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The Baldwin Library
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THE LUNCH IN THE WOOD
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THE STORY OF ;
-' -" ..... .
BURIED IN THE HAY
T. NELSOIN AND SONS,
IZOMD. ON, 7 DIZ3 VUSJ GH A.ND NB YO-.I .
THE STORY OF
MAURICE GRAY AND CARL ADLER.
BY THE LATE
REV. J. W. ALEXANDER, D.D.,
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
\lk HE two following tales are chiefly intended for
boys, and the object of the lamented author
(whose name alone is a recommendation) ap-
S pears to have been to represent true religion,
Sas displayed during the trials and temptations
of school-life, in an attractive and manly form.
In both tales, the teachers are men of the right
stamp; but the boys, as must ever be the case, are of
varied characters. The scene of the longest story is
the United States of America, where so many German
emigrants now find a home.
If any young readers are led, from the perusal, to
seek a deeper experience of the power of truth and
love, as- exemplified by the conduct of Maurice Gray
and Carl Adler, they will have good cause for grati-
tude to the author of this little volume.
THE STORY OF MAURICE GRAY.
I. The New Scholar ... ... .,. .., ... 9
II. Lunch in the Wood ... ... ... ... 18
III. The Faithful Nurse ... .,, ... ... 30
IV. The Lame Boy ... ... ... ... ... 41
V. A Noble Confession ... ... ... ... 50
VI. The Missing Book ... ... ... ... ... 59
VII. Last and Worst ... ... ... ... ... 74
THE STORY OF CARL ADLER.
I. The Oaks ... ... ... ... ... 86
II. Trials of the Emigrant School-Boy ... ... ... 96
III. What makes the Happy Teacher? ... ,.. ... 106
[V. Lessons out of Doors ... ... ... ... 116
V. Teaching and Training ... .., ... ... 121
VI. Friends of the Stranger ...... .. ... 127
VII. Work and Play ... ... .. *.. ... 135
VIII. The Emigrant Youth advancing to Manhood .. .... 142
IX. First Lessons In School-Keeping .... .. ... 148
X. Glimpse of a Christian Home in a Strange Land ... 1r6
Reminiscences of German Childhood
Promotion and Surprises ...
Shadows in the Picture
School-Chat in Play-Hours ...
Religion in School
Poetry and Schools
Arrival of Emigrants
Sybel, the German Teacher
.. ,, 221
THE STORY OF MAURICE GRAY.
C^ 1e^x ^pr^Xar.
! I have some news to tell you,"
play-ground, where a number of boys were
He was soon surrounded by a
group of them.
" What is it, Frank ?
what is it ?" asked
are to have a new scholar, and
to-morrow," answered Frank.
he is coming
"Not a half-scholar, as
I call the day-scholars, but a whole one-a boarder."
do you know ?."
is his name ?"
" How old is he ?"
"Where is he from ?" were ques-
tions rapidly asked.
"I can answer but one of
THE NEW SCHOLAR.
Frank. I heard Mr. Harding say so himself to Mr.
Neville, the assistant; so it is true, you see."
Did you not even hear his name, Frank ?" asked
No! I have told you all I know," said Frank,
and you will have to wait until to-morrow to find out
Oh, dear! that is a great while to wait," said Bob
Newton. "But one thing we know, he cannot be
younger than eleven years, for none are admitted here
younger; and it is not likely he is more than sixteen,
for boys generally leave school at that age. I hope he
is a real good-natured fellow."
Come now," said Dick Wells, suppose one of us
should go and ask Mr. Harding about him. There !
he is just walking down the garden towards the summer-
house, with a book in his hand. He is going there to
read, I suppose ; a capital chance to ask him."
I will not ask him this time," said Harry Blake,
"for it fell to my lot last time, and Mr. Harding will
think all the curiosity of the school is centred in me."
"How can you be so foolish ?" said Philip Graham,
a tall, slender boy, fourteen years of age, with an un-
commonly sedate countenance, small light blue eyes,
and rather a precise air. "To-morrow is time enough
to know. What difference can one day make I"
"Oh! Phil would not condescend to be curious,"
said Bob Newton; it is too undignified for him."
THE NEW SCHOLAR.
Come now," said Frank Henley, "all who wish to
find out about the new scholar stand round me, and we
will cast lots who shall go and ask Mr. Harding, and
then there will be no trouble about it."
The lot fell upon little Joseph Green, one of the
smallest boys. Joseph was very timid, and it was a
hard task for him, but he felt ashamed to own it, or
complain of his lot.
Now," said Frank, it will not answer to ask too
many questions of Mr. Harding, for he would think
that rude, and perhaps not tell us anything."
"Well," said one, "ask his name of course. There
is a great deal in a name; it seems to tell one how a
"Ask his age," said another.. "Ask where he is
from," said another. "Where he will sit," said a
third. Where he will sleep," said a fourth. "What
kind of a boy he is," said a fifth.
"Oh, that is too many," said some of the older boys.
"It would never do to ask so many. I think three
questions are as many as it will do to ask.'
"I think so too I think so too!" said several voices.
"Three are enough; what shall they be ? Three will
tell very little."
After sorne discussion, it was decided the three most
important items were his name, his age, and whether
he was from the city or the country, and little Joe
Green was despatched to acquire the important infor-
THE NEW SCHOLAR.
He soon reached the summer-house where
Mr. Harding was sitting, who raised
his eyes from his
book as he heard the approach of footsteps.
"Please, sir," said
me to ask you
if you would tell us the
new scholar who is coming to-morrow."
How did you know there was one coming ? asked
Mr. Harding, smiling.
Henley heard you
tell Mr. Neville so, sir,"
"Well, his name
is Maurice Gray," said Mr. Hard-
" Please, sir, tell me how old he is ?" asked Joe.
"He is several years older than yourself, Joe," an-
swered Mr. Harding.
" He is fourteen, I believe."
"The boys told me to ask you, sir," continued Joe,
"whether he was from the city or the country ?"
He is from a small country village a hundred miles
replied Mr. Harding.
you, sir," said Joe, bowing, and preparing
to run away.
to know something more of
him ?" asked Mr. Harding, good-naturedly.
Yes, sir, very much," answered Joe, but the boys
told me I must not ask you but three questions, or
you would think me very rude;" and, without waiting
THE NEW SCHOLAR.
for further information, Joe left Mr. Harding, and
hastened back to the play-ground.
Maurice Gray-fourteen years old-from a coun-
try village "-he said, as soon as he could, and as fast
as he could speak, and in a very loud voice, as if he
was anxious to complete all the duties of his mission
as soon as possible.
"Maurice Gray-a pretty name, is it not ?" said
"Fourteen years old-that is just our age, Dick,"
said Tom Bailey; "he will be one of the oldest
scholars. I hope he has not an old sober head like
Philip Graham, who thinks it such a condescension to
play with us now and then, and seems to think it is
wicked to laugh, or have any fun at all. Mr. Harding
thinks him a model of good conduct, and a pattern for
us all. I think he is a very disagreeable fellow. He
is proud, and never notices the younger boys at all, and
seems to think boys are made for nothing but to study
and go to church! I hope Maurice Gray is a real
hearty fellow, Dick, like you and I."
"Yes, indeed I do," answered Dick. I hate
'pattern boys,' like Phil Graham. One never feels at
ease with them. If the fellow that is coming is to my
mind, I shall be quite polite to him, for I like a new
friend once in a while. As he is from the country, I
suppose we shall have to teach him a thing.or two. I
suppose he is not much of a scholar. This is probably
THE NEW SCHOLAR.
his first coming out into the world. Well, we shall see
what he is like to-morrow. I wonder if he will come
in the coach at eleven o'clock, or whether his father
will bring him. To-morrow is not a great way off."
To-morrow came in its proper place, and a bright
lovely summer day it was; and, at eleven o'clock, every
ear was opened as the old stage-coach came rumbling
leisurely along, and great was the satisfaction that
beamed from divers faces as it was heard distinctly to
stop at the front .door. Mr. Harding left the room to
receive his new pupil, and, after being absent half an
hour, returned without him, to the evident dissatisfac-
tion of the many eyes that were fixed upon the door,
for they all knew they must now wait until after school
to be introduced to the new scholar.
They had not been long assembled on the play-
ground after school, before Mr. Harding and Maurice
Gray was seen coming from the house together.
"Here he comes Here he comes !" said several
voices; but no-they walked down the neat gravel-
walk, and then into the garden. Mr. Harding was
talking very busily to Maurice, who was listening with
"He is not so tall as I am by an inch or two," said
Philip Graham, drawing up his thin figure to its full
height, though he is fourteen years of age."
Oh, he. cannot equal Phil Graham in anything, of
course," said Tom Bailey, aside. "No one pretends to
THE NEW SCHOLAR.
equal the model scholar-the 'pattern of propriety '-
even in outward appearance.
am sure I hope
is not such a stiff conceited
down upon everybody else."
how straight we ought to walk, or how sober we ought
to look, how perfectly we
ought to recite, how still we
ought to be in school-hours, how obedient to the rules
we had not some such perfect pattern
before us as Phil Graham!"
sickly-looking boy, leaning on a crutch, "that if we all
kept a Bible on our desks as Philip Graham
it each day,
we should all
how to do
This was a long and a bold speech for Louis Tarleton
to make, and he coloured
It is one thing
to keep a Bible there, and
thing to read it," said Dick, whistling, and walking off.
" Oh, here they come !" said
and Maurice approached.
new friends, and all
by his kind gentlemanly manners,
his fine open countenance, and his pleasant smile; there
was also a dignity and
self-command about him above
his years, which inspired a feeling of respect.
THE NEW SCHOLAR.
said Mr. Harding,
see you will soon make
hope we shall make you happy."
"I will try to deserve
fear but I
shall make them.
"I love him already," said Mr.
as he walked towards the house.
Harding to himself,
" He will be a friend
to me, and an ornament to the school; I see it in the
He is a serious-minded,
conscientious boy, or I am much mistaken, though his
eye and his
lip have a merry smile."
Maurice Gray joined eagerly in the games proposed,
and showed himself
expert in them all, and seemed as
in the plays
of the youngest boys as
those of his own age.
He left his game of ball to dis-
gave his arm most kindly
kite from a high tree, and
to lame Louis, as they
walked towards the house, at the ringing of the dinner-
of a scholar, of
be so fond
of play," muttered
Philip Graham to him-
self, looking very wise, as he put a book in his pocket.
said Dick Wells
and Tom Bailey.
"' A new broom sweeps clean,'" said Frank Henley.
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DISENTANGLING THE KITE
THE NEW SCHOLAR.
It is not often I have anything but my crutch to
lean on," said lame Louis, looking up gratefully into
Maurice's face with his sad eyes, as the other boys
all passed quickly by, and left the two far behind.
"My arm shall always be at your service," said
Maurice, "if it suits you."
"I can get along much faster with it," said Louis;
" and then I do not feel so lonely either to go with
some one, for the boys always reach the house and get
seated at table long before I can get there."
A smile of satisfaction might have been seen on Mr.
Harding's expressive face, as Maurice Gray entered the
dining-room with lame Louis leaning on his arm, and
a look as if he would have said, I am not deceived, I
am sure, in my first impressions of this boy."
i~unct in tje ly ocob
TR. HARDING'S residence was about two
miles from the beautiful village of N.
There was a fine garden in front, a large
play-ground at one side, and behind the
,. % house were a farm-yard and vegetable
garden. Beyond were thick woods, pleasant
fields, and shady roads. He built the house expressly
for his school, and all was well arranged according to a
plan of his own. The chambers were large and airy,
each containing four beds, one in each corner of the
room. A door opened near each bed into a light,
good-sized dressing-room. One of these was appro-
priated to each scholar, to contain his clothes, &c.
Each was fitted with a neat writing-desk and chair, so
That it was a pleasant and quiet place for a boy to
retire for study-or solitude, if he felt so disposed.
