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SIMPLE STORIESTO'3mrs anb sHistrtt garg ^eaetrs.WITH ILL USTRI A TIONS.EDINBURGH:WILLIAM P. NIMMO.1873.
7)EDINBURGH:PRINTED BY M'FARLANE AND ERSKINE,(late Schenck 6- M'lFarlane,)ST JAMES' SQUARE.
CONTENTS.PAGEI. THE LITTLE GIRL AND THE CAT, III. THE NEST AT THE TOP OF THE CHIMNEY, 3III. BOOKS AND THEIR VALUE, 6IV. THE LOST BIRD, 12V. THE HAPPY FAMILY, 15VI. THE NEW YEAR'S GIFT, .VII. SERVANT AND FRIEND, 22VIII. THE STORY OF A SEED, 25IX. LESSONS FROM A GOAT, 31X. LESSONS FROM THE VINE, 37XI. LILLA AND HER FLOWERS, 40XII. THE POTATO PLANT, 45XIII. NOAH'S ARK, 50XIV. THE BOY AND THE BUTTERFLY, 56XV. THE PEACH-STONE, 0XVL LUCY AND THE CATERPILLAR, 65
viii CONTENTS.PAGEXVII. WILLIE AND THE VIOLIN, 74XVIII. THE BOUQUET OF VIOLETS, 78XIX. THE TWO CATS, 84XX. LAURA'S LESSON, 95XXI. TIE LADY-BIRD, 107XXII. FRED'S LESSON. 113
I.THE LITTLE GIRL AND THE CAT.LITTLE girl called Amy was one day seatedin the garden playing with her two dolls,when a pretty cat made its appearance atthe gate, and stood looking at the child as if it werenot sure whether to venture in or not."Pussy, pussy, come pussy!" called Amy, andthe cat came running to her side, and rubbed itssoft head against the little girl's cheek, as she stoopedto stroke its pretty fur.Pussy was quite delighted, and purred loudly totestify her satisfaction, and Amy was quite happy toplay with it, and caressed it fondly.A
2 THE LITTLE GIRL AND THE CATAnd so they loved each other, and were for themoment the greatest of friends.But the child became naughty, and pulled poorpussy's tail.Then pussy was angry with Amy for being so un-kind, and would not purr any more.They did not love each other now, they were nolonger friends.Pussy would not play any more with the little girlwho had been so cruel and wicked, and ran away.And so Amy was left alone. As soon as her littlefriend was gone she was sorry for what she had done,but it was too late then, and she resolved to be morekind and thoughtful for the future, for wicked peopleand naughty children have no friends.\AM%
II.THE NEST AT THE TOP OF THECHIMNEY.WO little birds once built their nest at thevery top of a high chimney.In this nest there were four eggs, andvery soon the eggs opened, and four little birdswithout any feathers came out of them.But the mother had plenty nice soft feathers, andshe took the little ones under her wings and warmedthem.By and bye the little birds_grew, and began to
4 THE NEST AT TOP OF CHIMNEY .have feathers of their own. Then the mother wasable to leave them a little, while she went to seekfood for them.The little birds' wings were not yet strong enoughto fly, and before the mother left them she gave thema great deal of good and wise advice." Do not leave the house, my dear little ones, tillI return," were her last words; which meant, "donot leave the nest."But as soon as the mother was gone, a disobedientlittle bird, who thought itself quite strong and able togo alone, began to wish to go out of the nest. Itcame to the very edge, and stretched its head overthe side of the nest, and then it stood up on its twolittle trembling feet." Oh what a naughty little bird," you will say, "todisobey its mother !" But the little one paid dearlyfor being so rash, for it fell into the chimney.And when the father and mother returned theycould only find three of their little ones in thenest."Our brother is lost; he has fallen into the chim-ney," cried the three little ones all at once.And the father and mother, and three little ones,were all very sorry and sad for a long time.
THE NEST AT TOP OF CHIMNEY. 5One child's disobedience can make a whole familyunhappy.-.-
IIIBOOKS AND THEIR VALUE.HERE was once a little boy called Jack.Jack was only four years and a half old,but he was very fond of stories. "Tellme something, please, mamma," he often said, as hebrought his little footstool to his mother's side, andthen she told him many pretty stories.One day she told him about St Vincent Paul, thatangel of goodness who went about the streets gather-ing together little lost, starving children, and tookthem to his home and fed them, and was father andmother and everything to them." Mamma, do you know St Vincent Paul ?" askedJack, when his mamma had finished.
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BOOKS AND THEIR VALUE. 9" Oh, no, darling," replied the mother. "St Vin-cent Paul has been dead a great many years now."" But how do you know all that he has done, then ?"asked the child." I have read it in a book," answered his mother.Another day, his mamma told him the story of Joanof Arc, who was a young French shepherdess, famedin history for her extraordinary courage and daring."Mamma, did you ever see Joan of Arc ?" askedJack, when the story was finished."No, Jack, never," said his mother. "Joan ofArc has been dead still longer than St Vincent Paul.""Then how can you know what she did? " askedthe child again." I have read all about her," replied his mother.Jack's mamma once told him of some travellerswho had crossed the great rolling sea in large ships,ind had arrived in a country where the soil is com-posed entirely of sand; where the people had blackskins instead of white; where there were large four-footed animals with enormous humps on their backs;trees which bore fruit full of juice as white and sweetas milk; and many other wonderful things whichgreatly interested little Jack."Have you ever been in that country, mamma?
zo BOOKS AND THEIR VALUE.and have you seen all those strange things ? " askedthe boy again."Oh, no, dear; it is too far away," said the mother."Then how do you know what it is like ?" askedthe child."Because I have read about it," said his mamma.One day when his mamma had gone out, Jackbegan to weary very much, because he thought hewould have no story all that day.Then he began to think if all his mother's beautifulstories were to be found in books, he might try andfind some out for himself.So he went and took a book from the table, butpoor little Jack quite forgot that he had not yet beentaught to read, and so when he opened it, he sawnothing but funny black marks all over the whitepaper.He shut the book and opened it at another place,but still there were only the strange little black marksto be seen upon the white paper.He turned the pages over and over, but from thebeginning to the end it was all the same thing.Jack felt that this book was quite beyond him,and as he could not understand anything in it, heput it back to its place. Then he began to weary
BOOKS AND THEIR VALUE. IImore than ever, but at last he fell fast asleep as hesat waiting and watching for his mother.As soon as she returned, Jack awoke and ran tomeet her." Mamma," he asked, eagerly, " what must I dobefore I can understand all the pretty stories in yourbook ?""My child," replied his mother, "you must learnto read !"MORAL.Learn to read that you may become wise; cultivateyour mind and enrich it with the experience and dis-cc veries of great men.
IV.THE LOST BIRD.ITTLE Edith was playing in her mother'sroom one day.In this room there was a very wide fire-place; but there was no fire in it now, for it wasspring-time, and the days were warm and sunny.All at once there was a strange fluttering noiseheard in the chimney. Edith was very frightened,and wished to hide herself; but her mother took holdof her hand, and led her to the fireplace." Come with me, dear, and we shall see what ismaking this strange noise," she said.The little girl did as she was told, and when they
THE LOST BIRD. r3had looked up the great black chimney, they dis-covered a poor little bird clinging to the wall, whichpresently fell at Edith's feet, trembling with fear.It was the fluttering of its wings which had madethe strange noise that had frightened Edith so much.The little girl raised the trembling bird very gently.She was quite delighted to have it in her hands, andnever thought of it being frightened."The little bird is not happy here, Edith," saidher mother, " for it is separated from its father andmother; and they will also be very sad, because theyhave lost their, little one."" Let us send it back to its father and mother,"said Edith, who was a good little girl, and had akind heart; "but see, mamma, it cannot fly yet; itis not strong enough !"So they put the bird into a cage, and they put theopen cage out at the window; and very soon theysaw the father and mother fly round about it, and atlast go inside and tenderly welcome their little lostone.When the little bird became strong enough to useits wings, it flew away. But when evening came, andthe tired little bird wished to sleep, it did not go back,to its nest, it did not shelter itself among the branches
14 THE LOST BIRD.of the trees; it came and knocked at Edith's window,and perched itself in the little cage which had beenits home when it was lost and helpless.And every morning, after it had sung its song ofthanks, it departed; but it always returned in theevening.For all its little life long it remembered the kindaction that had been done to it by Edith.
