Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Never Satisfied
 Twelve years old
 A second place
 Bright prospects
 Back Cover

Title: His own enemy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055809/00001
 Material Information
Title: His own enemy
Physical Description: 121 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Frederick Warne and Co ( Publisher )
Knight ( Printer )
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Knight
Publication Date: [1888?]
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Temperance -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fathers and sons -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Glory of God -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1888   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1888
Genre: Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Mrs. Henry Keary ; with coloured frontispiece.
General Note: Date of publication from prize inscription.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055809
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002231514
notis - ALH1893
oclc - 70223568

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Never Satisfied
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Twelve years old
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    A second place
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Bright prospects
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text
n05* ..



cesaion 1887-88.


10th JUNE 1888.

The Baldwin Library
SUniwen a
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itttU Diat lerime.













.f-^- ^ ever $Saisfied,

-,I OWN ENEMY! You say, "How
could that be ?" Well, let me tel]
Syou my story of Georgie Watson,
and perhaps you will be able to
understand how it was that this
-4.' . could be said of him.
The Watsons were not rich people,
S nor great, nor clever; but a more
respectable family of the working
class did not live in the town of Chelmsford,
-or rather a little way out of the town it was,
where their cottage stood.
Don't you think the outside of a house

6 His Own Enemy.
tells a little bit about those who dwell within?
I do. If you see a house, however small,
where the windows are clean, the doorstep
white, the climbing plants (if there are any)
nailed trimly against the wall, and an air
of carefulness about the place, you come to
the conclusion that the owner is at any
rate a lover of order and neatness. If you
see broken windows stuffed with rag or
paper, rubbish lying in the entry, dirty chil-
dren playing with mud and stones, and other
signs of neglect, you certainly can have no
doubt that it is a home in which there is
no comfort-nothing one can admire and
So in passing the Watsons' cottage everyone
would be likely to say, What a pretty little
place!" It had a bit of garden-ground in
front, in which cabbages, peas, and beans were
growing; but there were wallflowers and pinks,
fuchsias and other kinds of blooming plants in
the bed by the parlour window, all well kept
and tended. Then how spotless were the
curtains, how the brass knocker and the door
handle shone again, how clear were the panes
of glass,-yes, indeed, Mrs. Watson was a

Never Satisfied. 7
thrifty housewife, and from her crockery to
her four children, everything inside and out-
side did her credit.
George was the eldest of the four. Now it
often happens that the eldest of a family is
the mother's chief help and comfort; but in
this case I am obliged to say it was not so,-
perhaps it would be too much to affirm that
George was his mother's chief care,-but at
any rate he cost her many an anxious thought,
many a heartache.
As a baby he had been a sickly, ailing little
fellow, and so perhaps was somewhat more
spoiled than the three girls who came after;
but when he had grown strong, he had not
also grown contented and cheerful, and at
nine years old there was peevish ill-humour
written on his face, which spoiled its expres-
sion. Therefore, even as I begin to speak of
him, I may call him an enemy to his own
happiness, because it was his own fault that
he was dissatisfied; and no dissatisfied person
ever was or ever will be happy, be his age and
condition what it may.
At first waking Georgie began to grumble.
"Morning already ?" he would say; "oh, it

8 His Own Enemy.
can't be time to get up, and I am so sleepy.
I can't get up;" and when Mrs. Watson in-
sisted, and told him too that Jane, and Annie,
and Kate were half-dressed already, he would
turn out as slowly as possible, murmuring in
a low voice that he "hated getting up," or
that mother was cross."
Next came the breakfast-plenty of nice
hot bread and milk, which the three little
girls ate up with a very good will; but as for
Georgie! oh, it was "I can't eat this," or "I'm
tired of bread and milk," "I don't want any;"
and other such speeches, which were very
trying to the mother, who liked to give her
children all that was necessary for them, and
to see them take their meals in a pleasant,
contented fashion.
School was the next difficulty. First Georgie
must always say it was "horrid," that he wished
there were more holidays, that there ought to
be more holidays, that the master was hard
and unjust, that the lessons were far too diffi-
cult, that he wished the time would come
when he should be too old to go to school any
more. Then, as all this failed to gain him
leave of absence for that day, it seemed as if

Never Satisfed. 9
this grumbling little lad set his heart on
being too late: to get his hair brushed, his
face and hands washed, his lesson books all
found, and his slate put into his satchel be-
fore the bell rang, was a kind of conflict
which Mrs. Watson knew she would have to
endure as regularly as every morning came
round-except, indeed, on Saturdays, when
the school was closed.
But because Saturday gave George Watson
the much-desired rest of a holiday, you need
not suppose he gave himself a rest from
grumbling,-oh, anything but that He was
cross if he was asked to run on an errand,
cross if bidden to put coals on the kitchen
fire, cross if his little sisters 1...-.. -1 him to
play, cross if his mother suggested lie had
better do something rather than stand listlessly
looking over the garden gate,-indeed, his face
was not unlike some of the dark, dreary days
we get now and then, no hope of the clouds
passing and the sun shining out.
Sometimes the boy's father had punished
him for this moody ill-temper; more often his
mother tried gently to show him how foolish,
how unreasonable, how wrong it was; and,

10 Iis Own1 Enemy.
moreover, how often it made those unhappy
who really loved him. As far as real improve-
ment went, nothing had any effect upon
Georgie, for even if he professed himself sorry,
and promised to do better, about half-an-hour
was long enough to see him again his un-
amiable, uncomfortable self.
Do you feel sorry for a boy like this ? In-
deed you may pity him, for I don't think
there is anything much more pitiable than
to see a child or a grown-up person, who
has so much reason and so much power to
be happy, turning away from the blessings
God gives. It makes one fear that by-and-
by those blessings will be withdrawn, on
purpose to teach a bitter though a needful
At the root of Georgie's discontent there
lay this evil-I hope it has no place in the
heart of any of my little readers,-he was
always wishing to be what he was not. He
wished to be a man. Well, you will call that
harmless enough; for what little boy or girl
is there who does not look forward eagerly to
the day when he or she shall be "grown up"?
But in the case of this boy I think it was not

Never Satisfied. 11
quite such a blameless wish, for why did he
want to be a man? Well, not to be useful,
and hard-working, and helpful to the parents
who had toiled for his support, but because
he wanted to do as he liked;" and, like a
foolish little fellow, he fancied this power
would come with manhood. Besides wishing
to be a man, George wished le was rich
and grand, dressed in finer clothes than his
father's working garb or tidy Sunday suit,
riding on horseback, or driving in a carriage,
plenty of servants to wait on him, and nothing
to do.
When he came down from such castles in
the air, conscious that he never would be
other than of the useful working class, Georgie
wished he lived in a big bustling town, instead
of a little way from (. !.1it.1, or that he
was a French boy or a Russian,-anything, in
fact, but what he was; (::, II;I,-, I fear, the
wish never came at this time of his young
life, to be a good Christian boy.
As certainly as grown people or children
take up this habit of longing for a state of
life which is not theirs, so certainly do they
become restless and useless where God has

