Let Brotherly Love continue,
for 01oob f'oiibuLi, ftegnlaritg,
:an ; uttrss at tbe rttauin.ition,
I H. Wnrd, G.C.M., Master.
IThe Baldwin Library
"THE MOUNTAIN DAISY.
For Who so careth for the flowers
Will much more care for them."
T.itt C&oloureb IIIustration.
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.,
BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
Nev York: Scribner, Welford, and Armstrong.
DALZIEL BROTHERS, CAMDEN PRESS.
THE WALK .. .. .. .. 7
LOUisA BRYAN 14
EVENING .. .. 20
LAST DAY AT HOME .28
ANOTHER TALK WITH ELLIOTT 41
STARLIGHT .. 61
BORROW AND PEACE E7
LOUISA' MOTHER 67
THE BIRTHDAY. ......... ... 77
TWELVE YEARS LATER ....... .. 93
"I Bo wish I could have a walk this after-
noon!" exclaimed Fanny Lincoln, as she stood
by the window looking out on the clean, un-
trodden snow which was glittering in the sun-
"It is too cold, Fanny," said her mother, who
was leaning back in her rocking-chair, and who
suffered severely from a nervous headache: be-
sides," she added, there are no paths made yet."
Oh, yes, mother; there are splendid wide
paths quite to the end of the village: and
Elliott says it will make me strong and healthy
to go out such clear, cold days. I hear him
coming down stairs now, and I dare say he is
going out. Oh, I do hope he will ask me to go
with him !"
The little girl listened anxiously while her
brother put on his cloak and overshoes in the
hall, wondering if he would take her to walk, or
whether he would go and call on that tall Miss
8 FANNY LINCOLN.
Carpenter. She wished there were no grown-up
young ladies- in the neighbourhood, and then
Elliott would always like her company,-which
would be so delightful! The opening and shut-
ting of the street door was a death-knell to all
her hopes of a walk; and, with a sorrowful heart,
Fanny stood watching her brother as he went
briskly down the hill.
"I do think it is too bad," she said; for this
is the last week of his vacation; and he will go
back to college, and then I shall have no more
walks for months to come."
"Not with him, Fanny; but Elliott has been
very kind to you. Few brothers would have been
so thoughtful of a little sister's happiness as
he has been; but he cannot always take you,--
kind as he is?'
This did not appear to be a very consoling
truth to Fanny, who turned away from the
window with a adolful face, and began to look
about the ooam for oth)r sources of amusement.
She knew she must not tease her mother by
talking; and, finding nothing better to do, she
returned to the window, in a more desponding
mood than eer. It became more and more clear
to her that she was ni ill-used and unfortunate
member of the human family ; for the dark mist
of discontent which rose from her heart shrouded
every object in gloom. She forgot all that was
bright and beautiful in her condition, and remem-
bered all that was uncomfortable. Among her
list of grievances, the tall, grown-up young
ladies in the neighbourhood occupied a con-
spicuous place. In short, she contrived to feel
THE WALK. 9
just as miserable as a little girl of eight years old
could well be.
While thus pitying herself, her eye chanced to
fall on a little mountain-daisy which was grow-
ing in a small pot on the window-sill. Nothing
could look more cheery than the bright little
blossoms rising up from among the green leaves.
Their round,. rosy faces looked exactly as if they
understood her grief, and as if they would like to
comfort her if they could. They had this effect,
at least, that the little girl forgot herself and her
sorrows in examining their curious petals, and
in arranging the pot so that more sunlight could
fall on her little favourites. While doing this,
she remembered that Elliott, the day before, had
repeated a little Scotch poem about the daisy, and
explained it to her. She tried to recall the first
line of it, but in vain. She was not sure where
he had found it, but she thought it might be in
Burns's poems, because they were all Scotch.
So she perched herself upon a chair and com-
menced a search in the book-case. On one of
its shelves she found Burns's poems, and, tugging
at the large volume with all her strength, got it
down, and seated herself on the floor to look
through the index. In one of the long columns
she soon found, "Lines to a Mountain Daisy."
She eagerly turned to the page, and read the first
line with great delight,-
"Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower."
"Oh, yes!" said she: "that is just like my
daisy!" And she jumped up, and ran over to
take another look at it.
10 FANNY LINCOM.t
"' Wee,' that means little,-Elliott said so:
'little, modest, crimson-tipped flower:' yes, every
leaf is red at the end,-tipped with crimson. Oh,
how pretty! I will sit down and read the whole
of it. I am almost sure I shall understand it."
So.the little Fanny Lincoln who had felt very
miserable only ten minutes before, settled her-
self with the large book open before her, her
eyes beaming and her cheeks glowing with
pleasurable excitement, till she became quite
absorbed in the poem. All at once Elliott, who
had come into the room without her having heard
the door open, laid his icy-cold hand on her
"Why, what are you about, pussy ? Read-
ing Burns, eh ? But you must put your book
aside now, for I want you to go and walk with
Fanny joyfully obeyed the summons, dropping
the beavy volume in her haste. Elliott caught
it, at d was going to replace it in the book-case,
when his little sister said,-
Oh, no! lay it on the table, please; for you
must read to me about the daisy when we get
home: won't you?"
"We will see about that; but wrap yourself
up well, for it is really cold, though the sun is
As Fanny tripped out of the room, her mother
said, in a languid voice,-
How can you think of taking that child out
such a day as this ? I am sure she will take
"It is because I want her to become vigorous
"THE WALK. 11
and healthy, and to save her from such head-
aches as your's, dear mother," said Elliott. "I
want Fanny to grow strong, and not to be a hot-
house plant, too delicate to bear any hardship or
exposure ; for you know," he added, sorrowfully,
"the others were too frail."
Ah," said his mother, all my children have
been like fading flowers; and I dare say Fanny
will be just the same."
As she spoke, Fanny entered the room,-her
round, rosy face denoting anything but frailty.
She had on a warm cloak and blue velvet bonnet,
snow-boots on her feet, and a soft fur tippetround
her neck, while her hands were thrust into a muff
of most minute dimensions, but large enough for
its tiny occupants. As Elliott stooped to kiss
the laughing face that peeped out from under
the little bonnet, he felt almost as proud and
happy to have her for his companion as any tall
Miss Carpenter. Elliott Lincoln's love for his
little sister was unusually great. Two very dear
little girls nearer his own age had, one after the
other, drooped and died: and, as this last flower-
bud opened before his eyes, he watched its un-
folding with intense anxiety, constantly fearing
that it might be cut down like them. Yet
Fanny had grown more and more robust every
year; and he now fondly hoped she might live to
be all his heart desired to see her.
With her hands in her tiny muff, taking as long
steps as she possibly could, Fanny walked on
beside her brother, talking very fast, in spite of
the intense cold, which seemed to freeze the
breath on her lips, and which pinched her cheeks
12 FANNY LINICOLUI.
into a brighter red. She told Elliott how dis-
appointed she had felt, and told him about the
daisy and the poetry, and how surprised she was
at hearing his voice when he came back.
"So the daisy became the good fairy to you
and charmed away your sadness ?"
"Yes," said Fanny; "but I do wish there
were real fairies,-just such as I read about in
that book you brought me. Then, when I feel
cross or unhappy, they would come and drive all
the bad spirits away, and they would do all my
work for me in the middle of the night,-just
like the little brownies, who used to churn the
cream at midnight into golden balls of butter.
Oh, dear! I should like a fairy so much !"
"What would you set her about ?" asked
Oh, ever so many things. First of all, she
should sew the long seam in that tiresome
pillow-case, and I should find it all nicely folded
up in mother's work-basket to-morrow morning.
Wouldn't that De beautiful?"
"It would be very lazy, I think," said Elliott,
good-naturedly, "when you have got ten curious
fingers made on purpose to sew up seams and do
other useful things. It would be quite as easy
to call on them as on a fairy; and they would be
a great deal more certain to do it for you."
"Well, I'll try it to-night," said Fanny : "I'll
say, 'Fingers! Fingers! Fingers! come and
sew my seam;' I'll say it seven times,-just as
if they were little ,fairies,-and see if they will
"Isamiiue they will if you conjure properly,"
THE WALK. 13
said Elliott. But we must turn off into this
narrow path, for I am going to call at Mrs.
The little side-walk was so narrow and crooked
that Fanny could no longer walk by Elliott's
side: so she trotted on before him, often turn-
ing round to ask a question or to make some
childish remark; and Elliott thought his little
pet sister had never looked so bright and happy
as she did just then.
A walk of a few yards brought them to Mrs.
Bryan's gate; but the snow had blown over the
roof of the little cottage and piled itself into
such a huge drift before the door, that at first
Elliott thought it would be quite impossible to
enter. After taking a few steps, however, he
found he could make his way through: so, lift-
ing Fanny in his arms, he carried her safely to
the steps. She was greatly delighted, and
laughed merrily as she clasped her arms tightly
round his neck, telling him he was as good as a
fairy, only not half so pretty, being such a great
black fellow,"-upon which he threatened to
bury her in the snow for her impertinence. But
the little gipsy knew he would do no such thing,
and only shook her little head in playful defiance,
laughing more merrily than ever.
14 FANNY LINCOLN.
"WHEN Elliott opened the door, Fanny's mirth
was suddenly hushed; for there was something
in the look of the house which made her expect
to see some sad sight. The little entrance was
very dark, and when Elliott tapped at the inner
door, a feeble Come in" was the only answer.
The room they entered was also small and dark,
having only one narrow window in it. A bed
was standing in one corner, on which lay a
middle-aged woman, so supported by pillows as
to be almost in an upright position. "Miss
Louisa," as Elliott called her, looked very thin
and pale, but she smiled when she saw who it
"I was sure you would not go away without
coming to see me," she said, giving him her hand.
Oh, no, that you might be sure of," replied
Ellidtt; "and I have brought another friend
with me,-my little sister Fanny,-whom I think
you have never seen."
Fanny shook hands, because she saw it was
expected; but she did it reluctantly, for to her
there was something repelling in the sunken
eye, wrinkled forehead, and compressed lip of the
invalid. Louisa Bryan saw the reluctance, and
felt an emotion of sadness-almost of pain; but
she only said, gently,-
LOUISA BBRYAN. 15
"I am afraid you are very cold, my dear
Fanny made no answer, and Elliott said,-
Oh, no: we kept ourselves warm by walking
and talking. It is a very fine day,-though the
mercury has hardly crept above zero."
Fanny seated herself in a low chair by the
stove, while Louisa Bryan and Elliott talked
about many things in a quiet, cheerful way.
Fanny sometimes listened to their conversation,
but oftener amused herself by looking about the
room. She thought it was a very dreary, un-
comfortable place. The wooden walls were
painted a dark colour, and there were but few
articles of furniture to relieve the cheerlessness.
She thought Mrs. Bryan ought to get some
pretty pictures to hang on the walls, or some
vases of flowers, to make it pleasanter; and just
as she was thinking so she heard Louisa say,-
"Yes, it is hard sometimes to be patient. Even
now I feel the old longing to get out into the open
air when the sun is shining. I sometimes think
I had an unusual fondness for being out of doors,
rambling in the fields and woods, and that I
found a greater enjoyment in it than most peo-
ple do." As she spoke, she shaded her face
with her thin hand,-perhaps to'hide a tear; yet
in a moment she added, cheerfully, But every-
body is kind, and I have a great many flowers
brought to me: indeed, I think I never enjoyed
flowers so much as since I have been ill. I
"sometimes spend hours in examining a little
nosegay, tracing every vein in the leaves, and
every shade of colour in the blossoms, with a
16 TANNY LINCOLT.
nicety no one could find time for who had any-
thing else to do."
Could you not keep a plant or two in your
room ?" asked Elliott. You would enjoy seeing
them grow and blossom.'"
Yes, I should,-very much. I once had a
large geranium which I prized exceedingly, it
was so green and fragrant. But this is a very
cold room, and it was quite a trouble to mother
to move the flower from place to place, and it
was frozen one cold night last winter, in spite of
all her care. I felt as if I had lost a very dear
friend; but I tried not to grieve very much
about it, for I knew it was really a relief to
mother: she has enough of hard work to do
without lifting heavy flower-pots."
The wasted hand was shading the eyes again,
and Fanny began to take more interest in Miss
Bryan; for she was herself a great lover of
flowers, and had a geranium at home. She
listened while her brother described a rare and
very beautiful flower he had seen in a greenhouse
at Appleby, when he had been making a tour
among the lakes; and then they talked of the
world where the flowers would never fade, and
where no sickness nor sorrow could ever come.
Elliott repeated some very beautiful poetry
about heaven, and then taking up the little
Bible that lay on the table, he read some pas-
sages from the Revelation, and also the twenty-
third Psalm, in a very soft, sweet voice. Fanny
could repeat that Psalm, but she thought it had
never sounded so beautiful before; and when
Elliott knelt beside the bed, and prayed in sim-
LOUISA BRYA1N. 17
pie words that God's blessing might rest upon
their hearts, and that He would graciously lead
them into "green pastures". and beside "still
waters," the tears came into her eyes. On
taking leave she went of her own accord to shake
hands with Miss Bryan, and thought she should
like to come again to see her.
The bracing winter wind soon banished
Fanny's sadness, and she began to talk as fast
as ever. In answer to her questions about
Louisa Bryan, Elliott told her she had been con-
fined to her bed for nine long years, in conse-
quence of an injury received when she was only
eighteen or twenty. She had been thrown from
the top of a coach which was upset, and her hip
and spine had been so seriously injured, that at
the time no one thought she could survive.