V.THE HAPPY FAMILY.HIS is the picture of a watch-dog.This great dog was kept the whole dayattached to his kennel by an iron chain,and he wearied very much, because he was a solitarycaptive.He had only one friend, and this was a beautifullittle cat that stayed in the house, and with which hehad always been great friends.One day pussy heard the great dog whining and
16 THE HAPPY FAMILY.barking most piteously. She could not play anylonger, she was so troubled, and went to see if shecould amuse him.Soon after this, pussy had a family of little ones,but she did not know where she could put them tokeep them safe. The poor mother was very anxiousabout her children. She would have liked to havesheltered them in" a comfortable house where theywould be safe and warm.The great dog guessed what pussy was wanting,and one day when she was going past with a verytroubled face, he called the little cat, took her intohis kennel, and left her sole mistress of his dwelling.Pussy was very happy, and very soon had all herlittle ones installed in the kind dog's house. Shefed them and brought them up there, and all thistime the good dog slept outside, on the cold ground,without complaining once.So when the little kittens grew, and were able togo out and in the kennel, the kind watch-dog wasno longer alone; for he was surrounded by friendswho loved him, caressed him, and played with himall day.And though the great dog was still a captive, hewas no longer weary, for he was quite happy in the
THE HAPPY FAMILY Y 17midst of the little family, who were so much indebtedto him.- -- .-B3
VI.THE NEW-YEAR'S GIFT.HERE was once a little brother and sister,called Charles and Caroline. It was New-Year's Day-a day when every little boyand girl expect to have at least one present.These little children's father and mother were notrich, but they were not poor either; and so, besidesmany other little gifts, Charlie and Caroline foundthemselves the happy possessors of ten shillings eachto spend on whatever they liked best.Their mamma took them to a beautiful toy-shop inthe town, and told them to take their choice of thepretty things around them.
THE NEW YEAR'S GIFT. 19Caroline was very fond of dolls. She could nothave too many of them; and so she bought ten shil-lings' worth of dolls! She got a great many for that,and there were all kinds-ladies, servants, babies,gentlemen; fourteen people altogether-that is to say,fourteen dolls.Caroline was quite burdened with such a largefamily, and her brother noticed her perplexity." I would like very much to buy a carriage to putall those people into," said he."Oh yes, do, dear Charlie.!" cried Caroline, quitedelighted; "we will play together. Buy a carriage;but it must be a very beautiful one.""Oh, yes, it must be very beautiful. Let me seesome carriages, please," said Charles to the shopman.The shopman immediately produced a splendidcarriage, drawn by two magnificent white horses, har-nessed with silk and gold. On the box was seateda great fat coachman, frizzed and powdered, anddressed in a scarlet coat, yellow breeches, and whitestockings. Behind the carriage stood two footmen inthe same costume." Oh, how beautiful that is the very thing !" criedboth the children at once. " How much is this car-riage ?" asked Charles, with a very important air.
20 THE NEW YEAR'S GIFT."Ten shillings," replied the shopman." There they are, then," said Charles, placing histwo crown-pieces on the counter. The next thing tobe done was to instal the dolls in their lovely car-riage, and the children set about their work eagerly.But what was their disappointment when they dis-covered that there was only room for four !"What are we to do with all the others?" askedCaroline, looking at her brother disconsolately."The others !" replied Charlie, equally perplexed.Then their mamma," who had accompanied thechildren, seeing their difficulty, advised them."Instead of buying a carriage, why not buy ahomnibus, when you have so many people to put in-side ? It is not so pretty, perhaps, but there wouldbe plenty of room for every one."And the shopman brought forward a large omnibus,made exactly like the real ones which carry you fromone end of London to the other.The brother and sister looked at it, and at eachother, and consulted about it a long time before theycould come to any decision. The carriage was sobeautiful, but the omnibus would be so useful! Withthe one, only four would be provided for; with theother, fourteen
THE NEW YEAR'S GIFT 21Charlie saw all those advantages in a moment, andpointed them out to his sister, who was still gazingwith longing eyes at the glittering carriage, with itsgay horses, and footmen blazing in scarlet and gold."Yes, I think you are quite right, Charlie," shesaid at last, with a sigh. "I know it will be moreuseful, and so we shall just take it."" You have done well, my dear children," said theirmamma, who had been looking on all the while, won-dering how her little ones would decide. " I am gladyou are able to prefer the useful to the ornamental;do not be attracted by pomp and show, and alwaysremember that' All is not gold that glitters "mn- it[
VII.SERVANT AND FRIEND.HORSE was one day feeding quietly in abeautiful green meadow.At one end of the meadow there wasa road, and the horse came every now and then towatch the people as they passed along.Among the passengers was a good, honest man,who went to the neighboring town every day to buybread for his little ones at home. He passed verynear the gate, and the horse neighed after him as ifit were bidding him good-morning.Then the man stopped for a minute to caress thehorse, speak to him kindly, and pat his neck gently,after which he continued his way.Another man who went to the town every day,took the same road. He was a hard, cruel man, but
SERVANT AND FRIEND. 23the horse did not know this, and ran and saluted himlike the first.But the cruel man, instead of caressing him,cracked a great whip over him, and the poor horsegalloped away into the middle of the field, shakinghis smarting head.While the two men were in the town a heavy rainbegan to fall, and the small stream near the meadow,which they had to cross on their return, was swolleninto a river.The good, kind man arrived first, but alas! howwas he to get across? The water was still rising,and he must either submit to plunge in up to thewaist, or wait till it had subsided.But the man could not wait; he was taking homebread for supper, and his little children were hungry.He was just about deciding to walk through thewater at the risk of catching a bad cold, when heheard a neigh in the meadow.He recognized the voice; it was the horse he hadcaressed in the morning, and he called him to comeand help him.The horse leapt over the gate in a moment, andapproached the kind man whom he immediatelyrecognized.
24 SER VANT AND FRIEND.The man jumped on his back, and the wise horsecrossed the water without any difficulty, and landedhis friend on the other side. And the good man didnot get the least wet, not even the sole of his shoe.Then the horse returned to the meadow.Presently the cruel man returned from the town;he had seen what the horse had just done, and so,wishing to be carried over the stream also, he calledon him to come as coaxingly as he could.But the horse, recognizing the man who had struckhim in the morning, would not look near. He fledto the very other end of the meadow, and left himto his fate.And the unkind man was obliged either to getsoaked, or wait till the waters decreased.It is only when the master is the friend of hisservant, that the servant is the friend of his master.