12 His Own Enemy.
placed them in the world, and in consequence
unhappy. If Georgie Watson had set his
mind on being a good scholar, a kind brother,
an obedient son, a merry unselfish playmate,
you would not have seen that gloomy frown
on his face, nor have heard the fretful voice
for ever complaining.
Now that I have let you into the secret of
his discontent, I am going to tell you the
harm it did him in the minds of other people;
and so you will begin to admit he was his
"own enemy."
In the neighbourhood of the Watsons' home
there was a largo house where dwelt a gentle-
man who was very good and kind to every
one. lie would open the gates, and make his
lovely gardens free to all who liked to walk
there once a week; he gave "treats" to Sunday
schools; he sent fruit and II.......' to poor
children confined within the big hospitals of
London; he relieved every case of need round
about him, and was a benefactor to the sick
and to the sorrowful. One day this good Mr.
Lawrence walked into the boys' school, and
looked round at the crowd of young faces.
"I want a lad, or perhaps two," said he to the

Necer Satified. 13
schoolmaster, "who can come on Saturday
afternoons, and do some weeding in the flower
beds. I must have those who can be trusted,
and who will do just what the gardener tells
The master surveyed his pupils thoughtfully,
then called out George Watson. "This boy
can be trusted," he explained; "I daresay you
know his parents by name;" and he added a
few words in praise of the parents.
Well, he is about the right size," said Mr.
Lawrence; "and he ought to be trustworthy
if he belongs to that honest fellow Watson.
But-- there was a long pause, and then
the sentence ended with, I don't think he
looks bright and willing, and I like willing
hands to do my work. Who else can you
speak for, Mr. Nash ?"
Oh, how mortified, how disappointed was
George as he went back to his place, and
listened while merry little Charley Pearce
and Stephen Davis were chosen instead of
him! Perhaps for a half minute he may
have felt that it was his own fault--in fact,
that he was his own enemy-and yet his
character was such that I make no doubt,

14 His Own E.. ...
had you or I been by his side at the time
school closed, we should have heard him
grumbling away that "It was a shame, a
horrid shame "
Not so very long after this little incident
Georgie's old grandmother came to see her
son and his children. She lived in a nice
cottage at Southend, and was comfortably
maintained by the family to whom she had
been a good and faithful nurse in her younger
days; and it had been settled before her visit
that Georgie should return with her, and run
about on the sand and beach for his three
weeks' summer holiday.
It had been a great deal talked of, you may
be sure; and even the old grandmother's
arrival was an event in the small house at
Chelmsford, for she had not been there for
several years; but in the end there was a
sharp disappointment for Georgie. "Take
that sullen, grumbling boy home with me for
his holiday!" she said to her son and his
wife. "Ah, no, indeed, I could not do with
him at all. I love children, and I don't expect
them never to have tempers and faults; but
he is fretful and out of humour from morning

Never Satisfied. 15
till night. No, no; I shall take Jane, and
George may come when he has learned to be
a pleasanter companion."
So little blue-eyed smiling Jane got the
pleasure, and grumbling gloomy George stayed
at home, where he made himself almost more
disagreeable than before.

-'" ^Y



Tlwue ti,.:irs Od,.
T was George Watson's birth-
L '' day, and he was twelve years
4' old,-no longer a little boy in
his own or other people's esti-
.' nation, but of an age to begin
; to be of some use in the world,
S and to repay father and mother
for their care of his childhood,
and for their patience with
his many faults. How much I should like to
tell you that he had learned the folly and the
wrong of discontent; how I should like to
say that his brow had lost the frown I showed
you when he was but nine, and that a ray of
good-humour was to be seen in his eyes. But
I am not able to tell you one of these things,
for George Watson on his twelfth birthday
was much what he had been upon his ninth
-except a little worse, because, as you know,

Twelve Years Old. 17
the time which passes over us does not find
us remaining as we were, -we grow more
victorious over ourselves and our faults, or
more subject to them.
So George Watson had become more settled
in his ill-tempers and bad habits; and his
mother often sighed as she looked at him,
and wondered why this eldest child of hers
should bring her all sorrow and no peace, all
anxiety and no help and comfort, such as
came to her through her three bonny little
girls, who obeyed not only her words but her
There was a good deal of serious talking in
that home now, concerning the boy's future,
and to all the wishes of his parents it is
scarcely needful to say George had some objec-
tion. A carpenter, oh no! anything rather.
A painter, like Watson himself; no indeed, he
couldn't stand that. If he could learn farming,
or get into some shop, where by-and-by he
might be master, he would like it well enough;
but not so well as if he might be a soldier or
a sailor. So he said, silly boy! with no idea
whatever of what the life of either of these
two would be.
c 79

18 His Own Enemy.
Just at this time the old grandmother died
rather suddenly, and left behind her for her
son's children a few pounds to help them
when they began to make their own way in
the world. Now, George, we can apprentice
you to a good trade as soon as you are a little
older," said the father and mother; but their
dissatisfied son only murmured that he "didn't
want to be apprenticed," for indeed he shrank
from the necessity of doing real work, which
such a step would be sure to bring about.
At length, however, there came an oppor-
tunity of employment which George felt in-
clined for. In a stationer's shop at Chelms-
ford there was an opening for a boy to
take out the daily papers, to run errands,
serve behind the counter, and make himself
useful in any sort of way that was wanting;
and because young Watson was strong and of
good appearance, and because too his parents
were so well known and thought of in those
parts, he had no difficulty in getting himself
Now indeed his mother talked gravely to
him of how much depended on his conduct
and his manners. "You will not stay the

Twelve Years Old. 19
first week out, my boy," she said, "if you
don't do your work cheerfully. What would
your master or his customers think if you
spoke to him or to them as you do to us at
home, or felt it such a trouble to move or to
fetch anything? I hope you really will try to
turn over a new leaf."
"All right, mother," said George; but this
was a very common answer, and (lid not prove
at all that he was positively determined on a
fresh beginning; nor did a bright smile light
up his face with any promise. On the contrary,
he seemed vexed at such a gentle rebuke, and
walked away muttering in his usually rude
In about a week from that day the boy
started to Chelmsford town to begin his new
life. He had to be up early, for the morning
papers had to be delivered to the customers
between seven and eight o'clock; and on this
Monday he really did not refuse to obey when
called, so that Mrs. Watson was quite encour-
aged, and said, "Perhaps George will be quite
different from his old self now he is getting
to work."
It happened to be cold weather, just the