During all these years she had suffered a great
deal, but with a most patient, uncomplaining
spirit. Her mother was very poor, and obliged
to take in needle-work to support herself and
her sick daughter; but. many kind-hearted
Christian people had become interested in them,
and were doing what they could to relieve their
wants. Fanny thought it was a very sad story,
and pitied Louisa very much. If I were only
rich," she said, I would build her a new house,
and fill it with beautiful pictures, and flowers,
and everything lovely."
"But, Miss Chatterbox, you are not rich, and
probably never will be. Suppose you try, just
as you are, to do something to make Miss Louisa
"Why, what could I do ?"
18 FANNY LINCOLN.
"Think a little, and perhaps something will
occur to you," said Elliott.
Oh, dear, I can't think," said Fanny. I've
tried a great many times, and I never can. But
I know you are thinking of something, Ellie.
"What is it ?"
You might some day carry a her little bouquet
of your rosebuds and daisies. I see they are
in full bloom; and, tied with some geranium-
leaves, they would be very pretty. The buds
would open sweetly in water, and make her little
room quite cheerful."
"So they would; and I will certainly carry
her some to-morrow, if I don't forget it. Please
don't let me forget it, Elliott."
You must take the trouble to remember it
"I dare say I shall remember. But if I had
a fairy, now," said she, looking up with her
sparkling eyes full of fun, "it would jog my
memory. I do really want a fairy."
"You seem completely bewitched by that
fairy-book, child. I shall be sorry I brought it
to you, if it makes you so silly."
"But don't you think the little fairies, all
dressed in silver robes, or sometimes all in green,
tripping away in the moonlight, must be beauti-
ful little creatures ? And then they can do so
many wonderful things! I know that no such
beings actually lived; mother says so: but," she
added, with a sigh, "I can't help wishing there
were some real ones."
I think you have as much to make you happy
as any little girl could reasonably ask for; and,
LOUISA BRYAN. 19
in many cases, a loving heart is a good substitute
for the fairy you so much wish. You would not
forget to expect me if I were coming home ?"
"Oh, no, indeed."
"That is because you love me so dearly.
"When your feelings are interested, something
'jogs' your memory, as you call it: so, if you
really feel any sympathy for Miss Louisa, and
wish to make her happier, you will need no fairy
to remind you of her to-morrow or any other
day. I wish your heart could always be so filled
with love, that you would remember the sad and
sorrowful, and try to do all in your power to
comfort them. Then you would become like a
little fairy yourself,-a good fairy, carrying joy
and blessedness wherever you go; and that
would be a great deal better than having a fairy
to wait on you. Don't you think so ?"
Yes, I should like of all things to be a little
fairy," said the blithesome child, clapping her
I wonder if she will ever be anything but a
little spoiled pet!" thought Elliott, as he entered
the doorway, and saw her whirling round the
hall on her toes as merrily as if no sad or serious
thought could ever find entrance into her brain.
" But I don't want her to be old before her time;
and how can we help spoiling her,-our only one,
-that is, if love ever spoils anybody, which I do
20 FANNY LINCOLN.
WnEN the tea-things had been removed that
evening, Elliott went to his mother's room,
much to Fanny's disappointment; for she wanted
to say a thousand things to him. It seemed as
if he never would come down; but at last he
appeared, and, seating himself in the corner of
the sofa, called her to him. Fanny had settled
herself snugly in his lap, with her curly head
resting on his shoulder, all ready for a cozy,
confidential talk, when her fattier, who had been
reading an American newspaper, turned round,
"I see the President's 'message' is here at
full length. It is in rather fine print; I wish
you would read it aloud, Elliott."
"Yes,-certainly," said Elliot, rising, and
putting Fanny down.
Fanny felt herself exceedingly aggrieved by
"That ugly old newspaper !" thought she, "I
wish it were in the fire I never can have any
fun. Somebody always breaks it up." And she
sat with pouting lip, again considering herself
the most ill-used person in the world.
Too restless to sit idle long, she took her
fairy-book, and was soon lost in the delightful
society of elves and brownies. The speech at
length came to an end, and so did the debates
growing out of it, and once more Elliott was in
the sofa-corner with Fanny on his knee.
How come on the fairies, Fanny ? Do you
find them as charming as ever? By-the-way,
your finger-fairies have never sewed up your seam
for you, after all."
"Oh, I forgot to call them; but I will to-
"I hope so; for, if you learn the proper way
of summoning them to your aid, you will find
them far more useful than any of those in your
story-books. They are wonderfully made," he
said, taking up one of her hands: "they have
most curious bones and joints, muscles and
nerves, all skilfully arranged and put together, so
as to make them active in carrying out your
wishes. Ten fairies could not do half so much
for you. If you only learn to use these aright,
dear child, you will be a blessing to yourself and
all around you."
"Yes," answered Fanny: "I am going to be
a fairy myself, you know, flying about and help-
ing everybody. But," she added, (a shadow
coming over her bright face as she looked up
earnestly,) "do you know, Elliott, I am afraid
I never shall be good! I felt as cross and
naughty as could be just now, because you went
to that newspaper when I wanted to talk to you
so much. I thought I was the most miserable
little girl that ever lived."
"Oh, Fanny! miserable, just because one
wish was not gratified? That was very selfish.
22 FANNY LINCOLN.
Father enjoyed the reading as much as you
would have liked the talking; and his wishes
ought, of course, to be first consulted."
"I know it; but the wicked feeling came
right up: it always does, before I have time to
think. Afterwards, when I do think, I feel very
sorry, and as if I would never be so foolish and
naughty again. I do want to be good some-
"My dear little sister!" said Elliott, drawing
her closer to his heart, and softly kissing her,
breathing at the same time an earnest, silent
prayer on her behalf.
"I wish you were always at home, Elliott, I
can tell you everything; and you would help me
to be good."
"I would try to do so; but there is another
Friend, who is always near; and He loves you
far better than I do,-dearly as I love my darling
sister. You know who it is. You can always
tell Jesus everything, and He will help you to
be good, if you ask Him."
"But I feel afraid to tell Him what I have
said and done, as I do you. He is in heaven;
and I don't think He would hear such a
little girl, if I did speak to Him. I try to
pray sometimes; but I can never think of
any right words to say; and so I repeat the
Lord's Prayer, but that does not say what I
God knows your meaning; and if you really
wish Him to take away your wicked thoughts
and feelings, and to give you right ones, He
knows it, whether you put it into words or not.
But you should not think of Him as far away
in the heavens; for He is always near,-nearer
to you than any other being."
"I should feel afraid if I thought He was
always close to me!"
"Why should you feel afraid of Him, Fanny ?"
"Because He is such a great Being, and
could make me die any minute. When it,
thunders and lightens, I always think He is
very near then, and I tremble all over. Grand-
mother told me once the thunder was God's
So it is; but He speaks just as truly in the
soft breath of the summer air, and is just as
near you then as when it thunders. He colours
the tips of your pretty little daisy-leaves, as cer-
tainly as He makes the lightning. Every beau-
tiful bud and leaf whispers softly to you of His
presence and His love, as truly as the mighty
wind and tempest. He is very powerful,-
infinite in strength and majesty; but He is
infinite in love too. You should fear to dis-
obey Him; but if you trust Him and love Him,
you need not be afraid of Him. You know
Jesus was once a little child Himself: so He
knows how little children feel. He was always
kind to children, and called them to Him, you
know, and took them in his arms and blessed
them. Don't you think He loves them just as
dearly now ?"
"Perhaps He does; but I can't see Him as
they did then."
No, you cannot see Him; but if you accus-
tom yourself to think of Him, as always near
24 FANNY LINCOLN.
you,-if you remember that everything you
enjoy comes from Him, and that He loves and
watches over you by day and by night,-you will
soon come to feel His presence. You know
He is near; but you do notfeel it, because you
do not think about it. I want you to feel this
presence,-to believe that Jesus loves you more
than any other friend, and to go to Him con-
stantly for counsel and guidance. It would be
very little I could do for you, if I were always
near. I could not forgive your sins, nor send
pure and loving thoughts into your heart. But
Jesus can. He can keep you while you live in
this world, and, when you die, can make you a
happy spirit in heaven among the holy angels.
It is the strongest wish of my heart, Fanny," he
added, after a little pause, "that you should
know and love Jesus, and become one of His
Tears filled Elliott's eyes; and little Fanny
lay quiet in his arms, for his words had made
her heart soft and tender.
She was the first to speak. I have a pretty
hymn, which I say sometimes when I am lying
in bed, after mother has gone down-stairs.
"Would you like to hear it ?"
Elliott had taken great pains in teaching his
sister to pronounce her words properly, and
to give the words their right strength, so that
she repeated poetry remarkably well for one so
young. To-night her tones were softened by
deep feeling, and the familiar hymn sounded
very sweetly to him. It was this:-
"'Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me;
Bless Thy little lamb to-night:
In the darkness be Thou near me,
Keep me till the morning light.
All this day Thy hand hath led me,
And I thank Thee for Thy care:
Thou hast fed me, warm'd me, clothed me;
Listen to my evening prayer.
Let my sins be all forgiven;
Bless the friends I love so well;
Take me, when I die, to heaven,
Happy there with Thee to dwell;'-
don't you like it, Ellie ?"
Yes; it is very sweet. It is a little prayer.
And if you feel it while you are saying it, you
will be praying."
"Shall I ? I never thought of that."
"Yes; you will be asking the tender Shep-
herd to take care of you, thanking Him for
keeping you through the day, and asking Him
to forgive your sins, and to take you to heaven
when you die."
"And to 'bless the friends I love so well.'
You left that out. That means father, and
mother, and you."
"And all other friends ?"
"I don't love anybody else much,-unless it
is Alice Foster. She is my best friend,-little
girl-friend, I mean."
"And she is a nice little girl. I love Alice,
too. Have you learned any other hymns since
I went away ?"
"Yes, two or three. I like to learn hymns
pretty well. There is one I think very beautiful.
28 FANNY LINCOLN.
Did you ever read it,-about the ark and the
"I don't know. I have never heard you say
"No, I only learned it last week; but I do
like it so much!-
"' There was a noble ark,
Sailing o'er waters dark,
And, wide around,
Not one tall tree was seen,
Nor flower, nor leaf of green:
All, all was drown'd!
Then a soft wing was spread,
And o'er the billows dread
A meek dove flew;
But on that shoreless tide
No living thing she spied
To meet her view.
So to the ark she fled,
With weary, drooping head,
To seek for rest:
Christ is thy ark, my love;
Thou art the weary dove:
Fly to His breast.'"
"Yes; I like that very much," said Elliott.
"I hope you will be like the little dove, and
find rest only in the Saviour. He will not turn
you away, but receive you gladly and cherish
The clock struck eight. This was Fanny's
bed-time. She always wished she might sit up a
little longer, and often teased for leave to do so;
but to-night she said,-
"It is eight o'clock; so I must kiss good-
She went to kiss her father, who sat beside
the table so busied with his book that he did
not see her till she put her hand on his arm,
saying, Kiss me, father."
"Ah! going to bed, little one ? Pleasant
dreams to you, then."
"Had I better go into mother's room to bid
her good-night ?"
"I think not," said Elliott: "her headache is
worse since tea, and you might disturb her."
So she kissed Elliott again, telling him, softly,
"I mean to say my hymn-prayer to-night," and
then she went away.
28 FANNY LINCOLN.
Nast Pag at Pme.
EARLY the next morning Fanny ran into her
mother's room, and was delighted to find that
she had slept off her headache and was preparing
to go down to breakfast. It was a very bright
morning, and everything out of doors was dressed
in a brilliant white frost,-a veil more pure and
delicate than art has ever wrought. Fanny, on
looking out, exclaimed with delight,-
Oh, mother, how bright and beautiful it is!
I hope Elliott will give me a drive: he did last
year, the very day before he went away; and
this is his last day at home, you know."
"Yes; but I think he is going over to Hill-
borough with his father, on business, imme-
diately after breakfast."
Oh, dear !" Fanny began, in an impatient,
vexed tone; but she happily checked herself,
and added, pleasantly, "I was going to say that
I was the most miserable person in the whole
world; but I don't think I am."
If you were to say you had more to make
you happy than any other little girl you knew,
it would be nearer the truth. With a pleasant
home, and a father and mother and brother to
love you, and with no pain or sorrow of any
kind, how can you think yourself miserable I
LAST DAY AT HOME. 29
am afraid, as Elliott says, we are all so indulgent
that you will be quite a spoiled child."
She said this half-playfully, and stooped to
kiss her as she left the room. Fanny thought
to herself, "It is a trial not to go out for a
drive; I am sure it is,-whether anybody thinks
so or not: but I don't mean to be cross and
selfish. I wonder what they mean by ni being
spoiled ? I'm sure I don't want to be a spoiled
That morning, Fanny, as she lay in her little
cot-bed, under the pink-and-white knitted quilt,
had thought of what Elliott said the night before;
and she tried to feel that Jesus was very near
her,-that He loved her, and would hear if she
spoke to Him. It was not quite easy for her to
do this; but she had thanked Him for giving
her sleep, and for having kept her from being
cold. She had asked Him to make her good
that day, and had resolved that she would try
all day long to be kind and sweet-tempered. It
was the remembrance of this prayer which had
checked her when about to complain to her
mother; and she really felt as if something near
had whispered in her heart, Take care, Fanny:
you must not be impatient."
Ah, yes, that infinite, blessed Spirit, who
always listens to the feeblest cry and strengthens
the weakest resolution, had drawn near to the
child, and uttered His soft, low note of warning.
