The Baldwin Library
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Lizl)y and Rose.--p. I3;
FREDERICK WARNED AND CO.,
BEDFORD STREET, STRAND.
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BY B. C. G.
nIith (olonrtb *Iltstatinns.
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.,
BEDFORD STREET, STRAND.
"DEAR mother, how tired you look !" said Annie
Wells, on coming home from school, one Friday
afternoon in the middle of summer.
"Yes, Annie, I am tired," said her mother; "I
have had a good deal to do, and I am quite worn
out. You must see to the children, and give them
All right, mother," said Annie; and to-morrow
I shall be at home, and able to help you clean up."
Mrs. Wells had just got a comfortable cup of
tea, and the three younger children were busy at
theirs under Annie's care, when a rap came at the
door, and in walked Mrs. Johnson. Now Mrs.
Johnson was an acquaintance of Mrs. Wells, but
not one whom she cared much for, and tired as
she was a quiet half-hour would have been much
more to her taste.
However, Mrs. Wells was kind and neighbourly,
and asked the new-comer to have a cup of tea.
"I can't stop a minute," said Mrs. Johnson, but
2 LiZszy Yohnson; or,
those who knew her were accustomed to that sort
of remark, and Annie went on pouring out the tea
" I have just run over to ask your advice about a
place that I have heard of for my Lizzy."
Well, sit down at any rate for a minute, and
tell us all about it," said Mrs. Wells.
"It is a place Mrs. Smith, the grocer's wife, has
heard of. You know she serves some very good
houses, and she was asked to recommend a handy
active girl to be under the housemaid in a small
family, so she thought of Lizzy, who, you know,
was helping to look after the children in her sister's
house when the last baby was born, and who
made herself very useful there; for I will say this
for her, she is as stirring and good-tempered a girl
as any you can find in a hurry, and I don't mind
who knows it." Mrs. Johnson, when she once
began, wasn't easy to stop, and Mrs. Wells felt
quite out of breath in only listening to her. How-
ever, she managed to get in a word, and asked
whether the place was in town or country.
"In town," said Mrs. Johnson; "at any rate
for most of the year."
"And what do you hear of the lady herself?"
"Well, they say she's very strict, and likes
everything done by rule and measure, but very
just. If you do your duty by her, she'll do her
duty by you-but if you don't, she will stand no
nonsense. I don't think that's a bad thing for
Mutual Help. 3
young people-they're none the better for getting
their own way-it's just as well they should learn
who's to be mistress at once."
"It takes a deal of patience to teach young
things," said Mrs. Wells; and they are trying, at
times, but still I don't think it does to be too hard
"Ah, mother, you're the one to teach," said
Annie; "you never seem to think we're stupid if
we can't do the thing right the first time."
"Does Lizzy like the thoughts of the place,
Mrs. Johnson?" asked Annie's mother.
"Oh, yes, she's just wild to go, and she'd been
to her box and pulled out half her things, to see
what she should want to make her fit for such a
place, before I had done telling her about it; but
I believe there are rules about what the maids are
allowed to wear-it's no use getting anything new
till we know. Well, Mrs. Wells, you think she'd
better go, and so do I-but we'll see what her
father says to-night."
Mrs. Wells had not said anything one way or
the other, but she felt that she should have liked
to know more about the sort of people, and espe-
cially about the fellow-servants, with whom so
young a girl would be thrown into companionship,
if it had been her own daughter who was going.
She said something of this sort to Mrs. Johnson,
but it was hardly listened to, and the busy little
4 Lizzy yohnson; or,
woman soon bustled off to ask "the advice" of
"Mother, I wish I could go to service," said
You are too young yet, Annie; and besides,
how can I spare you ? If I get strong by-and-bye,
we will see what can be done; but you know you
are such a help to me."
"Oh, mother, I will stay with you and the little
ones-it was only just at the moment I thought I
should like to go, as Lizzy is going. If you want
me, I am sure I am best at home."
I don't think your father would like to see the
house without you, Annie," said Mrs. Wells, as she
watched her daughter clearing away the tea-things,
and putting the room to rights-making everything
neat and comfortable against the time her father
came home. And Mr. Wells was quite of the
same mind, for Annie was a great pet of his, and
he knew how much she was able to do for her
mother and the little ones.
Lizzy Johnson came to see Annie Wells before
she went to her new place. The two girls had
always been good friends, though Lizzy was the
eldest by two years.
I shall see you sometimes, on Sundays, Annie,"
said Lizzy. "I hear that Mrs. Courtenay always
gives leave to come home on one Sunday in the
month, but you have to be back by the minute-
Mutual Help. 5
it don't matter what keeps you, she never hears of
"I hope you will like the place," said Annie.
"I hope I shall; but there are such a lot of
rules! Everything is done by clock-work; and
then about what we wear Mrs. Courtenay is so
particular She has sent a list-so many of this
thing, and so many of that-lilac print in the
morning, and blue print in the afternoon-brown
ribbon on my bonnet, and a regular old night-cap
to cover my head when I am doing dirty work-
she says the bits of things girls wear now, don't
keep the dust out of their hair-however, I needn't
wear any in the afternoon."
"That's not a bad plan," said Mrs. Wells,
"and you will soon get used to her ways, I dare
"Well, I mean to try," said Lizzy, and to stay
in my place, if I can."
"That's the right way to begin. You will find
a good deal that is awkward and disagreeable at
first, but never mind that; and if your mistress is
rather too particular, they say she is very just, so
I hope you will get on with her. It isn't my place
to give you any advice, Lizzy-your mother will do
that; but if it was my own girl that was going, I
should say, remember that in doing your duty to
your mistress, you are doing a much higher duty.
What I mean is, that you should do what she
6 Lizzy 5ohnson; or,
wishes, because it is right to obey her, and by
doing what is right you are serving God."
"Oh, Mrs. Wells, it seems so strange to talk of
serving God, about such little things as minding
the fidgetty ways of a mistress !"
Yes, my dear, I know many people think their
religious principles should be just like their smart
Sunday clothes, and only come out once a-week;
but I can promise you they won't be the worse for
wear, whatever the clothes may be; but the more
you use them, the brighter and the stronger they
will grow; and it makes things so easy to have a
real strong principle to act upon! You will find it
much easier to give up your own way for the love
of your Heavenly Father, than for the fear of your
The two girls listened, but Lizzy did not look as
if she quite understood what Mrs. Wells said.
Soon after this Lizzy left her home, and began
her new life. Annie was very anxious for the first
meeting, that she might hear all about it, but some
time passed before they met again. At last, one fine
Sunday afternoon, about five o'clock, Lizzy came in.
She looked well and strong, and very neat in the
dress of the under-servants at Mrs. Courtenay's.
The two girls met affectionately, and, as Mrs.
Wells said, their tongues galloped at a great rate,
they had so much to ask and to tell. By degrees
the pace slackened, and then it began to appear
Mutual Hep. 7
that Lizzy was tolerably happy. She had some
things to complain of, but not any very serious.
"And do you like your mistress?" asked Annie.
"Like her," said Lizzy. "Well, I don't see
how I can like her-she never speaks to me, nor to
any of us, any more than if we were so many
machines-but I don't dislike her, for she never
scolds, and that's one good thing."
"And have you a great deal to do?"
"Oh, there's plenty to do, but I don't mind
work-what I don't like is, that everybody is so
stiff, and somehow they all seem so hard-the
cook is just after the same pattern as the mistress,
and the housemaid takes after the cook. It is
just as if they all said, You do your work, and I'll
do mine-don't meddle with me, and I'll not
meddle with you'-and nobody seems to care
about doing anything but what must be done."
Well, that must be a cheerless sort of home for
a girl like you," said Mrs. Wells, "but perhaps when
they are more used to you it will be different."
Lizzy shook her head, and after a little more
conversation asked if Annie might walk part of
the way back with her, as she must be at home
when the clock struck the half-hour after six. "If
I am five minutes late, I shall lose an hour's holi-
day the next time my Sunday comes for going out,
and if I am half-an-hour late, I shall lose my turn
altogether, so be quick, Annie."
8 Lizzy Yohnson; or,
The two girls were soon off, and had got more
than half-way to their journey's end, when they
saw a little girl, very neatly dressed, crying bitterly.
She had evidently lost her way.
Lizzy and Annie went to her, soothed and
comforted her, and managed to get from her
the name of the street in which she lived-but they
neither of them knew whereabouts it was.
The shops were all shut, being Sunday, and
there were not many people in the street; however,
at last they found some one who could give them
the necessary information, and they started off joy-
fully, when they heard a clock near them strike a
Annie stopped, and said to her friend, "Run
home, Lizzy, as fast as ever you can. You have
not a minute to spare."
Oh, Annie, must I go, do you think ? I should
so like to see that child safely home."
"You must go, Lizzy; only think how disap-
pointed your mother and all of them will be next
time, if you can't get leave to come."
"Well, I suppose I must. Good-bye. You will
be able to take the little girl home. Your mother
won't mind your being late."
Oh, no, I'm not afraid of my mother. She's
never angry at anything like this. Good-bye,
Good-bye, Annie," and Lizzy ran off.
Mutual Help. 9
Annie went on with her little charge, found the
house where she lived, and had the pleasure of
restoring her to the mother, who was getting rather
uneasy about her child.
Mrs. Wells quite approved of what her daughter
had done, and many were the speculations in which
Annie indulged as to whether her friend had got
home in time or not.
At last, one evening, Mrs. Johnson looked in-
she had been to Mrs. Courtenay's to take her
daughter's clean things, as she washed for her at
home, and she was very angry-partly with Lizzy,
partly with her mistress-when she found that there
was to be no visit from her daughter on the com-
"Oh, Mrs. Johnson, was she late, then?" ex-
claimed Annie. We thought she could just have
managed to run home in time."
Yes, but she took the wrong turn, and ran a
good bit before she found it out, and then did
not know which way to go, so that it was quite
seven o'clock before she got home. Such silly
nonsense, going along with that crying child.
Somebody else would have taken care of it before
long, I dare say; and now Lizzy won't get home
on Sunday week, and her aunt is coming, and all."
"But when Mrs. Courtenay heard how it hap-
pened, Mrs. Johnson," asked Mrs. Wells, was she
still angry ?"
Io Lizzy .ohnson; or,
"Heard how it happened! Why, bless your
heart, she never hears how anything happens;
she's not one of that sort. This is the way of it:
The bell rings at half-past six-up goes the cook.
Mrs. Courtenay says" (here Mrs. Johnson put on
a manner which she supposed to be like Mrs.
Courtenay's), "'Cook! whose Sunday out is it?'
'Lizzy Johnson's, ma'am.' Has she come home ?'
'No, ma'am.' 'Send her up when she comes.'
'Yes, ma'am.' Well, at seven o'clock in comes
poor Lizzy. 'You are to go up to your mistress,'
says the cook. You may suppose how poor Lizzy
shook, but up she went."
And did Mrs. Courtenay scold her very much ?"
asked Annie, eagerly.
Up she went," continued Mrs. Johnson, and
found her mistress sitting reading? This was
your Sunday out, Lizzy, was it?' she said, quite
quietly. 'Yes, ma'am-I'm sorry.' What o'clock
is it?' asked Mrs. C. Just seven, ma'am, but I
couldn't help it.' You miss your next turn, Lizzy,'
said Mrs. C. And Lizzy says she never raised her
voice, and just turned over a page in her book, as
if it didn't signify. Lizzy tried to tell her how it
happened, but Mrs. C. looked up and said, 'I
never listen to excuses-you may go;' and Lizzy
couldn't say another word. She was so vexed
and so put out; and then the servants are just like
the mistress. They didn't care to hear what she
Mutual Help. 11
had to say for herself. She says she never was in
such a place; and, though it may be all very right,
and she is well-fed and well-treated, she just pines
for a kind word, and ior some one that seems to
care whether she is alive or dead, beyond getting
the work done. She says she never knew what
home was before, and hung round my neck like a
baby; though I'm sure I was often cross enough,
too, when the children worried and fretted."
Yes, but she knew there was a warm heart under
the hasty word," said Mrs. Wells. "We can put up
with a great deal if there's love at the bottom."
"Well, there's no love in that house-neither
top nor bottom," said Mrs. Johnson, preparing to
go. "But the place is a good place, and Lizzy
must make the best of it."
Annie was very silent for some time after Mrs.
Johnson went away. At last she said, "Mother,
do you think Mrs. Courtenay is right ?"
"In what way, dear-right not to listen to what
Lizzy might have to say ?"
Yes, mother; because Lizzy had a very good
reason for not getting home in time."
"No, Annie. I don't think she was right. It
wasn't quite doing as she would be done by, was
it ? and though girls do often make foolish excuses
-and I don't like what is nothing but an excuse-
still we ought always to hear what there is to be
said on the other side. I often think- "
12 Lizzy 'oknson; or,
"Well, mother?" asked Annie, for Mrs. Wells
stopped, as if she was talking to herself only.
Why, Annie, I was just thinking what would
become of us if our Father in Heaven was as hard
upon us as we are upon each other, and would
listen to no excuse. If He would not let us tell
Him that we were sorry, and would try to do
better another time ?"
"I think Mrs. Courtenay is very cruel and un-
kind, and I don't like her at all," exclaimed Annie.
"That's the way you hear both sides, is it,
Annie ?" asked Mrs. Wells, with a smile.
Annie blushed and laughed.
