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THE CHILDREN'S POSY.
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THE CHILDREN'S POSY.
A PICTURE STORY BOOK.
BY A.L.O.E., AND OTHER FAVOURITE WRITERS.
*'" ,: "'
N 1 -.
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
I. NATURE'S VOICE, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 7
II. THE PAPER BOAT, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 9
III. NOT ALWAYS PLAY, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 12
IV. FOX-GLOVE AND HEART'S-EASE, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 17
V. ON THE RAFT, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 24
VI. WHAT BIRD WOULD YOU BE ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... 27
VII. THE ENGLISH GIRL AND HER AYAH, ... ... ... ... ..... ... ... 33
VIII. THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 36
IX. I'LL NOT LET YOU GO, ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... 45
X. BEWARE OF THE WOLF, ... ... ... ...... ... .... ... ... ... 56
XI. BLACK YARN AND BLUE, ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... 58
XII. THROUGH THE SNOW, ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... 63
XIII. THE SHEPHERD'S DOG, ... .. ... .. ... .. ... .. ... ... 66
XIV. KNIGHTS OF THE CROSS, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 71
THE CHILDREN'S POSY.
HATEVER mine ears can hear,
Whatever mine eyes can see,
In Nature so bright
With beauty and light,
Has a message of love for me!
Glorious clouds! as ye sail
Over the clear blue sky,
Ye tell of the hour
When the Lord of power
In clouds shall descend from on high!
Ye sheep that on pastures green
Beside the still waters feed,
Ye bring to my mind
The Shepherd so kind,
Who supplies all His people's need.
g NATURE'S VOICE.
The birds as they soar aloft,
The flowers as they bloom below,
His praises declare
Who made all so fair,-
His wisdom and love they show.
Lord, give me a tongue to praise;
Oh! give me a heart to love;
Till at last I come
To a brighter home,
A still fairer world above!
THE PAPER BOAT.
VL ,-'ITTLE Laura's paper boat
Soon shall on the water float;
Knitting-needles for each mast
Stick into the cardboard fast!
We'll cut and clip
For the sails of Laura's ship.
Paint the sides the deepest blue,
'Tis the sailor's favourite hue;
Ere the voyage we begin,
Sweetgeats put as cargo in.
On the tide
She'll bravely ride,-
Sailing o'er the waters wide.
Off she goes-huzzah! huzzah !
Gently floating on her way;
I should like a little gale,
Just to swell that tiny sail.
10 THE PAPER BOAT.
She seems to go,-
What can make her loiter so ?
Ah the ship begins to sink,
Bending to the water's brink ;
Sides are yielding, masts are dipping,
Deck is dropping, sails are dripping!
When scarce begun,-
There's an end to all our fun!
Better fate could you expect?
But a paper ship is wrecked !
If to such your sweets you trust,
Melt they will, and melt they must.
Boat of wood
Is firm and good,-
This will float upon the flood.
Children from this paper ship,
Lost upon her first short trip,
Soiled and sinking, spoiled and wet,
We may now a lesson get;
More anxious fears,
It may save in future years.
THE PAPER BOAT.
Many things that please the eye
Fail when their true worth we try;
Folly sets her bark afloat,
Pretty painted pleasure-boat!
Trust not e'er
Your sweet hopes there,-
Prize THE FIRM beyond THE FAIR !
NOT ALWAYS PLAY.
-irin, HE country !-the green, beautiful country! What child
I:;' M whose home is in a city does not enjoy a ramble over the
"meadows gilded with buttercups or silvered with daisies, and
delight to plunge deeper and deeper into some wood where the
beams of the sun can hardly pierce through the thick over-arching
boughs to shine on the bossy trunks of the trees, or the wild-flowers
that blossom under their shade !
Certainly little Amy looked as happy as a bird on that breezy May
morning when her aunt had driven her and her cousins Sylvia and
Annie some miles from their home in the hot smoky city of Bristol to
the pleasant scenes of Shadywell. The lady left the three girls to enjoy
a ramble in the fields and the woods, while she herself went to pass an
hour with a friend.
Oh, I wish that it always were May !-I wish that I always could
play!" cried Amy, as she displayed to her cousins some lovely wild-
flowers which she had gathered under a hedge.
That is rhyme, but not reason," said Sylvia, the eldest and most
staid of the party, who had been left by her mother in charge of the
two younger girls. If it were always May, we should have blossoms
NOT ALWAYS PLAY. 1.
but no fruit, green shoots but no corn; and if it were always play, we
Oh, we should have no lessons, no grammar and spelling, and we
should get on capitally without them," laughed Amy, as she emptied
her hands and her frock of the flowers which she carried, that Annie
might add them to the garland which she was making. What fun it
would be to have nothing to do but pick flowers! I'm off for more-
there are thousands of violets and wild anemones and hyacinths there in
Do not go far, Amy," said Sylvia; I expect mamma back in ten
minutes; she said that she could not stop long, else we should be late
Never mind dinner! cried Amy, and she bounded gaily towards
the place where she had seen wild-flowers in abundance under the trees.
She soon reached the spot; and after scrambling up a little bank (and
leaving a bit of her dress on a bramble), she made her way through the
wood, merrily humming to herself, "I wish that it always were May-
I wish that I always could play! "
As Amy was stooping down to fill again her little frock with flowers,
white, purple, and blue, she heard a slight rustle among the bushes, and
then a young rabbit darted across the path near her-so near that Amy
could almost have touched it, had it not so quickly disappeared from
Amy uttered an exclamation of pleasure and surprise at sight of the
creature. She had seen rabbits hung up in poulterers' shops, and
cooked rabbit served up for dinner; but a live rabbit, a free rabbit, not
hung up by its little legs, but running upon them, Amy never before
14 NOT ALWAYS PLAY.
had seen. Away to right and left flew the flowers which Amy had
gathered, as she rushed with eager speed in the direction which the
rabbit had taken.
Oh, if I could only catch it, if I could find its little hole (for aunt
says that rabbits burrow in holes in the earth), what fun, what famous
fun it would be! thought the child as she ran. It was not very likely
that a girl should overtake a rabbit, but Amy never stopped to consider
what might be her chance of success in the chase. She had set her
heart on catching a live rabbit with long ears, and carrying it in
triumph to Bristol. I'll not give it to the poulterer," thought she; "it
shall never be cooked and put into a dish; but my bunny shall lie in
dolly's cradle, and I'll feed it with bread and milk, and it shall be my
pet rabbit as long as it lives."
For some time Amy hunted in the thicket in the direction which
the rabbit had taken-now softly creeping along a path green with
moss, now searching a grassy knoll in which she thought that a rabbit
hole might be found. Hither and thither the little girl wandered,
exploring and peeping. Amy did not succeed in finding the rabbit,
but she succeeded in losing herself. She stopped at last, tired and
breathless, and wondered whether the meadow in which she had left her
cousins lay to the right or the left of the shady spot where she stood;
for the trees grew so thickly together that they shut out all distant
Where was I when I saw the rabbit, and dropped all my pretty
wild-flowers ?" said Amy to herself. I think that I was under an oak
tree-yes, I am sure that I was under an oak tree-and yonder it is; I
know it by its rugged trunk and by the boughs that stretch out so
NOT ALWAYS PLAY. 15
wide. I wish that it were nearer, for, oh, I am getting so tired! I
shall not be sorry, after all, when aunt comes and takes us back with
her to dinner."
Amy sauntered wearily to the oak tree, but soon found that it was
not the right one, for not a single plucked wild-flower lay under its
shade. The child sat down on its rough gnarled roots, and called out
aloud the names of Sylvia and Annie. There was no sound to be heard
in return, only the note of a thrush that was singing in a neighboring
Then Amy grew frightened as well as tired, for she was not accus-
tomed to be long left alone. She began to think of the Babes in the
Wood, and other such stories of lost little children. Again she called
out, and more loudly, but still no answer came. Then-for she was
but a little girl-poor Amy began to cry.
Then the weather became cloudy and threatening, and a few big
drops came pattering down through the leaves of the oak. It might
not be pleasant to have no better shelter than that of trees, even in the
merry spring-time. Amy, tired, lonely, frightened, and hungry, soon
gave up her wish that it might always be May, and that she might
have nothing to do but play; she felt that there might be troubles far
worse than any caused by grammar or spelling.
Suppose that I should have to stop here all night, alone in the
dark! Suppose that I should have to go without dinner and tea, and
have no nice bed to sleep on, but only the grass all wet with the dew
and the rain!" Fast flowed Amy's tears at the thought. The pretty
verse which she had often repeated to her aunt without thinking of its
meaning, now came into the little girl's mind,-
16 NOT ALWAYS PLAY.
"While some poor wretches scarce can tell
Where they may lay their head,
I have a home where I can dwell
And rest upon my bed."
Amy had never felt what a blessing it is to have a home, and a table
spread with plenty of food, and a nice dry bed to sleep in, till she was
lost in the wood.
But poor Amy's trouble was not to last long. Presently, to her
great joy, she heard well-known voices calling her name; and gladly
and loudly the little girl answered the call. No merry songs of the
birds had ever been so welcome to Amy as the shouts of those who were
searching for her, that they might take her back with them to her
home in a dull smoky street, and to her daily round of work and
"Why, Amy, where have you been? We have been hunting
after you this half-hour, and mamma is waiting," said Sylvia, as Amy,
guided by the sound of her voice, ran up to her cousin.
Poor Amy's red eyes and weary looks told the tale of her wanderings
before she recovered breath to speak. Glad indeed was she to find
herself once more with her young companions, and seated in the
carriage by the side of her aunt. Even Bristol, with its dusty streets
and smoke-cloud hanging above them, was a welcome sight to the
hungry, tired little girl.
It was often, in after-times, an amusement to Amy and her cousins
to talk and laugh over her adventure in the wood; but she was never
again heard by any one to express the idle wish that every month might
be May, and life be nothing but playtime.
FOX-GLOVE AND HEART'S-EASE.
