The Baldwin Library
OrL i I.
i--A T -.
HARRY QUARRELS WITH HIS SISTER.
DO not believe there ever was a happier little boy
than Harry Johnson. His father was head gar-
dener to Sir James Nugent, and lived at the Lodge
just at the entrance of the park. It was a house
with a low porch covered with creepers, and a
very pretty garden in front. This garden was always kept in
beautiful order by Harry's father, but there was a smaller
one at the back of the house that was Harry's own, and this
was his especial pride and delight. He had one little sister,
four years younger than himself, for Margaret was only six,
and Harry was nearly ten. Mrs. Johnson thought her too
young to go to school ; but Harry went every day, and his
master generally spoke of him as a good boy, though occa-
sionally he had fits of inattention which lasted for days to-
gether, and, strange to say, this seemed always to depend
upon the weather. For in the long, light, spring afternoons
visions of crocuses and white violets would come between
Harry and his slate or book, and though he used to shut his
eyes, and really try to think of his lesson, the smell of sweet-
briar, if it came in through the open window, would put all
his good resolutions to flight; he would only fidget till he
was released from school, and, never staying to play, would
run home, throw his books down in the porch, and rush to
his garden, as if he expected the seeds he had planted in the
morning to have come up and flowered during the two hours
he had been away.
This sounds as if Harry was a very foolish boy. He was
4 Hasty Harry.
not silly about other things, though about his garden I al-
most think he was. It seemed as if it was the only thing he
cared for, and he used to weary his mother by asking her
every day how soon she thought he would be old enough to
be taken into Sir ames Nugent's service, and be made a real
gardener as his father was.
But the time of which I am now telling you was not Spring,
but Summer, with long hot days, and Harry wished that time
would stand still, and not go on so fast.
It was quite the end of June, and he watched his rose tree,
hoping that it would not blow early, for his great wish was
that it should be in all its beauty when Lady Nugent came
home. Harry began to think she would never come. He
had looked up the road for so many evenings that he might
be in time to open the lodge gate, and be the first to see'Lady
Nugent's kind look and smile, that he was almost in despair,
and used to come in to his supper looking quite cross and
His mother would then tryto comfort him, and tell him she
was quite sure that Lady Nugent would soon be at home, for
she never remained longer in London than she was obliged :
and she knew that the housekeeper was preparing the house
for her, and that his father was putting all the most beautiful
plants out of the conservatory into china flower-pots to make
the hall and the drawing-room look gay.
Lady Nugent was so kind to Harry that he was really very
fond of her. His mother had once been Lady Nugent's
maid, and Harry and his sister were sure to have some new
toy, or what he cared for still more, a book that he would
read over and over again, when Lady Nugent returned from
One day Harry was unusually fidgety, and asked his mo-
ther at least twenty times if she thought the lady would come
that very evening. At last his mother told him that he must
come in and sit still ; but she promised him, if the carriage
did come, that he should open the Lodge-gate.
And what will she bring me, mother?" asked little Mar-
Nothing," said Harry, rather contemptuously; "for you
know you can scarcely read."
Hasty Harry. 5
"But she said she would bring me a doll," said the child,
sadly, for she thought Harry's manner was rough, and as she
always looked up to him, as little girls generally do look
up to their elder brothers, she could not bear to think him
Well, perhaps she may bring you a doll; but I wonder
who would care for that?-nobody but a girl, that's certain."
Dolls are only made for girls, Harry," said his mother,
quietly, '' I think a doll just as good for Margaret as a book
But Margaret has no roses to give the lady, and my rose
tree is covered with flowers, and I know she will come to see
my garden as soon as ever she returns."
Before she sees her own, perhaps," said his motl-er, smiling.
Margaret laughed. This provoked Harry, who had all the
time been feeling impatient, and he turned round crossly to
her, and said in a provoking way-
We shall see which of us she does come to see, and which
of us she speaks to first. You hardly know her."
"Oh, Harry not know the lady why, I see her every day
when she drives her ponies through the gate. Mother, how
soon may I open the gate for her?"
