The Baldwin Library
MORRISON AND GIBB, PRINTERS, EDINBUERG
elly r Elitibecs' itor,
SI love God, and little children."
W. P. NIMMO, HAY, & MITCHELL.
I. DISCONTENT, 20
II. TRYING TO BE GOOD, 28
III. MRS RIVERS'S STORY, 32
IV. A LETTER FROM "AUNT FANNY," TELLING IIOW
ALICE SPOKE IN CHURCH,. 49
V. THE ROBBER RABBITS, 56
VI. REVENGE, . 6
VII. DISCOVERY, ... 71
VIII. TRY, TRY AGAIN, 79
IX. NELLY IN TOWN, a > 101
X. TEMPTATION, a 1C03
XI. CONCLUSION, )t 5 I fl
NE Sunday evening the children had been
singing hymns, as usual, with their parents.
They were now sitting quite silent and
still, when suddenly, Fred; looking very
earnestly up in his mother's face, said,-" Mamma,
I wish Aunt Fanny would write a Sunday story; I do
declare, I mean to ask her !"
"Oh, do, do, do!" cried all the rest, with such a
racket that you could hardly believe they were the
silent children of a moment before. "Tell her a
Sunday story is very much wanted to keep us in
"We shall do something dreadful some Sunday or
other," said Peter, "if she don't take us in hand; and
we'll promise not to go perfectly wild with joy, but.
put on our most serious good-boy and good-girl looks
when it comes. We '11 even behave better than when
we are fast asleep."
The rest laughed at this, and their papa said,
" That is a very rash promise, Peter; for old Mrs
Snarling says you are a tolerably good boy when you
are asleep, but a great torment at all other times."
Peter was just on the point of exclaiming, Bother
old Mrs Snarling!" but he recollected himself in
time, and made a loud "hem" instead; upon which
Sophie quietly remarked,-
You seem to have a remarkably large frog in your
"TIwas swallowing Mrs Snarling," he answered; at
which they all tried not to laugh, out of politeness to
the old lady.
But some chuckles would come, and their mother
gravely advised them to sing one more hymn, and
then be off for Bedfordshire.
This is the hymn they sung. It is like a prayer.
I want you all to learn at least to say it, my darling
good little hearts:-
Hear my prayer, 0 Heavenly Father,
Ere I lay me down to sleep;
Bid Thy angels pure and holy
Round my bed Thy vigils keep.
" Great my sins, but oh I Thy mercy
Far outweighs them every one;
INTR OD AUCTION
Down before Thy cross I cast them,'
Trusting in Thy help alone.
"Keep me through this night of peril,
Underneath its boundless shade;
Take me to Thy rest, I pray Thee,
When my pilgrimage is made.
None shall measure out Thy patience
By the span of human thought;
None shall bound the tender mercies
Which Thy Holy Son has brought.
Pardon all my past transgressions,
Give me strength for days to come;
Guide and guard me with Thy blessing,
Till Thy angels bid me home."
The next morning Fred spread a very large sheet
of letter-paper before him, and wrote this important
"DEAR AUNT FANNY,-A very learned old gentle-
man came to see father last week. In the evening he
amused us very much with what he called 'tricks
in language.' He wrote the letters of the word
'time,' and made what he called an anagrammatic
palindrome.' I'm sure I haven't the least idea what
these awful hard terms mean, but he twisted and
turned 'time'into four words, which can be read up and
down, backwards and forwards, in all kinds of fashions,
and still make the same words, which is very curious.
Here they are:-
They are all Latin words except dae English one,
'time.' 'Item' means 'likewise;' 'meti,' 'to be
measured;' and 'emit,' 'he buys.' There, Aunt
Fanny! I think I'm getting quite learned; don't
He asked us to spell the fate of all earthly things
in two letters. Can you? I'could,-after I was told,
-D. K. He said a young lady once asked what
phonography was. He took out his pencil and wrote
this,-' U. R. A. B. U. T. L. N.!' (You are a beauty,
Ellen.) That was phonography; 'at which she was
"Then this funny, learned old gentleman told us of
a curious conversation of a backwoodsman who did
not like to waste words:-
"'Whose house '
"'Of what built?'
"' Any neighbours 1'
"'What is the soil'
*"How is the climate '
INTR OD UCTION.
"'What do you eat?'
"' How do you catch them V
"And here is one more-I think the best of all:-
"' I came for the saw, sir,' said a little fellow.
"'What saucer ?'
"'Why, the saw, sir, that you borrowed.'
"' I borrowed no saucer.'
"'Sure you did, sir; borrowed our saw, sir.'
"'Be off! I never saw your saucer !'
"'But you did, sir; there's the saw, sir; now, sir.
"' Oh, you want the saw/'
"I must tell you the compliment the old Quaket
"' I wish thee and thy folks loved me and my folks
as well as me and my folks love thee and thy folks.
For sure there never was folks, since folks was folks,
that ever loved folks half so well as me and my folks
love thee and thy folks.'
"Now, Aunt Fanny, haven't I amused you ? and
don't you want to do something very particularly kind
for us ? Of course you do, and you are perfectly
crazy to know what it is,-so I will hurry and tell
"We do so want a story written expressly for Sun.
day,-a Sunday story. We think we are getting to be
remarkably good children, owing to the excellent ex-
amples set us in all your books; but then, you see,
if you were to write one which fitted Sunday exactly,
we should become little wonders immediately; and
this would delight all the cats in the house, for I am
afraid we chase them more on Sundays than on other
You see, it is so hard to live without making a
noise. There is a poor little boy they call Dan, who
lives in a lane not far from us, with just the very
crossest old grandmother you ever heard of. She
makes him keep so quiet that it's perfectly awful. So
we gave him a nice tin trumpet one day, and told
him to go into the woods and have a good blow-
"But, oh dear! one day as we were peaceably
walking down the lane, the cross old grandmother
rushed out of her cottage in a perfect fury, to beat us
with her cane for giving Dan the trumpet.
"'Oh, you little rascals !' she cried, you want Dan
to crack my ears! You gave him a tin trumpet on
purpose! I'd rather hear twenty-seven cannons going
off at once.'
"Didn't we have to run I first, then Peter, then
little Bob, and the old woman after us shaking her
stick, scolding us roundly. Poor old thing I feel
sorry for her too. I daresay she has many troubles,
and no wonder she's cross.
INTR OD AUCTION
"I think this is enough for one letter,-don't you 1
And you will write a Sunday story, darling Aunt
Fanny,-won't you? and we promise to be more
'lovinger' than ever. Bob told me to write it so.
Next week, I shall go to old Mrs Marble, the post-
mistress, and ask her for a letter for your affectionate
nieces and nephews,
"SOPHIE, FRED, and Lou;
"PETER, KITTY, and BOB."
The letter was read over to the "subscribers," as
Fred called the children, and heartily approved of.
It was carefully sealed up and directed; and, a grand
formal procession being formed, it was conveyed in
great state to the post-office, to the mistress of which
it was given, along with strict injunctions as to its
safe and speedy delivery. Every.Monday for several
weeks, Fred called at the post-office to inquire if any
answer had come from Aunt Fanny. At length one
morning all the children were down at the post-office
when the mail-coach drove up with the letter-bag.
Mrs Marble, the post-mistress, took the bag into the
office, and emptied its contents on a table. She had
no sooner done so than Fred, who had followed her
in, seized a big letter and ran off with it, leaving Mrs
Marble standing nearly paralysed with excitement and
indignation at his conduct.
"Here it is-hurrah! he shouted; and off they
all scampered home as fast as their legs could carry
them. With eager haste they all rushed into the
little parlour, where Fred broke open the envelope;
and clearing his voice with a great "hem I" he pro-
ceeded to read
AUNT FANNY'S ANSWER.
"MY DEAR CHILDREN,-I should call you a set of
little crazy cormorants, never to be satisfied, were I
not rather pleased than otherwise by your asking me
for a 'Sunday story.' You are not the first one by a
good many, and some of these days I mean to write
a whole series of them.
"Oh, my darlings, I do so hope and pray that every
year it pleases my Heavenly Father to permit me ta
live I shall write better than the last.\ There is a
Chinese proverb which says-' With time and patience
the mulberry-leaf becomes silk;' and an English one
which declares that We may be as good as we please,
if we please to be good.' I do please to be good, and.
to do good. Won't you pray that God will help me
"I send you with this your Sunday story.' It does
hot differ in style from many others I have written,
because I have made the children in it natural; and
so of course they are by no means any better than-
Here Fred set up a loud laugh, and said,-
"Hurrah! Aunt Fanny! Now we'll see what we are
"But if it will strengthen you" (Fred read on) "in
a determination to resist every temptation to do
wrong, and renew your desire to love and obey the
commands of your Maker, I shall be so glad,-so
"I send you a beautiful little hymn, which I beg
you to learn, and feel in your inmost heart when you
say it. Here it is:-
"Mary's love may I possess,
Peter's ardent spirit feel,
James's faith by works reveal;
Like young Timothy, may I
Every sinful passion fly.
"Most of all, may I pursue
That example Jesus drew;
By my life and conduct show
How He lived and walked below;
Day by day, through grace restored,
Imitate my Blessed Lord.
"Give my kindest regards to your dear papa and
mamma, and believe me ever your loving
Sunday came,-a soft, shining day,-and the little
birds sang their hymns of praise all through the leafy
The children went to church with their parents
morning and afternoon, and then gathered round the
tea-table, talking pleasantly. The sweet breath of
honeysuckles came in through the open windows;
bird after bird flew by in the golden sunset air, chirp-
ing "Good-night;" the bees were hurrying home
laden with honey; and all the sweet little whispering,
drowsy insect-sounds, which are only heard in the
country as God made it, came gently breaking through
Many a time did the little feet of the younger chil-
dren go pattering down the stone path of the garden,
so that they might peep out in the lane to see if Mrs
Marble, who had been invited by their mamma, was
in sight. She had been invited to hear the story read,
as a return for the rude manner in which Fred had
behaved in running off with the letter; for she was
a good old soul, and very fond of the children when
they did not tease her, which, however, they very
often did. When she did appear, a wild burst of
joy broke from the children, and they all ran out to.
meet her; and the good old lady arrived in the midst
of a sort of triumphal procession, quite breathless and
But the kind greeting of the children's parents soon
put her at her ease; and when she sat down with
them in her nice black silk dress, which her good son
Gain, the blacksmith, had given her seven years ago,
INTR OD AUCTION.
she looked, as Fred said, "like a perfect old dar-
It was intensely interesting to the children to ob-
serve the careful manner in which Mrs Marble took
out of her pocket an immense red silk pocket-hand-
kerchief, unfolded it, and spread it over her lap, and
the anxiety .with which she made sure that it was
twitched square, and straight, and then to see her give
her wig a little pull on the right side, and a little pull
on the left, and settle her iron-bound spectacles firmly
on the bridge of her nose.
At length everything was arranged. So Fred got
the manuscript ready, and with the warm sunset glow-
ing on the page he began to read
AUNT FANNY'S SUNDAY STORY.
ELLY RIVERS was so tired of that room !
She had counted every spot in the dark.
blue ingrain carpet. She had gazed!
Swearily upon the bare blue-painted walls,
and blue chintz-covered furniture, the plainest of its
kind, until her great dark eyes fairly ached for the
sight of something pretty.
The room was the parlour of her father's parsonage,
for Mr Rivers was a clergyman. The ministers of
some rich city churches find it hard to live upon
fifteen hundred pounds a year, and expect to have
their houses refurnished and themselves sent abroad
every two or three years besides; and it is not to be
wondered at if Mr Rivers was unable to buy beautiful
furniture with only a hundred and twenty pounds a
year for his salary.
