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The Baldwin LibraryUniversityRm Iida
THE OLD SHEPHERD.
MORRISON AND GIBB, EDINBURGH,I'IINTERS TO HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.
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THE OLD SHEPHERDAND OTHERbtoict Stories for ftj koung.WSith Illusttations.EDINBURGH:"WILLIAM P. NIMMO & CO.1881.
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CONTENTS.PAGEI. THE OLD SHEPHERD, III. ABRAHAM'S SACRIFICE, 22III. LIGHT, 32IV. DOGS AND THEIR USE, 40V. THE FISHING PARTY, 6VI. THE FATE OF POOR MARTIN, 89VII. ISAAC'S MARRIAGE, 10
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.PAGETHE SHEPHERD, 8ABRAHAM'S HAND STAYED BY THE ANGEL, 28DANCING DOGS, 40A BEGGING CUR,. 44FISHERMEN, 82POOR MARTIN, 99REBECCA BY THE WELL, I6
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I.THE OLD SHEPHERD." iL ERE you are, my little children, returnedfrom your holidays," said Mrs Templetonto a smiling group of little ones; "andnow you must each relate your adventures in turn.""Oh, yes, yes," cried all the children at once, "wewill tell grandmamma all our adventures!"A
2 THE OLD SHEPHERD." Flora must commence, then," said Arthur, " be-cause she is the eldest."Flora was a pretty little girl about twelve years old,with a laughing, rosy face, and a pair of merry blackeyes, that had a twinkle of mischief in them."You know," said she, "how happy I was to setout for Scotland to stay with my uncle at the Glen,in the county of Perth. Mamma had often told methat there were a great many flocks and shepherdsthere, and that I might go with them to the fieldsevery day. I was very happy to see my little cousinMargaret again, but I was still happier to think thatfor six whole weeks I was going to be a shepherdess.I had often read about them in books; for one day,when mamma was out, she left her bookcase open,and I was so fond of stories that I took a book, andit was all about a beautiful shepherdess called Flora,the same as me. That made me wish to read more,and I read of shepherds who went about playingflutes, beautiful white lambs adorned with ribbons,huts built in the green woods, and surrounded withroses, jasmine, and honeysuckle. The interior ofthose huts was like a fairy palace; the shepherdsslept on beds of moss and flowers, and near themrippled streams of pure fresh water."
THE OLD SHEPHERD. 3"So that they might have a bath even while theywere sleeping," interrupted Arthur, mockingly. " Itmust have been very pleasant indeed "" It all sounded so pretty," continued Flora, " tnatI could dream of nothing but of being a shepherdess." What increased my wish more than ever was apainting which hung above the door of papa's library,which represented shepherds dressed in rose-colouredsilk; shepherdesses, with flowers in their hair andwreaths round their large straw hats, silk stockingsand kid shoes, and holding crooks in their hands,ornamented with lovely bouquets. Their sheep wereso white and beautiful too They rested peacefullyalong with the dog at their mistresses' feet, andseemed to be listening to the sweet sounds of musicwhich came floating on the breeze. You may im-agine how delighted I was when mamma told me thatmy uncle had a great many shepherds and sheep,and that it was a very beautiful part of the countrywhere he lived." I had scarcely arrived at the Glen before I askedmy little cousin Margaret, who is only eight years old,to show me the flocks. Margaret went and asked myuncle, and he promised to take me next day to wherethey were feeding.
4 THE OLD SHEPHERD." I could not close my eyes all that night; I think,perhaps, I slept a little, but all the time I was dream-ing of my uncle's shepherdesses At last daylightappeared, and I rose. Margaret was still sleeping,which I thought very strange, for she did not seem tocare in the least for my uncle's promise to us. How-ever, I awoke her, and told her she was very lazy;but we had still a good while to wait for breakfast,and after that we set out."When we left the house, we went through somepretty winding lanes, bordered with bushes, flowers,and turf; and I expected every moment to seeamong them a little fairy hut like what I had readabout." However, we had gone a long way without seeinganything. All at once the little road stopped, andwe found ourselves on an immense field or moor,which stretched away as far as we could see; butthere were neither bushes, nor turf, nor flowers. Atthe very other side of the field I thought I descriedsomething-a kind of gray mass, which was like no-thing I had ever seen before." Is this what you wanted to see, Flora?' askedmy uncle." I thought perhaps he had not understood what I
THE OLD SHEPHERD. 5wanted to see, and so I asked him to show me theflocks."'Well, there they are, over there,' said Margaret,'do you not see them?'"I looked all round, and seeing nothing, I con-cluded that they must be speaking of that gray massin the distance. As we drew near, I distinguished alot of dirty white sheep, a lean dog, a little woodenshed or hut, built so low that it would scarcely allowme to stand upright. There was also an old man,brown and wrinkled, dressed in the coarsest garmentsand a pair of great leather boots covered with mud.This man had a large stick in his hand, with an ironhook at the end of it, but so different from the crooksI had read about!"I was so disappointed with the appearance ofeverything that I could not help showing it."' What are all those filthy sheep for?' I asked myuncle." It is the flock,' he replied with a look of surprise."'And who is that ugly-looking man that keepsthem ?'"'The shepherd, of course.'"' You are just joking, uncle,' I said, half cryingwith vexation. 'And where are the shepherdesses?'
6 THE OLD SHEPHERD."'Ah, the shepherdesses!' he said, with a smile,'we have left them at the farm. Betsy and Sarahmake the butter and cheese, and little Madge looksafter the sheep and lambs that are too young to comeup here and feed.'" 'What!' said I to Margaret, are Betsy, andSarah, and Madge, those great fat girls that I sawyesterday when I came? And are they your shep-herdesses, and this man your shepherd ?'"'Yes,' replied Margaret, laughing, 'but what is
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THE OLD SHEPHERD. 9the matter with old Daniel? I like him, for he isvery kind, and a good shepherd into the bargain.'" I could not help telling Margaret that I thoughthim so ugly, I was quite afraid of him. Then mylittle foolish cousin seized hold of my hand, andlaughing heartily at the very idea of my beingfrightened, she dragged me, in spite of all my effortsat resistance, to old Daniel's side."When he saw us approaching, the old shepherdadvanced to meet us, and bid us good-morning." Look, Daniel,' said Margaret, here is my cousinfrom London, who says she is afraid of you becauseyou are so ugly.'" As my little cousin spoke, I felt myself blush upto the very eyes, for her words seemed so rude, Ithought they would make the old shepherd angry. Iwould have liked to have asked him to forgive me,but I dared not even look at him."' It is true, my young lady, that I am not sopretty as you, but do not be afraid, for I have neverhurt a living soul, thank God,' said the old man." Those gentle words surprised me not a little. Iraised my eyes, and instead of the frightful counte-nance I had imagined, I saw a smile full of kindnesson the old shepherd's face.
to THE OLD SHEPHERD."'Forgive Margaret and mep I stammered, 'Ithought shepherds-I didn't know they were dressedlike you."'My dress is certainly not very pretty,' heanswered, 'but one must wear something substantialif they have to pass the night under the stars.'" Do shepherds stay out in the fields all night ?' Iasked with astonishment; 'those that are dressed insilk, too?'"The old shepherd looked at me for a momentand smiled."'Where have you seen shepherds like that?' heasked."'In pictures and stories,' said I, 'they are al-ways dressed so beautifully, and the sheep are sowhite !'"' My child,' said the old shepherd, 'you may haveread that in stories, but they were not true ones.Shepherds dressed in such clothes would be badkeepers of their flocks. Cold would soon carry themoff, the sheep would be lost, and-well, the price ofwool would rise fast '"'Why?'"' Because, little one. if the sheep were lost, thefleece would be lost too.'
