The Baldwin Lbrary
* RmBFI- nd.
~L~ks6 1-U zLiu
REV. J. D. STRONG,
AUTHOR OF "CHILD LIFE IN MANY LANDS," ETC.
D. LOTHROP AND COMPANY,
38 & 40 CORNHILL.
R iLizzie, I
/ hear. I
\ -Awill get
S- ready in
,-,'. ,'' W h y, I
S shall not
be two minutes putting on my
boots. I shall be ready long
before the girls are. So don't
6 TOO LATE.
tease. I'm going to finish this
page before I move." And Alfred
Kelson gave himself a little, im-
patient toss, and settled himself
more comfortably on the sofa,
whilst Lizzie, the nurse, observed,
as she left the room, Well, Mas-
ter Alfred, I shall not call you
again; if you are not ready when
the rest are, your mamma said we
were to go without you; and so
But I shall be ready," Alfred
replied as Lizzie closed the door.
And so Alfred really intended to
be; but intentions, however good,
TOO LATE. 9
are nothing unless they are carried
Having finished the page, he was
so anxious to see what the next was
about, that he began that one, and,
beginning it, he became so inter-
ested that he went on with it until
that was finished; and then he
went on to the next, and then the
next, until, thoroughly engrossed
in the story he was reading, he had
quite forgotten the putting on the
At last, as he did think, he saw a
bright-colored butterfly fluttering
over the window, and was busy
10 TOO LATE.
trying to catch it, as he heard a
step at the door.
"Are you ready, Alf ?" asked
his little sister Minnie, popping in
her head at the door, which she
had some way contrived to open.
" We are all ready, Alfy. We are
going at once; come along; we do
so want you."
"I'm coming. Run along,
Minnie; and Minnie, taking him
at his word, ran back to the rest
of the party, saying, "He is com-
ing. He told Minnie so. Now
let us go, for he is coming."
So is Christmas coming," ob-
TOO LATE. 11
served nurse, taking up the baby.
" But we are not going to wait for
it, or for him; so let us go on at
once." And on nurse went with
baby, followed by Lucy, the under
nurse, and the four other children.
At the end of the garden they
found the wagon waiting for them,
and nurse and the delighted chil-
dren were soon sitting in it.
"How I do wish Alfred would
come!" cried .the four young
voices. "Do let Lucy go and call
him once more, nurse "
No, my dears," replied nurse.
" Your mamma said if he was not
12 TOO LATE.
ready when the rest were, we were
to go without him. I went three
times to him myself; and Minnie
called him as she was coming out;
so that he has no excuse for being
late. Now, Lucy, get in and,
George, please to drive off at
Lucy at last complied, for Al-
fred was her especial favorite, and
she could not bear the idea of his
being left behind. She comforted
herself, however, by thinking,
"He can get up' in the omnibus,
and join us, if lhe only thinks of it."
Away went the party; and just
TOO LATE. 13
as they were disappearing from
sight, out ran Alfred at the hall
door; but too late. In a few
seconds he was at the garden gate,
but only to discover that he was
left behind; for he could clearly
trace the mark of the wagon-
wheels along the road in the direc-
tion they had taken.
"Now, that is too bad!" cried
Alfred, turning aside. -" I did not
think Lizzie would have been so
cross as to let them start without
me;" and tears were glistening in
Alfred's eyes. What shall I do?
Mamma will be so vexed when she
14 TOO LATE.
finds I have not gone with the rest.
I wish I had left off reading the
last time Lizzie called me. And
that stupid little Minnie, why
didn't she say the wagon was at
the door? I should have hurried
on my boots, and been all ready
after all. It is very provoking."
And so it really was; for nurse
and the children were gone to have
their tea at a cottage near some
woods, and after tea they were to
have a ramble in the woods; and
all this pleasure Alfred had lost,
He was an amiable boy, and not
TOO LATE. 15
wilfully perverse; but he had a
way of putting off what he ought
and was told to do at once. His
papa and mamma had frequently
tried to convince him of his folly,
but hitherto without avail; they had
therefore bidden nurse the next
time the children had a treat to leave
Alfred behind, if he was not ready
when the rest were. And their wish
had that afternoon been obeyed.
Poor Alfred stood looking
thoroughly disconcerted, scarcely
knowing what to do. He had
no heart to return to his story-
book, neither was he in tune for
16 TOO LATE.
gardening; and playing was out
of the question, for he had no one
to play with.
