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But'l say unto you, forgive your enemies."
FROM THE FRENCH OF MADAM GuIZOT's DAUGHTER,
MRS. M. HARRISON ROBINSON.
1214 CHESTNUT STREET.
LII:.1, hear how they are
; crying in the cabins," said
^*) little Ronald Cameron one
.._-, to his mother; "I am
sure Nansurah's children must be
"It may be so; rice is dear, and
Somal's wages are not large," she
"No indeed, they are not; and
4 RONALD CAMERON.
there are six children to feed!" ex-
claimed the boy, with an earnestness
the burning sun of India had not
Most of the English children of
his age were sent home, away from
this dangerous climate, but Ronldd
was an only child, and instead of
parting with him, his parents took
him every summer into the moun-
tains, where he was perfectly healthy,
"as well as he could be in Scotland,"
"How do you know?" asked his
father, ii.P1; -, "you have never
been to Scotland."
"No; but I mean as well as I
shall be when I am there. You are
RONALD CAMERON. 5
not anxious to send me from you,
are you, mamma ?"
"Anxious, my darling Ronald!"
repeated the fond mother, raising
herself up on her cushion to em-
brace her child.
Meanwhile, Ronald was to depart
in the spring, if a good opportunity
offered. He was old enough now to
be fond of r- nl.;i-, like all boys,
too active and inquiring to be satis-
fied in-doors; and as Mrs. Cameron
said, he had a special fancy for
going among the cabins, talking to
the women, and playing with the
children. I do not know how he has
learned to speak in the Hindoo lan-
guage, but they all understand him
6 RONALD CAMERON.
perfectly. For my part I do not
know a word of it."
You are not so restless as the
boy is, my dear, nor such a gossip,"
replied her husband, .-1i.1; just
returned from his military duties.
"And, you know, the poor child has
no companions, all the children of
his age having gone home. He
would not be so fond of Nansurah's
babies if he had one or two little
sisters of his own."
"I cannot conceive how he can
fancy those Hindoo children, with
their dark skin," she said; and Ma-
jor Cameron, though day after day
among the native soldiers of his regi-
ment, was of the same opinion.
RONALD CAMERON. 7
During this conversation, Ronald
had slipped off, jumped and skipped
along the verandah, and come to the
cabins occupied by the servants of
the station and their families. So-
mal, one of :1- Ij-. Cameron's ser-
vants, was busy in his master's
house; but his wife, Nansurah, was
in her cabin, surrounded by her chil-
dren, some screaming, others cry-
ing; one little girl near Ronald's
age stood looking sorrowfully at a
boy her mother was nursing in her
lap, who, notwithstanding his dark
complexion, was pale as death.
"What is the matter with Rali?"
asked Ponald, coming into the midst
of them like a bomb, and instantly
8 RONALD CAMERON.
checking himself as he beheld the
consternation of Nansurah and the
"He is dying !" she answered, in a
voice of agony. "I have taken him
to all the Brahmin Saints, but they
can do nothing, and I must see him
Ronald darted from the cabin,
saying he was going for the doc-
tor, and the next moment ran into
a cool, quiet house, where the only
physician of the station lived, an old
Scotchman, intimately connected with
Lajor Cameron by ties of relation-
ship as well as country.
Come, uncle!" cried Ronald, giv-
ing him that title out of respect,
RONALD CAMERON. 9
though only a second or third cou-
sin; "come and see Rali, Nansu-
rah's little boy; he is dying!"
"She has six or seven others,
hasn't she? and little to feed them,"
grumbled the doctor. "One or more
less will not matter."
"0, uncle!" replied Ronald, indig-
nant, "she loves them all. You told
me, yourself, there were fifteen of
you at home, and didn't your mother
love all her children?"
"Certainly she did, the dear, good
woman," said the doctor, his voice
rather unsteady at the allusion to
his mother, "but you cannot com-
pare a noble Scotch woman, brought
up by the light of the gospel, to
10 RONALD CAMERON.
a miserable Hindoo, who scarcely
knows whether she has a soul to
save or not.'
"No; but the child is .1 ;i_, I
tell you, uncle-hurry!" and pulling
the doctor on with his little hand,
they both reached the cabin, where
the boy was just passing from a
stupor to a violent convulsion.