Perhaps I am too hard upon her now," she said.
"We don't know very much about Mrs. Courte-
nay yet," said her mother, "and we shall be run-
ning into the very fault we are speaking of, if we
judge her without knowing what there is to be said
on her side of the matter."
That wouldn't be fair, either," said Annie.
"And, as you get older, dear, you will see that
we have to be more than fair if we would do as we
would be done by. We shouldn't like to get
nothing better than we deserve sometimes, and so
we mustn't give hard measure ourselves."
All went on smoothly for some time now. Lizzy
came home at regular intervals, and was not late in
returning. During the summer Annie often walked
Mutual Hep. 13
back with her, and Lizzy would never go into the
house till the clock was on the point of striking.
"No," she said, "fair play was fair play: if she
mustn't be one side of the hour she wouldn't be the
other." Annie did not think Lizzy was quite as
she used to be. She seemed to be getting so hard
and selfish, though she was pleasant and kind to
her, and had always plenty to tell when she came
home. One day Annie went to meet her friend,
and had got nearly to Mrs. Courtenay's house,
when she met Lizzy, looking as if something par-
ticular had happened. I have had such work to
get here," she said. I thought I should have had
to stay at home, for cook's sister is ill, and she
wanted to have to-day for her turn instead of
me. There is some good in rules, after all:
for Mrs. Courtenay would not make any change,
though cook asked her, unless I asked too."
"Is the cook's sister very ill ?" asked Annie.
"Oh, I don't know-I dare say not. Cook
seemed rather in trouble, but she is very soon put
out. She said, if I came home early, she would
ask to have a run to see her, as it isn't far off; but
I don't see why I should trouble myself for her-
she never does for me."
Perhaps she says the same of you," said Annie;
"somebody must begin; wouldn't this be a good
"What! go back now, and give up going home?
14 Lizzy .ohnson ; or,
That would be a joke. I wonder how many there
are that would do such a thing as that for any but
a great friend?"
Annie thought of her mother, and felt sure she
would. She could not help saying so.
"Well, I believe your mother would," said Lizzy,
"she is so very kind, but there ain't many like her.
I'm sure, if cook was I wouldn't mind doing
anything for her, but she is just like all the rest in
that house. Everybody does just as much as they
are bound to do, but not a hand's turn more. As
for going out of the way to help one another, we
never think of such a thing."
"Well, perhaps if somebody was to begin," said
Annie, it might make a change. If you do cook a
good turn now, I'm sure she won't forget it; you
won't enjoy yourself a bit if you feel that she's at
home fretting, and that you could prevent it. Think
if little Clara was ill ?" (Clara was Lizzy's favourite
"What a fuss I should be in, to be sure, but I
don't know that cook cares as much about her
sister as I do about Clara. She never seems to care
about anybody, and never talks about her home."
"Do you ever talk about Clara ?"
"No; we none of us talk about home."
"Then perhaps she would think you didn't care
about anybody. Come, Lizzy, let's go back. Don't
you remember what we used to read together about
Mutual Help. 15
the golden rule ? Here's a good chance to do as
you would be done by, and I'll tell your mother
how it was. I know my mother would be quite
pleased if I did such a thing."
Lizzy was a kind-hearted girl, and the troubled
face with which the usually stiff and silent cook
had seen her go out, came before her-she turned
back without saying another word.
"Oh, Lizzy, are you going back? I am so
glad," said Annie.
"Glad to get rid of me," said Lizzy, a little
ashamed of her own good feelings.
Annie smiled. "Yes, very glad, you may be
sure; but how happy you will feel by-and-bye."
Lizzy walked fast, for when once she had made
up her mind, she was quite in a hurry till she had
put her good resolution into practice. "You'll tell
mother all about it, Annie," she said, as she wished
her good-bye, "and perhaps I may have cook's
turn next week."
"Perhaps you may. Anyhow, I know you won't
grudge giving up to-day, so good-bye;" and the girls
Lizzy went down to the kitchen at once, but did
not find anyone, so she went up to the cook's
room. She knocked at the door-at first there
was no answer. She knocked again, and called out
"Mrs. Smith do let me speak to you-do open
the door !" And then the cook suddenly opened
16 Lizzy oknison; or,
the door, and asked, angrily, what brought her back
again, and why she couldn't let people alone?
Oh, Mrs. Smith," said Lizzy, quite out of
breath, do put on your bonnet at once, and run
home and see your little sister. I have come back
"That's all very fine," said Mrs. Smith; "but
now Mrs. Courtenay is gone out, and I can't ask
her to let me take your turn. If you had done as I
asked you this morning---"
Lizzy was aghast. This difficulty had not struck
"Surely mistress wouldn't be angry if we told
her how it was," said Lizzy.
"Yes; and who is to tell her, I should like to
know ? It is as much as my place is worth to go
without asking, but- "
"Oh, you will go. I am sure she won't scold.
How I wish I had thought of it this morning."
"It's very well wishing now, but it's too late;
you had better go and enjoy yourself, and never
mind me. It don't matter what I feel."
Lizzy felt this was a little hard to bear, but when
she looked at the poor cook's face, which still
showed traces of tears, she tried again.
"Think how pleased your sister will be, Mrs.
Smith; you will be back again quite in time."
Mrs. Smith still grumbled, but began to get out
her bonnet and shawl.
.Iutual Help. 17
"Mrs. Courtenay might never find it out," she
said. "Mind you don't say a word, and I'll get
back before she knows anything about it. I do so
fret to see poor dear little Fanny, and to know just
how she is. Well, Lizzy, I'll go," and downstairs
they went together.
Jane, the housemaid, was gone to church, that
being the rule. One maid went to church, one
took care of the house, the other went to see her
friends. Lizzy accordingly was left in charge of
the house, and Mrs. Smith went off as fast as she
could to her sick sister.
Lizzy sat down in the kitchen, and felt very glad,
on the whole, that she had taken Annie's advice.
Mrs. Smith's manner had not been very kind; in-
deed, she seemed to think more of Lizzy's first
refusal to give up her holiday than of her coming
back to do so of her own accord; but that did not
matter; she felt herself that she had done right at
last, and only regretted that she had not done it
sooner, that there might have been no chance of the
cook displeasing her mistress by going out without
leave. Jane, the housemaid, came home to tea,
but did not seem to notice that Lizzy was at home
instead of the cook. She went upstairs after tea,
and then, as the hands of the clock drew gradually
nearer and nearer to half-past six, Lizzy began to wish
Mrs. Smith would make her appearance. At half-
past six Mrs. Courtenay was sure to ring the bell,
13 LLizzy yoinson ; or,
to ask whose day it was to be out, and whether the
one whose turn it was had come home. Lizzy
listened to each step along the pavement, hoped
every moment for the area bell; but no, the clock
struck the half-hour, the drawing-room bell rang,
and Lizzy had to answer it. Mrs. Courtenay was
sitting in her usual place, reading. She looked up
as the door opened.
"This was your day out, Lizzy?" she said.
"Yes, ma'am," said Lizzy.
"Very well," said her mistress, and went on with
her book. Lizzy hesitated a'moment, doubting
whether she ought to say anything of the exchange
which had taken place: Mrs. Courtenay did not
look up, and Lizzy left the room, much relieved.
Still Mrs. Smith did not come, and Lizzy got
very uneasy. Mrs. Courtenay luckily dined early,
and her tea could be managed without the cook's
help. Supper-time came, and Jane, the housemaid,
was by no means disposed to comfort the frightened
Lizzy, when she found that the cook was absent,
and that, instead of the nice bit of hot supper which
she thought herself entitled to, she had to make the
best of the remains of their tea, and what could be
got without the key of the cook's particular pantry.
Well, you will catch it," she said. I wouldn't
be in your shoes for something. There will be
prayers at half-past nine, and you will have to tell
mistress how it is cook is not there."
Mutual Help. 19
"Oh, but she will come home before that, Jane,
It wants a quarter of nine now, and she never can
stay out so late."
"Perhaps her sister is worse, and she can't leave
"Then she would send us word, I'm sure,"
answered Lizzy. "I'm sure she'll come."
Jane shook her head ominously, and the supper
was a very dismal meal to Lizzy.
Nine o'clock struck-then the quarter; Lizzy
watched, waited, listened, and hoped. Minute after
minute passed-no sound; she would look up the
street, and cautiously opened the front-door: no one
was in sight; and as she closed it again the half-
hour struck, the drawing-room bell rang, and she
and Jane had to make their appearance upstairs.
Mrs. Courtenay was seated at a table with a
shaded lamp, and did not at first notice that only
two maids had come in. She looked up just before
beginning to read, stopped a moment, but then went
on. Lizzy could not pay much attention to the
reading, or to the prayers which followed.
When they were about to leave the room, Mrs.
Courtenay called Jane back.
"Where is Mrs. Smith?" she said.
"I'm sure I don't know, ma'am; perhaps Lizzy
can tell you."
"Call Lizzy," said Mrs. Courtenay, in her usual
20 Lizzy _7ohnson; or,
Lizzy came back, her heart beating as if she
had done something wrong herself.
Lizzy, did Mrs. Smith go out instead of you '"
asked Mrs. Courtenay.
"Yes, ma'am," said Lizzy, in a trembling voice.
"You should have told me so before. Why was
this change made in my arrangements without my
"Mrs. Smith would have asked you, ma'am,
only you were gone out."
When did she go out, and where to ?"
Lizzy began hastily to tell of the illness of Mrs.
Smith's sister, and gathering courage as she went
on, gave a tolerably clear account of all that had
taken place, ending by saying how sorry she was
not to have given up her turn until too late for the
cook to ask her mistress's leave. Mrs. Courtenay
made no remark, but merely desired that she might
be informed when the cook came back, and desired
that the house-door and the shutters might be
looked to as usual.
Lizzy went downstairs again, and found Jane
full of expectation. Well, what did she say-
was she very angry ?"
"Mrs. Courtenay never said a word one way or
the other," answered Lizzy. I shan't be half so
much afraid of her another time."
"Ah, that's all very well, but wait and see," said
Jane, shaking her head, wisely. What are you
Mutual Help. 2!
going to do?" she continued, as Lizzy seemed
to be making some arrangements with the tea-
"I thought Mrs. Smith might be glad of some
tea when she came home."
"She won't come home to-night, I am sure, and
I shall not sit up to let her in, that's very certain,"
I will sit up for an hour, in case she comes or
sends any message," said Lizzy.
"What friends you two are all at once! I
wonder what has come to you," said Jane, lighting
her candle and going off to bed.
Lizzy settled herself by the fire and took a book,
but she could not help thinking of what Jane said
about the sudden friendship between herself and
the cook. Certainly it was strange that, without
one friendly word having passed between them,
she should be feeling so ready to take the cook's
side, and to stand up for her against any
one. She had not yet learned that the surest way
to like any one, is to do them a kindness. Without
knowing why, Lizzy felt happy and contented in
her mind, though still sorry that she had not agreed
to the cook's request at first, when leave might
have been asked and everything arranged with Mrs.
Courtenay's knowledge and consent. "It will be
odd," she thought, if after all cook and I should
end by being friends. Annie said somebody must
22 LiZzy okinson; or,
begin-now the beginning has been made, and we
shall see how it goes on."
Lizzy had time to get rather sleepy over her
book before eleven o'clock came, at which hour
she thought she would go to bed; but just as she
was moving, the door-bell rang, and she ran hastily
to answer it.
"Is it you, Mrs. Smith?" she asked, still keeping
the chain on the door.
"No, it's me, with a letter," said a boyish voice.
Are you' Bob Smith ?" asked Lizzy.
"Yes," said the boy; "and this letter is for you
from my sister: be quick: for I mustn't stop."
. It would have been quite against the rules to let
the boy in, so Lizzy had to ask him to wait outside,'
while she shut the door to read the letter. It was
very short, and not very legible; Mrs. Smith being
no great hand with her pen: but Lizzy made out
that little Fanny was very ill. Mrs. Smith could!
not leave her, and wanted a few things sent by the
bearer; it ended, Of course I shall lose my place,
but I can't help it. Tell mistress I send the key;"
and there was hastily scrawled at the bottom,
"Thank you, Lizzy, oh, so much;" and these last
words sent quite a glow to her heart as she read
them. Lizzy made up the bundle quickly, and
gave it to the boy, but did not stay to write, only
sending her love to his sister, and asking him to call
in the morning, and say how little Fanny was. Then,
Mutual Help. 23
"carefully fastening the door, she wondered what it
was best to do about telling Mrs. Courtenay.
"She won't be in bed yet, and she must have
heard the bell. I had better go to her room;" and
though Lizzy still retained some of her former fear
of the reserved, cold mistress, she did not hesitate
so much this time as she would have done a little
"I wonder what she will say," thought Lizzy, as
she knocked at her mistress's door. "I do hope
she will say that cook need not go."
"What is it?" said Mrs. Courtenay, when Lizzy
came in. She seemed as quiet and cool as ever,
and not the least surprised.
I have heard from Mrs. Smith," said Lizzy.
"Well?" said Mrs. Courtenay.
Her sister is very ill, and she cannot leave her.
She says she must stay all night;" and Lizzy gave
the letter to her mistress to read. Mrs. Courtenay
read it, and only said, "Give me the key;" but
Lizzy fancied she looked rather sorry than angry.
No more words were spoken, and Lizzy went off to
bed, not at all sure what might be the end of it
Next morning the boy called to say that little
Fanny had not slept all night, and was very ill.
