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THE NEW CHAIR,
AND OTHER STORIES.
PERKINPINE & HIGGINS,
No. 830 ARCII STREET.
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by
PERKINPINE & HIGGINS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States in
and for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
WESTCOTT & THOMSON,
THE NEW CHAIR ........ ......... .................. ...... 7
"NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE." ................... 25
THE YOUNG WITNESS.................................... 48
"YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR" ................ ........... 54
SOOTY SAM.................................................... 62
HENRIETTA'S HAT................................................. 80
KATE'S FORGIVENESS .................... ............... 92
THE THREE CHERRIES................................... 102
THE GOLDEN PENNY................................... 115
ONLY A PENNY.
THE NEW CHAIR.
THE BABES IN THE BALLOON.
THE NEW CHAIR.
" OME, papa, let's go right away to
SMr. Bauermann's to see the
chairs, or else it will be too dark,"
said Robert Addison, just as his
father was settling himself in his
easy-chair after dinner to rest and
read the papers.
Now, Robbie dear, do let me rest
a little while; I'm very tired, my
boy," answered Mr. Addison, unfold-
ing his paper.
But you promised me, papa," per-
sisted Robert, and you oughtn't to
break your word. You tell me I
must keep my promises, papa."
"All right, Robbie; but you see
I'm almost worn-out with business,
8 THE NEW CHAIR.
my son. I don't intend to break my
promise, but I want to rest now and
look over my papers. Can't you trust
me to select you a chair in the city,
and bring it out to you to-morrow ?"
You promised it to-day; you know
you did, papa," whined Robert,
peevishly and saucily, looking very
much injured and ready to cry. But
then he was only eight years old.
"Well, well, Robert, get your hat;
I can't stand a teasing now," said Mr.
Addison, sharply, as he threw aside
his paper and started abruptly from
his easy-chair. "This is the way I
Robert brightened up at once. His
father's weariness or disinclination to
go out made very little impression
upon his selfish nature. His own
present gratification was all he thought
of or cared about.
So they went out to visit Mr. Bauer-
THE NEW CHAIR. 9
mann's warehouse at the other end of
It was true that Mr. Addison had
that morning promised Robert a chair
like one recently presented to a play-
mate of his as a birth-day gift. He
did it, however, more to escape Rob-
ert's incessant and annoying importu-
nities than for any other reason. He
did not expect to be compelled so soon
to make his promise good; but ever
since his return from town the boy
had not ceased to remind him of it,
till at last he lost his patience, and
Robert carried his point.
This family resided in a large and
pleasant country village near the city
where Mr. Addison managed a heavy
business. The few hours he could
escape from it each day were all he
depended on to keep himself from
breaking down, as his health was
not good at any time. Robert was
10 THE NEW CHAIR.
his only child; and, like many others
of that unfortunate class, was supreme-
ly selfish. We do not say what the
weak indulgence of his fond parents
had to do with the development of
this fault, for no one can possibly
have any doubt on the subject. It
is sufficient that the child learned
while very young that a resolute and
persistent teasing would generally ob-
tain for him both what he wanted and
when he wanted it. Mr. Addison was
always too tired to debate the point
and too weak to settle it by a judicious
but inflexible decision; therefore, as
the course likely to give him the least
trouble, he usually gratified the boy's
wishes, even though he had com-
menced with an absolute refusal to
do so. The mother was much the
same; and, although she loved her
child with true maternal devotion,
she had always thought it the wisest
THE NEW CHAIR. 11
way to please him, and so avoid ex-
citing his bad temper, which, if once
aroused, she found it very difficult to
govern or subdue. Such parents and
such children are not rare, as we all
Mr. Bauermann was at his rooms,
and all ready for a customer. While
Mr. Addison held a little neighborly
chat with him on general topics, Rob-
ert ran around among the furniture
to look for his chair. Scampering
over sofas, tables, bedsteads and what-
nots, to the imminent risk of mirrors
and marbles, and not finding the
object of his search, he rushed back
to his father and Mr. Bauermann,
whose conversation he rudely in-
terrupted by loudly inquiring where
were the chairs like Harry Forester's
from which he was going to make a
Upon being informed, he ran off
12 THE NEW CHAIR.
again, and presently returned with a
chair in his hand.
"Here it is, papa!" he shouted-
"just like Harry's exactly. This is
the prettiest of the lot, papa, and
that's why I chose it."
Mr. Addison examined the chair.
It was indeed a pretty one, and well
calculated to please a child's fancy.
The wood-work was of a brilliant red
or vermilion, and it was upholstered
with a match color, trimmed with
green and gold. The nice springs
and long rockers made it a most
delightful and luxurious seat. Only
one fault Mr. Addison found with
it, and that he thought a serious one.
The back of the chair was surmounted
on each side by a sharp point of wood,
about three inches higher than the
rest of the back, which was nearly
horizontal. These points, although
prettily turned and ornamented and
THE NEW CHAIR. 13
giving a tasteful finish to the back of
the chair, seemed a little too sharp
and high for safety in the hands of a
"I don't like these points, Mr.
Bauermann," said Mr. Addison;
"haven't you a similar style without
"Yes, sir," replied Mr. Bauer-
mann, "something very much like
this, only of a larger size. But Master
Robert will soon grow to that, you
I saw those up stairs, and I don't
like them half as well as this," put in
Robert; "I don't want any of that
But, my son, such points as these
on a chair are dangerous. You might
fall on them in some of your nu-
merous tumbles and get seriously
"I can have them taken off and
14 THE NEW CHAIR.
replaced by something else," suggest-
ed Mr. Bauermann.
"I don't want them taken off; I
like them, and I don't want any other
sort but this," cried Robert, with great
determination. I sha'n't hurt my-
self. Just as if a big boy like me
couldn't keep off these points !"
"A big boy is liable to an accident
as well as a small one, especially if
he never takes any care of himself,"
answered Mr. Addison. "I don't
suppose you would injure yourself
with them on purpose. But I am
quite sure your mother would be of
my opinion. Come, Robbie, let Mr.
Bauermann take them off and put
on some pretty little gilt balls, .or
something of the kind, which will
be much handsomer as well as much
"No, no, no, papa!" fretted Rob-
ert, scowling upon his face. "I don't
THE NEW CHAIR. 15
want the points off; I don't want any
balls. I want the chair just as it is.
Mamma won't care; she liked Harry's,
and this is just like it. I must have
this one, papa; you know you prom-
ised me." And Robert put on his
most abused look again, and pre-
pared to make vigorous resistance
to his father's wishes just as far as
they conflicted with his own.
I have never heard of any objec-,
tion to this style," said Mr. Bauer-
mann, blandly, "and it is very
fashionable and much admired. No
accident has ever resulted from it, to
Mr. Bauermann of course wanted
to dispose of his goods, so he threw
his influence upon the side he saw
most likely to win.
Mr. Addison was tired and indis-
posed to enter upon any discussion
or contention. He wanted to get back
16 THE NEW CHAIR.
again to his easy-chair and his news-
", eell, well, I suppose I must give
it up as usual, though really against
my judgment," said he. "How much
shall I pay you for the chair, Mr.
While the money was paid, Rob-
ert had seen the chair placed in Mr.