How I wish I had got ready
when Lizzie told me !" he thought.
"I would not care so much, only
mamma will be so vexed with
me.. I cannot bear to vex dear
mamma." And his eyes glistened
with tears once more.
I wonder whether I could get
to the cottage in time, if I took
the omnibus. But that will cost
me money. I shall have to
change my five-dollar bill, and I
wanted that to buy something
TOO LATE. 17
with. Well, I must go without,
that will be all. I could not stay
here all the evening by myself,
for papa and mamma will not be
home until late, they said. I'll
try the omnibus;" and, running
up to his bedroom, Alfred took
out his long-hoarded money, and
was soon on his way to the
place where the omnibus started
He was but just in time; and
he had scarcely taken his seat in
it before the omnibus moved on.
Alfred leaned back very content-
edly in the omnibus, wondering
18 TOO LATE.
how long it would take before he
should arrive at Vale Wood Cot-
tage, and whether he should get
there much after the rest of the
party. He had never been accus-
tomed to go about by himself,
and knew very little about the
roads to the different places ex-
cept by name; he did not, there-
fore, take much notice of the way
the omnibus was going until it
arrived at the place where it
stopped, when the conductor
shouted out Totter-down !" and
Alfred at once knew that Totter-
TOO LATE. 19
down was in an exactly opposite
direction to Vale Wood.
What was he to do now? In
his haste he had forgotten to in-
quire what omnibus he was getting
into, and had taken the wrong
one. He had, therefore, nothing
to do but wait until it returned to
town, and then go by it.
Alfred's thoughts were any-
thing but pleasant ones, for he
knew he should be far too late to
join his brothers and sisters in
their ramble in the woods, even
should he be fortunate enough to
be in time for another omnibus to
20 TOO LATE.
Vale Wood, and felt he had spent
uselessly his money. It was a
quarter wasted through his own
inattention, and he had so wanted
to keep it for a very pleasurable
purpose. So, after listlessly wan-
dering about until the half-hour
was expired before the omnibus
returned to town, Alfred once
more took his place inside, and
was soon on his road homeward.
By the time he reached home he
had persuaded himself that he
was a very hard-used boy, having
lost his treat to the woods, and
wasted his money, and was rather
TOO LATE. 21
an object for pity than blame. To
his great surprise his mamma met
him in the garden, and inquired
why he had returned before the
rest of the party.
"I did not go with them,
"Not go with them, Alfred?
Then you were, as usual, too
"Yes," stammered Alfred, "I
was a little bit late, mamma. I
just stayed to finish a page 'or
two of the story I was reading,
and they went without me. And
then I ran and got into the
22 TOO LATE.
omnibus; and, 0 mamma, it
was the wrong one; and I got
to Totter-down instead of Vale
Wood, and had to wait, and to
change my five-dollar bill, and
all for no good."
What, the money you have
been keeping so long to buy
something for your sister with?"
"Yes, mamma; wasn't it a
pity? I am so sorry."
"It is a sacrifice for you," re-
plied Mrs. Kelson, sitting down
on one of the garden seats, and
drawing Alfred close to her; "for
I know you had set your heart
TOO LATE. 23
upon buying Mary's longed-for
"Yes, mamma, a great loss; for
I shall not now be able to give
Mary that book on her birth-
Why did you make the sacri-
fice, my boy?"
"I wanted to go to the woods,
mamma; and I knew you would
be vexed if you came home, and I
was not gone; and I had no other
So you gave up the pleasure
you have been so long anticipat-
ing, to get a few hours' enjoy-
24 TOO LATE.
ment, and save yourself from
blame. 0 my bdy, such a
sacrifice was not well pleasing
unto God. It began and ended
in self, and, like all selfish do-
ings, ended in lasting disappoint-
0 mamma, I did not mean to
be selfish," pleaded Alfred, cling-
ing to his mother.
"You only wanted to have your
own way. You did not care how
long you kept nurse and the chil-
dren waiting, so you could finish
what you were reading about.
