GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS, THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
NEW YORK: 416, BROOME STREET.
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AMUSING TALES FOR YOUNG
A Lucky Tub.
A Quarrel and its Consequences.
A Strange Adventure.
Home for the Holidays.
Paul and his Mother.
A Charm in the Wood.
A Narrow Escape.
Clara and her Brother.
A Fault and its Cons
A Fault and its Cons
A Fault and its Cons
The Young Housekeeper.
The Little Prisoner.
The Child's Christmas,
THE DONKEY'S SHADOW, AND
The Donkey's Shadow.
Black Dick, the Fiddler.
One of Life's Charms.
A Skater Chased by Wolves.
The Discontented Weathercock.
The Sedge Island.
Mabel's Walk through the Woods.
Finikin and his Golden Pippins.
Finikin and his Golden Pippins.
Death and Sleep.
Eva; or, the Little Girl that
learned from Nature. Parts
I. and II.
"From Causes slight, what great
Effects may spring."
The Child's Wish.
The Captain's Child.
The Lynx and the Hare.
A Cradle Chaunt.
The Forest Mill.
Prince Gold-Fish and the Fisher.
Christiana, the Lace-Girl.
THE BROKEN PITCHER AND OTHER STORIES.
The Broken Pitcher.
S A Walk on the Railway. Part I.
A Walk on the Railway. Part II.
A Walk on the Railway. Part III.
The Crows and the Windmill.
To-morrow. Chap. I.
To-morrow. Chap. II.
The Three Sisters.
Stories about Honesty:
No. 1. The Lucky Loaf.
2. The Honest Negro.
3. The Quaker and the
The Old Kitchen Clock.
The Purse of Two Pieces.
Annie Grant's Playmates.
"Little Children, love one another."
The Moss-Rose's Drawing-Room.
Amelia and her Parrot.
The Great Duke's Funeral.
THE LITTLE LYCHETTS: A PIECE OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY.
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
A LUC[Y TUB.
JOB DUNNETT'S cottage was the most comfortable in the village,
with its three nice rooms; its little washhouse at one end: and. its
patch of garden at the back, planted with cabbages and potatoes.
Besides his cottage and garden Job had a cow, a pig, and a flock of
geese, that all fed on the common through the day, and came home ii
the evening: the cow, grazing at either side as she passed leisurely :
up the path, lowing now and then to say it was milking time; the
pig running in an excited manner in hopes he should find the door of
his sty open, but finding it shut grunting and squeaking for some one
to come and help him; and the geese sending up a chorus of cackling
about every three minutes by his side. Then, when at last they
were all admitted, the cow finding a little hay and any fresh leaves
that could be collected from the garden ready for her in her shed;
the pig feasting on potato-parings and scraps in his sty; and the
geese settling themselves near the cow, each with head under wing
and dreaming of the frogs in the pond till morning.
Job had also a dog called Watch, that he had when he was
shepherd to the Squire. Now that the Squire was dead, and all the
servants paid off, he was not of much use, but his master was so fond
of him he could not bear to part with him.
Job had, besides, a large family of children; five boys, who
perhaps, because he had a Scripture name himself, all had Scripture
names, too. They were called Gideon, Reuben, Joshua, Benjamin,
and Jeremiah; and Job would not allow these names to be shortened.
" What," he would say, "is the use of giving a child a good strong
Bible name, and then all his life calling him by some such weak
nickname as Giddy, Jos, Ben, or Jerry ? No, call them by the
names I gave them when the parson said, What is this child's
name ?' or call them nothing at all."
With all these possessions, Job had one sad want. He had lost
his wife, and he never married acain. He never could forget his
Sold woman," as he called her, though she was, indeed, both your
A LUCKY TUB.
and pretty; but as his family could not get on without help, he took in
a real old woman, who had no one to take care of her, and was trying
to make up her mind to go to the workhouse. And Goody managed
as well as she could for them: she spoiled the boys a little, but they
were good little fellows, and did not do much that was wrong.
But how, it will be asked, did Job support his large family since
he was no longer shepherd to the Squire ? He had no regular trade,
but he could turn his hand to anything, and as he was never idle he
managed pretty well. He dressed up the gardens of all the small
gentlemen's houses near the village. His best customers were an old
bachelor, who was very particular," and employed Gideon besides
to clean his boots; and three old maiden ladies that lived at a white
cottage called Lily Bank, and liked their grass to look as smooth as
velvet, and could not bear the sight of a weed in their borders, and
often made a short journey by the railway, and wanted Job and his
truck to carry their luggage. This truck of Job's was a good help
to him; it was at anybody's service for a little money, and seldom
passed an idle day. Job always got full employment at hay-making
and harvest-time; and he was a good thatcher of cottage or stack.
Then the cow brought in a good deal; she supplied nourishing food
for the family under Goody's management. Goody always managed
to make a cheese in the season, and now and then to sell some butter,
and every morning Gideon or one of his brothers carried round milk
to the neighbours, and tried which could bring in most money. The
pig made two good sides of bacon for the winter; and the geese went
far to pay the rent, for Job had good sale for the young ones, but he
always afforded one for the Michaelmas dinner at home. He and
Gideon kept the garden, and the potatoes paid them well, not to
speak of the cabbages. He sent his boys to school, for he would not
have them grow up bad scholars, and in the evenings he liked to see
them enjoying a good game of cricket on the common.
But two sad misfortunes befell poor Job one autumn. The first
was the potato blight which destroyed his whole crop; the other was
the death of his cow. She was seized with a bad cough and died
after a week's illness. Poor old Goody never held up her head after-
wards. She fretted about the boys, and said she was of no use in
tLe nouse and only ate their bread; and the wmter was cold, and s
A LUCKY TUB.
took to her bed and died before Christmas. Job laid her by his wife
in the churchyard with a sore heart, and then struggled on the best
he could, and Gideon learned to be almost a mother to the others.
It was a hard winter, but Job did not complain; he never did.
"Please God spring comes, it will be all right again," he said.
But when spring came he lost his two best customers. The old
bachelor married one of the old ladies, and they set up a foot-boy
who was to keep the garden; and the two sisters were so vexed at the
marriage, that they shut up their cottage and left the village. Still
Job kept up heart, and got work by going long distances. "Come
hay-making," he said now, "it will be all right."
Hay-making came, and Job took all his boys into the fields at
sunrise every morning. Gideon and Reuben worked for wages;
Joshua and Benjamin could only rake a little for good-will, and
Jeremiah could only play, but he liked to have them with him; the
last three days they were so far away from the village, and the
weather so warm that they slept in a nice bed of hay in the barn
when night came; and when the crop was got in they took their way
homewards with light hearts, though heartily tired. Job had a good
little sum in his pocket, and thought of his cottage and his own bed,
and how soundly he should sleep in it with his boys near him
It was almost dark, but he ought to see his cottage by this time.
Where was it? Oh, Job Dunnett! poor fellow!" said one voice
after another. His cottage was burned to the ground, no one knew
how. They could but suppose some beam or rafter had been on fire
when he shut it up. It burst into flames in the night, and was all
down before any one could save it.
Job walked slowly round the smoking ruins. He had no longer a
bed to lie on, nor a roof to shelter him. Perhaps he thought of
that Holy One who had not where to lay His head." Some such
thought must have sustained him, for he did not sink into grief or
complaint. Everything was gone. The clock, that was his old
woman's pride; poor Goody's arm-chair, and churn and cheese-press;
the chest that held his Sunday coat and the boys' best clothes; beds
and bedding, and all his little articles of comfort, and his old Bible;
nothing was left but his truck that stood in the shed, and the great
A LUCKY TUB.
tub he used to catch the rain-water in. Poor Job Dunnett!" said
the neighbours again. But Job had a great spirit and a brave heart,
though he was poor, and his thoughts were on what he had kept, not
on what he had lost. Suppose my boys had been in their beds !"
thought he, and their ashes were among that heap of rubbish! or
suppose I had been scorched and injured, and could not work for
them! Thank God we are spared life and limb."
At this moment Watch whined, licked his hand, and then looked
up in his face. Poor fellow !" he said, patting his head, I have
got you still, too."
The neighbours vied with each other, who should lodge Job and
his boys. They had a good supper, and were distributed among
different cottages, and slept soundly though they had lost everything.
Job got up early next morning, and before he came back to
breakfast he had sold his pig and hia geese, and paid the chandler's
bill that had run up in the hard winter. He spent all the day in
going round the neighboring farms seeking work, but returned at
night tired and dispirited, for he could hear of none till harvest.
But next morning he looked like himself again because he had
made up his mind. He had resolved to leave the village entirely,
taking all his family with him. His friends and neighbours could
not bear to part with him. Wait a. little while," they said, "and
work will come." No, Job would not wait. He had heard of a new
sea-bathing place, where there was a great deal of company and a
want of hands, and there he would go. He had a little money now,
but if he waited it would all be spent.
He collected his family together. Their packing took no time at
all, for they had nothing but the clothes they wore, and Job had
brought his truck out of the shed; that was to go with him and do
good service in his new work.
The little lads will be very tired," said Dame Pegier, who stood
at her door with her baby in her arms. "Benjamin and Jeremiah,
pretty creatures are too young for such a journey."
"We shall go leisurely," said Job, "cand they can ride on the
truck now and then. But stop! a thought strikes me. Hand up
the tub, Gideon. There! set it on the truck! Now get in, all four
little ones, and let us see how you can ride."
A LUCKY TUB.
So Reuben, Joshua, Benjamin, and little Jeremiah, who was only
three, crept into the tub and found that they could ride capitally
so; and Gideon, that he might make merry, and drive away sad
thoughts from his father, harnessed Watch in front, mounted like a
coachman, and away they went. Any one to see them would have
said they were going on a party of pleasure.
And any one would have said the same who saw them resting on
their first evening in a pretty copse wood, near a wide common that
put them in mind of home. While Gideon went to the nearest
village to buy bread and a horn-cup to drink out of, Reuben, who
had been exploring the banks of a clear stream that ran by, found a
bed of water-cresses; so he ran after Gideon to tell him to buy salt
and a little butter, and they had a delicious supper. The tub turned
up on end served as table, and they sat round on the grass; the
sunbeams flashed through the leaves overhead and the birds sang
merrily to them. When they had had enough, the rest of the bread
and butter was stored away in a holly-bush for breakfast, and then
they prepared to go to rest. Job had no Bible now, but his memory
was stored with many of its words, and his voice led the evening
prayer as they knelt round him on the grass. When they rose the
four younger ones settled themselves in the tub, and were asleep in a
moment; Job found some lopped fir-branches with their springy dry
leaves, and made a nice bed of them for Gideon on the truck; then
he lay down himself on the ground where it was dry under the fir-
trees, and rested well. The next night they slept in a hay-field on
the sweet hay-cocks, and they had had a little work in the day that
paid for their supper. They had gathered the early apples in an
orchard for a farmer; the little boys held the baskets while Job and
Gideon gathered, and the tub held the whole of the produce, which
Job wheeled away into the fruit-room.
The third day they drew near the sea, and in the evening rested
on the top of the cliffs, about ten miles from the place to which they
were bound. The boys had never seen the sea before, and this even-
ing it looked grand and beautiful at once. There was a fresh breeze,
and the waves came tumbling in upon the sands, foaming and sound-
ing, and their crests looked golden under the setting sun, which cast
a long line of light across the dark blue waters. Gideon and his
A LUCKY TUB.
brothers sat watching this new and wonderful sight for a long time,
and then amused themselves with looking down to the sands below and
watching several children at play there. At last all had gone home,
except one party of two nurses with babies in arms, and a little boy
and girl of five or six years old. The nurses had wandered along
the sands towards home, and gone round a jutting point of the
cliff, where they sat down waiting for the children, who continued
to play exactly under the spot where the boys were sitting, picking up
shells and sea-weed, dabbling in pools of salt water, finding little
crabs, and jumping from rock to rock. Presently the little girl
found a small ship that some child had dropped, and showed it in
delight to her brother, and they went together to a reef of rocks
stretching far out into the sea. The rocks were slippery and had
pools between them left by the tide; but they went leaping from one
to the other till they reached a pool between the two farthest, where
they began to sail the ship. The boys, who continued to watch all
they did, thought they had never seen such a lovely child as this
little girl with her white frock and large straw hat and rosy cheeks.
She and her brother played with their ship for a good while in the
place to which they had clambered, then, as if dissatisfied with a
pool, they went to the farthest point of the reef and sailed it in the
sea held by a string. Presently the little boy clambered back to the
sands and began groping under the cliff for a stick to push it about
with. At last he found one and set off with it to join his sister.
But he could no longer jump on to the rock where he had left her.
The tide was flowing in, and the pool where they had first sailed the
ship was now a wide channel. He put his foot in; it was beyond
his depth. He cried, Blanche! Blanche!" so loud that his voice
reached the top of the cliff, but the wind which bore it there carried
it away from her, and she continued to play tranquilly with her ship.
The boys above, who had not understood the danger at first, now
called to their father who was half asleep on the grass, tired with his
long day's journey, to come and look. When they had roused him,
the little boy had made his way back to the sands, slipping on the wet
rocks, and almost falling often in his haste and fear, and run franti-
cally towards the spot where he expected to find his nurses, but the sea
was dashing against the point; he could not get round it, He then
A LUCKY TUB.
turned and rushed up a flight of steps which led to the top of the
cliff, where he stopped for breath. By this time the little girl hai
discovered her situation. The rock on which she was stood up like
a little island in the midst of the foaming waves, and she was stretch-
ing out her arms in terror, and her white frock fluttered in the wind.
The little boy cast one look of childish despair on his poor sister, and
tore away along the cliffs towards a house at no great distance.
Job cast one anxious glance along the coast. It was a lonely
place, not a boat was in sight.
I cannot swim," he cried, in a tone of bitter grief; and it is
far beyond my depth now."
Suddenly his face brightened,-
Help down with the tub, Gideon," he cried;-" but stay a mo-
ment." With a large stone he knocked the handles off his truck,
and with these for oars, followed by his boys, he was at the edge of
the surf in no time. He waded in to his depth, floating the tub by
The little girl had caught sight of him, and watched him with
straining eyes. She stood on the highest point of her rock, with the
sea rolling round her and dashing over the low reef which had
joined it to the shore. She looked pale and wild with terror.
Job had now to perform the difficult task of getting into his tub.
To the anxious eyes that were fixed on him it seemed almost impos-
sible. Where is he ? He has disappeared. There is nothing but
surging water where he was but an instant ago, and the shrieks of
the poor child on the rock rise even above the wind and the waves,
and reach the shore where the poor boys stand trembling for their
father, and where another trembling watcher now stands beside them.
It is the mother, who has rushed to the spot at the alarm given by
her little boy! Job's faithful dog, with a dismal howl, dashes off into
the sea to find his master. Is all hope gone?
No. The good tub has righted again and Job is in it, and with
vigorous strokes of his oars he is stemming the force of the tide, and
succeeding in getting nearer to the child; but it is hard work,
sometimes he is borne away by the force of the surf, and sometimes
he is dashed against the points of the rocks; but he plants his oars
firmly against them and still makes way; he will save her yet.
A LUCKY TUB.
He is by her side at last, he stretches out one of his oars
towards her, and she catches it, but an enormous wave at the
same moment dashes over her and carries her away. ..
There is hope still. Watch has caught her white frock firmly
between his teeth and keeps her afloat, and Job is once more close to
her. He stretches one hand over the side of the tub, and works an
oar with the other. She is safe. He holds her high in his arms.
There is no need to use the oars now, for the tide floats them ashore,
and Job places the pretty little girl he has saved on her mother's
A few hours afterwards Job and his five boys were seated in a
comfortable parlour after supper waiting till their beds were prepared,
and the father of the little girl was talking with him.
All my words and all my wealth would not repay you," he
said; nor show you my deep gratitude for the life you have saved;
but the best offer I can make to a man of your independent spirit
is, that which we have been discussing. The most comfortable ac-
commodation for yourself and family in the first of my ships going to
Australia shall be at your service. They talk of finding gold there
now, but whether that is true or not you will soon make gold in
such, a country. If you still refuse to accept a sum of money or even
a loan, you shall at least have good recommendations, and find friends
there when you land."
No, Job would not accept money. He watild rather work his
own way as he had always done, but he gratefully accepted the free
passage and the letters of introduction. He and his boys sailed, and
did not forget to take poor Watch with them. By the last accounts
of him it seems that Job is a large farmer with great flocks of sheep,
and that his boys are all thriving, and that he has sent over money
to take out several families from his native village, among whom
is Dame Pegler, whose words first suggested his carrying away
the tub. As to that Lucky Tub it stands in the garden, near the
sea, at the home of the little girl whom he saved. It is ornamented
with creeping plants, and receives a clear stream of sparkling water
that flows into it-an emblem of her pure and grateful heart.
THE HAPPY EVENING.
A QUARREL AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
IT was a hot, sultry evening, without a breath of wind, so it
was very pleasant to keep in the open air; and nearly all the
labourers, when work was over and supper eaten, loitered about
smoking their pipes in the shade. John Hooper, one of them, stood
leaning over the lower half of the barn-door, watching his little
Jack and Nelly at play with their kittens, and his wife, who sat on
the step, with baby in her arms, stroking puss and teaching baby not
to b) frightened at her. John felt cheerful and contented, and with
reason; for he was a good workman, with good wages, and a wife
and children that loved him and that he loved dearly, and a home
that was always quiet and comfortable, in his two little rooms that
opened out of the barn.
"Here comes Master Frank, with his brown dog," said Mrs.
Hooper. Frank was the farmer's son, and a general favourite.
When is my sister to have the kitten?" asked Frank.
This very evening, if you please, sir," she answered. Pray
walk in and choose which you like."
This is Whitefoot, sir, running after the ball," said Jack; and
those are Minnie and Jetty; and Vevvy-that means Velvet, sir-
is playing by herself out there; which will you have?"
Frank stepped across the threshold, but his dog ran in before
him, andi was instantly attacked by the cat, furious in defence of her
four children. A scene of confusion followed. In vain did Frank
call "Wolf! lie down, sir!" The cat growled, shrieked, spat, and
scratched; Wolf barked and flew at her; the kittens scampered off
in every direction; Jack and Nelly rushed about to protect them;
and the baby screamed louder than all. Peace was restored at last,
A QUARREL AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
but not till cat and kittens had vanished from the field of battle; not
a tail or a whisker was to be seen; and Wolf had slunk behind
his master, looking very much ashamed.
