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A HAPPY HALF HOLIDAY.
SISTE R. S.
ILL US TRA TIONS,
_ __ __ __
AT the door of a pleasantly situated and
somewhat large house, standing in its own
commodious grounds, stood an elderly man
holding by the bridle a pretty little pony.
The man, who appeared to be waiting for
some one, and was evidently a confidential
servant more than an ordinary groom, ever
and anon led the animal up and down or
stroked its glossy neck in admiration. It
was indeed a graceful creature, with its deep
chestnut coat and long, flowing mane and
tail, and proud were its young owners of
their favourite. At this moment the front
door opened and a child came rapidly out,
carrying a slate and books in her hand. She
was dressed in walking costume, and looked
a quiet, ladylike girl of about thirteen.
"Now, Miss Grace, Miss Grace," exclaimed
of the Hamillons.
the servant, as she
again at school this morning; here I and
Chestnut have been waiting this quarter of an
Now, do make haste, do.
your sister coming ?
poor Arnold sighe
11 behind, as
d at the oft-
of his two youthful
said Grace, in a tone of petulancy,
"you need not scold me, Arnold; I have been
ready a long time, it is Edith who is so late; it's
no use my hurrying, if
I am tired of telling h
she won't make haste.
Edith, you tiresome girl, do come;
said she wou
her long, fai
the wind, ai
r curls blown
in all directions by
riding dress in rather an undignified
Oh! Arnold, I could'nt help it,
couldn't!" exclaimed she; "I was looking for
my French exercise, which, after all, I couldn't
very well without it, so don't look grave, Grace
not a bit
like good Grace,
and fear I never
S- --.. --
.. .... '- ----"l
GRACE AND EDITH.
Particulars of the Tamily. 7
and she laughed the gay laugh of happy
Arnold, however, was not to be detained
longer by his favourite's prattle; he lifted her
into the saddle, and, with Grace demurely
walking by the side, the party set off at a
Before proceeding further, it will be neces-
sary to acquaint my readers with a few parti-
culars concerning Grace and Edith, in order
that they may more clearly comprehend the
succeeding portion of this narrative.
Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton were people of in-
dependent means; they had for some years
lived in their present abode, which was situated
about a mile from the town of Barham. Mr.
Hamilton had formerly held a government
appointment, but had given it up on coming
into a considerable property at his father's
death. He was a gentleman in every sense of
the word, and much respected by his own
immediate neighbours, as well as those in the
surrounding country, for his uprightness and
The Hamiltons, besides Grace and Edith,
had two sons; Gilbert, who was at this time a
promising young man at college, and Herbert,
still an infant unable to walk, the pet and
8 The Story of the Hamiltons.
darling of the whole household. There had
been a son and a daughter between Gilbert
and Grace, but they had both died before
Grace was born, and Herbert, from being
nearly nine years younger than Edith, stood
in much danger of being spoilt. Grace was a
sober, grave girl, clever and methodical in all
her arrangements; she had, nevertheless, many
faults, which will hereafter be further deve-
loped. Edith was the exact opposite of her
sister; bright, lively, good-tempered, but im-
petuous and very careless, from want of
thought; but at her age what can be expected ?
She was a very sunbeam in the eyes of her
parents, and no one who looked at her sweet
face and heard her gentle voice could help
loving her. Whatever were her faults-and
human nature is ever full of such blemishes-
her winning ways and extreme sweetness of
disposition caused her to be a general favourite.
The two sisters attended a school in Barham,
where they were the only daily pupils, as Miss
Campbell's custom was only to take boarders,
thereby avoiding the petty gossip, which going
backwards and forwards into the town was
sure to engender. She had, however, made
an exception in the case of Grace and Edith,
who therefore walked or rode every morning
Late at School. 9
that the weather permitted them, or otherwise
were driven down in the carriage, returning
home to a six o'clock tea. They were gene-
rally liked in the school, though some few were
jealous of the partiality they fancied was
shown them by Miss Campbell; but among
school-girls, as with those in other and higher
positions, jealousy and envy are but too apt
to creep in.
And now to return to the story.
As Arnold had predicted, they were again
late, much to Grace's annoyance; and really
it was hard upon the poor child, for Edith,
often as she repented and promised amend-
ment, was invariably behindhand, and conse-
quently Grace was obliged in some measure
to share the reproofs she incurred. Mrs.
Hamilton did not like one sister to start with-
out the other, or either of them to walk alone ;
thus, though they took it by turns to ride to
school, and were both tolerable horsewomen,
yet it was no use for Grace ever to hurry on,
as when she did arrive there would be nobody
to hold the pony. This morning she appeared
more than usually vexed. As she entered the
school-room, where her companions were al-
ready in busy, earnest occupation, she rapidly
made her curtsey to Miss Campbell, and
1o Ti7e Story of the Iktamiltozls.
turned at once to a low seat by the side of
the book-shelves, apparently to arrange her
books, but in reality to hide the tears which
fell thick and fast.
"Now, young ladies, the second class for
geography !" exclaimed the somewhat harsh
voice of the teacher, Miss Thompson; and
Grace, with some six or seven others, was
obliged to rise in obedience to the command.
The lesson for the day was on the counties
and principal towns of England, which, to
Grace, was easy enough, because she never
spared pains to learn her lessons perfectly, and
was known in the school as one of the best
scholars. Now, however, her mind was occu-
pied with the morning's hurry, and feelings
akin to anger at Edith's behaviour prevented
her paying proper attention, consequently she
did not hear that a question had been already
passed by three of her class-mates. And
when at length it arrived at her, she looked
round in a state of evident bewilderment till
roused by Miss Thompson saying, "Come,
Grace, surely you know this easy question ?
I really am quite ashamed of you young
ladies. Yes," she continued, "quite ashamed,
that you cannot say where Naseby is."
Grace neither moved nor spoke. Naseby,
Grace in Zrouble,. f
Naseby," thought she to herself; "oh, where-
ever is the place, I don't know;" and nothing
would come into her head but that unlucky
word, Naseby, try as she would. At length
the girl next her whispered the name of the
unfortunate county; Grace coloured violently,
but still remained silent.
"Well, Grace," said Miss Thompson, "I
shall not wait much longer for you; do you
know or not ? Speak, child!"
Yes;" replied Grace, slowly. "I know."
"Then why don't you say ?"
But nothing more could be got out of her;
she was therefore sent away in disgrace, and
the question passed on to her neighbour and
It was with no surprise Grace received the
intimation that morning, after school, that
Miss Campbell desired to speak to her. She
obeyed the summons, and to look at her
face a casual observer would have imagined
it awakened no feeling of any sort within
her. Such, however, was not the case. She
was a child who loved quiet and retirement,
and stood in some awe of Miss Campbell, and
in much dread of those private reprimands,
known to her as yet only from hearsay.
She repressed her tears, and, striving to
12 2zh Story of the I1-izdon;.s.
calm her throbbing heart, descended to Miss
Campbell's room. She knocked timidly at
the door, and listened till she heard Miss
Campbell call out, "Come in," when she en-
tered, taking care to keep as near the door
as possible, though what assistance that
could afford her it would be difficult to say.
"Grace Hamilton," began Miss Campbell;
and though her manner was more distant than
usual, and there was a slight degree of stern-
ness in the tone, the words in some degree
restored Grace's calmness. "Grace Hamilton,
I am sorry, very sorry to be obliged to send
for you, but I understand you have behaved
in a most extraordinary way this morning
to Miss Thompson; now I cannot allow in
my school any disrespect to the teachers. I
have been told that you not only declined
answering a question which, by your own
acknowledgment, you could answer, but that
your manner was obstinate, and your conduct
most unladylike. I have, therefore, sent for
you to inquire into the truth of this report,
and to ask the cause of it. What have you
to say ?"
Poor Grace! her breath came faster and
faster, and she looked as if she was going
"Well, Grace, what answer can you make
to these accusations; I cannot be trifled
with; tell me directly; what excuse have
"None," at last came from Grace, in a
scarcely audible whisper; and the child stood
so firm, and her lips were so compressed,
me what i
am not an(
soon if yoi
tack altogether. She had tried
id it had failed; now she must try
else. "Grace, my dear, come
as she approached, Miss Campbell
back her thick dark hair, and
forehead. "Grace, love, what is
? You need not be afraid to tell
t is; I am sure you would not
so naughty without a reason. I
gry with you yet, but I shall be
i do not answer me. There! I
know you will be good, and we shall make it
all right directly." But at these gentle words
Grace's courage forsook her, and she burst
into such passionate tears that it was some
time before Miss Campbell could soothe her
sufficiently to understand the confession
which she at length made, interrupted as it
was by many sobs and entreaties that Miss
Campbell would not tell any one else. The
The Effet o.f Gentle
14 7 e Story of the 1Hamiltons.
substance of her tale was this: She had not
answered Miss Thompson at first, because
she had really forgotten where Naseby was,
and when she did know, it was only through
her neighbour, Clara Lee, having whispered
it to her, which was a thing Miss Thompson
so highly disapproved that she had only a
few days previously made a rule that who-
ever was guilty of telling an answer should
go to the bottom of the class; consequently,
Grace, while she felt it would be wrong to
reply, and thus take a higher place from
another's better remembered lesson, felt com-
pelled to be silent to screen Clara's fault.
Miss Campbell heard the explanation pa-
tiently through. She commended Grace for
her thoughtfulness respecting Clara, but was,
apparently, somewhat perplexed as to her
next mode of action, till suddenly the thought
struck her, How was it, Grace, you did not
know your lesson better?"
"I thought I did know it, Miss Campbell,
only we were so late in school; Edith would
not make haste, and I was thinking I should
really tell mamma of her, and that put my
geography quite out of my head."
"Ah I see how it is; Edith, as usual, be-
hindhand. But, my dear Grace, your anger
Miss Campbeli's Advice.
will never cure her of this bad habit; re-
member you are much older than she is; you
should rather try to win her by gentleness
and love; I am sure when she sees how she
vexes you she will try to improve, for she
has a sweet disposition, and is dotingly fond
of you. I fear, my dear Grace, you give
way too much to crossness, and forget some-
times that 'Greater is he that ruleth his
temper than he who taketh a city.' Will
you try and think of this ? It will be hard
at first, but persevere, and in the end you
and let me
a new leaf.
