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UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
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UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY,
g6, PATERNOSTER ROW; 65, ST. PAUL'S CIIURCHYA.rD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY
UNWIN BROTHERS, CHILWORTH AND LONDON.
THE DRIVE TO THE FARM ....................... 6
THE FIRST MORNING AT THE FARM .......... 17
FANNY'S FIRST LETTER TO ELLEN............... 27
A WALK OVER THE FARM ....................... 35
THE DAIRY ......................................... 49
SHEEP-SHEARING ...................................... 57
ABOUT HAYMAKING AND SOME OTHER MATTERS 65
THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL TREAT ..................... 73
HARVEST, IIARVEST-SUPPER, AND RETURN HOME 87
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
THE DRIVE TO THE FARM.
T was in the month of May that
a chaise, drawn by a strong
brown horse, was travelling
along a narrow country road. On each
side of the road were high straggling
hedges, white in places, at that time,
with blackthorn blossom.
The chaise was well loaded. FiI.t
of all was the driver, a tall and rather
stout gentleman, middle-aged. This
gentleman's name was Mr. John Harris.
8 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
He was a farmer, living at Myddleton,
and was driving home to his farm.
A lady, wrapped in a warm cloak, was
also in the chaise, with a thick fur round
her neck. This lady was Mr. Harris's
sister; her name was Mrs. Elliot, and
her home was in London. She had
been ill, which accounted for her being
warmly clothed, and had been ad-
vised to go into the country to recover
strength; and where could she better
go. than to her brother's house? So
Mr. Harris, when he heard of his
sister's illness, asked her to come to
him; and therefore it was that he had
been that afternoon to the railway sta-
tion to meet her.
Between them sat a little girl, named
Fanny Elliot. She was nine or ten
years old, and was lively and intelligent,
though rather pale-faced, which Uncle
John had already said he was not sur-
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
prised to see, because she had lived in
London all her days. Uncle John had
also pleasantly told Fanny that he
should not let her go back to London,
if he could help it, until roses were on
There was yet one other passenger
in the chaise: this was Fanny's twin-
brother Sidney. He was seated behind
his uncle on a heap of boxes and carpet-
bags; or, it would be more correct to
say, that he might have been thus seated
if he had pleased; for he was oftener
standing up and steadying himself by
laying his hand on his uncle's shoulder,
in order that he might more easily look
around him, and join in any conversa-
tion that passed.
How much farther is it to Myddle-
ton, uncle ?" Sidney asked, for the
third time since they had been in the
IO UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
Two miles and a half, Sidney. Are
you tired of travelling ?"
"Not very tired, uncle; only I want
to see your farm, and aunt, and cou-
sins. Look, look, Fanny! cried he,
"there is a hare or something in the
road; look, mother!"
"A rabbit, Sidney, not a hare, and
there is another under the hedge."
In another minute the rabbits, which
had been frisking by the road-side, dis-
appeared through the hedge; but at
every turning of the road there was
something fresh to admire and talk
about. At one place the banks were
gay with primroses and bluebells ; then
there was a meadow yellow with butter-
cups; next they came to a chalk-pit
by the road-side, in which a family
of gipsies had encamped; and then
they passed a cottage with a thatched
roof and whitewashed walls. Overhead,
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
as they drove along, were swallows
skimming the air, and rooks flying
homewards, while the more musical
larks were filling it with their pleasant
How nice it must be to live in the
country always," said Fanny, must it
It is all fresh and new to you,
Fanny," replied Mrs. Elliot; "and you
look at it with young eyes. Your uncle
can tell you, I dare say, that even in
the country there are some troubles to
"A few; but we will not talk about
them now," said Uncle John.
Is that your farm, uncle ?" asked
Sidney, pointing to a large, high-roofed,
many-gabled house, half surrounded by
trees, at some distance from the road-
side, towards which they seemed ap-
12 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
No, my boy; we have a mile yet to
travel before we reach it. Ah," he added,
" I have just said that I would not talk
about troubles, else I could tell you-"
Uncle John did not say what was in
his thoughts, and made him look so
grave all at once; and just then the
sound of merry voices caught the atten-
tion of the little travellers. They soon
found out their source. A party of chil-
dren were sporting on a broad green, in
front of several cottages. They had
raised a large garland to the top of a
pole, which was firmly fixed in the
ground; and while some where jump-
ing round this garland, others were
pelting their playfellows with cowslip-
"They do not look as though they
had much to trouble them," said Uncle-
John. "Would you not like to get down
and join them, Fanny ?"
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 13
Fanny thought that, upon the whole,
she would rather go on to Uncle John's
farm, and Sidney asked why the chil-
dren had a garland, as May-day was
"There is no law against garland-
making on any day of the year, is there,
Sidney ? But this is the twelfth of
May, and it is called Old May-day."
Then Uncle John went on to explain
that about a hundred years ago, an
alteration was made by law in the days
of the month, by adding eleven to the
number by which each was called; so
that what was then the first is now the
twelfth of every month, and so with
every other number. He said also that
though this change took place so long
ago', people in the country still kept to
the old style, as he called it, in many of
their holidays, among which was May-
day. But they were now getting nearer
14 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
home every minute, as Brown Billy
very well knew.
Brown Billy was the horse Uncle
John was driving; and he certainly
did seem to know that his work for
that day was nearly ended, for he
trotted on faster than ever, until pre-
sently, arriving at a white gate, he
stopped of his own accord, while his
master got down and threw the gate
open. Then Uncle John's farm lay
before them in full view, at the further
end of the meadow, with a good road up
to it. They saw that it was a rather
large building, and they supposed it to
be old-fashioned also. Theyjust noticed,
too, that on one side of it was a large
farm-yard, with barns and lodges; while
on the other was what they judged to be
an orchard or garden, enclosed by a
thick high hedge, which, high as it was,
did not shut out the sight of cherry-
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
trees in full blossom, and other fruit-
trees as well. Almost before they had
decided which were cherry and which
were apple trees, Brown Billy stopped
at another gate, which had to be opened
to admit the travellers to a pretty green
lawn in front of the farm-house.
The sound of the wheels brought Aunt
Harris to the door, and then she was
soon at the side of the chaise, assisting
her visitors to alight, and giving them
a hearty welcome too. In another
minute they were all in the large par-
lour, Sidney and Fanny surrounded
by their four cousins, who were eager to
shake hands with them. The names of
these cousins were Rachel, John, Grace,
THE FIRST MORNING AT UNCLE JOHN'S
ou may be sure that as soon as
they could leave the breakfast-
table on the following morning,
Sidney and Fanny were anxious to see
some of the sights at Uncle John's farm.
"Where would you like to go first,
Fanny?" asked Rachel, who, being the
eldest, took the lead. She was a good-
tempered, active girl, two years or more
older than her twin cousins.
Oh, anywhere," said Sidney.