That Spirit would always come to teach, to warn,
to support her, if she would but listen to His
voice,-" a still, small voice," yet heard most
clearly in the silent depths of the soul.
80 rANxY LINCOLN.
The breakfast-bell was heard, and, directly
after, the sound for which Fanny had been
waiting,-the opening of Elliott's door. With
a bound she was by his side, and with a more
loving heart than usual, had given him her
I am going to be a little fairy, you know,
to-day,-running about and doing something
for everybody," said she, skipping down the
stairs before him.
You'll be a pretty chubby, substantial one,"
said Elliott, catching her, and giving her a whirl
which almost laid her flat on the floor at the
foot of the stairs.
"How rude you are! I don't think I love
you a bit!" And she pretended to pout her
little lips,-at which Elliott only laughed and
begged her not to give herself such tragedy-
"If you do not smile upon me, most mighty
and puissant princess," said he, approaching her
with a lowly bow, "and restore to me the light
of your lovely countenance, I shall never forgive
myself for the liberty I ventured to take with
one so lofty and exalted. Will you give me
your gracious hand in token of reconciliation,
and permit me to conduct you to the table ?"
Come, come, you silly children, breakfast is
waiting." And, thus summoned, they entered
the dining-room, into which the morning sun
was streaming brightly. It was now fragrant
with the delicious scent of the coffee; and the
smoking rolls looked very tempting. So our
little friend yielded to the summons, and was
LAST DAY AT HOME. 81
led to her seat with great gravity by her brother,
who made another low bow as he placed her in it.
After a pause, the presence and blessing ot
their common Father was reverentially invoked,
and their hearts were truly grateful, not only
for the food before them, but for the love they
felt toward each other, and the thousand sweet
ties which bound them together as a happy
From the conversation which followed, Fanny
found that her father and brother were going to
Hillborough immediately after breakfast, "and
probably would not return till about tea-time.
This was a sad way, she thought, of spending
Elliott's last day at home; but the voice within
whispered, "Do not be selfish:" so she said
nothing, and tried to feel cheerful.
After prayers-a service never hurried over
in that family, where God's presence was really
wished for and earnestly sought,-the two de-
parted; and as Fanny watched the gig passing
down the hill, and knew that at about that hour
to-morrow Elliott would leave them, she found
it required a great effort to keep back the tears.
In order to prevent their coming she went for
her. little can to water the flowers.
The large flower-stand contained a great
variety of choice plants; but only three of them
were under Fanny's care, and considered as her
own. They stood on the lowest shelf, which she
could easily reach, and she was expected to take
the entire charge of them. At first she was very
much charmed with the plan; but after a few
mornings she grew careless, and so often forgot
32 FANNY LINOOLI.
them, that if her mother had not watered them,
they would all have died. As it was, they were
looking beautiful. One was the pink mountain
daisy, which had so much interested her. Close
beside it was a beautiful white tea-rose, which
had now several buds upon it, one of which was
almost opened; and in the third pot was a large,
sweet-scented geranium, full of fragrant leaves,
but without buds or blossoms.
Her plants had a new interest for Fanny that
morning, because some of them were to go to
Miss Bryan's sick-room. She did not, it is true,
quite like the idea of going there alone; for,
though she was such an incessant talker at home
as to be called" chatter-box," yet with strangers
she was shy and timid. However, she would
go, because Elliott wished it. As she stood
planning what flowers to take for the bouquet,
she remembered what he had said about Jesus
being always very near, and the pleasure of
doing things because He wished it. When
Ellie is gone," she thought, "I like to do the
things he asks me, because I love him so very
dearly; but I am afraid I shall never like so
well to do what Jesus asks me to do, because,
because-" And at last she went on thinking
of something else, as she found she could not
give any good reason for her fear.
I might have said before, thit Fanny had
most indulgent parents, but they were careful
to train her to habits of industry and application:
so each day brought its appointed tasks. After
breakfast, came the geography and spelling
lessons: when these had been learned, there
LAST DAY AT HOME. 33
was half an hour for play; and then came
reading, and repeating all the lessons she had
learned. Her mother generally taught her; but
in Elliott's vacations he usually took that office,
to Fanny's great delight, because he told her
such charming stories about the people and
places spoken of in her geography. After the
lessons, came the most trying portion of the
day,-the sewing-hour. Fanny did hate to
sew,-really "hated it," as she perpetually
declared; and this very morning she felt a
strong dislike to "that disagreeable pillow-case"
which was lying, nicely basted, in her mother's
But she must do it; and, after once getting
settled to the work, it was not so very dreadful,
after all. She thought of her curious fingers,-
her ten fairies,-and of all they could do, if
rightly used; and as the hour drew near its
close, and she took a survey of the neat little
stitches she had made, a very pleasant feeling
was nestling at her heart. How came it there ?
She had been doing right. Nothing else can
give us such a sweet, warm, comfortable feeling,
deep down, as that does.
"Fanny," said her mother, "do you know for
whom these pillow-cases are V"
"No, mother. Are they not for you ?"
"They are for Miss Bryan, if you sew them
neatly enough; and if you do the work cheer-
fully, you may take them to her yourself some
"Oh, that would be very nice! How manj
are there ?"
34 FANNY LINCOLN.
Four pair in all; but I think two pair wtU
be as many as you can make."
"Oh, no, mother: I want to put in every
stitch myself. I can hem beautifully: you said
so yourself the other day."
Yes, when you try; but you are often very
"But I will try now. See if I do not make
the nicest little stiches. And, mother, may I go
to see her this afternoon and carry her some
Yes; I think you may."
It was another bright, clear winter's after-
noon, when Fanny set off, well wrapped in
bonnet and cloak, with her precious bouquet
of flowers laid carefully in a box which was
crowded into her little muff. She was in fine
spirits, and tripped merrily along till she came
in sight of Mrs. Bryan's. Then her heart began
to flutter, and she wished she had not come.
She should not know what to say to Miss
Louisa. She felt afraid of her, and was almost
tempted to return without going in at all. But
the thought of Elliott nerved her to go forward.
"Yes, I will try to be a little fairy,-doing
good to everybody," she said to herself; and a
smile was on her lip as she raised the frosty
latch. But she still felt a little timid, when
she tapped at the inner door. The low Come
in!" was heard in answer. When she entered,
there lay Louisa, just as pale and wan as ever,
and Fanny could not think of a word to say.
"Why; it's little Miss Lincoln! How glad
I am to see you!" And the gleam of joy in her
LAST DAY AT HOME. 35
eye, and the sweet smile upon her lip, took
away all fear. "How kind it is in you to take
such a long walk this cold day to see me! I am
very glad you did; for I have been alone since
morning, and the day has seemed rather long."
"And who takes care of you ?"
Oh, I can take good care of myself. I can
reach all the things upon this little table, and
mother places everything on it that I want.
You see, here is a glass of water; there is my
medicine; and under that cloth are the plates
which held my dinner."
Fanny thought she should like to know what
she ate for dinner there all alone, but she knew
it was not proper to ask. As if reading her
thoughts, Miss Bryan smiled, and said,-
"Do you wonder what I eat ? I will tell you.
Generally something nice. To-day I had a piece
of cold boiled chicken, and some stewed apple,
then a custard for dessert, sent me by a friend.
And, Miss Fanny, look here!" and she lifted a
napkin, beneath which shone out four large,
round, yellow oranges. I have a great many
good things given me. In this little jar are
some delicious stewed prunes, which were sent
me yesterday. I think no one ever had so many
kind friends as I."
Fanny remembered her flowers. Indeed, they
had not been out of her thoughts since she came
in; but how to get them to Louisa, and what to
say, was the trouble. Like many others, she felt
awkward in conferring a gift,-indeed, almost
ashamed. So she just drew out her box and
laid it on the bed, without saying anything.
3 FAINNY LINCOLN.
"May I look in ?" asked Louisa.
Oh, yes; they are for you."
How sweet, and fresh, and pretty they looked,
those little flowers, as they lay in the box There
were six "crimson-tipped" daisies, two white
rose-buds,-one almost open,-a lilac primrose,
and a most beautiful ivy-leaved cyclamen, very
tastefully arranged with bright-green geranium-
leaves, and tied with a pink ribbon. Yet, lovely
as they were, the delighted look with which the
sick woman gazed upon them was scarcely less
Oh, how beautiful! how beautiful!" she ex-
claimed. "I never saw anything more beautiful!
And they are so sweet, too! What an exquisite
tea-rose-bud!" And again and again she raised
them to her face to enjoy their delicious fra-
"The primrose and the cyclamen were mo-
ther's," said Fanny, greatly relieved now that
the transfer was made; and she tied them up
for me. I couldn't have arranged them half so
"And the others ?"
"They were mine," said Fanny, in a soft voice,
and with a flushed cheek.
"Oh, thank you very much, my dear, dear
In the health and joy of childhood, Fanny
could not fully enter into the feeling which
brought a grateful tear to Miss Bryan's eye, as
she saw that God had touched one more human
heart,-leading it to think of her in her poverty
and loneliness. It was a deep joy, which none
LAST DAY AT HOME. 37
less weak and helpless could ever quite under-
But Fanny knew she had given Louisa a
pleasure, and her shyness was all gone: so that
she talked on almost as if Elliott were the
listener, telling her about her flowers, and the
poetry in Burns, and how Elliott told her she
could be a fairy, and how she loved Elliott better
than anybody else, and how he was going away
to-morrow, and many other hows,-to which
Louisa listened with great delight. It was such
a pleasant break in the monotony of her long,
wearisome day to have that light-hearted child
with her; forjust to look on her animated, happy
face was refreshing. It was to her heart what
a breath of pure fresh air would have been to
her lungs; it seemed to give her new strength
"May I put the flowers into water for you,
Miss Louisa ?"
Yes, thank you. If you will open that door
by the fireplace, you will find a closet, and on the
lower shelf, at the right hand, there is a little
vase. Isn't it a beauty ?" she asked, as Fanny
brought it out.
A beauty indeed it was,-a little Parian vase,
in the form of a water-lily, with leaves, buds, and
flowers wreathed together in a graceful pattern,
on a ground of blue.
"This was given me last winter. By whom,
do you suppose ?"
I can't imagine. Please tell me, if you don't
"By your own dear brother Elliott. You
88 AiiNNY LINCOLN.
can't think how kind, how very kind he has
always been. When he gave it to me, there was
in it a most beautiful nosegay of green-house
flowers, which he had brought all the way from
Ely in his hand. Few college-youths would
have remembered a poor sick woman in the midst
of the bustle and joy of coming home; but Mr.
Elliott never forgets me. He gave me those,"
she said, (pointing to a pile of books on a small
shelf opposite,) "and has written my name in
every one with his own kind hand."
Oh, I don't think there is anybody in the
world half so good as Elliott! Do you, Miss
Louisa ? He is always kind to me, and is never
cross, if I am ever so naughty. But sometimes
he looks so very sad about it, I wish he would
scold a little I don't think it would be so hard
to bear: do you?"
I should think not. I know he loves you
very dearly,-his own and only sister."
"Yes, better than anybody in the world, I
Fanny wanted to be useful, but could see
nothing in the room out of order. Is there
anything I could do for you ?" she asked.
"If you could bring me some fresh water
from the filter, I should like it."
It was a great pleasure to Fanny to take the
decanter, carry it to the back kitchen, rinse it
very thoroughly, and fill it-full enough, and not
too '.Jll-with clear, sparkling water, and to set
it o A the table beside the bed.
Miss Bryan thanked her with a sweet smile.
"You are indeed my little fairy," she said, "and
LAST DAY AT HOME. 39
your feet trip about almost as noiselessly as
their's. It is a blessed thing, my dear young
friend, to minister to others. The angels like
to do it, and God Himself has joy in making His
creatures happy. If you are indeed a little
ministering spirit,-a fairy in a better sense than
your story-book speaks of,-you will have such
joy as the holy angels know,-the purest joy
earth can ever give."
There was something so sweet in the tones of
Miss Bryan's voice, and in the serene light of her
eye, that Fanny's heart was touched. She felt
just as she did when Elliott talked to her.
I do sometimes want to be good," she said,
softly, but then I forget all about it, and am
very naughty and selfish. It is easier to be good
when Ellie is at home, because he is good him-
self; but perhaps you will help me when he is
gone: won't you, Miss Louisa P"
I will try." And the thought that possibly
she might be a minister of good to that dear
child made her heart glow. She, too, on that
bed of weakness, might be doing angels' work.
It was time to go. If, when Fanny entered
that low, dark room, she had been told she
should spend a very happy hour there, she
would not have believed it possible. But so it
was; and she left the patient sufferer with
regret, giving her a kiss warm from her heart.
Merrily she skipped homeward over the snow,
a bright smile on her face, and a warm glow at
her heart. She had seldom felt more gay and
joyous in her brightest hours than now, as she
walked on alone, catching a glimpse of the
40 FANNY LINCOLN.
distant hills, purple in the wintry light, with
patches of pure, glittering white upon their
The whole world was beautiful to her, because
her heart told her she had been doing right.
I will give you, dear reader, an unfailing
recipe for a happy heart. Go and do a kind act
for somebody, or speak a loving word, or, if
nothing more, give a cordial smile; and there
will be a warm, delightful feeling within, worth
a great deal more than mere outside joy. Try,
and see if it is not so.