THE OLD SHEPHERD, I" What is the fleece ?' I asked, now quite at myease."'The fleece is the sheep's dress, and after theyhave used it all winter, to protect them from the cold,it is cut off with a pair of great scissors called shears.The wool which is got in this way is far the best; ittakes on the dye better than when it is taken fromthe skin after death.'" Do they dye wool?' I asked."' Of course, they do; and I am sure you will havea dress of black or blue merino, and that you haveknitted some pretty little piece of work with worstedof all shades and colours.'"'Yes, we have,' answered Margaret. And shetold the shepherd all about our needlework,-of theslippers I had worked for my uncle's birthday, andof the pretty hood Lucy had made for grandmamma.I was surprised to hear that all those things are madefrom the wool of the sheep, and the old shepherd toldme that it is one of the most valuable animals thatGod has created."' Sheep are useful for everything,' he said; 'theirwool dresses us from head to foot. They make clothand flannel from it, and stuff for dresses; shawls andscarfs for ladies, and wool for knitting and embroider-
12 THE OLD SHEPHERD.ing. They make also carpets for rooms, damask forcurtains, and fringes of all kinds. The Arabs ofAfrica have nothing else to make their clothing from." Sheep give milk also, from which is made cheese,and even butter, as well as from the milk of the cow.But this is not all. When the animal is dead, parch-ment is made from its skin, or it is dyed green, red,black, or yellow, and prepared as they do in thekingdom of Morocco in Africa, and transformed intomorocco for shoes, portfolios, and for the binding ofbooks ; into leather for making whips, saddles, bridles,and little balls for children.'""Your shepherd must have been a learned man !"interrupted Arthur."Yes; for while he watched the sheep, he learnttheir history," said Flora. " Besides he had not alwaysbeen a shepherd, though he commenced this workwhen he was only seven or eight years old; but he
THE OLD SHEPHERD. 3was then only a little keeper, as he said. But after-wards he became a soldier. Do you remember theregiment of Hussars we saw the other day? Theirhorses had saddle-cloths, which looked like fur. Well,old Daniel says, they are all made from sheep-skin,and that it is called Astracan, because the manufac-ture of it was first learnt from a town in Persia whichbears that name."In travelling from place to place with his regiment,old Daniel learnt a great deal, as he said." In the south of France there were a great manysheep with very fine wool; and in a mountainouscountry near the Pyrenees there were sheep withwool finer than all the rest, and they were calledMerino. It was a learned naturalist called Dauben-ton who brought them from Spain many yearsago."In Gascony Daniel saw another kind of sheep,but they were not pretty. They were black, and hada great deal of very coarse wool, which is used formaking mattresses and some other things. But theyare very useful to the inhabitants of the country, andto the shepherds, who sleep on their skins, and dressthemselves in them from head to foot, which makesthem look like so many wild beasts. Another curious
14 THE OLD SHEPHERD.thing about those shepherds of the Landes is, thatthey are obliged to mount on stilts higher than them-selves to lead their flocks. They have often to crosssuch wide plains of sand, and thicket or marsh, thatthey would be very much at a loss without theirstilts. I cannot remember all that old Daniel toldme about them. I wish you could hear him your-selves.""Go on, go on," said Arthur; " we are just aspleased to have it from you."" He told me, also," continued Flora, "that withthe fat of sheep they make tallow, from which candlesare afterwards made."When Daniel was tired of being a soldier, he gota situation in a manufactory where they made allkinds of woollen stuffs. Unfortunately he was oneday caught by one of the wheels of the machinery,and got his shoulder blade and arm broken, whichdisabled him for work for the rest of his life. ButDaniel was not a man to turn a beggar, and so heresolved to become a shepherd once more. So hereturned to his old trade, though he had not beenaccustomed to its hardships for long."I asked him why he stayed all night in thefields.
THE OLD SHEPHERD. 15" He said, It was often necessary to feed theflock in places too far from the folds to take themback every evening.'"'But do the sheep not wander at night ?' I asked."'Not at all,' replied Margaret, who seemed toknow all about those things. 'Sheep very seldomscatter from each other; then they are enclosed be-tween those hedges which you see there. Do youthink Star would let the sheep go away? You donot know him.'""Who was Star ?" asked Lucy."The shepherd's dog," replied Flora."Margaret pointed out to me how he ran to theright and to the left to watch the flock while hismaster talked with us. And to let me see how vigi-lant he was, she tried to make him leave his work bycalling him. But the dog only wagged his tail intoken of recognition, and attended to his busir oss."' My good dog,' said the shepherd, he is alwaysbrave and faithful; he would defend the whole flockif a fox appeared.'"' Can sheep not defend themselves ?' I asked." They have no means of defending themselves,'replied the shepherd; their teeth are not made forbiting, like those animals which live on flesh. Sheep
r6 THE OLD SHEPHERD.are called herbivorous, because they only live uponherbs."' The rams, which are the strongest among theflock, are the only ones which have horns, and yetthose horns are turned round their ears in such amanner as to be of no use to them as a means ofdefence.'" And then sheep are not wicked,' replied I; 'formamma always says my brother Jack is as gentle as alamb.'" But it would not be wicked only to defend one-self against an enemy,-it would be brave,' said theshepherd; 'and the wild sheep know how to protectthemselves. In the countries where they are found,in the north of Asia, for instance, they fear neither mennor animals; they give fearful blows with their heads,and with so much courage, that they are sometimesconquerors. But when the sheep is domesticated, itloses its natural qualities; it has gradually becometimid, improvident, and incapable of providing forits own wants; it is spoilt and degenerated, in short,because that is the usual effect of bondage.'""Ah, well," continued Flora, "those poor sheep,which are so useful to us, which give us milk, wool,candle, and so many other things, those good, gentle
THE OLD SHEPHERD. 17creatures are also eaten;" and the children's eyesfilled with tears." Who eats them?" cried the children."We do.""We!" and they looked at each other in astonish-ment."The whole of us," said Flora; "and every-body.""And, now that I think of roast mutton andchops having once been alive, I will never eat themagain," said Jack."N r me," added Lucy."I said as much to old Daniel," replied Flora,"but he said that then I must eat no meat, for beef,and veal, and fowl have all been living as well asmutton. And as I thought men must be very wickedto kill the poor animals for their food, the shepherdsaid to me, with a very serious face-oh! I willnever forget his words :"' My child, it is a consequence of the punish-ment that God inflicted upon men for having dis-obeyed His laws. God had not intended our firstparents to eat of the flesh of animals; but after thefall his purposes were changed. And men showed somuch submission to their punishment, of being obligedif
18 THE OLD SHEPHERD.to find their own food that, much as cruelty is repug-nant to those who have kind hearts, they generally eatwithout ever thinking of it. It would even put themvery much about if they were obliged to do withoutmeat for a day or two.'"' Are we obliged to eat it, then?' I asked." My child,' said old Daniel, the Israelites atethe Passover in the land of Egypt, where Pharaohloaded them with sorrow, and from whence the Lordhad promised to deliver them and conduct them intothe land of Canaan. Let us do as they did, in thisworld where we are overwhelmed with sin, while wepatiently wait till it pleases God to conduct us toa better country, even a heavenly one.'"I soon became accustomed to the sight of theold shepherd, and, while I listened to his voice, Inever thought any more of his odd dress, which hadat first appeared so terrible to me.
THE OLD SHEPHERD. 19"On the contrary, he was so good, and answeredall our questions with so much kindness, that I beganto love him as much as my little cousin Margaret did.I pitied this poor man very much when I thoughtof him spending the night in the fields, and I wouldhave liked to send him my pelisse and muff to keephim warm. I could not help telling him how sorryI was for him, and then he took my hand, andsaid-"' My good little girl, do not pity me too much;the trade of a shepherd is indeed a laborious one;it requires robust health, and is not a thing whichmakes one rich. But the worst of it is, shepherds liveso isolated, away up among the hills and the heatherfor days, only returning home to snatch a hurried mealand a few hours' rest. When the weather is bad, Ishelter myself in this little hut, from which I caneasily watch the flock. Then I have two faithfulfriends, which make amends for all my trouble-abook, which makes the hours grow shorter and shorterevery day, and the good God above, who allows meto admire the works of His hands spread around me,above all, the beautiful heaven, with its myriads ofglittering stars.'"'The stars are very beautiful,' said Margaret;
20 THE OLD SHEPHERD.'Daniel has explained them to me sometimes, andI know fifteen of them by name already.'""What!" interrupted Arthur, "did Daniel knowastronomy too?"" I do not know if he had ever studied it, but hetold us about the lives of the first shepherds, whichwe have all read, though without paying much atten-tion perhaps, in our Bibles; and he told us that theywere the first who knew anything about the stars."I wished very much for Daniel to teach me toknow the stars in the heavens, like Margaret. Un-fortunately the days were still too long; the night wastoo late in coming; and then very soon I had to comeaway." But my uncle has promised me, and I am surehe will not forget, that I am to go back and get somemore lessons from the old shepherd."" We will all go," cried the children; " we wouldlike to hear Daniel speak too."" And now," said Mrs Templeton, who had listenedto this story in silence, "do you never think of theshepherdesses you read about in your story-book ? ""Never," replied Flora, laughing. "I know nowthat they never existed; and if they did exist, Iwould not change my old shepherd, with his coarse
ZHE OLD SHEPHERD. 21clothes, for all the fine ones dressed in rose-colouredsatin.""And do you know why?" asked the grand-mother."No," said Flora, " I do not know. I love Danielbetter, but I cannot tell why.""Ah! well, I will tell you," replied Mrs Templeton."Old Daniel is a real shepherd, who acts, thinks, andspeaks like a true man, while the shepherds in yourstory-book were only false people, false shepherds.In spite of all the ornaments with which they try toadorn what is not true, it is truth alone which isbeautiful, and nothing pleases but the truth."
