• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Sweet violets
 "Only a little primrose"
 Forget me not
 A white daisy
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Sweet violets
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066400/00001
 Material Information
Title: Sweet violets
Physical Description: 47, 3, 5-47, 3, 5-47, 3, 5-47 p., 2 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mackarness, Henry S., 1826-1881
Crane, Walter, 1845-1915 ( Illustrator )
George Routledge and Sons ( Publisher )
Bradbury, Agnew and Co ( Printer )
Publisher: George Routledge and Sons
Place of Publication: London (The Broadway Ludgate) ;
New York (416 Broome Street)
Manufacturer: Bradbury, Agnew & Co.
Publication Date: [1874]
 Subjects
Subject: Poor -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Artists -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Missions -- Juvenile fiction -- England   ( lcsh )
Flowers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1874   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1874
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Mrs. Mackarness.
General Note: Undated. Date from BLC. Publisher's catalogue at end dated August, 1875.
General Note: Each part has separate pagination.
General Note: Chromolithographed frontispieces, signed with Walter Crane's cartouche.
General Note: Baldwin Library copy - stories in varying order: Sweet violets -- Only a little primrose -- Forget me not -- A white daisy.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066400
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 - 002227705
notis - ALG8005
oclc - 63087785

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Half Title
        Page i
    Frontispiece
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Sweet violets
        Page 5
        Chapter I
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
        Chapter II
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
        Chapter III
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
        Chapter IV
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
    "Only a little primrose"
        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
        Page 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
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Forget me not
        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
        Page 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
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    A white daisy
        Page 5
        Chapter I
            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
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
        Chapter II
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
        Chapter III
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
        Chapter IV
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text











SWEET VIOLETS.










-DLrrC C U.. d


"'Have you never seen a daisy?' "


A WHITE DAISY.


































































"It was early spring, and we used to go-we four-gathlring primroses,
violets, and anemones."

ONLY A. LITTLE PRIMROSE.









SWEET VIOLETS.






BY

MRS. MACKARNESS,

Author of "A Trap to Catch a Sunbeam," "Only a Little Primrose."














LONDON:
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
NEW YORK, 416, BROOME STREET.











































LONDON:

BRADDUYV, AGNEW, AND CO., PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.















SWEET VIOLETS.


CHAPTER I.


"How do you sell your violets, girl ? asked
a man, as he passed a girl, almost a child, stand-
ing leaning against a railing in one of the
London thoroughfares.
"Twopence a bunch, sir."
"Twopence. Oh, me! I've only got a penny
in coppers-can't change a shilling."
"You shall have it, sir-for luck," said the
girl, eagerly. "I haven't sold a bunch to-
day."
"Haven't you? Who do you sell for-your-
self ?"















SWEET VIOLETS.


CHAPTER I.


"How do you sell your violets, girl ? asked
a man, as he passed a girl, almost a child, stand-
ing leaning against a railing in one of the
London thoroughfares.
"Twopence a bunch, sir."
"Twopence. Oh, me! I've only got a penny
in coppers-can't change a shilling."
"You shall have it, sir-for luck," said the
girl, eagerly. "I haven't sold a bunch to-
day."
"Haven't you? Who do you sell for-your-
self ?"







SWEET VIOLETS.


"Yes, sir, and sister-she's a cripple, sir; I
supports her this way; and nayther she nor me
'av 'ad any victuals to-day."
"Now ain't you telling me a nice lot of
'crams'?" and the man looked at her with a
merry twinkle in his eyes, and a smile breaking
out over his good-looking healthy face, in such
strange contrast to the wan, pallid one of the
girl he was addressing.
"No, sir, that I'm not, I'm a-telling on you
the rale truth, sir; we ain't got no father
nor mother, sir: father he was killed, sir,
falling off a house he was, and mother died of
the fever, sir-and it fell in Janie's legs,
and she ain't never been able to move, sir,
since."
And you keep Janie and yourself on two-
penny bunches of violets What a little keeping
you must want! answered the man. "I sup-
pose you don't have salmon more than twice a
week?"
The girl stared at him, and answered,-







SWEET VIOLETS.


"Please, sir, we don't have nothing but Mrs.
Jacobs's teapot and some bread."
"Mrs. Jacobs's teapot? what indigestible
food! No wonder you don't get fat, my dear.
Well, look here, give me two more bunches, and
take that and go and get something for supper,
more nourishing than a teapot;" and taking the
flowers she eagerly offered him, he placed in her-
hand a shilling, and with a cheery "-good-bye,
and good luck to you," the man went on before
she had time to thank him or offer him the
change.
"Did he mean me to have it all?" she
thought. "I don't believe he did. I'll run after-
him."
But with her basket to carry, and the old
leather boots, miles too big for her, on her stock-
ingless feet, she could not catch the young strong
fellow who, striding on so quickly, was soon lost
to sight; and so putting it in the little box
amongst the flowers, in which she curried. her
money, she gave up the pursuit, contenting her-







SWEET VIOLETS.


self by saying, "If ever she see him she'd pay
him;" and then as the weather was cold and
gusty-and she knew that Janey wanted food-
she determined to hawk about no more that day,
but go to the shop, and get some bread and an
ounce of tea for a treat for Janey, instead of the
tea leaves from her own breakfast their good-
hearted landlady allowed them, and which she
had described as Mrs. Jacobs's teapot."
Happily as she walked to the shop, which was
on her road home, she sold a few more bunches
of her fragrant flowers, and so was able to- add
a piece of butter and an egg for Jane to her
purchases.
And the young man went on to Hungerford
Pier, and, getting on board a boat, went up the
river to Battersea; and landing there, went on
to a house in a little clean street, looking brighter
and prettier than all the rest, from the parlour
window of which looked out a face as bright and
clean as the house, as his quick, firm step came
up the little garden. The face was quickly at







SWEET VIOLETS.


the door. It belonged to a young girl some
nineteen or twenty years old, who exclaimed,
joyfully,-
"Oh you dear, good boy, to get home so
soon. And violets-delicious! thank you."
"I like that-who said they were for you ?"
he said, stooping forward to kiss her forehead,
and putting the flowers behind him.
Why, John, who should they be for but me ?"
"But suppose I was to tell you they were
mine, given to me by a fair lady; what should
you say then? "
"I should say I didn't believe you, John-
that's what I should say. Here he is, mother,"
she said, pushing open -the door of the little
parlour, into which he followed her.
"Now, sir, give me the flowers, and let me
pay you for them; let's see, three bunches, two
kisses apiece. Oh I sit down, I can't stand on
tiptoe so long."
Down he sat as he was bidden, and with
apparent satisfaction received the six kisses







SWEET VIOLETS.


bestowed on him, while a little- old woman, a
curious likeness of what the young man might
be at her age, sat laughing merrily, and seeming
to enjoy the performance.
"It's all very fine," he said, when he was
allowed to speak, "but I tell you I gave a shil-
ling for those flowers, ma'am, so you just owe
me six more."
Oh John, you did NOT, did you? Oh that
was naughty-I'll never forgive you; I am
angry." Whereupon she fell to kissing him
again, just as though she was very angry.
"A shilling for a few violets, John!" said
the old lady in the corner; why, is flowers so
dear this spring? "
Well no, mother ; I was taken silly, I think.
I knew the little woman liked a flower, so I was
going to buy one bunch of a girl who'd got a
basket full; and then she said it was twopence.
Well, I didn't think Amy was worth having
all that spent on her," he said, looking saucily
up in his wife's face, "so I offered her a penny.







SWEET VIOLETS.


She said so eagerly I might have it, she had
sold none all day-and I looked at her poor,
thin, white cheeks, and her tattered clothing,
and somehow this little face seemed to come
between me and her," he said, laying his hand
on the face which was looking up into his, and
like a soft as I am I took this little lot, and gave
her double their value."
Ah! my boy," said the old lady, "one half
the world don't know how the other half lives."
"I say, Amy," he said, in a lower voice, with
a glance at their mother, "she said she sup-
ported a lame sister with selling her flowers."
"Did she, John? Poor girl! I AM glad you
bought them-it may get her a better supper."
I hope so. I shouldn't fancy a teapot my-
self; but there's no accounting for taste."
A teapot-what do you mean? "
"Well, I did not know what she meant; but
when I asked her if she had salmon more than
twice a week, she said she only had Mrs. Jacobs's
teapot and some bread."







SWEET VIOLETS.


