." Kate looked a little ashamed; and Fred Waters, taking his sister by the arm, led her away home, bitterly telling over wrongs in his sympathizing ear. So the little party



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A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 59 has made his little body, how carefully he has guarded it from all kinds of suffering, and how many beautiful contrivances there are in it to make him happy." No, indeed," said Jamie; "if he did, he would love God." "Well, Jamie," said his mother, "how should you feel, if you had contrived some curious and beautiful little play-thing, and just as you had it all nicely finished off, some boy should come along with a great stick, and knock it all to pieces ? "Feel!" said Jamie; why I should be mad enough." And suppose that some gentleman should invite you and two or three other boys to his house, and should show you into a large hall full of most beautiful pictures, and looking-glasses, and flowers, and every kind of beautiful things, and you should amuse yourselveswith breaking his looking-glasses, and beating down his flowers, and pulling



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THE DANGEROUS DOOR. 43 hergenerous little heart to try to give Susy warning. Finding Bob, she hastily told him the whole story, and that she must go to Susy's, but she'd run all the way, and be back before dark. It was a long walk for the tired little girl, but the patient feet started bravely on their errand of love. The sun set-the shadows lengthened-all the little birds sang their sweet good-night, and put their heads under their wings, but no little Peace came back! Soon there were inquiries on every side, and great shouting and calling, but no sweet echoing voice returned. Servants were despatched in every direction, but all in vain. Soon the family became much alarmed, and little Bob was awakened to be asked if he knew anything of his sister. He told all the story; and Kate, colouring under cousin Will's reproachful gaze, burst into bitter weeping. But no one had time to comfort her; for father,



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THE DANGEROUS DOOR 45 only been as kind as Peace, you would have been different. I shall never forgive myself." Just then Bob cried, "Here's a part of her dress on the fence!" Cousin Will sprang forward, and, climbing over, looked eagerly around. Suddenly Farmer Waters cried, There's an old half-choked well by the fence in the next field. Could the little one have lost her way, and fallen into that ?" Cousin Will rushed forward, followed by the whole company. Yes, the rotten old boards which had covered it for years were broken, and there was another piece of the little blue dress! Cousin Will shuddered, and threw himself down to look over the brink. Then came a wild, triumphant cry. The old well was nearly filled up with rubbish. She had fallen only a little way, and there, bathed in the rosy morning light, the eager eyes, looking over, saw the fair hair and the sweet,





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28 "GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." says I, 'Why, nater made it, Pinky;'-we used to call him Pink, and Pinky. "'Well, what made nater, Keene?' he still kept askin'. "'Why-why-nater made itself!' I said. "' Oh, no!' he cried; and with a solemn look as ever I seed on any face-and his voice somehow seemed strange, and deep, like a voice of warnin'-I don't know why, but I never heared anything like it; says he, 'God made everything; God is down here in the dark!' I declare it was as nigh as if a man had struck me as could be. Says I, 'Pinky, where'd you get that from ?' Says he, 'The good man told me.' "' What good man ?' I asked, and an ugly feeling came over me. "' What preached at mammy's funeral,' said he. "' And where'd you see him ?' I sort o' growled, like.



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10 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. Then she added, after a pause, But I don't believe mamma's head is very bad, and I'm sure Fred will be good, and Walter would help to amuse him." Walter is almost a baby himself," said Jenny; "and Fred frets almost all the time since he's been getting his teeth, poor little fellow !" "Fred will be good enough if you're not here to spoil him," cried Carrie, "and I'll just go and ask mamma if she can't get along without us. It would be too bad to keep us in, in such a lovely day." Carrie was back in a few minutes with a radiant face. "Mamma says we may go. She can spare us if we are going to enjoy ourselves so much." Jenny hesitated. The woods in the distance looked so misty and pleasant, and Fred's fretful little cry jarred upon her ear, while she thought how hard it would be to amuse him, and keep Walter quiet and



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16 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. very tired and sad; and some tried to throw away their crosses, but others went on very patiently, always looking as if they saw something so beautiful just a little way before them, that they forgot all present sorrow and trouble. So the story went on, till the pilgrims all came to a very dark valley, through which they all must pass. Then some of them trembled and grew pale; but others went in singing, and some of the words of their song were, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me;" and suddenly, while they were singing, the heavy crosses fell from their backs, and in their stead angels brought them shining crowns. And there came a voice, "Father, I will that these whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory." Then the whole valley was filled with light, the angels shouted, "They shall see the King in his beauty," E !J



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" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 27 hair, and then he was so slim-like and girlish. But he had spirit beyond his strength, and gloried in work. Things was going on about as usual, except that I was harder down on religion than ever. The soft feeling wore off my heart, and I think I hated what was pious worse nor before. Our Sundays was trainingdays-nothing good-everything evil, just as evil as could be. Well, sir-one day that little feller was on my beat, and he had done up his work quick and airly,-so he stood some time beside me talking. He was queer at talking-I never heard such strange things as he'd say. So says he, as I was fixing my tools-says he: Keene'-that's my name, sir--' where'd all this coal come from ?' "'Come from the earth,' I said. "'Yes, but what made it ?' "I prided myself on my little larnin,' so