Anywhere is next to nowhere," said
John, who was a year or two younger
than his sister Rachel; and if you go
where Rachel pleases, she will be want-
ing to show you the dairy and poultry-
18 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
yard first, but I want to show you my
pony, and the pigs, and the garden; and
I don't mind taking you into the stock-
yard if you like, Sidney, and showing you
the bullocks that are being fatted; only
we must make haste, for I have got to
saddle my pony and be off to school."
I want to show you my pretty pet
lamb," chimed in little Grace, who was
younger than her cousins.
It was plain that all these sights could
not be seen at once; and as John's
reason for being first was a very good
one, his sisters kindly gave way to him.
So he took his cousins into the garden,
and after that into the farm-yard.
"There are pigs Did you ever see
anything like them in London ?" cried
"What pretty things they are," said
Fanny; "it seems almost a pity they
should ever grow to be great ugly hogs."
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
"Ah! but, Fanny," said John, gravely,
"we want them to get large, and what
you call ugly, so as to be turned into
John now took his cousins to show
them his little pony, which they greatly
admired. Then he took them into the
stock-yard, where they saw several
bullocks confined in lodges or bul-
lock-houses ; and Fanny said, Poor
things but she was glad to get away
from them, for although they were tied
up, she fancied they looked fierce and
angry. She liked much better going
into the close, where were the young
cow and her calf, and Grace's little pet
lamb. The cow would not have let the
young strangers go very near to her, even
if they had been bold enough to venture;
but Rachel went up and stroked her.
She knows me," said Rachel; I
always milk her when she has no calf."
20 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
It seemed wonderful to the young
Londoners that so large and powerful
an animal should allow a little lass like
their cousin Rachel to take away her
milk. But they were told that cows
soon learn to know those who are kind
"The little pet lamb, who had seen
them from the farther side of the close,
now came bounding and frisking towards
its young mistress. It even ran up to
the little strangers with every appear-
ance of delight, and looked at them
as much as to say, Have you anything
to give me?"
Oh, little Daisy, you have been fed
already this morning, and your next
meal-time is not come yet," said Grace,
patting her pet; but you may have
this, if you please," and she put out
one of her fingers, which the little lamb
eagerly took into its mouth.
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
"It cannot eat grass yet," said Grace,
"but it will soon, when its teeth are
"And now," said John, "I must
gallop off to school, or else I shall be
too late," which was true, for he had to
get over two miles of ground before
half-past nine o'clock.
"And now," said Rachel, "I have
the poultry to show you."
Fanny and Sidney were as mucl
pleased with the poultry as they had
been with the pet lamb. There were
some noble-looking geese and their
young goslings: such large ones were
not to be found for miles round the
country. Then there were two or three
broods of young chickens, which much
amused them by the attention they paid
to the clucking calls of the mother-hens
when they were wandering too far, and
the eagerness with which thev returned
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
and hid themselves under their mothers'
"Hens are very brave when they
have chickens to take care of," said
Rachel. If a strange dog should come
into the yard, the mother-hens would
fly at him, and drive him away, though
at another time they would be afraid to
venture near him."
You should tell cousins about Flora
and the rat," said little Grace.
Oh, that was really shocking," re-
joined Rachel. Poor Flora! she was
such a beauty of a hen; and one night,
when she had chickens, a great rat
somehow got into the hen-house, and
there must have been such a battle, for
in the morning brave Flora was found
so badly bitten and wounded that she
died the same day. But the chickens
were all safe under her wings; she had
not moved off them all the time. The
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
rat was found too-dead, quite dead,
for the poor mother-hen had killed it
with her beak."
When Fanny and her brother had
paid a tribute to the memory of poor
Flora, they asked if they might see the
fowls fed; and to gratify them, Rachel
got a small basketful of barley. In a
minute they were quite surrounded by
an eager throng of hens and chickens
from every part of the yard; and some
ducks from a pond that was near, hear-
ing the cry, also came waddling towards
them as fast as they could, to obtain
their share of the corn. But what most
of all delighted them was to see 'he
pigeons flying down from the roofs of
the farm-house and barns, to claim their
Fanny and Sidney could have re-
mained much longer in the poultry-yard,
but Rachel reminded them that Fanny
24 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
had expressed a wish to see the dairy,
and also that she herself had some work
to do in the house before her teacher
came at ten o'clock.
Have you a teacher?" Sidney asked,
in a little surprise.
Yes, and a very kind nice teacher,"
Rachel said, "who comes every day in
the week but Saturday, for five or six
hours, to give us lessons."
"Is that better than going to school?"
Fanny wished to know.
Rachel could not answer this. She
knew, however, that it was her parents'
wish for Miss Arliss to come and teach
What more these young people said
about schools and teachers is of no con-
sequence. But we may as well say
here that as Fanny and her brother re-
mained at Uncle John's farm for several
months, their mother wisely desired
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 25
that they should have the benefit of
Miss Arliss's instruction. So, after a
day or two, they became her pupils.
Meanwhile, they adjourned from the
poultry-yard to the dairy. But as no-
thing was going on there at this time,
except the formation of cream on the
broad pans of milk, we must defer the
description of butter-making to another
FANNY'S FIRST LETTER TO ELLEN.
TE father of Fanny and Sidney
Elliot was a busy man in the
Icity of London. He had very
i' ie time for holiday-taking, and he said
f was quite impossible for him to accom-
,j ny his wife to her brother's farm in
he country. But being anxious that
-e should have as much pleasure as
possiblee during her visit, he had kindly
,).mitted the twin children to accept
heir-uncle's invitation. And this is how
Kanny and Sidney came to be at Uncle
Sohn's farm .
Their visit was not at first intended to
be so prolonged as it afterwards proved;
for when their mother returned to her
home in London, after a few weeks,
28 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
quite restored to health, she was pre-
vailed on to leave Fanny and Sidney at
the farm. Their uncle and aunt asked
this favour for them, and their cousins
were rejoiced when it was granted. And
there is no doubt that Mrs. Elliot the
more readily agreed with this request,
seeing that she left them in the hands
of friends who she knew would take as
much care of them as of their own chil-
dren, and also that they were to be, all
the time, under the instruction of an able
teacher like Miss Arliss.
And so it came to pass that Fanny
and Sidney saw a great deal of country
life. They had an elder sister in Lon-
don, and to her most of their letters
were written. The following is Fanny's
first letter to her sister Ellen:-
MY DEAREST ELLEN,-I promised
I would write to you soon; and now,
having been four days at Uncle John's
UNCLE JOHN'S EARM.
farm, I will try and perform my promise.
I know that mamma has written to you
about our journey, so I shall not say
anything about that; but what I must
tell you is that Sidney and I are very
happy, and have enjoyed ourselves very
much. You know Uncle John, because
you have sometimes seen him in Lon-
don; but you do not know Aunt Harris.