You were quite willing to delay
TOO LATE. 25
their pleasure, so your own was
not curtailed. Was it not so,
Alfred hung his head and whis-
Disobedience is selfishness;
for it is a setting up of your own
will against what is right and
good to others. It is one of the
fruits of the flesh, not of the
Spirit, Alfred. God's children
are obedient in all things that are.
set forth in the word of God; and
they who are not quick to per-
form the will of their parents and
lawful guardians are not likely to
26 TOO LATE.
be quick in doing their Lord's
commands. The happy, useful
Christian will be an obedient one;
for it is only as our wills are lost
in our heavenly Father's that we
shall be either one or the other.
While we are fully occupying our-
selves with securing our own de-
sires, we can have no leisure to
consider how we can please
"Do not forget, my dear boy,
the Saviour's own words, 'Father,
not my will, but thine be done.'
Pray that you may overcome the
spirit of delay; depend upon it,
TOO LATE. 27
it will not rest with temporal
things; it will extend to your
spiritual life. Slowly you will be
lured on, and on, and you may
only arouse yourself to discover
that, alas! you have aroused too
late, and the gate of mercy has
been closed upon you forever.
May God avert such a fearful
doom from you, by giving you
grace to yield your heart to Jesus,
to rely in faith on him as your Sav-
iour, and to keep his blessed
example before you all your
"0 mamma, .I will try to
28 TOO LATE.
overcome my naughty habit; in-
deed I will. 0 mamma, I want
to be a follower of Jesus; I never
thought of being too late in seek-
ing him. I would give up all for
him, if I could."
Alfred leaned his head lovingly
against his mother's shoulder, his
hand fast clasped in hers; and
there, in the calm, dim light of
evening, Mrs. Kelson offered her
son anew to God; and Alfred, it
is hoped, gave his heart to the
Lord Jesus Christ.
Alfred was ever afterwards too
late. He struggled bravely and
TOO LATE. 29
prayerfully against his besetting
sin. He learned obedience, and
his obedience was the effect of
love not fear. Alfred had been
taught by the Holy Spirit the
meaning of those words, "If a
man love me, he will keep my
2J^^ ^^^-* u
E 0 RGE
S'- and his
in a walk
Same to a
bl. bene e ath
which opened from the main road
to the private grounds of a
country-house. George's mother
entered this gateway, saying that
32 GEORGE'S AQUARIUM.
she was going to make a call upon
the lady that lived in the house.
While his mother was engaged
with the lady of the house, in the
parlor, a young lady, named
Maria, took George. out into a
S back hall, to show him her aqua-
This aquarium was a sort of
box, which stood upon a little
table; it had sides and ends of
glass, so that George could look
in and see what there was in-
The aquarium was nearly full
of water, and in the water there
GEORGE'S AQUARIUM. 33
were a great many little fishes,
and various other "live things,"
as George called them, all swim-
ming cand crawling about. The
bottom of it was covered with
gravel and pebbles, and upon
these were a number of plants
that looked like sea-weed. In
one corner there were tufts of
beautiful green sprigs growing up
half-way to the top of the water.
Some of the fishes were nibbling
these sprigs, and others were
swimming about among them;
and on one side four or five little
snails were crawling up on the
34 GEORGE'S AQUARIUM.
glass. They had no legs, and
George wondered how they could
crawl. He watchedl one of them
a long time, and saw plainly that
he moved slowly along; but
George could not possibly im-
agine how he did it.
George remained looking at the
movements of the animals in the
aquarium a long time, and at
length, when his mother sent for
him to come to her, he left the
place very unwillingly. On his
way home he told his mother
what he had seen, and begged
her to get him an aquarium. But
GEORGE'S AQUARIUM. 35
all that he could get her to prom-
ise was, that she would "see about
When, however, he came to tell
the story to his sister Jane, she
said that she would get him what
"Good cried George. A
Why, not exactly a real one,"
said Jane; "that is, not such a
one as Mary's. But I can make
you one that will do very well to
begin with, and, if you like it,
and don't get tired of it, and
don't make any trouble with it,
36 GEORGE'S AQUARIUM.
then perhaps your mother will
get you a better one by and
So Jane went to the china
closet, and there,-from the top of
a high shelf, she took down a
large glass jar. It was a jar that
preserved peaches had once been
Jane carried the jar out to the
garden, and set it upon a table
that she placed there for it in a
corner. The situation of it was
convenient for George to see
everything in it, when it should
GEORGE'S AQUARIUM. 37
"This aquarium is round, and
the one you saw was square,"
said Jane; "but that will not
make any difference. Now we
must get something to put in it.