"Not yet, darling. You are not big enough ifyou were
to let the gate slip, you might be the cause af a very bad ac-
cident. But it is getting too late for any one to come to-
night; and see, here is your father come home; so run and
give him a kiss, and then I must put you to bed."
But Margaret did not run away at once ; she looked up
wistfully in Harry's face.
"Good night, Harry; kissme. Don't be cross.
"I am not cross," said Harry, kissing her, but blushing as
he felt his mother's eye fixed upon him; "why do you say
I am not surprised she thought so," said Mrs. Johnson,
gravely;. "but I hope you will not be so any longer."
Harry's temper, even when he was almost an infant, had
been so violent as to give his mother great uneasiness. She
had often spoken to him very seriously about it, and he had
really tried hard to correct it ; yet still among his school-
fellows he was called Hasty Harry."
6 Hasty Harry.
He had, however, tried so hard to cure himself of his fault
that he seemed to have lost his right to the title.
It was long, very long since he had given way to one of
those sudden outbursts of passion which made him appear
more like a mad child than a reasonable being, and which
had caused his mother so much anxiety.
Harry was a very honourable boy, and his mother had the
most complete trust in him : nothing could ever induce him to
break his word ; and he had even learnt to watch the shadows
on the hill-side that he might know exactly how to reckon
time, so as never to stay out longer than he had promised to
do. It was this trust in Harry's truth and honesty that made
his fatherallow him to come to him in the gardens at the
Hall as soon as his school-time was over, for he knew that he
could trust him to carry messages, and leave him alone in the
hothouses full of grapes, or even allow him to gather baskets
of strawberries, because it was a point of honour with Harry
never to eat one without leave.
He liked to be with his father very much; he felt as if he
was beginning to be a gardener himself, and sometimes when
his father had time he would teach him the names of the dif-
ferent plants and flowers, and explain to him many things
which often puzzled Harry very much. So, as he was not
often in disgrace at school, he was, as I told you before, one
of the happiest little boys I ever knew.
In spite of Harry's fears Lady Nugent came at last, a very
few days after the conversation I have been telling you. It
was a beautiful evening, and as the horses came trotting up
the road and stopped at thegate, which Harry held wide open,
with his cap in his hand, he could not help wondering whether
Lady Nugent had looked at his garden, and whether she had
noticed his roses. She had leant out of the carriage and
nodded, and smiled upon Harry and his mother and sister as
they stood in the porch ; but the horses trotted on so fast that
Harry thought she could not have seen his flowers.
I am afraid that Lady Nugent did not even remember that
Harry had a garden; but it was fortunate he did not know
this, as he always seemed to think it was of as much impor-
tance to her as to himself, especially since one day when she
brought him some plants in her own pony carriage, and stood
Hasty Harry. 7
by while he planted them, and said, "'Now, Harry, remember
that when I come from London I shall expect to see yourgarden
in as beautiful order as that in which your father keeps mine."
It was the recollection of this that made Harry so anxious
for her to find it full of flowers, and he thought that if he
could give her a bunch of roses out of his own garden, made
up as his father often made up nosegays for the Hall, he
should be quite satisfied.
The day after Sir James and Lady Nugent's arrival was
not a good school-day with Harry. He was so dreadfully
afraid she might come down to the lodge while he was at
school, that he could hardly bear to think of it; but his
mother had assured him that, as it was Saturday and school
broke up at twelve o'clock, he would be quite sure to be at
home before Lady Nugent came out.
But if she should come, mother," pleaded poor Harry,
as he lingered in the road with his books in his hand, "what
should I do ?"
Bear it, my boy," answered his mother; "and don't be
in disgrace with your master, for I am very much afraid that
you have not looked at your lesson."
Oh, I shall know that in a minute;" and as he was a quick
boy, before it was his turn to repeat it he really did know it
tolerably well. He was not so successful with either his sums
or his copy, and his master was almost inclined to keep him
in after the others ; but Harry seemed sorry, and as if he were
really trying to keep his attention, though he certainly did
not succeed, so Mr. Nicholson only reproved him, and let
him go away with the rest.
