Front Cover
 Title Page
 Back Cover

Group Title: The first lie : : a tale
Title: The first lie
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065354/00001
 Material Information
Title: The first lie a tale
Physical Description: 31 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. ; 14 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Parker, John William, 1792-1870 ( Publisher )
Harrison and Co ( Printer )
Publisher: John W. Parker
Place of Publication: London (West Strand)
Manufacturer: Harrison and Co.
Publication Date: 1840
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Truthfulness and falsehood -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Theft -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1840   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1840
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Mrs. Marshall.
General Note: T.p., illustrated.
General Note: Publisher's advertisement on p. 4 of wrapper.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065354
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002250847
oclc - 50863020
notis - ALK2604

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17-18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text





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71 HI YF T L I,


MLrs. MA-RS[HALL, o' Mancheslcr.

J"'; \V. P9LRKERl, WESTSI' L';,ND.


THE FIRST LIE! "-I hear some little girl or
boy exclaim, as they read the title of this tale-
" What is the first lie? What does it mean,
mamal" Ah, my dear little readers How happy
are you, if you have never told yourfirst lie! And
how happy should I be, if I could save you from
ever telling it! For oh, from what an endless and
cruel succession of suffering, and sorrow, and sin,
I should save you! Nobody can ever tell one lie,
for though they may think, and poor little foolish
children like you often do think, that they will
never, never, tell another, but just this one-yet,
when that one, or this one, is told, they will find
that two, or three, or four, or six, or perhaps a
dozen, are told to keep up the credit of the first-
and so they end in being utterly wicked, and, which


always follows that, utterly unhappy and miserable.
Listen very attentively to what I am going to tell
you, and try to remember it whenever you feel
yourself tempted to tell a lie.
Charles Annesley was just nine years old; he
had a kind papa and mama, who did all in their
power to make him a good boy-they taught him
to say his prayers, and to know that the great and
good Being to whom he prayed watches over all
his creatures, and never will forsake them while
they remember Him, and try to please Him by doing
all that He has commanded us in the Bible; and
that, when tempted to do any wrong or wicked
action, we should instantly turn our thoughts to
Him-cry out in our own hearts, "Oh, Father
in heaven, save me from wishing to do this bad
thing !"-and He will strengthen us to resist doing
it. Until the time Charles went to a public
school, he was indeed a very good little boy; he
was gentle, obedient, and fearful of doing anything
he had been told was bad; but when he went
to school, he heard other boys-bad, wicked, ill
brooy,4t. ?~o boys-brag of doing wrong, and of


being disobedient to their mamas. At first he was
very much frightened and shocked to hear their
way of speaking, and, as his mama had bid him,
turned away, and did not listen to their talk, or
make companions of them. By degrees, however,
he began to forget his mama's orders-played with
these boys, and though he did not do anything so
wrong as they did, he laughed at their bad words,
and thought it fimnty when they boasted they
would not do what papa or mama bid them. This
was Charles's first fault, and it was a great one-
it led to all the rest.
But there were in Charles's original character
great faults. He was very proud; and he could
not bear to see other children have anything
which he had not. His papa was far from being
rich, and could not give him money to throw away
upon toys or trash of any kind: and Charles was
so silly as to allow it to mortify him, when lie heard
the bad boys he now made his companions boast-
ing of what they had, and how much money they
had spent on this or that folly. These boys soon
observed that Charles was mortified, and with a
B 2


wicked, unamiable feeling, they did all they could to
increase it, and to irritate him, by remarking that
he never had any money or any fine play-things.
Now, little boys and girls, stop here, and con-
sider what a terrible thing the first fault is-the
first disobedience to papa or mama, when you are
out of their sight:-you never can tell how far
astray it will lead you! Had Charles, as his parents
desired him, avoided the company of these boys
altogether, he never would have had this bad pas-
sion of envy raised in his poor little heart, or been
led into the sad situation I am going to tell you
One day, as he was running home from school,
he saw, lying upon the road, a large red pocket-
book with a steel clasp; he lifted it, and tried to
open it, but could not undo the clasp-so he set
off running as fast as he could to show it to his
mama; but as he ran, he saw a gentleman walk-
ing before him, and he thought to himself, Per-
haps this gentleman has dropped the pocket-book,"
so, putting the pocket-book out of sight under his
jacket, he accosted the gentleman, and asked if he