The doctor seized a large porrin-
ger, in which rice was slowly sim-
mering over a small fire, and with-
out taking time to save the rice,
plunged the child's limbs into the
warm water. He resisted, and the
mother was on the point of snatch-
ing him away from the physician,
when she saw the rigid limbs relax,
RONALD CAMERON. 11
the grinding of the teeth cease, and
the convulsed features recover their
natural expression. Little Rali was
saved this time.
Always warm water and a bath
as soon as the fit commences," said
the doctor; and after examining hur-
riedly the poor little creature now
sleeping in his mother's arms, add-
ed to himself, as he went out, "It
may answer two or three times, per-
A lamentation arose among the
half-naked children, who had re-
treated to the farthest corner of the
hut, frightened by the entrance of
the old doctor and his active move-
ments, on finding he had bathed
12 RONALD CAMERON.
Rali in the porringer where the rice
was cooking. There was no other
provision in the cabin, and they
must go without their dinner, as the
rice could not now be eaten. The
doctor was gone, and Ronald was
about to follow, when, wishing to
give another look at Rali, he heard
the mother whispering her blessing
on his head, for fear of awaking the
sick child; and he turned to the
others, saying, in Hindoo tongue,
and in an air of authority:
"You mustn't wake Rali."
The oldest girl came to him as he
spoke. She was about the same age,
but there was a striking difference
between the copper-colored skin,
RONALD CAMERON. 13
slender limbs, and black hair of the
little Hindoo, and the white brow,
rosy cheeks, and luxuriant, light
curls of the sturdy Scotch boy.
There was but one trait of resem-
blance between them-both had very
"HIe has stolen these eyes from
some Hindoo child," his mother de-
declared, looking in the mirror at
her own large blue ones. "HIis
father's are gray, and I do not know,
in all my family, any eyes different
And so to-day Ronald fixed his
black eyes on Nana's, and asked her
what they were crying for.
"Because we have nothing to eat.
14 RONALD CAMERON.
The Sahib doctor has put Rali in the
That is true, and it must be
thrown away. I wish I could bring
you my dinner, but you would not
eat that. Wait till I go for my
And running home in his usual
way, he went in the house, opened
the door of his own little room,
searched all his pockets for his
purse, and went back to the cabin.
It was not a large sum, but Nansu-
rah did not require any variety, and
he brought her enough for five or six
measures of rice.
"Here, Nana," he said, "this will
buy you something to eat. And
RONALD CAMERON. 15
Rali is better, isn't he, Nansurah?"
leaning over the child.
The poor Hindoo woman gave him
a look of the deepest gratitude. and
answered, bending over to kiss the
"You have saved his life, my good
Ronald blushed, then withdrew his
hand, and ran off.
The little Rali died, two days after,
in another convulsion, and Ronald
wept nearly as much as the mother
and Nana. Somal, the father, shed
no tears, his grief only showing
itself by an involuntary movement
of the lips, as he stood, with dry eye,
arms crossed, looking at his dead
16 RONALD CAMERON.
child and the distressed faces of his
wife and daughter.
Then he turned to gaze at Ronald,
kneeling down, covering his face
with his hands, and remaining per-
fectly silent among the loud cries of
The little European had discerned
the father's inward grief under the
Hindoo's stolid countenance, and
said to him, as he arose from his
"I have been praying to God to
spare you the others, Somal."
He made no reply, but there was
an expression of intense feeling in
his face as he listened to the sweet
words. Ronald went softly out of
RONALD CAMERON. 17
the cabin, and the Hindoo seated
himself beside Nansurah.
Major Cameron and his wife paid
little heed to their boy's amuse-
ments, nor exacted long or difficult
lessons, but the lonely child managed
to find occupation and pleasure for
himself; and in pursuit of these, while
his mother would be indulgent to
any violation of rules, his father,
accustomed to perfect discipline, re-
quired that he. should be at home
and ready for dinner without fail.
Ronald knew he was rather late to-
day, and was hurriedly washing his
hands and brushing his disordered
hair, when he heard his mother say,
in the next room:
18 RONALD CAMERON.
"Any news, John ?"
"This much," replied the Major,
"that the men look sullen and dis-
contented, threatening murmurs are
afloat, and the Colonel's reports are
not favorable, either from Delhi or
"What will become of us in this
far-off station, if there should be any
revolt?" asked Mrs. Cameron.