"Why, sir, didn't you know, poor thing, she
meant the leaves were wetted again for her;
when Mrs. What's-her-name- "
"No, not Whats-a-name,-Jacobs."
"Well, Jacobs-has finished her tea or
breakfast, she fills the pot up again for her. I
can see what she means."
"Ah there, we are not all so clever as you."
"No, that we are not. Now, look here, go
and make yourself smart, for we are going to
have company to tea, ain't we, mother? "
Oh! yes, that we are, John. Amy's little
ladies are coming."
"Bless me! I suppose I must put on my
diamond studs, and my dress coat and white
tie, and pumps and silk stockings."
Of course," said his wife, laughing. "You
make yourself respectable, sir. Clean boots
and clean hands, and brush up your hair, and
look your best; now run away, whilst I get
tea."
Run, must I Well, there isn't much room







SWEET VIOLETS.


to run in this large mansion. If I was to go
very fast, I should find myself out of the back
yard, through my neighbour's wall; but I'll do
my best to make haste. Is there any soap ?"
Soap, yes."
"All right! Is there any towel ?" he said,
putting his head in at the door again.
"Oh yes, you tiresome thing !-everything."
Hurrah! Then I'll be back in the twinkling
of a bed-post."
What a merry heart he has!" said the old
mother.
"Yes, hasn't he ? He's like sunshine in the
house: it's thanks to you, you know, mother,-
it's your bright nature shining in his. When
I think of you and all the trouble you've borne
so bravely, I think you the eighth wonder of the
world," said Amy, as she busied herself about
the room, stirring up the fire to make the kettle
boil, getting out from a drawer her best table-
cloth and teapot-real silver-a wedding
present.







SWEET VIOLETS.


Well, you see, Amy, it's just our natures,
and we'd ought to be very grateful when we
have such. There's some as can't help grizzling
if they scratch their fingers or lose a penny,
while another will break their legs and lose a
fortune, and still smile over it."
"Just like you, mother."
"I don't think I smiled much, though, Amy
dear, when my poor legs got bad."
"You found out how to comfort yourself and
John, mother, and never let him lose heart and
spirits."
No, no, poor boy: why that would have
been ungrateful, when he was working for me,
he needed all his good spirits to help him along
-to bear the burden I had become to him."
",Ah, bless him there's not many like him,"
said the happy little wife.
"I suppose not, or you would not have
proposed to him in the barefaced way you did,"
said John, who had entered the room in time to
hear the last speech.







SWEET VIOLETS.


"Why, John, I have a great mind to box
your ears. Shall I, mother ? "
"I think he deserves it, my dear."
"I would if I'd only time, but I must make the
toast-the conceit and impudence of the fellow !
Now cut the bread, while I get out a pot of
jam."
Well, but you know you did, Amy, under
the chestnuts in Bushy Park."
"Now, John, do hold your tongue about the
chestnut trees, or I shall put the jam in the tea,
or else some silly thing or other," said the little
wife, laughing and blushing.
"Don't she look guilty, mother; now I ask
you? "
"Well, John, but I would not tell tales out of
school."
"Never mind, old girl, I was quite ready to
say 'yes,' wasn't I? "
I shall do something desperate to you, John,
in a minute. Oh, look! here come my little
darlings, I declare. Well, the table is laid,







16 SWEET VIOLETS.

put the water in the pot, John dear-it does boil,
-while I open the door;" and she ran out to
admit into her little bright house two little girls,
about five and eight years old, with their nurses.
Then there was such a hugging and kissing,
such a buzz of many voices in the little room,
together with the singing of the kettle, which did
its best towards the general hilarity, and happier
faces, lighter hearts, and merrier tongues never
sat at any banquet than amongst the little party
at tea at John Milman's.















CHAPTER, II.


*-----t-

IN a narrow dirty court, in a house the
windows of which were so dirty that the in-
habitants could not have seen any prospect
from them had it been even more inviting than
the row of tumble-down wretched dwellings that
faced them, old pieces of filthy rags doing duty
for the panes of glass which had been broken by
stones thrown by the shoeless, wretched children
who played in the gutter all day,-in such a
house, in the back attic, on a mattress laid on
two broken chairs, was a small spare form,
which might have been a woman's or a child's, so
old-looking and worn and wan were the pinched
features of the poor pale face. There was
scarcely any furniture in the room. The walls,
C






SWEET VIOLETS.


covered with filthy paper, were broken away in
places, showing the laths. A bedstead, on
which lay a ragged counterpane and a piece of
torn blanket, stood in one corner; a wooden box,
on which was a bottle with a piece of rushlight
stuck in it, a chair, and a table, one leg of which
was broken, comprised "the household gods."
And in the desolation lay the wan suffering
form on the mattress.
Presently the door opened, and a light seemed
to come in with it which shone on the sufferer's
face; for a smile, strange visitor to those sad
features, spread over them as a girl entered
carrying a basket half filled with violets and
primroses.
Here I come, Janey: haven't sold them all,
you see; so there they are for you to look at till
to-morrow," she said, placing the basket with
its fragrant burden near the sick child.
"I'm glad and I'm sorry, Nelly: you've got
no money, I suppose?"
"Oh yes! a little. I've sold the half, you







SWEET VIOLETS.


know, but I couldn't sec him. I stood just in
the same place, so here goes the sixpence back
in the money-box;" and, opening the cupboard
which, like Mother Hubbard's, was quite bare,
save a few broken bits of crockery ware, she
took a small box from the top shelf and put in it
a sixpence.
"Ain't you never going to spend that, Nelly P"
"Not unless you want food, Janey. I'll keep
it as long as I can, in hopes of giving it him
back. He wasn't, you see, a rich gentleman; he
was a working sort of man, and sixpence is six-
pence to him, I'll lay."
"It's a great chance if you ever do see him
again out there in all that bustle and crowd.
So many feet seem treading up and down for
ever. I lay here wondering what they are all
like, and where they are all going to."
"I often stand amongst them wondering too,
Janey; but see, all among these flowers lies our
supper-I'm sure you want some: has Mrs.
Jacobs given you anything ? "







SWEET VIOLETS.


Yes, she brought me some broth to-day, the
district-lady sent; but it wasn't nice; I couldn't
eat it. Nothing does seem nice,-I can't eat any-
thing; but never mind, Nelly," she said, putting
her thin arms round her sister's neck as she
stooped to get the things from the basket, "it
will be the sooner over, and these heavy, weary
limbs will pain me no more : there's nae pain
nor care in the land o' the leal.' She sang the
words in a childish, weak, but exquisitely sweet
voice, and Nelly said-
"Don't, Janey: I can't see what I'm doing
when you sing." The big tears had filled her eyes
and made a mist before them.
"All right, I won't, Nelly. I often wish I
could go out singing as I used, and help you.
Uson't I to bring a lot o' money home ? "
Yes, Janey, but I never liked you a-being in
the streets: you, was always such a wan wee
thing !"
"Yes, but that helped me; for people would
say pitying things as they passed me. One







SWEET VIOLETS.


woman gave me a shilling once, with tears
dropping down her cheeks, and said-I remem-
ber it so well, Nelly, and often think of it-' I
should sing in heaven soon.' Ah!" she said,
sighing and lifting her eyes to the blackened
ceiling above her, beyond which she seemed to
see the bright-eyed choir and all the heavenly
host singing their songs of praise; for a long,
longing look came into her sad eyes.
Well, you ain't there yet, in spite of her," said
Nelly somewhat roughly. She dared not indulge
in sentiment; it did not match with the hard,
stern reality of her daily life. To work hard for
a bare subsistence, to sleep cold, to hunger daily,
to know no change nor brightness in her life since
first she could remember gazing with craving
eyes at the portion of food given her by her
mother, had almost taken out of her all womanly
tenderness-all belief in love, in rest, in hope.
Life to her represented only a piteous struggle
to live ; death simply a release from struggling.
But the poor, gentle, suffering, helpless sister was







SWEET VIOLETS.


the one tie which made it seem worth her while to
fight on, to keep honest, patient, earnest, the poor
babe she-scarcely more herself-had taken from
the dead mother's breast, and loved ever since with
a yearning love which did not show itself in tender
loving words, but in the hard daily toil-the
self-denial, that made her give the scanty food
she earned to the sick girl and go without her-
self. Alas! too many such lives are passed in
crowded cities ; and it is well for the little happy
children whose bright merry days pass on as
childhood's should-without toil or sorrow-
guarded from the knowledge of evil and sin by
loving care, to remember the sadder lives of these
little sisters who know not, nor ever will know,
a life so bright as theirs.















CHAPTER III.


