Uncle Barnaby's budget


Material Information

Uncle Barnaby's budget
Physical Description:
96, 16 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (come col.) ; 15 cm.
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Unwin Brothers (Firm) ( Printer )
Gresham Press ( Printer )
Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication:
London (56 Paternoster Row; 65 St. Paul's Churchyard and 164 Piccadilly) ;
Manchester (100 Corporation Street) ;
Brighton (31 Western Road)
Gresham Press ; Unwin Brothers
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Boys -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Uncles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Cousins -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Vacations -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1870   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1870
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
England -- Manchester
England -- Brighton
England -- Chilworth


NUC pre-1956,
General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

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 - 002229284
notis - ALG9602
oclc - 32511192
System ID:

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Full Text





*:" l [.i .. ':i Li *.'.5. ; '5, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD
.-. '. i'..'I PICCADILLY.




S NOBILITY..................................... 5

"I WILL SEE ABOUT IT" ................... I

"DOIT, AND IT WILL BE DONE" ......... 30

"IF I WERF YOU" ............................. 45

"IT WAS NOT ALWAYS SO" ................. 65





N the days of my youth it was always
reckoned among the chief of my
holiday pleasures to spend a week or
more at the house of my Uncle Barnaby,
where I met my Cousin Frank. Frank
was more than two years older than
myself; and, being placed at a public
school, was much farther advanced in a
knowledge of Greek and Latin. He was
nevertheless kind-hearted and generous,

and always treated me in such a man-
ner as won my confidence as well as
commanded my respect. This is not
uniformly the conduct of schoolboys
towards those whom they consider as
their inferiors.
As to my Uncle Barnaby, he was a
worthy, benevolent old gentleman, old-
fashioned in some of his customs and
opinions, but always good-humoured
and kind. He was an early riser; active,
neat, and persevering in his habits;
always seeming to have something use-
ful to do, and to be intent on doing it,
yet without bustle or confusion. He
had a good house, a select and valuable
library, pleasant grounds, a productive
orchard oh, the apples and walnuts
that I have fetched down from the top-
most boughs! and the rich clusters
that were brought in from the grapery !
Then, too, Uncle Barnaby was much
respected in the neighbourhood; every-
body seemed to look up to him.
I should add that Uncle Barnaby was

a pious man; one whose conduct was
regulated by habitual reference to the
will of God and a desire to live to His
glory. It cannot be wondered at, then,
that a schoolboy felt great delight in
paying a visit to Uncle Barnaby.
The sentiments of the man have not
varied from those of the schoolboy.
Many of Uncle Barnaby's conversations
and remarks remain on my mind to this
present day, and are often confirmed by
my own observation.
I remember walking with him through
a fine park to call on one of his tenants.
Just on the edge of the park was a
public-house called the "Cockpit," as
the cruel gambling sport of cock-fighting
was carried on there. As we passed by,
two meagre-looking lads dismounted
each from a fine spirited horse, the
ostler, landlord,,and landlady all crowd-
ing to offer their services and slipping
in at every third or fourth word, "My
lord," or, "Your lordship." I sup-
pose," said Cousin Frank, these are

two young noblemen." Yes," replied
my uncle, the sons of the Marquis of
- ." We had scarcely turned the
corner before their young lordships had
entered on familiar conversation with
their attendants, laughing at the sport
of a past day to which they referred,
discussing the respective merits, and
betting upon the success of the poor
feathered combatants who were to
afford them new entertainment; and
interlarding their discourse with certain
low and profane expressions. "Noble-
men !" thought I to myself; I wonder
at their degrading themselves by such
meanness. Profanity, gambling, and
low familiarity are anything but noble;
at least such is my father's opinion."
In the course of our ramble the words
"noble" and "nobility" again occurred
more than once. My uncle directed us
to a handsome mansion in a very ruinous
state, most of the apartments being shut
up, and the rest only occupied by an
old man and woman appointed to take

care of the place ; the noble proprietor
having squandered his property on the
race-course and at the gaming-table, and
compelled himself, with his family, to
retreat from the abode of his ancestors
and live in obscurity on the Continent.
Presently after, we met a poor man,
walking with crutches, and who ap-
peared to be in bad health. My uncle
accosted him very kindly, made parti-
cular inquiries after his wife and family,
and drew him aside for a moment: I sus-
pect, from the poor fellow's manner at
parting, to make him a present. Has
he met with an accident ?" asked my
"His lameness," replied my uncle,
'has arisen from a noble effort to savethe
life of a fellow-creature. Some months
ago, a farmhouse was burned to the
ground. The farmer was from home
when the fire happened; and as but
little help was at hand, and there were
few persons who knew how to render
assistance, the property was entirely

consumed; and the women and children
were with difficulty saved from destruc-
tion, chiefly by the exertions of the man
we just met. As the terrified children
gathered round their mother, one of
them exclaimed, 'Where is old Nanny?'
This brought to the recollection of the
bystanders that one inmate of the farm-
house was missing-an aged relative
who assisted in taking care of the chil-
dren. While all regretted that the poor
old creature should so miserably perish,
all agreed, as the staircase was already
in flames, that it was utterly impossible
to rescue her. This one noble fellow,
however, resolved to take his life in his
hand, and make the attempt. No en-
treaties could deter him; he rushed for-
ward, regardless of danger-and yet not
exactly so, for he adopted -every prudent
precaution that time and circumstances
would allow, to defend himself both
against flames and suffocation-he
reached t1,. chl :i!b.- r where the poor
creature was, and bore her in safety to

the window, whence she was removed
unhurt. Her deliverer, however, had
received a violent blow on. his leg. He
has ever since been a sufferer, and will
to the end of life feel the effects of his
generous enterprise. But he considers
his sufferings highly compensated in the
success that crowned his endeavour and
the gratitude of those on whose behalf
he nobly ventured."
The titled gamblers, the courageous
and kind-hearted labourer, presented to
my mind different, and somewhat con-
fused ideas of the epithet "noble; and
on reaching home I hastened to the
library, hoping to obtain from the ex-
planations of Dr. Johnson some more
definite sense of its import. My uncle
came in and found me with my head
on my hand, and the volume on my knee
open at the words, nobility," noble,"
"nobleman," noblenesss."
"Uncle," said I, I wish you would
tell me what you really call a noble man.
I wish to have your own sentiments on

the subject. I do not want any more
dictionary explanations."
Well," said my uncle, "do not let
us reject the dictionary altogether, but
take its definitions as far as they go, and
add anyideas or explanations of our own
that may present themselves."
At my uncle's desire I read the several
definitions of noble: "
I. Of an ancient and splendid family.
2. Exalted to a rank above common-
3. Great, worthy, illustrious.
4. Exalted, elevated, sublime.
5. Magnificent, stately.
6. Free, generous, liberal.
7. Principal, capital.
My uncle remarked: "As you ask me
what I mean by a noble man, we may
drop some of these definitions and
modify others. The seventh relates
not to man himself, but to the vital or
most important parts of the human
frame, or the chief cities of an empire,
or to the principal portions of any


given whole. The fourth is yet more
strictly applicable to the stupendous
works of creation and the discoveries of
revelation, than to human sentiments
and actions, which can be 'exalted,
elevated, and sublime,' only in a very
inferior and imperfect sense. The
fifth we more frequently apply to objects
we behold, especially to such as are the
productions of human labour and art;
we speak of a magnificent cathedral or
palace, a stately dome, arch, or tower.
"But as far as tle word noble is ap-
plied to man, it strikes me to signify
the possession- of superiority-bodily,
intellectual, moral, or prospective.
We have seen some signal instances
in which mind has exerted a noble
energy in surmounting all the disad-
vantages of a feeble and diseased bodily
Dr. Watts, for instance," inter-
posed Frank: "perhaps you recollect
him, uncle. My mother does: and I
have heard her say that some person

having expressed surprise, bordering
upon contempt, at his diminutive figure,
the Doctor promptly replied :
'Were I so tall to reach the pole,
And grasp the ocean in my span,
I must be measured by my soul;
The mind's the standard of the man.'"
The poor labourer who hazarded his
life and sacrificed his health to save a
fellow-creature is, in my esteem, more
noble than the titled cock-fighter."
FRANK.-YOU spoke of intellectual
superiority, uncle, as belonging to a
noble character; but I do not think
great talents and nobleness always go
together. One of the cleverest fellows
in our school (indeed Dr.-- has often
said he has talents enough for two)
does not acquit himself in so honour-
able a manner as some who are far his
inferiors in genius.
UNCLE. -Very likely : the intel-
lectual superiority to which I refer is
essentially different from genius, which,
in its common acceptation, means such