In addition to his boarders, Mr. Harding received at
his school day-scholars from the neighboring village.
One wing of the house was occupied by Mr. Harding
and his family, which consisted of a wife and twin
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
daughters, Minna and Rose, eight years of age. They
attended the school each day regularly, occupying
small seats by their father's desk. They were allowed
occasionally to visit the boys' playground as spectators
of their games, and considered it a great treat so to do.
But they were always attended by one of their parents,
or placed under the especial care of one of the most
trusty boys. Philip Graham had this honour conferred
upon him oftener than any other boy, and he was quite
proud of the trust reposed in him.
Once in three months, Mr. Harding had what he
called a public day, when gentlemen from the village
and the neighboring country-seats were invited to
attend the school, and hear the recitations, or examine
the boys as they pleased. Mr. Harding would allow
no special preparation for this day. He wished the
boys to show exactly what they were, and this was a
great incitement to them to be diligent students. He
allowed the boys free access at all times to his fine
garden, under certain restrictions, and it was seldom
his laws in this respect were broken.
Look here, Dick. Quick, or I shall be discovered,"
said Tom Bailey one day, about a week after Maurice
Gray had entered the school, as he was creeping
stealthily from Maurice's closet. "Come quickly, Tom."
Tom obeyed. "Here," said Dick, "is your good,
merry fellow, we have been calculating upon. Why,
he is worse than Philip Graham. See here! Phil has
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
only a Bible on his desk, which I do not think he
opens very often, though he would have Mr. Harding
think he does; but Maurice Gray has a Bible, and a
book of sermons, and some tracts. They are all for
show, of course. No boy would ever read such books,
I am certain, unless he was compelled, and JI would
not believe Maurice ever reads them if he told me so.
He is worse than Phil Graham, is he not ?"
"He may be," answered Tom, "in some respects,
but he is a much pleasanter fellow than Philip, and
does not think half so much of himself. He loves a
good game so well, that I guess we can make some-
thing of him. I suppose he has been living in the
country with some old grandmother, who has made a
parting present of her whole library for a keepsake;
but whether he reads such dry books or not, he is
nothing like Phil Graham. He has none of that
sanctified, long-faced, stiff look, that Phil has."
Well, time will show," said Dick, "what we can
make of Maurice Gray. Though he is sociable and
talkative, he manages somehow to keep one at an awful
distance. I cannot understand it, for he is anything
but proud or haughty. I saw him to-day helping Peter
to lift a large box into the house, which was too heavy
for him. I am sure Phil Graham would have let Peter
break his back before he would raise a finger to assist
any servant boy."
"There is one thing very certain," said Tom, "and
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
that is, that Mr. Harding takes a great liking to Maurice.
Never since I have been here has he invited a boy to
take tea with him during the first week of his being
here, and Maurice last evening not only took tea with
him, but took a walk of an hour after tea with Mr. and
Mrs. Harding, and Minna and Rose. I saw them re-
turning. Minna had his hand, and Rose was skipping
by his side, and they were both talking to him as if
they had known each other for a long time."
"Well, to-day is Saturday, and our afternoon for the
woods," said Dick. I fancy we shall find out a little
more about Maurice on our walk. Bob Newton is
coming out to go with us. I gave him a little com-
mission to execute for me in the village. Some half-
dozen of us older boys will separate from the rest, and
go along together, and Maurice shall be one. I wish
Bob Newton was a boarder; don't you? He is such
a clever fellow."
"He would not be so useful to us if he was," said
Tom Bailey, smiling significantly. "I had rather trust
him with my errands in the village than any other day-
scholar we have, or even Peter. He knows so well
how to manage things, and keep an innocent face on
all the while. It requires some talent to do that. Do
you think we can trust Maurice Gray ? "
"No knowing until we have tried him," said Dick.
"I am not sure but it is too soon to begin; but he is
such a pleasant fellow, he is worth trying for; if he has
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
a few rusty notions, I think we can wear them away,
and make a friend of him."
It was a glorious summer afternoon, and as soon as
dinner was over, the whole school set off to enjoy their
half holiday in a long ramble through woods and fields.
Soon after entering the woods, six or eight of the older
boys separated themselves from the others, Dick Wells
so managing that Maurice Gray should be one of the
number. They were shortly after joined by Bob New-
ton from the village, who carried on his arm a basket,
which he delivered to Dick. After wandering about
until they were weary, amusing themselves with chasing
squirrels, searching for wild-flowers, &c., they seated them-
selves to rest near the outskirts of the wood, in a lovely
spot, commanding a view of fresh and flower-bespangled
meadows, and thriving fields of corn and grain.
Here is a nice place to take our lunch," said Dick,
throwing himself on the grass, and opening his basket.
The others gladly seated themselves round him. Dick
removed slyly part of the contents of his basket, and
passed the basket containing the remainder to the boys
as they sat. It contained a generous supply of cakes
and dried fruits, which were soon consumed with great
relish by the little party.
He then produced a couple of bottles, and proceeded
to uncork them. You got them from the right place,
Bob," he said, "so we may be sure it is good, for poor
champagne is bad enough."
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
He poured out a glass, and presented it first, from
courtesy, to Maurice Gray, as he was a stranger. To
his surprise and mortification, Maurice politely, but
decidedly, declined it.
"Do you not drink champagne, Maurice said
Dick. "If not, just try this. It is very nice, and
quite refreshing after a walk."
"No, I thank you," said Maurice, "you must excuse
me, Dick, I had rather not take any."
"Why, you are not very polite," said Dick, "to
decline taking it, when I got it on purpose to treat you
with, thinking to give you pleasure."
"I am sorry you should consider me impolite," said
Maurice. "I do not intend to be so, but I would
rather be thought impolite than do what I feel to be
"Wrong!" said Dick; "why, what can there be
wrong in a simple glass of champagne ? Do not be so
queer. A young man, fourteen years of age, is certainly
at liberty to take a glass of wine if he pleases. We no
longer consider ourselves children. I am sure I, for
one, feel- capable of judging what is right and fitting
for me to do; but there are plenty to drink it if you
will not, Maurice;" and the bottles were speedily
emptied by the other boys.
"You lost a most excellent glass of champagne,
Maurice," said Bob Newton. "What is there wrong
in taking it, I should like to know 1 "
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
"Would you have done the same, if Mr. Harding
had been here? said Maurice, gently. "Would you,
Dick, have done the same as you have done, if Mr.
Harding had been of our party ? "
"Well," said Dick, hesitatingly, to speak the truth,
Maurice, I should not; but we are not obliged to be
all the time under his eye. He will know nothing of
"My father placed me here," said Maurice, "to be
under Mr. Harding's care, in his absence from home.
He told me to regard him as a friend, master, and
protector, and expects me in all things to consult Mr.
Harding's wishes and opinions; and I should feel as if
I was acting very wrong to do anything contrary to
them. I would not do, when absent from him, what
I would not do in his presence; and besides that, I
know my father would disapprove of it. He is far
away at sea, thousands of miles from here, and would
never know it; but I love him too well to do what I
know he would condemn."
Oh, you are too particular, altogether!" said Tom
Bailey. "' You will lose some of these ideas after you
have been here a while, and see what capital times we
have. A boy of fourteen must begin to act a little
independently, and to think a little for himself, or he
will be a baby all his life."
"I have begun to think for myself, and to act inde-
pendently," answered Maurice, "and that is one reason
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
why I declined taking wine. I scorn the character of
a hypocrite. To think one way and appear to act one
way, and in reality be doing things directly contrary to
the principles and appearance, is what of all things I
despise. I am afraid to begin at fourteen years of age
to drink a glass of wine, for in a short time I might
want a bottle, and then, losing my relish for wine, I
might be induced to take something more stimulating
and powerful, and who can tell what the end might be ?
I might become an indolent, useless man, or a habitual
drunkard, and perhaps lose soul and body both. I
do not say this would certainly be the case, but it has
been the case of very many, and I might add another to
the number. It is best to be on the safe side, depend
upon it; and I am determined to do what I think is
right in this case, even though I should lose your good
opinion by so doing. I should be glad to join you any
time in an innocent frolic, when my conscience does
not interfere; but when that speaks to me, 1 must obey
its voice. My father allows me plenty of pocket-money;
and a treat of cakes and fruit on our walks, if Mr.
Harding does not disapprove of it, I shall always be
ready to give in my turn; but you must never expect
wine from me, nor invite me to join with you in drink-
ing it. And now, suppose you all make up your minds
to give it up, before it becomes necessary to your
pleasure to have it. It will cost you now but little
self-denial, and by-and-by it may cost you much, or
26 LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
you may have imbibed so strong a relish for it, that
you will think you cannot give it up at all."
"I am not ready to agree to any such proposition,"
said Dick; but you will not inform on us, Maurice ?"
"I shall never do anything to bring you into diffi-
culty," replied Maurice; "be assured of that:- but you
must not invite me to join your parties as long as you
use champagne, or wine of any kind. I shall be quite
content to join the younger boys on a walk or in a
Maurice stood up as he spoke, and though at first
some of the boys were inclined to ridicule him, he
spoke with so much dignity and independence, and
commanded so much respect by his manly bearing, that
no laugh was raised, and all seemed desirous of concili-
ating his good-will.
He is a fine independent fellow," said Frank Henley.
"If his notions are strict, I am not sure but they are
correct. I like a boy," continued he, rising, "who is
not afraid to express an opinion, though he knows
every one is against him. Give me your hand, Maurice
--I stand by you-and though I drank the wine, I
think it would be better not to do it, and for the very
reasons you have given."
Maurice gave his hand cordially. "If you would
all reflect a little upon the subject," he said, kindly
looking around, I do believe you would all be of my
mind. By doing when absent from Mr..Harding what
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
you would not do in his presence, you show more
respect to him than you do to your Maker, in whose
presence we always are."
The last words Maurice uttered with solemnity, and
a pause followed, which was presently interrupted by
the sound of some one approaching from the meadow
which out-skirted the wood. The boys started, and
looked eagerly in that direction, to ascertain who was
coming to interrupt their retirement.
One figure only appeared. Bob Newton, who was
nearest the meadow, said, "It is Philip Graham, but
he sees nothing but the book he is reading. He does
not know we are here-but look! Dick, Tom, Frank-
stand here just where I am. He is now leaning against
a tree. See, he has a cigar in his mouth; and do you
not recognize by the cover of that volume, that it is
no book from Mr. Harding's library, I am sure ? We
know where it came from, de we not?. Mr. Shaw's
circulating library-plain as the sun. I can tell the
cover of his books as far off as I can see them."
"So can I," said Dick; "I am quite sure it is from
Shaw's.' There is your 'pattern, model boy,' stealing
off alone to break two of Mr. Harding's rules. He
little suspects his 'model' of such deceit. That is
the way your stiff, long-faced fellows often turn out."
Why," said Bob Newton, do you remember, Dick,
what a time Mr. Harding had, when I brought that
cigar to school to give you, and set you a few lessons
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
in smoking-what a long speech he made to us about
boys at fourteen getting into such habits, and how
he strictly forbade any one ever to bring a cigar to
I remember it well," said Dick. "Mr. Harding
would hardly believe that his best boy would stealthily
break two of his rules. The circulating library is for-
bidden, as we all know, decidedly and entirely."
"Well, that is a foolish rule, I think," said Tom;
" and whenever I get a chance, I must say I get a book
now and then, but I do not set up to be a pattern like
The boys had unawares raised their voices, and Philip
started, and looking in the direction from whence they
proceeded, discerned, through the trees, the group that
was watching him. He hastily pulled the cigar from
his mouth, and concealed it, and pocketing the book,
he approached the woods with a grave aspect.
That must be a very interesting book, Philip," said
Bob Newton, as we have been looking at you certainly
for ten minutes, without you being aware we were so
And a fine cigar, I should imagine also," said Dick.
" Pray, where do you buy your cigars, Mr. Graham ?