VIII.THE STORY OF A SEED.HIS is the picture of a little girl calledMinnie. She was such a sweet gentlechild that every one loved her.Minnie's mamma had three of those pretty littleyellow birds called canaries, the first of which camefrom those warm sunny isles near Africa, called theCanary Isles. Minnie was very fond of those birds,and it was she who cared for them, fed them,and cleaned their cage every day. As she neverfrightened them, they had no fear of her; theyliked to see her coming near them, and sang theirmost beautiful songs by way of thanking her for
26 THE STORY OF A SEED.all her kindness. When their cage was opened theywould fly on to their young mistress's shoulder, orperch themselves on her finger.They were not the least unhappy at being shutup in a cage, because they had been born there andbrought up in it for a good while by their fatherand mother.Canaries come from a country where the sunshines all day long, and they are very fond of it.Minnie knew this, and so she often put their cageout at the window to let them catch some of hisrays.Canaries eat sugar, hard-boiled eggs, bread, lin-seed, and chickweed. One day, Minnie saw thatsome of the seeds had fallen from the cage on tothe ground; she was going to pick them all care-fully up, but her mamma told her to let themremain."Leave them, my daughter," she said; "let thoseseeds stay in the earth, and you will see what willhappen !"It was spring-time, that season of the year wheneverything begins to bud and blossom. About aweek afterwards, Minnie perceived a little greenpoint appearing where the seeds used to be, but
THE STORY OF A SEED. 27so small, so very small, that it only peeped throughthe earth. Minnie took care not to touch it, forshe knew it was God who had made it grow there,and she wished to know what He was going to dowith it. The next day, the little green point had grownlarger; it was a little bit above the ground, and youcould see the little seed at the end of the stalk.But the seed was open and empty, and its contentshad remained in the earth, and given birth to thislittle stalk.Next day, Minnie came and looked at it again;it had grown larger, and two little leaves werealready beginning to form."Ah," said Minnie, "it is a bunch of chickweedthat is going to grow here, and my birds love itso much; how happy they will be !"Minnie did not like to leave her dear little plant,it seemed so weak and helpless yet, and would beso easily pulled out of the ground and broken, thatthe little girl was kept very anxious about it ; as ifGod, who made the very tiniest leaf, was not alwaysthere to protect it !However, Minnie must go to school; and, as shewas a good little girl, she never let anything comebetween her and her duty; but every evening, when
28 THE STORY OF A SEED.she returned, she went and looked at her little plant,and examined it carefully, and every evening she sawthat the stalk was growing higher.The two first leaves were now pretty large, andbelow them were other two, which were also grow-ing every day; and then came two new ones. Thestalk itself was growing, and Minnie no longer neededto kneel down and peer into the earth to see it."Oh, my little birds," said she to her canaries,"sing, for you have sowed a little seed which isgrowing, and it will be all for you "Minnie now began to be impatient for the littleseeds to grow on the top of the stalk, but still theywere nowhere to be seen." Wait a little, my child," said her mamma. " Wait;everything requires time. What is done in a hurry isalways badly done;" and the little girl was obedient,and waited patiently.At last, one day, two more leaves opened, andMinnie all at once saw between those leaves-what?a cluster of seeds or flowers,-those seeds for whichshe had waited so long. She would have liked topluck them at once, and given them to her canaries,but it was too green. Minnie thought it was notripe enough yet, and so she did not pull it up.
THE STORY OF A SEED. 29Little by little the leaves opened more and more,and the flowers grew down the stalk a good way.Minnie thought this was the fruit, but one morningwhen she went to look at it, all the flowers were gone,and nothing but little green balls remained. Minniewas very much surprised, and very sorry that all theflowers were gone. She thought that she had beendeceived, but her mamma comforted her, and toldher that this was really the fruit. She explained toher that nearly all plants produce blossoms first,and that it is those flowers which afterwards formthemselves into fruit.Her mamma assured her that the fruit would verysoon come, and she repeated that it only required alittle time.But Minnie thought it would be a very long time,and began to get angry, and say that she wished itimmediately."Ah, well, my little daughter, pull it up now, andyour little birds will have nothing. You cannothurry God's work."Minnie felt she had been naughty, and begged hermother to forgive her, promising to be obedient andpatient.After a few days the flowers fell off, and in their
30 THE STORY OF A SEED.places remained real seeds, at first very small, andsoft, and green; but gradually they grew, and in ashort time they became so large that the little stalkbent beneath their weight."You may now pluck your little plant, Minnie,"said her mamma one day. "You have given itplenty of time to grow, and it is now ripe."You can imagine how happy the little girl wasthen. She thanked her mother with all her heartfor having given her such good advice, and Godwho had made such beautiful things, and arrangedeverything so wisely.Then Minnie joyfully plucked the little plant, andplaced it in the cage of her much-loved birds.i Tfl
. -LI -'-' iIX.LESSONS FROM A GOAT.R ARNOT one day took his little daughterwith him to the Zoological Gardens.This little girl's name was Julia. Shewas quite delighted with this beautiful walk, becausethere is a fine menagerie in those gardens, where thereare all sorts of animals-lions, tigers, elephants, birds,and a collection of pretty little goats.Julia had a penny, and as there was a man selling
32 LESSONS FROM A GOATtoys of sugar and cakes at the entrance to the gardens,it was necessary that this penny should be spent.But what was she to buy with it? A penny willnot buy very much. She saw some very temptingpink and white candy, and she thought she wouldlike some of that."But," said Julia to herself, "after I have eaten it.there would be nothing left!"" Would she take a trumpet instead ?" asked theman. But the sound of this instrument is not verysweet, even at the best, and if its frail pipe werebroken, there would soon be an end to all music." A balloon ?" It would very soon burst." A doll ? " What if its legs or arms tumbled off ?With this, Julia caught sight of some small rolls,which were very unlikely things to attract the fancy ofa little girl who had a penny to spend on whatevershe liked best.But Julia did not hesitate any longer, for she knewthat animals liked bread, and so she bought two rolls,that she might give a little pleasure to the poorcaptives.You see this dear little girl had a kind heart. Firstof all, Julia and her papa gave the elephant a bite ofthe bread. This huge animal seized the little morsel
LESSONS FROM A GOAT 33by the end of his long trunk with the utmost clever-ness, and then put it into its great mouth, which wouldhave held a whole dozen of rolls without the leastdifficulty. Then they passed on to the giraffe, andas it could not stretch its long neck through the ironrailings, Mr Arnot put the little piece of bread on theend of his stick, and handed it into the cage.They went on to the camel, to the antelopes,ostriches, and each had their small share. But unfor-tunately the rolls were not large, and a very littlepiece remained when Julia found herself face to facewith a charming family of white goats. Those littleanimals were assembled in a small park carpeted withbeautiful green turf, and enclosed with a pretty wirerailing. In the middle of this park was a little woodenshed strewed with hay, which had a most appetisingperfume. Nothing could be cleaner or prettier thanthis little habitation.At the outside of the shed lay the father, his headraised and eyes half closed, as if he were sleepingand watching both at once.Here and there around him played the younggoats, with their horns just beginning to peep outthrough their shaggy hair. The mother seemed topay no attention to her family, and, with her two feetc
34 LESSONS FROM A GOAT"on the fence, she bleated to the passers-by, as ifsoliciting their caresses." Oh, what a lovely goat!" cried Julia. "Youshall have all the rest of my bread; take it all toyourself."At the first words, the goat put its nose through therailings, but all at once smelling the bread, which itwas on the point of seizing, it jumped down and shookits pretty head, as if it were saying, " No, thank you.""Stay!" said Julia, very much surprised; "whywill it not take my bread? Do goats not likebread?"But another child passed, then a lady, then a gentle-man, and the goat ate every bit of bread they offered.Julia presented hers a second time, but the goat smeltit again, and still shook its head. The little girl wasvery much grieved, and could not understand whythe goat always refused her bread. She almost feltinclined to get angry with the animal, but she restrainedherself, and turning to one of the keepers, she askedhim if the bread was good enough."Have you offered it only to the goat, my child ?"asked the man." Oh, no; the elephant, and the giraffe, and thebirds have all had some."