Bauermann's furniture-wagon, which
stood at the door, and had seated him-
self in it to ride home. He looked
triumphant, having carried his point
again and secured his own gratifica-
tion. There was his chair, just like
Harry's, only a great deal prettier.
How Harry would wish to exchange!
And what splendid times they would
have playing with them! His father's
opinions or objections were of so little
consequence he never thought of them
It was more than a year after these
THE NEW CHAIR. 17
occurrences, and Robert Addison was
just recovering from a severe illness,
caused by eating green fruit contrary
to the express commands of his pa-
rents. It was done secretly, and per-
sistently denied till the most incon-
trovertible evidence betrayed him.
He was now much better; for great
suffering and danger had made him
afraid he should never get well unless
he submitted to the direction of his
physician and parents. During his
convalescence his chair had been a
great comfort to him; and his friends
were glad he had it, although they
still looked deprecatingly at the
points, which were just as sharp
as ever. But they had done no
mischief as yet, and it was hoped that
they would prove harmless as the boy
Robert's room opened out of his
mother's, and it was no longer con-
18 THE NEW CHAIR.
sidered necessary to keep a light
burning through the night, as he
now generally slept soundly till morn-
One afternoon, when he was almost
well, his father brought a box of
oranges from the city, of which Rob-
ert was allowed to partake cautiously,
though by no means to the extent he
The restraints to which he had sub-
mitted during his sickness were very
irksome, and he now thought they
should be fully withdrawn. In vain
it was represented to him that he was
in danger of relapse and still in the
doctor's care, who insisted on the ut-
most prudence in diet. He clamored
so long and pertinaciously that the
matter was compromised for the time
by allowing him to select half a dozen
of the finest to keep in his room and
eat occasionally; though he was posi-
THE NEW CHAIR. 19
tively forbidden to taste one of them
till the next day.
Robert waked up in the middle of
the night-a thing quite unusual with
him. He felt uneasy and restless,
wished he had somebody to talk with.
Suddenly the oranges occurred to
him, and he began to think how very
nice one of them would taste just then.
The more he thought about it the
more he wanted an orange. Con-
science, however, told him plainly
that it would be very wrong to get
one at that time of night (for his
parents, being Christian people, had
tried to teach him to do right);
but after some delay, which only in-
creased his longing, because he al-
lowed himself to dwell on it con-
stantly instead of trying to put it
out of his mind at once, he began
to fancy he could not be denied the
indulgence. Nobody would see or
20 THE NEW CHAIR.
know it. He forgot the all-seeing
Eye that never slumbers in the dark
night any more than in the bright
daylight. He forgot the command,
though he had learned it thoroughly,
to repeat at the very last Sabbath-
school concert, "Children, obey your
parents in the Lord, for this is right!"
Robert slipped out of bed and went
cautiously to the drawer where he had
put his oranges. Opening it carefully,
he seized one, with the intention of
returning with it to the bed. But, as
he groped his way back, it fell out of
his hand and rolled away from him
upon the carpet. Fearful that his pa-
rents might be awakened, he hurried
to find it, feeling about him in the
dark. At length his naked feet
touched the orange; he stooped sud-
denly to pick it up.
The next instant a terrible scream
aroused not only Robert's parents
THE NEW CHAIR. 21
from their sleep, but every other in-
mate of the house. Mr. and Mrs.
Addison sprang from their bed in a
"What is the matter, my child?"
cried the father, rushing into Robert's
room. "Where are you, and what
has happened?" he continued, feeling
on the bed.
Oh, papa, my eye my eye my eye !"
screamed Robert, from the floor, where
he had fallen.
The voice grew weaker with each
repetition, and died away with the
When a light was brought he had
swooned away, and his agonized pa-
rents perceived at a glance what had
happened, as well as how it had hap-
pened. It was no wonder that the
mother sank at once insensible upon
In bending to pick up his orange in
22 THE NEW CHAIR.
the darkness, he had struck upon one
of those "dangerously" sharp points
of his little chair and driven it deep
into his right eye. It was this that
caused his terrific shriek; and now
the dreadful effect of the blow was
but too apparent, for the eyeball,
mingled with blood, was now stream-
ing over his face and night-clothes!
It was truly a shocking sight; and
as the various members of the family
and servants came in to see what was
the matter, more than one was obliged
to retreat to avoid fainting.
The doctor was soon summoned,
but poor Robert's eye was hopelessly
lost, and it required great skill to save
the other. A long, long time he was
confined in a dark room, weak and
helpless, his life in imminent danger
from the relapse into which he im-
mediately sank and the added suffer-
ings from his eyes.
THE NEW CHAIR. 23
Alas! how many bitter but unavail-
ing regrets tortured the hearts of his
parents! for they could not but recog-
nize the fact that all this was but the
consequence of their failure to assert
and maintain the authority with which
God has clothed the parental relation;
of their weakly endeavoring to avoid
or evade the duties which he required
them to perform, in his fear and to his
glory, as well as to their own unspeak-
able benefit and rich reward. What
a mistaken course had they pursued,
instead! They saw it plainly; and
now, with help from above, sought in
penitence and prayer, they resolved at
once to change it and repair, if possi-
ble, some of their grievous errors in
the training of their child. This fear-
ful lesson should not be lost upon him
or them; and it was not, as future
years abundantly demonstrated.
As for Robert, he was a different
24 THE NEW CHAIR.
boy from this time. He made no
complaint when, months after the ac-
cident, he was first placed in his little
chair, and felt-for he could not see-
the smooth silver balls with which
Mr. Bauermann (whose grief over
the subject knew no bounds) had re-
placed the admired points. A mean-
ing smile was on his lips instead while
he kissed his father, whose kind arms
supported him tenderly.
"Oh, papa," he said, softly, "if I
had only been a good boy and done
as you wished I should have escaped
all this dreadful sickness, and had my
two eyes instead of one!"
Mr. Addison could not speak, but a
tear dropped upon the poor boy's hand,
which he held in his own.
"But, papa," continued Robert, "I
will never do so any more. If God
lets me live to get well I will try to
be obedient, and never give you or
"NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE." 25
mamma any trouble that I can possi-
My dear boy," said Mr. Addison,
" we have both been wrong, but we
will henceforth endeavor to do our
duty to each other better. I will try
to be a wiser father, and you, I trust,
a more obedient and conscientious
child. Asking daily help of our
Father in heaven, I have no doubt we
"NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE."
THE sun shone softly down upon
the Hillside cemetery, where Mr.
Bell and his children were standing
amid the fresh clover, strewing a new-
made grave with roses and violets
from their garden. It was only a
little mound, and the weeping mother
26 "NIOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE."
sat at its head mourning for her
"Papa," said Arthur, wheree is
heaven, that my little brother has
gone to? It is not up in the sky,
for I can't see anything there." The
little boy looked sorrowfully up into
the far-off blue, and then turned to
his father for a reply.
Heaven is not in sight, Arthur,"
answered his father. "We cannot
tell where it is. It might be very
near without our being able to see it
with our eyes."
"But, papa," said Helen, "if
heaven is near, isn't it strange that
Willie cannot just come back one
minute to tell us he is happy ?"
"Yes, dear," said Mr. Bell, "it is
all strange to us. We can only trust
our Father in heaven about it, and
wait till we go to him. If we love
him here we shall be where he is here-
"- ,-J, ,, ,
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NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE." 29
after, and with dear Willie too, I
They lingered a while beside the
precious grave, and then turned home-
ward through the pleasant cemetery
grounds. As they passed along they
stopped in a rustic bower fringed with
flowering shrubs. Mr. Bell said to his
wife, "Anna, let us sit down while I
tell the children that parable of Mrs.