"i WONDER what we are to do with our fine London
cousin exclaimed Angus Gordon to Charlie his brother.
S-" I thought that she'd enjoy herself so much at the Castle,
S as this is her first visit to Scotland; but of all the girls that I
have ever seen, Celia is the hardest to please! I took her just now to
see our beautiful new greenhouse-"
"She must have admired that," interrupted Charlie; for the green-
house was the pride of the place.
Angus shrugged his shoulders. "Miss Celia looked around her
with that cold, fine-lady sort of air, which always puts one out of
patience, and said, 'It is not one quarter so large as the one in the
"Just like her!" muttered Charlie. "She made nothing of our
beautiful little model-house, with the tiny chairs and tables in it, which
it took us weeks to carve with our penknives. Celia scarcely cared to
examine them, and said: 'You can get plenty of that sort of thing in
boxes at the Portland Bazaar.'"
I wonder if there is anything that she does care for ?" cried Angus.
"Celia seems to take no pleasure in either work or play. Croquet
tires her, she says; bagatelle she calls dull; and if one puts a book
into her hand, she turns over the pages and yawns."
18 FOX-GLOVE AND HEART'S-EASE.
"It is a pity, a very great pity, that Celia is so lazy and spiritless,"
observed Charlie; "I took quite a fancy to her when first she entered
our hall-I thought her the nicest-looking little girl that I had ever
seen in my life."
"Oh! fine feathers make fine birds," laughed Angus; "and Celia
wears a magnificent plume! "
"I don't care a straw for the plume and finery," said Charlie;
"what I liked was her sweet, gentle face, and soft, pleasant voice. I
was never so much disappointed in any one in my life."
"Perhaps poor Celia would be very different if she were not so
much spoiled," observed the thoughtful Angus. "She is, you know,
an only child, and has no one to think of but herself."
"And nothing to do but to enjoy herself," cried his brother; and
so she finds that very hard work. She seems tired of everything,
and-;" but here the conversation was interrupted by the entrance of
Celia herself. The little lady looked dull and out of spirits, threw
herself on the sofa, and yawned.
What shall we do to amuse you, Celia ?" asked Charlie Gordon.
"Are you fond of pictures? we've a beautiful illustrated History of
Oh! I'm tired of pictures," sighed Celia.
"Chess? suggested Angus.
"It's the most stupid game in the world! "
"There are not enough of us for 'Puss in the Corner,' or for Blind
Man's Buff,'" said Charlie.
I hate romping games," quoth the fine little lady.
Poor Charlie and Angus looked puzzled. They wanted to make
,? ~l ..... ......,
FOX-GLOVE AND HEART'S-EASE. 19
their guest happy, but it seemed impossible to do so. After a little
thought, Angus suggested riddles."
"That's such an old amusement," said Celia; "can't you find out
something quite new ?"
I have it! exclaimed Charlie, suddenly. Did you ever visit a
cottage in your life ?"
"There are no cottages in London," replied Celia.
Shall we take Celia to visit Jeannie-' Little Mother,' as they call
her? said Charlie, addressing his brother. "Every one says that her
cottage is one of the prettiest in Scotland."
"I should like to see the inside of one of these funny little homes,"
said Celia; "that is, if it is not very dirty," and she glanced down at
her pink kid boots.
Oh, 'Little Mother' keeps her cottage as clean as a new pin!"
Is the place near-for I can't walk far ?" asked Celia, whose
young limbs had never been strengthened by running, and jumping,
and playing about, and who thought every exertion a trouble.
Charlie and I will draw you in the old wheel-chair which our
mother used when she was a child," said Angus. "The path through
the wood is so pretty, I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself, Celia;-at least,"
he added to himself, if she's able to enjoy anything on earth "
Hi, Jeannie!-look, look! exclaimed little Geordie in a loud
tone of surprise, as he stood at the cottage door ; "here's a big arm-chair
wi' wheels, and Maister Gordon a-pu'ing it instead of a naggie ; and
there's a wee leddie in it-wow but she's braw and bonnie! "
Jeannie was busy at the wash-tub; her sleeves were tucked up, and
20 FOX-GLOVE AND HEART'S-EASE.
her little arms covered with soap-suds. She had hardly time to wipe
her wet arms and pull down her sleeves, before the young Gordons and
Celia entered the cottage. The boys were no strangers there; but a
young lady from London had never before trod on the brick-paved
floor, and Geordie and little Bessie his sister stared with eyes and
mouth wide open upon the gaily-dressed stranger.
Though Jeannie had been taken by surprise, she was ready with
smile and courtesy to welcome her guests. Her chairs needed no dusting,
there was no litter to be cleared away; all was neat and clean in
the cottage. Even Celia was not afraid to seat herself on the rush-
bottomed chair, nor was shocked when she looked around the humble
home of a shepherd.
Angus and Charlie had told their cousin, on the way to the cottage,
how "Little Mother" was all in all to her widowed father; how she
cared for the children, kept his home clean, was never idle, and never
unhappy. Celia had scarcely believed what she had heard, but was
greatly struck by what she now saw. While Angus spoke to Jeannie
about a fishing-net which she was to make for him, Celia beckoned
to little Geordie to come and stand beside her. The little rustic
approached shyly, with a broad grin on his sunburnt face.
"Does Jeannie do all the washing for you ?" Celia asked, glancing
at the tub at which the young girl had been so busy three minutes
Ou, ay; 'Little Mother' washes for father, and Bessie, and baby,
But who cooks the dinners ?" asked Celia.
"'Little Mother.' She bakes the baimocks, and minds the broo',
FOX-GLOVE AND HEART'S-EASE. 21
and boils the taties," replied Geordie, who was fond and proud of
Bessie could talk but little, and least of all to a stranger; but she
too had something to say. With her rough little brown hands she held
up her pinafore, with a dozen neat patches in it, and lisped out, "'Ittle
Murder mend dis."
And she knits my socks, and father'ss" cried Geordie, glancing
down at his feet, cased in thick woollen socks and hob-nailed shoes.
You must lead a very hard life," said the little lady to Jeannie,
who had just turned from speaking to Angus.
"A very happy life," replied Jeannie, with a bright, cheerful smile.
"How different," thought Celia, oh, how different from mine! "
The young lady had a tiny bead purse in her pocket, one of the
prettiest that ever was made. While her cousins were examining the
fishing-net in another corner of the cottage, Celia hastily drew out of
the purse a little gold piece, and slipped it into the hand of Jeannie.
She was so little accustomed to give to the poor, that the small effort
made her cheeks as pink as her boots.
"Oh, thanks, leddie, ye are vera kind!" cried Jeannie, who had
received the coin without looking at it, and, supposing it to be a
sixpence, had thought how conveniently it came to buy four ounces
of tea, now that the old caddy was empty. But on glancing down at
the money, Jeannie perceived that it was gowd, yellow gowd! She
had never before possessed such a thing as a piece of gold, and
instantly held it out to Celia, exclaiming, in her honest simplicity,
" Oh, leddie, you've gi'en me this by mistake! "
"No, no, there is no mistake," replied Celia hurriedly, rising to
22 FOX-GLOVE AND HEART'S-EASE.
leave the cottage ; for she felt shy at her act of kindness being noticed,
and the sudden exclamation of Jeannie had made Charlie and Angus
turn round. Jeannie was so much amazed at so splendid a gift, that
she could hardly express her thanks; but her countenance beamed with
delight, for she could now fulfil her long-cherished wish-buy a new
plaid for her father.
As the boys followed their cousin out of the cottage, Charlie
whispered to his brother: "It was a new pleasure to Jeannie to receive
such a present as that."
And a new pleasure to Celia to give it," replied Angus in the
same low tone.
Celia was very silent as her cousin drew her along in the wheel-
chair on their way back to the Castle. She was a reflecting girl, and
her first visit to a cottage had given her much to think of.
The three reached the edge of the wood, where there was a piece
of water in which grew lilies, and on whose verdant banks blossomed
"Oh, what beautiful flowers!" cried Celia, bending forward from
"I suppose," said Angus coldly, "not a quarter so fine as those in
the Botanical Gardens."
Wild-flowers don't grow in London," answered Celia; and I like
them the best of all."
"We'll get you some of these," cried Charlie; "here, Angus, turn
the chair round, while I gather a nosegay for Celia. What flowers do
you prefer ?" he continued; "see, there are some dashing fox-gloves
FOX-GLOVE AND HEART'S-EASE. 23
"I don't care much for them," replied Celia, "though they are so
gaudy and gay. But, oh! get me some of the lovely heart's-ease that
are growing close by the fern; and pray take them up roots and all,
that they may not wither quickly, but be transplanted and live."
Charlie quickly obeyed, delighted at having at last found some way
of pleasing his cousin. As he courteously presented to her the wild-
flowers, he said: May heart's-ease always be yours, dear Celia! "
"It is a low-growing plant," observed Angus, "and fitter for a
cottage garden than a fine verandah in London."
Celia made no reply to this, but thanked Charlie with a pleasant
smile for his present and his good wishes. The heart's-ease were
carefully planted in a pot as soon as the Castle was reached. Celia
watered them each day herself; and when she returned to England, her
pretty wild-flowers went with her.
And many a thought was suggested to the mind of Celia, as her
eyes rested on the soft velvet blossoms of the heart's-ease. They
always reminded her of Jeannie, the "Little Mother," in her post of
"My vain pleasures and amusements," thought Celia, "have been
like the fox-glove that grew on the bank. It is showy and gay, but
the light cannot get into its bells, because they point downwards to
earth. Jeannie has had the heart's-ease, quiet contentment of mind,
because she is useful, loving, and loved But if I, as I will try from
henceforth, seek to please God like her, though in a different station-
if I try to be happy by lmakiing others happy around me-perhaps I too
may feel the joyful sunshine upon my soul, and find that heart's-ease
can blossom in a London home as well as in the beautiful country!"
ON THE RAFT.