LESSONS FROM A GOAT 35" And have they eaten it ?"" Oh, yes; every one of them," said Julia."' Then the bread must be good enough. Are yourhands quite clean, my child ?"Julia looked at her hands, and was surprised to seethat they had got soiled; for she had taken off hergloves while feeding the animals."But why does the goat alone refuse my bread,when all the other animals have taken it? "" Because goats are less greedy and more particularand delicate than the others. They would rather dowithout a pleasure than accept anything which isoffensive to them. See, my child, here is somewater; wash your hands, then take the bread backto the goat, and you will see it is all true I havetold you."Julia washed her hands, and returned to thelittle white goat. She offered her bread again, andthis time the goat ate it with very evident plea-sure."Thank you, dear little goat, for the lesson youhave given me," said the gentle girl; " I will profit byit, and never forget it."Never forget, dear children, when you are wrong,and your fault is found out, to thank the friend
36 LESSONS FROM A GOATwho tells you of it, instead of being cross and angry,and remember how Julia thanked the little whitegoat.w^7 *7^J-tAN^^1^*4
X.LESSONS FROM THE VINE.OT long ago there lived a little boy calledFred.One day the gardener came to hisfather's house to prune the fruit-trees and vines; andFred, to whom his father had given three smallplants, followed him into the garden that he mightsee how it was done.The gardener had a large knife in his hand, with around point, and this he used very skilfully and withgreat vigour.He examined each plant and looked over all thenew buds carefully. Then he took his knife and cutaway all that he thought necessary, and soon therewas very little wood left about the vines.
38 LESSONS FROM THE VINE."Why have you taken away all that?" asked Fred,pointing to the fallen branches. " If you cut off somuch, there will be no grapes in summer.""They will come all in good time, my little boy,"said the gardener, "and they will be all the betterfor this bad, useless stuff being away. There will bemore grapes, and consequently more wine."Fred did not ask the gardener how the vines shouldbe pruned, and he cut his own three plants accord-ing to his own fancy, believing that he had done thevine an enormous deal of good.Spring came, and the vines blossomed; summerfollowed, and the raisins ripened; and when autumncame round the grapes were magnificent; the plantsbent under their load. Fred had never seen so manygrapes." I cut my vine so well, it ought to bear a greatdeal of fruit," he thought.Fred hastened to the end of the garden wherestood the three plants which he had pruned in spring.But what a sad surprise! what a disappointment!Fred's vines were laden with a perfect forest ofbranches and leaves. But as for grapes, there wrenone, or nearly none; two little grapes among threeplants!
LESSONS FROM THE VINE. 39Poor bewildered Fred then understood that hemust not have pruned them rightly, and so he wentto look for the gardener." Zadok," said the boy, "will you be kind enoughto show me what I ought to have done to make myvines produce plenty of fruit ?"" My boy," said the gardener, "you must firstlearn the difference between the good and the badwood, and be sure that you take all the useless partsaway."And this is what each one of you, dear children,must do in the garden of your own hearts. Searchout all the weeds and all the roots of bitterness, lestthey grow up and choke the good seed, and, likethose vine plants, you bear no fruit.
I 4 / -Her mother was a widow, Lilla an orphan, andS stair.Her mother was a widow, Lilla an orphan, andboth were very poor.Lilla's mother worked incessantly from morningtill night, that she might gain their bread, and thelittle girl, seated by her side, helped her mother, andsewed as fast as her little fingers could go.
LILLA AND HER FLOWERS. 41But, notwithstanding all their industry, their earn-ings were not sufficient, and very often the poormother deprived herself of food, that her child mightwant for nothing.The mother and daughter loved each other withall their hearts, and were quite happy when they weretogether. Lilla was very careful to be a good girl,that she might comfort and please her mother, andthe latter did her best to teach and amuse her child.They were both very fond of flowers, but as theyhad no garden, they had planted some in a woodenbox on their window-sill, which fortunately lookedtowards the sun.There were roses, mignionette, convolvulus, anda great many other pretty things; but how joyfulLilla was when they began to bud and blossom!She tended them with the greatest care, wateredthem, and took away any little insects which werelikely to hurt her dear flowers.Then she put little slips of wood into the box, andfixed them together all round with fine cord, so thatwhen the convolvulus grew, it crept along and throughthe tiny fence, and very soon their pretty leaves formeda perfect bower of verdure before the little window.There were also, far down among the leaves, a
42 LILLA AND HER FLOWERS.multitude of pretty blue flowers. At first thoseflowers looked very much like little balls of greensatin. But little by little, thanks to the rays of sun-light which beamed upon them, every day they grew;and one morning when Lilla and her mamma openedthe window, they found their convolvulus coveredwith beautiful bell-like flowers !Those flowers were perfectly charming, they wereof all colours, white, and pink, and blue, and theleaves of those flowers were as soft and fine as velvet.Their colours were so rich and so beautifully blendedthat the very sight of them filled the child's heartwith a rapture she could not express.It was the sun that had made all those lovelyflowers bloom, and now it shone upon them as ifit took pleasure in smiling on its work. And theflowers themselves turned gracefully round on theirflexible stalks, in order to catch the sun's rays, andthank them for being so kind.The day was passed in ceaseless admiration, themother and child could talk of nothing but theirflowers. Every now and then their eyes wouldwander from their seam to the window; then themother and daughter looked at each other with asmile which fully expressed all their pleasure.
LILLA AND HER FLOWERS. 43But this happy day came to an end like all others.Evening closed in, and Lilla perceived that all theflowers of the convolvulus, which had opened them-selves so gaily in the morning, now closed their bellsone after the other.The bewildered little girl looked up to the heavensto seek for the sun, but there was no longer any sun,-it had disappeared !" 0 mamma !" cried the child, "there is no moresun, and look how our poor flowers are fading Ah !our beautiful flowers the sun has gone, and ourflowers are dead !""Never mind, my child," said the mother, "thesun is only gone for a little while, and our flowers arenot dead. The sun is now shining upon other flowersand making them grow, and ours are only gone tosleep till he comes back. To-morrow morning weshall see the sun again, and then our dear flowerswill bloom as sweetly as ever."The next morning the sun rose brightly, and-theflowers opened their bells again, and were morenumerous and lovely than on the first day. ThenLilla was quite happy and comforted."You see, my child," said the mother, taking heron her knee and stroking her golden head, " the sun
44 LILLA AND HER FLOWERS.is the emblem of God. Sometimes it seems to be farfrom us, but it always returns and never leaves us indarkness and despair. And if it is certain that thesun brings daylight to chase away the night, it is alsocertain that God will wipe away all our tears and giveus joy instead of sorrow. Let us work then, Lilla,work and endure with patience whatever is sent tous, and let us trust in God as the flowers trust in thesun, for, of all our hopes of happiness, that alone isa sure one, and will never be deceived."d '-T
XII.THE POTATO-PLANT.HO does not like potatoes? I think everyone likes potatoes, and they are quiteright, for they are a healthy, nourishingfood, which agrees with almost every one, and ac-commodates itself to every purse.I am sure, my little readers, you all know the plantwhich produces the potato? You know that thisplant, which grows to about a foot in height, producesa little star-like flower, sometimes lilac, sometimeswhite, to which succeeds a little green berry, in whichyou will find the seed enclosed. You also know thatthis fruit is not for eating, and that the potato, thepart which we use for food, grows far down in the
