Lt. Col. W. M. PRAT
U. 8. Army Res. F
r it is Day"
The Baldwin Library
1jTn B i
_ . o-.. -" '.-
"FOR LITTLE O1TES AT HOME.
, -A --.-ROP .--- \ .,
'I ~ '~ jij^^~ , i_- "n.miiiilli. |
THE WINTERGREEN GIRL
REv. J. D. STRONG,
AUTHOR OF CHILD LIFE IN MANY LANDS," ETC.
,. / \ \, J O.
% -CORN / L.-
38& 0. CLONIo/LL o
38& yO cJ^iIL
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by
D. LOTHROP & CO.,
n the OLfico of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Rockwell & Churchill, Printers and Stereotypers,
12M Washington Street, Boston,
HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS.
OTHER," said little
Hope, I'll sell winter-
S -s'' greens!" Hope lived
in a country place,
grew wild in the
_-__ .It was such a bright
idea, that Hope started out of her chair,
and stood up straight for the very purpose
of uttering it.
But her mother shook her head.
"Who'll buy them, Hope?"
6 HOPE AND HER WINTEB-GREENS.
Somebody," said Hope; I don't know
who yet. Somebody will, I'm sure."
And Hope ran at once to the cupboard
and brought out her only treasure, a
little basket of red willow.
"How many bunches will this hold?"
said she, and how large would you make
"I'd put a dozen berries in a bunch,"
said her mother. "How many bunches
do you suppose you could sell in a day,
my dear child?"
"Oh, I don't know," said Hope. If I
sold five bunches, at a cent apiece, that
would be five cents, mother. Mightn't I
ask a cent a bunch, if they were large
"If there are only a dozen berries in
each," said her mother, "I think just half
that would be enough."
HOPE AND BEE WINTER-GREENS. 7
"Two bunches for a cent," said Hope,
thoughtfully. "Well, after all, it does
not make much difference; there are win-
ter-greens enough, and if five people come
to buy, I'd just as willingly give them two
bunches for a cent. as one. And five cents
would buy a whole loaf of bread !"
In truth, bread was much wanted just
then, and five-cent pieces too. Hope's
mother always used to take in sewing, and
so make enough to get bread and even
butter for both of them; but now she had
a lame finger, and could not sew a stitch.
For three weeks she had sat there with
her hand bound up and laid on a pillow,
and all the five-cent pieces and tQn-cent
pieces that she had been able to lay by
were well-nigh spent. When little Hope
brought her the little tin box, where the
money used to be, there was but one piece
8 HOPE AND IHE WINTER-GREENS.
left. And her hand was no better: So,
when Hope looked up from her breakfast,
she saw that her mother was thinking with
a very grave face, and of course she began
to think too; and thus came out the
bright idea about the winter-greens.
"Five cents would be a help, wouldn't
it, mother?" said Hope; for her mother
had set to thinking again. Maybe some
days I'd get more."
What would you do the days when
you got less ?" said her mother.
"Why, then, I'd come home and expect
to get more next day," said Hope.
"And if I only got one five-cent piece,
mother, that would be something; it
wouldn't do any harm to get that."
But her mother looked so tired and
troubled, that Hope thought she had better
get the cents as fast as she could, and say
.- .. _. -. . .... --
HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS. 11
no more about it. Up she jumped, or
rather down, from her chair, put away the
cups and plates from the table, swept up
the hearth, and then away she ran into
the next room. When Hope came back,
she had a little white cape round her neck,
a little white sun-bonnet on her head, and
in her hand the little basket.
SNow I'm going, mother," she said,
" and I can't tell exactly when I'll be back,
because, you know, I don't know; but I'll
be just as careful of myself as I can be."
And, kissing her mother, little Hope
opened the door and went out.
Then she stopped and looked about
It was a beautiful morning in autumn,
and every leaf of the trees was changing
color, and turning yellow and red. And
the crickets were jumping and singing
12 HOPE AND HER WINTEB-GREENS.
with all their might, and whole flocks of
little wrens and big robins fluttered about
before Hope's eyes as she stood on the
She stood and thought; there was one
piece of forest in the distance before her,
and another at her right hand, and
another at her left. To which should she
go for the winter-greens? She knew there
were some in the one before her; she
had heard people say there were in the
others. Hope looked and thought, chose
the piece of forest at the right hand, took
a little run and jumped over the fence,
then walked quietly on. She was so sure
of finding and selling the winter-greens,
that she didn't even feel in a hurry.
If Hope had had two baskets, she would
doubtless have filled one with flowers; but
in the red willow basket there could go
HOPE AND HER WINTER-GRIEENS. 13
nothing but winter-greens. She looked,
though, as she passed along, at the bright-
colored wild-flowers, and even picked a
wreath of ivy and twisted it round her
She thought as she went along little,
bright child how happy it was that
such a good thought had come into her
head so early in the morning; because, if
it were night," said Hope to herself, "I
should have had to wait till morning; and
then, if there had been no bread in the
house, we shouldn't have had any break-
fast. But I suppose now we shall always
have bread enough. If God helps me "-
that was her next thought.. But it did
not check the first-not a bit! Hope
only believed that her great Friend in
heaven, who could do everything, had
already helped her. So she went on a lit-
14 HOPE AND HER WINTER-GOEENS.
tie quicker than before, singing softly to
herself, and taking glad notice of the
pleasant morning. Pleasant! that was
altogether too small a word; in fact, she
might have used all the words she could
think of without exhausting the subject.
From the glorious sunbeams that came
pouring over the mountain-top down upon
little Hope's path, to the smallest leaf her
foot went over, there was nothing that did
not bring its mite of praise to the Creator,
its little witness-bearing to the words:
"He hath made everything beautiful in
Hope reached the edge of the forest
before the sun got there; but he was
not long behind her, and soon sent his
rays scattering through the woodland,
dancing over the roots of the trees, and
HOPE AND HER WTNTER-GREENS. 15
gilding every rock and stump. Hope
began her search.
It is a difficult thing to look, for
winter-greens, or rather to find them,
unless you know exactly where to look.
One little hollow by a big rock will be
full of them, while half-a-dozen other
hollows will not have one. And there
are other leaves, which look so like the
winter-greens at a distance; and there
are winter-greens themselves, but- with
Hope had never been in these woods
before, and therefore didn't know exactly
where the ,winter-greens grew; but she
was a good looker, and had a great deal
of patience, one of the very best helps
toward finding winter-greens or anything
On she went, singing as before, nod-
16 HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS.
ding to the birds and courtesying to the
squirrels, and looking from side to side
for the winter-greens. That was a red
berry yes, and that another right in
her path, and here were four more, so
she had half a bunch already, she
thought. Then she met with an inter-
ruption, a young bird was chirping and
crying among the leaves, for it had fallen
out of its nest.