If the things of this world were all that Christians
had to hope for or desire, little Nelly would not have
been to blame in wishing for some pretty picture or
tasteful ornament to brighten up the plain parlour
of the rectory. She was an imaginative little body,
with a great admiration for beauty in every shape; so
it came to pass that in her eyes the scantily-furnished
room and dusty village street so close to the door,
which formed the only view from the window, were
There she sat, her hands folded listlessly, until at
last out came a loud Oh.dear I am so tired of this
old house! I almost wish it would burn up !"
The door leading from the parlour to the study wae
ajar. As Nelly said these words, it suddenly opened,
and Mr Rivers's kind, smiling face looked down upon
"Why, what a dreadful wish i" he said, coming to-
wards her, and taking a handful of her shining curls
in his grasp. "What can be the matter with my
little Nelly a"
"Oh, I'm tired of everything, papa."
"Everything '" repeated her father. "That is a
terrible feeling in a grand, beautiful world like this,
which God has made and called 'very good.' I did
hope you were not tired of me, for one thing."
"Oh no, pap 1!" cried Nelly, earnestly. "I love
you dearly;" and she gave his hand a loving little
squeeze against her cheek.
Well, is it either of your brothers or baby-sister 1"
Oh no, no, papa! that is not what I meant. I
never could get tired of you, or dear mamma, or my
sister or brothers; but this room-it's so stupid i
If we only had some pretty pictures to hang up, or
some vases, or great looking-glasses and beautiful cur-
tains, all lace and gold, like Mrs Gray's. I do wish I
Come here, my little girl," said Mr Rivers, and he
led Nelly gently into the study, which was at the back
of the house, and seating himself in his arm-chair,
took her on his knee. Then looking gravely in her
face, he said,-" So, if God had seen fit to give you
wealth, you would selfishly and foolishly spend it on
worthless ornaments which could be of no possible
service? Do you believe this is the right use of
"Well, perhaps not, papa."
"I think I am a very happy man, yet there are
certainly no pictures in my room," continued her
father, smiling. "If I want a painting, only see what
a beautiful one I have there I"
He pointed, as he spoke, from the study-window,
to where a glimpse of the river could be seen shining
through the yellow-green leaves of the willows, and
the white spire of the village church, with its golden
arrow on the top, made a bright spot in the pleasant
Nearer by, Nelly's two little brothers were watch-
ing with delight some young ducks who were waddling
about and tumbling sideways into a small pond. Be-
hind them two little dogs were frolicking, pretending
to bite each other's ears off, and barking such funny,
quick barks that it must have been laughing, dog-
fashion; while in the distance could be seen the large
handsome mansion in which Flora Gray lived.
Nelly looked through the blinds at all this in silence.
The study-window was at the back of the house, and
the view was really a peaceful, charming scene; so,
when Mr Rivers asked, "Don't you call that pretty,
Nelly?" she was forced in truth to answer, "Yes,
"Then, if you have such a lovely picture painted
by the hand of God, you surely need not be unhappy
because you cannot buy the inferior work of men's
"I suppose not," said Nelly, in a hesitating tone.
"Then, what is it you want so much, little
"Well now, let me tell.you, papa. Of course .
would give to the poor, if I were rich but there are
so many things that rich people can do and have be-
Ssides! Yesterday, mamma sent me with a note to
Mrs Gray's, at Woodlawn, and while I waited for her
to answer it, Flora Gray showed me all her pretty
things. You don't know what a beautiful baby-doll
Sshe has !-almost as large as sister Bessie,-and such
a sweet little cradle for it! and a whole book-case to
herself, full of story-books; and that morning her
papa had given her a box of sugar-plums, as big as
your sermon-paper box! such good ones! Then the
room was so beautifully furnished, and Flora had on
such a pretty dress! But just as we were beginning a
nice play, Mrs Gray finished her note, and I had to
go; for though Flora begged me to stay, I knew I
must get home at once to take care of the children.
Now, if we were like the Grays, mamma could have a
nurse, and I could have pretty dresses and dolls too;
-and, O dear papa! then you need not write so
hard and long, and if anybody gave you the least nice
little thing, you need not send it right away to some
sick person ;" here Nelly paused rather suddenly in
her torrent of talk, for she saw that her father was
looking both surprised and somewhat grieved.
"Ah, now we come at the root of the matter," he
said. My Nelly is fretting and making herself un-
happy because she has the care of her little brothers
and sister a part of the day, and because Flora Gray
has more playthings and books than herself! Would
she be willing to let poor old Aunt Betsy, or the lame
shoemaker, want the comforts that I can give them,.
so that I might take the money and buy toys and finr
clothes for her I Does she feel as if her mother was
imposing cruelly upon her, by asking her little girl's
assistance in a few of very many cares 1"
Nelly blushed deeply, and hung down her head.
"I am sorry I was so ungrateful and naughty, papa,"
she murmured at last; "please forgive me! Indeed,
I will never be so bad again I I did feel when I was
coming from Flora's as if I was an ill-used little girl,
-and-I'm afraid I was cross to Willie afterwards.
Oh, papa, I am sorry and she burst into tears.
Mr Rivers drew her gently to his breast and kissed
her cheek. Then he said, in a sorrowful tone,-" My
darling, you are envious of those better off than your-
self; did you ever think that poor old bedridden Aunt
Betsy and the lame shoemaker could with the same
feeling wonder why you or I should be more prosper-
ous and happy than they I Would you care to be
like Aunt Betsy ?"
"Oh dear, no I papa."
"Then you think God has been kinder to you than
"Oh, papa, I see I have been very wicked."
"Yes, Nelly, guilty of envy and discontent: two
terrible sins. Pray to be delivered from them; let
your entreaty be,-' Create in me a new heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.' God will help
you to conquer these sinful feelings. Now, would
you like me to show you God's way to become rich "
"Why, yes, papa," answered the little girl, looking
up in his face with wondering eyes. I did not know
the Bible told us anything about that."
Mr Rivers took a Testament from his desk, and
opening it at the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy,
pointed out these words,-" Godliness is great riches."
"Does that mean that if we are good, it is just the
same as being rich 2" asked Nelly.
"Read the rest of the verse," answered her father,
and she repeated, "Godliness is great riches, if a man
be content with that he hath."
Oh," said Nelly, pondering, with her finger on her
lip; we must be content then ; that is the reason old
Aunt Betsy is so thankful and happy the whole time.
She is content,-is she not ?"
"Yes; whatever God pleases to give her is just
right. 'Thy will be done,' is her heart's prayer.
Make it yours, little Nelly, and you will care less and
less for the perishing riches of this world, and more
and more for that everlasting treasure which 'neither
moth nor rust doth corrupt.' Will you try to do
"Yes, papa," said Nelly, softly.
Well, then, suppose we make a plan for you, little
daughter. When you find yourself feeling discon-
tented, remember the text and try to gain that 'godli-
ness' which is better than all the gold and silver in
the world. Promise me to try this for a whole year,
and at the end we will see how it has succeeded, and
whether poor little Nelly Rivers has not become a
very rich little girl."
The child's eyes filled with tears. She did not
speak, but curled her arms round her father's neck
and gave him a "good hug," then slipping down
from his knees, she ran out of the room and up-stairs
to the nursery.
TRYING TO BE GOOD.
RS RIVERS was seated near the window
sewing, -that never-ending sewing of
mothers with young children. Rover, a
great dog, lay at her side, one paw folded
over the other, lazily winking at the flies, and baby
Bessie, who was just a year old, was in her cradle,-
her blue eyes wide open, watching the bright spots of
sunlight on the wall, and pretending to be trying to
go to sleep as soon as possible; but though she was
quite good and quiet as long as her mother rocked the
cradle with her foot, the moment she chanced to stop,
a pitiful wail was set up, two chubby legs were raised,
and off went the pretty white blanket, kicked on the
Here was a chance for Nelly. Mamma," said
she, "you go into the next room with your work, and
I will rock Bessie and sing her to sleep."
T.', 1-1-6 TO BE 609.%
.ks the 1,.ay r i..'.; i.i objection to this arrange-
,,enir, M[r rivers viin *-.'ily IV r, first 1;. ,,.i Nell,'
and ,b.i; her a glance so full of love that the cluli.
h..:,L[ tlriihJ i h:,ii ..i.ie: Some .:fl tl,. "riches"
li.i J ,iII I .i ll,- j '.J
She ran to a closet and took out her own dear doll,
and laid it iii ile cir.lle L,~-,.Je Ii.ill Bessie, who
,. .,l... it .0 !K r little bi.-.:-t iilh ..ki l It; then i:itlv:
rocking, she sang in her sweet voice this little song :-
God intrusts to all
J al,.,r: few c.[ -r ;
None so young and small
Tih. ,1. have not any.
it rhi.: i.,
Yet my one I prize,
And it must not slumber.
"God, .I., I. ask,
E ,'. enter heaven,
Have I '..'ri LI e task
Which to me was given?
Little drops of rain
1, ;r il,, springing flowers,
And I may attain
,T I.-, 1, tl. ri. ,, .
L -. ; ire measure,
IT-:-l. '.. spread the light,
o' ..l r., i '. : 11 ll[,..- It r.. s r,- ,
Lor, 1-:'- : 't,. i:r.:!, song was finished, 'he 1 .,'s
eyelids began to creep down over her blue eyes, and
soon she was in a sound, quiet sleep.
Then Nelly stepped on the very tips of her little
toes into the next room and whispered to her mother,
-" Can I help you, dear mamma Bessie is fast
"You may mend these stockings of your brothers,
dear,".she answered, lifting a bundle from the heaped-
up work-basket beside her.
A great frown gathered on Nelly's face, and her
mouth opened to ask in a fretful tone,-" What all
those 1" when she checked herself, and saying in her
heart this little prayer,-" Dear Jesus, help me to be
good," she spoke out cheerfully,-" Yes, mamma, I
will do them immediately;" and bringing her little
chair and basket, she sat down with the big bundle
of stockings, determined to mend every one of them.
Her two' little brothers, tired of watching the young
ducks, had come into this room. One was crawling
about the floor, looking for pins. His mamma had
promised to give him a penny for fifty pins, and he
found a number every day. The other little fellow
was very busy cutting paper with a pair of old scissors,
saying he was making a paper elephant for the
Presently he got tired of making elephants, and
throwing down his scissors, he ran to the back of
Nelly's chair, and climbing 'Ip with great dificr.lty,
TRYING TO BE GOOD.
put his chubby arms around her neck, reached down
and snatched the stocking out of her hand.
"Come, play with me," he said.
Nelly must do-her work," said his mother.
SBut I am so tired," pleaded little Willie.
"And I can't find any more.pins," said Maitland,
who was called Maity," for shortness.
"Well, then," said his mamma, shall I tell you all
a story ?"
This delightful offer was received with such a shout
of joy, that Nelly had to run into the next room, to
rock the cradle, for fear the baby might wake up in a
fright; but the dear little thing only opened one eye,
and the next moment was just as sound asleep as
i The good child came softly back, and Mrs Rivers
said,--- \\V it shall the story be about "
Nelly thought a moment, with her finger on her
lip; then she said,-" About when you were a little
"Oh, yes, yes !" chimed in the boys, their eyes
sparkling; and she began as you will read in the next
i T -
17 ~ ij
MRS RIVERS'S STORY.
I" HEN I was a little girl, my father said tc
me, one pleasant summer morning,-
'I'm going to Newburgh, on business,
and you may go with me if you choose.'