Well, she is very kind, and not at all
cross, as we thought, perhaps, she would
be, though she has so much to do every
day, and is always bustling about. You
can scarcely think how much there
is to do in a farm-house. There is milk-
ing the cows, and making the butter-
such quantities too; and making all the
bread, once a week; and cooking for so
many people every day, and poultry-
feeding, and washing every week, and
sometimes pig-killing. Then, when fruit-
time comes, there is fruit-gathering, and
30 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
preserving, and pickling. Oh, I cannot
remember half when I come to set it
down; yet you would not believe, unless
you were here to see, how nice and clean
and orderly every thing is kept about
the house. Mamma told aunt to-day
that she must be a capital manager;
and so I am sure she is. To be sure,
there is no London smoke and dust;
and there are not many visitors to come
in and hinder, as there are at our home.
This is what aunt said.
Sidney has written to you about our
cousins, so I shall only say that John is
such a good-natured boy, and he is going
to let me ride on his pony when the side-
saddle comes home,-it is sent to be
mended; and Rachel is going to teach
me how to make butter. Only think of
Oh! and I must tell you how many
people there are at Uncle John's farm,
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
besides uncle, and aunt, and our cousins.
There is a house-maid, and a dairy-maid,
and a scullery-maid; then there are four
men and three boys, who all work on
the farm. Cousin John told me their
names, but I cannot remember them all
yet; I can tell you what they do, how-
ever. They go out with the horses at
four o'clock every morning, then they
come home to breakfast at seven o'clock,
then they work again till twelve, when
they come home to dinner; and then
they go out again on the farm till six,
when they come home and have supper,
and then go and give the horses their
They do not always keep the same
hours, though; for Cousin John says
they sometimes work from eight o'clock
in the morning till three in the afternoon
before they come home to dinner, and
then they do not go out again with the
32 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
horses. But I do not suppose you will
care to know anything of this sort.
I must tell you, though, that the
men are very civil to- me, and so are the
boys, though they all have a rough way
of talking; and they pronounce some of
their words so strangely, and use so
many words I never heard before, that
I cannot always understand them. If
they could only go to school to Miss
Arliss-but you do not know who Miss
Arliss is, and I have no more time to
write now, for Rachel and Grace are
wanting me to take a walk, so I must
write another letter to you soon.
I had almost forgotten to say that
mamma is better and stronger than she
was when she left home. You must
give our love to papa,-mamma's, and
Sidney's, and mine, and keep some for
yourself as well, from your affectionate
UNCLE JOHI'S FARM.
Lest you should think this a long
letter for a little girl, only nine or ten
years old, to write, I must let you into
a secret. I do not think she wrote
it all her own self; her mother helped
her, when they were sitting together,
and no one else was by, one sunny
i' r -
A WALK OVER THE FARM.
WILL now invite you to take
a walk with Uncle John round
his farm, accompanied by his
niece and nephew. It is a fine evening,
near the end of May; and some recent
warm showers have refreshed the land,
and made the corn-fields and meadows
look very fresh and green.
So you think you should like to be
a farmer, Sidney ? said Uncle John.
Sidney said that it must be a pleasant
life, he was sure.
UNCLE JOHN. "Yes, my dear boy, in
many respects it is a pleasant life; for
farming is a useful, and peaceful, and
natural employment for quiet, indus-
36 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
SIDNEY. "And it is not like being
in a troublesome business, is it now,
uncle ? "
UNCLE JOHN. "What makes you
think so, Sidney? "
SIDNEY. "Why, you can do what
you like, you know, and have other
people to do the work."
UNCLE JOHN. "Ho, ho! so you
would like to be a farmer in order that
you might be lazy." And Uncle John
laughed heartily, which rather confused
SIDNEY. "No, no, uncle; I did not
mean that. But you can ride about
when you please. Of course, farmers
must have business to attend to; but it
is such a pleasant business that it is
almost as good as play."
UNCLE JOHN. Almost as good as
play to be walking ten or twelve hours
every day between the plough-handles,
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 37
over rough ground, in cold and snow or
rain? or to be mowing grass and corn
sometimes for fourteen or fifteen hours
a day, under a hot scorching sun ? or
to be week after week, and all day long,
threshing in a barn ? or to be mending
hedges, or clearing out ditches, or turn-
ing over manure and spreading it on
the land? This is only a small part of
a farmer's pleasant business, Sidney."
SIDNEY. "But, uncle, farmers have
men to do all this hard work for them,
have they not ?"
UNCLE JOHN. My dear boy, if a
farmer is not able and willing to do all
this for himself, if necessary, he had
better not be a farmer, because it would
show that he is not fit for his business.
But you are pretty nearly correct, after
all, Sidney; for though the work is
hard, it is pleasant to those who have
health, and strength, and industry."
38 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
SIDNEY. "And then there is the
money-the profit, I mean, uncle."
UNCLE JOHN (smiling). So you
think that farming is a profitable busi-
ness ? "
SIDNEY. "I should think it must
be, uncle; for it is only to put the
different sorts of seed into the ground,
and they grow of themselves; and then
when they are ready, it is only to cut
down the corn, or get up the roots, and
send them to market."
UNCLE JOHN. Stop, stop! You
are getting on ahead, very fast indeed,
if you think that all the money farmers
receive for the produce of their land is
profit. There is the rent of the farm,
Sidney, which goes to the landlord;
and the tithe, which goes to the rector
or clergyman; and the taxes, which are
paid to the Government; and the wages,
which belong to the labourers. Then
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 39
there is what we call the dead-stock'
of the farm, which is another word for
ploughs, and carts, and waggons, and
harrows, and clod-crushers, and many
other machines; these cost large s'ms
of money; and there are horses to .e
bought and fed. All these, and many
other large expenses, have to be pro-
vided for before a farmer can have any
profit out of what he sells at market."
Sidney said he had not thought of all
"And then," continued his uncle,
"though farming is an interesting occu-
pation, farmers have a great many
anxieties and cares which do not much
trouble or disturb others. Sometimes
the weather is very unfavourable for our
work; perhaps it is very wet when we
wish it to be fine; or very dry, when
we fancy that showers would do us a
great deal of good. Then there are
40 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
blights and mildews, short crops, and
bad harvests, which, without any fault
or neglect on the farmer's part, almost
ruin him. Or, when the harvest is
good and profitable, there may be
diseases in the cattle; his sheep,
especially, are liable to be taken ill
and die. Sometimes a hailstorm will
destroy hundreds of pounds' worth of
property in an hour or two; and des-
tructive insects may do the same thing
as effectually, though more slowly."
Both Sidney and Fanny looked rather
grave when their uncle was speaking.
"This was the first time they had ever
teard of a farmer's troubles.
"But, uncle," said Fanny, "you like
being a farmer, do you not ? "
UNCLE JOHN. Yes, my dear, I am
fond of farming, although it is not quite
so easy and profitable a business as
Sidney seemed to imagine. But, by-
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
and-bye, he will find out that there are
'no gains without pains,' as the old
proverb tells us. And if there are cares
and troubles, there is also, over all, a
kind and wise heavenly Father and
gracious Saviour, able and willing to
support all who put their trust in Him."