SOME few weeks after the purchase of his
violets John Milman was again making for the
Pier on his way home, when a loud cry of" Hie!"
arrested him; and, turning quickly, the man who
had stopped him called out, There's a gal keeps
a-running after you; and to his surprise he saw
-andhe remembered her at once-thepoor violet-
seller making the best of her way to him through
the crowded thoroughfare, and with the old
difficulty of the wretched boots impeding her
progress. He walked back towards her, and
smilingly asked if she wanted him for a customer
again.
"No, sir," she said, panting for breath, and
wiping her hot face; it's this here as is







SWEET VIOLETS.


yourn. I've been a-watching for you every
day since."
"Mine-what ? "
"This here sixpence, sir," she said, handing it
to him--" it aint a bad un, sir; really it's your
very own-as I've kep in a box ever since," she
continued eagerly, finding he said nothing, but
stood and handled the coin.
Why, girl, I don't know what you mean : did
I drop sixpence ? "
No, sir, you give me a shilling for sixpen'orth
of flowers, and never stopped for no change. I
runned arter yer then, I did ; but my boots is so
old they won't let me run much."
Why, you very extraordinary party," said
John, regarding her with the merry twinkle in
his eyes which brightened all his face, "I
declare you ought to be shown as a very
miracle of honesty. I meant the shilling for you,
to help you and the lame sister to some better
victuals than an indigestible teapot. Take the
sixpence back, and give me another sixpenny-







SWEET VIOLETS.


worth of flowers,-lilies of the valley, eh! they
are beauties. Now tell me where you live."
He wrote down in his pocket-book what she
told him, and, wishing her good-by, he went
on his way, and she, poor thing, with a lighter
heart than she had had since the sixpence
burdened it, put that and the one he paid
her together in the box under the flowers,
and went back to the street-corner where she
usually took her stand, and where a few who
dealt regularly with her expected to find
her.
It was near a fashionable draper's, and it
amused the poor girl to see the ladies in their
carriages flocking into the shops. She would
stand looking at their rich dresses, wondering
how much they cost, how many they had-if
they were better dressed than that on Sunday
-what they had for dinner, such people as
they-something better than a saveloy or piece
of dry bread, she fancied; wondering if they
were ever hungry, ever thirsty or cold. Some-







SWEET VIOLETS.


times she sold a few flowers to them, or to
the men-servants whilst they waited for the
carriages. She had only just taken her stand
after parting with John, when an elegant open
carriage drew up, and a girl about her own
age, accompanied by her mother, alighted and
entered the shop. The girl looked at her as
she passed, and a gleam of pity came into
her beautiful face, as she whispered some-
thing eagerly to her mother; to which she
replied,
Oh no, my dear love, certainly not-never
buy in the street: those flowers carry all sorts of
infection and horrible things."
They were not long in the shop, and when
they came out again the young lady got back
into the carriage, and the mother walked on to
a shop a few doors beyond: she watched her
mother out of sight, and then eagerly beckoned
to Nelly.
"You look ill, and hot, and tired," she
said kindly to her. "No, I don't want your







SWEET VIOLETS.


flowers; but tell me, have you earned anything
to-day ? "
"Not much, my lady, yet; but I dare say I
shall sell more later. Won't you buy some
lilies, my lady ?--they're so very sweet."
"No; mamma does not like me to have your
flowers. Do you live on what you earn like this?"
I tries to, my lady," was the sad reply.
Have you a mother and father ? "
"No, lady-only a sick sister to keep as well
as myself."
The tears rose to the bright blue eyes, and
hastily taking a purse from her pocket, she
placed five shillings in the astonished girl's
hand, and motioned her away-just as her mother
returned to the carriage.
"You've not been buying flowers now, Eveline,
when I told you not ?"
No, ma, of course not; you said no."
You were talking to her ?"
"Yes. Did you look at her ?-who did she
remind you of ?"







SWEET VIOLETS.


My dear, I don't know; I did not look at
her."
Mother, a face that I have never forgotten,
and never shall forget-the widow who came
to beg papa to do something for her, as
her husband was killed in his service, and you
know--"
Papa would not-and quite right too. He
was not called upon in the least; it was nothing
to do with him: it was the builder's place to
help his workmen."
Oh! but her story was so sad, her face so
piteous, the weary look in her poor eyes haunted
me for months; and I see it often now, and I
saw it again in that girl's face."
"I know, my dear, you made yourself very
absurd about it at the time; and your father
and I both laughed at you-young girls are
so romantic and impulsive. I dare say it was
a very good thing for the woman: she doubt-
less made a fine harvest of her husband's
accident."






SWEET VIOLETS.


The girl turned with a gesture of annoyance
away from her mother, and said no more; and
they drove home to the splendid house, the
building of which had cost, beyond its costly sum
of money, one human life; and the orphan girl
hurried to her dreary lodgings, to show with
pride and joy to her suffering sister the wealth
she had got that day.
Many times more did the young lady visit the
shop near which, with her basket of flowers,
stood poor Neily, whose sad face lighted with a
smile when she saw her, and to whom she
always dropped a curtsey. She could never
forget the beautiful face which had looked with
such pity on her. Her mother would not, or
could not, see the likeness to the pale widow
who came to plead her sad cause, but promised
Eveline that as she appeared to take some
interest in her she might inquire where she
lived, and see how they could help her, the next
time they saw her; but it was in the height of
the season, and Eveline had many engagements,






30 SWEET VIOLETS.

so that some time elapsed before she again
thought of the poor flower girl. Then twice she
drove to the street, but she was not there; and so
the subject faded from her memory.














CHAPTER IV.


IT was springtime again. Beneath the shelter
of their leaves lay the fragrant violets; prim-
roses dotted all the banks, mingling with blue-
bells and daffodils; and groups of children were
busy filling baskets with the fair blossoms, in
wood and lane; and at one pretty ivy-covered
cottage, beside the gate of a noble park, two
children stand with hands and pinafores full of
violets.
"Only violets, Jack, father said, only
violets."
"I've ony dot violets," said the tiny boy.
"Come in, then;" and pushing open the
door, the little girl entered the cottage, fol-
lowed by her brother, and running up to a girl,







SWEET VIOLETS.


seated near the window at work, they showered
the sweet flowers into her lap.
She looked up with a smile, as she gathered
some of them in her hand.
"Thank you, dears-thank you," she said,
stooping to kiss them.
"That's right, little ones," said a bright
voice from another room, the door of which
stood open; get a jug, Jim, and put them in
water for her-we loves violets, don't us ? They
first brought us to know our kind and useful
Nelly, and now we don't know what we should
do without her."
"Why, whoever is father bringing along?" said
the woman, coming into the room. "I do
believe they are coming here, and my hands are
all floury."
Nelly was tying up the flowers in bouquets,
silently, something glistening on them which
was not dew.
"There's no need to sell them now, dear,"
said the woman, kindly and cheerfully.







SWEET VIOLETS.


Nelly only nodded her head: as the door
opened, and her old friend John Milman en-
tered, followed by a young lady, Nelly sprang
from her seat, a flush of pleasure and surprise
covering her face.
"You remember me?" said the lady. "Then
you are the flower-girl I once spoke to ?"
She was, ma'am; she's our head nurse
now," said John, with the old merry smile.
"Yes, my lady," said Nelly, earnestly; "they
took me, they did, from the streets, from cold
and hunger, and fed and clothed me."
Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the
least of these," said the lady, turning to John
and looking at him with her beautiful eyes full
of tears, oh! how much you are to be envied.
I tried to find you," she said, speaking to Nelly,
"for long; and when I sent to you, having dis-
covered your address through a mere chance
from our man-servant who met and remembered
you, you were gone."
"Yes, ma'am, I had the good fortune," said
D







SWEET VIOLETS.


John, "to get made carpenter on this estate; and
as my good little wife here was beginning to
want a little help with the young 'uns, I be-
thought me this poor girl would like to take the
situation of head nurse in my family. And by
ways unnecessary to plague you with, I got her
poor sister into a hospital, and brought her
along with us. We've been here a year and a
half, and I don't think any of us regret it. I
told you how her honesty first interested
me."
You did, Milman; and to me she was inte-
resting from a fancied likeness which I will
tell you about some day. At any rate I am
satisfied about her now: she cannot be in better
hands. My brother speaks in the warmest
terms of you and your wife; and it is a strange
coincidence that here on his estate I should find
the girl who awoke in me such interest and pity.
Let me buy those violets of you for old acquaint-
ance sake," she said, with a sweet smile, taking
the bunches Nelly at once handed to her; she








SWEET VIOLETS.


left in their place a golden coin, which made
poor Nelly's eyes sparkle.
The sort of strange instinct which had first
drawn Eveline to the poor flower-girl was right;
she was indeed the child of the widow who had
pleaded in vain to her father, and it was
stranger than fiction, as fact so often is, that on
her brother's estate, in the home of one of his
servants, the orphan should find a happy refuge.
John Milman's poor old mother had gone to her
rest, and with this good situation he had
obtained, he could quite well afford to carry out
the benevolent wish to assist the poor orphans.
Nelly he brought home to help his wife in the
charge of the little ones, who were so near of an
age that they were a heavy charge to his bright
little wife, who gladly hailed the arrival of Nelly.
And she, in gratitude for the sweet, clean, cheer-
ful home, tried her hardest to be useful and
attentive, and to learn to be handy with her
needle and all such neat and housewifely ways
that Amy could so well instruct her in.