Does Mr. Harding furnish you ? We need not inquire
whose circulating library you encourage, as the cover
of the book speaks plainly enough for itself. There is
no mistaking that."
LUNCH IN THE WOOD.
Philip looked exceedingly embarrassed.
flew to his face, he made an attempt to speak, but turned
and walked away, without a word.
tells us ,to imitate
in the letter, Maurice
loved best the praise of
men: but Maurice the praise of God.
WO or three weeks after the last-mentioned
incident, a group of boys were assembled on
the play-ground, when there appeared at
the gate an aged woman of quiet and quaint
S1 aspect. Her dress was old-fashioned and
peculiar, and her manner and appearance were those of
one who seldom crept from her own homely fireside, to
mingle in the great world. Her face, though bearing
deeply the stern mark of time, wore such an expression
of peace, and sweet, holy serenity, that none could look
at it without loving it, and feeling that they were in
the presence of one who walked with God. She opened
the large gate timidly, and looked rather dismayed to
find herself suddenly in the midst of a large party of
boys, all curiously looking at her.
"Is Maurice Gray here '" she asked.
No, he is not, ma'am, he is in the house," was the
answer. "Have you brought anything to sell ? You
seem to have a nice large basket."
THE FAITHFUL NURSE.
"No, I have not," she replied. "I called to see
Maurice Gray. Will you tell me where I shall find
"If you will tell us what you have in your nice
large basket," said Bob Newton, looking around him
very mischievously, "I will promise to find him for
How can you be so rude ?" said lame Louis, who
stood near. "I will go and find Maurice for you,
ma'am; but I cannot go so quick as the other boys
because I am lame;" and Louis walked towards the
Now, please, old lady," said Dick, "just tell us if
you are Maurice's grandmother, who taught him to be
such a good boy."
I am sorry," said the old lady, "that Maurice has
such rude companions."
"We all know he had a good old grandmother," said
Dick, or he would not have such a pile of good books,
and so many stupid notions about some things. It is a
thousand pities it is so, for he is such a pleasant, good-
tempered, merry fellow, and such a favourite with us
all, in spite of his old ideas."
"Please give us a peep," said Bob Newton, "into
your nice basket, and we will praise Maurice up to the
The old woman made no answer. Her eyes were
fixed on the distance, for she saw Maurice approaching,
THE FAITHFUL NURSE.
and hastened forward to meet him. Maurice looked
grieved and vexed when he saw her surrounded by the
boys, all rudely looking at her; but running hastily
towards her, exclaimed, "My good kind nurse, how
glad I am to see you !" and giving her his arm, and
relieving her of her basket, he led her towards the house.
Nurse He called her nurse !" said Dick; then
she is not his grandmother. I did not suppose she
I fear she will think us but a rude wild set of boys,"
said Frank Henley. "I could not treat an old person
"Why, it was all in fun," said Dick and Bob, look-
ing rather ashamed. "It was only fun. I would not
harm the good old lady for anything."
About half an hour after this, Maurice, with his old
nurse and Mr. Harding, were seen leaving the house
together, and quitting the grounds, proceeded down the
road towards the village.
In less than an hour, Maurice and Mr. Harding re-
turned together. Mr. Harding went into the house,
and Maurice approached the play-ground.
Now, Bob," said Frank Henley, if Maurice was a
quarrelsome, cross fellow, you and Dick would have a
battle with him for your treatment of his old nurse;
for he looked much vexed when he saw how she was
situated." But Maurice came towards them with his
usual pleasant smile.
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MAURICE AND HIS NURSE
THE FAITHFUL NURSE. 33
"What is the name of your good old nurse, Maurice 1"
said Louis Tarleton.
Burton," answered Maurice, "and I am sorry she
was not better received by my friends on her first visit
to me; but probably none of you feel towards an old
person as I do, or have had the same cause. But I
must persuade you to love and respect her, for she is
coming to live in the little green cottage, half a mile
from the school, and Mrs. Harding has promised to
employ her when sickness or any extra occasion shall
require her services. I am sure, when you know her,
you will never treat her disrespectfully again; let me
tell you something of her."
The boys gathered round Maurice.
I suppose all of you have mothers who watched
over your childhood, wiped your tears, and gave you
every pleasure; but I have no remembrance of my
mother. She died when I was hardly a year old. My
father, who is an officer in the navy, was absent on a
long cruise at the time, and I was left entirely to the
care of good Nurse Burton. She has often described
to me my mother's farewell of me. She was very young
-scarcely twenty-when she died. My nurse took
me to her, and laid me on the bed by her side. She
placed her feeble hand on my head, and prayed silently
a few moments, and then said,'I have put up orwe
more, and for the last time, the only one prayer I have
offered for my little Maurice since the first hour of his
THE FAITHFUL NURSE.
birth. It is that he might be in spirit and in truth a
follower of the blessed Redeemer.' '0 nurse !' she
said, 'you watched over my motherless childhood-be
the guide of this dear little boy-I commit him in con-
fidence to you; and I give you but one injunction in
regard to him, and that is, that you will teach him as
you did me, from the earliest opening of his reason, to
have the single eye that discerns clearly God's will, and
the single purpose that fulfils it. As it regards this
world's wealth, honours, or pleasures, I have no wish.
God's will is mine. So long as my Saviour is his
Saviour, through life and through eternity, I ask nothing
My dear mother died; and strictly and faithfully
did my good nurse perform my mother's dying request.
Her time, her strength, her mind, and soul, were de-
voted wholly to taking care of me. In health and
sickness, by night and by day, she watched over me,
studied my happiness and improvement in all things,
and thought nothing a sacrifice on her part that might
contribute to my welfare and pleasure. My father re-
turned home about a year after my mother's death;
but his home was so desolate, that after committing
me again to the tender care of Nurse Burton, he left
us. My nurse is a woman of excellent sense. Her
rind is elevated by religious truths. She has a good
common education, and she was the only instructor I
had, or required, in my earliest childhood. She
THE FAITHFUL NURSE.
patiently toiled with me through the first elements of
education; but the chief and most delightful study to
us both was the Bible. Before I could read, she told
me pleasant stories from its pages, and instilled into
my mind its sacred truths; and if there is now within
me any desire of right, or any proper notions of duty,
I owe them all, under God's blessing, to her pious and
early instructions. As soon as I could speak, she
caught me to pray, and endeavoured above all things to
impress upon my mind that I was ever in the presence
of the all-seeing God, and that outward forms, without
the spirit of religion, were abomination in his sight.
O how happily and quietly we lived together,-my
father's visits to us alone interrupting and giving variety
and delight to our humble home.
"My first grief was when, at the age of ten years,
after having been a year under my father's instruction,
he was ordered to sea, and I was sent to a school about
six miles from our home; but I was to return every
Saturday and stay until Monday, and my nurse would
visit me during the week; and so we became reconciled.
At that-school I remained until I was thirteen years of
age, when it was broken up, and for a year I was again
under the instruction of my father; but on his again
being ordered to sea the other day, he placed me here
under the care of Mr. Harding, having, at the earnest
request of my kind nurse, obtained a home for her in
this neighbourhood, where she could often see me.
THE FAITHFUL NURSE.
She gladly left her native village, and many friends
who valued her, to come here among strangers to be
near me. Only think what a desolate childhood mine
would have been without her love and care, and how
ignorant I might have been of the best knowledge,
that of right and duty, without her faithful teachings.
When you think of the love you bear your mothers, and
remember this was the only mother I ever knew, you
will not be surprised at the attachment and respect I
feel towards her. I hope I shall have the pleasure of
taking some of you to see her at her little green cottage,
and when you know her you will learn to love her too."
The bell soon summoned the boys to their rooms to
prepare for afternoon school. Several entered their
chamber together. They observed the large basket
which Nurse Burton had carried on her arm, on a table
near Maurice's bed; and the cover being off, they saw
it contained some plum cake, most temptingly iced,
and a quantity of fine ripe peaches and plums. Maurice
and Philip Graham first entered the room together.
SMaurice," said Philip, in a low voice, on observing
the basket, "you had better put those things out of
the way, if you wish to keep them. Conceal them
among your clothes, or you will get into trouble if
Mr Harding discovers that you have them.
Several other boys, entering at the same time, said
the same thing, telling him it was against the rules of
the school for any presents of that kind to be accepted.
THE FAITHFUL NURSE. 37
"Indeed," said Maurice, "I did not know it was
against the rules of the school, or I would on no
account have accepted them from my kind nurse,
though it would have disappointed her much had I
"Well," said Dick, "you have done it now, and so
nothing remains but to hide them. You must do it
quickly too, for there is the second bell."
The boys hastily descended to the school-room, and
they had all taken their seats before Maurice entered;
and to their surprise he held in his hand the basket,
and walked directly up to Mr. Harding's desk, and
addressing him, said-
"I did not know, sir, it was against your rules for
us to receive presents of this kind, or I should not
have accepted this that my good nurse brought me to-
day; though it would have grieved her much if I had
refused it, as she made the cake for me herself, and
brought the fruit all the way from our own garden,
thinking I would like it better if it came from home.
Be so kind, sir, as to pardon me for accepting it, and
not oblige me to return it to my nurse, as it would
disappoint her much. I am willing you should do
what you think best with it."
Mr. Harding's eyes beamed with pleasure, as he
looked upon the open, ingenuous countenance of
"Maurice," he said, "your honesty merits my
THE FAITHFUL NURSE.
warmest praise. I give you permission to accept the
present from your good nurse, and to do with it as you
Satisfaction beamed from the faces of many of the
boys at this eulogium from Mr. Harding, and one only
expressed envy and discontent. Philip Graham had
always merited, by his outward conduct and good
scholarship, the esteem of his teacher, who could only
judge of his character by what he saw; but Philip had
done nothing to win the affection of his teacher. The
friendly confidence with which Maurice regarded Mr.
Harding had evidently won his love. Philip saw a
rival in the new scholar, who would take his place in
Mr. Harding's esteem; and his cold heart, instead of
feeling that there was room enough in the world for
all, looked upon him with envy and dislike. But
Maurice was wholly unaware of it, and equally unaware
that he had done anything to excite praise or surprise
in any one. He was habitually honest and upright.
The Bible taught him that as God knows all things, it
is of little importance to hide anything from the know-
ledge of man, and that deceit and hypocrisy were
hateful in God's sight, and would sooner or later be
"Come, boys," said Maurice after school, as they
entered the play-grounds, "one and all take seats on
the grass here, and help me to dispose of the contents
of Nurse Burton's basket, and you will see what ex-
THE FAITHFUL NURSE.
cellent cake she makes, and what fine fruit grows in
our old garden. Come, Philip," he said, as Philip
Graham seemed turning away, as if he thought it too
childish to join the group, "I know that boys as big
as you like a good slice of cake as well as we; so come,
take a seat with us. This is a generous loaf, and quite
enough for all, and I have borrowed a plate and knife,
that I may serve it up handsomely."
Such a pleasant, good-natured smile accompanied
Maurice's words, that Philip could not resist them, and
he joined the party.
"No, I thank you, Maurice," said Bob Newton, as
Maurice handed him a slice in
rude to your good nurse to-day,
it would choke me if I should a
truth is, Maurice, I never did
ashamed of, and I am willing to
"Nor I either," said Dick.
alike about it, and wish to go
good nurse, to apologize to her,
his turn. I was
that I do really beli
Attempt to eat it.
anything I was n
" Bob and I both
with you to see y
and ask her pardon
our rude, ungentlemanly conduct. We were much ex-
cited, and in a high frolic, when she appeared at the
gate, and you know her dress and appearance are
peculiar, and we were very thoughtless, and did wrong,
and must certainly apologize for our misconduct."
Well," said Maurice, I am glad you feel so about
it, boys. I knew if I told you all about her you would
respect her, and when you know her, you cannot fail
THE FAITHFUL NURSE.
to love her; but she is so good, she will never remember
it against you. I will forgive you in her name, and
we will go together, and explain all to her, and all will
be forgiven and forgotten; so now, do oblige me by
helping to eat up the cake and fruit, or I shall not
enjoy my slice at all."