She had got the fever. Mrs. Courtenay must look
out for another cook, as Mrs. Smith could not pos-
sibly come back. Lizzy, who waited on Mrs.
Courtenay, had to go up with this message. Mrs.
24 Lizzy J.ohnson; or,
Courtenay asked where Mrs. Smith's mother lived,
and desired that there might be no communication
between the two houses, that neither of the maids
should go to see the sick child, and that Bob Smith
should not come inside the door. Lizzy thought
this order very hard and cruel, but there was no-
thing for it but to submit.
In the course of the morning Mrs. Courtenay
went out, and soon after, a person who was often
employed on odd jobs came in to help the two
maids in doing the cook's work.
This went on for several days. Bob Smith came
every morning to the door, and brought word how
his little sister was ; but Mrs. Courtenay never asked
any questions, and Lizzy never volunteered any
At length, to her great joy, Bob's morning news
began to be more cheerful--"little Fanny was
decidedly mending, and if she gets through it,"
said the boy, "I believe it will be all along of
Harriet's nursing, and of the good things that the
lady sends her."
"What lady?" asked Lizzy.
"I don't know," said Bob; "somebody the
clergyman knows. One of his people that has had
the fever comes every two or three days, to bring
the things and see how Fanny is getting on."
And none of the rest of your family have taken
it?" asked Lizzy.
.....: Hep. ,25
"Not one-but they say it will be a good bit
before the infection is gone-and my sister Harriet
(this was the cook's name) is to stay with my aunt
in the country before she goes out anywhere again,
and I was to say that she would be sure to come
and see you, as soon as she got back."
There are some of her things here still," said Lizzy,
Yes, and she has not settled with Mrs. Courte-
nay about her wages yet," added Bob.
"We haven't got a regular cook here all this
time, Bob. I wonder whether your sister will
come back. How I wish she may."
"I think she would like it, too," said Bob, "and
she seems very partial to you."
"Well, that's very good of her," said Lizzy, "for
I often think how ill-natured I was that morning
when she first wanted to go, and when she might
have got leave-but I didn't know how ill little
At this moment the parlour-bell rang. Lizzy
knew what it meant, and coloured up. "We've
been chattering too long, Bob," she said; "Good-
bye :" and hastily shutting the door, went upstairs
to answer the bell. She had broken one of the
rules of the house by such a long conversation on
the door-step, and this was the way in which Mrs.
Courtenay put a stop to it, though when Lizzy
entered the parlour nothing was said beyond giving
her some trifling order.
26 Lizzy J7onson ; or,
It was long since Lizzy and Annie had met, but
at length there came a Sunday when Lizzy could
go home, and then there was a great deal to tell
and to talk about.
"How glad you must be, Lizzy, that you went
home that day !" said Annie.
"Yes, that I am, indeed. Bob Smith told me
his mother was nearly worn out, and could not
have gone on much longer. He thinks his sister
Harriet's nursing was the saving of the child. He
does seem so fond of her."
"And yet you told me that the cook never
spoke of her own people, and you thought she
didn't care much about anybody."
"Well, so I did, and it's just the way of the
house. There's Mrs. Courtenay, now; she never
says a word about Mrs. Smith, and I don't
believe she knows whether Fanny is alive or
"But she hasn't filled the cook's place'yet, has
she?" asked Mrs. Wells, who was listening to the
two girls as they talked.
No, and I sometimes hope Mrs. Smith may be
coming back. Mrs. Courtenay has never said a
word as if she was angry with her, and now she
has waited so long without getting a cook, perhaps
she means to take her back."
"I dare say she does," said Mrs. Wells. "I
ever can quite make out what you have to com-
Mutual Help. 27
plain of about your mistress, and yet you don't
seem to like her."
"I don't know either, exactly," answered Lizzy,
"she never does anything unkind, certainly, and
she never scolds; I suppose it is just because she
doesn't seem to care. I do believe that if any
girl about my size, and dressed in my clothes, was
to take my place, and keep to the rules, Mrs.
Courtenay wouldn't find out there was any change."
I'm very glad I'm not at service, if that's the
way to go on," said Annie.
"Oh, you get used to it," answered Lizzy,
laughing. "I sometimes feel inclined to sing, I
care for nobody, no not I, and nobody cares for
"But you do care for your own people, Liz."
"Yes, that I do," said Lizzy, giving a kiss to
little Clara, who had come with her; "but I must
be going, for I was five minutes late last time, and
so half an hour is cut off to-day-it's too' bad."
"I hope the'time will never come, dear, when
you care for nobody but yourself," said Mrs. Wells,
kindly, as Lizzy was preparing to go away; "don't
let your heart shut up, and get hard like a
"It won't get hard towards you, at any rate,
Mrs. Wells, you are always so kind to me, and you
always seem as if you could feel for me, and under-
stand what I am feeling;" and Lizzy gave Mrs.
28 Lizzy yohnson; or,
Wells a warm kiss, as if she had been her own
One of Annie's great pleasures on Sunday was
going to church with her father. Mrs. Wells was
now unable to go out much, but when the children
were in bed she could sit down quietly, and spare
both Annie and her father to attend the evening
service. She always asked Annie to tell her what
the sermon was about, and this had led her
daughter to listen attentively, and bring home as
good an account as she could of what had been
This evening, when Annie came home, she said,
"Mother, I did so wish Lizzy had been at church
to-night; the sermon seemed just as if it had been
written on purpose."
What was it about, dear?"
"The text was Rom. xii. 15, 'Rejoice with
them that do rejoice, and weep with them that
weep,' and it was explained so beautifully."
Can you tell me a little of what Mr. Lane said,
Oh, mother, I can't tell you half; but I was
thinking all the time how like it was to what I've
heard you say. First of all, Mr. Lane told us that
we couldn't be happy without loving somebody,
and having somebody to love us back again."
"That's true enough," said Mrs. Wells.
"The more we love and are loved, he said, the
Mutual Help. 29
happier we are; and then, mother, I couldn't help
thinking of Lizzy, and her singing she cared for
nobody, and nobody cared for her."
But that was only a joke, dear."
"No, I know she didn't mean it, but it came
into my head at the minute."
And did he tell you how we were to make our-
selves beloved ?"
"The text, he said, told us that. We must show
people that we can feel with them; be glad when
anything happens that pleases them, and sorry
when anything vexes them. People spend a deal
of money, he said, and do many kind things, and
yet no one loves them a bit the better, because-
"Because all has been done without their hearts
seeming to be in it," said Mr. Wells, seeing that
Annie was at a loss. "A few words spoken from
the heart* and to the heart, would often do more
to please and comfort than lots of money."
"Oh, yes, father, and then I couldn't help think-
ing of Mrs. Courtenay, who seems to be so kind,
really, but somehow doesn't let people know it.
And then he went on to say what a comfort this
was to those who hadn't much to give except their
sympathy, and how our Lord had rejoiced with
those that rejoiced at the marriage of Cana."
"And wept with those that wept at the grave of
Lazarus," said Mrs. Wells.
30 Lizzy Johnson; or,
"Yes, mother, and how He could feel for us in
all our troubles, and how He taught us that all who
really loved Him would love their brethren also."
"And then, Annie," added Mr. Wells, who had
been listening to his favourite daughter's eager
words, "don't you remember Mr. Lane said some-
thing so like what your mother says when no one
likes to be first about forgiving, or doing a kind-
ness to a bad neighbour?"
"Oh, yes, mother; you know you always say
somebody must begin; and Mr. Lane said we
shouldn't wait for others to be kind to us and love
us, to love them back again, or, at all events, to be
kind to them, but we ought to begin directly; and
even if we couldn't feel very much at first, the feel-
ing would soon come. We couldn't be kind to
people without getting to like them."
"And he went on to say," interposed Annie's
father again, "that with kindness, as with other
things, it is more blessed to give than to receive."
Oh, yes, father, and we have our Lord's ex-
ample, for He loved us first"
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,"
said Mrs. Wells.
Yes, mother, and he asked what would become
of us if our heavenly Father waited to be kind to
us until we deserved it. He ended with two verses
from St. John's epistle. I dare say you know them,
mother, you remember so well"
Mutual Help. 31
"I think I know what would give the meaning;
were they these, Annie ?-' Herein is love, not that
we loved God, but that He loved us, and gave His
Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Beloved,
if God so loved us, we ought also to love one
"Yes, mother, those were the words."
"Well, Annie," said Mr. Wells, "there is plenty
to act upon in what you have remembered. You
know your mother always tells you that nothing is
too small to be done from a great' principle; so
when Johnny has a new toy, and wants you to
join in his pleasure, or Bessy gets into some small
Trouble, and wants you to join in her grief, you
may show a right feeling or a wrong, just as much
as in more important matters."
Meanwhile poor Lizzy was passing her Sunday
evening much less pleasantly and profitably.
She ought to have been at home by half-past
six this evening, but, unfortunately for her, she did
not reach the house door till after the clock had
struck the quarter to seven.
Jane announced, with a grim smile, that Mrs.
Courtenay's bell had rung as usual, and that
Lizzy was to go up to her when she came in. The
manner in which this unpleasant fact was com-
municated irritated Lizzy considerably. On going
upstairs, Mrs. Courtenay, with her usual cold im-
movable look, said to her, "You are late again,
32 Lizzy yohnzson; or,
Lizzy-this is the second time 1" Poor Lizzy knew
this meant that there would be no going home for
her when her next turn came. She said nothing,
but could not help shutting the door, as she went
out, with more force than was necessary. Jane
seemed to be rather pleased than otherwise, at
least so Lizzy thought, and she remained all the
evening in anything but a happy state of mind.
Next morning everything went wrong. Lizzy had
not gone to sleep as soon as she generally did, and,
consequently, had overslept herself. The hot
water was not brought to Mrs. Courtenay's room
at the right moment, and she rang her bell for it.
Somebody came to the house door, with whom
Lizzy held an unnecessarily long conversation.
Again the bell rang. Then the newspaper came,
and was not taken upstairs immediately. Once
more the bell rang.
"What's come to the girl?" said Jane; "you
had better mind what you are about, or Mrs.
Courtenay will look out for somebody else."
"I don't care if she does," answered Lizzy, quite
provoked, "that bell is enough to drive one mad ;"
and, so saying, she went upstairs with the news-
paper. Mrs. Courtenay took it from her, and said
quietly, "You are getting careless, Lizzy."
"Well, ma'am, if I don't give satisfaction I had
better leave." The words were uttered in a mo-
ment of passion, and were no sooner spoken than
Mutual Help. 33
Lizzy longed to recall them; but it was too late.
Mrs. Courtenay slightly raised her eyebrows; said,
in her usual voice, As you please;" looked at the
date of the newspaper, and added, A month from
to-day will be the 5th of May;" and proceeded to
read the leading articles.
Lizzy stood still for a moment, but had not
courage to speak, and went upstairs to her
own room, to avoid the comments and questions of
Once there, she felt very much ashamed of her-
self. What had she done? What would her
mother say to her giving up a really good place,
where she was well-paid, well-fed, well-treated, and
for what ? No one certainly could have said less
than Mrs. Courtenay. Lizzy could not deny that
her own temper was in fault, or those few words
would not have produced so much irritation. What
would Annie say ? and, above all, what would the
kind, gentle Mrs. Wells think of her ? Lizzy could
not help crying. She did not for a moment think
of asking Mrs. Courtenay to overlook her hasty
speech. She knew there was no hope of that, one
of Mrs. Courtenay's fixed principles being to take
people at their word, and especially never to keep
a servant who expressed the slightest inclination to
go. "There are as good fish in the sea as ever
came out of it," was all she said, when her friends
regretted the loss of a favourite or valued servant.
34 Lizzy Yohnson; or,
In short, poor Lizzy felt that she had done a bad
It was necessary, however, to go downstairs
again, and so she determined to put the best face
she could upon it, and not to say a word to Jane.
At dinner the woman who had come in to help
during the cook's absence announced that she was
told not to come after the next day; "So, I sup-
pose," she added, "you will have a new fellow-
servant before very long."
"I wonder who it will be," said Jane: "very
likely, Mrs. Smith back again."
Lizzy started as she heard this-she had thought
so much about Mrs. Smith, and felt so friendly to-
wards her, that she had been looking forward with
hope to the idea of her coming back-and now
she had given warning and was to go herself. It
was as much as she could do to continue eating
her dinner quietly.
Next day all went on as usual. Mrs. Courtenay's
manner had not changed ; she said neither more
nor less than usual to Lizzy, and the girl began
almost to hope that her words had been forgotten.
Jane was told to prepare the cook's bed-room, as
she was coming that evening, but the name was
About five o'clock Lizzy was sent out to post the
letters, and when she went into the kitchen after-
wards, who should she see sitting at tea with Jane,
Mutual Help. 35
but Mrs. Smith, looking as if she had never been
away at all.
Oh, Mrs. Smith! so you are really come back,"
exclaimed Lizzy; "how very, very glad I am
to see you again; and little Fanny, how is she ?-
getting quite strong and well ?" Mrs. Smith shook
hands with Lizzy most cordially, and gave a good
report of her sister.
And how have you been getting on?" she said.
"Did you expect to see me back again ? "
"We rather hoped so," said Lizzy, "when no
one came in your place."
