The Baldwin Library
GRACE AND CLARA.
THE P RATINGG IN THE WOOD
GRACE AND CLARA;
BE JUST AS WELL AS GENEROUS.
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
cfto ntt en
I. AUNT KITTY'S GREETING, .. ... ... ... 7
II. HAZEL GROVE, ... ... ... ... ... 8
III. THE FRIENDS, ... ... ... ... 11
IV. THE YOUNG TEACHER, ... ... ... ... 14
V. CECILLE, ... .. ... ... ... ... 17
VI. THE VISIT, ... .. .. ... ... 22
VII. THE BLIND MAN, ... ... ... ... ... 24
VIII. THE MEETING IN THE WOOD, ... ... ... 26
IX. PREPARATION, ... ... ... ... ... 31
X. A DISAPPOINTMENT, ... ... ... ... 86
XI. PLEASURE AND PAIN, ... ... .. ... 41
XII. THE DISCLOSURE, ... .. ... ... 48
XIII. THE REWARD, ... ... .. ... 53
XIV. THE RETURN, ... .. ... ... ... 56
IT \T -i -
GRACE AND CLARA.
AUNT KITTY'S GREETING.
EARLY a year has passed, my dear young
friends, since first Aunt Kitty met you with
a Merry Christmas or a Happy New-Year."
The snow which then spread a veil over all
things, has long since melted away. The spring
flowers which succeeded it have withered.
The summer and autumn fruits have been
gathered. Again winter has stripped even the
leaves from the trees, and we wake each morning expect-
ing to find that again he has clothed them in robes of
spotless white. And now that the season for holidays
and merriment has returned,-now that your friends
greet you not only with smiling faces and pleasant words,
but with presents, as marks of their affection and appro-
bation, Aunt Kitty, too, comes with her token of remem
Before she presents it, will you permit her to ask you
how you have received those which she has already sent
you ? Have you learned from "Blind Alice" and her
young friend Harriet, that to do right is the only way to
8 HAZEL GROVE.
be happy; and from "Jessie Graham," that it is true
wisdom to speak the simple truth always; and from
"Florence Arnott," that selfishness is a great evil, and
will, if you indulge in it, bring great sufferings on your-
selves and others ? If you have learned these lessons, and
practised them, then am I sure that your Christmas will
be merry, and your New Year happy,-that the good-
humoured tones and ringing laughter of your young
companions will never be changed into wrangling and
fretful cries, or the smiles of your older friends into
grave and disapproving looks. That I think of you,
this little book will prove; and though I may not see you,
I shall probably hear of your improvement and enjoy-
ment, and my holidays will be the pleasanter for them.
These holidays I shall pass in the country, at the house
of my friend Mrs. Wilmot, to whom I have already made
a very long visit. There are residing here six young
girls, the eldest little over twelve, and the youngest under
ten years of age. Already they have learned to regard a
walk with Aunt Kitty as a reward for a well-recited
lesson, and to cluster around her by the evening fire, with
wishful eyes and earnest voices asking for one story more.
At any hint of my going home, their remonstrances and en-
treaties are so vehement, that, I think, when it becomes ab-
iolutely necessary to leave them, I shall have to steal away.
I am about to introduce these little girls to you by
name, to tell you how their time is generally employed,
how their holidays are passed, and thus to make you
quite well acquainted with them.
MRS. WILMOT was left a widow when her two daughters,
Grace and Lucy, were very young-so young that Lucy,
who is now ten years old, does not remember her father
HAZEL GROVE. 9
at all; and Grace, who is twelve, has only a very faint
recollection of a gentleman, who, when he was lying on a
couch in the parlour, used to have her brought to him,
and kiss her, and give her some of the candies which he
always seemed to have near him. Mrs. Wilmot found
herself not very rich on the death of her husband, and as
she was a very highly educated and accomplished woman,
she was advised to keep a school for young ladies. She
did not remove into a city to do this, for her own pleasant
house is near enough to a large town to admit of her
having day scholars from it; and she took no boarders
but four girls, the children of friends who had known her
long, and who were glad to have their daughters under
her care, on any terms. These four girls are about the
age of her own children, and have been educated with
them as sisters. Indeed, as they call her Mamma Wil-
mot," but for their being so much of the same age, a
stranger might suppose them all her own children.
Their names are, Clara Devaux, Martha Williams, and
Kate and Emma Oremsby. These two last-named girls
are twin sisters, and so much alike that it was formerly
frequent sport with them to perplex their young com-
panions by answering to each other's names. This they
can no longer do, as Kate has grown tall and thin, while
Emma is still a fat, chubby little girl. Mrs. Wilmot,
about two years ago, had some property left her, which
would have supported herself and her daughters very
comfortably without the profits of her school, but she had
become so much interested in her young boarders, that
she was not willing to part with them. She gave up,
however, all her day scholars, and then wrote to me
requesting that I would visit her, as she would now, she
said, have only her six little girls to teach, and would
therefore have leisure enough to admit of her enjoying a
friend's society. As soon as possible after I received this
letter, I went to Hazel Grove, the name of Mrs. Wilmot's
place, taking Harriet with me.
We arrived at noon of a bright day in October. We
had already begun to enjoy the glow of a fire in the chill
10 HAZEL GROVE.
mornings and evenings, but at that hour the sun was so
warm that it might almost have cheated us, as well as the
little birds and insects, into believing that summer was
not quite gone.
Hazel Grove is a very pretty place. It fronts a fine
bold river, to whose very edge the lawn, on which the
house stands, slopes gently down. On the opposite side
of the river, the banks are steep and very thickly wooded.
On the left of the house, as we approached, lay a large
orchard, which still looked inviting, with its yellow pears
and its red speckled apples. On the right was a fine old
wood of oak and maple and beech trees, intermingled
with the smaller hazels, from which the place takes its
name. Have you ever, in autumn, when the nights
became cold, watched the trees, as their green first grew
deeper and more vivid, and then was changed from day
to day into every varying shade of colour, from russet
brown to pale yellow-from deep rich crimson to bright
scarlet and flaunting orange ? If you have, you may know
how gaily this wood was looking when first we saw it.
But pleasant as all this was, there was something in
the old stone cottage, with its yard bordered with flowers
and shaded with large black-walnut trees, which pleased
me yet better; and best of all was the view which I
caught of the parlour through the open windows. There
sat Mrs. Wilmot in a rocking-chair, with six little girls
around her, to whom she was reading. These girls were
all busily at work, except one bright-eyed, curly-headed
little thing, seated on a low stool at Mrs. Wilmot's feet,
whom I afterwards found to be her youngest daughter,
Lucy. She, too, had some work in her hand, but she was
so much interested in what she was hearing, that her
needle stood still, while she looked up into her mother's
eyes as if she would read the story in them. I had only
a single minute to see all this, for the noise of letting
down the carriage steps caused Mrs. Wilmot to look out,
and in an instant the book was laid aside, the work
thrown down, and she hastened to meet us, followed by
THE FRIENDS. 11
The rest of this day was a holiday to the children, and
while Mrs. Wilmot and I sat talking over old friends and
old times, they led Harriet to their gardens and their
baby-houses, their swing and the play-ground, where
they were accustomed to trundle their hoops and jump
the rope,-showed her the calf, Martha's pet lamb, Kate's
and Emma's rabbits, Clara's dove, Lucy's kitten, and
Grace's puppy, which were each the most beautiful of
their kind that had ever been seen. The next morning I
was introduced to all these beauties, and quite won the
hearts of their owners by my evident admiration of them.
When my visits were over, Mrs. Wilmot called her little
girls to their lessons, in which Harriet, at her own re-
quest, joined them. Mrs. Wilmot had a good library,
and while she and the girls were engaged with their
studies in the morning, I was generally there reading or
writing. At dinner we met again, and the afternoon was
passed together in some entertaining and pleasant way at
home, or in driving, walking, or visiting some of the
agreeable people with whom Mrs. Wilmot was acquainted
in the town.
AMONGST the children at Hazel Grove there were, as you
may suppose, varieties of disposition and character; and
though they seemed all to feel kindly and affectionately
to one another, each of them had some chosen companion,
to whom their plans were confided, and with whom all
their pleasures were shared. Kate and Emma, the twins,
were almost inseparable; Lucy Wilmot and Martha
Williams walked together, assisted each other in their
gardens, and nursed each other's pets; while Clara De-
vaux and Grace Wilmot read from the same book, pur-
sued the same studies, and sought the same amusements.
Yet there could scarce have been two persons less alike
12 THE FRIENDS.
than Clara Devaux and Grace Wilmot. Clara was gay
and spirited, generous and thoughtless. A quick temper
often made her say unkind words, which an affectionate
heart made her feel, in a short time, far more painfully
than the person to whom they were addressed. Grace
was, on the contrary, of a grave, serious nature, and
seemed always to take time to think before she acted.
She, too, possessed a very affectionate heart, and the least
appearance of coolness or anger from one she loved would
distress her much; but she had scarcely ever been known
to speak or even to look angrily. In one thing, however,
these girls were alike,-they were both remarkable for
their truth. I do not mean only that they would not tell
a story, for this I hope few little girls would do, but they
would not in any way deceive another; and if they had
done wrong, they did not wait to be questioned, but
would frankly tell of themselves. Mrs. Wilmot, in
speaking to me of their attachment, said she was pleased
at it, for she thought they had been of use to each other;
that Clara had sometimes stimulated Grace to do right
things, which, without her persuasions, she would have
been too timid to attempt; and that Grace had often pre-
vented Clara from doing wrong things, into which her
heedlessness would have led her but for her friend's
Not far from Mrs. Wilmot's lived a man who was
feeble in health, and somewhat indolent in his habits.
He had three little daughters, the eldest of whom was
little more than four years old when their mother died.
She was an active, industrious woman, and had always
taken good care of them; but as their father was far from
rich, they fared hardly after her death, and were often
sadly neglected. They could not go to any school except
Sunday-school, because their father could not afford to
pay anything for their education; and at Sunday-school
they were seldom seen, because there was no one to take
care that their clothes were mended and washed in time.
"Poor children," said Grace one day, when she and
Clara had passed them in walking, "how sorry I am for
THE FRIENDS. 13
them They have no kind mother to take care of them
and teach them, as I have."
"No, but they might go to Sunday-school, if they
would," said Clara; and they could learn a great deal
"Yes, Clara, but are you sure that we should ever
have gone to Sunday-school, if we had had no one to see
that we were ready, and send us there ?"
No," said Clara, I do not think we should."
The girls walked silently on for a few minutes, when
Clara said, "Grace, suppose we teach these poor little
"We teach them, Clara-what an idea !" exclaimed
And why not ? I am sure we can teach them to read,
and to say hymns, and verses from the Bible; and we
shall be learning something more and more every day to
teach them, as they grow older. Come, let us turn back
and ask them if they will come to school to us."
Clara was already retracing her steps, but Grace put
her hand on her arm and stopped her. Stay, Clara ;-
it seems very good, and I am sure I should like to teach
them if I could, but let us ask mamma about it first; and if
she thinks it right, she will show us the best way to do it."
Clara readily agreed to this proposal. When they
returned home, Mrs. Wilmot was consulted. She highly
approved the plan, and promised to aid them in its exe-
cution, provided the time which they gave to their little
pupils was taken, not from their studies or work, but
from their amusements. For many months before my
visit, Clara and Grace had commenced their school, devot-
ing one hour each day to their motherless children.
