Fanny Burton, or, Rome was not built in a day

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Material Information

Title:
Fanny Burton, or, Rome was not built in a day
Portion of title:
Rome was not built in a day
Physical Description:
64 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher:
T. Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication:
London ;
Edinburgh ;
New York
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Procrastination -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Responsibility -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Mothers and daughters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children and death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1872
Genre:
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York

Notes

General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.
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 - 002226048
notis - ALG6330
oclc - 59006993
System ID:
UF00026607:00001

Full Text
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FANNY BURTONORROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAYLONDONT NELSON AND SONS PATERNOSTER ROWEDINBURGH AND NEW YORK1872


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FANNY BURTONCHAPTER IFANNY said iny mother sadly thishabit of neglecting to perform yourduty at the proper time will yet bethe ruin of youBut I can mend my dress just aswell to morrow as to day I don t feel inclinedto do it now replied I petulantlyI fear you will never feel inclined to do itreplied my mother Sunday will come and atorn dress prevent your attending church Werethis the only instance of your neglect I shouldnot feel so anxious as I now doI raised my eyes to my mother s face shewas looking pale and sad My heart momentarily condemned me then as I glanced into the


6 FANNY BURTONyard and saw the sun shining so brightly andheard the sound of merry voices at play I hardened my heart against my mother s kind instructions aid pettishly repliedI d rather play with the children it s toobad to be cooped up here when every one else isamusing themselvesI had much rather mend the dress myself inaddition to the heavy burden I now have uponme than see my little daughter indulge in sucha spirit replied my motherMaking no reply I went to my room andhastily catching the unfortunate dress from itsnail I lazily dragged it upon the floor to mymother s apartment which I entered with not avery pleasing expression upon my countenanceThere my dear sit down by me while I assist you to put in a piece and tell me if you donot think in the end there will be some pleasurein knowing you have done your dutyI did not reply but sat enjoying a fit of thesulks Now I cast side glances into my mother sface as if to discover whether her firmness werelikely to endure until the end then I eagerlywatched the children at play Finally afterturning and twisting for a long time in my chairI contrived to upset my mother s work basketupon the floor spilling all its contents As I


FANNY BURTON 7saw her patiently replace the articles within thebasket my heart misgave me and I would haveasked her forgiveness but something within mywicked breast withheld me from making a confession of my error I have often thought sincethen that it is this same wicked something whichkeeps children from seeking the forgiveness oftheir Saviour when they have committed sinFanny if you do not mend your dress nowwhen will you do itThere s plenty of time I should think between this and Sunday replied ITo le sure there are four days before Sunday but what if something should occur in thefour days to prevent your doing as you intendRemember my child business before pleasureThis habit of procrastination which you have acquired will unless corrected cause you to gothrough life with a heavily burdened heartWhat if I should neglect my household dutiesIn the morning instead of taking care thateverything in the kitchen goes on in order Ishould follow my own inclination read or goto walk or visit my neighbours leaving thedishes unwashed the floors unswept and dinnerunprepared until I felt inclined to do it Mychild when you have a known duty to performthe sooner you perform it the better No matter


8 FANNY BURTONhow you may feel I am certain you will findsome happiness in the consciousness of havingdone rightThat s what Mr Marvin tells us boys interposed my brother William as he stood in onecorner of the room playing with his topTurning to my brother I provokingly frownedupon him for acquiescing in my mother s remarks for although I felt the truth of them inmy inmost soul yet my pride forbade an acknowledgement of itBut William as if urged on by ry crosslooks continuedAnd Mr Marvin said that he knew of a boywho had lost two good situations in stores because he was not punctual and that now he waswithout money or friends while by way ofconclusion he added I shouldn t wonder ifFanny was a little like himMy face flushed You re no better yourself Mr Preacher I retortedHere a quarrel would have ensued for youmay imagine I was in no very pleasant moodbut my mother calling me to Oher side quietlysaidHere Fanny is your dress I wish you tomend it immediatelyI pulled the dress rudely from her hand In


FANNY BUTTON 9my ill humour I pulled away for a long time atthe piece which she had nicely inserted until itwas entirely out of place nor could I possibly replace it and getting out of patience I criedOh dear I never can get this hateful thingright and throwing it upon the flooi burstinto tears After waiting a proper length oftime and discovering that my mother intendedtaking no notice of me I caught up the garmentand after renewed twitchings which I found atlast to be but dull sport I resolutely set myselfabout accomplishing my task and I could notbut acknowledge that the mountain I had somuch dreaded by a little application soondwindled into a veritable mole hillI was now thoroughly ashamed of my conductan arrying the completed dress to my motherI could scarcely forbear smilingMy mother looked approvingly upon me andtaking me by the hand saidHow much better Fanny if you yourselfhad only felt that your dress must be mendedand cheerfully sat down to it I cannot nowbestow upon you that commendation which Ishould have been happy to have done Mychild there are some people whose work is neverdone Does Fanny Burton intend to be one ofthese If not never procrastinate Life is too


10 FANNY BURTONshort to waste and as long as there is so muchto do in the world no one has any right to beidleCHAPTER IISOME people s work is riever done repeatedI to myself I could hardly understand the fullmeaning of this expression At length afterhaving bestowed much thought upon the subjectI concluded that a certain kind of people werealways drudging away without accomplishingvery much and then I looked around upon myneighbours endeavouring to find one to whom itwould applyThere s Mrs Cook she must be one of thatkind said I She s always at work yet erwork is never done Her table stands with theplates unwashed half the day and her children sstockings are full of holes so that one of thegirls told Lizzie Cook the other day her feetseemed to be quite well as they were able to beout I shouldn t like such a mother When Ithink of it I know ever so many people just likeMrs CookThere was no silent voice within my heartwhich suggested And there s Fanny Burtonin a fair way to be just such another I did not


FANNY BURTON 11then know what I have since learned thatone evil habit induces another and becomingstrengthened by use grows with one s growthuntil it is almost impossible to break away frombands so intricately and securely wovenI had always from earliest childhood dislikedto do things in the right time If my clothesneeded mending the last moment was selectedfor the work as being the one most congenial tomy feelings Had I a lesson to learn the fewmoments just before I had to say it were spentin hurriedly looking over what should haveoccupied an hour s time In vain had myparents expostulated with and punished me invain had I promised better things Entreatiesand promises were alike useless My evil geniusProcrastination seemed continually hoveringover me Alas I trusted that a reformationwould spontaneously spring out of my own heartAs well might I have hoped that the lovelycrocuses of spring would bud and blossom without the gentle showers from heaven or thewarming rays of a noonday sun as that withinmy heart should bloom any beautiful trait unless nourished by the influences of the HolySpirit My mother often told me I must lookto God for strength to do right but I restedcontent in making the petition to my heavenly


12 FANNY BURTONFather for assistance while my heart was farfrom the words I utteredI often felt grieved at my negligence andoften I was mortified beyond endurance At theage of which I write I was known to many ofmy friends as Careless Fanny and my brothertook especial delight in ironically calling mePunctual Fanny One day our good ministermade us a short pastoral visit As he wasleaving the room he laid his hand kindly uponmy head and after giving me a few words ofinstruction inquired if I would not endeavour tofollow his advice To possess the esteem of theminister was the height of my ambition and Ireplied affirmatively to all of his requests littleheeding the instructions contained in themShe promises well said my father lookingsignificantly at me I understood the lookand blushed deeply while to add to my confusion my brother William whispered in myear But we had better not say anything aboutthe performing part I feared the minister hadoverheard my brother s remark and then whatwould he think of me As he left the room Ilaid my head in my mothers lap and weptbitterlyMy little daughter must strive not to meritthese remarks was all the consolation I re


FANNY BURTON 13ceived from this source Did I deserve moreWait and seeCHAPTER IIIWE lived in a pretty dwelling situated in aquiet retired village Our house was neithersmall nor large but very comfortable A latticed porch extending from its front was entirely covered with beautiful roses and honeysuckle How often I sat here secure fromthe scorching rays of a summer s sun listeningto the words of instruction that fell from mymother s lips The gravelled paths leading toa rural wicket gate were bordered with daisiesand within the borders were patches of violetsmignonette sweet pea roses and many otherlovely flowers for although we were poor yetwe could afford to have beautiful bright flowerswhich the goodness of a bountiful Father showersalike upon the rich and the poorWe were poor yet I never heard my parentscomplain of their lot They were Christianstherefore they believed that God ordered allthings for the best I said they never complained yet I often heard my mother say wecould not afford to have everything we wantedlike some of our neighbours I very seldom had


14 FANNY BURTONa new dress for my mother after turning andmending her own made them over for meDuring her lifetime very little was wasted inour humble dwelling for she taught me thatthose things which were not useful to us mightserve a good turn to many a sufferer I remember we had a large bag to catch the odds andends which were useless These in due timewe exchanged for new stoneware This baghung in the garret and happy was I to bestowinto its capacious mouth a handful of scraps thatI might find an opportunity of taking a generalsurvey of the old garret Oh that garret of mychildish remembrance The cobwebs bespeaking a long repose had gathered around many anarticle that had been stowed away I daresaysince my grandmother s day There was an oldspinning wheel that I took great delight inturning and listening to the drowsy hummingnoise it made a pair of brass andirons that werecovered with a coat of dark green then therewere boxes old stoves Dutch ovens and acradle the very cradle in which I was rockeday and the cradle in which my mother wasrocked before me and there were branches ofdried herbs hung upon the beams herbs whichby long keeping had lost their savour In onecorner was a huge pile of boots and shoes I


FANNY BURTON 15often wondered why they were allowed to occupyso much room what was their use No oneknew only that grandmother had always thrownthe old boots and shoes of the family into thisparticular corner and our mother seemed to walkin her footsteps My brother Willie and myselfoften suggested the propriety of having onegrand bonfire out of the refuse which we weresure could be of no use but mother pleaded asan excuse that we might in some way set fire tothe house or do other mischief Since I havegrown older I have thought that perhaps shewas really attached to the old rubbish it hadbeen there so long a time But there was onecorner of the garret which I never approachedwithout a feeling of reverence All alone stooda small black trunk not remarkable to le surein its outward appearance but invested withsacred recollections I have often seen mymother repair to this trunk and after openingit take from it one by one tiny articles ofclothing a half worn shoe a picture book withone cover torn from it a top just ready to spina small drum fancifully painted a cup and aball I did not then know why as she replacedthem within the trunk they were bedewed withher tears and with a sigh she closed the lidand calling me to her side inquired if I remem


16 FANNY BURTONbered my brother Jamie She told me that helived here only three years and then God gavehis spirit wings and he flew away just as ourlittle canary bird flew away and left its cage Itwas a silent cage now for the bird that sang sosweetly had gone yet if I was good and lovedJesus and did his will I should go to my brotherin heaven although he could never come backto me All of these scenes come vividly beforemy mind and that dear old garret is filled withhallowed recollections We had no sweet singing canary birds now to warble in the warmsunshine but we had what was far better adear little robin that built her nest every springupon a branch of the wide spreading elm thatshadowed our door stone and rewarded us forthe few crumbs we daily scattered around thetree with sweet songs and chirpings filling theair with melodious musicWe never wanted amusements for sometimesour parents told us stories both amusing andinstructive or we took long walks together orwent to gather wild flowers and berries or nutting and had it not been for my unfortunatehabit of procrastination I should have been oneof the happiest little girls in the world Thusdo we see how one fault often mars the joy ofour life


FANNY BURTON 17CHAPTER IVONE evening in early spring as my father returned home from his daily labour he called mybrother and myself to him and inquired howwe liked the idea of hatching and bringing upchickens I was delighted as usual when anynew project was on foot and begged of him toallow me the entire charge of the imaginarybrood My brother thinking it would detractfrom his manliness to entreat for the same responsible position contented himself with contemptuously sayingYou I d like to see you have the care ofchickens or any other living thing They dnever get anything to eat that s certainI was provoked for I felt that an argumentso powerful would greatly influence my fatherupon whose decision I hung with that intenseinterest peculiar to children How rejoiced wasI then to hear him say in spite of Willie s remarkPerhaps we d better try Fanny once morebefore giving her up entirely WilliamI looked triumphantly at my brother andstrongly urged the propriety of giving me atleast one more fair trial and closed by saying2


18 FANNY BURTONIf I don t take care of these chickens fatherI ll never ask you to let me try againWhat chickens said my brother crosslyobserving that my father was inclined to tryme better not count on eggs before they rehatched nor after neither if you have anythingto do with them Upon this he took his departureWilliam is too bad said I as if to smoothaway any impression left upon my father s mindby his remarks I can take as good care of thechickens as he and I ll let him see for once inhis life that he is mistakenI noticed a singular smile flit over the countenances of my parents as they interchangedglancesAh thought I they too have little faithin my promises Never mind I ll let them alsobe disappointed in me for once They wouldhave been happily disappointed indeed should Iaccomplish anything I had undertakenFull of eagerness I awaited the arrival of myfather at night in hopes of then beholding thefamous eggs that were to produce the chickensby which my character was to be redeemed fromits present disgrace At last the sun sank behindthe western hills and with its setting came myfather bearing a large covered basket in one


FANNY BURTON 19hand and in the other a red silk handkerchiefgathered up at the four corners which I knewmust contain the wonderful eggs I ran out tomeet him A fearful cackling reached my earsfrom the depths of the covered basket and whatwas my delight when he brought to view oneafter another four full grown fowls and uponletting loose the four corners of his handkerchiefdisplayed to my wondering sight eight beautifulfresh laid eggs I took each one separately inmy hand to assure myself they were really perfect eggs and nothing could exceed my joy whenmy father told me if I would get a basket inwhich to put them we would go to the woodshed and set the hen who was henceforth toassume the duties of protector to the nest andeggsThere goes a dead loss shouted Williewho had been watching our operations with ajealous eye How many eggs are there hecontinued approaching us and peeping into thebasket Eight I declare then there will beeight chickens if they all hatch that ll be worthsomething but the suffering the poor creatureswill have to go through with in starving andbeing caught by weasels I m glad I m not intheir shellsHow provoking I thought that I should