46 THE POTATO-PLANT.earth, at the very foot of the plant, and attached tothe roots.You will know all that if you have ever seen theplant, or if you are attentive to your lessons. Butthere are very many children, less fortunate than you,who are quite ignorant of those simple things. Listen,then, to the story which I am going to tell you.Mr Grant had three children; the eldest was calledHarry, the second Frank, and the third Rose.One day this gentleman bought a field, and he saidto his three children,-"I am going to divide this field among you, andI will give you each a square, so that you may culti-vate whatever you like in it."Harry, who liked red, planted roses in his; Frank,who liked yellow best, filled his with marigolds andbuttercups; and little Rose, who loved white, hadnothing but daisies.But papa had his little ones to feed, and so heplanted his with potatoes.When summer had come, roses, buttercups, anddaisies flourished and bloomed so well that the littlechildren were charmed with their brilliant gardens.The potatoes bloomed also, but their modest
THE POTATO-PLANT 47flowers, half concealed under their dark leaves,seemed quite pale and faded beside their gayneighbours."Why has our father, who is so wise, planted thatsombre-looking flower," said the children to eachother. " How much prettier the field would be if itwas filled with daisies, or buttercups, or roses "The summer passed, and the flowers faded, papa'spotatoes as well as the children's pretty flowers. Allthe withered stalks lay on the ground, and there wasnothing for the children to gather but dry leaves.But papa brought a band of workers into his field.With iron hoes they opened the furrows, and drewfrom their midst potatoes of excellent quality.They put those potatoes into large bags, which theylaid upon waggons, and there were so many of themthat it was easy to see the children would have plentyto eat all the year.And the children, who were very fond of potatoes,no longer thought of blaming their father; instead ofthat, they repented of their own folly, and had thecourage to confess that they were in fault."Father," they said, "forgive us, for we did notchoose well. We thought ourselves wiser than you.We thought your flowers far less beautiful than our
48 THE POTATO-PLANTown, and we despised those poor stalks which we didnot know had potatoes at their roots.""My dear children," replied the father, " I forgiveyou with all my heart, but only on one condition,and it is this, that you remember all your life whathas just happened, and," he added, with great serious-ness, " that you never again commit the same fault.""Oh, no, papa, we will never do it again," repliedthe children, somewhat surprised at the grave tonein which their father spoke to them. "We cannever commit the same fault again, for now we knowpotatoes.""You do not know them all, my dear children,"replied the father. "The world, you see, is like afield, in which all sorts of plants are growing. Thereare some people who shine as brilliantly as the beau-tiful flowers you have cultivated, and there are otherswho live and die humble and despised, like my usefulpotatoes."And the world judges as you have judged. Itmakes a great deal of some, and despises and scornsothers: oh, imitate it no longer, my children! Lovebeauty since it charms the eye; but honour virtuewhich does good in silence. Seek it, imitate it, forwhen the harvest time is come, and death the great*
THE POTATO-PLANT 49reaper will cut us down, what fruit will God find inus? In the brilliant flowers there will be nothingbut a bunch of withered stalks, and in the humblepotato plants a mine of wealth!"D
XIII.NOAH'S ARK.LONG time, dear children, after the deathof Adam and Eve, mankind forgot Godand became very wicked. They no longerfulfilled the duties that had been given them to do,for God never intended us to be idle, they did notlove each other, they never prayed, they committedall sorts of iniquity. God seeing their wi-;kedness,resolved to punish them; but there was one goodand virtuous family among them who still remainedfaithful to God, and so He did not wish to punishthem with the others: for God is just, and He neverconfounds those who do well with those who do evil.
NOAH'S ARK. 5rThe father of this family was called Noah; he wasa Patriarch, that is to say, "chief of a tribe," for inthose days there were no kings, it was the fatherwho exercised power over his family and servants,and the word Patriarch signifies, "government of afather."So God told Noah to build a large house of wood,in the form of a boat, very close and well lined withpitch inside and out.Pitch is a kind of thick black stuff, which fills thesmallest holes in the wood upon which it is spread,so that no water can penetrate through it. Andthough Noah had perhaps never made use of thisbefore, he believed in God and did as he was told.The work which God had given Noah to do wasboth long and fatiguing, but Noah immediately sethimself to exoaete it. He knew that all God's com-mandments are wise, and that we always do right inobeying them. Then Noah cut down trees, sawedplanks of wood, and constructed, as God had com-manded him, the building which was called Noah'sArk; and when the Ark was finished, God told Noahto go into it with his wife, their children, and two ofevery kind of beast and bird upon the earth. Healso told Noah'to take into the Ark sufficient food to
52 NOAH'S ARK,serve him and his family, as well as all the animalsthat were with him for a certain time. Noah did allthat God commanded him, and as soon as they wereall shut up in the Ark, a heavy rain began to fall whichcovered the whole earth with water. Very soon thesmall streams became rivers, then seas, and little bylittle the waters rose till they covered the trees, theneven the tops of the highest mountains, so that everyliving thing upon the earth was drowned. The sinful,wicked men whom God wished to punish were alldrowned, and only the Ark,-the Ark made of woodand lined with pitch, floated like a great ship, andalways remained on the surface of the waters whichraised it along with them.This great and destructive rain was called theDeluge. It fell incessantly for forty days and fortynights; then God made it stop, and raised a greatwind, which, sweeping along the mass of waters,gradually dispersed them, and the Ark descendedlittle by little.Meanwhile, Noah, not being able to see whetherthe earth was dry or not, because the windows of theArk were closed, opened one of them and sent fortha raven. Ravens are birds of prey; they feed upondead bodies and carcases; and as this raven did not
NOAH'S ARK. 53return to the Ark, Noah concluded that it must havefound something to eat, floating upon the waters.Seven days after, he opened the window again, andsent forth a dove. A dove is a kind of pigeon, verymuch more gentle and delicate than ravens. Thedoves' feet are tinged with a pale rose-pink, and arevery clean.The dove had not been gone long from the Arkbefore it returned. Noah understood from that thatthe earth was still covered with the waters, and thatit had found nowhere to rest.'So Noah waited seven days longer. After thattime, he sent forth the dove again, and this time itreturned, bearing in its mouth a little branch of atree. It was an olive branch, and Noah understood,from that that the waters must have greatly abated.since the trees were again visible. He thought itwise, however, to wait other seven days. Then heopened the Ark, and all the men, women, andchildren, and the animals, were allowed to go outof it.The earth was nearly dry again. The sun shone,and the plants were beginning to reappear. Theanimals betook themselves to the country, and thebirds flew into the air. How happy they must have
54 NOAH'S ARK.been to be saved from this great destruction! Ileave you to imagine how grateful Noah and hisfamily were towards God !Noah immediately erected an altar in remembranceof the divine protection; and God caused a beautifulrainbow to appear in the heavens, as a testimony thatHe would preserve this protection to Noah, and hischildren, and to all mankind that should come afterthem, if they remained faithful to His command-ments.Yes, Noah was grateful to God for having told himto build the Ark, for he was always ready and happyto obey God. If he had not been obedient, and ifhe had said, " This work is too difficult for me, I willnot do it;" or, "I have plenty time, I will commenceit soon;" or, if he had not had perseverance, and,after beginning the Ark, he had grown tired of hiswork, and left it without finishing it, what would havebecome of him? The deluge would have come, andNoah, his wife, and their children, having no ark toflee to for safety, would have been drowned, like therest of mankind.See then, dear children, that you fulfil all yourundertakings with courage and fortitude, and accom-plish all your duties perseveringly and patiently.