He was at home in less than five minutes, though he had
to run the whole length of the village street.
"Well, Harry No one has been here, and my lady always
has so much to do when she first comes home, that I dare
say she will have no time to come out at all to-day."
But Harry had quite made up his mind that she should
come, and he would not listen to reason, nor would he go
to his father in the garden or stir from the house. As evening
came on he began to get troublesome, and to hinder his
mother in her work, and she told him to go out into the gar-
8 Hasty Harry.
den, as he seemed so idle ; for she thought that idle boys
always got into some mischief.
Harry had begun to get thoroughly weary of doing nothing,
and was glad to find his little sister sitting in the summer-
house playing with a tabby cat which the housekeeper at the
Hall had given her.
Harry began to pull the cat's tail, and to tease her in
various ways, much to Margaret's dismay.
"Oh, Harry, please don't tease pussy."
Nonsense, child, she likes it."
Now the cat did not like it at all, but Harry did, and so he
continued to do it. He was not a cruel boy; he plagued the
cat from idleness, as he had before plagued his mother. The
cat of course could not complain, though she mewed pite-
ously, and tried to get away.
Margaret's cheeks were getting very red, and her eyes
very full of tears, as she watched Harry's cruel play, and at
last she exclaimed indignantly-
''You shan't, Harry You are a very naughty boy; pussy
is my own cat, and you shan't touch her."
We will soon see that," said Harry, provokingly; and he
held the cat high up above Margaret's head.
But he could not hold her firmly in that way, and with one
leap the cat cleared the summer-house and ran away.
Oh, now pussy's gone, and she'll run away !" exclaimed
Margaret in a piteous tone; and without heeding Harry, she
ran after the cat all round the house till it stopped, crouching
down in one corner of the garden as if to hide itself from
Margaret darted after her across the flowerbeds, trampling
down Harry's flowers, and stretching herself forward across
his favourite rose-tree, endeavoured to catch the cat.
"Stop, Margaret, stop !" shouted Harry.
But no, Margaret would not stop : she thought of nothing
but pussy's safety, and continued to try to catch her, utterly
regardless of the damage she was doing. One branch of the
much-prized rose tree was completely broken, and hung down
nearly on the ground.
Harry flew at his sister; he seized her by the arm and
shook her violently.
Hasty Harry. 9
"Oh, don't, please, you hurt me!" gasped the child, nearly
choked between anger and fright.
Hurt you !" exclaimed Harry, with a face pale with rage,
his teeth set, and his eye- 71I-:,_ like some wild animal;
I only wish I could kill D .,
Now Harry was a strong boy of ten, and Margaret rather
a slight small child, and only six, so she had no possible
power of resistance, and was quite unable to free herself from
Harry's grasp ; and when he had shaken her again and
again, he seized her by the arm, and flung her violently down
on the grass.
Then Margaret uttered a cry-only one cry. But there
was a sound in that cry that for a moment made Harry's
heart stop beating, and brought Mrs. Johnson to the spot
where little sit-'irct still lay.
Her moth 1,1' .t her from the ground, and carried her
quickly into the house, without noticing Harry, who stood
flushed and panting, still looking upon his trampled flower-
bed, and his crushed and broken rose tree.
In a few moments he heard his mother call him, and from
the tone of her voice he knew that he dared not delay. So
he was by her side in an instant. Little Margaret was lying
in her lap, still sobbing. Harry's mother turned to him with
Sa graver face than he had ever seen, and said in a very sad
T desire that you will tell me instantly, exactly all that
you h..z done to your sister."
"I ,Jnly shook her," said Harry, passionately, with an
angry flush on his face, and tears in his eyes ; and she de-
served to be thrashed, and I wish I had done it."
Do you?" replied his mother, turning round and looking
at him with a countenance of which Harry, child as he was,
could see the utter misery ; do you? I think you have done
enough, for you have broken her arm."