had lost anything? The gentleman, quite sur-
prised, looked at him, and said, No, not that I
know of;" then, suddenly putting his hand to his
coat-pocket, he started, and said, Indeed but I
have-I have lost my pocket-book." Oh then,"
said Charles, quite gladly, I have found it; see !
Is not that it?" It is; and I assure you, my
fine little fellow, you do not know what an escape
I have had; for had I lost that pocket-book, or
even wanted the valuable papers it contains, this
afternoon, I should have been a most miserable,
nay, almost ruined man." Charles said he was
very glad indeed that he had found it, and was
just going to run away, when the gentleman took
a guinea out of his pocket, saying he was very
sorry he had no more loose money about him,
begged him to take that, "and buy something
pretty with it." Charles hesitated, for his father
and mother had always told him that it was very
mean to accept presents of money from strangers,
and had forbid him to do so; but the thought of
being able to buypretty things overcame his good
feelings, and with a blushing face and a trembling


hand he took the guinea.-The gentleman asked
his own and his papa's name, and went away.
Now came the 4- I. -1 in Charles's mind-the
good spirit in his heart urged him to go at once to
his papa and mama, and tell them what had hap-
pened; confess the fault he had committed in
taking the guinea at all, and consult them how he
should spend it; but then the bad spirit tempted
him with the thoughts of all the delights of being
able to show off his riches and his pretty things to
those w.ho had sneered at him for his poverty: and
at last the evil spirit overcame, and poor foolish
Charles determined to conceal the guinea, and
spend it secretly.
Had he, when he felt thus tempted to be bad,
thrown himself on his knees, and begged of God to
help him to do that which was right, he would
have been helped; he would have been made
strongly to remember that God never fails fearfully
to punish sin; and that one sin always leads to
another and another. Again, he would have been
helped to remember, how impossible it was that a
little boy like him could spend so much money as


a guinea, without being found out by his papa and
mama, and all the shame and disgrace and misery
that would follow. But Charles did not pray; and
none of these thoughts came into his head; nothing
came into it but the poor, silly, wicked delight of
being able to mortify his companions.
He ran home, and ate his dinner in the greatest
hurry. For the first time in his life he sought no
kiss from his mama when he went in; he did not
even look in her face. As soon as he had swallowed
his dinner, he jumped off his chair and rushed out
of the house, without waiting for the kiss and the
..--:, with which that affectionate mother always
sent him out to school or to play. It was not that
he forgot it. No; but something made him feel
that he was not worthy to receive it. Woe to the
little boy, ay, or to the grown man, who rushes on
any action on which he feels he cannot ask his
mother's blessing!
Charles ran at full speed to a toy-shop, at the
door and windows of which he had often lingered,
gazing in admiration at its many-coloured treasures.
From amongst those he now selected so many, and


in such evident haste and trepidation, that the man
of the shop looked at him very much, and, when
he presented the golden guinea to pay for all the
trash he had picked out, said,-" Pray, little mas-
ter, how did such a little fellow as you come by so
much money as this" Charles's face grew quite
scarlet. What was easier than to say, A gentle-
man gave it me for finding his pocket-book?" But
no; when once people have given themselves up
to the bad spirit, it is most extraordinary howfool-
isk are the things they do. He stammered, and
said, "I found it." You found it, my dear."
said the man; "then do you not know that it is
not yours to spend? it belongs to the person who
has lost it, and you should try to find out who that
is. I do not like to sell you anything for money
which is not honestly your own." "I think," said
Charles, bursting with fury, "that you are a very
impertinent man; what is your business to speak
that way to me?" and snatching up the guinea, he
darted out of the shop, and ran to another, where
the people gave him what he asked for, and changed
the guinea, without asking any questions; but as