Gatty's which sister Alice read to us:
'Not lost, but gone before.' "
"Oh yes," said their mother, "I
should like to have you relate to us
that beautiful parable."
Mr. Bell placed his wife upon a
rustic seat and sat down by her side,
with Arthur and Helen.
This parable," said he, "tries to
teach us how near heaven may be to
earth, and how the holy people may
remember us and know where we are,
and yet not be able to return or speak
30 NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE."
to us. I will tell you all I can re-
member of it.
Once there was a beautiful pond
in the centre of a wood. Trees and
flowers were growing about it, birds
sang and insects hummed about it.
Under the water, too, there was a
little world of beings. Fishes and
little creatures that live in water filled
it full of busy life. Among them was
the grub of a dragon-fly, with a large
family of brothers and sisters."
"What is a dragon-fly?" interrupt-
It's just a darning-needle," said
"Yes, you children call it a darn-
ing-needle," said their father; that
beautiful swift creature, with a long
glittering blue-and-green body and
brilliant gauzy wings. Now, before
he became a dragon-fly, darting
through the air and flashing back
"NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE." 31
the sunshine, he was a dark scaly
grub, and lived down in the forest
pond. He and his family were born
there and knew no other world. They
spent their time in roving in and out
among the plants at the bottom of
the water in search of food.
"But one day this grub began to
talk among his mates about the frog.
'Every little while,' said he, the frog
goes to the side of the water and dis-
appears. What becomes of him when
he leaves this world? What can there
You idle fellow,' replied another
grub, attend to the world you are in
and leave the beyond" to those that
are there!' So said all his relations,
and the curious grub tried to forget
his questioning. But he could not
do it; so one day, when he heard a
heavy splash in the water and saw a
great yellow frog swim to the bottom,
32 "NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE."
he screwed up his courage to ask the
"' Honored frog,' said he, approach-
ing that dignified personage as meek-
ly as possible, 'permit me to inquire
what there is beyond the world ?'
What world do you mean ?' said
the frog, rolling his goggle eyes.
This world, of course-our world,'
answered the grub.
"' This pond, you mean,' remarked
the frog, with a sneer.
"'I mean the place we live in; I
call it the world,' cried the grub, with
"'Do you, indeed!' rejoined the
frog. Then what is the place you
don't live in-the "beyond" the world,
"'This is just what I want you
to tell me,' replied the grub briskly.
"' Well, then,' said froggy, 'it is
"NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE." 33
"' Can one swim about there?' asked
"' Dry land is not water, little
fellow,' chuckled the frog; that is just
what it is not.'
But tell me what it is,' persisted
"' Well, then, you troublesome
creature,' cried the frog, 'dry land
is something like the bottom of this
pond, only it is not wet, because there
is no water.'
Really,' said the grub; what is
there, then ?'
"'They call it air,' replied the
frog. It is the nearest approach to
"Finding that he could not make
the grub understand, the good-natured
frog offered to take him on his back
up to the dry land, where the grub
might see for himself. The grub was
delighted. He dropped himself down
34 "NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE."
upon the frog's back and clung closely
to him while he swam up to the rushes
at the water's edge. But the moment
he emerged into the air the grub fell
reeling back into the water, panting
and struggling for life. Horrible!'
cried he, as soon as he had rallied a
little; there is nothing but death
beyond this world. The frog de-
ceived me. I cannot go there, at any
"Then the grub told his story to
his friends, and they talked a great
deal about the mystery, but could ar-
rive at no explanation.
"That evening the yellow frog ap-
peared again at the bottom of the
"'You here!' cried the startled
grub. 'You never left this world at
all, I suppose.'
"'Clumsy creature,' replied the
frog, 'why did you not cling to my
"4NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE." 35
back? When I landed on the grass
you were gone.'
The grub related his death-like
struggle, and added, Since there is
nothing but death beyond this world,
all your stories about going there must
"'I forgive your offensive remarks,'
said the frog, gravely, because I have
learned to-day the reason of your tire-
some curiosity. As I was hopping
about in the grass on the edge of the
pond I saw one of your race slowly
climbing up the stalk of a reed. Sud-
denly there appeared a rent in his
scaly coat, and after many struggles
there came out of it one of those ra-
diant dragon-flies that float in the air.
He lifted his wings out of the carcass
he was leaving, and when they had
dried in the sunshine he flew glitter-
ing away. I conclude that you grubs
will do the same thing by and by.'
36 i"NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE."
"The grub listened with astonish-
ment and distrust, and swam off to
tell his friends. They decided that it
was impossible, nonsense, and the
grub said he would think no more
about it. He hurried restlessly about
in the water, hunting for prey and
trying to forget. But not long after
he began to be sick, and a feeling he
could not resist impelled him to go
upward. He called to his relations
"'I must leave you, I know not
why. If the frog's story of another
world is true, I solemnly promise to
return and tell you.'
"His friends accompanied him to
the water's edge, where he vanished
from their sight, for their eyes were
fitted to see only in water. All day
they watched and waited for his re-
turn, but he came no more.
"One of his brothers soon felt the
"NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE." 37
same irresistible impulse upward, and
he also promised the sorrowing family
that if he should indeed be changed
into that glorious creature of which
they had heard, he would return and
tell them. 'But,' said one, 'perhaps
you might not be able to come back.'
'A creature so exalted could certainly
do anything,' replied the departing
grub. But he also came not again.
'He has forgotten us,' said one; he
is dead,' said another; 'there is no
"And now a third brother felt the
same inward necessity driving him
upward. He bade his friends fare-
well, saying, 'I dare not promise to
return. If possible I will; but do
not fear in me an altered or a forget-
ful heart. If that world exists, we
may not understand its nature.'
"His companions lingered near the
spot where he disappeared, but there
38 "NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE."
was neither sight nor sound of his re-
turn. Only the dreary sense of be-
reavement reminded them that he had
once lived. Some feared the future,
some disbelieved, some hoped and
looked forward still. Ah, if the poor
things could only have seen into the
pure air above their watery world,
they would have beheld their departed
friends often returning to its borders.
But into the world of waters they
could never more enter. The least
touch upon its surface, as the dragon-
fly skimmed over it with the purpose
of descending to his friends, brought
on a deadly shock, such as he had felt
when, as a water-grub, he had tried
to come upward into the air. His
new wings instantly bore him back.
"And thus divided, yet near-
parted, yet united by love-he often
hovered about the barrier that sepa-
rated him from his early companions,
NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE." 39
watching till they too should come
forth into the better life. Sweet it
was to each new-comer to find him-
self not alone in his joyous existence,
but welcomed into it by those who
had gone before. Sweet also to know
that even in their ignorant life below
gleams from the wings of the lost
ones they had lamented were shining
down into their dark abode. Oh, if
they had known, they would neither
have feared nor sorrowed so much."
Mr. Bell sat in silence a few mo-
ments after finishing this parable, and
Do you see how the other world
may be out of our sight and hearing,
though very real and near?"
"Yes, father, I do," replied Helen.
It makes it seem as if Willie might
be close beside us."