"It was very careless of you to fall
out, little bird," said Hope; but as you
don't know any better, I suppose I must
put you in again."
The bird cried louder than ever when
Hope took him up in her hand, and the
old birds cried out too; but when he was
once safe in the nest they soon became
"Those must be winter-greens over
HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS. 17
there," said Hope, down in the hollow.
Oh, how many!" and in a minute she
was down in the hollow too. Yes, they
were winter-greens, the hollow was car-
peted with them; but there were only
leaves, not a berry could be found.
"The birds must have eaten them!"
said Hope, and for a minute she felt a
"But I dare say the birds were
hungry;" and so Hope was content.
"There's enough for the birds and me
And no doubt there were, but the
birds knew better where they were than
Hope did; the sun had mounted so high
that his rays had to run out of the forest
to follow him, and yet Hope had gathered
but that one little half bunch.
"Half a cent for a bunch," said
18 HOPE AND HER WINTER-OCEENS.
Hope, "then half a bunch would be
worth only quarter of a cent. That
isn't much; but then I needn't stop yet;
if I get to the village by nine o'clock that
But from the way Hope's eyes looked
about for winter-greens, it was clear she
thought that if she could be in the
village by eight o'clock, it would be
much better. It seemed to Hope as if
her eyes found everything but the winter-
Here was an old stump of a tree,
with cushions of green moss at its foot,
like a gouty old man, and among the
moss lay snail-shells, and acorns, and
little white stones. Here was an old
tree, -rather more than a stump, but
old and moss-grown still. In the first
notch sat a squirrel with his tail in the
HOPE AND HER W7INTER-GREENS. 19
air, nibbling a chestnut, and looking at
Hope, while Hope looked at him. and
then at a great hole in the same tree,
which doubtless held Mrs. Squirrel and
the rest of the family. Partridges
started from the bushes as Hope came
near, and Hope looked at them, and
almost wished that she were a partridge
-then she could find the winter-greens.
Then an old tree, fallen across her path,
gave her leave to go round or jump over
it; and the tree was green with beautiful
moss, and festooned with bramble and
ivy; but if Hope ventured her little foot
upon it, the old bark crumbled and
cracked, and sometimes gave way alto-
gether and buried Hope's foot in a cloud
of dust. Pine knots lay over the ground,
all ready for burning; and on some of
the stumps nothing soft would grow,
20 HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS.
and the little crisp red-capped lichen
had them all to itself. The next thing
Hope's eyes found was a little girl, a
real little girl, sitting there on the moss,
and crying as if her very heart would
"Why, what is the matter?" said
Hope, in great astonishment (she had
never shed so many tears in the whole
course of her life; not even one night
when she went to bed hungry).
"I've lost the string of my sun-
bonnet!" said the other little girl, with
a great many sobs; and it falls off, and
I can't keep it on."
Oh, dear," said Hope; "I was afraid
something must be the matter. Why
don't you pin your sun-bonnet? "
"I haven't got a pin," said the little
girl; and mother told me not to pin it."
~~~~~ .~ -m
HOPE AND HER WNTER-GREEINS. 23
"Well, I've got a pin," said Hope;
"but if your mother won't let you have
it, that won't do any good. Why don't
you find the string ?"
"It's lost," said the child, "and I
aren't look for i. It's lost far away in
"Why, that's nothing," said Hope;
"what are you afraid of? Nobody will
hurt good little children."
"Somebody will bad little children,
though," said the other, with more tears.
Well, you're not a bad little child,
are you ?" said Hope, -" particularly."
"People say that I am," said the child.
"Oh, well," said Hope, don't be bad
any longer then. Get up at once, and
begin to be a good little child now.
Mother says it's a shame for a little child
to be anything but good."
24 HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS.
No, it isn't," said the other.
"Yes, it is," said Hope. "God loves
little children, and feeds them, and takes
care of them, and tells them to be good,
and gives them everything they want;
and it's a great shame if they're not
Have you got everything you want ?"
said the other child.
"Yes," said Hope; "everything except
some winter-greens. I dare say I'll have
them by and by. Come, where's your
bonnet-string? I'll go and help you to
"It's away down yonder in the woods,"
said the child, pointing with her finger.
"I don't know where it is. I can't find it,
and you can't."
"Yes, I can," said Hope; "I always
HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS. 25
"Well, you may find it, then," said the
other girl. "I'll wait here till you come
Hope thought to herself that this was
rather a cool proposal, but she hardly
ever refused to do anything for anybody.
"What color is it?" she said. "Oh,
"No, it isn't," said the little girl; "the
other string was white."
"Well, white's an easy color to find,"
said Hope, and off she went down the
path that the little girl told her. She
had to walk a good way before she found
the bonnet-string, but when she canie to
it, it lay in a place where it was so easily
seen that Hope thought the other little
girl couldn't have looked much. She
walked back a little slower than she came,
for it was late now, and not a winter-green
26 HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS.
had she seen on her way; and even Hope
could not help being a little disappointed.
"It's no use," she thought, when she
had given the little girl her bonnet-string,
and helped to pin it on, and had seen her
run off, it's no use for to-day."
Maybe it is, though," was Hope's bet-
ter second thought; "I'll see." And she
took a new path down among the trees.
It was not a path either, or hardly that;
perhaps a flock of sheep might have gone
that way a few times, and beat down the
leaves; or some impatient boy might have
kicked a few of the stones to one side;
and now Hope's little feet stepped lightly
along, and neither kicked nor beat down
A large rock rose up before her, and
over the rock grew moss and fern leaves;
and on the moss dry leaves and acorns
HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS. 27
had fallen. On this side of the rock lay
stones and sticks; on the other, a whole
bed of winter-greens and so full of
berries, Hope had never seen anything
like it. Not a plant but had one berry,
and some had two or three. How joy-
fully Hope filled her basket; and how
soon! And her basket would not hold
the half; there were enough for a whole
How good it was the birds did not
come here Hope thought to herself, as
she rose up with a full basket. "And
how good it was of. God not to let them! "
she thought again, looking up with eyes
that were only a little tearful. The tears
did not come till the winter-greens did,
whatever might be the reason.
The next flat stone she came to, Hope
sat down and tied up her bunches, putting
28 HOPE AND HER WINTE--G1EENS.
carefully twelve stems in each bunch,
even when some of the stems had more
than one berry. There were plenty of
blades of grass to tie them with, and the
pretty work was soon done.
"I am afraid I'm rather late for the
village," said Hope. "I wonder what
time it is?"
But when she got out of the woods the
haymakers were all eating their dinner in
the field; it was twelve o'clock!