YLABRAHAM'S SACRIFICE.OU know, my dear children, that when Noahand his family came out of the Ark, afterthe deluge, they found the earth quite de-void of inhabitants, for they had all been drowned,and so they separated, and Noah and his sons wentin different directions.Shem, Ham, and Japheth had many children, whobecame the centres or founders of new tribes, andwere, in their turn, called patriarchs, which means,chief of a house or father of a family.One of the descendants from the family of Shemwas called Abraham. He dwelt in a town calledHaran. He was a married man, and had great flocksand herds; and altogether Abraham seems to havebeen very happy in that country.Abraham had been accustomed, ever since he was
ABRAI'AM'S SACRIFICE. 23a child no bigger than you are now, to do all thatGod commanded him; so God loved him, and Heloves you too, when you are good, and keep all Hisholy laws.God had not yet told Abraham to do anything verydifficult; but one day He said to him: "You mustleave your country and family, and depart into a landthat I will show you."Such a command would cause us a good deal oftrouble and grief, and very likely it did to the patriarchAbraham. To leave the country he loved, where allhis friends dwelt, and where he had such numerouspossessions, and to go into a country he knew not,-which, perhaps, had neither water nor pasture, andwhich was, no doubt, a long way off, was very sadand painful; but God wished it, and so Abrahamwished it also. He called all his family together,collected his flocks, and departed as God had toldhim to do.It was, indeed, a long and weary journey, andAbraham had to endure many difficulties on the way.Once, a famine had fallen upon the land throughwhich he was travelling, and Abraham was obligedto go into Egypt, so that his family might not die ofstarvation.
24 ABRAHAM'S SACRIFICE.In those days, people did not work and till theground every season, as they do now. They had noorder nor foresight, and so it often happened that theyhad no bread. They were hungry, and there was nocorn to make flour for bread, and that is what is calledfamine. So Abraham was obliged to go into Egypt,which lengthened his journey a great deal; but inspite of all his difficulties and trials, he did not repenthaving obeyed God.After the famine was over, the patriarch experienceda new trouble: he quarrelled with Lot, his brother'sson, whom he had brought with him to this new land,and who also possessed large flocks of sheep andcattle."We are brothers," said Abraham. " Do not letus quarrel, but rather let us agree, as brothers shoulddo. Since our flocks cannot feed in the same place,let us separate. Go in whichever direction you likebest, and I will go in the other. The earth is surelylarge enough for us both to find a place where we willnot disturb each other."And so Abraham had the grief of separating fromLot, whom he loved very much, and who had alwayslived with him and his family.The country to which God conducted Abraham was
ABRAHAM'S SA CRIFICE. athe land of Canaan. During the journey, God, whowas pleased with Abraham's prompt and unquestion-ing obedience, spoke to him many times."I will give you all this country," said God to thepatriarch one day; "and I will give you a son whowill be the father of a great nation. And your children,and your children's children, will be so numerous thatthey shall be like the stars of heaven in multitude !"Abraham thanked the Lord for those gracious pro-mises, and he built altars to Him in testimony of hisgratitude; and he continued to obey the Lord in allthings.At last, God gave Abraham and Sarah his wife theson that He had so often promised them, an eventwhich was hailed with great rejoicing in the patri-arch's family. This little boy was called Isaac. Icannot tell you how much he was beloved by Abra-ham and Sarah. All parents love their children, andyou know that, little ones. But Abraham and Sarahhad only this one little son; and they had waited forhim such a long, long time; and then he was to becomethe father of such a mighty people In those days itwas considered a glory to have many children, andAbraham and Sarah loved Isaac all the more forthose motives.
26 ABRAHAM'S SACRIFICE.However, one day, when Isaac was still veryyoung, God called his father to Him."Abraham! Abraham !" He said. "Here I am,my Lord," replied the patriarch; and the Lord saidunto him-"Take your son, your only son Isaac, who is sodear to you, and bring him up to the mountain, andoffer him to me as a burnt-offering !"To offer Isaac as a burnt-offering was to kill him,and afterwards burn his body like a heap of wood.To kill Isaac, his dear and only child! this sonwho, according to God's promise, was to grow oldand be the father of a great nation. Was it not forthis that God had made Abraham leave his country,that He had led him through so many toils andfatigues, to this distant land of Canaan, which Hehad promised to give to him and his children? Andnow God tells him to kill Isaac the only son ofAbraham and Sarah! How would all this happiness,promised by God, come to pass, if Isaac were killed ?What would become of this numerous people,-thisposterity which was to equal the stars of heaven inmultitude ? Were God's promises about to fail ?All that seems very strange to us! Some mighteven think God wicked to command a father to kill
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ABRAHAM'S SACRIFICE. 29his child. It seems, at the first glance, unjust tocommand the death of young Isaac, who had doneno wrong.But that cannot be. God is not wicked; and Heonly loves those who are good, and act kindly to-wards their neighbours.He is not unjust, for he only loves those who prac-tise justice.He does not fail in Hisword, and He forbids us to lie.We cannot understand all His wonderful ways, andAbraham did not understand Him either. But hehad faith in God; he knew that God would neverdeceive him; that He is wise, and just, and good,and that it was his duty to obey. Abraham hadheard the Divine command quite distinctly-he wassure of that; and so he determined to obey, andoffer up Isaac as a burnt-offering; and God, whorules everything, would order all the rest.The patriarch was quite right to believe .ius inGod's word, and trust in His goodness and justice;for the very moment in which he was about to sacri-fice his son, God sent His holy angel to stay thefather's hand."Abraham Abraham !" cried the Lord, " do notsacrifice your son Isaac. You have willingly agreed
30 -ABRAHAM'S SACRIFICE.to give up to me what is most dear to you, and I amsatisfied. Abraham I will bless you and your son,and his children's children, and all nations will beblessed because of Him who will be born yet."This last promise, my dear children, was still moregracious than all those that God had formerly madeto Abraham, because He who was to be born manyyears afterwards, from the family of Abraham andIsaac, was Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, whosaid, " Suffer little children to come unto me, and for-bid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."This promise was the greatest reward Abrahamreceived from God for having had such great faithand obedience.Dear children, God commands us sometimes, likeAbraham, not by His own voice, but by those of ourparents, our masters, and also by the voice of ourconscience, to do things which sometimes appeardifficult, or vex, or grieve us. But God no longerrequires us to offer up sacrifices. He only asks usto love each other, and help those that are weakerthan ourselves, which is much easier and more agree-able than killing people and making them suffer pain.But we have not all Abraham's blessed faith andobedience.
ABRAHAM'S SA CRFICE. 31Sometimes it even troubles us to come to the helpof those who have need of our aid, or to do whatwe do not exactly like, or not to do what we wish;to share what belongs to us with those who are poor,and even to give them what is necessary, grieves us.We are unhappy and miserable at being called on forassistance, and we fear a crowd of evils, and thattakes away all desire of obeying God's commands,-of fulfilling our duties; and sometimes, alas in con-sequence of this false prudence, we leave themunfulfilled.It is, then, my dear children, that we ought to re-member, like the patriarch Abraham, that God orderseverything for our good; that He is holier, better,and wiser than we; and that, if we keep His com-mandments and obey His voice, though we may notunderstand them, He will care for us, both in thisworld and in the next.
III.LIGHT.HE village of Roseden was a pretty littleplace, where lived a number of good,honest, hard-working people.It was Christmas-eve : this is a very joyful time toall, for it is then we celebrate the anniversary of ourSaviour's birth,-that Saviour who, a great many yearsago, came to earth to save the world, under the formof the little child Jesus, and slept in the arms of Hismother, the gentle Virgin Mary.Mr Norton had promised to take his children to
LIGHT. 33church next day with their mamma; but it would beno easy matter, for the church was in the town, abouttwo miles distant, and that was no small walk forsuch little legs as Susan's. But neither Susan norFrank ever thought of the fatigue, but looked forwardto it all with the greatest of pleasure, and longed forthe time to come.As you know, my little friends, Christmas-day is onthe twenty-fifth of December, in the very middle ofwinter. The days are short, the nights are long: itrains, it snows, it freezes-but there are beautiful,clear, frosty nights in December.Such was this Christmas-eve, and as Frank andSusan stood at the window, they thought they hadnever seen such a lovely night. There was just asprinkling of snow on the ground, and it clung to thebare branches of the naked trees, and made themlook feathery and beautiful; a multitude of starsshone and glittered like suns ; the milky way stretchedfrom one end of heaven to the other like a river ofbrightness; and the moon pursued its course throughthe blue vault with not a cloud to dim its brightness.The brother and sister stood gazing at the scene for afew minutes, spell-bound.*'Oh, how beautiful it is!" whispered Frank atc
a4 LIGHT.last "How the stars sparkle and shine they lookat the very least like diamonds or gold."Just then Susan felt something soft poked into herhand, and turning round, she saw their good dogLion standing by her side." He is coming to look at the stars, Frank !" saidthe little girl. But Lion did not seem to care anything about the stars, and presently stretched himselfon a soft mat at the children's feet."Why does he not come and see them?" askedSusan of her brother."Because he is only a dog, and does not carewhether it is dark or light.""Oh, does he not? I do not like darkness," saidSusan, with a little shudder; "one does not knowwhere they are going!"The most beautiful day succeeded this lovelynight, and the children were up and dressed at anearly hour, that they might be ready to go to churchwith their papa and mamma; for they had not for-gotten the promise, and had dreamt of it all night.The road was a long one, as I told you, but thelittle party went briskly along over the crisp snow,and by and bye the bells came ringing through theclear air, and made the children feel very happy.