TT was a bright winter's evening-so
balmy as hardly to seem like
Christmas. Old Joseph Harper stood
leaning against his door, talking to
his minister, both too much interested
in their conversation to notice the
softness of the air or the beauty of
the sunset. Self-denial, indeed!"
said old Joseph, taking his pipe from
his mouth; "I don't believe in it
as a part of religion; it is enacted
often enough, but there's always some
selfishness behind it."
"Your words prove this much, my
friend," said the minister, looking at
him regretfully, that you have never
practiced it yourself;" and with a kind
good-bye to Edward Harper, the old
man's grandson, who stood near his
grandfather in the doorway, he took
"Why, grandfather," said Edward,
looking up earnestly, we Sunday-
school children practice some self-
denial almost every week."
"Yes," said his grandfather; "you
buy as much candy as you want with
your money, and what's left you carry
to your teacher; but did you, or any
other chap like you, ever deny your-
self to give the money ?"
Edward was silent; he felt that his
grandfather was much too bitter and
severe; yet when he thought over it,
he was hardly satisfied that their
giving was always pure. A moment
after they both left the door and drew
up to the blazing fire, where, between
Edward's thoughtfulness and Mr.
Harper's moodiness, there was silence
until Edward said, Grandfather,
didn't you tell the man that brought
the wood to come in the morning and
cut it up ?"
"Yes," he replied.
"Will you give me the money you
promised him if I will cut it?" asked
"Yes; but I thought you said you
didn't have time ?" his grandfather re-
"Well, we boys were all going over
to the old field before school to have a
great bonfire; but as you say the
wood can't wait till evening, I will
give up the bonfire, and commence
on it before school."
To leave his bed next morning be-
fore sunrise would have been an effort
even with the glorious bonfire in
view; but to leave it that he might
spend the next three hours cutting
wood and storing it away, was an
effort so great that self-comfort might
have proved stronger than the prom-
ised half dollar, had not the longing
to carry a larger offering than usual
on the Sabbath of Christmas-week
been strong enough to overpower other
"Pretty cold morning, Edward,"
said Mr. Harper, as they sat down to
Yes, sir," he replied-" the coldest
of the season."
The boys didn't feel it around the
bonfire, I reckon," Mr. Harper con-
No, sir, nor I over my good exer-
cise," Edward said, smiling.
Mr. Harper looked at him in-
quiringly for a moment. Wood-cut-
ting, he knew, was a peculiar aversion
of Edward's, and he was a little curi-
ous to know what had moved him
to employ himself upon it, when he
really wished to be elsewhere.
It was Friday, and when school was
out the boys' shouts rang through the
playground in honor of the next
Just waiting for you, Edward,"
exclaimed three boys whom he found
standing near his door as he followed
some moments after them from school.
"Father," continued the largest of
the group, "says the fireworks have
come to the store, and if we come up
after school he will have them open,
and will sell us the kind we want
cheap; and what we three have got,
with your half you showed us this
morning, will buy us enough to send
up a splendid welcome to Christmas
holiday to-night on the common.
Now, come, Edward, nobody knows
the fireworks are here, and we will
astonish the boys so."
To go up to the store and see the
beautiful Christmas things, and then
to be one to enjoy the fun on the
common, was a most delightful antici-
pation; and though his face had light-
ed up a moment, he said nothing and
his brow clouded as he moved off, the
only silent one of the chattering group.
The boys looked about the gay store
for some time, and then gathered about
"I am very sorry, boys," said
Edward, hesitatingly, "but I can't
give my half dollar."
"You haven't spent it?" said the
"No," he replied.
Well, what is there that you
would rather spend it for than these?"
"I am not going to buy anything
with it;" and before they could see
the tears that filled his eyes he was
gone, running in haste against a gen-
tleman, who, standing near them in
the doorway, had heard their conversa-
"I am glad I left," said Edward as,
he ran on down the street. I
wouldn't have stood the temptation
That evening, after their rather
silent tea, Edward and his grand-
father took their seats near the fire,
and there being no more lessons for a
week, Edward took down his Bible to
find a verse for Sunday. As he open-
ed it his eye fell upon this verse,
"The Lord loveth a cheerful giver."
Unconsciously he read it aloud.
"Why didn't you show yourself
one this evening?" his grandfather
said, looking at him keenly.
"Because I kept my gift to show
myself one on Sunday," Edward re-
plied; and then said, How do you
know anything about it, grandfather ?"
I was standing near you and heard
the whole affair," he replied; and
was somewhat mortified at your ap-
parent want of liberality. What is
it you are hoarding that money for ?"
"I thought," Edward said, "after
what the minister said to us about
self-denial the other evening, that
very few of my contributions to the
Sunday-school had been fruits of
sacrifice; and though I had the ten
cents you gave me to carry, I thought
I would try and offer on Christmas
Sabbath a real self-denial.
"It was a double denial that I
hadn't looked for," he continued after
a short pause, in which the bursting
of a rocket and the shout of voices
reached his ear from the common.
" To cut up the wood was all I had ex-
pected, but"-his lips quivered slight-
ly-" the last was the hardest."
"I have found it!" Mr. Harper
said, as he looked earnestly at the boy's
thoughtful face; and if every feature
in this religion, which the minister
48 THE YOUNG WITNESS.
says we must become as little children
to have, be as beautiful as this, then I
should like to be a Christian."
Every child is a minister in its
little way; and even the giving of a
piece of Sunday-school money may
be made as beautiful a sermon as
that of the often read of "widow's
THE YOUNG WITNESS.
A LITTLE girl nine years of age
was offered as a witness against a
prisoner, who was on trial for a felony
committed in her father's house.
"Now, Emily," said the counsel for
the prisoner upon her being offered
as a witness, I desire to know if you
understand the nature of an oath?"
THE YOUNG WITNESS. 49
"I don't know what you mean,"
was the simple answer.
There, your honor," said the coun-
sel, addressing the court, is anything
necessary to demonstrate the validity
of my objection ? This witness should
be rejected. She does not comprehend
the nature of an oath."
"Let us see," said the judge.
"Come here, my daughter."
Assured by the kind tone and man-
ner of the judge, the child stepped to-
ward him, with a calm, clear eye, and
in a manner so artless and frank it
went straight to the heart.
"Did you ever take an oath ?" in-
quired the judge. The little girl step-
ped back with a look of horror, and
the red bloom mantled in a blush
all over her face and neck as she an-
swered, No, sir!"
She thought he intended to inquire
if she had ever blasphemed.
50 THE YOUNG WITNESS.
"I do not mean that," said the
judge, who saw her mistake; "I
mean, were you ever a witness be-
No, sir; I was never in court be-
fore," was the answer.
He handed her the Bible open.
Do you know that book, my
She looked at it, and answered,
" Yes, sir; it is the Bible."
Do you ever read it?" he asked.
"Yes, sir; every evening."
Can you tell me what the Bible
is?" inquired the judge.
It is the word of the great God,"
Well, place your hand upon this
Bible and listen to what I say;" and
he repeated, slowly and solemnly, the
oath usually administered to witnesses.
"Now," said the judge, "you have
sworn as a witness; and will you tell
THE YOUNG WITNESS. 51
me what will befall you if you do not
tell the truth ?"
I shall be shut up in prison," an-
swered the child.
"Anything else?" asked the judge.