a decided bent for some one pursuit as
enables a man to attain his object in it
with little or no labour. This is often
the companion of great incompleteness
of character.
Then, to give that mental supe-
riority claim to the character of noble,
it must be practical. There is nothing
noble in discerning and admiring the
good, and yet choosing and following
the evil. It is utterly at variance with
selfishness and sensuality. These, how-
ever varnished over and dignified with
fine names, are signs of meanness of
character. True nobleness can never
co-exist with them. Self-control and a
generous regard to the claims and in-
terests of others are inseparable from
true nobility. A noble-minded man can-
not but be benevolent and social too.
To complete a great character, or
rather to give force to all the elements
of greatness, the truly noble man must
be a truly religious man. Truly to
cniiri.lA the immortal spirit of man, it

is essential that it should be conversant
with objects and themes. equal with
itself in dignity and duration. It must
look into eternity with realising faith.
And since whatever original or ac-
quired advantages man may possess,
as his actual condition is that of a
sinner, the soul must embrace that
wonderful plan of mercy which the
Gospel reveals ; must humbly and
cordially receive Christ Jesus, the un-
speakable gift of God; must implicitly
yield itself to the guidance of the Sacred
Spirit, by whose gracious influence
alone what in human nature is dark
can be enlightened, what is grovelling
raised, and what is polluted purified.
The man must become a partaker of
the faith that receives the kingdom of
God as a little child. This will impel
and enable him, in true repentance, to
fall at the feet of a forgiving Father, to
submit to His authority, rest in His
love, and live in continual intercourse
with Him.


Uncle Barnaby now rose and left the
As I mused awhile on his sentiments
and his character, "I'll tell you what,
Samuel," said Frank, "my Uncle Bar-
naby himself is a noble man."
I think so too," was my reply, and
I wish we could be like him."



N my early childhood, on account of
my dear mother's ill health, much
of the management of the family, and
particularly the care of myself and two
little sisters, was confided to a sort of
upper servant, one Mrs. Harris. Having
been in better circumstances, though
now reduced to seek a situation in ser-
vice, and having had a family of her
own, she was strongly recommended to
my parents as a person who must needs
possess a good knowledge of household
Mrs. Harris was kindhearted, and we
were all fond of her; and yet, though
much more indulged, we were not alto-
gether half so comfortable as we had
formerly been under the care of our own
mother. This would, in some degree,
arise from the nature of things. But I


do not think Mrs. Harris was as good a
substitute as she might have been. And
yet, when looking back to her days, I
can hardly define her fault. It certainly
was not want of integrity; for I am
sure she would not have wronged her
employers of a farthing; indeed, she
rather erred on the opposite side-that
of disregard to her own interest. It
was not unkindness; not one of us ever
felt the weight of her hand nor so much
as received a harsh word from her lips.
It was not indolence; for she was
always busy from morning till night. It
was not want of cleanliness; for well
do I remember our daily scrubbings and
sousings in cold water and our frequent
change of apparel. And I remember,
too, her own cleanly, comfortable ap-
pearance, especially on an afternoon and
on Sunday.
Well, as I said before, I cannot ex-
actly describe her fault, and yet we
seemed to be always preparing to be
comfortable, without ever attaining to


it. I do think it must have arisen from
her constant habit of satisfying herself,
and trying to satisfy others, with saying,
" I will see about it;" which, in point of
fact, though not of intention, amounted
to much the same thing as dismissing
the matter altogether.
Mrs. Harris," said my little sister,
who could but just speak, I dot a sore
thumb." Oh poor dear child!" re-
plied Mrs. Harris, "there is a hangnail
wants cutting off: I have not got my
scissors in my pocket, but I am going
upstairs almost directly, and I will see
about it." Having satisfied the child
with this promise and a kiss on the
sore place, she thought no more about
it, until, a few days after, a large angry
gathering had formed on the neglected
part, which inflicted on the poor child
severe pain and the loss of her thuinb-
nail, and caused to the good-natured
but thoughtless nurse the bitterness of
-self-reproach. By way of atonement,
she immediately purchased a gaily-

dressed doll and a sweet cake. These
served to divert the child, but not to
prevent or end her sufferings, any more
than they tended to break the nurse of
her foolish habit.
A large quantity of pickles and pre-
serves had been made for the winter
use of the family, which, after remaining
a day or two, required to be tied down.
This was Mrs. Harris's business to per-
form, nor was any other person likely to
remind her of its omission, as she alone
had access to the store-room. For seve-
ral days, as often as she had occasion
to go into the store-room, or even as sh.
passed by the door, she would exclaim,
SOh, dear! there are those preserves!
I must see about tying them down."
But the repetition of this hackneyed
phrase seemed gradually to wear away
the impression that something was to
be done; new stores came in to occupy
lh:-, front of the shelves, the jars were
pii1 l more backward, and, in a little
I inr, glided into the condition of out of

sight and out of mind." They were not
again thought of for several months-
not, indeed, until some of them were
required for use; and then they were
hunted out, and found mouldy, sour, and
good for nothing.
Holiday-time came, and I went to
visit my Uncle Barnaby. I believe it
was the first time I ever went from home
alone. Cousin Frank was there. He
was telling me what a grand display of
fireworks they had at his school a few
weeks before, and offered to instruct me
in the art and mystery of preparing
squibs and crackers, sky-rockets, and
catherine-wheels. I was delighted with
the proposal; and, by his desire, has-
tened to the housekeeper to obtain some
brimstone, saltpetre, charcoal, and
paper. I am afraid, sir," replied the
housekeeper, "that you want these
things for some dangerous scheme; how-
ever, I will see about it, and, if master
thinks proper, you shall have them."
"There's an end of that, then," thought


I to myself, taking it for granted that
the words had no more meaning from
the lips of Mrs. Rogers than from those
of Mrs. Harris. I went away disap-
pointed, and perhaps a little sulky.
" Frank," said I, "we cannot have the
things." "Never mind," replied Frank;
"come with me; we will'have a slide
on the lake : it is completely frozen
over." Away we ran, in high glee;
but before we reached the new object
of our wishes, we heard Uncle Barnaby's
voice from his study window-" Boys !
boys! do not go on the ice till I have
time to see about it; I am engaged just
now, but I shall be with you shortly."
"Another disappointment," thought I;
it is not all pleasure abroad any more
than at home." Frank did not appear
at all disconcerted: he knew uncle
better than I did. "Come," said he,
"let us have a game at cricket the
while." "The while of what?" I inquired,
rather pettishly. "The while that
uncle finishes what he is about, and sees


whether he thinks -it safe for us to go
on the ice." Do you think, then, that
he will see about it ?" To be sure I
do. Did he not say he would?" "Yes;
but that is only a put off, isn't it ?" "Not
with Uncle Barnaby: he always means
what he says. Let me tell you, he
would think it a sin to say he would
see about anything, and then neglect
to do so. I have often seen him make
a memorandum, lest he should forget
even the smallest thing that he engaged
to do. There were two things that he
promised to see about; that was yester-
day, before you came : and I should not
wonder a bit if he is attending to one
of them now." "Then," -thought I,
"that is. the way to be trusted; and -if
Uncle Barnaby really does see about
what he says he will, I shall be quite
satisfied with what he says."
No very long time elapsed before my
uncle came to us. Now, boys," said
he, "am I under any engagement with
you ?" "No absolute promises, sir,"


replied Frank; "but there are several
things you promised to see about."
"Yes, sir," I ventured to interpose,
"you promised to see whether we
might go on the ice."
I have seen about it, my little man,"
returned my uncle, kindly patting my
head, "and I wish you not to go on the
lake to-day; the ice is not sufficiently
firm to bear you without danger. If you
like to amuse yourselves on the duck-
pond you may safely do it; and as the
frost is likely to continue, by to-
morrow, I should think, you may venture
on the lake. Well, what next?" About
the Shetland pony, uncle," said Frank,
-"why there he certainly is Have
you decided on purchasing him, uncle?"
"Yes, Frank; I have this morning
concluded a bargain with Farmer Stokes,
who assures me that he is quite manage-
able and free from vice. The farmer
is an honest man, and one on whose
word I can rely; so I have no hesitation
in giving you full permission to mount

the horse, and I hope he will afford
you much pleasure. I need not say,
you will permit your cousin to share
your recreation."
Certainly, uncle. Cousin Sam shall
have the first ride. I thank you a thou-
sand times for your kindness."
"You are heartily welcome, my boy.
But, come, let us make clear scores
before we part: were there any other
promises? "
Only about the lecturer, sir, and
his experiments." "Well, Frank, Mr.
-- has just been with me. I find him
a very sensible, well-informed, and
modest man, and think that his lectures
will be interesting and instructive; we
have, therefore, arranged for him to
spend a few days with us, as soon as
his public engagement is over. He
will lecture in the library on Monday
and Tuesday evenings; in the mean-
time you may ride round and invite
any of your young friends within reach
to join our party."