SWEET VIOLETS.


What a change it was from that miserable
attic She who had never seen the sun rise or
set, never known the glory of a heaven all
aglow with rose-colour and gold, scarcely known
save by its scorching rays, as she stood in the
hard streets, that the sun did shine; in speech-
less wonder now, holding the children's hands,
who had been gathering their laps full of
flowers, was allowed to gaze at the grand
glory of the great light sinking into rest
amongst the rosy, gold-tipped clouds, or knee-
deep in sweetly scented grass, helping to gather
the white starry flowers with the golden eyes,
and the shining yellow ones the children called
buttercups and daisies, with a sort of strange
delight which made her throat ache and large
tears fill her eyes. The flowers, which to sell
had gained for her and her sister their poor
hard fare, she wondered now to see in purple
masses, scenting the air with their fragrance, on
every bank by the roadside, gathered at will by
happy children at their play, and flung aside as







SWEET VIOLETS.


worthless when their play was ended. And so
as she gathered them, with eyes so full of
wonder and admiration, her little companions
would laugh out gladly, and say, Why, Nelly,
zem's only vi'lets;" but learning her love for
them, and listening to her tale of how in the
streets in the long weary days she wandered
with naked feet and sold them for the poor meal
of dry bread, they gathered them for her in
handfuls, never coming in from any ramble
without what they now always called "Nelly's
flowers "
In one of the best and largest hospitals John
Milman had placed poor Janey. And there
under the kind care, and with management and
good food, she was mending slowly, but they said
surely.
You shall go and see Janey to-morrow,
Nelly," said Mrs. Milman, as they sat together
in the evening, the little ones all in bed, John
smoking his pipe, and they two at work. Nelly's
face brightened. In all her gratitude for her







SWEET VIOLETS.


happy home she often felt that she would go
back to her old life of toil and suffering to have
her sister again beside her. They were very,
very kind to her, but they could have done as
well without her. There was no one now to
watch for her coming, to listen with eager love
to the sound of her footstep; no one now to
whom she was all in all; so that the days when
visitors were allowed at the hospital were looked
forward to with an intense longing, and kind
Mrs. Milman spared her whenever she could.
But of course the journey had to be considered:
it was too far to walk, and so it could only be
managed when some cart was going to town
from the village, and coming back again in the
evening.
Then the kindly people packed a basket for
her of things for the sick girl, and some dinner
for Nelly herself, and a large bunch of flowers;
and the children filled her pockets with sweets,
and offered their favourite toys to take to her
sick sister, and watched her away as long as they







SWEET VIOLETS.


could sec her down the long dusty road, waving
their handkerchiefs and hats, and then looking
forward to hear the story in the morning of the
great big house where Janey was and of the many
beds, and of the ladies with the strange black
dresses and white caps who waited on the poor
people so tenderly. Nelly had always some-
thing fresh to tell them of the poor little chil-
dren, no older than themselves, lying in cots, with
toys on little tables fastened to them, brought
by kind friends, but which sometimes they were
too ill to play with or care to look at.
But poor Nelly did not always return the
happier for these visits. Janey had learned to do
without her-her suffering had made her, as it
often does, selfish. She found here comfort and
assistance, she was cared for, and seemed of some
consequence; and in contrast with the old days,
these were so much brighter. Unlike Nelly, she
never sighed for the old times back again. Her
whole talk, as Nelly sat beside her, was of herself,
of the dinners she had, of what the doctors said







SWEET VIOLETS.


of her; but she seldom asked what Nelly was
doing-whether the life that up till this time
had been devoted to her, was brighter-if she
were better fed, better cared for-if her home
was happy, and the people kind still; and
though Nelly was glad and thankful that the sick
girl had no regrets nor longings to be home
again with her, still there was a sensation of
pain in the utter forgetfulness, and the feeling
that even this tie to life was gone now; she
was of no use, no importance any more, even to
Janey.
But at the first sight of the little rose-covered
cottage, of the children's faces at the gate
watching for her-the cheery Come along,
Nelly-glad to see you back," from Mrs. Milman,
and John's hearty Well, lass, ready for supper ?
it's ready for you," gratitude for the mercy which
had sent her such friends, such a home, soothed
her and restored her to a somewhat happier
frame of mind. The children were always full
of eager questions, but were sent to bed with a







SWEET VIOLETS.


promise to tell them all about it in the
morning.
This night, after supper, John said-
Nelly girl, what do you think of your
sister; will she soon be able to come out ?"
"Yes, sir, I think she will. I don't expect, by
what the nurse said, as she'll be allowed to stay
much longer: she can walk brave now for a
little while, and she looks well, and so pretty,
and I've been thinking--" and she lookedup at
John and stopped.
"Thinking what's to be done with her when
she does come out-exactly. You talk to Amy
about it after supper: we've been thinking too;"
and so after supper Amy said-
"Nelly, I heard that Miss Truman, in the
village, wants an apprentice to the dressmaking.
She does a very good business there-the Hall
people always employ her; and, you know, John
and me were thinking, if you did not mind, we
would put Janey there. We have had a little
money given us for the purpose by a friend-







SWEET VIOLETS.


only a small sum is required-and when Janey
is a grand West-end dressmaker she can pay it
back, if she likes," she said, laughing.
"Yes," said Nelly. She had no words to
express herself even when she felt the most: edu-
cation she had had none; and the old supplicating
words she had learned to ply her trade of flower-
selling, the oft-repeated We ain't had no food
to-day, lady, do buy 'em-they're werry cheap"
-were about the longest sentence she ever got
out; and although the pains that Amy had taken
with her had much improved her, still, when any-
thing affected or interested her, she could find
no words to say what she felt, and so now at
this generous offer she murmured only "Yes."
"You would like it, Nelly, wouldn't you? "
asked Amy.
"Yes, ma'am, thank you,' said Nelly, "if she
will."
"We will hope she will: we can tell her
how nice it will be. You will be close together
you know."







SWEET VIOLETS.


"Yes, ma'am," said Nelly again. Close toge-
ther, yes; but not in one home-never more now,
she thought. But still it was better than that
far-off hospital; and she looked forward with a
great yearning wish to the day when she should
be told to fetch Janey away.
It came at length, the summons, and Nelly
went again in the little cart to fetch her. The
children were so charmed to see Nelly's sister
-she who had been so long in the wonderful
"big house" with the ladies they called Sisters.
They should really see her She was a heroine in
their eyes. Miss Truman was a busy, bustling
little woman, but very kind hearted, and had
made every comfortable preparation for the re-
ception of her new apprentice. She was to take
her supper that evening with Nelly, and John had
promised to see her to her new home afterwards.
Janey seemed shy and strange at first, but
looked very well and very pretty. John said
he was sorry she was so pretty; and with it all
he liked Nelly's homely face better.







SWEET VIOLETS.