20 FANNY BURTONbe so tormented but a secret feeling that Iwould soon be able to prove to my friends theywere mistaken in me greatly diminished mypresent indignationHow long will it be before they will behatched I anxiously inquiredIn about three weeks replied my fatherwithout appearing to observe my impatiencebut I think he noticed it for he smiled aside tohimselfThe weeks passed very slowly to me and Ioften asked mother how long the hen had beensitting and if she were sure it would take justthree weeks and no longer to hatch thechickens These inquiries and many similarones I frequently put to her taking good carealways that my mischievous brother was out ofsight and hearing I feasted upon my imagination I fancied the time had come when weshould subsist almost entirely upon the eggs andchickens of our own raising How happy wouldI be in going round from nest to nest collectingthe fresh new eggs and how surprised motherwould be to see so many for I was certain fromher quiet manner that her expectations were byno means as large as mineAt length just as the three wee ks were aboutexpiring upon going out one fine morning I


FANNY BURTON 21heard a faint chirp issue from beneath the oldhen Could it be possible I looked yes itwas indeed far beyond the bare idea of possibilityfor nestling beneath the hen were four littlechirping chickens My delight knew no boundsI would have seized them in my hand but therage of the hen at seeing her brood thus unceremoniously treated restrained me I ran toacquaint my mother with my good fortune andeven stopped by the way to let William knowthat four of the eggs were really alivePoor little things cried he with mocksympathy they ll find this a hard world to liveinI was too much elated to take any notice ofhis jesting and hastening on informed mymother of my good fortune In due time all theeight eggs were hatched yes I had eight littlesprightly chickens Father built me a smallcoop and the hen with her brood were housedtherein You who have had the care of chickenswill imagine the pleasure I experienced in feeding them with meal made into a kind of pasteand watching them as they ran in and out of thelatticed doorway I also amused myself withthe anxiety the old hen seemed to feel lest someharm should befall them That warning cluckcluck I seem to hear it now


22 FANNY BURTONTwo of the brood were particular favouriteswith me two little yellow downy creaturesbut so bright and nimble One of them Inamed Mrs Indott and the other Individual queer names for chickens I mustadmit For what reason I chose them I amunable to say Everything concerning mychickens went on nicely for two or three weeksnot one of the eight died No mother was evermore attentive to her little ones than was I tomine Ah said I to myself Master Williehad better crow now just as if I could not takegood care of anything Mother said all thatwas needed was a little perseverance I was aheroine in my own opinion quite forgetting thatthe end had not yet arrivedThe chickens soon grew large enough to belet out of the coop and every morning theymight be seen walking through the long grassor sunning themselves in a sand heap Duringthe day they nearly supported themselves bypicking up crumbs and worms but at night itwas necessary they should be housed lest aweasel or some other animal should catch themFanny said my mother one evening to meas I was busily engaged with an interesting storyFanny isn t it almost time to put up yourchickens


FANNY BURTON 23Oh do wait a little longer mother I mreading such a beautiful book was my replyinstead of immediately hastening to do my dutyas I should have done Several times mymother reminded me of my poor little chargeand each time I replied Wait just a minuteBut my minute and many other minutes slippedaway until the deepening twilight forced me toclose my book Filled with pleasant fancieswhich the story in question had awakened Ihastened to retire without bestowing a singlethought upon my little brood of which to tellthe truth I was beginning to grow wearyJudge of my surprise and mortification whenupon rising the next morning and looking frommy window I discovered directly beneath itperched upon large sticks two dead chickensUnderneath each was a placard upon which wasprinted in large showy letters Mrs Indott andIndividual departed this life early this morningFor the cause of their death refer to PunctualFannyThe thought of the chickens I had neglectedto house produced in my mind no very pleasingsensation Already I beheld two of them deadbefore me The rest might have shared thesame untimely fate Where now was my imaginary triumph I Alas it had vanished and I


24 FANNY BURTONwas indeed miserable Throwing myself uponmy bed I wept bitterly How could I meet myparents reproofs and the jeer of my brotherWillie were questions I often asked myself Ifelt sure they would never trust my word againI was in deep disgrace Rising however Isummoned courage to venture down stairs wherethe family were assembled at breakfast Myfather did not smile as he bade me good morning but Willie wickedly inquired of my motherif she did not hear a noise in the night like thechirping of chickens in distressI finished my meal in silence After its conclusion father called me to him and talked uponthe wickedness and danger of delaying to performduties at the proper time Go to your roommy child at length he said and on your kneesbefore God confess your fault and implore hisassistance for he alone can aid you in curingyourself of a habit which seems to be so fullyconfirmedCHAPTER VTHE season of deep contrition and mortificationwhich I experienced did not cure me of mydeeply rooted evil habits For two or threedays to be sure I prayed earnestly for divine


FANNY BURTON 25assistance but my heart still remained unchanged I did not realize then that the dearSaviour required of me an entire surrender of myaffections to his will and that unless I gave himmy whole heart and endeavoured to serve him inall things he would not assist me to overcomeill formed habits This I was unwilling to dotherefore I returned to my old waysI was nearly twelve years of age when manyof the school girls myself among the numbermet together one sunny afternoon in the monthof June for the purpose of forming ourselvesinto a sewing society The object of thissociety was to supply with necessary clothingsome of the indigent children of our town thatthey might enjoy the privilege of attendingchurch and Sabbath schoolNone of the little girls entered more fully into the spirit of this undertaking than myselfPleased as I always had been with anything newand tired of a hum drum life I readily volunteered my service to any extent in aiding onward this new work and happy was I whenthe rest of the girls showed the confidence theyreposed in my ability by intrusting to me theimportant position of president of the society Ifelt completely sure of my success Of course Iwas not so lost as for a moment to be willing to


26 FANNY BURTONendure the mortification a failure to perform theduties of my important situation must certainlybring Oh no not a doubt clouded the brightsunshine of my anticipations No thoughts ofpoor Mrs Indott and Individual marred myhappy self assurance All past experiences wereforgotten and as I walked home after our meeting I even thought my parents were to blamefor not reposing more confidence in my promisesA meeting had been called for the next dayand the appointed time found me at the house ofMrs Shaw punctually seated in my presidentialchair I called the meeting to order withproper gravity and suggested that first we shouldchoose a name by which we should be designatedLet us be the Sewing Society said SusyShawNo no said Mary Iale my motherthought the Dorcas Society would be a goodnameAfter various expressions upon the subject wevoted that it should be called the Dorcas Societywe agreed to apply to our parents for materialsto carry out our good work and that they wereto have the general supervision of it while wewere to meet at our several homes alternatelyone afternoon every week at two o clock precisely Upon my return home my tongue was


FANNY BURTON 27busily employed in relating to my mother thebusiness of the afternoon I had never beforebeen so interested in any undertakingOh said I it will be pleasant to work forthe poor to see them come to church clothed ingarments made by our own hands IMy mother who always entered with readysympathy into all my plans for doing goodencouraged me to proceed at the same timetempering her words with the remark that I hadbetter not begin with too much energy lest Ishould fail before the endA new broom sweeps clean cried my brotherWillie but when the new is worn off it goesrather hardThese remarks added heavy weights to thewings of my imagination which had alreadysoared beyond the limits of common sense In amoment the memory of my former failure rushedover me I felt despondency take the place ofhope Would I succeed I anxiously inquired There seemed to be a doubt in thematter whereas previously had existed onlypositive certainty I do not think I mentionedour society to mother for some time after this sofearful was I of being again checked by some remark that I knew to be true but of which Iwished never to hear


28 FANNY BURTONI had at this time a very dear little friendabout my own age her name was Mary HaleWe lived side by side only a fence separated ourhouses We used to sit and talk over our plansthrough the pickets of our fence and sometimeswe carried our work and sewed together Shewas perfectly unlike me Always steady andcareful she usually accomplished well any objectwhich she undertook Her memory did notseem to be as short as mine If her mother lefther to perform any little service alone it wasalways faithfully and punctually done You caneasily see the wide gulf which separated us inhabit She too was always kind and gentlewhile I was fitful and could not endure to bedisappointed or crossed in anything It wasnecessary for her to have great patience with mefor I troubled her often by my thoughtlessnessShe was also an active member of the DorcasSewing Society the great difference in us however was that while she talked very little of herintentions her fingers flew rapidly over many anearly completed garment I talked bravelystill my work flaggedTo be sure I had not yet presumed to neglectmy presidential duties but the intense ardourof my zeal had diminished I found it almostimpossible to complete any garment which I


FANNY BURTON 29commenced and the consequence was there weremany stray parts of garments all of no useCHAPTER VIWHAT have you finished for the society inquired I of Mary Hale one day as we were sewing togetherI have a dress for Sarah Dale all done twoaprons and a little cape replied MaryWhat all done cried I in surprise for Ihad as yet nothing to showYes and I m going to carry them to her tomorrow I believe you were to have the clothesdone for Lizzie Cook at the same time she continuedYes I replied hurriedly I intended tohave done them and think I shall now but youknow I could not sit down and finish a dressclear through it is so tiresome So I beginmy dress and make the sleeves perhaps andwork until I get tired and then commence something else When I get all of them partlydone I m going to have a regular finishingupBut I should think it would be easier tofinish each piece before you begin anew it


30 FANNY BURTONseems to me I wouldn t be easy to have a dozenthings around at onceOh I don t mind it I replied besides I getsick and tired of working and what shall I doWhy I don t think anything about it continued Mary I know I ought to sew and dowhat I have to do in the present so I sit downand go through with it Sometimes I get tiredand would like to put it away but then I thinkhow happy I shall be when I can see my workreally done and feel that I have denied myselfand not run away from my duty Do you everfeel so FannyOh dear replied I despondingly I neverdid my duty and I do not know whether itmakes any one happy or notBut I am a little older than you and oughtto do better replied my kind friend Mary as ifto excuse my neglect I did not reply althoughI knew that a few months could make but littledifference in one s characterFanny is always cross cried a voice nearus We looked around and espied my everpresent brother Willie perched upon an appletree just above usHow provoking I exclaimed that heshould have heard what I said he always torments my life out of me


FANNY BURTON 31No I don t either you do it your own selfIf I didn t have the material I couldn t makeanything of itI did not reply but rising slowly entered thehouse and went to my room thinking to overhaul the box containing the half finished workfor the society and make a desperate effort tofinish at least one article As I opened the doorof my little chamber the scene presented to myview was anything but agreeable My wickedbrother having discovered my box of work andrealizing that it was a fatal omen for me to laymy hands upon anything had wished to play ashe thought a good joke upon me Thereforehe had taken two good sized pieces of wood anddressed them as dolls with the odds and endsupon which I had been at work Here was astray sleeve there a breadth of a dress or partsof the waist an apron commenced a sun bonnetwith the needle rusted in a pair of stockingsjust begun while upon the walls were noticesoffering in the name of the Dorcas Society rewards for the missing sleeves and also a placardstating that the entire contents of the box wouldbe sold at auction for the benefit of the DorcasSewing Society Fanny Burton being auctioneerI felt this joke keenly and my grief was notallayed when my mother told me that unless I


32 FANNY BURTONquickly corrected myself of my errors I shouldbe a continual subject for ridiculeI thought her severe then I now wonder howshe could have borne with my waywardness asshe didThe great finishing off day which I had solong anticipated never came My interest inthe poor children gradually dwindled away Iresigned my presidential claim and was succeededby my friend Mary Hale who was faithful toher charge It is a lesson which one cannot tooearly learn never to undertake a known dutyand leave it unfinished No matter whether youwish to persevere or not Do not consult yourown feelings be energetic labour to accomplishthat which you undertake Remember that theperformance of every duty carries with it a sweetreward the approval of your own conscienceCHAPTER VIII ALWAYS loved the spring time I used oftento sit upon a large flat stone just out of ourback door as soon as the snow had melted andlisten for the first warbling of the little joyoussongsters who welcome so heartily the dawningof the spring I loved to watch the grass shoot


FANNY BURTON 33forth its tender blades and watch its rapid aftergrowth I loved the gentle April showers whichcame pattering down against the window panesreminding one of the tears which flow fromchildish griefs and then the sweet sunshiny smilethat followed so like the smiles that chase awaychildhood s tears But dearer than all the restI loved the little robin that built her nest everyspring in our old elm tree I eagerly watchedher as she patiently toiled from morning untilnight carrying in her tiny bill bits of threadand pieces of straw all of which were neatlywoven in the home she was building How engaged she seemed in her work and how swiftlyshe accomplished the task Beautifully did shemanifest the goodness of God who gave even sosmall a creature the means and knowledge ofproviding for itself How happy was I afterthe nest was completed when my brother climbedthe elm and peeping into it discovered twodarling little eggs which in due time were chirping birds What a noise the little creatures madeevery time their mother approached bearing somearticle of food in her bill Oh they were ravenous birds always hungry and crying for moreAnd then I watched the mother robin as shetaught her little ones to fly and soon the nestwas deserted the young birds had flown away3


34 FANNY BURTONMy mother said the empty nests made herthink of many a deserted home where there hadbeen little children but God gave their spiritswings and they had flown far out of sight andwere now singing in heaven sweeter songs thanany little birds ever warbled upon earth Ialways felt when she spoke in this manner thatshe was thinking of my brother Jamie whosebody rested under the green turf but whosespirit had winged its flight to God who gave itYou will not wonder that I loved this dearhome where I was born and that I experiencedsome sorrow when my parents told Willie andme one morning as spring was near at handthat they had long contemplated moving to thefar west and as soon as the pleasant days ofApril should come we must commence ourjourney My heart sank within me at this intelligence I did not love to think of the changebut my brother was wild with delight Sometimes in imagination he was roaming over thefair prairies which abound in the western statesor sailing upon the majestic river at others hewas dressed in leathern clothes such as he saidRobinson Crusoe wore fighting the bears andcrocodiles which he was sure he should encounterThen again he lost himself and made famousbonfires as signals to those in search of him I