these people were not honest, like the other man,
they cheated him, because they saw that he was a
little silly boy, who knew nothing about money or
its value; and Charles was quite astonished to find
how few things he had, and how little remained
of his guinea, which he had supposed quite an in-
exhaustible sum, that he might buy, and buy, and
buy with, before it could be done. He felt that
the people were cheating him, but he did not know
what to do. He was frightened to say anything,
lest they too should ask where he got the guinea.
Angry, discontented, and unhappy, he lifted up
his purchases to come away, when a new difficulty
came into his mind. If he met his papa, or mama,
or any of the servants, when he was going along
loaded with these things, what would he say?
After thinking a little he said to the people, that
he would leave some of his things, and call for
them again. So, stuffing the balls, and the top,
and the spinning-jack into his pockets, and taking
the battledore and shuttlecock in his hand, he
walked away. When he came opposite to the
town-clock, he looked up, and saw, with dismay,


that it was only ten minutes from five. The school
had been in nearly an hour. He had never in his
life played truant-his parents had ever warned
him against it as a great sin-he felt that having
done so that afternoon exposed him to almost cer-
tain detection about the guinea. A feeling of per-
fect wretchedness, such as he had never, never
before felt, rushed through his heart-he burst into
tears; and as he hung despairingly by the rails of
the house he was Ip i-n_, he wished he had never
seen the guinea. What shall I do." said he to
himself. "Shall I go home and tell mama all
about it?" But there was terror in the thought of
all the displeasure she and his papa would feel,
and the punishment they would inflict-and then,
the loss of their good opinion! Ah, poor little
Charles !-Had he even then prayed, his heavenly
Father would have made him feel how much better
and easier it would have been to bear that, than to
go on plunging from sin to sin, and lie to lie.-But
he did not pray.
As he stood, not knowing what to do, his papa
came round the corner of the street. He was talk-


ing to another gentleman, and did not see Charles,
whose terror knew no bounds. He flew down a
little lane, and ran and ran, like a guilty thing as
he was, till he got into a broad street, where he had
never been before-and there he stopped, ready to
drop down with fear and fatigue. As he slowly
walked :l-.'.-, frightened at having lost his way,
but relieved that he had escaped from his papa-
whom at other times he used to run to meet-he
saw a pastry-cook's shop, with many nice things,
and such a nice smell coming out of it. He re-
membered the remains of the guinea that was in
his pocket, and going in, he asked for a tart. It
was given to him, and he took out his shillings and
paid for it. The woman of the shop, seeing he had
so much money, said to him, I think you seem
very hot and tired, master; you had better sit down
on this chair, and eat your tart." Charles was very
glad of the offer; and while he was eating the
tart, she kept recommending this nice thing, and
that nice thing, and then almost forced him to eat
a quantity of different things-while she praised
his beauty, and said she was sure his papa must be


some great gentleman, he was such a very pretty
little boy.
Meanwhile, some very riotous young men came
into the shop, and began to eat fruit, and drink
liqueurs. One of them looked at Charles several
times, and then said, Well, my little hearty, you
seem to eat plenty; let's see if you can drink any!"
and he offered Charles a glass of liqueur. He
refused it, but the wicked young man insisted, and
Charles put it to his lips; it was very sweet, and
pleasant tasted, so he continued to sip at it till he
had drunk more than half the glassful. The young
man looked on and laughed, and said to his com-
panions, "It's good fun to see a little chap like
that drunk." At hearing this, Charles jumped off
the sofa, and ran out of the shop, but the woman
pursued him, and told him he must pay for what
he had eaten; and of seven shillings which he had
in his pocket, she said he owed her six, which she
took from him. Charles cried bitterly, and said it
could not be so much, but she said, he was a mean
little rascal to want to cheat her, and told him to
go about his business; so saying, she gave him a