Oh, thank you, uncle, thank you !
I am obliged to you: how much you
strive to give us pleasure There is
one thing, sir, I really am vexed with
myself for having proposed to Cousin
Sam, because I am afraid you will not
approve of it. I spoke to him about
making some fireworks."
Ay, true; Rogers has been telling
me about it. She is frightened to death,
she says, lest, as the old ditty has it,
we should be all blown up alive. I
must own I am not over fond of gun-
powder, because it is a dangerous play-
thing. Apart from this consideration, I
could enjoy a display of well-constructed
fireworks as well as either of you. I
fancy some of the experiments of our
philosopher may throw an interesting
light on the nature and properties of the
several ingredients the combination of
which forms gunpowder. Perhaps you
will find enough to occupy the interven-
ing time, and will consent that the gun-
powder experiment should stand over."


I need hardly say that we both
cheerfully consented to postpone or sur-
render our project.
Next morning at the breakfast-table,
almost before we had had time to form
a wish or a thought about the sliding,
uncle convinced us that he had not lost
sight of his engagement. "Well, lads,"
said he, "I am glad to see so fine a
morning. As soon as you have finished
your meal, we will equip ourselves,
and go out for an hour's skating. The
ice is quite firm ; and though the air is
cold, we shall be able to keep ourselves
warm by exercise." Kind-hearted man !
he had taken the trouble to procure for
each of us a pair of skates to fit our size,
a pair of woollen gloves, and a stock,
or, as it is called in modern language,
a comforter. Thus equipped, we sallied
forth, and, to our great surprise, our
kind uncle accompanied us, and not
merely discovered the care of a cautious
guardian, but joined in our sport with
all the skill and agility of a first-rate


skater. "Whowould have thought," said
I to'Frank, "that such a steady, elderly
gentleman as Uncle Barnaby would
jump about like a boy, and laugh at a
tumble just as we do ? "-"Ah," replied
Frank, "you will know uncle better by-
and-by; and you will always find that
he first considers whether a thing is
right and proper; then, if he decides
to do it at all, he goes into it with all
his energy, and leaves off just at the
right time."
What with skating and riding and in-
specting the progress of a school, and
attending lectures and receiving the
visits of our young friends, and the
standing pleasures of the library and of
Uncle Barnaby's fire-side talk, the
holidays glided away most happily. I
do not recollect, during the whole
month, one five minutes of idleness.
This is more than can be said for the
school holidays of many young people.



HIS was a favourite expression of
my Uncle Barnaby. The head of
our nursery was accustomed to postpone
attention to duty with a promise to
" see about it." To this circumstance
I trace my early disposition, when di-
rected to do anything, to satisfy myself
with assenting and intending, and dis-
missing the subject from my mind
without actually performing the thing
On my first visit to my uncle I was
struck with the order and despatch of
business which prevailed throughout
the house, and formed a perfect contrast
to the scene by which Mrs. Harris was
surrounded. However, as was generally
the case with fresh inmates in the
family, I more than-once came in for
my uncle's admonition.

Cousin Frank was always kind and
good-humoured, and accommodated him-
self to thewishes of a younger companion.
Still, however, he acted by a plan; and
sometimes when I applied to him to join
me in play, he would reply, I cannot
come now, Samuel: I shall be engaged
for an hour or more with my exercise."
What!"I inquired, have you to
write exercises in holiday-time ?"
"Yes," replied Frank; I must keep
up my work, or I shall get behindhand
when I return to school. Have you
nothing to do in that way, Samuel?"
Only two of IEsop's fables to trans-
late." Had you not better set about
doing them ?" Yes, I can, to be sure;
but there is no hurry: they will not take
me long to do, and we have more than
three weeks to come of the holidays."
My uncle came in, and heard the
close of the conversation. My boy,"
said he, let me advise you now, in the
morning of your days, to cultivate a
habit of never leaving till to-morrow,

not merely what absolutely ought to be
done to-day, but that which might as
well be done to-day; do it, and it will
be done."
On that occasion I took my uncle's
advice, and I had no reason to regret
it. I got my slate, and set about trans-
lating one of the fables; while thus
engaged I felt very happy, and really
interested in my work; it seemed no
burden to me. By an hour's applica-
tion two or three mornings, the thing
was done; thus I had plenty of time to
look it over, correct any little mistakes
that had occurred in the translation, and
neatly to copy it for showing up on my
return. Then I had for nearly three
weeks the pleasure of knowing that it
was done.
It was not always that I was wise
enough to act upon my good uncle's
maxim. My dear mother, who was an
invalid, and tenderly anxious about her
children, especially when absent, had
desired to receive a letter from me on a


certain day. It was my full intention
to attend to her request. The matter
was mentioned at breakfast-time: my
uncle gave me a message which he
wished me to give to my father, and
added, Now you had better do it, and
it will be done."
Frank was going that day to visit
some school-fellows of his; as the ap-
pointment had been made before my
arrival, I was not invited. Besides, as
Frank was to ride his pony, I could not
accompany him; so I had the day to my-
self to write the letter. Having seen my
cousin mounted, I went to the library
for writing materials; but, alas! I
there happened to cast my eye on a
book which contained a number of inter-
esting experiments; I could not resist
the temptation of trying only one-and
only one more-still flattering myself
that plenty of time remained for writing
my letter, until, to my utter astonish-
ment, I heard the sound of the dinner-

I resolved to slip away from the table
as soon as the cloth was removed, still
hoping to accomplish my promise in
due time for the postman. Unfortu-
nately, a gentleman with two little boys
called to see my uncle. They were in-
vited to remain to dinner; this pro-
longed the meal beyond its usual time,
and then my uncle desired me to enter-
tain the young gentlemen, so that I
could not make my escape. The post:
man's horn was heard, my uncle laid
his letters on the table, and desired me
to fetch mine; alas I had not written
a line of it. My uncle saw my con-
fusion; he said little, but evidently
looked surprised and displeased. The
postman could not wait, and my letter
was obliged to be deferred till the next
Oh, the feelings, when I thought of
my dear mother's disappointment and
anxiety! I did, indeed, that evening
write a letter of affectionate apology,
but it had to lie by till the postman's


next visit; and as it happened to be on
Saturday, two days elapsed before it was
on its way to soothe the wounded feel-
ings of my tender parent. My uncle's
message also, which was of some con-
sequence, was delayed, and I really felt
ashamed to look him in the face; but
my most distressing thoughts were
about my mother.
My uncle had an extensive grapery,
and took great pleasure in the produc-
tion of fine and early fruit, with which
to gratify his friends. The first grapes
of the season were cut for a present to
my Cousin Mortimer, and the advancing
succession was destined for other
friends. My uncle observed that some-
thing was amiss with the lock of the
hot-house door, and directed the gar-
dener to get it set to rights. Send
for the smith directly," said my uncle,
"or rather go yourself and fetch him,
and see that it is done before night."
My uncle was just setting out on a
visit to Cousin Mortimer, or he would

not have contented himself with order-
ing the lock to be repaired; he would
have seen that it actually was done;
and perhaps, had he been at home, the
gardener would have -been so sure that
his prompt and personal obedience
would be looked after, that he would
scarcely have ventured to transfer the
trust. But master was just leaving
home; and rare, as well as valuable, is
the servant who never on that account
in any degree deviates from the course
of duty or slackens his diligence in
pursuing it. My uncle's head gar-
dener, old Anthony, was one of this sort;
but it happened at the time that he was
ill; so the order was given to Edward,
the second gardener, who, on receiving
it, contented himself with saying, Yes,
sir," and thought no more about the
matter till next morning, when he
opened the door, and, by the imperfect
manner in which it was fastened, was
reminded of his neglect on the preced-
ing day.

"George," said he, to ohe of the
labourers, "be sure you take this lock
to the smith's, and get him to mend it;
master ordered it to be done yesterday,
and he will be home to-morrow." Yes,
sir," said George, and contented himself
as Edward had done before him.
On shutting up for the night another
remark was made on the omission, and
another resolution formed that it should
be attended to the first thing in the morn-
ing. Indeed," said George, "there is
no occasion to take it to the smith's
at all; I could do it myself in five
minutes: the spring has become rusty,
which prevents the bolt shooting far
enough; it only requires to be taken off
and oiled."
"Very well," replied Edward; "then,
as master says, 'Do it, and it will be
done,' and be sure it is done before
master comes;" and so it was intended
to be done. But, to the great conster-
nation of both Edward and George,
somebody had been there before them,

and had cleared away all the ripe
grapes and a number of choice plants
to the value of many pounds. There
were no marks of violence to show a
forcible entry having been effected. It
was evident that the robbers had found
an easy access, from the simple circum-
stance of the lock being out of order.
Both the men dreaded the return of
their master, fearing that he might
suspect them of being concerned in, or
having connived at, the robbery. My
uncle had no such suspicion; but his
first question naturally was, Had the
lock been mended?" and very severe was
the reprimand for this act of neglect.
It afterwards proved that the robbery
had been committed by a lad employed
in the garden, who had overheard the
order of my uncle, and had observed
also its non-fulfilment.
I have been thinking, Cousin Bar-
naby," said a widow relative of the
family, "that it would be very proper
for me to make a will."