20 Ilis Otwn Enemy.
sharp wind which almost always comes with
the beginning of March, so that rising betimes
might have been a little more of a hardship
than it is in the pleasant summer mornings.
Thus we must admit, as his own mother (lid,
that not to complain and refuse was rather
a hopeful sign in a lad of George Watson's
When he arrived at the shop he put on his
best manners, I can assure you, and made
more speed in his round with the papers than
his little sisters would have thought possible,
for they knew him only as the slowest of the
slow. Even when he came back to his post
behind the counter, and had things to reach
down from the shelves and things to put back
again, as it seemed constantly, he kept clear
of frowns, and finally got through the errands
at the end of the day without much lingering.
So far, so well; but when he went home he
was naturally tired, and this made him des-
perately cross. His mother had a good fire
and a nice supper ready for her boy; but this
did not seem to represent to his mind how
she had been thinking and caring for him all
day, and so waken up a feeling of love to her.

Twelve Years Old. 21
No; George flung himself into a chair, and
had not a civil word for any of them. When
the little sisters wanted to know how he liked
being shop-boy, he bade them leave him alone
and "not bother." When both parents said,
"Well, lad, how have you got on ? tell us all
about it," he answered in a short snappish
tone that he "didn't know." When old Carlo
came up to him, as if to bid him welcome, he
gave the faithful dog a kick, and thus caused
Katie, who was very fond of the poor animal,
to burst into a flood of crying: in fact, whereas
the house had been happy and peaceful all
day, there seemed to be a cloud over it as
soon as George entered, and big and little felt
its influence.
For one whole week through the boy
managed to behave tolerably well when under
his master's eye. Certainly on the Wednes-
day Mr. Poole began to see him flagging a
little, and bade him "look alive" more than
once; and on the TIirI-.,iy he gained a scolding
for loitering on his first rounds : nevertheless,
when Saturday came, George received his
three and sixpence, and was told to be there
betimes on Monday morning.

22 His Own Enemy.
"Mother didn't seem to think they'd keep
me more than a week," he said to himself, as
he walked through the town and up the lane
that took him homewards. "They're always
finding fault with me at home,-they fancy
I can't do anything well."
Was it not an unjust thought of those who
loved him? But then those who have George
Watson's nature, and do not seek to control
and make it better, always are unjust in their
thoughts of other people.
"Well, my lad," was Mrs. Watson's greeting;
and the cross-grained lad knew well that she
was anxious to hear if this first week of
trial was to be followed by another; yet,
instead of telling out the good news, he only
answered, "Well!" and added, "I'm dead
"I daresay," was the mother's reply; "you
have been up early these many mornings.
But here's your supper ready and waiting,-
it's something you like, my lad."
George dragged up one of the wooden chairs
to the table, and surveyed the dish of stewed
meat and vegetables which was set before him
with a far from satisfied countenance. "I

Twelve Years Old. 23
can't say I'm particularly fond of that," he
remarked in a very disagreeable voice.
"You try it, and you'll see how good it is,"
suggested Jane, who stood by.
"Hold your tongue," grumbled this amiable
brother; but at the same moment he began
upon his supper, and ate with an excellent
appetite, despite his ungracious words.
When all was cleared away, Mrs. Watson
drew a chair to the fire, and with her knitting
in hand thought to talk a little; but George
only gave her "yes" and "no" for answers.
"Have you been paid ?"
"Yes;" and the money was thrown on the
"No, no !" said the mother, pained by the
action. It was not because I wanted you to
give it me; we settled, you know, to put it
by for your next suit of clothes. But tell me,
George, is Mr. Poole satisfied with you ?"
"Oh, yes, I suppose so."
"And you begin again on Monday, then ?"
"And did your master say if he was satis-
fied ?"
"No; but he told me to be early Monday."

24 His Own Enemy.
It was no wonder that Mrs. Watson sighed,
and lapsed into much sorrowful pondering
over why it was that her boy seemed so different
from other boys: why he-to whom she had
given so much love and care-should be so
wanting in common affection for all at
The close of the second week in his situation
saw George Watson more moody than usual.
IHe was obliged to own that his master was
not very pleased with him, and had said,
unless he could be more punctual, and get
through his work more rapidly, he would not
do in a stationer's shop.
After this, Mrs. Watson went to inquire,
and she heard something like this, "The boy
is honest, which is a great thing; but lie is
slow, and not very willing. And then he
begins to show a surly sort of manner to the
customers, and that will never do; but I'll
try him a week more before I decide to dismiss
him, out of respect to you and his father,
whom I've known so long."
The warning given by his mother was of
little use, I fear, for the next Saturday George
received his usual pay, and heard that the

Tuelve Years Old. 25
following week must be his last. "You're
not good-tempered enough for me," Mr. Poole
Thus at twelve years old our young friend
was still "his own enemy." And the worst
part of it all was that he did not know it; he
thought his master, his parents, his friends,
were to blame; but it never entered his head
that it was all his own fault; and so you see
there was no chance of his doing better.
We must first feel our need of a Saviour,
and that we are poor, miserable, sinful creatures,
unable to do any good thing of ourselves, and
then we shall go to Jesus and cry, "Wash me,
and make me clean."

:3;7 p



$ Second Place.

S ,) EORGE WATSON had spent
more than a fortnight un-
Semployed, when one evening
his father came home from
Work with something to tell.
"I was painting the hall-
S door at Mrs. Henderson's,"
he explained, "and one of
the maids told me that a
1 i.Li was wanting-some one to
clean boots and knives, and
carry coals, and put on a jacket and turn page
too in the afternoon. How would it do for
our George ? He's about the age."
"Would he be well-spoken enough?" an-
swered the mother, remembering the character
Mr. Poole had given. I don't know what the
boy will succeed in unless he brightens up a

A Second Place. 27
little and-- But at that moment George
came sauntering in, and could hear for himself
what was being thought of on his account.
That fortnight of partial idleness had grown
a little wearisome; and as the idea of some-
thing fresh was as pleasant to him as to other
young folks, George rather took to the notion,
and even asked his mother to go up and get
Mrs. Henderson to take him.
As they went their way together, Mrs.
Watson begged the lad to speak his best.
"It's no use looking for fresh places, I tell
you," she explained, unless you've made up
your mind to go to work with a cheerful face
and a willing heart. But for your sullen ways,
you might have stayed with Mr. Poole, and
got on well; however, I won't cast it up and
reproach you. Try now, there's a good lad,
for your father's sake and mine, as well as
for your own; for what is to become of you
if you lose every chance by reason of your
ill temper?"
Perhaps George was for once a little moved,
because to his customary "All right !" he
certainly answered, ,"I'm going to try this
time-if I get the place."