ANOTHER TALK WITH ELLIOTT. 41
naofter galh fbif 6ilirff,
IT was again evening,-that happy hour before
the lamps are lighted, when the fire burns
cheerily in the grate,-
And like phantoms grim and tall,
Shadows from the fitful firelight
Dance upon the parlour wall,"-
the hour when jarring discords and evil passions
are all hushed to rest, and a sweet, gentle calm
steals over the soul, sooting it into a delicious
peace seldom known to day's brighter and busier
Mrs. Lincoln sat gazing thoughtfully into the
grate. Her husband, who was a medical man,
had gone to see a patient, and Elliott was on the
sofa, which was drawn near the fire. Fanny had
cuddled close to him, her round, rosy cheek
nestling on his shoulder. It was a happy group.
Elliott was silent, but his arm was laid caress-
ingly round his sister. For a wonder, Fanny
was silent too, yet very, very happy. It was
sweet to feel so sheltered, so safe, as she always
did when close to Elliott, and to know that he
loved her so very dearly. She was by nature
clinging and dependent; and this darling brother
was the support to which she clung with all the
strength of her young affections.
42 FANNY LIINCOLN.
Elliott perfectly understood her feeling, and it
was almost painful to him to know how very
strong was this childish love. What if I were
to be taken from her ?" he thought, as he gazed
into the fire. "Poor child! poor child! I fear
her heart is too tender to beartrials bravely. God
shield her from deep sorrow! But God may see
that deep sorrow is necessary to purify her
nature, and make her holy. O God, Thy will be
done: it is ever a wise and holy will; Thou canst
deal gently with this little lamb, O Thou great
Shepherd of Israel-Thou canst fold her tenderly
to Thy bosom and carry her in Thine own blessed
arms. I will not fear to trust her with Thee;
for Thou lovest her even more tenderly than I
do." And fervent and hopeful were the prayers
which went up from the heart of this loving
brother to their loving Father in heaven.
It was not in Fanny's nature to be silent long,
and she whispered, softly,-
"I went to see Miss Bryan to-day; and I had
such a pleasant visit! I carried her some flowers;
and you can't think how pleased she looked;
and oh, Elliott, I put them in your little vase!
Wasn't it nice ? It just held them; and I moved
the little table so that she could see them. I am
so glad you thought of telling me to carry her
some. And I sewed up my seam, too, without
fretting once; and the pillow-cases are to go to
Miss Bryan if I make them nicely; and I took
the tiniest little stitches! And this morning I
didn't cry when you went off to Hillborough,
though I did so want to go and have a drive with
ANOTHER TALK WITH ELLIOTT. 43
Elliott looked at her with such a soft light in
his eye, that Fanny knew he was pleased and
"And have you thought to-day of Jesus as a
Friend who could help you to be good P"
Yes; in the morning I did, and tried to ask
Him to help me, and to think He would, just as
you would; but, somehow, it is so different !"
she added, with a sigh.
"Because you do not see Him ? But do not
be discouraged: you must tell Him how hard it
is to feel His presence, and ask Him to put
loving thoughts into your heart."
After a little pause, he added, "Now I am
going away, Fanny, I feel more than I ever did
before that I want you to have Jesus for your
Friend. You will feel lonely, and will need just
such a kind, dear friend as He will be. He will
be so much better to you than I am, if you will
go to Him. Tell Him when you feel sad and
solitary. Tell Him when you are tempted to do
wrong, and ask Him to take away the wrong
feelings and to give you kind and holy ones; and
if you sometimes have forgotten Him, and your
thoughts and words and actions have all gone
wrong, still do not keep away from Him. Do
not feel as if He were too much displeased to
receive you, but tell Him all your sins, and ask
Him to forgive you; and He will blot out your
sins, and will put right thoughts into your heart,
and fill it with love and peace."
"But sometimes when I do wrong, I do not
feel sorry for it. I don't wish to speak to Jesus
then: I want to keep on doing wrong."
41 FANNY LUNCOLN.
"And then I know you are very miserable;
the longer you keep on, the more wicked and
unhappy you will become. Do not continue in
this wretched state. Ask Jesus to make you
sorry for your sins. It is a dreadful thing to
keep on doing wrong, and to feel no sorrow for
it. It is the road which leads to death; and I
shudder to think of your walking in it. I learned
a hymn, when I was quite a little boy, the last
two verses of which were these:-
'Often I shall be forgetful
Of the lessons Thou hast taught,-
Idle, passionate, and fretful,
Or indulging foolish thought.
Then permit me not to harden
In my sin, and be content;
But bestow a gracious pardon,
And assist me to repent;'-
I often repeat them, now I am a man."
"Where are they ?"
"I believe they are in Jane Taylor's 'Hymns
for Infant Minds.' That whole hymn is very
sweet; and I hope you will learn it to say to me
when I come home."
"I almost thought JestLs did help me once to-
day," said Fanny, very softly. "When I was
going to feel vexed that I could not go out with
you, it seemed as if something said to me,
'Don't be selfish, Fanny: be good-natured, even
if you can't have all you wish.'"
Yes, Fanny, such thoughts are breathed into
our souls by the Holy Spirit. We hear no voice,
but we feel it in our hearts, and it is God that
ANOTHER TALK WITH ELLIOTT. 45
speaks in those low, gentle tones. He will speak
to you very often, if you listen to the voice, and
do as it bids you. Isn't it wonderful that the
great God who made myriads of worlds should
thus whisper to human hearts ? He is too great
a Being to consider anything too small for His
notice or His care. You know He finishes each
leaf of your little daisy with as much care as if
it were a mountain or a world."
Probably few brothers would have talked in
this way to so young a sister; but Elliott spoke
out what was in his heart, believing he should
be understood; and he was. Because his words
were from the heart, they reached the heart.
Fanny had always lived with grown people, and
perhaps was a little more advanced than most
children of her age. The questioning of her
childish heart, too, had never been rudely
silenced. She had never been considered too
young to be taught of heaven and heavenly truth.
Her little heart-tendrils had never been left
lying prostrate, to find some wretched support to
twine themselves around, but had been carefully
raised and guided to the blessed Jesus, and
taught to cling to Him in a loving, joyful union.
"When a child is old enough to love at all, she is
old enough to love Jesus,-in a childish way, of
course, but really and truly. God's blessing
rests on every sincere effort to teach the youngest
soul; and Christ's image may most readily be
stamped upon the heart, before it has been
hardened by years of sinful wandering.
It is well to speak of Jesus to the young. It
is good to tell them of His gentleness, His
46 FANNY LINCOLN.
purity, His love, and to hope that the Holy
Spirit may accompany the seed sown in that
mellow soil, and may cause it to spring up and
bear glorious fruit.
Mrs. Lincoln had risen to lower the curtains
and light the lamp; Elliott went to assist her,
and then entered into conversation with her.
He loved his mother very tenderly, as few sons
of his age do love their mothers. Their charac-
ters, however, were very unlike. Mrs. Lincoln
was a great invalid, and very much inclined to
look on the dark side of things; while her son
had inherited his father's eager and hopeful
As the delicate and shrinking mother gazed
on the bright face and manly figure of her son,
she felt a thrill of pride; and when she remem-
dered how gentle and considerate he was, how
cheerfully anxious to promote her happiness, a
softer feeling stole into her heart. It was pain-
ful to part with him even for a single college-
term; but he would not allow her to dwell on
these sad thoughts, and he talked to her of his
hopes and plans, till her spirit caught and re-
flected the brightness of his sunny nature. He
had taken many college-honours, and was now
looking forward with all the ardour of a young
and inexperienced heart to finishing his time at
Cambridge, and entering upon active life.
The loving son and mother talked of many
things, and Fanny sat on a little hassock at her
brother's feet and listened, while her eyes were
fixed on his face with a glance full of childish
admiration. How long, long afterwards did every
ANOTHER TALK WITH ELLIOTT. 47
look, and tone, and gesture rise before her,
daguerreotyped in unfading lines upon her
At one turn of the conversation Elliott said,
"I committed to memory a piece of poetry last
term, which I think is very beautiful. Perhaps
you will like to learn it too, Fanny; and I will
leave a copy of it with you. I am sure you will
enjoy it, mother." And, in a soft, low tone, he
"Oh, talk to me of heaven! I love
To hear about my home above;
For there doth many a loved one dwell
In light and joy ineffable.
Oh, tell me how they shine and sing,
While every harp rings echoing,
And every glad and tearless eye
Beams like the bright sun gloriously.
Tell me of that victorious palm
Each hand in glory beareth;
Tell me of that celestial calm
Each face in glory weareth.
Oh, happy, happy country, where
There entereth not a sin,
And Death, who keeps its portals fair,
May never once come in!
No grief can change that day to night:
The darkness of that land is light;
Sorrow and sighing God hath sent
Far hence to endless banishment;
And never more may one dark tear
Bedim their burning eyes;
For every one they shed while here
In fearful agonies,
Glitters a bright and dazzling gem
In their immortal diadem.
Oh, lovely, blooming country! there
Flourishes all that we deem fair;
And though no fields nor forests greei
Nor bowery gardens there are seen,
48 rANNY LINCOLN.
Nor perfumes load the breeze,
Nor hears the ear material sound;
Yet joys at God's right hand are found-
The archetypes of these.
There is the home, the land of birth,
Of all we highest prize on earth!
The storms, that rock this world beneath,
Must there for ever cease;
The only air the blessed breathe,
Is purity and peace.
Oh, happy, happy land! in thee
Shines the unvel'd divinity,
Shedding through each adoring breast
A holy calm, a halcyon rest,
And those blest souls whom death did sever,
Have met to mingle joys for ever.
Oh, soon may heaven unclose to me!
Oh, soon may I that glory see,
And my faint, weary spirit stand
"Within that happy, happy land!"
As he repeated it, his eye gleamed, his cheek
flushed, and his whole face glowed with emotion.
Fanny had a poetic nature, and caught the
general meaning of the words, though she did
not fully understand each one. To the mother,
who had seen many beloved ones pass over the
river," they were full of precious consolation,
and her eyes were filled with tears, not of grief,
but of sweet faith and hope.
"They are beautiful," she said; "and I hope
Fanny will commit them to memory."
"Yes, I will learn them first; and then I shall
learn the mountain daisy,' shan't I ?"
"Yes, those lines, too, are very sweet; and
when I am gone you will think of me, when.you
see the 'wee, modest, crimson-tipped flowers:'
won't you, Fanny F'
ANOTHER TALK WITH ELLIOTT. 49
"Oh, yes,-always; and I shall call my fin-
gers my ten fairies, and make them work hard
"And, instead of wishing you had a fairy, you
will try to be one yourself,-a little messenger
of love, carrying brightness and joy wherever
you go ?"
Yes, only it is so very little such a child can
do for anybody. If I were older I could visit
the sick and the poor, and give them money, and
help them ever so much, you know."
"Well, you will be older by and by, if you
live; but do what you can in the mean time: it
will be more, perhaps, than you fancy. Some
quaint old author has said, 'Life is made up of
two heaps,-a large one of sorrow, and a small
one of happiness; and whoever carries the
smallest atom from one to the other, does God a
service;' and you can certainly put some atoms
on the pile of happiness."
You put a little atom on it this morning,"
said her mother, when you did your morning
tasks so cheerfully."
"Did I, mother ?"
"Yes: it gave me pleasure to see you over-
coming your idleness. But when you fret, and
look unamiable, you put quite a large atom on
the heap of sorrow,-my sorrow."
I put a mite on the joy-heap by taking the
flowers to Miss Bryan, didn't I P She looked
"And have you laid anything on the pile of
misery to-day ?" asked Elliott.
Fanny sat and thought. "Yes; I spoke un-
50 FANNY LINCOLN.
kindly to Bridget this morning, because she
didn't tie my apron nicely; and when Charlie
Foster came into the parlour this forenoon I
didn't say anything to him, because I wanted to
read my story-book: he is a little boy, to be
sure; but I know he felt sorry."
Yes; you are frequently too much taken up
with your own enjoyments to be thoughtful of
others. If you will learn to think of what is
pleasant to those about you, you can be con-
stantly putting little atoms on the pile of happi-
Elliott looked at the clock.
"If you are going over to Mr. Foster's to-
night, Elliott," said his mother, "it is time you
were setting off."
Oh, may I sit up till he comes home, mother ?
I do hope you will let me,-because I shan't see
him again for a great, great while!"
"You may sit up till nine," said.Mrs. Lincoln,
"but no later. Your eyelids will be falling to-
gether before that, I fancy."
Oh, no; I shan't be sleepy, I know Oh,
mother, I am so glad!" And she capered about
the room in great glee, till her mother desired
her to be a little less noisy.
Will it put an atom on the joy-heap if I am
very still,-still as a mouse ?"
Yes, it will,-quite a large atom."
"I mean always to remember that, mother,
and to be putting atoms on it all the day long,
-carrying them away from the sorrow, to the
SOONER than they had expected, the mother and
daughter were gladdened by the opening of the
heavy gate and the familiar footstep coming up
the walk. Fanny flew to the door.
Oh, Ellie, I am so glad you have come! I
am not sleepy at all."
"No wonder," he answered, laughing. "I
have not been gone twenty minutes. Mr. and
Mrs. Foster were away, and after a little chat
with your friend Alice, I came home. But,
Fanny, put on your blanket-shawl, and come out
a minute. The stars are so beautiful, I want you
to look at them." And, wrapping the shawl
nicely round her head and shoulders, Elliott led
his sister out under the wintry sky.
Oh, how still, and clear, and bright, and beau-
tiful it was! It was a very cold night,-that
still, clear cold which gives such peculiar purity
to the atmosphere,-and overhead that wide
arch of blue was thickly sown with stars, which
glittered, and sparkled, and flashed, as they can
only on a bright, cold winter's night. Not a
breath of air was stirring; not a fragment of a
cloud was floating; but from east to west, from
north to south, that clear, wide expanse was
studded with gems shining out from their far-off
52 FAINN LTCOLN.
homes so silently, so steadfastly, that the gazer's
soul was hushed and awed.