Jane seemed to like the idea of being a dress-
maker very well, raised no objection, and left
the cottage for her new home very contentedly.
One day Nelly, who had been sitting working
by the fireside, talking to and playing with the
baby on the ground beside her, said suddenly
to Amy as she entered the room-
"Please do you mind telling me who paid
the money for Janey to go to Miss Truman ?"
"Do you want to know, Nelly; does it
matter?" she said, smiling.
"Yes, I like to; because of saying, God
bless- you know, like you taught me."
"Poor child!" said Amy with a kindly smile.
"Well, the truth is John got the money together:
he gave a little as he could afford, and the
lady, Miss Eveline Howard, and her brother,
made it up."
"Thank you-I see. Janey seems happy."
"Yes, I was there yesterday; but there was
something in Mrs. Milman's manner that made
Nelly look suddenly in her face to see if she







SWEET VIOLETS.


could read there aught of wrong or sorrow to
Janey; but Mrs. Milman turned away, and said
no more.
And so the summer days went by, and cold
gusty winds blew over moor and meadow, and
Nelly's short span of content and freedom from
anxiety was over. Janey was again her greatest
trouble. Whether her long suffering had made
her temper bad, or the interest and care shown
her by the gentle Sisters in the hospital had
spoiled her, any way she was most troublesome,
giving rude and impertinent answers to her
kind little mistress, and refusing to listen to
Nelly's remonstrances; and one day she came
down to the cottage and said she had left; she
said she could not and would not stay with that
odiouslittlewoman; she hated sewing, hated every-
thing she had to do, and she was going to service.
"But when? and where?" asked poor bewildered
Nelly. "When? directly," she said-"Where ?-
to the 'Blue Lion,'-barmaid, she should like that
-at any rate she meant to try it;" and so the







S EmET VIOLETS.


foolish girl went, having got the place herself,
without consulting her sister, and soon found how
foolish she had been. The noise, the late hours,
the rough work, soon broke down the delicate con-
stitution, and she had once more to become an
inmate of the hospital. Again Nelly took her
journey in the little cart; and one cold winter's
evening, when the wheels went noiselessly through
the snow, Nelly came back with eyes swollen with
tears: she had seen her last on earth of the sister
who had been such a charge to her. The wilful
spirit was at rest, and Nelly was alone in the
world; but her good friends more than ever
heaped kindnesses on her, and in time she grew
to love them as her kith and kin. John used
to laugh and tell her he should not rest till she
was married-he could have no peace until he
had washed his hands of her; and he found his
rest at last, for Nelly won the heart of a good
brave young fellow who worked under John,
and in a little cottage of her own, comfortably
furnished for her by Miss Howard, Nelly








SWEET VIOLETS.


passed her now-peaceful, happy days, but still
in the spring time looking with full heart and
tearful eyes on the fragrant blossoms which
covered the banks, in tender memory of the days
in which she sold in the London streets


SWEET VIOLETS.


MAII3URY, AGNPNV, & CO., PRINTEIRS, WHITEFRIAS.















"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


A HOT summer day was drawing to its close,
and in the large sleeping nursery at Afton
Lodge, lay in their little beds, four very happy
children-wide awake, the rogues: it was too
hot to sleep, and so light that little Mary
declared it must be morning, not night, and that
it was silly to go bed-nurse must be dreaming.
Two or three times had nurse been in, and
thrown over the children the sheets which they
said they really could not keep on, because it
was so hot.
"You are hot because you toss about and








6 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

play so, you foolish little things," said nurse;
" but there, bless your little hearts, you cannot
sleep in this heat. I'll ask mamma now, if
you're very good and quiet, to let you stop up
an hour later, during all the summer weather.
Really, poor dears," she continued, turning to
the under nurse, who was just coming into the
room to tell her supper was ready, "they're quite
as well up, as kicking about here; now whilst
I'm gone down try and keep them quiet,
Jane."
"Nurse! nurse," called Mary, "now that
was not me, it's Emmeline, she will keep
putting her knees up to make a mountain, and
dropping them down suddenly to make me
laugh."
"Well, you shouldn't laugh, Miss Mary, then
she wouldn't do it. If you are the one that







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


plays, Emmy, you will have to go to bed to-
morrow when the others sit up. No, Baby, no,"
she said, going to the cot in which a beautiful
curly-headed darling, scarce two years old, was
put down to sleep, but like the rest greatly
preferring to play; "no more 'bo-peep' to-night;
shut eyes like a good boy." Very tightly
he screwed up the big blue sunny eyes at his
nurse's order; but a little smothered laugh from
the next little bed, opened them wide again,
and the tumbled golden head peeped up over
the edge of the cot, and the little plump baby
fingers clutched the sides to aid in the attempt
to stand up and peep over into the bed, where,
hid now under the clothes, was the little sister a
year older, whose laugh had attracted him, and
been too severe a test for his obedience.
"Now really," said nurse, I shall presently







S "'ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

have to be cross-now, Minnie, put your head up
on the pillow directly-you two turn back to
back; and you have poor little doggie, Baby, to
cuddle to sleep-he's so tired, poor doggie;"
and she brought him a large soft white dog,
and laid it on the pillow by his flushed, dimpled
face, pulled down the blinds to darken the room;
and having thus, as she thought, quieted
them all, she went down to her supper, leaving
Jane in charge. But she had scarcely got to the
bottom of the stairs when they were all alive
again: Emmy and Mary having turned face to
face, were playing at being in a tent, and had
raised the sheet over the bed posts to represent
the canvas; Minnie was trying to stand on her
head, and Baby was pulling everything out of
his cot, and throwing it down on the floor with
a triumphant "dere" after each expulsion.







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


Jane, perhaps wisely, thought it was best to
leave them alone,-they would play till they
were tired, and then go to sleep, so taking her
seat beside the open window of the day nursery,
into which the other room opened, she sat quietly
looking out into the pretty garden, busied with
her own thoughts, and left the little rebels to do
as they would. Jane's plan was successful, for
it appeared that now they were no longer
continually told to be quiet, they were more
willing to be so, and growing tired of fun, to
which there was no audience and no opposition,
they laid themselves down to rest, Baby with
his head at the foot of the cot, on the bare
mattress, having thrown out the bed clothes,
which, in such weather, he evidently considered
superfluous.
The next day nurse spoke to her mistress







10 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

when she came, as usual, up to the nursery to
take Mary and Emmeline down to breakfast,
who being six and seven years were promoted
to that honolir, and asked if the children might
be allowed to sit up an hour later, as she found
it so very difficult to get them to sleep in the
heat.
Well, I have no objection, nurse," said
Mrs. Enfield, "if they will be good and
not make papa scold, you know he comes
home tired and likes to be quiet in the
evening."
They all vociferously professed the greatest
possible amount of goodness, except of course
master Baby, who did not understand the
drift of the conversation, and was sufficiently
occupied in feeding himself, or rather his
pinafore, with bread and milk.







" ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


Oh nurse, look,-Baby is making himself
in such a hopeless mess," said his mother.
Yes, he is, ma'am," said nurse, complacently,
"but you see he must have a learning, pretty
dear-we keep a few old pinafores on pur-
pose."
Well, I hope he will soon learn; we could
not have such a dirty little boy at our table.
Could we, Mary?"
"Me don't pill," said Minie.
No, you are older-and will very soon be
able to come down to breakfast with papa and
mamma: let them go under the trees, nurse, as
soon as they have finished, it is too warm to
walk."
Mrs. Enfield went hand in hand with her
little girls down the long gallery which led from
the rooms occupied by the children to the other








1I ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

part of the house,, and down the broad staircase,
lighted by the bright morning sun, which
streamed in through the large casement window
on the landing, which was wide enough for a
little room, and in which was a stand of flowers,
that sent their fragrance all about the house;
and reaching the dining-room the little girls
sprang towards a gentleman, who was leaning
against the window playing with a large deer-
hound, who stood before him watching with his
large luminous eyes his master, who was making
him trust" with pieces of biscuits on his cold
black nose.
Ah! little maids, how d'ye do," he said.
"Now see how well Beppo has learnt this trick:
there's a lesson in obedience for you."
The children were greatly amused and. re-
mained watching the dog till the breakfast was







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


served, and mamma called them to take their
places.
"Where is Miss Denbigh," said Mrs. Enfield,
"and Margaret."
"They are here, mamma," said a bright
young voice, and a girl about fourteen sprang
into the room, followed by a tall handsome
woman, with a face that was, as Mrs. Enfield
said, a story,-a fine poetical face with large
earnest eyes, in which was at times a sad ex-
pression that seemed occasioned by some old
memory; her mouth was full and red, display-
ing, when the rare smile lighted her face, superb
white teeth, and her hair, which was abundant,
was a rich brown, soft and glossy, and always
beautifully dressed. She had been for some
years governess to Mrs. Enfield's children, and
they were all very fond of her, even the babies







14 ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

loved her, for she was as charming in the
nursery as in the schoolroom. She had a
perfect sympathy with children, entered warmly
into their sorrows and joys: was as distressed
over the broken doll as over the difficulties of
the lessons, and in short was a most invaluable
aid to Mrs. Enfield in every way.
Papa," said Emmeline when breakfast
ended, she had climbed to his knee, as it was
her custom, "we are going to stop up to-night
until-until ever so late."
"I have no idea what time that is, my
child."
You funny papa-it isn't any time."
"Not any time! then you mean to say
you're not going to bed at all to night."
No, papa, let me explain," said Mary, who on
the strength of her thirteeen months' seniority







" ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


felt herself better able to make papa under-
stand.
"Nurse asked mamma if we might sit up an
hour longer during this very hot weather; and
that's what Emmy means."
"Oh! I see now-and an hour longer than
seven is ten, isn't it ? "
"Papa! no! certainly not-"
Nine," said Emmy, triumphantly, that was
her favourite hour, and to sit up till then her
highest ambition.
"No, no, eight, Emmy, seven and one are
eight! aren't they, papa?" said Mary.
"Yes, Mary, I think so; at least they were
when I was a little girl."
"Little girl! now, papa, you know you never
were a little girl."
How do you know ?"