28 His Own Enemy.
Mrs. Henderson was a kind old lady, well-
known in that part; but she was particular
as to what she expected in those who served
"The boy is just about the age and the
size," she said, looking critically at him.
"IIas he been accustomed to be busy and
useful at home ?"
"He knows how to do work very well,"
answered Mrs. Watson. He can clean knives
and boots and windows as well as a man,
if--" and here she was just going to add
if he likes ; but she stopped in time, reflecting
that such words would not be a very excellent
recommendation to any one who thought of
taking him into service.
"Oh, he can do such things?" remarked
the old lady. "Well, then, is he honest?
Is there any one to speak for him?"
It was an awkward moment for poor
anxious Mrs. Watson. She was sure Mr.
Poole would speak for her lad's honesty; but
perhaps the temper would be mentioned also,
and this would destroy all chance of being
Why did the boy leave Poole ?" asked

A Second Place. 29
Mrs. Henderson next. I should have thought
it a very good beginning. Didn't he like the
work of a shop ?"
George's face was crimson with shame as
his mother told the true story of his leaving.
She certainly tried to excuse him as much as
she could, saying it was his first trial of work;
but she knew it was better to own at once
that he had left for lack of being quick and
obliging, than to leave Mrs. Henderson to
find this out by making inquiries of the
Chelmsford stationer.
"Dear me! that sounds very unpromising,"
said the old lady, who had listened very
gravely. I must say I like pleasant willing
ways in those who serve me; and if your boy
hasn't such ways, I am afraid, my good Mrs.
Watson, he will never do here." But, seeing
the great disappointment on both faces, she
added, Now, my lad, I know it is very hard
if one fault is to stand in the way of your
making another start, neither do I wish to be
hard upon a boy of twelve years. Suppose I
try you here; will you shake off your moody
and disobliging ways, and try your very best
to please?"

30 His Own Enemy.
"Yes, indeed I will, ma'am," said George;
and he spoke earnestly, for he was beginning
to see how an ill character-even though it
was not for dishonesty or graver faults-was
likely to stand in his way as he went through
the world.
"Come, that sounds heartily said;" and
Mrs. Henderson looked please. "We are
not all born with the same nature, and I
suppose it is hard for some to be smiling and
pleasant. But any one can try; and surely a
boy of twelve years ought not to be out of
humour with himself and all the world."
There was a little more talk, and then it
was arranged that George should have a
month's trial. "And a month is quite long
enough to show what stuff he is made of,"
said the boy's future mistress, pleasantly.
"At any rate he shall have a fair chance of
doing well here, I promise you, Mrs. Watson."
I do not think that in the memory of his
sisters George had ever been so good-natured
to them as he was during the remainder of
that day. He put up a swing for them in the
back door-way, he did sundry odd jobs for
his mother,he was even heard to whistle after

A Second Place. 31
a cheerful fashion. Every one said, What
has come over our George ?" But you may be
sure also that every one was glad enough to
see him like this.
When the day came for him to enter on
his new duties at Mrs. Henderson's, it could
be truly said that George had been trying to
put a cheerful face on everything for one
entire week, and his mother's heart was lighter
for it.
There was no coming home now in the
evening; an afternoon once a fortnight the boy
was to be free for two hours; but more than
this the old lady did not promise. "I'm an
extraordinary person, perhaps," she explained
to Mrs. Watson, "but I cannot take up new
habits and customs. In my young days there
were not all these holidays-Sundays out and
afternoons out,-and I don't see that much
good comes of them. The servants all go to
church on Sundays, and we keep no company;
but I like to know they are not running
about the town all the latter part of the day.
The lad shall come and see you for two hours
every other week; and if he wants more
liberty he must seek it in another place."

32 His Own Enemy.
Mrs. Watson was not at all inclined to
object; indeed, she thought her boy would
do better than if he lived at home, and only
went out for daily work. Besides, she knew
that in every sense Mrs. Henderson's was a
"good family for him to be placed in; and
over and over again she entreated George to
make the most of a chance which many a
Chelmsford boy would envy him.
Before the first day ended, the page felt
that he should have no easy time of it: the
women-servants were not unkind to him; but
one and all seemed resolved to turn him to
account, and keep him fully occupied.
"George, there's the knives to clean;"
" George, take some coals to the drawing-
room this minute;" "George, it's time you
were clean, for you've got to answer the bells ;"
"George, do you hear? What a slow boy
you are, to be sure !" These were the sounds
which filled his ears; and he ran upstairs and
ran downstairs, and did every one's bidding;
yet not a word of praise came,-evidently
they thought he was not so quick or so ready
as he might be, despite all his efforts.
When he lay down in the small bed which

A Second Place. 33
had been put into a little room on the base-
ment floor for his special use, George thought
more of mother and of home than beforehand
he would have believed possible,-yes, even
to the shedding of a few tears.
It was the first time he had been a night
away; he had said he should not mind, and
now he found he did mind very much. Had
they been talking of him, he wondered, and
picturing what he might be about ? He
could fancy he saw them all gathered round
the fire before his little sisters went to bed;
and oh, how he wished le was there too!
Then he remembered how disagreeable he
had been on such evenings, how he had
refused to tell them anything they had asked,
how he had sat in sullen silence or grumbling
discontent,-perhaps they were happier with-
out him! At that thought George Watson
brushed his hand across his eyes,-it was not
pleasant to have it enter his mind in the
midst of this home sickness which had over-
taken him.
And it was not for one night, but for many,
he was to be away; and the days would be
full of work, and these women-servants would
D 79

34 Is Oiw Enemy.
be sending hither and thither, or scolding, or
complaining of every fault to the mistress.
Altogether, the boy fancied himself very un-
happy ; but sleep and forgetfulness came after
a bit; and in the morning he was stouter-
hearted and ready for work again.
The end of the week, though, saw his good-
will breaking down-he began to let the words
"I can't stand this !" enter his mind.
The second week came to its close, and
several complaints had been made of his
sulky temper.
The third week he was in disgrace upstairs
and downstairs; and not without cause, for he
had answered even his mistress rudely, and
flatly refused to do what he was told in the
At the month's end he went home with his
money in his pocket, and the consciousness
that he had failed again, and that he had so
failed by his own fault only.
"Oh, George! George !" said his disap-
pointed mother, with the tears standing in
her eyes, is this the end of all your promises
to try to do your best? How do you expect
to get your living in the world, I wonder ?