"Well, Maurice," said Bob, "you always make us
do whatever you please; so we will accept our share,
though we do not at all deserve it."
You were a bold fellow, Maurice," said Tom Bailey,
"to take this basket to Mr. Harding."
"Why, what else could I have done with it ?." said
Maurice. "I had accepted it, unconscious that I was
doing what was forbidden. You do not suppose I
would hide it, and deceive Mr. Harding ? That would,
indeed, have been hard for me to do; but there was
nothing hard in telling him that I had unintentionally
broken his rules. I am sure, had I concealed it, I
could never have eaten any of it. Besides, I should
have done wrong, and offended God and my own con-
"You are a strange fellow, Maurice," said Frank
Henley; "but I like your way of dealing. I do not
believe another boy in school would have done so; but
you have proved that it is the best way."
"The right way is always the best way," said
Maurice, "and the only way in which we ought to
r:" -- *-'. '
OPENING NURSE BURTON'S BASKET
-0 not look so sad, Louis," said Maurice one
day, as he joined the lame Louis, who was
sitting alone under a tree in the play-
ground, and, with dejected face, watching
^ the boys at play. His crutch lay beside
him on the ground, and his dominos and
jack-straws on his knee showed that he had been trying
to amuse himself with a solitary game. "Come, let me
help you at a game of dominos. I should like it much."
Tears filled the eyes of the lame boy. Oh, no,
indeed," he said, "you must not sit moping here with
me. You are such a good hand at play, and enjoy it
so much, the boys will all be after you. You sat here
a long time with me yesterday, and through all the
play-hour to-day. Indeed, I cannot permit you to do
Oh, I have had play enough, and want to rest now,"
answered Maurice. "I want to be with you a while.
There are plenty to play without me."
42 THE LAME BOY.
"I shall never forget your kindness to me, even if I
live to be an old man; but if you insist upon sitting
here with a poor lame boy like me, let us talk a little,
instead of taking a game of dominos. I should like to
tell you a thought that was in my mind just as you
"Well, what was it ?" asked Maurice, kindly.
"I was wondering why it is, that of all the boys
here, I am the only one that is deformed and lame. I
should be so happy if I could run about and play with
"Ah, Louis," replied Maurice, "there is but one
answer to that question. It is your heavenly Father's
will. God is your Maker and mine. He is the Maker
of all mankind. He makes some sound in mind and
body, and others weak and deformed. He makes some
rich, and others poor. As we are all the work of his
Almighty hand, he certainly has a right to create us as
he pleases. All he does is for some wise purpose, and
it is not for us to question his ways. You must hear
my good nurse speak on these subjects. She can teach
you far better than I can. You have been promising
me you would call and see her for a long while. We
shall have plenty of time; let us go there now. Take
my arm, and we will walk slowly, so as not to tire
. Louis, leaning with one arm on his crutch, and the
other on his friend, walked slowly down the shady
THE LAME BOY.
road, and reached the little green cottage. Under the
porch, covered with creepers and honey-suckles, quite
shaded from sight, on a low bench, sat Nurse Burton
with a Bible on her lap.
"Ah, my dear child," she said, as she saw Maurice,
"I thought you would come to-day. You are just in
time for us to read our evening lesson together, as we
used to do at home. And who is this young gentle-
man she asked, looking tenderly at lame Louis. I
recollect I saw him the day I first called on you at the
"It is Louis Tarleton-one of my best friends,
nurse," answered Maurice, "and I know you will love
him. But first we will read together, and then we will
talk a while."
Maurice seated himself by his old nurse, and they
read through a chapter alternately, Nurse Burton often
stopping to explain and comment on different verses as
they read. There was, indeed, a striking contrast be-
tween the stooping, worn-out form, the wrinkled face,
and the trembling voice of the old nurse, and the
youthful figure, glowing countenance, and musical
tones of Maurice, as they sat there together pondering
the blessed Word of Life-the help and strength of the
aged, the guide and counsellor of the young. The
descending sun gleamed through the fresh creeper and
honey-suckle, and fell with its golden light across their
faces-an emblem of the blessed Sun of Righteousness,
THE LAME BOY.
which inwardly shed its sanctifying rays over their
"Do you not love the Bible, young gentleman?"
said Nurse Burton, addressing Louis, as she dosed the
"I have never read it much," answered Louis; "but
you and Maurice seem to enjoy it so much, and it
appears to make you both so happy, that I wish I
could love to read it. You see I am lame, and I can-
not play like the other boys; so I read a great deal,
and am often at a loss for something to interest me,
and Mr. Harding says no one ever tires of reading the
Bible. I do not know why, but it has always seemed
a dull book to me. Do you not think it is hard for
me to be lame, nurse, and unable to run or jump with
the other boys ? I have to sit moping alone, or crawl
around on crutches."
"Ah, speak reverently, my child," said Nurse
Burton, of your affliction; it is God's hand upon
you. You see not its purpose yet, but be assured
there is a wise purpose in it. Let the language of
your soul be,
'I cannot, Lord, thy purpose see,
But all is well, since ruled by thee.'
'My Father's hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.'
Have you learned, dear child, to love God as a father
and friend ? If not, your lot is indeed a hard one, and
THE LAME BOY.
your cross a heavy one; but only learn that, and you
will have but the single desire that his will may be
done in you and by you. You will prefer to keep
your affliction if he wills it, and it will be to you a
visible token of his care over you."
"Oh, how I wish I could feel so !" said Louis with
emotion, tears filling his eyes. How can I, good
nurse ? Will you teach me ? "
"The blessed Spirit will teach you, dear child,"
replied the good nurse, and you can obtain all you
need, and that freely, by asking of Him who giveth
liberally. Begin now to pray for it, and you will
receive in abundance. Study the blessed Bible; and
if my poor assistance can help you to understand its
wondrous truths, come to me with dear Maurice, and
we will read it together."
I have long felt," replied Louis, "that I might
be happier if I could feel reconciled to my lot. Per-
haps, if I learned to love God, I should think less of
my own troubles, and more of Him, and then I might
"It surely would be so, my dear," replied the nurse.
"Have you no parents, Louis ?"
"My parents both died when I was an infant,"
answered Louis, "and I have neither brother nor
Then you must feel the more need of a heavenly
Friend, my dear child," answered the nurse. He
THE LAME BOY.
can supply the place of all others in your heart, and
by His presence life will become to you so full of
sweet flowers, lovely music, and pleasant pictures, that
you will be as happy as you can desire. What relatives
have you, my dear ? "
"I have an uncle," replied Louis, "who is always
generous and kind to me; but he is himself a lonely
man, having neither home, wife, nor children; and
though he sometimes takes me to the hotel where he
boards in K on a visit, it is not pleasant to me,
and I generally pass my vacations at school; and then,
good nurse, I am often very sick. Last spring I was
so ill that my life was despaired of. I have never'felt
so strong since, and I heard the physician tell my uncle
that I could never bear so severe an illness again.
That has often made me think a great deal about dying,
and I have concluded that it would be quite as well to
die as to live here in pain, weakness, and mortification
through a long life. For of what use can I ever be in
the world, or what pleasure can I take in living 1 "
Oh, my dear child," answered the nurse, speak not
so of the lot God ordains for you. Light from above
must and will be shed upon your path, and then all
will be bright and happy to you. O Father of
mercies," continued the godly woman, raising her eyes
and hands to heaven, "send down thy blessed light
and truth into the soul of this child of thine. Give
him the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of
THE LAME BOY.
praise for the spirit of heaviness, for Jesus Christ's
The boys sat a few minutes longer conversing with
the good nurse, and as they walked homeward, Maurice
saw that a calmer and more chastened spirit expressed
itself in the sad and dejected face of his companion;
and his heart rejoiced, for he hoped the poor lad would
now find the comforter he so much needed.
It was a public day at the school. There was a class
arranged for recitation, and many visitors were present.
Frank Henley was at the head of the class, Maurice
second, and Philip Graham third. A question was
given to Maurice, who hesitated. He was quickly
prompted by Frank; but instead of availing himself of
his assistance, he replied, I do not recollect the answer
to that question." The question was passed to Philip,
who replied correctly, and took Maurice's place.
Frank Henley seemed quite puzzled at this, and as
several boys stood together on the play-ground after
school, he said, Maurice, did you not hear me prompt
you this morning? You must have heard, for I spoke
right into your ear."
"Yes," answered Maurice, "I heard you, Frank, and
am much obliged to you for wishing to assist me."
Then if you heard me, why did you not answer the
question ?" asked Frank.
Because," replied Maurice, "it was my memory,
and not yours, that ought to have been ready. It
THE LAME BOY.
would have been you answering, and not me, and that
would not have been right."
"And so you preferred the mortification of missing
the question," said Frank, "before all the visitors, and
losing your place in the class, to using my memory!
Besides, allowing Philip Graham, who would not have
hesitated (had he not known the answer) to have made
use of the prompting I intended for you, to take your
Philip would not have been so simple," said Bob
Newton, "as to have lost his place, if he could have
kept it by any means. He knows well enough how to
get along, and save himself from disgrace. When he
has not properly prepared his lessons, I have many a
time seen him with a scrap of paper in his hand, which
he adroitly concealed, and adroitly read, too, if occasion
required. If Mr. Harding knew that, what would he
think of his model ? You are too particular, Maurice,
you may depend upon it, to get along here; and you
will find it so by-and-by."
"I must do what my conscience tells me is right,"
answered Maurice, whether I get along well or not.
If I do not, I should be very unhappy."
Which would cause you to feel most unpleasantly,"
asked Frank, "to miss a question on exhibition day,
lose your place in the class, and cause the visitors to
think, you were an indolent, careless scholar, or to
answer one single question by my prompting ? "
THE LAME BOY.
I should prefer missing several questions," answered
Maurice, and have the character of an indolent scholar,
than do what I thought was dishonest: but I have
only missed one to-day, and I have answered many in
various classes correctly, and I do not think that either
Mr. Harding or the visitors will be so unreasonable as
to think I am usually indolent or careless about my
"Well, you are a strange fellow," said Bob Newton,
" and all I can say is, there is not another boy in school
that has such notions."
,-IH, what have I done ? What have I done ?
Cried Maurice Gray. "What shall I do?
What will Mr. Harding think of me My
unlucky ball. I was so engaged in my
game, that I did not notice how near I
was to the conservatory, and thus have disobeyed my
teacher, and now I am punished for it."
What is it ? What is it, Maurice ? cried several
voices, and the boys quickly gathered round to ascer-
tain what had happened.
"Alas !" answered Maurice, my ball has broken a
square of glass in the conservatory.. I threw it with
such force that I fear it has thrown down some plants,
for I heard a loud crash. Let us go and see."
The boys hastened to the conservatory. They were
allowed to view the flowers from the outside, but were
strictly forbidden to enter it without permission from
SYes, it is too true," said Maurice. Oh, I am so
t '' Jo
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OH! WHAT HAVE
I DONE CRIED MAURICE GRAY
['lu .0' .'O
A NOBLE CONFESSION.
sorry. I have thrown down that beautiful scarlet
cactus in full bloom, which Mr. Harding showed us
yesterday, and have probably injured it very much.
What will Mr. Harding think of me ?"
"0 say nothing about it--say nothing about it,"
said Dick Wells. Such things have often happened
here before, and no one could ever tell who did the
mischief. Mr. Harding has tried in vain, every way,
and offered rewards to have the offender made known.
But we have a way of managing such things. So do
not trouble yourself about it, Maurice. You are too
good a fellow to get punished. None of us will allow
it; depend upon that."
"I guess he will be glad enough to hide that from
Mr. Harding," said Philip Graham, aside, to Bob New-
ton, though he was so bold in acknowledging his fault
about the present from the old nurse. This is quite a
different and a more serious affair."