There was something very touching to me in seeing these
young teachers' patient and persevering efforts to instruct
their charge. Especially did it please me to see the gay,
pleasure-loving Clara, lay aside her bonnet when ready
for a walk or ride, put up her battledoor, or jump from
the just-entered-swing, when she saw the little girls
approaching. I said something of this kind one day to
14 THE YOUNG TEACHER.
Mrs. Wilmot; and Clara, who was nearer than I thought,
overheard me. She coloured, looked quickly at me, as if
she would speak, and then, her courage failing, looked
What would you say, Clara ?" asked Mrs. Wilmot.
"That if it had not been for Grace, ma'am, I should
have often put off teaching them, and maybe should have
given it up altogether before this."
And how has Grace prevented you, my dear ?"
"Why, the first time I wanted to put off the lesson
was once that Mr. Gilbert called to give me a drive in
his new carriage, just as the children came. But when I
said, 'Let us put them off,' Grace looked very sorry, and
said, I must remember how much trouble we had in
getting them to come to us ; and now, if we put them off
for a drive, they would think we did not care much for
the lessons, and would perhaps not come again. Grace
seemed so serious and earnest, that I was ashamed of
having even thought of putting them off; and so I have
never said anything about it since, though I have been
very tired sometimes."
Grace entered while Clara was speaking, and now said,
"Ah, Clara but we would never have begun to teach
them if it had not been for you."
My young readers may understand from this sketch
what Mrs. Wilmot meant by saying that Clara stimulated
Grace to do right things, and Grace prevented Clara from
doing wrong ones.
THE YOUNG TEACHER.
THE first Saturday after my arrival at Hazel Grove, I
found, after breakfast, that Clara, instead of getting her
books, as usual, produced some coloured silks and a frame
for embroidery, in which was an apron with a border of
beautifully shaded white, pink, and crimson rosebuds,
THE YOUNG TEACHER. 15
just commenced. At the same time, Grace brought out
her paints and brushes, and an- unfinished flower-piece,
which showed both great taste in its design and great
care in its execution. These things were laid on the
table, and then these two girls seemed to have nothing to
do but to watch for the arrival of some one whom they
evidently expected with impatience. At length Clara
cried out,-" I see her, Grace,-there she is !"
I looked and saw, still at a distance from the house,
the figure of a girl apparently not older than those who
were so anxiously expecting her. She carried a portfolio
under her arm, and walked with a quick, buoyant step,
which showed that she was both well and cheerful.
Who is that ?" said I to Grace.
"Cecille L'Estrange, ma'am," she replied.
And is she coming to take lessons with you ?"
"No, ma'am," she said, smiling; she is coming to
"To teach you !" I exclaimed, with great surprise;
"why, she is a child like yourselves. What can she teach
Oh a great deal more than we have time to learn,"
said Clara, while Grace added,-
She is two years older than Clara and I,-she is thir-
I had no time to ask further questions, for Cecille was
at the door. She entered smiling, and said, "Ah you
wait for me-but I am punctual, it is just the time,"
pointing to a clock on the mantel-piece, which said exactly
nine o'clock. As she spoke, her eye turning to that part
of the room where I was sitting, she coloured, and looked
down. Grace, who always seemed thoughtful of the
comfort of others, saw this little embarrassment, and
introduced her to me.
Either this introduction, or something in my manner
to her, set her quite at her ease ; and when I asked if I
should be in their way, it was with a very sweet, en-
gaging smile, that she replied, Oh no, indeed I should
very much like to have you stay, if you please."
16 THE YOUNG TEACHER.
Before I say anything more of Cecille L'Estrange, it
will, perhaps, be best to tell my young readers that she
was a French girl, and therefore, though she understood
English perfectly well, and spoke it better than most
foreigners do, she sometimes expressed herself in a differ-
ent manner from what an English person would have
done: and when she was very much excited from any
cause, either pleasant or painful, she would bring in a
French word here and there, without seeming to notice
or even to know it herself. These words, however, I will
always translate into English for you.
I had nothing to do for some time but to watch m3
companions as they sat busily engaged, and their silence,
only broken now and then by a direction from theit
young instructress. Seldom have I seen any one who
interested me more than this young instructress. Now
that I saw her more nearly, I still thought that she did
not look older than Clara or Grace ; indeed, she was
smaller than either of them. Her features, too, were
small ; and though, when quite still, there was an earnest,
grave expression in her face, when she spoke or smiled
it was lighted up with such animation and gaiety that
she seemed like a playful child. I watched her very
earnestly ; for there was something about her which made
me think, that young as she was, and cheerful as she now
appeared, she had felt sorrow and trial. At one time, in
moving some things which stood on the table out of
Clara's way, she took up a small bronze figure of Napol-
eon Bonaparte. She did not put this down immediately,
but continued to hold it and look at it, till her counte-
nance grew very sad, and she sighed heavily. Just then,
Grace having put the finishing touch to a splendid rose,
placed the piece before her eyes without speaking. In an
instant all sadness was gone from her face, and clapping
her hands together, she exclaimed in French, "What a
beautiful flower !" then, laughing at her own forgetful-
ness, added in English, "It is beautiful! is it not,
madam ?" showing it to me as she spoke.
It was beautiful, and I praised it as it deserved.
A few minutes after this, Cecille, glancing at the clock,
started up, exclaiming, "I must go, it is after eleven !"
"Wait five minutes," said Clara, "and just show me
how to put in that last shade, and I will soon finish this
Cecille looked distressed, turned her eyes from the
work to the clock, took the needle from Clara's fingers,
and then dropping it, said, I will come back this after-
noon and show you, but you must let me go now. I
told my grandmamma that I would come back to her at
half-past eleven. I shall just have time now to get home
before that; and if I stay longer she will be frightened
She took up her portfolio, courtesied to me, bade the
girls good-bye, again assuring Clara that she would come
back, and in less than two minutes was out of sight.
"I am sorry," said Clara, as she was putting up her
work, that I asked her to show me any more to-day, for
now she will take that long, tiresome walk back again."
Besides, Clara," said Grace, you know she is always
at work when she is at home, and she will lose so much
time coming twice to-day."
"Well, I am sure, Grace," said Clara, reddening at
what seemed to her a reproach, "I did not ask her to
come again, and I can do no more than be sorry for it now."
"Yes, we can do something more," said Grace; "we
can walk over after dinner and tell her not to come."
"So we can, and so we will," said Clara, relieved at
once by seeing that she could do something to remedy
WHEN Mrs. Wilmot joined us I told her how much I
had been interested by the young Cecille, and begged her
to tell me all she knew of her.
"That I will readily do," Mrs. Wilmot replied, "but
the all is not much. She has been but a short time near
us ; for it was only late in the last winter, when the roads
were full of snow and ice, that a stage full of passengers
from B- was upset, not far from us. None were hurt
but an old lady, who had her arm broken. It was quite
impossible for her to continue her journey; yet she seemed,
I was afterwards told, very much distressed at being
compelled to remain. The pain occasioned by her re-
moval from the road to a neighboring house caused her
to faint ; and before she recovered her consciousness the
surgeon had been called, and everything was in readiness
for setting the arm. A little girl, who had been travel-
ling with her, stood weeping beside her, addressing her
in French in the most plaintive and tender tones, and
by the endearing title of 'mamma.' As the poor lady
revived she spoke to the child in the most rapid and
energetic manner, while she repulsed the proffered assist-
ance of the surgeon. She spoke in French, which no one
present understood; but it was evident from her manner
that she was insisting on something which the poor child
was vehemently, yet respectfully and tenderly, opposing.
At length the surgeon said, 'Your mamma is wrong, my
dear, to leave her arm so long unattended to. It is
already swelling, and every minute's delay will make the
operation more painful.' As he ceased speaking the old
lady turned to the child and said something with great
energy. The little girl now, in a very hesitating and
embarrassed manner, explained that the lady, whom, when
speaking in English, she called grandmammaa,' did not
want anything done to her arm. 'She will die, then,'
said the blunt but honest and kind-hearted Dr. Willis.
The little girl wrung her hands in agony, and a groan
for the first time burst from the lips of the old lady,
showing that though she either could not or would not
speak English, yet she understood it well. A sentence
addressed to her by the child, in the most imploring
tone, caused the tears to spring to her eyes. As Cecille,
-for she was a child,-spoke to her grandmother, she
had drawn out a very small embroidered purse. This
action revealed to Dr. Willis the secret of the old lady's
repugnance to have anything done to her arm. She was
afraid of incurring the expense of a surgical operation.
The very bluntest people become gentle when their
kindly feelings are excited, and I have no doubt it was
with great tenderness that Dr. Willis addressed himself
to Madame L'Estrange, in his endeavours to induce her
to accept of assistance which, although necessary to her
life, she would have rejected from the fear that she could
not pay for it. How he managed it I know not, but he
did at length win her consent, to the almost frantic joy
"A fractured limb is, you know, a very serious thing
with an old person, and it was many weeks before Madame
L'Estrange recovered from the fever occasioned by hers.
Dr. Willis saw that she was often painfully anxious on
some subject, and remembering the little purse, he was
not long at a loss to conjecture the cause. Yet it was a
subject on which he knew not how to speak. It was no
easy matter, you know, to say to a lady, 'I see that you
are very poor, and I would like to help you.'
"One morning the doctor found Cecille weeping bit-
terly. With some soothing and some questioning he
gained her confidence, and found that the week's board,
paid that morning, had nearly emptied the little purse-
that her grandmother felt that they could not continue to
live on the poor widow to whose house she had been
carried, and where they had since remained, without the
means of paying her, yet they knew not where or how to
go. 'And what did you mean to do if you had not been
stopped here? Your money would not have supported
you longer in any other place,' said Dr. Willis. 'O sir!
if we could only have got to some large city, grand-
mamma says I could soon have made money enough for
her and myself too.' 'You make money !' repeated the
doctor, with great surprise, looking at the delicate figure
and soft white hands of the child. 'What could you do?'
'I can do a great many things. I can embroider on muslin
and silk-1 can make pretty fancy boxes-I can paint-
and grandmamma thinks, with some practice, I could
take miniatures.' The doctor listened to this list of
Cecille's accomplishments and shook his head dejectedly.
Had Cecille said she could scrub and she could wash, he
could have seen how money could be made by her, but
these fine lady-works he had been accustomed to think
only so many ways of wasting time. Fortunately for our
little Cecille, all persons did not consider them so unprofit-
able. The doctor called at our house after visiting
Madame L'Estrange, and with his own mind full of
Cecille's sorrows, he repeated to me, in the presence of my
children, what he had just heard. Clara scarcely allowed
him to finish before she expressed a determination to have
a muslin cape and a silk apron embroidered, a fancy box
made, a picture painted, and a miniature either of Grace
or herself taken. I begged, however, that before giving
her orders she would calculate her means of paying for
them. These means amounted to a small sum each
month, which her father had permitted her to spend as
she pleased from the day she became ten years old.
Clara soon found that it would be long before this would
remunerate Cecille for half the employment she was
arranging for her. She looked at me in despair, and
seemed half provoked when I smiled at her perplexity.
'Then I cannot help her,' she exclaimed sorrowfully.