"I think so, too," said my uncle; "so
do it, and it will be done."
"I do not know that there is any
hurry about it; my health is very good,
and you know I am the youngest of the
family." (By family she meant a race
of cousins, not brothers and sisters, for
she had none.)
"A will is better made in health than
in sickness, when there is so much to
attend to, and so little capability of
attention; and the youngest of a family
is not always the survivor."
"True, cousin; and I should not die
sooner for having made my will."
"Certainly not; but you might live
the more comfortably."
"It is but little I have to leave be-
hind me."
The fewer words will be required to
describe it."
Perhaps some day, cousin, when
you are quite at leisure, you would draw
up something of the kind for me to look

"I am at leisure now to give you
half an hour, which is more than enough
for the purpose; let us set about and
do it, and then it will be done. What
is it you wish expressed ?" My uncle
sat down to his desk, folded a sheet of
paper, and looked for instructions.
You take me quite unaware, cousin;
you are such a man for the despatch of
business. Suppose we leave it for the
present, and I will see you again in a
few days."
"Well, you must please yourself;
but, for my part, I think no time like
the present. Is it that you have
not made up your mind, that you wish
to delay?"
No, cousin, not that; my mind is
quite made up that my little property
should go to Cousin William and his
family. He was a kind friend to me
when my husband died; and to him I
may say I am indebted for having any-
thing to leave. I am sure it is all due
to them; besides, my father's nephew


does not at all need it, and I am under
no sort of obligation to him."
'"True; yet, as he is a first cousin,
and the -nephew of your father, while
Cousin William is a more distant re-
lative, I suppose the former would come
in as heir-at-law, -especially as your
little property is in freeholds."
"Well, it is quite right to provide
against that; so if you will just set it
down, it will be a great satisfaction to
My uncle in a very few lines expressed
the will of his relative as to the disposi-
tion of her property (of course taking
due care that it should be legally ex-
plicit), and handed it over to her for
approval. She looked it over and said,
" It will do very well; it is exactly
what I wish." My uncle then pro-
ceeded to ring the bell for some of the
servants to witness the signature.
"Stop," said the widow, "now it is
written, there is no such great hurry
about the signature. There are a few

jewels, and my watch, which I should
like to leave as keepsakes among the
younger branches of the family. I will
look over the things, and then it can be
signed at any time."
"Please yourself," said my uncle,
"but remember, a will is nothing till it
is signed; my maxim is, 'do it, and it
will be done;' you have thought about
it, and set about it, but you have not
done it."
In less than a fortnight after this, my
uncle was hastily sent for to see this
relative, who was alarmingly ill, and
expressed an earnest desire to see him.
He lost no time in visiting her; but she
was too far gone to be capable of speak-
ing. It was doubtful whether she even
knew him. She shortly after expired.
The will was found in her pocket un-
signed: and her little property, contrary
to her express wish, passed from a
worthy family to whom it would have
been a seasonable help, and to whom
the testator was under real obligations,


to a rich and niggardly old bachelor,
and whose riches were already a burden
to him.
A friend of mine had prepared a bed-
chamber for a visitor, and had omitted
to furnish it with a Bible. "I will
remember it to-morrow," was her
thought: "it is not necessary again to
go to the top of the house to-night, and
perhaps he has one in his trunk;" but
the counter thought prevailed, "Per-
haps he has not; perhaps, too, if I
neglect it to-night, I may forget it to-
morrow; I will do it, and it will be
done." She returned, and placed a
Bible on his table. With him a Bible
was a new thing in a bed-chamber. It
took his attention, invited his perusal,
and was made the power of God unto
his salvation. "Whatsoever thy hand
findeth to do, do it with thy might," in
every affair that is deserving of any
attention; but above all in those great
affairs which relate to the eternal wel-
fare of ourselves or others.

Do it, and it will be done." With
what solemn emphasis does this applyto
the infinite concern of a personal appli-
pation to Christ for life and salvation!
Intentions, purposes, and resolutions
never saved a soul. The nearest step
to the door of the ark, if short of an
actual entrance, was short of safety.
The manslay.er might perish within
sight and reach of the gate of the city
of refuge : and the youth who lacked
one thing, unless he obtained it, per-
ished for want of the one thing needful.
How important, then, is it at once to
choose and secure an interest in that
good part which shall never be taken



fF I were you, Frank," said Arthur
SLongley, I would certainly crop
the ears and tail of that Shetland pony;
he looks as uncouth as a hermit."
"Perhaps if I were you," replied
Frank, with a smile, I should do so;
but being myself, I think and feel
differently, and therefore I act differ-
Arthur tried to persuade Frank to
adopt his views, but Frank was not
so easily moved, and the pony passed
through life uncropped in his ears and
If I were you, Emily," said a gaily-
dressed young lady to a friend of mine,
whom she met at a tea-party, I should
be perfectly ashamed to be seen in that
old yelvet pelisse of yours."
"Why?" inquired Emily: "it is a

very good pelisse, and I am not aware
of any disgrace connected with it. I
came by it very honestly."
But you have worn it, to my certain
knowledge, the last three winters."
"Well, that is more to the manu-
facturer's honour than to my disgrace.
If it serves me three winters more, so
much the better."
"Now really, Emily, if I were you
I should be ashamed to make such
a niggardly speech, when everybody
knows you could afford to have a new
one every winter if you chose it."
"Everybody is very knowing; but
while others have new dresses as often
as they please, I think they have no
right to be shocked at my wearing
mine as long as I think proper."
Oh, certainly not! You have an
undoubted right to do as you please. I
only say that I should do very differ-
ently if I were in your place. As it is,
though I ,could not well afford it, I have
bought an India shawl and a silk


pelisse this winter; and they really
begin to look shabby already. How-
ever, it is almost time to be thinking
about something for spring variety. I
only wish I had your purse; instead of
being known year after year by one old
pelisse, I would have something fresh
every season, if not every month. You
know we ought to do so to make good
for trade."
"I am not sure that we are under
any obligation, for the good of trade,
to lay out so much money upon per-
sonal apparel as to circumscribe our
resources for other purposes; then,
too, our requirements in the articles of
dress are very much affected by our
habits in other respects. You say, if
you were me you should dress very
differently from what I do. But I
think it very likely that if I were you,
or went into -company as much as you
do, and saw those around me following
every new variety of fashion, I should
soon fancy that I must do the same.


But my habits are very retired; I seldom
mix in gay society; and if my apparel
is all that is required for comfort and
credit, there are so few persons likely
to take the trouble of noticing it, that
I have no temptation to bestow upon
it more time and money than -are
Now Emily was always neat. and
well dressed. To say the truth, I had
already been much struck with her
appearance, which was as remote from
carelessness and shabbiness as it was
from fantastic fashion and display; and
the good sense and candour which she
discovered in her defence of herself
and her velvet pelisse confirmed my
previous good opinion of her, which an
increasing acquaintance of many years'
standing has in no respect weakened.
Her very countenance and expression
convinced me that niggardliness formed
no part of her character.
"If I were you, Mr. Johnson," said a
dashing young tradesman to his old-


fashioned neighbour, "I would certainly
have this shop new fronted and re-
modelled throughout. With plate-glass
windows and mahogany counters, and
a considerable display of modern articles,
you might easily do more than double
your. present trade. This dull-looking
place is enough to drive away cus-
"It may be so," replied Johnson;
"some are better driven away than
invited in. Those that have dealt with
me longest, best know whether it is
worth their while to come again. I
have always depended more on the
quality and price of my goods within,
than upon the dashing appearance of
my shop without. Here I have been
upwards of twenty years, and though I
have not jumped into a great fortune,
like some of my neighbours, neither
have I been ruined, like many others.
By the blessing of God on honest
industry, I have been enabled to bring
up my family in comfort, and I never


meet the man that I am ashamed to
look in the face. I do not say, if I
were you, I should adopt the same
humble scale of beginning,. and the
same quiet mode of proceeding with
which I am now satisfied; but I think
if I had to begin again, I should prefer
the same course myself."
Twenty years have elapsed since this
conversation. Old Johnson still main-
tains his ground, and has lately taken
into partnership two of his sons. The
old shop has been new fronted and in
many respects modernized; for it was
necessary that the house should under-
go a thorough repair, and Mr. Johnson
was not so prejudiced as to reject all
modern improvements and spend his
money on rebuilding in the old -style
what was unsightly or inconvenient.
The shop is much lighter and the
shelves better arranged than formerly,
and the shop is as much frequented
as ever; perhaps as much as any shop
in the town, though there are neither