While this conversation was going on,
Uncle John and his young companions
had entered a wide meadow, where a
large flock of sheep were quietly feed-
ing, and the greater number of them
had lambs. When disturbed in their
play by the approach of strangers, the
lambs, which before had been frisking
together in a large company, hastily ran
for protection to their mothers' sides.
"How can they know their own
mothers so well? Sidney asked.
"And how can the mothers know
their own lambs, I wonder?" responded
42 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
UNCLE JOHN. God has given to
all animals a kind of knowledge which
enables them without difficulty to dis-
tinguish their own young; and the
young of all animals as easily know
their own mothers, while they need
their care and protection."
SIDNEY. Sheep and lambs are all
so much alike."
UNCLE JOHN. You would not say
so *if you were better acquainted with
them, Sidney. There is a great variety
of tones in their voices, though they can
only bleat; and there is a still greater
variation in their countenances."
Fanny was amused to hear her uncle
speak gravely about the countenances
of sheep. She thought that one sheep's
face was just like another sheep's face,
UNCLE JOHN. "And perhaps if a
sheep could speak, it might tell you
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 43
that one little girl's face is just like
another little girl's face. But, indeed,
there is so much variety that a careful
shepherd has no difficulty in distin-
guishing every sheep under his care."
"Ah," said Sidney, "I think I have
read something about shepherds know-
ing their sheep."
And calling them by their names,"
added Uncle John. Do you remem-
ber where you have read this, and by
whom it was said?"
Perhaps Fanny and Sidney were not
quite so well acquainted with the Bible
at this time as they were afterwards.
At any rate, their uncle's question
puzzled them, so that they could not
answer it. Mr. Harris then took a
little book out of his coat-pocket, and
opened it, and his nephew and niece
saw that it was a New Testament.
"I am never without a companion
44 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
when I have this book with me," said
Uncle John, "and it has helped me
over many a heart-ache when I have
been going over my farm alone, and in
trouble and care."
While saying this, Uncle John had
found the chapter he was looking for,
and read the following verses :-
"I am the good shepherd, and I
know my sheep, and am known of
mine. As the Father knoweth me,
even so know I the Father: and I lay
down my life for the sheep. My sheep
hear my voice, and I know them, and
they follow me: And I give unto them
eternal life; and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out
of my hand.' (John x. 14, 15, 26, 28.)
I think you can tell me whose words
these are, Fanny," said Uncle John,
kindly, when he had returned the book
to his pocket.
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
Fanny said they were the words of
the Lord Jesus Christ.
UNCLE JOHN. "Yes, they are His
words, and very precious words they
are. They assure us that all who are
His sheep, indeed, by faith in Him, are
always safe in His hands, because He
knows them, and has laid down His
life for them. A shepherd may be mis-
taken, may forget his sheep, or may
care but little about them; but the
Good Shepherd will never forget nor
forsake His sheep. And He cares for
the little lambs of His flock too," con-
tinued Uncle John, laying his hands
affectionately on his nephew and niece,
" We are told that He 'carries the lambs
in his bosom.' Are you among His
lambs ? "
Uncle John asked this question so
kindly, and yet so solemnly, that though
Fanny and Sidney were a little awed
46 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
by his serious manner, they could not
be offended with him for asking such a
plain question. They said softly, in
reply, that they did not know.
"And I do not know either," said
their uncle; "but I can promise you
one thing, my dear children. If you
have any doubt about it yourselves, and
fear that you are not in His flock, and go
to the dear Saviour, earnestly praying
that He will be your Saviour-Shepherd,
He will not turn away from your prayer.
He loves those who love Him, and
those who seek Him early shall find
After this, as they walked on through
meadows and corn-fields, Uncle John
talked more freely to his young com-
panions about the love of the Lord
Jesus Christ, and the happiness of
being among His dear people. It was
the first time during their visit that
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 47
he had ventured to speak to them on
these matters; but perhaps he found
this to be a favourable opportunity for
showing them how true happiness is:
to be obtained in the present life, and
safety for the life that is to come.
UNT took Fanny into the dairy
at Uncle John's farm, to assist
in making butter. It was a
large room, partly underground, with a
stone floor and open lattice-work case-
ments. On three sides of this room
were broad shelves, on which were
standing large shallow pans full of milk.
The milk of every day was put into
separate pans, and after standing a little
while, the cream which rose to the sur-
face had to be skimmed off. In this
manner, all the cream of a whole week
was collected, ready for churning.
"What shall I have to do first?"
Fanny asked, as soon as she entered the
dairy ivith her cousin.
50 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
Oh, we shall find plenty for you to
do, Miss Fanny," said the good-natured
There were two churns in the dairy,
on one of which Sarah was diligently
employed. And as many young people,
who eat butter every day of their lives,
have no idea of how it is made, we will
try, first of all, to describe a churn.
That which Sarah was using, was a
high, narrow tub, smaller at the top
than the bottom, and covered with a
lid, which had a long stick, like a broom-
handle, passing through a hole in the
middle. At the lower-end of this stick
was fastened a round flat board, which
Rachel informed her cousin was called
"a beater." This, as Fanny saw, was
a simple piece of machinery; and she
fancied that the working of it must also
be simple, and easy as well. In fact,
it was only to put a certain quantity of
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 51
cream into the churn, and then to move
the churn-stick quickly up and down,
How long will it be before the cream
is turned into butter?" Fanny asked.
It depends on so many things which
cannot be helped or hindered," said
Sarah; "sometimes I can get the butter
in half-an-hour, and sometimes I have
had to churn away for three or four
hours, without leaving off."
Fanny was rather startled at this.
She would not mind working for half-
an-hour, she thought; but if it were to
be for three or even two hours-that
would be a different thing.
The other churn, into which the cream
had already been put for Fanny to prac-
tise upon, was of a different form from
that which Sarah was using. It was a
square box with a handle at the side,
something like a well-handle, which
52 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
had to be kept constantly turning round
Before Fanny began her work, she
opened the lid of the box, and peeped
in; arid then she saw a number of
broad wooden paddles or flappers, which
being swiftly moved by the handle, were
intended to dash the cream about.
And now I think I had better
begin," said Fanny; and for a full quar-
ter of an hour she turned the handle
with a great deal of spirit. Then she
began to flag a little.
Do you think the butter has come
yet, Sarah ?" she asked of the dairy-
maid, who was still vigorously plying
No, Miss," said Sarah, without stop-
ping in her work; it has not had any-
thing like time enough yet."
"Oh dear! how tiresome," said Fanny
to herself; but she went on again turn-
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
ing the handle, though her fac6 began
to be a little flushed, and her small
arms were slightly aching with the
Then, for another quarter of an hour,
there was nothing heard in the dairy
but the splash-splashing of the cream
in the two churns.