"You may be sure I was perfectly delighted, and
skipped off to tell my mother and get ready."
"Where was I then asked Willie, in a grieved
tone. Why didn't you take me "
Nelly laughed merrily at this question, and hei
mother smiled, as she replied,-" You were not in
the world at all, or I should certainly have taken
such a dear little tot with me on my excursion."
"Oh, would you 1" said Willie, much comforted;
and Mrs Rivers continued,-" So my father had the
little carriage brought to the door, mother kissed me,
and bid me be a good girl and brother Robert, who
MRS RIVERS STORY. 33
iwas a great tease, pretended to be crying his eyes
almost out with grief at my departure. Meanwhile,
father put a basket in the carriage that had in it two
white chickens, and stood waiting for me to come."
Grandpa Woodward wasn't a farmer,-was he "
"No; but he was very proud of his chickens, and
he meant to give these to a minister in town, whom
we were going to visit."
Mrs Rivers had lost both her father and mother
when she was a young girl, and her children were
always very much interested to know about the dear
grandma and grandpa, whom they could never see on
Nelly's question answered, her mother went on with
the story, thus:-" We rode along for some time in
silence, and then I began to ask some questions.
"'How far is it to Newburgh, father 1' I said.
*'About fourteen miles,' he replied.
"'Fourteen miles oh, what a long way! Will it
take us all day to get there ?'
"'Why, no,' said my father, laughing; 'we shall
get there in about two hours and a half.'
Do people who go to see ministers always have
to take them chickens was my next question.
"'I'm sure I don't know,' said father, laughing
again. 'I am going to give these chickens to Mr
Russell, because I know he can't get such another
pair to purchase anywhere.' Here the two chickens
gave such a Cluck, cluck !' together, as much as to
say, That's a fact.'
"Presently we came to a toll-house, and had to
stop and pay toll. There was an old gray cat sunning
herself on the window-seat, with three little kittens
nestled up against her. One had a blue ribbon tied
round its neck, the second a pink, and the third a red
"' Oh, what dear little things !' I cried.
"'Would you like to have one, Miss asked the
'Oh may I, papa I exclaimed.
"'You can take one if you choose, Nelly,' he re
plied; 'but don't you think it will be rather in the
"'Why, papa, a dear little kitten couldn't be in
the way. May I have the one with the white
"Why! was your name Nelly, too ?" interrupted
Nelly opening her eyes wide.
My name is Nelly now," answered her mother,
Oh, no, it isn't. Papa calls you 'Pussy."'
"Well, that is a pet name, just as I call you my
Oh," said Nelly; and she jumped up to give her
mother a little affectionate squeeze round her neck,
MRS RIVERS'S STOR Y
and whisper,-" I'm so dreadful glad your name is
Nelly. I love you, mamma."
Mrs Rivers kissed the dear little girl, and then
went on with her story.
"The good-natured woman gave me the kitten
with the white nose, and I kissed and thanked her,
and off we rode. The poor little thing didn't seem
very happy at being carried off from its mother, and
mewed piteously at first,.but after a while it cuddled
itself down in my lap and went sound asleep.
"We had a pleasant ride to town, and when we
rattled at last over the stones of the streets, I was
very much interested in looking at the numbers of
people, and the shops, which seemed quite grand to
a little country girl like me. Presently we drew up at
a confectioner's, and my father stopped the waggon,
and went in to buy me a luncheon."
"What did he bring you ?" asked Nelly.
"He brought me some rice-cakes, and some rusks,
and a pie."
Oh, how good I wish you had taken me 1" cried
both Willie and Maity.
"Next time I go, I will," said Mrs Rivers, laugh-
"Very well," answered Willie. "Then what did
grandpa do "
He got into the carriage again, and we drove to a
saddler's, where he stopped once more.
"' Now, Nelly,' he said, 'I am going to be here
some time; do you think you will be afraid to stay
in the waggon alone 7'
Oh, no, father I should like to stay here very
"'Very well,' he said. 'I will fasten Lennox,
(that was the horse,) so he cannot get away, and be
back as soon as possible.'
"So saying, he entered the saddler's store. There
were blue blinds to the lower part of the window, and
the door was made of thick, rough glass, so that it
was not very easy to look out, I suppose, and impose'
sible to see in.
"There I sat, munching my cake and nursing my
kitten, quite contented and happy.
"Presently a very odd-looking old man came
along. He was dressed in dirty, ragged clothes,
and had a long peacock's feather, and some flying
paper-streamers fasteried to his broken straw hat, for
the poor old fellow was crazy.
"I was looking at him, and wondering what could
be the matter with him, when all at once he came up
close to the carriage and stared in.
"' Ho little gal I' he said in a hoarse voice, grin-
ning at me,-'what's that ? cake '
"I was terribly frightened, but managed to stam.
mer out,-' Yes, sir.'
"'What do you mean by calling me sir t' he ex-
MRS RIVERS'S STORY
claimed, in a sudden, angry tone. How dare you ?
Give me that cake it's mine !' And before I could
help it, he snatched my pie, and ate it up at two
"Oh what did you do V" exclaimed Nelly breath
lessly. "What a dreadful old man!"
"Poor mamma! Maity so, sorry!" said little
"I was so frightened," continued Mrs Rivers,
"that I stared at him without saying a word,-then
I exclaimed,-' Oh, please don't,- please go away!'
ind began to cry.
Then give me some more cake !' said the silly
creature, fiercely, 'or I'11 get into the waggon and ride
you off to the moon The man-in-the-moon knows
me, and he's very fond o' fat little gals Ow!' and
he made a sort of snap at me with his mouth wide
"'Oh, take it all,-only go away!' I cried; and I
held out all the rusks and cake I had had, except the
one I had eaten,-and, hiding my face in my hands,
cried harder than ever."
"Why didn't somebody see him and stop him "
asked Nelly, half crying herself.
"Partly, my dear child, because in a large town,
people seem to think of no one but themselves. No
matter what happens in the street, if a little child is
being abused, or a lady injured, nine people out of
ten will think, 'Oh, it's none of my business,-I
sha'n't interfere;' and they walk on, like the priest
and Levite of old, without caring what becomes of
the poor traveller. Besides, the old man was well
known in Newburgh, and no one thought him likely
to do any harm, I suppose."
"Well,-go on,-please," said all the children at
"As I told you, I hid my face in my hands, and
wished for my father. Suddenly I heard a loud shout
of' Hoo Hurrah I the waggon was jerked suddenly
forwards,-I raised my head, and found the old man
had unharnessed Lennox, and was shouting at the top
of his voice to set him running I
The poor terrified horse started off at full speed,
I holding to the sides of the carriage, and screaming
for help. I fortunately remembered what father once
told me, never to try to get out of a waggon when a
horse was running away, or I might have been killed.
The boys shouted, people on the footpath stopped to
stare at the show, and several men ran after the
carriage, trying to catch the dragging reins, and shout-
ing 'Whoa! at the tops of their voices. This only
frightened the horse more than ever, and in his terror
he turned the corner of another street, and rushed
down that, till we were far away from the place where
I had left father, and yet seemed no more likely to
stop than at first,-particularly as the crowd followed
AIRS RIVERS'S STORY
us and increased by the way. At last, not seeming
to see where he was going, Lennox ran right up
against a large country waggon, struck one of the
shafts against it, and broke it directly in two The
shock stopped him, and one of the men catching the
reins at the same moment, guided him to the side of
the road. Of course everybody else stopped to see
the fun, on the spot ;-a crowd of little boys stared
and grinned at me,-and one, more kind-hearted than
the rest, climbed up on the carriage-step, and offered
me a very sticky bit of candy to comfort me, saying,
-' Don't cry, Missy; here, take that.'
"But I could. not take the candy. I was too
frightened. I only hugged my kitten, who all this
time had been clinging to my dress with its little
claws, and mewing piteously, and sobbed out,-" Oh,
please take me back to father! oh, please take me
back to father !'
"'Where is your father?' asked the man who had
stopped the horse, in a kind voice.
"' He went into a saddler's shop, sir,-a shop with
blue blinds, and a kind of thick glass door; and then
the old crazy man came and untied the horse, and
set him off with me Oh, dear, dear !'"
Here little Willie, who was very sensitive, and had
been listening to the story with quivering lips and
tearful eyes, exclaimed, Oh, dear !" too, and, hiding
his face against Nelly's shoulder, began to cry very hard.
GREAT T RICHES.
"Why, don't cry, little boy 1" said his mother,
cheerily. It is all over now, and you see I got off
quite safely, or I should not be here to tell you the
story,-should I "
"Oh, but Willie so sorry!" said the child, looking
up in his mother's face.
"Shall I stop the story, then "
Oh no I please go on, mamma. I won't cry any
Well, when I gave this description of the saddler's
shop, the man said,-' Oh, I think it's Hartley's; I
can take you there.' So he sent one of the staring
boys into a shop for a piece of stout cord, and having
tied the broken shaft together as well as he could, he
got into the carriage beside me and drove Lennox
slowly back the way we had come.
My father met us on the road; he had heard the
noise in the street, and rushed out of the saddler's
just in time to see Lennox disappear round the corner.
I can't tell you how glad he was to find me unhurt,
nor how, as he hugged me up to his breast and kissed
me twenty times, he declared over and over that he
would never leave his little Nelly alone again. He
thanked the kind man for bringing me back, and
wanted to give him some money, as he looked poor,
but he would not take it, and so we bid him good-bye
and left him."
Then did you go to the minister's asked Nelly.
MRS RIVERS'S STORY.
"Yes; we drove there directly, and found them
just sitting down to dinner, thinking we were not
coming. Kitty and I had as much roast lamb and
mashed potatoes as we could eat-and hungry enough
we were, I can tell you."
"Oh, I so glad you had lamb !" said Willie.
"Then, after that, what do you think we had for
dessert said Mrs Rivers, smiling.
"What I" asked the children in a breath.
"Why, nice apple pies I So I had one, after all."
"How nice I Well, what happened after that 1"
they all asked.
"I think the next thing was that my father went off
to the blacksmith's to get the shaft of the carriage
patched somehow or other, and I went up-stairs with
the minister's wife. I felt so tired and sleepy after
my long ride and the fright, that, when Mrs Russell
asked me if I would like to lie down a short time, I
said 'Yes, ma'am,' directly; and my head had hardly
touched the pillow when I went fast asleep.
"About half-past five Mrs Russell woke me gently,
and told me father was ready to start. The carriage
was at the door, and in a few minutes we were in it
once more,-with the empty basket riding in state on
the back seat, and kitty in my lap. It was a very
close, sultry afternoon; and as we got out of New-
burgh, and were toiling slowly along the up-hill road,
my father said,-' I rather wish I had waited an hour
longer, Nelly; it seems to me we are going to have a
"'Oh, father,' I cried, 'a thunder-storm! how
dreadful! Do, please, drive back,-I am so afraid of
"Just as I spoke we heard the first distant peal,
and saw the bright flash of lightning far away.
Oh, papa what shall we do I' I cried.
Do V' said my father; why, go on, of course.
Is it possible, Nelly, that you are afraid of thunder 1'
"' Indeed I am, father i' I said.
"'But, my dear child, if there were any danger,
have you not faith to believe that God would protect
you A thunder-storm is a great benefit and bless-
ing to the earth; and if God can keep the little birds
and all other living creatures from harm, will He not
care for you 4 ico '
"'But perhaps the lightning will strike us ?'