"Well, they'll do for to-morrow, if I
can keep them fresh;" and Hope gave a
little bit of a sigh.
"And if I can't, I can get more to-
morrow," she went on, cheering herself
Sup; "and I think we've bread enough for
supper; and God always takes care of
And she began to sing, -
HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS. 29
"Manna to Israel well supplied
The want of other bread;
While God is able to provide,
His people shall be fed."
That will be always," Hope repeated
to herself- "always." And once more
her blue eyes went up towards the blue
sky above, and so fair did it look, so sure
did Hope feel that the God who made the
firmament watched over her, that when
two little tears came running down her
cheeks she never knew it.
A carriage came rolling along the road,
and Hope jumped out of the way and up
to the fence.
O mamma cried a little voice; and
then the carriage stopped. There were
two people in it, a lady and a little girl;
and the lady beckoned to Hope, and
30 HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS.
said, "Come here, my child." And Hope
went close to the carriage.
"Now, Susan," said the lady.
Speak, mamma," said the child.
No, do you speak," said the lady.
Little Susan got down from her seat
and stood by the carriage-door, so that
her straw hat and long white ribbons
were as near as possible to Hope, and
she said: -
"My little brother is ill, and he loves
winter-greens, have you got any to
Oh, yes I said Hope; all these,"
holding up her basket.
mamma! all those!" the child re-
peated. "But I'm afraid I can't get them
all; I've got only five cents of my own.
I'll get a bunch. Are they more than
five cents a bunch ?"
HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS. 31
"Oh, no!" cried Hope, "they're all
only five cents. I don't know how
many bunches there are, but you can
have two bunches for a cent. Oh,
yes, I do know--there are fourteen."
O mamma!" cried the child again,
" two for a cent And fourteen bunches,
mamma I'll take twelve bunches,
mamma; don't you want the other
"Yes," the lady said.
And Hope took the bunches out of
the basket and laid them on the little
girl's lap, with hands that were really
trembling. And when the seven cents
were laid in the basket instead, Hope
looked at them as if they had been seven
"Oh, they're so beautiful!" said little
Susan, looking at the lapful of red
32 HOPE AND HER WINTER-GREENS.
berries and green leaves. But you
haven't got one left."
"Oh, I didn't want them," said Hope.
"I only wanted five cents."
Little Susan," said the lady, speak-
ing then, "we should like to have some
winter-greens every day shouldn't we ?"
"Oh, yes !" cried Susan.. "Won't you
bring some here everyday.? she said to
Hope, and I'll come and get them."
And Hope said, "Oh, yes! in her
turn. She didn't know how tight he
hands were clasped as she said it; she
didn't know that the carriage left any
dust as it rolled off. To Hope's eyes it
was only a cloud of sunbeams.
THE RAINY DAY.
ITTLE Lucy Forde
Stood one day at the
looking out with a
very discontented face
at the thickly falling
rain. She wore her
Shat, her little scar-
let cloak, and her strong boots, and ap-
peared to be all ready for an expedition
out of doors
But -it was evident that no one who
could help it would venture out while it
36 THE BAINY DAY.
rained so heavily; and it was all in vain
that Lucy stamped her foot with impa-
tience; the clouds seemed only to grow
blacker and the drops of rain to fall more
It is most provoking exclaimed the
little girl at last, turning angrily from the
window, and flinging herself into an easy-
chair. "It always will rain just at the
wrong time, and spoil every one's pleas-
Lucy was to have spent the day with
her cousins at Riverside, and had ex-
pected much enjoyment from her visit;
so that this "provoking rain really caused
her much disappointment.
"Well, Lucy," observed her mother,
looking up from the book which she was
reading at the fireside, "that is a very
cross voice I hear. I am very sorry, too,
THE RAINY DAY. 87
that it has rained to-day; but I think it
would not seen quite so bad to you, if
you tried to find something else to think
"I don't care for anything else; I
don't want to do anything!" pouted
Lucy, giving an impatient wriggle in her
soft cushioned chair; and any one who
had seen her face at that moment would
have thought her the most unhappy little
girl in the whole world.
But her cross face was of her own
making, and she had no real cause of un-
"Lucy," said Mrs. Forde, after a
pause, "since you cannot find any em-
ployment for yourself, I must try to find
it for you. Have you learned all your
"Yes, mother; at least nearly all. I
38 THE RAINY DAY.
was learning till you called to me to put
on my hat."
"But now you had better take off your
hat, because of this terrible rain; and do
you not think you might finish them all?
It will leave you the more time to-mor-
row. Which have you left unlearned? "
Only a verse of my hymn," answered
Lucy, in a resigned voice, as if she thought
everybody and everything had combined
together to persecute her.
Her mother took the book, and Lucy
seated herself on a little carpet-stool at
her feet, and it was not long before the
verse was learned, for it was both short
and simple. The words were these :-
"For mercies countless as the sands,
Which daily I receive
From Jesus my Redeemer's hands,
My soul, what canst thou give? "
THE BAINY DAY. 39
"Countless as the sands!" repeated
Lucy, who still felt a little anxious to
make difficulties. "What can that mean?
I don't understand it."
Bring me the hour-glass from off the
piano," said her mother, "and I will try
Lucy rose and brought the hour-glass,
by which she was accustomed to measure
her time for practising when she was
learning her music.
Her mother turned it so that the fine
red sand in the upper globe began to flow
swiftly down into the lower, empty globe.
"Now, Lucy," she said, "count those
grains of sand for me as they pass. Quick !
"One, two! began Lucy hastily.
"Oh, but mother, I could not, there are
so many, ever so many, and they are fly-
40 THE BAINVY DAY.
ing by so fast-nine, ten! O mother, I
could not, they cannot be counted."
Mrs. Forde laid the hour-glass aside.
"You are right, my child; the "grains of
sand are countless, they cannot be reck-
oned; and the hymn you have just learned
teaches us that the mercies of God are as
countless as the sands."
mother, that could not be!" an-
swered Lucy, forgetting her grievances
for the time, and looking up with an inter-
"Why not, Lucy dear?" said her
mother, in surprise.
"Because I know I have been often
taught about the mercies of God," said
Lucy, thoughtfully; but I am sure they
were not so many as that."
"Well, tell me some of them, and we
THE BAINY DAY. 41
can think about it," replied her mother,
Lucy now looked very solemn. "I
know God is merciful," she said, because
he forgives us when we ask him, and be-
cause he sent his Son Jesus Christ to
take our punishment, and to die for our
sins on the cross. And- and I know he
is merciful, too, because he sends his
Holy Spirit into our hearts to help us to
be good." Here Lucy paused, evidently
thinking that she had come to the end of
Well," said her mother, is that all?"