Oh dear !" cried Fanny again, and
this time she spoke loud enough to be
What is the matter, Miss ?" asked
Oh, nothing, Sarah, only- but
are you sure it is not come yet ?"
Quite sure, Miss ; and it never will
if you stop too long to rest," replied the
dairy-maid, who perceived that the
churn-handle, after moving very slowly
round and round for some time past,
had now come to a stand-still.
Dear, dear I had quite forgotten;
54 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
but what work it is, Sarah !"-and round
went the handle.
I did not tell you it was play, did I,
"You must let me take your place a
little while, Fanny," said Rachel; but
still Fanny said, No, thank you;"
and renewed her efforts.
Presently, the sound from Sarah's
churn changed, and before long she
left off churning, and took off the lid.
"Is your butter come, Sarah?" asked
Fanny, in a rather pitiful tone; for by
this time her arms ached very much,
and she was quite tired of her job,
though she did not like to own it.
"Yes, Miss, beautiful," said Sarah,
who was now pouring out what is called
the butter-milk from the churn, and
putting in some fresh spring water, for
the purpose of washing the butter quite
free irom any remains of the milk.
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 55
Oh dear !" exclaimed Fanny, once
more; I wish mine would come, too."
But it would not come for her wishing;
and at length Fanny was prevailed upon
to allow Rachel to take a turn at the
handle, while she watched the further
operations of the experienced dairy-
These consisted, first of all, in re-
moving the lumps of butter out of the
churn on to a broad marble slab, and
then in sprinkling a little salt over it.
After that it was pressed closely in a
damp cloth, until it was hard and firm;
then all that remained to be done was to
weigh it in wooden scales, and form it
into pound and half-pound pats or
moulds. By the time all this was com-
pleted, Fanny was sufficiently rested to
go back again to her churn, and ere
'ng she had the pleasure of hearing the
"blobbing" sound which told of success.
56 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
It was a pretty sight, when all was
completed, to see the results of the
morning's work packed up in large
baskets ready to be sent to market, with
wet cloths round and cool dock-leaves
between the pats of butter; and we
may pardon Fanny if she felt a little
exultation in the thought that she had
assisted in the work. But her little
arms were stiff for some hours after-
wards; and she understood by experi-
ence the truth of her uncle's proverb,
" No gains without pains."
But there was a pat of butter on the
tea-table that day, of Fanny's own
making; and that was something.
T was the second week in June,
and there was a grand sheep-
shearing at the farm, and Sid-
ney and Fanny were of course very
much interested in the matter.
First of all, the sheep and lambs were
collected in the home-meadow, where
there was a large pool of rain-water. A
river would have been better for the
purpose, perhaps, but there was no river
on the farm or near it, so the pool had
to serve the purpose.
The sheep were enclosed in a fold
near to the pool, while the lambs, which
did not require shearing, were allowed
their liberty in the meadow. A great
deal of bleating there was when the
58 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
lambs were separated from their mo-
When all was ready, Uncle John's
shepherd went into the fold, and catch-
ing the sheep one at a time, he dragged
them to the pool, where there were men
ready to receive them, and plunged them
in. Now, sheep are not at all fond of
being in water, and it was natural for
Uncle John's sheep to try to get out of
the pool as soon as possible; but this
was not allowed; at any rate, they
were not permitted to escape from
it till their thick coats had been well
Having undergone this operation,
which cost them a great many useless
struggles, they were allowed to scramble
out of the pool as they could.
At first, it excited not only Fanny's
pity, but her fear also, when she saw the
shearers with sharp shears in their hands,
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
roughly as it seemed, laying the poor,
helpless animals down on their sides,
nd rapidly clipping off the wool, so
close to the skin, that it appeared to
be almost impossible to avoid cutting
nto the flesh. But she soon found
that her fear was groundless, for the
shearers were clever at their work, and
only once or twice was any real pain
And what both Sidney and Fanny
could not help admiring, was the great
patience of the sheep while the shearers
were at work. They scarcely struggled,
but allowed themselves to be handled
and pulled about, and turned over, until
all was done. But when all the wool
was cut off in one large fleece, and they
were allowed their liberty, it was curious
to see how quickly they made their es-
cape into the meadow, and sought out
bheirlambs, wondering, perhaps, in their
60 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
sheepish minds, what had befallen
themselves, and why they felt so light
And the oddest thing of all was that
the lambs did not know their own mo-
thers; so that what with the bleating of
the sheep after their young, and the
confusion of the lambs who wanted their
mothers and could not find them, and
even ran away from them when they
came near, there was more noise in the
meadow than can well be imagined
by anyone who has never witnessed
such a scene. Indeed, after the shear-
ing was over, and all night long, the
same distressing cries were repeated,
though, after a day or two, the lambs
seemed to be reconciled to the change
which had been wrought in their mo-
But is it not cruel to strip the poor
sheep of their wool?" Fanny wished to
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
know, while seated at supper that even-
No, my dear, I do not think it is
cruel," said Uncle John. I dare say
the poor sheep, as you call them, would
rather be left alone; but they are not
really hurt, and, indeed, it is a real
benefit to them to be rid of their heavy
fleeces. Think how uncomfortable you
would be, Fanny, if you were compelled
to wear your thick warm winter cloth-
ing all through the hottest days of
Fanny had not thought of this. She
knew, indeed, that much of her winter
clothing was made of wool, but she had
forgotten this when the sheep were being
But what do you do with the wool,
uncle ?" Sidney asked.
"I sell the fleeces to wool-mer-
chants, who, in their turn, sell them to
62 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
manufacturers, and then, after passing
through a great number of hands, they
are changed into cloth, and other tex-
tures, for our comfort and convenience."
I am sure we ought to be obliged to
the sheep," Fanny observed, "for so
quietly parting with their wool."
"And grateful to the Maker and Pre-
server of all things," added Uncle John,
" for having provided us with the means
of adding to our comforts and enjoy-
ments in life."
"You have very well said that the
sheep quietly part with their wool," con-
tinued Uncle John; "and I never
see my sheep sheared without thinking
of the touching description of the pa-
tience of the blessed Saviour, which
is given us in the Bible: 'As a sheep,
before his shearers is dumb, so hz
opened not his mouth.' Do you rem'r
ber this ? "
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
Fanny did not think she did remem-
ber it just then, nor did Sidney, so
Uncle John presently read the chapter
in which those words are to be
found; and when he came to them, he
stopped in his reading for a minute
or two, to say a few words about the
sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ,
borne by Him that sinners might be
saved from all the consequences of their
He said a little also about Jesus
being called "the Lamb of God,
which taketh away the sin of the
world," and reminded those around him
that they should look to the Lord
Jesus Christ, and trust in Him, as the
Almighty Saviour. He also said
that, through the death of Christ,
the Holy Spirit is given to all who
earnestly desire and seek salvation,
to sanctify and teach them, and to
64 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
bring them near to God, by faith in
His dear Son.
It was in this way that Uncle John
constantly made use of the common
occurrences of life, so as to impress
upon the minds of all around him the
great importance of attending to the
concerns of their souls.