'Stay, stay, my dear,' said I, 'do not be so hasty in your
conclusions. You may help her very much, though you
cannot do everything for her. How would you like to
take lessons of Cecille, and learn to do these things for
yourself, instead of having them done for you ?' Oh,
I should like it above all things; but will papa let me,
do you think 'I have no doubt that your papa will
not only let you, but be very much pleased if you choose
to devote a part of your pocket-money to your own im-
provement. The monthly allowance from your father
will pay Cecille a fair price for so much of her time as
will enable her to teach you some one of her accomplish-
ments, and will leave you something for other pleasures
too.' Clara was delighted with my proposal. I per-
mitted Grace to join her in her lessons; and for the
quarterly payment from each of them, Cecille spends two
hours in their instruction, on every Wednesday and Satur-
day morning. But this is not all she does. She works
very industriously at home; and when her work is com-
pleted she brings the article to me, and I forward it to a
friend of mine in the city, who has hitherto been able to
dispose of whatever she has done to great advantage. In
this way this little girl has for some months supported
not only herself but her feeble and aged grandmother."
"Poor things," said I, "if this is all their support, I
fear they must often want."
"Indeed I think you are mistaken. Their clothing is
always neat, and they appear to live comfortably."
"Then," said I, "they must have some assistance from
others; for, according to your own account, the sum which
Cecille receives from her pupils would amount to very
little in a year. She must gain as much more from other
work to be able to pay even the most moderate board for
two persons; and then what becomes of their other
Ah! our Cecille, or rather her grandmother, is a better
manager than you would be of her little funds," said Mrs.
Wilmot, smiling. They do not board, but hire from
the Widow Daly two rooms in her cottage. For these
they pay only half of what Cecille receives from Clara and
Grace. They keep no servant, but for a trifle obtain
each day, from one of Mrs. Daly's daughters, an hour's
assistance in putting everything around them into neat
order. How they live, I know not; but I am sure Cecille
could not be so cheerful as she is, if her grandmother
suffered any serious want. Of one thing I am sure-they
do not run into debt for anything; for Cecille, with
many blushes and great timidity, begged her young
pupils here to pay her by the month, as her grandmother
had engaged to pay her rent in that way, and would be
very much distressed if she were obliged to be in debt,
even for a single day."
22 THE VISIT.
IF my readers have been only half as much interested in
Mrs. Wilmot's account of Cecille as I was, they will not
have thought it too long. Before it was concluded I had
determined to become better acquainted with Cecille
L'Estrange; and when, immediately after an early one-
o'clock dinner, Clara and Grace put on their bonnets,
knowing that they were going to see her, I asked to walk
with them. They were very glad to have my company,
but asked if I would go with them through the wood and
across the fields,-there were only two fences to climb;
and if they went by the road, they were afraid Cecille
would have set out before they could get to her house.
This suited me well; for I had always rather go through
a wood and across fields than by a dusty road; so we
were soon on the way. We walked on very quickly, not
even stopping to pick the flowers which we saw, though
we carefully marked their places, that we might get
them as we came back. The second field we crossed
opened upon Mrs. Daly's orchard, from which we passed
through the yard, and would have entered the house by
the back door, had not Mrs. Daly met us and begged
that we would go round to the front. "Not that I care
about it, ma'am," said she to me in an apologizing man-
ner; front or back, it's all the same ,to me; but the
good old lady in there "-pointing -to the room near which
we stood-" she's a clever body, but she has some queer
notions. I think she's been a lady born, and she don't
like somehow that people should see them work; so she
wants everybody to go to the front door, and in the par-
lour, where they only do some of their light works; and
as I said before, it's all the same to widow Daly; so if
you please, ma'am, I'll show you the way round."
While Mrs. Daly was speaking, I had caught a view
through the half open shutter of the inside of the room
THE VISIT. 23
to which she had pointed. An old lady, dressed in a silk
wrapper, which even at that distance looked old and
faded, was seated in one of Mrs. Daly's high-backed,
straw-bottomed chairs, near a small table on which was
spread a clean white towel. A plate with a slice of bread
was before her. At the fireplace stood a young girl,
stooping over a furnace of coal, on which was a small
pan. Though she had changed her dress and covered her
head with a handkerchief, probably to keep her hair
free from ashes or soot, I had no difficulty in recognizing
Cecille. She held a spoon in her hand, and occasionally
used it to turn or stir what was in the pan. I was so
much interested in observing her movements, that I said
to Mrs. Daly that I would let Clara and Grace go to the
front door, and speak to Cecille, and I would await them
where I then was. The children and Mrs. Daly had just
left me, when I saw Cecille's glowing and pleased face
turned towards her grandmother, while by the motion of
her hand she seemed to ask for her plate. The old lady
held it out: the pan was taken from the fire, and what
seemed to me an omelet was laid on the plate. This, you
know, is made of eggs, and it requires some skill in
cookery to make it well. I judged from Cecille's looks
that she thought this was well done. She was evidently
more pleased with her success, more vain of her powers
in cooking, than in painting and embroidery. From her
grandmother's pleased countenance, I was sure she was
praising the omelet and its maker. After a little while,
however, the old lady looked a little sad. She kissed
Cecille's cheek as she was bending over her, and taking
the handkerchief from her head, smoothed the hair back
from her forehead. Then she offered Cecille her plate,
and seemed to urge her to take some of her own cookery;
but, with a smile and shake of the head, Cecille turned to
a cupboard, and taking from it a bowl of milk and
another plate of bread, placed them on the table. She
was just seating herself by her grandmother, when Mrs.
Daly opened the door. After some words from her,
Cecille rose and left the room, and but a few minutes
24 THE BLIND MAN.
passed before I was again joined by my young com-
panions. We walked more leisurely home again, and did
not now leave the flowers unplucked.
THE BLIND MAN.
As we were sitting, one afternoon during the following
week, near the parlour windows, the girls and myself at
work, while Mrs. Wilmot read for us, we heard the gate
open, and looking up saw an old man, whose clothes
seemed to have been long worn, and whose white hairs
were covered with a ragged straw hat, approaching the
house. A little boy was with him; and as he came near,
we saw that the little boy was leading him, by which we
knew that the poor old man was blind. He seated him-
self on the step of the house, and taking a bag, which
was slung over his shoulder, drew a violin from it, and
began to play. The children wished to go out and speak
with him; and as Mrs. Wilmot did not object, they were
soon gathered round him. I followed them. They
listened for a while without speaking. Then Lucy Wil-
mot, the youngest of the group, pressed up to his side,
saying, Cannot you see at all, sir ? "
No, my little miss. But though I cannot see you, I
can hear your pleasant voice, and I know that you are
sorry for the old blind man, and feel kindly to him; and
I am sure that when you know he has had nothing to eat
to-day, though he has come a great way, you will give
In an instant all were in motion, and Mrs. Wilmot was
soon busy preparing a plate of victuals, with a dozen
little hands waiting to carry it to the old may. when pre-
pared. After they had given it to him, the girls came
back into the house till the first note of his violin told
them that he had dined, when again they flocked around
THE BLIND MAN. 25
him. Most people, and especially most old people, like
to tell their sorrows. The old man was quite ready to
answer their questions, and they soon learned his little
story. It was a very sad one. He had removed some
years before with his son's family to a newly settled estate.
The land on which they had made their home proved
very unhealthy. His son and son's wife were both in their
graves. He had been very ill himself, and had only re-
covered with the entire loss of sight, and with a constitu-
tion so broken that he felt he had not long to live.
" And glad shall I be," he said, to lay this weary, sight-
less body, down in the grave, to which so many I love
have gone before me; but first I would take this poor
orphan boy to those who will take care of him."
The tired travellers had yet fifty miles to go before
they could reach the home of the old man's only remain-
ing child, a daughter, who, though she had children of
her own, would take care of the boy, he said, for the love
of him and of her dead brother. Poor little boy! how
sad and weary he looked, and how bitterly he wept when
the old man talked of his father and mother!
My little readers will easily believe that this sad story
excited great pity, and they will not be surprised to hear
that on Clara Devaux proposing that they should give
the old man something, each little girl brought her six-
pence or her shilling and threw it into a bag which Clara
herself held. As the proposal had been hers, I was very
desirous to see what she would give; but this I could not
do, as she quietly put her hand into the bag. I ascer-
tained afterwards, however, that she must have given
nearly four shillings as her contribution to the poor
Some of Grace Wilmot's movements on this occasion
excited my surprise and curiosity very much. As soon
as Clara's proposal was made, she ran into the parlour,
took from her work-basket a pocket-book, and taking out
all the money it contained, counted it carefully on the
table before her. I could see that there were two half
crowns and two shillings. Grace took one of the half
26 THE MEETING IN THE WOOD.
crowns, and putting the rest of the money away, turned
towards the door; but before she had reached it, she
seemed suddenly to have changed her mind, and going
back, returned the half crown and took in its place one
of the shillings. As there was no one in the parlour but
herself, Grace did not suppose she was seen, till, raising
her head, she caught my eye, as I stood at the window,
looking fixedly at her. She coloured very much, and
running hastily to Clara, dropped her shilling into the
Now you will say that this was a great deal for a young
girl like Grace to give. So it was, and few little girls
would have given so much. But I had seen that Grace
had more money, and that she had thought of giving more
and then had withdrawn it; and I could not help asking
myself over and over again what could have been her
reason for doing so,-whether she had kept it back for
some more important purpose, or whether it bad been
only for some selfish gratification. On the answer to this
question my opinion of Grace Wilmot would, I felt, greatly
depend. Though I had to wait many weeks for an answer,
you will learn, when you have read this little book, that
I received an answer, and what that answer was.
THE MEETING IN THE WOOD.
ABOUT a fortnight after my first arrival at Hazel Grove
we had several days of mild, pleasant weather, although
it was the month of November, and although the frosty
nights and cold winds before had told that winter was
come. Such weather frequently occurs at this time in
America, where it is called the Indian Summer. Summer,
indeed, it there seems to be; as if stern old Winter had
loosed his icy grasp, and the glad earth were once more
looking gay and happy in the smile of the summer sun.
THE MEETING IN THE WOOD. 27
There one loves better to be in the open air at this season
than at any other; and one plays more merrily when out,
and goes home more reluctantly. The air is pure and
balmy, and the beams of the sun are of a deep and rich
yellow hue. Although such weather is rarely seen in
England at this season, yet occasionally we enjoy a few
days of bright, cheerful sunshine, like the Indian Summer
in America. We have, however, many other enjoyments
to make up for the want of this, and I would have my
young friends to observe all the beautiful and pleasant
things with which God has surrounded them; for if they
do not, they will fail to give him, in return, the tribute
of loving and grateful hearts which is due to him.