"Mrs. Courtenay never gave us a hint," said
Jane ; "and, of course, we couldn't ask. I think
she is queerer than ever. I believe she's made of
"She's been very kind to me," said Mrs. Smith.
"What, by letting you come back? I'll be bound
she thought she couldn't get anybody better at
"No, Jane, I don't mean that; but really kind
about little Fan."
"Oh, Mrs. Smith," said Lizzy; why, she never
even asked after her."
"That's just like her," said Mrs. Smith, "and it
was quite by accident that I found out, through
the clergyman, that she had been sending all sorts
of things for Fanny; wine and broth, and even
fruit. There was a very kind person who had had
36 Lizzy Yohnson; or,
the fever, and she came very often to see us, and
always brought something from the clergyman, as
I thought; but when I went to thank him, he said
it was Mrs. Courtenay that desired I should have
"That was kind," exclaimed Lizzy; and she felt
quite sorry to think that she had been so hasty,
and was to leave such a really kind mistress.
"Have you seen Mrs. Courtenay since you came
"No, not yet, but I shall go up presently and
Jane went away soon after tea, and Lizzy re-
mained alone with Mrs. Smith. They had a long
talk, and the ice being once broken between them,
Lizzy found Mrs. Smith quite a different person
from what she had before supposed.
"I am so glad you are come back, Mrs. Smith,"
she said; "I quite fretted when I thought you had
lost your place, and all because I didn't give you
time to ask leave of Mrs. Courteray before you
"And I have often felt vexed when I remem-
bered how cross I was that day, though you came
home on purpose that I might go. But we shall
understand each other better now, Liz, and be
"Oh, Mrs. Smith, I am so sorry: what do
you think I have done? and Lizzy burst out crying.
Mutual IHelp. 37
"What, for pity's sake?" exclaimed the good-
natured cook. "Nothing very bad, I hope-don't
cry so, Lizzy-but do tell me."
"I have given warning to-day, and am to go
away in a month," sobbed Lizzy.
"Oh, dear Oh, dear! What a pity," said her
friend. "What could make you do that-what had
Lizzy found it difficult to say what really had
.happened; there seemed so little to complain of
now, though she had been so irritated at the time.
" I don't know how I came to say it," she answered,
somewhat ashamed of herself, "but I got so wor-
ried about the rules, and the words came out almost
before I knew I was speaking."
"Well, that is a pity," said Mrs. Smith, "and
Mrs. Courtenay never lets any one take their words
"I am so sorry; and, now you are come back,
I would do any thing to stay." Lizzy sobbed again.
"Whatever will mother say? I shall be afraid to
go home. Do you think, if I begged Mrs. Courte-
nay's pardon for being so hasty, she would let me
Mrs. Smith shook her head. "I know she has
a rule about it, and when once she has a rule, you
may talk yourself black in the face before you can
persuade her to change it."
"But could you just say how sorry I am," per-
38 Lizzy Yohnson; or,
sisted Lizzy. "I did not feel half so much about
going, before you came back."
Mrs. Smith was rather touched at Lizzy's caring
so much about her; it was a contrast to the sort of
indifference to which she had been accustomed
before, and her heart was altogether softened by
the anxiety she had gone through, the tenderness
she had met with at home, the discovery of Mrs.
Courtenay's kindness, and Lizzy's evident pleasure
at seeing her; so she consented to say something
when she went upstairs to announce her return
to Mrs. Courtenay. Lizzy was full of gratitude
and hope, but Mrs. Smith was much less
I suppose I may as well go at once," said Mrs.
Smith, and accordingly she went to the parlour
door and knocked.
"I am just come up, ma'am, to let you know
that I have got back, and to thank you for keeping
the place open for me."
"I am glad to have you here again," said Mrs.
"And I have to thank you, too, ma'am, for
your very great kindness during my sister's ill-
Mrs. Courtenay looked quite unconscious of
having done anything kind.
The clergyman, ma'am, told me to whom I was
indebted for all the nourishing things that did my
Mutual Help. 39
sister so much good, and my mother and all of us
"are most grateful."
Mrs. Courtenay moved her hand, as if that was
quite enough, but did just say, I hope your sister
is nearly well."
"She is getting on nicely, ma'am, thank you."
Mrs. Smith saw that she was now expected to go,
but she resolved to make one attempt for Lizzy: I
beg your pardon, ma'am, for speaking-but Lizzy
Johnson-- Mrs. Courtenay looked up with
the slightest possible air of astonishment. Mrs.
Smith went on: "she is in great trouble, ma'am,
for what she said this morning, and if you would
"Impossible; it is against my rules."
"She is a very good, willing girl, and spoke with-
out thought; she's very young, ma'am."
"This will be a lesson for her. I cannot change;"
and Mrs. Courtenay's manner put an end to the
conversation so decidedly, that Mrs. Smith was
obliged to go. Lizzy was waiting for her eagerly
at the bottom of the stairs, but saw at once that
the answer was not to be favourable.
I'm not to stay, I suppose ? "
Mrs. Smith shook her head. "I do think that
is very unkind," said Lizzy, "to take one up so
quick; and I'm sure I've done my best to please
her while I have been here. Mother will be so
40 Lizzy -oknson; or,
"I am very sorry, too, Lizzy. We must try and
find you some other place."
"But don't you think it is very unreasonable
and unkind, when I am willing to beg Mrs. Courte-
nay's pardon ? "
Mrs. Smith did not like to join in an attack upon
Mrs. Courtenay, as she could not forget that she
had been really kind about little Fanny; but, at the
same time, the unfortunately cold, unsympathizing
manner of her mistress had chilled and checked
the warm feelings with which Mrs. Smith had come
back to the house, and she did not feel able to say
much in her favour.
It is very vexatious, Lizzy," she said. "Don't
let us talk about it any more to-night. I know I
shall be very sorry to lose you, but I will try what
I can do to get you a comfortable situation."
The next day, Mrs. Courtenay announced that
she was going away for three days, and, during her
absence, Lizzy resolved to go home and tell her
mother what had happened. There was a good
deal of cleaning to be done, and when that was
over for the day, Jane, the housemaid, wanted to
go out, so Lizzy had to wait. The next evening,
however, Mrs. Smith told her she might go, and
with rather a heavy heart Lizzy set out.
On arriving at home, Lizzy found her mother in
what is expressively described as "rather a muddle."
It was some time since she had been in the house
Mutual Help. 41
except on a Sunday afternoon, when matters were
comparatively tidy. The "muddle" was, probably,
no greater than that to which Lizzy had been for-
merly accustomed, but her ideas of order and clean-
liness, and her appreciation of fresh air, had been
considerably enlarged while at service. She was,
therefore, painfully struck with the untidiness of
-the room, and the unwashed look of all it contained,
as well as with the close smell which was the result.
Her father was not at home, but two school-boy
brothers were there, who did not add to the peace
and order of the establishment, as well as Clara
and the youngest girl. Lizzy knew her mother had
hard work to keep things going, and that her father,
though he earned good wages, and brought a certain
portion of them home, considered he had a right to
the rest, which, unfortunately, went generally to the
public-house, instead of adding to the comforts of
Still, they had two rooms, and many people who
were worse off looked less out at elbows than the
Lizzy sighed as she thought that she was coming
to add to her mother's cares, and to deprive
her, for a time, of the advantage which it had
been to her to have one mouth less to fill, as
well as of the little help she could bring out of her
"Mother, it's Lizzy," exclaimed the eldest boy.
42 Lizzy flohnson; or,
"Why, Lizzy, who would have thought of seeing
Little Clara ran to her sister in great joy, and
Mrs. Johnson seemed pleased, on the whole, to see
Mrs. Courtenay is gone away for two or three
days, mother; that's how I come to have got here.
Mrs. Smith said I might."
Mrs. Smith has come back, then," said Mrs.
Johnson. I suppose you are not sorry for that;
it will be more comfortable now that you are all
Lizzy did not know how to begin her story, so
she busied herself a little with the children, while
Mrs. Johnson huddled away some of the clothes
she was mending, and tried to make things look
a little straighter.
"And how's father ?" asked Lizzy.
"Oh, he's pretty middling," said Mrs. Johnson,
"complaining a little, but not off his work-I am
sure if he had the rheumatics half as bad as I have,
and all the children to look after, and him to do
for, he'd find there was something to complain
about. Everything is so dear just now, and these
boys do grow so, and run through their clothes, I
don't know where to turn for money. You've been
a great help to me, Lizzy, that I will say for you."
Poor Lizzy-she wished her brothers would go
out of the way, that she might tell her mother, but
Mutual Help. 43
there was no chance of that till they went to bed,
and her time to stay was not long : she must screw
her courage up.
"I hope I shall be able to help you again,
"I didn't mean to give you a hint, Liz; don't
suppose it, for a minute. I'm not one that gives
hints. If I want anything I ask for it out straight,
and if I don't get it, why, there's no harm done."
"No, mother, I didn't mean that; but you see,
if I am out of place--"
"Out of place what are you thinking of? You
mustn't be out of place, and you mustn't be
thinking about bettering yourself yet. When you've
been a year or two where you are, then will be the
Lizzy found that her mother had not improved
as a listener, but she tried again.
"Yes-but, mother, I've got bad news for you;
I am as good as out of place now."
Mrs. Johnson almost let the kettle, which she
was putting on the fire, fall out of her hand as she
turned hastily round to look at her daughter.
"What are you saying, Lizzy? Do you really
mean it? What have you been about? Has Mrs.
Courtenay turned you off?"
No, mother, but I'm sorry to say I gave warn-
ing in a bit of a pet, and she won't overlook it, and
let me stay."
44 Lizzy yohnson; or,
Mrs. Johnson sat down in her chair, quite
"Well, I do think children are born to be the
plague of one's life-and you, Lizzy, that I thought
off my hands, and going to be a bit of help and
comfort, after all the trouble I have had in bringing
you up, and giving you the best of schooling, and
getting you into a real, good respectable place, to
go and throw it all away, and come back upon my
hands, and I dare say to have no recommendation
to speak of-I never did expect it, no, never."
Poor Lizzy was fairly upset by this. Her brothers
and sisters stood looking at her open-mouthed, in
silent astonishment-all but little Clara, who nestled
up close to her sister when she saw her in trouble,
and soon began to cry for sympathy.
"What could have made you forget yourself
like that ?" continued Mrs. Johnson; "it's of no
use crying now, though I'm sure I don't wonder at
you; and I could cry myself, I'm so vexed."
Lizzy told her mother what had taken place.
She did not wilfully misrepresent, but she was so
anxious to make the best case she could for herself
that she made the worst of Mrs. Courtenay's con-
duct, and her mother's anger was turned against
the mistress to a degree that Lizzy could not help
feeling to be rather unjust. It is much easier,
however, to give a wrong impression than to re-
move it, and Lizzy ) 4 not succeed in checking her
Mutual Help. 45
mother's vehemence against the cruel and unfeeling
harshness of Mrs. Courtenay.
After some little time, Lizzy said she must go,
and her mother wished her "good-night" in a some-
what calmer tone, assuring her, however, that she
must not remain out of place, but must make up
her mind to take whatever she could get, however
hard the work, and must not be in a hurry to give
warning again. Lizzy had time to look in for a
few minutes at Mrs. Wells's before going home. It
was like a calm after a storm to step into that quiet
room after the scene at her mother's.
Mrs. Wells had been and was still very far from
well. She was sitting in an arm-chair by the fire,
with a bit of work in her thin hands, but not able
to do much. Mr. Wells was there, and had evi-
dently been reading to her; Annie was at the
table, her needle flying fast, while she kept the two
little ones by her side amused and quiet, so as not
to disturb their parents.
Mrs. Wells was kind and affectionate as ever to
Lizzy, and expressed the greatest regret at the
news she had to tell. "It is a sharp lesson, dear,"
she said, "but we must try to make the best of it.
You have learned a good deal at Mrs. Courtenay's,
and I hope you will not be long in getting another
place. You won't be quite so hasty another time,"
she added, gently.
,46 Lizzy yohnson; or,
"No, that I won't; but isn't it rather hard to
take one up at a word like that?"
I suppose you knew pretty well that it would
"Yes; but I didn't stop to think."
Well, Lizzy, we won't say whether Mrs. Cour-
tenay is right or wrong-that's her affair. You can
see that you have been a bit in the wrong, and a
great pity it is. Just when your friend had come
"Yes, that's what vexes me so; and mother's so
She has her hands very full, and was so pleased
to think you had made such a good start. How-
ever, we won't say any more about it to-night,
Lizzy," added Mrs. Wells, seeing Lizzy's eyes
filling with tears; "it is not as if you had been
turned away for any fault, after all, and Mrs. Cour-
tenay is so just that she is sure to give you the
character you deserve, whether she is pleased or
Lizzy had not many minutes to stay.
"Why shouldn't you walk back with Lizzy, An-
nie?" said Mr. Wells; "you have had very close
nursing lately, and it would do you good. James
will go and fetch you back, when he comes home."
Oh, father, I can't go for so long," said Annie,
looking at her mother, "and I must put the little
ones to bed."
Mutual Help. 47
"I think we can manage that without Annie,
"can't we, little people ?" asked the father.
I can get to bed by myself," said Bessie, quite
proudly, "and I can take off Johnny's clothes,
And I will take care of mother," said Mr. Wells,
"so off with you."
Annie yould not, however, consent to going
beyond the end of the street with her friend.
I cannot bear to be long away," she said; I
always fancy mother may be wanting me."