push from her, and went back into her shop.
Charles wandered down the street, crying; he met
a lady, who looked very compassionately at him,
and asked why he cried ? He was ashamed to tell
the whole reason, so he answered that he had lost
his way. She asked where he wanted to go. He
hesitated, and then said to the playground of Mr.
Watt's school. The lady told him to dry his tears,
and she would take him there; so she kindly turned
with him, and soon led him to the entrance of the
The school was some time out, and Charles was
soon surrounded by the boys-particularly the bad
ones, who, unlike good boys, had not gone home
to tea. He exhibited his battledore and shuttle-
cock, his balls, his tops, and his spinning-jack, and
boasted how many fine things he had besides these,
and how much money he had spent. The boys
looked and wondered, but being bad boys, instead
of feeling pleased that a companion had got any
nice thing, they were angry and spiteful. "And
who," said one of the oldest of them, "who gave
you all the money ? Did you steal it" Charles


was irritated into a rage by their impertinence,
and wishing to appear as great as possible, he
answered, "Steal it, indeed!-you impertinent mon-
key-my papa gave me a whole guinea for being a
good boy." My papay gave me a whole geenee
for being a good boy, and playing the truant,",/ie-
peated the boy, mimicking Charles, and all the rest
burst into fits of laughing, and repeated the words,
at the same time twitching Charles by the sleeves
and skirts of his jacket. He was speechless with
fury; for besides all the feelings of shame, disgrace,
guilt, and rage that filled his poor little heart, the
intoxicating liquor he had drunk was now in his
head, and he scarcely knew what he did. He flew
at the boys; boxed one, scratched another, kicked
a third; they shouted and laughed, and returned
his blows. Bad boys are always cowards; so in-
stead of fighting it out one to one, they all attacked
him, threw him down, and beat him cruelly; the
big boy, who first provoked him, ran away with
his fine battledore and shuttlecock, another seized
his -1 !iii ;i ..1;. and another his ball. Dirtied,
hurt, and enraged, C(h ,l. .-, sprang from the ground,


to rescue the playthings for which he had sacrificed
so much, and darted upon the thief of his spinning-
jack; but he, being a much bigger and stronger
boy, and besides that, not having drunk any noyeau
that afternoon, with one unmerciful blow drove
poor Charles once more to the ground.-His face
struck a large stone, the blood burst from his nose
and mouth, he fainted with the agony, and imme-
diately they all ran off and left him.
A gentleman, who had a son in the school, was
passing at the moment, and partly saw the battle:
observing that Charles did not move, he humanely
went into the play-ground, and raised him. He
could scarcely believe that the bloody, bruised, dirty
child, was Charles Annesley; but he took him in
his arms, and carried him home to his father's
house, which was at no great distance.
My dear little readers, how little can you under-
stand, or even guess at, the sorrow of a mother, or
a father, when they see their child brought home
in such a state !-You may believe me, you will
never know a sorrow so great till you are your-
selves fathers and mothers. Charles had come to


himself before they reached his father's door, and
how very dreadful were his feelings! Streaming
with blood, his body hurt and bruised by the cruel
boys, for the sake of whose expected admiration,
applause, or envy, he had committed so many sins,
and told so many lies-here he was going home,
wretched and terrified, to his papa and mama.
Oh! was all a guinea could buy, worth such
misery as he endured? And what had it bought
for him? Nothing but sorrow, disappointment,
anger, a sick and oppressed stomach, a bad head-
ach, a cruel beating, and a sore, sore heart;-and
such like, my dear children, are ever and ever the
consequences of sin, either in childhood, or man-
hood. The punishment may not always follow so
quickly as it did to Charles; but it always comes
some time. If not on earth, how much more awful
to think it will come after we die, in the endless
ages of eternity.
Soon after Charles was carried home, he began
to vomit most violently, and his poor mama was
puzzled to imagine when or where he had eaten
such a quantity of stuff; but to all her inquiries