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12 LITTLE CROSS-BEARERS. has the best right; and, indeed, I do not believe I care half as much about it as she does, for she has been talking about it all the week." No persuasions could move Jenny, who only shook her head cheerfully, and insisted that she did not feel badly at all, and at last the impatient little party moved on. After watching them down the road with glistening eyes, for it was really a very great trial to be left behind, Jenny went back to the nursery, where her mother sat bathing her head with camphor, and trying to amuse the little complaining Fred with some pictures. A look of glad surprise came over her flushed face as she heard Jenny's step. I thought you were gone to the woods." No, mother," said Jenny, trying to speak carelessly. "I thought I would like to play housekeeper to-day, and first I am going to put you to bed with your dreadful



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58 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. "You feel it drawing up short, and it pulls the tendons, and these tendons pull down your fingers." Jamie amused himself some time with opening and shutting his hand, and then he said, "Well, are all the movements that we make done in the same way, by muscles and tendons ?" "Yes," said his mother; "and all the motions of the animals. There are dozens and dozens of muscles, shrinking, and stretching, and pulling about in little Cherry every few moments, and yet none of them wear out, or break, or get out of order, or give him the least trouble." "I imagine Cherry doesn't think much about them," said Jamie, as he watched the little fellow hopping about in his cage. "Poor little Cherry!" said his mother; "he cannot understand how much God has done for him, with what watchful care he



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A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 49 "send a stone at him. Oh, there's a bluebird now for him !" I am happy to say that these boys missed their aim generally; for they had much worse intentions than they had skill to execute. While they were thus running about, a nice white cat came stepping along the top of a fence, putting down her paws as daintily as any lady. Hollo! there's a cat; now for fun," shouted Will Drake, as he let fly a stone, and then dashed after the cat. Puss was frightened, and scampered off with all her might; and all the three boys joined chase after her, and came tumbling, one after another, over the back-yard fence of the place where Jamie lived. Now, Jamie's mother had been sitting at her window watching the whole affair; and she stood up, and called in a very quiet way, "Jamie, come up here; I have something to show you." E 4



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UNHAPPY LITTLE FREO



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26 "GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." grow much. You see he had no mother-love to thrive on. The women, they thought they did well by him, but they sort o' hustled him, and he wanted something different, coming of a delicate stock. I don't s'pose nothing, sir, can give a child that feel, that having somebody to love and call mother does-no, not all the cossettin' in the world by strangers. "Well, the years passed, and the little fellow began to be handy in the mine. It seemed a pity to see him beginning that hard sort o' life, but then we're not able even to take care of one more helpless hand, and there was plenty young as he down there. But he were so different from all the rest of the children. .He looked for all the world, before he got the grim in his face, like a gentleman's child, sir. His skin was like the shells you sometimes see with a leetle red tinge on 'em, and he had his mother' large brown eyes, and his father's curly



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" GOD'LL SHOW ME THE WAY." 33 "And what do you think, sir-what do you think, miss-he said ? Oh, how it went through me! "' God'll show me the way!' "And he showed him the way, sir. I never see anything like that dying, sirnever. He held my hand,-he said,' Keene, you love God, too!' He gave a gasp and then a smile, and then there came a bright glory-light over his white face that made it shine all over-O sir-I-I-can't-tell it." The man held his head down and sobbed like a child, and his were not the only tears. The next morning was the Sabbath. A near bell was heard; a plain white meeting-house stood in sight. The stranger and his daughter met the miner, who, pointing to the heavenward spire, exclaimed, as a smile broke over his face," You see, sir, God shows us all the way." E 3



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A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. 53 "Elastic what is that ?" said Jamie. "Why, like india-rubber-springy, and easily bent; and its being made of so many little elastic rings is the reason why he can turn and bend his throat without any inconvenience, which he could not do if it were a straight stiff pipe, like a flute. But," continued his mother, these little bright eyes that your bird has are more wonderful than anything I have yet told you of, though the contrivance is so very complicated that I do not think I can make you understand it." "What is complicated ? said Jamie. "The machinery in the inside of my watch is complicated; that is, it is made up of a great many parts which answer many different purposes. And there is a machinery inside of one of those little birds' eyes that is more complicated still." "What! that little dot of an eye, not bigger than a pin's head ?"



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56 A TALK ABOUT BIRDS. ances in his little stomach for dissolving his food and turning it into blood, and he has blood-vessels to carry it all over his body, and he has nerves to feel with, and muscles to move with." Now, mother, I don't know what nerves and muscles are," said Jamie. "Nerves are what you feel with. You eat, and the nerves of your mouth give you your taste. The nerves of your nose give you smell. The nerves of your eyes see, and the nerves of your ears enable you to hear, and the nerves that cover your whole body enable you to feel. These nerves all come from a very large nerve that runs down through the middle of your back-bone, and which is commonly called the spinal marrow; and they go through the whole body, dividing and branching out, till they form a network covering over the whole of it, so that you cannot put the point of a pin anywhere without touching a nerve."