mahogany counters nor plate-glass
windows to attract the customers. One
careful purchaser is continually saying
to another, If you want a really good
article, and at a fair price, go to old Mr.
Johnson's; he will not deceive you;"
and thus the custom of the shop is well
kept up. The young man who, twenty
years ago, suggested improvements
which Mr. Johnson deferred, has two
or three times set off in a dashing style,
and as often found a speedy downfall,
and involved many in the ruinous
consequences of his bold speculations;
and at last is gone to America.
How, much longer, Mr. Gilbert, do
you intend to toil behind the counter?
Really, at your time of life, and with so
few to provide for, it is high time for you
to retire, and begin to enjoy life. If I
were you, I would dispose of the busi-
ness, and take a house in the country,
or travel about a little. At all events,
I would have a regular summer's excur-
sion for a month or two, and not be pent


up here from one year's end to another,
as if you had a large family to care for,
and not a guinea beforehand with the
world. If I had realized your property,
I would act very differently from what
you do."
That is very likely," replied Mr. Gil-
bert; "you have a taste for travelling
about, and going to watering-places,
and amusing yourself like a gentleman;
I have none. I reckon a day's pleasure
far more fatiguing than a day's busi-
ness ; and as to taking a country house,
and having nothing to do, it would drive
me mad in less than six months. Busi-
ness is what I have been used to all my
life, and nothing would ever suit me so
well. I never knew much good come of
such people as I am leaving business
and setting up for gentlemen. I could
not live a life of idleness."
Idleness !" rejoined the antagonist;
a retired gentleman need not live an
idle or a useless life. Think how much
good you might do with your property


and leisure. There is our old neighbour
Downing: I often envy him; he left busi-
ness just in the right time to enjoy the
sweets of retirement, the cultivation of
his mind, the society of his family, the
promotion of the best interest of his
neighbours. Why, sir, he is doing ten
times more good in the world, and en-
joying a hundred-fold more happiness,
than if he had gone on seven years
longer toiling to accumulate more pro-
perty. It is a great thing, neighbour
Gilbert, to know when we have got
Yes, I suppose it is, Master Best;
but every one likes to fix his own
standard of what is enough, and what
is the best way of enjoying himself and
doing good to others. For my part, I
do not know that I am more anxious to
amass property than either yourself or
Mr. Downing, or less willing to part
with it in any good cause. But if your
fancy is for a country life, and you envy
Mr. Downing his retirement, and blame


me for remaining in town, why, if I were
you, I would just follow my bent, and
retire into the country; you know very
well that you have property enough to
do it if you choose."
"I retire, Mr. Gilbert! I wish I could
afford it. To be sure, I have done
pretty well, considering all things ; but
what is my property to Mr. Downing's ?"
"You know best about that. I only
say what I would do if I were you,
seeing you have so great a desire to do it.
There is no obligation on you to count
just as many thousands as Mr. Downing,
or to have as large a house and keep
as many servants. Many people lead a
country life and do a great deal of good
on a smaller scale."
Well, true, I wish it may be in my
power to do the same; for, after all,
the great object to keep in view should
be pious usefulness, rather than per-
sonal gratification and glory. I assure
you I do look forward with eager desire
to the period when I shall be able to


devote myself to the sacred and delight-
ful employ of doing good; but I cannot
do it just at present."
"Ah," said my uncle, who happened
to hear this conversation, how much
more quick-sighted are we to discern
another's duties than our own And
how easy it is to say, 'If I were you
I would do what you can and I cannot,'
when our insincerity is proved by the
fact of our not doing what ve can."
Doubtless it is, if you carried your
present sentiments into Mrs. Bentley's
circumstances. But before we allow
ourselves bitterly to censure the actions
and condemn the spirit of others, we
ought at least to make ourselves ac-
quainted with the principles on which
they act."
What a shame it is that the Miss
Goods never attend the Dorcas meet-
ings They can have nothing particular
to hinder them. If I were one of them,
I should be quite ashamed to be so
wrapped up in selfishness; it must be


either pride, or. stinginess, or love of
pleasure that keeps them from joining
us. When they came into the village,
everybody expected that they would
prove a help to the various societies;
but they never make their appearance
at any of them."
"Young lady," said my Uncle Bar-
naby, "if you were one of the Miss
Goods, you would think and feel very
differently from what you do, at least
in one respect. You would not be so
ready to form a hasty judgment on
imperfect information. It is possible
that you may be absent from some
party, or stand aloof from some engage-
ment, with which the ladies to whom
you have referred might wish to see
you united; but I can venture- to say,
not one of them would think of as-
signing motives for your conduct which
you yourself had never avowed. Mrs.
Mortimer, who is well acquainted both
with the society and the ladies in
question, can perhaps explain to your


satisfaction the reasons of their conduct,
and obtain from you their full acquittal
from the several charges you have
brought against them."
Yes," replied my Cousin Mortimer,
"I feel happy in being able to defend
my friends; and have no doubt of
convincing the young lady that their
conduct is what it ought to be, and
leading her to wish that hers might be
equally honourable if she were in their
place. The health of Miss Margaret
Good is exceedingly delicate, and almost
entirely confines her to the house during
the winter season; nor can she at any
time bear the excitement of company.
Mrs. Good is blind, or so nearly blind,
that her only employment is knitting.
Miss Anne Good, though healthy, cheer-
ful, and every way capable of enjoying
and delighting society, devotes herself
to soften the privations of her afflicted
mother and sister. She never spends
one evening from home, because she
will not deprive them of her company

* 57

and the pleasure of hearing her read
aloud, on which the mother entirely
depends for all her acquaintance with
modern literature, as well as the refresh-
ment of her memory in intercourse with
those authors with whom she was
formerly familiar.
"While the absence of these ladies
from our working parties is justly a
matter of regret to ourselves, the cir-
cumstances I have stated will, I think,
relieve them from the charge of staying
away either from pride or a love of
pleasure: and that stinginess does not
keep them back appears from the fact
that their contributions to the funds of
the society are larger than those of any
other family, and that a double portion
of the needlework is, by their desire,
sent to be executed in their house."
I consider it a most unneighbourly
action of old Barnard to build that
house just in view of your grounds. It
cannot be regarded otherwise than as
an act of offence; and, if I were you, I


should resent it exceedingly, and take
every occasion of annoying him in re-
turn. You might easily, in one way or
another, render the house absolutely
untenantable; and, if I were you, I cer-
tainly should do it. It would serve
him exactly right a churlish old
fellow "
"I am sorry, captain," replied my
uncle, "that you should imagine your-
self called upon to avenge my quarrels.
We are all quite apt enough to take fire
in our own cause, whether or not any
offence was intended; and it is the
duty of friendship to try to allay rather
than excite anger. I do not suspect
him of any intention to offend or injure
me. The plot of ground is his own;
nor have I any right to dictate to him
whether or not he shall build upon it.
I would gladly have purchased the
ground, but he was not disposed to sell
it. The thing is of no great value in
itself; but it is dear to him, as it was
his father's freehold and the spot on




which he was born. We have most of
us little partialities of this kind : and
far be it from me to be offended at those
of my neighbours, even though they
may, in a slight degree, interfere with
some little preferences or wishes of my
Houses are wanted in the neigh-
bourhood; and it is not at all surprising
that Mr. Barnard, a plodding man, who
has risen by his own industry and
knows the value of money, should be
inclined to turn his property to the best
account by building a house upon it;
or that he should be so little alive to
the picturesque as not to consider
whether the erection would improve or
disparage my prospect, though not
quite so insensible as to deprive his
future tenant of the privilege of over-
looking it.- It would ill become me,
however, to indulge resentment against
my neighbour."
The next day my worthy uncle called
on old Mr. Barnard, who at first be-


haved in a rather surly manner, saying
he had as good a right to build what he
pleased on his four acres as my uncle
had on his four hundred; and he would
not be dictated to by the greatest lord
in the land.
A soft answer turneth away wrath:
but grievous words stir up anger"
(Prov. xv. i). Uncle Barnaby adopted
the former method of dealing with his
angry neighbour, and its value was
fully proved. After a little talk Mr.
Barnard declared that he had not the
least intention of giving offence to his
old and respected neighbour, and should
never have thought of doing a spiteful
thing, but for a message he, received,
daring him to execute his purpose, and
threatening him that, if he did, my
uncle would be a match for him. Thus
all the strife had arisen from the inter-
ference of the meddling captain. The
matter was soon adjusted; at every
stage of the building my uncle's taste
and wishes were consulted. Frank was

requested to furnish a design, and the
building was so constructed as really to
form a new object of beauty and inter-
est in the view from the hall; and,
when completed, was occupied by a
family who proved a valuable addition
to Uncle Barnaby's circle of society.
If I were you," said one poor wo-
man to her neighbour, who had set one
of her little girls to sweep the house
and the other to wash the dishes, if I
were you, I would ten to one rather do
those things myself. You would find it
much less trouble than teaching the
children to do them."
"And if I were you," said another
neighbour, addressing herself to the
first speaker, I would make my girls
work, and have a little rest myself. I
have no notion of a mother slaving
herself as you do, while her great girls
are dressed up like fine ladies, to sit
and do nothing."
I do not agree with either of you,"
said the mother whose employment of


her children led to the remark. I do
not set my girls to work for the sake
of sparing myself, or because I consider
it less trouble; but because I think it
is a duty I owe to my children, while I
am with them, to teach them how to do
useful things, that they may not be
ignorant and helpless when they have
to shift for themselves. Perhaps it
may be more trouble to me at first, to
stand by them and make them do
things properly; but it will not always
be so. In a little time they will be
able really to help me, and then I shall
be able to rest myself, if my strength
should fail, or to employ myself about
something else that may be for the
good of all the family. So what is
good for one, in the long run proves
good for all."
As we have begun talking about
this silly phrase, we must not dismiss it
without remarking that it is seldom un-
accompanied by a spirit of envy. If I
were you," generally means, "Oh, that