LIGIT. 35"Come," the bells seemed to say, "come, youngChristians, to the holy Jesus, who was born to saveyou!"It is cold, but you have fire and light, and thechild Jesus had neither, but was born in a humblestable. Come to Jesus, little ones,-come, come,come !"And as the bells spoke thus, they rang as loudas they could, so that their voice might be heardall through the country.At last they arrived at the church. The childrenwere quite enraptured with the beauty of the wreathstwined up the large pillars, and the red berries whichcame peeping out from behind the dark green leaves,and the solemn pealing sounds of the organ swellingthrough the church.And while the children admired and prayed, Lionthe dog, who had followed them to church, sleptunder the pew, and saw nothing. At last the ser-vice was ended, the beautiful hymns were sung, andit was time to return home.The sun shone in all its splendour, and glitteredso much upon the pure snow that the children wereobliged to put their hands before their eyes. Thisbright light of day seemed still more beautiful than
36 LIGHT.the night that was past. But Lion walked along atthe children's side quite indifferent to the beautifulsunshine."Why does Lion not like the sun, mamma, andthe beautiful stars?" asked Susan, on their wayhome."Because, my child, Lion is only a dog, and nota human being.""But he has eyes, and can see," replied Susan,still puzzled." Yes, dear, he has eyes to see the light, but hehas no soul to understand it," replied the mother." mamma! I see !" said Susan. "We under-stand that light comes from heaven, that it belongsto God, and that He sent it to us, in His goodness,to save us from darkness.""You are quite right, dear; all light comes fromGod, both the light of the sun and the light of oursouls,-and that light was brought to the world bythe little child Jesus."Try, then, my children, to possess that lightwhich will chase away all darkness and evil fromyour hearts, and fill it with the fear of God, and loveto all mankind."To learn is to approach God, who is light and
LIGHT .37truth, whilst to remain ignorant is to continue inthat fearful darkness which we know not where itmay lead us."May God keep you, my children, you and allmankind, from resembling Lion, our good dog, whosees no beauty in light, but is content to pass hislife in darkness !"A'
IV.DOGS AND THEIR USE.ITTLE Louisa Graham and her cousin Henryhad just finished dinner when they heardthe sounds of music in the street."What is that?" exclaimed Henry, who was busysmoothing his golden curls at the glass." 0 mamma! Henry, come and see," criedLouisa, who had darted to the open window.And Mrs Graham and Henry hastened to her,eager to see what was going on.A man and a woman stood in the street below,accompanied by two dancing dogs, the one dressedas a soldier, the other as a lady.
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DOGS AND THEIR USE. 41The dancing and dress of the dogs were so ridi-culous, that the two children laughed heartily as theylooked at them. The soldier-dog was dressed in ared coat, epaulettes, and a cocked hat; while theother, which represented a lady, had a long black tailcoming out below its dress.The man played the fiddle, the woman beat thedrum, and the dogs danced as well as they could.The passers-by stopped to look at them, and verysoon there was quite a crowd gathered round, whoall seemed to be highly amused with the performance.But Mrs Graham did not laugh-she rather seemedto look sadly at the dogs, as if she pitied them." What is the matter, mamma ?" asked Louisa;"do you not like to see these funny dogs ?"" I do not think, dear, that they will find much funin that," said the mother."Do you not think they will like it?" askedHenry. "But, look how they dance."" Look also how they stop to rest every now andthen, as if they were tired of remaining on their hindpaws. And see how the man cracks his whip overthem to make them rise and leap to the sound of hisfiddle.""Yes, it is quite true !" said Louisa. "Oh, the
42 DOGS AND THEIR USE.wicked man! why does he whip the dogs, if they aretired ? "" But, aunt," said Henry, " why do these dogs notlike dancing? Louisa and I are so happy when papamakes us dance to his violin.""My dear children, you are happy because youonly dance when you choose, and no one forces youto do it longer than you please. But with those dogsit is not so: they are obliged to dance, whether theylike it or not, from morning till evening; and theyare all the more unhappy because God never destinedthem for this.""Did God mean dogs to be of any use?" askedHenry."God has never created anything to b' useless oridle," replied Mrs Graham." And of what use are dogs ? " asked the boy again."To serve man," replied the mother.Henry was only seven years old, but he kept hiseyes open and took notice of everything; and thenhe asked many questions of people who were olderthan he, and knew more." But will not those dogs be serving their masterby gaining money for him?" he asked." My child," said Mrs Graham, " there are many
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DOGS AND THEIR USE. 45ways of being useful, as there are many ways of em-ploying the blessings which God has bestowed uponus. It is not sufficient for us to profit by what Godhas put at our disposal, but we must try to make agood use of it, and one of which He would approve.""But in what way does God wish us to make useof dogs, aunt ? " asked Henry." He wishes them to be useful according to theirinstincts and the faculties with which He has giftedthem. Thus, dogs are, in general, docile, intelligent,faithful, and attached to their masters. Their delicacyof smell is so great that they can distinguish the ap-proach of an enemy or a friend at a great distance.They are brave and courageous. God has not giventhem such precious faculties to lie idle "" Then what good can dogs do ?" asked the childagain.At that moment they heard the sound of a fluteat a little distance, and Mrs Graham looked out ofthe window."Look, children," said she; "come and look atthis."The children looked, and saw a poor blind manled by a dog, which he held by a chain.The dog carried a little wooden bowl in his mouth,
46 DOGS AND THEIR USE.which he held out to the passers-by, as if asking alms.And as his master was old and could not walk quickly,the good dog went slowly on in front of him, leadinghim gently by the chain to keep him out of the gutters,and all the dangers that presented themselves on theirway.The children looked and seemed to understand thatthis dog was really of some use." Here is a good dog, which is of great service tothis poor old man " said Louisa." This dog," said Mrs Graham, "belongs to a kindwhich is, perhaps, the most intelligent of all. Theylearn to fetch and carry different things, to open andshut doors, and I have even seen one which wastaught by its master to play cards, make up sentenceswith moveable letters, and perform many wonderultricks. It was very strange, even though we saw thesigns by which the master directed the dog. But asthere is no true good results from all that, I like theblind man's dog better."" But, aunt," said Henry, after reflecting a fewmoments, "all dogs cannot be employed like thatone, for there are not so many blind men in theworld.""No, thank God !" replied Mrs Graham, smiling;
DOGS AND THEIR USE. 47"so dogs are put to different uses, according to theirspecies, their strength, and their qualities. There aresome which hunt, some which watch their master'shouses, and some which look after sheep.""I thought the sheep were looked after by men,mamma," said Louisa."By shepherds ?" added Henry."Yes, so they are; but a shepherd could not lookafter a large flock of sheep, containing some hundredsof them, if he had not an active dog with him, whichseems to be born for that express purpose. If thesheep begin to stray from the place where they oughtto feed, the dog places himself before them, and pre-vents that. If they are scattered, he gathers themtogether. If any danger threatens them, the shep-herd's dog warns his master of it by barking.""And has he no fear ?" asked the little Louisa."No," replied her mother; "he has no fear. Heis brave because he knows he is doing a good actionin defending the flock.""I would like to have a shepherd's dog," criedHenry. "I love them because they are so brave!""And what would you do with it ?" asked hisaunt."Do with it? I would do with it the same as
48 DOGS AND THEIR USE.mamma does with her spaniel; I would keep it inmy room and feed it with biscuits, and put a ribborround its neck, for me to lead it by when we wentout to walk."" First of all, Henry," said his aunt, " eating biscuitsand living in idleness would not'suit a shepherd's dog,who likes work and plain food better than anything.This dog is large and strong; he is of a dark-browncolour, mixed with black, and has a large, bushy tail.He would not be very ornamental in a room: spanielsare preferred for pets, because they are little, and havebeautiful long silky hair."" But spaniels are useful too, are they not, mamma ?"asked Louisa. " Grandmamma's sleeps at her feet towarm them, and barks whenever any one comes intothe room.""Yes, my little daughter, but when grandmamma'sspaniel lies at her feet, it is only thinking of warmingitself. They are generally so much spoiled by petting,that they get jealous and selfish, and will not sufferany other animal to approach. It is of very little useas a defence, for, being always shut up, they onlybark when strangers are already in the house; whereasthe watch-dog, for example, warns us of their ap-proach."