"I cannot tell," replied her hus-
band, quietly finishing his toilette.
The boy was petrified-" the men
discontented, a revolt!" What could
his mother's uneasiness, and his fa-
ther's resolute, almost fierce tone,
mean? The Sepoys, as the native
soldiers were called, always seemed
RONALD CAMERON. 19
to Ronald like passive, obedient ma-
chines, executing their orders with-
out frowning, and sometimes without
even raising their eyes. He had
never been bold enough to penetrate
into their camps, familiar as he was
in the cabins of his father's servants.
The Sepoys were nearly all Mussul-
men, while Somal, Nansurah, and
the other servants of the station,
practised the, ancient Hindoo wor-
ship, and thus there was little asso-
ciation between the soldiers and
The officers were all on the alert,
Ominous rumors came from every
part of the English rule in India.
The soldiers, it was said, refused to
20 RONALD CAMERON.
bite the ends of their cartridges, ac-
cording to military usage, on the
ground that these were an unclean
mixture, the taste of which would
injure their caste; and the English,
on their side, were uneasy and
thoughtful, without being alarmed.
Mijfor Cameron laughed when his
wife talked of danger.
"The Sepoys are growling," he
said. "We may have to shoot one or
two, perhaps, in discipline, and it will
cease. In the large garrisons it may
be more serious, but the regiment is
trusty, and our Colonel has firmness
The fire was merely smouldering,
and we know how it burst out, on a
RONALD CAMERON. 21
certain day, catching along the way
like a powder-train, soon covering
entire India with blood, murder,
cries of grief and vengeance. Who
did not shudder on reading the re-
cital of those frightful conflicts at
Delhi, Lucknow, Agra? those deeds
of unbridled cruelty in the face of
the noblest courage, resolution, and
tried virtue? There are isolated sta-
tions whose names must continue
forever celebrated in India, by the
history of their misfortunes; and
this station of Bhizpoor was of the
In the middle of the night, amid
a stifling heat, that obliged the resi-
dents to open all the windows for a
22 RONALD CAMERON.
minute only, to obtain some fresh
air, dark forms were moving silently
around the camp of the Sepoys. The
sentinels gave no alarm, the dogs did
not bark, for every one was in the
plot, and the officers, one after an-
other, found their houses surrounded,
The Hindoo servants did not dare stir
from their huts; belonging, as they
did, to the lower castes of the people,
they were accustomed to look with
dread, almost with reverence, upon
the bold Sepoys attempting the deliv
erance of their country, for view-
ing the Europeans as oppressors, the
cause was as sacred to them as to
Meantime, in the deep silence of
RONALD CAMERON. 23
the night, a shadow which was not a
Sepoy's, glided stealthily along the
wall of Major Cameron's house, a
man climbed up to the raised blinds,
entered noiselessly, slipping into dark
corners if, by chance, a bright star
none upon his white turban. At
one dash twenty Sepoys scaled the
verandah, the doors were burst open
by some, others rushed through the
raised windows, and in a quarter of
an hour after, the silence of death
brooded over the house.
Major Cameron defended himself
an instant, then fell upon the body
oi his wife killed by the first shot.
They had been surprised in a pro-
found sleep; the mother had only
24 RONALD CAMERON.
time to cry, "Ronald!" and died
without another word.
Two minutes' search of the house,
the plunge of a .1- .. into the
child's bed, which was found empty,
a ball through the head of the old
Scotch maid-servant that had at-
tended Mrs. Cameron since the day
of her marriage, and the Sepoys
These surprises were not all so
successful, however. The old Colonel
was on the watch with his aids-de-
camp, had barricaded his house, and
defended himself, inch by inch, while
his wife, standing behind him, loaded
the guns and handed them to the
defenders with heroic firmness, look-
RONALD CAMERON. 25
ing back now and then at her fright-
ened, trembling daughters, gathered
close at her shoulders like a flock of
roe-deer, telling them to "have cour-
"God is there!" pointing upward.
"Be still, Ada; Mary, stand fijm."