FANNY BURTON 35could not with any pleasure enter into the erection of his air castles I was sure no place wouldever be so pleasant as my present home Nosunshine would ever be as bright as that whichshed its gladdening beams through the southwindow of our cosy sitting room No bird wouldever build as pretty a nest as did our robin uponthe elm Willie uttered a contemptuous Poohto all of my complaints but I think my motherfelt very much as I did only she knew it was forthe best and would never complain I had notyet learned to be so patient and good as sheI asked my mother one day why she went andif we should not be lonely She repliedYour father is poor my child and hopes hemay earn more at the west for the support ofhis family And we need not be lonely for weshall be together and God will be with us thereand watch over us and if we live near to himwe need never be lonelyI did not understand how my mother couldtalk in this manner for I knew it was a greattrial for her to leave her old home where she toowas born and had always lived I now feel thatif she had not been a Christian and loved Godand her duty better than all beside she couldnever have endured the pain of leaving


36 FANNY BURTONCHAPTER VIIIYou of my little friends who have witnessedhouse cleanings and movings at home mayreadily imagine that after we received the newsof our intended emigration our house was in avery unsettled state Some of our furniture wasto be taken with us and the rest sold at auctionEverything must be packed with the greatestcare for fear of being injured upon our longjourney My father and mother concluded it wasbest to dispose of all the nice furniture and takewith us only those articles which were absolutelynecessary to our comfort for we were to live ina log cabin until we should become able to builda frame houseWhat busy times we had for a few weeks previous to our departure I was all the helpmother had and I flattered myself I was of someimportance in the general confusion which prevailedOne day was spent in packing crockery another in stowing away bed clothes thus occupied the time flew swiftly along We didnot take our best set of china for fear it mightbe broken but mother gave it to her niece whowas about to be married She said she could


FANNY BURTON 37never make up her mind to sell it aL auction asit was given her by her mother when she firstwent to house keeping and every piece was dearto her heart Mother was also about to giveaway the best bed quilt but I persuaded her tocarry it with us It seemed dearer to me thananything else for often when my little cousinscame to visit us I slept with them in the bestbed beneath this quilt and in the morning weamused ourselves by looking at the curiouslyformed squares which were made from brightcoloured pieces of dresses that my mother and Ihad worn out I also had a small rocking chairto which I was much attached but this wasdestined to be sold When I learned its fateI bade it an affectionate farewell as though ithad been an old friend and begged my mothernever to let me see it again it made me so unhappy to part with it Oh how attached had Ibecome to my home I I did not realize thatevery tree and rock was so dear to ine until Iwas about to be torn from them then I firstlearned to feel howBlessings brighten as they take their flightI think this was a good lesson to me for ittaught me in after life that change was the lotof man and that our only sure trust could beplaced in God who was unchangeable


38 FANNY BURTONMy brother William affected great indifferenceat the prospect of moving suppose he thoughtit would detract from his manliness to exhibitemotion but one day I surprised him in the actof shedding tears over a pet rabbit which wewere to leave behind and I heard him sayPoor Bunnie Willie s going off to leave ithope people will be kind to the poor fellowWhereupon as he observed me he cleared histhroat with several successive hems and grufflyinquired What are you here for 7 I felt inclined to make sport of this sudden disappearance of his dignity but a sympathetic throbwithin my own heart restrained meCHAPTER IXAPRIL soon came and with it the day for ourdeparture A sorrowful day it was I had tobid my little friends a long good bye PerhapsS hould never see them again I was going agreat way off and we might die for deathclaims the young as well as the oldI hailed with joy the bright sunshiny day uponwhich we were to depart for that at least lookedhappy Upon the morning of our departuremy mother packed a large basket with provisions


FANNY BURTON 39enough to last us upon the way There weresandwiches and biscuit and apples and cheeseAnd besides I had a new cape and bonnet whichfact I think rendered the idea of the journeymore pleasant than it would otherwise have beenWillie had a new straw hat which he pretendedto disdain but since the occurrence of the rabbitI had looked with suspicion upon all his pretensionsAfter the thousand and one delays whichalways attend a journey we were ready to setout The farewells were all spoken the tearsall shed We were to ride in a stage to the firstrailway station and I found enough by the wayto interest me and call off my mind from thepain of leaving my homeHere again may we see the goodness of Goddisplayed in scattering over the face of thisbeautiful earth so many objects which tend todraw away our souls from our own sorrowsEven children love beautiful scenery They lovethe beautiful flowers which spring up at God scommand in the meadows and by the road sidesThey love the trembling dew drops sparklingupon the bosom of the meek forget me notThey love the little streams which cheerily singand dance along now dashing uproariously overthe stones now gently coursing over the clear


40 FANNY BURTONpebbly bed They love the fleecy morningclouds and the richer tints of eveningOur parents knew that these scenes werepleasant to us and always strove to direct ourminds to the beautiful in Nature mingling withit many of the instructive lessons which may bedrawn from this great source In a very shorttime we reached the station and after a greatdeal of bustle and confusion during which Ientertained fears that I might be lost we foundourselves seated in the comfortable railwaycarriage Our route lay over a beautiful tractof land Now we darted through green andfertile meadows then as we turned a curvelittle hills and sometimes a lovely lake wouldburst upon our sight so very beautifulChildren when you travel keep your eyes andears open else you will lose many a lovely prospect which you might always keep like picturesin your memoryKeep your ears open and you may oftengather many instructive lessons as well as amusing incidents But should you chance to hearany evil do not treasure it for one moment within your heart Don t think of it feel that Goddisapproves of all evil words as well as actionsand know that none can harbour evil thoughtswithout injuring their own souls


FANNY BURTON 41Does not the Bible say Can a man takefire into his bosom and not be burned Nomore then can one receive evil words into hissoul and not be corruptedCHAPTER XALL along our journey we met with objects ofinterest Sometimes our attention was directedto a beautiful edifice or lovely natural scenesand sometimes we were occupied with the manyinteresting incidents that take place in a railwaytrainIt was particularly interesting to me to witnessthe crowds of people that stood at the stationsready to jump on the moment the trains stoppedIndeed in their eagerness many did not wait forthat Among the passengers was a blind manwhose steps were guided partly by a cane andpartly by a little dog that led him by a stringMy father seemed to feel great compassion forhim and as he sat near us entered into conversation with him The man said in reply to hisinquiries that he lived in a town near by that hehad no relations in the world but managed tosupport himself by doing little odd jobs for whichhe received a few pence He spoke very cheer


42 FANYK BURTONfully and did not seem unhappy on account of hisblindness Father told him although he wasblinded to earthly beauties he hoped he couldwith his soul s eye behold brighter visions thanany presented in this world but alas his soulalso was darkened a far more fatal darkness thancan befall the outward sight His soul wasblinded for he saw no beauty in the blessedSaviour no beam of glory coming down fromthe infinite throne of love whereon sits JesusChrist pierced his benighted soul any more thandid the rays of a noonday s sun pierce the filmwhich covered his eyes He was groping his wayblindly to eternityMy father turned from him in sadness Hefelt that sincere grief which a Christian shouldfeel at seeing a fellow mortal walking in the pathwhich leads to everlasting death He expostulated with him and endeavoured in the fewmoments they were thrown together to send oneglimmer of divine light across his soul I donot know whether he succeeded as he soon leftthe train we have never heard from him sinceIf some of the incidents which came under myobservation were of a solemn nature so otherswere especially amusing One old lady wasreturning home to Canada from a visit to herfriends in Boston What a rare specimen of


FANNY BURTON 43human nature she was I had never seen any onelike her before How swiftly she talked 1 Shecarried a large reticule upon her arm in whichmight have been deposited not all the cake andcheese in Boston but a small share of it at leastIn a cage by her side was perched a large parrotwhich kept up a continual screeching and in a boxwhich she carried in her lap was deposited whatdo you think no less an animal than a guinea pigShe was an innocent good natured old lady andseemed to think every one must be interested inher and her strange pets as indeed they wereShe allowed several of the passengers myselfamong the number to take a peep at the pigthrough a little hole which had been madein the box as a ventilator and she informed usall in the same breath that it was given her bya relative that lived in Boston and that therelative made a party for her the evening beforeshe left them and that she had such a pleasantvisit and was now on her way home She wasa kind good old lady I think for I saw a tearfall from her eye while father was talking withthe blind manWith many amusing and instructive incidentsour time seemed to pass so swiftly that wescarcely took notice of its passage


44 FANNY BURTONCHAPTER XISooN very much sooner than I desired wearrived at the end of our journey Now indeedwere we alive to the novelties before us Wewere in a wild uncultivated region fifteen milesfrom any settled town although to be sure therewere a few intervening settlements like our ownscattered here and there along the way Ournearest neighbour however lived about threequarters of a mile from the spot which we intended occupying We had procured a manfrom the nearest town to transport ourselves andbaggage to the house of a neighbour who hadbeen an old friend of father s in his easternhomeHere we were to remain until our own loghouse was erected Our friends welcomed uswith all the hospitality natural to a new countryand Willie and I soon found ourselves upon goodterms with the large family of children Herewe passed a happy week previous to enteringour own happy homeI soon forgot the resolution made at homenever to be pleased with anything at the westIow could I but be happy with my parents andbrother and a whole bevy of new little friends


FANNY BURTON 45And then the spring days were so joyous andbright the birds sang as sweetly here as theyever did in my New England homeThe kind and liberal Hand that planted theelm by the old homestead scattered in profuseabundance the same beautiful trees at the westLovely lakes were sprinkled like bright sparklingstars here and there and noble pine forests rosein majesty and beauty before usRich fertile lands lay stretched everywherearound us where as my brother William saidapples grew as large as pumpkins and corn wasso stout that it grew on trees It was the workof a short time only to erect us a suitable dwelling Living in a log house there was something strange and new in it so different fromour former life Our one room upon the firstfloor served the fourfold purpose of kitchendining room sitting room and parlour Goingfrom the kitchen upon a ladder we entered theupper loft which contained our sleeping apartmentsThe rough logs were unhewn upon the insidebut were cemented over upon the outside andmother had papered the rooms with old newspapers which she said would answer the purposeof house paper and furnish us with readingmaterial beside


46 FANNY BURTONNow indeed we went to work in right goodearnest Father and Willie cleared the landploughed and sowed the grain in the fieldswhile mother and I attended to our householdduties and cultivated with flowers a little patchof ground which my father had given us Iplanted a running clematis under ou southwindow and taught it to twine its gracefultendrils around a frame which Willie made formeWe also recited daily lessons to one anotherand with work study and play play study andwork our time was fully occupied Willie spenthis few spare moments in cleaning and riggingup an old gun which he had begged or boughtof some one of the neighbou rs in hopes that astray bear or wolf might make its appearanceAfter a long time he succeeded in repairing it tosuch an extent that it would carry a small chargeof powderAfter this he might be found in his unoccupiedmoments sentinelled at a small loophole in theupper loft awaiting the attack of any depredatorsIn a Quixotic manner every waving boughwhich caught his eye in his imagination assumedthe form of some wild animal and was the signalfor firing After numberless efforts to find theimaginary game which he shot he gave it up as


FANNY BURTON 47a bad job and laid the old gun away to escapethe shower of jokes which were lavished uponhim and which he did not at all relishCHAPTER XIITHE spring and summer passed swiftly by andthe gay autumnal months with their goldensheaves of corn and the many hued leavesgladdened the earth and the hearts of the reapersWe did not expect to reap a large crop of thefruits of the earth the first year in our new homeThere had been land to clear our house to buildand we foun that all of this occupied too muchtime to anticipate great profits but we were notby any means discouraged or at least we shouldnot have been had we not observed that motherwas beginning to droop beneath the cares of anemigrant s life Her step in a great measurelost its elasticity her cheek became sunken andpale save when a bright fiery spot burned uponit Yes our mother always so dear to us anddoubly dear now was gradually wasting awayConsumption that great destroyer was rapidlyat work The doctors from a neighbouringtown told us she might endure the rigours of acold winter she might live to see the happy4


48 FANNY BURTONspring time gladden the earth once more butalas she could never get well againWe trusted they might be deceived and werealmost sure they were when we saw her cheerfully attending to her domestic duties As Iwatched her sitting in her arm chair so tranquilso happy I felt as though she could not diedeath was so great a change to leave this happyworld to be covered by the damp cold earthwas to my childish mind a subject of the greatestterror The eye of faith was closed within myyoung bosom I did not look beyond these darkand gloomy scenes of parting as did my motherup far up to that glorious haven which God hadprepared for those who love him I did not seeby faith my blessed Redeemer clothed in ineffable light and majesty seated upon the throneand the millions upon millions of happy soulswhose robes were washed white in the blood ofthe Lamb No music from the heavenly landcame to my soul but I know my mother wassustained through many a weary day by gloriousvisions revealed to her by faith in the mercyand promises of God Instead of sinking beneath the gradual approach of death it seemedto give her new energy to perform the morefaithfully all of her duties before the star of lifeshould for ever sink into the ocean of eternity


FANNY BURTON 49Oh how she laboured through that long winterI seem to see her now cutting out new garmentsand plying the needle with her thin delicatefingersOne afternoon at the approach of spring Iremember vividly she had been arranging thedrawers and overlooking our scanty wardrobesand calling me to her she said so calmly I shallnever forget itHere Fanny is where I keep all the towelsand table linen and here the bed linen Ihave made some new that you may not wantfor any when I am gone until you are oldenough to make it yourselfGone I repeated to myself oh howmournful how lonely was that word Mymother gone I knew she spoke of that longjourney which she was about to take and fromwhence she would never return Yet for worldsI could not have said My mother must dieI could have said she was going to God or shewas going to journey but never that dreadfulword die It seemed to haunt me by dayand night I tried to run away from it Irepeated in quick succession every hymn I couldthink of which represented death under apleasing form Yet flaming above them all inbright letters my imagination traced the words4