DOGS AND THEIR USE. 49" Mamma, is that a watch-dog, that great 'Prince'which Matthew Bell chains to his cart when he goesto market ?""I have never seen it; but tell me what it is like."" It is very large, and has great feet, a thick tail,and a big mouth, with its lips hanging over it. I donot know what like its ears are, because they havebeen cut, but it looks very fierce. If any one goesnear the cart to which it is chained, it barks furiously,and darts out as if it would eat everybody up; but,fortunately, it cannot get away.""You have given us the exact description of awatch-dog, my dear child, and you see how vigilantit is in keeping and defending its master's property.It is generally to be found on all farms and in allsolitary houses, for fear of thieves-for a watch-dog isa terrible enemy of theirs.""Louisa says that watch-dogs are very large," saidHenry. " I have seen the butcher's, and it is a greatdeal less than Matthew Bell's.""The butcher's was a bull-dog," replied MrsGraham; "but he has been obliged to put it away,because it was so fierce. This kind of dog is oftenvery dangerous. Their teeth are so strong, that whenthfy bite they will not let go. There are someD
50 DOGS AND 'IIEIR USE.countries, such as Spain, where the people have ahorrible custom of making animals fight together, andthe bull-dog is sometimes employed in those combats.It is also used as a watcher; but they are so fierceand unruly that they are no great favourites.""There is no use keeping wicked dogs that willnot learn," added Louisa, wisely."Or rather, it is necessary to employ them accord-ing to their nature," replied her mother; "and bull-dogs are very valuable for hunting.""What do you say, aunt?" asked Henry. " I havebeen out hunting, and I know all papa's dogs, andthere is not a bull-dog nor a fierce one among themall.""Yes, my boy, perhaps you have been out huntingrabbits or hares, but you have never been huntingbears and tigers," said Mrs Graham, smiling."I know all uncle's dogs, too," said Louisa. "Thereis Bob,' and Mira,' and Victor,' and Pepper.'Poor 'Pepper' is very ugly.""He is no uglier than the rest," said Henry,anxious to preserve 'Pepper's' dignity; "and if youonly saw how well he hunts One day a friend ofpapa's was out shooting with him. They took'Pepper' with them to start the hares and partridges,
DOGS AND THEIR USE. 51and then papa's friend fired his gun; but he alwaysmissed. Then 'Pepper,' tired of hunting with suchan awkward sportsman, sat down and looked at himso comically, as if he was saying he would have no-thing more to do with him.""Yes; but 'Mira' does better," said Louisa."Uncle says he can hunt all by himself.""So he can, he is so swift," replied Henry; "buthe is a different kind from 'Pepper.' When papagoes to shbot hares and rabbits, he takes 'Pepper;'but when he hunts foxes, 'Mira' goes with him,because he can follow the scent."" How can he do that?" asked Louisa, with someastonishment.
5j2 DOGS AND THEIR USE."Their scent is so fine, that they can track a foxby the smell it leaves on the road. 'Pepper' onlystarts the game, but 'Victor' can catch it himself,and bring it to papa in his mouth.""Without eating it ?" asked Louisa."Yes, without touching it. 'Victor' is a grey-hound, and very fleet of foot; and though he is sothin, he is not greedy.""Would you believe it, children, that this dog,which looks so thin and emaciated, likes better tohunt stags, and even wild beasts, than small game ?"The children looked at their mother." But there are no wild beasts now," said the littlegirl."Are there lions and tigers in our country yet,aunt?" asked Henry." No, my child; but there are plenty of them inAfrica, and 'Victor' belongs to a race of dogs whichcome from that country."" Oh, I remember seeing pictures of a lion-hunt,with dogs in it just the same as 'Victor,'" criedHenry."And soldiers, and frightful black men, with largeguns and white cloaks, which covered them fromhead to foot !" added Louisa.
DOGS AND THEIR USE. 53"Mamma," asked the child again, "was my prettylittle 'Gipsy,' that died, one of those greyhounds ? ""No, my little daughter, Gipsy' was much smallerand more delicate. Its dispositions were too gentleto be used for the chase, and its bones were so fragilethat, you remember, it twice broke one of its paws.Your little terrier was only meant for a plaything."" Had you once a terrier, cousin?" asked Henry." Yes, once," said little Louisa, sadly; "if you hadseen my poor Gipsy,' how pretty it was !""And what did it die of?""It was always cold, because it had no long hairto keep it warm. Mamma made it a pretty littleblanket of red flannel, and tied it round its bodywith a ribbon. One day papa went away to thecountry; he was on horseback, and 'Gipsy' followedhim. Unfortunately, it came on to snow; 'Gipsy' got
54 DOGS AND THEIR USE.tired, and lay down to rest; and, as it was night, papathought it was still following him; but next day, theyfound my poor 'Gipsy' lying, stiff and cold, near ahedge!""Why did it not run on, instead of lying down?that would have kept it warm. Your little 'Gipsy'must have been lazy!" added the boy, withoutobserving that he was grieving his cousin by talkingthis way, and that her eyes were filled with tears."It is not to be wondered that the poor littleterrier died of cold; for it did not belong to thiscountry, but came from Malta, which, you know, isa little sunny island in the Mediterranean. God hasgiven to all animals belonging to cold countriesplenty thick fur to protect them,-for instance, theAlpine dogs, Newfoundland, &c.""But, aunt, it cannot be very cold in the Alpssurely, for they lie between France and Italy."" My boy, it is always cold on the top of moun-tains; so cold that there are some which are con-tinually covered with snow. One might almost saythat the summits of those mountains are concealedin snow, and their bases lost in precipices. Many un-fortunate travellers have lost their way, and perishedin those dangerous paths."
DOGS AND THEIR USE. 55"How are they dangerous, aunt ? ""Because very often great masses of snow, calledavalanches, come tumbling and rolling down fromabove, and bury all beneath it.""And is there no one to come and help thosetravellers?" asked Louisa, anxiously." Yes, dear child, it is the Alpine dog which comesto their help."" How do they do that?"" On the top of one of those mountains, calledthe Great St Bernard, good pious men, full of loveto God and their fellow-creatures, have built a hos-pice or inn for travellers. They have also broughtup a number of dogs, accustomed to the cold, andhave taught them to go and look for those unfor-tunate people who have been lost in the snow.Whenever there has been a storm, or a great windto loosen the avalanches, all the dogs set out fromthe hospice, and disperse themselves through themountains, looking and smelling on every side, andlistening to every sound. They have a little belltied round their necks, so that they may be heard,and a little flask full of brandy, to restore faintingtravellers. When they have smelt any one underthe snow, which they can do even at a great depth,
56 DOGS AND THEIR USE.they dig and scratch with their paws till they havediscovered him. They lick him and shake him, toawake him, and if they cannot succeed, they barkloud enough to let the good monks hear them, and-then they come and carry the traveller to their hos-pice, and nurse him with the tenderest care."" Oh, how kind they must be !" cried the children,thinking both of the charitable men and the gooddogs." Mamma," asked Louisa, "what are those dogslike ?"" They are almost the same size as watch-dogs,my child, but they have a thoughtful, serious look,as if they knew all the good work that was beforethem. They have also thicker and longer hair thanwatch-dogs, as I told you a little while ago inspeaking of dogs which belong to cold countries."