17 18


the man, except to tell the magistrate he would
call upon him in about an hour; and going up to
Charles's room, he sat down by his bed-side. He
would scarcely have known him for his own boy;
his eyes and nose were blue, his cheeks were
scratched, and swelled with crying, and there was
a great blue bump upon his brow. Conscious of
guilt, he did not dare to look his father in the face.
" Charles," said he, in a stern voice, "tell me, and
as you value your life, tell me the truth, did you
steal a guinea last night? Oh, have I lived to ask
my own child if he is a thief!" Charles could
not speak for a moment, he was so stunned; he
wished that the earth could open and hide him for
His father repeated the question, in even a more
.h1i. Ifl voice. Oh, no, no, papa, I did not steal
it; indeed, indeed, I did not." Where, then,
unhappy boy, did you get it ?" said his father. "I
got it from a gentleman for finding his pocket-
book," said Charles, sobbing as if his heart would
You got it from a gentleman for finding his


pocket-book;" repeated nis father; "to one you
have said that you found it, to another that I gave
it to you, and here is a third story; which of them,
most wretched, wicked child is the truth ? or are
they all falsehoods together ?" Charles started out
of bed, and throwing himself on the floor, before
his father, almost choked with sobs and cries, he
exclaimed, Oh, my papa, my papa, I have been a
rery wicked boy; I did, I know I did, tell these
two lies; but indeed, indeed, papa, I am telling
the truth now; I got the guinea from a gentleman
I never saw before, for picking up his book on the
road."-" And you spent it upon toys and sweet-
meats, and noyeau to make yourself drunk? Oh,
what a very dreadful child you are!" and his
father hid his face in his hands and groaned. Oh,
papa, I bought toys and sweetmeats, but I did not
buy that stuff, it was a young man gave it me in
the confectioner's shop." Well, Charles, you
have brought yourself and your parents into a
situation of shame and disgrace, from which they
never can recover. You are accused of stealing
that guinea from the counter of a shop, and but for


the respect which Mr. Innes, the magistrate, has
for your father and mother, you would this morning
have been carried to the common prison, and per-
haps tried for your life." But, papa, I will go
to Mr. Innes, and tell him I got it from that gen-
tleman- You will tell! and who will believe
a liar? I feel that I cannot believe you; and if
your own father feels that, what must strangers
feel? No, Charles, your character is ruined for
life ; never more need you hope to be believed or
trusted, even whlen 'you tell the truth/. As he said
this, he slowly left the room, and went away to the
magistrate's house. He felt that he had not one
word to say in defence of his unhappy little boy,
so he silently paid the guinea, and returned home,
ashamed, as he walked along the street, to look
any one in the face; for he thought to himself, I
am the father of a liar and a thief."
He found Charles in bed, and his mother sit-
ting by him, weeping bitterly; He sat down
beside her, and, no longer able to bear the agony
of his feelings, he sobbed and wept also. My
dear children, what do you think were Charles's


thoughts and feelings then? Had they beaten
him almost to death, he would not have felt half so
bitterly as he did, to see his father and his mother
in such deep distress-all caused by his wickedness.
How very poor, how pitiful, did all a guinea could
procure-all he had even hoped to procure for it,
now appear to him, in comparison with the suffer-
ings it had caused! Ah, my children, pray to God
that He would help you to think of that before,
instead of after, you have sinned.
Charles wept without intermission, and towards
the afternoon, he appeared so very ill, and had
such a dreadful headache, that his mama sent for a
doctor. He told her that Charles was taking a
fever; and so he was. For many weeks his life was
in great danger. No one thought he could live-
and what he suffered during these weeks the pain
in his head, and in his breast, and in his limbs was
so great, that it made him scream out constantly.
His beautiful curly hair was all shaved off, and a
blister put upon his head; another blister was put
upon his breast. He was bled at both arms, and
many leeches were put on different parts of his