"I think, I don't remember, at least -
oh, yes she cried suddenly, as her eye
fell on the large family Bible on the little
table at the window, from which her
mother read aloud a chapter every morn-
ing, God is merciful, too, because he has
42 THE RAINY DAY.
given us the Holy Bible to teach us about
himself, and to tell us what we ought to
do to please him."
"Quite right," answered Mrs. Forde.
"Anything more ?"
But Lucy was silent. She could not
remember anything more just then.
Her mother, observing her puzzled air,
said pleasantly, "Perhaps you will under-
stand your hymn better by-and-by, when
you have had time to think more about it.
You may run away and amuse yourself
now; but in a few days I shall talk to you
again about the countless mercies of God."
On the following day the sun shone out
bravely. The "provoking rain had all
spent itself, and Lucy enjoyed a very
happy day with her cousins at Riverside.
Full of health and high spirits, comfort-
ably clad, with plenty of good things to
THE RALVY DAY. 43
eat, and nothing to trouble them, they
ran, and scampered, and talked, and
laughed, the whole day long, till they
were tired, and glad when night came to
lay their heads on their soft, clean pillows,
and sleep in safety and comfort.
When Mrs. Forde bent over her little
daughter as she lay in bed sleeping, after
this happy day, she thought of all the
blessings God had given to her darling,
and prayed that Lucy might learn to
acknowledge them with a grateful heart.
Not many days afterwards Lucy and
her mother went to visit some poor people
in the neighborhood, and a servant walked
behind them carrying a basket containing
some bread and meat and tea. Mrs.
Forde was a kind-hearted lady, and was
always anxious to share with others the
many blessings God had given to her;,
44 THE RAINY DAY.
for she remembered that Jesus has said,
"Freely ye have received, freely give"
(Matt. x. 8). Lucy skipped merrily
along by her mother's side, clad in her
warm red cloak, and keeping her hands
tucked comfortably into her little black
muff. But her merriment quite forsook
her when she entered the room where her
mother went to pay her first visit, to the
Thomson family. Four little children in
tattered clothing were gathered round a
very small, black-looking fire. Two of
them had neither shoes nor stockings, and
their little feet were red and swollen from
"Mother is out. She has gone to look
for work," said the eldest of the children,
in answer to the kind lady's inquiries;
while the little ones huddled themselves
away into a corner, from whence they
THE RAINY DAY. 45
stared anxiously though shyly at their
"Poor children I" said Lucy's mother,
with a sigh. Have you had any break-
fast to eat to-day ? "
"No, ma'am; we must wait till mother
comes," replied the oldest child, looking
sadly on the ground.
Lucy drew nearer to her mother's side
in wonder. and awe when she heard this.
It was a new and strange thing to her to
see little children looking so miserable, -
little children but. half clothed, and who
had had no breakfast. How different
were they from her cousins at Riverside !
How different too, suddenly thought
Lucy, from herself! And she glanced
downwards at her glossy black muff, and
the strong-soled boots that kept her feet
so dry and warm.
46 THE RAINY DAY.
But the faces of even these poor chil-
dren brightened when Mrs. Forde
emptied the basket of good things, and
placed them in the outspread apron of
the little girl, for such a thing as a table
was not to be found in that poor room.
Before she went away she also left a mes-
sage for the mother of these little chil-
dren, desiring her to call the next
evening, and saying that some needle-
work should be provided for her.
Lucy did not say one word as they
passed up the street, and her mother for-
bore to talk to her; for she wished her lit-
tle daughter to think over what she had
seen, and to learn that plenty of good food,
and plenty of warm clothes, of money,
of friends, of amusement, do not come as
a matter of course to every one, but are
mercies, however common they may seem,
THE RAINY DAY. 47
which we owe to the goodness of God
The next visit they paid was to a rich
gentleman's house. But here another les-
son awaited Lucy. On a sofa in the draw-
ing-room lay poor Phcebe, Mr. Mayston's
daughter. She had once been Lucy's
favorite playmate and companion; but
now her health was gone, and she was
obliged to lie quiet all day long,- some-
times in much pain, always sick and
weary. Lucy went over and kissed her,
and hoped she was better; but though
Phoebe smiled pleasantly in return, she
said nothing, for she knew that she never
could be better until God took her out of
this world to himself.
Mrs. Forde and Lucy did not remain
long at Mr. Mayston's house, for poor
Phmobe was too weak to- bear much talk-
48 THE RAINY DAY.
ing or many people in the room; but
Lucy could not help noticing the contrast
between herself and her young com-
panion, as she took a glance into the
large looking-glass which hung on the
wall opposite the sofa. There she saw
a reflection of herself standing, stout,
rosy, and bright-eyed; while Phebe,
who was just of her own age, lay beside
her, weak, and pale, and thin, unable any
more to run about as she had done for-
merly. How had this happened? Who
had given the precious gift of health to
Lucy? None could have given it but
God. It was one of his "countless
mercies," which the little girl had forgot-
ten, because it was common, because she
was used to it.
These visits were not soon forgotten by
Lucy, and the next time she repeated her
THE RAINY DAY. 49
hymn to her mother, she seemed to under-
stand much better how countless are the
mercies of God to his sinful children.
She began to see better and better, the
more she thought of it, that not only has
our heavenly Father shown his mercy to
us by giving us a Saviour, the Lord Jesus
Christ, but that every moment of every
day we are receiving some blessing from
his hands. We may forget him, and
never think of thanking him for all his
benefits; but if he were to forget us for
one day we should be ruined and lost for-
.. I' .
,J. MAMMA! do let
me go! It is
clung to her
mother with such
a look of entreaty
that she gained her point.
"You may go, dear," said Mrs. Rae-
burn; "but I am never very glad to think
of you being alone with your cousins, -
they are such rude children. You must
52 JESSIE'S BIRTHDAY.
try to remember, Jessie, that you are not
really alone with them, because God is
with you everywhere. I will give you a
verse to learn to-day, which will, I hope,
help to keep you from doing what is
wrong when you are away from me."
Jessie soon could repeat the verse cor-
rectly. It was this: "The eyes of the
Lord are in every place, beholding the
evil and the good (Prov. xv. 3).
Then her nurse came and took her
away to Mr. Cameron's house. When
they reached the door, all her cousins -
George, Lizzie, Harry, Jane, and Caro-
line came rushing to meet her, and the
hubbub was so great that soon Mrs.