And while this work of death was
going on in every corner of the
peaceful village, while the shots, the
savage howls of the Indians, the
women's shrieks of terror, the sup-
pressed execratious of the English
officers, mingled in one terrible con-
cert, and the flames of the burning
houses mounted to the calm, serene
sky, Sornal, bearing a child in his
arms, stole into his cabin, silent and
26 RONALD CAMERON.
gloomy, seized a paint-pot they used
to stain their own bodies in their
savage rites, and in a moment Ro-
nald became as yellow as his pro-
tector. Next, his light curls fell
under Nansurah's scissors, a white
turban covered his head, and Nana
herself would have been deceived,
for the English boy had completely
Ronald was too much stunned and
confounded to utter a word. Taken
out of bed by Somal, just as the
Sepoys were attacking the house, he
had not time to hear his mother's
cry. The faithful Hindoo put his
hand over the child's mouth, carried
him through the deserted offices at
RONALD CAMERON. 27
the back of the house, and there
wrapped him in a dark foot-cloth,
and passed out with his bundle as if
he were taking his share of the
booty. The child, only half-awake,
thought he was still dreaming. He
resisted a moment when being cov-
ered with paint, but Somal made
him a sign to be silent, and Ronald
Still, without speaking, Somal then
took up the boy again; Nansurah
put a gourd of water and some hand-
fuls of rice in a bag, the husband
and wife exchanged one look, and
the Hindoo plunged again into the
darkness with his burden.
The cries and tir,:- now awoke
28 RONALD CAMERON.
Ronald fully, and he made a violent
effort to break from the arms that
"Where are you taking me, So-
mal?" he asked, in a smothered tone.
"I wish to go to mamma."
Howls from a house they were
passing silenced him; he could see
the Sepoys in the midst of the
flames, brandishing their sabres, wo-
men fleeing shrieking; and the child,
1t -! Iib., hid his head in Somal's
breast and remained passive.
The Hindoo went swiftly; he was
already in the heart of the forest as
the first rays of the sun gilded the
tops of the trees, where, under the
copses, amid the thick shade of the
RONALD CAMERON. 29
climbing plants covering the ground,
the obscurity was dense at this hour.
Somal had calculated the urgency of
getting away from the station at the
very beginning of the conflict, while
the Sepoys were still fighting; then
they would be occupied with the pil-
lage, and it would not be till long
after sunrise that they would dis-
band to search for the fugitives that
might have escaped: thus the forest
would be a safe asylum for some
hours at least.
He was compelled to seek a short
rest on his own account, for Ronald
was heavy, and in his natural alarm
had so clung to his preserver's neck
as to weigh him down. The child,
30 RONALD CAMERON.
after gaining the country, away from
sights and sounds of horror, fell
asleep, and Somal laid him down be-
side a little spring, which was the
object of admiration, almost of wor-
ship, round about. A cup, attached
to a tree overshadowing it, was there
to refresh travellers. Somal was in
the act of quenching his thirst when
Ronald awoke, and the boy, still
drowsy, crawled to the edge of the
fountain and bent forward to drink
from his hand, but in the crystal
water of the spring, seeing only a
little yellow face, a blue, faded dress,
and white turban, could not at first
"Why, Somal!" he cried, "you
RONALD CAMERON. 31
must have brought one of your own
children instead of me !"
The next minute, wide awake, he
laughed at the absurdity of his
words, and said:
"0, now I know; you have painted
me. Mamma would never know
me. Where is mamma, Somal?
and where is papa? Why didn't
you awake them at the same time
you did me?"
It was not possible to conceal the
truth, and moreover, Ronald must
be made to understand the whole
extent of the peril he had escaped,
to be able to brave what still re-
"Little Sahib's parents slept too
32 RONALD CAMERON.
soundly. Somal could not awake
them," replied the Hindoo, seriously.
Ronald sprang to his feet.
"Mamma! Papa!" he exclaimed,
in a hoarse voice. "Are they dead?
Have they killed them?"
Somal bent his head and did not
"Ah, if I was only a man!" cried
the boy, the fire of his valiant race
flashing from his eyes. "If I was
only a man, I would go back into
the midst of them all and revenge
them-yes, I would"-
The poor child's voice was choked
by tears, and he threw himself on
the earth, hiding his face in his
hands. Somal moved not; he had
RONALD CAMERON. 33
grief too, but it was hid in his heart.
What would become of Nansurah
and the children, without a pro-
tector amid that unchained horde?
Ronald was still weeping, when
the Hindoo, rising, put his finger to
his lip; then taking a handful of rice
from the bag, handed it to Ronald,
making him a sign to eat it. The
child obeyed mechanically. A slight
brush among the leaves reached his
ears without giving him any idea of
danger, while Somal was listening
attentively, pretending to eat.