NOAH'S ARK. 55You will certainly reap the reward; and God willbless you and protect you, as He blessed and pro-tected Noah and his family.-__ "-,,. /._-_ --_.- -_ :_._-
XIV.THE BOY AND THE BUTTERFLY.NE day a butterfly, which was fluttering gailythrough the air, alighted on a flower. Alittle boy saw it, and thinking it very pretty,he thought he would like to try and catch it. Hechased it for a while, but each time the child camenear the butterfly, it rose into the air far beyond hisreach."Oh, leave it, dear child," said the mother, "leavethe pretty butterfly, and be content to see it flying
THE BOY AND THE BUTTERFLY 57about happy and free; for if you touch it, it will loseits beauty, and so your pleasure will be gone."The little boy was obedient-he did not chase thebutterfly any more. He did what was much better :he went to a corner of the garden, and gathered abranch of honeysuckle, covered with fresh and fra-grant flowers. Then he returned, and slipped quietlynear the butterfly, holding the branch quite steady inhis little hand. Very soon the butterfly alighted uponthe honeysuckle, and the little boy, quite enraptured,could see it and examine it at his ease.It was a pretty yellow butterfly, with wings soft asvelvet, enamelled with red and black spots whichlooked like jewels. It had four wings, and thosewings were so light that their motion, though veryrapid, made not the slightest sound. During its flight,the butterfly kept its feet folded up, but as soon as italighted, the little boy could count three on each side.Then he saw it project a small trunk from its mouth,fine as silk, which it thrust gently into the heart ofthe flowers, and extracted its food without destroyinganything.But butterflies cannot remain long in the sameplace. In a few moments the yellow butterfly leftthe branch of honeysuckle which the boy held so
58 THE BOY AND THE BUTTERFLYpatiently in his hand, and flew here and there, andpassed from one flower to the other so swiftly that itsweight did not shake them in the least.The little boy could not draw himself away fromthis charming sight. He could not turn his eyesaway for a moment, lest the butterfly should fly off.The earnest desire to possess it made him forget hismother's wise advice, and when the butterfly, withoutthe least misgiving of danger, was peacefully sippingthe nectar from a rose, the child seized it! Then heopened his hand-but, alas! what had become of thecharming insect? A soft glittering powder coveredthe boy's fingers, and the poor butterfly, crushedand trembling, lay with its pretty wings torn topieces.The child was bewildered and surprised at this sadspectacle, and very soon great tears stood in his roundblue eyes. At last he could bear his grief no longer,and he ran to hide it in his mother's breast.His mother, seeing him so sorry and repentant forthe evil he had done, did not scold her child, butcomforted him as well as she could."My son," she said, "learn for the future to besatisfied with the pleasures which God has given you,and never forget that, in trying to seize what does not
THE BOY AND THE BUTTERFLY. 59belong to you, you deprive yourselves and others of apleasure which cannot be recalled, by rendering ituseless, as you have just done this poor butterfly."
s_. . .......' 'I ,xv.THE PEACH-STONE.OBERT GREY was a monitor or teacher ina school, and he deserved his position, forhe had many good qualities.He managed his little flock of pupils wonderfully.
THE PEACH-STONE. 61He was zealous, eager to instruct, full of love oforder and discipline, and showed a good example inalmost everything.But he had one great defect for a teacher IHe was impatient and rough with those of hislittle pupils who could not immediately understandthe lessons and explanations he gave them.Then he would shake them, mark them with badpoints, or send them back to their lesson.And this impatience was neither reasonable norjust; for when a pupil does not understand any-thing, it is the teacher's business to explain it tohim.But if, instead of that, he repels the pupil, thechild learns nothing, and has a bad opinion of histeacher, because he feels he is unjust.So Robert, in spite of all his good qualities, wasnot a perfect teacher. Without gentleness and patienceone can never hope to become that.One day, when Robert had been more than usuallyrough, the master called him as he was about todepart." Robert, my friend," said he, "you spoil all yourgood qualities by your roughness towards your littlepupils, and you vex me very much."
62 THE PEACH-STONE." But, sir," replied Robert, "those stupid childrencan understand nothing; their heads are as hard aspeach-stones.""Peach-stones are not always hard, sir," saidthe master, bending a severe look upon Robert;"God knows how to soften them like everythingelse."Robert flushed, and dared not reply; he bade themaster good-bye, and went away to reflect upon hiswords.All at once he perceived a peach-stone lying inhis path, and as it was on this very subject that histhoughts were pondering, and that had been thecause of his rebuke, he gave it a great blow withhis foot, and was about to kick it into the river, whenhe was interrupted by a passer-by."Do not throw it away, sir," said a little oldwoman, with an old-fashioned curtsey, "for though-you cannot see it, there is a whole tree inside of thatstone, leaves, and flowers, and everything."Robert turned towards the old woman, and lookedat her, without exactly comprehending what she wassaying.I don't know that he thought this stone was dif-ferent from any other, or that it enclosed a tree all
THE PEACH-STONE. 63ready made, but he lifted it up, and tried to break itwith his teeth. Vain effort! He tried it over andover again, but he could make nothing of it.Then he took his knife and tried to open it like anut, but it was impossible. He struck it again withhis boot, but the peach-stone was harder than theboot, and it was the latter which threatened to giveway.Robert, with his accustomed violence, becameangry.He wished, at all costs, to see inside of this peach-stone, but the stone did not wish to let Robert in,because he could not open it in the proper way."Sir," said the little old woman, "take it homewith you, and plant it in a little corner of ground,water it every little while, and see that it has plentyair and light, and some fine day that hard piece ofwood, which resists all your efforts to force it, willgently open, and give you itself what you have beentrying all this while to snatch from it."Then the teacher began to think of his little pupils,whose heads he thought so very hard and impene-trable."What is required to soften this peach-stone ?" heasked.
64 THE PEACI-STONE."Only time and patience," answered the oldwoman.Then Robert understood what his master had said,and that those were the very qualities necessary tohim in his daily work of instruction.\~ 7
_--. .-i-XVI.LUCY AND THE CATERPILLAR.UCY VERNON went once every week tospend the day with her grandmother.There was a beautiful large garden roundthe house, where the little girl romped and played toher heart's content, while she enjoyed the fragranceof the sweet flowers around her.She never destroyed anything, because she knewthat would be naughty. One day she observed avery tempting ripe peach on a small tree; this lovelypeach was yellow, and pink, and soft as velvet; itlooked delicious, and Lucy immediately thought howmuch her grandmother would like it; and, anxiousto present the beautiful fruit to her, she stretched outher hand to pluck it; but below the peach her littleE
66 LUCY AND THE CATERPILLAR.fingers came upon something soft and moving; shelooked at it, threw the peach away, and, with a greatcry, she fled as fast as her legs could carry her.This soft moving thing was-a caterpillar.John, the old gardener, who was only a few yardsoff, nailing up some untidy branches, hastened to-wards the little girl, and anxiously inquired what hadhappened.But Lucy, who was still trembling with fear, couldonly answer by pointing with her finger to the peachlying on the ground, to which the caterpillar stillclung."What! " exclaimed old John. " Is it this poorlittle caterpillar which has made you cry like that?How can such an innocent little beast make you sofrightened, my child ? ""Oh, it is so ugly " replied Lucy, with a face ofdisgust." Not at all," said the gardener; " on the contrary,there are some of them very pretty. See now," addedhe, leading the child gently towards the peach, andtaking both the fruit and the insect into his hand,-"see, my child, how beautifully this caterpillar isdressed. One would think it was clothed in brownvelvet, with golden-coloured ribbons, and a double
LUCY AND THE CATERPILLAR. 67necklace of pearls. It is God alone who has madeit so beautiful.""Is that true, John?-let me see!" said Lucy,stretching forward her neck, but keeping herself wellout of the way, and concealing her hands behind herback.Then, reassured by the gardener's presence, andalso by a little reflection, she closely examined thecaterpillar, which was still creeping over the peach."Oh, look, John, it is going to eat my grand-mother's peach !"" Not at all, my child; caterpillars do not eat fruit,but they eat leaves, buds, and flowers, and oftendestroy the trees very much."" Then you see, John, they are very*wicked.""No, my child; to be wicked is to wish to do evil,even when it is not in our power. But caterpillarshave no evil intentions; they eat, like us, because theyare created to live ; and, like us, they choose what ismost agreeable to them. Accordingly, as their exist-ence would interfere with our pleasure, by deprivingus of fruit, which they prevent from growing, we de-stroy them because we are stronger than they. Yousee, my child, if there was any wickedness here, itwould not be on the part of the caterpillars."