But, there, now dry y
see how soon you will
I will explain the n
Miss Thompson. Kiss me, and go to
Grace's look of gratitude was worth some-
thing at these kind words, and she ran off
with a lightened heart to her companions.
Let it not be thought, however, that Miss
Campbell's advice made no impression on
her; far from it, she pondered it deeply; and
earnestly did she pray for help to enable her
to overcome her faults. The Hamiltons'
greatest desire was to see their children grow
up Christians; and with the co-operation of
Miss Campbell they endeavoured to ground
16 The Story of the I hmiltlons.
them in all those graces which adorn the
religion of the Gospel.
To return to Edith. She got through her
lessons in her usual style; after all, the
French exercise was found in one of her
books, where she had safely placed it the
night before, and though she knew the pith
rather than the words of her tasks, she ac-
quitted herself very creditably. She soon
saw by Grace's face, on her re-appearance in
the school-room, that all had not been right
with her, but knowing her sister's reserved
nature she refrained from questioning her,
contenting herself with kissing and fondling
her more than ever.
Thus ended that, to Grace, eventful morning.
AFTER school, as the afternoon was wet,
there were games, and Edith entered into
them with such spirit as to be almost trouble-
"Really, children," said a studiously in-
clined young lady, "I think a school-room
hardly a fit place for such childish amuse-
ments; you don't work yourselves, and won't
let others do so either; if you go on in such a
ridiculous manner I shall certainly complain
to Miss Campbell."
"Now, Kate dear, do let us have this
one frolic." Edith sprang across the room
into her arms almost before Kate was aware
what she was about.
You are a darling, Edith," replied Kate,
returning her warm embraces; "but you three
ought to be more staid. I never saw such a
girl in my life; even grave old Grace grows
almost as bad when she is with you."
"Yes," said Clara Lee, "that's the effect
of our cheerful society."
As soon as they left the school-room, Kate
observed to her companion, Annie Hore, that
18 The Story of the Hamiltons.
the two Hamiltons and Clara Lee were nice
girls. "As for Grace," said she, "I don't
think there is a more plodding, industrious
gir2 here. I always admire her character,
there is something so upright and noble in it."
"Well," replied Annie, "you seem to think
those three paragons ; for my part, I consider
Grace very stupid and dull, besides which, she
is always held up as a model, and everybody
knows models are not agreeable."
Oh, Annie, I can't agree with you ; Grace
is so unassuming, no one need be offended if
she is held up for their imitation; as for Edith,
she is so lovely and so affectionate! and then
the two sisters are both so fond of Clara-oh,
I do love those three!" And Kate's usually
quiet face glowed with animation. Finding
her companion in a not over-amiable mood,
she dropped the conversation and resumed
her book. Her thoughts seemed to wander,
for the book soon fell to her lap, and she
gazed at the fire, in a pleasant reverie, to judge
from her expression of smiling contentment.
Suddenly she rose, fetched her desk, and
rapidly wrote, directed, and sealed a note.
She had scarcely completed it when the
dinner-bell rang, but as she descended the
stairs she contrived to whisper to Grace
kitze Howard. t 9
Hamilton that she had something to tell her,
though she would not indulge her curiosity
by informing her then what it was; in fact,
she rather thought, as a good exercise of
patience, she would make her wait a whole
"A week!" said Grace, "oh, that is too
bad!" And there was time for no more.
The dinner that ensued passed off with
perhaps rather more of good humour than the
pelting rain and gloomy sky outside war-
ranted. Afterwards they were particularly
busy with their lessons, so that Grace could
inquire no more that day concerning Kate's
important news. She and Edith talked the
matter over when they were in bed that night,
but, after indulging in various suppositions,
agreed to wait with patience, as they were
no nearer a true solution of the riddle for
all their talking than when they began.
Kate Howard was the eldest child of
wealthy parents, and, having no sister, she
was made much of at home, no reason-
able wish of hers being ever left ungratified.
She was amiable, moderately clever, and being
one of the oldest girls in Miss Campbell's
school, gave a certain tone of standing to the
whole establishment by her good conduct and
20 The Story of thie ILmdlltoz .
~'" .- -- ---~ --^
steady behaviour. Not such was Annie Hore;
her father had made his money by one sudden
stroke of fortune, and Annie had a vast idea
of her own importance, derived from his in-
culcations, which were those of a well-meaning
but vulgar man. She had the misfortune to
lose her mother early, and, being left much to
the care of servants, was destitute of that
considerateness and feeling for others which
can constitute a true gentlewoman.
One evening, a few days after the foregoing
occurrences, the well-set tea table at the
Grange (so Mr. Hamilton's house was called),
the glowing fire, bright lights, and happy
faces round it proclaimed the tasks of the day
to be over. Grace and Edith were already
busily testing the merits of the toast and cake
when Mr. Hamilton's appearance caused a
cessation of a few minutes in their employ-
ment while they each went up to receive their
evening salutation. When all were again
seated, Mrs. Hamilton headed the table, and
with her gentle, cheerful face, seemed to
radiate peace and content around her. Mr.
Hamilton was opposite her, and on either side
sat one of their daughters; as for little Her-
bert, he had been in bed almost an hour ago.
"Well, Quicksilver," said Mr. Hamilton,
AND HIS FIRST SHILLING. 21
him to return: so that, with her custom and
the trifling sale he made in the streets, he
contrived to keep body and soul together,
sustained as he still was by hope, and the
consciousness of the brave fight he was
making against adversity; for Arthur, al-
though he was only eight years old, thought
and felt these things, although he could not
put his thoughts and feelings into words.
"My! I'm so uncomfortable; I've broke
my stay-lace, and I have not got another.
You couldn't lend me one, Betsy, could
you? said a young woman to her next-
door neighbour, as, early one morning, they
were both cleaning their door-steps.
No," replied Betsy, "I haven't got a
spare one; but there's the boy we get our
matches and black lead from; I daresay
he'll get you one in a jiffey."
Here, boy," said Mary, the first speaker;
"have you any stay-laces ? "
No, I haven't, said Arthur ; "but I'll
get some directly if you want one."
"Well, do," she said; "I'll buy two or
three of you; for its as well to have an
extra one ready in case of an accident."
So that morning our young merchant
22 1lze Story of lte I tmiltons.
write a note to her, and say that, finding you
have a great objection to visiting, I beg her
to leave you behind, with a few additional
sums to do by way of filling up your time.
Eh, girls, what do you say ?"
"Ah! papa, I know you too well," retorted
Edith, "to believe you would do such a thing.
It strikes me, if anybody invited you to join
us they would find a not unwilling companion.
I know somebody who, though he pretends
to despise such affairs, is really very fond
of seeing sights and doing what we shall
do at the Hall; and, do you know, the person
is not a hundred miles from me at this
Now, for that saucy speech, Miss, I shall
serve you out;" saying which, Mr. Hamilton
jumped up and commenced a romp with
Edith, which ended in his fining her forty
kisses, and her duly paying them with interest,
and so much laughter, that it was some time
before she recovered her breath. When they
were again quiet, Mrs. Hamilton inquired of
Grace how the important visit was to be
arranged, and what they intended doing with
themselves at Mrs. Howard's.
"Kate says, mamma, we are to be there
about two o'clock, dine in the hall, and then
amuse ourselves with
and grounds, riding the pony, and
games, or Mr. Howard will take
us on the
then comes tea, and after
that we are
a magic lantern,
ten. We do ho1
)e it will be
wet day would spoil all our pleasure.
my love, I
hope it will; but I
hope that this anticipated treat will not make
you inattentive to your studies
Campbell says if any of us be-
have ill before that time she shall be obliged
to leave us
behind, so we must
guard more than usual."
" How old is
Kate Howard ?"
"She will be sixteen,
is such a
good girl; but she is going to leave school at
Midsummer. I don't know how we shall
her, it will not seem like the
same place when she is gone; she is so kind
to the younger ones, and helps us all with our
lessons when we are in difficulties."
" did you hear from
Gilbert to-day ?"
"Yes, my dear, I
letter in my pocket.
I think I
I will read
_ __I_ Uq _I_ __ P P_ II
24 The SItoy of the Hfnliltons.
you this part:-' Tell the girls, with my love,
I hope to see them in the course of a few
weeks, but the exact day I cannot say at pre-
sent; however, I hope they will be prepared
with their music, and all they can to amuse
me, for after my hard work I shall need some
refreshment, and have proposed to myself
many excursions with them during the sum-
mer.' So, there, young ladies, is something
more to think of."
"What a dear, good brother, Gilbert is! I
am so glad he is coming home soon, are not
Yes," said Grace, "very." How glad was
only known to herself, for with her reserved
and deep feelings there was no one who could
sympathise, no one who drew her out and ex-
plained her various difficulties and suggested
solutions, like her brother. True, she was
dotingly fond of Edith, but it was a fondness
for her gentle simplicity of character rather
than that of kindred thought and sentiment.
Edith was a child to her, unable to enter into
her feelings or understand her. "But now,
Edith," continued Grace, "let us get our
lessons ready for to-morrow."
The two children then speedily set them-
selves to their various tasks, where we will
A Box from IHome.
In the dressing-room, on this same evening,
were Clara Lee, and Anni
e Hore, who, though
to edge herself in.
Clara was unpacking a box just received
home, and Annie was seated near, looking on.
" what a number of
things your mamma has sent you! I can't
think what you will do with them all; what-
out a small
"I don't know, myself, yet,
it is two or three new-laid
eggs; what a funny thing for mamma to send !
Dear mamma; how good of
I am very fond
moistened at the remembrance of the tender,
hand which had
tokens of thought
for her absent child.
eat your eggs ?"
"I don't know; I haven't thought about that
*t; raw, perhaps."
never heard such a disagreeable
raw cr s
26 The Story of thIe Ifumiltons.
"Well, some people have queer notions,
certainly. I don't believe you will eat one
"Yes, I shall, if I wish; and I must say,
Annie, I don't care for you to come in here
prying into my concerns; I may do as I like
without asking your leave, and I don't want
your opinion or company unless I invite you
to give it."