ABOUT HAYMAKING AND SOME OTHER
HE end of June brought several
changes in and around Uncle
John's farm. For one thing,
Mrs. Elliot had returned to London;
and though Fanny and Sidney were
sorry to lose her, there was no occa-
sion for their sorrow to be very deep
and lasting, because the separation was
not expected to be a long and painful
There were now changes all around
them. The wild-flowers, which had
decked and enlivened the hedges and
banks and meadows more than a month
before, had almost all disappeared,
and others had taken their place. In
66 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
the garden and orchard, too, fruit-blos-
soms had faded, and fruit had made its
appearance instead. Fanny and Sidney
had already enjoyed several treats of fine
ripe strawberries; and the cherries on
the trees began to show their shining
ruddy tints on the sides most exposed to
the sun. Very soon they looked forward
with their cousins to the pleasure and
fun of cherry-gathering. As to goose-
berry puddings and tarts, they had be-
come quite old-fashioned, though Fanny
and Sidney were as far as ever from
being tired of them.
It was astonishing, also, how the
grass and corn had grown since Fanny
and Sidney first arrived at Uncle John's
farm. The grass, indeed, was ready for
cutting, and the corn had begun to
show itself in ear as well as in blade.
The work on the farm was going on
briskly; some fields of tares and vetches
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
had been cut for green-meat (as the far-
mer's men called it) for horses and
cattle; and the ground had been ploughed
up, and turnip-seed sown for winter
food for sheep. Sidney had been much
interested, too, by the operation of a
steam threshing-machine, which roused
him one morning by its shrill whistle;
and when he went out with his cousin
John into the rick-yard, he found all
the farm-labourers hard at work, some
of them on a large wheat-stack, throw-
ing down the sheaves of last year's corn,
with which others were feeding the ma-
chine. Other men were forking away
the straw as fast as it was thrown out
of another part of the machine, after all
the corn had been threshed out, which
kept falling in a full stream out of the
lower part of the machine; while an-
other party were employed in shovelling
the corn into sacks. And Sidney was
68 UNCLE JOIN'SFARM.
surprised at the rapidity as well as
regularity with which the work went
on, so that before night the entire stack
had been thrashed out, the wheat taken
away, and nothing but a great mountain
of straw remained beside the machine.
But it is time we introduced Sidney
in the capacity of a letter-writer. He
had promised to write to his mother
soon, but from one cause or another his
letter was delayed until nearly the end
of June. Here it is:-
MY DEAR MOTHER,-I am afraid
you have thought me neglectful, but
indeed I have intended to write to you
every day, but there has been so much
to do. But now I mean to write a long
letter if I can, for it is such a wet after-
noon that I cannot go out of doors at all.
Cousin John's holidays have now
begun, just in time for him to help at
haymaking. We have got two or three
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 6o
weeks' holiday, too, while Miss Arliss is
gone to see some of her friends; so we
have been in the fields every day since
haymaking began, which was more than
a week ago.
It is famous work, haymaking is.
I do not mean the hay-cutting, which
uncle says is pretty nearly the hardest
work a farming man has to do, and I
should think it is, for the mowers get
very hot at it. And yet they work at it
from four or five o'clock in the morning
till eight or nine o'clock at night, ex-
cepting the time they take for meals,
which is not much; for they earn a
good deal of money at mowing, and the
more work they do in a day the more
they earn, which is only fair, as cousin
But the fun is in tossing the grass
about after it has been cut. There are
women to do this, but uncle has shown
70 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
Fanny and me how to do it properly. If
it had not rained to-day, I daresay I
should be out in one of the hayfields
now, but I am not sorry to rest a little,
for it is tiring, though Fanny and I
only do as much as we like, of course,
just for play, you know.
You remember that uncle has three
large hayfields, and he has six mowers,
so there is plenty for them to do, and
they have not cut down all the grass
yet. But the first field they cut was
cleared yesterday, and there were three
waggons carrying away the hay all the
day. It was capital fun riding on the
top of the loaded waggons from the field
to the stack-yard, and then making the
I do not think I can tell you any-
thing. more about haymaking, though I
dare say if uncle were to see what I
have written, he would say there is ever
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 71
so much more to tell. But it does not
signify, does it ? And I am so tired,
and my hands are so stiff with holding
the hay-fork and a great wooden rake,
that I cannot write any more now. So
please to give my love, and Fanny's too,
to papa and Ellen. I am, dear mother,
your affectionate son, SIDNEY."
We could add to Sidney's account
about the way in which the grass is
shaken out, and turned, and tossed, and
raked into "wind-rows," or heaped up
at night into cocks," until it is ready
to be carted; we might add something
about stacking and thatching. But
this would take up more room than we
can spare, and it is scarcely of sufficient
consequence to be very particular in
describing these operations. No doubt
our young readers will agree with Sid-
ney Elliot that it is capital fun," at
any rate while it is done "just for play."
THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL TREAT.
F the weather should be fine, it
is to be next Monday," said
little Grace, joyfully running up
to her cousins. "You have heard about,
the Sunday-school treat, have you not ? "
"Oh, yes;" and Fanny remembered
that this event had been talked of
several times during the last few weeks,
as likely to happen when haymaking
was over. Well, haymaking was over;
the hay had been got in and stacked;
and the large meadow, nearest the
farm-house, was to be the scene of fes-
tivity. More than this, one of Uncle
John's barns, which at this time was
empty, was to be furnished with tables
and forms, and decorated with green
74 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
boughs and flowers, for the school chil-
dren's treat of tea and bread-and-butter
Now, I should explain that there was
a Sunday-school at Myddleton; and an-
other at Greenfield, which was two or
three miles distant from Uncle John's
farm; and another at Long Ashby,
which was not much farther off, though
in another direction. And for many
years it had been an annual custom for
the teachers and scholars of these
schools to meet at Myddleton farm, in
order that they might have a pleasant
holiday. Uncle John had established
this custom, for he was a great friend
to Sunday-schools; and you may be
sure that the school children were very
glad of the treaty
There were several days to come be-
fore Monday, however; and, as the
weather was rather unsettled, there
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
were as many fears as hopes respecting
the treat-day. But at length Monday
morning arrived, bright, warm,and cloud-
less, so that the inmates of the farm set
about their preparations in high spirits.
First of all, there was the barn to
decorate; and almost as soon as it was
light, the farmer's men and boys-who
were also to have a holiday on that day
-dispersed themselves through Uncle
John's coppices, to get green boughs;
so that long before noon the inside of
the barn-walls was one mass of foliage,
and looked very pretty indeed. Mrs.
Harris contributed flowers from her
flower-garden; but she also had assis-
tance from the cottagers around, and
more particularly from the minister
of Myddleton church, who had a large
pleasure-garden and greenhouse, and
who entered with all his heart into the
proceedings of the day.