68 LUCY AND THE CATERPILLAR."Would it be us ?" asked Lucy."We do not think ourselves any more wicked forthat," replied the gardener. "We must live, as wellas the caterpillars; and, like them, we apply our-selves diligently to make the most of what God hasgiven us.""Are caterpillars diligent, too ?" asked Lucy."God has taught every creature, from the greatestto the most insignificant, all that it needs to know toaccomplish its destiny. Without the instinct he hasgiven them, how would they know what to do?""What do caterpillars do, then ?"" Do you not know ?""No," said Lucy, shaking her head." First of all, they work."" For their children ?""No, caterpillars have no young ones.""Why do they need to work, then, John ?""For their second life."At those words, Lucy raised her large eyes to thegardener's face, and looked at him with astonishment.She had never heard of another life than that belong-ing to our immortal souls, and that must be so veryfar distant from a caterpillar."You see, my child, gardener though I be, I can-
LUCY AND TiHE CATERPILLAR. 69not help loving those poor caterpillars, though theyvex me sadly by the destruction they cause. Buttheir poor despised life is very touching. Only thinkof those poor little beasts being deprived of everypleasure in this world. As I have told you, theyhave neither house nor family, not even a little nestto shelter them at night. They come in the begin-ing of spring, on to the almost naked branches.They creep there, and cling to them to try and getsome meagre nourishment. Sadly encumbered bytheir short legs, which compel them to remain fastby the branches on which they were born, they knowneither the beauty of the flowers nor the softness ofthe air, nor how delightful it is to wander freelythrough it. They inspire almost every one with theaversion and disgust which you have just displayed;but nothing discourages them, or turns them fromtheir task. They pass through this life, poor littlebeasts, as if they understood from the first that itcould only last a very little while. They eat theleaves and buds incessantly; but it is to collecttogether materials for their work, just as you see myold wife filling her mesh with thread before she beginsto net. Then, when the caterpillars have collectedsufficient, they stop eating, and commence to spin."
70 LUCY AND THE CATERPILLAR."To spin stockings and things, like your wife ?"asked Lucy."Oh no, little one," replied old John, laughing;" they spin themselves a little house. First of all,they wisely choose a quiet spot, where they willneither be disturbed while at their work, nor ex-posed after it is finished. They suspend themselvesfrom the branch of a tree, or take refuge in a hole inthe wall. Then they gradually spin out their thread,and make a little covering so closely round them thatyou cannot even catch a glimpse of the worker inside.Then it undergoes a change. It is no longer a cater-pillar, but a chrysalis, as it is called. A thing whichhas neither head, nor feet, nor anything else, butwhich still moves when it is touched. One wouldnever imagine it to be a beast, or rather an insect.It looks more like a seed, or a fruit of some kind;but at any rate it is not pretty.""And is this their reward for having worked sohard ? " asked the little girl."Oh no it is not dead yet; that sleep is only akind of preparation for their second existence.When the cold, and snow, and bad weather areall gone, and the sun shines and makes everythingon the earth full of life, the chrysalis opens, and the
LUCY AND THE CATERPILLAR. 71former caterpillar spreads out its wings and flies intothe air, a brilliant butterfly."It is then that they are rewarded for all theirpatience and industry. Formerly, the poor littlebeast could do nothing but creep slowly over theleaves; now, it flies from one flower to another, andsips the honey as it goes. It feeds itself on theirfragrance, and drinks the dewdrops from the rose.The caterpillar, you see, has to undergo much toil,and solitude, and fatigue before it becomes a butter-fly; but now it can wander through the most beautifulgardens and verdant meadows. It flutters throughthe air with a crowd of happy friends, light andjoyous as itself. Every eye looks upon it as one ofspring's greatest charms. It is admired and enviedby those who used to despise it. And, as if everyhappiness was showered upon it, to make up forits former want and hardships, it now has, under itsnew form, a family of little ones."" Are little butterflies the children of the big ones,then?" asked Lucy." No, my child," replied kind old John. " Large,and small, white, yellow, and black butterflies, areall so many different kinds, which live a longer orshorter time, and take more or less time to hatch.
72 LUCY AND THE CATERPILLAR.The butterflies' children are little eggs, which theirmothers lay carefully on the barks of trees and bushes,and which, after some little time, turn into cater-pillars. These little caterpillars have to undergo thevery same process as their parents; and if, in theirturn, they accomplish their work well, they will alsobe transformed and rewarded in the same man-ner."" You are quite right to love the poor little cater-pillars, John," said the child, " for I see they are veryindustrious little things. Give me that one, and letme look at it, please."And Lucy resolutely took the peach and the cater-pillar from the hands of the old gardener, and set her-self to watch it in silence." It is strange," she said, presently, "that whatyou have just told me about the caterpillar is verylike a story of our own lives which mamma told me.I know quite well that we are people, and that cater-pillars are animals, and have no soul like us,-that wewill live in another world, and that they die on earth.But mamma told me that here there was nothing butwork for us, then death; and then, if we have beengood, we will turn into beautiful angels, and that isso like the caterpillar I "
LUCY AND THE CATERPILLAR. 73"Yes, my child, so it is," replied the gardener;" and if we do our work well, there is an eternalreward in store for us."' KtJ '.*'&' ~ ''^ ~ .c ,S
XVII.WILLIE AND THE VIOLIN.R CLIFFORD was very fond of playing theviolin.This gentleman had a son called Willie,and the little boy was very happy when his papaplayed him any tunes that he knew.Then Willie would sing, and his father accompaniedthe little voice very gently on the violin. It was verypretty music, and did not seem at all difficult.Mr Clifford had only to place the violin on hisshoulder, take hold of the instrument with his lefthand, and touch the cords one after another with hisfingers. Then the right hand held the bowstring,which glided over the wires, and the violin played
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WILLIE AND THE VIOLIN. 77all that was wanted! That seemed so simple andso easy to do, that little Willie wished to play too." Give it to me, please, papa, and let me play,"said the boy.The father gave Willie his violin, and the little boyplaced it very adroitly on his shoulder, as he had seenhis father do, then he took the bow in his left hand,and began to play !But what a frightful noise he made! Instead ofthe beautiful tunes it usually played, the violin didnothing but howl and shriek It sounded so horriblethat the little boy, quite frightened, quickly gaveback the instrument to his papa." But, papa, what do you do to make it play suchpretty tunes?" asked Willie."It is very simple, my son," replied the father;" you have only to learn to play it!"MORAL.Learn to refresh your mind with refined pleasureswhich will ennoble it, so that you may not yield tothe temptation of those gross pleasures which wouldonly harden and degrade it.
THE BOUQUET OF VIOLETS.NNA one day went out to walk with hermamma.It was in the month of April. Springhad come, and brought pretty green leaves to thetrees, and everything was looking very bright andbeautiful.Anna lived in London; but there are beautifulparks for walking in there, and she was now going
THE BOUQUET OF VIOLETS. 79to one of them with her mamma. At the entrance-gate stood a poor old woman, selling little bouquetsof violets. She offered her pretty merchandise toevery passer-by, and kept repeating:"Fresh violets! only twopence a bunch; andthey smell so sweetly."Several gentlemen bought them to put in theirbutton-holes, but the greater number passed by with-Sout even casting a glance at the pretty flowers ; andthe poor woman repeated her cry in vain." Mamma," said Anna, "will you buy me a bou-quet ?"" Certainly, my child," replied the mother, and sheimmediately took two pennies from her purse, andgave them to the old woman, who, in exchange,placed a very pretty bouquet in the little girl'shand.But Anna had not had it in her possession for afew minutes before she began to destroy it, by pluck-ing off the leaves and petals, and crushing them inher hand as if they had been daisies out of the field.Her mamma was about to correct her, but the oldwoman was quicker than she." Ah, little miss, what are you doing ? " cried she."Why are you tearing my poor flowers to pieces ? "
80 THE BOUQUET OF VIOLETS."They are mine now, because I bought them fromyou," replied the little girl."True enough," said the old woman; "you havepaid your money for the flowers, and you think nomore of them than of the pennies you gave me forthem. But I, miss-I love them, because of all theflowers God has created, there are none morebeautiful than the violet. And if you knewthose 'simple flowers as well as I do, like meyou would also love them, and you would notdestroy them."" But I know violets quite well," replied the child,quite surprised, and a little offended too, perhaps."I know that violets are not roses, or daisies, or anyother flower, but violets ""Oh, I daresay, miss, you know their colour, andform, and leaves, and that pleases you; but theircharacter and qualities, so to speak, you know no-thing about, and that is the reason you do not lovethem.""I did not know flowers had any character-have they ?" asked Anna, turning to her mother."Listen, my daughter, to what this good womansays," replied the mother. "She knows all about theviolets, and will tell you their history."