"Oh! dear; so we're cross, are we ? Well,
I shall go; but as for your eating an egg raw,
I don't and won't believe it."
With this concluding speech, Annie marched
off, quite aware that she had said enough to
rouse Clara's ire and make her capable of
almost any degree of rashness; but that was
exactly what she meant to do; to see a person
put out, as she called it, was to her a great
delight, and she had fairly succeeded now.
As for Clara, the tone and manner of her
companion, more, perhaps, than the precise
words, caused her feelings to boil. She had
a naturally quick temper, and Annie's remarks
had quite determined her on having her own
way: besides, after all, there was no harm in
her intention, and it.was very wrong of Annie
to interfere with her. So the next day, as the
girls were all preparing to go to a public
Cl ar a' s
to Edith in
further added that,
to show Annie she did not
care for her, she should
eat one of the
would not that be
you little scrupulous creature;
body is to know, either,
so I shan't
wish you would not do it;
to eat at
it is so
a lecture, and will not do
you any good
I've settled ;
so it is useless
you to dissuade me.
finding her solicitations disregarded,
up her mind
into the fun.
Since she could not prevent the mischief,
endeavour to derive some amusement
hall was reached.
Edith and Clara sat side by
Miss Campbell and
Thompson in charge.
the subject was
too deep for
to fathom, still there were anec-
and there which
28 .77.e Sio;y of Ihe .amiiJ,:s.
Presently, however, she was touched by Clara,
who, in a low whisper, asked for a pin; in a
moment she guessed its use, and could scarcely
refrain from laughter, but as she had before de-
termined to have nothing to do in the business,
she quietly declined furnishing the pin. Clara,
nothing daunted, soon discovered one in the
collar of her cloak, and Edith presently heard
it scraping cautiously against the egg-shell, in
Clara's endeavour to make an aperture, which
at first appeared somewhat difficult. Edith
kept her eyes fixed on the lecturer, but she
could scarcely help seeing out of the corners
of them what Clara was about. After a while,
she partly saw, partly felt that Clara was con-
veying the egg, enveloped in her pocket-hand-
kerchief, up to her mouth; it speedily found
its way back to her lap, to Edith's great
relief, and her amusement was extreme when
Clara again whispered to her that it was not
nice." This announcement had the effect of
setting them both off in fits of stifled laughter,
which, by dint of repeated efforts, they at
length succeeded in stopping without any one
having noticed them, and by some exertion
they managed to become interested in the
concluding portion of the lecture. At length
the hour and a half were ended, there was a
the door, and the
school began to move in walking order.
smashed at her feet close to where Miss Camp-
Nor was this
of a form,
in falling, it had caught the corner
and, consequently, before reaching
part of its contents was spilled
too much of
readers' time; the astonishment of Miss Camp-
bell and those young ladies who witnessed the
affray, the confusion of Clara, and the triumph
of Annie, had
better be left to their imagina-
It is needless to add that as speedily
as possible they returned home; Miss Camp-
ie next day,
but deferring judgment
when she would have had
time to examine into the facts of the case.
"OH, Miss Campbell, not that, please not
that; send me to bed, or give me double les-
sons, but please, please let me go to Kate
Howard's!" and Clara Lee's voice quivered
with sobs and excitement, while Edith stood
near, likewise crying.
Miss Campbell replied: "My dear Clara, I
am indeed sorry to be obliged to give you
this punishment, but since I have learned the
cause of your behaviour I consider it but just
that you should suffer for it; it is true that
Annie may have been aggravating, and your
natural love of fun may have aided in leading
you astray, but then you are quite old enough
to know better than yield to such trifles;
besides, the folly of your conduct, it has been
both deceitful and wilful; deceitful, from
your intention of hiding your actions from
me; wilful, because, contrary to the remon-
strances of Edith and your own conscience,
you nevertheless persevered in taking your
"But, indeed, Miss Campbell, I did not
think of its being so very wrong."
"No, my love, I dare
another time you may think
am glad Edith,
endeavoured to dissuade you from your pur-
but she, too, would have done
she had come
to me and
much too headstrong
" I am afraid
I shall never
begone, disconsolate voice.
"Never! that is a very
incurable, and do not try to
once resolve with
effected in a short time.
it's no use; oh !
Campbell, I am so very
unhappy;" and Clara buried
sobbed with renewed violence.
"My dear child, I
in this way,"
cannot see you go on
ss Campbell. "Edith,
love, you may leave us for
shall join you when we
The Stoly of the
wrong to cry in this way;
self and listen to me.
:s both childish and
try to control your-
d in your
faintly answered Clara.
see if I
I think you have been relying too much on
your own strength" (and Miss Campbell's voice
are not sufficient
thing,' but that
is One who is at all
able but willigz--willing-
Will you go to
my love, and
and difficulties ?
Id desires, and
one of His
Now, my love, you
but do not forget
what you have heard."
went on apace,
was close at hand;
but on this one engrossing
and the weather
extent, at le<
ok no turn
ast so said
she also averred her intention of going
AND HIS FIRST SHILLING.
gleam of light that broke upon his soul with
this conviction, was bright enough to
all the darkness that hung over the
of the lonely child.
It was in this frame of mind
was proceeding on his way, v
cerned at some distance before
peering into the hedges, and
them with sticks.
knew what they
were doing, for he had often done the same
and never thought it
now he knew
"I What for ?"
hinder us ?"
d the boys,
hinder you that
I know of,"
" but it's so cruel."
"Cruel!" repeated the boys;
so ? what is there cruel in it ?"
" i've got a book about birds,"
"I know they don't
their young ones taken away."
Pooh !" said the boys, laughing, and re-
suming their previous amusement. "There I
34 The Slory of the Hamiltons.
give it up entirely to remain quietly at school
with Clara, which you do almost every day.
If you like to give up your treat, I certainly
shall not prevent it; indeed I consider it very
kind on your part, so please yourself by all
Thank you, thank you, ma'am," said
Grace, skipping away. She was soon up in
the dressing-room, with her arms round Clara,
whispering the success of her plan.
How very good of you, Grace, dear!"
said Clara; "but I really don't like to keep
you from so much pleasure. Don't think
of me, I shall do well enough with the new
book mamma has sent me, and really I
shall not be comfortable if you don't go.
Not but that I should like to have you very
much, but I am sure you could find no plea-
sure in poking here at school with only me."
Yes, I could. I am very glad Miss Camp-
bell will let me stay; we can do such a
number of things all by ourselves, without
the others to interfere."
"Oh! Grace," chimed in Edith, "I wish I
might be with you, too; it would be so nice I
I shall go and ask Miss Campbell."
"( No, stop a minute," replied Clara; "you
had better not go teasing her now; besides,
The .Eventful Day.
if you don't go, I think Kate will
She wanted so much
you her home,
and then you will
you saw, and did,
tell us all
T- 1 *. 1
"Y es, cEdit, you go and see now
you can enjoy yourself without us, and
back all particulars for our amusement."
" Oh! but I do wish you were both going."
before I act."
prevailed at Miss
up that day;
ere was no
peeped out of window as early as five o'clock,
but their ardour was considerably damped at
finding it raining fast,
so they determined
for their hopes, however.
it still rained
promising, and the
The first cheering
word came from Miss Campbell.
_ __ __1 I
36 The Story of the Hamiltons.
Well, girls," said she, "the weather is bad,
as bad can be, and I see no chance of our
going at the hour I originally intended; but
I should not be at all surprised if it turned
out fine at eleven or twelve, so I advise you
all to get to your lessons for an hour or two.
Don't think of the sky, and perhaps after all
we may go."
This advice was soon followed, though
not quite strictly; in spite of all endeavours,
little eyes would turn every now and then
to the window, and minds would ramble to
the rain and the pleasures it was depriving
them of. At length the clouds began to
break, at eleven it was tolerably fine, and
by twelve o'clock the omnibus and carriage
stood ready at the door. Such a packing of
little people, such a stowing of larger ones, so
much laughter and so much joy then ensued
that the starting was really quite a business!
At last all were in; Grace and Clara stood
at the dressing-room window to see them
off, and they were quite as much amused
with the whole concern as those who were
in the vehicles; then "smack went the whip,
round went the wheel," and they were gone.
"Now, Grace, we are by ourselves, what
shall we do ? Shall I go on with my needle-
work, and will you
I think that would
read out aloud for a little ?
be very nice!"
so do I;
you like; I am
I often wonder wheth<
so fond of
er our dar-
up like the Herbert
what is he
" Oh, you
is such a nice little fellow!
a bit of anything nice, and
if he is
is just put
to his mouth,
and we ask him
for some, he
it out so
lovely golden curls, and
such deep blue eyes!
he looks like an
angel-at least, what
be; and I have often
I fancy an
heard poor people say
are nice-looking, 'Oh,
they're too pretty
fancy he will die
nd Grace's voice
unhappy. And, after
dreadful thing should
--.---r. Y,*-,-. I -IL -
38 The Story of the Hami/ons.
though it may be very hard to bear, still our
Father never sends anything which is not
best for us."
Yes, I know that; still I like you to tell
me so again, it seems to come like something
new to me, and I remember things you say;
and then, you know, I did lose a brother
"And a sister, too, didn't you ?"
"Oh, she was only a day old, but little
Georgie was nearly three years. Mamma
says Herbert often reminds her of him; and
we have a picture of him at home, taken
while he was asleep, just before his last ill-
ness; it is kept locked up, and I have scarcely
ever seen it, because even now mamma can't
bear to be reminded of him-she did love
that child so much !"
"What, more than Gilbert ?"
"I don't know about that; he was a good
deal younger than Gilbert, and not at all like
him in appearance; and then he was ill
a long time, and I suppose that made her
fonder of him, and she missed him more
when she had no one to be always caring for."
"What did she do when he died ?"