How noiselessly they shone! and yet how like
living things they seemed, looking down with
their clear shining eyes upon a sleeping world!
How calm, how pure, the light they shed! What
a contrast to the petty stirs and jarrings of
human life and human hearts, was their serene
stillness! It was a sight well fitted to hush the
wildest bosom into peace,-to raise the lowest
into communion with better things,-or, at least,
to make it feel its need of something holier and
Fanny gazed upward silently, her hand tightly
clasped by Elliott's. The longer she looked, the
more wonderful it grew,-that still, deep, clear
blue, looking still deeper, clearer, and bluer; ana
those hosts of stars, growing more and more
countless, and sending forth still more vivid
flashes of glorious light.
"Oh, splendid! splendid!" said Elliott. "Isn't
it a sight worth seeing, Fanny ? And do you
know that some of those are worlds many times
larger than our's ?"
Oh, how can they be ? They look so small."
"That is because they are so very, very far off.
It takes years for the light to travel down to our
eyes from some of them."*
Oh, how far away they must be !"
"Yes; we can get no clear -idea of such vast
distances, or of the immense size of most of these
Light moves at the rate of twelve millions of miles in
a minute; yet the light from the nearest fixed star is ten years
in reaching us."-Professor Mitchell.
stars,-little twinkling points as they seem to us.
I want to show. you two or three groups, that
you may remember them." And he pointed out
the beautiful Orion, with his starry belt and
sword, sparkling more brightly than almost any
others; and the mild, soft brightness of the
Pleiades, which Fanny knew already.
There is in the north-west another cluster,
Fanny,-a favourite one of mine. It is low
down, though it never quite sets. It is called
by the pretty name of Lyra, or the Harp.
There are several stars belonging to the group,
or constellation, as the books call it; but only
one shines very brilliantly to-night. Do you see
it ?-that large star just below the tree ?"
"Yes, I think I do. I see a large star there."
"In summer, it is nearly overhead; and I can
always see it from my window in college. I have
watched it nearly an hour, for it always makes
me think of home,-of you and our dear mother.
You must look for it from your window when
you go to bed. Perhaps I shall be looking at it
at the same time. You will be sure to find it
every clear night, shining with just that soft,
beaming light,-so beautiful and pure, like Him
who made it."
He gazed a moment longer at the serene host
of heaven, and almost unconsciously repeated,-
Look, how the flOor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold!
There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdest,
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubim.
Such harmony is in immortal souls!
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it."
54 FANNY LINCOLNr.
How absurd I am !" he muttered to himself.
"The child does not understand it. She will
get cold; and I must take her in." As he did
so, he saw, by the gleam of her eye, that her
young soul had been touched by the wondrous
spectacle; but he little dreamed how deep and
lasting an impression had been made, for never
in after-life was it forgotten. No: Fanny could
never afterwards stand beneath a starry sky,
without recalling that night, that dear brother,
and the beautiful lines he quoted,-even the very
tones of his sweet voice!
"I am afraid you have taken cold, Fanny,"
said her mother.
Oh, no, mother,-I am just as warm as can
be; and the stars are so large and beautiful, and
twinkle so, you can't think how happy I felt
wJiile looking at them; and I can tell the names
of some of them. Beautiful little Lyra I shall
never forget. I shall look at it every night, and
think of Elliott."
Dr. Lincoln nowjoined the fireside group, and
Fanny was rather a hearer than a sharer in the
talk that followed, till nine o'clock came, when
she was sleepy enough to go willingly to bed.
Two more hours passed away by that parlour-
fire in sweet communion between parents and
son. Many things were talked of, many words
of caution and advice uttered, many last charges
Elliott was to go early in the morning, and
everything was packed,-clothes, books, and
sundries, even to the little bag of thread and
needles with which to mend a rent, or sew on a
button, when no careful mother was by to look
after them. And nothing was left but to look
forward hopefully to the next vacation, and to
join in prayer, commending themselves for the
night, for life, and for eternity, to His holy keep-
ing who would be ever present to guide and shield
Yet a sadness which cannot be told weighed
upon the mother's heart, and she could not help
saying, Do take care of yourself, Elliott:" an
injunction received, as such injunctions usually
are by healthy young men of twenty,-as some-
thing quite unnecessary, if not absurd.
Do I look very feeble, as if I needed to be
cosseted ? I believe, if I keep on, I shall rival
Uncle Timothy, who told me to-day he weighed
two hundred and fifty-one !" And he gaily gave
his mother a good-night kiss, and, lighting his
lamp, went to his room.
The door into Fanny's room stood open, and,
as he passed, he could not help stepping in. So,
shading his lamp with his hand, he softly entered,
and stood beside her bed.
Deep slumber lay on the closed eyelids, and the
quiet breathing told of the deep, dreamless sleep
of childhood. How sweet she looked to the
loving brother's eye as she lay there,-one hand
under her rosy cheek, the curls escaping from her
little cap and clustering round her fair forehead,
and the lips half unclosed. "Dear child! God
bless thee and keep thee from all evil." And
with tearful eyes he stooped to set a light kiss on
that peaceful brow!
His mother entered as he was about to leave
56 FANNY LINCOLN.
the room. "You here?" she exclaimed. Then,
looking sadly into his face, she said,-
"I sometimes think you almost worship Fanny.
It pains me to see you dote so on her. Some-
thing, I am afraid, will happen. She will be
taken from us, if we make an idol of her !"
"Do not be alarmed, mother. We are all in
God's hands, and He will do exactly right, and
take us all just at the best time. It is not wise
to forebode sorrow: it is sweet indeed to have
such a darling sister, and surely we ought to
love her. She seems as likely to live as any
child; and, if not-if not-it would be a heavy
blow. But, mother, I think we could bear even
what, if it were God's will. Could we not ?"
He passed his arm affectionately round her, as
he spoke. I often wish I could save you from
all suffering, my own dear mother; but it is
better to be in our Father's hands. He will
never lay any sorrow upon you which He will
not give you strength to bear. Let us be com-
forted by that." And one more tender good
night was said by the loving son.
BORROW AND PEACE. 57
anrrno ab rtact.
THE waking up to an early breakfast thp next
morning,-the cold and darkness,-the hurried,
almost silent meal-the arrival of the stage,-
the bringing down of trunks,-the hasty, last
adieux;-all was so soon over, even before
Fanny's eyes were fairly open, that it seemed
quite like a dream to her.
The forenoon was very long. Fanny tried to
be patient with her lessons and her sewing; but
her heart was heavy, and it was all up-hill work.
She thought of the unseen Friend who could
put right feelings into her heart, and she silently
asked Him to make her good and gentle; and,
as she offered the petition, warmth and peace
came into her heart.
Yes," she said, as she sat beside the window
and stitched away steadily at the pillow-case, I
will try to think of others. There is mother
her head aches again sadly. I wonder if I could
do anything for her ?" But she could think of
nothing except to keep very still. I should
like to lay an atom on somebody's pile of happi-
ness," she thought, but I don't see that I can
The day was not yet over. After dinner,
her father was going to see a patient who lived
5G TANNY LINCOLN.
about three miles off. You look dull and
moping," he said to Fanny at the dinner-table.
" If your mother is willing, I will take you over
to Necton with me."
Fanny's eyes sparkled, for she dearly loved a
drive, and her father could not often be troubled
with her when he made professional visits. So
she tripped up-stairs quickly. Her mother was
lying down, but not asleep.
What is it, child ?" she asked languidly.
Father is going over to see Mr. Stevens, and
will take me, if you will let me go. Oh, do say
You might go; but Bridget is going out
after her work is done, and I shall want some
one to open the door."
Fanny pouted. All desire to be good, and
thoughtful of others, had gone; and she said, in
a very pettish tone,-
"I should think Bridget might just stop at
home when I want to go out for a drive."
She could, if there were not a special reason
to prevent it; her sister is very ill, and I don't
think I ought to break my promise to her. It
will be harder for her to be kept at home than
Dr. Lincoln came in, and, hearing how it
was, said at once, "Stay at home, Fanny. I
can take you a drive some other time, I dare
Fanny went down into the parlour in a very
unhappy state of mind. The selfishness of her
heart was uppermost, and of course she was
miserable. She might have gone into the garden
SOBROW AND PEACE. 50
and played; she might have read her story-book,
or taken out her needlework; but she chose to
sit before the fire, and sulk. So there she sat,
the very image of wo. You would have hardly
known her for our bright-faced, smiling, happy-
looking little Fanny; for a scowl was on her
forehead, and very disagreeable wrinkles about
her mouth. Her thoughts were somewhat like
"How provoking it is! I never can do any-
thing I wish I have to give up to everybody.
Nobody cares anything for me.-I never can
have a drive. Somebody or something always
comes in the way of it."
But she heard, low down in her heart, a gentle
voice, saying, "Fanny, you are very selfish now.
Are you the little girl that wanted to make
everybody happier,-to be always doing good ?-
and yet you are not willing to stay at home to
oblige your sick mother, or to let Bridget go to
see her sick sister !"
"I know I am selfish," thought she; "but I
can't help it. These bad feelings come into my
heart, and there's no use in trying to be good.
I have tried all day, and here I am just as bad
as I can be." And she burst out into bitter,
She wept a long time. Then she wiped her
eyes, and began to look into the coals, and
wonder what made the blaze look so blue; and
she took the poker, and broke open a large
piece to see the sparks fly up.
"But you can help these naughty feelings,"
she heard the voice say; and it was rather stern,
60 FANNY LINCOLN.
though low. You should be sorry, and repent
of them, and ask Jesus to forgive you."
I have been so bad I don't think Jesus cares
anything for me now."
"Yes, He does: He loves you better than
Elliott would if he were here."
And she began thinking of Elliott, and won,
during how far he had got, and whether he felt
lonely and was thinking of her.
"Elliott would not like to have you feel so,"
said the voice, which would not be hushed;-"he
would say, Go and tell Jesus that you have
done wrong, and ask Him to give you right feel-
ings. He is always willing to help those who
are weak and sinful. Jesus knows you can't
make your own heart better, and He offers to do
it for you. Go to Him now.'"
Fanny's heart was softened, and ,he thought
-she did not speak-a prayer; and it was this:
"I wish Jesus would help me to be sorry, and
take away my wicked feelings, and make me feel
kind and pleasant to everybody." And the
prayer was heard. A softer, gentler feeling
came into her heart,-a feeling of sorrow and
humility. And she said to herself, I will try to
do better, if Jesus will help me."
And did the Spirit of God-that eternal,
infinite, almighty Spirit-breathe on the heart
of that little child, as she sat by the fireside that
winter afternoon? Assuredly; for never did a
child of earth, however young or old, however
exalted or lowly, send up a sincere cry for help,
and not receive it. God is more willing to give
SORRow AND PEACE. 61
the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than
earthly parents are to give good gifts to their
children. When shall we believe this ? When
will faith in His word give us confidence to seek
at all times, and under all circumstances, the aid
of His Holy Spirit ? He will hear the faintest
whisper from the most trembling heart,-yes,
from your heart, my young reader. Do not fear
to seek Him. Ask Him to teach you how to
repent of sin and how to love and trust Him,
and ask Him to make you His own loving
We have said that Fanny was now quiet-and
humble, and again the wish was in her heart to
make some one happy, if she only knew how.
A thought came suddenly to her mind. I will
send my orange to Bridget's sister. Bridget
hasn't gone yet." And she ran to the closet,
seized the orange and took it to the kitchen,
where Bridget stood with her cloak and bonnet
"Oh, thank you, Miss Fanny, and sure it's
herself that'll be glad to get it, and be after
thankin' ye," said the delighted Bridget; "and
ye'll be jist like Misther Elliott himself, my dear
young lady; and sure it's he that gits the
blessin's of the poor very day of his life, Miss
Fanny,-the raal jintleman that he is."
Oh, no, Bridget; I shall never be good like
Elliott." And her heart was so humble now
that she was pained at being considered better
than she was; and she went back to the parlour
wishing she might become more like the dear
brother whom everybody loved.
62 FANNY LINCOLN.
She took her sewing, and resolved to be
contented and patient all the afternoon. She
began to think about Louisa Bryan, and won-
dered how soon the pillow-cases would be ready.
She thought about Elliott, and began to count
the long weeks before she could see him again.
It would be worth waiting for; it would be
summer then, she thought, and what nice even-
ing walks they would have together! She looked
back to the last summer with its sunshine and
its flowers. She remembered how she sat one
day on a grassy bank by the arbour, with her lap
quite full of flowers, while Elliott was reading;
and how he had put down his book, and talked
to her about the garden of the heart, and asked
her whether it ought to have weeds or flowers;
and then how he taught her the verse-
"Scatter the germs of the beautiful;
By the wayside let them fall;
SLet the rose spring up at the cottage-gate,
And the vine on the garden-wall.
Scatter the germs of the beautiful
In the holy shrine of home;
Let the pure, and the fair, and the graceful, there
In their loveliest lustre come."
She had only just repeated it to herself, when
Alice Foster's bright face peeped in at the door.
Oh, how glad Fanny was to see her, and to hear
her say,-" Mother told me I might stay till five
o'clock, if you will let me."
"Oh, that is charming! Mother is in bed,
and I am all alone. I was just wanting company
She went to her mother's room, entering it on
"She sat on a grassy bank by the arbour, with her lap
quite full of flowers."