"' No; it cannot harm us while there are no trees
near us to attract it; and as for the thunder, that is
only a noise ; and you are not afraid of a noise,-are
"'Why, no,' I said, beginning to laugh at my
foolish terror. Just then, however, a much louder
crash than before set me trembling again, and I hid
my face against kitty's soft fur, while father got out
of the carriage, and, bidding me hold the reins, un-
fastened the leather curtains on each side and behind,
MRS RIVERS'S STORE Y
and fastened them down securely. Then he took the
reins again, while I scrambled over to the back seat,
and seating himself beside me, just as the first heavy
drops pattered down, we drove along through the
"I can never forget how kindly he soothed and
talked away my silly terror at the thunder and light-
ning, instead of scolding me, as some fathers would
have done, and told me some beautiful verses about
a thunder-storm, which made me quite forget to be
"Won't you tell me the verses ?" said Nelly.
"I will if I can remember them. It is so long ago
now, that I have nearly forgotten what they were.
Let me think." Mrs Rivers paused for a moment,
and then said,-" Oh, now I believe I can repeat
them. They are called
"THE LITTLE BOY AND THE THUINDER-STORM.
'The thunder-storm is coming
I hear its distant roar !
Oh, hide me, sister, hide me quick,
Until its rage is o'er.
"' The brilliant lightning blinds me I
I see the pouring rain;
The thunder deafens me to hear,-
Hark! there it comes again.
"'Oh, take me, sister, on your lap,
And let me hide my eyes
Against your breast, who love me wef,
Till shine the gloomy skies.
"'For GOD is in the thunder,
I heard my nurse-maid say;
It is His wrathful voice we hear ;-
Oh, sister, let us pray !'
"'Nay, then, my darling brother,'
The loving sister said,
'If GOD is in the raging storm,
We need not be afraid.
His anger, like the thunder,
Comes pealing from above;
The lightning seems His awful ey,--
But ah! the rain's His love.
"' It moistens and refreshes
The hot and thirsty plain,
Until the drooping corn and flowers
Are fresh and bright again.
The lightning purifieth,
Like sorrow's fearful shock;
It smites the noxious weeds of sin,
But cannot touch "our Rock."'
SThen, looking up to heaven,-
'Behold I His grace divine
Ias made upon the brilliant blue
A bow of promise shine.
And His kind voice doth whisper-
"Weep, little one, no mo e;
My love has cleared the gloomy skies z
The thunder-storm is o'er "'
"As my father finished these verses, the clouds
broke away, the sun came out in all its splendour, and
right before us we saw a magnificent rainbow !
Oh, how it seemed to cheer and lighten my heart 1
AIRS RIVERS'S STORY
I gave father a good hug and kiss for his kindness,
and promised I would never again feel any foolish
dread of a thunder-storm."
And didn't you ?" asked Nelly.
"No, never; if ever I began to have some of my
terrors, I always repeated to myself,-' But ah I the
rain's His love '-and then I grew cheerful again."
"Well, what happened after that 1"
"Why, after that, I and papa, and kitty and Len-
nox, and the basket, and the carriage, all got home
safe together, and had a famous tea of bread and
milk,-that is, kitty and I did. So there's the end
of my history-book, rorum, corum, torum said Mrs
"And my stockings too!" cried Nelly. "Why,
there weren't so many, after all! Thank you, mammal
for your story. I mean to learn that piece of poetry
by heart, if you will copy it for me.".
"Will you copy it for me, too I" said Willie.
"Oh, you little goose you can't read yet! cried
"Am I a goose asked Willie, putting up his
"I think your sister forgot when she-said that,"
said Mrs Rivers, gently.
Nelly blushed. "I am sorry, mamma. No, Willie,
you are not a goose, and I will teach you the verses,
if you like."
The little boy curled his chubby arms round his
sister's neck. "I love you, Nelly," he said, softly;.
and the mother smiled sweetly on her good children.
It was now nearly dinner-time, and Mrs Rivers
went down-stairs to direct the servant; while Nelly,
looking into the next room, and seeing that the baby
was still asleep, gave each of her little brothers a
pencil and a piece of paper, and sat down herself to
read a nice new book which had been sent to her.
It was called "The Standard-Bearer," and contained
a letter from "Aunt Fanny."
This letter was written when Dr Anthon, one of
the best and purest of God's ministers, was alive,-
not long after he went to sit for ever at the feet of the
Beloved Master, whom he had served so faithfully
while here upon earth.
Nelly knew and loved "Aunt Fanny" dearly, so
she read her letter the very first thing. Here it is.
No, here it isn't; because I think my good little
hearts reading this will like to know, what I omitted
to mention in the letter,-namely, that the children
there spoken of had learned some verses in the Bible,
besides their Catechism; and as these verses were
about a most touching incident in the life of oui
Saviour, which happened shortly before His death, I
will repeat them here. They are from the twelfth
chapter of the Gospel according to John, beginning
at the twelfth verse:-
AMRS RIVERS'S STORE Y.
On the next day much people that were come to
the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to
Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to
meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King
of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat
thereon ; as it is written,
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King
cometh, sitting on an ass's colt."
See, my darlings, how the prophecy was fulfilled
which was written in the book of the Old Testament,
called Zechariah, ninth chapter, ninth verse,-written
,years and years before our Saviour was born.
Here it is:--" Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Sion;
shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King
cometh unto thee : He is just, and having salvation
lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the
foal of an ass."
This was on the first day of the week in which our
Saviour was crucified. He entered Jerusalem, the
Holy City, riding in this lowly fashion, while the
multitude waved palm branches before Him, and
sang hosannas, strewing their garments in His path.
And yet, before the week was out, the same multi-
tude cried, Away with Him crucify Him! He
knew this was to be, so He rode on in silence and
full of grief.
48 GREAT RICHES.
On this day, also, Jesus scourged the money.
changers, and the buyers and sellers in the Temple.
He healed numbers of the sick, lame, and blind;
and many of the chief priests did in fact believe
on Him, though they were afraid to confess Him
In the evening our Saviour returned to Bethany
with the twelve apostles, and was probably the guest
of Lazarus and his good and pious sisters.
Now I will give you the little story from the
"Standard-Bearer." Every word is true; and it was
my Alice who made the sneech in church.
A LETTER FROM "AUNT FANNY," TELLING HOW ALICE
SPOKE IN CHURCH.
" I EAR LITTLE FRIENDS,-I am almost cer
tain you would like to hear what hap-
pened in our church one pleasant Sundly
afternoon ; and so I mean to tell you.
"Dr Anthon's class of dear little children had
gathered round his chair in the afternoon, to say
their Catechism for the last time that season. The
beloved rector, after the services were over and the
rest of the people had left the church, had seated
himself, as usual, within the chancel, with a pleasant
smile upon his face, and the little ones hastened up
the aisles, and knelt around the railings.
They had a pretty long task to recite, for they had
agreed to learn a hymn,-each to select his or her
favourite one, and as many as five verses long,-in
addition to two pages of Catechistm No wonder one
little girl said it was 'quite a heap of lessons;' but,
notwithstanding, she meant to 'learn them all per.
fect.' And so she did.
"The hymns of the children were all beautiful, and
all well spoken; and tender and loving tears glistened
n the eyes of the good mothers who sat near and
"When all the lessons were through, the kind rector
made this little speech:-
Children, you will remember I promised that you
should decide what I was to do with your chance-'
offerings. I have a little memorandum here, which
says you have given me twenty-one shillings and
eightpence. Now what shall I do with this money 1
You know that there are foreign missions and home
missions. One good minister told you, some time
ago, what was doing in China, and it was very inter-
esting; and another one, a little while since, told you
what had been done in Africa. He said to me after-
wards that there were two young coloured men in
Africa, who were very anxious to be educated so as to
become God's holy ministers in their own country.
It would require about fifty pounds to "do it, and he
was afraid he would not be able to get the money.
Then I told him to take hope and comfort to his
heart, for I thought I could promise him the money i
-and what do you think has happened? Why, this
LETTER FROM A UNT FANNY
very morning the congregation have given very nearly
enough for this excellent purpose, which makes me
feel very happy. Now, what do you say 1 Shall your
money go with the other to educate the young men
Will you give it to Africa I Who says yes ?'
"Then a thoughtful-looking, dark-eyed little girl,
whom Aunt Fanny calls Evangeline in her heart, but
whose real name is Mary, ran to her father to know
what she should do; and Alice, another little one,
whom you all know, asked her mother, and when
they turned back they said, 'Yes, sir, give it to
Africa ;' and little Emma, the tiniest of the flock,
said, 'Yes !' and Laura, after glancing her bright
eyes towards her mother, said, Yes !' and the good
rector was looking very much pleased, when quite un-
expectedly, Clara said, 'No and William, one of
the brightest boys I ever saw, said 'No /' too, very
"What was to be done I The kind rector looked
puzzled, and the good mothers smiled and whispered
to each other that the children knew perfectly well
what they were about, and meant to have this mo-
mentous business of giving their money to the mis
sionaries settled to their own minds; the only trouble
was, they were not all of one mind. This sometimes
happens with grown-up people,-but perhaps I ought
to have kept that a secret.
"'Well,' said Dr Anthon, pleasantly, 'this is quite
GR ?A T R ICHZS.
a difficulty; four against two. Still, I have great
hopes for Africa.'
"Then Alice, in a sweet little piping, lisping, voice
was heard to say,-' Dr Anthon, suppose we divide
the money evenly, and give half to Africa, and half
to home missions,-wouldn't that be better 1'
"'Ah !' said the good rector, while a smile broke
all over his face, 'that's an excellent idea! very
good indeed; we will put it to vote.' So he asked
all the children one by one, and a joyful 'Yes !' was
the answer from all. They seemed so glad thus to
settle the difficulty, and to help both; it was really
delightful to think, that, if they were only little chil-
dren, they could help along God's work! and thus
their tiny offerings were doubly blest.
"'And now, children,' said the rector, 'I do not
intend you shall learn the Catechism when we meet
again, as some of you have been through it more than
once. I mean to form you into a little Bible-class;
-how would you like that '
"I only wish you could have seen the row of dimples
that came out on their bright little faces when he said
"Why, just think of it! A Bible-class, like great
grown-up people It was perfectly delightful. They
really began to think they were not such little bodies
after all; and when the good minister had made a
beautiful prayer, asking a blessing upon the lessons
LETTER FROM AUNT FANNY
they had received, the little ones left the chancel, a
joyful happy group.
"As they were walking down the aisle, Laura turned
her bright face up to her mother and whispered,-
Mamma, I did wish to speak out, and say I wanted
the money to go to building the new Sunday school,
or else to be given to the church-building fund.'
"'Well, my dear,' answered her mother, kindly,
'I think it will do just as much good where it is
going;' which opinion completely dispelled the little
girl's regret, and she was quite satisfied.
"And Alice whispered to her mother, -' Oh,
mamma! wasn't it good that we divided the money
eventy, because you know Africa might be jealous,-
mightn't she V
Her mother smiled at the word jealous,' and told
her it was quite right to avoid any risk of that kind,
as jealousy among Christians was a very sad thing
"I wish I could tell you all that Mary, and dear
little Emma, and Clara, and that bright little fellow,
William, said,-but my letter is already too long. Of
this, you may be sure, they were all pleased, and
loved their kind rector more than ever, and looked
forward with delightful anticipations to the time when
they would be his dear little Bible-class.
"When that time comes, perhaps you may hear
more about them from your loving,
AUNT FANNY "
GREAT T RICHES.
Ah that good time never came for the next year,
just at the season when the dear little Bible-class
would have been formed, Dr Anthon went home to
his Father in heaven.