"Of course she was very much grieved;
she put away all his toys and clothes, and
A Quiet Talk.
has never let any of us have them. The only
thing she likes to look at to remind her of
him is a ring with a little curly lock of hair
in it, and that she always wears. But mamma,
you know, is a Christian. She told me once
all about Georgie, and how she felt after he
was dead. She said she had never for one
moment wished him back, or that he had not
been taken from her; for though at the time
she hoped he would live, yet afterwards she
knew and felt how much happier he was, and
how many trials and sins he had escaped,
and that it was very good for us to feel our
dearest earthly treasures were but lent us;
it made us think more of God and the
heavenly home, where we shall one day meet
"Yes; I suppose it does. I don't think
that ever struck me before. And Herbert is
like Georgie, is he ?"
"Well, I have only seen the picture once,
and that was a long while ago, but I looked
at it with all my eyes, and certainly there
is the same thoughtful brow in both of them,
a sort of 'too good for earth,' as nurse says."
A servant here came with a message, "Miss
Hamilton is wanted down-stairs;" and away
ran Grace, in great bewilderment as to the
of the Hamiltons.
cause of such a summons.
In less than
minute she rushed back, exclaiming-
Clara; do come; mamma has sent
down with some
nurse says, if we like, he may
Isn't that nice ?"
stay a little.
Well, Grace," said Clara, as soon as
she saw Herbert,
"he is a beauty! kiss me, you
But no, away turned the little face,
to be hidden on nurse's shoulder, and it was
some time before he could be induced to look
Before long, however, his
ness partially wore off,
the end of the
visit he and
Clara seemed likely to become
Nurse could not remain more
than half an hour, but it was a time
enjoyment to the two girls, and it was with
some reluctance that they prepared to return
to the dressing-room.
"1 What a dear little fellow he is !
but I think
he is very much like
said Clara; "I
you'll think me very foolish,
you what I heard
Arnold say the other
I did not remember it before;
he was talking
to the housemaid in the pantry, and he
set store by,
that she is!
too, I never see before.
Look at her
when you will,
she's always smiling, and look--
all the world
you see, Clara,
as I think
one too, I suppose there must
.be something alike in them."
"Edith certainly is very sweet-looking; but
how curious that you and Arnold should both
think about angels! I never do, at least not in
"Don't you ?
oh! I do
to look at
the sky and fancy
see them in
of the sky;
up there, and make
but still more often
When the sky is very blue, with dear
clouds, I can see them best;
like angel's heads, and sometimes
too and harps, and then
to myself the song they are singing so happily,
and that one of them is Georgie, till I feel
-I don't know how."
__ __ I___
of the Iaamiltons.
What an odd child
are to have such
stories out of
it's wicked, do you ?"
" Wicked !
I should think
I think, if anything, it's good; at least
me to feel good. Sometimes I am
cross; everything seems to go wrong; people
seem to love Edith best (and well they may,
she is much better than I am) but I can't
like to be always
to be so ugly when she
t I oughtn't, and
so beautiful and
get quite discontented
care for anything.
Then I go out and look at
the sky; it seems so lovely
the time when
go too, and
I see the little angels
floating about, till my feelings go
and I only
be good and
"But, Grace, you're not
Yes, I am," persisted
not to care about ugliness or prettiness, but
is one naughty thing,
_ I_ _II_
- --- ----- -----
trouble to Edith to be good;
she likes making
much more tl
happy; she likes
her Bible, and all
she does them
n because I
I wish I were Edith!
"Then I don't.
you at all.
I couldn't do
I love you dearly and
and couldn't be
Isn't that a bell ?
Yes; I declare
fast the morning
had dinner and
for a walk it
will be tea-time, and
shall have a very little while to read.
I have been wasting the whole
with my chatter;
we might have finished
we had been industrious."
would rather hear
I can read
Let us go down
to dinner now."
they went accordingly.
Clara as one of
loneliness and misery,
she had seldom
Just before ten the sound of
was heard, and the
---- ________Pfi____lXI__1--__111-1_---1-- --^ I -_ --III-R--V- -- -I
of the Hamiltons.
the hall to welcome their
voice was first distinguished,
uttering in grand
confusion a history of their adventures.
we had such a lovely day,
Mr. Howard took
boat on the river, and
off, and we
saw the magic lantern."
"Annie fell off!
the boat ?"
"Oh, no !
What do you mean ?
off the pony, but she wasn't hurt
ve saw the man with the mice
running down his throat, and
into a child,
besides a number more things.
And, oh, dear! I'm so tired !"
so down went
and cloak, and she threw herself on
the first form she came to.
"But, Edith, how could a rose turn into a
child, and did the mice really run down the
man's throat ? do tell me all about it."
"Oh, no, not really, but it looked so, you
know, in the lantern, and the rose grew, and
grew, till at last it opened quite wide, and
inside it was a dear little child; but that, after
all, was only a picture; still, it was very nice.
I wish you had seen it!"
"There's our carriage, Edith; put your
things on and wish Miss Campbell good night;
we must be quick, it's so late!"
Sd 0 -
-- 4 6
" and don't flurry yourself so.
always in such a fluster, you are. Here, wait
till I have put this cloak round you, and lift
to wrap up his
:in no mooc
young charge, who
d for his attentions."
shan't take cold, let
and pull me up.
see how you've
go again, Miss
it lor', you young
no use me
a-speaking and telling
you won't believe me.
what's for your good,
If you had a-minded
not have had
Mary can mend
cloak; one tear more
doesn't make much difference."
no saying but wl
iat some day
of such a cloak,
then, may be, you'll think of Arnold."
Well, I dare say I shall think of you pretty
often without that, you know. Although
of the tHamiltons.
me now and
you're a very good Arnold, and I don't know
what we should do without you."
"Oh, I'm getting c
much longer, I count.
)ld; you won't have me
Here we are; now do
mind and get out like a lady."
Mrs. Hamilton stood ready to
children, and after hearing that they had both
spent, though in different ways, a happy day,
she wished them good night, and they retired
to bed immediately.
NOT many days passed away ere Gilbert, to
the great delight of his sisters and the great
joy of his parents, returned home from college.
A contented, thankful household retired to rest
that evening at the Grange: once more they
had met in safety. The bond of love had
been strengthened rather than diminished by
the temporary absence of Gilbert; the pride
and darling of the household had returned
unscathed from the temptations and dangers
of a college life.
Miss Campbell's school had not broken up
for the holidays, and, in consequence, Grace
and Edith did not see so much of their
brother as they wished, and the long summer
evenings and half-holidays were the more
highly prized. It was one beautiful Saturday
afternoon, the sun was too bright and scorching
for the children to go out, and Edith had gone
into the nursery to play with Herbert, while
Grace was busying herself in her own room,
emptying drawers, and arranging and looking
over various odds and ends of treasure. It
had previously been settled that Gilbert
of the Hamiltons.
little village about six miles from the Grange,
to call on some old friends of
who had repeatedly asked them to ride over
and take an early tea, and the visit had
with great pleasure by
as the eldest, was to go
this occasion, and
on a future day,
and they intended to start about four o'clock ;
meantime, Grace, as before stated,
when her mamma came into the
and surveying the scattered contents of many
boxes and bags, not to mention whole
full of other things turned
random over the bed
got a fine mess; what are you about? "
" Yes," answered
ing at the same time,
ace, smiling and sigh-
"isn't it a confusion ?
to tidy up all my places, and see
if I can't keep them a little neater; but I am
almost tired of it already, and it is so warm."
And she threw herself on the bed.
"You are going to Widdrington,
bert, this afternoon, are you not ?"
at four o'clock."
"Ah, I thought I
The Nursery. 49
horses; but I should be very glad if you
would let Edith go this time, instead of you.
I think she looks pale, and the long ride and
change would do her good. You don't care
much about it; another day will do equally
well for you. Shall I tell Edith she can go ?"
Now, if there was one thing Grace had an
objection to, it was to be disappointed of
anything she had set her mind on. And to
be asked to give up the ride with her brother
as if it required no sacrifice, was a trial cer-
tainly. She could not, however, refuse, as her
mamma so clearly intended Edith to go; and
if she had thought the ride necessary for
her sister's health, no one would have been
more ready to give up to her; but she thought
her quite well, especially as she could even
now hear the peals of laughter she and
Herbert were making. So she replied in a
voice the reverse of amiable, "Yes, if you
like;" and went on with her business, evi-
dently intending to say no more.
Mrs. Hamilton waited a minute to see what
her daughter meant to do, and then, with a
sigh, went to the nursery. The nursery was a
good-sized room, with a bright blue and white
paper; it had two large pleasant windows,
one looking upon the garden and far over the
50 The Story of the Hamiltons.
country beyond; the other commanding only
a view of the poultry yard and back door,
but nevertheless of great interest to Herbert,
as the butcher's and baker's carts were to him
sources of continual amusement. There was
a tall guard surrounding the grate, and be-
sides the china cupboard and clothes-press,
and the table and chairs, there was a fine large
wicker box for toys, and a small book-shelf
for the girls' story-books. Altogether, that
nursery was a cheerful, cosy place; it looked
especially so now, with nurse sitting quietly at
work, and Edith standing by Herbert, who
was perched on the table while she showed
him some gaily-painted picture-books. Mrs.
Hamilton smiled as she came into the room,
and Herbert was soon in her arms. After
giving some directions to nurse, she turned
"Edith dear, it is nearly time to dress for
your ride. Grace has kindly given up her
turn to you, so run and get ready."
"Has she ? How very, very kind! But
mamma, I know she was wanting to go to
Widdrington extremely, and really I don't
care so much about it to-day. I should not
like to disappoint her; Gilbert will take me
another time, I dare say."
.Edit/'s Riding Costume. 51
"I wish you to go, my love, so make no
more fuss, run off at once, or you will keep
your brother waiting."
Edith needed no more warning; she darted
away, and when Gilbert came into the hall to
fetch his hat, he found her waiting for him.
Hollo! Edith; it's you, is it ? I thought
Grace was going."