I were you !" or, rather, "Oh, that I
possessed your advantageous circum-
stances Absalom's vain professions
of what he would do if he were king,
was a sign of his coveting the crown,
and a first step to his conspiracy to ob-
tain it (2 Sam. xv. 3, 4). A disposition
to be content with such things as we
have, and to do our duty in that state
of life in which it has pleased God to
call us, would certainly cure us of the
foolish habit of looking on the stations
and advantages of others, and saying or
thinking, If I were you, what great
things I would do and enjoy "
Let us consider what Jesus would
have done in our circumstances. He
is the only perfect model. He passed
through scenes of duty and trial like
our own, that He might both sympa-
thise with our difficulties and leave
us an example that we should follow
in His steps.


o said Frank, "a new stile to
Farmer White's rickyard! I
suppose it is intended to keep the cattle
from trespassing; but, as the people
have been saying to you this morning,
uncle, 'it was not always so.' "
"No," I observed; I remember,
when it was quite open, being frightened
by a wild bull. I am glad this fence is
put up; for though I am so much taller
and stouter than I was then, it is not
exactly pleasant to meet a wild animal.
Do you not think it is a very great
improvement, uncle?"
"Yes, Samuel, I do; but it seems all
the parish is not just of our mind; the
alteration was very violently opposed
by some of the people, and the stile, as
fast as it was put up by day, was pulled
down at night."

"But why did they object to it,
uncle? Did it do them any harm ? It
is a good safe stile, that anybody may'
easily get over."
"Oh yes, they can get over it easily
enough, if they choose to do so; the
only objection I ever hear against it
was, that 'it was not always so.' I took
some pains, at the request of the farmer
and some of the neighbours, to reason
with the opponents of the measure, and
to convince them that it was a public
good, and could not be in any way
injurious: but my endeavours were
fruitless; they would yield to no con-
.viction but that of necessity, and only
permitted the stile to remain when they
found that they exposed themselves to
legal punishment by pulling it down."
"What is there," said Frank, "that
always was as it is at present ? The
world is continually changing."
"True," said my uncle; the varying
ways of Providence, and the changes of
the children of men, render it impossible

that outward things should be un-
changeable. Besides, while it is so pos-
sible for improvements to be adopted,
it would be very undesirable, even if
it were possible, for things to remain
It seems to be quite a favourite
phrase in this village, 'It was not
always so.' I think we have heard it
used this morning by at least five
different persons; and yet, from their
manner of speaking, as well as from
your replies to them, I do not think they
all attached the same meaning to it."
"Nothing could be more opposite
than their several meanings. I could
not help smiling to think of the differ-
ence, and do not wonder at your no-
ticing it. It would have been still more
striking if you had known more of the
parties and their real conditions." My
uncle then proceeded to sketch to us
the characters and states of the several
persons who had used the words.
The first, he doubted not, had uttered

the words while struggling to exercise
a spirit of Christian resignation. He
was a widower who had recently lost
a most excellent wife. He appeared
much gratified by my uncle's visit. As
we stayed some time, I suppose the
servants expected we should dine there,
and the housekeeper requested to speak
to Mr. Lee. On his return, he apologised
for leaving us; and said, with tears in
his eyes, that it was quite new to him
to be consulted about domestic affairs.
"' It was not always so; till now I
knew not the value of that dear pre-
siding spiritwho arranged all these-not
trifling matters, for that which occurs
daily cannot be a trifle-without con-
fusion and without bustle."
My uncle encouraged Mr. Lee tr
speak of the virtues of his excellent lady.
I have heard him say that he thought
it one of the most silly pieces of modern
fashion, when visiting a mourner, to
avoid, if possible, all allusion to the
object of his loss. He thought it both

soothing and improving to cherish
memories of departed worth; and
though they might seem to aggravate
the bereavement, he considered that
they had a tendency to reconcile the
Christian to the temporary loss.
The conversation was again inter-
rupted by an application for a ticket of
admission to the hospital. The pensive
features of Mr. Lee relaxed into a smile;
and with a tone of gratified benevolence,
he expressed his willingness to comply
with the request, and rose, as if to lay
his hand upon the necessary form. He
advanced to the door--returned--
opened a desk-closed it again-showed
agitation, which he strove to hide-
rang the bell, and desired to speak to
Morris, the personal attendant of his
late lady.
"Morris," he inquired, "can you tell
me where your-can you tell me where
the infirmary tickets are kept ?" "Yes,
sir; they are in my mis-they are in
the portable desk, sir." With a strong

effort to subdue his feelings, he took
from the desk a bunch of keys with
which he was evidently not familiar;
for he tried several before one would
turn the wards of an inlaid desk, which
at length he opened with an expression
of melancholy reverence. He soon dis-
covered the paper, and signed it with a
trembling hand. As he presented it to
the servant, he kindly desired that the
applicant might be offered some re-
freshment, adding, "I am sorry he
should have been so long detained."
The servant left the room, and Mr.
Lee continued, addressing himself to
my uncle, "' It was not always so;' but
I have lost my right hand. There is
not an engagement in which I do not
miss her. Oh, my friend, I am bereaved;
but the Lord has done it, and it must-
be right. What He does I know not
now, but I shall know hereafter" (John
xiii. 7). My uncle silently pressed the
hand of the mourner. My uncle then
replied: "No, my friend, it is not with


you as in months that are past, when
the candle of the Lord shone upon your
tabernacle; but when the mournful
sense of your own trial overwhelms
your mind, try to think of her you loved
and have lost as adopting the same
expression, 'It was not always so;' but
with what different feelings !
'Once she was mourning here below,
And wet her couch with tears,
She wrestled hard, as we do now,
With sins, and doubts, and fears.'
But it is not so now, and will not be
so again for ever; nor will it be always
so with you:
'Yet a season, and you know
Happy entrance will be given,
All your sorrows left below,
And earth exchanged for heaven."'
After taking our leave of Mr. Lee,
we called at a stationer's shop, where
my uncle wished to make some pur-
chases. The counter was attended by
an active, obliging, and very ladylike
woman, whom my uncle accosted with
the respectful familiarity of an old

friend, making particular inquiries after
her health and that of her family; to
all of which she replied in a cheerful
tone, and invited my uncle to walk in
and see Mr. Willis, to which he con-
"Allow me," she said, "to lead the
way; the passage is rather dark and
narrow, but the parlour to which it
leads is snug and comfortable."
We followed, and were introduced to
Mr. Willis, a middle-aged man, but who
appeared feeble and an invalid. The
room, though small, was comfortable,
and every article of furniture good of its
kind, and arranged with perfect neat-
ness. The conversation of both Mr.
and Mrs. Willis was refined. It was
evident that they possessed highly-cul-
tivated minds. A conversation about a
scene on the banks of the Rhine, which
it appeared my uncle and Mr. and Mrs
Willis had visited together, was inter-
rupted by the shop-bell, at the sound of
which Mrs. Willis promptly but quietly

withdrew. She presently returned, and
apologized for her abrupt departure,
adding, with an expression between a
sigh and a smile, "The shop-bell is
now the call of duty. 'It was not
always so.'"
She paused a moment; and then, as
if rebuking herself for the most distant
approach to a murmuring feeling, she
continued, But it is better as it is.
We were never more comfortable than
at present. My dear Charles is daily
improving in health and spirits: our
house is airy and cheerful, though not
large: our dear children are already
placed in good situations; Emily, as
governess in a family, and the two
young men in mercantile houses. It
is a trial to be separated from them;
but it is all for good. The support we
meet with in business affords reason to
hope that it will provide for our own
support; and here the evening of our
days may be spent very happily, though
not exactly in the sphere to which we