76 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
Then, all the milk of Uncle John's
seven cows was carefully set apart
that morning for the afternoon treat.
Of course, there were several pounds
of butter the less for sending to market
at the end of the week; but this was
only a small contribution, Uncle John,
Towards noon came a baker's cart,
laden with bread and plum-cakes made
for the occasion, and paid for by a
general subscription from the three
parishes; and another cart brought a
supply of groceries and earthenware
from the village shop.
Besides all this, Uncle John was
busy in putting up stout ropes for
swings, fastening them firmly to the
branches of two or three fine old trees
which grew in the meadow; while the
village carpenter was equally busy in
laying planks on tressels the whole
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
length of the barn, in readiness for the
tea-time. As to forms, they were bor-
rowed for the occasion wherever they
could be obtained. It is said that
" many hands make quick work." This
is especially the case when hands and
hearts are alike willing, as they were in
this instance; and so, soon after noon,
everything was ready,
About two o'clock, the school chil-
dren and their teachers began to assem-
ble. First came the Myddleton children.
They had previously met in their school-
room, and then marched in procession
to the large meadow. The Greenfield
school was not long after them; some
of the scholars, the youngest and weak-
est, were accommodated with a large
waggon, in which they were driven in
great state and much rejoicing all the
way to Myddleton farm, while the older
and stronger walked with their teachers.
78 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
The same may be said of the Long
Ashby school; and without entering
into any further particulars, by three
o'clock Uncle John's meadow was gay
and lively with more than two hundred
boys and girls, under the care of their
teachers, and playing merrily at a
variety of games, among which the
swings provided for them were not the
As may be supposed, the young people
of Myddleton farm did not hold proudly
aloof from these poorer children. And
though Fanny and Sidney were, at first,
rather shy among so many strangers,
they soon joined with their cousins in
the afternoon merriment.
It is not necessary for us to describe
all that took place in the meadow before
tea-time. We may as well say, how-
ever, that the school children were well-
behaved, and did not reflect any disgrace
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
on their teachers, or the instructions
given by them from Sunday to Sunday.
At length five o'clock arrived; and
then they all adjourned to the large
barn, where, after being arranged in
due order at the benches, they stood up
and sang the following verse, when it
had been given out by Uncle John:-
"Be present at our table, Lord;
Be here and everywhere adored;
These mercies bless, and grant that we
May feast in Paradise with Thee."
Then followed the tea, which was
already prepared for the large party;
and for the next half-hour not much
was heard besides the rattling of cups
and plates,with sometimes a little hum
Sidney and Fanny were very much
amused with all this, especially with
the eagerness which many of the school
children manifested towards the good
80 UNCLE JOHNS FARM.
provisions on the table. We can hardly
say that any of them were greedy, how-
ever; and if some of them ate a larger
quantity of plum-cake than would per-
haps have agreed with some young
people whose appetites were not so
strong, and more delicate, they may
surely be forgiven, since the Sunday-
school treat came only once a-year.
But in due time all were satisfied;
and then came another part of the treat.
The tables having been cleared, a good-
sized parcel of new books was brought
in and put upon the table. There was
one for every scholar; and the names.
having been previously written in them
by the superintendents of the several
schools, they were distributed with a
word or two of kind advice.
This pleasant occupation of time
being at length brought to a close, the
children were requested to pay attention
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
to a few words which one of the gentle-
men wished to address to them. He
commenced by saying how glad he was
to meet his young friends once more.
He had often met them on former oc-
casions, but there would come a last
time; and as he himself was getting
old, it was possible that this might be
the last time for him. He wished to
bear this in mind in what he had to say,
so that if they never saw him again in
that place and at such a time, they
might not have to think and speak of
him as a foolish old man, who made
silly, tiresome speeches, without any
Then the gentleman went on remind-
ing his hearers of the favourable cir-
cumstances under which they had met
that day. He said that the words of
the Psalmist might truly be used by
them-" The lines have fallen to me
82 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly
heritage." Their goodly heritage, he
told them, was the knowledge of the
true God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ,
as brought to them in the Holy Scrip-
tures, which they were taught to read
in their schools from Sunday to Sun-
day, even if they had not the oppor-
tunity of learning at any other time.
Then the aged speaker spoke a little
of times gone by in the history of their
own country, when not only there were
very few who could read the Bible, or
any other book; but, when it was con-
sidered a crime for anyone to have a
copy of the Scriptures in his house.
These, he said, were times of perse-
cution, which, he thanked God, had
After this, he told of the time when
there were no Sunday-schools, and very
few means of instruction for the chil-
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
dren of the poor and working classes.
But then, he added, the hearts of good
Christian people were stirred up on be-
half of these children; and so it came
to pass, in God's good providence, and
by His blessing on the various efforts
made, that such children as those to
whom he was just speaking, had the
means of instruction given them; were
taught to read the Holy Scriptures,
which are able to make wise unto sal-
vation, through faith which is in Christ
Jesus;" and no families, such as theirs,
were so poor that they might not have
one or more Bibles in their cottages.
Then the speaker reminded his young
auditory that in the life which lay before
them, if health and strength were given,
they would have to work, as their
parents did, and to gain a living by
honest industry. He told them that
this was neither hard nor disgraceful;
84 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
that labour, of one sort or another, was
not only the lot of almost all men and
women, but that it was more honour-
able and more pleasant to be well em-
ployed than to have nothing to do. He
entreated his young friends, therefore,
not to be discouraged by the prospect
before them, butto enter upon life with
a determination to perform well their
share of all its duties. He was glad,
he said, to see that they had played
heartily that afternoon; for he thought
it a good sign when children played
heartily, that they would, by-and-bye,
The gentleman then stopped, for he
had remarked that perhaps they were
tired of listening to him. Several called
out, No, sir, you have hot tired us."
So he went on.
I am glad," he said, that you ate
willing to listen a few minutes more ; I
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. 85
must beg you, dear boys and girls, all
to remember now, and never to forget,
what I feel sure you have often been
told by your teachers, as well as learned
from God's true and holy Word. The
great and holy Lord God is merciful
and full of compassion. In His great
love, He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus
Christ, into the world, to take on Him
our nature, and for us to life, and
labour, and die. And now all who
believe in Him, find pardon, and peace,
and eternal redemption." He then told
the children to give their hearts to Jesus
while they were young, and to live in
His service all their days.
After listening to the address, the
children were very quiet and silent for
a little while, and then ran for half-an-
hour's exercise in the meadow. They
had games at shooting at a target,
swinging, "can't touch me," racing,
86 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
and many other sports ; and after well
enjoying themselves, they prepared to
return to their homes, just as the sun
was about to set.
As to Fanny and Sidney, they were
very much delighted with the proceed-
ings of the day, and were also instructed
by the plain address which they had
heard, and which they could not help
feeling was as suitable to them as to
the children of the Sunday-schools.