50 FANNY BURTONShe must die I was young but oh whatchild ever lived whose mother s voice was notdear to it whose mother s smile was not sweetto it The child in after years clings morefondly to the early pious instructions of itsmother than to anything else Ay and oftentimes they draw the heart to Jesus when allother means of grace have failed God never bequeathed so rich a blessing to me as the prayersof my sainted mother They were prayers offaith for she trusted that God would fulfil hisword to his children they were prayers of lovefor she lknew the Father in whom she trusted wasinfinite in love and would listen with a sympathizing ear to all her cares and anxieties in regardto her beloved ones In Jesus she reposed herearthly cares waiting only to accomplish his willAgain another spring time dawned upon theearth a fair spring time With what joy hadI always before hailed this beautiful seasonbut now far different feelings filled my soulYet as the warm sunny days of May gladdenedthe earth and my mother seemed to grow betterwe began to entertain hopes that she wouldreally recover Alas how delusive are humanhopes A few cold stormy days of east windbrought her low very low and then for thefirst time we fully realized that she had not long


FANNY BURTON 51to remain with us It was a sad dark day whenthe death angel seemed hovering near the portalsof our dwelling as if mercifully reluctant tosunder at one fell blow the sacred and endearing ties of kindred and of home We stoodaround her bed side my father and brotherand I a lonely little group My mother forgetful as she always had been of herself spokecheering words to us she bade us not weep forher In rapturous triumph she told us of thehappy glorious land which even now was bursting upon her view and then she requested thatsome one would singThere is a land of pure delightWith her feeble voioe she joined in singing thishymn and as she closed requested that someone would prayMy mother will go to heaven yes mymother will go to heaven I whispered to a kindneighbour for I was unable longer to restrainmyself my heart seemed burstingYes child replied the neighbour wipingher eyes your mother will go to heaven if anyone ever went there for she was a saint uponearthA bright gleam of light and comfort seemedto irradiate my heart at this assurance Oh it


52 FANNY BURTONwas a blessed thought that she was going toheavenCalling us to her side she bade us a long farewell She told Willie she had given us to Godthat we must love and serve him and prepare tomeet her in heavenFalling exhausted upon her pillow my fatherwho was leaning by her side inquired if she washappy No reply greeted his ear for at thatmoment the delicate thread of life was for eversnapped in twain Oh the bitterness of thathour The winds howled mournfully throughthe pines and the large drops of rain came pattering loudly against the window panes Nostars shone through the gloom of that night andeven the star of hope was extinguished for thetime within our bosoms How blessed are theywho have a Saviour s arm upon which to reposein the hour of trouble He can wipe away thetears from the soul of man and transform thedeepest gloom into brightnessHow much does even a child need his tenderlove and sympathy Oh come to him givehim your heart and receive from him comfortin the day of affliction when all other sourcesshall fail you


FANNY BURTON 53CHAPTER XIIITHE last Christian rites of love and respect werepaid to my mother and she was laid to rest in astrange strange land Oh how our heartsached and throbbed while we thought we shouldnever see her again on earth But our fatherbade us look far beyond this trying scene to thatglorious home where we hoped through themerits of Christ she had triumphantly enteredWe had no mother now in this world butprecious thought we had a mother with ChristAh how it seemed to bind our hearts renderedtender and sensitive by affliction to the blessedSaviour How many good resolutions I madeat this time I thought I would always doright for if I were wicked I feared my mothermight be grieved I did not recollect thatChrist had seen and noted down in his book allof my evil actions ever since I was born thathe the Saviour of mankind had often beengrieved by the evidences of my hardness of heartI did not feel that it was far worse to displeasethis kind Father than to grieve my mother Ihad not yet surrendered my heart in sweet submission to Jesus I was young but youth wasthe time to serve the Lord Why should not I


54 FANNY BURTONlove the Saviour He died for children as wellas those of riper years Why All ye impenitent children ask your own hearts this question and reply to it by yielding yourselves willingly to Jesus ChristHow sad to our hearts was the day subsequentto the funeral After morning prayers ourfather laying the large family Bible upon thetable reseated himself and covering his face withhis hands ejaculated My poor motherless childrenIt was all he could speak although I felt hisheart was burdened with something of importance he wished to communicate We wept toomy brother Willie and I Our father soonrecovering himself in a broken voice saidMy children you are indeed motherlessyet as it was the will of God to take your dearmother to himself it is our duty to kiss the handthat sent the affliction We can cast this burdenof sorrow upon our heavenly Father trustingthat he will sanctify it for our spiritual goodWe needed it God never willingly afflicts thechildren of men all things are ordered wiselyFor some moments he continued talking inthis manner as if to convince his own mind ofthe duty of Christian resignation so difficult alesson to learn At length he continued


FANNY BURTON 55Upon you now devolves a double duty thatof supplying to one another the place of yourdeparted mother You Fanny must take yourmother s place in the performance of the household duties You must be prepared to find it agreat care It will need order decision andpromptness to perform your several duties wellThese traits of character you have not of yourself therefore you must look to God for hisassistance in the work before you You are oldenough now to do well you have had the bestinstruction all your life I trust your mother sprayers will be heard in your behalf and thatyou will be led to give your heart to God andreceive from him assistance and consolation foryour new and trying duties and while I recollect it I think Fanny your mother alwaysplanned her work beforehand In the morningshe knew what she was going to do through theday By this means she spent her time far moreprofitably than she could otherwise have doneShe also had a certain day for a certain workfor instance Monday washing Tuesday bakingand ironing she ironed upon baking day as shewas obliged to keep a large fire in order to bakeand by doing both at once saved fuel Wednesday after the clothes were aired she mendedand put them away Thus all of the hard work


56 FANNY BURTONwas performed the first part of the week andduring the latter part there was leisure for reading and improving her own mida and the mindsof her children She could never have accomplished what she did had she not preserved thisperfect order I hope to see you my child walking in her footsteps At first it will be irksomeand discouraging but do not go to work despondingly what one has done another may do andone of these days by the help of God I hope tosee you as orderly and systematic as your dearmotherAbove everything else have stated times forprayer and never omit this duty for pleasuredraw often near to God and he will draw nearto youI felt in the inmost depths of my soul the responsibility resting upon me and I believp I didtry to pray aright for guidance I penned formy daily use the following resolutions1 I will pray to God daily2 I will endeavour to do my household workin the proper time giving to everything a timeand place3 I will allow nothing to ipterfere with myduty4 I will be kind and gentle to all around me


FANNY BURTON 57These I pasted against the wall in my sleepingapartment intending to read them daily andexamine myself by them in order to discoverwhether I had in reality kept them Duringthese days of self examination I found my workeasy to perform there was very little laggingbehind everything glided along happily Verysoon unfortunately I began to question thenecessity of aaily reading my list of resolutionsIt was some trouble and what good could comeof it I inquired As I retired to my roomwearied and sleepy I began to neglect reviewingthe life I had led during the day Very soon Iomitted daily prayer and in quick successionfollowed a host of other evils and in a short timeall of the order which had been maintained inour little dwelling was scattered to the fourwindsNow indeed was my life miserable Ayyoung as I was it was a burden to me Myfeeble attempts at prayer were smothered by theload of care and uneasiness that covered myheart It was at this time also that I becamesensibly convinced of sin For the first time inmy life I saw my great need of a Saviour s loveand guidance Oh who shall describe the doubleload that now crushed my soul I endeavouredto turn to Christ but a great gulf of sin separated


58 FANNY BURTONme from him I prayed to him but it seemedas if he had hardened his ear to my cries darkindeed was the way to me and very miserablewas my soulMy kind father instead of chiding me for theomission of duty sent for his sister whom wecalled Aunt Patience to assist meCHAPTER XIVI WELCOMED Aunt Patience with a happy heartfor I was sure if matters and things could berighted she was the very one to do it I shallnever forget how the clouds fled as she enteredthe house with her large old fashioned sunbonnet thrown loosely back from her pleasantsunshiny face and cheerfully saidWe ll make things all right Fanny in atwinklingAnd she did make things all right I assureyou but it required rather longer than thetwinkling of which she spoke How handilyshe went to work First she attacked theclosets and oh what a hubbub they were inWhat s this said she looking into onecorner of a kitchen closet Towels coveredwith mildew she replied in disgust at the


FANNY BURTON 59same time bringing to light not less than half adozen towels which I blushingly confessed tohaving thrown there all in a heap intending towash them at some future time when I shouldfeel inclinedThis will never do Fanny said she chidingly you d spend a farm in this way beforeyou knew it Look and here is a whole pileof dishes put away without washing oh forshameBut I meant to have washed them only Ihad so much to doSo much to do child why there are onlythree of you in a family and if you d wash themup in proper time twould have been easy enoughThis putting off doing a thing because youdon t feel inclined to do it isn t right Youought to work till you do feel inclined Nowyou see the folly of letting things go on so Itwill take a long time to put all right closets toclean dishes to wash and all because they weren ttaken care of when they should have beenOh dear dear I exclaimed and sittingdown I wept bitterly I felt that although AuntPatience s remarks were severe still they werejustly my desert At length Aunt Patienceseemed softened by my grief and saidThere there child don t cry you re young


60 FANNY BURTONand I hope you will get on well enough one ofthese daysBut I did try to do right I stammeredforth although my heart told me if I had triedaright I should have succeededRome wasn t built in a day Fanny neithercan you expect to get over your faults and buildup your character in a day You must be willing to prune off your bad habits one by one asthe gardener prunes off the worthless limbs of atree and in due time by continued labour hesees the tree healthy and thriving so if you tryyou ll find your character improving every dayIt will need great care and at first will causeyou much trouble for it is very hard to breakaway from old habits but make up your mindFanny that you will leave the things that arebehind and press forward and with the assistance of God you will succeed You are youngnow and your case is by no means a hopelessoneThese words of encouragement pierced theclouds which enveloped my mind as the brightrays of the sun pierce through the thick andfoggy mists Even I might hope for happierdays I who had all my life failed in everythingI had undertaken Aunt Patience said Romewas not built in a day it took a long time


FANNY BURTON 61and so it might take a long time for me to overcome my defects perhaps indeed I shouldnever succeed but then I could not but acknowledge it was better to die in an attempt to domy duty than not to make the effort Yes Iwould try Alas had I not tried as I thoughtall my lifetime but now I would try in earnestand I was strengthened in my resolve when Isaw how nicely Aunt Patience was putting thingsto rights Unwashed dishes disappeared as if bymagic Ah it was only what two hands and abrave heart can always tecomplish In due timethe closets were neatly arranged the old clothesdragged from their hiding places and nicelypatched and order and harmony took the placeof the disorder which had so recently prevailedCHAPTER XVI HAVE proved to you that procrastination wasmy besetting sin It had become a secondnature to me and even now after all my dearbought experience as I heard the Saviour gentlyknocking at the door of my heart for admittanceI was disposed to say Go thy way for thistime when I have a more convenient season Iwill call for thee I did not reflect that a more


t62 FANNY BURTONconvenient season might never never come thatthe Spirit does not always strive with the children of men But the Lord was graciouslymindful of me and troubled my soul that itcould not rest I saw and felt my lost conditionand danger without Christ Upon one side Ibeheld a bleeding crucified Redeemer entreatingme but to look to him and be saved I heardhis dying groans every one of which shouldhave pierced my soul asunder I saw thethorny crown plaited upon his brow All this Isaid was suffered for me Upon the other handI felt what a doom would be mine if I rejectedChrist after he had thus striven with me thehorrors of a lost soul seemed to rise before melost and that for everSYet in view of all this I did not feel quitewilling to renounce a certain feeling within meRenounce what The dominion which sin hadgained over me How difficult this seemed tome and yet how simple it was I was commanded to look to Christ and be saved Thisact of faith was the first step to be taken in aChristian life for faith has been beautifully expressed as the looking of the heart to ChristBut this did not seem sufficient to save memy heart said to me Pray you know this tobe a duty perform it that other duties may be


FANNY BURTON 63clearly revealed to you I entered my littleroom resolved to make one earnest attempt forthe forgiveness of my sins If I was not to besaved I would perish at the foot of the crossI tried to pray My sins rose like mountainsbefore me All of the invitations I had slightedseemed to make my condemnation greater I recalled vividly the earnest entreaties of our faithfulpastor to the young of his flock The prayersand remonstrances oi my sainted mother stoodout in bold reliefAlas thought I after all these neglected opportunities will the Lord be gracious unto meafter all my enmity to him will he hear me inthe day of my sore distressHalf of that long night I spent upon myknees At times I could not articulate a singleword but I doubt not every sob of my burstingheart found acceptance with my Almighty FatherThat night I found peace and pardon and thenI was filled with amazement that I had so longneglected the Son of God I would not barterthe preciousness of that one hour in which Irealized that God had pardoned me for all theworld no nor for millions upon millions of suchworlds as this It was an hour of blissful joythe remembrance of which sends a thrill of delight through my soul


64 FANNY BURTONBut did I remain in this happy state DidI break off immediately from all my formerhabits and never again have cause to mournover broken resolutions Ah my young friendI must confess I found the force of habit sometimes stronger within my heart than the powerof grace but in one thing I never wavered Iwas now a repenting sinner whereas I had beforebeen an indifferent sinner In the strength ofGod I laboured to overcome all remaining evilwithin me Sometimes I conquered and sometimes Satan prevailed yet I have never givenup the warfare although I have learned that thework of years cannot be undone in a momentthat as Rome was not built in a day so thecharacter that immortal part of man can onlybe strengthened and built up by constant perseverance and self examination begun and carriedon in the soul by the grace of God I labourhopefully now feeling assured that they wholabour and thirst after a godly life shall besatisfiedS NIS


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18 FANNY BURTON. If I don't take care of these chickens, father, I'll never ask you to let me try again." What chickens ? said my brother crossly, observing that my father was inclined to try me; better not count on eggs before they're hatched, nor after neither, if you have anything to do with them." Upon this he took his departure. William is too bad," said I, as if to smooth away any impression left upon my father's mind by his remarks; "I can take as good care of the chickens as he; and I'll let him see, for once in his life, that he is mistaken." I noticed a singular smile flit over the countenances of my parents as they interchanged glances. Ah," thought I, they, too, have little faith in my promises. Never mind, I'll let them also be disappointed in me for once." They would have been happily disappointed, indeed, should I accomplish anything I had undertaken. Full of eagerness, I awaited the arrival of my father at night, in hopes of then beholding the famous eggs that were to produce the chickens, by which my character was to be redeemed from its present disgrace. At last the sun sank behind the western hills, and with its setting came my father, bearing a large covered basket in one