SORBOW AND PEACE. 65
tiptoe; and, finding her mother asleep, she came
softly out again.
We can have a nice time together, Alice,"
she said, and play at any game we like, only we
mustn't make so much noise as to wake another,
who is in the room just over our heads."
So Fanny brought out the basket which had
her tea-set in it,-a beautiful tea-set of real
china, a present on her last birthday from an
aunt. There were tea-cups and saucers, a tea-
pot, bason, sugar-bowl and cream-jug, plates of
different sizes, and two cake-dishes,-a complete
set. The figures on them were very curious,-
figures of birds, bees, butterflies, and other
insects, in very brilliant colours, but of stiff,
awkward forms. With make-believe tea, and real
milk and sugar, crackers and gingerbread, the
two friends gave a sumptuous entertainment to
a large number of imaginary friends, and enjoyed
themselves greatly. After a time they agreed
to play at something else. Fanny wanted to
"build a village;" but Alice said, "Oh, no; let's
hide the thimble." Fanny was just going to say,
"That is so stupid!" when something whis-
pered, You can lay a little atom on the heap
of happiness by giving up your own way:" so
she very cheerfully said, "Yes; we will hide
Long before they thought it possible, the
clock struck five, just as Fanny was hunting
everywhere for the thimble, which proved to
be snugly stowed away in Alice's shoe. Could
it be more than four ? Yes, the truth-telling
"hour-hand stood at five, and the town-clock
66 FANNY LINCOLN.
struck five distinct strokes in its own plain-
speaking way. So Alice must go. With many
kisses and promises to meet again, the two little
girls parted, having had a very joyful afternoon,
for both had been good-natured and accommo-
"Mother, I never in all my life saw Fanny
Lincoln so pleasant as she was to-day," said
Alice, as she sat at the tea-table.
I thought you always liked her."
"Yes, so I do,-better than any other girl;
but sometimes she wants her own way in every-
thing. To-day she was so kind and gentle;-
you can't think what a nice afternoon we had!"
And when Fanny went to her room that night,
sweet and pleasant thoughts were in her heart.
She lifted the curtain to look at the bright stars.
Oh, how very bright they were! and there, low
down in the west, burned, soft and fair, the
beautiful Lyra,-Elliott's star. Her heart re-
joiced in its beauty, in the love of her dear
brother, in the thought of Jesus as a Friend, and
she knelt down to pray with a happy, grateful
heart. She did not forget to thank the Saviour
for having helped her to feel right; and a sweet
conviction that there was One who would always
help her stole into her heart. She repeated her
hymn-prayer, and her last thought was one of
joy that she had put one or two little atcma on
the pile of happiness that day.
LOUISA'S MOTHER. 67
,ouisa's flEt fr.
"WEEK after week passed quietly away at the
Lincolns'.- The father was always busy, seldom
finding time for a comfortable hour at home;
the mother always quiet, saying little, and sel-
dom leaving the house, except to go to church
once on a Sunday; and Fanny dividing her time
between her lessons, her sewing, out-of-door
amusements and in-door play. Her restless
nature needed constant activity, as well as
sympathy; and she frequently tired her mother
by her ceaseless chatter, and herconstant demands
for attention and occupation. Mrs. Lincoln was
very tender and loving; but there was a natural
reserve of manner about her, which prevented
her from showing so much sympathy as some
mothers do, and Fanny did not speak to her
easily of the feelings she used to pour out so
freely into Elliott's ear.
Fanny often went to see Miss Bryan, and
would sometimes carry her flowers, sometimes
nice little dainties to coax her appetite, or some-
times a message from Elliott, who in his weekly
letter seldom omitted to speak of her; and
sometimes she went for no reason but that she
felt inclined for it, and thought she should be
68 FANN*Y LINCOLN.
These visits did them both good. Louisa was
not nervous, and Fanny's lively chatter interested
without tiring her; frequently, too, Fanny grew
very quiet and thoughtful, and poured out her
heart to her, as she did to Elliott. Louisa Bryan
loved children, and had a tender sympathy in all
their joys and sorrows; and she loved to see
them about her. The little room, with its one
narrow window, never looked so bright to her as
when Fanny's little blue bonnet and drab cloak
made their appearance. The beaming smile, the
sunny face, the loving heart, always cheered her:
so did the talks about Elliott,-an inexhaustible
topic, of which neither ever tired, and which
drew their hearts into closer union. Louisa
loved also to talk of that other Friend who loved
them, and to look forward to the time when she
should be with Himin His heavenly home; and
Fanny liked to listen when she spoke of Him.
"Next Thursday is Elliott's birth-day," said
Fanny one afternoon, as she stood leaning against
Louisa's bed. Iremember once when he was
at home, mother made him a birthday cake and
had a birthday party for him. I do wish he
were here now! What shall I do that day ? I
want to do something more than common,-
something I shall enjoy, you know. Perhaps
mother would let me have a party, and make us
a birthday cake. Oh, I should like that!"
"But if her head ached, she could not."
"No; but I wish she hadn't such headaches."
"Because it is such a trouble to you,-can
that be the reason P"
Fanny blushed. "I ought to be sorry for her,
LOUISA'S MOTHER. 0.
and I am; but then it is hard for me to keep sc
still as I have to be when she is ill."
But you like very much to do something for
her,-to be her ministering angel ?"
"So I do. I really love to make mother
happy,-though I do seem selfish." And tears
began to fill her eyes.
"I know you do, and to make me happy too;
and by-and-by, if you persevere, the selfish feel-
ings will grow weaker, and the generous, self-
denying one's stronger."
But I get tired of trying to do right. Every
day I think I will try, but I seem to grow worse
You have many wrong and wicked feelings
to subdue: we all have, and none of us can
ever do it except by God's help,-by His great
strength assisting our great weakness. He does
help you sometimes ?"
Yes; I hope so," she answered softly,
"Do not be discouraged, my dear child, for
you have an arm of infinite strength to lean on,
one that will never fail you, nor leave you to sink
if you cling to it. Only trust Him as you would
a dear earthly friend,-as you would your bro-
ther-and He will keep you."
Fanny had begun to feel very much at home
in the little brown cottage. She ran all over it,
doing little errands for Louisa, and sometimes
helping Louisa's mother. Mrs. Bryan was often
in the kitchen, washing or ironing; for she had
no one to do it for her. Occasionally she went
out to do needlework, coming home once or
twice in the day to see if her daughter needed
70 FANNY LINCOLN.
anything. It was a hard life, and all who knew
Mrs. Bryan respected her for her industry and
her self-denying labours. Up early and late,
working hard from morning till night, in sum-
mer's heat and winter's cold, she was cheerful,
patient, and uncomplaining. At first, Fanny had
disliked her; but in time she began to like her
better, and tried earnestly to remove some grains
from her pile of sorrow.
When they were talking of Elliott's birthday,
Mrs. Bryan was sitting in the room, sewing.
It was a cloudy day, and the room was rather
dark; so that when she tried to thread her
needle, she was troubled to find the eye. Fanny
thought it was very funny that she could not see
it, but kept on putting the thread somewhere
else,-while her own young eyes could see where
it was without any difficulty.
"May I thread it for you, Mrs. Bryan ?"
"Oh, yes, thank you, my dear: it pesters me
dreadfully such dark days !"
"I like to do it," said Fanny.
"Well, I dare say. It's worth everything to
have young eyes. Mine were young once."
Fanny looked into the woman's wrinkled face
with some surprise.
"Yes, that they were; it seems but a little
while since I was as young and lively as you, and
my old grandmother used to say, Susie, Susie,
come here and thread my needle.' I am glad
to remember I always did it for her, and never
fretted nor grumbled."
Were you a good little girl, then P"
Mrs. Bryan laughed.
LOUISA'S MOTHER. 71
"Well, I don't think I was anything to boast
of; but I believe I was never cross to my old
grandmother. I had nobody else to teach me
anything. My mother died when I was a baby,
and my father sent me to live at his own old
home. There was grandfather, and grandmother,
and uncle John; and they kept me, and brought
me up. There were no books for children then,
and the girls had but little schooling; but I
learned my catechism, and could read my Bible,
and sing hymns. I think my grandmother was
a good woman; and she used to tell me things
I have never forgot,-though I was but thirteen
when she died."
"What things V" said Fanny.
"Oh, I can't tell them all. One day I know
she called me out into the garden to help her
weed the flower-bed. She had a nice little bed
of flowers, where larkspurs and mignonette and
clove-pinks grew; and in the spring it wanted
a great deal of weeding. She and I spent a good
many hours at this work; and one day she said,
'These weeds are just like sins: they keep
coming up, and comirn up, right among the
the flowers; and when you've pulled them up,
and think you have got rid of them, there they
are again, perking up their heads, just as brisk
as ever! So it is in our hearts; we think we've
got rid of the wicked feelings, but there they are
springing up again, as strong as ever; and we
have to go over the ground again many and many
a time, or they will choke everything that's good,
and root it out entirely.' I've thought of that
a thousand times since," continued Mrs. Bryan
72 FANNY LINCOLN.
"when I have tried to get rid of wicked feel-
ings. There must be a great deal of weeding
done before the plants can thrive and grow:
pulling them up once will not do the business.'"
Fanny grew to be very fond of the old lady, and
of her quaint, odd stories of other days; and she
did much to lighten her burden of sorrow and
toil by her good-natured kindness. Not that the
things she did were much in themselves,-only
threading her needle, picking up a pin or reel of
cotton, running into the other room, going on an
errand, or some such little service. But the
cheerful manner, the smiling face, and the kind
heart-these were the true fairy-gifts which
diffused sunshine all around her, and which
gladdened the old lady's heart more than Fanny
ever knew. Often and often she laid an atom on
the joy-pile without ever thinking of it. Her
childish voice, so full of glee, her joyful step, her
beaming eye, were a comfort in that home of
poverty and pain. But it was because they
were all lighted up by an inward beauty that
they thus warmed the old lady's heart, and made
the little dark room seem so full of light.
"Mother,"-Louisa would sometimes say,-
"the fairy-books tell us that, where the fairies
dance, a fresh, beautiful circle of green springs
up; and I think our fairy leaves a bright spot
wherever her little feet touch. Everything looks
brighter where she has been."
Yes, indeed,-a sweet, blessed child she is.
May the Lord make her His own, and keep her
from ever becoming worldly or hard-hearted or
LOUISA'S MOTHER. 73
May I have a little party on Elliott's birth-
day, mother ?" shouted Fanny, as she ran into
the parlour, in the evening, when the bell rang
for tea; "and may I have a birthday cake ? Oh,
it would be so nice! You willlet me, won't you?"
Softly, softly, my dear. We are, none of us,
deaf! We will see about it by-and-by."
Dr. Lincoln had an old friend to tea with him,
so that Fanny could say no more about it at that
time. "What do you think I have got for you,
pussy asked Dr. Lincoln, when his friend was
gone. Fanny began to feel in his pockets, pull-
ing out knife, keys, note-book, and several other
very common-place articles. Where is it,
father ? I can't find anything!"
Shut your eyes, and hold out your hand, and
see what I give you."
She obeyed; and, lo! in her hand was letter,
-a large letter,-addressed to Miss Fanny B.
Oh, it's to me, mother It is really to Miss
Fanny B. Lincoln; so it is for me!" and her
fingers trembled so with delight that she could
scarcely open it. Oh, it is such a nice, long
letter! Do see it, mother!"
It was from Elliott. The letters were large
and distinct; but it took Fanny some time to
spell out all the words, and she would let no one
help her. It was as follows:-
MY DEAR, DARLING SISTER,-
"H ow I wish you were here, that I might
draw you close to me and talk to you! It is
evening, and I know you and mother are sitting
74 FANNY LINCOLN.
in the parlour. I wonder if you think of the
runaway sometimes ? You would not think it
very pleasant here. Indeed, no place is half so
lovely as the dear sitting-room at home, with the
old sofa, book-case, and round-table. My chum
sits at the opposite side of the table, with his
heels on the stove, his chair tipped back, looking
up at the ceiling, while he runs his fingers
through his tangled hair. I fancy he is racking
his brains for an idea for his next theme. Your
loving brother has been doing the same, to no
effect, and so has concluded to edify his little
sister instead of his teachers.
"I called on a friend this morning, and his
gardener gave me a bunch of his early violets,
which I have pressed and shall send in this letter
for Miss Bryan. I hope they will keep their
sweet fragrance, for it makes me think of spring
and of singing-birds.
I always think of you, dear Fanny, when I
look at the stars. How bright they shine these
cold nights! About ten o'clock I go out for a
little walk, and enjoy looking at them more than
I can tell you. My Lyra burns on bright and
beautiful as ever. Do you ever look at it from
your window ? There are fine old trees here;
and they stand up with their great bare arms
against the sky, like so many huge giants, and
through the spaces, the bright little stars nod
and wink, as sociably as possible. They will
twinkle just as brightly all night long, when our
eyes are closed in sleep,-tireless, beautiful
watchers that they are!
"Do you know next Thursday is my birthday?
LOUISA'S MOTHER. 75
I hope you will celebrate it by doing something
very remarkable,-I don't exactly know what.
Suppose you lay on the pile of happiness an
extra-sized atom that day,-a great big lump as
it were ? Now, you must think, little one; I
know you don't like having to think; but no one
except yourself can contrive how to do this. Be
sure to let me know how you keep it: I dare say
I shall open my eyes wide when I hear.
Are fairy-stories as charming as ever? I like
to think of you as a child-fairy, tripping about,
carrying music and sunshine wherever you go.