Yes, but mamma wanted us to change, and
Grace was so kind, she gave up her turn to
"Oh, that's it! Well, I never!" proceeded
he, in a deliberate, grave tone; "why where
did that hat come from ? the remote ages of
antiquity, I should imagine. I believe it must
have been originally meant as a Bohemian
imitation of a bird's nest, only you have
managed to stick on that long blue thing
"That's the feather, Gilbert," exclaimed
Edith, in an injured voice; "and I'm sure it's
a very nice little hat, sir, so don't abuse my
"Come then, and mount;" and he led her
off, gazing fondly on his fair young sister;
indeed, in spite of what he had said, he ac-
knowledged to himself h hhad never seen her
look prettier. The cool grey habit with the
The Slory of the Hamiltons.
black hat and
bright blue feather were
of Edith; and
her delicate I
to the fairy
her golden c
Gilbert was proud of her!
her mamma had left the room, she seized
out of the house,
she had reached
the end of the garden,
far from s
n she took
hat and let the
I on the
n her burning
a lovely view.
miles on ever
out in golden
y side the country
corn-fields or emerald
the windings of
be distinctly seen
in the distance; and
beyond were sloping hills, wooded
in all their summer glory. To the
of Barham, parti
,but two or three
_ ____ _a__
Grace's Struggles with Herself.
front were farms and small cottages, dis-
persed at wide intervals through the valley;
and more to the left rose the tall spire of
Laneham from its bower of elms; while still
further on might be seen another and yet
another village church; and the blue, distant
hills, and hazy summer horizon completed
the picture. That view was one Grace dearly
loved, especially when she was cross and out
of humour; its quiet beauty never
calm the turmoil of her feelings;
as heretofore, its influence began
her. Long she gazed; all was so
so happy, so bright, so different
thoughts of anger; and then her
dered upward to the sky in all its
splendour, the fleecy white clouds
the azure space so far above her,
a rising sob she hid her face on
by her side, exclaiming, "Oh,
mamma, how wicked I am! Whei
to be so happy, and good, and
when everything is so lovely, and
be so contented! And to think I
Oh, Georgie, I wish I could be go(
with your angel face up there, d(
t to her
n I ought
The Story of the Ihamit/ons.
last, from u
And she cried bitterly; but at
tter weariness, she stopped, and,
eves. once more looked round
her at the landscape. "How stupid I am
to cry so! my eyes will not be fit to be
seen., But, oh, dear, oh, dear, I can't help
it; I am so dreadfully unhappy !" and again
her eyes filled and her voice became choked.
With an effort, however, she succeeded in
subduing her emotion, saying, "I mustn't, I
won't cry any more. I'll look at these dar-
ling clouds, and see if I can't quiet myself."
Gradually, from the clouds and Georgie, her
thoughts were led to heaven, to the ever-
lasting mansions in the skies, and the Saviour
waiting there to crown his redeemed; and
as she dwelt on all the glories of that eternal
rest, her spirit grew calm, and from the
depths of her heart she prayed, "Lord, help
me; make me thankful for all thy mercies;
take away my evil temper, and make me
truly one of thy people, and fit me for thy
blessed kingdom, that when thou callest me
from the trials and temptations and sorrows
of this world, I may be found ready to live
with thee for ever, for the sake of our Re-
deemer, our Sanctifier, our God. Help me,
oh, my Father, now and always. Amen."
Grace visits Mrs. Tanner. 55
With this prayer came a more peaceful and
happier frame of mind; and after waiting a
short time longer, Grace tied on her hat and
determined to rouse herself and go anil see
a poor woman living at the extremity of the
fields belonging to Mr. Hamilton. It was
but a few hundred yards, and the walk on
the Igreen turf and the fresh breeze were
quite exhilarating to Grace, and as she
entered the cottage her face once more
looked bright and cheerful.
"Well, Mrs. Tanner, how are you to-
day?" said she.
Mrs. Tanner, a rather small, thin woman,
extremely sunburnt, and marked with traces
of toil and sorrow, was busily engaged in
setting out a meagre tea. The room, though
small and scantily furnished, was clean, and
there was a fire of sticks to boil the kettle.
On hearing Grace's voice, Mrs. Tanner turned
round, and, wiping a chair with her apron,
replied, as she dropped a curtsey-
Will yer be pleased to take a seat, miss?"
and on Grace's accepting it, she went on: "I
be pretty middlin' to-day, an' thank you
kindly,miss; and how's yer ma an' all at 'ome?"
"They're all quite well, thank you, Mrs.
Tanner. Where are your children ?"
56 The Story of the Hamiltons.
"Well, miss, Tom he's gone out working
with Farmer Perry, an' Richard he bean't a
come back from school; the baby she's
asleep in the cradle there. It's seldom she
do drop off for more nor a few minutes;
she's a mighty restless child, and I'm thank-
ful when she will lay a bit, so as I may tidy
the house like, and do my mite of washing.
Maybe she'll wake directly, and then you can
see her if you please, miss."
"So Richard is at school? Does he go
every day ?"
"Yes, and mostly, miss, Sundays and all.
Tanner and me be bad scholars ourselves, but
we likes the children to get a bit o' learning."
"And does Richard get on nicely ?"
"He begins to read fairish-like now, miss.
He and Tom, between 'em, manage to read
a chapter to their father and me on a Sunday
"But can't Tom read well? he looks a big,
"He's very well for bigness, miss, but he's
obliged to do what work he can get, an' he
don't have much time for his books. He's
a trying' to improve hisself with his writing
of a night; but seeing as he has no copies,
he can't get on very well."
Grace sets Tom Tanner a Copy. 57
May I see his writing-book ? "
"An' surely, miss." So the old copy-book
was brought down, and its wide, straggling
"Do you think, Mrs. Tanner, Tom would
like me to set him a copy ? I'm pretty sure
I could do him a good one."
"Bless you, Miss Grace, he'd be proud,
an' he'd try his best, I'll answer, to copy
your'n. He'll be quite too high when he finds
a lady like you a-writing in his poor book."
Oh, I shall like doing it. Have you a
pen and ink ? "
The penny bottle of ink was brought from
the mantelshelf, and an old pen, after much
hunting, was found, and Grace, after some
deliberation, penned in bold text hand the
well-known adage, "Time waits for no man."
When it was finished, Mrs. Tanner held it
up admiringly, saying-
Thank yer kindly, miss. Tom'll be ever
so pleased when he sees this."
"Which church do you go to, Mrs. Tanner?"
"I'm but a poor body for church, miss.
It's a goodish way down to Edmund's (St.
Edmund's), and that's the nearest. Tanner
he can't mind the child while I'm gone, for
she won't be good wi' him, and I's feared
of the Hamltazons.
as I g
for I's like
go nor st
op away a good
all they tell us
seeing I read scarce at all."
like me to
no, not if
you like it."
I'd be thankful to
hear some o' them good words again.
So the Bible was
in the cupboard, a
brought from off its shelf
dusted, was handed to Grace.
She found the
chapter of St.
waking, and being taken up
then she said a few words of
e by t
tion concerning who was meant
herd and the
timid and shy
, she felt she did
or lucidly, and as by the
by the Shep-
not do it well
e clock it was
getting late, she rose to go, saying-
"I'll come and read to you another
Gilbert and Ediths Ride. 59
"Thank you, miss" (another curtsey), "and
will yer be pleased to tell yer ma, as I thank
her very kindly for the shoes and things as
she sent me by Tanner, the other day; they
fit Richard quite nice."
"Yes, I'll tell her. Good-bye." And off
ran Grace, back through the meadow, and up
the sloping, long gravel walk to the house,
which she reached in time to find Arnold
carrying in tea, and she was obliged to make
great haste to be ready for it.
Gilbert and Edith had a delightful ride.
They proceeded slowly at first, and chose the
shadiest lanes they could find, on account of
the heat; so they had time and opportunity
for quite a long chat. Gilbert amused his
sister with stories of college life, and she in
return related her school experiences; it was
hard to say which was most pleased. Gilbert,
at having so interested and attentive a sister,
or Edith, in her "grown up" brother making
a companion of her. The country through
which they passed, without possessing any
striking features, was pastoral and pretty, the
view open for many miles, and the distant
villages, with their spires or towers, as the case
might be, rose up here and there in pic-
turesque confusion. The river, too, with its
60 The Story of the Hamillons.
many windings, was often in sight, and to
Gilbert the scene was one of rare beauty; it
was home, and fraught with all the endearing
associations of his early years. Time rolls on
with all of us. We may see foreign lands,
and distant scenes famed for their loveliness,
and though our minds unite with those who
have extolled the beauty of those sublime
landscapes, who has not, midst his wander-
ings, remembered, with a yearning tenderness,
his first loved, his early home ? No place can
ever surpass that in his memory! So thought
Gilbert, at least, as he once more looked on
the familiar views.
"Well, young woman! at last exclaimed
Gilbert, after a silence of more than usual
length, "what makes you look so grave all of
a sudden ?"
"Did I? I didn't know it; I was only
"Thinking? And pray may I inquire into
the nature of your serious reflections ?"
"Oh! it was nothing particular. I was
thinking just then of Arnold."
"And what made him come into your head
and drive away your smiles ?"
"I suppose because the last time I was on
this road, Arnold was with me, and so I was
Poor old Ar
remembering all he said. I am very sorry for
"Are you ? I don't think, were I in your
place, I should waste my sympathies on him.
He looks well and happy, he has a comfort-
able place without much to do, and I am sure
he gets his own way with all of us, we are so
attached to him."
"Ah !" replied Edith, quickly, "it isn't that
Gilbert, he has so much unhappiness in his
"I didn't know he had any belongings."
"Didn't you ? Oh, yes, he has three chil
dren. His wife has been dead years and
years, and he had a nice little house of his
own, with a bit of ground, and enough money
to live comfortably; but then his sons didn't
turn out well. They got into debt, and at last
he was obliged to sell his little property to
help them; and his daughter, whom he loved
very much, 1
had to bea:
had to go out
indeed a sad
I am sure I
r, or perhaps
think he m
you do he sec
is very fond o
story, Edie! Poor
never knew what he
I should not have
inds your teasing;
.ms to consider per-
f all of us."
--r--s* _c -- I --
of the Hamil/ons.