Jack and Nelly, assisted by Frank, now began to search for their
pets, and soon found three of the kittens, one behind the press,
another on a shelf among the tea-cups, a third under some straw in
the barn. Puss herself was not to be seen, but that was no matter;
she was most likely up a tree or on the roof; the fourth kitten, how-
ever, must be found, and they looked everywhere in vain.
At last Nelly's voice was heard from the end of the garden,
calling, "Here's Whitefoot in the ditch! Come, father!"
They ran to the 'place and found Nelly, who had clambered
down the steep side of the ditch, peeping inside a covered place,
where the black stream that lay almost stagnant at the bottom, had
been stopped by some rubbish, and was deep and wide.
Oh, I'm so sick, father she cried. It smells so bad, and
Whitefoot will not come."
Hooper stooped down, stretched out his hand under the low arch,
and had almost to creep in on his knees before he could reach the
kitten, and when he brought it out it was quite dead. Nelly began
to cry bitterly at the sight.
Why, Hooper, you are as pale as death!" exclaimed Frank.
" What's the matter?"
I don't know myself," he replied, wiping his forehead and stag-
gering against a, tree. Such a whiff went down my throat out of
the ditch, I think it was. But I am better now. Well, I never
heard of such a thing as a kitten being drowned in half a minute,
and hardly more than wetted its paws too, for it lay on a heap of
dry bones and cabbage-stalks in there."
It strikes me very forcibly," said an old man who had joined
them and stood by leaning on his stick,--" it strikes me very forcibly
that the kitten was not drowned at all, but poisoned by the smell."
Poisoned by the smell!" said Hooper, rather contemptuously.
"What harm can a smell do? It's not pleasant, certainly, but it
cannot kill a cat, that I am very sure of."
I don't know that," said the old man. Where I was at work
near London, three years ago come Michaelmas, there were several
A QUARREL AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
narrow lanes and places where they never could keep a cat alive;
and so sure as ever a cat died, so sure some of the people of the
house were taken with fever; so at last they left off trying to keep
cats, because they brought bad luck."
Oh, those are all idle gossips, George," said Hooper.
"I don't think so," persisted old George. I remember my
young masters and missesses had their rabbit-hutch at first close to a
dirty ditch, and never could rear them; so they moved them to
another place, and then they did very well."
As to this ditch," said Hooper, I should be very glad to see it
covered in, because it looks bad at the end of the garden, and I do
take a pride in my flowers, and like the place to look neat; but as to
the rest, it's all nonsense."
Well, I must go home," said Frank. I am very sorry for the
trouble Wolf and I have caused, and for poor little Whitefoot. I will
not take a kitten to Nancy now you have lost one."
Oh, yes, let missy have one. Two will be quite enough for
us," said Nelly, drying her tears.
SVery well, I will come for one to-morrow, thank you," said
Frank, and went away.
But when he returned next day he found Mrs. Hooper looking
sad and anxious. She told him that Nelly had fretted all night, and
could no* eat her breakfast; she never could have thought the child
would take on so about Whitefoot.
Frank went in to comfort the little girl, and was shocked to see
how ill she looked. He declared the doctor ought to see her, and
was sallying forth in search of him, when he met two of his father's
labourers supporting between them poor Hooper, who reeled and
staggered like a drluken man. He had fallen in the field where lie
was at work, they said, and they thought at first he was dead.
The poor wife busied herself in putting her husband to bed, crying
and lamenting over him, and was kindly assisted by the labourers,
while Frank ran off faster than before for Dr. Lloyd.
The doctor was in the cottage in ten minutes, and pronounced
both father and child to be seized with the malignant fever that had
been so common in the village lately. It was a sad trouble to hear
this. Two men oni the farm and five children had died of it already,
A QUARREL AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
besides several in the village. The doctor gave his orders, said he
would send in some medicine, and took leave, beckoning to Frank
and advising him by all means to keep away from the infection.
Frank met old George near the door.
They are both taken with the fever, I hear," said he. "Poor
Hooper laughed at me about the cats; but it was the ditch poisoned
that kitten, depend upon it, and the fever has come, you see, master."
But you cannot believe in such folly as that, George ? What
can the kitten's death have to do with their fever ?"
But the ditch can, Master Frank. I reads the newspapers,
and I saw how they told in parliament about fevers in poor men's
houses, in foul lanes and courts, that cut them off in the prime of
life, and leave their widows and orphans on the parish; and how
rich men are spared because they live in wide streets that are clean
and airy. Oh, I believe there's poison in that ditch !"
It is very strange," thought Frank, recollecting the sickness
that seemed to seize both Hooper and Nelly after groping in it,
and the attack of fever following so soon on both. Is any one
else ill hereabouts now, George ?" asked he, aloud.
Charley Davis, the bricklayer, lies ill now, and his wife can
hardly creep about to nurse him, for she's only just up herself;
and Thomas Green's three children are very bad."
Well, they had not a kitten that was poisoned, I suppose, how-
ever, George," said Frank. But he walked off to look at both their
cottages, and, to his surprise, found that this ditch ran close to the
back wall of one, and within three feet of the door of the other.
He went home, and tried to think no more about it; but he
was restless with the idea that his unlucky visit to the Hoopers and
Wolf's quarrel with the cat had been the cause of their present sad
misfortune, and he wished he could believe that it was not so,-
that the fever coming on was only a chance, and George only an
old gossip. He, therefore, wandered off in the evening to the vil-
lage, and there found that the unlucky ditch ran all through it, and
that many of the cottages were built on its very brink; and it was
exactly in these that the fever either had been or now was. Return-
ing, he called at Hooper's, and found that old George and his wife
had taken home Jack and the baby to keep them out of harm's way
A QUARREL AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
and that their daughter was come to sit up all night with the sick
man and child, and let the mother have some rest.
"C He's a good old man, and not an old gossip," thought Fi'ank.
Frank was a hasty fellow in all his ways, and never could be at
peace till he had acted upon any idea he had in his head, as soon as
he felt convinced he was right about it. He did not know how to
account for it, but he had heard and seen enough to feel sure that
people who live near bad smells are very apt to have fevers; so he
began to beg of his father to drain or cover up the ditch, but he
talked in vain. It was near harvest time. Hooper's illness was a
great vexation when there was so much work to be done; not a
man could be spared for anything extra,-and, besides, "the whole
affair was folly and fancy: the people caught the fever of one
another." So said the farmer, and he forbade Frank to go to Hooper's
house any more, or he would be ill next himself.
But Frank would not give the matter up for all this. He obeyed
his father, and went no more to Hooper's, though he often sent little
presents there through George. He could not, however, be happy
while he thought that the cottage window, which Dr. Lloyd had
ordered to be kept open, was, perhaps, letting in more poison to feed
the poor man's fever, and kill little Nelly, who was still more dan-
gerously ill. He consulted old George, and they examined the
ground, and took their measures and plans accordingly. And when
they had made up their minds what should be done, Frank called
all his father's laborers together, and after abusing his enemy, the
ditch, and telling them why he thought so ill of it, he explained to
them that the reason it was so bad and mischievous was that there
was not enough water in it to carry away its contents. But, he said,
there was a- little rapid stream near, a branch from which might be
directed into it by digging a channel, and by this means it could be
kept much cleaner; and then, if it were covered in, it could do very
little harm. He said that, of course, he could only cleanse and
cover that part near the farm, and the village must be left just as bad
as ever till the landlord would spend some money upon it; but if
they, the labourers, would give their aid, by working over-hours for
a week or so, he thought they could do all that he planned.
At this proposal the men hung back. First one and then
A QUARREL AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
another said that he did not see that it was his business; that the
ditch did him no harm; that it did look ugly, to be sure, and did
smell badly, too, especially.before rain, or when the wind set that
way: but it had always been there; and, in short, they did not see
why it need be meddled with now any more than last year, or any
At all events," said Frank, I shall be here to-morrow morn-
ing at four o'clock with my spade and pick, and work at it till six,
and whoever likes to join me may."
I don't care if I do, then, Master Frank," said one.
Nor I, neither," said another.
Accordingly, next morning, four of them appeared at the ap-
pointed time, and worked with Frank for two hours, and so con-
tinued to do for a whole week, when they succeeded in turning
a good stream of water into the ditch, which began instantly to
produce a wonderful change for the better. Aind they were able
to finish their undertaking in excellent style, for when the farmer
saw how earnest Frank was about it, he gave them wood to cover in
the ditch; and when they had laid sods over all, it was complete.
Whether it was chance or no, certain it was that Hooper and
the little girl began to mend from the day this work was done; and
,,o more of the people about the farm or the neighboring cottages
had the fever. Hooper regained his strength rapidly, and went
to work again in about six weeks from the time he was seized;
and Nelly was able once more to play with Jack, and kiss baby,
and have fun with the kittens, who had not become too wise to
run after a ball, though they were nearly as big as their mother.
As to Frank, he was pleased with his work, though he could
get very few people to agree with him that it was at all necessary;
but he did not change his opinion for all that. He only regretted
that he! could do so little, and resolved, that when he grew to be a
man, and had a farm of his own, he would do things on a much
larger scale than he could attempt now that he was only a boy.
THE TEMPTING PRESENT.
4 I i//
*Y~~~ ~tt---- ~--c~=~=~=~=~8~5~'
i ~ic"' ~- '- -Z"
L E _____c~-~
IT was a fresh, breezy evening in spring. The wind whistled
among the thick, round masses of furze on the heath, covered with
golden flowers; the village children ran here and there at the&
noisy games; a party of boys were playing at cricket in a clea-
space; several workmen, with their tools over their shoulders, passed
from time to time along the public path that led across the common,
on their way home after their day's labour. There also came a
brother and sister, who had been al work too, if you might judge
by the great bunches of cowslips they carried. The little girl seated
herself at the root of an old tree.
"You really must stop one minute, Walter," said she, taking
hold of his arm. Did you ever see the heath look so bright and
gay? The yellow flowers shine like gold."
Like gold !" he replied. "Why, Janey, look there !-down there.
It glows like fire-it is fire! That large bush is in a blaze!"
It was true. The light that had shone through the bush was in-
stantly followed by bright flames which spread with wonderful rapidity.
In half a minute every branch, every point was blazing, hissing, and
crackling; the poor flowers rained down, and were consumed; the
green spines became glowing red, then white, then fell in ashes, and
the stems stood up bare in the midst of smoke and vapour.
All the people within sight gathered round, hallooing and rushing
about. A second bush was soon consumed, and a third took fire.
"Who did it? Who set the heath alight ?" was the cry.
Never mind who did it. Try to put it out !" cried Walter.
But it was easier to try than to succeed. At last, however, the
object was accomplished; the fire sunk. Every one stood watching
its death, and then three cheers were raised for the victory
Walter now thought of his sister, but as he turned he fomnd
her close behind him, searching among the blackened stumps of one
of the bushes in company with an old gipsy woman in a red cloak,
who cried and talked by turns, and soon made him understand that
c the dear young lady was helping her to look for her kettle and
saucepan; and here were some of the pieces of melted tin; and oh
dear! it was all she and her husband could do to save themselves
when the flames burst out upon them just as they had made the kettle
boil on their little fire for tea, so quiet and pleasant among the bushes."
E Here's the old woman that set the heath a-fire shouted a boy.
Come on, dame! never mind the kettle and things!" said a dark
man who stood by, the gipsy's husband. Come on, I say !"
But twenty voices echoed the first boy's shout, and in an instant
the gipsies were surrounded and seized. Take them to the station-
house!" cried one. Cool them in the pond if they're too hot!"
roared another; and the mob began to drag. them towards the water.
'he old woman's cloak was torn from her back, and the man's coat rent
to pieces in their struggles. Janey shut her eyes in horror at the sight,
while Walter, assisted by two of the workmen, tried in vain to save
them; they were on the very brink of the pond, when a boy, with a
ragged jacket, fought his way into the midst of the crowd, shouting
with all his might, Stop, I tell you! I set it on fire!"
There was a pause, but the boy had to deal and take blows in
every direction; had lost his cap, and every remnant of his jacket,
and received two black eyes, before the gipsies were saved, and then
it required a vigorous onslaught from Walter and the two workmen
to prevent the seizure of the boy in their place.
You shall not touch him!" cried Walter. Hear what he has
I tell you I did not mean to set it a-fire; but I was making a
bonfire along with Dick Furmiger and Jem Stubbs, and it caught the
bushes unawares. Worse luck for me !"
There was something comic in the boy's voice and manner which
contrasted so strangely with his deplorable appearance that Walter
could not help laughing, and the laugh was contagious; several
joined in it, and a better humour began to spread among the crowd.
They said he was an honest fellow to tell, and began to disperse in
Surely," said Walter, looking at the ragged hero who had rescued
the gipsies at no small risk to himself, I must have seen you before."
"' That you have, Master Lumley," he replied, pulling his hair in
front for want of a hat to touch; "I am Peter as was stable-boy at
Squire Middleton's last year."
Walter remembered him directly as a very clever, obliging boy;
and as he knew that his father wanted such a one at that very time,
to clean the pony and help in the garden, he told poor Peter to follow
him home, and he would see if something could not be done towards
finding another place for him. Peter thanked him gratefully and
said he would, but shook his head and said he was afraid there was
no such luck for him." Janey had meanwhile stopped the lamentations
of the gipsy woman by telling her also to follow with her husband
the way that she and her brother were going. They accordingly set
off homeward followed by their three companions; and Peter further
established himself in their good graces by darting off back again to
the heath when they had left it half a mile behind, because he heard
the young lady regretting she had left her cowslips at the style, and
by appearing with them as they rang at their own gate.
The poor gipsies were dismissed in half-an-hour after a good
supper, the woman made happy by the present of a charming
cloak," as she declared, and by a kettle and saucepan that she said
her husband would make like new; and, further, by some money to
buy him another coat.
As to Peter, Mr. Lumley promised to ask his character, though
hle shook his head, and said, This Peter must have some bad fault,
or he would not have been so long out of place, and left to make
bonfires with idle boys." Peter only sighed and took his leave.
"It is as I expected," said Mr. Lumley, a few days afterwards
handing a note to Walter. "Mr. Middleton tells me that thougE
this was the cleverest boy he ever had, he was obliged to turn him
off because nothing could prevent his eating the fruit. He ate apples
without end, and nearly stripped the vines on the south wall of the
house. We cannot possibly take him."
Walter, however, begged hard for his poor friend, and Peter,
when he came to see if his character would suit, promised so faith-
fully never to touch the fruit, and talked so piteously about the
bad luck that had followed him ever since Squire Middleton turned
him off that Mr. Lumley took him into his service.
Never was a better boy than Peter. He was a favourite with all
the family and did his work admirably. His old fault, however,
caused him some trouble still, for whenever any fruit was missing he
was sure to be suspected. The strawberry-beds did not yield half as
much as usual, and every morning numbers of plants were found
robbed of their fruit. The gardener accused Peter, who vehemently
declared it was only his bad luck that made it happen, for he never
touched one; and Janey came to his assistance by giving it as her
opinion that it was the ducks, for that she had seen them from her
window late and early, when no one was in the garden, get through
a gap in the hedge and waddle on in a string towards the straw-
berries; so the gap was closed and no more plants were robbed.
A cherry-tree was completely stripped in an hour one morn-
ing, and this also was laid to Peter; but Walter said it was the
birds, and insisted on the gardener getting up with him at three
o'clock to watch. They lay in ambush in an old shed in the
orchard for some time, when they were startled by a sound of wings
and a chirping and chattering that was extraordinary, and perceived
a flight of blackbirds and thrushes, assisted by chaffinches and
sparrows innumerable, settle in a neighboring cherry-tree and
commence operations so vigorously that it would soon have been
bare also, if the gardener had not started from his concealment. A
very artistical man of straw, dressed in an old coat and hat, and
continually pointing a gun at the trees, prevented any more
robberies. The apples hung undisturbed, but even they caused a
suspicion of Peter one day. It chanced that Mr. Lumley, before his
morning's ride, noticed a bough so laden that he feared it would
break, but when, on returning, he led the gardener to it, carrying a
prop, not one was left.
Ah, Feter !" thought he: what an incorrigible boy that is!"
Walking on he met Mrs. Lumley with a basket of apples on her
arm. See," said she, "I gathered all these off a single bough, I
was afraid it would break." He cleared his throat and said nothing.
But when the walnut-tree was thrashed in autumn something
mysterious and suspicious really did occur. One day after dinner a
note came from Mr. Curzon's, the next neighbour of the Lumleys,
begging for a dish of walnuts, theirs having "all disappeared in
a strange manner in the night." The housekeeper was desired to
send some walnuts, but in a few minutes she begged to be allowed
to speak with her mistress, and declared, "not one was to be seen!"
They had been stored away in a room adjoining Peter's over the stable.
"This must be Peter !" said Mr. Lumley.
Walter and Janey would not, however, give up their protege
even yet. "cRemember the strawberries and ducks," said one;
" And the cherries and birds," said the other; And the apples and
my wife," thought Mr. Lumley. It was resolved to say nothing to
Peter till further inquiry was made, and to send him out of the way
by making him mount the pony and carry a brace of partridges and
a basket of grapes to his former master, whose vines had failed.
Peter sallied forth accompanied by Walter's dog, Ranger. He
had gone about three miles when he began to feel very hot and
thirsty, for though it was autumn the day was almost sultry; indeed,
as he thought to himself, "his mouth was parched up." As le
thought so his eye fell on the basket he carried, and the idea occurred
to him, "There are grapes in it!" He opened the lid to look.
They looked very tempting, and his mouth seemed more than ever
"parched." He took a large bunch out, and his finger and thumb
closed upon a fine juicy purple grape.
"No!" he exclaimed aloud, in his energy,--" no, I will not taste
even one of them. What am I about ? He dropped the fruit into
the basket again, and gave such a kick to the pony's side that he
reared and started, and would have thrown any rider less experienced.
Then he trotted on to Squire Middleton's; gave in his tempting
present, received a note to take back, and returned with a light
heart, happy in having resisted the temptation.
He was whistling as he rubbed down the pony, when a bell
rang so loudly as to sound even in the stable, and then he heard his
name called, and was desired to go to the library directly. There
le was thunderstruck by receiving his discharge from his master,
who sat in an arm-chair looking very angry, and told him to pack
up his things and leave the house that very night.