16 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

Because people don't be little girls and then
grow big means said Emmy decidedly.
"Don't they really now? well if I stay long
with you I shall really become too clever, so
I'll go at once," and lifting the little thing
off his knee, "papa" went through the open
windows on to the lawn, and Miss Denbigh
took the little girls away, and promising to
come with them under the trees for an hour
before lessons, they ran off to get their hats,
and under the large lime trees, by the little lake
which ran through the grounds, they found the
two younger children, and played together, until
Miss Denbigh gave the word to return to the
house for lessons, and the little ones to their
morning sleep.
The schoolroom was a very charming one:
Mrs. Enfield was of the opinion that children







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


were more healthy, happy, and good if their
surroundings were agreeable, so she had selected
for nursery and school-room the very pleasantest
rooms she could. Bright with a pretty paper, a
trellis-work of hops on a green ground-the
furniture polished maple, a green carpet on
which white blossoms were strewn-a pretty
piano, book-cases, a little couch for Miss Den-
bigh, and some admirable prints on the walls-
flowers in a stand in the window which looked
out into Mrs. Enfield's rose-garden, all combined
to make the school-room most inviting, and a
pleasant sitting-room for Miss Denbigh-who
passed most of her time there. She cared little
to go down to the drawing-room, generally beg-
ging Mrs. Enfield to excuse her if they were not
alone, assuring her that her owfi charming room
was to her the pleasantest place in the house.







18 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

Mrs. Enfield often brought her work there and
chatted to her, and with real amusement
listened to the tales she would tell to the
children, with such brightness and fan, till
Mrs. Enfield would wonder if sadness had
ever rested on her, and if the expression in
her eyes which she had first thought was the
memory of an old grief, was not, after all, their
nature.
"Miss Denbigh," she said, meeting them as
they came in from the garden. We have
friends to dinner to-day, will you mind seeing
that the children are quiet, they are to sit up
an hour or so later, and they may feel riotously
disposed, so please keep a vatch on them. It
makes my husband so angry to hear them when
he is at dinner."
Miss Denbigh promised to see after them, and







" ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


Margaret said to her friend, "Tell us one of
your lovely stories, Miss Denbigh."
"Perhaps--we shall see if all the chicks are
good,-we will have some arrangements for this
extra hour which will, I daresay, be very satis-
factory."
And so seven o'clock, which had been a rather
dreaded hour, was looked forward to with great
anxiety on this night, and after tea Nurse
bathed their little hot faces and hands, and
brought Mary and Emmy down to the school.
room where Margaret and Miss Denbigh
awaited them.
"Come along," said Margaret, Miss Den-
bigh is going to tell us a story to-night, and to-
morrow play games with us, and the next night a
story again, and so on,won't that be charming ?"
Yes, that it will," said the children, joyfully,
c2







20 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

" and we are to sit one on each side of
her."
"Oh no, Mary, I am always to be one side
of her, am I not, Miss Denbigh? the children
must take turns, must they not ?"
"I think if you sit in a little circle, that will
settle it very nicely," said Miss Denbigh,
"Emmy, as the least, in the middle."
"Oh! yes, that's charming," said Margaret.
"Now you'll go away to be dressed for the
drawing-room, Margaret, just as we are in the
middle of -the lovely part of the story," said
Mary.
"As there is company to-night, neither Mar-
garet nor I are going down. They will not
be in the drawing-room until Margaret's bed-
time."
"Oh! jolly; do begin now, Miss Denbigh.'







C ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


And settling themselves comfortably as their
governess had arranged, the little girls pre-
pared to listen.
"I promised," began Miss Denbigh, "to tell
Margaret a sad episode in my life, and I think
you little ones are old enough to hear it too,
and take the lesson from it I would wish you to
learn."
"You asked me, dear child," she said, laying
her fair white hand on Margaret's head, what
made me have for ever on my face a shadow of
sadness-because Margaret, love, that shadow is
born of self-reproach. Sorrow comes to us all
in turn, sent us in love always, and in time we
learn that, but when the sorrow is brought on
us by our own self-will or wrong-doing, then, my
child, it remains with us a bitter memory for
ever. The sorrow-God's chastening-passes, as








22 ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE.'1

waves of shadow pass over the golden wheat,
not injuring, the rich ripe ears, only shading
them for a season. Borne with resignation,
His smile, like the returning sunshine, lights
our hearts again, and we know how tender was
the Hand that wounded us. But when our own
folly, our own perversity, brings on us a heavy
woe, no comfort comes to help us to bear it,
and like the canker which destroys the heart
of the rose, so remorse eats into our hearts,"
the tears welled up in her eyes as she spoke,
and Margaret taking her hand whispered
gently,-
"Don't tell us, if it makes you sad."
"No, my love, I would rather tell you,
because it may save you from a sorrow like
mine."
"When I was very young," she continued,







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


"I lost my mother, and I was sent down into
the country to be brought up by an aunt. She
had married a gentleman who owned a great
deal of land, and managed one of the largest
farms himself-it was a beautiful old place, and
to me was enchanting, coming from a dark
street in the City where we had always lived.
My father was a merchant, and we lived at his
house of business-he was glad to. send me
away as I had no brother or sister to play
with-and I was, too, glad to go away from the
gloomy house, and be with my little cousins
in the bright home I had often heard them
talk of.
"There were two boys and two girls, the
eldest boy worked on the farm with his father,
and the other was in a merchant's office in
London. The girls were both older than me,







24 ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE.

but nice, bright, kind girls, and we were great
friends. I had, with a child's quick forgetful-
ness, forgotten my mother. I had seen but
little of her, and the nurse was more associated
in my mind with tiny baby happy days, than she
was, poor dear!-a kind handsome face smiling
on me in the morning, and bidding 'God bless
me!' at night, was almost all I knew of her
-and so, with my good-hearted affectionate
motherly aunt and uncle and the young cousins,
my life was brighter and happier than it had
ever been before. All the fresh country amuse-
ments were so pleasant to me. I ran out in the
morning early with Lucy and Dora, to see
the cows milked, to search for eggs in the
hedges when the hens laid astray, to see the
first litter of little pigs, the young puppies, the
new stableman's cat without a tail, which our







" ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


yard-man had procured, the little calves, all
the young things which increased the stock in
the farm-yard made an excitement in our lives
and were chronicled as little events. And now,
I daresay, you will like to know what Dora and
Lucy were like ?"
"Oh! yes," said Mary, "I always like in
books when they say what age the little girls
and boys are; what coloured hair they have,
and all those sort of things."
Well then, Lucy the eldest girl was, when
I first went to them, sixteen, with auburn hair
and blue merry eyes, and a fair skin and a
pretty light fairy figure, and a voice bright and
clear as a skylark's. Dora was fourteen, dark
as Lucy was fair, so that they were often called
after two of Walter Scott's heroines, Minna
and Brenda. Dora was my favourite, she was







26 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

so gentle and affectionate; in her soft dark
brown eyes there was such a depth of tender-
ness and love, and she was so unselfish and
sweet-tempered. Lucy, on the contrary, was,
I will not say ill-tempered, because that does
not express it; but she had an unhappy knack
of making others ill-tempered without in the
least appearing cross herself-an irritating,
aggravating laugh which was most trying when
you were worried and put out by any small cir-
cumstance, but those not intimately acquainted
with Lucy thought her far the most charming
of the two girls--"
"And the little boys," said Emmy, "were
they nice little boys ? "
Miss Denbigh sighed, and the old shadow
passed over her face as she answered,-
"They were not little boys, dear, they were







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


nearly young men-at least Donald was twenty
and Graham nearly nineteen. Mr. MacIntyre
was a widower when my aunt married him
with these two sons, and the two girls came to
be their playfellows after this second marriage
-and it was so pretty to see the warm
affection the boys felt for their pretty little
half-sisters. They seemed almost jealous of
me when I first came, lest I should wean
from their parents the love they wished
lavished on the two girls, but they soon grew
equally fond of me- "
"And you were, how old, dear?" said
Margaret, gently.
"I was twelve about a month or two after I
reached White Posts' as the farm was called,
and I can remember how we spent that
birthday."