have been used. Surely goodness and
mercy have followed us, and shall
follow us all the days of our lives; and,
best of all, we hope to dwell in the house
of the Lord for ever (Psa. xxiii. 6).
My uncle afterwards told us that the
Willises, from living in the highest style
of mercantile wealth, had been suddenly
reduced to their present humble state;
the parents to keep a small shop in a
country town and the young people to
employ their talents in gaining a liveli-
hood. But," said he, "they bear the
change well, especially that excellent
woman whom we have just seen. She
now presides at her counter, or arranges
her little parlour, with as much dignity
and cheerfulness as she formerly dis-
played in stepping into her carriage or
presiding in her drawing-room. In each
state she adorns the Christian cha-
We met with two instances in which
the phrase was adopted as the expres-
sion of cheerful gratitude, the one a poor


widow and the other a wanderer re-
claimed by the power of Divine grace.
Frank's remark on the phrase, It
was not always so," led my uncle to
give us such particulars in the character
and history of the several parties as he
thought illustrative of the several- dis-
positions with which they uttered the
expression. The Christian, in whatever
circumstances he may be placed, can
say, It was not always so; I am not
what I was: I was a rebel against God,
a slave to sin and Satan. Still I am
not what I ought to be: how imperfect
and deficient I am not what I wish
to be : for I abhor that which is evil,
and would cleave to that which is
good. I am.not yet what I hope to
be. It will not be always so. Soon I
shall put off mortality, and with
mortality all imperfection. Neverthe-
less, 'by the grace of God I am what
I am "' (i Cor. xv. o1).


Y uncle had a pretty little marine
3- villa on the coast of Suffolk,
where he generally spent a few weeks
in the course of the summer, along with
some members of his family or other
friends. One year my parents occupied
it a long time for the benefit of my
mother's health. In consequence of
their absence from home, it was ar-
ranged that I should not go thither for
the holidays, but spend them with my
uncle, and go with him and Frank to
the coast, to visit my parents. The
scene was rather new to us, and we
very much enjoyed it. Bathing, swim-
ming, and sailing agreeably varied our
holiday: but there was nothing that
interested us more than the ship-build-
ing, which is carried on to a great ex-
tent on the banks of the river Orwell

The- day after our arrival, my good
uncle, having business'at the town,
took us with him. It was a delightful
drive along the coast, enlivened as
usual by his remarks and anecdotes.
Our first call was at an office on the
wharf. While my uncle was convers-
ing with the principals of the concern
(two brothers), Frank drew my at-
tention to a number of plans, by which
the room was surrounded, of vessels of
various sizes and descriptions, and in
different stages of completion. My
cousin understood something about
these matters; but they were new to
me, and not quite so interesting as he
seemed to think they ought to be. The
fact was, that these plans, aided even
by Frank's explanations, failed to con-
vey to my mind a perfectly clear idea.
I did not clearly understand the uses of
the several parts described, still less
the phrases by which they were ex-
pressed. It was far otherwise when I
saw the real thing; there was no lack

of interest then. After the gentlemen
had been some time in conversation,
my uncle, pointing to one of the draw-
ings, inquired how that fine vessel was
proceeding. It is nearly completed,"
replied one of the partners: "the launch
is fixed for the first Tuesday in August.
It is to us a season of anxiety: but I
assure you, sir, a sentiment with which
you took leave of us last year has
often sustained us in the course of our
undertaking, and we still recur to it in
prospect of the launch. You said to us
at parting, 'Hope humbly, but hope
"Well," replied my uncle, "it is
a just sentiment; and if it proves to
have been a word fitly spoken, and
suitable to your peculiar feelings, it is
matter of satisfaction. We are too
apt to utter unmeaning expressions, or
such as are not worth remembering."
"True," rejoined Mr. Fowler, "and
too apt to forget what ought to be trea-
sured up; but it is well when a just

sentiment is thus lodged in the mind,
and affords seasonable instruction and
succour; and such has been the case
with your sentiment, as both my
brother and myself can testify."
Yes," said Mr. John Fowler, "un-
der a nervous fever, last autumn,
brought on, I quite believe, by excite-
ment of mind on account of this vessel,
your parting words were often present
with me, and proved a better cordial
than any suggested by mere medical
The gentlemen then invited us' to
walk out and look at the vessel. My
uncle expressed surprise at the pro-
gress that had been made since he last
inspected it, as well as at the com-
pleteness and beauty of every part,
and their conformity to the original
design. The gentlemen kindly ex-
plained to us the uses of the different
parts. They readily answered the
questions suggested by Frank's intel-
ligence and general knowledge, and

even mine, which I felt discovered
more of ignorance and stupidity, though
not unaccompanied "by a desire to gain
useful information. My uncle looked
at his watch, and said he had business
in the town which would fully occupy
him until the time that he had ap-
pointed for the carriage to meet us.
It was not without reluctance that we
received the summons; and my uncle
and his friends, observing how much we
were interested in what was going on,
kindly proposed that we should remain
there while he went into the town.
We also received a general invitation to
visit the wharf whenever we felt dis-
posed to do so, and to be present at the
launch of the vessel.
On our own way home, as we talked
about the vessel and its owners, my
uncle observed that a large, well-con-
structed ship presented one of the finest
specimens of human skill and persever-
ance. The vessel," said he, which
you have just seen, and which is now

nearly completed in such admirable
style, has been three years in building,
and has employed the constant labour
of above one hundred men."
"It must be a very expensive under-
taking," observed Frank.
"Yes," replied my uncle; not less
than 40,000l. have been expended upon
it : the contract I believe is for 50,0001."
"I was going to ask you, sir,"
said Frank, whether the vessel was
built for the chance of sale, or whether
it was done, according to order, for
some particular person."
The latter, certainly; it would be
far too great an enterprise to embark in
as a mere speculation."
"Yes, one such concern would be
enough to ruin a man, if he did not
happen to dispose of it. I thought,
perhaps,'it was on that ground that the
Messrs. Fowler expressed so much
anxiety. But that could not be the
case if the vessel was contracted for
before it was built."

There are, however, in so large an
undertaking many other contingencies
which might well occasion serious
anxiety, if not painful apprehension.
Indeed, I have witnessed their opera-
tion on the minds of my friends, both
in the progress of this vessel and on
several former occasions, until I have
really feared that their health and
mental energies would give way under
the excitement. However, you will pro-
bably have an opportunity of hearing
more than I could tell you about this
matter; for, as Saturday is a public
holiday, I have prevailed on the Fowlers
to give themselves a little recreation,
by way of recruiting themselves for the
prospect of the launch, which will be a
new excitement. I hope they will be
able to come to us on Friday evening,
and stay till Monday morning."
It was late when these gentlemen
arrived; for they had considered it a
necessary precaution, before they left
the wharf, to see all the workmen clear

off, and personally to inspect every part
of the vessel and the premises, where
any possibility might exist of mischief
from fire. This inspection was not to
be trusted even to a trusty foreman, in
prospect of both the principals giving
a truce of two or three days to care.
"And now," said one of the brothers,
addressing himself to my uncle, "having
taken every care which prudence dic-
tated, and I trust habitually committing
our concerns to the watchful care of
Providence, we must again try to put
in practice your golden maxim, 'Hope
humbly, but hope always.'"
The subject was then dismissed, and
the conversation assumed a general
character; though, as I have often
observed, my uncle discovered great
tact in drawing out his guests on topics
which he had reason to think would be
agreeable to them and on which they
were most likely to impart information.
Much passed that evening that, at
least to Frank and myself, was new and
6 *

interesting-about the growth of dif-
ferent kinds of trees; the peculiar
properties and adaptations of each as
timber; the importation of timber from
foreign parts; the articles of commerce
usually furnished in exchange; and
the difficulties and hazard attendant
on commerce of every kind, and that
of timber in particular, in a time of
war, compared with the facility, se-
curity, and advantages of peace. The
difference in price was astonishing,
and several instances were mentioned
in which the fortune of individuals had
been made or ruined by the purchase
of a cargo of timber a few days earlier
or later;. and thus the conversation
glided round again to the favourite
vessel. Mr. William Fowler mentioned
having been for a fortnight or more
in a state of extreme anxiety as to
the fate of a vessel, on board which
they had a large consignment of foreign
timber, and which was supposed to
have been captured. It was at a time,

he said, when his brother was laid
aside by illness; and when he was not
only deprived of the solace of having
a sharer in his fears, but when these
were doubled by his efforts to conceal
them, lest the news should reach his
brother, and aggravate his already
threatening malady.
"And what was the result ?" asked
my uncle.
"After more than a fortnight's sus-
pense, we learned that the vessel had
safely reached the port of Hull; so
we had only to sustain a little ad-
ditional expense and a little incon-
venience from delay, instead of the
heavy and almost ruinous loss which
had been feared."
This," observed my uncle, address-
ing himself to Frank, "was one of
the things to which I alluded the other
day, when I spoke of the frequent
anxieties felt in the progress of an
undertaking like that of our friends."
"Anxieties, sir !" cried Mr. William