Cameron appeared, and said, Really,
children, I cannot have so much noise in
the house. You must take Jessie out to
the glen, where you can make as great a
... ^ *'"-^ """-J ^ ,;^_'^
=~~L ~. c
JJSSIE'S BIRTHDAY. 55
racket as you like; and I wish you also
to gather blackberries for me." Then,
bringing rather a large basket to them,
she added, "If you are good children,
and fill this basket, I will ask your father
to show you, in the afternoon, the new
pictures for the magic-lantern."
The children seized the basket, and ran
out of the house as fast as they could.
The blackberries were not very plentiful
in the glen, and first they thought it best
each to eat as many as they chose; then
Harry said, "Let us have a game at 'Hunt
the hare' before we begin to fill our
basket; there will be plenty of time before
So Harry was to be the hare, and long
they chased him in vain; but at last Jessie
caught him, and at the same time was
56 JESSIE'S BIRTHDAY.
caught in a blackberry bush, which made
a great rent in her frock !
"It is my new frock," she cried; "what
shall I do?"
"I have my needle-case here," said
good-natured Jane; I will sew it up in a
And she did put it all together again in
a wonderful way, hiding it in such a neat
manner below a plait, that, as she said,
it would never be seen. But Jessie re-
membered all her mother had said to her,
and in her own mind settled she would not
try to conceal her carelessness.
Come along, can't you ?" said George;
"we must fill the basket now, for it is
getting very late,-the gong will be
sounding in no time."
It was no easy matter to fill the basket,
for, as I said before, it was a bad season
JESSIE'S BIRTHDAY. 57
for blackberries; and Jessie was sur-
prised to see how cross and rude her
cousins were, now that their play was
over. At last a loud Hurrah" from
Harry made them all run to the place
where he was, and there they saw a large
pitcherful of berries standing.
"What good fairy has been here gather-
ing for us, I wonder?" said Lizzie.
"I know," said George "it was the
little herd-boy. I saw him at work early
to-day among the bushes."
"I guess he didn't mean them for us,"
said Harry; "but here goes "- and seiz-
ing the pitcher he tossed the berries into
Jessie screamed with terror. Don't!
don't!" she cried; "how can you do such
a wicked thing? Your mamma will be
58 JESSIE'S BIRTHDAY.
"And who will tell her, I wonder?"
said George. "You, I suppose, who are
so very good."
"I know it is wicked; it is just steal-
ing," added Jessie.
"Well!" her cousin Lizzie said; "I
never heard such rudeness! to call us
thieves, because we took a few berries
which we found in our own glen Let us
come home, boys, it is time. I dare say
this good girl means to stay and fill the
So they all ran home, laughing very
heartily, excepting Jane, who remained
behind with Jessie.
Shall we try to fill the pitcher?" she
asked; "for I know Johnnie meant the
berries as a surprise to his mother."
"I am afraid," answered Jessie, "that
we shouldn't have time; but I have a
JESSIE'S BIRTHDAY. 59
shilling papa gave me this morning, and I
will put it into the pitcher."
"And I have a sixpence to put in also,"
So the two little girls put the money in
a piece of paper, and wrote on it, To pay
for the berries;" after which they, too,
hastened home to dinner.
After dinner Mrs. Cameron said to her
husband, "You must show the children
the magic-lantern now, for they have been
very busy, and gathered me a splendid
supply of berries to-day."
Mr. Cameron looked very grave. "I
have prepared the lantern," he said; "but
I am sorry. that I cannot show it to our
children." He then told Mrs. Cameron
all that had passed in the wood; for, un-
known to the children, he had also been
there, and seen and heard it all.
60 JESSIE'S BIRTHDAY.
There is to be an exhibition to-night,"
he added. "I asked the poor little herd-
boy to come to it, and to bring his two
brothers and his sister. You, my dear
little Jessie, shall come with me; and you,
Jane, for I was glad to see that one of my
children had some feeling of propriety
left. Caroline, also, may come, she is so
young. But go, George,. Lizzie, and
Harry, to your own rooms -I have nothing
to do with thieves. I brought home the
pitcher which you emptied, and you shall
fill it to-morrow and take it to the widow's
cottage the very first thing you do."
The culprits left the room immediately,
looking very angry and very sulky.
The other children had no small pleas-
ure in seeing the beautiful pictures,
chiefly Eastern ones; and the little herd-
boy thought it was a good thing to have
JESSIE'S BIRTHDAY. 61
lost his berries, since he had gained such
a wonderful sight.
When Jessie, at night, told all the ad-
ventures of the day to her mother, she
said, Mamma, my verse came very often
into my mind to-day, and I wished to re-
mind my cousins that God was seeing us;
but I did not like to do it."
"Perhaps it was a's well," replied Mrs.
Raeburn; but I am glad you thought of
it yourself, and now you will learn an-
other short verse before you go to bed."
Jessie learned the verse her mother
chose, very gladly, and it was this: -
Hold up my goings in thy paths, that
my footsteps. slip not" (Ps. xvii. 5).
THE PLEASANT SABBATH EVENING.
-- -i.. WAS night, and o'er
I' the desert moor
SThe wintry storm-
gusts wildly blew,
And so we closed
And round our
Each joined the hymn of evening praise,
Then told a tale of Bible days.
First, Charley, in his little chair,
With sober face his tale began,
And told us of the faith and prayer
Of Daniel in the lions' den;
And howthe lions were afraid
To kill the righteous man who prayed.
THE PLEASANT SABBATH EVENING. 63,
Then Henry spoke of Israel's guide,
The cloud by day, the fire by night,
And said, whatever might betide,
To trust in God is always right;
For he is still, to those who pray,
A fire by night, a cloud by day.
And little Mary told of three
Who once a fiery furnace trod,
Because they would not bow the knee
In worship to an idol-god;
And how to save them from the flame
The Son of God in glory came.
Then Cousin Susan told of One,
Who kindly all our sorrows bore;
Though rich in heaven, on earth became
For us so very, very poor,
That, though the foxes had a bed,
He had not where to lay his head.
The tale was told, a sparkling tear
Rose brightly to each youthful eye,
And then, in accents soft and clear,
Our evening hymn again rolled high;
The little girl and little,boy
Joined in the strains of solemn joy.
*64 THE PLEASANT SABBATH EVEINVG.
Then grandpa prayed, that good old man,
With wrinkled brow and hoary hair;
While all the little children ran
To kneel around his elbow-chair;
And thus the Sabbath evening passed
In peace and pleasure to the last.
KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON.
OME, come, my
men, this will
never do! Up
to your work,
and be active
about it; there
may be rain be-
* 'Make hay while the sun shines,' my lads;
'make hay while the sun shines! "' said
Farmer Collins, in a loud key, to his men,
as, mounted on a fat white pony, he rode
6 KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON.
into his meadow one fine afternoon in
June to oversee his haymakers.