28 ONLY A LITTLE PRrIMROSE."

"The 20th of August, is it not?" said
Margaret.
"Yes, love, it was a fine glorious summer's
day, and auntie said the little Londoner must
have some thoroughly country amusements,
and so they said we should take our dinner
down in the -green meadow where a group of
trees would give us beautiful shade from the
sun, and that Daisy, our favourite cow, should
be tethered there for us to make syllabub which
I had then never tasted."
"Ah! and isn't it nice," said Emmy, we
had it once."
"Don't interrupt," said Mary, impatiently.
Well, we went off. The moment we had had
our breakfast we began to make preparations
for our start, and oh! how we laughed-collect-
ing wine-glasses without stems-and old plates







" ONLY A LITTLE PIMR1OSE."


and all things which we should not fear to lose
or break at our rural feast-ah! we were so
happy-I have tasted syllabub since-been to
many a pic-nic," said Miss Denbigh, half to
herself, "but never has there been since so
much joy, such pure happiness as then.
"Donald was the one who worked in London.
Ile had never a taste for country life-Donald; he
wished always to be great in some way; it had
been his dream always-but his father said,
' Go and work, you can be great in any position,
if you will; the best sort of greatness, the strict
fulfilment of the duties of the state of life in
which you are placed, that is great, and requires
often greater courage than to mount a breach,
or storm a wall; it is in the Battle of Life
the grandest honours are won, and to those
warriors will the brightest crown be given.'







30 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

I have heard him say that often to him,
and Donald's large earnest eyes would fill with
a strange light as he answered, 'Whatever
position I am placed in, I would like to be at
the top of the tree,' He was so much in earnest-
Donald-always.
"He came home every Christmas, and stayed
a week with us, and oh how merry the house
was then; he was so good, and yet so full of fun.
He brought us all presents whenever he came,
and never forgot 'the little town mouse,' as he
called me; they were bright Christmases,
those-never so bright since-never," she said,
sadly.
"We have merry Christmases, don't we,
dear," said Margaret, "you are happy then?"
"Oh! yes, Margery, love, very; happier than
I ever thought to be; but I must go on with my







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


story, or I shall have Jane coming to carry away
part of my audience.
My education was carefully watched over
even in that country home, and being naturally
quick I made good progress under the care of a
widow lady, whom my aunt engaged to instruct
me, and who stayed with us until I was fifteen,
and then aunt thought that I could read and
keep up my German and my French with my
cousins, and did not longer require a governess.
Lucy was very clever, but our readings together
were productive, I am sorry to say, of many
disputes, she delighted in puzzling me until I
lost my temper, and then she would laugh a
little aggravating laugh that made me still more
angry, and say, My dear little girl, if you get
cross we must put the books away.' I ought to
have laughed too, had I been wise, and not given







83 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

way to the foolish irritability which made her
delight in aggravating me; and anyone looking
on would have certainly condemned me, not her,
she looked so bright and pretty, and seemed
only full of fun, whilst I looked gloomy and
cross, and could not laugh at what seemed to me
only ill-natured.
"After I had been five years at 'White Posts,'
Donald came home, having left his situation in
the office where he had been so long to take a
much higher position in a mercantile house
abroad. It was a treat they all said to have
him home, he was to be a month with us. How
his bright, sunny laugh rang through the house;
oftentimes I think I can hear it now. It was
early spring, and we used to go-we four-
gathering primroses, violets, and anemones. I
love them still, but they make me sad with the







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


memory of that time, how we used to come
home laden with the blossoms, Donald would
dress my hair with them, and twine them with
the shining leaves of the Bryony round my
hat.
"Many a time among the green lanes there as
we rambled, Lucy and I had our little angry
discussions, which Donald tried to stop, or
mediate between us. He saw that Lucy was
aggravating, and tried to reason with her;
but she was, after all, his favourite sister I
knew.
"Three days before he left, Lucy had been
most aggravating, and I had felt so cross and
irritable, and he had been so gentle-he loved
her so-and tried to make me think it was only
her love of fun, that she did not wish to anger
me.







34 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

It was the night before he left, we were all
sitting in the large parlour, we would not light
the candles, a small wood fire burnt in the
grate, for the evenings in that early spring time
were still chilly. The young crescent moon had
risen in the sky, in which the daylight still
lingered, and one small bright star seemed like
a handmaid waiting on her. I see it all as
plainly as I saw it then. Lucy had been for
some time throwing little balls of paper at me,
and several times I had asked her not to do so,
that it worried me-I wished to be quiet, I was
in no mood for fun that night; but, unheeding
all my remonstrance, she continued tormenting
me: the pellets really struck sharply enough to
hurt, and at length one hit me more fiercely
than any, for I had ceased to remonstrate with
her, and she seemed determined I should feel







" ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


this time. Donald was sitting with his arm
round her, he did love Lucy so, and it was the
last evening. I told myself how natural it was
that he should thus give all the last precious
moments to the favourite sister, but somehow I
fear it helped to anger me; as the last pellet
struck and hurt me, and I cried out, she
laughed that nasty jeering laugh I hated, and I
seized a small marble weight upon the table
near me, and threw it at her : it struck him, not
her, for he flung himself before her; he picked it
up quietly and put it back on the table, uttered
no cry, though a lump was on his forehead
where it struck him, but he said gently though
severely,
'I could not have thought spite and pas-
sion would take up their abode in so fair a
mansion: good-night, good-by, Helena,' and
D 2







36 ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

putting his arm round Lucy's neck, he whispered
something to her, and they left the room
together.
"He was to leave by an early train the next
morning, and I lay awake through the hours of
the night, wondering if he meant by that
'good-by' that we were to meet no more.
Angry with Lucy, whom I felt was the cause of
this, and angry with myself for my shameful
display of temper, my mental suffering I could
not describe: the night seemed endless, and as
soon as it was light I rose and dressed, deter-
mined to see Donald and wish him 'good-by'
and tell him I was sorry. I went down into
the large parlour, it was so early even the
servants were not down. I opened the shutters
myself and looked out into the old-fashioned
garden, with its turf paths and velvet lawn, and








" ONLY A LITTLE PRIIROSE."


the apple trees laden with their pink blossoms,
among which the birds chirped and twittered,
and flew busily in and out; at length a footstep
down the old oak staircase, was it Donald? No,
only the servant, who stared to see me about so
early, but asked me if I was going to see
Mr. Donald off, she was just going to call the
young ladies. I don't know how long I waited,
but they all came down at last, and he
said,-
I did not expect to see you, Helena, so
early, thank you: you are come to see the
last of the traveller, and wish him God
speed.'"
What possessed me-what evil spirit made
me say,-
"' Oh, dear me pray do not flatter yourself,
I mistook the time. I am going back to take







88 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

another hour's sleep.' And so I went flying
up the broad staircase, into my room, and I
shut and locked the door, haunted like mad-
ness by that laugh of Lucy's, which I heard as
I flew upstairs. I have never seen him
since, Margaret," she said, addressing herself
to the eldest girl. "I left very soon after
he was gone. Somehow the house seemed
wretched, and Lucy I could not bear to look
at; and so I said I would like to earn
my own living, and then I became a gover-
ness."


"And now to bed, darlings," she said, jumping
up; "and take with you this lesson, Charity
suffereth long, and is kind, beareth all things,
endureth all things, and without it we are
nothing worth."







" ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


Wonderingly the little girls looked at her as
she kissed them with passionate fervour and sent
them away. And then turning to Margaret,
she said,-
"You are never like to suffer as I have, dear,
you are so gentle and forbearing. You often
remind me of Dora."
And have you never heard of them at all ?"
said Margaret.
Oh, yes! I frequently have letters, and
they often press me to go and see them; but
I cannot, Margaret. Donald," she said in
a tremulous voice, "Dora says, was coming
home to see them, but he did not come,
and they have not heard since, so he, per-
haps, is dead. Get your book, darling,
and read; I shall be with you again pro-
sently."







40 ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE.'