It was on one of these bright, pure, golden days, like
the Indian Summer, that I seated myself as usual after
breakfast in Mrs. Wilmot's library; but I tried in vain
either to read or write. Do what I would, my eyes would
turn to the windows, and instead of the words on the
page before me, I saw the leaves on the trees, the white
clouds sailing over the bright blue sky, and the little birds
hopping from branch to branch. If I had had lessons to
learn that day, I know not what I should have done; but
I had no lessons to learn, so I threw my book aside, put
on my shawl and bonnet, and was soon walking in that
beautiful wood whose appearance on my first arrival I
have described to you. Delightful indeed was my walk
-full of pleasant sights and sounds-and often did I wish
for some of my young friends to partake of my enjoy-
ments, as I saw a shower of bright-coloured leaves whir-
ling about in the air whenever the wind stirred the
branches of the trees, or a shy rabbit spring away to a
safer hiding-place, or a startled squirrel dart to the top-
most bough which overhung my path, as the dry leaves
rustled under my feet. So I wandered on, observing all
these things, but meeting no one till I had nearly passed
the wood. Then I heard a low, gentle voice, singing. I
listened, approaching as softly as possible. Soon I could
hear the words, and found that they were French. It
was a hymn describing the beauties of nature, and ex-
28 THE MEETING IN THE WOOD.
pressing the devotion of a grateful, loving heart, to Him
who made it so beautiful. I afterwards procured the
words of this hymn from Cecille, and have tried to trans-
late them into English verse for you. Here is my transla-
Thine, Father, is yon sky so bright,
And thine the sun whose golden light
Is shed alike on brook and sea,
On lowly flower and lofty tree:
So thou in equal love hast smiled
On seraph high and humble child.
No sea on which the sun doth look
Gleams brighter than yon little brook:
The loftiest tree, the lowliest flower,
Alike rejoice to feel his power:
And thou, while seraphs hymn thy praise,
Dost bend to hear my simple lays.
When I was quite near Cecille my steps caused her to
look around. She did not seem at all startled or surprised
at seeing me, but with a pleasant smile held out her hand
to me as I bade her good morning.
"I see, Cecille," said I, that this lovely weather makes
you an idler as well as me."
Not quite an idler, ma'am," she replied, showing me
a drawing she had made, while sitting there, of the Widow
Daly's cottage and orchard.
"For what is that pretty drawing intended, Cecille?"
I hardly know yet, ma'am. The sun looked so bright
and warm, that grandmamma knew I longed to be in it,
so she made me put away my embroidery and come out,
and this was the only thing I could do out here."
After looking at it a moment in silence, she added,
"Do you not think it would make a pretty painting for
the top of a work-box?"
"Yes, very pretty; but are you never idle, Cecille?"
"Not often, ma'am," said she, modestly.
"And do you not get weary of being always at work?"
THE MEETING IN THE WOOD. 29
"Weary of working for grandmamma-dear, good
grandmamma!" she exclaimed, with energy. "Oh no,
never!" A minute after, speaking more quietly, she
said,-" Perhaps I should get tired, but when the work
seems dull and hard, I always remember what Mr. Logan
told me to do."
"And what was that, Cecille ?'
"He said that at such times I must think of something
that grandmamma wanted very much, and say to myself,
'This will help me to buy it, when it is done;' and he was
sure I would not then get tired, or want to put my work
"Mr. Logan was a very wise man. Where did you
"In N- a little village that we went to when we
first came over from France, when my dear papa was with
us. He lived there with us for four years before he went
back to France. My own dear papa, how I wish I could
"You remember your father, then?" said I.
"Remember him!" she repeated; "why, it is only two
years since he left us to go back to France."
"And what caused him to leave you, Cecille ?" said I-
and then, in an instant, feeling that my interest in Cecille
had made me ask a question which it might be wrong in
her to answer, I added, "Do not answer me, my child, if
it was anything which you think your father would not
wish you to tell."
"Oh no," said Cecille, smiling; "it was only because
some friends wrote to him to say, that if he would come
to France they thought they could get the king to give
him back an estate that had been unjustly taken from
"And, should he get it, would you go back again to
"Yes! for papa and grandmamma love France so well,
that they will never, I think, be quite happy anywhere
else. My mamma is buried there, too, on that same
30 THE MEETING IN THE WOOD.
"Do you remember her, Cecille?"
"No,-she died when I was a very little baby; and my
grandmamma took care of me just as if she had been my
own mamma. Papa told me all about it the night before
he went away from us, and then he divided all the money
that was left of what he had brought from France into
two parcels, and he made me count what he took, and
showed me that it was just enough to pay for his going
back; and he told me how much was in the other parcel,
that he was to leave with grandmamma. It seemed a
great deal to me then, but papa said it was very little,
and that it could not last long. Then he told me that he
had taught me all he could himself, and had others teach
me what he could not, in order that I might be able to
work for grandmamma and myself, and I must do it when
that money was gone, if I hoped for his blessing."
"And what made you leave N- ?l"
"Because it was such a little village that I could hardly
get any work there. Mr. Logan advised us to leave it,
and we set out at last; but the stage broke down with us
here, and if it was not that poor grandmamma had
suffered so much, I should be glad it did."
"You like your home here, then?"
Oh, yes! dear Dr. Willis and Mrs. Wilmot are so kind
to us. And then it is so very pleasant to teach Clara and
Grace, and every month to carry some money home to
"Then you carry to her whatever is paid to you?"
"Yes; and after she has taken out what will pay Mrs.
Daly our rent, and anything else we happen to owe, she
gives me back the rest to do what I please with. I long
for this month to be gone, that I may get my money, for
I have something very good to do with it this month."
She looked up so pleasantly in my face, that I said,
"Will you not tell me what it is, Cecille?"
Yes, if you will not tell; for I want to surprise grand-
mamma. I am going to get her some flannel. I have
found out already how much it will cost, and I will have
plenty of money, with a little that I laid by from the last
month, to get it. Then I will get some one to show me
how to cut it out, and it shall be all made before grand-
mamma sees it. Do you not think she will be pleased?"
Very much pleased, I doubt not," I replied; and you
must let me cut it for you, and assist you in making it."
Will you do that? That will be very kind."
We were both silent a little while, when Cecille, sud-
denly looking up, asked, "Do you not speak French?"
"Yes," I replied.
Then you must come and see my grandmamma. Will
Certainly-with pleasure; but does she not speak
A little, but it is not easy to her-and so I do not ask
people to see her who cannot understand her French."
"Shall I go with you now?" I asked.
Cecille looked up to the sun and down again, without
speaking. I saw she was a little embarrassed, and said,
"You would rather I should not go to-day."
Yes; for it is near grandmamma's dinner-time, and I
must go to gett it for her," she added, rising.
I rose too, and taking her hand, said, Well, good-bye,
Cecille; remember we are not strangers any longer."
"No, no," she said, warmly, "friends-good friends
now." She held up her face to be kissed, picked up her
pencil and drawing, and hastened away. Before she had
gone far I could again hear her carolling cheerfully,
"Thine, Father, is yon sky so bright."
AFTER this pleasant meeting, Cecille and I, as you may
suppose, were very friendly. I visited her grandmother,
as I had promised, and found her a very agreeable and
excellent old lady. I often made my visits to her when
Cecille was obliged to be away, and then she loved to sit
and talk to me of her. I told her that Cecille said she
had taken care of her when she was an infant, and had
been to her as her own mamma. She replied to this, that
she had tried to do her duty by her, and that she had
been repaid tenfold for whatever she had done, by Cecille's
tenderness and respect.
Ah, ma'am," she would say, "you do not know what
it is to suffer want. We often did this, and I would have
been sad indeed, if my little girl's cheerfulness had not
made me ashamed. I could then speak little English, and
Mr. Logan, who was our only friend after my son left us,
could speak no French; so that all my comfort came
through Cecille. One day, just before we left our last
home, she came running to me, full of gladness, exclaim-
ing, 'Oh grandmamma, I have good news for you.' I
thought at first that my son had come back, or at least
there was a letter from him; but it was that Cecille, in
reading her Bible, had just met with a verse saying, that
'the young ravens may lack and suffer hunger, but they
that fear the Lord shall not want any good thing.' 'And
now, grandmamma,' she said, 'I am sure you will have
whatever is good for you, for you fear the Lord.' I had
often read the same verse in my Bible, but I never felt it
to be so full of comfort as I did then; and if ever I live
to see my son's face again, and to go back to the home I
love in France, I shall feel that I owe it to that dear
child, for whom I thank God every day."
Madame L'Estrange always spoke in French, but I
have translated what she said, that my readers may learn
from Cecille's example that the youngest child may do
good to the oldest and wisest. I would have them re-
mark, too, how much wiser it is to cultivate cheerful feel-
ings than to be fretful and dissatisfied. Do you not sup-
pose that Cecille, though poor and alone in a strange
country with her feeble old grandmother, was happier
with her cheerful temper and her trust in the goodness of
her kind heavenly Father, than those children who fret
at being awaked in the morning, though they are sur-
rounded with every comfort and have the kindest people
to attend upon them,-who sit down with dissatisfied
faces to a breakfast-table covered with good things, be-
cause they fancy something which is not there, and who
thus go through the whole day complaining of what they
have, and wishing for what they cannot get?
But, interested as I was in Cecille, you must not sup-
pose that my whole attention was given to her, or that I
failed to make friends of Clara and Grace and the rest of
Mrs. Wilmot's children.
November seemed to be quite a busy month with these
young girls, and I was told by Mrs. Wilmot that they
were preparing for an examination, which would take
place early in December, when their friends came to take
them home for the Christmas holidays. This explained
to me their unusual attention to their studies; but I saw
there was something more on their minds, of which Mrs.
Wilmot knew nothing. Instead of sitting, when they
were at work, with their kind Mamma Wilmot and my-
self, as they had formerly loved to do, they now asked to
sit together in the school-room; and if, while they were
there, either of us entered unexpectedly, they would
shuffle away their work, as if they did not wish it seen.
Harriet was with them at these times, but though I could
not help feeling a little curious about their movements,
I would not ask her any questions, because I was sure, if
not bound to secrecy, she would tell me without question-
ing. I was not kept many days in ignorance. Mrs. Wil-
mot and I were sitting at work one afternoon, when
Harriet came into the parlour and said, Aunt Kitty, the
girls ask you to go into the school-room; they want you
to show them something about their work."
"I will do it, my dear," said Mrs. Wilmot, rising
"Oh no, Mrs. Wilmot," said Harriet in most earnest
tones, "they do not want you to go, ma'am; that is," she
continued in a confused manner, "they did not tell me to
"Oh, well, my dear child, do not look so agitated," said
Mrs. Wilmot, smiling, I will not go. I suppose I shall
hear the secret in time. I am quite sure there is nothing
improper in it, or Aunt Kitty would not be chosen as
I went with Harriet to the school-room, and found that
my assistance was wanted in showing Kate Ormesby how
to make up a work-bag, which she had been embroidering
And why was this a secret?" I asked.
Clara undertook to explain. They were getting some
presents ready for Mamma Wilmot, and they did not wish
her to know anything about them till the day of the
examination, when they intended to put them on her table
with a note which they would all sign. Then their work
was exhibited. There was a needle-book from one-a
pin-cushion from another-a pair of slippers embroidered
on canvas from a third, and the work-bag which I have
already named. These were the presents prepared by
Lucy, Martha, Emma, and Kate.
"And now where are your presents?" I asked, turning
to Clara and Grace.
"Mine is not done yet," said Clara.
"Well, what is it to be ?"
"A locket, set with Grace's hair and mine, and with
our names on the back of it."
"And yours, Grace?"
She coloured and looked down.
Show it to Aunt Kitty, Grace," said Harriet; I am
sure she will think it very pretty."
"I do not wonder you are ashamed of it, Grace," said
Clara, quickly, "when you might have had such a hand-
some one, so cheaply too."
It would not have been cheap for me, Clara."
"Well I should think a handsome hair bracelet cheap
for anybody at the price it was offered; but some people
never think they can get enough for their money."