"' What have I done ? faltered Peter.
"Where are the walnuts, sir ?" said Mr. Lumley.
The walnuts! I don't know."
And the grapes ? I suppose you don't know! Read that note.'
Peter read, Thank you, my dear friend, for a brace of partridges,
accompanied by an empty basket, which I suppose had contained
something too tempting for your messenger to bring to me."
An empty basket!" cried poor Peter, dropping the note. I did
not even taste a single grape." He was desired to leave the room.
It was some hours afterwards that a humble request -was sent up
to Walter, that he would allow Peter to speak to him. Walter lis-
tened to the boy's protestations of his innocence, and to the whole
story of his temptation on the road, the spot where it occurred, and
the pony jumping for joy, as he might say, when he put the grapes
back in the basket. Walter went to Janey to consult her, and soon
afterwards they went out together. It was sunset when they re-
turned, and they found Peter with his little bundle on his arm,
waiting at the gate to bid them good-bye.
Stop, Peter," said Walter; "do not go till I come out again."
They went straight to Mr. Lumley's library. Mr. Curzon was
with him, and both were talking and laughing.
Actually it was the rats. There cannot be a doubt that all our
walnuts were carried off by the rats. The fellows are bringing up
the empty shells every night and laying them by their holes."
"Then it was the rats that took ours, father," cried Walter.
"And look here!" exclaimed Janey, holding up three large
bunches of grapes, some of them crushed and dusty, and to the stalk
of one of which was tied a card "with Mr. Lumley's compliments."
Peter had dropped them out on the road when the pony started.
Ranger found them for us under some large leaves."
Mr. Lumley rang his bell more loudly than in the morning, and
ordered Peter up. This time ,he came to be asked if he would stay
in his place. He joyfully agreed. Indeed, he was so grateful to his
young master and mistress, that he hoped he should serve them all
his life. He was never suspected again, and soon left off believing
himself to be doomed to ill-luck.
_ I I
THE VIlLAGE FAIR.
A STRANGE ADVENTURE.
Ir is merry in a family when there are many brothers and
sisters, but sometimes a child can make a very happy life fbr itself
without companions. Little Claude was one of these. He was an
only child, and his mother died when lie was but a baby, so he lived
alone with his father in an old house that had once formed part of
the wing of the Abbot's palace, when long, long ago, a monastery
stood on the green slope near the river. Some of the ancient trees
still lived and flourished around it, throwing a delicious shade on the
grass, and the rooks built and cawed in their tops, though the monks
that used to wander beneath were all gone. Very old weeping
willows hung over the river, and there was a mossy path between it
and their twisted roots and stems that looked dark even at mid-day.
Many hours of every day did Mr. Vernon, Claude's father, spend
in writing, and while he wrote Claude sat on a stool at his feet,
learning his lessons or reading, and never speaking a word unless he
observed that his father had finished for the present. Perhaps he
would have sat there all day had not his father sent him out to play
in the fresh air; then he would call his dog Rover, and they would
go together to that mossy path by the river. A boy used to com-
panions would have thought it very melancholy to spend hours alone
in that quiet place, with no sound but the gurgling of the water over
its pebbly bed, or the wind among the tree-tops, or a stray bird's
song; and only occasional glimpses of sunshine through the dark
green shade; but Claude had made all sorts of amusements for himself.
Sometimes he would set up a row of long-shaped green leaves, and
call them a class of children learning arithmetic and geography. Of
course he was the teacher, and he invented many plans to make them
understand. For this purpose he had large collections of seeds and
pebbles for counting, and traced maps of various countries on the
white sand at the water's edge. Sometimes he would imagine the
A STRANGE ADVENTURE.
thick moss at the roots of the willows to be a fairy forest; the insects
that ran in and out its inhabitants; the river to be the great ocean,
and the broken sandy banks, rocky cliffs. Then, if a white moth
chanced to flit over his tiny forest and rest on it for a moment he
would call it a spirit come with a message, and would make up all
sorts of stories, such as he often read. So he would go on till the
sound of Mr. Vernon's footstep made Rover start up joyfully from
some corner where he lay curled round in a sound sleep, and then
they would take long walks together through the woods or up the
hill-sides; and when they came home in the evening, Claude would
say his lessons and read with his dear father, and when lie lay down
to sleep at night in his little bed, he knew that the voice he loved best
in all the world would awake him in the morning. So he was a
very happy child. People called him a little dreamer, and said it
would never do to bring him up so, and perhaps they were right;
but a strange adventure, which I am going to relate, interrupted this
One day as he was walking down to his favourite haunt he
chanced to look up to the top of a chalky bank and saw among the
tall mulleins the face of Jem Stubbs, a neighboring cottager's son.
I can hear the music up here, Master Claude," said he.
"' What music, Jem ?"
Oh, at the fair. It's the last day of the fair, and only that I
have got no money, I should be there myself."
Being invited, Jem came sliding down the bank and enlarged on
all the wonders of the fair, till Claude began to long to go. He
went in and shook a little money-box that he had, till he made all
the money tumble out at a slit at the top, and found he had eleven-
pence. He then obtained leave to go with Jem and stay for an hour,
and leave being further obtained for Jem, they started for the fair.
The village was full of booths, shows, theatres, tents, and people.
Clauae and his companion were soon in the middle of the throng,
and the eleven-pence was quickly dispersed. They enjoyed the
delights of a peep-show; then saw the elephant and camels; then
bought some cakes for friends at home, and gave some to quiet a
little crying girl; then followed her and her sister into a booth,
where an old man had a table covered with toys for sale.
A STRANGE ADVENTURE
There was something about the old man that pleased Claude
exceediniy, and there were two little boys that handed down the
toys to him when he wanted them, and played by the side of the
table when they had nothing to do, and called him grandfather, to
whom he took a great fancy. The toys also were of a kind to charm
him. He bought a trumpeter for Jem, because Jem longed so much
for it; but as for himself, if he had had any more money he would
have liked a knight in armour, with helmet and spear, riding a
splendid horse. He fancied how he would make him go through the
ferns and underwood, and what adventures he should meet with on
the way. But when the old man brought out a puppet dressed in a
long loose gown and pointed cap, which he made to move its arms
and speak to the knight, giving him sage advice, Claude was even
more pleased. He knew very well the old man moved the arms and
spoke the words, but he chose to forget that, and stood leaning on his
elbow and gazing up at it, quite lost in delight. He did not even
notice that Rover had stolen the last of the little girl's cakes and
made her cry again, but Jem did, and exclaiming, Look what he has
done, Master Claude!" rushed off in pursuit of the thief.
So your name is Master Claude ?" said a man behind him.
Claude did not likh the tone in which this was saia, and looked
round for Jem.
"Your friend went that way," said the man, pointing.
Claude hurried off in the direction indicated, but did not see Jem;
the man, however, was again close behind him.
"Do you not see him ?" said he. "Let me lead you to him;"
and he took Claude's hand and led him on through the crowd.
Claude felt uneasy; neither Jem nor Rover were in sight, and
though he called and whistled, Rover did not come. He tried to
withdraw his hand, but the man held it fast; and when he tried to
stop, he felt himself dragged on. In a moment they reached a
carriage drawn up at one side of the street, the man opened the
door, lifted Claude in, seated himself by his side, and they drove
Let me out," screamed Claude.
"No, no, Master Claude; you must go home to your father."
"To papa! what is the matter? Is he ill? Oh, what is it?"
A STRANGE ADVENTURE.
Only be quiet. Ill! yes, to be sure, he's ill, frightened as he is
about you and your staying away such a long while."
A strange feeling came over Claude. He grew confused and
terrified with the idea that, perhaps, a long time had passed over
him while he was looking and wondering at the new and beautiful
things in the fair. He had read of such thiings happening. He sat
silent and stupified, and made no effort to cry out or get assistance.
At last he looked out at the window and saw a road lie had never
seen before. He was not going home.
Wicked man, let me go!" he cried again. But the man only
smiled and told him it was of no use to complain, for he could not
get away and must come with him. The poor boy was in despair.
He wept torrents of tears, he fell on the floor of the carriage
trembling and pale, and lost his senses. When he recovered it was
dark, and the carriage drove on still; his companion was trying to
soothe him, and telling him not to be so frightened, but it was of no
use. He felt as if he were in the power of some wicked magician,
who would carry him away, and never let him see his dear father
and his home any more. At last they stopped at a large house, and
then another man came to the window of the carriage.
"Ah, is it you?" said he to Claude's tormentor. "Master
Claude is found."
"I know he is. I found him at Wickhamn fair."
"I tell you he's asleep in bed. He had gone to the races."
The magician got out quickly, uttering an exclamation, and
quite forgetting his prisoner. Claude did not lose a moment, but
jumped out after him, and ran off into the darkness across some
grass; climbed a fence, got into a plantation, and continued to run lie
(lid not know where, only caring to get as far as possible from these
dreadful men, till at last, quite worn out with toil, he sank down by
an old tree-trunk and fell asleep.
The bright rays of the morning sun awoke him with a start.
He stared around, unable to comprehend his situation, and as one
recollection after another came, he felt most forlorn. He was but a
little boy, and never before had he been for a single night away from
his father. Then the confused apprehension that it was really some
long while since he went to the fair returned; perhaps there was
A STRANGE ADVENTURE.
more truth in fairy tales and the "Arabian Nights than people
thought. He was in a green wood, and not a living creature was
in sight. Quite desolate, he sobbed and cried for a long time.
Suddenly a church-clock at no great distance struck six. It was
the hour when his father was accustomed to call him in the morn-
ing; and the thoughts that came over him as he listened and counted
the strokes, though they bought fresh tears down his cheeks, yet
made him kneel on the grass, join his hands, and send up his morning
prayer to his Father in heaven. He felt stronger now, and looking
beyond the wood he saw the ploughmen with their teams in a neigh-
bouring field, beginning their work. There was something cheerful
in the sight, but he did not dare to go near them. He chose rather
to wander on, with a vague hope that he should come to a road and
see a sign-post that would direct him. Weariness and hunger,
however, overcame him towards mid-day, and while he was sitting
under a hedge, trying to take courage and go to a cottage he saw at
a distance and ask for food, he once more fell asleep.
There was a golden light over everything when he opened his
eyes again. He was in a green lane, and at a little distance he saw
a wooden house on wheels, drawn up close to the hedge. A horse
grazed beside it, and an old man and two boys were seated on the
grass near, at tea. The old man was cutting thick slices of bread-
and-butter, which he handed to his young companions; and as he
lifted his head, Claude recognized the seller of the toys that had
pleased him so much at the fair, with his two grandsons, and felt as
if he had found some friends. He hastened up to them and told
them his strange story, which seemed to surprise them very much;
they remembered him, and told him he had been inquired after by a
little boy with a dog, and later in the day by a gentleman. Claude
asked how long it was since it happened.
Why, bless your heart, master," said the old man, it only
happened yesterday. This time yesterday evening I packed up my
goods and left Wickham fair, and since that time we have travelled
just twenty miles. But sit ye down by us here, and have some
bread-and-butter with the boys. You look very pale and badly."
Claude gratefully accepted this kindness, and seemed to regain
his courage when he found that he was within twenty miles of his
A STRANGE ADVENTURE.
home. He inquired the way, but determined not to start till day-
break next morning, for it was growing dark, and his new friends
pressed him to remain in the wooden house all night. They began
to clear away and to prepare their beds, and one by one the stars
came out. Claude sat watching them, thinking of his father and
longing to be able to see him once more and assure him ihe was safe.
..Suddenly he started to his feet. That bark!-surely he
knew it. . There it was again,-it came nearer,-a dog
rushed up panting and whining with joy, jumped on him, and licked
his hand. It was Rover! And now a voice behind made his heart
beat violently. It was, indeed, his father's I
You may suppose how happy Claude was, and how Mr. Vernon
thanked the kind old man, and how affectionately Claude took leave
of him and his grandsons, before he went to the neighboring village
inn with his father. Mr. Vernon soon explained the mystery of
what had happened to him. A gentleman of large fortune about
five-and-twenty miles from Wickham had lost his son. It appeared
this boy had gone to see some races, and had been found the evening
before; but one of the messengers sent in search of him not knowing
this, mistook Claude for him, probably misled by their names and
ages being the same, and carried him off. Mr. Vernon had followed
to this gentleman's house, suspecting what had happened from his
iinquiries at the fair; but found that Claude was missing again, and
all the night and day had been employed in searching for him.
They went home happily together, but Claude had received such
a shock that he became ill, and Mr. Vernon saw that he required a
change of scene; so they went abroad and travelled in many coun-
tries, and saw many fine cities and foreign people; and when they
:returned, Claude was less apt to dream, and would not so easily have
-allowed himself to be carried away by mistake, though he always
loved his books and his quiet, mossy path.
I d T~1$00,
HOE OI TE OLD
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
IT was a fine night in the beginning of September, and the two
great steam-ships of rival companies that leave St. Katherine's Docks,
below London Bridge, for Edinburgh twice a-week, were getting
up their steam; and passengers, accompanied by their friends and
relations to see them off, and bid them good-bye on board,
were thronging to the wharf. Among the crowd were three boys
going to spend their Michaelmas holidays in Scotland. Two were
brothers, Robert and James Campbell; the other was a school-fellow,
Charles Heath, who had been invited by their parents to accompany
them. Whatever might be the feelings of the rest of the passengers,
whether sorrow at parting with friends, cares, anxieties, or troubles,
hopes or fears, these three felt nothing but unmixed pleasure.
"Here's a ship, Heath!" cried Robert. "Didn't I tell you that
it would hold a dozen of the little paltry fellows that ply up and down
the river! Did I exaggerate?"
SYou might have said two dozen, I think. It's like a town! why,
to stand here by the wheel and look forwards, one can hardly
believe one's eyes."
I wish they would be quick and get off," said James. "The
other steamer will take the lead if they don't mind. There's the
first bell, and up goes their light to the mast."
"There's our first bell now, and our light is hoisted up," said
Robert. "But look! the other fellow has got a green light on one
paddle-box and a red on the other; and there goes his second bell!"
"They're fixing our paddle-box lights now though," said James;
" and there goes our second bell!"
All was excitement now watching the proceedings of the other
steamer. The third bell had rung in each ship; all the friends and
relations were gone ashore; the ladders, by which they had mounted,
were pulled away; a long line of sailors was hauling at ropes, and
the head of the vessel began slowly to move away from the wharf,
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
when a sound of rushing waters, like a mill-wheel, was suddenly
heard, and the rival steamer swept past looking as if she were
illuminated for some gala, with her three bright lamps of different
colours and light streaming out of every port-hole, and from the row
of windows at her stern.
"There she goes!" cried Robert. "But never mind, we shall
soon catch her up and pass her. We shall be at the end of our
voyage hours before her, trust me."
Five minutes more, and the rushing sound of the wheels and
vibration of the vessel told them they also were off, and then came
the orders of the pilot fast and clear, and they steered through the
forests of masts on either hand, lighted by the stars, and the windows
of the houses on each side of the river, and the many lamps and
lanterns of the vessels at anchor. It did not seem dark, though there
was no moon; and the absence of all the small boats that throng the
Thames by day made the navigation, difficult as it was, less difficult.
There was, however, excitement enough to keep the three boys up
till past eleven; and it was not till, according to Robert's prophecy,
they had passed the other steamer, that they began to feel too sleepy
to stay on deck any longer, and went below where they clambered
and crept into their berths with many a laugh at the oddness of these
not very comfortable kind of beds, and slept like tops.
They were up again, the first of all the passengers, at half-past
five in the morning-a bright, breezy morning-when the decks
were still wet after their regular washing, just in time to see the sun
rise out of the sea. Crowds of shipping dotted the surface of the
waters, their white sails spread to catch the wind; some heavily
laden, steering for the mouth of the Thames, others light after
discharging their cargoes in London, outward-bound again. They
were off the coast of Essex. There was so much to enjoy that they
even forgot that they were very hungry; but by the time that a great
proportion of the gentlemen and a few of the lady passengers had
come up, and the bell rung at nine o'clock, they were very glad to
go to breakfast in the large handsome saloon. Such a breakfast!
much more substantial than at school, to which they did ample
justice; but had to rush up in a hurry to see Loestoff, past which
they steered so close that every object was distinctly visible; and
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
then in about an hour they were in Yarmouth Roads, with sand-
banks on either hand; and then close to Yarmouth, where they took
in some passengers, and could see the yellow sands and bathiig-
machines, the whole extent of the town and the green country
behind it. But it was not long before they took leave of land with
Cromer, in Norfolk, and while crossing the Wash, saw nothing on
every hand but sea; so now there was time to make friends with
some of the gentlemen, romp with some children, play with a dog,
read a little, feel sleepy, eat a good dinner, see the sun set, ana at
last as it began to grow dark they could distinguish the light on
Flamborough Head, in Yorkshire.
Their eyes opened next morning on the day that was to bring
them home-a happy day-and bright and fresh it was as if to give
them a welcome. They had had a quick and prosperous passage,
and found themselves off the dark rocks of Durham, when they ran
up on deck. Charles Heath, who had never seen any coast but that
of the south-east of England, with its white chalk cliffs, was enchanted
with the view; the steep brown rocks, the dark blue sea, the bright
green slopes that crowned the cliffs, the sea-birds with their wild
cries hovering over head, or flying past in flocks or diving into the
water, or swimming on its surface, all were new to him. Then came
the coast of Northumberland, not so bold, but sloping down to the
beach with green and cultivated land; here and there varied with
rocks. Then they passed the ruins of Dunstonbury Castle, and the
fine old Bamborough Castle and the Fern Islands, and they thought of
Grace Darling; and then saw Holy Island and the ruins of St.
Hilda's Convent, and Robert began to spout Marmion, and think
of poor Constance, and the bell that tolled for c the death of a dear
And now they could see the mouth of the Tweed, and could
distinguish the bridge across it like a white line, and trains passing
looking like children's toys set running over a carpet, and the town
"Now we're off the coast of Scotland. Welcome to good old
Scotland, Heath !" said Robert. There it is! Now you shall soon
see what rocks are!"
On went the good ship, so fast and so near the land that the view
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
changed continually like one of the moving dioramas we have all
seen, with the grand addition of the ever-moving sea and the fresh
delicious air; and now St. Abb's Head, the entrance to the Frith of
Forth, was in sight.