Suddenly three Sepoys emerged out
of an embowered path, their clothes
in disorder, turbans scorched by fire,
and glittering eyes, telling plainly
34 RONALD CAMERON.
that they had taken part in the con-
flict. They were talking to each
other, without noticing Somal and
his little companion, half hidden by
the branches near the fountain.
"The Major!" they heard one
-His sword and his pistols!" said
another, brandishing the arms.
Ronald recognized two of his fa-
ther's soldiers, and saw in their
hands weapons he had known from
infancy-his grandfather's sword that
used to hang above the chimney-
piece, the silver-mounted pistols his
father always placed by his bed at
night. There was a flash from his
eye, and that was all. An almost
RONALD CAMERON. 35
imperceptible sign from Somal made
him sit still. The Sepoys came nearer,
exchanged a slight salutation with
Somal, and seeing only a copper-
colored child, with a white turban,
seated by the spring, passed on their
"O! if I was but a man!" whis-
"If the little Sahib would live to
be a man, he must be patient now,"
said the Hindoo in low tones.
"I will, Somal," answered Ronald;
and they pursued their course in a
direction opposite to that the Sepoys
had taken, both on foot now, for the
boy refused to be carried, and Somal
knew he must husband his own
36 RONALD CAMERON.
strength to make this long, round-
They went on for twelve days,
sometimes in the forests, at others
across the burning sands, obliged,
now and then, for safety, to travel in
the darkness of the night. Nansu-
rah's rice was all gone. Somal had
no money, and they ate the fruit
found in the woods, or sometimes
had a few handfuls of rice which
charitable women in the villages they
passed through would give the poor
It was done stealthily. India was
covered with -. -, -, ], '1,, under
their tatters and disguises, the white
skin and blonde hair of European
RONALD CAMERON. 37
fugitives. Blue eyes cost many a
possessor his life. Ronald saw, one
day, a little girl a faithful Sepoy was
trying to save, poignarded beside
him. She was disguised, like him-
self, but her blue eyes could not be
concealed. She turned them, in her
terror, upon the wretch that insulted
her preserver, and that innocent look
was her death.
"Ah! you are saving the children
of the English!" he cried; and the
next moment both the brave soldier
and little girl lay dead upon the
Somal with difficulty dragged his
little Sahib along. A strong affec-
tion by this time bound the Hindoo
38 RONALD CAMERON.
to the child he had rescued; hut
though the brave boy never com-
plained, the fatigue left terrible traces
on his delicate frame, and his bleed-
ing feet scarcely supported him- but
he still refused to be carried, and it
was not till night, when half asleep,
that good Somal could take in his
arms the weary form of his young
They were near the river, and the
Hindoo hoped he might find a boat
there going to Calcutta, where the
English residents would take the
child under their protection. Al-
ready the groups of wandering Se-
poys were becoming less numerous,
and there were rumors of Eng-
RONALD CAMERON. 39
lish troops moving in the neighbor-
One day, as Ronald, overcome by
fatigue, was lying asleep on Somal's
breast, there was a voice so near him
that he awoke.
It was a drunken brigand, say-
"Ah! dog, you paint the stran-
ger's children to save them, do you?"
And with a blow of his staff, he
levelled Somal and the child in his
arms at his feet. Instinctively Ron-
ald uttered an entreaty of supplica-
tion in H-indoo accents. The man
recognized his own tongue and mut-
tering "I am mistaken," went on his
way without repeating his blows.
40 RONALD CAMERON.
The Hindoo's eyes were shut, and
he lay motionless. Ronald, dis-
engaging himself from his lifeless
embrace, ran to the river, filled the
little gourd with water, and was
bathing his preserver's brow, when a
small boat touched the shore near
him, manned by two English officers,
reconnoitering, and followed by a
large barque filled with soldiers.
Ronald rose up when he perceived it,
and hastening forward, said:
"0, save Sonal, gentlemen! he
brought me here, but has been hurt,
and cannot open his eyes."
In spite of the disguise and the
paint, which, from Ronald's invete-
rate habit of washing his face at
RONALD CAMERON. 41
every fountain on the way, was
beginning to wear off, the two offi-
cers recognized their little country-
man, ordered their soldiers to convey
Somal to the large boat, and pro-
posed to the boy to go with them
into the other.