"Coo, coo !" said a soft voice, just as Nelly was
about to read the next story; and two little fat feet
were raised up in the air, and the baby-blanket was
kicked out of the cradle and over on the floor.
A'Oh, you darling !" cried Nelly; "how you kick
I must pat your little toes."
She took hold of a chubby foot, and giving each
little toe a shake in turn said :-
"This little pig went to market,
This little pig stayed at home;
This little pig had apple-dumpling,
This little pig had none;
This little pig said, Squeak,
Squeak, squeak !' my apple-dumpling
Is as hard as a stone.")
This tickled the baby very much, and she put out
her other foot to be served the same way, when the
Then Nelly took her up, brushed her few soft hairs
which made one darling little round curl at the back
of her neck, and calling Willie and Maity, they went
down to dinner.
All the afternoon the little girl tried to win some of
those riches of which her father had told her. You
LETTER FROM AUNT FANNY. 55
see her resolution was fresh and strong, and this made
it easy for her to be perfectly good ail this first day.
We shall see, as we go on with her story, whether
this resolve remained steadfast through every trial and
THE ROBBER RABBITS.
LORA GRAY was very fond of Nelly. She
was constantly sending for her to come to
Woodlawn, which was the name of their
beautiful place; and Nelly, I am sorry to
relate, would be all smiles, skips, and happiness
while there, but very often came home with an ex-
pression as if somebody had just thrown a glass of
cold water in her face.
There were so many delightful things at Woodlawn.
Besides Flora's playthings, of which there seemed no
end, there were swans swimming gracefully on the
beautiful little lake; peacocks strutting up and down,
displaying their gorgeous tails; a pet lamb, that
would eat out of your hand ; little white bantams,
and three pretty lop-eared rabbits, which Nelly never
grew tired of feeding. It was not strange, therefore,
that the little girl should like to go to see Flora,-
and perhaps we ought not to blame her for sometimes
wishing she could live as Flora did.
In the very next house to Woodlawn dwelt a
sharp-featured, cross-grained, old fellow whose name
was Squire Dusenberry. He seemed to think that
his eyes were made for nothing but to look as cross
as possible at everybody, and his mouth for no other
purpose but to eat and scold. There were man-traps
and spring-guns all over his place, to catch tres-
passers; and you could not enter the gate without a
big dog making a rush at you, and trying to snap at
your legs. If you screamed with fright, Squire Dus-
enberry would come out smacking his lips, and say,
Think you a'n't fond of dogs;" and that was all the
comfort you got.
One unlucky Friday, one of the pet rabbits belong-
ing to Flora found a small round hole in the fence
between Squire Dusenberry's grounds and Woodlawn.
He immediately called a meeting of the rest of the
rabbits, and proposed that they should burrow under
this hole, and find out what was on the other side.
"My friends," he said, standing up on his hind-legs
and eagerly erecting his ears,-" my friends, I think
I smell something remarkably nice on the other side
of this fence. I 'm quite tired of staying here for ever,
and having'my meals regularly served up four times a
day like two-legged animals. Come, let's hunt up a
dinner for ourselves."
On this, a fat old white rabbit, as round as a dump-
ling, turned her back, observing, "That little cat of
a rabbit wants to get us all into mischief. I had my
paw well pinched once when I poked my nose where
I had no business to go. I shall stop at home."
But the others were overjoyed at the chance for an
adventure. They did not pay the slightest attention
to the sensible remarks of the old rabbit, but began
with might and main to throw up the dirt under the
hole in the fence.
Meirily they worked,-their long ears twisting and
turning every way, ready to scamper off and hide,
if the gardener or Flora or her brother Charley
should come that way. But nothing happened, and
at last the hole was large enough for them to squeeze
How perfectly enchanting I They were in the very
middle of Squire Dusenberry's cabbage-bed. Nothing
could be more splendid or complete to the eyes and
appetite of a rabbit. Just imagine, my good little
hearts, your having a present of a whole barrelful of
candy, and you will know how perfect this was.
In the greatest glee the robber-rabbits commenced
eating, and made such a prodigious snip, snip, snip-
ping! that the fat old rabbit heard them distinctly,
and what is more, she smelt such a delightful odour,
that her very whiskers curled up, and her ears seemed
starting out of her head.
"I can't afford to lose all the fun," she said to her-
self; so she quietly riggled through the hole in the
fence. She gave a start of delight when she saw the
lovely green cabbages sitting up so round and crisp
in every direction; after which, you may be sure, the
old soul never waited for the dinner-bell to ring, but
fell to eating as bold as a lion, just as if all the cabbages
belonged to her, and she had nothing to do but to
And now all the rabbits were so absorbed in this
delightful employment, that they did not hear old
Squire Dusenberry shuffling along in his carpet
slippers, coming to see and admire his fine vege,
All at once. he observed two large white ears waving
back and forth.
"Hullo!" he exclaimed, softly, "if it a'n't them
plaguy rabbits from Woodlawn' eating up my very best
cabbages! I'11 punish 'em !"
Breathing hard with rage, he shuffled back to the
house, marched up into his bedroom, and took down
his double-barrelled gun. It was already loaded with
shot enough to kill a dozen rabbits. Then he came
out again so softly that the poor things did not hear
him, or else they might have given the alarm to each
other by thumping on the ground with one of their
60 GREAT RICHES.
With a cry like a human being, two of the rabbits
leaped up in the air and fell dead while the poor
old white rabbit lay panting and bleeding on the
ground, both of her forelegs broken by some of the
Then this terrible old Squire, what does he do but
tie all three up by the hind-legs, with a piece of twine
he took out of his pocket, and hang them over the
fence,-a warning, he said, to evil-doers.
The old white rabbit soon died, drawing long gasp-
ing breaths; and there the three hung so still,-their
long ears stiffened back, their large prominent eyes
without lustre, only fit now to be made into a pie.
[t was really dreadful I
HE next day being Saturday, Nelly was in-
vited to spend it at Woodlawn; and as
she had sincerely tried to be a good child
all the week, her kind mother gave her
permission to go.
With joyful skips and bounds the happy little girl
soon arrived at the great house; and of course the
first thing to be done was to go and visit all the pets.
The beautiful swans were coaxed to come up and be
fed with cake; the peacocks were begged to display
their splendid tails; the pet lamb was hugged and
kissed; and then Flora, Charley, and Nelly went to
look for the pretty white rabbits.
They looked and looked. "Why, where can they
be ?" they asked of each other.
"Perhaps they have got into the stable," said
Charley, "and are feeding with the horses. What
fun! to see them trying to chew up long straws,
which will only tickle their whiskers. Come, let's
Off they ran to the stable, and looked into all the
mangers; then they climbed and scrambled up a
ladder into the hay-loft, and forgot the rabbits for a
little while, racing around in the greatest glee, and
tumbling the hay about in a way that made the loft
look as if a regiment of disorderly rats had all built
their nests in it;-and no doubt its condition set the
head-groom half crazy the next time he went there.
Isn't this jolly!" cried Charley, turning head-
over-heels into a great pile of sweet-smelling hay.
"Perfectly lovely," said Nelly, tumbling down in
a heap beside him,-her curls tossed all over her
face, and bits of straw sticking up in them in every
direction; while Flora was trying to walk up what
she called "Straw Hill," and fell on her nose at every
step, screaming and laughing with delight, and creat-
ing such a dust that all three were seized with a
tremendous fit of sneezing, which, with the laughing
and screaming, seemed enough to take the roof off,
and quite frightened all the horses below.
At last, breathless with fun, they sat down close to-
gether in the hay, and began to wonder again what
had become of the rabbits.
Presently Flora jumped up and looked through a
round window at the back of the loft.
The sun was shining brightly upon some white
object which seemed hanging over the fence at the
very end of the lawn.
"What can it be "" she thought to herself. "Come
here, Nell !-come, Charley!" she called. "That
can't be Bunny, down there-can it? "
"Shouldn't wonder," answered her brother. "Let's
go and see."
Up they jumped, and down the ladder they hurried,
nearly breaking their necks, and scampered as fast as
possible to the very end of the green lawn, and rushed
pell-mell up to the poor white rabbits.
For one instant they stood quite still, astonishment
ind grief depicted in their faces; then Charley,
springing up on the fence and looking over, saw the
half-eaten cabbages. He understood it at once, and
jumping down, his face crimson with rage, stamping
his foot, he cried out,-" That abominable old Squire
Dusenberry has shot them! I know he has! I
could beat him to powder Ugh I could scrunch
"The hateful thing!" exclaimed Flora, bursting
"The bad, cruel man I" said Nelly, also crying
with all her might.
"I '11 do something to him! I'll kill something
he loves; I'11--I'11. Oh, I'11 punish him l" cried
Charley, growing more and more angry, as he tenderly
lifted the poor rabbits down. "Just as if he couldn't
spare two or three of his old cabbage-heads !"
"I wish somebody would eat his head," said
Oh, dear me I" sighed Nelly, what can we do
to him "
Charley untied the string with which the hind-legs
of his favourites were fastened ; and each taking one,
the children walked slowly back to the stable.
At the door they met Sam the stable-boy, and, all
talking together, informed him of Squire Dusenberry's
Sam rubbed the cuff of his coat over his dirty face
two or three times, to hide a grin, while the dismal
fate of the poor rabbits was related to him; then, as
he was a regular glutton, and was always for getting
the most out of everything, he said, "Well, Master
Charley, I don't see no occasion to feel so bad about
this here; rabbit-pie is first-rate feedin', and they had
got to come to that sooner or later."
"Oh, you awful boy !" exclaimed Flora. "Do
you suppose we can eat our poor rabbits "
"No, indeed !" cried Charley; "we are going to
bury them. Come, Sam, get the spade and dig a
grave for us."
"Oh, Miss Flora they are so very plump just
feel their backs,"-and Sam lifted poor Bunny and
began pinching her.
Let her alone, you wicked boy !" screamed Flora.
"We are going to bury her,-the others too. Find a
nice box for us, and then hurry and dig a grave."
Sam grinned again; and then going into the barn,
he brought out an old empty box. Some hay was put
in the bottom, and the three rabbits were laid in the
box, side by side,-the children looking on with
quivering lips; then the top was nailed on by Sam,
who always kept his tools in the barn; a hole was
dug under a tree, and the box was put in and care-
fully covered up.
The three children, with anger still burning in their
hearts, then went and sat down on a green bank,
talking over their wrongs till the dinner-bell rang.
Of course, the violent death of the rabbits was the
only topic of conversation at the table, and Charley's
papa promised to have a very solemn talk with Squire
Dusenberry about his conduct.
"Tell him I hate him !" cried Charley, his eyes
flashing. "Tell him I'll get our swans to hiss at
him, he's so mean !"
"Oh, Charley !" said his mother, "don't talk so.
You must learn to forgive those who despitefully use
you. Remember your rabbits were stealing the
Squire's cabbages, and no doubt he was very angry,
and perhaps he is sorry enough now."
"Yes, but that won't bring them back; he ought to
have been sorry first."
His father laughed at this comical way of stating
the case, and the children ran off to play.
But somehow, though they tried to enjoy them-
selves, and Flora had every one of their dolls out in
the arbour, and gave them a party, the sad fate of the
rabbits would come into their minds every moment,
and steal all the dimples out of their faces.
All of a sudden Charley sprang up, with an ex-
clamation of, "I'll do it !-see if I don't !"
"Do what cried both the girls, staring at him in
Iknow I'll do it 1" said Charley, again shaking
his head fiercely. "I'11 punish him I He won't
shoot rabbits again in a hurry !"
Oh, the Squire you mean cried the girls. Tell
us what you are going to do, Charley. Is it something
"You won't tell, will you V"
"Oh, no they both declared.