I saw that these words were very painful to Grace, who
turned away with her eyes full of tears; and as there is
nothing more disagreeable to me than to hear little girls
quarrel, I interrupted any further remarks from Clara
by urging Grace to show me her present. With a timid
manner she took out of her basket a bracelet of hair, very
simply woven, which she had just commenced. It was
pretty, and I said so; yet I acknowledge I thought, with
Clara, it would scarce be handsome enough for such a
locket as she described. Again I asked myself, Can Grace
be selfish, that she would not spend her money on a pres-
ent for her mother? That she had the money for the
bracelet I could not doubt, for I knew that she had the
same allowance for pocket-money that Clara had; and she
was able to buy a locket, which I was sure, from the
description, must cost more than half a guinea. Besides,
if she had not the money, Clara could not have expected
her to buy it, or have been angry with her, as she evi-
dently was, for not doing so. These thoughts probably
made me look grave; and if I might judge from her sad
countenance, poor Grace was little comforted by my praise
of her work. I observed, after this, that there was a
little coolness between Clara and Grace. They were not
so constantly together as they had been, and sometimes
Clara spoke to her friend in a very tart tone; while Grace
always seemed gentle, and even humble, as if she was
seeking forgiveness for some wrong she had done. This
did not convince me that Clara was right and Grace was
wrong; for I have often seen the person who was most to
blame in a quarrel the most angry, while the least faulty
was conciliating and anxious for peace.
After this the girls admitted me into all the mysteries
of their little plot. I assisted them in their work where
assistance was needed, and was consulted on all their
arrangements. There was a very interesting debate on
the question whether the presents should be placed on
Mrs. Wilmot's toilet-table, before she was awake in the
morning, and so meet her eye when she first arose; or
whether they should be laid on the library table, while
she was at breakfast. I gave my opinion in favour of
the latter arrangement; and at length brought them all
over to my way of thinking, by reminding them that we
36 A DISAPPOINTMENT.
could not be quite sure Mrs. Wilmot would sleep on that
morning until we were ready for her to wake.
About a week before the examination Clara's locket
was sent home by the jeweller. She brought it to me,
and I saw, by his mark on the paper around it, that its
cost was a guinea. It was plainly but handsomely made,
and the initial letters of her name and Grace's were very
prettily engraved upon the back. When the bracelet was
finished they were both to be sent to the jeweller, who
would put them together with small gold rings. For this
Grace would pay him. Clara continued to look, and even
sometimes to speak, as if she thought it would be quite a
disgrace to her locket to be seen in such company. Grace
bore this in silence, though she was evidently much dis-
tressed at it.
THE preparations for the examination had not interfered
with Cecille's teaching. She came as regularly, stayed as
long, and seemed as welcome to Clara and Grace as when
they had only their usual employment. It was the last
Wednesday in November, and just one week before the
day fixed for the examination, that, knowing Cecille
would be at Hazel Grove, I determined to walk over and
spend the morning with her grandmother. On my way
I met Cecille. She was walking very briskly, but stopped
to shake hands with me.
I am going to see your grandmother, Cecille," said I.
"I am very glad; I will not now have anything to
make me sorry to-day. This is one of my bright days.
Do you know why?"
I shook my head.
"No !-do you not know that this is my pay day?
Grandmamma will soon have her flannel, if you helF
me as you promised; and she wants it in this weather."
A DISAPPOINTMENT. 37
I congratulated Cecille on her coming pleasure, prom-
ised her my help, and we parted.
I spent my morning very agreeably with Madame
L'Estrange, yet I listened to Mrs. Daly's clock, which
stood on the mantel-piece, and watched its hands with as
much impatience as if I had been weary and longed to
get away. The truth is, I was impatient for Cecille's
coming, which I had determined to await, that I might
have the pleasure of seeing her happy looks when her
wishes were accomplished and the money was actually in
her hands. Did you ever observe how slowly the hands
of a clock appear to move when they are watched? I
thought this morning that the hour from ten to eleven
was the longest I had ever passed. It did pass, however,
and at length I saw the hour hand at eleven and the minute
hand at twelve. Now I began to watch the windows, for
I thought that Cecille must soon be in sight. But here
again I was disappointed, and both her grandmother and
myself had more than once expressed our surprise at her
delay, before she appeared;-and then I could scarcely
believe it was the same Cecille whom I had seen in the
morning bounding along as if her feet scarce touched
the earth. She walked now slowly and pensively, and I
even fancied once that I saw her wipe her eyes.
As she came near the house, however, she looked up
and her step became more brisk. She entered the room
where we sat. I looked at her anxiously, but she turned
her face away as if she could not bear to meet my eye,
and walking straight up to her grandmother, put a parcel
into her hand and stood still by her side.
You do not speak to your friend, my dear," said
Madame L'Estrange without opening the parcel, about
which she seemed to feel no curiosity.
Cecille put her hand in mine without speaking,-then
looked again at her grandmother, who had by this time
slowly unfolded the packet. She looked at its contents,
and then lifting up her face with a smile to Cecille, said,
"Ah, little pilferer! where is the rest?"
In a choked voice Cecille answered, There is no more."
38 A DISAPPOINTMENT.
"There is no more !" exclaimed Madame L'Estrange;
"why, how is this, Cecille? This is but half of what you
have always received for a month's teaching."
Cecille tried to answer, but in vain. Her throat swelled,
her lip quivered, and then throwing herself upon her grand-
mother's bosom, she burst into tears. Madame L'Estrange
was, as you may easily suppose, greatly distressed. She
stroked Cecille's hair, pressed her lips to her head, call-
ing her at the same time by every endearing name which
the French language furnishes, and repeatedly exclaiming,
"What is the matter? Has any one been harsh to my
child? Cecille, what have they done to you, my darling?"
"Nothing, grandmamma," sobbed out Cecille; "I was
only grieved because I had no more money to bring you
My dear child I am perfectly ashamed of you, Cecille.
You ought to have been more thankful for this, which
will pay Mrs. Daly, and we owe no one else."
I know it, grandmamma. Besides, Clara will pay me
next week, when her father comes for her, and that is a
very little while to wait."
And what made you grieve so unreasonably, Cecille?"
Cecille looked at me with a half-smile as she answered,
"Because I wanted that money just to-day, very much.
"And why just to-day, Cecille?"
"Ah, grandmamma! that is a secret;" and Cecille now
laughed with as much glee as if she had never cried in
The old lady laughed too; but she said, "Take care,
Cecille,-it is not well for little girls to have secrets from
"This is a very harmless secret," said I.
Madame L'Estrange looked at me with some surprise,
as she said, "You know it, then?"
"Yes," said I; "but you must not be jealous that
Cecille chose me for her confidante,-all little girls do. Mrs.
Wilmot's children have just been consulting me on a very
A DISAPPOINTMENT. 39
"They told me about it to-day," said Cecille, quickly,
"and I asked them to let me tell grandmamma. They
were quite willing I should, so that you need not mind
speaking of it."
The story of the examination, and of the presents pre-
pared for Mrs. Wilmot on that day, was soon told to
Madame L'Estrange, who entered into the little plot of
the children with great enjoyment. After we had talked
of it a while, I said to Cecille that the bracelet Grace was
preparing did not please Clara very much, and indeed, I
scarcely thought it handsome enough for the locket.
"< I wish she had told me sooner," said Cecille; I would
have shown her how to weave a handsome one. I learned
from a lady who came over from France with us. I have
done several since I came here for Mr. Brenner the
"Then perhaps you made the one which Clara wanted
Grace to buy, and was half angry with her for not buying ?"
I dare say it is one of mine; but if it is, Grace could
not buy it, for it would cost half a guinea, and she had
not nearly so much left after paying me to-day."
"How did you find that out, Cecille?" asked her
"Because, grandmamma, Grace saw that I looked very
sorry when Clara said she could not pay me, and she
followed me out and begged me to take what she had left,
and to pay her back when Clara paid me."
"You did not take it, I hope, my dear?"
"No, grandmamma; though I would have done it if I
had not known that you would dislike it; and so I told
You were right, Cecille, in not taking it. Better even
weep as you have done to-day for an ungratified wish,
than borrow money and perhaps be disappointed in your
expectation of repaying it."
I shall not be disappointed in that, grandmamma, for
Clara says she will certainly pay me next week."
Clara no doubt once thought, my dear, that she would
certainly pay you to-day. She may be mistaken again."
40 A DISAPPOINTMENT.
"Clara was very sorry, grandmamma," said Cecille
"I do not doubt it, my dear. She is, I dare say, a
good little girl, and means well; but she is thoughtless,
else she would not have spent her money even on a present
for Mrs. Wilmot before she had paid her debts. What
she owed to you was, in truth, not her own, but yours."
Grandmamma, don't be angry with Clara. You could
not help loving her if you knew her, she is so generous."
I am not angry with her, my dear. I do love her for
her kindness to you; and from many things you have told
me, I believe she is generous; but, Cecille, she is not just."
That locket cost a great deal, I dare say, grandmamma,
and then Clara gives something to everybody that asks
for money. She is so generous."
"Generous, but not just, Cecille, when she gives what
she already owes to another."
I saw that Cecille was hardly satisfied with her grand-
mother's views of Clara, and yet they were so true that
she could not oppose them.
For my part, I had been thinking of Grace. My
readers will not have forgotten that Grace's having
changed the sum she at first intended giving the poor
blind man, and her contenting herself with giving her
mother a bracelet of her own weaving, instead of spending
money on her present as the other girls had done, had
made me fear that she might be a little selfish-that her
money might be saved for some gratification that should
be entirely her own. I now began to hope that Grace
was not less generous, but that she was more just than
"Is not Grace generous too?" said I to Cecille.
"Is not Grace generous !" she repeated, as if surprised
at my question.
"Have you ever thought that she was selfish I" I
asked in yet stronger language.
"Grace selfish!" exclaimed Cecille; "oh, no! I never
saw her do a selfish thing."
"Do you think her as generous as Clara?"
PLEASURE AND PAIN. 41
"As generous as Clara," she again repeated, and then
said doubtfully, "Clara is so generous."
"You do not think, then, that Grace takes as much
pleasure in giving to another as Clara does?"
"Oh, yes! I think she does. Grace never seems so
happy as when she happens to have what another person
"In what, then, is she less generous than Clara?"
"Why"-Cecille stopped suddenly, thought a little,
and then said, I do not know what could have made me
think so,-only that I never saw Grace give all that she
had in her purse as I have seen Clara do."
"Perhaps that is because Grace remembers what Clara
seems sometimes to forget, that she has no right to give
away that which belongs to another."
Clara does not give away what belongs to another."
"Does not Clara's father allow her as much money as
Mrs. Wilmot allows to Grace?"
"Yes, just the same."
"Then how is it that Grace could pay you, and Clara
could not? If Clara has given away what should have
been paid to you, she has given away what did not belong
to her. In her generosity she has forgotten justice; while
Grace seems to have remembered, 'to be just before she
SThe clock striking twelve interrupted our conversation,
by reminding me that it was time to return home.
PLEASURE AND PAIN.
THE 3rd of December had been fixed for the day of ex-
amination, and the children at Hazel Grove were so
industrious that some days before that both the presents
and the studies were completed-except the bracelet,
which went on very slowly indeed, but which Grace
42 PLEASURE AND PAIN.
assured Clara should be ready in time. For the last few
days, when the girls were out of school, time seemed to
pass as slowly with them as it did with me on the morn-
ing that I sat with Madame L'Estrange expecting Cecille.