.b-K ARKNESS around me closes,
I O" And not a sail is nigh;
"-- No human ear can hear my call,
S' No human voice reply;
The lowering sky above, around
Waves, waves spread everywhere:
Dread prospect yet my sinking soul
Still struggles with despair!
Upon my rude and sea-washed raft
I float upon the wave,
With my poor dog, who suffers with
The friend he cannot save;
Our strained eyes scan the horizon dark,
In vain-no hope is there!
I clench my hands in anguish wild,
In anguish-not despair !
No, though fell thirst and hunger
May claim us for their prey;
ON THE RAFT. 25
No, though my chill and shuddering frame
Be drenched with ocean spray;
Though fainting, helpless, desolate,
I'm still the Almighty's care,-
His eye beholds, His hand protects,
And I will not despair!
Farewell, my friends beloved,
Still in this dark hour dear;
Ye little know the fearful night
Which closes round us here!
Lord, bless them; and, if such Thy will,
Oh! spare, for Thou canst spare
Him, who confiding in Thy love,
May die, but not despair!
The dreary night has passed away,
The dawn is in the skies,
Now senseless on his heaving raft
The shipwrecked Edwin lies;
But, sleepless, watchful, faithful friend,
His dog is striving there
To rouse the sailor from his swoon,
To bid him not despair.
The dog has seen the distant sail
Across the rolling seas,
26 ON THE RAFT.
The dog's loud eager bark for help
Is borne upon the breeze!
And larger, larger looms the sail,
And gallant tars prepare
To launch the boat to reach the raft,-
Oh who would now despair!
They're saved! they're saved! Oh, blessed day!
The dog and shipwrecked boy,
Companions once in sufferings,
Companions now in joy;
And Edwin lives to tell at home
How God had heard his prayer,
And sent in mercy help to one
Who never would despair.
J,- . .. "z *-- ::
WHAT BIRD WOULD YOU BE?
l "i-- NEW game for a rainy day!" cried Clara, clapping her
hands to command silence amongst the merry little
-'', group of children who, tired of active romps, now
clustered around her. "It must be a quiet one, for the
little ones are out of breath with Blind-man's Buff, and Sophy, I see, is
fanning herself on the sofa. Here, Tom and Felix, draw in chairs to
form a circle; the two footstools will do nicely for Jessie and Minnie-
little seats will suit little people. Tall Phil, you may perch on the
music-stool, and look down on us all, if you like it."
The circle of children was soon formed, all waiting till Clara should
tell them how to begin their new game.
Clara took a rich red rose from a vase which stood near. I am
going to ask a question," said she; and to the one who shall offer the
best reason for his or her answer, the rose shall be given as a prize."
Tom, a merry, rosy-checked boy, laughed as he stooped and
whispered to his next neighbour, Annie. "If the rose were to be won
by giving a long jump, or a hard pull, or a good knock-down blow,
I'd have a chance," said he; but you could wring out butter from a
broom-stick sooner than a rhyme or a reason from me!"
28 WHAT BIRD WOULD YOU BE
"Let's hear the question," cried Phil.
If you were to be changed into a bird, what bird would you
choose to become ?" asked Clara.
"An eagle !" shouted out Master Tom.
Your reason ? inquired the young lady.
Well," drawled out the boy, "I suppose because he's the biggest
and strongest of birds, and able to whack all the rest."
"The eagle is neither the biggest nor the strongest of birds," cried
Phil; the ostrich, condor, and albatross are all larger, and some more
powerful than the eagle."
Tom shrugged his shoulders and shook his head; had he not been
fonder of boxing than of books, he might have said that the huge
condor, being a vulture, is of the same order, and therefore may be
called first cousin to the eagle.
"Jessie dear, what would you be ?" asked Clara of the smallest
child in the room.
"I'd be a humming-bird," lisped Jessie; "'cause it's the prettiest of
all littlee birds."
"Pretty-yes," observed Annie, her sister; "but I think that its
prettiness is rather an evil to it than a good. If you were a humming-
bird, Jessie, you would very likely be caught, killed, and stuffed, for
the sake of your beauty."
And what says our little Minnie ?" inquired Clara of a plump,
fair, flaxen-haired child who sat on a footstool next to Jessie, with her
arm round her young companion.
"I'd be a beauty swan, swimming about amongst the lilies, under
the shady trees," said the child, who had admired the swan and his
WHAT BIRD WOULD YOU BE? 29
mate, with their little cygnets, floating on the lake, as she had seen
them that morning.
"Give us your reason," said Clara.
"I like paddling about in the water, it's so nice," was the simple
"Ay, you would like it in summer," cried Phil, "when the lilies
are in flower, and the trees in leaf. But I know a little lady who in
winter does not care to stir off the hearth-rug, and is ready to cry if
sent out into the cold. She would not then care to be a swan, and
paddle about on the ice."
"I'd rather be a swallow," cried Felix, "and escape altogether from
winter with its frosts and its snows. A life of active pleasure, not of
lazy enjoyment, for me! I like to travel and see distant lands;-and
what fun it would be just to spread one's wings and be off for France,
Italy, or Algiers, without any trouble of packing a trunk, with nothing
heavier to carry than feathers, and no railway tickets to pay for, or
bills at hotels on the way! "
Were you a swallow, you'd have a bill wherever you flew,"
"Oh! a precious light one," said Felix gaily.
"As for me, I'd prefer the life of a lark," cried Phil. "I'd sooner
mount high than fly far, and I'd like to whistle my song from the
clouds. To my mind, the little sky-lark is the merriest bird under
"If you were to be changed into a bird, Sophy, what bird would
you be ?" asked Clara of a rather affected little girl, who sat twirling
the bead bracelet which she wore on her arm.
"30 WHAT BIRD WOULD YOU BE?
Sophy drooped her head a little on one side, as if it rather
troubled her to give an opinion,-and she thought herself too much
of a fine lady to join in so childish a game. She glanced up,
however, at the splendid rose which Clara held in her hand, and
thinking that it would look very pretty in her own hair, prepared to
answer the question.
"What bird would you be ?" repeated the boys, who were growing
a little impatient.
"The nightingale," said Sophy in an affected tone, again looking
down, and twirling her beads.
You must give your reason for your choice," observed Clara.
"Every one admires the nightingale's sweet notes," said Sophy,
glancing up at the rose.
Oh, ho there's a fine riason laughed Phil. I'd sing, like the
lark, in the joy of my heart, with the sunshine about me; but Sophy
would sing for other folk to admire her trills and her shakes, and cry
out, I never heard anything so fine "
Sophy looked vexed at the remark, for Phil had hit on her
weakness, the vanity which is always seeking for praise. Clara, who
liked all to be peace and good-humour, turned at once the attention of
the little party in another direction, by addressing Annie, the only one
of the circle who had not yet been questioned.
What bird would you be, dear ? asked she.
I think, an eider-duck," replied Annie. Her answer was received
with a burst of laughter.
"A duck-to dabble in mud, and gobble up snails and frogs!"
WHAT BIRD WOULD YOU BE? 31
Or be gobbled up itself, with green pease, and admired as a very
nice bird! exclaimed Felix.
Ducks are very pretty-almost as pretty as swans," lisped little
Jessie, who did not like her sister to be laughed at.
"I do not think that eider-ducks are pretty," said Annie; I did
not choose the bird for its beauty."
You have not given us a reason for your choice yet," observed Clara.
"I think the eider-ducks useful," said Annie; the delightful
quilt, so light yet so warm, which has been such a comfort to mamma
in her illness, was made from their down. But my chief reason for
liking the bird is its unselfishness. You remember, Jessie," added
Annie, addressing her sister, "what mamma told us about the eider-
ducks that are found in Scotland, Norway, and Iceland ? "
Oh yes, I know all about them cried Jessie. The good
mother duck pulls off the down from her own breast to line her nest,
and make it soft and warm for her baby ducklings; and when people
steal away the down, she pulls more and more, till she leaves herself
bare; and then her husband, the drake, gives his nice down to help her."
When mamma told me all this," said Annie, it reminded me of
the beautiful story of the Highland mother who was overtaken by a
terrible snowstorm, as she travelled with her babe in her arms. The
mother stripped off her shawl, as the duck does her down, and wrapped
it close-oh! so close-round her child, and hid him in a cleft in a
rock. The baby, wrapped in his mother's shawl, was found alive where
she had left him ; but the poor woman-the loving woman- Annie's
voice failed her, and she did not finish the touching tale of the mother
who perished in the cold from which she had guarded her child.
32 WHAT BIRD WOULD YOU BE?
Now let us compare the various reasons which have been given
for choosing different birds," said Clara, that we may decide upon
which is the best one. The eagle was chosen for size and strength,
the little humming-bird for beauty; one liked the swan's life of easy
enjoyment, another the swallow's of active amusement. The lark was
chosen for cheerfulness, the nightingale for the admiration which he
gains, the eider-duck for the unselfishness which she shows. Now,
which of our little party has given the best reason for a choice ? "
"Annie Annie cried most of the children-though Sophy
muttered something about an ugly waddling creature, that can say
nothing but quack !'"
Then I think that we agree that Annie has won the rose," said
And if, before the day was over, that sweet rose found its way to a
chamber of sickness, and was laid on an eider-down quilt within reach
of a lady's thin hand, the reader will easily guess how it came there.
Annie was one not only to admire but to imitate the unselfishness of
the bird that finds its pleasure in caring for the comfort of others,
instead of seeking its own.
THE ENGLISH GIRL AND HER AYAH.
-, LITTLE English girl in India was one day playing outside
her father's tent, near the edge of a jungle. Her attention
was attracted by a beautiful little fawn, that seemed too
Young to run about, and which stood timidly gazing at
the child with its soft dark eye. The girl advanced
IJ towards it; but the fawn started back with a frightened
S look and fled. The child gave chase; but the fawn was
soon hid among the tall reeds and grass of the jungle.