Fowler, "our business is one of anxiety
from the first to last; I can scarcely tell
you of the seasons when we have had no-
thing to sustain and cheer us beside your
golden maxim, 'Hope humbly, but hope
always.' First, there was the competition
for the contract. There were several
competitors, most of them confident of
success; some relying on interest; some
on long experience and established repu-
tation in the trade; some on the ex-
tremely low sum proposed in their esti-
mate. On neither of these particulars
could we presume. We had no special
interest with the parties proposing the
contract, nor with any who were likely
to influence them. As comparatively
young men, our reputation in large
undertakings was yet to be made; and
we could not afford to propose terms
that were not likely to give us a fair
return. We hoped, however, that an
established character in lesser affairs
might recommend us to notice in this;
and we hoped further that, if employed,

we should be enabled to complete the
undertaking to our own credit and the
satisfaction of all parties concerned."
Yes, my friend, you hoped humbly,
and you have not been disappointed."
Not. hitherto ; but the work is not
yet complete, and the launch is still
before us."
Well, having hoped humbly, it now
remains that you should hope always."
Yes, we must try so to hope as to
allay anxiety; but not so as to slacken
exertion and care."
True; the right influence of hope
is to quicken while it encourages. Your
success in obtaining the contract, no
doubt, while it sustained your hope of
final success, at the same time promoted
your exertions at every stage of the
business to deserve and to acquire the
success at which you aimed."
"Yes; we have often said to each
other, 'We must pay particular atten-
tion to such or such a matter; after
succeeding so far it would be doubly

grievous to sustain disappointment
through any neglect or fault of our
own.' Oh, the care with which we felt
it necessary to watch every line of the
contract, to see that it was so drawn
up as to leave no room for dispute at a
future period; that everything might
be upright, clear, and plain; that we
should ourselves fully understand our
obligations and our claims; and that
the whole might be perfectly intelligible
to others in case of the death of the
original contractors. Then the care
and caution necessary to be observed
in the selection of timber. Oh, sir, think
of the sad consequences that might
ensue if one unsound plank were em-
ployed in the vessel! Then the engag-
ing a sufficient number of competent
and faithful workmen, and securing a
supply of materials to keep them con-
stantly employed; and the forecast and
management, and vast difficulty, neces-
sarily attendant on young beginners,
in timely providing for the heavy outlay

required in an undertaking of this ex-
tent; and the constant enforcement of
method and despatch necessary to se-
cure the completion of the work within
the time specified; all these have been
sources of constant anxiety, and could
only be counterbalanced by the exercise
of humble, persevering hope of success;
hope sustained by the knowledge that
our own best efforts were not wanting.
We have had many anxieties, too, arising
from causes beyond our own control and
management-the hazard of life or limb
to the workmen employed. How sadly
would our success be embittered if we
had to connect with it the tears of
bereaved families, or the loss of health
and activity to some faithful, laborious
workmen! This we have been merci-
fully spared, and we consider it a cause
for peculiar gratitude to the Preserver
of men that no one has sustained
serious injury in the progress of the
work. But one of our principal men
was laid aside by serious illness. This

caused considerable delay, as many
hands were guided by his head, which,
during his absence, were useless. Had
our fears about him been fully realized,
it would have been impossible for us to
have duly fulfilled the contract. The
failure of a country bank, from which
we were to receive money, threw us
into great perplexity, which, though but
temporary, was alarming: then the ill-
ness of my brother, and the apprehen-
sion that one or other of us might be
cut off, and leave the survivor encum-
bered with a great unfinished under-
taking, which such a circumstance
might render ruinous instead of advan-
tageous to both our families-oh, these
have been anxieties indeed, and I can
only wonder that from day to day we
have been sustained under them We
have still the launch before us-when
hundreds, perhaps thousands, will be
assembled to witness the success or the
failure of our enterprise. Oh, it is
indeed an appalling prospect. Our

vessel has been constructed with the
nicest and the greatest precision; but
we cannot be sure that we have suc-
ceeded until we see her float steadily
and majestically on the wave. Our
wVork is performed on the dry land; but
it must be proved on the ocean: and
what if it should be a failure 1 Then,
too, with all our care in preparing for
the launch, it is possible that the slip-
ping of one block or wedge may cause
the vessel to jerk irregularly in its
descent, or, as we call it, to lurch, and
occasion serious injury to itself, or,
what would be far worse, endanger the
men employed in managing it."
Well, cheer up, my good friend, and
still let hope sustain the hand of exertion,
till perseverance crowns it. I assure
you we all feel deeply interested in the
trials and anxieties you have detailed,
and which are now approaching so near
to their end; and relying on the same
gracious Providence which you have all
along humbly owned, whose blessing

has hitherto rested on the work of your
hands, and is usually seen to rest on
humble confidence combined with pro-
per diligence and care, we cheerfully
anticipate for you a prosperous issue."
The brothers took their departure
from my uncle's very early on the Mon-
day morning, much recruited even by
that short interval of repose. During the
period between that time and the day
appointed for the launch, Frank and
myself daily visited the wharf, and
passed several hours in watching the
completion of the interesting vessel,
sharing in no small degree in the anxious
excitement with which its builders
looked forward to the important day.
When that day arrived, my uncle and
all his inmates were among the earliest
of the spectators. He stood for some
time arm in arm with the Messrs.
Fowler, watching the workmen engaged
in removing everything that could
obstruct or endanger the vessel. On
leaving them, my uncle shook hands


with each of the brothers, and said,
" Once more, hope to the end; hope
humbly, but hope always."
The day was serene, and not intensely
hot: the company numerous and re-
spectable. The Messrs. Fowler were
highly respected, as their father before
them had been for many years: and as
this was the first very large undertaking
completed by the young men since the
business had been entirely in their
hands, a lively interest was excited.
At the appointed moment the signal
was given, the last block was removed,
the moorings were unloosed, and the
vessel glided swiftly, yet steadily to its
destined element, and rode majestically
on the bosom of the waves. For the
last few minutes a breathless silence
had pervaded the large assembly; but
now a shout of glad congratulation and
applause burst from every lip, and was
prolonged for several minutes. The
brothers silently grasped each other's
hand and looked upwards, doubtless

with a heartfelt feeling of gratitude to
Him whom they were accustomed to
acknowledge in all their ways, and
at whose hand they received the suc-
cess which so richly rewarded their
"Uncle," said Frank, as we rode
home, "I am heartily glad that the
hopes of our friends have been so fully
realized. I shall often think of their
three years of anxiety and labour, and
the fulfilment of their hopes on this
happy day; and I shall try to adopt as
my own, your delightful -motto, Hope
humbly, but hope always.' "
"Do so, Frank; and be sure you
take both limbs of the sentiment, if you
would -avoid disappointment. Hope
would not be called a 'gay deceiver if
people would but hope humbly."
We united in requesting my uncle to
tell us what was included in hoping
humbly. He paused a moment, and
then replied, I think, at least, it will
be found to include,-

I. Hope lawfully. Let the object
of hope be that which is in itself good
and lawful, else the very hope may pro-
duce very great mischief, as well as
issue in disappointment.
"2. Let your hope be warrantable. The
hopes of some men are but like the
fancies of a disordered imagination or
the proud claims of self-conceit.
3. Hope consistently. Hope for good
results from your good exertions, not
without them.
"4. Hope de eendently. However well
laid your plans, and however well
directed and diligent your exertions,
never lose sight of your entire depend-
ence on the blessing of God.
"5. Hope submissively. Not merely
hoping for success 'as the gift of God;
but resigning your hope to His disposal,
to be succeeded or frustrated as His
unerring wisdom suggests.
While therefore, we 'hope humbly,'
we are warranted to hope always,' not-
withstanding difficulties and delays, be-

cause we rely on the power, promise,
and faithfulness of God.
"And 'hope deferred,' if fixed on
God, should not 'sicken the heart;'
for though it seems to us to be delayed,
it will not tarry a moment beyond the
appointed, the best time (Hab. ii. 3).
There is one hope which may be ab-
solutely cherished. It is a good hope
through grace' (2 Thess. ii. 16); a hope.
of salvation in Christ Jesus, secured by
the promise and oath of God to all
'who have fled for refuge to lay hold
upon the hope set before us (Heb. vi.
18); the 'hope of eternal life, which
God, that cannot lie, promised before the
world began' ( iu. -1 i. 2); 'that blessed
hope' (Titus ii. 13) which every one
that hath in him, purifieth himself even
as the Lord is pure: expecting, ere long,
to be like him, and see him as he is
(I John iii. 2, 3)."



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