Broken glass and broken flowers are two things
which very seriously try Mr. Harding's temper," said
Bob Newton aloud. He thinks such things are
always the result of carelessness or wilfulness, and he
has preached more upon them than upon almost any-
Oh, never mind, Maurice," said Frank Henley. I
can easily get you out of the scrape, and I will do it."
Maurice stood thoughtfully looking at the mischief
he had done, and hardly heeding the various remarks
A NOBLE CONFESSION.
made by his companions; and did not observe that
Frank Henley had instantly left the group, after saying
that he could and would get him out of his difficulty.
How fortunate," said Tom Bailey, that Mr. Hard-
ing is absent this afternoon! I saw him ride away
with his family immediately after dinner, and he will
not probably return until dark, and he will not find this
out until to-morrow. So we have time to arrange all
about the matter, and to prepare ourselves for the cross-
questioning we shall all get on the subject."
At this moment Frank Henley re-appeared with
Maurice's ball in his hand, and presented it to him.
Maurice looked at him with surprise. Here, Maurice,"
said Frank, here is your ball. You are now safe from
discovery. It is not every boy in school I would have
broken one of its rules to serve. But I cannot see you
0 Frank," said Maurice, "you have not entered
the conservatory against Mr. Harding's commands!
How could you ?"
How could I! Why," said Frank, to make you
safe. There will now be no ball found there, and Mr.
Harding will not know how the glass was broken. We
will all agree that we know nothing about it, and he
will think it was the gardener, or Peter, or one of the other
servants, and you will get off. I really thought you would
be grateful for my services, but your looks express any-
thing but gratitude. I should think I had injured you."
A NOBLE CONFESSION.
0 Frank," said Maurice, "you intended to do me
a service, and have acted from feelings of friendship
and kindness to me. I do feel truly grateful for your
intentions, but you have injured yourself, without at
all assisting me."
How do you mean, Maurice, that I have not assisted
you ?" said Frank. The ball cannot now testify against
you. It is easy enough for all of us to keep quiet, and
you will never be discovered."
"Oh, but I have done wrong," said Maurice, and I
cannot conceal it from my teacher. I shall go to him
directly when we assemble in the hall for prayers to-
night, if I cannot see him before. I could not rest to-
night without confessing all, and receiving his forgive-
ness for my disobedience and carelessness. I am sure
he will not be unreasonable or unkind, and I prefer re-
ceiving the punishment I deserve to deceiving him."
You will not be such a simpleton as that, surely,"
said Bob Newton, "when Frank has done so much to
get you out of the difficulty. It would be treating him
very unhandsomely, and exposing yourself unnecessarily
to Mr. Harding's censure."
I am not ungrateful to you, Frank, for the kindness
you intended me," said Maurice, "but there is only one
path for me, and that is the right one. It is ever plain
and open to us all, if we will but see it. There are
many winding and crooked ways, but they are always
full of perplexity and trouble. Suppose I follow your
A NOBLE CONFESSION.
advice, and conceal what I have done from our teacher,
I shall cause you all to practice deceit, the blame of the
accident will rest on the wrong person, and feeling that
he has been injured and deceived, it will be a long time
before Mr. Harding forgets the affair. But if I do right
and confess my fault, and submit myself to -my just
punishment, no one will be involved but myself, and
no one but the real offender will be suspected."
"And Frank-what will he do in that case ?~" asked
little Joe Green, who stood intently gazing at Maurice,
and apparently quite confounded at the new doctrines
he was uttering.
"Oh said Frank, "I can manage it easy enough
for myself. If Maurice does not choose to accept my
assistance, I can easily replace his ball where I found
it; that is clear enough. I have not the fancy for
being punished that he has-and am willing to be
obliged to a friend once in a while."
"And so am I, Frank," said Maurice, "and to no
one sooner than yourself; but suppose I deceived my
teacher, I cannot deceive God, who knoweth all things.
I feel that his all-seeing eye is upon me, and I must
act as in his sight."
"You are a proud fellow, Maurice," said Frank,-in
an angry tone, and seizing the ball roughly from his
hand, he walked towards the conservatory.
The bell rang for evening prayers.
"I guess Maurice will change his mind to-night
A NOBLE CONFESSION.
about confessing this accident," said Phil Graham to
Frank Henley, as they walked together towards the hall.
" Depend upon it, with all his bragging and preaching
about right and conscience, he has repented fifty times
of not accepting your offer to get him out of his scrape
"I do not agree with you there, Phil," said Frank.
" He would not accept it now, if it was made to him
this moment; but he is a character you cannot well
understand, Phil. Your motto has always been plain
enough to us all, 'Make clean the outside of the cup
and the platter,' but Maurice's seems to be, Make clean
the inside. I must own he is a noble fellow. Though
I was provoked with him this afternoon for spurning
my assistance, I have got over it now, and I like him
all the better for it-and I wish I was like him."
Well, we shall see how he'll manage it," answered
Philip. Depend upon it, his heart will fail to-night,
and he will be glad to keep clean the outside, and let
the inside go."
It was quite a large assembly that gathered at morn-
ing and evening prayer at Mr. Harding's school. It
included his own family, his pupils, and the numerous
servants of his household. Mr. Harding was in his
accustomed place when the boys entered, and was
thoughtfully turning over the leaves of the sacred
volume that lay before him. The silence in the room
was interrupted by Maurice, who, leaving his seat,
A NOBLE CONFESSION.
approached Mr. Harding, and asked permission to
speak a few words to him before the evening's exer-
cises commenced, adding, "I have done something
unintentionally, but carelessly, sir, which will displease
you, and I cannot retire for the night happily until I
have confessed it to you."
He then related the occurrences of the afternoon, and
blamed himself very much for becoming so absorbed
in his game as to approach so close to the forbidden
side of the. play-ground near the conservatory, and con-
cluded by saying, "I am exceedingly sorry, sir. I sub-
mit myself cheerfully to the punishment I deserve;
only let me know that you will not think I would wil-
fully do anything to injure you, or deliberately disobey
There was a profound silence in the room while Maurice
spoke, and his words were heard distinctly by all.
The silence continued a moment after he had ceased
to speak, when, to the surprise of all, Frank Henley
left his seat, and, approaching his teacher, said-
"I, too, have done wrong to-day, sir, and have dis-
obeyed you; and though in times past I have always
endeavoured to conceal from you the accidents and dis-
obediences of which I have been guilty, I so admire the
bold and honest conduct of Maurice, that I am induced
to follow his example. Unknown to Maurice, and
wishing to save him from exposure, I entered the con-
servatory, contrary to your orders, and took away his
A NOBLE CONFESSION.
ball. I presented it to him, telling him, as that could
not now witness against him, it would be easy for him
to get out of the difficulty; that you would never sus-
pect him, but would impute the blame to some other
person, who, I could answer it, would never be dis-
covered. I was angry with him for decidedly, but
kindly, refusing to accept my proposal, and conceal it
from you; and seized the ball roughly from his hand,
saying, I was not then going to get myself into trouble,
and that I should return it to the conservatory. I left
him intending so to do; but as I walked along, my own
mean conduct, contrasted with the brave and honest
course of Maurice, presented itself vividly to my mind.
He was so different from any boy I had ever met with
before, that I could not help admiring him, and desir-
ing to imitate him. A voice seemed sounding in my
ear, Truth, brave Frank; be honest, Frank.' It was
a new idea for me to act upon, and I did not know that
I should have courage to do it; but I am glad I have,
sir, for I feel much happier than if I had concealed my
disobedience, and I am willing to be punished as I
Frank ceased to speak. Mr. Harding looked much
agitated, and seemed struggling to command his feel-
ings. There was a breathless silence in the room. All
eyes were turned first on the teacher, and then on the
two manly youths who stood before him. At length
Mr. Harding said-
A NOBLE CONFESSION.
"'Maurice, you have done me more service to-day
than you could have done me injury, had you broken
all the glass in my conservatory, and destroyed every
plant that it contains. I would be willing that such
an accident should occur very often, for the sake of
your good example, and feel grateful to you for its
effect upon Frank. I trust it will be of lasting benefit
to his character. I freely forgive you your careless-
ness; and, to show my esteem for your character and
influence, will reward you by forgiving Frank the fault
he has committed in his effort to serve you. Frank,"
he continued, turning towards him, "you deserve com-
mendation for the effort you have made to confess your
fault. The struggle must have been hard for you, if
you have hitherto been in the habit of deceiving and
concealing. I trust you will henceforth follow the good
example of Maurice; and I hope ere long you will be
uniformly actuated by the same high notions of duty
which influence him. For that which alone gives per-
manency to any good intentions or resolutions is to act
in the fear and love of our heavenly Father."
Mr. Harding then extended his hand kindly, first to
Maurice, and then to Frank. They bowed and retired
to their seats, and the exercises of the evening pro-
Cj4e jisxn^r i3acrn
T was the holy Sabbath-day. The services of
the sanctuary were over. It was a rule of
Mr. Harding's that each boy should pass
the intervening time, from the close of the
afternoon service until tea-time, in his own
closet. Books appropriate for the day were
provided for all, and a lesson in the Bible was to be
learned for the evening,-that part of the Sabbath
being devoted entirely by Mr. Harding to the religious
instruction of his pupils. Let us glance for a moment
into the closets of some of the boys most conspicuous
in our story, and see how they are passing the precious
hours of God's holy day, when none but the all-seeing
eye is upon them.
Frank Henley sat at his desk; his Bible and ques-
tion-book lay open before him. He had evidently been
studying his lesson, but his head was now leaning on
his hand, and an expression of thought was upon his
features quite foreign to his usual light-hearted, gay
THE MISSING BOOK.
look. He seemed pondering in his mind some import-
ant subject. Yes!-new thoughts had lately sprung
up in his heart. He had felt the nobleness of confess-
ing a fault even to his fellow-creature, and that led him
to reflect how often he had deceived him. The words
of Maurice, We cannot deceive God, who knoweth all
things," had led him to think how often, by deceit and
falsehood, and neglect of duty, he must have offended
his great Creator. The Bible lesson of the afternoon
had drawn his thoughts into a serious train; the Spirit
of the Holy One was near, hovering around his retire-
ment with most precious and blessed boons and bene-
dictions, all ready to pour into his youthful soul. God
grant he may open his heart to receive them, and not
grieve him away by thoughtlessness or love of ease!
Dick Wells had stolen into the closet of Tom Bailey,
unknown to any one; they were sitting close together,
talking very earnestly in low whispers, lest it should be
discovered that they had transgressed a rule of the
school, and were passing the hours together. They
appeared to be laying a plan for something which was
difficult to settle, as they often paused thoughtfully,
and then resumed their conversation, as if undecided
what course to take. Had one been near, he might
have heard such phrases as these: "Splendid horses !"
-" Best circus in the country !"-" Fine music !"-
" I am determined I will go !"-" Somehow or other I
am quite decided about that: I had rather be punished
THE MISSING BOOK.
for going than not go at all; but we can manage so as
not to be discovered, I know."
"Bob Newton is going," said Dick, "and Frank
Henley will go, and Harry Blake, and Will Foster-we
are sure of those. Will it do to ask Maurice Gray ?"
"I should like much to have him, if we could per-
suade him to join us," said Tom; but he is so very
strict, I do not think there is any use in asking him;
for we do not, of course, wish any one to know of it who
will not heartily join us."
Maurice is so fond of a frolic, and delights so much
in horses," said Dick, "that we might perhaps per-
suade him to go."
"Don't you believe it," answered Tom. "He loves
fun and horses too, I know, as well as any of us; and
could he go with Mr. Harding's permission, he would
enjoy it much; but Maurice would never run away and
go-I am certain of that."
"He is bold enough to do it if he choose," said
Dick. "There is no cowardice in him. I am no
coward; but I dare not act as he does in some things.
I have hot the same kind of courage. There is some-
thing I cannot understand about him; but I do like
him exceedingly for all that."
"There will be no harm in sounding him some
time," said Tom. We are sure of one thing-he will
not betray us, or get us into any trouble."