When the girl's ayah (nurse) missed her charge she quickly hurried
after her. But so eager had the child been in pursuit of the fawn,
that she was some distance from the tents before the ayah overtook
her. Catching up the girl in her arms, she attempted to return;
but the vegetation around grew so high that she could scarcely see
two yards before her. She walked some steps with the little girl in
her arms, then stopped, and looked round with a frightened air.
" We are lost! cried the poor Hindoo; lost in the dreadful jungle "
" Do not be so frightened, Motee," said the fair-haired English girl;
" God can save us, and show us the way back." The little child could
feel as the poor Hindoo could not, that even in that lonely jungle
a great and loving Friend was beside her! Again the ayah tried to
34 THE ENGLISH GIRL AND HER AYAH.
find her way; again she paused in alarm. What was that dreadful
sound like a growl that startled her, and made her sink on her knees
in terror, clasping the little girl all the closer in her arms ? Both
turned to gaze in the direction from which that dreadful sound had
proceeded. What was their horror on beholding the striped head of a
Bengal tiger above the waving grass! The ayah uttered a terrified
scream, and the little girl a cry to God to save her. It seemed like
the instant answer to that cry when the sharp report of a rifle rang
through the thicket, quickly succeeded by a second, and the tiger,
mortally wounded, lay rolling and struggling on the earth.
Edith-for that was the girl's name-saw nothing of what followed.
Senseless with terror, she lay in the arms of her trembling ayah.
It was her father whom Providence had sent to the rescue.
Lifting his little girl in his arms, he bore her back to the tent,
leaving his servants, who had followed in his steps, to bring in the
dead tiger. It was some time before the little girl recovered her
senses, and then an attack of fever ensued.
Her mother nursed her with fondest care; and with scarcely less
tenderness and love the faithful ayah tended the child. The poor
Hindoo would have given her life to save that of her little charge.
On the third night after that terrible adventure in the woods
came the crisis of the fever. The girl's mother, worn out by two
sleepless nights, had been persuaded to go to rest and let Motee take
her turn of watching beside the child. The tent was nearly dark-but
one light burned within it-Edith lay in shadow-the ayah could not
see her face-a terror came over the Hindoo-all was so still, she
could not hear any breathing-could the child be dead! The ayah,
THE ENGLISH GIRL AND HER AYAH. 35
during two anxious days, had prayed to all the false gods that she
could think of to make Missee Edith well,-but the fever had not
decreased. Now, in the silence of the night, poor Motee Ayah
bethought her of the English girl's words in the jungle. Little Edith
had said that the Lord could save them-and had He not saved from
the jaws of the savage tiger? Could He not help them now ? The
Hindoo knelt beside the charpoy (pallet) on which lay the fair-haired
child, put her brown palms together, bowed her head, and for the first
time in her life breathed a prayer to the Christian's God: "Lord Jesus,
save Missee Baba! "
0 Motee Motee! cried little Edith, starting up from her pillow
with a cry of delight, and flinging her white arms round the neck of
the astonished Hindoo, "the Lord has made you love Him! and oh,
how I love you, Motee!-more than ever I did before' The curly
head nestled on the bosom of the ayah, and her dark skin was wet
with the little child's tears of joy.
Edith a few minutes before had awaked refreshed from a long sleep,
during which her fever had passed away. From that hour her recovery
was speedy; and before many days were over the child was again
sporting about in innocent glee. From that night the ayah never
prayed to an idol again. She was now willing to listen to all that was
told her of a great and merciful Lord. Of the skin of the tiger that
had been slain a rug was made, which Edith called her praying-carpet.
Upon this, morning and night, the English girl and her ayah knelt side
by side, and offered up simple prayers to Him who had saved them
THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY.
"t [.lt H', I do so long to have a scamper upon Shaggy again! "
S %These were the first words on the lips of Jos Jacksorn
i' as he awoke on a Sunday morning, the day following that
l of the arrival of the Shetland pony which was a gift to him
from his father.
Shaggy-so named on account of his rough mane and hide-had
reached Myrtle Lodge on Saturday evening, rather tired after a long
journey. But Jos had not been able to resist the pleasure of mounting
him for a short canter across the common.
"Just as far as the sign-post, papa-not a step further! cried Jos,
with his hand on the saddle. "You know that to-morrow is Sunday;
and then," added the boy, in a tone of regret, "I suppose that I must
not ride Shaggy at all."
"Certainly not," replied Dr. Jackson, who reverenced the Fourth
Commandment, and took care that his son should at least outwardly
obey it. "Well, my boy, then mount and away! But do not go
further than the sign-post, for poor Shaggy has travelled a good many
Jos had his father's eye upon him, and he turned his pony at
exactly the right spot, and jumped off his back at the very minute after
THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY. 37
reaching the place where Dr. Jackson was standing. The father had
been watching with a kindly smile the first ride of his only son, the
motherless boy whom he loved with the tenderest affection. It would
be difficult to say whether the parent or the child had most enjoyment
from that first ride; for while the easy pace of Shaggy was delightful
to Jos, and he felt happy as a prince in the saddle, his father was
almost happier in seeing the pleasure which his present gave to his boy.
Jos could hardly sleep that night, his mind was so full of his ride,
and he was so impatient to have a look-just a look-at Shaggy on
the common, where he had been turned out to graze.
"This would have been such a beautiful day for a ride! What
a pity that it is Sunday!" said Jos to himself, as he ran up to his
If Shaggy had had thought and speech, he certainly would not have
said, What a pity it is that it is Sunday! No more would the weary
horses that were happily grazing at some little distance. They had
been toiling all through the week; and oh, what a blessing to them
was the Sunday's rest! Jos Jackson had known nothing of really hard
work. He had led almost as easy a life as the gabbling geese by the
pool, or the quaint little water-wagtails. He therefore did not value
Sabbath rest; and as for Sabbath duties, I am afraid that Jos Jackson
took in them no interest at all.
"Oh, I do so long to have a scamper upon Shaggy again!" had
been, as we have said, the first words of Jos in the morning; and
twenty times at least they recurred to his mind during the day, though
he did not utter them aloud to any one. They expressed his thought
when the bell rang for family prayers; when his father read the Bible
38 THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY.
to his son and his servants; and all through breakfast-time the boy
could think of nothing but his pony.
Jos always accompanied his father to church on Sunday mornings,
but did not go with him to afternoon service. It might almost be said
that Jos took Shaggy with him even to church; for all the time that
the boy was there his mind was running on his pony. Jos seemed
indeed to be praying; and his voice-a pleasant voice it was-was heard
in every hymn. But was he really either praying or praising ? Ah no !
Jos's worship was all a sham : not a single word that he uttered came
from the heart. Jos was taking his Maker's name in vain, praying, as
the hypocrites do, only to be seen by those around him. The boy was
actually sinning while he fancied that he was doing a praise-worthy
Could Jos have repeated anything that he heard in the sermon
which followed the prayers ? No; not so much as the text. If he
thought about the sermon at all, it was only to wish that it would soon
be over. And yet the preacher was speaking, in a way that even a
child might understand, of the parable of the Sower, and the seed of
the Word which fell by the way-side. The heart of Jos Jackson was
too much like the way-side-no holy teaching on that day made the
slightest impression upon it. The boy seemed to care for nothing but
Shaggy, his pony.
Jos did not consider that there was any harm at all in letting an
earthly pleasure take up his thoughts in the house of prayer, and on
the holy day set apart for devotion and rest. But sin indulged in
thought is likely ere long to ripen into deeds. If Jos had been saying
to himself through church-time, I wish-oh, I wish that I could gallop
THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY. 39
about upon Shaggy!" he did not feel the desire to ride less strong
when in the afternoon he stood on the common patting the rough mane
of his four-footed friend.
"Papa has gone to afternoon church; I've no one to talk to, no
one to play with," said the boy to himself. I wish that this were any
day but Sunday: how jolly I should be upon Shaggy; I would get Tom
to saddle him at once, and he and I would be off like the wind. After
all, there can be no harm in my getting on his back just for a little. I
do believe that Shaggy would rather enjoy a canter, and so, I am sure,
would I. No, I'm certain there can be no harm."
Jos did not ask himself whether there was not sin in breaking the
Fourth and Fifth Commandments-whether it was not ungrateful as
well as undutiful conduct towards his father to use his own gift in a
way which, if known, would certainly displease him. Jos did not ask
himself whether there was not deceit in doing behind his parent's back
what he would not have done before his face. The boy thought of
nothing but present pleasure, and repeated, There can be no harm,"
as, grasping Shaggy by the mane, he managed to scramble on to his
It is not so pleasant to ride even an easy-pacing good-tempered
pony without a saddle as with one, and yet Jos greatly enjoyed his
scamper. He did not, however, enjoy its ending; for he could not
guide Shaggy without a bridle, nor prevent his running so close up to
the sign-post that Jos had to move his leg quickly, and suddenly
stretch out his hand, to save himself from being dashed against the hard
wood. The hand was hurt by the passing shock, a sharp pang shot
through the little finger; Jos Jackson bit his lip hard from the pain.
40 THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY.
But Jos was a manly boy, and not disposed to make much fuss
about what he deemed a trifling accident. He looked at his little
finger; there was not a bruise or a scratch to be seen upon it.
"There can have been no harm done; it does not show one bit,"
said the boy.
Jos had considered that there was "no harm" in indulging idle,
wandering thoughts in church, because they did not show; and so, in
the same way, he was not afraid of any harm to his finger, because no
outward mark of a blow could be seen. But as black bruise or red
scratch is safer than injury to the bone, so the most grievous sin may
be that in the heart, of which the world knows nothing.
"I will not speak about my finger to papa," muttered Jos, "as he
might question me as to how it got hurt. I do not want him to know
that I've had a scamper on Shaggy."