A Second Place. 35
And Mrs. Henderson's was a place any boy
might have been thankful for."
"It's a hard place, anyway," said the boy.
Hard! Well, I daresay there's work
enough," continued Mrs. Watson; "but a lad
as strong and hearty as you ought not to be
afraid of a bit of work. No, no, George, it's
not what you had to do that stood in your
way; it's your unwillingness and your dis-
agreeable temper, just as it was with Mr.
Poole, the stationer. I'm getting out of heart
about you, boy; I am indeed."
"The servants were all against me," said
George, trying hard to find some excuse for
"Not they," answered the mother, who had
spared no pains to make herself aware of the
exact truth. "There's no one becu against
you but yourself. It's just the old story over
and over again ever since you wore quite a
little fellow,-you're your own enemy; and
that's about the worst enemy one can have,
let me tell you."



r"I HE Watsons had always
-b/ been well-to-do people
rfor their condition of life,
but soon after their boy's
Dismissal from his second
S!. place it seemed as if their
troubles began.
First, Watson himself
S. became ill; and it lasted
long, and threw him out
of work for so many weeks that their little
savings were well-nigh exhausted. True, they
had been in the habit of laying by something
"against a rainy day;" but if those rainy days
go on and on, and there seems an end to
r ,i.,,. not the best manager the wide world
contains can prevent sore trouble being the
result. Thus there began to be care among
the Watsons,-anxious care for food and

Misfortune. 37
clothing, and for the means of keeping on
their peaceful home; and Mrs. Watson, look-
ing at George, could not refrain from saying,
"You might have been helping us nicely by
this time, if you had done your best when you
had the chance."
The boy felt he deserved the reproach, and
like many another of his kind, wished he could
have back the wasted time; but such wishes
are poor useless things, as we all know to our
cost. IIe certainly went all about the town
inquiring for something to do; but either no
one had an opening, or else his character had
gone before him, for he met with no success;
and he began to grow very down-hearted, and
much less confident in himself than formerly.
As Watson recovered, and began to take up
his usual work, fever came into the neighbour-
hood, and both Jane and Katie were among
its victims. This was a heavy trouble, and
money became scarcer than ever. But perhaps
the worst of all was when the good mother of
the little home broke down, after all her
nursing and care, and the doctor shook his
head and spoke so gravely of "hope," that
even the youngest understood that he thought

Iris Oiln En emy.
with "fear" of what might happen. Perhaps
nothing but this would have been sufficient to
rouse George out of himself. He did love his
mother in his own fashion, though it had not
proved a very satisfactory fashion, and even
the thought that it was possible to lose her
caused him the sharpest sorrow. "Oh, how I
wish I had been better to her!" he would say
within himself. "How I wish I had tried to
get on when I had work to do; and now no
one will take me, and I can't help at all!"
Hlis father was not so patient as his wife
had been. You've had a hand in all this,
George," he said, more than once. "You've
been more trouble to your mother than all
the other troubles put together: you must feel
that, if you've any heart at all."
One day, when this reproach had boon
uttered, the boy wandered out of the cottage
in an aimless fashion, feeling miserably un-
happy: he was just in that mood when a kind,
wise friend is so needful; and God, who knows
all our needs, was going to give him one.
Near to the Watsons' home there lived a
woman who seemed to have known better
days, as we often say. She was better

AI!.fr/i .. 39
educated than the poor; and yet, as far as
need for work and scarcity of money went,
she was as poor as anyone round about.
On this particular morning, standing at the
door of her small cottage, she saw George
passing by, and the listlessness of his step and
the gloom of his face made her wonder.
"What is the matter, my boy?" she said,
pleasantly. "You look as if you had all the
cares of the world on your shoulders."
"Mother's ill," he answered; "and she
doesn't seem in the way of getting better."
"Dear, dear!" returned the listener, "I'm
sorry to hear it; but you mustn't go about
looking like that. When people are ill they
like to see hopeful, cheerful faces about them,
I assure you; it is sometimes as good as
medicine to them."
There was no answer, so she went on. "I
should be very glad to come in if there's any-
thing I could do; will you ask your mother ?"
"I'll ask father," said George, looking up
gratefully. "I think he'd take it kind; for
there's only me and my sisters to see to things,
though now and then one of the neighbours
come to help."

40 His Own Enemy.
An hour later, Agnes Hill was sitting by
Mrs. Watson's side, listening to the poor sick
mother's tale. "Yes, the doctor says I shall
get better; but I don't know-I feel so low
and weakly. And I can't help feeling troubled
about my husband and the children; they're
so young yet."
"Your boy seems a strong healthy lad; he'll
be able to help you soon; and all will come
right, once you're on your feet again," was the
visitor's reply.
"Ah, my boy!" and there came a heavy
sigh. "I don't know what it is with George.
I've tried to bring him up well; but somehow
he seems to have taken a wrong turn, and
he's been no help to us as yet. He's not a
bad boy," continued the weak mother; "not in
the way of lying, or stealing, or using bad
words, I mean; but he has a sort of awkward
temper, and people can't put up with it.
Many's the time I've told him he's just his
own enemy! It's only himself that stands
in the way of his getting on."
Mrs. Hill started. "His own enemy !" she
said. "Why, that was how it used to be
with me when I was young; I'm sorry for

Mi-f4orbone. 41
him, poor boy, for he can't be happy. I
wonder if he'd listen to me if I told him what
came of my being my own enemy ?"
"He might," said Mrs. Watson, doubtfully;
"but it's not from want of talking and show-
ing him his faults, that he isn't what I should
like to see him. That's him coming up
now," she added; and next minute George
entered the room, and put down a bottle of
medicine awkwardly on the table.
The visitor looked towards him in a smiling,
pleasant manner he rather liked. "You see I
have found my way in," she said; "and I
think your mother will begin to mend by-
and-by, if you all take care of her. It's time
for her medicine, isn't it ? I suppose you pour
it out and give it to her ?"
George blushed: it never had entered into
his mind to do even that slight service; and
his unwillingness to help at home had long
before caused them all to ask nothing of him.
It was like a new sensation to have it supposed
he could do anything; and he uncorked the
bottle and handed the glass to his mother
with a smile.
"What a comfort it must be to you to have