Our best plan," said Dick, I think, will be to ask
THE MISSING BOOK.
permission to go to the woods on Wednesday afternoon,
when the circus is in the village; and then the older
boys can separate themselves from the rest. That will
not excite suspicion, for we often do that; and then
make the best of our way as fast as possible to the
village; and if we have good luck, and do not meet the
honourable Mr. Harding, nor his honourable assistant,
Mr. Neville, we shall get along well. Perhaps we may
think of some other way before the time."
"Well," said Tom, "we will consider this plan set.
tled, unless we can think of a better."
Philip Graham sat at his desk, with his Bible and
question-book before him, studying his lesson most
attentively for a short time-for he was quick to learn
-and it was not many minutes before he had it pre-
pared. He thel) slyly drew a book from his desk, and
looked around the room. But why ? No person could
possibly be concealed there. He then looked from his
window, and then drew his chair back a little, that he
might not be seen from the outside, and then opened
the book he had taken from his desk, and was soon
absorbed in its pages. Dick and Tom would have
recognized it at a glance as belonging to Mr. Shaw's
Lame Louis begged permission of Maurice Gray to
pass the hours with him; but Maurice firmly refused
his request, unless he could obtain the consent of Mr.
Harding; and, to oblige Louis, Maurice went with him
THE MISSING BOOK.
to their teacher to request the favour, which was kindly
The sad and dejected expression of Louis's pale face
was softened into a look of more gentleness and sub-
mission, which was quite touching. They appeared
deeply interested in the evening lesson, and Louis
often paused and with much earnestness asked his
young teacher the explanation of various passages as
they proceeded. After they had completed their lesson
Maurice turned to another part of the Bible, and they
read and conversed with great interest on the subjects
of various chapters.
The hours passed rapidly away,. and the ringing of
the bell to summon them to tea still found them study-
ing with pleasure that Holy Book which can alone
make us "wise unto salvation," and afford us consola-
tion under all the difficulties and trials of life.
"Maurice," said Philip Graham, entering his closet
one day, where Maurice sat preparing his lessons for
school, "I have a word to say to you alone."
"Well, what is it, Philip ?" said Maurice, laying
down his book. Can I do anything to assist you ? '
no," said Philip; "quite the contrary. I wan
to do you a favour."
I am much obliged to you," said Maurice. "What
may it be ?"
"I observe you are very' fond of reading," said
Philip. Is it not so ? "
THE MISSING BOOK.
Yes, indeed," said Maurice, "it is one of my chief
pleasures. The having lived all my life in the country,
and being greatly dependent upon myself for amuse-
ment, has given me, I suppose, a taste for reading."
"And how do you like the books of Mr. Harding's
library," asked Philip; such as we are permitted to
use ? "
Very much, indeed," replied Maurice. I have
not been at a loss since I have been here for interesting
reading; and it must be a long time before I have
exhausted the library, especially as Mr. Harding is so
kind as to be constantly adding to it."
"But would you not sometimes like a change,"
asked Philip, "in your reading? I have a plan I
think you would like, which will make a pleasant
variety in your reading, give you much pleasure, and
I will take all the trouble of it. I am a subscriber to
Mr. Shaw's circulating library, and I thought if you
would like to pay half the subscription, you can pay
the money to me. I will obtain and return all the
books, and so no one will know that you have anything
to do with it."
I daresay, Philip," said Maurice, you intend me
a favour, and therefore I am obliged to you; but, in
the first place, I will never wilfully break any of Mr.
Harding's rules, and you know one of them is that we
shall never take books from the circulating libraries.
In the second place, my father has expressed a wish to
THE MISSING BOOK.
me that I should never read frivolous books, as he
says it gives one a disrelish for useful reading; and as
Mr. Harding provides us with works of history, bio-
graphy, and travels, I therefore can have no use for
Mr. Shaw's books. And in the third place, I have no
taste now for works of fiction, and do not wish to
acquire one, as I fear it might injure me, and cause me
to waste my time."
Oh," answered Philip, as for that, I like history,
biography, and travels also; but I must have a variety.
Novels are delightful, and will never injure you. I
have been reading as many as I chose for several years,
and I do not see that I am any the worse for it."
"But the love you have acquired for them," said
Maurice, "leads you deliberately to disobey your
teacher to obtain them. I should think that was evil
enough; and you know not to what .else they may
Oh, such rules, I always think, are made for the
younger boys," said Philip. I am no longer a child,
and will not submit like a child to every such regula-
tion. If I set a good example and keep my own
counsel, that is enough, I am sure. When have I
ever failed in a lesson, or been reproved by my teacher ?
There is not a boy in school so exemplary as I am.
But come, do not be a child any longer, Maurice," he
continued, drawing a book from his pocket; "just
take this and examine it. It- shall cost you nothing.
THE MISSING BOOK.
It is a most thrilling story.
you read this, I know'
you will thankfully accept my proposal."
Maurice drew back, and refused the book.
"No, Philip," he said, "you cannot by any means
tempt or persuade me to have anything to do with
that book, or any other that is forbidden us. It is
wrong, and I am afraid to do what is wrong."
At this moment the bell rang for dinner. Footsteps
were heard in the hall. Philip, unperceived by Maurice,
hastily concealed the book under some pamphlets and
papers on his desk, and left him. Maurice thought no
more of the book ; and Philip was that day summoned
home to visit his father, who was very ill.
A fortnight passed away, when one morning Mr.
Harding was called out of school, and after being
absent a few minutes, he returned looking unusually
grave, and addressing his school, said, "That Mr.
Shaw from the village had just called to look up a
book that had for several weeks been missing from his
library, and which was taken out by one of the pupils
of the school. He refuses to give the name of the boy,
as he is under a solemn promise of secresy, unless the
book cannot be otherwise obtained. The book, he
said, was a new one, and the only copy he had; and
as one volume was missing he could not use the other,
or he would not have made known the circumstance to
me. But as the young gentleman who had it had not
called for some time, he must excuse him for using the
THE MISSING BOOK. 67
most prompt method for obtaining his property; and
he should make known his name unless he received
his book without needless delay. I am exceedingly
grieved," continued Mr. Harding, "that any one should
have violated what I consider one of the most impor-
tant rules of my school, as you all know how strongly
I have often expressed my abhorrence of the kind of
books usually found in circulating libraries such as
Mr. Shaw's. It seems to me also an act of ingratitude,
as I have been at the personal expense of purchasing a
library for your use, of such books as I approve. I
advise whoever has the book Mr. Shaw is in search of
to confess it immediately, otherwise Mr. Shaw will
himself make it known."
No one spoke or moved.
Mr. Harding looked carefully around the room, and
then added, There is no one absent from the school
now but Philip Graham, and his conduct has been
such as to exonerate him from the suspicion of so
gross a violation of duty, and of course it must be one
of those now present."
Mr. Shaw returned home, and Mr. Harding then
directed the boys to remain in their places while he
visited their rooms in search of the missing book. He
was absent but a few moments when he re-appeared in
the school-room, bringing a book which they all knew
came from the forbidden circulating library. His counten-
ance was very grave, and he said, with unusual emotion:
68 THE MISSING BOOK.
"I have found this book where I least expected to
find it, and where, before searching, I should have felt
certain it would not be found. It was concealed under
papers and pamphlets on the desk of Maurice Gray."
Maurice involuntarily started at the sound of his
name, but soon recovered himself, and looked steadily
at his teacher.
O Maurice !" said Mr. Harding, with much feel-
ing, have I indeed been deceived in you ? Why did
you not, as on former occasions, come forward and
confess your fault ?"
Maurice arose in his seat and said respectfully, I
have nothing to confess, sir. I did not know the book
"Then you accuse some one," said Mr. Harding, "of
secreting the book under papers upon your desk, do
"It must have been done by some one else, sir,"
answered Maurice, "for I have never read, nor even
taken in my hand, a book from the circulating library
since I entered your school."
"The missing book is found secreted upon your
desk, Maurice," said Mr. Harding. Everything looks
against you; but I am persuaded you have never yet
"Circumstances are certainly against me, sir," said
Maurice, looking calmly at his teacher with his full,
honest eye; "but I do not dare to lie or deceive. I
THE MISSING BOOK.
believe I have never given you cause to doubt my
integrity, and I hope you will believe me when I say
I did not know the book was there. As it has been
found there, and has been missing for a fortnight, I
know of but one way in which it could have been put
there. But I beg of you to take some other method
of ascertaining the truth. I may implicate one who is
innocent, and nothing but your express commands can
cause me to make known my suspicions. If you will
please to wait a day or two longer, perhaps all will be
I have such confidence in you, Maurice," said Mr.
Harding, "and feel such a respect for your wishes,
that I will let the matter rest until to-morrow, when
Mr. Neville returns, and I will consult with him as to
the best course to pursue."
Philip Graham returned that evening to school.
He looked very sad, and much softened. He had
come from the death-bed and funeral of his father,
and was received with much kindness and sympathy
by Mr. Harding.
Mr. Neville returned the next day, but not until the
boys had been assembled in school for an hour, and
of course Mr. Harding had no opportunity to consult
with him on the discovery of the offender.
After the lessons were over Mr. Harding related to
Mr. Neville, in presence of the whole school, the cir-
cumstances of the missing book, and concluded by
THE MISSING BOOK.
asking him if he could conceive who would have taken
the book from the library, or how it could have been
concealed on Maurice's desk without his knowledge.
"I have had this in my possession," he added, pro-
ducing the book, "and have examined its contents,
and it has made me the more determined to discover
who among my pupils could have such a low and de-
praved taste as to feel inclined to read it. I feel
ashamed to think that I have a boy in my school who
has a taste for such reading."
Mr. Neville looked much disturbed while Mr.
SHarding was speaking, and after a few moments he
"It is most painful to me to be obliged to bring
disgrace and reproach upon one who has hitherto occu-
pied a high position in the school, in every way; but
it is my duty to state what I know of this affair, that
suspicion may not rest where it is undeserved. I
intended to have made known to you, sir," he con-
tinued, addressing Mr. Harding, "the circumstances
which occurred a fortnight since; but as I was very
much occupied at the time in preparations for my
journey, it escaped my mind, and I had quite forgotten
the affair until you mentioned what occurred here
It was about a fortnight since, I was on my way
to the closet of Maurice Gray. I wished to speak
with him alone. As I approached the closet I heard
THE MISSING BOOK.
some one conversing with him within, and not wishing
to interrupt them, I retired to a window in the room
to wait until his visitor departed, and unintentionally
overheard the conversation within. Some one was
urging Maurice to become a subscriber to the circulat-
ing library, telling him he should have no trouble
about it, that he would procure and return all the
books, &c.; and he seemed at the same time to be
urging upon him a volume to read. Maurice Gray
firmly and positively refused to have anything to do
with it, giving the best of reasons for so doing, that
he would never wilfully break a rule of the school-
that his father entirely disapproved of such reading-
that he did not wish to cultivate a taste for it himself
-that he was perfectly satisfied with, and much inter-
ested in, the books which were provided for him to
read. His companion was still urging Maurice to do
as he desired, when the bell interrupted them, the other
boys entered the room, and he was obliged to leave.
I saw no book in his hand when he left the closet.
I think it must then have been left there. The boy
who was conversing with Maurice, and whom I saw
leave the closet, was Philip Graham."
Mr. Harding started with surprise. He was well
aware that among his older pupils there were some he
could not trust, as they preferred their own will to
his; but Philip Graham, from outward conduct, had
always been exemplary-what the boys called Mr.
THE MISSING BOOK.
Harding's model." He was a brilliant scholar-
punctual and studious, and was supposed by his
teachers to be a boy of strict moral principles. His
comrades knew him better, but it was a great dis-
appointment to Mr. Harding to find he had been so de-
ceived. He sat silent at his desk for some minutes,
and then called Philip Graham, who arose in his seat.