"Well, you know how very particular he is about
his front-door. I do believe he has it painted every
six weeks,-at any rate, it is just as white as snow,-
and I mean to go down to the store,-" here Charley
shook his head eagerly, and laughed with a joyful
giggle. "I mean to go to the store and buy some
bright red paint, and paint his door for him to-night,
Flora and Nelly fairly screamed with ecstasy at this
delightful bit of mischief, and in an instant all three
heads were close together, settling the very best way
to carry it out. Flora proposed to run in and beg the
cook for a small tin kettle to put the paint in. Nelly
offered to go with her to help her to beg, if the cook
should happen to be cross; while Charley remembered
that there were some old paint-brushes in the garret,
and he would hunt them up ; then they would all go
to the store to choose the paint, and after dark they
would steal softly out and take turns in painting the
Nelly had permission to stay at Woodlawn until
nine o'clock; and as Squire Dusenberry made all his
family go to bed as soon as it was dark, and was
snoring himself by half-past eight, they had not the
slightest fear of being discovered.
"We '11 make the most dreadful bogy on the door
that ever was seen,-won't we ? said Charley, jump-
ing on and off his seat with glee at the thought;
" we '11 give him seven rows of teeth and ten horns."
"And all the people going to church to-morrow
will be so frightened they will jump half over the
moon," cried Nelly, laughing and clapping her hands.
"Just fancy Squire Dusenberry," said Flora; "this
is the way he will look at it;" and she opened her
eyes till they seemed ready to pop out, and stretched
her mouth very nearly from ear to ear; and then all
three laughed and jumped and wished it was dark,
so that they might begin painting the bogy right
Oh, oh! what naughty children! Squire Dusen-
berry had done wrong, certainly, but two wrongs
never did make a right, and never will.
Nelly by this time had quite forgotten her good
resolutions, and waited impatiently with the other
two. They could hardly eat enough tea, they were
in such a hurry, and ran all the way to the little store
in the village, where for some coppers Charley got
the old tin mug the cook had given them half full of
such bright red paint, that one look at it would have
made a bull as mad as forty March hares.
Soon after the sun set behind the hills, the gor-
geous red and purple faded out of the clouds, and
Madam Twilight softly laid her gray mantle upon the
earth. Mr Rivers sat with his wife in the cosy little
porch at the back of the parsonage, admiring the
peaceful scene, and talking lovingly about Nelly,-
.how good she had been lately, and how she had made
herself so dear, so dear to their hearts.
Where was Nelly at this moment ? One of three
little crouching figures before what had been Squire
Dusenberry's clean white door, trembling, half-re-
pentant, watching, while Charley, brush in hand,
was daubing the sides with streaks of red paint, criss-
cross, up and down, here and there, in every direo
tion; while in the middle a dreadful bogy, with star-
ing eyes and many horns, seen in the dim light of the
stars, had already been painted, and looked perfectly
"There!" whispered Charley, as he put the last
streak on, and turned up his tin cup quite empty,-
" there that's elegant I Walk up, ladies and gentle-
men, and you will see Squire Dusenberry with six
horns on his head, and all the rest eyes and ears.
Nothing to pay. Walk up !"
But the girls did not walk up,-they ran away; for
now that the mischief was done, they began to be
both frightened and sorry; and when they got back
to Woodlawn, Nelly was glad that it was nine o'clock,
and hastened home, with Sam the stable boy to escort
her, ashamed to meet the eye of Flora's mother.
Once at home, she did not run as usual to sit upon
her kind father's knee, and tell him and her mother
all she had seen and done. No. Guilty conscience,
looking exactly like the bogy on the Squire's door,
seemed staring her in the face from all the doors in
the parsonage, and she hurried up to her own little
Undressing herself as quickly as she could, and
gabbling over her prayers in a nervous, frightened
way, she jumped into bed.
Ah! I fear she had lost some of her "great
"I wonder what can be the matter with Nelly "
70 GREAT RICHES.
said Mrs Rivers down-stairs to her husband. She
must have tired herself out with play."
"I hope she has done nothing wrong at Wood-
lawn," said Mr Rivers.
"Oh, dear, no She is so happy there that she
behaves beautifully. Poor little darling she is only
tired," answered the loving mother.
HE sun rose the next morning bright and
hot, and long before the church bells
began to ring it had dried up the dew,
and shone with a quivering melting glare
all over the land, and away out to the wide shining
sea, where the ships lay like little white specks on its
It shone just as bright and hot on Squire Dusen-
berry's front-door, and baked the dreadful bogy there
hard and fast. As it was Sunday, no one passed the
house before church time. Squire Dusenberry and
his family always went out of the house, Sundays and
every other day, by the back-door, so as to leave no
footmarks on the steps. If any one chanced to visit
them, the very instant they left, one of the Squire's
daughters came out to sweep and dust the steps
after them, and rub the finger-marks from the brass
The Squire went stumping about in his kitchen
garden before breakfast, with his hands under his
coat-tails, and saying to himself, Oh, dear me just
look at my cabbages just look at my cabbages 1"
and he wasn't a bit sorry for killing the poor rabbits.
Then the breakfast-bell rang, and he stumped
back into the house, sat down at the table, took
his hands from beneath his coat-tails, mumbled out
a grace in a very disrespectful manner, ate two
pork-chops, three baked potatoes, four slices o&
bread, and drank a great cup of coffee,-enougl
breakfast for one man, I should think, and a little
But all these good things did not make him an
atom better tempered, for he kicked the dog the
moment he got up from the table, scolded his wife,
boxed his daughter's ears for not finding his pipe in
a quarter of a minute, and sat down in a corner to
smoke and twiddle his thumbs one over the other,
until it was time to go to church. As to reading the
Bible or some good book, he never thought of such a
Ding-dong! Ding-dong Ding dong!
The people began to move along the wide pleasant
village street on their way to church. Stout old far-
mers, with white hair, but still hale and strong, thcii
DISCO VER Y.
good old wives hanging on their arms, and half a
dozen children following on behind, passed up the
quiet street; waggons and carriages, bringing their
owners from a distance, rattled past; and one and all
stared in astonishment at Squire Dusenberry's door,
and thought he must certainly have gone raving mad.
But the old Squire and his family saw nothing. As I
have told you, they came out of the house by the
back-door, and never looked behind them when they
walked round to the front gate.
Everybody watched him in church. They saw
him take his old iron spectacles out of his pocket,
find the hymn, and tune up through his nose, just
the same as ever. Charley, Flora, and Nelly were
perhaps more astonished than the rest, for they could
not understand why he took the mischief so quietly.
As to the good minister and Mrs Rivers, they had
not seen the door, for they always looked straight
before them when they went to church, with their
thoughts on things not of this world.
But when the service was over, and the people, as
usual in country places, greeted each other standing
outside around the church porch, an old deacon said
to the Squire,-
"Glad to see you taking it so easy."
"Taking what so easy growled the other.
"Why, the scandalous red picter on your front-
door, for I don't 'spose you did it."
What 1! red picture Are you performing on a
long bow for my benefit 1"
The Squire meant by'that, that he thought the
deacon was telling a lie.
"I don't shoot long bows," said the deacon,
" specially on Sunday. I saw a great red goblin
painted on your door, and I thought you knew all
"I saw it too,-an awful figure I" said a weazen-
faced old farmer, who was leaning on a stick.
"So did I," cried a fat old lady, busy eating a large
slice of gingerbread.
I wish you could have seen Squire Dusenberry
then He started out of the churchyard at a pace as
if he meant to beat a railway train. His wife and
daughters tried to keep up with him, but without suc-
cess, for the old Squire had got into his gate, and was
already dancing up and down with rage, in a way to
crack the very flagstones, before the dreadful bogy
which was staring at him from his door. He had
been thus dancing five minutes before his family got
there, and that was very lucky for them.
"Who did it ? who did it?" he screamed. "I'll
have them put in prison! I'll beat them to pow-
He was still dancing and screaming in this way,-
bad enough, goodness knows, for week days, but oh 1
how dreadful on the Sabbath,-when the good minis-
DISCO VER Y
ter came along, with Mrs Rivers, and Nelly holding
fast to her father's hand.
Surprised at such unusual sounds, Mr Rivers and
his wife looked up,-and then they saw the frightful
door,-at the same moment Nelly gave a violent
"I 'll have them tarred and feathered I '11 duck
them in the horse-pond !" cried Squire Dusenberry;
at which awful threats Nelly turned ghastly white,
and so giddy, that it seemed as if the trees and houses
and church-steeple were all bobbing around; but it
was she who was staggering and reeling, as if she had
suddenly become tipsy.
"Why, Nelly, my child, are you ill ? What is
the matter?" said her father, taking her up in his arms.
"Oh, papal" she gasped, with white and trem.
bling lips, "don't let him do it,-take me home with
you ; oh i don't let him touch me 1 "
A miserable unhappy suspicion darted into both
parents' minds, as they listened to Nelly's entreaty.
They quickened their steps, and were soon safe within
"Oh! cried Nelly, bursting into tears, "how
pleasant this room looks I I don't want ever to leave
It was the very same room of which she had been
so tired, and her parents were still more surprised to
hear her say this.
GREAT T RICHES.
"Nelly, my little daughter, tell me,-have you
been doing anything wrong Do you know who
painted the Squire's door I" asked her father in a sad,
The blood rushed in great tides over the child's
face and neck. She had never told a lie since she
knew how very wicked it was. She could not tell one
now. Oh, nol Nelly would have SCORNED to utter a
And so, after a great struggle, her quivering lips
opened, and the words I helped came like a great
sob from them.
And then, with many tears, the whole story came
out, about the rabbits and the children's anger, and
the revenge they took; and the kind loving reproof
aridteachings of her father made the little girl feel
more and more sorry that she had returned evil for
evil, and was farther away than ever from that "god-
liness" which is "great riches." Grieving and re-
pentant, she was quite ready to promise that she
would go with her father and beg Squire Dusenberry
to forgive her share in the mischief which had enraged
But more than this,--when she went to bed
that night, Nelly prayed from her inmost heart
to become a better child, and said with a new
and solemn reverence this beautiful prayer in
DISCO VER Y.
"Make me, 0 Lord I a sinless child,
As Christ was pure and undefiled.
Help me to come to Thee each day,
As Christ has bidden us, to pray.
May I forbear to seek my own,
For Christ has said,-' Thy will be done,'
And to myself prefer my brother,
For Christ has said,-' Love one another.'
Give my dear mother honour fit,
As Christ to Mary did submit.
Be ever candid in my youth,
For Christ commandeth,-' Love the truth.'
May I to others e'er be mild,
As Christ was silent when reviled.
And still with meekness bear my part,
For Christ has blessed 'the poor in heart.'
And when upon my dying bed,
May Christ's dear arms be round my head.
There, folded on the gentle breast
Of Christ, I 'I find my perfect rest."
The next morning, immediately after breakfast,
Nelly went with her father to Woodlawn, where he
had a very serious conversation with the kind parents
of Flora and Charley. All three felt that the Squire
had been very cruel in killing the poor rabbits, and
really deserved some punishment, though not the one
Flora and Charley were very willing to say they
were sorry. So they all marched over, the three little
penitents, begging Mr Rivers and Mr Gray to go first
and break the dreadful news.
It did not make them feel any more comfortable
when they saw a man scraping away for dear life,
trying to get the red goblin off the door, and I am
sorry to tell that Squire Dusenberry did not receive
their apologies in the very best spirit. "Fiddlesticks
and nonsense I he jerked out; keep your rabbits
to yourself next time. You've got to pay for daubing
up my door I So you see you have advanced three
steps backwards in your fun, for it will take the whole
of your pocket-money for the next three months; and
all the tarts you buy will be very sour ones."