"What is father angry about? What
is he saying to the men?" asked little
Kitty of her mother, as she raised her
eyes from the pages of her Bible, from
which she was supposed to be learning
texts to repeat at the morrow's Sunday
Kitty and her mother were seated on a
green bank, in a shaded corner of the
field, with an old plaid shawl spread out
beneath them. Mrs. Collins was busy
with some needle-work, which she had
brought with her out-of-doors, that she
might enjoy the fresh air while she
sewed; and her little daughter was, as
we have said, supposed to be learning her
task beside her. But, so far, Kitty had
not learned much. Anything was sufficient
KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON. 7
to call her attention away from her book.
Now a "busy bee" skimmed past, the
very picture of industry, and away after
him went Kitty's idle thoughts. Now a
gay painted butterfly tempted away the
glance that should have been directed to
the pages open on her knee. And now,
lastly, her quick ear had caught the tone
of her father's voice at the other end of
"Why, Kitty," replied her mother,
"you seem to have ears and eyes for
everything except your own business this
morning. Father was just telling the
men to hasten and get their work done
before nightfall. I wish he might step
over here, for I know a little girl who
wants just the same advice."
Kitty reddened, and began to twist
some long blades of grass round her
8 KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON.
fingers, for she knew that she was the
little girl her mother meant.
"Well, but," she said at length, taking
up her neglected Bible, "the teacher has
given me such a long bit to learn, and I
cannot understand it."
Show it to me, Kitty," said Mrs. Col-
lins, stretching out her hand for the
book; you know I am always willing to
"There," said Kitty, in a disconsolate
voice, as she pointed with her finger to
the place on the page; "six long verses
out of the ninetieth Psalm, from the
twelfth-verse to the end."
Mrs. Collins read the passage care-
fully over more than once. "Well,
really, Kitty," she said, smiling, "I fear
you are a very lazy little girl. That is
KITTY COLLINS AND -HEll LESSON. 9
only one verse for each day in the
"But I did not begin to learn them till
to-day, and I must know them before to-
morrow," sighed Kitty.
"Just so, my little girl," was her
mother's reply, as she resumed her sew-
ing, for she determined not to take any
notice of Kitty's silly fretfulness. You
allowed five precious days to slip away,
and now all your work falls on the sixth.
But come, we need not waste any more
time. Read for me the first of these
terribly difficult verses."
Kitty, a little ashamed of herself,
though still inclined to make the most of
her difficulties, read aloud, slowly, So
teach us to number our days, that we may
apply our hearts unto wisdom."
10 KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON.
"Well, Kitty, I think that is plain
enough. Do you understand it?"
"No," answered Kitty, without raising
Do you know I think your friends
the haymakers might help you to under-
"The haymakers, mother! cried
Kitty, looking up in spite of herself now,
to see if she could discover her mother's
meaning from her face.
Mrs. Collins smiled at the inquiring
glance that met her eyes. "I think I can
make it plain to you," she said, "if you
will listen attentively for a very few
Kitty drew closer to her mother on the
old shawl, and prepared to listen.
"Why must the haymakers work so
hard to-day?" asked Mrs. Collins.
KITTY COLLINS AND BER LESSON. 11
"Because to-morrow will be Sunday,
and because father says it may rain to-
night," promptly answered Kitty.
Well, and what if it did ?"
"0 mother, don't you know? The
hay would be all spoiled if it got wet
while it was lying scattered about."
"Exactly so; and father cannot afford
to lose his hay, so he said to his men as
you heard, 'Make hay while the sun
"Yes, I know," replied Kitty; "but
how can that make me to understand my
"I think it can," said her mother.
"Read the verse again."
Kitty read: So teach us to number oup
days, that we may apply our hearts unto
"Now, do you not see?" resumed Mrs.
12 KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON.
Collins; "the haymakers count their
hours of sunshine, that they may have
their work done before the darkness
comes. And so those who love God
should count up their days, and, seeing
what a short time they have in this world
for serving him, they should be careful
not to waste a moment, lest when death
comes it should find them idle and forget-
ful of their Father's business. It would
then be too late to repent. Just as it
would be too late for the haymakers to
save their hay if once they had allowed
the rain to spoil it."
"Yes, mother," said Kitty, very
gravely. "But how, then, can we count
the days of our life, when we do not
know how many there are to be? There
was little cousin Charlie, who died last
KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON. 13
winter. He was only five years old when
"You are quite right, my child. We
do not know how short our time may be,
and that is the very reason we must
'apply our hearts unto wisdom,' as the
text says, and make the best use of every
moment we have."
"Well, I'm sure the haymakers have
made the best use of their time, at any
rate," cried Kitty, now pointing to a dis-
tant end of the field, where the men were
gathering the hay together to make their
"Yes, I think father will be well
pleased with them for their industry," re-
plied Mrs. Collins; "they have saved his
hay. But they are not too soon. Look
yonder, at that heavy purple cloud steal-
ing up from the west ; and how oppres-
14 KITTY COLLINS AND EEn LESSON.
sive the air has become! I fear we are
near a thunder-storm. We had better be
The little girl and her mother rose;
and Kitty, having neatly folded the old
plaid shawl, and laid it across her arm,
followed her mother over the close-mown
grass, in and out through the tidy hay-
cocks. She had forgotten all her cross-
ness and idleness now, and was thinking
of the strange way in which her mother
had explained the verse in her Bible.
"Why,.Kitty, how silent you have be-
come !" said Mrs. Collins, observing her
grave, thoughtful face. "Are you think-
ing how you can 'make hay while the sun
"Yes, mother," answered Kitty,
Well, Kitty, you are but a young girl,
KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON. 15
and may have many long years of life
before you. God alone knows about
that. But be sure, however long it may
be, you will find plenty of good to do if
you look for it. Let this world be like
Kitty's hay-field, and let her work hard
in it while she has the sunshine of health
Kitty grasped her mother's hand, but
made no other reply, and a few large
drops of rain warned them to hasten their
steps in the direction of the farm-house.
Scarcely had they got in-doors before a
heavy thunder-shower came pattering
down on the roof over their heads.
Kitty felt half frightened--the large
rain-drops made such a noise as they
rushed down the chimney, beat against
the window-panes, and danced up from
the gravel outside.
16 KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON.
In a few minutes the well-known trot
of the fat white pony was heard in the
yard, and in a few minutes more the
cheery voice of the farmer was heard
within the house.
"I say, wife," he said, as he entered
the kitchen and took off his drenched
overcoat to hang before the glowing fire,
" I've caught a soaking, haven't I just!
But my hay is safe, that is one comfort,"
he added, as he wiped the drops of rain
off his face. "And I do believe I should
have lost half of it if I had not gone out
and hurried on the men."