body; he had to take bitter medicines, and endure
more things than I can make you understand.
A thousand times he would have wished to die;
but when that wish rose in his mind, it was
always followed by the thought of his sins, and
the recollection of the dreadful words in the Bible,
"Every liar shall have his portion in the lake that
burneth with fre and brimstone;" and then he would
shriek aloud, and pray to God to spare his life,
that he might try and be a good boy. His dear
and tender mother hung over him night and day,
holding him in her arms, and shedding tears for
his sufferings. At last he began very slowly to
recover, but was so weak that he could not feed
himself, or raise himself in bed. He was no more
the little happy merry boy he used to be; sad and
melancholy, he lay without ever speaking; think-
ing constantly about the guinea, and all it had
brought upon him.
One day his mama was sitting by him, and she
spoke to him on the subject, and '. -_:,1 he would
nowtell her the exact truth. Charles burst into tears,
and repeated exactly all that had happened; adding,


" Whoever stole the guinea, mama, it was not I;
oh no, I was bad, very bad, but I did not do that."
His mother sighed deeply, and said she believed
he was telling the truth now; but no other body
would believe that; and he must, through all his
after-life, bear the dreadful name of thief, unless
it should please God to justify him from the false
charge brought against him-a charge, she pointed
out to him, that never could have been made
against him, had he not first made himself a liar.
She told him to pray constantly to God that He
would be so merciful as to save him from ever
telling another lie, and be pleased to send some
way of showing to the world he was not a thief
also; and this poor Charles did, with all the ear-
nestness of a broken and a contrite heart.
One day, about two months after this, when the
family were sitting at breakfast, a very neat little
parcel was brought in, addressed to Mr. Annesley.
It had come by the coach from London, and Charles
felt very curious to know what was in it. He
thought papa very slow at undoing the strings, and
that he would have done it much quicker; at


length the last paper was unrolled-a little neat
box appeared, and a letter for his papa. The box
was opened, and in it lay a most beautiful little
gold watch; his papa read the letter aloud,-it
was thus:
Si,-About three months ago, as I was walk-
ing along the public road, near your house, I
dropped a very valuable pocket-book, which was
picked up, and instantly restored to me, by your
little son. At the time, having no more loose
money about me than would pay my expenses to
London, I could only present him with the trifling
reward of a guinea. Had I lost that pocket-book,
I must have been ruined; and I therefore beg you
will present to the little fellow who saved me from
such a misfortune, the watch which accompanies
this, with my very best and kindest good wishes.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.

Oh, papa, papa!" cried Charles, throwing his
arms round his papa's neck, you see I was not a
thief. Oh! God has heard my prayers,-everybody


will know now that I was not a thief." Most
grateful am I to God for showing that, my poor
boy, and also for checking you so severely at your
outset in sin; but, Charles, can you accept of that
watch His father turned round the back of it
to him, and showed him his own name beautifully
engraved on it, and the words-" The reward of
truth and honesty. 1st July, 1826."
Charles's face grew crimson, and then pale. He
struggled with himself for a moment or two, and
then, bursting into tears, he said,-" No, papa, the
watch cannot be mine-I was that day neither
honest nor true-send it back to Mr. Walsingham,
and tell him so-tell him all my shame;" and he
sobbed as if his heart would break. His father and
mother folded him in their arms, and said to him,
that never did they hope to love him so well again
as they did at that moment, for they felt that he
then was truly good, and could acknowledge his
sin without seeking a disguise for it. Charles
often afterwards said, it was strange, he bitterly
regretted giving up the beautiful watch, he would
have been so proud to wear; and yet, perhaps, it