"Now, Heath, did I not tell you that Scotland was a famous old
country? There are rocks for you! Look at them! Shouldn't
you like to grope into some of those caves, and clamber up the
broken cliffs to the grass at the top where the sheep are feeding?
And you shall, too. We'll get my father to bring us here, and have
a boat and row in and out of the little bays."
Heath was in raptures enough to satisfy even his two friends,
and that is saying a great deal. They rounded the point and entered
the Frith, and could distinguish the Bass Rock standing up in the
midst of the waters, and the beautifully-formed, wooded, conical
hill, called North Berwick Law, in the distance. They passed rock
after rock on the romantic coast; they saw more and more sea-birds,
with the addition of large flights of solan geese; and then they passed
close by the dark mass of rock called the Bass, looking quite white
in some parts with these geese which live on it, with green grass on
other parts dotted with sheep, and could see the remains of some
buildings where once the Scottish Covenanters were imprisoned;
and on the shore opposite the grand ruins of Tantallon Castle where,
in older times still, thle Douglases lived in feudal state.
All eyes were on the stretch now to catch the first view of the
beautiful capital of Scotland; and it was not long before the hills that
form its background were seen dark against the sky, with their wild,
varied forms, and, foremost among them, Arthur's Seat looking in the
distance like a crouching lion, and the sloping rocks of Salisbury
"There it is! There is Edinburgh, Heath!" cried Robert and
James at once. "You shall go to the top of Arthur's Seat before
many days are over," continued Robert, and you shall see Holyrood
Palace at the foot of it, and we'll bring you home by the path that is
cut down the Crags. Oh, you will enjoy it!"
Heath looked as if he were ready for all the pleasures they could
propose for him.
Nearer and nearer they approach, and every minute the scene
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
appears more beautiful. They pass the island of Inchkeith with a
light-house on it. They pass the pier and harbour of Leith; and
now they see Edinburgh Castle towering high on the rock that rises
from the valley in the midst of the city; and the green Calton Hill
with its pillars and monuments; and behind them the old town of
Edinburgh, most ancient and picturesque, with very tall, irregularly-
shaped houses, crowded together; and multitudes of spires and
towers, and in especial St. Giles' Church tower, shaped like a crown;
and in front stretching downwards towards the sea and far away on
each side the long, handsome streets that compose the New Town;
and behind all, rising above the ancient and the modern city, there
were the dark hills they saw first. Heath declared he had never
seen such a beautiful place in his life, and those who have travelled
in many countries and seen many beautiful places will often say the
But now the three boys must hurry to the forecastle, for a gun is
to be fired to announce the arrival of the ship, and it goes off with a
most satisfactory noise, loud enough to drown any of the little shrieks
of the ladies who fancy the boilers have exploded; and the pier of
Newhaven is left behind, and Granton Pier, where they are to land,
is so near that they can see people and carriages waiting there-yes!
there they see dear and well-remembered faces-Mr. Campbell, the
father of Robert and James, is standing watching their approach, and
the little boy he holds by the hand, who is capering with joy and
waving his cap energetically, is their brother Edward. You may be
sure that they wave caps in return and shout and point to Heath, and
make him find out these new friends, and that when the great ship is
brought up to the pier they are among the first who rush to the foot
of the ladder to receive the warm shakes of the hand that welcome
them to Scotland, and to hear news of all home affairs.
A general bustle, and scattering and hurrying, in the midst of
porters, luggage, cabs, and noddies, now take place, and our three
friends with Mr. Campbell and Eddy are soon seated in the train
that will take them very near to their home, which lies a mile or two
from Edinburgh in view of the sea. They cannot walk from the
station there,-they run; and they find Mrs. Campbell, and Isabella
and Maggie, waiting for them at the gate.
HOME FOR THE IIOLIDAYS0
High as had been their expectations, they spent their holidays so
happily, that it may be said they were as nearly realized as any
expectations ever were. They had the pleasure of showing Heath
all the sights and wonders of the town and country near, and he was
as much delighted and astonished as their hearts could desire; and
being a large party at home, they had many merry games, amongst
which a favourite pastime was acting charades. They invited Mr.
and Mrs. Campbell to see one. Maggie and Isabella, carrying an
olive-branch and wreath, represented the inhabitants of a besieged
town; Heath, with his jacket off, spurs, paper cap, feather, and
sword, fiercely mounted on James, was the enemy; Eddy, beating
an iron pot, preceded Robert, the Herald, wearing a brown jar on
his head, blowing a trumpet, and bearing a flag of truce. Robert
was next, a Swedish peasant thrashing rye, with his two sons; his
wife was kneading rye bread, and his children eating large slices.
Robert, as Sir Walter Scott, now received all the rest as a party
of tourists, and showed the scutcheons of his ancestors painted on the
Herald was the first," said Mr. Campbell. Rye, the next"
Heraldry the whole," added Mrs. Campbell.
When the time for returning to school came round they carried
away with them a stock of health and pleasant recollections that
served to give them energy for their work.
-- .,- --- -. -
~\ \ 5 \
IT is difficult for a traveller among the beautiful valleys ot the
south of Scotland, within ten miles of the Border, to imagine that
only three centuries since they were often the seat of war; sometimes
invaded by English armies; sometimes sending out their male
population to cross the frontier and ravage England; sometimes laid
waste by the feuds of their own barons. England and Scotland are
now united under one peaceful government; the castles of the
turbulent barons have either disappeared altogether or remain only
as picturesque ruins; the mansions of the possessors of the soil are
built for comfort and enjoyment instead of defence, and stand in the
midst of fine parks, with pleasure-grounds and spreading trees; the
fields, where armed men used to gather, bear rich crops; the hill-sides
are dotted with thousands of sheep; the banks of the rivers, and the
deep glens which once served by turns as hiding-places for the
terrified inhabitants and as covers for lurking robbers and murderers,
now afford delight to many a wanderer under the shade of the lovely
woods that clothe them; thriving towns and villages rise every here
and there, the cottages of the labourers and shepherds are remarkable
for comfort and cleanliness, and a more intelligent and industrious
peasantry it would not be easy to find. The whole district, as it is
now and as it once was, might be taken as an example of the
blessings of peace and love taking the place of war and hatred.
One warm e evening in summer, three children, after a long ramble
in the woods, had stopped to rest by the banks of one of the clear
rivers that are plentiful thereabouts. In the opposite bank, far above
their heads, there were two caves in which it is said the old men,
women, and children, used to hide themselves when their homes were
burned, and they were afraid of being caught and cruelly put to
death; but now there was nothing to fear. No sound was heard but
the cooing of the wood-pigeons and the rippling of the stream, and
now and then the chattering and laughter of the two younger
children; the eldest lay on the grass lazily watching the fishing-rod
wnich he had made of a stick and string with a crooked pin at the
end. As to fish, he caught none, but he did not care for that, nor
indeed observe it. His thoughts were far away, dreaming over all
sorts of strange fancies. These children lived with their grandfather,
old Walter Kerr, who was forester to one of the richest noblemen of
the country; and because Andrew, the eldest, was a handsome and
clever boy, he was often noticed by the company who visited his
young lord; he greatly admired their manners and ways, and wished
he could make his fortulie and become a gentleman, and go out
shooting, hunting, and fishing. In short, Andrew was rather an idle
boy, and never had been steady to any work.
How dark it is, Davie!" said the little girl to the brother who
sat by her. Surely we should gae hame."
"But see, Jeanie, how the fish are leaping all over the water!"
It's heavy rain," cried Andrew, starting up. Come away
hame; and as he spoke a peal of thunder rolled over the woods,
echoing loud and long among the distant hills.
The children began to clamber up the bank, catching by tree-
stumps, ferns, and heather, while the storm increased and the rain
rattled among the leaves. A bright flash of lightning frightened
Jeanie, and made her cry; and while Andrew was comforting her,
they were startled afresh by the sound of loud screams at no great
distance. Andrew seized Maggie by the hand, and began to scramble
towards the spot from which these alarming sounds came, and Davie
followed as fast as he could, though he declared he was feared, and
wished Andrew would come hame and not seek to see what was the
They presently emerged upon a road which crossed the edge of
the wood, and found a carriage overturned; a lady, her maid, and a
little girl, who had apparently been extricated from it standing in
the rain, which now fell in torrents, and the postilion and a servant
busied about the frightened horses. It was the maid who screamed
so loudly at every flash, but no one appeared to be seriously hurt.
0, my lady! there are some children come up. Perhaps they
can take us to some house or cottage," cried she. "Oh! oh! there
it is again!"
Andrew instantly offered to take them all to his grandfather's.
Your ladyship had better go with them," said the servant, after
speaking to the postilion. "The carriage cannot go on to-night.
We must take it to the next town to be mended, and we can bring
it for you in the morning, my lady. The postilion knows where they
Thanking Andrew, therefore, for his offer, the lady told him to
show them the way, and he led them through another wood up a
bank still steeper than that by which he had just brought his brother
and sister to the road, helping them with great care and intelligence
through the difficult path, which nothing but their fear. of the storm
could have induced them to attempt. They were wet to the skin,
their dresses torn by catching on briars and branches, and they had
often slipped and stumbled over large stones or points of rock before
they, at last, reached an open space, and saw before them an old
castle apparently in ruins.
What a dreadful, frightful place!" cried the maid. Surely,
my lady, you will not go in there. We shall all be robbed and
The lady hesitated a moment, and asked Andrew rather angrily,
why he brought them to a ruined place ?
"My grandfather is my lord's forester," he replied, and lives
in the old tower. Please to go up the stair, my lady."
As Andrew spoke, an old man with white hair appeared at the
arched door-way, having been warned of what had happened by
Davie and Jeanie who had run up to him. His appearance and
another loud clap of thunder soon made the strangers forget their
scruples and gladly accept his hospitable invitation to "come in."
They all went up the fine old stone staircase, and were cheered by
the sight of-a bright fire in a comfortable wainscoted room, where
the forester's wife, a pleasant, tidy-looking old woman, received them
very kindly. Often did the lady say afterwards that she never
could forget the reception this old couple gave her that night, nor the
cleanliness and comfort that she saw in their dwelling; the good beds,
the white linen, the rows of bright plates, and the shining tin; the
substantial, clean night-dresses which the old woman lent to them,
the careful way in which she dried their clothes, and the plentiful
breakfast she provided on the following morning.
When, after it was over, and the carriage was expected every
minute to take her on her way, the lady began to think how she
could show her gratitude for so much kindness, she felt at a loss.
These were not people to whom it was possible to offer money. She
looked round in perplexity, and her eyes fell on Andrew, who, charmed
with her grace and beauty as she sat holding her pretty little girl by
the hand, stood gazing at her.
"What shall you do with this fine boy?" said she. -
He's but an idle fellow, I fear," replied the old man, shaking his
head. "I cannot get him to fix to any work."
Let me take him to London," said the lady. I will make him
my page, and if he is honest and faithful he shall be advanced to a
good service in my family."
The forester had heard from the lady's servant her name and
rank; still he hesitated. Davie and Jeanie clung to their brother;
and the grandmother declared she could not part with her boy. But
Andrew, who longed for change, and fancied that now his dreams
were about to come true, and that he should rise to be a gentleman,
implored to be allowed to go: so, in another hour, he was seated
behind the carriage with the servant on his way to England.
Many and many a thought of Andrew did the old couple have
as they sat by their fire in the winter evenings, and many a time
did the two children long for him back. A letter had come from
the lady a few weeks after he went to say that he was well and
gave her satisfaction, and then they heard no more for months. He
could write well, and they felt he ought to send them some words of
his own. At last he did write shortly, sending them part of his
wages; again after some months the same, and then they heard no
more of him. They heard his lady was gone to foreign countries,
and that he was gone with her. The old man would sigh some-
times and say, that if Andrew had taken to his own business he well
believed my lord would have taken him on to succeed him, for he
had been fifty years in his service, and feared he must give up before
Davie was old enough to succeed him. Davie was a good boy, and
went out to harvest-work or anything he could find to do, and
Jeanie grew to be a strong, active girl and a great help to her grand-
mother; but still they heard nothing of Andrew
It was one cold winter night when the snow lay on the ground
that they had gathered round their fire. The moon shone brightly
through the frosty window-panes, but they had no other light except
the fire, which burned with a red glow. The owls hooted round the
old walls and gave their wild, mournful cry; and, somehow, all the
party round the fire felt sad, and as if some bad news was coming
It's a night to make us think of the bogle and the ghaists that
they say haunt the old place," said Jeanie; but long as I've lived
here I never saw one of them."
As she spake, the door opened slowly. No one had heard the
latch of the lower door raised, and yet it could not be done very
softly, for it was heavy. But the person that came in was not a
bogle or a ghost. It was a shepherd wrapt in the black and white
checked plaid which they all wear, and followed by his two dogs.
He looked, however, in the dim light pale and melancholy, and asked,
in a low voice, if they would give him a night's lodging, as he had
brought them tidings of a friend.
Is it of Andrew ?" said the old woman. My boy! Is he
come to harm ? 0, sir, he's dead!"
It's Andrew himself cried Jeanie, throwing her arms round
the stout young stranger. "It's Andrew come hame to us."
0 grandfather can you forgive me all my coldness of heart ?"
cried Andrew. And can you all love me, and let me bide among
my own people the rest of my life?"
There was no need of words to tell him that he was as welcome
and as much loved among them as the day he left them. Tears,
kisses, and close embraces, hearty shakes of the hand, and expressions
of affection, only gave way to the bustling preparations to set a hearty
supper before him, heap logs on the hearth, and set him down in the
midst of them. Even his dogs came in for a share of affection,
After supper, when they were able to think and listen, Andrew
told them all his story. He said that he served the lady for two
years, and believed he had pleased her pretty well; but that all the
sights and wonders of London, and all the grandeur of the house he
lived in, and all the new friends he made-for all the servants were
fond of him and good to him-so turned his head that he never cared
to write home, and yet he felt he _oved them all the time. But lie
always fancied that be should some day become a grand gentleman
himself, and should go home and surprise them and take them to live
with him in a great house. Davie and Jeanie laughed heartily at
this confession, and Andrew could not help joining in the laugh.
It happened, however, Andrew went on to say, that his lady took
a journey to the north of England, and as soon as he set eyes on
the hills, he took such a great longing to go back to them, that he
wondered at himself for ever having gone away, and all his dreams
faded away. So he bought a suit of country clothes, left his page's
livery behind, wrote a little note, which he hoped his lady would
read, to tell her he could not stay any longer away from his own
country, and fairly ran away. It was very foolish,-that he knew
He ought to have spoken and given his reasons, but he feared his
lady would persuade him to stay, or be angry with him, and he could
not resist his wish to go home again. And yet, when he was free
and could do what he liked, he was ashamed to come home, a poor
runaway boy, to disgrace them all; so he worked in the fields, for it
was harvest-time and labourers were wanted; but after that he suf-
fered many hardships for a while. At last, however, he got a shepherd to
befriend him and take him on for an assistant, and he worked so hard
day and night to serve his master, that he got to trust him with the
sheep by himself, and he had good wages and had saved a little
money. This was in Liddesdale, and he had been there for four
years, but at last he felt such a yearning to see them all once more
and ask if they would forgive him, that he got leave to walk over
the hills and see them; and now that he had seen them he should be
so grieved at heart to leave them again, that if work could be got
for him hereabouts he would give up his present place and stay with
them, and never leave them more.
Old Walter Kerr went the very next day to his lord, and came
back with a promise, that Andrew should be taken, as his assistant,
and if he proved capable of the duty should be forester next year;
while the long faithful services of Walter himself should be rewarded
'by receiving his full salary during the remainder of his tife.
/4 'i t
IjE VILLA.u -BG --OOL I
M M A:____________________________-
J. P. LVA LI
IL- ,-_~.. ZI----
PAUL AND HIS MOTHER.
THERE was a poor widow who lived in a very small cottage
with her little boy, her only child, whom she had to support by her
labour. It was hard work, but she loved him so dearly that she
would not have given him for all the riches in the world. His name
As Paul grew old enough to observe and think, he felt how good
his mother was, and began to take care of her in his turn, and tried to
help in any little way he could. Paul was, therefore, the comfort of
his mother's heart, but what troubled her most in the world was,
that she could not afford to send him to school. "I am no scholar
myself," she would say, but I want him to be one." Whenever
she got any new work she always fancied she could manage it, but
it was sure to happen that some want that was more pressing pre-
vented her. Paul was as anxious about it as she was. He longed to
go to school like other boys. It was true the schoolmaster was said
to be severe and very fond of flogging, but he did not mind that.
He knew he wanted to be a scholar and meant to behave well, so he
did not fear.
At last Widow Anderson-for that was her name-got a day's
washing once a fortnight in a gentleman's family, and this enabled
her to afford the schooling; but after Paul had gone on for a month,
his poor mother was seized with rheumatism and obliged to give up
her washing, and he therefore had to leave.
Paul nursed his mother very carefully, and tried to amuse her
with his merry stories, when she began to fret about him. Then he
managed to make a few pence by taking turns with another boy in
frightening the birds from the corn, or running errands, or holding
a gentleman's horse. He was but a little fellow, but he was older
than his years in sense and activity. When his mother got better,
she was taken back to do the washing in the gentleman's family, and
the young ladies gave her nice warm flannels to prevent her catching
cold again. So now Paul's schooling began once more, and he made
PAUL AND HIS MOTHER.
rapid progress. He would not have been idle for the world, he knew
%o well what hard work it cost his mother to pay for him.
The old schoolmaster was highly pleased with Paul; still he could
not believe that a boy could be brought up without flogging, and a
little argument on this subject used to go on between him and the
widow whenever they met.
I am sure," said he, as he sat by her fire one cold evening in
winter, it's all I can do to manage the boys, flog them as I will. I
chide them daily, but without rod and cane I could do nothing with
"Well, I don't like your floggings and canings. I don't hold
by them nohow," replied she. I never lifted my hand upon Paul,
as I have told you, Mr. Wilson, and you will not see many more
obedient children, though I say it that shouldn't say it."
Take my word for it, Mrs. Anderson, you will find it needful to
resort to chastisement some day. Sooner or later you will. As to
me, it's hard and difficult for me to keep my patience with them, and
I am so kept awake at nights with poor Mary's cough, that I am
weary often before the day is over."
The Christmas holidays will soon be here," said she, and I
hope Mary will get better. She's a good girl."