If you can always take with you a loving heart,
you will be as welcome as any silver-robed fairy
ever was; for a loving heart will make your
voice sweet, your words kind, and your actions
gentle. You know who can give you this loving
heart. Every night and morning I ask Him to
bless you and make you His child, filling youth
heart with His own pure and loving Spirit.
Have you learned the lines about heaven ?
I often repeat them as I walk under the bright
stars; and sometimes I long to go to that blessed,
I send you a piece of poetry which I copied
out of a book the other day, because I thought
you would like it. If you do, you can take it
over to Miss Louisa some time, and read it to
her as well as you can. Tell her I often think
of her, lying so patiently on her bed, and wish I
could do something to cheer her.
"Now, dear sister Fanny, good-night. Ima-
gine I give you a great hug and kiss you over
and over again. I shall write to dear mother in
76 FANNY LINCOLN.
a day or two. I hope her poor head is behaving
better. Once more, good-night.
From your loving brother,
The lines enclosed were entitled-
THE DOVE'S VISIT.
I knew a little sickly child:
The long, long summer's day,
When all the world was green and bright,
Alone in bed he lay:
There used to come a little dove
Before his window small,
And sing to him with her sweet voice
Out of the fir-tree tall.
And when the sick child better grew
And he could crawl along,
Close to that window he would creep
And listen to her song:
And he was gentle in his speech,
And quiet in his play;
He would not for the world have made
That sweet bird fly away.
There is a Holy Dove that sings
To every listening child,-
That whispers to his little heart
A song more sweet and mild.
It is the Spirit of our God,
That speaks to him within,
That leads him on to all things good,
And holds him back from sin.
And he must hear that "still, small voice,"
Nor tempt it to depart,-
The Spirit great and wonderful,
That whispers to his heart:
He must be pure and good and true,
Must strive and watch and pray;
For unresisted sin at last
Will drive that Dove away.
THE BIRTHDAY. 77
FRoM that time Fanny's thoughts dwelt very
much on Elliott's birthday, and the best way of
celebrating it. Her mother had promised her
that she might invite Alice and Charlie Foster,
Emily and Mary Reed, and have a birthday-cake
made,-a real birthday-cake, that should be
frosted and have plums in it. But how to put
the great lump on the pile of happiness was the
question to be decided. Her mother would not
suggest anything. Fanny could not ask Louisa
Bryan, for she wanted to do something for her,
and give her a great surprise;-but what could
she do? She wanted to give something that
was her own. She had no money; and if she
were to ask her father for some, it would be no
real gift from herself.
On Monday morning she was watering her
flowers. "How beautiful my daisy is!" said
she. "It grows prettier every day; and it has
so many blossoms on it!-let me see." And
she counted thirteen, besides several little green
balls which would soon open into flowers. It was
growing in a beautiful white china vase which
had a blue border round it,-a vase given to her
mother many years before. It was too small for
much earth; but the daisy required only a little.
78 FANNY LINCOLN.
It was so light Fanny could lift it easily. She
turned it round and round, saying, again and
again, "It is so pretty!-so very pretty!" and
she kissed the bright little blossoms in her joy.
"Elliott loves my daisy, too," said she; "and
I always think of him when I look at it, as he
asked me to do. Dear little daisy! I am sure
I wouldn't part with you for anything."
But a sudden thought struck her. This
would be just the thing to give Louisa Bryan.
It was so little, it wouldn't trouble any one to
take care of it; and she enjoyed flowers so much.
It could stand on her window, where she could
see it grow, and watch the buds" open into
flowers. "I do think she would like it very
much. But then I couldn't give that away: no,
indeed; it is my little pet, and I love it dearly."
And she lifted it up, and admired it anew. "Oh,
no; I couldn't give that away !"
She went to her geography-lesson. As she
was looking on the map for the longest river,
something within whispered, Why not give the
"Because-because Elliott likes it so much,
and I am always to think of him when I look
at it: it wouldn't be right or kind to give it
But," said the voice within,-(it was only a
very gentle whisper),-" wouldn't Elliott be
pleased if Miss Louisa had it? You could
think of him just as well; and he would be glad
to have his little sister unselfish,-very glad,-
more glad than to have her look at flowers for
THE BIRTHDAY. 79
"Was it because she was selfish, then, that she
did not like to part with her mountain daisy?
No; she did love it for Elliott's sake and that
was not selfishness!
She could not find the rivers very well, for
the dimness that was in her eyes, and for think-
ing so constantly, "I don't want to give up my
daisy. I don't-the little darling!" And she
went to look at it again.
"What a sunny smile each little flower had!
How it seemed to enjoy giving pleasure to all
who looked upon it, as it it would say, Ism
not selfish: I love to cheer you, and I should
love to cheer Miss Bryan on her sick-bed: that
was why I was made,-to make others happy."
Fanny went back to learn her lesson; but
her heart was disquieted within her. Being an
only daughter, her wishes were usually gratified;
and, as she was not compelled to make many
sacrifices, she had become somewhat self-in-
dulgent. But she wanted to do something extra
on Elliott's birthday, and she knew it would
please him if she were to make a sacrifice for
others: he was always doing that himself. And
would not her other Friend-the unseen Friend
-be pleased also ? Surely He would see how
much it cost her, if no one else did.
Fanny was a long while in getting her lessons
perfect that morning; and as soon as she had
finished saying them, she broke out, eagerly,-
"Oh, mother, would you have me give it to
Miss Bryan ?"
Give what, my child ?"
My mountain daisy. I know she would like
80 iNNY LINCOLN.
it; and Elliott wants me to do something extra
on his birthday, you know. Would you give it
to her, if it were you ?"
"I cannot decide for another person, Fanny;
you must act for yourself."
But you know I like it better than anything
I have got P"
And it is so pretty now, and so full of blos-
"Yes; I know it is."
And there would be such an ugly bare spot
on the stand, if it were gone! I should cry to
If you do not wish to part with it, and would
feel unhappy if you did, why should you give it
"I do partly want to give it, and partly I
don't: so I can't tell what to do. I wish
Elliott were here !"
"I don't believe he would decide for you, if
Oh, I do wish there never were any such
thing as choosing and deciding! I never can
make up my mind. Mother, I have just learned
that verse I like the best, about the daisy:-
"'Cauld blew the bitter, biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
Amid the storm,
Scarce raised above the parent earth
Thy slender form.'
The daisy Burns wrote of grew out of doors,
mother. Elliott said so,-and that in Scotland
THE BITIIDAY. 81
they come up very early all over the fields,-
almost as early as the snow-drops. Why don't
they grow so here P"
This was in the garden last year, you know."
Yes; and it didn't look half so pretty as it
does in this vase. You wouldn't like me to give
this vase away, would you --because aunt
Mary brought it from China so long ago."
"I gave it to you: so you can dispose of it,
if you choose. I have two others like it."
"If it were the geranium in that big brown
pot, I shouldn't care at all, mother. But poor
Mrs. Bryan couldn't lift that. Thomas says it
is one of the heaviest pots on the stand."
"Would you not like to give what is best,
my child asked the mother, laying the stray
locks smoothly across her little daughter's fore-
head. "You have heard about the Jews ?"
"And you know God required them to bring
sacrifices,-sometimes of oxen, sometimes of
lambs, sometimes of doves, sometimes of grain
and fruit. He required them to bring the best,
-never the sick, the old, or the poor. If a man
had a large flock, perhaps he would sometimes
be tempted to spare the dearest, prettiest lamb
he had,-the one his children loved best,-and
bring to .the Lord one that was less valuable;
yet this would not have been pleasing -to the
Lord. God had given him everything he had;
and it would have been an ungrateful return to
bring to I-im the maimed and blemished of his
flock, because he loved it less."
"Yes, it would. What a solemn thing it
82 FANNY LINCOLN.
'must have been to pick out a lamb from the
flock for God! I am sure I should give the
best to Him."
"And yet Jesus said, 'Inasmuch as ye have
done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye
have done it unto me.' "
This made Fanny very thoughtful. Was
giving to the poor, then, giving to Jesus ?
Could anything be too good or beautiful to
bring to Him ? He had made the little daisies;
and if she carried them to Miss Bryan, would
He consider it as giving them to Him ? It was
a wonderful thought; and, as she dwelt upon
it, her heart grew warm, till she felt willing-
nay, even glad-to give her choicest treasure.
She had never felt so truly happy.
She worked hard at her pillow-case, only look-
ing out of the window for a moment now and
then to enjoy the beautiful scenery. It had
rained the night before; but now the sky was
clear, and everything was cased in pure glitter-
ing ice. Millions of sparkling diamonds flashed
upon the eye; and when a breath of wind stirred
the trees, the gorgeous jewelry shivered and
fell with a tinkling sound on the silvery crust
It was silver everywhere: silver on the little
rose-bush by the window; silver on every twig
of the great elm; silver on the gate-post; silver
on the currant-bushes in the garden; silver on
every bar of the lattice-work of the summer-
house; and silver-one broad, dazzling sheet
of silver-on the lawn that sloped back to the
river. All, too, was clear shining brightness
THE BIRTHDAY. 83
in Fanny's heart; and it leaped up in glad
response to the outward glory of God's works.
"Oh, mother! doesn't that mound in the
garden look like a large cake ? It is as round,
and smooth, and white, as if it had just been
frosted. Do look, mother !"
Mrs. Lincoln smiled. "Your foolish head
runs so on birthday-cakes, you see them every-
I do long so to have Thursday come! It will
be a happy day, I know. And, mother," she
added softly, "I shall give my daisy to Miss
"I am very glad you have decided," said her
Fanny felt a little disappointed that she was
not commended for her great sacrifice; but
Mrs. Lincoln was a judicious mother, and did
not wish her approbation to operate as a motive
or reward in a case like this.
"How can I carry it, mother? I want to
take it to her myself."
"Your willow basket will just hold it, I
think. I will put some cotton round it, and
wrap it carefully, that it may not get injured on
After Fanny's bed-time, when Mrs. Lincoln
told her husband of the plan, he asked if he
should not buy another choice plant to take
the daisy's place and give Fanny a surprise.
"No, my dear: I would not have her paid
for being generous. Let the pleasure of doing
right be its own reward, unmingled with any of
a lower nature."
84 FrANY LINCOLN.
"You are right, as you always are. One of
your cool decisions is worth a score of my hasty
Thursday came. There was no cloud with-
out nor headache within, and everything pro-
mised a charming, happy day. It was to be a
holiday: no lessons, no sewing. In the morn-
ing Fanny was to ride over to Necton with her
father. After dinner she was to carry the
daisy to Louisa, and also the set of pillow-
cases, which she had finished so very neatly
that her mother had been much pleased with
them, and which, nicely washed, ironed, and
marked, now lay all ready in the closet; and
at four o'clock, six of her young friends were
to come and have a little tea-party by them-
selves in the study. Surely it would be a day
of pleasure; and Fanny had not forgotten to
thank her unseen Friend for all His goodness,
and to ask His help that she might be thought-
ful of others on this joyous day.
Was Elliott a tiny little baby twenty years
ago to-day, father P" asked Fanny at the break-
fast table. Oh, how funny it must have
"Yes, he was very small, and his face was
very red. He wasn't a pretty baby at all; and
if you had seen him then, I don't think you
would have been charmed with him. In a few
months he grew fat and fair; and he has been a
comfort to us ever since,-an unalloyed com-
fort. Eh, wife ?"
Yes, indeed. Even as a little boy, he was
always thoughtful and affectionate."
THE BIRTHDAY. 85
"Pretty full of his pranks, though; but I like
a boy to have some spirit. It has done him no
"I think religion has done a great deal for
Elliott," said his mother. I noticed, when be
was at home, how much he was improved every
way, and how unselfish and gentle he had be-
"Yes; his piety is subduing what was wrong
in him. That gives me confidence in its being
genuine. It is easy to see that it influences all
his words and feelings, as well as his actions. I
am sure we need not fear for his future: if sick-
ness or poverty, or even death comes, he will be
safe. I should feel perpetual anxiety for a son
who was not controlled by religious principle.
There would be no safeguard against his falling
into the worst of vices."
In the morning-prayer, fervent thanks were
offered for the gift of such a son, and earnest
petitions that during the year he might be di-
vinely preserved and guided.
The ride to Necton was very delightful to
Fanny. Well wrapped in furs, she enjoyed the
drive over the beautiful snow, while merry music
was in her heart, and a glad smile on her lips.
When she entered the house where her father
had to call, and saw how feeble old Mr. Stevens
looked, propped up in his chair, she felt sorry for
him, and wished she could remove a portion from
his pile of sorrow and suffering. She was so
happy, she would gladly have made all the world
happy too. While her father was feeling his
pulse, she saw that the old man's handkerchief
86 FANNY LINOOLN.
had dropped to the floor. She quietly picked it
up, and laid it on his hand.
"Thank'ee, child," he said, with a faint smile.
Soon a little boy of five or six came in, making
a great deal of noise, which evidently disturbed
his grandpapa. Fanny went to him, and began
to talk in a low voice; and by degrees Tommy
caught the softened tone.
"Who are you ?" he asked.
My name is Fanny,--Fanny Lincoln. What
is your's ?"
"Thomas John Parker Stevens."
"What a long name I Is that your grand-
"He looks very ill. I hope you keep very
still, so.as not to disturb him. You can't play
at horse in here."
Yes, I can. It don't tire him a bit."
"Yes, it does very much: it makes his head
ache. When my mother is ill, I step softly and
keep just as still as a mouse."