1 .:T -
TRY, TRY AGAIN.
OR several weeks after the dreadful affair
of the bogy on Squire Dusenberry's door,
Nelly was just as good as it is possible
for a human being to be in this world,-
and that is by no means perfect. We shall all be
able to travel down through the world to China, in-
stead of going all the way round it, before we find
absolute perfection in any one, big or little. And as
it is not at all probable that this will take place in
our day, we'll give up looking for perfection, like
sensible people, and go on with the story.
So Nelly took care of the baby, and helped her
mother to work, and learned her lessons and said her
prayers all these weeks, with not above a dozen cross
GREAT T RICHES.
faces coming down over her own, which I consider
remarkable. Her father thought it remarkable too,
and one evening, to reward her, he wrote something
on his best sermon-paper and handed it to her, say-
ing,-"Here, Nelly; tlis is to be read to you to-
"Did you write it on purpose for me, papa ?" she
asked, in a joyful tone.
"Yes," he said.
"It is a little sermon ?"
"Yes, a week-day one,-such a sermon as ought
to be preached to children, for it is a story with
a moral; and I want you to make the application.
"How application,' papa 1"
"Why, after you have read the story, I want you
to tell me what lesson it teaches to you, and that is
making an application."
"Oh, yes, I will, papa," the little girl replied, with
an affectionate kiss; and off she ran to bed, for it
was time to go.
The next morning after breakfast, Nelly called
Willie and Maity, who sat down with their thumbs
in their mouths, so as to be sure not to interrupt or
lose a single word; and taking up a pillow-case which
she was overhanding, cried, "Now, mamma, we'11 be
the congregation and you shall be the minister, for
papa said this was a sermon for children; and it's a
TRY, TRY AGAIN.
story too. Come. baby Bessie is fast asleep; please
begin, dear mamma."
So Mrs Rivers took the paper and read as follows:-
OVER A BRIDGE.
A Fairy Tale of Home.
In the snuggest of little toll-houses, in the centre of
a long bridge, its cosy doorway nestling beneath the
shadow of the sloping roof, there once lived an old
toll-gatherer named Job Hapgood.
The toll-house was the merest baby-house of a
place, with only three tiny rooms within, but then
they fairly shone all over with the constant scrub-
bings and rubbings of Trot Hapgood, Job's only
daughter, who was the neatest and nicest little body
you can imagine.
The walls of the sitting-room were half covered
with staring red and blue bills setting forth the glories
of various travelling-shows, mingled with advertising
pictures, in which people were represented in the act
of dyeing their clothes the colour of indigo with
Huzzard's Blueing," or looking with amazement at
their faces reflected in their own shoes, polished with
"Buzzard's Blacking;" but, after all, this was rather
ornamental than otherwise, and if Job Hapgood had
been a good-natured man, they might have amused
him very much.
But he was not good-natured. He did nothing but
grumble because he was obliged to put them up, and
would have liked to make Huzzard swallow all Buz-
zard's blacking, and painted up Buzzard like an
ancient Briton with all Huzzard's blueing, and so
got rid of both out of hand.
Well one bright summer's day, just as the clock
struck twelve, old Job Hapgood popped his grizzled
head out of the little sentry-box on one side of the
door, where he stood to take tolls, and sniffing some-
thing like cooking in the air, concluded it must be
about his dinner-time. So he shuffled into the house,
with his nose all wrinkled up in a discontented sort of
way, plainly taking it for granted that there was no-
thing particular for dinner, and it was just his luck.
"Ah, there you are, father!" cried Trot's cheery
voice j "and here's your dinner, all piping hot."
Yes, yes, my dear," replied Job, shuffling off to
one side, to pretend he didn't see what Trot was
dishing up,-" yes, yes, I'm coming in a minute."
"Oh, no,-you must come now !" said Trot, merri-
ly. "Just take your seat,-that's a dear old daddy,
-and see what I've got for you! First, here's a
nice dish of boiled beef and potatoes; and tkere you
.are,"-setting down the first dish; "and your tea
drawn just the way you like it; and ther-e you are
again,"-setting down a small brown tea-pot: "and
for a treat, a delicious lttle bit of-what do you
TRY, TRY AGAIN. 8j
think I" asked Trot, mysteriously clasping her
"I'm sure I don't know," said Job, disconsolately.
"Anything's good enough for me."
"Tripe !" cried Trot, fairly clapping her hands in
joyous triumph. I bought it for you myself, and
stewed it with onions; and there you are!"-and
Trot set the tripe on the table, in a brown earthen
bowl, and tripped round to give her father a little
squeeze, and a little kiss on the very tip of his nose,
-laughing all the time with a trill like a happy bird.
"Yes, yes, Trot, my dear," replied the toll-gatherer,
-"you're a good little girl to your poor old daddy.
I don't know what would become of me without
you;" and his eye rested on the staring placards of
Huzzard's Blueing and Buzzard's Blacking with an
inward discontent which even tripe couldn't make
"Oh, never mind the bills now, father," said Trot,
cheerily; "your dinner will be stone-cold. Come;"
and drawing her chair up to the table, she bowed her
pretty golden head to ask a blessing, and the toll-
gatherer was fairly settled to his dinner.
Then to see Trot hover about him, so anxious that
he should be comfortable To see her now putting
a savory bit of meat on his plate,-now pouring out
his tea and taking a saucy sip from the cup herself,
-anon running to the door to receive a toll, then
back again, singing like some blithe little bird; and
presently cutting bread for her father, in a profound
fiction that he was quite unable to help himself!
Darling little Trot!
Then, when dinner was over, how she took his
pipe from the mantel-shelf, and with a thousand
graceful little gestures-still very like a bird-began
filling it! pressing the tobacco down with her chubby
forefinger in proper style, and then putting it between
his lips to be lighted, with an approving pat on his
brown cheek, and setting the cricket under his feet
for him to take his afternoon nap, before she tripped
away to clear the table. Busy little Trot !
Now, surely, if never before, Job Hapgood ought
to have felt contented with his lot, as he sat in his
arm-chair smoking and looking absently about the
room. And yet he.was thinking, not of the blessings
he enjoyed, but how many years he had been toll-
gatherer on that bridge, and after all, what a poor,
mean, scraping, toiling kind of life it was for an old
man. Gradually these thoughts became mixed up
with his dislike for the show-bills, and he was just
beginning to feel rather drowsy, and a little confused
as to whether Huzzard's Blueing was the Grand
Calithumpian Moral Egyptian Caravan, or Buzzard's
Blacking was the Real, Living Jackass with Four
Tails, or both together, when suddenly he was
aroused by some one's calling him from without,
TRY, TRY AGAIN 85
The voice was rather an odd one too,-high and
shrill, like the whistling of the wind through a key-
hole, and, moreover, whoever was calling seemed to
be in the greatest possible hurry to pay their toll and
be off again.
"Coming shouted Job, sleepily; and rousing
himself as well as he could, he hurried to the door,
and there he saw a very curious-looking vehicle in-
There certainly was something out of the way
bout this conveyance I It wasn't a travelling-
coach; it bore not the slightest resemblance to a
tilbury, a dog-cart, a phaeton, a trotting-waggon, or
a hearse; it didn't look like a caravan, and nobody
would have suspected it of being a perambulator;
yet it seemed to be made up with little bits out of
each and all these vehicles. Harnessed to it were
four spirited horses, which plunged and reared, and
all but stood on their tails with impatience; but
neither driver nor passenger could be seen anywhere.
Job stood staring with all his eyes at this queer
affair, when once more the voice from within ex-
claimed, "Come here, and take your toll, Job Hap-
Half-scared out of his wits, yet compelled, as it
seemed, by some spell, the toll-gatherer went up to
the strange conveyance and laid his hand on the knob
of the door.
GR EAT P.ICIIES.
The instant he did so, the door flew open of itself,
he was whisked into the carriage, he could not tell
how, and, like a flash, off they went down the road,
"Oh, good gracious !" yelled Job Hapgood at the
top of his lungs. Oh, my goodness! For pity's
sake Help! Murder Fire Oh, Trot, Trot,
But of what use was it to snout and bawl in an
enchanted coach? for such this must certainly have
been. Moreover, the toll-gather's voice seemed to
sink into a whisper, like a person's in a nightmare,
and his tongue to become glued to his palate with
fear, when on looking round him he found himself-
Yes, there he sat,-alone with the Voice which
had summoned him from his home,--no shadowy
form, no gauzy garment hovering at his side, yet he
felt that invisible eyes were piercing to his very soul.
A cold chill crept over his limbs, his hair rose on
end, and in the extremity of terror his teeth chat-
tered in his head.
Suddenly the silence was broken by a mocking
laugh close at his ear.
"Oh, my heart alive, what's that I" gasped Job.
"Why, Job, my fine fellow!" said the Voice, "you
don't seem grateful for your good luck! Ten minutes
ago you were a miserable man, disgusted with yoiu
TRY, TRY AGAIN.
lot in life; yet now you find yourself in a splendid
carriage, rolling straight towards happiness, and all
you say is, Help !' and Murder i' Ha, ha, ha!"
"B-but who-but what-" stammered the toll-
Who is with you ? A friend of yours, Job,-one
who is going to put you in a new situation," returned
the Voice, with mock gravity.
"But please your-your-dreadful majesty," fal-
tered Job, who really began to think he had fallen
into the hands of somebody he called Old Goose-
berry,-" I want my daughter Trot with me, wherever
Well, it's you for making conditions !" retorted
his unseen companion. "Suppose you sit still and
only speak when you're spoken to !" and with that
down came a sounding whack on Job Hapgood's
head, which made darkness, besprinkled with a curi-
ous pattern pf stars, swim before his eyes, and ad-
vised him pretty strongly to say nothing more but
wait and see what would happen next.
All at once, plump they pulled up, and stood
stock-still. The door flew open, Job was impelled,
as before, to get out, and in an instant strange carri-
age, fast horses, and all disappeared in a flash of
lightning, an'd left him alone once more with the
The place where he now found himself was a long
bridge, spanning a rapid river, whose dark waters
flowed with a murmuring sound among the massive
beams and abutments below, until they fell, with a
subdued, yet ceaseless roar, over vast masses of jagged
rocks, cutting the waters into myriad wreath of foarm
and spray. The sun shed a dreary and awful light
through the thick dun-coloured mist which com-
pletely shrouded either shore, and the whole scene
oppressed and weighed upon the soul like the heavy
shadow of some dreadful dream.
In the centre of the bridge one familiar object
appeared,-a toll-house, whose weather-beaten walls
and sloping roof reminded Job very much of his
own home,-once so despised, though now he would
have given anything on earth to get back again.
Well, there's a toll-house, at any rate," he
thought; "it must be a common bridge, after all."
"Oh no, it is not, Job," said the Voice,-which
seemed to know his inmost idea,-" it is the site of
all your happiness."
"What i am I to be a toll-gatherer again cried
Job,-that is, he thought he cried, for in reality his
voice was the lowest whisper. "No, thank -you. If
that's the best luck you've got for me, why let's go
back to the old place."
"Not just yet, Job," returned the Voice. "You
have a lesson of happiness to learn first."
"Oh, of course. I'm bound to be contented and
TR Y, TR Y AGAIN.
happy with toiling and moiling from morning till
night, and night till morning,-and one's very sitting-
room invaded with show bills !-which, if I could
have the fixin' of things, I'd Huzzard and Buzzard
'em,-a pack of four-tailed jackasses! At my age,
too,-rising sixty! If you could make me young
again, that would be something like happiness. There
were good times then,-ah, dear, dear Here his
tirade was interrupted by the Voice.