DOGS AND THEIR USE. 57" You spoke of Newfoundland dogs, too, aunt. IsMr Wilson's a Newfoundland dog? " asked Henry."Yes, it is.""Does Mr Wilson come from a cold country?"asked Louisa." Oh, you foolish little girl!" said Henry, burstingout laughing; "it is not Mr Wilson, but his dog, weare speaking of."" It is both, my dear children," said Mrs Graham."Newfoundland is a large island of North America,where was first found that species of dog which iscalled by the name of their country. Mr Wilsonlived in this island for some little time, and hebrought his dog home with him."" Is it very cold in, Newfoundland?" askedLouisa." Very cold, indeed; the snow lies on the groundfor six months in the year, and the inhabitants ofNewfoundland are very fortunate in having such gooddogs, which render them so many services.""What services?" asked Henry." First of all, they hunt, they draw large loads overthe snow, they serve as couriers to carry letters toa great distance, and they endure any amount offatigue. You have seen Mr Wilson's, with its long
58 DOGS AND THEIR USE.black and white hair: how large and strong it is,what big paws it has, and what a large head !""And yet it does not look fierce," said Louisa,"but always wishes to be caressed. The other dayit nearly knocked me down with its embraces!""Newfoundland dogs are very affectionate," re-plied Mrs Graham, " and they are also intelligent, de-voted, and faithful. Mr Wilson once told me a storywhich proves they have all those good qualities.""What story ? what story ?" cried both the chil-dren at once." Mr Wilson had two little boys," said MrsGraham. " One day two of their companions cameto see them, and brought them a little boat made ofwood, with masts and sails, and a helm just the sameas a real boat; it wanted nothing. The childrenimmediately set out to make the boat sail on a ponowhich was some little distance from the house.When they reached the water they put their boat in,but the wind immediately wafted it away into themiddle of the pond, and the little boy to whom itbelonged, fearing that it might go too far, bent overto take hold of it, but he lost his balance and fell in."The three other little boys screamed, and calledfor help, but they were too far from the house, and no
DOGS AND THEIR USE. 59one heard them. The brother of the boy who hadfallen into the water threw himself on his knees andprayed to God to save him."But the dog, which had followed the children,plunged into the pond, seized the child, who hadalready disappeared under the water, by his jacket,and brought him safely to land. You may imaginehow happy the poor children were !""How fortunate that the dog had learnt to swim,"said Louisa."All dogs swim without ever being taught," saidMrs Graham, " especially Newfoundlands, whose feetare formed very much like those of ducks and swans,which naturally belong to the water. But what areyou dreaming about, Henry ?" Henry was indeedlooking very thoughtful."I was just thinking," said he, "that many ofthose good dogs of which you have spoken are moreuseful than those which dance; but do you thinkthey are happier ? Do they not work quite as hard ?That poor dog that we saw sitting at its master's feet,do you think it will be happy leading a blind man allday ?""It is likely," replied the mother. "See howeagerly and attentively it fulfils its task. How it
60 DOGS VAND THEIR USE.caresses its master, and seems to love him; whilstthose poor dancers appear to be so tired, and workonly through fear of the whip."" But," added Henry, " to drag loads, hunt lions,fight thieves, and save men, must be quite as fatiguingand more difficult work than dancing on the street! ""Ah but what does the difficulty matter, dearchildren, if it really belongs to the task which Godhas destined us to fulfil? In order to obey theinstinct He has given them, animals will courage-ously brave all danger and endure suffering. And tofulfil the duties which are imposed upon him, man,guided by his conscience, should cheerfully andpatiently submit to the trials and sorrows which areattached to his existence here."You will one day find, dear children, that mis-fortune-the only true misfortune in this world-is indisobeying God's holy laws; and the only true happi-ness is in fulfilling His divine will."
V.THE FISHING PARTY." OW, dear children, to-morrow is Saturday,and a holiday," said Mrs Egerton, to agroup of little ones. "You have beenvery diligent and obedient during the week; youhave fulfilled all your duties like good children, andit is right that you should reap the reward. To-morrow is Saturday; how shall we employ it? ""Let us go to the Zoological Gardens, mamma !"cried Francis, the youngest boy. "There are somany strange animals there ""Oh, yes; the Zoological Gardens!" echoed alittle rosy mouth, belonging to Miss Kate, the eldestsister, who was just nine years old. "And we shallsee the monkey running up the pole, and the elephant
62 THE FISHING PARTYlifting up pins and needles with its long trunk. Oh,how nice that will be !"" I would rather go to the circus," said Henry. "Ilike to see the beautiful horses so much; those ones,above all, for they seem to be as clever as their riders.""You do not remember, dear children, that thereare too many of us to indulge in a pleasure whichwould cost so much. We could not all go to thecircus without spending a sum of money which mightbe far more usefully employed. In that way, wewould only purchase pleasure for ourselves; whereaswe could buy many things with this money whichmight do good to others.""So we might," said Helen, sadly. "Well, mam-ma, what shall we do with our holiday ?"" Think for yourselves, my children.""I know !" cried Henry, at last, with a merrytwinkle in his eye. "Papa is going to the fishing to-morrow. Let us ask if we may go with him !"" Oh, yes, yes; that will be famous fun " cried allthe little voices at once." Yes," said Henry, quite proud at having his ideaso unanimously adopted; "papa goes to the fishingwhenever he pleases, and we never go. I would liketo learn to fish too "
THE FISHING PARTY. 63" And I and I !" cried all the children atonce." That will not cost anything, mamma," said Helen,wisely." No, my daughter; it will not only cost nothing,but if your papa consents to the plan, as I do notdoubt he will, the produce of your fishing excursionmay be given to a poor family whom you know verywell, and who very seldom have anything but drybread to eat.""Oh, yes, mamma!" said Helen; "that will bethe best part of the whole day!""It will, at least, be one pleasure more," repliedHenry. "And we will all do our best to catch asmany fish as possible !"" But you must remember that you will have to riseat five o'clock in the morning Will that not be toosoon for you, dear little dreamers ? "" What is the use of rising so early for that !" ex-claimed Victor, crossly. " It is not such a very rarething to see fishing. I saw plenty of it every daywhen I was staying at Hastings.""Listen !" cried Henry, "because he saw plentyof it when he was staying with grandpapa, he thinkswe should not see it at all. Besides, we can go to
64 IHE FISHING PARTI.bed immediately after dinner, and so we do not needto lose any sleep !""Oh, yes; we will go to bed after dinner, and getup with the sun to-morrow morning !""We must not forget one thing," said Kate, "andthat is to ask papa's permission.""I will take charge of that," replied the mother,"your papa is so kind and so pleased with your goodbehaviour and diligence at your work, that I am quitesure he will grant you the innocent pleasure you havechosen."Mr Egerton was indeed quite willing that his chil-dren should enjoy this treat; and, that no pleasuremight be awanting, mamma promised to join theparty.The next morning every one was up with daylight.The sun was already shining brilliantly, for it was inthe middle of July. The birds were singing merrily,and a gentle breeze floated softly through the air, andmade the green leaves dance and tremble with joy.All the doors and windows of the neighbouring houseswere still closed. Our little friends seemed to be theonly people awake at this early hour. They took pro-visions for a second breakfast with them; and as thoseprovisions were intended for all, each little fisher was
THE FISHING PARTY 65laden according to his size and strength. Each childcarried a basket, in which there was packed bread, orwine, or meat, or fruit, and other good things. Papatook his fishing-basket also, which held all his tackle;and so, as each one bore part of the common burden,no one was too heavily laden.Mamma was the only one who carried nothing.Neither papa nor the children would allow her to takecare of anything, for they loved her so much, they wereafraid of tiring her.So the little party set out. Mr Egerton headed theprocession, and led tae way, accompanied by his sonHenry, who carried some small nets on his shoulderto receive the fish, and also lines for himself and hisbrothers. At the end of each of those lines hung alittle flat piece of wood, hollowed at both ends, and towhich were attached a long white thread and a littlebit of red cloth. As the line was flexible, the littlebit of wood danced about with every step that Henrytook, which seemed to amuse Francis very much, whowas walking behind with his sisters Kate and Helen,and who, wishing to be a little man, went along with-out ever complaining of the length of the road, thoughhe was the youngest among the young flock.Mamma brought up the rear with Victor, who was1C
66 THE FISHING PARTY.not altogether very well pleased at being roused soearly in the morning.The amusement of fishing seemed to be no plea-sure to him, for he had lived a whole year with hisgrandfather, who lived near a seaport, and there, ashe said, he had seen fishing every day, which had leftanything but an agreeable impression on his memory." What is the matter with you, Victor ?" asked hismother; "and why is my little boy so cross ?"" Because I do not want to go to the fishing. Whycould they not have chosen something else, whenthey knew I did not like it?""But anything else might not have pleased yourbrothers and sisters.""But it would have amused me, perhaps," repliedVictor."And do you not think that, in that case, yourfour brothers and sisters might be as vexed as you arenow ? Is it not better that the greater number shouldbe pleased? And, besides, would you wish to gratifyyour own wishes at the expense of the inclinations ofthe others ?"Victor saw how selfish he had been, and to showthat he knew his mamma was right, he gently kissedthe hand he held in his own.
THE FISHING PARTY 67"Mamma, I will not be cross any more," he said,raising his beautiful black eyes to her face." Here is the river Here is the river !" shoutedthe children on in front, as they darted to its side."Not here, my children; we will not stop here!Do you not see that this place is too open and toomuch frequented? The people passing by wouldfrighten the fish; so let us go farther on and look fora quiet spot."" How would they frighten the fish, papa? Dofish really know when people come and look into thewater ?"" Of course they do, Francis," replied Kate, " forthey have eyes.""And very good eyes too, I can tell you," said MrEgerton; " and this advantage is all the more usefulto them, because the light shines less brightly uponthem down in the water than upon us. But this isnot all: if fish see, they can also hear; so speak verysoftly now."Presently they reached a desirable resting-place.It was on the very border of the river, surrounded bylarge trees, whose branches formed a leafy roof whichwould perfectly protect them from the rays of the sun,for in a few hours they would be fierce enough.