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FANNY BURTON. 19 hand, and in the other a red silk handkerchief, gathered up at the four corners, which I knew must contain the wonderful eggs. I ran out to meet him. A fearful cackling reached my ears from the depths of the covered basket-and what was my delight when he brought to view, one after another, four full-grown fowls; and upon letting loose the four corners of his handkerchief, displayed to my wondering sight eight beautiful fresh-laid eggs! I took each one separately in my hand, to assure myself they were really perfect eggs; and nothing could exceed my joy when my father told me if I would get a basket in which to put them, we would go to the woodshed and set the hen, who was henceforth to assume the duties of protector to the nest and eggs. There goes a dead loss!" shouted Willie, who had been watching our operations with a jealous eye. How many eggs are there? he continued, approaching us, and peeping into the basket. '' Eight I declare; then there will be eight chickens if they all hatch-that'll be worth something; but the suffering the poor creatures will, have to go through with, in starving and being caught by weasels! I'm glad I'm not in their shells." "How provoking," I thought, "that I should



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t62 FANNY BURTON. convenient season might never, never come-that the Spirit does not always strive with the children of men. But the Lord was graciously mindful of me, and troubled my soul that it could not rest. I saw and felt my lost condition and danger without Christ. Upon one side I beheld a bleeding, crucified Redeemer, entreating me but to look to him and be saved. I heard his dying groans, every one of which should have pierced my soul asunder. I saw the thorny crown plaited upon his brow. All this, I said, was suffered for me. Upon the other hand, I felt what a doom would be mine if I rejected Christ after he had thus striven with me; the horrors of a lost soul seemed to rise before melost, and that for ever. SYet in view of all this I did not feel quite willing to renounce a certain feeling within me. Renounce what ? The dominion which sin had gained over me. How difficult this seemed to "me, and yet how simple it was! I was commanded to look to Christ and be saved. This act of faith was the first step to be taken in a Christian life, for faith has been beautifully expressed "as the looking of the heart to Christ." But this did not seem sufficient to save me; my heart said to me, Pray; you know this to be a duty, perform it that other duties may be



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16 FANNY BURTON. bered my brother Jamie. She told me that he lived here only three years, and then God gave his spirit wings, and he flew away, just as our little canary bird flew away and left its cage. .It was a silent cage now, for the bird that sang so sweetly had gone; yet if I was good and loved Jesus, and did his will, I should go to my brother in heaven, although he could never come back to me. All of these scenes come vividly before my mind, and that dear old garret is filled with hallowed recollections. We had no sweet singing canary birds now to warble in the warm sunshine, but we had what was far better--a dear little robin, that built her nest every spring upon a branch of the wide-spreading elm that shadowed our door-stone, and rewarded us for the few crumbs we daily scattered around the tree with sweet songs and chirpings, filling the air with melodious music. We never wanted amusements, for sometimes our parents told us stories, both amusing. and instructive, or we took long walks together, or went to gather wild flowers and berries, or nutting; and had it not been for my unfortunate habit of procrastination, I should have been one of the happiest little girls in the world. Thus do we see how one fault often mars the joy of our life.



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FANNY BURTON. 21 heard a faint chirp issue from beneath the old hen. Could it be possible? I looked-yes, it was indeed far beyond the bare idea of possibility, for, nestling beneath the hen, were four little chirping chickens. My delight knew no bounds; I would have seized them in my hand, but the rage of the hen at seeing her brood thus unceremoniously treated restrained me. I ran to acquaint my mother with my good fortune, and even stopped by the way to let William know that four of the eggs were really alive. Poor little things," cried he, with mock sympathy, they'll find this a hard world to live in!" I was too much elated to take any notice of his jesting, and hastening on, informed my mother of my good fortune. In due time all the eight eggs were hatched-yes, I had eight little sprightly chickens. Father built me a small coop, and the hen with her brood were housed therein. You who have had the care of chickens will imagine the pleasure I experienced in feeding them with meal made into a kind of paste, and watching them as they ran in and out of the latticed doorway. I also amused myself with the anxiety the old hen seemed to feel lest some harm should befall them. That warning cluck, cluck-I seem to hear it now.



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50 FANNY BURTON. She must die." I was young; but oh, what child ever lived whose mother's voice was not dear to it, whose mother's smile was not sweet to it? The child in after-years clings more fondly to the early pious instructions of its mother, than to anything else. Ay, and oftentimes they draw the heart to Jesus when all other means of grace have failed. God never bequeathed so rich a blessing to me as the prayers of my sainted mother. They were prayers of faith, for she trusted that God would fulfil his word to his children; they were prayers of love, for she lknew the Father in whom she trusted was infinite in love, and would listen with a sympathizing ear to all her cares and anxieties in regard to her beloved ones. In Jesus she reposed her earthly cares, waiting only to accomplish his will. Again another spring-time dawned upon the earth-a fair spring-time. With what joy had I always before hailed this beautiful season!but now far different feelings filled my soul. Yet, as the warm sunny days of May gladdened the earth, and my mother seemed to grow better, we began to entertain hopes that she would really recover. Alas, how delusive are human hopes! A few cold, stormy days of east wind brought her low-very low; and then for the first time we fully realized that she had not long



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FANNY BUTTON. 9 my ill-humour, I pulled away for a long time at the piece which she had nicely inserted, until it was entirely out of place, nor could I possibly replace it; and, getting out of patience, I cried," Oh dear, I never can get this hateful thing right!" and throwing it upon the flooi, burst into tears. After waiting a proper length of time, and discovering that my mother intended taking no notice of me, I caught up the garment, and after renewed twitchings, which I found at last to be but dull sport, I resolutely set myself about accomplishing my task; and I could not but acknowledge that the mountain I had so much dreaded, by a little application soon dwindled into a veritable mole-hill. I was now thoroughly ashamed of my conduct; an arrying the completed dress to my mother, I, could scarcely forbear smiling. My mother looked approvingly upon me, and, taking me by the hand, said,"How much better, Fanny, if you yourself had only felt that your dress must be mended, and cheerfully sat down to it. I cannot now bestow upon you that commendation which I should have been happy to have done. My child, there are some people whose work is never done. Does Fanny Burton intend to be one of these? If not, never procrastinate.' Life is too



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FANNY BURTON. CHAPTER I. "FANNY," said iny mother sadly, this habit of neglecting to perform your duty at the proper time will yet be the ruin of you! "" But I can mend my dress just as well to-morrow as to-day. I don't feel inclined to do it now," replied I petulantly. "I fear you will never feel inclined to do it," replied my mother. Sunday will come, and a torn dress prevent your attending church. Were this the only instance of your neglect, I should not feel so anxious as I now do." I raised my eyes to my mother's face; she was looking pale and sad. My heart momentarily condemned me; then, as I glanced into the



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FANNY BURTON. 15 often wondered why they were allowed to occupy so much room,-what was their use? No one knew, only that grandmother had always thrown the old boots and shoes of the family into this particular corner, and our mother seemed to walk in her footsteps. My brother Willie and myself often suggested the propriety of having one grand bonfire out of the refuse, which we were sure could be of no use; but mother pleaded, as an excuse, that we might in some way set fire to the house, or do other mischief. Since I have grown older, I have thought that perhaps she was really attached to the old rubbish-it had been there so long a time. But 'there was one corner of the garret which I never approached without a feeling of reverence. All alone stood a small black trunk, not remarkable, to le sure, in its outward appearance, but invested with sacred recollections. I have often seen my mother repair to this trunk, and after opening it, take from it, one by one, tiny articles of clothing, a half-worn shoe, a picture-book with one cover torn from it, a top just ready to spin, a small drum fancifully painted, a cup and a ball. I did not then know why, as she replaced them within the trunk, they were bedewed with her tears; and with a sigh she closed the lid, and, calling me to her side, inquired if I remem-



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30 FANNY BURTON. seems to me I wouldn't be easy to have a dozen things around at once." "Oh, I don't mind it," I replied; besides, I get sick and tired of working, and what shall I do ?" Why, I don't think anything about it," continued Mary. I know I ought to sew, and do what I have to do in the present, so I sit down and go through with it. Sometimes I get tired, and would like to put it away; but then I think how happy I shall be when I can see my work really done, and feel that I have denied myself, and not run away from my duty. Do you ever feel so, Fanny ? " Oh dear," replied I despondingly, "I never did my duty, and I do not know whether it makes any one happy or not." But I am a little older than you, and ought to do better," replied my kind friend Mary, as if to excuse my neglect. I did not reply, although I knew that a few months could make but little difference in one's character. Fanny is always cross," cried a voice near us. We looked around, and espied my everpresent brother Willie perched upon an appletree just above us. How provoking," I exclaimed,. "that he should have heard what I said; he always torments my life out of me."



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22 FANNY BURTON. Two of the brood were particular favourites with me-two little yellow, downy creatures, but so bright and nimble. One of them I named, Mrs. Indott," and the other, Individual,"-queer names for chickens, I must admit. For what reason I chose them I am unable to, say. Everything concerning my chickens went on nicely for two or three weeksnot one of the eight died. No mother was ever more attentive to her little ones than was I to mine. Ah," said I to myself, Master Willie had better crow now, just as if I could not take good care of anything. Mother said all that was needed was a little perseverance." I was a heroine in my own opinion, quite forgetting that the end had not yet arrived. The chickens soon grew large enough to be let out of the coop, and every morning they might be seen walking through the long grass, or sunning themselves in a sand-heap. During the day they nearly supported themselves by picking up crumbs and worms; but at night it was necessary they should be housed, lest a weasel or some other animal should catch them. Fanny," said my mother one evening to me, as I was busily engaged with an interesting story, "-" Fanny, isn't it almost time to put up your chickens ?"



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FANNY BURTON. 45 And then the spring days were so joyous and bright: the birds sang as sweetly here as they ever did in my New England home. The kind and liberal Hand that planted the elm by the old homestead scattered in profuse abundance the same beautiful trees at the west. Lovely lakes were sprinkled like bright, sparkling stars here and there, and noble pine forests rose in majesty and beauty before us. Rich, fertile lands lay stretched everywhere around us, where, as my brother William said, apples grew as large as pumpkins, and corn was so stout that it grew on trees. It was the work of a short time only to erect us a suitable dwelling. Living in a log-house'! there was something strange and new in it, so different from our former life. Our one room upon the first floor served the fourfold purpose of kitchen, dining-room, sitting-room, and parlour. Going from the kitchen, upon a ladder, we entered the upper loft, which contained our sleeping apartments. The rough logs were unhewn upon the inside, but were cemented over upon the outside; and mother had papered the rooms with old newspapers, which, she said, would answer the purpose of house-paper, and furnish us with reading material beside.



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FANNY BURTON. 11 then know what I have since learned;-that one evil habit induces another, and, becoming strengthened by use, grows with one's growth, until it is almost impossible to break away from bands so intricately and securely woven. I had always, from earliest childhood, disliked to do things in the right time. If my clothes needed mending, the last moment was selected for the work, as being the one most congenial to my feelings. Had I a lesson to learn, the few moments just before I had to say it were spent in hurriedly looking over what should have occupied an hour's time. In vain had my parents expostulated with and punished me; in vain had I promised better things. Entreaties and promises were alike useless. My evil genius, Procrastination, seemed continually hovering over me. Alas! I trusted that a reformation would spontaneously spring out of my own heart! As well might I have hoped that the lovely crocuses of spring would bud and blossom without the gentle showers from heaven, or-the warming rays of a noonday sun, as that within my heart should bloom any beautiful trait, unless nourished by the influences of the Holy Spirit. My mother often told me I must look to God for strength to do right; but I rested content in making the petition to my heavenly



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FANNY BURTON. 33 forth its tender blades, and watch its rapid aftergrowth. I loved the gentle April showers, which came pattering down against the window-panes, reminding one of the tears which flow from childish griefs; and then the sweet sunshiny smile that followed, so like the smiles that chase away childhood's tears. But, dearer than all the rest, I loved the little robin, that built her nest every spring in our old elm-tree. I eagerly watched her, as she patiently toiled from morning until night, carrying in her tiny bill bits of thread and pieces of straw-all of which were neatly woven in the home she was building. How engaged she seemed in her work, and how swiftly she accomplished the task! Beautifully did she manifest the goodness of God, who gave even so small a creature the means and knowledge of providing for itself. How happy was I, after the nest was completed, when my brother climbed the elm, and, peeping into it, discovered two darling little eggs, which in due time were chirping birds! What a noise the little creatures made every time their mother approached, bearing some article of food in her bill! Oh, they were ravenous birds, always hungry, and crying for more! And then I watched the mother robin, as she taught her little ones to fly; and soon the nest was deserted-the young birds had flown away. 3



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6 FANNY BURTON. yard, and saw the sun shining so brightly, and heard the sound of merry voices at play, I hardened my heart against my mother's kind instructions, aid pettishly replied,"I'd rather play with the children; it's too bad to be cooped up here when every one else is amusing themselves "I had much rather mend the dress myself, in addition to the heavy burden I now have upon me, than see my little daughter indulge in such a spirit," replied my mother. Making no reply, I went to my room, and hastily catching the unfortunate dress from its nail, I lazily dragged it upon the floor to my mother's apartment, which I entered with not a very pleasing expression upon my countenance. There, my dear, sit down by me while I assist you to put in a piece; and tell me if you do not think in the end there will be some pleasure in knowing you have done your duty." I did not reply, but sat enjoying a fit of the sulks. Now I cast side glances into my mother's face, as if to discover whether her firmness were likely to endure until the end; then I eagerly watched the children at play. Finally, after turning and twisting for a long time in my chair, I contrived to upset my mother's work-basket upon the floor, spilling all its contents. As I