But if Jos through the rest of that day said nothing of the hurt to
his finger, he could not help thinking a great deal about it-more even
than about his new pony. On Sunday the boy was allowed, as a treat,
to share his father's late dinner, and afterwards to spend the evening
with the doctor, who was too busy to see much of his boy during the
week. Jos usually enjoyed those Sunday evenings greatly, but on this
particular evening enjoyment was out of the question. It hurt Jos even
to convey a spoon to his mouth; he could hardly manage to pare the
splendid rosy-cheeked apple which his father gave him to eat. Jos
could scarcely attend to the interesting anecdotes which his father
related for his amusement, or, after dinner, turn over the leaves of
the beautiful Pictorial History of Palestine, which he only saw upon
THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY. 41
"Are you not well, my boy? you look pale," said Dr. Jackson, who
noticed that his son was less cheerful and more silent than usual.
Oh, I'm all right, papa! cried Jos, in as lively a tone as he could
command. His finger was paining him sorely.
Nothing was said about the new pony; Jos was glad that such was
the case, for, if his father had questioned him on the subject, he was too
truthful a boy not to have owned his act of disobedience. Jos was,
however, not altogether candid and honest; for it is not candid and
honest to hide the truth from a parent, though the lips may utter no
"I am glad, papa, that you have no work to do to-day," observed
"I am glad, too," said Dr. Jackson; "I am thankful to enjoy a
quiet day of rest."
But, papa, sometimes you go to see patients on Sundays, and you
ride your horse, too," observed Jos, whose conscience had begun to
prick him a little, and who would have gladly quieted it by the thought
that even his father, who was so religious and good, believed that there
was no great harm in riding on Sundays.
"I must attend to my poor patients when they require my help,"
replied Dr. Jackson mildly; "our Lord Himself healed on the Sabbath,
and said that it is lawful to do good on that day."
But Mrs. Carpue is not a doctor, and she always drives past our
gate on Sundays," said Jos.
"Mrs. Carpue is only going to church, which she has not the
strength to reach on foot," said the doctor. But the lady care-
fully observes the Fourth Commandment in spirit, if not in letter.
42 THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY.
I know that her horses always have their rest on some day in the
Jos could scarcely attend to what his father was saying, the boy's
finger was growing so exceedingly painful. Dr. Jackson again noticed
the looks of his son.
"Have you a headache, my boy ?" he inquired.
Jos declared that he had nothing whatever the matter with his
head; and in saying this he spoke truly. He took care to keep his
hand under the table, for his poor finger was beginning to swell.
Jos for once was glad when the time came for saying good-night
to his father and going to bed. But, oh, what a painful task it was
to the poor little fellow to undress himself in his own small room!
Jos thought that he would never manage untying and unbuttoning,
and pulling off jacket and boots. Manly as was the doctor's young
son, there were tears in his eyes when, the toil of undressing being over,
he got at last into bed, and laid his head down on his pillow. Jos was
not to have much rest during the night, owing to the pain in his hand.
If he sometimes dropped asleep from weariness, he was sure to awake
before long with a thrill and a start.
"I can't bear this much longer! murmured poor Jos to himself,
after he had heard Twelve o'clock strike, then One, then Two. My
finger gets worse and worse. I wish that I had not mounted on
Shaggy. I shall have, after all, to own to papa the whole truth in the
And other thoughts came into the mind of poor Jos during that
wearisome wakeful night-thoughts which had not entered into it
during the day. He remembered how everything, even the most secret
THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY. 43
thing, will one day be brought to light. Those who have said there is
" no harm in breaking one of the Lord's commandments, will see then
what a grievous injury is done to the soul, though at first, like the hurt
in the finger, it may not show to the eye of man.
If it had been difficult for Jos to undress himself at night, it was
quite impossible for him to put on all his clothes in the morning. He
tried, indeed, to do so, but weary with pain, and from want of sleep,
the courage of Jos gave way, and he fairly burst into tears.
Presently he heard his father's foot-step on the stairs. Dr. Jackson
was going down to breakfast.
"Oh, papa, I wish you would come here!" cried Jos, in a doleful
tone;-" please come, I have hurt my finger."
Jos had not to call twice; his kind father was ever ready to help
him out of a trouble. Dr. Jackson came to the room of his son, and
at once examined the finger. He did so gently and tenderly, but still
Jos could scarcely help crying out with the pain which the handling
You have hurt your finger indeed, my poor boy," said the doctor;
"I'm afraid that you have fractured the bone. How on earth did this
Jos told all--with a full heart and quivering lip he told all-how he
had been tempted to do that which he knew he ought not to have done,
and how he had given way to the temptation. Dr. Jackson neither
chid nor punished his son, for he saw that Jos was sorely punished
already, and that the boy's own conscience was rebuking him for his
fault. Grieved, but not angry, the father did all that he could to
relieve the pain of his son. He skilfully dressed and bandaged the
44 THE SCAMPER ON SHAGGY.
finger, and fastened it firmly in the right position by means of a splint,
so that Jos had no power to bend his hand. All this dressing and
binding was painful enough to the boy, but he did not utter a word of
complaint. He knew that he had deserved all that he suffered.
But it was a very great trial to Jos not to be allowed for some time
to mount Shaggy, lest the motion of the pony should hinder the bone
from properly setting. Pain and weakness in the hurt finger long
remained, to remind the poor boy of his fault.
"Certainly the accident might have happened on any other day of
the week," said Jos to himself when he took the first gentle ride upon
Shaggy which he had had since hurting his hand; "or I might have
had my Sunday scamper without getting any harm at all. But perhaps
I am wrong there "-thus the boy pursued his quiet reflections-" I
suppose that no one ever breaks the Commandments without getting
harm, though the harm at first may not show. My father said last
night that outward troubles are like bruises or cuts on the skin, but the
sin that wounds the conscience is like a hurt to the bone; it shows less,
but it injures more."
I'LL NOT LET YOU GO.
"E is the naughtiest child in my class. I think that I must
give up trying to teach him! sighed Miss Lee, a very sickly
\4 ~ looking lady, as on one cold afternoon in March she returned
S from the Sunday school in which she had been for some
years a teacher. "Yes, little Seth seems as if he could
S neither be won by kindness, nor moved by reproof. He
cares neither for smiles nor for frowns. He disturbs all the
rest of the boys in my class; sets them off laughing when I most wish
them all to be quiet and attentive; he teases this one, quarrels with
that; never by any chance knows his verse; and meets my reproofs
with only a saucy look of defiance. And this is not the worst of it,"
thought the weary, anxious teacher, as she leaned for some moments on
a high stile, as if to gather strength before she could make the effort
of climbing over it; I cannot depend on Seth's word! I am certain
that it was he who threw the orange-peel under my seat, though he
boldly denies that he did so, and tries to cast the blame upon others.
And this is not the first time that I have had to doubt the truthfulness
of the boy. I really must turn him out of my class "
46 I'LL NOT LET YOU GO.
Having made this half resolve, Miss Lee set her foot on the lowest
step of the stile, but instead of crossing over, she sat down to rest on
the top one, though the March wind made her shiver. The lady felt
very weary and faint; and a pain in her side, from which she often
suffered, was more distressing than it had ever been before.
I am sure that my pupils would give me less trouble if they knew
how tired I always am when I leave them," thought the lady; but
they are all tolerably good, except Seth. And I am unwilling to give
up even little Seth, troublesome, naughty boy that he is. He lost his
mother when he was a baby; and his father, the farmer, is out all day
long in the fields. Seth is allowed to run wild-and this is not the
boy's fault. Then Seth is so young, and so small-he is only seven
years old, and he scarcely looks five; surely I ought to be able to
manage and guide such a child! But my strength and vigour are
gone," continued Miss Lee, still speaking to herself, and she pressed
her hand to her aching side. "I am scarcely fit for the effort of
teaching at all; and one wilful, troublesome, saucy child tires me out
more than all the rest of the boys put together. I think that I must
tell Seth Rogers to come no more to my class." With an effort which
made her bite her lip with pain, Miss Lee managed to get over the stile,
and she then slowly walked along the path over some wide grassy up-
It was pleasant to see those green uplands, dotted with sheep, and
sweet was the tinkling sound of the sheep-bell. But Miss Lee was not
inclined to enjoy either sight or sound. She was tired, chilly, dis-
couraged. She was thinking for how many years she had laboured to
teach children the way to Heaven, often going to the Sunday school
I'LL NOT LET YOU GO. 47
when scarcely well enough to walk to it. And after all her labour and
pains, the teacher was not at all sure that she had been the means of
really leading one little one to the Good Shepherd.
Is it not-must it not be by some fault of my own ?" thought the
poor lady, as she slowly went on her way. I have not worked hard
enough, or prayed earnestly enough for my little flock, and yet not a
day passes without my remembering every one of them in my prayers.
I have tried to do the best that I can; but it seems as if all my efforts
had been in vain, at least as regards Seth Rogers, that naughtiest child
in my class "
The path grew steeper, and Miss Lee walked yet more slowly, often
stopping to take breath, until she had passed the crest of the hill. Then
the loud bleating of a sheep near the bottom of it drew the lady's atten-
tion, for it sounded like a call from a creature in distress. Miss Lee
turned aside from the pathway, and went down towards the sheep, to
see what was the cause of its trouble; for a rough knoll hid it from
view. On passing the knoll, Miss Lee came in sight of a fleecy mother
who was piteously bleating, as she bent over a rushing torrent which
ran at the bottom of the hill.
The lady quickened her steps; she was sure that some poor lamb
must be struggling below in the water; and though very doubtful
whether she herself would have strength to lift it out, she thought that
she could but try. But Miss Lee's feeble help was not needed. The
next step that she took brought before her view a young shepherd lad,
stretched at full length on the grass, evidently engaged in a violent
effort to pull something out of the water.
I'll not let you go, little one, I'll not let you go !" muttered the
48 I'LL NOT LET YOU GO.
lad, whose face was flushed scarlet from stooping so low over the brink
of the torrent, for he could just manage to put down his hand far
enough to touch the fleece of the drowning lamb.
Miss Lee stood still for several minutes, watching with interest the
efforts of the young shepherd, although she had no power to aid them.