"She looks very thin, Annie," said Lizzy. "Do
you think she gets better?"
She is getting very weak, I am afraid," answered
Annie. The doctor says if she could go away to
the sea-side, it would do her a wonderful deal of
good; but mother wouldn't let him tell father so,
because she knows he couldn't afford to send her,
and it would fret him. Perhaps, before the very
close, hot weather comes, she may manage to go to
some friends she has, not far from London."
"I suppose you have plenty to do now, Annie ?"
"Yes," said Annie. "I have left the school,
because mother must have some one near her;
many days she isn't able to get up; but father is
so good-when he's at home he will put his hand
to anything, and he won't let me be disturbed at
night if he can help it. He thinks I must have
my night's rest-and then mother is so thoughtful."
48 LisLy yo/2 son; or,
"I don't think there's anybody like her, Annie;
you know I always was so fond of her."
"And she's fond of you too, Liz. I know she
will be quite sorry if you don't get settled soon in
a comfortable place." Lizzy sighed, and after a
little more talk the girls parted, Annie going back
to her mother, and Lizzy to Mrs. Courtenay's
house, which she was so soon to leave, as she
Her expectations, however, were not destined
to be realized. When Mrs. Courtenay returned,
she seemed to be suffering from a severe cold, and
was soon so unwell as to be forced to go to bed.
Lizzy was the only one of the servants who
waited upon her, but her account of her mistress
was such as to lead Mrs. Smith to go to her room,
and ask her if she would not have some warm
drink.' This Mrs. Courtenay declined; but in the
middle of the night her bell roused the three maids,
and she was found to be suffering intense pain.
All the remedies that could be thought of were in
vain, and the doctor was summoned early in the
morning. He pronounced her very seriously ill,
and after giving directions to Mrs. Smith, who
seemed the most responsible person, he promised
to call again in the evening.
Mrs. Courtenay was then even worse, and the
doctor desired that she should not be left all night.
Mrs. Smith sat up accordingly.
Mutual Help. 49
"I suppose I shall have to sit up to-night," said
SJane, next day; it's very hard to have to work all
day and not get your night's rest, and all for a per-
son that wouldn't care whether you were alive or
dead, as long as her bed was made right."
"Oh, Jane, don't talk so," said Lizzy, "when
Mrs. Courtenay may be dying."
"Well, of course I don't grudge my night's rest
for once or twice; but we can't go on like this,"
said Jane, rather ashamed of her first speech.
"I'm sure Mrs. Courtenay would never wish
that we should. You can't say that she ever
wanted us to do more than was quite fair."
"All I mean to say is, that if this sort of thing
goes on, the doctor will have to send in a regular
nurse," persisted Jane.
The illness did go on, and became so serious,
that the doctor asked whether Mrs. Courtenay's
relations had been written to.
No one had done this, and there was some doubt
who should be written to; at last it was decided
that Mrs. Courtenay's brother was the proper person,
and the doctor, at Mrs. Smith's request, undertook
the task of writing.
The next day, quite late, a cab drove up to the
door, and a slight, fair, gentle-looking young lady
"How is my aunt to-day?" she asked, when
Lizzy opened the door. "I am come in conse-
50 Lizzy Yokhsozn; or,
qaence of the letter my father received this morn-
Mrs. Courtenay was no better. "The doctor
will be here again this evening, miss," said Lizzy,
"and he will be able to tell you better than I
"I suppose there is some room where I can
sleep to-night, isn't there ?"
Oh yes, miss," answered Lizzy, who was al-
ready prepossessed in Miss Courtenay's favour by
her voice and manner. I am sure Mrs. Smith
will be very glad indeed that you are come."
Miss Courtenay accordingly had her box taken
down, and dismissed the cab. Lizzy showed her
to the deserted drawing-room, and then crept up
to the sick-room to tell Mrs. Smith, who, leaving
Lizzy to take her place, came down to speak to
Miss Courtenay, or, as she was usually called, Miss
Rose. Mrs. Smith thought she looked young,
and would have preferred an older person, but
still, any one to share the responsibility was
"It is quite a comfort to have one of my poor
mistress s family here," said Mrs. Smith. She is
so ill that she does not seem to take much notice
of any one."
Does the doctor appear to think there is much
danger ?" asked Miss Rose.
"He doesn't say so, miss, at present; but he
Mutual Hep. 51
says she wants very great care, and very close atten-
tion day and night."
"Have you had any assistance in the nursing ?"
asked Miss Rose.
"No, miss, none as yet; but we are getting a
little worn, and you don't look as if you were used
to this sort of work."
I will sit up to-night, and you must all get a
good sleep. You will be able to tell me what to
do, and my poor aunt will not perceive the change.
What time does the doctor come ?"
"Very soon, most likely, miss. You will not go
upstairs, perhaps, till you have seen him. You had
better have some tea now, and then you will be
Miss Rose thought this very good advice, so she
unpacked her clothes, arranged her room, had
some tea, and, by the time the doctor came, was
ready to receive his instructions and to take her
place at the bed-side.
Mrs. Courtenay was quite unconscious of her
niece's presence, and Miss Rose was shocked to
see what a few days' illness had done; still, the
doctor's report was by no means a hopeless one.
The illness would probably be long, but, with
good nursing, he had no doubt Mrs. Courtenay
would get over it.
Miss Rose took her position quietly and de-
cidedly. It was soon felt through thb house that,
52 Lizzy 'ohnson; or,
young as she was, she knew what to do, and how
it ought to be done, and Mrs. Courtenay's servants
obeyed her readily. She took her full share of
work, and by a little arrangement and method,
contrived that no one should be over-tasked, and
Jane's anticipations of a regular nurse being re-
quired were not fulfilled ; in fact, Jane soon yielded
tothegentle Miss Rose in a way that was remarkable.
You look quite worn out this morning," Miss
Rose said one day, when she took Jane's place at
the bed-side, after a long night's watching.
"Yes, miss," said Jane. "I do feel very tired."
"You had better go and lie down at once."
I can't sleep in the day-time," said Jane.
"But do just try my plan," urged Miss Rose.
"Have some breakfast and lie down. If you
really can't sleep, and feel restless, get up and have
a walk this afternoon; then go to bed very early,
and you will be sure to sleep all night. The fresh
air in the day will do almost as much for you as
the sleep would, and you will have such a refreshing
"Thank you, miss," said Jane, "I will try;" and
she went away, quite pleased at Miss Rose's
Lizzy was not allowed to sit up much, as she
was so young, but she was very willing, and made
herself very useful Mrs. Smith had told Miss
Rose that Lizzy was going away, but it was de-
Mutual Help. 53
cided that no change should be made during Mrs.
Courtenay's illness, and that she need not be on
the look-out for another place at present.
Lizzy, with great joy, sent a message to her
mother to tell her this news, and once more began
to hope that she might be allowed to stay alto-
Lizzy seems a nice, handy girl," observed Miss
Rose one day to Mrs. Smith. "I wonder whether
my aunt could be persuaded, by-and-bye, to keep
You might persuade her, miss, if you asked it,
after nursing Mrs. Courtenay like her own daugh-
ter, but it would be no good for us to try."
"I know my aunt is not very easy to persuade,"
said Miss Rose, with a smile.
"No, indeed, miss. Mrs. Courtenay is a good
mistress, and I'm sure I am greatly indebted to
her for her kindness. If she would only have a
little more indulgence-you know, miss, she isn'e
How not like me ?"
"Why, you always seem to remember that we
servants have our feelings as well as our faults, but
my mistress-you won't think I mean to be hard
No, Mrs. Smith."
"She never seems to consider us anything but
54 Lizzy yohnson ; or,
Did you never hear what made my aunt take
up this system of treating her servants as if they
were machines ?"
No, miss. I never heard there was any reason
"I have heard my father often say how sorry he
was, but that he couldn't be hard upon her when
he knew all that had happened. I believe she was
a very different person at one time. You know
my uncle died a great many years ago, and their
one little girl- "
"Had Mrs. Courtenay a child?" asked Mrs.
Smith, in surprise.
"Yes, one little girl, that she was wrapped up in.
My father says he never saw anything like the way
in which my aunt idolized that child. But she
died, too, and the poor mother was broken-hearted.
She seemed to have nothing left to love, and her
heart closed up; but what altered her even more
was, that the little girl's nurse, whom she kept on
in the house, and could never bear to part with,
turned out very badly. My aunt trusted her with
everything-her keys, her money, her few jewels-
the nurse had free access to all, and Mrs. Courtenay
treated her more like a friend than anything else.
It seems this woman got entangled with some
good-for-nothing man, and one night, when Mrs.
Courtenay was away, she let him into the house,
and they carried off everything. It was riot the
Mutual Help. 55
loss my aunt felt so much as the treachery. She
declared she would never believe in any one, trust
any one, or care for any one again; and that has
been her system ever since. She is strictly just
and fair for her own sake, she says, and she ex-
pects to have such service as money can fairly buy,
-just as she expects a yard of ribbon if she pays for
it; but as for any feeling on the one side or the
other, she would just as soon expect feeling of the
man who measures off the ribbon. I have heard
her say this myself, when my father has tried to
make her see that the world is not quite so bad as
she persuaded herself to believe it."
Poor thing I do feel sorry for her," said Mrs.
Smith, and I understand her ways far better than
I ever did before. I'm sure, if anything I could
do would help to make her think people are not
all so bad, I would gladly do it."
"I think we should every one of us try to lead
her to think better of her fellow-creatures," said
Miss Rose. "I know there is a great deal of
kindness in her nature, and that she is not half so
happy with it all forced back and kept down, as
she would be if she let her natural disposition have
"When mistress does a kind thing, she doesn't
like it to be known," said Mrs. Smith; she was
very kind when my sister was so ill, but would
hardly- own to it."
56 Lizzy yoh/son; ; or,
No, that is just like her," said Miss Rose,
"but let us try what we can do to bring her round.
I always think there is one thing no one can resist
long, and that is being treated with affection. If
my aunt was once convinced that anybody really
cared for her herself, and not for what they could
get out of her, I feel convinced it would make a
great change in her."
"May I tell the others what you have told me,
"Yes," answered Miss Rose. "I was not told
it by her, nor yet as a secret, and I think the
knowledge of what she has suffered will help you
all to feel for her, and not to be hard upon her in
your own minds."
"Yes," said Mrs. Smith, "many times I think
that if we knew a little more about one another's
troubles, we shouldn't be so hard as we are."
We have high authority, too, for trying to help
each other in trouble."
If people would only tell us what their troubles
are !" said Mrs. Smith.
We can't help so well as if they did," answered
Miss Rose, "but many times the worst trouble is
one that can't be told, and at all events we can
show people that we feel sorry for them. What
a difference it would make in a household if
we all. from the highest to the lowest, acted
upon those words of St. Paul, 'Bear ye one
Mutual Hlclp. 57
another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ !'
Many times people would tell us what their bur-
dens were, if they were quite sure of sympathy,
and of being helped to bear them; and many
times a word spoken in season would set a matter
straight, and heal up a wound that goes on fester-
ing and gathering, growing worse and worse, be-
cause kept in the dark."
It was well that the history of Mrs. Courtenay's
sorrows had been told, and that the feelings of
those who had to attend to her had been roused,
for as she began to improve in health she became
much more difficult to deal with; great irritability
succeeded to the state of unconsciousness in which
she had so long remained, and the patience of her
nurses was often severely tried. Encouraged, how-
ever, by Miss Rose's example and sympathy, they
made allowance for the whims of sickness, and
were rewarded by seeing Mrs. Courtenay recover
strength every day; it was hoped soon to move
her to the sea-side for complete change of air.
It happened one day before this move had been
quite decided upon, that Lizzy had a visit from her
mother, who, among other pieces of information,
gave her averybad account of Mrs. Wells. Lizzy,
who was, as we know, much attached to her friend's
mother, felt quite sad in thinking of her illness.
Miss Rose, quick in noticing anybody's looks,
asked Lizzy what was the matter, in the kind way
58 Lizzy ohnson ; or,
which had already made Lizzy feel as if she was a
friend, and Lizzy was only too glad to pour out
her trouble. Her account of Mrs. Wells interested
Miss Rose, and the next time that she was able to
leave her aunt and go out for a walk, she asked
for Mrs. Wells's place of abode.
"She lives in the same street as mother," said
"Then I might go and see your mother too,"
said Miss Rose; "would she like to see me, do
you think ?"
Oh, yes, miss," answered Lizzy; but the words
were scarcely spoken when she rather regretted
them. She thought of the muddle that prevailed
on the occasion of her own last visit, and did not
quite like the idea of Miss Courtenay's finding her
home in a similar state; but it couldn't be helped,
and Miss Rose, having obtained full directions as
to the locality, set out upon her walk. She went
first to Mrs. Wells's rooms. There all was quiet,
clean, and orderly as usual, Mrs. Wells lying
down on her bed-Annie busy about some cook-
ing-the two children at school. Miss Rose intro-
duced herself to Annie, and asked after her mother,
saying how much she had heard from Lizzy about
them, and how anxious Lizzy was from the account
Mrs. Johnson had given her.
Annie, too, had heard of Miss Rose, and was
quite prepared to receive her as a friend; her eyes
Mutual Help. 59
filled with tears as she answered the inquiries about
"She gets so weak, miss; there is not so much
the matter with her, as it is that she can't eat, and
can't sleep, and seems wasting. If she could only
get into the country."