"She is a good girl. There's never a morning, ill as she is, but
what she takes care to see that I have my warm slippers ready for
me because the school is cold; and she still makes me the little cakes,
and puts one in my desk for me to eat when the boys go out at
twelve o'clock, lest I should feel faint. Oh, she is a good girl;" and
poor Mr. Wilson sighed deeply.
Come here, Paul," said the widow; you must be a good boy
and not be a trouble to your master."
Paul, who was busy peeling a stick, said he would try."
Yes, yes, he's a good boy, and learns well; but do not forget
my words, neighbour. Good night. Mary will be waiting supper for
me:" and so saying the schoolmaster took his leave.
As the holidays approached, the poor old man's temper was more
and more tried, for the boys thought of nothing but play. It
happened that one morning, about half an hour before the usual hour
of dismissal, the master, wearied with the idleness of his pupils, and
PAUL AND HIS MOTHER.
worn out with nursing his sick daughter the night before, fell fast
asleep in his chair just after he had put Jack Roper in the corner,
and threatened Jem Evans with a sound whipping.
Jem, who was spelling out his lesson, went bungling on for some
time without perceiving what had happened, but surprised at
receiving neither corrections nor boxes on the ear, he ventured to
look up and soon discovered the cause. His discovery was speedily
communicated to his companions, and produced a great effect in the
school. Jack Roper issued forth from his corner immediately; two
boys, who had been holding a quarrel in words for several minutes
commenced a fight, taking care, however, to fight silently; nearly all
rose from their seats, and upset chairs, knocked down books,
ransacked baskets, and threw about caps; some opened the cupboard,
but found nothing there except a little ground coffee; one put on the
master's spectacles, and a whole set gathered round his chair pointing
at him, and turning him into ridicule. A few continued to do their
sums or learn their spelling, but the idle ones began to tease them,
and try to hinder them. Paul, who had finished learning his, did
not join in the mischief, partly because he had no taste for it, and
partly because it was the greatest dunces who were most forward in
it, but he could not help laughing heartily at the pranks they were
playing, and especially at the solemn face of Tom Atkins in the
spectacles. He soon saw, however, that some of them had opened
the master's desk, and begun to ransack it, and that one had laid
hands on his cake. A vision of poor Mary with her bad cough
making that cake with her thin white hands, to prevent her old father
from feeling faint, rose before him in a moment.
You're not to take that," he said, in a loud whisper. Help me
to stop them, Hugh!" he went on, touching a boy who stood near
him, and who like him had not joined in the confusion.
"Who are you? A sneak!" "Better wake him and have us
flogged!" "Mind your own business!" and such sort of exclama-
tions, were echoed on all sides at this interruption.
I don't care! you shall not take it!" said Paul, to whose mind
the vision of Mary had brought a feeling of the true cause of the
poor old man's sleepiness, and a pity for him; and he jumped on the
table, seized the cake, and shut the lid of the desk. At that moment
the master awoke.
PAUL AND HIS MOTHER.
Every boy was in his place in an instant except Paul, who stood
on the table with the cake in his hand.
"What are you about there, sir?" cried the master in a rage,
and he seizedPaul roughly, shook him, and gave him a blow that
sent him reeling from the table to the floor. "Take that, you thief!"
"I am not a thief!" said Paul.
"You are a liar too, then!" said the master. Here are the
effects of no rods, you see!"
Paul coloured scarlet. He could bear the unjust accusation of
himself better than the taunt to his mother. He looked round at
the boys reproachfully, but no one ventured to speak.
"You shall have your first flogging to-day, sir said the master,
Paul turned pale and trembled. He had not been hardened by
severity, and he felt the degradation as well as the terror of his
situation, still he could not bring himself to tell the real state of the
case and expose the others; he only said, "I don't deserve it!"
He does not deserve it," cried Hugh, and one or two other
voices repeated the words.
Whoever dares to take his part shall have a flogging too," said
the master, and not a word more was said. But, strange to say, after
the rod was brought down, and at the moment the punishment was
going to begin, the master held his hand; perhaps the boy's manner
puzzled him,-perhaps he respected the widow's feelings of dislike to
su ch punishments.
I shall not flog you," he said, it would do no good. You that
have always pretended to be one of the best boys in the school to set
such an example at the first opportunity! Go home to your mother,
and tell her to keep you all to herself, and not send you back here
any more. I expel you the school!"
Paul turned away and went out. His heart was bursting with
grief, and a large tear would roll down each cheek, but he dashed
them away. The rest of the boys were dismissed immediately
and gathered round him.
We really couldn't help it, you know! Never mind:: it's hot a
great hardship not to come here again!" said they.
"Get along!" cried Paul; "don't touch me, you cowards!" and
he pushed them violently from him, broke away, and rushed off into
PAUL AND HIS MOTHER.
the fields that were all white with snow. How dreary and wretched
he felt! To think that they should all be so mean, and Hugh among
them, that was his own friend! and then his mother, and all her
plans and hopes for him to be a good scholar, and how she had
worked for it,-and it had come to this! He threw himself on his
face on the snow, and cried bitterly for a long time.
At last he rose, and resolved to go home and tell his mother all
his grief. He knew she would believe him. He walked slowly
back, a sob often bursting from his heart as he went, but when he
reached the door he heard the schoolmaster's voice within, and could
plainly hear what he said,-
Ah, yes! of course he will deceive you. He will make you
believe whatever he likes. But take my word for it, Mrs. Anderson,
a boy will not do without flogging. Give him a good sound flogging
to-night, or he will grow up a liar and a thief."
"He'll make her believe it!" thought Paul to himself, and,
unable to bear the thought, he hurried back again to the snowy
fields feeling quite desolate. Hie wandered about, constantly saying
to himself, He'll make mother believe it! He'll make mother
believe it!" till he was stupified; at last he sat down near a pond
covered with ice, and began to feel sleepy from the cold.
He was roused by a voice that made him start, and then felt
himself raised and clasped tenderly in arms that he knew well. It
was his mother that had come to him, and he heard her say, Come
home, my poor dear boy! come along with mother!"
Poor Paul! how those kind words comforted him! He took her
hand and walked by her side, stiff, and shivering, and half stupified
still, but he felt he was going home, and that his mother did not
eve that story. It was almost dark. As they walked on a boy
near them for some time, and at last touched Paul's arm. It
"Get along, coward!" cried Paul.
Hush, Paul!" said his mother, whatever he has done you
must not speak so. When He was reviled, He answered not again.'
Have you forgotten?"
The poor widow was no scholar, but she remembered these
words. Paul held out his hand to Hugh.
PAUL AND HIS MOTHER.
"I want to make it up," said Hugh, wiping his eyes with the
sleeve of his pinafore; and if you will have a little patience, I
will try to put it right."
Paul did not answer except to say good night, for his mother led
him on, anxious to get him home. She made up her little fire; sat
him down by it; rubbed his frozen feet and hands, and made him
swallow some nice warm food she had prepared for him. He told
her all that had happened, and she did not doubt him; she told him
he was a good boy and had done his duty, and then she laid him
tenderly in his little bed, and watched him till he fell asleep quite
comforted and happy.
Next morning, as they sat at breakfast, a tap came at the door,
and the schoolmaster walked in. He looked more humble than
usual and stammered a little when he began to speak; but suddenly
holding out his hand he said, Shake hands and forgive me, Paul.
I did you great wrong yesterday."
Paul's face brightened, and he gave his hand to the old man in a
"Last night about eight o'clock," continued the master, "nearly
all the boys in the school came in a body to me, headed by Hugh
Simpson, and he spoke for them, and told me how it all was, and how
well you behaved. They said they would have spoken at once only
for fear of a flogging. I frankly confess, Mrs. Anderson, it has
partly changed my opinion about the good of the rod, but I don't say
I am convinced. However come to school again, my good boy, and
forgive and forget."
Paul went to school again gladly, and all went smoothly with
him. It was certain, too, that whatever the master said about not
being convinced, he used the rod less and less, and found that things
went on better instead of worse. He became very fond of Paul, and
when he was old enough to take a situation got him a good place as
assistant to a gardener, and so enabled him to make his mother com-
fortable and save her from care and hard work.
A CHARM IN THE WOOD.
A CHARM IN THE WOOD.
How vexatious to be sent off to the country in the beginning"
of May! Really, Adelaide, you provoke me by smiling."
We must go, Louisa, you know, as mamma has decided it; so
it is better to smile than to frown."
I shall frown, however. Now that every one is in town and the
Park so gay, and the Opera open; it really is too provoking !"
"But we cannot go to balls and parties yet for two years, and I
should not wonder "
"I should wonder very much if we liked it, if that is what you
were going to say. I mean to detest it.",
This conversation went on between Louisa and Adelaide Lenox,
while their maid was busy preparing for their journey to their
uncle's house in the country, where they were to spend two months.
They set out the following morning under the charge of a friend of
the family, neither of them in good spirits, and Louisa very much
out of temper; and this only increased as the day advanced, so that
after they had taken their seats in their uncle's carriage, which met
them at the station, they sat in moody silence. At last they turned
into a long avenue, at the end of which the grey walls of an old
house rose among tall trees.
What a dull, dismal-looking place!" said Louisa.
They were kindly received by their uncle, who led them to the
drawing-room, the door of which he threw open. Nothing dull or
dismal was there. A bright flood of light from the setting sun
streamed in at the open windows, showing smooth lawns, evergreens,
and woods beyond. Though it was May, a fire blazed in the hearth,
for the room was so large and lofty that, except in full summer, a
fire was agreeable. The carved-oak walls were hung with old
pictures; the carpet looked and felt like soft moss. There were com-
fortable sofas and chairs, and tables that looked very like town ones,
anc' on them plenty of books and several glasses of beautiful flowers.
A crowd of happy faces, with bright eyes and rosy cheeks, came
forward to receive the two strangers, led by their mamma, who
kissed her nieces affectionately, and introduced them to their little
A CHARM IN THE WOOD.
cousins. There was Rose, the eldest, and Emma next to her; then
Willie and Annie; then Frank and little Kitty; and there would
have been baby, only he was asleep in the nursery. Louisa and
Adelaide were then led up to one of the windows and introduced to
Laura and Helen Talbot, two young ladies of nearly their own age,
and to Arthur, their brother. Every one was kind and pleasant,
and everything cheerful. Adelaide felt at ease directly; but Louisa
sat silent and haughty, never speaking but when she was spoken to,
because she had made up her mind to detest it."
"How tiresome all those little things are!" said she to Adelaide,
when they found themselves alone in their comfortable bedroom.
Oh, I really think they are nice children. Rose is very pretty,
and Frank and Kitty are little darlings."
"I suppose you think the Miss Talbots beautiful and their
brother handsome. As to me, I think them very vulgar. Laura
is much too fat, and how badly Helen's dress was made."
While Louisa criticised the family in this manner, her uncle and
aunt, now left alone in the drawing-room, were talking of her.
Poor girl!" said Mrs. Vernon; "her mother may well be
anxious about her. How ridiculous her haughty manners make
her appear! I am quite sad about her."
"Do not despair," said Mr. Vernon. I hope the little goose
will come to her senses among our merry children, and with such
companions as Laura and Helen. I am mistaken, if a good heart
is not concealed under all that absurd pride."
Poor Louisa! She little knew the impression she had made.
A fortnight passed without much appearance that Mr. Vernon's
prophecy would be realized. Laura and Helen were almost tired of
trying to make friends with this fine young lady from town, and
Arthur declared she was quite intolerable. Little Emma, however,
who was a lively child, with no shyness in her nature, had been
attracted by Louisa's prettiness, and only laughed at her cross
speeches, so they ended by becoming good friends; and it was owing
to Emma's persuasions that Louisa consented to join a party to a
wood in the neighbourhood, which Arthur described as a famous
place for nightingales.
They set out on a fine afternoon, so as to reach the wood before
A CHARM IN THE WOOD.
sunset, when, as Laura said, "the birds sing their evemng hymn
before they go to sleep, nightingales and all; but after a few hours
rest the nightingales wake up again, and sing in the still night while
the rest are silent."
Oh, let us stay till they wake up and hear them in the still
night," cried Louisa, whose attention was excited by this account.
That would never do," said Arthur. We must be satisfied
with the evening hymn, as Laura calls it. The children must be
asleep in the night, like all the other little birds."
Louisa tossed her head and said, that of course Arthur would
thwart any wish of hers ;" and then declared that she could not walk
all the way, "she should be tired to death !" Mrs. Vernon, there-
fore, ordered out the pony-chaise to take her and little Kitty, who,
she feared, might also be over-fatigued. Louisa had provided herself
with a net to catch insects for her friend, Julia Manners, in London.
She said she expected no other pleasure in the wood.
Sall oo' take them back to London when oo' have caught
them?" inquired Kitty, as they drove along.
Yes, of course I shall," answered Louisa.
"And sall oo' let them out to fly about sometimes?" asked
Kitty again. Louisa gave no answer.
They drew up at the spot which Arthur had directed. There
was a white cottage near, at the door of which an old woman sat
peeling osiers for baskets. She was neatly dressed in a coloured
cotton gown and white cap, with spectacles on her long nose; and
her nose and chin almost met, for she had lost all her teeth.
What a frightful old woman." thought Louisa. She's like a
"How is all the good family at the Hall?" asked the poor witch.
"All well, Goody," answered the groom. "You'll see the
young masters and misses soon. They are going pleasuring in the
Oh the pretty dears!" said she. And this is Miss Kitty,
Sm the shay, and another beautiful young lady. Why, she's a picture !"
"What an impertinent old creature!" thought Louisa.
Bless your bright eyes," continued Goody; if you could bring
me a few roots of cuckoo's stockings out of the wood, they are won-
derful good for my cough."
A CHARM IN THE WOOD.
"Drive up and down a little, John," said Louisa. I never
heard of such forwardness," thought she. "Cuckoo's stockings!
What can the stupid old woman mean ? She must be mad !"
The rest of the party soon appeared, and Louisa and Kitty
alighted and joined them in climbing over a stile into the wood.
All the children nodded and kissed their hands to Goody, so
Louisa said nothing of what had passed before their arrival. I
suppose," thought she, "they would be quite offendect if I gave
them my opinion of their elegant country acquaintance."
Once in the wood, under the branching trees, clothed in their
young fresh leaves of every shade of delicate green, all felt in high
spirits. The children rushed down the glades and paths, each find-
ing one more tempting than all the rest, or something lovelier than
anything else. Sometimes they had to force their way through
tangled undergrowths, sometimes they came to more open places
where they could see, through the quivering leaves overhead, the
large white clouds sailing across the deep blue sky. Even Louisa
felt the charm.
At last they stopped in a hollow, where the trees receded from
one another, and numbers of wild flowers covered the ground.
Adelaide sat down on the grass to read a story to Rose and Franik,
Willie and Kitty began to gather immense bouquets to take home to
their mamma; Laura, Helen, and Arthur, taking little Annie with
them, climbed a steep bank to watch for the sunset; Louisa now
determined to try to catch some of the butterflies which she saw
flitting from flower to flower; Emma ran with her, and Arthur's
spaniel barked and bounded at her heels, but both rather hindered
than forwarded her object, and she tried in vain for some time.
I ill catch that pretty primrose-coloured one," she cried. It
has escaped so often that I am in a rage with it, and I will have it."
She sprang towards it, and made a plunge with her net; but her
foot caught in some long grass and she fell forwards. When she
rose, she saw the butterfly in the dust at her feet; one wing was
broken off, its tiny legs moved for an instant, and then it lay dead.
Louisa looked at it, all soiled and crushed as it was, with a strange
pang. How gay and full of life it was but a moment since!
Emma had been frightened at seeing her fall, and now began to
cry, and say, "Louisa why did you kill the poor butterfly ?"
A CHARM IN THE WOOD.
Louisa said nothing. She did not feel able to justify herself,
or to explain that she did not mean to kill it. She sat looking
at it, then at the merry children scattered about, and at Emma
who ran off to join them, and then felt how lonely she was,
and fixed her eyes once more on the dead insect. And now her
eyes wandered over the shadowy grass under the bushes, and the
beauty of a pale primrose, growing there sheltered from the sun's
heat, struck her. It was so strangely like what she had destroyed,
that if the butterfly had not lain there still, she could have fancied it
had found another kind of life. "I wish it could!" she sighed to
herself, and she took it up, blew the dust off its pretty wings and laid it
on the little flower. In doing this, she saw numbers of tall blue flowers
that grew there too, and seemed to bend their heads kindly towards
her. She wondered to see anything so lovely in a wood; they
looked like the hyacinths in her mamma's drawing-room; and she
wondered she did not see them before. How beautiful the world
is !" thought she.
She started up on hearing her name called aloud by Arthur.
Louisa! come to the concert, the nightingales will soon begin."
She scarcely liked to leave the beauty she had found in her little
nook; but to her surprise, beauty as great was all round her. On
one hand was a wild cherry covered with its silvery blossoms;
on another, a crab-apple with its white and pink flowers; hawthorn
and honeysuckle scented the air; the graceful briony hung its
festoons over the branches of the oaks, and the thrushes and blackbirds
with a hundred little choristers seemed to join in her delight; she
followed Arthur, silently wondering again how it was that she never
saw and felt these things before.
Adelaide and all the children had gathered together on the high
ground with Laura and Helen, and with fingers on their lips to
ensure silence, they welcomed Louisa to their concert- room."
"Oh what a sunset!" she whispered to Adelaide, and pressed
her hand while tears sprang to her eyes, she did not know why.
At that moment a nightingale poured out its rich wild song, the
notes swelling and ringing through the clear air and seeming to melt
away in the golden haze in the distance; then another, and another
caught up the song. Louisa did not know how long or how short a
time had passed while she listened in delight, when she lleard Laura
A CHARM IN THE WOOD.
say that they must go home; and as she turned to ask for "five
minutes more" she saw the full moon rising opposite to the glow left
by the setting sun.
"Did I ever see the moon rise before?" thought she, as
she motioned to her companions to look round. I do not think I
ever did. Oh, how beautiful the world is !"
As they went down the path on their way homewards, everything
seemed to grow more and more lovely in the moonlight, and Louisa
saw hosts of flowers, and began to express her surprise at the num-
bers of hyacinths. Those are harebells," said Laura, and they
grow wild in all the woods, but they are not the less pretty for that."
What a funny name the country people call them," said Arthur,
C cuckoo's stockings!"