Impossible !" said Harry, turning pale with horror, and
His mother did not reply, but pointed to the little arm that
lay helplessly by Margaret's side.
There was a minute's pause, and then Harry flumg himself
on the ground in an agony of remorse. His head was buried
10 Hasty Harry.
in his hands, but his mother could see by the heaving of his
whole frame that he was convulsed with grief.
She left him to himself for a few moments, and then quietly
desired him to rise. He did not obey her at once, but con-
tinued to sob on.
'' Harry," said his mother, ''all you can do now is to repair
as far as possible the evil you have done. Get up at once, and
run to the Hall, and ask your father to come down directly."
Harry rose, and wiped his swelled eyelids, and tear-stained
Must I tell hir ?" he faltered.
His mother paused; she knew what it would cost her boy
to do so.
You may do as you please, Harry. You must say that
Margaret is badly hurt, and that you have been the cause;
that I cannot leave her, and that I beg he will come home at
once, and then fetch the doctor from Durleigh."
Harry rose, seized his cap, hesitated, then knelt down by
his sister and kissed her hastily as she lay in her mother's lap.
Then he went off through the park, and he was nearly at
the Hall when the sound of wheels made him pause. It was
Lady Nugent's little pony carriage, and Lady Nugent herself
was driving. Harry would have given all he possessed in the
world not to have met her, but he must not go round now, it
would cause delay ; so with downcast eyes, and a beating
heart he walked rapidly on.
He tried to pass the pony carriage quickly, but Lady
Nugent had seen him, and she pulled up the ponies, and
called to him to stop.
"Why, Harry! don't you mean to speak to me?" said
Lady Nugent, surprised at his downcast manner, so different
to the bright eager face generally so ready to meet her. Now
he seemed only anxious to escape.
Harry stood for an instant silent, cap in hand, and then
said breathlessly, Mother sent me to fetch father: I must go."
Why? Is anything the matter?" asked Lady Nugent.
She was more and more surprised by the boy's unwonted
manner. "Tell me, Harry ; don't be afraid."
Margaret is hurt," faltered Harry, "and I-" his voice
utterly broke down; he could not say "and I did it."
Hasty Harry. II
Lady Nugent at once took in the case. "You mean that
your mother wants the doctor, I suppose?"
Yes ; shewants father to fetch the doctor from Durleigh."
Lady Nugent took a card out of her pocket, and wrote
something on it.
"'There, Harry ; give that to your father, and desire him to
give it to one of the grooms, and to tell him to ride as fast as
he can to Mr. Parker with this message from me. Don't
look so unhappy, my boy ; you have saved a great deal of
time by meeting me. I will drive on to the Lodge, and see
if I can be of any assistance to your mother."
Thank you," said Harry, gratefully ; and-," he must
say it, he could not bear that Lady Nugent should not know
what a bad, cruel boy he had been ; and I did it/"
You did?" said Lady Nugent, still more perplexed at the
boy ; but gathering up the reins, and preparing to drive on,
she said I am sure you did not mean it: but make haste,
take my card and run on."
So Harry could not explain, and he felt that the lady had
gone away with a wrong impression ; but it was not his
fault, and he ran on, eager to give the card to his father, and
to be useful in some way to his mother and Margaret.
He soon found his father, and giving him the card, ex-
plained to him, as far as he could, all that had happened.
His father said very little, but he desired him to go back to
his mother and say that, as soon as he had sent the groom off
for the doctor, he would come to her. So poor Harry had
nothing to do but to walk quietly home, reflecting on the
misery and suffering he had caused, and wishing it were pos-
sible to live the last twelve hours over again. He had so
firmly resolved never to give way to passion again ; he had
believed so entirely that he was cured of so terrible a fault;
and now he had sinned more deeply than ever in his life
before, and the consequences of his sin he could not bear to
think of. Perhaps Margaret might never use her arm again ;
perhaps it might make her very ill, perhaps-but he could.
not face that,-perhaps it might be necessary to cut it off.