Kitty glanced at her mother, as much
as to say, "You and I know all about
that; but Mrs. Collins was too busy just
then in making the good farmer comfort-
able, and she did not for the time notice
her little daughter.
KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON. 17
"Ay, ay," pursued the farmer to him-
self, following out his own train of
thought; "it is a good saying that,
'Make hay while the sun shines,' -a fine
During the evening Mrs. Collins taught
Kitty all the other verses in the psalm,
and explained them to her also with great
pains; but the little girl remembered
none of them so well as the twelfth verse,
because the haymakers had helped to fix
it in her mind. Yet she did her best
to learn every part of her task well, be-
cause, she said to herself, that was part
of her work just at present, while she was
a little child, and that she ought to do it
faithfully and without delay, as the hay-
makers had made their hay.
On the following day, at the Sunday
school, the teacher seemed quite sur-
18 KITTY COLLINS AND HER LESSON.
prised at the change she discovered in the
usually idle Kitty, and praised her much
for her attention and good answers.
Kitty returned home, her cheeks glowing
with pleasure, to tell her mother all the
kind speeches she had heard from the
teacher. "And, mother," she concluded,
"it was all the hay-field, you know, that
made me learn my verses so well."
"I hope my dear little daughter will
persevere in the good beginning she has
made," said her mother, as she stooped
and kissed her; but, remember, you can-
not improve yourself, Kitty, without the
help of God. 'Make hay while the sun
shines' is but a homely proverb, but it
holds a deep truth within it; and the best
way to find out the meaning of that truth
is to use the prayer you learned yesterday
in the psalm : 'So teach us to number our
KITTY COLLINS AND HIER LESSON. 19
days, that we may apply our hearts unto
Kitty did use this prayer, not once, but
many times. She even wrote out a copy
of it, on that Sunday evening, in neatly
printed letters, and pinned it up on the
wall beside her little bed, so that she
might be reminded of it every morning
and evening. And it was soon remarked
by all the folks in the village what a lively,
active, obliging little girl Kitty Collins
had become, she who had once been so
idle and listless.
Kitty was aware of the change herself,
and thanked God for it; and often after-
wards, when she walked through the
pleasant field, she thought of the day she
had sat there with her mother on the old
plaid shawl; and it almost seemed as
20 KITTY COLLINS AND IER LESSON.
though she heard again her father's hearty
voice, calling to his men: -
"'Make hay while the sun shines,' my
lads; 'make hay while the sun shines!'"
HE pleasant twi-
light of a lovely
was fast fading
'to the great
dismay of Char-
lie and Beatrice WTycherlie, who were sit-
ting in one of the large windows at
Woodlands, with their arms around each
other, and devouring (if I may. be par-
doned such an expression) a tale of won-
derful adventures, which had been given
22 LITTLE GERTRUDE.
them only that very morning. In vain
the curtains were drawn back, and the
blind raised as high as possible; it would
get dark, as Charlie said, feeling rather
ill used, if the truth must be told; yes,
it would get dark, just as they were at
the most interesting part of the whole
"But how can you tell that?" sug-
gested Beatrice, somewhat timidly, as
her suggestions were not generally re-
ceived with much respect.
"Because, I should think well, I
can't exactly say," answered Charlie;
"but I'm quite sure of it, for all
Whatever further light he might
have thrown on the matter was not
to be known, as just then, to their
great joy, the children saw their mother
LITTLE GERT.RUDE. 23
lay aside the paper on which she had
been writing what baby Philip called
"a real, live story; "- by which he
meant a story that was to be sent away,
and then would come back a book.
Such was his very lucid explanation,
when asked one day what he meant.
However, the progress Mrs. Wycherlie
was making towards the real, live story
came to an end for the present, and she
closed her portfolio; whei'eupon the
children went up to her, and begged for
a story. "For you know, mother, they
said, "it is too dark to read, and too
early for the lamp; so, just to save
time, please tell us a story."
"Very well," said their mother, "I
am quite content; but what shall it be
"Oh," said Charlie, "let it be about
24 LITTLE GERTRUDE.
a naughty little girl; and the naughtier
she is, the better we shall like it."
"My dear boy," answered his mother,
' how can you wish to hear of a naughty
little girl? Would it not be much nicer
to hear about a good one?"
No, indeed, mother," said Beatrice,
"it would not. We are dreadfully tired
of hearing about good children; they
are all so like each other, that we wish
people would sometimes write about
"Do you not think that you know
quite enough about naughty children
from your own hearts?" asked Mrs.
Wycherlie. "I am afraid you are both
naughty enough sometimes (I am glad
to say not often) to satisfy any one."
Ah, but, mother," said Charlie,
gravely, but with a merry twinkle in
LITTLE GERTRUDE. 25
his bright blue eyes, "if we knew how
bad naughtiness seemed when it was
talked about, we might try to be
"As you have such a laudable motive
for your request," answered his mother,
"it would be a pity not to grant it; so
I will tell you the story of a little girl
Is it a true story? asked Beatrice.
"Perfectly true," replied Mrs. Wy-
cherlie. "I knew her very well long
"I hope she was awfully naughty,"
You must judge for yourself," an-
swered his mother. "I do not remember
much about her until she was between
five and six years old, when she went
with her mother to spend a fortnight
26 LITTLE GERTRUDE.
with an aunt who lived in the country,
whose name was Mrs. Trevelyon. One
day, while she was there, some visitors
called, and luncheon was brought into
the drawing-room for them; and, amongst
other things, a dish of gooseberries, the
first of the season. After the visitors
had been helped, Mrs. Trevelyon gave
some to Gertrude, saying, 'Now, dear, be
sure that you do not eat any of the
skins; they are very unwholesome, and
might make you sick.' "
"Oh!" interrupted Charlie, "I am
certain she ate the skins, -the nasty,
greedy little thing she is no better than
a pig! This is delightful, mother," he
said, rubbing his hands in glee.
Gertrude took the gooseberries to
the window," continued Mrs. Wycherlie,
when Charlie's excitement had subsided
LITTLE GEiTRUDE. 27
enough for her to resume the story,
"and began to eat them. Very good
indeed she thought them; they were
the large, red, hairy kind, that you both
like so much. One after another she ate
them,- but when she had eaten nine, she
began to think it a great pity that she
might not eat the skins too. She was
sure they would not make her sick--
there were- only three more-and her
aunt would never know anything about
it; it would not be any harm.
"Ah, Gertrude, Gertrude, why did
you not listen to the still small voice
that told you it would be harm? How
much sin and sorrow you would have
been saved! But she did not listen;
she ate the last three gooseberries, skins
and all; and she was hoping to lay her
plate on the large round table that
28 LITTLE GERTRUDE.
stood near her unobserved, when her
aunt happened to turn round, and
whispered, 'I hope you have not eaten
any of the skins, Gertrude?'