"What became of his sons ?"
out to America,
He sometimes 1
them, but not often.
The one in Australia-
any rate, he
not long sine
in this life,
sent a little
:e, with a kind letter."
they're heart troubles, sometimes only outside
but they come
in a dif-
ferent degree, and
filled with a strength
kept by the Holy Spirit, so that
trials prove to them but as 'a m
which passes quickly away before the 'Sun of
they were r
; a warm
after tea, as
to depart, a pressing
and accepted, for Gil
rer the following
and spend a long
turn journey was
Grace is Comforted. 63
flowers for the drawing-room. She had in-
dustriously finished her tidying process up-
stairs, and was just putting a last flower here
and there in the vases; all signs of her late
struggle had passed away, and she greeted
Edith with a pleased smile which considerably
brightened when she heard of the invitation
in store for her. Mrs. Hamilton did not fail
to remark on the good the ride had done
Edith, and added her thanks to Grace for her
kindness, and also her pleasure that her visit
was only postponed for so short a time; so
that Grace felt comforted for her disappoint-
ment, and retired to rest with a thankful,
said Mrs. Hamilton, the
evening, looking into the drawing-room, where
"I am ready
for church, are you not going ?"
I mean to stay quietly at home with the girls;
unless," added he, thoughtfully, "you want
you, my son, your
going; so good-bye, young people, a pleasant
evening to you all." And, with a smile and a
nod. she left them.
am so glad
you are going to stay with
i, coaxing up
we shall have
is too bad for
"No, dear, it will
do me good, I think:
that I may
look out on the garden with those gay flowers,
and see the shadows
grow long on
while at the same time I can feel the breeze
Edith sat on a footstool
at her brother's
where she also could enjoy the surrounding
beauty. The distant bells sounded sweetly
and solemnly through
the clear air, the birds
calmness and peace which seem characteristic
of summer Sunday evenings,
eep us waiting
and then Edith
"I have thought of
"Man or woman ?"
be one or other,
oughtn't to be so foolish."
No, it needn't," interposed
I was thinking of
at what period
did it live-patriarchs,
judges, or kings ?"
of the Ilamiltons.
" Edith, do
go on and tell us a little more;
it is such slow work only
at a time."
"But you will guess directly if
"Never mind if we do, we can have another
"Well, he was a good little boy,
had a wicked
believe his mother
was not over good, but I am not.quite
Did his father love him very much ?"
"What an odd question!
I suppose so;
least nothing is said to the contrary."
"Was his father in high rank ?"
"Yes, he was a king of Israel."
"Did the little
" No, never."
" Oh; I thought I had it then;
I was going
to say Joash."
"My dear Grace," exclaimed Gilbert, "Joash
was king of
Judah, not Israel."
I forgot, so he was.
Edith, tell me why the child did not come to
the throne, and something more about him."
"He never reigned
because he died before
his father; there was great sorrow throughout
Israel when he died
, for he was the only one
Scrizture Exercises. 67
of his house whose heart was at all turned to
"Did his mother disguise herself once and
go to a certain prophet, named Ahijah, with a
present of loaves and cracknells ?" said Gilbert.
"Yes, she went to Ahijah to inquire
whether her son would recover from his
"Ah! I thought so; and did the prophet
tell her that before she returned to her house,
her son would be dead ?"
Yes, and the poor little fellow was dead
when his mother came back from the pro-
"And was the name of the child Abijah,
and his father's name, Jeroboam ?"
"Yes, yes; Gilbert has found it all out. I
like that story so much, but I always wish it
was longer, and I want to know more about
the mother, and what she said and did. But
now, Gilbert, think of some one. Not too
I have thought of a woman who lived in
the times of the early kings."
"Was she rich or poor, young or old? asked
"I should imagine she was young; she was
both beautiful and clever, and she was rich."
of the Hamiltons.
so, but she
was best off in the
latter part of her life."
did she do ?"
again inquired Grace.
She used her sense, for one thing, and her
kindness for another."
or had she
celebrated children ?"
was married twice;
the possessor of
afterwards to a F
3,000 sheep and
both as a man, a warrior, and a King."
" But tell us what she
"The king of Israel was at that time at war
with one of his
in his stead,
good and holy man, 'after God's own heart,'
his name was-- who knows ?
"David ?" interrogated Grace.
I am thinking
was David, and
to the husband
him to send some
bread and meat to him and his followers;
the husband would
He answered the
_. ._ __ _ _
The Story of Abg*aiz 6.9
therefore, as David was sadly in want of the
food, he ordered his young men to gird on
their swords and take it by force; but the
woman heard of his intention, and, unknown
to her churlish husband, set out towards
David with meat, bread, and wine for the
starving Israelites. Surely, you can guess now?"
"I believe the man's name was "Nabal, and
I. think I remember that he soon afterwards
died, and his wife then married David; but
what her name was I quite forget."
Quite right, so far, Grace. I see you can't
either of you tell me, so I must let it out:
her name was Abigail."
"Oh, yes, so it was! I shall remember that
"And she became King David's wife; I
did not know that," added Edith; '"but now
Grace, it's your turn."
"To tell you the truth, girls, my head is no
better, and I think I shall go to bed."
"Poor, dear Gilbert!" exclaimed they, in a
breath; "but don't go ; lie on the sofa," Edith
continued, "and let me put this soft cushion for
you. There-now would ithurtyou ifwe sang?"
Oh, no; I should like it of all things."
The girls began softly the sweet evening
hymn of Keble; their voices blended har-
of the HamLiltons.
Edith's clear and ringing,
leading, as it were, the deeper tones of Grace;
as hymn after hymn was
on the air, listened with half-closed eyes to the
fell on his ear;
and listen for
was coming on.
he felt as if he could
as Edith sat in her
on the sky,
her face, h
and her vo
"surely," Gilbert thought,
er lovely eyes fixed
ice so very sweet,
"she is in truth like
a very anggl !"
concealed by the window curtain,
stood out in the dim light a "thing of beauty
and of joy."
"Now, girls, one more; my favourite."
After a pause they began-
"There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign,
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.
We're marching through Immanuel's ground !
We soon shall hear the trumpet sound !
We hope to meet at Jesu's feet,
And never, never part again.
What, never part again ?
No, never part again ;
We hope to meet at Jesu's feet,
And never, never part again."
i ; Y
d; I :.B. i-
I+' .' I ii
1! ., ,i~,
i P Y 6 .
A Favorite Hymn. 71
It was Grace's voice asked the query, but
Edith's which took up the rapturous reply,
and then each verse concluded with the last
lines in a duet. Well might Gilbert have
called it his "favourite," and often in after
years will those joyous young voices recur to
his memory's ear, recalling the "happy days
which are no more."
Gilbert's headache grew better, and by the
time Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton returned from
church, he was able to join them all at supper.
Thus the Sabbath evening passed at the
Grange-a type of many others. Gilbert
often, by way of a change, read to his sisters,
and explained much which otherwise would
have seemed hard and uninteresting to them;
they might well think they had a brother
who was, as Arnold expressed it, "one in a
"Well, Grace," said Gilbert, the following
Wednesday, as they started for their ride to
Widdrington, "tell me what you have been
doing since I have been away. Edith was
full of talk about school and such matters.
I hope you can amuse me too."
"Oh, I don't know;" replied she, in a some-
what disconsolate voice. "I have been just
the same as I always am; getting into the
The Sto y
of t/he Hlamiltons.
same puzzles and scrapes, and wanting you
to help me out of them very much;" and she
smiled lovingly at her brother.
"Puzzles and scrapes ? That sounds
viting, truly! Let me hear more about them
and I will see what can be done."
it's only the same old story,"
Grace, sighing heavily. "I am always getting
cross and discontented; the least thing puts
me out of
temper-a word, or look
and directly I\"feel
makes me worse."
are out of
And then I am so wicl
how it is.
do very, very often.
cedly discontented ;
everybody seems better and happier than I
am. Edith is always bright and cheerful, so,
of course, mamma and everybody are fonder of
her; she never seems to have such bad
ings. What can make me different to other
I don't think you are different to other
Most of us have, more or less,
such struggles to go through."
"Have they ?"
exclaimed she, in astonish-
ment; have you, Gilbert ?"
Grace's .Di iculies.
"Yes, Grace, indeed I have; and I can
fully sympathise with you. Such feelings are
indeed great trials."
"But no one could tell you had them; how
is that ?"
"I am afraid they could; perhaps not you,
because at home temptations are not apt to
occur; besides which, the older one grows the
easier it is to conceal them, and the more one
has had occasion to struggle against them, the
easier they become to subdue."
way do yc
is just what I can't see, Gilbert.
. I think of my crossness, and the
Ts which cause it, the worse I get."
u ? that is strange! In what sort of
)U mean ?"
't think I can explain very well;"
thought a few minutes, and then
: "The other day, when mamma
wanted Edith to go with you instead of me,
that made me cross. I like her to be pleased,
you know, but I had been thinking so much
of it, and going with you too! So then I
was angry with myself and the more I
thought the worse I grew, till I felt almost
wild! Oh! Gilbert, wasn't it wicked ?" and
her voice sunk to an almost audible sob.
"But with whom were you cross, Grace ?"
The Story of the I-I zlil/lois.
"I am afraid to tell you. Yes, I will;
because I think you can help me. First, I
was angry with mamma, for considering
Edith more than me; then, after some time, I
was angry with Edith for looking pale when
there was nothing the matter with her, and so
disappointing me of my treat; and, last of all,
I was angry with myself for being such a
disagreeable creature. In fact, everybody and
everything made me cross."
"But how did you get over it ?"
"I let myself think as much as I could,
and I grew worse and worse, till I finished
with a good cry, and hating myself more than
"And after that, Gracie, what
"Then---" Grace's voice I
and her words came slowly:
about God, and I prayed to hiI
After a long, long time I got
made myself go down to see
as a kind of punishment. As i
though, the visit did me more go
thing; I came home all right. ]
n to help me.
better, and I
t turned out,
)od than any-
But I shall be
just the same when anything goes wrong.