So he walked home very slowly and sadly ; so slowly that
his father overtook him before he reached the Lodge. He
saw the white ponies and little carriage standing before the
12 Hasty Harry.
door, so, as he was not obliged to give his father's message,
he crept by the garden into the summer-house, and sat down
in the very place in which two hours before lie had been
teasing the cat. He looked out upon his trampled flower-
bed, his crushed and broken rose-tree, but it did not grieve
him now. He felt as if he hated his roses, and as if he could
never work in his garden again. He wonder d if Margaret
was worse ; he crept quietly down to the window and looked
in. He saw that his father and mother and Lady Nugent
were in earnest conversation ; his sister seemed to be lying
asleep in her little cot.
His mother saw him, and beckoned him to come in, He
came round to the door, but hulig back, ashamed to enter.
Come in, Harry," said Lady Nugent; I have heard the
sad story from your mother; but I can see how sorry you
are, and as your love for your roses was mixed up with your
wish to show them to me, I feel as if I was concerned in this
trouble, and I am therefore here begging your father to
I have no wish to punish Harry," said his father, gravely;
"no punishment of mine could be at all equal to the punish-
ment which his own thoughts must cause him. Sad as it all
is,. and terribly as I fear his poor little sister must suffer from
his violence, still, if it could be a lesson that would last his
life, I should not regret it."
I think it will," replied Lady Nugent, drawing the boy
towards her ; I am sure he bitterly repents allhe has done."
Harrylooked at his mother; he felt as if he could not bear
the sight of her pale and anxious face. He came quietly to
her side, and took hold of her hand.
"Will you forgive me, mother?"
She stooped down to kiss him, and parted his hair from his
flushed face; but at this moment, Mr. Parker trotted up
quickly to the door, and Harry again made his escape,
dreading to hear the report that the doctor might make of
He returned to the summer-house, and listened anxiously
for every sound. At first he only heard voices, then a cry-a
piercing cry-from poor Margaret, but only one, and then all
was still. Oh, what had been done to her? Worn out and
Hasty Harry. 13
exhausted by the conflict of feelingshe had experienced during
the last two hours, he buried his face in his hands, and sobbed
After a time he felt a hand laid gently on his shoulder, and
starting up, he saw Lady Nugent standing by, looking down
compassionately upon him.
Look up, Harry, and listen to me, I am come to talk to
Harry lifted up his tear-stained face, and looked up anx-
"I have news to tell you," the lady continued ; "Mr. Par-
ker gives a good report of Margaret. Her arm was not broken
as we feared, but her shoulder was dislocated. He was
obliged to give her great pain in setting it, but now it is all
over, and he says that in two months she may be able to use
her arm as usual. This makes you much happier, Harry, I
"Yes," said Harry, but sadly, and not as if the news gave
him as much relief as Lady Nugent expected.
But you don't seem glad, Harry."
"I can't be glad, when I did it."
"Not glad that you did it, but thankful that it is no worse.
All you can do now, Harry, is to be as kind to Margaret as
possible, and to amuse her as much as you can while she is
laid up. This will help your mother; and I agree with your
father in believing that this lesson will last your life, and if it
prevents your never giving way again to such fearful violence
of temper, it maybe a blessing to you that it has happened.
But I have a few more words to say about it, Harry, and I
want you to make me a promise."
Never to do it again?" asked Harry, eagerly.
I would not extort such a promise as that," said Lady
Nugent, smiling ; all I want you to promise is that whenever
you feel those passionate impulses rising in your heart, like a
torrent you can scarcely resist, you will wait for five minutes
before you speak or act. Then the memory of this day will
comeback to your mind, and you will be checked before you
commit a sin. I don't mean that you can curb such a fault
by your own strength alone. I am sure you know how to
get help, Harry?"
14 Hasty Harry.
I must always examine my conscience, about this fault in
particular," said Harry, in a low voice, "and pray for help."
Yes," said Lady Nugent; "and now come back with me
to the Hall, and I will send some things down by you for
Margaret's use ; and do you know that, though your garden
is certainly rather spoilt just now, I can quite fancy what it
Harry's face almost looked bright again at this, and he
prepared to follow Lady Nugent, feeling happier than an
hour ago he had ever expected to feel again. His father was
right in believing that the grief of that day would be a lesson
to him for life.