S We must have some pebble-stones
for the bottom, and water-grass,
and some water; and then as
many little animals as we can
So Jane brought a small tin
pail, and a long-handled tin mug
or dipper. She also brought a
small basket to bring home the
Jane and George then took a
38 GEORBE' S AQVARIUM.l
walk into the woods behind the
garden, and first gathered up
some pebbles from the bottom of
the brook. George put the peb-
bles in the basket, and then began
to look into the water for ani-
He found a few little creatures,
but not many, for the water ran
too swiftly in the brook for them
to live there; so after a while
Jane proposed that they should go
to the pond.
The pond was at some distance
farther in the woods. The way to
it was by a path which went wind-
GEORGE'S AQUARIUM. 39
ing in among rocks and bushes
for a quarter of a niile. The
pond was small, and the water in
it was still. This allowed plants
to grow and animals to thrive. and
multiply, and here George found
a large number of specimens. He
dug up some plants from the
mud, at the margin of the pond,
and put them into the bottom of
his pail. Then with the dipper
he fished up all the little wrig-
gling spin-rounds that he could
see in the water, and a number of
crawling things which he saw on
the bottom. He had always been
40 GEORGE'S AQUARIUM.
afraid of such wriggling and
crawling and spinning things as
these, and had thought them very
ugly; but now' that he wanted
them for his aquarium, he began
to consider them as very curious,
and he tried to .find and catch as
many of them as he could.
At last he thought he had got
enough. So he put the cover
upon his pail, and then, taking
the pail in one hand and the
basket of pebbles and gravel in
the other, he set out on his return
When they reached home, Jane
GEORGE'S AQUARIUM. 43
first put the pebbles and gravel in
the bottom of the jar. Then she
put the roots of water-grass in,
and after that she poured the
water in from the tin pail, animals
and all. The poor things seemed
somewhat astonished at first, to
find themselves going over such
a waterfall, when being poured
out from the pail, and afterwards
in whirling round and round so
swiftly in the jar. But they soon
recovered from their fright, and
those that could swim began
swimming about in the water,
while the others went crawling to
44 GEORGE'S AQUARIUM.
and fro over the pebbles on the
bottom, just as if they were in
their native pond.
After this, George went into the
woods with Jane a great many times,
and brought back a large num-
ber of tiny creatures for his aqua-
rium, and very often he found new
ones which he had not seen before.
He was always much pleased
when he found any new ones.
Jane named all the different
kinds for him. There was one
very curious little thing that
George found in one corner of the
pond, that moved about with such
GEORGE'S AQUARIUM. 45
strange jerks and wrigglings, that
he named him skipjack.
Jane said that she thought it
would be a good plan to have a
motto for the aquarium, to be
written upon a strip of blue paper,
and gummed around the edge of
it. George approved of this plan
very cordially. So that evening,
just before he went to bed, she
took the Bible and a Concordance,
which is a book by means of which
you can find where any particular
text is that you wish to see.
We must find some verse about
the wonderful works of God," said
46 GEORGE'S AQUARIUM.
Jane. "Don't you think those ani-
mals are very wonderful ?"
"Yes," said George; "I think
they are very wonderful indeed."
"And what wonderful contriv-
ances God has made for them,"
said Jane, "to paddle about in the
water with Ah here is a verse.
'Great and marvellous are thy
works, Lord God Almighty !'"
(Rev. xv. 3.)
"That's a good motto," said
George; only these things are
small and marvellous."
"Here's another verse," said
Jane, reading from another part
,I I 1:11 111t
l, ,,- -i '
GEORGE'S AQUARIUM. 49
of the Bible. "0 Lord, how
manifold are thy works in wis-
dom hast thou made them all: the
earth is full of thy riches.'" (Ps.
That will do very well indeed,"
"Here's another," said Jane.
"It is from the account of the
creation. 'And God said, Let the
waters bring forth abundantly the
moving creature that hath life.'"
(Gen. i. 20.)
"That's exactly the thing," said
Jane herself liked this verse the
50 GEORGE'S AQUARIUM.
best. So she wrote it out in a
very plain manner, upon a narrow
slip of bright blue paper, and then
gummed the slip around the edge
of the aquarium.
George used to watch the mo-
tions and gambols of the animals a
great deal, especially on rainy days,
when he could not go out to play.