68 THE FISHING PARTY"Here is a capital place for us," said papa, "so wewill unload ourselves and place the provisioRs at thefoot of this old oak.""Will we have breakfast just now?" asked littleFrancis."What would you begin to eat before you work,my boy? You are going to be a man to-day, and soyou must work for your bread.""It is quite right," said the children, struck withthe justice of this rigorous logic." To work to work 1" was the call of each, and thelines were immediately distributed. They commencedby unwinding the thread from the little pieces of wood.This thread was half silk and half twisted horse-hair.It was fastened to a feather by two little knots, andto this was also attached a small morsel of red cloth."What is the use of that ? " asked Kate."You will see immediately," said her papa; " onlyhave a little patience."At the end of this line of silk and horse-hair wasanother small piece of thread, extremely fine. Thechildren observed it, and began to fear that it was notstrong enough to draw the fish from the water."On the contrary," said their papa, "this thread isstronger than the other. It is formed of the skin of
THE FISHING PARTY 69the silkworm steeped in the spirit of wine, and pre-pared in a certain way-mostly at Florence, in Italy.To this delicate thread was attached a steel hook,bent and finished off like an arrow, with two pointsgoing in opposite directions." Look !" said papa, " this little bit of steel is calledthe hook. Let each place on it his bait, which willbe detained there, like the fish, by the double hook.Here is bait of different kinds. In one of these littleboxes there is fly, and in the other worms out of theground.""What! living ?" cried Helen, with a shudder."Well, there is bread and cheese too, which mayperhaps suit some tastes better," said Mr Egerton;"and here is a line which requires no bait at all.See, the hook is twisted and concealed behind thislittle feather, which looks like a water-spider-at leastlike enough to attract and deceive the fish.""I would like one of those, please, papa," saidHelen." And me too, papa," added Kate."Take them, then; but do you know how to usethem? You must keep the little feather moving andfloating in the water, or the fish will not be deceivedby it."
7o THE FISHING PARTY.Papa and the boys put bait on their hooks ; allthelines were thrown into the water; and each one re-mained silent and attentive.Victor, who did not care to join in the sport,seated himself on the grass beside his mother. Hewatched his brothers and sisters, who kept so stilland quiet, and the river, which flowed peacefullyalong, its tiny wavelets shining and glittering in thesunlight like flames. He also watched the little fishin the transparent water, who, fearing nothing, weredarting about the surface, as if enjoying the heat."Papa," said Helen, speaking very softly for fearof frightening the fish,-" Papa, there is somethingpulling at my line, and the hook is dragged awayunder the water !"" It is a fish that has got hold of it," replied herfather; " draw in your line."Helen drew her line out of the water, and saw alittle struggling fish suspended from it."Why does it move about so much, papa ?-is itsuffering any pain ? " asked the little girl." Of course it is, my child, for it is pierced by thehook."" 0 papa! how sorry I am! I will not fish anymore!"
THE FISHING PARTY 7y"And now you ought to rest," said Victor, laughingat his sister, "for you have secured a great prize,-itis a stock-fish at least !"" No," said his papa, " it is only a gudgeon; butit is not a bad prize, after all; for, though they aresmall, they are very delicate.""A gudgeon?" said Victor; "I never saw onewhen I was at grandpapa's !"" I believe you, my boy, because it is a fresh-waterfish.""And is the sea not made of fresh water, papa ?"asked little Francis.At this, Victor gave a great shout of laughter,which somewhat disconcerted his brother."Do not laugh at your brother, Victor," s4id hispapa, "for there is no shame in being ignorant of athing that he has had no opportunity of learning.'rell him all he wishes to know about it, as you havenothing else to do."" But, papa, I do not know anything to tell him,"confessed Victor. "I only know the sea is salt,because I have tasted it."" Papa," cried Henry, "I have caught a fish.Come and help me; it is pulling at my line so ter-ribly !"
72 THE FISHING PARTY"Surely this is something worth your trouble,"said Mr Egerton, taking his son's rod; and drawingthe line gently in, he soon landed a large fish onthe bank." It is a carp," cried Henry. "I recognise it quitewell, for I have seen them in the kitchen at home.How difficult it is for some beasts to part with life,"added he, while his father was detaching the carpfrom the hook. " Other fish die whenever they comeout of the water; but the other day I saw a carpliving and jumping about even after it had been cutinto pieces.""They should be allowed to die in peace," saidMrs Egerton, "or killed with a blow, rather than beso tortured.""That is what I said to the cook, but she said thefish was better when it was cooked alive.""The fish is quite good, if it is fresh," replied themother; "and if we are obliged to kill animals forour food, we need not torture them to pamper ourselfish tastes."" But why do fish die as soon as they are taken outof the water ?" asked Kate; "for, if we were putinto the water, we could not live.""" Because," said Mr Egerton, "they can only
THE FISHING PARTY. 73breathe the air through water, whilst we can onlybreathe pure air."" Do fish breathe the same as we do?"" Of course they breathe, or they could not live.""And have they lungs like ours ?""No; instead of lungs, they have openings oneach side of the head, called gills. Look at thiscarp, for instance; do you see those little brownborders ?""Yes.""Ah, well, those are little tubes through which thewater that the fish swallows, goes, and which keepback part of the air, as do the lungs of animals livingon land."While they talked away thus, the fishing continued;and there was soon landed upon the grass, in thelittle nets, a number of fish of all kinds and sizes;and each little fisher told what he knew about them.
74 THE FISHING PARTY.Thus they related that the carp is one of the mostsociable of fish, and that it is even possible to tameit, up to a certain point." In the time of Charles IX. of France," said papa,"there was a large basin in front of the palace atthe Louvre full of those fish, and they came dartingforward whenever they were called."Then Mr Egerton told the children that the carpis exceedingly simple in its habits, that it feeds prin-cipally upon plants and seeds, and that, in winter, itlies at the bottom of the water for many months,preferring to do without food rather than make warupon other fish. The pike, on the contrary, is a dis-agreeable companion ; it devours other fish, and is sogreedy that it is not very particular about what it eats;so much so, that one day a pike seized hold of thenose of a horse that was drinking in the river, andlet him take it away out of the water rather thanleave go.They had also caught a barbel; the childrengreatly admired the little barbles it carried in itsmouth; and they were astonished to hear that thisfish grew to such a length that it sometimesmeasured six feet.They likewise took bream and tench ; and they
THE FISHING PARTY. 75remarked how much they resembled the carp inappearance, only the scales of the latter are muchlarger.There were perch also; and the children observedthat its back was covered with black stripes, whileits fins were of a reddish hue. Their papa told themthat this fish is as greedy as the pike; that it notonly devours little fish, but very often leaps out ofthe water to catch the clouds of flies that hover onthe surface.They commenced fishing again, for there were allsorts of fish in this fine river, and all sorts of bait inpapa's little boxes; and by and bye they caught a fishwhich was almost bright yellow, streaked andaspottedwith brown, about a foot in length, very slender, andwhich, when the children wished to take hold of it,slipped out of their hands in a moment." I know that fish," said the mother. " It makesa very fine and delicate dish. It is called an eel, buteverybody does not appreciate it.""Oh, how glad I am !" cried Helen, thinking ofthe poor family who were to have the produce of thefishing. " How nice it will be to have something sogood to give to the little Lamberts "At last they caught a salmon trout.