Now, as then, however, it did pass.
The 1st of December had been a very stormy day, but
the next morning was as clear and bright as if no cloud
had ever been seen. But it was so cold that even the
children preferred gathering around the fire to running
out; and for me, I could scarcely persuade myself to look
out. Poor Dr. Willis, how he shivered! and how cold
even his horse looked, as he drove up to the gate at Hazel
Grove, where he had been sent for to visit a servant who
was sick. He came in rubbing his hands, and declaring
it was the coldest day he had felt this year. Ah! young
ladies," said he, "none of you know the comfort of this
warm fire as I do. You must ride three miles facing this
north-west wind before you can really enjoy it. But
even that," he added, a moment after, "is better than to
sit still in the house with little or no fire, as some poor
people must do. By-the-by," he continued, turning to
Mrs. Wilmot, I stopped to see Cecille and her grand-
mother on my way here, and very glad I was to see them
enjoying a blazing fire."
"I have been thinking of them this morning, and fearing
that they would not be prepared for this suddenly severe
cold," said Mrs. Wilmot. "How do they get their fuel?"
"It was because I wished to know that, which made
me call this morning. Poverty certainly sharpens the
wit; for that little child" (Cecille was so small that
everybody thought of her as a little child) manages as
well as any man could do. The widow Daly supplies
them with fuel for a small additional charge to her month's
rent. The old lady needs a warm fire, for her dress is
not thick enough-she ought to have flannel."
"And has she not?"
No; I asked Cecille about it, and she coloured up and
looked as much distressed, poor child, as if it had been
her fault that her grandmother was without it. She
PLEASURE AND PAIN. 43
shall have it, she says, in a few days, as soon as she gets
some money that she is expecting. I offered to lend her
some till then, but her grandmother had forbidden her
In which I think she is very wise," said Mrs. Wilmot;
"but I wish whoever owes her money knew how much
she needs it just now-they might pay her, even if it be
a little before the time. No one, I hope, would be so
cruelly unjust as to keep her out of her little earnings
one day after they were due."
I could not see Clara's face as I tried to do at this
time, for she was looking out of the window; but Grace
coloured as violently and looked as confused as if she had
been guilty of what her mother thought so very wrong.
Her confusion soon attracted Mrs. Wilmot's attention.
"Grace," said she, "you do not owe Cecille anything, I
"No, mamma; I paid her last week."
Mrs. Wilmot turned to speak to Clara, but she had
left the room. Dr. Willis, having warmed himself,'now
asked to see his patient. This withdrew Mrs. Wilmot's
attention from Cecille, and she probably did not again
think of what had passed,-at least she asked no more
questions about it. She left the parlour with Dr. Willis,
and soon after I rose to go to my room. In going there
I had to pass through the library. There were heavy
curtains to the windows of this room, and as I entered I
heard sobs which seemed to come from behind one of
those curtains, and then Grace, who had left the parlour
a little before me, saying, "Do not cry so, Clara, pray do
not cry so. Let us carry Cecille what money we have-
that will be some help, you know, and your father will
be here this evening and give you the rest."
"How often must I tell you, Grace, that I have not
any money? Did you not see me give all that I had to
the jeweller?" asked Clara impatiently.
Yes, dear Clhra-but I have some."
But I will not take your money, I tell you, after your
saving it up so carefully."
44 PLEASURE AND PAIN.
"Yes, Clara, you will take it, if you love me as you
used to do. You know I did not save it up for myself,
Clara,-you know I would have given it all to the poor
blind man, if I had not promised you to buy a bracelet
for your locket. How glad I am now that it was not
enough for the bracelet, so that we can have it for Cecille."
"And if I take it for Cecille," said Clara, "I should
like to know how the locket will get fastened to the
Oh, never mind that," said Grace; we can sew it on
now, and have it fastened better by-and-by; mamma will
not care how it is done. So come, Clara; I know you
will feel a great deal better after you have seen Cecille
and given her some money, and told her how soon you
hope to have the rest for her."
I heard no more, but after I went to my room I saw
the two girls, wrapped in their cloaks, set out for Cecille's;
so I knew that Clara had been persuaded.
Early in the afternoon of this day the children began
to gaze from the windows which looked towards the road,
for the carriages of their friends, who were expected to
attend the examination of the next day and to take them
home on the day after. In about two hours after their
watch commenced, a carriage arrived with Mr. and Mrs.
Ormesby, and shortly after Mrs. Williams came, but the
evening passed away-it was bedtime-and nothing had
been seen or heard of Mr. Devaux. Clara became so
agitated, that as Mrs. Wilmot bade her good-night she
said to her, in an affectionate and soothing tone, Do not
look so distressed, dear child; your father will be here
perhaps before you are up in the morning."
But Clara arose the next morning to fresh disappoint-
ment. Her father had not come. Knowing the cause of
her anxiety, I was much interested in her feelings and
observed her closely. She ate but little breakfast, and
every time the door opened she turned quickly towards it.
The other children were full of interest about their
presents. They had been placed on the library table
when Mrs. Wilmot went into the breakfast-parlour,
PLEASURE AND PAIN. 45
With them was the following note, sealed, and so placed
that it must attract her attention the moment she entered
"DEAR MAMMA,-Accept these keepsakes from your
affectionate and grateful children, Clara, Martha, Kate,
Emma, Grace, Lucy."
Clara was so much absorbed in her anxiety about her
father's delay that she seemed to have little interest in
these arrangements, and Grace was occupied with her.
Thus to the younger children was left the management
of an affair which had occupied all their minds so long.
I had undertaken to get Mrs. Wilmot to the library; so,
after breakfast, calling her out of the parlour, I led the
way thither, and walked directly up to the table. The
children followed, and were in time to see her glistening
eyes as she read the note; and to receive her caresses, as
she raised her head and saw them standing near to the
door. After the first emotion of receiving the presents
had subsided, they were examined and admired. This,"
said Mrs. Wilmot, as she clasped the locket on her arm,
"is a joint present, I suppose, from Grace and Clara. It
is too expensive to have been from one."
"The bracelet only is mine, mamma," said Grace, in a
low voice, as if again she felt a little ashamed of her
present; Clara bought the locket herself."
My dear Clara, how long you must have been saving
your money, and how much self-denial you must have
practised, before you could pay for so costly an ornament!
It is paid for?" she added, inquiringly, as she saw the
colour mount to Clara's very temples on hearing her praise.
"Yes, ma'am," said Clara; and Mrs. Wilmot again
fastened the locket, which she had unclasped while asking
Is not this hair yours and Clara's, Grace?" asked Mrs.
Wilmot, bending down her head to examine the bracelet
And who wove the bracelet for you 2"
46 PLEASURE AND PAIN.
"I wove it. I know it is not handsome enough for
the locket, mamma, but it was the best I could do, and I
had not money enough to buy one."
"It is very neatly done, my dear; and if it were less
pretty than it is, I should thank you for it far more than
for a handsomer one which had cost more than you could
properly give. But I thank all my children, and accept
all their presents with pleasure, because I am sure they
all know that they cannot be generous without first being
just. You would none of you," she continued, looking
tenderly round upon them, you would none of you grieve
me, by giving me that which was not really your own,
and nothing is your own till it is paid for-not even the
premiums you are to have to-day, and which you must
now come to the school-room and win by well-said lessons."
This was said gaily, as Mrs. Wilmot turned towards the
school-room, whither she was followed by all the children
-all light-hearted and happy except Clara.
Poor Clara! how painfully she felt every word Mrs.
Wilmot had said. Whatever were her faults, she had
always been quite sure that she had one virtue-gen-
erosity; and now she began to feel that, in this instance
at least, she had been very ungenerous; for she had
gratified herself in making the most costly present to
Mamma Wilmot at the expense of poor Cecille. And
when she entered the school-room, there stood Cecille,
whom the girls had invited. How she dreaded to ap-
proach her, lest Cecille should ask if her father had come.
Some of Mrs. Wilmot's friends from the neighboring
village arrived, and then the examination commenced.
Examinations I doubt not you have all attended, but
perhaps none conducted exactly as this was. The object
here was not to show which scholar was best, or how far
one surpassed all others, but how good all were. Each
little girl was encouraged to do her best, and they all
rejoiced in the success of each one. After they had been
examined in their various studies, some of their work was
exhibited-among the rest, Clara's embroidery and Grace's
painting. These were very highly extolled; and Cecille,
PLEASURE AND PAIN. 47
being pointed out by Mrs. Wilmot as their teacher,
received many compliments; and some persons from the
village inquired her terms, and thought she might have
several pupils there when the holidays were over. I was
much pleased to hear this, as it promised greater gain for
my little friend.
Clara had appeared well in all her studies; her work
had been admired, her young companions had evinced
their affection for her in a hundred different ways, and
Mrs. Wilmot had spoken to her with more than her usual
tenderness, because' she saw that she was distressed by
her father's delay. Yet, notwithstanding all this, Clara
had never been so unhappy as on this day. All coldness,
however, had vanished between her and Grace, who never
passed her without a pressure of the hand, or some sooth-
ing word or action. As the day passed on and the after-
noon wore away without any tidings of Mr. Devaux, the
colour deepened on Clara's face, and she grew so nervous
and agitated, that I, who watched her closely, expected
every moment to see her burst into tears. All this dis-
tress must have appeared very unreasonable to those who
supposed that it was caused only by anxiety about her
father, whom Mrs. Wilmot had not very confidently ex-
pected. But there were three persons present-Cecille,
Grace, and I-who better understood its cause. On her
father's coming would depend Clara's power of keeping
her promise with Cecille. Cecille's present want of the
money, of which perhaps Clara would have thought little
but for the remarks of Dr. Willis on the day before, was
sufficient to make her earnestly desirous of paying her;
but Clara had yet another reason,-she dreaded lest Mrs.
Wilmot should hear of this debt.
My young readers will have learned from the remarks
made by Mrs. Wilmot in the morning to her children,
even at the very moment of receiving their presents, how
strict was her sense of justice. No principle had she
endeavoured to inculcate on her pupils more earnestly
than this; and Clara could not forget that she had only
the day before called the person "cruelly unjust" who
48 THE DISCLOSURE.
should keep Cecile's money from her for a day. It was
the first time Clara had ever desired to keep secret from
Mrs. Wilmot anything she had done; and this, my dear
young friends, is the worst of all unhappiness, to have
done what we are ashamed or afraid to confess. Clara
had been, perhaps, a little vain of her locket and of her
generosity, as she thought it, in making such a present;
but I have no doubt she would now gladly have changed
places with Grace, and have been the giver of only the
humble bracelet. I do not think Grace was now at all
ashamed of her bracelet-indeed she seemed to love to
look upon it; and well she might, since it was a proof
that not even Clara's contempt or anger, or the desire to
show her regard to her mother, could make her forget the
principles of justice which that dear mother had taught
her. She had proved her generosity by giving all she
had-all that was her own-but she had refused, for any
reason, to spend that which was not her own.
THE day was past, the visitors from the village had left us,
and we were gathered around the parlour fire to spend our
last evening together; for the next morning our little party
at Hazel Grove would separate. Mrs. Wilmot had pro-
mised to return home with me for the holidays. Grace
had long ago promised to spend that time with Clara, and
Mrs. Wilmot had been prevailed upon to consent that
Lucy should accompany her friend Martha.