42 His Own Enemy.
a big boy to do for you," continued Mrs. Hill.
"There are so many ways he can be handy to
you, even in a sick room. If I were you, my
lad," and here she turned to George," I should
nail that curtain a little more across the
window, now at once-the light is rather
strong for your mother's eyes. And then I
daresay she will be inclined for a sleep; and,
as 1 am going away, you'll be ready to sit
down and see that no one comes in to wake
her, won't you ? I'll look in again towards
evening to see how she is; and till then I'm
sure you will make a good nurse."
It was with real alacrity that George nailed
up the curtain. All the morning he had felt
himself so useless, that to be told to do even
a trifling thing came like a pleasure; and as
he afterwards sat down by his mother's side,
such a new and softened feeling came into his
heart that he said, I'm going to do better,
"That's my good boy," she answered; and
then with her hand in his the invalid fell
asleep; and the little girls, who came on tip-
toe to look, went out to meet their father on
his return from work with the astonishing

Misfortune. 43
news, "George has been helping; he's been
sitting with mother."
Mrs. Hill, meanwhile, had her thoughts
running upon the boy. "His own enemy !"
she said again and again; "ah, well do I
know the misery of it; so perhaps I can help
him! At any rate, I'll try."
A few days later, as George passed her
door, she called to him; and after asking
about his mother, who was really improving
now, she said, I was thinking about you,
and wondering if you could do a job for me
I can't very well manage. I've got some
wood in that must be cut up for winter use,
and a boy your size could do it almost as well
as a man."
George said he would do it; and this was
the beginning of his spending an hour or so
for several days in his new occupation; and
Mrs. Hill took care to be at hand and to talk
to him kindly.
"It's well for young folks to be busy," she
said once; "though sometimes they're foolish,
and can't see it. When I was a girl, I was
one of the lazy sort; and many a bitter lesson
I've learnt by reason of it. 'You're your

44 His Own Enemy.
own enemy,' was the common saying; and
true enough it seemed as if I had but myself
to blame for all that happened."
George was listening eagerly. "That's
what's been said of me; but I can't help it,
I suppose."
Oh yes, but you can," said the woman,
quickly. "It would be too long a story if I
were to tell you how I learned that not only
I could help it, but must help it. Take my
word for it, lad, that many a sorrow came to
show me how, instead of being my 'own
enemy,' I must be a friend, if I may so say,
to myself."
"And how can I?" said George, who found
something fresh in this idea of being a "friend"
to himself.
"Oh, in a great many ways," answered Mrs.
Hill. Take the first little thing that happens
by way of a beginning. Let's suppose your
father calls out that you must run on an
errand right to the other end of Chelmsford.
I daresay you would be ready to say What
a bother and start unwillingly."-IHere the
boy looked guilty.
Well, don't say it; don't allow yourself to

Misfortune. 45
think it even. Ask the aid of the Holy
Spirit, who is given to all that ask, for
Jesus Christ's sake; and in His strength
resolve, 'I'll be my own friend, and master
this unwillingness which keeps others from
liking nme;' and then put a good face on it,
and a good feeling will follow. Do this five
times a day, or ten times, or fifteen times, if
you can. Ah, my boy, if you persevere I'll
answer for it you won't long be called your
own enemy.'"
"It's not so easy to do," remarked George.
Well, you mustn't think of whether it's
easy or hard, only that it's right. And you
do want to be a comfort to your mother,
don't you? I thought so when I saw you in
her sick-room the other day."
Yes, I'd like," said George, feeling very
uncomfortably conscious that it had not been
so in the past.
"Very well, then, take my advice. Don't
wait till to-morrow, but begin to be a good
friend to yourself to-day. There's no fear
but that you will get the opportunity," added
Mrs. Hill, with a smile. There always come
things to do we don't like; and every one is

46 His Own Enemy.
his own enemy who gives in to being selfish
and moody and unkindly."
George lingered a minute as he hung up
the hatchet with which he had been busy,
and then in rather a shy fashion said, Well,
I will try, if you did. But who taught you,
Mrs. Hill?"
A curious expression was on the quiet face.
"Well, I think it was misfortune," she
answered. Of course, first of all we've God
for our Teacher; but often enough He lets us
learn from trouble and sorrow and misfortune.
You've had a little of it too, George, though
you're so young; don't let it leave you the
same, so that it will have to come heavier.
Take your lesson now, and ask the Lord to
help you; and then, I think, we shall see you
with a brighter face, because you'll have a
happier heart. Now run in home; and don't
be your own enemy so much as once before
the next time I see you."
And George promised ; nay, he did more,
-for even before he could kneel down by his
bedside, he had uttered one of those little
swift prayers, straight from the heart, which
our Heavenly Friend loves to hear and to

Misfortune. 47
answer. Help me to be a good boy, and
not to be my own enemy any more. Make
me a comfort to mother now; and let her get
well soon. For Christ's sake. Amen."
And when he had said that little prayer he
felt strangely happy, lie felt as if God were
very near to him. And that is just what we
shall all feel, my dear little friends, if we pray
to God. He draws near to us, every time we
draw near to Him. Yes, and even if we have
not loved and trusted Him, yet, when we are
sorry, and cry to Iim for the help of Iis Holy
Spirit, IIe listens at once, and while we are a
great way off He comes to meet us.

Wo \ \



'AKE 7 the first little thing which
Happens by way of a beginning.
A r-- It was very good advice which
George Watson's new friend
had given him, and it was
fortunate she had put it so
plainly, for his first chance of
being a true friend to himself
came by way of such a trifle.
As lie neared the cottage gate, Jane was
there, evidently watching for him ; and it was
certainly in a fault-finding tone she exclaimed,
"Oh, here you are at last: I thought you
never were coming. Father left word you
must go down to Chelmsford, and tell Mr.
Joyce, the butcher, that he can't begin
painting his shop-front till the day after to-
"Then to-morrow will do very well for

Striving. 49
telling him," said George, forgetting for the
moment that he did not mean to be his old
self. I'm tired now, and I don't feel in the
humour for a long walk."
"Father said you must go directly you
came in, and that he wanted Mr. Joyce to
know particularly; you never are ready to do
what you're asked."
George had an angry retort at the end of
his tongue, I assure you; but ere it escaped
him, he just recollected his resolves as he
listened to his friend Mrs. Hill. "She said
the first thing," said conscience; this must
be it, even if it is disagreeable." Even Jane
wondered then, for the boy's face changed,
and with "All right, I'll be there in no time,"
he set off at a round trot, his footsteps
echoing in the lane after he was out of sight.
"Is George gone?" said Mrs. Watson,
anxiously, as her girl came in.
"Yes, mother;" and Jane's voice betokened
astonishment; "and he ran-you must have
heard him. I can't make out what has come
over him."
"Perhaps he wants to try and be more
willing; and, Jane dear, don't discourage him
E 79