Oh, that was what the old woman meant," cried Louisa, and
she went down on her knees and began to try to pull some of them
up by the roots. Arthur good-naturedly helped her with his
gardener's knife, and they soon collected a number and separated the
roots from the white stems and their flowers, which she gave to
little Emma. As they passed the cottage, Louisa tapped at the
door and delivered her contribution; Goody received it with a
fit of coughing, as if to show how welcome it was, and with
hearty thanks as soon as she recovered her breath.
"Bless her pretty heart!" said she, as she turned into her
cottage again. She is a picture after all. I thought she looked
proudfull in the morning, but I was wrong."
But Goody had not been wrong. A change had come over
Louisa's spirit in that short period, worked by causes seemingly
trifling, such as often work great changes in us all. The first effect
was to make her enjoy her country visit, and to open her mind and
heart to the good influences around her. Every one regretted her
when she went away; the children declared they loved her nearly
as much as Adelaide; and even Arthur said she was a nice
girl. Her mother was as much surprised as delighted by her
improvement when she returned home; but no one knew, except
herself, as she grew up to womanhood, how much happiness had
been added to her life by her taste for simple pleasures, nor how
much she owed to the dead butterfly and the humble flower which
first opened her eyes and made her feel how beautiful the world is !"
IT was a wild, stormy night; the wind swept across the moor,
and whistled among the fern and heather; a star would peep out
now and then between breaks in the clouds as they scudded across
the wintry sky; but there was no moon; and though it was but
seven o'clock it was quite dark, for the sun set three hours since; it
was icy cold too, and snow began to fall. On such a night people
draw near the fire in their warm rooms and say, How pleasant it is
to hear the wind outside, and to feel so snug and comfortable within!"
But when people say so, do they sometimes think of those who
are out in the storm,-of ships tossing on the wide sea,-of the house-
less who have no place to shelter their heads, and the poor who have
to toil and must brave the cold and the wind ? It is good for the
heart to let the fancy wander off to these sometimes, and not to rest
satisfied always by our own fireside.
On that wild December night a woman was making her way
across the dreary moor. She had been at work in the fields all day
and was going home; but in Northumberland, where she lived, the
farms are large and the cottages thinly scattered, and she had to
walk three miles morning and night to and from her work. The
last house she had passed was two miles behind her, and she had
thought as she passed how cheerful the lights looked in its windows;
but now she walked faster and with more courage, for she could
see another light glimmering through the falling snow far up on the
hill-side, and she knew it shone from her own little cottage, and that
she should soon rest and be with her children. "Poor things!"
thought she; it's lonesome for them all day; but I must earn their
What sound was that she heard ? It was like the voice of a boy
in distress. . There it was again coming from the depths of the
wild glen beneath! She shouted as loud as she was able, and her
shout was answered.
She began to clamber down the precipice, in the darkness and
storm, to help the poor boy. It is very difficult for those who
have never been as toil-worn as she was to know how great and
good an action she was performing. It was a task of difficulty,
and of some danger too. She hacd to cling by tree-stumps and
points of rocks; and slipped 'down steep laces, and had to catch at
ferns and branches to stop herself.. Every now and..then: she: called
aloud to the child, and by the answers she knew -she was getting
nearer and nearer to him; at last she seemed to have reached the
very spot where he must be.
"Hold out your hand and try to grip mine. Who are you, and
how did you come here ?"
A cold little hand soon caught hers and held fast by it. I am
little Dick from Granby Manor Farm; 'and I thought I could find
my way home by the river, but the waters are out with the floods
and the path's covered, and I lost myself; and then I was afraid to
move for fear I should be drowned, so I was going to sleep all night
in this tree, only I called out in hopes some one would hear."
"Keep fast hold of me, and we must try to climb up again."
Dick kept tight hold of his guide and climbed sturdily after her.
Why you're trembling with cold now," said she; you would
have been frozen before morning. You must come home with me."
By this\time they had reached the top of the, bank and stbod still
for a moment to take breath. The snow fell faster than before, but
through ir still beamed the welcome light on the hill-side above them.
"Thank you for coming to help me," said Dick. I am right glad
to be safe up on the moor again;-indeed, I do thank you heartily,"
and the boy's voice was full of gratitude; "but I want to go home."
It's five long miles to Granby, and mainly impossible for you to
go such a night as this; are you afraid your mother will be,
frightened about you ?"
Dick said he had no mother, only grandfather, and he would not
be frightened, for he did not know of his coming till to-morrow.
"And what's your grandfather's name ?"
Michael Holdfast; we came out of Suffolk with the squire last
year to settle at the Home Farm, when he came to live in this wild
country. I don't like it as well as the old place, for my part."
The woman grasped his hand convulsively and then put her arm
round his waist; but she did not speak. However, Dick felt as if
she led him on with her so resolutely that it was of no use to think of
-going .home. They climbed the hill-path silently, battling with the
wind and half blinded by the snow, till they stopped at the door of a
very small cottage or cabin built of rough stones, and she raised the
latch and opened it.
Dick thought no more of longing to go home, it looked so bright
and warm in there after the darkness and cold of the hill; there was
a good fire, and a nice smell of toasted oat-cakes, and a cloth on the
table for supper, and two pretty little girls ran forward to welcome
their mother and asked why she was so late.
I have brought you a little boy to take care of," she said.
"He had lost his way. Give him a stool close by the chimney
corner. Make haste, Lizzie, and take his wet coat and cap, and
hang them on the peg. There now, you'll be all right soon."
She had soon taken off her bonnet and shawl and put on her cap
and apron, and, scarcely taking a minute's rest, was busy making the
porridge, while Lizzie helped her cleverly, and little Effie stood
staring at Dick, who began to make friends with her. Then they sat
down to supper, and Dick, though used to wheaten bread and better
fare, thought he never had enjoyed a supper so much. When it was
over, Lizzie and her mother cleared all away, and they sat round the
fire; but even then the mother was not idle; she took out her
knitting, and little Effie sat on her knee, and Lizzie on a stool at her
feet, knitting, too, one of those woollen caps that the women of
Northumberland make for sale. Dick had many questions to answer
about his grandfather, and his father and mother that were both
dead, and the woman that came in to do for them in the farm,
because there was no wife or mother in the house; worse luck,"
Dick said. But his eyes began to close before he had answered all
the questions, and Effie had been fast asleep for the last half-hour, so
the mother put her into bed, and then spread for Dick a bed of dry
heather, which she brought out of a sort of out-house behind the
cottage; and on this, with a plaid thrown over .him, he was glad to
stretch himself, and was soon fast asleep, and heard no more of the
wind that shook the door and howled along the hill; nor felt the
kisses that she pressed on his cheeks. Long after both her children
were asleep she knelt by his side and looked at him. His brow
is like father's," she whispered to herself as she put aside his hair,
very like, very like !" But at last weariness overcame her, and she
lay down in bed by her children and slept too.
She was gone out to work before Dick awoke, for the snow had
disappeared in the night and work could still be done; but she had
left his breakfast for him, and told the little girls to put him on his
way home afterwards. And so they did. They walked by his side
till he reached the cart-road that led to Granby, and then they
turned back hand in hand, and began to climb the hill together.
Dick looked after them, and as he saw Lizzie leading her little sister
so carefully, he thought it was a very desolate thing for them to be
left so all day. His kind heart would have been even more interested.
for them if he could have seen how the little creatures went on in
their loneliness. When they got home they had to clear away the
breakfast things, so they went down the rocks to the spring carrying
a little tin can, and they had to make two or three journeys before
they got water enough, for they could not carry much at a time;
then Effie would sit on the floor playing with the stones she had
picked up, while Lizzie washed the little basins, and plates and
spoons, and swept up the room; and then they tried to learn their
spelling ready for the evening when their mother used to hear them
their lessons, and then they would play again; and when it grew
dark Lizzie knew it was time to make up the fire, and put the cloth
on the table, and listen for mother's step on the path.
Dick very soon came back to see them. He had thought of
nothing since his adventure that night but how he could best show
his gratitude to them; so he came bringing them some picture-books,
which gave them great delight, and an invitation from his grand-
father to spend New Year's Day with him; and "grandfather hopes
the mistress will come, that he may thank her himself," said Dick.
She turned pale at first and said, No, oh, no; it was impossible; "
but after a few minutes' thought, she agreed to go. What a grand
thing it was for Lizzie and Effie to look forward to! Dick had told
them about his grandfather's beautiful house that had four rooms in
it, and about the pigs, and ducks, and geese, and hens; they longed
for the day. Their mother washed their frocks and mended up her
Sunday gown; and they were always talking and thinking about
this visit, the first they had ever been asked to make in their lives.
But such a sad misfortune happened on the last day of the year.
There had been a great fall of snow and the path was very slippery,
and poor Effie fell down and cut both her knees so badly she could
not walk a step, so she must stay at home, and her mother and
Lizzie could not leave her. A message was sent by a boy who
chanced to pass that way to Granby, to tell the reason why they
could not come. Oh, it was very sad! the poor little things cried
and could not be comforted.
It was a bright, frosty New Year's Day. How happy they would
have been walking by their mother's side over the sparkling snow to
see Dick at the farm! They could scarcely eat their breakfast, and
their mother looked anxiously over the hill, and thought that if the
snow lay long she might soon have no breakfast to give them.
They were roused by the barking of a dog and then came a little
tap at the door. Lizzie went to open it and gave a cry of joy, for,
whom should she see there but Dick with a bright, rosy face, and he
said he was come to fetch them?
"But Effie "
Effie shall come too! Look here!" said Dick.
"Why, what a funny chair !" cried Lizzie. "Is that for Effle?"
Let me see!" exclaimed a little voice from inside the cottage; and
in a moment Effie appeared at the door carried in her mother's arms.
You see," said Dick, when James Hogg brought the message,
I was so grieved and vexed I did not know what to do with myself;
and grandfather, he was so sorry, he would have come over in the
light cart for you, only there's no road. So a thought came into
my head, and I said to him, says I, there's that broken sledge that
young master used to drive the young ladies in last winter; it lies
in the yard and he gave it to me. If we could fasten the bottom
of it to an arm-chair I could drag the little girl over the snow in it.
So grandfather lent me a chair, and one of the carters nailed it all
together for me, and here it is !"
Little Effie had almost jumped out of her mother's arms for joy
before he finished speaking, and Lizzie ran straight to the chest and
took out their Sunday frocks and mother's gown that had been put
away again. And soon Effie was seated in her carriage.
"Here's a little lady to sit beside you," said Dick, handing a
paper parcel to Effie, who opened it eagerly and found a pretty doll,
which made her scream out with delight.
Grandfather bought it of a pedlar, and sent it to comfort tha
little girl. And now here goes, my coat on and away we go!"
Effie and her doll sat side by side; Dick and Lizzie drew them,
chatting and laughing all the way; and the mother followed, with a
pale, anxious look. When they drew near the farm-house she said
she must rest awhile, and sent the children on before. She sat on a
large stone for some minutes, and hid her face in her hands. When
she raised it her cheeks were wet with tears, but she walked with a
firm step to the door and went in. She heard cheerful voices and
laughter in the parlour, and looking in saw her little Effie seated on
the knee of an old man, with white hair and a hale good-humoured face,
while Dick and Lizzie stood by his side. In a moment she, too, was
at his side on her knees, looking up in his face, but she did not speak.
He looked at her, then tried to start up, but Effie gave a cry of
pain and clung round his neck. He sunk down again and his lips
trembled, but he put Effie down on the floor.
Father! -will you not forgive me, father ?" said the kneeler at
his side. He is dead who caused strife between you and me, and I
have been a widow these two years, and my children are fatherless.
I have suffered sorely. Oh, love me again as you once did!"
The old man did not speak, but he opened his arms and she fell
upon his breast, and then he told her she should never leave him,
but that he would be a father to her children, and they should share
his home with Dick. "You remember your poor sister Effie," he
said. I lost her four years ago, and her boy lives with me; and
now I have found you again, we will forget all our sorrows."
It had been meant that this New Year's Day should be a day of
pleasure, but it was much more; it was a day of happiness and
blessedness. Dick had little thought when his grateful heart made
him long to bring his new friends to his home that he was bringing
his own mother's sister and two dear little cousins there. They never
went away. The cottage on the hill found another tenant, and its
late mistress and her children lived happily at Granby Manor Farni.
A NARROW ESCAPE.
"' AND so you have not been to work to-day neither, Jem?" said
the widow Davis to her son, who stood opposite to her, smoking.
Jem, whom she addressed, leaned against a great chest, and gave
several puffs before he answered. His eyes were half shut, his
mouth had a weak, foolish, good-natured smile on it, his hair was
matted and in disorder, and his shabby hat stuck on the top of it.
c Well now, mother," he said, at last; it's no such great matter
to take a holiday now and then."
"Now and then!" she echoed, in a tone half of anger, half of
Well, I say 'now and then!' There's Bob Rappy and Sam
Hone have been off work ever since boxing-day, and I went for a
fortnight steady and regular every morning to the workshop, and
slaved like any horse. You know I did, and the master can't deny
it. Never fear, mother, all right!"
Don't name those fellows to me! They will be the ruin of you,
Jem; and that's what you will find when it's too late."
Jem seemed about to reply with his usual provoking smile, when
the cottage-door opened, and a little boy and girl appeared at it, with
their books and slates, as if from school. ,
"Come in, Robin; it's time for supper," said the widow. "Now,
Kitty, take off your bonnet and help me to get it. You must learn
to help yourself, for it's little your e.aest brother will do for you; and
Robin seems a good boy now; but I suppose he will turn out idle,
too. I have no heart or hope left about anything."
All right, mother !" said Jem, again. Next week I go to work.'
The poor-mother only shook her head and sighed. Just then
there was a tap at the door, and Robin, who answered it, announced
that an old woman, with apples to sell, wanted a night's lodging.
"You may come in and rest if you please," said the widow;
"but I fear you must go farther, for I have no bed for you."
The old woman so invited came in, took the chair Kitty offered
her, and set down her basket. She then said she was footsore and
weary; and if only they could accommodate her for the night she
A NARROW ESCAPE.
would be satisfied with anything; a mattress on the floor or even
some clean straw; and that she must go early next morning.
If she's to be off early in the morning," said Jem, she may
have my bed; for I am going out to supper, and shall not be home
till near the time she starts, so she can turn out when I come in."
Going out to supper! Oh, Jem, you'll break my heart!" said
his mother. "-You've drunk too much already, and now you will
smoke and drink all night long. Who is to pay for it? and what will
become of you ? You're going to ruin. You will lose your appren-
ticeship. Your master won't have much more patience."
All right, mother! I tell you I must have this week out, and
then I'll go to work. Never fear!"
The old woman who had just come in looked from one speaker to
the other with an expression of pain, but said nothing. She partook
of supper with the mother and children, and talked so pleasantly to
them that they became quite familiar with her, Jem continuing all
the time to smoke and stare stupidly, with his hands behind him.
After supper Robin and Kitty took their station on the floor at the
feet of their guest, chatting with her.
"Tell us where you are going, and what is your name?" said
My name is Judy Tilly, and I am going to London where I
live. I have been on a sad errand and have a heavy heart."
The children wanted to know what she came for and why she
was sad, so she said that to make them understand she must tell
them the story of a poor friend of hers whose name was Janet
Richardson and her son Jem.
Our brother's name is Jem," said Kitty. Was that other
Jem like him ?"
You shall hear. Janet was a poor woman with a bad husband,
who left her to support herself and the boy as well as she could,
and hard she worked to do it. Jem never felt what it was to
want, for if she had not enough for herself she always took care that
he had. She managed besides to send him to school and give him a
good education. Very kind she was, too, to every one. When my
husband and I were sick with fever she would sit up at night to
nurse us after being out at work all day, and when he died she
A NARROW ESCAPE.
mforted me. What I should have done without her I don't know.
But her great wish in life was to apprentice Jem to a good trade,
and at last she got a place to wait on a sick lady, and was able to
save some money. She denied herself every comfort to make up
the sum, and at last she nad collected fourteen pounds, and she paid
it all to bind him to a carpenter, which was the trade he chose."
Our Jem is 'prenticed to a carpenter, too," said Robin. Jem
took the pipe out of his mouth, and listened to the story.
It was a great deal of money for a poor woman to pay," con-
tinued Judy, and she had to suffer a great deal afterwards; for the
sick lady died, and times were bad and bread dear. Many a day
she toiled, and many a day she could get no work to do, and then
she suffered much. She was often hungry and cold, but she never
complained as long as Jem was steady and learning his trade. She
always said if she could but live to see him a good respectable work-
man, she should be rewarded for all, and her boy would take care of
her when she was old; she knew that, she said. And so he ought,
but sad and sorrowful I am to tell you what he did. He fell into
bad company, and grew idle and "
The story was interrupted by a knock at the door, and a rough
voice asking for Jem Davis. Jem went, and a loud and angry alter-
cation was heard outside, which was ended by his coming in again
and shutting the door violently, saying as he did so,-
I suppose I may change my mind if I please, and go presently
instead of directly if I like;" he then sat down near his mother and
buried his face in his hands.
Well, my dears, as I tell you Jem fell into bad company. He
began to get wages his third year of work, but he grew worse and
worse; and just as he might have begun to be a real help to his
mother, he ran away to the country with a set of idle fellows, got
concerned in a robbery, and the first thing his mother heard of him
was that he was in prison."
Jem gave a sort of groan.
Her heart was nearly broken, but she went to him and visited
him whenever they would let her in. He was tried with the rest,
and condemned to be transported for seven years, and sent off to
Portsmouth. Well, Janet said to me, 'I must go,' she says, and
A NARROW ESCAPE.
see my boy once more before I die.' I told her it was too much for
her strength, but she would go. She sold all she had, and paid her
fare by the train, and went on board his ship, and bid him good-bye.
He was very penitent, and cried sorely, and said if he could but
bring back the time that was gone how differently he would behave.
But it was too late now. You may think what his mother felt,
when she left him there in chains, and went down the ship's side
into the boat, and was rowed ashore. She had to walk all the way
back to London, for want of money enough. She came straight to
my room, and shared my bed with me: and she tried to go out
charming, but she took to moping and crying instead of doing her
work; and then she began to wander about the room all night, and
at last we saw that her wits were gone. She was obliged to be
taken to the asylum for poor mad people, that is not far from here;
qnd there I have been to see her. She is very kindly treated, as
they all are there; but she does nothing but cry and moan, and ask
if there is any news of Jem."