76 THE FISHING PARTY"A salmon trout, papa !" cried Victor, with surprise."I used to see plenty of them. But you have just toldme that sea-fish do not live in fresh water.""My child, the salmon trout is indeed a sea-fish:but it leaves the sea in spring-time, and sometimescomes very high up the rivers.""But how does it get into the river?" askedHelen." It enters from the mouth which falls into the sea,and comes gradually up, sometimes even very nearthe source, which is where the river takes its rise."" Then the source is the beginning of a river, andthe sea is the end of it," said Helen."Yes; the commencement of a stream or river iscalled the source, but the end, or its entrance intothe sea, is called the mouth.""Did you use to see trout at grandpapa's ?" askedKate, turning to Victor."Trout, and salmon, and all kinds of things!"replied Victor. " I have seen enormous tunny, cod,and sea-eels. They catch the sea-eels with a net; butwhen the tide is low, they can get them with thehand under the stones, where they hide themselves.I have also seen them fishing for oysters and mussels:those are sticking like banks to the rocks or on the
THE FISHING PARTY. 77pebbles of the sea. They detach them with greatrakes, put them into boats, and bring them to land.The oysters they put into large reservoirs into whichthe sea-water flows at every tide, and leave themthere to fatten for eight or ten months, and then theysell them. I have also seen turbots; and they arestrange fish to look at, for they are flat, round, andswim on one of their sides, and have two eyes on theother.""They must be very ugly," said Francis."Yes," replied Victor, "but it is so good to eatthat they call the turbot the sea-pheasant." -"I have seen fish very like that in the kitchen,"said Kate; "but they were soles and flounders.""All the fish there are good," said Victor; "butthere is none of them like turbot."" And then turbot is much larger, and sells dearer,"said Mrs Egerton."I have seen cod," said Henry; " but it was onlyin a grocer's shop, all cut into pieces and salted intoa barrel. So it would be very difficult for me to saywhat like it once was.""And I have seen sardines and anchovies in littleboxes," said Kate."Sardines," said her papa, "are caught in great
78 THE FISHING PARTY.abundance on the coasts of France, and there are lotsof anchovies in the Mediterranean.""And I have seen salt herring," said little Francis."And I have seen all those caught!" said Victor,triumphantly."Ah, well, tell us all that you have seen!" criedhis brothers and sisters."To table!" cried the mother, who during thisconversation had laid out the provisions on the grass."To table !" echoed the joyous children, relievingthemselves of their lines; and very soon they were allseated on the turf in a circle round their mother.The little boys and girls spread their white hand-kerchiefs on their knees, to serve for table-cloths andnapkins.They were all very busy and silent for a while, fora good appetite always follows hard work.The children were quite delighted at dining in theopen air under those great trees, whose leafy branchesformed a lovely bower of shade in the midst of thesurrounding open country, on which the sun restedso fiercely." And now, Victor, tell us all about the fishing yousaw at Hastings," said Henry to his brother.The hero was just about to commence his story, and
THE FISHING PARTY 79his brothers and sisters had all quieted themselves tolisten, when, in the midst of the silence, they heardfrom the adjoining meadow a strange croaking cry."What is that ? " asked the children."It is a frog," replied their papa. " In general,frogs do not begin to croak till the evening, but itappears this one must be a little more active than hisfellows.""Where is it, do you think, papa ?""Doubtless among the rushes of some little streamin the meadow over there.""They are very ugly beasts, papa Are they ofany use? "" Yes; they are of great use in some countries, andthe people go to the streams and marshes and fishthem.""Fish frogs and what to do ?" asked Kate, withno little horror." To eat them of course.""What! does any one eat frogs? But they arereptiles, and they say frogs are poison.""Not all of them; and, besides, it is only certainparts of the animal that are used for food. It is chieflyin France they are used; and they are considered agreat luxury."
so THE FISHING PARTY."Do they not fish for crabs too, papa ?" asked alittle one." Yes. I have often seen crab-fishing. They catchthem in nets; and on each net they put a piece oftempting meat for bait, which attracts the crabs, andso they are enclosed in the net and carried off.""And that is how they catch shrimps and lobsterstoo, papa," said Victor." Do they fish for those ugly red lobsters ? " askedFrancis, opening his eyes very wide."Yes; but they are only red after they are cooked,"said Victor. " When they are living, they are nearlyblack."In the midst of their talk and questions, the childrenheard the voices of men and the sound of oars comingfrom the other side of the river, and each one turnedto look."Those are fishermen," said Mr Egerton, "andthey are going to cast their nets.""Let us see them let us see them !" cried thechildren; and they ran towards the bank.They saw three men approaching in a small sloop.Two of them were plying the oars, and the third wasletting a net slip into the water, the other end of whichwas being held on the opposite bank by other men.
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THE FISHING PARTY. 83At one edge of the net were attached balls of lead,which drew it down in the water, while the other andtopmost edge was kept floating by large pieces ofcork, so that the net was extended vertically in theriver.The men that guided the boat made it describe alarge circle, dragging the net along with them, andreturning to the place from which they started. Thenthey drew the net out of the water, and all the fishenclosed in the circle were taken." Those fishermen rent this part of the river like afarm," said Mr Egerton." But in the sea they fish with far larger nets, papa,"said Victor; "and the men are so funnily dressed.As they are almost always wet, and do not wish totake cold, they have great leather boots that come upnearly to their waist, slouching hats, and blue jackets.They fish for mackerel also: the little ones are eatenfresh, but the large ones keep for three months. Thefishermen take away salt in their boats, and theyempty the mackerel in among it whenever they arecaught, or they would spoil and could not be sold."" You are not weary now, Victor," said his mother,smiling, "because you are occupied in amusing andpleasing others."
84 THE FISHING PARTYVictor understood, and blushed and smiled at thesame time."Do they fish for cod too ?" asked Henry."Yes; but not much," replied Victor."The cod," said Mr Egerton, "is found almosteverywhere, but this fish is especially plentiful atNewfoundland. Sometimes the cod is dried, andthen it is called stock-fish."" Often they salt it like mackerel," continued MrEgerton; "but they cut off the head, open the fish,and put it into barrels, as you have seen.""And dried herring, papa, where do they catchthem ?" asked Francis."They do not catch dried herring anywhere, mychild; for dried herring are just herring salted and.smoked. They have great quantities of herring inHolland, where it is a great article of commerce. Theyfish them with nets in spring and autumn. Certainlearned men say that at those periods they come downfrom the North Seas; others think that they do nottravel, that they only bury themselves at the bottom ofthe sea, from where they afterwards rise to the surfacein such numerous shoals that they sometimes smotherone another.""A herring is such a little thing that I am sure
THE FISHING PARTY 8rthere must be plenty room for them in the sea! " ex-claimed Victor."But then they must choose their place of resi-dence, like everything else."" And so they are like people, who leave the beauti-ful country, and crowd themselves together in a greatcity like London !" said Henry." I would like to know who was the first fishermanwho thought of salting herring ? " said Helen."You are quite right to wish information, mydaughter. He was a very useful man, for he has in-troduced the means of securing people with healthyand abundant food. He was a Dutchman, and wascalled Buckaly. His country raised a monument tohis memory in token of their gratitude; and theEmperor Charles himself did him honour by visitingthis monument.""And had Buckaly no other glory than that ofhaving found out how to salt herring?" exclaimedHenry." My son." replied his father, "he had no other thanthat of having been useful to his fellow-creatures.""And that ought to be enough," replied the boy,reflecting; "for glory ought to proceed from doinggood."
86 THE FISHING PARTY" In that case," said Victor, "those fish which doevil instead of good, by eating and devouring eachother, must be very wicked.""Yes," said little Francis; "they should all bekilled-fathers and mothers who eat up their littlechildren! ""It is impossible to kill all the fish at once," saidMr Egerton; " and it would be a piece of great folly,for it would deprive us of one of the most preciousmeans of food that God has placed at our disposal."" Ah, well, if we cannot kill all the fish, we will eatall we can," said Francis."You speak of fish, Victor, as if they were men,"said Mr Egerton. "God has not given them thesame duties as us. If He had, He would also havegiven them a soul to love, a mind to lighten theirsouls, and a body able to serve it."Look at them, and see of how many advan-tages they are deprived, which we possess. Theirskin, which is covered with scales, cannot feel. Theyhave neither taste nor smell. Their blood is cold,and circulates very slowly through their imperfecthearts. Their heads are so flat that there is scarcelyroom for even the smallest brain. Their lives are, Iorthe most part, monotonous and solitary. They have
THE FISHING PARTY. 87no joys, no friendships, no family, nor bonds of so-ciety; and you think, my children, that those inferiorcreatures should perform the same duties as we, whoare favoured by the Creator above all other beings!No, no; the duties given to each are in proportion tothe intelligence which God has given them to under-stand them, and the means He has put at their dis-posal to accomplish them.""Then, papa," said Kate, " a person who has edu-cation, health, and fortune must have a great manymore duties than one who is sick or poor.""You have spoken the truth," replied her papa."The more God gives us, the more He expects fromus. The more benefits we have received, the moregood works ought we to do."The evening came, and the sun went down behindthe trees on the other side of the river. They gatheredtogether their lines and nets, and the whole familyreturned home, and finished the happy holiday byvisiting the poor Lamberts' humble cottage, andcarrying a ray of gladness to it by their kindness.This was mamma's happy thought, and it hadgiven a new charm to the holiday, for the little bandhad the joyful consciousness that this day had notbeen devotea entirely to their own pleasure. Even
88 THE FISHING PARTYVictor, who had felt such an ill-used mortal in themorning, thought their treat had been wisely chosen,and was glad that his mother had helped him tosacrifice his own inclinations with cheerfulness tothose of his brothers and sisters-for that eveninghe felt that it was more blessed to give than to re-ceive; and so this holiday was by no means lost.