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FANNY BURTON. 7 saw her patiently replace the articles within the basket, my heart misgave me, and I would have asked her forgiveness; but something within my wicked breast withheld me from making a confession of my error. I have often thought since then that it is this same wicked something which keeps children from, seeking the forgiveness of their Saviour, when they have committed sin. "Fanny, if you do not mend your dress now, when will you do it? "There's plenty of time, I should think, between this and Sunday," replied I. "To le sure, there are four days before Sunday; but what if something should occur in the four days to prevent your doing as you intend ? Remember, my child, business before pleasure. This habit of procrastination which you have acquired will, unless corrected, cause you to go through life with a heavily-burdened heart. What if I should neglect my household duties? In the morning, instead of taking care that everything in the kitchen goes on in order, I should follow my own inclination-read, or go to walk, or visit my neighbours, leaving the dishes unwashed, the floors unswept, and dinner unprepared, until I felt inclined to do it. My child, when you have a known duty to perform, the sooner you perform it the better. No matter



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34 FANNY BURTON. My mother said the empty nests made her think of many a deserted home, where there had been little children; but God gave their spirits wings, and they had flown far out of sight, and were now singing in heaven sweeter songs than any little birds ever warbled upon earth. I always felt, when she spoke in this manner, that she was thinking of my brother Jamie, whose body rested under the green turf, but whose spirit had winged its flight to God who gave it. You will not wonder that I loved this dear home where I was born, and that I experienced some sorrow when my parents told Willie and me one morning, as spring was near at hand, that they had long contemplated moving to the far west; and as soon as the pleasant days of April should come, we must commence our journey. My heart sank within me at this intelligence. I did not love to think of the change, but my brother was wild with delight. Sometimes, in imagination, he was roaming over the fair prairies, which abound in the western states, or sailing upon the majestic river; at others, he was dressed in leathern clothes, such as he said Robinson Crusoe wore, fighting the bears and crocodiles which he was sure he should encounter. Then again he lost himself, and made famous bonfires as signals to those in search of him. I



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42 FANYK BURTON. fully, and did not seem unhappy on account of his blindness. Father told him although he was blinded to earthly beauties, he hoped he could with his soul's eye behold brighter visions than any presented in this world; but, alas his soul also was darkened-a far more fatal darkness than can befall the outward sight. His soul was blinded; for he saw no beauty in the blessed Saviour-no beam of glory coming down from the infinite throne of love, whereon sits Jesus Christ, pierced his benighted soul, any more than did the rays of a noonday's sun pierce the film which covered his eyes. He was groping his way blindly to eternity. My father turned from him in sadness. He felt that sincere grief which a Christian should feel at seeing a fellow-mortal walking in the path which leads to everlasting death. He expostulated with him, and endeavoured, in the few moments they were thrown together, to send one glimmer of divine light across his soul, I do not know whether he succeeded, as he soon left the train: we have never heard from him since. If some of the incidents which came under my observation were of a solemn nature, so others were especially amusing. One old lady was returning home to Canada, from a visit to her friends in Boston. What a rare specimen of



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44 FANNY BURTON. CHAPTER XI. SooN,-very much sooner than I desired,-we arrived at the end of our journey. Now, indeed, were we alive to the novelties before us. We were in a wild uncultivated region, fifteen miles from any settled town, although, to be sure, there were a few intervening settlements like our own, scattered here and there along the way. Our nearest neighbour, however, lived about threequarters of a mile from the spot which we intended occupying. We had procured a man from the nearest town to transport ourselves and baggage to the house of a neighbour, who had been an old friend of father's in his eastern home. Here we were to remain until our own loghouse was erected. Our friends welcomed us with all the hospitality natural to a new country; and Willie and I soon found ourselves upon good terms with the large family of children. Here we passed a happy week, previous to entering our own happy home. I soon forgot the resolution made at home, never to be pleased with anything at the west. Iow could I but be happy with my parents and brother, and a whole bevy of new little friends ?



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FANNY BURTON. 23 Oh, do wait a little longer, mother-I'm reading such a beautiful book," was my reply, instead of immediately hastening to do my duty, as I should have done. Several times my mother reminded me of my poor little charge, and each time I replied, Wait just a minute." But my minute and many other minutes slipped away, until the deepening twilight forced me to close my book. Filled with pleasant fancies, which the story in question had awakened, I hastened to retire, without bestowing a single thought upon my little brood, of which, to tell the truth, I was beginning to grow weary. Judge of my surprise and mortification when, upon rising the next morning and looking from my ,window, I discovered directly beneath it, perched upon large sticks, two dead chickens. Underneath each was a placard, upon which was printed in large, showy letters, Mrs. Indott and Individual departed this life early this morning. For the cause of their death refer to Punctual Fanny." The thought of the chickens I had neglected to house produced in my mind no very pleasing sensation. Already I beheld two of them dead before me. The rest might have shared the same untimely fate. Where now was my imaginary triumph I Alas, it had vanished, and I



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FANNY BURTON. 55 "Upon you now devolves a double duty-that of supplying to one another the place of your departed mother. You, Fanny, must take your mother's place in the performance of the household duties. You must be prepared to find it a great care. It will need order, decision, and promptness to perform your several duties well. These traits of character you have not of yourself, therefore you must look to God for his assistance in the work before you. You are old enough now to do well; you have had the best instruction all your life. I trust your mother's prayers will be heard in your behalf, and that you will be led to give your heart to God, and receive from him assistance and consolation for your new and trying duties; and while I recollect it, I think, Fanny, your mother always planned her work beforehand. In the morning she knew what she was going to do through the day. By this means she spent her time far more profitably than she could otherwise have done. She also had a certain day for a certain workfor instance, Monday, washing; Tuesday, baking and ironing (she ironed upon baking-day, as she was obliged to keep a large fire in order to bake, and by doing both at once, saved fuel); Wednesday, after the clothes were aired, she mended and put them away. Thus, all of the hard work



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FANNY BURTON. 59 same time bringing to light not less than half-adozen towels, which I blushingly confessed to having thrown there all in a heap, intending to wash them at some future time, when I should feel inclined. "This will never do, Fanny," said she chidingly; you'd spend a farm in this way before you knew it. Look! and here is a whole pile of dishes put away without washing-oh, for shame!" "But I meant to have washed them, only I had so much to do." So much to do, child !-why, there are only three of you in a family, and if you'd wash them up in proper time, 'twould have been easy enough. This putting off doing a thing, because you don't feel inclined to do it, isn't right. You ought to work till you do feel inclined. Now you see the folly of letting things go on so. It will take a long time to put all right-closets to clean, dishes to wash, and all because they weren't taken care of when they should have been." "( Oh, dear, dear!" I exclaimed, and sitting down I wept bitterly. I felt that although Aunt Patience's remarks were severe, still they were justly my desert. At length Aunt Patience seemed softened by my grief, and said,"There, there, child, don't cry; you're young,



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40 FANNY BURTON. pebbly bed. They love the fleecy morning clouds and the richer tints of evening. Our parents knew that these scenes were pleasant to us, and always strove to direct our minds to the beautiful in Nature, mingling with it many of the instructive lessons which may be drawn from this great source. In a very short time we reached the station; and after a great deal of bustle and confusion, during which I entertained fears that I might be lost, we found ourselves seated in the comfortable railwaycarriage. Our route lay over a beautiful tract of land. Now we darted through green and fertile meadows; then, as we turned a curve, little hills, and sometimes a lovely lake, would burst upon our sight-so very beautiful! Children, when you travel, keep your eyes and ears open, else you will lose many a lovely prospect which you might always keep like pictures in your memory. Keep your ears open, and you may often gather many instructive lessons as well as amusing incidents. But should you chance to hear any evil, do not treasure it for one moment within your heart. Don't think of it-feel that God disapproves of all evil words as well as actionsand know that none can harbour evil thoughts without injuring their own souls.



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FANNY BURTON. 49 Oh, how she laboured through that long winter! I seem to see her now, cutting out new garments, and plying the needle with her thin, delicate fingers. One afternoon, at the approach of spring, I remember vividly she had been arranging the drawers and overlooking our scanty wardrobes; and calling me to her, she said, so calmly I shall never forget it," Here, Fanny, is where I keep all the towels and table-linen, and here the bed-linen. I have made some new, that you may not want for any when I am gone, until you are old enough to make it yourself." "Gone !" I repeated to myself; oh, how mournful, how lonely was that word,-" My mother gone I knew she spoke of that long journey which she was about to take, and from whence she would never return. Yet for worlds I could not have said, My mother must die." I could have said she was going to God, or she was going to journey, but never that dreadful word, die." It seemed to haunt me by day and night. I tried to run away from it. I repeated, in quick succession, every hymn I could think of which represented death under a pleasing form. Yet flaming above them all, in bright letters, my imagination traced the words, 4



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46 FANNY BURTON. Now, indeed, we went to work in right good earnest. Father and Willie cleared the land, ploughed, and sowed the grain in the fields; while mother and I attended to our household duties, and cultivated with flowers a little patch of ground which my father had given us. I planted a running clematis under -ou south window, and taught it to twine its graceful tendrils around a frame which Willie made for me. We also recited daily lessons to one another; and with work, study, and play-play, study, and work, our time was fully occupied. Willie spent his few spare moments in cleaning and rigging up an old gun, which he had begged or bought of some one of the neighbours, in hopes that a stray bear or wolf might make its appearance. After a long time he succeeded in repairing it to such an extent that it would carry a small charge of powder. After this he might be found in his unoccupied moments sentinelled at a small loophole in the upper loft, awaiting the attack of any depredators. In a Quixotic manner, every waving bough which caught his eye in his imagination assumed the form of some wild animal, and was the signal for firing. After numberless efforts to find the imaginary game which he shot, he gave it up as



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20 FANNY BURTON. be so tormented;" but a secret feeling that I would soon be able to prove to my friends they were' mistaken in me, greatly diminished my present indignation. How long will it be before they will be hatched ?" I anxiously inquired. In about three weeks," replied my father, without appearing to observe my impatience; but I think he noticed it, for he smiled aside to himself. The weeks passed very slowly to me, and I often asked mother how long the hen had been sitting, and if she were sure it would take just three weeks, and no longer, to hatch the chickens. These inquiries, and many similar ones, I frequently put to her, taking good care always that my mischievous brother was out of sight and hearing. I feasted upon my imagination. I fancied the time had come when we should subsist almost entirely upon the eggs and chickens of our own raising. How happy would I be in going round from nest to nest, collecting the fresh new eggs; and how surprised mother would be to see so many; for I was certain, from her quiet manner, that her expectations were by no means as large as mine. At length, just as the three wee]ks were about expiring, upon going out one fine morning I



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FANNY BURTON. 27 busily employed in relating to my mother the business of the afternoon. I had never before been so interested in any undertaking. Oh," said I, it will be pleasant to work for the poor, to see them come to church clothed in garments made by our own hands I" My mother, who always entered with ready sympathy into all my plans for doing good, encouraged me to proceed, at the same time tempering her words with the remark, that I had better not begin with too much energy, lest I should fail before the end. A new broom sweeps clean," cried my brother Willie; but when the new is worn off, it goes rather hard." These remarks added heavy weights to the wings of my imagination, which had already soared beyond the limits of common-sense. In a moment the memory of my former failure rushed over me. I felt despondency take the place of hope. "Would I succeed ?" I anxiously inquired. There seemed to be a doubt in the matter, whereas previously had existed only positive certainty. I do not think I mentioned our society to mother for some time after this, so fearful was I of being again checked by some remark that I knew to be true, but of which I wished never to hear.



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FANNY BURTON. 37 never make up her mind to sell it aL auction, as it was given her by her mother, when she first went to house-keeping, and every piece was dear to her heart. Mother was also about to give away the best bed-quilt, but I persuaded her to carry it with us. It seemed dearer to me than anything else; for often when my little cousins came to visit us, I slept with them in the best bed, beneath this quilt; and in the morning we amused ourselves by looking at the curiouslyformed squares, which were made from brightcoloured pieces of dresses that my mother and I had worn out. I also had a small rocking-chair, to which I was much attached; but this was destined to be sold. When I learned its fate, I bade it an affectionate farewell, as though it had been an old friend, and begged my mother never to let me see it again, it made me so unhappy to part with it. Oh, how attached had I become to my home I I did not realize that every tree and rock was so dear to ine, until I was about to be torn from them; then I first learned to feel how"Blessings brighten as they take their flight." I think this was a good lesson to me, for it taught me in after-life that change was the lot of man, and that our only sure trust could be placed in God, who was unchangeable.



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36 FANNY BURTON. CHAPTER VIII. You of my little friends who have witnessed house-cleanings, and movings at home, may readily imagine that after we received the news of our intended emigration our house was in a very unsettled state. Some of our furniture was to be taken with us, and the rest sold at auction. Everything must be packed with the greatest care, for fear of being injured upon our long journey. My father and mother concluded it was best to dispose of all the nice furniture, and take with us only those articles which were absolutely necessary to our comfort; for we were to live in a log-cabin until we should become able to build a frame-house. What busy times we had for a few weeks previous to our departure! I was all the help mother had, and I flattered myself I was of some importance in the general confusion which prevailed. One day was spent in packing crockery, another in stowing away bed-clothes; thus occupied, the time flew swiftly along. We did not take our best set of china, for fear it might be broken; but mother gave it to her niece, who was about to be married. She said she could



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FANNY BURTON. 17 CHAPTER IV. ONE evening in early spring, as my father returned home from his daily labour, he called my brother and myself to him, and inquired how we liked the idea of hatching and bringing up chickens. I was delighted, as usual, when any new project was on foot, and begged of him to allow me the entire charge of the imaginary brood. My brother, thinking it would detract from his manliness to entreat for the same responsible position, contented himself with contemptuously saying," You! I'd like to see you have the care of chickens, or any other living thing. They'd never get anything to eat, that's certain." I was provoked, for I felt that an argument so powerful would greatly influence my father, upon whose decision I hung with that intense interest peculiar to children. How rejoiced was I, then, to hear him say, in spite of Willie's remark,"Perhaps we'd better try Fanny once more, before giving her up entirely, William." I looked triumphantly at my brother, and strongly urged the propriety of giving me at least one more fair trial, and closed by saying, 2



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48 FANNY BURTON. spring-time gladden the earth once more; but, alas! she could never get well again. We trusted they might be deceived; and were almost sure they were, when we.saw her cheerfully attending to her, domestic duties. As I watched her sitting in her arm-chair, so tranquil, so happy, I felt as though she could not die,death was so great a change,-to leave this happy world, to be covered by the damp, cold earth, was to my childish mind a subject of the greatest terror. The eye of faith was closed within my young bosom. I did not look beyond these dark and gloomy scenes of parting, as did my mother, up, far up, to that glorious haven which God had prepared for those who love him. I did not see, by faith, my blessed Redeemer, clothed in ineffable light and majesty, seated upon the throne, and the millions upon millions of happy souls whose robes were washed white in the blood of the Lamb. No music from the heavenly land came to my soul; but I know my mother was sustained through many a weary day by glorious visions revealed to her by faith in the mercy and promises of God. Instead of sinking beneath the gradual approach of death, it seemed to give her new energy to perform the more faithfully all of her duties before the star of life should for ever sink into the ocean of eternity.