"And is that quite impossible ?" asked Miss Rose.
Father says he will manage it somehow, miss;
but it isn't very easy-all mother's relations are
Londoners, and father's live such a long way off.
We are doubtful now whether she could bear the
journey; but the doctor is very anxious she should
go away from this place, and says he is sure it
would set her up."
Miss Rose thought of the ease with which the
doctor's wishes, in her aunt's case, were about to be
fulfilled, and longed to be able to carry Mrs. Wells
off to the sea-side also. She was prepossessed in
the mother's favour by the daughter's manner, and
when Annie took her to Mrs. Well's bed-side, she
did not wonder at the way in which Lizzy had
spoken of her.
Mrs. Wells was very weak, but was able to talk
a little, and almost her first question was as to
Lizzy's chance of keeping her place.
"I will do all I can to keep her," said Rose;
"she is a nice girl, and my aunt's illness seems to
have made her forget what happened just before;
for the present, at all events."
60 Lizzy 7/ohnson ; or,
"It will be a great kindness if you can manage
it," said Mrs. Wells; "there is a large family at
home, and it is a good thing for Lizzy to be so
She and your daughter are great friends, are
they not?" asked Rose.
"Yes, miss, they were at school together, though
Lizzy is the oldest."
Lizzy seems to be so fond of you," added Miss
Rose; she was so grieved to hear of your illness."
I was always partial to her," answered Mrs.
Wells, "and she is a girl that will do almost any-
thing for a kind word."
"Don't you think that is the way with most of
us, Mrs. Wells ? It is the old story of the sun
and the wind-the warm sun will bring off the
cloak, when the strong wind only makes us hold
on the tighter."
"Yes, indeed. I often think that when we
speak hard words instead of soft, it is to ease our
own tempers, and not to do any good to those we
"And how quick even a child is to find out if
we speak from temper How sure they are to know
if we are provoked because they have worried us,
or only grieved because they have done wrong."
Have you had much to do with children, miss ?"
asked Mrs. Wells, "because that is just the way of
Mutual Help. 61
"I have a good many brothers and sisters,"
answered Rose, laughing, "so that I fancy I know
as much about children as one that has a dozen-
and every day I get more sure that the only way
to work upon them, or upon anybody, in fact, is
through their hearts."
Yes, there is no power like the power of love,"
said Mrs. Wells.
"Love is like the fire that gets the steam up,
and makes the engine work. Did you ever read
the story in some of the children's books?"
"Not that I remember. What is it ?"
"Oh, it tells you how the man tried to turn first
one wheel and then another wheel, lifting here and
moving there, and never getting the whole thing
at work together, in spite of his trouble, when
some one suggested lighting the fire. Then all
went on of itself, and he had only to keep watch
and regulate the strong power he had got to work
with. But you will be tired, Mrs. Wells, with my
"Oh, no, miss; I can't talk very much myself,
but it passes the time to have some one come, and
I like to listen."
"Don't let me tire you, or I am sure that nice
daughter of yours in the next room won't let me
come again. I am sure she would do anything for
the love of you. The fire is lighted and the steam
up there, at any rate."
62 Lizzy 7o1nson; or,
Yes, indeed-she would do anything for me or
her father-or the little ones either. She is a real
good girl, though I say it; and she loves us all d early
-but even if she was with them that she couldn't
love, that is, not as she loves us-- "
Mrs. Wells stopped, as she often did when she
had been going to speak of what she felt might be
"What then, Mrs. Wells?" asked Rose, gently,
"would she lose the power that sets her to
"No," said Mrs. Wells, "I hope not: it would
be a different sort of life for her, but I do hope
that she would do what was right."
"I know what you mean," said Rose. "She
would work from a deeper and more sacred love--
the love of her heavenly Father !"
"Yes, miss, that is what I was thinking of; that
is the real power that never fails, and that sets
everything to work for good."
One of the last things our Lord told us," said
Rose, "was that if a man loved Him he would
keep His words, and His words were, that we
should love each other; so that here we have got to
the bottom of the whole thing."
"It is just what our Lord said to the lawyer,"
observed Mrs. Wells.
"Yes, we cannot go beyond that-the love of
God and love of our neighbour. Here are .
Mutual Help. 63
Christian's principles of action summed up. This
is the sacred fire that will keep the whole machine
at work; but now, Mrs. Wells, I am sure you must
be tired. Tell me a little about your illness, and
then I must be going."
There was not much to tell except of the inabi-
lity to recover strength, which made Mrs. Wells's
doctor wish so much to get her away from town;
and after some little talk on the subject, Rose went
away, much interested in the gentle, pale invalid,
and more than ever desirous of procuring for her
the desired change of air. Rose was by no means
rich, but she was young and eager, and she did not
despair of contriving some way of doing what she
had at heart.
She now went on to Mrs. Johnson's. The room
was tolerably quiet as the children were at school,
except the youngest, who was on its mother's knee.
Rose introduced herself to Mrs. Johnson, and
found no difficulty in keeping up the conversation;
indeed, when once the stream of words was turned
on, it was difficult to turn it off again.
Rose soon had the whole history of Mrs. John-
son's difficulties and troubles, and how anxious she
was to keep Lizzy at service. Rose promised she
would do what she could for her, and spoke of the
girl in a way that pleased the mother. The chil-
dren, however, soon came in, and Rose had to be
at home by one o'clock, so that she did not stay
64 Lizzy ybohnson; or,
very long-long enough, however, to guess that
the soft word and the law of love were not what
Mrs. Johnson chiefly employed in the management
of her children.
The time was now come when Mrs. Courtenay
could be safely moved, and a small house was taken
by the sea-side. Rose went to make the necessary
preparations, and when she had seen the house,
and planned out the way in which each room should
be disposed of, she found that it would be possible,
by taking a very tiny room for herself, to appro-
priate one containing two beds, if her aunt could
be brought to allow it, to Mrs. Wells and Lizzy.
This scheme had been floating in Rose's brain for
some time. She felt so convinced that a few weeks
of sea air would restore Mrs. Wells's health, and
she felt so interested in all she saw and heard of
her, that she had quite set her heart upon procuring
for her this beneficial change. Not a word would
she say until she had seen that it was practicable,
but now she was eager to try what success she
could obtain. Mrs. Courtenay was, however, still
so weak that any new idea had to be placed before
her very cautiously. Rose thought that perhaps
the best way was to begin by interesting her about
Mrs. Wells. One afternoon, when Mrs. Courtenay
seemed pretty well, Rose began.
"How pleasant this sort of weather will be
by the sea, Aunt Kate ; I hope next week will
Mutual Help. 65
be as fine as this. Don't you wish you were
I wish the journey was over," answered Mrs.
"You will be stronger, I hope, in a few days,
and then you will not feel it so much; but I expect
to see you make rapid progress when once you get
London air is very oppressive," said Mrs. Cour-
I wish one could give everybody in London a
good dose of sea air in the course of the summer,"
pursued Rose, who felt quite diplomatic as she
went on steadily drawing near her object.
Yes, my dear," answered her aunt, in an absent
"By the bye, aunt Kate, I have made acquaint-
ance with your little maid Lizzy's mother: it is a
great advantage to the family to have the eldest
one in service; there are such a lot of children."
"Are there, indeed?" said Mrs. Courtenay, indif-
ferently, when Rose paused for a moment.
"Yes; I think Mrs. Johnson seems nearly over-
whelmed with them. She was not particularly
pleasing; but a neighbour of hers, whose daughter
is a great friend of Lizzy's, is such a nice person.
I have been to see her two or three times, and like
her better every time. She is sadly out of
66 Lizzy Johnson ; or,
"Isn't it time for my draught, Rose?" asked
"It wants ten minutes, aunt Katie; but I dare
say you may as well take it now."
"No, not till the time comes," said Mrs. Cour-
tenay; "but I feel so weak."
"I am afraid you must not expect to feel any-
thing but weak for a while yet: change of air will
be the real tonic."
Mrs. Courtenay shut her eyes, and lay back in
her chair for some minutes. As soon as the right
moment came, Rose gave her the draught. This
revived her aunt, and she seemed inclined to be
talked to again; so Rose thought she might return
to her subject.
I thought of asking you if I might take a little
of that nice jelly of yours to this Mrs. Wells I was
"What Mrs. Wells?" asked Mrs. Courtenay.
"The person I went to see, who is so weak and
ill: her daughter, I said, was a great friend of your
maid, Lizzy, and such a nice girl. She does every-
thing for her mother, and keeps the place so clean
and tidy." Rose knew this was a point to which
Mrs. Courtenay attached great importance, so she
enlarged upon it-" The mother was on her bed in
the back room, and this girl Annie-about fourteen
or fifteen, I suppose she must be-was cooking in
the other. You never saw anything more neat and
Mutual Help. 67
orderly than the way she went to work-and she
must have plenty to do, as there are two young
children who go to school, an elder brother, the
father, and the poor sick mother, to attend to."
"What is the matter with the mother?" asked
Mrs. Courtenay, with a little more interest.
"I cannot make out that there is much the
matter in the way of positive illness; but it is a
sort of fading away. She is not able to sleep or to
eat, and is growing weak and thin in consequence.
The doctor says nothing but change of air will do
her any good," added Rose, her heart quite beating
with suppressed eagerness. Was the moment come,
and should she speak at once? but, looking again
at her aunt, and seeing how very unable she was to
enter into any discussion, Rose thought it best not
to be in a hurry, so she only added-" I suppose
I may have some of the jelly for her."
"Anything you like, my dear," answered Mrs.
Courtenay, who was always ready to give money
or money's worth, "wine, or soup, or whatever is
"Thank you, my dear aunt; I will go to-morrow
morning before you get up, and you shall hear how
I find her"-and Rose felt quite hopeful that she
had made a good beginning, and that Mrs. Cour-
tenay would soon get interested in the person she
was ministering to.
The next morning Rose did not fail to carry a
68 Lizzy 7ohnson; or,
basket of good things to Mrs. Wells, and she met
the doctor on the stairs. His report made her
more eager than ever to carry out her plan. He said
that he felt sure change of air would save Mrs.
Wells's life, but that he feared nothing else would,
as there seemed such a want of power to rally.
Rose was too prudent to say a word to her aunt
until the fitting time arrived, although the words
were often on her lips. Mrs. Courtenay was tired
and exhausted in the morning, and it was not till
she had recovered from the exertion of getting up
and being placed upon the sofa in another room,
had taken her afternoon nap and her tonic medi-
cine, that she was at all able to think of anything
but her own little arrangements. Rose was atten-
tive and ready, and understood her aunt's wishes
without a word. She was a capital nurse, and her
care and tenderness made an impression upon
Mrs. Courtenay, none the less for her not always
seeming aware of them. This afternoon Mrs. Cour-
tenay seemed to remember that Rose was a good
deal confined to the house, and said to her, "It is
so fine, Rose; had you not better go out ?"
"I went out this morning, aunt Kate, and I
would rather stay with you now,-perhaps you may
like to be read to a little by and bye."
Thank you, Rose; you are very good to me,"
said Mrs. Courtenay.
"You know I always liked nursing," answered
Mutual Herp. 69
Rose, cheerfully; "and I think you are going to
do me credit and recover well. I had a nice walk
this morning," she continued, "and I took all sorts
of good things to my poor friend Mrs. Wells. She
was very much obliged to you for kindly thinking
about her; but I fear nothing one can do will be
of any use."
"Why not?" asked Mrs. Courtenay.
"I met the doctor, and he seemed to think
change of air the only chance. Medicine he has
tried, food she cannot take, and the weakness in-
creases daily. I do feel so interested about her,
aunt Kate-she seems to be such a good woman,
and the children are so well brought up."
"Couldn't she go to a convalescent hospital ?"
asked Mrs. Courtenay. "I have an order, I know,
Dear aunt Kate !-would you think me quite
mad if I asked you to let her go with us to the sea-
side? It would be so easily managed. There is
room in the house, and Lizzy Johnson is so fond of
Mrs. Wells that she would be only too glad to
share her room and wait upon her. I could
manage it all without your having a moment's
trouble." And Rose sat breathless with eagerness,
though she had managed to speak quietly and
gently, so as not to hurry or agitate Mrs. Courtenay.
"My dear Rose, what a notion! We can't
establish a private hospital all at once."
70 Lizzy 7ohknson; or,
Oh no, dear aunt; but this would be so easy,
and she is such a nice person. You would like her
so much, if you knew her."
But we don't know what is the matter with her
-perhaps something infectious ?"
"No, indeed; I asked the doctor that. He
seemed so certain that the sea air would cure
her. What a pleasure it would be to you, aunt
Kate, to see her gaining strength as you got better
and better yourself, and to know it was your
"It seems to me a very wild scheme," said Mrs.
Courtenay, leaning back and looking quite tired.
"Suppose she should get worse, and die in the
Of course, I can't quite promise that anybody
shall not die," persisted Rose; "but there is no
idea of her being in any immediate danger even
now, and the doctor is so confident as to her re-
covering if she gets this chance."
"The servants would never agree to having a
sick stranger brought upon them-it is nonsense,
Rose;" and Mrs. Courtenay closed her eyes wearily,
so no more could be said on the subject that day.