"I shall never go to heaven," she
How do you know this?" asked
the judge again.
The child took the Bible, and turn-
ing rapidly to the chapter containing
the commandments, pointed to the in-
junction, Thou shalt not bear false
witness against thy neighbor."
I learned that before I could read."
"Has any one talked with you
about your being a witness in court
against this man ?" inquired the
"Yes, sir," she replied. "My
mother heard they wanted me to be
a witness, and last night she called
me to her room and asked me to tell
52 THE YOUNG WITNESS.
her the ten commandments; and then
we kneeled down together, and she
prayed that I might understand how
wicked it was to bear false witness
against my neighbor, and that God
would help me, a little child, to tell
the truth as it was before him. And
when I came up here with father, she
kissed me, and told me to remember
the ninth commandment, and that
God would hear every word that I
"Do you believe this ?" asked the
judge, while a tear glistened in his
eye and his lip quivered with emo-
"Yes, sir," said the child, with a
voice and manner tha-, showed her
conviction of its truth was perfect
God bless you, my child!" said
the judge; you have a good mother.
This witness is competent," he con-
tinued. Were I on trial for my life,
THE YOUNG WITNESS. 53
and innocent of the charge against me,
I would pray God for such witnesses
as this. Let her be examined."
She told her story with the sim-
plicity of a child, as she was; but
there was a directness about it which
carried conviction of its truth to every
heart. She was rigidly cross-ex-
amined. The counsel plied her with
infinite and ingenious questioning, but
she varied from her first statement
in nothing. The truth, as spoken
by that little child, was sublime.
Falsehood and perjury had preceded
her testimony. The prisoner had en-
trenched himself in lies till he deemed
himself impregnable. Witnesses had
falsified facts in his favor and villainy
had manufactured for him a sham de-
fence, but before her testimony false-
hood was scattered like chaff. The
little child, for whom a mother had
prayed for strength to be given her to
54 "YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR."
speak the truth as it was before God,
broke the cunning devices of matured
villainy to pieces like a potter's vessel.
The strength that her mother prayed
for was given her, and the sublime
and terrible simplicity-terrible, I
mean, to the prisoner and his asso-
ciates-with which she spoke, was like
a revelation from God himself.
"YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR."
YEARS ago, when I was a boy, it
was customary, and is now, to
some extent, among school districts
in the country, to have spelling-
schools during the winter term.
These gatherings were always antici-
pated with great interest by the
scholars, as at these times it was to
"YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR." 55
be decided who was the best speller.
Occasionally one school would visit
another for a test of scholarship in
this regard. Ah, how the little
hearts would throb and big ones
thump, in their anxiety to beat the
Once on a time a neighboring school
sent word to ours that on a certain
day, in the afternoon, they would meet
in our school-house for one of these
contests. As the time was short,
most of our studies were suspended,
and at school and at home all heads
were studying to master the mono-
syllables, polysyllables, abbreviations,
etc., which the spelling-book con-
At length the day arrived, and as
our visitors were considered rather
our superiors, our fears and anxieties
were proportionately great. The
scholars were arranged in a stand-
56 YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR."
ing position on opposite sides of the
house, and the words pronounced to
each side alternately, and the scholar
that missed" was to sit down. His
game was up. It did not take long
to thin the ranks on both sides; in a
short time our school had but eight
on the floor and theirs but six. After
a few more rounds the contest turned
in their favor, as they had four stand-
ing to our two. For a long time it
seemed as though these six had the
book by heart." At length the num-
ber was reduced to one on each side.
Our visitors were represented by an
accomplished young lady whose pa-
rents had just arrived from town, and
ours by myself, a ragged little boy of
ten summers, who had sat up night
after night while my mother, with no
other light than that produced by
pine knots, pronounced my lesson to
me. The interest of the spectators
"YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR." 57
was excited to the highest pitch as
word after word was spelled by each.
At length the young lady failed, and
I stood alone. Her teacher said she
could not have understood the word.
She declared she did-that the honor
was mine and I richly deserved it.
That was a proud moment for me.
I had spelled down both schools and
was declared victor. My cheeks burn-
ed, my brain was dizzy with excite-
Soon as school was dismissed my
competitress came and sat down by
my side and congratulated me on my
success, inquired my name and age,
and flatteringly predicted my future
success in life.
Unaccustomed to such attention, I
doubtless acted as most little boys
would under such circumstances-in-
judiciously. At this juncture, Master
G--, the son of a rich man in our
58 YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR."
neighborhood, tauntingly said to me
in the presence of my fair friend and
a number of boys from the other
school, Oh, you needn't feel so big.
Your folks are poor and your father
is a drunkard!"
I was happy no more; I was a
drunkard's son, and how could I look
my new friends in the face? My
heart seemed to rise up in my throat,
and almost suffocated me. The hot
tears scalded my eyes, but I kept
them back; as soon as possible I
slipped quietly away from my com-
panions, procured my dinner-basket
and unobserved left the scene of my
triumph and disgrace with a heavy
heart for my home.
But what a home! My folks were
poor and my father was a drunkard."
But why should I be reproached for
that? I could not prevent my father's
drinking, and, assisted and encouraged
"YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR." 59
by mother, I had done all I could to
keep my place in my class at school
and to assist her in her worse than
Boy as I was, I inwardly resolved
never to taste liquor, and that I would
show Master G-- if I was a drunk-
ard's son I would yet stand as high
as he did. But my resolves could
not allay the gnawing grief and vexa-
tion produced by his taunting words
and haughty manner. In this frame
of mind I reached my home, my heart
aching, my eyes red and swollen.
My mother saw I was in trouble,
and inquired the cause. I buried my
face in her lap and burst into tears.
Mother, seeing my grief, waited till
I was more composed, when I told
her what had happened, and added,
passionately, I wish father wouldn't
be a drunkard, so we could be re-
spected as other folks."
60 "YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR."
At first, mother seemed almost over-
whelmed, but quickly rallying, said,
"My son, I feel sorry for you, and
regret that your feelings have been so
injured. G- has censured and
taunted you about things you cannot
help. But never mind, my son. Be
always honest; never taste a drop of
intoxicating liquor; study and improve
your mind. Depend upon your own
energies, trusting in God, and if your
life is spared make a useful and re-
spected man. I wish your father
when sober could have witnessed this
scene and realized the sorrow his
course brings on us all. But keep
a brave heart, my son. Remember
you are only responsible for your
own faults, and don't grieve for the
thoughtless and unkind reproaches
that may be cast on you on your
This lesson of my blessed mother I
YOUR FOLKS ARE POOR." 61
trust was not lost on me. Years have
gone since that day, and I have passed
many trying scenes, but none ever
made so strong an impression on my
feelings as that heartless remark of
G- It was so unjust, so uncalled
for. Now, my little friends, always
remember to treat your mates with
kindness. Never indulge in taunting
remarks to any one, and remember
that the son of a poor man, and even
of a drunkard, may have feelings as
sensitive as your own.
But there is another part of this
story. The other day a gentleman
called and asked if I did not recognize
him. I did not.
"Do you remember of being at a
spelling-school at a certain time, and
a rude, thoughtless boy twitted you of
poverty and of being a drunkard's
"I do, most distinctly," said I.