"'Oh, no, aunt; indeed I did not,"
"Here was her second sin first, diso-
bedience, then a lie.
"I suppose Mrs. Trevelyon thought
she looked confused, for she took the
plate, and, after looking at it, she said,
seriously, Gertrude, you must have
eaten some. I gave you twelve goose-
berries, and there are only nine skins.'
"Before Gertrude had time to reply,
her mother, who, I suppose, had over-
heard what was said, whispered softly
to Gertrude, not wishing to let the
visitors know how naughty she had
LITTLE GERTRUDE. 29
been, Go to my room at once, and do
not leave it until I come to you.'
Oh, I could not tell you how sor-
rowfully Gertrude went upstairs; how
she wished she had not eaten those
horrid skins; how she wished her aunt
had not given her the gooseberries, and
then nothing would have happened.
She knew her mother would punish her;
she always did when she told a lie, for
there was no sin it grieved her so much
that Gertrude should commit
"Every step she heard through the
house terrified her, for she fancied it was
her mother. At last, in about twenty
minutes, which seemed like hours to
Gertrude, she heard the visitors leave,
and the carriage roll down the avenue,
and then her mother's step on the stairs !
Her first thought was, how could she
30 LITTLE GERTRUDE.
escape? Quick as lightning she darted
under the large four-post bed, where she
hoped her mother would not think of
looking for her.
"How fast her heart beat, how she
trembled from head to foot, as she heard
the door opened and her mother come in,
and, after looking round the room, say,
'Gertrude, where are you? Come to me
"Gertrude was too frightened to an-
swer; so her mother, guessing where she
was, raised the valance of the bed and
desired her to come out. Then she told
her how grieved she was she had been
so naughty; that she had heard all about
it from her aunt, who had begged her to
excuse her, and to pass over the fault;
but she could not do so; she must punish
her, to prevent her telling a lie again.
LITTLE GERTRUDE. 31
Gertrude had no excuse to make -
how could she? -so her mother would
not allow her to go downstairs again that
afternoon. I am sure she was sorry to
punish Gertrude; but she could not bear
to have her little child grow up naughty;
so she punished her to make her more
watchful in future, and to teach her not to
yield to temptation as she had, that day
"All the pleasure of Gertrude's visit
was over, for although .her aunt was as
kind as ever to her the next morning, and
no one ever alluded to what had passed,
still she could not forget the disgrace of
having been punished, and she fancied
that every one who looked at her was
thinking about it; so she was very glad
when the time came for her mother to
take her home again."
82 LITTLE GERTBUDE.
"She certainly was naughty enough,"
said Charlie; "but, mother, I hope you
can tell us something more about her, -
something naughty, I mean! "
She used very often to quarrel with a
sick cousin, who resided constantly at
her mother's," continued Mrs. Wycherlie.
"The cousin was very naughty also, and
they used to quarrel dreadfully, but poor
Gertrude generally got the worst of it;
for, whenever her cousin was vexed, she
used to get a bad headache, and then
Gertrude was always obliged to give up
to her; and that used to make her very
"Poor Gertrude! said Beatrice, sor-
rowfully; "I do not think she could have
been very happy."
"No, indeed," replied her mother; "I
think she was the most miserable child I
LITTLE GERTIUDE. 33
ever knew. Sometimes she used to long
so much to be good; and there was an
empty room at the top of the house where
she used often to go and pray that God
would teach her to be good; and she
would be a great deal better for a while,
much more gentle and obedient; but then
she would give up praying and trying,
and be just as naughty as ever again;
and, of course, whenever she was naughty
she was unhappy; every one is. Many
a time she cried herself to sleep; and
whenever she read of a naughty child in a
book, she used to think it was like her-
self, and that all the good children were
like her youngest sister, Ethel, who was
always gentle and kind, and never got
But I think her greatest trouble was,
that whenever her father returned home
34 LITTLE GERTRUDE.
after a journey (he used often to be away
on business for a few days), his first
question always was, I hope Gertrude
has been a good child?' And even when
her mother could say, 'Yes; indeed, she
has been very good, and has not given me
any trouble,' it used to grieve Gertrude'si
very heart that she was the only child he
had ever to ask such a question about.
No one knew how hard she tried to be
good, nor what great difficulties she had
to contend with. If they had, I think
they would have talked to her more about
the great love of the Lord Jesus Christ
for little children, and how he longed
that they should come to him, that he
might wash away all their sins in his
precious blood, and make them good and
happy. Instead of which, whenever she
was naughty, she used to be taught texts
LITTLE GERTRUDE. 35
that terrified her, such as, 'The wicked
shall be turned into hell, and all the na-
tions that forget God;' and, 'All liars
shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone,' etc."
mother," said Beatrice, "what a
dreadfully sad story I wish it were not
true But did she never become good? "
Not while she was a child, darling,"
replied Mrs. Wycherlie, taking her little
girl's hand lovingly in hers; "but, I am
thankful to say, she did afterwards."
"Oh, tell us about it, mother," said
Charlie; "please do."
She was nearly grown up," answered
Mrs. Wycherlie, and told a lie; and,
though -it was found out, she would not
confess, but persisted in the untruth.
But oh she was so unhappy, so utterly
miserable, that I only wonder she did not
36 LITTLE GETRUDE.
get a fever. She longed to confess; she
prayed that she might be able to do so;
but again and again, as the words rose to
her lips, her courage failed, and she lis-
tened to Satan's voice as he told her not
to do it then, that it would be easier
"One Sunday evening she went to
church, as usual; and the clergyman
.preached on the love of God for perishing.
sinners, and of his power and his willing-
ness to forgive their sins, however great
they might be. He said that there was
not one sinner in the church that evening,
however deeply they might have sinned,
who might not leave the church with
every sin blotted out and washed away,
if only they would come just as they
were, that very moment, to the gracious,
LITTLE GERTRUDE. 37
loving Saviour, who was waiting to
"He must mean me, thought Gertrude,
as she listened to the blessed words, sure
that the clergyman must, in some way or
other, have heard how sinful and unhappy
she was. She did go to Jesus that very
moment, just as she was, with her great
burden of sin; and Jesus took that heavy
burden from her, and in its place he gave
her 'peace and joy in believing.' Oh,
such peace and joy, that she felt as if she
must tell every one how happy she was!
It was not hard to confess now. No; she
told everything as soon as ever she
reached home; and then hurrying to her
room, which she had left in such despair
hardly two hours before, she hid her face
in her pillow, and, weeping with such joy
as she had never known before, she