"No," said the child, "I must
stay with my kind Somal; he would
think I was lost if he did not see
me when he opened his eyes."
Somal opened his eyes at length,
but did not know Ronald. The vio-
lent blow he received on his head,
added to the excessive fatigue he
had undergone, had triumphed over
his strength and reason, and he
pushed the boy away, crying:
42 RONALD CAMERON.
"I must go in search of my little
Sahib; he wept so much when Rali
Ronald stood crying over his pre-
server as if he would break his
heart, till the English officers, see-
ing the faithful Hindoo's delirium,
persuaded him to go with them, tell-
ing him he only excited Somal.
As soon as their reconnaissance
was finished, they resumed the jour-
ney to Calcutta, and Ronald was
i.tfely lodged in the palace of the
Governor-General, under the sooth-
ing, devoted care of his wife, Lady
Canning, who, indeed, lavished upon
all the unfortunate fugitives of that
dreadful massacre flocking around
RONALD CAMERON. 43
her, the care and feeling sympathy
to which she fell a victim herself in
a few months.
Somal was brought to the palace
also, and there expired, while Ro-
nald, leaning over him, heard Nan-
surah's name as the last word from
his dying lips.
Many years have now passed since
the revolt of the Sepoys, and Ronald
has become a man, under the affec-
tionate guardianship of his uncle.
He will be a soldier like his father,
and intends going again to India,
but has renounced his thoughts of
vengeance against the Sepoys, better
able, as he grew older, to make al-
lowance for the poor heathen, their
44 RONALD CAMERON.
ignorance of religion, hatred of race,
long -;l.j.:.-i-.rn under foreign yoke;
and above all, he forgives them be-
cause he has learned in his own
heart the love of the Saviour, who
forgave his enemies; but he longs to
go to Bhizpoor, to find Nansurah
and all Somal's children.
"I will make them prosperous and
happy for his sake," he said to his
Cousin 1 y, to whom he confided
his purpose, and she was very far
from discouraging Ronald in so natu-
ral and grateful a return to the wife
and children of him who had given
his own life to rescue "the little
Sahib, because he had wept so much
when Rali died."
A ,OW, Anna, Leonard, and Mau-
.- rice, remember you must be
k* very good while I am away.
Show me, by your behavior, that I
can trust you in my absence," said
Mrs. Sesac, just entering a carriage
with her husband. They had been
summoned to a distance the evening
before, on business, and would not
return till night.
46 INDUSTRIOUS LEONARD
0, yes, mamma; we will be good,
I promise you," replied Anna.
"And I too," said Maurice.
"I will try to be," was Leonard's
modest answer, making his mother
smile at the difference from the other
She always left her children reluc-
tantly, even for a day. They were
still young, and though their old
nurse was devoted to them, she was
unable to control the boys, especially.
"Let us find something to do,"
said Anna, when the carriage was
out of sight. "It will be the best
way of being good."
"I must have some breakfast first,"
AND IDLE MAURICE. 47
"But we have already breakfasted
with mamma," remonstrated Leon-
"A cup of chocolate and a piece
of toast," said the other. "Do you
think a man could work on that? I
must have a plate of cabbage-soup,
such as they make at the farm; and
I am going there to get it."
This was forbidden by their mo-
ther, except at certain hours and on
certain conditions; and Anna and
Leonard endeavored to prevent the
boy's going to the farm.
"Catherine will give you some
soup in the kitchen, if you are hun-
gry," said the sister.
"Take a piece of bread and study
48 INDUSTRIOUS LEONARD
your lesson," was the brother's ad-
vice; but he would listen to neither,
and running off, the wilful chap did
not make his appearance again until
they had already completed their
English exercises, and commenced
their parsing lesson.
After this, Anna practiced her
music, and Leonard was deep in his
Roman history in one corner, when
Maurice, yawning at his desk, said:
"I am so tired, and my head
"Fatigued doing nothing!" cried
Leonard, leaning forward to look at
his brother's copy-book, where he
had only written, Theme (Exercise)
at the top of the page in large letters,
AND IDLE MAURICE. 49
and then contented himself with sur-
rounding the word with a wreath of
little monkeys smoking their pipes,
for his morning's work. This, at
least, was the explanation of the
drawing he gave Anna, as she rose
from the piano at Leonard's words,
for the monkeys really bore not
the slightest resemblance to the little
Do, Maurice," she entreated,
"study your exercise, or you will
never finish by play-time."