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38 FANNY BURTON. My brother William affected great indifference at the prospect of moving. .suppose he thought it would detract from his manliness to exhibit emotion; but one day I surprised him in the act of shedding tears over a pet rabbit which we were to leave behind, and I heard him say, "Poor Bunnie, Willie's going off to leave it; hope people will be kind to the poor fellow." Whereupon, as he observed me, he cleared his throat with several successive hems, and gruffly inquired, What are you here for 7 I felt inclined to make sport of this sudden disappearance of his dignity, but a sympathetic throb within my own heart restrained me. CHAPTER IX. APRIL soon came, and with it the day for our departure. A sorrowful day it was. I had to bid my little friends a long good-bye. Perhaps "S hould never see them again; I was going a great way off, and we might die; for death claims the young as well as the old. I hailed with joy the bright sunshiny day upon which we were to depart, for that at least looked happy. Upon the morning of our departure, my mother packed a large basket with provisions



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FANNY BURTON. 29 commenced, and the consequence was, there were many stray parts of garments all of no use. CHAPTER VI. WHAT have you finished for the society?" inquired I of Mary Hale one day, as we were sewing together. I have a dress for Sarah Dale all done, two aprons, and a little cape," replied Mary. "What, all done! cried I in surprise; for I had as yet nothing to show. Yes; and I'm going to carry them to her tomorrow. I believe you were to have the clothes done for Lizzie Cook at the same time," she continued. Yes," I replied hurriedly, I intended to have done them, and think I shall now; but you know I could not sit down and finish a dress clear through,-it is so tiresome. So I begin my dress, and make the sleeves, perhaps, and work until I get tired, and then commence something else. When I get all of them partly done, I'm going to have a regular finishing up." But I should think it would be easier to finish each piece before you begin anew; it



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FANNY BURTON; OR, ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY. LONDON: T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW; EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK. 1872.



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FANNY BURTON. 53 CHAPTER XIII. THE last Christian rites of love and respect were paid to my mother, and she was laid to rest in a strange, strange land. Oh, how our hearts ached and throbbed, while we thought we should never see her again on earth! But our father bade us look far beyond this trying scene to that glorious home where, we hoped, through the merits of Christ, she had triumphantly entered. We had no mother now in this world; butprecious thought !-we had a mother with Christ. Ah, how it seemed to bind our hearts, rendered tender and sensitive by affliction, to the blessed Saviour! How many good resolutions I made at this time! I thought I would always do right; for if I were wicked, I feared my mother might be grieved. I did not recollect that Christ had seen and noted down in his book all of my evil actions, ever since I was born-that he, the Saviour of mankind, had often been grieved by the evidences of my hardness of heart. I did not feel that it was far worse to displease this kind Father than to grieve my mother. I had not yet surrendered my heart in sweet submission to Jesus. I was young, but youth was the time to serve the Lord. Why should not I



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60 FANNY BURTON. and I hope you will get on well enough one of these days." "But I did try to do right," I stammered forth; although my heart told me, if I had tried aright, I should have succeeded. Rome wasn't built in a day, Fanny; neither can you expect to get over your faults and build up your character in a day. You must be willing to prune off your bad habits one by one, as the gardener prunes off the worthless limbs of a tree,-and in due time, by continued labour, he sees the tree healthy and thriving; so if you try, you'll find your character improving every day. It will need great care, and at first will cause you much trouble, for it is very hard to break away from old habits; but make up your mind, Fanny, that you will leave the things that are behind, and press forward, and with the assistance of God you will succeed. You are young now, and your case is by no means a hopeless one." These words of encouragement pierced the clouds which enveloped my mind, as the bright rays of the sun pierce through the thick and foggy mists. Even I might hope for happier days-I who had all my life failed in everything I had undertaken. Aunt Patience said Rome was not built in a day;" it took a long time,



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FANNY BURTON. ,~-E-^4Q^z?^--



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28 FANNY BURTON. I had at this time a very dear little friend, about my own age; her name was Mary Hale. We lived side by side,-only a fence separated our houses. We used to sit and talk over our plans through the pickets of our fence, and sometimes we carried our work and sewed together. She was perfectly unlike me. Always steady and careful, she usually accomplished well any object which she undertook. Her memory did not seem to be as short as mine. If her mother left her to perform any little service alone, it was always faithfully and punctually done. You can easily see the wide gulf which separated us in habit. She, too, was always kind and gentle, while I was fitful, and could not endure to be disappointed or crossed in anything. It was necessary for her to have great patience with me, for I troubled her often by my thoughtlessness. She was also an active member of the Dorcas Sewing-Society; the great difference in us, however, was, that while she talked very little of her intentions, her fingers flew rapidly over many a nearly completed garment. I talked bravely; still my work flagged! To be sure, I had not yet presumed to neglect my presidential duties; but the intense ardour of my zeal had diminished. I found it almost impossible to complete any garment which I



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12 FANNY BURTON. Father for assistance, while my heart was far from the words I uttered. I often felt grieved at my negligence, and often I was mortified beyond endurance. At the age of which I write, I was known to many of my friends as Careless Fanny;" and my brother took especial delight in ironically calling me Punctual Fanny." One day our good minister made us a short pastoral visit. As he was leaving the room, he laid his hand kindly upon my head, and, after giving me a few words of instruction, inquired if I would not endeavour to follow his advice. To possess the esteem of the minister was the height of my ambition, and I replied affirmatively to all of his requests, little heeding the instructions contained in them. She promises well," said my father, looking significantly at me. I understood the look, and blushed deeply; while, to add' to my confusion, my brother William whispered in my ear, "But we had better not say anything about the performing part." I feared the minister had overheard my brother's remark; and then, what would he think of me? As he left the room, I laid my head in my mothers lap, and wept bitterly. My little daughter must strive not to merit these remarks," was all the consolation I re-



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52 FANNY BURTON. was a blessed thought that she was going to heaven! Calling us to her side, she bade us a long farewell. She told Willie she had given us to God; that we must love and serve him, and prepare to meet her in heaven. Falling exhausted upon her pillow, my father, who was leaning by her side, inquired if she was happy. No reply greeted his ear, for at that moment the delicate thread of life was for ever snapped in twain. Oh, the bitterness of that hour The winds howled mournfully through the pines, and the large drops of rain came pattering loudly against the window-panes. No stars shone through the gloom of that night, and even the star of hope was extinguished for the time within our bosoms. How blessed are they who have a Saviour's arm upon which to repose in the hour of trouble He can wipe away the tears from the soul of man, and transform the deepest gloom into brightness. How much does even a child need his tender love and sympathy! Oh, come to him; give him your heart; and receive from him comfort in the day of affliction, when all other sources shall fail you.



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FANNY BURTON. 35 could not with any pleasure enter into the erection of his air-castles. I was sure no place would ever be so pleasant as my present home. No sunshine would ever be as bright as that which shed its gladdening beams through the south window of our cosy sitting-room. No bird would ever build as pretty a nest as did our robin upon the elm. Willie uttered a contemptuous Pooh!" to all of my complaints; but I think my mother felt very much as I did, only she knew it was for the best, and would never complain. I had not yet learned to be so patient and good as she. I asked my mother one day why she went, and if we should not be lonely. She replied,"Your father is poor, my child, and hopes he may earn more at the west for the support of his family. And we need not be lonely, for we shall be together, and God will be with us there, and watch over us; and if we live near to him, we need never be lonely." I did not understand how my mother could talk in this manner, for I knew it was a great trial for her to leave her old home, where she too was born and had always lived. I now feel that if she had not been a Christian, and loved God and her duty better than all beside, she could never have endured the pain of leaving.



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FANNY BURTON. 13 ceived from this source. Did I deserve more ? Wait and see. CHAPTER III. WE lived in a pretty dwelling, situated in a quiet, retired village. Our house was neither small nor large, but very comfortable. A latticed porch, extending from its front, was entirely covered with beautiful roses and honeysuckle. How often I sat here, secure from the scorching rays of a summer's sun, listening to the words of instruction that fell from my mother's lips! The gravelled paths, leading to a rural wicket-gate, were bordered with daisies, and within the borders were patches of violets, mignonette, sweet-pea, roses, and many other lovely flowers; for although we were poor, yet we could afford to have beautiful bright flowers,' which the goodness of a bountiful Father showers alike upon the rich and the poor. We were poor, yet I never heard my parents complain of their lot. They were Christians; therefore they believed that God ordered all things for the best. I said they never com"plained; yet I often heard my mother say, we could not afford to have everything we wanted, like some of our neighbours. I very seldom had



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32 FANNY BURTON. quickly corrected myself of my errors, I should be a continual subject for ridicule. I thought her severe then; I now wonder how she could have borne with my waywardness as she did. The great finishing-off day, which I had so long anticipated, never came. My interest in the poor children gradually dwindled away. I resigned my presidential claim, and was succeeded by my friend, Mary Hale, who was faithful to her charge. It is a lesson which one cannot too early learn, never to undertake a known duty and leave it unfinished. No matter whether you wish to persevere or not. Do not consult your own feelings; be energetic; labour to accomplish that which you undertake. Remember that the performance of every duty carries with it a sweet reward-the approval of your own conscience. CHAPTER VII. I ALWAYS loved the spring-time. I used often to sit upon a large flat stone, just out of our back-door, as soon as the snow had melted, and listen for the first warbling of the little joyous songsters, who welcome so heartily the dawning of the spring. I loved to watch the grass shoot



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58 FANNY BURTON. me from him. I prayed to him, but it seemed as if he had hardened his ear to my cries; dark, indeed, was the way to me, and very miserable was my soul. My kind father, instead of chiding me for the omission of duty, sent for his sister (whom we called Aunt Patience) to assist me. CHAPTER XIV. I WELCOMED Aunt Patience with a happy heart; for I was sure if matters and things could be righted, she was the very one to do it. I shall never forget how the clouds fled as she entered the house, with her large, old-fashioned sunbonnet thrown loosely back from her pleasant, sunshiny face, and cheerfully said,"We'll make things all right, Fanny, in a twinkling." And she did make things all right, I assure you; but it required rather longer than the "twinkling" of which she spoke. How handily she went to work! First, she attacked the closets; and, oh what a hubbub they were in! "What's this?" said she, looking into one corner of a kitchen closet. "Towels covered with mildew," she replied in disgust, at the



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FANNY BURTON. 39 enough to last us upon the way. There were sandwiches and biscuit, and apples and cheese. And besides, I had a new cape and bonnet, which fact, I think, rendered the idea of the journey more pleasant than it would otherwise have been. "Willie had a new straw hat, which he pretended to disdain; but since the occurrence of the rabbit I had looked with suspicion upon all his pretensions. After the thousand and one delays which always attend a journey, we were ready to set out. The farewells were all spoken, the tears all shed. We were to ride in a stage to the first railway-station, and I found enough by the way to interest me, and call off my mind from the pain of leaving my home. "Here, again, may we see the goodness of God displayed, in scattering over the face of this beautiful earth so many objects which tend to draw away our souls from our own sorrows. Even children love beautiful scenery. They love the beautiful flowers which spring up at God's command in the meadows and by the road-sides. They love the trembling dew-drops, sparkling upon the bosom of the meek forget-me-not. They love the little streams which cheerily sing and dance along, now dashing uproariously over the stones, now gently coursing over the clear



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FANNY BURTON. 57 These I pasted against the wall in my sleepingapartment, intending to read them daily, and examine myself by them, in order to discover whether I had in reality kept them. During these days of self-examination I found my work easy to perform; there was very little lagging behind-everything glided along happily. Very soon, unfortunately, I began to question the necessity of aaily reading my list of resolutions. It was some trouble; and what good could come of it? I inquired. As I retired to my room, wearied and sleepy, I began to neglect reviewing the life I had led during the day. Very soon I omitted daily prayer, and in quick succession followed a host of other evils, and in a short time all of the order which had been maintained in our little dwelling was scattered to the four winds. Now, indeed, was my life miserable. Ay, young as I was, it was a burden to me. My feeble attempts at prayer were smothered by the load of care and uneasiness that covered my heart. It was at this time, also, that I became sensibly convinced of sin. For the first time in my life I saw my great need of a Saviour's love and guidance. Oh, who shall describe the double load that now crushed my soul! I endeavoured to turn to Christ, but a great gulf of sin separated



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FANNY BURTON. 41 Does not the Bible say, Can a man take fire into his bosom and not be burned ?" No more, then, can one receive evil words into his soul and not be corrupted. CHAPTER X. ALL along our journey we met with objects of interest. Sometimes our attention was directed to a beautiful edifice or lovely natural scenes, and sometimes we were occupied with the many interesting incidents that take place in a railwaytrain. It was particularly interesting to me to witness the crowds of people that stood at the stations, ready to jump on the moment the trains stopped. Indeed, in their eagerness, many did not wait for that. Among the passengers was a blind man, whose steps were guided partly by a cane, and partly by a little dog that led him by a string. My father seemed to feel great compassion for him, and as he sat near us, entered into conversation with him. The man said, in reply to his inquiries, that he lived in a town near by, that he had no relations in the world, but managed to support himself by doing little odd jobs, for which he received a few pence. He spoke very cheer-



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FANNY BURTON. 43 human nature she was! I had never seen any one like her before. How swiftly she talked 1 She carried a large reticule upon her arm, in which might have been deposited, not all the cake and cheese in Boston, but a small share of it at least. In a cage by her side was perched a large parrot, which kept up a continual screeching; and in a box which she carried in her lap, was deposited,-what do you think? no less an animal than a guinea-pig. She was an innocent, good-natured old lady, and seemed to think every one must be interested in her and her strange pets, as indeed they were. She allowed several of the passengers, myself among the number, to take a peep at the pig through a little hole which had been made in the box as a ventilator ; and she informed us, all in the same breath, that it was given her by :a relative that lived in Boston, and that the relative made a party for her .the evening before she left them, and that she had such a pleasant visit, and was now on her way home. She was a kind, good old lady, I think, for I saw a tear fall from her eye while father was talking with the blind man. With many amusing and instructive incidents our time seemed to pass so swiftly, that we scarcely took notice of its passage.