The very sight of Margaret frequently checked his impatient
temper, and his promise to Lady Nugent was never forgotten.
It is true that this victory over himself was not won without
many struggles, many trials, and some failures, for though
the shock he had received in his little sister's accident acted
as a continual check, still with Harry's naturally violent
temper, it required all his power of self-control to restrain the
hasty blow, or to check the passionate words which seemed
as if they must be uttered, and, with flushed cheek and
throbbing pulses to remain silent and motionless till the short
prayer he never failed to use morning and evening for grace
to overcome his hasty temper, came to his aid. Then the
battle was won, and each time it became more easy.
There is yet one incident which I will relate, because the
memory of it was never effaced from his mind, and the recol-
lection of it was a cause of deep and continued thankfulness to
There was a large piece of water at one end of the garden
at the Hall, and the ladies and gentlemen who were staying
thereused to row themselves ina boat on finesummer evenings.
Sometimes the children were allowed to use the boat for
fishing, but oftener to go to a small island on which a sum-
mer-house had been built expressly for their use. It was a
great delight to them to have tea here on half-hoidays, and
they had a small garden of their own in which they used to
work ; but the real care of this little garden was entrusted to
Harry, and he used to take great interest in it, and after his
day's work was over (for by this time he was working in the
Hasty Harry. 15
garden under his father) he would row himself over to the
island and spend hours in contriving something new to please
or to surprise them. For the last few weeks he had been
preparing a treat for little Archibald Nugent on his birthday,
which was to be spent with his cousins on the island. Early
in the Spring he had taken a nest of young goldfinches, and
had tamed them so completely that he was able to let them
fly about the room, knowing that they would come to him as.
soon as they heard his whistle.
Harry had lately taken them over to the island, and let
them fly about while he was working there, leaving them in
the summer-house all night, only taking the precaution of
shutting them up in the cage, and hanging them by a rope
to the roof before he went home.
The evening before Archibald's birthday, Harry rowed
over to the island, and spent some time in decorating the ar-
bour with festoons of flowers and ivy, and to one of these
wreaths he hung the cage, and amused himself by picturing
the children's delight at seeing the birds hop about the tea-
table, and come when he called them.
The next day his father called him to help him to row the
children over to the island, as Lady Nugent never allowed
them to go in the boats with any one else. They were in high
glee, and Harry as happy as any one of them. He remained
behind to fasten the boat, and did not join the rest immedi-
ately. When he did, what was his dismay at finding that the
cage had been taken down, and no sign of his little favourites
to be seen He stood aghast, and then, angrily turning to
the carpenter's son, who had been at work there putting up a
table, accused him of, having meddled with the cage. Job
Hudson looked foolish, and said he only put it on the ground
to entice the birds back to it.
Back to it Where are they, then?"
He said he only took them in his hand, and they flattered
like mad things, and flew across the water to the garden.
"Then they are lost !" exclaimed Harry, hoarse with sup-
pressed passion, and his hand was raised to strike the boy,
who retreated a step or two backwards. As he did so his
foot slipped, and in another moment he would have been in
the water had not Harry caught him, and pulled him for-
16 Hasty Harry.
wards. In an instant the thought of what might have been
flashed across Harry's mind. if I had struck him, and he
had been drowned !"
The horror of this thought effaced for the moment all his
sorrow for the birds, and he stood pale and agitated, reflect-
ing on what might have been.
He succeeded eventually in recovering two of the birds,
which were kept in a cage in Lady Nugent's conservatory.
Harry never passed the door, or heard their loud singing in
the early summer mornings without a mental thanksgiving
that he had been preserved from a crime which must have
embittered his whole life.
This last lesson increased the watchfulness he had pre-
viously acquired over himself. His daily prayer for patience
and forbearance was never omitted, and long before he was a
man he had quite lost all right to the title of "'Hasty Harry."