was the happiest moment of his life, when he was
folded in the fond embrace of a father and mother,
pleased and delighted with him, because he had
strength of mind to give it up, when he felt he did
not deserve it.
A few weeks after this, Mrs. Annesley told
Charles she wished him to go with her to a
watch-maker's shop, where she was going to leave
her watch to be repaired. Charles hated to go out
to the streets, for he thought everybody looked at
him, and said, There goes the little thief:" how-
ever, he obeyed his mama, and went to the shop
with her. While the man was looking at his
mama's watch, a lady, and a little girl about his
own age, came in. When the lady saw the master
of the shop was engaged, she stood still, without
asking for what she wanted; and the little girl
began to look at the pretty things in the glass-cases
on the counter,-all at once she cried out, Mama,
there is your purse that was stolen,-look, mama!"
" Hush, my dear," said her mama, one purse may
be like another." No, mama, indeed, but it is
your purse; for there is the very stitch of yellow


silk with which I mended it, when little James
let it fall, and broke one of the gold links; look,
mama!" The lady looked, and turning to the
master of the shop, she said, May I ask where
you,bought that purse, sir for it is certainly very
like one I lost about three months ago." The
man looked much troubled, and said,-" I do not
think it can be yours,-I bought it from a very
honest woman." Well," said the lady, it will
be easily known if it is my purse, for, if it be, the
gold studs, that at present seem quite confused,
will, when drawn in a particular way, form the
initials of my name, M. H. M." The man took
out the purse, the lady drew it, and the letters
M. H. M. appeared. "It is your purse, mama,"
cried the little girl; I am so glad." Sir," said
the lady, turning to the master of the shop, do
you know from whom you bought this purse "
" Yes, ma'am," said the man. Then," said the
lady, "you will please to attend at the house of
Mr. Innes, the magistrate, this afternoon, along
with the person." Oh, ma'am," said the man,
" you are quite welcome to take the purse, since


you have proved it yours." No," replied the
lady, "that will not do. A little boy, the son of
respectable parents, was unjustly accused, and as
I thought, convicted, of stealing this purse; and if
he was innocent, it is my duty to prove that, and
have him restored to the good opinion he lost."
Charles, who had listened to this in breathless
anxiety, could stand it no longer, he burst into a
fit of sobbing, and darting forward to the lady,
cried out, Indeed, indeed, I was quite innocent-
I never saw that purse before,-mama will tell
you, I didn't steal your guinea." The surprise of
the lady may be imagined; but Mrs. Annesley
spoke to her, and explained the circumstances, and
when the lady understood that Charles was the
little boy so unjustly accused of stealing her purse,
she felt more than ever resolved to find out who
did it. So she desired the shopman to give her the
name of the woman immediately, and she sent a
proper person to bring her instantly to the magis-
trate's; when this wicked woman found that she
was discovered, she thought it best to confess that


she was in the shop buying something, the night
the lady came in, and laid down her handkerchief
and purse; so she just whipped the purse into her
lap, and walked away with it; and as she was
supposed to be quite an honest woman, the people
of the shop never suspected her when the purse was
Oh how great was the joy of Charles at being
thus justified! How great his gratitude to God,
who had thus heard his prayers How deeply did
he feel that God hears and answers every prayer,
even of the youngest child, if it comes from the
heart. Yes, he felt this, and he never forgot it.
A few days after this, another letter came from
Mr. Walsingham, returning the watch, and saying,
that since Charles had the honesty to confess
how guilty he had been, he deserved to wear the
watch; to put it in his pocket; and, if ever he
felt again tempted to sin as he had done, to pull it
out, and think of the 1st of July, 1826."
His father and mother folded him to their bosom,
and bade God bless and guide him.


My dear little readers, Charles Annesley's first
lie was also his last. May our heavenly Father
bless all of you, and preserve you from either
committing such sins, or enduring such punish-

LON0o :




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