It was no easy task for the lad to get the little wanderer out of the
dangerous position into which it had fallen. Thrice the strong current
seemed to bear the lamb beyond reach of the shepherd lad's grasp,
thrice he had to jump up and change his position for one further down
the stream; his hands were torn with brambles; but still muttering
" I'll not let you go," he only redoubled his efforts, till at length the
struggling creature, trembling and dripping, was lifted out of the
torrent, and given back to its bleating mother.
You are rewarded for your patience and your kindness, my lad,"
said Miss Lee with a smile to the youth, who was panting after his
Ey, ma'am; 'twas a wilful lamb, it was; but I would not let it
go," said the youth, as he slowly got up from the ground, and wiped
his heated brow. "If I had let it drown, I'd have had to answer for it
to my master."
Miss Lee turned, and went again on her homeward way, her mind
full of the little incident of the rescue of the lamb, and the words of the
shepherd lad seemed to ring in her ears as she walked. Has not the
Heavenly Shepherd given me some of His lambs to tend," thus reflected
the Sunday-school teacher; and shall I forsake one of them because
it has wandered farther, fallen lower, and is in more danger than the
rest of my little flock ? Shall not I have to answer for it to my Master ?
I WO ---- ----
I'LL NOT LET YOU GO. 49
More earnest, persevering effort may be needed; I may be, as it were,
torn by the brambles; my poor Seth may require more constant prayers
and pains; but may grace be given me to say of him what the shepherd
boy said of his charge, I'll not let you go, little one; I'll not let
This was the Sunday-school teacher's resolve; but she seemed likely
never to be able to carry it out, for she had scarcely reached her home
when she fainted.
"No, there's no use, boys, in your coming here this morning;
there's no one to hold the class; so you'd better be off till the bells
ring for service."
So spake old Ridger, the clerk, on the morning of the Sunday
following, as he stood outside the closed door of the room in which
Miss Lee was wont to meet her young pupils.
Some of the boys looked surprised, but Sam Wright, the gardener's
son, observed, I was a'most sure as there would be no class to-day,
because Miss Lee is so ill."
"Ill!" echoed several voices.
"Ay, she's been ailing this long time," replied Sam; "Father
says that she's never so much as taken a turn in the garden for months,
and she used to have such pleasure in the flowers."
But she has never missed her Sunday teaching once," said one
of the boys.
No, she'd come to that if she were able to crawl," observed Sam;
"that wasn't a pleasure, but a duty."
50 I'LL NOT LET YOU GO.
"It might have been a pleasure too, if it had not been for some
chaps," said an elder boy, glancing at Seth.
"I thought that teacher looked very pale last Sunday," observed
Eli Barnes, who had been one of her most attentive pupils; "but then
she had been so worried. I noticed that she twice put her hand to
It was on Friday night that she was took so bad, so very bad,"
said Sam. Father was just turning into bed, when there was a rap
at our door; one of the servants had come over to tell him to go off
in haste for the doctor. You may guess as father was not long in
getting ready, for the servant said as Miss Lee seemed to be dying.
The doctor came in an hour, as fast as his horse could gallop, though
'twas raining and blowing like mad. I couldn't get to sleep till I'd
heard what he said of our teacher; neither could father, when he got
home all wet to the skin; he must go up to the Hall for news of
"And what did the doctor say ?" asked several voices at once.
Sam Wright looked very grave as he answered, "The doctor don't
much expect that she'll get over the fever."
Some of the boys uttered exclamations of regret, others sighed
and said nothing. All of them turned from the closed door, feeling
sorry to think that their teacher might never enter it again.
In the meantime Miss Lee was lying in bed in a darkened room,
while the spring sun was shining so brightly, as if to invite all to come
out and enjoy his beams. The few persons who entered that room
moved about as noiselessly as if they were shadows, for the poor
patient was in a burning fever, and the sound of a step, or the rustle
I'LL NOT LET YOU GO. 51
of a dress, would have been to her most distressing. No one spoke
to Miss Lee, not even to ask her how she felt, for the fever had
mounted into her brain, and the sufferer knew nothing of what was
passing around her. The teacher's mind was, however, still working,
and even in delirium she showed what had been the uppermost care
on her mind. From the lips so parched and blackened by fever
words continually burst, though she who uttered them knew not
what she was saying. The sick-nurse little guessed why the patient
grasped her own bed-clothes so tightly, and again -and again cried
out in a tone of distress, "I'll not let you go, little one; I'll not
let you go! "
Most of the boys of the Sunday class strolled out on the uplands,
to gather wild flowers, or to chat together, until it should be time
for them to go into church. There was one little boy, however, who
did not go with the rest, but preferred lingering alone amongst the
graves in the churchyard. That boy was Seth Rogers, the naughtiest
child in the Sunday class.
Old Ridger the clerk watched Seth, as the little fellow went slowly
and laid himself down on the turf close to the grave of his mother.
Ridger saw the child hide his face in his hands when he thought that
he was out of the sight and hearing of all.
"That poor little motherless chap takes the lady's illness much
to heart," said the good-natured clerk to himself. "I should not
have expected it of Seth Rogers, for he has been-so my grandson
tells me-the very plague of his teacher's life; and I myself have
had to complain to the vicar a dozen times of his rude behaviour
in church. Many a Sunday I've said, 'I'd like to give that
52 I'LL NOT LET YOU GO.
young rogue a good thrashing, for there's nothing else as will bring
him into order.' But the child seems quiet and sad enough now,"
added Ridger, and taking up his cane, the old clerk walked slowly
up to the spot where Seth Rogers was lying on the turf, and as he
did so, he heard from the boy something that sounded much like
"Come, child, you mustn't take on so," said the clerk, stooping
over Seth, and gently touching his shoulder. Miss Lee may recover,
and get about again, if it be the Lord's will; and if not-"
Seth raised himself from the ground; the little fellow's cheeks were
wet, and his eyes were glistening with tears.
0 Mr. Ridger, do you think she will die?" he asked in an
We should all be very sorry were Miss Lee to die," was the old
man's rather evasive answer.
No one would be so sorry as I," cried the child, bursting into
tears, because-because-" Seth could not finish the sentence, his
heart was too full for words.
Old Ridger seated himself on a bench, and drew the little boy
close to his breast, for the clerk was a kindly man, and always felt
for a child in trouble. He gently stroked Seth's shoulder, as he said.
" I never thought that you loved your teacher so much more than
do the rest of the boys."
It's not that I loved her more, but that I worried her more,"
murmured the child, in a scarcely audible tone. They did not
plague her, and make her so tired, and bring the tears into her eyes.
They did not tell her untruths." The boy was speaking rather to
I'LL NOT LET YOU GO. 53
himself than to the clerk; Seth was thinking aloud in the spirit of
those touching lines on the death of a mother,-
And now I recollect with pain
How many times I vexed her sore;
Oh if she would but come again,
I think I would do so no more."
The old clerk rose from his seat, for the church-bells were sounding,
and it was time for him to go and look out the psalms and the lessons
for the day. Ridger had but one word of comfort to give the poor
little boy before he left him alone. "You know that you can pray
for the lady," said he.
But could Seth Rogers pray? He never had prayed in his life,
no, not even when he had been kneeling close to Miss Lee, while she
besought the Lord to bless her and her little pupils. Seth had, alas!
been too apt even then to stare around, perhaps trying to make others
as careless and inattentive as he was himself. Seth had never once
really joined in the prayer of his teacher, he had only been restless
and impatient to have the praying-time over. But when old Ridger
had gone away, and the child was left for some minutes alone in
the churchyard, then, for the first time, Seth Rogers really did pray.
He threw himself again on the ground on which lay the shadow
from the grave of his mother, and sobbed forth, Oh, please-
please don't let teacher die, until I've seen her again, and tried
to make up for the past."
54 I'LL NOT LET YOU GO.
The little boy's prayer was answered. On the following day the
doctor told the anxious watchers in the sick-room that he hoped that
the worst was over. A night of deep, quiet sleep succeeded, and on
the Tuesday morning Miss Lee awoke quite free from fever, but so
weak and low that she could not turn in her bed.
From that hour the lady's recovery was steady, though slow. It
was not till the middle of April that the invalid was permitted to
leave her room, and any occupation that could tire either body or
mind was strictly forbidden. Miss Lee was, however, able to enjoy
sitting in an easy-chair by the open window, as the days grew warm
and long. Every morning she found on the sill a few wild flowers;
she did not know who had placed them there, but perhaps my readers
But Miss Lee only looked upon rest as a preparation for work;
her life had not been prolonged to be spent in luxurious ease. As
soon as the lady felt that a little strength was restored to her, she
began thinking how she could best set about doing her Heavenly
I have been able to take a little walk in the garden every day
this week," said Miss Lee to herself one evening towards the close
of May. I think that I may take up my work again next month,-
at all events, I will try." The lady opened her desk, and with her thin,
wasted hand wrote a note to her Vicar to say that on Sunday week
she hoped to meet her Bible-class in the schoolroom.
I'LL NOT LET YOU GO. 55
It will be an effort, a very great effort," thought poor Miss Lee,
as soon as she had sent off the note. "When I remember all the
weariness and the worry that I had to bear through the winter, I can
scarcely help hoping that Seth Rogers at least may have been with-
drawn from my class. But oh, how this shows my want of faith and
of love! Have I not prayed-prayed often both before and during
my illness for the soul of that motherless child, and may not my poor
stray lamb be given to me at last! "
The appointed Sunday arrived, and the first to meet his teacher at
the door of the schoolroom was Seth. Miss Lee's first glance at the
face of the boy raised her hopes that he was changed and improved;
and her hopes were not to be disappointed. The prayers of teacher and
pupil for each other had been abundantly blessed. Seth Rogers became
the most steady and obedient boy in the class; it was he who most
watched his teacher's eye, and most earnestly heeded her words. Of
him Miss Lee was wont to think as her "joy and crown of rejoicing;"
for Seth was the first of her pupils whom she was permitted to look
upon as the fruit of her labours of love. Often the sight of the boy
recalled to the teacher's mind that day when she had seen the poor lamb
saved from perishing; and a silent thanksgiving arose from her heart,
" Heaven be praised, I did not let him go "
I .. : -
BEWARE OF THE WOLF.