"There can be no doubt," said Mr. Harding, of the
entire correctness of Mr. Neville's statement. If you
have any excuse to make, or any explanation to give,
you have an opportunity."
Philip stood erect. His eyes were cast down, but
his countenance was unmoved, and he made no reply.
"It grieves me more than I can express," continued
Mr. Harding, to be compelled to look not only with
suspicion and distrust, but with deep disapprobation,
on one whom I have always regarded with confidence
and esteem. I must henceforth regard you as opposed
to my plans and my interests. This is the first offence
of yours that has come to my knowledge, but it is one
of great aggravation. You have deliberately disobeyed
me, and as you are a subscriber to the library, your
offence is probably one of long standing. Nor is that
all. You have used your influence to induce another
to break my rules, and to pervert his mind with such
vile trash as this book contains. I cannot suppose
that this is your only attempt. It may be that you
have induced others whose minds, unlike that of
THE MISSING BOOK.
Maurice, are not fortified by good principles, to follow
your example. I need not say that you have lost the
high place in my regard which you formerly held, and
nothing but a long course of correct conduct can restore
you to my confidence. My sympathy with your great
affliction leads me to suspend for the present the in-
fliction of merited punishment. One word of advice
I must give you. Of all the severe judgments which
our blessed Redeemer denounced, none were more
severe than those which respect hypocrites-those
who appeared outwardly righteous, but were within
full of deceit and wickedness. Go to your private
room, Philip, and let the rest of the day be passed in
meditation on your past conduct, and may God give
you a penitent spirit, and a desire for the future to live
a penitent life May he give you a clean heart, and
renew a right spirit within you !"
Philip obeyed and silently left the room.
gast anb Worst.
!JNLUCKY unlucky! unlucky !" cried
Dick Wells, joining a group of the older
boys on the play-ground. "Is it not,
t Tom, the most unlucky thing in the world,
that the birth-day fete and the circus come
on the same day; I never heard of anything more pro-
voking ? How can we manage it ?"
"It is, indeed, bad enough," answered Tom, "but
we must do the best we can, and that is, to leave home
as early as possible, and come out of the circus before
it is over, and try to be at home again by four o'clock,
which is the hour we are invited to thefete."
"Yes, that is all we can do," answered Dick, un-
less we give it up altogether, and that is what I will
not do, happen what may. There never was such a
tempting hand-bill, and I must go, and think of the
We must obtain permission," said Tom, to go to
the woods immediately after dinner, and as soon as we
LAST AND WORST. 75
are out of sight, make the best of our way to the village.
One of us must try to keep an eye to the time, and just
before four we must leave; and if we are fifteen minutes
too late, Mr. Harding will think we did not know the
hour, or that we wandered farther than we intended."
"Well, that is what we will conclude upon," said
Dick. "How many of us are there? Bob Newton
joins us at the tent. He is to buy our tickets and have
all ready, so that there will be no delay. Why, Maurice,
I did not observe you were here, I did not mean you
should know our secret, as I thought there would be
no use in inviting you; you are so fearful of disobey-
ing Mr. Harding. Come, now, do be somebody for
once Join our party, and see the most delightful circus
in the world."
"You must, Maurice," said Bob Newton, as you
have overheard the whole plan, you cannot help it.
You are so fond of horses, and ride so well yourself,
you will enjoy it; and you may learn something useful
too in the way of managing a horse-eh !"
"Oh, say nothing more to me about it," answered
Maurice. "You all know very well that I will not
join you; but I fear you will all get into trouble, so
you had better give it up. I am sure the pleasant
entertainment Mr. farding gives us on Wednesday
ought to be sufficient amusement for us; and suppose
yon were detained, or did not know the hour, how
mortified you would all feel to be discovered at such a
76 LAST AND WORST.
time-to say nothing of the disobedience, and the
meanness of skulking away in such a manner to attend
a circus. Better give it up."
We have thought it all over, Maurice," said Dick,
" and we are quite resolved to run all risks and go, and
nothing you can say will induce us to change our
minds. So, if we cannot induce you to join us, we
will drop the subject."
Maurice made no answer, but putting his arm within
Frank's, he coaxingly led him away.
"Now, Frank," he said, as they walked along, "it is
but a short time since you determined to be more con-
scientious, and that you would not again violate Mr.
Harding's rules. Why will you allow the first tempta-
tion to draw you away from your duty ? "
O Maurice !" said Frank, "I cannot withstand
such a temptation as this. It is too much for me. Of
all things in the world the circus is my delight. After
this I do intend to try to do right."
Until the next temptation comes, Frank," said
Maurice. Where is the virtue of doing right, when
there is no temptation to do wrong ? "
"That is true," said Frank; but this once, Maurice,
I must follow my inclination. I am quite as deter-
mined as the others. Happen what will, I attend the
circus this time."
I fear you will repent of it," answered Maurice.
"It seems to me to be quite impossible for you to leave
LAST AND WORST.
the village after the circus, and be here in time for the fete.
If you are late, Mr. Harding will think you very ungentle-
manly, and feel as if you treated him with great rudeness."
Oh, trust us, Maurice," said Frank, "for slipping in
unobserved! We have done such things before now.
Mr. Harding will never know but that we came in with
the rest, there will be so many there. Depend upon it,
we will not be discovered."
"I am sorry to see you so determined, Frank. I
hoped I might persuade you to abandon the plan, though
I had but little hope of influencing the other boys.
But you are more guilty than the others, because you
are breaking a resolution to do right, and had already
taken one step, and are now going backwards, and will
find it harder than ever to commence again."
I wish I was thoroughly good like you, Maurice,"
said Frank; then I could do right easily enough. But
I never can be. I never thought I should like to be
good until I knew you. Almost all the boys I ever
knew before who pretended to be good, were like Philip
Graham,-good enough before their teacher, but else-
where, Just like all the other boys. And though I
never pretended to be good myself, I always despised
hypocrisy more than anything else. But it seems to
make no difference with you, where you are or who
you are with, and that is a character I would like to
"Do not talk to me so," said Maurice. "No one
LAST AND WORST.
knows my heart save myself, and him who knoweth
all things; so no one can know how often I fail in all
my endeavours to be and to do what I desire. But my
heavenly Father, through his mercy in Christ Jesus,
has compassion on my weakness, and gives me the
earnest, constant desire to serve and to please him. He
pardons my manifold transgressions, and comforts me
with assurances of his love and care towards all those
who sincerely wait upon him."
"Well, Maurice," said Frank, "I would like to be
as good as you, and after the circus I am going to try
again, but I cannot give up that now, so good-bye."
And off ran Frank to join the circus party.
The birth-day fete mentioned just now, was a little
festival which Mr. Harding held every year on the birth-
day of his little twin daughters, Minna and Rose.
Many of the children, with their parents, and other
friends of Mr. Harding from the village and neighbour-
ing country-seats, with all the pupils, were invited to
attend. A table was spread on the lawn under the
shade of the lofty elms. Various games were played
in which old and young participated, and everything
was done by Mr. and Mrs. Harding to make the jubilee
pleasant to the guests.
Minna and Rose, queens of the day, were crowned
with wreaths of flowers, and presided at the feast.
They also received from their parents and many of the
visitors, useful and beautiful gifts.
LAST AND WORST.
The day was always anticipated by the pupils of the
school with great pleasure, but those who were at this
time determined to attend the circus were so engrossed
in that, that they did not regard it with their usual
interest. Good Nurse Burton had been several days at
the school assisting and directing in the preparations
for the fete.
The long-expected Wednesday at last arrived. The
day was fine. The grass on the lawn had been recently
mowed, and was soft as velvet beneath the feet. The
air was fragrant with flowers and new hay; and the
table, most tastefully decorated with flowers, was pro-
fusely covered with ices, confectionery, and fine fruit.
The boys readily obtained permission from Mr. Harding
to pass an hour or two in the woods before the time
appointed for the fete; and, according to their previous
plan, as soon as they were out of sight of the house,
they turned into the road leading to the village, and
rapidly pursued their way thither.
Now, it happened that some indispensable article for
the entertainment was forgotten, and none of the at-
tendants being at leisure to ride to the village, Mr.
Harding mounted his horse in haste, and proceeded
thither to execute the commission. He was detained
longer than he expected, and it was but a moment or
two before four o'clock, when he turned his face home-
ward. He happened to be passing the circus-ground
just as the people were leaving it, and reined up his
LAST AND WORST.
horse and let the crowd pass. To his great surprise;
among the first who came from the tent were several
boys of his own school, who, casting an anxious look
at the old church-clock, set off in rapid steps for home.
He had hardly recovered from his surprise before the
crowd had dispersed, and he was again moving onward,
when he saw a solitary figure emerge from the tent,
and strike into a circuitous road leading towards his
house. It was Philip Graham!
Mr. Harding rode slowly homeward, pondering on
the deceitfulness and ingratitude of those he so earnestly
and constantly endeavoured to benefit and make
happy, and did not reach the scene of festivity until
many of his guests had assembled.
The boys who had attended the circus made great
haste to get home, and arrived before their teacher; and
they congratulated themselves much on his not being
present on their arrival, and felt quite sure they would
not be detected. They were consequently in high
spirits, and entered with great enthusiasm into the
games and pastimes of the day.
The festival was highly enjoyed by all, and the moon
shone brightly on the pleasant party ere they dispersed
for the night.
"Did we not do well, Maurice ?" said Frank, as they
retired together, on the breaking up of the party. "Was
it not a lucky thing that Mr. Harding was absent when
we returned ?"
LAST AND WORST.
Oh, lucky! lucky! lucky!" said Dick and Tom, upon
joining them. "Two frolics in one day is a rare thing.
Now, Maurice, do you not wish you had gone ? Who
is the wiser for it? I would not have missed it for
The school was assembled next morning when Mr.
Harding entered. He stood in his desk, and addressing
his pupils, said-" Before commencing the lessons of
the morning, I have a few words to say. The chief
design I have in celebrating the little festivals on the
birth-day of my children, is to give a pleasant holiday
to my school. You must perceive it is attended with
much trouble and expense, and did I not think it gave
much pleasure to you all, and that it would be among
the pleasant remembrances of your school-days in after-
life, and cause you to feel that your teacher loved you,
and was desirous of promoting your pleasure in every
innocent way, as well as your improvement, be assured
the celebration of yesterday would be the last.
There are many among you who understand my
plans, and appreciate my indulgence, and I am sure
they look upon me as a friend as well as a teacher; but
there are others among you of a very different disposi-
tion. I do not doubt that you all enjoyed yesterday's
pastimes, and you doubtless thought I did-also; but
you are mistaken. I hoped to have enjoyed the day as
I usually have done; but there was one circumstance
which brought a chill over my heart and spirits, and
LAST AND WORST.
made the joyous scene to me one of darkness and sad.
ness. It is hard to meet with deceit and ingratitude,
and to receive it, too, in return for kind sympathy and
There was a pause. The older boys looked askance
at each other. Mr. Harding resumed,-
"I rode to the village in haste yesterday afternoon
to execute a forgotten commission connected with our
little festival, and was on my return home, when the
spectators of the circus were just leaving the tent. I
stopped to let the crowd pass, and imagine my surprise
and sorrow when I saw among the crowd a number of
my own pupils hastily moving towards their home, as
if fearful of being late at my festival. I saw them dis-
tinctly, and recognized each, or I could hardly have
believed them capable of such bold disobedience, and
that, too, on the very afternoon when I was doing all
in my power to promote their happiness. Now, I wish
every boy present who attended the circus yesterday
afternoon to arise in his seat."
One after another, with countenances expressive of
great mortification, the boys reluctantly arose in their
seats, until the six who had gone in the party together
were all standing.
Mr. Harding looked around. This is not all," he
said. Still no one moved.
This is all who were of our party, sir," said Dick
Wells. "There were but six."