HARVEST, HARVEST-SUPPER, AND
HE month of July passed away
at the farm without any par-
ticular incidents. There was a
sort of breathing-time between hay-
making and harvesting; not that there
was not plenty of work to do on the
farm, but there were no crops to get in.
Meanwhile, Miss Arliss had returned;
-and_ Fanny and Sidney, with their
cousins, resumed their,studies during
the day, and in the cool of the evening
enjoyed many pleasant walks,-some-
times by themselves, and sometimes
accompanied by Uncle John. They
had also several rides on their cousin's
pony, which was very quiet and good-
83 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
tempered, so that there was little danger
of their being thrown.
The first day of harvest soon came
for the corn which, on the first arrival
of the young visitors at Uncle John's
farm, was only in its early green blade,
had now come to the full corn in the
ear, and had turned in colour from
beautiful green to a fine rich, yellowish
Fanny and Sidney often went into
the harvest-fields in the evening. It
was almost too hot in the middle of
the day, even though they had not been
otherwise engaged. On one of these
occasions, their uncle showed them, a
fine ear of corn, and reminded them ot
the parable of the Lord Jesus Christ,
about the kingdom of God being like
seed cast into the ground, and spring-
ing up-" first the blade, then the ear,
after that the full corn in the ear."
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
So, he told them, it was when young
people became children of God through
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; first
there appeared the beautiful, but tender
blade, which gave promise of future
fruitfulness and usefulness; but that
young Christians were not to be ex-
pected to have all the experience and
knowledge and strong faith of older
Christians. These would come by-
and-bye, if they kept near to God, as
naturally as the ear of corn arose from
the blade, and as that ear becarrie full
and ripe and fit for harvesting, through
the influence of time and exposure to
the beams of the sun, and the kindly,
though sometimes rough, breezes to
which it was subject. And, once more,
their kind friend spoke to them about
the need they had of Divine grace, so
that the good seed of God's kingdom
might spring up in their souls; and how
90 UNCLB JOHN'S PARM.
that grace might be sought and ob-
tained. He said that they and all were
encouraged by the Divine Saviour him-
self to pray for the Holy Spirit to bless
and sanctify them; and that the promise
was for them-"Ask, and ye shall re-
ceive; seek, and ye shall find."
The harvest at Uncle John's farm
lasted a full month. The corn was
cut with scythes, just as the grass had
been; and not with hooks or sickles,
which their uncle told Sidney was con-
sidered rather an old-fashioned plan in
that part of the country. He himself
preferred having his corn cut with
scythes, because it was done quicker,
and also because it gave more straw-
the scythes working much nearer the
ground than the sickles.
As fast as the corn was cut, it was
bound up in sheaves by women and
children-some boys and girls being
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
very expert at it. Then these sheaves
were stood up in shocks, that is, a
number of sheaves placed together in
rows, leaning against each other. Then
came the carrying and stacking.
.When a field was quite cleared of
the cut corn, women and children were
allowed to go in and glean the stray
ears which had been left behind; and
Fanny was surprised to learn that some
of the poor families around had gleaned,
or leased, as they called it, enough wheat
at some harvest times, to serve them
in flour when ground, and in bread, for
almost a quarter of a year, which must
have been a great help to them.
Last of all, when the corn was cut,
and carried, and stacked, came the har-
vest-supper, which Mr. Harris always
gave to his men in his large kitchen.
There were great preparations. for this.
More than one large joint of meat was
92 UNCLB JOHN'S I*ARM.
roasted, and a great many more than
one plum-pudding and apple-pudding
was boiled, and everything else for a
good supper was provided.
Sidney and Fanny did not sit down
at the table, neither did their cousins,
- but they were permitted to go into the
room and look on while Mr. and Mrs.
Harris were carving for their numerous
guests. And though there was plenty
of good-humoured conversation among
the men, there were no rude jests nor
improper words. The truth is, Uncle
John's men were sober and quiet as well
as industrious; and some of them were,
like their master, humble and devout
Christians, so that even their common
and ordinary intercourse with each other
and their employer was such as becomes
the Gospel of Christ.
The last that the two young visitors
knew or heard of the harvest-supper on
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
that occasion, was the singing of the
following hymn by all who were in the
large kitchen, and which was sung so
heartily as almost to make the walls,
and windows, and rafters ring with the
To praise the ever-bounteous Lord,
My soul, wake all thy powers;
He calls, and at His voice come forth
The smiling harvest-hours. .
Well pleased, our hopeful eyes behold
The waving, yellow crop;
With joy we bear the sheaves away,
And sow again in hope.
Thus teach us, gracious God, to sow
The seeds of righteousness;
Smile on our souls, and with Thy beams
The ripening harvest bless."
The day before the return of Fanny
and her brother to their home, was
spent in Sir Richard Richland's park.
Here they saw the red-deer and noble
stags, basking under the cool shadow
94 UNCLE JOHN'S FARM. ,
of the trees; rows of stately elms and
oaks appeared all around them; and
it was with no small delight they here
enjoyed a pic-nic beneath their shade.
But the time came when they had to
say "good-bye" to their uncle, and
aunt, and cousins. Not to their uncle,
indeed, so soon as the rest; for he had
business in London, and kindly took
charge of them on the journey. It was
rather a sorrowful parting from Rachel
and John and Grace; even little Henry
came in for his share of regrets. But
the parting was enlivened with the hope
of another visit at some not distant day;
and, meanwhile, there was the pleasure
in store of meeting with their dear par-
ents and sister at home.
I am glad to say that the visit to
Uncle John's farm was very benefi-
cial to both Fanny and Sidney, as well
as to their mother. Their health hadl
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
been invigorated, and their knowledge
had been enlarged. They had seen and
heard what they did not wish to forget;
and there was good reason to hope that
some of the lessons they heard from
their uncle's lips were retained, not only
in their memories, but in their hearts.
UNWIN BROTHERS PRINTERS, CHILWORTH AND LONDON
Naks for Uft L 0E n1g
PUBLISHED BY THE
RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY.
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iSooks for thjet young.
NEW STORY BOOKS.
Neatly Printed and Bound, and Illustrated with
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The principal tale is a touching narrative of chil-
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Little Gretchen the Peacemaker.
Describing the happy results in a family through
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The story of an outcast boy, who is brought,
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The Little Acrobat.
A narrative of a German boy who is in the service
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Uncle. Yohn's Farm.
An account of a visit of two London children to
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tj)t religious c ract socittl. 3
FOR THE YOUNG.
Neatly Bound, and well Illustrated.
Is. boards; is. 6d. extra boards, gilt edges.
How Little Bessie kept the Wolf from
Showing the influence of child-piety and the value
of prayer in the case of a family reduced to
By Mrs. GEORGE GLADSTONE.
Two stories, entitled "Watchman Halfdan and
his Little Granddaughter," and "Fisherman
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Lost Cities brought to Light.
By the Author of Steps up the Ladder."
A sketch of the history of Thebes, Memphis,
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By G. E. SARGENT.
The history of a young person, who so gently
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