!' "' lOU never need fear, little children, to meet
A wolf in the garden, the wood, or the street;
Red Riding-hood's story is only a fable,
I'll give you its moral as well as I'm able:
Bad Temper's the wolf which we meet everywhere-
Beware of this wolf! little children, beware!
I know of a boy, neither gentle nor wise,
If you tell him a fault he gives saucy replies;
If kept from his way, in a fury he flies-
Ahl! Passion's the wolf with the very large eyes;
'Tis ready to snap and to trample and tear-
Beware of this wolf! little children, beware!
I know of a girl always trying to learn
About things with which she should have no concern:
Such mean Curiosity really appears
To me like the wolf with the very large ears,
All pricked up to listen, each secret to share-
Beware of this wolf! little children, beware!
BEWARE OF THE WOLF. 57
And Greediness, that's like the wolf in the wood
With the very large mouth, ever prowling for food;
That eats so much more than for health can be good;
That would clear a whole pastry-cook's shop if it could;
That never a dainty to others will spare-
Beware of this wolf! little children, beware!
PASSION, PRYING, and GREEDINESS, each thus appears
As a wolf with fierce eyes, a large mouth, or big ears;
They bring to our nurseries fighting and fears,-
They cause bitter quarrelling, trouble, and tears.
Oh! chase them and cudgel them back to their lair-
Beware of the wolves! little children, beware'
c i ^. ''^ ; .
BLACK YARN AND BLUE.
.. OFTLY outside Mary's cottage fell the rain, the gentle April
rain; and round and round went the wheel within the
C.KU- cottage, where Mary sat at her spinning. Never did her
,' husband wear a pair of socks that was not of Mary's spinning
and knitting. The hum of the cottager's busy wheel was a pleasant
sound; and cheerful and bright looked Mary's face, as she busily spun
her blue yarn.
But the face of her son Jemmy was neither cheerful nor bright, as
he sat, with his crutches beside him, in front of the fire, with his back
turned towards his mother. First Jemmy yawned, then yawned again,
and then he took to sighing; and his sigh had so dreary a sound, that
it drew the attention of Mary.
"What are you thinking of, Jemmy, my lad ?" asked the mother,
stopping the wheel for a minute.
I am thinking of all my troubles," was the mournful reply, uttered
slowly, and in a tone most plaintive.
"Well, the accident to your leg was a great trouble; but the poor
leg is getting better: the doctor says that you will soon throw your
crutches away," observed Mary cheerfully; and round again went her
BLACK YARN AND BLUE. 59
"I was not thinking of great troubles, but of little troubles," said
Jemmy; "this has been an unlucky day. It rains when I want to
"Oh! the blessed rain, which will do the country such good!"
interrupted his mother.
"And I've lost my silver penny," continued Jemmy; "I cannot
find it, though I've hunted in every nook and cranny."
"Certainly that is no great trouble," laughed Mary; "wait till I've
spun this yarn, and I'll help you to look for your silver penny. And
what is your next trouble, my boy ?"
"That pretty plant which the gardener gave me is dying; it is
curling up all its leaves," sighed doleful Jemmy, glancing towards a
flower-pot which stood on the sill.
"I dare say that it only wants a little water," said Mary. "See
how the spring shower is making the fields and hedges green! Your
poor prisoner in the flower-pot has not had a drop to drink since
yesterday, when you brought it home. Have you any more troubles,
my boy?" The question was so playfully asked, that Jemmy felt
rather ashamed of his sighing and grumbling.
Only that Tom is unkind; he is always teasing me to come out
and fly the kite with him, when he knows that I have a lame leg. He
said, when he went out this morning, that my coddling at home was all
nonsense, that he'll make a bonfire of my crutches some day, and that I
never shall miss them! It was very, very unkind."
Tom is a little too fond of joking, but I really don't see anything
in that joke to set you sighing," said Mary, laughing. "My dear boy,
you are much too ready to set that brain of yours spinning gloomy
60 BLACK YARN AND BLUE.
thoughts. Suppose that I were to put black wool upon my wheel,
what should I spin but black yarn! and your father would have nought
but black stockings to wear. Why should one choose a dark colour,
when it costs nothing to have a cheerful one ? So with the yarn of
thought. Take something pleasant to think of, something bright to
turn round and round in your mind. Suppose now that, instead of
your troubles, big or little, you take to counting up all the kindnesses
which you have received since yesterday morning."
Jemmy had shifted his position, so that he was now sitting looking
at his mother; and a sight of her cheerful face was in itself enough to
brighten him up a little. Still, it was rather in a grumbling manner
that he replied, "I don't know what kindnesses I have to count up.
No one is ever kind to me-except, of course, you and my father."
We count for something," cried Mary. But think a little longer,
my lad; turn your wheel round a little faster;" and the spinner suited
her action to her words.
"Well, Tom did mend my kite this morning; I suppose that you
would call that kind," observed Jemmy.
Now, were you not needlessly spinning black yarn instead of blue
when you thought of Tom's rough joke, instead of his real act of
kindness ?" asked Mary.
And perhaps it was kind in the gardener to give me that plant
-only it's dying now," said Jemmy.
It was not dying when he gave it; I've seldom seen a prettier
flower. Have you no other kind deeds to remember ?" asked the mother.
It was a new thing to Jemmy to count up kindnesses instead of
troubles, and he rubbed his forehead, as if rather perplexed.
.. .... .
. .. .. ...
~~lla~ll..... . .... ~
BLACK YARN AND BLUE. 61
My grandfather gave me a shilling yesterday," he said at last;
" and that was a kindness."
And you chose to think more of the penny lost than of the
shilling received! How fond some people are of choosing the black
yarn!" cried Mary.
"There's no one else that has done anything kind to me; I can
remember nothing more," said Jemmy, after a moment's reflection.
"I can remember some-thing for you, then. Who taught you
reading and spelling yesterday afternoon ?"
Oh! Sarah May," answered the boy. But that is nothing new;
she has done that ever since the hurt in my leg stopped my going to
Yes; she has shown kindness to you every day for the last ten
weeks, and therefore you have forgotten to think of it as kindness
at all. O Jemmy, Jemmy! here is a sad choosing of the black yarn
instead of the blue "
Teaching me costs Sarah nothing," began Jemmy; but he stopped
short, for he could not help feeling a little ashamed of such ungrateful
That is an odd thing to say cried Mary. "Does not teaching
cost Sarah trouble and time. And is it not for time and trouble that
every workman and workwoman is paid-except those who, like Sarah,
take to helping others from kindness ? I know that Sarah went in her
old dress to church last Sunday, because she had not had time to make
up her new one; I know that she has stopped at home to teach you,
when she might have been enjoying a pleasant walk with her brother.
I suppose that my lame laddie thinks so little of all this kindness
62 BLACK YARN AND BLUE.
because Sarah is good and patient, and never grumbles at small
troubles like somebody that I know."
Mary went on with her spinning faster than before, leaving Jemmy
to turn over in his mind her little reproof. Perhaps the yarn of his
thoughts was dark enough at first, for Jemmy was mortified to find
what a silly, discontented, ungrateful boy he had been. He sat silent
for several minutes, and then saying, I had better water that plant,"
he rose from his seat, and went slowly up to the water-jug which stood
in a corner of the room.
As soon as Jemmy had lifted the jug, he uttered an exclamation of
pleasure. "Oh! here is my silver penny!" he cried; "it has been
lying all the time under the jug! "
And in the jug, all the time, had been lying the water which was
all that was needed to make the delicate plant revive, stretch out again
its curling leaves, and lift up its drooping blossoms. Jemmy felt
pleasure in watering his flower; to do so, he thought, was almost like
giving drink to a thirsty animal.
Jemmy was all the more pleased, because he had a little plan in his
mind, which he carried out on the following day. When his mother
had set him to count the kindnesses which he had received, she had
taught him also to feel grateful for them. But the little spinning-
wheel of his brain did not rest there, nor stop till Jemmy had found
out some way of showing that he was grateful. It was indeed but little
that the lame boy could do; but when he carried to Sarah May a nose-
gay of all his best flowers, and saw her smile of pleasure as she received
it, a joyful sense of having done what was kind and right filled the
heart of the grateful boy.
THROUGH THE SNOW.
'1 H, mother, just look at pussy making her way through the
. snow, putting down her little paws so timidly, as if she
.-. were afraid of sinking in over head, shoulders and all!"
j exclaimed Maggie Maclaren, as she stood at her cottage
window, looking out on the road, over which winter had spread a thick,
deep covering of dazzling whiteness.
Mrs. Maclaren, who had just come in from a long, weary walk from
the town, did not appear inclined to take any particular interest in the
movements of pussy. It had been no easy matter for Maggie's mother
to trudge for miles through that snow, which in many places lay more
than ankle-deep in drifts. She had been heavily laden, and wearily the
basket had hung on her arm, with the big parcels in it. She had
carried three loaves, a pound of sugar, and half a pound of black tea;
Maggie's newly-heeled boots from the cobbler, warm socks and gloves
for the little girl, and three yards of good gray linsey to make her a
comfortable cloak. The mother had been all the morning working
hard at the wash-tub, to earn money to buy all these things, and the
afternoon's long walk in the snow, with a cutting east wind in her face,
had almost exhausted her strength. It would have been just as well if
Maggie, instead of staring idly out of the window, had run to relieve
64 THROUGH THE SNOW.
her mother of that heavy basket, and if she had taken care to have a
nice cup of tea ready to warm her after so chilling a walk. Maggie
loved her mother dearly, but she was rather a thoughtless girl; so she
did not even help Mrs. Maclaren to pull off those boots, which were so
wet through with melted snow that she could scarcely drag them off.