62 SOOTY SAM.
Well," continued the man, I am
that boy. There has not a month of
my life passed since then but I have
thought of that remark with regret
and shame. And as I am leaving for
another country, perhaps to end my
days, I could not go without asking
your forgiveness for that act."
Boys, I gave him my hand as a
pledge of forgiveness. Did I do
right? You all say yes. Well,
then, let me say again, my little
friends, never twit another for what
he cannot help.
SHE was a kind-looking, gentle-man-
nered lady, and was not at all aw-
ful to look upon, although she was
. ,,II5 1 "' '., l:. ~ ,
!I, ,, ',',
; ".';_'- , .
SOOTY SAM. 65
tall, had a pale face and was dressed
entirely in black. If you had glanced
up at that face, it would have said, as
plainly as a face can speak: "Little
boy, little girl, I am your friend; I
love all little children;" and there
was a sadness upon it at times which
might have told you: "I had one child
once, who lived to be about your own
age, and then-died."
Many years ago the sweeps did not
use long brushes, but employed little
boys of five or six years of age to
crawl up the chimney with a little
hand-brush in one hand and a shovel
in the other, and thus sweep and
scrape away the soot from top to
But many poor boys were obliged
to do it without being asked whether
they liked it or not. They were chiefly
little orphans, who were taken from
the work-house and apprenticed by
66 SOOTY SAM.
"the parish" to any sweep who wanted
such a little human "machine." Poor
Sam, our own tiny hero, was one of
these; and although, in spite of his
dismal work and his tyrannical master,
he could be merry at times, he could
have told you a story of tumbles and
starvings and beatings that would have
made you shudder.
Now Sam (he knew no other name,
for he was never called by any other)
had been nearly a twelvemonth at
his trade when one morning a message
came to his master that the dining-
room chimney in Mrs. Downing's
house wanted sweeping. Sam was
immediately called to arms-i. e., his
brush and shovel-and he followed
his master to the lady's house.
Sam's master was soon plentifully
entertained in the kitchen, while the
poor boy was left to himself to do the
work. However, he had become used
SOOTY SAM. 67
to it; moreover, there was some pros-
pect of a crust of bread and cheese at
the end of the business, so he set to
work cheerfully. Burying his head
and shoulders in a long sooty cap, he
was soon clambering up the chimney,
scraping with his shovel and sweeping
with his brush at a, great rate, and
singing to himself in a weak, muffled
voice the song of
"Cheer up, Sam !
Don't let your spirits go down,"
and was at the top of the chimney
before he knew it. He was down
again, too, before his master knew it;
and having given himself a shake
which raised a black cloud about him,
just as a dog after a plunge in the
water shakes off the white spray, he
had nothing for it but to wait until
the terror of his life should reappear.
An empty room is not a very enter-
68 SOOTY SAM.
training place to wait in; even to a
sweep boy; but the emptiness of this
room was redeemed by the one picture
which still remained on the walls,
although it was very closely covered
up with green baize. Now Sam was
very fond of pictures, and only a few
days before had given a penny (in
fact, all he had in the world) for a
gaudy print of some noted highway-
man, who had the recommendation of
being dressed in most of the colors of
Here, then, was a mystery before
him in the shape of a veiled picture.
If he could only manage to take a
peep! Visions of brilliant gentlemen
and gorgeous ladies rose before him,
and he became impatient to view the
reality. A kitchen chair had, for-
tunately, he thought, been left in the
room; so jumping on this, he began
tugging away at one corner of the
SOOTY SAM. 69
picture with more energy than care.
He succeeded in drawing away one
corner of the covering, and was both
astonished and disappointed to find
nothing but a dark brown surface (it
was an oil painting) in which, being
so close to it, he of course could dis-
tinguish nothing at all. He then
thought he would look at the other
corner, when he heard a footstep out-
side-a footstep that he knew and
dreaded; and a hand upon the door.
Hastily drawing down the cover, he
allowed his sooty hand to rub upon
the canvas and the frame, thus mak-
ing a very ugly smear. The door
opened and in came his master, ac-
companied by Betty the housemaid,
who screamed at the mischief that
had been done, and ran up stairs to
tell her mistress; while the master
sweep violently shook his little slave,
scolded him with great earnestness
70 SOOTY SAM.
and promised him a sound flogging as
soon as they got home.
Breathless with the shaking, still
more apprehensive of the prospect
held out to him, very forlorn was
the little object that presented itself
to Mrs. Downing when she hastily
entered upon this little scene.
"Very sorry, mum, I can assure
you," said the master sweep, with a
covert shake of his fist at the tremb-
"Don't cry, my child," said the
lady, in a tone so kind and gentle
that it had the effect of making him
cry more heartily than before.
"You ought to have been here,"
continued Mrs. Downing, turning to
the man, "and you, too, Betty, as I
wished you. Of course the poor child
knew no better, and should have been
looked after. Now, will you both go
down stairs while I talk to him?"
SOOTY SAM. 71
As soon as they were gone, poor
Sam throwing himself at her feet sob-
Please, 'm-I'll make it good-I
will-if you'll tell me-how much !"
Mrs. Downing could not help smil-
ing at the thought of the little boy
"making it good," but she answered,
"What is your name, little boy ?"
"Sam, please, 'm !"
"Do you ever get any money, Sam?
Does your master pay you wages?"
No, 'm ; guv'nor don't pay me no
wages, but I gets a little otherways
now 'n then."
Why, 'm, I holds a 'oss and gets
a penny; and once a gen'lman guy
me a tanner, 'm--leastways a six-
Do you really wish to make good
the mischief you have done, Sam ?"
"Yes, 'm; sure and sartain I do !"
72 SOOTY SAM.
Suppose, then, that it comes to a
shilling; do you think you can manage
The round sooty face grew very
long as the shilling was named, and
gradually hung toward the ground.
"Well, mum, I think I could, but
it would be a very long, long time
fust. Maybe a month. Maybe
"Then, Sam, my boy, I will allow
you two months to get it in. Will
that be long enough?"
"Oh yes, mum, thank you, 'm!
I'll try and get plenty o' little jobs to
do. I be very fond o' pictures, 'm.
Very sorry, mum."
"Never mind, Sam. I dare say
you will get the money in due time.
Now, would you like some bread and
Sam thought he would; and having
been supplied with a liberal allowance
SOOTY SAM. 73
and feasted to his heart's content, he
went away with his lord and master.
How to get the shilling-that was
the great idea that possessed his mind.
The bad boys in the town used to call
him Sooty Sam and persecute him
with their taunts, but all this sank
into nothing now. His head and
heart were so full of the shilling that
there was no room in them for any-
"Hold your 'oss, sir?" he would
say to any gentleman dismounting,
and the gentleman would look at the
sooty hand that was held to take the
rein and hesitate; but the pleading
face would close the business, and
Sam would get his copper.
"Help to carry your basket, mum?"
he once said to a woman who was
staggering under a weight of clean
linen. She sadly needed assistance,
but Sam was sooty and her burden
74 SOOTY SAM.
was like the snow; and she shook her
head and staggered on. Sam was not,
however, to be outdone; he ran to
a dyke of running water that was
close by, washed his hands and face,
and again presented himself, and
after many other precautions, was
In this way the two months slipped
by very quickly, and Sam put the last
penny to his shilling. In great glee
he ran to the village shop to get the
coppers changed into silver, and, with-
out pausing to look at the customers
who were in the shop, he emptied his
pence upon the counter.