And she went away a little while, when
she came back her face was still and calm as
ever.
A few days passed after this, and games were
played and more stories told, brighter and gayer,
suiting better the little ones, but Margaret liked
the "real one," as she called it, the best, and
thought much about it, wondering if "Donald,
who now became a sort of hero to her, was
really dead, and if dear Miss Denbigh would
ever see him again."
Many a romance she wove about it in her
girlish fancy, and tried to lay the lesson to her
heart and speak no hasty words of anger to
those she loved.
And the hot summer passed and changed to
autumn, and then the family at Afton Lodge
went for their usual trip to the sea, and Miss







" ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


Denbigh left to pay some visits amongst her
father's friends.
What a packing up it was; how busy baby
was putting into nurse's box, with that triumph-
ant dcro," everything he could find about the
room, so that poor nurse had to disembarrass her
trunk of the hearth broom, the large wooden
horse without a head, several bricks, an empty
pomade-pot, and Minnie's poor blind baby doll,
out of which he himself had poked the eyes and
brought to the distressed mother to exhibit his
handywork, crowing with glee, and assuring her
he was Kever boy." Now, of course, he was
priding himself on the great help he was to
nurse, for sweet baby nature has an innocent
belief that the will to help is as good as the
deed.
They were to start immediately after an early







42 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

dinner, and even though nurse and Mrs. Enfield
had tried to think of everything, what an infinite
number of "forgets" there were at the last,
how nurse poked them all as far as possible
into her pockets, till the turning out of it, when
they. reached the lodgings, was a source of the
greatest amusement, it was such a curious
jumble. A shoeing-horn, a corkscrew, and a
button-hook, being mingled with doll's frocks and
odd socks, and several small treasures of baby's,
which he had tyrannically insisted on her
bringing. And on the sands, amongst the
loungers, and the bathers, and the sellers of shells
and pebble brooches, crochet collars and night-
caps, the children dug and built castles with
martello towers of sand, made by squeezing into
the little pails and turning it out like jelly from
a mould, and deep trenches, into which the







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


water ran, and made a moat round the castle
walls, bigger boys coming to inspect the work,
and offering suggestions, going paddling into the
water to fetch bright pieces of seaweed to make
a garden for the little girls, with that childish
innocent friendliness, needing no introduction
before they speak, and becoming at last such
friends, that one wonders who Jessie and
Tommy, and Johny, Lucy, and Walter are, whom
our children are calling to, or talking of so
familiarly.
Ah! happy little architects, your castles are
like those we build in later years, washed over
by the waves of.Time as ruthlessly as by the tide
that destroyed yours, only to you the destruction
was no sorrow, it was only the fun of building
them up again. And there, by the "sad sea
waves," the children played and gained health







44 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMtOSE."

and brown sidns, and went home to learn that
they were to lose dear Miss Denbigh."
A letter awaited mamma to say that she could
only stay one quarter more, she would tell her
why when she came back.
Margaret, indeed they all, were so sorry,
and were eager to know why she must go.
It was soon told-she was going to be married.
The evening after she returned, sitting in the
school-room between "the dark and the day-
light," she said, with a soft sweet smile,-
"Margaret, Donald has forgiven me."
"Donald is not dead ?" exclaimed Margaret,
joyfully.
"No, he has come home. I got a letter soon
after I left you from Dora, see, here it is," and
she handed it to Margaret.
"Helena, come to us at once, please do,







"ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


there is some one here who wants to see
you. I am not to say who, but he sends you
this."
So the letter ran.
"It was only a little primrose, Margaret,"
she said; "but I knew who sent it, and I went
directly. Donald was there; he came out to
meet me with the old kindly light in his eyes,
browned, but little altered. And he said-fancy
all these years how my foolish words must have
pained him, that he so remembered them-he
said, 'You have had that hour's sleep out now,
IIelena ?' Yes, and woke to a keen sense of my
folly. Margaret, he is to be my husband when
I leave you."
Oh! dear Miss Denbigh, I am so glad, so
glad," said tender-hearted Margaret, half-in-
clined to cry for joy and sympathy.







46 "ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."

"Yes, dear, I knew you would be; and you
will not ever forget me, nor the lesson I have
taught you, the grave importance of 'words.'
All through Holy Writ, the warnings are
plentiful to keep our tongues with a bridle, to
use 'pleasant words,' soft words, by them
we are to be condemned or justified, and
judged for 'idle ones.' Amongst those, I am
sure, are such as, without thought, are
spoken to wound or hurt, those uttered in petu-
lance, which a moment's reflection would have
stopped."
Poor Donald! many and many a time in
his long exile, he says, the little primrose which
I tossed in sport to him on that happy day we
both so well remembered, spoke to him, it
seemed, pleadingly for me. It never left him
until he sent it to me. We do not know what








" ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


little things may influence us. A great event
may spring from some mere trifle, and my
happiness," she said, with a glad smile, has

been secured by

ONLY A LITTLE PRIMROSE."


BRADBoRY, AGNEW, & CO., P1TNTERS, WHITEFRIARS.














FORGET ME NOT.


WELL, then she put out her hand and said
she would be his Bride-and in a moment the
hump on his back disappeared, the red hair
changed to black, the eyes lost their squint, and
he became beautiful."
Oh! how nice; did the good fairy make him
beautiful ?"
Yes, a fairy called Love made him perfection
in her eyes, Alice dear-love which teaches us
to bear and forbear, which makes us not regard
the outward appearance, but only the heart, the
pure mind, which shines out of the eyes with a







FORGET ME NOT.


light which kindles love and makes the plainest
face seem fair."
"I think it all 'bosh.' "
"Belle-Belle-dear, what a word for a
young lady," said the gentle first speaker, a
young delicate-looking girl, who, seated by the
fire in a large nursery full of children, had been
telling them Fairy Tales.
"Well, it's a very good word and just says
what I mean: I hate all that humbugging
nonsense about everyone changing into some-
body else, and beautiful Princesses marrying
ugly monsters, and all such rubbish," said the
child decidedly.
Oh! I like it all so much, so very much,"
said a little fair-haired maiden a year younger
than her decided little sister.
So do I, and I," chimed in the other voices;







FORGET ME NOT.


"and it's very ungrateful too," said Norah, "to
Miss Wenham,who is so kind as to tell the tales,
to call them' rubbish.'"
I don't mind that a bit," said Miss Wenham,
smiling, only I want my little Belle to be
more gentle. I think she sometimes fancies
she's a little boy, not a little girl."
Oh no, Miss Wenham, I know I'm a girl,
and I'm awfully sorry for it. I'd like to be
a boy, a jolly fellow who does as he likes without
'being everlastingly bullied about spoiling his
clothes, and talking loud, and saying jolly
words-oh! if I had my choice, wouldn't I be a
boy And she pushed her fingers through her
thick curly black hair, and with her elbows
resting on the table returned to the perusal of
the book she had been reading before the com-
mencement of the Fairy Tale. It was the Boy's







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Book of Sports and Pastimes, belonging to a
brother at school.
Miss Wenham had come down from London
to spend a few weeks in the large Vicarage House,
which was now the home of an old schoolfellow
of her mother's. She was very delicate, and had
been, her mother thought, overworked; she was
studying for an artist, and was so anxious and so
persevering and had been working so many
hours a day that her pale face made her mother
quite anxious, and she had written to Mrs.
Cobham to know if she would give her a few
days in the country air, as she fancied that the
change and immunity from all work would re-
instate her health. She was very fond of
children, and having only one brother, a year
younger than herself, she was not over-fatigued
with them at home, so that they possessed for







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her all the charm of novelty. To lovers of
children, the varied dispositions and ways of a
family, all brought up in the same manner, is
a subject of great interest, and to Eleanor
WVenham it was particularly so. The singular
contrast between Norah and Isabel, the two eldest
girls, was especially marked-Norah, a child just
entering her twelfth year was very fair-haired,
gentle, and shy to a fault, almost ready to burst
into tears if accosted by a stranger, dreading to
go down into the drawing-room to visitors, and
perfectly miserable if invited to any little tea-
drinking or croquet-party when there was the
slightest chance of there being any strangers;
pained bitterly by a cross look or word, and
painfully distressed at the slightest punishment;
excessively timid as well: storms and darkness,
stories of ghosts, robbers, and gipsies, filled






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her with terror; and with the twilight a host
of dreadful imaginings possessed her, and with
difficulty could she be persuaded to move about
the house alone.
Isabel, on the contrary, feared nothing and
no one. To scour over the meadow on the pony
bare-backed, to stand on the top of the haystack
in the yard and watch the lightning, or without
hat or cloak on the moor within a short distance
of the house in a strong September gale, were
perfect enjoyments to her; to catch a thief the
one ambition of her life; to see a ghost, the sight
of all others she most wished for. Punishment
she never feared, and bore it when it fell on
her with provoking heroism; she loved change
and variety, and would go anywhere she was
asked rather than, as she said, be for ever sticking
at home; naturally truthful and honest, her




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