My feet are like ice," said Mrs. Maclaren; "and no wonder, for
my very stockings are as wet as if they had been in the wash-tub! "
Poor little pussy! she has neither stockings nor boots," laughed
Maggie; and these velvet paws of hers will be half frozen with cold!
I wonder why she should go struggling on through the snow and wet,
when she could have such a warm place by our fire, and a quiet nap on
the old brown rug! "
"You forget that pussy has kittens in the loft of the stable
opposite," replied Mrs. Maclaren. She cares more, far more, for them
than she does for her own comfort. She comes here, indeed, for a little
food, but nothing could tempt her to stay here. When the stable-
door had been locked last night, the poor cat waited outside in the
bitter cold, mewing and whining, till Joe in pity got up, unlocked the
door, and let her in, that she might get to her kittens again."
Ah, pussy is a mother!" cried Maggie. "I wonder if those
kittens will ever repay her for the trouble which they give her, and the
love which she shows them."
Mrs. Maclaren shook her head as she replied, Pussy is like many a
mother, who must look for little return for all that she does for her
children, but the comfort of knowing that they have never wanted for
anything while she could labour-or suffer-for them."
Maggie turned quickly round from the window; the gentle reproach
THROUGH THE SNOW. 65
had struck on her heart. She looked at her tired parent, cold, hungry,
and wet; then on the table, heaped with food for a little girl's eating,
and clothes for a little girl's wear-for one who never yet had earned a
single meal for herself.
Oh, mother," cried Maggie, "how thoughtless I have been! "
In a minute Maggie was down on her knees by her parent, chafing
and rubbing those icy-cold feet, to bring back to them comfort and
warmth. Then it was Maggie who ran for dry shoes, and her own
warm little shawl to wrap round her mother's shivering frame. Then
the girl brought coals, and filled the kettle, and set it upon the fire, put
the loaves on the shelf, and the tea in the box, and emptied the sugar
into its own brown jar without wasting a crumb; and while she was
doing all this, Maggie was turning over in her mind whether she could
not coax her mother to turn the good gray linsey into a skirt for
herself, and let her own little girl have the pleasure of making it up.
I cannot say that Maggie, with all her coaxing, succeeded in this;
but her mother looked as much pleased at the wish as if the new skirt
had been actually given to her. There was nothing that could
warm the heart, she said, better than the love of a dutiful child,
whether in winter or summer. And never again had Mrs. Maclaren
cause to think that Maggie could neglect her best earthly friend, or
that she ever could forget what a deep debt of love is due to a tender
-V w i,.
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.
-ELL, uncle, and if I did kick the little beast, what of that ?
He's only a dog, a mere shepherd's dog," said Steenie
Steers, in a tone of contempt, as he looked down on the
1' rough little creature that had crouched for protection beside
the chair of his master, Farmer Macalpine.
And what is a dog-a shepherd's dog-but a useful creature, a
grateful creature, that might teach a lesson to many of a nobler race ? "
said the farmer tartly. Macalpine had a face almost as sharp and eyes
almost as keen as those of his four-footed companion, and his shock of
tawny hair was almost as thick and rough as the coat of his faithful
Trusty. There was nothing smooth about Farmer Macalpine, as his
spoiled nephew found to his cost whenever he and his uncle chanced
to be together.
Steenie Steers thought himself a very fine fellow indeed; in this,
as in many other things, he had formed a very different opinion from
that of Farmer Macalpine. Though Steenie was not yet quite twelve
years of age, he already put on all the airs of a grown-up fop.
Macalpine had found the boy lolling in the only easy-chair in the room
of his aunt, Miss Steers, with his silver-tipped cane in his hand; and
kr , t
-M A, r
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG. 67
Steenie had hardly risen to welcome his uncle, though he had not met
him for more than a week.
I've come to see your Aunt Elizabeth, Steenie; is she at home ?"
Aunt Bess-why, no, she's out somewhere," answered the nephew.
" I dare say that she's trotted over to the doctor's," he added, in a tone
of utter indifference.
Is her head better ? How did she sleep last night? inquired
How can I tell ? I've just come in from a stroll in the woods,"
I suppose that you did not go on your stroll without your break-
fast ; you must have seen your aunt then," said Macalpine, in his rather
I wasn't down to breakfast till old Aunt Bess had done hers and
gone out," answered Steenie. "I was up late last night at the Burn-
sides," added the boy, with a yawn.
I've heard your aunt say half a dozen times that she did not like
your going to those Burnsides," said the farmer.
Steenie laughed and shrugged his shoulders. "I'm not bound to
care for all her likes, or dislikes either," muttered the boy, tapping his
front teeth with his silver-tipped cane.
Macalpine's sharp keen eyes looked sharper and keener than ever
as he observed, After your aunt's bringing you up, and doing every-
thing for you these ten years, ever since you could toddle alone, I
think that she has a good claim at least to your obedience, if you have
no affection to give."
68 THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.
Apparently Master Steenie did not relish his uncle's remark, for,
perhaps to turn the conversation, he began teasing the farmer's dog.
Macalpine's angry remonstrance led to the reply of his nephew with
which my little story begins.
I wonder that you care to keep such a rough ugly cur as that
Trusty," observed Steenie Steers.
I keep him for some use," answered the farmer. Trusty guards
my flock; attends to my call; by day or by night, in snow, rain, or
hail, he is always ready to do my bidding. He's a good old fellow,"
continued Macalpine, stooping to pat his rugged friend, who licked the
farmer's hand in return. I've reared him from a puppy."
I should not care to rear such a common kind of dog as that,"
observed Steenie, who prided himself on being a dog-fancier. "If he
were a King Charles's spaniel, now-"
Or a pug or a poodle," interrupted the farmer, I should not
consider him worth the rearing. I care for use, not for show."
Your favourite does not cost you much, I'll be bound! said
Steenie Steers, with a saucy laugh.
Trusty costs me nothing," answered Macalpine, for he is content
with a few bones, and fairly earns what he gets. But a friend of mine
once reared a puppy that would, perhaps, be a puppy just to your taste.
Plenty of care and pains she bestowed on the useless creature, and
stuffed it with food more than enough. I consider that much of that
good feeding was downright waste, seeing what the puppy was to turn
out, and that my poor friend really stinted herself to lpamper her pet."
Did the creature devour so much then ? inquired young Steers.
Why, he must have gobbled up, during his training,-let me see
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG. 69
-let me see," and Macalpine rubbed his shaggy head to help out his
calculations-" the pet must have gobbled up as good as three hundred
big legs of mutton "
"I say !" exclaimed Steenie in much amazement; "your friend's
pet must have been no pup, but a lion, and one with a monstrous
appetite, too Such a brute as that would soon eat his mistress out of
house and home."
He did not eat all the mutton in a day-or a week-or a month
-he took his time about it," said the farmer, with a low chuckling
laugh. But my friend's hungry pet did not live on mutton alone;
we must add to the meat some three hundred pounds of fresh butter !"
A dainty dog! exclaimed Steenie.
And not much less than a thousand loaves of white bread," said
Macalpine; with tubs'-full of milk, and casks'-full of beer, and I don't
know how many plum-cakes, seed-cakes, iced-cakes, and all sorts of
sweeties besides! "
You are cracking a joke on me, uncle," said Steenie. I'll answer
for it that your friend's pet was never a puppy at all."
I could not answer for it that he is not one now, and a very
useless puppy, and a very ungrateful puppy," cried the farmer, rising
from his seat. "There, I see my sister coming," he added, as he
looked through the open doorway; "Trusty, you and I will go and
Trusty, ever ready, sprang up and followed his master.
Steenie's face had grown exceedingly red at the words of Macalpine;
the boy bit hard the silver tip of his cane. He could now see clearly
enough what his uncle's meaning had been. Steenie himself was the
70 THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.
idle, ungrateful puppy, that, after having been fed for ten long years
on his kind aunt's bounty, had made no kind of return for all the care
and love which she had lavished upon him.
I must say that Farmer Macalpine had a rude and disagreeable way
of giving reproof; he did not, as all Christians ought to do, speak the
truth in love. His manners and his words were as rough as his hair.
We may have no such plain-spoken uncle to remind us of things which
we do not care to remember, but it is well for all who have been
brought up by parents or friends in comfortable homes, all who have
been fed and clothed year after year by the kindness of others, to ask
themselves what return they are making for all that they have received.
I fear that Steenie Steers is not the only boy who deserves the name of
" a very useless puppy, a very ungrateful puppy,"-and who might, if he
would, learn a lesson from Trusty, the old shepherd's dog.
KNIGHTS OF THE CROSS.
---> ^ <---
IR John and Sir Bevis were knights of old,
Who went to the Holy Land;
Each had a spirit free and bold,
Each had a firm strong hand;
Each showed by the Cross upon his vest
He had chosen the Christian's part,-
'Tis one thing to wear it upon the breast,
Another-within the heart.
Wise in counsel, and bold in fight,
Tell me which was the Christian knight.
Sir John he prized the wine-cup well,
And sat at the banquet long;
He loved the boastful tale to tell,
And to sing the boisterous song.
He slew the foe who for mercy cried,
And burned his castle down;
He wasted the country far and wide,
And won what he called renown:
But his deeds were hateful in Heaven's sight-
Let no one call him a Christian knight.
72 KNIGHTS OF THE CROSS.
Sir Bevis supported the widow's cause,
And upheld the orphan's claim;
Did good, but never for man's applause,
For little he sought for fame.
When his most bitter foe he found
Bleeding upon the plain,
His thirst he quenched and his wounds he bound,
And brought him to life again.
Gentle in peace as brave in fight,
Was not Sir Bevis a Christian knight ?
Those warlike times they have passed away
Knights wear the Red Cross no more;
But contrasts exist in modern day
Great as in days of yore.
Gentle, generous, true, and kind,
E'en in the child we see
That he may be of a chivalrous mind,
Though but of a low degree;
Guarding the weak, and loving the right,
Be each British boy as a Christian knight.
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