THE BOUQUET OF VIOLETS. 8I"Will you tell me all about the violets? " askedAnna, of the old woman." With pleasure, miss ; for one never wearies speak-ing of what they love."First of all, my child, breathe the sweet perfumewhich my favourite flowers send forth. There is,indeed, nothing more sweet or more agreeable thanthis perfume." Ah, well! notwithstanding all their charms, violetsare not the least proud. Instead of being vain, andwishing to display themselves, they hide as much asthey can."Instead of showing themselves off to attract ad-miration, like the roses, which need plenty of sunand light, the dear little violets grow quietly in theshade, in silent woods and deserted lanes." They hide under their leaves, and keep each othercompany; for they always grow in clusters, and theyask nothing more." The morning dew, and a ray from the rising sun,peeping through the trees, is all that those modestflowers require." I know very well where they like to grow, andcan feel their perfume in the air a long way off; fortheir fragrance betrays their hiding-place before theF
82 THE BOUQUET OF VIOLETS.eye can see them, and this modesty lends them a newcharm."When we have enjoyed all the perfume this sweetflower can give, they are collected, arid the leaves aredistilled and preserved. Perfumers mix this scent inthe pomade which perfumes your hair; and they makefrom it also scent for your handkerchiefs. Every onelikes the sweet perfume of the violet, for it is as harm-less as it is sweet."So when this poor little flower is faded, andwithered, and torn-for, alas everything must cometo an end-the joy of giving pleasure still remains toit. When it has lost all its beauty and freshness, it islike those good, kind people who, though the bright-ness of youth is passed, still preserve the lasting beautyof a kind heart ""It is quite true, I know," said Anna, who hadbeen listening very attentively; "but I tore my prettybouquet without ever thinking of all that."And Anna stood quietly looking with regret at theremains of the violets scattered on the ground."My child," continued the old woman, who sawhow sorry and repentant Anna was, "here is anotherbouquet of violets for you. Accept them from me.I think you will take better care of them now. But,
THE BOUQUET OF VIOLETS. 83above all, my child, never again do anything withoutthinking!", 4!
XIX.THE TWO CATS.HIS pretty white cat lived in a large countryhouse, where it passed all its time in per-fect idleness.It was one of those beautiful Angora cats whichhave such long soft fur, that in passing your handover, you would think it was velvet. It was purewhite, without a single mark, and it was large and fatand lazy; in short, it was.a magnificent cat.Her mistress loved her very much, and she wasfed, and washed, and cared for by the servants; sothat this cat had no need to provide for its ownwants, and became very lazy and idle.It had only to lick its soft paws, stretch itself on'the carpet or rug, and lie there purring for hours
THE TWO CATS. 85together, with its half-closed eyes watching the handthat caressed it.One autumn evening the Angora, tired of sleeping,-for rest tires one more than work when we havetoo much of it--jumped from its soft cushion,stretched itself, and walked slowly out towards thepark of the castle.This beautiful park was full of tall trees,-oaks,elms, and limes,-between which there had been widepaths left, so that one might enjoy walking in theshade. One of those paths led to the farm, whichcould be discerned in the distance.The Angora cat, as you may fancy, had nevertaken the trouble to go there. At the farm the feed-ing was very plain, everybody worked and toiled, andonly rested when they were really tired : what wouldhave become of the Angora there ?However, out of curiosity,-for idleness causesweariness, and weariness causes curiosity,-the catdetermined to explore the farm. It walked throughthe beautiful pathway, taking good care to keep onthe turf which grew on its borders, for fear of soilingits delicate feet in the dust.So it went slowly along, exhibiting all the indiffer-ence of a cat that is fairly wearied and worn out,
86 THE TWO CATS.when suddenly another cat sprang out from behinda cluster of bramble bushes, and stood face to face inthe path with the beautiful Angora.The Angora leapt back with fear, for it had notexpected such an abrupt meeting. Then it curledup its back, opened its eyes to their full extent, andgradually retreated.The other cat, on the contrary, seemed quitecharmed to meet with a companion. It advancedtowards the Angora with a mew, as much as to say,"We do not know each other, but we belong to thesame family ; so let us be friends."The Angora perceiving its kindly intentions, doubt-less understood that the new comer wished to do noevil, for it seemed somewhat reassured, and sat ex-amining the other in silence.It was not a pretty cat by any means. It wasneither fat nor white; it was thin, and tall, and gray.Its tail was short, and its legs were so long that itseemed to be nothing but legs. One could easilyguess at first sight that it never received any nourish-ment from its master's table, but that it gained all itsfood by its own exertions.In short, it was not an ornamental cat, like theAngora, but a useful member of society.
7HE TWO CATS. 87Its humble condition, however, did not prevent itbeing clean and in good health; on the contrary, its tailand feet were smooth and shining. It was so muchaccustomed to exercise that it might have defied allthe squirrels and levrets in the neighbourhood atleaping and running.But the Angora appeared to scorn this useful,playful cat. I do not know if cats can reallyindulge in pride, but I almost think so, from thecondescending manner in which it looked at its newfriend. It wished to give no reply to its gentle ad-vances, but turning round, and taking good care toavoid touching the gray cat, it slowly returned home,dragging its long tail over the grass; then, quicken-ing its steps, it began to run as if it was afraid ofbeing pursued by its troublesome acquaintance.But it did not need to trouble itself, for no oneever thought of giving it chase. The gray cat, quietlyseated on the grass, watched its hasty retreat, withoutbeing able to understand the cause of its scorn.In reality, this scorn, or pride, if it was so, did notarise from any motive. The gray cat was of the samerace as the Angora. The one had come into theworld white, the other gray; but there was no meritattached to either one colour or the other. The one
88 THE TWO CA TS.was descended from a race of long-tailed cats, whichoriginally inhabited Angora, in Asia; the other, froma short-tailed race, which have always lived in Europe;but the difference was the same to both of them, andwhatever the parents, country, colour, or. profession, ofthe two cats might be, still they were both cats.After such hurried exercise, the white cat arrivedin the drawing-room quite out of breath, and againstretched itself on its soft cushion. Meanwhile thegray cat, hearing a rustling noise in the bushes besideit, advanced stealthily, with eyes and ears wide open,and commenced its work,-the midnight chase.I^*2'
THE TWO CATS. 89CHAPTER II.THREE months had passed since the cats first met,"and now winter had come, the trees had lost all theirpretty green leaves, the wind whistled and howledthrough their bare branches, and for two days thesnow had been falling and covering the whole earth.It was bitterly cold. The gray cat was shelteredin the granary of the farm, for there was no longeranything to hunt in the fields. But there was morethan enough of work for it in the granary, where thefruits of the harvest-hay, corn, &c.-were stowedaway. Rats and mice are very fond of those things,and they would very soon have been devoured anddestroyed if pussy had not been so active andvigilant.Pussy, a little wearied with not getting out, leaptfrom the straw where it was lying crouched, andapproached the granary door. This door openedinto the fields, and below it was a little hole toadmit the passage of cats.So pussy advanced to the door, and looked throughthis hole, from which it could see the castle and thesolitary park in the distance. Then, at the foot of a