50 Hiis Own 1,.L
by casting up what is past. Now and then
it seems to me you are too fond of finding
fault with George."
"But isn't he disagreeable, mother? He
never, never does anything when he is asked
"I know all that," said the mother; "but
if he means to make a beginning, we must
help him." And Jane agreed, and felt that
she was not without fault as regards her
brother, for she did very often show him his
weak points in a way that few lads would
bear from a younger sister.
Meanwhile, George was speeding into
Chelmsford; and I do not hesitate to say
that he had never before taken that way in
such good spirits, for something within seemed
commending him, and saying that he had
taken the first step in the way of conquering
himself. He delivered his message, and then
turned homewards; but having to pass Mr.
Poole's shop, he stayed a minute to look in at
the window at the familiar things displayed
there. The stationer himself was in the door-
way, and recognized his former errand-boy.
'Well, Watson," he said, "are you idling

Striving. 51
about as usual? I suppose you're out of place
again ?"
Ah, how keenly George felt it; for even
though at the moment he did not deserve
such words, he had earned them thoroughly
in the past. "I have been on an errand for
father," he explained, in a crestfallen fashion;
but then, gathering up his courage, he added,
"I'm not in place just now, but I hope I soon
shall get something."
"Umph!" said Mr. Poole. "I don't fancy
at any rate you'll keep it, if you get it, unless
you're strangely altered;" and then he went
inside, and George passed on all in a flame of
vexation at the stationer's remarks. He did
become a little cooler, however, as he took his
way homewards, and good, rather than harm,
came out of this annoyance-after this fashion.
George was first roused to anger and to a
sense of injustice ; but next he was roused to a
determination towards a change, even stronger
than when Mrs. Hill was talking so wisely and
so kindly to him. "It shan't be true of me
that I can't keep a place," so he told himself.
"I'll show Mr. Poole and all the rest that I
can work, and work well too;" and then he

52 IJis Ow I.. .
added, But I'll always ask God to keep me
up to what I say,-I've had enough of trying
by myself."
When he got homo, Jane was at the gate
again. "Now, what'll she have to say, I
wonder?" thought George, bracing himself for
something disagreeable; but to his surprise
his sister only said, "Are you tired ? How
quick you have been, to be sure. I've put
your supper ready."
The boy went up to his mother after he
had eaten his meal-he always sat with her a
few minutes in the evening, for she was getting
better now, and hoped soon to be as active as
ever among her children.
"Well, my boy, what have you been about
to-day?" was her first question.
"Oh, nothing much till towards evening,"
he answered. "I've been doing a job for Mrs.
Hill; and then I went into Chelmsford for
father. I wish I could get a regular place
"Yes, I wish so too," said Mrs. Watson,
sighing, for indeed the help of even a few
shillings a week would have been much to her
at this time. But she feared to discourage the

S .. /. 53
boy, and added more cheerfully, "Well, never
mind, George; maybe you'll come across a
good place one of these days; and I make no
doubt you'll try to keep it next time."
"That I will," he answered ; "for I've made
up my mind I'll show that I've work in me
now, whatever people may think."
His mother laid her hand on his head, and
looked gravely at him. "It is a good resolve,"
she said; and I'm glad to hear you talk like
that; it's something diffni-ntt from the old way.
Still there's more to bear in mind than show-
ing well in the esteem of other people-there's
God to think of before all. Please Him,
George, and then you're sure to please those
who are worth pleasing at all."
"I will try," said George; and he turned away
his head to hide his confusion, for doubtless all
boys of his age feel the same shy awkwardness
in speaking of serious things; but in his tone
and manner there was something quite dif-
ferent; and Mrs. Watson said to her husband
that night, "I think you'll see our George is
going to be a comfort to us, after all."
Well, it's about time, if he ever means to,"
said the father; and he did not utter it in

54 His Own Enemy.
unkindness either. It is one of the difficulties
such characters as George Watson bring
upon themselves, that they cannot at once
bring those whom they have so very often
disappointed to have confidence in them.
Early the next morning-and oh, so much
too early, it seemed to him-George was called
to rise; and he felt just as disposed as ever
to turn round and give in to another com-
fortable doze; but there came to his memory
Mrs. Hill's advice, and he jumped out of bed
with a clatter that set the little girls in the
next room laughing.
"Just listen to George !" said one; "what
a hurry he is in, to be sure."
"But when did he ever get out of bed
directly he was called before ?" said another.
Now came Jane's turn. Since her mother's
illness she was a little woman in her ways
with the rest. "You must not talk like that,"
she said; "for you will perhaps keep George
from trying; and mother thinks, and so do I,
that he is trying to leave off his selfish, sullen
moods, and so we must help him all we can."
"It would be very nice if he was good-
natured," remarked Katie; but her manner of

Striving. )5
saying it was doubtful, as if such a thing was
quite "too good to come true."
"I'll light the fire," cried George's voice that
instant outside the door ; "I've raced you for
once, Jennie, hurrah !" and downstairs be ran,
and had sticks and ashes and coal ready in a
twinkling; so that a promising fire burned
in the kitchen grate by the time his sister
arrived to get ready the breakfast.
"M3other is coming down directly," she said.
"She'll like to see the fire so bright this first
morning she has been up for such a long
time. I'll tell her you made it, George."
"Oh, that don't matter," said the boy,
"there's no need to make a fuss about it."
Nevertheless, when little Jane said out
before them all, "George was down first of
anyone, mother; and he lit the fire and got
the water," he seemed pleased.
Having begun so well, the boy had a mind
to keep on diligently; he cleaned knives,
windows, and every other job he could find
ready to his hand so well, so quickly, and
without being asked, that even his mother
was surprised; and her only fear was that the
change in him might not last.