Instantly a heavy hand was laid
upon his shoulder, and a gruff voice
"Hallo! you crafty young varmint,
where did you come by all them cop-
"If you please, master," said the
SOOTY SAM. 75
terrified boy, "it be all my own get-
Ho, Idessay Come, none o' that,
I tell ye. Just give them coppers to
Sam trembling obeyed, and his
master, dropping the coins loosely in
his jacket pocket, walked out of the
Meanwhile, the lady was looking
every day now for the appearance of
Sam with the promised shilling, for
she had judged the boy to be sincere
in his determination to get the money.
But day after day came, and no Sam.
In this way the third month went by,
and the fourth month was already half
spent; and Mrs. Downing began to
think that she had been mistaken in
the child. However, she resolved to
make sure that nothing else was the
matter; so, one morning, when she
had some leisure time, she took a
76 SOOTY SAM.
drive down the village to where the
Mrs. Downing entered the house,
which was as desolate and dirty as a
hovel, and found poor Sam crouching
in a dark corner with a bandage round
his left arm.
"What is the matter, my poor
child?" asked Mrs. Downing, with
that kind, gentle voice of hers.
"Oh, mum, it ain't much-it ain't;"
then in a lower voice, he added, tri-
umphantly, I've got it, mum !"
What-the shilling ?"
"Yes, 'm, here it is in coppers. I
had to hide it, 'cos if master seed it
he wouldn't let me have it. I got it
once afore, by the proper time, too,
but master he see it and took it
"Poor Sam! Why did you not
come to tell me? But what is the
matter with your arm ?"
SOOTY SAM. 77
"The very last 'oss, 'm," explained
Sam, "as I had to take care on, he
wor a vicious animal, and he made a
snap at my arm. He's bit it to the
bone, the doctor says."
The lady shuddered: "And what
did your master say ?"
"Why, 'm, he wor very cross, he
wor, cos he had to get another climber
'stead o' me for a bit, but he says he'll
send him away now, as I be strong
enough. But I don't feel strong yet,
and my head's very hot and heavy."
And as he leaned forward on his
hands, what a little old man of a child
he seemed, to be sure! But how joy-
fully he lifted it up when the lady
said, "I will ask your master if I may
take you home with me."
The master grumbled a little at the
proposal, but Mrs. Downing said she
would make it all right, and gave him
some money, including in it the very
78 SOOTY SAM.
shilling that the faithful Sam had col-
Mrs. Downing's servant took up
Sooty Sam in his arms and lifted him
into the carriage, and in a few minutes
they arrived at the house. In a few
minutes more Sam was carefully
washed and dressed, and he turned
out to be a white-skinned, fair-haired
little boy, but very thin and worn.
Mrs. Downing put him in the little
bed that her own child had once laid
in, and under all the circumstances,
should you wonder that a few tears
fell from her face upon the coverlet as
she bent over the grateful, wondering
In a very little time, Sam grew better,
and his arm was cured. His life was
now so different from what it had been,
that he used sometimes to feel afraid
that he might wake up in his dark
corner in the hovel, to find it was only
SOOTY SAM. 79
a dream. By and by he was sent to
school, and as he was still very fond
of pictures, Mrs. Downing herself
taught him to draw. In course of
time he became so clever with his
pencil that his benefactress engaged
a famous artist to improve him, and
Sam is now an artist by profession.
He has lost his old, or rather young,
taste for scarlet breeches, blue coats
and yellow hats, and understands now
how to look at that brown surface that
he was once so disappointed in; but
never yet has he lost that bright
quality which stood him in such good
service, and which you may be sure
Mrs. Downing pointed out to her little
Sunday-scholars whenever she had to
teach them that great lesson of "Faith-
fulness in little things."
80 HENRIETTA'S HAT.
ISS MARSH'S Sunday-school
scholars were all in their places,
one bright May morning, in good
time. There were four little girls,
between eight and twelve years old,
and on this morning their faces were
particularly bright and their eyes
sparkled with pleasure, for each had
on, for the first time, fresh pretty
spring garments and hats that looked
as if they had been taken out of the
milliner's bandbox only the night be-
fore, and were making their first ap-
pearance at church.
Perhaps each one, as she regarded
the others, imagined her own a little
prettier or finer; and though the
hymn was sung and the Lord's
Prayer repeated, the new hats were
HENRIETTA'S HAT. 81
not entirely forgotten; for Mary whis-
pered to Lucy, who was sitting next
to her, between the verses of the
hymn: "I like blue flowers better
than ribbon, don't you?"
The four pairs of eyes, after having
taken a good view of the members of
their own class, went roving all around
the school-room, spying out every new
hat and dress, and, perhaps, compar-
ing them with their own. We say,
perhaps; we cannot tell, for there is
only One who sees and knows and
can understand all that goes on in the
hearts of children, as well as in the
hearts of grown-up persons.
The lesson in the catechism had
commenced when the school-room
door opened, and a little shy, poorly-
dressed child came in and walked
timidly toward Miss Marsh's seat,
and stood at the end of the bench,
looking very much abashed and pa-
82 HENRIETTA'S HAT.
tiently waiting for the girls to make
room for her to sit down.
Her face and hands were clean,
though she wore no gloves; and her
clothes, though old-fashioned and
darned, and even patched in some
places, were neat and whole. She
had on a straw hat, intended for sum-
mer; but the straw was very yellow,
as if it had been worn a good deal,
and its narrow purple ribbon around
the crown the girls could see at one
glance was faded and had seen the
sunshine a great many times.
Mary poked Lucy slyly; and though
they were all staring at the strange
little girl, not one gave her a seat or
offered to make room for her until
their teacher said, reproachfully,
"Girls, give Henrietta a seat."
Then they all moved and crowded
together closely for Henrietta, that
none of them should touch her clothes,
HENRIETTA'S HAT. 83
giving the poor child the seat nearest
the wall and farthest from them.
Mary, who sat next to her, took good
care to draw her new dress carefully
under her, whispering, as she did so,
something to her friend Lucy that
made them both laugh, until, catching
their teacher's reproving glance, they
colored and were silent.
The finest-dressed children are not
always the best scholars; for when
the chapter was read, Miss Marsh told
Henrietta to commence, and she read
her two verses plainly and distinctly,
pronouncing all the words correctly;
and Mary, whose turn came next,
stammered over words of two sylla-
bles, and could not manage to pro-
nounce the word Jerusalem without
some assistance from Miss Marsh.
The girls did not smile at that, how-
ever, for they would hardly have
thought of calling Mary, who was
84 HENRIETTA'S HAT.
such a nice-looking, well-dressed girl,
stupid or dull or blamed her for never
having improved all the opportunities
and advantages that had been given
When the time came for her to read
again, she read: "' There was a cer-
tain rich man, which was clothed in
purple and fine linen, and fared sump-
tuously every day.'"
"What does this mean, Mary?"
asked Miss Marsh.
"Ma'am ?" answered Mary, gazing
at her vacantly and looking idly about
the room, while her teacher explained
the story of Lazarus and the rich man,
who had all the good things of life in
this world, but who must have had a
hard, ungrateful, uncharitable heart,
or he would not have suffered a poor
diseased man to take only crumbs that
fell from his bounteous table, while he
was enjoying every good gift that
HENRIETTA'S HAT. 85
riches could procure him; or, if he
was not uncharitable, he was careless
and thoughtless and had no compas-
sion for the poor.