"Look, Job," it said,-and its tones were deep
and solemn now as the murmur of many waters,-
"something is passing over the bridge."
The slow rumbling of a heavy waggon sounded in
the distance, and in a moment more it emerged from
the mist on the left bank of the river, and the timbers
of the bridge resounded under the tread of two strong
A sturdy fellow walked beside the waggon, which
was half filled with hay, making a soft nest for two
terry children who rode within.
As it approached the toll-house, one of the chil-
dren, a pretty fair-haired boy, sprang up, exclaiming,
-" Oh,- uncle! let me pay the toll,-won't you
Look, Grace; now I'm a General waving his sword
in battle Hurray!" and the child flourished a
long cornstatk as he spoke, his eyes sparkling with
Do you recognize that boy, Job said the Voice.
GREAT T RICJIE S.
The toll-gatherer turned ghastly pale, and his voice
had a strange, hollow sound as he answered,-
You were happy then, Job '' said the Voice,.
"Very, very happy!" groaned the toll-gatherer.
The waggon stopped at the toll-house, and the boy
held out an ancient Continental coin. Moved by a
power he could not resist, Job came forward to re-
ceive it, when the boy, fixing his eyes upon him,
uttered a terrified cry. In an. instant the waggon
had passed swiftly on, and was lost in the shadows
"My poor uncle!" sighed Job. "He was shot in
the field of battle fifty years ago."
As he spoke, he looked once more towards the
left bank of the river, and saw a singular change in
the dark mist that overhung the shore like a funeral
pall. Slowly it rolled backwards on either side; and
just where it was parted, the toll-gatherer saw the
distinct picture of, a room in an antiquated farm-
house. A dim light, burning within the wide chim-
ney, gleamed over the time-worn furniture; a high-
backed chair beside the hearth; a bedstead covered
by a patch-work quilt; and on the wall above, a
faded sampler wrought with texts from Scripture.
In the centre of the room, on rough trestles, reposed
a child's coffin, covered with a sheet.
My mother's room!" exclaimed Job, the cold
TRY, TRY A GAIN.
dew starting to his brow. "But whose coffin is
As he spoke, the clouds rolled heavily back and
hid the vision from his sight. At the same moment
the awful toll of a funeral bell filled the air, and
issuing from the dim mist, with the sound of many
horses' feet, a burial train passed on over the bridge.
Solemnly it moved along and stopped opposite the
toll-house. Suddenly the side of the hearse became
transparent, and the child's coffin was revealed within
-the lid partly drawn aside. The toll-gatherer
moved closer, and fixed his terrified eyes upon the
marble face of the corpse.
"Whose funeral is this, Job?" asked the Voice.
My little sister's sobbed the toll-gatherer.
Like the swift passage of a dream the burial train
passed onwards, amid the doleful clangour of the
bells, and vanished in the gloom.
"Then there were sorrows clouding your early
youth 1" asked the Voice.
She was the darling of the house cried the pool
toll-gatherer. Oh, Ruth, dear little Ruth !"
"The clouds are parting again," continued the
Voice. "See what they bear on their dark bosoms !"
Within the framework of the first shadowy picture
appeared another vision. It showed the outside of
the same farm-house, surrounded by an old-fashioned
garden. Fruit-trees drooped their loaded branches
over the wide beds where flowers and sweet-herbs
grew together. The porch in front of the door was
faintly lighted by the new moon, and there sat a
handsome young man and woman.
You could see in their happy faces a strong like-
ness to the children who rode so merrily in the hay.
cart long ago, and from the way her dark glossy curls
rested against his breast, it seemed as though they
were newly married.
Who are these happy ones, Job.?" questioned the
Me and Grace Trueman," murmured Job. "We
were just married then, and living as happy as a pair
of little birds. We had our bit of money laid up
against a rainy day, and everything nice around us.
Oh dear! oh dear! A hard thing for a man to come
to poverty at last when all began so well."
The vision passed away as he spoke. It seemed
to carry with it some of the uncertain light that before
shone over bridge and river, or else the day was
really drawing to a close, when, plodding wearily from
the hidden shore, two wayfarers appeared on the
hither end of the bridge. The principal figure was
a man in the prime of life, but sadly worn and hag-
gard as though with many troubles. He supported
on his arm a woman, whose dark hood, pushed back
from her face, revealed her pale beautiful features
and raven hair. Each of them carried a bundle,
TRY, TY AGCAIX
which seemed to contain all their worldly posses-
sions, and the dust of the weary road hung heavily
upon their garments.
As they passed the toll-house they turned their
heads, and looked Job Hapgood full in the face.
A deadly chill seemed to strike into his very
heart; he shuddered from head to foot; for in
these way-worn figures he recognized himself and
"You suffered like this in your manhood?" said
the Voice, with strange gentleness in its tones.
"There was one hard season after another," cried
Job, clasping his thin hands in bitter grief. My
crops failed more than any of the neighbours'; and
though I strove and struggled against poverty and
sickness, there came debt upon debt, and at last the
very homestead went from us. Ah, Grace! pool
birdie That I should have brought thee to this !
"Look, Job !" broke in the Voice,-" see what fig-
ure this is that passes over the bridge !"
The daylight had faded away, a gloomy nightfall
settled blackly down on the river. As the thick
clouds drifted sullenly apart, the dim, watery light
of the moon streamed between them, and fell on the
form of a man hastening over the bridge. His clothes
hung in tatters round his wasted form, and his long,
tangled hair and beard mingled in wild confusion
about a wan face which still bore some shadowy like.
ness to the fair boy of years ago.
He paused as he reached the centre of the bridge,
where a wooden seat was placed for poor wayfarers,
and placing gently upon it a sort of bundle that he
carried in his arms, wrapped in an old shawl, he stood
gazing downwards at the rushing water.
"This is the place," he said at last, in hoarse and
broken tones. "Here, where we toiled along, heart-
broken, from our happy home,-where I saw the light
fade out of my darling's eyes, and did not die! I,
who had brought her to such a pass Here I have
come at last, to join her Trot, little birdie, oh fare-
well for ever!" and his voice choked with sobs, his des-
perate hands clenched above his head,-the wretched
man hovered one instant over eternity--
"Stop !" rang out a voice, loud and commanding,
as the tall form of a man darted towards the suicide,
and clasped him firmly in his arms. "For Heaven's
sake!-what would you do "
"Ah, let me die!" cried the figure, cowering and
grovelling under the strong grasp. "What have I to
live for but starvation and despair 7"
The other pushed him down on the bench, and
taking the seeming bundle in his arms, drew aside
the old shawl. The fair face of a sleeping infant
appeared, the moonbeams falling like a glory on
its little golden head.
TRY, TRY AGAIN. 95
"My child!" cried Job Hapgood, falling on his
knees. "My little darling, innocent child !"
The shadows fell deeper and darker on the bridge
as the toll-gatherer, lifting his head from his clasped
hands, raised his eyes towards the Voice.
You do not condemn me utterly 1" he humbly en-
treated. I was mad-lost-I know not what, under
my heavy load of troubles. He pitied me even in
my wickedness, although he was a man of God"-
"And took you and the child to his home, feeding
and sheltering you there, until, through his unwearied
"I got the place as toll-gatherer !" cried Job;
"and, please GoD, I'll pray for and bless him many
a long year to come."
"Look at the shadows once more, Job," said the
Voice. "See what they show you now."
Job looked toward the shore, and there, limned
forth on the dark background of the mist, he beheld
his little sitting-room at home. The blazing fire shed
a rosy light upon the whitewashed walls, gay with the
familiar signs of Huzzard and Buzzard, which the
cheerful gleam transformed into charming pictures;
while the bright tins on the mantel-shelf glittered like
homely diamonds. In the centre of the room stood
the tea-table,.spread with its clean brown cloth and
well-known china; no sound could be heard but the
busy tick of the Dutch clock and the singing of the
kettle on the fire; and close beside the hearth, her
sweet face illumined with a tender blush, as the fire-
light played on it, sat Trot at her sewing.
"Oh, Trot, dear, darling little Trot!" cried Job
Hapgood, springing to his feet. "If I only can get
back to you again, I'11 be the most contented man in
the whole country."
"What! with Huzzard, Buzzard, and all in-
quired the Voice, which had recovered somewhat of
its former sarcastic tone.
"With every one of'em!" shouted Job at the top
of his voice, giving a frantic flourish with his feet,
half-joy, half-impatience, which kicked over-
No, the cricket "Why, bless me,
father !" cried Trot, running up to him, "what's come
over you ? Haven't you had a good nap 1"
"Nap! my birdie," exclaimed Job, staring at her
in amazement; "have I been aslee5 i "
"Yes! the best part of an hour, and snoring away with
your dear old mouth as wide open as the drawbridge."
Job paused for a moment to give Trot a delighted
hug and kiss, to make sure he had really got her all
safe; then raising her face by the round, dimpled
chin, so as to look in her eyes, he said,-
"Tell me, birdie, do you love the old house "
"Why, surely, father," said Trot, looking in his
face with a wondering smile.
TRTR Y TRY AGA IN
"And you'd rather have it, bills and all, than any
other in the world ?"
"To be sure I would !" said Trot, earnestly.
"Why, haven't we lived here winter and summer
for fifteen years? Don't we know and love the
breeze, and the river, and the old bridge, as well as
if they were our own 1 And could we be as happy
anywhere else as we are here,-where the dear
memories of the years that are past hang round the
walls to make them beautiful and holy, father ?"
"Why then, I'11 tell you what, Trot !" cried Job,
gathering her little figure closely in his arms, and
laying his brown cheek tenderly on her pretty head,
-" I'd not change it for a king's palace anywhere!
I'11 love it henceforth for your sake, my birdie; and
as to Huzzard and Buzzard-why, bless their hearts!"
cried Job, lifting his glowing face and looking round
the room,-" if any one were to tell me I didn't look
upon those men as brothers, I'd wish they might
never see a four-tailed jackass as long as they lived .
So give me a kiss, Trot !"
And so she did.
Oh, what a beautiful, beautiful story! said Nelly,
with a sigh of pleasure, as her mother finished.
"And have you made the application ?" asked Mrs
Is it that I, also, must be grateful and contented i"
asked the little girl, in a low voice.
"Yes; and if you are truly contented and grate.
ful, if you bear without murmuring all the trials of this
life, you will surely win a portion of that godliness
which will entitle you to a home in heaven. And
you will also be far happier here, my little Nelly.
God will bless you here; never doubt it."
For several weeks after this, Nelly was grateful and
contented, though not without many a rebellious and
envious twinge in her heart; but she fought every
one of them down; and her kind parents encouraged
her and loved her, oh, so dearly! so dearly I that her
search after godliness was made far more simple and
easy for her than for many another little pilgrim on
this earth, whose path was filled with the sharp stum-
bling-blocks of temptation, poverty, and neglect.
It was now late in October. The dry leaves
rustled in the paths; the little birds were flying every
day to the warm southern lands; and fires looked
cheery and pleasant.
The Grays had gone to their winter home; and
Nelly's rosy face had oftentimes a melancholy ex-
pression, for she sadly missed her dear playmates,
Flora and Charley.
One day a letter came to the parsonage, which
caused deep anxiety. It was from Mrs Gray, and
contained an invitation for Nelly to spend the winter
with her friends. Mrs Gray promised to care for and
watch over both the little girls alike : and she wished