LAST AND WORST. 83
"There is another present," said Mr. Harding, "who
did not join your party, but who attended the circus,
whom I saw slyly leave the tent after all the spectators
had gone, and make his way home by a circuitous
route. Philip Graham why do you not rise in your
seat with the rest ? Do not think because you went
more slyly and stealthily than the others, and wished
not only to keep a fair face before me, but also before
your schoolmates, that you were unseen.
"It is hardly a year since some of you requested
permission to attend the circus, and then, in denying
your request, I stated to you that as long as you were
under my charge, I would never consent to your fre-
quenting a place where you would probably hear vulgar
and profane language, and where you might imbibe a
taste for mountebank exhibitions, and the lowest grade
of dramatic performances. As there are some present
who have entered school since that time, I again express
my opinion, and repeat my commands, on the subject.
The punishment I shall inflict on those who disobeyed
me yesterday, will be to suspend them from the school
for one month at the end of this term. Philip Graham
will be suspended two months. I shall also write to
your parents the particulars of your conduct, that they
may deal with you as they think proper.
"As for you, Frank," continued Mr. Harding, "you
had boldly taken the first step in the paths of honesty
and rectitude, and are capable of becoming an honour-
LAST AND WORST.
able and high-minded youth. I feel greatly disappointed
that the first temptation has caused you to fall. I fear
you are too much governed by your associates. If you
were always to choose good ones, you might do well;
but there is no security for a person who cannot stand
alone,-who does not possess in his own heart those
principles and that strength which will lead him to'act
rightly, independently of all outward circumstances,
and to resist in the hour of temptation. Each of us
must bear his own burden, and give his own account
to the Judge of all. Strive and pray, I entreat you,
for that grace and light from above-that firm religious
conscientiousness and love to your Creator-which can
alone give you the victory over sudden temptation."
Frank Henley seemed deeply impressed by Mr.
Harding's advice, and much distressed at his own mis-
conduct; but Philip Graham exhibited no emotion!
And here we must take leave of Mr. Harding's little
community. The diversity of character which we have
seen in it may be found in larger and older communities
all the world over-and each of them answers to some
representation or image, which we find in the Sacred
Scriptures. There are those who fear God and desire
to please and obey him. Their habitual thought is,
" Thou God seest me ;" and so convinced are they that
to love God and keep his commandments is their
reasonable duty, that they would suffer any reproach or
LAST AND WORST.
ridicule rather than disobey them; no matter what
numbers may be found in the way of evil, nor what
flattering promises of enjoyment may be held out, the
right or wrong of the thing is first in their thoughts.
Concealment or detection they have nothing to do with,
for there is nothing they wish to conceal or fear to ex-
pose. They are sincere and guileless people. MAURICE
GRAY evidently belongs to this group.
And then we have another class, and the world is
full of them. The chief motive which leads them to
do right is that it is more creditable. They oblige
themselves to maintain two opposite characters; and
while they vainly suppose themselves to be in favour
with the wicked companions whom they despise, and
with the good whom they cannot but respect, they
seldom fail to lose the confidence of both, and to be
exposed and detested as deceivers and hypocrites.
PHIIIP GRAHAM is a striking example of this class of
persons. The history of both not only illustrates the
worldly proverb, that honesty is the best policy," but
the higher and far more comprehensive truth, that the
fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING OF KNOWLEDGE"
(Prov. i. 7).
THE STORY OF CARL ADLER.
I IHE boys were all gathered under a spreading
chestnut-tree, not far from which a stone-
quarry had been opened, and then left to
grow up with brambles and tufts of grass
and weeds. It is such a cavern as children
love, affording a hundred amusements to those who are
inquisitive. Barry was, for the time, one of the boys.
He sat in the shade of the mighty tree, with book in
hand, but unopened. His eyes were looking over at
the distant hills, and the intermediate landscape
checkered with field and orchard, and seamed with
hedges and brooks. But the noise and antics of his
young companions kept him from musing long on any
one thing. Grave as he might be, it was impossible
for him not to turn his head and smile, when he saw
the cheery faces and high gambols of these healthy,
happy fellows. Now they are trying to bury the New-
foundland dog in new hay, from which he rises like an
animated hay-cock. Now they are repeating the ex-
periment with Bob Bolton, the biggest and best hum-
oured of the set. Now they turn somersets down the
green side of the quarry; and now they are off, like a
herd of antelopes, in a race to the foot of the green hill,
where a silver rivulet marks the lowest spot in the ex-
Timorous parents are sometimes greatly afraid of
bones being broken or health being endangered in such
sports. But they are ignorant of the safeguards of
Providence, and occasionally interfere to the injury of
their children. It is wonderful how rare such evils
are, among tens of thousands of instances. I think I
have observed that in many families the eldest sons are
the most feeble and fearful: when the little flock in-
creases, the sports become more gay, and the adventure
more bold. And home-sports such as these, when un-
accompanied by ill tempers and ill words, are good and
laudable; even though their noise should sometimes jar
on the ear of the nervous. Unless we would rear a
generation of effeminate creatures, we must put up
with some noise, and some soiling and tearing of
Barry was almost disposed to join in the sport,
though he half-doubted whether his dignity as an
usher might not suffer by the condescension. The
scruple was not necessary; but Barry had not reached
the point in his experience where this is found out.
When the sun began to draw toward his setting, he
rang his little bell, and was instantly surrounded by
the whole company, at least twenty in number. There
they sat or stood around him, red and panting, and
covered with healthful moisture. What sight on earth
is lovelier or more hopeful ? Who is happier than a
loving teacher ? Barry felt this, and gazed on them
with a new and swelling emotion. What hope, what
joy, what confidence in these countenances Even two
or three lads, who had been sullen and refractory in the
school-room, were here contented and docile, and clung
to him, with a readiness to do whatever he should
Look yonder, boys," said Barry, rising as he spoke,
and stretching his hand toward the west. All the boys
turned in the same direction, and their faces were
illuminated with the blush of the setting sun, which
at that instant was just sinking among a clump of dis-
tant trees. "Oh, how grand Oh, how beautiful !"
burst from several. Indeed, the sight was glorious.
"What do you think, boys ?" said Barry. "Can
you see anything like that in a show ? Can any paint-
ing or any panorama equal that ? "
Various exclamations were uttered by the more
animated boys, for the spectacle was uncommonly fine,
even in a land where we have to bless God for so many
brilliant sunsets. Little Carl was silent. His hands
were crossed upon his breast, and his blue eye drank
in the lights of the west, as if rone had been present.
"Carl," said Barry, turning to the little foreigner,
"that is what you call, in Germany, the A bendroth,
and it is a beautiful word."
"Yes, sir," said Carl, and the tears filled his eyes:
he wiped them away with his little checked handker-
chief. The boys were affected: they knew he was
thinking of "Bingen on the Rhine."
Burnham, who led the school, turned to Mack, and
said in a low voice, "Mack, there's something in the
Dutchman after all; let's not quiz him so hard !"
A distant bugle-note broke up their sentimental
gazing; it was the signal for the evening worship.
Barry led the way to the school, and the boys fell into
an irregular procession. It was plain they had received
benefit by even this momentary contemplation of a
great object in nature. Why should it not be a part
of education to draw forth the admiration of youth to-
wards such wonders, and to graft upon them the need-
ful lessons ?
Dr. Newman was not the man to neglect such means
of usefulness. He had been gazing on the same western
sky, as he sat in the portico, holding the hand of his
motherless daughter. Both were in mourning, but
both seemed revived by a transient gleam from the
sinking luminary. As Dr. Newman led the way into
the little chapel, the lingering rays of the sunset were
just gilding its eastern wall. He rose in the pulpit
and read the beautiful 104th Psalm. At the nineteenth
verse the youthful worshippers all felt, at least for the
moment, the meaning of these words, The sun knoweth
his going down. They were therefore very attentive
when the doctor began his little address.
"My dear children," said he, "I dare say you have
been looking at the beautiful sunset. It is good to do
so. Those lovely curtains of coloured cloud are hung
there to attract our eye. They are pictures in the
book of nature from God's own hand.
See how God directs us to study these works of
creation. It is plainly so in the chapter we have just
read. So also in other places. In the book of Job
(xxxviii., xxxix., xl., xli.,) God speaks out of the whirl-
wind, but all his discourse is concerning the wonders
"We must not confine ourselves to the book of
nature. If we had no other guide, its characters would
be unintelligible. They would speak a strange lan-
guage. The heathen have the book of nature, but they
read it amiss. Blessed be God for this other book,
the book of revelation (and here Dr. Newman laid his
hand on the great folio Bible which lay before him).
Here we learn what brilliant sunsets can never teach
us, that God so loved the world as to give his only be
gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life. But after we
have learned this blessed gospel truth from the Scrip-
tures, we can come back to the book of nature, with
its beautiful sunsets, and behold in every hue and every
cloud an emblem of God's love and mercy. Therefore,
my children, believe in God, and then, when you turn
your eyes towards the crimson and gold of the gorge-
ous west, you may say to yourselves, 'The God who
displays those lovely signs is my Father through Jesus
Then they joined in singing the following version of
the 19th Psalm:-
I love the volume of thy Word;
What light and joy those leaves afford
To souls benighted and distressed I
Thy precepts guide my doubtful way,
Thy fear forbids my feet to stray,
Thy promise leads my heart to rest.
Thy threatening wake my slumbering eyes,
And warn me where my danger lies;
But 'tis thy blessed gospel, Lord,
That makes my guilty conscience clean,
Converts my soul, subdues my sin,
And gives a free, but large reward.
Who knows the error of his thoughts?
My God, forgive my secret faults,
And from presumptuous sins restrain:
Accept my poor attempts of praise,
That I have read thy book of grace
And book of nature not in vain."
It is a happy thing for our children when they go
to a school where religious service is not made a drud
gery, but is connected with pleasing associations. Such
was the case at the Oaks. There was no boy who re-
mained there long who did not love the sound of the
bugle which called him to this short but interesting
exercise. Dr. Newman almost always made an address,
but it was seldom longer than that which has been
given above. It was customary at the Oaks, after tea,
to spend some time in walking, or if the time of year
were forbidding, in athletic games in a large covered
play-room, called the hippodrome. This was not in-
deed the hour for their regular gymnastic exercise, but
it was spent in this place because of the large space
allowed for walking and running, and for forming
little groups for conversation. However inclement the
weather might be, here the boys found themselves
warm and sheltered; and the recreation was good be-
fore returning to the short tasks of the evening. But
the plan of the school did not admit of much work by
candle-light, for early rising was the order of the day.
Into this hippodrome the large boys went at all times
during play hours, and here they assembled in consider-
able force on the evening in question.
A large lamp of stained glass hung from the centre
of the roof, and cast a pleasant gleam over the space
below. A knot of gay young fellows, in loose summer
dress, was seen in the inner circle, some leaning on
benches, and some arm-in-arm against the column in
the midst. It was evident that some plan was on foot,
for boys are planning creatures, and it is well when
their schemes involve no mischief. I am glad to say
such was now the case. They were talking in a low
tone about the pale German boy, Carl Adler. Carl had
come to school with scarcely any knowledge of English,
and a few months had not sufficed to remove his
oddities of pronunciation. He could not for his life
say, Thirty thousand thorns thrust through the thick
of their thumbs." The attempt to utter this for-
midable formula, which he never refused, used to pro-
duce peals of laughter such as are heard only from a
group of boys. Few at this age can abstain from
running rigs on a comrade. But Carl, though he used
to redden and hang his head, never lost his temper,
and this won him some favour. Though he could not
talk English well, he was the best Frenchman in the
school; indeed, he spoke the language fluently. Then
he was far before the rest of his age in Latin. He
could swim, wrestle, and fence, and was always ready
to do a favour. That evening the boys had observed
him weeping under the chestnut-tree.
Boys are as sagacious about such things as men:
they knew he was thinking of home, and the word home
is sweet at a boarding-school. But little Carl's home
was far over the sea, on the Rhine; and he was an
orphan, and what was more, the boys had learned within
a few days that he was poor, and that his uncle, Mr.