"I cannot do it," he said, whining.
"I have the headache, I tell you,
and am tired too. I am going to
ask Suzette to give me some tea."
"The cabbage-soup has made you
50 INDUSTRIOUS LEONARD
sick," was Anna's reply, as she re-
sumed her music lesson.
"And idleness," added Leonard,
industrious himself, and out of pa-
tience with the obstinate boy.
After an hour he came back, look-
ing pale and really tired, as he said;
for while giving him the tea, he was
obliged to listen to a lecture from
Suzette, and now sat down seriously
to work, going through the tasks
some way or other. The parsing,
Leonard said, glancing over it, was
all wrong; but Maurice would not
correct any of it, saying his brother
was no better grammarian than he
was; and so the young critic, not
fond of disputing, contented himself
AND IDLE MAURICE. 51
with a smile of superiority, and took
up his history again.
The time of luncheon came, and
the three children partook of it under
old Suzette's superintendence. She
took pride in seeing her charge pro-
vided with a good meal during their
mother's absence. There was no
more mention of Maurice's headache
as he sat at table, and soon three
mutton-chops vanished before him;
after which there was a rush to the
lawn to play croquet.
Children that live in the country,
and do not understand how to play
croquet, miss something. For eight
months of the year it was the favorite
and healthy exercise of these three,
52 INDUSTRIOUS LEONARD
in all weather suitable for out-doors.
There they were on the lawn, mal-
lets in hand, and screaming with
delight at a good stroke. A party
of three is not convenient, as one
must manage two balls; but Anna
was a great general, and not easily
daunted, so she bravely took in hand
the black and red ones against her
brothers' green and yellow.
Maurice had tried to persuade
Suzette to take the fourth part, but
the old nurse shrugged her shoul-
ders, and laughing, asked him-
"What would I look like, running
after a ball, with your little mallets
in my hand, at my age, eh? I have
enough to do to mend the clothes
AND IDLE MAURICE. 53
you tear in playing, without trying
"Humph! papa plays sometimes,"
"I have held your papa in my
arms when he was smaller than
you," replied the old woman, walk-
But Maurice was not satisfied till
he had run after her, and tried to
catch hold of her apron. This was a
piece of mischief the boy practised
twenty times a day, often bearing
the apron off with a shout, till Su-
zette was tempted to fasten her
aprons in front, as she did when a
girl, instead of behind, making an
easier prey to the merry boy.
54 INDUSTRIOUS LEONARD
The croquet was going on splen-
didly; Anna worked wonders on her
side, when large drops of rain made
the little players look up to the sky.
The cloud had been gathering for a
quarter of an hour without their
noticing it, and there was now the
sound of thunder. Anna neither
liked a storm nor the prospect of
getting wet, and immediately ran
into the house with her mallet and
two balls, followed by the others,
Maurice grumbling and insisting the
the rain would go over towards the
valley instead of coming on them.
They must needs amuse themselves
within as well as they can. Leon-
ard, never at a loss, went to his
AND IDLE MAURICE. 55
room and began writing a journey to
the middle of Africa, for a composi-
tion, and was busily engaged finding
discoveries for his travellers; Anna
sat down beside Suzette to string
pearls, and Maurice had gone, they
knew not where. Presently Leonard
saw him coming in with a long
branch of elder, with which he said
he was going to make a pea-shooter.
Sitting on the floor, with a piece of
wire, his knife, and some twine, he
endeavored a long while to push the
pith out at the other end, in order to
get a hollow tube to throw peas
and bread-bullets from. The elder
branch, however, proving stubborn,
he split it the whole length, to ex-
56 INDUSTRIOUS LEONARD
tract the pith, and cut soldiers out
of it. He made them of equal size,
putting a tack in each end, but they
were rather unmanageable, and Mau-
rice suddenly imagined his soldiers
would be brisker if they were dry;
accordingly, a handful of matches
comes out of his pocket, and he pro-
ceeds to the kitchen to take posses-
sion there, while the back of Cathe-
rine, the cook, was turned. His mo-
ther had expressly forbidden him
this dangerous sport, but Maurice
felt no wish to employ himself use-
fully to-day, and therefore was full
of foolish projects. Experience of
children, and mothers with them,
confirms the proverb that "Idleness
AND IDLE MAURICE. 57
is the parent of all evil." One,
two matches are successively lighted
without any noise or danger. Leon-
ard is busy in his room about his
composition, and neither sees nor
hears what is going on. The pith
will not dry; nothing but a damp
smoke comes from it, and the sol-
diers are dull as ever; so Maurice
seizes two matches at once, rubs
them against the mantel; then, in
leaning over, drops one, which the
current from the chimney drives
into his blouse, and sets it on fire.