Gilbert, what can I do?" and she sighed
"It is a very difficult question, dear Grace.
A Cure for
I hardly know what to say to you; but if
won't mind hearing some home truth;
think, perhaps, I can help you."
"Oh, no; please go on."
"This is what strikes me. You think
much of self. Wait a minute, and I
explain. You dwell on your own wrc
and feelings and wishes; perhaps your
wickedness also, too much. You don't t
into consideration that other people have
same trials, and the more one broods
one's own, the bigger they grow. What
want is to go out of self to leave off
continual strain of your happiness, y
wickedness, your sufferings, and to remem
those of others."
Grace's eyes filled with tears, as
I didn't think I was selfish."
"No, darling, I daresay not! We
generally unaware of our own failings.
I really believe what I say is true, though
doubt it is unpleasant."
Then what ought I to do to cure myse]
"There is, as you know, one thing to
done first: pray. After that, I should
employ yourself in doing good to oth
amusing Herbert if you can find noth
of th/e IIamilton/s.
better at hand; or reading to some one, any-
thing in short
that makes you forget number
Just as the other day you found
to Mrs. Tanner's made
" Yes," said Grace, looking rather brighter,
" I do think you are right.
I shall try your
There is one thing, though,
she, thoughtfully; "when I
one of my hasty
can't make myself
think of things or be interested
what must I do ?"
in them, so
You will in time
conquer if you persevere. You
yourself rouse out of such feelings.
will be hard;
I know it
but as I believe you really wish
to improve, a little trouble will not deter you."
"Thank you, dear Gilbert, for all you have
I can explain my feelings better to
to any one else.
much when you are at Oxford, and long
you to come and help me in my perplexities
-writing is a poor substitute for speaking!"
I am very glad I can advise you, Grace;
but I am not infallible.
After all, mine is
but guess work. Still, as I found the remedy
of use in my own case, I daresay it will be in
Now we must trot on, or we
shall not get to Widdrington to-night !"
Leaving School. 77
In the course of that week Miss Campbell's
school closed for the Midsummer vacation.
Grace and Edith went down to say good-bye
to their schoolfellows, and remained there the
morning. In spite of the pleasure everyone
was anticipating, there was a certain sadness
mingling with it. The Bible-class that morn-
ing was very touching to many of the girls,
especially those who, like Kate Howard, were
leaving the school. Miss Campbell, after a
few general remarks on the progress and good
conduct of the girls, proceeded to hope that
they might all have health and happiness to
enjoy the coming holidays. "Several of you
my dear children," added she, "will never
again meet in this room as schoolfellows, you
will henceforth be women, not children; and
as such will have many duties to perform,
many trials to undergo: to the younger ones
present, your position, doubtless, appears
highly enviable; but you, I trust, have
thought upon it, and, though far be it from
me to cast a shadow over your future, I can
understand that there will be many diffi-
culties, possibly many sorrows, in your path,
which in these school days you have not
dreamt of. That the time you have spent
here has been used to the best of your ability,
of the Hamiltons.
brance of these youthful days, with their joys
and sorrows, be a source of pleasure to
my dear girls; and may you in your several
vocations, think often of the principles I have
endeavoured to inculcate in you.
you will be often in our thoughts and prayers,
and it will gi
or hear, that
me great gratification to see,
you are following that straight
but narrow road which leads to everlasting
life. To those who will return, I must add
it is that
they will endeavour to
use the holidays profitably, whether in gaining
health, or knowledge, and that we may meet
again at the close of them with
desires strengthened, to perform
and if it should not please God
grant us all to meet again in
we, through His
land, to which I
this world, may
in that better
earnestly hope we are now
that ensued, soon
drove away the temporary sadness.
was packing to be
books to be looked
over, last words to be
all, such a rushing about,
Home for ite Holidays. 79
against everybody, and every one looking for
their own or everybody else's concerns, they
scarcely knew which. So many things lost,
so many things brought to light whose owners
could not be discovered; and then, to add to
it, Arnold came for the Hamiltons. Then
there was hugging and kissing to be gone
through, entreaties for letters front them, pro-
mises to call to see them, till at last they
were obliged to run fairly away from their
violent admirers, and after wishing Miss
Campbell good-bye, got into the carriage,
waved their hands and nodded their heads
to Clara and Kate at the dressing-room win-
dow, then drove away, and the holidays were
SEVERAL months had passed away since the
events took place which are recorded at the
close of the last chapter. The summer, and
with it the holidays, had flown. Autumn was
on the wane, the trees were fast losing their
leaves, and raw, damp evenings and mornings
succeeded those, which only a few weeks before
had been so lovely and pleasant. Gilbert had
gone back to Oxford, and the girls to school,
everything had returned to its usual routine;
it almost seemed as if the holidays had never
been, or rather that they were a vivid dream
too bright and happy to last, so quickly had
everything resumed its old aspect.
Changes, however, were at hand. Mr. and
Mrs. Hamilton dreaded the winter nights and
bad weather which were approaching for their
daughters; they feared a repetition of last
year's colds, and determined to pursue a
different plan with them; one which would
not expose them so much to the inclemency
of the weather in their daily journey to school,
whilst at the same time their education should
continue to make due progress. The subject
was anxiously talked over between them; first
they thought of sending them to
a sister of Mrs.
Hamilton's, where they'might
t of masters, but the distance
Barham was a serious obstacle to
Hamilton; she could
to part with
them for any length of time without being
able to run up to see them whenever she felt
and for that,
in the winter,
was certainly too
besides which, first-
rate masters were hardly required
for the children,
enough or forward enough to appreciate them.
After many consultations, and much reflec-
boarders at Miss
"Well, Edith! counting
the hours till
are to take up your abode with
bell ?" said Mr. Hamilton one evening, shortly
after the final arrangements were completed.
"No, papa, dear," sl
girl; "I don't like it a
you, nor mamma, nor
it all! I shall never see
Herbert then !
sure I would much, much rather do as we
in all the wind,
82 Tye Story of the Hadmilons.
and snow, than live always at school. I don't
mind colds and coughs half so much."
"But I thought you liked Miss Campbell,
and school too ? "
"Yes, so I do; but then we have been
having the pleasures of home added to the
pleasures of school; and if we have had any
disagreeables there, we have forgotten them
directly we came home."
Oh, ho that's it, is it ? And what does
Grace say to it all ? she likes it, of course!"
Grace looked up quickly from the work
she was at, and which during the last five
minutes she had been pulling in all direc-
tions; knotting her thread, and then impa-
tiently breaking it off without an attempt at
a disentanglement; pricking her fingers, and
making her needle so warm and uncomfortable,
that there was scarcely a possibility of its
doing any part of its business; she looked up
at her papa, as he again repeated the ques-
tion, with a quick momentary glance, and
though her lips moved, no distinct words
came from them, and he saw by the filling
eyes, that he was venturing on very tender
ground, so in a cheerful voice he continued:
"Why, in your places, I should be de-
lighted! so much more of the world to be
Making the Best of It.
seen and known down there than in this
stupid, dull place! And then Saturdays!
They will be only too delightful! Perhaps
mamma and I may come and take you for
a walk; there's no knowing. And Herbert
will often come down on half-holidays to see
how you get on. Oh, depend upon it, you
will find it an agreeable change !"
Though Grace co
last sentiment, she
notion of her papa
and Edith suggested
have letters from h
when the basket of
to them each week
reminded them that
missed to allow them tc
half-holiday at home,
Christmas was not so
arrive sooner than th
terim; so that things
rightened up at the
king her for a walk;
at perhaps they might
le, with all the news,
lean clothes was sent
Mrs. Hamilton, too,
iss Campbell had pro-
Sspend an occasional
and that, after all,
very far off-it would
ey imagined if they
well during the in-
did not look so very
as Grace at first fancied.
preparations for going occupied
Girls' spare time. It was their
":e from home-or, rather, from
:s, for they had been away from
;he preceding summer for some
84 The Story of the IHcamitnsms.
at Dover, with the whole family; but this
seemed quite an undertaking. There were
clothes and all sorts of etceteras to be
looked through and determined upon, which
to be taken and which to be left; work-
boxes and desks to be fitted up, with all
their accompaniments of needles, cottons,
tapes, and buttons, paper, stamps, and en-
velopes; and all these little matters were
found very useful in keeping their minds from
dwelling too much on the coming separation.
Still, there were times when, to Grace espe-
cially, it would force itself upon her notice;
almost every night, after she was in bed, she
thought the matter over, and it generally
ended in a flood of tears. To be away from
her mamma! it was dreadful! And then
their parents might be ill! Not but what
that might happen just as much if she were
at home, but still, she should be there and
know about it, whereas at school--Herbert,
for instance, might be suddenly seized with
a dangerous complaint, and before there was
time for them to hear, might- and then
followed a burst of tears at the very thought
of such a thing. Edith had no such gloomy
ideas; or, if she had, her nature was so unlike
Grace's, and her spirit so much more buoyant
Morbid Fancies. 85
and hopeful, that she quickly drove them
from her, and knew nothing of Grace's mor-
bid feelings. She always dropped asleep
before her sister began her cogitations, and
consequently was not able to talk her out of
them. Oh, Grace! Grace! little do you
know, while you are sobbing over imaginary
ills, the benefits you would derive if you
opened your heart to your sister! You wrap
yourself up in your own thoughts, and feed
upon them, till they grow and grow, and you
wonder how it is you are not so happy or so
cheerful as your companions! That young
sister, sleeping calmly beside you, though
perhaps she might not fully enter into all
you feel, could, nevertheless, impart a portion
of her lightheartedness to you; and the mere
fact of your telling your griefs would help
to remove them. Her faith and love are
much stronger than yours; beware that you
do not lightly esteem them! Many would
give worlds, if they had them, for her trust-
ing spirit; that it is which enables her to
bear trials cheerfully, and carries her through
her difficulties with so much ease; while you
labour, and labour doubtingly, with faint hope
and small love, and thus fail in obtaining the
peace she finds her safeguard and assistance.