Perhaps she will get better," said Kitty.
I don't think she will," answered Judy. For what could she
feel if she did recover her senses! She would only have to think
of her son, that was the pride of her heart, disgraced, and with
seven years' punishment before him; and the thought would make
her mad again. But sure I am that, in the resurrection of the just,
she will be among the blessed who have come out of great tribulation."
The widow wiped a tear from her cheek, and took the children
away to undress them. When she came back, Jem lifted up his
head and spoke in an altered voice. He said the old lady might
have his bed, though he was not going out to supper; but he could
sleep in the woodhouse on the straw.
Oh, bless you, Jem, for that word !" said his mother; but
have something to. eat,-there's some bread and cheese left."
No, Jem said he couldn't eat. It's not all right, mother," he
added; "but I must try to go to sleep now." And so he shut
himself into a little inner room, or closet, where they kept empty
tubs, wood, and their store of potatoes; and his heavy breathing was
soon heard through the door, and before long it was the only sound
in the cottage.
I i ~, L
A NARROW ESCAPE.
But, though she had lain down by her children, the mother
could not sleep. The story she had heard was so like the fate she
dreaded for herself and her own son, that she lay awake overcome
by vague feelings of terror, and it was long past midnight before she
fell into an uneasy doze. Out of this she was suddenly roused by a
loud knock at the cottage door. She started up. Though nearly
morning, it was still quite dark, and she tried in vain to think what
it could mean. The knock was repeated. She hastily rose, and ran
into the outer room, but sunk back against the wall, shuddering,
for Judy had already opened the door, and she saw there by the
light of their lanterns the glazed hats and capes of two policemen.
We have a search-warrant for James Davis," said one. Is
he here ?"
As he spoke he entered the room quickly, looked at the empty
bed, and passed on to the other room, while his companion threw
open the door of the woodhouse, and Jem started upright in an
instant. Both the policemen seized him by the collar.
*" Oh, gentlemen, in the name of mercy, what has he done?"
shrieked his poor mother.
"Calm yourself, my poor woman," said another voice; and,
looking round, she saw that the serjeant of police stood in the door-
way. "Your son is arrested on suspicion. The Vicar's house has
been entered to-night; the thieves are taken; he was drinking with
two of them, Rappy and Hone, at five o'clock yesterday, and was
heard to promise to sup with them, and "
He's as innocent as the children that lie there asleep," cried
the widow. He has not left this cottage since six o'clock in the
evening, as sure as heaven is above us!"
Every word she says is gospel truth," cried Judy.
He does not look much as if he had slept peaceably all night,"
said the serjeant, pointing to Jem, who, with his dusty, shabby
clothes, and his muddy shoes, which he had not had sense to take
off, his hat and pipe on the ground beside him, the lanterns of the
policemen flashing in his eyes, and their hands at his throat, spoke
not a word, but stared in wild stupefaction. "Bring him along."
And staggering and stumbling, more dead than alive, he was
dragged through the room and out into the darkness; while the
A NAII'VUW ESCAPE .
screams of his mother, and the cries of the children, who had been
:awakened by the noise, followed him, and added to his horrors.
Judy shut the door, and tried to soothe them all. Listen to
me," said she. He is innocent. You know it, and I know it.
Dress yourself, ad be ready to speak for him when the time comes."
Oh, yes, he is innocent -thank God for it !" cried the poor
woman, as if a new and blessed thought had just occurred to her;
and, after a flood of tears, she was able to follow Judy's good advice.
They were summoned before the magistrate at twelve o'clock.
Rappy and H-one, with two others, were fully committed for trial.
Suspicion was strong against Jem, but no proof could be made out
that he was with them, and his mother declared on oath that he was
at home. But what cleared him completely was the evidence of old
Judy. She told all her story simply, but forcibly,--of his intention
to go out-his listening to a sorrowful history she told on purpose-
his giving up his intention-his letting her have his bed, and sleep-
ing on the straw himself: And sure I am," she added, he was
'there all night; for I awoke often, and heard him always snoring, as
innocent and natural as any pig, let alone a Christian."
The robbers were tried a month afterwards, and sentenced to
fourteen years' transportation. But even before that time Jem had
become an altered character. The adventures of that dreadful night
made an impression on him which he never lost. He had suffered
such a shock when he was awoke by the policemen, he had felt
such shame and anguish when they dragged him away, that he
never again was guilty of idleness and drunkenness. He never
missed a day's work, nor tasted beer or spirits,-the very smell of
them gave him a loathing. In a year or two he was a good work-
man, and his wages filled his home with comfort. He never forgot
old Judy. When he had a holiday, he often walked to London to
see her, and carry her some useful present. She never had to feel
anxious about her rent now, nor to feel the want of a good warm
gown or cloak; and he would not let her thank him.
No, no, Judy," he would say, if you had not come that
evening, where should I have been now? I made a narrow escape.
Never think of saying 'Thank you !' to me."
CLARA AND HER BROTHER.
IT was early spring, and the March wind careered over the oFen
downs, but scarcely touched the sheltered nook in which Mr. Wilmot's
house stood; it was within view of the sea, but high ground and thick
plantations screened it from north and east.
In a warm room of this warm house, half darkened by Venetian
blinds and guarded by double windows from every breath of air, lay
a pale yooung girl on a couch. It was for her sake that this residence
had been chosen, for she was the only daughter of the family, and
her extreme delicacy alarmed them for her life. She had several
books beside her, and sometimes tried to read a little; but her eyes
constantly wandered away to the clock on the mantel-piece; then sh
listened as though expecting some one; soon, as if disappointed, shi
sighed, took up another book, and at last, throwing that down, ended
by covering her head with a shawl and trying to sleep. Presently
she rose, walked up and down a little, and then rang the bell.
Are you sure my brother is not come in yet, Lydia ?" she
asked of the maid who answered it.
"He came in an hour ago, Miss Wilmot," replied the maid.
Make up the fire, please, Lydia, then, and bring me another
shawl; I feel cold, and that is all, thank you."
And having obeyed, Lydia left the room, and another hour passed,
while the solitary occupant of the room tried to throw off the im-
patience which ruffled even her gentle spirit by the rapid movement
of her fingers in embroidering a group of flowers on canvass, till a
quick step was heard on the stairs, and the door was thrown open
so suddenly as to startle the poor invalid, and a handsome boy, his
cheeks glowing with health and his eyes sparkling with animation
and good spirits, came in.
SCongratulate me, Clara!" he cried. The sum I wanted is
made up, and I am to order my boat to-morrow "
CLARA AND HER BROTHER.
': Dear George, I am so glad! replied his pale sister, forgetting
all her sad and lonely hours in a moment.
And my father has given me leave to go out in one of the fish-
ing-boats this afternoon, to take a lesson in steering."
Oh, how nice! But this afternoon? Do you not remember
that Charles and Alice Hamilton are coming, and that we are all to
have tea together in this room, and that Alice is to sing to me?"
Well, I suppose I must stay at home then. How provoking!"
"No, you shall not stay at home on any account. I will write
and ask them to come another day."
Yes, to be sure. That is the best way. Ask them to-morrow.
No, not to-morrow, because I go out for a long ride with Herbert;
nor next day, because I know I have some engagement. We will
fix a time to-morrow."
"Did you remember to go about my little bird ?'
Oh, I quite forgot! Really I have been able to think of
nothing but my boat. How are you, by-the-bye, Clara? Can't you
come down to the pier this afternoon in the close carriage, and see
"It is too cold. I could not bear it," replied Clara. "At least
I would try if you wish it."
Everything happened according to George's wish, for he was the
darling of his father and mother, who were proud of their handsome
son. Clara's little tea-party, to which she had looked forward for a
week, was put off, and, wrapped up in shawls and furs, she was
driven down to the pier. A boat had just come in, and the fisher-
men were unloading it with the intention of going out again, while
George, who had agreed with them to take him on board, stood
watching their proceedings. The busy scene delighted Clara, whose
ready sympathy made her enjoy all bright and social scenes. The
wife of one of the men, with her baby in her arms, had come down to
see him arrive, and the little thing crowed and held out its arms to
its father, whilst he laughed and talked to it. Clara forgot the cold,
drew down the glass, and laughed with them.
"What a strange girl you are!" said George. "I only wish
the fellow would mind his business and get off again."
Clara never thought George wrong about anything, so she sup-
CLARA AND HER BROTHER.
posed it was foolish to laugh, drew up the glass, and leaned bacl in
the carriage, feeling tired and chilly; and soon afterwards, the fish
being all carried ashore in baskets, George jumped into the boat,
they pushed off, hoisted the large square-sail, and away they went
before the wind, merrily. Clara then drove home, and was laid on
her couch very much exhausted, and spent a lonely evening, for her
father and mother were engaged to a dinner-party. She often looked
at the piano and longed for the songs Alice had promised, and at the
window, and wished George had not forgotten, her bird. She
thought the evening very long, yet she delayed going to bed, in
hopes George would come up to see her when he came in. He
was expected at eight,- but that hour had passed,-nine o'clock
struck,- then ten, and still he had not come. Then she heard the
carriage stop, and her mamma, richly dressed and with jewels in her
hair, entered her room and reproached her for being up so late.
"But George has not come in, mamma, and I am anxious!"
"Not come in? My dear boy! I never liked that excursion,"
cried Mrs. Wilmot, and hurried away to make inquiries. So poor
Clara, trembling and agitated, and listening to every sound, was
again alone, except when alarming reports were brought by Lydia of
a fog over the sea, of fears entertained by the other fishermen, and of
the unusual darkness of the night.
Oh !" thought she, if he will but come home safe, I will never
be unhappy about anything again. How could I think about my
bird, or Alice, or such trifles ? If he has got into any danger or is
hurt, what will become of me ? Let me die if-only he is safe. My
life is worth so little-oh, so little!"
It was nearly twelve o'clock when a strange bustle in the house
made Clara rush downstairs, heedless of cold or weakness. As she
approached the hall she saw her brother borne in by two men; his
head was bound up, his clothes were dripping wet, and his arm hrmg
useless by his side. But he lived, he breathed; her father and
mother were beside him, and when Clara laid her nervous han~ on
his, and spoke to him, he uttered her name; She sank d6wn on a
chair unable to stand, and saw him carried upstairs, and heard
directions given to prepare a warm bed for him, and to run for
surgeons and' physicians; then a faintness came over her, and there
CLARA AND HER BROTHER.
Lydia found her, some time afterwards, in the dark by herself, and
led her up to bed.
The fishermen had been tempted to remain out later than they
intended by unusual success, and then by George's wish for a longer
sail, when they were suddenly enveloped in the fog which had been
observed ashore, and while shrouded in impenetrable darkness they
were run down by a steamer. The boat was completely wrecked,
but, as the whole party were good swimmers, they kept afloat till
they caught hold of the mast and other portions of the boat, and
were drifted ashore by the tide; but George had been violently
dashed upon a rock by a large wave, and had received some severe
cuts about his head and face, and broken his arm.
Poor Clara scarcely knew whether to be most grateful that his
life had been preserved or most miserable at his injuries. She wanted
to go to him, but Lydia would not suffer it, and at last her mother
calmed her by coming to tell her that the arm was set, the wounds
were dressed, and the medical men did not apprehend danger.
After such a night it would have been natural to expect that
Clara would have a serious attack of illness; but it was not so.
Her strength seemed to rise with the necessity of exertion and the
consciousness that she was of use; and she was of the greatest use.
George had never been ill in his life, and his impatience and irrita-
bility, now that he had severe pain to suffer, were so great that it was
soon found no one could manage him at all except her. He would
not take his medicine unless she gave it to him, nor allow the surgeon
to remove the bandages unless she was near to hold his hand. Why
it was that she had this power over him, people wondered much, for
she had seemed always to yield to him in everything; but the secret
was her great love, her entire forgetfulness of self, and therefore the
soothing influence that her presence exerted over him. When he
complained of pain, fretted about the disappointment of delaying his
boat that was to have been such a pleasure to him, and found fault
with everything that was done for him, a few kind words from Clara
would quiet him directly. This influence was soon apparent in other
How do you manage to be so contented when we all go and
eiave you alone?" he said one day to her. "I should go distracted
CLARA AND HER BROTHER.
if you were to go and leave me m that way. And how is it you can
sit up so long by me now ? You must be very tired. You am very
tired. I can feel your hand shake. Go and lie down, Clara, or you
will make me worse."
George had caught a ray of sympathy from his sister, and no
longer thought entirely of himself; and this thoughtfulness of her, so
unusual with him, gave her a thrill of happiness which did her more
good than the warm room and the double windows had ever done.
She lay down because he wished it, but she did not feel tired.
Little by little Clara contrived to make her brother feel that his
impatience was painful to his father and mother, and to bring them
into his room in the evenings as he grew better, and make them all
cheerful and happy again. When alone with him she could, now
that he was able to bear it, tell him endless stories, and legends, and
repeat poetry to him, when the room was darkened because of the
injuries his eyes had sustained, and read to him when he could bear
the light. Her hours of solitude had left her time to store her mind
with riches which he had never suspected before; he began to
feel very humbly about himself as he became conscious of her
superiority. As self thus began to sink in George's estimation, his
thoughts had time to extend over a wider range.
That poor fisherman I went out with," said he one day, after
lying silent for some time, is quite ruined. The loss of his boat is
the loss of all to him. I wonder what he is about ?"
I hear of him and his wife and little child almost every day," said
Clara. I have been able to comfort them a little, and help them to
manage till he can get another boat. Perhaps it will be a long time
first, but I have put all my money into a savings-bank to begin, and
he has got some money there himself, and when you are well again I
mean to ask papa and mamma to subscribe, and get other people to
help. Oh, I don't despair !"
Clara! how much better you are than I am!"
George was silent for some time; then he told Clara that he
wanted to see the fisherman that evening, and asked her to send for
him, which she promised to do, and in the evening he came. He
was a fine, strong young man, and bore his misfortune bravely,
making no complaints; but when he left the room a tear was
CLARA AND HER BROTHER.
tackling down his cheek, for his heart was full of gratitude. George
had given him all the money which he had accumulated for the
purpose of buying his own boat, and this, with what he already had,
Clara who had stood by threw her arms round her brother's neck
when they were alone.
It is good and beautiful of you, dear George," she cried; but
I cannot bear you to be disappointed of your boat."
No, no, do not be sorry. It is good for me; it is best for me;
besides I only lose a pleasure, and he had lost his means of living."
Clara's face beamed with joy as she heard words from George, with
which she could so entirely sympathise.
When George at last recovered, his face was by no means so
smooth and handsome as it had been. A large scar on his cheek and
another on his forehead disfigured him a good deal. Over these his
mother often lamented, and if the truth must be told, he often
lamented too; but if he had seen the working of his spirit more
clearly, he would have rather rejoiced over them, for it was wonder-
ful how often these scars reminded him of his long illness and Clara's
love, and tenderness, and goodness, and cultivated intellect; and
recalled him to better feelings when he was inclined to relapse into
his old habits. Then it was that he recollected the friend he had
found in his sister and went to her to gain greater worth of character,
and to try to repay to her some portion of the love he owed her.
This new interest and happiness in life worked like a charm on
Clara. Though she had before had every care bestowed on her, she
had withered for want of love and sympathy, and now she felt a new
strength breathed into her. People thought it was the summer air
that blew in at her now open window, filled by George's care with
flowers and birds, that had cured her, and it did its part; but the
affections can shed warmth over the spirit and revive it, even as the
sun lights up nature with his beams.
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
I ----------II-- ---~---
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
MR. HUGHES had just dismissed his boys for the Easter holidays,
and so, having a little leisure, he had ordered his horse, and meant
to go to a town ten miles off on some business. But, before he could
start, he had much to arrange that troubled his mind exceedingly.
The matter was this. Mr. Hughes was a widower with one son, q
boy of ten years old, and to add to his slender income lie took four
pupils. He lived in a cottage in Wales, in a retired valley, and
having no wife to look after his house, he engaged a married labourer
to live with him, who occupied, with his family, the kitchen and little
bedroom adjoining it. This labourer, John Jones, worked in Mr.
Hughes's garden at spare hours, while his wife attended to all the
domestic affairs, did the cooking, and superintended the servant girl.
Now every one in the family seemed, with one accord, to have found
some reason to leave home on this particular day. John Jones was
at his usual work at a neighboring farm; Mrs. Jones had given the
servant girl leave to go home for a holiday, and she herself, as the
master was going to the town and would not want anything, resolved
to take the baby and her little girl to see their grandmother; Thomas,
Mr. Hughes's son, had gone out fishing; and the only remaining
member of the family now stood by Mr. Hughes's side, requesting to
be allowed to walk over to my lord's park and see the hounds throw
off, for it was to be the last day's hunting this season. It was David
Williams, an orphan boy about the same age as his own son, whom
Mr. Hughes educated at a cheap rate out of kindness to the memory
of his parents, who made this request.
Mr. Hughes was troubled at Davie's petition, because he himself
had been on the point of asking Davie to stay at home all day, and
he was a good-natured man, though a hasty and passionate one. But
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
he was afraid to permit the cottage to be locked up and the garden
left without any one to guard it, because a large flock of sheep had
been turned out on the hill the day before, and he knew very well
that his fence was not high enough to keep them out, if they chose to
jump over, for Welsh sheep are by no means such quiet, grave gen-
tlemen as their English brethren, and if they take it into their heads
to leap a fence, it is not a common one that will stop them. The
great pleasure of Mr. Hughes's life was his garden. He was very
fond of his flowers, and it had always been a bond of union between
him and Davie that he also liked gardening, and often helped John
Jones in the evenings when he was at work putting the borders to
Well now, Davie," said he, "if you will stay at home to-day
and watch the garden, I will let you go wherever you like to-morrow.
I must get a proper fence made directly; but if those sheep were to
break in to-day they would ruin everything. Stay at home quietly,
like a good fellow, and get through your five pages of Cornelius
Nepos. You may finish to-day if you try, and then you will have
your time to yourself all the rest of the holidays. Sit at the school-
room window, and look out every now and then at those vexatious
sheep. Mrs. Jones left your dinner ready in the cupboard." Mr.
Hughes here stopped, because his hearer looked so miserable that he
was quite troubled to see him. I'll tell you what, Davie," he went
on, if you will stay steadily here I will give you a shilling."