56 His Own Enlemy.
Towards evening the boy went to his wood-
1..1 and had a talk with Mrs. Hill.
" Well, how about what we were talking of
together yesterday ?" she asked. "Have you
been an enemy or a friend to yourself since I
saw you ?"
A broad smile shone on George Watson's
countenance. At that minute certainly no
one could have called him a cross-grained,
surly-looking boy "Oh, I've begun," he said.
"It's hard enough, I must say; but I'm not
going to give up. And it was a little thing
I found to try at first,-just as you said it
would be. I had to take a message for father
to ('i. i,. 1..i--that was all. But I went
quick, and it pleased mother."
"That is capital news," said Mrs. Hill, cheer-
fully. Oh, take my word for it you won't be
your own enemy much longer! I was sure
from the first time I spoke to you that it only
wanted a little trying to turn you into a good
useful boy-a help to mother and father, and
a bit of sunshine at home."
I think perhaps it helped George Watson
more than anything else to find in this woman
some one who believed in him, who did not

Striving. 57
think him a hopeless specimen of boyhood.
He went away more than ever resolved to keep
on with his new effort, not to fall back into
himself and his graceless ways ; and so there
was another pleasant evening in his home,
another good beginning of a new day, and
even his little sisters began to take it for
granted that they were always now going to
have a good-natured brother.
It was perhaps after some ten days of this
new rule-not without a few little relapses of
course, for habits are not learned in a day by
any of us-that Watson came in from the
town in unusually high spirits, as it seemed.
George," said he, "I think I've really
something to tell you'll like to hear. I came
across Mr. Poole, the stationer, this morning,
and he began talking of one thing and another,
and at last he asked about you. Then he
said, "I think there's more work in that lad
of yours than I gave him credit for: I've seen
him in the street lately, looking more bright
and active than he used; and so, if he has
nothing else in view, I'll take him on again, if
he likes. The last boy had to be sent off all
in a hurry-he was none too honest."

58 His Own Enemy.

They were at their noon-day dinner, and
every eye was turned on George to see what
he would say. It was not, Oh, I shan't go
back there, after being turned away," as it
certainly would have been some three weeks
sooner; but, I'd like to get the place again,
father, if Mr. Poole really means he'll have
"Oh, yes, he means it. You may as well
walk into Chelmsford with me, and ask him
about it."
George did so; and came back with the glad
news that the next week he was to be errand
boy once more, with an additional sixpence
to his wages.




/ Erig3lt Prospects.
3iI..UPPOSE you try and believe
that a year has gone by since
the close of the last chapter-
a year of spring flowers, sum-
mer sun, autumn winds, and
winter's frost and snow,--
through all which changes of
season our friend George Watson
Shas been tramping up and down
between his home and the station-
er's shop in Chelmsford, where he
is errand boy.
People perhaps might be ready to say, "I
should not know him again;" but the face is
not so much changed except in its brighter
expression, and that is what makes the dif-
ference which every one sees. The signs of
temper and discontent have utterly vanished,
and he might now very well sit for a picture

60 Iis Own 'Enemy.
of a healthy, happy, light-hearted country
He takes out the morning papers, and runs
round to the houses of the gentry with books
and parcels; but it is said that before long a
younger boy will be taking this part of the
work, and George will be promoted to a place
behind the counter, for he is a favourite
with customers because of his obliging ways.
As for Mr. Poole, he is full of satisfaction with
George Watson, and seems quite to have for-
gotten his first failure, because he talks as if
he had trusted and liked the boy from the
very first.
Old Mrs. Henderson drives into ('i. ,,:~ '..Il
very often, and generally has something to
purchase at the stationer's shop; so she, too,
sees the wonderful change in her former
unmannerly and ungracious page-boy, and
remarks to her maid that had she believed
he would turn out so well she certainly would
have given him a longer trial. "If you care
to make a change, you can apply to me," she
said once; but George only thanked her and
said he was quite satisfied to be where he was.
He always had a liking for trade, and even at

Brniyler Prospects. 61
little more than thirteen years old he begins
to draw fanciful pictures of himself as a man,
the master of a shop with George Watson"
painted above the window; perhaps it may
even be in Chelmsford, and as a successor to
Mlr. Poole, who by that time will no doubt ho
retiring from business.
Ihit come home with George Watson one of
these evenings-up the long road, so damp in
winter, so dusty in summer, which he has to
go twice every day, yet never grumbles. You
will see his mother waiting for him, as if his
coming were the happiest moment in her day;
you will see the three girls bringing him all
sorts of requests, and not at all afraid now
that they shall be told roughly and rudely to
"get away, and not bother." And then, if you
hear the father speak of his boy, it will no
longer be with a sigh and a doubtful shake of
the head. No! it is much after this fashion
that Watson talks of George: "Ah, he's a
good lad, as good and willing and fond of
work as he can be. It wasn't so a year or
more back-many an anxious thought he
gave me and his mother, for we could not see
what chance he had of getting on in life by

62 Iris. Own Enemwy.
reason of his being so disobliging and queer-
tempered. He's taken quite a I1;f, ,.r turn
now-how or why, I couldn't say-anyway, I
couldn't wish for a better boy, and I only
hope he'll grow up as steady as he bids fair
for now." No! Watson did not know how or
when it was that the change began in his
young son; but you and I know, because we
are in the secret; and this is how I suppose
we should explain it:
Trouble came, in which George saw some of
the hard consequences of his former conduct;
but then God gave him a friend, who en-
couraged him to begin anew, and better still,
made him understand that, unless help was
asked by prayer, all effort would be in vain.
Thus it was by prayer and by hard struggling
that young Watson ceased to be "his own
I wonder if I have one among my youthful
readers who is an enemy to himself? Per-
haps so, for it is true of so many of us. God
has given us good qualities, good influences,
many helps; and all these things with His
blessing might make us so holy and so truly
happy, and yet we are neither. Why? be-

Brighter Prospects. 63
cause we are our own enemy; our weakest and
faultiest part wars against the better, higher
nature, and keeps us down in our sinfulness
and misery. What shall we do ? We must
not say, "I can't help it!" Oh no, for this is
to be indeed a coward, this is indeed yield-
ing to a dangerous temptation.
What would you think of a man who had a
dreadful wound in his body, and who told no
one about it, and hid it away till it got worse
and worse, and then killed him ? You would
say he was a silly fellow to be sure. Now
that is exactly what we often try to do with
our souls. We have not one, but many
wounds, made by sin; and if we try to forget
them and keep them out of sight, most surely
we shall die.
Now Jesus is the great Physician who longs
to heal all sick souls, and He cries, "Why will
ye die? Why will ye die ?" Let us hurry to
Him then, and show Him our wounds, and
beg Him to heal us. "Lord, save me!" we
must cry, whenever we are tempted to sin,
and He will save us. He wants us to believe
and trust Him, and accept the free gift of
salvation which He offers us.

64 His Own Enemy.
We shall still find that we are tempted to
many faults; but temptation is not sin; and if
we pray for the help of the Holy Spirit, we
shall be able to conquer, for does He not say,
"My grace is sufficient for thee "
Trust Him, then, dear children, as you do
your own parents, and you will be happy.
Washed clean in His precious blood, kept
close to Him by His Holy Spirit, you will be
safe, and will be able to say with thankful
humility: The life which I now live in the
flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me."




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