The sound of carriage wheels drew Clara and Grace to
Oh, Clara," exclaimed Grace, "it is your father!"
Yes," said Clara, joyfully, "I know the white horses,-
but why do they not drive to the door? What is papa
going to the stables for?"
THE DISCLOSURE. 49
The question was soon answered. A servant entered
with a note for Mrs. Wilmot. She glanced at it and then
handed it to Clara, saying, "There, my dear Clara, you
will find there is no further cause for anxiety. Your
father has been detained by business, but he has sent the
carriage for you and Grace."
Clara had seized the offered note, and was reading with
such eagerness that I do not think she heard what Mrs.
Wilmot said. As she saw from the note that her father
was not coming,-still more, that he would have left home
before she could arrive there the next day, on business
which might oblige him to be absent for several weeks,-
the thought that she must either keep Cecille waiting
during all that time or make the dreaded confession of her
fanlt to Mrs. Wilmot, oppressed her so much that she
burst into tears.
Clara, my dear child, what is the matter?" said Mrs.
Wilmot, drawing her to her side. "This is something
more than sorrow at not seeing your father." She paused,
but Clara did not speak. Is there anything you wished
him to do for you, my dear? Surely if there is, you will
not hesitate to speak your wish to me." Clara was still
silent. "I am much grieved at this silence, Clara. I
thought you loved me, and confided in my affection; but
perhaps you would rather speak with me alone. Come
with me to the library."
Mrs. Wilmot then left us, leading Clara with her. She
closed the library door after her, and we could then hear
only the low murmur of her voice or Clara's heavy sobs.
Grace seemed very anxious. She approached the library
door at one time as if she were going in,-then went to the
furthest part of the room from it. At length her mother
opened the door and called her. Grace sprang to the
door and was admitted. There was something sad in the
tone of Mrs. Wilmot's voice, which made me certain that
Clara had told her all; but I did not hear how she had
told it till many days after, when Mrs. Wilmot related
the scene to me as I am about to describe it to you.
As soon as they entered, Mrs. Wilmot seated herself on
50 THE DISCLOSURE.
a sofa, and placing Clara by her side, strove to win her
confidence by every soothing and affectionate word and
action. At last with great effort Clara said, "You will
be so angry with me, Mamma Wilmot, if I tell you, that
you will never love me again."
"Clara, I am angry only with those who are obstinate
in doing wrong-never with those who confess their faults
and try to amend."
"But you will think me so cruel and unjust."
Cruel I cannot believe you to have been, Clara; and
if you have committed an act of injustice, and you may by
confiding in me be assisted in making amends for it, it is
a new reason, my child, why you should speak at once.
What is it, Clara?" Mrs. Wilmot's eye rested just then on
the locket which she wore on her wrist, and this prompted
the question-" Clara, did you speak the whole truth to-
day when you told me this locket was paid for? Do you
owe nothing on it?"
"No, Mamma Wilmot. nothing on that; but I owe-'-
"Not Cecille, Clara?" said Mrs. Wilmot; "you could
not be so thoughtless-so selfish-as to keep her hard
earnings from her for a single day, for any purpose of
your own. Speak, my child, and tell me it is not so."
Clara spoke not-moved not, except that her head
sank lower and lower, till it almost rested on her knees.
Tell me, Clara, if you have done this wrong, that I may
"make amends at once. Do you owe Cecille?"
Yes," faltered Clara.
Mrs. Wilmot rose, and after calling Grace, seated her-
self at the library table and wrote a few lines to Cecille,
in which she was about to enclose the price of a month's
tuition, when Grace, who had seen her counting it out,
said, Mamma, Clara does not owe Cecille so much, she
paid her some."
"Clara," asked Mrs. Wilmot, how much do you owe
"I do not know exactly, ma'am."
How much did you pay her?"
THE DISCLOSURE. 51
All that Grace had. I do not know how much it was.'
"How much was it, Grace?"
Four shillings and sixpence, mamma."
The money was enclosed, Mrs. Wilmot sealed the note
and handed it to Grace, bidding her give it to a servant
and tell him to take it immediately to Cecille. "But
stay, Grace," she added, laying her hand on her arm and
looking into her face, you owe her nothing?"
"No, mamma-nothing," said Grace, meeting her
mother's eye fully.
"God bless you, my child, for saving me that pain. I
can wear your bracelet, Grace, with pleasure, for it has
cost no one sorrow; but this locket, Clara,-you must
receive it again, for I cannot wear it."
Mrs. Wilmot, while she was speaking, had taken the
bracelet from her arm, and severing with a small penknife
the silk which fastened the locket, replaced the bracelet
on her wrist, confining it with a pin; and approaching
Clara, laid the locket on her lap.
This was the deepest humiliation, the severest punish-
ment, that could have been inflicted on poor Clara.
She started up, flinging the now unvalued locket on the
floor, and falling on her knees, clasped Mrs. Wilmot's
"hand, exclaiming, Oh, Mamma Wilmot! forgive me, and
love me again."
Mrs. Wilmot seated herself, and raising Clara, said, "I
do forgive you, my child; and it is because I love you,
Clara, that I am so deeply pained by your doing wrong;
but I must see some effort to amend-some proof that
you have learned to regard what belongs to others-before
I can again confide in you. I will give you an opportunity
of recovering my confidence. You are now in debt to the
amount of one month's payment of Cecille, for I will
return to Grace the money which she lent you. When,
by economy and self-denial, you have paid this debt, I shall
think that you have learned that you have no right to
gratify even your amiable and generous feelings at the
expense of another-that you have learned to be just
before you are generous; and then, Clara, I shall again
52 THE DISCLOSURE.
confide in you as well as love you. But remember, it
must be by economy and self-denial, not by any present
from your father or an increase of your allowance. When
this task is accomplished, give me back the locket, and I
will wear it, with both pleasure and pride. Till then,
you must wear it yourself, Clara. It may be useful to
you, by reminding you of your task and the reward of
Clara wept, but more gently. There was now hope
before her; and when Mrs. Wilmot kissed her and bade
her good-night, though she was sad and humbled, she
was more composed than she had been since telling Cecille
that she could not pay her. Her fault had now been told
-there was nothing to conceal, and this would have made
her feel far happier than she had done, even had her
punishment been much more severe than it was.
It must have been very mortifying to Clara to wear the
locket herself before those who knew for what purpose
she had bought it; but so anxious was she to regain
Mamma Wilmot's good opinion by compliance with her
wishes, that she appeared at breakfast the next morning
with it on her wrist, sewed to a piece of riband. She
looked very unlike the lively and high-spirited Clara, for
she was silent; and if others spoke to her, while answer-
ing them she coloured and seemed abashed.
Mrs. Wilmot had prepared a parting present for each
of the children: for the four youngest, books; for Grace,
a very handsome paint-box; and for Clara, a work-box,
with many coloured silks for her embroidery. After
breakfast, calling them to her own room, she delivered
these presents to them, commencing with the youngest.
To all except Clara she said that they were premiums or
rewards for their good conduct. To Clara she said the
box was a mark of her affection and her approval of her
as a scholar. Clara felt this distinction, and stood still
without attempting to take her box.
"Why do you not take it, Clara?" asked Mrs. Wil-
She burst into tears as she replied, "I do not want it,
THE REWARD. 53
Mamma Wilmot, till you can love me just as well as you
used to do."
I do love you, my dear Clara, just as well as ever,"
said Mrs. Wilmot, kissing her ; but I will keep the box,
since you wish it, until I can restore to you my full esteem
and confidence, and then we will exchange gifts," touching
the locket with her finger.
In an hour after this scene, we had said Good-bye to
one another, and were travelling on our different roads.
MRS. WILMOT was with me three weeks, and then returned
home to prepare for receiving her children again. It was
from a letter of hers that I learned what I am now going
to tell you.
Clara returned wearing the locket. Did you ever read
a fairy tale in which a young prince is said to have been
presented with a ring that pricked his finger whenever he
was in danger of doing wrong ? Clara's locket was to her
what the ring was to the young prince. Whenever she
was about to spend money either on her own fancies or
the fancies of others, it would remind her that till her
debt was paid the money in her purse was not hers, and
that to be truly generous she must first be just. A month
passed, and she took to Mrs. Wilmot nearly eight shillings,
which was all that remained of her pocket-money after
paying Cecille. Mrs. Wilmot praised her for the effort
she had made to do rightly, and Clara was almost happy.
Another month went by.
Cecille came to give her morning lesson,and immediately
after it Clara and Grace appeared at the door of the room
in which Mrs. Wilmot was seated.
"Come in, my children," she said very pleasantly, for
she thought she knew their errand.
54 THE REWARD.
They walked up to her. Clara paid her debt even to
the last penny.
Now, Mamma Wilmot," said she, when it had been
received, can you confide in me again ?"
"Yes, Clara, fully, entirely, far more than before you
had ever made it necessary that I should try you as I have
done. Before that trial I hoped that you would persevere
in doing right at the expense of some pain to yourself ; I
am now sure that you will. I always knew that you had
right feelings, Clara, and I loved you for them; I now
know that you have right principles, and honour you for
them.-Why do you smile, Grace ?"
"Because it seems so strange, mamma, that you should
talk of honouring a little girl like Clara."
"A little girl, Grace, who resists the temptation to do
wrong, and steadily perseveres in doing right, is as deserv-
ing of honour as any one, and I repeat that I honour
Tears stood in Clara's eyes, and her cheeks were flushed
"Then, Mamma Wilmot, you will not be ashamed to
wear the locket ?"
No, my love; I shall be proud to wear it."
Clara took something from Grace, saying, "You must
let me put it on, Grace."
"But you must first sew it to my bracelet," said Mrs.
Wilmot, taking off that which Grace had woven, and
which she wore tied with a piece of riband.
"No," said Clara, "here is the bracelet as well as the
locket;" and she produced a very handsome bracelet,
fastened to the locket with small gold rings, and then
clasped it with a most triumphant air upon Mrs. Wilmot's
You did not weave this, Grace ?"
"No, mamma; Cecille wove it, and I paid her for it
just what the jeweller pays her, and then I got Mr.
Brenner to put it on the locket; and yet I have some
of the money left that I have saved up these two months."
"Why, have you been saving too ?"
THE REWARD. 55
"Yes, mamma; Clara would not let me spend my
money on her, because she said you told her she must
practise self-denial, and it would not be self-denial if I
gave her what she wanted."
"That was being a little extravagant in your under-
standing of what I meant, Clara. I only intended that
you should be self-denying in the use of your own money."
"Was I wrong to refuse Grace ?" asked Clara, anxiously.
"No, my dear, not wrong. It was more than I de-
manded of you, but with your understanding of my words,
it was quite right."
"But, mamma," said Grace, a little impatiently, 1
was going to tell you that Clara and I both have some
money left, and now that we see how much we can save,
we thought,-that is, we wanted to ask you whether we
could not do some good with it."
Mrs. Wilmot smiled.
"Don't laugh at us, mamma; it is not very foolish-is
"Foolish, my child !-it is very wise; and if I smiled,
it was with pleasure that my children should have had
such a thought. This is being truly generous. Older
people than you sometimes make the mistake of calling
-those generous who value money so little that they throw
it away without thought or care; but the truly generous
value it much, because they know that it can buy clothing
for the naked, and food for the starving. What they so
value, they can neither keep from those to whom it is due,
nor throw away on foolish trifles. So, you see, the truly
generous are just and economical. But what good have
you been thinking of doing first with your money ?"