Davie brightened up. He had been saving his money by pennies
and halfpence for some months to buy a bat, and this would make up
the sum he wanted at once. He promised to stay at home all day
and watch that no mischief happened. With this assurance Mr.
Hughes rode away, and Davie sat down at the window with his Latin
books, determined to keep his word and to deserve his shilling.
He had not sat still, however, more than half-an-hour when a
party of boys came rushing by. Make haste, Davie!" they cried.
"The hounds are off; come along!"
I can't come," said Davie.
"Can't come! What's to hinder you? You can see them from
the other side of the hill. There are twenty gentlemen, all in their
red coats. Come on, make haste!"
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
Davie looked out. Not a single sheep -Was in sight. He thought
how easy it would be to run back in half-an-hour, and that no one
would know; so, forgetting his promise, he locked the door, put the
key in his pocket, and started off with the boys. On the hill they
met Thomas with his fishing-rod, and asked him to go too, but he was
on his way to another stream at some distance, and would not turn
back. They ran on; when it suddenly occurred to Davie that Mr.
Hughes would ride past that stream on his way from a farmhouse
where he meant to call, and that Thomas might speak to him; so he
resolved to run after Thomas and beg of him to say nothing of their
accidental meeting. He hurried back, but before he had time to
overtake his friend, he was arrested by a fearful sight. A little
rough-haired terrier, who had been amusing himself all the morning
hunting rabbits in the plantations, had suddenly noticed the sheep,
and, after standing still staring at them for a few minutes with his
tongue hanging out, had rushed like an arrow out of a bow towards
them, barking and yelping and driving the whole flock, consisting of
upwards of a hundred, before him: they were tearing along at full
speed towards Mr. Hughes's garden!
Davie was in despair. Without a word of explanation to his
companions he set off, by a short cut, shouting and waving his cap,
though at too great a distance to be of any use. What would become
of him ? They were close to the fence now They would be over
in a moment! Oh, that he had never been tempted away! No;
they have turned and rushed off another way without leaping over.
Perhaps lie may be in time still. He runs with all his might, hearing
the dog's shrill bark all the time. As he gets near the gate the
sound gets nearer too, and behind him they come, having made a
circuit, all the hundred heads with excited eyes, and their insolent
little pursuer behind them. Davie faced about and shouted now with
good heart; they turned again, tore off towards the way he had come,
and were soon out of sight over the brow of the hill, the dog still after
them, and his bark echoing over the country till it was lost in the
Davie stood still for a few minutes to take breath; then he opened
the cottage-door, congratulating himself on his good fortune, and re-
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
solving that nothing should tempt him out again, even if there were
fifty gentlemen in red coats to be seen, and he was soon seated again
at his Latin lesson. Suddenly a hand was laid on his shoulder. He
started round, and saw Mr. Hughes standing behind him!
"Ah," said he, "good boy! That's right! So you are here,
and have not been out, but have kept your promise! I am so pleased
with you that I shall give you the shilling at once, and I know that
you will be, on your honour, all the rest of the day as you have been
hitherto, and stay the closer at home that I have given it to you
Davie held out his hand to receive the shilling, but he blushed as
he did so, and a thrill of shame passed through him. His better
nature inclined him to say he did not deserve it and give it back, but he
had not courage either to resist the temptation to become the possessor
of it, or to face his master's anger. So he was silent for a moment,
and then only said, Thank you, sir !" and Mr. Hughes mounted
his horse again, which stood panting at the gate as if he had come at
great speed, and rode off. He did not go along the highroad, but
took the path towards the stream, full of anger against his son. To
account for this it must be told, that Thomas was very faulty with
regard to truth, and had often been severely punished by his father
for telling falsehoods; and now it appeared as if he had been guilty of
slandering Davie by saying he was out, when, on the contrary, he
had stayed at home conscientiously. It had happened, just as Davie
feared, that the father and son had met at the stream, and that Thomas,
not suspecting it would do an injury to any one, had said he had
met Davie on the hill, whereupon Mr. Hughes galloped home again
in anxious fears about his garden; but, finding his watchman at his
post, never stopped to inquire if he had been there all the time, but
concluded at once that Thomas had deceived him as he had often
done before; and now he rode forward in the same hasty way with
anger in his heart; jumped off when he saw the poor boy fishing,
quite unconscious of harm or evil, seized him and struck him several
times with his riding-whip, telling him he deserved ten times as much
for trying to make him angry with Davie by telling him he was out.
In vain Thomas protested he had said nothing that was not true, and
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
meant no harm by what he said; his father would not listen to him,
but mounted his horse and rode away, heedless of tears, and lamenta-
tions, and entreaties to be heard.
Meanwhile Davie was by no means comfortable. He could not
disguise from himself that he had first broken his promise to his
master, and nearly caused the destruction of the garden, and then
meanly pretended to be very good, and accepted a reward for it. He
tried to console himself by thinking that he had not actually said
anything untrue, but it was in vain. Badly as he had behaved this
day, he was not a bad or hardened boy; on the contrary, he had
good dispositions, and had been well educated by a careful mother.
It seemed to him as if he could hear her voice saying to him,
" Always speak the truth; be brave, and do not fear what man
can do to you. God sees the heart. Fear Him!" All day these
sayings came to him, and as evening drew on he pictured her face to
himself, looking pale and ill as she used to do, and with a mournful
expression in her eyes as she looked at him. Another anxiety began
also to press on his mind. What had made Mr. Hughes come back ?
It must have been because he had met Thomas and heard of his being
out, and now his behaviour must have made poor Thomas appear
wrong, and would bring him into trouble, perhaps cause him to be
punished. "Oh," thought he, what sorrow one fault may bring
with it! Only that one fault of breaking my promise has done all
this !" He took the shilling out of his pocket, and almost resolved
to give it back and confess all; but then he said to himself, It is
too late now! It would do no good." So he put it back again.
He felt less unhappy when they all began to come home. Mrs.
Jones and the children came first, and she lighted the parlour fire
and set tea, and it looked cheerful and pleasant; then John came and
began to work in the garden; and Davie went to help, and often
wished for Thomas that he might explain, and consult what had
better be done to prevent his father being angry about the mistake
in the morning. Thomas, however, never came in; Mr. Hughes
arrived, they had tea, it grow dark,-but no Thomas. It seemed to
Davie that Mr. Hughes was anxious about this; he noticed that he
often went to the door to look out, and when at last the usual hour
of locking up the cottage and going to bed came, he also became
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
uneasy, and a fear that something connected with his fault was some-
how the cause of his strange absence took possession of him. Mr.
Hughes sent him to bed, but he could not sleep. He thought that he
heard footsteps all night, and once he got up, and looking out of his
window, saw his master go out and take the path towards the stream
It was impossible to sleep quietly now, but yet he was so tired that
he fell into a doze, and dreamed that the sheep came pouring over
the fence by hundreds, and he tried in vain to stop then, and that
they got into the house, and rushed into Thomas's room and trod him
to death; and then he tried to shout, but no sound would come. He
started up in terror, and heard some one opening his door. It was
now the first dawn of morning, and light enough to see that it was
Mr. Hughes who came in, and that he had Thomas's fishing-rod in
his hand. He sat down as if exhausted with fatigue and trouble of
mind, and asked Davie, in an unsteady voice, if he knew anything
of his poor boy; For," he added, since I punished him yesterday
morning for telling me a falsehood and saying you had gone out,
nothing has been heard of him."
"' Oh, sir," cried Davie, bursting into tears and hiding his face in
his hands, it was no falsehood. I did go out, and had but just come
in when you came."
I can never forgive you," said Mr. Hughes, gloomily.
"Do not say so,-pray do not say so," exclaimed Davie, still
sobbing. I will go out and search for him, and beg him to forgive
me, and I will never come back again unless he does; and then he
will try to make you forgive me too."
All this time he was dressing himself as quickly as he could, and
when lie was ready he went out; but the whole day passed, and
neither he nor Thomas returned; night came and morning followed,
but they were not heard of; every inquiry was made in the neigh-
bourhood, but in vain; weeks and months passed, and still there were
no tidings of them.
ILET-UR OF THOMAS AND DAVID.
.-.--~. -.I-~.-.-^- --------- -;;----------------- --- ---- ---- -----------
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
Summer and winter rolled away, spring returned-another sum-
mrer came and went, and now it was autumn again; and it was not
till autumn had half passed away that Thomas and Davie once more
stood on the hill that overlooked Mr. Hughes's cottage. Very tired
and wayworn they were. They were dressed like sailors-not gen-
tlemen-sailors-but in clothes that were tarry and weather-beaten,
and seemed to have seen hard service. Their faces were sunburnt,
their hair crisped and curled by the sea air. They were taller and
stouter, but it was easy to see that they had led a rough life, and had
gone through a good deal of hardship and suffering since their strange
disappearance. They had been in high spirits during the early part
of the day, and full of joy at the thought that they were drawing
near home. At the outskirts of the last town they had passed, they
had quite astonished the girls in the bleaching-fields with their noisy
salutation. But now, when the old familiar valley was once more in
sight, a thousand anxious fears gathered round their hearts. They
were, besides, nearly exhausted with fatigue and very hungry, for
they had only been able to afford to buy dry bread on their way, and
not above half as much of that as they could have eaten,-so now, as
they stood-trying to distinguish all the well-known places in the
evening light, they felt many doubts and fears growing strong within
them. The sun had set, and the gathering clouds and gusts of wind
c" There's the old cottage at last, Davie!" said Thomas; and as lie
spoke he sat down by the wayside.
"How green it all looks!" Davie answered; "we have seen
nothing like it since we went away; but do not stop, Thomas, night
is coming fast."
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
Thomas rose wearily, and they went on their way again for some
time in silence. It was Thomas who first spoke again.
Do you not think," said he, it looks very deserted, all round
about the cottage ? I wonder we don't see some of the boys; suppose
something should be the matter!"
Oh, I hope not," said Davie. Look! there is a little smoke
coming cut of the chimney, but I see no light in any window."
As they drew nearer the appearance of desolation became more
and more striking. No fence had ever been put up, and even the
old one was very much broken down, and showed that the sheep had
often passed over it. But, indeed, it did not matter now whether
they did or not, for the once pretty garden lay waste and bare, all
trodden down and full of coarse grass and ugly weeds. Not a living
creature was in sight, and the nearer they approached the more
dismal everything looked. Thomas's cheek grew pale.
I am frightened to go on," said he. I used to be full of fears
that my father would never forgive me for running away, but now I
fancy he may be lying ill, or perhaps he is dead. I will sit down
here. Try if you can find out something about it. You are my best
friend, Davie, to the last; try to bring me some comfort now."
Leaving Thomas seated on a rough stone, Davie immediately
began to climb over a corner of the fence, which he well knew of
old, and walked very cautiously towards the end of the cottage.
Then he stopped and listened. Everything was silent; not a sound
came from the door.
It is impossible," thought he, "that the boys can be here; and
yet it is not holiday time. No, there must be some entire change.
They would have been in the school-room learning their lessons for
the morning now, and I should hear them, all gabbling over Greek
and Latin out loud at once; and then there must have been a light
in the room, and it is all dark."
To satisfy himself further, Davie softly approached the window
he was looking at, and climbing up by some projecting stones and the
branches of an old pear-tree, peeped in. The room was nearly
empty. Though it was so dark within, he could distinctly see the
state it was in, for the door stood wide open, admitting sufficient light
from the passage beyond. The old table remained where it used to
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
stand, but the desks, books, and maps, were all gone, and the
benches were heaped together at one end. The grate had no coals
in it; only the dead boughs that had been placed there in the sum-
mer to look green and pretty, but were now withered, and looked
Davie let himself drop down, shook his head, and sighed.
Among all the anxieties he had suffered, it never occurred to him to
fear that anything should happen to Mr. Hughes. Many a time he
had thought that he and Thomas should never be able to get home
again; but he had felt no fears about anything, if only they could
accomplish that. How his heart sunk within him! He would not
give up hope yet, however; so creeping along on his knees, he
peeped in at a low-latticed window. It was Mr. Hughes's study.
No one was there. The room was dark and empty, and had an
It had become so dark now that Davie could not distinguish the
garden path, and as he groped along he found he had lost it, and had
got among some tall shrubs that used to stand behind the bee-hives.
He was afraid he might knock them down, and that would have been
a serious matter; so he felt his way with his hands stretched out
before him, and soon touched the straw top of a hive with the points
of his fingers. Then he put his ear close to it to listen for the low
but distinct hum that is always heard at night in a well-stocked hive.
He wanted to hear it; he felt that it would be a sign of life that
would comfort him; but all was dread silence. There could be no
bees there. They had flown away, or all perished during the winter.
He began to think he had better go back to Thomas and encourage
him to go round to the front gate and ring the bell, for it was of no
use to try to find out anything in this way; but yet he determined
to try again, so, making his way round a corner of the wall in
the same cautious manner, he stopped under the window of the
parlour, as they always called the little room where they used to
breakfast, and where they all collected in the evening when lessons
and work were over. There was a low smouldering fire in the
grate, and by its dusky light he saw some one-yes-it was his
master, seated in an arm-chair. He looked pale and thin; some
books lay scattered on the table, but he was not reading, he was only
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
gazing sadly into the fire. While Davie looked the door of the room
opened, and Mrs. Jones entered bringing the tea, and at the same
moment her little girl came strolling round from the front door, and,
suddenly seeing Davie, began to scream and cry.
"Heart alive! what's the matter now?" exclaimed her mother,
following rapidly round the corner.
There was a boy down on his knees," sobbed the child. It
looked like Davie, onlv it was too big and dirty."
S "What do I hear?" cried Mr. Hughes, rushing out hastily, and
by his nervous trembling it was evident that he had been ill, or had
suffered very much in mind. But his anxiety was soon to be ended.
Thomas and Davie were already at the gate; it flew open, and, run-
ning in, Thomas threw down his glazed hat and his little bundle at
his father's feet, and almost threw himself down there too, imploring
to be forgiven.
Mr. Hughes was so overjoyed to see his boy once more that he
caught him in his arms, wept over him, blessed him, and told him
everything should be forgotten and forgiven. "Besides, my poor
fellow," he added," I was unjust to you, and that has often wrung
my heart in this weary time; and I have been very ill, and lonely,
Thomas's tears gushed out at these words, the truth of which was
only too apparent in his father's altered appearance. Oh !" he cried,
"if there is anything in the world I can do to make you happy now I
will, father; and I have suffered too, and bitterly repented what I
did in my passion many a time. And, dear father, if you love me,
be kind to Davie, for if it had not been for him I should never have
come home to you. But for him I should have died over and over
Mr. Hughes, who now saw Davie for the first time standing
behind, gave him as hearty and almost as affectionate a reception as
he had given to Thomas; and then led them both in, saying there
must not be a word more about anything else but joy this night.
Mrs. Jones had already piled a heap of logs on the dull fire, which
began to give out a cheerful blaze; then she carried off the tray with
the meagre tea that had been prepared, and soon covered the tablh
with all the substantial food she could collect; a home-baked loaf and
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
a ham, eacn of portly size; fresh butter and eggs, milk and cream;
then she came bustling in with the bright copper kettle that had not
been used for many a day, because it was too large, and when it
hissed and bubbled to her perfect satisfaction, she made, as she ex-
pressed it, a real good pot of tea."
Never were two tired travellers more ready to enjoy all these
comforts. They had walked all the way from Liverpool, where their
ship only arrived the (lay before; and when they said where from,"
Mr. Hughes held up his hands in amazement, and Mrs. Jones called
out, Heart alive!" .and Dear me!" and Well, the like now !"
till they thought she would never stop. They were soon seated, and
cleared away everything before them with wonderful celerity; all at
least except the ham, which, however, soon presented the appearance
of an extraordinary cavity at its side; and it was not long afterwards
that, in spite of the adventures they had to tell and the high spirits
they had got into, they grew so sleepy that they could not keep their
eyes open. Mrs. Jones had meanwhile prepared two comfortable
beds for them in their old quiet room, and with grateful hearts.
they went up to take possession.
Half-way up the old staircase, every step of which was familiar
to them, they heard their names shouted from below and stopped,
and then ran down again to shake hands warmly with John Jones,
who had just come in and heard the good news.
Well now, indeed, and I am glad to see you back! How well
you both look, too! Why, Master Thomas is grown half a head, and
you look stronger too, Master Davie. I always said you would
come back. Well, now sure! master, I used to say, they will come
some day. But it was all of no use to speak: he went about
moping like a distracted man, and he sent away all the young gentle-
man, and sold the horse, and let the garden run to rack and ruin.
Well, now, we shall see good days again! Heart alive! I am glad I
sure now I am!"
John did not know what sharp wounds these words inflicted on
his two young masters. Thomas rushed up and hid his face in his
hands, and Davie began to think of that unlucky day when he broke
his promise,- out of which one fault all these consequences had
flowed,-so he bid John good-night with a sad voice, but very
A FAULT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
kindly, for he knew the poor fellow meant nothing but kindness, and
followed upstairs. There, standing beside Thomas, he found Mr.
Hughes, whose expression was full of kindness and affection.
Do not let me see a sad face again, Davie," said he. All old
faults are forgotten by me, and I remember nothing now but Thomas's
words,' I should never have come home again but for him.' You
shall never want a friend while I live, and I shall always remember
what I owe you. And Thomas, my dear boy, let us both love each
other the more for what we have suffered, learning from past faults
and sorrows to do His will better, whose mercy has permitted us to
be together once more."
With such words as these he comforted the two boys again, and
they were able to enjoy the luxuries of their little room. How little
we think of our every-day comforts when we enjoy them daily!
How beautiful the pure white curtains on the beds seemed to them '
now; and the sheets smelling of fresh air and mountain grass, and
the sparkling spring water to wash in; was it possible that they had
all those things before they went away, when they used often to
complain and be dissatisfied? But when they lay down in their beds
and their heads rested on soft pillows for the first time since they
bid good-bye to that room more than a year since, they felt so com-
fortable that they could hardly bear to fall asleep and forget it all;
but sleep came sound and fast.
The good news of their return spread all over the neighbourhood
immediately, and as every one wanted to hear all that had happened
to them, Mr. Hughes invited his friends to supper the following
week, and after supper the two boys were called upon to relate the
history of their adventures. Thomas declared that Davie should be
spokesman. So he began as follows. But we must leave his narrative
for the next chapter.
-'I f' 'C
3IAAT3Y TrE rD13 a- s3EEP.
__ __ I