Rose did not feel quite hopeless yet, though some-
what discouraged. There was, however, no time
to be lost. Mrs. Courtenay was to go to the sea-
side in a week or ten days, so it would not do to
let the matter sleep. Rose's next device was to
Mutual Help. 71
sketch a plan of the house taken at Sandmouth, and
she amused her aunt one afternoon by giving a
description of the different rooms, and pointing
out how each one was to be appropriated. "This
will be mine," she said, "this for Mrs. Smith and
Jane, and here is the one I want you to let me
have for Lizzy and Mrs. Wells."
Have you not put that wild scheme out of your
head yet, Rose ?" asked Mrs. Courtenay. "It is
quite childish of you."
Oh, aunt Katie, if you would just indulge me
like a child this once. I have so set my heart upon
it, and I promise you there shall be no trouble.
You shall never even know Mrs. Wells is there. If
you could but see her, and feel that it is in your
power to give her what will be like a new life, I
know you would do it directly; but, as you can't
see her, will you do it for my sake ?"
You are a strange girl, Rose, but I would do a
good deal for your sake;" and Mrs. Courtenay took
her niece's hand, and looked at her for a moment
quite tenderly. She instantly, however, went back
to her usual cold manner, and spoke on some in-
different subject, as if ashamed of having shown
any symptom of feeling.
Rose was full of hope and happiness, and felt as
if she could go about the house singing for joy.
Lizzy Johnson was very happy just now, too.
She fancied that there was no longer any danger of
72 Lizzy yohn/son ; or,
being sent away. She was very fond of Miss Rose.
Mrs. Smith continued to be friendly and kind to
her; even Jane was much softened; and then the
delight of going to Sandmouth-of actually seeing
the sea, perhaps of bathing in it; at any rate, of
walking on the sands and picking up shells Lizzy
was young enough to be half wild with joyous ex-
pectation, and even poor Annie's care-worn face
could not make her feel sad for many minutes.
Mrs. Courtenay was now well enough to begin
to read her letters, and to look out some of the
books or papers that she might want at Sandmouth
-for the first time since her illness she had the
drawer of her writing-table unlocked, and began to
look at its contents. Among other things she
took out a memorandum-book, and, looking back
at the last entry, began to count how long it was
that she had been laid up. On one of the blank
leaves, under the date of the 5th of May, were these
words: "Lizzy Johnson's month expires." Mrs.
Courtenay looked at the date, and, as she looked,
it began slowly to come back upon her mind that
Lizzy hadj been going to leave her, but she could
not recall all the circumstances. The effort to re-
member tired her, so she put a mark in the book
and resumed her occupation. Still the thought
would keep returning, and she tormented herself
to know how it happened that Lizzy should be still
in the house, three weeks after the date at which
Mutual Help. 73
she was to have left it. When Rose came back into
the room she found Mrs. Courtenay quite restless.
"What does this mean, Rose ?" she asked. "How
comes Lizzy Johnson to be here? She was to have
gone away last month."
"I heard something about it," answered Rose,
"but while you were so ill we did not like to
change. I found no one was engaged to take Lizzy's
place, at least no one came, and so we thought it
best she should stay."
"She must go now," said Mrs. Courtenay.
"But, aunt Kate, she is such a nice girl, and has
been doing so well. Mrs. Smith said that it had
only been a bit of temper that made her give warn-
ing before, and that she has been so sorry ever
since." Mrs. Courtenay now remembered the cir-
cumstances, and, with the memory, came back
the former determination. "I never keep a ser-
vant who gives warning," she said.
"You see the time is passed," pleaded Rose;
"she has been here three weeks beyond the month
already, and naturally thought she was forgiven-
it seems hardly fair."
"That is for me to decide," answered Mrs.
Courtenay, who had got rather irritated by the dis-
I am so sorry and she has been thinking with
such delight of going to Sandmouth. Couldn't
you break your rule this once, aunt Kate? Lizzy
74 Lizzy yokmson; or,
has been so attentive and careful during your ill-
"Is she to be another frotigje of yours, Rose?"
"I do like her very much, aunt Kate," answered
Rose, stoutly, "and I shall be sorry to see the girl's
Mrs. Courtenay was not generally a whimsical
person, but her illness, perhaps, made her a little
less remarkable for good sense than usual. She
felt it would scarcely be acting with the justice on
which she prided herself, to send Lizzy away after
the time had been allowed to pass; she did not
like to vex Rose, but she did not like to break her
rule; so the fancy occurred to her of making a
"I will let her stay to please you, Rose," she
said, if you will give up your other wild scheme."
"About Mrs. Wells? Oh, aunt Kate! I am
sure Lizzy herself would never stay at such a cost."
Mrs. Courtenay did not say anything, but smiled
a sort of pitying, contemptuous smile, that was very
like her old self.
I am quite sure she wouldn't, aunt Kate. Lizzy
would be very sorry to go away, but she would be
much more sorry to take away Mrs. Wells's one
chance of getting strong again."
"Shall we ask her ?" said Mrs. Courtenay, in her
most provokingly cold manner, which Rose had
fancied before to be much thawed by illness.
Mutual Help. 75
"Yes, do, aunt Kate," answered Rose, eagerly;
"' do ask her, and then, perhaps, you will believe-"
"Believe what ?"
"That everybody is not so completely and ut-
terly selfish as you try to think," said Rose, a little
afraid of her own boldness.
"Well, we will try. Ring the bell."
"Are you going to ask her this moment?" asked
Rose, who would have liked to put the case herself
"Yes, this moment. I am not going to let you
talk the girl over. I want to see what is her own
One's first impulse is not always the best, aunt
Kate, but still I am not afraid :" and Rose, seeing
her aunt was getting rather excited, thought it was
best to obey at once, and rang the bell accord-
"Will you let me ask her the question, aunt
"Yes, but you must not attempt to guide the
Rose felt a little anxious when Lizzy came in,
bright and unconscious, and remembered how
eagerly she had been looking forward to the pro-
mised trip, and how great would be her own disap-
pointment and her sorrow over that of her mother
if she was, after all, to lose her place. She began
to think that the risk was too great, and that it was
76 Lizzy Yohnson; or,
not right in her to put the girl to such a trial, but
it was too late. There stood Lizzy, and there sat
Mrs. Courtenay, and the die must be cast.
"Lizzy," said Rose, "you remember when I
first came here that you expected to leave on the 5th
of last month ?" Lizzy's face flushed, and then
she grew pale, wondering what was to come.
"Yes, Miss Rose."
"My aunt was too ill to say what we were to
do, and you stayed on."
"Yes, Miss Rose."
"But now my aunt wishes that all should be put
upon the former footing, and that you should not
remain in her service, after having given her warn-
"Oh, Miss Rose, I had hoped-I have tried so
hard-if Mrs. Courtenay would only forgive me."
"My aunt has offered to overlook what you
said-for my sake-but, Lizzy,"-poor Rose nearly
broke down herself when she saw the way the
girl's countenance lighted up-" but, Lizzy, stop a
minute-there is something more,"-it was the
most difficult task Rose had ever undertaken, with
Mrs. Courtenay sitting unmoved listening to her,
and Lizzy hanging upon her words-"my aunt
was going to grant me a great favour before, but
now-I am to choose which it shall be-and, Lizzy,
I want you to choose. One favour is to let you
stay here-the other is to take Mrs. Wells with us
Mutual Help. 77
to the sea-side. My aunt will do one of these two
things for my sake-but not both," said Rose, with
a little shake in her voice, which rather went to
Mrs. Courtenay's heart, though she made no sign.
Lizzy remained perfectly silent.
"Do you quite understand?" Rose went on; "it
depends upon you whether Mrs. Wells goes to the
sea or not. If I ask for you to stay, I must not
ask for her to go. Now, Lizzy, which shall I do ?"
Mrs. Courtenay sat up in her chair with a sort
of cold curiosity, as if watching an experiment.
Rose waited breathlessly, fearing and hoping by
turns-at last, just as Mrs. Courtenay was going to
triumph over her niece, Lizzy burst out-" Miss
Rose, you will tell poor mother how it is ;" and
bolted from the room with her apron to her eyes.
Rose said not a word, but looked at Mrs.
Courtenay, who remained immovable as usual.
Rose turned from her a little resentfully, and said,
"I suppose I may let Mrs. Wells know?"
"Yes, my dear," answered Mrs. Courtenay, clos-
ing her eyes, and leaning back in her chair, as
she did when she wished for no further conver-
Rose sat still for some time, not knowing quite
how she felt-glad for Mrs. Wells's sake, glad for
Lizzy's, that she had come out so well in the trial;
but with feelings towards her aunt much less warm
and affectionate than they had been before. It
78 Lizzy yohnson; or,
did seem such a hard, ungracious way of doing her
a favour, and an act of kindness to Mrs. Wells.
Poor Mrs. Courtenay !-she had yet to learn how
little will take the bloom off a kindness, and make
an obligation burdensome.
As soon as Rose could leave her aunt, she
went in search of Lizzy, and called her into her
own bed-room. Lizzy's eyes were red, but she
did not look unhappy.
Thank you, Lizzy, so very much," said Rose,
kindly taking her by the hand; "I know how
much you have given up, but I am sure you feel
happy at the thought of what you have gained for
your friend. I am so sorry it was only to be
gained this way."
"What I am most sorry about is poor mother,"
and Lizzy's red eyes again overflowed; "she was
so pleased when it was settled that I should stay
on, as she thought."
"Well, Lizzy, we must try all we can to get you
a nice place. I wish you could come to my
"Oh, that would be good, Miss Rose. I
shouldn't mind anything if I could live with you."
"I am afraid it isn't very likely," answered
Rose; "but I will do all I can to help you-and
you want me to see your mother?"
Yes, if you would."
"I think you ought to have the pleasure of
Mutual Hep. 79
telling Mrs. Wells yourself, Lizzy-and I was
thinking of sending you to her with the news this
evening-would you like that?"
"Yes, very much-but, Miss Rose, I would
rather, please, that you didn't let her know about
"I am afraid she must know that you don't go
"Yes, miss-but I mean I should like her not
to know just how it was. It would vex her so,
and take away half her pleasure."
Oh, you mean that you don't want her to
know that you might have stayed with Mrs.
Courtenay, if you had chosen for yourself instead
of her? Well, Lizzy, that is a kind thought of
yours, and I will do as you wish. I hope you will
have the great reward and pleasure of seeing her
come back strong and well, and, at all events, you
will feel that you have done all you could towards
"Mrs. Wells has been so good and kind to me
ever since I can remember. I used often to wish
I could do something for her, to show how I felt it
-and Annie has looked so sad about her mother
the last few weeks."
"Well, Lizzy, you shall run over after tea and
tell Annie that her mother is to go to the sea-side
with us next week, and that she must get to work
at once about anything she may want, and I will
So Liz.i', *hnson; or,
see your mother to-morrow morning. You won't
sleep badly to-night, I am sure. There is no
pillow so good as the feeling that you have done
right; and if it has cost you something to do right,
so much the better. You remember what David
said when Araunah offered to give him the oxen for
sacrifice-" Shall I offer unto the Lord of that
which doth cost me nothing ?" and Rose went away,
leaving Lizzy very happy, in spite of the downfall
of her castles in the air, or rather by the sea.
Mrs. Courtenay did not allude again to what
had passed, and Rose felt very little inclined to
touch upon the subject. She was so pleased, how-
ever, with Lizzy's instinctive delicacy of feeling in
wishing that Mrs. Wells should not know at what
price her pleasure was bought, that she thought it
only fair to let Mrs. Courtenay know of it. She
hoped, too, that these little proofs of unselfishness,
and thought for others, might gradually work their
way, and shake her aunt's melancholy distrust of all
her fellow-creatures; so, in the course of the evening,
she said, "I have sent Lizzy with a message to
Mrs. Wells. I thought she deserved that pleasure."
I suppose she will make a great heroine of her-
self," observed Mis. Courtenay, really more from
the habit of sneering, than because she meant it.
"No, indeed, aunt Kate," answered Rose, indig-
nantly, she asked me particularly not to mention
the share she had in the matter. She thought it
Mutual Help. 81
would take away half Mrs. Wells's pleasure, to feel
that it had cost her her situation. She is a real
good-hearted girl, and I shall always stand up for
Rose's eyes sparkled, and her cheek burned as
she spoke, and her aunt looked up half amused,
and not displeased at her warmth.
When Rose wished Mrs. Courtenay good night,
her aunt drew her face down to hers, and kissed
her-a most unusual proceeding on her part.
"You shall have your own way, Rose; I'm not
quite a brute. Tell Lizzy I am satisfied-and now
draw the curtains, and go-good night," she said,
turning away and shutting her eyes.
Rose kissed her aunt's hand which was within
her reach very tenderly, and went away with a full
heart to communicate the joyful news to Lizzy,
who had come back from Mrs. Wells's.
That night there were three sound sleepers in
Mrs. Courtenay's house.
The end of the next week found the whole party
assembled at Sandmouth. The two invalids-Mrs
Courtenay and Mrs. Wells-though much tired,
were none the worse for their journey, and the
fresh sea-air soon began to tell upon them, and to
produce manifest improvement.
Mrs. Wells was Lizzy's special charge. They
occupied the same bed-room, and Lizzy's great
delight was to do all that she could fancy Annie
82 Lizzy Yoknson; or
would do for her mother. Her labour of love was so
pleasant to her, that she seemed as if she could not
do enough; and what with the happiness of having
Mrs. Wells under her care, of seeing her begin to
gain appetite and strength, and of knowing her own
share in bringing about such a fortunate result,
Lizzy looked so bright and joyous, that even Mrs.