Clara now spoke : We thought first we would try to
get some good clothes for the Sandfords, that they may go
to the Sunday-school."
The Sandfords were the three little girls whom Grace
and Clara taught. I cannot repeat to you all that Mrs.
Wilmot said in reply to this proposal, but I can tell you
what she did. She went with the girls to make their pur-
chases, showed them how to lay out their money most
56 THE RETURN.
advantageously for their little pupils, cut out the garments
for them when the cloth was brought home, and directed
them how to make them. In this work Martha and Lucy,
Kate and Emma assisted; so that their kindly and generous
feelings were awakened, and they, too, began to save from
their own selfish gratifications to give to those who were
Mrs. Wilmot now takes the children with her when she
goes to visit the sick and the poor around her, and in
these visits they often find some object for their charity.
Sometimes it is an old woman who needs a flannel wrapper
-sometimes a child who is walking on snow and ice
without shoes. These they would once, perhaps, have
passed without notice; but now they do what we all
should do-they look out for opportunities to do good.
IN the commencement of this book, I told you that I was
again at Hazel Grove. Again Harriet and I arrived at a
time when the woods were bright with many colours. We
were received with even more joy than on our first visit;
and though some weeks have passed since I began to tell
you of my young acquaintances here, they seem quite as
unwilling to hear of my return home as I then told you
And I have seen Cecille too, and her good grandmother.
They are still at the Widow Daly's cottage, but times are
greatly changed with them since we parted. Cecille is
no longer a teacher for money, though she is never so well
pleased as when she can gratify her companions by impart-
ing to them some of her own accomplishments. She
assists, too, in all their works of charity, and seems to
think the poor have double claims on her because she
knows what their trials are. She will leave us ere long;
THE RETURN. 57
for Mr. L'Estrange, having regained his estate, is prepar-
ing his home in France for the return of his mother and
daughter, and will come for them in the spring. Cecille
will, I am sure, part with us with pain; yet she will soon
forget her pain in her grandmother's pleasure; and in the
midst of our sorrow we shall none of us, I hope, be too
selfish to rejoice in her prosperity.
Mrs. Wilmot's children will all spend their holidays at
Hazel Grove this year. I have promised to remain with
them during that time, and Madame L'Estrange and
Cecille are to be with us on Christmas Day. We are an-
ticipating great enjoyment on that day. I should like to
be able to tell you how it passes, but that I must do in
another book; for if I keep this till then, it will be too
late to bring you Aunt Kitty's Merry Christmas.
ENTER NOT INTO THE PATH OFTHE WICKED.v.
WAITING FOR JESUS.
"FROM heavy sleep little Paul Clifford suddenly awoke,
and staring with great wondering eyes upon un-
familiar walls, started impetuously up in bed, but sank
back with a quick, sharp cry of pain. A gentle face bent
"What is it, dear?"
Where am I?" said Paul faintly, "and what is the
Ah, you can't remember, poor little child! You have
had a terrible fall, and it hurt you very much; but we
hope to make you all well in a little while. Don't think
any more about it now, but try to go to sleep again."
Paul shuddered. Oh, I remember now-those cruel,
cruel doctors-how they screwed my leg, and put fire on
my back! Father wouldn't have let them do it if he had
been here;" and the child's breast heaved painfully.
They tried to be kind," said the nurse, with a tear in
her eye; but I know it was very hard to bear. But
now see, darling, the worst is over; they have set your
leg, and tried to do something for your poor little back,
and now you have only to lie very still, and get well as
fast as you can. Come," said she, as his face grew
calmer, "we will have a very nice time together. Shall
I read till you go to sleep ?"
I can't sleep any more now, please," said little Paul,
WAITING FOR JESUS. 59
"Then I will shake up your pillows, so that you may
look around and see all the pleasant little children."
Very tenderly she raised his head, but not so carefully
but that he felt that strange sensation of fire on his back,
and groaned, although he bit his proud, young lips, and
tried to smile his thanks to the sweet-faced lady. Very
languidly at first did he raise his heavy eye-lids; but he
soon became more interested, for this is what he saw: A
long, cheerful room, lined on two sides with little cots
with snowy coverlets, and soft white pillows; and in a
pretty dress of pink or blue, like a bird in each fair little
nest, was sitting or lying a patient little child. They
were all so very young! One was not more than two
years old, and the greatest veteran in the company had
not counted more than eight or nine birth-days. But
every one already knew what it was to suffer pain; and
around some of the small mouths there were sweet,
patient lines, very touching to see in such baby faces.
Paul looked earnestly from one to the other. He
noticed the little girl opposite, singing softly and con-
tentedly to her wooden doll, pressed close to her white,
thin cheek-he saw the clear-eyed little boy next to her
peering eagerly into the mechanism of a toy steam-
engine, entirely unmindful of the helpless arm tied up in a
sling-and another child, a little further on, turning over
a picture-book, and almost forgetting his poor paralyzed
feet, upon which he would never walk again.
Yes," sighed Paul to himself, "they seem happy
enough, but they must have been here a great while, and
forgotten how splendid everything is out in the sunshine;
but I-only yesterday I could run faster than any boy
on the street, and now--;" the tears gathered in his eyes.
"I am very sorry for you, little boy," said a sweet
voice; and turning, he found it came from his next
neighbour, whose cot was only a few feet from his own.
The speaker was a little girl, with very fair hair, and a
skin so transparent that he could trace the delicate blue
veins on her temples; and as he looked at her innocent
face, he wondered to find himself thinking of the fair
60 WAITING FOR JESUS.
white lilies he had once seen when he peered through the
fence of some rare city garden.
Paul felt himself greatly comforted, he scarcely knew
why, by the look and words of sympathy; and a quick,
impulsive friendship sprang up between the little fellow-
sufferers. It was not long before Paul was telling her all
his story-how mother died, and father and he went to
live with Aunt Margaret, who was poor, and had ever
so many children, and was sometimes very cross. Then
father, dear father, went off to the wars, and told him
that as soon as he was old enough he should be a soldier
too. Ever since father sailed he had been longing for
him; and whenever any of the soldiers went away, he
always wanted to see them, because they were going to
where father was. And so one day when he climbed a
tree, to see a procession go past, poor Ben Butler, who
was half-foolish, would creep on to the same limb. It
began to crack, and he thought poor Benny wouldn't
know enough to save himself; so he tried to jump to
another branch, but missed, and fell down-down on the
hard pavement, and didn't know any more till the
doctors-;" his voice quivered.
Never mind," said Susy; don't tell any more;" and
they mingled their tears.
Then Susy, in her turn, told him "she had already
been there two years, and never expected to be well, but
knew that she should lie in that little cot till she died."
But you don't seem to care at all," said Paul, looking
wonderingly at her smiling face.
No," said Susy; "I am very happy. Very few sick
children have such nice clean beds, and such pleasant
nurses to take care of them. Do you know this is S--
Hospital, and the nurses are ladies-some of them very
rich-who come here just because they love God, and
want to do something to please him?"
"And do they stay here all their lives to take care of
That's just as they please," said Susy. "Some of
them stay a few months, and some of them a good many
WAITING FOR JESUS. 61
years; and besides taking care of us, they have a great
many sick men and women in the other rooms."
I should think God would love them very much,"
said Paul, looking affectionately after the nurse flitting
noiselessly, in her soft dark dress, from one little cot to
another. But, Susy," he began, after a long pause, I
suppose girls can keep still easier than boys; but I'm
sure I should never smile again if I thought I must stay
here all my life. O Susy! have you forgotten how
splendid it is to run and jump? It would just break my
heart if I didn't think I should get well very soon, and
go to be a soldier with father. How can you smile so, Susy "
"I'm waiting for Jesus," said Susy softly.
What can you mean ?"
"Why," said Susy, "the nurse reads to us every day
from the Bible, and once she told us about Jesus passing
amidst all the sick people and making them well; and I
said, 'Oh, nurse! if he only would pass by here, and
touch every little cot;' and then she told me that Jesus
would come to every little child that asked for him; and
if it was best he would make us well, and leave us on
earth; or perhaps, if he loved us very much, he would
take us with him to heaven. So," said Susy, with a
strange, sweet smile, I am waiting for him every day."
And you really think he'll come ?"
I know it," said Susy simply.
Paul looked doubtful, and sinking back upon his
pillow, wearily closed his great sad eyes.
The days passed on, and little Paul grew no better,
although he had learned from Susy to be very patient, for
Christ's sake. One bright May morning he awoke hearing
the doctors talking around his bed. They had decided
that perhaps one more operation might save his life.
Will you bear it like a hero, my dear little fellow "
said one kindly.
I'll try, sir," said Paul steadily; "for you know I'm
to be a soldier one of these days."
To be sure," said the doctor kindly. "To-morrow,
then;" and they passed on.
62 WAITING FOR JESUS.
Susy, with her violet eyes full of tears, said again and
again, Dear Paul, poor dear Paul;" but he wanted to be
brave, and was afraid he should cry if he looked at her.
So he lay very still, with closed eyes, while the sweet
Sabbath music stole in from the chapel, where some of
the poor sick men and women were worshipping God.
With all his bravery, he could not help shuddering to
think of the cruel suffering on the morrow, and thinking
how sweet it would be for Jesus to come, as Susy had
said. With a piteous little prayer trembling on his lips,
he fell into a half-slumber, and dreamed that he did
indeed see the beautiful Saviour coming down between
the long lines of little cots, straight towards his own bed.
Paul hid his face from the brightness, but he knew when
Jesus touched him, for the pain slipped away softly, and
with a glad cry he opened his eyes. Alas! the old pain
came leaping back-ran over his poor back, and shivered
down his tired little limbs. With a heavy sigh he looked
around the room. It was flooded with glad sunshine,
and one bright beam rested on the sweet picture of Jesus
blessing little children, and saying, Suffer them to come
unto Me." Paul grew calmer while he looked at it. He
wanted to tell Susy that he was almost sure Jesus would
come some time, but he was so very tired, his eyes again
closed wearily, nor did they open till in the twilight he
heard the children singing,-
I know I'm weak and sinful,
IBt Jesus can forgive."
"Oh, yes," said Paul, starting anxiously as he caught
the name; I almost forgot. Jesus is coming;" and he
tried to bolster up his little thin hand so that it might
stay up in the air.
"What are you doing?" said Susy.
You see," said Paul, in a drowsy, wandering voice,
" I'm afraid Jesus might pass by in the night, when I
was asleep, and I want to keep my hand up so he can
find me, and know I'm the boy who has been waiting "-
his voice died away.
WAITING FOR JESUS. 63
Dear Paul, he is gone to sleep," said Susy.
Paul slept late the next morning. I cannot bear to
wake him," said one kind nurse to another. Poor little
fellow he must suffer so much to-day; and it will break
his heart when he finds he can never be a soldier, for
they say he will always be lame." But Susy, looking
eagerly to the bed, and seeing the little hand lying quietly
by his side, said, with a glad, hopeful smile,-
I shouldn't wonder if Jesus put it there."
And Susy was right; for Jesus had indeed passed by,
and finding little Paul waiting for him, and loving him
very much, had lifted the tired lamb to his bosom.