On pleasant days he often went
to the brook and to the pond to
bring new specimens; so that the
aquarium amused him a great deal.
There was one thing very curi-
ous about it, and that was, that
when George looked in at his ani-
GEORGE'S AQUARIUM. 51
mals through the top of the jar,
where he saw them through the
upper surface of the water, which
was level and flat, they all looked
of their natural and proper size;
but when he looked at them
through the side of the jar, where
the glass was round, they looked
greatly magnified as they came
swimming by, one after the other.
Thus, by looking through the side
of the jar, he found that he had an
aquarium and a microscope, all in
-as I can
B j- be,Iam,"
q *F .said a lit-
S-,lr tle girl to
:.- .,-": e herself,
:% -_ one au-
tumn evening, as she was passing
under a bridge. "I'm really mad
about it, and I think it's very
mean that I can't have it." Bessie
54 UNHAPPY BESSIE.
thought she was alone, and she
started in alarm when she heard
a voice say, "Little girl, come
back, and let me speak to you."
The voice was so pleasant that
the child turned back, and a few
steps from her, resting on a stone,
sat an old woman, with bent form
and wrinkled face, who asked:-
"Will you tell me your trou-
"My mother won't buy me a
new cloak that I want, just like
Mary Cloud's, and I want it so
much," said Bessie.
"What's the matter with this
UNrAPPY BESSIE. 55
cloak that you are now wearing?
It is nice and warm, and very
"Oh, it's dark in here, and you
can't see It's dreadful old-fash-
ioned, and looks so beside Mary's
pretty new one."
"Why will not your mother
get you one? Tell me that, little
"She says that this cloak is
perfectly good, and that Harry,
my cousin, whose father and
mother are dead, needs all the
money she can spare this winter."
Has he an overcoat to wear?"
56 UNHAPPY BESSIE.
Bessie laughed. "Why, he is
a little boy not big enough to go
alone, if he could walk; and he
can't walk one step, and perhaps
he never will."
"Would you like to take his
place, and have just what he has?"
"No; not for anything."
Would you like to be me, and
carry this big load on your back ? "
"Would I like to be you ?" said
Bessie. "Why, no; you are old,
and almost ready to die; and I
think you are lame, too, by the
way you are resting. No I don't
want to be you."
UNHAPPY BESSIE. 57
"Well, now, little girl, do you
know that I would not be, you;
that I would not change my feeble
body and my wrinkled face and
my faded clothes for your young
face and bright looks and your
home; -and yet I am, as you said,
near death; and I haven't any one
to take care of me, as you have."
"Why not?" exclaimed Bessie,
"Because I don't wish to be un-
happy, or mad, nor do I wish to
think that I have a mean mother."
"Oh," said Bessie, "I don't.
Mother is so kind to me, and she
58 UNHAPPY BESSIE.
is so good to Harry; but do you
like to be old and wrinkled and
lame, and to have no home?"
"Yes; I like 'all these, because
God sent them. He has let me
live so many years to try to do a
little good; and I have tried.
These wrinkles, that you dislike
so, are nothing to me but signs
that I am soon going home; and
I have a little girl in heaven, just
the size that you are."
"Was she naughty like me?"
"She died a great many years
ago. I remember that she was
^f I f' I)
UNHAPPY BESSIE. 61
naughty sometimes; but she was
always sorry for it, and asked God
to forgive her for Jesus' sake ; and
when she went away to heaven she
was very glad to go."
"Glad to die?"
"Yes, little girl; glad for any-
thing that God sent. Now go home,
and be thankful that you are young
and strong, and have such a com-
fortable cloak to wear; and don't
say again that you are unhappy or
mad, for only sin can make people
unhappy. Now good-by, and
don't forget me. I've a long way
to go, and my basket is heavy."
62 UNHAPPY BE'SSIE.
Bessie watched the old woman
as she slowly went her way through
the bridge with her heavy load on
"Oh, dear me, I am so thankful
for what I have, I won't mind not
having the cloak any more,"
thought Bessie; and she truly in-
tended to remain thankful to the
end of her days.
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Illustrated. IN A PRETTY BOX. IN A PRETTY BOX,
Price $2.70. $1.50 per set. $1.50 per set.
The nlove books are new and very attractive. leaclling Ilih best
lessons, they are adapted for TEACBERIS' PI'ESltNTB, and flr IIHoin
Libraries for the Little Ones.