86 T4e Story of the Hamii/ons.
Nearer and nearer drew the time of de-
parture. In a week they were to go! A
week? Only three days!-two days! And
now the last night had come-the last night
they should sleep together in that dear old
room till Christmas! It was Sunday night.
The next morning they were to be off rather
before the usual hour on account of their
luggage, and then no more home life for
fourteen weeks! As they laid down to rest
there was a flickering bit of fire in the grate,
which served every now and then to show them
more plainly the desolateness of the room; the
open boxes stood ready packed, only waiting
a last touch or so to be finished. All the little
prettinesses were gone; those which they did
not want at school were carefully put away
till their return; and the place had the for-
lorn look which an evening before a journey
is sure to produce.
"Don't you wish, Grace, Miss Campbell
went to our church ?" at length observed
I thought you were asleep," returned her
sister; "but I was just wishing the same
thing! How odd, wasn't it ? We should
be able to see papa and mamma then; and
I am sure I shan't like St. Edmund's half
A Brother's Grave. 87
so well as dear old St. Giles'!" There was
a pause. The two children were thinking of
their walk that morning; how they went
round the longest way to the church-door,
on purpose to have another look at their
brother's grave. They often went there; the
first Sunday Gilbert came home that long
round was invariably taken, and they both
had a lurking desire, whenever they walked
into the town, to go the road through the
churchyard in preference to the other and
shorter way. It would be long ere they
stood there again The spot rose before their
eyes-the little, low grave, close under the east
window, the stone with its touching inscrip-
tion. They could read the very words, as
it were, in their minds' eye: "In memory
of GEORGE," then the particulars of his age
and death, followed by the single line which
recorded their infant sister; and it ended
with, "They shall be mine, saith 'the Lord
of Hosts, in that day when I make up my
jewels." Jewels to deck the Saviour's brow
their loved ones should be! What honour,
what bliss, for mortals to be counted worthy
to shine upon His crown!
"I liked the sermon so much to-day, Grace.
What a good man Mr. Fellows is! Didn't
8S The Story of the Ha1miltozs
you like it when he said, 'it was no marvel
if the scales of good and evil, when held by
man's wavering hand, should seem unequal;
but that we ought to believe and know that
when God himself, the mighty and the just,
took them in His keeping, they would be
found balanced with unerring skill!' I have
often thought things are very hard to under-
stand-about little babies being ill and
suffering, you know-so I was very glad Mr.
Fellows preached about our not being ex-
pected or required to know why God does
things, but to take all his acts on trust,
because every thing he sends, though it often
seems evil, is really for our good."
"Yes," answered Grace, "it was very nice,
certainly. I think I shall always remember
it; some parts, at least. I hope we shall
like the clergyman at St. Edmund's. Edith!"
she exclaimed, "I must ask you something.
Do you often go to Mrs. Tanner's ?"
Why ?" said her sister, in some surprise.
"Because I thought, till to-day, when I
found you so quietly reading to her, that
you never went there."
"What an idea; I generally go on a Sun-
day, and often on a half-holiday, and sit a
little time with her; she can't read well, and
NatuLral Goodness. 89
she is fond of hearing me, besides I like going
Grace was struck. Edith, who was so merry
and thoughtless, to have surpassed her in
good deeds! Yes, in spite of herself, she
did take some credit for having been down
several times to read at the cottage, and to
think Edith, little Edith, had been more at-
tentive still; thought nothing of it either; it
was to her a matter of course, while Grace had
been making a merit of it. At last she in-
Why did you never tell me about it
"Oh, I don't know. I didn't think you'd
care to hear it, I suppose. I know you can't
bear close cottages and poor people, and as
I like them, I went there by myself."
Grace was so lowered in her own estima-
tion, and Edith so raised, that she had no
heart for more talking; she jumped up to
kiss her sister and bid her good-night, that
her thoughts might not be interrupted, and
in the midst of her self-accusations, fell, in a
short time, fast asleep.
Monday morning rose, cold, windy, and
with a thick drizzling rain; breakfast was
hurried through; the boxes were fastened
90 The Story of the HamilIons.
down, and the carriage came to the door.
Nothing remained but the good-byes. The
nursery was visited first, it was tearful work
to leave smiling, loving Herbert; he, dear
boy, knew nothing of their trouble, but kissed
and laughed at them as usual, and seemed
more amused than otherwise at their long
faces. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton stood at the
front door to see their darlings off, and care-
fully wrapped them in the shawls and cloaks;
the children could not speak, but they bore
the parting pretty well on the whole; their
papa's fervent God bless you, my children,"
as he kissed them fondly, was as much as
they could stand, but Mrs. Hamilton's cheer-
ful voice called after them, "I shall send
Herbert down on Saturday, if it's fine." So
with this hope to cheer them, they went off;
and seeing their brother's fair face pressed
closely against the window-pane eagerly en-
deavouring to catch another glimpse of them,
was their last look on home.
Arnold would shake hands with his charges
when he deposited them at Miss Campbell's,
and "wished them well and safe through all
their troubles, and hoped to call and see how
they was afore long."
The morning school was the same as usual,
A Hearty Reception.
but as soon as it was over, a warm welcome
was given them from Clara Lee; she was
delighted at having them, they were to sleep
together in Miss Thompson's room, and share
her dressing-room, which was a source of as
much pleasure to them as to her.
"Nobody knows," exclaimed she, with vehe-
mence, "how glad I am you are come. I
declare this school is the nastiest place under
the sun! It never was too nice, and since
Kate Howard has gone, it's been horrid. I
can't endure that girl, Annie Hore! yes, you
may look shocked, both of you, but I can't.
I believe there'll be a regular row (I oughtn't
to say row, but it's the best word I know for
that sort of thing) before long, between us:
a mean, vulgar, disagreeable thing, she is. Ah!
well, I'll forget her now you two have come.
Come into the dressing-room (sanctum, I call
it), and let us have our lunch quietly by our-
selves, and then I'll help you unpack your
things and put them away, oh, so tidily, in
the drawers; we will be so delightfully busy
Very happily passed the ensuing two hours,
with chatting and arranging the affairs of
the toilet; then came dinner, and after that
afternoon school, so that Grace and Edith
92 The Story of the Hamiltons.
were too much occupied to think of the
novelty of their new position. When the hour
for Arnold's appearance arrived, they began
to feel their altered condition, but, fortunately
for them, Clara Lee took them under her
especial protection, and was bent on making
them comfortable. She talked and laughed
with amazing rapidity, and escorted them to
the various bedrooms to make "evening calls,"
as she styled it, so that they were soon in a
fair way of forgetting their trouble. The tea
was a strange contrast to their evening meal
at home, the long table with its row of faces
round it, and the plates of thick, very thick,
bread and butter; but on the whole they
were well satisfied. Miss Campbell allowed
the girls to take books with them to tea, but
such as preferred talking were at liberty to
do so; some, therefore, had their lessons,
some books of recreation, but Clara was too
much taken up with her new companions to
care even for this enjoyment, and the three
were very merry together. Miss Campbell
occasionally joined in their conversation, and
was well pleased to see them at ease among
themselves, and happy. The quiet half-hour
for learning lessons took place immediately
after tea; when that was over, those who had
Mysterious Dozigs. 93
finished their tasks employed themselves as
they chose till half-past eight, when plates of
bread and butter and some cold water were
brought in, prayers followed, and soon after
nine all the young people retired.
"Are you not going to eat your supper,
Annie ?" inquired Edith of Annie Hore, who
was scribling on a scrap of paper something
which seemed of great importance, while Mary
Hetton, her particular friend, looked over
her with much amusement; and the piece of
bread and butter lay unheeded on the desk at
"Never mind, Edith, what I am going to
do," rudely replied Annie; "attend to your
own business, and leave mine alone."
"Come away from the cross old thing,"
whispered Clara; "let her go without her
supper if she likes; she can take care of her-
self well enough, there is no fear of that. I
can't imagine what is going on in that north
room, where Annie sleeps; for do you know,"
and Clara lowered her voice still more, Miss
Thompson has made two or three complaints
about the door being bolted when she goes
to take away the candle, and they won't let
her in directly, but keep her* waiting outside
because 'the bolt turns so stiff;' stuff and
94 The Story of the Hamilltos.
nonsense, I don't believe a word of it. I
expect it's some mischief, and I only hope
they'll be found out."
But who else sleeps there ?"
"Oh, there are three or four of them; a
regular gang! and there's that little new
child- what's her name ?-Lucy Price; they'll
make her just as bad as they are, she won't
speak a word of what goes on up there. I
thought at first she was a nice good girl, but
I don't know what's come over her lately,
she will hardly come near me, and looks as
cross and sly as possible."
"What did Miss Campbell say; was she
cross about it ?"
"I should rather think she was! I don't
know how, but it was patched up in some
fashion or other. However, if there's any more
nonsense Annie is to be moved into another
bedroom. What a comfort it is to be sure
that I shan't be bothered with her."
"Clara, do look at Annie now," whispered
Grace; "just see, she is taking those other
pieces of supper, what can they be for ?"
"Oh, my dear, she always takes what's left;
that's nothing new; she carries them up to
bed, I suppose, in case she is hungry in the
night; you had better not make any remark
A Considerate Governess. 95
about it. I warn you if you do, she'll be ever
so disagreeable; I can't bear such ways.
Well, I declare! it's time for prayers; you
two sit here on each side of me-that's right;
this is nice."
In spite of Miss Thompson's harsh voice
and peremptory manner, the children found
her very kind; they had neither of them liked
her much, but now her kindness quite won
their hearts. She slept in their room, and did
all she could to help and advise them; showed
them how to fold their clothes as Miss Camp-
bell liked to see them; called them in the
morning, and managed for them to be dressed
in good time, for without her assistance they
would have had some difficulties to encounter,
not being accustomed to do without a ser-
vant; thanks to her, however, they got on
The next few days passed with no par-
ticular incident, the two girls grew more re-
conciled to their change, and minded it less
than they expected. Saturday was looked
forward to with great delight, and when it
arrived their only fear was dispelled by its
being a beautiful day, and nurse and Herbert
were consequently fulfilling their engagement.
The accounts from home were most satisfac-