"Leonard! Leonard! run! I am
burning!" was the next cry, as he
to his brother, wild with terror.
With one bound Leonard turns
58 INDUSTRIOUS LEONARD
over the table and everything on it,
gains his side, and rolls him in the
hearth-rug. This proves too narrow
to confine the blaze, and he theu
drags a comfortable off his bed and
wraps the child in it, rug and all.
The fire is extinguished, iIMaurice is
safe, but Leonard sinks down a
moment, then rising, totters to a
table, brings his brother a glass of
water, assures him he is not burned,
and for the first and only time in
his life, the brave boy faints beside
the still frightened but uninjured
When 11 i i.. saw his brother so
pale, with his eyes closed, he ran to
the door, and called Suzette so loud
AND IDLE MAURICE. 59
that the old woman rushed to him
as fast as her limbs could carry her.
What a sight met her eyes on reach-
ing the boys' room! n1 ....., his
clothes scorched and bl-'k with
smoke, standing by Leonard, faint-
ing on the floor.
"I caught fire, nurse!" cried II Ii-
rice, too much excited to hide any-
thing. "I was playing with matches;
Leonard put it out with the rug and
the comfortable, gave me some water
to drink, and then fell down here."
"And he has burned himself,"
said Suzette, leaning over Leonard,
whom she had not strength to put
on the bed. "Look at his poor
hands Maurice, if you are alive
60 INDUSTRIOUS LEONARD
now, it is to God's mercy you owe
it first, and next to your good
The wayward child was so moved
by his nurse's solemn voice, the sight
of Leonard, and the recollection of
the danger he had been in, that he
burst into tears, and sobbed out:
"I will never do so again, nurse;
I will never touch matches any more,
and pray our heavenly Father to
forgive me, and help Leonard to
open his eyes. Leonard, 0 my dear
The fainting little hero revived,
and Suzette was wrapping his hands
in cotton from the quilt, when the
sound of wheels was heard at the gate.
AND IDLE MAURICE. 61
Anna rushed to the door to meet
her mother, and told her Maurice
had caught fire, and Leonard had put
it out, but his hands were burned.
If mothers could afford to be ill
when their children need their ser-
vices, Mrs. Sesac might have felt so
at such news as this on getting
home; but she merely turned pale,
and went as quickly as possible to
the boys' room, where Leonard was
standing up ready to meet her.
"I will not let mamma find me
on the floor," he said to the nurse,
on hearing her coming up-stairs.
"Mamma, I1.i.i:., is not hurt at
all," were his first words to her.
"But you-you are, my dear
62 INDUSTRIOUS LEONARD
child!" exclaimed Mrs. Sesac, fold-
ing her oldest son in her arms, and
returning thanks to the Divine Being
who had preserved him.
"It is only my hands that are
burned a little; Suzette has put them
in the wadding. I felt frightened
after it was over, mamma, that was
all," trying to speak steadily.
Hl r, 1 .. had hidden himself as his
mother entered, but a little pile of
burnt clothes below the curtain at-
tracted her eye. He had been un-
dressing in a corner, and finding
himself discovered, came out and fell
in her arms, weeping, begging par-
don, and promising never to handle
matches again, or disobey her orders."
AND IDLE MAUEICE. 63
"How often have you promised
this, my poor boy?" said the mother,
enveloping the half-naked child in
her dress to warm him. You must
ask your Father in heaven to help
you to keep your promises; and when
you are ready to forget them, only
look at Leonard, and remember,
through God's goodness, how he
saved'your life this day."
We must do Maurice the justice
to say, that matches were henceforth
never among his playthings.
"I don't wish to get burnt, nor
burn Leonard, either, worse than all,"
he would say, whenever a match-
box tempted him to make a bonfire.
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