"I don't. I don't want to be still. Gee-up!
Gee-up, there! I want to drive my horse."
"Tommy," groaned the old man, "do stop that
noise, or go into the kitchen. It goes right
through my head."
"Let us go into the kitchen," said Fanny,
taking his hand and leading him out of the room.
She found the kitchen all in confusion. There
was a baby crying, and a little girl lying on- the
floor with tangled hair and a dirty face.
"Is that your little sister, Tommy?"
"Yes; that's Delia. Get up, Delia."
THE BIRTHDAY. 87
Miss Delia chose to retain her place on the
floor; but at length Fanny coaxed her to come
and stroke her muff, and see how soft it was.
Delia looked pleased, and called it "pussy."
Have you got a pussy, Delia ?"
No !" shouted Tom: "we drowned it."
"How cruel! What for 1"
Because it ate up all Ponto's dinner." And
he gave a full description of a cat-and-dog feud,
that had raged in the family, till it was ended in
the manner above named.
"I like pussies. I didn't want her killed,"
I will send you a picture-book of mine, Delia,
which has a beautiful pussy in it,-a picture of
one, I mean,-when father comes here again.
Would you like it ?"
The dirty face was lighted up by a smile,
which said yes,"-though no other answer was
Fanny was glad to escape into the sick-room;
Delia followed, but she was very quiet. The
grandfather was about to take some medicine.
Fanny helped his trembling hand to raise the
cup to his lips, and then set it aside for him. She
even ventured to lay her little hand on his, and
to look up into his face with her eyes full of love
and pity, and to say,-
"I wish I could make you well!"
"Bless you, little one, I wish you could! But
nobody can do that, I am afraid."
"Jesus Christ can; and perhaps He will, if
you ask Him."
So the little fairy scattered some rays of sun.
88 FANNY LINCOLN.
shine even on the darkness of this desolate home
After dinner came the packing of the daisy,
and the walk to Mrs. Bryan's. Fanny's gleeful
heart prompted her to a skip and a bound; but,
remembering what she had to take care of she
schooled herself into a slow walk. She hardly
gave any one time to say, How do you do ?"
on her arrival at the cottage, before she ex-
"This is Elliott's birthday, Miss Louisa;
and I am going to give you this for a birthday-
How bright were the blossoms on the little
daisy, to the poor, sick woman! What cheering,
comforting things they seemed to say to her!
They told her of God's care and love, as well as
of the affection of a dear earthly friend; and her
voice trembled as she tried to thank Fanny for
them. She could realize what it had cost the
dear child to part with her choicest treasure; and
she valued the gift accordingly.
"It is a fairy-gift," she said. These moun-
tain-daisies have always been my delight. I
think no other flower has so much sunshine
beaming from it. Dear little comforters! I
don't think my room will ever look very lonely
now. I know you loved them dearly. It was
too much to give them to me."
Oh, I liked to do it, I did indeed. I never
felt so happy in all mty life as while I was coming
over here with them in the basket. Elliott loved
them, too; and he will be glad to know they are
standing in your window. I think they were
THE BIRTHDAY. 89
his favourites among all our flowers: he always
said, as you do, they were such happy-looking
Then the pillow-cases were displayed, and the
beautiful little stitches much admired,-each one
put in by Fanny's own hand! Mrs. Bryan put
one of them on the pillow under Louisa's head;
and Fanny fairly shouted with delight. The
whole world seemed bright and beautiful to her,
and she the happiest creature in it.
"Dear Miss Fanny," said Louisa, "it would
distress me to accept so many things from you,
if I did not think you were made as happy by
giving as I am by receiving them. It is very
sweet to know I have such a dear, kind little
friend to think of me. I can't feel grateful
enough for it. You don't know how much you
brighten my lonely life!"
One hour was all that Fanny could give to
Louisa and Mrs. Bryan that day; but it was a
sweet, happy hour to them all. A "large lump"
had been added to the pile of happiness, and
Elliott himself would have wished for nothing
more gay and animated than Fanny's face as she
flitted, fairy-like, on her homeward path. She
was learning the true secret of joy,-pure, real
joy-viz., doing good, and forgetting herself in
making others happy.
That was a merry little tea-party in the
doctor's study! The children were full of fun
and frolic, and they were good-natured and
obliging: so they could not fail to enjoy them-
selves. They played at "Blind-man's buff,"
"Puss in the corner," "Bull in the Park,"
90 rANNY LINCOLN.
"Friar's ground," and manyother games,tillthey
were tired enough to enjoy resting and taking
their tea. The birthday-cake looked very beau-
tiful, with its myrtle wreath and little bouquet
of rose-buds; and though it was iced, and had
plums in it, it was not too rich to eat; so that
with rolls, seed-cakes and ginger-nuts, they had
a most abundant repast.
I wish birthdays would come every day in
the year!" exclaimed Alice Foster, as she tied
on her cloak to go home. Mine won't be here
till the 8th of July, and poor Charlie's not till
next December. Mother calls him her winter
"Mine is in June," said Fanny; "and I
am almost sure I can have a birthday party,
and out of doors too. That will be very nice;
won't it ?"
So they parted, cordially and happily, and
quiet settled down upon the household, and on
Fanny's heart; for even her unbounded spirits
had for once had enough of play. She was glad
to get the hassock, and sit at her mother's feet,
and, leaning her head against her knee, listen to
stories of Elliott's babyhood,and the funny things
he said and did when he was a very little boy.
"Was I so funny when I was a little girl,
"When you were! You do not seem any.
thing else in my eyes now. You were an in-
cessant little chatter-box at three years old;
and I dare say if you live to be a woman I shall
contrive to get up some wonderful account of
THE BIRTHDAY. 91
"If I live to be a woman, I shall always have
you to live with me, mother. I couldn't do with-
out my own dear mother; could I?"
"I do not know-we shall see. I may not
live many years," she added, quietly: and if I
should not, you will learn to live without me, I
have no doubt."
"Oh, I never could! You must not talk about
it." After a little silence, she looked up and said,
" God is good, mother. He would not take you
away from me, I know."
God is good, and He loves you; but He may
see it to be best to take our dearest friends away.
He often does; and still He is kind. If He
sees we cannot be made holy and fit for heaven
without sorrow, He sends it; and when sorrow
has softened us, and raised our affections to Him,
and made us more truly God's own children, we
are rejoiced that He did afflict us. We see it
was for our good. He sends His Spirit to heal
the hearts that are broken; and those who have
lost many dear friends are sometimes the very -
happiest persons, because they have learned in
sorrow to cling closer to the Saviour and to find
their happiness in serving Him."
I am afraid I should not be made better,
if great sorrows were to come to me," said
I should be glad to save you from them, my
child," said her mother, laying her hand fondly
on her head; "but your heavenly Father will
send just as many or as few as we need, and help
us to bear them and be made better by them, if
we trust in Him."
92 FAxNY LINCOLN.
It was a rare thing for Mrs. Lincoln to speak
so freely, and to take such hopeful views of the
future. Was God breathing into her soul new
strength to meet the hour of trial ? For trials
were at hand,-though she knew it not. A dark
cloud was rising, whose blackness would sadly
overshadow all the brightness of that happy
home Never again will they all gather round
that fireside as they have been used to gather
there, for the angel of death is even now hover-
ing over one of their precious and beloved
number! God help them, in His great love to
bear bereavement patiently, and to be brought
by it nearer to Himself!
TWELVE YEARS LATER. 93
"WE now pass at once over an interval of twelve
years. We have not courage to take you into
the darkness which followed those sunny weeks
in which we have been with the Lincolns. We
cannot look upon their great grief till time has
softened it into a gentle sadness,-till the first
agony has passed away, and the bitterness of be-
reavement has been changed into sweet and pre-
cious memories,-memories hallowed, pure, and
The lapse of twelve years often painfully
changes firesides, faces, and hearts; but that old
parlour looks very much as it did when we left
it. There is about it the same aspect of tasteful
refinement and true comfort that then pervaded
it, making it a real home,-earth's best resting-
place for the weary spirit. The sofa, the book-
case, the round table, are all there. There is
Mrs. Lincoln in her old rocking-chair in the
corner, looking much as she always did,-still
delicate and lady-like, though seeming less infirm.
Years have scattered some silver threads among
her dark locks, and planted some wrinkles on her
quiet face; yet they have touched her gently, and
left few marked traces of their progress. The
doctor comes in with the same hearty smile and
cheering voice; but his step is slower, and his loud
94 FANNY LINCOLN.
laugh less frequent. Grief has set her seal upon
his features,-not a withering or defacing, but a
softening, spiritualizing one,-one that makes
the sorrowing feel sure of sympathy, for it tells
them that he has himself passed through the deep
waters, and been upheld by an Almighty arm.
As the doctor seats himself in the arm-chair
before the fire, and stretches out his feet, and
settles himself for a comfortable evening,-a rare
luxury to him,-there enters a young lady,
bringing him his slippers. She draws the table
nearer to the fire, and places the lamp upon it.
Do we know who this is ? Can it be that this
womanly-looking person, whose movements are
so full of quiet grace,-whose dark-brown hair is
so smoothly parted over her forehead and wound
in massive braids around her head,-whose gen-
tle, self-possessed manners denote thoughtfulness
of others, as well as modest self-respect,-can
this be our golden-haired, curly-headed, impulsive
little Fanny ? It is even so,-the same, yet not
the same! The childish features have changed.
Fanny was an uncommonly pretty child. No
stranger would now consider her beautiful; yet
her face lights up into such a sweet earnestness
when she speaks, and relaxes into such merry
dimples when she laughs, and then changes to
such a gentle seriousness when she is silent, that
it becomes a very dear one to her friends.
As we look at her more closely, we see the
Fanny of former days coming out, in the quick
little turns of the head, the soft tones of voice,
the light in the dark eyes, and the peculiar
smile which hovers about her mouth.
TWELVE YEARS LATER. 95
But one face is not there. One active, vigor-
ous form, which should now be glowing in the
strength and pride of perfected manhood, enters
not. He whose eye was the brightest, whose
heart was the warmest, and whose manly strength
and courage gave surest promise of protracted
health and life,-he who would have been the
chief delight of that family-circle, their staff and
stay, their pride and joy,-he is in that earthly
home no more!
For twelve long years the dust has lain on
that sunny brow; closed have been those eyes
which beamed with love and tenderness, silent
that voice which was so full of music to their
hearts. "The dust hath returned to dust, and
the spirit to God who gave it." Away from his
beloved earthly home, but safe in
"That happy, happy country, where
There entereth not a sin,
And Death, who keeps its portals fair,
May never more come in,"-
away from his fond parents and doting sister,
but with Him whom his soul loved and longed for
-away from earthly labours and earthly cares,
but serving God among the holy angels, wearing
the white robe, and bearing the victor's palm!
Oh, who could wish him back, beloved and
cherished as he was ?
As we have said, all was bright and cheerful
in the parlour as of old, and their talk was of the
passing events of the day, till the father took up
"Shall I read it aloud for you, father ?"
96 FANNY LINCOLN.
Not to-night, thank you, my dear. I am not
tired, and will run it over myself."
So Fanny took a low chair, and drew up to her
"Mother,"' she said, after a little silence,
taking her mother's hand tenderly in her's,-
"mother, you know this is Elliott's birthday."
Yes, Fanny, I never forget it,-his birthday
and the anniversary of his death."
Rather his second birthday, mother,-the
day when he began his holier and happier life.
It is both his heavenly and his earthly birthday."
"I know it is; and I rejoice in it. Yet when
I think of all he would have been to us, my
heart sometimes aches for the longing it has to
see him again."
A few quiet tears fell,-almost unnoticed.
"But then we are very happy together now,
Fanny, and it is a blessed thing to think of him
in a still happier home. We will not be so
selfish as to wish him here."
No; we cannot wish it. And when I look
back to the time of his death, and remember how
dark and gloomy everything appeared then, it
seems wonderful how we have been comforted,
and how cheerful and happy we have all been
since. I was but a child, then; but I remember
it all as distinctly as if it were but yesterday,-
what a happy day it had been, and how I had
had a birthday party, and we had taken tea in the
study, and the little girls had gone away, and we
were sitting quietly here in the twilight, when
the terrible news came. I can hear now the
very ringing of the door-bell, which had some-
TWELVE YEARS LATER. 97
thing strangely ominous in it, and startled us
all. Oh, how fearful it was to be told that Ellie
was-dead! Dear Ellie, who had always been so
strong, and well, and happy! It seemed utterly
impossible! No wonder, in your feebleness, you
could not bear such a sudden, dreadful shock.
I remember how you fainted, and were carried
senseless out of the room. I thought you too
had died. Oh, what a gloomy night it was !"
"It was indeed," said Mrs. Lincoln. "At
first I thought I could have borne it better, had
he died of a lingering illness; but afterwards,
when I had become composed, and could look
my great grief in the face, I could be thankful
that he was spared prolonged suffering, and that
his last act was such a brave and generous
How like him it was to forget himself in
helping others!" said Fanny. "I can just fancy
how eagerly he rushed to the opening in the ice
when he saw his class-mate going under,-never
stopping to think of his own danger. You re-
member his chum said that he never saw him
look handsomer or happier than he did that day
skating rapidly and merrily over the ice. It was
a favourite amusement of his, was it not ?"
"Yes; and he was always bold on the ice,-
far too bold! He wanted you to learn to skate,
you know, in his last vacation, but I would not
consent to it."
"I can remember hearing you and him talk
about it, and how much I longed to learn. I
think I remember a great deal about him,-of
what he said, and how he looked,-more than I