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64 FANNY BURTON. But did I remain in this happy state ? Did I break off immediately from all my former habits, and never again have cause to mourn over broken resolutions? Ah, my young friend, I must confess I found the force of habit sometimes stronger within my heart than the power of grace; but in one thing I never wavered. I was now a repenting sinner, whereas I had before been an indifferent sinner. In the strength of God I laboured to overcome all remaining evil within me. Sometimes I conquered, and sometimes Satan prevailed; yet I have never given up the warfare, although I have learned that the work of years cannot be undone in a momentthat as Rome was not built in a day," so the character, that immortal part of man, can only be strengthened and built up by constant perseverance and self-examination, begun and carried' on in the soul by the grace of God. I labour hopefully now, feeling assured that they who labour and thirst after a godly life shall be satisfied. S. NIS



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FANNY BURTON. 61 and so it might take a long time for me to overcome my defects-perhaps, indeed, I should never succeed; but then I could not but acknowledge it was better to die in an attempt to do my duty, than not to make the effort. Yes, I would try! Alas! had I not tried, as I thought, all my lifetime; but now I would try in earnest; and I was strengthened in my resolve, when I saw how nicely Aunt Patience was putting thingsto rights. Unwashed dishes disappeared as if by magic. Ah, it was only what two hands and a brave heart can always tecomplish. In due time the closets were neatly arranged, the old clothes dragged from their hiding-places and nicely patched, and order and harmony took the place of the disorder which had so recently prevailed. CHAPTER XV. I HAVE proved to you that procrastination was my besetting sin. It had. become a second nature to me; and even now, after all my dearbought experience, as I heard the Saviour gently knocking at the door of my heart for admittance, I was disposed to say, Go thy way for this time; when I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee." I did not reflect that a more



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26 FANNY BURTON. endure the mortification a failure to perform the duties of my important situation must certainly bring. Oh no; not a doubt clouded the bright sunshine of my anticipations. No thoughts of poor Mrs. Indott and Individual marred my happy self-assurance. All past experiences were forgotten; and as I walked home after our meeting, I even thought my parents were to blame for not reposing more confidence in my promises. A meeting had been called for the next day, and the appointed time found me at the house of Mrs. Shaw, punctually seated in my presidential chair. I called the meeting to order with proper gravity, and suggested that first we should choose a name by which we should be designated. Let us be the Sewing Society," said Susy Shaw. "No, no," said Mary Iale; "my mother thought the Dorcas Society would be a good name." After various expressions upon the subject, we voted that it should be called the Dorcas Society; we agreed to apply to our parents for materials to carry out our good work, and that they were to have the general supervision of it, while we were to meet at our several homes alternately, one afternoon every week, at two o'clock precisely. Upon my return home, my tongue was



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8 FANNY BURTON. how you may feel, I am certain you will find some happiness in the consciousness of having done right." "That's what Mr. Marvin tells us boys," interposed my brother William, as he stood in one corner of the room playing with his top. Turning to my brother, I provokingly frowned upon him for acquiescing in my mother's remarks; for although I felt the truth of them in my inmost soul, yet my pride forbade an acknowledgement of it. But William, as if urged on by ry cross looks, continued,"And Mr. Marvin said that he knew of a boy who had lost two good situations in stores, because he was not punctual, and that now he was without money or friends;" while, by way of conclusion, he added, "I shouldn't wonder if Fanny was a little like him." My face flushed. "You're no better yourself, Mr. Preacher," I retorted. Here a quarrel would :have ensued, for you may imagine I was in no very pleasant mood; but my mother, calling me to Oher side, quietly said," Here, Fanny, is your dress; I wish you to mend it immediately." I pulled the dress rudely from her hand. In



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14 FANNY BURTON. a new dress, for my mother, after turning and mending her own, made them over for me. During her lifetime very little was wasted in our humble dwelling, for she taught me that those things which were not useful to us might serve a good turn to many a sufferer. I remember we had a large bag to catch the. odds and ends which were useless. These, in due time, we exchanged for new stoneware. This bag hung in the garret, and happy was I to bestow into its capacious mouth a handful of scraps, that I might find an opportunity of taking a general survey of the old garret. Oh, that garret of my childish remembrance! The cobwebs, bespeaking a long repose, had gathered around many an article that had been stowed away, I daresay, since my grandmother's day. There was an old spinning-wheel that I took great delight in turning, and listening to the drowsy, humming noise it made; a pair of brass andirons that were covered with a coat of dark green; then there were boxes, old stoves, Dutch ovens, and a cradle-the very cradle in which I was rocked, ay, and the cradle in which my mother was rocked before me; and there were branches of dried herbs hung upon the beams-herbs which, by long keeping, had lost their savour. In one corner was a huge pile of boots and shoes. I



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FANNY BURTON. 63 clearly revealed to you." I entered my little room, resolved to make one earnest attempt for the forgiveness of my sins. If I was not to be saved I would perish at the foot of the cross. I tried to pray. My sins rose like mountains before me. All of the invitations I had slighted seemed to make my condemnation greater; I recalled vividly the earnest entreaties of our faithful pastor to the young of his flock. The prayers and remonstrances oi my sainted mother stood out in bold relief. Alas! thought I, after all these neglected opportunities will the Lord be gracious unto me? after all my enmity to him will he hear me in the day of my sore distress ? Half of that long night I spent upon my knees. At times I could not articulate a single word, but I doubt not every sob of my bursting heart found acceptance with my Almighty Father. That night I found peace and pardon, and then I was filled with amazement that I had so long neglected the Son of God. I would not barter the preciousness of that one hour, in which I realized that God had pardoned me, for all the world-no, nor for millions upon millions of such worlds as this. It was an hour of blissful joy, the remembrance of which sends a thrill of delight through my soul.



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FANNY BURTON. 25 assistance; but my heart still remained unchanged. I did not realize then that the dear Saviour required of me an entire surrender of my affections to his will; and that unless I gave him my whole heart, and endeavoured to serve him in all things, he would not assist me to overcome ill-formed habits. This I was unwilling to do, therefore I returned to my old ways. I was nearly twelve years of age, when many of the school-girls, myself among the number, met together one sunny afternoon in the month of June, for the purpose of forming ourselves into a sewing -society. The object of this society was to supply with necessary clothing some of the indigent children of our town, that they might enjoy the privilege of attending church and Sabbath-school. None of the little girls entered more fully into the spirit of this undertaking than myself. Pleased as I always had been with anything new, and tired of a hum-drum life, I readily volunteered my service, to any extent, in aiding onward this new work; and happy was I when the rest of the girls showed the confidence they reposed in my ability, by intrusting to me the important position of president of the society. I felt completely sure of my success. Of course, I was not so lost as for a moment to be willing to



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10 FANNY BURTON. short to waste; and as long as there is so much to do in the world, no one has any right to be idle." CHAPTER II. "SOME people's work is riever done," repeated I to myself. I could hardly understand the full meaning of this expression. At length, after having bestowed much thought upon the subject, I concluded that a certain kind of people were always drudging away without accomplishing very much; and then I looked around upon my neighbours, endeavouring to find one to whom it would apply. There's Mrs. Cook-she must be one of that kind," said I. She's always at work, yet er work is never done. Her table stands with the plates unwashed half the day; and her children's stockings are full of holes, so that one of the girls told Lizzie Cook the other day, her feet seemed to be quite well, as they were able to be out.' I shouldn't like such a mother. When I think of it, I know ever so many people just like Mrs. Cook." There was no silent voice within my heart, which suggested, And there's Fanny Burton in a fair way to be just such another." I did not



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56 FANNY BURTON. was performed the first part of the week; and during the latter part there was leisure for reading and improving her own mida and the minds of her children. She could never have accomplished what she did had she not preserved this perfect order. I hope to see you, my child, walking in her footsteps. At first it will be irksome and discouraging, but do not go to work despondingly; what one has done, another may do; and one of these days, by the help of God, I hope to see you as orderly and systematic as your dear mother. "Above everything else, have stated times for prayer, and never omit this duty for pleasure; draw often near to God, and he will draw near to you." I felt in the inmost depths of my soul the responsibility resting upon me, and I believp I did try to pray aright for guidance. I penned for my daily use the following resolutions:1. I will pray to God daily. 2. I will endeavour to do my household work in the proper time, giving to everything a time and place. 3. I will allow nothing to ipterfere with my duty. 4. I will be kind and gentle to all around me.



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FANNY BURTON. 47 a bad job, and laid the old gun away, to escape the shower of jokes which were lavished upon him, and which he did not at all relish. CHAPTER XII. THE spring and summer passed swiftly by, and the gay autumnal months-with their golden sheaves of corn, and the many-hued leavesgladdened the earth and the hearts of the reapers. We did not expect to reap a large crop of the fruits of the earth the first year in our new home. There had been land to clear, our house to build, and we foun, that all of this occupied too much time to anticipate great profits; but we were not by any means discouraged-or at least we should not have been, had we not observed that mother was beginning to droop beneath the cares of an emigrant's life. Her step in a great measure lost its elasticity; her cheek became sunken and pale, save when a bright, fiery spot burned upon it. Yes, our mother, always so dear to us, and doubly dear now, was gradually wasting away. Consumption, that great destroyer, was rapidly at work. The doctors from a neighbouring town told us she might endure the rigours of a cold winter; she might live to see the happy 4,



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24 FANNY BURTON. was indeed miserable. Throwing myself upon my bed, I wept bitterly. How could I meet my parents' reproofs and the jeer' of my brother Willie ? were questions I often asked myself. I felt sure they would never trust my word again. I was in deep disgrace. Rising, however, I summoned courage to venture down-stairs, where the family were assembled at breakfast. My father did not smile as he bade me good-morning; but Willie wickedly inquired of my mother if she did not hear a noise in the night, like the chirping of chickens in distress. I finished my meal in silence. After its conclusion, father called me to him, and talked upon the wickedness and danger of delaying to perform duties at the proper time. Go to your room, my child," at length he said, "and on your knees, before God, confess your fault, and implore his assistance, for he alone can aid you in curing yourself of a habit which seems to be so fully confirmed." CHAPTER V. THE season of deep contrition and mortification which I experienced did not cure me of my deeply-rooted evil habits. For two or three days, to be sure, I prayed earnestly for divine



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FANNY BURTON. 31 No I don't, either; you do it your own self. If I didn't have the material, I couldn't make anything of it." I did not reply, but rising slowly, entered the house, and went to my room, thinking to overhaul the box containing the half-finished work for the society, and make a desperate effort to "finish at least one article. As I opened the door of my little chamber, the scene presented to my view was anything but agreeable. My wicked brother, having discovered my box of work, and realizing that it was a fatal omen for me to lay my hands upon anything, had wished to play, as he thought, a good joke upon me. Therefore, he had taken two good-sized pieces of wood, and dressed them as dolls with the odds and ends upon which I had been at work. Here was a stray sleeve, there a breadth of a dress or parts of the waist, an apron commenced, a sun-bonnet with the needle rusted in, a pair of stockings just begun; while upon the walls were notices, offering, in the name of the Dorcas Society, rewards for the missing sleeves, and also a placard, stating that the entire contents of the box would be sold at auction, for the benefit of the Dorcas Sewing-Society, Fanny Burton being auctioneer. I felt this joke keenly, and my grief was not allayed when my mother told me, that unless I



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FANNY BURTON. 51 to remain with us. It was a sad, dark day when the death-angel seemed hovering near the portals of our dwelling, as if mercifully reluctant to sunder, at one fell blow, the sacred and endearing ties of kindred and of home. We stood around her bed-side-my father, and brother, and I-a lonely little group. My mother, forgetful as she always had been of herself, spoke cheering words to us; she bade us not weep for her. In rapturous triumph, she told us of the happy, glorious land, which even now was bursting upon her view, and 'then she requested that some one would sing"There is a land of pure delight." With her feeble voioe she joined in singing this hymn, and as she closed, requested that some one would pray. "My mother will go to heaven-yes, my mother will go to heaven," I whispered to a kind neighbour, for I was unable longer to restrain myself-my heart seemed bursting. "Yes, child," replied the neighbour, wiping her eyes, your mother will go to heaven if any one ever went there, for she was a saint upon ,earth." A bright gleam of light and comfort seemed to irradiate my heart at this assurance. Oh, it



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•54 .FANNY BURTON. love the Saviour ? (He died for children as well as those of riper years!) Why? All ye impenitent children, ask your own hearts this question, and reply to it by yielding yourselves willingly to Jesus Christ. How sad to our hearts was the day subsequent to the funeral! After morning prayers, our father, laying the large family Bible upon the table, reseated himself, and covering his face with his hands, ejaculated, My poor motherless children !" It was all he could speak, although I felt his heart was burdened with something of importance he wished to communicate. We wept too -my brother Willie and I. Our father, soon recovering himself, in a broken voice said,"My children, you are indeed motherless; yet, as it was the will of God to take your dear mother to himself, it is our duty to kiss the hand that sent the affliction. We can cast this burden of sorrow upon our heavenly Father, trusting that he will sanctify it for our spiritual good. We needed it; God never willingly afflicts the children of men; all things are ordered wisely." For some moments he continued talking in this manner, as if to convince his own mind of the duty of Christian resignation, so difficult a lesson to learn. At length he continued,-