Courtenay could not help smiling when she saw her.
"To a girl who had never left London, who hardly
knew what was meant by blue sky and green fields,
the ecstacy of being in the country was very great.
She delighted in walking on the firm wet sand, in
watching the waves pour in with their ceaseless
dash, in gazing at the far-off horizon unobscured
by smoke, at the distant ships with their spread of
white canvas, at the busy fishing-boats with their
brown sails-making the scene full of life. Steamers
she did not care about,-there were plenty of
those on the Thames; but one day a real man-of-
war came near, which fired real cannon at a mark,
and sent a boat on shore manned by real sailors,
with a little midshipman in charge.
She delighted in picking up the shells and the
sea-weed; and the fresh, salt breeze would send
her home with cheeks glowing, and appetite so
keen, that Mrs. Smith remonstrated, good-naturedly,
at the hunches of bread and slices of meat which
were required to appease it.
it was a very happy time for Lizzy, and so she
Mutual Help. 83
said to Mrs. Wells one afternoon, when she had
established her, well wrapped-up, in a shady,
sheltered corner, on a comfortable seat, from which
she commanded a good view of the sea,-
How I wish Annie could be here with us, Mrs.
Wells; how she would enjoy it !"
"Yes, that she would, indeed, Lizzy. But she
has plenty to do at home, and Las no time to wish
herself anywhere else; besides, she says she likes
being a little mother."
I dare say the little ones are very good with
her, and mind her just as they would you."
Yes, they are very good, poor little dears ; and
then, you know, Annie is a great favourite with her
father, and she says he always likes what she cooks
for him. She had it all to do while I was ill, and
me to look after besides, so that it doesn't come so
heavy on her now."
"And you really are getting on nicely, Mrs.
Wells-you begin to look quite different! Oh,
how pleased they will be at home when they see
Mrs. Wells smiled as she answered-
"And you too, Lizzy. Do you know you are
growing quite stout ?"
"Yes," said Lizzy; "but stop a minute, I must
run into the house for my work, and then we will
have a nice quiet time while Mrs. Courtenay and
Miss Rose are out."
84 Lizzy yohnson; or,
Lizzy soon came back. "There, now," she said,
"I have put everything straight and ready, and can
just sit at this skirt till tea-time."
"What is your work?" asked Mrs. Wells. "I
hope I shall soon be able to use my fingers to some
good, but I can only knit a little now and then, as
"My work is a skirt of Miss Rose's. She wants
it made up quickly, and means to work hard this
evening; so if I can get the seams run together be-
fore she comes in, it will give her a help on."
"You are very fond of Miss Rose, Lizzy," said
Mrs. Wells. "Don't you find yourself much hap-
pier now than you were a few months ago? Do
you remember when you said you used to sing, I
care for nobody, no not I, and nobody cares for
me ?' That wasn't a happy time, was it ?"
"No, indeed!" answered Lizzy, as her needle
went quickly through the stuff. "And do you
know, Mrs. Wells, that you were the one to get me
out of that stupid way, and into this pleasant
"How was that, Lizzy ?"
"Well, you know, the beginning of everything
going right was Annie persuading me to let cook
go home that Sunday her sister was ill, instead of
me. You see we had never been friendly before, and
she had never done anything for me, so I didn't see
why I should do anything for her."
Mutual Help. 85
But what had I to do with that, Lizzy?"
"Why, you see, Annie, when she wants to per-
suade, generally says, Mother thinks so;' this time
she said, Mother says somebody must begin !' so
she persuaded me to begin, and cook and I have
been friends ever since; and then Miss Rose came,
and she is so kind, and even Mrs. Courtenay looks
quite pleasant sometimes, and seems glad to see us
enjoy ourselves and to see you getting better."
"In short, you find that it is much pleasanter for
us to care about each other than not. I often think
we should have heaven upon earth if we could only
all be true disciples of Him who told us to love
each other. Just fancy what it wold be if we were
all trying to help each other, and to please each
other-if there was no selfishness, no anger; if we
neither heard nor spoke hard words !"
"That would be a happy time; but then, Mrs.
Wells, it would be so much easier if everybody was
the same. We shouldn't want to be cross, if nobody
was disagreeable to us. Now, it is so difficult some-
times to keep one's temper, and it is very hard to
care about people that don't care for you."
"If it was easy, I suppose we should not
need to have been told to do it. 'If ye love them
which love you, what thank have ye ? for sinners
also love those that love them. If ye do good to
them which do good to you, what thank have ye?
for sinners also do the same; but love ye your ene-
86 Lizzy 2ohnmson; or,
mies and do good, and ye shall be the children of
the Highest, for He is kind unto the unthankful and
the evil.'-Luke vi., 32. You see, not only those
that don't care about us, but even those that don't
like us, are spoken of, and by our Lord Himself."
"I wish I could remember Scripture as you do,
Mrs. Wells; but now, do tell me how I can love
people that I don't care about, and that have never
done anything to make me care about them. It
does seem to me quite impossible, and yet, if we
are told to do it, I suppose it must be possible."
"I used to puzzle over that question too,
"Did you ?" said Lizzy; I'm so glad."
"I think what helped me most was finding that
doing anybody a kindness made me care about
"Why, I should have thought it was just the
other way-that you did them a kindness because
you cared about them."
Mrs. Wells shook her head, smiling.
"Or, at any rate," pursued Lizzy, "that your
doing them a kindness would make them care about
"No, Lizzy-that's a mistake. I don't think
people love those who do them a kindness, merely
for the sake of what they get-sometimes quite the
contrary. There are many kind things done in a
way that makes people feel uncomfortable."
Mutual Help. 87
"Well, that's true;" and Lizzy thought of Mrs.
Now, what I think is, that when you have done
something for person you don't care for, that makes
you begin to take an interest in them; then you begin
to care for them, and that makes them begin to
care for you; and so it goes on backwards and for-
wards, the love producing love in return, while the
"Why, Mrs. Wells, that certainly was just the
way between cook and me. I began to take her
part directly, and felt just as if we were friends,
though I didn't see her for ever so long after; and,
sure enough, when she came back we were as
friendly as possible. I never can get on with Jane,
"Have you ever tried the same plan ?"
Well, I have done things for her now and then;
but we don't seem to get on any better. I don't
mean that we ever quarrel, but we' shouldn't care if
we never saw each other again, I dare say. But
here's the Bath-chair coming, and I must run and
help Mrs. Courtenay to get out."
Mrs. Wells watched Lizzy as she helped her mis-
tress, who was yet very feeble, to get out of her
chair, and to walk up the path to the house, Miss
Rose being on one side and she on the other. After a
little time, Lizzy came back to her work and sat
down, saying, "I can hear the bell ripA for me
88 Lizzy Yohnson; or,
while we sit here, if they should wafi, -nything.
We must not be too long out though, Mrs. Wells,
or you will take cold, perhaps. Mrs. Courtenay
looks rather cold after her drive. I wonder whether
she would like a cup of tea when we have ours ?"
"You might take her one on the chance,
"That isn't quite according to the rules," said
Lizzy, laughing; "but I can ask Miss Rose."
You don't seem to dislike these rules so much as
you did, Lizzy-that's another change, I see. Do
you remember how you used to complain of them,
and how you used to declare you would only do
what you were bound to do? If you might not do
less, you wouldn't do more for anybody."
"Yes, but then, you see, I feel so sorry for Mrs.
"And you don't find it half so hard to mind her
little ways, and keep to her rules and regula-
tions ? Ah well, there's no service like the service
of love, and perhaps you will come to that yet."
"I'm sure if it's the service of love to think
nothing a trouble, I have come to that with Miss
Rose. I wish I could do twice as much for her as
I ever get a chance to do;" and the needle flew
through the seams of Rose's gown with double
You don't want rules and regulations to make
you do what she likes, then ?" asked Mrs. Wells.
Mutual Help. 89
"Oh no If I can only guess what will please
her, I will do it directly; and the harder it is the
better I like it."
Did you ever hear her story about lighting the
fire to make the machine work ?"
No," said Lizzy, looking up for a minute.
Mrs. Wells told the story, and added, "So you
see you have got the fire lighted now, and haven't
got to think about turning each separate wheel, and
you can get through twice as much work without
"That's a capital story," said Lizzy. "All the
first part of the time I was at Mrs. Courtenay's, it
really was just like trying to turn the wheels by
hand. I couldn't remember half the rules, and I
never cared to do anything that I wasn't obliged to
do; so the machine was always catching, and stop-
ping, and going wrong somewhere; but now, as
you say, I have got the fire lighted as far as con-
cerns Miss Rose, and it all goes of itself."
Yes, and I think the warmth of that fire helps
to make things smooth with Mrs. Courtenay too;
doesn't it, Lizzy ?"
Partly, Mrs. Wells. You see, Miss Rose likes
me to please her aunt, and I like to please Miss
Rose; so that, of course, I care more to mind
Mrs. Courtenay's little fidgetty ways than ever I
did before: and then she has been so ill, and she
90 Lizzy Yohnson; or,
has had a deal of trouble, cook tells me; and she
was very kind to cook's little sister."
"And very kind to me too, I am sure," put in
So that you see altogether, perhaps there is
just a spark of fire lighted for her, too," continued
"I think we had better go in now, Lizzy; but,
if you will put me in mind of it next time we have
a good chat, I will tell you how I think we may
carry on the idea of lighting the fire a great deal
It was a day or two before Mrs. Wells and Lizzy
got an opportunity of renewing their conversation,
but one afternoon they were again sitting in their
warm corer, as before, and Lizzy returned to the
"I have often thought of what you said about
lighting the fire and getting the steam up to make
the machine work; Mrs. Wells, and I want to know
what more you were going to say the other day
when we were sitting here. I wonder whether I
I dare say you have, my dear, for it was nothing
very much out of the way. It was only treating
the story like a parable, and trying to bring a more
sacred truth out of it."
"You meant something about the love of God,
didn't you, Mrs. Wells?" asked Lizzy, rather shyly.
Mutual Help. 91
She seldom spoke on serious subjects, except to
Mrs. Wells, and then it was with an effort.
"Yes, dear; it seemed to me as if the man who
tried to turn the wheels separately was like one of
us if we tried to remember everything we ought to
do, and keep every word of God's law just because
we knew we must-because it was written, and
because we knew we couldn't be saved except by
obeying; so that we should be thinking, Must I
do this, and must I do that ?-can't I just let this
alone, and won't it do if I just keep within the rule?'
-giving a reluctant service, and so never able to
make it real and thorough. While, in the other
case, when the man got his fire well lighted, it
seemed to me like having such a real love of God
in the heart as would never let us rest without
working for Him. We shouldn't be thinking 'What
must I do ?' but 'What can I do for my Father in
heaven?' To give up our own way, and to make
God's will our will, wouldn't then be a struggle, but
a real pleasure-such as it is now when we give up
anything to please those we love dearly."
"That would make a wonderful difference, Mrs.
Wells," said Lizzy, thoughtfully.
"Some books tell us that we must do this and
that, or we shall not be saved; and that is very
good and true,-but I do like the others so much
better that say, Your Saviour loved you and died
for your sake, before you knew Him or thought of
92 Lizzy .yonson; or,
Him; what can you give in return for such love
but your own self?' St. Paul says, 'The love of
Christ constraineth me'-the great love that He has
shown compels me : I cannot fight against His love;
and that is what I think we ought to feel. We
shouldn't like to go against any one who had been
very good to us; we couldn't go against any one
we loved with all our hearts, except it was for their
good, or because it would be wrong to do as they
wished-and in this case, of course, there could be
no such reason."
"What are you two talking about, Mrs. Wells?
you both look so very much in earnest."
"Well, Miss Rose, I think we have just come
back to the place where you and I left off once
before. I have Leen telling Lizzy your story about
lighting the fire."
"And has Lizzy found out what is the best way
to set our machines in motion, and to keep them
"Yes. I think you have helped her to find that
out, miss, without knowing it."
It is a great thing to find out for ourselves-
not only to read in a book, and believe that it is
true, but really to find out for ourselves-that we
have but to kindle the fire of love in our hearts,
and all will go well. Fire lights fire. The love of
our Saviour for us must light our love for Him.
We shall then love those whom He loved, and in
Mutual Help. 93
keeping His one commandment we shall keep all.
Lizzy thought a good deal about this conversa-
tion afterwards, and also about what Mrs. Wells
had said when they were speaking of Jane. She
could not help wondering whether she should ever
succeed in being friendly with her: in spite of all
that had been said she did not feel much inclined
All went on quietly for some days; but it hap-
pened one evening, when Mrs. Courtenay was
undressing, that she discovered that a locket be-
longing to a bracelet which she always wore was
missing: it must have dropped off in the course of
the day. Lizzy, who was with Mrs. Courtenay
when she discovered her loss, was quite astonished
and alarmed at the effect it seemed to have upon
her. She ran downstairs to look on the floor in
the sitting-room, and to tell Rose, who immediately
went up to her aunt. Lizzy's search was unsuc-
cessful, and she was just going to say so, when she
met Rose on the stairs.
"You have not found it, Lizzy, I see," said Rose.
"I am so sorry. My aunt is in a terrible state
about that locket-it has the hair of her only child
in it, and she has worn it ever since the little girl
"Oh dear, Miss Rose, that is sad. I have looked
all about the room and the stairs."