There was no time for longer ex-
planation, and in the afternoon, when
all of the class but Henrietta were
present again, Miss Marsh asked the
"What does the lesson we read this
morning teach us?"
"That riches cannot carry us to
heaven!" promptly answered one of
"Certainly; let us try and remem-
ber it. And now I will read you a
few verses. I wish you all to listen
"'My brethren have not the faith
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord
of glory, with respect to persons.
"'For if there come unto your as-
sembly a man with a gold ring, in
86 HENRIETTA'S HAT.
goodly apparel, and there come in also
a poor man in vile raiment; and ye
have respect to him that weareth the
gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit
thou here in a good place; and say to
the poor, Stand thou there, or sit
under my footstool, are ye not then
partial in yourselves, and are become
judges of evil thoughts?'
What does this teach us?" asked
There was no answer at first; the
girls looked at each other, and at last
God is no respecter of persons."
"The same chapter tells us that if
we have respect for the rich and de-
spise the poor, we are guilty of sin.
Have we been guilty of this sin to-
The girls were silent, and Miss
"Last week I went to see a poor
HENRIETTA'S HAT. 87
old woman who lives alone, with no
other person but her little grand-
daughter. She has not always been
so poor, but it has pleased our
heavenly Father to take away from
her many of the blessings of life, and
now, when she is poor and old, she
has barely enough to eat. The father
of her granddaughter is a wretched
drunkard, who cares nothing for his
mother or his child. Her mother is
dead, and as long as she can remem-
ber she has received nothing from her
parent but unkindness, cruelty and
"I went to see her, to beg her to
come to Sunday-school. She has not
been here for a long time. Her grand-
"'She cannot come, for the girls
will laugh at her old clothes, and I can
get her no better.' "
"'Send her next Sunday,' I said,
88 HENRIETTA'S HAT.
'and I do not believe there is a
scholar in our Sunday-school that will
laugh at her old clothes.'
"The old grandmother's eyes filled
with tears when I urged her to let her
come, and, fearing she might not be
able to come to-day, I sent her a hat
that had been worn before, but was
perfectly good. I do not think any
of my scholars were ever better pleased
with a pretty new hat than this poor
child was when she received the old
one, that seemed like new in her eyes,
though it had been used a whole sum-
mer and its ribbons were a little faded.
The grandmother was as well pleased,
and both of them hoped it would be a
fine day, and then there would be
nothing to prevent her from being
here. She came in timidly, and
shrank toward her place, but con-
tented and satisfied, I have no doubt,
with the clothes she wore, the best she
HENRIETTA'S HAT. 89
possesses. How was she received by
"I am afraid they had none of the
feeling that the angels had who car-
ried poor Lazarus in their bosoms to
heaven. There were no smiles, no
kind looks, no words of welcome, for
the poor girl; nothing but cold and,
perhaps, scornful looks met her; and
the little hat she had put on with so
much pleasure before she started for
Sunday-school was eyed rather con-
temptuously as it was compared with
its finer neighbors; and when she
took her seat, given unwillingly by
better-dressed girls, they drew away
their dresses, fearing they might
touch the patches and old-fashioned
but neat clothes of the poor child.
I am sure this made her unhappy
and uncomfortable, and she may have
gone home with tears and said: 'I
cannot go to school again to-day; my
90 KATE'S FORGIVENESS.
clothes are so poor the girls do not
want me to sit by them or be in their
The girls all hung their heads.
Lucy blushed, and even Mary forgot
for the moment her new hat and its
Let us try and remember that God
is no respecter of persons, and strive
to root out this sinful weakness from
our own vain hearts," said Miss
" TWILL never speak to Clara
"Oh, Nellie, that is a very hard
thing for you to say!"
"You could not be surprised though,
Kate, if you knew everything."
1 ,f ,5-
KATE'S FORGIVENESS. 93
"I should be grieved, if not sur-
prised, Nellie; and though I do not
so much as wish to know everything,
I am quite sure that you had better
think over your words again and re-
solve to forgive Clara, whatever she
may have done."
No, Kate, it is quite impossible,
and all the girls say the same. They
know what she has done, and they all
declare that they will never speak to
"But that is very unkind of them,
and quite too hard for Clara to bear.
What has she done?"
"Oh, several things. She has
been so rude, Kate, that you never
could guess the things she has said."
Whatever they are, she will soon
be sorry for them, and perhaps she
will apologize, and then, of course, all
the girls whom she has offended will
forgive her at once."
94 KATE'S FORGIVENESS.
I don't think they would even
then; but Clara Martin will never
apologize, I know; she is too ill-
tempered and proud for that. Don't
you take her part, will you, Kate?"
I don't know, Nellie dear; if you
all turn against her, poor child, she
will need some one to take her part,
and I do not yet know whether you
or she were the more wrong."
Then I will tell you all about it,
Kate, for I think you ought to know.
She has been in a dreadful temper all
day, but this is what begun our quar-
rel: I could not find my grammar
anywhere, and I could not remember
where I put it."
"Ah, little Nellie, you were the first
to be wrong after all, you see. If you
remembered the motto on the school-
room wall, 'A place for everything,
and everything in its place,' you would
not have lost your grammar."
KATE'S FORGIVENESS. 95
"Well, but don't begin to scold me,
Kate, for I did not begin the quarrel.
I asked Clara to lend me hers, for she
was not using it, and what do you
think she said ?"
I cannot tell."
"She said, 'No, I will not, for you
might be dishonest enough to keep it!'
There! As if anybody in our school
ever did such things !"
That was certainly very unkind in
Clara, but she must have been very
angry at the time or she would not
have said it."
"Well, all the girls said what a
shame it was, and that only made
Clara worse. She told me I was a
stupid little thing, and that she would
not like to learn her lessons no better
than I did mine. And she said some-
thing quite as bad to each of the
others; but the worst things of all,
the most aggravating and wicked
96 KATE'S FORGIVENESS.
and those which made us all the
crossest, were said about you."
"About me ?" said Kate, in sur-
Yes, dear Kate; I don't know how
she found it all out, but she says she
knows everything about you. She
says your father is poor enough to be
her father's servant; that you never
have so much as even a shilling a
week for pocket-money; that all your
dresses are quite poor and common;
and that you will soon have to leave
school because your friends cannot af-
ford to keep you here."
"Well, supposing it is all true,
Nellie, should I be any the worse for
being poor ?"
"No, Kate, you would still be the
dearest girl in all the world. But she
said something else about you: she
said we would not make so much fuss
with you if we knew that before you
KATE'S FORGIVENESS. 97
came to this school you were turned
away, expelled, from the last school."
That is not true," said Kate, look-
ing very white.
True! We know that not a word
of it is true. And must not that Clara
be a mean and a wicked girl? You
will not speak to her again now, will
you, Kate ?"
I think I shall, Nellie dear, but I
will think about it first."
And Kate walked away for a little
If you had known Kate Davis you
would not have been surprised thai
she was the greatest favorite in all the
school. She was quite a year older
than the other girls, and she was
taller too. She had soft brown eyes
and a face that was rather pale. She
was a serious girl, and her smiles were
so sweet and kind that they were valued
by all about her. She was a real friend,